This is a problem with some of the adventure paths. I saw this a lot in Jade Regent for example. The trouble is if a higher-level caster goes full bore it can lead to a lot of player deaths, but if they hold back it's a cakewalk for the players due to action economy.
Paizo needs to make sure their boss fights don't consist of one big boss, but of several. And no, sticking a few token skeletons next to the big bad doesn't count.
The animal companion idea is not bad.
I hate multiclassing with the Inquisitor though since it slows down a lot of your cool stuff.
I was thinking of something like:
1 Intimidating Prowess, Toughness
So it looks to me like Holy Guide and Holy Tactician can go together.
It looks to me like you can Battlefield Presence teamwork feats you get through Holy Guide (they are bonus feats after all).
You can also use the Holy Guide ability and the Holy Tactician ability to give out multiple teamwork feats at the same time.
Maybe something like:
Paladin (Holy Guide & Holy Tactician)
1 Fey Foundling, Power Attack
You could also do a ranged version with Target of Opportunity.
Posters are not John or Mike. Fact is that the flavor of Wild Child is a bond with an animal (something many classes have). The flavor of Feral Child is that they are animalistic/base (aka feral... which is where butt-sniffing might come in) and that they are suspicious of civilized society (aka the Pathfinder Society). I can see where management would say that an archetype that explicitly mistrusts civilization (aka groups of people) would be inappropriate as a member of an organization like the Pathfinder Society. Can't you?
That's a fair argument, and I might accept it if the True Primitive was also banned. It is presented as mistrusting civilization even more than the Feral Child, to the point of refusing to learn to read and write under any circumstances in language that is typically reserved for paladin codes and the like.
Why is True Primitive okay when Feral Child is not?
People have of course played True Primitives in keeping with the ideals of the Society, but you could do the same with a Feral Child.
Studied Target seems okay since you can use it more often than Judgments and it seems like most of the time Inquisitors are just using Justice anyway.
But how do you leverage your sneak attack?
Would you focus on flanking and your flanky teamwork feats?
Improved Feint, perhaps with one of the Inquisitions that let you bluff with Wisdom?
Would you go the Dazzling Display/Shatter Defenses route? I don't think you can get Shatter Defenses until 8 or 9 unless you multiclass, but if you multiclass you delay getting sneak attack to use with Shatter Defenses.
Posters supporting the ban have said that "raised by animals" flavors equals potential for disruptive play and sniffing diplomats' butts. The "raised by animals" aspect is present in both archetypes, one of which is banned and one of which is not.
I think this thread is definitely making my case that Feral Child is no more disruptive (or necessarily illiterate) than many of the other options allowed to Pathfinders, such as goblins, half-orc bomber alchemists, fiend-flayer tieflings, fox people, etc.
Wild Child has the EXACT SAME background flavor as Feral Child and is allowed. I think this is an unanswerable argument for un-banning Feral Child or banning Wild Child and other illiterate or potentially disruptive archetypes.
It's time to un-ban Feral Child, or perhaps become more conservative about allowing potentially disruptive backgrounds. Is Wild Child just allowed because it's the new hotness?
Let's avoid the appearance of arbitrary decision-making; there's enough arbitrary rules in D20 games already.
Edit: Swiftbrook makes an excellent point about Feral Child allowing some unique mechanical options. That's the main reason I was interested myself; I wanted a more rogue-like druid.
A Feral child simply doesn't play well with others.
Why? How is that any more true of the Feral Child than many other archetypes which are legal? Say, a True Primitive or Drunken Brute barbarian, or a Fiend Flayer tiefling? Frankly I think the flavor text for those archetypes is potentially much more disruptive than Feral Child. Ultimately the actual level of disruption depends on whether or not the player can play responsibly.
The Feral Child seems like it's just asking for disruptive role-play
There's already a don't be a jerk rule and an expectation that players cooperate. Again, how is the Feral Child worse than other archetypes which are legal?
Tim Statler has the right idea. Why is Feral Child banned when so many other potentially disruptive archetypes are legal? Either it should be allowed or those other archetypes should also be banned.
Feral Child should be unbanned.
The main reason for their ban seems to be that they start as illiterate. This rubs me the wrong way, because they can learn to read and write (and thus make PFS reports) by spending one measly skill point.
True Primitive barbarians, which are illiterate and can never become literate, are PFS legal. This seems incredibly unfair to the Druid archetype.
If necessary, there could be a provision that PFS Feral Child characters must spend one of their starting skill points on Linguistics to overcome their illiteracy.
Benefits of doing this:
1. Consistency with other rules. There are other allowed archetypes that come with illiteracy - indeed, illiteracy that is less easily overcome (True Primitive). There are other allowed archetypes that come from primitive or wilderness backgrounds, or backgrounds that might have trouble fitting in with civilized society (many Barbarian, Druid, and Ranger archetypes). An alternative might be banning those archetypes, but it is better to resolve an inconsistency by giving players more options rather than fewer.
2. We all know Rogues are a little weak. Pathfinder developers have acknowledged as much. Feral Child gives an option to have a Druid character with some rogue-like abilities.
3. Giving players more options in general.
4. Being raised by wolves is a classic trope of heroic legend and fantasy.
1. There is no precedent for a rule mandating how players must spend one of their skill points. However, in this context, such a rule would actually be giving players more options by opening up a banned archetype. Further, such a rule might not even be necessary since True Primitive barbarians are legal despite their illiteracy.
Please note that nothing in the Feral Child archetype indicates that the character is a child now or changes their starting age. The archetype has to do with the character being raised in the wild, not with their current age. Thus, there is no need to discuss PFS age rules or similar in this thread.
Read the paladin guides listed in the sticky at the top of this page, that should give you some ideas.
I would advise against sword and board in this case. It requires a lot of feats to be effective, which is a problem as a non-human paladin. It would also require more DEX than you have points for in a 15 point buy.
The way to make best use of a static bonus like Archaeologist's Luck is to increase the number of times you use it. That means making more rolls = more full attacks = archery. That's probably the most optimal way to go.
If that's not stylish enough for you consider the Dazzling Display, Cornugon Smash, Shatter Defenses group of feats since Luck adds to your Intimidate rolls too.
I just don't see the value in spending all these feats on the whip to be maybe almost as effective as someone using a real weapon. I don't think investing heavily in combat maneuvers is a good idea in an AP where:
you're going to be fighting a lot of large creatures like ogres
I don't think that's much of a spoiler since it's in all the marketing blurbs for that AP.
Which of these statements about paladin builds do you agree with, and why? Assume that we're talking about PFS, not home games. There's a lot of conflicting advice on this board and I'm trying to spark a little healthy discussion and debate.
1. Paladins should use two-handed weapons. If they don't, they won't do enough damage to draw attacks from monsters. Paladins can always heal themselves so their AC doesn't need to be great.
2. Paladins should strive to max AC, using shields and maybe even Combat Expertise. If they don't, they aren't really a tank. They will get overwhelmed by monsters with multiple attacks if their AC is too low. Paladins can't beat fighters and barbarians at the two-handed damage game, so they should focus on being rock-solid defenders instead.
3. Paladins should build for two-weapon fighting, maximizing the extra damage from smite evil.
4. The archer Paladin is the strongest way to go, smiting evil at range. You will absolutely melt evil monsters.
5. Archer paladins are nonsense. You will never be a better archer than a Ranger or Zen Archer monk, so get in the front line where you can use Lay on Hands to best effect.
6. Mount is the way to go for mobility, height advantage, and more. You can get your mount in the dungeon if you put your mind to it.
7. You will never get your mount in the dungeon, or at least not enough for it to be worthwhile. Take Weapon Bond instead.
8. Besides Perception, the only skill a Paladin really needs is a social skill - Intimidate or Diplomacy.
9. Besides Perception, Paladins need Climb and Swim.
10. Besides Perception, Paladins need the Knowledge skills that help identify evil monsters, like Knowledge (Religion) and Knowledge (Planes).
11. Paladins need a broad skill array.
Maybe I should take this up with the Shadow Lodge.
The reason I bring this up is that I had the idea to make a druid version of the "Reach Cleric" popular on the Advice board. The free Improved Unarmed Strike and Acrobatics as a class skill would really help. Being able to find traps and talk to my wolf friend all the time would be a nice bonus.
Then I see the archetype is banned despite being universally considered underpowered for giving up wildshape.
If we're banning things for illiteracy, True Primitive should be out too, yet it isn't.
If we're banning things for having flavor text related to not fitting in well in civilization, the Feral racial subtype, True Primitive, a bunch of other Ranger, Barbarian, and Druid options, and probably most Half Orc and Tiefling options should be out. Yet they aren't.
I just don't see a justification for this.
Isn't that covered by the "don't be a jerk" rule though? Is it really necessary to ban the archetype?
I mean, archetypes that do some pretty weird, anti-social stuff are legal. Fiend Flayer demon-spawn tieflings cutting off their own flesh for mystical powers seems way more anti-social to me than being raised by animals, which is a classic trope of legend and fantasy.
Or how about the "Feral" racial subtype for Half-Orcs, which has EXACTLY the same flavor as Feral Child and is legal for PFS?
Fair enough, but then the True Primitive barbarian archetype should also be illegal, since it is also illiterate.
In fact, while the Feral Child's illiteracy can be overcome by spending ONE of your starting skill points on Linguistics, the True Primitive archetype explicitly states that you may NEVER become literate under any circumstances.
Why is the barbarian archetype getting preferential treatment here?
Have there been any other rulings on this?
If it lasts all day, Holy Tactician is a pretty good archetype.
If you have to spend a standard action at the start of every battle, it's decent but not great.
If you are giving up your awesome aura for a round-limited ability like the Cavalier's, it pretty much sucks.
You seem to be missing the point that it's about adding riders to the damage, not about the damage itself.
With Dazing Spell and Rime Spell I can make enemies make saves or suck round after round with Chill Metal, Produce Flame, Call Lightning, etc.
Let me give you an example. Say I choose Magical Lineage (Call Lightning) and Dazing Spell. Now with a level 5 spell slot I can cast a spell that deals a bit of damage and forces an opponent to make a reflex save or be dazed for 3 rounds. And I can do this a number of times equal to my caster level, all without expending any additional spell slots. Compare this to Hold Monster (also a level 5 slot) to realize how good it is.
Or if I did this with Produce Flame, I could be making a ranged touch attack every round for several rounds that deals a bit of damage and forces the opponent to make a will save or be dazed for a round. All with only one level 3 spell slot. And maybe I'm doing the same thing with a Flaming Sphere every round using my move actions.
It's true that I could do much the same thing with a Sorcerer, but there are some disadvantages - delayed spell progression, increased casting time for metamagics, no spontaneous summoning. I think the big disadvantage of the Druid route (which you accurately identify as less casts per day) is made up for by the fact that there are a number of Druid-only spells that affect targets round after round with no additional slots expended.
Please critique this build. Focus on levels 1 through 11 since all casters get a little nuts after that and don't need that much optimization.
Traits: Magical Lineage, Some Initiative Booster
For Magical Lineage, I would ask the DM how quickly we will be gaining levels. I would choose Chill Metal if leveling slowly, Flaming Sphere if leveling at moderate rate, and Ball Lightning if leveling quickly.
1: Spell Focus (Conjuration), Augment Summoning
This isn't really about blasting as much as adding control effects to damage spells. Tactics involve adding Rime and Dazing effects to spells like Produce Flame, Chill Metal, Flaming Sphere, Call Lightning, etc.
Why not be a Wiz?
Versatility, flavor, better HD, and Menhir Savant is easy way to get CL buff. I would consider it if I could find an appropriately nature-themed wizard archetype.
Why not be a Sorc or Oracle?
In my experience the delayed spell progression at low levels hurts a lot when you want to use metamagic feats.
Domain or animal companion? Concept is definitely more caster but animal companions are nice at low levels. Possible domains are Earth (Cave Subdomain) and Swamp (mainly for the nettle spell at 2nd level, it's a nice blast for that level).
Would some other archetype be better than Menhir Savant?
Would some other feats be better than Spell Focus and Augment Summoning? Summoning rocks later but the duration is awfully low at early levels.
It sounds like your real desire is to provide an incentive to play characters with Good alignments. With that in mind, I would go with:
LG: +1 versus Charm (focus on duty)
I would give a smaller bonus to all neutral characters. +1 versus Curses is okay. I would give no bonus to evil characters.
+1 versus all illusions for NG is too good. It's an entire spell school as opposed to subschools for LG and CG.
Or just make it known that Hero Points will only be awarded for Heroic Acts in keeping with the Good alignments.
Seems like Chaotic Good really gets the shaft in this system. Which is okay if you want to provide a disincentive for that alignment, but if played properly Chaotic Good is a perfectly fine choice for a heroic adventurer.
Edit: Why not give LG a bonus against Charm (duty) and CG a bonus against Compulsion (freedom).
Bloodline Arcana: Whenever you cast a spell with the cold descriptor, you may select one *target of the spell* to be slowed (as the spell) for 1 round. A Fortitude save (DC 10 + the level of cold spell + your Charisma modifier) negates the effect.
Emphasis mine. Pretty much no cold descriptor spells actually target a specific person or monster. It might work with Ray of Frost and Polar Ray, but that seems quite debatable since those spells don't have a Target line in the description.
You could maybe get around this by doing Crossblood with Elemental (Water), but then you're combining the Crossblooded and Wildblooded archetypes which also seems of dubious legality. Elemental Spell feat does not actually change the descriptor.
So does this arcana only work with like 3 spells? Or was this bloodline solely meant as a 1-level Sorcerer dip for Admixture Evokers?
I am looking for ways to get the Trap Spotter rogue talent or an equivalent ability.
Here is what I know of so far:
1. Be a Rogue
Are there any others?
Please note that I said Trap Spotter (which lets you automatically roll Perception to detect traps). Trap Spotter is not the same thing as Trapfinding (which adds bonuses to your rolls to detect and disable traps) and is also different from Trap Sense (which benefits your saves and AC against traps). I know that there are lots of other ways to get Trapfinding but I am asking about Trap Spotter specifically.
Thank you for your help.