The Horned Hunter

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I was talking with a friend about giving Wrather a try with just two players. We'd be able to meet more often and get through the AP a lot faster - but obviously the power level would be in question, especially with the curve ball of the new mythic rules. After talking to the person who would GM this campaign, we agreed that a pair of Gestalt characters would probably be the way to go.

What we're considering right now (in part after browsing some of these threads) is a couple of complimentary Paladin // Summoners... specifically a Oath of Vengeance Paladin / Synthesist and a Sacred Shield / Master Summoner. On the surface it looks like a good pairing and good combinations, but I'd be interested in the thoughts of those here.

The Synthesist will use a Greatsword and his evolutions will focus on defenses and enhanced combat abilities while the Master Summoner will specialize in summoning celestial creatures and beings.

EDIT: Sorry - didn't see Mercurial's earlier post. Consider this an update to that one.


I enjoy building characters, and I put together this Halfling Archeologist a while back. The one time I played him I got him to 12th level where he was just beginning to become effective in combat, but that was fine because he wasn't really designed as a combat character as much as he was that jack-of-all-trades with a knack for getting himself (and others) both into and out of trouble. He's a character intended for great RP and his build reflects that, but that doesn't mean I don't want him to be as effective as possible.

Below is his build - its not 100% set in stone but its pretty close to what I want to do... the question becomes 1) what Mythic powers/abilities/feats should I be looking at and 2) how should I modify his current build to accomodate those Mythic additions? Assume that the rest of the party has standard combat, healing, buff and spell-casting duties already covered. Anything that he adds that isn't skill-related or comic relief is just bonus.

Halfling 6th level Archeologist / 2nd level Halfling Opportunist / 12th level Lore Warden
Fleet of Foot racial trait

Attributes: (20 point build)
STR - 10 (-2 racial mod)
DEX - 16 (+2 racial mod, +1 @ 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th & 20th)
CON - 14
INT - 14
WIS - 8
CHA - 12 (+2 racial mod)

Traits:
Magical Knack
Vagabond Child

Feats & Rogue Talents:
1st (Bd1) Weapon Finesse
2nd (Bd1)
3rd (LW1) Improved Dirty Trick, Agile Maneuvers
4th (LW2) Combat Expertise, Two-Weapon Fighting
5th (LW3) Lingering Performance
6th (HOp1) Trap Spotter 10'
7th (HOp1) Trap Spotter 20', Skill Focus: Perception
8th (Bd3)
9th (Bd4) Greater Dirty Trick, Rogue Talent: Combat Trick - Quick Dirty Trick
10th (Bd5)
11th (Bd6) Extra Rogue Talent: Befuddling Strike
12th (LW4) Weapon Focus: Kukri
13th (LW5) Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
14th (LW6) Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
15th (LW7) Improved Critical: Kukri
16th (LW8) Greater Weapon Focus: Kukri
17th (LW9) Critical Focus
18th (LW10) Staggering Critical
19th (LW11) Weapon Specialization: Kukri
20th (LW12) Greater Weapon Specialization: Kukri

Skills:
Acrobatics* 1-20
Escape Artist* 1-2, 6-11
Stealth* 1-20
Perception* 1-20
Disable Device* 1-20
Use Magic Device* 1-20
Knowledge: History* 1-20
Knowledge: Geography* 1-20

For what its worth, the character will be played in a Wrath of the Righteous campaign. His concept is an explorer with a fetish for maps, history, ancient cultures and ancient relics - magical or otherwise - who just 'got caught up in this thing', though he has a heroic heart when put to the test.


Am I reading this right, that, essentially:

Eldritch Heritage + Mythic Eldritch Heritage

is the same as

Eldritch Heritage + Improved Eldritch Heritage + Greater Eldritch Heritage

except:

your sorcerer level never catches up to your class level (a la Greater EH) except when it concerns your 1st level power which catches up immediately. Also, you get the full compliment of powers rather than having to pick and choose between them.

Is that right?


Mythic Power Attack
Benefit:
When you use Power Attack, you gain a +3 bonus on melee damage rolls instead of +2. When your base attack bonus reaches +4 and every 4 points thereafter, the amount of bonus damage increases by +3 instead of +2.

So no damage boost for those using Mythic Power Attack with a two-handed weapon?


Can two instances of Discordant Voice be in effect at once if two Bardic Performances are ongoing and both PC's have the feat?

Discordant Voice Whenever you are using bardic performance to create a spell-like or supernatural effect, allies within 30 feet of you deal an extra 1d6 points of sonic damage with successful weapon attacks. This damage stacks with other energy damage a weapon might deal. Projectile weapons bestow this extra damage on their ammunition, but the extra damage is dealt only if the projectile hits a target within 30 feet of you.

As a follow up, could two Dervishes of Dawn theoretically take this feat and use it as a compliment to their Battle Dance, giving both they and their allies an additional 2d6 sonic damage on their atacks?

Relevant text from the Dervish of Dawn Battle Dance:

Battle dancing is treated as bardic performance for the purposes of feats, abilities, and effects that affect bardic performance, except that battle dancing does not benefit from the Lingering Performance feat or any other ability that allows a bardic performance to grant bonuses after it has ended.


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Okay, here is the relevant text:

Broken Wing Gambit: Whenever you make a melee attack and hit your opponent, you can use a free action to grant that opponent a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls against you until the end of your next turn or until your opponent attacks you, whichever happens first. If that opponent attacks you with this bonus, it provokes attacks of opportunity from your allies who have this feat.

Paired Opportunists: Whenever you are adjacent to an ally who also has this feat, you receive a +4 circumstance bonus on attacks of opportunity against creatures that you both threaten. Enemies that provoke attacks of opportunity from your ally also provoke attacks of opportunity from you so long as you threaten them (even if the situation or an ability would normally deny you the attack of opportunity). This does not allow you to take more than one attack of opportunity against a creature for a given action.

Okay, so you have two melee types standing side-by-side facing a large monster. Both have the above feats. PC #1 Attacks and hits, using Broken Wing Gambit. The Monster attacks that PC in return, provoking an AoO from PC #2.

Question 1: Does that trigger Paired Opportunists, allowing PC #1 an AoO as well?

Question #2: Since activating Broken Wing Gambit is a free action, can PC #2 use it when making his AoO?

Now it gets good. Let's say that both PC's also have Crane Riposte (we have twin builds in our upcoming WotR game). When the monster attacks PC#1 in the above example, the PC uses Crane Wing to deflect that attack, provoking an AoO in response. So now PC #1 is making an AoO with Crane Riposte, provoking an AoO from PC #2, then, PC #2 is making an AoO due to the BWG, provoking an AoO from PC #1 - and then of course making his normal attack(s) on his turn.

Sound right?

PC #1 attacks and hits, activating Broken Wing Gambit.
Monster attacks PC #1 in response, but PC #1 uses Crane Wing to deflect the first attack.
PC #1 makes an AoO due to Crane Riposte.
PC #2 makes an AoO due to Paired Opportunists.
PC #2 makes another AoO due to Broken Wing Gambit and chooses to activate BWG himself.
PC #1 makes another AoO due to Paired Opportunists.
Monster makes the remainder of his attacks against PC #1 (as attacking PC #2 at this point would only confuse things further)
PC #2 makes his attacks as normal.


We're gearing up for a Wrath of the Righteous campaign (please don't move this, mods, because the post has nothing to do with the AP itself), and one of the characters that was made was an Aasimar Dervish of Dawn who takes a two level dip in MoMS for the Crane feats. It looked like a really, really fun character so another player suggested that they play the same build (almost) as male and female twins. There's some good role-play potential in there so everybody thought it was a good idea.

Now I'm looking at the original build and trying to figure out what teamwork feats we should be considering for the two. A handful of feat slots seem to be screaming for them, and the plan will be for the two of them to almost always be fighting in tandem... so looking at the options, what would you suggest?

The Monk levels are taken at 2nd and 3rd, and the bolded feats are the ones I see most likely to be replaced by potential teamwork feats.

Aasimar 18th level Dervish of Dawn / 2nd level Master of Many Styles
Azata-blooded , Favored class option for Bards

Attributes: (20 point build)
STR - 13
DEX - 16 (+2 racial bonus, +1 @ 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th & 20th level)
CON - 12
INT - 12
WIS - 8
CHA - 14 (+2 racial bonus)

Traits:
Maestro of the Society
Magical Knack

Feats:
1st - Dervish Dance
1st - Dodge
2nd - Improved Unarmed Strike
2nd - Stunning Fist
2nd - Crane Style
3rd - Crane Wing
3rd - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
5th - Arcane Strike
7th - Skill Focus: Knowledge - Religion
9th - Eldritch Heritage: Arcane Bloodline (Arcane Bond - Scimitar)

11th - Power Attack
13th - Crane Riposte
15th - Quicken Spell or Toughness
17th - Critical Focus
19th - Staggering Critical


I'm taking the first four levels of my favorite straight-up Fighter, one whom gains Whirlwind Attack in that time and then looking to begin pogression as a spellcaster... I'm just not sure what route to take. The character will already be MAD as hell, that's for certain, and I'm looking for advice.

My first thought was to go Charisma-based and eye some Eldritch Heritage feats, but that seems untenable given my Intelligence requirements, so Wizard seems the way to go. Shame a Magus can't be used with a two-handed weapon as this character will be using a pole-arm of some sort, likely a Bardiche...

At any rate, these are the base attributes - I've got a 20 point build to work with:

Attributes:
STR - 15 (+2 racial bonus, +1 at 4th)
DEX - 14
CON - 14
INT - 14
WIS - 10
CHA - 8

Feats:
1st - Dodge
1st - Power Attack
1st - Cleave
2nd - Mobility
3rd - Combat Expertise
4th - Spring Attack (swap Cleave for Whirlwind Attack)

I'm actually torn between going Weaponmaster for the Weapon Training bonus at 3rd (which opens the doors to Gloves of Dueling) or Lore Warden which will free up an extra feat and a few more skill points. After that, the plan is to go all spellcaster, probably Wizard... but which? Is this a case where Eldritch Knight should be considered?


9 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I'm talking about things like Wall of Force or Emergency Force Sphere... what can be done by someone inside/outside/on the other side?

Can control over a construct continue? What about control over spells already cast like Ball Lightning or Flaming Sphere?

Can any spell that requires line of sight but doesn't need to be heard and don't originate from you be cast? Cloudkill or Dominate Person, for instance?


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I'm working on a generalist Human Sorcerer without any particular theme in mind other than versatility and potency. I'm planning on going Fey and taking Eldritch Heritage feats for the Arcane Bloodline as well as the Spell Focus feats for Enchantment - but the character is NOT being built as some sort of enchanter. Meta-magic feats will be Quicken Spell and possibly Heighten Spell and Reach Spell. Dazing Spell is banned from our game as is Spell Perfection.

I want a wide selection of the most useful spells available and that's what I'm looking for from you guys. Keep in mind that I won't be able to switch out spells very often, so choices made at earlier levels should probably continue to be useful later on as well.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The class feature of the Invulnerable Rager doubles their DR vs. non-lethal damage. Is that considered a separate DR, i.e. my 10th level Barbarian has a DR of 5/- vs. lethal damage and a DR 10/- vs. non-lethal damage?

I ask because of the way Guarded Life/Greater Guarded Life are worded.

Guarded Life: While raging, if the Barbarian is reduced below 0 hit points, 1 hit point of lethal damage per barbarian level is converted to nonlethal damage.

Greater Guarded Life: When using the guarded life rage power, 1 additional hit point of lethal damage per Barbarian level is converted to nonlethal damage.

Okay, so I have a 10th level Barbarian as described above who has 25 hit points remaining. He takes an attack that deals 40 points of lethal damage. 5 is resisted due to DR 5/- vs. lethal which leaves 35 points of damage dealt. Of that 35, 25 applies to his hit points, leaving 10 more to take him below zero. Guarded Life/Greater Guarded Life changes that 10 points of damage to non-lethal damage which kicks in the Invulnerable Rager's DR 10/- vs. non-lethal, reducing that damage to 0.

Is that a correct description of how things break down? Or would the entire remaining 35 points of damage be converted to non-lethal since it would collectively be enough to bring him below zero, or would the original 40 points be converted?

While he remains at 0 hit points, would any attack dealing lethal damage of 15 or less be effectively converted to 0 through the same process?

Also, is damage sustained by taking actions while Disabled (like attacking) considered lethal or is it in any way reducible by the DR listed above?


The title line is pretty self-explanatory - what changes to base and core classes have you made to your games, why, and how have those changes worked out?

A couple of ours:

Wizards, in place of Arcane Bond or Familiar can gain as a spell-like ability an energy attack that has a range of 30'and deals 1d6 damage per level of the highest level spell they currently have memorized. This attack deals fire, cold, electricity or acid damage. The Wizard decides which when his charater is created and once this choice is made it never changes. Reflex save for half damage (DC 10 + INT mod + ½ Wizard level).

Clerics much choose between their Channeling ability and 1 Domain.

Summoners don't get the Summon Monster as a SLA (though they do still have access to the spells) while Master Summoners can only access their Eidolons through their spells. Master Summoners progress their uses of the Summon Monster SLA at CHA mod +1 for every 2 class levels. Gate is placed on the Summoner spell list but removed as a class feature and instead at 19th level the class gains 'Perfect Summoning' (Summoned creature or Eidolon has maximum hit points).

Barbarians cannot begin and end a Rage in the same round.

Paladins do not get Detect Evil as an at-will power and they do not deal double damage against select foes when Smiting.


By nature I'm enough of a martial beatnik that even when I make full casters, I like them to be legitimate melee threats, especially when those casters are of the more support type like Witches of Clerics.

I'm looking at the scarred Witch Doctor for a possible Serpent's Skull campaign and it occurred to me that a two lvel dip in Urban Barbarian might go a long way. Controlled Rage would allow him to boost strength for melee combat, Dexterity for ranged combat and Constitution to increase save DC's for spells and hexes and he could still cast spells and use skills - I was curious to know what the thoughts on that would be?

Technically I only gain +1 DC (since I lose 1 DC from having two fewer Witch levels) and I lose some spell progression, but I do gain a number of other benefits, not the least of which is being viable in combat. I'm also eyeing the Improved Natural Armor feats to maximize the Witch Doctor's NA bonus, though the build is starting to look a little feat-starved...

What say you guys?


Campaign books like the City of Mangimar and the Worldwound - are these books sometimes, always or never bound with the names along the binding? I seem to remember seeing a product that was more like a folio, with too little content to make an edged binding practical but I don't remember if it was a Campaign Setting or not and I'm trying to find out before I purchase a handful...


I'm putting together a Master Summoner build and I feel pretty good about feat selection, eidolon evolutions and stuff like that, but I'm in a quandry when it comes to spell selection. I'm not building the character to have high DC's, so I figure it'll probably be better to focus on buffs and utility, but I'm also liking some of the battlefield control spells like Grease and the Pit spells...

With the understanding that the standard MO for the character will be to hang back and use her Summon Monster SLA, perhaps while under the cloack of an Invisibility spell, and then to buff/control as needed - can some of the local experts suggest a handful of spells at each level they'd most reccommend and why?

Also, I'm correct in assuming that Augment Summoning affects Summoned Swarms, correct? I ask because additional hit points are nice, but most of the poison saves are DC-based as well. Are Summon Swarm/Summon Insect Plague/etc. worthwhile? It seems that many creatures won't have AoE spells at their disposal, especially at lower levels...


Settle an argument, please:

Are the Pit line of spell affected by Widen Spell and if so, do they create a 20'x20' pit or a 10'x20' pit?

Thanks in advance.


Would Enervation be a solid choice for Spell Perfection? Let me preface this with saying that in our game we've banned Dazing Spell (along with Dazing Assault and Stunning Assault)... I'm feeling like a Quickened Enervation followed by a Maximized Enervation would be pretty potent (especially for a couple of 4th level slots), but at the same time I feel like I'm leaving something on the table by using a spell that doesn't allow a saving throw, considering Spell Perfection's benefit of doubling DC bonuses. It also goes against my general rule of reserving Spell Perfection for multi-target spells.

What do you think?


Me and some mates were speculating about this and I'd be interested in hearing some thoughts. First off, the disclaimer - for purposes of this discussion, let's address martials & partials in a vacuum, no debating how this change might make martials suck even MORE in comparison to casters and so on.

Now what we were talking about was how in the combat game Strength dominated and could be truly exploited because high strength scores all but guarantee hits, even in circumstances when they shouldn't - the idea of a small creature dodging the attack of a large never really comes to fruition because the increased strength more than makes up for size bonus variation... so we came up with this as a sort of 'playtest' rule, applying it and looking at its ramifications, its ripple effects, as it were. That's one of the things I'm hoping to have discussed here, to help us not overlook potentially game-breaking issues.

The thought is that one's Strength bonus affects damage from thrown and melee weapons, including the standard 1.5 for two-handed and .5 for off-hand while one's Dexterity bonus affects damage from projectile weapons and light weapons (including rapier and whip). All attack bonuses are lost.

Now, this would carry over into monsters as well, with attacks still capable of dealing significant damage, but making those attacks less likely to hit. Combat would by necessity become longer, eliminating rocket tag to a degree and bringing AC back as a legitimate stat.

What are some of the other potential effects we might see?


One thing I thought 4th Ed got right was the way they handled spell durations... i.e. instead of 10 minutes/level and such, they typically had spells last for an encounter, or a day. This is how I think I'd categorize spell durations:

Concentration
1 round/level
Encounter
1 hour/level
Day
1 Day/level
Permanent

Would you find this easier and more practical for your games? For me keeping track of 1 minute/level or 10 minutes/level and so on and trying to figure out how much they spill over into the next encounter can be a nightmare. This approach would fix that, I would think... right now, we pretty much hand-wave 1 minute/level as 'for the duration of the encounter' and 10 minutes/level as the next 2-3 encounters, depending on what happens between them.


Morning all.

I've been working on a new character concept for a friend to run - its a little different than what I'm used to but the more I play around with him the more fun I think he'll be. The goal here really isn't to 'optimize' the character so much as to make him as playable as possible within the context of them concept.

If it matters, the charcacter is intended to be used for a Jade Regent campaign, but may well be used for other stuff instead/in addition to (so NO reason to move the thread, mods). The idea is a daring halfling with insatiable curiosity who's combat participation is more cinematic than traditional with plenty of opportunity for comic relief without ever devolving into slapstick. We don't just want him to be funny, we want him to be effective as well, and effective in ways that other characters normally are not.

I think I've got my first 10 levels hammered down, but I want to develop the character out to his full potential and I'm in a real quandry as to where to go next. We want him to be the group's designated trap-spotter/disarmer and scout as well as the group's face - apart from those roles he's free to freelance in combat however he thinks he can best assist as we've got the heavy hitters already in place.

This is what I've got so far, using a 20 point buy:

Attributes:
STR - 12 (-2 racial mod)
DEX - 16 (+2 racial mod, +1 @4th, 8th, etc.)
CON - 14
INT - 13
WIS - 8
CHA - 12 (+2 racial mod)

Feats:
1st (Bd1) Lingering Performance
2nd (Bd2)
3rd (LW1) Weapon Finesse, Agile Manuvers
4th (LW2) Combat Expertise, Improved Dirty Trick
5th (LW3) Defensive Combat Training
6th (Op1)
7th (Op2) Skill Focus: Perception
8th (Bd3)
9th (Bd4) Greater Dirty Trick, Rogue Talent: Quick Dirty Trick
10th (Bd5)

(Bd) = Archeologist
(LW) = Lore Warden
(Op) = Halfling Opportunist

I think one of the biggest decisions I'm struggling with at this point is what to do next - whether to go full bore into Lore Warden to continue Maneuver Mastery, gain Know Thy Enemy, get a better BAB and more combat feats to presumably exploit criticals (kukri wielder)... or to continue Archeologist to gain Evasion, additional spells, skills, Rogue Talents and enhanced Archaeologist’s Luck. I don't think splitting the two would result be the better option so its looking like one or the other.

The party won't be relying on him to do anything apart from his primary roles above, he's going to kind of be the group's 'wild card'. In combat I see him flanking, using Combat Expertise, Dirty Tricks, Exploitative Maneuvers and critical effects to aid his allies, but his primary usefulness coming out of combat through scouting, trap-finding, social situations and knowledge checks.

Any thoughts?


3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Under Golem entries it says that golems ar eimmune to any spell that allows spell resistance.

The spell Apparent Master allows spell resistance but also says in its description: "This charm makes a construct regard you as its master. The spell only affects mindless constructs that are attuned to the commands of a master, such as animated objects, golems, retrievers, and shield guardians."

Does Apparent Master affect Golems who are immune to magic?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Morning all.

I've been toying around with a character concept, trying to see if I could come up with an effective Crossbreed Sorcerer that wasn't a dip for Evocation cheese, and its actually worked out to a really cool character concept. The idea is a sort of unseelie Fey who's natural appearance is a twisted combination of Fox and Serpent (though that's almost never seen) who is manipulative and controlling beyond anything you've ever seen. He could serve as a PC for either a good or evil campaign or as recurring villian, lots of options, really.

I started by going Kitsune for my race and selecting the Fey and Serpentine bloodlines. The goal was to maximize the foes I could use mind-affecting spells against and to take a number of metamagic feats to make use of those spell slots for which I would tecnically not know any spells - Heighten Spell in particular for that reason. The next goal was to (obviously) mximize the effectiveness of those spells which I think I've managed to do.

I have run into a few problems though - the first being Spell Resistance. Our group doesn't use it, instead applying an across the board +4 to saves vs. spells and spell-like effects for creatures that have SR... but I wanted to make a character that was transportable to other groups, so I'm trying to address it in the build but there doesn't seem to be enough room early on.

The next question is the value of an Animal Companion vs. the Kitsune ability Realistic Likeness (which has proven to be VERY effective in the past). My options would be:

Animal Companion
Take Sylvan Bloodline over Fey, losing a +2 bonus to Compulsion spell DC's.
Take and then forfeit Laughing Touch as a 1st level Bloodline power.
Take Boon Companion as my 3rd level feat
Take Snake Fang as a 3rd level Bloodline power.

Realistic Likeness
Keep the Fey bloodline and take Realistic Likeness as my 3rd level feat.
Take Snake Fang as a 1st level Bloodline power
Take Serpent Friend (viper familiar) as a 3rd level Bloodline power.

I suppose the difference is whether I'm building a character to be an infiltrator or a dungeon crawler, but without knowing what adventures may await me, I'm really torn. It may be that I'm better off just taking Heighten Spell earlier instead and pursuing the Arcane Bloodline via Eldritch Heritage feats (see below).

Apart from those issues, I'm really pleased with how the character has come together, but as always I'm looking for critique and advice from the board's many experts. The short version is that by 1st level I'm treating Animals, Magical Beasts and Monstrous Humanoids as Humanoids for the purposes of spells (like Charm/Hold/Dominate Person). By 7th level I'm affecting Undead with mind-affecting spells via Threnodic spell and by 13th level I'm affecting Oozes and Vermin as well via Coaxing Spell. With those expanded options in mind, I'm unsure as to whether my selection for Spell Perfection at 15th should be Dominate Person or Hold Monster.

Kitsune Cross-Blooded Sorcerer (Fey-Sylvan/Serpentine Bloodlines)

Feats:
1st - Eschew Materials
1st - Spell Focus: Enchantment
3rd - Realistic Likeness or Boon Companion
5th - Spell Focus: Necromancy
7th - Silent Spell *
7th - Threnodic Spell
9th - Heighten Spell
11th - Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
13th - Quicken Spell *
13th - Coaxing Spell
15th - Spell Perfection: Dominate Person or Hold Monster
17th - Spell Penetration
19th - Improved Initative *
19th - Greater Spell Penetration

[* - Bloodline feat]

Bloodline Powers:
1st - Snake Fang or Animal Companion
3rd - Serpent Friend or Snake Fang
9th - Fleeting Glance
15th - Fey Magic or Den of Vipers
20th - Soul of the Fey

DC bonuses:
+2 DC to Compulsion Spells (unless Animal Companion is taken)
+1 DC to Enchantments racial bonus
+1 DC/4 levels to Enchantments from favored class option
+2 DC from Spell Focus & Greater Spell Focus
+X DC from Charisma modifier

A final option I've been considering is to drop Realistic Likeness/Boon Companion altogether, along with Coaxing Spell and the Spell Penetrations and instead taking the Arcane Bloodline via Eldritch Heritage feats. That would give me an Arcane Bond to go along with my Viper Familiar, Expanded Arcana to make up for some of those spells lost from cross-breeding and School Power for even more potent Enchantment spells at later levels. That version would look something like this:

Feats:
1st - Eschew Materials
1st - Spell Focus: Enchantment
3rd - Heighten Spell
5th - Spell Focus: Necromancy
7th - Silent Spell *
7th - Threnodic Spell
9th - Skill Focus: Knowldge (Any)
11th - Eldritch Heritage: Arcane Bond
13th - Quicken Spell *
13th - Improved Eldritch Heritage: Expanded Arcana
15th - Spell Perfection: Dominate Person or Hold Monster
17th - Greater Eldritch Heritage: School Power
19th - Improved Initative *
19th - Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment

Thoughts?


We're putting together a group to run Jade Regent and I wanted to run the composition by the board, to see if there are any glaring areas of weakness we'll be ill-prepared for. I'm not looking for any spoilers or anything, just some general critique or advice.

The party:

Dwarven Ranger (Infiltrator), a former adventurer with Ameiko and Shalelu or possibly a replacement for Shalelu entirely in the caravan. He's a TWF focusing on high crits chances with a timber wolf companion.

Halfling Bard (Archeologist), an in-town local who has long been friends with Ameiko, but only now is his more bookish, academic side finally losing out to his wanderlust. Big fan of history, languages and maps in particular.

Human Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager), sworn protector of the girl listed below, going where she directs as she fulfills her destiny. They begin the AP as travellers/guards in Vhiski's caravan.

Human Witch (Time patron), a child of no more than 11 or 12, this white-haired girl is in many ways advanced beyond her years, communing with a (familiar undecided) as she sees various paths to the destiny of others, instinctively leading and following along those paths as needed.

We tend to play in a fairly low magic campaign anyway, so we likely won't have or need any party crafters.


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Afternoon, all :)

I'm getting involved in a Way of the Wicked campaign and I've been toying around with a new build - he's been a lot of fun thus far so I figured what the hell, I'll share. Feel free to comment, critique or ignore at your peril...

*ahem*

...at your discretion. Sorry.

At any rate, I give you The Mad Dwarf:

The concept has been posted before (we have a couple of our group members on these boards), a Dwarven Miner who devled too deeply and was captured by an Aboleth and his minions. Years of random and pointless torture followed as the Dearf was subjugated by the abomination and subjected to maddening visions of the stars he had never seen. He managed to escape, fleeing as fast and as far as he could, eventually emerging onto the surface for the first time... and finding himself staring up at an endless sea of stars. It broke his mind and ever since he's been a herald, a prophecy of doom for the Old Ones. The character can be played in a good or evil party as I consider him ultimately a neutral nihilist who clings to hope.

At low levels Martials obviously have the advantage in longevity and usefulness, so we start out with two levels of Wild Rager - suffice to say this guy isn't a tank, but two attacks per round at 2nd level with a two-handed weapon ain't nothing to sneeze at. While it might technically be suboptimal, I have him using a Dorn-Dergar for flavor purposes with the head of the weapon actually being a chunk of skymetal or meteorite, allowing it to serve as his holy symbol as well. After that its straight Theologian to maximize what I consider to be one of the strongest buffs/debuffs in the game - Visions of Madness, via the Madness Domain. The Dwarven favored class option allows him almost unlimited use of this ability as he progresses.

Another solid choice for Clerical archetype but one that would play a bit differently would be an Evangelist, also taking the Madness Archetype, his rants and mutterings serving as the 'Performance' as he drives his allies to almost reckless advantage. At any rate, its the Madness Domain that makes this class work. He can floor a foe's saves and attacks with a touch, then follow it up with a Quickened Blindness or Hold Person, he can radiate a miasma of confusion that disrupts a sea of foes or he can just go berserk with that big heavy ball n' chain.

Dwarven 2nd level Wild Rager / 18th level Theologian (Madness Domain)
Dwarven favored class option for Clerics, Craftsman, Deep Warrior, Minesight

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 16
DEX - 12
CON - 16 (+2 racial modifier included)
INT - 12
WIS - 16 (+2 racial modifier included, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th & 20th)
CHA - 7 (-2 racial modifier included)

Traits:
Berserker of the Society (+3 rounds of Rage)
Glory of Old (+1 saves vs. spells, spell-like abilities & poison)

Feats:
1st - Power Attack
2nd - [Rage Power: Reckless Abandon]
3rd - Furious Focus
5th - Spell Focus: Necromancy
7th - Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
9th - Spell Penetration
11th - Quicken Spell
13th - Greater Spell Penetration
15th - Extra Channel
17th - Extra Channel
19th - Extra Channel

Skills:
Profession: Miner* - 1/1st level
Knowledge: Dungeoneering* - 1/2nd level
Survival * - 1/level
Perception* - 1/level
Sense Motive* - 1/level

Most times the character will be best suited to casting first, letting someone else take the alpha, shaping the battlefield or locking down a key foe and then stepping in to mop up with some big hits. He'll have some very high ranks in some useful skills, will be a solid spell caster and should be a lot of fun to play. I'm not 100% sold on those Extra Channel feats taken in the later levels, but I wasn't sure exactly what to do with them...

I'm a big fan of 'not quite optimized' characters who have interesting backgrounds and a lot of versatility, so I'm really enjoying this guy and just thought I'd put him out there.


So I'm building a standard Summoner, one that lets its Eidolon do the fighting up front and casts support spells for it and the party in the background. I'm focusing heavily on Conjuration spells (like the Pit spells) and will be taking the Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus feats for it.

I think I'm also going to be taking the Eldritch Heritage feats for the Arcane Bloodline, and with that, at 13th level comes Extra Arcana. I'm trying to decide which spells from the Wizard/Sprcerer spell list to add to my arsenal that Summoners don't already gain access to. At 13th and 15th level I can select any spell of 5th level or lower and at 17th level I can select any spell of 6th level or lower. Also at 17th level I'll be gaining 'School Power' which would give my Conjuration spells an additional +2 DC. With high DC's and no feat room for Spell Penetration, I'm trying to get as many spells that ignore SR as possible.

Advice?


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I was at the local gaming store discussing a practical way to engage in low-magic Pathfinder (among other things) and one of the patrons there told me the way his group had done it, an option I thought surprisingly elegant.

He said that when they leveled, they got the standard WBL in 'points' rather than gold that they could spend to gain buffs or upgrade buffs analagous to what they would recieve from standard magic items, but only if their character was eligible to recieve those buffs.

For instance, the following buffs could be purchased using WBL points:

Shield bonus to AC
+1 (1,000)
+2 (4,000)
+3 (9,000)
+4 (16,000)
+5 (25,000)

Armor bonus to AC
+1 (1,000)
+2 (4,000)
+3 (9,000)
+4 (16,000)
+5 (25,000)

Natural Armor bonus to AC
+1 (2,000)
+2 (8,000)
+3 (18,000)
+4 (32,000)
+5 (50,000)

Costs for special abilities stacked as usual, so if someone decided they wanted a +2 Armor bonus to AC and the Brawling property reflected in their character abilities, it would cost them 9,000 (or the appropriate amount to upgrade).

Some minor tweaks had to be made along the way on a case by case basis, and the characters still recieved wealth (though a good deal less) as well as actual magic items (though also much fewer - like 1 major and 1-2 minor items each on average and all of them more or less unique), and consumables like potions and wands still had to be purchased with that reduced wealth. All in all he said its been working really well for them.


Under its entry, it specifies that Brawling can only be applied to 'light armor', and I'm not sure if clothing classifies as light armor. I know that it can recieve enhancements but the rules can be tricky with Brawling - for instance, Bracers of Armor can be enchanted with armor enhancements and provide an armor bonus and actually fit on your arms with which you might do most of your brawling, but can't RAW be enchanted with the Brawling enhancement...


Would using a shield in any way interfere with:

Using a Style feat?

Using unnarmed strikes with TWF (not attacking with the shield)?

Both?


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This build was designed to be a killer, a melee damage-dealing force of nature. It's important to understand that while it has above average saving throws and its share of defensive tricks, its most definitely not a tank. In fact, its best defense is the fact that foes will be reluctant to attack him in favor of less dangerous targets. It's particularly deadly to enemy spellcasters and once the Battlesnake gets within arm's reach, that's usually all she wrote. The build was inspired by fictitious characters like Bruce Lee and Lady Shiva, but I imagine in practice the fighting style is more akin to that of modern day commandos - quick controlled movements that keep the opponent off balance and target vital areas with lethal force. Potential liabilities of the character include the lack of any legitimate ranged threat and the inability to heal himself when injured.

For race we'll be going with the ever-popular Human, primarily to take advantage of Focused Study and the extra skill point gained each level - this character looks to be a more skilled Fighter than most, with high ranks in Perception, Sense Motive, Acrobatics and Stealth. For traits, Heavy Handed is a must, but the other can be a matter of personal taste - I chose Auspicious Tattoo for thematic purposes, but Reactionary and Carefully Hidden are other good options.

The Monk levels
The first two levels taken are that of the Monk archetype Master of Many Styles. Many character origins can be explained as having learned to fight in a secluded monastery or as the pupil of a revered Master before circumstances led him to a life of adventure rather than one of contemplative asceticism. Those two levels of Monk lay the foundation for what the character will become and offer a wide range of benefits:

* the Improved Unarmed Strike feat for free
* d6 damage die with unarmed attacks
* the option of dealing lethal or non-lethal damage with unarmed attacks without penalty
* the removal of 'off-hand' damage penalties, which is essentially the same as getting the Double Slice feat for free and improves the effectiveness of Piranha Strike
* a boost to saving throws over that of a traditional Fighter which equates to gaining the feats Lightning Reflexes and Iron Will for free
* the Stunning Fist feat for free
*two free style feats that are free from the normal pre-requisites
* the ability to add Wisdom to AC when not wearing armor
* a wider array of useful class skills, including Acrobatics, Perception and Sense Motive
* Evasion, which goes a long way in a Dexterity-based build

There are other benefits to making unarmed strikes one's weapon of choice. They count as light weapons for the purposes of TWF, all of your weapon-specific feats apply to both of them (Focus, Specialization, etc.), you'll always have your weapon drawn and, ah - on hand (heh) and you'll be immune for all practical purposes to Disarm and Sunder manuevers. Additionally, your high Sense Motive score will make you virtually immune to Feints and Bluffs.

Feat Selections:
1st - Weapon Finesse
1st - Skill Focus: Sense Motive
1st - Improved Unarmed Strike
1st - Stunning Fist
1st - Snake Style
2nd - Snake Fang

By second level missed melee attacks will provoke an AoO from you, and if you hit, you get another free of charge. You'll also be able to use a Sense Motive check against 1 attack per round in place of your AC (even vs. touch attacks). At low levels when foes are limited in action economy, this is huge.

The Fighter levels
Levels 3 through 17 will be taken as the Fighter archetype Brawler. He loses Weapon Training but gains Close Combatant which is superior (faster progression, +2 damage) and while that might keep him from being able to use Gloves of Dueling, he still qualifies for the benefits of Brawling armor which are roughly the same and cheaper as well. The Brawler class features of Menacing Stance, No Escape and the feat Standstill which they receive for free makes up a large part of why this character is so dangerous. With proper feat selection, casters will suffer a -8 on Concentration checks when you're threatening and 5-foot steps won't allow casters or archers to get beyond your reach. Even melee types will take a penalty to hit you just from being near.

Feat Selections:
3rd - Combat Reflexes
3rd - Two-Weapon Fighting
4th - Mantis Style or Boar Style
5th - Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
6th - Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike
7th - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
8th - Skill Focus: Perception
8th - Disruptive
9th - Piranha Strike
10th - Greater Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
11th - Stand Still
12th - Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
13th - Improved Critical: Unarmed Strike
14th - Greater Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike
15th - Critical Focus
15th - Sickening Critical
16th - Skill Focus: Acrobatics or Stealth
16th - Staggering Critical
17th - Critical Mastery

By 3rd level it won't be uncommon for you to be getting anywhere from three to six attacks each round with regularity. Keep in mind that your Snake Fang counter-attacks will only work against targets in reach, so make sure to stay close to your foes. At 4th I chose a second Style feat in Mantis style. I feel that Stunning Fist is a very useful ability at lower levels and even sometimes later on, particularly against foes with low Fort saves like spellcasters. Of course it only works if it works, and Mantis Style gives you an additional use each day and a +2 DC to saves against it. A good alternative would be Boar Style which would round out your unarmed damage types (pierce, slash and bludgeon) and let you deal an additional 2d6 rend damage pretty much every round. Just remember whichever option you choose, you'll need to spend three ranks on the appropriate skill (Heal or Intimidate) to qualify.

Most of the remaining feats are pretty standard - Disruptive is taken to maximize Menacing Stance and Standstill is taken at the same level you gain No Escape. At later levels I ramp up the Critical feats; unarmed strikes may have a lower incidence of critical hits but with the number of attacks you'll be getting on average and the static bonuses your attacks will receive to damage it really seems like a no-brainer to maximize your chances of cashing in. Plus, I like the thematic fit of hitting those pressure points and vital areas.

The Wizard levels
So by 17th level you've become quite the dealer of death and you have to ask yourself, what do a handful of extra Monk or Fighter levels really get me in the late-game? The answer is very little. On the other hand consider the benefits of 3 levels of a Transmuter specialist Wizard:

* the Scribe Scroll feat and all those spell trigger options opening up a host of useful items (like wands)
*a Greensting Scorpion familiar gets you +4 initiative which is like the Improved Initiative feat for free. You also gain Alertness from having a familiar which gives you a substantial boost in the much-used Perception and Sense Motive skills
* a bump in Will saves which is comparable to getting the Iron Will feat for free (again)
* a selection of useful spells and cantrips which will make a much bigger difference in the late game than a couple of extra BAB points
* a +1 enhancement bonus to your Dexterity

Taken as a whole, that's a pretty good deal for a couple of levels. By the time you're in that rarified air it should be fairly easy to fill your spellbook with useful spells and wands of Cat's Grace and Enlarge Person should always be on hand. You'll likely be wearing light armor for your entire career (a Brawling chain shirt being my strongest recommendation), so make it mithril and feel free to cast spells with relative impunity.

Feat Selections:
18th - Scribe Scroll
19th - Stunning Critical or Improved Initiative

Equipment-wise, the real priorities for you will be an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists and a Brawling suit of light armor, both of which you should be able to get fairly early on - almost everything else is lagniappe.

Below is the character in its entirety. Feel free to play around with it and make any adjustments that might better suit your tastes and play-style. If anyone has any questions or comments, by all means let fly.

Spoiler:
Human 2nd level Monk (Master of Many Styles) / 15th level Fighter (Brawler) / 3rd level Wizard (Transmutation)
Focused Study option, Fighter favored class (hit points)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 12
DEX - 16 (+2 racial modifier, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th level)
CON - 14
INT - 12
WIS - 14
CHA - 7 (+1 at 20th level)

Traits:
Heavy Hitter (+1 damage with unarmed attacks)
Auspicious Tattoo (+1 Will saves)

Feats:
1st - Weapon Finesse
1st - Skill Focus: Sense Motive
1st - Improved Unarmed Strike
1st - Stunning Fist
1st - Snake Style
2nd - Snake Fang
3rd - Combat Reflexes
3rd - Two-Weapon Fighting
4th - Mantis Style or Boar Style
5th - Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
6th - Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike
7th - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
8th - Skill Focus: Perception
8th - Disruptive
9th - Piranha Strike
10th - Greater Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
11th - Stand Still
12th - Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
13th - Improved Critical: Unarmed Strike
14th - Greater Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike
15th - Critical Focus
15th - Sickening Critical
16th - Skill Focus: Acrobatics or Stealth
16th - Staggering Critical
17th - Critical Mastery
18th - Scribe Scroll
19th - Stunning Critical or Improved Initiative

Skills:
Acrobatics (1 @ 4th - 20th level)
Climb (1@ 1st level)
Swim (1@ 2nd level)
Stealth (1/level)
Perception (1/level)
Sense Motive (1/level)
Heal or Intimidate (1 @ 1st - 3rd level)

Equipment:
Light Armor or Bracers of Armor (Brawler), Amulet of Mighty Fists (Agile)


Could I cast Summon Monster to appear just on the other side of a door for instance, or while beneath the ground via a burrow?


By 13th level Bards can begin a Bardic performance as a swift action and presumably end one as a free action - so what about Inspire Greatness? It grants 2 HD and temporary hit points to go with it. Could a bard end and begin Inspire Greatness every round on his turn to 'refresh' those temporary hit points?


A character with a bonded item like a weapon or ring to enchant that item as if it were a wand? Same triggers, same actions to use, same costs - with perhaps the caveat that only the bonder can use the item as a wand.


Dumb question, I know, but I haven't run a Cleric once during my entire time playing Pathfinder nor ever played alongside one. The answer, I assume, will also apply to Spell Penetration feats and Crafting feats as well.


Nobody in our group ever plays a Cleric - for some reason the general mechanics and feel of them doesn't appeal to anyone. I've finally decided to throw my hat in the ring and take a break from the usual bad@ss melee types I tend to play.

My vision is a Dwarf who delved too deep in his youth and was captured for a time by the abominations that dwell below... he escaped, his sanity already tweaked by what he had witnessed and fled as long and far as he could from his captors, eventually escaping into the world above witnessing for the first time the night sky - endless, boundless, infinite and filled with stars staring down at him. It broke a part of the agoraphobic dwarf's mind, trapped between the madness below and the infinite above, and he has become convinced of the inevitable end of everything at the hands of this alien presence.

Technically he's a Cleric of Azathoth, though he is less a follower of the Old One and more a herald of his arrival and eventual dominion, devoted to staving off that eventuality but deep down convinced that its inevitable. He's going to be twisted, kind of off-his-rocker and will be played as both tragic and comic at times, given to disturbing mutterings and unerving speeches at the most inopportune times - kind of a 'Rasputin the Mad Dwarf', so to speak.

So I'm going Dwarf, obviously, and Evangelist with the Madness Domain selected. He'll take the Deep Warrior racial option for flavor though I don't view him as a combatant - he just doesn't have the feats to be an effective one I don't think. He'll also take the favored class option to make full use of that excellent Madness Domain 1st level granted power as both a buff and debuff in and out of combat. I think I've got a handle on how I want to distribute his attribute points though I'm not married to it - what I'm trying to figure out is his feat selection.

The character is probably going to play as a pure support type, using Vision of Madness, Aura of Madness, spells and Sermonic Performance to buff/debuff and then his healing ability between battles more often than not. I'm not sure where to go with feats beyond Lingering Performance and Discordant Voice (which fits the concept perfectly) - he's going to have a very high Wisdom but a very low Charisma so I'm thinking about loading up on Channelling feats, particularly Extra Channel... but with the Evangelist's already reduced Channelling ability, I'm wondering if that's an efficient use of the character's relatively few feats.

Here's what I'm thinking, but I'm not sure its the way to go. Any advice would be most welcome (on feat selection or any other aspect of the character).

Traits:
Glory of Old
Exalted of the Society

Feats:
1st - Lingering Performance
3rd - Extra Channel
5th - Extra Channel
7th - Extra Channel
9th - Selective Channel
11th - Discordant Voice
13th - Quicken Spell
15th - Extra Channel
17th - Extra Channel
19th - Extra Channel


Alright, I finally put together the Witch build I've been working on - its a class I have absolutely zero experience with, but I'm really excited about some of its possibilities.

The concept is a Lawful Neutral or a Neutral Good character, one for whom death is neither a thing to be feared nor evil in and of itself. Rather, it is a part of the natural order top be embraced when the time comes. The character also recognizes the cruel injustice of a life made harder than it should be through suffering inflicted by others or - even worse - cut tragically short before their time. That's a large part of her motivation for adventuring, to alleviate suffering when possible, ease that suffering when its not, and to prevent those whom would end life before its time from doing so by taking the lives they have in forfeit. She has no tolerance for those without respect for life, and just as little tolerance for those who have no respect for death as she finds the undead an abomination of both life AND death.

Mechanically its probably not very groundbreaking - she'll carry a scythe on her back who's literal sole purpose is killing those foes she has rendered helpless, usually through her sleep hex. By my calculations burning a feat on power attack or Arcane Strike would be unnecessary for those purposes, but if someone feels otherwise please let me know. Spell Focus & Greater Spell Focus will be taken in Necromancy to maximize the effectivenss of spells like Blindness, Bestow Curse, Suffocate, etc. She'll play as a battlefield controller and part-time healer with compassion for life but no compunction whatsoever about killing those who's time has come. Her familiar will manifest as a scorpion, and her communion with it will educate her as to the nature of life, death, magic, nature and the harmonious secrets of the universe. I'm trying to decide on a Death or Healing (Life) Patron at the moment, thinking that if I take Death I'll eventually take the Life-Giver Hex and if I go with healing I'll eventually take the Death Hex. The Summon Spirit Hex at higher levels would be used to summon some sort of avatar of death as she and it grow ever-more intimate.

I figure taking Craft Wand will be useful for ubiquitous low-level spells like Cure Light Wounds, Enlarge Person and False Life while the eventual Cauldron/Witch's Brew hexes should keep us well-stocked in potions at the higher levels. Of all my hexes, those potion-brewing ones are the ones I'm most unsure of - we rarely play into the higher levels and even more rarely have access to magic items on-demand. Saves should be solid, as should hit points with a decent Constitution and eventual Toughness, Initiative should be high from the get go... any thoughts are welcome.

Witch build:

Spoiler:
Human 20th level Witch (Death or Healing Patron)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 12
DEX - 14
CON - 14
INT - 16 (+2 racial bonus, +1 @ 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th)
WIS - 12
CHA - 7 (+1 @ 20th)

Traits:
Reactionary
Focused Mind

Familiar:
Greensting Scorpion

Feats & Hexes:
Feats:
1st - Accursed Hex
1st - Hex: Slumber
1st - Spell Focus: Necromancy
2nd - Hex: Healing
3rd - Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
4th - Hex: Misfortune
5th - Craft Wand
6th - Hex: Cackle
7th - Spell Penetration
8th - Hex: Evil Eye
9th - Greater Spell Penetration
10th - Hex: Major Healing
11th - Split Hex
12th - Hex: Retribution
13th - Quicken Spell
14th - Hex: Hag's Eye
15th - Extra Hex: Cauldron
16th - Hex: Witch's Brew
17th - Toughness
18th - Hex: Summon Spirit
19th - Split Major Hex
20th - Hex: Life-Giver

Skills:
Knowledge: Arcana* (ranks 1-20)
Knowledge: History* (ranks 1-20)
Knowledge: Nature* (ranks 1-20)
Knowledge: Planes* (ranks 1-20)
Spellcraft* (ranks 1-20)
Perception (ranks 1-20)
Survival (ranks 1-20)
Heal* (ranks 8-20)
Fly* (ranks 16-20)


I'm expanding into some new classes that I don't have much experience with and at the moment I'm making my first witch. My concept was to initially make him a viable frontline fighter at those earlier levels which reward such and giving him the added bonus of a Slumber curse and a little coup de grace action. As the character evolved, he would turn into a buffer, de-buffer and healer, leaning heavily on curses rather than spells, in part so that he could comfortably wear heavy armor. As an aside the character would also be highly skilled.

The character will be taking 1 level of Witch, then four levels of Weapon Master Fighter to get in Weapon Training, Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization before going Witch the rest of the way. Since I'm taking Furious Focus I'm trying to decide if the Cornugon Smash/Dreadful carnage route would be a viable option despite my Charisma being so low - figure I could work in a skill Focus: Intimidate somewhere in there if I wanted to. Anything to help reduce those saving throws.

I'm very unfamiliar with feats for Witches - I assume there are no non-3PP feats that will increase the DC's of the Witch's Hex? I'm still trying to get my mind around the best way to use/augment/ignore my Witch's Familiar as well. Making use of Cackle, can I have multiple Hexes running - for instance, can I use Fortune on an ally one round, Cackle the next as a move action and put Misfortune on an enemy as a standard action, then use Cackle to perpetuate them both thereafter?

Any advice for additional feats or making changes would be most welcome as I learn more about the nuances of this class.

Spoiler:
Human 4th level Weapon Master (Scythe) / 16th level Witch

Attributes:
STR - 14
DEX - 12
CON - 12
INT - 18 (+2, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th)
WIS - 8
CHA - 7 (+1 at 20th)

Traits:
Magical Knack
--

Feats:
1st - Power Attack
1st - Arcane Strike
2nd - Weapon Focus
3rd - Accursed Hex
3rd - Weapon Focus: Scythe
4th - [Weapon Training +1]
5th - Weapon Specialization: Scythe
5th - Arcane Armor Training
6th - Hex - Fortune
7th - Arcane Armor Mastery
8th - Hex - Cackle
9th - Furious Focus
10th - Hex - Misfortune
11th - ???
12th - Hex - Evil Eye
13th - ???
14th - Major Hex - Retribution
15th - Split Hex
16th - Major Hex - Major Healing
17th - ???
18th - Major Hex - Healing
19th - ???
20th - Major Hex - Vision


I've been playing around with a build designed to hit really hard once per round (among other things), trying to maximize it through non-lethal damage. The current build is listed below for the curious, but the reason I'm posting is that a number of questions have come up with regards to how non-lethal damage interacts with a variety of abilities, specifically:

Does Offensive Defense benefit from the additional Sneak Attack dice provided by Sap Master?

Does Underhanded benefit from the additional Sneak Attack dice provided by Sap Master?

Does Hunter's Surprise benefit from the additional Sneak Attack dice provided by Sap Master?

Does Corngon Smash activate when damage dealt is non-lethal?

Does Dreadful Carnage trigger when a creature is reduced to 0 hit points by non-lethal damage?

When foregoing a sneak attack die for Brutal Beating, do you lose 1 die from sneak attack and as a result 1 die from Sap Master or just 1 die total?

The confusion arises from some basic wording throughout, specifically whether 'non-lethal damage' counts as 'damage', whether being brought 'below 0 hit points' counts if you're below zero due to non-lethal damage and whether or not the bonus dice in Sap Master count as 'sneak attack dice'. Any help would be much appreciated.

Current build:

Spoiler:
Human 4th level Two-Handed Fighter / 16th level Thug & Scout
Focused Study, Favored class option for Rogues (3rd - 14th level)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 16 (+2 racial bonus)
DEX - 12
CON - 13 (+1 at 4th level)
INT - 12
WIS - 8
CHA - 14 (+1 at 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level)

Traits:
Defender of the Society
Carefully Hidden

Feats & Rogue Talents:
F1 1st - Power Attack
F1 1st - Furious Focus
F1 1st - Skill Focus: Survival
F2 2nd - Bludgeoner
R1 3rd - Sap Adept
R2 4th - Strong Impression
R3 5th - Eldritch Heritage Feat (Orc Bloodline) - Touch of Rage
R4 6th - Combat Trick: Cornugon Smash
R5 7th - Sap Master
R6 8th - Skill Focus: Intimidate
R6 8th - Offensive Defense
R6 8th - Weapon Training: Earthbreaker
R7 9th - Vital Strike
R8 10th - Underhanded
R9 11th - Improved Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline) - Strength of the Beast
R10 12th - Hunter's Surprise
R11 13th - Iron Will
R12 14th - Hard to Fool
R12 14th - Opportunist
R13 15th - Dreadful Carnage
R14 16th - Unwitting Ally
R14 16th - Skill Focus: Bluff
R15 17th - Greater Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline) - Power of Giants
F3 18th
F4 19th - Improved Vital Strike
F4 19th - Weapon Specialization: Earthbreaker
R16 20th - Feat: Greater Vital Strike

* If your GM allows Quicken SLA for Touch of Rage or Power of Giants, take it in place of Weapon Specialization. Also, consider taking Unarmed Strike to be able to use your non-lethal abilities without a weapon

Skills: (10 ranks/Rogue level, 4 ranks/Fighter level, all skills are class skills)
Survival (1-20)
Climb (1)
Swim (1)
Ride (2)
Handle Animal (2)
Bluff (3-20)
Diplomacy (3-17, 20)
Intimidate (1-20)
Acrobatics (3-17, 20)
Stealth (3-17, 20)
Perception (3-20)
Sense Motive (3-17, 20)
Sleight of Hand (3-17, 20)
Knowledge: Local (3-17, 20)


We've had instances of this in recent campaigns where the player wanted to be one race mechanically but another race for RP, flavor purposes. One wanted to play a Rogue using human racial stats and abilities but conceptually preferred the idea of an uncharacteristically viscous elf. Another wanted the Kitsune's mechanical benefits but preferred to be a human for RP purposes.

Has anyone else ever done this and what are your thoughts about the practice in general? In both cases it seemed to work out fine since the changes were cosmetic. I can understand the game preferring to keep the races unique from each other but in practical application I can't see a reason to forbid the practice...


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I'm specifically asking in regards to the Charm/Hold/Dominate Person line. Would they affect...

A goblin?

A gnoll?

An ogre?

A giant?

A troll?

A succubus?

A vampire?

A merman?

A naga?

A human polymorphed into a dragon?

A dragon polymorphed into a human?


I was recently remniscing with an old friend about the earlier adventures we had played that we had enjoyed most - the Dragonlance campaign, The Scourge of the Slave Lords, the Temple of Elemental Evil (both times), the Desert of Desolation, Queen of the Spiders... ah, good times. An eternal thank-you to Tracy Hickman and Gary Gygax for the profound effect they've had on my gaming life.

Anyway, we both agreed that probably the best campaign we'd ever run was the second Ravenloft adventure, The House on Griffon Hill which was run simultaneously with the original I6 Ravenbloft module as a series of dream sequences... when the PC's went to sleep in one they awoke where they had gone to sleep in the other and back and forth, with the 'dream' adventure giving valuable clues to the shared history of Griffon Hill and Castle Ravenloft.

It occurs to me that we haven't really seen a gothic horror-type AP. Rise of the Runelords had plenty of what I consider to be 'modern horror' (serial killer Skinsaw Man, in-bred hillbilly Kreeg Ogres, the Wendigo and canibalism 'cabin-in-the-woods' style) and it was bone-chilling, but nothing that gave a nod to the classic horror we all grew up on. I'd love to see something done with that, especially by the quality writers at Paizo.


Trying to put the finishing touches on a Sorcerer and I'm considering taking Spell Perfection: Summon Monster IX at 19th level.

Would Spell Perfection double the benefits of Augment Summoning?

Would Spell Perfection double the benefits of Superior Summoning?

Would a Quickened Summon Monster Spell would allow monsters summoned to act on the round they were summoned, and if so, would it allow them to take a standard action or would they be able to take a full turn (full attack, standard+move, etc.)?


As it reads, the only requirement to use Stunning Fist is that you declare it before the attack roll - it doesn't call for a standard action, for instance. Following that logic, would it be safe to assume that I could use Stunning Fist as part of a full attack action, use it multiple times in a round and even use it as part of an Attack of Opportunity?

Also, damage is still dealt as normal when using Stunning Fist, correct?


They can't even hold onto whatever is in their hand but they're still able to resist mental controls and dodge lightning bolts with the same alacrity?


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I'm going to be putting together a folio of sorts on my character builds, consolidating them in one place with some break-downs as to their strengths and weakness... but in the meantime, I'll be posting them individually to get feedback and invite discussion. My newest build has been dubbed 'The Battlesnake' by a member of our group whom has just started playing it, and if you ever wanted to see how dangerous an unarmed character could be, this is it.

This build was designed as a killer, a melee damage-dealing force of nature. It's important to understand that while it has above average saving throws and a couple of defensive tricks, it is absolutely not a tank and would benefit most from a party capable of combat healing. He (or she) is a particular danger to enemy spellcasters and once they get within arm's reach of them, that's usually all she wrote. The build was inspired by such historical and fictional characters a Bruce Lee and Lady Shiva though I envision the style of fighting more akin to what modern day commandos and secret operatives might use - quick, controlled movements disrupting attacks and striking vital areas with lethal force.

We begin by taking a single monk level in Master of Many Styles and then going with the Fighter's Brawler archetype the rest of the way. Levels 17-20 can optionally be used to pursue the Urban Barbarian class instead if one wishes (detailed below). The reasons why we choose Monk initially are both for mechanical benefit as well as for role-playing purposes - the character's history begins as a promising outlander student in a martial arts monastery who was either cast out or decided to strike out on his own once the aesthetic lifestyle failed to take root in him. That one level of Monk grants us:

* the Improved Unarmed Strike feat for free
* a d6 damage die with unarmed attacks
* the ability to deal lethal or non-lethal damage with unarmed attacks without penalty
* the removal of 'off-hand' damage penalties, which is the same as getting the feat Double Slice for free and increases the benefit of Power Attack or Piranha Strike
* a boost to saving throws that amount to receiving the Iron Will and Lighting Reflexes feats for free.
* a free style feat, in this case either Boar Style or Mantis Style
* the Stunning Fist feat for free
* the ability to add our Wisdom modifier to AC when not wearing armor
* a wider array of class skills than the Fighter offers, including Acrobatics, Perception and Sense Motive all of which are useful in the build

Some other benefits of focusing on using unarmed strikes as our weapon of choice is that we immediately become immune to Disarm and Sunder attempts, you'll always have the weapon you're most proficient with on hand (heh) and will always have a weapon drawn. Additionally your high Sense Motive score will make you virtually immune to Feints when in combat and Bluffs when not. Potential liabilities of the character are that he has little ranged ability to speak of and can't heal himself when injured. His reach will be limited to adjacent targets. For a front-line fighter his hit points and AC will be just average, though he will be able to take advantage of the defensive benefits of Snake Style.

The favored class will be Fighter obviously and will take the traditional 1 hit point/level route.

Attributes:
STR - 12
DEX - 16 (+2 racial bonus, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th level)
CON - 14
WIS - 14
INT - 12
CHA - 7 (+1 at 20th level)

Attributes are based on a 20 point buy. The minor bumps to Strength and Intelligence are for skill purposes as much as anything else. Dexterity is the primary stat followed by Wisdom and then Constitution. The low Charisma can be played up as surly, aloof, withdrawn or prone to making incredibly insightful but equally inappropriate observations (remember, the character will have both high Perception and Sense Motive skills).

Traits:
Heavy Hitter
Auspicious Tattoo

Heavy Hitter adds +1 damage to unarmed attacks, making it a no-brainer, and Auspicious Tattoo boosts my lowest saving throw (Will). Other solid options might be Bullied (+1 attack rolls when making AoO's unarmed), Resilient (+1 Fortitude saves), Deft Dodger (+1 Reflex saves) and Reactionary (+2 Initiative).

Feats:
1st - Improved Unarmed Strike (Monk)
1st - Boar Style or Mantis Style (Monk)
1st - Weapon Finesse
1st - Skill Focus: Sense Motive (Human - Focused Study)
1st - Stunning Fist (Monk)
2nd - Two Weapon Fighting (Fighter)
3rd - Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike (Fighter)
3rd - Snake Style
5th - Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike (Fighter)
5th - Piranha Strike
7th - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (Fighter)
7th - Combat Reflexes
8th - Skill Focus: Perception (Human - Focused Study)
9th - Snake Sidewind (Fighter)
9th - Snake Fang
11th - Agile Maneuvers (Fighter)
11th - Standstill
13th - Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (Fighter)
13th - Improved Critical: Unarmed Strike
14th - Disruptive (Brawler bonus feat in place of Standstill)
15th - Greater Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike (Fighter)
15th - Greater Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike
16th - Skill Focus: Acrobatics (Human - Focused Study)

Some points about feats:

Master of Many Styles lets you take a Style feat for free and without pre-requisites at 1st level. Boar Style allows you to deal Slashing or Bludgeoning damage with unarmed strikes (Snake Style will add Piercing damage later at 3rd level) and will also add 2d6 of Bleed or Rend-type damage every round you hit with two or more unarmed strikes, depending on which interpretation of the style you prefer. Alternately, Mantis Style will give you an additional use of Stunning Fist each day and add +2 to the DC of the save against all of your stunning fist attempts. Both are excellent options in the early going with slightly diminishing returns as you level up.

With a high Sense Motive skill, Snake Style will effectively allow the character to avoid one attack each round at the cost of an immediate action - to include touch and ranged touch attacks. Starting at 9th level, every single miss by a foe within reach will provoke an attack of opportunity while using this style (and you'll have at least 6 a round to play with).

Combat Reflexes is a pre-requisite for both Standstill and the Snake Style feat line.

Focused Study works to increase several vital skills, particularly Sense Motive which powers Snake Style's defensive option, Perception which is one of the most-used skills in the game and a rare boon for Fighters and Acrobatics which uses your extremely high Dexterity score to help keep you safe on and off the battlefield.

As mentioned, Piranha Strike grants full damage benefits to all your attacks as Monks have no 'off-hand'. Accuracy is more important than damage though, and this build draws bonus damage from many different sources, so use the feat wisely.

At 11th level the character has the class features Menacing Stance and No Escape, along with the Standstill feat - as such, adjacent opponents will find it nearly impossible to move away from you even with a 5' step, will suffer penalties on their attack rolls and adjacent casters will have a very difficult time casting spells. Things get even worse for casters when you add Disruptive at 14th level.

Levels 17-20 can continue on along the Brawler Archetype advancement and take the critical feats outlined below - unarmed strikes are hardly the best critical option out there, but you should have many, many opportunities to land critical hits (7 attacks per round without Haste at 17th level plus just as many potential AoO's), and the ability to Sicken/Stagger foes is as much a defensive boon as it is an offensive one. There is no saving throw versus Sickening Critical (who's penalties stack with Menacing Stance) and its saving throw penalty may be immediately applied to that of Staggering Critical when inflicting both conditions via Critical Mastery.

Brawler (levels 16-19)
17th - Critical Focus
17th - Sickening Critical
19th - Staggering Critical
19th - Critical Mastery

Alternately, the character can take four levels of Urban Barbarian instead. This offers the option of Focused Rage which allows them to increase Strength, Dexterity or Constitution depending on circumstances without suffering a penalty to AC. The benefits extend beyond combat, aiding in skill checks, attribute checks and saving throws as well. They also gain Crowd Control which the Brawler should find useful. If this option is taken, I recommend the following feats & Rage Powers instead, being mindful of the prohibitions surrounding Superstition:

Urban Barbarian (levels 1-4):
17th - Extra Rage
18th - Superstition (Rage Power)
19th - Extra Rage
20th - Auspicious Mark (Rage Power)

Skills: 4 ranks/level

Acrobatics (1/level)
Climb (1 @ 1st level)
Swim (1 @ 1st level)
Stealth (1/even level)
Survival (1/odd level)
Sense Motive (1/level)
Perception (1/level)

The character will at most be wearing light armor, though Bracers of Armor would be ideal - as such Acrobatics should be very effective for getting around the battlefield and closing with foes quickly. Sense Motive is maxed out to use Snake Style to its full potential while Stealth and Perception are among the most used skills in the game. All skills are class skills by 2nd level. If you decide to go the Barbarian route, you'll get two extra skill points per level - consider using them to bolster your Swim, Climb, Survival or Stealth scores.

Equipment:
Light armor or Bracers of Armor with the Brawling enhancement, Amulet of Mighty Fists with the Agile enhancement

Normally I'm not a very big fan of including equipment as part of a build, but the Brawling enhancement is to this character what Gloves of Dueling are to most Fighters and its generally cheaper besides. Bracers of Armor allow you to gain the full benefit of both your Dexterity and your Wisdom bonuses to AC without any armor penalties to skill checks. The Agile enhancement allows you to use your Dexterity modifier for damage which makes it a must as well and an Amulet of Mighty Fists does not need to have an enhancement bonus to accept other weapon enhancements. Other suggested items would be a Cloak of Resistance as high as you can afford, Rings of Protection and Free Movement, Boots of Speed, a headband for Wisdom and a belt for Dexterity or Dexterity & Constitution.

Below is a basic breakdown of how the character would look statistically at levels 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th with what would be considered standard magical equipment. These numbers are meant to give an idea only as I haven't double-checked every single number yet. Its assumed that this particular example chooses Mantis Style at 1st level and continues on through Brawler to 20th rather than Urban Barbarian.

Character stats by level:

4th level w/full equipment

Spoiler:
AC 18, HP 34 (1d8+3d10+11), Fortitude +7, Reflex +7, Will +6
Stunning Fist 2/day (DC 16), Snake Style / Sense Motive +14
Attack: +9/+9
+3 [BAB] -2 [TWF] +4 [Dex] +1 [Focus] +1 [Close] +2 [Brawling]
Damage: 1d6+7
1d6 [Unarmed] +1 [STR] +1 [Trait] +3 [Close] +2 [Brawling]
Equipment: (6,000)
Brawling Bracers of Natural Armor +1 (4,000), Ring of Protection +1 (2,000)

8th level w/full equipment

Spoiler:
AC 21, HP 70 (1d8+7d10+23), Fortitude +9, Reflex +9, Will +7
Stunning Fist 3/day (DC 18), Snake Style / Sense Motive +18, Menacing Stance: -1 attack/-4 concentration
Attack: +16/+16/+11/+11
+7/+2 [BAB] -2 [TWF] +5 [Dex] +1 [Focus] +2 [Close] +2 [Brawling] +1 [Amulet]
Damage: 1d6+15
1d6 [Unarmed] +5 [Dex] +1 [Trait] +4 [Close] +2 [Brawling] +2 [Specialization] +1 [Amulet]
Equipment: (33,000)
Brawling Bracers of Natural Armor +2 (9,000), Ring of Protection +2 (8,000), Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists +1(16,000)

12th level w/full equipment

Spoiler:
AC 25, HP 106 (1d8+11d10+35), Fortitude +15, Reflex +16, Will +12
Stunning Fist 4/day (DC 20), Snake Style / Sense Motive +25, Menacing Stance: -2 attack/-5 concentration
Attack: +21/+21/+16/+16/+11
+11/+6/+1 [BAB] -2 [TWF] +5 [Dex] +1 [Focus] +3 [Close] +2 [Brawling] +2 [Amulet] +2 [Belt] -3 [Piranha]
Damage: 1d6+25
1d6 [Unarmed] +5 [Dex] +1 [Trait] +5 [Close] +2 [Brawling] +2 [Specialization] +2 [Amulet] +2 [Belt] +6 [Piranha]
Equipment: (108,000)
Brawling Bracers of Natural Armor +3 (16,000), Ring of Protection +3 (18,000), Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists +2(36,000), Cloak of Resistance +4 (16,000), Belt of Dexterity +4 (16,000), Sustaining Spoon (5,000)

16th level w/full equipment

Spoiler:
AC 34, HP 133 (1d8+15d10+47), Fortitude +20, Reflex +19, Will +17
Stunning Fist 5/day (DC 24), Snake Style / Sense Motive +31, Menacing Stance: -3 attack/-6 concentration
Attack: +27/+27/+22/+22/+17/+17
+15/+10/+5 [BAB] -2 [TWF] +6 [Dex] +2 [Greater Focus] +4 [Close] +2 [Brawling] +2 [Amulet] +2 [Belt] -4 [Piranha]
Damage: 2d6+31
1d6 [Unarmed] +1d6 [Shocking] +6 [Dex] +1 [Trait] +6 [Close] +2 [Brawling] +4 [Greater Specialization] +2 [Amulet] +2 [Belt] +8 [Piranha]
Equipment: (315,000)
Brawling Bracers of Natural Armor +7 (64,000), Ring of Protection +5 (50,000), Agile Shocking Amulet of Mighty Fists +2(64,000), Cloak of Resistance +5 (25,000), Belt of Might +4 (Dex/Con, 40,000), Headband of Mental Prowess +4 (Int - Fly, Swim/Wis, 40,000), Winged Boots (16,000), Handy Haversack (2,000), Sustaining Spoon (5,000)

20th level w/full equipment

Spoiler:
AC 37, HP 229 (1d8+19d10+119), Fortitude +25, Reflex +23, Will +21
Stunning Fist 6/day (DC 27), Snake Style / Sense Motive +42, Menacing Stance: -4 attack/-7 concentration checks
Attack: +34/+34/+29/+29/+24/+24/+19
+19/+14/+9/+4 [BAB] -2 [TWF] +6 [Dex] +3 [Belt] +3 [Amulet] +2 [Greater Focus] +5 [Close] +2 [Brawling] -5 [Piranha] +1 [Ioun Stone]
Damage: 1d8+1d6+36
1d8 [Unarmed] +1d6 [Shocking] +6 [Dex] +3 [Belt] +3 [Amulet] +1 [Trait] +7 [Close] +2 [Brawling] +4 [Greater Specialization] +10 [Piranha]
Equipment: (880,000)
Brawling Bracers of Armor +7 (64,000), Agile Shocking Amulet of Mighty Fists +3 (100,000), Belt of Physical Might +6 (Dex/Con - 90,000) , Ring of Protection +5 (50,000), Ring of Freedom of Movement (40,000), Headband of Mental Prowess +6 (Int - Fly, Swim, Knowledge: Nature/Wis - 90,000), Winged Boots (16,000), Cloak of Protection +5 (25,000), Monk's Robe (13,000), Handy Haversack (2,000), Ioun Stones (Pale Green Prism - 30,000 & Dark Blue Rhomboid - 10,000), Stone of Good Luck (20,000), Sustaining Spoon (5,500)

[There is room left in the 20th level equipment limit to purchase both a Manual of Quickness of Action +4 and a Manual of Calm Reflection +4 as well, though those enhancement bonuses have not been figured into the stats above)]


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Okay, the first and third tiers of the Boar Style feats read as follows:

Boar Style
Benefit:
You can deal bludgeoning damage or slashing damage with your unarmed strikes—changing damage type is a free action. While using this style, once per round when you hit a single foe with two or more unarmed strikes, you can tear flesh. When you do, you deal 2d6 bleed damage with the attack.

Boar Shred
Benefit:
You can make an Intimidate check to demoralize an opponent as a move action. While using Boar Style, whenever you tear an opponents flesh, once per round at the start of that opponents turn he takes 1d6 bleed damage. The bleed damage dealt while using Boar Style persist even if you later switch to a different style.

The confusion seems to be exactly what is bleed damage and what is actually intended to be 'rend' damage? Does the bleed damage (whether 1d6, 2d6 or 3d6) stack with itself each time it is applied? How exactly do these two style feats work together?


Benefit: While using the Snake Style feat, when an opponent’s attack misses you, you can make an unarmed strike against that opponent as an attack of opportunity. If this attack of opportunity hits, you can spend an immediate action to make another unarmed strike against the same opponent.

I read this as I can make a counter attack against someone who has missed me with an attack so long as they are within my reach and I have remaining Attacks of Opportunity. Additionally, I can chose to spend an immediate action any time after I successfully hit to add in an additional attack that does not count as an AoO.

So theoretically, with a Dexterity of 18, I could make five attacks after five misses against me and a sixth attack at some point as a follow up if I hit?


From the Fighter archetype Brawler:

No Escape:At 9th level, taking a 5-foot step out of the area of a brawler’s menacing stance or moving out of the area of a brawler’s menacing stance with a withdraw action provokes an attack of opportunity from the brawler.

And Standstill, which they get as a free feat at 13th level:

Standstill:When a foe provokes an attack of opportunity due to moving through your adjacent squares, you can make a combat maneuver check as your attack of opportunity. If successful, the enemy cannot move for the rest of his turn. An enemy can still take the rest of his action, but cannot move. This feat also applies to any creature that attempts to move from a square that is adjacent to you if such movement provokes an attack of opportunity.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this means that a Brawler should be able to stop a person from taking a 5' step by succeeding in combat maneuver, yes?


Flair for Combat:

Combat is an instinctive thing for you, even if you haven't been classically trained as a warrior.

Your BAB counts as 1 higher for the purposes of qualifying for combat feats and other abilities. It does not affect your attack or combat manuever rolls.

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What d'ya think. eh? Pretty cool?

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