My favorite character is Calista, a high level, chaotic good AD&D drow fighter/mage. She hits all of the tropes (good drow, fled/exiled from Underdark, power-hungry, aristocratic, confident, ferociously intelligent, beautiful, seductive, sardonic, worships Eilistraee, hunted by Lolth’s agents) but she is a blast to play.
She has spent much time on the surface and while she can easily conceal her presence, she flaunts her heritage to see what kind of reactions she can provoke. She is suspicious of high-level clerics and paladins, as their religious allegiances ultimately dictate their actions (despite any personal feelings) and they can wield powers comparable to her own.
Calista has shown up in different campaigns through the years, tearing into hordes of monsters with sword and spell. She is always on the lookout for Lolth’s agents and relishes the moments when she helps thwart the Spider Queen’s plans.
You can gain a fusion of any two slotted magic items of the same slot. Which two do you pick, and why?
What level is the character starting at? Assuming 1st level, and since damage isn’t a concern, go wizard (transmuter) with an arcane-bonded longsword (blade adept arcanist also looks good but i haven’t played one). Highest stat in Intelligence, next in Dex, tertiary in Con. I’d avoid armor and arcane training feats (instead rely on high dex, mage armor, shield spell). If wizard, you’ll want Craft Wondrous Item as one of your bonus feats to build protection items for yourself.
As you advance in level, you can use arcane bond to gradually boost your sword—-I can see the character starting off with a dormant moonblade that slowly awakens as they gain power. Feats will be pretty standard initially—-combat casting, item creation. toughness (only if you are starting at really low level and even then, only if you get knocked down repeatedly during fights).
I would have asked for the concentration check if the gunnery crews had readied their actions against the PCs (using the Distracting Spellcasters part of Ready) instead of the verbal command. Since the trigger was a verbal command, the crews could roll perception checks to see if they spot who the captain was pointing at. If so, fire at the sorcerer after the spell is cast. If not, fire at a PC but not necessarily who the captain targeted. In this situation, no one had a readied action with the trigger “if she starts casting a spell” so the Distracting Spellcasters section doesn’t apply.
The best prank I witnessed was when our half-giant secretly nailed our dwarf’s furniture to the ceiling of the dwarf’s home. He then proceeded to get the dwarf blindingly drunk at a local tavern. When the dwarf stumbled home, he was so tired and intoxicated that he kept trying (and failing) to climb into his bed (securely attached to the ceiling). When the party checked on the dwarf the next day, we found him curled into a ball on the floor below his bed.
CL 20 SLA. Times per day = 10 - spell level. I can work with that.
It hasn’t been mentioned but I threw a lower-level spell (7th) into a higher level slot (8th).
Generally male with a positive charisma modifier (even if the class itself isn’t charisma-based). The character often has some innate magical capacity (e.g. drow, gnome). Usually a prepared caster (I like having options). If an arcane caster, is likely a gish (bard, eldritch knight). If the class has low skill points, the character often has a positive intelligence modifier and uses FCB for extra skills (especially at low levels). Very rarely dumps stats; if I do, I’m probably rolling up a monk or a debuffer witch. If I start lawful good, then I’ll likely slide into something more “practical” unless there’s also a code of conduct to keep me honest.
My group uses traits and hero points. Personally, I like both. Most of my group banks their points to avoid death but the extra standard action option is nice, particularly on casters (like a mini quickened spell). Haven’t seen much combat maneuver use (as others note, it’s often more effective to just attack).
In our home game, our party recently came across the ruins of a gnomish city. When we entered one of the abandoned homes, we discovered an oven that would magically create a warm meal. Upon finishing his meal, the PC discovered that he really wanted to stay there and not leave unless he absolutely had to (such as if another PC were in danger outside). In the way of curses, it’s not the worst I’ve seen but it got me wondering what other players opinions and experiences were?
TL;DR: Have you run into cursed items? How did you deal with them?
Multiclass becomes more appealing when you are limited to which sources can be used. For example, we are currently limited to CRB and APG in my home game, so magus is off limits. If I want a non-bardy arcane gish, I'll likely be looking at martial X /arcane Y or martial 1 / arcane X / eldritch knight, depending on which class features look appealing and how much spell power I want to have.
Before jumping into paladin, players may want to try a lawful good fighter or wizard. If they can handle that without any major intra-party clashes or alignment changes, then give paladin a whirl. Navigating alignment-based differences between characters is tough enough without the added incentive of losing your powers if stray too far once too often.
I keep thinking "How can my good intentions or concept-based decisions make a weak thing weaker".
1. CRB-only dex monk (no power attack but has agile maneuvers and weapon finesse). The concept is a graceful monk who doesn't rely on Str. I kinda want to try this in a low Op game.
Disguise yourself as one of the guards; carry your weapons with you.
Group initiative. Easier on the GM and keeps events moving. Also feels a bit more cinematic to have waves of monsters charging or shooting you. It does raise the stakes sometimes (for reasons mentioned above) but it varies with the mob. Heck yes goblins and wolves will surround you; skeletons and zombies--not so much.
Assuming your build will be Ftr 1 / Wiz 5 / EK x, your BAB is going to be slightly below a medium BAB class of equivalent level until EK comes online. With your sword, consider casting Fox's Cunning to boost your accuracy and damage. As far as feats, Arcane Strike is consistent extra damage that scales with your level (unless your swift actions are tied up doing other things).
What kind of wizard do you play? Transmuter can give a nice stat boost for a melee types. Fighter / Wizards will nearly always have to buff themselves to be competitive with full martial classes. The trade-off is that, even at low level, you can completely shut down some fights with your spells (like color spray).
Going back to the OP's example:
The fighter: "I'm going to talk to the local guards to see if they have any leads on the missing child" or "I'm going to intimidate (class skill!) some of the nearby unsavory types to see if they saw anything when the child disappeared."
You have to get over the fact that many of your party have more skills than you probably do. That's okay. The bard or wizard may not be in the right place at the right time. Even a partial success can contribute a social encounter. For example, your fighter could intimidate a thug into giving up the name of a witness who has gone into hiding. The wizard can divine the witness' location and, once found, the bard can use their winning ways to get them to tell their story. In that scenario, the fighter found the lead.
To bolster a weak Will save, a savvy fighter can start off with a 14 Wisdom and picks up Iron Will. In a similar vein, they can also have a 12 Charisma, throw favored class bonuses into skill points (a maxed Intimidate and a couple of languages like goblin and orc) and not be the social weak link of the party.
When I choose a race, there is some hook that makes the choice appealing for me (race, class, gender, culture, background, personality traits, etc), particularly when viewed against the rest of the party and the campaign world in general. For example, a human bard is pretty standard. However, a Vistani human bard in Ravenloft--that has possibilities.
How interesting any race is for me depends on how many (or how few) of my brethren there are in the world. If they are rare (like a drow on the surface), why is that? If they are widely distrusted, am I going to want to deal with that situation if I play that race? If a race is rare simply because they are not native to the region, will the appeal of being different be enough to hold my interest? It all depends on what else is happening.
Here's a melee build similar to one I played recently. I cannot say enough good things about Travel domain. (30 ft move in heavy armor *and* ignore difficult terrain. Oh, I can sometimes fly too? Cayden, you really do care!)
Human 5th level Cleric
I played it as a non-reach build. Selective channel is still useful at this level though you'll notice its start becoming more of a post combat function as your spell options open up). You're pretty tanky, especially with a heavy shield, and while power attacking isn't super-reliable yet, I like having it as a character nears +4 BAB. If you've mastered the 5-foot step, you could likely swap Combat Casting for Scribe Scroll; the cleric spell list is full of condition-removal spells like lesser restoration that are great to stockpile.
In our campaigns, romance exists but anything beyond that is fade to black. I generally don't think about my characters' sexualities until circumstances arise in-game. During downtime, the GM may ask if characters are interested in meeting someone and/or roll to see if any NPCs express an interest in a PC.
That said, after years of adventuring together, my bard and another player's ranger got married. He (the bard) is pretty and she (the ranger) kicks butt; it's an interesting pairing. I also have a female drow wizard who has had dalliances with men and women but is far more interested in acquiring power than a mate.
Finally, I had a rogue who was gay and was smitten with the party monk (the rogue liked broad shoulders and the monk often wore nothing but a loincloth---who says chaotic and lawful alignments can't find common ground).