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DM_Blake wrote:

I'm not saying Pathfinder is broken. Far from it. I like the group dynamic and think a good GM can make wonderful challenges for a FULL PARTY even though there is power and/or utility "tier" disparity between the individuals of that party.

But, if we wanted to rig the system to smooth out that disparity, what changes would we make?

Can we do it without turning every martial class into into weird magus/jedi/ninja/wizards?

utility "tier" disparity between the individuals of that party.

But, if we wanted to rig the system to smooth out that disparity, what changes would we make?

Can we do it without turning every martial class into into weird magus/jedi/ninja/wizards?

First of all we need to not thank the people who brought about the idea of tier disparaity. The wizard was always suppose to have more utility than the fighter. A lot of casters will tell you early levels are dominated by fighters and unless they make that color spray cone or sleep spell & catch a few creatures they don't feel useful in combat. Of course combat isn't the only measure of utility but that largely depends on what kind of campaign you are playing. Of course some people don't like or necessarily understand support characters either. Giving a monk mage armor is one of the best things a lvl 1 wizard can do to contribute to the party. Enlarge person does a great deal of damage because it gives that 2 handed barbarian reach, allowing him to essentially make attacks of opportunity as the enemy closes. If wizards were always support characters and never did big damage or good aoe damage what would people say then? Let's leave that thought for now. In addition, if you look at core only...you'll quickly notice wizards, druids, and clerics have specific types of spells alotted to them. As time went on writers intergrated more spells belonging to each. Giving druids more evocation, wizards a way to heal with archetypes, and ect...I challenge everyone to just look at the core spells pathfinder laid out and you'll see clear defined roles. Clerics took on almost a pure support role. Druids were a mix but had great battle field control. Eventually, economic goals or requires pushed this to the side or piazo went into a different direction. It's a company, their purpose is to make money along with making a quality product. Piazo seemed to have left this idea in the dust and spell lists started running together. Your next issue is skills. Look at how many are covered under STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA and you'll quickly see where the utility is. If you read this far you might be asking yourself Noctani what are you getting at.

I'm saying Pathfinder needs to be scaled down.

There are too many spell choices and GM's should limit the number of books players have access to. Just like the read world knowledge that is readily available should be limited and this makes finding that new spell scroll all that more exciting or going to the magic shop that much better for wizards. Divine casters should be equally limited. Have low level casters cap out at two and mid level casters cap out at 4. Next have full progression casters cap out at lvl 7 spells. All spells with a power of 8+ are moved or used in mythic levels...ect...
Second CAP out raw stats to 17 with the racial bonus.

The next problem is ranged combat. Low level characters with little strength feel completely useless. Take out the penalty to firing into melee if within thirty feet. That way the wizard with a crossbow can feel decent when he runs out of spells and the two handed fighter is still destroying everything.
Next is Piazo needs to take a good look at equipment and perhaps even create a few new items and give martial characters proficiency. A grappling hook is an exotic weapon? I mean really? I was in the army and part of the training was learning to climb. You shouldn't need to spend a feat for this one thing. All the mundane crazy good fighters...weren't good fighters because they had magic or some anime ability. Batman as a tool kit...if they are invisible throw a smoke bomb and see where the smoke is blocked; throw some flour. Fighters were good because they were smart. Where this breaks down somewhat in game is pathfinder counts wealth towards CR. The fighter can have a weapon for most situations but they aren't going to be those epic weapons. He only has 1 of those. Two at best.
Next is skills. Skills need to be consolidated like 5E and this would change the amount of skill points classes receive.
Wizards have spells to get around things easily. Mundanes should get equipment that helps them get around things but not as easily as magic. Well, those are my two cents...and when I say fighter I just mean non-casting classes or the ones with weak progressions.

Casting classes need to be reworked. It's not bad that the wizard can transform into a dragon, the problem is that he didn't pay for it by limiting him to transmutation spells only. The problem is that he can still cast from everything else. The problem isn't that the druid can wildshape and have a better AC than the paladin. The problem is he has almost an unlimited option unless the GM controls it. GM's need to control it and I think piazo should endorse that. Piazo makes great products...what we do at our table is up to us.


Mark Hoover wrote:

So the PCs in Burnt Offerings eventually get drawn into going the Thissletop. One of the things my players in my homebrew ask all the time is "why don't they fix their own problems?" so I'm constantly having to justify why a town doesn't stop local goblin tribes, protect better against rampaging monsters in the sewers, etc.

In reading through the first book I note that Sandpoint has an experienced sheriff, a dozen 2nd level guards and a bunch of militia. Why don't THEY deal with Thissletop, since they are ostensibly on the hook for goblins getting into town to rampage in the first place?

Honestly the reason is very simple.

Goblins aren't above ground creatures. They're underground creatures. whatever you see on top means there's at least 4-5x that many numbers in their tribe and thistletop is merely the "castle". There are five of these tribes.


Hymie wrote:

Basically I'm new to the class and have a few questions. I'm a returning player, haven't played since like 1985 so please be kind.

First, Trying to get used to the playstyle so I wanted to keep it simple at first. So I went with a basic quad with bite and 2x claws for the evolution build. I wanted to keep the limbs to a minimum and focus on building those attacks up to their max potential. Is this a waste?
I may have messed up my build a bit. I'm level 5 right now and I'm using 3out of 4 natural attack evos with the 2 claws and bite I can't afford rake. Is rake important enough to lose bite?
Sorry for what might seem like dumb questions, but I'm hoping to find out if I need to ask my DM if I can change stuff or if it's fixable relatively soon.

Like others said, you can change your evolutions every level. I'm assuming you took the 1 point claws evolution which gives you two claws. You can't lose bite it's a free evolution that comes with the base form. Just like you can't lose the leg limbs (2).

I wouldn't worry about wasting max potential because you can always change your evolutions and it's hard to make a bad snyth, but ensure that either you or the DM knows how they work because they are quite complicated.

So we have eight points to work with and feats for your character. This isn't based on my preference but what you requested.
1 Point Claw
1 Point improve natural attack (combo with improved natural attack feat)
2 Points Grab ( helps neutralize opponents with manufactured weapons)
1 Point Pounce
2 Points Rake

You have one point to spare.

1 bite, 2 claw attacks, rake that counts as 1 natural attack so you're maxed. If you enlarge person yourself in combination with improved natural attack & the feat you just hit 2d6 for your claws. Your should be wearing eidolon should be at least wearing some MWK studded leather when you fuse. So make sure you purchase some for your fused form. It's arguable that it doesn't matter what he has one because only your feats matter and he doesn't get any, but from an RP perspective he exists in this other plain and if he has no proficiencies with armor he probably won't be wearing any that hinder him. 3 armor + 2 dex + 6 nat +2 AC from lvl 4 ability = 23 armor so you might want to spend that last point in an amor upgrade, climb, sticky, or a skill bonus. If you feel you are out attacking the fighter or barbarian you can always take out rake.

Your CMB to Grapple will be 4+ BAB + 3+ STR 4+ GRAB and +4 if you chose the sticky evolution +15 CMB should make it to where you tie most things up.

If you are enlarged your bite will go up to a 1d8+4, 2 2d6+4 claws and can full attack on the pounce with an impressive +9 to all your attacks on the charge.

You still have to choose your second and third feat, spells, and other options.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Masterwork studded leather barding ought to last you for a while and save you the feat.

Perfect! These are the kinds of suggestions I'm looking for. Can you submit a feat build for the animal companion?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Masterwork studded leather barding ought to last you for a while and save you the feat.

Perfect! These are the kinds of suggestions I'm looking for.


BretI wrote:

Light Armor proficiency doesn't make any sense unless you are trying to get by on the cheap or you later plan to take Medium or Heavy Armor proficiency.

Mithral Chain Shirt has no Armor Check Penalty, +4 AC, +6 Max Dex. Get this as barding for only 2200 or 4400 depending on the size of Tiger. Since there is no ACP, you don't have to worry about non-proficient use.

Get the book Animal Archives for the additional tricks they define.

Good point, but we are starting at level 3 and i can use the retrain rules later. It will be awhile before I hit that WBL and the tiger will be large at oracle level 5. I never thought to retrain it, though. Good idea. Keep the suggestions coming. I have the animal archive so no issues.


I am playing in a homebrew game. I chose Dual Cursed Lunar Oracle as an assimar with my favored bonus going to my animal companion tiger. I am primarily playing healer and buffer.

Stats
STR 17
Dex 12
Con 14
INT 10
WIS 10
CHA 18

Revelations: Primal Companion, Prophetic Armor, and Misfortune.

Oracle Feats
lvl 1 Extra Revelation
lvl 3 celestial servant

I want my Companion to be my primary offensive weapon, all PFS books are open. I want builds for my oracle and animal companion to 30 and 20 for the oracle. For feat 5 I was thinking spirit's gift or evolved companion, although divine protection looks good as well. So far I was thinking light armor proficiency and power attack going down the bull rush to greater bull rush to help my allies get extra attacks, but what would you do?

I want this Tiger to be scary. There will be lots of Demons and Undead in the campaign, but if there is a feat that will greatly enhance the oracle I'd be more than happy to take it.


Meowmix wrote:

ok i have 6 3rd lvl players, which leads to APL of 4 but i want an epic fight with them so APL +3

so the xp CR would be 7 (3210 xp total)

would 4 (cr 3)ogres be epic for them? because ive been misread the formula for the encounters and cr and they been mowing through them

i think my mistake was i was using lower lvl monsters against them

ex. 3(cr2)boggards vs 6 3rd lvl pcs which they stomped them

i know this post is old but other people reference all the time.

Your players gets a +1 apl do 6 players
The best way to think of CR encounters is experience.
3,200 experience can be split up to buy creatures.
18 orcs is about 3,200 so its a CR 7
2 dire wolves and 2 regular wolves is CR 7
8 level 3 warrior kobolds is a CR 7
A shadow Demon is a CR 7
4 blindhiems are a CR 7
Unlike how the guide states of CR + 2 for each of the same monster you will find there is a depreciating value. If you use the quick chart 4 CR 2's is a CR 8.


Grimmy wrote:

You should think of this party as APL 5 instead of 4. They have good gear, 6 people, I bet they have high stats too.

A third level character should have about 750 to spend on weapons. A plus one sword is over 2000 GP. So I think they have a lot of gear. Have them fight stuff without treasure for a few fights. Oozes, vermin, some undead. How about some owlbears, away from their lair so there's no treasure. Do a few fights like this so their treasure levels out to where it should be.

Keep in mind a 3rd going on 4th level character may have a 2k weapon with a wbl between 3,000 - 6,000g 25% is just a guideline.


Rhaddrain wrote:

How hard do you guys think a BBEG should be? Should they always knock someone unconscious? Should they be short fights but deadly or long and based on attrition?

What are some creative ways to make an otherwise easy encounter difficult, that way a high level party could deal with bandits. On the flip-side what are some creative ways to make a low-level party fight higher-tier enemies?

Also what are good general rules about BBEG's difficulty? or whats fair to give to the BBEG?

How hard should the BBEG be?

The BBEG should be at every difficulty sprectrum. Sometimes he's the Anti-Paladin or Paladin at level five with a really tough template against level 2-3 characters. This means his saves will be amazing, he's a brick, and hits like a truck. I think there is an undead archetype that boosts charisma/STR/DEX and a natural armor +6 it starts with a P and is just a +1.

Sometimes he's merchant who any one of the PCs could probably take out 1 on 1, but it's his army, mercanaries, body gaurds, and traps that make it difficult to get to him.

Tricky kobolds who a smart leader can also be very troublesome to party members setting traps every which way in their caves.

Sometimes it's a child or teenager and it's a moral dilemma.

Purposefully, try to make each BBEG fight different.

Should they always knock someone unconscious?

No, this isn't player vs GM. The players are suppose to win. Nothing makes them feel better than going through a place without a scratch. Let the heroes feel like heroes. This also means there should be some encounters they should runaway from, I find it's best to do this at early levels if you're in to an open ended world and inform your PCs before hand, that being said never assume the party is going to run away. Never create a possible TPK encounter without the warning signs. One of my players died in my campaign because the party decided to go toe to toe with the BBEG and ten CR1 Festrogs and three ghouls after he had killed the town's head cleric, a few of his acolytes, five townsgaurd, and scores of citizens. I thought it was an encounter they were suppose to run away from. In the end they killed everything except the BBEG. They prevented the BBEG from havin the ghouls infect other citizens who were still held up in the town, but weren't able to kill him and lost one from their number before they successfully ran away. Victory doesn't have to be total. Later, I let them know the BBEG's plans of making an army of ghouls and that this had just been the beginning. Everyone felt good that their friend had died for something and probably saved hundreds or thousands of lives.

Should they be short fights but deadly or long and based on attrition?

Both, and neither. Go the full spectrum. Some fights can be against a powerful spell caster who can target from a great distance, where the party has to use cover to survive or swarmed by goblins and orcs. Medium fights where the party is haggard by the time the party gets to the BG and there is one final hill to claim can also be fun.

What are some creative ways to make an otherwise easy encounter difficult, that way a high level party could deal with bandits.

Unfortunately, this greatly depends on the parties makeup. Maybe the bandits have found a place that nullifies all magic. A magic deadzone and has littered their underground maze they call a home full of traps.

Keep in mind the game wasn't built for high level parties to deal with low level bandits. By high I'm assuming you mean 11+. Of course there will always be some high level lords and their followers who lost their titles and their lands and became high level bandits.

Low level parties can deal with high level monsters by giving the monster a handi-cap or make the challenge a skill based puzzle or game. Facing a blind, crippled, magicless mage who is incredibly intelligent, or climbing a long mountain where the players hold the high ground gives the players a significant advantage. How about firing ballista from the ramparts while the dragon attacks the castle. The dragon attacks certain parts of the castle in order for the Army of Orcs outside to get through. The party has to climb ladders, put out fires, jump, from places where the wall is out, and other such things in order to win. In addition, they are faced with the occasional orc or goblin who has climbed up. Not every encounter has to force the party to use their classes abilities. The skills don't have to be physical. You can read your party some lore and ask them questions about it later. Good knowledge checks will give them hints or answers. The answers to the questions can be part of a greater puzzle, which symbolizes different gods or whatever you want that fits into the story.

My personal opinion is variety is the key, let the heroes be heroes, and have fun.


boring7 wrote:

So, I perused the paladin guides, the ones that weren't locked down and unreadable, and with their somewhat limited guidance I crafted a halfway decent paladin. "This guy will survive a session or two before being devoured by the horrors of the mega-dungeon," I thought to myself.

Then another player explained to me his Tiefling Magus character that will be throwing fistfulls of damage dice by level 3 and wreaking havoc at a disturbing level, so I think I need an upgrade.

Character creation rules are fairly simple: 20 point buy, max starting gold, the major splatbooks, ARG and ACG are available. It starts at level 1. My goal is to be the brickiest brick of a melee-martial that ever bricked. Someone has to weather the attacks and spells of enemies while the rest of the party does whatever dancing, slashing, casting BS they're going to do to kill the baddies. I have volunteered, but I'm not very good and power-gaming martials. Summoner and gunslinger not allowed for campaign setting reasons, The stranger the race the harder I will have to finagle and cajole permission from the GM, and "pass for human without difficulty" is pretty important.

Also, I really would like to be a paladin. Detect evil is pretty useful, and as a personal challenge I am trying to break out of my standard character rut of being the ride-along instead of a moral compass or a leader.

Any suggestions, or full on builds?

First you'll need to choose a race:

Dwarves: Have the stonelord lord archetype which gives you DR/adamantine and a natural armor bonus. You'll also get a nifty elemental that can help get to some places that may be unreachable or open locked doors from behind. With the right investment it can even become a companion on the battle field. However, your saves except against spells and poison will be significantly lower. Stone Lords often go with a two-handed weapon and use their power attack in order to force enemies to pay attention to them. This also means you'll be going with medium or heavy armor, you'll have a hefty negative to str/dex skills but can take a lot of damage and have a high constitution. Much later in the game your saves will be lower than a normal paladin. Take the dwarven longhammer with reach and go to town. If you have someone who can enlarge you things will get nasty quit quickly. If you want stats just ask.

LVL 1 Power attack
LVL 3 Improved Bull Rush or cleave or Steel Soul or combat reflexes
LVL 5 one of thee aboves
LVL 7 greater improved bull rush or vital strike

Tiefling(Demon-Spawned +2 STR +2 Cha -2 Int): Tieflings excel at healing themselves because of their bonus. They often make very good furydins. STR 16 DEX 15 CON 14 INT 8 WIS 10 CHA 15. Favored Bonus heal self. Warrior of light archetype.
LVL 1 Two-Weapon Fighting
LVL 3 Improved Shield Bash
LVL 4 attribute into CHA
LVL 5 Extra channel
This build can really dish out the damage especially when smiting. In addition by level 5 you'll be able to cast lay on hands up to 10 times on yourself and heal for an average of 12 as a swift action. This makes you an invaluable front line fighter that doesn't require healing by other party members and gives your allies another source of healing if required. Your saves should be quite high and your smite evil gets double the trouble with sword and shield. You also get to your hot sweet zone very quickly.

You could go archer, but then, you don't really care as much about being a brick.

The last is a mounted character. This is best done with a small character where you can go into dungeons. I suggest a boar as a companion. If you want stats and race just ask.

LVL 1 Mounted Combat
LVL 3 Ride by attack
LVL 5 spirited charge

Humans and assimars also make good paladins.

I think I've given you what you've asked for so now let me give you what you didn't. No matter what character you make you want to make sure it keys off of your allies and that they key off of you. What kind of healing is available or are you a crowd control kind of party. How many people have high damage out-put? How do you attack flying monsters? Who can easily deal with swarms of monsters or literal swarms. How many melee builds do you have? Make sure you consider your party make-up carefully. If you can post their intended plans on what they are and what the players want their characters to do. How the party is going to work together will be more important than anything.


misted wrote:

Hi. First time playing an RPG and I'm confused about animal companions and their feats. I'm playing a mounted archery ranger, currently level 5, and have been roughly following Lastoths Guide to Archery Rangers which I found on this board's 'Guide to the Class Guides' sticky post. One notable exception: I am planning to take boon companion at level 7.

One of the build's strengths is getting AoOs, thus giving my mount feats like Improved Overrun and Greater Overrun is valuable.

My confusion is how early the online builds (and some posts from other players) are granting these feats to their companions. The way I read the rules, Greater Overrun requires BAB of +6, which the wolf doesn't get until companion HD 8 which happens at druid level 9.

Yet Lasthoths says: "level by level... 6-9: Now you can fire into cover. Once you have snap shot remember to put an arrow in anyone your mount overruns, assuming you have Greater Overrun." ... and the craziest part is that his build doesn't have boon companion, meaning at ranger level 9 that looks to me like a druid level 6 and thus a companion BAB of only +4.

And another popular build suggests taking boon companion at level 7 and suggests Wolf Feat Selections: 7) Power Attack, Improved Overrun, Greater Overrun;. But again, at level 7 with boon that means druid level 7 means companion BAB of only +4.

Additionally, I've seen a few posts of players talking about their companions and feats and they...

I suppose Assimar oracles could get there with their revelation favored bonus. Nature or Lunar oracle, at level 6 your animal will be a 9.


FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

I'm going to kill my party... But they're going to come back.

I've been hinting for a couple months now of what would happen when they die, that they'll come back in an ascended form in order to continue the story, though thier previous selves will go down in history as having one of the most epic deaths ever.

So, what is the most epic way to TPK? I really, really want my players to feel the pure epic-ness of the encounter. Heck, if you even thought of good music to go along with it, that'd be awesome (currently thinking of using Divinum Music you-tube channel to set the feel).

They're currently finishing a quest, so there's room to even set up the perfect, epic reason for taking such an epic task.

I was thinking of fighting an unending horde of weak creatures until they die, but I fear that would put perhaps a little too much strain on moving pieces around and battle tactics and take away from the epicness of the moment.
Ideas?

I agree with the idea of not forcing a TPK. I recently had a group of levels six level 2s take on a level 5 anti-paladin with a +1 CR template and good optimization. I put him at a CR 6. The party had plenty of chances to run and he slaughtered scores of people with swaths of negative energy, a few guards, the villages leader a level 3 cleric, but they chose to face him twice. They didn't defeat him, but they bought enough time for the many more of the towns people to escape.

The power is about to go out, so I'll edit this post soon.


Zhayne wrote:
Assuming no racial FCBs at play (like the Kitsune one), and no magic items, what's the highest possible spell save DC that can be generated at level 6?

Highest...assume 20 for stat. +1 for medium age +1 4th lvl boost. You could make a +4 item but it's a heavy investment. Spell Focus +1, greater spellfocus, Race bonus +1, trait bonus +1, probably some alchemical boost +1, and I'm sure someone can figure something else out +1.

So that's 26 stat +8 +4 for everything else.

Yea probably 25-26 on the high end.


RumpinRufus wrote:

Just noticed the Spell Sage archetype for the wizard - at level 1 you can add +4 CL (!) to one spell once a day, with no action required.

Sure it's once per day, but hitting someone with a 5d6 Shocking Grasp at first level is pretty insane. At third level, you can break out the 7d6/3d6 Burning Arc.

Any other good spells to use with this ability?

What is more crazy is necrocrafting a CR5 at lvl 3.


Chess Pwn wrote:

So I'm in a campaign that is focusing on fighting dragons. We are level 13 and just fought are first dragon. It was not evil had 700Hp, AC 38, is attack rolls were in the 40s, Reflex 20, and SR 31. Our dragon slaying ranger needed an 8 for his first attack to hit. Our optimized paladin needed a 16 to hit. (this was after he weakened it because a player couldn't make it. it was going to have 1200 HP and fullplate.)

So I'm a blaster wizard and had spell specialization, spell pen, greater spell pen, Otherworldly Kimono, and the team Shaman cast font of spirit magic to help me. That put me at a 25 for spell pen, and I have a rod to boost it 5 more, but It's not the rod I'd like to use. I'd rather be able to use persistent rod or maximize rod. I used 6 fireballs and used the piercing rod on the first two before the FoSM was up. Then I switched to my other rods and had 1 of them fizzle. So all in all it worked okay and 1 of my 4 fizzled like average.

Well the GM felt that the fight was way to easy and that he really needs to up the SR since I only had 1 spell fizzle. So now he's going to modify the SR based upon how easy will killed the last dragon, and the next one will "probably" have a SR higher than 31.

I told him that I'm only good because I've invested so much into it. That I'm useless if spells fizzle, and that I can't increase it much more. That I feel it isn't fair to up the SR even more just because I worked to have a good spell pen. He says he's going to do it anyways cause it should be HARD and to quit being a baby.

Would you guys suggest sticking it out? See if I can roll a new character? Or should I just leave the group/side with the dragons?

Well, maybe siding with the Dragons isn't such a bad idea after all.


blahpers wrote:
Noctani wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Noctani wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Noctani wrote:
Some GMs seem to have this idea that pathfinder is a guideline.
It is... there's a very wide variety of the type of adventures you can have within the ruleset.
Then you need to re-read the core books again because it states any changes need to be agreed upon by all players. I wouldn't call that a guideline. Yes, there are varied rulesets and variants within pathfinder, but all variants are just optional rules for the players to use which should also be in that discussion. I wouldn't call something everyone needs to discuss as guidelines, but I don't want to argue semantics. GM houserules also requires agreement.
The only agreement required is to play at the table. Discussion is good and all, but in the end the GM is the final arbiter of the game rules. There is no democratic requirement--you don't need full agreement or even consensus. The only voting right the players are guaranteed is the right to "vote with their butts".
The GM is the final arbiter, which means is everyone else at the table disagrees with him the GM should change his behavior.

No, it means that the GM is the final arbiter. What the GM says goes, full stop. This ain't a democracy.

Quote:
A good part of this is common sense and suppose to build a good playing environment. The key word is Arbiter. If something is arbitrary that means it's not stated clearly somewhere else or it isn't covered in the rules.

The arbiter has the final, uncontested power of deciding the rules. The GM is not just a mediator.

Quote:
Please read the post above or page 14 of the GameMastery Guide under House Rules. WOW that subject is covered! It's not arbitrary anymore.

Please stop escalating.

The GameMastery guide is a book providing advice to GMs on ways to run their table. It is not a core rule book; in fact, the entirety of the rules in the book are guidelines meant to...

To sum up your quotes. I disagree. If the GM can make that stance so can players which ends gaming sessions instead of resolving conflict. The GM should talk about changes before the campaign begins and if the GM wants to change something mid-session he should wait until the session is over and talk it over with the players because they probably already put thought and care into their characters which may have led them to making different decisions. It's simply decent, common courtesy and on the same level of changing an appointment. I'm not saying the GM has to go over every detail, but it's almost always worth discussion prior to implementation. Even if it's the GM saying, "this is how I run my table. If you don't like it you can hit the door, I put alot of time and effort into making this world".

Honestly, it's just a way to get sound communication.


Torger Miltenberger wrote:
Noctani wrote:
Some GMs seem to have this idea that pathfinder is a guideline.

Some players seem to have this idea that every single decision about how the world works should be made by committee. Even if this wouldn't bog the creative process down in a mire of minutia eventually two people will have divergent opinions and neither will budge. Much simpler from the get go if the person tasked with running and creating the world doesn't have to ask permission.

- Torger

By your own argument that means the player is required to submit to the person running the game. I'm merely stating that should be clearly stated by the GM before the game starts. Talking about expectations of play will make a better gaming table.


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kestral287 wrote:

I'm not sure I would call jacking up a monster's SR by five points a house rule.

And realistically the application of that has to be limited, especially in regards to monsters. Should I, as the GM, tell my players before the session, "Hello, tonight you're going to be fighting some home-built monkeys with horns and electrical attacks. Here is the stat sheet for the creature, make sure you're okay with it before we fight"?

'Cause to me, as a GM and a player, that takes the fun out of everything.

Thank you for trying to give a straw man argument. By one of the less numerous important issues and making it the focal point of your argument.

The point is to simply tell your players that you'll be making some homebrew monsters before the campaign ever starts. Few players should ever an issue with it unless you have abused it in the past.


blahpers wrote:
Noctani wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Noctani wrote:
Some GMs seem to have this idea that pathfinder is a guideline.
It is... there's a very wide variety of the type of adventures you can have within the ruleset.
Then you need to re-read the core books again because it states any changes need to be agreed upon by all players. I wouldn't call that a guideline. Yes, there are varied rulesets and variants within pathfinder, but all variants are just optional rules for the players to use which should also be in that discussion. I wouldn't call something everyone needs to discuss as guidelines, but I don't want to argue semantics. GM houserules also requires agreement.
The only agreement required is to play at the table. Discussion is good and all, but in the end the GM is the final arbiter of the game rules. There is no democratic requirement--you don't need full agreement or even consensus. The only voting right the players are guaranteed is the right to "vote with their butts".

The GM is the final arbiter, which means is everyone else at the table disagrees with him the GM should change his behavior. A good part of this is common sense and suppose to build a good playing environment. The key word is Arbiter. If something is arbitrary that means it's not stated clearly somewhere else or it isn't covered in the rules.

Please read the post above or page 14 of the GameMastery Guide under House Rules. WOW that subject is covered! It's not arbitrary anymore.

Do you have to read the book? Do I have to listen to the GM as a player if he says I can't do that? Does the GM have to listen to the player when he wants to do something. Now we are having quite a ridiculous conversation. Can you play without using all the rules? Yes, but pathfinder says this is the way they forsaw gamers having the best experience and this is what they wrote.


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LazarX wrote:
Noctani wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Noctani wrote:
Some GMs seem to have this idea that pathfinder is a guideline.
It is... there's a very wide variety of the type of adventures you can have within the ruleset.
Then you need to re-read the core books again because it states any changes need to be agreed upon by all players. I wouldn't call that a guideline. Yes, there are varied rulesets and variants within pathfinder, but all variants are just optional rules for the players to use which should also be in that discussion. I wouldn't call something everyone needs to discuss as guidelines, but I don't want to argue semantics. GM houserules also requires agreement.
Please quote the reference where it says exactly that. Because I'm sure you're misreading the text.

P14 GameMastery Guide

"Rules of the House

Once you have a place to play and a date for your first session it's time to decide what "house rules" are needed for your campaign. While the term normally refers to modifications to the mechanics of the game, house rules can also be litereal rules of the house, covering the basic courtesies and dynamics of the game table. Some typical house rules are discussed below, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Discuss the issues and the options for handling them with your players before play begins, and make sure everyone agrees to abide by the final decision. If you see a need for a new house rule as play proceeds, talk to your players outside of the game, then implement the new rule at the next session, reminding the group about it before play begins."

-Cam Banks et al Piazo publishing, LLC under the Open Game License version 1.oa Section 1(e) and are not Open Content, 2010

House rules refers to modifications of the games mechanics. If you deviate too much to how pathfinder has set up the game you need to talk it over thoroughly with your players. I thought it was common sense...a common courtesy so your players don't have different expectations or waste their time playing under changed rules that they know nothing about or disagree with.


LazarX wrote:
Noctani wrote:
Some GMs seem to have this idea that pathfinder is a guideline.
It is... there's a very wide variety of the type of adventures you can have within the ruleset.

Then you need to re-read the core books again because it states any changes need to be agreed upon by all players. I wouldn't call that a guideline. Yes, there are varied rulesets and variants within pathfinder, but all variants are just optional rules for the players to use which should also be in that discussion. I wouldn't call something everyone needs to discuss as guidelines, but I don't want to argue semantics. GM houserules also requires agreement.


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MrNastyButler wrote:
Sometimes, tough GMs need to learn the difference between challenge and enjoyment. I'd say go up against the new dragon he makes. If it wipes the party, it wipes the party. He's got learn that there needs to be balance if he wants people to play his games.

Well, first I'd talk to your fellow players. How many people enjoyed the battle? Some GMs seem to have this idea that pathfinder is a guideline. Although, it strictly states that if you are going to change any of the main rules or put in houserules it needs to be discussed thoroughly with all players in agreement. The reason is because most people are playing a game based upon what pathfinder set forth and not the DM.

Personally, I don't want to be forced into encounters at more than +4 the parties APL (Unless there were warning signs beforehand and the party has the option of running). I don't want the GM to max HP on encounters ever (I know when it happens). I want the GM to be intelligent, tactical, and inventive. When a DM just ups the HP or increases the number of enemies I feel like I'm playing a video game where the programmers said "Oh, we need to make things more difficult, lets change the rules for the AI". I feel the sameway when the GM makes unreasonable augmentations without changing the CR or strays too far away from the pathfinder ruleset. If you feel the GM is doing this and you can't adapt your spellcasting to summoning, or buffing, stop playing his campaign and go to a different section of the world. I once had a DM's campaign world get a makerover because none of the players enjoyed playing it.


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Mulet wrote:

I'm the DM, and I want to be more generous with hero points. Currently it's one per level up, and when my gut says so.

What are some great standard issue reasons to chuck out a hero point? They rule.

1. The most common in my group is good RP.

2. Coming up with a nigh unthinkable solution to a problem befitting a hero.
3. Critting with their first two hits in an encounter. (Give them a hero point for the encounter, used at low levels only). I want them to live up their adrenaline
4. When their character matures or is realized at certain stages of development. By realized, I mean the first time group members can differentiate the players decisions from the characters or when the character learns a life lesson and reflects.


The most numerous fey would probably be pixies, gremlins, and other small forms. They would be scouting and used for sabotage. Fauns CR 1/Korreds CR4, dryads, & satrys would make up the bulk of the army. Don't forget to add a few fey animals with the fey templates.


Bast L. wrote:

Hello. I'm considering running Iron Gods, and I'm currently running Rise of the Runelords. A problem in my game is that the players are simply over-matching the content. The enemies can sometimes damage them, and even be lethal, but the players destroy everything they come across very quickly.

I'm hoping to see longer fights, where something other than "do the most damage possible, as fast as possible" is a viable strategy. Where buffs and debuffs mid-fight matter. With Iron Gods, I can't imagine disallowing Gunslingers (because of laser pistols and the like), but those touch attacks are too good. And ignoring gunslingers, other classes also have combinations for huge amounts of damage.

What can I do as GM to prevent the 1-3 round boss fights? Or is Pathfinder simply this way?

To provide some context, in RotRL I allowed the players 20 points for point buy (I didn't know it was supposed to be 15 points, and while this would make a difference, I think it wouldn't make a huge difference). I also allowed magic item crafting. I give significant downtime between chapters, but otherwise limit them a fair bit. The players are a gunslinger who ignores AC (touch attacks, a paladin who ignores DR (smite evil), a wizard who ignores surprise and always uses mirror image, and a shapechanging oracle who's new to the campaign.

The average DPR (damage per round) of each player is about 60 when they full attack or cast damage spells.

I know it's somewhat of a lengthy, task but before I start a campaign I write down monsters that fit different areas of the campaign that have unique abilities from each of the four bestiaries. This includes unique templates that make NPCs or monsters quite a bit tougher. In addition, you might want to consider giving them a slow XP progression. This way you are still giving them XP when adding more monsters, but it doesn't sky rocket their level. Magic Item crafting is fine as long as you go by the creators guide. This means the person who actually took the feat can get up to 25%+ WBL and up to 50%+(MAX) if taking two item creation feats. If the item creator creates it for other characters it still counts against their wealth as if they bought the item. I don't suggest maxing HP either, 50%-80% of Max HP. What's the point of making a powerful character if the DM is just going to counter-act good choices and it's pretty easy to notice when the DM maxes HP. You need to make the characters appreciate their choices and instead use good tactics, traps, timelimits, or puzzles in your campaign. Also, sometimes they should just have to run away.

Make areas they have to climb, swim, stealth, and use skills. An Advanced Soul Eeater with the Nightmare Lord template can do a ridiculous amount of damage. It can start attacking the characters in it's dreams. It's stealth in the dark is ridiculous. You can replace it's feats with more useful ones. I think the claw attacks will both hit for 1d6 wisdom damage each. DR/Fast healing, fly by attack with 100 ft perfect fly, and use it to hide behind objects because many spells require line of sight.

I don't know how your encounters run. How about you give us a specific encounter and we'll tell you how we would change it. Please give us the levels of the PCs.


Echoen wrote:

When an NPC is casting a spell, which of the following happens?

The DM announces a spell is being cast and requests spellcraft checks of the players,

or

Players must announce they are using spellcraft to identify the spell?

Both

If it's the first time the PCs are encountering this NPC or Monster with class levels.The DM should describe the casting in the form of somatic or verbal components or roll something to hide it vs perception to see if they catch it. If the PCs are up against a known opponent PCs need to speak up. The DM shouldn't waste time on spellcraft checks unless the PCs need to know. If the DM describes the action but none of the players catch it, then they MAY not be able to identify it, DM discretion. If DM describes nothing, but a spell-like affect occurs the players should be able to ask for a spellcraft check.

Regardless, no one can catch everything. Work together, not against each other.


Pyrowarlock wrote:
I was looking at Nature warden but I'd have to throw in a few levels into ranger to get into it, is that a good option or should I try and stick with buffing spells?

You don't need to go into ranger, Wild Child Druid or World walker will give you your prequisite, but to qualify for the +4 bab you'll need to take a lvl 1 dip in a martial class at level five if you want to start it at nature's warden at level 6.


Pyrowarlock wrote:
Is there any good archetypes, or prestige classes that really beef up your animal companion? I've got an idea for a character but I need a really good companion and I'm looking to optimize the animal.

Best thing you can do is not go Druid.

Take a Oracle and choose assimar.

Your favored bonus should be improving your animal companion revelation.

Lunar/Nature Mysteries both give companions.

LVL 1 Spirit's Gift = Choose Fast Healing 1
LVL 3 Celestial Servant = Celestial Template
LVL 5 Evolved Companion = Your choice - Reach is often good.

Best feats for STR Based companion
Companion Feats: Armor Proficiency (Barding), Power attack, Narrow Frame, Bull rush, Improved Bull Rush.

Nature mystery gives your companion a 6 in INT.
Lunar mystery gives you access to more combative companions.

If your companion is STR based improved bull rush is one of the best feats you can take and you can have it as early as level 6. Your companion will be at +6 BAB with four feats.


Hazrond wrote:

so i am currently playing an oracle in a Rise of the Runelords game, i am the only source of healing for the part and have a half-used wand of CLW that has conserved spell slots for me but next game we are going to be hitting level 3 and i am faced with a difficult decision of what to take as my revelation, i am a Haunted Lunar Oracle using the Stargazer archetype, up until this point everything has been set but now i get to make my first revelation choice so i am wondering which i should take

** spoiler omitted ** our next game isnt until the 5th of november due to a player being gone, so i have a bit of time to decide, but i still am stumped as to what to choose so i ask you Paizo Forums... What Do?

The best healing is making your enemies reroll as an immediate action. Dual cursed oracle.


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Dr.FelixUrr wrote:

Hi All,

So I'm a level 2 Druid in a three person party with a burst sorcerer and a paladin. I have a wolf animal companion that I rolled pretty lucky on his HP. Here are my thoughts:

So far the paladin and the wolf are our main sources of damage. I'm hoping to fill the roll of battlefield controller with my caster druid sitting in the back lines casting and summoning.

I'm very new to roleplaying and to PF and my party is limited to CRB and APG for our spells, items, etc.

I'm looking for advice on a few things:

1. What are various ways to control the battle field?
2. What equipment would help me control the battle field and what are creative ways to use them?
3. Any tips for how to use a low level druid?

I'll tell you what I know already:

1. Entangle melee enemies
Fairie Fire + Obscuring Mist
Expeditious Excavation under the sorcerer and let her blast away with magic missile then duck down.
2. Caltrops can be used to control the battlefield, but I'm not sure how to use these well. Same with tying people up during battle? Could I have my wolf hold one end of a rope in his mouth and try to clothesline people with it?

Once again, looking for not only mechanics, but also roleplaying tips since I'm not very adept at it yet.

Thanks all in advance!

Summoning is probably one of the best ways to control the battlefield, but it's also very costly and typically not worth it early on because of the number of rnds the monster stays. Caltrops is another way to limit movement or cut your enemies movement in half. Never go adventuring with at least two sets of nets and two sets of rope, this is especially useful for setting up traps in a dungeon, or a defensive perimiter. Bells and thread also help you set alarms in certain areas. Creating good berries helps you preserve your healing for one - 2 days before adventuring. Being able to cast the four primary zero level spells asissts as well. Light, stabilize, create water, and guidance. Guidance is a free buff, light helps you see, stabilize ensures survive, create water can create obstacles and stave off thirst.

Spells: Produce flame is one of your better spells because you can utilize multiple times and even possibly in more than one combat. It is a straight combat spell but it allows you to attack with a touch AC which may ridiculously help your party. It also has good range. Call Animal is the most powerful spell you have because you can possibly convince an animal to help you with a CR that's equal to your character
level. This spell is also a great roleplaying tool and prepares "alternate" companions if your wolf ever dies.

I have to go for now so I'll comment later.


RMcD wrote:
Thread is from 2012 dude, I'm sure this problem is solved.

But others might be researching the same thing.


Son1x wrote:

Good day to all!

We're playing the Kingmaker AP and suddenly got wiped at level 4 (because of party composition lacking a healer) so i decided to make a new character and got these stats:

17
16
15
15
10
10

Since the party consists of a warpriest, wizard (Conjurer) and gunslinger i've decided to make a battle oracle with a reach weapon so he can smack with attacks of opportunity and use his high charisma for casting spells.

Help me in optimizing these high stats please.

Name: Aaron (Human)
Class: Oracle (battle) level 4

stats

str 18 (+1 at lvl 4)
dex 15
con 15
int 10
wis 10
cha 18 (human +2)

Battle Mystery
Revelations: War sight, Skill at arms, weapon mastery (bardiche)

feats: Combat reflexes, extra revelation, power attack (thinking of taking divine protection at level 5 for increased saves and then going the summoning feats route)

Traits: Fate's Favored (for divine favour) and Dangerously curious (for UMD)

1st level spell slots
Mystery Enlarge Person
Divine Favor
murderous command
Stunning Barrier
Protection from evil
Cure Light Wounds

2nd level
Mystery Fog cloud
Sound Burst
Cure Moderate Wounds

With those stats there is only one way to go. LOA.

Dual Cursed / Lunar Oracle Assimar or Nature
Favored Bonus goes to animal companion.

1. Extra Mystery
2.
3. Cestial Companion (Resistances & DR at 5/10/15)
4.
5. Spirit's Gift (Fast Healing 1)
6.
7. (Beast Shape)

You get full casting, a campanion with a huge HD bonus/DR/RES/Fast Healing, beast shape (eventually BeastshapeIV), and you can still hit stuff with a two hander. Did I mention you get mysteries? Oh, and you can make enemies reroll when they roll to high on an attack, which is possibly the best "healing" in the game.


What was the reason for making sunder, disarm, and trip attacks that can be used in place of an attack of opportunity vs the other combat manuevers? Which ones were chosen because it made sense and because of balance?


ThunderMage wrote:

I haven't been GMing for that long, and I'm currently running though Curse of the Crimson Throne. The problem I have is that it feels that a couple of the PCs always seem to have a way to instantly break any encounter.

One is a fighter who is, for most of the combats, almost impossible to hit, deals a lot of damage, and the other PCs can't see the need for them to be involved. We had one four hour session where as GM I didn't make a single damage roll, and the majority of the time was spent in combat.

The other is a druid with a tiger. The tiger suffers from the same problem as the fighter and, especially early one, just ripped all opponents to shreds without taking any damage. The druid also always seems to have just the right spell to break other encounter e.g.
** spoiler omitted **

The other two PCs are a cleric and a bard. The bard has basically given up contributing to combat as he's just wasting his crossbow bolts and I can tell the player is getting a bit frustrated at being so sidelined. Combat may take up only a small percentage of in game time, but it can take up a lot of actual play time.

I'm not trying to kill PCs, nor do I mind too much how they solve the problems posed to them, but quite often encounters just appear to be minor inconveniences with these two PCs around. It's also getting a little frustrating as a GM having all encounters that I've spent time preparing ending with little or no challenge to the players.

I've been trying to figure out how to add challenge back into encounters in a sensible way. What advice would anyone give in this situation? How can I go about adding challenge back into encounters?

My first suggestion is the same as others. Check their character sheets and keep track of all HP rolls. I have accidently given myself some extra HP before because I forgot about a character change. In addition, have them right down the spells they prepare in the morning or at night. If the druid thinks he can spontaneously cast then you do have a big problem.

Unless you are playing pathfinder society I suggest switching out some of the monsters or NPCs that have touch attacks. Although, tigers can have good AC at level 3-6.

Maxing HP is another possibility, this essentially increases their HP pool by 65-75%

Use things that fly...typically fighters aren't that good again aerial assaults.

What part of Curse of the Crimson Throne are you at?

What is the level of your characters?

What is their estimated WBL?


joeyfixit wrote:
Noctani wrote:
joeyfixit wrote:

I'm currently playing my first Druid, for PFS. PFS rules isn't what I'm here for.

People talk about the Wild Shape feature like it's the bees knees. To me it's always seemed underwhelming, at least at first, because of how limiting the description for Beast Shape I is.

For example, I read somewhere that since there's no rule about reverting to your normal shape when you go unconscious, so you could presumably sleep underwater as a fish. Nowhere in the spell description does it say that you gain the ability to breathe water by becoming a fish.

Am I being too literal?

The Elemental forms and the expanded suite of abilities at level six are, admittedly, intriguing but also a lot more work. Is it customary when playing a Druid to cart a bunch of Bestiaries along to a game, or to have memorized the thing?

I don't even know why you posted? You said you weren't here for rules but you say no where in the spell description does it say that you gain the ability to breathe water by becoming a fish.

I said I wasn't here for PFS rules because I didn't want the fact that I'm running a PFS character to bump me into the PFS zone on the messageboard.

Basically I'm asking for people to sell me on the awesomeness of Wildshape, because I've never played a druid and as I think about it I've never actually sat at a table with a Druid PC (who made it to level 4).

So I'm wondering what the big deal is and why Wildshape is lauded as this awesome thing. At higher levels it seems baller (but so are a lot of class abilities), but at level 4 it strikes me as meh.

But I'm probably wrong, never having seen them in action!

Wild Shape is actually weak at late levels where summoning monsters because much more powerful.

Few characters in the game can get 4-5 attacks at level 4 if you turn into a raptor. If your DM isn't keen on dinosaurs or they aren't in your world a wolverine has 2 1d6 claw attacks and a 1d4 bite at level 4 is probably second best for damage. A druid with 16 STR boosted up to 18 and at level 4 by your size bonus and you can get a +2 belt of strength to make it 20 STR. If you're not interested in the damage take something with climb, swim speed, is flying needed because casters don't have it available reliably until the next level and it doesn't last as long. If you need dark vision you can turn into something that does. Does your DM have some sort of time limit mission? Take flight. Do you need to track something? Druids have a great survival check, when you boost that by scent to get you a +8 to tracking...

Keep in mind limitations in armor. You need to have a few combat forms because you'll need them to be barded. If you have +2 dex +6 armor +2 natural armor that's (Wolverine) 20AC Claw +8 1d6+5 1d6+5 1d4+5.

If you take a trait that gives you stealth your sneak is pretty good as well, although you'll probably be scouting unarmored. You can easily have a +13 at level 4 by turning into a small creature. If you are scouting out humanoids they may not do anything to you if your a dog or bird, because even if they notice your character they have to see through your disguise. Most NPCs don't even get a check unless it's their job or perhaps if your check was so bad you didn't imitate that type of animal very well.

At level 6 you get dire tiger pounce mode and your elemental shapes. Although some of your most powerful shapes are plants. By the time you get to level seven there are feats and spells that will increase one of your attacks by 3 damage die total.

I'm currently playing in rise of the rune lords where I play two characters. One is an oracle with the nature mystery who took animal friends her stats are 10 10 16 14 10 20 -------- 24 point buy(she is pure support) My other is a druid who has an animal companion and they both benefit from +5 saving throws when within 30ft. of her because I chose the new feat. Druids already have good saves to the ones that matter most fort and will. Now he is just a tank for most saves. If those types of things don't make you raise your eyebrow I don't know what to say.

Did I mention you still have spells and an animal companion?


joeyfixit wrote:

I'm currently playing my first Druid, for PFS. PFS rules isn't what I'm here for.

People talk about the Wild Shape feature like it's the bees knees. To me it's always seemed underwhelming, at least at first, because of how limiting the description for Beast Shape I is.

For example, I read somewhere that since there's no rule about reverting to your normal shape when you go unconscious, so you could presumably sleep underwater as a fish. Nowhere in the spell description does it say that you gain the ability to breathe water by becoming a fish.

Am I being too literal?

The Elemental forms and the expanded suite of abilities at level six are, admittedly, intriguing but also a lot more work. Is it customary when playing a Druid to cart a bunch of Bestiaries along to a game, or to have memorized the thing?

I don't even know why you posted? You said you weren't here for rules but you say no where in the spell description does it say that you gain the ability to breathe water by becoming a fish. Well, you're partially right, but what a spell is and doesn't isn't just in the description you have to look at the entire thing. Read under polymorph and in the spell section of the core rule book and you'll have more answers.

The primary ability attraction for druids is wildshape. For some people it's the resistances, DR, or Fast healing, the scouting ability by turning into something so small barely anyone makes a perception check against you, turning into a wild animal of strength, how about flying 480 ft. in six seconds (a round), or what about turning into something with dark vision so you can see.

It's good manners to have a quick stat block of your top 6 wild shapes. Don't stop the game cold looking into what you want to turn in to.

If your new to druids know that armor can often be an issue at low levels so take a level dip or two in monk or create armor for one or two of your other shapes.


swifthunter420 wrote:
i was wanting to make a parkour/knife throwing switchhitter i was just wondering if it was something i could make work if looked at player built classes and builds from 3.5 i was wanting is much advice and infomation to make it something interesting. i think it will kinda that assassin creed style of movement and general fighting design.any help is much appreciated

You probably want to look at the swashbuckler from the new books. He can add his class level to damage for thrown light weapons, even doubling it at the cost of panache. (This assumes it wasn't changed during the test phase). A ninja could also fit the bill.


What was the reason for making sunder, disarm, and trip attacks that can be used in place of an attack of opportunity vs the other combat manuevers? Which ones were chosen because it made sense and because of balance.


Witch's Knight wrote:

In all of the games that I've played and run since Pathfinder came out, combat maneuvers tend to fall by the wayside pretty quickly. Our players just don't bother with them, preferring to simply deal damage rather than spend feats on abilities that they find suffer greatly against anything that's not their size or smaller and standing right in front of them. My old DM and I have been discussing a few ideas to pull our players back to combat maneuvers, as we feel they make combat much more cinematic and interesting, but I wanted to ask the community and see what other players and DMs think of combat maneuvers before I decide to "fix" them.

So, do your players use combat maneuvers? Is there a point where they stop bothering? Which maneuvers get used, and which get ignored?

We haven't used combat manuevers very much yet in our current campaign, but there is definately a point where I stop bothering. I remember facing Nulia and I was tempted to disarm her and take an AOO or grapple, but she was hitting my level 3 druid for 1d10+5 points of damage with each hit at a 10-12+ to hit. I don't want to think what her CMD was compared to mine. Unfortunately, when a combat manuever would be most useful it won't necessarily help you.

A good way to ensure your players use and know combat manuevers when to use combat manuevers is to make a combat that is built that way. Take some adepts who consider themselves to be warriors and buff up there defense, only to be grappled & disarmed.

Take vernable hill giant who has his strength cursed, but buff his hit points as much as possible.

A lone high level caster who has been buffed to oblivion with defensive spells. The players are probably better off grappling him.

Make a scenario where a new oil has been found that gives players a big buff with a decent life pool. They can try to disarm their foes or kill them outright.

I guess what I am trying to say is make combat manuevers the key to easily resolving an encounter and you might see a chance. If they need prodding have an NPC do it first, but not be successful if his roll was too low;. That way the skilled PCs know they have a good chance at succeeding.


I vote Reach cleric with backup summoning or Dwarven Forgemaster cleric with great magic item creation.

Or

Storm Druid.


MrBateman wrote:

I'm looking to build a new character starting from level 1, and I wanted to know which class would be better as a frontline fighter that also contributes significantly to the party's resources. I'm not very familiar with either class, and I'd like some advice from some people who are familiar with them. Which would you choose to fit that role? Why?

For the character's race, I'm thinking I might choose Aasimar, but I haven't decided yet.

The Paladin is a better frontline fighter.

A War Priest contributes significantly to the party's resources.

The Paladin has good saves as a front line fighter, which is very rare unless it's a druid or monk. The Paladin can also heal himself as a swift action. Like a dual cursed oracle, the Paladin doesn't add to your resources as much as save your party resources. Instead of healing the Paladin the Paladin can do it himself and still contribute offensively. Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, and Greater Bull Rush may further contribute if you have alot of melee characters. Extra Channeling will give you 4 more uses of lay on hands. The main issue with paladins is that they are feat starved and a little MAD. As a frontline fighter you need to get your enemies to focus on you by doing damage, so your feats will most likely be concentrated on doing damage. The Paladin also offers a few skills, diplomacy is your main non-combat skill. If you are playing a higher point buy system you may even be able to play a Dex paladin which gives you a survivable scout with the proper traits. Keep combat manuevers in mind but only if you have other party members to back you up. Greater Bullrush and Greater Overrun are ridiculously good. (Keep the campaign in mind) Later in the game you grant the entire party smite, have good paladin spells to align your weapon and strong litany's, that can easily be regarded as 1-2 spell levels higher than they actually are. In addition, the Paladin's weapon can become ridiculously enhanced to do some real damage to single targets.

I don't have the new PDF for the war priest so I don't know. I'll get it on Thursday.


Dragonflyer1243 wrote:
Without precise shot them your allies would take a -4 penalty to hit, and it is never assumed that you accidentally hit your allies on a miss.

Don't forget a possible -2 for possible cover, unless they are making a called shot in which case you might be able to argue no cover was given. Although they'll take a negative to the called shot anyway.


First I would like to thank you for reading this and for any help you may provide. My group is currently running Rise of the Rune Lords and we just finished Thistletop. Our DM is changing the rules so I have had a chance to rebuild my character.

GM has recently made a lot of home rules like agile maneuvers & weapon finesse our automatically incorporated into our characters. Initiative rolls will be rolled with 1d12. Race requirements are out and many more. Deadly agility from path of war is allowed.

Party Make up

Joey
Warlord2/Bard2(Archeologist) he has been the primary damage dealer of the group with two weapon fighting. His AC is 21, but I don't think he knows how to increase it from here and his fort/wisdom save isn't anything to write home about.

Figit Dual cursed oracle4 from the nature mystery she is the primary damage mitigator and has a celestial wolf animal companion with 6HD. She has no melee capacity herself. Her 6 intelligence pet is going down the improved bull rush line.

Someone shaman4 from necromancers. This class is a druid combined with an oracle. We have a new player that will probably take over this class and I don't know what he will do with it.

Gregor
I am a Druid4
14 STR
16 DEX
16 CON
14 INT
18 WIS
9 CHA

You can play around with these stats anyway you'd like. I am going to be taking craft wondrous item at level 3, everything else is up in the air. I was allowed to take the finding haleen trait and tailor it to rise of the runelords so far I have rolled well so my HP is 41 +1d8 roll.

I want to build a front line character that can be a backup caster. I know codzilla doesn't exist anymore. I was thinking about going 2 levels of ranger for shapeshifting hunter, two levels of monk for maneuver master, or 6 levels of mystic shaper from a 3rd party book after I hit level 5. I feel as if our DM makes encounters harder than playing things smarter. When we fought Nulia it took over 65 damage to put her down. Two of us were level 3 and 2 of us were level 2 and under a time limit so we couldn't rest and just went straight through.

I am considering feats like planar shape, improved initiative, natural spell, power attack

What do you think I should do and what do you see as some of the pros and cons to each? I feel like we don't have someone to absorb the hits and DR and fast healing would be nice with planar shape and mystic shaper, but I'd also be losing a lot and am not sure how I'd be going about armoring up. I could use any general and specific advice you are willing to give.


Xanaphia Hancock wrote:

Mokmurians army is

Mokmurian
The dragon Longtoorh
General Galanmir 4th level fighter
33 hill giants
46 Ogres
71 Stone Giants
12 Dire Bears

Magnimar has a population of 16,500 including a 15th level wizard and his Golems, a 13th level cleric and numerous other characters of 8th to 11th level, a garrison of a few hundred soldiers and can probably manage about another 1000 or so as militia (probably more).
Firing from defensive positions on a wall these are a serious threat to the giants massed archery will get about 10% hits , so around 170 soldiers will drop a hill giant, 400 for a stone giant more at long range so they can potentially drop every giant in about 25 rounds. Not allowing for Siege engines or Spellcasters.
The giants will do better than that as their thrown stones will kill and demoralise defenders, Mokmurian cannot really contribute much as if he reveals himself then the high level defenders cut loose at him.

The Giants are probably best off rampaging through the country side in smaller bands destroying small towns etc and crippling Magnimars economy then when they send the army out to defend the towns use their magic to communicate and bring all the giants together wipe out the standing army and those characters accompanying them , then attack the city if they still have the strength.
Unless everyone in Turtelback ferry had the tattoo removed then that is a good first target a massacre there captures a lot of souls , then a mass attack on Sandpoint hoping to pin the pc's in place and overwhelm them with giants

I would actually say they could another 2000 commoners willing and able to exhaust the rest of the weapons available.

The only chance the Army would have against Magnimar is if he raised a bunch of undead or snuck his army close to the city before it was too late. They could probably rally the local goblins near sand point and sack it quite easily, forcing magnimar to sent troops.


spectrevk wrote:
Cintra Bristol wrote:

In my campaign, Malfeshnekor eventually was released (the PCs couldn't kill him but left him trapped in the room when they finished clearing out Thistletop, but left the path to his room more obvious, and some other goblinoids eventually managed to let him loose - all dying in the process).

In chapter 4 (vs. the stone giants), the PCs encountered Mal again, and ended up allying with him, because he was hunting the giants. ** spoiler omitted **

I ended up with a new player to our group taking on Mal as his PC (mechanically statted up as a shifter druid, I believe).

Interesting. How did the goblins do it? Or were you just kind of hand-waving it as some kind of ritual?

Mechanically speaking, would killing Mal and re-summoning him with a Planar Ally spell work?

EDIT: I just looked it up, and I must have been mis-remembering how Outsiders work. I can't find anything to suggest that the Barghest would re-form on his home plane, since it doesn't look like he is/was a summoned creature.

If he was summoned with Planar ally, which he most likely was then when he dies, he dies.

My guess is he was brought by Binding

Hedged Prison: The subject is transported to or otherwise brought within a confined area from which it cannot wander by any means. This effect is permanent. Reduce the save DC by 3. Casting this version requires a tiny golden cage worth 100 gp that is consumed when the spell is cast.

Technically, if Mal was summoned by someone evil he would get another saving throw if someone casted protection against evil. If you "buffed" his will save enough before making him reroll the save he might pass.

protection from evil +2, heroism scroll +2, Owls Wisdom +2

I'd assume a save of 25 - 3 because of the spell reduction. I don't remember if Karzoug actually summoned him or who it was. DC 22 with a +15 save or so isn't bad.


WolfusMandrago wrote:

Hello Pathfinder community!

I did a few searches on "Malfeshnekor" in this forum and noticed something: what if he's too easy? Ultimately, this thread is about creating a suitable challenge for a group.

Many threads talk about PCs dying because of this enemy. Some groups talk about skipping him or saying he's too hard. While my group isn't comprised of Pathfinder experts, they've been blowing past every challenge I throw at them.

You can skip the backstory and my experience with game difficulty if you wish.
** spoiler omitted **...

The Barghest should have on blink (being last), invisibility sphere, and massive bulls strength, and misdirection when the PCs enter. Have the Barghest wait on one of the side walls and charm or trip the first person who walks in. The other option is to crushing despair the group when the door opens. Any other melee characters should be getting reach attacked unless they have reach themselves and casters should have issues with line of sight, if he chose to still to the wall. Regardless melee will have a 50% chance of even hitting him because of blink for the next 8 rnds.

Another option is to turn into a goblin and tell the party where the great treasure is in exchange for your life with a +16 bluff. Unfortunately, they have to activate in two or three different rooms at the same time. If the party doesn't realize anything is fishy and split up this also becomes quite ugly. Finally, having some kind of play toys he may think its best to capture a few and wait for the rest to come back, forcing them to break the seal. Of course he doesn't need to tell the heroes thats what it will do.

Honestly, there are so many dangerous ways to play him. He can alo have him in wolf, or goblin form at first so the PCs don't realize he's a threat. He can cast charm monster and crushing despair without any of the PCs even suspecting since spell-like abilities don't have somatic, verbal, or material components, unless someone is activing detecting magic at the party.

Most parties won't kill a lone goblin who is willing to talk at first sight, especially with misdirection at play. Target paladins, barbarians, and casters. He can easily take down a party member with one full attack.


Goz wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I am concerned that they will mop the floor with him and I want this fight to be epic. I do know that one issue will be that the party ranger will delay his action until BBEG begins casting then shoot the crap out of him with his dominant bow thereby disrupting his spells.

I do plan to change up some of his spells to better protect him, especially since the alchemist will be lobbing dispel bombs at him relentlessly.

Any suggestions? Any way to help against the arrows? I am interested on how this fight went with other GM's

I don't remember what kind of wizard he is. I know he doesn't have all schools of magic available but here are a few ideas.

1st Spell Contingency LVL 6 When someone enters the chamber time stop goes off
2nd Spell Time Stop LVL 9
Summon monsters 7-9 > best idea
or
Delayed Fireball LVL 6 Multiple castings of this spell alone can completely TPK the party if they aren't immune to fire or don't have fire resistance when combined with time stop. Reverse Gravity in combination with prismatic wall, antipathy is nice.

I like greater polymorph or change shape. As a wizard it's still nice to keep distance from the characters. Something that has good movement speed and/or resistances is always nice.

Windwall is nice, greater invisibility, simulacrum, illusory wall is nice to have cast in the sanctum prior to. Then you can summon minions and put up a force while until they fly up. There are really just so many things you can do. Mage's disjunction as mentioned already is quite brutal.


Ryieahna wrote:
666bender wrote:

Think of grapple as 2 actions :

1) start a grapple
2) maintain ( every thing that isn't initiate)

With animal that had several attacks and grab you got several options :
Bite >>grab >> :
option 1 : move action greater grapple , swift action rapid grapple. .
Option 2: attack 2 regular claws while grapping .

Round 2: as you start round grappling - get 2 free rakes. Than:
if you let go , go above .
If you maintain as move action. , go again with rapid and than standard as either attCk or another grapple.

So: no full attack while maintaining, and no one ( eidolon included ) has rake on initiate round or every attack.

A tip: dip not in fighter, but in maneuver master monk.... Tha. You can grapple to maintain and full attack / learn trip for binding throw etc.

As far as I know I do get a full attack while grappling, without needing levels in monk (The second example below is using flurry as an example, but it does clarify for things besides flurry as well).

Sources:

More Recent Paizo FAQ
Older copy of FAQ on PFSRD

The eidolon rake rules, to clarify:

** spoiler omitted **

So that's where my confusion is coming from on those two aspects. The other clarification I'm...

Read closer, yeah you can full attack, but the moment you choose to not maintain a grapple the grapple breaks. I suppose it's not as much as problem because whenever you make an attack with grab you can redo it, but you'll be missing out on the +5 to sustain.


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pclark4422 wrote:

[quote

Take for example a bandit camp, something that is inevitably out in the open terrain. Its typical defenses would be setup to deter a retaliatory martial force and so it would most likely have wooden barricades, a gate, and a couple watch standers...

First of all, what decent bandit camps are out in the open terrain. Perhaps, deep in the trees, a cave, natural structures, or if they actually have a hold then they must be quite numerous. Maybe they have somewhere between 35-75 bandits. If this place isn't well hidden then why hasn't someone else removed the camp already? Are they smuggling for the regent or legal authority in the area? If they are being "protected" then maybe they don't need to hide in a Fort that has a big sign of I'm here.

No if I am a bandit leader I am not going to make an open structure unless it's out in the wilderness and hard to find by itself or there are no major legal authorities around. Take todays terrorists for example, the best way to work is in small cells with l lieutenant. That Lieutenant may know two others Lieutenant who knows another Lieutenant who knows a few of my enforcers who knows my second who knows me. Your characters are thinking with minds of today in a fantasy realm that's based on stories any things that happened over a thousand years ago. Use the strategies of bandit leaders, gangs, and other organizations of today. Use the strategies of pirates of today in Africa when they face off against other countries and sell people for ransom.

For arguments sake lets say you make a fortress in the open and I have to defend it with 75 bandits and some animals or monsters that aren't companions.

I'll say the players are LVL 4.

Bandits
CR 1/2 10
CR 1 15
CR 2 20
CR 3 10
CR 4 8
CR 5 5
CR 6 3
CR 7 1

I would take 6 CR3s and have them leading 3CR2s and 2CR1s around on patrol on rotation every 8 hours. They would travel up to four hours away and return. I would also take a few 1/2 CRs and dot them around as watch towers on horse back, but give them some other task as well to prevent others from thinking they were on watch. I would also have a worg or wolf pack out that was set to watch a different side and trained to howl if they smelled or saw any intruders. Finally I would insulate myself with traps on the other avenue of approach or something somewhat controllable yet dangerous. Maybe a small tribe of Strix are paid in meat to deal with any tresspassers.

I have a fortress, patrols, insulation from all sides. Next, I would start thinking about an escape root if some one got in. Maybe through a cave, on a river, or a fly spell.

Hopefully any tresspassers will be sighted hours before they get to my fortress.

If the Strix come in contact with anything they are suppose to send messengers. If the wolves begin howling in unison via instruction of the worg then I have a battle plan set to prepare for invaders.

Periodically 1 CR5 two CR4s and two CR3s would go out to hunt wild animals in the area.

Then I would look at my random counter table and see what may apply to the PCs in the or on the ground. If I don't have any I go through bestiary 1-4 and come up with it and add it to my encounter table.

Now comes the next question. Why did I choose this place way out here? Is it because I am in love in a strix or there are caves near by with healing powers or an underground cave network? Either way I'll tie this in to what I want to protect. I probably have at least 1-6 casters as part of my crew because I'm a smart bandit leader. If the PCs try to fly through they are only going to see part of whats available and they can't fly for what turns into hours of walking so they won't be able to fly there in one shot. In addition, one of the strix is a druid that has the scent ability and can smell them if they are flying.

Split up all the goodies among the open terrain. If the PCs go through the strix they find out the bandit leader and the strix elder been friends for years and the leader is about to marry his daughter. His son however is severely ill and needs some restoration. The village also has an ancient lock box that cannot be broken and has never been picked. It doesn't have to be this lame, but think up of goodies that you can use over and over again. If the PCs don't go this way then they don't get the goodies but you can use a similar situation at another part of the story.

Don't try to make something the characters just can't skip. That's why the game is so loved because you have so much choice. The players have three choices one has a strix druid they may detect them if they are flying. With other strix in the area that might notice something. One has a patrol, and the other worgs, wolves, and other wild animals. Assuming this area takes 4 hours to get out of thats 12 miles for walking. Lets cut that by half for kicks and giggles. The party can't fly for six miles and unless this was a random meeting characters that are level 4 are particularly skilled. They are almost expert adventurers. The bandit leader should have had of them if they are in the area, if they are local.

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