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378 posts. Alias of Battle! Tim Jenkins.

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Sovereign Court

Newest set! Proud of the designs in this one - let me know what you think!

Sovereign Court

With Human Adventurers 2 out somewhat prematurely (that is, before the other racial sets are finished) and with my current living situation finally becoming somewhat stabilized (don't worry, I'm doing fine!), I've decided to take a crack at the Gnome set again!

I think I've finally settled on a good aesthetic for gnomes - you can find a preview on my Tumblr. I really wanted to capture their zany otherworldlyness, which meant making them rather cartoony, even when compared to the already fairly cartoonish style of the rest of my paper mini line. As usual, a good chunk of the minis are going to be androgynous, but I think I'm going to skew female/feminine in this one (in contrast to the dwarf set, which is skewed to male/masculine characters).

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

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I think I'm going to do a lot of running in the Basic Box, and as such I made a Google Docs template useful for converting monsters from the full game, making custom monsters, or NPCs. I'd like to share it with all of you!

And here it is!

I believe you can save a copy to edit yourself. I hope this helps out any GM on the go who wants to slip a couple of custom creatures into their adventures!

If you're a magus with two levels in alchemist with the Vestigal Arm discovery, can you use one of your hands to cast a spell and the other two to fight with Spell Combat, wielding two weapons, since you now have three hands?

I'm not planning a build like this or anything, I am just wondering if anyone else thought up this combo yet.

Pretty much everyone agrees that the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat is more or less totally dumb. Would it make it more worth it to instead have the feat apply to all the martial weapons in a given fighter weapon group? So instead of picking Martial Weapon Proficiency (Greatsword), you could pick Martial Weapon Proficiency (Heavy Blades), and get the Greatsword, Greataxe, Bastard Sword (2H), Longsword, and so on. This might actually encourage people to take the feat, especially combat classes that don't get a lot of weapon proficiencies they might want (Inquisitor, Alchemist, etc.)

I'm thinking this is how I'm going to handle it in my games. What do you all think?

Sovereign Court

At long last!

Sorry for the lack of cover photography. It was the only thing not done yet and I figured I could always go back in and add it later. Until then, enjoy some hasty Photoshop.

Not sure on the rules for this - can you cast spells using a hand that's wearing a spiked gauntlet? Would you be able to use the same hand you're casting with to spellstrike, channeling your spell through the gauntlet?

Sovereign Court

Hey, everyone! I just started work on the next set of my line of paper minis, which is going to be Elven adventurers. This is in keeping with the "by race" theme that I'm doing; two sets have already been completed, being Humans and Dwarves.

Battle! Studio Paper Minis: Human Adventurers
Battle! Studio Paper Minis: Dwarven Adventurers

I just thought I might come on here to get some feedback while I work on the Elven set - are tehre any character designs or archetypes that you think would be essential to a set of Elven adventurers? That is, of course, besides the obvious, like archers and such. Conversely, are there any interesting or "out there" character concepts you think would stand out?

I'm not short on ideas of my own, but I am very interested to hear what kind of elves you would expect or like to see!

Another thing I was thinking of doing was releasing a pack supplementary to this, using the same miniatures but colored with dark skin and light hair, like drow. Since they would be using the same base artwork as the elven set, it would likely be a whole set of "pure hearted rebels seeking to throw of the reputation of their murderous kin" drow - though I think that archetype may be common enough to warrant such a thing! In any case, I'm not sure if it would be appreciated as much in the main set. It would probably be only 99 cents, but would not contain the uncolored lineart or any alternate colored versions.

Ranger Archetype: Wrangler

While many rangers trek through the wilderness, clearing a path for their allies through the thick underbrush, a few rangers prefer to protect the open plains, guarding and shepherding livestock. These wranglers develop the skills necessary to immobilize these animals for their own good, and can easily adapt their talents to deal with less savory creatures.

Roper (Ex): At 1st level, a wrangler gains Exotic Weapon Proficiency (lasso) as a bonus feat. The DC to escape a wrangler’s lasso is either 15 or 10 + ½ the wrangler’s level + his Wisdom modifier, whichever is greater. This ability replaces wild empathy.

Lasso Expert (Ex): At 3rd level, a wrangler may turn any rope he is holding into a lasso as a standard action, and can slide a tightened lasso back open as a swift action. This ability replaces endurance.

Hogtie (Ex): At 7th level, a wrangler’s control over his quarry is supreme. He may perform a drag or trip combat maneuver against any foe he has entangled in his lasso, even if he is not adjacent to the creature. When grappling a creature he has entangled in his lasso, he takes no penalty for grappling one-handed when holding the lasso, and can use the lasso’s rope to tie his pinned opponent. This ability replaces woodland stride.


Thoughts? I always thought that the ranger could make a very effective "cowboy" character, and thought an archetype based around lassoing your foes would be neat. I explicitly made sure it could combine with Horse Lord, and I'm pretty sure Ultimate Combat is going to give us a firearms combat style for the ranger, so there you go!

So, what do you all think?

Hello! I am a maker of paper minis (Specifically, the Battle! Studio paper minis), and have considered doing themed sets of monster miniatures at some point. I would just like to know - to what degree can I use the Bestiary illustrations as a reference, in regards to what the monsters look like? Could I essentially draw the same character in a different pose, or would I have to use only the design details inferred by the open content flavor text?

Do animated objects created with the Craft Construct feat follow the commands of the person who created them? I assume this is the case, but I can't find it explicitly stated anywhere.

Prehensile Hair (Su): The witch can instantly cause her hair (or even her eyebrows) to grow up to 10 feet long or to shrink to its normal length, and can manipulate her hair as if it were a limb with a Strength score equal to her Intelligence score. Her hair has reach 10 feet, and she can use it as a secondary natural attack that deals 1d3 points of damage (1d2 for a Small witch). Her hair can manipulate objects (but not weapons) as dexterously as a human hand. The hair cannot be sundered or attacked as a separate creature. Pieces cut from the witch’s elongated hair shrink away to nothing. Using her hair does not harm the witch’s head or neck, even if she lifts something heavy with it. The witch can manipulate her hair a number of minutes each day equal to her level; these minutes do not need to be consecutive, but must be spent in 1-minute increments. A typical male witch with this hex can also manipulate his beard, moustache, or eyebrows.

Since the prehensile hair is treated as a limb with strength equal to your Intelligence score, do you get bonus damage based on your Intelligence rather than strength when you attack with it?

It has reach 10ft., as well - does this mean that you can attack foes at 10ft. and adjacent foes as well, or does it work like a reach weapon?

Has anyone ever tried a system where all characters get an inherent damage bonus that scales with their BAB, but do not gain iterative attacks? I think it might help with the whole issue of warriors instantly becoming less versatile and mobile than casters because they have to hold still to do their full damage potential once they reach BAB +6.

Would the bonus be based on a character's strength, or just be flat across all characters and based solely on BAB? Would you have to prohibit this extra damage from applying to natural attacks, as not to give monsters an instant powerup?

I imagine TWF characters could still full-attack, the disadvantage of being the only class of warrior who still needs a full-attack balanced by doubling up the bonus damage.

I think this would be a neat variant rule - one thing I like about lower level play is that characters can swashbuckle all over the place, since there's no incentive hold still.

Has anyone here tried to remove iterative attacks from the game in favor of a fixed damage bonus or similar system?

A few days ago, I released my first third party product - a set of 30 paper minis of human adventurers for $1.99. (You can find them here!)

So far they've gotten some really great reviews, and one of the people who bought the paper minis liked them enough to commission me for a load of custom miniatures for his groups. This is good, and I'm glad people like them! However, as of this writing, I've only sold five copies. I think the problem is I need to get the word out.

Unfortunately, I don't know a single thing about marketing a 3PP product - I'm not really well ingrained in any tabletop roleplaying game communities, and I'm not exactly rolling in dough I can use for advertising either. Does anyone here have any experience in regards to getting the word out for RPG products they're selling?

Sovereign Court

Finally got these up for sale!

I'd love to hear feedback from anyone who buys these (or at least takes a long, hard look at the cover); especially stories of how you'll be using them in your home games, or the names and personalities you've assigned to the characters within!

It might be cool to have a trait that allows any character to start with the Gunslinger's "junk" gun - that way, characters who want to be gun users but don't want to have to wait until they're rich enough to afford them to realize their character concept can take it.

If a gunslinger took it, they'd simply start with an extra gun, allowing two-pistol gunslingers from the outset again.

What do you think?

I apologize for making so many topics, but I have an issue I should have brought up a lot sooner.

Before the gunslinger, it didn't matter whoever got the killing blow on a monster. Everyone was expected to work together and contribute, and getting the final blow on a monster or villain was more a matter of ego and bragging rights. However, the gunslinger has a mechanical incentive to deliver the killing blow - they get grit back. If the gunslinger is plotting away at a monster, and the fighter finishes it off with a sword swipe, the gunslinger is denied his grit, which could give rise to arguments. It also doesn't make a lot of sense for all of the characters to step back and allow the gunslinger to take the final blow on a creature - it just draws attention to grit as a metagame abstract.

I know that delivering the killing blow with a gun is supposed to be a random chance thing like scoring a critical - but if you put grit recovery in the hands of a player and give them incentive to whine if their "kills are being stolen", something that would otherwise be a non-issue, you pave the way for a lot of pettiness and table arguments.

Do you need a free hand to advance the barrel on a pepperbox? Is it possible to use a pepperbox in each hand and full attack with both of them without having to drop one to switch to the next barrel?

Wizards who select a bonded object begin play with one at no cost. Objects that are the subject of an arcane bond must fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring, staff, wand, or weapon. These objects are always masterwork quality.


Steadfast Shooting (Ex): At 2nd level, the gunslinger can use her firearms carefully and avoid misfires. Once per day, when a firearm she is wielding misfires, her gun does not gain the broken condition (however, it still automatically misses). If her gun already has the broken condition, it does not explode. This ability is used immediately as soon as a misfire occurs. The gunslinger can use this ability an additional time per day for every 4 levels beyond 2nd level.


This makes level 2 a much more attractive prospect for the gunslinger, who has probably come to harbor an extreme dislike for misfires. It's a relatively minor benefit, since it doesn't negate the automatic miss and can only be used once per day (at least at first).

Higher level gunslingers are going to be firing off lots of shots, so they have a greater chance of misfiring more in a day - for extended adventuring days, the gunslinger will always consume all uses of this ability, and never be misfire-immune without investing in the normal ways already available, such as advanced firearms (if they are available) or weapon enchantments.

It also makes sense from a flavor standpoint - the gunslinger knows how to fire the gun to where it won't misfire as easily, but can't keep it up under repeated use and stress (on the firearm as well as herself). As she levels, she can do this more reliably.

The deeds and magical enhancements that help deal with misfires are also still useful - the gunslinger will need them when this ability runs out, and amateur gunslingers who don't get access to this ability at all will still find great use for the Quick Clear deed and Steadfast / Reliable enchantments.

What do you all think? Would this be a useful but balanced ability for the gunslinger?

If you have one level in monk before you gain your ki pool from ninja levels, can you still key the ki pool off Wisdom, even though you haven't gained a ki pool from your monk levels yet? Does your single monk level count as a ninja level for determining your ki pool size?

So for Pathfinder Society, I created a character who is conceptually a ninja - th eplan was for an elaborate monk/rogue multiclass who made use of the Major Magic rogue talent and the Vanish spell. Of course, along rolls the Ninja class playtest, and I'd like to start over.

How would I go about "rebooting" a character from scratch as a new class? Is there a way to retire my old character and remake him, or do I just make a new character with the same name?

One of my close friends plays Pathfinder with us, but she doesn't know the rules terribly well and doesn't have much interest in learning them. She grasps the basics - like what a saving throw or attack roll entails, how to prepare and cast spells, and what have you, but the more complex concepts evade her - like how you get to the number that you add to your attack roll (Base attack bonus + Strength + other modifiers). She also can't level or create her characters on her own.

Sounds intolerable, right? Well, it isn't, really - while she may not be as rules-savvy as the rest of us, she's a great role player who makes really interesting and unique characters, and her illustrations are gorgeous. Not knowing all the rules also gives her a proclivity for out-of-the-box thinking (for example, we were fighting an animated wagon, and rather than attack it fruitlessly, she decided to jam one of the wheels with a scimitar we found earlier). The only thing problematic about her lack of rules savvy is that it occasionally slows the game down during her turn - and when she struggles with the rules, she sometimes gets mildly frustrated, which hampers her enjoyment of the game.

Steps have been taken to make things run more smoothly for her - she used to be a druid, but she's playing a witch in the upcoming game, which is a huge step down in complexity (limited spells known, relatively small class spell list, abilities that don't have limited uses to track, not having to deal with wild shape, etc.). I used Perram's Spellbook to print out reference cards for the entire witch spell list for her, color-coding them by spell level and giving her only the ones she knows to hold on to - this way, she doesn't have to look through the book to prepare her spells, which she can do simply by drawing them and setting them aside, and discarding them after they are cast.

Are there other steps I can take to ensure that the game runs smoothly for her? I've considered making similar "action cards" to describe actions she can take in combat (such as hexes, but excluding things she's unlikely to use, like combat maneuvers), but I'm not sure how terribly useful that would be. Does anyone have some advice, or have similar experiences to share?

(Also, to mention a few things: It's out of the question to change systems, drop her from the group, or force her to learn the rules on her own time. If we can get the game running nice and smooth, she'll absorb the rules via osmosis eventually.)

I've brewed up an alternative version of Hold Person for use in my own games. I've never liked the "fail your save in an inopportune position and it's coup de gras time" aspect of the spell, but I can easily see how a "hold people in place" spell can have utility and a niche in the game, so I'm reluctant to throw it out entirely.

This version of the spell holds the target in place and does Dexterity damage until the target becomes paralyzed. A winged flying character won't automatically fall until the damage is done completely, but won't be able to move - and making the Fly skill check to hover in place with a rapidly decreasing Dexterity score, as well as giving up saving throws to do so, is quite nasty on its own.

Hold Person

School enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level bard 2, cleric/oracle 2, inquisitor 2, sorcerer/wizard 3

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, F/DF (a small, straight piece of iron)

Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)

Target one humanoid creature

Duration 1 round/level (D); see text

Saving Throw Will negates; see text; Spell Resistance yes

The subject begins to become paralyzed and freezes in place. For the duration of the spell, all of the subject’s base speeds are reduced to 0. The subject also suffers 2d4 points of Dexterity damage per round of the spell's effect – if the subject’s Dexterity is reduced to 0 this way, the subject creature becomes paralyzed. A winged creature that is paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls. A swimmer can't swim and may drown. Each round on its turn, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect. This is a full-round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. When the effect ends, all Dexterity damage caused by this spell is immediately removed.

Hey everyone! I'm making a new character for Pathfinder Society, a human Magus who fights primarily with a shield. I took Shield Proficiency and Improved Shield Bash as my first level feats, so I can use it as my primary weapon in combat, and I'm mostly shooting towards some of the neat throwing shield-based Equipment Tricks from the Adventurer's Armory.

I just have a few questions:

- Do I need to have shield spikes on my shield to enhance it as a weapon?
- If not, would I be able to eventually buy a shield that's enchanted as a weapon? Primarily, with the "returning" quality?
- Does a masterwork shield count as a masterwork weapon if it doesn't have spikes on it?

If any of these answers are "no", I'll probably just stick with shield bashin' folks with shield spikes. I'm pretty sure you can use your Arcane Pool on shield spikes, since they're melee weapons and all.

Dagger throwing isn't a fighting style that's well supported by the rules at this point in core - but I'm interested in playing a dagger-tossing Magus in Pathfinder Society play. Are there any PFS legal feats from other sources that would be essential to a dagger-thrower build?

I'm going to run a playtest soon, and my magus player might have an interest in an "Extra Magus Arcana" feat. In line with "Extra Revelation", "Extra Rogue Talent", "Extra Rage Power", and the like, can we expect an "Extra Magus Arcana" feat? If so, can we use such a feat in our playtests?

I was thinking of playing a ranged Magus whose primary attack is throwing darts or shuriken, via Quick Draw and possibly Rapid Shot. The magus can enchant a weapon with magical properties using the Arcana Pool feature - does this also work on 50 rounds of ammo, like most similar abilities do?

There's nothing in the rules to suggest that it does. However, I think it would be a wonderful addition to the magus's repertoire - I'd love to throw a flurry of firey shurikens at my foes and follow it up with a scorching ray or two!

First of all, super great job on the revisions so far - the magus definitely took a huge leap in terms of having its own unique playstyle and utility. Well done!

That being said, the Knowledge Pool is going to be a nightmare to balance. One of the major balancing factors between arcane casters and divine casters is whether or not they know their entire spell list.

But that's not the major concern here - the biggest problem is that this ability will get more and more powerful with every book that comes out. As soon as a new pack of arcane spells are released, the magus had just taken a huge leap in versatility instantly - no study required. 3.5 had a lot of open-ended abilities like this, which lead to a lot of the nightmarishly cheesy characters and rules fatigue of that edition.

It also doesn't make a lot of sense from a in-world/flavor standpoint - the magus just pulls these spells out of thin air. Where does he learn them from? The source of known spells is established quite well for all the other classes, and it's clear that intelligence-based casters gain new spells by learning and studying them. With this ability, the magus can just prepare spells that he's never even heard of before, as long as the player has a book somewhere with that spell in it. This might allow the magus player to dominate the rest of the party in terms of problem-solving. The magus spell list may be small now, but it's only going to keep growing, which may turn this ability from a neat extra to a game-dominating deus ex machina.

(An example of an open-ended ability like this is the Scout's Skirmish ability from Complete Adventurer. It allowed you to gain extra damage if you moved more than 10 feet in a round - the intention being that you gave up your extra attacks by moving, and got extra damage to compensate. Later books came out that allowed characters to move 10 feet and still full-attack, making the Scout's ability much, much more powerful - because the original designers didn't anticipate there'd be abilities later in the game that negated its primary limiting factor. Not to mention a lot of the ways people moved more than 5 feet were really stupid from a flavor standpoint - like having large size friends grapple them around, or even dropping off high spaces, since falling counts as "movement". A very Pathfinder-y solution was applied to a similar ability in the APG, which spelled out that you only get the benefit for a single attack.)

I'm not sure how I'd fix this issue, and my gut instinct is to remove the ability entirely. If the flavor behind the ability were better clarified, I'd probably feel better about it, but as of right now it appears to be "the magus can prepare spells he doesn't know and may not have ever heard of, just because".

Sorry if this post came across as harsh, but it raised a lot of the sort of red flags I get when looking through poorly-balanced 3.5 material, and this class is interesting and fun looking - I'd hate my DM to automatically veto this class because of real or imagined balance issues.

I notice that all the barrier spells have a restriction to the "line" target word, which is understandable.. however, do they work like dragon's breath-style lines, where they have to originate from the caster?

If so, this could limit the effectiveness of those spells immensely - you won't be able to seal off a hallway or anything like that.

However, if you get to originate the line from wherever you please, does that mean you can make a spell like lightning bolt that can just shoot out of thin air somewhere?

There might need to be some clarification, or perhaps even a "wall" style target word that allows for flexible origin points and shaping.

You can cast a single target spell with a range of touch - so why ever prepare/cast spells with the "personal" target word? In my experience, you can cast touch range spells on yourself, so preparing a spell with the "personal" word seems more limiting.

My assumption is that you can't use single target spells on yourself, but there isn't anything in the text that spells this out explicitly. This might be something to clarify.

'Rixx wrote:

You can cast a single target spell with a range of touch - so why ever prepare/cast spells with the "personal" target word? In my experience, you can cast touch range spells on yourself, so preparing a spell with the "personal" word seems more limiting.

My assumption is that you can't use single target spells on yourself, but there isn't anything in the text that spells this out explicitly. This might be something to clarify.

You can use single target spells on yourself. The difference, is frequently 'self only' spells are spells the game designers felt were too good to be applied to non-casters.

I've seen it mentioned here that a character with the Brew Potion feat is able to brew a potion of any spell he knows by adding +5 to the DC. Is this true? And if it is, is this something the original designers intended (I.E. is it something we can expect to see errata'd out?)

And if it is the case that this works, would it be possible to take the Master Craftsman feat to brew potions?

Something I think would be handy is to have a breakdown on how difficult all of the classes are to play - I.E. how much knowledge and mastery of the system it takes in order to be able to keep track of your character and utilize his or her abilities.

I've compiled my own version of the list and would love to hear your feedback! The primary rubric I used to grade these is "how much of the game system do you need to know to use the class effectively". Spellcasting is a significant factor in this. Note this isn't a measure of class power by any means.

Classes - from simplest to play to most complex to play


And here's justification for why!

Fighter: All the abilities and bonuses you get are rather static. Your primary class feature is feats, which usually either plug right into your statblock or apply to every thing you do, and you generally only get them one at a time. The most complex thing you will typically have to do is figure out the bonuses from feats like Power Attack and remember circumstantial benefits like Blind Fight.

Rogue: Rogue is generally a lot like the fighter, but a lot more skill oriented - they get Rogue Talents, which are more or less identical to feats, and a few more class features that are circumstantial (such as uncanny dodge, evasion, and sneak attack) but can generally be figured out ahead of time.

Barbarian: Here we start to delve into circumstantial bonuses - to keep things running smooth, you will have to figure out the abilities of your character when in rage and when out of rage. Rage powers apply only when raging, and the stat bonuses have cascading effects. Luckily, the switch to and from rage is entirely self-regulated.

Cavalier: A cavalier has circumstantial bonuses that are self-dictated (Challenge), but they are static bonuses that are relatively easy to figure out (they don't cascade through the rest of the statblock like a Barbarian's stat bonuses do). Cavaliers are more complex than barbarians because they get companion creatures (mounts) and lots of little class features that, while not crucial, are useful if used at the right time.

Ranger: Here we have a character whose bonuses are determined primarily by outside factors - favored enemies and favored terrains. Luckily it is only a few static bonuses, and are pretty easy to prepare on the fly. They're more complex, however, because they get both a companion character (an animal companion) and prepared spells. If both of these were switched out for alternate options (hunter's bond with allies, ranger tricks), I'd put them on par with the Cavalier for complexity.

Paladin: Paladins are all the complexity of a Cavalier and a Ranger rolled into one big divine package. They get both a full creature companion progression (Divine bond mount, which might also be a scaling magic weapon, requiring knowledge of the magic weapon rules), a circumstantial but self-dictated bonus (Smite Evil, which has extra effects based on creature types), and a lot of "Auras" that affect allies constantly (unlike the Cavalier, whose buffs are relatively selective).

Monk: The monk ranks above them all mostly because of the sheer volume of class features they receive, as well as requiring knowledge of two-weapon fighting and the way Base Attack Bonus scales differently for different classes. Monks also make a lot of exceptions to rules regarding unarmed strikes and damage bonuses from strength, and have a ton of limited use abilities. A monk's varied abilities reward perceptive and clever play.

Sorcerer: The sorcerer has access to a lot of different spells, but doesn't have to worry about all of them - only the ones he or she knows. While the sorcerer/wizard spell list is the largest and most complex, a sorcerer doesn't have to worry so much about arcane schools or learning all the spells available, nor does he or she need to worry about picking spells ahead of time.

Cleric: The cleric is a prepared spellcaster, but one who doesn't have to worry about spells known - a cleric knows all the spells on his or her spell list, so there's no spellbook to keep track of. Though a cleric is a full progression prepared spellcaster, you don't have to worry so much about preparing the wrong spells - a useless spell prepared can become an always-useful cure spell, and a cleric doesn't have many other class features.

Oracle: The oracle is much like the cleric, but ranks above in complexity because of the sheer number of different abilities they have; they can select from many mysteries and each mystery has many different abilities to choose from (unlike sorcerer bloodlines, which have a set progression). Because of this, the oracle is an extremely versatile class, and a beginner might find themselves overwhelmed by options.

Inquisitor: The inquisitor is a class that can do a lot of different things - and they have a lot of bonuses to keep track of from judgment alone, not to mention bard-level spellcasting and a wealth of skills and secondary class features. An inquisitor who doesn't know his or her own abilities very well will flounder, but one who uses the myriad abilities' synergy will dominate.

Wizard: The wizard has access to the biggest and most versatile library of spells in the game, and has the potential to learn them all. Specializing narrows this down somewhat, but also emphasizes the importance of spell schools. Plus, you know, there's the familiar to deal with. A wizard will have to rely on careful planning and item creation in order to cover all his or her bases - if you prepare the wrong spell, there's no spontaneous casting to fall back on. A well-prepared wizard, however, is unstoppable; the class's power seems to scale directly with game system mastery.

Witch: The witch gets more or less everything the wizard does, with the added feature of hexes as at-will powers. The complexity gap between the witch and wizard is extremely close, as the witch doesn't have to deal with school specialization or as large of a spell list, but I think the selection of hexes puts the witch on top.

Bard: The bard is an extremely versatile class that can go many different directions. Equal parts skill, sword, and spell, the bard can fill any party role as needed - and also has to keep track of different scaling bonuses from performance, which also increases the complexity of the game for the other party members. On top of this, they get a ton of class features, much like the monk does. A good deal of system knowledge is needed for the versatile bard to find its niche - those who have no idea where to take their bards end up being not very good at anything, leading to the "bards suck" cliche.

Alchemist: The alchemist is like the bard with a dash of prepared "spellcasting" and even more versatile abilities. If there are many different things the bard can do, this goes double for the alchemist, who can focus on many different abilities (bombs, mutagens, extracts, alchemical item creation, etc.). Even "experts" often look at the alchemist and wonder what to do.

Druid: The druid is like a big complexity salad. Full spellcasting, a versatile circumstantial buff (wild shape), a full progression animal companion, spontaneous summon spells, AND a host of different class features that give minor bonuses - when it comes to required system mastery, the druid is king of the jungle. Except for one, of course...

Summoner: The summoner is like the druid, but with ultimate customization and complexity in the form of the eidolon. The eidolon comes with a lot of options but also a lot of rules and restrictions which bear remembering, as well as knowledge of of hit dice, natural attacks, and other monster-specific rules that were once the domain of game masters alone. The summoner himself is a bard-level caster with access to a lot of summoning spells (which follow different rules from those granted by other spellcasters). If you can run a summoner, you have the system know-how to run a game.

So.. thoughts?

We know by now that BAB form other classes still applies to a monk's flurry. Quick question, though - flurry eventually grants extra attacks (as if two-weapon fighting). Do you still get this benefit if you multiclass out of Monk for a full BAB class? If not, and you end up picking the TWF feats to make up for it, can you use the feats while flurrying?

I'm pretty sure I've heard it said that you can perform trip, disarm, and sunder maneuvers as attacks of opportunity - however, does doing so provoke an attack of opportunity if you don't have the appropriate "Improved" feat?

Say, for example, someone without Improved Disarm attempts to disarm me. I get an attack of opportunity against him - and I decide to disarm him before he disarms me, using the disarm maneuver in place of my AoO. Do I provoke for doing that?

Going through the playtest forum has been pretty painful for me as of late - there's so much negativity going on, so much "X class from 3.5 did this better", so much name-calling and arguing and propositions to change the class completely as coming from legions of furiously typing forum posters who all hold strong opinions as to what exactly a fighter/mage should be.

So, how about a thread with a bit more positivity? Here, let's list what we like about the Magus class as it stands. This is not the place to say what we think the class needs additionally or to say what we think should be removed, but rather to say what we believe (whether gleaned from playtests or not) are good features that should be kept in through any tweaks or rewrites.

Those who reply snarkily (such as listing nothing or only trivial benefits as good with the implication that nothing else is) forfeit their right to objectivity during debates and will receive an official notice to "lighten up". Here's not the place for the negativity! There's a whole rest of the forum for that. Feel free to make a "Bad things about the Magus" thread, if you like.

Anyhow, here's a few things that jumped out at me as really cool:

- Intelligence based, prepared casting: The game needed more of these, and a bard-level prepared caster is very refreshing. Plus, having an Intelligence-based spontaneous caster would raise flavor questions.

- Familiars! They aren't terribly useful, sure, but having them available is a really neat choice. I like the flavor of the Magus as the fighter/wizard, and having the familiar available helps reinforce that.

- The Magus Arcana, and the concept of sacrificing spell slots for combat benefits.

What things would you like to see stay from the beta to the final?

A quick question - can you use Acrobatics to tumble through peoples' squares or move by them without provoking during a charge?

Hello, all! I've finally managed to do a playtest of my very own. I used a Magus as a villain in a one-shot I ran with a few friends.

The party:

Rutgers Grimm (Fighter 1/Rogue 3): Hard-boiled detective and published author (who writes about himself)
Artwood Auril (Cleric 4, domains Magic and Rune): Cleric of Har, god of magic, as well as an accomplished alchemist
Hammer McDwarfbeard (Paladin 4): Dimwitted and boisterous paladin of some unknown dwarven battle god

The Encounter:
Count Dorn (Magus 6): Ambitious, scheming noble who duels with spell, sword, and wit alike
Count Dorn's Cronies (Six level 1 Fighters)

The fight opened up rather strangely - the three party members all attempted to ambush Count Dorn in his summer cottage from different angles, and the fight started without all members present.

As the fight progressed, the impression I got form the magus in play was that he was a wizard who wasn't screwed if someone got next to him. I played Count Dorn as a fighter with a few magical tricks up his sleeve, and that served him very well - he opened up by casting a shield spell (which the party couldn't identify, due to the Spellcraft-knowing cleric being out of the room), which saved him from a nasty hit by the Paladin, and proceeded to fight alongside his henchmen while throwing out battlefield control spells when the opportunity arose (I.E. when he was not adjacent to any enemies). I had him only use Spell Combat once, to cast Glitterdust and then attack, and it was successful on both accounts. He was grappled once, but managed to escape under his own power, which I can't imagine many wizards would be able to do.

The fight eventually ended in parley, and Count Dorn escaped from the battle with minimal injuries, as he was able to utilize his henchmen and battlefield control spells to keep himself protected. When enemies were close, he'd fight and step back, and when enemies were not close, he would cast spells.

The magus makes for a good boss fight - while a magus may not have any huge advantages over any other class, it also doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. A magus can't be automatically invalidated in a fight like a wizard (via grappling and close combat) or fighter (via distance keeping and battlefield control) alone can.

I gave the magus Combat Casting, and using Spell Combat was still a risky maneuver I didn't want to rely on. When used as a last resort, the Concentration magus arcana is a good thing to have. However, from my brief experience with the class, I think the magus should receive Combat Casting for free, as it's a feat that really only benefits them at lower levels regardless. I can see a lot of magi who start at higher levels skipping the feat entirely, while magi at lower levels would take it more often than not.

Also, I never once used Spellstrike, but I blame the lack of touch spells on the magus spell list currently. If it were made a bit more versatile, it would probably be more useful - perhaps allowing a magus to treat any weapon as a Spell Storing weapon as long as he holds it would be a good compromise.

Overall, the magus is a very fun class that rewards clever combat, and he never has a turn go by where he can't do anything. Aside from a few rough edges with the numbers that could stand smoothing out, I think the class's core concept works quite well.

I think that Throwing and Returning would make flavorful additions to the available bonuses - magically empowered warriors making their weapons fly about is quite classic (for example, look at Hand of the Apprentice!), and if they can get Dancing, then Throwing and Returning aren't too much of a stretch.

Could a magus who takes proficiency in a shield use his Arcane Weapon ability to add enhancements to his shield as a weapon? (I.E. bonus to attack rolls and damage, special properties, etc.) Or would something like shield spikes be required?

I think an interesting magus would be one who fights using a shield, using his free hand to cast spells. Of course, you'd have to deal with arcane spell failure, though there's ways around that (Quick Draw + Quickdraw Shield, Arcane Armor Training, etc.), and the benefit isn't too spectacular unless the shield is enchanted defensively. Combined with the shield throwing tricks in the Arms & Equipment Guide, you could even be some kind of "Captain Ameragus" character, throwing your shield at enemies between spellcastings.

Would shield proficiency be worth it for a magus, if the shield was also their primary weapon?

People complaining about the change made to Power Attack. (Specifically, in regards to 3.5 feats Shock Trooper and Leap Attack).

Power Attack, in 3.5, was meant as a method of sacrificing accuracy for damage. Pretty reasonable! Pathfinder's power attack works the same way, but it streamlines it a bit - you can't vary the amount you sacrifice, but to make up for that, you get bigger returns.

The reason people complain about it is that you can't give up your entire attack bonus to get a huge damage bonus. The thing is, under normal use of Power Attack, most people wouldn't do that anyway - you'd be highly unlikely to hit anything.

But here's the rub - combining two different feats, Shock Trooper (which lets you sacrifice AC instead of attack bonus when you Power Attack) and Leap Attack (which lets you double or even triple your power attack bonus damage if you.. jump at the end of your charge, which is trivially easy to do), players were able to sacrifice their entire AC for attacks that do absurd amounts of damage. Now, I'm no master game theorist, but I'm pretty sure that's never how Power Attack was intended to be used.

Pathfinder doesn't even invalidate this feat combination - if you take the fixed (rather than variable) penalty to AC and take both feats, you can still get a nice dollop of extra damage - especially considering that Pathfinder gives you bigger returns. You just don't get ABSURD amounts.

Pathfinder rewards the use of power attack as originally intended, and reins in blatant abuse of its original variable nature. And that's why I think people who complain about the Shock Trooper / Leap Attack combo being "nerfed" (read: fixed) are being a bit unreasonable.

(And no, I don't care that spellcasters get nicer things.)

The character building/optimization aspect of 3.5 has generated an attitude in tabletop gaming that just rubs me the wrong way. I love character customization in tabletop games - indeed, it's the primary reason I don't just exclusively play AD&D - but I don't believe the game was designed to be primarily about making effective characters.

Sorry, just had to vent about that. I know there's no "right" or "wrong" way to play the game, but people get so heated and personal about it that it infuriates me.

Hallo there, everyone! I may be playing a Paladin in a future game, and I was wondering if anyone has made any spell-less variants. I'm playing a spell-less ranger (from Kobold Quarterly) in another game and I'm loving the extra abilities, since I never used the spells much anyhow, and I'd like to have a similar experience with a Paladin.

I was thinking an easy fix would be to let the Paladin pick two Cleric domains at level 4 and get their powers instead of getting spells. That would allow for some more Paladin variety, too. Does that sound balanced? Does anyone else have any ideas?

I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a new base class that I think has a lot of promise. I've done some limited playtesting with friends, but I don't have the talent to really get into the class's numbers - and as such I'm not able to gauge how abusable or under / over-powered the class is.

I plan to release this class as a PDF on the Paizo store when it is finished (complete with lots of wonderful fluff text and art) as Battle! Studio's premiere tabletop gaming offering, but I'd hate to release a sub-par product. That's why I'm asking your help.

Would anyone like to apply for some alpha testing / number crunching shenanigans? If you participate, you'll get a free copy of the PDF when it's finished, as well as a credit. It's a purely martial class, too, so no worries about any magical tomfoolery.

Just drop your name in the hat here and give me some contact information, and I'll send over a document with the class's current write-up. Thanks in advance!

I've been on a real class variants kick lately, and I had an interesting idea for a Sorcerer variant. Basically, you're a Sorcerer who gets to pick two bloodlines.

You get the bloodline powers of both bloodlines at the appropriate levels, and whenever you gain a bloodline spell or bloodline feat, you get to choose which bloodline you take it from.

What you give up is a significant chunk of your spells known / spells per day. The problem is, I haven't been able to pick out exactly how much you'd have to lose to keep it balanced.

Any suggestions?

What would be an acceptable "evasive/dodging" themed substitute for DR 5/-?

Here's a few favorites from my collection. (Careful - it's about 80 megabytes!)

My and a friend are developing on original campaign setting, and are toying with the idea of changing how the planar cosmology works. This campaign setting's also for E6 games, so that limits most planar adventuring anyhow, but the question remains - in terms of game mechanics, what abilities / spells available to characters of 6th level and below would need modification if the planar cosmology was completely rewritten?

Does being staggered in addition to being grappled have any cumulative negative effects? I still can't quite wrap my head around it...

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