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805 posts. Alias of cp.

A swarm monger druid is a class with a variant familiar class feature.

"Fecund Familiar (Ex)
A swarm monger bonds with an urban familiar, treating her druid level as her wizard level for the purposes of determining her familiar’s abilities.

The swarm monger must select her familiar from the following options: cat, house centipede, rat, raven, or scarlet spider. The fecund familiar gains the benefits of its master’s child of pollution, shadowy opportunist, and venom immunity class abilities."

To me, it seems fairly cut and dried: The swarm monger qualifies for improved familiar.

Improved familiar says: prerequsites:Ability to acquire a new familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see below)

Benefit: When choosing a familiar, the creatures listed here are also available to you.

My PFS ref disagrees, saying that the Swarm Monger druid must choose from cat, house centipede, rat, raven, or scarlet spider.

Yes, I believed that would be true, for a *familiar* but not for an improved familiar. There are no restrictions in the class for taking an improved familiar; nor in the faq.

Speaking of the FAQ, it says:

"In general, you can take Improved Familiars for class-granted variant familiars like a shaman’s spirit animal, with a few exceptions: First, temporary familiars like the occultist’s soulbound puppet can’t become Improved Familiars from the Improved Familiar feat, and those class features don’t qualify you to take the Improved Familiar feat. Second, tumor familiars, as lumps of flesh in the shape of animals, can’t become Improved Familiars. In other cases, treat Improved Familiar as if it was an archetype to see if it stacks with other familiar options: since the two things it alters from a regular familiar are that it removes the ability to speak with animals of its kind and it prevents changing the creature type for non-animals, you couldn’t make a familiar that changes the creature type of non-animals or alters or removes speak with animals of its kind an Improved Familiar."

So to me it says, "In general you can take improved familiars for class-granted variant familiars."
This means people like Serpent Bloodline sorcerers - that can take only *1* familiar - can take any Improved familiar.

However, Ref is saying that the third case (above) applies - it doesn't stack.

To me, the third case says, see if you can apply improved familiar as an archetype to the regular familiar.

As the regular familiar does not modify speak with kind, nor change type of animal - it stacks; therefore the character is free to take Improved familiar.

Sorry for the wall of text. What I am looking for is

a). Do you have any arguments either pro or con on this discussion; is this pretty much settled PFS.

b). Are there instances in published PFS modules that support this position?


Undine WarPriest
S 7 -2 5
D 18 +2 20 Level Adjustments here
C 14
I 7
W 16 +2
C 7

1: Blessing - Replace with Cayden's Divine Fighting Technique.
1: Dirty Fighting, Weapon Focus (mug of ale)
3: Improved Dirty Trick, TWF
5: Weapon Finess
6: FC WP Bonus: Improved TWF
7: Agile Maneuvers
WPB:Quick Dirty Trick
9: Greater Dirty Trick
10: Major Blessing: Cayden's DFT
11: Quick Dirty Trick
12: Greater TWF
FCWPB: Dirty Trick Master

Traits: Fates Favored
Adopted: Gnome Prankster (+1 CMB / CMD)

So at 11:

+ to hit
Dexterity +8
WF +1
+2 Sacred Weapon, +2 mug
Divine Favor +5
Bab +9



Dexterity +8
Gnome Prank +1
Dueling +15
Gauntlets +2
Burglar Buckler +2
Improved DTrick +2
Greater D T +2
WF +1
AS +1
Sacred +3
Divine Favor +5
Bab +9

Plan: Fight with either Tankard & Shield, or Tankard and Tankard (since tankard's are light weapons, as are bucklers).

So, using a tankard, and Divine Fighting techique I can toss a drink in place of an attack.

Improved dirty trick means lasts d4 rounds

Greater means it takes a standard action to clear. So in theory, I could blind him, shake him, entangle him. Alternately, I could whack him for mediocre damage.

Now, by my reading I don't really need Quick Dirty Trick. Do you agree? What would you suggest as an alternate? Weapon Versatility? Improved Shield Bash? Dual Enhancement?

At 12th level (sadly, out of PFS play) I could take him straight to pinned by Dirty trick master.

Pro's: Fun roleplaying.
Con's: Mediocre damage. Capstone out of PFS play.
Not fun till level 5.

They can't be grappled; grappled is often taken as a more severe form of entanglement.
Raw - probably yes? Your thoughts?

Certainly not RAI, but perhaps RAW.

Would casting beast speak on a familiar allow the familiar to speak?

Here's the text:

When you’re in the form of an animal (such as when you are using wild shape or are affected by a polymorph effect), you can speak normally, including when you cast spells with verbal components, and you sound like your normal self when you speak. You can cast this spell while in animal form, using animal-appropriate somatic components.

You are casting the spell on your familiar by way of share spells. You picked up druid spells by way of Mwabagyaan (or other).
It is always in the form of an animal.

So, I'm pretty excited by the new(ish) swarm-monger druid.

As with most animal companions, progression lags towards high levels, and I predict I will have some difficulty finding ways to make the swarm remain relevant.

So wizards, what are your best tricks/ideas/equipment spells to boost a swarm? More specifically, a scarlet spider.

I am specifically looking for--
Ways to boost damages
Ways to stack carryon effects. Things like always on etc.
Ways of overcoming DR.
Ways to bring other class spells over.
Best way to apply a diminutive size.

Swarm damage is a special class; it is not a natural attack etc. So either the boosts need to be untyped, or we need an iron-clad ruling applying it to a swarm damage. (EG - if the familiar gets a bonus to nat weapons a ruling that that bonus applies to the swarm).

Scarlet spiders only have belt, eye slots. But don't let that dissuade you from suggesting other slot based approaches.



The following character options have received updates since they appeared in earlier publications, and characters must use these updated versions (pending the Pathfinder Rules Document update):

Does this mean.. you must use the updated versions until the pathfinder rules document update?

Or does it mean.. we're notifying you that when the rules document gets updated, you will have to use the update versions then?

Or does it mean, you can't use the updated rules until the Pathfinder Rules Document gets updated?

Ie. Whats the point of saying you must use these rules until we change them? That's sorta the whole point of erratas. Something already known.

1. Beastbonded Witch I suppose could add fast healer to a familiar - which means that every time it gets magical healing it would add a con bonus. Binder Wizards could also.

Additionally, I think spirit shamans can apply these feats.

This is interesting for:

Pooka's (Fast Healing 2) Con 13
Protean Voidworms FH 2
Tripasaura FH 2 Con 12
Ceru FH 2 Con 14 ***
Imp Fh 2

Additionally, a valet familiar could split this healing with his master via share healing.

Honorable mention: Scarify spell which would allow you to effectively double healing.

Spirits Gift (see below), especially life ability.

2. Additionally, Poison effects are increased to the DC of the polymorph spell. Certain familiars have the ability to cast polymorph or change shape, which would boost the DC of their save.

Humans Eye for talent additionally can increase the con of your familiar.

Tripasaura: 1d2 Wis Save.
Nycar Cannot cast polymorph but poison requires 2 saves.
Typilidae 1d4 con Dam, 2 saves...

3. Swarm Monger Druid have the ability to have a familiar which can become a swarm. Certain improved familiars have great AoE resistances or immunities making them great swarm candidates. These include:
Angel Cassisian: immune: acid, cold, petrify. Res 10: Fire, elect
Shikigami Res acid 10, elect 10, fire 10
Aeon, paracletus elect, fire 10 : good aura effect.

4. familiars with interesting crits

Brownies 19-20
Shikigami x3
Liminal Sprite Rapier 18-20

5. Wysps give significant advantage to summoning creatures of an elemental type. Strong advantage for summoners, ifreet, sorcerors etc.

Interesting feats:
Spell sponge: Double the duration of spells
Mauler's Endurance: Familiar gains +2 hp per level
School Familiar... Interesting for Evocation school and others
Improved Familiar Bond.
Evolved Familiar
Familiar Bond
Boon Companion
Special delivery - theoretically multiple casters could be used power the touch ability. Also certain familiar archetypes gain (valet?) gain whatever teamwork feats you have. Such as special delivery.
Improved share spells
Group Shared spells: Aka: monster familiar.

6. Spirits Gift:
Ignore difficult terrain, fly penalties
Slums: +4 on initiative
Stone: DR/5 Adamnatine* yes please!
Water: Mobility as bonus feat. Breathes underwater
Air: Light elect res 10
Ancestors: Familiar speaks bonus languages. Choosable every day.
Nature: +2 Nat armor bonus
Bones: Blur
Flame: Immune to fire. Vulnerable cold
Heavens: Star map, Fly speed.
Life: Fast healing 1 (See #1 above)
Lore: +2 init +4 Stealth
Mammoth +2 strength
Wood: Gains Freeze: Ability to take 20 to hit in plain sight **

Strong, due to versatility

7. Interesting spells

Familiar image; Mirror image for your familiar. But better.
Polymorph familiar: Way to boost poison dc's.
Shield Companion. Huge increase to your companions hp; minor boosts to ac and saves.

Str 7
Dex 16
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 7
Cha 20


Trait: Heirloom Weapon:Fauchard
Trait: Find your Kin?

1 Swash 1: TWF, Swash Finesse (Fight sword/dagger) HBFeat:Combat Ref
2 Phalanx Fighter1: Weapon Focus: Fauchard, Spear Dancing Style
3 PF2: Dodge, Mobility,
4 PF3: Armor Training, Combat Patrol
5 Pal1: Weapon Versatility?
6:Pal2: Divine Grace OR Oath Against Savagery
7???? SWash 2?

Idea: Fight Sword/Dagger Level 1.

At level 4, can fight with a buckler and treat the fauchard as 1 hnd weapon, applying dex instead of strength. Agile weapon allow dex instead of Str to dmg.

Level 5: Can use Spear Dancing style to treat it as Piercing & Light mace. Keen on the weapon would allow panache to be recharged. Weapon versatility would allow panache to be recharged on mace crits. Making the threat range 15-20 on the 1 handed fauchard and 17-20 on the off hand weapon.

Level 6 would either boost reach for combat patrol, or add charisma to saves (probably choosing that).

This would make saves at level 6: F:13 R:11 W:10;
With Swash 2, he could reroll saves with Charmed life...
HP - a little low, but would have the ability to swift lay on hands a ton.

Reach would obviously be beneficial. Ideas?
Weapon Versatility: Recharges on the mace off hand, and helps bypass DR. Is it worthwhile?

Future Feats: Continue the ITWF, GTWF? Fey Foundling? Osyluth Guile?(Charisma to AC)

Probably continue Paladin thereafter?

PFS legal, pls.


Worship norg. Take the Obedience boons that let you choose your rewards. Choose the ability that adds +2 to the DC.

Be: An 8th level Witch +. Preferably Tengu, for the Claw Claw Bite.
Add 2-3 more natural weapons via your method of choice.

2 Levels of Alchemist - so you don't poison yourself.

Spell Storing on a weapon (or ring, or quicken): Pernicious Poison. UMD a scroll.

Buy a Bottle of Misfortune. (500gp) Bottle up a few Evil Eye.

So, by some miracle (or you use another character to actually do the attack routine:

Evil Eye. -4 for Int rounds, or 1 round on a save.
Pernicious Poison: No save. -4 to poison save.
Norg: +2 DC.

Go with something cheap. Vampire Kiss. Crafted yourself 25 gp per does. 1d2 Con damage.

6 total attacks, 1 Evil Eye, 5 Vampire Kiss. So 5 DC 17 checks at -8.

Lets go ahead and get excessive:

A. Fleshwarped Scorpion tail, enhanced with spell storing (pernicious poison). Graft it on. You can now deliver touch attacks, and poison.

B. Wayan Spell hunter. Magical lineage. Quickened Accelerated poison.
12 checks. Plus two d4 FWST DC modified by your Orc witchdoctor con. Each failure increasing the DC.. and the duration.....

I'm not suggesting this is particularly playworthy. But.....


Bloatmage is legal for PFS play, however its capstone ability allows it to use the BrewPotion feat to turn blood into effusions to power its capstone.

While I believe BrewPotion is legal for alchemists, I don't believe any such dispensation is available for bloatmages.

Nor does it seem as if you can purchase blood.

What am I missing?
And perhaps if nothing could you mark for FAQ or update? Thanks

The Exchange

Scarred Witchdoctor gives Con Based spellcasting. I thought to add a poison based attacked (serpentine, for example). However a 1 con dmg poison is really too slow to be effective.

I'm not looking to use poison. I'm looking for a way to add a con based attack to utilize the high con of a witchdoctor.

I'd prefer without more than a 1 level dip...

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Instead of saying things we don't like, perhaps we can have one thread of things we'd like to see...

Potion master: this may be chosen multiple times. Each time it adds one to the level of spell that made me made into a potion or infusion.
If taken three times, allows postions to be crafted at level-3 that do not have the "self" designation. EG with three examples of this path, can make 6th level potions or 3rd level potions without a self focus.

Clock Work:
Allows you to build permanent animated objects and golems. Insert nifty mechanic here.

Craft Understanding : Is unaffected by cursed items, and may at his option turn a crafting failure into a cursed item. Prior to UMDing a device or using a rod of wonder, may pre-roll the result. If he chooses not to accept the roll, may use not use the device for 1 round.
A weapon in his hands gains fast healing 1.

Magic Resistance: Can be taken multiple times. First occasion gives SR 11. Each subsequent give SR +4. Stacks with existing SR. Cannot be taken with Demonic Lucubrations.

Demonic Lucubrations: Pick one school of magic. Gain immunity to that school, and susceptibility to an opposite school. Your visibile aura reveals your immunities.

Friends in low places: Choose an outsider. Outsiders of that type start friendly, and will not attack unless you directly attack.

Racial Paragon
Increase all racial bonuses provided. If a race gives magic spells, add three racial spells at one higher level. Can be taken multiple times.

Mythic Luck: Add +1 to all saving throws. You no-longer auto fail on a 1.

Mythic wildshape Mastery: Choose one shape. Assuming shape does not count against uses perday, and can be changed into as an immediate action.

Blood of Giants: For one use of mythic power, increase your size as a swift or immediate action. May be taken multiple times. Each time you may increase your size one category.

Uncanny knowledge: Increase the crit range of a weapon by +1.

Mythic Necromancy: Increase HD you may control by 4, per instance. Animating undead requires no material costs. Additionally, with each repetition you may animate greater undead: wights, wraiths, vampires....

Willing Avatar: You may confer a measure of your abilities and appearance on a willing agent. Agent receives mythic tier 1, and level abilities -2. You may observe your agent as a move action, at will. Avatar may call summon you as a swift action, which ends the effect and you may choose to answer the summons or not.

The Exchange

1. Power levels and attention to detail are rather hit or miss here - too much of a disparity.

Dependency vs Insanity, for example.

2. The whole product seems less carefully thought out than previous playtests such as the oracle, summoner etc.

Flaws seemed to me to be hastily slapped together, and a much better job could have been done. A character's flaws can be at least as interesting as their advantages and paizo has taken a whiff at what could be an amazingly interesting and fun contribution to the game.

For example mythic clerics could gain a limitation to their spells that corresponded to their deity's domains.

A character could have spent 30 years polymorphed into a squirrel and so gained the ability to speak with squirrels but had rather unfortunate quirks regarding nuts.

While hubris is represented, lechery, gluttony, despair, unluck are not.

A lot of systems have done great flaws systems: gurps, hero. Do something interesting.

3. I know I'm preaching against canon - but what does the stricture about "types" gain you? How does the imposition of "archmage" or "hierophant" add to play.

Why not simply arrange powers into disciplines. Make the requirement that a player must select three minor disciplines before they can select a major discipline - and then make all the powers open to all.

Much more interesting combinations that way.

4. Disadvantage of archetype: Whatever the perceived advantages, mythic abilities were shoehorned into whatever archetype you came out with. Additionally the choice or mythic archetypes changes the focus away from your already existing character classes.

For example - there is relatively little love for druids, oracles, monks. No doubt that you will come out with additional archetypes- but you will never have as good a fit as if you either allowed free choice by the players or class bassed archetypes.

For example: Movement abilities get much less love than combat abilities.

Shapechange could have been a huge advantage: Give people the ability to change into different creatures. Allow them to gain supernatural abilities. Allow them to pick 1,2, or three additional attributes. Let them apply templates. (Although I suspect we will eventually see a mythic shapechanger).

Items could have their own discipline: Some mythic characters could handle cursed items: perhaps one minor discipline would allow you to remove them from anyone. Another would make any crafting failure become a cursed item. Perhaps a major discipline would allow a user a list of qualities that the user could add to wondrous items like we currently do to with weapons....

So I love the idea of a mythic expansion. I love the idea of mythic challenges. Both these are solid rule frameworks. But the archetypes and the flaws systems flunk.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Please FAQ this.

Heighten is a fairly unused feat. You pay a feat tax to make a spell that usually still somewhat less powerful than other spells of comparable level.

Nonetheless, there are some mechanical questions:
It is my belief that RAW/RAI the DC for the spell slot is merely the DC of the spell slot used to power the spell. 6th level spell slot - DC 16 + mods.

Second interpetation: that the spell adds some kind of differential.

Dazing magic missile = 4th level spell. DC to save is as a first level spell. By this interpretation, even if you use a 4th level spell to power it, save DC is still 1rst. If you use a 5th level spell to power DC is now +1.. etc.

Ruling please!

The Exchange

There has been a lot of discussion about which class is best.. Can a raging barbarian beat a druid? Is a sorceror better than a monk.

In the sorc vs Wizard thread I proposed a grudge match - and several people were interested, so I thought to open it up and see if we could get enough people interested to run a real, online event.

In concept, competition would be in 4 man teams. Three of the players would play pregenerated, competent characters from a stable of 8-10 pregens.

The captain would create a character, and it would be subjected to rules scrutiny. Each captain would be responsible to arrange his own team.

Each team would be subjected to a standard series of rooms. The team that completed the most rooms would win. Rooms would be referred by a senior, impartial judge.

Game would be held using D20Pro (and free trial licenses would be available to participate in the tourney). Hero lab preferred.

What do you think pathfinders? ... Dare you enter the arena?
You can be strong, but do you have what it takes to be #1?

The Exchange

RAC (Ranger 4, UMD).

If the mount, bonded animal, (improved) familiar is an outsider, casting a raise dead will not function.

Considering the intent of the spell, and the cost, I'd like to see that it functions as a limited wish solely for returning these creatures from death.

I think this is the intent of the spell. And I believe the interpretation reasonable for the cost. Could people FAQ this please for the purpose of getting a clarification?

The Exchange

A. Suppose your bonded object is a ring, aka invis.
Can climbing and swimming be added to it? Under 3.5 the answer was yes, additional enchantments could be added.

I believe the answer is yes, and at 2x cost. Comments?

B. Is their a feat to gain a familiar. Aka you're an arcane object wiz and you wish to have a familiar. Possible?

The Exchange


- Adds class level to Grapple.

Class features
- 1rst Level
- 2nd Level: Gains Unarmed grapple
3rd Level: May treat an opponent as one size larger or smaller for the purposes of movement and grappling. May not be decreased or increased greater than the size of the brawler. For every three levels, the brawler may add an additional size category.
- 8th level: Blinding Speed. Once per day, the brawler may execute two grappling actions in an attempt to pin, as part of one attack. 1 additional attempt per 4 levels.
-10th Level: Patronage. A Patron grants an item for use, of a type useable by the character. Value up to 10000gp +2000 gp /level over 10.

Proficient in simple weapons and armor. 12/hp level.
Brawler levels stack with Barbarian levels (for rage)
OR with monk levels for Movement, and AC bonuses.

Brawlers progress at full BAB. Good saves are Fort/Reflex.
Gains feat as a fighter.

The Exchange 3/5

I have played 8 scenarios with a wizard character.
7 of these same scenarios had plot constructions that REQUIRED the the scenarios to be completed in one day. AKA No resting.

In contrast, I have encountered ZERO scenarios that have required fighters to to fight without weapons.

I get that spellcasters are supposed to be nerfed. I get that judges want to speed the game.

But really its getting to the point where it becomes black humor. Guess-the-idiotic-plot-hook-that-will-require-you-to-finish-it-in-24 hours-THIS-time. Its like a 24hrs the Fantasy RPG.


The Exchange

Form follows function. A rule in architecture, that says.. the form of a building - its appearance, its design, follows the function it was intended for.

In Biology, Darwin said it similiarly, in two ways. A creature evolves to fill a niche; he additionally said a creature will grow until it outgrows its niche.

Which brings me to halflings.
Halflings as nomadic creatures exist merely to differentiate themselves from Tolkiens hobbits. And as such its believability is laughable.

Settling down - was a survival advantage. And nothing in the write up
suggests any reason while halfings would be anything other than mobile hors d'ouvres.

Contrarily, short stature suggests living in confined spaces. Living in close proximity with another race - suggests either the ability to escape notice, or the ability to be charismatic and affable neighbors.

Halflings are not notably fast. They have no racial abilities with mounts or nature skills such as nomadic peoples usually have.

On the other hand canon suggest they do love elaborate meals - something again that points to established food sources.

Halflings as farmers, as almost ne'eer seen helpers a la brownies - or thieves.. these are believable back stories for halflings.

Nomads is just brain dead. According to your design documents your challenge is 'to fix it'. Have at it!

The Exchange

2. Multiclass Saves:

Soooooo, my Fighter 2, Ranger 2, Swashbuckler 1, Beast Master 1, Halfling Outrider 2... walks into a bar.... Yup, 8th level char...

Lets see reflex save...+16. Check
Fort save... +17.... check
Will save... +0

Yes, this 8th level character is *just* as bad at making will saves - after fighting beholders, and mind flayers, and evil clerics... as on the day he started.

Sure you can argue its how the character was created. But the point of rules is to simulate smoothly and believably what should happen.
The current system fails both on the low and high ends, by the unfortunate choice of +0 on the low end, and the doubling effect of +2 for a first class.

I'd like to suggest instead a point system. Each class advancement would give you either 1, 2 or 3 points whether the save for that class was poor, ok, or good.

So for example Will Reflex Fort
Fighter 1 1 3
Fighter 1 1 3
Ranger 1 3 3
Ranger 1 3 3
Swashbuckler 1 3 3
BeastMaster 1 1 3
Halfling Outrider 1 3 3
Halfling Outrider 1 3 3
8 18 24

Now, every 3 points corresponds to +1 save. So in this case his save would be ........... +2 +6 +8
with stat bumps +2 +12 +10

This kind of system would scale with narrower range of values on saves, than the current system. Obviously, you would have to rebalance saves as you have eliminated huge upsides.