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You really are just a giant humanoid(or whatever your current form is) made out of bugs. Heck, you can even be grappled for the first few levels. Your reach doesn't increase to 10ft, but it doesn't decrease to 0ft either. You receive and remove only those abilities mentioned in the ability. It specifically grants you the ability to move into people's squares, it doesn't make you weak against aoe damage, it doesn't allow you to move through small holes, it doesn't prevent you from being targeted by targeted attacks, it doesn't make you immune to flanking. If the intent was that you turn into a pile of bugs, you'd probably get immunity to grappling immediately rather than at 5th level.

You still have hands as they aren't expressly removed through the ability. You could have claws, no problem.

The stated intent of the alternate natural attacks ability is to create an option for shifters without appropriate claws. I believe the intent is to give you the 2 natural weapons of your choice from pincers, bite, or stinger.


I can only think of one character who had been a straight up bad guy in the past. He was a priest of an evil god of the ocean and storms and he used his powers to help pirates wreck ships, and to subdue port towns and such. The captain messed up and picked a target that was too big and the crew had to quit and go into hiding. The storm priest went high into the mountains living as a hermit and acted as a respectable healer for a small mining village. The priest's powers were stripped from him for having forsaken the sea and denying his god a life, but some unknown diety continued to grant him healing powers. After years of pretending to be a decent person, he couldn't remember who he had been before and just kept up the act.


It's not exactly clear how much the alternate claw feature modifies your claws ability, so I don't know exactly what happens.

What I can tell you is that vermin aspect isn't a polymorph effect, so you can do anything in this form that could be done in your normal form. This means you can use your claws and any other natural attacks you may have. You could also cast spells, speak, climb, swim or use manufatured weapons and so on and so forth.

To answer your question, you could create two claws or modify the claw attacks using the alternate natural attack rules. I'm unsure if that gives you the specific type of natural attack, if that natural attack still uses your hands, or if it just changes the damage type.


As written it's looks like a lower level version of black tentacles. A non-specific existence summoned to act on the world in a way similar to a physical thing without really being there.

Even assuming it's intended to ignore DR, it's still pretty weak as a 3rd level spell. It would be nice if the spell were written in such a way that it either reinforced or moved away from game defined words like "swarm", but it's been years and the spell has remained unchanged.

Cloud of fangs doesn't have the same ring to it anyway, fang flock? Biter Bevy? Snarl of Fangs?


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Granting a creature with no ability to experience positive emotions a strong empathic connection to everyone around them, should do the trick.

For example, a young cheerful magician learns how to create a much stronger two way empathic link with and between everything he summons, it's stronger than he intends and, unknown to him, burns out their ability to feel on their own.

Upon the first summoning, the imp stands there blushing and confused as he's overwhelmed with the magician's excitement. The imp returns to his world and tells all the other lesser demons about this intense experience and they all line up to make a pact with this magician just to get the empathic connection, and then do everything they can to get their new master and each other to experience the most positive emotions they can imagine.

This magician lives in some distant plane and frequently summons groups of monsters to stop some evil across the planes. These demons are uncharacteristically charming, patient, kind, and helpful to one another and to everyone who isn't causing negative emotions to their link group or master.

But, of course, the magician has to be stopped. He's permanently burning out these creatures ability to feel their own emotions. So, it's up to a group of frankly evil creatures to tear apart this cult of joy and bring down the creator of happiness, before the magician summons them too.


The check to recognize you as a member of your race doesn't change regardless of what you look like, unless it is a disguise. With that in mind, if you want the world to make sense, there can't be too much overlap between races, and there needs to be a set range of options. The PCs are typically exceptional members of their race anyway, so letting them set the outer bounds seems reasonable enough. However, if the character could easily be mistaken for some other race, then that should probably cost a trait at the very least.

As a DM, I'm pretty flexible. The only adjustment I make is giving people free knowledge of where you're from if you look extremely unusual. If you want to be a pink elf, cool, people who know about elves will also know of the only place in the world where pink elves come from, so try not to do anything to embarrass your people.

I do think it's reasonable to set genre limits on appearance though. Removing anime hair, or bony strong men, oblivious beauties, and other sorts of genre specific characters should be on the table for the DM.

Short answer: Mechanically irrelevant. Do whatever works for your game world narratively.


I'm playing that sort of character. Not exactly the joke character that needs to be tricked into doing good, but actually a rather good and decent person who is down on themselves about anything that is personally beneficial. They're someone whose moral ideal is the selfless impoverished monk in perpetual servitude to man, but instead he haggles with shop keepers and works hard for a few minor comforts; all this while gleefully telling people about how he's screwing over others by asking for a tip or paying himself a wage for book keeping.

So far, great success on player and DM reception.

If the player is a cannibalistic child murderer who needs to be tricked into killing monsters and eating hamburgers through the use of illusion spells, then I wouldn't expect players to be happy about babysitting the crazy character.


VMC sorcerer Rakshasa will get you some mind reading, a bluff boost, and non-detection. And you can make up for the precog stuff using occult skill unlocks.

Telepathy is either a high level spell or racial ability with a short range. I looked into ways to get it for a mute musician and never came up with anything better than picking one of the two very odd races with short range telepathy. Hopefully someone else found something for that.


Any bipedal eidolon will work as a base. Extra limbs (arms) is a 2 point evolution. From there just pick a subtype with the 4 point weapon training evolution, like Azata, and you're set. Your number of attacks are restricted by your level, so you'd get 4 attacks at 4th level.

They wouldn't literally be a Kasatha, but they could look and act like one.


I guess having two full spell casters based on charisma is a nice deal, but they aren't getting much else out of it. At 7th level, right as they hit their prestige class, they'll have a BAB of 2, charm hex and one other hex, an animal companion, a familiar, some nature stuff, and the ability to trick animals into thinking they could have food or sex. And a bunch of first and second level spells.

Power wise, they're competing with 4th level spells and it doesn't look good. Their best bet is probably to lean on that animal companion as much as they can. Pick up the boon companion feat to keep it maxed out till they get to this level at least. It'll be a struggle.

Oh, and Deathless meant multidisciplined I think.


As it's written, you can only have one. It's not a terribly potent minion though, so I could see someone houseruling that it's one per source, or that the two instances of corpse companion stack. The archetypes don't reference any other system that would provide clarification.


How do they want to interact with the world? Do they plan on speech, telekinesis, or something entirely different?

Without specific information, I'd say a vine leshy stuck in tree shape is a good base model, and make sure they take a class that can cast spells while immobile, any sort of psychic spell caster wold work. A mesmerist would be ideal as they could use their implant trick ability to buff their wielder, and their only other ability has to do with vision which is unimpeded while in tree shape. Being unable to access their base form is a pretty stiff downgrade, so giving them some additional benefits wouldn't be out of line. Like a little hardness, being a special material, or better item than a stick.

You could also use the Astomoi as your base race and give them an effect similar to the permanent tree shape. They have all the senses they'd need to be a top notch intelligent item.


It seems a bit dangerous for the weapon narratively, but I think the rules are cool with it. The pistol whip deed doesn't put your weapon at risk, so I'd imagine punching wouldn't either.

The metaphorical hands FAQ is honestly not all that helpful for situations other than the one it was invented to answer, that is, trying to dual wield armor spikes and a two handed weapon.


Druchite doesn't require the item be primarily one material or the other as it's applied by either veins in metal or as an inlay on top of the armor. So, while in some cases the lack of a "primarily made of" restriction seems to be an error, in this case it seems appropriate. There's no reason you couldn't apply druchite to an armor with another special material, but the special material rules state you'd only get one effect or the other.

The griffon mane gives a set list of items that it can be made into while still giving the +2 fly bonus and the haramaki isn't on that list. The enchantment cost reduction doesn't have the same restriction, but I assume the intent is that it would. Otherwise you could use the griffon mane as the cloth portion of any armor and achieve the reduction, as this material also doesn't have the "primarily made of" restriction, and that's clearly not the intent.


I couldn't find anything either. You could model it after the arcanist "create primal event" ability and give it a range of 30 feet. As a DM I'd be inclined to make it random and use scatter dice and a range randomizer.


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Boar and dog mounts were part of the original set of small mount options and existed before there was a way to ride something your own size. That's the only reason they have the level restriction and none of the others do.


Hero labs isn't a perfect check on rules.

If you get the gecko through vermin tamer then you automatically get undersized mount as a bonus feat rather than the mount getting light armor proficiency. The default cavalier has a restriction on only selecting things you can ride, so the Gecko option is only available if you have taken the undersized mount feat at 1st level or if you're 4th level.

Maybe they intended to use the riding gecko and never made a animal companion entry for it, but as is, it's restricted.


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They'd automatically succeed the will save when they needed to make it. Until that point, they'd see the illusion. I think anyway. I'd really need to see the exact wording of their immunity to be sure, as some immunities function as perfect spell resistance, which would have no effect on illusion of calm since it doesn't allow spell resistance.


Right, he's talking about scale. Batman wouldn't be a player class if these other super heroes were player classes "significantly less than a wizards 1/2 BAB and 1d6 HP". And your post here is agreeing with him.


Oh, interesting. I thought this line from alternate natural attacks:
"These alternate natural attacks modify only the damage type of the shifter’s natural attacks and otherwise function exactly as the shifter claws class feature."
meant that it only changed the damage type and you weren't actually making that type of natural attack. And that they still used your hands rather than growing a stinger or wings or what have you.

If it changes the type of natural attack, that makes going fear id rager as a werelephant a pretty good deal. It also makes a 1 level dip in the class pretty potent for natural attackers looking for some odd ball natural attacks like wing strikes or two tails or something.


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I don't think I've heard this either. Superman is obviously a monster with a bunch of monster HD and supernatural abilities. Probably an aberration given how unusual his physiology would need to be in order to account for his apparently biologically driven powers.


Stag apparently as well with a gore and two hooves. Wouldn't falcon need 2 talons and a bite to get the two bonus claws?

Lion apparently gets no attacks, that's sort of weird.


I think you're over looking the ability to be a goblin were-elephant shifter and carry medium creatures on your back as a mount while being a small creature. Surely there's some way to make that as useful as it is silly.

Is the line " A weretouched also counts as being in her natural form for the purpose of determining whether she can extend her shifter claws." meant to imply that natural weapon attacks granted by the hybrid creature shape don't replace their arms? Getting a couple of extra claws on your tiger is probably worth the minor aspects ability.


The way Mark describes it, yes I guess so. 2 per level from sage and 2+int per level from effective hit dice.

That isn't the ruling I would expect honestly. Animals have their own skill ranks from their hit dice already, and would normally inherit skill points from their master. With his ruling you aught to be gaining the 2+int skill points per level from the animals effective hit dice even without the archetype and add those on top of those inherited from the familiar's master.

My expectation would be that a bat sage familiar with a 5th level master would have 2 skill points from it's one animal hit dice, and 10 from the sage bonus.


Most familiar archetypes are free to take for almost anyone who has a familiar. Your familiar needs to be permanent, not temporarily summoned, and it needs to have the abilities that would be traded out to take the archetype. A familiar gained through the arcane bond ability granted by the arcane bloodline does qualify.

The archetypes with special qualification requirements are bloodline, figment, mauler, patron, and school familiars. Bloodline familiars are only available through exchanging portions of sorcerer or blood rager bloodlines. Figments and Maulers aren't available to those who get spells from their familiars like shaman and witches. Patron familiars are restricted to Witches and possibly others with patrons. And school familiars are restricted to those who have the appropriate school and have taken the school familiar feat.

The only other restriction I can think of is that you can't have a protector archetype on a tumor familiar.


Having everyone you know wiped out is not the only type of tragic backstory.


You're playing a race based in ancient indian myth, and that comes from the same place you'd expect to find weretigers in Golarion, I think you landed in a character where associating with weretigers is more likely than usual. And since association is the only requirement, I think you have that covered.

Whether or not full round sneak attacks are likely will change from game to game. I've played in games where so few things survive a round, that you're usually moving in to attack most turns, and I've played in others where you're practically chopping down trees. My preference over the years has been toward the larger single hits due to it working in a wider variety of situations and it being easier to afford one weapon.

The only reliable way I know of to use dexterity for dirty tricks, is to take the agile maneuvers feat or two levels of Slayer:Bounty Hunter and trade away sneak attack dice for a free action dirty trick with that attack. There are a few other ways, but they're usually dependent on weird inventory or unusual situations like the mud in your eye feat, net trickery, lamp equipment trick and the cayden deity fighting technique.


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There are several examples of creatures who have subtypes without the typical type. The easiest to remember are in the oni family, they're outsiders but among them are those with the tengu, goblin, and kitsune subtypes. There's also the giant subtype that shows up with several types.


You get the two handed bonus to damage for your dex to damage. So the elf sword would be 12.5. Without taking double slice, you only get half dex to damage on your off hand kukri attack, so that would be 12. You'd also need to insert your to hit loss from two weapon fighting into your crit boost number since you're loosing confirmations. You can pick up double slice of course, and you'd be at about the same. However, you don't benefit from haste and attacks of opportunity as much and you need to buy more weapons. There's also the differences between power attack and piranha strike to consider, but you haven't selected either one here.

It may be worth taking violent display over martial dominance. You should have the skill ranks to max out intimidate, and being able to use dazzling display on crits or sneak attacks will be more useful than a single intimidate against your target on crits only. There's also the human only intimidating confidence feat, but I think that's outside the character concept.


That's what I get for posting when I don't have time to double check that I didn't forget something. Sorry about that.


I'll look at it more closely later, but one easy thing to pick out is that you could take the "dirty fighting" feat in place of "combat expertise". "Dirty fighting" acts as combat expertise for the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites for improved combat maneuvers and does a few other things.


It makes me wish for the good old days where a paladin didn't have control of their character during combat and just charged things in order of importance attacking till they died. Of course, back then a paladin's code required he behave honorably only to those above his station, but was expected to be cut throat when it came to those beneath him. That includes people wearing leather or using ranged weapons of course.

Kidding of course. I think it's a bit odd that the paladin would have a moral code that involved game mechanics. "Won't help people flank" is beyond weird.


Dude, he found an alternative, there's no reason to ride him on it or try and rub it in his face. His intended use sounds like it wouldn't have been overpowered, not everyone is familiar with how certain things can be broken without looking into it.

As an additional alternative, the Totem Spiritualist gives you an animal companion/phantom mashup that gives you additional animals to choose from as you gain levels. And you can store it in your head when you aren't using it, so it's pretty convenient. But they're phantoms so I'm not sure how well they fill the role of friendly pet. Another problem with them is it's unclear how the class stacks with other levels that grant an animal companion.

There's also the option of using an unsworn shaman and selecting nature. You should be able to reselect the specifics of the animal companion version of your familiar when you do so. But that's an 18th level thing, so you've went through most of the game without the main concept in place.


This is really odd. You can use it to make a melee attack. It has an attack bonus equal to caster level plus stat, but doesn't mention removing normal bonuses to melee attacks such as BAB. Typically spells like this would say something like "uses caster level in place of BAB". Are you casting the spell for this effect, or can you use it as long as you're concentrating. Do you get extra attacks from a high BAB? Does it apply non-damaging riders on melee attacks?


You'd probably want to slap on 3 levels of antipaladin at that point to suppress fear immunity.

There are a few archetypes that specifically call out how they need to be modified in order to work with unchained rogue. I can only remember Phantom Thief and Discretion Specialist, but there could be others.

If your allies are weiners about flanking, you could try the "press to the wall" feat. It lets you treat solid objects as flanking allies as long as you are the only one threatening the target. The gangup feat works as well if you have a group with 2 melee characters aside from yourself. If your paladin is mounted, or you have an animal companion, then you're good to go.

If the paladin is actively attempting to impede you, it may be worthwhile to get elven branched spear proficiency, or bladed brush for dex to hit and damage with a reach weapon. Pick up phalanx formation when you have the chance in order to negate the -4 for attacking from over his shoulder.
You can pick up major magic "long arm" if you want to push your reach further and combine your cover behind the paladin with aoos before he's engaged. At this point the paladin will either continue fighting, ignoring you and keeping you safe, or let enemies past him to screw with you. Letting them past sets you up for normal flanking and you get to use your sneak attack again.

All that said, I'm guessing your DM isn't keen on rogues to begin with and it may be a good idea to ask what he thinks would be more fitting.


Many of the examples you gave for the kineticist aren't at will powers though. I'd agree that the abilities were comparable if they could use gather power or infusion specialization to reduce burn costs for utility talents, but since they can't I'm not sure it's a good comparison. Some of telekinesis, flight, invisibility and spell turning are cool free abilities though, I'll give you that.

Ride the blast can't take you through solid objects and can't take people with you. It's cool, but at 12th level it's coming online a bit too late for what it is.

The kineticist breath of life ability is pretty great despite the 2 burn it's going to cost the party. I think the earliest you can use a summon to cast breath of life is 13th level, so one level after the kineticist can do so and 4 after a normal caster. And the Jyoti (summon neutral monster list) isn't great for much else, maybe their breath weapon. Disappointing when compared to the at will etherealness of the Shoki from the same list.

There could be some seriously weird options in the deity summons, but that's a mess I don't want to sort through as I think everyone's mind is made up on the topic at this point.


Garretmander wrote:

I don't know that I've ever made a character with a tragic backstory.

I find those characters cliche and boring.

It's fun for characters with a limited skill set, bad perception, or poor survivability. You can pout and "why does this always happen to me" every time you're useless or dying.


I did a double take on that as well. Several extra max-1 spells would be an absurdly potent domain power.


Kineticist has free at will dimension door, free healing, ethereal monsters with negative energy touch attacks and the ability to spend a second level spell to gain a decent set of spells? Either you're making things up or I've missed some interesting kineticist abilities. What are those abilities called?

And dude, use your advanced weapon training for warrior spirit:bane instead. Better yet, dump rogue for brawler so you only need one weapon and can swap around your weapon master options. It'll also stack with fighter for how many advanced weapon feats you can have. Then slap versatile weapon mod:close on a fauchard and you're effectively dual wielding a reach weapon with similar crit and damage stats at the same level without needing to spend 3/4 of your gold on two +2 weapons. And you don't need to waste actions or attacks feinting. Taking an actual weapon master feat, rather than a temporary one, locks you out of swapping through item mastery feats for utility, it's a huge waste.

At that level you're playing across from the guy who can summon the at will dimension door monster, or medium aether elementals. A melee only martial isn't going to be able to participate in as many encounters as the monsters being summoned.


I suppose it could interrupt spells at low levels if you forbid casting.

I think it looks pretty good when you get to 8th level and can add a rider spell. There's no restriction on cast time or range and it doesn't have to be a hostile spell. It seems like a good way to cast some spells more efficiently. Standard action 30 foot range restoration seems nice "if you get up and walk you'll start to feel a little better.".

But it's normal light damage usage doesn't seem all that big a deal.


I think it's a bit harder to estimate their survival without a list of scenarios, and eventually full day summoning gives you endless healing as well through Akhana on the neutral summoning list. That is at top level though, so the games a mess by then anyway.

Using the expanded/evil/neutral/good summon monster feat to pull out Aghash for free all day dimension door, without the usual self only limit, as a 4th level spell seems pretty extreme regardless of whether or not they die right off in combat. You're spending the same slot as dimension door and a 2nd level spell, in order for it to be usable for 14 hours. Just have him dimdoor out of combat so your free dimdoors don't die and you're all good.

Animate Dreams as a 6th level spell also seem like they'd be a pain as you can just send them ahead of you without risk to yourself and being incorporeal means they're going to face a few things that can't touch them anyway.

I doubt all your summons would last all day every day, but I'm sure some would and others have enough of a non-combat benefit that how well they'd survive wouldn't matter, they'd just be cheaper versions of the spell's they can cast. Dismissing the idea that the spell could be over powered out of hand doesn't seem fair.


I don't think I've had one that survived contact with the DM. But I've had several that started happy. Usually there's a bit of a mix during their life so it isn't all tragic and it isn't all happy fun times either.

The most peaceful and happy backstory I've had was an old farmer who retired leaving his farm to his enormous horde of children. He then rented an apartment in a nearby city and took odd jobs and detective work to pass the time. But then the DM abducted his family for scientific research.


The carry companion spell should do the trick if you just need to transport the warhorse from time to time.


Found another method for ranged legerdemain. Equipment trick thieves tools feat gives you the ability.


Are you asking if a fire forged lantern staff should at all times be treated as if it had just been in a camp fire for a full round? I don't think so, but who knows.

Battle Poi are a more likely candidate for always gaining the bonus fire damage.


There isn't much to work with rules wise. In theory, since each template is added sequentially and not simultaneously, you'd be adding the advanced template to a creature with the advanced template and not adding the template twice. Since templates don't add bonuses, I wouldn't expect them to follow the bonus stacking restriction on bonuses from the same source.

Some templates have requirements that would prevent them from stacking with themselves, you can't add fiery template to a fire type creature for example. But advanced is pretty bare bones and doesn't have any requirements.

I'd probably limit it somehow at a table I was running, but I don't see any restrictions in the rules themselves. I could be missing something.


I can't think of anything that works perfectly. An imp can't wear the war saddle since he's not an animal or magical beast and I'm relatively certain that the "while mounted" portion of the item works out to a use activation, not a constant granted bonus.

An alternative, also a bit fuzzy is the polymorphic pouch.

The polymorphic pouch says:
"It automatically relocates to an easily-accessible place on her body (such as on a belt or a cord around her neck), allowing her to access the pouch and items within it while she is transformed."
I could see the belt being a saddle since saddles are typically belt slot items. I'm assuming that the belt/necklace appears when you shape shift, but the item isn't specific on that. The vagueness of the location given is enough to convince me that a saddle would be a reasonable location.


I assume there's rules somewhere explaining that a mascot familiar can't spend a day becoming a team mate of a random monster or passerby, but I can't seem to find those rules. A recurring adversary having a 1 mile radar for the party seems too useful for there not to be a save, and I don't think a player should be able to have their mascot team up with a sleeping dragon for the HP and BAB boost.

It's clear what the intent is, I'm just hoping there's something more explicit. This is mostly to look at the edge case of a mascot allying with a called outsider, but with no restrictions to look at, I'm sort of stumped.


The aether kineticist version of ranged legerdemain seems like a better deal than going for arcane trickster. It's dipping 2 levels, but you're much better at your target trick. Heck, going full kineticist on a fox shifting kitsune would be pretty fun. You could also pick up the sleight of hand portion of ranged legerdemain by picking aether as your chosen wizard school as well and avoid the prestige class.

As a variation on the sylph vision trick mentioned above, you could go air/smoke school and let the whole party see through your smoke screens. They'll appreciate the trick more.

All the same, you're going to be pretty fragile, and divination will make sure that you don't face things that are acting twice while you only have your passive defenses up. How often surprise rounds occurs is going to vary from table to table, so it may not be a big deal. Still I think it's a safe option.


I'd probably just use a mimic and give it a size increase or two depending on the tub size. It could also be funny to have a hill giant throw bathtubs at the party instead of boulders.

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