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Magical Envoys don't get connections and still rely on Charisma. So for you : no Melophile and not the greatest spells.

Archetypes are a package deal because they can include weak and average stuff to justify also including more potent things (ideally), which is why picking and choosing only the good stuff tends to break the purpose of them.
They're also not designed to be straight up overall upgrades, but a more or less even trade, just with a different flavor (again : ideally)

For that matter, a lot of what you're aiming for is just bonus feats : why not just take them normally ? Is your build that busy that can't fit a couple feats you clearly want badly ?
It's entirely possible of course but if they're worth sacrificing class features, they might be worth the feat slots.

Yeah, not sure what the argument is here either.
Casters will outclass martials eventually, yes. That's been true since the CRB (and before that, realistically).
Shifters most certainly don't get the versatility of the Druid's WS, yes. Mostly because that's not the point - though they do have an archetype specifically for that, getting the actual Druid's WS almost as is (which seems to be what you're looking for btw).
Getting more aspects does give more versatility/adaptability, but does little for raw power.

Does that make them that much worse than other martials ? I'm not convinced.
They seem very, very average to me. Which isn't great but nor is it that terrible, by definition. Could be better, but still workable and enjoyable.

They do suffer from some issues, the worse of which is kind of outside the game : Their WS working differently than the Druids seems to have confused writers more than once.
I'm not sure why you singled out the Wasp but the book it's from is one of those occasions : 2 of the other 4 aspects in Heroes of Golarion get no attacks at all, ever, by raw. And the Wasp has the issue you mentioned.
A shame as I kinda like the Lion, but also an obvious oversight and it's a fairly easy one to correct : a vast majority of the time (short of when the size of the pertinent beast is different) the type and damage of an aspect's natural attack are the same as the creature's.
It's also the second to last thing ever published for PF1, I can only imagine the added constraints.

The Shifter's crime is not being what people expected from its name, but that doesn't make it the disaster some want it to be.

Why? It's a traditionally druidic spell (exclusively) in the d20 universe, which PF1 still is a part of.
Sorcerers do have the spark cantrip if you're just looking for a way to magically light up your pipe, and plenty of other fire spells for the rest.

What does Produce Flame do that you're interested in, specifically ? There might be alternatives.

As is some other classes can gain access to it, if in a limited way, but that's not helpful to you.
Some prestige classes can help, with Magaambyan Arcanist coming to mind with its blend of arcane and duridic magic.
There's a few more other ways, but baseline Sorcerer seems out of luck.

If Elemental (fire) is your bloodline your GM might be open to negotiating ProduceF replacing your first bloodline spell, maybe ? Be nice to them either way.

Or just grab a wand and work on your UMD, I guess. 4th is a bit early for that though.

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It is hard to overstate how much of a number's game PF (and others) can be.
Numerical superiority is huge. A tremendous threat can die in a flash if outnumbered.
As long as your players outnumber their foes 4 to 1, you're gonna have a hard time challenging them, and doing so is likely to require opponents that have a more than decent chance of one-shoting a couple of them (and still die quick).

I'd worry more about having them face more enemies at the same time than about throwing higher CRs at them.

Also yeah : some glaring holes in their defenses if you want to target their weaknesses, Will saves being the most obvious one. But only going after that is not really fun, so take care not to abuse it.

With such a big party, you're bound to have long fights but that's not exactly avoidable.

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This is such a bad way to go at limiting a group's power level. Not gonna redo the several discussions on this we've seen since the release of PF1 but in short : the builds these limits hurt the most are the ones they should worry about the least.

Your party has the martial aspect covered, with an emphasis on melee.
I'd advise you to play the SADdest full-caster you see yourself enjoying. It's the absolute perfect setup for a god wizard, but a witch would do good, (evangelist) cleric is also a nice option ... most 9/9 casters can be pertinent really.

If that's not your thing then yeah, Bards and Skalds are fun, People's Council paladins and exemplar Brawler do the Inspire Courage thing (though that might be a lot of melee for one party) ...

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You actually guessed it.

The Alchemist wrote:
Bombs (Su) :
The Alchemist also wrote:
Bombs are considered weapons [...]

So : weapons or Su ? Why not both ? Both is the answer. (Not an entirely unique case, even.)

That said, this is all homebrew so your GM will be the one to decide whether them there rings apply here or not.
Just check with them.

"Special Abilities" is, after all, one of those half-defined things that may or may not apply. And some weapon affecting effects don't combine well with weapons that exist no longer than a fraction of a round, depending on how they're written.

I don't know that we'll ever really know more about them.
The narrative role of the Dominion is very much that of the terrifying, unknowable unknown. We know more about the mythos related things than we do about the DotB, that's telling.

We don't even truly know why they do what they do. Hatred, entertainment or purely amoral scientific interest ? What's the long (loooong) term goal ? Where are they from ?

How little we know is why they fill their role : the Dominion of the Black is the scary, weird, incomprehensible alien.
My point being : this is one time when more than bits and pieces might actually do more harm than good. Fragments of maybe-truths, sure. That'd probably be good actually, especially if it's uncertain. But a comprehensive answer ? Heeeh...

It's just that ubiquitous in the setting. And quite optional, personal augmentations aside.

What's surprising, to me, is that while we have the Augmented and other enthusiasts on one end of the spectrum, we don't know of a group or faction of virulent opponents to the very idea of augmentations. No Cult of the Pure Form, no augment-luddites or whatever.
The average halfling is not a fan of augmentations, but mostly for their own self and cares little what others do with that.
That's about as far as that goes : "meh, not for me, don't need it."

Unless I'm forgetting some ideological faction, which I quite well could be.

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The thematic's already here, if mostly in themes and archetypes.
Also, keep in mind the one PF1 caster class that could actually deal with tech was the Psychic... Maybe all technomancer are psychic ? (I kid, but not really)
Also also, many of the Mystic connections lead heavily toward psy/occult theming, indeed.
Witchwarper and the incoming Precog can also fit the bill decently.

But ultimately, it doesn't really matter, what with the arcane v divine v psychic/occult (v primal) distinction just not being a big deal anymore.
Your caster PC uses whatever flavor of magic you want it too.

Can we get more options for what the classes we have ? Always. And we will, eventually.
Can we get PF ones adapted into SF ? That's not really the trend, and many don't translate that easily. But maybe.
Until then, we have a bunch of ways to do it already.

What is special is that there is actually a spellcaster level requirement, which is somewhat unusual. That's it.

For what it's worth that "special" is not in the actual book, or at least not my printing or on AoN. I'll assume there was either bolding (I see the pfsrd has that) or a colon you missed.

No reason for it to be free though : it's just a regular weapon enhancement and none of those are free either.

That's an interesting point. If augments are that important, and the evolutionist is the specialist, not having to depend on a surgeon would be nice.
You do get the skills to craft your augmentations, but maybe evos could get a way of installing their own without Medicine, on their own ?

Packmaster V Eldritch adaptation question :
So, the 1st level thingie of niches is in fact an adaptation, meaning packmasters can share them.
Most I'm fine with, they fairly obvious : your mechanized self explodes in your foe's face, so does your partymate. You heal or regain stamina, so do your buddies. Easy.

You twist a spell and use your basic packmaster ability ... what happens ?
PMs only "share" the effects the adaptation has on the evolutionist themselves, it certainly doesn't grant (re)actions. Can you force the spell to "bounce" through an adjacent ally ? Would that even do anything ?

I mean, everyone can gain up to two more arms, and evolutionists get them cheaper.

I feel like the way it's designed, it might be the most a class has depended on wealth, in an unorthodox way. With a free weapon and a discount on augmentations, it seems built to overinvest and depend on those.
Weirdly, there's not much of a reward for doing that though, beyond augments being their own reward.

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I have a few simple questions, mostly on matters on formulation, clarity, intent and the like. Also a few thoughts. Not gonna touch the EP situation in this one though.

- The attack necessary for Evolution Drain doesn't do damage, does it ?
Feels like it could simply be about making contact, no harm done, just as well as it could be a matter of "if you deal damage you also steal essence materials for your own evolution", so I'd rather check. (If it does damage, I assume it's regular Adaptive Strike damage ?)
- While Augmented Form can increase a discount on augmentations from other sources (like the biotech theme or the Augmented archetype), the Augmentation Focus does nothing more to said other discounts, yes ? You get the 20%, or you get the same X+5 you'd have anyway ?
- Is the Mechanized's instinct ability to reduce damage actually Damage Reduction ? The Rapid Reboot's effect on your "hardness" should probably be reworded, unless it is indeed Hardness (seems unlikely).

- Unlike Explosive Strike, the Area Strike adaptation makes no mention of needing a ranged adaptive strike, is that on purpose ? I'm okay with the added versatility, mind you.
- It wouldn't be much use, but I'm kinda surprised we don't get the option of taking the Extraordinary Sense adaptation more than once, to get more alternative senses.
- Extreme Mobility can interact with Enhanced Mobility's swim (and fly) speed, but does nothing for the climbing part of it : is that voluntary ? Feels like it might have meant to give climbing the same speed upgrade swimming gets.

- Why specify Species grafts as one of the Vital Niche augmentations of choice ? "Species grafts can be cybernetics, biotech, magitech, nanite enhancements, or any other form of augmentation." Are Sepulchral, Mechanized and Eldritch Evolutionists not able to get their usual discount on their species augmentations ?

- Cybernetics and Magitech might need a way to compete.
Biotech can reproduce any cyber for a price and Necrografts can just do anything cyber or biotech, and do so at a discount (which seems like it might stack fully btw, considering the wordings).
Not too worried about that one, considering we're getting a full tech book, but it's worth keeping in mind. Well, noone can imitate Magitech so far, so it can stay on its island I guess : it simply having more options could suffice.

- Damage vulnerability drawbacks take me back to the Consumed Oracle curse. And I can't remember anyone enjoying that.

- If this is to be a class that does nothing but fight, having a full BaB baseline seems necessary. It's also a missed opportunity, so I'd rather have some out of combat utility.
I get that the idea is that the money saved on weapons is supposed to go into discounted augmentations to round everything out, and it's certainly helpful, but I'm not convinced that's enough.
Many augmentations also compete with adaptations - and can come out on top.

I was wondering how the team would tackle the concept, because I saw two main ways to approach the concept.

It could have gone the shifter route, with temporary changes via metamorphosis.
Or the way of a progressive remaking of your body, overhauling your physical shell into something entirely different over the course of your career. Which is closer to what we're seeing, if not in a way I'm entirely satisfied with so far (but that's playtests are for).

It's no less valid and I'm more interested in that approach, myself.
We can have a shifter-esque class - or an archetype, which I believe I'd enjoy more - later on, as a separate thing.

I have issues with the class as it is now, but this is not one of them.

Inspired by the "Superheated Spells" discussion.

I just remembered that Reality Glimmer, Connection Inkling and Technomantic Dabbler make no mention of granting spell-like abilities, unlike the Stage Magic, Psionic Power and other Naturalism feat lines.
They just give spells to cast. I know that's been discussed before (at least regarding the spellthrower) and it's fairly clearly on purpose.

Is... Is that enough to fill a feat's "ability to cast spells" prereq ?
I certainly assume that it's be enough to disqualify for the "unable to cast spells" prerequisite of Spellbane, but are Solarians one Reality Glimmer away from superheating their fire stuff ?
It's not free but a half level bonus on a solar flare or a plasma sheath seems... Good ? Too easy ?
Am I missing something, or maybe overestimating the benefit ?

I don't know that a 1/2 level bonus to damage on some spells is worth a feat, so let's look at what else the feats do.

Water Magic raises the spell DC by 1, which is always nice. There are better ways to do it, but if you already have those and you really, really like the theming, maybe ?
The big downside is how few spells have the (water) descriptor, since that's the only spells the feat affects.
I count 4 on the Archives, all from thenProfessional Courtesy AP book (like the feat itself), and Planar Binding for 5. One of those has neither a save nor damage, and another needs an actual aquatic environment. So Ice Bolt, Pressurize (and P. Binding), with Witchwarper the only class to have all 3. Pretty decent spells actually, but still. Even if I missed some, that's... not a lot.
Seems beyond "highly specific", but admittedly it could get better in the future depending on how many Water spells appear from now on. Until then... Pass.
Unless there's a way to add or change a descriptor I'm not thinking of.

Superheated Spells' only benefit is that modest damage boost (and the underwater thing), but it's much more versatile.
It affects not only spells, but also (Su) and (Sp).
More importantly it only cares about damage type, not descriptors.
And that is something that can be changed much more readily. Technomancers have a hack for that, if nothing else.
Good thing it requires actual spellcasting because you know what's a (Su) that can do fire damage ? Solar Flare. That might be interesting.
If you're really keen on building a pyromancer, maybe ? Especially if you do have some fiery surnatural or spell-likes.
Still, having your Explosive Blast dealing 3 more dmg when you get it isn't going to change much. Nor is 10 dmg a lv 20.
Not necessarily the worst choice, but very much not a priority, let alone a must-have.

(Much better if you know your campaign is going to mostly happen underwater, obviously. Even Water Magic)

There's been precious few, if any, racial restrictions on archetypes past the ARG.

Anything after that is more along the line of "Most, maybe virtually all of said archetype are from race X. But not all of them."
PCs tend to break the mold anyway, so I wouldn't prevent anyone from becoming a Sworn to the Eldest just because they're not Gathlain. Unless the chosen Eldest has a tendency to look down on non-fey... Why not ?

That was just the addition of Lv6's Shifter's Fury, wasn't it ? Maybe some other minor thing on top ?

The biggest fault of the Shifter was not being what people expected (not that they really knew or agreed on what that was, mind you)(myself included). It's also somewhat counter-intuitive for those with 10-20 years of druid experience, as we're creatures of habit.

It's still a cool and interested concept, and not nearly as bad as the rumors make it. It's functional and can hold its own.
I sadly haven't gotten to play one yet but it's very much on my list.

Yeah, I hardly ever see PC deaths (which I kind of regret, actually). Goes with the tone people I play with tend to go for.

I'd say it depends when the "of sh.. Wait !" moment happens.
Couple of turns/minutes later ? Yeah, sure, you'll wake up.
Hours or weeks later, with the story having progressed and actually dealt with the death ? I'm gonna go with no, short of a really good reason. And even then, I'd be very reluctant.

Ironically enough, dying is one of the most impactful thing a PC can do, story wise (with an exception for the serial diers. I see you.),which makes such retcons something I'm not fond of.

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Literal body builder class. That's always fun, looking forward to it.

Also, I'm very curious to see how it'll be handled, considering this really is a teaser. Steady progression or shapeshifting ? Bit of both?
Will there be a "become a humanoid" option, considering so many pc races aren't ?
Yeah, I'll be looking at this playtest.

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Says you. The Oracle has enough nature related options that I don't know that just being a "spontaneous Cha Druid" is enough to make a class. The spontaneous witch isn't Cha based, but it too crosses that niche somewhat.

Shaman is the most divisive of the 9th level caster classes when it comes to these questions.
I don't care for it much, nor do I hate it, but it's easy to see - including in this very thread but it's a pattern we see in many, many shaman discussions - that some are just in love with it, and others refuse to consider it could ever be considered any good.
So it's safe to say it's not for everyone. And that's fine.

It's finicky, there's a lot of moving parts (more than any other 9/9 caster ?), some very strong options baseline, a weird, unwieldy spell list...
(not gonna go into the archetypes much since every class has a mixed bag of those, but yeah : some powerful things there too)

I'd say it requires a player to take the time to really learn its intricacies, but absolutely rewards putting in the effort.
It's not for me, but I know better than to pretend it's bad.

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Very true.

And beyond that, this really isn't a Starfinder issue : it's just a space thing.
Which makes it a sci-fi/space-op thing.
Every sci-fi game has to deal with the fact that yes, at any moment the PCs could just decide to nuke a planet from orbit with a heavy thing or two.
Gravitic bombardment hardly rely on anything Starfinder specific, it's every bit as devastating in Star Wars or 40k and likely even more so in a more hard-science setting.

Yet it's rarely used.

The Galactic Empire really didn't need the Death Star to raze Alderaan, they could have thrown rocks at it.
The 'Star does make for a much better show, but it's incomparably more expensive and just way too much work to be worth it, rationally. But that's part of what makes it fun, and therefore relevant.
"Meh, just throw stuff at it from space" is just not the interesting way to deal with issues in most cases.

Doesn't mean there's absolutely no place for tungsten rods ever, but there's very much a place and a time for things like that.
Most starfinder games probably won't have much room for that kind of devastation, at least from the PC side of things. On the villain side, maybe moreso ("Ohnoes, the Corpse Fleet has accelerated an asteroid and aimed it at a populated planet ! Hope your Bruce Willis impression is on point, cause it's time to reenact Armaggedon.")

So yeah, there's no rule against it, it's more of a trope thing and a gentlemen's agreement.
Same reason Daimalko gets mechs to fight their kaijus, rather than parking dreadnoughts in orbit to bombard the beasties into oblivion... Or throw rocks at them.
It's not as fun.

And then, there's the in-game rp consequences of being known as someone who's entirely willing to unleash that kind of firepower, which is another issue entirely. That's hard to come back from.

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Why are prices absolute and fixed, once and forever ? Shouldn't they fluctuate depending on whether there's a mine down the road or if the only one is on the other side of the world ? Can't I grab the cheapest diamond around and sell it to my bud for 1000gp, thus making it what he needs for his spellcasting ?

Because it's convenient and easy to handle.

That's it.
That's very much a game balancing thing, not a realism one - which is true for pretty much everything money end economy realted, if we're honest.
With how old of a world Golarion is, there otherwise would be pretty much no diamond left.

Besides, are diamonds really that rare in a world of magic ?
Because I'd absolutely expect an ambitious spellcaster to try and set up a mining operation in the Demiplane of Infinite Precious Gemstones.

That said if you're running a grittier/low magic game and want to restrict access to certain spells without removing them entirely, that's a pretty good way to do it.
Hint at it early on, then have your players realize that not only are these things getting pricey, they're also becoming simply much harder to find in the first place, making every spell cast a real choice. Fun times.

That's really not for everyone though, so if you're not running it that way, with all your players explicitely on board with the idea... Suspend your disbelief, ignore the economic nonsense, and buy your standardized, fixed price ration of diamond dust. There's worse things to worry about.

First off, NPCs follow a different set of rules, they're not PCs. That's a big thing to keep in mind.

Still, on the PC side : some classes, archetypes and even races have bonuses in their kit (possibly scaling ones), there's a few init-boosting feats (Improved Initiative being the big obvious one), some gear adds on top of that... so with a high Dex it's quite doable.

Large size is much less of a benefit in Starfinder than it is in PF. Size overall is less of a factor, really.
That's why.

Wildblooded is technically an archetype, or at least follows the same rules.
Both it and the Mongrel alter the Bloodline feature - the Powers as well - which means they can't be stacked.
That's it.

Could you houserule it without breaking everything ?
Mostly yes, with some exceptions (Sylvan being the big one). Doesn't seem like that will be good enough for your GM though.

Wildblooded makes a lot of things blurry, if not weird. It's important in these cases to keep in mind that it is, in fact, considered an archetype (or close enough).
Eldritch Heritage comes to mind (though there's a feat for that specifically).

That archetype - fun as it is - has a few known issues, with some RAW v RAI questions left hanging.

I'd assume the intent was to allow you to use your fighter level as your caster level.
But as written, the Dragonheir does not grant you a caster level, and Arcane Strike does not scale.
As you can see, opinions vary.

Where you go with that is up to you and your GM, in the absence of official word (it is a Companion archetype).

(same for the features that replace fighter feats at level you don't get any, the apparent consensus being that they should be about 4th and 6th level feats rather than 3rd and 5th)

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I'd guess that's the issue, all in all. Different people expect different things from the game.

Here, quite clearly, silver diamond and his players are not looking for the same kind of experience.
Pointing out that for every major hurdle they encounter you actually had provided them with a tool - and they wilfully chose to discard it despite warnings - that may help, yes. But it only goes so far.

If they expect to roll over everything without any challenge, and don't care to learn after repeated failures, it's likely by choice. They don't want to adapt, because the "puzzle" (simplistic and well known as it may be) doesn't interest them.

Are they interested in the rest of the game ? The social/political/intrigue/whatever stuff ? Or the exploration, investigation, lore etc ?
(clearly having to figure out better ways to fight doesn't, so let's not mention tactics and combat tricks)
Are they just here to get their murderhobo on ? Or, switching that around, do they just not care about combat in the first place and just want it to get over with asap?

To salvage the situation I suspect you'd need to figure out what they want, what you want, and figure out a compromise.
Don't run a game that bores you, but don't expect their interests to align perfectly with yours either.
You'll probably have to make concessions - just don't be the only one.

As I understand it : you don't target a creature, there's no direct hit and probably no splash damage either. The Perfumer's bombs presumably aren't even splash weapons.
Which does make a bunch of discoveries fairly useless for that specific archetype, but that's hardly unusual.
On the other hand, there's no downside to picking something that sets your bomb dice to d4s since that's your baseline. Even the 1 or 2 that explicitly downgrade dice size are less impactful.
Along with a few other unexpected benefits and weird interactions.

Effervescent Bombs - and the Perfumer in general - certainly could have benefited from a clearer wording (Persistent Pheromones almost bothers me more).
A shame, I otherwise like the archetype.
Still I don't think all those bomb things are major issues for the Perfumer, as it's geared much more for a support/tactical/utility role that a straight up mad bomber.

Looks like a mistake. It's not the only one ever : though Paizo's editors do a good job overall, some slip through on occasion. It happens.

Here we're at the 13th level, the archetype grants an infusion, it's at a level where you're supposed to get an infusion rather than a wild talent : I'd expect it's supposed to replace said 13th level infusion.
Check with your DM, but that's how I'd rule.

Is that errata somehow not on the site ? Or am I blind ?

Anyways, there are still a few other sources in force damage, in later sources of course. So... There's at least that.
But yes, I have to assume the brooch works on any damage tagged with the (force) descriptor.
It's either that or it slipped through the editing process and will be corrected eventually.

Rend is, per the rules, "usually" based on claw damage. Like many things in pathfinder's monsters details, that's not an always thing.
So, it depends. You're likely correct in assuming so, but exceptions wouldn't be surprising.

If you really want an Animal Companion though, you can always grab one for 2-3 feats - if you can afford that.

Well, the first one shouldn't work, so there's that.
Sylvan is a bit of a weird one, different from other wildbloods, and the companion it grants is not a 1st level bloodline power. It replaces both that and the bloodline arcana (which eldritch heritage most certainly does not grant) and ultimately is probably neither of those.

Staves are quite expensive, but the Shikigami style could work. Not overly familiar with it, so I'll let better informed people answer that.

Magical Child is tricky.

Zealots aren't so special that they change how that kind of things end up playing out.

So, how do you want to play is the question.
Sword and board is the most basic one, a better ac for probably a lesser offense. You can get a good deal on the basics of shield bashing from a talent, though your bab is not ideal for two weapon fighting.
Vigilantes can help with finesse damage without feat investment, which is nice.
Two handers are two handers.

Also, what Inquisition are you looking at ? Some will benefit some fighting styles more than others.

You kinda need a starting point.
Vigilante is the most flexible class, and you need to chose early on the way you want to play. You can build a good martial, a decent 6/9 caster or an apt skill monkey. Possibly a face, a scholar or a sneaky git. Or a mix.
So, what do you feel like playing ?

As for experiences, my one Vigilante pc got in the game late, as a level 7 or something multiclass.
We were becoming too high profile, my former military Bolt Ace still had a big enough family to worry about foes striking at them - especially considering it kind of had already happened to some more visible party mates.
So, I officially retired from this whole "adventuring" nonsense to join said family's merchant business, though not without introducing someone who'd be a better fit. I had worked pretty hard on my image as the "ordinary guy" in a bunch of weirdos anyway, so hanging up the gloves to let "mysterious crazy good crossbow guy" take over worked.
The timing and circumstances made it more believable than my short explanation.
The Vigilante part wasn't the core of the character, but he certainly was a fun and interesting guy to play.

It's a fun class. But you need to have an idea of where you want to take it.

Off the top of my head I can only think of one cleric archetype changing the casting ability, and it's for Charisma. So a real cleric is probably not going to be able to do it.
Some other faith powered class could (like the Inquisitor, as Mr Charisma pointed out), if that's really what you're looking for.

But depending on why you want an Int Cleric, there might be ways. Especially if you're simply looking for more skill points or better knowledge checks.
Some archetypes can help with that, and they tend to fit the "religious scholar" bill.

Tough to say. We actually don't have precise numbers for many of the races.
Grippli are probably the smaller ones we do have some sort of measure for - "just over 2 feet" - but I could see Leshies or Gathlain competing for the title. And the constructs could be anything qualifying for "Small", I suppose.

As a theorem it would have to be very limited to not blow everything else out of the water. Why not though, but still.

I'd rather see that as a full-on Alternate Class Feature.
Ye olde Spellthief did something kind of like that in 3.5, at least for magical/supernatural aspects. The biohacker would be the one to try and do something similar.

But right now, it's not a thing you can really do, mechanically.
It is however a good enough narrative justification to how you're getting those abilities : no book-learning for this biohacker, studying your fallen foes, learning what makes them tick first-hand (like, wrist deep on the dissection table) and adapting that for your own use.. Works fine.

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I'm not sure I understand why there isn't simply a blog post. It's where the news are, and it's where all other playtests showed up.

And I, for one, certainly was not expecting to have to look at the 42nd (nice) comment of an old post to learn that the playtest had started.
If not for the forums, which I suspect not everyone checks, I certainly would still be unaware. And getting impatient, might I add.

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Minigiant wrote:
As any transformation using the Beast shape is a wild shape

Is it ? I'd say it's the other way around : Wild Shape acts as Beast Shape (early on and in most cases). But a Bloodrager, Magus or Sorc just casting the spell is not "wild shaped" in any way. At no point does that language appear in the spell's text, nor does it appear in Elemental Body or Plant Shape, the other spells default Wild Shape emulates.

Having the class feature is what matters here, any old polymorph spell is not enough.
Being a druid is not necessary though. As long as you have Wild Shape, you're good.

Now, is there room for something broader, for the other polymorphs that lose you your armor's AC ? Maybe. One could houserule something, though it would likely have to be even more costly than this already is.
But the Wild enchantment as it stands is very specific and exclusive.

If she was a God, you'd be flat out of luck. I actually really don't believe even a god can bind another.

No matter : she is very much not one.
She is however way, way too powerful for you to do anything about it.
You could talk to her, negotiate and trust her to hold her end, and that'd be your best bet. Considering the scale of her operations, there's little for her to gain in turning on you, random paladin from one world amongst many. It's just easier for her to do her part, and not that costly.

But really, you're geased to help her. And what she's asking of you isn't even all that bad : ousting an evil queen means at worse nothing, if the replacement is as bad, at best progress, if the new one's better. And that comes with the bonus of Baba Yaga owing you one, which potentially you can leverage. Even if she "forgets" once you've done your job, you've tried.

You're doing a job you have no option of refusing, with a chance of being a positive influence on a country that badly needs it.
If you end up falling for that, the issue is not here.

There's little reason for the spell to only affect creatures, but here we are.
As is, objects aren't affected, so neither are constructs and undead.

For comparison's sake, things like the fairly similar Corrosive Haze or good old Explosive Blast do specifically mention objects.
That said, we're kind of in errata season still and I could easily see this as an unintended editing mishap, so I guess we'll see.

Pages of Spell Knowledge as well.
Spell Lattices are roughly the same, not quite as good for a sorcerer but close enough.
Other races have similar FCBs, if sometimes more focused.
There might be a couple more feats for specific spells.

I don't remember if VMCing into Oracle or Witch would allow you to get spells from the curse/patron.

If you reach level 20 and you're *really* desperate for more spell knowns, one of the alternate capstones is just that. Maybe the one way to get more 9th level spells ?

Concealment is a 20% miss chance, but not every 20% miss chance is concealment.

In other words : some things, effects and others depend on whether you have concealment or not.
An easy example is Stealth : to hide, one usually needs either cover or concealment. A level 14 cloud wouldn't be enough, but a level 15 one would.
It's a bit subtle, but there's a few of those cases.

"Interestingly", that makes this particular upgrade a bit of a double edged sword, because there's also more than a few things that work against concealment specifically.

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