The way I have always run things is that you get XP for overcoming obstacles not killing things. Sure killing something usually removes it as an obstacle, but it is not the only way. If temporarily killing the monster allows you to complete your mission then you should get the XP. So if the ghost or lich is guarding something that you need and you put the creature out of commission long enough to achieve your objective you get the XP for the creature. If you trap the lich in a way that it cannot escape and thereby foiling his plans you get the XP.
I would not give XP for killing the creature twice unless it was a completely different obstacle.
Evil bard is really too broad of a description to figure out what deity they worship. Character classes are simply a framework from which you use to build a character. You can have two characters with the same class and they can be completely different, especially with a bard. I could have a gnome bard who specializes in illusion and trickery, or I could have a warrior poet who supports the lawful good king as an advisor. Both could easily be built as a vanilla bard.
Even when you throw in an evil alignment it does not really give much more. Is the character evil because he only cares about himself and is willing to sacrifice others or his own benefit? Or is he someone who actively promotes an evil agenda? The first type of character would not necessarily worship an evil deity. They probably would not worship a good deity, but a neutral deity is quite likely. The second type will worship an evil deity.
Unless the class is getting a game benefit from worshiping a deity they are usually not restricted in who they can worship. Who an evil bard worships is going to be determined by more than just class and alignment.
I have to disagree with the idea that superman would have a high BAB especially compared to batman. BAB represents how skilled you are at combat. Batman is a master at several martial arts and is an incredibly skilled at combat among other things. Superman on the other hand is not skilled at combat he is simply stronger than anything else. All his combat ability is based on his stats not his skills. If anyone would have a low BAB it would be superman. Look at how they fight. Batman will hit a person multiple times to take them down, because he does not do as much damage. Superman usually takes most things down with a single hit. Which one sounds like they have a higher BAB?
This just only proves something I have said before that STATS are often more important than class. This is especially true at lower level. Take the example of an elf wizard with a 20 STR vs a fighter with a 10 STR. Who is better at using the sword? The elf wizard gets +5 to hit and damage simply because of STR. The fighter is at best +2 to hit and no damage bonus. The elf wizard is better at the sword than the fighter despite the low BAB. Superman has a lot higher STR than 20 which is where he gets his combat ability from not BAB.
Sleight of hand is not kind of poorly written, especially the section on stealing things. Any reasonable GM is going to have to make up some of what should have been written. One thing to keep in mind is that sleight of hand can only be used to take small items. As far as I know there is no actual rule defining what a small object is so that puts most stealing attempts into the GM’s option. Any reasonable GM is going to need to make some house rules or the skill is going to be useless. Here is a couple of things I would do.
A small item is something about the size of a dagger or smaller.
Any item has to be directly on the target, not stored in a container. A small container like small pouch can be stolen in which case you get everything inside the container.
If an item is stored in a larger container you can make a separate sleight of hand roll to open the container. If the target makes his perception roll vs your sleight of hand on this roll you are noticed before you can take the item. At that point combat has started and sleight of hand cannot be used. If you succeed at this roll you can then make your sleight of hand roll as if the item were not in a container. This assumes that the item is fairly accessible. I would allow stealing out of a side pouch of a backpack, but if something is buried at the bottom of the main compartment of a back pack it is beyond what the skill can do.
Sleight of hand cannot be used to steal any items in an extradimensional space.
What role will your character play in the Kingdom? That will be a major influence on how you should build your character including your choice of deity.
Drop your DEX down to 18 and use the points to raise your CON and INT to 12. The extra HP per level and skill point is worth it. It also gives you a +1 to FORT saves.
Consider the Reformation inquisition if you are looking to be a voice of your god. It allows you to use WIS instead of CHA for diplomacy, intimidate and perform oratory (and makes perform oratory a class skill). At 4th level you can also roll twice with those skills a number of times per day equal to your WIS modifier. Your 8th level ability is being able to use charm person a number of times per day equal to your WIS modifier.
I have not actually played Kingmaker but I have read the players guide, and saw some advice about it on the forums. There are a couple of reasons I did not recommend it.
First is what I stated earlier that Paladins don’t get any bonus feats and tend to rely on smite evil for a lot of their damage. Looking at the recommended favored enemies for ranger it seems like there are a lot of encounters were the opponents are not evil. Smite evil also only affects one creature so if the encounter is with multiple opponents will also prove difficult for a paladin. Again this is based on the little I know of the adventure path.
Second is based on the fact that the original poster seems to want to avoid Erastil as a deity. The players guide straight out states that the best deity for a paladin in kingmaker is Erastil. Looking at the recommended deities out of the cleric section Erastil is the only one suitable for a paladin. While there is no reason the character cannot worship a deity not listed it may be best to go with a deity that already has a presence in the area.
One other thing to consider is what leadership role the player is going after. In addition to the leadership’s stat focus you have to look at how suitable the class is for the role. An inquisitor would make a good councilor, royal assassin, or spymaster. They tend to be more subtle and sneaky than a paladin or warpriest. The warpriest would be a better high priest although they would also do well as a general or marshal. The paladin would work well as the ruler, general, or marshal. That is not to say that these are the only roles those classes fit, but those are probably fit for the classes.
Based on what you have said you have said you are down to two classes. Druids, hunters and rangers are nature focused classes. Clerics are 9th level caster and building a ranged cleric is going to be difficult especially if you are avoiding Erastil. Paladins are kind of feat starved for an archer. It can be done but they rely more on smite evil than feats. That leaves either an inquisitor or a warpriest.
From what you have said warpriest would be a better fit for what you are looking for. Inquisitors can make great archers, but they rely more on class abilities rather than the typical ranged tactics. While both the inquisitor and the warpriest can deliver good ranged damage how they do it is a little different. The warpriest uses the same tactics as a fighter or ranger. Because they get a large number of feats they can quickly become deadly with a bow. The inquisitor on the other hand relies more on things like bane and judgements to get the job done. This means unlike the typical archer their damage tends to be all over the board. When they are fully buffed they do as much if not more damage than any other character. But without their class abilities they do less damage than other archers.
The nice thing about the inquisitor is that most of his class abilities work no matter what weapon you use. You may not have all the archery feats that a lot of the other classes have, but you have other ways to boost your effectiveness. Bane and Judgements are going to be your primary boosts. Throw in a couple of buff spells like divine favor and you are pretty well set.
You may want to take some of the non-ranged teamwork feats instead of concentrating solely on ranged combat. Shake it off is a great feat to have for any character. Getting up to a +4 untyped bonus on all saves is not something to be dismissed lightly. Enfilading Fire is probably your go to archery teamwork feat.
Rangers are always a good choice for an archer. There are a couple of archetype’s that trade away hunter bond.
Divine Tracker replaces it with a warpriests blessings. Considering your concept is a strong relations to a deity that seems to be appropriate.
Spirit Ranger also trades out hunter’s bond, but does not seem to be as focused on a deity. The use of Augury and being able to spontaneously cast any ranger spells pretty useful.
Warden is another archetype that trades away hunter bond, but also trades away the favored enemy and combat styles. This one sounds like it would have been perfect for you if it had not traded away the combat styles. You could still do it but you will be slower to get your archery feats.
Guide could also work well for you. Instead granting your favored enemy bonus to the party they gain a bonus while in his favored terrain. Giving everyone a +2 to initiative and perception is always good. The fact they cannot be tracked is going to be helpful in kingmaker.
Favored enemy may seem like a small bonus but if you max out a single enemy type it can be devastating. If the campaign focuses on a particular type of enemy it becomes incredibly deadly. The ranger in the undead focused campaign I am running absolutely desolates any undead he encounters. VS a large number of undead he out damages the paladin. I am not familiar enough with Kingmaker to know if there is a favored enemy that would work well.
Smallfoot is right about inquisitors being good archers. They actually do well at any kind of combat because they have so many things that stack.
There are several deities that would be fitting for an evil bard.
Belial is the Archdevil of adultery, deception and desire. He is known as a seducer, creator and a deceiver. I could easily see a bard being drawn to his worship.
The Lantern King may be chaotic neutral instead of evil, and one of the eldest, but he would be a natural for an evil bard. His portfolios include laughter, and mischief. His Obedience includes telling a joke or story. How many deities have two performances listed in their obedience’s?
Socothebenoth: is the Demon lord of perversion, pride and taboos. His worshipers include hedonists, jaded aristocrats, lechers and promicuious libertines.
Entertainment is an important aspect of a bard, but it is not the only one. Knowledge is just as important to many bards as entertainment. There are a lot of deities of knowledge that would be a natural fit for a bard.
The biggest problem when trying to run an encounter of a dragon without minions is that the action economy heavily favors the party. When the dragon gets a single action and the party is getting 4+ actions it is hard the dragon to keep up. If the party also has pets and uses summoned creatures it gets even worse. To make an encounter truly epic you need to have a way to counter the action economy the players have.
Mythic rules tend to increase damage more than defenses. This means that a mythic foe is often able to take out a player in a turn. What that means is that in order to win the party has to take down the dragon very quickly or they lose. Often who wins is going to depend on who wins the initiative. You encounter is going to be very short with one side being obliterated and the other hardly touched. This to me is exactly the opposite of what you are looking to do.
One thing you could do to make dragons tougher is to give them the magus spell combat. Dragons often have decent spells, but if they cast instead of attacking they increase the action economy advantage the party already has. If a dragon can cast and do something else they become a lot more formidable without being so over powered the players cannot deal with it.
Are you looking to raise dragons up to the point that they are for the most part out of reach of the party? Adding mythic abilities to most dragons is going make so that the party really does not have much of a chance. This also assumes you are not running a mythic campaign. If your party is mythic, than this might not be a bad idea.
It depends on how the ability is worded. Swashbucklers Finesse states you gain the benefits of weapon finesse with a light or one handed piercing melee weapon. In this case they are talking about the weapon type. A dagger is a light piercing melee weapon so when using it the swashbuckler gains the benefit of weapon finesse even when using it to do slashing damage. Some abilities state you need to be doing a certain type of damage. If that is the case then Derklord is correct that it does not count as both.
The best way to counter the archer is with defenses. Look to some of the defensive spells that a magus has. Thing with a miss chance are always good. Displacement gives a 50% miss chance so would really cut down how much damage the archer can do. Since Displacement also give you total concealment it shuts down sneak attack as well.
Slayers also have s weak will save so spells requiring a will save will be good against a slayer. Even without targeting will save you can simply use the normal intensified shocking grasp tactics to do massive damage.
Does it matter if your character uses armor? A lot of characters can do unarmed combat well, but not many can also do unarmored combat well. Being able to do decent damage with your fists does not do you much good if you are easily taken down.
Zworddsman is right about the static bonuses. In the long run they matter more than having a larger damage dice. The problem is that it may take a few levels to get enough static bonuses to make it viable. This means that your unarmed build may not really work until mid to high level. When pathfinder first came out I did a comparison build between a monk and a fighter using unarmed combat. At high levels the fighter did a lot more damage, but sucked at low levels. Since it relied on two weapon fighting the fighter needed both STR and DEX to be very high. With all the books that have come out since I imagine it would probably be easier to do now, but it is still going to take a while for everything to come online.
Since this is a home consider the +1 the party gets as being caused by the reaction of the opponents to your jokes. Keep the game mechanics and simply change the fluff of your inspire courage. As long as your GM is ok with this it should be fine.
Any penalty you impose on your opponents will probably get a will save, so it is best to give the party a bonus.
The war priest will probably choose either a full martial class with some bonuses or another WIS based class. If goes with Inquisitor you will have a decent skill monkey. If he goes with a full martial class like cavalier you will have two very strong front line fighters. Even if he goes with another medium BAB class he will probably still be good in a fight.
The fighter is a little harder to predict. If he is going the heavy armored character his second class is probably not going to be anything sneaky. In that case alchemist would probably be a good choice for him. If he goes with a DEX based fighter than choosing something like rouge or another sneaky class would be a good choice. In any event no matter what he goes with he will be competent in fight.
This means that you have two characters that can deal with melee combat. That is not all that much different than a normal party. This gives you a little more leeway on your character. With two good frontline combatants you can play something that avoids the frontline a little easier. If the fighter does not go with alchemist, that may be a good choice for you. If that case take precise bomb and use the alchemist for your main damage and the wizard to handle the unusual.
Depending on the build of the fighter you may not have a stealth based character. If the fighter is going the heavy armor route no on in your group will have decent scouting abilities. An alchemist does not get stealth as a class skill, but you can always use a trait to get it as a class skill. If the fighter is goes alchemist and no one else has a decent stealth slayer would be what I would go with.
If the fighter is going alchemist and someone is covering the scouting and trap finding then going with Sage bloodline sorcerer could work. It does leave your fortitude save as your weak point so pick up great fortitude ASAP.
Boon companion combined with the animal domain does work but is not worth it. As pounce brought up you don’t get your companion until 4th level. But what really makes it a poor choice is that the spells you get from the domain are not that good and all but one are already on your spell list. Two of them are summon natures ally and one is beast shape. A druid can spontaneously cast summon natures ally and wild shape is a lot better than the spell. Hold animal and dominate animal are kind of situational and will not always be useful. Antilife shell is a pretty decent spell and will probably always be useful and shapechange is a good spell.
Natural spell is a lot better feat for a druids 5th level feat. Being able to cast spells while in wild shape is a lot more useful than the spells you gain from the domain. For the first 4 levels you don’t get anything except a couple of very situational spells. There ae also a lot of other feats that are better for a druid to take. If you want a companion take that as your nature bond instead of a domain.
Since your stats are set that is going to limit your choices. With a 7 CHA and 11 WIS you are severely limited in the ability to choose another caster class. Your character also has some weaknesses that should be patched up. With a CON of 12 you need a class with a good fortitude save and that gives you more HP. Being the best dead character is not what you want to be aiming for. Ideally you want something that also gives you a good reflex save and possibly evasion.
That leaves very few choices. Alchemist meets the minimum criteria, but investigator does not. You also want to avoid classes that rely on heavy armor and whose class abilities mesh well with a wizard. Any class relying on your low stats should be avoided. What that leaves is fighter, magus and slayer. Fighter could work because there are a enough combat feats like dodge that can still be useful to a wizard, but this does not really do anything to enhance your wizards abilities. A DEX focused magus could work. Take weapon finesse and something to give you DEX to damage and you are probably good.
As I have said before Slayer is also a good possibility.
If you really want to focus solely on spells at the expense of all else and ignore your weaknesses than you could go Sage bloodline sorcerer. Use your sorcerer spells for combat and the wizard spells for utility. This character would be doubling down on your weaknesses, but if you are ok with that it may be what you are looking for
The character has a 7 STR and a 11 WIS so going monk is not going to gain all that much. Since the character has no WIS bonus the only extra AC will be from gaining levels, and that does not kick in until 4th level. Flurry of blows is also going to be of limited use. Without a WIS bonus your KI pool will be lower than normal thereby limiting the use of Ki abilities. The DC for stunning fist will also be nerfed. In short monk (unchained or normal) is a poor choice for this character.
Studied Target and Sneak attack can apply to spells so boost his ability as a wizard. At second level he can take Finesse Rogue as a slayer talent to get weapon finesse without having to spend a feat that could be used to boost the wizard side. Later he can pick up trapfinding or weapon training (Ray). He also gains a lot of skill points and most skills as class skills. This is a better choice for this character.
If you want to wade through evil outsiders a ranger is going to be your best bet. Max out your favored enemy , and you will have no trouble with taking them down. Other classes can occasionally do more damage, but nothing takes out hordes of specific monsters like a ranger with a maxed out favored enemy. A paladin’s smite evil may do more, but he can only use it a limited number of times per day. Favored enemy bonus also applies to perception to spot them and knowledge skills to identify their abilities.
Rangers get some healing spells so that also fits.
One thing to keep in mind is that you are not going to be able to exactly create the character from the video game. You can get something close. Figure out what is important and be willing to compromise on the rest.
Part of being a versatile character is not having glairing a glaring weakness that can be easily exploited. This is a 1st level elven wizard with a mediocre CON. The obvious weakness is going to be fortitude saves and low HP. In a normal campaign when the wizard is neutralized it usually takes out ¼ of the party. In this case it could be taking out ½ the party.
The wizard is also a prepared spell caster which means if he prepares the wrong spells he can often become useless. Spontaneous casters have a limited number of spells known so if they don’t know the right spell they also are severely weakened. Having something other than spells you can do will increase your survivability.
With your stats I would go for a slayer as your second class. It covers the full BAB and your weak saves. Studied target and sneak attack can be added to some spells. You also get a lot of useful skills as class skills. Getting +3 on perception and stealth alone is going to be very useful. Your INT is going to give you a decent amount of skills, but getting 4 extra ranks per level is nothing to sneeze at. Don’t forget that studied target also applies to certain skills. Getting another bonus on perception and sense motive is always helpful.
What type of campaign is this going to be besides a Gestalt? One common reason to run Gestalt is lack of players. Gestalt allows a single player to cover multiple roles. Doubling up on an arcane caster does not really do anything for that. What you have at that point is basically a longer lasting single class character. The character is no more durable or versatile than a standard wizard. His actions are still going to be the same and he has the same weaknesses.
By going with a contrasting class you can shore up your weaknesses. Better saves especially fortitude means you have a better chance to survive. Extra HP and full BAB means you are not screwed when you do get into melee combat. Having other class abilities means you can cover what those classes usually do. Getting more class skills means you can better leverage the skills you gain from INT. If the other class gets more skill points then your INT allows you to actually be the skill monkey.
Even the extra spells per day are not that big of a deal. Wizards get scribe scroll and any wizard worth his place in the party will have used it to create utility scrolls. Roke55 is practically drooling over casting multiple wishes. Any wizard high enough to cast wish can already do that by creating a scroll. Sure it is expensive, but not that much more than casting a second wish, which he does not think is that expensive. Add in staves and wands for low level spells and a wizard really should not worry about running out of spells once past mid-level.
If the campaign only has a limited number of players doubling up on the arcane casting is probably not a good idea. If it does have the normal number of players it will not hurt, but does not really add that much that a wizard cannot already do.
If you have the stats a ranger could be a good mix. You would get full BAB all good saves and decent HP. If you can swing spare some points to WIS you also get some divine spells including access to some healing. If you don’t have the stats for WIS you could choose an archetype that trades away spells. What you will get is an absurd amount of skill points. Taking the trapper archetype would give you trapfinding so you could fill the role of rogue and wizard.
If the campaign is mostly urban favored enemy human and favored terrain urban would be very useful. The other ranger abilities would complement your divination spells ability to gather information. Take Archery for your combat style to get precise shot, improved precise shot and probably pinpoint targeting or parting shot. All of these can be use with spells. Your favored enemy bonus may also apply to ray spells.
You can also get both a familiar and an animal companion. Boon companion will probably be needed to boost the animal companion to full druid level.
Doubling up on spells really does not add that much to a character. Especially if the spell list has a lot of overlap.
Slayer would also work well. That would open up some rogue talents and give you sneak attack.
If you are using mundane methods of spying the chance of this working is almost next to nothing. The section on Arcane magic Writing is clear that an arcane spell caster cannot simply read another arcane casters writings. They have to take time to study and decipher it. The only rule that mentions how long that takes, is that it takes an hour per spell level to learn a spell from another wizards spell book. Since that is significantly longer that it takes to memorize the spell I would say the wizard does not have enough time to decipher the spell. If the spell has already been deciphered than I guess it might work.
Not all prepared casters use spell books. Witches commune with their familiars and divine casters pray or meditate. So that leave only Wizards, Magus and possibly alchemists and investigator that use books.
I agree with Pizza Lord that you would need to be able to have understand the book first. Since each wizard has their own way of recording spells this is going to be pretty difficult. Also you would need to be able to clearly see the page long enough to decipher it. It is going to take another wizard a lot longer to decipher someone else’s book than it does to read their own.
Read magic is often fails unless you are using greater scrying. The fact that there is a chance to use read magic through scrying means that you should be able to understand what is written in the book assuming you make the roll. It is still going to be a matter of chance to catch the wizard as he is preparing spell. Also since most wizards prepare spells in the morning this
With a Inquisitor, Paladin and a witch in the party you should be fairly well covered for healing.
Paladins have access to restoration and a fair number of other condition removal spells. They also get mercies that can be used to cover things not on their spell list. The nice thing about mercies is that when a paladin uses lay on hands the target gets the benefit from all the mercies the paladin has.
The witch has both raise dead and resurrection on her spell list so should be able to deal with bringing characters back to life. She also has Heal which will take care of almost all other conditions except negative levels or permanent ability damage, but the paladin as I mentioned does get restoration so can deal with those.
The inquisitor also has a lot of these spells on his spell list. He may not have them as spells know but they are on his list. He does not have spells to raise the dead, but he does have both heal and restoration on his list. The smart thing to do is to get a couple of scrolls with these spells so if one of the other casters are incapacitated he can use a scrolls to bring get them up.
This means that if you play an oracle you don’t need to use all your spells for healing. As an oracle you will get all of the cure spells automatically without having to cut into your spells know. Take the blackened curse to get some blasting spells. Work with the other party members to balance out the rest of the healing. Chose a decent number of offensive spells as well as the basic buff spells the wizard does not have.
Your understanding of heightened spell is wrong. What heightened spell does is allow the spell to be cast in a higher level slot and count as a higher level spell. So in order for it to be counted as a 9th level spell you need to use a 9th level slot. You can use any slot as long as it is higher than the level of the spell. So if you used a 5th level slot to cast color spray it would be considered a 5th level spell . Usually you use heightened spell to increase the DC of the save, or to allow it to bypass defenses that only work on a lower level spell. For example if you used a 4th level slot for color spray it would ignore a lesser globe of invulnerability and the DC for the save would be 3 higher.
Each deity has their own code so they are not written up in the class description. Basically look at the description of the deity to get an idea. Some deities will have strict codes other very lose codes. As a rule lawful deities will be a lot more strict and formal than chaotic ones.
The actual codes are pretty much up to the GM.
What makes humans the first choice of races is that they are incredibly flexible. There is literally no class where playing a human is a suboptimal choice. This is because all of their racial abilities can be used no matter what the class. Their stat bonus is always going to be in the stat you need most, every class can use an extra feat, and being able to get an extra skill rank of your choice is always good.
If you want make humans feel different change that. Mcdaygo is on the right track. Replace the standard human feat and skill points with one of the alternative choices. Make this the standard for all human. Change the floating stat bonus to fixed bonus. Maybe humans are smarter or more charismatic than other races.
It really depends on the character. An uneducated barbarian from an isolated area is not likely to know much of anything. A bard from a civilized nation is going to know a lot more about the world. Most characters will have at least heard about major world shaking events. A lot of it may be false information but they should be aware of it. The barbarian may not know what caused the time of darkness, but he will have heard stories about it. The stories may not be true but he is aware that something happened.
Keep in mind that Golarion is not the modern world. There is no internet and a lot of the population is illiterate. Learning is actually a lot harder than it is in the modern world. Most people will know what the country next to theirs is but something on the far side of the continent is a complete mystery. So unless a character actually has ranks in a knowledge skill they probably don’t know much about the subject.
Sense motive does not tell you if the person is lying. It can tell you if the person is telling you what they think is the truth. The big problem is that what a person thinks is true can be easily altered. Extreme torture can actually affect what a person believes. Someone under torture will often come to believe what they say is true. This is similar to the Stockholm syndrome where a hostage ends up supporting the person holding them captive. The rules are an oversimplification of reality. While the rules may make it so that you don’t have a chance to fail a good GM will take this into account and adjust things to be more realistic. This is one of the main reason the game needs a GM.
Keep in mind that a cleric not only has to be within one step of his deities alignment, he also has to follow the code of conduct of his deity. Those that fail to do so become ex-clerics.
I cannot see how a chaotic neutral cleric is going to be able to follow the code of a lawful neutral deity. The deity is going to be focused on obedience to the rules and tradition. The cleric on the other hand is going to be focused on his freedom and doing his own thing no matter what his superiors tell him.
Chakat Firepaw wrote:
Those spells are just the first I came up with off the top of my head. There are many different ways the magic can get the truth. When you start dealing with higher level spells the ways to avoid them become harder and in some cases impossible. For example I could use Geas to force a person to tell everything that they know.
There are also a lot of spells that may not be able to outright force the truth, but can still be used to aid in the process. Casting Charm Person or the equivalent on someone you are questioning is going to give you a huge advantage.
Using magic to defend against these also becomes harder if the target in captured. Spells used to counter them can be defeated pretty easily by a combination of divination, observation and counter magic. If the spell allows a saving throw the caster will know the save was made and can simply cast the spell again.
You did bring up a valid point about punishment. I don’t really consider carrying out a legal punishment to be torture. Although the line separating them is very thin. I could see a lawful good person whose job is to inflict punishment on convicted criminals. This may work for what the original poster wants.
In world where spells that can reliable get the truth without torture I would say that torturing someone is an evil act. In a world without magic you can make the argument that torture is sometimes necessary to get the truth when someone is not willing to cooperate. Many of the spells that could be used in place of torture are not high level spells. Zone of truth and detect thoughts are both second level spells. This means they only require a 3rd level caster.
With magic there are so many ways to get at the truth that are not available in the real world. This means that how things are done in a Pathfinder campaign may not be the way they were historically done. Why torture someone to confess to a murder when you can simply use speak with dead and ask the victim who killed them?
If you want your character to be skilled at torture and not be evil have it be something he learned earlier and has reformed. Just because you character is not currently evil is no reason that he could not have been evil before the game started. A reformed character is a perfectly good background. I could even see using it for a paladin. There was a book called the Hawk of May that used this for a background. The main character in the book would probably be a paladin but his mother was an evil sorceress.
I agree with marcryser about best way to create barriers is to expand the number of languages. I would not bother with the language families. Unless you goal is to prevent communication completely instead of creating barriers. Your Anthro and Morte languages are simply common split into two and should be eliminated. Give races that are listed as only speaking common their own separate language.
Using Golarion as an example there are over 20 “Human” languages. Other racial languages will probably not have nearly as many varieties but will still add more to the number of languages. For example elves from Kyonin would have a different language from those from the Mwangi Expanse.
In my games not everyone knows common. Adventures and those that are either educated, or engaged in trade know common. The players can usually communicate with most merchants and nobles, but if they want to talk to the people they better know the local language.
Dave is right about being evil and good natured at the same time. Some of the best villains fit this model. There is no reason a PC cannot do the same. A little subtly and you can be getting people to laugh along with you as you joke about truly horrible things. Use a lot of double meaning in what you say and deliver your lines with a smile. People will often think you are joking about the more horrible stuff, but you are perfectly serious.
This is similar to taking a blood transfusion and latter giving it back to the person when he needs it. Sure it hurts a little now, but it may save his life. If you are killed you cannot heal the target after the battle. While you may be using the HP to stay alive instead of just holding them, the point is that by taking the HP you are able to heal the target. Since this last for hours I am assuming you are healing them directly afterwards.
From a tactical stand point you would be better of using it in combat. That way it not only gives you HP it also weakens the enemy. The only reason I could think of using not doing so is if what you are fighting is not a living creature. So is you are going to be going up against undead or constructs you would be better off not using it on a party member.
Also keep in mind that an oracle has no alignment restrictions. They do not lose class abilities for doing evil acts. You are not an oracle of a particular deity, or even a pantheon, you are simply an oracle. It is entirely possible that the source of your powers also includes evil deities. If you worship a god that god has no more power over you than it does a fighter or a rouge. You are not a cleric that has to follow the teachings of your deity or lose your class abilities.
The build Slim Jim is suggesting is a valid build, but does not help the original poster. This build is pretty feat intensive so unless your character has a lot of bonus feats it is going to take a while to come online. It’s actually fairly decent for a human fighter. His build requires 8 feats including combat expertise, which requires a 13 INT. The original poster clearly stated that his character is a 3rd level barbarian that is looking at cleave as his 5th level feat. If he followed Slim Jim’s advice he will be able to get everything by 17th level assuming he has a 13 INT. 17th level is not my definition of early-mid level.
Basically cleave is pretty much a niche feat. It is helpful for almost any martial class at lower levels. It can also be an anchor for a fighter to build a fairly effective fighting style. As a standalone feat cleave is not all that good. There are a lot better feats for a 5th level barbarian to take instead of cleave.
Obviously cleave will give some benefits or it would not be a feat. The question is not does it give a benefit, the question is, is it worth spending a feat on.
Some feat give scaling benefits that become more valuable as the character levels up. Power attack for example does more damage as the character gains BAB. Raging Vitality gives more HP every level you gain. These types of feats are usually the best feats to take.
Other feats give you a benefit that is always useful under almost any circumstance. Dodge for example gives you a bonus to AC almost all the time. Iron will gives you a straight bonus to all will saves. The value of these feats are based on the how useful the benefit is. How useful something is often depends on the character. To a rouge who dumped WIS Iron will is a great feat. To the cleric with a high WIS it is not so valuable.
Then there are feats like cleave. They give a static benefit only in certain circumstances. The value of these feats are dependent on two things. First how often do they come into play. The more restrictive the circumstance the less value they are. The second measure is how valuable is the benefit. If the benefit can be easily gotten by other means the feat is less valuable.
Cleave falls under the last category. Early on in the game you usually fight multiple weak foes. This means at low level cleave is actually one of the best feats in the game. You gain a second attack which is actually quite difficult to do at low levels. You will also be able to use it quite often. At first level this feat is golden. As you rise in level your opponents get tougher and fewer. at first level you may be facing 9 goblin, by third level you are facing 5 gnoll. Cleave become less valuable in the second fight.
What makes the inquisitor powerful is synergy. They can get a lot of smaller bonuses that all stack together. I suspect that your spell selection may be focused on the wrong Things. You should have enough combat buffs to get your chance to hit to be about the same as a full BAB class. Divine Power like others have said is one of the go to spells for an inquisitor.
One spell that a lot of people overlook is heroism. It is a long lasting buff that gives you a +2 on just about everything you do.
An inquisitors spells should not be direct combat spells, rather they should be buffs and utility. A fully buffed inquisitor is one of the most deadly combatants in the game. The problem many people have is they want to constantly match the full martials. What an inquisitor does best is to wait until they can prepare and then take out the really tough opponent. Essentially you are a divine assassin.
In all honesty it sounds like you would have had more fun with another class. Multiclassing this late is probably only going to make matters worse. You have too much invested in inquisitor and the other martial classes are going to start getting their late game abilities. If you multiclass you will not get any powerful abilities.
It would depend on the wording of the ability that is letting you learn the spell at a lower level. If the ability says can learn or something similar than the answer is yes. If on the other hand it says something like learns spells at one level lower than that answer is no. That is of course the RAW answer, the real answer is ask your GM.
Cleave can be useful at any point in the game. The questions is, is it worth spending a feat on. At low levels you will be more likely to faces lots of weak opponents. If you pick it up at 1st level it doubles the number of attacks you get. This is also the point where you are likely to be facing foes weak enough that a single hit will kill them. At this point it is defiantly worth spending a feat.
The Original posters character is a barbarian so Raging Vitality is a very good choice for his character. Since cleave requires power attack that means that two of his feats are already spent. So the question is, is cleave worth taking at 5th level. Personally I think that there are a lot better choices for his character.
Combat Reflexes would allow him a second and possibly more attacks per round and allow him to make AoO while flat footed. This would allow him to cut down an opponent that tries to get away from him. If he is using a reach weapon it would also allow him to attack someone closing in on him. To me this is a much better option than cleave. This is not the only thing that he could do. There are a lot of other thing he could be picking up that are better than cleave.
A dwarf ranger in a giant based campaign is pretty good. Take favored defense and max out favored enemy giant and you have something that takes down giants pretty easily.
A dwarf warpriest can give a paladin a run for his money when it comes to survivability. If they use a high critical threat weapon they get particularly good.
Probably one of the best classes for a dwarf is inquisitor. The heavy focus on WIS allows the dwarf to really shine. Stalwart combined with the dwarf bonus to saves makes your character extremely resistant to magic. Add in swift action buffs and judgements if necessary and you have a character who can laugh at most spell casters. The fact that with the right inquisition you get to be the party face despite dumping CHA to the floor is just icing on the cake.