Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Wouldn't this take quite a bit of development time?
What's stopping an AI from spending everything on an awesome body and crushing the campaign, or stealing an awesome one?
What about the Mechanic's robot companion? Couldn't an AI just inhabit that body?
Isn't magic an act of will? How would an AI be able to use magic?
How would AIs interact with mind-affecting effects?
What about other immunities, like poison and disease?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
-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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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:
Class: Half-Orc Hunter 10/Mammoth Rider 10
Stats With 20 Point Buy:
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.
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:
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?
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 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.
Very interesting, really. They look practical, too, though the second one strangely comes from a very not-practical outfit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?