Decimus Drake's page

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I really like the the rarity system. I don't read it as a form of banning any more so than the fireball spell is "banned" because it's only available to casters who are level 5 or higher.

It can help manage player and GM expectations, getting everyone on the same page with regards what spells, items etc. they might be able to find. Thus players can avoid putting together character builds who's effectiveness is entirely dependant on getting a specific magical item or spell.

Gating spells etc. can help limit unexpected actions that circumvent a scenario (I'm actually ok with players doing this). More importantly it presents an opportunity to make obtaining uncommon spells etc. a more significant part of the adventure. So rather than regarding teleportation as a circumvention of a scenario, making obtaining it a possible solution.

I think it might also help encourage players to get a little more invested in the setting which is always a good thing.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Oh, I have no trouble at all agreeing that Wizards are a larger percentage of nobles than they are of commoners. Education costs money, after all.

But it's not gonna be anywhere near all the nobles who are capable of becoming a Wizard, and not all who are capable will do so.

I can agree with this. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't necessarily think all nobles/wealthy people would be wizards but I do think the majority would have enough magical training to activate wands, use scrolls or even cast a couple of cantrips.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
As for those arguing that PCs get to be certain classes because they are exceptional people, well I thinknobles qualify as being exceptional. The clue is in the name "from Latinnobilis "well-known, famous, renowned; excellent, superior, splendid; high-born, of superior birth". But they still lack the capabilities to be anything other than mediocre?
Nobles aren't any more exceptional than anyone else. 'Superior birth' is pretty much a load of crap. A noble can certainly be exceptional, and many are capable of becoming fine Wizards, but no more as a percentage of their numbers than the general population.

Except it would be higher since they have possess material advantages over much of the wider population. That they are born into (or earn) privileged status and makes them exceptions compared to people in wider society and they are of "superior birth" since their birth places them in a superior position is society.

Material advantages is what this is about. All you need to learn wizardly magic is access to sufficient resources; you don't need to be born with a special gift like sorcerers, you you just need money and/or connections. Also I never said they had do be "fine wizards", they could completely suck at it and never progress beyond first level spells.

Vidmaster7 wrote:

It is kind of like asking why aren't all introverts extroverts?

I feel like nobles have a lot of other things to learn too. If they learn mage stuff that's less ruling noble stuff they have a chance to learn.

What's to say these things are mutually exclusive? Knights found the time to train and carry out their duties.

As for those arguing that PCs get to be certain classes because they are exceptional people, well I thinknobles qualify as being exceptional. The clue is in the name "from Latinnobilis "well-known, famous, renowned; excellent, superior, splendid; high-born, of superior birth". But they still lack the capabilities to be anything other than mediocre?

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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Or another kind of spell caster.

Magic gives such a significant advantage over (non adventuring) non spellcasters. I don't mean in combat but in every day life.

Divination especially. Want to find out what's the best thing to invest in for the next year? Divination. Want to know how best to organize your troops? Divination. Want to learn what other nations are doing that might affect yours? Divination.

Then there's Enchantment/Charm magic. Want to improve your negotiations? Either charm them directly or boost your own speechcraft with Enchantment.

And of course, there's the protective aspect. Want to defend against anothers Divinations or Charms or whatever? Abjuration.

Since magic in Golarion has been around since literally the beginning of time, magic use should be well established in the societal/cultural structure of every intelligent nation.

And why Wizards you ask? Because anyone can become a Wizard with training. You need the right bloodline to be a Sorcerer. You need true faith and the acceptance of a god to be a Cleric or Druid.

But a Wizard only needs training. Who can afford that training? The upper classes. Every single noble family, merchant clan or similar group with sense would shell out whatever's needed to train their kids with at least the basics of magic use. Even if it's only to enable them to defend themselves against others.


I pretty much share this sentiment. I wouldn't necessarily say that every person of sufficient material means becomes a wizard or other casting class but I do believe that in such a society magical education and training would be common place among such demographics. The extent of this would vary; including just enough to comprehend what a magic consultant/adviser is telling them, or activate scrolls or wands, or cast basic magic to an extent similar to that of the minor magic rogue feat. I think the majority should have the capability to activate the aforementioned items and cast a couple of cantrips; more uncommon but by no means rare, would be those who learn magic to the extent that they would, in mechanical terms, gain a level in a spell casting class. But even then they might not self-identify as a “wizard” etc.

A theme that tends to emerge in threads such as this i.e. what would nobility do/how would they be etc. is that people seem to have this conception that all nobility are incredibly lazy and possess unlimited funds. RL historically speaking this isn’t the case; the majority of nobles would have had to work hard and yes, compared to your average peasant they would have been wealthy but not to the almost unlimited extent people like to think. Irrc in mediaeval Britain, due to the financial strain involved, there’s instances of nobles lying to the king and saying that there’s plague in the area so he wouldn’t visit them. Nobles were keen on showing off their wealth, this would involve things like serving important guests food flavoured with imported spices from the east and claret from France served Bohemian glassware . I can easily imagine Galorian’s nobles being more than happy to brag about have learned magic from a famous wizard or about how they’ve sent their offspring to study at a prestigious mage academy.

I can certainly imagine bard being a common class among nobility; it has a diverse range of useful skills and there’s no obligation to actually be an entertainer, in fact the 2e CRB even presents being a “charismatic leader” as something a bard might pursue. Rogue (not a magic user class but I’m including it anyway) with Minor Magic feat and Scoundrel racket would fit nicely in noble society (2e CRB mentions politician and diplomat). I can see wizard and cleric (particularly of Abadar) being more uncommon but still widespread among nobility. I think sorcerers would be rare but appear more frequently than among the common folk. You might find the occasional eccentric noble becoming a druid but this would be one of the rarest classes.

To me it makes as much sense for nobles be trained in magic as it does for them to be trained in martial matters, which is a lot of sense because Galorian is a violent and dangerous world full of both mundane and magical threats. Yes they would probably have an adviser on hand but having some knowledge themselves would help them more effectively judge if said adviser is a) the real deal, b) not trying to use magic to take them over and c) if b happens, have some chance of protecting themselves.

That last point just gave me an idea for a wizard character: Lord of noble house is disinterested in magical matters, preferring to rely on hired help. Said hired help turns against the family etc. The lord's child goes on to become a wizard because:

a) The evil wizard is defeated by a band of adventurers but the noble house all but destroyed destroyed. Pivotal in the evil wizard's defeat was a skilled abjuration wizard. Impressed by the abjurer's ability to dispel, counter and banish the foul magics of the evil wizard, the sole survivor decides follow in the abjurer's footsteps and sells what assets remained to fund their arcane education.


b) The child escapes and eventually finds a way to learn magic with the plan of returning and getting vengeance.


c) Child becomes the slave-apprentice to the evil wizard. Eventually assassinates their master before leaving it all behind and becoming an adventurer.

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Rysky wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
Only wizardly magic was explicitly proscribed in Sarkoris. Sorcerers and witches were fine.
No, no they were not.

I’m happy to back up my claims:

Lost Cities of Galorion wrote:
Warlord Uloric Dziergas and his army arrived in the fall of that year with the high witch-wardens of Iz, Undarin, and Dyinglight, who challenged and overthrew the shaman-rulers of Storasta.
Lost Kindoms wrote:
With the spirits of the planes held in the same reverence as the powers of the land, those with the ability to tap into and manifest such forces—such as oracles, summoners, and witches—numbered among the region’s druids as fonts of religious power and leaders of the faith.
Lost Kingdoms wrote:
Every family was expected to support the clan’s faith by promising its third son or first daughter as an acolyte to the cairnhold’s religious leader, typically referred to as druid, priest, witchpriest, or god caller depending on the leader’s abilities and local traditions.
Lost Kingdoms wrote:
….others singling out and personifying the inspirations for their clan’s witches’powers…
Lost Kingdoms wrote:
For example, thewitches of the Stagheart clan claimed to commune with Alglenweis, daughter of Kostchtchie and the legendary Stag Mother of the Forest of Stones
Lost Kingdoms wrote:
Alongside faith in divine powers spread faith in druidic magic, sorcery, worship of godlike visitors summoned from beyond, and the mysteries of witchcraft. Sarkorians came to see the divine in all things, and came to worship much more than gods, even as they learned to dread and distrust the mortal magic of wizards.

Wizard magic is called out specifically:

Lost Kindoms wrote:
the teaching of wizardly magic was strictly forbidden by the country’s priests. Those discovered possessing or practicing such magic were quietly dealt with—they were given the option of either being exiled or sent to the druid-guarded fortress-tower known as the Threshold, where they would be honoured prisoners
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
Only wizardly magic was explicitly proscribed in Sarkoris. Sorcerers and witches were fine.
Looked at Areelu Vorlesh's class lately?

They also imprisoned god callers:

Lost Kingdoms wrote:
it began with the defiant god caller Opon, the cunning witch Areelu Vorlesh, and the wizard-scholar Wivver Noclan.

Only wizardly magic was explicitly proscribed in Sarkoris. Sorcerers and witches were fine.

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I'm interested in seeing what they do with witches in 2e. I loved the 1e witch but hated the way Blood of the Coven solidified certain aspects of the witch/patron relationship; in particular that the witch was basically given all their powers (which I don't think fits well with them being int based) and could now "fall" if they went against their patron in some way (I for the most part view the patron as part power source but mostly teacher). I feel this should have been left vague and up to the player and GM to determine.

I would have liked to of seen some more clarification as to why the witches tended to be viewed with suspicion, lurked on the fringes of civilised society, misunderstood, feared etc. There was even a number of archetypes with witch-hunting as a specific theme. Explanations tended to go along the lines of "people don't quite understand where witches get their power so don't trust them", like your average commoner has a perfect understanding of where wizard, arcanists, sorcerers, oracles, summoners, occultists, psychics, bards, clerics druids and so on get there powers and thus are happy to except them.

In my own headcannon the negative reputation of witchcraft is, for the most part, based on socioeconomic and political factors. To my mind witchcraft is predominately "peasant magic". As such ruling classes, be they aristocratic or of some other sort would predictably be uncomfortable having access to magical power. Wizardry and clerical magics are often subjected to "gate-keeping" by institutions that likely have ties to the ruling elite and benefit from maintaining a degree of magical exclusivity. Having access to witchcraft means there's less need to attend and expensive wizarding academy. If the village has a witch providing remedies then there's little motivation to attend or donate to the local church and the priest's influence is lessened. Many bards are more then happy to propagate tales of wicked witches, in part because a witch can represent competition in providing certain services but most because art and entertainment is often closely intertwined with and operates in service to power.

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RiverMesa wrote:
You'd think there'd be some kind of arcane equivalent to Rahadoum somewhere...


I don't know anything about 3pp so I can't make suggestions there. Since the group lacks a proper caster I'd probably go witch or lore shaman since their spells/hexes draw from both arcane and divine spell lists. I'd then look at options to boost you stealth e.g. familiar, small race, magic, items etc.

I'm not overly familiar with how gestalt characters work but I imagine combining sorcerer with cleric/druid/oracle (any two casters that share a main stat.) should cover most of your casting needs.

What races are the others and what level are you starting at/expted to get to?

Tbh I don't envy you, in your position I'd be overwhelmed by the number of options.

What about having your warlock be a warlock (the vigilante archetype)? You get some spell casting (from the sorcerer/wizard list using magus progression), mystic bolts, light armour proficiency and some other abilities.

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The Scarred Witch Doctor is pretty much an upgrade for a half-orc witch.

Have you looked for more organic ways to communicate the content for the monologue? Imo if a GM wants to monologue they should join a theatre group.

The Feysworn PrC could provide some relevant inspiration (offer entry without meeting prereqs?). Alternatively, in addition to some loot/bonuses you could offer the chance for a free rapid character rework to an appropriately themed class such as the Green Knight.

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Melkiador wrote:
You just need to cast a good descriptor spell for every evil descriptor spell. So, spam that protection from evil spell after each create undead and you're fine.

And this is why alignment descriptors on spells should be ignored; ideally alignment systems are best abandoned altogether. I also find the Occultist's necromancy resonance power irksome; if you want to play a by-the-book good aligned necromancer you'd likely never benefit from from the bonus to animate dead. Personally Paizo should have gone for a more neutral resonance power and had the animate dead bonus as an implement power or part of an archetype.

I've had an idea for a good (in the moral sense) undead using necromancer floating around for a while. He believes that creating and using the undead is not inherently wrong so long as rules are followed.

The core rules are:

1) The reanimated shall preserve the living (in the archaic sense of protect/keep safe from harm).

2) The reanimated must be controlled by the living or contained.

3) The reanimated must be destroyed after a predetermined period of time. This time can vary, it could be be within hours or it could be within years.

People he reanimates fall into three groups:

The Punished: Being reanimated is part of their punishment for crimes committed.

The Penitent: These are usually criminals who volunteer for reanimation to help make up for the wrongs they've committed.

The Pennies: These are reanimated from bodes purchased, usually from families of the deceased or from relevant authorities but some people will sell the right to their body while they still live. If someone volunteers for reanimation (e.g. a soldier wants to keep fighting the enemy even after death) the necromancer would give them a symbolic penny.

The reanimated are treated with respect e.g. bodies are cleaned, maintained etc. With the possible exception of the Punished, the reanimated have their identities concealed as much as possible and are then marked in some way as to clearly indicate their category e.g. Pennies might have a copper coin tied to them, the Penitent might have an altered symbol of a deity of redemption/penitence and the Punished might have brand which also indicates their crime.

While he strives to adhere to all of these principles he is willing to bend of even break them if in dire circumstances where the living are in peril. I'm not sure what alignment the Grey Necromancer would have, probably LN.

So as you can see I've put too much thought into a character that I'll probably never bring to the table since the group of people I play with regard my current character as evil for using the Speak With Dead spell despite my attempts to point out that there is nothing rules or fluff wise about the spell that makes it evil. My point with all if this is that sometimes no matter what you say or do people will have their nonsensical opinions and there's nothing you can do to change that.

Arcane magic was fine in Sarkoris so long as it wasn't of the wizard variety. Bards, sorcerers, witches, summoners (godcallers) etc. were perfectly ok. The thing to remember is there was a core cultural belief that everything is part of nature: angels, demons, magic, cities, all of it. Sarkorians didn't have a problem with arcane magic, they had a problem with wizards who methods were regarded as "re-writing nature". In fact sorcerers, for example, were potentially seen as having a god within themselves so might have be revered and summoners were considered to have the power to manifest local deities or aspects of other gods. There didn't seem to be much distinction between arcae and divine magic.

Sarkoris had major cities e.g. Dyinglight (the spiritual heart of Sarkoris), Storasta (known for its groves and gardens, last to fall to the demons as commemorated in the Song of Sarkoris), Iz (a metropolis) and Undarin (the mercantile heart). I believe druids held most of the political power but had a rather hands-off approach, stepping in only when necessary.I think inter-tribal conflict would be a common feature (raids, blood-feuds etc.) with the druids stepping in if things got out of hand or if unity was need to deal with an external threat.

Iirc the veil between the planes was particularly thin in Sarkoris so think various plane-touched creatures would have been more common. Fey would have definitely have been more common, both of the relatively benign sort and the more malevolent.

You might find the Worldwound Campaign Setting to be particularly informative. It provides quite a bit of information as to how things were prior to the demonic invasion.

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Interesting historical fact: As executioners were often also torturers they would develop a sophisticated understanding of human anatomy (information was also frequently exchanged between members of the close-knit executioner communities) which in turn made them capable doctors. The famous 17th century German executioner Franz Schmidt noted that during his career he'd treated over 15,000 people as a doctor but only executed/tortured/disfigured 700-800 people.

Slumber is a good hex, there's no denying that (unless you're in an undead/construct/elf etc. heavy campaign) but going by my experience Flight is something I benefit from every single session both in combat and out of combat. Slumber has definitely had its moments, such a putting a chimera to sleep mid-flight but the Flight hex has always been a reliable option.

+1 for the Evil Eye love. As a witch it's probably my most used offensive hex on account it's flexible (can't target AC with Misfortune), still applies a penalty on a successful save and you can use it repeatedly on the same target. If I could take only tow of the three hexes I'd go for Evil Eye and Misfortune. Personally I'd go for Flight over Slumber; of all the witch hexes I use Flight the most. You get at-will Feather Fall, a +4 bonus to swim, Levitate 1/day and Fly for 1 minute per level. That's a fair amount of utility for just one hex, though I'm speaking as a witch and the shaman might have better options I'm unaware of.

What I really like about GGoC is not only the immediately apparent benefit of quasi-immunity to fort save effects so long as you meet the right conditions but also the various other functions it can provide.

In addition to the aforementioned coup de grace trick, circumventing SR and consuming poisons, you could also use GGoC to make effective use of a venomous familiar. Have the familiar attack yourself and transfer the poison effect to an enemy as an immediate action. Another use is that it gives the witch a chance afflict the proxy with a -4 penalty vs the redirected effect (though I wouldn't do this with fort save: partial things); with +2 con and the hardy trait a dwarf witch could be rather effective at using GGoC in this way. A further use for GGoC would be to apply touch spells e.g. Slay Living at range; I may suggest this tactic to our cleric. Finally I think it would also be possible to use GGoC in conjunction with Split Hex which would go a long way in improving the efficiency of poisons and spells e.g. apply Flesh to Stone to two targets with a single casting of the spell, while also circumventing any SR they might have and possibly applying a -4 penalty on their saving throw vs the effect.

In the context of drinking poisoned wine and transferring the effect to another I'm inclined to say that observers would not be able to tell there's witchery afoot. Now if a wizard were to cast Flesh to Stone upon a witch but instead a near by ally suffered its effect then I think it reasonable for the wizard to discern what may have happened.

Here's something to ponder: GGoC is a supernatural ability which means it isn't subject to spell resistance. So could a witch circumvent a creature's SR by targeting themselves with a suitable fort save spell and redirecting the effect to the creature?

What about contracts for slaves or assassinations? You could have bodies, parts of bodies or even items crafted from good alighted creatures e.g. body lyrakien azata, metallic dragon scales, Angelskin armour, Unicorn's Blackened Horn etc.

Have you considered tentacles? I wish I knew about the Hand's Detachment feat when I made my witch; not sure how to visualise it learning new spells or my witch communing with his hand each morning to prepare spells.

A Constable?

I don't quite get how he 'thinks himself a rogue' or what this has to do with breaking locks?

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It doesn't need one and there's no reason equate Common to English. Also why fixate on the etymology of trompe l'oeils and not rapier (French),sword (German), dragon(Greek), armour (Latin), Hell (old Norse), path (West Germanic), find (Germanic) and so on.

Magic Circle against Evil also prevents bodily contact from evil summoned creatures.

If the witch casts Magic Circle against Evil on the familiar and then swallowed it would the witch still gain the benefit of the spell? While it could be argued that the witch's body might block line of effect for other creates it would be pretty ridiculous to say the witch isn't effected.

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I didn't think the afterlife in Pathfinder was about reward/punishment but rather the processing of mortal souls (e.g. stripping away their memories etc.) so that they might be subsumed into the plane of either their god or one most closely associated with their alignment?

Of the top of my head classes that can do the raise undead thing:

Druid (Shade of the Uskwood feat)
Witch (Plague patron or Gravewalker archetype)

Any of these strike your fancy?

Magdyyret wrote:
As far as the witch goes, never tried it either, could you tell me about her, some tips, what hexes to pick, a guide maybe?

Tbh I'm unsure if you'd enjoy the general playstyle of the witch since their focus in combat is typically on debuffing and crippling enemies. Witches are level 9 arcane casters with a spell list that's kind of a mix between wizard and druid; you're choice of patron further modifies this list. Of course hexes are the defining feature of the witch; I even think of the witch as a hex user with supplementary spells.

I've written about the witch on the forums before so I'll just more or less copy that:

Race wise just about any race that can get a bonus to int is a good choice. When it comes to feat selection Extra Hex is always a solid choice since many hexes are often stronger than a feat. If you plan to use hexes such as Slumber and Misfortune then the Accursed Hex feat can help you out. If you think you can reliably hit the DCs then the Ritual Hex feat is a good option as it provides you with greater flexibility. If you go human and see yourself making use of Ritual Hex you can take the Focused Study alternative race trait to switch the generic bonus feat for Skill Focus at levels 1, 8 and 16; pick Skill Focus: Knowledge (planes) and Skill Focus: Knowledge (History) to help hit the ritual DCs.

As for hexes:

Cackle: A classic. As a move action any creature within 30ft that is under the effect of an agony hex, charm hex, evil eye hex, fortune hex, protective luck hex or misfortune hex that was caused by you has the duration of that hex increased by one round. You can use this as a swift action if you have the Cackling Hag's Blouse.

Cauldron: If you want to brew potions take this hex instead of the Brew Potion feat. It gives to the aforementioned feat as a bones and +4 to craft alchemy.

Evil Eye: Another classic choice and a strong one at that. You can apply the different penalties to the same creature. Lowering saving throws will help you land your spells and hexes, lowering ac will help your team's attacks.

Flight: This should be taken early on. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this hex. By level 5 you'll have at will Featherfall, 1/day Levitate, 1 min/level fly and a +4 racial bonus to swim.

Fortune: Can be useful particularly when used with Cackle but in my experience due to the once per 24 hours limitation I've tended to put off using it in case we'd need it more later that day.

Gift of Consumption and Greater Gift of Consumption: Lets you share (Gift of consumption) or entirely redirect (Greater Gift of Consumption) the effect of anything that requires a fortitude save to a target creature within 30ft.

Healing: Starts as CLW , becomes CMW at level 5. As this is a supernatural ability it doesn't provoke attack of opportunity and it doesn't require concentration checks. Works well with the Scar hex.

Iceplant: +2 natural ac and constant endure elements for both the witch and their familiar. More ac is always good and if the campaign features extreme temperatures then endure elements makes life more comfortable.

Misfortune: It's a solid hex. I prefer this to the Fortune hex since you never have to worry about "but what if I need it later".

Murksight: See though natural fog, mist and rain without penalty and see up to 15ft if the effect is magical. This lets you make effective use of fog spells. This hex + Delay Poison + Stinking Cloud make for a potent combination.

Poison Touch: Use on yourself, your familiar, summoned creatures and teammates to give them a poison (Witch Toxin - 1d2 Str damage) claw attack. At level 10 the hex lasts long enough that you could milk yourself or your teammates for a dose of poison.

Protective Luck: I think you allies will love you for this. While it only applies to attack rolls it doesn't allow a saving throw and is especially good if you've got 1 ally under attack from multiple enemies.

Scar: Scar you teammates and use your hexes on them for up to 1 mile away.

Slumber: Put the target to sleep. A powerful hex; some would argue too powerful and find it gets overused.

Swamp Hag: Useful if you're travelling through the relevant terrain. Could work well with the Swamp's Grasp hex.

Water Lung: Breath under water. Useless if you never go near water; useful and potentially life-saving if you do.

Major Hexes:

Agony: Nauseated is a deeply unpleasant condition and one you'll want to apply to your enemies.

Animal Skin: While you wear the skin of an animal you become that animal. A good utility option if you keep a variety of different animal skins. You can still use hexes while polymorphed.

Ice Tomb: Shuts down an enemy for long as the ice lasts and leaves them staggered if the ice is broken.

Regenerative Sinew: You can use it to apply fast healing 5 or heal ability score damage.

Restless Slumber: Requires the Slumber hex as a prereq. Causes the target creature to take 1d10 damage each turn, this damage doesn't wake them up. when the creature wakes they suffer confusion.

Retribution: when the target creature deals damage in melee, it takes half that damage back, ignoring resistances, immunities etc.

Weather Control: Control the weather. While it has a long casting time you get what is equivalent to a 7th level spell (Control Weather) 3 levels earlier if you take it at level 10.

Out of curiosity, why do you get bored playing full magic users? I tend to be the opposite and gravitate towards magic users as what little I've tried of martial characters I've found to be boring. That said I will be giving the cavalier (Order of the Dragon and Constable archetype) a go in a level 10-17 campaign and while I'm trying to be optimistic it's a bit of a challenge; consider that on my next level a get a feat (likely Greater Trip) and Instant Order, they just don't excite me as much as the prospect of getting 6th level spells.

Personally with the aforementioned party composition I'd go witch (my answer to everything tbh) as they kind of straddle the arcane/divine spells gap and hexes mean you should always have something to do even if you run out of spells. I might also try to find a way to get Trapfinding if no one else has it.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Witches could work, you’ve got your spammable hex, two with the right feat.

Or you could got orc or the appropriate draconian bloodline with blood havoc on a Sorceror. And spam ray of frost, acid splash or jolt for 1d3+2.

I second the witch suggestion. A human witch with the unique patron option could have 4 hexes at level 1. You could have 5 (though you'd have to take Fey Gifts and the winter patron) if you took the Season Witch archetype but some people will argue that "as a bonus hex" doesn't actually grant a bonus hex because apparently words work differently for them somehow. With so many hexes at level 1 you could contribute effectively without casting a single spell.

Do alchemists have something akin to spell research and could you create a new formula? I empathise with your situation as I had a similar problem playing an ifrit with Firesight and an Eversmoking bottle. Our storm druid has a similar issue with fog effects but since she's a ranged spellcaster she can stand away from the party and surround herself with fog.

Meirril wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
Personally I wouldn't try to go for "The Greatest" in purely meta/mechanical terms unless your GM has agreed to feature no arcane spell casters that are more powerful than you. Otherwise what you're trying to do is pretty much impossible.

I strongly disagree. Being 'The Greatest' is about attitude rather than power. The character strives to be acknowledged as the greatest. Pride can be a strong character trait.

Being 'the greatest' isn't about game mechanics so much as a role playing goal, which I think is more important for an enjoyable game than the efficient use (or abuse) of a game mechanic.

Even if the BBG is a higher level caster, that doesn't mean the player can't approach that being thinking "You are more experienced than I, but I am superior to you. I will defeat you and prove that I am greater than you." After all, every BBG the party faces is more powerful than each individual in the party. That shouldn't stop the party from thinking they will win, or that they shouldn't fight against them. That is one of the core tenets of Pathfinder.

Uh I'm not sure what you're strongly disagreeing with? What your saying is exactly my position: I wouldn't try to go for "The Greatest" in regards to being mechanically the strongest mage. Go for being "The Greatest" in attitude. I can only assume you misread what I wrote.

Personally I wouldn't try to go for "The Greatest" in purely meta/mechanical terms unless your GM has agreed to feature no arcane spell casters that are more powerful than you. Otherwise what you're trying to do is pretty much impossible.

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You'd think his god would've had the foresight to know the armour would have been unsuitable for his needs.

I had a similar idea for a mage and found that fluff wise the arcanist made the most sense. The wizard gets their magic through academic study and the sorcerer through the raw talent of their bloodline; the arcanist combines both thus giving them the superior understanding of the inner workings of the magical arts. Wizards, for all their knowledge just don't have that intuitive firsthand experience of magic coursing through their veins; no matter how much talent a sorcerer might have, ultimately they lack the intellectual and academic rigour to fully comprehend the arcane power they wield. No matter what power a wizard or sorcerer might achieve they'll never truly know magic, not in the way that an arcanist does.

+1 For Vomit Swarm. Also Cape of Wasps and Swarm Skin. My witch tends to pick 'body horror' themed spells (he's a healer and physician) so with him I rather like Bloodbath and Excruciating Deformation; looking forward to getting Slough and Blood Tentacles.

Isaac Zephyr wrote:

The White Haired Witch is enormously too feat dependent to variant multiclass effectively. At least the build I went for.

Finesse was good, but grapple isn't a finessable combat maneuver, and you only get Int to grapple on the initial check, not to maintain. There's essentially all sorts of little things that bite at what the White Haired Witch is supposed to do. You need Feral Combat Training for pretty much all grapple-boosting feats, and without it your 1/2 BAB is going to make hitting with your hair to get Int grabs nearly impossible.

The Magus VMC does offer Maneuver Mastery, which is a +4 boost at the earliest level you can get it (7th), and respectable, but it means you're locked out of Feral Combat Training until 9, which is way too late for investment. By that point the non-vmc build has Improved Grapple and Kraken Style supplementing the build for the same value, and continue prereqs for Greater Grapple (takeable at 12 using the granted Rogue Talent, the earliest it can be taken) which lets you start grappling multiple times to stack damage since hair is a super weird limb. The vmc would push Greater Grapple to we'll say 13 assuming your rogue talent was now spent on Improved Grapple.

You'd have no room for magic feats at all just getting the vmc version rolling.

Originally I did the build regular multiclass with 1 level of unchained monk in order to kickstart the feats and BAB, since you get Improved Unarmed and Improved Grapple at start, but in the long run that version of the build leaned on Stunning Fist into Neckbreaker, which because of a lack of Grapple maintenance you were never in a position to really use.

From what I can see on the d20pfsrd Weapon Finesse page I think you could make a case that that the WHW can use Weapon Finesse to grapple with their hair. Their hair is a natural weapon and Weapon Finesse sates that "Natural weapons are considered light weapons". Now the FAQ on Weapon Finesse does state that "Disarm, sunder, and trip are normally the only kinds of combat maneuvers in which you’re actually using a weapon to perform the maneuver" and that For other combat maneuvers, you use the normal rule for determining CMB ( Str instead of Dex). Note however that is says "normally", this leave room for 'not-normal' situations and the WHW is very much 'not-normal'. Weapon Finesse excludes grapple not because of a clear proscription but rather a de facto outcome of the lack of finesse weapons with which the grapple combat manoeuvre can easily be performed. There might be something somewhere that I'm not aware of my as I see it you should be allowed to use Weapon Finesse for you hair-based grapple CMB.

Could you not forgo Feral Combat Training and take Dirty Fighting instead? That way you won't have to take Weapon Focus (giving it up is not ideal but there's more interesting feats out there and you can use arcane pool to add a +1 to hit and damage for one minute which helps offset this loss) and once you take Improved Grapple you'd get a +4 bonus to grapple flanked opponents. Since you're playing a tiefling you could also ask you GM if they'll allow you to select the +2 bonus on combat manoeuvre checks in place of your spell-like ability.

Assuming one can take the alternative race trait and use Weapon Finesse with grapple the WHW might look something like this:

1: Weapon Finesse
3: Arcane Pool
5: Dirty Fighting
7: Arcana: Maneuver Mastery
9: Improved Grapple

Also if you have dex to hit/cmb the Agility might make the better patron as you's get Cat's Grace and the every useful Haste.

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Korafireheart wrote:
Our party is disfunctional enough and shes been under enough fire from the party (and life in general but thats besides the point) as it is and both my character and the party dont need another reason for conflict.

Here's the thing: If you don't want intraparty conflict then don't engage in intraparty conflict. It's that simple. The player controls the character and if there's conflict or disruption then it's the player's fault. Character backstory, motivation, personalty quirk or alignment is no excuse for causing outright conflict or disruption with other players.

To help elucidate what I mean I'll use my witch as an example. He's a travelling physician,mystical healer and herbalist. He sells his services. Sometimes for gold but often in exchange for goods and services. If someone can't pay then he might let them owe him but if they truly have nothing to offer then they're out of luck. That's not to say that if he sees someone drowning he'll just leave them to die unless he's offered a reward or incentive, but generally if you want his help then expect to pay. Of the other four players the slayer shares his 'in it for the money' attitude but the other three players are of the hippy dippy 'lets be heroes and help those in need' variety.

Now when the situation arises wherein the Quest-giver is requesting our aid and there's no clear existential or material incentive then my character might interject with a question about a reward and if there's no clear reward the he'll moan and grumble about it; he'll say the party shouldn't take the job but if the majority of the party want to do it then he'll go along with it while making a point to say that he's not entirely happy with the chosen course of action. What he won't do is attack the party, use charms, threats or curses to force other PCs into doing what he want, nor will he just refuse to do anything; this isn't because of a line drawn in the sand by the character, it's my choice not to do those things. In taking the former approach instead of the latter I feel that I satisfy the rp requirements regarding character backstory, motivation and personalty quirks but manage to avoid causing conflict and disruption with other players. This approach tends to work though there's was the rather awkward situation where my GM took me to one side to explain that 'I shouldn't keep demanding payment because I won't actually get anything extra as he'd just put less loot in the game'; he is actually quite intelligent but somehow failed to grasp that it was my character, not me asking for payment. I the player would much rather find equipment then receive gp as it spares me the headache of having to deal with his npc merchants.

Witch. My answer to everything. While I like the white Haired witch for its flavour/quirkiness I could never bring myself to give up witch hexes (the ability to ignore SR, be almost immune to any effect with a fort save, the ability to effectively debuff/shutdown enemies even when I've run out of spells and so on). I wonder if the WHW would be any good using the Bodyguard feat? I would think you as a tiefling you'd have good dex so you could make the most out of Combat Reflexes for extra attacks of opportunity. I don't know how feat intensive the WHW is but vmc cavalier with the order of the dragon would allow you to grant allies a +5 to AC with Aid Another. If you want to focus on CC/restraining enemies the order of the penitent could be a good option with it giving Expert Captor.

When it come to other vmc options I think the rogue adds a nice mix of abilities that provide increased utility (Trapfinding), offence (sneak attack) and defence (Evasion, Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge). I can see all of these being useful for the WHW (would sneak attack apply to the constrict ability?) Actually the more I look at vmc the more I think it's a good option for the WHW. The sorcerer could be a good option with bloodlines that grant a touch attack ability that would benefit from your increased reach, however these are usually 3+Charisma mod per day which might hurt. Another vmc option you could look into is the monk (it gives some nice defensive abilities and witches tend to lack strong defensive options) to see if you're allowed to use you hair as an unarmed strike thus increasing your damage. The magus vmc (which I like the most) ties in nicely with the shared key stat; arcane pool let's you enhance your hair attacks (I think an enhancement bonus to you hear should also apply to your hair-based grapple CMB and at later levels you could have flaming hair), there's definitely a few magus arcana that would be very useful (use int for wand DCs with Wand Mastery and Maneuver Mastery would be good if it uses your character level as your magus level) spellstrike would let you cast a touch spell (chill touch is a good candidate), make an attack and grapple in one round. I've not looked at all of them but I'm sure other classes such as the oracle and alchemist have lots to offer too. Witch. My answer to everything. While I like the white Haired witch for its flavour/quirkiness I could never bring myself to give up witch hexes (the ability to ignore SR, be almost immune to any effect with a fort save, the ability to effectively debuff/shutdown enemies even when I've run out of spells and so on). I wonder if the WHW would be any good using the Bodyguard feat? I would think you as a tiefling you'd have good dex so you could make the most out of Combat Reflexes for extra attacks of opportunity. I don't know how feat intensive the WHW is but vmc cavalier with the order of the dragon would allow you to grant allies a +5 to AC with Aid Another. If you want to focus on CC/restraining enemies the order of the penitent could be a good option with it giving Expert Captor.

Actually I take back what I said at the start, with vmc options I could very well be tempted to give up hexes for the WHW.

It's a shame you're locked into daggers with weapon focus as getting Improved Critical (or keen) on a pair of kukris could potentially turn you into a living blender. Is your group open to teamwork feats? As Outflank or Paired Opportunist are good if people work together. I'm guessing (M) means mythic so does that mean you're not using the unchained rogue then?

Fergus mac Róich had the sword Caladbolg, St. George had the spear Ascalon and Thor has the hammer Mjolnir. Naming weapon is an ancient and widespread tradition. I've been coaxed into playing a martial character (level 10 cavalier, constable archetype)and for what is probably the fist time have to serious consideration to weapons and armour. Since weapons and armour would take up a considerable portion of my character's wealth I though it could be interesting to come up with a name and a little history for the items. I'm even considering using stories associated with each item to guide and develop my character's backstory; he's a level 10 so I feel he deserves a more substantial backstory than what a might give to a low level character but presenting it as a single unbroken narrative could be a little tiring.

Do any other players or GMs like to name items? or do people consider a character's items too transitory to bother?

I always thought the sorcerer was rated below the witch? While sorcerers might have access to a "better" spell list, they can't easily switch spells for different situations and their bloodline power tend to fit a narrow theme.

MrCharisma wrote:
I thinknwitches are very powerful, and I don't even think they're underrated. Most people know how powerful they are. Personally I think wizards are overrated (watch how people react to that).

Given that there was a thread on here stated the other day about how terrible the witch spell list is, there are definitely those who underrate the witch. I agree that the power of the wizard gets overstated. I suspect this is caused people frequently imagining perfect case scenarios where wizard's always have every spell available all the time, with unlimited resources for infinite castings of Wish.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like this late in a game's lifespan, what might be hurting the witch a bit is the lack of novelty. Absolutely the witch is powerful, but a lot of a strong witch's hex game is similar to other witches (cackle, evil eye, misfortune sees a lot of play for example) might lead to people who have already played that character pick something different instead.

So if I'm going to play a full arcane caster, I feel like there's a perception that there's more variety in viable builds for the other 3 classes than there is for the witch; certainly the witch's spell list is more limited than the others.

I (slightly) disagree that to be a strong witch you always have to have the same hex selection. I think there are a wider variety of viable builds than people believe there to be; matters are not helped by most witch guides being outdated. Also a build can be perfectly viable without necessarily being the most powerful.

I agree with Revan that the complaints feel cherry-picked. It is my experience that the witch's spell list is there to supplement their hexes. So instead of viewing them as 9th level spell casters with hexes view them as hex users with 9th level spell casting.

LordKailas wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
What level range? If you’re going to be a high enough level I could see a wizard vmc rogue/arcane trickster fitting a mage hunter of mages concept. A wizard gets bonus feats so giving some up for vmc doesn’t hurt too much. Trapfinding, sneak attack and evasion all help in getting to, and then slaying your target. While it slows entry into the Arcane Trickster, using vmc over regular wiz/rog multi-classing means that you won’t delay your casting progression.

If you don't want to mulitclass the following classes can take arcane trickster without delaying caster level.

Rogue- Eldritch Scoundrel
Magus- Greensting Slayer + Accomplished Sneak Attacker

unfortunately both routes stick you with magus progression.

Using variant multiclass rules a wizard with a rogue secondary class and the accomplished sneak attacker feat will let you take arcane trickster at mid level without delaying spell casting progression.

What level range? If you’re going to be a high enough level I could see a wizard vmc rogue/arcane trickster fitting a mage hunter of mages concept. A wizard gets bonus feats so giving some up for vmc doesn’t hurt too much. Trapfinding, sneak attack and evasion all help in getting to, and then slaying your target. While it slows entry into the Arcane Trickster, using vmc over regular wiz/rog multi-classing means that you won’t delay your casting progression.

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Mysterious Stranger wrote:
While weapon finesse and combat reflexes are good feats, I don’t think they should be considered standalone feats. They are the beginning of the chain instead of the end of the chain, but are still part of the chain. For the same reason I would exclude power attack from this discussion.

True there are feats that have these as prerequisites but you could take Weapon Finesse, Combat Reflexes or Power Attack and no other feat that uses them as a prereq and they'd still be strong options. Really a 'standalone' feat should be one that has no prerequisite feats and remains an effective option without having to take further feats for which it might be a prerequisite.

For hex users there's the Split Hex feat which is a nice power boost. There's also the Ritual Hex feat; assuming you can make the DCs you're basically getting an extra hex that you can swap out daily. Ritual Hex lets you 'try before you buy', get an additional hex earlier (a level 10 witch could effectively have 2 major hexes instead of 1) or make use interesting or powerful-but-situational hexes that might useful but not always needed.

Teamwork feats can be powerful in the right hands. Outflank is a solid option (though it's a prereq for Improved Outflank). There's Paired Opportunists for those skilled at provoking aoo.

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