It's never said in the spell, but I've always believed that Summon Monster is summoning creatures from the outer planes, while Summon Nature's Ally is summoning creatures from the world itself. Both spells sort of kidnap a spirit and throw it in a temporary body. Nature's Ally just does the kidnapping from some obscure part of the world.
But again, that's just been the fluff I've subconsciously given to the spell. It's not spelled (haha) out.
Regarding the rule applying to other summons, that's really something you'll want to discuss with the GM directly. If the GM is banning dinosaurs, then it seems reasonable (to me at least) that the ban would include summons. (Otherwise, you get into situations where your druid summons a dinosaur, 'learns' it exists, and then shapeshifts into it.) If you are concerned that this rule will be applied to other summons, bring it up. It's a valid question. I've always assumed that a character is taught about each animal that the spell can summon as part of learning the spell, but perhaps you will need to make a knowledge roll to 'research' each creature. That would be a valid approach if your GM wants a world where individual summons have a contract with their summoner.
Just explain your confusion about how this rule would apply to everything else, and I'm sure your GM will be happy to explain what they have in mind. Heck, maybe you two can sit down and thrash out some really cool concept centered around summoning that will enhance your game.
The day that my cleave fighter is in melee with two adult sized dragons at once, both of whom are within her reach, I will happily admit your point for the 1 round it takes them to kill her. ;)
Jarred Henninger wrote:
If you can pick up additional traits feat, or just retrain, to get the +2 caster lvl trait. Now your 1lvl dip gives you 3 min enlarges.
That... is a very good point. And I *did* pick up additional traits. I used it to add some flavor to the character. But when I went druid, one of the traits (giving perception as a class skill) became obsolete. I'd selected Indomitable Faith as a replacement, but you have a very good point about Magical Knack. That would allow me to get both a 3 minute Enlarge and a 3 hour Longstrider. A strong alternative to +1 Will.
Or, just dip a single level of Goliath Druid with Growth Domain and go back to fighter. I have a Dwarven Martial Master Cleave Fighter. After reading this thread, I did a test build. A single level dip gives me the ability to Enlarge as a swift action for 5 rounds, and I get 1 use of enlarge person (cast like normal) plus 2 other druid spells which can be spontaneously turn into Enlarge Person (self only). So not only do I get enough enlarge persons to last through 3 fights (and another 1-2 fights using swift actions) but I can keep two of those enlarge person castings as Faerie Fire and Longstrider, just in case. Should I decide to invest a second level in Druid, I'd get +1 to Fort and Will, and another level 1 spell.
That is a LOT of value for a 1-2 level dip. I'm quite pleased. Thank you, thread. :-D
unless you are using a glitter dusted pink quarterstaff and calling yourself Mahou Shoujo PINK PUNCH...then I am willing to aesthetically accept that your punches are empowered by a hand held magical item-
Excuse me, I have a character to go build.
Risen Demon wrote:
Oof...I should also probably mention that I have to stay away from 3rd party stuff. That's a solid idea though. I like the Scarred Witch Doctor idea especially, but I dunno what to do with the ASF, especially wearing full plate...it'll be at 35% unless I mithral it
I'm not sure if you mentioned the 'no third party' restriction in response to my ideas, or if you'd just remembered it. Just in case, I wanted to mention that none of the classes I recommended were 3rd party or 3rd edition. Kineticist is still in playtest mode (well the playtest is over, but it's a homegame and you can still find the playtest document) for Occult Adventures. The official book should be coming out within the year.
I think Pyro-Kineticist is a good alternative to the 3.5 warlock a lot of folks have recommended. You get unlimited fire blasts with a system to enhance them, and other fire related powers that you could easily reflavor to be part of the suit. Plus... rocket boots. I mean, friggin rocket boots!
EDIT: I do like the suggestion of gun tank as a possible alternative though. Reflavor the bullets as gauntlet blasts, and you're pretty much done. Still have the 'caster in heavy armor' problem though. It might be better to go with a divine casting class.
Pyro kineticists eventually learn to fly by shooting flames from their boots. And I'm sure you can mimic the gauntlet blasts with fire powers.
As the other side of the gestalt, not sure. A level of something with heavy armor proficiency. Then... Alchemist? Perhaps wizard with careful spell selection? That would also allow you to make and enhance your own armor. If you spend a feat on racial heritage: Orc, you be full levels of kineticist on one side and fighter 1/scarred witch doctor x on the other. Both classes are con based and S.W.D, being a witch archetype, would still give you the 5 levels in caster needed to craft arms and armor. Hexes are harder to fit the iron man theme, but you'd basically be excusing the spells and hexes as tricks of technology which is so advanced it see,s like magic. For hexes in particular, it would be sonic effects or nanotechnology, etc. Same for spells
WARNING! Minor spoiler for Eyes of the Ten. If this bothers you, please stop reading.
I've recently played through Eyes of the Ten (thanks, TOZ!!!) The end of the series had a lot of emotional impact for me personally, and it's left me in a state of quiet contemplation about the Pathfinder Society as a whole. I'd always heard people on the forums saying 'if you've played Eyes of the Ten, you know that the Decemvirate are not what you would call good-aligned.' So I was already sort of expecting to find one or two questionable characters in leadership positions.
But there's a difference, I've discovered, between knowing about something and knowing about something. Now that I've had a character live through the experience and had a chance to see the world through his eyes, the statement has more impact. Seriously folks, the Decemvirate are not good people. They're not evil either, but they don't miss the mark by much. And the higher ranking members of the society are likely to know this. So how does the Decemvirate maintain their loyalty?
As I've learned, one of the desired traits in a Venture Captain is loyalty to the Ten above any other faction. (This kind of makes me laugh, because many of the faction leaders are themselves Venture Captains. But this leads to a related but off-topic discussion so we'll let that pass for now.) So you're a highly respected and/or well connected Pathfinder agent, and you're being considered for the position of Venture Captain. The Decemvirate wants someone who would be loyal to them. This makes sense. My question is... how would anyone actually remain loyal once they learned about the attitude and beliefs of the Ten?
As players, we've seen a number of venture captains. A lot of them seem to be motivated by self interest. But one thing I've never really questioned as a player before was that there were a number of Venture Captains who genuinely care about their subordinates. Sure, they can be incompetent when giving out information, but most of them don't give off the vibe that they genuinely don't care whether you live or die.
So how has the Society managed to get themselves a collection of mid-level managers who are for the most part decent people, while executive management is made up of corrupt, uncaring, jerkish individuals?
And yeah, okay... queue every joke there is about modern day corporate management. But there's still a sense of dissonance here, and the question seems worth asking. As things stand, I'm starting to think that the Shadow Lodge had a pretty good point.
"Freedom" and "Democracy" being Taldor and Andoran. And I have seen him hit his head a few too many times, yes.
He uses Taldor to represent the concept of freedom? O.o
At least it's better than Taldor representing Democracy...
captain yesterday wrote:
I have a Tengu Inquisitor that wears a Dar cape and self narrates :-)
Man. Now I have the opening credits song stuck in my head.
Thanks very much for making the effort. For data entry, I recommend audio books. I used to do data entry as part of one of my old positions, and listening to a book made the time pass much quicker. :)
Pretty surprised that there were three posts continuing the "play what you want" (with a little bit of "restrictions are evil" sprinkled on top) even after the GM of the game posted an incredibly reasonable sounding clarification pointing out that the player can, in fact, play what he wants.
Oooohhh forums, how we love thee.
Regardless, I'm glad the issue was cleared up. :)
A new update for Combat Manager came down from the apple store and I loaded it onto my iPad, but I still get the crash error on startup. Was the most recent update intended to fix this? If so, are there any additional steps I can take to resolve?
The crash happens for me with 100% consistency, so I'm completely stopped. I hadn't realized how dependent I'd become to having combat manager on my ipad until this started happening. Thanks for making such an incredible app, and I hope it can start working again soon!
Bummer that the core-only restriction came down after the fact.
To all those folks discussing the urban ranger, it looks like what happened was that the original group got captured and a new group was created to cover them. The GM took the opportunity to limit the selections (notice there are no archetypes on the new team). I'm guessing the new team is built CRB only, even if the last team had other options. They seem to be building things around the idea that they may not be able to recover their original characters, or perhaps they just intend to move forward with the new team regardless. That's why they're looking for someone who can find traps again.
Rarednaw- the messages make them seem pretty reasonable about it. I believe they are suggesting rogue as the most convenient fit (and because the other player was going to play one) but really they're just looking for someone who can find traps.
If you tell the GM that you don't want to play a rogue but wouldn't mind playing someone who can find traps, he will likely work with you to make it happen. Vagabond Child (the disable device trait) isn't in the allowed list of trait resources, but ask if the GM will make an exception for that. Then, you can build a sorcerer who uses dex as their second highest stat (don't they all?) and have disable device, detect magic, and dispel magic as your trapfinding methods.
If the GM is uncomfortable with that, he should still respond with alternatives and you guys can hash it out. If the response is "why don't you just play a rogue" then you might want to reconsider joining. It sounds like the player you are being asked to step in for left because he made some mistakes and got sour about it, but that could just be bias slanting the story. How the group reacts to your request to play something different should let you know more about them.
Man... all this discussion is making me want to roll up a rogue.
Be a conjuration focused wizard. Amaze and wow your friends with your unconventional use of summons to trigger traps. Meanwhile, you can take a bunch of save or suck spells for those times when you just don't feel like rolling dice.
Why choose just one route when you could be a wizard and potentially cover them all? ;) "I feel like doing some damage today." Studies more Summon Monster and direct damage spells. "I don't want to roll dice today. Studies more save-or-suck spells.
EDIT: Of course, this assumes you just flat out don't want to play a rogue. If you don't mind playing a rogue, I really do think you'll find a lot of value in the unchained version. And DrDeth has a good point about playing it the group's way the first time you join them.
There are all sorts of archetypes that allow for trapfinding, but this campaign is core-only (with one exception). So that limits things back down to the rogue.
Outside of the trap thing, they might just feel that they could use a debilitation specialist on the field, and some more skills off the field. *shrug*
The important thing is that you play what you're comfortable playing. If you don't want to play a rogue, express that. Ask if the GM will allow you to play an archetype from another book so that you can pick up trapfinding. That will allow you to play another class while meeting the need of the group (assuming that's their concern).
From a power level perspective, Unchained Rogue should be pretty strong in a core-only group. It will involve rolling dice, though. I think the only classes that don't involve dice rolling are buffing-bard and save-or-suck caster.
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Different people play the game in different ways. I imagine that some like to play it as a board game with character sheets, some like to play it as a fully immersive story with hardly any dice involved, and the rest of us fall in different places in-between.
Let other people play in whatever way want. So long as you are having fun at your table, you're playing the game correctly. :)
Switch Silent Tide and The Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch. In Silent Tide, Torch extracts a favor. In Many Fortunes, the Society pays the favor off.
(Well, you could interpret Many Fortunes as just another exchange in a series of favors, but it's more relevant to a party if it comes as "okay, time to pay up for that favor you owe.")
EDIT: After checking the various scenarios, I got this part totally wrong. I'd still run Silent Tide first, because it's Torch's introduction. However, you finish your business with Torch in Silent Tide with nothing owed. He extracts the Favor in Many Fortunes, and the favor is called in during Delirium's Tangle. Which is why it was presented as the third scenario of level 2 in your suggested order.
Outside of that, your list looks excellent.
I haven't read the one reviewer's post about having Mantis Prey come before Shadow's Last Stand, but I can see an angle there. It depends on how you want to present the narrative.
Season 2 Metaplot spoilers. Also MAJOR spoiler for season 4 Rivalry's End. Also very long wall of text.:
Spider and Grandmaster Torch are the two competing power factions of the Shadow Lodge during season 2. From text in the Mantis's Prey combined with how Shadow Lodge integrates with the Society in season 3, players are given the impression that Torch is the 'good' faction leader who wants to look out for the little guy but is generally willing to work with the Society. Conversely, Spider is the power maddened evil leader who wants to destroy the Society, take over its remains, and turn it into the Aspis Consortium 2.0. My general impressions of the metaplot was that there was a behind the scenes struggle between the two leaders during the entire season, and once Spider is captured in Shadows Last Stand then Torch finally has the breathing room to secure his position as the head of the faction.
The idea of having Mantis's Prey come before Shadow's Last Stand presents an alternate story. Spider is the overall acknowledged leader, but a faction of the Shadow lodge grows restless under her continued failure as the Shadow Lodge loses several key battles to the Society. Torch is one of the more influential voices within the Lodge, and he doesn't agree entirely with what Spider is doing. Spider decides to have him eliminated as threat to her power, and this gives him both the motivation and the political pull (gained from pointing out the assassination attempt and having the fortitude to survive it) to become a serious contender for Lodge Leader. When Spider is defeated in Shadow's Last Fall, the majority of the Lodge swings to support Torch, and he becomes head of the Lodge.
However, there's another angle to consider. There's a tier 3-7 season 4 scenario called Rivalry's End that retires the Shadow Lodge as a selectable faction. In that scenario, the party hunts down Spider and captures her for interrogation. Spider is brought back to Torch, who gets some vital piece of information from her, and then promptly kills her. He announces that he has finally secured the final piece of information he needed to blackmail the Decemvirate into letting him go from the Society on his terms. He escapes (or tries to), betraying all of the ideals that he claimed to stand for as the faction leader for the Shadow Lodge.
This revelation puts a more sinister twist to Torch's actions in season 2. You could validly claim that a lot of what he says in Mantis's Prey and early season 3 was a smokescreen to conceal his true intentions. Instead of being the 'good' force to oppose Spider's evil leadership, he was a willing co-conspirator who found a way to capitalize on Spider's defeat. If you put Mantis's Prey before Shadow's Last Stand, then you could paint it as Torch plotting to gain enough power to backstab Spider and take over, and the events of Mantis's Prey are merely the first steps in his takeover of the Shadow Lodge.
Sadly, there's no way to include Rivalry's End in the overall journey without significant modification. Shadow's Last Stand is a Tier 1-7 scenario. Mantis's Prey is a 7-11. Rivalry's End is a 3-7. By the time the group does both Last Stand and Prey, they're out of tier for Rivalry's End. (Plus, you can't have any shadow lodge story after Rivalry's End because it wouldn't make narrative sense.) So the best way to do things without heavy alteration is to run a second group of characters through Rivalry's End to experience the shocking conclusion to the tale.
However, since you're doing this as a home game, you could modify Rivalry's End to your liking. You just need to take the higher tier of the scenario and modify the encounters to be appropriate for 7-11. You'd prolly want to run all the season 2 7-11's you'd care to run, then Mantis's Prey (unless you ran it at level 7 right before Shadow's Last Stand) and then Rivalry's End.
It could definitely work. In that run, I'd probably run Mantis's Prey before Shadow's Last Stand just for pacing purposes. It looks pretty silly if you wait until near the end of the arc and then have Torch say "thanks to your help, I've survived long enough to take over the Lodge and pilot it into a new era" (Prey) and then the very next adventure Torch says "Haha PSYCH! It was a trick all along!" It makes more sense if Torch turned to 'the good' at level 7, became the prime leader as a result of the Last Stand missions, then actively assisted the society by providing information. This leads to the launch of all the other shadow lodge 7-11 scenarios, in which the Society works with Torch to eliminate the more hostile fragments of the Shadow Lodge and secure everything under Torch's banner. Then you run an upgraded Rivalry's End as the concluding scenario, in which Torch has secured enough control of the Shadow Lodge to get the information he needs and abandons everything he's claimed to work for in order to become a future re-occuring villain.
(Having said all of that... I personally wouldn't go that route. You'd be doing Torch's betrayel in Rivalry's End, then running a few Adril Hestrom scenarios to level up to 33 experience, then running Eyes of the Ten... in which yet another key figure ends up being suspected of betrayel. It's a bit too much too soon.)
Basically, it all boils down the story you want to tell. Since it's a home gave, you have full narrative control of the campaign. (Well, the pair of you do.) In my games, I've become accustomed to modifying the VC briefing to suit my continuing narrative. I'll either trade out the venture captain, or introduce little things which better suit the group, or add extra stuff that makes things a bit more personalized and entertaining. If you're interested in doing the same, then it opens up a lot more possibilities that you couldn't do in straight society play.
Kigvan- Woops! I stand corrected. Thanks! :)
pH unbalanced wrote:
Sorry, I should have been more specific. I meant competetive with the party in general, but I was specifically calling out level 5 because it's the last level before the full BAB classes (which generally the front liner is going to be) get their second iterative attack.
You have a point about the debuffing though. And Quick Shot is nice!!
...then you save up and use this in a pinch.
So long as you don't mind adding some Iron Man 2 to your Naked Barbarian Hunter theme. ;)
Yay! Daylight is more powerful than I thought it was. Not only does it negate darkness spells that are higher level than it, but it allows torches other non-magical light sources to shine through. This makes for a good reason for people to carry glowstocks and torches, even if they can cast light at will.
This brings up a similar idea...
Does anyone know if there has been a published adventure where the big bad of a dungeon poured poisons into cure potions, and seeded them throughout the dungeon? You'd heal 1d8+1 HP, but then have to make a fort check or lose CON to ability damage. That sort of thing.
I don't see how a sniper build is able to stay competetive beyond level 5. Is there anything a sniper can do to get sneak attack on more than the first shot?
I definitely think the minor and major magic boosts are going to be a strong addition to the rogue's arsenal. It was already worth getting them in the old forms, depending on the build you were going for. Between the magics and low level wands, the rogue has that much more versatility both inside and outside of combat.
Oooohh 'polluting the thread.' I'll have to remember that tactic. That's pretty slick!
Though I find it more appropriate to say that Snowblind polluted the thread by posting the remarks which had caused the offended response. Jonathon's response was pretty restrained.
Ah. Thanks Drogos.
BBT- I'd recommend a fighter level at 3 and the second fighter level at 6. That way you get all your needed feats in a timely fashion. If you want precise strike faster then you could take the first fighter level at 2nd, but I figured Reckless Abandon was a pretty good payoff already.
1B- Exceptional Pull, PBS, Run
So after reviewing the unchained monk myself and quietly thinking about it for a while, I find myself... overall pleased.
It's not perfect. There are two glaring flaws that really jump out at me. The ki pool is too small, and should have been 1 ki per level instead of 1/2 ki per level. Will save is the other. I know that topic was discussed until I personally was sick unto death of it, but it is something that should be recognized when looking at the class as a whole. With that said, I understand the concerns about making the class too tempting of a dip, and I agree that there would be similar arguments if it had been reflex or fortitude. I just think the arguments wouldn't have been quite so... emphatic. Personally, I would have liked to see an add-on to still mind (or some ability right around 4th level) that added a scaling will save bonus back to the class. The reroll boost to will save at level 18 just outright doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned. I'll never see play at that high of a level.
Having acknolwedged the flaws however, there are some very nice bonuses. The flurry mechanic, for all that it's a more restrictive version of the 3.5 flurry, is a definite improvement over the CRB flurry. And the fact that you can now get strength and a half to damage is REALLY nice.
The style strikes are also really cool. They're inventive, and thematic, and useful, and just... really cool.
Full BAB... thank you thank you thank you. This has been a loooooong time coming.
The ki powers are a mixed bag. There are some inventive stuff in there. I like that the 'choose your own' mechanic of the quingong has been in. I especially like that quingong power is a thing (thanks Mark!). And I like that some of the abilities have had their level restrictions eased to be more approachable. On the other hand, the cost of some of the abilities are too high. The ki pool is too small to support the number of powers that the monk receives. And I really don't like that the speed and defense boost were split off to become their own powers. (Having said that, the changes to speed and defense do intrigue me.)
I am, however, very happy that ki strike was reworked to be a bit better.
I think there were a couple of things the Devs missed that would have helped spice up the flavor of the class. The names of the new powers are pretty bland. Names like "inner peace," "break the stone," and "weaving dodge" call back to the fluff of the class. There are some very monk-like abilities added in as new ki powers, but I would have liked to see more thought added to the names.
One of the new ki powers is exactly what I'm talking about. Ki Hurricane is FANTASTIC mechanically. The name for it is solidly good in terms of flavor. This is an example of the Devs not having to go too far afield for some uber-mystic name, while still producing a mental image that is monk-like at its core. Well done! (Shame about the rediculously high cost, but that's another matter.)
Another natural inclusion would have been the inclusion of style feats in the low level free feats. This just sort of jumps out at you. I'm guessing they weren't added because their addition would make the monk too powerful. I disagree, but it's not too big of an issue for me.
If you take a step back and look at the good things about the monk, the class has a very 'back to basics' feel. Several core mechanics of the monk have been improved to make it overall a much stronger class offensively. To counterbalance this, some of the defenses were scaled down, and I'm not thrilled about it, but I think the offensive gains are worth it. Full BAB, reworked flurry, improved ki strike... this monk has clearly gone back to the temple and worked hard on his fundamentals. Along the way, he picked up some really cool new tricks in the way of Style Strikes and new Ki Powers. Many other things about the class were reworked to balance this, and I think the monk lost some its old flavor as a result, but the strengthened fundamentals combined with some of the new flavor adds up to a net gain.
A lot has been said about how the lack of archetype support weakens the class. That's true... but only if you're playing in a group with a strong degree of system mastery. For newer players and less mastery-focused groups, the monk is a very solid upgrade. The ceiling has been capped, but the floor has also been raised. For some, the ceiling cap is going to matter a lot more. But I think a great many of us are going to appreciate the ease and strength of the basic build a great deal. Taking into account that there will be archetype support to come (we hope, we hope, we hope...) I think this is an improvement.
So my over all impression is... I'm happy. The new class is easier to build, has solid mechanics, has some interesting new flavor, and has some exciting new horizons in the hoped-for archetypes yet to come. Even the glaring weaknesses are incredibly easy to fix in a home game setting. Good will save progression and 1 ki per level instead of 1/2 ki per level. Make sure that a Ring of Ki Mastery is an available item for purchase in your game, and you're done. :)
So let me show you what I mean when I say your build is feat starved.
The following feats are the core of most archer builds: Point blank shot (to act as a gateway for the others), precise shot, rapid shot, deadly aim, manyshot, and clustered shot. You want to take them roughly in that order, although minor switches to the order for personal preference or to take the specifics of a build into account are fine.
So let's say you do a full barbarian build. Your feat progression is going to look something like this...
1- Point blank shot, run (how are you getting run, anyway? I don't see it coming from the archetypes. Just curious)
2- rage power
3- Precise shot
4- rage power
5- Rapid shot
6- rage power
7- Deadly aim
8- rage power
10- rage power
11- Clustered shot
12- rage power
So you'r reaching 'mostly ready' by level 7 and 'fully activated' by level 11, though with your strength bonuses to rage you could probably move deadly aim to the end of the chain just to speed things up.
Compare this to....
A typical ranger feat progression:
Sticking with non-human, though human definitely helps for any non-fighter class.
1- Point Blank Shot
2- Precise shot (Combat style feat)
3- Rapid shot
4- (no feat gained, but you get a nifty animal compainion)
5- Deadly aim
6- Improved Precise Shot (Combat style feat) - Alternately, Manyshot
7- Manyshot (probably)
8- (no feat gained)
9- Clustered shot (probably)
10- Combat Style feat, so either Improved Precise Shot or Manyshot if you haven't taken them or ... I dunno... Pinpoint targetting? Regardless, you're either into 'just gravy' territory, or you grabbed some other feats earlier and you've caught up by now.
So a Ranger build can be completed by level 9, or level 7 if you're human. And that's with Improved Precise Shot thrown in at level 6, as a 'too good not to take' sort of choice. Note that the Ranger also gains additional bonuses to hit and damage from spells and favored enemy.
A typical fighter feat progression:
Sticking with non-human, and probably the weapon master archetype (not that it matters for feat progression)
1- Point blank shot, Precise Shot
2- Rapid Shot
3- Weapon Focus: Composite longbow
4- Weapon Specialization: Composite longbow
5- Deadly aim
7- Clustered shot
8+ ... whatever you want. Probably the snapshot feat chain, and improved weapon focus/specialization, and DEFINITELY improved precise shot once it becomes available at level 11.
By level 5, the build is mostly online. You're shooting twice with damage bonuses from deadly shot, weapon specialization, the Fighter's weapon training (possibly enhanced by +2 with gloves of dueling), and (if you chosen weapon master Fighter) the ability to reroll a miss every now and again. During the journey to Deadly Aim your damage was kind of underwhelming, but by this point you've about caught up to the rest of the party and you're... respectable.
By level 7, you're a monster. Two additional arrows from multishot and full BAB progression, you penetrate the majority of DR, your damage has increased from deadly aim and (if weapon master fighter) another weapon training increase. And by now, you've saved up enough to add the Holy property to your bow, meaning you're getting +2d6 on each shot vs evil creatures... which is over half of what you face in PFS. That's 5 arrows, 3 at full BAB, with a healthy dose of damage behind each of them. And at this point you're probably saving up to get Boots of Haste for a 6th arrow at full BAB, as well as making your overall attack slightly more accurate.
At this stage, you're either deliberately holding back in order to give the party something to do, or you're playing in Bonekeep.
(Note that a lot of what makes you a monster by level 7 has less to do with being a fighter or a ranger, and more to do with the combination of feats and purchases adding up to make archers awesome.)
My point: both the fighter and ranger builds have deadly shot by level 5, so they're up to competetive with the rest of the party. By the time they have clustered shot (preferably by level 7), they're at the stage where it really doesn't matter what other feats they take. Other classes, such as bard and inquisitor builds, are going to be more feat starved. But they have class features which increase accuracy and damage, just like your barbarian build has rage.
The advantage you'd have with multiclassing fighter is that you'd be able to speed up your feat progression. You'd have deadly aim at level 5, and clustered shot at level 7. Which is the ideal. In trade for this, you lose some rounds of rage, a rage power, and have slightly worse saves.
You can get by with a full barbarian build. You won't be optimal, but you'll definitely be viable. If you want to go that way for roleplay purposes or personal inclination then more power to you. But two levels of fighter will speed your feat progression up noticeably.
You don't have the charisma for hooded champion. And going ranger still leaves you feat starved by 1 feat.
Wild Hunter could be interesting, depending on the animals you could imitate.
Sadly, the impression I get is that there won't be follow-up support for the Pathfinder Unchained classes. They've not really done it for optional systems in the past, and I don't see Paizo changing things up now.
It would be awesome if I were proved wrong, but I think we're going to have to hope for a 3rd party solution here. :(
I've been hearing a lot of comments (both in and out of this thread) that the flurry has been modified to strongly resemble the flurry from 3.5.
Now, I love this change and would hate to lose it... but...
Does anyone else find it funny that Pathfinder Unchained was said to be the book where the Devs do whatever they want without having to be concerned with backwards campatibility... and one of the changes they made to the unchained monk was to give it the 3.5 Flurry of Blows?
Many details in this post, but I posted a TLDR summary at the bottom.
The Scenarios in planns levels 4 & 6 of the spoiled scenario progression don't matter. (Except that they might have Adril Hestrom in them- I'm not sure. Regardless, they can be moved or switched out.) Mists of Mwangi, Voice in the Void, and Prenumbral Accords all go together (taking place in the Blakros Museum) but don't fit with the overall plot. You can opt to sub them out if you wish. Personally, I'd replace the very first scenario with The Wounded Wisp (season 6, scenario 10). It's the best introduction module made for your purposes. (I really wish it had been out and available when I started my campaign.) It introduces the Pathfinder Society with a focus on Lore, and also has the character tromping around Absalom. The group at the end is left deliberately nebulous, so you can either have them be agents of Spyder (if you go that route), or vanilla aspis consortium agents, or shadowy agents of a custom faction/group that you intend to introduce. Also, I'd rewrite the intro so that it's spoken by Adril Hestrom. He's the VC of Absalom during the early seasons.
City of Strangers Part 2 has a natural lead in to Shades of Ice, so it makes sense to run Shades of Ice soon after Strangers 2. Also, I'd move the Heresy of Man trilogy to level 5 (the earliest you can run it) because you want it to happen during the earlier parts of the Shadow Lodge plot. There's also something you need to keep an eye on for Heresy of Man, from a storytelling perspective.
Heresy of Man spoilers:
The central plot point of this trilogy is that the PC's have a mission (part 1) go wrong and discover (in part 2) that there is a Shadow Lodge traitor in the midst of the society. By part 3, attentive players can discover the identity of the traitor... the Ruby Prince (leader of the Osirion faction). However, the Prince behaves quite oddly at the end of part 3, leaving when he could have attempted to kill the pathfinders, and the players should be left with the niggling doubt that all is not as it seems. I have not run it it myself (they're on tap to be played this month), but I am told this resolves in the Shadow's Last Stand arc, where it is revealed that the Ruby Prince was in fact a double agent working on behalf of the society.
Heresy of Man isn't actually the beginning of this character arc. I haven't played/run it myself, but I'm told the Ruby Prince's betrayel begins in Echoes of the Everwar IV - The Faithless Dead (season 1, scenario 53). Note that this scenario comes out immediately after City of Strangers 1 & 2 in the production line, so the idea was clearly that this mysterious betrayel (the Ruby Prince steals the McGuffin that the players have been working to get throughout the Echoes of the Everwar series) is part of the leadup to the shadow lodge. A Venture Captain and faction leader goes inexplicably rogue just as rumors of the shadow lodge become confirmed. Then we catch up with what the Ruby Prince has been doing (and link him to the Shadow Lodge) in Heresy of Man, and the story resolves itself in Shadow's Last Stand.
...At least, I think that's how it works. Again, I haven't played/run Echoes 4 or Shadows just yet.
The point is, you'll want to play up the idea of the Ruby Price being a traitor once the PC's start to discover it in Heresy, and perhaps add helpful little backstory tips along the way to deepen his background and make things more real for the player. The really nice thing about doing this as a home game is that it doesn't actually matter what happens in prior scenarios. The only thing that matters is what the players learn in your campaign - and you have a good deal of control over that. So you can add as much or as little backstory as you wish. ;)
The other important thing to keep in mind about the Heresy of Man series is that there is a point in each scenario that gets remarkably deadly. Each part of the trilogy has a moment where the chance of death goes way up for the party. You'll want to keep this in mind as the GM, and either soften the blow or warn the party. These three scenarios, combined with the fact that other early scenarios which take place in Rahadoum can get just as deadly, have spawned the saying "If you go to Rahadoum, you will die."
You're actually going to know more about the Dalsine Affair than I do. I haven't played or run it yet. I'm given to understand that it's a good fit with the overall season 2 metaplot because you see a repeating villain in it. However, I've not run it for my group and at ths point I likely won't. As far as I know, there aren't any major plot points in it.
I can say from personal experience that running The Year of the Shadow Lodge Special immediately after City of Strangers is incredibly awesome. City of Strangers is where the society begins to twig on to the existance of the Shadow Lodge - where the Lodge becomes more than rumor. The YOTSL special is where the Shadow Lodge launches its first attack and confirms its own existance outright. It was pretty thrilling.
If you're doing this for a home game and not for PFS credit, then I recommend running it. That particular special is cooperative as a whole, but you don't really miss any of the experience by running a lone table and simply describing the action of all the other pathfinder agents who are around them. There are one or two spots where the table interaction gets pretty cool (like when the lower tier players have to sneak by a big monster, and the higher tier can opt to sneak by, battle it to distract it, or battle it to kill it outright. If the monster dies, in time, then nobody else has to sneak by)... but overall I'd say that you can capture the heart of the experience with some good storytelling scenes.
I'd probably try to run Shadows Fall on Absalom before the Shadows Last Stand trilogy, as Fall is supposed to increase the tension of the shadow lodge being a threat, and doesn't work quite as well after the confrontation in Last Stand. In my campaign, I have it slotted as level 7 scenario 1 (immediately before Last Stand). My players are playing it this week, actually.
The Before the Dawn duo is fun, and I'd recommend it if you need filler, but it doesn't have anything to do with the season 2 metaplot.
One thing I'm doing to fill space is to run a module at level 8 or 9. I've selected The Harrowing, as that particular module is pure awesome.
TLDR: the important season 2 plot arcs are: City of Strangers (and the Special if you can), Shades of Ice, Heresy of Man, Shadow's Last Stand, and The Mantis's Prey. Outside of those, and stuffing as many scenarios given by Adril Hestrom in as filler, you'll do fine. As mentioned, I've added Adril to a few scenarios that he normally doesn't appear in, just to keep him fresh in the mind of the players.
EDIT: Oh, and one important point is to introduce as much of Grandmaster Torch early on as you can. The spoilered progression in your above post already does that, but I forgot to mention why that's a good thing. You want the Grandmaster to be a set and reoccuring character in your story arc. He's an information broker, so he's a useful resource for the party as a deus ex machina should they need it. He's also the guy who eventually takes over the shadow lodge in the conclusion to the series.
EDIT EDIT: Oh, and when you do City of Strangers, please give my regards to Madam Feathers. She's one of the most infamous NPC's in society play. Be sure to ham her up. ;)
Invulnerable Rager and Urban Barb can go together. With that, you can slide Str and Dex depending on opponents you're facing. If they're easy to hit, throttle down on the Dex and pump damage. If they're hard to hit, go the other way.
But primal hunter and urban barb both modify Rage. And primal hunter is one of the central themes of the build.
I really like your build concept, and I see why you don't want to multiclass out of it. The problem is that you're incredibly feat starved. After your level 1 choices, you need precise shot, rapid shot, manyshot, and deadly aim to get the build up to full power. (Eventually you'll want cluster shot of course, but it'll have to wait.) If you waited to take those using your normal odd-level feat slots, then you'd be level 9 before your build fully kicked in.
If you keep it to a minimum of 2 fighter levels...
EDIT: Modified build because you can't take manyshot at level 5
If you'd like more details on the scenarios I ran my players through, send me a PM. Someone who is really good at research could find the thread where Mark Seifter (then Rogue Eidolon, as it was before his Paizo days) helped me setup the campaign I'm running now.
EDIT: After a great deal of searching, because not being able to find it bugged me, I went through my own post history and found it. To my chagrin, it's the same thread that was linked to by Richard deMorris.
I've been doing exactly this for the last year with my home group.
Season 0 and Season 1 are a bunch of standalone adventures. Season 2 has an overarching plot, but it has problems in that it's difficult to play a single character through the important elements of each plot.
What I've done is base the mid levels (3-7) around season 2. Early and later scenarios focused on missions assigned by Venture Captain Adril Hestrom. I made him Adril my group's patron and overseer. That way they have a reason to see him again and again. Sometimes I even switch out the venture captain that was supposed to give the briefing and insert Adril in his place.
I also played up the underworld information broker status of Grandmaster Torch as much as possible. The very first mission my group did was Silent Tide (season 0, scenario 1) which introduces the Grandmaster. At the same time, I started scripting in a second underworld figure known as "Madam Web" or "The Mistress of Webs." This figure (who always remains mysterious and flips between helping the group and subtly interfering with them) slowly grows to oppose the group more and more. Sometime around level 4 or 5 - right around the time the group is learning that the Shadow Lodge is a real thing - they learn that Madam Web's true name is Spyder. This is a setup for the ultimate confrontation with Spider (the 'bad' leader of the shadow lodge) in the Shadow's Last Stand couplet at level 7. After that, the back of the shadow lodge is broken, and they just have to clean up the dregs (by running a few shadow lodge missions unavailable until 7-11). One of the final missions, run at level 10 or 11, should be The Mantis's Prey, which is the concluding scenario to the Season 2 story arc.
So the group starts off by running season 0 and 1 scenarios, bonding with Adril Hestrom and being introduced to Grandmaster Torch and Spyder. By level 3 they start realizing that the shadow lodge is real (City of Strangers 1 & 2), then start running missions against them. (Shades of Ice, Heresy of Man) There's a climax at level 7 (Shadows Fall on Absolom, Shadows Last Stand), a few more missions by Adril Hestrom. a few 7-11 shadow lodge missions, and finally the Mantis's Prey. A few more 7-11's by Adril Hestrom to keep him fresh and rank up to 33 experience, then The Eyes of the Ten.
Wouldn't everyone just immediately choose fuse styles (from master of many styles) if they saw that though? It normally replaces flurry of blows, but only flurry of blows. Seems too strong of an option to gain with a single power selection.
EDIT: Okay, upon reflection, that may not work. You'd be swifting to spend the ki and then swifting to fuse styles. A GM might allow you to combine the two options (after all, it's what you are using that swift action to spend the ki for) but it could end up a table variation thing. It would have opened the door to a whole bunch of errata possibilities, which is enough of a reason not to include it in a book with limited text space.
Did you add in the +1 to attacks from haste?
I did, as well as a few other attack bonuses which are being assumed for this best case scenario number. Once I know I've got the method down, I'm going to the calculation for a variety of other assumptions.
Are you also making sure that the sneak attack damage is not being multiplied on the crit.
Yep, that's handled. The latter half of the formula has 5.5+19 for damage, which is just my d10 + static damage.
Also I forgot to ask... what's considered good for full round DPR? My impression from the games that I've been playing him in is that his damage is really strong (honestly, too strong for this particular game). I'm curious if there's an expectation of DPR per level.
You put "1" in the crit multiplier field in my calculator, you should put "2"
Ah hah! Mystery solved. Thank you, sir! :D Glad to know I had my math right.
I decided to tackle DPR today. After doing so, I plugged the same numbers into a DPR calculator and got different numbers. I believe I'm making an error. Would someone mind reviewing my math?
(For Background, this is a level 12 ninja making a full round power attack with haste, an extra attack from ki, and sneak attack added in.)
Full round: 21/21/21/16 (1d10+19+6d6)
h = 0.65d = 1d10+19 = 5.5 + 19 = 24.5
s = 6d6 = 6*3.5 = 21
t = 0.30 <--threat range of (15-20), at first I thought this was 0.25 but I corrected it later
c = 1
0.65(24.5+21) + (0.30*1*0.65*24.5) = 34.3525
Which, I am given to understand, means that if I took 1000 full round attacks vs an AC of 29, my average damage would be 124.1975.
...but I plugged the same numbers into BigDTBone's Online DPR Calculator and got a full round DPR of 106.93. Not sure where I've gone wrong.