Balazar's Eidolon

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Ryze Kuja wrote:
Garion Beckett wrote:
I understand that part but my question is, does the dead creature dictate what I can animate or my caster level? So say I can animate 12HD with 1 casting. But there is a body on the ground that had 5HD worth. Do I just animate the 5HD or my max

In your example, you would raise the creature with 5HD with a single casting, and it would be a 5HD undead.

However, you can augment that creature with different templates if you want as well. Such as the Bloody or Burning templates. You could theoretically turn that 5HD creature into a 10HD undead by adding the bloody or burning template to it.

To clarify here. Because that reads...weird (to me anyway).

1. Raising a 5HD creature
You get a 5 HD Zombie, Skeleton, what have you.

2. Raising blood skeletons, and other higher HD raises
The caster level required must high enough be able to raise something with double the HD of the creature you're raising but:
The HD of the raised creature(s) are still the same.
It counts against your bucket of controlled minions for the same amount. That is, its actual HD.

Backpack wrote:
I believe they mentioned a big reason why they are changing monster creation was due to a lot of non-magical creatures not really throwing a punch at that CR value. I think we can start to expect animals to feel like actual decent monsters with decent stats in 2e

If you are looking for good news about bears in 2E, this is ursine.

When you say silver tongued, how inherent is a charisma focus?

I ask because the Empiricist Investigator archetype allows (with some good trait choices, if they're allowed) to make a character that comfortably holds all social situations with INT.

On top of that, it has a nice capacity to build towards support or self-buffing.

Alternatively; Skald sits alongside Bard very comfortably to boost martial combatants.

If we're talking avoiding the casting system completely;
Scaled Fist (Monk Archetype Cha instead of Wis for everything)
Various flavours of Cavalier
Swashbuckler too
Rogue is such a free space that it can be used to push for good face skills with good combat competence (Unchained anyway).

Side Note:
Appreciably, since you're the GM, OP, the game can be tailored as needed but envisaging forming a party against a blank slate; the group does not have trap-related stuff as far as I can see.
If this player is a type wants to have a thing that's theirs at all, I'd present Rogue and Empiricist upfront in light of that. Since the response to make that shine is subsequently easy; put in traps.

thegreenteagamer wrote:
Kill half and raise half, and insist you're true neutral and just maintaining the balance.

As all things should be.

249: Argue for several hours with the rest of your party as to what to do. Eventually settle on a convoluted plan bound for farce.

Is there a specific concept you had in mind? Or are you just trying to make a less-magical alchemist?

This. There's a number of archetypes on other classes playing with alchemist features without casting.

As far as I can see it; the only big things left once you drop extracts are bombs and mutagens, so I'm guessing some form of combat monster here?

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To be honest, I think this argument largely merits a mild reframe in that roleplaying is largely a) A game (therefore meant to be fun) and b) A storytelling tool.

In both lines of inquiry, I can see reasons to say a Paladin is typically banned from poisons (see the code heirarchy) but contrastingly, there are definite situations where it seems ridiculous to insist it's never OK.

Does it make for a fun game to say the player can't use substances to knock someone out instead of killing them? Maybe I run with too many paranoid murderhobos but that'd be a spark of originality. Not executing the veritable loose end. Plus, as a resolution to a situation where it looks like the only functional choice - because the notion of only doing such a thing when all other options are exhausted is nigh-explicitly in there - is (somewhat) clever. It's problem solving.

Secondarily, does it make for an interesting story/character arc that the Paladin falls and has to be redeemed because they used chloroform instead of knocking someone out (and possibly causing brain damage at that) or killing them? F#$% no does it. That's dull. That smacks of a "good is stupid" message, and frankly makes anything moving forward vastly uncompelling. Now, falling for reckless endangerment, neglectful action, or unnecessary use related to using such a weapon? Sure. Fits the entire character trope perfectly. "You're not good because you don't actually think about honour/collateral". Heck, "You fell because you value your honour over protecting people" fits the conventional tropes.

Onto something I always find annoying in "Does the Paladin fall" threads:
The problem is that these arguments seem to view ethics as being purely from either a deontological or concequentialist perspective is a false dichotomy. It's not either the Paladin always obeys the Kantian categorical imperitive or is Machiavelli on crack. Judging choices, situation by situation, is a thing.

I'd say no. At the risk of seeming an absolute pedant, making an intimidate check to demoralize =/= a standard action to demoralize.
The former is a result triggered by another action; the latter is a specific action you can choose to take.

For comparision, see rules situations about making an attack as a standard action (with some additional effect) vs using Vital Strike, or Cleave.

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Volkard Abendroth wrote:

1. Still less than any deity, since they all act by GM fiat.

2. GM is the final arbitrator on Nature Oracle + Awaken. He can Rule 0 it out of existence.

That's a facile reply. A GM can rule 0 anything out of play.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
All creatures that are not immortal are less powerful (ultimately) that those who are immortal. According to Jacobs, Pharasma is the most powerful deity. Any mortal creature with a soul will eventually be judged by her.
It's a good thing wizards get "Immortality" as their level 20 discovery >:-)

Not really on topic, but because I find this funny. Immortality weirdly doesn't cause immortality:

You discover a cure for aging, and from this point forward you take no penalty to your physical ability scores from advanced age. If you are already taking such penalties, they are removed at this time. This is an extraordinary ability.

On topic: Whichever deity JJ said last. Or whatever causes you to have a run of bad rolls.

115) ship ownership is so commonplace and expected that when the party try to sell their only ship, everyone thinks it's part of a series of common scams.

CorvusMask wrote:
Ah, you misunderstood me, I meant concept of "Enemy so vile that players won't even think of not fighting them!". Roleplaying with such folk is the most fun stuff if you ask me rather than just fighting them, ham is fun and all

Doesn't matter how evil you make a villain, they're got to do something that personally hurts the players I find. Build up a mentor and kill them, burn down the town they really got to liking, have them harried across the land, or simply - have them broken. Preferably kill the original party over time so that you don't get a campaign breaking TPK but at least give everyone some salt.

Or spend a campaign using a villain to deconstruct your friends' closely held beliefs because why not have no one to play with anymore?

OT: Sounds like your GM needs to vary it up a bit. Granted, it difficult to create villains that a) Are intelligent b) think themselves unimpeachable and c) Need to be stopped rather than ignored - if you don't have the confidence to write out more nuanced, complex villains.

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An Immortal Lychee wrote:
Physically Unfeasible wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
We live in a universe where death always has consequences.
Really? Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Oh f#%@.

Meh. Don't worry too much. You can always get better.

Just watch your pronunciation. Seriously, I canNOT stress that enough.

I don't know, an old parlour game being what awaits me when I die is enough to justify Lichdom.

Because why not ignore the interesting morality thread for puns?

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Golurkcanfly wrote:
We live in a universe where death always has consequences.

Really? Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Oh f#~~.

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For one: It's a bloody versatile system in that it can mechanically justify concepts I'd struggle to in just about another fantasy system at present.

Mild praising ramble below as well

It's one I don't normally see in these threads but:
Paizo's staunch want to be representative is laced throughout pathfinder. There is, whether we like to discuss it or not, a historic undercurrent of TRPGs holding a self-reinforcing white straight guy dominance. Art and writing that build into that did not help.
Sure, nothing stops someone sitting across from me who is outside this archetype but when they open a rulebook or adventure path and, once again, "don't fit" as it were? It's hardly a great avenue to encourage them to return.
Paizo got a platform and used it for social benefit. Even if you don't think this was necessary on their part, it helps erode the notion that a company can just avoid tackling these things. Not single-handedly but it helps. And will continue to.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Physically Unfeasible wrote:

For a more pertinent point, there is the question of the fear and paranoia that would result from such a policy being enacted is worth it. Especially given it'd encourage actions of self-preservation by actively being not-good. Therefore decreasing total good going round. What's one person's turning from salvation versus many after all?

Now, if we're saying killing one person, then we're probably now talking a one-to-one exchange. Presumably someone so interested in pushing the cause of good acts good so you just damn yourself as a measure to stop someone else doing so. Seems pointless. All you did is rob someone of their autonomy to help nothing.

What about my 'kill all the good people in the universe simultaneously' spell? That's got to be ethical, right?

Anyway, why would you assume people would want to be alive, once we have proof that the afterlife is better? Surely I'd be creating an incentive to be good, so that you could get swept up to heaven in the next great purge?

...That;'s pretty legit. You should cast that. Hang on, wait no - everyone after will struggle to conceptualise good properly and again, we get evil/neutral forever. You really should just kill everyone at once.


Good question. I suppose, for one, detect good doesn't check lawful vs chaotic. Aggressively splitting a couple for eternity over whether they like spontaneity seems mean. Also, most outsiders are made out of mortals' souls aren't they? Which means that you don't get eternal bounty so much as temporary bounty then eternal service. Might as well squeeze in a good life first, no?


Cattleman wrote:

I feel like, aside from neutrals, this is basically a "Kill 'em all and let god sort them out" position; and I've never heard that as anything but a joke.

Unpleasant History:
I bring this up if only because it's scantly known about. The original line: "Kill them. For the Lord knows who are His" was supposedly given by an abbot to a soldier worried about accidentally killing orthodox catholics, alongside the cathars he had been ordered to kill. Dark stuff, I appreciate.

Matthew Downie wrote:

Neither destiny nor free will apply in a role-playing game universe.

People exist as puppets of higher powers, yet their ultimate fate is decided randomly, on the roll of a die.

Mmmm....'80s pulp fantasy.

To be fair, as long as always chaotic evil is a thing, free will (as we understand it) has probably not just gone out the window but every plane of existence.

Some fleshbags just happen to have this capacity to do actions that make their alignment change. We call these PCs. They call themselves unfairly treated by the GM because "burning orphanages isn't evil!".

Matthew Downie wrote:
Physically Unfeasible wrote:
Consequential? That guy might have done something helpful. Heck, you've reduced their impact on the parts of existence they operated with freedom of choice to do good.
But if you don't murder the good people, they might do something evil at some point and spoil their chance to enter heaven. By sparing their lives, you potentially cause them infinite suffering. This makes all other considerations irrelevant.

Killing people to stop them doing bad things?! It's perfect!

This mildly smacks of pulling the lever just in case of a trolley, however.

For a more pertinent point, there is the question of the fear and paranoia that would result from such a policy being enacted is worth it. Especially given it'd encourage actions of self-preservation by actively being not-good. Therefore decreasing total good going round. What's one person's turning from salvation versus many after all?

Now, if we're saying killing one person, then we're probably now talking a one-to-one exchange. Presumably someone so interested in pushing the cause of good acts good so you just damn yourself as a measure to stop someone else doing so. Seems pointless. All you did is rob someone of their autonomy to help nothing.

Potato disciple wrote:
Just get four "vacuum"s (the necromancer that won beastmass), all win init, all cast suffocation, they dead.

Vacuum's big trick relied on mass suffocation, IIRC. You only need one.

...And this is why every campaign setting needs some locked-away mad-science lab of 20th level wizards doing abominable things. He says, too lazy to justify all the crap in his games properly.

were not killing the disc world death silly. Completely different death.

No. He's even harder to kill. Definitely breaks action economy in reaper man, for example. Wouldn't want to try.

I actually have nothing to contribute to the thread proper, I admit.

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The act of killing a good person causes a negative fluctuation in the Higgs field...

So...killing good people causes a short change in energy-mass relationships? To be fair, if true, that would mean killing good people probably makes other people fall over and stuff.

Mass, randomised trippings and car crashes seems kind of evil.

Good/evil isn't based on "bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number" but on following the rules, and the rules say Thou shalt not kill.

I wouldn't say it's always deontological but it's hard to think of an ethics code that justifies slaughtering good people even in a universe of objective, morally-bound afterlives.

Deontological argument? To port a bit of Kant badly, imagine if everyone did that! The mortal world would soon become endless suffering and evil would dominate forever.

Consequential? That guy might have done something helpful. Heck, you've reduced their impact on the parts of existence they operated with freedom of choice to do good. Good machines can be made easily, good people less so.

Virtue ethics? Doesn't sound courageous to me. Go kill someone who won't stop to say hello.

...Rawlsian? I'd both like a society with good people around and if I was a good person, would prefer to not be killed.

The lack of teleportation mastery probably removes one of the nastier tricks the player has anyway.
The spells this player can access by these tactics (IIRC) are:
Suggestion - unless your NPCs are morons, this falls into so much fiat, it's down to you what happens.
Bestow curse - actually pretty nasty as a debuff.
Dispel magic - plenty of ways to keep foes threatening without having to constantly leverage magic for it.
Burning hands, lightning bolt - The latter is often worse than attacking (unless an NPC has enormous AC), the former is just a fun way to disperse crowds but isn't powerful.
Fly - By the time this comes in, the party tends to have access to it anyway, and needs it. Not too bad.
Minor image - Depends hugely on player's wits - given the limitations.
Telekinesis - Somewhat fun. Mostly for damage or maneuvers. The latter require building for by these levels, and the former - damage is just damage.
Darkvision, see invisibility - Well these are just good sense to have.

I am veering into "advice" here (despite rules forum) - but what common strategies are making this trick a pain?

MageHunter wrote:

I could totally see Samsaran MT's nicking spells from bards or Summoners.

MT is best when not using level dependent spells, which generally means buffing. Heighten spell and magical knack are must haves.

Totally agree. Less explicitly put at one point up in OP.

MT takes a while to get online, but I'd say around 15th level they actually start to become pretty good. The issue is, very few campaigns start off there, which makes the first 14 or so quite painful.

I'd say a bit earlier. But this might come down to what we call "online". Some would say all your tricks are available, some would call it at functioning, some would call it at absolute peak performance.

avr wrote:
As far as the breadth of the spell list goes, even a UMD skill specialist would find it hard to match a wizard/cleric/MT. That advantage they do have. But it'd be hard to fully use that breadth in game; either because many of their tricks will be underlevelled or otherwise less powerful than a specialised caster, or because there's only so many tricks one character can usefully use. To compare, one of the weakest options for a normal wizard is the universalist arcane school.

That's weak primarily due to a specialist wizard getting extra spells in my experience. These tricks are undoubtably underleveled. As I put above, this is not in contention. The contention is whether the MT is useful. My response in this vein is somewhat along the lines that not every party's martial characters are all highly-optimized barbarians.

Re Sangerine's point: Just off the top of my head bards get confusion & dominate person a spell level early. The original summoner is notorious for getting spells early enough to almost be a stealth full caster.

Unless I had Sangerine's point wrong, the thing is a Bard doesn't get these earlier than a wizard - though I am surprised to realise they do at the same time.

Sangerine - that actually pretty spectacular. I shall have to re-think.

avr wrote:
So it's similar to a 2/3 caster with an amazing spell list but no other class features to speak of, including ~poor BAB and minimal armor? (these last are not normal for PF 2/3 casters.)

That is the claim I made (arguably way too much) effort to put forward.

I regret failing to look at AC, but I don't consider this much of an issue beyond the very low levels. As to BAB, this is something you're probably not going to utilise anyway here.

Mass necromancy being a specialty is going to be difficult in many games due to alignment or just game table management.

Will concede. YMMV. I forget this partly due to mostly gaming with people who avoid engaging with that point - since animate being evil but not dominate - literal magic enslavement - makes zero sense. That is a different thread however.

There are ways to expand a caster's spell list in PF, if primarily for full casters, and I'd consider these before a MT in almost every case.

Problem is most of these are rather limited with their own entry costs. I concede here I'm discussing the largest access cost, but I'd be surprised at any option with as wide access.

Sangerine wrote:

Bear in mind that 2/3 casters have their own unique spell list. This has significant impact given that they get many unique spells at a lower spell level than full casters (resulting in approximately the same character level for your access threshold).

MT does not get access to those condensed spell lists. You may have access to the same spell levels as a 2/3 caster, but you do not have access to the same spells.

Examples of this are very few and far between though. Indeed, I've just sat here running through a database and cannot find a single extant example of early access for a 2/3 caster - totally unique options sure.

Further, I can't think of many (outside the paladin list) that I could see myself saddened to lack.

Hello, posters, lurkers, and general readership!

Some recent free time, and the potential of joining a game with an experienced GM and novice players (low optimisation curve ho!) lead me to cogitate on that ancient, once heavily played[1], prestige class that is the Mystic Theurge (MT). Attempting to supplement such thoughts as I contemplating bringing one to a relaxed campaign obviously meant visiting the internet. Whereupon I found endless discussions on how bad it is. Never play one type insistence in some cases. To which I disagree after more thought, and some test scenario playing.
I am making all this contention to address my own thoughts, to hopefully reassure other players their concept can work, and to (also hopefully) inspire someone to try it out for a campaign.
Now, whilst it is utterly beyond contending that the MT is weaker than 9th level casters, I found myself wondering what could actually be done playing one. What is it capable of providing to a given party?
Firstly, the rigmarole that sets the ground rules: Presumably we're all aware of the prestige class: 2nd level Arcane and Divine casting to enter, boosts both of these every level, the ability to prepare X side spells by use of higher slots from Y side, and a capstone that lets you break the action economy...once per day. In addition, I am assuming an audience with at least a casual knowledge of both "The Forge of Combat" and the tier system, see a pathfinder analysis here. Agreement philosophically with these is not what I aim to discuss, or particular details. It's just a framework to operate in. Holding ideas on what a competent party might look like, and a stratification of what characters can and can't do, respectively. Further, this conversation will be thoroughly about the game as presented, and as a game. I.e. With some conception of "winning", vague as the concept may be. Winning in roleplaying games is difficult to define. In an attempt, I proffer: Tangibly and regularly contributing to a party's success in completing a campaign by operation within the rule set. It's a weak definition, and I fully accept constructive attacks on it to come. The forge of combat discussion also holds a definition but that one centers on combat encounters.
Secondly, a thought experiment; consider a class exists which offers 2/3 casting from the wizard/sorcerer list and a series of SLAs that mimic the cleric/oracle list at a similar rate of progression (of course, class features a 3/3/10 build would obtain are also mimic'ed). For the purpose of closest approxmiation, we may also insist such a class has 1/2 BAB and d6 HD.
I see the complaint that we're talking of a MAD creature while we're at this. I don't feel this is an enormous problem. The Arcanist, Cleric, Shaman hardly are broken by needing two mental ability scores to fully explore. With respect to the channel from a few levels of cleric (if you go such a route (it is the best divine spell list so plausibly)), I really fail to imagine neglecting charisma will create much pain for you.
I appreciate the above holds some discrepancy in early levels, but it seemed the quickest generalisation for the following point, which is to observe the highest spell accessed at a given level. This is done below under the premise of a player going Wizard 3/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 10.
For clarity's sake: L = Level, P = Prepared (full caster, i.e. Wizard), S = Spontaneous (full caster also, i.e. Oracle), 2/3 = 2/3 casters (i.e. Magus, Inquisitor, Bard), MT = Mystic Theurge build. I have denoted with an asterisk * levels at which our build has the same spell access as a 2/3 caster. Particularly our theoretical 2/3 caster (see above), levels the MT build accesses higher level spells with a caret ^, and levels the MT build falls below with an N. I do not consider above 16th level because I find generally, this is analysis for play seen by a very small percentage of players. 16th neatly covers most adventure paths anyway, useful if we attempt to discuss campaigns - as we can hold a shared context.
Some observations come out of this: 1. That the MT build matches a 2/3 caster for 10/16 levels. If we focused on PFS play: 9/12. 2. It begins to outstrip the 2/3 caster levels 14-16. Arguably 12-16. Though that the build works well at this point is rarely in contention aside complaints that the straight full casters are ahead.
This analysis may be repeated for Prepared/Spontaneous entry, or sponstaneous/spontaneous entry - but it is rapidly apparent above how many levels would earn the marker "N", thus I think we can ignore it as being even more terrible in optimization terms. Less ignorable is going prepared/prepared 1/3/2/10 or similar - which is not inconcievable, and does make the similarity more acute.
Before I continue, I reiterate: That a straight full caster build is almost invariably stronger, and this is not in contention, I write simply to ask what a forward-looking player might expect playing such a build. Obviously, our theoretical single-class theurge doesn't exist in the rules. What do however, are other 2/3 casters. From which I begin to find argument to support the play. For one, the wizard/sorcerer list is better than any of the 2/3 caster classes'. Given tier system treatments generally put these on 3, I find a strong point to refute the overall impression I felt people had, that the mystic theurge is unless. I do not feel this is true.
Now, our thought experiment monstrosity is hardly comparable to an inqisitor, magus, warpriest (and similar) due to the fact these classes are set up to be quasi-martial characters. The summoner doesn't really compare due to being better than full casters at full casters' best trick (the dick). With regards to the warpriest, it is simple to make a very direct comparison: Would we consider a warpriest archetype that traded out all features to toss out wizard spells, with accompanying extra spell slots good? I'd posit so.
Anyway, the best approximation I can see is perhaps a casting focused Bard. It is this I would like to consider the role of an MT fitting. Sure, you lack all those skill monkeying boosts of the Bard. But last I checked, a great issue in the system was low-level spells replace skills. Stealth? Vanish, invisibility, so on. Bluff? Glibness. Climb? Spider climb. I may go on, but I am already being somewhat facile here. "But performance!" you may cry. I have you covered: You have more buffing spells. Bless for one. This is not to say the bard is not effective at these things, merely to draw a comparison which mainly ends to note a casting focused bard contributes mostly in the roles of "arm" or maybe "anvil". Both of which the MT can fulfil.
In terms of being an anvil, I'm lead to deal with saves. A straight full caster has better saves but the best battlefield control spells do not rely on saves for efficacy. Web creates difficult terrain regardless of save. Obscuring mist blocks vision, no save. A straight full caster may have better tricks, but it's hardly like you have none. As to blasting - yeah, that isn't in the ballpark here. You're facing 5-10% less efficacy in this department, on rough analysis.
On the anvil competence, and as a damage source however, I turn to one thing the MT excels at: Necromancy. Assuming the traight Magical Knack is in play on one side, you match and then outstrip the Juju mystery oracle at level 8 for sheer Undead HD you can control. You've dedicated all your time to magic, why should you do any actual lifting?
Annoyingly, this is just after the most glaringly annoying spot in the whole build: 7. All I can genuinely offer a player considering playing an MT at this point is to pay and wait your way through. Scrolls, wands, etc. Look, you're just awful. At amusingly, the point you actually begin the very thing you're trying to do. Not that Eldritch Knight makes me see a pattern of this across prestige classes but... Still, the contention it's a bad build is most acute here because you are bad at your role here. However, things get better, and are ameliorated by prep.
Admittedly, a point stands to which I lack a response on discussing the classic cleric/wizard build which is "what does X side bring the other glaringly lacks?"

This ramble so far is all I have time for but I will hopefully get back to this. Obviously, feel free to reply to what's here so far. If I'm talking crap, call me out on it. :)

[1]This reminds me: I do not care to discuss a particular FAQ as its present status is one of houserules. It is not within the baseline expectation of experience.

Gisher wrote:
But the question here isn't whether a character meets the prerequisites for a feat, but rather which weapons are valid choices for a feat. I don't see those as identical situations, so I don't see Jason's statement to be relevant here.

See, I don't see the cleavage you're pointing to here.

Under conditions of using a fighting style, the character is able to treat unarmed strikes as slashing.
Thus they can treat unarmed strikes as slashing, always.
Thus they can apply slashing grace to them.
However: They only benefit from this when in style.

See here perhaps?
Given the following (assuming the Lead Designer knows what they are talking about (can take as read, I'm sure)):

A brawler can use the feats granted by brawler's flurry to qualify for other feats, but can only use those other feats when using brawler's flurry (as that's the only time she actually meets those prerequisites).

It is the case that if you meet a set of prerequisites under a certain set of conditions, you are able to operate as though you always meet them. Even if the benefit only applies when you actually are.

X is a conditional version of Y.
Y is needed for Z.
X qualifies you to take Z.
However, you only benefit from Z under the conditions in which X gives you the benefit of Y.

SillyString wrote:
Chances are we should err on the side of assuming not to be able to do any of these things though. As that's the best policy 90% of the time.

Nah. Conservative reading for its own sake just encourages an attitude to read all things conservatively, as opposed to trying to read the text as unbiasedly as possible. :P

SimiloDan wrote:

My DM has been DMing since the 1980s, so he has plenty of experience DMing.

My DM is the one who introduced us to 5th Edition.

If one ever needed to prove that doing something for a long time does not, by necessity, make you an expert - I'd argue the claim lies right here.

Spending decades to then do something that seems to be universally called (taking the sample of this community (perhaps biased)) a dick move with all that experience lets me wonder how many times this kind of thing has happened before.

He also GMed Pathfinder for us before. He killed off my inquisitor (owlbear ate him after dropping him to below 0 hp instead of attacking other PCs), then when I made a paladin, we fought mostly non-evil monsters so I couldn't use Smite Evil. I just thought that was a weird coincidence at the time. That campaign ended with a nigh-TPK that my paladin DID survive, however.

Ahh. A few times it's happened before. I'm somewhat sorry to say this, given your GM is presumably a friend, but their attitude sounds truly awful. Are you sure they don't have it out for you?

Rub-Eta wrote:

I'm sorry, I really don't want to soil another thread by peeking into this can, but... I really need to ask: What would removing 9th level casters achieve?

There's a lot here about what would be missing, spells and etc. But what would be gained?

Well, I would venture that the best way to put the principle is in an old epithet: A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

In other words, if you remove everything you will not miss, you have surely streamlined the game significantly. A streamlined experience is, arguably, easier to run, and easier to understand.
I think I've heard some people (understatement of the decade) feeling like classes without or with fewer spells aren't as versatile as the 9th level casters. But removing them wouldn't really make the others more versatile, would it?

The thing is, it would make the attempt to fill a role on the more finite resources actually shine. So a dedicated skill monkey isn't outdone by a smattering of say spider climb, invisibility, silence, aboleth's lung, what have you.

Or is lowering the roof of versatility in the game a way to make the others reach the top? Or has these whispers of imbalance I mentioned earlier just gotten stuck in my head and there is another reason to remove them?

No no, it's about imbalance. This is really a reiteration of above but new framing: Consider the concept of purchasing power. For a non-full caster, attaining X is typically much much more resource intensive compared to a full caster. If we are interested in a good minion wall for combat, a full caster has relative to everyone else, a lot more capital. Not because they have more levels necessarily, but simply because those levels make obtaining said wall carry a negligible cost.

See discussions of ressurection upthread. Both non-full-casters and full-casters can obtain it. Full casters just got there quicker, and with less cost.
So yes, lowering the roof does help others reach the top. Because the top isn't occupied before the roof is reached for non-full-casters.
I may have muddied the point a little there.

Personally, I like playing them and would miss them.

Which really makes my above reflections redundant since the very starting point is "remove anything you won't miss." :P

If someone finds full casters disrupt their game more often, and feels their games would function without them - why keep them? Heck, just if you think the game would remain fun without them. If they provide absolutely zero felicity for your game, they are just a further pool of information you are forced to retain. And why do that? It's a waste of time and energy.

OT, FINALLY: Most effects are of the harsher game variety. By reducing aforementioned purchasing power of groups, each resource has higher value. Meaning players have to leverage them for more so that it remains economical since strategy is a good chunk of asking whether the resources at hand are best spent in X way, or Y. Defeating a dragon carries a lot of otherwise potentially ignored decision making when you can't fly yourselves like "how do we ground it?"

Since no one weighed in; I'll take a crack. It's uncontestable that Mystic Wisdom allows allies to benefit from abilities, and that the CoI makes smite a ki based ability. The key point is in this sentence, however:

At 6th level, a sensei may use his advice ability when spending points from his ki pool to activate a class ability

A reference to a class ability refers to an ability granted by the class granting the ability referencing it.

If X is granted by Y class, and X references class ability(ies), X applies to abilities from Y only.
In this example, Mystic wisdom refers only to abilities granted by your Monk levels and the abilities granted by them.

I hope that is clear. Disappointing, because that'd be a neat trick, but I have to admit it doesn't appear to work.

Edit: By the way, this would've been more appropriate in the Rules Questions forum, and probably would have elicited a quicker reply there. :)

Snowblind wrote:
Owly wrote:

While this is all true: Would personally highly encourage fostering "ham-it-up" playstyles for anything like a superhero campaign.

Anyway, a personal tip (might have glossed over but didn't see) for RP'ing NPCs in encounters:
1. Research them. Look at their personality especially, and in APs - the notes on morale, or what have you.
2. Condense this into easy main points, ala flashcard style.
3. Each time you make them do something, find a way to describe the NPC doing something that fits one or more of those points.
4. If difficult to perform 3 on the fly during combat, develop a longer checklist of descriptions to use for certain things, such as celebrating a dead PC, or venting frustrations (or dismissing it, for arrogant characters) over a natural 1 or a miss.

I had a bard who went battle herald. For the perform(oratory) as it was, I simply quoted all the ridiculous things school sports teachers had shouted during lessons. It was both carthatic and only encouraged by a bull-rushing character.

DM_Blake wrote:

Yes, you're paranoid.

If your GM wants to kill you, he will. Tarrasque, colossal dragon, balor, pit fiend, etc. (and that's just a sample from the first Bestiary). Or high level assassins/NPCs. Or super deadly traps. Or just "Rocks fall".

If he's doing that, then you probably are not paranoid. If he's not, then yes, you're paranoid.

OR not everyone brings out a fully-fueled bulldozer where a simple lump hammer is more than sufficient. You can be out to screw a player without deciding that it's time to bring a targeted apocalypse. False dichotomies sir, avoid them.

OT: There really isn't enough here to go off as to whether this is a DM out to get the player. But I would propose that it is either not paranoia, or the DM is just bad at DMing. Since such an ambush scenario followed by a character immediately having a bounty on them rather eats space for a player to self-direct in play.
EDIT: Maybe I'm wrong and the DM just approaches from what they think realistic, or something else.

Was a bit of a hypicrite before that edit

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Nigrescence wrote:
Well, clearly that's not the case. However, let's actually come up with a spell or class feature of the same name! It could even be a universal class archetype designed to be compatible with most class archetypes. You know, for double dipping in specialization. Though it would probably be easier if it were just a spell.

My personal thought is that it's the name of an extremely troll-ish mesmerist who mind controls people into having pointless arguments.

Anyway: The thing about many rules questions getting few answers is that they are either simple, and generally hold a consensus (Rogues do get multiple sneak attacks a round!) or the majority of posters (I presume here on in) don't feel knowledgeable enough to respond; How should I rule simulacrum tricks? I don't sodding know!
Then threads come up that are easy enough to understand the situation, and the event described but two separate interpretations are formed. Those get popular. Good or bad everyone holds some ideas about, and it requires no specialist knowledge to form an opinion is an act is evil - So Paladin fall threads go on until eternity.

The lattermost form of threads are fun to wind people up in. But I'm definitely not advocating trolling. Never! many hands is a bastard sword?

Cevah wrote:

How about a Monk with Shuriken? That is thrown, and be used w/flurry, and has some Divine connections.



Alt. solution: Go Sacred Fist. Shuriken, divine connection, not ridiculously sub-optimal.

But really, after re-reading that last paragraph in the OP again: I personally would have to say it sounds like your GM is being arbitrary. Sure, it's asinine to say no to a concept because toe-treading, and asinine to not shelve the concept but it's also completely dick-ish to basically not explain what counts as toe-treading in his eyes.
No two-handed fighters, but one of those is different is nonsensical, and I'd personally recommend asking for an explanation. Because as that paragraph reads, your GM is being incredibly arbitrary. Between that and a playstyle difference, it's tempting to say he's being an ass because he thinks you play badwrongfun. But that's possibly pushing it too far.

Vital Strike taking 2 acts was my reply to that. Though dissatisfactorily, it made the feat even more unused than normally (this may be due to a lack of seeing a giant damage dice build so far which is when I only saw it before).
As to iterative attacks, as the OP put - BAB limit it. It does mean martial characters won't enjoy the system so much at levels 1-5. But meh - until level 5 itself, it's hardly like casters are running around causing the problems they do.


Summon Monster X spells are super cool and versatile, but with so much damage and a party of half melee characters and no support casters - would't it be better to shy away from meat/damage summons?

-In which case, do I really need Augment Summoning?

Your party is still going to feel the benefits of more things to flank with, or hide behind if the going gets rough. Really, the point that is always true of any Wizard is true here: If using X spell X way will help, do it. On that, one of the great things you can do to help a party isn't just to buff them but to manipulate the battlefield in your favour - which is precisely what summoning does in a rather direct way. Same as a minion based necromancer build. Bodies, that are hitting things at that, are something to further decide the flow of an encounter. When you need beatstick summons (which may make a good portion of encounters), you'll feel the difference. There's also that, barring a few - most summons are designed to go in at hit things, with or without SLAs to help.

-If I'm only summoning for ranged damagers and SLA' it even worth taking Superior Summons?

If there is only one boost a summon would provide your group, you were probably better off casting that boost yourself. If you're doing it for an offensive SLA: More is more, and more is good. Same for ranged attacks.

-What are the Summon Monsters I would use at that point, anyways?

1d4+2 Latern Archons are still going to really upset things that can't overcome DR/evil.

1d3+1 Medium earth elementals would be a good beatstick option.
I'll let someone more intimate with the lists field this properly since I am really not sure what's most optimal.

Secret Wizard wrote:
You can get Heavy Armour without missing a feature with GFM, as it's the only Inquisitor archetype that trades Stalwart.

But it would seem slightly odd, flavour wise unless you really splashed out:

Be of druid faith
Wear non-druid armor

Also, the temptation to work from this combination as a homebrewed bard/inquisitor parallel is high.
Although, on the dynamics:
Wizard/Cleric/Druid; Bloodrager/Paladin/Ranger; Magus/Warpriest/Hunter Bard/Inquisitor/GFM,SH; Sorcerer/Oracle/????
Where does Shaman and Witch come in as well? The lack of a perfect line up is now bothering me, and that's before trying to cram in the occult lot.

Nathanael Love wrote:
I'm now playing a Green Faith Marshal with the Nature Domain and with the Druid Variant Multi Class from UC which will eventually let me net 3 pets (GF Marshal 1 at level, Cleric domain ability one at level -3, VMC Druid one that starts at level -6 then advances to level).

Please do tell on how it runs in the end! It sounds like fun. Though the VMC Druid starts at level -4, not 6.

Archaeik wrote:
Fist2Jaw wrote:
What about both attacks being done with the Armor Spikes? It's not a double weapon, so what if I brought two sets of armor spikes?
There are ways to flurry with armor spikes, Brawler being the easiest.

Do you basically hug your enemies, like some terrifyingly friendly iron maiden?

On topic: As far as I can tell, this seems fine. You're not treading on the conceptual "hands of effort" doing it.

alexd1976 wrote:
Mine will be surfing Youtube and showing stuff to others DURING combat.

Have you ever tried simply turning off the internet, sitting down with your players, and hitting them?

Doomed Hero wrote:
I'm all for snappy gameplay, but putting players under needless pressure just to try to speed things up just smacks of a toxic "GM vs. players" play style.

Honestly, while I share your reservations about forcing such a move on new players (and non-communication seems a bit far): There is an element in which one can ratchet up the challenge for players because they find it fun. If it promotes engagement (making it more fun for the GM) without adversely effecting the players' fun - then why not do it?

Player A: I think the points on rushing combat above may help.

Player B: Other than calling them out on it (passive-aggressively having NPCs asked them pointed questions is a fun way). Honestly, I know of, and can fathom no method to grab a player like this out of their behaviour other than just asking them to stop everytime they do it.

Player C: I'd recommend just talking to them about it. As other people have put above, the reality is that there's little sitting on a phone can do. So to claim: If a facebook/twitter post can make someone's problems OK; they really were never a problem of any real scope. More harshly: Tell them to either leave their drama at the door or stop coming.

Æthernaut wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Huh. I guess Paladins of Arshea are really screwed then.

That's iffy.

** spoiler omitted **

They can always fall on their own swords.

I'd struggle to call that release unless you've managed to be a Paladin of Zon-Kuthon.

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DrDeth wrote:
Physically Unfeasible wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
By taking a one level dip into something that can grant a familiar?
They already get a familiar. They need so many levels of a arcane spellcasting class, which makes no sense for this archetype.
So....they don't take it? It'd be a subpar option for them anyway unless a wand-monkey was that important to them.
Maybe for roleplaying? Maybe they thing a Pseudodragon would be the coolest thing ever?

Roleplaying? Pah. Aren't we all playing to make mechanically superior characters every time?

In all seriousness, a valid point (and actually what I'd wanted when I first saw the archetype).

lemeres wrote:

All quite true. I had underestimated the value of disheartening display for such a build. Though if I may advocate: Eldritch Guardian 2/Bloodrager 4 with magical knack might alleviate the problem. Though you miss out on having a healthy glut of bonus combat feats, sadly.

Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Physically Unfeasible wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
By taking a one level dip into something that can grant a familiar?
They already get a familiar. They need so many levels of a arcane spellcasting class, which makes no sense for this archetype.
So....they don't take it? It'd be a subpar option for them anyway unless a wand-monkey was that important to them.

Have a familiar with special abilities and regen/fast healing is subpar vs a more intelligent animal?

Hm... what would be intersting is finding a way to give them a full Animal Companion IN ADDITION to his familiar...

Well: You can have an animal with bardic knowledge, one that shares your teamwork feats, one that ends up stronger than the strongest improve familiars - It really doesn't seem that worth it to me.

As to getting an animal companion: Nature Soul->Animal Ally->Boon Companion. 3 general feats (scattered to a few books admittedly) that will get you a fully leveled companion from a small list. A feat chain I genuinely am considering for a Roughrider build. But that's a different thread.


lemeres wrote:
Physically Unfeasible wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
By taking a one level dip into something that can grant a familiar?
They already get a familiar. They need so many levels of a arcane spellcasting class, which makes no sense for this archetype.
So....they don't take it? It'd be a subpar option for them anyway unless a wand-monkey was that important to them.

I think earth elements have the right stats (16 str, a bunch of natural armor) that you can use them for a weapon buddy build (elementals can use weapons if they are humanoid shaped).

Basically, they have better starting str than the mauler monkey (have not checked higher levels, but I would imagine it takes a while to out do).

Starts on 3. Goes from tiny to medium (+4) for battle form, with an extra +2. Strength increases at level 3 and every 2 thereafter.

Earth Elemental is available at 5th. Where a Mauler monkey enjoys 11 Strength. So admittedly, that is a large gap and I stand corrected. It's closed at level 15.
My attempt at further contention though is: Is a weapon buddy the priority? A fox familiar starts on 9, so at 6 strength greater than our monkey, is stronger than the elemental when it comes in and will continue to be.

Chess Pwn wrote:
He hasn't said when people aren't paying attention. For all we know it's the non-combat where people are zoning, with each person doing some solo thing. Like we have no more details of the issue.

This is true. But without that information, it seems valid to just fire at a dartboard for anything that might be useful against short attention span players.

Out of combat, all I can think to say is you never split the party. At that point, every interaction has the potential to drag in every player when you need to.

Rub-Eta wrote:
Point is: your RPG time is more important than others' lives... wait...

Wait for what? Sounds perfectly sensible. Joking aside: Beyond major personal news (in which case, who texts/emails you that? Wait for it to ring or something), it subjectively probably won't be that important. Subjectively - I feel a need to stress that.

DrDeth wrote:
FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
By taking a one level dip into something that can grant a familiar?
They already get a familiar. They need so many levels of a arcane spellcasting class, which makes no sense for this archetype.

So....they don't take it? It'd be a subpar option for them anyway unless a wand-monkey was that important to them.

Chengar Qordath wrote:
Sounds like a classic no-win scenario to me. Which I'd say goes into no-fall territory; when all the paladin's options suck, all he can really do is try to pick the least awful one.

And here we meet why the code as a means of balance is awful. Because your options are "the player alone can surmount it" or "screw you, and your cow!"

Baval wrote:
On the cosmic scale using evil to do good is an admission that there was no good way to do that thing and therefore evil was the right thing to do in that situation. To be truly exalted you must do good or nothing at all. If the only way to save the material plane is to take up the demons evil magic and use his ways against him, then you let the material plane burn. There are other planes but only 1 cosmos, and admitting evil is more powerful even for an instant shifts the balance towards evil.

And here we see why a lot of people toss away alignment systems. Because someone will treat stuff like that as good. It's OK to genocide entire universes, as long as you save face for the blue team! :P

Pan wrote:
I'm not sure how one goes about combating it.

To ask university lecturers I've spoken to dealing with it in recent years? Change medium. Simply talking at people who are constantly bombarded with information they have to sift through means a complete sudden shift of tack when GM'ing styles demand honing in on, and logging, every detail.

Brains are annoyingly plastic. If something is your normal experience, it will literally physically wire up to work optimised to that experience.
Now, I'm not saying the OP should get a screen and play by firing clickbait at their players (that'd be silly) but visual references, particularly visual references they've had to contribute to (because drawing a whole map yourself isn't fun, and fortunately not the best way anyway) the presentation of is going to provide something more normative to the "smartphone generation".

Also: DM_Blake's point about speeding up combat up-thread helps. Every large game I've ever known be run required a rule like "declare your actions this round in 6 seconds or less, or do nothing". It's also not an absolutely awful method for smaller games. Pushing on a harder pace.
Out of combat? If someone is giving a monologue that manages to be entertaining, let it roll. But that's not that common, and really - why would an NPC let an absolute bore hold their soapbox for several minutes? People generally try to find any polite means of stopping that in real life, so it's perfect verisimilitude to turn to the next party member. :P

The point is pretty much to be Indiana Jones, in a silly way.
Most of what it enjoys over Urban Ranger though is the bugbear that I desperately hope doesn't de-rail this thread: Spells. Grease, Timely Inspiration, Touch of Gracelessness - generally, some tricks to help you deliver your attacks.

Hmm wrote:
Detective Bards add half their level to Perception. Bards have little reason to have a decent wisdom, but that's still a heck of a boost.

Detective* VMC Cleric(Feather domain)? VMC Cleric lets us obtain guided hand to at least hit things if playing a martial who pumped WIS (even if it's kind of mid-late game).

*Alternately, Archaeologist Bard. Note that the Clever Explorer offers half level on all perception checks. In fact, given you can gain an advanced rogue talent with it at 12th (let's say Skill Mastery (because it's sodding skill mastery, what else for this build?)), you'll start to approach pretty strong perception.

A one level dip in Sleepless Detective will push the boat a bit further (two attributes are definitely more than one).
For not spending half your levels tied to a charisma-based caster: Pathfinder Field Agent will offer you 1/2 level to perception with skill specialization. Not sure what else you might want from the PrC though. :/

Davor wrote:
So, here's the real question: If I kick the table over, which one of us falls?

They probably merited it for standing on the table anyway.

Bard-Sader wrote:
What if the paladin has an Oath against Gravity? Does he still fall?

Yes. He's just really really unhappy about it.

Already covered but the idea of it being OP is antiquated. What it offers in straight PF is getting dimension door, or fly, or some other neat toy, for a dip that martials aren't going to hate too much.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
James Risner wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
This sounds like an animal companion problem, not a +1/2 level on revelations problem. 1/6 might as well be for a brand new revelation.

Pretty much all are busted.

OA clarified the "take a +x to blah before you get blah" to not working RAW, but I never used this cheese. Fixed the players from saying "but nothing is stopping me, there is no rule". Now there is.

I had a dark tapestry oracle with the +1/2 on the polymorph revelation and it was also pretty redonk. Without using cheese mentioned above.

Why is it that any time anything is ever effective ever you always call it cheese James?

Ignoring claims about posting histories (because (true or not) that doesn't actually attack the argument; just the poster), there is a validity in stating that boosting a revelation's level before you have/qualify for it is egregious. At minimum, it seems reasonable to doubt it's RAI. Let alone issues of RAW.

Brew Bird wrote:
Outside of PFS, GMs can do whatever they want. It's only society play wear RAW matters more than GMs preference.

Personally, I have little issue with the errata. But frankly, ever time I hear this argument, I get a little annoyed. Primarily for the following reasons:

1. Implying houserules are something one dissatisfied player/GM can change for their whole table, because there is actually a bit of a social contract.
2. Implying people can find groups that operate perfectly from their perspective.
3. Implying that people don't take errata/FAQs as signaling that doing something X way is more balanced than Y, and that "Houserules fix it" is a baseline anyone can approach any game with.
4. Implying new prints don't subsequently change the experience for new players.

On topic: 1/2 was a bit broken for a number of revelations. Not just ACs, like the change or no. That said, I have yet to see anyone actually defend 1/6. Which does make me ponder if the balance was rightly struck (or if I have perception bias).
Now, the OP's plans:

TheWhiteRaven wrote:
aasimar oracle Lunar Mystery with a busted strong animal companion!

If your interest was primarily the AC, I'm partially tempted to recommend Nature over Lunar. I appreciate a Horse AC is weaker offensively at first glance but the ability to add your CHA to all its saves is something you will feel at later levels when a lunar AC starts dying from bad saves. The lack of charisma to reflex might seem a poor trade compared to charisma to CMD but Reflex is the weakest save in terms of what it stops. You won't miss it that much.

Plus, if you really really miss a lot of the companions from the lunar list:
Scion of Humanity Aasimar->Racial Heritage(Orc)->Beast Rider
Dip Mammoth Rider
Look at the options for the Monstrous Mount feat (esp. if riding wasn't a concern)
Are all valid ways to get a mechanically stronger AC than the horse.

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