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Sovereign Court

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I don’t think that adding two extra uses of channel per level is necessary. It won’t take many levels before the extra uses are absolutely meaningless. This would change if there were ways to burn through additional uses of channel. For example, bumping the dice from d6 to d8 could require an extra channel. Using a channel power or domain power (such as dealing fire damage) could require an extra channel. Just examples.

Hmmm. So the extra channels was to match the barbarian rage. My idea is that channeling is the primary combat technique, with spells an occasional thing, so I wanted to make sure they didn't run out, even if they used some for out of combat healing + utility. Note that they can still use quick channel to burn through channels at a fast rate, although the quick channel doesn't get the channel powers for balance reasons. Still, I like the idea of using channel powers requiring extra uses.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I don’t like the way you are dealing with spells known. Depending on which domains are chosen, it is possible that a 1st level character knows literally one spell. I love that domains are to play a larger part in spell casting, but this is too restricting. At this moment, I don’t know of a solution that is a compromise between your spells known and standard spells known. While I’m on the subject, three domains at 1st level is probably too much too soon. I would recommend two, and then gain additional domains at higher levels until all are known.

I don't know of any three domains that all have the same spell known, so while that's possible, it seems unlikely. Maybe say that if two of your domains have the same spell, you can take any other cleric/oracle spell? That would guarantee three spells known per spell level. And of course they can also take extra arcana. Also, the character's main role is supposed to be channeling, with spells a backup.

Ideally what I would do is create a small list, like 2-3 per level, of appropriate spells for each domain, and then allow the channeler to choose spells from all of those domains. That would be a ton of work though, so I'm going to pass. :-)

Hmmm, on domains most of the first level powers are fairly redundant, some sort of minimal standard action attack. Having three of those domains just gives more options, not much more power. Let me ask you, or the community are there three domains that having all of the powers plus the enhanced channeling would make you at first level better than a first level cleric with two of those domains, lesser channeling, but with the full spell list known and better HP and proficiencies?

The balance point I'm going for is comparing with cleric or oracle.

Sovereign Court

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New Pathfinder class: The Channeler

The goal of this class is to create a divine-powered character that is:

1. Not skilled in martial combat. While Clerics and Oracles can be built as primary spellcasters, their proficiencies, HD, and spell list implies that wading into melee should be an important part of their toolset. This class is designed to act more like a divine wizard, casting spells and channeling and relying on allies to stay protected.

2. Uses the channeling rules more. Channeling is really cool, but tends to be pretty weak, especially in the late game. This class buffs channeling a lot, so much as to be the primary class feature.

3. Feels very different depending on which domains they (and their deity) have. Most clerics feel very similar mechanically, even if they have dramatically different deities/domains. This class gets its spells known from domains only, and gets access to very different channeling powers depending on those domains.

The Channeler

Class Basics:
Hit Die: d6
BAB: Poor
Saves: Good Will, poor reflex, will
Proficiencies: Simple Weapons, Light Armor.
Class Skills: Appraise, Bluff, Craft, Diplomacy, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (religion), Linguistics, Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft.
Skill ranks per level: 4 + int modifier

Class Abilities:

Channel Energy: Regardless of alignment, any channeler can release a wave of energy by channeling the power of her faith through her holy (or unholy) symbol. This energy can be used to cause or heal damage, depending on the type of energy channeled and the creatures targeted. A channeler (regardless of alignment) must choose at first level whether she channels positive or negative energy. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed.

Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the channeler. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two cleric levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the channeler's level + the channeler's Charisma modifier. Creatures healed by channel energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point total—all excess healing is lost.

A channeler may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. Every level after first, she may channel energy an addition 2 times. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. A channeler can always choose whether or not to include herself in this effect.
A channeler must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability.

Domain: At first level, a channeler picks three cleric domains. If she worships a deity, these must be domains or subdomains that the deity provides, and in any case cannot be an alignment domain that does not match her own alignment (e.g. a NG channeler cannot pick the law, chaos, or evil domains). She gains the special abilities of all of the abilities. These domains also determine her spells known (see spells, below)

Spells: A channeler gains the ability to cast spells. Her casting is spontaneous, and she gains a number of spells per day equal to an oracle of her level. In addition, she does not get to pick her spells known. Instead, she knows only the spells that are on at least one of her three domain lists.

A channeler can take the expanded arcana feat. For the purpose of this feat, the cleric/oracle spell list is treated as her spell list. For all other purposes (including activating items), her spell list is considered to include only her domain spells (including spells that she is not yet high enough to cast), and any spells she learned via expanded arcana or similar abilities.

Enhance Channel: As a channeler levels up, she learns new power that alters her channels. At first level, she knows three powers. She learns an additional power at 2nd level, and every two levels after this. These powers can come from the “General Channel Powers” list below. She can also choose any domain channel power from any of her domains.

In general, every time she channels, she may apply any single power she knows to that channel. At 6th level, she can apply a second power to that channel. At 11th level she may apply a third power, and at 16th level a fourth power.

Some of the enhanced channels offer the ability to increase the activation time for the channeled energy to a minute, and then extend the duration of the power. You may have only one domain power with an extended duration like this active at a time. If you use another domain power with an extended duration, the effects of the previous ones immediately end.

A channeler cannot enhance a channel that is activated with less than a standard action (such as a channel modified by the quick channel feat).

Selective Channel: At third level, the channeler gains selective channel as a bonus feat. If she already had that feat, she may immediately retrain it to any feat she qualifies for.

Enhanced Channel: At 7th level, the channeled energy uses d8s instead of d6s.

Greater Enhanced Channel: At 13th level, the channeled energy uses d10s instead of d6s.

Perfect Channel: At 20th level, instead of rolling, channeled energy uses maximum damage.


General Channel Powers:

Shaped Channel: Instead of a 30 foot radius, she may express her channel as a 60 ft line, or a 15 ft cone.

Targeted Channel: Rather than affect an area, she may concentrate the divine energy on a single target. She must make a ranged or melee touch attack (her choice) to hit. On a hit, the target is effected by the channel as normal, except she rolls a number of dice equal to her level, rather than her typical amount of dice, and the save DC is increased by 2.
The area of the channel is considered to be all squares occupied by the creature for the purpose of effects that depend on area (such as some channel powers).

Extended Channel: The range of her channel is doubled.

Improved Extended Channel: You must already have Extended Channel to take this power. The range of the channel is doubled. This does stack with Extended Channel, producing a total of 4x the regular range if both powers are selected (this does not follow the standard multiplying rules).

Distance Channel: The channeler can choose a point of origin within 30 feet of her (or within 60 feet if the channel is also an extended channel), rather than being the point of origin. The channeler must have line of sight and line of effect to the chosen point of origin.

Lingering Channel: The channeled energy persists until the start of the channelers next turn. Any creature that enters the area affected by the channel, or ends its turn in the area is affected a second time by that energy. It can make a save as normal. No matter how the creature moves, it can only be affected one additional time by lingering channel (once if it is originally in the area of the channel when it was activated, and at most one other time).

Versatile Channel: You can channel either positive or negative energy, regardless of what choice you made at first level. Each time you channel, choose one.

Channel Casting: As a full round action, you can both cast a spell and channel energy. The spell must be one that targets multiple creatures or an area, and it must be a spell on your domain list. If an area spell, the area becomes that of your channel, and if it is a targeted spell, all creatures that would be affected by the channel are targeted (so if you channel positive energy to heal, undead creatures would not be effected by the spell). If the spell allows a save, the save is replaced by the channel energy will save, with the usual spell effects for passing or failing the save, as well as the standard effects of the channel energy.
You must be at least 5th level to take this power, and can take it again at 10th, 15th, and 19th level. The first time you take it, you can combine channel energy with a first level spell, and each additional time increases the level of spell you can combine, to a maximum of a fourth level spell.
Using this power expends both a use of channel energy and the appropriate spell slot. You cannot use this ability if you are out of either channels or spell slots.

Combined Channel: As a full round action, you can channel to both heal and harm at the same time.

Domain Powers

Fire:

Channel Fire: When channeling to harm, you deal fire damage instead of the typical energy. This means that you will deal damage to both living and non-living creatures, regardless of whether you usually channel positive or negative energy.

Lingering Flames: When you channel to harm, any creature that fails its save catches on fire, taking damage each round at the start of your turn equal to half of your regular channel energy damage. The flames can be put out by dropping prone and rolling (a full round action), being submerged in water, or taking at least 1 point of cold damage equal to your level. Otherwise, they go out after a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).

Elemental Channel: When you channel to heal, you can heal creatures with the fire subtype. When you channel to harm, you can harm creatures with the water or ice subtypes. Alternatively, you can command creatures with the fire subtype (as command undead) or turn creatures with the water or ice subtypes (as turn undead)

Protective Flames: When you channel to heal, all creatures healed also gain fire resistance equal to twice your level (or immunity to fire at level 20). This lasts for a number of rounds equal to your charisma modifier. Subsequent channels don't stack, but do extend the duration. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1). Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the Protective Flames last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Fiery Weapons: Whenever you channel, all manufactured weapons in the area, and the natural weapons of all creatures affected by the channeled energy gain the flaming quality. If they are already flaming weapons, they become flaming burst weapons. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the Fiery weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Water:

Channel Cold: When channeling to harm, you deal cold damage instead of the typical energy. This means that you will deal damage to both living and non-living creatures, regardless of whether you usually channel positive or negative energy.

Rime Channel: When you channel to harm, any creature that fails its save becomes entangled for a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).

Elemental Channel: When you channel to heal, you can heal creatures with the cold or water subtype. When you channel to harm, you can harm creatures with the fire subtypes. Alternatively, you can command creatures with the cold or water subtypes (as command undead) or turn creatures with the fire subtypes (as turn undead)

Protective Cold: When you channel to heal, all creatures healed also gain cold resistance equal to twice your level (or immunity to cold at level 20). This lasts for a number of rounds equal to your charisma modifier. Subsequent channels don't stack, but do extend the duration. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the Protective Cold last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Freezing Weapons: Whenever you channel, all manufactured weapons in the area, and the natural weapons of all creatures affected by the channeled energy gain the frost quality. If they are already flaming weapons, they become frost burst weapons. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the freezing weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Air:

Channel Lightning: When channeling to harm, you deal electricity damage instead of the typical energy. This means that you will deal damage to both living and non-living creatures, regardless of whether you usually channel positive or negative energy.

Lesser Flying Channel: When you channel to heal, any creature affected gains the ability to levitate for a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).

Flying Channel: You must have lesser flying channel to select this power. When you channel to heal, any creature affected gains the ability to fly (speed 60 feet, average maneuverability) for 1 round.

Elemental Channel: When you channel to heal, you can heal creatures with the Air subtype. When you channel to harm, you can harm creatures with the Earth subtypes. Alternatively, you can command creatures with the Air subtypes (as command undead) or turn creatures with the Earth subtypes (as turn undead)

Protective Lightning: When you channel to heal, all creatures healed also gain electricity resistance equal to twice your level (or immunity to cold at level 20). This lasts for a number of rounds equal to your charisma modifier. Subsequent channels don't stack, but do extend the duration. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the Protective Lightning last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Shocking Weapons: Whenever you channel, all manufactured weapons in the area, and the natural weapons of all creatures affected by the channeled energy gain the shock quality. If they are already flaming weapons, they become shocking burst weapons. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the shocking weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Earth:

Channel Earth: When channeling to harm, you deal fling rocks around damage instead of the typical energy, dealing bludgeoning damage. This means that you will deal damage to both living and non-living creatures, regardless of whether you usually channel positive or negative energy.

Stone Cunning Channel: When you channel to heal, all creatures affected gain the dwarf stone cunning ability. If they already have stone cunning, the bonuses are doubled and they gain tremorsense (30 feet) as long as they are touching the ground. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the Stone Cunning Channel last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Elemental Channel: When you channel to heal, you can heal creatures with the Earth subtype. When you channel to harm, you can harm creatures with the Air subtypes. Alternatively, you can command creatures with the Earth subtypes (as command undead) or turn creatures with the Air subtypes (as turn undead)

Protective Earth: When you channel to heal, all creatures healed also gain DR/adamantine equal to half your level. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to your charisma modifier. Subsequent channels don't stack, but do extend the duration. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the Protective Earth last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Corrosive Weapons: Whenever you channel, all manufactured weapons in the area, and the natural weapons of all creatures affected by the channeled energy gain the corrosive quality. If they are already flaming weapons, they become corrsive burst weapons. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the corrosive weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Weather:

Channel Storm: When channeling to harm, you deal ½ lightning and ½ sonic damage instead of the typical energy. This means that you will deal damage to both living and non-living creatures, regardless of whether you usually channel positive or negative energy.

Cloudy Channel: When you channel, the area becomes cloudy (as obscuring mist). This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the freezing weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Freezing Channel: When you channel, you create a slick row of ice on the ground, that causes the area to be slippery. This functions as the grease spell, except the acrobatics DC to walk through the area is equal to your channel DC, and the effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus.

Windy Channel: When you channel, you can change the wind conditions within the range of the channel. You can set them to anywhere between light and severe. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the freezing weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Channel Weather: When you channel, you can temporarily change local weather conditions. Within the range of the channel, you can stop or start rain, sleet, or snow, and change the temperature from anywhere between 0F and 100 F. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the freezing weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Healing:

Cure Disease: When you channel to heal, all creatures affected are targeted by a cure disease spell (caster level equal to your level)

Cure Poison: When you channel to heal, all creatures affected are targeted by a remove poison spell (caster level equal to your level)

Life Link: When you channel to heal, you may link pairs of willing creatures. Every such bond is treated as shield other spell.

Heal All: When you channel to heal, you may heal all creatures, even if they would not normally be healed by that type of energy (for example, undead can be healed with positive energy, and constructs can be healed as well).

Overheal: When you channel to heal, you can heal above the creatures maximum HP. For every point of healing that would increase the creatures maximum hit points above their maximum, they gain one temporary hit point (maximum equal to your level). These temporary hit points last for a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1). Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the Overheal hitpoints last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Darkness:

Channel Darkness: The area affected by the channeled energy becomes darker, as the spell darkness.

Cloak of Darkness: When you channel to heal, all healed creatures gain the shadow dancer's Hide in plain sight ability, and a bonus on stealth equal to the number of dice rolled. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the cloak of darkness abilities last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

See in the Dark: When you channel to heal, all healed creatures gain darkvision. If they already had low light vision or darkvision (either naturally, through magic, or even a previous use of this power), they instead get the see in darkness special ability. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus.
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the See in the dark ability abilities last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Blinding Darkness: When you channel to harm, any creature that fails its save is blinded for 1 round. Darkvision does not negate this affect, although the See In Darkness special ability does.

Grasping Darkness: When you channel energy, the shadows of all creatures grab the creature, preventing it from moving. All creatures that shed a shadow (typically creatures in any lighting condition other than total darkness) are grappled by that shadow. The shadow has a CMB of your level + your charisma bonus), and a CMD of 10+its CMB. In daylight, it has a size equal to the creature it is grappling, in bright light it has a size one larger, and in dim light it has a size two larger. The shadow grapples, and then in subsequent rounds attempts to pin the creature. Once a creature successfully escapes the grapple (either by having the shadow fail its original grapple attempt, fail a pin/maintain grapple attempt, or by successfully escaping with escape artist or grapple), that particular shadow returns to normal.

Good:

Aligned Channel (harm): When you channel energy to harm, you can choose to deal sacred damage, instead of positive or negative energy. Sacred damage harms all evil creatures, but does nothing to good or neutral creatures.

Aligned Channel (heal): When you channel energy to heal, you can choose to use sacred healing, instead of positive or negative energy. Sacred healing heals all good creatures, but does nothing to evil or neutral creatures.

Outsider Channel: When your channel heals outsiders with the good subtype, you increase the amount healed by 50%. When you channel harms outsiders with the evil subtype, you increase the amount of damage by 50%. Apply this extra damage amount before saving throws.

Good Weapons: Whenever you channel, all manufactured weapons in the area, and the natural weapons of all creatures affected by the channeled energy become good aligned for the purpose of penetrating DR. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the good weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Holy Weapons: You must have Good Weapons to take this ability. Whenever you channel, all manufactured weapons in the area, and the natural weapons of all creatures affected by the channeled energy gain the holy magic ability. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).

Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the holy weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Evil, Law, Chaos
As Good, except changing alignment subtypes appropriately.

Destruction:

Sundering Channel: When you channel energy to harm, you may destroy objects of a particular type as well. Pick either weapons, armor, shields, a single magic item slot (such as cloak, or ring). All items of the given type in the area of the channel (whether wielded or not) are affected by your channel energy damage. Hardness still applies, and magic items still receive saving throws, and a successful save prevents all damage, rather than just halving it.
Alternatively, you can choose to effect all non-wielded non-magic items in the area, dealing your full channel damage to all such objects.

Vicious Channel: All creatures affected by your channel treat all melee and natural weapons that they wield as having the vicious enchantment. This cannot be turned off. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the vicious weapons last for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Disintegrating Channel: Any creature killed by your channel is disintegrated (as the spell).

Shouting Channel: When you channel to harm, you deal sonic damage instead of positive or negative energy damage. This allows you to target both living, unliving, and undead.

Spell-Breaking Channel: When you channel energy, you also destroy magical effects. Treat this as the area dispel of greater dispel magic, with a caster level equal to your level, except that you disrupt only a single spell (chosen at random among possible targets).

Magic:

Protective Channel: When you channel to heal, all creatures effected by your channel gain SR equal to 10+your level. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Alternatively, you can take a full minute to channel energy. In this case, the SR lasts for 10 minutes times your charisma bonus.

Channel Casting: This functions as the general channel power, but you can take it every odd level. Eventually allowing ninth level spells.

Draining Channel: When you channel to harm, all creatures that fail their save against your channeled energy take a penalty to their caster level equal to the number of dice your channel energy deals. This has a duration of 1 round.

Empowering Channel: When you take this power, choose one of the following metamagic feats: Piercing Spell, Silent Spell, Still Spell, Ectoplasmic Spell, Elemental Spell, Enlarge Spell, Intensified Spell. When you channel to heal, all creatures healed by your channel may apply that feat to any spells they cast in the next round. You may take this power multiple times, each time selecting a new feat from the list.

Domains to do:

Pathfinder has a ton of domains, and I probably won't both to stat these all out. The idea would be that if a PC wants to use any of them, they can see rough power levels and work with the GM to create their own. That said, if anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

The general rule is that each domain should have 5-6 powers, with about an even breakdown between powers that effect channeling to harm and channeling to heal, although some domains (healing, destruction), will be weighed much heavier in one direction or the other for thematic reasons.

Anyways, just counting paizo core non-druid domains, the to do list is:
Animal
Artifice
Charm
Community
Death
Glory
Knowledge
Liberation
Luck
Madness
Nobility
Plant
Protection
Repose
Ruins
Scalykind
Strength
Sun
Travel
Trickery
Void
War

I'd love to hear people's suggestions, comments, or improvements. Anything look too good?

Sovereign Court

Looks good to me (I'm a physicist, I teach this stuff).

My one comment is about the special materials. For mithral, mechanically it makes an iron/steel weapon or armor weigh half as much, I'd go with a density of 4.00 instead of the density of silver. Yes it is based off of silver, but it's magical super strong super light weight silver.

Adamantine weapons/armor have the same weight as conventional ones, so I'd go with the density of iron/steel.

Sovereign Court

Dave Justus wrote:


What I would do if I were you is have your original caster have made a 1/day wondrous item that is 'locked' to only making simulacra of the original wizard (or copies of him, since they are the same genetically.) If you also limit it so that only that person can 'use' the item, you have your plot device that can't be used by the PCs.

I might also make the item large enough to be fairly immobile. Then you have simulacra all competing in a fixed location for control of the device, and since only the 'masters' can easily tell which side a given simulacra is on (they all look and act the same) and even then they can only identify their own minions you can have quite a few delightful shenanigans. Each day battles-intrigue-deals-alliances-whatever as each master competes to get to device and use its power, and then retreats to a safe location to hole up, since if you lose a 'master' you lose everything (although you might create a bunch of weaker, but still potential 'masters').

I like it! Awesome, thanks!

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So the spell is simulacrum. The idea is that a fairly high (14ish?) level wizard creates a staff of simulacrum to mass produce copies of himself and uses copies of himself as slave labor to live in luxury and wealth. Tired of having to boss everyone around himself, he appoints "chief overseers" and has them use the staff to create copies of himself, who follow the overseer.

This all works dandy until he dies (or maybe they rebel somehow?), leaving the overseers independent and with small armies of mid-level wizards. The overseers start fighting, and finding the staff to allow them to make more copies would be valuable (even level 3 wizards would be useful cannon fodder, since healing is incredibly expensive). The problem is they are all only level 7, so they can't cast Simulacrum. But they could activate the staff! They just can't recharge it themselves.

I know lesser simulacrum exists, but then the copy can't cast spells, nor is it under control of the caster.

The PCs of course, stumble into the middle of this chaos. Even if they win, do they really want the staff? It seems almost more trouble than it's worth...

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Dave Justus: that sounds reasonable. I don't know why I didn't think to just add rod of absorption. I'm not worried about WBL, as this would be for an NPC who could "afford" it.

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So I'm trying to come up with a RAW legal way of charging a staff without having the proper caster level. In particular, I'd like a ~7th character to charge a staff that has a spell on their list, plus a 7th lvl spell. I would be the GM in this hypothetical case, so I know I could just "house rule it" but I don't want to.

A couple of things I have thought of:
Staff Magus at lvl 10 can use arcane pool points to charge a staff. This is too high a level though.

Arcanist has consume item arcana. Is there an arcana that does the reverse?

Make it a custom staff with the ability to absorb charges ala a staff of the magi, and get someone to magic missile me once/day. Any idea how to price just that ability? I know how to price a regular staff given spells and spell slots, but staff of the magi has a bunch of special abilities, so I can't just subtract the regular stuff.

Hire a 13+ lvl spellcaster. I know this works. I'd prefer to avoid it, as the user of the staff is trying to be secretive, and walking up to a high level caster and paying him to regularly charge his staff is NOT secretive!

Any other suggestions? Classes, magic items, prestige classes etc?

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At fifth level, with a metamagic rod?

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Ok then, get the sorcerer or cleric to summon monsters as flanking buddies. The cleric should be able to put a few 4th or 5th lvl slots into SM IV and V, and then summon 1d4+1 somethings (I like earth elementals), and place them/ maneuver them to continue to provide the rogue flanking. Bonus points if the summons do any significant damage or the enemy attacks the summons, wasting actions that could be hurting your party instead.

Rogue's tend to be mediocre on the power-scale, in part because they need active help from teammates to reliably pull off their main trick (sneak attack), unlike most other classes, that are more self-sufficient. That said, with that help, they become fairly competent, so it's incumbent on everyone else to try and help out.

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Does she have Use Magic Device? Buy a wand of greater invisibility. If she doesn't, convince the sorcerer to cast it on her, with either a spell known, or buy him a wand or page of spell knowledge with greater invisibility, on the condition that he use it on her whenever practical.

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The main purpose of the Long Step feats was to allow characters who aren't particularly mobile to still fairly frequently make full attacks, by stepping up to the next foe after dropping one. At the same time, I intentionally wrote them as general purpose, so archers and spellcasters can use them to escape melee, and double step even allows a bit of hit and run capability, and meleers can use them to quickly get to the next foe and continue attacking.

I figured if a wizard wants to take that instead of combat casting to improve his escapability, that's not really going to break things. Especially when combined with the full round casting thing, those five foot steps become a lot more important for casters to get away.

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More Mobile Combat
At mid to high level play(basically after level 6), martials start losing mobility, with their most optimal strategy being standing and full attacking until the other side is dead. If they are forced to move, they become significantly less powerful, with certain fighting styles (two-weapon fighting in particular) losing even more. At the same time, spellcasters can move easily and still cast devastating spells. The primary purpose of the below house rules are to change that equation, and give martials multiple ways of being effective while mobile, without completely overhauling the system or being more powerful than a full attack.

Currently, a few classes and builds can fairly easily gain full attacks (barbarians with pounce, magus with spell-combat and bladed dash, pummeling style unarmed fighters, wild-shaped druids, archers), while others are SoL. The monk, rogue, and swashbuckler, which bring up images of highly mobile, flowing combat, tend to have mechanics that actually strongly support standing in one place and hitting (with the recent exception of pummeling style). Rather than trying to nerf those abilities, I am trying to create new ways that are equal or slightly less in power to these builds, but different in interesting ways.

Note that the Vital Strike and Spring attack changes, designed to allow a mobile, agile dex based swashbuckler, rogue, or slayer to be viable were proposed earlier (here) and the general consensus was that it seemed interesting).

There's also some rules to make spell-casters less mobile when using their higher level spells. This makes martials more important to protect them if they want to use their big guns.

These house-rules are meant to be a complete package, and otherwise integrate into the game unchanged. Any feedback, suggestions, or comments are appreciated. In particular, any odd combos that I may not have considered would be interesting.

New Feats:
Long Step
Benefit: Anytime you could normally take a 5-foot step, you can instead move 10 ft. This movement follows all of the normal rules for five foot steps (including not provoking attacks of opportunity). You still may not move and take a 5-foot step in the same round.

Double Step
Prerequisite: Long Step
Benefit: Instead of one 10 ft step, you can take two 5-foot steps per round. If an ability would allow you to take an action that uses up your 5-foot step for the round (such as step up), you can have it use up only one of your 5 foot steps, or you can use both of them to move 10 ft (as you could before).
Special: Martial Artist monks get Double Step as a free bonus feat at 4th lvl.

Improved Long Step
Prerequisite: Long Step
Can take a 15 ft step.
Special: If you have double step, you can now take three 5 foot steps per round, and can use any combination of them when allowed 5 foot steps.

Step Back
Benefit: Whenever a foe hits you with a melee attack, you may, as an immediate action take a 5-foot step. This takes up your 5-foot step for your next round, and if you take an action to move during your next turn, subtract 5 feet from your total movement. While this motion does not negate the hit, it may prevent your attacker from making the rest of a full attack against you.

Critical Vital Strike
Prerequisite: Vital Strike (see modifications, below)
Benefit: When using Vital strike, when you confirm a critical hit, any precision damage you have from class features that require certain situations (such as sneak attack) can be applied even if they would not normally be applicable. If the damage already was applicable, that damage is also increased by the critical multiplier. This still follows the standard multiplication rules, so e.g. with vital strike and a x2 weapon, you would do a net of x3 your regular precision and weapon damage (and double all other damage sources).

Hurry Casting:
Prerequisite: Ability to Cast Spells.
Benefit: When casting spells one level less than the highest level you can cast, there is no increase in casting time. Spells of the highest level you can cast still take longer, as described in the new rules, below.

Feat Modifications:
Vital Strike (and improved and greater vital strike) now multiply precision damage as well as weapon damage.

Following Step: now no longer exists (Long Step renders it obsolete), and is removed as a prerequisite from Step Up and Strike.

Spring Attack: You can make any standard action when you spring attack, and can use any type of movement that you have a move speed for. This new version of the feat renders shot on the run and fly by attack obsolete (yes I know fly by attack had lesser prerequisites, too bad). Ride by attack is unchanged.

Roll With it: No longer requires goblin race.

Dimensional Agility and Dimensional Assault are combined into one Feat, Dimensional Assault. They can be used with any spell or spell-like ability that functions “as dimension door.” (including the new Lesser Abundant Step)

Dimensional Savant and Dimensional Dervish are combined into a second feat, with prerequisites Dimensional Assault and BAB +6.

New/Modified Class Ability
Ki: can be spent as a swift action to allow you to move at your bonus to speed from all classes that grant a Ki pool. If you can increase your speed by spending ki points, you can spend an additional ki point as part of the same action to grant a +20 ft bonus. Note, this is the only way a single-classed ninja could get any benefit from this.
Monk Dimensional Agility: At 7th lvl, monk's gain Lesser Abundant Step. This replaces wholeness of body. It functions as Abudant Step, but takes a standard action to activate and costs 3 ki. At 12th lvl, monk's gain the regular Abundant Step ability. Any archetype that replaces wholeness of body instead replaces Lesser Abundant Step.

General Rule Modifications:
When wielding two weapons, anytime you can only a standard action attack action (and not a vital strike, cleave, charge, etc.) you may attack with both weapons at the usual two-weapon fighting penalties. You still do not gain any iteratives.

Acrobatics: 1/move action you can use acrobatics to jump over difficult terrain to ignore its effects (including allowing you to charge).

When casting a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action that is the highest or next highest level spell that you can cast (After taking into account metamagic and other spell-level alterations), the spell has a casting time of 1 full round action (NOT 1 round). If the spell would already be a full round action to cast (such as spontaneous casters using metamagic), it instead has a casting time of 1 round. This has no effect on spells with any other casting times, or quickened spells.

New Spells
Persue the Enemy
Transmutation, Paladin 2, Anti-paladin 2, Inquisitor 3, Warpriest 3, Cleric/Oracle 3, Ranger 2
Components: V,S,DF
Range: Personal
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Duration: 1 minute/level
For the duration of this spell, you can, as a full round action move your speed and then make a full attack action. The motion must end in to a creature you have smited, or is of the creature type of a weapon you have made Bane using your Bane class feature, is a favored enemy, or has been targeted by a Warpriest blessing or domain ability of yours, and you must then either make the attack or full-attack action against that creature (if it drops, you may make any remaining attacks against other foes in reach as normal).
The movement provided by this spell provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

Beast Pounce
Transmutation [Polymorph]: Bloodrager 2, Ranger 2, Druid 3, Alchemist 3, Investigator 3, Hunter 3, Skald 3, Witch 3
Casting Time: 1 standard Action
Components: V,S,M/DF
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 round/level
The touched creature gains the pounce monster special ability.

Lesser Dimension Door
Conjuration(teleport)Wizard/Sorcerer 2, Bloodrager 2, Bard 2, Skald 2, Witch 2, Summoner 2, Magus 2
Casting Time: 1 move action
Components: V
Range: Short (25+5 ft/2lvls)
Target: Personal
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None, Spell Resistance: No
As Dimension door, except for as above, and you can only teleport to positions you have line of sight to (you do not need line of effect however). This spell counts as Dimension Door for the purpose of meeting requirements for the Dimensional Agility and Dimensional Dervish feats, and may be used with them as if it were dimension door.

Dimension Jump
Conjuration(teleport)Wizard/Sorcerer 4, Bard 4, Skald 4, Witch 4, Summoner 4, Magus 4
Duration: 1 round/lvl
As Lesser Dimension Door, except as look as the spell is in effect, you may use a move action to teleport.

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I have a half-orc scarred witch doctor who is a pretty solid natural attacker. Con as your casting stat makes you less MAD (just really need Con and Str)
Nails and prehensile hair plus orc trait for a bite attack gives 4 natural attacks. Or you can wield a falchion and have the bite and hair as secondary attacks.
Strength patron gives a lot of the nice cleric self-buffs. Divine favor, fate's favored, and arcane strike grant +2 to hit, +3 damage to each of your multiple attacks.

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Echo everyone else in saying this is a great AP. Just a few thoughts:
Worshipping Asmodeus is not required, but highly recommended. That said, this doesn't have to affect your mechanics (a fighter who worshippers asmodeus is still fine), but some of the relational encounters work much better if you are all Asmodeans.

Having someone good at charisma based skills is very important. There will be plenty of times when you need to bluff, lie, convince, etc. I played an oracle in a party with a bunch of characters who dumped Cha, and believe me those skills were quite helpful. So if nobody else plays Cha based, maybe go Oracle instead of Cleric, or Anti-paladin instead of fighter-type.

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Not to derail, but just fyi, this isn't based on judeo-christian "mythology", just christian "mythology." There's nothing wrong with that, but between your description of Satan as a source of evil (And any significance of Jesus) I'm not seeing anything Jewish here, just Christian. Nothing wrong with that, but it's a personal peeve when Christian beliefs are portrayed as "judeo-christian."

Ok, derail over, now to try and help:
Maybe jesus's birth was the angel's/good side's attempt at cheating/playing with the fine print. The rules of the contract limit what angels/god can do in the mortal world, but jesus was a mortal avatar of god, so wasn't limited, but still was untemptable and divinely powerful. Realizing the threat this posed, the demons agree to changes in the contract in the good side's favor in order to ban any future avatar's from direct intereference.

The order primeval represents the building blocks of reality. Without it, nothing new can be created. Other forces can modify existing things, but primeval is the only essence out of which truely new things can be created.

Just a few suggestions.

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You can normally take a five foot step and spell combat, however:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat#TOC-Take-5-Foot-Step wrote:
you can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance.

Makes me think this won't work with bladed dash in particular. The only argument that could be made is that you didn't move, the spell moved you. However, the way Bladed Dash is worded:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/bladed-dash wrote:
When you cast this spell, you immediately move up to 30 feet

Makes me think they can't be combined.

The more ambiguous case is a spell like dimension door. Does teleporting count as moving yourself?

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My solution for the teleport problem:
Any caster high enough level to cast 5th lvl spells is an important person, and important people have enemies. If you are revolutionizing trade by running a regular route, you are inviting someone to show up where you teleport in fully buffed and than ganking you.

So teleporters will occasionally bring in a small, valuable good or group of people if the money is good, but don't replace merchant caravans.

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Sadly, it doesn't quite work mechanically. Quick Dirty trick needs to be with your highest BAB, which also has to be your first attack. But the prehensile hair is a secondary attack, which has -5 BAB. So RAW you can't substitute it for the dirty trick, you'd need to substitute your sword attack.

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So sounds like this should be a reasonable house rule. Thanks for the advice, just have to try it out and see how it goes.

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rainzax wrote:

so:

Vital Strike (alternate):
Prerequisites: Sneak Attack +3d6
Benefit: You may multiply the precision damage you deal on a critical hit.
Normal: Precision damage does not multiply on a critical hit.

?

So I've thought about doing something like that. I like it in that it gives rogues a reason to use high crit weapons (like daggers or rapiers).

However, it doesn't address the problem of allowing them to be more mobile. It ups damage on all attacks, so standing and full attacking is still better.

DarkMidget wrote:

Only thing I wonder is, will it end up being so convenient as to make the two-weapon fighting style pointless for rogues? Just considering that two-weapon fighting gives penalties to hit for the possible multiplied sneak, whereas the Vital Strike with Spring Attack wouldn't.

Yeah, I'm a bit worried as well. On the other hand, a two-weapon fighting rogue is generally considered a bit weak compared with other martials, so if I use that as the baseline, then I'm keeping the rogue too weak.

Also, two-weapon fighting will still grant more maximum damage. At BAB +6, two weapon fighting grants +4/+4/-1, while vital striking grants one attack at +6 that doubles the sneak attack and weapon damage, but nothing else. So two-weapon fighting gives a possibility of 3 sneak attacks, while vital strike just gives 2.

In addition full attacking gets stronger with things like haste or other static damage buffs (like bardic music).

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So I am thinking of adding the following house rule, and would like to hear the hive-mind's opinion about how it is broken/could be broken.

The basic rule is that the vital strike line of feats multiplies precision damage (such as sneak attack, investigator's studied strike, etc.) as well as the base weapon dice.

In addition, I am allowing vital strike while spring attacking.

My rationale for this is as follows: In the pathfinder system, it is generally quite hard to create a mobile, agile fighter who ducks in and out of combat while still contributing any significant damage, particularly at high levels where the full attack is king. Rogues in particular seem like they should be able to do this, but can't. In general, rogues need either two weapon fighting (to multiply sneak attack damage dice) or a strength build. But the classic fencer/single weapon wielder doesn't seem that optimal.

My hope is that this rule would allow that. With vital strike multiplying the sneak attack and allowed on spring attack, it should be competitive with full attacking/two weapon fighting without being better (still doesn't multiply other bonuses, such as buffs and weapon enhancement).

Flavor wise, it seems perfect. A sneak attack is already striking at a vital spot, so conceptually it works. I'm pretty sure this is balanced for rogue, which is already generally considered to be a weak class. However, I would like to hear if anyone can think of some corner case or other class that would really break this rule.

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Well, coordinated charge uses an immediate action. So each player can only do it once.

Also, you must move at least 10 ft to charge. So if he only pushes the target back 5 ft, that's not enough to allow the charge.

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Prepare a couple of cure spells every day? Theologian (IIRC) even allows you to spontaneously swap them out for domain spells if you need a bit more offensive oomph rather than healing.

If you're planning on only doing the occasional in combat healing when someone drops, that should be enough. Use infernal healing for out of combat healing, or get a wand of CLW as soon as you can.

Other options:
1. convince everyone to play undead/dhampir characters.
2. Play (or have someone else in the party play) an Oracle. Evil oracles can select the option of getting all of the cure spells.

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No; he's saying that attuned creatures are NOT mirrored.

As per symbol of death: "Any creature attuned to a symbol of death cannot trigger it and is immune to its effects, even if within its radius when it is triggered"

So since Symbol of mirroring works the same way, if you attune the party members to it, they can't be mirrored, or trigger the symbol. So only enemies would do so. That's helpful for an offensive symbol (like symbol of death), but useless for a defensive symbol. A GM COULD houserule it, but I wouldn't suggest it, to prevent precisely this type of abuse.

So the PCs can bring a symbol of mirroring around with them, but it will always affect all enemies within 60 ft. If they attune themselves, it won't affect them, if they don't it will. Overall it still may provide some bonus (affects all of the party, but ranged or spread out enemies may not always be affected). But should be a lot less overpowered if you play it correctly.

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Also, just as a general note, you should think about what you're actually trying to accomplish from a world building point of view. Do you actually care exactly when high and low tides are? Do you want a certain schedule, and then plan to backtrack to get that? Is it actually going to affect your story/fun in any way?

Ignoring the astronomy, think about the fact that it's a game. Will your players actually care if you get the physics right, or will they just say, "ok there are two moons, cool, let's go kill the dragon and steal it's stuff?"

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I am an astronomy grad student, but not in need of a project, I have my own dissertation for that :-)

Still, I might be able to do some basic help. A few questions first, what you described is a bit unclear.

1. You said the moon has "standard phases" as our moon. I assume you mean 8 phases (new, crescent, quarter, gibbous, full, gibbous, quarter, crescent), although that's fairly arbitrary. That gives you a 24 day rotation, a bit quicker than Earth's moon.

2a. I'm not quite sure what you're trying to get across about the moon's rising and setting times. The moon's orbit won't evenly line up with the sun's, so it won't always be at the same phase at equinox from one year to the next, and shouldn't have a consistent rising time. The moon will always rise and set opposite the sun (rise ~6 pm set ~6:am) at new moon, and the opposite at new moon, regardless of time of year.

2b. Do you want to know when it will rise and fall at other times? If so, I think you'll need more information, such as what the inclination of the moon's orbit relative to sun-Earth plane, etc, but I'd have to think about this some more.

3. The second moon revolves twice as fast. I assume what you mean is that it has a period of 12 days, and spins on its axis once every 12 days (so, like Earth's moon, it always shows the same face to the Earth). Doing the math, that gives an orbit that is roughly 9% the distance away from the Earth that our moon is (roughly 30,000 km)

4. Is the 1/3 size the volume? Radius? Mass? Apparent size? Assuming you meant 1/3 the radius, it would still appear much bigger than the second moon since it's much closer.

Note that tidal forces scale even faster with radius than gravitational force, so that second moon will cause pretty intense forces, even with a mass 1/3 or 1/27 (if it's 1/3 radius) of our moon's. Back of the envelope, you'd have a force somewhere between 300 and 30 times (depending on whether you meant radius or mass earlier) greater than the moons.

The moon is within the Earth's Roche limit, so it's possible to have a moon at that distance. But I would recommend drastically lowering the mass.

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I've had good results with optimizing my character to make everybody else more powerful. So I play an oracle who casts party wide buffs, status removers, misfortune (dual cursed), etc. Even if he is on the high end of optimization, nobody minds, because he rarely steals the show, particularly in combat situations. And they sure appreciate being able to reroll their save, or having the monk enlarged and able to air walk.

Bards are great for the roll, but full casters, cavaliers, etc. can also be good. Just pick things that will make other people more effective, or prevent them from being ineffective. Cast fly spells on the melee people, protection from alignment on the people with poor will saves, etc. You can know in your head that the party would be getting destroyed without your character, without in any way overshadowing them.

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My view is that it should work. You have total concealment, and therefore you can use stealth. Note that you need a move action after you attack to "re-stealth" so you need to either start next to an opponent, or have spring attack.

I don't know if a PFS GM would or wouldn't allow it, I don't play PFS. But if I was GM-ing I'd probably allow it, as I suspect it's a lot less powerful than just a pouncing natural attack eidolon would be.

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Here's a proposal: Maybe making yourself not look like yourself is a "minor change" worth +5, and making yourself look like somebody else (but with the same gender, race, age, size, etc.) is the +0 area.

So the boundary is concealing vs. imitating? Just a proposed house rule, since the RAW is silent on the issue.

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There's a barbarian rage power that gives you on extra AoO/round while raging...

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I have a flame oracle of Asmodeus in a Way of the Wicked campaign. I mostly buff my companions, with occasionally summon monster or fire blasting (using my mystery spells). He mostly imagines himself as the mastermind leader, and his party members are his minions. So he casts prayer, air walk, heal, or whatever (depending on level).

He took eldritch heritage (arcane) line of feats to get a few wizard sorc spells, and a familiar (with improved familiar, became an imp). Imps are great, because you hand off a wand and have him cast the low level but fairly useful buffs.

I'm currently 12th lvl, but at 15th I'll have quicken spell, and will probably start most battles with prayer, quickened bless, and then have the familiar use a wand of haste. Then, depending on things, I can cast heal, harm, destruction, delayed blast fireball, etc, along with more quickened buffs. The imp can use a wand of ill omen right before I cast something nasty for extra meanness. Fireseeds is also a really nice spell that you get from the Flame mystery. Cast it multiple times when you know combat is coming, and give it to your familiar. Your imp can now use its standard action for a touch attack that deals 10d4 fire damage, or if you gave it all of the bombs, it can move over to a target, you say a command word, detonate all of them, and everyone within 5 ft takes 6*(1d8+15) damage, while the imp is immune.

Another thing to look into is spell-casting contract. http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/s/spellcasting-contract
Give your familiar (or non-spellcasting party members) a few low level spells, and get a significant bonus to saves, skills, etc.

Super flavorful, a lot of fun, and quite powerful. Tweak the spells towards more debuffing and blasting if its more of a solo fight, or more buffs if he's a member of a party.

Also, at 15th lvl, you get spell perfection. Some good choices: Ill Omen (With quicken spell, you can basically every round cast it for no resources besides a swift action, and give a target a significant worse chance of making multiple d20 rolls), bestow curse, or Greater Forbid Action (which is awesome against a group of PCs). Do the motion one, and then hammer them at range, while your minions bother the spellcasters who can't withdraw.

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The problem is substituting a move action for a swift action is potentially broken. Some swift actions (noticeably, casting quickened spells) are better than some move actions. If you can downgrade, a spellcaster could cast three spells a round (standard, quickened, move->swift quickened).

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Everything looks good, except for two comments:
1. I think wholeness of body is a bit too powerful. It basically means that after combat is over, the monk heals to full with no expenditure of resources. In some campaigns (with CLW wands easily available), this isn't a big deal, but in others, it is. I would make it limited use. Either have a fixed number of rounds per day (maybe monk level+wisdom?), or spend ki to gain fast healing for a specific number of rounds, either monk level or wisdom bonus

2. Counterstrike says "firstly ..." but doesn't give any other bonus. Is this a typo?

Overall, really good.

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Step 1. Have him take heirloom weapon trait or half-elf alternate class feature to get proficiency in bastard sword, falcata, or other dueling type weapon of his choice.
Step 2. Take a decent strength (say 14 or so). This doesn't have to be incredible, and with a decent point buy, you can still have perfectly acceptable casting stat (just not an 18).
Step 3. Cast long lasting (hours/level) subtle buffs like mage armor, greater magic weapon, and false life well before the duel begins.
Step 4. He is now a mediocre duelist. At level, say 12, he will attack at +10/+5 (6 BAB, 2 str, 3 GMW), do 1d10+5 damage, have an AC of around 20 (mage armor +4, dex +2, amulet +1, ring +1, +1 mithral shield), and somewhere around 66 HP (+1d10+10 temp) (con 12, favored class).
This is roughly what a mildly optimized level 6 duelist fighter type would have. He's not great, but he's not terrible either. Has a bit better HP, roughly the same AC, and a bit worse attack and damage.

He's only spent one trait (or alternate class feature), and a few points of point buy for a class that's not terribly MAD, and magic items and spells known that would be useful anyways. He's not an expert champion duelist, but he can beat the typical non-master duelist(level 1-3 warriors, level 1-2 fighters). He won't beat level appropriate duelists in a 1 on 1 melee fight, but he shouldn't, his shtick is magic. But he can beat amateurs without resorting to any obviously magical tricks pretty easily.

If allowed to magically buff up right before the duel (maybe with silent+still spell to make it non-obvious), he can add things like haste, unerring weapon, bull's strength, cat's grace, bull's stamina, alter self (stronger but otherwise identical human) locate weakness, keen edge, etc) and he could probably take on someone around 3/4 his level, rather than 1/2 his level.
All that would give +15/+15/+10, 1d10+8 17-20/x2 crit, AC 23, 80+~15 HP, with +5 to confirm criticals, and rolling the d10 twice and taking the higher.

None of the spells I mentioned have to be flavored as obvious overt magic, but could instead be his own magic subtly enhancing his body at his command.

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Note that OP said variable damage. So Sneak attack, or flame blade, but NOT strength, weapon training, etc.
It would scale up:
-rogues sneak attack
-a few spells
-the elemental, bane, and alignment weapon enhancements.

That's all that I can think of. I would suggest making it not work on spells, that could be probably be broken in some way if someone worked on it.
The other things tend to be a bit sub-par, so it wouldn't be a bad thing. The sneak attack in particular would probably go a long way to making rogues more viable on rounds where they need to tumble/move to get into flanking.

I can't think of anything else it would enhance, so I think it would be ok.

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I had a gnome monk who I almost got to play in a high level game. He was a ki mystic, sensei, and monk of the lotus archetypes, and took bewildering koan, stunning fist, punishing kick, bodyguard, and improved + greater feint (I think I had a few lore warden-fighter levels in there for extra feats + knowledge class skills).

He had a strength of 10 and was small, so basically couldn't do damage, but he could hit someone and make them either make two fort saves or one will save to be stunned and/or knocked prone, or unable to attack or cast spells for multiple rounds. If full attacking, he could do both to one target, or split them up. Then as a move action he could either activate a full level bardic music like equivalent or feint someone to deny dex for a round (party rogue loved me!), and then as a swift action bewildering koan someone.

In between rounds, he could bodyguard to give allies +3 to AC (helpful trait), or give allies rerolls as an immediate with his ki mystic ability.

Basically, he was the party buffer and debuffer, all while having no spellcasting ability or capability of actually dealing significant damage! As I said, I never actually got to play the guy, but I want to at some point.

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Also, note that strength of the land doesn't increase your caster level. It increases your caster level CHECKS! So it helps you penetrate spell resistance, dispel magic, and a few other things, but won't raise your spell duration or damage dice (menhir savant will, as will orange ioun stones, which actually raise caster level).

I had a dwarf earth-themed druid with it, and realized about halfway through the campaign that I had been playing the trait wrong.

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In combat, high level martials should have multiple options for how to disable or defeat their foes. This mainly involves increasing the effectiveness of the existing combat maneuvers without requiring lots of resources (ie, spending 1/3 of your feats to master a single maneuver).

Martials should be able to be generalists (at maneuvers, weapons, etc.) without being significantly weaker than specialists (though specialists should have their glory at appropriate times).

Martials should have more flexibility in how they target an opponent. I know you should no mechanics, but as examples: Intimidate or diplomacy vs will saves, dirty trick vs reflex, rather than being limited to AC and CMD.

However, in general I think combat is decently balanced. The main thing martials need is more narrative power, and choices to provide that power that don't compete with choices that give mechanical combat power (ie +1s to hit). Some examples:
Spreading rumors
Suppressing rumors
Finding important people in an unfamiliar city
Becoming a leader of an organization (knights, thieves guild, etc)
Find magic items in the black market that would not generally be available
Intimidate/bluff/charm an entire army of low level people at once

Most of these things can be done by a flexible GM or can be achieved by spending resources that could otherwise go for combat (like taking the leadership feat, or certain rogue talents). I would like Martials to be able to choose these things (and have official mechanics like equivalent spells, not GM on-the-fly rulings) that they take from a separate pool than existing combat focused ones.

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Gavmania wrote:
Only downside is that its a full round casting time. If you can, use a wand to reduce it to a standard action.

Unfortunately, wands don't speed up casting.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items#TOC-Spell-Trigger wrote:
Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a longer casting time than 1 action, however, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.)

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Regardless, this represents the best way to raise YOURSELF as a zombie. Cast animate dead, have your familiar hold the charge, kill yourself, and have it animate you.

This is almost certainly against RAW and would require GM fiat, but arguably, since you cast the spell, you could be under your own control; it could be a way to have an intelligent skeleton/zombie! Or you could be under the control of your familiar. Could be an interesting NPC.

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I'd recommend oracle. Doesn't even have to be life, oracles (unlike clerics), can choose whether to automatically learn cure or inflict spells. Just take cure spells and you'll be a decent healer for emergencies. Basically, stick with wands for out of combat healing, but in an emergency if someone drops you can drop a cure critical (or later, heal) to get them back up.

Because you get the cure spells automatically, you can focus yours spells known and feats on either being a primary spellcaster or a self-buff melee fighter and either way be pretty good to go in combat. You'll have the charisma for social rolls. Obviously the pure caster route will have a better charisma.

I'm doing this in a way of the wicked (evil) game, and having a great time with it. I went the pure caster route, dual cursed oracle of flames, giving a nice combination of party buffs (misfortune, prayer, air walk, etc.), with an occasional blasting/summoning when it's called for. Basically, he doesn't do any work, he just helps make his minions (er... I mean party members) do things better.

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Having played quite a bit of chess (and taken lessons and spent hours in books and the like), I would argue Int works much better than wisdom for two reasons:

1. The main things that separates a good player from an average player are the ability to visualizing what will several moves into the future, and memorizing common repetitions (openings and end games). The latter is clearly int, and the former I would lean towards being int as well. There is some intuition and observation, but it's more int.

2. In real life, all of the "really good" chess players I ever met are classically smart: good at math, academics, computers, etc. Some of them are good at observation, intuition, and empathy (wisdom stats), but many aren't.

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arcane disintegrate does 30d6 (save for 5d6) at 15th lvl.
psionic disintegrate does 21d6 (save for 13d6) at 15th lvl, if the psion empowers it up to 15 pp (the equivalent of an eight lvl spell). As was pointed out, to get a maximum of 19d6 on a successful save, you need to either cheat or use one of the very limited ways of raising your manifester level. The most common is overhchannel, a feat which deals damage to yourself to raise your effective level by a couple. Even with all that, the disintegrate still has a significantly lower maximum effect if the target succeeds the save than the wizard version. It's an interesting trade off, but I wouldn't consider one vastly better than the other.

As for the ioun stones, it's a bit unclear. "Provides 1 power point to a psionic character, then disintegrates." I assume that it works like a cognizance crystal (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/psionics-unleashed/equipment/psionic-items/cogniza nce-crystals) ie it can be used to activate a power, but not to replenish your power point supply (in other words, they can only be used to do lvl 1 effects, hardly game breaking). If interpreted to allow you to recharge your own supply, that is really powerful.

Psionics in general is fairly balanced, as much as anything in pathfinder is. Someone with good system mastery can break and abuse even the core rules. Psionics has a few questionable balance issues, but it's mostly pretty good from what I've seen.

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hrmmm, I think you're right. I had thought it was spell-like, but looking back it isn't. Pity.

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Monk's can do it quicker if they dip 1 level of conjuration (teleport) specialist wizard and start taking the dimensional dervish feat chain early (it specifically grants the ability to teleport "as if using dimension door). you can also combine this with qinggong to get whirlwind attack without all of the prerequisites, although it does cost ki that way. That build comes fully online at level 14, which is still high but not too bad.

I'm fairly sure the wording of dimensional dervish and whirlwind attack does allow you to attack everyone provided you have enough movement, and you teleport in between each attack (which will protect some people if they are tightly packed). Also, the visual is awesome, and rule of cool should allow it anyways.

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The other thing to keep in mind in terms of summoning, is that it is unaffected by point buy. A 25 point buy summoner and a 15 point buy summoner will both summon exactly the same creature. But the 25 point buy summoner will have allies with better stats that do more damage, and likely will face tougher foes to make up for that, so the summons will seem comparatively less useful.

Party optimization and wealth also matters. A fiendish dire ape (or whatever) looks a lot different when compared with a high loot RAGELANCEPOUNCE Barbarian and an archer paladin than it does when compared with a sub par WBL base monk and finesse rogue as the party melee-ers.

Basically, summoning (and other fixed strength class features, like eidolons and animal companions) have their relative power inversely related to the point buy and general power of the rest of the party. For already optimized or strong parties, buffing is more helpful, because it's a force multiplier. For less optimized or low power parties, summons, which act as a constant force adder, become more valuable.

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Mine was chosen when his father agreed to give the life of his firstborn son to Asmodeus in return for wealth. Father thought that meant his son would die, but actually it gave Asmodeus a link to the son to corrupt and turn him evil. His curse (blackened) came when conjuring hellfire (burning hands) to murder his own father, then sticking his own arms in the fire to make it look like an unfortunate accident.

This is for Way of the Wicked (he's not a nice guy).

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Any character can use any weapon, however if they aren't proficient with the weapon, they take a -4 to hit with it. However, you are not proficient. Dwarves have the ability to treat weapons with "dwarven" in their name as martial weapons for the purpose of proficiency. A druid is not proficient in martial weapons, thus this doesn't help you, unless you later gain proficiency in martial weapons (by taking a level in fighter for example). Until then, you can continue to wield the weapon, but you take a -4 on all attack rolls with it.

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Have a friendly bard/cleric cast:
bless, heroism/good hope etc.

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In general, I would argue that if it targets an enemy, the formula are probably ok, because of action economy. So a glove of magic missile at will isn't that big a deal, because by the time you can afford one, 1d4+1 damage, even with no save simply isn't that abusable. Similarly for the other in-combat spelsl that take an action to use. The only thing particularly worrisome is for things with out of combat use, since then the action isn't worrisome, or if your trying to make it continuous rather than at will. So:

Magic missile, summon monster I (it's low enough level that they don't have spell like abilities), command (which will allow a save DC 11, so no big deal), produce flame (standard action to activate, grants 1 attack), and ill omen should all just follow basic rules (CL*SL*2000)

The more complicated ones.
For true Strike, I'd say if it's really use activated (ie, a standard action that grants true strike) I'd say double the cost for being a spell that's normally only on a squishy caster list, and otherwise allow. If the wielder just wants a constant +20 to hit, tell them to get an epic +20 weapon.

Summon Monster only allow for the low level: the high level ones have spell like abilities that will break the game if allowed at will (especially healing).

Protection from evil again, if it's actually takes a standard action to activate, it's probably fine (duration of 1 minute remember). If it's continuous, price it as cloak of resistance +2, ring of protection +2, some sort of extra for the mind control (maybe 20k?), with a modest discount for being vs. evil only (20% maybe).

Cure light wounds at will price like a ring of fast healing (ie, epic), since it basically means out of combat everyone has full hit points.

Hope that helps, this is what I'd do.

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