Bard

First World Bard's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber. * Pathfinder Society GM. 1,495 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 33 Organized Play characters.


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Aaron Shanks wrote:
In all the hullaballoo I did not shepherd this as well as I should have. We have received both the Abomination Vaults token and a restock of the Pathfinder Hero Point tokens. The former has not yet ben posted to the store and I should have coordinated that before the blog went live. We will get back to you with a timeline. It should be a matter of a few days.

Will the Extinction Curse token be restocked?


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I made a 3rd level Psychic for a PFS game this past Saturday. The party was lacking a healer, so I decided to lean into the support role. Looking at the conscious mind options, I decided Infinite Eye would be the best from a support perspective, with the Amp to Guidance and the combat bonuses / information from an Amp’d Mental Scan. As Psychic is Uncommon class with access conditions, I decided that a Rahadoumi secular medic would fit well with providing additional healing to the party as well as fitting in from a lore perspective. Given that, the Precise Discipline fit my character idea better, and having Int as my key ability score let me pick up a good number of skills.

When play testing a class, I generally play a Human, since Natural Ambition lets me pick up an extra class feat. Since I saw this character as healer and support, I picked up Unleash Self-Defense through Natural Ambition, and Mental Balm at 2nd level. I made sure to know Soothe as a signature spell; as the party’s only spell casting healer I figured there was a good chance it would be the only spell I’d cast from my spell slots.

We played the new PFS Intro scenario, 3-01, at subtier 3-4.
Spoilers follow. This is to the best of my recollection, but I played two days ago and my memory is certainly not infallible.

Spoiler:

In the first encounter, on my character’s first turn, one of the elemental enemies had gone and closed to 30 feet of me. I started with an Amp’d mental scan to learn about its saves and provide the party bonuses, and followed with a telekinetic projectile. On my second turn, the first enemy was nearly dead and the second enemy moved right next to it, so I scanned enemy #2 and cast another telekinetic projectile. This time, I remembered to use the Aid reaction to help one of my allies. (I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to roll to aid, so I just rolled a dagger attack and figured that would be close enough.) On round 3, I Unleashed Focused Intent and used another telekinetic projectile. (I didn’t need the damage bonus, but figured I might want the free amps in the next two rounds). However, the combat had finished before combat round 4 for me. After combat, the GM told us we had 10 minutes of downtime, and I needed to Refocus, but also Treat Wounds on various party members. Looking through the Refocus description from the Psychic, I could “practice
a craft or activity that gives [me] the mental space to self-reflect”. I argued that, as a Rahadoumi secular medic with Assurance [Medicine], treating wounds was something my character could do sort of automatically / subconsciously, so I’d be able to refocus while doing so. My GM told me he’d allow it today but not set a precedent on it. Fine by me. In any case, having focus points seemed to be very important, and if push came to shove I’d have refocused and told the party member to drink some potions.

In the second encounter, round one was spent striding toward and telekinetic projecting one of the enemies. It then flew towards me and attached itself, so round 2 was using Acrobatics to manually detach it, and then using another telekinetic projectile. On round 3 I finally had the action economy to amp a Mental Scan before attacking it. At that point the combat was winding down; I think I used an Amp’ed Guidance on some sort of after-combat check before taking the time to refocus and treat wounds.

When we got to the abandoned tavern hideout, I used an Amp’d guidance on our party member using Thievery to try and remove the boards quietly. Unfortunately, a simple failure was enough to alert those inside that we were coming in, so my focus point was essentially wasted and I’d enter the combat down one Focus. I had rolled low on initiative, so by the time it was my turn, our party goblin had run in and gotten intimidated by one of the scoundrels. This seemed like a good time to use an amp’ed Guidance with Mental Balm. Unfortunately, my counteract check wasn’t high enough to remove the intimidation; I rolled an 8, getting a 17 on my counteract check; I needed something like an 18 or 19 to succeed. On round 2, one of our party members was dropped, so I used my level 2 soothe to get them back on their feet. Round 3 had me approach to get an enemy into the light of my everburning torch. I then unleashed Self Defense (having cast Guidance and Soothe in prior rounds), and then cast an Amp’d Mental Scan with the benefit of an unleashed psyche. The remainder of the fight (ore or two rounds) had me using Daze or Telekinetic Projectile, and lamenting the damage penalty I was taking.

My takeaways:
When I described my character to the party, I basically told them “Expect me to be a worse Bard”, and that ended up being fairly accurate. My character had one fewer spell slot at 1st and 2nd level, which meant as designated healer I really had to earmark them for Soothes. In exchange, I had a focus pool for psi amps, which I most often used on Mental Scan, which ended up being different but slightly worse than Inspire Courage.
That all said, I realize I was somewhat playing against type by trying to play a support-heavy character on the Psychic chassis, and I’m not going to hold it against the psychic that it’s not as good at support as the quintessential support class (and also one of the stronger classes in the game, period).
I thought the mechanics were neat, and that I could cast an amped cantrip in the first five rounds of combat in most cases (2 points + 3 rounds of Unleashed Psyche). In contrast, going into combat without a full set of focus points really hurt, and in the future I’d really need to weight the costs and benefits of using a focus point on e.g. an amped Guidance if I’m not sure I’ll be able to refocus before the next encounter.
Speaking on Guidance specifically, as an Infinite Eye psychic, it seems to be the only cantrip I would want to use on Mental Balm. Mental Scan is not actually helpful to the target, and Detect Magic doesn’t target people. My issue with Guidance is the “temporarily immune for one hour” part, which really can cut down on it’s utility. Maybe an amp’d version of guidance could get around the temporarily immune restriction? Or some language that says the temporary immunity only applies to the +1 bonus and e.g. the Mental Balm rider could still apply? I dunno.
I hope I get the chance to play one or both of the other conscious minds during the playtest, now that I have a sense for the general play pattern of the Psychic. Overall, I thought it was a fun class. The small number of spell slots is my biggest problem; I see there is a feat at 14th level that can help out there, but that is so far away it might as well not exist from my perspective of mostly PFS play.


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I seem to have the same shipping cost issue as others, USPS Priority for $10ish vs UPS MI or whatever for around $5.

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David knott 242 wrote:

One big clue that an Ancestry feat refers to an inborn physical feature is language to the effect that you cannot retrain into or out of that feat.

That language is sufficient, but not necessary. I hope we can agree that Kobold Breath is due to an inborn physical feature, but that is a feat that may be retrained.

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Tommi Ketonen wrote:


From the guide:
Quote:
Access: Players can access uncommon or rare options via access points built into the campaign. If you satisfy the access condition specified in that option, then that option is common for you.

I feel like I’ve heard that the guide is not correct here, at least from a PF2 rules perspective. Uncommon + access shouldn’t really be common. It’s still Uncommon, but you have access and can therefore select that rules option. But that’s up to the org play / guide team to address.

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Nefreet wrote:
People were excited to be able to upgrade their Sturdy Shields (and my glassmaking alchemist was looking forward to upgrading his Spyglass), so I'm hoping the new FAQ is in error.

The sturdy shield is a magic item, so the FAQ applies just fine there.


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Hello. I'd like to cancel my Pathfinder Battles case subscription. The increase in cost is the primary factor for me.

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TwilightKnight wrote:
So are there any feats that do not specifically say you can take them more than once that you would want to take more than once given the no stacking parameter is in place?

Canny Acumen, if you are a member of a class with poor perception / saves.


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KrispyXIV wrote:
Thats why my favored solution is a Summoning Focus spell. Lots of good alternative focus spell options that could be centered around alternative play styles, like Eidolons.

It might need a restriction on the spells a summon could cast, but otherwise I like that idea.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Side question: If you use Reach Spell while casting a sustain spell, do you have increased range for the full duration? (my best guess is yes)

Yes. You've extended the range of the spell, and sustaining the spell keeps the same spell going, so nothing changes the range once it's been cast.


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richienvh wrote:

So, one of my players was builing a Summoner and asked me about the difference between Act Together and Move in Tandem, especifically asking me if the Summoner couldn't just use Act Together in the same manner (i.e. Act Together, summoner Strides, Eidolon Strides)

I confess that I don't have much mastery over the Summoner rules. Is there a practical difference?

Act together can only be used one a round.


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graystone wrote:
Sure, IF you use an optional system it's great but it's not the default system I'm talking about.

Yes, but a) it's quite prevalent in PFS, and b) Krispy brought up the topic originally with their comment of "more likely to have a success than a critical failure", which you objected to. It seems that you didn't have the context of Victory Point systems because you do not play with them, but in that context Krispy's point is entirely valid.


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graystone wrote:
I can't say my experiences match yours. Recall, Gather Information, Request, Make an Impression, Decipher Writing, Disable a Device, Pick a Lock, Command an Animal, Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, Treat Wounds, Coerce, Feint, Repair, Craft, Identify Alchemy, Identify Magic... All skill actions that you can crit fail with that either get you false info or actively make your situation worse.

Graystone, When I say "skill challenge" I am referring to a specific setup that often uses something like the Victory Point subsystem in the GMG.

I'm not talking about making one off skill checks; those are things you clearly assign to the party expert.
These victory point subsystems are fairly frequently used in PFS, and are occasionally used in modules/APs as well. And having another actor/participant in the challenge is useful, though it's possible that the number of victory points can scale according to the number of participants.


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graystone wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
graystone wrote:
It can be a bonus is only used when you where going to make the check already and/or there isn't anything bad with failure. If not, it can be more bane than boon.

The cases where a chance of Critical Failure is more likely than Success will be incredibly rare.

It will almost never be more bane than a boon.

Why does it have to be a better crit fail chance than success? If it increases your chance to crit fail more than just one roll, it's a bane and that isn't something rare, let alone "incredibly rare" unless you are rolling vs incredibly low fail on a 1 DC's.

In my experience with skill challenges in PF2: crit fail = lost progress, fail = no progress, success = some progress, crit success = extra progress. The most common point values applied in a victory point subsystem are -1, 0, 1, 2. So as long as your chance of success is more than your chance of critical failure, attempting the check increases the expected value of your victory points. I have seen one case where a critical failure was -2, but that seemed like an outlier.

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I don’t believe hirelings place tokens. All they can do during combat is Recall Knowledge. I suspect that passage is future-looking, and there may be Ally boons in the future which do place tokens.


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graystone wrote:
I have yet to have them IN style. That's money you're wasting there: you're literally burning money. :P

I used to have that opinion, too. Then I realized that many permanent magic items have a lifetime where they provide worthwhile benefit, after which you sell them back for half value. Over the life of the “permanent” item, did you do better than you would have if you’d spent half of the cost on consumables? Hopefully yes, but it’s not a guarantee...

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APG also opens up some options, with the Linguist and Archeologist dedications.


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graystone wrote:
Personally, I'm not seeing much reason for a limitation on 2 round actions for both. At best the summoner casts a spell and the eidolon punches someone twice or maybe uses an ability.

It’s specifically to limit them both casting spells, or other strong 2 action activities.(Draconic Frenzy, maybe?) Punching someone twice is fine, since that’s two individual actions.

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The Fox wrote:
If Paizo gave us new language types, such as dead languages (e.g. Thassalonian) or rare languages (which might be a category that is different from secret languages), then those would not be covered by Multilingual.

I don’t believe Thassalonian is a dead language, on account of it presumably being used in New Thassalon. I assumed it was Uncommon.


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graystone wrote:
First World Bard wrote:
So, what if we had Focus spell summoning, but with the restriction that the summon could not cast any spells. Would that be balanced? Fun?
You'd still run into the 3 action issue with summoning spells, meaning you and your pet do nothing at all the round you summon. Until the action issue is fixed, it's kind of moot.

I anticipate that problem will be addressed.. Didn’t Mark either offer a suggested way of doing so? Basically that one (but not both) of the actions in Act Together can be part of a 2 or 3 action activity? IMO that’s needed to get a summoner to be able to contribute to a fight after being healed from Unconsciousness anyway...


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So, what if we had Focus spell summoning, but with the restriction that the summon could not cast any spells. Would that be balanced? Fun?

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Ferious Thune wrote:
Does Experienced Smuggler still allow you to make Earn Income checks as a Level-1 task? I believe that was in the old guide, but searching through the new one, I can't find it. Actually, I can't find it in the old guide, either, so I'm not sure where it was stated. The new guide does link to the Feat on Archives of Nethys, which still has the note there.

I believe that was in the additional resources blog post.

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I think the World Guide entries are for things like the Archeologist’s Settlement Scholastics skill feat, and not necessarily for access based on home region. But I’m not sure, and some clarity here would be appreciated.

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I think if there were a Rare language, you could only take it with Multilingual if you had access. BUt Multilingual gives you access to Uncommon Languages by default.

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That's a good point. I'm assuming it's not ready for prime time and will get split into a level 2 version and a level 3 version when this actually goes live.

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Probably if you purchased the Playtest Boon to start with a 2nd or 3rd level character, that's there to get your 12/24 starting reputation. There might be other ways to start at level 2: Eager Protigee might do it?
If you started your character at 0 XP before applying chronicles, it's not for you.

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Nefreet wrote:

There's an error on the Retired Rewards page:

"During the playtest period for Pathfinder Second Edition, players and GMs did not earn Chronicles when playing the 11 playtest adventures."

There was a Chronicle for We Be Heroes, which used the Playtest rules, that we were told we could carry over to our 2nd Edition characters.

We Be Heroes did not take place during the Playtest period. It was released during Free RPG day a month or two before the game’s release. I don’t remember if 11 counts WBH or not... there were 4 PFS style scenarios and... how many chapters of Doomsday Dawn?

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The advice on languages seems to be gone; modern human languages now need access. Languages by home region are clear enough, but it doesn’t seem like ethnicity provides access. Also the confusing bit about humans getting an additional language is gone, but I believe that was redundant with the bonus language humans get.

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Do Field Commissioned agents get to take the default healing potion, or do they get no consumables at all? I suspect it’s no consumable, and the lore and skill feat replaces the old benefit of the any school consumable of half character level, but I wanted to check and make sure.

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Well, I have a character with both an Animal Companion and a familiar. I never use the familiar in combat, but have occasionally had it scout in Exploration mode. So is that okay as long as the Familiar is never actually a pawn or the board during an encounter, or not? If it no longer is okay, then I'm in the camp of "I'd like free retraining to change out that feat".


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Ray spells target AC now, so I think that ship has sailed.


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Congrats on your move to the Design Team, Michael! I noticed you were credited as a designer in the SoM Playtest doc, but kept that on the DL until you made your announcement. :)


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I don’t see it coming out on the 7th. Mostly on account of the Labor Day holiday in the US. The 8th seems totally doable, though.


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In terms of shields, the exploding shield is kind of a neat way to get some damage out of your shield block, starting at level 5. And I suspect the Arrow-Catching shield should get some errata to make it reasonable at blocking; that one is also wooden.


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Now that the APG is out...

Spoiler:
You know, it probably makes sense to wait a little bit longer for the Magus Playtest, and see if there are some things we can use for Iramine, the final boss of City of Golden Death. Playing at a rate of one combat encounter every two weeks, we still have plenty of time until then.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
The numbers, sadly, do not rely on additional Specializations to be true. Additional Specializations add only a single point of AC to the Dex Companion. The Str Companion is still at -6 AC even without them (-4 with Indomitable).

Oof. Yeah, that’s still too much. A specialization that gives Master in Barding would help, and probably be enough for me. Unfortunately, I feel like that would become a Must-take specialization. Then again, ambusher/daredevil sort of already are for Nimble companions.

The fact that the rare specializations in Legends only give Expert Barding isn’t a great sign. That really needs to come online at nimble/savage.


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Seeing the 5 to 7 point AC advantage Nimble companions had over other options certainly gave me pause. But if those numbers assume taking three specializations, then I’m a little less concerned. The opportunity cost of taking a 2nd and 3rd specialization is quite high, and comes with significantly diminished returns. That being said, I do hope we see some errata / new specializations in future products. My Druid is a PFS character, so I’ve got time for things to get improved. (Effective max level is 8 right now, and 10 in June, so at the Nimble/Indomitable stage things aren’t too bad just yet).


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My understanding is that indomitable companions do better, given they get Expert in barding. That’s the plan for my Badger, at least.


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As a player and GM, I will tend to stick to the base rules. That said, if I ever do run Fall of Plaguestone, I may consider free archetype or some other variant rule that boosts PCs, since that is a brutal module.


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KrispyXIV wrote:
Grankless wrote:

If I was looking for downtime in a campaign, I would simply ask my GM to make time. It's not like other people in the campaign can't also make use of downtime.

Most campaigns are not on such a short time limit at all times that downtime isn't feasible.

If I run a published adventure that lacks opportunities for downtime, I'll try to "virtualize" it or compress it somewhere it makes sense (like between books) unless its clear there is intentionally no opportunity for downtime mechanics.

Most writers aren't necessarily trying to write out downtime so much as they are maintain pace and tension, and its not fair to deny players access to mechanics because of it.

My understanding is that many APs don’t have downtime during a book, but often allow for downtime between books.

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Dustin Knight wrote:
This is only for level 7+ adventures, so you can't do it for a tier 5-8 scenario with three level 8 PCs?

3 level 8s would take along a level 5 pregen. They'd be high subtier, so the pregen would get a level bump, and presumably some Mentor boons besides. Unless I'm missing something.

Edit: Tonya beat me to it my a mile.


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Martialmasters wrote:
and at 15 you can use arcane for most monster recall knowledge checks.

That's not what Unified Theory does. It lets you use Arcana instead of Nature/Religion/Occultism, but specifically on checks about the magic traditions. It doesn't let you identify Animals or Undead with Arcana.

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I bought an orc boon for my kobold character the other day. I just wanted him to be an Arctic survivor :(

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Robert Hetherington wrote:
Goblins can do it with survival.

I think you’ve just given me a concept for a goblin Cleric of Abadar.


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I play a Druid with Badger AC. It’s trained in Survival and has Scent. I’ve often been allowed to have it Track for us. That said, my PC is a gnome that can speak with the AC, so that does help somewhat.


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My Wizard has Assurance(Arcana). He can’t fail to learn spells that are lower than his highest level slots.


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WatersLethe wrote:

I would really like to know the thought process behind the vast, vast gulf in power between the buffing cantrip hexes like nudge fate and stoke the heart versus inspire courage.

I've heard people say Inspire Courage is an outlier, but even if it is there are a multitude of ways that you could shrink the gap a little. If you can't shrink the gap at all, then Inspire Courage should be nerfed or something.

What would your proposed nerf to Inspire Courage be?


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Ravingdork wrote:
Dedication/archetype feats might allow you to boost the proficiency by one step, giving you an additional +2 to hit.

I don't know of any dedications that increase weapon proficiencies by one step. Certainly there are dedications that will add a set of weapons (or armors) to the proficiencies you already have. But I don't think there's any way to get expert in claws before Sorcerer gives that to you at 11th? level.

If you want claws to be your main attack routine, perhaps get them through the Sorcerer archetype, or maybe even Dragon Disciple. The Dragon Barbarian is a way to get draconic flavor in a martial build.

But if you want to be a caster first, and use the claws second: find spells that take two actions to cast that dont have attack rolls, and use the claws as a third action. Against an enemy without Attacks of Opportunity, of course :)


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Hmm... You know I was going to say that the 14 CHA is a steep cost for a Wizard, since typically they take Int/Dex/Con/Wis boosts. But in the specific case of my Evoker wizard... He's a half elf, which would enable Multitalented. My original plan for that was Alchemist,then Witch. But... Huh.

In general, I feel like sorcerer dedication has narrative implications that some other classes don't have, which is why I don't want to label it a an auto pick or no brainer or what have you. But if it fits your story, sure, why not.


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I plan to make an Orc Melee Battle Bard in PFS, and see how he plays. Will he be an “optimal” build? Certainly not. But I suspect it will be playable and fun. It’ll probably be a while, since I’ve got other unplayed characters higher in my queue.

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