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Monks are mostly lawful, short of some very specific archetypes so that limits things. Chaotic gods have a limited pool. Some are appropriate though. Not sure how that will work in 2e, haven't been rollowing it that closely.

They're also not necessarily religious.
They have in fact no more reason than a fighter or a rogue. Gods can be secondary to a philosophy, the pursuit of excellence, a specific goal or whatever. As any other character.
They might have at least a teacher, but that doesn't always imply an actual monastery. Wandering monks are a stereotype for a reason, roving the world, teaching their apprentices as they go.

We know the idea of monks came to Avistan with the Vudrani Irorians, and I feel like I remember Tian Xia developping the tradition on its own, in parallel, but I could be wrong.

That said, if a god's teaching feel adequate, there are probably monks worshipping him. What the god actually thinks matters little at that point : mortals gonna do mortal things.

There are deeply religious orders. There are followers of ideas, philosophies and concepts compatible, but not intrisecally tied to goddesses. There are martial artists in it for the purity of the art and the performance alone, with no other consideration.
Monks are mere people, in the end. They do what they want.

What is "smart" ?
How do you define it ?
How pertinent of a criteria is it ?
You have three hours.
I'd say the evilish, cutthroat regimes are the more likely to be what you speak of, if only because politicians there need to be smart if they want to survive the game. See : Cheliax.
Also, those with immensely powerful, potentially immortal rulers, who've had time to get smart.
So Geb, Nidal, Hermea, Thassilon... That one kraken ruled wasteland over in Tian Xia, as an example of ruler who cares very little about his domain and subjects .

In a more neutral way, the mess that is Nex is still a wizard heavy magocracy, and open evil has a hard time flourishing in the Kalistocracy.

Either way, smart doesn't prevent you from being an absolute monster, nor does it make you a good ruler. There's a lot more to it than that.

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Amusingly, while worship and belief does little to help gods and wannabes, it does have power and can lead to the creation of god-ish things, like idols.
So, while Razmir has no divine power, some of his most prominent statues might end up with a bit of it, eventually.

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I think we know the Cathedral itself is basically a mega-dungeon of Aroden's own design, presumbaly as a grueling test so that not just anybody can get to the Stone.

I'm fairly confident we will never know precisely what comes next, what the Test itself actually is. It's not for most PCs, and if you want to have yours go through it, you get to design your own.

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To quote the rules : If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space ( if no space is available, your grapple fails).
Not even within your reach, mind you, but adjacent. If you can't make them "come here", they don't move at all.

Grapple with reach gets weird fast.
Constructed pugilist being the reachiest, I believe, but there are a few other options, none of which are all that clearer.

Ascended mortals, at the very least, can keep futzing around on the mortal world for centuries.
Plus, give some divine revelations to a select few, get some proselytism going if that's your thing, and you're good.
Presumably, that simplicity is also why the Living God (All Hail) can get away with it as well.

In the case of obscure gods not looking to be worshipped, like outer gods, outsider lords etc, researchers stumbling the name and deciding to worship for... Some reason.

For Cyth V'Sug, I'll say "responding to sins and desires" doesn't necessarily imply worship. I see it just like how demons came to be in the first place : sin getting shoved into innocent qlippoth spawned the race. CVS, resilient an entity as it may be, is going through something similar.
Assuming it wasn't voluntary, as we know some Qlippoth Lords even did it willingly, since demons can grow more powerful than qlippoth ever could.

I had a player with 5 Cha once. He ran into a beastie with a 1d6 Cha drain attack (in an AP, not even an effort on my part). That was amusing.

For a build that extreme, I'd start by double checking with both the GM and the other players. It might be legal, strictly speaking, but better make sure it fits the table. Eyebrows may be raised.

Yeah, there are a number of ways to increase your effective Leadership score, or negate penalties, including specifically with regards to followers.
(There are also ways to make it depend on something other than Charisma, which could be useful. )

Now depending on how long ago you saw that, I'm pretty sure ye olde 3.5 had something like that.
Whether you can get that to fly in a PF game would be GM fiat anyway, obviously.

For PF, sounds more like a class feature, but I can't find it.

As is, only your two first bloodline spells have any sort of restriction on them. The others, from Protection from Energy to the Elemental Bodies and the summoning ones, seem to be the basic, versatile versions of the spells.
I wouldn't be horribly shocked if a GM decided to limit it to your chosen element and associated energy type, but that would be a houserule (and a disappointing one at that).

For Whirlwind, it could be phrased better I suppose but bottom line is, as often with shape-changing spells : you get the monster ability of the same name, the way the base creature does it (with the changed dc, as per the polymorphy rule).
I'd quote it but it's a huge one, so I'll let you go read the details. The very first line however does read "Some creatures can transform themselves into whirlwinds and remain in that form [...] " And everything that comes after that is written with the assumption that the user has in fact turned into a whirlwind : that's what you get, the ability to turn into a whirlwind yourself.

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That could be somewhat solved if the final version includes anything to make heavy armor a decent alternative.
As of the playtest only light had specific incentive, and Dex is just more useful baseline, but if there's any way for heavy to compete, beefy vanguards will be a thing. It should't take much.

As for the name, I'd take Vanguard over anything more esoteric. It does the job without cornering the class into a specific flavor.
I know most seem to see the class as some other mystical fighter but the way it is set up I cannot see it as anything other than the exact opposite : a very rational, analytical, reasoned, pseudo-sciency counterpart to the solarian's mysticism.

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I don't really see the issue ?

- The Fiery property on its own does not change the damage type (crits aside).
- Explosive ammo does, making half the damage fire (among other things).

Those two don't prevent each other.
We might, and are likely to, see other Fiery stuff down the line. They're only linked so far because explosive ammo also happens to grant the Fiery property to the weapon using it, but that hardly means the property itself can't exist outside of it.
That Fiery has a special rule for weapons alredy dealing half fire, even though that's all of them right now, tends to prove that. Future proofing, at its finest.

Admittedly, the description text doesn't actually state that the ammunition also grants the property explicitly, but the intent seems clear.
If that's the issue, I can agree to it : more clarity is always helpful - and in this case, a short sentence would be enough... but that's never that simple, editing wise. Maybe in a FAQ or errata, should one happen?

Likewise, I expect we'll more specialty ammo eventually.

There's always a need for hired killers. The Mantis' zealotry is a somewhat decent guarantee of quality if not excellence.
No reason they couldn't still be around - short of Achaekek being dead or gone.

It's however unlikely for them to be as visible as they once were : a new Mediogalti would not be tolerated in the Pact Worlds, prompting a shift to more secrecy. Not a huge deal.
Their Dogma would probably have to evolve as well, as their relation to heads of state was already getting a bit too old-fashioned in the Golarion days.

For the other thing, it's unlikely we see devs answering every setting question, they're kind of busy enough as is.
I wouldn't mind a setting subforum though, like PF has.

The stones are still very recent things and the area is overflowing with very active major religions, including a bunch of people really into witch-hunts.
Hard to develop a new faith around something entirely new in those conditions - especially around what are still at their core tools of the Crusades and the Iomedaean cult. With links to Sarkoris Shamanism.
Extremely powerful tools, sure, but still.

That said, prayer and ritual is indeed a part of what powers them. They're not the object of the cult, but they're certainly part of it.

Of course, people get weird, doubly so in that kind of environpent, so who knows ?
Stone worshipping sects might exist, although they wouldn't have any effect on the wardstones themselves, nor are they likely to ever approach them.
And they'd effectively be worshipping artifacts their parents or grandparents witnessed the creation of.

By that logic, would you say an allied creature casting a friendly divine spell on you wouldn't trigger it either ?
[edit : somehow missed the part where you said as much, my bad]

I will say, either part of that description could be more explicit.
As is, hard to say if it applies to all creatures or only enemies.
Not that it would be all that beneficial if it applied to allies as well, the effects being a mixed bag tending towards detrimental.

I'd limit to enemies as well, but mostly because that's quickly gonna become a lot of additional rolls and effects to pile up otherwise.

Huh. I hadn't read that Dragonchess. Very interesting.
Where did you find this information ? I need to read it.

Golarion is kind of a mess, and it's probably not advanced enough to justify the risks.
Short of natural ressources - which should be available elsewhere - and weird local specialties, there isn't that much to catch the attention if interplanetary traders.

Tengus have their weird ki-using oracle archetype, if that's what you're after ? Not comparable, but heh.

Actually, what do you want from the ninja ?
If it's just the skill points, there are some fairly skill-monkeyish caster PrC, but not many ki or sneak attack based ones I can think of.

Most of the 6 lv casters/extracters could do what you seem to want at least a bit, Magus excluded.

If not, Arcane Trickster through an arcane caster with access to the Cure spells ?

If you're really attached to the Oracle bit, it's not really multiclass or PrC friendly. Losing both spells and Revelations hurts.

I know there's an Ustalavic Duelist fighter archetype, and anything "palatine eye" qualifies at least somewhat. Royal Accusers are also specifically ustalavic. Questioner Investigator are also called out as particularly ustalav centric (members of the sleepless detectives, even), alongside Cryptid Scholars.
And of course anything related to the Mythos, vampires and the whispering way, weres and all the classic Hammer-style horror is right at home.
It's also a country home to a number of Varisians, maybe the biggest after Varisia itself (?) so add that in.
Which reminds me : You could even go for one of the rare mutant type options, as while they may be more common in the Wastes a Quasimodo-esque character would fit in just fine.

And more! ...

A quick search for Ustalav, Lepidtadt etc. on the Archives turns up a number of things, from Arcanist Exploits to traits and archetypes.
Have a look there.

Book wise, the Haunted Heroes Handbook and Horror Realms are probably also worth a look, off the top of my head.

Humans are the only ones to have ever been truly "consistent" in how they were portrayed. For some reason.
Go far back enough, look deep enough, and you'll find weirdness in every other race and creature type. I don't see why Shobhad would be the exception.

You might want to exhume the afore-mentioned Ysoki discussions : if the "art inconsistency" thing has been answered for SF already, that's probably where.
Beyond that, this is a much broader question, so maybe more a Paizo General thing.
Or try to slip it in the Q&A bit of a wednesday/friday stream.

You're quite free to claim whatever you want, especially as an Oracle, so sure.

I get the feeling Tiamat isn't that well known, in Golarion at least. She exists, but hasn't been involved in anything since forever ago - in this corner of the universe. PF has Dahak for that.

She would however be a great fit for the "almost forgotten yet terrifying", ancien evil niche. I kind of like her in that aspect, actually. The Queen is back, and all that.

I think you explained it yourself : it's to make them more alien-looking.
There are scores of very human-like or outright palette-swapped humans in SF, I expect Paizo is trying to make some more different.
Color aside, this also makes them much more barsoomian-esque, as you said.

As for them being the most "changed" in appearance... Don't hobgoblins have that ?

More seriously, consistency will probably noy be a thing for a while still. It took a bit for PF's core races, and those more are much more classical looking.
A lot has been said about the Ysoki's apperance, for example, and they're core in SF. We're actually getting there I feel, but still.
The more of a race we see, the closer we'll get to their "true" looks : Shobhad aren't big enough to get there that quick.


They allow you to grapple without a free hand (whether a gauntleted hand is free is a bit of a debate) , with a +2 bonus and a chance of applying their critical effect. As the rules for the property state.
So, on a lucky shot you'd set them on fire, but otherwise I guess you turned the heat off. Not unreasonable, from my very limited understanding of the art.
You could always just flamepunch them, but they'd get free at the end of your turn, as pointed out above.

Throttle weapons, however, do apply their damage to every successful grapple check. They're probably the way to go for a grapple specialist ?

Considering it also lets you treat a whip (or net) as a "noose", I'm not sure that part matters much.

But I can see the argument and I actually think you're right.
Hangman's Noose allows you to grapple with a whip/net/noose in hand for no penalty - and grants you the feat while you wield one of those.
That's it.
But it doesn't seem to change the rules of grappling the way Greater Whip Mastery does, or at all (save the no-penalty bit).
Also, free automatic drag on a successful grapple seeems a bit much for a level 2 ability.

I'll agree with Ferious Thune on this, I don't think Hangman alone allows you to grapple from 15 ft away.
You could always actually take Greater Whip Mastery, and it's probably a good choice.

Most of the few reach/range grapple options get weird and unclear, so I guess it's debatable. Reasonably confident on this one though.
And still easier to interpret than Constructed Pugilist.

To be fair, as long as you don't lose or trade Share Spells away, it's mostly fine regardless.
It's part of what it does : allow you to cast spells on your AC even if it normally wouldn't affect creatures of its type. Be it Enlarge Person or Animal Growth.

The very similar Monstrous Mount is written somewhat the same way, for that matter, as are pretty much all the feats and abilities allowing non-animal "Animal" Companions. The ones including more forgiving wording are rare.
Not that many friendly spells target animals specifically, and you usually (if not always) can get around that thanks to Share Spells.

It can definitely be a problem for things other than spells though, for sure.
But magic is usually what matters most to us.
It is something to keep in mind when looking at companion archetypes.

How about talking it out with your players ?
No need to be an expert or a veteran to understand the point and appeal of either generation method : randomness versus choice.
Both have their issues, both have their strengths, you know enough to understand the impact of characteristics and point it out to the newer players.
Have the group talk it out. If the players are split and you only want one method, be the deciding vote. You are the one who knows more or less where you're going to take them, that can inform your decision.

That most classic of debates aside, lots of good suggestions here.

One point I'll come back on : if someone wants to play around with summoning or polymorphy, have them prepare.
They can't start looking things up when their turn comes : waiting for a player to fumble with the rules and flip through half a dozen books for half an hour is a disaster.
Make them understand that for both of those, they need to do some prep work. Have a few forms, a few monsters ready to go. Know how they work, what they can and can't do.
Now, everyone should know, in broad strokes at least, how their character works. But summoning and transformation based PCs take that to another level.

Cleanliness has little to do with alignment - in theory.
Religion more, maybe, for the cultists of filth and disease patrons, which are admittedly mosrly evil. The rest are usually dirty because they're too stupid to care, see trolls, ogres, low giants etc. The lack of Good idiot races is more the issue on that front. Which is indeed a classic trope.

For Harpies, it's probably at least partly cultural.
As very musky creatures, smell is probably important in traditional society, I presume ? A defining factor of one's identity, like appearance or a name to us.
This could lead to the stench of your old kills proving how good a hunter you are ? That kind of non-sense.
They could still be cleaner than they're described as being, but yeah, stereotype of non-human evil : filthy, stupid and unwashed.

But : Harpies living with other races, in urban settings etc. are specifically called out as often taking the opposite approach and spending quite a bit of effort on being clean, which tends to reinforce the idea of it being in part cultural.
At least, I'm fairly certain I've read that somewhere, but I can't seem to find it right now ? I'll have to look for it.

I'd go with the dip idea, into whatever you like. Basically one short fight's worth of rage, for when you finally snap or are desperate enough.
Because, as pointed out, someone who is that wary and reticent about rage, but still has control, wouldn't build into it.

If you want your char to be like our iconic Bloodrager and have no control whatsoever, that's another thing.


While many sorc bloodlines have a weird tendency for melee, with claws, elemental properties and whatnot, they are not interchangeable.
Different amount of Powers obtained at different levels - and calling out said levels - Arcana vs no Arcana, spells, etc.

Much like Domains and Blessings or even Mysteries and Spirits (to a lesser extent), they are closely related, sure, but different.
That they share a name doesn't change that, confusing as it might well be.

If you want a Sorcerer bloodline on anything else though, Bloodrager included, you have the Eldritch Heritage feat tree or the VMC.
Might be worth a look.

Our Androids are more than halfway to being bioroids, really. With just a bit more tech in them.

SROs would be your best bet for a simple answer.

But : you could simply go for [whatever base meat race] with an absurd amount of cyber.
The cost would be absurdly high for a low level char, but that's in line with GitS and many other settings where those appear but aren't commonplace : there's always strings attached, as someone did pay for all that tech at some point.
(Alternatively, a nice GM might let you start with all artificial organs as long as they have no effect.)
Probably not something you'd do with a lv1 character though. But a higher level start? I'd think about it.

Verthani Augmented helps with that, for more tech. I'd like Cyberborn as a theme, but Biotechnician has one more implant slot, to put a bit of biotech in what little organic (grey ?) matter you have left.


For a twist, reverse the trope and be a SRO maxed out on meat-tech.
Necrografts and biotech grafted to your machine body. Flesh on your metal skeleton (and don't forget to work on your austrian accent).
That's one of those weird concepts Imma have to play at some point.

As avr said, could you provide the actual text of the feat?

Bonus question, as "Sword Coast" sounds very WOTCish: is it an old school 3.5 feat ? Despite early claims of compatibility, pre-PF stuff should be examined closely, and weighed by the GM, as things are quite different. It can work fine or just break completely.

A quick Google check gives mention of feats with that name in two different 3rd party PF things, ten years apart, but neither are present on the srd.

Going by your first message, I'd tentatively say you could answer the AoO, but can't be certain without the exact wording.
Also : it seems really strong. Almost absurdly so. There's a reason Come and Get Me is so popular and even it is not that good, by far.
Usually for every riposte type ability, even back in 3.5, there's a significant cost. I don't see that here.
But again, without knowing what the feat says, can't really tell.

Antiquarian is another one, "[casting] spells as though he were an arcane spellcaster" - and not subject to arcane spell failure.
I think it qualifies ? It's a bit of a weird one, admittedly.
Problematic when it comes to prerequisites for Signifier, too, if that's your goal.
It keeps the alchemist's spell list though, and the bard might suit you better for this. Still, an interesting option.

I'll second the idea of not going for a PrC, as neither really fit.
Grab one of the lighter hellknight armor, the Obedience, maybe the Obsession as wall and go for it. Hellknights are pragmatic enough to not restrict themselves to only heavy infantry and full casters, we just don't the mechanics for all the possibilities.

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Turns out a more modern, industrial, high-tech take on metallurgy actually helps.

Also, different system, numbers mean different things. But still mostly the power of science.
I can guarantee you their steel is also better. It just doesn't have that dramatic of an effect.

Specific trumps general : this is an exception to the one per day rule.

Not the only one either, another example being witches, who can get a major hex that allows them to brew more than one potion a day (proving the limit does apply otherwise, btw). Not to even touch on the Druidic Herbalism weirdness.
I'm never sure how the Alchemist's very own Dilution works in that regard, but it could be another one ? Or not?

If the limitation did not apply to non-casters, Master Craftsman would be better than it is. I'd assume it's more likely the wording showing its age : there simply was no non-caster option for magic item creation back then.

One would argue "other limitations" includes armored casting.
For those half-casters who can cast unhindered in light armor specifically (summoner, bard, magus,. ..), a mithral breastplate should do the trick. Like it would for a rogues's evasion and other similar things.

You'd still need medium proficiency though, since that is indeed the one thing not helped by mithral (or some other way to deal with non-proficiency and its side effects).
Grab the feat, or go for trait cheese. The benefit is not enough to sacrifice spell/eidolon progression.

You could absolutely flavor it as taking your faithful hound as your animal companion. But it would be just that, flavor.
The instant you make the decision you can forget whatever stats and abilities it had : it now has the dog animal companion profile.
Or keep your regular dog and get an AC one on top. Or get a wolf and say it's your dog on steroids.

Animal Companions being different from their baseline isn't exactly a rare occurence. Bears were a big offender until the fairly recent Grizzly addition. Elephants AC are merely Large. Etc.

Also, almost ten year necro : nice.

Because you might be using an unwieldy weapon.
But mostly, this is to buff the AoE options a bit. Wording may not be that clear, but you're to get the bonus on automatic, which is a full action anyway, and explode, which are very often unwieldy. Or are your free grenade.

If you get a way to use either several times a round, you're right : it is not great.
And even then, for unwieldy, sometimes the move action is too precious to sacrifice.
For a weapon that is neither of those three things, there's little reason to do it. Unless you're only going to attack once anyway, you shouldn't use Heavy Fire.
Then again, this the "Bombard" style. AoE is what it is built for.
And bonus damage is bonus damage.

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Dead Suns is also the AP of "so hey, this is what you can do in this new game".
If it feels like there's stuff in it that serves little purpose beyond being there... It might be just that. "Look at what space combat is like early on.", "Look at it now, with levels under your belt and an upgraded ship! ", etc.

To the subject : my main issue is that for a science fantasy game, that is an entire - and so very important to the genre - part of the game that is entirely devoid of fantasy.

We now have mystical weapons since AtAT, and that's fine. But using a different number to shoot the same guns is not much, and not enough to satisfy me.
More to do period would be nice too.
Also, having ships be more than weapons platforms. There's more to do with them than merely fighting.
Not an AP specific issue though, and one easily fixed with a few additions in future books.
I'm optimistic, for once.

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A few years off indeed. Let's flag that.

Vermin and Plant companions have been around for while now, but they're typically restricted to specific archetypes ; Treesinger, Verminous Hunter, etc.
Regular Druids/Rangers/Hunters/various others usually can't access them, Animal Companions being the default.

Fey Magic only changes your spellcasting stat, no other class feature.
It wouldn't affect Herbalism, Domain powers or any other such Wisdom based things.

This is slightly unusual, but there are enough other examples that I think it's on purpose.

If it's just an alternative to it just being in its home plane until summoned and it can only talk, not move around, it should be fine.

Unless the eidolon is built to be a knowledge/skill expert, in which case it's a significant upgrade. Unlikely, and probably not a problem short of a player willing to abuse your generosity.
If you're on the same page, go for it.

Also : you're teamed up with two skillmonkeys, including one of the very best at that game (and a rogue too, which isn't that bad either).
Having a bit less skills on you shouldn't be too bad, as you really shouldn't be lacking.

One level of rogue will allow you to open many skills, but as levels stack up those 1 rank skills won't help a whole lot. Better than nothing, sometimes allowing rolls you couldn't try otherwise, but success will quickly become quite the task.
Depends on your taste, playstyle and goals of course. Losing Summoner levels hurt, but a rogue dip might be helpful early on... maybe.

Otoh, if your Summoner is leaving the Frontline to the eidolon, you can grab some Intelligence. The skill list is the issue, short of relying on traits.
And if you are getting into melee, one rogue level won't be that useful.
Either way : might as well go Bard, if anything.

RAW aside - no matter what they turn out to actually be - I refuse to roll, make roll or sit by while someone else rolls a dozen checks for a few squares of movement.
Besides, as pointed out, rolling that much every time just pretty much guarantees you'll fail more ofen than not.

I also have a hard time believing that amidst all the effort to make the system more elegant and streamlined in the PF1 to SF shift they somehow decided to make tumbling and AoOs, of all things, more complex and that much of a gratuitous hindrance. They confuse newcomers enough as is. Not like that's a relevant argument, of course.
But unless a good one comes up, honestly I'll just houserule it if I'm in charge, or provoke and tank it if I'm a player. Better to grab Mobility than to risk so many rolls for the privilege of both provoking anyway, quite likely, and halve my speed.

I'll FAQ-button it though.

Which version of Castle ? He has been a lot of different things, depicted in alot of different ways, with varying degrees of subtlely and skill. From outright fascist murderhobo, to immortal angel-ish thing, to broken man and badass murderous vigilante p... and considering current cosmic events, he's not slowing down.

I like him as the hardest True Neutral. Not by conviction or choice, mind you, just as a matter of fact.
But realistically I'd say more NE, for sheer amorality.
Law and order are not the goal, and chaos is irrelevant - if sometimes useful.
Good might be an ideal, a motivation, but from the point of view of an outsider "protecting" it, knowing full well he is entirely okay with allowing himself to go as far and as low as he feels is needed. Good is good, but it's not for him, not anymore.


Barbarian would have less of a hard time affording Charisma I guess, as Ranger will need some wisdom eventually. Neither have much in the way of relevant class skills though, so I hope you are allowed traits.

But pretty much everything else we talked about is much, much more recent than that.
(Anti)Paladin could do, if you're okay with limiting yourself to one or two social skills at best.
Beyond that, this is looking like a 10 Cha all raw skill character.
I'd go ranger, but I just like the class and you kind of know what you're getting into, in terms of terrains, likely enemies and such.
Your partymates are likely to outshine you numbers wise, but how big of a deal that is is up to you.

Or, be weird about it and go chained summoner ? You do the talking, eidolon does the front-lining ? Really not what you wanted, but you do get both a melee beast and talky stuff...

There are probably a lot of those.
The Gods of PF don't speak with their worshippers often enough to guarantee a single official interpretation of their dogma... Which is good.
At the end of the day, a Church is but an organization made of people, with all that entails. Dissensions, politics, internal power struggles theological disagreements, fanatcism, of various breeds, schisms...
If the church of Sarenrae, of all things, is on the brink of implosion, we know mortals still have their free will and both the means and the will to abuse it and make bad decisions on their own, as is tradition.
Plus more than a few of the clerics (not to even mention other believers) exist outside if the clerical structures entirely.

Which, by the way, only goes to prove further more the superiority of the Living God, praise be He.
One church, one voice, one mafia. All Hail Razmir.

Are the other characters as highly optimized as the monk ? (I'm guessing not)
Players not coming to the table with the same mindset tends to create that kind of situation. Sounds like what is happening here.

You've reached a point where you can't challenge the party, and that's an issue. This time specifically, it's not really something outsiders can help with, as it's a table thing.
Not much of a good way out either. Asking the monk to tone it down will only frustrate him, doing nothing means your campaign (at best) might end up imploding.

Take the time to talk to everyone.
Maybe you need to help the others optimize their characters so they're relevant again. Maybe you have to find a glorious end for the monk, with his player, so that he can bring in a more reasonable replacement. Maybe you need to work on concluding the campaign soon, and get started on something new.

Tone aside, I'll point out that while "a GM shouldn't play against his players" is very, very true, I'm not convinced that's what is happening here. Also, it goes both ways : players trying to win at RPGs are bad news for everyone involved.

If skill points are the worry, a similar build on anything other than antipaladin would get more. You do miss on the paladiny goodies, but beyond that, it's a very reusable idea.
Be it Fighter, Bloodrager, Slayer or just Barbarian.
Dandy Ranger, for Cha dependancy and maximal Errol Flynnitude, old school. Or even Cavalier, possibly dex based.
Same idea : use bab for skill ranks, have enough left for actual sailor stuff.

Another approach to being a face that hasn't been mentioned, I think : Orator.
Use Linguistics for talky stuff only - useless in combat, but great out of it. For the true wordsmith, one skill is enough. And you'll get to speak the local language no matter which port you happen to be in.

No shortage of methods, really.
What do you see your Character doing, and how, beyond punching and talking?

Terrestrial dragonkin are 15-20, spacefarers average around half that and are the ones PCs will play and meet the most of. Ignoring it doesn't make it less true.
Hence the 8-20 is the entry, from the shortest spacer to the hugest terrestrial.
From the wording, I'd actually expect terrestrial dragonkin to be a separate subrace, with slightly different rules, but who knows.

Anyway : 10ft and change isn't insane in Starfinder.
Trox are 10-12, Bears are 9-11, Haans are 8-10. Sarcesians are 10 to 15ft tall, Shobhads 11-13.
Urogs are 10 to 15 feet tall, despite being mostly horizontal buglike beasties more fit for "long" largeness, making them probably the biggest race one can play.
Morlamaws and Ilthisarian are less clear, but can't be that much smaller, as they still have reach where bears don't.

In other words : Even a 15ft tall spacer dragonkin wouldn't be that big a problem, and they apparently rarely - if ever - get that big. I'd assume 10 to 12 is closer to what you can expect.

Darkleaf does not, in fact, change the category. Darkleaf hide is still medium.
Neither does the nimble armor mod.
Both still interesting, but not enough

Is that specific Hide armor so important ? Why ?
If it's a literal plot device, is it too late to say "I made a mistake, it's (studded) Leather, not Hide" ?
Or to allow it to be reworked, by a skilled artisan, into something lighter ? Make a sidequest out of it if needed ?
Can't that uniquely important, specific Hide armor have an equally unique magical property that allows it to be treated as light? It's not like it's any better than a chain shirt...
Hide is ... not exactly the greatest to begin with.
And I don't know of any way to treat it as light.
Admittedly, it's bad enough that there's never been a point in me trying. It's good enough for a low level druid, and that's about it.

Worse case, if that Hide is indeed that crazy vital to the campaign and inalterable, get rid of evasion.
Armor Dex limit applies only to AC calculation, and some archetypes can replace evasion. That and a feat tax for proficiency will help a bit.
Although that is not the easiest way to handle it.

Not sure why fighter/rogue is ok but slayer/rogue isn't, by the way. Accomplished Sneak Attacker takes a lot of the pain away, if SA progression is your main worry.

A paladin has the stats, if few skill points. Some archetypes help : I personally like the Knight of Coins. Clearly not ideal for your campaign though.

Bloodrager, with some select traits, could be good. Charisma, more skillpoints than the Pal... Lacking in relevant class skills but that's easily corrected if traits are in.
Plus some feats could help with the skill thing specifically, if needed. Cunning, Peerless Courtier, Martial Dominance even ...
Even good old Fighter could do a bit, with Versatile Training and some Cha, if you can afford it.

Slayer would work pretty well. Got the skills, Studied Target helps and they can grab a few helpful talents. Probably what I'd recommend here, really.

If you want more than basic skills, or more than what the slayer can give you, you'll likely need to look at the 3/4 bab classes.
I'd suggest Bard, even if you already have one. But you probably don't want to antagonize your fellow player, even if you're trying to tkae a role that his character is best suited for.
Alternatively, Investigator can be great Int based faces, and Inquisitor can be decent Wis based ones. Not the greatest "tanks" by any means, if that's even a thing, but they can be decent melee boys.

Edit : damn I'm slow. And yeah, 15 pts is not the easiest for a split focus character.

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