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I'm hoping if they do implement upcasting that they actually make the higher level versions worth casting, because 5e's upcasting largely sucks.

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Pathfinder is 3.5e but better (mostly), that's what makes it pathfinder.

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I have to admit those previews made both classes sound basically the same as they are now, which is disheartening to say the least.

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Bardarok wrote:
Frogsplosion wrote:
DND 5e just straight up gives dex to damage not just on finesse weapons but ranged weapons as well, I think as long as the number of attacks you can hit with such a character is no longer in crazytown territory that just flat giving it to those weapon types with no feat required is fine.
That is one of the worst things about 5e in my opinion. Outside of a few niche builds everyone can safely dump Str.

oh yeah totally, except that the highest dps build in the game is strength based and magic heavy armor being the best makes dex to ac basically irrelevant. Not to mention in 5e you can dump pretty much any stat you want because headbands and belts are replacement stats rather than buffs. Casters can use their casting stat to hit with spells, some like the warlock can even use them for atk/dmg on weapon attacks and it's not even that good, but clearly dex to damage is basically satan.

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So one thing people should realize is that nerfing casters isn't actually going to accomplish the goal of making martials more playable. 5e nerfed the crap out of casters, but guess what? martials are still boring and it comes down to the same issue as 3.X and pathfinder, a character whose gameplay comes down to a single roll in combat isn't going to be any less boring to play in any system.

I'm also in the middle of a shadowrun game and despite having an amazing world and fantastic character creation, combat centric characters have the same issues unless you opt to be a magic character.

Giving martials cool path of war esque sick baller ninja skills on the other hand, is what you really need to do. Martials in pathfinder are actually insanely powerful, you can very easily smash the dev intended damage maximums, but it's lack of options that kill their playability. It's just not fun to play a guy whose only value to the party is hitting things really hard regardless of the system.

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So I bought the adventurer's guide the other day, and I liked the book a lot until I got to the Sanguine Angel. The class requires Improved Shield Bash and Iron Will (trash feats), plus weapon focus longsword and a gender requirement, so I wasn't particularly interested right off the bat.

Then I saw what it could pick up at level 2: Furious Huntress, which gives STRENGTH TO ATTACK ROLLS WITH BOWS.

This is the first instance of this ability which literally makes a bunch of brand new archery builds all by itself, AND YOU PUT IT ON A PRC WITH LITERALLY NO TIES TO ARCHERY AT ALL WITH A BUNCH OF UNRELATED FEAT REQUIREMENTS AND STUPID FLAVOR REQUIREMENTS!!!!!


You could have put this on an archery based barbarian prc or archetype and made my day, but instead you staple it onto a completely unusable PrC that has nothing to do with archery. WHY?!?!

I'm so sick of having to cherry pick abilities from behind pointless gating or places that make no sense to come from just to do something new and interesting. I'm tired of stupid inconsistent and illogical rules FAQs that change how rules should intuitively work to cut off what you percieve to be overpowered (Changing Dex to Dmg so you can only get 1.5x with 2handed on an Unchained rogue, but no 2x dex from other sources, this is a stupid ruling).

Why do you keep doing these things? Why do I need to jump through so many damn hoops just to get a basic uninteresting but otherwise ESSENTIAL STATS BUFF? If you're worried about power level, it's way too late, because the scaling in pathfinder is already way too out of control. It's far too easy to deal hundreds of damage in a round past level 9 or so.

I'm really tired of these stupid senseless choices, the unintuitive nature of classes and rulings that are only made to clearly cut off specific build paths.

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Really the issue with martials is simple, all they do is damage and any time they get something that doesn't do damage, it's sub par compared to anything a caster can do. I kind of think this is a side effect of martials being able to do WAY too much damage. At 20th level martial focused characters can output hundreds upon hundreds of damage, killing almost any enemy in a single round.

This shrinks quite a bit as you go down farther in levels, but even at first level an orc barbarian with 22 strength and rage can deal 2d6+15 with power attack which can kill almost any CR 1 creature in one hit and even some CR 2s and 3s. Now, you might be thinking "not everyone is a dirty powergamer that only builds martials to do the most damage" which I take offense to, but I forgive you.

Realistically though, as a martial, why wouldn't you optimize your damage? It's literally the only reason anyone keeps you around, and if you don't do damage, then most enemies will just ignore you and kill the caster. You can be as tanky as you want, but if you can't impact the battlefield in any way, you're not a party member, you're scenery.

But wait, what about the almighty combat maneuver? Let's talk about that. Combat Maneuvers at the start of an adventurer's career are pretty sweet, as long as you're fighting things your size or smaller. Most of the time you have to be super specialized to make combat maneuvers work on things bigger than you. At 20th level, the average CMD of something large or larger tends to hover between a potentially doable 40 and grows to the "don't even try" status of 50-60 with CMBs to match. Oh yeah, and at 7th level, no one cares anymore anyway. Trip me? cool, dimension door. Grapple me? oh look permanent immunity to it. Disarm me? uhh, wizard. or just dueling gauntlets, or swashbuckler. Steal from me? cool, I'll have my fighter that does do damage murder your face.

Item mastery is a pretty neat idea, but it's really limited and essentially just gives fighters a super strict spell list, which sort of defeats the point. Really, I think the answer lies somewhere in the Path of War style of doing things. Giving mundane martials the idea that they're so well trained they can start to do preternatural "anime" things like wall run up a building, move so fast you basically teleport, leave after images, and so on.

The only problem I have with Path of War (and psionics, actually) is I find Dreamscarred Press doesn't understand how damage scaling works, because a lot of their classes, spells, feats and abilities boil down to or combine to become "do even more obscene damage than usual".

In the end, martials need more options out of and in combat that don't just make you a crappy spellcaster, but have their own unique "super warrior" flair.

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Saldiven wrote:
Frogsplosion wrote:
Larkos wrote:

The half-casters usually have class features to help them along. Bards and Skalds have bard song to boost their attack and damage. Inquisitors have bane, judgments, teamwork feats, and possibly inquisitions. Summoners have their Eidolons which the player controls. Magi have their arcane talents and touch attacks. Hunters have their animal companions and teamwork feats.

Really the Warpriest is the only one who relies on his spells to boost attack and damage. They have fervor to make things easier. Their sacred weapon and armor does alleviate things but they're limited. However, after playing a Warpriest from lvls 12-16. I can say that I used spells outside self-buffing and had a fun time. I was valuable outside of combat.

but how many of them were offensive spells that required enemies to make saving throws? That's kind of the issue, there aren't any ways to make a viable offensive spell-using half-caster (except magus because they rarely use spells with saves) without potentially ignoring their physical combat focused abilities. The average half caster builds I see have a 14 in their casting stats, other than dex magus builds that try to split dex/int 18/18 or higher and dump str/cha. You're almost never going to get a failed save with that stat unless they're really bad at it.

This is niche, but it is quite effective.

I have a currently 10 Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor/2 Viking Fighter that is a nasty debuff machine.

He can move-action Intimidate for Shaken condition (with a +42 to Intimimdate)
He follows that up with a Swift Action attack from Hurtful on his Vicious Bardiche, inflicting Sickened.

where does the sickened come from? I checked vicious and hurtful, didnt see anything

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Dave Justus wrote:

That being said, that doesn't mean 6/9 casters are not extremely useful in a party and a whole lot of fun to play.

certainly not going to debate that, if anything they were the most interesting classes I've had to theorycraft around

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So ever since I bought the Divine Anthology I've wanted to use Desna's Shooting Star as a Skeletal Champion LG Paladin of Desna. The whole concept was essentially to be a master of all things charisma, and the character despite his "condition" was a chipper, goofy knight named Fortescue (nod to MediEvil if anyone's played it) who in my head sounds a lot like John Cleese. He lost most of his memories and was "adopted" by an order of paladins. All he knew was that they found him with a symbol of desna and has taken desna as his goddess, since he feels lucky to have been given a second chance, despite having to constantly struggle with the dark urges of his undead nature.

I've found it rather difficult however to get my DM to consider the character due to the template. I can understand why, undead have a lot of really powerful immunities, and the Everything Charisma route while heavy on multiclassing leads to being serviceable to powerful at almost everything.

On the other hand, my current character is a big dumb brick of a barbarian that has one-shot pretty much everything it hits. So far I dislike the character because it has no RP value at all and exists purely because I'm not fond of starting at level 1 and couldn't make up my mind on a character.

To the question at hand though, do any other DMs allow or have allowed in the past characters to take templates? If so which ones? have any of them added to your games instead of detracting from them? Have they been a good source of roleplaying fodder?

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So the concept of these builds exists purely for the purpose of showing off the exponential effect of having a large pool of stacking bonuses available for use, but the result is still pretty absurd even though these builds really aren't that well optimized.

Halfling Sling Thrower:

This concept cheats slightly to incorporate the small bonuses from the halfling sling feats, instead of throwing sling bullets, it just throws the slings with Throw Anything.

Weapon Focus +1 Atk
Weapon Spec +1 Atk
Greater Focus +2 Dmg
Greater Spec +2 Dmg
Point Blank Shot +1 Atk & Dmg
Power Attack -5 Atk +10 Dmg
Martial Focus +1 Dmg
Halfling Slinger +1 Atk
Large Target +1 or more Dmg
Small +1 Atk
Weapon Training +5 Atk & Dmg
Trained Throw +7 Dmg
Focsed Weapon (2d6 base dmg)
Dueling Gloves +2 Atk & Dmg
Weapon +5 Atk & Dmg

+12 Atk, +44 dmg before we even get to stats

20 pt buy

Str 26 (+8)
Dex 30 (+10)
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 10
Cha 16

Str +2
Dex +2
Book of +5 Dex
Book of +5 Str
Belt of Str & Dex +6

+23 Atk, +53 Dmg, okay, that's pretty good, but we haven't finished yet, now on to buffs

Leadership (Bard 7 / wiz 1 / Cleric 10 /w Master & Grandmaster Performer)
Flagbearer + Banner of the Ancient Kings & Inspire Courage (+7 Atk & Dmg)
Weapon of Awe (+2 Dmg)
Haste (+1 Atk)
Share Spells Divine Power (/w MKnack Cleric & Fate's Favored on fighter) +5 Atk & Dmg

+36 Atk, +65 Dmg

Oh, I almost forgot, now add BAB for +56/+56/+51/+46/+41 throwing loaded slings at people with 2d6+65 to damage per hit

Tiny Tower Specialist:

this build is a Tower Shield Specialist, which vastly increases max dex for both armor and shield and removes penalties associated with tower shields.

Shield Focus +1 AC
Greater Shield Focus +1 AC
Dodge +1 AC
Armor Focus +1 AC
Combat Expertise +5 AC
Defender of the Society +1 AC
Gathlain +1 AC Small, +1 AC Natural
+5 Mithral Heavy Armor +14 AC
+5 Mithral Tower Shield +9 AC
Armor Specialization +5 AC
Ioun Stone +1 AC
Ring of Protection +5 AC

46 AC

20 pt buy

Str 16
Dex 26 (+8)
Con 12
Int 7
Wis 10
Cha 15

Belt of Dex +6
Dex +4

54 AC

Leadership (Dragon Herald 18 Master/Grandmaster Performer)

Haste +1 AC
Diplomatic Protection +11 AC
Shadowbard Dirge of Doom -2 to hit you
Share Spells Dance of a Hundred Cuts +5 AC

73 Effective AC

So those are just two examples of how pathfinder can become a game of layering stacking bonuses as much as possible. While these two builds aren't really playable, you can see the thought process that goes into creating any other character with an absurdly high stat in them. Other builds are far more practical, but those tiny bonuses are still there, adding up and up and up until suddenly you have an unhittable monster that deals hundreds of damage, or has a spell or crowd control ability save DC of 46.

I'm beginning to think this might be a serious problem lurking under the hood of the basic pathfinder game mechanics, and I'm curious if others feel the same way

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GeneticDrift wrote:

I'm not a fan of the basic combat changes. Make them perks of the fighter class or any full Bab classes instead. A character without power attack swings harder by rolling high on the damage die or criting and none of the other freebees make sense to hand out unless your motive is to ban the fighter.

restricting basic things like PA to full bab classes would just screw over 3/4s classes, which is not what I want. The fighter's purpose in 3.X systems has pretty much always been as a 2 level dip anyway. The only thing pathfinder changes about that is that some fighter archetypes, like Two Handed Fighter, actually give you good abilities that are a REAL reason to stick with the class as opposed to forced feat exclusivity that isn't necessary.

Louise Bishop wrote:

Toughness Giving Endurance and Diehard is too good. My Fast Healer Bloodrager builds would have a hard on for these rules.

What I did with Mobility is I roll it into Dodge. Making Dodge much more appealing and also making the Spring Attack and other Mobility feats a little easier to obtain.

Hit points aren't the only player resource I can attack, specialize in one thing too hard and the DM always finds a chink in the armor. I'm still on the fence about this one though.

I thought about dodge rolling into mobility, but I was hesitant to make a single feat basically invalidate low level opportunity attacks.


I do not give archers anything. I just do not want to give them an easier time.

archers do a lot of damage, sure, but if they're spending all their feats on archery, do they really get room to do anything else? We're back to my main issue with martials, it's all or nothing, build for max damage or be garbage with them.


Only free feats I give are Power attack, Weapon Finesse (As a weapon Property) and Combat Expertise. The PC needs a +1 BaB and that is it (no score requirements). Which lets me remove Piranha Strike so they can't 2x PA damage.

I wouldn't let them stack obviously, I'd just make -1 for +2 (increasing with BAB as PA) a rule across the board for all weapons, then throw in the 50% for two-handed.


I do make my players Take TWF BUT I merge GTWF with ITWF. Once the PC reaches +11 BaB they can take the 3rd attack like GTWF. This shortens the chain and I feel GTWF is a trap feat anyways which hardly ever hits so I just give it away.

works either way then, makes sense.


I do not give mounted combat away because I do want them to have to work up to Spirited Charge when they already are getting Power attack for free. I know...

really? our rise of the runelords campaign has a small cavalier riding a wolf, and even then he hasn't charged once in an entire dungeon because the spacing is just too restrictive. Sure if you want to fight a mounted lance charger in an open field you're going to get wrecked, but if you're dumb enough to do so, you kinda deserve to die at that point.

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Malignor wrote:
I like the skill boost feats.
  • Persuasive and Skill Focus (Intimidate) for a Dazzling Display build is fantastic.
  • Prodigy for a Bard (with Versatile Performance) is similarly awesome
  • (skill improvement feat) for a (skill exploitation build choice) is good stuff
SheepishEidolon wrote:

1) If you combine some feats but leave others alone, the others will become relatively weaker. To the point where previously solid feats (e.g. Ironhide) suddenly become mostly irrelevant - something you actually want to fight.

I don't really want to remove options, but I also want to make sure that there aren't a bunch of feats that just give flat bonuses roadblocking other feat chains. What I'm thinking might be best is just to take Dodge, Mobility, Critical Focus, and the +2 to two skills feats and +2 to a save feats away only as prerequisites for feat chains but allow my players to still take them if they want them.

This way the balance and integrity of "small bonus" feats stay relatively the same, but they aren't serving as gatekeepers for cooler, more interactive feats.


2) Classes with bonus feats will profit more than others. Yes, there are only so many really fitting feats for a concept, but stockpiling more on top of it might show surprising synergy.

3) Monsters will profit too, adding unexpected power - and bookkeeping.

4) To a lesser extent, the additional bookkeeping also affects the players. Endurance comes to my mind - noting and remembering all these very situational +4 bonuses is more chore than fun. As a player, I'd probably ask to just get the original Toughness.

I'm willing to experiment with the bonus feat classes to see how dumb it can get, but honestly I'm not sure anything will make me like martials more than spellcasters in pathfinder. Straight martials are usually only good for doing damage, and if that changes, I'm cool with it. If it makes the situation worse, I'll have to look at the reasons why, but I won't be able to find those reasons without playtesting anyway.

the monster part is on my end, and I'll probably just edit them during prep time and ignore the ones I don't use. For actual pathfinder adaptation, yeah it would be a ridiculous amount of work.

As far as the player part goes I've never had book-keeping be an issue when it comes to feats, so that's another thing I'll have to play with to see the extent of. If my players come back reporting issues keeping track of things, I can always switch stuff around.

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so I've been thinking on the scaling, it seems like a good idea but I'm not quite sure how to word it.

I was thinking something like: If a feat you possess has an improved or greater version, you gain that feat when you meet it's prerequisites unless it's only prerequisite is the base feat.

Would that work, or are there feats out there that would break such a simple fix? My biggest concern with most of these ideas is ending up having to rewrite a bunch of feats on a case by case basis because of the changes, but I can't think of any issues off the top of my head.

I included the last bit because spell focus and spell penetration both have prereqs of simply having the base feat, so it made sense to exclude those cases.

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Dasrak wrote:

Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike, Combat Expertise, Mounted Combat and Two-Weapon Fighting: become basic combat mechanics.

Agree on this list, but Weapon Finesse should be added to it.

yeah, I was considering that. I also intended to combine the existing Dex to Damage feats into a single one that isn't unnecessarily complicated or restrictive.


Point Blank Shot: rolled into precise shot, feats that required point blank shot no longer do.

Lots of ways to handle this one, since Point Blank Shot on its own is a decent (if boring) effect. This approach looks fine, although it does make Precise Shot a ridiculous good feat.

having played an archer cleric from levels 13 to 18 now, I've found myself having to really put myself in harms way to activate PBS, honestly I just avoid it most of the time. At low levels it's far less risky since you don't need to worry about large reach weapon wielding demons one-shotting you.


Mobility: removed for being terrible.

Personally I'd roll it in with another feat, but it's bad enough that it probably won't be missed anyways.

I thought about rolling it into dodge, but I figured it would make AoOs worthless.


Dodge & Combat Reflexes: dodge is rolled into combat reflexes, any feat that required dodge requires combat reflexes instead. I wanted to make combat reflexes a basic game mechanic originally, but I thought that might change the combat dynamic too much if everyone could possibly have 2 or more opportunity attacks each round.

Combat Reflexes is really good, but not so good as to be necessary on every build in the same way that Power Attack and Deadly Aim are for full BAB characters. I personally would leave it alone and roll Dodge in with something else.

hmm. I was also considering just ditching dodge as a requirement for feats, I've never liked feats that boil down to "+1 to a thing".


Endurance & Diehard: rolled into Toughness for being kinda boring

Toughness looks incredibly attractive with this change, right up there with Improved Initiative in terms of general-purpose feats you pick up after covering all your bases.

That was kind of the intent. I might decide to go back and just roll endurance in and leave diehard alone, but I still feel like no one's ever felt good about picking up diehard...


I'd leave these alone. The skill feats are generally NPC material, and I use them frequently on NPC builds who need to be low-level but meet high skill DC's. Not everything needs to be PC material. The save feats are genuinely useful for shoring up a character with a weak save and I'd definitely leave them alone or fold them in with their greater variant.

I wouldn't straight up remove them, I just figured they shouldn't be a roadblock for PCs who want to take an interesting skill based feat, or something like Ready for Action, other feats or having ranks should be enough.


Other suggestions off the top of my head:

* Weapon Finesse should be a standard game mechanic, or possibly fold it in with a general dex-to-damage effect.
* Improved Counterspell should be a standard game mechanic
* Combine the Vital Strike feat chain into a single feat (automatically progressing with BAB)
* Combine Craft Staff and Craft Rod (even combined it's still the worst crafting feat in the game)

I'm beginning to agree with finesse, and WOW I never realized how jank improved counterspell is, that's definitely getting added. I'm still considering feat scaling so doing that to vital strike is an option, but speaking from experience, vital strike can be bloody terrifying. Honestly, I almost feel like all magical item crafting should be one feat, because either your DM is going to allow it, or they may as well not exist.

I was also thinking about combining Weapon Focus and Weapon Spec into one feat that gives +1 Attack and Damage instead of +1 and +2 respectively.

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LucyG92 wrote:
I don't want to derail your thread or anything, so feel free not to reply, but out of curiosity what's wrong with Mobility (relatively new player/GM)?

two reasons, the first is that it pretty much gets thrown at everything movement related as a prerequisite. The second is that it's a feat that from a balance perspective, is insanely strong at doing the one thing it's designed to do, and in all other situations it does literally nothing. When such a feat is used as a gateway to other feats that are actually useful in a variety of ways without being too strong at any one thing, it becomes "bloat". It's a passive feat you don't really care about, it doesn't really add anything to your build, it's just there because you needed to take it to get to something better. Sure it's nice when it's relevant, but it's not interesting or game changing which is what a good feat should be.

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Markov Spiked Chain wrote:
Adding Endurance to Toughness seems good. Adding Die Hard as well seems a little too good.

my reasoning basically came down to asking myself when was the last time anyone was happy about taking any of toughness, endurance or diehard. The answer to that question was honestly just about never. I fully admit that all three feats give you very useful things, but they aren't things you WANT to need. They're feats that only benefit you when you're already in a losing situation, and the best way to mitigate those situations is to not get placed in them to start with.

Burning a feat slot of those three feats has always been akin to ripping off a bandaid for me because there are so many better uses for that feat slot that once you decide you need one, you just pull the trigger and block all the other options out of your mind. Even mashed together, I still think there are far better uses for a feat slot than getting all three benefits at once.

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This might actually be more appropriate in the homebrew section, I wasn't sure which it should go in. I was thinking about taking a weed whacker to the feat system the next time I DM'd a pathfinder campaign and I was looking for some advice on whether or not my ideas are sound or might lead to catastrophic results as far as power level goes. I've always hated having a bunch of filler feats required to get to really cool stuff, it basically means only the fighter gets to play with a lot of them. On top of that I've never accepted the idea that the fighter's exclusive feats were somehow vital to the integrity to the class, they just take away from options other classes should have access to, fighters are always going to be terrible, feat exclusivity won't change that.

Below are the changes I was thinking about, let me know if you think I've torn a hole in the space time continuum somehow or opened pandora's munchkin box of game ruining. Or if you like the idea and think I've missed something else bloaty, let me know.


Fighter level requirements become BAB requirements

Power Attack/Deadly Aim/Piranha Strike, Combat Expertise, Mounted Combat and Two-Weapon Fighting: become basic combat mechanics.

Point Blank Shot: rolled into precise shot, feats that required point blank shot no longer do.

Critical Focus: removed for being terrible

Mobility: removed for being terrible.

Dodge & Combat Reflexes: dodge is rolled into combat reflexes, any feat that required dodge requires combat reflexes instead. I wanted to make combat reflexes a basic game mechanic originally, but I thought that might change the combat dynamic too much if everyone could possibly have 2 or more opportunity attacks each round.

Endurance & Diehard: rolled into Toughness for being kinda boring

Spell Focus: no longer a requirement for any feats. While spell focus was thematically appropriate for most feats, mechanically speaking it didn't make much sense for those schools who didn't rely on bumping spell DCs.

+2 to two skills and +2 to a save feats: removed as prerequisites for being pure unadulterated bloaty garbage, with the exception of the improved +2 saves feats.


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So I built an orc bloodrager recently, my DM allowed me to have a badger familiar and I've basically used to to bust up the character. I gave it the valet archetype, took Amplified Rage so I could hit 30 strength while raging (The badger holds a permanent readied action to cut himself upon combat starting). I also took ranks in ride, so my badger is intelligent, also gets my ranks in ride, and rides me, so he can use the ride skill to negate hits (lol).

My other group broke the game because the DM messed up. He gave us a version of potion of love that has no save and "dominates" things (by making them obsessed with the user). So naturally the party barbarian throws it at an elder brain and ends up making the entire illithid hive his love slaves (the amount of tentacle hentai jokes that followed were the icing on the cake).

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Going back to basic skyrim brought me a lot of fun when SE came out, some of my favorite builds:

God of Fire: So, there's a perk in the illusion tree called Aspect of Terror, which requires you to get 50 in Illusion to take, however the perk is bugged, adding 10 damage to all fire spells, including Flames, which means 10 extra damage per second:) . Combine this with the perk that increases fire damage and the Ahzidal mask to make fire spells deal buttloads of damage to everything, a Fire weapon and Weakness to Fire poison with the Fire shout to complete the ensemble. Ahzidal's Ring of Arcana also lets you use Ignite, a unique firebolt that deals lots of burn damage. The temporary meditation buff Fire Within increases your fire shout damage even more if you don't mind fast traveling to the greybeards every so often.

Immortal Mystic: Pretty much everyone is probably familiar with this build in some form or another. Take a Khaajit, get him to Heavy Armor 35 for Fists of Steel, Smithing 80 and Enchanting 100 to craft Daedric Gauntlets enchanted with the Unarmed Damage+ enchantment. Make him a vampire lord and pick up the Ring of the Beast, which adds 50 unarmed damage (intended for VL form, works all the time). Dual Flurry and Dual Savagery work with unarmed, pick em up. Next, get 5 amulets of talos, give them to your follower Faendal, find a nice secluded spot and simultaneously talk to faendal while transforming. if done right you should be in menus while transforming. Go to the amulets and equip them one at a time from faendal to you (equip, not trade). Now you have 5 amulets of talos worn at once, giving you 100% shout cooldown reduction, you are the immortal mystic, master of shouting and fists.

Stealth n' Wolf: The scarediest orc in tamriel. Max sneak and archery and immediately pick up lycanthropy and hircine's ring so whenever you actually need to fight for real, you can wolf out. Werewolves benefit from all pre-transformation buffs, so regen and other buff potions, ebonyflesh and the orc racial active are all gravy. Dump as many levels into health as you can, combine with Regeneration and Avoid Death from Restoration, Snakeblooded from Alchemy and the Lord stone, Sailor's Repose and Agent of Mara plus the alteration Magic resistance and spell absorption perks to make yourself an unkillable tank of death and destruction. Quiet Casting makes transform harder to detect, might be worth grabbing. Pick up Ring of Bloodlust for massive damage while transformed or Ring of the Hunt to be even tankier.

The Merchant of Death: This is a fun one. Restrictions are has no combat experience, and never takes any perks in block, light or heavy armor, destruction, one handed, two handed or archery. Instead, he maxes his Smithing, Alchemy and Enchanting, and uses them to fund his mercantile empire, OF DEATH! Imperial is the most thematically appropriate race for this build. The idea here is to use the outrageous power of crafting to replace all your typical damage buffs. a single Fortify Destruction potion made at 100 alchemy while wearing enchanted gear with Fortify Alchemy on it can make your spells deal so much damage as to make the actual destruction perks irrelevant. Same goes for weapons and armor, pop a fortify smithing potion, build some fortify smithing gear and go to town on some legendary equipment. Then when combat actually starts, pop your fortify onehanded/twohanded/archery pots to take your damage to maximum derpage. The merchant of death isn't always going to be this super powerful though, but the one thing he's real good at is making friends. Feel free to recruit the strongest companion you can find, max Conjuration and acquire as many summon powers and shouts as you can find and let your hired muscle do all the dirty work until you're a master craftsman!

The Bully: This character is all about knocking people down and kicking sand in their faces while they're stunned. Fus Ro Dah and Ice Form are going to be your staple shouts, but you're also going to want to pick up Dragonrend for those pesky dragons, as well as Whirlwind Cloak and Paralysis for more ways to throw people around. Then the coup de grace is maxing your Block skill for Shield Charge. Now you can keep people on the ground where they belong and slowly beat the crap out of them with your shield. Become a vampire lord and use Vampiric drain while people are down to slowly attrition them to death and make them suffer, because they're weak and they deserve it. Grab VL's Paralysis and Vampiric Grip to add to your options for dumping people on the ground like the trash they are. The other cloak spells, Ebony Mail, Targe of the Blooded and Hack & Slash perks are great options for slowly bleeding out your opponents, and to inflict even more pain, set them on fire! Make your axe a burning axe to torture your opponents because they're ants on a hill, and you're a kid with a magnifying glass.

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another question on the side, it seems like a bunch of people commonly accept that White Haired Witch gets int to hit, but going through the text of both the archetype and prehensile hair, I can't find anything that says you get int to hit. what's up with that?

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Definitely keep your options open. The best benefit of thassilonian magic is the the extra two spell slots of your school, but you have to prep the same spell twice so pick your favorite powerhouses like Expeditious Retreat or Enlarge Person, Animal Buffs, Levitate, Knock, Haste, Fly and so on and then use your other slots to cherry pick battlefield control and damage or whatever else you think you might need that day.

Losing Illusion hurts, but realistically the only spell you'd be casting out of it most of the time is some form of invisibility.

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16. Never get on the boat

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So you're worried that the archer isn't getting punished for being in melee, because he took a feat that literally stops him from getting punished in melee... This is the entire reason why feats exist in the first place, to accentuate your strengths and cover up or eliminate your weaknesses.

Pathfinder isn't a video game, not everything needs to have a drawback or a counterbalance at all times.

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Balkoth wrote:
Frogsplosion wrote:
realistically, all weapons should use the same stat for hit and damage, whether it's dex or strength should simply determine whether or not a feat is spent to accomplish it

Just to make sure I'm understanding you correctly...

- Hit
- Damage
- Carrying capacity
- Climb/Swim

- Hit
- Damage
- Disable Device/Stealth/Ride/Acrobatics/Escape Artist
- Initiative
- Reflex
- Armor Class

That looks balanced to you?

For the record, I have a house rule that Weapon Finesse/Agile Manuevers/etc all apply automatically...but you can't get Dex to damage.

Dex to damage is fine, and Str to Hit and Damage with a "Recurve" bow or Str to Hit with a Brutal Throws feat would be fine too. Balance is relative, and really as long as 9th level spells exist crying over Dex to damage sounds pathetic.

the laughable thing here is according to paizo logic strength is still the better stat. To be honest, I don't care if you end up with a build that gets one stat to everything so long as you needed to put in some work or planning to get it. Hell I can build a Scaled Fist 1/Paladin 2/Skeletal Champion/Eldritch Scion with Desna's Shooting Star and have my Charisma do everything, but it took effort and planning to set it up, and it has it's downsides, like adhering to a paladin's code, only being able to use light weapons that deal 1d4 damage, dying at 0 hp and only healing with neg energy.

I'd love to see the magus and empiricist investigator get a way to have int to attack and damage, I'd love to see monks, warpriests and inquisitors find ways to add wis to hit and damage, bards, paladins and bloodragers with Cha to hit and damage would be super fun, as long as it requires investment, a build plan, good feating without bloat.

5e gives Dex to damage with finesse and ranged weapons, it hardly breaks the game.

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Pathfinder has tons and tons of options, but I know theres still quite a few character concepts out there that the rules either have hobbled really badly or just never bothered supporting.

The Sniper is probably one of the best examples of something the rules constantly get in the way of, you need to jump through a lot of hoops just to be competent at it because of how stealth works. Stealth in general honestly is really hard to do if you plan to drop any bodies because the system really doesn't want you to one shot things out of stealth, single attack damage generally doesn't keep up with HP very well, so being a Corvo style character is pretty hard.

I also really like the idea of the Eldritch Archer, but my god bow rules make them MAD as all hell. They need Dex to hit, Str for damage, Int for spells, and Con to stay alive, and they can't really go the typical archer route of making tons of attacks because casting spells through or alongside arrows generally requires a full round. Focused Shot would be great if it didn't require a standard to activate, the most you can hope is your DM lets you use it with ranged spellstrike/ranged spell combat anyway.

And of course, there's the Pure shapeshifter, The copycat, the mimic, the guy whose only skills are your skills. This really doesn't exist in pathfinder, and the way polymorph spells give you creature abilities is awful, they could at least update the spells so that when new creatures come out you dont need DM permission to take their abilities that aren't on the list.

What other concepts have you found the rules getting in the way of, or just straight up ignoring?

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back in 3.0 I had a dm for one session (definitely not my fault, I swear) who ruled that kukris were automatically vorpal because of a thing he watched on tv.

I might have had the 3.0 absurd crit range of like 9 - 20 or something dumb like that and MIGHT have decided to decapitate half the party after the guy roleplaying a dread pirate airship captain decided to be rather unfriendly with me because I wasn't following the rules on HIS airship. And by rather unfriendly I mean try to throw me overboard. A little bit later and the angry vengeful ghost of his head (something something family curse?) chased me around the ship while the party sorcerer and I were playing ring around the inevitable decapitation.

The moral of the story is, never give weapons free vorpal in a system where crit ranges go down in the sub 17s...

Also never trust a halfling assassin with a vorpal kukri offering to hand you an all powerful reaper scythe topped with a baby skeleton.

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is there any reason in particular you chose to be a black blade? Eldritch Scion would synergize better as an undead because now your charisma manages both your health and all your spells and abilities.

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Shapeshifting. I loved shapeshifting in 3.5 and went out of my way to use it whenever I could because it was fun, not because I wanted to break the game. Pathfinder watered down shapeshifting so bad it's basically useless.

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This seems to be a subject that comes up a lot, and I was thinking, maybe it would be beneficial to compile a list of what the highest possible AC, Damage, Saves, Bluff, Intiative etc. etc. etc. is at first level. We should probably stick to paizo material, starting gold (traits like rich parents count) and to permanent bonuses only (things like class features and fighting defensively are, technically permanent because they require no gold and you can do it whenever you need to most).

Highest AC: So far I'm looking at a Gathlain Fighter with Defender of the Society, Dodge, and Shield Focus, wearing four mirror armor /w an armored kilt and a tower shield, with a total AC of 10 + 7 armor + 5 shield + 2 Dex + 1 size/natural/trait/dodge, for a total of 28 or 30 when fighting defensively. This comes at a costly -2 or -4 to attack rolls, but you could choose to go heavy shield and have 26 AC without the penalty.

Damage: This one i'm not confident on, but I'm guessing something along the lines of Lizardfolk Barbarian, 24 Str while raging, full attack with 3 primary natural attacks, two claws and a bite with power attack at +6/+6/+6 dealing 1d2+9,1d4+9,1d4+9 for a total of 30 to 37 damage.

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if online SRDs & PDFs kept records of errata's and rules changes for everything and you could still see the old versions of everything, I'd care a lot less about this situation, but as it stands Paizo is basically enforcing it's own form of historical revisionism on it's product and I'm definitely not a fan of that.

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I second the idea for an inventor, but I'd want it to be more of a Tinker, someone who jury-rigs crazy contraptions in the heat of battle that are dangerous and unstable, as much a threat to himself and his allies as his enemies.

A Shapeshifter class would also be great, but paizo hates real shapeshifting so I doubt I'd even like what they came up with.

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probably doing things with my ability scores that are keyed to other ability scores. I love building the guy who rolls Int on every skill check (Empiricist), runs all of combat with his Dex (Swashbuckler), or soaks up all the bad times with his Cha (Undead Oracle/Paladin).

I really want to see more X to Y ability conversions, even though a great deal of people whine about "That doesn't make sense!" or "but MUH IMMERSION". Look, mechanics are important and having parity in those mechanics is also nice. I want my damn Recurve Bow (Str to Hit & Dmg) and I want bows to do Dex to hit & Dmg, and i want Str to attack with thrown weapons and strength to acrobatics and fort saves, hell I WANT STRENGTH AND CON CASTERS TOO.

I love me the ability score shenanigans.

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shadowkras wrote:


I know it increase "to", but nothing stops them from buying 5 wands with 10 charges each either (except for me).

The rules as written for wealth by level actually does not apply to level 1, by the way. Only this does:

Usually you cannot use this starting money to buy magic items without the consent of your GM.

Nothing stops them from saving that money for after the game starts either, and then attempting to buy magic items using the rules of availability.

The same golden rule that allows me to forbid a trait, allows you to tell your players to start at level 2 with a purse with 1,000 gold coins.

If Wands of Cure Light Wounds are ruining your campaigns, I'm sorry but you probably need to get a bit more creative with how you challenge your players. Sounds like it's time to break out the poison, disease, charms, illusions and environmental hazards

HyperMissingno wrote:
Frogsplosion wrote:
this is not a competitive game. nerfing things is unecessary. I am 100% on the OP's side and think paizo should knock it off with the obvious power nerfs and let home DMs handle the issues. If they dont like something in PFS, ban it and stop messing with everyone else.
While I agree that Paizo needs to find a better way to handle OP items (maybe by increasing the price) this is a cooperative game, balance is more important here than it is in a competitive game to make sure everyone can contribute.

Balance is also relative. If one character is destroying combats but the rest of the party is doing basically everything else and they're happy with that, is it a problem? I'm not sure it is.

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this is not a competitive game. nerfing things is unecessary. I am 100% on the OP's side and think paizo should knock it off with the obvious power nerfs and let home DMs handle the issues. If they dont like something in PFS, ban it and stop messing with everyone else.

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jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:
I'm tired of how over powered (IMO) two handed STR builds are. All you need is a high STR a two handed weapon and Power Attack and your done. The two points of shield AC in a sword and board build doesn't make up to the noticeable dip in damage out put, and the feats needed for TWF in addition to excess money it costs and the 5' step game makes it not stack up, and finesse builds are a feat taxing joke!

stop using sarcasm on the internet, developers might think you were being serious :P

in all seriousness more strength related options would be nice. Strength to Acrobatics seems realistic enough, a Strength based Recurve Bow would make sense, Intimidating Prowess should be a trait, Strength to Ride could totally be a trait, and a Strength caster would just be hilarious and fun to watch and play if done right, just think Alex Louis Armstrong from FMA.

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stormcrow27 wrote:

The best mechanical match is not always the right one. This game isn't about winning or constant success because you figured your super build via 10000 hours of combing every supplement only to find it got nerfed in another supplement. It's about options you enjoy and your fellow players find enjoyable. Also, players pigeonholing you into a role because you play a specific class is silly. Play what you want, and you can have people take a dip in another class to gain class skills or use leadership to fill the holes you might have. The neverending mantra of optimization that pops up in all versions of D&D, even white box basic, is the best example of a tired build.

Some groups of people enjoy rifling through hundreds of supplements to find silly mechanical combos. If people like making super-builds and the DM is willing to throw an appropriate challenge at them, then you have a good table.

I'm tired of people thinking that minmaxing is the bloody devil, it isn't.

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This thread has actually increased my minmax knowledge by a lot, and now I have new things to piss off my DMs with, thank you :P

my tired builds:

anyone who knowingly and intentionally cuts their own balls off by taking terrible options in the name of flavor. All this does is hamper both their own character's usefulness and the party's overall power. Honorable mention to Paizo for making those options in the first place.

Builds that used to be fun and interesting and different, before paizo cut their balls off (Scarred Witch Doctor, looking at you). Nerfs suck, this isn't a competetive game, stop it. If you don't want something in PFS, BAN IT IN PFS AND LEAVE HOME GAMES OUT OF IT.

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My favorite spell unfortunately isn't from pathfinder, its from the Neverwinter Nights games: Isaac's Greater Missile Storm

Nothing better than launching massive volleys of magic missiles at people.

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Level 3 or 4 is just about perfect to me, casters start picking up 2nd level spells, half-casters start racking up their class features they need to perform their job and martials are probably at the peak of their low-level prowess.

Lower level than that, characters tend to lack mechanical identity, full casters are next to worthless if your DM or the AP likes running lots of encounters without resting, half casters don't get all the tools they need and martials are the only thing keeping your tissue paper party afloat.

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Thrawn007 wrote:

I'm a fan of underdog overcoming odds. I'm a fan of diverse characters. So I'm very much not a fan of optimization, since it tends to make all characters of the same class look the same. I'll optimize a stat in rare cases, but I will often have my highest stat somewhere that isn't the "primary" stat for a character, depending on the concept of the character. I'm even willing to dump Con, even though that seems to be a big sin according to many.

I mostly play PFS, but also am in a couple AP's. I've seen no need to have optimized characters in any of these cases. (That was my experience in 3 decades of other games as well.)

I fundamentally disagree with this attitude. Sure, someone might only try to build "the optimal character" with nothing but the best possible feat/spell and ability choices for their class, but that's a rather limited view of what optimization is.

When I optimize a character I'm usually not looking to build the best wizard, or the best cleric or the best barbarian, I'm looking to build the most effective shapeshifter wizard, or the optimal cleric archer, or the spiked-armor grappler barbarian.

I build my characters to stand out from others mechanically, and because of that I usually have a solid skeleton to slip into a roleplayer's skin. Why is my wizard so enamored with shapeshifting magic? Maybe he hates his bodyweight and is incredibly self conscious, or he's horribly scarred or burned and wants to hide it from everyone. Mechanical stats often give way to ideas for backgrounds and storylines for your character.

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The Mortonator wrote:
Well, it is a terribad feat for everyone else sitting around while you balls around with it. Not even the munchkin in me would take it just cause it would make the game worse.

our gm imposed a 30 second time limit to do the math portion of the feat or the spell fails. Our wizard has still only ever failed once.

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It would be far more palatable if the original content were still available somewhere online, but the SRD sites all update and make that stuff impossible to find. If each errata'd entry had the original form in notations somewhere it would be less of a problem for home groups because we could just choose which version we wanted to use..

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MisterSlanky wrote:
Cylerist wrote:

What I don't understand about some of the changes (Feather step boots and Jingasa especially) is that the function of the item could remain the same and the pricing redone to match it. i.e. extra gp for boots being continuous effect and the higher price for "luck" instead of deflection and the "avoid a crit" of the Jingasa. This would have keep them within the item creation rules without nerfing their powers (they would just cost more to be balanced).

Which would have then resulted in page after page of complaints that the price changed too much. The change to the item would have resulted in a hat in the tens of thousands of gold (there's a good post somewhere on the math behind it). You don't think that would have caused complaining too?

It was a broken item. A hideously broken item that outshined every other item available for a vast majority of the player base. Any change to the item, price or otherwise would have just led to just as many complaints as we have now. Paizo's damned if they do, damned if they don't.

And I'm very glad they did.

oh no a +1 bonus to AC that actually stacks with other typically worn items, whoop-de-frickin-doo. The crit thing was pretty good but it wasn't anywhere near game breaking. It seems like your definition of "broken" is anything slightly above average. Now it's unusable trash, no point in it even being in there.

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if you don't like them, ban them in PFS and let home players sort their own games out. I'm tired of seeing things errata'd out of existence that are unqiue and interesting, like Divine Protection, the Scarred Witch Doctor and so on.

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I can only assume this was intentional design, but honestly I'd love to be able to play a martial tank with good mental saves that isn't limited to one alignment. The Bloodrager could've been the perfect opportunity to do that, but no, apparently martials can't have nice things.

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Atarlost wrote:
Frogsplosion wrote:
I love goblins, +4 to dex, small size, also fun to roleplay, what's not to love?
That they're basically Kender with pyromania instead of kleptomania.

why choose one mania when you can have all the manias? GERBWINS!

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I love goblins, +4 to dex, small size, also fun to roleplay, what's not to love?

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So I'm working on coming up with a heavy intrigue campaign, but I'm not sure on what locale to use. I definitely want it to be in a big city, probably capitol city so we can work politics into the campaign. I was thinking of using Egorian in Taldar, and have the start of the campaign take place after a bloody coup by the king's daughter who starts making the local law enforcement seem a lot more LE than neutral, have the noble houses close ranks and starts forming a new Army of Exploration, which drastically reduces availability of food and water and other supplies for the populace and starts making people in the city desperate and in a constant state of civil unrest.

Seems like a pretty good starting point for an intrigue based campaign, big city, unhappy residents, royals clamping down on dissidents and so forth, but does anyone have any better/other ideas for a location for an intrigue based campaign. I had thought of Cheliax but we're already in the middle of Wrath of the Righteous, and going from demons to devils seems a bit much.

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