Storm Hag

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Gargs454 wrote:
So when creating/modifying monsters how much do things like immunity and resistance etc., affect CR?

This is a purely subjective, and are things the GM needs to consider in the overall balance of the monster. In general a monster's offensive capabilities are more impactful than defensive ones, and the only defensive abilities you should be mindful of are those that render a monster completely impervious to common tactics.

Gargs454 wrote:
He's been trying to combine the various types of golems with the hopeful (though likely not entirely fulfilled) end goal of creating a golem with all of the benefits of multiple golem types without any of their weaknesses. The idea would be to combine say Clay, Iron and Stone golems to get their advantages (and any healing from certain damage types) without suffering the susceptibility to slow and the like.

Not at all; golem weaknesses are too specific and circumstantial for removing them to be worth an increase in CR. Since you're keeping all the other stats the same, the CR shouldn't change. CR is only a rough ballpark estimate in how challenging a monster is to defeat; depending on party composition or situation it could be much easier or harder. Obscure or situational weaknesses therefor should not factor in.

A good way to think about this is through CR equivalencies: two CR 14 monsters should be roughly as challenging as three CR 13 monsters, since both are CR 16 encounters. Does the removal of weaknesses make two Iron Golems as challenging as three standard Iron Golems with their weaknesses? In almost all cases the answer is obviously "no", the loss of one body drastically cuts the HP and damage output of this mob and renders them much easier to brute force regardless of any weaknesses.


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Valtrax wrote:

You can’t do that the rules won’t let you… Blood Rager is a mix of barbarian and sorcerer

You cannot multi class as a Barb or a sorcerer

This is untrue. This was a rule in the original beta test of the ACG, but it was removed from the final printing. There is no restriction on multiclassing Bloodrager/Barbarian/Sorcerer.

We're pretty much all pedantic nerds here, which means we do, in fact, pay attention to fine details. Fine details such as the fact that you just marked your own post as a favorite ;-)


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Unfortunately you can't choose not to take class features. This is an unusual circumstance, and the best you could do is pick an archetype that trades away Monster Lore and Cunning Initiative.


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1) Inconsistent, but potentially powerful. The Consume Life ability doesn't work if you (or an ally) knock an enemy straight from above 0 to dead in a single hit, doesn't work if they're a construct, swarm, or undead, and doesn't work if you're in a social situation that doesn't strictly involve combat, and doesn't work when you need to capture enemies alive or (since you're non-evil) it would be immoral to execute them. That's a long list of caveats. However, when it does work you can have virtually limitless arcane reservoir which is very cool. Note that Necromantic Focus doesn't prevent you from replacing necromancy spells using Quick Study, so it's not as limiting as it first appears.

2) Put the 18 in intelligence, preferably with a racial bonus to back it up, the 15's in Dexterity and Constitution, and the others don't really matter. Putting the 8 in strength will mean bad carrying capacity, putting it in wisdom will mean bad will saves, and putting it in charisma will mean bad social skills.


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Yqatuba wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Wait, are we talking gender or biological sex? Changing gender is a bit more complicated.
Biological. If a spell can change a human into a dragon or elemental, just changing their gender should be easy.

You're conflating "gender" and "sex". They're two different things that are commonly mistaken as synonyms. It's generally understood that the Girdle of Opposite Gender just swaps your sex and nothing else gender-related (which is a nuanced subject, so I'll just link a Wikipedia article rather than going into detail of gender here). blahpers was pointing out that if it actually swapped gender it would be drastically more complicated.


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Given the plethora of half-breeds implicit in the Pathfinder rules, I tend to think that "life finds a way" is a good rule of thumb to go with. Exactly how is best left unmentioned.


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Wonderstell wrote:
I figured "tome eater" was a joke about consuming knowledge. But nope. Literally eats books.

My first introduction to that archetype was in an AP. Three glorious words: Otyugh Tome Eater.


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Magda Luckbender wrote:
How is Vital Strike, already a mediocre feat, even useful to any sort of Wizard? Seems like a poor idea from the start. High BaB requirement feats are supposed to be inaccessible to Wizards ...

It's almost certainly a polymorph build that uses a natural attack that has a huge number of damage dice to begin with. Normally these kinds of builds are done with the Druid, but there's no reason you couldn't do it as a Wizard, provided you go into EK to actually meet the feat prerequisites.


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It's a 3.5 feat that never got converted to Pathfinder, sadly. Magical Knack is the closest we have.

Tangentially related, we have the Prestigious Spellcaster feat. It only works on prestige classes with "dead" spellcasting levels, and is only gives back one level, but it gives you spells known and spell slots and not just caster level.


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Fumarole wrote:
Are your players racist, or do you suspect them to be so? If not then I don't really see how this is a problem. If so then you might want to find new players anyway.

If you wait until you've already made your players uncomfortable with the content or presentation of your campaign, then you waited too long. It's not that Captain Morgan is intentionally including racist caricatures in his game (because it seems very clear to me from what he's said that he would never do that, and his players doubtlessly know him better than I do), but rather that the presentation of the charau-ka veers close enough to an existing caricature that real-world racists use. Even though it's not the intended interpretation, that connection could make the experience very uncomfortable for one or more players, which is the kind of intrusion we don't want to seep into our escapism.


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Claxon covered the big issues.

It's worth noting that at these levels that the Shadow Enhancement for armor is really affordable at these levels. +5 competence bonus to stealth for 3750 gp and effectively being a slotless augmentation of your armor is a really sweet deal. Improved and Greater are also incredible, but those get very pricey very fast.

Always remember to apply bonuses and penalties! Enemies making opposed perception checks take a -1 penalty for every 10 feet of distance between you. If you're sneaking past at a 30 ft distance, that's a free -3 to their perception. Bad lighting and conditions can also help you.

The big problem with stealth is party dynamics. Unless the entire party is built for stealth, some people will be left out of stealthy shenanigans and that can cause friction. If your party is open to stealthy tactics, however, it's a great option that can frequently be part of your overall solutions.


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Thomas Seitz wrote:
2. I've not actually chosen a race for this build, but I was considering human yes, and the FCB for it wasn't quite the consideration but it might be for this.

It's worth noting that the Human subtype is sufficient to meet the prerequisites in this case. That means that half-elves and half-orcs qualify, and there are alternative racial traits for many outsider races (like Ifrit or Aasimar) that give them the human subtype and qualify for this FCB.


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Wonderstell wrote:
Mobile Bulwark Style. The feat line is superior to the archetype and many benefits don't stack, so I'd not take the archetype.

Too many feats out there to keep track of. Good that someone remembered that one.

Also, I recalled that there's is a feat called the Tower Shield Specialist that lets you apply your armor training bonus to tower shields.


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No; the loss of spells known is absolutely crippling and not worthwhile. If you want to have access to the healing spells and still do some blasting, just take Blood Havoc as a Unicorn Sorcerer; you won't be a specialized blaster without taking the appropriate bloodline, but you'll still be decent.

avr wrote:
I don't think you can take a bloodline mutation with crossblooded.

Crossblooded Sorcerers can only take bloodline mutations in the place of bloodline feats, so it is substantially delayed but you can get all three of them.

Thomas Seitz wrote:
Stormborn isn't a mutation that I'm aware of, Avr. Unless we're talking about a different bloodline. But I could just do that.

avr is presuming (and I am, for that matter) that if you're taking the Stormborn bloodline you intend to use blasting spells of the lightning or sonic damage type. Ordinarily you would use the Blood Havoc bloodline mutation in this case, which allows you to trade away your 1st level bloodline power in exchange to deal +1 damage per damage die rolled. However, bloodline mutations cannot be swapped out in this manner if an archetype has modified your bloodline... which crossblooded does.

Thomas Seitz wrote:
Other question in relation, would taking White Mage archetype arcanist still allow me to take School Understanding exploit so I could get admixture school from evocation or not?

The White Mage is eligible for the School Understanding exploit just like any other Arcanist, and Admixture is a valid choice. So yes, you could do this.


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Davor Firetusk wrote:
I did not find Roderic's Cove to be anything special on read through, but the rest ends up feeling pretty epic.

I think one thing we can agree upon, if nothing else, is that Roderic's Cove does not fit in tone or style with the rest of the AP. It's an open sandbox focused on the immediate problems of a small rural town, with a strong focus on the personal connections your party builds with that town and its inhabitants. Then the rest of the AP is an extremely linear series of escalating conflicts, with the PC's never staying in one place for long and where the only NPC's with names worth remembering are the handful of characters of legendary proportions.

Davor Firetusk wrote:
By book 2 it is reasonably clear where things are going, but still leaves plenty of mystery.

That's sort of where I see the problem; book 2 tells you where it's going... and then that plot hook is summarily ignored for the next three volumes as it throws a breadcrumb trail of tangentially-related adversaries in your general direction. It's not until book 5 that you actually pick up on the trail of Alaznist, and even then you don't really find out anything of substance until the massive exposition dump at the start of book 6.

Spoiler:

Book 2 kinda feels directionless after you complete your immediate goal of shutting off the portal and confirming Alaznist isn't there anymore. Literally the only thing keeping the party here is the suggestion to "find Thybidos", something that turns out to be a big nothing-burger. He can't tell the players anything of real significance, Sorshen doesn't even mention it when they meet her, and it's never actually established why she told them to seek him out at all.

Book 3 feels like out of place filler, completely ignoring the plot hooks it just dropped to chase after Alaznist to instead give the players a chain of side-quests that lead them to confronting Zutha. It just feels like an arbitrary and contrived series of events, and the constantly changing locales doesn't do it any favors as the PC's never have the time to let it become anything more than a blur. I'm sure this chapter would be more meaningful if you've played the associated Paizo AP's, but without a pre-existing attachment to these NPC's or places they just whiz by too quickly to have any impact.

Book 4 continues the trend of pointing the parties at runelords other than Alaznist, but it's the execution that's the big problem here. The temple complex simply has a bad dungeon layout. The whole peacock shrine mechanic basically forces the players to clear out each section in sequence, and the roleplay opportunities are ultimately wasted because the moment the party tampers with the peacock shrine the occupants of the area raise the alarm and turn hostile. The Viridian Transcendence ritual in part 1 is also obnoxious, with skill checks that are outright impossible for most parties to succeed, a ridiculous 10k gp cost, and it takes longer to research than it it takes a party of this level to make the overland journey to the temple complex the old fashioned way.

Now I actually like book 5, but I feel it suffered immensely from trying to cover too much in one volume. The titular city outside of time feels incredibly rushed and under-developed, with important buildings and areas being glossed over. Belmarius' palace is little bigger than my grandparent's old single-story bungalow, and it's one of the few buildings that even gets a map at all. Part 1 isn't a bad adventure in its own right, but it's filler. A GM could skip it entirely and your players would never even realize the content was missing. Why it's there when the rest of the volume is criminally short-changed for page space is a mystery to me.

Finally, we get to book 6 is where the actual main plot begins... and because the PC's have been kept almost completely in the dark up until this point it opens with a staggering amount of exposition. It then drops a convoluted quest on the players that has a solution so obtuse it feels like it came out of a classic Sierra game. The first half of this volume feels like it's flailing randomly, although thankfully once you get to the time travel stuff it gets into its groove and at very least the AP ends strong.


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Animal Domain or the Animal Ally feat will do it. The Boon Companion feat can help bring the progression up to match that of a Cavalier or Druid.


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Just increase the loot drops in combat encounters. Find an NPC that would otherwise have masterwork weaponry and give him a +1 weapon instead. Or put a wand in another NPC's back pocket. Or maybe that NPC wizard the party defeated had like 50 spells transcribed into his spellbook and it's worth around 2000 gp. This is believable treasure that these kinds of adversaries might reasonably own, and it doesn't take long for generous drops like these to bring up the party's overall wealth level.


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I created a Random Spellbook Generator a few years back that could help tremendously with filling out spell lists. This makes it really easy to get a baseline selection of spells, and then you can just swap out a few to personalize the list. This really takes the edge off the most time-consuming part of producing wizard NPC's.

In terms of 4th-8th level wizards, I actually do have a 6th one on-hand that I statted up recently and have in a presentable form:

Necromancer Wizard:

Necromancer
XP 1,600
Half-Elf Necromancer (Undead Master) 6
NE medium humanoid (Human,Elf)
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, perception -1

AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 18 (+1 dex, +4 armor, +4 shield)
hp 41 (6d6+18) plus 10 temporary from false life
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +5
Defensive Abilities elven immunities

Speed 30 ft
Melee +1 dagger +4 (1d4+1/19-20)
Special Attacks channel negative energy (DC 15, 8/day), Grave Touch (8/day)

Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 6th; concentration +11)
3rd - Halt Undead (DC 19), Stinking Cloud (DC 17), Slow (DC 17), Vampiric Touch (DC 19)
2nd - Acid Arrow, False Life, Ghoul Touch (DC 18), Mirror Image, Spider Climb
1st - Cause Fear (DC 17), Mage Armor, Ray of Enfeeblement (DC 17) (2), Shield
0th - Detect Magic, LightO, Read Magic
Opposition Schools Enchantment, Evocation

Str 12, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats Eschew Materials, Improved Channel(B), Skill Focus (Spellcraft)(B), Spell Focus (Necromancy), Greater Spell Focus (Necromancy)
Skills Appraise +14, Bluff +6, Knowledge (Arcana) +14, Knowledge (Planes) +14, Knowledge (Religion) +14, Spellcraft +17, Stealth +8
Equipment +1 bone dagger (bonded item), Cloak of Resistance +1, potion of cure light wounds, scroll of sleep, scroll of true strike, Metamagic Rod (reach, lesser), spellbook, 12 onyx gems worth 25 gp each
Languages Common, Elven, Goblin, Halfling, Necril, Orcish
SQ Bonded Item (Dagger), Necropolitan (Ex), Reanimator (Su)

Spellbook
Value 915 gp
Pages Filled 53/100
Spells
3rd Animate Dead, Halt Undead, Stinking Cloud, Slow, Vampiric Touch
2nd Acid Arrow, Animate Dead (lesser), Command Undead, False Life, Ghoul Touch, Mirror Image, Spider Climb
1st Cause Fear, Chill Touch, Identify, Mage Armor, Mount, Ray of Enfeeblement, Repair Undead, Shield
0th Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Bleed, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Disrupt Undead, Ghost Sound, Light(O), Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Open/Close, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Resistance, Touch of Fatigue


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The Antipaladin code of conduct actually has a nice out: "An antipaladin’s code requires that he place his own interests and desires above all else" Antipaladins are allowed to do nice things, so long as it's for a selfish reason.


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The Combined Spells class feature isn't very relevant. It's very rare that you'll want to spend a 4th level spell slot with your arcane class to cast a 3rd level divine spell or vice-versa, and even less so since you're spontaneous on both sides. I've run Mystic Theurge NPC's a few times, and have never had occasion to use the Combined Spells. However, the very delayed spell level progression is a substantial issue. I'm not sure from the context of this thread whether you're starting at higher levels or playing through the intervening levels, but it bears repeating that Sorc/Oracle Theurge is just plain nasty to play at low levels.

Scrolls are not useful for blasting. They're expensive and use minimum caster level and DC, so they tend to deal far less damage. If you want to blast, make sure the spells are on your list of spells known. Scrolls are much better when reserved for utility spells.


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The spell doesn't address whether the grease is visible, which leads me to believe that it is visible. Being transparent and difficult to spot would be a very noteworthy property, and I would expect to see a mention to perception DC's if that were the case.


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Tangent101 wrote:
I wish I was running this AP in the near future now so I could use it... sadly, my groups will likely stick with 1st edition for years (especially as it will TAKE years to finish Hell's Rebels with one 4-hour session every 2-4 weeks, and my RoW game being every other week) so by then I'll probably sadly forget. :/

I don't know if it'll be useful to you given your group is currently preoccupied, but I did do a 1st edition Conversion guide for Hellknight Hill (direct google doc link), and plan to convert the entire AP in time.


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A) At high levels this will work. At low levels it will be utter maoschism. As avr points out it's well into its groove by 13th, but at something like 9th level you'll still be on 2nd level spells while a Wizard has 5th levle spells.

B) If you're going with the Stormborne bloodline, then the Stormsoul is the obvious choice. It literally gets a bonus for having that bloodline!

Thomas Seitz wrote:
That and +1 to electrical attacks.

Unfortunately the Stormborn bloodline only improves your spell DC's, not damage, and damage is your problem. Your unfavorable multiclassing really hurts you in this regard. To rectify that I recommend taking the Blood Havoc bloodline mutation and the Spell Specialization feat to help compensate for this. Empower Spell would be very helpful as well.

At high levels, using Magical Lineage and Spell Perfection on Chain Lighting would allow you to cast Quickened Chain Lightning as a swift action using only standard 6th level slots. Very nice for electric blasters, letting you blast while casting another spell on the same turn. You can take the Exemplar of Mystic Secrets trait, along with the Additional Traits feat, to take both Magical Knack and Magical Lineage.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Phalanx Fighting is a single Class Ability: no Feat Tax. When it comes to cost, 1 is better than 2.

Losing Weapon Training is vastly worse than paying 2 feats. Fighters have no shortage of bonus feats. What they need are strong options to spend them on, and Weapon Training is a prerequisite for some of Fighter's best options. Heck, taking a 2-level alchemist dip for a vestigial arm is less expensive than losing Weapon Training.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Shield Brace lets you fight with a pole arm while using a shield, but Pike and Shield lets you 2 weapon fight with Pole Arm and Shield (or Armor Spikes).

If you're using a reach weapon then this doesn't work without some way to shorten the haft, since reach weapons and shields don't have overlapping threat range. A spiked shield is still nice so you have an option for enemies that close in tightly, but you wouldn't two-weapon fight with it.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Plus, using shield Brace comes with an Attack Penalty = the Armor Check Penalty of the Shield: -1 for a Light Shield, -2 for a Heavy Shield.

Masterwork eliminates the penalty for the light shield, and personally I don't find heavy shields worth using. They completely occupy your hand, and if your other hand is occupied by a weapon this leaves you without any free hands to do things like open doors, manipulate/grab objects, drink a potion, etc. I find that loss of flexibility isn't worth a mere 1 extra point of AC over what the light shield offers. (edit, and as Wonderstell notes you can use unusual materials to eliminate the heavy shield ACP too)

Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Here's a build that uses Phalanx Solder, uses a Pole Arm, and gets Attacks of Opportunity, and uses Tripping.

...Halberd...

Why even use the Phalanx Soldier archetype in the first place if you're just going to use a halberd? The entire point of the archetype is using reach weapons in one hand. It's completely pointless for anything else since you could have just used a one-handed weapon instead.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
How's that?

Characters with the armor training class feature can ignore the Shield Focus feat as a prerequisite for shield mastery feats. Armor Training, Weapon Training, and Bravery have all been stealth-buffed with successive releases because there are very powerful options that take them as prerequisites or give additional bonuses for having them. Most old Fighter archetypes are just straight downgrades now because they lock you out of your best options.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I'm not aware of this. Which Feat?

Armed Bravery. It's an Advanced Weapon Training option, but Fighters can take that as a bonus feat once they have Weapon Training. At the levels we're talking about it's not any better than Iron Will, but at higher levels +4 or +5 to all will saves is so good as to be basically mandatory, and is a huge loss for any Fighter archetypes that trade off Bravery or Weapon Training.


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Dexius wrote:
Someone posted a few years back and I'm cuirous how they have so many attacks at 5th lvl

They can't. Whoever posted this misunderstood how Double-Barreled pistols work.


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The [Evil] descriptor has historically been applied rather inconsistently. I pay little heed to alignment descriptors, myself, and I'd advise GM's to simply apply their own judgement in these sorts of cases.


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I did a couple conversions to get you started. The stats aren't too hard; you just convert over what you can (+6 strength modifier in PF2 is equal to 22 strength in PF1), cross-reference with PF1 monster creation guidelines, and recalculate other stats from there. The abilities are a little trickier, but I think I kept with the spirit of the creations.

For the Doorwarden I removed the redundant reactions and changed the others to better comport with PF1. After doing a faithful conversion, I added 2 points of Intelligence so it could be invested in two skills (Intimidate and Perception) to better fit with the abilities of its PF2 counterpart. It's overall above-average for a CR 5 monster, so I decided against adding the SR a construct would normally have (it's still got regular construct immunities, however).

Doorwarden:

Doorwarden - CR 5
XP 2,400
N Large Construct
Init 0; Senses low-light vision, see invisibility; perception +9

AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (+8 natural, +2 shield)
hp 63 (6d10+30)
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +5
DR 5/bludgeoning
Immune Construct Traits

Speed 20 ft
Melee Longsword +12/+7 (2d6+6/19-20) or Heavy Steel Shield +12/+7 (1d10+6)
Reach 10 ft

Str 22, Dex 11, Con -, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha[/b] 14
Base Atk +6; CMB +13 (+15 bull rush), CMD 23 (25 vs bull rush)
Feats Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Shield Bash
Skills Intimidate +8, Perception +9
Languages Elven
Equipment Large Longsword, Large Heavy Steel Shield

Imitate Door (Ex)
The Door Warden can stand perfectly still and appear to be a mundane door. A successful DC 25 perception check can see through this ruse. A Door Warden can take no actions while pretending to be a door.

Shield Block (Ex)
Whenever an adjacent creature makes a melee attack against the Doorwarden, the Doorwarden can make a bull rush as an immediate action against that creature. The Door Warden must have its shield equipped to perform this.

Slam Doors (Ex)
As a full-round action a Doorwarden can make two attacks with its shield at its full attack bonus against a single creature within its reach. If both attacks hit, it grabs the target.

Emperor Bird was a pretty effortless conversion. The only question was how to handle the degrees of success. In the end, I decided to cut to go with a weaker version of its critical failure effect.

Emperor Bird:

Emperor Bird - CR 2
XP 600
N Medium Animal
Init +3; Senses Perception +1

AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 11 (+3 dex, +1 natural)
hp 13 (3d8)
Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +2

Speed 20 ft, fly 30 ft (average maneuverability)
Melee Bite +5 (1d6+2), Tail Slap +0 (1d6+1) (reach 10 ft)

Str 14, Dex 17, Con 11, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha[/b] 16
Base Atk +2; CMB +4, CMD 17
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +9

Dazzling Display (Su)
As a standard action the Emperor Bird flaps its mesmerizing wings. Each creature within 15 feet that can see the Emperor Bird must make a DC 14 will save or be confused for 1 round. On a successful save, they are merely dazzled for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is charisma-based.

Tail Lash (Ex)
As a full-round action the Emperor Bird can make two attacks with its Tail Slap against two different creatures. It treats its tail slap as a primary attack when doing this


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The fastest way to qualify is really cheeky, but can be done at 5th level. You qualify using the Teleportation Mastery feat. A Weapon Master Fighter 4 / Barbarian 1 (you can substitute any class with strong fortitude saves) can use their Fighter bonus feat on Advanced Weapon Training and use that to select an Item Mastery feat. This leaves your regular 5th level feat available for Dimensional Agility.

Other than that, 7th is the earliest it's possible to get Dimensional Agility, and even then most builds are waiting until 9th. The combination of high prerequisites and a long feat chain severely limits what kinds of builds can realistically go for the Dimensional Dervish approach. It comes so late that just stopping at Dimensional Agility and using Quickened Dimension Door is a much more appealing alternative, one that doesn't incur a tight range limit on you (although it does consume your swift action economy, which can be a big deal for some builds). If you had some way of getting Dimension Door as a SLA you could qualify earlier, but I don't believe anything other than the Item Mastery route is possible. The Shift power of the Teleportation subschool wizard is sometimes mentioned, but it's a supernatural ability that works like Dimension Door rather than a spell-like ability proper so it doesn't qualify you for the feat (it does benefit from the feat, however)

7th level is the earliest you can conventionally qualify. Summoner, Travel Domain Cleric, Witch, and Wizard can all qualify. The Summoner isn't conventionally a melee attacker, but he's a 3/4 BAB 6-level caster who doesn't care about spell DC's or require much in the way of feat investment so you can definitely build him that way if you want. Cleric is well-suited to pulling this off, although you'll need to invest even more feats to get around the limit on domain slots so you can cast ddoor more than once per day. Witch is the interesting one, since Strength patron Witches usually delay their entry into Eldritch Knight until after they have 8 levels of Witch to get their 4th level patron spell, which means you could take Dimensional Agility as your 7th level feat and start the feat chain early. For a Wizard, though, if you're aiming for EK then you really don't want to delay.

In terms of 9th level entry you have Eldritch Knight builds, Horizon Walkers, and Unchained Monks. Magus and other 6-level casters qualify at 11th level.

LordKailas wrote:
Flicking Step I think is intended to allow non-caster martial types access to the chain. But you can't take it until 9th level. There's also teleportation mastery which can be picked up as early as 4th level (based on the skill pre-req) but you'd only be able to use it once per day. Not sure useful it is having multiple feats, much less an entire build that hinges on a once per day ability. :/

Keep in mind that Teleportation Mastery is not a combat feat, and can't be taken as a Fighter bonus feat as a result. So although you can qualify at 4th you can't take it until 5th.

Flickering Step has the interesting property of allowing you to treat the Dimensional Agility feat chain as combat feats, but the fact that it takes up your 9th level feat slot and requires you to have Fighter levels to benefit from that means I can't see a good way of using that.


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It looks like you've got a very ranged-focused party, so why not take the Plant patron to get access to the Entangle spell? This is an absolutely lovely spell to have if you've got lots of ranged attackers in the party.


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Rysky wrote:
She escaped her unlife which was her whole goal. Which is something for PCs to think about. Their sacrifice might permanently destroy Tar-Baphon without needing to destroy his phylactery. Of course it actually leaves it vague if it does destroy her permanently but still.

The PC's don't know that she was intentionally trying to destroy herself permanently. All they see is someone who was attempting to combat the Whispering Tyrant, and now the only person they know who was both willing and powerful enough to actually rival him is gone.

Rysky wrote:
Two shards are required for Radiant Fire to be used, and it's entirely possibly that it needed the "main one" in his hand to even function in the first place.

Based on how the AP is written I would agree that this is the case, that the Whispering Tyrant requires the specific shard that's in his hand. However, the point is that the PC's have no way of knowing that this is the case.

Rysky wrote:
This squarely falls into "easier said than done", no one knows where the remaining shards are, and even if they did that doesn't stop Tar-baphon's advance on Absalom.

In other words, a level-appropriate challenge for 16+ adventurers. They presumably have access to powerful divination magic, have a readily available focus (their obols) for such divination spells to locate the shards, and a level of power appropriate to seek out and confront whatever powerful minions Tar-Baphon has entrusted the shards to.

And if destroying all the remaining shards doesn't stop the Whispering Tyrant's advance on Absolom, then neither will the "heroic sacrifice", as he's still got his conventional undead forces and mythic power in either event.

Rysky wrote:
If. The more likely outcome is they kill the Daemon and get him down to 250 hp. Which is more likely since the party doesn't have any time to prep for the fight.

I'd completely disagree. The daemon is a complete schmuck compared to Tar-Baphon and wasting your time attacking it is utterly foolish. Put bluntly, if the Daemon is actually a threat to your party then Tar-Baphon is probably going to TPK you in no more than 2 rounds.

Shisumo wrote:
Destroying his body does nothing to free the shard. It's as bound to him as the obols are to the PCs; that bond is the only thing that allows him to even use the Radiant Fire in the first place. After all, he's a lich, and the thing is described as causing him continual pain - don't you think he's tried to remove it?

He presumably never tried destroying himself, but it is true that this isn't addressed by the AP.


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OmegaZ wrote:
-The Heroic Final Sacrifice is an established trope that resonates with a lot of people. Properly set up, I believe the ending can be very satisfying to a group.

I would argue that's the key problem with book 6: this heroic sacrifice was not well set up. It's not that a heroic sacrifices are necessarily unsatisfying, it's that this heroic sacrifice is unsatisfying.

First, the AP does a very poor job of telegraphing its own direction. The whole heroic sacrifice thing comes out of left field in book 5, and is strongly undermined by Arazni's sacrifice in book 4. While it may have been the author's intent for Arazni's sacrifice to foreshadow the PC's own and serve as an example to follow, in reality she achieved nothing of consequence. As a result it feels much more like a parable of foolishness than an example to follow.

Second, the PC's actually don't have enough information to commit to the sacrifice, since they have no reason to believe that the Whispering Tyrant needs the specific shard in his hand to act as a focus. The Whispering Tyrant still has 4-5 shards remaining after the sacrifice, and if he can use one of them as a replacement focus then - just like Arazni - they'll have achieved nothing of consequence.

Thirdly, there's a fairly obvious non-suicidal course of action for the PC's to take: finding and destroying the 6 remaining shards. A heroic sacrifice just becomes parody fodder when there's a non-suicidal course of action that makes just as much sense.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would say the PC's are too powerful by the end of this AP for the heroic sacrifice to work. You can say that an 18th level party "won't cut it", but the fact is that if you can get him down to 150 then you can get him down to 0. His phylactery is well and thoroughly beyond the PC's grasp, but they can destroy his current form and - by extension - relieve him of the shard in his hand.


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Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:

Question. I've realized ... a solution to the conundrum regarding the Pcs fate, and i've noticed it's not been proposed yet.

Basically, to get a good ending you just need to ...

The AP simply doesn't address what happens if the PC's do this. Given the kind of power an 18th level party can wield, especially when they've made specific preparations for a particular foe, it seems fairly likely this could happen. He may be mythic, but he still only gets one immediate action per round and could be easily overwhelmed by sheer action economy - provided the players have enough power to follow through. A single optimized blast spell or full attack from a martial could easily deal 150 if it hits cleanly.

The AP also doesn't address other obvious courses of action the players might take:

Spoiler:

* Use divination magic to find and destroy the remaining 6 shards - this is what I thought book 6 would entail because it seems like the most sensible course of action.
* Spending your one turn prior to perma-death to teleport away.
* Targeted Disjunction on the shard in his hand.
* Anti-magic Field to prevent the activation of the Radiant Fire.

Kasoh wrote:
His statblock doesn't list any contingencies declared, but he can cast the spell, so he might have some to protect him from being one shot.

We know what his Contingency is from book 4; it's to teleport away when the Radiant Fire is activated while he's within its area of effect. He already pulled this stunt once on Arazni, no reason he wouldn't have the same Contingency prepped this time around.


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Why not take the Healer's Hands feat instead of multiclassing? It's a pretty solid option for a character who wants to blend a little healing into their character. If you're willing to consider classes other than the Summoner, other options might be the Unicorn Bloodline Sorcerer with some summon-focused feats, or the Monster Tactician Inquisitor. Those are characters that can do both summoning and healing effectively.


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The Invulnerable Rager archetype is a straight upgrade on the vanilla Barbarian, gaining more than it's trading off. This does not make it "too powerful", however. Good archetypes for martial classes are quite frequently unambiguous upgrades, and the Invulnerable Rager isn't out of line with other similarly powerful options. It was maybe arguable back when the APG was new and archetypes were ostensibly supposed to be side-grades, but archetypes that are upgrades are a dime a dozen and uncontroversial in today's Pathfinder.


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pad300 wrote:
or is this pure flim-flammery that's not supposed to be available to PC's?

Fast Healing 5 is not something you would ever make available to a PC as a racial ability, and the ability to see through smoke and fog is an incredibly powerful benefit that straddles the boundary of whether it's ever appropriate as a racial bonus. Definitely "not available to PC's" territory.

If that bothers you (I have a "if it's fine for the NPC's, it's fine for the PC's" outlook myself) then you could swap this out for magical items and spells that provide similar bonuses.


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SorrySleeping wrote:
A normal spell/caster level 1 would be 360g. A once per week would be ~50g (51.4g)

Strongly disagree. That's roughly on par with the pricing of potions, which are single-use items. Something usable more than once should cost more than this.

Especially for utility effects that won't be needed every day, or for campaigns with generous downtime between adventuring days, 1/week isn't that much worse than 1/day. You don't even need to have a week worth of downtime for them to be worthwhile; just get multiple 1/week items and stagger their uses. I wouldn't go any lower than half the price of a 1/day item.


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Miraina is able to detect the obols and even figure out what they are just with Arcane Sight, which means the PC's should be able to detect the presence of the obols with Detect Magic. While the skill check DC's to give more revealing answers should be borderline impossible at the low levels, you could give the PC's retries whenever they gain access to libraries or spend time doing additional research and drip-feed info to them. Miraina in this sense acts as a backup to exposit any details the PC's didn't learn on their own.


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I was having a bit of trouble putting my finger on why the "martyr ending" plot twist sat with me wrong. I'd certainly say that the adventure does a very poor job of telegraphing this to either player or GM, but if it doesn't fit you can very easily remove the perma-death element and proceed more conventionally. After thinking about it a bit, I've come to my answer: this plot twist only works if we're presuming the PC's are metagaming.

Golarion, and most fantasy worlds like it, is chock full of parables of wizards (or their guinea pigs) who were humiliated or killed because things didn't work according to theory. Miraina is a scholar who has never seen living Kumaru in her life; it's a massive leap of faith that her untested theory will work as intended. Even then, there's no assurance that the destroying the shard in the Whispering Tyrant's hand will stop him from using the Radiant Fire - for all we know he could simply use one of his other shards as a replacement focus. Even without the "fate-worse-than-death" martyrdom aspect, this is a longshot plan. The only reason we "know" it will work is because of plot-savviness. If it weren't for PC plot armor guaranteeing their sacrifice will have meaning, this could just as easily be a setup for a fool's sacrifice that achieves nothing of substance.

I would also note it would be possible to enact a version of this plan without even using the obols. Contingencies can be counterspelled, and if the WT tried to pull the same trick he did on Arazni and got counterspelled he'd eat his own Radiant Fire, destroying his body and forcing him to reform without the shard in his hand. Counterspelling is an oft-overlooked strategy, and is one of the few things the Whispering Tyrant has no special precautions against.

Beyond that, I'm quite curious about the obol downgrade. The Heal spell is the bread-and-butter in-combat healing option at these levels, and it does not benefit from maximization at all, so a lot of parties will just have no good way to make use of the new effect. Maybe if you're a paladin or have an allied cleric who loves to channel positive energy to heal it might be useful... but in a campaign like this SR against necromancy and negative energy resistance is really good so it's a pretty hard sell even if you've got good synergy with the other effect. I'm wondering if there's going to be something in book 6 that synergizes with this.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I'm confused. Ninja IS Paizo. It's in Ultimate Combat. It's not 3rd Party at all!

Ninja is Paizo, but they never published an unchained version to correspond with the Unchained Rogue. There are various versions of "unchained ninja" out there that apply the unchained rogue buffs to the ninja, but they're not Paizo-published.

The big problem with core rogue and ninja is that their combat power is bad. Even if you're consistently getting sneak attacks on every hit you're still just mediocre, and defensively you're extremely vulnerable for a melee character. How big an issue of this depends on your group dynamics, but rogues and ninjas can really struggle to have a niche in combat.

As to the original poster, it sounds like your GM is being unreasonable. I can understand putting the foot down on 3rd party, but disallowing archetypes on the Unchained Rogue is just being needlessly punitive. Probably your best option is to go with the Teisatsu Vigilante. Stalker vigilante is basically just a better rogue to begin with, and Teisatsu gives you access to ninja tricks.


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Remotely destroying an object from without even knowing where it is (or even whether it exists at all) or what protection it is under is quite frankly beyond the normal scope of magic in Pathfinder. And given the scope of high-level magic, that's saying something. What you're describing is "Wish" territory, in my view. And even then if the body part in question is an attended object the owner should get a save to avoid it being destroyed.


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Claxon wrote:

Who said the PCs get it as loot?

The NPC can harass and flee before being defeated.

If you send an NPC into battle with the PC's, then you need to accept that he can and probably will die. And when he dies, anything he owns will become property of the PC's. Don't give anything to your NPC's that you'd be uncomfortable falling into the hands of your players.


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That would default to CR = level. However, any time you are custom building an NPC or a monster you should always sanity-test it. Compare it to the monster builder guidelines and see if it's significantly higher (or lower) than expected. There is nothing wrong with ad-hoccing the CR higher if the stats justify it.

When your PC's are really optimized and you're routinely throwing APL+3 through APL+5 encounters at them as their "standard" fights, you may want to consider moving to the slow XP track since fighting such powerful adversaries means you'll get a lot of XP very quickly, but try to keep CR's consistent.


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David knott 242 wrote:
Shocking Grasp damage is supposed to max out at 5d6. How was the magus able to bump that up to 7d6?

Intensified Spell Metamagic, usually combined with the Magical Lineage trait so it's still a 1st level spell. The extra +1 caster level may be coming from Mage's Tattoo (Evocation).

Anguish wrote:
This is a real problem. Since you're playing RoTR, it's safe to assume that the DM isn't home-building encounters. So all the suggestions to throw more/different challenges at the party aren't useful.

Completely disagree here; the entire point of having a GM, as opposed to just playing a video game, is that you have someone who can be responsive to the specific game unfolding at your table. Adjusting combat encounters to deliver the most satisfying experience is part of that job description.

I can understand if you're in organized play and have your hands tied, or if you're a novice GM still learning the ropes, but for an experienced GM making adjustments to an adventure is part of your job. You should have notes prepared for any combat encounters likely to occur in the the upcoming session, and making small adjustments is an normal part of this prep process that you can work into your pre-session routine.


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The way to handle the Magus damage spike isn't to use stronger monsters, but to use more monsters. The Magus has very limited daily resources and against weaker monsters his shocking grasp spike will simply overflow their HP and waste much of his potential. The Magus will still be a beast against boss enemies, but shouldn't completely dominate the field.

The harder thing to handle is actually his AC, since when fully-buffed he can pretty much ignore attacks from any monster below CR 6. The answer here is to fight fire with fire; the enemies should use buffs of their own to close the gap. They don't need that much of a bonus, just enough to make them credible threats; a 25% chance to hit is plenty if there are five or six of them.


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I think we're interpreting that statement in wildly different ways. When I read that, I read it as "these descriptors don't do anything unless there's an explicit interaction stated somewhere", and the only interaction alignment descriptors have with the alignment rules in the CRB is a restriction on spells that are available to clerics based on their deity's alignment.


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KingTreyIII wrote:
Here's something that made me chuckle: The simulacrum has Turn Undead. Pretty sure that's not what it would have from the Necromancy school.

It's technically a legal choice for evil necromancers; unlike clerics they have no alignment-based restrictions on this.

It is worth noting that Turn Undead is actually significantly better than Command Undead if you find yourself battling a rival necromancer. Command Undead has a HD cap that is only a tiny fraction of what an enemy necromancer can bring to bear against you, and even if the targets fail their saves you must still succeed on an opposed charisma check to wrest control from the other spellcaster. From a pure action economy standpoint, Turn Undead is the more useful since it has no target cap and is much more likely to work due to not requiring the opposed charisma check.

While it's not the intuitive choice for an evil necromancer, it's a perfectly valid and justifiable one.


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Mathmuse wrote:
The Pathfinder early firearms were modeled after the flaws of 16th-century firearms so that no player character would want to use one. The firearm and its ammunition are expensive, no-one starts with firearm proficiency, reloading is slow, and a misfire can render the weapon useless.

That is actually one of my biggest complaints with guns: they are not faithful to their real-world counterparts. Gunpowder and shot were quite cheap and easy to produce in bulk, and if anything are easier to train people in their usage than bows. The weapons themselves were far cheaper than bows.

Misfires are a bit more complicated. If you had a well-made and well-maintained gun and you cleaned the barrel between each shot there was no chance of misfire. However, in the heat of battle guns the "clean the barrel" step was often skipped in the reloading process, which could lead to residue build-up and over-heating of the barrel, which would eventually cause a misfire. If your intended use of a firearm weapon was to shoot once and then charge, misfires were a non-issue.

Mathmuse wrote:
Other classes gained gunslinging archetypes, such as Holy Gun for the paladin and Spellslinger for the wizard, that reduced some, but not all, of the difficulties.

Most of those archetypes were outright useless, sadly. Holy Gun in particular goes down as one of the worst archetypes ever.


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Claxon wrote:
Maybe. Perhaps the whole time the spell is in use the eyes magically glow. I don't know if it's clarified whether or not ongoing spells have obvious effects or not.

Would kinda defeat the point of spells like Disguise Self or Invisibility if ongoing spells had continued manifestations for their full durations.

Also there's precedent that glowing eyes will be spelled out explicitly when applicable.


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The biggest unresolved issue with spell manifestations currently is whether or not they have the same level of concealment as the caster. This would determined whether stealth and invisibility can hide spell manifestations, and there's rather big consequences regardless of how you rule.


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Claxon wrote:
It opens up the dual wielding pistol shenanigans that the developers had tried to eliminate by making reloading a huge pain in the ass.

There's already an archetype that solves that problem with only a two-level dip. Still need to invest all the feats in TWF, but it's a pretty solid option.

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