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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

You might stitch something playable together (an island hopping campaign):

Book 2 - Second Darkness: Children of the Void place island in the shackles. Replace Drow with Serpentfolk.

Book 3: Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing (Change Varnhold to an island colony, change Vordekai to a Serpentfolk Lich). Play up the Roanoke links and give PCs control of Varnhold as a reward at the end, and Vordekai's tomb should have a map to Savith Yhi, and hint at untold plunder!

Book 4-6: Serpent's Skull 2nd half. Play up pirates vs ninjas (red mantis) with Pathfinders and Aspis as unaligned factions. Place the city on an uncharted island in the Shackles.

Talking with my group yesterday, it seems we are going with this route. I am definitely going to crib Children of the Void. I will also consider using VV as I have heard really good things about it.

I am sofar torn on the idea to put the final city on an island or in the Sargavan mainland, but I suppose I can decide for sure a bit down the road after my player decide whether they want to buckle more swashes or do hardcore jungle exploration.

I like the pirates/ninjas idea, and I know at least two of my players love the Mantis as an organization so they will enjoy seeing them highlighted.

I will post some more plans when I have solidified some of them to try and get some more good feedback.

Thanks, all!

I will also send you an email, but I would love these as well. Starting up SfSS and they would be a great help. :)

casey dot chairlegoftruth at gmail


I read the first book of Serpent's Skull and was wowed by it, and we had decided I would run the AP. Unfortunately, after getting through book 3, I am disappointed in much of the factions nonsense and the lack of strong motivation to continue on after SfSS.

This led me to dig up some opinions of others that have ran the AP here on the boards and much of what I read dovetailed with what I was feeling myself.

Which leads to my issue: where to go from here?

I would love to run SfSS as the inro adventure and then move into a different AP. I don't have a problem doing a bit of work upfront to make it fit, and I also have a very solid group that would be happy to simply experience some of the RP and story threads from the first of an AP while skipping most of the encounters (which gives me at least two ways to make this work).

We are currently going through RotRL in another game and CotCT is also out as that is the next AP slated for that group as well.

Right now, I am thinking perhaps Kingmaker, but am just getting ready to crack the first book to see how crucial it is to the AP.

Please lend me your experienced suggestions. Can my idea work well, or should I simply slag it and run a different AP from the get-go?


Dwarf is good, but you will have to tank your CHA to 5 if you really want the 15 PB to work for you. I believe there are a couple good spreads above.

I suggest taking this trait to make up for any lack in Wisdom:

Dwarves are renowned for being stubborn. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Will saves to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) schools. In addition, if they fail such a save, they receive another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming it has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the dwarf has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue’s slippery mind), he can only use one of these abilities per round, but can try one on the second round if the first reroll ability fails). This racial trait replaces the hardy racial trait. Source: Advanced Player's Guide.

Also, consider taking 2 levels of Maneuver Master Monk from UC. It will help you get the CM feats you want, gives you a free way to threaten adjacent while using a reach weapon (Unarmed Strikes)and Flurry of Maneuvers is not restricted by armor. It is only gravy, seriously.

So, I like building characters as exercises and just to see what fun I can have, especially after new material comes out. I am also about to head into Fort Rannik with my team and there is a high probability of some party attrition. So, this may be a backup character.

I want to put together a Druid/Ranger, particularly in light of the feats

Shapeshifting Hunter:
Prerequisite: Favored enemy class feature, wild shape class feature.

Benefit: Your levels of druid stack with your ranger levels for determining when you select your next favored enemy. Also, your ranger levels stack with your druid levels in determining the number of times per day you can use your wild shape class feature, up to a maximum of eight times per day.

Shaping Focus:
Prerequisites: Wild shape class feature, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks.

Benefit: If you are a multiclassed druid, your wild shape ability is calculated as though your druid level were four higher, to a maximum level equal to your character level.

Special: This feat has no effect if you are not a multiclassed druid.

The Shaping Focus isn't super hot, since I think the sweet spot on the Ranger levels is probably 2, but it is something to keep in mind. However, Shapeshifting Hunter seems plain awesome!

I am looking for about level 8, and to fill roles as a primary scout and secondary melee and caster.

I have the stat array of: 18, 16, 15, 14, 12, 10 to work with.

I will post a build when I am finished playing with it; I'm looking at R2/D6 with the World Walker archetype. I'm totally undecided on animal companion or domain and Ranger Style.

I'd love input or ideas!

Str 18
Dex 16
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 12
Cha 8

That is where the money's at. Honestly, I would put your human +2 into STR for a 20. You don't need a higher WIS for spells. You're human, so you will have 7 SP per level and you could always dump a FC into if you REALLY wanted to. 7 should be fine.

Don't put the 18 in Dex, particularly if you want Mithril FP; you won't get the full benefit. You really don't want to take the TWF tree past Improved at the levels you are talking anyway. So, put a single bonus into DEX at 4th so you can get ITWF when you want to and just roll with huge free bullrushes off of your monster strength.

Troubleshooter wrote:
This is why a single feat doesn't allow each member of the party to gain the benefits of a Cloak of Resistance +3 with the money saved on their +2 ability score item.

I'm not entirely certain I understand the mention about IC Feats giving double wealth and such... Could you please elaborate?

On your last statement: I do not see how your discovery, even if entirely true and generalizable, has any impact on the potential or real savings/gain from a feat like Craft Wondrous Item, at least as used in-game over the course of a career.

Perhaps some GMs allow players with these feats to "craft" the items they begin play with at half cost when bringing in a new PC over 1st level? I have never allowed it, nor have any GMs I have ran under, for anything other than some consumables.

Beyond those issues/questions, I would generally agree with what I believe you are pointing out and its intended impact. I have never bothered to run the numbers as you have done a basic analysis here, but I have suspected this was the case simply from advancing through APs and looking at WBL for backup characters.

I tend to play characters that are either very gear non-specific or only dependent on one or two particular items, and so I scavenge more from the enemy without taking the selling hit. In an AP (which I can only assume are built roughly to the PF GMing guidelines), if you are such a character, you will definitely come out at better than WBL in my experience.

Ravennus wrote:

Actually, a Master of Many Styles monk does NOT have to meet most prereqs for style feats.....

"Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every four levels
thereafter, a master of many styles may select a bonus style
feat or the Elemental Fist feat (Advanced Player’s Guide 158).
He does not have to meet the prerequisites of that feat,
except the Elemental Fist feat. Alternatively, a master of
many styles may choose a feat in that style’s feat path (such
as Earth Child Topple) as one of these bonus feats if he
already has the appropriate style feat (such as Earth Child
Style). The master of many styles does not need to meet

Okay, so I slightly misinterpreted that passage; however my original point that there is no way you get all of Crane and Panther at ECL3 stands.

I do see now that you could have all of Crane by then, if you wanted to spend the real feat on Dodge.

Also, what you pointed out about the way that passage is written definitely exposes an exploit, whether it's RAI or not, that is useful as you said. There are definitely a few Style trees that have a downer of a 2nd feat but a decent 3rd.

Mike Schneider wrote:

The primary strength of the Maneuver Master is to choose feats early -- but once you get over that (i.e., level up), as a "dip" class it's not offering you anything.

Master of Many Styles, however, gives you access to some awesome stuff which you otherwise couldn't even have -- such as an entire three-chain Style arc at 1st-level. Also at 1st level he can "Fuse" two styles (have the up at the same time). -- Take a look at Panther and Crane, and imagine having them going at the same time. You could have both arcs by 3rd-level as a monk1/figh2.

That depends on what you mean by "both arcs."

There is only one way I can find to have all of Crane style remotely that early, and it is not as you have described. Some of the others, like Panther, can be done easily because the only feat in the tree that has a prereq outside of the tree itself is the first feat. Crane won't work that way because the first feat has 2 feat prereqs, and the 2nd and 3rd in the tree have increasing BAB/Monk level reqs.

If you were MoMS Monk2/Fighter2 you could have Crane 2 and Panther 3, but there is no way to have Crane 3 unless you are only dipping fighter and take the mediocre Unarmed Fighter Archetype. He gets a style feat as his bonus 1st level and only has to meet style-progression prereqs, not all prereqs.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

The benefit of the Improved Familiar feat isn't just to get more actions or wand use, it's a survival aid really.
As important as a familiar is to a witch, burning a feat to get one who has some ability to protect itself (and your so valuable spells) while providing significant in and out of combat perks is usually a good deal.
Their at will spell-like abilities and the more versatile aid another bonuses (always make sure your familiar does an aid another to you WHENEVER you make ANY check they could possibly help you with) is a big plus.

A good improved familiar is a permanent +2 on any check as well as a second attempt on any skill/challenge you're trying. Add to that the...

I agree on everything you said about Witch Improved Familiar; that's why i am taking it. I am being swayed by your logic on Scar as a debuffing boost as opposed to support. I will defer it til later and may pick up Cauldron... Though to use the bonus I will have to rejigger my skills. Feh, I can just use Spellcraft I suppose. Until I want to make the LNe monk some poisons that is...

Could you elaborate on the rules/mechanics I will be seeking and using to make such a sweet homunculus, please?

I dismissed it because the one described seemed a bit weak compared to the other options (even voidworm) aside from the mostly awesome benefit of being a construct. If you can direct as to how best improve on the homunculus, I definitely see the appeal... and flavor-wise I would prefer it to another critter.

Thanks for all the constructive suggestions!

Those were some tactics I had vaguely thought of; not the turtles, but I had definitely considered the birds.

Other than that, it sounds as if my general estimation of where I want to be by 8th is right; it's just the choice of Fortune now or Slumber now.

And, yes, I am planning on using my Improved Familiar to use all the wands that I have and craft. I should be done with my wand of Ill Omen after the next in-game day. It will just carry that sucker around and make people's lives miserable until I finish the rest on my list.

No spoilers on the AP, please. :)

So, we are in transit to Hook Mountain, about 3k away from 7th level. Our DM decided to hold off integrating UM until UC was released, and since it dropped and we have all had a little time to digest, we have until the game tomorrow to change selections within our characters (feat, feature, traits... pretty much anything beyond which class levels we chose).

Anisa StatBlock:
Female Human (Varisian) Witch 6
NE Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +7
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10. . (+2 Dex)
hp 44 (6d6+12)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +7
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Club +3 (1d6/20/x2) and
. . Dagger +3 (1d4/19-20/x2) and
. . Gauntlet, Spiked +3 (1d4/20/x2) and
. . Knife, Switchblade -1 (1d4/19-20/x2) and
. . Longspear +3 (1d8/20/x3) and
. . Unarmed Strike +3 (1d3/20/x2)
Special Attacks Evil Eye (DC 19), Misfortune (DC 19), Slumber (DC 19)
Spell-Like Abilities Feather Fall (At will), Fly (6 minutes/day), Levitate (1/day)
Witch Spells Known (CL 6, 3 melee touch, 5 ranged touch):
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 20/22, Wis 13, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats Craft Wand, Extra Hex, Extra Hex, Extra Hex
Traits Fast-Talker, World Traveler: Diplomacy
Skills Bluff +13, Diplomacy +13, Disguise +9, Fly +8, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (Arcana) +10, Knowledge (History) +10, Knowledge (Local) +7, Knowledge (Nature) +12, Knowledge (Planes) +10, Perception +7, Ride +4, Spellcraft +15, Stealth +13, Swim +4, Use Magic Device +12
Languages Common, Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Infernal, Shoanti, Thassilonian, Varisian
SQ +2 bonus on initiative checks, Cackle, Cleats, Cold weather outfit, Deliver Touch Spells Through Familiar (Su), Earplugs, Empathic Link with Familiar (Su), Furs, Healing (Cure Moderate Wounds) (Su), Metamagic Rod, Persistent, Lesser, Ring of Sustenance, Share Spells with Familiar, Speak With Familiar (Ex)
Combat Gear Club, Dagger, Gauntlet, Spiked, Knife, Switchblade, Longspear; Other Gear Alchemist's Kindness (20), Bag of Holding I (2038 @ 196.9 lbs), Bag, Waterproof (6 @ 0 lbs), Bag, Waterproof (empty), Bedroll, Blanket, winter, Bribe Sack (25gp) (13), Candle (4), Case, map or scroll (2 @ 0 lbs), Cleats, Cold weather outfit, Crafting Materials (1501), Crafting Materials (374), Earplugs (10), Efficient Quiver (10 @ 17 lbs), Eternal Candle (20), Everburning Skull (3), False Jewelry (empty): ????, Feed (per day) (5), Flint and steel, Furs, Gems (8), Headband of Vast Intelligence, +2: Disguise, Ink (1 oz. vial, black) (2), Inkpen (4), Manacles, masterwork, Marked Cards, Metamagic Rod, Persistent, Lesser, Mirror, small steel, Poison, Drow Poison (4), Rations, trail (per day) (35), Ring of Sustenance, Rope, silk (50 ft.), Royal outfit, Scarf, Pocketed, Scarf, reinforced, Scroll: Lightning Bolt, Scroll: Remove Paralysis, Shaving kit, Sihedron Medallion, Smelling Salts, Spell component pouch (2), Stalker's Mask, Tea, Night (20), Tear-Away Clothing (2), Tent, Pavilion, Wand of Cure Light Wounds, Wand of Cure Light Wounds, Wand of Endure Elements, Wand of Grease, Wand of Invisibility, Wand of Knock, Wand of Silent Image, Whiskey, Oldlaw (per bottle), Wrist sheath, spring loaded (2)
+2 bonus on initiative checks You gain the Alertness feat while your familiar is within arm's reach.
Cackle Extend the duration of other hexes.
Cleats -50% walking penalty for slick surfaces.
Cold weather outfit +5 Fort save vs. cold weather.
Deliver Touch Spells Through Familiar (Su) Your familiar can deliver touch spells for you.
Earplugs +2 save vs. hearing effects, -5 hearing-based Perception.
Empathic Link with Familiar (Su) You have an empathic link with your Arcane Familiar.
Evil Eye -2 (9 round(s)) (DC 19) (Su) Inflict penalties with a glance.
Feather Fall (At will) (Sp) Feather Fall at will.
Fly (6 minutes/day) (Sp) Fly for 6 minutes/day.
Furs +2 Fort vs. Cold Weather (does not stack with Survival skill's bonuses)
Healing (Cure Moderate Wounds) (Su) Cure Moderate Wounds at will (1/day/person)
Levitate (1/day) (Sp) Levitate 1/day
Metamagic Rod, Persistent, Lesser The wielder can cast up to three spells per day as though using the Persistent Spell feat.

I haven't filled the spot for the last Extra Hex feat(it used to be SF:Necromancy and I just decided it wasn't worth the feat).

I have used the Healing Hex a lot, and the group really appreciates it, but it still sort of rankles me that I have it as it is obv not OP.

I haven't used Slumber much other than for some useful recon purposes and kidnapping a cultist or two. I know it is awesome, I don't want to overuse it, and I would pick it again at 8 if I swapped it out now.

I was considering grabbing the

Updated Scar Hex:
Witch: Does the scar hex (page 81) have any effect on the target's Diplomacy or other social skills, or any other effects?

The hex needs some clarification and a little bump.

First, the sentence "These scars do not hinder the target's actions or abilities in any way" is there to indicate that you can't scar over a target's eyes to make them blind, ears to make them deaf, or mouth and nose to keep them from breathing. However, large, visible scars may have a positive or negative effect for the target, depending on who he's interacting with--a tribal culture may see scarification as the mark of a deadly warrior, while the upper echelons of a decadent urban nobility may see scars as a sign of childhood poverty or general thuggishness. Rather than trying to present a system of game mechanics for all these possibilities, the GM should use the Fiat Rule (Core Rulebook page 403) to modify Bluff, Disguise, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks as appropriate for interactions with the scarred target.

Second, the scar is a magical curse, and it should persist through changing shapes (lycanthropic, the change shape monster ability, polymorph spells, and so on).

Third, the hex needs a range. Touching the target to scar it is thematically appropriate, so the witch has to make a melee touch attack.

Fourth, the hex could benefit from a mechanical boost. Therefore, scarring a creature with the hex has two benefits: the witch can use any of her hexes on that creature at a range of up to one mile, and the witch is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scry and similar divinations.

The book will be updated with these changes, though the exact wording will depend on the space available when the page is typeset.

Update: Witch scar hex, page 81, add notes about skill modifiers, shapechanging persistence, melee touch attack, increased range for other hexes, and scrying boost.
—Sean K Reynolds, 08/02/11

and swapping out Healing or Slumber for Fortune. If I swapped Slumber I would obv be a buffmaster. If I swapped Healing I would be very powerful, but it would likely seem and feel a bit cheesy to both the group and myself.

The opportunity cost of feeling righteous and not seeming cheesy is missing out on picking Prehensile Hair at 8. I can prob live with that, but I would love all you great folk's opinions.

I am also planning on taking Improved Familiar at 7th, probably for an Imp or Quasit... Could I do better?

Thanks everyone!

Lizard_SF wrote:

This came up during a recent game. Is it assumed that spell areas (in this case, the cone of Burning Hands) are three dimensional, so that a 15' cone terminates in a circle 15' in diameter? (Assuming the center of the cone is ground level, this would make it a half-circle 7.5 feet high)

Obviously, fireballs and the like are 3-d, but are all such effects?

Yup. Very useful to know and think about when considering Fly/Levitate or other modes of 3D movement.

STR Ranger wrote:
I tried that, but the weapon cord description says you may not switch weapons- which i bbelieve two handing counts as.

I wanted to ask about the chakrams idea as well, regarding this. Wouldn't that also be considered "switching weapons?"

I really want it to not be the case, because I love the versatility of chucking things with TWF if nothing is within range.

Re: Reckless Abandon & Superstitious: I totally disagree with the previous Barbarian guide posted here; these two powers are both very strong. IMO, Superstitious is a solid Blue choice, and Reckless Abandon is at least Green and probably Blue for the average Barbarian build.

@Matt & BSF: Thanks for those, they are really solid "Classic" Barbarian builds, and pretty close to what I was thinking of as the working idea for such.

@Nordlander: i will definitely make note of that multiclass option with a specific nod to PFS play.

@riatin: Thanks. As I said, the build doesn't need to be fully OP to be a helpful contribution.

Thanks to everyone so far, especially the little insights I have gleaned from your PFS builds.

I like Furious Focus, but I can also see it being difficult to fit into a highly streamlined, OP build. IMO, as far as the guide is coming along, Furious Focus is 2.5 stars, or not quite Green. I may reevaluate that as I have more input on the item.

One thing that I would like to really hit out of the park to distinguish my guide is a really strong multiclass section. Here are a few of the things I am looking at right now for it that I would love opinions/experience/input on:

Ranger multiclasses, specifically to enhance Natural Weapon fighters and/or to feat-cheap into Horizon Walker.

Druid multiclasses for Natural Weapon fighters, possibly using the feat from UM that ups your Druid level by +4 for Wild Shape. Seems like it could be awesome.

Horizon Walker builds in general: to abuse the fact that you can get immunity to fatigue and exhaustion by HW3.

Druid or Nature Oracle multiclasses to synergize with the Mounted Fury Archetype.

I have also been considering Alchemist MCs, mostly for mutagen access, but Vivisectionist now may make it an even more appealing option.

Thoughts or additions you would like to see?

Thanks again, everyone!

@Feral: I would say 1/3 to 1/2 raging class levels. My aim is for Barbarian to be the primary class focus, but there obviously are ways to accentuate it with great multiclassing.

@leo: I will definitely go over that. Thanks.

I am working on a Barbarian guide and build compilation, and I would love to see some builds from all you wonderful folks.

I am focusing on usability here, so I am interested in builds using only Paizo materials with level benchmarks around 6, 12, and 16-17. In between is fine, but PFS only goes to 12 (obv) and most PF APs only run to around 16 so that is the reasoning there.

OP builds are very welcome, but I wouldn't mind seeing a few solid flavorful ones as well. I really want to do the class justice. If you happen to have builds in Hero Lab format or are just interested in sending them in some sort of file, shoot me an email.

The guide isn't ready yet, but I aim to have it viewable by this time next week.

I also have a Witch guide that has been revamped multiple times, I have been meaning to put it out but then I dusted it for a bit since UM dropped and I haven't worked my way through all the spells and such yet (primarily because my current game isn't allowing the book yet, and kids and stuff...) so if anyone is interested in emailing me witch builds or standout spells from UM I would be grateful for that too. :)

I love you guys, and I would really like to give back to the community and this just seems like the logical way to do so. Thanks for any help in advance!

MultiClassClown wrote:
In addition, as has been pointed out, Rapiers and Scimitars are Martial, which frees up one more feat he can use somewhere else. One option is to put it into Weapon Finesse, make DEX his prime stat, drop the board, and go TWF with a rapier or scimitar and a Kukri in the offhand.

If one were to do this, it would be strictly sub-optimal. One is much better off fighting dual kukri to leverage weapon focus, spec, and greater versions if a fighter.

I really think it all depends on the character in question's role on his/her team. If the character is the primary fighter/damage dealer and is interested in maintaining the versatility of fighting either sword and board OR 2-handing the Falcata depending on situation then it is a very valid strategy. This is hypothetically considering a build that is STR primary, uses Power Attack and is only grabbing a few of the very best Critical feats to enhance an already strong weapon choice.

If all you are going for is laying down the crits/status effects, then going 2xKukri is going to be best, and would likely benefit from being a Dex-based build and possibly grabbing 4 levels of Rogue at some point.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the rule was put in place to make actual enhancement bonus matter/worthwhile... Though it has the ancillary effect of making GMW even better than it was before.

I've been working up a Ranger as my backup character for RotRL, and I just can't see the trade being worth it. If you just don't like dealing with spells, that's fine, but I think a clever player can get a LOT out of what spells the average Ranger can get.

I admit that I haven't looked at the KQ variant, but even in 3.5, when Rangers were feat-starved, I only took the nature's warrior variant when I was only taking <8 levels of Ranger.

In a campaign that won't go past 10, the trade is better, but if it is going past 12 I just don't think it compares to spells favorably at all.

Wand use is great. Rangers also get a lot of really good spells at SL1-3, just like Pally's do, and even with a cruddy WIS of 13-14 you can get a lot of extra spells by buying Pearls of Power, which are amazing buys at the lower SLs.

From what I can tell, the issue with PF and a level penalty is that there is no scaling xp like there was in 3.5. So, lowering a character's level is a whole game penalty that will in turn affect the entire group. I dislike that, and so I believe that players of newly deceased characters should at least start as the same level as the rest of the group, if not at exactly the same xp of his/her previous character.

I do think the temporary negative level(s), almost an as-if raised scenario, is a fine compromise if you want there to be a little more penalty/psychic pain for character death. It isn't a permanent balance issue like starting at one or two REAL levels lower.

I do believe that, in general, new characters should start with WBL-1. If your game is very loot-heavy or totally in the vein of "magic walmarts" then this isn't so applicable. But, if you allow the new character to buy what items s/he chooses with starting wealth, I think it is more balanced for the rest of the group (who presumably had to take a 50% loss on a good chunk of their stuff to buy OP equipment for their builds)if the WBL-1 formula is used.

The other option is to track Real Wealth of the PCs, remove the deceased character's treasure, and reintroduce the same value on the new character. This may be the ideal method, but it would require extensive bookkeeping that usually only happens if the treasure scribe is particularly anal or OCD and keeps meticulous records. :)

Cartigan wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

you got me, but most trapsmiths aren't just up to par with Light Yagami.
Not since AD&D anyway.

For the most part, sooooo true.

Deadly Treasure; now that had some memorable traps.

Well, this seems to be dev input contradicting the notion that shield bashes are ALWAYS off-hand attacks. Perhaps they are always off-hand in the sense that they only ever add 1/2STR to DAM, but I couldn't even say that for certain.

Just thought I'd throw that into the mix.

I generally agree with what Cold Napalm is saying re: shield master, and I doubt it was intended to negate the penalty on attacks for being shaken (or stirred, for that matter) as an example, just those related to fighting w/ two weapons and the harsh penalty for the one-handedness of heavy shields and such.

Though, I would disagree on the issue of shield bashes really always being off-hand attacks. That is exactly the same line as was printed in the 3.5 books, and the 3.5 FAQ clearly stated that it was not strictly true and only put that way because they hadn't seriously considered people using a shield as a primary weapon. Clearly not enough Captain America fans there... So, I would argue that it is more of an oversight/uncorrected holdover than anything. That's without bringing in some very reasonable "in reality..." arguments that jumped to mind immediately about historical sword and board fighting styles. :)

Unless you are a straight rogue, shield fighting is probably the best TWF option nowadays. Maybe if you are playing the variant fighter that gets oversized TWF, using 2x Falcata could be better... but that is a digression here.

With the sword and board ranger variant style, I think for a warrior type, taking a few levels (probably 4-5) of fighter over a ranger's career is very strong. The extra feats are nice to add a few more TWF goodies, and you will want heavy armor prof just to be able to roll with mithral full plate eventually.

I like Heavy shield and short sword, using the short sword as the off-hand attacks once you get shield slam. It is wacky, but fighting w/ 2x heavy shields is pretty strong once you get shield master...

Basically, the character will want STR>DEX>CON>WIS>INT>CHA for stats. In my opinion, Imp. TWF is as far as you need to go, so DEX 17 is sufficient for feat reqs.

Unless you plan to play a primary caster, especially one that will utilize save-or-X spells, you are going to do better with the rolling method.

And really, only a Wizard/Sorcerer/Witch suffers overmuch from not having a maxed casting stat. Clerics and Druids can be just fine with a 16.

I definitely agree that this wizard is lacking understanding of the "G" in CG. Good people don't act with lethal force just because someone showed them up or pissed them off. Maybe he would find some way to embarrass the NPC or undermine his favor with the king... think more like the difference between a rivalry and a vendetta.

There are two ways to solve the problem: in character or OOC, and both have their own set of ups and downs. Helping the wizard's player to better understand alignment may help the situation, and letting him know that if he continues to act in petty and at least borderline evil ways around your devoutly LG character that there will be IC ramifications. I mean, I'm sure the king wouldn't be happy to find out your wizard buddy was shocking grasping his seer...

Your group definitely needs to sit down and talk about how much interparty conflict they are comfy with. If that turns out to be something that everyone is okay with and y'all think can be handled maturely OOC, just deal with the wizard IC, however your cleric would choose to do so. Being LG, I would guess that would involve some sort of turning him over to the authorities, or if they are too harsh, running the wizard out of town and telling him you never want to see him again. Or, if the party as a whole is more akin to the wizard, respectfully leaving and saying your goodbyes to the rest of the group and bringing in a new character that is a little less Good.

The main point is, a few people will have to bend a little, maybe both IC and OOC, or one will have to break.

Wow... Just... wow. That Rogue talent is awesome now!

I have been planning a Ftr/Rog demoralize bruiser for a while, and that just seems to put the idea over the top. With a shield basher, that is just some superior AC, and obscene with mithral full plate.

I almost wish my witch a gruesome death this Tuesday just so I can work this up... :)

/Agree with RavingDork's points.

I think it is a powerful option, and pretty clearly the best FC option for Sorcerers... But, I still don't find it to be broken powerful.

The thing I really like about it is that it validates the choice of sorcerer as the only arcane caster in a group. It may not be quite as strong as a wizard still, but the group isn't taking the massive hit it would previously. I like the extra options for party composition.

That may have been me, about the whole working on a Witch Handbook...

I have it roughly fleshed out, but the spells aren't finished. I have just been super busy due to moving and similar RL s$+@e. And, I am, just this last month, finally getting to put much of my witch theory and that of others to the test as we just started RotRL and I am obv playing a witch.

I will try and spend a little more time cleaning it up and post it hopefully within the week. I doubt I'll have spells finished, but I could at least have the rest done enough and maybe just a write up on witch specific/particular spells and some APG gems.

What I can tell you for sure right now is that Human + 2xExtra Hex is about the strongest start you can have. I like Cackle, Evil Eye and Misfortune... Slumber is awesome, but I think it truly starts to shine as L2 or L4 pick, and Healing can be a real boon if you don't have a Pos Channeller. And you can make $$$ from it if you are a greedy jerk like me. :)

Right now it is looking like 2xExtra Hex for: Evil Eye, Cackle and Healing. Planning to take Slumber @2. For the most part, at L1, I think that giving any enemy -2 to ATK for basically a whole combat, save or not, is just as effective as Slumber for 1 rd and I can get it going on a whole mob of enemies if things are going okay.

2xExtra Hex is the best, though... :)

Okay... I am looking at playing a witch in our upcoming RotRL game and we have a bit of an issue: we have 7 players, but only one was interested in playing a cleric, and that of an evil deity, so we have no healing potential at all. While I am never one to expect the cleric to healbot, channelling positive is a great free way to keep peeps alive that we just won't have.

I can't get Craft Wand until 5th... So, I am faced with 3 current options as I see it: audible to my other concept (an Oracle), take the Healing Hex, or just let everyone suck it up and maybe natural selection will turn over a few characters (possibly picking up a divine caster that can heal).

I don't really like the Healing Hex. Not because I think the ability is terrible, but because it has a high opportunity cost. So, I am going to post a mini SWOt (little t because there really aren't any external threats in this analysis) in hopes that some of you can add to it, benefit from it, and/or help me find the right, or another better, decision.

SWOt: Healing Hex

1) 7/day CLW, as that is the party size. Better here than average because we are a big group.

2) Scales a bit at L5.

3) Better than a (Sp) because it is (Su)

1) Huge opportunity cost in that I could be picking a Hex that is strong and desired, such as Misfortune/Fortune or Slumber, earlier.

2) While it scales, it doesn't scale much or all that well.

3) Feats (which in this case it essentially is, since I will be Extra Hex'ing) are pretty universally worth more than GP, and this ability is usurped after a few levels when we can pick up a wand of CLW, and eliminated by L5 when I will have the ability to make said wands at 1/2 price.

1) Could be a great source of RP and for money by using it often on randoms and slightly injured travelers/townsfolk/etc.

Advice is greatly appreciated. I could probably play the same character concept/story that I am in love with as an Oracle of Bones (maybe even Life, but more contrived) instead of a Witch, but I really want to try the class out.

ElyasRavenwood wrote:

Whats in a name? Thief or Rogue, Monk or Martial Artist, Gunslinger or Musketeer?

Of those pairs of names for classes, which do you think would be a better name and why?

Meh. I'm on board with most of the opinions on the first two... But, I think that gunslinger is a terrible name for the class as it is. Maybe not as it will be, but that is yet to be seen.

Gunslinger, almost without variance at least among all of the people I know and or game with, brings to mind Doc Holliday, any Clint Eastwood western character, maybe Roland from the King books or the MC from that Red Dead Redemption game. None of these guys bear any real resemblance to the PF class, and likely never will due to technological restrictions.

Part of me expects that there will be some sort of firearm magic item in the book that will let you have a six-shooter, but at an incredible price, so maybe you could play a character like Roland... maybe.

As far as the fighting style, musketeer is far more accurate. I mean, they had pistols, too. They fired their guns and then fought with blades when the enemy closed. The issue would be the traditional French connotation.

If there wasn't a pistol focus, the title rifleman would be accurate as well. I think the class seems more of a buccaneer as is, but that has too much pirate connotation. It is a really hard type of class to name well.

Tursic wrote:

As far as Cloud goes I was talking about how he was in the movie. As for the healing,I was talking about the main characters from some of the first rpgs I played and the ones that got me hooked on RPGs. The first one and the one that stands out the most to me is one called Lufia for the SNES, and Techmo Secrets of the stars also for the SNES. These are the first two RPGs that I played and the main characters is the core of the ideal for my character. You had a party of four in the games that were made up a Melee high damage character but had little if any mp, a spellcaster that used powerful spells, had a lot of mp, and did little damage when not using spells, Next you had the healer that had alot of mp and powerful healing spells but did little damage. And lastly you had the main character the hero of the story who did good damage just a little below the melee guy, but could cast magic mainly healing and protection spells but not as powerful as the healer, and had an ok amount of mp.

I have fond memories of that game... and it was pretty representative of that genre. I would say that most of the hero-types in games like that were very paladin-y in capability, sometimes a little more arcane-like.


Austin Morgan wrote:

You will have to Multiclass at least a little bit, as you need channel energy.

The two best ways (that I can see) are:

*Cleric 1/Inquisitor 7 - doesn't get into the PrC until 8th level, but has almost all Inquisitor levels.

*Paladin 4/Inquisitor 2 - probably the better choice, mechanically, though you won't have but 2 Inquisitor levels.

On a similar level of multiclassing as Clr/Inq is Oracle (Life)1/ Inquisitor 7. The issue with that is needing a Cha 16+ish to be as good as a Cleric, but it is an option.

I had been thinking this would be a great class for an Inquisitor, too. I wish it were a bit more accessible to the class...

I agree that it may be on the upper end of things if planning to only dip 4 levels... I still don't think it is powerful enough to warrant nerfing it. It's good, but by no means broken.

You also have to take into account that you are losing a feat to Alignment Channel or some such, and unless in a very specific campaign it is a lost feat. And, Clerics that are looking to be more than just something with a decent hit/dam are going to be even more feat starved than their sane brethren.

I think the tragedy of this class is that it is actually best for exactly the type of character it wasn't designed for: a bad mammajamma negative-energy-channellin' cleric of a death god. It makes me want to roll up a strike/nuke-er cleric of Zon-Kuthon (one of the only evil gods that thematically makes sense with the whole stigmata thing).

Gauthok wrote:

I actually kinda like that. I dislike that THF is so superior to many other types, to the point that pretty much all 3.5 fighters I saw used it, but it makes sense historically. The only "sword and board" combo I can think of with historical staying power is sword and buckler. Mostly, when plate came along, two handed weapons took over, so I guess that makes sense for D&D/Pathfinder too.

Actually, there was a pretty large swath in history where the most serious and optimal fighting was done in shield walls, with shield and either axe or sword. And truly, that remained the case even after plate for some time because only the richest even had access to it.

Maximizing MM really won't be worth it. It sounds likely that he is just really excited about SA with his sweet MMs. The only think I would point out to him is that Quicken Spell will be a better feat investment for him than Maximize. Even if he is only Quickening a Acid Splash or Ray of Frost, it will pretty much hit like a Fireball with his SA.

But, SA Magic Missile followed by Quickened SA Magic Missile is a pretty strong play. That is a whole lot of d6s being thrown at the bad guys.

If you really just want to help him be the best character he can be, I suggest focusing him toward filling a little battlefield control (Grease, Glitterdust, Web, etc) and shoring up the skills aspect that the other rogue doesn't have covered. Maybe he could even play party Face, since he is a Sorc and obv has a high CHA. Making sure that he can find fun and useful things to do for the first half of his career will be the difficulty. Once he gets past L11-13, he will be more objectively strong and have all sorts of options.

So, I guess: urge him toward Quicken, not Maximize, and just help him find the role he can best fill to his own enjoyment and the party's advantage.

I just wanted to chime in on the slavery issue, since this has somewhat devolved into a discussion on alignment issues a bit more broadly. I don't think that slavery, in a society where it is legal, need necessarily be evil.

A Good individual that owns slaves would simply treat them more as valued servants, and generally allow them free conduct as long as they were fulfilling their basic jobs. One must consider that in such societies, there can be significant benefit to such individuals if their "master" is a compassionate person that does not actively dehumanize them; others may seek to, but cannot because they have a "master" that would be obligated to protect them, if their "master" is prestigious they would live in far better conditions than others of similar class, a Good "master" is likely to truly free them at some time, etc.

I certainly don't believe slavery is something appropriate to do to another human being personally, but I also don't believe that being Evil or even really a bad person are necessary conditions of owning slaves in a culture where it is recognized as acceptable, given the conditions mentioned above.

I do think that a character that uses torture more than once or twice during a career should generally not be able to maintain a Good alignment, but I do think there ought to be a bit more give on the Neutral spectrum if the character has strong reasons/justification and does not take pleasure in the act. I think in these cases, remorse is the most important factor that would convince me, as a DM, that a character could escape the Evil alignment, though still not if they became a regular torturer...

I remember when I first bought the Core Rules at GenCon, I was offered a pdf copy for like $5 extra or so. Now, this was a couple years back, but I don't see why they couldn't set something similar up for the retailers.

I would like to see the pdfs sold at retailers too, to be honest. I envision something similar to what Microsoft (and I'm not a fan of MS on the whole, but the model works) does with Xbox Live subscription and points cards. For those that don't know, they are just cards that have a scratch-off film with a redemption code beneath it.

Say, Paizo sells these "pdf cards" to retailers at a couple bucks less than their store price for the pdf; Paizo still makes a tidy profit on pdfs, because they cost almost nil to maintain after initial production, but retailers then have the option to sell a card with any book purchase at a discount. The retailers may eat a $5 loss or so on discounting the pdf, but that is within the profit margin of all of the large books easily. Paizo still makes a profit, while the retailers do to. Maybe the retailers make a little less than if they sold it all at full price, but that is still a lot more than the big fat bagel they will wind up making a lot of the time when someone buys direct due to discount or pdf-loving.

I also generally agree with the previous poster that pointed out that there are far easier ways to grift a pdf than to copy down and steal it from a code within a book. My suggestion would generally prevent that behavior, but I also don't think it is terribly necessary. Anyone computer savvy enough to seriously value the pdfs is probably capable of internet piracy, though hopefully most lovers of our game are unwilling to do so. I like the model I suggest mostly because it would give a great way to incorporate FLGS into Paizo's excellent pdf model.

Asphesteros wrote:

Right, good point - a one handed club would be a night-stick, cudgel, baton, truncheon. Point is a night stick is a crafted thing, more effective as a weapon than something improvised because it's designed and crafted for the purpose.

Ummmm... not significantly. I have two old "night sticks", one of which was MP fare around the Korean War period, another that is just an old-old police baton. Both are really not much more than a 2-2.5 ft, roughly 2 inch diameter, length of wood smoothed into a cylindrical shape with contouring for grip at the hand end and a hole in the bottom for a lanyard. That's just a pretty stick, albeit a sturdy one. The only real issue with "crafting" a useable club is finding a length of wood that has the integrity to survive repeated smashing against the target.

In the woods, that should take no more than a DC 15 Survival check to find a few serviceable sticks (maybe 15-30mins) and 10 minutes with a knife to clear the gripping end.

I'd say that the too far mark is either when the character/player is negatively impacting the fun of the others more than a small degree, OR the DM just can't reasonably deal with it.

The first can often be resolved by a small tweak in tactics, only fully letting loose on the really tough encounters, focusing more on buffing/debuffing and crowd control are two of the major middle ground strategies.

The latter issue of DM may be harder. If they are an experienced DM, maybe just not a great optimizer his/herself, getting some advice on challenging the particular problem is probably the best course. Even if one isn't comfortable with getting that help from someone playing in the game, there are a lot of resources online. They can find a buddy that can look over the problem and suggest bumps for future encounters that will help reestablish an equilibrium. An inexperienced DM may just have no better options than to run lower level games or adhering to a tier-based game.

What I mean by that is a game that just doesn't feature certain classes that generally prove to be game-wrecking if not handled by a considerate player. I don't think anyone has done a breakdown of PF classes by tier, at least not that I have seen, but a comprehensive 3.5 list with justifications is out there and not too hard to find. I know it is posted on brilliant gameologists. That could serve as a good guidepoint for a tier-restricted game.

Strangely enough, all of my favorite personal RP exploits involve character death through good RP. :)

1) in a 2e Planescape campaign, I had a fire genasi priestess/wizard of Bast/Sharess. We were shunted off to the demiplane that Set resides in as a result of something to do with the dead god Orcus. We were quite powerful at that point, and met by one of Set's avatars upon arriving. Needless to say, at some point I spat directly upon that filthy swine and was promptly axe-murdered. :)

2) In a L5R game, Rogugan a fantasy feudal Japanese setting, I played an irreproachably honorable Lion samurai-ko. Before a pitched battle, there was a disagreement among the group upon how/when to join the battle that resulted in a duel between myself and our very competent Dragon ronin swordsmaster. He threw the fight, knowing that because of a magic tattoo he had he wouldn't die, only be incapacitated. I made a ridiculously lucky perception check to realize that he hesitated at the very wrong moment, something I KNEW he would never do on accident, and committed seppuku (ritual suicide) out of the dishonor of winning a duel in such a way.

3) My favorite by far. This one took place in a long-running Vampire LARP. I had maintained the Princedom of the game for almost 2 years IRL, and was incredibly territorial (from botching a Humanity roll at some point). I was in possession of a book of hermetic magical formulae which was a part of the overarching storyline, and very valuable to multiple parties. I find out that an elder vamp has moved into the region and is basically creating fledgling vamps to ship off to feed elders that can no longer sustain upon human blood. This guy was a general thorn in my side as well, and one night he just crossed the line with me. Some Technocrat mages had been poking about looking for the book I had, and had actually helped me cover up a few incidents (presumably trying to get in my good graces to at least get a peek at the book), so I called them up and offered them a copy; all they had to do was tele-nuke this arrogant jerk who was crapping all over my right of Progeny as Prince. Problem solved.

Turns out that getting the Technocracy to nuke a guy that is feeding over half of the major elders on the continent gets you put straight on the Red List (basically the Camarilla equivalent of being Osama bin Laden) and publicly executed during the next major Conclave. But, I consider it a major achievement to have played a character that was legitimately Red Listed.

SigmaX0 wrote:

I'm currently playing an archer Ranger with the 'Skirmisher' variant from the APG. (This removes the ability to cast spells and instead provides some limited use utility moves)

I've enjoyed a period of ascendancy up to level 12, taking Favoured enemy Humanoid (human) to +6/+6 in a campaign where 90% of enemies are human. I'm looking now at the last 8 levels of Ranger, and it strikes me that other than some slow improvements to my animal companion (already very frail in combat, and without buffs largely useless against any real opposition) and effectively another +2 to my favoured enemy, (i'm unlikely to make much use of the level 20 bonus)there's not a lot to look forward to, especially as I won't get any of the high level spells (or any spells for that matter)

I'm wondering whether now would be a good time to cut loose the Ranger levels, and dip into another class. My stats are Str 20, Dex 22, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10. I'm put off Paladin due to my low charisma, but I see it as an option along with the obvious Fighter. Any suggestions?

I agree that Paladin would be very appealing if your CHA weren't poo. What is you feat selection and general combat mode, ranged, melee or switch?

You could certainly benefit from 4 levels of Rogue: 2 potential feats and 2d6SA, probably most beneficial for a melee or switch hitter.

Barbarian is also fine, but probably below the par of Fighter. I lurve Invulnerable Rager, though. Horizon Walker is also a fine PrC that can be sick with a little Barb, choosing the Desert Mastery line for immunity to fatigue and exhaustion.

Recon022 wrote:

There might not be any rules for facing in the game, but in my opinion you still have to take into account "common sense facing". If you completely take out the facing concept, then it wouldn't make any sense to have flank attacks.

Then You could just say that anytime a monster is attacked by 2 or more characters at a time then you get the flanking bonus, no matter where the attackers are attacking from.
And the sneak attack in question did not take place during combat, combat hadn't started yet, so I think that in a case like that then facing would definitley come into play, then again these are just my opinions and how we play, as long as the players are happy then everybody is happy :)

I think you are in the right frame of thinking here, as was the post about DMs adjudicating reasonable LOS/facing out of a combat situation. The rules exist to have a basis to work from and to fall back on, something that everyone can be aware of and agree upon, and the DM can and should make calls appropriate to the game and situation that make things work the way s/he and the group like to play.

I'm pretty sure the reason there is no facing in PF, or any 3.X D&D, is that it makes combat even more time-consuming and cumbersome than it already is, and has to be. As DM, I generally allow for what guards/NPCs are looking at or being distracted by to benefit players in these sorts of circumstances, allowing a more "realistic" approach to stealth, at least when dealing with fairly run-of-the-mill mookish guys.

And, to address the original point about auto-kills: a coup-de-grace from a mid-level rogue can definitely kill a vast majority of things, it is just a matter of making the enemy helpless, not just unaware. We actually got lucky in a recent plotline that our rogue didn't know the CDG rules offhand when he snuck in to pilfer something from a fire giant captain. If he had, his average CDG DAM was about 55, he would have easily slit the captains throat and made our escape much more difficult, not to mention weakening the giants that were fighting off the horde of dragons we needed to sneak past. :)

Sylvanite wrote:

Fighter 1/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 3/Arcane Archer 3/Eldritch Knight +7/Arcane Archer +1

+Spell Critical shenanigans

-Focus on Dex and Str means low Con and not high DCs on spells
-Lack of armor (offset somewhat by Dex and Mage Armor style spells)

I quite like this build. It is good at what it does, and is a quite passable secondary caster as well.

I just want to point out how much I HATE Spell Critical! It can be argued there is some marginal value in it with a build that can threaten a crit 25% of the time, but even then it is only okay and only when you have 4+ of those attacks running. Arcane Striking is almost always just flat out better. And, Spell Crit becomes even worse when you have a 9th level spells build, because you have Quickened Spell as an option too.

Lack of armor and CON aren't really significant for a ranged build, which is why I like this one so much. The lower DCs are saddening, as it does make Imbue Arrow a little less awesome, but you will still get the Best Trick Evar: Anti-Magic Field on an arrow.

Blueluck wrote:

I agree that the Scabbard of Keen Edges is a great way to go.

+1 for the Scabbard of Keen Edges.

I don't usually find the feat for Imp. Crit. in my Barbarian builds until after L11, pretty much ever. Unless you decide to dip a couple levels of Fighter, I usually simply find that there are things that I want more.

10 foot pole wrote:

Hey I'm planning on making a level 5 half-orc paladin and not sure which way to go on the shield. I have a pretty painful GM, all but one member of the party died, and now I'm looking towards the healing and AC. I was going along with a bastard sword as my primary with EWP, and i chose paladin because I foresee a lot more undead coming on the horizon.

So the question is, tower sheild prof. and power attack, or TWF and Improved Shield bash?

Or should I just focus on the good ol' greatsword/falchion?

What are your stats/point-buy allowance?

This seriously impacts which choice is likely "best." You have to put a lot into DEX to be a good TWFer in the long haul, and it is REALLY feat intensive, which probably makes it a poor choice overall considering 1/2 Orc-i-ness, but that won't necessarily make it "bad" if you have a pretty good statline.

Either way, bastard sword is really a waste of a precious feat. +1 AD over the longsword is NOT worth a feat when you will have no bonus feats.

I think going with PA and a two-hander is probably strongest, and the least feat-intensive. I could even see advocating a "switch hitter" type character if your stats are strong: Get PA and use a 2-HW to leverage your damage, and focus the rest of your feats on Point-Blank >Rapid Shot >Deadly Aim/Manyshot. You will be a superb damage provider both at range and up close, and you have swift-healing to make up for the little bit of AC lost.

Sean FitzSimon wrote:

Not that I disagree at their power, but 160gp per arrow is not something I'd ever consider cheap, even at higher levels. When you consider that an arcane archer with a BAB of 11+ can dish out 5 arrows(3 bab, 1 haste, 1 rapid, 1 manyshot) a round on a completely average turn, and that arrows that strike an enemy are destroyed, you're looking at literally thousands of gold in difficult encounters.

It's a solid trick for those "omg noez" battles, but for everyday use? Yikes.

In reality, the benefit in action economy and versatility would FAR outweigh the cost... Which is probably why Spell Storing has NEVER BEEN A RANGED WEAPON ENHANCEMENT. It is a melee weapon ability, and always has been. I know that some GMs don't mind putting any enhancement on ammo and such, which is fine, but I'm also fairly sure that many just don't realize it isn't a valid item RAW.

But, if your GM says it's cool, take 'em and run... Because they really are just that awesome.

NotMousse wrote:
moon glum wrote:

Combat Expertise might be good. I have seen some very high ACs due to that feat.

You will definitely want some potions of protection from evil. Cheap, and good against mind control.

Does CE stack with fighting defensively? I'll probably do it anyway, but I never looked into that before.

Taking a level of Fighter and TWF with a shield is a good option. Fighter will get you access to heavier armor, and you are about where you could get Mithral, if the ACP is too frightening.

Beyond that, coercing the casters into summoning and doing their job is the only other serious option for PFS beyond picking your team before playing.

Blueluck wrote:

If I didn't feel like making a full caster, I would make a bard. You have a lot of hits going on in this party, and a Bard makes every hit better.

This array could make a wicked Bard with Arcane Duelist from APG; could even do TWF to maximize Arcane Strike damage. Maybe a Shield-Basher.

I also think if the party member goes Oracle instead of Monk, you could make a wicked melee druid with a 2 level dip in Monk. You will still be a fair spellcaster, but you can pick up Imp Grapple and WIS to AC, plus something like Combat reflexes to perhaps go with a Step Up and Strike strategy.

Just a few wacky ideas.

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