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This unfortunately means you're looking at applying resistances twice - unless you have some way to bypass said resistances (And there's a few ways) it means that plasma is almost always worse for damage than loading up a weapon with a single damage type.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...whereas I was aiming more at "This one form, but *bigger/better/badder*"

With the clarification about shifter weaponry at L3, the weretouched is looking pretty... flimsy at the moment, unless I misunderstood something?

I don't believe you missed anything. Weretouched really needs something to make up for the lack of power it has, even over the base shifter, and that is a low, low bar as this entire thread shows.

Realistically, the best bets would be size increases (which are incredibly valuable for martial types) and/or stat boosts on top of what's already there. Gaining extra buffs like that (around levels 9 and 14, I'd say, to replace chimeric aspects, which are literally just dead class features for Weretouched) would be a huge boon.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Okay, so I was just subject to a brainstorm.

Part of the 'complaint' is the 'utility' level of Shifter.

If there could be some way to have a form 'specialist' (someone that focuses on one Aspect) vs. a form 'generalist', perhaps with a bonus for the specialist *in that form alone* but with a broader ability to use Wild Shape for a 'generalist' (perhaps like Druid Wild shape?).

Is this too far-fetched of an idea?

Specialist: Gets Improved Natural Armor/Improved Natural Weapon at 'dead' levels in addition to 'base' shifter

Generalist: Gets unlimited application of Druidic Wild Shape, but does not get access to INA or INW?

I'm fairly sure the "specialist" is the weretouched archetype, hon. It restricts you to only one aspect ever.

the problem with it is that it further restricts an already restricted class in exchange for nothing but damage reduction and the ability to use normal gear while wildshaped.

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FlySkyHigh wrote:

I'm still not sure if this class offers up enough to be competitive with druids or hunters in terms of "shifting", but I've said from the get-go that I don't think they could without a radical redesign, and I would assume that'd be too much.

That in particular was why I figured adding in chimeric forms you could wildshape into by mixing your aspects was a good idea; Druids and Feral Hunters have better wildshaping mechanics overall right now simply because they have the ability to choose from a much wider range of animals. If Shifters have a smaller range of animals, but can layer them two or three at once, it gives them a unique way of operating that no other class in the game can match.

willuwontu wrote:

I'm partially happy with the Capstone, but why do you get permanent minor forms so late.

Personally I think you should get permanent minor forms like so


Chimeric aspect:

At 9th level, when a shifter uses her shifter aspect ability to take on a minor form, she can choose two aspects and assume the minor form of each aspect, in addition, the shifter may use a single minor form at will.

Greater Chimeric aspect:
At 14th level, when a shifter uses her shifter aspect ability to take on a minor form, she can choose up to three aspects and assume the minor form of each aspect, in addition the shifter may use 2 minor forms at will as if using Chimeric Aspect.

This would help the shifter with qualifying for feats and add more flexibility to it.

Personally, I think something that'd seriously add oomph to the class while also giving it something utterly unique would be the ability to select two or three animals and take traits from all of them at once when wild shaping. they already get a chimeric base aspect; what about wild shaping? It's in tune with a fair amount of what the class does already, and fits in with what shapeshifting is described as in tribal societies; I can't remember where it's from, but I remember some kind of spirit guide wolf thing that was a wolf with stag horns and the limbs of a bear.

Would give wildshapers something big and kickass to look forward to if that was part of chimeric aspect, which as it stands right now is kind of subpar overall, even for people who want to remain in (mostly) human shape for a fight (though your suggested changes are a great step in the right direction). Attaching the animals you get when wildshaping to the ones you get from your chimeric aspect would make for a sensible addition, even if they drain additional wildshape hours per day while active. Maybe an extra one per hour for each animal you add in?

Colette Brunel wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

While there are some levels where purchased weapons compare more favorably, 6th isn't actually one of them. The solar weapon solarian could do 2 less damage than the 2-handed weapon you listed with their one handed weapon at 6th at no cost (notable because 5,500 credits is a good bit of your money at 6th), and with a less expensive weapon crystal (over half that price but not by too much) is doing higher damage with an extra critical effect as a small cherry.

Meanwhile, if a solarian spends 9,200 credits (obviously a larger number than 5,500 credits), they can purchase a minor gravity crystal for +1d6 damage and knockdown as a critical effect.

And... they are still not dealing as much damage as a wrack devastation blade (2d8 vs. 1d8+1d6). That critical effect is not particularly strong, and there is a good chance that critical effects in general are wasted by the enemy dying.

Never mind that this is supposed to be a signature, scaling class feature of the solarian.

It is not as though solar armor is much better either, considering that it cannot be used with heavy armor.

It feels like a return to the DnD 3.5 Soulknife, which was widely agreed to just be bad because it couldn't scale, couldn't make effective use of its abilities (which were often lackluster anyways) and feels like the class sacrifices mechanical power for the sake of fluff. the fluff is good. Cool even, but it's just not backed up by the mechanics, and the class doesn't even have the fallback of "well you don't have to pay for a weapon" because it has to pay for focus crystals.

Gotta have computer skills in Starfinder. I've already got some ideas that work off the "Artificial Personality" thing...

CKent83 wrote:
Last thing: What is the difference between basic and advanced melee weapons? Is it like Martial/Exotic Weapons, or are there swords with buttons and settings that do things that really make them advanced?

Going off other sci fi sources, Basic melee weapons will probably be things like swords, ahmmers, machetes, the sorts of things you're liable to see in Pathfinder.

Advanced weapons would be like chainswords, gravity hammers, and blades covered in power fields that disrupt the material of whatever they touch. The awesome sort of melee weapons that comes with science fiction.

TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
i'd like something between generic and specific. I think they mentioned a diode laser pistol, which makes me wonder what other kind of weapon types there are. Assuming for a moment EAC is the new touch, and KAC is the new AC, then maybe one kind of weapon hits KAC with high damage, another low damage but EAC. maybe one gives you a straight bonus to hit. just enough customization to make my weapon feel unique from my buddy's even if we both have a laser pistol. And now that I think about it, since in Pathfinder there's a ton of melee weapons and a few ranged, with sStarfinder being the opposite, maybe instead of a hundred types of guns, it'll be again, customizable guns.

I'm more guessing, personally, that KAC and EAC are going to just be different, not specifically "touch and normal". If laser guns are as common as conventional weapons, that means that armor is going to be built for one, the other, or both. you'd want to equip up for what you're going to be fighting, rather than just have a general use armor for all the time, and armor in general would provide efense against both (For example, power armor would be mostly kinetic armor, but have shielding systems to ward off energy too to a lesser extent. It'd be something like +10 KAC versus +4 EAC)

Not one or the other being better, simply different, and you want to cover all your bases.

Fardragon wrote:

No, I prefer generic weapon descriptions. The fantasy "longsword" covers a multitude of different sword types from different cultures (not one of which was ever refered to as a "longsword" in it's time). There simply isn't the space to detail every potential possibility. Ten different types of sniper rifle leaves less room for genuinely different weapons.

Descriptions of manufacturer and model number can easily be added as flavor text by the GM.

As for things like rate of fire, magazine capacity, etc, I doubt these will be properties of the gear. Most ammo will be untracked, and number of attacks per round dependent on BAB and special abilities. Even damage may be detached from weapon stats, as it "scales with level".

When has Paizo chosen to do any of that? Ever?

That's a serious question. When has "no consumables" ever been a thing Paizo has ever done outside of ludicrously expensive and difficult to get abilities? the best example I can think of is the Kineticist, and even then they have to deal with the burn mechanics in order to be any sort of competitive.

I feel you're wrong. On... basically every point.

I'm also not looking for ten types of every weapon in the same book, I'm looking for one or two new variants to come along with supplements - armory supplements are some of the best received updates by the community in Shadowrun, the Warhammer 40k games, and I'm sure others that I could list if I wasn't so tired, and those are essentially the markets Starfinder is attempting to break into.

So, one of the things I'm rather worried about is a lack of weapon variants in Starfinder.

Let me explain what I mean by that. Yes, I'm certain we'll have a "sniper rifle", and a "pistol", and a "shotgun", but generic weaponry just doesn't cut it in a science fiction setting. You get variants on weapons and armor that is sometimes subtle, and sometimes obvious. Let me toss out an example right here, stolen pretty much straight from Warframe (a rather popular free to play Science Fantasy video game)

This is the Lanka. The Lanka is a sniper rifle that, after a short charge, fires out a shot of fast moving electricity with pinpoint accuracy. It has a very long reload time, and has to charge up to get full damage, but when it does, it hits like a truck. It also has a ten round magazine, limiting the number of times you need to reload it in any given fight, to help make up for its drawbacks, and if you're fully zoomed in it has a +50% chance to critically hit. It's pure electricity and high damage if you can get over its problems.

This fancy thing is the Vectis. It's single shot, which is a bit of a double-edged sword - the reload is less than a second to compensate, which is good because you'll be reloading after every shot. It's much weaker than the fully charged Lanka (about a third of the damage) but at higher zoom levels it deals more damage, has no charge time, and is very intuitive to use, giving it a sort of bolt action feel. It's also easier to mod than the lanka due to an inherent mod polarity slot (basically makes it cost less to insert offensive types of mods, in this case).

This somewhat bulbous thing is the Vulkar. It has the same damage as the Vectis, but a few benefits - most notably, it's a semi-automatic sniper rifle, which is great. It has a 6 round magazine, but in exchange has a reload timer of 3 seconds (very very long comparatively), and every now and then one of its shots will be a dud that does no damage, which sucks BAD when you're relying on a hit to have effect.

Finally, this bulky thing is the Rubico. Like the Vulkar, it's semi-automatic and has a five round magazine, as it's essentially a sniper rifle revolver. It has less damage than Vectis or Vulkar (and thus much less than the Lanka), and like the Vulkar has a very long reload time, but in exchange has a much, much higher critical chance, particularly when zoomed in, and deals x3 damage on a crit rather than x2.

Do you see what I mean? These are all "sniper rifles", and falling under a generic "sniper rifle" label would be an injustice to all but whichever one the generic sniper rifle most closely resembles. But people would pay to have variants like this of different weapon types - rate of fire, damage dealt, recoil, clip size, item weight, critical chance, critical damage, these are all things that can be affected by weapon variants even before getting into the mods you can put into weapons like this. It'd be huge for the community to get access to these sorts of things, and for Paizo specifically it'd basically be like printing money to have a bunch of different variants of pistols, assault rifles, SMGs, LMGs, sniper rifles, shotguns, and whatever else.

Food for thought. I really hope this is the sort of thing that gets included in the final release, because it's worked well for every different science fiction or science fantasy game I can think of, tabletop or not.

I'm in a Mythic mana wastes game right now; this'll help a lot.

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I cannot tell you how long I've been waiting for a book like this to come out.

Here's hoping it plays nice with alchemists that took that one discovery to let them make constructs.

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So, I was discussing things with a friend of mine, and we both came to the conclusion that AIs should be a playable option in Starfinder, and I'm going to quickly go over how that'd work. Note, I'm writing this on the basic assumption that, since Starfinder will still run on the D20 system and will be 'conversion friendly', the same things that'd work in basic Pathfinder would work in Starfinder for this. I'd like feedback and thoughts on the idea, but I think it works pretty well as-is.

Ability Scores:

Now, I'm aware of the issue here; AIs are not physical beings, and thus have no physical stats, and thus only have the mental attributes; Intelligence, Wisdom, and charisma, and their statistics are based on the body or system they're currently inhabiting. this is actually very workable; you just need to cut their stats buy (or rolls) in half and allow them to buy or craft bodies.

For example, in Pathfinder, the standard six-stat loadout is generally used with a 15, 20, or 25 point buy. In this method, you'd be moving forward with 8, 10, or 12, which isn't even enough to get a stat up to 18 without sacrificing something for a dump stat but has decent ability to be spread. Ten would let you get one stat up to 16, while 12 would let you have a 16 and a 12 somewhere, which, if you look at most existent builds outside of heavy duty optimization or SAD classes, is a pair of stats most people are generally going to have, yet nothing stops you in a 12 point buy from dumping one stat (probably charisma; you know you've done it before) for up to an extra four points, in which case you can set one stat to 18, one to 10, and one to 7.

This is about the same level most standard heroes sit at. In the high powered version, you're looking at a standard character generally having a stat array of 16, 16, 12, 12, 10, and 10 if they're a multiple attribute dependent character (such as monks, paladins, fighters, or rogues) or 18, 15, 14, 10, 10, 7 for a single attribute character such as a wizard or sorcerer, which makes this fit the paradigm that's already present. Add in a stat modifier for being a specially built kind of AI (Logical, Observant, Charismatic...) and you fit in with the standard races. Make it a player choice bonus like the human +2 stats so you don't have to write three entries and you're golden.

System Transference:

I'll admit, this one can be a bit of an issue, but it's solved by a system already present in the game; wealth. So you're an AI, and can upload yourself to a variety of things, such as uninhabited robotic bodies, ship systems, and the local security grid. This takes three things however - the system you wish to insert yourself into, an uplink (whether physical or wireless) that lets you interface with the target system, and time.

We'll start with the simplest one; time. Time is a factor in basically everything you can do in the d20 system, whether you like it or not. Action economy is paramount, so I believe making it take 1-5 minutes is reasonable. This means that a player can reasonably, with any level of downtime, interface with just about any system they come across, which is good, as hacking in onsite is a pretty standard science fiction trope, but prevents players from doing it in the heat of combat unless they have a very good team watching their backs. Pretty simple, all told.

A full transference (Moving from one body to another system, such as leaving your robot body to inhabit your party's starship) would likely take hours; 4-8 would be good for downtime stuff, as it means it can be done while the rest of the party is sleeping, and also prevents casual use in a (space-)dungeon. your systems would likely also be vulnerable in this time, so you'd have to make sure your target system isn't fighting you (you could subdue any issues like that through basic interfacing and purging the programs designed to keep your AI character from transferring) and you aren't in any personal danger, as interrupting the transference could corrupt a severe amount of your data - not good for you.

The next bit is the uplink, which can also be handled relatively simply. It's a piece of equipment, as integral to the AI's function as a spellbook is to a wizard, so it can't really be skimped on, but it does mean we can have fun with it. There'd likely be three types of uplinks; Port, Wireless, and Multi. A Port Uplink would require physical connection to the target system in through a port, and would easily be the cheapest. Wireless would be a bit expensive, comparatively, and would be able to interface with any system that has its own wireless uplink, such as most security grids, though unlikely robots. A multi uplink would have both, and would be the most expensive and most worth getting of the three. Higher quality uplinks would guard against corruption from interruptions in transference, have firewalls to prevent attacks from a system you're interfacing with, and contain programs that let you assault other systems more easily. Some might also make it so that interfacing and transference take less time.

The target system would generally be one of four things; a robotic body, a vehicle's computer, a general object with onboard computer, or a security system. The AI character would use the physical statistics of the body they inhabit; hardness, armor, physical attributes, all that good stuff. If there's an existing program - AI or no - inside the target system, then to transfer into it, shut things down, or exert any kind of control, one would have to interface and either subdue, bypass, or destroy them.

The Robot Body - Obtaining

This is probably the hardest part to get right, but I think it's doable, possibly not even that difficult. Just like the Uplink, this is a thing that'd be covered by the wealth your character has, and would be subject to limitations based on that. Typically, an AI character would attain a robotic body one of three ways; Buying it, crafting it, or stealing it.

In buying a robotic body, there'd likely be places you can order an off-the-shelf model from. These'd be cheap, replacable, and low quality due to mass production. you could likely order a custom body, but no doubt that'd cost quite a few more credits than a basic off-the-shelf model, none of which are likely to be that great. Relatively low physical stats on these, and while you could mod them up to increase statistics, it'd be costly.

The second way, crafting it yourself, would of course require proper facilities to allow for the building process such as an assembly device or a lab where you can work in peace. All of these bodies would be custom, but would likely cost less than a mass-produced body would due to the fact that you only need to purchase the parts for it and then assemble them properly. Creating your own mods for a body would also bypass some of the unfortunate cost of such a venture. +6 strength hydraulic limbs aren't cheap, you know.

And the third way to get such a body would be what adventurers everywhere already do - stab something in the face and ransack its corpse. Chances are that in the process of taking down a robotic enemy, you'll have destroyed most of its primary systems, but assuming you didn't turn it into giblets it should be reasonable to replace the destroyed parts and rework any programs remaining inside the robot's own systems to your purposes. Cheaper than any of the other two options, but at the whim of the GM. Though there's theoretically nothing stopping you from making off with an inactive body and transfering to it while it's intact at your leisure.

The Robot Body - Stats and Level

Here comes the biggest hiccups when working with robotic bodies; what about stats? Isn't hit dice supposed to be determined by level?

AIs need a couple of considerations here. First off, while an AI character could easily level up without issue (Optimizing their own programming, for instance) what this would grant them is the abilities of their chosen class, so BAB, saving throw bonuses, special abilities, spellcasting if any, companion characters, all that good stuff. What it would not do is increase HD or HP. I know the separation of HD and BAB is unusual, but there's nothing stopping it from working here.

Your chosen robotic body, no matter how you obtained it, covers three things primarily. First, your physical stats, Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. This actually makes a fair amount of sense, and is the other side of the stats, the reason why you didn't have as much in the way of point buy to begin with; with enough cash, luck, or skill, you can get them as high as you like, assuming you work a little for it.

Second is your HD and HP. This shouldn't really take much explanation, but here I go anyways. Essentially, just how tough your robot is is a fair shake at things like the size, materials used, and general sturdiness of construction. These aren't things that an AI can really contribute to - a robotic body that can take a gravity cannon to the torso and keep coming at you isn't going to change from that when an AI is actually driving it - if anything, the AI will learn how to dodge the blast, but won't be able to directly upgrade just how tanky it is themselves.

Finally, the body determines what it's equipped with. For example, a simple mannequin body bought off the shelf would likely have a pair of standard arms, working eyes, mouth, nose, ears, the works. It would, for most intents and purposes, be a low-grade android body with maybe 2 HD. Meanwhile, a Rhino Class Destroyer comes equipped with four legs under its humanoid torso, a laser cannon in place of a right hand, a large plasma sword in place of the left hand, steel plate construction giving it 15 HD, and a shoulder mounted chaingun, but lacks olfactory and tactile sensors, hands, and is likely to scare the crap out of the local police if you try and bring such a monstrosity into a civilian area. Another option would be an Chrysanthemum Shield Drone, meant to act as a mobile forcefield generator for a team but lacking in strength, constitution, and weapon systems in exchange for a built-in wireless uplink, a hologram emitter, a pair of small hands and, well, a shield generator.

The same AI can run around in any of the three bodies. Say we have three AIs, one a mechanic, one a technomancer, and the other a soldier. The soldier, in the mannequin body, can manipulate weaponry and physical objects the same way a human or android might do so. At level 10, he's really quite skilled with his equipment, capable of wielding most guns well, but the body is fragile, and has a ten in every physical stat, which feels terrible for a big meaty fighter type. He doesn't like it because of this. The shield drone is even worse - low overall HD and HP, and the gimmicks it can do don't play to his strenghts; the weaponry on this thing is minimal, the the shield generator is useful but too defensive for his tastes and he has no idea what he's even supposed to do with the hologram emitter. The Rhino class destroyer though, that's his jam. Let the meatbags open doors and interact with computers - he's too busy firing lasers and chainguns and cutting apart anything that comes too close to his allies. With strong HD and good weaponry, he can make use of all his abilities.

Then we get to the Technomancer. She can store her magical information in her databanks so that it follows her through a transfer. The Rhino has no hands, which is a serious problem for a caster of any sort, and she doesn't have the programming to properly make use of the weaponry, so she can only parrot what she's seen other guns do... and do it poorly, suffering nonproficiency penalties. the mannequin and the shield drone are more her speed, however. The lack in physical abilities isn't as much of an issue due to the fact that she can use her magic to interact with most things. The drone has too many things she doesn't have the proper programming (Feat) to use in it once again, but it at least has hands to let her cast things, and is flying in the air consistently, out of reach of dangerous melee enemies though a sitting duck for those with ranged weaponry.

Finally, we get to the mechanic. Like the technomancer before him, the mechanic AI dislikes the Rhino for its lack of hands, and who needs this many damned weapons? The mannequin is a better fit due to having hands and not so much in the way of armor plating slowing it down, but it's lacking in tools. the shield Drone, however? excellent - that hologram projector can be used to show the biological members of the team the layout of the building he extracted from the local servers, the forcefield projector lets him contribute in a fight where he doesn't have any skill with weaponry, and the very dexterous small hands allow him to manipulate small objects without risk of breaking something or screwing up.

This system would also let the players prioritize; do they splurge on better armor plating to give themselves greater hardness and HD? What kind of weapon attachments are appropriate for your character? All this and more.

Miscellaneous Concerns:

What about rest periods? The d20 system lives and breathes on having 'per day' abilities.
Easy enough, just add in a sleep analogue. I recommend a 4 hour debugging session that they start taking penalties if they don't enact every 24 hours - similar to sleep fatigue. Glitches, runtime errors, and the like account for where the penalties come from.

So bodies cost money? Isn't that prohibitive?
Not really. Using Pathfinder gold for the moment (as I don't know what monetary system Starfinder will use yet) a basic crappy mannequin body would likely cost you around 50 gold - completely mediocre if not bad stats, no armor plating, likely even only has 1 HD. Basically, the same position a standard human is in right from the get-go, but with less customizable stats. Later on the AI makes up for the fact that it didn't get to customize its physical statistics by running around in a custom robot that it did have the opportunity to customize the stats of. Money becomes the balancing factor here; armor costs money, mods cost money, size increase, more HD, better stats, all of it costs money. But if you've ever built a two-weapon fighter in Pathfinder, you'll know that that's not as much of an issue as you might think; parties look out for one another and the communal pool being devoted to a snazzy new body for your AI helps the entire team out as it'll let you do your job better, and the monetary price should be around the same cost as a suit of normal armor before you start getting into mods and weapon systems, which of course will have a standard price compared to their nonrobotic counterparts. If there's an issue with this, I'm not seeing it.

Wouldn't this take quite a bit of development time?
It might, if it was being developed in a vacuum. Instead, we already have AI rules in Pathfinder, and confirmation that AIs are going to be front and center in Starfinder; the Mechanic class gets one as a companion, to say nothing for enemies. A PC AI would just have more sense of self than the majority of them and be capable of making their own decisions, having grown beyond their original programing through self-edits or emergent intelligence situations.

What's stopping an AI from spending everything on an awesome body and crushing the campaign, or stealing an awesome one?
What's stopping the fighter from spending everything on an awesome sword? The GM, primarily. If it's gotten to the point where the robot's body is causing issues for party balance, chances are the GM would have caused such an imbalance by granting the players too much money in the first place; a well trained human with a set of artifact equipment is just as dangerous, if not more, as an AI with the same. As for the theft of a superior body, I have no doubt that a more expensive set up body is going to have anti-tampering features, such as electrocution, lockdown procedures, and self-destruction for whomever is cheeky enough to try hacking the thing. These sorts of countermeasures might be overcome with a few proper skill checks, and if the GM is smart they'll make the players work pretty hard to get the body, which eliminates most of the issue.

What about the Mechanic's robot companion? Couldn't an AI just inhabit that body?
Is there a problem with that? It's a class feature and he'd be actively sacrificing action economy by only having a single body on the field. It's an actively weaker choice than getting his own body and letting the robot companion do its own thing, and in exchange the Mechanic gets more money to spend on things that aren't a body. I'd say that's a decently balanced choice, as anybody who's played high level Pathfinder will tell you that Action Economy is king.

Isn't magic an act of will? How would an AI be able to use magic?
The same way an android might, I think. At some point, the AI has moved beyond its original parameters, and become not just a smart program, but sapient. This is what separates the Player Character AI from standard robots; it's capable of creativity, of learning, and modding itself to be better. At some point, it may have even gained a soul.

How would AIs interact with mind-affecting effects?
Well, I'm willing to bet the old "same as Androids" idea applies here. The trick is that it isn't just a set of programs running routines; it's made of code, but it's a true mind at this point, thus making it vulnerable to illusions, phantasms, patterns, and all that snazzy stuff unless it has specific abilities or items that block those out.

What about other immunities, like poison and disease?
It's true, a robot would be immune to these perrenially underused hazards. It's also be immune to the vacuum of space or hostile atmospheres (which would probably fall under poison, now that I think of it) but their setup also results in a variety of vulnerabilities. ever seen the "Anti-tech field" spell in Pathfinder? How about Heat Metal? Rusting Grasp? And robotics are more vulnerable to electricity than other creatures types as well. They can avoid some general hazards but have to deal with others more than biological characters as well.

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Erastil, cares about families he doesn't care who stays home to watch the kids, he just wants to make sure that somebody is. Erastil isn't a god for adventurers, and an adventuring heroes who worship Erastil are probably angsting about not having a family, or the family they had to leave behind to adventure for.

My boyfriend actually ran a cleric of Erastil character not too long ago and I feel he did it well and gave a solid reason for such a character being an adventurer.

Part of Erastil's portfolio is protection; the whole thing was making sure people were safe, providing healing, giving marriage counselling to people we came across, and that sort of thing. He was basically the quintessential traveling do-gooder with a focus on making certain that everybody was happy and making babies (or taking care of babies, at least). The campaign died, but it was decided between me and him the cleric eventually settled down and raised a family once his adventuring days were done. Devotees of Erastil can work as PCs, you're just looking at a different sort of character.

Malficus wrote:

If a god holds and promotes bigoted and harmful beliefs, but is well meaning and wants to help others, I consider that god to be neutral. If they, with more information or a catalyst to change their opinion down the road, would correct their bigotry, they are neutral until that point. Their effect on the world is not good, and to say they are good is to say that people wanting to be good should emulate them, including that bigotry.

So if say, a god thinks tradition is more important than goodness, and their 'tradition' sacrifices good values to be attained, that is a (probably Lawful) Neutral god. Because they care more about tradition, or some other thing, than the well being of everyone. Even if that other thing is "Small town livin" or "Families" or "the well-being of Dwarvenkind"

I feel we're just talking in circles now. we've said our piece to each other; we agree broadly speaking but are getting into a debate about the details, and that doesn't really help anybody.

Malficus wrote:
Evelyn Jones wrote:
Except that they aren't. Aroden was slain less than 100 years ago, Asmodeus claims to have killed his brother-god in the ancient times, and at least 4 humans have risen to the position of Deity in recorded Golarion history. So the idea that they are "ancient and undying" is wrong by objective evidence.

As best I can tell, the youngest god (Cayden Cailean) is nearly 2000 years old. I'm not sure how you define ancient, but when a guy is that old, I'm willing to give him the title. And gods being killed is such a huge deal that every time it happens the world and other gods freak out.

But ok. I might have worded things wrongly. My intention was: All of the gods have had enough time that they could have reasonably assesed any harmful beliefs of theirs, and either over come them, or be working to. None of them have a looming constant threat of death to worry about instead either.

Any god who is good, would have dealt with, and not be promoting bigoted beliefs. Any god who continued to promote bigotry, is, at minimum, Neutral.

Bigotry, on the level of gods, is such a pervasive, and harmful belief, that to call bigoted gods "good" is an aggressive act, directed at the target of that bigotry.

Well, I'd like to point out, as I pointed out earlier, that without a catalyst to get them to see the error of their ways, eons of being left to your own devices wouldn't free you of your problems; it'd compound them. If you think a certain way, thinking that certain way for centuries will make it much, much harder to stop thinking that way. I've known some incredibly stubborn and curmudgeonly seniors who decided they knew best and never wanted to give that fact up. On top of this, it's human nature to, when you have evidence that you're wrong presented to you, to double down on your presumptions because you can't stand being wrong.

So, no, I think your argument is flawed here.

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We have a different view on this Malficus. What you're doing is treating "Good" and "Evil" as objective forces. with the outer planes, they might be. But the gods are treated as individuals with their own foibles, prejudices, and thoughts. With those thoughts and prejudices come different ways of thinking what the real "good" for the world is. they have expanded viewpoints, but they are very much people, and should be treated as having their own personalities, rather than be homogenized like Dragonlance. I know that a lot of people hated how homogenized Dragonlance deities were; my old GM wouldn't shut up about it when the setting was brought up.

we're speaking from different viewpoints here. you're addressing objective good. DP and I are addressing subjective good. Until we can agree which to discuss, we're not going to make headway.

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I think we've hit a miscommunication, Malficius. I'm not advocating Bigotry as a trait a lot of Good aligned people should have. I'm advocating internal consistency to prevent suspension of disbelief from being shattered, and for some level of strife, even between good characters, to be present because it creates good roleplaying opportunities. If there's no conflict, everything is boring.

Additionally, I'm disliking what feels like a large amount of author tract being dragged into the game.

One other note though; "Indiscriminate" and "Racist" are mutually exclusive. Just... pointing that out.

Malficus wrote:
Is it ok? Is there a Good god who promotes hatred or oppression of certain races for being that race?

Yes. As was discussed earlier, Torag supports the hatred of goblins, orcs, and other classical enemies of dwarfkind. Another individual pointed out that Iomedae is bigoted against tieflings.

Malficus wrote:
-rest of the post-

Well, I agree with the essence of your post, but I think you're missing the crucial bit that I addressed; this is a double-standard, and any feminist can tell you those are bad. I do feel that any Good god worth flying spit will help guide and deal with a 'monstrous' race that turns out to be not so monstrous, but in many cases the general mood is "it's okay to kill them because members of this race are generally evil". Otherwise many more priests would refuse service to adventurers due to their vocation of killing things indiscriminately for loot, glory, and the greater good.

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I think at this point the thread is devolving a bit.

By and large though, we all seem to be on the same page; this isn't a matter of bigotry being bad or not. It's a matter of the double-standard that's been presented to us. Why? Why is hating goblins okay, or dragons, or orcs, or whatever, but even having a gentle dislike over trans people not?

Like I said before, I'm a trans girl, so I'm of the minority this kind of change would (perceivably) be presented in order to appease and keep safe, but I'm arguing that blatant inconsistencies like this make the world less believable, less immersive, and most importantly, less fun. I don't want perfectly safe. I want strife. I want interesting. I want situations I have to think my way out of because not everything is handed to me on a silver plate. That's boring and can be in some cases sycophantic.

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Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Either Torag's asking some kind of zen contradiction-riddle of his followers or he's pretty on board with Dwarves giving no quarter to goblins whether they're ALL tiny, psychotic pyromaniacs who kill for fun and aren't averse to eating babies every now and then or not.

I'm reminded of my last alchemist character, a goblin Winged Marauder Alchemist who operated as the group's scout, artillery, and magic item provider (man I love Master Craftsman as a feat).

Part of a character arc was when she came to terms with the dwarven barbarian in the group; a worshipper of Torag who got into a lot of fights with my characters over perceived problems. We enjoyed that aspect of the characters, their petty jibes and their grudging respect for one another.

If Torag suddenly can't be bigoted, and thus his followers can't be, that eliminates a huge aspect of what can make roleplaying fun. Conflict, even minor conflict such as an argument, is part of what makes the game enjoyable, or we wouldn't have fun being challenged by interesting encounters and puzzles.

Bundil wrote:
Halae wrote:

Asmodeus, on the other hand, is specifically concerned with hierarchies, and you need look no further than the hells to understand how he organizes things. The reason he's misogynistic isn't because he's doing it for no reason, but because he's placing males above females in the pecking order due to an inherent limitation women have in the course of procreation; they have to actually carry, grow, and tend the infant before it's capable of being on its own. Additionally, men are much more likely and biologically suited to developing the relevant muscle mass for hard work, giving them power, and to Asmodeus that means they're higher up in the hierarchy. It's not a matter of him hating women for it's own sake, it's because he's stuck in his worldview from a time before modern equality became a reasonable thing. It's also why he respects powerful women just...

This is actually not bad.

The only flaw is that humans are basically the only species in real life who have to tend to their infants for longer than a week or two. Most animals in the natural world are capable of walking within days of birth, if not hours.

This, of course, is irrelevant if humanoids in Golarion were around before animals, but I somehow doubt that's the case.
But basically, how could Asmodeus have developed that opinion if the creatures who are subject to it were not the first ones to present the problems that spawned the opinion in the first place?

Well, that's opening up a whole other can of worms. they say the gods made people, right? Or the Seal did? Hell, I don't know. But this is a fantasy world, it's not hard to go "Yep. Humanoids have always been here in some form or another"

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Since people seem to like my ideas on Erastil, here's my thoughts on Asmodeus: We see in Book of the Damned volume 1 he's basically one of the first beings, having been born from whatever the Seal was. If anything, this puts him in the same position as Erastil as old and stuck in his ways.

Now, consider this idea for a moment. They share a position, both thinking that women should be the folk that tend to the young while the men are breaking faces to make sure the women can do so. the difference is in the details though; in my interpretation of Erastil, he's been thinking that way for a long long time, and as anybody who knows really old people can tell you the older they get the harder it is for them to change the way they think, due to years (in this case centuries) of reinforced thinking. The difference is in their agendas and the way they view the world.

Erastil is concerned with families. You cannot have a family without some level of comraderie, of love. Love is understanding, accepting, even if it doesn't always understand the core of the other person's philosophy. It's about support and coming together as a group to deal with problems.

Asmodeus, on the other hand, is specifically concerned with hierarchies, and you need look no further than the hells to understand how he organizes things. The reason he's misogynistic isn't because he's doing it for no reason, but because he's placing males above females in the pecking order due to an inherent limitation women have in the course of procreation; they have to actually carry, grow, and tend the infant before it's capable of being on its own. Additionally, men are much more likely and biologically suited to developing the relevant muscle mass for hard work, giving them power, and to Asmodeus that means they're higher up in the hierarchy. It's not a matter of him hating women for it's own sake, it's because he's stuck in his worldview from a time before modern equality became a reasonable thing. It's also why he respects powerful women just the same; the matriarch of House Thrune being a good example, as well as Sarenrae. Yes they're women, but the way he sees it, they are powerful anyways so meh, whatever.

They're two sides of the same coin, but while one is selfish, focused on power bases and the like, the other is focused on support and community.

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Aside from the more personal opinions regarding JJ, I agree with bundil and coyote6; Having Erastil as someone who can be related as the "old guy who doesn't quite get these young folk" is sensible, and I feel that there's a lot of merit here.

Cultures the world over in real life that never had any sort of interaction with one another generated the same gender roles as one another; women stayed at home, tended things and took care of the kids, while the men went out and brought home the (sometimes literal) bacon. I'm a trans girl myself, so I understand the necessity for appearances, particularly with some of the more, uh, toxic members of the LGBT community latching onto anything they might perceive as a hint of betrayal, but Some people, good people, my mother included, just don't get it.

I think Erastil makes a good position for that. I imagine him like a dad who loves his kids but isn't quite sure what to do with them. At some point he'd sit down and go "alright, look. I won't tell you how to live your life, that's on you, but I don't really know how to respond to this. Are you willing to help me on that?"

The point is that it creates an interesting dynamic and leaves a wider spectrum of interesting clerical personalities for those that follow Erastil, as well as perceptive changes for him for a GM who runs with his characterization. Additionally, it's based on inherent roles that biology supports; it's not far-fetched to think that Erastil, being an old dude who is working off a time before more modern concepts of equality came about, is trying to be progressive and having a hard time of it.

Alright, but that's not really helpful. Doesn't change the fact that the gorthek is available by the time you hit Mammoth Rider so the point of what happens before level 7 when Beast Rider is taken is a bit moot, because even RAI it adds the Gorthek to your animal companions available list.

I recently came across a few rules that interact in an interesting way together, all adding into each other. the first time I put a build for this together, it was with a T-rex. The problem with the Rex is that after a bit, it has considerable size limitations due to the fact that you can't get it into the short-list for the Mammoth Rider PrC.

Then, I found the Gorthek. From the Monster Codex page 172, it's one of the very few animal companion choices in the game with the Powerful Charge ability, and the single most powerful one available to an animal companion at that - with a 2d6 damage base attack and 4d6+double strength powerful charge, this animal starts laying on the hurt once it sizes up, especially since to my knowledge no other powerful charge in the game adds strength into the bonus damage. It also has Darkvision and low-light vision and badass natural armor, on top of an excellent statline that appears to have dumped charisma in favor of strength, like any good brute. It's also thematically quite awesome, since I think the only conglomerate animal (it's a bison-lion-rhino-goat)that's available for being a companion and according to the fluff orcs like to raise them from birth to be living battering rams. That's not the reason we're looking at it, though.

No, we're looking at the accompanying text.

Monster Codex Page 172 wrote:
"An orc who takes the Beast Rider feat (Path finder RPG Advanced Race Guide 56) can choose a gorthek as an animal companion or mount."

The RAI is clear; you shouldn't be able to take it as a companion unless you have Beast Rider, but never does anything prevent you from just taking it as a companion normally, orcish blood or no. However, this leads into an interesting interaction with Mammoth Rider. Mammoth Rider pares down the animals you're allowed to choose as companions pretty brutally, cutting out most of the small animals and dinosaurs (save the triceratops) in favor of furry megafauna and, inexplicably, wolves and cats. The gorthek text, however, clearly states that you can take a gorthek as your animal companion if you have Beast Rider, damn what your companion list says. To take the feat and get the gorthek with Mammoth Rider you need to be a half-orc or orc, but that's hardly a real problem.

The build I'm currently looking at is as follows:

The Build:
Class: Half-Orc Hunter 10/Mammoth Rider 10

Stats With 20 Point Buy:
Str: 12
Dex: 14+2
Con: 12
Int: 13
Wis: 14
Cha: 13

Level 1: Evolved Companion (Improved Damage (Gore))
Level 2: Outflank (Hunter Bonus)
Level 3: Combat Expertise, Pack Flanking (Hunter Bonus)
Level 5: Mounted Combat
Level 6: Feint Partner (Hunter Bonus)
Level 7: Beast Rider
Level 9: Combat Reflexes, Improved Feint Partner
Level 11: Intercept Charge
Level 13:
Level 15:
Level 17:
Level 19:

Thing is, this isn't complete. By and large, a lot of our focus is on the animal companion in question; while he gets his own feats and the proliferated teamwork feats from the hunter (that's a hilarious ability, by the way), the pet also gains a variety of tricks from both the normal list of Handle Animal tricks and, particularly notable, from the Skirmisher Ranger archetype. By the end of its career, it should have 16 different tricks (assuming you upgraded its intelligence to 3) and while they're mostly a matter of choice, there's a few I'd like to point out as extremely important and/or hilarious.

- Taking Attack twice will allow you to get your companion to attack 'unnatural' creatures without pushing, and that's important. They make up like 70% of the monsters in the game, so you're next to guaranteed to run into some sooner or later.
- Heel is extremely useful, and completely obviates Come.
- Exclusive is the sort of trick that you'll be very happy you take when your GM decides to mess with you. Charm animal can cause lots of problems if you're not prepared for it.
- Hunt will cover the logistics of feeding this thing.
- Guard is useful when you don't want your companion following you for whatever reason
- Down is great for when you've caused a problem and need your pet to not get you killed.
- Cunning Pantomime is a hilariously useful ability from the Skirmisher Ranger that basically lets you turn your animal companion into the party translater. Seriously.
- Second Chance Strike is another Skirmisher Ranger ability, and one of the very few ways to grant your companion the use of immediate actions. Extremely useful, particularly if it botched an attack roll somehow.

As for feats, Narrow Frame and Lithe Attacker are going to end up decently important, but Improved Natural Attack will let you pump up the damage of the gore attack better and power attack is just all-around good as I'm certain you know. At level 10, your companions new feat is Vital Strike, hands down. You'll see why in a little bit.

The Charger companion Archetype is pretty nice because it lets you armor the gorthek without too much in the way of problems, and due to the ability to move at full speed with a medium or heavy load you can turn it into a workhorse - not that it lacked for the ability to drag stuff before, but when you have a mount it's preferable for it not to get bogged down by your attempts to keep it alive. losing evasion isn't a huge problem as the animal aspects you get from the Hunter can grant Improved Evasion to the companion, on top of the ability to potentially ignore will and fortitude targeting effects Charger gives it.

At level 20, your warbeast should have a statline that looks like this without items, animal aspects, or other buffs applied:
Str: 43
Dex: 7
Con: 23
Int: 3
Wis: 10
Cha: 5

Then, because of the Hunter's ability to cherry pick from both druid and Ranger spells, we have access to both Strong Jaw and Animal Growth. this will crank the gorthek's strength up by another +8 due to the size increase and take the constitution up to 27, but will bring dexterity down to an abysmal 5. More importantly, it makes the pet Gargantuan, which means things start getting weird. Particularly when you add in Strong Jaw.

See, the interaction between Improved Natural Attack and Size Increase is a bit difficult to parse. It says it increases the size of the dice dealt by a natural weapon by one, and then it proceeds to provide a size up list that doesn't follow the same pattern as Strong Jaw and Animal Growth provide. As such, we'll be applying that feat last but before buffs, in an effort to retain some semblance of legitimacy.

At large size, the gore attack of the Gorthek deals 2d6 damage. One size increase (from Evolved Companion (Improved Damage(gore))) takes it up to 2d8. Getting to huge size changes it to 4d6. According to Improved Natural Attack, that 4d6 gets upgraded to 6d6. Animal growth taking it up to Gargantuan means that (at least according to Strong Jaw) we just double it now, taking the damage up to 12d6. Strong Jaw then doubles the damage dice twice, going to 24d6 and then 4d8d6. This part is actually doable by level 10, so that's snazzy. Now, we add in other damage bits; our beastie is sitting on an unmodified 51 strength. Ignoring items for the moment, your Animal Aspect of the Bull takes that up to 55 for a final modifier of +22. As a primary natural attack, the gore adds the full +22 modifier to damage, and the Powerful Charge for some reason adds twice the strength bonus again, resulting in a +66 damage charge. end result is that, on a charge, this companion has an average damage per attack of 236 when charging.

Remember when we took Vital Strike? That actually becomes important here. Vital Strike doubles the damage dice you use for an attack, and 48d6 alone has an average damage of 168, so we just straight up double that to 336 before even adding in strength bonus and similar bonuses (such as the greater Magic Fang you'll be certain to have applied at this point). The cool part is that unless I'm reading things wrong, you can do this kind of Vital Strike as part of an Attack of Opportunity this means a typical turn will look like: Charge -> Proc Improved Feint Partner -> Gorthek uses Improved Vital Strike to slam its face into the enemy again. This should result (assuming it all hits, which it should if you took Second Chance Strike) in a DPR of 582 damage, give-or-take depending on what damage modifiers are present.

I'm not precisely an amazing optimizer, so I'm certain there's things I've overlooked or don't know about that'd add to this. Anybody want to help me see how far we can take this madness?

I'm not going to be playing in an AP actually.

That said, even if I was, Wrath of the Righteous is friendly to Asmodeans because it's the abyss that's leaking in through the Worldwound

So, I've been going over various ways of playing classes that I haven't spent much time with, and one Archetype that really stood out to me due to my love of playing tieflings (it's such a versatile race!) was Fiendish Vessel. Coupled with the Devil Spawn Tiefling type being best suited to a cleric in my opinion and having a lot of synergy with Archdevils and Asmodeus, that's what I've decided to go for. The penalty to charisma also mitigates the problem that is Channel Evil, as it means I won't be tempted to use it nearly as much.

Despite this, and my character being evil (Lawful Evil, but still), I'm having a bit of a hard time figuring out how to roleplay the character in a mostly good party (we have no paladin or other holy type, so that's not a concern), and could use some advice on how to manage that. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Huh. I hadn't even seen pack flanking in the ACG; somehow must have missed it. I'm glad you guys caught it, though, because hot damn is that ever good.

Hmm. Looking at my feat progression, as long as I take 13 intelligence, I can pick up combat expertise right away, in addition to evolved companion (improved damage). Outflank at level 2, pack flanking for the free level 3 teamwork feat, and precise strike to add a bit of early game damage to the mix, I suppose. Would result in me doing weapon damage+1d6, and my companion dealing 3d6+4 damage per hit, which is frankly already pretty impressive for that level.

So, I'm about to start a new game of Pathfinder because my GM picked up the ACG and it inspired him to run a new one. this won't be an adventure path, but something a bit more sandbox-y, meaning that there's no "optimal" build to make use of environment or enemy types, so don't worry about that.

I'm going with a human hunter character, and the one thing that caught my attention rather firmly was that Hunters can take teamwork feats without screwing up the builds of their teammates. They don't even screw up their companion builds if they have one in mind, since the animal companions get the teamwork feats proliferated to them. However, I also understand this might end up not being the optimal route, and I'm here to try and figure that out.

First off, my party makeup consistes of, at the moment, a swashbuckler, an arcanist, a bard, myself, and one player who's as of yet undecided, but is leaning towards a divine caster to help round out the party.

So, my question is; what are the good teamwork feats? What feats are traps? Should I even go with teamwork when I could just burn all of my feats on evolved companion and similar? What sort of stat loadout for my human should I go for, since it's 25 point buy?

Oh, yeah, and I decided to go for a t-rex as my animal companion, because I love the 2d6 bite and grab, and since I can use Strong Jaw and Animal Growth to turn it into an absolute chompy powerhouse at mid levels.

thanks to anybody that decides to help out. I've never really built with an animal companion or teamwork feats before, so it's giving me trouble.

Dire Elf wrote:

I usually have a mental picture of how my characters look and what sort of apparel they wear. I typically find a character illustration to base that on, which I can then show to my GM and fellow players.

But sadly, except for one other player who sometimes does the same, the players in my group never talk about character appearance. I'm lucky if I know what color of hair their PCs have. :(

In fantasy art I like to see fashions that aren't quite so obviously modeled after real-world fashions. Imagine the textures and colors you could get for fabrics, leathers and dyes. Giant toad or brachiosaur leather, owlbear and harpy feathers, giant insect chitin...

There need to be more specialty fabrics in the equipment guide, made from unusual substances, with minor special properties that resemble the abilities of the creatures they came from. And more plants with special properties. Plants especially get short shrift in most fantasy settings.

Also, on the tusk-carving - some of the ancient Central American cultures inset semi-precious stones in their teeth to show wealth. There are other cultures that stain their teeth deliberately as a form of adornment. So carving tusks wouldn't seem all that unusual to me, and probably not any more painful than drilling a tooth so you could put a piece of jade in it.

I need to have a character walk into a noble gathering with a pegasus feather cloak sometime, or maybe a jacket made from the wing membrane of a dragon. I think that'd be both suitably intimidating and stylish, wouldn't you agree?

I'm trying to work out what an Asmodean cleric would wear, specifically a tiefling Fiendish Vessel cleric. I'm looking at, for tiefling traits, large horns, a thick fleshy tail, and hooves. anybody willing to make suggestions there? Maybe personal effects she might carry? It's largely a proto-character at the moment, so things can change pretty easily.

the reason I'm going for standard tiefling traits in the horns, tail, and hooves is she's devil-spawned, and they tend to be inherently lawful, so I went for homgenous "tiefling" traits. What you'd expect.

Well, on the note of tieflings, as I'm a bit bent on that subject, Blood of Fiends specifically calls out that there's "Devil Quarters" in certain cities, places where the tieflings get put because nobody wants them anywhere else. I find it extremely unlikely that there's nobody creative enough among the fiend-blooded peoples to start coming up with simple designs like tail rings or chains hanging off of horns.

As for tusky orcs and half-orcs, I'd like to point out that several primitive cultures would straight up file their teeth away for the impressive sharp-toothed look, and I doubt tusk carving would hurt more than that. I think it'd be less a racial thing so much as a tribal thing. Which, by the way, should mean that tribes should be recognizable by their outfit designs and equipment, which is a whole other opening for design.

As I mentioned in the thread I started about tieflings, Blood of Fiends has some nice footwear based around hooves. 90d8.jpg

Very interesting, really. They look practical, too, though the second one strangely comes from a very not-practical outfit.

MrSin wrote:
Halae wrote:
The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
On the topic of footwear, the pic that Halae's avatar is taken from comes from Blood of Fiends, in the Social traits chapter if I'm not mistaken. She's wearing some kind of boot or high-heeled shoe made for hooves. It doesn't look bad.

When you said that, I had to take another look, because I knew what you were talking about, vaguely, but not quite.

I initially thought they were just high-heeled boots, but the more I look at it the more I see what you mean about them being hooves. This is a great look.

Hmm... Any chance someone knows where I can find the picture elsewhere? I don't have Blood of Fiends on me atm. Good shoes are always a plus, and nice headwear is almost as important... almost.

Here, I found one image through google and the other I just took a screenshot from my pdf copy of BoF. They're both in the same book, and are both good examples of what you can do with footwear based on hooves rather than plantigrade feet. pg

The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
On the topic of footwear, the pic that Halae's avatar is taken from comes from Blood of Fiends, in the Social traits chapter if I'm not mistaken. She's wearing some kind of boot or high-heeled shoe made for hooves. It doesn't look bad.

When you said that, I had to take another look, because I knew what you were talking about, vaguely, but not quite.

I initially thought they were just high-heeled boots, but the more I look at it the more I see what you mean about them being hooves. This is a great look.

Mortag1981 wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
So, tiefling preferences: Humanoid feets or hooves? Or other?

To get my full fashionista on, I need human feet.

As for Tiefling rarity, it really doesn't seem that setting wise they're that uncommon. I mean, they were all over the place in Planescape, they had their own Empire in 4e, and in PF we have several countries where they would be fairly common (as someone else pointed out). In all honesty, in a "typical" PF game, Tieflings and Aasimar are probably way more common than drow, a little less common than half-elves (or Half-Orcs), and on par with Tengu's for rarity (seeing as Aasimar, Tiefling, and Tengu are PFS legal, they can't be THAT rare).

I personally feel the homogenized appearance of tieflings from 4e DnD is a good idea for Devil-spawned tieflings, as they're supposed to be lawful even in their blood. More chaotic appearances (but still natural) work better for demons, like having leaves where hair should be, shading glowing yellow eyes that have red sclera. Subtle plant traits that fit in where there should be entirely animal traits.

Damn, I have to use that appearance sometime.

As far as it goes, I particularly like playing lawful characters, as it fits my personality better. I'm actually planning on playing up a tiefling paladin when my GM starts running Wrath of the Righteous.

shadowmage75 wrote:
In all though, just like the angst-ridden, pure-hearted individual from an evil race trope, the race has been homogenized into mediocrity.

That's exactly why I love the Fiendish Vessel cleric archetype. A tiefling dedicated to asmodeus, Lawful Evil, but has their head together enough to work with a bunch of do-gooders to develop a name for themselves as ahero, despite alignment and object of worship. Mechanically quite powerful, too, as a Devilspawn tiefling has a bonus to constitution and wisdom, and the archetype itself is pretty badass.

Mortag1981 wrote:

I'll be the first to admit, I'm a Tiefling fanboy. I've loved them since 2e Planescape. There is just so much going on for them, and Paizo has done a lot to make the different heritages for Tieflings fun and balanced (via Player Companion: Blood of Fiends). I rarely have need for one as a villian when I DM (but that's due to the flavor of the games I run), but when I'm playing, I almost always prefer a tiefling.

That being said, it all depends on the campaign being run. A tiefling in a very human centric, superstitious world is going to have a HELL of a time (pardon the bad pun) fitting in or being taken as anything other than a threat by most villages. On the other hand, if you're doing a very cosmopolitan game, or a planar game, they fit in just as easily as anything else, perhaps moreso.

I definitely have to agree there. I actually like running into those sorts of challenges when I play a tiefling character - there's been a couple times when I've played up the fact that society doesn't like my character, and the GM ran with it to great effect. The time I remember clearest was when I wasn't allowed into a city because of my nature, and the party spend a good fifteen minutes figuring out how to get me past the guards before the bard just up and bribed them. It wasn't even some epic thing, it's the little stuff that adds a lot of flavor.

I'm rather curious what the views of people are regarding tieflings or half-fiends both as player characters and as NPCs are. I myself tend to play tieflings a lot because due to personal issues I can connect pretty well to "Not quite human" type characters. What sorts of views do you have? Are they a good thing to include in a campaign? A bad thing?