Genuine's page

RPG Superstar 8 Season Dedicated Voter. Organized Play Member. 259 posts (260 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.


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Am I missing something... she needs a 9-12 to hit. So she's missing ~50% of the time? Or do you mean that the monsters you're using have 9-12 touch AC?

As to damage... at level 7 that electric blast will be doing 4d6+half con, most likely not more than 4 more points of damage. That's an average of just 18 damage a round (assuming she only misses on a one). In contrast, a barbarian with a greataxe aught to be doing something like 1d12+9 (average 15.5) per hit, and that's before accounting for things like rage, power attack, haste, and other effects. Sure, he's hitting less often, but just with power attack he's doing just as much average damage as the kineticist while getting more attacks, which make up for the additional misses. And that still doesn't account for rage. (Note: Assuming 26 con for the kineticist and 22 str for the barbarian; this both exagerates the kineticist's damage and accounts for her being more MAD). A kineticist can do a bit more damage with her physical blasts, but will miss more often because it isn't touch anymore.

Another way to think about this, the kineticist's damage is the same as a rogues sneak attack (4d6). The Magus and a full arcane caster can also blow this number out of the water; fewer times per day, but honestly how often does that really come up? Almost never in my experience; if the arcane type is out of offensive spells then other people are probably running out of dailies too.

A few tips that can make him feel less OP: Offer lots of cover and terrain that breaks up line of site. Offer multiple weak types to suck up attacks from everyone. Pay attention to her action economy and make sure she's using burn correctly. See if the other people are using their builds effectively.

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Michelle A.J. wrote:

Would you be referring to Grand Marshal? If so, I don't see anything that would prevent you from getting both bonuses. You would just need to use two separate swift actions to activate them (so barring any feats or special abilities, two subsequent rounds of combat.)

Um, yes. I mixed up the PrC with the lore-character type. And it won't let me edit it.

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No answer. If I was glaringly wrong, I feel like someone would have told me so. I know I love ganging up on people who are wrong on the internet. I feel like it'd be the same if I was glaringly right. So I guess it's just rule 0 time.

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Apologies if this has been asked before, I can't find anything in search.

Inquisitors get the JUDGEMENT ability. Shield Marshalls get the LEGAL JUDGEMENT ability. Feats that apply to the inquisitor's judgement also apply to the marshal's judgement, but the levels in the two do not stack.

So here's the question - is it the same ability or not? A multiclassed inquisitor/marshal clearly doesn't get to add levels together when calculating judgements/day or the bonuses from a judgement. He can also clearly activate the inquisitor's judgement in one encounter, and the legal judgement in the next.

But can he activate both the different judgements in a single encounter? I assume that if he does he can't stack the same bonuses - no fast healing 2 (1+1), but if one does a sacred bonus to attack and the other a competence bonus, then they would.

Am I totally out of line? I feel like it's legal unless there's been a FAQ or clarification somewhere that I missed, and otherwise it's cheesy at worst. It is worth noting that Inquisitor and Shield Marshal aren't necessarily a great combo, so it's not like it's gonna be super strong either.

Relevant text:
From the Shield Marshal's text of LEGAL JUDGEMENT:

This ability can be used once per day, plus once for every three levels beyond 1st. It is equivalent to an inquisitor's judgment ability for the purpose of feats, magic items, or other game effects that affect the judgment ability; however, levels in the two classes do not stack.

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Another option to use touch ac is to target helpless creatures.

This may not help.

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Imagine that a caster is invisible and casts a silent charm person. The target makes his save.

Does he know anything happened at all?

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Let us know how it goes.

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When no one in a level 7 party can get up a 20' cliff.

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MeanMutton wrote:
cdkc wrote:
Shadowlords wrote:

a key point here is to not tell the players how to solve the problem. they should have a firmer grasp on their characters abilities then you do and how to use them in this situation.

Some of them are new players and I don't want their first experience to be lost your ship sucks to be you. Normally I would agree. Also they have an NPC cohort who is pretty smart so she may be able to help them (CE level 6 gnome bard)
Why would a CE bard help the party? Why not just grab a lifeboat, murder anyone on board, and sail off to find her own way?

Because he needs someone to row the boat.

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They're following a treasure map, right? Why not just add the 10k gold into the hoard to put them back at the proper wealth-by-level? One hand giveth, the other taketh away...

More seriously - if you let the ship sink, they'll be irritated but they'll also probably talk about it for years. It sounds like the broken ship isn't going to cripple your campaign (they can still reach the treasure island and you have all sorts of options from there to help them off it). So why not just leave it broken? Don't forget that getting stranded on a desert island is a very common pirate story trope, why not indulge a little? At level 8 they won't be able to trivialize it by teleporting away, but they do have all sorts of available options. Let them reach the island, spend some time with survival checks and let them botch a few profession (carpenter) checks to build huts and such. See what they can come up with.

You don't have to kill them off - you said they have lifeboats and can reach the island. But you don't have to deus ex machina them out of the situation, either.

I suppose if they get stuck and *totally* fail to come up with an option, you can have another ship full of treasure hunters show up.

Lantern Lodge

I've got a character that I've been playing that may handle your wants.

Tengu - good stats, and he speaks *all* the languages. :D. I maxed out Dex, followed by Wis, then Int, then Con, dumped Cha and Str.

I went with Gunslinger 5, then got out 'cause after that the only real reason to stick with him was for bonus feats.

I took 2 ranks of Inquisitor. I used the Heretic Archetype and the Conversion Inquisition. That let me use Wisdom for the core three Cha skills, and also add Wisdom to Stealth and Initiative. Which is awesome.

So now I have a boom-stick character with good bluff and diplomacy (not quite up to the bard/sorcerer diplomancer levels, but good).

I considered continuing with inquisitor, but I wanted to get back to something with a full BAB. I strongly considered Urban Barbarian for further Dex abuse, also considered stuff like Slayer, unchained Monk, or even Brawler. But I ended up with the Grand Marshal prestige class. It'll let me continue to pick up some deeds, it also will continue to boost initiative and offer a number of flavorful and useful class skills.

I've only gotten to level 9 with him so far in PFS play, but I've only had a single scenario where he didn't really contribute to combat (and that was because of a massive storm followed by underwater combat; also really unlucky rolls), and even there he technically soloed one encounter thanks to a really high linguistics check to make a forgery. He's capable in social situations, great in sneaky situations, and well above average in combat.

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When the telekineticist carries a 250lbs rock in a bag of holding to set off traps when nothing else is heavy enough.

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Gunslinger 5 (I went Musket Master, but any of the Wis bases work), Inquisitor 2(Heretic, Conversion Domain), Grand Marshal+.

Ok, only three, but hear me out. Gunslinger works great even at early levels. By level 5 you get dex to damage and can get out.

For two levels of Inquisitor, you get to add your Wisdom (or use Wis instead of Charisma) to Stealth, Initiative, Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidation. Also 1 judgement a day and some spells. I think that's worth the lost 1 BAB.

And then Grand Marshal comes online, which makes your initiative stupid, brings some useful judgements legal judgements, and a bunch of other fun mechanics.

Ok... it's not crazy, but its a multiclass build that performs well in combat, performs well with social tasks, and utilizes a prestige class to advantage.

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wynterknight wrote:
Genuine wrote:

Another question about kinetic maneuver: If I use it to disarm someone at range, does the weapon snap to the kineticist, or drop on the ground right there?

I'd say it falls on the ground like a normal disarm, but then you could use basic tk to pick it up as a separate action (assuming the target hasn't picked it up, first.)

Not quite as fun. :/ I like the jedi sort of image where stuff snaps into my hands. At least propelling an item 15' is just a move action with mage hand, so if I don't move I can still deny stuff to my target.

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Another question about kinetic maneuver: If I use it to disarm someone at range, does the weapon snap to the kineticist, or drop on the ground right there?

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Can you take the penalty on your blast to do non-lethal damage?

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Chill touch gets even better at higher levels when you have more touches.

It's always entertaining to watch zombies flee in terror.

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I know that posting images and details from chronicle sheets and scenarios is generally considered poor form. However, I've been putting together an index of the scenarios by theme & location. e.g. all the scenarios set in Absolom, all the scenarios in the Tapestry, all the Lissalan cult stuff, all the Blackrose scenarios, etc. I'm most worried about marking scenarios linked to the Mendevian Crusade stuff, as there are boons connected to that, but still.

Would people want to see that, and would it be ok? Or are the spoilers problematic?

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Does anyone have a list of all the scenarios where he appears? It might be fun to try and run them all together.

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Recent experience: Your pre-gen Kinetecist (a 9-year-old little girl) is the party face.

Suspicious cleric guarding cemetary: "Why are you here?"
Little girl voice performed by large bearded man: "We're here to find the thing that the lady didn't give the other people because we need the thing to finish the other things and she gave the thing to the guy who died here and we think it's here." Rolled diplomacy....

Later: Suspicious cleric: "Did you take anything?"
Little girl: /cries. Rolled diplomacy...

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Dracoknight wrote:
Cory Stafford 29 wrote:

Yeah, the bonus feats are nice, especiall\ly if you get the 1/6 of a combat feat every level for favored class bonus. If only I could get some decent skills with warpriest.
Personally i did fix that with Evangelist prestige class, but you lose out on your favored class bonus

No joke. If this class had 4 skills instead of 2 I might actually use it once in a while. 2 skills on a class with no good reason to boost Int is painful.

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Not a perfect build, or even necessarily something great, but it is something that the warpriest does better than anyone else: the Mancatcher.

Sacred weapon means you're doing real damage with the weapon. You have enough feats to build a grapple build without having to totally focus other options. The biggest problem are the size issues, but purchasing a few potions of enlarge person and reduce person makes things a bit better, and you can always pack an extra man catcher or two that are built for different sizes. And if that doesn't work, well then you're still armed with a reach weapon and can just bludgeon things to death like normal.

Not great, I know, but I don't know another class that would be able to make it work better.

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Ferious Thune wrote:

With a dip into a 3/4 BAB class, you won't qualify for Improved Whip Mastery at 7th. You need BAB +5, which you won't get until 8th. That's part of why I suggested Brawler instead of Monk.

I have a mental block where I check BAB on a chart and read the strong saves instead.

I also really wish there was a full BAB class out there with the surprise round bonus. :/

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For the record, I'll be taking improved whip mastery at level 7, not 9. I miscalculated the BAB for when I'd be able to. Improved Init will come at 9 instead. Sohei is can really come any time before or at 7 - I could qualify for IWM at level 6 if I was pure Magus up to then, but I'd have to pay the PP to retrain a feat.

And level 3 is a handy break point for the magus levels.

As for waiting until level 7, well, there's plenty I can do until then. I'll probably be spamming long arm fairly frequently anyways.

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If you have weapon finesse and use a finesse weapon to make a trip or disarm attack, you can use Dex, even if you don't have Agile Maneuvers.

Can a monk, or other character with Improved Unarmed strike, with weapon finesse use Dex when tripping or disarming with a fist/foot?

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Kahel Stormbender wrote:


Side note, I find it amusing that in the classroom Indy talks about how there's no such thing as magic, ancient curses aren't real, and that X never marks the spot. Then in the field he regularly ends up dealing with mystic artifacts and X marking the spot.

Digression aside, don't vigilantes get bonuses to Intimidate within the area they are known to operate?

They do if they have the renown talent. When in their vigilante identity they get a bonus to intimidate. When in their social identity everyone has their starting attitude increased by one step. And they get that bonus regardless of whether people know about the two identities. Which can be hilarious.

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Kazaan wrote:
Lastly, though not an outright prohibition, it's worth noting that having a weapon dangling from a weapon cord interferes with fine actions and casting a spell with somatic components would count as such. But stacked up with all the other points made above, this is the least of considerations.

Out of curiosity, how would you rule on that? Would you make any distinctions between the size of an item on the cord? (i.e. Bastard Sword v. dagger v. wand?) Or would you just outright say 'no somatic spells while dangling an item from a cord?'

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Indiana Jones does not work because his identity is fully known by both his peers and his foes.
Sure it does. He just doesn't get his bonuses against those in the know.

This is assuming you even care about the bonuses. The only real bonuses you get are the disguise check (against people recongnizing that Clark is actually Superman) and the divination check (against Luthor detecting Clark whilst scrying for Superman).

In PFS (where people are grumpy that identities don't matter), the scrying really never shows up (maybe in an AP or high level Module, but I haven't seen it in any scenario yet); the disguise check might come up if you're disguised as a non-pathfinder and don't want to be recognized.

So why not be Indiana Jones? Respectible professor by day school year and adventurer by night summer? If Indy doesn't care about who knows what, why should Murderhobo #84593-7?

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TL/DR: Add the armor bonus to the max dex (or your dex, whichever is lower). Whatever armor has the highest score is best. If there are multiple types with the same total, get the one with the least check penalty and least weight.

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Ferious Thune wrote:
If I understand the revised Scorpion Whip correctly, I *think* you need two Exotic Weapon Proficiencies to effectively use it. EWP: Whip is not enough on its own. You also need EWP: Scorpion Whip. Someone correct me if I'm wrong about that.

That is my understanding as well, which is why I've avoided it in this build.

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Yeah... spells and items. Of course the ring of deflection, cloak of resistance, amulet of natural armor, headband of Int and belt of dex (& con). Ioun stones. Lots of wands; Wands of true strike, mage armor, infernal healing, blade lash, vanish, and more. And a handy haversack of course.

For armor there's always the Haramaki and Mithril Buckler to put useful enhancements on, if and when I have cash for it.

There are lots of useful enhancements for the whip, and I may end up just getting several (this is my Ghost touch whip, this is my Agile whip, this is my spell storing whip, etc.) Two +2 weapons are cheaper than one +3. The one real problem with weapon selection is going to be the fact that I can't really make whips out of Adamantine, Cold Iron, or Silver. I may just end up applying a blanch to a few back up whips. :D I like the idea of this table introduction: I'm the dude with leather rope hanging off him everywhere.

Sandals of Quick Reaction are nice, unfortunately so are Boots of Striding.

I'll almost have to get gloves of Storing. I wish there was a way to make weaponwand permanent.

Goz Masks are wonderful too. I dream of someday playing in a party where everyone can see through mist and smoke without penalty.

And that aughta be all my gold for plenty of time.

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Mike Lindner wrote:
I should add that much like your idea Genuine, my vigilante is a murder hobo. The Bloody Maw has been "touched" by Groetus. His social identity is a beggar. So he quite literally is a homeless person who uses the society as a means to travel around and do his part in sowing chaos and tearing down civilization.

I love giving my characters authentic in-story reasons to be murderhoboes. :D

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claudekennilol wrote:
Genuine wrote:
As for sohei, the main reason I want to take him is his first level 'always act in the surprise round' ability. Getting martial proficiencies back to the kensai is also nice, as is the bonus to saves and the bonus feat.
You're still misunderstanding that ability. You only get to act in the surprise round if there is a surprise round. That ability does not force a surprise round to happen if one wasn't going to happen.

Oh, I'm aware that there's an 'if' there. I also know that it isn't some sort of all-powerful game breaking ability. It is, however, lots of fun. And I want to build around it.

I could give a speech about how often surprise rounds come up in my local lodge, but all that matters is that it remains a feature that I want to build around. The goal is that when there is a surprise round, I act there with a high probability of going before the threat. I also want options that make that action meaningful whether or not I'm aware of the threat (A pure rogue or vigilante doesn't really have those options). I also want to be reasonably effective during the encounter itself. Don't forget that the optimization standards are set by the PFS scenarios and un-modified modules and APs, so there is a relatively low bar needed for capability. Even with crappy pre-gens groups tend to handle encounters easily (with a few exceptions).

In other words, I'm looking for a high init (Which means High dex, and if possible class options that further boost it).

High initiative isn't a good enough reason on its own to justify high dex, so I need a build that operates from dex.

Meaningful options without being directly aware of a threat pretty much requires spells or ranged attacks. A purely martial melee character can't do much but ready an action and hope he's in the right place. A pure-ranged character can still pretty much just ready an action, but at least he can be confident that'll be useful.

Personal reasons tells me I don't want a hexcrafter or blackblade magus. Same reasons says no gunslinger, sorcerer, wizard, or arcanist.

With those strictures, a maneuver magus/sohei is where I've ended up. I considered a zen-archer monk, but feel like that would play too much like my gunslinger. An archer cleric is a possibility, but the magus just feels like it'd be more fun. I strongly considered a kineticist build, as well as a vigilante build, but I didn't like the trade-offs much. (The vigilante build is strongly attractive, as it offers much more when out of combat, but it still looses out when it comes to in-combat options).

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666bender wrote:

1. take also HexCrafter , the spell recall lose for a hex is well worth it, especially as you are low on spells.

2. take evil eye
3. take hex strike = -2 \-4 NO SAVE as one of your attacks... WOW on AC, saves and more.
4. add enforcer to the the rime trick.
5. why Sohei ? you dont care about mount feats or Flurry in armor.... if 1 monk level, take "of many styles" for crane style and 1 more.

I don't really want to do Hexcrafter, I've done him before.

As for sohei, the main reason I want to take him is his first level 'always act in the surprise round' ability. Getting martial proficiencies back to the kensai is also nice, as is the bonus to saves and the bonus feat.

I'd consider another class/archetype that offers that ability in the first level or two, but the only ones I'm aware of is the diviner wizard and the Divine Strategist cleric.

Conceptually speaking, I'm ok with a one level dip. A two level is acceptable; three level is maybe worth considering but needs to offer more thats useful than just going in the surprise round.

Here's where I'm at now:

1) Kensai (Weapon Finesse)
2) Kensai
3) Kensai (Whip Mastery)(Wand Wielder)
4) Sohei (Martial Proficiencies, Surprise Round, Combat Reflexes, AC bonus, Improved Unarmed Strike)
5) Kensai (Rime Spell)
6) Kensai (Bonus: Dirty fighting)
7) Kensai (Improved Initiative)(Familiar)
8) Kensai
9) Kensai (Improved Whip Mastery)
10) Kensai (Arcana:?)
11) Kensai (Feat: Improved Familiar (Probably))
12) Kensai

I may or may not replace dirty fighting or improved iniative with Enforcer. I'll base that on how game play works out. Same with the decision on the lvl 9 (10) arcana.

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You're right. Dirty tricks is a straight up upgrade to combat expertise. And I have access to the book. Sold. :D

You're probably right about maneuver mastery.

Difficult swings requires weapon training in the relevant weapon. Doesn't that make it a fighter-only feat? How are you getting weapon training?

I'll admit that 95% of why I want Sohei is for the 'always act in the surprise round' thing. (You may have guessed this, given that my first plan was for a waylayer, until it was pointed out that I had misread the class). The other stuff is more a side justification (although the bonuses to all saves and the combat expertise is delicious). I wish that there was a 1-2 level dip somewhere that let me get it on a full BAB class, but oh well.

I've also considered taking a one level dip in Cleric (Divine Strategist). With broad study I'd have some fun touch spells to pick from, and there are a few interesting lvl 1 domain powers in a dip.

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Kurald Galain wrote:

The main question is, why kensai? The big benefits of kensai don't come online until level 11, and that's when PFS ends. In the meantime, you'll be stuck with diminished spellcasting and no spell recall, and that's a big downside.

Frankly I'd go for Hexcrafter, then either use a Conductive whip to add hexes to your attacks, or pick up Hex Strike. Or possibly Magic Warrior for at-will flight at level 3.

Note that a familiar exists that gives you +4 to initiative, so the familiar arcana is better than imp init. I don't see the point of combat expertise on this build, and you can possibly do without Imp Whip mastery as well. And instead of wand wielder (which conflicts with rime spell), Enforcer is a better choice.

A few reasons. Kensai gives two feats for free: Exotic Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus. Also, in my other Magus I think I hardly ever used spell recall, although the reduced spellcasting will hurt.

More importantly, I've got another PFS magus at level 12. He was a hexcrafter/blackblade (back when that combo was legal)(I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with him if I ever get the opportunity to play eyes of 10). That Magus was a pretty standard shocking grasp stregth magus. I wanted to do something different this time - hence the manuever magus, dex, and different archetype.

Magic warrior is attractive, but it's not up on the SRD yet and I haven't had a chance to look through the book.

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Black Powder Chocobo wrote:

Actually, you need Weapon Focus (whip) for Whip Mastery, so you're going to have to redo your feats somewhat.

Also don't forget the trait Magical Knack so you can keep your Caster Level to your hit die despite a dip (or 2) in different classes.

The kensai gets free weapon focus at level 1. So that's covered.

Traits... the problem is that I also need magical lineage. Having the free Rime spell seems more valuable than +1 to my caster level. I also don't particularly want to buy a new book just to use Wayang Spellhunter. The other trait will probably be reactionary.

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claudekennilol wrote:

Personally I wouldn't want to lose magus spells at all. But if you're not worried about high level spells, then go for it.

I definitely wouldn't waste the arcane on close range arcana--especially when you can already do what you want with other magus spells as Fruian pointed out.

You'll probably want a trait to make stealth a class skill (that is assuming you stay straight magus), but obviously if you dip (more like split) rogue, it won't be so necessary.

Lastly, the biggest flaw I see is that waylayer doesn't say that you get to act in the surprise round. It just gives you a bonus to init if you get to act in the surprise round. And even if you do somehow get to always act in the surprise round (not from waylayer), that's only beneficial if there is a surprise round. Just because something might have an ability to always act in a surprise round, doesn't mean that ability forces one to happen if it doesn't exist.

*Waylayer gets the ability to always act in the surprise round at level 8.

I misread the class. Yeah, it's not so nice. I think I'm going to stick with dex, even though STR is a bit better on paper.

Given that I'm doing PFS, here's the lvl 12 build I think I'm going to settle on:

1) Kensai (Weapon Finesse)
2) Kensai
3) Kensai (Whip Mastery)(Wand Wielder)
4) Sohei (Martial Proficiencies, Surprise Round, Combat Reflexes, AC bonus, Improved Unarmed Strike)
5) Kensai (Rime Spell)
6) Kensai (Bonus: Agile Maneuvers)
7) Kensai (Improved Initiative)(Maneuver Mastery)
8) Kensai
9) Kensai (Improved WHip Mastery)
10) Kensai (Arcana: Familiar?)
11) Kensai (Feat: Combat expertise?)
12) Kensai

Sohei I think I'll stick with. Sure, I can't really take advantage of flurry, but that one level of the monk archetype does give me +2 to all saves, two bonus feats (Improved Unarmed Strike and probably Combat Reflexes), Always act in the surprise round, and I get my martial proficiencies back. All in all I think it's a decent trade for one level of magus class features.

I'm now concerned about feat selection. I've essentially left the maneuver feats off the build, which feels wrong. But... the improve feats only give a +2 and allow me to avoid the AoO. Using a whip means I shouldn't be provoking terribly often anyways, and Agile Maneuvers & Maneuver Mastery will each add more of a bonus to all the maneuvers than one feat will. So why take it? Does that work?

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You're right, he doesn't get that until level 8. That takes a lot of the shine off; going during an initiative round was a major attraction of rogue - 1 level in, a second for evasion wouldn't be painful, a third for dex-to-damage. But without that at one it just isn't near as nice.

What is that guide? The link isn't working for me for some reason, but I'm more than willing to google-fu it.

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I am building a whip magus. I'm considering options, as I think I may want to multiclass.

So far I'm building off a Sylph (with alternate racial abilities giving +5 speed, +2 AC v. non-magic ranged, and +4 stealth). I'm also going full dex.

He is Kensai:

Traits: Magical Lineage (Snowball), Reactionary
Feats 1: Weapon Focus/proficiency (Whip), Weapon Finesse
Feat 3: Whip Mastery
Arcana 3: Wand Wielder

At the moment his schtick is to cast true strike and then use a maneuver to mess stuff up. Long term I'm intending to pick up Rime spell and the Close Range arcana, and probably combat maneuver feats and more whip feats.

3 levels of unchained rogue (waylayer) is looking attractive to me, but loosing out on those Magus will hurt. I'll delay 2nd level spells, more arcana, and a wider use of my pool points, but I can pick up 2d6 sneak attack, evasion, dex-to-damage, always going in a surprise round, and a rogue trick. In other words, it appears that I am trading magical flexibility for more damage and surprise round actions.

Worth it? Is there something else worthwhile?

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Thomas Hutchins wrote:
I'd just run the social version as the character and just have the vigilante form there for fun if you ever wanted it. That way you get your social bonuses while still having all your combat options.

I've been tempted to do that, seeing as there is no mechanical penalty for people knowing your identity. It just seems less fun to not even bother with a major piece of a character's design. It's kinda like building a rogue who never finds traps. ;) (Note: Minor sarcasm)

I'll see how it plays at the table - one question though: Is there a problem having one of a vigilante's identities *not* be a member of the Pathfinder Society?

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RoshVagari wrote: and passive efforts by the various stores that discouraged PFS groups, campaign leadership with a complete hands off approach leading to an organization having no organization...

I've played in 3 areas now. One just like you describe, and two that are stable/growing with multiple weekly tables. While I know this is anecdotal in the extreme, I've noticed that while the leadership is instrumental in driving growth, it is the stores that prevent decay.

A leader who ensures that games are posted early, that everything is reported, and that GMs don't get problematic can make it far easier for new players to get involved.

However, a store that visibly and clearly appreciates keeps them there. I've seen two stores that do free printing for PFS materials (chronicles, printing sheets, handouts, maps) and even buy scenarios for us. One of them gives $5 in store credit to anyone who GMs a table (which can add up quick, and frankly is nicer than my stars:). Being willing to open the store early, late, or even arrange for free wifi makes a big difference long term. The bad area had store that planned magic tournaments on the day when PFS usually played; they kept our table available, but filled the other 8 tables with magic players. We we changed days but the relatively early close time caused problems - they wouldn't stay open past 8 on weekdays, which made it very hard on us.

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I wish we could have access to some of the big data from reporting. It's hard to know for sure how relevant of a problem this is - a loud minority appears the same as a quiet majority.

I'd love to take all the players who have played in the last year; I'd like to see how many times they've played in that year and compare it to how many times they played in their first and middle years; what percentage of total scenarios have they played; what percentage of scenarios in each tier have they played; how much played-scenario overlap they have with people they have recently played with; all of the above as relates to GMing; which players have done APs or multi-part modules; other combinations/issues that may come to mind.

Frankly, it'd be an interesting analysis project in and of itself. I wonder if (and hope that) Paizo does this on their own. If they don't, are they hiring?

Lantern Lodge 1/5

I am creating a stalker vigilante for PFS, but I'm struggling a bit with the vigilante's two identities. As fun as it seems, the strictures of PFS make it appear somewhat pointless. I don't think I've ever had a scenario where someone reacts to my character for any social reason other than my character's PFS membership. Maybe someone who reacted to a race/class, but that's not affected by the vigilante's abilities either.

So what I am wondering is whether or not I could (or should) have my character's social identity *not* be a pathfinder.

I think that the vigilante identity would be an exchange enforcer - a fairly standard pathfinder murderhobo. Perhaps more well known than most, but still the kind of thug that has given Pathfinders such a bad reputation in certain circles. But the social identity is just a merchant-explorer. Centered in Absolom, but unaffiliated with the society. He fronts for a few Scarzni families to find new markets and trade opportunities. Sometimes he'll do a favor for the Pathfinders, but he isn't a member. He has had a lot of success following various Pathfinder teams and exploiting the chaos they often leave behind, so he's well known to appear at various events alongside them.

For ease, his area of renown would probably just be the docks or some other trading district in Absolom.

What do you guys think?

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My favorite character ever is a dex-magus Kensai with a two level dip in Sohei monk.

I just kinda ignore the flurry of blows, but picked up a big boost to saves, some extra skill points, two bonus feats (grabbed Combat Expertise and Deflect Arrows)(Had a convo with GM about whether or not deflect arrows affects spell combat), improved unarmed attack, evasion, a few extra skill points, and got back martial weapons and light armor proficiency.

Oh, and my hyper-mobile high-initiative gish now always acts in surprise rounds. Usually first.

It's totally worth the two lost casting levels and pool progression to me.

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I really like Grand Marshal for gunslingers. After level 5, gunslingers are relatively painless to multiclass out.

Gun marshal gives some powerful judgements, a ridiculous initiative boost, and can kinda continue getting gunslinger deeds.

Sometimes, I think a better question than 'what is a good prestige class' is 'what base class is easy to multi-class out, and for how many levels?'

Lantern Lodge 1/5

I'm coming back to PFS after a few years away. Last time I played faction cards were a brand new thing and I was gonna have to scrap my plans to build a Magus with some Swashbuckler arcana.

Obviously I've grabbed the newest PFS guild guide and re-examine the additional resources, but is there anything worth taking special notice of?

Lantern Lodge

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A couple tricks I use when I GM homebrew campaigns:

1st, I appoint a co-GM. I try and pick out the rules lawyer of the group (not the munchkin or the min-maxer, I look for the guy who takes perverse pleasure in catching anyone with a rules violation). His job is to know the rules for anything the players attempt. That spellstrike thing the magus is doing - is it really kosher? Does that monk archetype really let him wear armor? Can bloodragers' dragon bloodline stack with the Dragon Disciple's bloodline? This guy is also responsible for helping look up quick reference rules.

This does require trust, but it speeds things along in a remarkable way. It's also nice when you don't remember off-hand what the DC for spellcasting after you've been tanglefoot bagged is.

2nd, I sometimes limit books. Not anything specific, but the absolute number. Back in 3.5, I had great success simply saying that players could have core and 1 non-core book. That gave players freedom to do something interesting, but it cut down on the irritation of having to access dozens of other books to figure out what someone's attack modifier is.

Last, and not really a trick, do everything in your power to play somewhere with wi-fi, and bookmark They aren't perfect, and I've found the occasional error, but it makes looking up details soooooo much faster.

Lantern Lodge

Melkiador wrote:
TK Blast is most dangerously used with weapons that can still do damage after they hit, like grenades. Move action light + standard action TK Blast and now your enemy has taken your blast damage and needs to move within 1d3 rounds or get exploded on too.

Ooh, like all those fireworks you get in the goblin scenarios. I wonder if you could deliver contact or inhaled poisons too.

Lantern Lodge

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Two other things that I've found help a lot: Large dice and typed character sheets.

Get dice with larger, printed numbers. I don't know why it helps, but it does. Kinda like turning down your radio when you're lost. For some reason, adding modifiers to a large and easy-to-read number is easier than smaller ones. I've never seen elven dice used without slowing down play.

Next, make sure that everyone has a clean, printed sheet. Lots of character sheets are repeatedly erased and re-written, have notes added to them, doodles, crossouts, etc. I personally print out a whole new sheet for myself every time I level up. This minimizes the distractions when you're trying to glean a handful of numbers off a sheet.

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