High-level superheroes everywhere: lore implications for the "post-adventure-path cinematic universe"
It's really simple. Golarion obeys the rules of pathfinder only localy, that is where ever you are currently playing. As soon as something comes into play, it necessarily fits into the rules (how else could it be in play?). But when it is not featured, the rules do not apply to it.
Because really, how else would it be plausible that encounters tend to be level appropriate, 200 year old elves can be level one, someone can go from dying to a dagger stab to surviving being chewed on by a dragon in the scope of a few months. And so on and so on.
No, Golarion clearly is a Kantian world where what appears is determined by who is being played.
The entry on bloodline spells and the bloodline listing does in fact add confusion as now the term "bloodline spell" refers to focus spells and the new term for what was called bloodline spell is now "granted spell" (this is probably an artefact of the term "bloodline spell" in 1st edition).
But, your focus spells are independent of your spell slots and have a very different structure. Thus they cannot possibly satisfy the condition that your spell repertoire is to mirror your spell slots.
The "spells granted" are the only viable candidates for what was originaly, in the entry on spell repertoire, called "bloodline spells".
I think it's pretty clear.
Note that you have 5 cantrip slots and 3 1st level spell slots at first level. So your number of "spells known" mirrors your spell slots.
So with every new spell slot gained, you add a spell of that level to your repertoire. IF that slot is the first of its level that you gain, that spell is determined by your bloodline, if not, you get to chose.
So for any level of spells you have access to, you always have the bloodline spell of that level in your repertoire as well as a number of spells chosen by you equal to your spell slots of that level minus one.
Behind this "Historical Accuracy" fallacy as described lies the fact that the image most people have of the (European) middle ages and by extension of "fantasy fantasy" settings is informed not by actual historical research but the long shadow of nationalist romantic fiction of the 19th century. As these writings attempted to both construct a golden past and a historical justification for their own societies, the result is an idealized "past" for white, industrial age European people, including racial exclusion and the absence of anything reminding people of industrial age technology.
So the fallacy is double: Once taking the fiction for the real thing and secondly accepting the fiction as an authority without reflecting on its origins.
In an isolated community, anything that is consumed must be produced locally and vice versa. This means that for any economical branch, there is a strict upper limit, this goes in particular for things like mining, of which only so much is required to satisfy local needs. Once the soldiers and craftspeople are equipped all you need is enough for repairs and maintenance.
Age of Worms AP....................B+
Rise of the Runelords..............B
Legacy of Fire.........................A-
Skull & Shackles.....................C-
Reign of Winter......................A-
Wrath of the Righteous............D
General statement: I like the off-kilter stuff because Golarion is already an everything but the kitchen sink patchwork world with no common theme and very little integration between regions and the DnD/Pathfinder rule set is so unrealistic and over the top that I really do feel that anything goes.
Turn it up:
X's Father wants to politically marry X to some Hellknight/Noble/Darkwizard Y. X feels oblige to submit to her father's will and Paladin, faced with the honor in that is torn between his feelings and his sense of duty.
Unbeknownst to all, Y's child/apprentice/something-or-other Z is in love with A and unlike everyone else so far is utterly psycho, willing to abduct A and worse.
Y is none too please with finding out how crazy Z is and presto, Paladin and Y might be forced to make common cause to rescue A. Meanwhile, X grows increasingly certain of their feelings for Paladin.
During the ensuing finale, the outcome is wide open. Paladin may get the chance to get rid of Y without anyone getting wise about it; Y may show supreme cruelty in punishing Z, whom Paladin would have taken to court; Y may save X's and/or A's lives. Anyone may die.
Here's my favorite outcome:
Thymus Vulgaris wrote:
"stuff like"i.e. effects defined and measured within the rules.
There is no rule relating strength with muscle mass, appearance or even weight/height ratio. In fact, the de facto independence of weight/height and ability scores in general implies conceptual irrelevance.
There is a category mistake being made here. The crunch is not there to describe the fluff. "STR 18" is not a description of appearance, nor is a description of past nutrition, training exercise and so on.
This is the game:
Players each controlling one character fight monsters controlled by the DM on maps. After 4-6 such fights, the characters level up an fight harder monsters. Equipment is just part of levelling up and not really gear in the common sense sense of the word.
This determines the unavoidable structure of a Pathfinder game, it's very skeleton. Around this structure, a story is told, a piece of fiction, often merely simulating player choice, which is supposed to make all the fighting have some meaning and give some explanation to what's happening.
But this story is bound to follow the basic structure of the game. E.g. you cannot begin with fighting dragons or demons, you being by fighting orcs and goblins [...]. Even the most improvised and artfully told story in Pathfinder will have to follow this blueprint.
And mind you, this blueprint is utterly ridiculous and purely there for abstract reasons of rules and gaming tradition.
It's not that difficult. A druid has such a powerful base that even an unoptimized build can still be strong.
So, a druid gets 4 skill points per level, a human with INT 12 gets 2 more and six should suffice. You could max bluff, diplomacy, intimidate, sense motive, perception and stealth with that.
The Serpent Shaman archetype get access to the Trickery domain, which adds bluff, disguise and stealth to your druid class skills as well as a number of stealthiness spells.
Such spells can also be acquired via the Nagaji specific Naga Aspirant druid archetype.
You can also consider a swashbuckler dip, which will add bluff, diplomacy and intimidate to your class skills while at least not costing you a point of BAB.
Even a level of rogue would not be horrible and 1d6 sneak attack can be a good advantage when you get 5 attacks as a velociraptor.
A level of Inquisitor is probably your best choice, though. It gives you all the skills mentioned as class skills, a few 1st level spells per day as well as access to the Conversion inquisition, which keys social skills off wisdom instead of charisma. Taking the Sacred Huntsman archetype will stack with your druid animal companion while Sanctified Slayer will get you the studied strike ability, which is better than a 1/d judgement.
Finally, there are always traits and the Extra Traits feat, which can make most any skill a class skill.
Funny, in almost all the movies and TV shows I've seen, when it comes up it's shown to be really effective, while every serious article I've read about it tells me that it's really ineffective and unreliable.
There are two economies in pathfinder that have nothing at all to do with each other:
The other one consists of objects of personal empowerment won by killing things and taking their objects of personal empowerment with a little dash of crafting your own objects of personal empowerment or buying them from some source of OPEs. Every single magic spell is part of this economy. In this economy, one's wealth (appearing as OPEs) is not really economical value but just one aspect of the strange property called level. And as one's level changes (it only ever rises and it typically rises very fast, it can go from 1 to 20 in a year or so) one's wealth changes geometrically.
Do not succumb to the illusion fostered by both kinds of wealth being measured in "gold pieces". These two economies must never be allowed to interact! Even small, seemingly inconspicuous interactions can cause disaster if anyone should make the mistake of applying logic and reasoning to it.
Lawfulness doesn't really figure into it, unless there are laws prohibiting or prescribing intimidation (hard to imagine in a general case, but a government could outfit its military or police force to appear intimidating e.g.). It is ime purely a matter of good vs evil. And thus, a neutral or chaotic good character might have more issues with it, since they would not by equally inclined to excuse their actions by recourse to laws.
Imagine e.g. a lawful good torturer in a generally good country where the law prescribes torture as punishment for some crimes.
Intimidation, that is causing fear in others, is in general not a good action. Fear is typically less bad than physical harm, but it is an evil. Also keep in mind that torture is 90% intimidation.
There will be situations where intimidation is the lesser evil, but speaking in a general manner, intimidating someone is causing them to suffer an evil and is such at the very least not a good action.
On the other hand, 99% of all essentially good outsiders are combat monsters, which kind of suggests that good and evil on Golarion are less moral categories but rather just sides of the lower/upper planes distinction. Angels and Demons all kill, torture, maim and intimidate, it's only their justifications that differ.
Or you can adopt an imperial ethos: everything I do is good, because I do it and I am the good guy.
a) "Living" is not a rules term. It has no crunch meaning.
Well, it wont help you get more spells per day and you don't start out buffed which may or may not be an important consideration. You wont qualify for feats which have a higher score than your normal score because the enhancement is not a permanent effect.
Good point! So this is clearly better for physical abilities.
Throw in a level or two of Fighter (feats) or two levels of Cavalier (intimidation) to get heavy armor proficiency. Alternatively, two levels of Master of Many Styles Monk will get you great saves as well as access to Tiger Pounce, which shifts the PA to hit penalty to AC.
Third option, and my favorite, Mutagenic Brawler with 2 levels of MoMS/MoSM Monk, combine pummeling style & dragon style. Use brawling armor & an AOMF. You can throw in 3 levels of weapon master fighter brawler fighter for further bonuses and (not sure here) access to gloves of dueling.
It is not overly difficult to get a familiar that can reliably use a wand. Invest in UMD, the Evolved Familiar feat or the Figment Familiar archetype to get the Skilled evolution.
A wand of animal's ability costs 4500 GP. That's 500 GP more than a +2 belt or headband, but provides +4 right from the start. It lasts 3 minutes, thus at least one combat and your familiar can cast it on you, preserving your action economy. 50 charges should last you until you can afford a +4 or even +6 item.
Comments? Am I missing anything?
Carnivalist & Eldritch Guardian combine nicely.
Outflank, Precise Strike. Paired Opportunists. Combat Reflexes
I recommend a Pseudodragon for reach and until then a hawk with the mauler archetype.
Oddly enough, since a Homunculist's homunculus is not technically an improved familiar, it does seem to gain speak with animals of it's kind, opening it up for archetypes. Furthermore, though a homunculus cannot speak, a Homunculist's homunculus gains speak with master, which clearly is a language - though one with only two speakers. It should thus be able to use spell trigger items.
It would be much more fun, if improved familiars, which almost everyone taking a familiar will go for anyway, could take the archetypes.
And while it's not a case of archetype interaction (improved familiars are not archetypes), it seems rather clear that one cannot replace what one does not have.
Therefore abandon the trade paradigm and embrace communism: From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.