captain yesterday wrote:
Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a go the next time I run an adventure path. In the past I haven't been able to get through one without at least one volume shedding pages.
I agree with Syries. Sound out your player ahead of time. You may even want to introduce the drawbacks of the curse before the character takes his first oracle level.
Curses like blind, deaf and lame could manifest as injuries that don't heal properly. Wasting could manifest gradually like any other disease.
In a setting with magical healing wounds that won't heal and diseases that can't be cured should alarm the characters and generate plenty of drama on their own. Especially if you and the player don't let the rest of the group in on what's really happening.
Then shortly after the character takes his first oracle level have him manifest his new powers in a suitably dramatic manner.
When I played Kingmaker the party paladin's backstory involved a mysterious fey mother known only as the Bright Lady. The player wrote this without knowing anything more about the campaign than what is written in the Kingmaker Player's Guide. So the GM made the obvious choice and made you-know-who his mother (and in due course my character's mother-in-law).
However the best plot twist I've ever played (in a homebrew campaign) revealed that the party NPC was in fact the BBEG. When the campaign began there were only three players and we all assumed that the NPC party member was just there to make up the numbers. But he was using us to complete a task he couldn't manage alone. It wasn't until after he'd left the group that we found out we'd been duped. We were outraged.
Urgathoa was a hedonist who loved life so much she refused to stay dead. Unlike most evil deities she doesn't bear animosity towards others. She is simply driven by her appetites. To my mind she is by far the most sympathetic of Golarion's evil deities. If you haven't read Inner Sea Gods I strongly recommend it.
Pax Miles wrote:
3pp rules may prevent Paizo from introducing a mute curse now, but to me the omission was glaringly obvious as soon as I read the APG when it was hot off the press, at which point no 3pp Oracle rules would have existed. I've always assumed Paizo went with deaf because it's similar to mute but more debilitating.
I agree that an Oracle curse feat would be a great inclusion in the game.
I disagree with Odo.
My answers are No and Yes.
Ride-By Attack allows your mount to keep moving after you attack, but not after it attacks. In effect Ride-By Attack allows your mount to continue its charge until it attacks, ends its move or is otherwise unable to keep charging. Tactically it's usually better for the mount not to attack but to keep moving past your opponent.
Also note that Spring Attack requires a specific full-round action and so can't be used with a charge.
Pax Miles wrote:
I agree, and I think that's why there isn't a Mute curse. It's so common in fantasy literature that its omission can't be an oversight.
I suggest taking the Deaf curse and playing the character as a deaf mute. Perhaps as a dual-cursed oracle with Deaf as the primary curse and "Mute" as the secondary. That way you get no benefit for being mute beyond the extra revelations.
I would actually argue that Life Oracle is THE best healing class in the game, with Cleric being the second best.
I disagree. The Life Oracle is over-specialised. He has more healing than most groups need. And isn't that good at anything else.
In my playing experience the Cleric is the best healer. He has enough healing to do the job, but is capable of so much more.
As for Oracles of other mysteries, I think they are best played as divine Sorcerors (and secondary healers) rather than as spontaneous Clerics.
You can make a full attack with thrown weapons if you have Quick Draw or if you're throwing shuriken, and Flurry of Blows can be used with thrown weapons.
However Flurry of Blows can only be used with weapons which have the monk special weapon property, and the javelin is not a monk special weapon. While I'm sure there are ways round this restriction they surely require investment in the form of feats and the like, and if you're going to spend feats to gain the ability then I'm sure you can do better than the javelin.
Probably the best option for a ranged Flurry of Blows (short of playing a Zen Archer) is to use shuriken with the Ascetic Style feat.
I see that the Come And Get Me combo has been mentioned. An effective combo for the Unchained Barbarian is Unexpected Strike and Shield Slam. For those who aren't familiar with it here's the Unchained Unexpected Strike:
"Unexpected Strike (Ex): The barbarian can make an attack of opportunity against a foe that moves into any square threatened by the barbarian, regardless of whether that movement would normally provoke an attack of opportunity. The barbarian can use this ability only when there are no other foes in a square threatened by the barbarian. A barbarian must be at least 8th level to select this rage power."
So you use Shield Slam to keep your threatened squares clear between turns, which with Combat Reflexes (or Quick Reflexes) allows for multiple uses of Unexpected Strike in one round. (The CRB version can only be used once per rage.)
That said I personally prefer to use a two-handed weapon and Pushing Assault with this tactic.
Adventures paths. Before Paizo came along published adventures tended to be short or in the case of campaign-length adventures written for experienced characters. I love the fact that an adventure path spans a character's entire career, and that the player characters actually get to change the world and not just restore the status quo as was the case in most older adventures.
Archetypes. In 3rd ed career progression was all about joining a prestige class as soon as possible. I hated that. Archetypes are a much better way of simulating archetypal fantasy characters that don't conform to standard class design.
The other Pathfinder GM in my group does it as Reverse has suggested. When we played Kingmaker the BBEG turned out to be the party paladin's mysterious parent.
But as a GM I'm with Dave. Less is more. Back stories should not take over the campaign. If each of the first five books is to be devoted to a different back story then each player will spend four books playing second fiddle to one of his buddies. And if, like my group, you only play for three hours a week and take up to two years to play out an adventure path, then each player will spend a year or more playing second fiddle. Player #5 may get very fed up before it's his turn to bat.
The CRB says:
"Targeted Spells: Spell resistance applies if the spell is targeted at the creature. Some individually targeted spells can be directed at several creatures simultaneously. In such cases, a creature's spell resistance applies only to the portion of the spell actually targeted at that creature. If several different resistant creatures are subjected to such a spell, each checks its spell resistance separately."
We need better design principles for feats that than rebuilding the feat system from the ground up.
The same could be said of class abilities, spells and many other game features.
The drawback of class/level based systems is that there don't tend to be any real formulae driving design. Instead when someone designs a new feat or what have you they simply compare it to existing feats and make a subjective decision. Sometimes it feels like a finger-in-the-air job!
Paladins killing orcs isn't incompatible with Stone Dog's views. He said killing is not good. That's not the same as saying it's evil.
And the good hero does not risk his life to kill evil creatures. He risks his life to stop them. Killing is the means to the end. Not the end itself.
There are degrees of good, just as there are degrees of evil, law and chaos. Individuals, even paladins and outsiders, differ in how good they are. To my mind your example of the Glorious Revolution (in response to Angel Hunter D's comment) illustrates this nicely.
No, I've never been shot out of a catapult, nor have I ever seen anyone else shot out of a catapult - and I've been roleplaying for 35 years.
It's a rather risky proposition so most players would have to be pretty desperate to try something like that. And spells like Fly become available at fairly low levels.
Over the years I've played a few characters who would have enjoyed being shot out of a catapult. I remember one leaping from the back of one dragon to another while engaged in an aerial combat over a hundred feat above the ground. However I have a greater appetite for risk than most players I know.
The morality of killing is somewhat subjective. So the important thing is that the players understand the GM's views and accept the consequences of their actions. But the GM should also bear in mind that the players are entitled to their own views and that they can play characters who abhor killing if they want to.
A ranged combatant for Reign of Winter? I don't want to spoil the campaign for you so please excuse me for being vague, but one of the later chapters has the potential to re-define a ranged character, and make even a mediocre one awesome. So my advice is this, don't specialize in a particular ranged weapon; instead try and create a character whose feats and class abilities can be used with any ranged weapon. That way you'll be able to take advantage of the paradigm shift when it occurs. And, trust me, it will make you both atypical and memorable.
graeme mcdougall wrote:
Technically speaking it not so much an errata as a proposed errata in the FAQ. So it presently doesn't appear in any version of the CRB. It only appears in the FAQ.
Odo Hillborne wrote:
I'm not sure that this is correct. Ride By Attack enables your mount to keep moving after you have attacked. It says nothing about your mount being able to move after it has attacked.
As I understand it after you've attacked your mount can keep going. If you've attacked with a reach weapon then your mount can either keep moving until it gets close enough to make its own charge attack, or it can just keep going. Either way your mount can't keep moving after it makes an attack.
I second Zarius' comments.
On top of that, even if the GM were right, retconning is usually a bad idea. And a retcon that penalises the players is always a bad idea.
If you made a mistake would your GM let you rewind time to correct it? No, of course not. So he shouldn't do it either. Such behaviour doesn't treat the players fairly.
Everyone makes mistakes. Unless a GM's mistake gets PCs killed or really screws up the game, he should just accept it and move on.
Make sure you include the music! And persuade your players to dress up for it!
Despite having no musical ability whatsoever I've always fancied running an RPG musical! It's just a weird idea I first had several years ago and it won't go away.
Rocky Horror sounds like a great idea. You've now got me thinking about doing it myself.
One of my group has a large, ever expanding, collection of minis that we use. He enjoys painting them and is very good at it. Whenever we start a new campaign we describe our characters and he looks for a suitable match in his collection. If necessary he then paints the mini. I believe he's even bought new ones when his collection hasn't included an appropriate mini.
Of course it all depends on what you mean by "GMPC".
Outside of this forum I've only heard the term once, and then it was used to describe a recurring enemy in a homebrew AD&D campaign I ran in the 1980s, who in effect became my character. Not through any inclination of mine, but because the players became obsessed with her and pursued her to the ends of the earth because they couldn't abide the fact she'd escaped their first encounter.
Consequently the focus of the campaign became a chase. The players would spend their money on divinations to learn Delena's whereabouts and then set off after her. In the course of their travels they became involved in all sorts of adventures.
The players seemed to think I wasn't being fair because for a long time they failed to catch her and they started referring to her as my DMPC. However when they finally caught up with her and killed her the most obsessive member of the group embezzled party funds to pay for her resurrection because he'd been knocked unconscious in an earlier fight and missed the big showdown!
Later on when another member of the group was GMing a few adventures in my campaign I played her as a party member, adventuring with the other players in disguise. My cover was blown in the middle of the dungeon resulting in an exciting chase sequence.
So despite accusations of favouritism it was a lot of fun for all concerned.
Other than Delena I've had one other character I've thought of as a GMPC. This was in a Call of Cthulhu campaign. One of the PCs started dating an NPC who'd previously hired them to investigate her father's murder. The PC was an archaeologist and since his new girlfriend had a background in paleontology he invited her to come on a dig with the rest of the group and so she became a full time party member. In due course she and the PC were married.
Elaine stayed with the group for quite some time and I became quite attached to her. I wrote up a nice neat character sheet for her, complete with portrait. And the somewhat random nature of Cthulhu advancement and my lucky dice rolls meant that in due course she acquired more skills than many of the player characters.
Although none of the players ever expressed dissatisfaction the situation made me feel uncomfortable. Even though Elaine was fairly quiet in group discussions when skill checks were required she was starting to outshine some of the PCs. Therefore when her husband died I was quick to write her out. After his funeral she discovered that she was pregnant and decided to retire from adventuring.
So to me the term GMPC doesn't so much imply an NPC party member as a character that the GM is attached to and treats as though she were his own PC. And GMPCs aren't good for the game because they call into question whether the GM is treating the players fairly.
Of course an NPC party member runs the risk of becoming a GMPC more so than any other NPC because she features in every session.
So if your group is small and you feel they need an extra member to fill a skill gap in the party, then by all means introduce an NPC. But don't allow yourself to become attached to the character or allow her to outshine the player characters. Other posters on this thread have provided plenty of advice on how to avoid this so I won't repeat them. I've already written War and Peace!
I think it's gone the other way, at least as far as published adventures are concerned.
Yes, characters can now make their own magic items or failing that purchase them for a reasonable price, so you can now acquire items that optimise your build, but published adventures show a different trend.
In 1st edition modules you dungeon-delved for treasure, and the main reward of an adventure was a powerful magic item. In 2nd ed you saved the kingdom or maybe even the world, but all you really did was restore the status quo because heaven forbid you should be allowed to make a significant change to a published campaign setting! And your reward was often little more than a knighthood. Player characters never got the recognition they deserved. They never became kings and queens.
But in Pathfinder adventure paths you do more than restore the status quo, you actually get to change the world and you acquire a commensurate prestige. Player characters get to become kings and queens and the like.
For my money, adventure paths are the single best thing about Pathfinder. Yes, they're often flawed and I don't like the physical product, but the fact that each is a campaign in its own right, that there are so many to choose from, and the player characters actually get to shape the world they live in, is from a storytelling perspective a big step forward from the days of AD&D.
I've seen it work well once but it was done with a twist.
There were only three players available when the campaign began so we all assumed that the NPC party member was just there to make up the numbers. In fact he was the BBEG using us to help him complete a task that he couldn't manage alone. Once he'd got what he wanted from us we went our separate ways.
In due course we found out we'd been hoodwinked and we were outraged. It was one of the greatest coups I've ever seen a GM pull off. The campaign then entered a new phase as we set about tracking him down.
I spend hours creating all my PCs. Even the low-level ones. In fact especially the low-level ones because I'll be playing them for longer. If I'm creating a high-level PC it's probably for a one off. Whereas a first-level character is likely to be for an adventure path I'll be playing for two years.
I consider Hero more playable than Pathfinder. It's my group's goto system for homebrew settings.
While the core mechanics of the Hero system are more complex they cover pretty much everything. So there's less to remember. We rarely have to consult the rules during play.
As for Pathfinder, while the core mechanics are simple (roll d20, apply a modifier, and compare the total to the DC) they only tell you whether you succeed or fail. What happens next differs on a case by case basis. There are no core mechanics covering the effects of feats, spells, monster abilities or what have you. Each has its own rules. And no one can remember them all. That's what makes the game so time-consuming for the GM to prepare.
All RPGs have their strengths and weaknesses.
Pathfinder's strength is that it's so well supported - by websites like this one and a vast array of adventures and campaign settings that save the GM work.
Its weakness is its complexity. Even when running a published adventure, as a GM I often spend more time preparing for a game than my group spends playing it. This is because there are so many different rules a GM needs to know in order to run the game smoothly.
While I like playing Pathfinder if it wasn't for the support products I wouldn't GM it at all.
This is what the CRB says:
"Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations. Heavy armors are treated as medium, and medium armors are treated as light, but light armors are still treated as light. This decrease does not apply to proficiency in wearing the armor. A character wearing mithral full plate must be proficient in wearing heavy armor to avoid adding the armor's check penalty to all his attack rolls and skill checks that involve moving. Spell failure chances for armors and shields made from mithral are decreased by 10%, maximum Dexterity bonuses are increased by 2, and armor check penalties are decreased by 3 (to a minimum of 0)."
So mithral full plate is considered medium for the purposes of what you can do while wearing it, but you need to be proficient in wearing heavy armor to avoid adding the armor's check penalty to all your attack rolls and skill checks that involve moving.
So, for example, a barbarian would still benefit from his Fast Movement ability while wearing mithral full plate, but would suffer non-proficiency penalties unless he had the heavy armor proficiency.
If the campaign features lots of undead then channeling may be enough to satisfy your desire to blast at low to mid levels, especially if you take some channeling feats. At higher levels the oracle spell list includes quite a few blaster spells. I've successfully played a blaster cleric in this way (i.e. using channeling to blast at low to mid levels and spells at high levels).
That's going to be a GM call. I would think that, unless he is familiar with the styles being employed or has time to study the monk in combat, an opponent would fall for panther style at least once (less intelligent opponents may fall for it more than once), and that should be enough to make it effective. However the GM handles it I would expect him to treat the player fairly.
I agree with your other comments. The MoMS is a very interesting archetype but a chained MoMS can't complete with an unchained monk. However if your GM allows it, the MoMS is compatible with the unchained monk (although he loses style strikes since they require FoB to use).
I don't have time to write up complete builds but the following should be enough to get you started.
Note: since not all GMs allow the MoMS archetype with the unchained monk the following builds assume a CRB monk. The builds also assume a human monk with a bonus feat at first level.
My weapon of choice would be the nodachi or fauchard for the threat range. The nodachi has eastern flavour and since it's a martial weapon you can acquire proficiency at first level. However the fauchard is better in the long run because it has reach. While spear dancing reach can give you reach with the nodachi, it only applies on your turn.
L1: martial weapon proficiency: nodachi; two-weapon fighting; spear dancing style (nodachi)
L1: two-weapon fighting; weapon finesse, acsetic style (quarterstaff)
Use the wildcard slots to simulate spear dancing spiral at 6th level, spear dancing reach at 9th level, spear dancing reach and snake sidewind at 10th level, spear dancing reach and snake sidewind or snake sidewind and snake fang at 11th level and spear dancing reach and snake fang at 13th level.
DEX is the most important ability and you need at least 17 to qualify for spear dancing reach. STR is also useful for damage.
I also recommend you take the quinggong monk archetype. Barkskin is a must. For snake fang to be effective you need a high AC and a decent reach.
L1: dodge, mobility, panther style
Use the wildcard slots to simulate panther parry at 6th, panther parry and dragon ferocity at 10th, two of panther parry, dragon ferocity and snake fang at 11th, panther parry and snake fang at 13th.
DEX and WIS are the most important abilities for this build, followed by STR. You need at least 15 STR to qualify for dragon ferocity and 15 WIS for panther parry.
I also recommend you take the quinggong monk archetype. Barkskin is a must. For this build to work you need a high AC.
Another combination I like is Snake Fang and Panther Parry. Add Mobility and you can roam across the battlefield provoking attacks of opportunity with little fear of being hit. And for each attack you provoke you get a preemptive strike and, if your enemy misses, your own attack of opportunity. It's an effective way to simulate a mobile fighting style.
Add Lunge for opponents with reach (there's no point provoking attacks of opportunity if you haven't the reach to retaliate) and add Dragon Ferocity and Jabbing Style for extra damage.
I rather like the idea of a weapon-using MoMS:
Ascetic Style enables the MoMS to employ unarmed styles with monk weapons. And Spear Dancing Spiral enables the MoMS to use Ascetic Style with spears and polearms (because the quarterstaff is a monk weapon).
I quite like the idea of combining the above styles with Snake Fang to get extra attacks with my polearm of choice.
However such a combo would be require a lot of feats and I'm inclined to think the Sohei a better (though less interesting) option for a polearm-using monk.
Also a note, it says it functions as Greater Polymorph, which begins: "This spell transforms a willing creature into an animal, humanoid or elemental of your choosing; the spell has no effect on unwilling creatures..." Note that this is not in the "Target" section of the spell and nothing in PaO changes this as far as I am aware. Is this the intent? I cannot say. Only that technically, it only works on willing creatures (though unwilling objects are still screwed, even though they can't be willing or unwilling...).
I don't think it is the intention. I've always considered the spell an offensive weapon - and a cruelly humorous one at that. In previous editions of the game I used to turn people into hollow chocolate bunnies and cigars!
Nowadays as a GM I'm inclined to ban it. Not because it's too powerful but because the description is such a mess it's not clear how Paizo intend it to work.
I haven't read through the thread (it's too long), so someone may have already identified this one:
I think the cavalier emissary's Erratic Charge ability needs to be re-errata'd. In the first printing of Ultimate Combat it said that the ability was gained at 17th level and replaced Supreme Charge. Since Supreme Charge is a 20th level ability Erratic Charge was errata'd: the emissary now gets it at 20th level.
The problem is this: The emissary trades away Tactician and Greater Tactician (for In Or Out Of The Saddle and Mounted Acrobatics) but still has Master Tactician. This doesn't make sense. I think the original intention was that Erratic Charge would replace Master Tactician at 17th level.
I've marked this as an FAQ candidate.
As long as you can get yourself a decent movement rate you'll be fine. I'm presently playing a gnome paladin in Wrath of the Righteous. Last night I inflicted nearly 400 hp of damage on a dragon with just two mounted charge attacks. And none of the damage was due to mythic abilities (although my mount was under the effects of a mythic haste in addition to the usual airwalk spell.)