I agree with Dragnmoon on this one, its not designed to stop people cheating, its designed because its nearly impossible to be completely familar with every rule outside the core assumption and unless there is a valid source there at the table it would delay play excessively to try and find it somewhere else at the convention/games day meaning to streamline play you should have the source of all abilities on hand (and preferably with page numbers if possible to make it fast to look up)
Are you sure you want a level 6 trip fighter (with alot of reach weapons) without combat reflexes?, considering your high Dex one would assume you want those extra 3 AOO's per round, plus if you go greater trip the only way you can actually benefit personally from the feat is with combat reflexes, I recommend replacing Vital strike and Two weapon fighting with Greater trip and combat reflexes (+2 to trip and AOO's), picking up those feats again as you progress, this will allow you to get the most out of being a tripper at level 6 at 7 you can regain TWF as your skirmishing will generally be move and trip not move and vital strike.
Also AC20 at level 6 is pretty much autohit territory, you generally want your AC to be at least (17-20)+ character level for a front line melee combatant, this wont make you unhittable just means that iteratives from opponents will generally miss and that CR appropriate encounters (APL+2 or APL+3) will hit you on a 15+
You have to attend the mission briefing with your spells memorised, as a GM I would prefer you have your spell list setup before you reach the table as that means we dont have to wait for you to be ready to start the scenario. Afterwards if time allows you may alter it within the session (during rests, long travel etc).
I have a starter spell list for every scenario which covers the basics and then if we have time and I have information about what we should expect ill alter it enroute if I have the option.
I have paid for all my characters condition removals and I expect others to do the same, the only time this wouldnt be the case is if there was no way they could afford the raise (under level 5) and for some reason my character had extra gold (which is unlikely considering I just bought a Resurrection last game for myself).
By the time death becomes a constant worry (level 7+) characters make enough gold per mission to pay for a full raise and thus why would the party need to chip in?
Its more dependent on group I guess, in general we tend to be self sufficient and take care of those who take care of themselves (ie if you have no PA you better be packing 5k for raise and the party can help with the restorations), we also prefer to bring people back during the session where possible (sessions in large towns etc) so they can have another chance at dying :)
NPC tactics cant be changed in PFS but as a note the tactics is normally just a 1-2 line summary of what buff spells they cast first and who their first target is (by round 2-3 the NPC's are on "free" mode where the GM can do what he likes within the abilities they have). Also the higher level the scenario the shorter the tactics are (as the designers are aware its alot harder to challenge level 7+ parties with standard tactics).
Quick note your looking at the wrong kind of dragons, as a level 10 PC in PFS playing in a 10-11 subtier you will fight creatures like the spoilered one remember though if you play up you could be as low as level 7 when you fight this.
Rats of Round Mountain part 1, Harrowing:
I will admit on a 20 it only hits AC 47 meaning it will hit AC41 on a 14 (15 with its 2ndaries) with 5 natural attacks, note the crush special attack a DC25 reflex save or be pinned instantly.
CR13 blue dragons are for lower leveled PCs in PFS (9-11 mods not 10-11 scenarios).
Like I said before there are many many PFS scenarios that can challenge your monk/swordlord if you choose to play up.
1-5 scenarios dont count as appart from the boss (who is leveled up for the t4-5) the 1-2 and 4-5 encounters use exactly the same monsters the higher levels just fight more of them (meaning that a level 1 can easily compete in t4-5, hell my level 1 paladin hit the boss for 38hp in 1 hit in quest for perfection 2).
T8-9 (for 5-9 scenarios) and T10-11 (for 7-11) are the 2 more challenging tiers in which you will fight monsters more than capable of ignoring your fighting defensively (and in some cases you wont even be able to fight defensively as it requires you to make an attack roll).
Trick is when you grapple as the monk crane style turns off thus its a wasted feat for a grappling NPC (your actually better going tetori bonebreaker for a grapple NPC).
The problem is your comparing a monk who does 1d6+5 damage at level 4 to a fighter who does 2d6+9 or a barbarian who does 2d6+12 damage with higher accuracy and similar AC.
Once again look at the spell lists posted on page 1 for the characters being discussed, for crowd control he has basically nothing to be more honest his characters are enchantment focused manipulators (with mostly humaniod only spells).
They skipped alot of the crowd control enchantments and went straight for single target compulsions, he does have illusion but its limited to major image (nice but limited) and invisibility (unlikely to be effective except for running away), I ignored mirror image as we know thats his round 2 self buff.
For party utility he brings single target humaniod/undead only compulsions (charm, suggestion, dominate person, control undead) and haste, now im not saying manipulators arent useful as they can dominate (literally) many social encounters, but for a combat focused party tossing a few AoE crowd controls like glitter dust, solid fog, wall of X, and other similar spells (all AoE and all multi target delaying spells).
With those your party will suddenly see your worth and not mind you hiding in the back (as if you arent really contributing to the team they naturally will get pissed with you self buffing and hiding in the back while they are getting monstered by actual crowd controling casters).
What degree of Entangled does Enveloping Darkness (Shadow Bloodline) inflict upon those caught in it?
Entangled with no movement is specifically spelled out in those abilities that require it (such as a failed save from a tanglefoot bag), unless the ability references an anchoring object, or explains that you have no movement, which means they are just basic entangled and not tethered so half movement and no charge.
The issue of course being that his caster doesnt have any AoE lockdowns, he however can invisibility and run, or grab people nearby the dimension door, but anything more than that is beyond the scope of his casters spell lists.
Hence my point that he seems to be build as a solo caster and not as a party member
There is a big difference between effective characters and optimised ones, also note that from a defense perspective your spell list contains very few party defensive buffs, and even from a defensive point of view neither of the mages is particularly hard to hit, (Ac's in the low 20's fully buffed which at 6-11 is pretty much autohit territory which of course means why bother buffing if your an autohit anyway).
I am also confused by what you mean by controllers, your only battlefield control are single target humaniod only mind effecting spells (like dominate, charm, suggestion).
From what I see both those PC's would be classified as Non combat Manipulators with minor control vs humaniod creatures (Nives actually has 0 control spells and 0 party buffs by level 6). You basically built two Solo PCs who cant work well with a party as they provide little to no combat utility.
You may wish to consider building an actual party mage (one with buffs/debuffs designed to work on a variety of targets rather than just humaniods), I could be missing something but what does Hama do vs outsiders?, dragons?, abberations?, undead (command undead is a 1 target spell similar to her effects on humaniods can slightly adjust an encounter towards the party but AoEs that knock out 70-100% of the opposing side in 1 round is a better idea).
The point becomes your playing a single target mage which means all the GM needs to do to completely lock you down for 4 rounds is add 2 more creatures (1st round haste, 2nd round mirror image, 3rd round first control spell single target, 4th round second control spell single target). By which time the party has either won, or died as the average encounter length is about 2-4 rounds (1-3 rounds with a controller mage).
The only reason your character would even need to buff with stuff like mirror image is because you have no AoE crowd controls to end the fight and keep you and your party safe.
So either tone it back or actually build a party focused mage who can provide in and out of combat utility rather than solo mages (few party buffs) who provide great out of combat utility (arguably Hama is one of the better out of combat mages I have seen), but far less in combat utility (single target crowd control isnt effective unless the GM uses very small groups against you).
99% of DM's for PFS are DM B on your list, all class features and abilities go off class level unless otherwise specified, (such as oracle curses, features that combine with other classes).
Also always err on the side of caution especially when the prevailing opinion is against your intepretation, as if you follow DM B's rules your ALWAYS legal in DM A's games (as DM A will give you more rage rounds not less)
The other choice is in your case if you really concerned about PFS legality is ask your local venture captain (or the closest VC) you can find emails for them in the guide to organised play, they will then clarify it for you allowing you to understand the prevailing ruling in the area (and by extension the majority of conventions anywhere around the world as the VCs do communicate about things like this).
I am currently working on a monk build, I will be going master of many styles so I trade flurry of blows for other features, I was wondering if it is possible to later on pickup the two weapon fighting tree (TWF, imp TWF) to gain the ability to hit with both unarmed strikes?
I wont need double slice (due to monks unarmed strike always giving full strength bonus, which is part of the unarmed damage progression which I dont give up). This will be for a PFS character so it will need to be completely legal to take those feats.
hmm mojo you may want to read your post again, as basically your saying that instead of the bard being able to make his own character and provide team buffs when he can within his character concept, that his character should be built by commitee (you guys want him to have improved initiative which obviously he doesnt want) just so you can get buffs when you want.
If your character wants to go first then you have to be willing to accept that you will sometimes be missing various buffs etc, I personally run all my chars with low inits because if the party goes first every fight its all over and there is no fun.
I am pretty sure the bard doesnt require you to delay until his turn, he will just buff whoever is still there on his turn if you move early
longest fight I have had was 23 rounds at level 10, shortest was 1 action (as in one person got to attack once and it was over).
the average is 2-5 rounds, most monsters just cant take the damage output of the average PC for very long, that being said most PCs cant take the average output of the monsters for long either
If it says level inside a class block it is referencing class level, if it mentions level outside of the class block (for example in a feat) it refers to character level.
If it wants to mention character level inside a class block it will reference it directly with character level. This means that class abilities that scale with "level" scale with class level and not character level.
If you look at it logically you can say both charcter level and class level have 2 names (their actually name and the referencing term "level" which applies to both), by being inside a character block you reference the local variable (class level) rather than the global variable (character level), where as outside of a character block you reference the global variable as the local variable is undefined (there is no class level outside of the class block).
Generally the entire rule book makes alot more sense if broken down logically understanding that you reference local rule/term areas first (things within the same block or associated blocks) and then global rules only if there is no local rule/term that applies.
your still gaining extra attacks your making 4 "hand" based attacks (2 weapon and 2 non weapon) with just 2 arms (and two backup arms), your well beyond what I would consider legal by RAW (as it says no extra attacks).
The example given is being allowed to sword and board with a 2handed sword, which is 2 "hands" worth of attacks (2handed weapon) and a shield which isnt being used to attack (= no extra attacks).
No example is ever given in the class description, FAQ, or errata to allow more "hands" worth of attacks than you naturally possess, nor does the RAW actually allow extra attacks, and the RAI definately doesnt support it.
The easiest way to determine if your getting "more attacks" is to count the number of hands you need to take the attacks you have and compare it to your normal amount if the amount you need is greater than your natural maximum your getting extra attacks and hence vestigal arms wont help.
I usually run Crypt of the Everflame when I have new groups im trying to interest in PFS (havent had any deaths yet), the trick is to ensure the players are aware of the pacing of the module and that they will need their wits about them to survive.
Only time I played Gods Mouth I was a scared as hell by one of the encounters there (I wouldnt wish that on a group of level 1's).
Another choice is to alternate them so the first set of level 1's plays crypt and the second set plays gods mouth, (gives them 2 level 2 characters each and a fair idea how the system works before letting them loose on T1-5 mods).
Yes, you just get gold for each scenario played and if you want items you have to buy them, you get access to all items on your chronicle sheets, all the always available items (see the pathfinder society guide to organised play) and all items with costs within your current fame limit (see the pathfinder society guide to organised play)
Quick thing Castilliano the reduced restrictions for NPC's only applies to the adventure NPCs, and not to a PC's Eidolons, Animal companions or Familiars (in the case that you give you familar feats through one of the legal methods).
I only mentioned this as you mentioned Summoner who is extremely limited on the feats his eidolon can take (no beastiary feats at all from what I remember), Animal companions have limited beastiary access described in the animal companion class feature area (as that consitutes another legal source with regards to the standard no beastiary feats rule for PFS), and familiars have either Animal Companion access (Diabloist class) or PC access (Beast bonded witches).
That being said its possible for PC's to get limited access to beastiary feats, so its best to create an advice thread once you have a more solid idea on your PC and the PFS players who frequent it can help you on which feats are/arent legal, which have extra pre reqs inside PFS.
Its a definate plus for people who move around a bit, I recently moved back to sydney (start of this year) and without the strong PFS community I would probably be struggling to find a game (most my uni friends I used to play with are in different countries now), so now I can work and still know when the weekend rolls around that there will be PFS games to play/run
Getting an AC to attack stuff is easy (you can autopass the attack/attack unnatural action on a 1 from level 2-3), Pushing is a little harder but by level 11 most druids can push their AC's as a move action without failing.
AC on an animal companion is pretty easy to build up, (Barkskin, Barding). They have a hard time hurting creatures with DR, otherwise they are a good solid source of reliable damage for the party.
Summoners can be a little out of control unless they restrain themselves (as due to the point costs its pretty easy to maximise for DPR and AC on the eidolon, but if you stick to a sensible base form you can have a solid party member without outshining everyone).
you can actually buy a +1 mithril breastplate without worrying about fame, its just the +2 thats the pain (as its the total item cost putting it just over the 8k threshold meaning you need a significant amount of fame for the +2).
Remember if you are a rogue you better have a 0 ACP (through traits or feats) or medium armor proficiency or you take penalties to your attack rolls for being non proficient (as its still medium for proficiency just light for everything else)
Modules by default do not have faction missions, also I personally love modules there is nothing like going into a game knowing your going to be playing pathfinder for at least 7-9 hrs (more for some mods) plus unlike 3 scenarios your more likely to form better bonds with your fellow pathfinders as you are working together for a much longer period of time.
Then again none of my characters have day jobs atm (although im tempted to just create a guy with a day job to suprise the GMs when I finally say yes I do have a day job).
Arguably the GM can have you roll for both you and the eidolon and you both act seperately (I usually just have the player roll his init unless he has bought feats like improved initiative etc as obviously if he is optimising his initiative he wants to go before the eidolon and thus they can roll seperately).
Also in the case that you are using the eidolon as a mount and you roll seperate initiatives you both move on the mounts init (if its first) and attack on your own inits (if your 2nd) if your first then technically you have to delay till your mount can move or you can attack on your initiative if someone is in range.
hmm I took a look at the gundilon its a terrible build, effective for 1 round of damage maybe if someone doesnt go before you and shut you down with a willsave, its also completely shut down by a level 12 witch's slumber hex which as your not immune to sleep (as he picked halfling rather than halfelf) means you lose the eidolon and have to resummon it IF you wake up and then you have to pickup all your weapons 1 by 1 as a move action each time, by the time your back in the fight its already over.
Magus by level 10 can just barely do 20d6+40 but its not easy and its not a staff build plus you dont get acid damage its 20d6+20 if you do acid damage, also its not reliable.
Magus 9/Sorc 1 (crossblooded Dragon/orc for damage or Dragon/elemental for different damage types) With wayang spellhunter and gifted adept your doing 10d6+20 electricity or 10d6+10 (any 1 type or 10d6 electricity) as a level 1 spell, running a keen 18-20 crit weapon gives you 15-20 crit chance (meaning you can if your lucky get a crit 3/10 times per day), your shut down though by being melee meaning you have to walk in there and if there is more than 1 monster you might not get out alive.
90% of cheesy builds arent anywhere near as reliable as the builder would have you believe, plus they generally have gaping holes meaning they can be negated or turned against the party very very easily, in the end it comes down to the player more than the build, a true powergamer will turn whatever he has into the best character in the team, and a poor powergamer will take an "OP" build and make it look completely worthless.
My current chars
rogue 8/ranger 2
new chars currently level 1
Running 2 mods this weekend (if my players all show up later on) so one of the new chars will be level 3 hopefully
Which is why I said "most" of your hexes, I am aware there are a few that actually do work against targets that are immune to mind effecting spells but the core evil eye, cackle, slumber that most level 1-3 witches tend to choose from are pretty useless against mindless creatures if they then also pick spells that also only work on creatures with minds they have limited themselves significantly, which in PFS where you have no idea what will be coming up next is an unwise move, generalists work alot better sure you can be very strong against targets that have minds but also have some options for targets that are immune.
Retribution has massive holes in it for being a level 10 hex as well, 1st a will save completely negates it meaning debuffs might be appropriate, 2nd it only reflects melee damage rendering it only effective on melee brutes (which by level 10 arent a threat to the party anyway as your melee brute will 1 round them anyway even without the reflection bonus)
Witches make great NPCs and good support classes, but for a PC you have to be very very careful about your choices of hexes (or take extra hex alot) especially in PFS where flexibility is the key to an enjoyable character.
A double witch tag team has significantly more options to work together and apply debuffs and synergistic hexes (if one of your hexes fails the other can cast it on them) but you still will need the depth of options to be able to do something vs most targets
hmm you will have to link me to the errata that allows the wand + familar to cast true strike on the witch, the rules as written allow you to cast personal spells on the familar not it to cast them on you, hence I maintain that as written prehensile hair is vastly overrated (unless errata exists allowing familars to cast spells on their masters).
The witch may cast a spell with a target of “You” on her familiar (as a touch spell) instead of on herself. A witch may cast spells on her familiar even if the spells do not normally affect creatures of the familiar's type (magical beast).
Prehensile hair is vastly overrated from my experience (played with a witch never played as one yet), you still have a witches BAB meaning that all the combat maneouvers pretty much autofail unless its against a mook, (and who really needs to trip/disarm a mook).
Even with int + bab your looking at a cmb of +9 by level 6 (+6 int + 3 bab) a fighter has a CMB of +11 by level 6 without even trying just from ST and BaB plus will likely have improved and greater trip for much better effects on his tripping (+5 ST, +6 BAB), meaning your behind the curve to start with and need to push hard to actually keep relevant on an area that isnt really a witches focus.
Ensure you have spells to do something to opponents who are immune to mind effecting abilities (most your hexes or there is whole mods where you just stand back and shoot things with a xbow or poke with a spear)
I consider myself a powergamer, I like mechanically powerful characters, however when fights go against me (either due to the monsters attacking my weaknesses, or just bad luck), my character then has to live or die based on plan B (backup gear specific to certain encounter types).
Arguably the best fight I have been part of was a 25 round marathon in PFS in which 5/7 pcs died (including mine), note this was the first encounter of the scenario we finally won after consuming a massive amount of resources because the fight tactically favored our opponents. In the end though it was well worth it as its quite enjoyable to be challenged without having to make deliberate choices to weaken your character.
hmm lets see some powergaming magical characters
Sorc 1, 4d6+4 shocking grasp or 4d4+4 burning hands (both typed as cold damage acid is more effective but I like cold)
Sorc 3, 3d4+3(+50% for empower) magic missiles (as a level 1 spell)
Sorc 1, DC 19 will save roll twice and take the worst for sleep at level 1 as a level 1 spell (DC 5 cha, 1 Spell focus, 2 fey bloodline, 1 for spell level)
Sorc1, DC 20 will save for sleep at level 1
Actually the wording on the allowability of beastiary feats in PFS says you do not have access to them "unless they are granted by another legal source" not that they are forbidden completely, The two weapon fighting feat + 3 or more hands is another legal source, so multiweapon fighting is legal for PFS but only under special cases
Once again I agree that an amulet of mighty fists enhances both natural and unarmed strikes, however I disagree that you can add keen as the amulets text specifically limits you to abilities that would enhance an unarmed attack (which is blugeoning) thus disqualifying keen from the list of options for the amulet.
"Alternatively, this amulet can grant melee weapon special abilities, so long as they can be applied to unarmed attacks."