Rerednaw's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 2,183 posts (2,210 including aliases). 1 review. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 18 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.

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VampByDay wrote:

I think some people are missing the point. I’m not saying build a low magic campaign, but more of a ‘ use what you find’ campaign. I’m not trying to adjust the power curve so much as say. . Like. . . let me give a scenario.

Let’s take a party of a standard melee champion, wizard, cleric, and rogue. They go on an adventure in the middle of the Stolen Lands where there aren’t a whole lot of villages around, and the ones that are around aren’t big enough to buy/sell magic armor.

Over the course of level 2, the champion finds a +1 battle axe. Not quite the long sword he was using but perfectly serviceable and it works for him. The rogue finds a +1 rapier, basically an upgrade to his +1 short sword. The cleric finds a +1 Longspear essentially an even trade with their quarter staff, and the wizard finds a +1 club, which is a bit different than their wizard’s staff, but works just fine.
That’s the kinda stuff I’m talking about. Obviously my example is JUST AN EXAMPLE and shouldn’t be taken too literally.

I ran 1e so I remember. Now granted, even 1e had the “well crap I can’t use that +1 axe because I’m double specialized with the longsword.” as of UA anyway.

That said there are many ways of doing this. Probably the easiest (if maintaining efficiency is a concern) is recall that PF has retraining. So that axe-wielding barbarian can switch his specialization to that magical greatclub.
Or you could retcon.
Or you as the DM simply state the ground rules for the game before you begin so players know what will happen with regards to rewards.
Alternatively you can change nothing. Even if Joe’s build is better with a kukri...when Joe as you said, runs into that ghost he will use that ghost touch dagger instead.
A bit of this IMO has to do with mindset. And so choose the path of most fun. :)

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I enjoy playing kineticists and for our current campaign after our TPK (wererat rogues throwing dusts of sneezing and choking at our party from surprise) someone suggested I look at the wood element for something different.

I did and have a couple of questions right off the bat.

Several of the infusions that are available are from other, older, sources which don't tell you which blasts may be used. For example Deadly Earth is normally used with earth, magma, metal, and mud...which wood blasts work with it? Same goes for say Entangling infusion. We can assume it works with wood (physical)...but what about positive blast? And which composite blasts?

It appears if you take wood again as your expanded element (at 7th), the class doesn't have a composite blast? Is that correct?

Thanks in advance!

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My very small sampling: out of the 20 groups and approx 200 PF players I know, only one of them has played more than 1 session. The exception is myself. Because I am trying to get sold on the system. That said, if I cannot form a single table...I’ll have to switch around...

I tried to get my GF into tabletop play. After several disastrous attempts when she was younger (old ADND) she had sworn them off. So we signed up for PF2E at a convention. Our experience? 3 and a half hours to go through a single combat round. My GF and I spent about 2-3 minutes total, the rest was by the GM and other 3 players.

Sadly, it seems my GF won’t be joining any PF games anytime soon after that experience.

So I still am giving this a shot, but it is not a big hit in my area...

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I was just thinking it would be nice for my gnome fighter to have a cantrip to be a bit different. He won’t be MC so his proficiency won’t increase so attack ones are pretty much out. What cantrips would you recommend for a non caster?

I suppose I should also open this up if someone did take a MC just to get a cantrip but would not follow up with advancing the proficiency.

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Ravingdork wrote:

After reading the P2E playtest blogs, it was my understanding that rarity was going to be an organization tool for GMs to more easily control what enters their game. There wasn't going to be any hard rules or mechanics behind it. Simply a bunch of tags and the GM saying "No rare items without checking with me first" or "Since this is an oriental campaign, all items traditionally considered oriental have a Common rating. More western armor and weapons have an Uncommon rating and require my blessing in this campaign." That sort of thing.

Except that's not what happened. Everywhere I look, I'm seeing hard rules that state I can't get this or that Uncommon item, or rather, that I'm limited to Common items and spells whenever I'm able to make a selection.

Uncommon items are not even made harder to get. They simply can't be got. Period.

This might not be such a big issue ...
What do you guys think? Does it feel suffocating to you too?

I would have adapted a different approach.

Simply state: if a spell/item/ability/feat has a ‘U’ the player and GM should be aware that it has to potential to unbalance the core assumptions of the game and they may wish to consider whether it is allowed. If it has the ‘R’ tag we find that said ability/item/spell can easily and frequently overshadows other players or trivializes challenges / encounters even more so than a ‘U’ ability and one should very carefully consider if this is something they want in a campaign.

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Well for my part once I tried the playtest and had a subpar experience I canceled all my subs except for Adventure Paths.

In exchange I bought the Core PDF and hoped for fixes.

Play-wise I am trying to decipher PF2’s “adventuring day” meta. With many abilities being seeming to have durations up to 1 hr...and then with a 24 hour cooldown, it seems they want a 10 minute to 1 hr dungeon raid? Not sure.

Once we get through a few adventures we’ll have a better feel. Still hopeful.

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stringbeanbuddy wrote:

So since I didn't see a thread for this yet...

Okay we just played and had our second wipe.

Name: Chef
Race: Human (Chelaxian)
Class: Unchained Rogue (Improvised Sap Adept)
Alignment: CG
Origin: Kintargo, noble from a minor house. In Kintargo to follow his dreams of being a master of culinary arts. Wields a masterwork chefs spoon in combat.

Adventure: In Hell's Bright Shadow
Location: Hokum's Phantasmagorium (sp?)
Cause of Death: Negative channeled.


Lesay Elven Witch (Slumber)
Lesuule Half-elven Shaman (Heavens)
Ramiel Elven Bard (Court Bard)
Reginald Human Vigilante (Avenger)
Chef Human Rogue (Unchained Sap Adept)

Allowed sourcebooks: Core plus 2 others of player's choice.

My character was already suffering from PTSD after a previous attempt to brave an enemy stronghold ended in abject failure. He was just beginning regain his confidence when fate intervened...

The Actual Death: Upon deciphering a possible cache of former rebel hideout, the party decided to investigate. After disguising the entire party as homeless hoboes trying to find a shelter for the night, the party broke in. Attempts to bypass the front door were met with failure as all other access points were heavily boarded/bricked over or barricaded.

After one close fight with undead apes, the party became aware of sounds from the east. Rested up the party then opened the door and ran into a massive swarm of zombies plus four elite guards armed with bows and blades.

In the first round our Vigilante was dropped by a hold spell of some sort. My rogue dashed to cover the front line and gave him cover, knocking out a guard and taking out a zombie. Meanwhile the bard proceeded to denigrate the foes reducing their accuracy and then dropping a timely grease spell which had four of the zombies flailing and attacking from the ground. Our witch worked on putting the guards to sleep and our shaman provided support and healing.

The fight appeared to be going well after the first round and then the leader who proved to be a cleric made his appearance. He had cast the hold previously and proceeded to negative channel.

Upon advice from the party, my rogue dashed ahead (tumbling) braving AoO's from zombie and guards alike and attempted to take out the boss. Unfortunately fate was again not on the party's side. Chef's attack was a complete miss and then the evil priest responded in kind, only effectively. The evil cleric then also popped a spiritual hammer and then negative channeled several more times, even harming his own side.

My rogue rallied and again attempted to strike the cleric, again failing completely and was then dropped by the second channel. (Basically he rolled 2 1's on attacking, made save against a weak channel and rolled another 1 against a channel that the GM rolled almost max on).

The vigilante did break the hold and took out several of the mooks, sustaining just enough injuries that a channel dropped him as well.

The party did encourage one guard to run. However the party chose foolishly to hold their ground. Even after our biggest healing spells, all that happened was that Chef who was dropped by one channel, was conscious to be taken out by the next one. The bard, heavily wounded himself, upon advice from the rest of the group when we saw how things were doing, wisely withdrew. As for the rest of the party they are all either eaten, captured for sacrifice, or outright killed by the evil priest and his remaining horde of zombies.

After action report, Priest of Asmodeus:

Title: Acolyte of Asmodeus.
Duty Station: Hokum's Phantasmagorium
Subject: After action report.

During the mid-evening hours of the watch just passed. Our patrol became aware of several would-be infidels openly defying the just and righteous rule of Lord Asmodeus, Long May He Reign. While they first appeared to be typical indigent homeless* they utilized and possessed diverse combat abilities both mundane and magical.

However our stout guard proved to be more than a match. After several feeble attempts at ensorcellment to my guard and outright physical attacks, I responded with a modest benediction from Our Lord Asmodeus, long may he reign.

We suffered only one casualty, an officer Morris who as you may recall I had already downgraded his last two fitess reports and was recommending re-assignment to the salt mines. The zombies were of no consequence and I anticipate will be quickly replaced, as we now have fresh blood.

One individual, wielding a kitchen implement (a large soup spoon!) of all things prove how foolish and incompetent these would-be rebels are. If indeed there even are rebels. In any case their numbers have been reduced considerably and I anticipate any further disruption of law and order to subside, if not outright cease.

Your Most Humble and Worshipful Servant of Lord Asmodeus, Long May He Reign.

*Please see my other memo on recommendations on dealing with this civil disobedience, titled 'Blood and Souls for Our Lord Asmodeus: a Modest Proposal'

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Evards Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion...

Uh I mean Black Tentacles works fairly well. Any variety of the wall spells.

Conjure a few Air Elementals, have them whirlwind, fly 100 feet per move action (perfect) and drop their passengers as a free action means wide swaths covered each round. Oh and be sure to drop the mooks into the aforementioned walls or tentacles for an extra bit of damage.

If you want higher level...Holy Word / Blasphemy cheese also covers large areas...

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Alternatively don't award xp. At all.

Have PCs level up after reaching benchmarks or key points in your story. Take a look at an adventure path and it will say:
"PCs start at W level"
"When the PCs attack the lair of the boogun, they should be Level X"
"By the time the PC's reach the BBEG they should be level Y"
"After defeating the BBEG, the PCs will be level Z"

Many folks enjoy the 'cha-ching effect' of rolling xp maths, some find it a distraction from the story.

"Hey let's investigate this cryptic clue!"
"No we need to find some trash mobs so I can level up first."

This gets away from that. Again YMMV.

As far as I am much DPR is enough? It's never enough. That said I do follow core assumptions in most of my games. If the party comes in way optimized...I explain they will steamroller through. I may add a few more waves, adjust some tactics, but usually I pretty much run as written. I do NOT plan for every player contingency. There's no way you can keep up and quite frankly when I used to attempt that, it was a bit stressful and i found it personally unfun, so I stopped and just focused on moving the story along.

Now if the players want a blood mist bowl...then I'll whip one up...but I finds that most folks tend to stop that after awhile.

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Zen archer is solid. Each archer build has pros and cons. Pally archers get Smite so DR is a free pass x/day (usu boss fight). Ranger needs instant enemy but is good till then and has some out of combat utility and is ok at being a switch.

Got ninja'd on something I found out recently...half-orc and orc hornbow. Free gravity bow all day long. That is range increment is 80 but damage is upsized by 1. So medium bow is 2d6. Add a dash of Sacred Tattoo and Fates's Favored and you have a nice foundation for your archer...though losing a feat (vs. human) does hurt a bit.

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Also consider the Landshark (Bulette).
I suppose if you feeling mean...add a touch tentacle attack from Carrion Crawlers. Now you're grabbed, paralyzed and being swallowed whole.

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How about Speak with Dead. Ask the unicorn.

As for digging a grave...for a horse sized body? With magic not so bad...with shovels (assuming they actually have em) it is quite a chore. And last I checked, IDK what swrvices or rites/rituals pathfinder unicorns prefer anyway.

IDK about the disk of infection, aren't cornies all supposed to be walking anti-virals?

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I have always preferred "Big Darn Heroes" over "Two Guys with Sticks Beating Up Each Other."

I like the PCs to be the heavy hitters. Their decisions shape the course of empires. If I want one PC = one vote...that's real life and it's free all day long.

If I want a low to mundane power level feel...there are plenty of systems where that is the default standard.

To each their own.

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+1 for Psionics. Since PF doesn't have it at all.
+1 for Tome of Battle. Because non-casters should have nice things.

Dragonfire Adept...a very self-reliant class with multiple options for support and steady in and out of combat capabilities. Plus most important of to play something with a dragon-like feel. For that matter the whole of the dragon concept from a PC-perspective...which is not a part of Pathfinder (at least according to the Paizo if you read all the requests for a dragon-themed AP.)

That said PF did address a lot of the issues in 3.x though granted it created just as many a natural side effect of multiplying synergies...

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Jhaeman wrote:
I think most people in this thread are approaching the "issue" of critical fumble rules the wrong way by both making much too big a deal of them and then advising either not playing with that GM or playing a non-martial character just to avoid the ...

Most people including the thread author whom we are trying to help.

examples of play:

Since we're now using play examples...I spent a day writing up a background and creating a character...who very first 'roll' was getting out of bed. Rolled a critical fumble. Knocked himself out and bled to death. Then the game session began for everyone else. I found that somewhat less than fun.

Character drops weapon? Oh yes...Paladin dropped his holy avenger...and the demon caster got off his maximized empowered spell perfected Horrid Wilting. Character tripped and fell? Yep...and the penalty for being prone allowed the enemy to confirm his crit which perma-killed the PC. And flat-footed...oh yeah the Assassin's guild we were fighting LOVED that.

I don't feel fumbles make characters feel more like big darn heroes, which is my preferred setting. And ultimately this is moot and off-topic. What helps the OP? What do his other teammates consider fun? If they are cool with it...then no worries.

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NoTongue wrote:

You have your blaster archetyoe sorcerers and your 2 handed fighters. These characters are built towards doing as much damage as quickly as possible.

What's a build that can whittle down the enemies strength along with having decent crowd control or defenses so they can do it safely?

Any tier 1 control caster. Better defenses go divine vs. arcane.

Alternatively a control+summons focused caster will also work. Put minions between u and the baddies. several summons have their own abilities via spells or Ex or Su that debuff.

Also the aforementioned kineticist, IF you don't use burn beyond your daily overflow, there are several decent infusions, elements with fair defense, and he has 2 good saves, light armor prof so the class is okay, though definitely not tier 1.

+1Witch, Shaman, Oracles have hexes or other Su that can debuff. With Shammy and Oracle having better defense stats.

Keep in mind that as opposed to slowed, reduced attack, reduced damage, blinded, entangled, etc... usually (unless playing a character with a code vs. killing) the best debuff/status effect is dead. Or in the case of a blaster vaporized. :)

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quibblemuch wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
these cow puns are utterly unbearable
And unbelievabull too.

Completely un-herd of!

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+1 to the Eidolon / summoner issues. Aside from early Haste access / pounce most often IME YMMV, is because the rules are not being followed. It doesn't matter if he's got the limbs for 10 attacks....the eidolon can't do that's 3 at level 1 and 7 at level 20. Before haste fx, etc...of course.

Ah noticed the point buys as well. The PCs effective level is much higher than the norm so less xp (or lvl by chapter and being below the lvl) is perfectly in keeping for balance options.

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Many good suggestions here. I would add (and use or not as you see fit):

You need intel. Size, composition, leadership, waves, equipment, seige engines, or single mass, etc...all of these will impact the conflict.

Brief the militia (if there is one) on undead and their resistances...use slashing on zombies, blunt of skeletons for example.

Also what assets do you have? How many are trained militia? What other assets like gear? What reserves of consumables (ammo?) are available. What is the town willing to offer as help?

Way too many making some assumptions.

Ideally you are facing non sentients with no gear. If zombies then you could fire and fall back all day. If possible use mounted forces you want to have your scouts back ahead of the horde.. Use advance scouts as skirmishers. Under no circumstances do they engage the main force in melee. If it is a lone stray or two, fine,..but use ranged and if necessary reach weapons. This should be your first line.

Second line. I see lots of woods outside of town... this is good. Create funnels here...and firebreaks. Prepare the woods for a forest fire. If you time it right you can catch many of the horde in the woods when they are fully ablaze.

Third line is the town itself...the approaches and walls. Meanwhile the bulk of the town must add to existing defenses. Funneling as mentioned is an excellent idea. Create kill zones/ boxes. Create difficult terrain on these approaches.

Fourth line is inside the town. If you have enough skilled carpenters, makes some makeshift braced walls with gaps wide enough for polearms but not for bodies to get through on both sides of these funnels. If you don't then tear down some houses to fill all the gaps between the buildings. Board up windows, block off doors like you are expecting a hurricane. Make each of those main roads into town your killing zones. If you can do trenchworks in a zig zagging fashion to further slow down the horde, so much the better.

Have ranged folks fire from rooftops. Have planks laid in advance on these roofs...if these zombies / skeletons suddenly make climb checks then fall back and drop the planks as you go.

+1 on evac all non-combatants to the keep. Also have a way for you outer forces on the walls/rooftops or manning the kill zones a way to fall back to the keep if it goes south. That is your fifth line. Hopefully you won't have to evac out the postern gate or tunnel...since it seems that outside of town is nothing but undead...

Assuming you will also have forces on the walls with ranged weapons.

Alchemical consumables are unfortunately too expensive...but if the town has any to spare, use them. Even a few smokesticks means you have partial concealment.

If the zombies / skeles attack from the water, consider them as lower priority. You want to focus on the ones on land. Flaming areas are fine...for example if that bridge is difficult terrain and on fire (assuming it is stone) then anyone who marches across will literally be toast before they get all the way across. Lamp oil as a base and ignite with alchemical fire / flaming arrows so no one is fumbling with flint/steel.

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Wait a sec...your party doesn't like +1 atk/+1 AC/+1 Ref save/+30 movement/and extra attack on a full attack action?

I think that there are other issues here. But anyway:

Invest in knowledge skills. Or have party members do so.
If you get enough to learn something/ask a question then as for:
Best way to kill it?
Weakest save?

Or you could go by rationalizing though this is a slippery slope.

You KNOW that casters typically have better will saves than martials.
Is the enemy that you are facing (even a giant) slinging spells (better will save) or flailing a weapon about/using brute force attacks (probably better fort save).

Regarding SR...
My wizard has a simple approach to SR. Don't cast spells that are resisted by it. If I see a spell bounce (more likely I made a knowledge check and asked, "any special defenses, DR/SR?") then I switch to spells that bypass it...such as almost the entire Conjuration school. Or summon critters (a bite or claw doesn't care about SR) or buff your allies.
Spells such as Grease and Glitterdust are great staples and even have uses at higher levels. Say if your martials are all over the place and you cannot Grease the floor...Grease your enemy's weapon/wand instead. Glitterdust ignores SR and blinds the enemy...almost always a good go-to option.

You don't have to blow up stuff every session. There are going to be times when you face high SR foes. But if you have to do damage with a direct damage spell...

Varisian Tattoo: +1 CL
Spell Pen: +2 to overcome SR
Greater Spell Pen: another +2 to overcome SR.
If you have the cash: Orange Ioun Stone for a +1 CL.

Note if they are magic immune (golems), then you have to switch.
Acid Arrow is core and ignores SR.
Stone call: 2d6 in an area.
Snowball 1d6/CL (max 5d6) plus stagger (more dice if you Intensify).

Hope this helps.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Rerednaw wrote:

Purely IMHO...the magic lies in a duel between story vs. stats.

Story: "By this wand of power I banish thee to nothingness!!"
Stats: "Eat hot photons, martian slime! "-granted there's still a bit of story here...but when the magical becomes mundane and commonplace...*shrug*

So...sci-fi is stats, fantasy is story?

Only for those who take and believe the first half without the second or for that matter skip the other three quarters which put it in context....which is a problem for many.

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My advice is similar to MrRetsej.

Know your enemy. Know the campaign, the setting, how 'gritty', the power level and so forth.

Is your party a close-knit team (the X-Men) or every man for himself (Justice League)? How others support you will make a huge difference in survival.

If you are on your own, you will die. At 3rd all it takes is one single lucky crit...or if the GM is playing with the CR rules, just one fight or one critter too many.

That said things that will help:

Learn the Total Defense and Withdrawl actions. Use accordingly.
Acrobatics is your friend.
Knowledge skills: identify what you are facing. what their special attacks/weaknesses are.

Infernal Healing-> won't save you in combat, but a wand will help out of combat recovery.
Mage Armor. Have this spell on, as often as you can.
Vanish. Invisibility's little brother. Useful when you need to get away NOW.

Invisibility. Granted many ways to foil this, BUT not everyone has them, (unless your GM is of course gaming the system.)

Also suggested: Conjuration. Summon Monsters and keep them between you and your foes. Spells like Obscuring Mist, Glitterdust grant concealment which can be a huge lifesaver.

If your GM allows crafting...Craft Wondrous Item. Make Pearls of Power. 500 gp a 1st level POP, means you can drop your Mage Armor and get that spell back. There are so many Wondrous Items you can also make...even if you don't know the spell (+5 DC to the check). This also effectively doubles your wealth.
Alchemical items.
Smokesticks. Cheap concealment.
Tanglefoot bags. Touch AC is by far the easiest to hit. And even if the foe saved they are still entangled.

Take craft Alchemy as a skill and make some yourself to extend your cash.

Hope this helps.

Cheers and good luck!

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Use Mythic rules then. Have items that scale with the wielder's level.
If any items grant Mythic feats or Mythic class abilities you are really over the top.


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Read through (I admit I may have missed a post or two.)

My thoughts? Hindsight is always 20-20. I wasn't at the table, I don't know the full context, IDK the players or the GM. I get that it is more 'gritty' IDK if the players were made fully aware of this before the start.

I don't feel the Paladin's actions were terrible, then again I don't know what code the Paladin follows. Maybe his diety frowns on fleeing when evil is sensed. Maybe the player is thinking "I want to be a big darn hero epic-style game" while other folks know that it's "sorry it's start small, and never get to be a big darn hero game."

If anything the Paladin player seemed to act within reason. I don't expect a Paladin to have the appropriate knowledge skill to identify the threat, especially when he cannot see them anyway. He just knows (assuming no concentration) that there is evil...and that they are firing tiny darts at him. If I had missile weapon fire at me, I'd probably head for cover (tree) or drop prone until I could identify the threat...or even fall back. But in each case these critters with their superior fly speed would always be able to keep up (of course my character would not necessarily know that.)

Tactical retreat is obvious in hindsight...but again it may have gone against the code. And trying to draw away the enemy may have been a selfless act. Turtling up may have been an option...but IDK if the paladin had all the right gear for such.

In the end it seems like that it wasn't a good match of player to GM game style. I'd be sad if someone left, but it would be worse if someone stayed in a game he really didn't fit or like. Better to separate on a civil and mature level.

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I figured the class name was a dead giveaway.

"So is this class powerful, exceptional, superior?"

"Well it's actually kind of...medium..." :)

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Milo v3 wrote:
Rerednaw wrote:
Wait a come the Wizard 20 didn't pickup the Leadership feat and bring in his Wiz 17 cohort? :)
Because of the rule "Can't bring any friends."

Ah I read the first post as the ground rules...missed the changing goal posts...well that really sucks for the fighter if he cannot bring in his mage pet either.

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Wait a come the Wizard 20 didn't pickup the Leadership feat and bring in his Wiz 17 cohort? :)

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Nah...a bard with Glibness is truly a scary thing...whisper just the right thing in their ear and they'll destroy each other. :)

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LOL. Sorry I just realized that...

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Actually what is the concern with not learning the rules? Does the player take a very long time when it is his turn? Does the game stop because of the need to look up the rules or the player does't know which die to roll? Is he playing a class with spells/pets and he doesn't have stat blocks or spell descriptions?

Are the other GMs getting burned out because the other players won't learn the rules and won't step up to give the other GMs a break from running?

It would help us provide more tailored advice if we knew a bit more about the nature of the conflict. :

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Thanks for the advice. Went with Quicken Spell.
The Rod of Lesser Extend was purchased as part of his starting gear, he doesn't plan on selling it. Plenty of utility spells that could use extend.

Just going to have to mind his spell slots. A Q-GD and SM V is boss fight level, as it's 2/3 of his biggest slots.

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We are starting with 75 gp.
Excessive "cheese" is discouraged. The GM has stated he will use steal summons liberally if we have a master summoner for example. In our last AP we fought the book 6 end boss, heavily boosted in book 5 for another.

Any for CC I hear there are lots of undead...well nobody is playing a class that can channel...are we in trouble?

So far we have kineticist, inspired blade, melee alchemist, zen archer...and me ( bard with 4 str, or 2 str if he goes small race.). Subject to change.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber the samurai player in this thread. -me

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Rushacre wrote:

I have never played the game before or any of its sort but just agreed to joining a new group made up of other noobs. The only person with experience of the game in the group is the GM who loves it and wanted to introduce us all to it.

I am currently considering for my first character a Half Elf Rogue, most probably two handed fighting. I have done a lot of reading up but, being new to it, a lot of it is a little confusing. I was hoping maybe for a few handy, SIMPLE tips to get me going and give me a bit of a nudge in the right direction for my PC.

Any help would be really appreciated.


Welcome to the game, enjoy your stay!

As mentioned, go Unchained Rogue if you can. Maybe Scout Archetype.
Did you want more knife fighter (daggers?), short swords or something else?

Feat chain is pretty straightforward.
Weapon Finesse (free with Unchained). Two-Weapon Fighting, Quickdraw, Improved TWF, TW Defense, etc...

Your class has to be played with care, consider finding some way to enhance your Will and Fort saves eventually. To get your full attacks, look into something like the Quickrunners' Shirt so you can get into position and get all your attacks in the same turn.

Good luck and have fun!

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Normally I run APs as written...if the PCs are > 4 or optimized I typically add more minions or use the advanced simple template but I prefer to keep things out of the book. That said I'm usually uncomfortable with most boss fights as written.

On that note.



Okay he's a massive statblock and an 18th level caster with 3 lives.
BUT...his tactics appear to be:
before combat massively pre-buff, and know all he can about the party.(good idea)
reverse gravity
waves of ecstasy
...other (blade barrier, blasphemy, destruction, harm, stormbolt, unholy blight)

Reverse gravity doesn't work against targets that fly. What 14th level PC party cannot?
Waves of Ecstasy looks nice on paper (save and stagger, fail stun and stagger)...but it is a point-blank cone with a marginal effect. Granted it seems to fit with his theme (Worship me!) but I don't think after studying the PCs (especially my group of GMs who optimize) he'd go with this.

And now it's round 3 before he considers the really big guns...what party allows an enemy caster 3 rounds in combat?

I'm considering switching his spell priorities around...he's got better options to open with. How many other GM's did the same or did you run as written? If you didn't go as written, how did you run him (the boss fight encounter).


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Top bow enchantment would be adaptive...if you have a decent strength. And sticking with flat + to hit/damage is fine. Eventually you will want seeking...but in the long run it is usually better to buy seeking arrows...unless your campaign is non-stop invisible foes and your party has no way of countering.

Top archery magic item is the OMFG Bracers of Falcon's Aim. You WANT this. Right after making your bow magic, and maybe even before a belt of dex.

Pick up some blanches to cover the common DR, oil of bless weapon (or Knight Inheritor Ring if you prefer reusuable over consumable) ghost salt and you will have most bases covered.

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Well normally I'd start with two words: Hex Vulnerability

Level 1 and greatly expands the use of your 1/day Hexes. For example a Wand of Hex Vulnerability and now you can spam Healing Hex on your friends...or Fortune...or... ity

But in your case against warforged...what specific immunities is your GM running them with? The standard stuff from 3.5? If so, it's things like poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition and energy drain. Which admittedly is great package.

Misfortune, as a debuff is one of the best ones out there as it isn't Sleep or Mind-affecting, but you don't have it yet. Evil Eye, which you do possess, should work just fine.

Level 1:
Adhesive Spittle. Useful single target debuff. As a tanglefoot bag, but with your DC, doesn't require a to hit roll, and it is SR:no. The awesomeness of a tanglefoot debuff is even when they make their save, they are still entangled. It's a great "save AND suck" spell.

Ray of Enfeeblement. As it is only a str penalty ought also to work fine. It's level 1 and so should be cheap to pick up, unless your GM does't allow your witch to learn spells outside of leveling.

Snowball. Ranged Touch attack for moderate damage, bypasses SR...and save or be staggered. Good combo.

Level 2:
Glitterdust is still a big gun, especially after they have been softened up with Evil Eye. About as close to "I win" as you can get next to Slumber Hex.

Vomit Swarm is also a decent spell. Great against enemy casters.

On a side note...note sure what your Traits are, but my witch double-traited Ill Omen with metamagic reducers (Magical Lineage and Wayang Spellhunter) and started casting Quickened Ill-Omen + Hex of your Choice when he hit level 5. Great way to open a fight. Drop your biggest hex and the poor guy has to roll twice on that save. And of course if he made the save against the Hex, he's still rolling d20 twice on his next check/attack/save and taking the worse one.

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Hey all, came to this guide late but I liked it, thanks.

I had a slight suggestion. Instead of using Witch Hex to pick up Slumber or Flight, I feel Soothsayer deserves honorable mention for buffer Shamans.

Soothsayer (via Witch Hex)
Fortune for everyone.
Chant through encounter.
After encounter, Hex Vulnerability.
1 reroll a round for everyone each combat I feel is pretty decent. At least if this combo has not been faq'd or errataed to be illegal that is. Granted a Witch can do this as well...but I thought this was a useful combo worth mentioning.

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Just want to add my thought. A low point buy or sub-par array often has the opposite effect if your intent was to reduce optimization. When you have less to work with, you make the most of what you have.

With arrays like that I would go pure caster / caster with pet. Druid, Razmiran Sorcerer, Blockbuster Wizard, Dual-cursed Time Oracle. Sure their foes will save, but between super-powered AoE and combat pets plus forced rerolls who cares?

Or if your group all loves dwarf fortress be my guest. For a regular game, waiting for my to go, then fail, then wait for turn, then fail, then die before my next turn is too much like playing a rogue again. Once in a while it's fine, but I prefer big darn heroes.


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Generally admixture wizard with double-traited spell specialized fireball or Tattoed Sorcerer Orc-blood Gnome Pyro (also spell spec/dbl trait) have been my blaster staple for years. I never dip and have never used cross-blooded.

I prefer enhancing items that are not consumed, but that is a personal preference. So the acid flask (acid splash bypasses SR) and is cheaper than liquid ice, but the ice + ray of frost is perfectly fine if you'd rather go with ice. And I use a lesser goblin drum with fireball.

The breakdown for a pyro gnome sorc at 6th, when the build comes online is:
+1 caster level (race) +1 (tattoo archetype) +2 (spell specialization) when he casts fireball. 10d6 +10(orc blood)+10(drum). Plus free Empower Spell. 10d6+20 x 1.5 is pretty decent at 6th level. Not as much as other builds, but enough to turn most encounters into melted glass. Blow 2k for a lesser rod of selective spell and your tac nukes won't vaporize your party.

Do this with a race that does not have a +1 racial to caster level and you are only 9d6+18 x 1.5, which is still respectable. At 10th level, you are dropping 2 fireballs a round as the other is Quickened. Can be an encounter ender. Or your GM may throw dice at you, YMMV. :)

Welcome to the fun world of blasting and enjoy melting faces! :D

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Well after all that, I sent a list of non-core requests off.
Also made a Unchained Rogue for the heck of it.

Thanks again folks for the suggestions, advice, and the lively debate.

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I'm a bit curious as to why the GM is restricting stats so much...If the intent was to avoid min-maxing I've found that the opposite is usually true...low point-buy/stats usually encourages min-maxing.

But back on topic. Druid or Wizard would be my choices here. They can get by with one fair score and a bunch of low ones.

Play Druid as a summoning Druid.

Wizard does not have to be a summoning wizard though they would excel as such. As they are very single-attribute dependent and you start with a 14. I'd actually consider a straight evoker (admixture subschool, spell specialization, double-traited fireball for metamagic cost reduction etc.) build. Or if you want to go with summoning than yes focusing on Conjuration(teleport subschool) will do very well.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the Witch Doctor...not sure if that's allowed since the OP mentioned that the Summoner may be banned, but SAD hex caster plus 9 levels of arcane is made of awesome.

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Reiterating, the main new mechanics that seem to cause the most trouble are spell combat and spellstrike.

Just read each ability separately first...that's what worked for me.

Spell Combat, Spellstrike explained:

Spell combat lets you take all your combat swings and cast a spell. In effect it breaks action economy because you get a spell (standard action) and a full attack (full-round action.) The penalty is the -2 on your attack roll.

Example of spell combat (all this in same round): Magus declares spell combat. He casts Shield, takes a 5 foot step and takes his melee attacks at -2 for that round.

Spellstrike is a separate ability from spell combat. Normally when you cast (say Shocking Grasp) you get a free melee touch attack to deliver the spell. All Spellstrike does is give you a free swing to deliver a touch spell instead. In other words you trade a touch attack for a normal attack via your weapon. Trade off is you lose targeting touch AC but benefit is you gain the threat range of your melee weapon which for most is superior.

Example of Spellstrike (all this in same round): Magus casts Shocking Grasp. He takes a 5 foot step and makes a single melee attack at a target, hitting the normal AC. In addition to the normal weapon damage, he adds his Shocking Grasp damage. Also if he scores a critical hit via his weapon, then Shocking Grasp also crits for double damage.

Combining the two?
Spellstrike with Spell Combat:

Magus (with Hexcrafter archetype for access to Brand cantrip)
Magus declares Spell Combat.
Magus casts Brand cantrip.
Magus takes a 5 foot step forward and makes a melee attack at -2. If he hits he inflicts normal weapon damage, plus 1 point from the Brand cantrip. (this is Spellstrike)
Magus now makes his other normal melee attack(s) that he gets based on his BAB, with a -2 penalty. (from Spell Combat).

In effect the Magus gets an extra swing plus touch spell delivery for a -2 attack penalty.

I don't think the class is too hard for a new player.

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We had a +3 Cold Iron Evil Outsider Bane Longsword drop. My Paladin did not select it. In fact he hasn't selected ANY magical weapon that has dropped since level 1. The only one he accepted was the one he was given by a priest of his god who said "God X wants you to use this."

The other Paladin in the party, an Aasimar Oath of Vengeance of Ragathiel did not take it either. Because he is a reach build.

Another factor: my Paladin is small and 99% of all magical gear that drops in the game is for medium creatures.

I actually had not planned my character at all. But then he only gets very few feats so he always has 2 levels to think things over before decision time.

When I play casters though I do plan. Each of them has 3 or 4 types of spell lists if they memorize and their feats are more or less decided based on the school/domain they specialize in.

If they are spontaneous I usually have a focus or goal in mind, but I'm pretty loose on how I get there.

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Well there is also Paladin's Sacrifice spell.

Another thing to consider is that most of these are immediates and you only get 1/round.

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I'd vote for Warpriest. Your group is already melee-heavy and Warpriest offers some versatility that the Swashbuckler doesn't have.

Plus...built-in Quickened spellcasting! How cool is that!

Going by party analysis:
(Hammer) Damage dealers...check
(Anvil) Controllers...check
(Arm) Healing/buffer...*chirp chirp*

Forge of Combat wrote:

Groups without Arms Perhaps the most forgiving of the three major imbalances. These groups usually spend more resources than necessary to finish an encounter. When they don’t they exist on a razor’s edge where an enemies passed save or a characters failed save can mean the difference between failure and victory. This is much worse in groups that lack the means to magically heal themselves and are thus forced into shorter adventuring days or burning wealth on tons of cure light wound wands.

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Hurtful is a pretty decent feat if you go the Intimidate path.

I was wondering if there was a way to get this running from the get go, with a standard 2-hander melee.

If you don't have the feat handy:

Monster Codex wrote:

Hurtful (Combat)
You know how to add injury to insult.

Prerequisites: Str 13, Power Attack.

Benefit: When you successfully demoralize an opponent within your melee reach with an Intimidate check, you can make a single melee attack against that creature as a swift action. If your attack fails to damage the target, its shaken condition from being demoralized immediately ends.

So you need a Str of 13...check.

Power attack...check.

I'm trying to figure out how to get Intimidate down to a free action.

With Enforcer it works...but you need to do non-lethal...and that makes 3 feats...which pretty much means human fighter.

You could pick up the Bludgeoner feat...but now we are at 4 feats.

This would be for PFS (Society) so a merciful weapon wouldn't arrive until level 5 based on purchase limits by fame. Cruel enchantment would be icing on the cake but it's cost prohibitive.

Any ideas appreciated, thanks!

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Well as long as your party has:
1) a witch that isn't incapacitated
2) ...with the healing hex.

Still nice for a steady group or home game.
For pick up groups (like PFS) you may be better off with something you can use without being as reliant on party makeup. Not to mention in PFS higher CL wands are hard to come by in any case...

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Okay this is just an idea floating around.

Not a cave druid.
Wanted to stick with the base druid class.
No class-dips into monk, barbarian, whatever.

20 point buy. Pathfinder Society compliant (if not, indicate what you took that was outside PFS).

The Early days:
Shillelagh, possibly on an over-sized (L) club.

First Wild Shape (4th):
Which animal (S or M) has the biggest bite/single attack?

Any feats or spells to enhance this?

Second Wild Shapre (6th)
Best large animal? Maybe a rhino?

Third Wild Shape (8th)
Best huge animal? I came across the Behemoth Hippo. I like it just because of the visual of a Hungry, Hungry, Hippo. Dunno if it's the best one though.

Build becomes fully online. (9th)
Since we're going with a single attack, may as well take up Vital Strike.

Hippo Build, work in progress:

Initial 9th level snapshot:
Human Druid 9th

Final stats:
..+2..+2..+.......+2.... from belt/headband
..+6..-4................ from wild shape (behemoth hippo)

Beast of the Society (Magic) when Wild Shape to S or M animal, 2hr/lvl.
Open? Maybe reactionary or intimidate as a class skill.

Skills (human form)-not set in stone, may shuffle around for intimidate...but then I'd need it as a class skill
per +9+3+3+1=+16
k_nat +9+3+0+2=+14
h_ani +6+3+0+0=+9 (+13 with companion)
surv +2+3+3+2=+10
spcft +1+3+0+0=+4
fly +8+3+3+0=+14

03-Power Attack
05-Natural Spell
07-Intimidating Prowess (+str to intimidate, +4 if size greater)
OR Wild Speech???
09-Vital Strike

Combat Gear:
16000 Amulet of Mighty Fists +2
10000 Belt of Physical Might (+2 str, +2 dex)
04000 Headband of wis +2
05000 Jingasa
03000 Ring of Knight-Inheritor (Prot +1, Bless Weapon 1/day)
01000 PoP 1st
02500 Cloak of the Hedge Wizard (at-will acid splash, prestidigitation. 1/day Mage Armor, 1/day Unseen Servant). Put on for effects, otherwise
04000 Cloak of Resistance +2

AC: 10+1(dx)+4(mage armor)+6(natural)+4(barkskin)+1(jingasa)+1(ring) = 26

+2/+1/+3 stats (hippo form)
+2/+2/+2 items
+10/+6/+11 total

Daily buffs (or hr/lvl):
Wild shape(Hippo Behemoth)
Greater Magic Fang (+3) to bite, does not bypass DR except Magic.
Mage Armor

Long-term buffs:

Short-term buffs (min/lvl or less):
Strong Jaw

Weakness: AC is awful. Wild Armor is just too much. Huge barding doesn't seem to exist AFAIK in PFS?
Saves could probably use a bump? Reflex saves are very bad if he's big.
Is +17 or +14 to hit at 9th enough? Based on the Average AC by CR...CR+0 would be AC23 (so 6+ or 9+) CR+3 AC27 (10+/13+)

atk: +6(bab)+8(st)+3(GMF) hit: 8d8(16d8 if Vital Strike)+12(st)+3(GMF)
+17 vs. AC, 16d8+15 dam.
Power Attack
+14 vs. AC, 16d8+24 dam.

Not an over-the-top build IMHO but serviceable maybe? Still he's got all the utility of a regular druid if hippo form doesn't work.

Yes, I did not go the Spell Focus (Conj)+Augment Summoning path.
Though I could take that as his 1st and 7th level feats if I really wanted to fit it in. I know that he'd probably be more effective as an air elemental that's summoning allies, I wanted to try a different concept.

So yes/no? Too weak? Changes/suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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Assuming this is a bard via the cohort feat.
Elite array (15 point buy) and 2 levels lower.
I do not recommend Deadly Aim because he's a 3/4 BAB that's 2 levels behind everyone else.

Arcane Strike gives a damage bump without dropping accuracy. So I'd take this one.

I'd start with Point-blank shot, Precise shot, Rapid Shot, and Arcane Strike. Pick up Deadly Aim later if you find he's hitting often enough.

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