Darius Finch

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Organized Play Member. 63 posts. No reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 4 Organized Play characters.


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Luke Styer wrote:
So if you’re mounted, can you use the Shifting rune to turn a one handed weapon into a lance, and then use it to turn the lance into a different two handed weapon?

You're limited to shifting the melee weapon to one with "a similar form" according to the rulebook. So dagger to greatsword may work but no dagger to axe or Lance.


You can save these questions for a later date.

1) In Pathfinder 2nd edition, would a wizard with a divine multiclass dedication be able to use Arcane Bond, Bond Conservation, or Spell Substitution with their Divine spells?

2) If one's deity is Neutral Good, for example, would a Cleric be able to use Divine Lance for Lawful damage or does the neutrality of the deity mean no law or chaos damage? I would think the latter but many online have the opposite view it seems


Is it possible based on the Pathfinder 2nd edition rules to swap out cantrips using the spell substitution thesis?


My U.S. Amazon order is estimated to arrive August 2nd.


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"I went to pathfinder for its more complex rules system. IMO the more rulings you have the more diverse and thematic the gameplay can be. So with this known should I really get second edition?"

Based on what you prize, I'd unhesitatingly answer: yes.

From what I've read, PF2 is no less complex than 1st edition in my opinion, the potential of character customizability has been increased, combat is more tactical in practice than in PF1, and yet the speed of combat is now much more consistent at all levels.

For some great analyses of the game, I'd read a series of recent posts on Reddit by Ediwir, which can be seen for now at https://www.reddit.com/user/Ediwir/posts/. He does a great job briefly looking at the components of the game.


There now exists a Pathfinder 2nd edition playtest version of Kingmaker being used by podcast Dice Will Roll, and of course the future official 2nd edition conversion of the adventure path by Paizo being crowdfunded right now


There's a tiny bit of response on this topic on Reddit
https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/azt9rn/anyone_who_went_to_ga rycon_have_any_info/


Why wasn't PF 1st edition's "Healer’s Hands" (Conduit feat) used in the Pathfinder Playtest to justify in lore the boost to the Heal skill in the prototype rules? It seems to accomplish the same outcome and is already part of the lore.


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Offhand I think martials and casters should, so-to-speak, be apples and oranges of equivalent sizes. Martials should be superior in combat, but casters should be able to break the rules of reality within combat (weakly) and outside of combat (strongly). Their breaking of reality should ideally not be imitations of existing skills, but even so should be story building and problem solving in nature.


I like your first idea. However there should be a limit to how many Lore skills can stack with a primary knowledge such as Religion (probably one).

Lore skills in general need a re-working. Your idea would be helpful, but perhaps a deeper re-working would be better.


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The problem with the original poster's proposal of more frequent smaller boosts is that players will naturally focus those frequent two boosts on the same two abilities, which is too much and will undermine the current diversification. I don't think the proposal is a helpful or necessary change.


I love the switch from Charisma to Wisdom, which makes so much more sense and distinguishes halflings a little from other ancestries. But the ancestry feats do not excite me, despite getting love from some theory crafters. They lack flavor (in the sense of character) in my view. They don't highlight the personality of the ancestry. That's my gripe


I played a Strength monk at level 1 and it was fine. It was middling in how much damage it took and upper middle in how much it dealt. I was content. Moving around is helpful. I admittedly didn't have good Wisdom or great Constitution. My highest were Strength and Dexterity. It was fine

That said, the idea of Kai Dodge sounds great


The halfling sling staff could be used as a club in PF1. It would be great to see that continue in PF2


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I have all conditions on two pages of the below Google Doc

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XGtc1D8a-QuhpLZvVXSkKhEeEFzJm1SooiQEYR0 mxQQ/edit?usp=drivesdk


Ah... yes. I somehow missed that. Thank you.


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Makeitstop wrote:
Everyone gets two heritage feats at level 1. One of these feats must come from your ancestry, but one can come from any other ancestry with GM approval. If you pick a heritage feat from another ancestry, you get the corresponding trait and are a half-race.

This is an elegant, simple, and almost perfect solution. I like it.


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I agree that orcs should be a core race. I also think half-orcs should be listed as an orc heritage option, and not as a human option. Likewise, half-elves should be an elf heritage option.


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I can see the justification for a Charisma boost for player goblins, but I really think Intelligence fits so much better and is less injurious to the lore.

The ancestry section on goblins should also mention their traditional fear of writing, dogs, and horses, but add that some goblins have been breaking from that norm.

Also, I love that halflings have a Wisdom boost now. It fits the lore so well that it makes you wonder why it took so long to change


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NOTE: I posted an abridged version of this on Paizo's Facebook feed and an even shorter version elsewhere on Facebook and the Pathfinder2e group on Reddit, but this is my first time posting my entire review of our partial first play.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
My group and I started the first module of "Doomsday Dawn" a week ago. We maybe completed two-thirds of it before calling it a night (we spent much time role-playing).

Our group consisted of:

  • A strong goblin barbarian of the dragon totem (AC 18)

  • A wolf-stance gnome monk who loved animals (AC 15)

  • A well-armored dwarf cleric of Torag (AC 19?)

  • An unarmored sleazy gnome rogue (AC 15?)

  • A lightly armored Irissen halfling ranger (AC 14?) with a polar bear cub (AC 12) and a longbow

I had been very nervous about it beforehand. Despite wanting to keep an open mind, the public online disputes for and against the system had been wearing on me. And my group included a variety of experience levels. I didn't want the newer players to have a bad time.

And... we had a great time. A few key points:

  • The flow of gameplay was much improved over PF1

  • To me, playing it "felt" like I was playing Pathfinder, even with the rule changes

  • One's choices of tactics in combat seemed more meaningful

  • The game seemed more intuitive to play than PF1, especially for those with little or no PF1 experience

  • Most of us used and preferred the play test's dice rolling rules for ability generation, which worked fine. Two of us instead preferred the new standard play test rules for generating abilities.

  • Goblins may seem an odd addition to core ancestries, and yet we enjoyed our goblin player character, who didn't seem out of place while still standing out in a good way. The party was scared of her. Of course, the way she played the goblin may have been key to our enjoyment. She was cannibalistic and aggressive, yet not actually disruptive. She was a loyal party member.

  • I still think Orcs make much more sense than Goblins as a new core race, but if both were added that would be somehow more fitting than just adding Goblins.

  • An ancestral Charisma boost can arguably make sense for player Goblins, but I think Intelligence would be a better and less controversial choice.

  • Halflings seemed to have anemic ancestry feats. Where is one based on appreciation for food? Or demonstrating strength of will? Or at least resistance to corruption? Recall their copyrighted literary inspiration for their existence. Or forge a unique path of your own like you did with Goblins. Paizo's treatment of Halflings shows glimmers of uniqueness that never really blossoms. Look to Wayne Reynold's obsessive artwork for halfling versatile equipment to draw some ideas. Make them a grounded yet still impressive contrast to Gnomes and Goblins

  • The playtest adventure seemed more cookie cutter and bare bones than normal for a Pathfinder campaign. The GM wasn't impressed

  • Half of our group refused to use the Doomsday Dawn character backgrounds, preferring the general ones in the playtest core book. Perhaps modules should have the option of choosing a free background to gain in addition to the regular ones? Or maybe it is not really an issue, as players are free to refuse to use module backgrounds I suppose. It did seem, for some players, that backgrounds were chosen for their bonuses rather than their flavor or fluff. For others, the fluff and flavor mattered more or equally.

  • There should be a way to gain a Signature skill outside of class choice, perhaps with a general feat.

  • Resonance didn't really come up in our play as none of us tried to use anything that required it. I like Resonance in theory except for its application to potions, which is hard to swallow (pun intended). It also bugs me that wands still have uses per day yet spend Resonance. It seems to contradict the stated intention for introducing Resonance.

  • We strongly liked the three-action economy, and the cleric loved the new shield mechanics, though it took us a while to figure out the mechanics of shields as damage reduction. We used shields incorrectly for most of our session, so the cleric may have enjoyed shields under a false understanding of the mechanics. I'm not sure how he felt after we deciphered the rules correctly, but he stopped letting his shield take damage for him, stating he would save that risk of breaking it for when he needed it more

  • We're unsure how we would have fared if we didn't have a cleric with us as we weren't equipped with alternate healing sources until the rogue found a potion. Most of us would probably have been barely alive, and we still haven't faced the hobgoblin who we presume is the final boss. Without a cleric, I suspect a TPK would be likely in our future, but still may be as the cleric is out of healing now

  • I'm amazed that our ranger, clad only in leather armor, and our rogue, with no armor at all, fared okay in the new system. I expected them to be swiftly knocked out due to the new critical hit rules. The ranger kept at a long range with a longbow, which had a penalty he didn't expect in the close quarters of the adventure, but the rogue fought frontline and did fine. He may have gotten lucky. Our goblin barbarian did drop down to 2 HP before being partly healed by the cleric, and our unarmored gnome rogue went down to 1 or 2 HP also before being partly healed. The polar bear cub likewise nearly was knocked out.

  • Ranged combat doesn't seem to synergize at all for the ranger with his animal companion, but it did boost his damage at least and - to my surprise - the polar bear cub never went down

  • The barbarian, cleric, and rogue seemed to perform best in damage, but the cleric used up all of his spells by the point we ended our session (two-thirds through “The Lost Star”, as noted before). The rogue, barbarian and polar bear cub came nearest to being knocked out, the monk lost half his hit points, and I’m unsure how the cleric fared. The ranger’s health was fine, sticking to ranged attacks, but his polar bear cub did most of the damage he accomplished due to poor rolls by the ranger.

  • I'm unsure how well lock-picking works. The goblin got tired of the gnome rogue's attempts to pick a secret door's lock and used her crowbar twice to open it.

  • Overall the new rules seemed to be an improvement on PF1, but they do need fleshing out, fixes, and refinements. The game seems unpolished and lacking in core elements. Some mechanics, in theory, look broken but I don't recall if they came up in play... I vaguely recall a couple of moments when the rules stumped us or didn't make sense, but we side-stepped the rules at those times... and I can't recall that well which rules made us respond that way. Sorry... I think one time involved how to set initiative and another time involved shield mechanics.

  • I'm no longer feeling stressed about the playtest or PF2


Our Lost Star group consisted of:

  • A strong goblin barbarian of the dragon totem

  • A wolf-stance gnome monk who loved animals

  • A well-armored dwarf cleric of Torag

  • An unarmored sleazy gnome rogue

  • A lightly armored Irissen halfling ranger with a polar bear cub and a longbow


I see belatedly a feat that implies you start trained in unarmed attacks, but it would be helpful if it explicitly said you started trained at level 1.

Magic Strikes 3rd
Your proficiency rank for unarmed attacks increases to expert. Your unarmed attacks become magical, allowing them to bypass resistances accordingly. You still need an item such as handwraps of mighty fists to gain a bonus to attack rolls or increase your attacks’ weapon damage dice.


This may sound like a dumb question, but nowhere in the playtest rules could I find it saying what proficiency tier monks had in unarmed combat at 1st level. Trained? Expert? No clue. Can anyone help?


Excellent suggestion!


I agree with all of the suggestions of the original poster who started this thread. Lore needs some tweaking for it to work and not be a trap.


Here is a link to my GM screen cheat sheet set under construction by me for the Pathfinder Playtest.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XGtc1D8a-QuhpLZvVXSkKhEeEFzJm1SooiQEYR0 mxQQ/edit?usp=sharing


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Below is a link to a GM screen/cheat sheet set under construction by me for the Pathfinder Playtest. Others may find it useful.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XGtc1D8a-QuhpLZvVXSkKhEeEFzJm1SooiQEYR0 mxQQ/edit?usp=sharing


No


Thanks for the positive thread.

I like the new action system, the new ancestry system, the new (incomplete iproof of concept) multiclassing, the new dying rules, and the overall modularity. There's more I like in fact (though not all) but I won't have firmer opinions until I actually get to play.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
bookrat wrote:
A goblin can love fire, and simply hainghe extra fire damage at level 5. A dwarf can have an ancestral hatred and simply not get the +1 until later....
This really, really does not work with weapon proficiency. You can't roleplay using a falchion when you're not proficient in falchions.

Actually you can. Here's an example: I grew up with a mother who played acoustic guitar. I was quite familiar with it and fond of it. But I didn't actually learn how to play guitar myself until later. My familiarity and fondness for guitar -- part of my upbringing -- didn't actualize in my ability to wield a guitar musically until years later when I spent time practicing to do so.

A character can begin at first level with a falchion they practice with in their spare time. Or they can express their love of the falchion, and speak fondly of great performers or warriors who demonstrated great skill with it. They can praise it to others as a superior weapon or lament that they neglected practicing it when younger. Or narrate tales of family derring do with a falchion. Or many other options.

And eventually and unsurprisingly they can later master what they admire.


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Murph. wrote:
I do like the overall system of gaining Ancestry feats over time, and think it makes total sense. As folks have said, there's a difference between "I grew up around this and am familiar with it," and "I have intentionally practiced this and am currently skilled in it." An IRL example, my mother and grandmother were musicians...

I entirely echo this. My grandparents were born and raised in Mexico, and my father was born and raised in Germany. I can assure you that despite my ancestry I still -- in my 40s -- acquire new expressions of it. Real life ancestry isn't a cloning factory. Your upbringing provides familiarity, but not actual expertise, which despite the ancestral "Weapon Familiarity" feats are not the same thing. I could give many real life examples of this, though my family my not appreciate a public airing of such anecdotes.

I could also echo the natural talents and gifts, inherited from my parents, that nonetheless are just raw and -- honestly -- wasted unless developed. I still acquire and lose in that area.

This one contested area of PF2 is actually one of the more realistic changes.


I do agree on languages, and yet they're also - mechanically - a hard sell when a spellcaster can solve all language issues with a spell. Despite that, my first and only wizard character had a large number of skill due to investment in Linguistics due to non-language perks it offered.


Off the top of my head, my top 5 archetypes would be:

1. LORE WARDEN (fighter): Perhaps my favorite fighter ever. I've never wanted to play a dumb character, though I've done so occasionally. It just isn't my preference, and it is nice to put that intelligence to work as a fighter.

2. CHOSEN ONE (paladin): An ordinary person chosen by a higher power for a higher calling is so archetypical in myth and fantasy, as is having a personal mentor or divine emissary to guide the common person to become a true hero. This should be an option for all classes with divine spells. This archetype is also great to provide training wheels for a new player or someone trying a more complex class for the first time. My wife, who is new to roleplaying games, loves playing a paladin with this archetype

As a sidenote, being able to have a familiar as a non-wizard or sorcerer can be quite fun, even without much of the spell-casting usages for a familiar

3. URBAN druid/ranger/barbarian: Allows the use of a wilderness type in an urban campaign without completely losing the wildness of the class. So much fun

4. ARCHAEOLOGIST (bard): So useful and fun. Indiana Jones as a bard. On a related sidenote, I think it's handy for all teamwork-focused classes to have an archetype option that allows them to be more self-centered without gutting the nature of their class, and all self-centered classes should likewise have a particularly teamwork-oriented variant. (Speaking for myself, I generally prefer teamwork-oriented archetypes, but others like the reverse)

5. FEYSPEAKER (druid): A trickster druid can be great fun, and the fey-druid connection makes sense, but this could have been done much better. I've had to double archetype my character to make it work adequately in play as it is lacking otherwise, but having combined it with the "Elemental Ally" archetype for better defense it is great fun. It would be nice if all nature-themed classes, and possibly the roguish ones, could have a fey trickster variant

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Master Chymist (alchemist): Dual personalities for the win. It has so much role-play potential and is also effective in play. This is a prestige class, but it should be an archetype

Gray Paladin (paladin): I love paladins, personally, but this is the only archetype that gets some of my friends interested in playing one themselves.


As I just began a Kingmaker campaign a few months ago, I'm hoping we'll be able to convert it over to the playtest version without great trouble. Will the playtest include a basic bestiary?


Reading through the revised rules, I think I have a good feel for them. Sometime this winter I hopefully will begin two separate groups of players in the game. I am curious which of the published adventures would be the best introduction? One group is younger -- tween to teen -- and the other is mid-20s and older.

VagrantWhisper wrote:
The adventure design may be a bit ... intimidating ... for those who are more used to a structured scene by scene design, such as those from Paizo's APs and modules, but I quite enjoy it.

My primary experience leading a tabletop RPG in the past involved a fan-made campaign someone had shared online for Decipher's Lord of the Rings game. That one lasted a few years and was great fun. It began more scripted but became less so later on as the players kept diverging from expected behavior. So I had to improvise more in the end.

I also led a disastrous homebrew Pathfinder game that died in four weeks. I aimed for a sandbox game but the players, who I no longer game with, needed more than that.

Beyond that, I've led a few groups in playtests of a homemade superhero RPG. Those were entirely improv on my part. Mixed results with some great game sessions and others less so.


Jezred wrote:
I got my copy a week ago. After the initial read, I am in love with this game...

I hope people won't mind if I resurrect this thread as a search revealed only two threads on this topic, and I'm eager to chat about it, having just bought into the system this week.

The releases have been behind schedule, but the Wilderlands adventures book, the Mirkwood sourcebook, and the "Darkening of Mirkwood" campaign book are out. So are individual dice sets. The Rivendell sourcebook, which includes far more than the Rivendell area, is out on PDF and will be out in printed form in a matter of weeks. At least one of the books was delayed by a printing problem this year. "Ruins of the North" will be out in early 2015 I think. Unsure when "The Adventurer's Companion" will be out.

My copy of the revised core rules arrived today and I am pleased so far by it. Lovely art, good quality hardcover book, and good mechanics. The layout has been reorganized for easier reading I am told, but remain compatible with the previously published books. I'm excited to digest and eventually play the game. :)


I finally gave "The One Ring" a good look early this week, and the reviews and videos impressed me enough that I purchased the revised core rulebook and several source books. The revised rules arrived today. I loved the artwork and the rules are good -- very Tolkienesque. The size almost daunted me, but skimming it reassured me a bit. I also had to remind myself that the core book includes an adventure -- not just rules.

As for adventures, I have "The Darkening of Mirkwood" campaign coming, which I have read good things about, and the Wilderlands adventure book and Mirkwood and Rivendell source books en route too (the Rivendell book will be out in November, though the PDF is already released). I will probably rely on the professional adventures and campaigns to begin with before making my own. I do have many resources from the Decipher "Lord of the Rings" tabletop RPG as well as the free "Hall of Fire" fanzine that lasted for several years (86 PDF magazine-like issues of Middle Earth lore, NPCs, items, and adventures). The fanzine includes info on earlier ages of Middle Earth by the way.

I should add that, though I played and liked the Decipher LOTR game, the mechanics of "The One Ring" seem superior by far.

Anyone have advice on Lore-Master aids for boning up or reminding one's self on core mechanics? I didn't order the Lake-Town and LM screen yet and am undecided on whether I'll do so. I hoped a similar free resource to duplicate the screen's reminders would be around.


Why doesn't it provide a discount for buying it as a bundle instead of a la carte?


Mergy wrote:
You also didn't need a trait giving you perform as a class skill to take ranks in it for dervish dance.

Excellent point that I overlooked. I will have to beg my GM for a retcon on that, even though we're far enough into the game he may say no.


I have a level 3 kitsune ranger (Beast Master-Infiltrator-Trapper hybrid archetype) who is a dervish dancing scimitar fighter (yes, he has the Perform skill via a trait) with archery combat style.

1. I know it wouldn't be optimal, but is it at all possible to have a fox as an animal companion?

2. If not, what would be a decent companion(s) with good thematic appropriateness?

My general approach to roleplaying is to pursue a concept that has great style (call it the "coolness" factor) along with enough mechanics behind it that it is at least functional and decently effective.

+ + +

CHARACTER IN-GAME BACKGROUND IF IT HELPS: The character is from the GM's Diablo-inspired homebrew area that is a blend of Persian and Japanese culture. He was kidnapped by slavers and sent off overseas to a rich merchant who lives in an ashen wasteland recently devastated by magic. The merchant now wants the ranger to help the merchant on the long journey back to the kitsune's home city. Technically my character remains a slave and is unhappy with that, but he does have belongings, much autonomy, and his pet fox. Since nothing else is there, he doesn't feel he has much choice but to help. The adventure has been solo thus far, but three other players -- not NPCs -- will join next session: a druid with lions, a cleric, and unknown other character that I suspect will known arcane spells. At this point my character's class and archetypes are long set and not changeable, not that I want to change it.


Nos wrote:
Honestly you people :) A tank should be a heavily armored fighter. Always, i think its a rule... All this stuff about alternates, variations. why is it that vanilla fighters only seem to be NPC's. sigh.

For me, I shy away from straight fighters because I like to have access to more skills than a fighter offers. A high intelligence could offset that, but then why be a fighter? Being human also helps with skill points of course (+1 per level at least). So would a favored class bonus. But for a fighter I'd rather use the F.C. leveling bonus for hit points.

I will probably try out the armored rogue idea in a week and a half and see how it runs in actual play. I will keep the suggested Antagonize feat after all, I think, and pass on Greater Feint. I may also change a few skills. My two traits will both boost my Bluff ability. But other than that the build will be as outlined above.


Anburaid wrote:
I like Fortified Armor Training, especially if you have craft ranks or access to mending.

You could get the mending cantrip via a simple trait too I believe, so you wouldn't need to be a spellcaster (or crafter) to fix up your armor (or weapon) even if it is sundered. Very handy.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
9: Skirmisher, Combat Trick (Vital Strike) and Antagonize

I think I would replace Vital Strike with Greater Feint instead, which would allow for both attacks that round to be sneak attacks after a successful feint. That sounds like it would be more useful.

Despite the -1 to Perception, Sense Motive and Will saves, I think I would raise Dexterity to 12 and drop Wisdom to 8. The additional +1 armor (and +1 Reflex saves) is small but even so seems relevant for a tank build.

I would probably also delay Power Attack until level 3 and get Improved Feint at level 1. Power Attack is nice but not essential at level 1. Improved Feint would still have some value at such a low level and it would be nice to have at level 2 alongside the first rogue level.

All in all, a clever unorthodox tank build, InVinoVeritas.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
In this thread I describe a Rogue tank that wears heavy armor, carries a shield, and eventually sneak attacks all the time regardless. He has full capability as the party face, as a bonus.

I had never thought of a rogue tank before. Yet, even with the greater AC, wouldn't the lower hitpoints be problematic?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
(clerics can take heavy armor prof. without interfering with spells right?)

Correct.


Cheapy wrote:

A wizard focusing on battlefield control

"Tanks" as is generally understood help stop melee enemies. And only melee enemies.

A wizard focusing on battlefield control stops melees, ranged support, and casters.

Plus they can get Teleport, scrying, etc.

How would a wizard focus on battlefield control? And, by the way, I generally greatly enjoy your posts in the forums, Cheapy. They're very helpful.

By the way, part of what sparked this line of thought for me was that spellcasters are disproportionately represented in parties during local Pathfinder Society play. Tanks and skill monkeys -- in contrast -- are quite rare. Sometimes I participate in groups with no tank at all or anyone able to assume an equivalent role, and I have never participated locally in a Pathfinder Society group with more than one rogue/skill-monkey. (Keep in mind that the parties are assembled more or less randomly.)


Thanks to everyone who helped me create a character last week for a home campaign. This question is unrelated to that character, which I am happy with so far. But, in less than two weeks, the local Pathfinder Society group will start the new season of play and everyone will make new characters to use for a few weeks (or more if desired). That sparked this new question.

I am interested in trying to play a tank who also has versatility outside of tanking. To clarify, I don't mean a tank who can also damage. I mean a tank who has combat or non-combat utility beyond tanking, whether this is via skills, spells or combat maneuvers.

Is this possible? What would be good examples of a flexible skill tank, spell tank or tactical tank? Don't feel obligated to end this discussion after I make my character in a week or so. This is an interesting thought experiment to ponder, I think, even after that.


James Martin wrote:
The problem is that the OP is looking for stories in which the past was better and more pure than the present.

I would echo an earlier recommendation of "The Lord of the Rings" series. It is probably the pinnacle of movies that positively feature a classically conservative mindset.

Other suggestions: "Anne of Green Gables," "Anne of Avonlea," "A Man for All Seasons," "A Distant Thunder," "The Trouble With Angels," and many Frank Capra movies (IE "It's a Wonderful Life").

Out of all these suggestions, if you want a movie to partner with lighthearted "Pleasantville" I would pick the drama "A Man for All Seasons." Despite differing genres, the films are superficially similar in pitting the protagonist(s) against society, and yet are ideologically opposite.


A few hours ago before I came back to this site and saw the most recent posts, I finally settled on a quirky idea that tickled my imagination. I'm going to try an arcane duelist bard from the desert area of the GM's homebrew world who once mined metals before joining a nearby militia and working for them as a smith. (The GM already told the party that we will all know each other at the campaign's start because we belong to the same militia.)

Through official Paizo traits and racial feature swaps, my bard will at first level be able to use a net, prehensile scorpion whip (also augmented with "Animate Rope" spell), two-handed pickaxe, cestus and shortbow plus full casting in light armor. Treeant's bard guide inspired some of those weapon choices. The weapons will give him interesting tactical flexibility at low level although he's probably suboptimal overall and the light armor limit from levels 1-9 will be challenging. By avoiding Dervish Dancer, which I had originally thought I would choose, I'll be able to keep my bardic performance buffs available to the rest of the party, and the Arcane Duelist perks will offer some utility versus enemy spellcasters and also add a little bit of buffing options.

EWHM wrote:
Here's another option... How about a mystic theurge? The tremendous flexibility and low raw power is an interesting challenge as a player.

That's an intriguing idea, and I probably would have seriously considered it if I hadn't already had my brainstorm. It sounds too close to a full spellcaster for comfort though. However it wouldn't hurt me to branch out of my comfort zone.

I think I may try a college-educated fighter someday. It offsets one of the things I dislike most about pure fighters.

Thalin wrote:
Now that there's a cleric that gets inspire competence, I think that'll be a better fit for the party than an actual cleric. Take Glory as your 1 domain. Be a buff-o-matic with a sword. It's like a better bard :).

It would be. A cleric is a better anything usually. :) The archetype you're referring to is the Evangelist, and it sounds fun.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. It really helped me to decide, and it gave me a lot to ponder. I probably would have ended up with a monk, ranger or Dervish Dancer bard without your intervention. The pieces for this odd character have finally come together in my head and I'm excited to see how it'll play out.


rabbyt wrote:
So I was wondering, have any of you had some success with custom equipment tricks? If so, I would love you forever if you could share some of your ideas (as I've kind of hit a wall myself).

I am interested in the same thing especially as "rope" is an option for the tricks and a whip would seem usable for the same tricks. But even aside from whips, the sample tricks for the shield and scabbard sound fun.

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