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Temperans wrote:

Cavalier/Bard focusing on maximizing the banner can honestly be an incredible buffer, and it would be highly thematic.

Also if you want to be a strategist/leader I suggest archetypes that not only let you buff, but that let you share teamwork feats. This way you can change the tide of battle using more than just raw numbers. (Also teamwork feats are highly underrated)

VMC cavalier on a bard or vice-versa is kind of nutty (if you go human to somewhat mitigate the feat losses and are very careful with your choices), especially with an order like dragon

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late to the party here, but off the top of my head i'd say anything bard or bard-esque (bard, skald, evangelist cleric, oath of the people's council paladin...)
particularly the divine ones include a lot of party options such as solid spells (cleric) and auras (paladin), so it really depends on how deeply you're trying to go into party buffing, since bard and skald's bardic knowledge lets them go a bit more into the "strategy" aspect you might want.

voodistmonk lists a lot of really helpful numeric increases, but another i'd toss in to consider might be:
Poet's Cloak - skalds get some bard songs (inspire courage and inspire competence as 4th level), bards or bard-likes get a skald song (raging song as 4th level +1 rage power that they have or thats attached to the cloak)--neither advance beyond that, but it's a good bit of added utility earlier on in a campaign.

also iirc the Lingering Performance feat and Memorable trait (quests and campaigns) allow you to triple your song duration in an encounter (if you're not keeping a performance up constantly for allegro or a finale spell)

late to the party:
so don't AoO her? come and get me only activates when someone actually takes the AoO you provoke which would make her reach shenanigans worthless, since she's gotta physically pass through their threatened range anyway, far as i know.
and if she's noodle-arming from range that'd make people even less likely to try and AoO her, sicne they can't actually reach her.
moreso after seeing any hapless allies get mulched fro trying to use the AoO.

of course this can all be sidestepped by an appropriately slippery caster i'd think, who isn't attacking her to trigger her effects, and may have defensive (invisibility or displacement, strong movement options like dimension door, etc) options to negate her more threatening attacks, would give her quite the challenge.

a melee option could be her own medicine turned against her--say, an invulnerable rager barbarian with CaGM/beast totem line, guarded life line, flesh wound, and so on to just whittle her outgoing damage down to nothing before slapping ehr back themselves?

Ryze Kuja wrote:
McDaygo wrote:
The reason I posted the max hd build was you don’t have to do an army of 10 hd undead. If you have 242 hd to play with whats to stop you from 2-3 20 hd undead that was to give breathing room on choices.

Well, you're not actually going to have a 100HD undead, you'll have probably a 20HD undead but with 80HD worth of templates put on him, but he still only costs 20HD towards your 6HD/lvl bucket of Animate Dead.

If you want to create big, beefy undeads, JujuOracle + Undead Master feat + AotG + animate/desecrate can max out your Animate Dead's "HD per cast" so you get the most bang for your buck on that 20HD undead that's packed with Zombie Templates.

this and this! having a gigantic pool of HD is good for building a massive 'wide' army, or for a small 'tall' army sicne as you two noted, you have a lot more room to fit bigger stuff with bonuses into your pool if it's as large as you can make it (i also feel i didnt make that agreement clear enough in my previous post mcdaygo, apologies there)

cursed zombies (CR+1) are nice to combo with templates like the fast (+0CR) or relentless (CR+1; same as fast zombie, but with +2HD, scent, and a climb speed) zombie types--they make a pretty great way to debuff enemies since multiple zombies can layer on several different curse effects quickly (one for generic -4 attack/saves/checks/skills, one for -str, one for -dex, etc)

havign a big army's a great build, but i think OP was asking for a quality selection over raw quantity (though having a large bucket/animation cap helps make that, naturally, and your suggestions are very helpful for accomplishing that)

@op: if youre just looking for a small group of big stompy boys, my advice would be to look at 'fast zombie' template for high-HD monsters (since bloody skeletons have an internal HD limitation of 10HD, and normal skeletons 20HD) up to your animate dead (or undeath wordspell if that's your jam, or both via the experimental caster feat) bucket limit.

or as others have suggested, snag a free scaling undead via class feature (such as necromancy implement occultists, shadowdancer shadow minion, or sealbreaker antipaladin mount), and look into grabbing the command undead spell (not the feat) to get one single undead of as high an HD as you want.

if you cant find a giant meatball undead to command, you can always just make one! letting you use dinky regular corpses to create bigger (in this case literally) customizable undead by condensing them down.


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

What the WHAT now? Are you telling me that, before I even worry about PrC levels, a level 6 Juju Oracle with the right Revelations and Feats can animate 54HD worth of undead, no one of which can be more than 18HD (36HD in a Desecrate)?

So... a mid-level "boss" type villain could have around them 6 9HD zombies? Like, WHAT? Making these Fast Zombies wouldn't even be that hard; the oracle might also have Remove Paralysis as a level 2 spell. That's 6 9HD Fast Zombies all loyal to the villain that doesn't have to do anything but buff and "heal" the zombies in a fight against the PCs?

I have been running boss fights wrong for years in this game.

an old but helpful guide on encounter design is over here at least.

and yeah, juju oracle, cruoromancer wizard, occultists with the necromancy implement, agent of the grave PrC increasing your level-scaling... there's a good number of classes and PRCs that expand your limits of undead animated/controlled.


a small note to keep in mind: when applying templates to an animated undead, it increases their EFFECTIVE HD cost to animate them, but doesnt alter their ACTUAL HD to control them (so a 10HD bloody skeleton would cost 20 HD to animate, but only count as 10HD towards the limit of undead you control), unless the template increases their HD (such as the relentless zombie template).

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if it's accidental, they didnt choose to do so :^)

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just remember that the book is a person--wants, needs, ambitions and everything. while they might deign to be lugged around as a piece of equipment for a time, they were once someone whom the very heavens shuddered at his name! and they will see their return.

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a week late, but a stream of consciousness for you: you could make it as powerful or as weak as you want, just due to whatever mishap caused his material form to be consumed in the ritual may have stunted his previous phenominal cosmic powers. so, he'd have lots of knowledge but no way to really use it--or seek it, since he's a book, and books dont have eyes to read with (blindsense would show pages as just a flat plane, no?).

or perhaps since it was a "bonded" spellbook, he cant use his full power unless he's likewise bonded to someone, so perhaps he's seeking a suitable host to either dominate (intelligent/cursed item has rules for that) or lure into servitude in exchange for his limited powers and expansive knowledge. likely in exchange for [something], such as helping him restore a physical body for himself, possibly involving some grand and needlessly specific ritual with hard-to-find reagents that you'll have to quest for . or in exchange for letting him read new spells or sources of knowledge via the bonded players' senses, because he's just that bored.
failure to do so in a timely enough manner will result in him either witholding his aid, or to attempting to dominate the PC, or to simply abandoning the players to 'flee' during an opportune moment

on the player side, you could sort of treat it like an advanced familiar of sorts (diminutive animated object statblock as a base? idk), with SLAs (maybe use the spell mastery feat as a basis for picking spells as SLAs for him based on his int stat when he was 'alive', perhaps capped by the 'bonded' players' maximum spell level. perhaps have him pick a spell per slot from the spells stored in the book itself? or both?) and a telepathic link to whoever he's working with. or instead of feats, something like the lore oracle power (iirc) to consult with him on a subject for X amount of time for a bonus on the next appropriate lore check you make.
maybe he grants feats like spell focus(necromancy) or skill focus (spellcraft?) or other thematically appropriate bonsues to whoever he's bonded with, like a regular familiar granting alertness etc.
alternatively, you could treat it like a black blade magus class feature that allows it to start weak and scale up in power as it stays bonded and regains his old strength (and perhaps tries to act towards his own interests more often)?

rather than flight, maybe he just has an 'unseen servant' carry him around? perhaps being a sort-of-weak (if rather hard to destroy) book is kind of a huge indignity.

kinda wish i could remove [warpriest] from the thread title at this point, since as folks have noted, there's a fair several options for a melee necromancer.

alright, a rudimentary occultist has been tossed together:

NE elf or half-elf occultist (battle host)
int>str>con 14>dex=wis>cha
fcb (elf) for +10 max mental focus points (and +20hp from multitalented if HE) - not sure on alt. racial traits.

traits and feats:
-gifted adept (animate dead)

feats: L = level, C = class
1 - varisian tattoo (necro)(l)
2 -
3 - spell focus (necro)(l)
4 - weapon focus (???)(c)
5 - tenebrous spell(l)
6 -
7 - experimental caster (undeath wordspell)(l)
8 - power attack(c)
9 - spell specialization(animate dead)(l)
10 -
11 - extend spell(l)
12 - lunge(c)
13 - bouncing spell(l)
14 -
15 - spell perfection (animate dead)(l)
16 - improved critical(c)
17 - gtr spell focus (necro)(l)
18 -
19 - celestial obedience (urgathoa)(l)
20 -

focus powers:

1 - mind fear (nec base), necromantic servant (nec)
2 - legacy weapon (tra base)
3 - size alteration (tra) or soulbound puppet/spirit shroud (nec)
5 - quickness (tra)
6 - sudden insight (div base)
7 - mind over gravity (tra)
9 - mind eye (div) or danger sight (div)
10 - energy ray (evo base)
11 - <FILLER> (nec/tra/div/evo) - whatever options you didnt choose earlier
13 - <FILLER> (nec/tra/div/evo) - whatever options you didnt choose earlier
14 - arcane inspiration (pan base)
15 - spell power (pan)
17 - metamagic master (pan)
18 - mind barrier (abj base)
19 - aegis (nec/tra/div/evo/pan/abj)

focus points: 40 (+4 necro, assuming +10 int bonus at lv20))
implements: [NEC]romancy(1)/[TRA]nsmutation(2)/[DIV]ination(6)/[EVO]cation(10)/mage's paraphernalia [PAN]oply(14)/[ABJ]uration(18)
mastery: necromancy

FP can be divvied up among your implements as you like, unless it's the day of [THE RITUAL] listed below.
order of implement acquisition could be shuffled (and i'd love to get abjuration earlier), but the objective is to get mage's paraphernalia asap while still having transmutation implment (since it's so insane for combat builds). currently it lines up so that you get both spell power focus power and spell perfection (animate dead) at level 15.



casting relevant spells at night, during full moon, with death knell, desecrate, and bloodwine spells active.

FP spread (40/40+4) - 36+4 necro, 2 transmutation, 1 divination, 1 evocation (spending points from necro for panoply focus powers)

items include:
-voidstick or scrolls of desecrate + "reliquary" weapon enhancement (+250g)
-orange prism ioun stone
-circlet of the moon
-salt (reagent)
-scrolls of death knell
-scrolls of bloodwine
-healing potions (for bloodwine spell)

undead buckets:
animate dead - CL 43 (20 level, +14 feat([+2 focus/gtr, +1 tattoo, +2 spec, +1 obedience, +1 tenebrous]*2), +1 trait, +1 reagent, +1 death knell, +1 bloodwine, +1 ioun, +2 spell power, +2 circlet)
HD: ANIMATE 252 (([43 CL]*2 HD)*2 desecrate, +80 necromantic focus) | CONTROL 252 (43 CL *4, +80 necromantic focus)

undeath wordspell - CL 33 (20 level, +5 feat(+2 focus/gtr, +1 tattoo, +1 obedience, +1 tenebrous), +1 reagent, +1 death knell, +1 bloodwine, +1 ioun, +2 spell power, +2 circlet)
HD: ANIMATE 146 ([33 CL]*2 HD, +80 necromantic focus) | CONTROL 212 (33 CL *4, +80 necromantic focus)

[b]extended tenebrous command undead[b] (4 FP, via arcane inspiration power) - CL 33 (20 level, +5 feat(+2 focus/gtr, +1 tattoo, +1 obedience, +1 tenebrous), +1 reagent, +1 death knell, +1 bloodwine, +1 ioun, +2 spell power, +2 circlet)
CONTROL 1 creature | DURATION 66 days (refreshed every full moon, extra duration is in case theres an eclipse or something and you have to skip a month)


464 HD of controlled undead--+1 commanded undead and +1 necromantic servant (and optional familiar)--seems pretty adequate for a non-multiclass character.

you get an undead minion at 1, pop off with the army at 7 with both spells (since you're not a divine caster--though reliquarian IS an option, so could move experimental caster to 5th in that case), and spell perfection and spell power at 15 for serious CL pumping a massive army.
Necromantic focus seems pretty gnarly when you have enough points to dump into it, though you only really need to dump all your points into it when you're performing [THE RITUAL], and can adventure/fight as normal every other day.

honestly you could ignore battle host and go with another archetype (panoply savant? gives more FP, which is useful) or even vanilla if you wanted more focus on other things, since as MrCharisma has pointed out, transmutation implement does a ton of heavy lifting by itself already.
with soem implement shuffling you could potentially go vanilla occultist (or panoply savant) and use that extra implement for trappings of the warrior panoply on top of the existing choices to arguably be a better frontliner than the current setup?

edits: formatting

(ignore furious focus mentioned at level 3, i dont know what that's doing there and the post is too old to edit it out)

some build updates with additional findings:
LE human warpriest (urgathoa - death/evil/magic/strength/war, grants ghoul touch as a 2nd-level spell)

-gifted adept (animate dead) [magic]
-fate's favored [faith]

1 - spell focus (necromancy)(l), varisian tattoo (necromancy)(r), weapon focus (???)
2 -
3 - gtr spell focus (necromancy)(l), power attack/furious focus(c)
4 -
5 - experimental caster (undeath wordspell)(l)
6 - lunge(c)
7 - spell specialization (animate dead)(l)
8 - weapon specialization (???)(fcb)
9 - tenebrous spell(l), improved critical (???)(c)
10 -
11 - extend spell(l)
12 - gtr weapon focus (???)(c)
13 - bouncing spell(l)
14 - gtr weapon specialization (???)(fcb)
15 - spell perfection (animate dead)(l), critical versatility(c)
16 -
17 - deific obedience (urgathoa)(l)
18 - ???(c)
19 - ???(l)
20 - ???(fcb)

required items, undead buckets, CL math:
items include:
-orange prism ioun stone
-circlet of the moon
-string of prayer breads (standard), for bead of karma
-salt (reagent)
-healing potions (for bloodwine spell)

[UNDEAD BUCKETS] (casting at night, during full moon, with death knell, desecrate, and bloodwine spells active)
animate dead - CL 45 (20 level, +14 feat([+2 focus/gtr, +1 tattoo, +2 spec, +1 obedience, +1 tenebrous]*2), +1 trait, +1 reagent, +1 death knell, +1 bloodwine, +1 ioun, +4 bead, +2 circlet)
HD: ANIMATE 180 (([45 CL]*2 HD)*2 desecrate) | CONTROL 180 (45 CL *4)

undeath wordspell - CL 35 (20 level, +5 feat(+2 focus/gtr, +1 tattoo, +1 obedience, +1 tenebrous), +1 reagent, +1 death knell, +1 bloodwine, +1 ioun, +4 bead, +2 circlet)

main alterations are shifting feat levels around, dropping undead master for deific obedience (urgathoa, since it adds +1 necromancy CL with an easy ritual, as well as granting some nice SLAs and secondary abilities as you level up), and the use of the 'bloodwine' spell.
i'm considering spending that last non-combat feat on spell perfection (undeath wordspell) for another +5CL/20HD to it's bucket, but im not sure if you CAN spell perfection a wordspell off the top of my head.

i'm also separately looking at the occultist, since transmutation+necromancy handles a lot of the heavy lifting just by themselves--though i'm not much interested in spell circles, those can be traded away via archetypes no problem.
the way the necromancy implement resonance is worded it sounds like it would apply to both animate dead and the undeath wordspell, though the class appears to miss out on command undead entirely (barring the arcane inspiration from the mage's paraphernalia panoply, which would take an age to get and at the cost of your first four implement choices, which'd miss out on transmutation--the panoply powers are pretty good, like 'spell power')

if campaign traits are allowed, i'd consider swapping fate's favored for outlander (missionary), selecting animate dead--and possibly undeath wordspell if you've got a very lenient DM--or swapping gifted adept out if they can't stack (i dont recall what trait CL bonuses are typed as, and if they can even stack at all) since it gives a skill bonus, animate dead CL, and bumps two more spells of choice.
the lore seeker version's a great choice for arcane necromancers it seems, since you can pick animate dead and command undead to bump both.

also necrocraft minions seems like a great way to pad out the army if you cant just casually get ahold of giants or dragons for whatever reason. just raid a mausoleum and make your own!
...i wonder if the "mostly skeletons"/"-zombies" construction parts allow it to qualify for templates... because a huge-sized (10HD) bloody skeleton necrocraft with 3 construction points to spare seems mildly interesting.

MrCharisma wrote:

FCB = Favoured Class Bonus

Dev = developer (Paizo staff)
RAW = Rules As Written
Panoply = A specific type of Implement with more rules about how they're chosen (see Occultist Implements above)
Trappings = TRAPPINGS OF THE WARRIOR (a specific Panoply, see above)
STR = Strength
GM = Game Master

I think that's everything that could easily be misunderstood =P

it was the implements and panoply discussion by name that was throwing me, i understood the fcb part. solid breakdown tho!

@mrcharisma: noted, sliding those feats to 8/14/20 to be on the safe side.
as for the rest of that, those sure are some words youre speaking, which i assume are in english (and another vote for occultist).

tmk you can use command undead (spell) to scoop up any uncontrolled undead released from previous animate dead castings when you go over your limit

upon some more searching: deific obedience (urgathoa) adds another +1CL for necromancy spells, as well as some nifty daily powers/SLAs, which is both helpful and thematically appropriate!

@avr: fair on wordcasting, though this is theorycrafting territory. on the FCB it's been run both ways at different tables for me, but worst case i could bump those feats back a few more levels and drop critical versatility (since that'd have the fcb go 9/15/21).

@scavion (and avr): i'll have to give occultist a more in-depth look later, it does sound like it could be a smoother experience from start.

Trying my hand at making a character who's at least passable at melee combat while able to field an army of undead:

LE human warpriest (urgathoa?)
STR > WIS > CON 14 > INT 13 > DEX > CHA

-gifted adept (animate dead) [magic]
-fate's favored [faith]

FEATS - l is level, r is racial/fcb, c is class
1 - spell focus (necromancy)(l), varisian tattoo (necromancy)(r), weapon focus (???)(c)
2 -
3 - gtr spell focus (necromancy)(l), power attack(c)
4 -
5 - experimental caster (undeath wordspell)(l)
6 - weapon specialization (???)(c), lunge(r)
7 - spell specialization (animate dead)(l)
8 -
9 - tenebrous spell(l), improved critical (???)(c)
10 -
11 - extend spell(l)
12 - gtr weapon focus (???)(c), gtr weapon specialization (???)(r)
13 - bouncing spell(l)
14 -
15 - spell perfection (animate dead)(l), critical versatility(c)
16 -
17 - undead master*(l)
18 - ???(c), ???(r)
19 - ???(l)
20 -

on undead master:
undead master's extra animate-only CL/HD is helpful for template-ing your undead more flexibly in a single cast, which is helpful-but-not-required. it does let you animate and control more basic minions beyond your control limit if you're 'overcharging' your animate dead (provided you dont have or dont mind losing control of undead from previous castings)

CL math, some items, example minions/army, and side notes:
items include:
-orange prism ioun stone
-circlet of the moon
-string of prayer breads (standard), for bead of karma
-salt (reagent)
-lesser metamagic rod (threnodic spell) - unrelated to CL boosting, but helpful for buffing undead minions

[UNDEAD BUCKETS] (casting at night, during full moon, with death knell and desecrate spells active)
animate dead - CL 42 (20 level, ([+2 focus/gtr, +1 tattoo, +2 spec, +1 tenebrous]*2) +12 feat, +1 trait, +1 reagent, +1 death knell, +1 ioun, +4 bead, +2 circlet)
HD: ANIMATE 200 (([42 CL, +8 feat]*2 HD)*2 desecrate) | CONTROL 168 (42 CL *4)

undeath wordspell - CL 33 (20 level, (+2 focus/gtr, +1 tattoo, +1 tenebrous) +4 feat, +1 reagent, +1 death knell, +1 ioun, +4 bead, +2 circlet)

example army:
animate dead (168HD)
-<FILLER> / 16 bloody skeleton hill giants (10HD ea) and 2 bloody skeleton panthers (4HD ea)

undeath wordspell (132HD)
-fast zombie roc (16HD)
-fast zombie purple worm (16HD)
-<FILLER> / 10 bloody skeleton hill giants (10HD ea)

filler undead can include things like:
-bloody skeleton ogre (4HD): bargain bin beater. proficient in greatclubs, javelins, and medium armor, so with a bit of gear investment they can last you long into your career.
-bloody skeleton troll (6HD): a tanky alternative beater, trolls have regeneration (which is a part of their HP, *not* a defensive ability), which pairs well with bloody skeleton's fast healing ability. no weapon/armor proficiencies tho.
-bloody skeleton hill giant (10HD): the gold standard. a solid beater monster that bumps right up against the HD limit. proficient in greatclubs and medium armor so they can take whatever equipment your ogres used.
-bloody skeleton [BIG CAT] (3-6HD): tigers, leopards, lions, and so on. lots of natural attacks and grab. grappled is a pretty good debuff, especially for free.
-bloody skeleton or relentless zombie dragon (usually juvenile): very rare but has all the benefits of the hill giant and the big cat combined. juvenile black dragon is perfect HD for the bloody skeleton limit. bloody skeleton is less likely to be destroyed, but relentless zombie keeps it's fly speed/gets and extra full-attack/climb speed of 35ft/+2 bonus HD.
-fast zombie [mount] (HD varies): increased land speed, additional attack on a full-attack, and never tires! what's not to love.

though if there's money to spare you can deck out your undead with armor/barding and any weapons they had proficiency with (anything listed in their bestiary entry/statblock). even unenchanted gear can give some serious bulk to your forces. though if you can get an armor/barding down to 0 armor check penalty (such as a mwk studded leather set, or mithral etc) you can have them equip it at no penalty even if not proficient.

gets undeath wordspell at 5th to start the army properly, animate dead at 7th, and snowballs from there to a solid ~300HD of undead at level 20. could potentially get experimental caster at 4th at the earliest, but unsure how to do so short of retraining a CL-boosting feat. also has some gnarly necromancy spell DCs as a byproduct (ghoul touch, bestow curse, etc etc).
sadly i don't know how to get command undead spell over to the cleric list to snag that extra pool of undead.

unsure on what weapon would give the most bang for my buck (scythe is thematic and scary on crits, but it doesn't gotta be your deity's weapon).

for alternative classes i'd considered antipaladin, but it gets animate dead too slowly (10th level).
cleric doesn't really get enough feats to cover both sides, even if it does get higher-end spellcasting.
i've heard about occultist (vanilla or necro-) and spiritualist (phantom blade?), but i'm an oldie who hasn't taken much time to even look at the occult stuff to judge properly.

considering arsenal chaplain archetype for the weapon training+dueling gloves bonuses for more melee stonks, but that would remove any blessing versatility (war only) and channel energy stuff (command undead feat is pretty bad but still an option for max army size i suppose)

not sure if i'm forgetting anything super important for the melee or necromancer sides off the top of my head (some domains have helpful powers but unsure on how to tack those on).
any suggestions to squeeze a bit more out of this--or corrections if i got my CL math wrong?

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MrCharisma wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
Oath of the People’s Council Paladin is literally what you describe; a paladin that gets Bard performance.

Beat me to it.



You're a Paladin without Smite Evil (or related abilities), but instead you get Inspire Courage. Pretty much exactly what you're looking for.

Also, if you DO want to do any multiclassing then I think the People's Council Paladin makes a good base for an "Oradin". I can go into that more if you need an explanation.

after taking the time to look more closely at it, this is pretty much everything I was looking for with solid defenses and passable personal offense out of the box as well! provided the DM isn't incredibly restrictive with paladin oaths, I think i'll be settling on this one going forward.

probably mentioned already, but i recall there was a slim body companion feat/archetype or something, that allowed large mounts to fit into places easier

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@avr: I'll admit my initial reaction to that suggestion was "what the hell's an omdura", since i've been out of the game for several years at this point. that's a very interesting class though--some sort of quasi-divine-sorcerer with bits and pieces from many of the divine classes. the archetypes make me ask why you arent just playing a cavalier or magus (respectively) though

MrCharisma wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
Oath of the People’s Council Paladin is literally what you describe; a paladin that gets Bard performance.
Beat me to it.

glancing it over now that I'm awake, that's pretty darn close to what I was looking for yeah, i'll have to examine more closely in a bit.

@neriathale: I should clarify (having found out a short while ago) that I'll be joining the group on their /ongoing/ campaign, which was described to me as "we're level 3, we just dealt with an underground dungeon" and "we're in a shoddy made goblin fortress" when I texted to get more info on that, so I'm sort of puzzled there (and we might actually be ahead of the curve in terms of level if not wealth? I'm unsure at this point to be honest)

@coidzor: the first example--you would be a fighter 3/-- until the end of 4th level, at which point you'd become a fighter 3/ranger 2 once you hit 5th.

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Java Man wrote:
Spell warrior skald to enchant all of the party's weapons?

i'll give that a once-over alongside my d20pfsrd diving

*Khan* wrote:

With that kind of restrains a martial characters who rely on magic weapons and armor will be nerfed and monks/primary casters will shine. Archtypes like a Bladebound Kensai Magus will also be better than normally at lower levels.

If you want a level dip, take it now as you will have passed the dead 2. level for free.

those are sort of my worries for the group (and why i'm trying to support them), yeah. and that's true, now would be the time to consider dipping safely.

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I should also clarify that I'm not against this campaign setup or anything, I'm just looking to make sure that everyone can enjoy themselves within these constraints while the GM works through any system hesitancy they might have.

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I've been invited to an irl game for rise of the runelords, starting at level 3.
...with level 1 starter wealth, citing fears that players would break the game with "too much" money (see: the average expected assets to have your gear/etc up to par for threats of that level).
...similarly, we are also barred from any item creation feats or traits that circumvent the issue of lack of funds (such as signature moves, heirloom weapon, etc).
...and multiclassing is being houseruled as a "dead" level before coming online--so a fighter changing class to ranger would have to act like a ranger for an entire level with no benefits (including base statistics, effectively a level lower for that duration) before being allowed to benefit from their change of vocation. variant multiclassing is also disallowed.

Since every other player I've spoken to or spitballed character ideas on is some manner of melee-oriented character (and a necro wizard), which tend to require gear bonuses to continue hitting and surviving hits and effects, I'm thinking of something along the lines of a bard or paladin--basically just providing as many party buffs in as many fields as possible at once, to try and cover for the defecits.

I'm wondering if there's some sort of bard-ish paladin or paladin-ish bard or other similar setup (evangelist cleric?) available to pick up and just slap as many group buffs as possible at once for the group. I want to make the entire party into supersaiyans, whether they or the GM want them to or not.

Being able to heal would also be a bonus.

as of 2e we're [before any of that stuff happened], are we not? DD takes place before the very first AP from 1e if memory serves.

also the lore is now very different in practice, as all Great and Powerful Wizard npcs (runelords etc) arent exactly all that great or powerful mechanically (so they can't really back that lore up imo)

and with the maths they are currently...

Starfox wrote:

Fighting classes have traditionally differed on how they get their combat bonuses.

* Fighters get theirs by weapon type
* Rangers get their by type of enemy
* Paladins/cavaliers get their a few times per day
* Barbarians get a limited number of rounds and lose some control during this time (they used to loosed defenses too, but FP2 basically removed that)

It seems that PF2 avoids this paradigm. Fighters still work the same, but all the other classes have changed. I quite liked the PF1 way of doing things, and I suspect most of us do. I could accept a new "Defender" class that works as the current paladin, and would have liked an unaligned "cavalier" variant of the smite/challenge paladin in PF2. As it is now, I feel too many PF1 concepts have disappeared to maintain continuity of story. Just as a PF2 arcane sorcerer is unlike a PF1 sorcerer, a PF2 paladin has no continuity to the PF1 paladin.

it's certainly going to make porting past adventures over more than a little jarring/outright impossible (like [is a powerful spellcaster]), that's for sure.

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general feat at level 1 for everyone, to allow SOME means of player customization outside of the preset class roles (be it branching out or further specializing) from the get-go, rather than waiting till level 4.
save players several weeks/months of real life time to actually get whatever unorthodox or unique aspects of their character established.

happy changes: alchemist and paladin getting mostly un-kneecapped by the rules after 1.6, by divorcing entirely from resonance/focus and addressing their lack of identity and reaction bottleneck, respectively. while i may gripe that smite evil comes far too late, it is still a MASSIVE improvement over previous, and i appreciate that. now here's hoping they do something about sorcerer...

spells being noted and receiving a second pass to help bring them up from "literally worse than just attacking (damage)" and "waste of an action much of the time (saves)" into something more useful and generally usable.
and in the same vein, i really hope their notes on them tuning the monster math down a bit goes well.

i do realize i'm not the best at being completely positive about things, as most of my positives here and previously are "this is great or could be great buuuuuuut...". i want and hope that the system will continue to meaningfully improve and be worth buying and playing on it's release.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
pathfinder eberron, good s~%*
OOhh was there one updated for it or do you just pull from the 3.5 books?

sadly i just convert most everything over, sorry if i got your hopes up there

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pathfinder eberron, good s@+#

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one of the better d20-based ttrpgs my group has played, with a deep level of flexibility and granularity to build exactly the character you envision while keeping them mechanically viable (many systems have the problem that flavorful or unorthodox characters are mechanically weak).

you want to play a human fighter who just graduated from fighter college, greatsword in hand? you can do that.

you want to play a merfolk inquisitor with a shotgun who cooks and eats everything he kills (and some things he doesn't)? then godspeed to you, fishman!

it lets you bring wild and fantastical ideas to the table and enjoy them in a fantasy world, and do so with your friends without feeling like you're not contributing to the physical or narrative challenges presented.

which is my biggest issue with 2E--they seem to have largely sucked all the customization and fantasy from the game mechanically, between tight numbers, taking so long for any level of deviation from cookie-cutters, and an overall lowered ceiling in things you can do or attempt. everything just seems less heroic and more grindy.

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exactly the kind of unexpected oversights i don't want to see enter the game during/after it's un-playtested release phase, when everything's set in stone...

(i'll note for posterity that i'm not in the "paladins are meant for falling" camp, i've just been subject to too many of those personally and wish for there to be as little room as possible for such draconian interpretations to exist.)

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Elleth wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Ki Rush has verbal casting, so you have to make noise as you move to gain concealment?
I mean I think I'm fine with annoying everybody else with "whoosh", "nyoom", or "hyperdrive, engage"

im going to have a phone soundboard with link's rolling shouts from zelda, personally.

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MER-c wrote:
I think people are mistaking freedom with a lack of accountability, people are free to make their choices as far as the Paladin is concerned, but once they have made their choices they also have to accept the consequence of them. Simply put, you cannot have freedom without accountability.

you certainly can! you just need to be rich and/or well-connected.

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ArenCordial wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:

so wait, the wizard is supposed to be the flexible one, and the sorcerer the rigid?

i could have sworn it was supposed to be the other way around, between the wizard needing to choose strict school limits, pre-prepare their spells for the day, and requiring a lengthy process to change that, while the sorcerer can cast what they need as they need it (previously balanced by narrower list and more per day).

i still need to look over the sorcerer changes, but boy, having the other arcane class have equal spells/day, free heightening as they please, a much wider spell base and a fast swapping process, i'm not particularly seeing much incentive to actually choose a sorcerer over a wizard (to say nothing of however it compares to druids/clerics/bards now). it doesn't even seem like a competition.

This has more or less always been the case with the sorcerer regardless of edition. The Sorcerer has always been a test bed for new ideas handicapped from overcaution. Honestly at this point they may as well wrap the arcane sorcerer back into the Wizard and bring back the Mage class. Just have bloodlines be alternatives to Schools. Everything can go Arcanist style casting because unless Paizo sits down and does major work on the Sorcerer. Right now the Sorcerer has to compare against 4 primary spellcasters and its doesn't stack up well against any them.

i really dig the idea of a personal "build-a-caster" class like they're setting the sorcerer up to be this edition--it's just so lackluster in comparison (probably to avoid the possibility of it outshining the base class).

the simplest way would be like with the paladin change: sorc casting types compare to their other spell list peers by simply taking on a different approach/niche with a similar toolkit (though with druid and bard being spontaneous casters as well, there's a bit more difficulty there since theres more direct points of comparison). things like more heightening, more metamagic-ing, things to show their deeper connection with that type of magic in lieu of their peer's tertiary abilities like performances or channelling energy, etc. etc.

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MaxAstro wrote:

I would disagree that liberators can't try to talk someone out of making certain choices. They cannot 1) force someone to act a certain way or 2) threaten someone for not acting a certain way.

That does not seem to preclude attempting to reasonably convince someone not to act a certain way; trying to talk someone out of something is not "forcing" anything.

by being a paladin and telling a necromancer to stop messing with the dead, you are inherently threatening him with punishment or death should he continue, because it is literally your job to do so.

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so wait, the wizard is supposed to be the flexible one, and the sorcerer the rigid?

i could have sworn it was supposed to be the other way around, between the wizard needing to choose strict school limits, pre-prepare their spells for the day, and requiring a lengthy process to change that, while the sorcerer can cast what they need as they need it (previously balanced by narrower list and more per day).

i still need to look over the sorcerer changes, but boy, having the other arcane class have equal spells/day, free heightening as they please, a much wider spell base and a fast swapping process, i'm not particularly seeing much incentive to actually choose a sorcerer over a wizard (to say nothing of however it compares to druids/clerics/bards now). it doesn't even seem like a competition.

EDIT: having read the changes now, i stick by my initial statement RE: sorcerers: still pretty much entirely worse than it's peers in almost every field. great job.

that said: digging the alchemist changes pending further investigation, and VERY hopeful about the paladin changes--i can definitely see the flavor you want for the three paths, and LG/defender paladins are the most iconic/"real" paladins of the bunch with smite evil and whatnot, the others also look pretty solid in their approaches.

i also appreciate that you took steps to mitigate the reaction bottleneck on paladins as well (though not till 1/3-1/2 through their career... but thats a systemic problem of the edition, not just for that class specifically)

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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Apparently Hit Points and DPR are what is most valued by players, not AC and To hit.

to-hit DIRECTLY IMPACTS DPR, and can in fact be more valuable than more damage, especially when increasing in level and enemy defenses skyrocket even further (your DPR is 0 if you can't hit the enemy).

I'd say AC takes a backseat in the endgame as most enemies tend to have powerful magics or completely devastating abilities or rider effects that require huge saves (with the penalty more often than not being death, effectively).

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not sure i'm with everything you're saying, but a solid post nonetheless.

especially dig the expanded ancetry feat amount at start and allowance for half-races of everything right out of the box--makes for so many interesting character designs without waiting till level 12! (some may go "oh but the powergamers will just pick the strongest--" they'll always exist and y'all need to just make peace with that).

stamina i could take or leave--it makes repeated encounters less of a meatgrinder (good!), while requiring (along with the weapon damage scaling removal) a massive rework of all existing monsters, as well as complicating healing (bad!)

while i agree that accuracy and crits need a major overhaul (as they're largely just "player punishment" at present), i'm not sure complicating it even further by adding more things to track for the effect gradient is the way to go.

I'm asking mostly out of idle curiosity, as someone reminded me that quivering palm now has a verbal component for fist of the north star meme goodness, but it requiring an enemy to critically fail on a fortitude save (see: basically never, between jacked up saves and crit fail conditions) completely ruined it's effect text, making it functionally just a stunning fist that actually stuns at an extremely late level (since base stunning fist only flatfoots/stupefy's people now).

I cannot download the various playtest update pdfs and whatnot at present, so i'm having to work entirely from web-based info sources (such as pf2playtest.opengamingnetwork and similar) which may be out of date, so please correct me if i'm way behind here!

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i think that some means of guaranteeing enemy attention does seem to be in order--especially for people like the paladin, who (as of pre-1.6) has basically 0 active abilities and appear to be designed as a "tank" via covering their allies.

currently this basically doesn't work, as their punishments to enemies that ignore them is nonexistent (-5% accuracy and 1 melee attack/turn against a single enemy), and their other means of trying to dissuade enemies from attacking allies in the first place are mutually exclusive and completely worthless against multiple enemies--but this is all secondary.

if paizo plans to follow through with allowing a "tank" niche, they need to very seriously consider how to fit that into the game on both the enemy and player side, since without some means of guaranteeing enemy attention (such as by forced "aggro", intense penalties/debuffs for attacking targets other than the "tank", or other means--the idea of making yourself the biggest target and/or protecting your allies from harm needs to actually be backed up by the mechanics), the entire role goes out the window from the get-go. and unless the player can act on their turn (especially with their class' core gimmick) and know they're having some impact on the fight as their class, it gets boring fast (and raises questions like "if all this is good for is AoOing and positioning to try and get those, why am I not just playing a fighter?"). especially if you're trying to groom an entire class for that role.

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Mats Öhrman wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

So maybe like turn a lot of utility spells into rituals using the skill tree's maybe?

Have rituals been touched at all in the playtest? Any groups found them useful in the scenarios, any surveys asked about them? Any discussions on the forum? Any playtesting at all?

Otherwise, if they are looking for something that can be cut to make room for stuff that are actually used...

(Not really fair to compare, but rituals in our 4E campaign were unused and a dead weight until my GM cut casting time *severely* and we got to a level where monetary costs were negligible.)

All rituals in the Playtest Rulebook take a day to cast, except for the one that takes three days, so they don't fit into the playtest adventures. Really, no downtime activities are being tested in Doomsday Dawn.
There should probably be shorter rituals that take hours instead of days. The idea that rituals are only downtime actions limits their possibility. And the fact that nothing about downtime was tested at all means there was no data about them at all.

i actually wouldn't mind some of the longer duration buffs to be good couple-hour ritual candidates, especially for some of the lower leveled ones like mage armor. it'd really take a bit of stress off deciding those precious three (or so) spells per level for the day.

late to the party here, but personally i take the 4e approach: inflate their hp and give them multiple initiatives, effectively treating them as multiple characters/monsters sharing the same space and build.

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agreed there--some internal consistency should be enforced on both, to the same level.

if your spell can meteor-strike an entire city to ash, i can to cleave a mountain with my sword, etc. etc.

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MaxAstro wrote:
Can I give a "hear hear" for the idea of Barbarians having a "transmute wall to door" high level feat? :D

or we could bring back sunder and actually make use of the hardness/dents system for something other than shields or emergency force spheres...

Rob Godfrey wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

On the other hand, there are real people who can hold their breath for more than 20 minutes...and so being able to do so for half an hour (or even an hour) seems a reasonable Master level Skill Feat. That's as good as Water Breathing for most purposes, and has the added functionality of allowing you to ignore things like gas attacks. It's not 'I can breathe underwater'...but it's got similar (probably greater) functionality.
Not if it's being based on an extension of reality. World record breath holders are stationary, not moving around, and certainly not fighting.
That's WHY the disparity exists, if casters get to say 'it's magic' and shatter reality, unless non-casters have some way to be at least superhuman, they can never keep up. Angel Summoner/ BMX Bandit. For high level play, Herakles, or Achilles is a model that at least makes sense, as in playing the same game.

agreed there

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MidsouthGuy wrote:
I'm really hoping those "major changes" for the Paladin don't include non-Lawful Good Paladins.

or some active means of prventing people from harming their allies, if paizo is trying to shift them into the "tank" role.

so... shadowrun-modern? i can kinda dig that. or are we talking magitek?

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Tridus wrote:
I'm not sure I could even tell you what the rituals do without looking it up, let alone how to use them. It hasn't been a topic of conversation at our table at all.

well, yeah. they're tucked away in the book, and nothing's really mentioned them playtest-wise to really spark much interest.

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Mats Öhrman wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

So maybe like turn a lot of utility spells into rituals using the skill tree's maybe?

Have rituals been touched at all in the playtest? Any groups found them useful in the scenarios, any surveys asked about them? Any discussions on the forum? Any playtesting at all?

Otherwise, if they are looking for something that can be cut to make room for stuff that are actually used...

in the case of animal companions we were shown "lack of survey data about it must mean it's fine right" (since i expect many people have been avoiding pet classes due to their overall extreme action clunk, hard-to-find rules entry, and terrible scaling), so unless they really implement rituals into something that everyone tests so that people can properly complain to their main source of accepted feedback, it'll probably be completely unchanged.

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