Arius considers the situation. He can do little to alter the positions of the two combatants; his lexicon contains no words for paralysis or the like. The question, he realizes, is not which words he knows, but which the remorhaz does.
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18 Does Arius know anything about the remorhaz?
"Vladimir! Do you know whether this creature understands speech?"
THAT IS FANTASTIC. When are you in LA? Are there still tickets to the show available?
It's hard to know. I usually play non-mythic P6 and haven't looked at it :-/. I think the most important question is what kinds of rider abilities can be added to this melee attack. Would a mesmerist's painful strike activate? Could one use Vital Strike?
I agree with the point about combat maneuvers above. You could also think about Stunning Fist. You could dip Unchained Monk and take Monastic Legacy to boost unarmed damage. Either take the Scaled Fist archetype with sorceror or, with the Empyreal Wildblooded archetype, any other monk variant. Enter Eldritch Knight when ready. Now you can flurry with unarmed strikes and cast spells. Use the Mage Strike attack to get off Stunning Fist; then you can get some guaranteed Medusa's Wrath damage.
One variant here would be to use Druid instead of Sorcerer; Feral Combat Training might let you make a big hippo bite or something with Mage Strike.
I am Martro Livondar, and I'm here to ask you a question. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? "No," says the man from Andoran, "it belongs to the poor." "No," says the man from Cheliax, "it belongs to the Divine." "No," say the paladins, "it belongs to everyone." I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Daggermark. A city where the artist would not fear the censor; where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality; where the great would not be constrained by the small! And with the sweat of your brow, Daggermark can become your city as well.
Hmm, never thought of Randian "ethical egoism" as CE before (had considered it NE), but you make a compelling case.
Also note that Shizuru gets the Repose domain. With some combination of Ascetic Style, Domain Strike, and a ki focus weapon, you can (I think) deliver your Repose domain power through the katana. Get Guided Hand and you can pretty much be SAD on Wisdom.
Not an optimal build, but the idea of a peaceable hermit who just cuts you to sleep seems really chill.
Matthias is now known throughout the caravan, welcome in nearly every tent ... except maybe those of malcon-tents? Wakka wakka. The roads from here are quite safe; as the caravan begins to encounter other traders on the road, guard discipline is permitted to relax. Some members of the caravan now favor open litters; others, the wealthiest, ride smooth porcelain disks, covered in exquisite tapestries and comfortable cushions, which proceed at such level height and speed as to seem like stable earth.
Mobile cafes, too, spring up slightly overhead, with luminous ropes hanging down day and night to allow otherwise unoccupied travelers a place for rest and social gathering. All are welcome here, with little attention paid to decorum or wealth--indeed, the continuous tea and conversation are proffered freely, as though they arose in infinite plenty.
The bandits are subdued, Matthias and Bathos having pummeled and savaged them unconscious. Their feet now shackled in rock and sucking mud, their hands also bound with unmovable earth, they stir. The guards of the caravan bind them in strong silk rope; Matthias wills the earthen tendrils to withdraw wherever the limbs are made fast in rope.
The halfling, face filthy, spits a viscous clot at Matthias. It stretches yellow from between his yellow teeth. The spittle streaks mud down his small chin and nests in his tangled beard as he is dragged to a penal wagon. The nude brute, bereft of his club, tears at the silk ropes with his teeth until his gums bleed.
The guards clap Matthias on the back as all return to the caravan.
Would your GM let you make a modified "Storm Disciple," "Void Disciple" or "Mind Disciple" PrC , on the model of the Dragon Disciple? With extra abilities related to surrendering spell slots to make your chakras easier to open, instead of related to natural attacks, breath weapons, etc.? Even just feats for the latter would help.
One of the other players was classified as CE by this online quiz? That is ... worrisome.
A plane consisting entirely of intellectuals and artists: wizards, philosophers, poets, musicians, etc. Just a paradise of learning and culture. The plane is mildly positive energy-aligned and timeless, keeping all beings therein eternally youthful and precluding the need for resources (e.g., food is only taken for pleasure, never for sustenance).
Valhalla. Carouse in a mead hall, then go kill some (<=4HD) giants.
The ultimate sensory deprivation chamber. No gravity (so no interoception); no medium capable of transmitting sound or visual phenomena.
Planes dedicated to the pure, distilled essence of single experiences. For example, a plane of reticulate twisting hallways where one hears whispers of ultimate knowledge, always hiding just behind the next corner; a plane where one is continuously born; a plane where every sentient creature continuously falls in love with whomever it sees, weeping in perpetual joy.
I've only theorycrafted with it, but it seems solid. Most of the trades are either inconsequential or favorable. In particular, getting inspire courage instead of wholeness of body rocks.
If you're planning to go straight monk, enjoy the free exotic weapon proficiency, which can get you one of those cool "eastern" monk weapons that monks aren't proficient with by default.
However, I feel the archetype really shines with a dip into cleric so you can pick up guided hand. Focusing on wisdom will hurt damage a bit, but it means your Stunning Fist attempts will stick; you'll also have more ki to spend on extra attacks, inspiring courage, etc. And since you're only dipping into cleric, why not take Conversion Inquisition instead of one of your domains? Use all those extra languages you'll get and be a wisdom-based party face!
One build I've toyed with is
Cleric (Tsukiyo) 1 / Monk (Wanderer) 5 / Horizon Walker 3 / Monk +X
You can tweak the deity to taste; I like Tsukiyo for Repose Domain, a favored weapon granting reach (makes for a nice tripper), and the flavor of this wandering monk divagating around in the still night. A "better" choice would probably be Shizuru or Sarenrae for a high-crit weapon.
Horizon Walker gets you something better than abundant step (which you trade away) and earlier; it also seems felicitous thematically, since Horizon Walkers are supposed to be sort of wanderer types. Wander so far you end up in other planes :).
I had a cleric once who temporarily lost her powers (we house-ruled that she had to roll WIS whenever she tried to use a spell or channel). Even without the house rule, it would have been a blast. The DM let her get her powers back incrementally and at really climactic moments when she had epiphanies about the divine will and showed progress toward reform. It was one of my most rewarding episodes as a role-player.
Whichever way your player ends up going, I think being an ex-Druid for a while and then spontaneously gaining replacement monk levels at moments of personal virtue/inspiration/devotion could be delightful. Obviously, this depends on the personalities involved (among players and DM) and the kind of game you're running. If this player just wants to explode faces, my recommendation is infelicitous. If you're running a deeply narrative game with many well-developed personalities, give it a try. Make those monk or wizard levels mean something.
Voldo. I am making this character and I am dual-wielding garden shears. Hhhhhhhhhhhhssssrrrrgggghh
I'm a creative writer with severe clinical depression. The concomitant lack of self-esteem, motivation, and energy makes it difficult to produce. Other than my empathy, I can only offer the advice I've been given: make your creativity a habit. Even if it feels terrible, even if you look at the material you wrote the day before and cringe, just keep going.
I believe it was one of the Transcendentalists who felt he hadn't earned his dinner until he had at least written something that day. It's also helped me lately to read about Keats's concept of "Negative Capability."
The most important thing (and here I am hypocritical) is not to castigate yourself when you "fail." Self-flagellation feels "deserved," but it's really just a way to distract us further. It feels right because it's severe, and we think the hard thing is the right thing, but "severe" != "hard." The hard thing is to see ourselves as we are: not the best, not the worst, not lacking in creativity but not so perfected as to s#@@ golden tomes or unassailable RPG content. You're at the choice point. Take care of yourself: sleep, eat, cry, whatever you need. But, when your needs are met, are you doing what you love to do?
Apologies if I am projecting my own flaws and struggles. This is just the stuff that gets me in front of my pen/keyboard; maybe there's something there to help you. Best of luck.
Metamorph is interesting, but it gives up so much!! I've explored some builds that incorporate it (four or five levels give you enough shifting and mutagen to last; then you can go into a full BAB class of your choice), but it just seems weak if you single-class it. Metamorph 4/mutagenic mauler brawler X looks strong (would the two mutagens stack for duration, though?); metamorph/monk is cool, but a bit weak; metamorph/barbarian gives you all the STR.
Has anyone worked out a good metamorph build? Maybe its viability would surprise us.
What about moving in the other direction and just eliminating casting altogether? There are lots of bloodline and mystery abilities that would go really well on a warrior type instead. The chassis could be (with no casting) 3/4 or full BaB, good will (unique for a warrior type), a scaling arcane pool, and bloodline/mystery abilities every ~4 levels, maybe a bonus feat or two? I'd play it, but I always want to play magically-augmented warriors, so I may be biased.
"Rogue": Cardinal archetype for clerics. This gives you skills, but cuts your BAB. Alternatively, go with an Ecclesitheurge and take a single monk level: no armor means you can sneak! Alternatively alternatively, a theologian focusing on the trickery domain or one of its subdomains will give you lots of stealth- and manipulation-related spells. For any of these, trickery is an excellent domain; if you stay vanilla cleric, you might consider replacing a domain with the Conversion Inquisition to add WIS instead of CHA to your social skills.
I know the trick here is to use the classic classes in adventitious ways, but, if you're willing to look elsewhere, other good rogues would be 1) the Seeker oracle, probably with the air mystery or 2) a Nature Fang druid with the Crocodile domain. Not quite clerics, but close enough to count as "classic," I think :)--in fact, I think the druid was originally a subtype of cleric back in the AD&D days.
"Fighter": Make the wizard a Hellknight Signifer. Have him/her focus entirely on no-somatic-component buff spells like true strike. For extra fun, take Scrollmaster, because when else will you use that class? At level five, the wizard is just a guy in armor that isn't very good at weapons. At higher levels, it might be useful to give him/her a level in oracle (battle or metal mystery); these mysteries can give you lots of proficiencies and open up Warrior Priest. If you read the text for Hellknight Signifer, it indicates that which features advance are based on which of the two prerequisite feats (Arcane Armor Training or Warrior Priest) you have; if you have both, it seems that you could advance multiple features. Thus, you could take the Extra Revelation feat to take other cool revelations from those mysteries to help out the character's melee ability and those revelations would scale with Hellknight Signifer levels.
I'm going to mention druid again, this time the Goliath Druid archetype. This is cool because it lets you turn into giants. Giants can wield weapons and, when covered in stone plate, they just look like big, old fighters.
I don't have anything really novel for wizard or cleric at the moment, but I'm thinking about it. Turns out it's way easier to turn casters into mundane classes than the other way around. As a general exercise, I submit that you could make a full party of kineticists, each one assuming one of the classic roles (waits for tomatoes to be thrown). Bonus: each one could be a different element!!
I've been toying with a build for a while. The idea is to do a lot of self-buffing without much actual spellcasting, while retaining as much BAB as possible. I was originally thinking of something like
Brawler (Mutagenic Mauler) 6/Cleric 1/Holy Vindicator X
This would give me a straight strength buff from mutagen, the potential for any number of useful domain powers (this character was originally conceived as an herbalist due to backstory--which I am absolutely willing to expatiate on if you like--which kind of drew me toward Plant (Growth)), and then Holy Vindicator for scaling stigmata to apply to damage, a few spells, nice defenses, BAB, etc.
All was well in the world. Then the Metamorph alchemist came out and I thought of taking this in another direction. Monstrous physique looks fun, and I think something like an alchemist X/cleric Y/HV could work.
Thus, I am now wondering what the best martial dip for mutagen would be. I haven't even mentioned Fighter (Mutation Warrior), but maybe someone can convince me that it's awesome :). Also, mild rules question: it seems like the duration of mutagen granted from different classes should stack; how do others read the rules?
Nice, I'll check that out :).
Would Cleric of Calistra/Unmonk+Weaponwand+Crusader's Flurry work? I can't tell if weaponwand would allow more than one spell to be discharged from the wand per round.
I'm trying to work that out, too. There doesn't appear to be a rules question about it. If weaponwand would allow me to hide a cure wand in a gauntlet and discharge it on every strike, that would be excellent. By my reading, the line
You can attack normally with the weapon or use the weapon as if it were the encased wand.
kills this interpretation; "as if it were" seems to subsume the action to activate, i.e. no full attacks with the wand. I'm open to rebuttals :).
Sounds like someone got on the JoJo hype train.
What is that?
magus with an expanded spell list
That's a good one; I disregarded magus VMC early due to spell list access, but you're right that actually being a magus and getting the spells on my list would let me do this. I've been meaning to try the esoteric magus, anyway.
lots of good stuff
I do like versatile channel; it kind of inspired this concept, really. Envoy of Balance is cool and I might just settle on it if I can't get my heal/harm fix in other ways.
Thanks, all! Everyone's suggestions were helpful :).
I have a character concept in mind and a case of theorycrafter's block. This character may become an NPC in an upcoming game (or a PC even further in the future), but, for now, I'm just trying to explore a particular mechanic.
The idea is to be able, on a full attack, to smack some allies with heals and some enemies with the opposite of heals. The right hand punishes; the left caresses. Ideally, this character would fight with unarmed strikes; further, this character's healing and harming abilities would be perfectly fungible, i.e. any combination of healing and harming attacks could be deployed throughout the round. If the gods truly smiled, there would be an ability that just let you convert all the damage you would do to healing.
Enumerated below are the ideas I've had so far:
1. Conductive weapon (AoMF) + Lay on Hands. Hit your ally for nonlethal damage (can you switch freely between lethal and non-lethal mid-full attack? Seems legit). This works pretty well, but it's ...
Disadvantages: only once per round.
2. Spell-storing weapons/holding the charge. Similar to the above, but works off of spells like cure X wounds instead of supernatural abilities.
Disadvantages: Only works on the first attack in a round. Egregious action economy.
3. Deviating a bit, it might be satisfactory just to do an unarmed build that also has significant Lay on Hands-style abilities, e.g. an Iroran Paladin or Champion of Irori.
Disadvantages: Punch one turn, heal the next. Meh.
4. Really deviating from the concept, a witch- or bard-based arcane archer could use "imbue arrow" with mass cure spells.
Disadvantages: Doesn't come online until mid-high levels; only a standard action; isn't melee.
5. <complaint>Channel Smite really ought to let you choose to heal or harm, but it doesn't.</complaint>
I've also considered functional equivalents like an unarmed Oradin, using Life Link and shield other for passive damage mitigation while using her actions to attack, but I just really want a character who punches her friends to increase their HP.
Another idea might be Cavalier VMC. It doesn't look that appetizing at first, but some of the Order abilities (Order of the Guard, Order of the Tome) give defensive bonuses during a challenge.
As an Earth/Water/Aether kineticist, you're already getting DR, temporary HP, and an AC boost. The defenses you can still work on are touch AC and saves. So, what do you want to focus on to become more tanky? Lots of sorcerer bloodlines and cleric domains grant resistances and immunities, which can help you against spells. Rogue VMC, while not my cup of tea, will make your reflex saves more effective and help you against sneak attacks. Monk gives you a little touch AC at very high levels (but a one-level dip in sacred fist warpriest is probably a better choice for that kind of thing).
This is absolutely a possibility. Just to play the advocate for new GMs, I'd like to relate that my first few experiences GMing involved a very similar cycle. It's really hard, particularly when you have to extemporize, to balance an encounter. Things tend toward the poles very easily. If your players trounce an encounter, it sometimes seems reasonable, in the spur of the moment, to add big numbers to the next one in order to challenge them. I can absolutely understand how a person, without malicious intent, might pull out a Rift Drake.
I think she (your GM) is more afraid of you than you are of her. It sounds like you're already planning to resolve this issue out of character, which is the right move, but I would add that there is a learning opportunity here. One thing I've found helpful is co-GMing: the novice GM helps the seasoned one plan some adventures. Then he/she gets to see how an experienced GM handles things like on-the-fly modifications to encounters to account for power imbalance. Then the roles can switch--novice GM takes the lead role--until he/she is more comfortable improvising.
In short, I'd hesitate to assume adversarial intent.
Intelligent wakizashi inhabited by the bound spirit of a kineticist. When wielded (assuming the weapon wants/is forced to function for its wielder), treat it as a conductive weapon with a kinetic blast channel through it. This lets you control scaling damage as a function of the weapon's growth over time. Plus, if you want to grant fun abilities, you can do so simply by saying the weapon learned an infusion.
This is turbid at best, rules-wise, but the mechanics won't actually be difficult. Basically, the weapon adds Xd6 fire damage to its normal hit once per round (or more if you want to do something more permissive than the text of conductive allows). Utility and infusions can be gained ad libitum, even used as deus ex machina once or twice.
The chakra/kundalini stuff is, sadly, not worth the investment :(. I really wish it were, because the concept is amazing, but it only becomes barely viable if you invest your entire character into it, taking a specific monk archetype and selling your shoes for half a point of ki.
Maybe the bigger question is how many levels to invest in esoteric magus. I agree that the archetype is really cool, but its power comes from gaining more spells. I think you're looking for more static power with a little magic and an occasional spike in power.
So why not just go five levels in magus and then the rest in the unarmed fighting class of your choice? Brawler's flurry should work with spell strike, so just prep a bunch of Shocking Grasps and occasionally get an extra shocking punch. Level 5 also gets you a sweet tattoo.
What Will Probably Happen after Bathos Goes:
The halfling shouts for aid before casting his spell. The archers turn from Matthias toward the massive hound threatening their leader.
Arrow (concealed): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
One archer moves to a better position, but the commotion and the intervening branches spoil his aim. The other aims well, plunging a brace of arrows into Bathos's proud flank. 24 damage.
Kukri Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
The cruel blade rakes expertly across a gap in the archer's armor, scoring a nasty hit.
Near Archer: 35 HP
One thing I'm realizing is that there are times I need to say something happens to reduce round trips, even if those things might need to change. For example, that guard just ran into the forest, but it might turn out that Matthias, seeing him about to do that, might tell him to hold. I'm absolutely willing to let that kind of thing change (with an n-post threshold on time rewinding). What do you think?
Damn, dude. Nice blast!
Despite the interference of foliage, Matthias strikes true. The air cracks as masses of stone and loam screech toward the blithering madman. He is immediately battered into submission and lies unconscious.
The halfling narrows his eyes, cruelly smirking, and imbibes a potion. He disappears from view.
Bathos should roll a retroactive perception (using scent and everything) to determine his new position; if he is able to find the man, I'll use those rolls for his to-hit and such this turn.
Stealth: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (12) + 22 = 34
Halfling's new position: G10
The man whom Matthias buried in stone seems to be in no danger of dying.
The archers concentrate their shots on Matthias, who has now proven himself a fearsome threat.
Arrow: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Damage: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Arrow: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Damage: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Arrow: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
Damage: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Arrow: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Damage: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
One archer's arrows fall wide, but the other manages to catch Matthias's torso. However, they practically glance off his powerful hide, leaving mere scratches where they might have sunk into the tender flesh of a lesser warrior.
Feel free to look--I believe it's 5 damage total after your DR!
The caravan guard draws a hefty kukri and, shouting, starts to run into the forest toward the nearest archer. The foliage prevents him from achieving a proper charge, but he makes it to within striking distance.
So, let's resolve Bathos's last turn and then get to the top of the lineup with Matthias.
Matthias attempts to make his signal with subtlety, but the sharp-eyed men in the forest have discerned his intent. They arise from their ambush. Two begin to produce bows; a third howls, the sound more bestial than human, and runs, screaming and nude, toward the caravan. The fourth, a robed halfling, mutters to himself.
Bathos: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Matthias: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
One Guard: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Archers: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
NAKED: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Halfling: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Matthias and the halfling are quickest to action. Though slight of stature, the halfling's dark eyes and maundering lips bespeak depravity. He is swift, but Matthias's senses are insuperably keen. Matthias's turn.