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I've asked for some advice about my dog, Fetch, before. He basically became a character "by accident".

He is a Riding Dog 2/Fighter 6 and will probably hit level 7 soon. At about that time we will be able to Teleport to large cities to go shopping. At present, his AC is weak and needs buffing, badly.

Strength 19, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 4.

Non-magic items: Chainmail barding.

Magic Items: Circlet of Speech (now he can talk), +1 Body Wraps of Mighty Strikes (this needs boosting, as an 8th-level fighter should probably have a +2 weapon by this point), +1 Cloak of Resistance, +2 Bracers of Deflection (I was delighted when I realized he had that slot, and jumped on the item as soon as I saw it). His AC is a measly 21.

Item Slots: Armor, Belt (Saddle), Chest, Eyes, Head, Headband, Neck, Shoulders, Wrist.

Feats: Dirty Fighting, Grasping Tail, Improved Trip, Mischievous Tail, Skill Focus (Perception)*, Weapon Focus (Bite), Weapon Specialization (Bite). Mischievous Tail lets him use his tail like a hand for most purposes, but he cannot wield a weapon in it. We gave him a little cask (like St. Bernard's use) that can carry a Potion of Cure X Wounds (he drank two last battle). He is probably missing a feat, because I haven't had the time to give him his next level just yet. I am thinking of just giving him Greater Weapon Focus... boring, but needed. Or Dodge.

We are loaded with loot (although we can't sell it yet) and my character will spend his share of loot on the dog. He will buy Armorer's Panoply (let the dog bark a command word to take his armor off or put it one three times per day), which is ridiculously expensive for most characters, but not for someone without two hands. I'm also going to get him a Dire Collar.

I am having trouble deciding between these two types of armor:

+1 Mithral Plate of Speed. Cost: 20,000 gp (double the cost of the base armor because it's barding). Max Dex +3, ACP -3, better because the dog has Armor Training I. And it casts Haste in 10 one round increments, a big deal because the dog can only bite once per round.

Upside: does not hurt skills much. Downside: figuring out the cost is difficult if you want to increase the enhancement bonus later on.

Dwarven (Adamantine)Plate. Cost: 18,000 gp. Max Dex +1, ACP -6. DR 3/-. Because of Armor Training, he can get a max Dex +2 with this.

At level 7, the dog can take this ability:

Armored Juggernaut (Ex): When wearing heavy armor, the fighter gains DR 1/—. At 7th level, the fighter gains DR 1/— when wearing medium armor, and DR 2/— when wearing heavy armor. At 11th level, the fighter gains DR 1/— when wearing light armor, DR 2/— when wearing medium armor, and DR 3/— when wearing heavy armor. If the fighter is 19th level and has the armor mastery class feature, these DR values increase by 5. The DR from this ability stacks with that provided by adamantine armor, but not with other forms of damage reduction. This damage reduction does not apply if the fighter is helpless, stunned, or unconscious.

This will cost him the +1 max Dex bonus and -1 to ACP that he would gain at level 7, but... he could potentially have DR 5/- at 7th-level. If he uses this with Mithral Armor of Speed, he will still get DR 2/- (and Haste).

Possible wrinkle: I've learned about the Extra Item Slot feat. We might buy the dog this, so he can wear Boots of Speed or Boots of Spider Climbing. It would be even better if he could wear both. (He doesn't have enough hands to climb, after all.) If we can manage that, the Mithral Plate of Speed won't look so good.

If anyone has a better suggestion for him to get multiple attacks (preferably without using up too many feats), please suggest away.

I'm playing a brawler, who recently reached 8th-level. Up until around 6th-level I was the only martial PC and was quite weak at the role. I had low AC until we finished book 2 (it's not 27, which is probably above average for my level and is the highest AC in the party) and my flurry of blows was really a flurry of misses. Also, I have Con 12. So I wasn't really any good at holding the line.

At 8th level I gained Brawler's Flurry (Improved Two-Weapon Fighting) and Pummeling Flurry as a feat. The former lets me act as if I have Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, but brawler unarmed attacks deal more damage than the typical short sword dual-wielded (and I don't have to split feats the way a short sword/long sword wielder would have to) and Pummeling Flurry lets me charge and make a full-round attack at the end of the charge! My damage output increased dramatically. We are (probably) over-itemed for our level (which benefits martial PCs far more than spellcasters), as the second book in Second Darkness seems to be fairly monty haul.

Strength 24 (base 18 including human bonus, +2 bonus from levels, and a +4 Strength boosting item). Weapon Focus (unarmed attack) and Weapon Specialization (unarmed attack). +3 amulet of mighty fists (a typical 8th-level PC probably only has a +2 weapon).

So my attack bonus is +19 (+8 BAB, +7 Strength, +3 amulet, +1 Weapon Focus) and my damage is 1d10 + 12 (base 1d10, +7 Strength, +2 Weapon Spec, +3 amulet). Usually I'm flurrying so the attack bonus is +17/+17/+12/+12 but Pummeling Flurry lets me charge and flurry, which not only let me make a full-round attack nearly every round, but also gives me the charging +2 bonus when I do so.

Given the weakness of the two lower iterative attacks I expected to be good but not great. Nope. I'm routinely dealing 48 base damage before touching the dice, and I'm throwing enough attack rolls that 20s get seen fairly often. (Of course, at least twice I've managed to miss all four attacks.)

At this point I'm hardly ever using Martial Flexibility. My previous go-to flexible feat was Dragon Style, since it let me charge through people and ignore difficult terrain, plus gave a small bonus to the damage of the single attack I'd be relegated to making. (Also, you cannot use two styles at the same time, so I can't do a charging flurry through difficult terrain at full speed.) I don't switch to Power Attack as I can't figure out when is the best time to use it. Up to +20 damage is nice, but not if I'm converting most of my hits into misses.

We have another martial PC, a cavalier/hellknight. I think he's only 7th-level, since the GM does not give experience if you weren't there. He rides a griffon, and the last session he attended he was finally able to get it to fly (but at half speed when carrying him). He said he needed to be 7th-level for that, but I don't think he meant 7th-level in a particular class, but rather spent a feat. He deals +10 damage without Power Attack, has Spirited Charge and a lance. He can easily deal +30 damage, as a result, and while that's less than +48, that's one attack roll at his highest attack bonus. I'm not sure how he deals so much damage but it has been checked. He has Strength 18. I think he's including his Smite Chaos (?) abilities. Certainly I've seen paladins dish out the hurt this way.

Our other PCs are an alchemist, wizard, and cleric. The wizard specializes in evocation rather than save or suffer, and can dish out a lot of hurt, but only really three times per day or so. I haven't been able to play a 3e/PF wizard in a long time, and every time I did it was always a save-or-suffer "invincible" wizard (using lots of Mirror Image spells), so I'm not familiar with good direct damage spells beyond 3rd-level spells. The Complete Arcane set of orb spells is, of course, out of bounds. Burning Hands and Flaming Sphere are weak, and I don't know what good 4th-level direct damage evocations are available. He's an elf, and given his high Dexterity should probably be using Scorching Ray more often. The main problem is he would still be competing with crazy martial damage dealers.

The cleric is a really odd build, having incredible defenses but is quite weak on the offense. He has Strength 12 or 13 and clerics that don't buff and bash just don't seem to have great offensive options. He did learn about that mass blinding spell though, and has Divine Fervor... that's probably not the name, but it gives the equivalent of Haste and other bonuses, such as getting up immediately, or +2 to hit and AC, which PCs can choose from round to one and, needless to say, is crazily good for my brawler. I find myself wondering if I should pick +2 to hit and AC (that's +2 to all attacks) or add an extra attack without the +1 bonus to hit and AC that Haste would grant.

So I'm not quite sure what we should be doing to equalize the PCs here. I feel like I can kill anything in two rounds. (Unless it's a higher-level ghost that can cast Confusion.) I'm simply not used to martials being the most powerful at this level. To be fair, Pummeling Flurry was never a 3.5e feat, and that's exactly the kind of feat that I thought 3e desperately needed.

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I'm playing Second Darkness and I'm in book three. Back in the first book we stole a dog from a bad guy, the dog being named Fetch. We used him to find someone, and decided to keep him around.

We put a Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 on the dog. With an Int of 4, the GM declared that the dog could take character levels. He took a rank in Linguistics so he could understand Common, and when he reached Fighter 2 (4 HD) he put his Int boost in Int. Then we gave the headband to the wizard. Sadly, this means the dog could not boost his Strength, Dex, or Con (all at 15).

The dog gains XP as a PC of his Hit Dice, but seeing how he couldn't pick stats and doesn't get much treasure, he's far behind us in terms of power. So ... I want to pump him up. Our characters are currently over the WBL by a bit due to some loot we found, so I'm going to spend gold on the dog instead.

So this is what the dog has so far: Fighter (Savage Warrior Archetype) 4, Strength 15, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 6. He has almost reached 5th-level, and I'm certain he will reach that before we can go shopping again. (We're in the middle of nowhere right now.)

AC 19 (chain mail barding, riding dogs get +1 natural armor). Way too low! I feel like an idiot for not making him noqual armor. (My character is wearing that, but is... not a dog.)

Savings throws: Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +2. Also too low.

Attack: Bite +9, Damage 1d6 + 6 and trip (+9, but can go up to +13 when flanking)

For skills, he's taking a Favored Class bonus skill, and gets Perception and Survival each level.

Gear: +1 wrappings (makes a single natural attack +1, and as he only has one, that's not a problem)
Circlet of Speech: lets him speak a single language (Common), which the GM ruled allows him to use command words for magic items. He has no such items; so far this just lets him be useful. (For instance, one time we cast Invisibility on him and told him to track a bad guy. He spotted them, reported what he saw, then chased them and held them until we could get to the bad guy. They were so surprised. LOL!)

Feats: Dirty Fighting (this is really cool), Skill Focus (Perception) (bonus dog feat), Improved Trip (just for the +2, might just switch this for Vicious Stomp), Weapon Focus (bite), Weapon Specialization (bite)

Canine abilities: low-light vision, scent, trip, speed of 40 feet

Fighter abilities: bonus feats, qualifies for fighter-only feats, Armor Training I (he can move at 40 feet despite wearing medium armor)

Savage Warrior Abilities: Spark of Life (+1 to saving throws against negative energy/death). At 5th-level he effectively gets Weapon Training I with natural weapons, including to CMB for grappling.

Feat ideas: You probably have better ideas than I have, but I'm thinking Blind-Fight, Dodge, Greater Trip, Improved Natural Attack, Iron Will, Vicious Stomp, and Vital Strike. I could not find any feats that would boost his charge damage, which is relevant because he only ever gets one attack.

Canine magic item slots: armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders, wrist.

Magic item ideas:

Armiger's Panoply, which lets him store one suit of armor (which my very strong PC would carry) in a bag. Three times per day the user could speak the command word, and the armor appears on them in one round. This is crucial for a character who cannot put on their own armor (due to not having hands).

But what armor should we buy? I'm thinking either Rhino Hide armor (but the AC would still be quite poor), +1 Mithral Plate of Speed (decent AC; he can't wear Boots of Speed, and he could get two attacks per round if he uses Haste when next to an opponent), or Dwarven Plate (Adamantine Plate), which would give him DR 3/- along with decent AC. The Dwarven Plate would reduce his speed, but he would get that back when he reaches 7th-level as a fighter. Those are just my ideas; you probably have better ones.

Greater Dire Collar. Give him Animal Growth. This only works once per day, but we could literally buy him several and just switch them as needed, or make a custom one that works 3/day.

Greater Hat of Disguise. Between his low Charisma and very low Intelligence, he wouldn't buy this for its disguise ability. Even if he never talked, people would notice his odd behavior. This uses Alter Self, and could temporarily turn him into a "human" and so ... give him hands! It's almost completely RP, but is necessary, a bit like teaching a child about money. He needs to learn to climb a rope and open doors at minimum, which he can't do in the form of a dog. It's combat ability would be pretty terrible. It gives him +2 Strength (Medium) or Dex (small) but he would lose his bite attack.

Those three we have to buy. But other suggestions:

Low saving throws. While we could just buy him a Cloak of Resistance, it would look really silly. Of course anything that looks different is either silly in other ways (such as a cracked pale green ioun stone), or is just expensive (lucky horseshoe, four-leaf clover).

Low ability scores. I'm thinking of either a Belt of Physical Might or a Belt of Perfect Excellence. If he wears Dwarven Plate, bumping his Dexterity would seem rather pointless. If he wears Mithral, then boosting all three stats are worth it.

Cloak of Fangs: +1 resistance, and 5/day can boost his damage by one die size. It's cheap. (Also he could technically bite in "human form" 5/day, although that's really silly.)

Dusty Rose Ioun Stone: looks silly, but who gives up AC.

We have a wizard PC who can craft any wondrous item, but my PC has to buy him any magical armor. The wizard hates the dog and always makes him the lowest priority :(

Note: I tried to post this in "Advice" but there was literally no new thread button. There was one last week when I asked for advice...

I've been looking at folding plate: ng-plate/


This item normally looks like a heavy steel brooch or cloak clasp, often depicting a heavy helm or sturdy shield.

On command, the brooch transforms in a clatter of metallic plates and panels to instantly cover the wearer in a complete suit of +1 full plate, with the design of the brooch displayed on the armor’s breastplate. The same command word causes the armor to transform into the brooch. The brooch only transforms if the wearer’s armor slot is unoccupied, thus it won’t work if the wearer is already armored. The brooch associated with this armor weighs less than a pound and occupies the neck slot when in this form.

My character wouldn't use this (he's a brawler) but we have an animal-shaped PC who could use such item. It's especially valuable because the PC cannot take his armor off by himself.

The only problem is +1 plate, after a while, doesn't keep up. I cannot figure out the formula used to cost this item. I was wondering if anyone knew how much it would cost to increase this to +2 plate, and so forth.

My group has recently reached 6th-level. During our journeys, we befriended a riding dog (so, basically, just an ordinary dog, with natural 2 HD).

We gave the dog a Headband of Intellect, and waited for it to reach 4 HD so it could bump its Intelligence score to 3. It has taken levels in fighter, either 2 or 3 of them. At that point we took off the Headband, but gave it a head item that lets it communicate with people.

It also has barding and a +1 natural bite. We will probably buy it a dire collar at some point.

Given its poor ability scores, compared to those of the PCs, and the general unwillingness to buy it expensive items, we don't really expect the dog to replace a PC. Instead, I'm looking to give the dog a cost-efficient way of doing things for itself. I want it to be able to remove its armor by itself, open doors by itself, handle coinage, and in short not be limited by the lack of hands. At some point, the dog will retire, and we want to make sure it's okay. (I figure the final gift will be a +6 Headband of Intelligence, because Int 3 is... not enough.)

I looked at the Hand of the Mage. That replicates Mage Hand, which is only 5 pounds, and requires the user to point at the target... and the dog doesn't have fingers to point with. A Ring of Telekinesis probably gives the dog what it needs, but that's 75,000 gp, and has powerful combat abilities the dog doesn't actually need.

Maybe a better item is the Hat of Greater Disguise. If the dog can speak when he has a human voice, then he won't need the circlet that lets him speak Common. Unfortunately that would require the dog to be constantly transforming. It's the best option I've seen so far though. Does anyone have any better ideas?

My PC is a good-aligned brawler, and has no intention of trying to kill the party. Unfortunately he got bitten by a wererat, and nobody knows he has been infected. Worse, he was bitten on a full moon, so it's been an entire month in-game since he recovered from his stat damage. We all have confidence in the cleric who failed the Heal check and so doesn't know what is about to happen.

Well, it's been a month. The moon was almost full last session. We're doing a hard encounter, so it's possible the brawler or other PCs might die, but assuming we all survive, we have some problems.

I believe you can use a lethal weapon non-lethally at -4 to hit, but for flavor reasons I think that should only apply to bludgeoning weapons. The cleric, naturally, has one. I don't think you can use an arrow or thrown bomb non-lethally under any circumstance, nor can you do this with most kinds of damaging magic, unless the spell specifically says so.

We're 5th-level, except for the alchemist (4th-level).

I've been reading up on Warhammer skaven behavior, and will emulate one while bonkers.

PCs are:

My brawler, no archetype. Just recently got his hands on a +4 Strength-boosting item, which is ridiculous on a 5th-level PC. But then he doesn't have a magic weapon, so I guess it's not that ridiculous. I don't know how many brawler class abilities I will get to keep, if any, while turning into a wererat for the first time. I do know I will not be able to make the Constitution check (DC 20 to turn back into a human, with a -5 penalty because it's a full moon, and he has a Con of 12, or 14 while a wererat). I don't know why all afflicted werecreatures seem to get the same stat boosts either, although fortunately wererats aren't that powerful.

I suspect the GM will tell me to randomly target PCs, but IMO a hungry animal would avoid anyone who is wearing inedible metal armor.

Cleric, who is using a feat that gives him access to warpriest blessings. He said he had a blessing that can daze an opponent for one round, requiring a touch attack but allowing no saving throw. I like to think this is the best way to keep my PC alive and also keep the rest of the PCs from injury, except daze doesn't render my PC unconscious, and there really isn't a lot of melee in the party other than my character, who will be "enjoying" DR 5/silver. There are spells the cleric could use, but doesn't normally do so, and likely wouldn't prepare without metagaming, such as the Command spell. He has quick manacles (along with my PC) which we have frequently used to capture NPCs rather than kill them in combat. As a 5th-level cleric he cannot revive the dead.

Wizard, elf, who is an evocation specialist. He can dish out a Fireball dealing 7d6 damage with a Reflex DC of 21, I believe, and could cast it as many as three times. Enchantment is one of his forbidden schools, and he doesn't use defensive spells except Mage Armor and Shield. He does not use Mirror Image, which is a much better idea (why bother escalating AC... he will never win that battle against combative monsters; even if the brawler uses Blind-Fight, the miss chance is still 50% if he used Mirror Image). Even if he has Mage Armor and Shield up, the brawler might hit him anyway, and with my build (I have Improved Trip and Vicious Stomp) if I get into melee with the wizard it's all over for him. That's ignoring the 1/day Knockout Blow and his low hit points. Furthermore Fireball is not useful to him if I'm close to the other PCs when I go bonkers. On the worse side for me, under optimal circumstances the wizard's Fireball will literally burn through my hit points. There's enough damage my PC would be permanently dead.

Unchained summoner, gnome. I don't believe he wears armor, or maybe leather armor. He's also small enough my PC could literally pick him up and run away with him. He has an eidolon who rivals my PC in damage with a lethal greatsword, and just developed the ability to fly. It doesn't wear armor, as the summoner puts Mage Armor on him, so he'd make a good "meal" for the bonkers wererat. The summoner has Pit Trap as a spell, which is non-lethal but my brawler is good at climbing. Probably not good enough though. Also the summoner knows Glitterdust. Neither of them seem to match a summoner's flavor, but at the moment I'm grateful due to the non-lethal options they provide. (Grease matches, but the DC is so low my brawler would have no real trouble with this. He has trained in Acrobatics and has an item that gives +5 to that.)

Alchemist, 4th-level, half-elf, no archetype that I'm aware of. Bombs deal lots of lethal damage. I think there might be some "sticky" bombs. He's also decently skilled at throwing rocks and using a bow. He does wear a chain shirt and, of course, avoids melee.

We also have some companions who sometime adventure with us.

"Red", a decently high-level fighter/ex-monk combo (I think that's his class combo, based on observation and what he has said). He's the leader of some hoodlums we're temporarily aligned with. Hopefully he really is an ex-monk, as they can strike non-lethally at no penalty. I don't recall if he wears armor, and if so, what type. (And if he wears armor, that will hurt his monk abilities.)

Samaritha, a wizard. She has some control spells. She rarely leaves the area of the main camp, so whether she's present depends on where the party is when night falls. She has few hit points, and I desperately hope she ends up nowhere near my character when he freaks out.

Kwavas (spelling?), an elf ranger. He is still relevant in combat, despite being 4th-level and having few items. Unfortunately arrows deal lethal damage, and he can fire two per round with Rapid Shot. His bow is mighty, +1, and he has Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. He doesn't wear metal armor, but it's doubtful he'd be closer to me than any other unarmored character. For plot reasons he travels with us more often, but there's no guarantee he will be present.

Fetch, a dog with Intelligence 3, and a level or two of fighter. He has the ability to knock opponents prone, but my brawler has high CMD. Fetch's teeth probably aren't capable of dealing non-lethal damage. He does wear metal barding, and my character (along with the summoner) really like him, so I hope no harm comes to him. He understands Common, but cannot speak to anyone unless Kwavas uses Speak with Animals.

At the end of all this, I hope nobody dies, and then they'll have to "fix" me. The only treatment I've seen that would work is wolfsbane, which is not located in our area (far from civilization) and only gives me an extra saving throw. I have a pretty cruddy Fortitude save for a fighting type. Putting the bonkers thing aside, I have little appetite for essentially playing a frenzied berserker (with the bonus of higher stats but attacking the party), and I have no idea how ECL works in Pathfinder.

Mainly I'm just worried about how the combat will go. The brawler is dangerous enough he could probably easily beat down Samaritha, the PC wizard, or the PC summoner, but at the same time the party has a lot of ranged lethal and magical damage that could pierce, blast, or roast the brawler to death, and some limited amount of control.

So my group is playing the second book in Second Darkness.

The party is quite large. There are only five PCs, but two companions. All but one of the PCs are 5th-level.

We have an alchemist (who is also pretty good with a longbow, and is only 4th-level), a brawler, an evoker, a cleric with a really strange build (using War Blessing, deals virtually no damage), and an unchained summoner.

For companions, we also had Kwavas (or however you spell his name), an elf ranger of about 4th-level who is extremely plot-relevant, and Fetch (the dog). We rescued that dog from his owner, put a headband of intellect on him, and when he finally gained his 4th HD at the begging of the session, he put a point into Int, so we could take away the headband. He can now continue to gain levels of fighter without magical assistance. Sometimes Samaritha adventures with us (we rescued her), but we did not take her on this expedition. We captured Clegg and despite his demands didn't take him with us. The brawler took his Gauntlets of Ogre Power +4 (which is probably not Pathfinder legal, but whatever).

The GM has increased the level of difficulty, sometimes in surprising ways. Clegg got far scarier (he's a thug with an incredible amount of Intimidation abilities, who could panic a character with a ridiculous save DC). NPCs are typically higher level than in the book.

We entered the drow cave, killed three drow rangers, and found the siren ghost. Here's my first question. The brawler has gained brawler strike (magic), so his unarmed attacks can penetrate damage reduction as if his fists were +1 (magical). They're not actually +1. Does that entitle him to damage incorporeal creatures (doing half damage), or have no effect at all?

The evoker player said a wizard can ready an action to cast any spell they have (when triggered), while I believe you have to state which spell you want to cast when the trigger goes off. (I used to regularly do this "trick": ready an action to cast Magic Missile when another caster casts a spell. They take damage and might fail their concentration check.) No I'm not the DM of this game.

A few months ago, my brawler (then level 3) participated in a battle with a bunch of opponents, including a higher level monk. I intended to use a feat with Martial Flexibility. The feat required Weapon Focus in a particular weapon, and I would gain +2 to AC against that weapon. Since I had Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), this would be very effective against a monk.

Unfortunately, the way the battle flowed, I never got to cross paths with that monk. Instead I took a lot of Strength damage from poison while fighting rogues (who, fortunately, were unable to flank and sneak attack me). Maybe this is for the best, because... is it possible the feat that I had wanted to use doesn't exist, and I accidentally made it up?

I tried combing through the PSRD database and I cannot find such a feat. Does anyone know if this feat exists, or did I mistake a daydream for the real thing?

We're going to TPK tonight, probably.

I'm part of a group of (mainly) newbie gamers, and we've reached 2nd-level. (Actually a few of us just reached 3rd-level, and the DM allowed us to gain the level immediately, rather than wait for a rest.) We are a cleric 3 (me), bard 3, sorcerer, alchemist (grenadier archetype), and two rangers (one of whom might have a level of rogue). We aren't the sort to share character sheets, and at least two of the players seem to have no real idea what is on their character sheets to begin with.

The bard and alchemist are very well optimized, I'm somewhat optimized and the others aren't. For instance, the "pure" ranger apparently did not take Rapid Shot (and apparently not Two-Weapon Fighting either?) and has a higher Dex than Strength, but doesn't seem to have Weapon Finesse.

As you can see, we are not good at melee. Our bard is our most proficient melee guy, and sometimes the pure ranger too. (My cleric stays back and uses spells. I had wanted to use the air and water domains. The water domain gives lots of icicle beams, but the DM wanted me to use a cleric of Pharasma who gets water but not air, so I don't get to zap things 14 times per day, only 7 times per day.) I'm basically a strangely variant archer with pretty good channeling, but would obviously be outpaced by a ranger with Rapid Shot, which we don't seem to have.

We found out about a group of enemies holding our only food source (long story) and really don't have more time to prepare as they themselves are running low on what should be our food. We have about one day's worth. (Water is no problem, my cleric can now make 6 gallons every six seconds.) There are more of them than us (many more), so the food goes faster as they hold it.

The day before, we captures one of the bad guys. This morning (morning of the day in-game), we charmed and interrogated him. I think the DM made a mistake with some of his answers. He said there were 25 bad guys, but none were spellcasters and only one was any good at combat. They are poorly equipped (eg padded armor) while we have our full equipment. None of them have ranged weapons. 25 1st-level warriors we could handle, and that's what I was thinking when we planned our combat tactics.

The game went over time, so we've only done one round (plus the surprise round). We got the charmed guy to get everyone to gather around him in a clump (surprise!) and while our grenadier threw a grenade, everyone who has good ranged attacks tossed alchemist's fire. This was disappointing. Our alchemist does maybe 7 splash damage alone,* but even the target directly hit by the bomb did not die. Each enemy seems to have 15-16 hit points. These are probably 3rd-level warriors or 2nd-level fighters.

Our alchemist has some kind of "frost bomb" that should at least slow down the attackers, while our sorcerer has Burning Hands, but there's still 21 bad guys left, mostly uninjured, and we only have so many arrows, that can be fired once per round at most each, so I think we're going to lose, badly. Now I'm thinking of just doing a fighting retreat. Our only potential backup are some low-level warriors with padded armor (probably not enjoying 15 hit points apiece) who are far away, probably gnawing on shoe leather that they won't share if we come back empty-handed.

Our bard is played by the most experienced player, and in addition to doing the charming, also played a trick with Silent Image. I'm not entirely sure if this should work, though. We're hiding behind a silent image of a closed door (the charmee went through the open door, but the bad guys think the door is now closed) and firing attacks through said illusion. The bard player believes that the bad guys have to directly interact (eg touch) the door before they realize it's an illusion, but this is a world with magic, and whatever their Will saves are like, arrows and grenades and icicle beams are going through the doors. There's also 21 bad guys left alive who would be rolling Will saves, so someone is going to save.

*This is part of the whole "not sharing sheets" problem. We have two core books with us, so we at least know the basic capabilities of each character... except the alchemist, who is using the APG. There is no physical copy of the APG at the table. (I hadn't brought a computer with me to the previous game as I only need the core book to run my character.) I thought the alchemist would be dealing full damage in an AoE, with Reflex saves for half. Instead, they're basically throwing super alchemist's fire. Had I known how the bombs worked I would have proposed a piecemeal attack strategy instead.

I was hoping to playtest this guy before the test was over, but it's not likely to happen.

Here's a 10th-level brawler.


Neutral Good Brawler 10

Medium natural humanoid (human)

Init +2; Senses Perception +14

AC 24, touch 17, flat-footed 19 (+7 +1 brawling chain shirt, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 class, +2 ring)

Hit points 84 (10d10+10)

Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +9

Speed 30 ft.

Melee brawler flurry +21/+21/+16/+16 (1d10+13/19-20/x2) or
Unarmed strike +23 (1d10+13/19-20/x2)

Ranged hand axe +12 (1d6+6/x3)

Special Attacks brawler's flurry (Improved Two-Weapon Fighting), brawler strike (cold iron, magic, silver), unarmed strike 1d10

Str 22, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 8

BAB +10; CMB +23 (+27 trip, +26 grapple); CMD 28 (32 against trip, 29 against grapple)

Feats Combat Expertise, Dodge, Greater Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Improved Critical (unarmed strike), Improved Trip, Iron Will, Step Up, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Weapon Specialization (unarmed strike)

Skills Acrobatics +15, Climb +19, Intimidate +12, Sense Motive +14, Swim +19

Languages Common, Elven

SQ AC bonus +2, maneuver training 2 (trip +2, grapple +1), martial maneuvers (free 1 feat, swift 2 feats, move 3 feats) 5/day, martial training

Combat Gear none; Other Gear +3 mithral brawling chain shirt, +3 amulet of mighty fists, +3 cloak of resistance, +2 belt of Strength, +2 ring of protection, 4 hand axes, 3 potions of cure serious wounds

Martial Maneuvers (Ex): At 1st level, a brawler can spend a move action to gain the benefit of a combat feat she doesn’t possess for 1 minute. The brawler must otherwise meet all the feat’s prerequisites. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to half her brawler level (minimum 1).

If this ability is triggered before the duration expires, the brawler loses the previous combat feat and gains a new one in its place.

If a combat feat has a daily use limitation (such as Stunning Fist), any uses of that combat feat while using this ability count toward that feat’s daily limit.

At 6th level, a brawler can use this ability to gain the benefit of two combat feats at the same time. She may select one feat as a swift action or two feats as a move action. She may use one of these feats to meet a prerequisite of the second feat. Each feat selected counts toward her daily uses of this ability.

At 10th level, a brawler can use this ability to gain the benefit of three combat feats at the same time. She may select one feat as a free action, two feats as a swift action, or three feats as a move action. She may use one of the feats to meet a prerequisite of the second and third feats, and use the second feat to meet a prerequisite of the third feat. Each feat selected counts toward her daily uses of this ability.

I tried to use only core and the Advanced Class Guide, but had to take Brawling Armor because it's so good for brawlers. Indeed, it partially erases the accuracy gap with a dual-wielding fighter (assuming two short swords or other paired weapons, and not a longsword/short sword combo).

Despite having played Pathfinder on and off for years, I didn't know all the physical stat boosters took the same slot. I had to give up on gloves of Dexterity. The brawler has worse-than-expected AC. (This also causes me to wonder how a fighter takes advantage of Armor Mastery. Maybe less of a brawler issue than a stat-boosting item issue.)

Yesterday I took part in another session of our now long running Kingmaker campaign. We are starting book 5 and are only 9th-level, which is a few levels lower than we should be.

I don't know if this encounter was actually part of the campaign path; certainly the monsters weren't. (The DM applied the half dragon template to some lycanthropes, and ouch. So much burning.)

Our party consisted of (on that day) a magus, a paladin who uses a lucerne hammer and has ridiculously powerful charge attacks (reach weapon) plus Smite Evil, a witch, an overpowered barbarian/alchemist, and me, a druid (bear shaman). My druid PC generally uses Wild Shape to turn into a Huge bear and does good damage. He has low Wisdom though. Having just reached 9th-level, I was excited at the prospect of casting Animal Growth on my animal companion (I only have 1 5th-level spell) and finally matching the barbarian's damage numbers. That didn't happen.

We had met with some guys from Mivon, and while we were trying to impress them and so forth, a group of five draconic lycanthropes dropped on us. (The DM didn't tell us what they were at first, and there were at least three different types.) At the last minute the DM removed a few monsters, for fear he'd TPK us. That's why there was only numerical parity.

They started combat by breathing fire on us while we were all clumped up. They didn't clump up as much, but unfortunately formed a line...

I intended to summon an elemental with Summon Nature's Ally V (I have Augment Summoning). It would form a whirlwind, and then I'd cast Call Lightning, which would do extra damage due to the whirlwind. Except I looked at the elemental's whirlwind. With Augment Summoning (the whirlwind save DC is based on Strength, and AS boosts the elemental's Strength) the whirlwind DC was 20.

So the elemental turned into a whirlwind and then swept across the battlefield, literally attacking all five creatures. (Even with one move action allotted to it, 100 feet is a lot, the whirlwind form doesn't draw AoOs, and it could simply move through their squares.) I forget exactly who got damaged, but the damage was minimal. Instead, three of the creatures got swept up and carried away.

Despite their saving throws (Reflex, so pretty poor, they only got extra saves because half-dragons can fly) they were being moved 100 feet per move action (so twice that each round after the first), essentially erasing them from the combat. One instantly died, because the barbarian had almost blended it down to about 3 hit points before the elemental sucked it up. Thus, blood was sprayed on the PCs, monsters, and our allies elsewhere on the battlefield.

Now of course there's nothing preventing the monsters, who dealt a lot of damage, from simply ripping the elemental apart from the inside, but it occurred to me after the battle that the elemental might be able to "run" in flight (flying 400 feet per round) or even fly straight up, the exact amount being a little confusing (can it only move up at half speed, and if so, that's still 100 feet per round), which would make killing it no better than not... and all they did was kill a summon.

On another note, the barbarian did far more damage than my druid did, still. It didn't help that the remaining creatures had decent DR, which even magic-augmented attacks don't cut through. (I think anyway. The druid had a +2 amulet of natural armor, using the very new pricing rules.)

So I'm wondering, did I make any rules errors there? Could this combo be nastier? Should my druid give up wildshaping, and from now on just focus on summoning as many air elementals as possible? We're taking on Armag's barbarians next session (we failed to kill him!), but I have serious doubts about his own effectiveness. The elemental could in theory whirlwind him four times (since the whirlwind lasts four rounds), and Armag could fail three saves, get sucked up the fourth time, then taken skyward and dropped somewhere. Of course, the earlier he gets sucked up, the worse it'll be for him. (Of course, he's probably capable of killing the elemental in one turn. He's lucky I can only summon one!)

Large Air Elemental
N Large outsider (air, elemental, extraplanar)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11

AC 21, touch 17, flat-footed 13 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, –1 size)
hp 84 (8d10+40)
Fort +11, Ref +13, Will +2
Defensive Abilities air mastery; DR 5/—; Immune elemental traits

Speed fly 100 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 slams +14 (1d8+6)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks whirlwind (DC 20, 10–40 ft.)

Str 22, Dex 25, Con 20, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 11
Base Atk +8, CMB +15; CMD 33
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +15, Escape Artist +15, Fly +21, Knowledge (planes) +5, Perception +11, Stealth +11
Languages Auran
Air Mastery (Ex)
Airborne creatures take a –1 penalty on attack and damage rolls against an air elemental.

Whirlwind (Su)
Some creatures can transform themselves into whirlwinds and remain in that form for up to 1 round for every 2 HD they have. If the creature has a fly speed, it can continue to fly at that same speed while in whirlwind form; otherwise it gains a fly speed equal to its base land speed (average maneuverability) while in whirlwind form.

The whirlwind is always 5 feet wide at its base, but its height and width at the top vary from creature to creature (minimum 10 feet high). A whirlwind’s width at its peak is always equal to half its height. The creature controls the exact height, but it must be at least 10 feet high.

The whirlwind form does not provoke attacks of opportunity, even if the creature enters the space another creature occupies. Another creature might be caught in the whirlwind if it touches or enters the whirlwind, or if the whirlwind moves into or through the creature’s space. A creature in whirlwind form cannot make its normal attacks and does not threaten the area around it.

A creature that comes in contact with the whirlwind must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the monster’s HD + the monster’s Strength modifier; 20 in this case) or take damage as if it were hit by the whirlwind creature’s slam attack. It must also succeed on a second Reflex save or be picked up bodily and held suspended in the powerful winds, automatically taking the indicated damage each round. A creature that can fly is allowed a Reflex save each round on its turn to escape the whirlwind. The creature still takes damage that round but can leave if the save is successful.

Creatures trapped in the whirlwind cannot move except to go where the whirlwind carries them or to escape the whirlwind. Trapped creatures can otherwise act normally, but must succeed at a concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) to cast a spell. Creatures caught in the whirlwind take a –4 penalty to Dexterity and a –2 penalty on attack rolls. The whirlwind can have only as many creatures trapped inside at one time as will fit inside the whirlwind’s volume. As a free action, the whirlwind can eject any carried creatures whenever it wishes, depositing them in its space.

If the whirlwind’s base touches the ground, it creates a swirling cloud of debris. This cloud is centered on the creature and has a diameter equal to half the whirlwind’s height. The cloud obscures all vision, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. Creatures 5 feet away have concealment, while those farther away have total concealment. Those caught in the cloud of debris must succeed on a concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) to cast a spell.

This air elemental has Augment Summoning, boosting some stats.

I have a druid who just reached 6th-level. He has a bear animal companion.

As the bear has an Int of 2, it doesn't get many skill points. In fact, I think it only gets 6. It has a Wisdom bonus of +1.

If I put every rank into Perception, does it get Perception +7, or +10?