Mother of Beasts

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Every day earlier that a book comes out is one day earlier that money starts to come in. If one assumes that total lifetime sales are independent from release date, any publisher has reason to release as early as possible, that is as soon as the product is in a state that will not seriously impact sales. The money to make it has mostly been spend after all and profit is a function of time.

Paizo has been following a successful sales oriented strategy for many years now, continually testing out how many books their audience will.

They will not switch to a quality first strategy. And honestly, for a system designed for bloat, Pathfinder quality tends to be fine.

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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.
Being level 20 and all of the powers and options that characters Have within the rules are meaningless when not part of a game.
That which is outside the current game appears from within the game as background narrative and while PCs never get weaker in the game, they may be much weaker when the appear again, being just at the right level for whatever the game currently needs.

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.

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So, it's like a killer chain yoyo.

Thanks. That was helpful.

My prima facie impression is that shield block beyond the earliest levels in general means: lose your shield to prevent a little damage.
Is that how it plays or am I missing something?

A lot of the pictures look like concept art for a computer game of movie production.

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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".
This is further supported by the likely explanation that the author was confused by the change in terminology from first to second edition.

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Signature spells are picked from among your repertoire. This could have been stated more clearly, but the explicit reference to "spells you have learned at a higher level than its minimum" implies that signature spells are spells you have learned.

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I think it's pretty clear.

PF2e wrote:

At 1st level, you learn two 1st-level spells of

your choice and four cantrips of your choice, as well as
an additional spell and cantrip from your bloodline

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.



Each time you get a spell slot (see Table 3–17), you add a

spell of the same level to your spell repertoire. When you
gain access to a new level of spells, your first new spell is
always your bloodline spell, but you can choose the other
spells you gain.

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.

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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.

Can you dual wield flame blades?

Solution: Increase number of acts per spell.

Mauler is secondary. Figment is where its at. Having a wand monkey is almost better for a fighter than for a caster.

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.
Since there is no profit to be made from producing surplus goods, production will stop once needs are satisfied. This in particular will make it difficult to develop highly specialised production, since specialists need to focus and spend a lot of time on one thing and that is an inherently wasteful approach under the circumstances given.

Age of Worms AP....................B+
[has it's low points but a great theme, great villains and one of the best first adventure dungeons I know)


Rise of the Runelords..............B
[really cool ideas: rune giants, the new goblins, the ogres...]

Second Darkness....................C-
[really cool first adventure, decent book two and then there is that pointless plot twist and every goes south from there]

Legacy of Fire.........................A-
[cool theme, cool twists and a very fitting design]

[suffers from the kingdom building rules, the 15 minute adventuring day and a general lack of plot integration]

Serpent's Skull.......................F+
[great first adventure followed by 4 books of the same thing again and again and a boring finale. it makes two cardinal mistakes: in an exploration and discovery adventure there is practically nothing to discover but combat ocassions and to add insult to injury, all of the important discovering and investigating that could have been done by the player characters - instead of clearing three and a half cities block by block - was presented already done by an NPC]

Jade Regent...........................B-
[a very weak first adventure but some good ones along the way, sadly, yet another non-functioning sub system]

Skull & Shackles.....................C-
[well, pirates. nothing seems to stand out as particularly good, but the sandbox parts are better than in Kingmaker]

Shattered Star.......................D
[If only the dungeons in the endless sequence of dungeon crawls were really interesting...]

Reign of Winter......................A-
[I like almost everything about this one, the theme, the villains, the hut, the visual design,... only the Triaxian part seemed uninspired to me]

Wrath of the Righteous............D
[The plot and most of the adventures are easly B, but the mythic rules are just so horrible. challenge wise, this path is a joke]

Iron Gods..............................A
[So far. Currently playing book three]

[The best adventure path of them all is not from Paizo. This one does everything right and almost nothing wrong.]

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.

Yeah, that Dragon from the opening scene? That better be the boss of the fifth adventure...

It seems that the changes you have made to the artificiers enables them to cast any spell a full caster of two levels lower could cast at the drop of a hat and without any meaningful expenditure of resources. That seems grossly unbalanced to me.

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Naderi is strangely growing closer to the goddess of undeath, Urgathoa, due to Naderi's belief that love lasts beyond death, a position that Urgathoa can support.

This my new favorite sentence.

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:
This happens after X and Y are married.
Finale happens, Y turns out to die somewhat heroically.
A, already unstable, suffers a serious case of PTSD (or a curse, or the after effects of charm person gone horribly awry, or gross phyiscal mutilation, maybe Z even infects them with a magical desease).
X, ever mindful of duty must order Z's affairs, but is truly in love with Paladin. Paladin, feeling guilty because A first flirted with Z on rebound from Paladin, and of course because he truly cares, takes it upon himself to care for A during her recuperation.
Thus they part, Z widowed and Paladin dedicated to caring for A.

Even just making the claws permanent will not be problematic. They really should have been to start with.

Thymus Vulgaris wrote:

And how much you can carry, your ability to hold on to something (so you don't fall down during your climb) and pull yourself up (so you actually make progress), your ability to swim, your ability to knock doors down, not being blown about by storm-level winds... tug-o-war, trying to keep a door shut as someone is trying to force it open from the other side, you name it.

"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.
What it implies is stuff like +4 to hit and damage in melee.
RPG rules are not theories of nature.

Pick something that is deadly and where the rules encourage avoiding conflict. D20 modern will just create a constant suggestion that you're playing a game of DnD, where players are supposed to win violent conflict basically unharmed.

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.

In this kind of economic situation one wonders what the common people do.

Principle of Charity, the.

Always interpret any text in such a way as make it as rational, strong and consistent as possible.

Reach/Strength is complimented by a lot of the extracts, even at low level (long arm & enlarge person) and strength works better with the powerful polymorph extracts at higher levels, since the better forms are larger and hence give strength bonuses.

A Dwarf Ranger with a one level dip into Living Monolith using a reach weapon.

Set Up:
1 Combat Reflexes, Fav. Enemy Orc
2 Combat Style: Power Attack
3 Endurance, Iron Will
5 Lunge, Favored Enemy Giants +4
6 Dipping Living Monolith

And you're set.

Jodokai wrote:
ryric wrote:
You can be LG and still be intimidating. A lot of it can come from the implication of force - actual torture isn't really effective at getting information anyway.

Don't believe everything you see on TV. It's extremely effective.

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:
One is the everyday, normal economy, where craftspeople craft, farmers farm traders trade and so on. In this economy, one's wealth is measured by one's social status and it will most likely never change very much over one's life.

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.
A kings vast fortune is part of the first economy. He is rich in normal things, objects or art and the service of able people. He is not rich in OPE because he is not of high level.


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.

13 INT is enough to make Arcane Enlightenment work with a Belt at high levels. Until then, just drink a potion of fox's cunning when you need higher INT.

The definite article refers to a singular object.

"the house" does not refer to all houses.
"the listed ability" does not refer to all listed abilities.

Though at times, we may be bewitched by the illusions of our language, this is not one of those.

a) "Living" is not a rules term. It has no crunch meaning.
b) A homunculus has a bite attack with poison, fly speed and so on.
c) Since it's not acquired via the improved familiar feat and there is no other reason to assume it doesn't, it gets the speak with animals of its kind ability, though it technically does nothing. I suppose it could be argued that it can talk to other constructs (violation of "animals") or to animals of the type that the homunculus has the shape of (violation of "type") though.

Crunch: It's a homunculus
Fluff: in the shape of an animal or vermin

The swarms summoned by Creeping Doom have neither strength nor constitution, hence cannot benefit from Augment Summoning as far as I can see.

Claxon wrote:
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.

Slayer, Greatsword.

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?

Second the Wand Wielder Arcanum & Magus in general.
Also, check out the River Whip spell. It's entirely compatible with Precise Strike and Slashing Grace. Vive la touch attack!

Standard Figment Familiars can get a tentacle with an evolution point or 2 arms with hands for 2 and as mentioned gains speech as a familiar anyway, so wand monkeying is certainly possible. Also remember the skilled evolution. +8 goes a long way towards guaranteeing success.

Carnivalist & Eldritch Guardian combine nicely.
Share Sneak & Combat Feats (in particular Teamwork Feats).

Outflank, Precise Strike. Paired Opportunists. Combat Reflexes
Evolved Familiar to get reach...

1 Fig1 Outflank, Combat Reflexes
2 Fig2
3 Rog1 Precise Strike
4 Rog2
5 Rog3 Improved Familiar
6 Rog4
7 Fig3 Evolved Familiar
8 Bra1
9 Fig4 Paired Opportunist, Power Attack

I recommend a Pseudodragon for reach and until then a hawk with the mauler archetype.

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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.

Bonus Hit Points.

That is break the silly rule that NPCS need to follow the same rules as PCs.

I suppose a common cat could be a decent mauler.
After a quick check, both Raccoon and Wallaby get a Battle From base strength of 14, while among flying familiars the Hawk seems to come out on top with two attacks and a Battle Form base strength of 10.

In general, it seems that the familiar archetypes are incompatible with improved familiars and thus rather useless. That's the case even for older archetypes such as valet familiars, which thus become kind of useless.

Instead of Wild Child Brawler, consider Snake Striker for almost always on sneak attack. 2 levels of Lore Warden can cover most of your feat needs.

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