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I was unaware of the short time-window for editing posts on this forum. Thanks for pointing that out.

Anyways, here is the second draft:

Magus class table:
Magus wrote:

The Magus (v. 2.0)

HP: 8 / level
Initial proficiencies:
Expert in Fortitude
Trained in Reflex
Expert in Will

Trained in Perception

Trained in simple weapons
Trained in unarmed attacks

Trained in light armor
Trained in unarmored defense

Key Ability: Intelligence

01______Ancestry and Background, initial proficiencies, arcane spellcasting, Arcane Strike, cantrips, Spell Combat, Magus feat
02______Skill feat, Magus feat
03______2nd-level spells, Spellstrike, General feat, Skill increase
04______Skill feat, Magus feat
05______3rd-level spells, Ability boosts, Ancestry Feat, Critical Clarity, Skill increase
06______Skill feat, Magus feat
07______4th-level spells, General feat, Expert Spellcaster, Spell Recall, Skill increase
08______Skill feat, Magus feat
09______5th-level spells, Ancestry feat, Simple Weapon Expertise, Lightning Reflexes, Skill increase
10______Ability boosts, Skill feat, Magus feat
11______6th-level spells, General feat, Improved Spell Combat
12______Skill feat, Magus feat
13______7th-level spells, Ancestry feat, Light Armor Expertise, Skill increase, Weapon Specialization
14______Skill feat, Magus feat
15______8th-level spells, Ability boosts, General feat, Master Spellcaster, Skill increase
16______Skill feat, Magus feat
17______9th-level spells, Ancestry feat, Greater Spell Combat, Skill increase
18______Skill feat, Magus feat
19______General feat, Legendary Spellcaster, True Magus, Skill increase
20______Ability boosts, Skill feat, Magus feat

Class abilities:
Level 1 wrote:

Arcane Strike ◈ (Single Action) (Flourish, Magus)

Make a Strike using spell attack instead of your unarmed or weapon proficiency. Item bonuses to attack apply normally. As it has the flourish trait, you can use Arcane Strike only once per turn.

Spell Combat ◈◈ (Two-Action Activity)
Your training as Magus has taught you to wield steel and spell in a synergistic manner. Cast a targeted Spell with a Somatic Component and Strike. The Strike takes a -2 circumstance penalty to hit unless you strike the target of your spell.

Level 3 wrote:

Spell Strike (Exploration, Magus)

You gain the ability to Store a Spell in a weapon of your choice.By reciting arcane mnemonics while performing simple weapon drills, you can link a single weapon you are wielding with a spell you have prepared. This functions as the Spell-Storing rune with the following changes:
1.) You can store a spell of any level you can cast in the Weapon.
2.) You use your Spell DC for saving throws instead of the DC 30.
3.) You can have only one such weapon - spell link at a time. If you attempt to Store a Spell while a spell is linked to a weapon in such a matter, the previous link breaks as the new one is established.
Level 5 wrote:

Critical Clarity ⟐ (Free Action) (Magus)

Trigger You score a critical hit with a weapon you are wielding and you have spent at least 1 Focus since the last time you recovered Focus.
You recover 1 Focus.
Level 7 wrote:

Spell Recall You gain the Spell Recall Focus spell.

Spell Recall (Focus 4) (Magus)
Cast ⤾ (Reaction) somatic; Trigger You have expended a Spell stored in a weapon via a Spell-Storing Rune or the Spell Strike class feature.
Immediately recover the spell previously stored in the weapon without expending a prepared spell or spell slot.
Level 11 wrote:

Improved Spell Combat ◈◈ (Two-Action Activity)

Your training as Magus has taught you to wield steel and spell in a synergistic manner. Cast a targeted Spell with a Somatic Component and Strike. The Strike takes a -1 circumstance penalty to hit unless you strike the target of your spell. If you strike the target of your spell, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to hit.
Level 17 wrote:

Greater Spell Combat ◈◈ (Two-Action Activity)

Your training as Magus has taught you to wield steel and spell in a synergistic manner. Cast a targeted Spell with a Somatic Component and Strike. If you strike the target of your spell, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to hit.
Level 19 wrote:

True Magus

Your martial and mystical skill has reached legendary proportions.
Choose a weapon during your daily preparations. You may treat it as a Staff of the Magus. A gauntlet would be treated as +3 major striking gauntlet that allows you to expend charges to cast the spells of a Staff of the Magus, for example. You can also sacrifice a spell slot to gain additional charges, as normal.

You may only have one such weapon at a time; if a weapon treated as Staff of the Magus is destroyed, you can choose a new weapon during your next daily preparations.

Targeted Spells are all spells with a "Target(s)" entry.

I have removed the 10th-level spells as the Magus has a different 19th-level class feature.

I have altered Arcane Strike slightly compared to the original draft.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
But even with Breadth that's 5 class feats out of 11. That's not all your class feats. It's not even half.

I've gone ahead and thrown it in Breadth at 8th level. And to help make up for it I'm going to have us compare the fighter:

Level 1) 1/1 class feats are fighter feats (100%)
Level 2) 1/2 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 4) 1/3 class feats are fighter feats (33%)
Level 6) 2/4 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 8) 2/5 class feats are fighter feats (40%)
Level 10) 3/6 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 12) 3/7 class feats are fighter feats (43%)
Level 14) 4/8 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 16) 5/9 class feats are fighter feats (56%)
Level 18) 5/10 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 20) 6/11 class feats are fighter feats (55%)

So yes. You are right. Strictly speaking they are not 50% of a fighter's feats. But claiming that is actually misleading because you're only looking at 1/20th of the game.

100% class feats are fighter feats: 1 level
55-56% class feats are fighter feats: 3 levels
50% class feats are fighter feats: 10 levels
43% class feats are fighter feats: 2 levels
40% class feats are fighter feats: 2 levels
33% class feats are fighter feats: 2 levels

Level 1) 1/1 class feats are fighter feats (100%)

Level 2) 1/2 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 4) 1/3 class feats are fighter feats (33%)
Level 6) 2/4 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 8) 2/5 class feats are fighter feats (40%)
Level 9) 3/6 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 10) 4/7 class feats are fighter feats (57%)
Level 12) 4/8 class feats are fighter feats (50%)
Level 14) 5/9 class feats are fighter feats (56%)
Level 15) 6/10 class feats are fighter feats (60%)
Level 16) 7/11 class feats are fighter feats (64%)
Level 18) 7/12 class feats are fighter feats (58%)
Level 20) 8/13 class feats are fighter feats (62%)

I've gone ahead and included the class features "Flexibility" and "Improved Flexibility" at 9th & 15th level. I applaud your choice to run some numbers to ground the discussion in facts.


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The Magus was one of my favorite classes in PF1, and it was - alongside the Alchemist - one uniquely "Pathfinder" class.

Here's my attempt to recreate the concept of a fighter who dual-wields weapon and spells.

Magus wrote:

The Magus

HP: 8 / level
Initial proficiencies:
Expert in Fortitude
Trained in Reflex
Expert in Will

Trained in Perception

Trained in simple weapons
Trained in unarmed attacks

Trained in light armor
Trained in unarmored defense

Key Ability: Intelligence

01______Ancestry and Background, initial proficiencies, arcane spellcasting, Arcane Strike, cantrips, Spell Combat, Magus feat
02______Skill feat, Magus feat
03______2nd-level spells, Spellstrike, General feat, Skill increase
04______Skill feat, Magus feat
05______3rd-level spells, Ability boosts, Ancestry Feat, Critical Clarity, Skill increase
06______Skill feat, Magus feat
07______4th-level spells, General feat, Expert Spellcaster, Spell Recall, Skill increase
08______Skill feat, Magus feat
09______5th-level spells, Ancestry feat, Simple Weapon Expertise, Lightning Reflexes, Skill increase
10______Ability boosts, Skill feat, Magus feat
11______6th-level spells, General feat, Improved Spell Combat
12______Skill feat, Magus feat
13______7th-level spells, Ancestry feat, Light Armor Expertise, Skill increase, Weapon Specialization
14______Skill feat, Magus feat
15______8th-level spells, Ability boosts, General feat, Master Spellcaster, Skill increase
16______Skill feat, Magus feat
17______9th-level spells, Ancestry feat, Greater Spell Combat, Skill increase
18______Skill feat, Magus feat
19______10th-level spells, General feat, True Magus, Skill increase
20______Ability boosts, Skill feat, Magus feat

Class abilities:

Spell Combat: ◈◈ (Two-Action Activity)
Your training as Magus has taught you to wield steel and spell in a synergistic manner. Cast a targeted Spell with a Somatic Component and Strike. The Strike takes a -2 circumstance penalty to hit unless you strike the target of your spell.

Improved Spell Combat: ◈◈ (Two-Action Activity)
Your training as Magus has taught you to wield steel and spell in a synergistic manner. Cast a targeted Spell with a Somatic Component and Strike. The Strike takes a -1 circumstance penalty to hit unless you strike the target of your spell. If you strike the target of your spell, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to hit.

Greater Spell Combat: ◈◈ (Two-Action Activity)
Your training as Magus has taught you to wield steel and spell in a synergistic manner. Cast a targeted Spell with a Somatic Component and Strike. If you strike the target of your spell, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to hit.

Spellstrike will likely be modeled after Spellstrike Ammunition; you can "charge" a weapon with a spell in 10 minutes / 1 minute / 3 actions / 1 action
at trained/expert/master/legendary casting proficiency; and the spell naturally uses your spellcasting DC instead of a fixed value.

Arcane Strike will be a Flourish Strike that uses Spell Attack instead of Weapon Proficiency and adds +1/+2/+3/+4 damage depending on your arcane spellcasting proficiency

Critical Clarity will recover 1 Focus upon a Weapon Crit.

Spell Recall will allow you to expend Focus to recover a spent "Spellstrike" spell to your weapon.

True Magus will increase spellcasting to legendary and allow you to treat your weapon as Staff of the Magi, except it can be any Weapon.

Quote:

◈ Single Action

◈◈ Two-Action Activity
◈◈◈ Three-Action Activity
⟐ Free Action
⤾ Reaction

This is a work-in-progress; I'll keep editing this post in the following days.


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Mixed Maneuver is an ability that allows you to ignore MAP. This can be very valuable.

Flurry of Maneuvers with Assurance(Athletics) can be a useful third action after Mixed Maneuver; and Whirling Throw also ignores MAP and can be a useful third action after Mixed Maneuver.


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tivadar27 wrote:

So I want to get into specifics here and talk about classic builds that aren't realizable under 2e.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
1. A swashbuckling/dex-based fighter:

Pathfinder 1e CRB: This was possible as a build, particularly when considering rapier, as it gave you the best critical range and could be finessed without a significant loss to damage.

A dex-based Fighter in PF 1 had TERRIBLE damage compared to a 2-Handed Powerattacking strength-based Fighter who likely used Reach and Combat Reflexes.

At least with the CRB only. Stuff like Dervish Dance, Slashing/Fencing/Starry Grace (=> Feats to enable "Dex-to-Damage", Piranha Strike, Trained Grace AWT) are all later additions; and furthermore cost many resources.

In PF1, even with all the options, a FIGHTER was much better when using a 2-Handed Strength-Based Style.

A Swashbuckler, Unchained Rogue, Magus or Dawnflower Dervish Bard was a good dex-based combatant, but all of those had extra damage via class features:

Swashbuckler via Precise Strike
Rogue via Sneak Attack
Magus via Spellstrike & Spellcombat
Dawnflower Dervish via Battle Dance

Comparing Dex-Based and Str-Based Fighters in PF2, I think the gap is significantly smaller than in PF1 (even including all available options far beyond the PF1 CRB).
--------------------------------------------------------------

I might edit this post to analyze further comparisons and I have no experience with DND 5E, so I can't comment on that.


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Assisting in reverse(aiming for a critical failure) is an interesting strategy that can also be used to "buff" an ally...with a +2 to hit

Hmm...this would work best with a low-attack option....

So a Wizard who is UNTRAINED(-4 proficiency penalty) in the fist(-2 circumstance penalty)

and suffers from sufficient MAP (-10) could attack at -16, fishing for a critical failure to Assist while mentally switching "enemy" and "ally" for the desired mechanical benefit.

How to achieve -10 MAP?

An offensive Spell will offer -5 MAP(so -11 penalty for the reverse assist attempt...)

Let's look at an example:

Generic Gnome Wizard: 8 STR, everything else doesn't matter.

A normal punch to assist is at -1(STR)-4(untrained)-2(circumstance penalty)+Level, so Level-7.

Let's assume his party members are at the same level, so we can ditch the level part.

So he casts an attack cantrip with 2 actions, incurring -5 MAP, then reverse-assists his ally at -12 to hit vs AC, fishing for a critical failure.

The AC of said ally is likely 17, so if he wants to hit 7 or lower, he will succeed with his reverse-assistance 95% of the time!

That's actually a nice (ab)use of critical failure mechanics!


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Recently, I've read a nice thread that introduced me to the idea of "Reverse Gating", e.g. the ability of a sufficiently skilled character to "automatically" succeed at low-difficulty challenges.

And it seems to be an quite lovely idea.

Similarly, the Assurance feat (intended to replace the "Take 10/20" mechanics from PF1?) may attempt to do this.

How about we simply remove Assurance and graft this "Reverse Gating" mechanic into the UTEML-system itself?

Task________Untrained
Trivial_______~50% chance success
Low_________~25% chance success
Hard________~ 5% chance success
Severe_______no chance
Extreme_____no chance

Task________Trained
Trivial_______~75% chance success
Low_________~50% chance success
Hard________~25% chance success
Severe_______~ 5% chance success
Extreme_____no chance

Task________Expert
Trivial_______success
Low_________~75% chance success
Hard________~50% chance success
Severe_______~25% chance success
Extreme_____~ 5% chance success

Task________Master
Trivial_______success
Low_________success
Hard________~75% chance success
Severe_______~50% chance success
Extreme_____~25% chance success

Task________Legendary
Trivial_______success
Low_________success
Hard________success
Severe_______~75% chance success
Extreme_____~50% chance success

While the success-percentages are just guesstimates and can be ignored entirely, the "no chance" and "success" entries are the essence of this proposal.

IMO, an expert shouldn't need to roll for trivial tasks, a master shouldn't roll for low tasks, and someone legendary shouldn't roll for hard tasks.


Pathfinder 1E had both Retraining rules as well as Martial Flexibility and the Paragon surge spell.

Pathfinder 2E fighters have two lovely class features:

Combat Flexibility(gain a 8th-level or lower fighter feat for 1 day 1/day) and Improved Flexibility(gain a 14th-level or lower fighter feat for 1 day 1/day)

These two class features are amazing inasmuch as they offer the fighter some daily flexibility in his abilities - he can, in a fashion similar to a prepared spellcaster, suit his abilities to the situation he expects: If he is hunting a dragon, he might focus on archery, if he expects to face invisible foes, he might train blind-fighting...

Since this very useful mechanic also allows the fighter to "test" certain fighting styles and evaluate the usefulness of feats, the idea of granting such "Flexibility" Class features to all NON-SPELLCASTERS might help with the evaluation of the class feats.

Some quick examples:

============================================

Alchemist Class abilities:
The alchemist is a tinker, a crafter, a scientist mixing reagents and measuring results.

01 Infused Reagents, Advanced Alchemy, Quick Alchemy, Research Field
03 Potent Alchemy (Alchemical Items use your Class DC)
05 Focused Research
07 Experimental Alchemy(1 flexible class feat 4th level or lower)
09 Double Brew
11 Very Experimental Alchemy (1 flexible class feat 8th level or lower)
13 Advanced Research
15 Extremely Experimental Alchemy(1 flexible class feat 12th level or
lower)
17 Alchemical Alacrity
19 Thesis

Infused Reagents, Advanced Alchemy, Quick Alchemy (As normal per Rules update 1.6; but save space in the class table for Advanced Alchemy by simply writing the "level limit" of Quick Alchemy/Advanced Alchemy in the basic ability descriptions.

Potent Alchemy: (Hard-Bake "Powerful Alchemy" as passive into the class and remove the limit to "quickly" crafted items.
An Alchemist learns to craft in quantity and quickly at 1st level, now he can craft with more quality as well.)

Research Field / Focused Research / Advanced Research:

Research Field

A) Bomber:
As normal per Rules update 1.6
B) Chiurgeon:
Your field of research specializes in healing others with
alchemy. You start with the formulas for two additional 1stlevel
antidotes, antitoxins, or elixirs of life in your formula
book.
Whenever you attempt a Medicine check, you can also attempt a Crafting check and choose the better result.

C) Mutagenist:
As normal per Rules update 1.6
D) Poisoner:
As normal per Rules update 1.6

Focused Research:
A) Bomber: Expert bomb proficiency (As normal per Rules update 1.6)
B) Chiurgeon: You can use crafting to remove / reattach limbs (mimicking Regenerate) with an operation that takes 1 hour.
C) Mutagenist: Gain Temp HP=Class level when drinking a Mutagen you crafted.
D) Poisoner: Crafted Poisons use Class DC; Poison Resistance = 1/2 Level, +2 to saves vs poison.

Advanced Research:
A) Bomber: Master bomb proficiency (As normal per Rules update 1.6)
B) Chiurgeon: Elixirs of Life you craft are always maximized.
C) Mutagenist: Gain immunity to crits as long as you are morphed by a mutagen.
D) Poisoner: Your poisons ignore poison resistance, but not immunity.

Thesis:
During daily preparations, you can grant 1 ally an Alchemist Multiclass archetype feat for 1 day. The ally must qualify for the feat.

Double Brew, Alchemical Alacrity
As normal per Rules update 1.6
=========================================================

Similarly, I'd love to grant the other non-spellcasting classes

(Barbarian, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue) similar flexibility.

What do you guys think?


Level 11, and you're looking at a "Boss-fight", so probably CR = APL +4 or +5.

Since you want a "martial, speedy-fast fighter-type" who is a solo enemy versus a party of 5(!, the usual CR calculations assumes a party of 4) level 11 PCs, you're going to have to create some circumstances in your boss's favor.

I'd suggest an Agile Prana Ghost Kineticist 15 with the Terrakineticist Archetype; have the party face it in various terrain that changes the abilities of the Boss.

Thanks to rejuvenation, it can even be a recurring boss!


A few links regarding encounter design and various levers that drastically affect difficulty.

A 12th-level party (I'm assuming 4 PCs) has access to 6th-level magic and possibly quite potent options already - it is no surprise that they consider themselves powerful enough to challenge a BOSS.

However, there are a few *difficulty spikes* as you progress in Pathfinder...here is a short overview:

1-4th:
Food/Shelter/Sleep/climate, Poison/Disease/Curses, Difficult Terrain and terrain-based obstacles (A broken bridge over a raging river, a mountain to climb to reach the castle of DOOM) are still relevant.
Flying enemies have a huge advantage.
DEATH requires the aid of NPCs to recover from.

5th-8th:
Flight, various powerful buffs/debuffs/spells become available. Martial characters deal vastly more damage with a Full-attack.
Large & bigger enemies are more prevalent than before.

Death & many other statuses can be cured, Food/shelter/sleep/climate cease to matter as problem, terrain-based obstacles (apart from under-water-things) no longer provide a serious challenge.

9th-12th:
Freedom of Movement is an incredible buff available.

Plane Shift, Planar Ally/Planar Binding, Scry & Teleport become available and both vastly expand the horizon / effective operating range of your party, their options and their ability to acquire information.

Simple mysteries can be solved easily with divination, travel time matters much, much less, and planar traits start to matter. This is the stage where you can reliably expect to face interplanar opposition and enter the big stage.

This means Scry-&-Fry tactics become available.

13th-16th:
True seeing solves many illusion-based challenges, Mind Blank is a powerful defensive buff, Control Weather offers a large-scale manipulation of the environment, Antimagic Field & Create Demiplane allow for radical reshaping of the battlefield.

Greater Teleport & Greater Scrying allow for more precise information / travel leading to Scry and Die-tactics, Simulacrum increases agency, Greater Curse Terrain also massively reshapes the environment.

This "stage" of difficulty / power isn't very different from 9th-12th, except that the players have more and better tools to act, rather than the rudimentary options they had before.

17th-20th:
The Endgame. With 9th-level spells such as Wish & Miracle, the limits of reality are shattered even further; Timestop, Shapechange, True Resurrection / Mass Heal, Interplanetary Teleport, Mage's Disjunction, Communal Mindblank, Gate...

Mythic:
The Post-Endgame. Now you enter the realm of the (demi-)gods; Wish can be cast as immediate action, Timestop lasts for 24 hours, you recover from status effects, including death, with incredible ease, you laugh at the previous limits of action economy and can recover your spell slots/class abilities extremely fast.

Only an extremely convoluted PLOT can slow you down, but there is no more stopping you.

=============================================================

After this brief sketch of the various "stages" of Pathfinder, you should demonstrate why the BBEG *is* the BBEG, simply by letting him show that he plays one or two "stages" above the PCs.

How to design such a boss battle:

1) Have them face an "actor" that pretends to be the BBEG while the actual BBEG is doing more important work - a senior, trusted lieutenant at least, if not the right-hand-man of the BBEG.

This scales down the CR and allows for an interesting fight the players might even win - with the dramatic reveal of the mistaken identity at the end.

2) Create a proper environment that limits the player options (use any/all methods from "The 9 Classical Ways to make PF combat hard") and have the BBEG escape via Contingency.

3) Have them fight a Simulacrum (or several) of the BBEG. This may be extremely challenging, so if they realize they fought him at half strength, maybe they wise up to his true power.


Concerning your writeup on the Adaptive shifter:

According to AoN,
you get 2 Reactive Forms at level 1,
+1 at level 2/4/6/8/10/12/14/16/18, learning all at 20.

You currently claim they learn 2 Reactive Forms at level 1,
+2 at level 2/4/6/8/10/12/14/16/18, learning all at 20.

Furthermore, according to AoN, Stretching Form is not a lasting form - your guide claims it is.

Finally, I disagree with your rating of Giant Form - Swift action Enlarge Person is very useful at levels 1-5 before you learn wild shape, and I don't see too many alternative low-level options that would make one regret learning Giant Form.

Other than these details, Thanks a ton for writing your guide!


1) Calling card isn't a social talent; it's a part of the Serial killer archetype.

2) Reknown & Obscurity deal with the Fame of the Vigilante's Social identity, while Calling card & the intimidate bonus of Reknown/Obscurity apply to the Vigilante's vigilante identity.

=> An obscure serial killer is unknown in his social identity, but "famous" in his vigilante identity.


Havocker witches could qualify for this at level 1; and two such witches could unleash interesting combos:

Example:

Havocker witch #1 has Electric Blast (Air for Elemental Commixture);
Havocker witch #2 has Fire Blast (Fire for Elemental Commixture).

This allows for a Touch attack that deals damage and forces a save vs nausea + blindness, with a successful save still inflicting blindness!

This looks like a very powerful option to me.

Obviously, the witches could use their ordinary spells to achieve further combinations.


I suggest a kineticist. Start with the Aether element -> you get invisibility at-will at level 6; expand into Air for extra range and mobility (240' touch attacks at will at level 7; later 960' touch attacks at will); you have a limited amount of options, so it is much less complicated than a spellcaster.

If you want, you could ask your DM if he allows VMC(Rogue) as that allows your character to telekinetically disable traps and be a much better rogue than the normal rogue.


I recommend a (Aether) Kineticist -> you start out as ranged attacker who telekinetically throws coins or pebbles at enemies; once you pick up kinetic whip, you have reach and can melee, once you hit level 10, you can grow to large size regardless of your initial size(kinetic form).

Kinetic Blade/Whip can "mimic" using a real weapon while in fact replacing its stats/damage entirely.


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I've recently encountered an interesting reply on reddit within another Paladin dilemma thread; it was very awesome.

Allow me to quote it here:

/u/john_stuart_kill, Ethics PHD wrote:

[Preceding question: Is it time to get rid of the gotcha quests for paladins?]

Totally. Full disclosure: I'm a PhD in ethics, and I think all the time about morality in Pathfinder. Not surprisingly, my first character ever was a paladin, and it remains a favourite class of mine.

Anyway...it is absolutely bananas that people interpret the paladin alignment restriction in such a way as to even make this a possibility. Granted, the RAW on paladin alignment restriction is rather ambiguous (big surprise: most conceptual issues which involve morality tend to be at least somewhat complex)...but this interpretation is extremely uncharitable in the least.

Paladins receive their powers, and the ensuing alignment restriction, from their devotion to a deity and that deity's code of conduct (outside Golarion, this can of course be to an abstract concept and not necessarily to a deity...but for simplicity's sake, let's just talk about it with regard to deities; everything I'm going to say will basically apply to abstract concept devotion anyway).

Now, it's not like everybody's born a paladin and most just eventually lose their abilities; only the most dedicated and devout and strong-willed ever become even 1st-level paladins. These are people who are exceptional enough to have been more or less hand-picked by their deities for paladinhood, primarily due to their uprightness and dedication to the right and the good, to crib a bit from W.D. Ross. And it's not like these folks, once they become paladins, just put their feet up and rest on their laurels. By their nature, and motivated by the favour shown by their god, paladins will, for the most part, continue to strive to do good, to better themselves and the world around them. This is neither a coincidence nor a contingent fact; this is part of what it means to be a paladin.

Of course, some paladins fall: they lose their faith, or are genuinely corrupted, or just can't maintain their commitment, or somehow fall otherwise. They are mortal; they are fallible, even though they are selected largely because they are less fallible than most. Some might fall by way of terrible trauma, some by irresistible greed or ambition or other temptation, some by hubris, some by simple world-weariness. For whatever reason, fallen paladins no longer show the dedication and discipline and strength of character that made them paladins in the first place. In such cases, one can only imagine the disappointment felt by their gods, who put such trust in these mortals, only to see it betrayed...

Now, with all that in mind...we're supposed to believe that a god would strip a paladin of her powers for some kind of "gotcha" technicality, some immoral act committed in an impossible scenario? That's nonsense. There's not some obtuse contract full of legalese and surprise clauses in place: a paladin is so by virtue of her own virtue, her character, and not just her actions. A god cannot (and would not, since gods aren't stupid petty children) expect a paladin to control the whole world, such that she would never get herself into a morally difficult or troublesome situation; indeed, if anything, a god should expect that its paladins would deliberately put themselves into such situations, since it's these circumstances which most call for a paladin. And when difficult struggles like these don't turn out to be as clean and perfect and neatly tied up as we would want (another big surprise: that's life), forcing the paladin into a difficult choice, we're supposed to believe that a god would punish its paladins for making the attempt?

Because, of course, that's the real test: making the attempt. What a god can and should expect of its paladins (and, of course, since we're talking about paladins, we're talking about lawful/good gods, it should go without saying) is that they struggle with morality, that they strive to be better, that they constantly examine their consciences and their codes of conduct and do their very best to live by those tenets, while also championing law and goodness in a world which can be very messy indeed. Such people don't go around never feeling guilt and never doing anything difficult; quite the opposite! The best paladins will always be wondering how they could have done more, been better, shone brighter!

As a result of all of that, whenever a paladin (not a fallen one, of course) finds herself in a moral dilemma (following a good order from a tyrant; killing one person to save ten from a passive death; freeing an unfairly-tried-but-probably-guilty prisoner from justice, knowing that he will likely kill again; etc.), she will do her absolute very best to make the right decision, and whatever she decides, she will likely wrack her soul for days (maybe the rest of her life?), wondering if she did the right thing, or how she might do better next time. It is patently absurd to think that her god, witnessing this difficulty and the ensuing internal struggle, will just say "Sorry! Turns out that the right thing to do was to keep that unfairly-tried killer in prison, because utilitarianism is the right normative theory and what you did was consistent with deontology but not utilitarianism! No more Smite Evil for you!" It is the struggle and the commitment which defines the paladin. If anything, any responsible deity will be more likely to punish the "paladin" who always happens to act rightly while never seriously questioning her own actions or intending to do right, than the one who does her best to make difficult choices with careful reflection and consideration, even if she might sometimes have bad moral luck.

What lesson should you take from this wall of text, GMs? It's very simple: stop punishing paladins for being good paladins who try their best to fight evil! A paladin should only fall because she has stopped being the kind of person who becomes a paladin in the first place. The paladin who, in the heat of battle, kills the innocent farmer because he happened to be possessed by a demon, and then feels guilt for her actions and reflects upon what she might have done wrong (and how she might improve next time), every bit deserves the name "paladin". But, if the paladin in your game is always self-righteous and dogmatic, never questions her own actions or "righteousness", and never even risks getting into difficult situations because of the possibility of moral messiness...well, that person lacks moral courage and discipline and virtue, and that person might be due for a couple of days without paladin powers, just to learn a little humility and get a chance to atone for and correct her ways, if for nothing else...

Even though I do not have a PHD in Ethics, this sums up my views on paladins and I cannot help but agree fully with the above.


The Astral Plane is a vast, mostly empty place which can be visited via (Lesser) Astral Projection.

I'm thinking of the astral plane as VR-MMORPG for a bunch of azlanti citizens who have managed to create a -comparatively simple- occult ritual that creates an effect similar to Lesser Astral Projection.

Some *founders* of this project - Golarion is boring, let's explore the Astral plane and create our own world there! - decided against terraforming the moon and used Aether Architect to create an ever-expanding city, further improving it with Illusory Walls & Permanent images.

While the Astral Plane writeup does have some clues what challenges the Astral plane can provide - shulsagas, astral leviathans, planar travelers, the river of dead souls traveling towards judgement with various outsiders defending or hunting them...

How would you envision a large(10.000-50.000) group of [wizards and/or members of a highly advanced magical culture] who treat the astral plane as "gaming" environment without permadeath act there?


Example build:

Guy, the LN Slayer

Stats (15-pointbuy):

18 STR (10pts, +2 racial)
14 DEX (5pts)
12 CON (2 pts)
10 INT (0 pts)
12 WIS (2 pts)
07 CHA (-4 pts)

Traits: Indomitable Faith(+1 Will), Valknar Graduate(+1 performance Combat, +1 CMB Bullrush)

Weapons of choice are a Heavy Steel Shield (one-handed weapon, 1d4 B) & a gladius(light weapon, 1d6 P / S)

01: Power Attack, Shield Focus
02: Slayer Talent: Ranger Combat Style(Sword & Shield => Shield Slam)
03: Shield Brace (Switch to Mwk Light Steel Shield & a polearm as weapons)
04: Slayer Talent: Rogue Talent(Combat Trick => Improved Bullrush)
05: Combat Reflexes
06: Slayer Talent: Ranger Combat Style(Sword & Shield => Shield Master)
07: Greater Bullrush

Develop the character as you wish further.

This one eschews the "TWF" route for AoOs and control both close (Shield bash + (Improved/Greater) Bullrush & far (reach via two-handed polearm that benefits from high STR & Power Attack)


/me copy-pastes his reply from the other thread:

I suggest the following:

1) Have 20 pre-generated characters; keep them simple & straightforward; give them a quirk, a flaw, a goal, and three "bond options"
(one positive, one negative, one neutral relationship to another character: "positive" = A saved B's life in the past; "negative" = A owes C a large amount of money, "neutral" A and D are from the same hometown)

2) Do not force the players to pick the pregens, but have them as template, tell your players: Pick one of these, or make one like them - with a quirk (=personality trait that "colors" the character), with a flaw (a weakness, not necessarily mechanical), with a goal (something that character wants to achieve) and three generic "bond options" as outlined above.

3) Once the PCs have picked their characters, have them apply the three bonds to other PCs - irrelevant if the "bonded" PCs are party members or "rival party members".

4) Offer quests, take the goals of the PCs into account, and watch what happens. Stay on your toes; if a PC reaches/fulfils/changes his goal, prompt the player to find/create a new goal.

Have the relationships change/evolve throughout the game to avoid them becoming stale and static; offer boons (free traits/feats/ability score increase/spells known) for changing relationships/reaching IC goals.


I suggest the following:

1) Have 20 pre-generated characters; keep them simple & straightforward; give them a quirk, a flaw, a goal, and three "bond options"
(one positive, one negative, one neutral relationship to another character: "positive" = A saved B's life in the past; "negative" = A owes C a large amount of money, "neutral" A and D are from the same hometown)

2) Do not force the players to pick the pregens, but have them as template, tell your players: Pick one of these, or make one like them - with a quirk (=personality trait that "colors" the character), with a flaw (a weakness, not necessarily mechanical), with a goal (something that character wants to achieve) and three generic "bond options" as outlined above.

3) Once the PCs have picked their characters, have them apply the three bonds to other PCs - irrelevant if the "bonded" PCs are party members or "rival party members".

4) Offer quests, take the goals of the PCs into account, and watch what happens. Stay on your toes; if a PC reaches/fulfils/changes his goal, prompt the player to find/create a new goal.

Have the relationships change/evolve throughout the game to avoid them becoming stale and static; offer boons (free traits/feats/ability score increase/spells known) for changing relationships/reaching IC goals.


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I'll leave some links about encounter design here


I really like the new Aspis Agent PrC - options for rogues, bards, mesmerists, vigilantes, (remote-) triggering traps & best of all: Crucial Taunt!

Now that is an *awesome* ability perfect for a recurring antagonist OR a PC who wants to hit an annoying, recurring enemy with something that makes the next encounter much easier!

Something like a Human Slayer 3 / Vigilante 2 / Aspis Agent 10 looks like a fun build...

I'm really glad that there are non-spellcaster PrCs unique, interesting & powerful enough that they warrant choosing & playing them!


I'll leave this collection of links about encounter design here


Iron Will, definitely, earlier...Expanded Metakinesis may be useful...

Improved Initiative may be useful...

Improved Unarmed Strike + Snake Style to utilize your Swift/Immediate action;

Alternatively, pick Dodge + Weapon Trick(One-Handed) & use a spiked gauntlet/Dwarven Boulder Helm...


Quote:
Quote:

Derrick Winters wrote:

Starknife is an exotic weapon, you might want proficiency with the starknife in some fashion...
It's martial, actually.

Huh, you're right. Thanks to you, I've learned something today.


Quote:

So far, stat wise, this character is looking like

7 Str/16 Dex/12 Con/13 Int/18 Wis/7 Cha

-snip-

Gravity Blast as my primary kinetic blast; and like i said- i have no idea how to proceed. when do i get access to composite blasts- i do want to get Gravitic Boost. And Weighing infusion from the new Psychic Anthology could be a good enemy control infusion.

TL:DR Help me build a functional kineticist using the void element.
His archetype really doesn't matter much for now, only when i have keep tabs of his burn.

Alright, you're a Sylph Psychokineticist, and you want a competent, if not necessarily amazing character.

First, let me congratulate you on picking an amazing class (personally, my favorite from all the wealth Paizo has published so far).

Onto concrete advice:

[Disclaimer: My experience with PFS is zero, so take everything with a grain of salt. If I miss something or make a mistake, please refer to more experienced PFS-players/GMs than me.]
===================================================

Sylph:
An excellent choice, as your type offers you some protection against common enchantments (Charm/Hold/Dominate Person, etc) and helps compensate a weakened Willsave caused by accepting "burn".

Psychokineticist:
This archetype offers some unique challenges and opportunities; let's look at them in detail below

*Burn works differently; you no longer benefit from +HP, +Fort/Reflex save, +AC, +Init, +Atk, +Fortification...

but

*you no longer suffer nonlethal damage from Burn, which makes talents such as Kinetic Healer/Void Healer more effective
*you gain +INT, which grants flexible bonus skill points; depending on wether you rest to recover burn or not, you can freely re-assign skillpoints
------------------------------

Since you've chosen a physical blast, you don't have to worry about damage(or WIS, in this case), but instead you have to focus on ACCURACY, especially since you no longer get +DEX from Elemental Overflow.

As such, I'd recommend that you swap your WIS & DEX scores.

As Kineticist, your Willsave is your weakness; Psychokineticists may start with high WIS that compensates that partially, but as they accumulate burn, the weakness reappears and may grow more pronounced.

As such, Traits(Indomitable Faith, +1) and feats(Iron Will, +2) are necessary to augment your Will save.
-----------------------------------------

Example build stub:

Sylph Psychokineticist:

Alternate Racial traits: Breeze-kissed

FCB: +HP

Stats:
07 STR (-4 pts)
18 DEX (10 pts, +2 racial)
12 CON (5 pts, -2 racial)
15 INT (3 pts, +2 racial)
16 WIS (10 pts)
07 CHA (-4 pts)

Traits: Indomitable Faith(+1 Will), Reactionary(+2 Init)

01: Infusion(Extended Range), Point-Blank Shot (+5, 1d6+4 dmg 30'/120')
02: Utility(Elemental Whispers)
03: Infusion(Pushing Infusion), Iron Will (+8, 2d6+7)
04: Utility(Void Healer), +1 WIS
05: Infusion(Weighing Infusion), Kinetic Invocation (+9, 3d6+8)
06: Utility(Animate Dead*)

*Kinetic Invocation


Starknife is an exotic weapon, you might want proficiency with the starknife in some fashion...


Kitsune Mesmerist, eh?

Let's see what makes a character "not suck":

1)Have meaningful actions ["Power"]

2)Use your actions ["Action Economy/Finesse"]

3)Survive long enough to act ["Defenses"]

Thankfully, you have selected a class that naturally uses the swift/immediate action via the Hypnotic Stare; therefore, we only need to gain useful options for the move action and standard action you get each turn.

Move action options:
1) Move, Retrieve Item, etc... [Standard]
2) Combat Advice -> +2 competence to hit for an ally within 30'; skip this if you have a bard in the party.

Standard action options:
Spells; weapon attacks, total defense, Skill: Intimidate, Skill: Bluff(Create a Diversion to Hide, Feint...)

Finally, the kitsune race lends itself to enchantment spells(+1 DC) and your hypnotic stare nerfs will saves by -2(-3 later) as swift action; therefore you can use enchantment magic at +3 effective DC.

--------------------------------------------------
Example Build stub:

Kitsune Mesmerist(Vexing Trickster)

Stats(15-pointbuy)
08 STR (0 pts, -2 racial)
16 DEX (5 pts, +2 racial)
14 CON (5 pts)
10 INT (0 pts)
10 WIS (0 pts)
16 CHA (5 pts, +2 racial)

Traits: Resilient(Combat, +1 Fort), Focused(magic, +2 concentration)
FCB: +1/6 of the "Magical Tail" feat

01: Consummate Trickster +1, Hypnotic Stare(-2), knacks, Mesmerist Trick(??), painful stare; Realistic Likeness
02: Mesmerist Trick(??); [Combat Expertise]
03: Bold Stare(??); [Bouncing Trick], Weapon Finesse
04: Consummate Trickster +2, Mesmerist Trick(??), +1 CHA
05: Manifold Tricks(2), Mental Potency +1; Persistent Spell
06: Manifold Hijinks(2), Mesmerist Trick(??); [Magical Tail]


Let's see...

Spear Dancer can make your birds blind faster, and Order of the Flame can make your birds much deadlier thanks to Glorious Challenge.

Build stub:
Hans the Halfling Cavalier(Huntmaster)

Alternate Racial traits:
Caretaker: +2 sense motive, animal companions get +2 to a Stat of your choice.

Stats (15-Pointbuy)

12 STR (5 pts, -2 racial)
16 DEX (5 pts, +2 racial)
14 CON (5 pts)
12 INT (2 pts)
12 WIS (2 pts)
09 CHA (-4 pts, +2 racial)

Traits:
Helpful(race; +4 bonus from Aid Another), Battlefield Disciple(combat; +2 to Heal(stabilize) & +1 atk from Aid Another)

01: Bestial Challenge 1/day, Hunting Pack, Order of the Flame, Tactician 1/day; Totem Beast(Bull), [Escape Route]
02: Foolhardy Rush
03: Takedown; Undersized Mount
04: Animal Trainer, Bestial Challenge 2/day; +1 STR
05: Swift Tracker, Tactician 2/day; Power Attack
06: [Step Up]

1st lvl: You have a Small Bird with 14 STR(Full-atk: bite(+4, 1d4+2), 2 talons(+4, 1d4+2 each))

You can use Aid another: Atk to grant +5 to atk, +4 AC, +4 skills.

Bestial Challenge can make your bird even more dangerous...

Your birds have the bodyguard archetype & take toughness as feat.

At 2nd lvl, you pick up a 2nd bird...
At 3rd lvl, you pick up a 3rd bird & Undersized mount, now your minimum-weight halfling (27 lbs) can ride a 14-STR bird (light load: 43.5 lbs => so 43 lbs stays just below light load; this is should be enough for some clothes/light armor/lance).

Tactician -> Escape route can set up flanking easily...

Your birds need every bit of atk bonus they can get to land their Dirty Tricks...


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Err, Blightburn paste has no text that mentions it is "used up" at any point - alchemist's fire, antitoxin, antiplague etc are pretty obviously "used up" if you throw/drink them, for example. As such, I suppose it falls to GM adjucation wether Blightburn paste is actually an "consumable alchemical item".


Blightburn paste costs 5.000gp, not 4.000gp; is labeled as "alchemical tool" and -as far as I can comprehend from its text- definitely not an *consumable alchemical item*, which is required for Full pouch.


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Build Stub for Penitent:

Human (Constable, Order of the Penitent) Cavalier 6
Alternate Racial traits:
Giant Ancestry(+1 CMB/CMD, -2 Stealth; replaces skilled)

Stats(15-Pointbuy)
STR 18 (10 pts, +2 racial)
DEX 14 (5 pts)
CON 12 (2 pts)
INT 10 (0 pts)
WIS 12 (2 pts)
CHA 07 (-4 pts)

Traits: Reactionary(+2 init), Indomitable Faith(+1 Will)

01: Apprehend, Tactician 1/day, Cavalier's Order, Challenge 1/day, ; Improved Unarmed Strike, Escape Route, Improved Grapple, Snapping Turtle Style
02: Apprehend +1(CMB Grapple/Disarm/Trip, Perception), Expert Captor
03: Squad Commander; Snapping Turtle Clutch
04: Challenge 2/day, Quick Interrogator, +1 STR
05: Badge +2/+1; Snapping Turtle Shell
06: Greater Grapple

----------
You charge and grapple someone, then tie them up on the next turn.

If attacked, you counter with grapple via Snapping turtle clutch.


I've recently been accepted into an Ironfang Invasion AP PbP with a few variant rules (E6, everyone gets a free lvl of brawler later to encourage flexing into teamwork feats; some D&D 3.5 material is allowed upon request; everyone starts at level 2 w/ 2.000gp starting gold) and am playing a middle-aged Human Hydrokineticist who uses Kinetic Invocation to pick up Silent Image as 1st-lvl utility wild talent.

I'm really excited to see how much utility a Kineticist can bring to bear; I'm looking to pick up elemental whispers at level 4 for infinite familiars - ravens for scouting/communication and -starting at lvl 5, where familiars get the "speak with master" ability- goats for disposable flanking partners/trap springers.


While the Troop subtype has gotten much support in Bestiary VI, I suggest these 3rd party options for ease of use:

Squads & Scores

Underlings


You're not doing this strategy - barring exceptional circumstances - at level 1. You're building for level 3 or 5, where this strategy saves you time in combat because you don't have to deal 40+ damage and can instead force save-or-dies with high DCs early.

Tying someone up is a viable alternative *if* you're the only grappler - the best way is have someone else pin, then apply CdG via Throat slicer - see the build stub above.


I suggest the following setup:

Human (Eldritch Guardian, Mutagen Warrior, Martial Master) Fighter 5

Alternate Racial traits:
Giant Ancestry(+1 CMB/CMD, -2 Stealth; replaces skilled)

Stats(15-Pointbuy)
STR 18 (10 pts, +2 racial)
DEX 14 (5 pts)
CON 12 (2 pts)
INT 07 (-4 pts)
WIS 12 (2 pts)
CHA 10 (0 pts)

Traits: Reactionary(+2 init), Indomitable Faith(+1 Will)

01: Familiar(King Crab, Mauler Archetype); Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple
02: Share Training, Steel Will +1
03: Mutagen; Throat Slicer
04: Bushwhack, +1 STR
05: Martial Flexibility I; Improved Familiar(King Crab -> Small Aether Elemental)

----------
Your familiar grapples and pins something, you CdG or vice versa.

Bushwhack + Telekinetic Maneuver from the Small Aether Elemental greatly accelerates your combo.


Hello everyone, I've been wondering how to act against the following "Enforcer" a GM has been using in a campaign:

It is -as far as I know- an "Eldritch Guardian Fighter" with a Small Aether Elemental as familiar who has the Bushwhack feat.

Because the Familiar is constantly invisible, and can fly, it can surprise the party easily. Its CMB / CL for Telekinetic Maneuver scales with the fighter's BAB and feats, and it has at least 700ft range and can basically instantly telekinetically pin someone in the surprise round while staying invisible and far away.

I know "See invisibility" exists, but this particular tactic seems extremely effective...

Does it work like this by the rules, and if it does, what tactics can you recommend against it?

The party is at lvl 5, a Whip Magus, a Geokineticist, a Slayer and a Cleric(Evangelist) of Abadar with the Leadership Subdomain.


This guide is exceedingly awesome.


Alright, let's look at the rules:

She can’t use her kinetic blast without the kinetic blade form infusion or an infusion that lists kinetic blade as a prerequisite.

This means you cannot "use" your kinetic blast without the kinetic blade infusion (or blade rush, or kinetic whip, or blade whirlwind, or whip hurricane).

No restriction on what infusions you can "choose".
--------------

Onward, to the actual choices that matter!

1st - You get kinetic blade for free, but you still have to pick a normal 1st level infusion.

For Earth, you have Pushing Infusion and Draining Infusion available (and extended range/kinetic fist, but you couldn't ever use those, so...)

3rd - your infusion is replaced by the archetype.

5th - For Earth, you have Bowling Infusion(free trip attempt), Entangling Infusion(free entangle/root effect),

7th - For Earth/Earth, you have Magnetic Infusion, Rare-Metal Infusion.

9th - If you are still Earth/Earth, you have to pick up one of the lower-level choices.

11th - see above

13th - see above; you have now exhausted the available substance infusions for Earth/Earth

15th - another element and no infusion!

17th - pick a substance infusion from your new element

19th - see above


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A series of useful links, particularly the "9 ways to make PF combat difficult" is good.

Single bosses CAN work, but you should be careful to build them more defensively(so they don't instakill your characters and are not killed instantly) and grant them extra actions - the agile mythic template + the feat Hero's fortune are a good start.

What level is your party when they meet the boss?


Err...the things the OP is asking for is possible, easily.

If Variant Multiclassing is allowed: STR-based Ninja 20(VMC Oracles, Waves mystery & legalistic curse)

If VMC isn't allowed: Waves Oracle 1, STR-Based Ninja 19

Generic idea: Zabuza's shtick is basically Obscuring Mist + Sneak Attack with a Greatsword.

That works lovely in Pathfinder.

For his more advanced stuff, e.g. Water clones and other stuff, use UMD with scrolls (also compatible with Naruto-ninja-flavor).

Ninja is actually a class that works great with high STR; at low levels you can use 18 STR & Greatsword to kickass in melee even if SA isn't an option, and shuriken add your STR to dmg, so you can deal respectable damage with shuriken even if SA isn't available. If it is, awesome!

Consider adding some Intimidate-related feats(Power Attack, Cornugon Smash, Hurtful) and if your DM allows it, take Damnation feats to represent his "demonic chakra".

Shadows of Fear is also a lovely feat that allows you to "flank" a shaken target 1/turn by yourself.

Vigilante is extremely awesome too; furthermore Slayer is also very awesome - both classes can easily replace Ninja in the above build.


Cheap version:

Hoodwink Cowl (75gp), blind & deaf

Straitjacket (5gp), grappled

Fetters (15gp), entangled & 1/2 speed

Manacles (15gp) restricted hands;
see Shackle for options how to use manacles

Manacle barbs (15gp each for manacles/fetters) Certain actions deal damage to the prisoner

============================

Alright; so for 140gp, we have a blind (no targeting) & deaf(20% failure for spells with verbal components, grappled(-4 dex, casting spells forces a DC 10+5+Spell level Concentration check), entangled(-4 dex, casting spells forces a DC 15+Spell level Concentration check) prisoner at 1/2 speed, who takes 1 damage if he
*uses more than 1 move action per turn
*attempts to move his legs

and take 1d4 dmg if he attempts to use a STR check to break his fetters/manacles.
=============================

You can upgrade the manacles/fetters/straightjacket to masterwork if you want...

Using magical options, Bestow curse to reduce mental ability scores/inhibit actions with a 50% failure rate/inflict Spellblights and Insanity(Amnesia is best, because it locks away class abilities and most spellcasters gain their power from class levels)


A kitsune Aether/Air kineticist could use Magical Tail feats to gain the "mind trick" powers of jedi; just stay in humanoid form all the time..


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Alright; PFS...

Human Aerokineticist 12

Human alternate racial trait: Focused Study(Skill focus at 1st, 8th, 15th instead of Bonus feat)

Traits: Indomitable Faith(+1 Will), Cosmopolitan(+1 linguistics, linguistics as class skill)

FCB: +1/6 of "Extra Wild Talent"

Stats:
10 STR (0)
16 DEX (10)
18 CON (10+2 racial)
12 INT (2)
12 WIS (2)
07 CHA (-4)

01: Infusion(Extended Range); Skill Focus(Linguistics), Orator
02: Utility Talent(Air's Reach)
03: Infusion(Kinetic Blade), Iron Will
04: Utility Talent(Air's Leap)
05: Infusion(Thundering), Kinetic Leap
06: Utility Talents(Wings of Air, Elemental Whispers)
07: Expanded Element(Void - pick negative energy blast to gain an energy composite blast), Extra Wild Talent(Air Shroud)
08: Utility Talent(Windsight)
09: Infusion(Torrent or Snake), Extra Wild Talent(Eyes of the Void)
10: Utility Talent(Greater Windsight)
11: Infusion(Snake or Torrent), Extra Wild Talent(Greater Eyes of the Void)
12: Utility Talent(Suffocate, Spark of Life)

-----------------------

You have +9 linguistics at 1st level, and can use it for most social purposes. There's your "social skills" covered.

With Air's reach and Extended range, you can attack from 240', which should be enough for most cases.

Kinetic Blade allows you flexibility for melee; kinetic Leap + Air's leap offers you crazy jump checks; wings of air allows you early flight, Void offers you a negative energy blast and "darkness-infused lightning" for special evil points as composite blast.

Elemental whispers allows you to summon talking, expendable scouts(Ravens) or trap-testers/flankers(goats).

Windsight can be combo'd with Wands of Obscuring mist for one-sided Fog of War; check with your party if this strategy is viable.

Similarly, (Greater) Eyes of the Void can be used with Deeper Darkness(Via Scroll?) for one-sided vision.

(Greater) Windsight allows you to see around corners, Snake Infusion allows you to shoot around corners.

Suffocate for the evil touch...

Kinetic Leap and the "Extra Wild Talent" feats are non-essential, feel free to change those; furthermore, the expanded element is also non-essential.


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I'll leave some links here:

1) GM's Guide to challenging encounters
An excellent intro to encounter design and why some things work and some things don't.

2) The 9 classic ways to make PF combat difficult
Here are the main ways you can adjust combat difficulty with.

3)The Bestiary Guide for Dungeon Masters
Know your monsters' strengths and weaknesses; proper monster selection can drastically limit caster dominance.

4)The Adventuring Day
A short treatise with examples how to fill a day with encounters.

5)The Comprehensive Guide to Alternate Goals in Combat
When "kill everything" is too boring, and you want to spice it up, here are plenty of alternate goals in combat.


The guy hyperspecialized around just killing people may be stumped at traps/haunts/social challenges that cannot be overcome with "just killing people".

I generally agree with your argument, however - hence the Skald CM concept above, which turns your entire party into combat maneuver specialists who can use AoOs to perform combat maneuvers with extra effects.


Guys...the true combat maneuver master is the SKALD (I'm partial to the Spell Warrior, but YMMV).

Rage powers: Strength Surge(3rd), Savage Dirty Trick(6th), Unexpected Strike(9th), Superstition(12th), Witch Hunter(15th), Spell Sunder(18th).

"Rage-cycle" your allies, let them use Unexpected Strike for sudden AoOs and +Level CMB Dirty Tricks with damage + additional effects and sunder spells.

You can also use Flexible Fury to switch to Impelling Disarm, Knockdown, Animal Fury+Savage Jaw (optinally: Body Bludgeon).


A character with Combat Stamina and Greater feint can feint as a swift action, but the feint only works for the next attack, iirc.


I'll leave a few things here:

1) Squads and Scores - Simple rules for groups of 4 and 20.

2) Underlings a Simple 3PP product that closely mimics 4E's "minions" with a minimum of fuss.

Theoretically, you can even combine Underlings and Squad/Score rules to reduce your workload even further.


The Elemental Ascetic can ranged AoE options, at least; the kinetic knight cannot.

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