Mage Sniper

Archmage Variel's page

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Please cancel my Starfinder Roleplaying Game subscription. Thank you.

Thought I'd try asking some of the questions I have about the new "Alternate Natural Attack" rules here too.

First off, does changing the shifter claws from claws to another damage type free up that hand for something else, like wielding a weapon?

Second, can you utilize the "Alternate Natural Attack" rules while in a Weretouched shifter's hybrid form?

I have a few things I wanted to clarify about the new "Alternate Natural Attack" rules from Wilderness Origins.

First off, does changing the shifter claws from claws to another damage type free up that hand for something else, like wielding a weapon?

Second, can you utilize the "Alternate Natural Attack" rules while in a Weretouched shifter's hybrid form?

james014Aura wrote:
The index at the beginning doesn't list Adaptive Shifter yet.

This has been fixed. Thank you.

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So in an earlier forum post you said that the aboleths are "natives of Golarion". But the aboleths supposedly destroyed and left that world when their servitor race(s?) rose up against them. Which one is true. And if both are true, how?

Any chance you could give any information as to what the Worldseeker actually does?

Also as an aside, I'm really excited to get my hands on a copy of this for the lore.

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Skeld, PDF Prophet wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Any new class options for the wizard or shifter. One for fun, the other for guide reasons.

** spoiler omitted **


I don't know what a Worldseeker does but it sounds cool! Thanks for the heads up!

Skeld, PDF Prophet wrote:

I have my copy if there are questions....


Any new class options for the wizard or shifter. One for fun, the other for guide reasons.

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It says "archmarge" vairel on your site and I am now to be known as the archmarge. All lesser marges bow down before me.

P.S. Thanks so much for up-keeping such a great resource.

SortHac wrote:

Great work on this, I can definitely see why someone would play the Vampire Hunter outside of an undead-heavy campaign now. Matter of fact, I'm going to be looking into making one sometime.

As a side note, may I suggest adding in either the Crossbow or Elf section that the latter have a variant racial trait that can help out with the former, Crossbow Training?

Crossbow Training: An elf with this trait can reload a light crossbow as a free action and a heavy crossbow as a move action, provided that she is proficient with the weapon. If she selects the Rapid Reload feat for a heavy crossbow, she can reload the weapon as a free action. This racial trait replaces weapon familiarity.

Totally missed that trait, I'll add it right away.

The equipment section isn't done yet but the rest of the guide is:

Archmage Variel's Guide to the Vampire Hunter

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I took a break from writing this guide for a while until recently, and while I still need to work on the equipment section at the time of writing this, it is complete enough that I feel it is worth sharing. Hopefully you find this guide helpful. Please feel free to leave thoughts on it.

Archmage Variel's Guide to the Vampire Hunter

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I'm not seeing anything about scribing spell scrolls into your spellbook. Is that hopefully still a part of the class?

So nothing new for the shifter it looks like?

If at all possible I'd love to hear about the two wizard archetypes. Ancient lore and wizards is a pretty great combo.

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Since everyone else it putting out there thoughts on the change to having goblins as a core ancestry, I thought I'd talk about my own feelings. I think my biggest issue with goblins as a "core" playable race (and I'm a bit on the edge in terms of playable goblins) is also what I love so much about goblins in Pathfinder. One of the things that has always made Pathfinder's setting what it is for me was my first fight against a band of goblins sacking Sandpoint. As I've learned the game and begun to GM myself, goblins were always my go to first level enemies because of how memorable and well written they were as monsters.

A huge role of a first level monster in an RPG is that it gives new players their first chance at a kill. Often times (in my experience) such players begin the game completely abhorrent with actions that players who would be categorized as more "murder hobo"-like would be totally ok with. That is where goblins come in. Pathfinder goblins as they are often written in the first edition present an important challenge. A being which is cunning, yet both unwilling and unable to speak a common language. They still CAN be good. But they retain enough of those monstrous tendencies that you can be fairly certain they're not charging in for a hug. Having them as a core race seems to throw a much greater moral dilemma for new players who might already be resistant to this game into an encounter like in the beginning of Burnt Offerings, an encounter which made this game for a lot of us starting out (it certainly had an impact on me).

This isn't to say that goblins as a playable ancestry will ruin the game, or hurt it in any way, but it does change a fundamental part of what the atmosphere of that game has meant for me since the first time I cast a magic missile on my first goblin (and thought I was supposed to roll to hit). Goblins are an extremely critical part of the flavor of the Inner Sea, and whenever I think of Pathfinder, my thoughts always go back to that first description of goblins uttered by our GM followed by the words "roll for initiative".

Diego Valdez wrote:

Hello Archmage,

We have received your email. I have set up a replacement that should be shipping out along with your next subscription order.

Thank you so much. My friends told me how amazing paizo's customer service is and they were totally right.

Diego Valdez wrote:

Hello Archmage,

I'm sorry to hear you got a damaged book! Please send us a picture or 2 of the book we can pass along at and we should be able get a replacement sent out to you.

I'm not sure if there was an issue on my end or something, but I sent an email almost three days ago and haven't heard anything back. Also, I'm not sure now if it was a printer error or was water damage (the package had gotten wet but I thought it was dry on the inside, maybe not dry enough I suppose).

We're doing some changes over at a starfinder discord server I help moderate, and I was wondering what the various ranks of the stewards were to help me possibly find names for roles to add for rewarding users who frequent the server.

Every one of the pages of my new Pact Worlds book arrived with a bend in them, as if all of the pages came out bent before applying the book cover. It goes vertically through every single page. I really enjoy my starfinder books, and was really looking forward to getting this one, so seeing it come out like that is a bit of a downer.

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I have a group that's spent a ton of time compiling everything into a single google doc if you'd be interested in joining us.

Join our cult... I mean information gathering group!

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I'm looking for people interested in becoming an editor for the Pathfinder 2e Collected Information Google doc. You get paid a total of $0, but you get your name on the Google doc and you'd be helping the Pathfinder community. You must have a Discord account and experience using Google Docs. Message me (Variel#3770) on Discord if you're interested in becoming an editor. Here is a link to the editor's discord server for anyone who is interested in helping out.

miscdebris wrote:

It's already on the main blog post. s.html

I think you're confused. I have a different class guide in the works, besides the one that is already on there.

Everything from the two Glass Cannon podcasts has been added. Now to add the new info from Know Direction and Reddit.

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Don't know if you have it yet, but HERE is some new(to me at least) info on skills.

It should be under the skills subsection (assuming I remembered to make it a subsection, ill need to double check).

Thank you so much to everyone for all the positive comments too!

Added all new information to podcast episode 1 from 0:00:00 to 1:01:09, and have sorted the document for readability. I have decided to prioritize taking short notes over full quotes from videos and podcasts, which will let me analyze these sources better. As such, I will hopefully be able to add all the information from both podcasts either today or tomorrow, and then continue to try to update this document and make it better. For next update, I will be creating an updates section which places all the information from that update in one, easy to access, location.

Updated with references 8 through 16. I will (barring some catastrophic event, such as: the opening of another worldwound the death of a beloved deific representative of humanity, or the off chance that Cayden finally decides to become sober) have time to implement the podcast information today as well.

As a note, my next step is to add information from the podcast, followed by working on further organizing the document into a more coherent form. Unlike my previous doc, I plan to specify which sources each bit of information came from BEFORE I get so much information that it becomes near impossible. I will do my best to update this guide as fast as new information comes out. Happy pathfinding.

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Hi everybody! Some of you may remember that, back before Starfinder was released, I managed a google document compiling the various things that were announced about Starfinder. Well now I’m doing the same thing with Pathfinder. I will continue to update this document as quickly as my time allows in order to help everyone to know what to expect from this exciting new chapter in Pathfinder’s history. If you have any recommendations, comments, or thoughts about the document feel free so comment here or message me.

Archmage Variel’s Collected Information on Pathfinder 2e

At what point of progress in making a class guide would it be best to post said guide here? I'm making a guide for the Vampire Hunter (because it seemed like a simple enough class to do a class guide on while binge watching Game of Thrones), and I'm getting relatively close to it being complete.

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Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:


This class only has one trick that I can see, but it is one hell of a trick.

You can drop out of your Vampiric Focus as a free action, and reenter as a swift. You have as many uses per day as you have class levels. Vampiric Call gives you a number of temp hitpoints equal to your level. Every round, if you have run out of temporary hitpoints, merely drop out of your focus and enter again.

You have a number of temporary hitpoints per day equal to your level multiplied by your level. While at levels one and two it does not compare, for tanking purposes, to barbarian rage, the exponential nature of the ability may make the Vampire Hunter the best hit point sponge in Pathfinder.

This is a very good point and I've added it into Vampiric Call's description.

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avr wrote:

A full BAB character with no accuracy booster (or extra attacks) aside from possibly vampiric might. Interesting but not obviously a good choice outside 'The World of Vampire Hunter D'.

Precise shot is essential to any purely ranged build (as opposed to a switch-hitter), not green/3-star. Similarly with weapon finesse for TWF builds.

Vital strike and its successors are orange at best IMO. They don't create especially powerful characters and without specialising in them they're not useful at all.

Exotic weapon proficiency as blue/4-star? What? The class doesn't have 'criticals are essential' written on it the way a swashbuckler or magus does, it doesn't get any bonus from/to crits at all. Other exotic weapons don't especially seem to relate to the class either.

Are you asking for other feat recommendations, or just comment on the ones you have?

Effects which are used in 1 minute increments are iffy for use with skills IMO. When the GM calls for a perception check you probably won't have vampiric cunning up, when you want to do something stealthy out of combat you probably won't want to use all of it (or near enough) on one check.

Vampiric momentum is not good until 16th level. Feather fall which you have to spend a swift action to be able to use, then an immediate action to actually use is mostly pointless. Being able to spider climb at 8th level is meh.

The saves for spell likes will be based on cha. Even with an enhancement bonus from the focus that isn't going to be easy for a vampire hunter to make into a good DC.

The medium is a 3/4 BAB 4-level caster at base, i.e. not all 4-level casters have full BAB.

Critical focus et al. add debuffs, not utility.

I meant to say like all 4th-level DIVINE caster. I'll fix that and consider everything else. Thanks so much for the recommendations.

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Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:

I didn't even know this class existed!

Not terribly customizable, these vampire hunters . . .

Ya. I finished my shifter class, remembered this existed and didn't have a class guide and decided it'd be fairly easy to write out while binge watching Game of Thrones.

GeraintElberion wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Archmage Variel's Guide to the Shifter

This is neat.

It seems like good form to acknowledge that Treantmonk established the common format and colour/star coding. Most other guides do that and I appreciate that they do.

I’ll make sure to establish that ASAP, and do the same for my upcoming class guide.

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I've been working on a class guide for the Vampire Hunter (link below), and would love to hear people's thoughts on changes or additions I can make to it, as I have done with my previous guide. Let me know what you think!

Archmage Variel's Guide to the Vampire Hunter

In particular I'd currently really like to know how everyone thinks I did on rating the feats, before I finalize it and put descriptions for them all.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Also, how do the feats Extra Rage Power and Extra Rage interact with this aspect?

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

If I am playing a shifter and I took the Wolverine aspect at a later level then 8 (10, 15, or 20), can I get higher level rage powers than 8th level?

After doing a lot of theorycrafting and DPR calculations, I have begun revising the Aspects section of the guide. I still plan to revise the bat, bear, and wolverine aspects. After that, I plan to reexamine the weretouched aspects. Feel free to critique my changes to the aspect section so far.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Haven't read the whole thread, so apologies if this has been brought up (but Search didn't find it):

In Weretouched: Snake, you have: "The best type of build to create when building a Weretouched mouse is probably a Strength based area control defender build, which focuses on attacks of opportunity and trip attacks.".

I made use of the copy and paste function a lot. It should say snake instead if mouse, but the rest should be correct. I'll make sure to fix that in my next edit.

Player Killer wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Wultram wrote:

Chimeric aspect: Decent enough idea, the problem is that the aspects ability sucks.

Greater chimeric aspect: Change this to allowing combination of 2 major aspects and you are onto something.

Final aspect: See comment on chimeric aspect. Also they should get permanent(duration wise that is cancellable) wild shape as their capstone too.

If I may add something: the major forms don't get "anything"...

It's called a "chimeric" aspect, but... where is it? Where's my bear/tiger/wolf/owl chimera?

I totally agree! Allowing the shifter to combine 2 major aspects at higher levels into a true chimeric form would totally make this class a winner for me. Developers, PLEASE make this happen :)

I'd totally support this, but it would require some huge changes to how certain abilities work.

IMPORTANT: This is the updated link to the Injured Wyvern with fixes

Leitner wrote:
Looks like a pretty reasonable change. My PCs personally wouldn't really feel finishing off a wounded creature warrants the title "dragon slayer", but that would be an individual preference.

I designed this with the premise that I want to give new players a boss monster who feels iconic and satisfying to fight, while giving them the realization after further play that such a fight was nothing compared to the colossal threats which live in the world. I didn't want them to get the permanent impression that they were dragon slayers, but I wanted new players to get the impression that they had slayed something akin to what any commoner (or someone who's never played a tabletop rpg before) would think a dragon is like.

I love Black Fang's dungeon. The classical feel of the dungeon and intuitive rules of the Beginner Box is a great way to introduce anyone to tabletop roleplaying, but the one negative aspect of that entire dungeon has always been Black Fang himself.


After sludging through an entire dungeon, first time gamers saw the dragon and wanted nothing more than to call themselves a dragon slayer. But as low level player's, black fang isn't supposed to be defeated so easily. You want to give them the feel that this is a powerful beast that may have ended you were it cournered. But if they aren't close enough to death's door and the enemy he flies away, I often get players who feel cheated, not yet fully understanding that this is a narrative game.

That isn't in my opinion a particularly fun introduction to this game. So, instead I propose to you the Injured Wyvern, a scaled down version of the original Pathfinder Wyvern suitable for dragonslaying. The injured wyvern fled it's home in Wyvern Mountains after a territory battle which it lost. It fled to the hills near sandpoint, where it hunted cattle from the surrounding farms.

Sandpoint has had enough, and your adventurers are the ones who have decided to take up the bounty of clearing out a dungeon believed to be the home of whatever deadly creature has been stalking Sandpoint's farmlands.

Makhoy wrote:

Hi, everybody. I've just discovered the shifter class, and am creating a half-orc Idyllkin Aasimar shifter. Our game is starting off at level 12. My main question has to do with the aspects, particularly the major aspect. One colleague says that you only get the STR, DEX, and CON of the animal you change to. I think you should also get the feats & skills of the animal. For example, Dire Bears can swim - partly because of the buoyancy of their coat. So why shouldn't I get the added skill points for swimming when I'm in that form? Also some of the feats. Why shoudln't I be able to RUN like a Dire Bear when in that form? Any explanation or help figuring this out would be MOST appreciated! Thanks.

This is not at all how Major Form works. You keep your own stats and the only applicable changes to your character when you change into a major form from your original form are:

• Those listed under the aspects major form.

• Any size-dependent effects as detailed in the spells Beast Shape I and Beast Shape II.

• Any changes listed under the transmutation (polymorph) rules.

You absolutely do not what so ever use the NPC stat block as a reference when using the shifter. You use your base form and layer the major form on top of it as described above.

Catharsis wrote:

Thanks for the guide, Variel! :)

Why do you insist on a TWF build for the Weretouched, though? Wouldn't it be better for e.g. a Dex-based deino to stick to its five primary attacks and an Agile amulet? There seems to be no downside to the hybrid form over the major form for the deino, since it doesn't miss out on size bonuses.

Might it be worthwhile for a Weretouched with 4–5 attacks to carry a shield in one hand? Missing on one attack per round for an easy boost to AC might be worth it sometimes.

BTW, as I understand it, the Bear and Ape major forms grant reach, since they're tall creatures. That might play a role in increasing their value.

Glad you like it.

That section was written before the implementation of Shifter's Fury and deserves a good update (probably after I finish explaining the rise of the Han dynasty for this damn essay). At the time it made a lot of sense to utilize the itterative attacks available through TWF.

On the topic of the Ape and Bear forms, the current FAQ'd iteration of Major Form works as follows:

"You still only get the listed abilities plus size-dependent effects (size bonuses and penalties and any natural armor). If the creature has no listed base land speed, use 30 feet as the base land speed."

GodsBlister wrote:
Good news is they can't take wild shape feats. So you don't need to worry about a Wisdom score aside from a Will save. Definitely AoMF, because why wouldn't you take the murder trinket. Otherwise I don't know.

This is "good news"? It becomes another thing that doesn't mesh well with the shifter.

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If anyone is looking for a shifter guide, I made this one here: Archmage Variel's Guide to the Shifter

GodsBlister wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
GodsBlister wrote:
Since the Oozemorph can now attune items, how does this change the list of magic items they want on them?
For one thing. It causes there to be a list of magic items that you want for them. XD
Fair enough, though I'm just curious because I'm new to grabbing items for martials and just didn't think they'd errata that tidbit. So now I'm flooded with options and have no idea if they're worth it.

I'm honestly in the same boat, and trying to run over in my head the different magic item options that might be able to bring it close to par to the average shifter.

I made this ungodly monstrocity based on the fact that RAW Shifter's Claws give the shifter "...claws on each hand...", so long as you don't use it in wild shape. No one in their right mind would let someone have this at their table.

Kasatha Base Form Shifter:

Abilities (20 Point Buy):
Str: 18 (+4), Dex: 14 [12+2] (+2), Con: 12 (+1), Int: 10 (+0), Wis: 13 (+1), Cha: 8 (-1)

Race: Kasatha
Alternate Racial Traits: –
Favored Class Bonus: +1 Hit Point
Archetype: –
Traits: Mother’s Teeth and Reactionary
Important Items: A good suit of armor

Shifter Aspect:
1. Bull
5. Tiger
10. Bear
15. Falcon
20. Mouse

1. Power Attack
3. Weapon Focus (claws)
5. Improved Natural Attack (claw)
7. Athletic
9. Totemic Initiate (lesser beast totem)
11. Totemic Disciple (beast totem)
13. Totemic Master (greater beast totem)
15. Improved Initiative
17. Iron Will
19. Multiattack

Ability Score Increases:
4. +1 Str
8. +1 Str
12. +1 Str
16. +1 Str
20. +1 Str

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