Hello all. I currently have a thread going for a Funerary Paladin, but am helping some other players with their builds as well.
One player wants to play a Human Bard who is something of a pacifist. Which means no dealing damage to opponents or otherwise causing direct harm. The player is ok with debuffing, disarm/trip, etc. So mainly it’s just the avoidance of dealing damage.
I believe for the most part this build is pretty straightforward. I’m planning for them to use a net, Dazzling Display, entangle, trip, maybe disarm. Typical Bard spells with a preference for buffing, but some debuffs as well, especially if there are nonviolent ways of dealing with enemies, like Charming, Diplomacy, etc.
Beyond that, any thoughts or input on such a character?
I think there has been plenty of discussion on the deity aspect of the character. I’m not too worried about that part at this point.
Let’s discuss more mechanical aspects. My current idea is a Paladin (Martyr, Warrior of the Holy Light) VMC Cleric. I will be missing out on some spells but I’m ok with that.
What feats, magic items (maybe custom items), would be a good fit for such a character?
I'm not too worried about fitting into the "canon" of Golarion. I'm sure no one I'm playing with is going to be put off by a Paladin that worships Pharasma, and as has been said, there is no restriction (mechanics wise) for a Paladin with respect to deity. I could have no specific deity, and be a paladin of the ideals of proper burial (which would be both lawful and good) while having a healthy respect for Pharasma as well.
That being said, Sacred Servants DO have to follow/support a specific deity, and it specifically has to be a LG, LN, or NG deity. And that's the only way I can find for a Paladin to get a Domain (other than VMC, which I had forgotten about until you brought it up). I would still be ok with being committed to someone like Iomedae or Abadar since they could both potentially care about proper funeral rites, while still having a healthy respect for Pharasma.
All that being said, VMC for a domain is an option that I'm willing to use to get the domain power, even if it's delayed until 15th, which means I'll probably never get to use it really (which is ok, because it's mainly for flavor anyway).
So what are some other things that would be fitting for the character? I think stuff like access to Gentle Repose, a Corpse-Ferrying Bag, Unguent of Timeless, Hallow, Gravedigger's Spade, etc. would be fitting. The character will most likely have a masterwork shovel (perhaps in the form of a Traveler's Any-Tool or eventually the Spade mentioned above. Maybe access to expeditious excavation or the like.
Beyond that, being a basic melee beatstick is acceptable. The heavy armor is still preferred and some kind of divine tie would be nice but not necessary (especially since the VMC kind of brings that).
I’m not sure the setting of Hells Rebels. Is Cheliax in Golarion?
I forgot to mention that Heavy Armor was a preferred aspect as well. Are there other classes that can be a holy warrior in plate mail? I could potentially be ok with Breastplate.
The concept/idea came from a picture I saw. I believe it was in one of the books for an adventure path. It was a picture of a paladin (possibly the Pathfinder paladin; Seelah?) and I beleive she was carrying a casket as a pallbearer. If someone knows the picture and can post a link, please do so.
Hello all. It’s been a while since I played Pathfinder or participated on these forums, so apologies if I’m rusty.
I’m looking for advice (both flavor and mechanical) on a Paladin build. The concept of the build is a Paladin whose main focus is on the proper care, handling, and disposal (burial, cremation, whatever) of the dead. The main thing I’m interested in is the True Death Inquisition which I believe I can get via the Sacred Servant archetype, which geants the Paladin a domain, which I can use to select an inquisition instead.
Beyond this, I didn’t have too many ideas for the build. I’m torn between a sword/board and 2-hander build, with a leaning toward 2-hander. I’m also interested in fitting in a “gray guard/paladin” aspect as well, though the Gray Paladin archetype is incompatible with the Sacred Servant archetype. So if there is another/better way of getting a domain, I’m open to ideas. I may also look into getting the 3.5 Gray Guard prestige class approved for use.
This build will be used in the Hells Rebels adventure, in case that makes a difference. 20-pt buy most likely. Other players are still developing characters but I believe a Psychic Warrior and a Psychic Detective are in the works.
If any other information would be useful, let me know.
To put this in perspective, I did some calculations of how expensive a Mechanics rig would be if you specced it out using the Computer building rules. For my purposes I wanted/preferred the brain augmentation version of the Custom Rig (which the Mechanic can choose for no additional cost or loss of any other resources; seems like the best choice to me; you always have it with you, can't lose it, can't be stolen, etc.). This would require miniaturizing the computer down to an effective Tier of -1 for bulk purposes, in order for it to comfortably integrate with a Datajack cybernetic augmentation in order to best replicate this. I also chose the Security 1 upgrade as opposed to the AI or Hardened options the Mechanic gets at level 7. The Mechanic also gets some other handy uses of their computer that were hard/impossible to replicate.
Based on trying to replicate the above by selling your current computer for 10% of it's cost approximately every 2 levels and buying a new computer with the new features (including the next tier), over the course of the characters life, they will have spent approximately 52% of their level 20 expected wealth on keeping their rig up to date.
The WBL guidelines say a character shouldn't spend more than 50% of their wealth on a single item, so this computer would be pushing that limit already.
Removing the miniaturization cost brings it down to about 40%, but the size of the computer would become prohibitive, so adding enough of it back in to keep it around Bulk 4, still puts it at around 46%.
Taking 20 takes 20 times as long (so 20 minutes instead of 1 minute) and assumes you fail at least once. I don't see any penalty for failing (like additional damage or some such), but if there is a limit on how many times you can perform the check on someone, does that mean that if you fail once you can't attempt again? Or is the limit just on how many times you can be healed by a successful check (no matter how many failed attempts it took to succeed)?
I've not played a session yet, but isn't the idea of Stamina supposed to help with this? As in, most of the damage a character takes should be absorbed by Stamina, which can be recovered fairly easily, as opposed to HP damage, which represents the fact that you took so much damage (eating through your stamina) that you actually began to take lasting damage that isn't so easy to fix? Also, the fact that it stays a static 25 means that at later levels, this is easy to do. So, yes, a level 1 medic might struggle with this, and a consumable healing serum seems like an easy way out. But the costs of serums is also more prohibitive at lower levels. But as you level up, the DC will be easier, and serums will be more readily purchasable with your increased cash supply. Haven't early levels always been the dangerous portion of a characters life in TTRPGs?
Yep. I was aware of the 10% recovery. You get 10% by either selling it (if you need the money for buying the next/new item) or scrapping it (if planning to craft the next/new item).
The crafting rules seem to be specifically geared towards making a new item. Yes, it mentions that you can scrap an old item and scavenge the parts for 10% the cost of the old item. But that's not quite the same as upgrading; it's basically the same as selling the old one and buying the new one.
If I have a computer and I want a new motherboard/CPU/power supply/GPU/etc., that doesn't mean I have to get rid of ALL of my old components. I can, generally speaking, get a new component for the one I want to upgrade and integrate it with all of the existing components I already have, at only the cost of the new component (i.e.: the difference between the cost of my old rig and the new upgraded one).
Granted, it's not always that easy. Sometimes when you upgrade one components, you have to upgrade another one along with it. Either for compatibility reasons, or in order to get the most out of the main component you wanted to upgrade. This might incur some additional costs, but it's still not usually the same as buying a whole new computer.
I don't see this specifically covered anywhere, but I'm guessing the answer is: you can't. Figured I would ask anyway, just in case.
I was wondering if there is any way to "upgrade" equipment by paying the difference in cost between a lower level version and a higher level version. This would be true for weapons and armor mainly.
What about for computers? If I want to upgrade the tier of my computer, can I pay the difference? Of course, you'd have to take into account any upgrades or modules you currently had whose cost was also dependent on tier or base cost, and make sure to pay the difference there as well. I'm not trying to circumvent the costs of those things. I'm only trying to circumvent the cost of losing 90% of the cost invested in a previous item in order to get the next better item. If I'm not a Mechanic (whose Custom Rig is an autoleveling computer) but I still want to have a sweet Computer rig to hack with, do I constantly have to sell off my previous model at only 10% recovery and re-buy a brand new computer, buying essentially all the same components at an increased price due to the increased tier?
In the grappling rules, it states you need both hands to grapple someone; since (most) characters only have 2 hands, you can't use both hands to grapple more than one creature, since each grapple instance requires both hands.
Also, there are no restrictions on grappling creatures larger than you, other than your ability to beat their increasingly higher special size modifier to CMB/CMD.
As for penalties, even if you initiate the grapple, you become grappled along with the target, so you take the same Dex/AC penalties as the creature you have grappled. You don't take the same penalties when you pin them. The Dex penalty is important because it lowers the targets CMD, but not your CMD unless you are using Dex for combat maneuvers. Also, I believe generic/unspecified penalties to AC also apply to CMD.
My favorite grapple build I've played so far is Brawler (Mutagenic Mauler). As has been mentioned, Tetori's are the kings of grappling because of being able to shutdown/avoid things that would normally prevent grappling, like Freedom of Movement. If all you ever want to do is grapple, that would be my suggestion.
However, Brawlers are my favorite because when you don't want to or can't grapple, you can fall back on Flurry, which a Tetori cannot do.
My view on Grappling is that it is a form of controlling: you pick one BBEG and grapple them then pin them. They are effectively out of the fight at this point, assuming you are awesome enough at holding them. You can technically use the tie-up option and move on to another target, but hopefully by the time you've grapple, pinned, and tied-up the BBEG, all the lesser creatures are taken care of for the most part.
Also, grappling is less useful on mooks because action economy dictates that it would be better to just punch them, especially if they are going to go down in 1-2 hits anyway.
This is why I feel like Brawlers are better: they can beat up on stuff until something dangerous enough to be grappled shows up. An example would be creatures with lots of natural attacks; if you grapple them, they are (potentially) limited to one attack. So you've effectively shut down this creatures devastating natural attack routine. Be prepared to take their wrath until you can pin them though.
My last piece of advice would be to give up on grappling a target if it's a close match; it takes you several actions to grapple, pin, etc. It only takes them one escape attempt to break free. I made this mistake against a triceratops; I thought I could get him, but kept failing and meanwhile he was killing my teammates and eventually me. If I had just flurry-ed it instead of wasting several turns on grapple attempts, it likely would have just died. Only grapple something if you're pretty confident you can reliably over-power it.
If you are just going to offer a handful of pregens, I think it's safe to go outside of Core. The problem with adding additional options for a new player is they can get overwhelmed. If you make a handful of flavorful and thematic options to cover various roles, then you can pull from any material you want.
This is also pretty safe if you are planning to allow a lot of retraining/switching/changing as she goes.
I like Friendly Neighborhood Glabrezus recommendation of making several character to choose from. If that seems daunting, my suggestion was going to be to communicate with the sister beforehand and figure out what she would be interested in playing; what she wants her character to be able to do or be good at.
Has she shown interest in any other classic fantasy settings? Like maybe the LotR movies? If so, you could use those settings that she has seen and somewhat understands to draw parallels; find out which character she liked the most or would be interested in playing as and then making a similar character. Obviously the story and setting would be different, but the actions and flavor of the character could carry over.
David knott 242 wrote:
Some people would argue that HP represents how "tough" your character is, or how many times they can be hit by a damaging attack before they start to die.
However, if you take one human, and you take another, different human, there isn't normally a big disparity between how many times you have to stab them before they start to die; especially if the only difference between them is how much "experience" they have. Some things like muscle mass, excess layers of fat, how much blood they have in their system, etc., might affect it, but not how long they've been alive, usually.
Another way I've seen it described is that HP represents how capable your character is at avoiding a killing blow. So when an enemy "hits" you with an attack, it doesn't necessarily have to translate to you actually getting run through with a sword, or mauled by a claw. It's more like you had to expend energy to not die from that attack connecting with you, or that you expended that energy to make it into a glancing blow instead of a killing blow.
This is an abstraction of course, but so is HP. And many people will argue that, of course you were "hit" by the attack; that's the point of an attack roll vs AC, and there are many effects based on just whether you hit or not than just damage. But it's a good way to rationalize why a 1st level Fighter and a 20th level Fighter with the same Constitution can take a different amount of hits before going down. Sure, the 20th level Fighter has more feats and BAB and what not, but assuming no increase in Constitution over the course of the 20th level Fighters career, and no feats specifically focused on being "tougher" (like Toughness), why would a Fighter wearing the same armor as a 1st level Fighter be so much better at not dying when hit by a word? Why does the more experienced Fighter take 20-30 sword hits to die when the first level Fighter only takes 2-3? Because he's more experienced at negating the effects of the hit, partially deflecting the blow, etc.
Anyway, it's an alternate take on the idea of HP; some people like it, and other's don't.
I think the Kineticist is also appealing for players who want to be a "blaster mage" but don't want to keep up with spells known, spellbooks, spells prepared, spells per day, spell slots, metamagic, etc.
A well-optimized, metamagic-ed Sorcerer is the king of magical blasting damage. But there are a lot of moving parts to get right, and it usually involves using the same spell (Fireball) over and over, which can seem kind of boring (though probably equally as boring as the same kinetic blast over and over).
Kineticist appears complicated at first glance (or at least I thought it did), but when you dig down into it, your options become very narrowed very quickly. There's a huge list of infusions and wild talents, but your options drop significantly once you factor in your element choice and what level you are. Infusions can help keep your blast from getting boring and stale, but as I previously pointed out, your options are narrow until higher levels, when you have more elements to choose from and are high enough level for some of the higher level infusions.
Most everyone in my group tends to roll and just take what they get. However, I've never been a big fan of it because of the issues raised in this group. If you get a Barbarian who keeps rolling 1's on their d12s and a Wizard who keeps rolling a 6 on their d6, that Wizard is going to be probably about as tough as that Barbarian unless there is a major Con disparity.
I always ask if I can just do the average (I keep track of the .5s and add them together, but I like the idea of alternating rounding up/down that was presented above). I think this is the best route; it means bigger hit die still matter, but it takes the randomness out of the whole deal.
I also like the idea of 1d4+X, where X is higher for higher hit die, presented above. I think it's a good compromise; people who like rolling dice and randomness still get that, but you don't risk having a character suffer from a series of bad rolls.
As for running dice calculations, I use the site anydice. I don't think it can account for random choice (like roll it once, and then decide if you want to roll again, but you have to take the second) unless you program in a breaking point (like, I will keep a 6 or above on a d8, but will reroll a 5 or below).
Bloody Fist and Feast of Blood are both very in-theme with the build idea, and I've been considering them.
My only issue is that they don't come online until late level (12th I think?) and they are based on achieving a crit. I know Barbarian has a few tricks at guaranteeing crits at later levels, so might still be plausible.
So, so far there have been lots of options on how to make the character LOOK the part of killer croc. Being a Lizardfolk, Skinwalker, Druid, Mooncursed, etc. I don't really have a problem LOOKING like a croc/gator.
The issue is that there is very little content that actually involves consuming pieces of your opponent. I know there are 2 Barbarian archetypes (Raging Cannibal and Flesheater I think are the 2; can't check right now). There's also something in the Inquisitor (archetype maybe? or just an inquisition) I think called Sineater (or Sin Eater) that doesn't HAVE to involve consuming a part of their body, but it can.
Beyond that, I can't seem to find anything that deals with actually eating parts of your opponent. If anyone has any suggestions for that aspect of the character, I'm all ears. Otherwise, I think most other aspects (being/looking the part, having a bite attack, being good at grappling) have been covered very well by everyone so far. Talking about them any further is really just arguing about which one each person likes better. Which I'm not discouraging, but I feel like it's beating a dead horse at this point. There are lots of ways to cover all those aspects; there are very little to cover the cannibalistic part, other than just flavoring it and saying "I eat some of the flesh off his body after combat is over". And even then, there are some implications the rules don't cover (diseases or sickness carried by the body, effects of raw meat, etc.)
I think anything that takes away armor needs to give either a replacement (such as Monks bonus to AC) or a REALLY good benefit for going armorless.
Mooncursed tries to make it up by giving you the NA bonus from the spell, but this is partially taken away with the Dex penalty and AC size penalty.
So, I agree that armor should still work; true, you'd end up with more AC than a core Barbarian, but I think that is intended to be one of the benefits of the archetype.
But, RAW, it doesn't as far as I can tell, and everyone seems to agree so far.
RAI is iffy, but also irrelevant.
I think my quote above makes it clear that the hybrid form is still an animal. And yes, Bracers of Armor are an option, if you want to pay for them instead of regular armor.
I get that it makes sense for the hybrid form to be more like a normal were-creature, since that is the whole flavor of the archetype, but it's not how the archetype is written.
Agreed that it could very easily have been intended to allow armor; that the creators overlooked the whole "polymorph effects turn off armor" thing, and so forgot to include an exception in the hybrid form. But they remembered it well enough to add a feature 4 levels later that at least let you walk, talk, and manipulate items like normal.
I wouldn't say that any of the 3rd party stuff I mentioned is broken, or "super easy". There is a feat that increases your size without changing ability scores. So you get the size bonuses/penalties from the regular and special size modifiers (which balance out for the most part), increase in damage dice, and reach. It has to be taken at 1st level, and has Str/Con requirements. There's also an archetype that is really similar to Mooncursed, except it more closely mimics Giant Form rather than Beast Form, but without actually being Giant Form, and therefore not being a polymorph affect; basically you get all the same benefits of rage, but as size bonuses instead of morale bonuses. But it would have a lot of the same issues as Mooncursed; taking penalties for being large.
Despite all of that, my main argument has been comparing Mooncursed to core barbarian. I think I've shown pretty definitively that the main benefit you get is the increased damage dice and reach, and that there are some significant losses to gain those two things. And the increased damage dice is almost matched by the extra Strength you get from Core barbarian. It's a very flavorful archetype that gives you almost the same benefits as core barbarian, but not quite. And I don't need the archetype to provide the crocodile/alligator flavor, as I already have Lizardfolk to do that.
And agreed, Raging Cannibal does give up stuff. Which was one of my main arguments against Mooncursed; that it ALSO takes up an archetype slot by replacing class features that other popular archetypes replace, removing the ability to stack it with those popular archetypes. So if I DO want Raging Cannibal (which I kind of do, as it's really the only thing I've found that rewards you for eating your opponent, which is what would differentiate this build from any other natural attacking barbarian) then I can't be Mooncursed.
Shifting Rage states that you choose a certain animal, and that is the animal you change into every time you use Shifting Rage. So it is definitely an animal.
For Hybrid Rage, which only alters Shifting Rage, it sates "...a mooncursed can choose to assume a hybrid of her base type and alternate form instead of her usual alternate form during her shifting rage. If she does, the animal's forelimbs..."; emphasis mine.
This leads me to believe that this is still Shifting Rage, and all of it's effects are still the same (based off of Beast Shape, transmutation (polymorph), loss of armor) EXCEPT for whatever Hybrid Rage specifically changes, which is only access to ones original limbs and ability to speak.
The Mooncursed Barbarian archetype replaces Rage with "Shifting Rage", which replaces the normal effects of Rage with an effect based on the Beast Shape spell. Beast Shape is a transmutation (polymorph) spell.
Under the rules for polymorph spells, there are a few important lines such as: "...all your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor and shield bonuses, which cease to function)."
So, in my mind, this means that you would not gain any armor bonus from your armor while using Shifting Rage, since it emulates a polymorph effect and has no text to circumvent the polymorph line about armor ceasing to function.
There is some argument that at level 5, when the Mooncursed gets "Hybrid Rage", that would allow them to keep their armor. But the only exceptions listed there are that you keep your forelimbs and legs (and therefore the ability to manipulate items like weapons and spell components and provide somatic components, as well as the ability to walk as normal) and can talk (assumedly both to communicate and provide verbal spell components). No mention of still getting armor.
So, am I correct that you do not continue to benefit from armor (magical or otherwise), including losing the normal armor bonus to AC?
At the level you get Large from Mooncursed, you'd be getting +6 Str from base Rage, so that's +3 CMB/CMD/Attack. When you get Huge, base gets +8 Str, so that's +4 CMB/CMD/Attack. So regular beats everything you have listed, except for the AC (as I said before, Mooncursed is +4 AC over regular, assuming regular armor still works; I'm not convinced it does) and CMB at 20th (Mooncursed edges out regular by 1). Touch AC for regular will be better too.
Technically speaking, the abilities of Rhino Hide come from the magical enchantment; the fact that it mentions that it is made from Rhino Hide in the magic item description is pure fluff. If a player were to kill a rhino, skin it, and craft mundane armor from its hide, I wouldn't let them give it the abilities of Rhino Hide just because "it's made from rhino hide".
That being said, as far as I know, altering a "specific magic item" in any way, requires DM approval, including simple things like changing its numerical modifier (in the case of specific magic weapons and armor).
I wouldn't see a problem with it, personally. If all the costs are paid (extra money for darkcloth armor, extra money for the enchantment) then the player has paid the resources needed to receive a specific benefit.
Yeah. It doesn't make much sense that a fairy can pin a colossal red dragon (and it probably can't due to CMB/CMD differences) but it CAN try!
So, to go back to my original summary of the difference between Mooncursed and core Rage, and update it, Mooncursed nets you:
+4 AC, -1/-2/-3 attack, ~+1/+2/+4 damage, -0/-1/-2 CMD, -2/-3/-4 Fort, -0/-1/-2 Ref, -2/-3/-4 Will, Swim 30', low-light vision, bite, tail slap, and grab (at 11th).
I think the loss of armor benefits (because of Polymorph effects) completely negates the NA bonus, since, at best, it will break even, but more than likely will actually be a loss.
As a Lizardfolk, I'd already have a swim speed, and a bite (though not low-light or dark vision, like I thought...). I'd also have claws, which is about equivalent to having a single tail slap.
So, the only benefit I'd be gaining is low-light vision and, once I hit 11, grab. Now grab is a good ability, and is the main reason I'm still considering the archetype. But I can take 1 level dip of Oracle to get grab at 9th level.
Perhaps I'm missing something about what you gain when you change form with Mooncursed/Beast Shape. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the below is what you get when you change form:
1-10: Medium size, +2 Str, +2 NA, Swim 30', low-light vision, bite attack, tail slap attack
11-19: Large size (would have reach, but Crocodile doesn't, so you don't?), +4 Str, -2 Dex, +4 NA, Swim 30' (or 60'?), low-light vision, bite attack, tail slap attack, grab, trip? (this is tied to the Death Roll ability; do you get the Death Roll ability?)
20: Huge size (has 10' reach now?), +6 Str, -4 Dex, +6 NA, Swim 30' (or 90'?), low-light vision, bite attack, tail slap attack, grab, trip? (this is tied to the Death Roll ability; do you get the Death Roll ability?)
I'm assuming you don't get Sprint, Hold Breath, Death Roll, or racial bonuses to Stealth in water, and I'm not 100% sure about if you get the natural attacks either, as that isn't mentioned in the spell.
Size doesn't affect what can/cannot be grappled. A tiny creature can grapple a colossal creature, if their grapple check is good enough (good luck with that with the special size modifiers though). If you just mean because of the special size modifier, that's a whopping +1 for being large, which I took into account in my comparison anyway.
I agree that the Fort isn't a big difference if you are going Unchained, and that give me pause for a second, when I was considering Unchained (and I still am).
Improved Will costs a feat; in your case, one you were going to take anyway because of your familiar, but a feat slot none the less. While we are discussing table variation (like you only having access to Unchained) and particular builds, I have the option of taking a feat at first level to become large (no ability score adjustments). So I can be large all the time (with all the pros and cons that entails) and have (effectively) Improved Will when raging, while you can have Improved Will all the time and be Large (if you choose to do so) while raging. I also have the option of an archetype that increases size from level 1 of Rage with +4Str/Con, -2 Dex, and +2 NA, going up to +6 Str and +3 NA at 11th, and +8/+6 Str/Con and +4 NA at 20th. With the option of an effective Giant Form at 14th, if I want to spend 2x rounds of rage while in the form.
So, in my case, I wouldn't be getting increased damage dice or AC from Mooncursed, though Mooncursed is more flexible due to having size optiosn when activating. Mooncursed also gives up Improved Uncanny Dodge, which, while not super amazing, is something. And it's an AC benefit, essentially (not being flanked means +2 AC when you ARE flanked), as well as a very, very, specific form of DR in that rogues can't SA you because of flanking (if low enough level).
Factor in that it ALSO takes up your archetype slot, because it's not compatible with other archetypes (Invulnerable Rager and Raging Cannibal, the one I'm actually interested in) and it starts to look not appetizing for this build. It DOES stack with Savage Barbarian, which is appealing, but in the end, I probably wouldn't use Savage Barbarian anyway. The extra natural armor would be nice with Swallow Whole, but I don't think it's worth the loss of armor. I'd like this to be an unarmored build, but I could flavor some hide armor as my own skin if need be. I'm also considering passing on the Swallow Whole curse and just going with the Bite/Grab one. So I can take a 1-level dip in Oracle to get Grab by 9th level; which will put me 1 level behind on my Barbarian stuff compared to your build, admittedly.
All that said, I'm not knocking the archetype; it's a 1st party archetype that gives the ability to increase size while raging, which is awesome. I just have other options that I'm more interested in, and that kind of negate or replace the benefits I would get from it. Though, I haven't completely ruled it out either.
For a natural attack build, especially one with a lot of secondary attacks that get 1/2 Str mod, the Unchained actually seems better, getting a flat +2/3/4 to damage instead of a Str bump that will only half apply to some of the attacks. And I think it's agreed that the Temp HP is better than the Con bonus. There are some losses, like Fort saves, Str checks, etc.
I'm still not sold on Mooncursed based on the above comparison I did. Is the +4 AC and slightly increased damage dice really worth the loss of accuracy, CMD, Fort, Ref, and Will? CMD will especially be important for a grapple build.
I could get x1.5 Str if I avoided other natural attacks; that was my question really: is it viable to forego extra natural attacks and instead try to focus on maximizing the effectiveness of a single natural attack. I'm coming around to be ok with a beast build with lots of natural attacks, but am still partial to the idea of a build that just uses Bite.
You don't think a 1-level Oracle dip that will net me a 1d6 bite, Grab, and Swallow Whole all at 9th level is worth it? For a bite-based, grapple, eating-based build?
I agree, Animal Fury isn't needed; but it's built into the Raging Cannibal archetype I'm considering.
I think I'm zeroing in on what I want to do, but had some questions that I was hoping could be answered here; if needed, I can take these over to the rules questions thread instead, but they are all applicable to the build, so figured I would try here first.
1) Can an Unchained Barbarian take Raging Grappler? My thought is that no, they can't, because it isn't on the list of new ones, or allowed old ones.
2) If you gain a bite attack from multiple sources, do you get to pick which one you want to use? There are lots of ways to get bite attacks between different races, feats, and class features (including from different classes if multiclassing), so how would all of this work together? Some of my current options are: Lizardfolk (1d3), Anumus+Vicious Bite (feat; 1d6), Animal Fury (rage power; 1d4), Hunger Oracle curse (1 level Oracle dip or VMC Oracle; 1d6).
The Lizardfolk is my preferred choice right now, though I am likely going to take Animal Fury (or be forced to if I decide on the raging cannibal archetype, which I am very interested in) and really want to take the Oracle dip or VMC for the bite, grab, and swallow whole abilities. So I will have a 1d3 bite from Lizardfolk, a 1d4 bite from Animal Fury, and a 1d6 bite from the Hunger curse. Can I just choose to use the 1d6 bite?
3) Is it worth it to try to upgrade the damage die of my bite? I don't really want to make this into a multi-attacking natural attack pouncing build; I want to try to focus on just my bite if possible. I have some options of feats and rage powers that would increase the die size, but wasn't sure if that was really worth it. Though see 5, and the possibility of Vital Strike.
4) Should I bother with Unchained if I just want to focus on my bite?
5) Should I avoid options that will give me additional natural attacks, so I can maintain x1.5 Str mod on my single bite? I'm not completely opposed to the idea of having some claws, for when I do get a chance to full-attack, but would rather find a way to make a single bite as useful at pulling it's own weight as possible; maybe via Vital Strike or a way to make iterative attacks with my bite.
How vast is the army in question? I can't imagine the spiral ramp/staircase being much wider than 5'-10' in a 30' wide shaft. So only 1-2 creatures wide at a time. Also, a 1:12 spiral ramp/staircase only rises ~7.85 feet on it's way around a 30' wide circle, so the height of the creatures could come into play if we are talking about Large or larger creatures, or even tall medium creatures if we take into account the thickness of the ramp/staircase.
I also think Kineticist would work best to differentiate yourself from the Wizard; especially if they are planning to also build a blaster. A Telekinetic Kineticist is probably best bet to try to emulate a Rogue, and Kineticists are not very feat heavy, so you could even consider VMC Rogue for Trapfinding, Sneak Attack, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, and Improved Uncanny Dodge.
If you are ok with going with another spellcaster, you could try Crossblooded (Draconic/Primal-Elemental) Sorcerer VMC Evocation Wizard, using one of your bloodline feats for Blood Havoc and the other to pick up Empower Spell. VMC Wizard gives you an extra +1/2 level to one target on evocation spell damage and you can change the damage type of your evocation spells a few times per day. With the right feats/traits/metamagic, and starting at 14th, you can be throwing out 14d6+42 damage spells, at a minimum.
There was some discussion about it in another thread, and I did a bunch of math on it on this post.
A Combat Maneuver check is an attack roll.
A Large or larger creature has both a penalty to attack rolls and a special size modifier to CMB/CMD.
So, when a Large creature makes a combat maneuver check, what bonuses/penalties do they get for being Large? Do they get both the size penalty to the "attack roll" (-1) and the special size modifier to their CMB (+1) that they add to that attack roll, effectively netting no bonus/penalty? Or does the special size modifier displace the normal size modifier for the roll as a whole?
So, from 1-10, the Mooncursed has 4 more AC, a 1d6 Bite (bites are pretty easy to get between Skinwalker, Lizardfolk, or Animal Fury), and a 1d8 tail slap (Lizardfolk can get with a feat after 5th level, but only 1d4). The regular has +1 attack, +1 dmg (which is ~ one die size increase) over the mooncursed.
11-19: Mooncursed still has 4 AC over the regular (account for Dex penalties and AC penalties). Bite and Tail slap increased in damage, so pulling away a bit in the damage department. Both got a +2 Str bump, but regular didn't take a -1 attack hit, so regular continues to be more accurate. +1 CMB/CMD for the Mooncursed is equaled by the superior Strength bonus of the regular. BUT, Dex is part of CMD, so Mooncursed is actually losing some CMD due to Dex loss. Regular will be much stealthier (if it matters; dont' have to rage while trying to stealth, can rage after stealth fails) due to Stealth and Dex penalty of Mooncursed.
20th: This probably doesn't even matter since it's a capstone, but just to be thorough. Basically same thing happens here as at 11th; Mooncursed gets a bump in damage from dice size increase, but attack penalty, CMD loss, and Stealth loss.
Also, across all of these levels, regular will have better Fort (due to Con increase), Reflex (due to no Dex loss) and Will (thanks to Will bonus). So Regular has better saves across the board.
So, you get +4 AC, -1/-2/-3 attack, ~+1/+2/+4 damage, -0/-1/-2 CMD, -2/-3/-4 Fort, -0/-1/-2 Ref, -2/-3/-4 Will.
Granted, getting some natural attacks for free (bite and tail slap) also opens up your race options and some feats/powers. But it is at the expense of other areas.