Lately I've started reading a lot more (and rereading less), and I would like to start a good long fantasy epic next. However, I'm still in doubt as to what series to pick up, as it's quite the investment time and money wise.
Some of the stuff I've already read includes the Song of Ice and Fire, the Wheel of Time, some books of the Robin Hobbs' Assassin series and classics like the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. Oh yeah, I should probably mention Harry Potter as well, even though it's debatable whether it's a fantasy epic.
Series I'm currently having in mind are the Kingkiller Chronicle (although I'm fearful of the third book being delayed so much), Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive (which I'm inclined to postpone, so I can read it when it's done), the Belgariad and the Sword of Truth. I'm also interested in the Malazan Book of the Fallen, which I decided to read after the series I'll read next.
Perhaps a bit more of my personal preferences, I like series that have some depth and/or are somewhat atypical (I adored aSoIaF in particular).
So what are everyones opinions on these series and how they compare? And are there good, underrated series I've missed?
One thing I heard in a computer science class was that sometimes, instead of writing a slow program that solves a problem exactly, you can write a fast program that solves a problem well enough. Of course, sometimes that isn't enough, and you fail at a task.
In a robot, you of course don't want it to take a century to solve a problem (ie hitting an enemy), but let it run a 2-second algorithm that hits the enemy a good portion of the time.
The way I'm reading it, you fully wind it as a full-round action, and for the next four hours it grants you a +4 bonus to strength and constitution and some other stuff. After that, the armor 'powers down', doesn't grant the bonuses any more, and imposes some other penalties. It seems to be quite clear.
Admittedly, 'fully wound' is a bit of a vague term, because in those four hours it'll slowly be wound less, logically. But the armor functioning for four hours and then powering down does seem like a reasonable function of the armor.
On the part of winding, it seems like you have to insert a key and wind it as a full-round action; sort of like you see with old cars sometimes. I do wonder where the 'key port' is. Can you yourself stick it in your chest and start winding? That would look amusing.
I hope this makes it a bit more clear! Also, thank you for bringing my attention to this armor, this has been something I've been wanting for a bit ;)
I'd personally like to mention the Slayer, and one with the Sniper archetype at that. Sniper builds have often been deemed inviable, but I think the Slayer's archetype can fix that.
One of the big problems with Archer builds is the huge number of feats they require to function properly. Luckily, the Slayer gets ten extra Slayer Talents, of which 6 can be used to get feats relevant to an Archer build (the Ranger Style talents, up to 3 times, weapon training, combat trick, and feat). Also, humans get a favored class bonus that can give up to 3 more Slayer Talents.
The progression would look something like this:
1: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot
 the Rogue Talent
One thing to note: the Sniper archetype gets a class feature at level 2 that doesn't seem to trade in anything. It might be that it gets two class features back for Track, but you might want to check this with your DM.
This build gets the relevant archery feats even faster than the standard Ranger build, and can even take some toys on the side, such as Blood Reader and the Assassinate package.
The plan of action is to start combat with sniping, which starts out potent and becomes devastating. The Sniper can, from second level on, ignore the range restriction on sneak attack when their target is totally unaware, and gets a damage bonus equal to their Slayer level. At level 12, you get Assassinate, which nothing says is not usable with ranged weapons. Combined with Silent Kill, you could theoretically wipe out an entire group of enemies without them noticing you. And at level 16, Pinpoint Targeting allows you to negate pretty much any AC bonus they might have. Nice little detail: with Blood Reader, you can inspect a group of enemies and pick out the one that you can snipe best. They don't know you're there, so you have all the time you need to cycle through a group with Studied Target.
So, what do you do when you're found out and combat starts? Well, you're at least as good as a ranger when it comes to archery feats, so you'll be firing volleys of arrows into your enemies. You might miss Favored Enemy bonuses, but Studied Target is half as strong and applies to everyone.
I hope this helps! If needed, I also have a build that gives up the 2nd level Slayer Talent if your DM decides to cut that one for the archetype, if you need I'll happily supply it!
Perhaps full Paladin with Variant Multiclass Oracle of Life? That way, you can get Life Link at third level while maintaining full Lay on Hands.
However, only at level 8 will you be able to bond with more than one ally. This might not be as bad as it sounds: as Paladin, you're quite a capable tank, so your party won't need much more melee. Perhaps one additional striker is sufficient. Healing of other party members can be done out of combat, even with Life Link.
You'll also be trading in half your feats, but you'll have to pay some price for full Paladin progression and life link. Also, your first level feat is still available, so Fey Foundling is perfectly usable.
I'm not that well-versed in Paladin archetypes, but there might be some out there that work well with the oradin framework. A link to the thread Alex mentioned, with some archetypes named: Oradin thread
Some things that might not be the most optimal mechanically but are very thematic:
Kineticist, maybe Overwhelming Soul for cha. Firing some sort of energy blasts is pretty common for magical girls.
Mindblade magus: summoning your own weapons is also rather appropriate. This ia rather MAD however, you need INT, CHA, DEX and CON, at least...
Ectoplasmist, Fractured Mind spiritualist: literally lashing out with your emotions, inherent weapons and armor and charisma based spellcasting.
Hope this helped!
The archetype looks really cool, I really like the idea. A couple of things:
As is, it's restricted to one implement school. It might be a balance thing, but allowing the archetype to trade a hex (perhaps only at minimum levels, 8 and 16?) might give some more diversity.
Animate object might be slightly underpowered, maybe give it a 1/day animate objects SLA?
As for tapstone, does the penalty also apply to checks through the stone? As written, it implies it's mostly on other checks.
I hope the feedback is useful, and wish you good luck with the archetype!
If I might suggest another route: the Scaled Disciple. Such a build uses the kobold feat Scaled Disciple (from Kobolds of Golarion) to qualify for Dragon Disciple as oracle.
If you don't want to be a kobold, you can be any race that can count as human (humans, half-elves, half-orcs, various other races with the correct racial trait), and then take the feat Racial Heritage (from the APG) to count as kobold for feats. If you're human, you can have all necessary feats at lvl 1.
This build is more melee-focused than casting-focused, as Dragon Disciple gains melee abilities in return for delayed casting. You will, however, gain a number of spells normally unavailable to oracles (Form of the Dragon!).
Another upside of having Racial Heritage is that you can take other Draconic kobold feats, giving stuff like a breath weapon, a fly speed and spell-like abilities.
It can also work pretty flavorful: you can match your draconic heritage to your mystery (flames for a red dragon, winter for a white dragon, lunar for lunar dragon, and so on). I've made a Dark Tapestry/Void dragon build myself.
I hope this helps!
Hi again Hunor,
This is the build I was talking about:
1: Quick Draw
STR 14+2 DEX 14 CON 14 INT 14 WIS 10 CHA 10
The entries on even levels are slayer talents, those on odd levels feats. The surprise follow-through feats allow the character to use sneak attack on the extra attacks from cleave. This build also somewhat focuses on crits, mostly using a falchion (18-20 crit range) in melee and later taking improved critical to improve the range to 15-20.
I hope this build can be of help!
I made a slayer build a while back that might fit your needs. It is mostly a two-handed strength build, but complements that with knife throwing. It would mostly play as switch-hitter build: throw daggers when they are (relatively) far away and switch to a melee weapon (falchion in my build) when the enemy comes close. The original version was a Half-Orc, as they have a number of racial feats that combine sneak attack and cleave (the surprise follow-through feats). If you want, I can post the build.
Also, I would advice against using poison. They are rather expensive and at later levels, the DCs are too easily passed by big monsters, which make up most of the typical array of enemies. Of course, if you play a urban campaign with a lot of humanoid enemies, it might be viable.
I hope this helped!
This is kind of hard to answer, as paizo hasn't put out psionics. They have recently published Occult Adventures, which is sort of like psionics, but with more of a mystical flavor. That book is being uploaded right now on the pathfinder srd, and will probably appear on the prd soon.
Hope this helped!
Maybe you can go for a mesmerist? They're rather versatile, quite sneaky, and relatively casty for a 6th level caster. They also fit in really well with an evil party that isn't chaotic kill-everything.
You'll need Occult Adventures, so it might not be a good choice if it starts soon. (Although you might convince your GM to use the playtest version for the time being)
So, this is what I came up with:
Welcome to the desert world of Duenaer. This world is primarily covered in deserts, ranging from extremely dry, intolerable hot sand dunes found on the equators that even the hardiest of nomads are loath to tread, to more temperate savanahs in the polar regions. The equatorial regions are so inhospitable few have traveled across. Most of those brave souls have never been seen again, while the few that have carry incoherent stories that sometimes even conflict with each other.
Water is scarce on Duenaer, occuring mainly in oases. There are a few rivers, flowing down from the glaciers crowning the high mountain ranges. These mountains are also home to the only forests found on the arid planet. They mostly take the form of belts of tall pines halfway up the mountains.
A notable geografic feature is a large volcanic hotspot. Centered around a large crater is a large number of volcanic phenomena such as geysers, warmed lakes and classic lava-filled volcanoes.
This volcanic region forms the center of the main cosmopolitan region on Duenaer. It is home to the Draconic civilization, an old and proud realm. It is inhabited by three races: the Wyrms, winged, quadruped reptiles of great stature, power and wisdom, the Nagaji, strong of personality and physique, and the Linaji, agile of mind of body, both of which are of more humanoid stature.
The deserts are mostly inhabited by the race known as the Magnuruk. This race of hardy desert-dwellers have founded empires that span the entire norhterns hemisphere, clustering around oases and rivers. Their culture is one of surviving in harsh environments and ruling over their lesser kin. They are adaptable, though and industrious.
These are actually the Half-Orcs. They aren't really half man, half orc, but embody many of the traits of humans and orcs.
In the mountains rule the Harpies from their stony eyries. These winged humanoids stand taller than the average Magnuruk, and are typically gaunt and sharp-featured. They tend to be as hard and dour as the mountains they live in, but make loyal companions and have a strong sense of honor.
For almost two thousand years these three civilizations lived in relative harmony with each other and themselves; until one night, when the world changed for good.
During a quiet night in the Draconic capital, a fiery streak was seen in the sky, coming down inside the city. Many gathered to the mysterious object. A first look revealed it to be some sort of clump of organic matter, relatively unharmed under a scorched layer. Then, suddenly, from the entire clump sprang a great number of shapes, bringing with them clouds of spores. Even though at first, the spores seemed harmless, they turned out to take over control of their victims. Before the night was out, the entire Draconic capital was run over.
Sporefall also gave rise to a new race: the corrupted humanoids were physically altered to be able to procreate with any other humanoid the Spore had experience with, but that trait was not tied to the corrution itself. That was why, when mages finally succeeded in cleansing creatures of the infection, a new humanoid race was born that not only showed traits of countless unknown races in adition to their own, but that could also procreate with any of the other four races.
It has now been fifty years since the containment. A common enemy has united the Draconians, a nummber of Magnuruk empires and a number of Harpy eyries, but meanwhile the politics and conflicts among the outlying empires and eyries continues.
Fallen paladins are some of the most tragic beings in fantasy: they become their own antithesis, giving up everything they once valued. But what triggers it? Why do these paragons of Good become the vilest of villains?
1. Blood Vengeance: some creature, or group of creatures, has caused the death of someone you cared for. Now, your only purpose is to destroy them, and you will stop at nothing, even if it damns your soul.
This looks pretty good already, though I would drop either my dex op charisma a bit. Your con is pretty low for a frontliner, (12 is my minimum, even on casters), and your low wisdom doesn't help your already low will, which could result in nasty stuff like dead teammates. I'd drop charisma to 14, and raise con and wis to 12, with one point left. For feats, I believe fencing grace requires weapon focus, so I'd take that one.
Hope this helped!
I think the PF Changeling is more the switched-child Changeling than the shapechanging one. I'm not a native speaker, so I don't know how prevalent that meaning is in everyday english, but I do recall a movie called The Changeling about an abducted child that was found again, except it wasn't te child according to the mother.
In addition, I'm pretty familiar with the rules, and I've never seen a shape-changing changeling show up on any guide or messageboard thread ;)
Anyway, hope this helped clearing it up!
Sorry to hijack this thread, but I'm a bit concerned about the Speaker for the Past Shaman. It basically gets five oracle revelations in return for wandering spirit/hex. When compared to the oracle, the oracle trades one revelation and the boons from his curse for 8 hexes and 3 spirit abilities. That seems a bit much.
These styles function just like normal ranger styles; just look for Faithful (Achaekek).
The Ranger Combat Style talent says that you can take it at level 2, 6, and 10, and that you can pick a combat style (archery, twf, or one of the faithful), and that you don't have to meet the prereqs. I don't see anything that says it doesn't work ;)
[EDIT] Just saw your edit, this post is irrelevant
The Cybernetic Combat class feature of the Cyber-Soldier (Fighter archetype in the Technology Guide) has some unclear text.
At 5th level, a cyber-soldier gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls with implanted weapons, cybernetic arms, and melee or thrown weapons wielded with a cybernetic arm. Weapons wielded with two cybernetic arms receive double the bonus, except when such weapons are thrown. This damage bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels gained. This attack bonus does not stack with the attack bonus for weapon training. A cyber-soldier gains a slam attack for each cybernetic arm. These attacks deal 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage for a Medium cyber-soldier and 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage for a Small cyber-soldier.
Emphasis mine. First of all, the first sentence talks about an attack bonus in certain conditions. In the third sentence, it's suddenly a damage bonus, but changes back to attack in the fourth sentence.
Second, the text says the bonus increases by one for every for levels gained. As written, this suggests that the bonus starts off as 2, as you have already gained four levels.
I hope these questions can be answered, as I really like the archetype, but it's really confusing as written.
But still, an inquisitor with the animal domain ;)
O wow... If you take the inquisitor archetype that gives sneak attack, and take pack attack with solo tactics, that means sneak attack whenever you are fighting alongside someone else! If you add in Outflank too...
The dervish builds are so popular because of the dex-synergy, high crit range of the scimitar and the fact that spell combat works well together with dervish dance. Crits with spellstrike are still only times two, so high crit ranges are generally better for magi.
As far as the cart magus goes, won't you be fine because of quarterstaff master? One hand quarterstaff, one hand card?
Sir Dante wrote:
Yeah, it's indeed the gargantuan size: beast shape only goes up to huge.
You could pick superior summons, as it's in line with the other summoning feats and allows for more summoned creatures.
You also get a couple of bonus feats at 9, 13 and 17, chosen from a small list, but most aren't too good and you already have power attack. Although, vital strike is on the list, so you could go with Ravingdork's idea of a nudel-like build. Too bad you can't wildshape into a t-rex, as such a bite (double strength and tree damage dice sets) would be deadly. If you're going this route, devastating strike might be good, as it gives a damage bonus on vital strike.
As for the companion: the deinonychus and allosaurus are generally considered best, so I would look at one of those, unless you have a special reason for the chameleon, in which case you can forget this paragraph ;)
Hope this helped!
I've been thinking about one of these myself, and one problem I found with a strength-build is that, at low level, you have a very low AC. At level 1, Canny Defense only gives one point of int-bonus, tour dex won't be very high because you need str/con/int, and the fact that you aren't proficient in any armor means you can only take silken ceremonial armor or a haramaki (those have 0 armor check penalty and no arcane spell failure chance, so you don't suffer a non-proficiency penalty nor a failure chance). In my build, I came to AC 13 at level 1, which is pretty crap for a melee character. However, as you gain levels and wealth your AC will start to reach normal levels.
As for a bladebound: yes, you can't enchant it yourself. But you have arcane pool! As magus, you're normally better off getting numerical bonuses on your weapon, so you can use arcane pool to suit the situation (troll? Flaming! Jabberwock? Vorpal!). And bladebound does the same: he gets numerical enchantments on his weapon. The blade's energy atunement can also be very handy, as nothing resists force damage.
Lastly, if you're going the strength path, a katana is probably your best choice; better damage than the scimitar, and you get free exotic weapon proficiency.
I'm wondering what paizo will do with the book of 1000 whispers, in which the last prophecy takes place in 4714, ie now. Even though it's not referenced a lot, it seems a pretty major plot item, as it might shed light on Aroden's death. But the two/three 4714 APs are Wrath (partially), Mummy's Mask and the Iron gods; neither really seem likely to include this.
You don't actually have to buy the books: all the main rulebooks are on paizo's PRD, which is linked on the paizosite under the 'pathfinder roleplaying game', and the contents of other books are on both the 'archives of nethys' and 'pathfinde srd'. Just google those two, and you can look up everything.
If you want the books themselves, they can be bought as cheap pdf's.
Compared to wildshape, it seems fair. At level 10, at which point the oracle (with all fcb into effective level increase) can use greater polymorph for elemental body III and plant shape II, a druid can also use wildshape as per those spells. If you're fine with wildshape, this shouldn't be a problem.
If you go alchemist for more melee capability, you might want to look at the master chymist. He can be pretty beastly in melee, with bonus damage to natural and simple weapons, and advanced mutagens, which can increase your damage dice for natural weapons, let you grow in size, and which also includes greater/grand mutagen. It's a prestige class from the APG. If you go this path, I would use natural weapons for sure! (2d8 bite and 2d6 claws? yes please!)
For feats, I'd go with power attack and raging vitality for sure. The first increases you damage massively, the second makes sure you don't die immediately when knocked unconscious.
 I just thought of something else: the main problem with superstitious barbarians is that they have to save against spells from allies; as an alchemist, you have your own extracts, which you can drink normally in rage. This allows you to heal and buff pretty effectively in combat.
Challenge accepted! Except that Gripplis are smaller than Halflings, so they might be better. According to the ARG, a Grippli female is 1' 7", minimum. Reduced, that's 9.5" by 2.5' by 2.5' per Grippli. That's 8550 cubic inches per Grippli. A 30 ft radius sphere is about 1.95 * 10^8 cubic inches, meaning 22857 Gripplis will fit in there (rounded down, any use for 0.56676 female Grippli sorcerer?). That increases your CL by 22856, as you are the last Grippli in that sphere.
Another thing about the greensting slayer: if you have a level of rogue and one of the greensting slayer, can you use the rogue's way of getting the damage (flanking or flatfooted) with the combined damage (2d6)? The archetype says the sneak attacks dice stack, but that could only be for the pool-powered strike, which would mean 1d6 normally and 2d6 after spending.