I wish I had something to contribute other than saying thanks for creating this thorough thread, DMW. It is greatly appreciated. I am mostly a lurker haha - and am not savvy enough to truly dig through the material and make constructive comments like everyone else is doing - so it is a treat getting to read through all this. :)
Hey, Patrick Newcarry. I just downloaded the PDF of the Playtest Rulebook (and impulsively purchased a hard-copy as well while at B&N last night :3) and this was one of the new changes that stood out to me as a positive.
One, yes, there is the direct mechanical effect you reference, but two - and more importantly - is that it is obvious Paizo is really trying to create a game that touts inclusivity for gamers of all types (see the section entitled Gaming Is For All on pages 5-6). The word "race" is charged and this helps move the verbage towards a more positive tone. (The gaming table is probably one of the only places in life where it isn't rude or offensive to look someone in the eye and genuinely ask: "What race are you?" Lol.) Also, and this is a subjective point, but I like the sound of Elf being my ancestry rather than my race. It just feels more poetic and archaic - just how like I like muh fantasy.
However, I believe I may just be feeding into what Gorbacz knew this could descend into. :P
In addition to my page 13 and page 23 examples, I would like to add that Grimcleaver brought up a good point in the thread I linked above. The Half-Elf and Half-Orc Ancestry Feats are scattered throughout the Human Ancestry Feats, which 1) makes it difficult to navigate and 2) really contributes to the feeling of these two races being diluted into an afterthought (for me). Again, it would be nice if - like in PF1e's Core Rulebook - Humans, Half-Elves and Half-Orcs each got their own dedicated page.
Hey, staticPF, there is actually a conversation going on about this very topic in this thread here if you are interested. :)
Your thread gets the cool factor, though, because you got Vic Wertz to post on yours haha. (Thank you for making me aware of Jason Bulmahn's blog post, Vic! *waves*)
Yes, the blog post is definitely official. Jason Bulmahn is the Director of Game Design for Pathfinder. He's about as official as you get haha.
I do agree with you, though, that I dearly wish my beloved Half-Elves and Half-Orcs received a more attentive treatment than simply taking a feat as a Human to be one. It seems punitive and ill-thought, but from reading the blog post, it seems like they are using this as a basis for creating a myriad of other half-races down the line with supplement books (Aasimars and Tieflings are obviously mentioned). It's... interesting I'll agree, but it just doesn't feel right, which is about the weakest argument one could make. (sigh)
Although I am upset about this treatment, I need to actually roll up a Half-Elf and Half-Orc and play around with them at the table. On paper, though, they look and feel ramrodded to me. I think - for myself - I would be able to swallow this new approach easier if each the Half-Elf and Half-Orc had their own dedicated pages in the Playtest Rulebook like all the other races do rather than being relegated to a footnote on both page 13 (Table 1-1) and 23 (the portraits).
(EDIT: I listed the incorrect page numbers in my last paragraph. They have been corrected accordingly.)
@Grimcleaver: Thank you for reading my post! I deeply appreciate it. I know I name-checked you, so it is cool that you took the time to read what I wrote and respond. My fear - after having submitted - was that I may have sounded too combative. Hopefully this response can dispel that. I appreciate your opinion (specifically your comment stating that "[it] isn't a matter of [you] thinking half-elves and half-orcs shouldn't exist..."). I perhaps was a bit too zealous upon reading your initial comment haha. I appreciate your argument regarding the lore, though. I still take umbrage with the fact that Goblins get a seat at the "core" table (Paizo making note that they have been ostracized for a millennia) while the Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are relegated to the kids' table. However, this is my personal belief and feelings toward the game and I know everyone will not share that - which is a good thing! :)
@Sean R: Wow. Thank you for the initial post you made. It was very eloquent and it certainly captures a portion of my own feelings as well.
Regarding your second post, I believe I am following along, but you hit the nail on the head with the concept of "the other." It is why I like playing the half-races as well. Not in order to play the trope of the "special snowflake" per se, but in order for me - as a player - to experience the catharsis that comes with being "the other" that has badass powers and agency and purpose in a high-powered world of swords and sorcery.
I remember at PaizoCon in Seattle some years back ('14? '15?) there was a workshop (panel?) with some of the Paizo brains (I cannot recall the specific people, unfortunately, so I will not attempt to name drop anyone) and it centered around their push for inclusivity within the gaming community, namely LGBT gamers and persons of color gamers. It was really cool, engaging and as someone who feels "other" it was liberating to hear their sincerity.
Now, I do not doubt their sincerity here, but I do agree with you wholeheartedly, Sean R., when you say: "To see them treated this way... makes me feel unhappy."
Granted, for anyone else who reads this, I do not mean to come across like I am trying to push my agenda on the game while standing on my soapbox. Far from it. Attempting to legislate this kind of stuff in a game can be off-putting and I do not condone virtue signaling (which I am not attempting to do here). I guess when something like playing a Half-Elf or Half-Orc feels so personal for close to twenty years of tabletop gaming for me now, it is "heartbreaking" to feel like your chosen shtick in a game is getting shirked.
I will admit that once I actually get the chance to play this, perhaps I will discover that they are not getting bottom-shelved. However, the presentation thus far leads me to believe that they are an afterthought.
Anyway, thank you, both, again for responding! It means a lot. :)
I believe this to have already been settled, but to the OP (John Mucchiello) I believe dragonhunterq is spot on. Here's all the pertaining text (any emphasis placed is mine):
Heritage Feat, page 23 wrote:
Ancestry feats that have the heritage trait are feats that your character can select only at 1st level ... Your character can never have more than one heritage feat.
Ancestral Paragon, page 163 wrote:
Whether instinctively, through study, or through a mystic sense, you feel a deeper connection to your ancestry than most of those who share that ancestry. You gain a level-1 ancestry feat.
Given the language of Ancestral Paragon, I do not believe this feat to affect Heritage Feats whatsoever. The specific-overrides-general section (under the Game Conventions heading on page 299) does not apply to Ancestry Feats with the Heritage tag.
Perhaps I've just been spoiled all these years, but it is disappointing that races (ancestries now) no longer receive a blanket of benefits. To use Dwarves as an example, you have to choose between things like Hardy, Stonecunning and Weapon Familiarity at 1st-Level as opposed to just receiving those benefits for simply being a dwarf. Perhaps, when in play, it is more rewarding to feel like you have customized your dwarf with these options or perhaps I have played 3.X and Pathfinder for so long now that anything less than all the options feels lackluster.
Lastly, to echo Crayon, the Heritage tag on some of these feats do seem slightly arbitrary.
Apologies if I'm going off-topic here.
I just downloaded the Playtest PDF and this is the first forum I sought out. I am deeply curious as to others' impressions because the treatment of Half-Elves and Half-Orcs caught me off guard. I feel they are getting the short end of the stick in this current iteration of the rules.
(To preface, these two have always been my favorite core races to play flavor-wise and mechanics-wise.)
Here are my thoughts and concerns:
Thank you for reading, everyone. It is fun posting on here. :)
I've enjoyed reading through all these posts! It's always enjoyable to see other players' lines of thinking when it comes to character execution. Also, I love me some necro-ing.
In response to Reksew_Trebla: "Impressiveness" is subjective. When you ask "Can a caster do something as impressive against the typical group of enemies?" my response is yes. Especially right off the bat at first level. Spells like color spray and sleep can end an entire encounter instantaneously against "typical enemies," whereas the martial classes have to relegate themselves to a single attack per single enemy every round. I liken it to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indie is facing off against the expert falchion-wielding martial. This particular martial uses Dazzling Display in attempt to debuff Indie who in turn just ends the encounter with a well-placed shot. Although Indie would undoubtedly be a martial himself, it illustrates the point that impressiveness is subjective. What do we find more impressive? The obvious expertise of the falchion-wielding martial? Or, the pragmatic simplicity of Indie's abilities? Sure, a fighter can take his chances with his Cleave feat to hit multiple enemies, but the caster who invested in Improved Initiative got to go first and end the encounter before it even started, therefore saving the entire party's resources, HP, abilites, etc. for future encounters. I find that more impressive.
However, I recognize that this is probably not within the spirit of your assertion. With the Dimensional line of feats you listed there comes a well-built pizazz, if you will. A complex series of maneuvers pulled off by well-selected feats and class features which outshine a single standard action casting of a spell. (Hopefully I am not incorrect in assuming your are envisioning the excellent opening scene of X2 where Nightcrawler works his way through the entire White House and into the Oval Office. That is certainly a use of the Dimensional line of feats from Ultimate Combat.) However, that single standard action spell can teleport you to different planes of existence or even resurrect a fellow adventurer from the dead, which I find much more impressive.
To echo Matthew Downie, though, the caster does not need to suffer the slog of the numerous levels and excessive planning needed to achieve those kind of spectacular combinations (specifically the Dimensional line of feats). That is the curse of the martial. All those feats you listed would take such a long time, such long consideration, such specific choices, and such specific conditions to pull off.
All that said and my vote goes towards martial classes lol. The deep, cathartic satisfaction I still get after all these of saying either of these two sentences - "I enter rage and power attack" or "I smite evil and power attack" - has never been replicated. I am an individual of the basest desires haha.
Apologies for my long-winded response, Reksew_Trebla, to your point haha. Matthew Downie was much more succinct. :3
- Dysphoria Blues
Apologies for another thread asking for advice on what should I do next with my character :3 Thank you for your time, help, and patience! (I believe in the Oxford Comma!)
My group recently started Crypt of the Everflame, which will then lead into other Pathfinder RPG modules creating a hodgepodge campaign of sorts. Anyway, this is my first time playing in years (as I'm the resident DM), plus this is my first time playing a full-caster as a PC.
If it affects any advice here is our party composition: Human 2H-Melee Inquisitor, Human Undead Lord Cleric, Half-Elf Sniper Rogue, and a Human Morningstar-wielding Medium. I am an Arctic Elf Conjurer with the Teleportation subschool. (The "Arctic Elf" bit is just some alternative racials and aesthetic retoolings I picked up from the srd and some of my splat books.)
Here she is!
ZAY, Female Elf Conjurer:
female elf conjurer (teleportation) 2
NG medium humanoid (elf)
Height 6’ 4”; Hair shock-white; Eyes azure blue Skin slight bluish hue
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60ft.; perception +11
Traits Courageous (combat), Paragon of Speed (regional), Seeker (social)
Languages Common, Elven, Draconic, Abyssal, Infernal, Celestial, Orc, Sylvan
School Abilities: Conjuration: Summoner’s Charm (+1 round), Shift (5ft.) 7/day
Racials: Arctic Elf: darkvision 60ft. (replaces low-light vision), elemental resistance 5 (cold) (replaces elven immunities), keen senses, overwhelming magic (free Spell Focus feat) (replaces elven magic and weapon familiarity)
Spellbook 1st – burning hands, color spray, enlarge person, obscuring mist, grease, mage armor, magic missile, snowball, stumble gap
WALTER (Familiar - Arctic Hare)
What should the map of my character look like? What kind of feat-path would be advantageous for her? I'm not sure where to go with her, but I am having a blast playing a Wizard - I really enjoy her :)
Thanks again for the advice, time, and help!
I had a rogue, way back when, that accomplished this feat of tomfoolery :) I took the Ki Pool rogue talent at 2nd level. At 3rd level I picked up the Extra Rogue Talent feat, nabbed the Ninja Trick rogue talent, and picked up Vanishing Trick from the ninja. This ability requires having a bit of Wisdom score and is only a Swift Action to utilize. I used the Knife Master archetype and used Two-Weapong Fighting with a couple of daggers. It was fun! I had a good time being melee support for our frontline fighter. He was great at setting up flanks with me.
However, another route you could take is picking up Minor Magic as your rogue talent at 2nd level. At 3rd level you pick up the Extra Rogue Talent feat and grab the Major Magic rogue talent. This allows you access to the Vanish spell. This ability requires having a bit of an Intelligence score, but requires a Standard Action to activate. It also caps out at 5 rounds whereas your Vanishing Trick would cap out at 20 rounds (at 20th level).
Also, if you're new to Pathfinder I highly recommend experimentation and play. If you want to play a rogue, then play it! It may not be an optimized class, but if it's what you want to explore and play then do it :) You will enjoy the process more if you play what you want to play. I would definitely recommend sticking with a single class at first (as opposed to dipping into multiclassing and prestige classes) just so you can get a feel for the flow and mechanics without any added frustrations.
If you are adamant about prestige classes, I'd recommend checking out the Arcane Trickster Prc and the Shadowdancer PrC. Both kind of fit the bill of what it is you're looking for. They are both from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook.
I hope you find some fun with your character.
Thanks again, everyone, for all your input so far :) @Tyophelis: Yeah, I hear ya and I agree. As I was staring long and hard at my character sheet I knew it would just fail miserably over time, especially after 1st level haha. The notion of an axe-swinging wizard is just too funny to me, though, and it has be worth a shot, right? :3 Oh, the whimsical musings of a crazed mind...
Also, after doing some surface research, I found that the Creation subschool of Conjuration fits the FMA bill quite a bit along with such Conjuration spells as Stone Shield and Expeditious Construction.
@Java Man: That is an interesting take I had not thought of. It's pretty clever. I need to read up on the Unchained Summoner, so I know what I'd be getting myself into. After one of my friends exploited a Synthesist Summoner at our table the Summoner is now subject to heavy sighing, extreme eye-rolling, and much resistance haha.
@Melkiador & Captain Morgan: Yeah, now that you both mention it, there are more of those FMA-style spells in conjuration as opposed to transmutation. *tsk tsk* I'll need to do some more research and more tweaking then. I do like the sound of a Conjurer EK :3
@Dastis: I would definitely like to try and stay Int-focused as I've never played a full caster based off intelligence before, so I feel pretty set on Wizard, but I could be swayed...
Anyway, here is a mock-up of the cheesiest wizard I could think of. I tried my hardest to make a Wizard posing as a Fighter lol. Her name is Lug Lug and her familiar, Blug-Rah the Ancient One, whispers the secrets of the universe into her hear (no one else can understand). She is quite possibly insane...
female half-orc Transmutation Wizard 1
NG Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6
Traits: Fate’s Favored (faith), Magical Knack (magic), Killer (combat)
Languages: Common, Orc, Terran, Draconic, Abyssal
Class Abilities: physical enhancement (strength +1), arcane bond (familiar), scribe scroll
Racials: darkvision 60ft., intimidating, orc blood, sacred tattoos (replaces orc ferocity), weapon familiarity (falchion, greataxe)
Familiar: Blug-Rah the Ancient One (a tiny lil’ toad that croaks the mysteries of the universe into Lug Lug’s ear)
Again, I would just like to stress I went for cheese, and yes, I utilized Fate's Favored. My apologies :3
Thanks for the reply, Mr. Pitt. I appreciate it :)
I guess I lean more towards a Transmuter/Fighter/Edlritch Knight for the simple reason of aesthetics. I would much rather enhance myself through my glowing spell-hand as opposed to chugging down a potion or a mutagen to receive my buffs.
When I do get these chances to play I often go for style over substance. But, of course, a character that is mechanically competent and effective is also desirable (and good for the party!).
I've posted a few times on the boards, but this is the first thread I've ever created (I felt I should reply to other posts, before creating my own thread, out of courtesy).
Anyway, I'm my group's DM, but as luck would have it, my buddy wants to give me a break so I can finally play (we've been playing together for nine years at this point). Now, this same buddy introduced me to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood not too long ago. I've never been keen on anime, but I really enjoyed the show. Since it's my buddy's favorite show, I figured I'd honor him by trying to create an Edward Elric-type character. I was thinking of choosing a Transmutation Wizard (our group of five currently has no arcane caster), or perhaps choosing an actual Alchemist?
If you don't know the show, the character is essentially a Wizard-Fighter-Monk-type (you know how crazy those animes get haha) that can alter the physical world around him (i.e. Transmutation) to create weapons and walls and such. He has some martial capabilities that enhance his arcane abilities (I apologize to any fans for this gross oversimplification haha).
Here is what we're working with: we're using 20 point-buy; we're only using Pathfinder published material (so no 3PP); and we're only using Core Races (i.e. Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half-Elf, Halfling, Half-Orc, or Human; all the alternate racials and such are fair game, though).
I'm very fond of the idea (if I go the Transmutation Wizard-route) of going into the Eldritch Knight PrC to attain some of that arcane-martial balance that Edward displays in the show. That's just a kernel of an idea, though, so if anyone has some thoughts on possible builds that would be lovely!
Thanks, in advance, for all your time and help. I greatly appreciate it!
Are you referring to Spell Research? If so, my quick reading of the text doesn't seem to exclude PCs researching a witch's patron spells. How the PC chooses to flavor the spell research is another thing, but that's outside the RAW and is up to the player's creativity :) So, personally, as a DM, I would not have a problem with it - I feel it is there in the RAW.
@KitsuneWarlock: To echo what everyone else has said, here is a link to the Quick Draw feat. It explicitly states in the text: "A character who has selected this feat may throw weapons at his full normal rate of attacks (much like a character with a bow)."
As a DM, the way I rule it at my table, is that with this feat you can make as many thrown weapon attacks as your attack limit permits (i.e. BAB + Quick Draw + TWF + ITWF, etc. etc.). I know the hangup is on the free action bit (I think?), but because it's rather feat-intensive (as Ectar pointed out), it seems silly to nerf thrown weapon users. It has great flavor and is really underused IMO, so have it I say! :)
Hopefully that is of some help :3
IIRC the Black Blade archetype stacks with the Kensai archetype, so that would definitely be fun and interesting.
I put the Benevolent enchant on my Bracers of Armor I think (since, like you mentioned, Kensai can't wear armor)... Sheesh, it's been awhile since I've touched my character sheet. I've been stuck behind the screen D: I went the tired way of just upping Dex and Int as well. I know it's heavy on the cheese, but meh - I loved my android :)
Not too long ago I posted in a thread similar to this. There was another player asking for Cleric advice concerning the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. I've DMed this campaign before for my table. Haunts are introduced in this AP and they can be a real pain. Channeling is a very effective way of handling them along with the plethora of undead enemies you fight throughout each book, so here is what I recommended:
"I always thought it would be fun to play a cleric in Carrion Crown with the Glory Domain and the Sun Domain in conjunction with the Improved Channel feat and the Sacred Conduit trait. Glory grants you a +2 to your channel DC when channeling to harm undead and Sun doesn't allow undead to use their channel resistance against you (Sun also allows you to add your cleric level to your damage when you channel to harm undead!). Combine those two domains with the Improved Channel feat and the Sacred Conduit trait. You're now adding a +5 to your channel DC when channeling to harm undead, stripping them of their channel resistance, and you're adding your cleric level to damage. I admit it's a bit gimmicky, but it's just icing on the cleric cake as your progress through the campaign. It would just be one facet of a very utilitarian cleric."
My PCs found channeling to be very useful. The fun with this is that it's just a single feature of an overall well-rounded support Cleric, so it's not like you're a one-trick channeling pony. And, since it's a 3-person party, channeling to heal will be a definite boon. Also, yes, there are many xenophobes in this campaign, so it would be beneficial to have a Cleric with a decent Charisma score. :)
Hopefully this helps somewhat :3
Cavall said wrote:
Benevolent armour enchant would help this too.
Also, I went straight Kensai Magus for my bodyguard-esque build. The reason for sticking with just the Magus is for 1) the spell progression (you're already having to battle diminished spellcasting with the Kensai archetype and spells are vital to the Magus) and 2) staying on track to attain those really cool Kensai abilities (like Iaijutsu).
However, that's just my 2cp. :)
Yes! It is very possible! I did it with my Android Kensai Magus in the Iron Gods Adventure Path.
Pick up the feat Arcane Strike. Then, combine it with the Gloves of Arcane Striking and the Helpful trait. These three synergize really well when you aid another PC to increase their AC. You get to add your Arcane Strike bonus when you aid another to increase their AC (due to the gloves); the Helpful trait bumps the aid another's base bonus from a +2 to a +3. The best part is that it scales with your Arcane Strike bonus so it gets better as you level.
Is that kinda what you were looking for? I hope that was of some help!
(EDIT: Some of the syntax was bothering me :3)
Aelreth said wrote:
Sure thing! I wouldn't mind generating some concepts with you.
My favorite aspect of the cleric is that it is a very diverse class when it comes to flavor. Between all the deities, archetypes, and domains you can really get crafty with your cleric. This allows you to leave behind the classic stereotype of the heal-bot.
When I ran Carrion Crown my friend played an Undead Lord cleric, which fit really nicely into the horror theme. However, the two large caveats with this particular undead summoning/controlling archetype is that 1) your DM and your fellow PCs will often not tolerate the use of undead as they are evil, possibly creating inter-party conflict, and 2) it is a good deal of micro-managing between your undead companion, the HD of undead your are commanding, all in conjunction with spell selections each day. If this is the route you'd like to go be sure to consult your fellow PCs and your DM.
It is definitely important to note that the cleric is at its worst when simply relegated to the role of heal-bot. Use your combat rounds to cast buffs, debuffs, and other situational spells that will help end the combat quickly (therefore leaving any healing needing to be done for after combat).
I always thought it would be fun to play a cleric in Carrion Crown with the Glory Domain and the Sun Domain in conjunction with the Improved Channel feat and the Sacred Conduit trait. Glory grants you a +2 to your channel DC when channeling to harm undead and Sun doesn't allow undead to use their channel resistance against you (Sun also allows you to add your cleric level to your damage when you channel to harm undead!). Combine those two domains with the Improved Channel feat and the Sacred Conduit trait. You're now adding a +5 to your channel DC when channeling to harm undead, stripping them of their channel resistance, and you're adding your cleric level to damage. I admit it's a bit gimmicky, but it's just icing on the cleric cake as your progress through the campaign. It would just be one facet of a very utilitarian cleric.
The other three PCs definitely sound blasting- and combat-oriented, so going the support route would definitely be advantageous.
Did you have any thoughts or ideas? Thanks for letting me help!
I've actually ran the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, in its complete arc, with my players. It's a lot of fun!
Looking at that current dynamic, I'd highly recommend filling the niche of a dedicated divine spellcaster (i.e. Cleric or Oracle). There are a good deal of undead in this campaign (not exclusively, but they're ever-present), plus their utility would be a great boon for the group. However, it always just boils down to what you like to play and what speaks to you creatively. :)
Since PFS is a 20 point-buy system, I'd definitely reference RainyDayNinja's listed stat arrays for your fighter. They are correct usage of spent points. The whole point-buy system costs is a tad wonky to me as well still even after all these years. Strength, especially getting bumped to an 18 at 4th level, will be your best friend, which is why...
You really don't need Power Attack at first level
killed a little bit of me inside lol. As one who plays infrequently (due to the DM-mantle I wear), I usually play beatsticks (i.e. barbarians and fighters) for the instant gratification. I assert that nothing (I say nothing!) is more fun than not just killing something, but obliterating it with a great axe and power attack! DO YOU RUE IT?! DO YOU RUE IT?! YOU WANTED MERCY?! I'M CHAOTIC NEUTRAL!
... sorry, I just had these violent visions of butting a man's head in with a rifle ...
Wanderlust definitely does not grant PCs an additional 10-feet to their starting base speed. It is imperative to address with your GM that it explicitly states in Wanderlust's wording this specific caveat: "when determining your overland speed." The only thing that 10-foot bonus enhances is your overall effectiveness at overland movement, not your PC's base speed in combat.
Also, remember that a trait is supposed to roughly add up to a "half-feat" (Advanced Player's Guide). The feat Fleet only adds 5-feet to a PC's base speed, so this trait would then be twice as good as that feat - definitely an incorrect reading of Wanderlust.
Ridiculon is absolutely correct :)
Linked here are the rules for Overland Movement.
Overland Movement/Speed is different than your character's base speed (which is usually listed at the top of your character sheet). Overland Movement/Speed is designed for long-distance traveling (as opposed to the short-distance grid system you see in combat). However, your character's base speed does affect the calculations of your Overland Movement/Speed (which is also explained in the link above - just scroll down a tad). So yes, the Wanderlust trait affects long-distance traveling, not combat movement. That would be quite the trait if it gave PCs a 10-foot increase to their base speed haha :3
I hope that helps.
Hey, Lucky Salamander:
I like that you give great descriptions for each of your fellow party members... except for the paladin who is simply "stereotypical" with no other discerning characteristics lol. Is there contempt for this character at your gaming table?
I recommend the oracle :)
A dedicated divine caster with access to the cleric's spell list will be much more beneficial to your party. In contrast, a druid's divine spell list is niche and specific; a paladin's spell list is very limited, doesn't kick in until fourth-level, and is mainly there for the paladin himself. In addition, you're already covered on the arcane front with the gnome abjurer, so the sorcerer would be redundant whereas the oracle would be fulfilling his own specific niche.
I applaud your effort in crafting cool backstories for your characters! They look fun.
I hope the party can succeed haha. I've never seen CE and LG in a group together, so hopefully it ends up being a fun dynamic and not a combative one :3
Hey, Steven Marsh:
If you're looking to run a published Pathfinder AP for only two players I recommend checking out Jade Regent. It is centered around your PCs traveling with a caravan of highly-skilled and character-rich NPCs that could be easily substituted in and out where needed. They come fully-statted along with biographies and personalities (so your family wouldn't have to roll up any additional characters). Plus, the NPCs are an integral part of the overarching story so they're woven right in!
Especially if they just completed the Beginner's Box, I wouldn't burden them with gestalt characters or multiple characters - the game can feel intimidating at first with the volume of books, choices, and rules. As others mentioned, Rise of the Runelords is another great choice for an AP (plus, it's a loose "prequel" of sorts to the AP I suggested above - Jade Regent).
I enjoy the flavor of a chaotic good trouble-seeking halfling cleric! (Who needs a rogue, amirite?!)
Though I've never played a cleric (so take whatever I say with a grain of salt), the ones I've DMed for always go for Selective Channeling as soon as possible. It becomes an issue very quickly. Even with your good maneuverability, that 30' radius is just so large-n-wide that you're going to be hard-pressed to just target your allies (especially if they're engaged in melee with the enemy). Healing your enemies doesn't seem to be a sound strategy, but as a DM, I welcome it :3
The Other Feats:
I would also consider Scribe Scroll. My friend's current cleric at our table nabbed it at first level (he's a human, though, and could afford another feat at the beginning) and he's been using it to great effect. (Some spells are better scrolls than they are taking up space in your memorized slots.)
Anyway, I hope this helps somewhat. I hope you have fun with your character - it looks like a blast. :)
Oh, now I feel terribly ignorant. Everyone's providing such obvious advice haha. I never even thought of the lack of, or differing, published materials (my players have become so lazy and bloated upon the flesh of d20pfsrd.com D:).
Also, as a backtrack, I meant no offense to PFS or anyone who plays PFS :3 I was simply using it as a measuring point. Of course, this is just my Woody-Allen-neuroses blabbering on now...
@cuatroespada and @BigNorseWorlf:
Thank you for the information! I hadn't considered those elements. As for power-gaming, I can understand where you're coming from as well. One of my players loves to maximize the rules to his tactical advantage, so I see where errata could be a detriment to playing as effectively as possible within the given system.
Thanks again to you both.
Apologies for the intrusion (as I know this thread began as a simple inquiry as to why Improved Snap Shot was nerfed) and for my personal ignorance on the matter that everyone now is discussing (Paizo and their handling of "nerfing" game mechanics), but I am rather lost.
Unlike video games, such as World of Warcraft, where you are bound by the errata, the nerfing, and are forced to play within the new rule structure, TTRPGs are much more flexible and free. If you feel that Improved Snap Shot should be 10' as opposed to 5' then make it so for your gaming group. Can you not keep the rules you like and throw away the rules you don't like at your table to maximize your gaming experience? Of course, this sentiment should exist within reason. You want to keep the game as "balanced" as possible. Which, keeping the game as "balanced" as possible almost seems like something I would have broken my brain over in my meta-ethics course in undergrad...
I promise I'm not being coy, but rather am perplexed as to why so many people seem frustrated with Paizo's errata when you don't have to play with their new rulings at your table.
Is it directly related to PFS, which would be bound by errata? Is it also related to DMs who run everything as written with no exceptions?
Thanks for any feedback! :) And again, apologies for any sidetracking and for my ignorance on the matter :3
Having been DM-ing at the gaming table for awhile now, I agree that an arcane caster can feel imperative. The buffs, the battlefield control, the debuffs, the summoning. Honestly, though, I think their party composition is fine as-is (especially for a group of new players - a wizard can feel overwhelming at first given the sheer amount of choices when it comes to effectively preparing spells each and every day).
I've run Jade Regent before - it's a very fun campaign. The boon here is that the AP comes loaded with a good deal of NPCs. If you ever feel that your beginning party is missing out on a certain dynamic (such as arcane casting or some more divine casting) you can always have one of their friendly NPCs help them out (Koya Mvashti as the cleric, Ameiko as the bard... and I'm drawing a blank now on some of the other NPCs in the caravan).
It might end up being more fun without the "usual" party dynamic that seems to cover each of the normal bases. Also, Charon's Little Helper is absolutely right that Pathfinder is much more forgiving when it comes to party composition, so however the players want to have fun is a much more viable approach.
I hope you and your family have a great time at the table :)
(EDIT: Some misspellings - it would have had me waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.)
Sorry, I just wanted to backtrack a little here:
Ninjaxenomorph said wrote:
"Can we keep the jokes out of this? I came for feedback on trying to solve a problem, and honestly only one response here is useful in any way."
I say this with all the Southern politeness I can conjure, but I found this to be rude. People's humor is simply a manifestation of the community's friendliness here on the messageboards. Given time, people will respond to your inquiry and then you'll be swimming in oodles of advice. This is a game after all and it's a welcomed gift when you're met with joviality and lightheartedness (as opposed to trolls pounding at the gates). Food for thought :)
As for your question: I respectfully disagree with your friend that androids having souls "betrays decades of science fiction." The lovely truth about science fiction (and fantasy) is that there is no official canonical way of doing things. I find it more respectful, admirable, and exciting to depart from "the norm" when creating within a genre. This allows the creator to explore new and uncharted ideas (reinvention is key to the longevity and complexities of the sci-fi and fantasy genres). So, I highly doubt that sci-fi writers such as Philip K. Dick would scoff (or worse, feel "betrayed") at the notion that androids have souls. It's a creative license that Pathfinder has taken with their approach to implementing androids into the world of Golarion. You're friends may not like it, but it shouldn't inspire ire or disdain. He is free to simply omit androids from his understanding of Golarion or he can write his own lore for how androids function. Create the androids you want to see in your gaming world - all that the Pathfinder published materials do is give you, the players, the tools to a play a game that you and your friends create together (as you are already doing by crafting your own setting!).
Of course, I agree with you. I really love androids as written in Pathfinder. In another thread, which discussed players' favorite races, I listed androids as my number one choice. (When I actually got to be a player - as opposed to DMing - I played a Roy Batty-type that had the Empathy feat. I had so much fun.)
So, with that said, rather than persuade your friends that androids-as-written are great, I say encourage them to craft androids into a matter that is more fitting to their style (if they so choose to have them in their campaign).
Or, if you would rather play androids as they are written (as I too prefer!), persuade them with the idea that it's a roleplaying game; it would maximize your gaming experience if you could play the PC you want to play. Our gaming group hardly ever sacrifices creativity, imagination, and desire at the alter of the written-word-lore of Pathfinder.
Hopefully, this is somewhat helpful! I wrote this in a sleepy stupor and the word "betray" set my tired mind aflame. Now I must make the journey back to bed...
Hey, Third Mind:
I ran the Carrion Crown AP awhile back for my group and one of my friends played an Undead Lord Cleric as well. He had a blast, but it quickly became a hassle and not very much fun for the rest of the group once his army amassed. Be warned!
Concerning your friend's starting skeleton, the stat block you have listed is rather absurd to say the least. I say that as politely as possible :3 For ease of reference I listed some of the necessary information below (the bold is mine for emphasis):
Your buddy gets either the listed skeleton or the listed zombie from the Bestiary. This means his corpse companion does not benefit from your PCs' 25 point-buy. So, whatever those stat blocks say (which are listed just above) is what his corpse companion receives. In addition, his companion only has its one starting feat - Improved Initiative (Skeleton) or Toughness (Zombie) - and cannot add feats such as Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot to the list (his corpse companion is not a PC with levels in a class; it simply has HD). Plus, the bloody quality cannot be applied to his corpse companion at first level because that would increase his corpse companion's HD past half his cleric level. Also, reference what Pizza Lord had to say about some of those wonky numbers concerning the CMD and the tower shield. (A tower shield requires a proficiency feat that a skeleton or zombie does not have access to.)
Questions: How did he add extra feats to his skeleton? How did he add the bloody quality to his skeleton? How did his skeleton achieve better stats than PCs? How did his skeleton achieve such customized starting gear? What is a "Blood Orc"? What is a "Herald Skeleton"? Ask these questions and have him cite his sources. Are you allowing 3rd party material during their character creation? This could explain some of my confusion as to what all he has listed here (as I'm not familiar with most 3rd party publishers)...
Also, remember there is an 8-hour ritual he must perform in order to summon his corpse companion. My personal choice as a DM was to have my friend summon his corpse companion in game as opposed to simply walking onto the scene with one already summoned fully geared and ready to go - I find that to be, personally, cheesy.
In summation, read what everyone else has contributed as well; there is a lot of good information for you and your friend to gestate in order to get this corpse companion on track! I hope the dungeon is a blast :)
Sorcerer. Not for mechanical superiority, of course, but rather for the sheer flavor of having my spellcasting capabilities derive from my charisma (as if I were a natural conduit for the mysterious arcane) is just plain f***ing awesome ;) I've always appreciated passion and natural-born talent over dedication, diligence, and studying haha :3
First, as a DM, I really like your initial idea. It's a great way to have the PCs meet each other and establish a common goal. Also, it sounds like it could make for some great pacing if they're racing against time to find the cure!
Second, as to how to handle the situation, I would personally just talk to the players before the beginning of the session. Just let them know you want to try and bring the game back around to its initial roots and emphasize the parasite that grows within them. That's what you've written and you'd like to explore that creative material you've generated (Are they not into roleplaying? Any of the PCs I create - when I actually get to play - would be deeply terrified and motivated to find a cure; I mean, combats would be so much more tense since the consequences of death are so severe.) There's no railroading needed.
I am a fan of the idea, though, that you could use subtle physical changes in the PCs as a way of getting them back and interested in the parasite-plot (nothing that would hinder or debilitate them, but eerie enough that it should motivate them into seeking a cure finally).
Hopefully that was helpful. Best of luck! Cheers, Mate!
Wow, that is a lot great and thorough work. I respect the time you've put into this.
However, I want to echo what Headfirst and Gulthor said above: I highly recommend allowing these new players to make their own characters, especially if you're restricting the game to just the material from the CRB (a wise decision). Not only will creating their own characters help familiarize them with the rules, it will, more importantly, engage them much more effectively.
What's drawn me to RPGs (and TTRPGs) was the ownership of my creativity and being able to channel the character I envisioned. I'll never forget how excited I was making my first ever character (Bastion Braeburn: a Chaotic Good Irish Half-Elf Bard who played the fiddle and was pretty much just good for Diplomacy and Perform (Comedy) haha) and seeing him come to life through roleplaying and combat encounters. It was deeply satisfying and rewarding. I was a hell of a lot more invested in learning the rules and the game because of my investment into my character.
And, as Gulthor said, as a newbie, flipping through 77 characters would intimidate me and reinforce any ideas of how "complicated" the game might be, therefore turning me off.
Of course, this is just my 2cp.
Best of luck with this new group! I hope it turns out to be a blast. :)
Something I learned early on as a DM (and as a PC far less often...*sniffle*) is that just because a combat encounter isn't "difficult" does not mean that the players are not having fun, or are not immersed, or are not feeling the tension in the story.
I recognize that my friends are all power-gamers. That's how they enjoy the game. So, when I prep for them I know they'll find creative and dominant ways to handle the combats. But, they like that domination, which in turn means I like that domination because they're enjoying the game I'm writing. (There is one friend at the table who is more concerned with roleplaying over combat optimization, but it works because the other four can clobber through fights so he can get back to socializing with NPCs.)
I say let your player stack his archetypes and let him min-mix the hell outta dat character (as long as it adheres to the RAW). He's only one PC in a group. Especially with multiple enemies, difficult terrains, and extenuating circumstances and dangers, even min-maxers need the group dynamic to succeed. "Dealing with him" might be the wrong mindset to approach it with as that is an antagonistic point of view. "How to approach him" or "How to communicate with him" will prove a better path.
P.S. However, if he's "fighting" you over rules consistently that's not good, but a lot of times that derives from the fact that someone feels they're not getting a fair shake.
I haven't been keeping up with the previous replies since I last posted. Apologies to everyone if I'm adding nothing new or pertinent to this conversation :3
Hey, Yizzik Uhari:
Here are my favorite odd-ball races:
1. I love me some Androids (Blade Runner!). I got the opportunity to play Roy Batty essentially in the Iron Gods AP. I role-played that Empathy feat so hard! ("I've rolled dice you wouldn't believe...")
2. I'm also particularly fond of Dhampirs as I'm a real sucker (pun intended) for vampires and horror. Not the ones who sparkle in the sunlight, though...
3. Lastly, a shout-out to the Drow. Descending into the Underdark in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Drizzt Do'Urden really sealed the deal for me. I have yet to play one in a campaign, though - they're just too good :3
Hey Coinshot Colton:
The Nature Oracle immediately came to mind, but it's only druid-themed and casts from the oracle's spell list. It's divine like the druid too.
There's also the option of a fey bloodline sorcerer. They add some druid spells to their arcane spell list. The wildblooded alternate of the fey bloodline (sylvan bloodline) snags you an animal companion.
Hopefully that was somewhat helpful. Cheers, Mate!