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I've got an idea for a build that (as you can probably guess) uses a dorn-dergar and a shield in combat, and I wanted to get some feedback on how viable it would be. He starts with a 2 level dip into either Slayer to pick up a combat style feat and then switches to Foehammer. The dorn-dergar isn't listed in any fighter weapon group, but from its description it should be able to fit in both the flail and hammer groups (or at least convince the GM to let me use it that way).

20 point buy
18 Str, 14 Dex, 16 Con, 10 Int, 14 Wis, 8 Cha (1 point into Dex, and the rest into Str)

1 Steel Soul
Slayer Two Weapon Fighting
3 Power Attack
Fighter Improved Shield Bash
4 Chain-flail Master
5 Spiked Destroyer
6 Shield Slam
7 Cleave
8 Goblin Cleaver
9 Great Cleave
10 Orc Hewer
11 Strike Back
12 Giant Killer
13 Cleave Through

Foehammer abilities:

Sledgehammer (Ex): At 3rd level, a foehammer wielding a hammer gains a +2 circumstance bonus on combat maneuver checks made to bull rush, overrun, sunder, or trip.

Weapon Training (Ex): At 5th level, a foehammer must select hammers and does not gain weapon training with other groups, though his weapon training bonus improves by +1 every four levels after 5th.
His basic focus

Hammer to the Ground (Ex): At 7th level, when a foehammer succeeds at a bull rush combat maneuver, he can make a trip combat maneuver at the end of the bull rush. If he does not move with the target, the force of his blow may still trip his foe, but he takes a –5 penalty on the combat maneuver check to trip.

At 15th level, any creature a foehammer successfully bull rushes is automatically knocked prone at the end of the bull rush.

Rhythmic Blows (Ex): At 9th level, each time that a foehammer hits a target, he gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls against that target. This bonus stacks with each hit against that target, but lasts only until the end of the foehammer's turn.

Piledriver (Ex): At 11th level, as a standard action, a foehammer may make a single melee attack with a weapon from the hammer weapon training group. If the attack hits, he may make a bull rush or trip combat maneuver against the target of his attack as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

The build is all about cleaving and repositioning himself and his
He seems like he would do pretty well against single opponents (use dorn-dergar's range, if anyone gets within 5 ft he can just bull rush them away while damaging them with his shield and armor spikes, can engage in even more positioning shenanigans when he gets an advancing dorn-dergar) and against groups of enemies as well (move up to 20 ft, make an attack, take a 5 ft step toward other enemies if he wants, hit everything else within 10 ft).

I just have a few questions for you.

1. How do you think this build would work? What would you change to optimize it?

2. None of the cleave feats mention anything about having to use the same weapon when cleaving, so would I be able to switch between weapons as appropriate?

2. When cleaving with shield bashes, would I be able to bull rush and move with enemies and keep cleaving from the new position?

You could always forgo taking Gunslinger and just take 3 levels of Trench Fighter instead. You'd lose Deeds, Nimble, and Up Close and Deadly this way, but in exchange you'd get Dex to damage, an AC bonus when behind cover, and extra feats.

I've been interested in characters that can manipulate others (through enchantments and/or illusions, subtly or overtly, etc.) and mess with their heads, and I recently came across the Dreamweaver archetype for the witch. It seems to provide pretty much everything I'm looking for. Sow Thoughts is a great way to plant nagging ideas in the minds of NPCs (or even other PCs), being able to use Modify Memory on a target that's sleeping due to a Slumber hex or another sleep spell is amazing for what I'm aiming for, and Dream Possession is really just icing on the cake.

The basic idea behind the PC would be to play a human with the following...

  • Racial Heritage (Changeling) and Silent Spell as my first level feats
  • Magic Lineage (Sow Thoughts) as one of my traits so I can cast Sow Thoughts someone who can't see the somatic components so they'd be none the wiser
  • Take Thrush as a familiar (take advantage of its ability to talk, use spells like Alter Self to use it for recon, let it be the messenger in Dream while under the effect of Alter Self, etc.)
  • Convince allies to let me use Scar on them to make a benign scar on them (in their scalp, one that makes their abs appear more defined, etc.) because of its potential benefits

This PC is still very much a concept, but I have a few questions about it. First, how would Slumber affect someone who's already asleep (knowing that they've been targeted by a hex, interrupting sleep, potential penalties to DCs, etc.)? Second, would I have to work with the GM on what thoughts I can plant in people's heads and just what the dreams can contain? Third, if the shenanigans I subject the fellow PCs to are cheeky and fun and save the ones that are cruel and tragic for NPCs, would there be too much of a problem for alignment or party harmony? Fourth, how much (or little) metagaming would be required to make this all work?

I'm making a NPC with competing familiars for a campaign I'm going to GM and had a question. He has in 7 levels in Magus as a Bladebound Soul Forger and 2 in Souleater. The idea is that he's a literal soul forger, imbuing his arms and armor with the life force of other creatures and in some cases souls. Needless to say, he's an evil NPC and I'm going to have some fun seeing if I can trick the PCs into collecting souls for him to use (and share with a Fiendish Vessel devoted to Szuriel). Anyway, I've run into a small problem.

Black Blade:

Black Blade (Ex):
At 3rd level, the bladebound magus’ gains a powerful sentient weapon called a black blade, whose weapon type is chosen by the magus (see sidebar). A magus with this class feature cannot take the familiar magus arcana, and cannot have a familiar of any kind, even from another class.

Cacodaemon Familiar:

Cacodaemon Familiar (Ex):
At 1st level, the souleater gains a cacodaemon familiar, as if she had the Improved Familiar feat. If the souleater already has a familiar, the cacodaemon devours it (which does not penalize the souleater). The souleater counts as an evil outsider for the purpose of utilizing cacodaemon soul gems.

While the obvious thing would be to just drop the Bladebound archetype, it's not an option in this game. One of the house rules for the game is that any Magus needs to be either a Hexcrafter or a Bladebound, due to previous events that occurred in the setting.

Should I just change the fluff around a little bit and say that the soul inhabiting the black blade was a cacodaemon working to corrupt the NPC and create weapons for the baddies on the material plane?

MC Templar wrote:

that's alot of work for a single schtick, but I would agree that the abilities layer as written in the way you are hoping.

I personally envision this guy as a 'horse-a-pult"

I can just see him throwing stone giants at enemies or grabbing squishies and using them to "sunder" the ground.


I think I've got a good system.

-Highest level spells suffer a 5% chance to trigger a primal magic event, which still uses up the spell slot, and spells that ordinarily require a standard action to cast require a full-round action.
-Second highest level spells have the same chance to trigger a primal magic event, but all the spells have their regular casting time.
-Activating a magic item has the risk of triggering a primal magic event, which still eats up a charge.
-Spell-like abilities gained through classes can trigger primal magic events and waste a daily use on the first level you acquire them (e.g. a heavens oracle who picks dweller in the darkness as his level 11 revelation can trigger a primal magic event at level 11, but from 12 on they're good to go)

I'm looking to make a level 12 barbarian NPC that was raised by stone giants and specializes in grabbing anything close to him and either using it as a bludgeon or throwing it at enemies. Including the stone giants he lives with and enemies. My basic plan is to make him a brutal pugilist and a hurler and focus on grappling, pinning, and hurling.

Level 12 Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist/Hurler)
1 Improved Unarmed Strike
2 Lesser Hurling
3 Throw Anything
4 Strength Surge
5 Improved Grapple
6 Hurling Charge
7 Chokehold
8 Hurling
9 Improvised Weapon Mastery
10 Body Bludgeon
11 Power Attack
12 Greater Hurling

Body Bludgeon:

Body Bludgeon (Ex)

Benefit: While raging, if the barbarian pins an opponent that is smaller than her, she can then use that opponent as a two-handed improvised weapon that deals 1d8 points of bludgeoning damage, assuming the opponent is sized Small. Larger or smaller creatures used as a bludgeon deal damage based on their size using this base damage. A size Tiny creature deals 1d6 points of damage, a size Medium creature deals 1d10 points of damage, and so on. The barbarian can make a single attack using the pinned opponent as part of the action she uses to maintain the grapple, using her highest attack bonus. Whenever the barbarian hits using the pinned opponent as a weapon, she deals damage to her target normally, and the grappled opponent used as a bludgeon also takes the same damage she dealt to the target. If the pinned opponent is unable to resist being pinned for any reason, the barbarian can use that opponent as an improvised weapon without grappling or pinning the opponent, until the creature is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, at which point the creature becomes useless as an improvised weapon.

lets you use pinned enemies size smaller than you as improvised beat sticks.



Benefit: While you have an opponent up to one size category larger than you grappled, you can attempt a grapple combat maneuver with a –5 penalty on the check. If you succeed, you have pinned your opponent and hold the opponent in a chokehold. When you maintain the grapple, you also maintain the chokehold. A creature in a chokehold cannot breathe or speak, and thus cannot cast spells that have a verbal component. An opponent you have in a chokehold has to hold his breath or begin suffocating. Any creature that does not breathe, is immune to bleed damage, or is immune to critical hits is immune to the effects of your chokehold. When the grapple is ended, so is the chokehold.

lets you pin enemies one size category larger.

Improved Savage Grapple:

Improved Savage Grapple (Ex)

Benefit:At 5th level, the brutal pugilist takes no penalties to Dexterity, attack rolls, and combat maneuver checks when she has the grappled condition. She also is treated as one size larger than her actual size when determining whether she can grapple or be grappled by another creature.

makes you considered one size category larger when determining if you can grapple or be grappled by another creature.

Greater Hurling:

[b]Greater Hurling (Ex)

As hurling, but the barbarian can increase the range increment to 30 feet or increase the size of a hurled object by two size categories.

lets you throw creatures one size category larger than you.

Would a medium NPC be able to grab medium and large creatures/objects, use them as improvised bludgeons, and throw them, or would he need a potion of enlarge person to do all of that?

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Change casting times from one standard action to one full round.

If you're damaged during that round, you lose the spell.

That along with a feat to restore casting time to normal could work.

I'm making a homebrew campaign and I need some help trying to make it so casters aren't quite as strong. The in universe explanation is that Nethys was killed by the evil powers that be, which will drive some of the changes that happened in the setting. As a result all magic, both arcane and divine, has been weakened and the only mortals who can use magic are the ones with connections to outside sources (divine casters, witches, summoners) or that have innate magic ability (sorcerers, bards, alchemists), along with the relevant new classes. That means no wizards and only bladebound or hexcrafter magi. The mechanical reason is to reduce caster powercreep.

I've tossed around a few ideas (increasing spell failure chance, making divine casters subject to spell failure, rigidly enforce concentration, abuse spellkillers and superstition barbs, gaining experience at different rates, reduced spell progression like PrCs, etc.), but I'm not sure.

What would be the best way to water magic down a bit that's relatively simple (for both the players and me as a GM) and doesn't dilute it too much?

Just making a few changes (removing darting viper, moving feats to when I actually have enough BAB to qualify, etc.)

Dwarf Shielded Fighter/Skirmisher
Level 1: Power Attack, Improved Shield Bash
Level 2: Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Bull Rush, Endurance (bonus)
Level 3: Steel Soul
Level 4: Dorn-Dergar Master
Level 5: Spiked Destroyer
Level 6: Quick Bull Rush, Shield Slam
Level 7: Cleave
Level 8: Vital Strike
Level 9: Greater Bull Rush
Level 10: Shield Master, Combat Reflexes
Level 11: Cleave Through
Level 12: Greater Cleave
Level 13: Rhino Charge
Level 14: Greater Shield Focus, Step Up
Level 15: Following Step
Level 16: Step Up and Strike

It's occurred to me that I could probably use Improved Initiative, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes, among other things. I'll be getting +4 to saves against spells and spell like effects from Steel Soul and picking up Grounded as a trait, which gives you +1 to reflex saves.

A friend is currently running a gestalt campaign and I was looking for some advice on how to optimize a character I have in mind in case I have to reroll. All of the armor the characters in our group come is spiked armor and are proficient in it. Also, guns widespread, so we can expect to see at least one person toting a boomstick in each encounter.

Dwarf Shielded Fighter/Skirmisher
Level 1: Power Attack, Improved Shield Bash
Level 2: Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Bull Rush, Endurance (bonus)
Level 3: Steel Soul
Level 4: Dorn-Dergar Master
Level 5: Darting Viper
Level 6: Quick Bull Rush, Shield Slam
Level 7: Spiked Destroyer
Level 8: Vital Strike
Level 9: Cleave
Level 10: Shield Master, Combat Reflexes
Level 11: Cleave Through
Level 12: Greater Bull Rush
Level 13: Greater Cleave

The basic idea is to just charge in and bully enemies around the battlefield. He can hit enemies at 10 feet away with his dorn-dergar and anyone within five feet will eat a shield bash, bull rush, and damage from armor spikes. Picking up the cleave feats will let him spin like a top and hit anything within 15 feet and make people who pick up whirlwind attack just look silly. I'm debating getting rid of darting viper since he'll probably be doing more damage with the bash + spike combo and he can just use the bull rush to move enemies back out to be in the dorn-dergar's range. I'm also unsure if vital strike would be a good choice for this build, so there's that, too.