Experiment 626's page

Organized Play Member. 359 posts. No reviews. 3 lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


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Broken Zenith wrote:
Experiment 626 wrote:
Broken Zenith wrote:

@Kurald: I can add the books if you like, but I'm actually moving away from it in general. Thanks for pointing out the myrmidarch guide - I can't find it anywhere else, so I'm taking it down for now. If anybody else has that guide saved, let me know.

How about this?
That's great, except you need to be a member to see it. Any chance you want to save it as a pdf (or copy the text) and e-mail it to zenithgames.blog@gmail.com ?


Broken Zenith wrote:

@Kurald: I can add the books if you like, but I'm actually moving away from it in general. Thanks for pointing out the myrmidarch guide - I can't find it anywhere else, so I'm taking it down for now. If anybody else has that guide saved, let me know.

How about this?

Trying to do what you want and stay core only doesn't sound like a viable idea. Dual wielding without full BAB usually isn't very productive. Trying to build a rogue is often an exercise in frustration due to the class's limitations in BAB, lack of spells, and poor saving throws. Adding in two weapon fighting further trashes their ability to contribute damage unless you find a way to deliver touch attacks via the magic rogue talents, magic items, or similar. You don't want to worry about positioning, which is going to be a problem for lightly-armored characters. Slugging it out in melee is going to be a constant drain of healing resources as opposed to using missile or reach weapons and positioning for Attacks of Opportunity.

I'd drop all the dual wielding stuff and just go with a bard. You've already got 2 frontliners and I've seen no mention of support casters or battlefield controllers. Giving them free to hit bonuses and damage will make them love you and boost your own to hit/damage numbers, the skill list supports what you're after, and you get spells. Throw nets at people or trip them with your whip and a well-timed True Strike spell. The rapier stuff is cool, too, if you're pressed into combat.

You don't need to be a silly ass with a lute, which is the bard stereotype. You can be an inspiring guy who has just the right quote and words of encouragement at just the right time. The Saving Finale spell is pretty badass to throw out in a pinch, too, as are the various _____ Inspiration spells. Those are close range spells, though, and tend to work better with melee bards rather than archer bards, who often seem to be 10 or 20 feet to far away to use them when they're needed.

Detect Magic, Guidance, and Message were the most used cantrips in the games I've played.

I'd probably go with Detect Magic.

Mindfever wrote:
Super great guide. Thanks for the work you put in. I noticed that Extra Evolution is not only in the guide but in purple. Everywhere I look it seems that the Synth is not allowed to take this. Is there a difinitive word on this?

Definitive word.

DrDeth wrote:
Aranna wrote:

No the true min/maxer would never dump Wisdom on a fighter, remember they dump stats that won't hurt them like Charisma or Intelligence.

They all hurt. Never making a skill check hurts.

When the party is asked to all make a Diplomacy check, and the 7 Fighter basically only stops picking his nose to make a rude gesture to the King- it hurts.

Taking your turn on watch and having a horrible perc check- hurts.

Attacking a monster and watching your sword bounce off and dissolve since you cant make a KS check- hurts. (Unless you cheat by metagaming, of course).

However if what you are saying is that most of the better DPR specialist Min/maxers try for a built that has no significant combat detriments- sure. But the game aint all combat.

That's dandy. Pick a class that has all of 2 skill points/level and needs at least 2 good stats (usually str and con) to be effective in their chosen role and penalize them for putting their points into the things that buttress their primary skills and abilities instead of things they're really not built for.

DrDeth, I've read a lot of your posts, and am still flummoxed about your take on minmaxing. Do you want, say, your auto mechanic to be able to schmooze royalty and make his knowledge arcana checks, or do you want him to be able to fix your damn car? If its the latter, he needs to allocate his points appropriately and the occasional spare point can go towards...whatever.

What you're espousing seems to mean that everyone should roll with 3/4 BAB, 6 skill pt/ level, 6th level casters with 13s in every stat.

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Man, I thought this guy was a brother from another mother for a minute there. This could have spun off into a crazy town of (literally!) cutthroat business dealings, seeking lost recipes or ingredients, reaching trade agreements with unsavory characters, courting just the right NPC to make the business fly, etc. Dude's after the wrong thing if he just wants GP, in my not-so-humble opinion!

Leadership can mean a lot of things. In our campaigns it also substitutes for a network of safe houses and support. You don't necessarily need a feat for that, but it an help justify it for the GM. I almost always take it. When I GM, I give it away for free and try to find a suitable substitute if people don't want a flunky, staffed mansion, business or other organization to belong to.

Hit 'em where they ain't.

I really like Equipment Trick- Rope for a lot of situational goodies.

Nimoot wrote:

Yeah... I've told the GM I don't want to be in his next campaign (which is the one I'd be playing in Potentially...) if he's going to be this nit picky... He's forcing all players to multi-class, which ruins most of what I'd want to do with my characters and their builds... :-\

And no local groups have any room for a Magus or a Psion (Dreamscarred Press book)

Find another group or get more flexible. No gaming is better than bad gaming.

That said, 2 levels of Ninja or rogue (They're wrong on the sneaks not adding to damage, but whatever - you can still blast with cantrips or wands from ambush.) or a level of inspired blade swashbuckler stacked with magus isn't terrible. A level of admixture wizard or crossblooded sorcerer can help with shocking grasps. If you're "forced" to multiclass, those sound like okay options, even if they're not truly what you're after.

Repeating, "Not my circus, not my monkeys." to yourself might also help - not only at this table, but in life in general!

BTW, are they saying you can't use it if you're using only along with spell combat, or not while spellstriking, too? They're wrong on both counts, but the latter's going to be even more limiting. It annoying that you won't be able to do the magus version of TWF (via arcane mark, Brand, or Touch of Fatigue while in flank, though.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Why not Slayer?


Unless you're going for something very specific, the investigator, bard(archaeologist), ranger, inquisitor, or slayer bring everything you probably wanted as a rogue and do it better.

We play gestalt e6 games and rogues fare pretty well in those conditions, Even then, that's largely just as a skill point source for out-of-combat utility. I still find other classes delivering more options and with almost the same bennies, plus benefits the rogue class can't deliver at all.

3rd party products (and possibly Pathfinder Unnchained...I'll have to see it) can help fix some of this, though.

Entryhazard wrote:
Remove Magic for more realism

And enjoy the frequent trips back to town for supplies and bedrest, camping out for days waiting for ability drains to wear off, and characters dropping dead from filth fever every other month. With proper care and management, a good GM can make a campaign duller than an office job and more painful than a trip to the dentist! Follow the mundane crafting rules to the letter for even more game-slowing fun.

OP, from what I can tell, your 2 best options are to play e6 or use a different system. People seem to like Iron Heroes and Savage Worlds quite a bit for lower magic settings.

Edit: I'm reviewing Grittier Rules now and it does have some cool stuff in it. What I'm really liking is the section on use of skill challenges to overcome problems most rely on magic for. Overall, I'd say its well worth the 2 bucks.

wraithstrike wrote:

Good to know.

As for scrolls specifically the rules say " A scroll is a heavy sheet of fine vellum or high-quality paper"

According to google Vellum is waterproof so it is not the magic the protects it from what, but the vellum itself.

Somewhat related: Parchment which is what spellbooks are made out of is water resistant

I don't follow your GM's denial of the repair you attempted. I could see an argument for, "The paper's fine, but the ink is too far gone and can't be mended."

Water resistant isn't necessarily waterproof. Best fish that spellbook out before it gets too deep or is under too long! Once again, the Blessed Book wins as the spellbook option.

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Cevah wrote:

Unfortunately, SM IV would be mid level, and out of each for my NPC.

What about SMM Summon Minor Monster? Does it bring anything to the table?

** spoiler omitted **



I've played one up to 5th level. Keep your nova moments to a minimum and you'll have a flexible bag of tricks that requires a minimum of book keeping. Its great to run an effective battlefield controller without having to keep 6 pages of inventory notes. Just make sure you've got the correct stats for your creatures on notecards or somewhere handy - looking things up takes a lot of time. Having multiple sets of dice and rolling them all at once can speed things up, too.

Try to restrict yourself to 2 summons at a time. By the time you can whip out 2-5 eagles at a shot they're almost not worth summoning unless you're fighting a mob of low-class opposition. I found that it was rare to have more than 2 summons worth of critters on the battlemat anyway. If you're summoning that many creatures your enemies are likely killing a bunch per round, so you're just replacing the fallen if you're still summoning after round 3.

You might have the occasional action economy issue if you keep the eidolon out. It takes a standard action to dismiss them, and you're limited to your eidolon and 1 summon while they're present. In close affairs when you don't have enough warning to dismiss them, you won't be able to nova your summons.

There are a number of guides for summoners. The "specialist sorcerer" guide advocates a similar approach to yours.

Ashiel wrote:

The way I'm reading Mending, it can always restore destroyed nonmagical items (it defines a destroyed item as 0 HP or less) since you can still use it to restore 1d4 hit points to the item (and thus make it not destroyed anymore). Items with greater than 50% of their HP also loose the broken condition (as per the broken condition).

The bit about restoring magic items is not suggesting that you can only restore magic items that have been destroyed, more than to restore their magical powers requires more than usual.

IE - If you have a book that has been destroyed (0 HP) by fire damage (e.g. - burned to ashes) and you cast mending on it, it stops being destroyed at 1+ HP and loses the broken condition if at more than 50% HP.

Another section lays out what you can do with Mending.


Damaged Objects

A damaged object remains functional with the broken condition until the item's hit points are reduced to 0, at which point it is destroyed.

Damaged (but not destroyed) objects can be repaired with the Craft skill and a number of spells. (eg. make whole or mending)

It looks like magic items are a specific exception. Normal items that are reduced to 0 HP aren't recoverable via Mending.

pennywit wrote:
Experiment 626 wrote:
Having goblins or kobolds swipe the golem control thingy and take the golems for a joyride through a seaport sounds like a hoot.
Holy crap that sounds like fun. Especially if (for some reason), they can't kill the kobolds or goblins without breaking local laws.

I edited my post to add the possibility of some brat from a port town doing it, too. A small gang of adolescents that the PCs probably shouldn't outright murder in the streets yet are wrecking the place with golems might make for a fun sidetrek.

Maybe a flunked-out wizard's apprentice and some rogue types for backup. That should allow for some sniping from rooftops and a merry chase through trapped sewer tunnels. Since the kids know the turf so well and have presumably stolen a bunch of the PCs junk, they should have higher wealth by level than normal and have plenty of ways to make life more difficult for people than one might first expect.

If the PCs start busting out reach weapons, clanking around in full plate, or tossing fireballs at kids the guard will likely come after them. They might well be blamed for the golems, too, rather than those poor, misguided kids.

Having goblins, kobolds, or a juvenile delinquent swipe the golem control thingy and take the golems for a joyride through a seaport sounds like a hoot.

I'd also not make the device universal. Maybe the occasional "input password" is required, with 3 wrong answers leading to the golems trying to splatter the controller. It seems like that kind of thing would have a new code required every few months and it only work for golems created by that particular mage or nation.

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kestral287 wrote:

They can. There are some interesting builds involving Frostbite that use one weapon + Spell Combat, then next round mix in unarmed strikes or a second weapon to deliver more Frostbites than are normally doable. Since using another Spell Combat will override your remaining Frostbite charges, at the higher levels this is a decent way to maximize your spell efficiency, and it gives you more endurance than the norm.

Yeah, I was thinking some spiked gauntlets or a cestus might work for something like that. A Glove of Storing or shield for bashery might be options, too. Even a bare hand delivering touch attacks seems like it'd do fine, especially with some sneak dice on top of it.

TomatoFettuccini wrote:

I see what you mean. I didn't think to check the tables. But yes, nothing in the description says melee only. And agreed, i don't see why you couldn't either. Arrows of ghost touch? Seems reasonable to me.

Going this route would be cheaper. I also like the image of sticking a net in a pot full of boiling goop to "treat" it for the next ghostly encounter.

Its a pity you can't start at 8th level. You could roll in with a Redeemer, beat them until they wet themselves with merciful smites, then twist their arms up behind their backs and make them promise to behave via Pact of Peace!

I've played a maneuver master//inquisitor before and things really start synching up at 3rd level. Solo tactics and Tandem Trip is a pretty delicious combo.

I was playing him as a bullying jerk (LE alignment) and the idea of using people as human shields with the Shake it Off and Escape Route teamwork feats was pretty amusing. The other players weren't into being the Party Face, so the conversion inquisition let me cover that role, too.

Your spells will come in handy - litany of sloth is a great, swift action spell that lets you get inside someone's reach or pull a maneuver on them without fear of reprisal. If your wisdom's high enough, the Command spell actually acts like "combat maneuver at range" since you can make people drop prone, drop their weapons, approach you and possibly wander through threatened areas in the process, etc.

Tons and tons of synergy there. Lore Warden/Martial Master Fighter's pretty tasty to gestalt with the inquisitor, too. Chainsawsam schooled me on that combo in this thread.

Sandslice wrote:

Under the sea.

Under the sea!
Fights are more dire
Without the fire
Plus, hard to see!
Get the heroes into the drink
Watch as their golems quickly sink!
A new perspective
Laughs and invective
Under the sea!

Had to; but yeah, the biggest threat to a party like that may well be the ocean itself. With plenty of aquatic critters, you can even sketch out an adventure if they work out the problems of playing in the pool.

And here I thought I was clever for coming up with a perverted version of "My favorite things" on the fly yesterday. You are my hero!

Chengar Qordath wrote:
knightnday wrote:
I think that might be a mischaracterization of many of the posters, or at least what I think they are trying to say which is more "There is a line, and some people cross it."
It seems like the main issue under discussion is where exactly that line is.

Sure seems that way! And a lot of misunderstandings (and shouting matches) occur because someone else's "reskinning" isn't my "reskinning" but we're all tossing the same word around.

Just have them play a standard fighter or cavalier with a crappy will and reflex save.

After spending one too many combats asleep, stunned, dominated or whatever they'll probably want to rebuild.

Edit: Skimming over the list of drawbacks, I don't see anything specific. Creating a custom drawback of -1 or -2 to all saves vs. magic seems in line with the others.

I'll state again, for the record, that this is probably a really bad idea.

captain yesterday wrote:

Honestly I just keep a stack of books handy, have the section of the book we're working on open then just wing it, been doing that for going on 5 years or so:-) only thing I really prep beforehand is getting the pawns I'll need ready to go.

Good luck, when in doubt do what your gut tells you :-)

This. When you're adequately prepped, you can wing it pretty well. Generally speaking, if you can't lay your hands on the answer within a minute or 2, just go with what sounds right. Keeping the story going is more important.

If something's questionable you can make a note and research the issue before the next game session. Siccing your local rules lawyer on a problem is a good approach, too. They generally feel unappreciated and it will be a welcome change from them questioning your decisions and trying to break your campaign with corner-case builds!

Have someone else track initiative and maybe get some counters or cards to keep track of conditions and buffs.

Otherwhere wrote:
And I'm doing my best to keep the encounters "balanced", so was looking at the CR - but, as I said, Pathfinder doesn't consider a summoner in the party and how that can totally skew encounters. They really need to add that to their guides.

Have you checked this guide out, Otherwhere?

I don't see Brewer's 2nd GM guide on your guide page, BZ.

Here's the guide.

Here's the discussion.

One thing I'd like to make clear is that I was responding to Otherwhere, who I've corresponded with before now. His party has a 3rd level master summoner that's proven challenging. I've run a master summoner at low levels so feel somewhat qualified to comment. The entirety of my play on both sides of the screen since 3.5 has been at levels 2-5, so I freely admit I don't have a clue of what 7th level + is like in Pathfinder.

Spook205 wrote:
Experiment 626 wrote:

I wouldn't add more mooks. Your summoner is already acting appropriately by summoning more chumps to deal with the numbers, and that's what's causing the problems.

Add better quality opposition by tacking rogue levels on adepts and giving them partially-charged wands of Scorching Ray instead. When they pop out of stealth and nail someone with a scorching ray or sneak attack acid splash, its gonna hurt. 3 levels of poisoner rogue and now you've got drow sleep poison that's inhaled...feel free to toss them augmented smoke bombs and watch the summoner drop and his summons go "poof!" in the process.

Some notes.

Eidolons, presuming you don't have that one feat, disappear on unconsciousness. Summon Monster doesn't operate that way. In fact, as summon monster is dismissible (not concentration), it means that the caster has to be conscious to end it early. Take down the summoner and his summons are still quite operational for the next, oh, several minutes .

Didn't know that. I'll keep that in mind for the next time I play my Master Summoner. Still, it stems the tide of SLA summons.

Also, not every encounter can consist of adept rogues. Or maybe it can if its like, land of the magical rogues with wands.

Didn't say that. Its a good way to add some tricks to the adepts that often direct the flunkies.

And lastly, drow sleep poison is horrible. It never works on anything you want to use it on, the DC is criminally low. Maybe there's something in the poisoner archetype that boosts the DC that I don't know about, though?

The summoner and other non-martials are often packing low fortitude saves. At 3rd level, which is what Otherwhere's players are at, its about 50/50 to drop those with a poor fort save with a dc 13 or 14 poison. You can up the DC by adding more doses at once.

A sleep spell or color spray on the summoned critters can work pretty well, too, as the lower level summons tend to have very poor will saves. Protection from ____ spells help there, too, but primarily, the biggest threat his bad guys are trying to counter is the conga line of monsters his summoner player is dumping onto the battlemat.


More mooks means more stuff going on. Bigger threats can be surrounded, and cut to pieces piecemeal by the summons and the party. Smaller, more numerous threats present a gestalt threat.

They also assist and amplify the problems the summoner has, which is where to put his stuff. Summoners can easilly start tripping over their own summons, particularly when they're master sums.

Yep, but that's working against the problem many people have mentioned in the first place - combat turns are taking too long due to the amount of active entities on the battlemat. Adding more options to the mini bosses might be helpful just so they can't be as easily isolated and shut down compared to just adding more bodies. If the mini bosses ID the summoner as a major threat and start hassling him, he can no longer operate with impunity. I suggested rogue levels and wands or scrolls for augmentation as I found that to be a good combo for the adept lieutenant-types in a goblin campaign I was running.

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I wouldn't add more mooks. Your summoner is already acting appropriately by summoning more chumps to deal with the numbers, and that's what's causing the problems.

Add better quality opposition by tacking rogue levels on adepts and giving them partially-charged wands of Scorching Ray instead. When they pop out of stealth and nail someone with a scorching ray or sneak attack acid splash, its gonna hurt. 3 levels of poisoner rogue and now you've got drow sleep poison that's inhaled...feel free to toss them augmented smoke bombs and watch the summoner drop and his summons go "poof!" in the process.

He should play a redeemer half orc and believe that Lamashtu can change.

Cuuniyevo wrote:
Put 4 ranks into Perform (dance) and take Spear Dancer. It's fantastic.

How is taking 2 feats and blowing 4 skill ranks to give an opponent a -1 fantastic? Are you thinking it said "dazed" instead of "dazzled"?

claudekennilol wrote:
I can't scroll passed the first page.

All the sections listed on that page are hyperlinks to other documents.

I did it in a gestalt game with a gnome synth//grenadier alchemist. Jarvis was going to be my tumor familiar. I could retool the suit/familiar by tinkering in the lab.

A regular ol' magic breastplate, magus class, and various wondrous items could make it work, too. Get some sort of mechanic to refill the arcane pool in place to get more endurance.

Rynjin wrote:
Experiment 626 wrote:
Xethik wrote:
I do like the idea of comboing Vivisectionist with Inquisitor. You aren't getting full-BAB, but double 6's in spellcasting is nothing to laugh up. I think one of the weaknesses is the fact that you have two 6 + Int skill classes, but I do think the class features of Inquisitor outweigh a Cleric in-terms of enjoyment if not optimization

Alchemist gets 4+int on skill points.

I'm with you on the poison conversion thing, but I think I'd go for rogue(poisoner archetype) levels to gestalt with inquisitor just to keep things simpler. Daggermark poisoner for the freebie smoke bombs + inhaled, multiple dosage drow poison tricks might be nice to prestige off into after 4 or 5 levels of rogue.

I'll bang around with that on Herolab today if I get the chance and see how it shakes out.

Poisoner Rogue's version of Poison Conversion is way, way worse, though.

Poison Conversion: Takes 1 minute, never fails.

Master Poisoner: Takes an HOUR, and requires a Craft Alchemy check or ruins the poison.

And it offers nothing else of value that an Alchemist can't already get.

Agreed on all points. Alchemists are pretty sweet in general.

I frequently play in lower level gestalt games, so having a trick I can use for most of the campaign beats one that's more of a capstone that I might never see. Being "Mr. Skill Points" is kinda cool, too, but the inquisitor is already most of the way there.

Even when I was messing around with the proposed rogue build in Herolab, I was dissatisfied with the results. I think I'd just buy the converted gunk from someone else and eat the cost if I were in a game where I could reliably do that.

nate lange wrote:
It seems to me like this might be overly complicated and not as beneficial as it could be... At lower levels you'll pretty much always be better off focusing all your xp on a single class (more Hp/survivability and get to iterative attacks and/or new spell levels faster), and if you enforce some cap on their main class at higher levels you may actually hold back their progression...

I noticed that in our gestalt games, too. The pure martial and sometimes even 3/4 casters often benefited from gestalting early to get increased versatility and some feature synergy, or extra feats that the other class brought along. The 9 level casters were almost always better off staying single classed just to get the geometric power increase a new level of spells can bring.

If you've got a trick you want to bring online that requires a prereq of skill ranks or BAB you'll probably want to stick with straight class progression and then start bringing up your gestalt class. Depending on your level, it will take a while to bring the new class into relevance. The gestalt cavalier//wizard I made really didn't start to get noticeable benefits (better HP and fortitude save, of course, and his familiar benefited from those, too) until 3 or 4 levels of cavalier were under his belt, as the animal companion was weaker than a normal war horse for the first few levels. After that he was a highly mobile artillery platform with a brutish, bodyguard horse and shared lookout feats between him, the horse, and his valet familiar.

Malusiocus wrote:

Right now I'm also having issues on trying to keep some of the more... conservative characters from also avoiding punishment. The "turnip" anti-paladin just murdered a guy that they brought to the sewers in the presence of the whole party. I plan on there being consequences for this but I'm struggling finding ways to only punish the problem players instead of the whole party.

But how do I send one or two of these characters to jail without sending the whole party. I mean if the whole party witnesses the crime and says nothing about it, they can be viewed as accomplices. Likewise, if one character tries to report it to the authorities, then it just creates unneeded animosity towards that player from the other players.

On the other hand, punishing the whole party for things that stupid players do might encourage the party to quickly discipline or dispose of misbehaving characters. I already plan on having some of the Korvosan guards recognize that one of the characters in the party looks exactly like a women who died and was a suspect in the death of two other guards. Which will probably also draw unwanted attention towards the players. I'm kind of stuck on what the right approach to this problem is without sitting down with my party and telling them how to act. I would much prefer that they learn this stuff for themselves.

Sic the guards on the whole party. They're running with the killer who murdered one of their own.

They'll soon be on the radar of the more higher-level, special squads who get plenty of support to deal with problems like this. Optimized mages, alchemists, hexcrafter maguses with a potent slumber hex, etc. All well-armed and organized like a proper, high-fantasy SWAT team. They'll probably hit the characters individually while they're unprepared to maximize officer safety. The Asmodean clerics will probably help in any way they can, since they're law and order types and want to see the Turnip punished. Don't pull any punches.

If you're not prepared to go down that road, just have a sit down with the players and tell them that you're not happy with where things are going, and looking for input. You're not down with this style of campaign. I don't blame you - chaotic stupid gets old mighty quick. Approaching them individually first might get you more honest feedback, especially from the less confrontational.

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VRMH wrote:
Krell44 wrote:
How do I determine when I could normally acquire a new familiar?
Ask your GM. Technically your current familiar needs to be dead or dismissed first, but many GMs and players find that ridiculous.

Especially because you're an alchemist. Come on...a week in the lab and you can turn a bat into a scorpion! Sure, they called you mad back in the academy, but you'll show them! You'll show them all!!!

I'm fond of the bat familiar for the blindsense.

You've only got 1 level before your strange, flying growth can chitter back at you in a way you can understand, so getting access to a message cantrip can increase your scouting options.

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Level 5 party? And no one animated the thing and turned it into a zombie submarine yet?

We all live in a zombie submarine!
a zombie submarine
a zombie submarine

Aelryinth wrote:

The problem with the Rogue Magic Talents is they don't go up high enough.

Swap out Sneak attack for scaling access to 3 spells per level of SA as spell likes, and you suddenly have a very INTERESTING rogue to play.


It almost sounds like you're talking about an archaeologist bard or inquisitor!

There's a 3pp pact magic archetype that swaps out sneak attack for spirit pacts that could provide similar abilities.

Ah, the joys of running a sandbox instead of a railroad express!

In one of the last games I ran my players tried to run off in quest of otyughs to help with a "garbage problem" that the town mayor grumbled about during one of our sessions. I'd intended the "what the hell are we going to do with all this trash that's piling up? The eggheads tell me an otyugh would do it. Where the #$%#$ am I going to get a $&$^$ otyugh? Pull it out of my @#$?!" (I'd taken a bottle of Irish Mist, printed out some letters and taped them on so the label read, "Elvish Mist", and was pouring glasses of iced tea out of it during the meeting, thus the lack of decorum on part of Hizzoner!) to just be part of a rant that underlined the issues the town had due it being a booming frontier burg. Of course someone seized upon it and almost went running off in that direction!

I had some NPCs drop some heavy hints and got them back on course. That way I could get back to the quest I had done several hours of planning for and pretty much based the entire campaign upon!

Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

Two issues with this and views expressed in the linked thread.

1) The healing domain cleric casting her highest level spell should be healing more on avg than the "high avg" for a CR appropriate monster. Ie, you are specialized in healing and you have just dropped one of your most powerful daily resources. You should be able to MORE than undo the damage caused by a single monster in a single round.

2) the burst heal myth is just as bad as the fireball myth. "If we can get all of the baddies to stand in exactly a 20-ft radius circle then I can do 123,547 damage with my 4d6 fireball."

The issue with this argument is that SHOULD and CAN are two different statements. What works on paper and what works in practice are rarely the same thing.

I play healer for the group about half the time, and while I always spec to do more than just heal (last big healer was actually a Holy Smite specialist who disabled more than his fair share of encounters), I ALWAYS have to heal in combat. It's about numbers, it's about odds.

Yes, a Hold Person could disable an encounter, but if the opponent's save is decent then trying to keep the fighter in fighting shape is a better option. Average damage means squat when the dice turn up against you in your favor. I've seen BBEB's one-shotted and I've seen mooks disable PCs in one go. You come prepared to fight undead, but end up sitting face to face with a flesh golem instead. The encounter composition, setting, and what you have prepared change EVERYTHING.

Most of the analysis here is made using a 1 v 1 scenario, verses a known enemy, using basic tactics. All of that goes out the window as soon as you change those variables. Battlefields aren't static, they're dynamic. As should you action choices. You heal in combat as the situation requires.

This is exactly how I'd perceived the basic argument against healing in combat. I'm not sure if I should take up arms against you or not, because you seem to be on my side (HP healing is a largely a waste of an action), not the other!

Melkiador wrote:

I hear people say the player should be prepared, so he doesn't slow things down. This is good and true. But that has a flip side. Forcing the summoner to do a handle animal check for for an attack trick, which they shouldn't need to do by the intent of the spell also slows things down. Don't slow things down.

If you don't want your players playing summoners, then just tell them up front and have them play something else. Don't be so passive aggressive about it.

Right on. The spell description's clear. They do X. If you want them to d something besides X, have a way to make it happen.

That's one of the reasons my summoner maxed his language and handle animal skills and largely stuck to elementals.

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Xexyz wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

1. If by anti gm, you mean gms are not treated as unapproachable infallible gods...then yea I guess you are right. The paizo boards are actually fairly balanced in the overall opinion. The thing is, by now MOST experience gamers have been on both sides of the screen. And a great deal of the entitlement on both sides (as a player and a gm) gets mitigated by the universal experience.

In the end there is an Anti Jerk sentiment. If you are being a jerk, whether a player or gm, you get called out on in these boards. For the most part, gms have the most influence over a game, so they have the most opportunity to be a jerk. Chances are thats why you have your impression. Either that or you think gms are still infallible, unquestionable demigods whose every whim needs to be catered to. Then I've got nothing for you.

2. I can agree here. In the end, everyone plays their own way. And there are so many uncontrolled factors in a given game/group for there to be some kind of universal consensus. It's important to listen to the OP when trying to help them. Because often, our assumptions on what works within a given situation will be altered by the poster's game group.

1. I still think this board tends to skew toward player favoritism. For example, whenever there's a thread where people talk about their house rules, the following will happen: Someone will say they don't allow this feat or that race, or what have you. Inevitably, several people will chime in and either tell the person they're wrong for disallowing that choice or demand justification for their decision so they can argue that the person with the house rule is wrong. However, house rules that give the players an extra benefit, such as high stat arrays or extra abilities, are almost never questioned.

You say that it's just an anti-jerk sentiment, but that doesn't really do anything to dispel anti-GM bias when people are extremely quick to characterize the GM as a jerk for doing anything unfavorable...

Just say YES.

People come to the boards to complain about things, among other reasons. Other complainers jump on board if they're encountered similar hassles. I've certainly been there.

Some of us have a "Why not?" mindset and often challenge seemingly kneejerk or strangely arbitrary restrictions (I don't want no ninjas in my Western European game!" "You do realize that's just a name plastered atop a bundle of game mechanics, right?"). Some people seem to view things more along the lines of the Archie Bunker style of GMing. Naturally, there's conflict between the two mindsets.

As a GM, I am comfortable with the role of being the Guy Who Occasionally Says No. That often leads to feelings of persecution. I try to review my decisions and reverse or modify them if they seem imbalanced or flat out wrong. That's hard to do, as everyone wants to be Right, and that probably leads to a lot of unnecessary squabbling.

I'd like to think that if dispassionate, logical arguments and math are put forth, both parties can reach an equitable agreement. I've not always found that to be the case, unfortunately.

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Otherwhere wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
The spell could select enemies from those the caster considers enemies. Just sayin'.
That's how I run it. These aren't natural creatures; they are magically summoned/conjured creatures. They are created for the sole purpose of attacking the summoner's enemies. (Hence the "attack to the best of their abilities" clause.) You can't communicate with them, unless they have a form of speech and you have that language, but can be "nudged" via Handle Animal to attack someone other than the closest enemy, move into a flanking position, or take non combat actions.

Right on.

And anyone who isn't willing to put in the prep work shouldn't be clogging up game time. It doesn't take very long and there are some inexpensive notecards available with the stats preprinted.

It took me maybe an hour or so to set that up for my master summoner, along with making sure the tallies for the earth and water elementals were correct. I even put up a table tent that said, "power attack is always ON unless otherwise declared.". That stopped the silly "gotcha!" games my GM was always playing where I'd always roll my attack with the lower modifier and then wouldn't get the extra damage since I didn't declare it first.

Lose the power attack. Keep vanishing trick.

2 rounds is often enough to cross an open area and get into position to do whatever nefarious thing you had planned, or launch an ambush and then bugger off so you can repeat it.

Wall crawler is a neat talent, too. If you ditch vanishing trick, look that one up.

Keep Forgotten Trick, but maybe move it up to 6th level due to its expense. Don't ever take the Combat Feat trick. Forgotten Trick is your gateway to any combat feat you need on the fly.

If you're going to go rogue, you might as well grab stuff that you won't get any other way. Getting a climb speed or swift action vanish is more of a draw for me than "weapon focus" or many of the other sleep-inducing feat taxes.

BretI wrote:
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

What I'm not getting is this whole topic. Summon creatures are just that Summoned and under the control of the Summoner. They do not behave like an Animal companion would.

Animal companions will not attack certain creatures without a special trick attack all. this counts as 2 tricks under the attack option.

Even with the 2 point trick attack to attack creatures with unnatural auras you will need a much higher DC to handle them. Mounted combatants can take Valiant Steed and get bonuses to pushing your animal companion to get near a creature with an unnatural aura.

But for anything summoned it does not require any further handle animal skills...you completely control it and its willing to do things normal animals won't do.

The rules for Handle Animal aren't exclusive to animal companions. If you buy an attack dog or a mule, you will want Handle Animal skill to control it. Fortunately it is only DC 10 for the creature to do a trick it knows so taking 10 most anyone shouldn't have a problem.

Summoned creatures attack to the best of their ability. They are normal creatures of the type summoned, which means even a fighting dog wouldn't have the attack trick twice.

So, does attacking to the 'best of its ability' include being able to attack something the animal would not normally attack? My reading of the Handle Animal skill makes me believe that a normal wolf pack would not attack undead.

Normal wolf packs don't appear out of thin air when someone waves their arms and bellows funny words, nor do they come equipped with the celestial or fiendish template.

The rules are clear. They attack your enemies. If you want them to do anything besides that, either break out the handle animal rolls or summon something that can speak a language you can.

Xethik wrote:
I do like the idea of comboing Vivisectionist with Inquisitor. You aren't getting full-BAB, but double 6's in spellcasting is nothing to laugh up. I think one of the weaknesses is the fact that you have two 6 + Int skill classes, but I do think the class features of Inquisitor outweigh a Cleric in-terms of enjoyment if not optimization

Alchemist gets 4+int on skill points.

I'm with you on the poison conversion thing, but I think I'd go for rogue(poisoner archetype) levels to gestalt with inquisitor just to keep things simpler. Daggermark poisoner for the freebie smoke bombs + inhaled, multiple dosage drow poison tricks might be nice to prestige off into after 4 or 5 levels of rogue.

I'll bang around with that on Herolab today if I get the chance and see how it shakes out.

I'm definitely not up on my warpriest builds, but there's a guide available.

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