Welcome to my first guide! It covers the Zealot class made by Dreamscarred Press and released in Path of War: Expanded. The excellent guides by Path of War designer Elricaltovilla are unfortunately out of date and were written when PoW:E was in beta and undergoing revisions, so the Zealot is quite different from how it was back then.
I don't claim to know all the possible tricks a Zealot can pull, but I feel this guide is complete enough to spark discussion on the class. There's even a section that offers advice on how to keep track of the many resources a Zealot needs to handle. Hopefully the community will be able to offer new ideas, correct my embarrassing mistakes, and help in creating an awesome guide for an awesome class!
There are two WIP sections: The maneuvers & disciplines section, and the sample builds section. I'll add to them eventually. In the meantime, take a look at this guide by Shawshank for info on disciplines and maneuvers. It focuses on advice for non-initiator archetypes, and it only goes up to 6th level maneuvers, but it’s the most recent and complete guide for PoW:Expanded disciplines. Elricaltovilla has also written guides for all of the disciplines from the original Path of War book, linked above.
I joined a game with a GM who uses houserules that greatly increase the potential AC a character can have. He showed me a level 6 character built using his houserules that has 50 AC while completely naked.
Now, most of the increases to AC are tied to dodge bonuses, which can be dealt with using feint, stealthing, turning invisible, or blinding the enemy. But one feat he modified, Two-Weapon Defense, grants a shield bonus to AC equal to your BAB + 2 as long as you wield two weapons.
So, what ways are there to bypass a shield bonus to AC? I could try disarming the enemy's weapons, but a simple Quick Draw and a truck load of backup weapons makes that moot. And I can't disarm unarmed strikes or natural weapons. Are there any feats or abilities that negate a target's shield bonus to AC?
By the way, this is a no-magic-classes game, so I can't just plop a save-or-die spell on an enemy.
Around the mid/high levels, you might encounter enemies that have a heavy melee chassis (d10 or d12 HD, full BAB, larger than medium size, several attacks, high AC, DR) that also have spellcasting, like dragons and outsiders. Sometimes they have Antimagic Field, a 6th level spell that can only be countered by a 9th level spell. How do you beat them if they cast antimagic field and start ploughing into your party with their vastly superior stats, while your party's stat-boosting magic items and casters' spells get nullified? Aside from having an optimized archer that doesn't get beelined, I can't think of anything. I'd love some advice on how conventional melee character or a caster can contribute against one these things.
PS: Yes, I'm aware of the irony that I can't think of a way that a caster can contribute against something.
Dirty Tactics Toolbox is out now. In this thread, kindly post neat optimization tricks you've found with this book.
I'll start with Invigorating Poison.
School transmutation; Level alchemist 2, cleric 2, druid 2, shaman 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (an apple seed)
Target creature touched
Duration 10 minutes/level
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (harmless); Spell Resistance
The body of the target creature gains a metabolic response that
allows it to benefit from normally deadly toxins. When a poison
would cause ability damage to the target creature, the target
instead gains a +4 alchemical bonus to that ability score. The
spell then immediately ends, but the bonus lasts for a number
of minutes equal to the amount of ability damage the poison
would have caused. If the poison would deal more than one
type of ability damage, each bonus has a separate duration.
If the poison has effects other than ability damage (such as
unconsciousness or ability drain), these effects apply normally.
This spell affects only a single poison; if multiple poisons affect
the target simultaneously, this spell prevents only ability
damage and grants the appropriate
This is a long duration pre-buff that gives you an easily stackable +4 to certain ability scores. Sometimes even more than one at once. Familiars and animal companions can inflict a poison on you to save you action economy. Cast this spell on your fighter, and when combat starts, have your compsagnathus familiar bite them to give them a +4 alchemical bonus to strength. Have a Pooka improved familiar? Have her sneeze on you to give you +4 to both wisdom and charisma.
What other tricks have people found with this book?
I'm going to be the controller/anvil/god wizard for my group. I will be an aasimar shaman grabbing battlefield control and buff spells from the wizard spell list via Arcane Enlightenment, and I'm the only full caster in the group. I'm not so concerned about overshadowing other players because I'm going to be playing a support role, but I am concerned about making the game boring, unchallenging, or frustrating for the DM.
I was thinking about using Dazing Spell with various metamagic reduction traits, but I've got to ask, does permadazing all the monsters make the game boring or frustrating? When I DM, I personally get frustrated when potent foes get defeated by a single action, whether it's from a save-or-die using caster or an AM Barbarian charge. I'm looking for opinions from people who have actually played as/with hardcore lockdown characters, like dazing blockbuster wizards and hangover clerics.
I still want to be able to want to be able to pull my group's bacon out of the frying pan if things get too hot, but I don't want to rely on spamming Dazing Fireball/Ball Lightning every combat. Does anyone have any advice for making a more group-friendly (and DM-friendly) controller?
I'm going to DM a one on one game with a friend, and I'm looking for an adventure published by Paizo that fits my style of DMing. I prefer more linear games with clear goals for the players to work towards, rather than open sandbox ones. So far, my players have been having fun due to my ability to improvise and roleplay characters well, but the difficulty of running games is stressing me out.
So far I have DMed From Shore to Sea and the 1st level material of Rise of the Runelords. They were very difficult for me to DM well due to the haphazard layout of the events and the lack of detailed maps for most encounters. They provide large scale maps for the towns or islands that the games take place on, but very few small scale, tactical combat-sized maps. As far as I could tell, all I could do was show the players the map, ask them where they wanted to go on it without them having any knowledge of where they were going or what they were doing, and run whatever encounter happened to be in the area they selected, if there even was one. Dotted through the list of events are "random-ish" events that I guess I'm supposed to run if the players are twiddling their thumbs. The problem with those is that I never know when it's the proper time to insert them into the game.
I have also started DMing Way of the Wicked, which was not published by Paizo, but I've found it fits my DMing style much better than other things I've tried. Everything I've read seen so far has a clear goal and some sort of constraint to keep the players on the task, and there are highly detailed maps for nearly everything. I would really like to find more modules or adventure paths by Paizo that are similar to WotW's structure.
Does anyone have any modules or adventure paths to recommend that match my DMing style?
Say a level 5 sorcerer has a familiar with the Protector archetype. It has replaced its deliver touch spells ability with Shield Master.
Now say the sorcerer takes a level in paladin with the Chosen One archetype. A Chosen One's familiar has the Emissary archetype. But the Emissary and Protector archetypes are mutually exclusive, because they both replace deliver touch spells.
So what happens with the familiar? Does it stay a protector? Does it lose the protector archetype and become an emissary?
I need advice on which would be better for me, a life oracle spirit guide or a life shaman witch doctor worshipping Anubis. I want to focus on Channel Energy, damage redirection with Shield Other, and using wizard spells via the Arcane Enlightenment hex from the shaman's lore spirit. My party's composition varies from session to session because we have a large pool of players and GMs, so there is no guarantee that there will be a martial to frontline. I need to build a level 3 character right now, but I'm planning for higher levels too. Ideally, I would like to have Fey Foundling, Selective Channel, Fateful Channel, Craft Wondrous Item, and a familiar. I considered playing an Oracle focused Oradin, but I want to lose as few spell levels as possible. I am only limited to core races, so no Aasimar.
These are the builds I'm considering:
Half Elf (middle aged) Oracle (spirit guide)
Human (middle aged) Shaman (witch doctor)
Pros for Oracle:
Pros for Shaman:
My main hangup with the Oracle is that it's extremely feat starved, and my hangup with the Shaman is that I'm worried I won't have the right spells prepared for a given situation. Can anyone offer me advice or insights?