Julix's page

Organized Play Member. 195 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.

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If I didn't have to pay so much shipping (to Canada), I'd totally buy that last one... with or without 10 % discount :D

Happy Shopping!

First off: Sorry this is so long, but it's important to me, and I'm unsure how to solve this crisis on my own.

Imagine the following: it takes you forever to come up with a longterm plan for your character, while the game (Jade Regent) is already going on (halfway through final dungeon, brink of level 4). You're starting to get comfortable with a plan, then the rules change and sources become limited to these: Core, APG, and with GM's OK ACG, ARG, UC, UM, UC, UE, and Unchained, Jade Regent Players Guide, and finally Player Companion: Varisia Birthplace of Legends.

While that's by no means a stingy list, some core pieces of the build fall out.

Here is the build as planned:



Oracle (Psychic Searcher) + Paladin (Oath of Vengance)

Stat: Str 13, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 7, Cha 19 (increases to Cha, Str, Wis)

Traits: Rescued(koya), Fate's Favored; [via drawback: Helpful,(Two World Magic: Prestidigitation)]
Drawback: Fey Taken, (Naive)

1 Ora1: Mystery(life), curse(lame), revelation(Life Link), 1st Spells
Feat: Fey Foundling
2 Pal1: Detect/Smite Evil, Good Aura
3 Pal2: Grace (cha to saves), Lay on Hands
Feat: Extra Revelation(Channel)
4 Ora2: Inspiration (Ex)
5 Cav1: Challenge 1/day, mount, order(Dragon), In or Out of the Saddle (Ex)
Feat: Boon Companion
6 Pal 3: Aura of courage, divine health, mercy (fatigued)
7 Pal 4: smite evil 2/day, 1st Spell, Vengance
Feat: Ride-By Attack
8 Pal 5: mount
9 Ora 3: Psychic Talent (Su)
Feat: Spirited Charge
10 Or 4: 2nd Spells
11 Pal 6: mercy (diseased)
Feat: Flagbearer
12 Pal 7: smite 3/day
13 Pal 8: Aura of Resolve
Feat: Combat Reflexes
14 Pal 9: mercy (Poisoned)
15 Pal 10: Smite 4/day
Feat: Bodyguard

The following won't be available.

4x Traits & Drawbacks: Helpful (makes Bodyguard chain useless), and (important for rp reasons) Two World Magic: Prestidigitation, Fey Taken, Naive

3 x Feats: Fey Foundling (+2 hp / dice of healing received!), Boon Companion (+4 levels to animal companion), Flagbearer (+1 to hit and dmg)

2x Equipment: Meditation Crystals (recharge lay on hands using channels, time and little money); Armored kilt (with breast plate, good stand in until mithral fullplate becomes affordable).

Self-Healing is the of this build, so losing Fey Foundling is really hard. At lvl 15 Lay on Hands goes from 20-45 hp (includes halfling alt racial) to 10-35 hp, which is quite a drop, no? Further, not having meditation crystals severely reduces Lay on Hands/day.

Boon companion gives the animal companion a chance in hell to survive in hell... - My riding dog bit the dust during level 3 and had been getting a lot of attention from pond monsters to undead through out his short life time. So I figure the animal companion will need to be tough...

With armor my 15 base speed becomes 10, and with a loadstone that I've acquired it's temporarily at 5 ft. I really need a mount badly, that will live, not sure what will do.

How to go on?

With boon companion out, maybe I should consider taking the weapon bond instead of mount, dropping the cavalier level, and hoping for Leadership at level 7 for something intelligent that will let me ride it. I could replace the Outrider alt racial with Fleet of Foot for 15 ft base speed in armor. Intelligent beings need diplomacy not handle animal, right?

With Fey Foundling out, should I try and find other sources of boost for HP recovery, or de-emphasize the blood bank thing?

Help would be much appreciated!

Hey there,

According to the weapon table all weapon prices include appropriate sheeth or holster, so that goes for polarm too. You can just sheeth it somehow. Strange and ugly, but mechanically sound.

I dislike the mental image of it, but given that this is fantasy I feel there must be prettier options.

However most extra-dimensional space bursts when poked. So I can't just buy one of those bags...

The efficient quiver seemed perfect and rules-lawyering you could argue that yes a lance is like a spear or bow in that they're both two handed and there is no bigger category of weapons in pathfinder than two handed. Reach doesn't change it (as there's whips that have reach, too). Still the examples in the item's description were staff, bow, spear - not longspear. I wouldn't include a great-axe in same general shape in my own understanding. Lucerne hammer? hmpf...

So what I need is an item that allows me to place polarms there, even if they have reach. Don't care about great axes, though if it also works I wouldn't be opposed (maybe store some other stuff there...) - so what do you have for me?

here I was referred to asking that kind of question in a forum, so here I am.

How does anything gain the advanced template? (innate or acquired)

Are there ways for PCs to do it (for their mount or animal companion or bought animal) ?

Is it balanced for an animal that's just equipment (to avoid it dying so much)? - What price / cost for upgrade?

Would it be balanced to allow a Riding Dog Animal Companion (for example Beastrider archetype of Cavalier) to get the advanced template upon reaching level 7, becoming an Advanced Riding Dog? - Seems like it would be weaker than Big Cat and many other options, and comparable to a large Wolf (without being large though).

If not, would you allow it at a significant cost? If so what?

Hey there Community!

In Jade Regent our party (Half-orc Greataxe blind Battle Oracle, Dwaven Teenager Sorceress, TWF-dagger unchained Rogue, and the Helpful-Halfling lame/riding Oradin (Oracle 1/Paladin 2)) recently reached level 3. What a blast it's been...

But while most of my leveling up has gone well, I'm stuck with the question of which feat to take. This is complicated by not knowing whether I should take the shining-knight or oath-of-vengance Paladin archetype. And also that I'll take 3 more oracle levels and will squeeze one or two before the next paladin level.

The Rider adds Charisma to saves for the mounts (+5 to all saves by the time I get the ability) and ignores armor check penalties (ACP) for ride checks (which can be important when using mounted combat to avoid the mount getting hit). Gained at Paladin lvl 3.

The Avenger feeds offence and defence with Lay On Hands, so extra of those is always a good use for a feat. However this doesn't happen until Paladin level 4, so the feat doesn't benefit from the synergie until then. If anything else should be fit in, this would be a good time.

While Avenging would typically be the straight up better choice (the only way to get a lot of smites), it might not be here, because my base speed off mount is 10 ft (run speed 30 ft/round and -4 to AC), so when the mount falls, it's very bad. On the other hand a Life Oracle Revelation gives a Channel pool (1+cha/day) that can via meditation crystal be transfered into for regaining uses of Lay on Hands = 3 more smites for the price of 1 feat (and 600 gp for crystals and 6 min of meditation / day).

Current Buildbuild:

Stats are finalized at 13/14/14/12/7/19 - increases will be cha, str, wis probably.

Outrider (+2 Handle Animal and Ride)
Adaptable Luck (bonus to any d20, +3 if before, +2 if after roll, 3/day (trait bonus included))

Oracle: Psychic Searcher & Community guardian (I'm paying 2 feats for the latter, it was mechanically a mistake. Post ideas to make the best of it here
Paladin: shining-knight (for cha to mount's saves, and no ACP for ride) or or oath-of-vengance (for more smites, and a nice spell) (Input wanted)

oo/day Spells 0th: Guidance, Prestidigitation, Mending, Create Water
3/day Spells 1st: CLW, Dream Feast, Divine Favor (extra +1 from Trait)

5/day Lay on Hands - 1d6+2(trait)+2(feat)= 5-10 hp (on self as swift, on others 2 hp less as standard)
oo/day Life Link - standard action to form, immediate to drop, transfers 5 hp on my turn to other if they're 5 or more away from max hp.

Minor Drawbacks: Fey Taken, Naive
Traits: Helpful (Halfling), Fate's Favored, Two-World Magic (Prestidigitation), Rescued (Koya)

Major Drawback: slow-runner
Feats: fey-foundling (1st), extra-revelation life-link, 1 undecided slot (3rd).

Squire rejected (due to our awesomeness), Extra Revelation: Channel, or Combat Reflexes -&later->Bodyguard. Flag bearer is also interesting, but I don't have a hand free...)

Weapon: Comp Long bow (+5 to hit), Battle Aspergillum, Lucerne Hammer (+4 to hit/+1 to dmg unless smiting or buffed)
Armor: Four-Mirror Armor + Kilt + Buckler (AC 21)
Riding dog: carrying random stuff, like writing utensils, Any-tool, etc. Bites with auto trip.

Sofar simple: Handle animal, Diplo, Perception, Ride - but will branch out.

Due to Archetype next oracle level gets: inspiration (+1d6 to Diplomacy, Knowledge (arcana, history, local, nobility, planes, religion), and Sense Motive as long as there's a rank in it). +1 rank +3 class, +stat = 5-10+stat to these skills. And one after a psychic talent (most likely Empathy -roll twice for Sense Motive, or eidetic recollection - take 10 on knowledge).

I went Oracle 1 / Paladin 2 for life link, lay on hands and cha to saves. It has been a blast, and his abilities were super relevant to keeping everyone alive. He works well as an incombat blood bank and a tank, but I'm still working out how to best spend the standard actions.

Fighting: As for dealing damage, his dog has been more successful (and also trips), unless Nigel is smiting (1/day), or has another advantage (like flanking). I often forgot to buff (use Divine Blessing / Adaptable Luck), which might make this plausible more often.

Life link: In the moment the number of Life Links is still very limited, sometimes my standard action pays for shifting it, but with every oracle level that will be less the case because with a few life links I'll have those covered that are typically damaged.

Healing: Healing as Lay on Hand on self is swift, but there's "only" 5/day and my party burns through my HP fast. I like using spells to heal (because free) but I do have a Wand of CLW just in case.

Spells: The only non-healing combat spell is Devine Favour. Dream Feast has been saving money while travelling (as storage on the caravan is limited and we are very good at trading those trade goods), but probably isn't worth the spell slot and will be changed out at 4th Oracle level (3 level ups away). Next 1st: bless. Refine Improvised Weapon (in combination with Flagbearer feat) could be fun. 2nd: Shield other most likely. Though these are all things I'd rather cast before combat (buffs), so probably they won't fill up too many of my combat standard actions.

Aid: I can aid another to give +4 AC or +4 to hit. While it goes well with the concept, it's not what I want my default action to be.

Items: Maybe carry some alchemical items and such. Throwing bolas to trip on distance, makes good use of move and standard (as I'd have to pull them out first). Still -4 to hit for non-proficiency might be steep even vs touch ac.


Extra Revelation: Channel isn't all that useful as a channel because it won't scale well due to multiclassing. However as mentioned in the introduction it can be used to fuel my Lay on Hands, making it quite valuable either way, almost over-powered when turned to smites, or when compared to normal options:

I do switch between weapons often, so Quickdraw has a slight appeal, but I'm so relatively ineffecient with all of them, that it's probably not wroth it. Unless I do increase item use, nets, bolas, tanglefoot bags and other strange gear (with touch AC)...

Combat Reflexes (dex to possible AoO/round) would be fun theoretically, but practically I haven't had too many AoO chances this campaign. So the only reason would be to go for Bodyguard feat (+4 to AC for adjecent ally as AoO triggered by an attack on ally), which matches the fluff, and has me doing even more actions per round, but still doesn't help me figure out my default standard action.
Still since I could use this to increase AC for my mount, this could be a great choice. And even I beat AC 10 for the aid another check most of the time. -- But getting Bodyguard at 7 seems rather late and far away. Maybe a good option if GM will let me retrain Community Guardian, though I also kind of like the first power it gives, just hate giving up the 5th level feat for that particular 3rd level revelation.

If I exchange my luthern hammer for a lance (wielded one handed) I could get Flagbearer. That would help the group (+1 to hit and damage and saves vs fear and charm), but wouldn't change a thing about my action economy. Except if I also get spiked armor (instead of just spiked gauntlets) I'd threaten adjecent. I don't have to switch around as much anymore, and since I can't use the bow with the flag and unlike my various weapons I can't just drop it as a free action to make room (because that would suck for moral). So pro better to hit and damage for group. Con: smaller damage dice for me (unless charging), iffy flavor when stabbing around with the lance, and limits options for ranged combat (as both hands full).

Squire would match the fluff and would graduate into leadership, but is likely to disturb the party's power balance right now, next chance is level 7, but then I'd just use it for a mount.

I like my current riding-dog mount, but it's squishy, so mounted combat might be good, except my ACP (armor check penalty) is so high (-6 currently), that I'm not sure it'll be good enough to oppose most attack rolls. Unless I take the Shining Knight archetype, but even then that's only for 1 attack / round and it's at 3rd Paladin level, which is still 2 oracle levels away (I want more lifelinks asap), so maybe take it then? Although by then I might have gotten a better pet with leadership that doesn't need that protection... Ride-by attack is slightly interesting, more so with spirited charge. 3x little damage is slightly more, but if smiting and or buffed that shall cause explosions...

How much I'd love to ride our "blind" half-orc oracle... it'd be great. :D I'd point him in the right direction and we'd make it explode :)

Anyway, what do you think? After reading all this (congratulations and thanks) what archetype/feats would suit me best?

Again, thank you!


The weapon quality Courageous doesn't mention having to be activated somehow (unlike most weapon qualities). This made me wonder how many weapons can you "wield".

The way I see it you can have Armor Spikes, Spiked Gauntlets, and a weapon (or spiked shield) per arm. For two armed creatures that makes 5 total. - I remember to use a spiked gauntlet I have to regrip/let go (free action) of my polearm. Would +1 courageous spiked gauntlets work even if I did wield a weapon with the same hand? How about armor spikes?

Of course at low levels that doesn't matter, as who has 8k gold flying around to buff the non-primary weapon, but later on that seems quite worth it for someone with a good source of moral bonus, doesn't it?

Is it a legitimate option? Since Barbarians benefit from this, how likely would you think it is that courageous armor spikes become part of many mid-level barbarian builds?

Great fun! Good game, guys! :)

Solo GM-PC (not for credits obviously - posted here cause built by PFS rules and here people are most likely to be familiar with the scenario in question)

Character is a dex based Helpful Halfling Magus 1 hoping to go direction uRogue then Halfling Opportunist for Dex to hit and damage with Elven Branched Spear (EBS) and bonus to attacks of opportunity and sneak attacks during AoO (eventually).

Little background:

After playing The Frostfur Captives as first mission I felt unsatisfied, as it didn't seem logical to me that the confirmation mission would happen thousands of miles away. Travel time is handwaved and all, but that just seems like a terribly bad idea, as you might forget much of what you'd learned on the way, and what not.

We didn't play any first steps, because part II and III aren't for credits - so I figured I could just run it myself on myself (without applying credits) and assume the character had his confirmation in the past.

The warehouse was very doable, even with just one level 1 character. I used disable device to get in the door and fought the rats off with the EBS and keeping them at bay using acrobatics to move across difficult terrain and then stab them while they were coming at me. Used a hook and rope (that I decided he found after very nice perception checks) to get the box down. - Funnily enough he was sneaking the whole way in and then overloaded himself with stuff before failing a sneak attempt, so thats when the rats first noticed him. Had to drop the stuff to be able to deal with the dire rats.

Next I failed to get much information from the sneaky old lady, partially because her healing was much appreciated, and he's not all that judgemental. He'd heard from a merchant that she's kept his whiskey supplier in business for years. Her own bad health was noticeable and perception showed the bottles and she admitted to it and then said she'd work on it and quit, but he didn't believe she actually will change (sense motive). Only talked to one kid on the way out, which didn't seem too interested to talk with the little man. -- The halfling didn't judge her too harshly, he'd probably drink if he had to do her job. But it wasn't his job to judge, he reported everything as objectively as he could and got paid (any one information is enough? this one is really easy...)

I failed to hear the mechanism as of the key dropping while in the chest puzzle problem. Being just one person means just one check. And there weren't details for what the DC would be just for finding it while scanning the rooms for details!! - there should have been. So I decided he acid splashing the rope the key was on after finding it with a light source and taking 20. However it took me a long time to notice that should work. I think they should mention a DC for just finding it by looking around.

So finally the imp mission. I hadn't had any experience with imps before and fighting it I found it to be quite invincible (among other things I was having it throw books at him, that critted once and hit a few times - just good rolls though, the important part was that it would regenerate as fast as I could throw acid at it. Only then did I realize acid doesn't get around the silver requirement because it has acid resistance too!

So I ran the rest roughly in my head... For DR/Good do I just have to attack with good aligned character or does the weapon have to be good aligned or how does that work? --- I am aware of the adamatine coating stuff found in the warehouse at the beginning, so I assumed I threw it on the Elven Branched spear, but it just kept going invisible. I used powder on it to make it visible, but then when actually wounded, it became really dangerous with it's poison that reduced combat effectiveness by reducing my main stat. relatively high to hit, and can still just go invisible again, right? cause it's now wearing the powder? - either way, probably lethal if provoked to that point.

So I ran away (at the point where I found out the acid hadn't actually been doing anything, rest was just thoughts) and waited and thought about it all. Then tried to talk with him and figure out what he was doing and why. Got some good diplomacy rolls and figured out what he wanted. I agreed that I didn't want to have his master own a thing to summon more like him, so I snuck back (really good stealth and slight of hand rolls) and stole the quest item trinket thing from her, then went back and promised him if he gave me the thing I wouldn't use it to summon stuff with and I wouldn't give it to her. Good diplomacy roll, decided it worked and then brought the trinket that the PFS wanted back to them and the summoning item maybe to the Silver Crusade or to the Liberty faction and tell them that they're free to return it to her, but that she wasn't a good master to him and that she doesn't have her slaves under good control either. -- Figure in a real campaign this sort of backstabbing her would have consequences... she seemed the vindictive type...

It sort of worked. But I was playing and GMing so I don't know if that would have worked otherwise... and I did want to figure out if there was a way to deal with the imp.

I considered nets (possibly from the warehouse) - If I succeed to throw multiple on him before he gets out the first one I'd have a bit of time, as it would take a fullround action per attempt to get out of there, which at DC20 escape artist isn't too easy. If I wasn't dex based I might have been able to grapple, pin, tie up or such. - Such with reduced dex he'd have harder time getting out as well, but just stabing at him with 1d6-1 damage (assuming I found and used that adamatine pouder on my main weapon, to get through DR) I'd only be doing about half a damage to him on average per turn, which given his 16 or so hp would take forever to kill him. - Even if I also brought a cage and somehow just stuffed that entire bundle in there and locked it (really getting me time to stab him to death - or just bring him back) the regeneration is hard to beat.

Being already level 2 would allow me to sneak attack him if I dumped oil all over him while he's entangled. I assume he'd have to use the acrobatics skill to balance and not slip while trying to get out of the net and as such would be as flat footed as if he was say climbing a mountain, is that correct? With an extra 1d6 damage this seems quite doable.

What other ways can you think of to get the imp? Is there a way that is available to first levels with say 150 gp budget to beat regeneration or such? -- could I drop bear traps on him while he's entangled? -- maybe drop some caltrops so he can poke himself while rolling around in the net? Action economy advantage would be really nice to have. I can see how with more people it would be quite doable...

I couldn't come up with ways to counter that regeneration alone, nor good ways to deal enough damage. - Do you have any?

So I'm looking at a Dex Magus level 1, then the next levels unchained Rogue. - I'd like to take Weapon Finesse as 1st level feat for surviving the first few games, then replace it with combat reflexes just before leveling since u-rogue gets finesse for free, and thus the Magus 1 / Rogue 1 wouldn't need that feat.

On the one hand I'm gaming the system (i.e. using a system meant for newbs to change mistakes to get an advantage, or at least counter a disadvantage) on the other there is no ingame inconuitiy (i.e. always has dex to hit) and mechanically the build probably won't overshadow anyone.

a. Is it legal (w/ or w/o table variation)?
b. Is it ethical (anything wrong with it)?
c. would you do it?
d. would you mind if others did?

Thanks for your time! :)

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Bucklers can be used without the -1 to hit when using a crossbow, yes? Despite that being stated only in the "flavor" text, as it's in italics?

Can then the Grenadier drink potions without provoking AoO?

"As an unusual side effect of their skill at handling bombs and alchemical items with increased speed, grenadiers master the ability to drink potions, elixirs, and mutagens quickly and safely, without exposing themselves to peril while doing so."

I'm looking for a build that will do just about the same action all the time, or no action. something that is so predictable, that another player could guess with 95 % accuracy what that character would do the next round.

Reason is I've found with video chat the GM can't always tell who is being looked at and feels like a question is directed at him, when I ask something in character to the group - and answers what my character might know, but in a way that's rather like another character.

Having a full GM-PC would suck because A. balance and B. monstering taking all his attention.

However, the squire feat becomes available to me next level. He could play my cohort, if I could come up with something for him to do in combat that helps the group enough to be worth bringing him along.

Edit: since I started writing I had a conversation with him about this, and came up with the idea of trying to include more references to who exactly I'm talking to, to adress the problem (such as "Hey, Nigel says to the group, blablabla...") - Still I sometimes get the feeling it would be cool for him to control something on our side as well. So question still stands. What's the most "hands off" build you can come up with?

Half Orcs can be Scarred witch doctors.

PCGen allows combining Scarred Witch Doctors with Hedge Wizards... tch-doctor-witch-orc itch.html

With the HP that a high Con from SAD can grant, having a healing would allow you to keep going for a long time... also according to here: there's no spell failure for hex use, and I think burning a spell slot for a cure is hex (specifically "Spontaneous Healing (Su)") - thus might not incurr spell failure. Now if he can also make himself a threat (besides looking threatenening) to get people to attack him, he could make a good tank... with a battleaxe and powerattack? :) -- Or flag bearer feat :D

I guess the self-healing tank is typically a paladin... but he can't smile quite the same way "hehehehehehe" (cackle)

Can a Squire be a Skald?

They do have martial weapon proficiency, which seems to be the main requirement.

Add Flagbearer feat and you've got yourself quite the source of support.

inspired by this idea:

Just a Guess ( wrote:

Or a fun buffer guy:

Orcish skald or bard.

improvised defence


Tribal standard

While doing nothing (no action economy cost) he already gets +2 to saves vs fear, +2 to hit, +1 to weapon damage, +1 shield bonus to AC.
But his offhand is occupied.

He can still use raging song (skald), inspire courage (bard), cast spells or go melee.

Not as strong as a pet class but far from worthless.

Now what I'd like is all that plus the guy is dervish dancing :)

Given that the banner wouldn't be a normal weapon (an improvised one at best), you could dervish dance with one, right? - If you did, would you still get the Improvised Defense bonus?

Spoiler free verion: I stumbled over an artifact that can cast a spell that usually would require a component or focus. Does it still require that when using a x/day kind of magic item?

Jade Regent spoiler for my specific situation

Whispering Shrike can cast Shield other, which usually requires two platinum rings worth 50 platinum pieces worn by the caster and target. However the description of the sword merely says the target has to be touched while "wielding" the sword in order for the spell to be cast. But I wasn't sure if it meant "cast as usual" thus requiring the rings afterall (additionally). If it did we should have found at least one platinum ring with the person we got the weapon from... Thus why I'm asking for the general rule to be sure.

"Guide with Knees: You can guide your mount with your knees so you can use both hands in combat. Make your Ride check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount. This does not take an action."

What if I don't care to control the mount?


In this case I have a heavily armored halfling on a riding dog. After ACP ride is only +2 so failing a DC5 ride check could still happen 10 % of the time, and given that this has to be rolled every round that is a fairly real chance of not being able to use both hands.

However, what about rounds in which I'm not telling the mount to do anything? Do I still have to roll?

He's in a military saddle and thus fairly confident to not fall out. The dog is very well trained and fairly independent and the Halfling trusts him a lot (Handle Animal +10 and a good relationship between the two).

I imagine it would be similar with a goblin on a warg, where the warg is really the one in control and the goblin is just hitching the ride, accepted only for his usefulness in making the warg even more dangerous. I doubt the Goblin would have to do much guiding, though I could see him having to hold on to not fall of when the mount does something unexpected...

I'll side track even further for a moment before coming back: Flanking.
Imagine a huge demon battling a dangerous paladin. Now this harmless thing tries poking the demon from behind. I'd say the demon could choose to ignore the small thing and focus on the paladin thereby denying flanking bonus to the paladin (but potentially inturn loosing his dex bonus to armor versus attacks from the ignored one). -- What matters here is that he gave up control (i.e. seeing what both are doing and being prepared against attacks from either side, as good as possible) in order to avoid a penalty.

If I give up control of the mount for that round, would I still have to roll in order to use both hands?

I'm thinking about a party of 1st level characters that could rock level-appropriate monsters like crazy and potentially monsters of much higher CR up to a point. I'll share my ideas here, but I'm actually interested in hearing yours.

- I hear powerattacking High str Barbarians are notorious for high damage / round at low levels, especially 1st.

- Summons might be quite powerful at low levels and a summoner gets to do that for minutes instead of rounds at a time, a bunch of times a day (was it 3+cha?), so that could be quite cool.

- Save or suck things are more likely to succeed given the lower saves of the enemies at this level. So maybe a witch with sleep hex or some sorcerer builds could rock those levels?

- Armor Kilt + Kikko Armor + Dex of 18 has (for 50 gp!) the same AC as Full Plate + 12 Dex (for about 1500 gp) - of course that makes it heavy armor with -3 ACP applying to attacks if you don't have the right proficiency... Maybe useful for a fighter archer? Or a reach build with combat reflexes? Maybe even Bodyguard feet as well, and adopted halfling? Who else has heavy armor proficiecny and benefits from high Dex?

Unless of course you don't ever attack in the first place, then you wouldn't need the proficiency. ACP doesn't apply to Spelllike abilities, right? So a Master Summoner (who gives up spell casting for more summons, right?) could wear that armor combination, right?

- Guard Dogs are at 25 gp each fairly cheap, and at low levels still rather useful, right? Of course you need to be in control over them to be worth anything... acomplished with a little handle animal? --- They would also benefit from in combat healing, as would the summons.

Maybe have a Cleric with selective channeling?

Spirit of Community (Ex): As a move action, you call upon the spirits of community. For the next round, you grant every ally within 30 feet a +1 competence bonus on a single skill check (of the ally's choice) that it makes before the end of this revelation's duration. Furthermore, allies within 30 feet can, as a free action, choose to forgo this bonus, and instead grant a single ally a +1 increase to its competence bonus granted by this ability (maximum +5). You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. You must take this revelation at 1st level.

This is from the Community Guardian (Oracle; Halfling) archetype.

I'm playing Jade Regent, so there will be a large caravane - with many "allies" so to speak. I'm thinking gathering them all and calling on the spirit of Community to help the Fortiune Teller before sees into the future would be great fluff wise.

They have to make the check within the round, but does that mean the action is done? -- Could this spell be somehow used for craft checks?

Looking forward to hearing your creative thoughts!

What the hell is up with Shark Skin that it can make *anything* better?

Also what is the best use that you've found for it so far?

Since it already mentions the +2 to ride on saddle example: a shark skin (+5gp/lb*30lb=150gp) MW (+50gp) military saddle (+20gp) costs 220 gold, but gives a whopping +6 to ride for staying in a saddle, correct?

An example are gloves for +2 to acrobats and climbing. Why exactly those skills? It says +1 or +2 to 1 or 2 skills, so in the ride example does it help for any ride checks or narrowed down?

What about really light items? Could you make a shark skin rope that connects to the bit and bridle (weighs 1lb) for 5 gp for some kind of bonus for other ride checks?

Shark skin boots for either not slipping as easily or sneaking more easily, or, or, or.... - basically this seems pretty much like it could provide reasons for sharks to go extinct within really short time if this became a thing...

I'm playing a first level rogue and 5 gp/lb is not very much for up to two +2 skill bonuses / item... It's rare? Why then is it so cheap? How available do you think it is?

What's your best idea for a use for a little bit of shark skin?

So here's the final image: small scary creature on the back of a medium one that looks like a black tiger with blood red stripes. Her hair is made of angry looking snakes, hizzingly waving around - they're all staring at you. She's juggling knifes as her mount charges at you. The running sound is that of a galloping horse! Then suddenly many things happen in quick succession. One of the snakes on her head shoots at you and hits your arm, you're grappled. She is not, nor is her mount. As it jumps at you to pounce you, she throws two daggers right where it hurts (perhaps sneak attack?) and catches the third one she was juggling out of the air, as not to lose it. Surprisingly the mount dodges you, only moments before you were to be ripped into shreds, and comes to a halt behind you. Is it just toying with you? She quickly pulls out two new knives and continues juggling all three, now laughing a horrible laughter right behind your back.

You spend your turn trying to break free, and succeed, ripping that strange feeling snake off your arm. You turn around to face her and are hard pressed not to scream in fear. You've seen a lot of things in your adventure career but this seems so strange. The tiger's face looks slightly too long, and the limbs bend slightly strangely. What kind of creature is this?! [it says if you succeed your breaking grapple check you get to "act normally" - but it also says it costs a standard action. Not sure if you get to attack or not, but let's allow it.] You storm at her with your big axe and want to chop off that head with the stunningly beautiful face... it flickers and for a moment you see the most grotesque visage you've ever seen underneath. This monster must die, but your attack misses and as soon as it's her turn again another snake hits you in the face and then wraps itself around your neck, it's constricting, and you're grappled again, while she is not, so she stabs you in the face.

You didn't even notice her companion hopping out of a bush running up behind you, now charging with an axe, moments later chopping straight through the snakes around your neck, taking your head clean off. You don't realize that instead of a severed snake body, white hair glides to the ground before it dissipates, nor that the scary tiger is really a pony. The glimps of her face that you saw was that of perhaps the worlds ugliest goblin.

How is this possible?
I was thinking 2 level dip in white haired witch with a bunch of low level illusions running. Perhaps a Goblin (for the stupidly high dexterity) - got kicked out for writing and was way too smart anyways. Just didn't belong with the others. Amazingly ugly. Under the influence of multiple low level illusions.

The backup is in many ways her opposite. He would have to be someone charismatic to get the two of them access to go anywhere and do anything. - He respects her pure power and personality, how special she is, enough to ignore her huge charisma penalty. Also with her illusions she can be someone else every night, what ever he desires... though man when her illusions flicker, that can be some really traumatic s%$+. :D He could be a THW sneak-attacker, with UMD and lousy dexterity. He's not that smart but very intuitive (wise). I want an okay AC but with lousy dex... are there such things as mobile heavy armors? Perhaps the witch could boost him with mage armor or bark skin...

At higher levels he handles animals and she can ride a real tiger...

Did I mention she has a crow that's just as much into valuable s~#& as her? - She's not greedy in a quantity kind of way, but definitively in a quality one. She might give a few gold coins to some villagers for whom it'll make a big difference, but if she later lacks the gold to buy a really cool artifact, that might not stop her to go acquire it anyways...

Not sure if this is a player concept or a set of NPCs, but I'd like to make it work so that it could be either. I'll definitively need some advice and help for making these work by the rules as much as possible though.

Interested in helping me out?

Thanks so much

Originally the following was part of this question: art-of-the-rules -- Haven't gotten an answer yet, so I don't know if the class descriptions are part of the rules or just recommendations, but that question of which it was got me wondering:

Do classes exist ingame, or do they just describe skill sets? - For example could a fighter/cleric join a paladin order and become a defacto paladin without ever having taken a level in paladin? Could a ranger with access to nature magic and an animal companion and the right alignment/values become a ingame druid (i.e. another druid can teach him the secret druid language without becoming an exdruid) without ever taking a level in druid?

I'm interested in any RAW or RAI info, as well as non-hypothetical experience with situations like that in a game you actually participated in either as a player as a GM. How should such a situation be handled?

Thanks for participating!

In some forum I read a comment about how maximizing damage out-put might not be relevant, because the DM would simply adjust the monsters to match the challenge. So I went (literally lost multiple nights) and researched, character class combinations that I might like (despite knowing often in PF it's more beneficial to stay in one).

I thought there's got to be worthwhile combinations and looked and looked. And then yesterday A lvl 3 ranger, cavalier and my knife master encountered a lvl 7 freaking dinosaur and it ate two of our horses and more than 3 characters worth of hp (only possible due to some healing-wand use in between, otherwise it would just have been "it ate 3 characters"). The cavalier (almost dead himself) grabbed our (luckily stabilized) bodies and managed to get away with us.

This experience of not being able to sneak (despite a +11 bonus to sneak - because of it's perception 14) nor to hit (AC at least 20) and getting hit no matter what (crazy attack bonuses, and 20 ft reach!) showed me that the concepts I had been looking at (dipping 1 lvl in white-haired witch and 1 in some kind of sorcerer for some feats, buffs, and crazy cool hair, and a familiar) might be too much fluff based for a setting where many times 2/5 of the group don't show up. It was based on the idea that I'd be fighting mostly humanoids at about my level (based on the experiences I had in my first 3 sessions... did I mentions I'm new to all of this?). What good would the cool hair secondary natural attack with automatic grapple do if it only hit's 5 % of the time!?

I got quite attached to the character because of the ridiculously lucky stat rolls at character creation. In retrospect I wish it was just point buy, which would make them much more replaceable. When the first ally went down my loyal, helpful character wanted to help, and as a player I thought "screw this that thing is huge!" - but I got over it and acted in character and barely survived it (at -11 hp!)

So now I can't decide what to do with him... I'm pretty sure dipping 1 lvl Ranger (Trapper/Freebooter) for a bunch of bonuses is a safer option... but "on paper" I really loved the ideas I had. Some of the sorcerer bloodlines get a load of feats that synergize well with the rogue, but the low BAB reduces usefulness in combat a bit. :-S Unless there's good ways to buff to make up for that... :-S

The cavalier leveled up as well, and maybe we'll have more people next week. I'm torn between finding that dino and taking revenge on it for our horses and running with my concept anyways and learning when to flee. - But like I said I had a hard time recognizing danger... I'm not sure what I can do to be prepared for stuff...

Also the reason I picked rogue is from computer game experience. I love stabbing stuff, but mostly I love stealing stuff like crazy! However, in a computer game as long as they didn't see you taking it, you're fine. In the real world or in pathfinder you have a lot more to consider... - Also in the games no one ever needed any of their stuff because they're static. There was no feeling of sympathy with the farmer who's life savings I stole, because the world wasn't very dynamic. Now stealing is sort of an evil thing to do... Poverty background gave the skill but right now he's not starving. Saving up for magical artifacts to save the world (actually that's not really on our plate yet, right now we're delivering magically preserved strawberries to someone very isolated :D ) isn't quite enough justification for stealing from anyone but someone who deserves it. How would I know who deserves to be robbed? And then do it without getting caught? Dex is 20, and high intelligence means lots of skill points. I got enough cash for hat of disguise... would that do the trick? In your experience, does thief play work with a group? What would they be doing while I'm off stealing?

3 lvl Knife Master STR 10, DEX 20, CON 14, INT 16, WIS 12, CHA 16.
Feat: 2WF. Talent: Finesse rogue.
Haven't used the bonus feat yet (might do Alt race trait Skill Focus instead), nor the traits (considering Adopted->Elven Reflexes; River Rat), nor have I distributed all the skillpoints yet, but I've thought quite a bit about the options. Just haven't decided yet. :-S

So many options... makes it hard to decide. And once I decide (i.e. take a bonus from a trait on a roll, or something like that) it would be unfair to change the mind, since it already benefited me.

If it was a clear and easy question I'd have posted this elsewhere (like here ) but it's really not. It's something that requires discussion, exchange of ideas. Probably there's no one right answer to this either, either. But I'm new and I could use some friendly guidance/support.

1. Introduction

Hello everyone,

I'm new to pen&paper rpgs. For my first character, I rolled extremely lucky, which made me become attached to this character actually working out.

Right from the start I've put a lot of thought into this, but the more I learn about the rules, the rest of the group and about how I enjoy to play the most, the more complicated it all gets, and the DM allowed me one last chance to change aspects (in ways that don't contradict what already happened).

The next game is Tuesday, and by then I want to be able to give her a final copy of the character sheet that I feel comfortable with. Any help is greatly appreciated!



2. The Group
is on the brink of reaching level 4 and includes 5 people [though rarely everyone shows up]: a fighter/cleric (melee), druid (with bear; sometimes in melee), ranger (mostly archery), cavalier (his horse is killer); mostly beginners/casual, including the DM.

Since a mage can take over rogue functions (in this case even without offending anyone), they might have benefited more from that, but I went rogue and love it.

NOTE: NO Opportunity of Attack! (as my DM likes things *very* simple).

3. The Character

A. Really Hard facts

- lvl 3 Rogue Knife Master (& Scout)
- Two weapon fighting
- Finesse Rogue and/or STR 16
- Dex 20
- Good liar/bluff; perception
- grew up in a gypsy carnival with circus
- mom is fortune teller

B. Stats/Attributes/Abilities

-Rolls were 18, 16, 16, 14, 12, 10

-Only ways to distribute them
(based on what already happened)
Str 10, 12, 14, 16
Dex 20
Con 14, 16
Int 14, 16
Wis 10, 12, 14
Cha 12, 14, 16

C. What I want from him
- high perception, but low will save (young, inexperienced, naive)
- epically lethal (don't care too much for average dmg / round though, so it can be situational, such as the sneak stab)
- ideally some form of animal cooperation/interaction
- problem solver with diverse interests
- fun talking interactions with NPCs
- nice synergy/team work with the other players

4. What needs optimization?
- Traits & Feats (So many options!)
- Skills & Stats (Skill monkey or extra HP & dmg?
- Animal (and how to get it)
- Class (Shadow Dancer or Ranger? and if so what kind?)

However, all of these are connected deeply and depend on one another... and the complication all has to do with what animal I should get and how - so let's start the debate there.

Options include:
- 3 lvl Shadowdancer for summoning shadow
- 1 lvl Ranger for Handle animal and Wild Empathy and do go it yourself
- Trait Adopted->Animal Friend (Gnome) and just buy one?
Non-options (in hindsight) include
- 1 lvl Falkner (Ranger archetype) for a weak big bird animal companion.
- 2 lvl Sea Singer (Bard a-t) for an exotic monkey or parrot familiar.
- 1 lvl mage for a familiar (probably weasel or owl)
- 4 lvl Ranger for companion
- 1 lvl Druid for companion
though perhaps Wild Rider could work? +2 bonus on Handle Animal and Ride checks; Nature Bond, i.e. mount counts as 1 size bigger for riding, 3x 0th such as detect magic or poison, mending, create water, cleanse food, light, stabalize - and 1x 1st Charm animal, keen senses, longstrider, ant haul, Goodberries (might be sweet for training animals ;-) ), and really nice: cure light wounds. Wisdom 10 wouldn't be enough anymore though...

4. Death bringer's little helper

A. Summoned Shadow (via Shadowdancer)
Some facts
-SD build would benefit from high Charisma
-Shadow would benefit from character choosing high Constitution, but less intelligence is okay, as it eliminates need for skills in handle animal.
- it's always an ideal flank buddy.
- does strength damage!
- Replaceable (wait a month), however at risk of losing a level!

- "serves as a *companion* to the [SD]" -- Does this mean the shadow can gain levels and feats? I doubt it, but was wondering what companion means here...
- "can communicate intelligibly with the [SD]" -- via what means? does it speak languages or telepathically? Can it talk with anyone else, if they bothered to learn it's language?
- "This shadow has a number of hit points equal to half the shadowdancer's total. The shadow uses the [SD]'s base attack bonus and base save bonuses." -- Do these change over time? When SD gains 6 HP, does S gain 3? Or is it at creation? Everything else is retro-active in pathfinder, so I assume this shadow (like your shadow) grows when you do, right?
- It being incorporeal might be awesome at a lower level game, how useful is it later on? Ghost touch armor?
- Fluff: It could be an interesting development for the character, who becomes more and more neutral about the whole killing creatures thing... death as part of life - becoming one with the shadow...

- being ALMOST level 4, the level 8 (i.e. 5 KM/3 SD) seems really REALLY far away... - who knows *if* my group will exist that long...
- Mobility (1 of 3 necessary feats) isn't worth anything without OoA; though this could be an advantage, if my DM doesn't make me take it.
- Losing out on d8 sneak damage!

Also: what to do with the last 2 levels before Shadowdancing can begin? I researched some Bard options (cause I thought they get familiars, like in Baldur's Gate, but nope!). Other reasons might include sweet illusion magic. Only Umbral and maybe Sandman (for Trapfinding) seem acceptible options, unless I missed something.

BARD for B knowledge, B performance, cantrips, countersong, distraction, fascinate, inspire courage +1
- Arcane Duelist (for making my weapon*s* +1 as a swift action! instead of Bknow)
- Archeologist for 4+CHA rounds/day of +1 on saving throws, skill checks, and weapon damage and attack rolls (instead of b perform)
- Bardic Weapon for 1 Martial proficiency (instead of Bknow)
- Daredevil for +1 Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, and Escape Artist checks (instead of Bknow)
- Dervish Dancer for Kukri (and Scrimitar) proficiency, and battle dance selfish version of B perform
- Detective +1 Knowledge (local), Perception, and Sense Motive and Diplomacy. Careful Teamwork - 3 rounds of performance for 1 h of vigilance (+1 perception, Initiative and Disable Device; and +1 to traps if flat footed) [fluff would work nice with my focus of him being a problem solver]
- Sandman +1 to Bluff, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks + Trapfinding! (instead of Bknow) - and steal spell.
- *Umbral Weaver*: create a shadowy weave and have it hinder his enemies as it subtly restricts the target's movement; Wisp of Dusk (dancing lights) 0th - dim*, shadow snag*; trifling image* (cantrip); silent image (1st) --- This last one is quite amazing for a SD, no? Looks like it offers lots of fluff too! :-)

If I did take it, Magical Knack (this caster level gains a +2 trait bonus) might be useful.

Any fans of Shadowdancer that made it this far, that could convince me the shadow companion is worth the wait?

B. Familiar
Which one would I want?
- Weasel is cool due to "Attach" (which is an automatic grapple with continued damage if it's attack hits) - should be cool for a flanking partner, right? Low-light vision, scent, reflex bonus...
- Monkey and Racoono would be funny for stealing stuff, but probably the weasel could learn that. It might give a nice cover if I get caught with something stolen. I apolgize, diplomacy check, give it back and say my familiar did it. No harm intended... ;-)
- Howl is awesome... crazy stealth, makes it a great scout. Especially if there's good means of communication... not sure though, is there some good means of communications? Raven is pretty cool. A lot wiser than my character, but similarly greedy (appraise bonus... hm... meh)
- Armadillo, exotic. +1 natural armor bonus is sweet, and it has great perception.

How to get it?
I just looked into mages, and I guess the answer is I don't. I'd loose 6 skill points, 2 HP and gain what? some cantrips? Despite some magic in the blood background, it doesn't make sense with the story either... I really did like the weasel idea. :-( I could train me a weasel and an howl eh? :-D

C. Feathered Companion
-1 level of Falconer
-Bird comes at half HP with Distract trick for free...
-but I just realized that it doesn't level unless I keep gaining druid levels... and I don't think Knife Masters do! :-(
-Could exchange share spells for some other feat, for a bonus, but even then it doesn't seem worth losing Wild Empathy (which has other uses) for that.
-Link is nice, to not need handle animal as much, but he's a skill monkey, so what does it matter?

D. Normal animals
First some important questions
- Can normal (trained, but not companion) animals gain levels? If so how?
- Can they gain feats? If not, maybe if I make them smarter?
- Is there an affordable way to awaken them/make them smarter? (We do have access to a soon to be lvl 4 druid after all... which is only another level and 5000 gold worth of components away from awakening, right? - is there a cheaper way? components are oils and stuff... could he go find the components himself perhaps?)
- if I treat the animals with respect, like a friend or any other party member (as an equal, who's here because it wants to be, if it wants to be), it would probably stick around, right?

Ways to get them
I. Acquire an already trained one.
- Buy one. Got about 2500 gold kicking around from character creation, and quite some loot since then.
- Also, I'm a rogue. If someone abuses their pet I could go steal it, free it, and offer food and company, if it so chooses; otherwise repeat? :D The freer of abused pets... starting at the circus I worked at! That would make for a great plot :D
II. find a wild baby and raise it... *cough* that would take a really long time! What do I do with it while I'm raising it? Can't send a puppy wolf into battle, can I?
III. Is there something in between? Maybe train a domesticated animal?

E. Two options for Handling Animals

- Guide (Fav enemy->Ranger’s Focus)
- Freebooter (pick an enemy in combat +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls for all that were within 30 ft when you made the choice. just for fluff the picking could also be the cue for any animal (or party member for that matter) to get into flanking position. this might be really useful!)
- Trapper (+1 to perception for finding traps, and disable device, and get Trapfinding) - very useful since that was lost with KM.
- Any others worth wile?
- Hippogriff Rider (gain a hippoG, replaces favored terrain 1 and hunter's bond; neither of which you have at level 1, though the description is clearly you start with a HippoG. "You graduated from the elite hippogriff-riding school of the military academy. Not only can you ride a hippogriff with great skill, you have also formed a close bond with a particular mount." --- Does that mean if you just don't take any more Ranger levels you didn't lose anything at all, and got a hippoG out of it? Sort of like Trapper, who gets something early and loses (magic) only later, since he initially doesn't have it to lose) So is Hippogriff Companion even an option for me? Seems almost unfair! The only way I could justify it fluff wise is if there's one I used to ride in my circus and we go rescue it... :-S That would be a cool plot too. And I don't lose wild empathy!
-Wild Stalker gives low light vision and +1 perception (instead of fav enemy) However fluff wise this one makes even less sense than the hippoG.

All these Ranger options seem nice, considering the shield and martial proficiency, and up to 2 extra HP with some luck.

- Adopted->Animal Friend (Gnome) gives Handle Animal as class skill, but not wild empathy. The 4th level will then be Scout archetype, that allows me to charge sneak-attack (for which I don't really desperately need a pet). Handle animals should be good enough if I just buy a pet.

Also I have no clue what my party member's ranger is capable of! I should find out what her stats are like... maybe she could make an animal friend for me. Or the druid could talk with animal and translate for me, hopefully being aided by my diplomacy check? Wow, just realized how aiding one another could make handling animals a lot easier, and of the 4 chars other than me 3 should already know how to handle animals!

5. Resolution/solution
I. Shadowdancer (Cha=Con>Str) versus not (Cha=Int>Con) or Cha=Str>Con).
II. If not, then Ranger (for Wild Empathy) or Trait, or no handling animlas?
III. or something strange with Magical Knack (like Wild Rider, or Mage, or Sandman or Umbral?)

I put a lot of thought into this, but I'm very new, so I'd love to hear what members of the pathfinder community have to say, that have played the game for longer than a few sessions. Yes, you there. Exactly, you who's reading this! Please feel free to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely greatful,