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Lucy_Valentine wrote:
Arrows are a valid target so it seems like that should work.

No, they aren't. The target section of Magic Weapon says "weapon touched", that does not include ammunition. Indeed, Greater Magic Weapon, which can affect ammunition, has an altered target section ("one weapon or 50 projectiles"), exactly for that reason.

The problem with banning PBM is that is shifts game balance further towards classes that are already strongest. Zen Archer can basically do nothing else except shoot arrows, so yeah, it's supposed to be a f~~@ing god of shooting arrows. Casters have the ability to cast defensively baked in, why is is bad when martials have the same ability?

Yes, compared to martials without an ability to move and full attack, archers are indeed very powerful. You know what's even more powerful? Casters! Unless the GM is nerfing casters at least as much, i.e. by removign the option to cast defensively, he's making the game balance worse, not better. Which is, obviously, not smart.

Quixote wrote:
I think that Point Blank Master being "way stronger" than more involved, more interesting feats is also a problem.

What, exactly, is "more involved, more interesting" about Empty Quiver Style? You make a normaly full attack, only with lower bonuses and fewer attacks.

LordKailas wrote:
Kitsune are shapechangers that can look human, meaning they can take the feat Human Guise. Now that they count as human they can take the feat Racial Heritage so they can count as a kobold. This then qualifies them to take tail terror.

Or you take the feat Lashing Tail instead of tail terror.

Heather 540 wrote:
Mostly theoretical but I would like it to be able to be played at some point. So pretty much the same for all of my characters. I just like building characters.

Well, if you want an actually efficient character, that has distinctly different demands than a purely theorycrafting build. Pounce (because having a million attacks is worthless if you have to move and can make only one), saves, AC/defenses, and ways to handle non-vanilla enemies (flying/unreachable, invisible, etc.).

Heather 540 wrote:
How many different natural weapons are there?

Without polymorphing into something with weird ones that you might or might not get, Bite (P), Claw (P), Gore (P), Slam (P), Sting (P), Talons (P), Hoof (S), Tentacle (S), Wing (S), Pincers (S), Tail Slap (S). Others that I can think of are White Haired Witch's White Hair ability (P), and the Prehensile Hair hex (S).

Heather 540 wrote:
Can I use natural attacks from other sources while wearing the eidolon via synthesist summoner?

According to this FAQ, no. That FAQ actually goes against the regular Eidolon description, which has the maximum natural attack number only be checked when selecting evolutions; but since FAQs overrule book rules, I guess that completely rule Synthesist out. It also means a Synthesist can't make an extra natural attack with Haste...

It's still Wild Shape, and it's refered to "While in this form". That makes in a polymorph effect. There are a bunch of polymorph effects that only change a small part of your body, but RAW, the whole set of polymorph rules applies in those situations.

Not that I'd necessarily rule it that way, and natural attacks and strict RAW are mortal enemies anyway. Nothing actually says you can't have multiple attacks on the same body part, and RAW, all polymorph spells/effects that list natural attacks grant those in addition to the ones possessed by the creature, so for isntance a Form of the Dragon spell grants up to 11 attacks.

Great, a GM who f#+#s up game balace because he thinks himself way smarter than he is. Bleargh!

My usual suggestion at this point would be to play the most overpowered caster you can think of, or possibly Summoner, and when he complains, respond with "well, I wanted to play a non-magical archer, but your stupid houserule prevented that".

Seriously though, access to Point Blank Master is one of the main reasons to play a Zen Archer, without that, the archetype is pretty weak after 3rd level, and you might as well play a 6/9 caster archer build instead. Or maybe even a Nature Fang Druid with Erastil's Blessing...

Heather 540 wrote:
Now I want to see just how many natural weapons I can get.

Do you want an actual build for actual play, or a purely theoretical build?

LordKailas wrote:
The build assumes that Tail Terror allows the character to make 1 attack with each tail gained from the feat magical tail.

I think no GM would ever rule that in your favor, because that's the opposite of how natural attack granting options work. RAW, it's a polymorph effect anway.

If you mean the favored class bonuses, you only get that when you take a level in your favored class (of which you only have one), and select that option instead of a skill rank or bonus HP.

badpixie wrote:
The sabre is a bog standard variant fencing weapon using many of the same techniques: it would be helpful for these classes to have this weapon as an option.

Have you ever looked at a historical sabre? It has nothing to do with the modern fencing weapon. It is not a piercing weapon, but instead a (fairly heavily) curved sword design to be used by cavalry.

Pathfinder is mostly medieval equivalent fantasy, and this is what a medieval sabre looks like. For early modern versions, look at this. Straighter sabres that could/would be used for fencing didn't appear until the 19th century.

I don't think there are any good style feat chains (because the archetype just had to replace the 9th level bonus feat...), unless you want to spend additional feats (for instance, Dragon Ferocity requires Stunning Fist, which you don't get as a bonus feat). Boar Style line could work with some investment.
There are some style feats that work fairly well as stand-alone feats, but something to consider is that most style feats require you to enter their stance - that's a swift action, something usually spend on Fervor first round of combat. I'd thus suggest style feats that don't require you to enter their stance, namely Jabbing Style and Pummeling Style.
For other feats, Possessed Hand is an easy choice.

avr wrote:
As far as items go you're going to want handwraps even more than usual because a sacred fist (unlike a monk) can't get magic weapon cast on their unarmed strikes as a stopgap.

Handwraps. Right concept, wrong reason. Apart from the half cost, a Sacred Fist also really wants the neckslot for Amulet of Natural Armor (whereas a Monk has the Barkskin ki power), and the ability to add different material, because your Ki Pool class feature is 3 levels behind (i.e. cold iron and silver at 10th level). Magic Fang still works, by the way.

To expand on the completly correct things mentioned, I would like to state it outright that despite the name, VMC is not multiclassing, and doesn't actually have anything to do with multiclassing. Using VMC, you dont have more than one class. An Oracle with VMC Fighter is not a Fighter, it doesn't have Fighter levels, and it doesn't count as a Fighter for specific things (e.g. the Defender of the Society trait).

The other guy's reading makes no sense under the rules of the english language. The last paragraph of the description uses "these bonuses" twice, which means there is more than one bonus. This, in part, means the term "this bonus" (in the third sentence) only refers to the last mentioned bonus, which is the one gained at 4th level. The limitation cannot refer to both bonuses because it's worded as singular.

Also, the additional bonus is +0 before 4th level, and yet you gain the ability at 1st level. That simply makes no sense.

The majority of these aren't even combat roles, meaning a character with the respective class would utterly suck in combat.

An even bigger problem, hower, is that a disctinction between roles is not how Pathfinder works. You don't have/need to have/should have one of most of these, but rather spread them out. For example, there's literally no reason to have all the knowledge skills on one character, spreadind them across multiple characters works just as well, often even better. The same is true for just about any of these roles. Likewise, there's no reason for a "defender" to not do damage, buffs, debuffs etc. as well, or a "supporter" to not do damage as well (your link talks about that, too - "each character must fill multiple roles to form a complete party").

This means this isn't a "redesign of the PF1e chassis", you're ripping out what defines the game.

RAW, proficiency is based on using the weapon, not on how you attack with it. So yeah, you're proficient with the bow-used-in-melee.

Regardign Stabbing Shot, you should really ask the GM. There are multiple issues. Can you even flurry with an arrow? How can you replace something you don't have? Do you get both -2 penalties?

Although I must say, why would a Zen Archer want to select Stabbing Shot or Empty Quiver Style in the first place? You can grab Point Blank Master as your 6th level bonus feat, and don't have to worry about being adjacent to enemies. This is way stronger than the feats you've mentioned.

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I presume when you already have it, you'll run the Beginner Box first, which should teach the basics to both you and the players. My tips are mostly for the following campaign.

● Use Combat Manager (discussion thread here). I'm using that program and I honestly don't know how I would be able to GM without it. A library of not only monsters (with templates addable), including all the ones from your APs, but also feats, spells, and rules. I've made characters for my PCs so I can roll stuff like perception without my players noticing. I also use the initiative roller, because while "roll initiative" at the start of combat can be cool, it a) wastes a lot of time, b) distrupts the flow of the game and c) prevents the GM from using initiative for situations that may or may not result in actual fighting (because when they have rolled initiative, the players will presume a combat is absolutely going to happen).

● Use some method to track initiative for the players. I'm using little folded pieces of cardboard with the PCs names (and numbers for monsters that the party knows about) on both sides that I put on the top of my laptop and move around so that the one farthest to my right (the players' left) is the the current character and the players can see who's next and so on.

Don't rolls ability scores or hit dice! Both might feel like important RPG staples, but in reality, they're in reality it's asking for trouble. A melee character that has less HP than the party Wizard is fun for absolutely no one. I'm using "average rounded up" for HD, and point buy for ability scores. I'd also suggest not using too low a point buy (nothing below 20), because a) it increases the inherent disparity, and b) usually leads to less rounded out characters. Higher point buy does not actually mean more powerful characters, because players react to the point buy.

● Always expect the unexpected, and learn to roll with it. Using an AP there are some limits, and it's relaly more an art than a science, but expect the players to always do something else than what you've thought they'd do. When in doubt, invent some NPC or use some quickly selected monsters (Combat Manager helps here) when the PCs really want to invest that run down house that the AP description doesn't expect to be visited. Don't feel bad when you need to call for a short time out when the players catch you flat footed because they did something weird.

● Read ahead, and familiarize yourself with both the plot, and with the monsters the party will face, especially their special abilities (a monster/NPC uses soem ability that fascinates? Read up on it!). Expect NPCs to be interrogated (friend and foe).

● Make the PCs create cheat sheets for their characters, where they have all the important statistics, including attack rolls and damage rolls udner different sircumstances. Here are some examples. Calculating the currently valid attack roll(s) every round is probably the biggest time waste during combat. Likewise, have the players use Spell Cards and the likes for spells, active abilities (bardic performances, hexes, etc.), and printouts for complex on-the-fly choices like Summoned Monsters.

● Check everything your players selects (to see if it's actually legal, and to prevent imbalances, i.e. characters that are too weak or too strong in comparison to the other PCs). Try to familiarize yourself with every ability your PCs have. Asking for the spell/ability card in question can't hurt, you'd be surprised how ofter people overlook something semi-hidden in the description.

● Remember that very few creatures fight to the death. If a combat is too lethal, but the monster/NPC side has also suffered losses, having them retreat/cut their losses or use diplomacy even if they'd likely won the fight is a good and realistic alternative to fudging dice.

● Be honest and forthcoming with descriptions - the players only know what you tell them. Focus on information that is or may be actually important.

● Be willing to always listen to your players, but enforce rulings and decisions when necessary.

● When a rule issue could really go both ways, flip a coin!

Heather 540 wrote:
So I was wondering how I would get pounce on my build?

Use your Wild Shape ability to polymorph into something with pounce, which you can do starting at 9th level (of Warpriest).

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Translated to D&D alignments, the god is probably CN and Father Chains might be CG

I heaven't read the books, but from what you've described, hell no - stealing for personal gain is Evil, there's no way around it. That makes both the god and the priest Evil.

This doesn't include Robin Hood types (those are more freedom fighters than full-time thieves), or people living in an oppressive regime that don't have much of a chance otherwise (those usually aren't full-time thieves either), but the "pickpocket / shoplifter / burglar type thieves" steal for their own personal gain and not out of some Good political agenda or absolute need, and are thus Evil.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
GMs are constantly trying to find this aspect or that of my characters illegal because they believe them to be too powerful, so it's ironic that you are saying my characters are not hard enough!

I haven't actually played it, but from what's I've heard, it's not hard to make something that's very powerful in PFS.

I think you're mixing up some things. You make it sound like a pounce build was only good at easy game, and not in your style of games, but in reality, it's actually the opposite - the harder the game is regarding loot and stuff, the bigger a role your character build plays, and thus the more you want pounce. Indeed, you're reinforcing my presumption that you tend to play relatively low powered games, because in high powered games that are hard, you need this level of optimization to succeed; exactly because you get overrun by mooks )and quickly killed by anythign else) otherwise. If the GM doesn't meticulously adjust difficulty (see next paragraph), high optimization is what makes the game 'easy'. Mooks only "don't have time to gang up on you and get Full Attacked because you are dropping them so fast" because of pounce. This doesn't have to actually make the game easier, because you now can take more non-combat feats and equipment without the game becoming too hard, giving you more tools to flesh out your character.

Of course, I'm writing under the presumption that the GM doesn't completely invalidate any choice a player makes by adjusting the enemies accordingly (e.g. giving every enemy a +1 AC in response to you taking Weapon Focus), because if that's the case, it doesn't matter what you do with your character, and you could just as well play a Commoner without feats.

The OP asked about what would do better at using natural attacks, which I interpret as an interest in (some degree of) optimization, and for that, the answer is "go pounce or you go home". It doesn't matter if the game is easy or hard, low-powered or high-powered, pounce is best for a natural attack build (unless you're spending like 10 rounds on every enemy). Also not counting oddities like Cave Druid into Carnivorous Crystal or anything polymorphing into Yig.


Melkiador wrote:
Pounce and a lot of options really, seem to be more important if your whole party takes down enemies super fast.

If the pounce build takes 5 rounds to kill the enemy (meaning pounce only helps 20% of the time), a non-pounce build needs ~23% more damage per full attack (for example, ~+5 to all damage rolls) to do the same damage.

Melkiador wrote:
The bloodrager can boast a pretty big reach, which can be as good as pounce on average

With natural attacks?

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Jane "The Knife" wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Yqatuba wrote:
Maybe just make a ranged weapon version of throat slicer? That said, what should it be called?
Head Banger
Head Hunter

"Dodge This"

What exactly are we talking about? What's this "completely magic free zone"? How is the 'stripping' enforced?

Aleister VII wrote:
I'm well aware of feral mutagen alchemist and transforming magus and I love them, I was just looking for a new and unexpected ways of natural attacking.

How about transforming Alchemist? I'm mostly kidding, you really want Deathsnatcher for that.

@Scott: How long do you want to spend on a mook? I'm beginning to suspect your games are super low powered, which would explain quite a lot, actually.
Your argument is also actually pro-pounce, because the power level difference is so big, you have way more leverage for flavor feats instead of mechanical feats on a pounce build.

Yqatuba wrote:

I mean it more for situations when a bad guy has a hostage (be it a civilian, another PC, or adventurer NPC on the good guy's side). It just seems silly that at high levels someone having you in a headlock (which I could easily see a grapple representing) and holding a gun to their head would just be something you could shrug off i.e

Villain: "Stop or I' reduce his hp by 20 percent."
PCs and hostage "So?"

"A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise completely at an opponent’s mercy."

What you describe is not a grapple, what you describe counts as helpless, and thus your character would be CdG'able*. That's a guaranteed crit, and even if you survive the 4x damage, you have a 95% chance to fail the resulting fortitude save.

*) Strict RAW, you can't CdG with a firearm, but that's obviously an oversight. I'd rule that you still need an attack roll to see if you misfire, though.

baggageboy wrote:
Question related, where does the idea that metamagic rods count as +5 weapons come from? I've heard that before specifically related to Merciful rods, but I can't find a reference for it.

+4 actually. Shikigami Manipulation grants an enhancement bonus equal to one quarter the caster level (rounded down as usual in Pathfinder), and all metamagic rods have a caster level of 17. It doesn't have to be merciful, but obviously, +0 level increase metamagic feats have the cheapest rods (at 1500gp for a lesser rod). That's Brisk, Eclipsed, Fleeting, Tenebrous, or well, Merciful.

deuxhero wrote:
Sacred Fist gets a Monk's unarmed strike ability

No it doesn't. You only get IUS as a bonus feat and the scaling damage.

Yure wrote:
The archetype is newer than two-weapon defense, and I think it should have had some more wording to somehow allow the two weapon fighting chain / set of feats to be taken.

I'd guess they didn't because no one cares about the feat. Seriously, that's not a feat worthy of consideration when writing an archetype. All other TWF feats work.

Wonderstell wrote:
It does grant you the Nimble class feature which only works in light or no armor. So at lv 2 you're just one AC behind medium armor, making the Proficiency feat hardly worth it.

I have actually planned a more in-depth evaluation, I guess I cut it down too much. What I meant was that a) there's plenty of other feats to improve armor, and b) if the archetype wouldn't lose proficiency, no one would consider playing it without heavy armor. Sorry for being unclear/misleading.

Wonderstell wrote:
Ech, as long as Handwraps are on the table it's not that much worse than any other TWF build. Having a hand free is pretty useful, too.

I was mostly comparing it to pure unarmed TWF, actually. Since handwraps come in pair, you can TWF with them at the enchantment cost of a single weapon, and pure unarmed also has pounce.

The archetype wants you to use both a weapon and unarmed strikes, but it doesn't really give much support for that. You don't need high Dex, but then it removes your armor proficiency, which you want on a strength based character. You get TWF as a bonus feat, but have fewer overall feats than most classes somehow leaning towards TWF. The weapon-unarmed-mix thing is only supported by a measly +2 to attack rolls (which, to add insult to injury, only works if you have a free hand).
Of course, it all wouldn't be bad it wasn't an archetype for Samurai, one of the weakest classes in the game.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:

That's an interesting point: in combats where you have to keep moving from opponent to opponent as they die in front of you, and you have to move on to the next, your effective Damage per Round does go up if you can Charge and Full Attack.

But if the reason why my DPR is not what it ought to be is that my enemies wither away so fast under my storm of teeth and claws, that I keep constantly having to move on to the next, well, I have problems in my life I'd trade for that.

If you can kill the target in one full attack, a non-pounce build needs two rounds, a pounce build needs only one. That makes the latter twice as effective. If it takes two full attacks to kill the target, a pounce build is 50% more effective - unless a full attack is only one attack short of killing the target (in which case both are equal); this doesn't happen that often, though. Of course, you longer you spend on a target, the lighter the impact of pounce is, but in practise, enemes usually don't live that long. Any fight agains a couple of strong enemies heavily favors pounce. Any fight with a bunch of moderately strong mooks (i.e. too tough to die in one attack) heavily favors pounce. Any fight against enemies with stronger offense than defense heavily favors pounce.

All melee characters have this problem, but for weapon users without Flurry/TWF, the difference between a single attack and a full attack is somewhat smaller (due to the iterative penalty).

The Druid list is much weaker than the Cleric list, so this would be a notable nerf for the Warpriest. Not the least because Fervor'ed Divine Favor/Divine Power is somewhat of a cornerstone of the class.

One big problem here is that such a Wardruid™ would lean towards natural attacks, and thus has poor synergy with Sacred Fist.

Maybe the player would consider a natural attack build?

Quixote wrote:
To further elaborate on the types of situations where having a cleric "would be handy", I would guess?

This doesn't actually answer the question. Because I don't see any reason to "elaborate on the types of situations where having a cleric would be handy" when that doesn't seem to have anything to do with this thread. The question was "The absence of a divine caster is not going to be an issue?", and "noting that clerics, druids, and shaman are the three 9 level classes with full access to their class lists each morning" doesn't in any way adress this question, as far as i can see. Hence my confusion.

Yure wrote:
I would question though, the intent behind brawling blademaster. It seems to me that a "blademaster" that brawls would be able to know how to defend himself with his style of combat.

You seem to be a bit hung up on the Two-Weapon Defense feat. To put it bluntly, the feat is rather weak, and certianly not something that makes or breaks any character. There are plenty of ways to increase your AC that this archetype can easily take; Java Man listed some, what's missing is (somewhat ironic) Medium Armor Proficiency - the archetype doesn't actually have any reason not to wear heavier armor. I do support taking a dip into a heavy armor granting class, though.

However, the archetype is indeed more flavor than substance, because TWFing with a weapon + unarmed strike would need more support to be good. That is what you're striving to do, right?

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Aleister VII wrote:
As the title says which class would do better at using natural attacks and how get more of them?

For a natural attack build, you go pounce or you go home. Because the damage of a natural attack build comes from having a bunch of them (at full BAB), which obviously doesn't help you if you have to move and make a single attack half the rounds.

LordKailas wrote:
I can't recall if tieflings count as humanoids or not, but assuming they do I'd suggest taking a look at the mooncursed archetype if you decide to go the barbarian route. You can pick tiger which nets you a bite, two claw attacks and pounce all without having to take the animal totem powers.

Tieflings are native outsiders, but could select the archetype via the Pass for Human racial trait. Edit: Yes, it's PFS legal. It prevents selecting the maw and claw racial traits, but a Mooncursed doesn't need them anyway.

Good idea, "wrong" archetype. Mooncursed is mostly for those who want to use both weapons and natural attacks. Much better for a normal natural attack build is Beastkin Berserker, which gains Beast Shape II and thus pounce at 8th level, two levels before a regular barbarian and three levels before a Mooncursed, and where Mooncursed replaces the usual bonuses form Rage with those granted by the polymorph effect, Beastkin Berserker grants you both at the same time. Main downside is that Beastkin Berserker has pretty poor armor. Luckily, the archetype stacks with Invulnerable Rager! You should still have a buddy you can hand a Wand of Mage Armor, though.

Feat suggestions: Raging Vitality (unless you pick unchained Barbarian), Power Attack, Chaos Reigns (bonus attack!).
Rage Power suggestions: Superstition, Lesser Fiend Totem (extra attack!), Greater Elemental Blood (Air) and prereqs.

Aleister VII wrote:
It means you can grab the dragon totem instead which eventually nets you the ability to fly when you rage (at the cost of extra rage rounds).

Greater Elemental Blood (Air) is better anyway.

Yure wrote:
Does Empty Hand give the unarmed attack the manufactured property monks get for their unarmed attacks and for improvements?

The question is based on a misconception. Monks do not get a "manufactured property" (which isn't an existing thing anyway), but rather their "unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons." This isn't a blanked "counts as" thing, it's only for very specific things, namely effects (feats/traits/items/class features/etc.), which does not include general rules or things simply requiring such a weapon without enhancing it. Since TWD doesn't "enhance or improve" your attacks, but rather improves AC, a Monk's unarmed strike doesn't allow TWD, either.

Lalochezic wrote:
I've looked around the interwebs and found some things on multiclassing, some for and some against.

It doesn't make any sense to lookt at multiclassing as a whole, as different classes, archetypes, and build gain and lose different amounts when multiclassing. Gunsligner and Weretouched Shifter for instance get almost nothing from their class after 5th or 4th level, respectively, so for them, multiclassing is highly advised, likely into a casting/alchemical class to get more versatility. There are specific builds where a specific dip helps the build a lot and is thus justified, e.g. A Cave Druid dipping into Monk to flurry with the big natural attack, or a blaster Wizard dipping into Crossblooded Sorcerer for a +2 to each damage dice. For the vast majority of builds, a single class is best, though, even more so for full casters. The above builds are the exception, not the norm.

Lalochezic wrote:
I ask because I'm in the midst creating a backup character who's arcanist 2/rogue (unchained) 1 for flavor/story

You don't need specific classes for backstory. A backstory about a sneaky thief or something other rogue-ish does not require levels in Rogue. If you want a specific mechanic(al benefit) to suit your backstory, that's fine, but be advised that in Pathfinder, there's almost always multiple ways to archieve something. Most things can be done by multiple classes, archetypes, or other options like traits, feats, or racial options.

Most importantly, you should never get hung up on class names. You're playing a role, not a name, after all. To quote myself from another thread for examples, Rogue is not the best class to play a rogue style character, Ninja is not the best class to play a ninja style character, and Assassin is not the best class to play an assassin style character.

Lalochezic wrote:
but also mechanistically so my squishy caster has better ability hide/stealth/escape when need be.

Your multiclassding doesn't really do this, though. All Rogue would give you are a few class skills, and those can come form other sources. There are traits granting class skills: Slippery, Crocodile Swim (Werecrocodile-Kin Skinwalker), Trickster (Vanara), Bandit, Highlander, Swamp Rebel, Uskwood Hunter, Wisdom in the Flesh, and Familiy Trade for Stealth, and Unshackled, Freedom Fighter (Halfling), Persecuted Expatriate (Tiefling), Bandit, Narrow Escape, Vagabond Child, Wisdom in the Flesh, and Familiy Trade for Escape Artist (not that the skill sees much use). Look them up on Archives of Nethys.

There are also racial traits (that's a completely different thing, these are the benefits your race grants you) that grant class skills, most notably Fey Thoughts which can be selected by every core race.

In any case, class skills are only a +3 bonus, nothing more. An arcanist can have the same numer of ranks in Stealth as a Rogue, all the latter has is this +3 bonus (presuming the same dexterity).

Don't forget spells, either - Vanish and (at 4th level) Invisibility grant a higher bonus to stealth than a dozen levels in Rogue. Grease, Liberating Command, and Bouncy Body are first level spells that help yopu escape grapples et al., while Monkey Fish, Touch of the Sea, and later Levitate and Fly grant other movement options that could help you escape peril.

The bonuses would be calculated seperately and then added together. At 10th level, +3 to AC/Ref from Rogue and +2 to AC/Ref from the bloodline.

AnUnlovedLobster wrote:
That sweet "enlarge person" power would make my dire tiger form pretty killer.

Doesn't work, polymorph effects make you immune against size change effects. Also, that's the 4th level bloodline power.

Barbarian: The big one here is Lesser Fiend Totem, which grants a gore attack. Moment of Clarity allows casting while raging. If you want both, you're looking at spending a feat on Extra Rage Power. Since Mutated Shape can be whatever you want, that's simply a bonus attack, with no cheezyness attached (unlike if you'g grab one with e.g. Helm of the Mammoth Lord).

Bloodrager: Vestige Bloodline grants the ability to cast spells while raging. Kyton Bloodline makes your crits sicken the target for a round. There are other bloodlines, granting stuff like darkvision, underwater effectiveness, or bonus damage 3 rounds per day. I don't see any reason to take a second level, though.

For anything else, I need answers to my questions (forms you want to take/allowed, and feats).

Also, Vicious Cleave is a 3rd party feat.

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First question: Why Fighter?
Second Question: Does it have to be Fighter?
Third question: What books are allowed?

In order to really help you, I need some more information:
1) What're your feats, most importantly the style feats?
2) What form(s) do you usually polymorph into?
3) What forms can you polymorph into (i.e. what does the GM allow)?

Some general things:
-Any multiclassing will weaken your casting, and while the Druid spell list is fairly weak, that's still a lot of power and versatility.

-The biggest issue with Barbarian is that they can't be lawful, which you presumably are right now (you couldn't have takent the Monk levels otherwise). It is possible to change alignment and the Monk stuff keeps working (it would not work the other way around), but your GM might not like that if it's for mechanical reasons. Bloodrager bypasses that problem, but doesn't get rage powers.

-Scott Wilhelm probably missed or forgot that Dreadnaught's can't charge while raging, which makes the archetype de facto unusuable for you.

-Mutated Shape bypasses the normal restrictions, meaning you could grow a second head or a third front leg for an extra bite or claw attack.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not denying the power of a Cleric, reach or otherwise, but the damage from the AoOs won't be on par with that of a pouncing or otherwise full attacking Brawler.

Let's say you're a shelynite Cleric with the same strength and weapon investment as the OP's Brawler (24 Str, +4 weapon). You drink the potion, and cast Blessing of Fervor (no Quickened Divine Favor because you don't have 5th level spell slots yet). With Power Attack, that's an average of 22.7 damage per attack, which means you'd need three AoOs to "come near the output" of the pouncing Brawler, which is what I was talking about. If the fight lasts a few rounds and you can full attack on subsequent turns, you catch up, but AoOs alone won't do the trick.

Why stay in class until 12th level? What do you intend to use Signature Deed on?

Slim Jim wrote:
Strength is the highest attribute with a reach-cleric, and advanced relentlessly.

I kinda missed the "built for melee combat", and was referring to the actual Cleric as-is. I think the point is still generally true, the AoOs won't come enar the output of a well build Brawler. Everything else is exactly what we're workign on here.

MrCharisma wrote:
@Derklord - While you're right about the definition of Monk Weapons and Thrown Weapons vs their respective groups, it's important not to be dismissive about this. Calling something obvious or "clear as day" can invalidate the trouble someone is having with the rules. That kind of language also tends to discourage curiosity, which is the opposite of what this forum is for.

Do you consider my post directed at the OP to be dismissive? I don't think I'm being dismissing regarding questions, even those where I consider the answer to be obvious. I embrace anyone willing to learn something, but not people unwilling to admit when they're proven wrong.

But Ryan Freire didn't ask questions, not a single one. All he did was make (false) statements without any evidence or even explanation. He literally made a post where an entire line was "You're wrong."!

JDawg75 wrote:
I liked the idea of being a gish in full Hellknight armor (with the benefits Hellknights get from it), but perhaps it is not to be.

Well, it's not like it wasn't easily possible. It's just that the prestige class sucks, especially for an arcane caster where it has very litle useful class features. I especially don't really get which "benefits Hellknights get from it" you're referring to.

Also, Hellknight Leather (and Hellknight Half-plate) is "hellknight armor", too.

JDawg75 wrote:
Is a straight magus the best way to build a great gish, or are there better alternatives out there?

As it is the case in Pathfinder 99% of the time, what's best depends on what you actually want. Magus is for using offensive (touch) spells in combat, especially damaging ones. That's a pretty unique playstyle, but there are other gish type classes and archetypes out there, which may be better fitting for your goals.

Even if you're strictly talking about arcane caster (not as if the discintion between arcane and divine casting is meaningful in Pathfinder, and that's without touching psychic casting and alchemy), there's Bloodrager, Child of Acavna and Amaznen Fighter, Synthesist Summoner, Questioner Investigator, Skald, Archaeologist Bard, Eldritch Scoundrel Rogue, Dawnflower Dervish Bard, Cabalist Vigilante, Warlock Vigilante, Bard, and polymorph spells using full casters, roughly sorted from most martial to most castery. In addition, there's Summoner, Hag-Haunted Spiritualist, and Magical Child Vigilante (where the job is split between two entities). And that's without prestige classes, which, while generally superfluous in Pathfinder thanks to hybrid(ish) classes and archetypes, still exist, including the classics Eldritch Knight and Dragon Disciple.

Eldritch Knight using the Arcing Weapon and Explosive Weapon feats deserve notice for being an interesting variant to Magus.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Except the startoss chain has significant ambiguity, by referencing weapon in the thrown group (which contains slings and blowguns) in the first feat, then using thrown weapon in the 2nd or 3rd, while also referencing "the selected weapon"

Again, no. There is absolutely no ambiguity. Startoss Shower doesn't reference thrown weapons at all*, and Startoss Comet only uses the phrase in the part "you can make a single ranged thrown weapon attack", which isn't about the weapon, but about how you attack with it.

And yes, it is possible to select a weapon with Startoss Style that you can't use Startoss Comet with, namely any weapon in the weapon group you can't make a thrown weapon attack with (like the Blowgun).

*) Well, it does in the cursive description text, but that's not rule text for most feats.

Ryan Freire wrote:
startoss is what i was talking about

Except that there is no "wondering whether certain feats are referencing the weapon type or weapon group". The feat is clear as day. The benefits section references weapon group, the special section doesn't. It doesn't make sense to not use the same for both, but the RAW is unambiguous.

Talonhawke wrote:
Yep Monk weapons and Monk weapon group run into that alot as well.

Actually, they don't. Not in the slightest. The concept us as simple as it gets - "if the phrase 'weapon group' is not used, weapon groups aren't involved". Some people just don't use their brains.

There are the two pages the index in the CRB lists for "monk weapons":
CRB pg. 57: "A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows."
CRB pg. 145: "A monk weapon can be used by a monk to perform a flurry of blows (see Chapter 3)."
The first is not really helpful (no definition there), the second is from the weapon special ability rules.
The term "monk weapon" does not appear in the Fighter's description (including the weapon groups), while the word "group" doesn't appear in the Monk's description.

Now, if "monk weapon" meant "weapon in the monk weapon group", you could flurry with any weapon in the monk weapon group, and the monk special weapon quality would be meaningless (apart from stuff like the unMonk's proficiency, written 6 years later). Likewise, if the weapon group was meant by "monk weapon", the Flurry description wouldn't need to say "unarmed strike or a special monk weapon" as unarmed strikes are already in the monk weapon group. When they updated that line for unchained, they changed it to explicitly say "unarmed strikes and weapons that have the monk special weapon quality".

I started the current campaign I'm GMing at 3rd level, for four reasons:
1) Randomly dying isn't fun. If you take glee at other PCs dying, I don't want to support that. If you don't care about your own PC dying because you treat your own characters as but a name on a piece of paper, I don't want to support that. Lastly, I'm playing Pathfinder, not gritty survival horror.
2) Casters dominating everything with Color Spray or Sleep isn't fun.
3) Playing without notable class features isn't fun. I think different classes should be different.
4) Some builds don't really work prior to 3rd level (e.g. Zen Archer and unRogue). Having to suffer through two levels of neigh-uselessness because the writers were too bad at writing to find a different way to prevent dipping isn't fun. I had initially planned to start at 4th level, but found 3rd to be somewhat of a sweet spot.

Magda Luckbender wrote:
a reach cleric built for melee combat would output damage comparable to your brawler during the GM's turn and still cast a spell on their own turn.

Not even close. The OP's brawler deals an average of 78.1 DPR on a pounce against an average CR 8 monster (with BoF, 60.6 without). How exactly does a cleric with 12 or 13 strength compete with that via AoOs?

Joey Cote wrote:
Making the DC 1/2 the casting class round up would have enormously helped keep lower level spells relevant. But I always felt like the DC for spells should have been 1/2 the caster class level round up +10 as the base, like it is for most class based abilities.

Low level spells aren't supposed to stay relevant. Other class features have a scaling DC because you only have one or two of them, while a caster has dozens. Limited spells is the only saving grace martial classes have at all.

Yes, Wizard needs some work to be good at single target damage. If the Wizard's player isn't content with being the best at overcoming 90% of all challenges and desperately wants to be the best at the other 10% as well, they should figure out how to do that (because it is possible). Sure, if you're too lazy to look past the CRB for spells...

If the Cleric player isn't content with playing a support-style character, a) why did he chose Cleric?, and b) he has the option to use touch spells. It's not like Cleric couldn't change their entire spells literally overnight. With a defensive build, getting close to the enemy shouldn't be too dangerous.

Brawler and Cavalier are pretty bad classes, because they can do very little else apart from dealing damage. That they're at least pretty good at that is not an imbalance, but the exact opposite - if they weren't there would be no reason to have martials in a party at all. And yes, both are using most of the respective class's potential, unlike the casters. That's still true because of hybrid classes like Summoner, but that's beside the point.
Wizards and Clerics can decide encounters with a single spell, and can overcome almost any non-combat challenge that has the martials neigh helpless. If that's not enough power for the players of those classes, the problem lies with them alone.

Also, I want to back something Grandlounge said, about the source of success. If the Cleric casts Blessing of Fervor, and your Brawler lands an extra attack, that damage does not come form the Brawler, but from the Cleric. If you would note down damage dealt, it would be put in the Cleric's column. Likewise, every point of damage dealt by a Brawler to an otherwise inaccessible enemy while under the effects of the Wizard's Fly, is damage coming from the Wizard.
I once calculated the impact of a Summoner's Haste on the overall effectiveness of my then party, and the result was that with a single standard action, the Summoner increases the total damage done by the party by as much as one of the damage dealers. Basically, that single standard action was bringing another character on the field. Even if the Summoner did literally nothing else in a combat, the character still had a huge impact on the combat!
Your party isn't as well suited towards Haste/BoF, so the impact won't be as big, but the basic concept is still true.

Lastly, an important thing to understand is that in Pathfinder, everything is a means to an end. It's always the end that counts, never the means. In almost every combat, the goal is to incapitate the enemy without suffering to much. Killing enemies quickly, using debuffs, and using battlefield controll options are all means to the same end, as are boosting defenses and/or infight healing. In the end, it just doesn't matter whether the enemy is incapitated because it's sleeping, heaviliy debuffed, attacking a near-immune character, having their damage healed back again afterwards, or dead. As long as a chatracter is efficiently working toward the goal, the character is well contributing, no matter the method used.

JDawg75 wrote:
Do you allow this?

I don't. Not because the cSummoner spell list was an utterly stupid idea (which it is), but because the player already plays the strongest class in the game, and he's trying to get even more powerful with a purely mechanical application of an overpowered racial trait that should never have been printed in the first place.

If the word "group" isn't used, it's not the group that's checked. That part is easy.

There's still the issue that there is no clear definition of what a thrown weapon is, of course. And with feats using the wrong words, like Startoss Style's special section.

mjmeans wrote:
This consensus would also mean that if a ninja uses Vanishing Trick, another PC would not be able to use spellcraft to identify the spell "invisibility" because there is no actual spell; it's just an effect similar to the spell invisibility.

Correct, however, the "Recall Intrigues" function of knowledge skills introduced in Spymaster's Handbook allows anyone to "identify a feat or class feature when you observe it in use". For Ninja, the knowledge skill is local, and the DC is "10 + class level when feature is granted" (I don't know if that's 2nd level for the Ninja Trick feature, or the level Vanishing Trick was actually picked.)

If you choose to use that system, of course.

Quixote wrote:
Derklord wrote:
I'm confused what the point of your argument is. Because I don't see any.
It seems Leomenia's point is that a cleric selects from every cleric spell ever, while an alchemist is limited to the formulae in their book. Even an alchemist with every available slot open is less versatile in terms of formula choice than a cleric, because a cleric's effective spellbook automatically includes every cleric spell ever.

I get that, but why did Lelomenia post that? I didn't say anything to the contrary. I didn't say Alchemist was a better condition remover than Cleric (the earlier access alone decides that matchup), and indeed I said "This doesn't mean there aren't situations where a Cleric wouldn't be handy".

What I've argued is that Alchemist (helped by Witch and Summoner) does the job well enough, especially thanks to the on-demand preperation of 'spells', that the party shouldn't have any major problems in that regard.

JDawg75 wrote:
Is there a tank in this party? Is it the unchained monk, because I don't really see them meant for that role.

First, no one is "meant for the role of tank", because it's not a role, but a build style. Second, a dedicated tank* is rather inefficient, and the group has enough melee presence.

*) Per definition, a tank is someone who strongly focusses on defense over offense.

JDawg75 wrote:
I also think a hungry ghost monk would be totally appropriate for SA as well.

For Hungry Ghost Monk, you'd need to be cMonk, which is a huge downgrade compared to an unMonk (for a melee damage build).

JDawg75 wrote:
I'd recommend at least one player be able to remove debuffs from your party. The hedge witch covers this a bit with diseases and poisons.

I'd recomend you read the answer in a thread before posting. You mean debuffs like blindness, deafness, curses, diseases, sickness, and ability damage? Those are all removable by the party as-is.

Bambilow wrote:
So, I've just noticed that blowguns are ''Thrown'' weapons.

No, they aren't. The only thing they have in that regard is that they belong to the thrown weapon group. Weapon groups have absolutely zero impact on the machanics of a weapon, except for explicit interaction with some other rule option (explicit means the other rule option, e.g. class feature, contains the word "weapon group").

"Projectile Weapons: Blowguns (...) are projectile weapons. (...) A character gets no Strength bonus on damage rolls with a projectile weapon unless it’s a specially built composite shortbow or longbow, or a sling." CRB pg. 141

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