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Organized Play Member. 240 posts (308 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 2 wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters. 4 aliases.


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This thread can use a bump in light of the most recent Errata;

As I read it, the persistent damage from Sticky Bombs is set as being equal to the Splash Damage, which, not being doubled on a crit, means it also is not doubled on a crit. Therefore, with the specific information of being keyed to damage that isn't being doubled, specific trumps general, and the new errata holds no sway.

But, I recognize that my reading of the rule in that sense is not universal, and plenty of folks have interpreted the new FAQ post to mean that Sticky Bombs damage is doubled on a critical hit. Some additional clarity would be really helpful here.

Firearms status? Also, Tech guide, yay/nay?

(Surprisingly, these inquiries are unrelated.)

Choant wrote:
How about a ranged focused ranger? What level should we make? Why are the build limitations?

Maybe you should read the OP? It's all there.

I've a thought about a Goblin Alchemist that ought to be fairly easy to introduce in Thistletop... if the PC's are sufficiently non-murderhobos to see a caged goblin and not kill him immediately.

Worth trying to sell you on it?

ROTRL Spoiler for player knowledge:

(FWIW, I've played ROTRL through the end of the the haunted house if that's an issue. It's not far past where you are currently.)

Dot. Here's hoping aliases get fixed soon.

Also,'grats to those who made it! Looking forward to a fun campaign.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Lune wrote:

LessPopMoreFizz: Mythic Lunge is worded differently and does not use the "during your turn" clause. This is likely because Mythic Feats are intentionally more powerful than non-Mythic Feats. But again, RAW, Lunge does not increase your AoO range.

So, like I said, RAW, you seem to be right...

Benefit: You can increase the reach of your melee attacks by 5 feet until the end of your turn by taking a –2 penalty to your AC until your next turn. You must decide to use this ability before any attacks are made.

But, Mythic Lunge doesn't negate Lunge as written in any way, as you seem to indicate. It merely appears to be written based on an assumption that Lunge works for AoO's.


Benefit: Whenever you use Lunge and hit a creature with the melee attack, you no longer take a –2 penalty to AC against that creature. You can expend one use of mythic power when you use Lunge to negate the –2 penalty to AC whether you hit or miss, and gain a +2 bonus on attacks of opportunity you make while Lunge is in effect.

So, while it's true that RAW, Lunge doesn't increase reach for AOO's, I think it's at a minimum extremely murky what the intended outcome.

Hell, I'd go so far as to argue that it's pretty clear cut what the intention is, based on the presumption.

Congrats to those who made the cut!

Let's roll them bones.

Lune wrote:

Something I feel I have to bring up frequently as it was mentioned above: Lunge does not affect Attacks of Opportunity.

RAW, it doesn't anyway. I still am not sure if this was intentional. In the games I play in and run we house rule it to work as a stance like Power Attack and Combat Expertise do. This is, however, a house rule. I would not expect this at unfamiliar tables.

edit: Also, I saw Devo live in concert at Lolapalooza 97. It was... interesting.

Given the writing of Mythic Lunge, this interpretation is almost certainly not intended.

As for DEVO... RIP Bob 1. :(

DM Barcas wrote:
LessPopMoreFizz: Wow, I said to swing for the fences. That is a bold choice. What does he look like, both as himself and as Soractus? Being essentially a dark-skinned human with elf heritage would not be looked down upon at all, so he could go with his normal look (if he wanted) without issue.

Contact lenses and dyed hair are de rigeur; the goal is to look like a half-elf with heritage from one of the darker skinned human ethnic groups, rather than a half-drow; thus, any inherited features like hair/eye color are masked.

More to the point, his overall appearance has changed radically two or three times, through the use of mundane methods - a broken nose here, a scar added (or magically removed) there, a new haircut - and more closely held Alkaean technology and magic. He's had his current identity for about a year now.

How many of his century are also drow-blooded?

More than 5, less than 20? That's information that's well above 64's proverbial pay grade.

How would they have received a drow woman? (I have an idea: what if Number 1 is actually a disguised drow himself and is the father of the half-drow members under his command. Being in a high rank in such a secretive place, he could probably run such a conspiracy.)

This could definitely work as well. I had a mental image of there being a tunnel to the underdark somewhere on the island. It's not normally an area where anything comes up - maybe one wandering monster or drow patrol finds it's way up every century or so - but 'underground railroad' types have used it in the past as an escape mechanism, so the Alkaeans watch it closely - and when a Drow patrol wandered too close, a hostage was taken, and a plot hatched.

Ultimately, I'm ambivalent between the two methods of making this work, feel free to pick the one that fits your setting as you envision it best.

Mechanically, how would the drow blood be represented - as a half-elf with the drow-blooded racial traits?

Yea, exactly this.

Did they keep the dissension plot secret? Does he feel lied to regarding his heritage?

All that 64 and 29 know is that there's a program to breed half-drow for their superior genetic qualities. They don't know the why of it, and only the absolute most minimal portions of the how.

As for whether he feels lied to... yeah, he's mostly reconciled it in his head, but it's definitely a piece of information that can serve as a crack which other doubts can hammer into as he learns more.

The investigator is a class that uses alchemy; how does he used alchemy in his actions? How long has he been in his current identity? Do people treat him differently as a Alkaeus, as any of them might be a member of the secret police?

His use of alchemy represents his training in the use of advanced Alkaean biochemistry; There are any number of things that are possible with the right combination of chemistry and thaumaturgy - especially when that combination can be encoded specifically to the individual doing the preparation - i.e. making an extract.

He's been in his current identity for about a year. Roughly since the last Citizenship Ceremony, where, at least according to the public records, he was initiated.

That depends entirely on the individual. Not all members of the Oculus hide among the Alkaeans, and the majority of Alkaeans operate through more overt means; that said, in any society, there are those that fear and hate even the uniformed police - they represent a power and authority that isn't always welcome, after all. The fact that there are agents out of uniform who might be listening at any time, should leave those who need to be paranoid, paranoid. Those who are committed to the cause though, would think nothing of it, I'd imagine.

DM Barcas wrote:

Everybody: What is the PBP experience of all of the submitting players? I'd like for everyone to write an in-character sample (a few paragraphs, at least) that has them going through an ordinary situation with one of your NPCs.

PBP experience: basically none. I've been playing tabletop games on and off for about 20 years. I got back into things about a year or so ago, with a few in person games, and then a bit of playing around with Roll20. I'm traveling much more for work now, so the asynchronous nature of PBP is appealing, so I'd like to try it out.

I'll write up a sample post tomorrow evening.

I'm fond of the Magus for whip builds, though I prefer not to invest in maneuvers beyond the ioun stone.

Where the whip magus really shines after level 7 or so, (particularly Kensai, blade bound is optional), IMO, is as an AOO monster. Frostbite with Rime Spell and Magical Lineage replaces Shocking Grasp as your main Spellstrike engine, and with buffs like Enlarge Person and Long Arm, or feats like Lunge, you can create a fairly massive zone of control in which nobody can move or cast a spell without being hit by you, taking your whip damage, Frostbite damage, and being Fatigued and Entangled.

The damage gets pretty respectable eventually too, if you start bringing in feats like Arcane Deed/Precise Strike.

It'd also be a GM nightmare! :P

Though it'd be fun to see those that don't make it show up as NPCs if the other expeditions actually figure into things.

A Swashbuckler with a whip can be fairly nasty.

Halfling Swashbuckler with the Mouser and Mysterious Stranger archetype, specialized in making Giants fall down.

They’ve Given You A Number… And Taken Away Your Name…

Elevator Pitch: Alkaeus are the enforcers of (what they perceive anyway) to be Mengkare’s Will. The enforcers of ideological, biological, and cultural purity.
Crunch: Half-Drow Steel Hound/Infiltrator Investigator

Soractus ex-Alkaeus, Ten Minute Background:


Five background and concept elements important to Number 64 (AKA Soractus ex-Alkaeus).

1) 64 is an agent of the Aurelian Oculus, one of the five centuries in the Alkaeus tribes charged with keeping the peace in Promise and enforcing the purity of Mengkare’s vision. While the other centuries of Alkaeus are respected, the Oculus is feared. In whispers, members of other tribes refer to them as the Aurelian Shadow, or, more simply The Walls. Oculars are stripped of their name upon achieving citizenship within the Century, and instead issued a number, which is known to, and used exclusively within the Oculus. Oculars take on, and dispose of, other identities on an as needed basis, though they always maintain a (readily disposable) public face.
2) 64 is a Half Drow, born out of a secret breeding program operated by the Alkaeus tribe. A captive Drow woman, held securely in a site outside of Promise, has been used for about a century to breed a new generation of Alkaean agents with heightened senses, a resistance to enchantment, and… other skills. These infants are glamered at birth to hide their heritage, and it is not removed or revealed to them until they gain citizenship with Alkaeus. At this time, they are trained to disguise themselves, and continue to blend in with Hermean society.
3) 64 recently participated in a fairly large scale operation to flush out a small cult of Milani worshippers, led by, of all things, a Legate of the Zyphros Tribe, who had been sabotaging the fields worked by those who would never attain citizenship. 64 was proud of his role in the operation, but is troubled that he never saw any actual evidence of the alleged sabotages.
4) While he’s a talented infiltrator, 64’s primary training is as an interrogator and forensic investigator. He’s rather proud of his ability to get inside of a subject’s head, and pull information out, whether through subtle trickery, overt brandishing of a weapon. He finds torture distasteful, but is familiar with the application of the skill.
5) 64 is a crack shot, and as a child, dreamed of being called to serve with Lucarus. His calling was elsewhere, but he still prides himself on his skill at arms, and trains with his weapon with a vigor unusual for an Ocular, who are not generally expected to engage in direct confrontations.

Two goals that are important to 64.
1) 64 is a True Believer in the Unity Principle and Mengkare’s vision, but his faith in the systems that carry out that vision have been shaken of late. He worries about the recent arrest of several high ranking members of another tribe, and has still not fully integrated an understanding of his own unique parentage into his greater understanding of the Hermean genetic program.
2) 64 has become quite enamored of the life he presently leads as Soractus ex-Alkaeus. He will go to great lengths to maintain the integrity of that identity, and not have his role as an Ocular disclosed, as he has begun to establish friendships that he has no desire to abandon.

Two secrets about 64, one that he knows, and one that he not yet aware of.

1) Unlike other citizens of Promise, 64 knows who his mother is. She is a Drow Priestess, kept caged deep within the Aurelian Hall, headquarters of the Oculus, in a chamber deep below the earth, and warded against the outside. He knows of several other half-drow citizens within his Century as well, and suspects others. He knows that the program is not common knowledge, but doesn’t know how secret it is beyond the Oculus.
2) The Drow-breeding program is, in fact, a pet project of the current Tribune of the Oculus, and is not even known of to the other Alkaeus Tribunes or the Consul. It’s unclear if Mengkare knows, or if he is aware of - or concerned about - the ambitions of the Tribune.

Four people that are tied to 64, three are friends and one is an enemy.
1) Number 29 - AKA Aegedyce ex-Alkaeus, 29 is a half-drow who was elevated to Citizenship alongside 64, and was trained alongside him in the arts of disguise and deception. She is frequently partnered with him for operations, and the two are close friends. While 64 is primarily skilled as an interrogator, 29’s talents tend more towards stealth, scrying, and surveillance. When they say that The Walls have eyes… 29 is them.
2) Lucalino ex-Alkaeus is 64’s nextdoor neighbor in Promise, and is an officer of Mengkare’s Claw, the century of Alkaeus that acts as a more conventional city watch. Luke only knows 64 as Soractus, and believes him to be a recently initiated member of the Claw.
3) Number 6, Legate to 64, and his immediate superior officer. Meticulous, and fanatical, 6 is your prototypical Secret Police Captain, obsessed with the eradication of sedition and the promotion of the party line.
4) Number 1, The current Tribune of the Oculus, harbors ambitions of his own, and is intent on using his feifdom to promote them.

Four memories, mannerisms or quirks 64 possess.
1) 64 is fond of guises with, as he describes it ‘a bit of grit’. He enjoys the way it irritates his more fastidious superior, and believes that by obscuring his features with filth, they become harder to scrutinize.
2) 64 has a limited memory of a childhood in which he was raised as a human boy named Victarion, during which he learned to hunt and shoot and was trained in basic mechanical skills; he occasionally wonders what happens to the other children he was raised among, having been forced to abandon his identity on achieving citizenship.
3) 64 is intensely self conscious about his true appearance. The moment he allows someone to see his true face, even within the Oculus, is the moment he is affirming a very strong bond of trust.
4) 64 occasionally has intense, lucid nightmares set in a city of Drow. He’s not sure what they mean.

I'd appreciate feedback. This is a definite first draft.

Are you looking to run this game with only two players? Or are you just looking to recruit two more to an existing group?

I've got a Chirurgeon Alchemist//Gunslinger crunched out that would work I think. Need to just polish off the history...

One last question before I lock in what I'm doing:

How's the firearm/advanced tech firearms availability in this alternate setting compared to normal Iron Gods?

Just wondering if going for a gun-based build is going to be a thing that might lend itself to the flavor we have here, or if I'm better off leaning towards archery or melee shenanigans...

Okay, finally had an idea I like. Going to be laying claim to the Alkaeus name and turning them into the long, creepy, arm (and eyes, and ears) of Mangkare's Law.

Rolling up a member of what amounts to the secret police who are entrusted to stamp out ideological impurity, whether in the form of active sedition, inappropriate romantic pairings, inconvenient speech, etc., as well as more conventional crimes and misdemeanors.

Barcas, how do you feel about using a reflavored False Priest (or other, similar Arcane caster grabbing some divine stuff)?

Seems like it could be a great fit, or not fit at all for what you're building, depending on various societal details and such.

Darkness Rising wrote:

Wow, this looks ... seriously impressive. Dotting with interest, thinking about an Alchemist (chirurgeon) who has issues with the experimental medicine sometimes practised on patients: the concept that the knowledge gained benefits all even if the individual dies does not sit well with his medical instinct, which is to try and heal every patient with treatment that he knows will work.


Had a similar idea (Vivisectionist maybe) in mind.

Time to work on a plan B.

GM Warhawk wrote:

It would appear as though we are now in need of a new player for this game. Therefore, I am looking for someone to fill in the spot. This may or may not be a first come/first serve opportunity. I will be holding recruitment open for one week maximum. Please follow the guidelines a the beginning of the Recruitment Thread.

Other information not included on the first post:

25 Point Buy
Please use This Character Sheet template when making your alias.
Any race from any Sci-fi franchise is authorized (Mass Effect, Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, etc...), although the creation of your own is highly encouraged (using the Santiago alien race builder). I have racial stats for quite a few races, so if you are interested in one, please let me know and I'll get those stats to you.

I don't see it in your equipment section, so how do you feel about the Monowhip from the tech guide?

I've got some thoughts about a Swashbuckler build using one of those, but want to double check it with you first.

Before I submit, any preferences between the two following build ideas:

Zen Archer 1// Alchemist X, because what squad in any self respecting dwarven militia doesn't have a resident demolitions expert?

Alternately, I have a Monk/Investigator build kicking around that can function pretty decently as an Int-based party face, which might be a bit more important amongst a pack of 5 CHA Dwarves...

Don't have anything that'd fit this, but I saw the title, and the thought occurred to me that a campaign of PC's all Old Age or even Venerable could make for an interesting and fun setup. Coming out of retirement for one last hurrah and all that.

You'd probably want to use something like Focus Foible with strict rolled-in-order stats though to avoid a party made up entirely of casters abusing cheaper point buys.

DM Thron wrote:

Snotboogie: Passes initial check

Let me know if you want more detail in terms of the backstory; I tend not to like plugging in proper nouns without talking them over with the DM to see if there's any specific tie-ins desired. :D

Also, I hope my reason for showing up passes muster as "justifying a monstrous humanoid in the hall"

DM Thron wrote:

No Monster as PC options for this campaign.

Should I not bother to finish the Goblin I'm currently writing up a backstory for?

1d10 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
1d10 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
1d10 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
1d10 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13

Skill Monkey/Face coming up. Would've liked to have a second high stat, but this'll do nicely.

4d6 ⇒ (4, 6, 4, 1) = 15 = 14
4d6 ⇒ (1, 3, 6, 6) = 16 = 15
4d6 ⇒ (3, 6, 6, 6) = 21 = 18
4d6 ⇒ (2, 3, 4, 2) = 11 = 9
4d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 2, 6) = 19 = 17
4d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 3, 1) = 12 =11

Yeah. I can work with that. :D

I'm thinking a battlefield controller Magus. Frostbite, Lunge, Etc. Maybe a whip.

Oh, and since I don't think I mentioned it (since I haven't statted anything out), Thack is likely to be a Human or Half-{Elf/Orc}. I left geographic details in the bio sparse; coming into a campaign late, I like to consult with the GM on anything with a proper name to see if it'd be easier to hook into an existing narrative/NPC/place. :)

Because it's from a monster book, I want to be sure to clear this: any problem with a Goblin Winged Marauder Alchemist?

Every good kingdom needs a good spymaster. Someone who listens to the whispers, can go to places where royalty are unwelcome, and understands the world as it is, not as some idealistic crown-stand of an heir wishes it could be.

Thackeray is an Empiricist Investigator (possibly with a Swashbuckler dip), who, mechanically, screams skill-monkey. He is, at a minimum, competent at literally every single skill in the game (I.e. Every skill is a class skill with 1 point in it), with a variety of magical and mundane measures to boost those skills further as-needed.

In terms of personality, Thack is, above all else, a self-reliant autodidact. As a child, he wanted nothing more than to be a wizard, but as an impoverished child, he had no access to a formal education. His rough background, lack of funds, and lack of something as simple as anyone to vouch for, or recommend him kept him from seeking admission to the larger academies of Magic as well. Having been rejected as a pupil from nearly every legitimate school of magic and apprentice-ship opportunity for a few hundred miles, he eventually stooped to stealing a wizards spellbook and trying to figure it out for himself. While he never could fully make heads or tails of most of the spells, he's managed to get a handle on enough of them to approximate their effects as extracts.

When he wants to, he can turn on an odd sort of charm, but when he persuades people, it's often as much exasperated or flat out confused resignation, rather than real, authentic agreement. Similarly, he's not entirely comfortable amongst higher society - and he's learned to fake it till he makes it, affecting a somewhat stilted, and archaic, but voluminous vocabulary that can seem pompous to those who don't understand where it comes from. He wears this air of erudition like armor to protect himself from being exposed as a fraud - his greatest fear.

Well, second greatest. As he puzzles out more pages of that spellbook, he's beginning to think that the one he stole might've belonged to someone a bit more important - and more importantly, more powerful - than he has bargained for as a teenager... And he's getting worried that the owner might want it back someday.

Dot. Gonna need to figure out what works well with the monk dip.

Going to echo the question about archetypes as well. I can think of quite a few uses for, for example, a level of Zen Archer.

Oh man, the thought of playing a Mouser/Mysterious Avenger Swashbuckler in a campaign like this is just screaming at me.

Gonna have to try to stat that combo out.

Why not a Witch, Shaman or Summoner?

Less courtroom, more contracts, both earthly, and supernatural. No pact too infernal.

(You might want to reflavor a few things if you go this route, but it shouldn't affect anything materially if you do so.)

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The Faerie Dragon 'casts spells as a 3rd level Sorcerer'.

When taking one as a familiar, do I get to select and change it's spells known from those indicated in the stat block? For instance. Could I, for instance, give it Detect Magic instead of Flare, or Mending instead of Open/Close, or Enlarge Person instead of Grease?

Additionally, can the Faerie Dragon use magic items as a sorcerer without relying on UMD? What about items like a Page of Spell Knowledge to expand its spell list?

(To be clear, I AM NOT asking about whether this spell casting ability scales. That's a seperate question, and one which I'm less worried about.)

Hunter undermines (or maybe proves) your own argument here.

The Hunter gets access to both the Ranger and Druid spell lists, and for spells that are on both, the Hunter gets them at whichever one puts the spell at a lower level.

That means, for example, that it's the only class in the game that can cast Resist Energy at level 1, which can be really strong, as well as getting access to Ranger goodies like Gravity Bow and Lead Blades right out of the gate.

But yes, Summoning Spells in particular are really lame on any class that doesn't have some amount of adjustment built in to account for fewer spell levels. Especially when they don't have a spell list from level 1.

In some ways, the Alchemist already fills this niche.

Okay. So, Touch Injection allows you to store a Potion, Poison, or Infusion, and deliver it at a later time via a touch attack. So far, so good.

If I have 2 attacks per round, (Let's say, an 8th level Alchemist at +6/+1 to hit), can you take the first attack with a weapon, and use the second iterative attack as your touch attack to deliver the Injection?

If Yes, can you take that touch attack against yourself, rather than an enemy, thus automatically hitting, and allowing you to buff yourself, and attack in one round? What about a willing ally?

Furthermore, if yes, must iterative attacks be taken in order (i.e. must the +6 attack be taken before the +1 attack?)

Round 2!

An Alchemist with natural weapons can also, as I understand it, deliver a stored potion, poison or extract via Touch Injection when making a Natural Attack.

If my understanding/base assumption is correct, is it possible for an Alchemist with multiple natural attacks (say, 3 from Feral Mutagen) to sacrifice one of his natural attacks to perform a touch attack against himself inject a potion or extract into himself? Again, what about a willing ally in range?

If it's not possible to make a touch attack in this way as part of a full attack action, is it possible to simply perform a normal melee attack against oneself, rolling damage to perform a touch injection? If yes, it ought to be possible to take this attack as a non-lethal attack, while using remaining natural attacks against opponents as lethal, correct?

TL;DR Does Touch Injection offer the ability to get a 'free' spell off during a full attack action?

First level ASAP. Then take the other two after getting Pounce, IMO.

And no, personally I don't think the BAB is worth the trade. With a primarily natural attacker, you're not worried about iteratives anyway, and there are plenty of great ways to boost the actual attack roll.

Morzadian wrote:
LessPopMoreFizz wrote:

Poor Design is not in the same category as a proofreading error.

In the generally accepted language of RPG's, errata is for the latter, not the former, regardless of what your dictionary says.

Meaning in a pen and paper role playing game context

The term Errata is used to refer to any correction issued to the rules text whether the error is due to a printing issue or author error. Such errata are generally published online.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erratum#Meaning_in_a_pen_and_paper_role_playin g_game_context

Yes. 'Author Error' != poor design.

Author error would be things like Slashing Grace not working on light weapons because of an authorial oversight failing to realize that "one handed slashing weapon" has specific, defined meaning as a game term.

The inclusion of a feat you don't like is not an error in this sense, it is an example of poor design. The two are not equivalent.

Go three levels of MC, not 9.

Furious Mutagen is great. The others, you can either take as normal Alch discoveries or aren't as good as having more and higher level extracts.

Poor Design is not in the same category as a proofreading error.

In the generally accepted language of RPG's, errata is for the latter, not the former, regardless of what your dictionary says.

Third Mind wrote:

6) - I feel fairly confident, that at this level at least, they were fairly accurate. First miss with Blasty was a 1 so that would miss anything. That being said, I don't see any actual harm in giving at the very least full BAB.

The main harm in full BAB is faster access to incremental attacks, which are quite strong.

The best solution is probably some sort of mechanic to provide a flat to-hit bonus of +1/4 levels or better which doesn't speed those up.

(For an example, see the Investigator's Studied Combat.)

There are a handful of weapons to which Slashing Grace and Weapon Finesse both apply without dipping another class.

The aforementioned Whip is the most notable, along with the Aldori Dueling Sword.

It warrants a mention, I'd say, though certainly doesn't warrant the top tier rating of the alternatives. Being able to get Dex to hit and Damage on a reach weapon that works with Spellstrike is pretty fantastic. Especially for archetypes like the Kensai that can get tons of AOO's, in combination with spells like Frostbite and Chill Touch that offer lots of touch attacks.

Any particular reason you cite Fencing Grace, but not Slashing Grace?

It's more feat heavy, but, for instance, it opens up the Falcata to Dex users, and Weapon Focus is (arguably) a smaller price than 2 ranks in Perform (Dance) because it provides an actual benefit that you probably want.

(It also probably bumps Whip magi up a color from their original ranking in Walter's guide.)

Best solution is a one level dip (or really, 3 level dip given what you get for it) of Master Chymist. Three transformations per day at over an hour each should be plenty for anyone.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

~190 damage. That's not all that unreasonable an amount of damage for a 16th level character.

Blasting is overrated.

I'm a big fan of the two fast healing discoveries.

If you don't grab Feral Mutagen, you might want to look at Infuse Mutagen. It's not particularly great (it's awful expensive for a backup), but you need one or the other for Master Chymist, and a 3 level dip of that is *very* strong. (2 extra unprepared mutations/day, some free damage, and either +damage dice on natural attacks, or free enlarge with mutation.)

Alternately, just save your Panache for Opportune Parry/Riposte, and it means you don't need anywhere near as much AC in many cases, and can focus your resources elsewhere.

Dilvias wrote:
I personally rate Expanded Inspiration as a green simply for perception (although sense motive with empathy is nice too, along with diplomacy and, if you bother to put a point into it heal). Consider the half elf empiricist with an Int of 18 at 3rd level: Perception +15 +1d6+1 (+6 skill, +2 keen senses, +3 skill focus, +4 int, +1d6+1 inspiration from favored class bonus) averaging +19 on every perception roll, probably the most important skill of the game.

You can get free inspiration on perception from a slotless Magic item though, along with some other nifty perks (an unseen servant!)

kestral287 wrote:

-Is there any reason not to take the Steel Hound? Maybe I'm missing something, but by my read it only replaces Swift Alchemy and Poison Use for stuff that, while not great, is certainly less situational than those. Seems like it should be rated Green and pretty much be a go-to over a normal Investigator. Not necessarily over other archetypes that it conflicts with-- I like Empiricist-- but I don't see any reason to play a baseline when the Steel Hound is on the table..

You said it yourself. The problem wih Steel Hound isn't Steel Hound. It's that its incompatible with Mastermind or Empiricist, both of which are better choices. If you're not playing one of those two, odds are its because you place some value on poison, at which point, Steel Hound remains a nonstarter.

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