Dubious Scholar's page

966 posts. Alias of Matthew Scheele.


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I should note that being mounted means you share MAP with your mount, it removes the advantage animal companions otherwise have there.


You're still better off using Rain of Embers since it's a status bonus, which means you're allowed to use a normal shield for +2 circumstance as a third action (fairly reasonable on monk thanks to Flurry). Although I do think Crane Wing is more universally applicable due to damage types (so many things resist fire).

And yes, I know that it's terribly impractical to turtle up that way... well, mostly. A monk who doesn't need to move still gets to strike twice with Flurry, and can still Raise a Shield>Stride>Flurry if they have to. Monks are the one class that runs into the third action problem with their second action.


...I actually just figured out a way to get to 26 while trying to figure out how soon I could make that more sustainable (as burning through scrolls is not economical).

Instead of a scroll, using Drakeheart Mutagen gives you +4 item but limits you to +2 dex. But that allows you to hit 26 total instead, and if you use Ancient Elf you can have Alchemist Dedication at 1 to brew 2 per day for free.

The trick with Mage Armor is that monk can't hit the AC cap that way until level 5 since it's a 1/5 armor (same as runes on explorers clothes or bracers of armor), so the mutagen gets you to the maximum +6 total earlier.


Mounts can be tricky in dungeons due to size issues. However, spellcasters often hit that "what do I with my third action" if they don't see any reason to move since most spells are two actions. Commanding your animal companion is 1 action, then they get to move in and provide flanks to your frontliners and chip away at enemies. They're reasonably accurate and durable, though they do fall a little behind at high levels is my understanding (at level 4 specifically they're actually silly and basically an additional PC in a fight in terms of stats, but that's the peak). You'll need to be able to heal them but a Warpriest shouldn't have issues there I think.

That said... I think I'd lean more towards using one on a Cloistered Cleric, because a Warpriest is more likely to already be in the thick of things? I'm not 100% sure. If you're focusing on buff spells heavily I suppose it makes sense, as you'd probably end up switching over to moving/striking on both the PC and AC after getting some buffs up until you need to heal, but I can't say for sure.

The archetype itself works very well - it does require a fair number of feats (Mature Animal Companion etc are basically mandatory to take at the first level you can for your companion's stats to keep up), but spellcasters usually can manage that I think.


25 is the best I can get.

Magical Misfit background for Trick Magic Item. Use that for a scroll of Mage Armor.
Monk with 18 DEX and Rain of Embers stance.
Raise tower shield and cover as actions for a turn.

10 Base
4 circumstance
1 item
1 status
5 proficiency
4 dex
25 total.


So I've been debating conscious minds for a bit, and if I'm doing my math right Tangible Dream's main drawback (the melee range of Imaginary Weapon) is easily fixed at level 2 with Warp Space.

You lose the hit two enemies and +2d8 amp heighten (which, admittedly, is significant damage), but in exchange you get to have it measure range from any space within 30 feet. Which makes it effectively a 35' range spell (as it can hit once space further out than its origin still) and it ignores cover (sometimes relevant, and a major upside of Phase Bolt).

I had to actually run the numbers though on that loss of damage... but it's not that bad. Baseline, this is the most damaging of the level 1 cantrips amped, followed by Telekinetic Projectile and Produce Flame. But... 1d8/spell level + spell mod is enough to take 3rd/4th place until level 9 (it beats Ray of Frost until 9 and Produce Flame until 5), but you can take one of the stronger ones at 6 anyways.

Quick numbers (spell level 1 and amount gained each spell level past that):
Normal IW: 8.5+9/level
Warp IW: 8.5+4.5/level
Phase Bolt: 6.5+5/level
TKP: 7.5+7/level
Ray of Frost: 5.5+5.5/level
Produce Flame: 6.5+6.5/level (because of the splash)
Melee Produce Flame: 7.5+7.5/level (for completeness, but this loses easily to normal IW anyways)


I think Sacred Nagaji is actually one of the best ancestry unarmed attacks. Bludgeoning is good, d6 is good, finesse with d6 is great.

Iruxi Razor Claws are still the absolute best I think (straight up shortsword stats with the feat, allowing an Iruxi Monk to just arbitrarily do d6 of any physical type with finesse and agile), but those aren't tails and as such are beyond the scope of the thread.


Foxfire Thaumaturge build. Although half the time I don't actually break character and complete a session entirely masquerading as a human, just punching things into submission.

I have been strongly considering Sacred Nagaji, the ancestry has some interesting options, but I don't know what class I'd use for it. I might end up saving that for Kineticist later this year...


roquepo wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Bracing feels like it'll be really good in dungeons. Either advance and attack with it down the hallway or stand firm and let the squishies hide behind you while you ready for the charge. Intelligent enemies will probably learn to avoid you, but not all enemies are intelligent or have that option.
Actually now that you mention it "it's round one and I'm gonna let them run up to me instead of wasting my actions running up to them" is a really good way to use this for a lot of foes.
We do this a lot. Works well if you have more ranged options than the enemy group.

It's something I wish I saw more of in society play. Watching someone go first and run in to get one swing in... and then a couple enemies go next and take 2-3 swings each back. With flanking. And if they'd just done like, Raise Shield, Ready as their turn the enemies would be doing far fewer attacks and they'd still get the same attack at no MAP. And then the party could surround an beat up an enemy or two to drop them fast. The difference in PC versus hostile attacks can be significant at times. (This is even more mean if you've got like, Hunted Shot or Flurry of Blows to ready)

I think readied actions aren't something a lot of people think about, but a weapon specializing in them is something that interests me.


A gunslinger shooting into second range increment is basically just shrugging, since it only knocks their accuracy down to normal martial accuracy. Fighter is in the same boat, though it's less suited to reload weapons.

A ranger at second increment doesn't even care, because Hunt Prey negates the penalty.

For the two classes best suited to using reload weapons as their primary combat option, they can easily shoot out to 180ft anyways with the jezail, so even in the rare event a combat requires that kind of range they're still effective with it.


On Magical Shorthand:
It allows using Downtime to get spells at lower cost, specifically. It's basically an alternative Earn Income. Also, more importantly, it allows trying again if you fail to learn a spell without waiting for a level up.


Devise a strategem is about 80% of a True Strike or so (if Pursue a Lead is active, it's on par or better due to being a free action), with the caveat that you have to have a plan for low rolls.

It's significantly better if you're using a bow, for instance, as there's zero cost to changing your target (assuming another target exists, anyways). Cantrips are popular backup options I've found as well (coincidentally it doesn't apply to spell attack rolls, but I think people often just grab Electric Arc anyways). If you don't have Athletic Strategem than maneuvers are an option (that feat is a double-edged sword somewhat). Prepare to aid instead with an attack. Roll Recall Knowledge. Heal someone up (Forensic/Alchemical Sciences are good here in particular). Etc.

But I do think it's something you need to plan for. I know I've heard some other clever tricks with it I can't recall atm too.


Squiggit wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
I think that's because it serves as a stealth errata to fix the damage exploit.
What damage exploit?

Exploit is probably too strong of a word because it's just how the ability is written. More like maybe not thought out all the way?

But you can dismiss the mutagen to do damage based on the remaining duration for the greater and major versions. The damage you get if you drink and then immediately end the mutagen is rather high at that level considering how many elixirs an alchemist can make in a day.

Oh no, exploit is the correct word. As written, there were alchemist builds that could do orders of magnitude higher damage with those elixirs than 10th level spells. Specifically, Persistent Mutagen at 16 makes it last until your next daily preparations. (12d6 per hour on a greater, 18d6 on major. Being able to deal a few hundred d6 of damage is a bit much)

And that's before you reach the question of "so how many dice do I roll if I have infinite duration?" raised by Eternal Elixir.


My sprite sniper is in love.

Elemental shot seems to make Alchemical Shot a lot less attractive, since it doesn't have that "misfire on miss" issue and can still inflict persistent to target a weakness. Edit: As well as some other special bullets that also convert attack damage to an element. Like, I can't see a justification for that misfire chance if you can just use items for it?


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Did you know the CRB still has a feat you can't use the level you take it?

Abundant Step is a level 6 Monk feat. It grants the focus spell of the same name. However, Abundant Step is printed as Focus 4, meaning you must be level 7 to cast it.

The rule in question: "You can’t cast a focus spell if its minimum level is greater than half your level rounded up, even if you somehow gain access to it." It's pretty clear that it's not supposed to be possible to get focus spells at a level too low to cast them, so this one's an outlier.

It would be fixed by either making the feat level 8 or the spell's base level 3. The latter is easier, since I'm pretty sure that's how everyone has been treating it anyways (this is admittedly a bit pedantic of an issue, but)


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The Rowan Rifle is a level 16 unique magic weapon. It's okay for it to be stronger than normal I think. It's a weapon of legend.

No, the real question is how Concussive interacts with a weapon that does pure energy damage. If you take the trait at face value, the Rowan Rifle deals fire damage just fine to fire elementals (as they generally lack immunity to piercing and bludgeoning). Meanwhile a creature immune to physical damage wouldn't take fire damage from it.


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Xyxox wrote:
Saedar wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:

The only reason I've ever picked up an EvilHat Productions game was to see what all the hype for Blades in the Dark was. Played it a few weeks. Thought it was okay. And put it down in favor of something that the writer put more effort into fleshing out.

It's a good (what we used to call) "beer and pretzels" game, but it's not Pathfinder.

For you, based on your single interaction. I've played campaigns of comparable length and complexity to Paizo APs using Fate and Apocalypse World and Monsterhearts andandand. Don't confuse market dominance for depth of play. Fine to not like it personally but you don't need to diminish its value.
An open license that is irrevocable in the language for me to use Pathfinder SRD content? Yeah, no need for anything else. Your mileage may vary.

Yeah, an ironclad open license is absolutely possible. Software has plenty of them.


I think buffing the weaker hex cantrips and being able to pick up a couple more with feats is the main change I'd do.

Bard is... probably a bad comparison. Dirge of Doom and Inspire Courage are, frankly, OP.


Farien wrote:
Dubious Scholar wrote:
Effortless concentration+3x sustain, you can maintain 4 summons for their full duration fine. You won't be doing anything else, granted, but.
Also, typical combats only last about 4 rounds. So you might want to save some of those spell slots. Pulling out 4 summon spells just to prove that you can...?

It's just a cool thing witch can theoretically do. I don't think it's in any way practical.


Zi Mishkal wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:

WotC has a VERY long shot here, but it has a shot. And in American law, where business-to-business litigation is brutal and frequently more about who has the money than who is right, a long shot might be all they need to win.

Moreover, they don't necessarily need to 'win' any court case. They simply need to ruin the business model of their competitors. How long can Paizo exist, for example, if they can't sell 90-100% of their product? How about Hero Lab? Owlcat? Pathbuilder? etc. etc.

Court cases tend to drag on. If WotC can get make their new OGL enforceable while that goes on.. it's going to be game over. Because frankly, while the outrage among the rest of the RPG will be immense and overwhelming, the outrage among DnD fans is likely to be muted at best.

I don't think that's likely. Getting an injunction is supposed to require some kind of irreparable harm, and money is basically the exact opposite of that. The court would tell WotC to wait for the outcome of the case because they aren't meaningfully harmed by having to wait.

Now, bankrupting someone with legal fees is a long standing strategy for the haves to deny the protection of the law to the have-nots, but I don't think that's a risk for Paizo here.


Grimmerling wrote:
On the other hand, Hasbro might feel obliged to proceed; an unexploited monetisation opportunity could be considered a breach of trust for a publicly listed enterprise.

No, it can't. There's no legal requirement to try and squeeze out every dollar possible. A CEO is only obligated to do their best at running the company - as long as they can justify their decisions they're fine is my understanding of it. And that allows a lot of leeway to them because you'd have to prove they knew a decision was bad for the company.


Effortless concentration+3x sustain, you can maintain 4 summons for their full duration fine. You won't be doing anything else, granted, but.


Being able to have int give more expert+ skills would be very helpful for sure. I'm not sure how you do that cleanly, but.


QuidEst wrote:
One of the big use cases is having two summon spells active at once. Normally, the second one taking three actions prevents maintaining the first. Most classes have to wait a long time to pull it off in-class, or have to multiclass Witch to ever do it at all.

At level 20, a witch can have the unique ability to maintain 4 summons at once. (Because you can cackle+cackle+free action sustain on a single turn once you can do more than one hex per turn)

The closest competition is Summoner, which can reach 3 at level 16 as long as their eidolon is summoning one of them.


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Another option I've kicked around - your thaumaturge just keeps a lot of holy symbols on them and waves around whatever's appropriate.

Or just the symbol of Iomedae, because clearly justice and divine retribution are a weak point of evildoers.


In terms of raw AC, monk keeps up with champion (well, dex monks) if they're using shields. Champion is absolutely what people think of first, but monks can be just as durable. The main difference is monks aren't packing a powerful damage reducing reaction for anything aimed at their friends. (The top tier out of combat healing of Lay of Hands is also a thing).

I think monk is simpler, but champion is better at the role of soaking damage for the party overall (because they can mitigate/heal for allies too)


I think the biggest issue with getting the profiency in scales for free (or really, the only issue) would be casters, who are normally having to budget stats between DEX and CON for survival and can't hit max AC for many levels without investing class feats in it.

On the other hand, they do eventually hit 18 DEX still, so I'm not sure it's that big of a deal and they can retrain out of spending a general feat on medium armor at 5 or 10 or whatever (they don't scale until 13 anyways!)

I'd be in favor of an errata for all the ancestries with this kind of feature as a whole though, it just makes more sense imo.


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The idea of a quick-draw specialist is cool to me.

You could then have a variant that can do multiple weapons (to hit different weaknesses - iai with a side of golf bag), though still locked to the cadence.

I think I'd do something like having a specific Iai Stance, and the stance is consumed by using a Draw attack. Action requirements lead to the intended cadence - Stance, Draw, Sheathe, repeat. Class can have improvements to action economy to let you do it more often, or other feats that can follow up from a Draw to let you do more things without sheathing (or even straight combo attacks - like "Requirement: your last action was a Draw")

Maybe a Sheathed Strike feat or action to let you do unboosted hits on your off turns? (No bonuses, nonlethal, etc).


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aobst128 wrote:
Not only do classes soft lock you out of this heritage, the heritage also locks you out of monk since you can't take off your skin.

Monk can actually work with armor - a number of APG stances don't care.


Yes, you'd be able to use the normal crafting process for it, it's just not a valid option for your Advanced Alchemy making you some freebies every day.


Imaginary Weapon is definitely the best spellstrike option un-amped, but it's a small increase.

Withering Grasp already existed with 1d12 negative on a hit, 1d4 persistent negative, and +1d12/1 persistent heightened, and that's pretty nasty.

Fire Ray was already noted, it's only slightly behind imaginary weapon (technically stronger at lower levels, since imaginary weapon doesn't gain damage from amping at 1).

I think it's a very good option but it's only slightly better than what already existed?

Edit: Also, if you're fighting undead, Sun Blade wins with conditionally going as high as 3d6 damage per spell level.


Adapted Cantrip's main advantage is that you cast the spell as your own tradition (and thus proficiency), using your normal spell mod (not important for summoner as a CHA caster). In some cases it allows other things as well (Unleash Psyche for instance), but that doesn't apply on Summoner.

Overall, it's not particularly important unless you've got the divine spell list I'd say? And even then an extra utility cantrip may serve you better than using a cantrip slot on another tradition.


Tanglefoot bag probably doesn't do much for you. If you want to save money in the long run, I'd put black powder ammo into your book - being able to make free bullets is nice (and also saves on bookeeping). If your GM doesn't care about tracking mundane ammo I'd probably still replace it with another bomb. Also note that Quicksilver Mutagen cannot be produced using Munitions Crafter (it isn't a bomb or ammo). The mutagen is also the same bonus type as runes anyways (it's generally one point higher at a given level, but).

The alchemists tools item is sufficient for Advanced Alchemy and is already portable - they fixed the oddity of "I need to transport a giant lab with me" with that.


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Error on page 12:

Spoiler:
The scenario offers a chance for PCs to make a Profession (instructor or teacher) check. Looks like someone was thinking PF1 for a bit there - what should the check be?


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Ancestral Mind doesn't actually say that it makes the spells benefit from Unleash. It's a plausible reading, but it's not explicit, and it's equally plausible for someone to assume it stops at making your innate spells all Occult (benefiting from your better proficiency, but it also can make them int-based) and using different components (mainly useful for the inherent eschew materials).

The feat only says you can substitute the components of the spell, it doesn't actually say they're cast via Psychic Spellcasting (the class feature), and that's an important distinction.


A sword can totally be regalia, but it will be an ornamental sword and not functional as a weapon. The filigree is important! Or at least, you're going to need to polish it back up afterwards.

On the other hand, since you get to free action swap implements anyways, I'm not sure I care enough to press the issue.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Ohh, you wouldn't recommend heightening it using it with your other level 3 spells like Fireball or lightning bolt?

I wouldn't heighten it too much as you'll get better sustained damage spells later unless you're exploiting a weakness. It depends on how many spell slots you have in a day. I think of flaming sphere as more like bonus damage that I can use a single action to cause while using a cantrip or a spell slot to combine with it.

One of the big knocks on casters is a lack of single action options, but they have spells that once you cast them you can use a single action to sustain the spell doing damage or some other effect. That's your single action extra damage option. So consider the fight and if you will get a good number of sustain rounds using the sphere along with some other spell or cantrip to do damage.

It's a consideration as one of your battle combinations in a fight lasting 3 or more rounds at least.

Later sustained spells will have the advantage of half on save, hit larger areas, etc. Flaming Sphere's main advantage there is that it can't be moved out of - you get to chase enemies with it. A lot of other sustained spells are fixed on cast, so it's a consideration.


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I've always read those to be basically saying you always gain benefit of X exploration activity when not taking it. I don't see any reason to expect them to stack at all.


Guntermench wrote:

They also can't talk or use any actions of any kind until they lose that action on the following turn.

It's pretty good. Just need to keep in mind that you can't have used the Cantrip on that target yet during that fight, so you only get one shot. They also may not use the action you want.

"Strike" is probably a safe bet though. And geez, yeah, RAW getting hit with Stunned during your own turn is brutal.


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The usual way to make things less good for multiclass would be in-class bonuses, right? Monk stances are great, but you can't get Flurry without more investment, for instance. Spellstrike is inferior if taken by a non-Magus because you don't get conflux spells to reload it for free, etc.


Spellcasters in general don't get extra cantrips except via feats, so that initial 5 for Summoner is it (you don't have the Cantrip Expansion class feat available), though you can always add more from other sources (and as a CHA caster you're good with them, especially if they match your tradition).

You can retrain your cantrip selections, of course, and they can be swapped out as part of the leveling process (you get to swap one spell in your repertoire each level)


Yeah. I think it would have been best if they just were written as "Immune to Fire, weakness 15 cold" and then some separate ability listing that Electric spells haste them and Acid makes them Slowed or whatever.

I get the idea of trying to make spells bounce off, but... immunity to "magic" is way too broad, and as noted it's kind of anti-fun for spellcasters. And sure, flying enemies exist, but "how do I deal with something flying" is a foreseeable problem for the barbarian in a way golem antimagic isn't.


Onkonk wrote:
For a ranged rogue getting Dread Striker is key in my experience, some parties are very good at applying frightened and if you have a Dirge of Doom bard even better.

There's some other sources of flat footed your party can deal out as well, but yeah. At range you really want the party helping. Otherwise your best options still end up eating actions every round (Deception rolls for Make a Distraction are probably easiest, taking Confabulator to mitigate the repeat penalty), but your damage will suffer that action use.


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Caster buffing is mostly defensive buffs I feel. And even then, it's probably best to feed it to a martial. Aside from ones you can't, like Mirror Image.

Otherwise, Magus/Summoner are good candidates as martials dressing like spellcasters, and then a number of classes with focus spells have some stuff there.

Alchemist basically needs to use self buffs to function...

Do we count Bard (and a few other things like Marshal) that are just putting up party buffs? Inspire Courage is pretty good, but the bard won't be getting the most out of it even if it does buff them too.


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Eidolons actually have an innate item bonus to AC that comes from their stats. Paizo learned from animal companions being wonky with AC and basically every eidolon will have maxed AC at either level 1 or 5 (STR arrays start at -1 from max until they can take a dex boost at 5).

Since bonuses of the same type don't stack, and they aren't trained in using armor, and can't be trained in using armor afaik, equipping armor of any kind will reduce their AC anyways, so it's pointless. (They share the PC's runes the same as weapons)

As a disguise, it's a great idea, and should absolutely be allowed.

Edit: For the math, non-heavy armor could give them a total of +5 from dex and item bonus, but they lose 3 AC at level 1 from proficiency, and already had +4 dex+item bonus. So it's impossible to actually come out ahead, even with heavy armor (+6 total)


The best case for allowing the shield is probably this: "A shield can be used as a martial weapon for attacks, using the statistics listed for a shield bash on Table 6–7: Melee Weapons (page 280). The shield bash is an option only for shields that weren’t designed to be used as weapons." (CRB p.277)

On the other hand, they're not actually weapons - they can't get runes on them. This is more of them not being improvised even when used to attack, I guess? So sure, your GM can allow it, talk to them. But as written I don't think it's a great case, as silly as it seems.

I think there's a great case that they should be allowed to work with Thaumaturge that way, but until then you may be better served finding a way to pick up the Shield cantrip.


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So, the Nonlethal trait says this:

"An effect with this trait is not inherently deadly. Damage from a nonlethal effect knocks a creature out rather than killing it. You can use a nonlethal weapon to make a lethal attack with a –2 circumstance penalty."

I would argue there is plenty of room for a GM to interpret "knock out instead of killing" to override the massive damage rule. Generally speaking, there's two good arguments for this. First, Nonlethal is more specific of a rule than massive damage (in that it's a subset of attacks, while massive damage applies to any attack). Second, the case where it's impossible for a level 20 fighter to subdue a level 1 peasant by force is too bad to be true, so the rules should be interpreted to allow that if possible.

I would say that nonlethal attacks cannot cause instant death in general, because things just work better that way and the rules seem to support it fine.


Perpdepog wrote:
Similarly I'm kind of pulling for the elemental lords of the Plane of Metal to be a gestalt of the foremost elemental for each given metal, a bit like the Godmind from Axis.

The great alloy in the sky? I think that's a really cool idea with the properties of metals that way.

I'm wondering if this book will expand on the geniekin heritages at all, considering their association to the elemental planes. (Are there metal/wood genies?).


Eh, 1h guns aren't strong enough to care, and they're uncommon anyways so you need access, which leaves a GM room to say no. Hand crossbow also exists and is fine.

Like, all it's really doing for someone is getting them a "shortbow" at that point.


The action costs on utility impulses don't really feel like the issue to me as much. I guess some of them might be something you could cut back on. Maybe aura startup. Others I think would be real dumb with lower action costs.

But the main issue I think is just that overflow really just reads as an extra action to use an ability since it almost completely turns the class off until you gather again.

I'd say at least let kineticists use elemental blast still afterwards. Give more flexibility so it's more like Magus's spellstrike with finding a chance to recharge your big attack? (Actually, what if gather power gave a bonus to elemental blasts while you held it? That addresses the complaint of lacking damage on them as well, and incentivizes gathering again to turn your bonus back on even if you aren't going to overflow again right away... hmm, or would that just feel bad again? Weaker attack is better than no attack. Should Overflow be separated from active element so it doesn't turn off utility maybe?)

Well, rambling aside, I think there's lots of ways they can address the issue, it just needs something because right now the class feels underwhelming.

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