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It's my biggest gripe with the system so far too. It's silly that a level 20 Wizard is an even match with a level 15 Fighter for arm wrestling (or mighty close - the stat difference actually closes with leveling since you get 4 stats boosted every 5 levels). And AC increasing by level makes the range of balanced enemies very small compared to what you can throw at a party in 5th. Combined with full Hitpoint gain each level and you can outlevel things quickly.

I would rather see level drop to lvl/2 or so and increase the gap in the proficiency tiers (maybe -3/0/+1/+3/+5).

The plan was to play an Inquisitor since I've never played one before. I love the idea of Monster Lore and Judgments and Bane. I've just been struggling to find the best way to play. It seems like archery is the best for taking advantage of Bane, but I've done archery before and don't want to this time. I haven't done a real sword and board in ages and just wanted to see if I could make it work.

Thanks for all the ideas!

System mastery won't be a problem - I prefer playing oddball characters that don't behave the way anyone else's do. And the Ulfen sound interesting. Maybe my character left the north because he was a bit of a runt (only 6' tall) and has some major insecurities as a result.

Do you think the stat spread seems reasonable?

Fair enough. First thought was Human with Two-Weapon fighting and Improved Shield Bash at first level. I'm thinking he'll likely be casting out of combat or first round of combat primarily, allowing him to do so with his weapon sheathed (thinking Kukri .... hierloom weapon?). Then he can wade in.

I am concerned that bane only affects one of the two weapons, meaning that one might become useless with time. I was hoping maybe bashing finish with bane on the shield could proc some extra damage, but that's after 12th even.

Having the shield as my only weapon has some possibilities too, but I've always thought it seemed a little silly looking.

Stat wise (before racials) I was thinking:

Str 16
Dex 15
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 8

But I'm stumped on what might actually work. If I try fighting with two-weapon then all my feats are pretty much decided from the start. But can the damage keep up if I don't? 2H a shield is definitely seeming better by the minute.

Hi all,

Welcome to my laziest post ever, lazy to the point that if I get no responses I don't really blame you.

Anyway, how would you plan out a Sword and Board Inquisitor, 25pt buy, to level 12? He would be the frontline, so a good AC is important, but damage equally so.


Hi all,

I was just looking for advice considering the following aspects of the adventure path:

1) Serpentfolk Telepathy - with all the Serpentfolk being telepathically linked, wouldn't this give them perfect coordination any times the PCs attacked a stronghold like Thousand Fangs or the Temple of Ydersius? I'm thinking of dropping telepathy for the Degenerates.

2) Teleporting - with so many "bosses" later in the book having the tactic of teleporting away when near defeat I feel that this would get very frustrating for the PCs (I know it would irritate me after a bit). Do I simply drop subtle hints about spells like Dimensional Anchor (and maybe have it in a found spellbook)? Any tips?

3) Mind Control - what a horrible AP to run with a weak Will save. Any ideas to deal with the fact that a HUGE percent of the enemies in this AP have dominate person/charm/suggestion? Is this just par for the course at higher levels and the PCs have to learn to deal with it (Protection from Evil, Dispel Magic, etc)?


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Thanks all. And, MagusJanus, you have given me some wonderfully terrible inspiration.

Hi all,

I've got a charismatic character that is morally ambiguous and am looking for ways to circumvent "Zone of Truth" and whatnot. There is the Glibness spell, but I can't imagine getting away with casting a spell while getting interrogated. There's also the Master Spy prestige class, but I don't really see that as an option. Anything I'm missing?


@MechE: I had read all of those separately but not gleaned the necessary connection - thanks! I do think that I would allow Dimensional Agility to work with his abilities though.

@Imbicatus: I will definitely focus on which monsters cause the status affects in question.

@EvilMinion: Unhallow, eh? Interesting.

Hi all. I've been running Rise of the Runelords and have been finding the Wizard (currently level 9) to be very problematic in challenging. What I would like to do is take away his little trick (swift action teleport, unbelievable) for a major combat (that has no primary spellcasters) to make him sweat a little bit. I can see hitting him with a scroll of Dimensional Anchor, but the likely response is to become invisible and then fly away (although that would rob the party of his support for 2 rounds). Another option could be a scroll of anti-magic shell, but I'm worried that might be too effective and make him feel helpless.

Other than that all I can think of is some poison attacks that may paralyze or knock him unconscious. Any other cool magic items/spells/abilities that might humble him a little bit?

I wasn't specifying a spell level, but overall usefulness is desired. Basically, with 3 Preferred Spells I want to have a powerful spell versus each save. Currently I feel like Slow is the best of the best (covers numerous targets, neuters combat models and targets their weakest save). Stinking Cloud is awesome too, but doesn't work against a large number of enemy types.

Right now I think, if facing a balanced opposing group, the optimal situation would be:

1) Black Tentacles to bugger the casters
2) Slow to bugger anyone strong enough to get out
3) Have a cigar while the party kills things

but I'm looking for other options I may have missed. Glitterdust is solid, Hold Person loses out to me due to only targeting one enemy and it gets a save every round.


Hi all,

Working on a wizard which I haven't done in Pathfinder yet. I'd like to find a good control/Save or Suck type spell that targets each save to use Preferred spell on. As a result, the lower the level, the better. He'll be starting at 7th level.

My thoughts:
Will Save --- Slow (save and SR, but no restricted types)
Fort --- either Blindness or Baleful Polymorph (depending on if a Frog can cast if it makes the will save)
Ref --- Resilient Sphere?


We tend to play pretty powerful characters here (sometimes too powerful). I allowed my characters to select either of the following arrays:

Set 1: 17 16 15 13 10 9
Set 2: 18 16 13 13 11 8

I've found that the characters work very well. They're all versatile, the stat-ups are often meaningful yet characters aren't so versatile that they step on each others toes.

I also decided that players often lacked enough skill points to go "off book" so to speak, so at every level they received a skill point that had to go into a craft, perform (Bard excluded) or profession. They also selected a knowledge skill that there character automatically got a skill point in every level.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Since I didn't realize there was a Rules topic going for this when I posted in the other thread, I'll just repost my thoughts here:

I can't see anything in the description that would make me think that Guarded Life would allow you to apply DR to the converted damage. That would imply:

Get assigned damage > Apply DR > If HP less than 0, convert damage to nonlethal > Apply DR

This makes no sense. Alternatively, predicting if you WOULD go below 0 and then deciding to convert incoming damage to incoming nonlethal damage seems odd and unprecedented too.

Remember that you track lethal and nonlethal damage separately. The Rage Power seems to imply that, after damage has been dealt, examine your hit points. If your hit points are less than zero (and you were above zero before the attack) then "move" hit points equal to your Barbarian level from the lethal damage column to the nonlethal damage column. This will still leave you unconscious but you won't be dying and you effectively receive double healing until the nonlethal damage is gone.

If it doesn't work then we can always look for ways to abuse Bolstered Resilience to up survivability a bit: (warning, topic is way outdated)

I can't see anything in the description that would make me think that Guarded Life would allow you to apply DR to the converted damage. That would imply:

Get assigned damage > Apply DR > If HP less than 0, convert damage to nonlethal > Apply DR

This makes no sense. Alternatively, predicting if you WOULD go below 0 and then deciding to convert incoming damage to incoming nonlethal damage seems odd too.

Remember that you track lethal and nonlethal damage separately. The Rage Power seems to imply that, after damage has been dealt, examine your hit points. If your hit points are less than zero (and you were above zero before the attack) then "move" double your Barbarian level from the lethal damage column to the nonlethal damage column. This will still leave you unconscious but you won't be dying and you effectively receive double healing until the nonlethal damage is gone.

I will never stop giving stat arrays. I give two - one that favors SAD and one that favors. They have the same total stat bonus and are only one point apart as stat buys.

Lingering Performance allowing me to have both in effect is a very nice perk that I misunderstood (I thought it meant that even that would not allow both to be in effect).

What about starting Battle Herald a level late to get the 2nd level Bard spells? As order of the Cockatrice the level 2 order ability was to characterful to resist (Dazzling Display as a standard action and you don't even need a weapon drawn - you're just telling them how badass you are). Then I can definitely see 3 Inspiring Commands worth having. Then....back to Bard? Stick with Battle Herald?

How about what bard spells would be good to have? I get to know 4 level 1's now. I want Charm Person for sure, and likely Cure Light but beyond that I'm not sure. Grease?

Hi all,

I'm midway through book 2 of Kingmaker with my Cavalier 2/Bard 3. Yes, I know that this level combo is not optimal but I'm just not worrying about that to be honest.

My question is this - does Battle Herald actually add anything truly beneficial to this build going forward, or would it be better to simply go full bard from this point? I'm tempted to up Cav to level 4 at some point get Horse Master for a full HD mount. But honestly I feel that the increased spellcasting of the Bard is simply better than most of what the Battle Herald offers before max level. Maybe a level of Battle Herald for "Shake it Off", but nothing else seems very exciting.

As an aside, I'm definitely running the Character with a melee focus - 2H fighter/archer switch hitter (lots of stat points so don't worry about that). We just hit 5th level and feat wise I have Power Attack, Eldritch Heritage(Arcane), the skill focus from being a half-elf and my free teamwork feat (Escape Route). For my 5th level feat I don't know what to take. Right now I'm planning on Antagonize for flavour, but if there is something better then I'm open to it (if I progress into Bard then Arcane Strike seems nice).


Title pretty much says it all. I don't care about the subject matter too much so long as it can be adapted to Golarian (so sci fi is likely out).


Hi all,

I'm running a Serpent's Skull game right now and am troubled by the overwhelming negativity towards the second module, Racing to Ruin. I'll hide the relatively spoiler-free scenario I need to accomodate behind a spoiler tag just in case.


Race to Ruin involves the PCs joining a single faction of several available and racing through the jungle to reach a special site first. It's fairly railroady and the faction in question doesn't really matter too much. However, the idea of these several groups all sabotaging each other is kind of interesting. The city where it all begins is also in the midst of a social uprising of a lower class trying to subvert the ruling class.

So, in essence I would love if there where some module that involved several factions working against one another in an urban setting. A nice mix of roleplaying and combat would be nice. I don't really care about who the publisher is or anything else but a nice framework to work from would be awesome.

As always, much thanks fellow gamers!

Well, 10th level Synthesist can have 5, so that's the baseline. A druid can Wild Shape into a Giant Octopus with 9 attacks. Good luck beating that.

Alch2/Barb2 can have 4, so can Synthesist 4. I don't know a faster way unless you're a race that comes with claw/claw/bite.

Hmmm. Not at all what I'd been thinking, but I do like Shale. The Russian names had Bogden and Gleb. I'm also considering Slate, Boden and Slab.

I usually struggle with names but I just can't find one I like for this guy at all. I'm playing an Oread who fights with a shield. His non-elemental heritage is Dwarven. He has an Int of 7 (I dropped this intentionally from a die roll - it's not a dump) as I would like to play him as a very good hearted but naive individual. If you've ever seen Perfect Strangers he'd be Balki. Super positive but if someone does something bad then they get a shield to the face.
The counter to his good nature is that his simplicity can lead to tantrums when things don't go the way he likes. He hates when things change and he can't stand being called dumb. He knows his limitations and is glad to have smarter people call the shots, but don't call him stupid or he might flip out.
I'd love a name that is short (2 syllables seems about right) and kind of gutteral in a rock/earth/dwarven sense, not an orcish one. God I'm difficult to please!

Thanks for any suggestions!

My first thought was (Mass) Hold Person, coup de grace. Who needs the prestige class?

At Alch2/Barb2 you can also have 4 primary natural attacks (Feral Mutagen for claw/claw/bite and lesser fiend totem for a gore).

I'm playing a simple minded do gooder who believes in the best qualities in people. He fights with a shield as he never intended to be a warrior but has gotten in the habit of trying to protect anyone in trouble. Think Balki from Perfect Strangers only huge. When he gets frustrated or witnesses an injustice he tends to flip out and go all tantrum-y on things.

Hmmmm. Disappointing, but thanks for the input. Since Freebooter doesn't fit the concept at all I guess it's Guide.

Hi all,

I hate situation bonuses like FE. Sometimes they're overpowered (like the ranger a friend played in Castle Ravenloft - FE Undead for a free HUGE bonus against 90% of the enemies. Other times you pick a type that never comes up in a campaign.

I really liked the Wild Stalker archetype, but it seems like the consensus is that you lose ALL bonus feats and, even if you didn't, it seems like you were lose early access which is the reason I was playing Ranger to start (for Shield Master at 6th).

So, is there another good option? No FE, yes combat feats. I know there's scout, but it's a little ... bland. Might be my only good option tho.


It seems pretty straightforward to me - you miss out on the level 2 bonus feat. Exactly how this is applied is a little trickier.

From Ultimate Combat:

If an archetype replaces a class feature that is part of a series of improvements or additions to a base ability (such as a fighter's weapon training or a ranger's favored enemy), the next time the character would gain that ability, it counts as the lower-level ability that was replaced by the archetype. In effect, all abilities in that series are delayed until the next time the class improves that ability. For example, if an archetype replaces a rogue's +2d6 sneak attack bonus at 3rd level, when she reaches 5th level and gains a sneak attack bonus, her sneak attack doesn't jump from +1d6 to +3d6—it improves to +2d6, just as if she had finally gained the increase at 3rd level. This adjustment continues for every level at which her sneak attack would improve, until at 19th level she has +9d6 instead of the +10d6 of a standard rogue.

So it could mean that at level 6 you get access to the selection of a style and the level 2 options, at level 10 you get access to the level 6 options, etc. OR it could mean that you simply don't start getting abilities until level 6 but can select from the level 6 list immediately. I would say RAW slightly favors the former, but I would rule the latter personally (because losing early access is a HUGE loss and I don't think gaining uncanny dodge is worth more than a feat).

That said, I was wondering the same question as the op. I'm going with the Sword and Shield style (Heavy Shield and Kukri) and plan to move to fighter after level 6/7 (this assumes you do NOT lose early access to Shield Master). What 2/3 Rage Powers would people choose? Does weapon choice make a significant difference? Reckless Abandon, Strength Surge and Superstition seem like they would always be top contenders.

I'm actually leaning towards leaving a small community of survivors - maybe 10-12 noncombatants - who will survive and give information in exchange for the promise to be left in peace. I'll play up how abusive Malakidna and Korak have been. Hmmmmm.

Wow. I can't believe I never read Korak's description. That certainly helps a bit. That would still likely leave some younger teenagers at the least but that is much more manageable.

And I definitely like the "Where did grandma go?". That might be just the kind of thing a survivor might be able to communicate. Gotta love ambiguous breadcrumbs.

So, the Thrune's Fang was lost ~30years ago and during that time the original 22 (in addition to Malakidna?) survivors have formed a little society and fostered children. In my thinking then, there could be some elderly members (although the weak are likely driven out or eaten) and must be some young children who are too young to fight.

My PCs will be attacking the camp either this session or next and I'm curious how people handle this side of things. Do you simply ignore their existence to facilitate moving the story forward? Would there be children (and possibly some elderly or mothers) that don't fight the PCs and survive the battle? Would having these survivors become the responsibility (and possibly useful guides) of the PCs work?

I think it would be really cool for the PCs to bring along any cannibals that are reformable as a real story reward (you really helped these kids, even if you did butcher their parents...hmmm) but I don't want their existence to derail the end of the adventure.

Any thoughts?

I'm worried we're getting off base here. I'm not saying I want a super defense build or bragging that my character is invincible. I'm just wondering if an AC of 21 at first level could be problematic on the whole. It's for a casual group so I don't want it to cause a problem.

@Piccolo: I agree completely. I dropped some of the stats a bit (and Int a lot) to give him a 7 Intellect. And he wants to be a legendary blacksmith. Poor guy. I feel he's got a bit of a Forest Gump vibe to him.

Hi all,

We're starting a campaign with level 1 characters and I'm looking for a little friendly advice. We are getting crazy high stats (roll 24d6, keep the highest 18 and assign three dice to each stat) as well as getting a bonus feat at first.

My concept is to play an Oread Ranger that uses a shield. The basic character sketch is a simple minded fellow that is extremely loyal to his friends but dislikes change. Regardless, with the Natural Armor alternate racial and Improved Shield Bash he has an AC of 21 at first level.

I'm worried that this will make things less enjoyable for the group. Would you recommend taking something else (Power Attack, TWF) so that on turns that he attacks he won't keep his shield bonus? At level 2 I'm opting for Shield Slam, so that would put off Improved Shield Bash to at least level 3 (still AC19 when attacking, 21 otherwise).


PS: Breakdown of AC is Scale (+5), Dex (+3), Heavy Shield (+2), Natural Armor (+1)

Of course, if it's a light weapon you can use two of them. Weapon training and specialization for all.

The damage bonus where the new weapon surpasses depends on your base to hit number. Needing a 10+ to hit only requires 4 bonus damage to surpass the 19-20/x2. With Keen and iteratives, not to mention crit feats.....crazy overpowered.

The thing to watch out for is Synthesist syndrome. If it is a natural lycanthrope (the only one that a PC should be in control of) then you control when you shift. In hybrid form you can use the physical stats of the animal (plus the lycanthrope bonuses) and keep your mental stats. This can lead to abuse.

Definitely some good ideas, and I am pocketing the "Potentially horrible solution" on the off chance they slack off and don't pick up on the sense of urgency. One NPC has already run off and been eaten so what is one more?

I also like the idea of having them set up defenses for their camp. Ideas are percolating.

Definitely some cool ideas, but I think I need to clarify my original post just a little.

I'm not looking for a "Holy crap there are cannibals on this island" vibe so much as a "Holy crap we're being actively hunted by cannibals" kind of vibe. I like the idea of scattering totems all over the island. Lots of tracks everywhere they go and the odd campfire sound good too.

I guess what I'm looking for is how to manage two conflicting sets of motivations in a way that is:

a) realistic
b) won't make any other encounters impossible (many of the other sites should work ok I think due to these environements deterring the cannibals)
c) scary

The tribe of cannibals have one set of motivations - they want to eat the PCs and NPCs. However, they don't want to attack in small groups because they'll be overpowered. They can't move in one big pack because the PCs could easily avoid them and hide. So they have to move in small groups to locate the PCs for a future large scale attack. They may make attacks of convenience/use traps while this is going on.

The PCs/NPCs on the other hand have a different set of desires entirely. First, they want to stay hidden - if all the cannibals attack at once then they're pooched. They also don't want to have to move their camp every day AND can't really abandon it completely if they can avoid it because it serves an important function. They are also looking for an old site on the island so they can escape, so they can't hide and wait for rescue, they have to keep moving. They could try and take out the cannibals in small groups but have to be careful not to leave a trail back to their camp.

Maybe I'm over thinking things.

Hi all,

I'm GMing a Serpent's Skull game (book 1, Smuggler's Shiv). The gist is the PCs (currently level 2) and some NPC allies are stranded on an island and there is a tribe of cannibals there as well. Things have been slow so far (very cautious PCs so far) highlighted by a scary fight when the first group of wandering cannibals found them. The PCs moved their camp by traveling down the coast at low tide and have set up a new camp to hide since one cannibal survived the first encounter.

To ramp up the tension of a somewhat slow starting campaign I really want to focus on the idea that the cannibals have identified that this group is on their island and is hunting them down. The trick is I'm not sure of exactly how best to go about this. There are also several other encounter sites left before reaching the cannibal camp and ending things once and for all.

I was thinking of having bands of cannibals 5-6 strong searching the island based on the last known location of the PCs but not engaging until they can bring numbers to bear (given their solid defeat on the last attack). I can track these movements on a day by day basis and see when they pass nearby the exploring PCs or their camp, possibly use sightings of these groups to nudge PCs towards other encounter sites, maybe allowing the PCs to get the jump on the odd group.

Are their any other ideas to really freak my PCs out in this scenario?

You get -2 on your weapon attacks if you also use natural attacks. I'm not sure if that applies on the natural attacks or if they are only at -5 for being secondary.

Thanks all. And BBT I was not asking out of a paranoia about traps. I was curious who was the best trapfinder while remaining a solid overall character (sorry if I was not as clear as I could have been). I've enjoyed looking up the specifics with each option pointed out (that didn't ignore my "the trap must actually be disarmed" clause).


Pure curiosity has led me to wonder what class is the best at finding and disarming traps. Rogues are generally thought of as underpowered, but sometimes trapfinder can be a fun job. Here are the "rules":

1) The trap must be found and disarmed using disable device, no tripping it with summons, etc.
2) The character must be able to find/disarm magic traps.
3) Classes that use the appropriate stats (Wis for finding, Dex for disarming) are obviously a bonus.
4) Class skills are less important since Traits can fill in in a pinch.
5) At the end of the day Trapfinding is only a single aspect of a character. He best still be able to perform some combat function well (ie: DPS, battlefield control, buffing, etc). If you end up worse than a rogue, what's the point?

Thank you for your input!

Name: Blackcross
Race: Human
Classes/Level: Ranger 1
Adventure: Souls for Smuggler's Shiv
Location: Top of a waterfall west of Yarzoth's landing site
Catalyst: Wounded cannibal

The Gory Details: Although I'd had an ambush all ready to go to introduce the PCs to the cannibals they were taking their time and being very deliberate in exploring their surroundings and moving their camp along with them. However, the time was right for the cannibals to be traveling their way from Yarzoth's information and they were due for a "$#!T just got real" moment. As they were setting up camp they heard something in the jungle to the west. The cannibals had also heard them and moved to investigate. The PCs watched as the nearly naked humans worked their way north and up onto the higher ground the PCs occupied and charged without a thought. Sasha was caught in a net while Jask and Aerys froze in horror. Only Ishirou stood alongside the PCs (Gelik is long gone).

As the battle progressed Blackcross kept stepping back and shooting, despite multiple warnings that he was backing towards the waterfall. He hit every round with his Longbow but rolled terrible damage. By the time the cannibal was low enough on HP to chose to flee Blackcross had his back to the cliff. As DM I felt I had no choice - the cannibal declared a bullrush as a standard action before fleeing from the fight. A nat 20 later and Blackcross was sailing through the air to land with a thud in the wet ground 60ft below. Due to the circumstances (I run pretty fast and loose with the rules when cinematic moments are in play) I ruled that enough of the damage was non-lethal that Blackcross would survive if anyone wanted to clamber down and help him. As he'd been acting like a bit of a dick, no one did and Blackcross succumbed to his massive internal injuries.

I like the little birdy that buffs, but I think anything else is just plain outclassed flavor wise by the Johnny Knoxville Halfling.

@Rynjin: Approved!

I approve!

And wow, Halfling aid builds look crazy after reading the Cautious Fighter and Blundering Defense racial talents (gotta love the flavor of the latter too). Simply by performing an all out defense he would give all adjacent allies a +4 to AC? Of course he would not get to make AOOs and Bodyguard would take a while to get. Bodyguard is likely the better route initially but a static +2AC for him fighting defensively later is nothing to sneeze at either.

Swift Aid, shield feats -> overwhelmed.

Ooh. Interesting suggestions and not at all what I guessed (I was thinking and Arcane caster with elemental protection spells, blur/displacement, fly, etc, but I suppose a lot of Arcane buffs are caster only too).

My character is completely a glory hog, so he wants a cohort that makes him personally look good - his cohort saving the party is a big no no. I've never considered a build based on using the aid action but I remember seeing the odd post about it on the boards.

I like the bard selection and, although the Archivist gives another buff I don't think I can turn down the Court Bard - making others look worse is just....priceless. The mockery ability is just absolu-freaking-lutely perfect for my char.

As a cohort would be starting at level 5 are there any ideas for a build? I'm not sure if my bard would respect a halfling enough to rely on him for help, but as a little comedy monkey who sneakily helps out behind the keeps getting funnier. Kudos dear internet brothers!

Would it be too much to name him Patsy?

It's hard to say what the party will be composed of - we have a lot of churn in our group, both with players coming and going and people changing characters/dying. The way we play I wouldn't really rely on many buffs from other party members unless it was an expected combat.

Regarding Bard - would it be worth going with a Bard if I'm a Battle Herald anyway? None of the Inspiring Commands really seem to blow Inspire Courage out of the water (or even compete, really).

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