I am thoroughly on board with this. Kingmaker the AP has always seemed like a triumph of magnificent ideas over solid-but-not-great execution, so a revised, rereleased AP is <i>definitely</i> my cup of tea. Owlcat did a lot of good work on the CRPG, it'll be great to have it backported into PF.
Also, I am quite happy on having it be PF2 (really, I can't imagine who'd think it would be otherwise), and the D&D5E bestiary seems a fairly shrewd play to lure new gamers in.
Overall, count me as quite pleased.
(Carrion Crown afterwards? :D)
I'll admit that I am okay with Belimarius as one of the surviving Runelords, because she always seemed one of the more interesting ones. She's an Abjurer, which feels like an underrepresented school of magic, she's an evil grandma-looking old lady, which is just generally underrepresented in fiction, and she's actually interested in running her nation. Plus the ghost angle feels like it has quite a lot of potential for character and plot development going forward.
(I do have a soft spot for Xanderghul, if only because there's something homey about his little lair -- you can meet the guy while he's eating dinner or feeling homesick!)
I've had to cat-sit on occasion, and been told "He's an absolute dear, except he'll sometimes randomly scratch you for no reason whatsoever." Which is pretty much textbook chaotic evil behavior, if you ask me.
Really, my only regret is that the shiny kitty comes too late for me to use it in my current campaign. Alas!
Aside from the Neutral Evil alignment (which makes no sense, but there it is...)
Reading the entry again, I think they are evil because they were originally created by binding Shining Children(which are evil outsiders) into body of a lynx
...I mean, they're cats. Do we need more of an explanation? Cats are ***holes. :P
Man I came late to this. Alright, so for my part, I most like archetypes which result in a major change to how the class either plays or presents itself. I have a hard time caring a lot about archetypes which are just minor tweaks to the base class, even if it's a good tweak -- give me things which make me completely rethink how I run this character.
With that in mind, my Top 5:
Alchemist (Vivisectionist) Converts the alchemist from a ranged bomber to a melee sneak-attack/brawler type. Delicious flavor as well.
Honorable mentions would be Evangelist Cleric, Virtuous Bravo Paladin, Blight Druid, Lore Warden, Mythos Cultist Cleric, and Archaeologist Bard.
So! One of my players' favorite recurring foes ('favorite') has recently leveled up and gotten their hands on the Mass Suggestion spell.
What are some ways for them to use this spell in mid-battle to make the PCs regret trying to fight an enchanter?
The problem in Pathfinder is the sheer number of buff types, and the fact that some stack (Dodge, Natural Armor, Untyped) and others don't (Deflection, Armor, Enhancement), leading to an incredibly-complicated game to try to keep track of...
Yeeeeep. My players are at roughly the same level as yours, and despite having both a mechanical engineer and a finance geek among my player base, we still get regular cries of "okay so what are my actual numbers?!?"
I recently enacted the nuclear option and just banned numbers-only buffs from the table (Divine Favor, Prayer, Barkskin, etc), except for a couple of grandfathered-in exceptions like Inspire Courage. We'll see how it goes, but hopefully it'll be a slightly simpler game.
It might help to qualify what one means by 'powerful' a bit (the following is based on my own experiences with the class).
The most important thing to note is that a summoner is fairly optimized right out of the gate. Summoning monsters is considered one of the most potent strategies in Pathfinder, and producing an extremely durable Eidolon is child's play. In essence, a summoner has a low floor.
However, their ceiling isn't particularly different from other casters. If you've got a summoner alongside well-optimized martials (like a pounce-raging barbarian) and casters (like a Treantmonk-style God Wizard), then they won't stand out at all.
What this means is that while the summoner is powerful, whether it's "too" powerful (in other words, whether the power is out of whack with the rest of the table) depends on the level of optimization of the rest of the players, and to a lesser extent the level (it's easier to optimize at higher levels, so the summoner's 'natural' power shines more early on).
In addition to the good points above, I might further add that a character's heritage or occult origins don't have to be so clear and crisp.
Golarion (or Faerun, or Eberron, or your typical campaign setting) is a place with a lot of magic, a lot of supernatural creatures, a lot of weird stuff... and they've been around for a long time. It might not be that your father was a demon (or made a demonic pact, or had a demonic artifact). Maybe it was your great-great-great-great-great grandfather, and you just got (un)lucky with a recessive gene throwing up for some reason.
Essentially, it is entirely plausible for the character themselves not to know why they have a certain eldritch heritage.
Well, let's see... Sneak Attack generally encourages TWF builds, since you add solid bonus damage to each strike. You don't get nearly as much Sneak Attack as a rogue (though I do think Accomplished Sneak Attacker is a must), but you have much higher accuracy and decent damage. So look for a weapon group that has at least one good light weapon in it, and as good a main-hand weapon as you can get -- I kind of like the axe group, battleaxe in the main hand, hand axe in the off-hand.
Alternatively, I think you can get a spear or quarterstaff that works like a double-weapon, possibly with Spear Dancer style, but I don't know much about those so I'd suggest you double-check.
Armor... stat-wise, you want high Con for DCs and high Strength for attacks, so your Dex is going to be pretty dismal. If you can wiggle your way to Dex 14, you can wear full plate armor with Armor Training 1 and no move speed reduction, and use your other Armor Training for AAT (skills, bonus AC, etc).
Traits... nothing stands out as notably better or worse. I might suggest going for one of the Will Save traits since you're locked out of Bravery and Armed Bravery.
Set up party romances that are doomed to fail epicly as soon as the spell wears off.
Make sure it involves high end clergy of Cheliax!
This is a thing of beauty. Probably more involved than I can strictly manage, but definitely intriguing.
Riffing off that... she knows the PCs well enough to have a sense of their personalities, so encouraging the PCs' worst (or most inconvenient) habits at the worst time. The Paladin who tends to be far too honest for her own good, the rogue who seduces everything that moves, the wizard who has the common sense of a gerbil...
This has potential.
The Background: I'm the GM of an increasingly high-level campaign, where one of the main bad guys is a Cleric of Calistria with the Charm (Lust) Domain. As she's levelling up in rough parallel to the PCs, she's recently gotten access to the Demand Spell. She is familiar with the PCs and does not like them much (owing to being repeatedly stabbed on previous encounters).
The Question: What is the cruelest/most amusing thing that a Calistrian cleric can do with a super-high DC suggestion she can cast from across the world?
I rather like it. You lose a couple of Bonus Feats and Bravery, but you get some modest sneak attack (can be boosted with Accomplished Sneak Attacker) and a lot of poison tricks -- and the spit venom feat tree in the same book are all Combat Feats, so you can spit venom and blind, deal bleed, deal reasonable acid damage, and possibly even entangle the enemy all with one action. And you keep Weapon Training, Armor Training, and the majority of your bonus feats, so you're still a big, brawny brute.
The build I'd like to try with this is a Fighter (Venomblade) VMC Rogue with two-weapon fighting. Blind the other guy with your venom, then power at 'em with sneak attacks... except these are sneak attacks backed by full BAB and Weapon Training, so high accuracy. Eats up a lot of feats, but a fighter should still have enough feats left over even after VMC and the Spit Venom line to make TWF work.
Good god yes. >_> It's not just race either, though that's a big part of it. Try finding fantasy characters who do not fit classical ideals of beauty. Maybe I want a short, fat, female knight!
I tend to play characters of the opposite gender, for vaguely this reason, yes. Variety!
Very first game I ran, I ended up with about fifteen key NPCs along with the players on an archaeological expedition, of whom two were female and one was non-white. This ended up being a tad embarrassing when it was noted that the party *literally* look the same, and ever since I've paid attention to culture, gender, and ethnicity.
Currently I'm running a Planescape game, which has let me go all out on 'most diverse characters', so the current lineup of allied NPCs is:
So overall... gender diversity skews female, with two men, two 'other', and five women. This was intentional to counterbalance PC tendency to play male characters. Culture/ethnicity has four characters coded 'white', two Asian, one African, one Middle Eastern, and one Mesoamerican. Sexuality is the area where I'm most utilitarian -- I tend to leave it undefined or 'prolly straight' until and unless I see a way it might be game-relevant (say, a PC trying to romance a character), whereupon I adjust things towards whatever is most interesting. Body type and age skews towards 'Pathfinder Standard', though we've got an old human, and one of the tiefers is markedly roly-poly -- to be fair, these are all professional mercenaries/adventurers, so I figure they'd skew to, if not fit, then at least able to run away from monsters fast.
Now, mind, this is in Sigil, which is explicitly meant to be the crossroads of the multiverse. When I ran a Ravenloft game, most characters tended to be local to wherever the game was set, with exceptions typically, though not always, found in some version of 'Chinatown' (I had a Hazlani expat community prove quite game-important).
Feats like Powerful Poisoning and Designer Poison will help a fair measure though - I think I can maybe get a 6th level extract to around ~30ish DC with enough finagling, but that seems like the upward limit.
I mean, that's sort of the point. You can take your extract-based poisons, which gives them a much more solid DC, and then start layering on the other tricks that poison-based characters have used for ages. Use a Spinal Sword or Sankhpang, that's +1 or +2 DC. Make it Virulent and get your friendly wizard to cast GMW on it, that's another +1 to +5. Grab Poison Focus, another +1. Bam, that's about +5 to DCs, and we haven't even started on the more tenuous things (Deific Obedience Norgorber -- +2 DCs past level 16, Insightful Delivery, +2 to +4 to DCs with Studied Strike, the Poison Concoction Trait, +1 to DCs for two specific poisons).
Plus, of course, you can always apply debuffs. Grab a Spell-Storing Weapon and get your friendly wizard to cast Pernicious Poison into it. Bam, guaranteed -4 to the target's saves.
Anyway. I'm not sure this is so radically different than saying 'the wizard's DCs max out at a certain level'. A Toxin Codexer, or any poisoner really, is a save-based character in the same way an enchanter bard is.
Community colleges, my friend. No research; no publish-or-perish, and a remarkably good student body of people who are (mostly) really dedicated to getting a "real" education so they can move on to a "real" college.
I considered it, and actually sent off some job applications... but community colleges (or at least the ones I'm familiar with) have gone heavily for the adjunct model of teaching. Which is it's own kettle of severely messed up fish.
Anyway, I can't complain too much. I graduated last year and finally landed a job a few months ago (teaching English abroad) and it's been the most profitable and least stressful two months of my life so far.
In high school, math is such a hated subject that no matter how interesting you make it, you have a good percentage of the students who tune it out just out of resentment. In college, if you make it interesting, students will sit up and say, "Hey, I haven't seen math taught this way before!"
I enjoyed statistics, but my memory of most of the rest of my high school math education consists of 'memorize these formulae'.
When I was in high school I wanted to be a high school teacher. Then a couple of the teachers let me teach their classes. Once I'd been in front of a live class, I decided to teach college. Says something right there.
Hah. I've got the opposite progression going. Went to grad school intending to be a professor, finished my PhD and promptly looked for jobs teaching high school.
Though in my case, I'd actually prefer and be very happy teaching college students, it's all the rest of the stuff I can do without. Publish-or-perish, the whole 'string together post-docs as a kind of highly educated hobo' job path, the stress of grant applications... yeah, pass.
Mind, I usually teach history, so whenever the kids get too bored I can usually find something gruesome and gory to talk about. That helps a bit.
I don't use fumbles for martials or skills, but I do have players roll on a modified Wild Magic table if they fail a concentration check.
Seems to work reasonably well? It's more in-character and lore-friendly (magic is supposed to be this complex and barely controlled thing, so a wizard occasionally losing control of a spell seems appropriate), and the fact that it's only on failed concentration checks keeps it pretty rare.
But the (very good) idea is that the best way to know whether or not you understand something is to try to explain it to someone else...
Hum. Well at least the idea seems very cool and quite clever. I need to try it. How old are the students this was designed for? (Sorry about the digression)
Figment also works very well with UMD-focuses familiars, if you can get a regular familiar with hands (monkeys most obviously). A +8 to UMD is massive, and since wand-user familiars tend to draw aggro the inability to permanently die is actually pretty useful.
Some of the Emissary Domain powers aren't too shabby either. A timely Touch of Good or Bit of Luck is nothing to sneer at.
I'm a GM, so I may be a tad biased here. That said... I ask that my players trust me to have the good of the game foremost in my mind, even if it may not always be immediately obvious. This applies for rules, rolls, and stories.
Thing is, I see a GM's job as being a bit like that of a stage magician -- I'm providing my players with a performance, an ongoing story they interact with and influence. Seeing how the sausage is made does not necessarily improve its taste (rather the opposite, really).
Really though, I feel that if you can't trust a GM to have the best interest of the game at heart (whether or not this is equal to strict fairness is a matter of taste), why are you playing with them???
I use a variant diplomacy system in my game, and it's been reasonably effective. It works alongside the Hero Point system.
Making a Deal
The wheedling rug salesman offers you the moon on a string. You've hear he's untrustworthy, but he is very convincing... Diplomacy is the art of wheeling and dealing, of making people want to do as you say. It's a powerful skill in anyone's arsenal, but it does have its limits - namely, it cannot make anyone do anything. The other party is free to walk away at any point in the proceedings, even after the deal is concluded, so most wheelers and dealers use Diplomacy to assist them in their dealings, rather than depending on it entirely.
The dealmaker rolls Diplomacy against a DC of 10+Encounter CR, and upon hitting the DC and for every 5 above it, they can offer .2 Hero Points. If the person being persuaded agrees to whatever they're being asked to do, they receive these Hero Point slivers.
Nothing stops the person from turning the offer down, and nothing stops someone from deciding not to accomplish the task they promised. Going back on a deal causes the welcher to lose any Hero Point slivers offered, however.
The request must be something that costs the character something in the way of effort, resources, time, or possibly dignity. Asking a friend to go fetch an ale is not likely to apply, unless said friend doesn't want to feel like a lackey and really doesn't want to fetch the ale. Multiple characters can work together to offer Hero Points to a single person, to make for especially enticing deals.
PCs cannot roll Diplomacy against other PCs without extenuating circumstances / special permission from the DM (this extends to cohorts, familiars, or other close allies as well).
Getting What You Want wrote:
The main perk of this system is that it lets you roll Diplomacy against PCs, but it also gives a sense of value and heft to PC Diplomacy. A Hero Point, or even part of one, can be pretty valuable.
Obviously, you can tweak the math here based on how often people roll Diplomacy / how often they get or spend Hero Points.