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I bought the Legendary Rangers PDF, although strangely it isn't immediately available for download like PDFs have been in the past and instead says "pending". Someone in the product discussion pointed out that I should make a thread here in case the issue doesn't resolve itself somehow.

N. Jolly wrote:

Ugh, that was an editing error, let me see if I can find the info.

Yeah, this actually got asked before, I thought I put it on the product page, but let me post it again here for reference.

It should read "At 19th level, if a soul blade is in possession of their spiritual weapon at the start of combat, they can roll initiative twice and take the better result."

Thank you for this, I can note this down for the future in case we make it to later levels.

So I've been having a terrible time finding the answer to this and just figured I'd ask. I'm a huge fan of the Legendary Samurai by Legendary Games, but the SOul Blade archetype is bugged on my PDF and only reads:

"Bonded Mastery (Su): At 19th level, if a soul blade is in possession of their spiritual weapon at the start of combat, "

What does the ability actually do? I like the idea of the archetype and sure 19th isn't likely to be reached often, but I would like to be able to at least know for the sake of knowing.

One of my players keeps swearing that the Vigilante is one of the strongest non-casters in Pathfinder, and I've seen one or two forums with a similar mentality...but neither he nor they really have ever just broke it down as to why. When I look at them I see interesting social talents that I really want just to be a thing half the other classes got anyway, a couple decent vigilante talents that are better than Rogue ones, but not as generally good as some Ninja Tricks in my opinion, and the option to have either Full BaB or a pretty meh version of sneak attack. Have I failed my perception check here and missed something?

I don't know if my hatred of "I full Attack" and thus almost strict us of the Spheres of Might stuff has influenced this or anything, I'm just hoping that someone can explain where this supposed power is that I'm really missing.

ShadowcatX wrote:

To address your example, the reason cleave doesn't work with vital strike is because cleave is it's own standard action while vital strike requires you to use the attack action.

This grants an attack action. It can be used with anything that uses an attack action.

Spheres has "special attack actions" which are mutually exclusive but are still attack actions.

I'm aware of that much, but the thing is the Counterpunch isn't an attack action. From what it seems it's readying an attack (which is a standard action), that counts as an attack action for the sake of triggered effects like Fencing/Duelist sphere.

I suppose I can probably relent on this, but it still feels very off. When I read "As an attack action" to me that says that it is in no way a triggered response that could be traded out for an attack granted by special use of a Standard action. If it had said "whenever you make an attack action" I might not be having this mental hang up.
In future installments, I hope the language is made more clear. Specifically what is a Special Action in this case, as I assumed Whirlwind Knockdown was a Special, and Boxing was a special as well, and from my understandings, you cannot overlap special actions in Pathfinder.

ShadowcatX wrote:
As an attack action, you can attempt a single trip combat maneuver check against all creatures you threaten, tripping each creature whose CMD you successfully overcome. For each creature you target with this talent, you take a -1 penalty to your combat maneuver check. At +10 base attack bonus, all creatures knocked prone by this talent take damage equal to your base attack bonus.

"As an attack action" so yup, you can do it.

I do believe that counterpunch would restrict targeting though.

Thats what I don't really agree on though, the "as" part. You've already declared the attack being used for counterpunch, which means you no longer can perform a unique attack action from my understanding of it.

The best example I can think of is Cleave and Vital Strike. Vital Strike specifically calls out "WHEN" you make an attack, but Cleave is "as a standard action". Cleave can't be combined with similar action use abilities while Vital strike can because it's a triggered effect. Does SoM not make this distinction?

This was a discussion that came up and got a tad more heated than I was meaning it to be, so I wanted to ask the consensus of the boards on the matter.

When using the Counterpunch ability, it states the following:

"You may ready an action to make an attack with a light melee weapon against the next enemy who makes a melee attack roll against you before the beginning of your next round; this attack is treated as an attack action for the purposes of talents as well as the Vital Strike feat and occurs before the attack that triggers it, gaining a +2 competence bonus to damage rolls. For every 4 points of base attack bonus you possess, this bonus increases by +2. Using this ability does not change your place in the initiative order."

Can you use the whirlwind knockdown talent of the lancer sphere in place of the attack? I was under the impression because it specifically says "As an Attack action" in its activation, which from my understanding couldn't be done as you already used your action to name the counterpunch readying. Am I incorrect in this?

That does have some of the things I'm looking for actually, though it is a tad limited as far as it's scope on it.

I'm planning a game set in a heavily eastern environment and I'm toying this concept since a lot of the players actually liked the idea of racial classes from back in the day and saw some of the ones made by Rite Publishing and Dreamscarred Press so they were asking about more theme appropriate options, and thus the notion of playing an Oni was brought up.

I've been thinking on it for a while, but newly working 3rd shift has drained me and got me pretty creatively bankrupt apparently because nothing I've been able to come up with seems to be balanced or able to properly give the right feel to it. I'm wondering if anyones had any success in creating a racial class that would allow players to be an Oni (link here for reference on them), more specifically the types like the "Yai" types. Or if not, what kind of things I might be able to focus on putting in or avoiding.

So this one a player brought up to me and I realized I didn't have the proper answer. This is the unarmored training Equipment Talent:

Unarmored Training
Your deft movements, physical conditioning, and expert use of your chosen weapons allow you to create a protective barrier around yourself as effective as any true suit of armor. When unarmored and unencumbered, you gain a +3 armor bonus to your AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every 3 points of base attack bonus you possess. Characters who gain Acrobatics as a class skill may instead choose to have the armor bonus increase by +1 for every 3 ranks in the Acrobatics skill they possess.
This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when you are flat-footed. You lose these bonuses when you are immobilized or helpless, when you wear any armor, or when you carry a medium or heavy load. These bonuses do not stack with the AC bonus class feature of the monk or similar abilities.
This bonus depends on an intricate awareness of the practicioner’s body and balance, and as such is lost when the target is under any shapeshift other than blank form, or is polymorphed into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type.

Does this count shields as armor worn? I just naturally assumed it didn't, but upon actually reading it over more it doesn't specifically call it out and I wanted some other opinions.

Alright thank you for the clarification. I assumed this was the case, but I really didn't want to chance it being something contentious.

Alright new question since I can't seem to find a concrete answer. When using this ability of the Berserker Sphere:

"Brutal Strike
As a special attack action, you may make a melee attack against a target. Creatures damaged by a brutal strike gain the battered condition until the end of your next turn. You may expend martial focus to have the attack deal additional damage equal to twice your base attack bonus."

Does this damage become multiplied by a critical hit or is it added onto the final total?

Alright I can see that, though because Mighty Blow only goes to one die roll does that mean it can be for both an attack and damage since it's different dice, or only for one or the other since they are 'part' of a single type of action?

And that doesn't give me too much in how it compares to just playing a regular barbarian or what can be stacked with it. I'm just unfamiliar with it and how the other abilities make up for things

I've seen this archetype sitting around for a bit and I'm thinking about giving it a try for a character, but since it's Rage variant Rapture doesn't appear to apply the same type of attack/damage buff as normal rage I'm a little hesitant to just dive right in and I'm wondering what the consensus is on it from the boards. I was also considering mixing it with the Berserker archetype from SoM (they should stack if I read it correctly), but I'm not sure if trading out so many rage powers would be a good idea for the spheres trade. Been a while since I built a barbarian at all and remember a lot of those were pretty integral to some builds.

For reference: Worldsoul Incarnate

It's third party, but the Malefex by dreamscarred press has been my go to for Hexblade flavor for quite some time. It's not a magic using class, but if you want to really laser focus on being the lord of curses it's my preference over any spellcaster.

These are some really great ideas and a big help. I actually really like the idea of the otherworldly Kimono idea Benslayer! I could use that to kidnap a party member as a form of "warning" or perhaps a way to go about nonlethal assault.

I think I'll combine the ideas a little. Alaurne may be a better fit than Dryad, though with some slight reflavoring in some aspects to fit the humanoid nature more. As for which class to use as enhancements how good is the Nature Fang archetype? It replaces the nature sense, wild empathy, and woodland stride features with Studied Target, and wild shape with Slayer Talents.

Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:

Applying half-fiend and 9 levels of druid gets to cr12. Druid 9 is enough to wild shape into a medium earth elemental 24/7, so we're going to apply that, then file off the serial numbers so she still looks like an evil plant lady. Elemental form is nice because she doesn't need wild casting.

** spoiler omitted **
This is all before gear, long-term buffs, or figuring out the stats for the scissors. Already 2 hours in on it at this point.

Holy cow thats awesome! You didn't have to go to all the trouble of that Darigaaz, but I have to say this is pretty close to what I was going for. I didn't realize Druid 9 let you stay shaped so long though, hadn't considered using it that way (I never really play druids)!

DaLucaray wrote:

Depending on how much work you want to do, you could add the half-fiend template, buff her racial hit die until she's high enough level, and let her cast spells as an Nth level Druid (maybe 10? keep it a few levels below her target CR). Pathfinder adventure paths do this kind of thing for boss monsters with regularity. You're DM, you don't have to tiptoe around class levels and templates if you don't want to.

Generally speaking, adding caster levels to monsters who already have a huge number of hit die is gonna delegate those spells to support casting, since they're not going to have high enough spell levels to be that useful offensively.

I haven't seen whatever video she's from, but if you want her to just supplement natural attacks and natural abilities with some minor spells, give her a few levels in Druid. If you want her to be doing a lot of different nature stuff that her pre-built Dryad abilities won't cover, let her Cast-As.

I normally would just wing it and mostly staple stuff on where I need it to be for the monster to work, but I'm also gonna be sending the stats to a friend who's out of state with even less prep time than I have. The plan is to help him run this plot over with his own group once it finishes, so for once I'm actually wanting to put down complete stats for stuff. The other monsters were pretty basic to do this one I just didn't want to fudge since it's one of the major antagonists of the game.

Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:

Scrying would take care of the tracking aspect, and gets bonus points for having something of the target to use as a focus.

You could copy an earth elemental's earth glide ability for her burrowing, just speed it up by a lot.

If you want her to be able to solo out targets then plant growth and wall of thorns would be effective and thematically appropriate.

Shiromori herself seems to be a half-fiend dryad or other plant-oriented creature. And most of the rest of the abilities stated so far could be gotten by adding levels of druid.

Her scissors I would have transform from a dagger equivalent (light, P/S) to a greatsword equivalent (2 handed, S). Maybe 1d6 damage in small form and 2d6 in large.

I hadn't really thought of Half-fiend Dryad that would be pretty rad. If I was going to be adding class levels in addition to this how many would be appropriate? Assuming I'm making her a challenging fight for a group of four level 10 characters I would think putting her at a CR 12 or so would be good so maybe around 6-8 levels? Not a huge fan of Druid since the spell list is good but the other features are mostly wasted, but I yeah I can't think of much that would be better.

I'm wanting to create an antagonist for my groups current Asian themed game, and I'm really wanting to emulate the character Shiromori from the Mystery Skulls animations, but I'm not really sure how to go about it.

The main goals for the monster to be able to do would be to be able to track others over extreme distances, travel through the earth at great speeds (not necessarily teleport speed), and to pose a significant threat to a 10th level party as only a solo encounter, though she would likely use ambush tactics to single out targets.

I can always just 'say' she can do these things of course but I'm hoping to at least have a possible frame of reference, and possibly a better grasp of what would be really flavorful magic abilities/spells to give her in order to help her be an effective assassin. Normally winging it wouldn't be so bad, but this group is pretty high on the optimization ladder and has proven to be very coordinated to a point I've had some trouble challenging them with combat. They welcome challenges like this and would love to feel a real sense of fear to know this being had their number. Due to my limited free time for such endeavors at the moment I'd love to know if anyone has some ideas or possible numbers I could work off of!

GM Rednal wrote:
Revitalize is the most amazing Life talent ever. o wo~ I'd take that over Sustaining Vitality. You can get any blast type you want with Energy Focus (highly recommended if you don't plan to pick up more than one blast type group - it's basically a free talent), while Telekinesis... -Rubs chin- It's interesting, but you definitely need a solid plan (and some Caster Level buffs) to really do well with it. I think that could be saved for later, though you can probably afford a one-talent dip into the base Sphere for thematic reasons.

I plan on grabbing a staff to help out with caster level (probably a +2 staff to two different spheres, likely Life and then Destruction/telekinesis.) Though looking at Revitalize again I can see it's potential, but I'm not sure if it would benefit our party as much. Without picking up Ranged Healing and Mass Healing I'm only applying it to one person at a time, and Fasting Healing 1 is great for out of combat but certainly won't save someone being mauled. I can skip out on Sustaining Vitality though it was mostly one I just thought looked cool, so I may as well take your word on it and grab Revitalize to see how it turns out :P.

I thought of Telekinesis partly because it may be interesting to use while possessing an ally or a dead body, moving things around while hidden, or stopping ranged attacks aimed at the one the character is inside. As far as destruction blasts go each Negative Energy blast type talent actually does something against Undead so that's a possibility! As would be Cold to go with the ghost theme.

But alright, I think this mostly covers the talent portion of things. On to what Wraith Haunts would least there's only 3 of those to choose lol.

Actually on further reflection it may benefit me to still grab the Proficient access with Might talents. I could grab the Alchemy Sphere and the Salve talent (at 8th level it would heal 4d8+ practitioner modifier assuming max alchemy ranks). This would easily shore up the use of the Life sphere talents since I can make several ahead of time. The fact that the one this character was previously possessing used this as well would be a good tie in.

GM Rednal wrote:

Life Sphere + Revitalize + Mass Healing (for a bigger group) will make your party love you. XD Wraiths normally get 17 talents, plus one for your haunt path, so I wouldn't invest more than 4-5 talents in any given Sphere if you want diverse talents.

You CAN use Life offensively, but it tends to be SP-intensive versus just using the Destruction Sphere, so I don't recommend it for anyone who's not a High Caster specializing in that.

Fate is a pretty good choice overall for debuff/control, so it's worth looking at.

Alright, how about this then. At 8th level without any extras from feats/drawbacks I'd have 8 magic talents to choose from.

I get Death automatically, Pick up either the Expanded Necromancy or Empowered Reanimate Talent (1), Then the other by axing Ghost Strike

Grab Life Sphere (2), Greater Healing (3), and Sustaining Vitality (4)

Next get Fate Sphere (5) with the Tongue of Ages Drawback, snagging the Curse (word) talent with it.

Now the question is whether to go for Destruction Sphere or to go into Telekinesis. The former being more reliable damage (With good debuffs in Radiant Blast like suggested or Nether Blast which Frightens Undead), while the latter opens up some creative options and is much more 'ghost' like.

Edit- Getting Illusion Sphere with the Disappearance Drawback might be pretty goofy, Go incorporeal AND invisible lol.

GM Rednal wrote:

One of the nice things about Corruptor/Death Sphere is raising your own bodies to inhabit. XD Anyway, it's true that Ghost Strikes are normally a Negative Energy Death effect - the basic version does not work on undead, constructs, elementals, and creatures similarly immune. I wouldn't say Carrion Crown is wholly undead, but I suspect there'll be a fair few later on... *Rubs chin* What I might do is take a drawback to lose access to Ghost Strikes (letting you reanimate bodies better with a bonus talent and gain more battlefield control), then dip into another sphere for debuffs.

The Destruction sphere has a lot of options for that (damage and debuffs at the same time are great!), but you could also play up the debuffs of the Enhancement sphere to go with a ghostly curse theme. Mass Enhancement, Cripple, and maybe Lingering Enhancement can be a pretty brutal opener in a fight. Definitely get a staff for whatever sphere(s) you end up using.

Maybe pick up at least the basic Destruction sphere, because a scaling all-day touch attack literally never goes out of style. You could grab the Energy Focus (Radiant Blast) drawback for a nice anti-undead damage boost + debuff.

Fair enough, losing Ghost Strike is a bit sad but with there being as many constructs we've fought as undead it's a good call. I'm pretty aquainted with the destruction sphere so I'll definetly be picking up at least the basic access to it if I'm skipping out on SoM access to retain feats. I actually forgot about the Enhancement sphere having debuffs though, so thanks for reminding me! Hmm...What about the Fate Sphere or Life Spheres? I'm unfamiliar with the former but if the spell point costs aren't terrible allowing allies to reroll or forcing enemies to do the same could be pretty thematic of a 'curse' as well. The latter might endear the character to the party more (since the former one was a healer) and the Vitality Talents can be pretty potent boosts, but I'm not sure if it would sacrifice too much to invest in

GM Rednal wrote:
Yeah, it's not good to stack up on roles TOO much. If you've got three buffers, it's better to try and do something else. From what you've said, debuffing and Battlefield Control sound like a good way to go here. Whiiiich could include raising lots of dead to distract enemies and provide flanking. And Illusion would work well, too.

So you would suggest the Corrupter Haunt Path then for the Undead? What about Ghost Strike only affecting living creatures? (I could be wrong but I thought that was true). If so that might put some limitation on what I could possibly Debuff if undead feature heavily

GM Rednal wrote:

Okay, so the first thing to do is probably figuring out what Haunt Path and/or Archetype you want to use. Path of the Corruptor could be interesting.

If you really want to keep the theme of an existing spirit going, the Unbodied Archetype could be interesting. Maybe use the hand you possessed before as a refuge object the party has to preserve, and while you normally use ghostly powers from inside your host to help them, you occasionally pop out to haunt other enemies or distract them.

But yeah - what do you most WANT to do? That's the best way to figure out a good build. XD

Yeah thats whats got me partly so stuck, they all look pretty awesome lol. I do like the unbodied a lot, but I really hesitate with the idea of taking damage every round I'm not solid, though I could see how that could be pretty interesting.

I suppose part of my hang up is that I have a lot of things I WANT to do and I'm not sure what would fit best in the game. My initial thought was using Combat Spheres to build a dagger user with it who would possess enemies and use wraith form/touch attacks. But having a much more control heavy possession or aiding helper would likely be more fitting on flavor. Downside is all three of our casters are primarily doing utility stuff and buffs already while our other two beat stuff to death (the necromancer is a caster, but it's all combat related and he's mainly another melee DPS).

I said the Illusion sphere might be interesting to try out to Stack, if you know about the AP would too many things just not be affected by them?

Stack wrote:

Glad you like the class!

I haven't played past the first chapter of Carrion Crown, so can't speak in detail as to what is useful there. I expect at least some of them are undead heavy (the first is, I've heard they aren't all though), so mind might not be a good focus. If your party composition allows it, you could focus on undead, but the locals might not like that. Being able to possess mindless undead might be useful.

You have good stats, so combat talents could be useful (some could be regardless, depending on sphere). What does the rest of the party look like? Is there a particular sphere you would like to focus on or try out? You have a lot of options. I don't know that the sneaky infiltration stuff will be as useful in the AP, maybe others could say for certain, but that would cut some haunt options.

I can't help liking something well made!

I actually don't know if we're in the first or second book, past that we're level 8. The DM doesn't tell us when we beat a book unless we ask usually. It seems to go pretty heavy on constructs and aberrations as well as undead though from my experience so far.

As for party composition, we current have a 5-6 member team of a 'chained' Summoner (first time player mainly focusing on the Eidolon, he has less system mastery than the rest so we don't mind him using a strong class), a Battle Necromancer (debuffs and a two-handed weapon mostly, some raising), a Warpriest (focused on the god of metal so he's an item maker), a Blacksmith (SoM version, focused on sunder and shield defense), and the last player is an irregular attending Kitsune Sorcerer.

My previous character was a half-goblin Scholar (SoM) who was focused around knowledge, scouting, and healing the party using alchemy and class features, and the possessed hand feat chain to let her create alchemical things even while asleep.

There are several spheres I would love to try more than just a dip into (other than destruction, done that a lot lol). Perhaps Illusion? I'm a little confused by the vagueness of what the sphere allows you to do I'll admit.

Hopefully, there are some people out there who can give me some advice on this awesome new class, but since it is new I understand if there may not have been enough time to put it in a lab or anything.

My last character in our Carrion Crown game had a possessed hand (the feat) and was trying to find a way to free the spirit trapped in there, well I had the idea that since she died the last session when the party tries to bring her back they accidentally release the spirit in her hand instead, who would be a Wraith since it was a perfect flavor match. The only problem is that I have a crippling case of choice paralysis on the subject.

So far the character's base stats look like this before items, feats, or anything else:

Lvl 8 Human
Strength 13
Dexterity 16
Constitution 14
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 16
Charisma 20

I'm unsure what focus would be good for the AP, like would going with Illusions and trickery work often against the types of enemies? Would it be a good idea to exchange feats for a Proficient Spheres of Might progression since the DM already will allow me to gain a Martial Tradition for proficiency exchange if I would like (Even though the class only really would trade proficiency with scythes, he doesn't mind which is pretty nice).

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Honestly, while I can see the point of the devs and of the people who dislike them...I can't understand the vitriol. Just don't use them then, or adjust their availability, or in general, find some way to organically enforce the type of playstyle you're trying to get at. That's the beauty of the game, you can change whatever you want whenever you want.

I personally don't desire the development team to make hard and fast rules about limiting such things as part of a core game. Instead, I think such things should be OPTIONAL rules given in a side note if they believe it to be a problem. Let us decide what is best for the game we want to be playing instead of saying we have to play the way they say we do.

In my experience wands of CLW have never been an issue because I never minded players healing up to full, and when I did I limited what they had access to. Players will almost always try to survive the best way they can. Scrolls, wands, potions, whatever they can find to ensure a victory is going to be used and it's just silly to try and think they would somehow limit themselves. I also enjoy the wands a bit because it means that if no one wants to be a healer (because most of my players really hate the mere concept of being forced to play a cleric, just because "we need one". It really makes parties homogenous and uninteresting to always have one cleric around in their opinions), then we still have a reliable way to heal up after a tough fight.

My ideal solution is usually to say "Oh yeah the magic shop has a wand, but it's quite used. Likely a previous adventuring party was raided and this sold off" or similar. The wand only has 10 charges or so. Or to drop a wand as part of treasure rather than saying "you can buy anything".

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Deighton Thrane wrote:
Ronnam wrote:

I can sympathize with the OP's attitude...

...Today it feels a little like the opposite of Christmas morning, for the sake of "balance" for a game where myself and my players didn't feel this imbalance that others apparently are upset about. It's like we received all those nice Christmas gifts 10 years ago when PF1 came out, but now our parents are making us box up all the shiny toys.

I tend to agree here. I feel like the developers really perceive level 1 to 12 as the play experience they want to emulate with Pathfinder 2, and in an effort to emulate that they've taken roughly the amount of player choice you used to have in 12 levels and stretch it over 20 levels. That means stretching ancestry bonuses over multiple levels. Having to take multiple class feats just to keep feature relevant, or to not fall behind the games expected numbers. Having next to no class features, having to gain everything through class feats, but then reducing the number of general feats because you get a class feats as well. It all adds up to a class advancement chart that looks very generous, but when actually creating characters ends up feeling pretty unrewarding.

It almost feels like they're so afraid of letting the game get away from them that they're not willing to actually give players impactful, or meaningful choices.

I honestly don't understand the mentality behind the changes. I get that 1-12 was some of the most popular play, but that was only because firstly the higher level play started to get too complex. I've run multiple games at level 15+ and so long as you keep the mentality of "yeah these guys are freaking big dang heroes" then it's hardly an issue, so long as you state firmly as the GM what you're alright with and what you aren't as far as spellcasting goes.

But also the biggest limiting factor in high level was time. It takes a LONG time to reach 12th and up for most tables if people have jobs and can only meet maybe every 2 weeks like my current group. It took us several months to clear 10th level in the Skulls and Shackles AP for example, and that's not always something people can just do. So now it seems they have taken the 1-12 feeling and stretched it out so badly that in this same several month periods we would be 12th level with the proportionate power of like what...6th level characters then? That's not a very rewarding feeling just as you've said.

I don't see why they wouldn't keep the existing feel of 1-12 as the actual 1-12, but just managed the higher levels better. Maybe say that "characters literally stop being regular adventurers at 10th level" and having specific challenges and flavor for being larger than life heroes and such (if they are trying to go for a 'radical departure' from the tradition as they say I could see this being a better option). That would at least preserve the feeling of progression.

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Doodpants wrote:
Laik wrote:
If all of your PCS had 1 RP exactly, then all of them dumped Charisma to 10. In this game, it is a decision about just as smart as dumping Constitution.
I don't consider a 10 a "dump"; it's just something you haven't particularly invested in. If you're saying that ALL characters have to raise both their CON and CHA, in addition to whatever other attribute(s) their signature class abilities may depend on, then that effectively makes every character MAD in this game. Which is not a good thing.

This is something I actually really dislike, even with the way that ability score increases work in the playtest. Having an ability score tied to Resonance means that this score will become a "minimum" investment score. Every single character WILL put at least a 12-14 in this score if possible.

Every. Single. Character.

This makes the homogony of the characters even more apparent. The system also just is an even more convoluted way to solve a problem than need be. Why not just make wands and potions limited in use? Instead of 50 charges of a wand why not 5-10? Resonance makes some sense in the context of cutting down on the big 6 and making the player choose what bonuses they get from what items, but being tied to EVERYTHING really feels out of touch with the world the game is supposed to be in. Imagine the NPCs saying "Oh sorry, we could heal your fighter, but all of our resonance points are gone." After all otherwise the players would just have an npc companion to pour things down their throats all day instead of themselves.

I do understand some about how the Overspending works, but that in itself is another issue. The risk of losing out on magic items for the entirety of the day on a single bad roll is just NOT something I can see any of the players I know taking. They would rather just say once resonance is 0 it's 0. Cause if they fail that check then they may as well have had 0 because they will likely be dead anyway.

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Asuet wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I tried to use it again today in a 10th playtest. This time it was my Paladin along as an NPC.

I could not get it to fire. In all 3 encounters. I could not get it to fire. I had 3 players laughing at how insane I was going to to try to get it to fire.

So you got exactly what retributive strike is made for. Forcing the opponent to reposition or attack you. That you still don't get that the attack itself is not the point of the ability is beyond me.

I understand your point of defending the ability, and I'm not really sure I can explain the position I share with the others in a way that will influence your own opinion, but I'll give it a shot.

Retributive strike is fine for what it does, and it does the job, but it doesn't "feel" like it's doing the job. As players in a game most people desire to feel the input of action and the result of said action, even if it's quite a small reaction. The enemy choosing to act differently is good, but it feels very metagamey in how this particular ability is doing it. It feels less like the paladin is there defending his allies and being a menace and more like the DM is catering to the paladin's singularly determined role. This ability doesn't give the player any real feedback for them to feel accomplished beyond telling themselves they did good by standing still and waiting for something to go and hit them or their friend, and that's not enough input for most people.

This also brings up a rather odd mentality and play loop of "Stand there and hope my friend gets attacked so I can do something". Sure, you don't HAVE to play this way. No one is saying you couldn't, but it brings to mind the idea of "if I want to be more dynamic a character I should not pick a paladin". This happens because while the character doesn't HAVE to play in the dedicated stuck-to-a-guy-like-glue tank method, so many of the classes features are tied to the ability requiring them to do so that it feels like wasted mental effort of making the character good or more engaging.

An ability that deters enemies is great, but an ability that reduces player input on the game is bad. The latter is simply a worse feeling for most people than the former. Also as I said previously, an offensive ability as at least an OPTION would heavily reduce this issue because even better than a good defender is a decent defender who can turn on a dime to lay a smackdown. Just to reiterate, there is no greater CC than "dead", and what paladin player doesn't love to deliver good CC.

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HWalsh wrote:
Naoki00 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

DG is only offensive protection for the paladin... and only then for that rare time a paladin would fail its throws running into battle against something that would require a throw being made... should of been more clear

but then I failed my Im hungry throws when I wrote it....

I'm just salty right now.

Tonight's goal of *trying* to get Retributive Strike to trigger flopped bad and I can't figure out anything I did that was wrong. I *as the GM* had problems setting up a skill to go off. Though granted, I was being fair, I wasn't having the enemies intentionally turn away from the Paladin, they were animals, meaning that they weren't likely to understand how to avoid it, assuming that would be the best case scenario and still... Nope.

This is frustrating me to no end.

I think part of the problem lies in that it's not nearly as intuitive as it's meant to be. It 'should' be a situation that happens, and it is, but even with lesser intelligent creatures it certainly seems like there are just too many moving parts to the game for ANY ability that is based on such a narrow trigger to be the main deal of an entire class.
The other side is intelligent enemies can easily circumvent it.

Agreed. Something I would like to point out as well is that regardless of how good a 'defensive' ability that RS is, in all my years of gaming the tank has been at least as good at dealing damage as the average guy if not even more. The tank draws aggro by being...well a tank. A big scary threat with a big gun ready to pick one unlucky evil doer and send them home (via smite or whatever have you). No matter how you dress it up, there will never be a better CC than "dead".

Matthew Downie wrote:
CBAnaesthesia wrote:
You keep saying that you think the old paladin was OP but never give any reasons for it.

PF1 Paladins came across as overpowered at a fair number of tables (the ones where casters didn't reach their full potential).

Level 5 Fighter: "I can move at full speed in medium armor, and I get a small bonus to attack and damage with certain weapons, and three bonus feats, and a +1 to saves against fear, which helps compensate for my poor Will saves! How about you?"
Level 5 Paladin: "I can detect evil and smite evil and I have the best saving throws and I can heal myself as a swift action and heal others in two different ways and cure conditions at the same time and I give my entire party +4 to saves against fear while being immune to fear myself and I can cast spells and use wands and I can choose between a full animal companion or the ability to empower my weapon..."

I could be wrong, but don't Fighter's still win in the DPR Olympics at least?

However, I do feel this is a bad example. The Fighter class has notoriously been underpowered in many regards, the paladin is just a 'better' class overall. It would be more properly compared to something like the barbarian in terms of what it gets to do. To chime in a little while I do agree paladins are a decently powerful class, they have never felt OP in my games.

They are good at keeping themselves alive and patching up people, but they aren't as strong as a Cleric nor as powerful as a Barbarian, they fill a middle ground of "Can do what it's meant to do competently without too much work". Can it do rediculous novas sometimes? Sure, but in a very narrow area. The paladin also has the benefit of being the ONE class at the table that if they do happen to be a little strong my players have never minded because how can you hate the guy who's healing you up while getting smacked on before turning to the bad guy and laying a beating for daring to hurt their friends?

HWalsh wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

DG is only offensive protection for the paladin... and only then for that rare time a paladin would fail its throws running into battle against something that would require a throw being made... should of been more clear

but then I failed my Im hungry throws when I wrote it....

I'm just salty right now.

Tonight's goal of *trying* to get Retributive Strike to trigger flopped bad and I can't figure out anything I did that was wrong. I *as the GM* had problems setting up a skill to go off. Though granted, I was being fair, I wasn't having the enemies intentionally turn away from the Paladin, they were animals, meaning that they weren't likely to understand how to avoid it, assuming that would be the best case scenario and still... Nope.

This is frustrating me to no end.

I think part of the problem lies in that it's not nearly as intuitive as it's meant to be. It 'should' be a situation that happens, and it is, but even with lesser intelligent creatures it certainly seems like there are just too many moving parts to the game for ANY ability that is based on such a narrow trigger to be the main deal of an entire class.

Alright so I've been following the forums since I haven't been able to really get a hold of the playtest book itself for more than a cursory look through, and I think I have a decent idea of what the issue is even without doing so and think some of my thoughts might be relevant. I like the 'sound' of the retributive strike and I can appreciate what it's meant to do, but honestly I wonder if an even further direction away from a 'keyed' mechanic might actually be a better direction.

Personally, my favorite version of the paladin is the archetype (technically an archetype combo but it specifically goes with each other) used in the Spheres of Might books, which trades out all of smite evil and spells to instead gain Combat Sphere access of Expert level (1 talent per level). For reference, these spheres enforce particular fighting styles and combos or add in other abilities a class didn't have (like Temp HP tanking rage style or an animal companion). I felt this better emulated a paladin, or a Martial Cleric as it were, to a specific god or ideal if a god never even came to it, because it was more modular and paladins to me should be just as flexible as a fighter but in a different direction. They are a fighter with a greater cause than "survive".

Instead of just "smite evil" or "retributive strike" why not allow the paladin to have a more customized option like this? Maybe allow them to choose one or the other at 1st level, and have each version do something different or at least affected by the god/ideal they chose. Maybe the Smiting paladin who's god's favored weapon is a bow can smite ONLY at range or if they picked RS they can make AoO's at range instead? The paladin of the ideal of "Good" rather than a god may be able to deal more damage to undead than the paladin of Iomedae who may instead be adding in different effects. This might also give the player more of the feeling that their character chose this path for a reason since it's probably a similar reason they are choosing it as well. Do they want to protect and serve or to punish and destroy?

GM Rednal wrote:

Pretty sure that one is deliberate. Per the general rules for traditions, Classes and Archetypes that don't normally get a Martial Tradition can take one if their starting proficiencies include all martial weapons or at least one exotic weapon, or if the class background implies a strong martial component (with GM approval).

Alchemists do not meet either of these criteria - their background is basically "mixes stuff in a lab", not "goes out and fights stuff". The Mortal Chemist archetype is one of the least "martial" options, so they don't actually qualify for a tradition.

That said, Alchemists are technically proficient with their bombs (which are treated as weapons), and I suppose an argument could be made that those are very exotic indeed. I'm... not sure that was ever defined, actually. o_O It probably should have been, but I can't find an actual citation anywhere. If you're willing to rule the alchemists' bomb as an exotic weapon, then they can trade out proficiency (and probably buy it right back through the Equipment sphere, via Custom Training) as part of picking a martial tradition.

Alright I missed that line about needing the martial proficiencies normally and such. I mostly was just curious since not getting one does mean a bit fewer talents than some others due to this. I'll see how it goes over with the DM, thank you for the reply!

This may come a bit late, but as someone who enjoys PoW quite a bit I can say that this is actually about right. The thing is Path of War makes those single attack actions hurt quite a bit if done well and buffed up with the right build, as well as giving them much more utility than many martial can dream of. HOWEVER, a path of war class will almost never (barring cheese builds) match the raw DPS of a full attacking core Paizo martial. They aren't meant to, they are meant to reduce the reliance of standing around swinging at immobile targets. A character hitting with 6 attacks SHOULD be doing more, because that ALL they have to do. Primal Fury and Broken Blade are pretty potent disciplines that he may get some good bang out of, especially the primal fury maneuvers that give pounce like effects.

I sort of assumed that like the other archetypes they did, but I don't actually see it listed in the book. Is this just a mistake they errataed out or intentional? And if so would granting them one in the vein of the others just be an easy fix?

So I'm really curious about this because I'm not normally the type to really invest in touch attack style stuff, but I have a question about the Destructive Blade ability for anyone who might know.

"Destructive Blade (Sp): As a swift action, rather than expelling a destructive blast as a simple attack, a doomblade can wrap destructive energies around his hand for a number of round equal to his Casting Ability Modifier (minimum 1), surrounding it with power. This wrapping can take any visual form the doomblade desires, from a blade, to a hammer, to a simple ball of swirling energy, but the form is merely cosmetic. The doomblade is considered armed with his destructive blast, and can make touch attacks in place of regular attacks. Rather than having its power determined by the doomblade’s caster level, the destructive blade always treats the doomblade’s level as its caster level.

The destructive blade cannot be augmented by blast shape talents or have its damage increased to one die per caster level, but otherwise can be augmented like any other destructive blast.

If another destructive blade is summoned, any previously summoned destructive blades immediately disappear.

This replaces resist magic."

Do I get my strength on these attacks? Since I'm armed with it and it's considered a Melee touch attack (As I understand it this is what I would take Weapon Focus for as an example, rather than "destructive blast"), if I don't gain strength to damage what ways would I have of improving the damage if I wanted this to be the main method of attack?

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Would taking the Extra Combat Talent feat make things easier for you?

Yes and no. That is the easiest way to do it but actually getting the progression gives you access to a Martial Tradition (thus several spheres for free anyway) and if I did my math correctly getting the progression nets me more than just taking Extra Combat Talent. Sacrificing the 5 feats makes me lose a net of 1 feat from bonus feats due to warder levels, and gains me 10 talents with Proficient access + whatever I get from the Tradition.

I could have titled this a number of things, but the gist is that we're beginning a new run and the DM has allowed both Spheres books and Path of War. As I'm a fan of both I was considering rolling up a Fiendbound Marauder Warder (Gives up some defense buffs for a reach grappling claw and curse based stuff) and was looking into using the optional rules of spheres of might to access it without multiclassing.

The option is that you can give up either half your feat progression for Proficient sphere access (trading 5 feats for 10 combat talents) or all of your feats for Adept (trading 10 for 15), with Warder giving me 4 bonus feats meaning I lose technically only 1 feat if I go for proficient. Using these I would go into the Wrestling Sphere and access to the Battered condition for better combat maneuvers while using my PoW maneuvers as more enablers to get the grapples going and to make up for damage because I plan to not make too many full attacks. Is this an idea worth investing in or should I multiclass to access the spheres? Or is this just being too complicated and simply stick to Warder normally?

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Kiesman wrote:
So I just discovered this and linked it to a friend who IMMEDIATELY wants to use it in the game I'm going to be running. I'm trying to determine the 'power level' (hah) of this class compared to others. One of my friends has said that it is basically at the point of being... very strong, just below broken "tier 2 lol F#$% reality" level. Opinions?

I'm glad to hear it! Please let me know how it turns out when you get the chance if you do allow it. As for the power level, to be honest, I would probably rate it as a high tier 3 to low tier 2 depending on how you built it. Path of War style classes, in general, are inherently strong as a base level but (usually at least) have a lower ceiling of raw power than say, a fully optimized Barbarian, Fighter, or Archer Inquisitor, just have more things to do than most martials. Since I've not gotten to really test this class out though I can only say that some of its options may be pretty strong and need tweaking of course.

As for the idea of the single cut to end all cuts before it style stuff, I totally wanted to include something like it. However with everything else they already have I was pretty reluctant to add something else that could make it even more potent as a DPS machine. Instead, I'm hoping to translate a homebrewed 3.5 Martial Discipline into Pathfinder. It's called Heroes Edge (linked for your convenience) and is basically the perfect thing for this class.

Edit: I did forget actually, the 17th level ability "break the unbreakable" would also work well for emulating this trope.

PodTrooper wrote:

I really like the Protagonist class you've put together. Pretty much covers any trope I can think of. Very nice.

As a GM however, I hope you are committing completely to the shonen style anime theme.

NO gaming session (however long) can contain more than 3 rounds of actual combat.

Each combat round, must be separated by a minimum of 45 minutes of dialoguing, explanations, and lectures about how their opponent is mistaken/weak/doomed-to-failure.

By default, any combat should take a minimum of 12 entire game sessions to resolve. Preferably 24.

Also, the campaign should regularly take breaks for meaningless side adventures, that have absolutely nothing to do with the main plot. (filler episodes)

:) :)

Heh, while that would certainly be an interesting experiment it's not on the table JUST yet!

For now though, I'm hoping it looks alright. I was unable to think up what to put at the levels where things were just removed and so for now filled them with a spattering of bonus feats (three in total at 6, 12, and 18). If things look alright I think this version might be up for a full playtest.

So with several levels open, how does this sound for an addition?

Second Act Theme Song (Su): Upon reaching 10th level the protagonist has been doing the hard work of a universal hero for quite a while, and has begun to better understand how to manipulate the universe in subtle ways to better help him do his duty. In addition to activating his theme song the normal way, he is able to trigger it under certain instances without expending extra effort on his part, though the circumstances depend on his aspect.
All according to Keikaku*: Whenever an opposing creature triggers a readied action from the protagonist (including one he readied using his full round action to recover maneuvers), the protagonist may activate his theme song as part of whatever action he makes in response.

I didn't want to have to do this: Whenever the protagonist successfully uses his standard action to Aid Another he may also activate his theme song as part of the same action, however he must use one of the options of his Side Character Theme when he does so.

Who the hell do you think I am?!: Whenever the protagonist successfully bull rushes an opponent (including the one granted by using a full round action to recover maneuvers), the protagonist may activate his theme song as part of the action. If the bull rush is granted due to an attack roll, the theme song activates as part of the initial attack.

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As an update to this, I am sorry I've been so busy and unable to add too much. I'm not abandoning anything though so don't worry!

Can'tFindthePath wrote:

Also, the Commoners in his campaign still get two traits. This is the same amount of background space that standard characters get. For all the talk of how limiting this is in terms of background, I don't see how it's any different than a standard 1st level Fighter. You have two traits, and you're a fighter....

And perhaps more salient to your arguments, this is for PCs. It doesn't mean that every person in the world starts as a commoner or aristocrat. Automatically extending PC campaign rules to everyone causes many issues with world-building.

While I personally I do agree with you in that it's not all that different, I do see how others can feel it's a limitation. Being a 1st level fighter implies months or years of actual training, or maybe service as a guard or soldier. It gives the idea that the character has had a history in the 'profession' of their choice and something that can be built on further in game more easily. Being a commoner (to me at least) implies that the character has no established history yet, a totally blank slate beyond a very mundane life. To some people, this is probably hard to work within a game that is at its core meant to be about embracing fantasies where we just don't want to be anything near mundane. I admit to having a very hard time sometimes building a character's personality or similar without needing a semi-strong class background for help.

I also agree on the world-building issues. Granted I will say it might be an interesting set up if the party itself wasn't the one who got the PC levels in the beginning. Even though I prefer the mid to high levels of play much more than the lower ones, it might be fun to be the townsfolk rising up against the powerful villain once and a while.

Added a bunch of the suggested Tropes and changes to the commentable doc. Also now that Side Character theme has changed and Theme Song's improvements are rolled into the main ability it leaves a couple level open for possible other Aspect style abilities.

@VM Mercenario: Even though it was suggested to me by these very boards I've never gotten to play a Kineticist and actually find the way it's organized to be kinda confusing. Do you think you can give a rundown of what blasts I should look for in regards to the improved Chi Blast concept?

VM mercenario wrote:

I mean pick one of the three, you, everybody at half or one person of your choice, but each option costs the same.

Also yeah, protags and bards already stack, Inspire Courage and Greatness give competence bonus to attack and damage.

Theme Song trope ideas:
Suspenseful Chord: The universe keeps an eye on the protagonist and warns him of sudden dangers. The protagonist gains a bonus equal his initation mod on perception checks to notice ambushes and can spend two rounds of theme song as part of rolling initiative to act in a surprise round, he is still flatfooted until he acts.
Fast Paced Theme: While playing his Theme Song the Protag gains +2 to intiative and a +10 feet bonus to his land speed.
Somber Song: The universe provides the Protag with a song more suited for serious, suspenseful or sad moments. I don't know I just wanted to complete the set
Romantic Ballad: Requires Charmer trope. The universe provides the Protag with a song more suited for romantic or sexy situations. The DC of his Charm Person SLA increases by 2 and he can use it one more time per day. As a move action the protagonist can spend two rounds of theme song to gain a bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy and Sense Motive equal to half his level for one minute.
Comedic Tune: The universe finds fun in pointing the mistakes made by the enemies of the protagonist. As an immediate action the protagonist can spend a round of theme song to force an enemy within 30 feet to reroll a skill check or an attack made against the protagonist. The enemy takes the worst roll. The protagonist needs to know what the enemy is doing and have a line of sight for this ability to function. Needs a better write up. Bleh.
Sneaky Theme Song: The Protagonist can choose to make so his theme song cannot be heard by anyone besides the Protagonist, allowing the Protagonist to use his Theme Song without breaking Stealth. While using Theme Song in this way he gains 1d6 Sneak Attack and the benefit the Fast Stealth...

Oh ok I got ya, I think that would work out just fine. Do you think it should still turn on at 7th level or just be something they can always do?

For Fast-Paced Theme would the increase in Initiative move them up the turn order when the song turns on and then back down when it turns off?

For Somber it could maybe impose a penalty on enemies, like projecting his own sadness onto them?

I actually really like the idea of Sneaky Theme and Sportsclub. And no doubt you're right the first thing I thought of reading that was Eyeshield 21 lol.

And damn those are all really good ideas for archetypes. I'm gonna have some work to do even after we finish the class heh. For the Wisdom only archetype why not make that one the Lone Wolf? Since most lone wolf protags are also kinda gritty the durability deal could be based around Dark and Edgy/Determinater as well (Wolverine, Guts, Determinaters in general)

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