Runelord Apologist's page

59 posts. Alias of Natch.


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Garretmander wrote:
Also, I'm pretty sure you hit auto-crit success at making weak undead pretty quickly.

Going by the DCs under Game Mastering, this is very much a no.

At the ritual’s culmination, you must attempt the skill check listed in the Primary Check entry to determine the ritual’s outcome. Primary checks usually have a very hard DC for a level that’s twice the ritual’s spell level.

For the lowest level of undead, the ritual is 2nd level and thus the DC is that of a very hard 4th level spell, meaning DC 28 (23+5).

To crit succeed and get a minion out of it, you'd need to make a 38 on Arcana/Occult/Religion while your secondary caster needs a 23 Religion check (difficulty: standard 4th) to avoid penalizing you.

That's... level 15, legendary in the skill of choice, and with a 20 in Int, along with Assurance, to guarantee a level 1 minion out of the ritual.

I really hope I'm missing something in the ritual rules...

James Jacobs wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
I'm thinking some shade of antipaladin and/or someone transplanted from Galt. If I'm going to be rebelling over mint and grain I want to let loose and do some cartoonishly evil crap.
This is kinda what the next AP is for, honestly... evil won't really fit that well into Hell's Rebels's themes. Of course, if your GM is willing to play along with your plans and doesn't mind rewriting a fair amount of content... feel free to try it out?

Wandering from topic a bit...:

All things being equal, doesn't it make more sense to play a CE character in a chaotic-aligned AP, where the PCs are leading the rebellion, than in an LE AP where the PCs (as I understand it) are in service to an LE authority?

Antipaladins notwithstanding due to their codes, I generally find that characters sharing a chaotic alignment tend to relate much better with each other than to anything resembling law. CE player characters tend to stick close to the CN line, as NE is hardly an improvement with regards to party cohesion, and in that case, it's hard to imagine a worse fit for Hell's Vengeance (excepting of course an outright CG).

I guess what I'm saying is that I can see Hell's Rebels skewing chaotic and Hell's Vengeance skewing lawful much more easily than HR being good and HV evil.

With that in mind, I find myself drawn to playing a character in the Arsene Lupin mold; the man loyal to himself first and his heritage second, but who prefers things done cleanly without bloodshed or harm to innocents (though it never quite goes as he prefers). Mastermind, Infiltrator, or Psychic Detective investigator all seem good for it, though sadly none are compatible. Psychic Detective with the Orator feat sounds best, and cover the disguise aspect somehow else.

The claws and bite granted by Feral Mutagen are all primary natural attacks, and thus all use the highest base attack bonus (+6/+6/+6). Two weapon fighting rules do not apply to natural attacks.

Eldritch Heritage isn't something you just jump into mid-game. The bit of the orc bloodline that everyone flips for is the Strength bonus, which doesn't come until level 11 with Improved Eldritch Heritage. Before that, though, you need Skill Focus (Survival) and Eldritch Heritage; if you haven't got them yet, you'll be using up every single one of your feats to get the chain ready by 11th.

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To me, the vicious enchantment exists for characters with fast healing or temp hp buffers. Inquisitors can make great use of it in combination with the Healing judgement, as can Unchained Barbarians now, and it's nice on certain models of eidolon or familiars.

For everyone else, the idea behind vicious is the same as the Come And Get Me barbarian or the Broken Wing Gambit team: you take a little extra damage on purpose to save yourself a lot of extra damage on enemy attacks. If +2d6 damage lets you kill that orc one round sooner, that's one round less of 1d12+4 hits, so the 1d6 you deal to yourself is a net gain.

Imbicatus wrote:
I look at VMC Druid as a bargain if you were going to take Nature Soul/Animal Ally/Boon companion. You get a companion from a non-limited list, and then Wild Empathy and Wild Shape are bonuses.

The issue I have with this comparison is that the mentioned feat chain... isn't very good. As a chain, it has the same problem as many theorycraft builds: it gives you something good at the end of the line, but at all levels before is just a mishmash of minor bonuses that don't cohere.

Druid VMC has similar issues. Wild empathy is a nice ability to write down on your character sheet, but without investing in Charisma and supplementary feats, it rarely even functions in gameplay, making any thematic claims about the character being 'good with animals' moot. A level-4 animal companion is closer to a familiar than to the druid class feature; it's a pet to be looked after and kept safe, not a companion to fight beside you. Until level 11, the VMC Druid really grants nothing to my character that I couldn't accomplish by putting ranks in Handle Animal and buying a cat.

So... why not do that, instead of spending the feats? Why not go VMC Witch instead, and get a smarter pet that talks to me, along with a hex (Charm) that's generally more effective than Wild Empathy at letting me befriend animals? Why is VMC Witch a better friend to animals than VMC Druid?

The best VMCs are the ones with general-purpose abilities and many options to pick from. Barbarian, Bard, Magus, and Sorcerer are the first I'd look to for any concept. Wizard's great if you're any form of caster, with more limited options for pure martials. Oracle and Witch would be good if not for the absurd level restrictions.

The VMCs that suck are the ones which just grant arbitrary class features at arbitrary levels: Cleric, Gunslinger, and Ranger are examples of how it shouldn't have been done, and are the ones I find it nigh-impossible to build a story around.

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Given the number of cultures willing to embrace mummification as a means to produce eternal guardians for tombs, you'd think soulbound guardians would get some play, if only for being less smelly.

AndIMustMask wrote:
Runelord Apologist wrote:
I find I'm really fond of combining the Unchained Monk with VMC Magus. Taking Ki Arcana at 7th level effectively upgrades your ki pool from (1/2 level + Wis) to (level + Wis + Int - 1), while your 3rd level ability effectively becomes "spend 1 ki for free enhancements on any weapon for a minute". Ki and arcane pool being interchangeable also means you can eventually pick up rings of arcane/ki mastery, allowing a total of 6 ki to be stored day-to-day while giving you minor tricks like spell turning and pool strike (to use with the otherwise useless spellstrike).

and now you're down half your general feats and now have to juggle FIVE stats on top of equipment/wbl taxes and limitations?

i gotta admit i'm finding it tough to see the bonus here.

Raising Int is only going to be a concern if you dumped it into the negatives; even with a 10 in it, you're increasing your ki pool by the same amount as Extra Ki the moment you take the 'feat', and getting better returns every level after. As I mentioned before, the only feat you really 'give up' is the one at 11th level, because arcana are just better than what a simple feat can give you. And as for WBL, half the point of this is to get around the AoMF tax using the magus' weapon enhancement. When your 11th level monk can have +5 fists for 16k and a ki point instead of 100k, blowing 20k on a ring (which gives you more ki) suddenly looks a lot more viable.

Imbicatus wrote:
Runelord Apologist wrote:
I find I'm really fond of combining the Unchained Monk with VMC Magus. Taking Ki Arcana at 7th level effectively upgrades your ki pool from (1/2 level + Wis) to (level + Wis + Int - 1), while your 3rd level ability effectively becomes "spend 1 ki for free enhancements on any weapon for a minute". Ki and arcane pool being interchangeable also means you can eventually pick up rings of arcane/ki mastery, allowing a total of 6 ki to be stored day-to-day while giving you minor tricks like spell turning and pool strike (to use with the otherwise useless spellstrike).
It's a cool trick, but I don't think it's worth five feats.

Agree to disagree, I guess. You're getting piles of on-demand weapon enhancements for your 3rd level feat, and arcana for your 7th, 15th, and 19th. Ki-powered arcana are worth a good deal more than most feats; Bane Blade is a shoo-in at 15, Lingering Pain combines amazingly with Pummeling Style, Familiar is nice on anyone, Accurate Strike is a wonder to behold when flurrying...

Honestly, I'm tempted to spend more of my feats buying Extra Arcana.

I find I'm really fond of combining the Unchained Monk with VMC Magus. Taking Ki Arcana at 7th level effectively upgrades your ki pool from (1/2 level + Wis) to (level + Wis + Int - 1), while your 3rd level ability effectively becomes "spend 1 ki for free enhancements on any weapon for a minute". Ki and arcane pool being interchangeable also means you can eventually pick up rings of arcane/ki mastery, allowing a total of 6 ki to be stored day-to-day while giving you minor tricks like spell turning and pool strike (to use with the otherwise useless spellstrike).

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Chris Parker wrote:
LazarX wrote:
strangepork wrote:
But would the fighter with vmc wiz get any spells or a spellbook? all i see are the school powers and a familiar.
And that's EXACTLY what they get.
If that's the case, why would you vmc a caster when you don't get the main class feature (i.e. casting)?

Gee, I dunno, because you want the familiar (which can be anything from a combat buddy to a mini-bard via archetypes) and the school powers (at-will fly at 10th from Air school, swift action teleports at 1st level from Teleportation, huge initiative bonuses from Divination, etc), and don't want to actually play a spellcaster?

josto wrote:
Spring Attack wrote:

You can spend 5 stamina points to

use this feat as a standard action instead of a full-round action.
Does this give you pounce for 5 stamina?

No, that would be S-Pummeling Style. S-Spring Attack lets you move and make a single attack as your standard, which leaves your second move action still available (to run away further, or stand up if you were prone, or use Improved Feint before spring attacking, etc).

Everyone needs to push S-[feat name] as the terminology for stamina feat uses.

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Shisumo wrote:
Runelord Apologist wrote:
Skill Unlock (Disguise) is especially egregious; the 20th level ability is "can create a disguise as a standard action", which is the same basic effect as a 1st level spell (disguise self) or an 1800 gp item (hat of disguise).
At 20th level, lots and lots of things have true seeing. Those things will have no special ability whatsoever to see through the rogue's disguise.

And, at the same levels, lots and lots of people have access to nondetection. Which, coincidentally, the rogue will also need, unless he wants the vast collection of magic items he carries to be spotted by something as basic as detect magic. Divination isn't only an issue to magic users; it will completely invalidate mundane disguises just as quickly if and when it comes into play.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

There's an advanced rogue talent that gives you 2 more unlocks (total of 4 at level 10) and if you take signature skill at 12th level for two other skills, the signature skill applies to all 6 skills.

That's 6 skills you can now take 10 with. At level 12. Decent...

The issue is that long before level 12, skills start being invalidated by magic.

Skill Unlock (Disguise) is especially egregious; the 20th level ability is "can create a disguise as a standard action", which is the same basic effect as a 1st level spell (disguise self) or an 1800 gp item (hat of disguise).

Taking 10 any time is also handy, but suffers from the simple fact that any skill you're heavily invested in (to have enough ranks for Rogue's Edge) is one you're ideally not going to fail on even if you roll poorly. I'd rather a talent that widens the margin of error on a skill than one that covers up a deficiency by removing the random element.

master arminas wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
RJGrady wrote:

Empty Body (Su): A monk with this ki power gains the
ability to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though
using the spell etherealness, using his monk level as his caster
level. Using this ability is a move action that consumes
3 points from the monk’s ki pool. This ability affects only the
monk and cannot be used to make other creatures ethereal.
No minimum level or prerequisites?
This was mentioned earlier. Jason has confirmed its supposed to be 18.

Thought I would post this here, since some people were jumping onto the lack of minimums and were excited about taking Empty Body early. No, you have to wait until 18th level.


Ugh. I don't wanna be a downer about the new monk, but it's hard not to when stuff like this comes out. Empty Body is once again relegated to the pile of "things few will ever see and none will ever use". Great.

Step Up benefited greatly from stamina; you no longer lose movement or your five-foot-step in the turn after stepping up on someone.

The style chains that were previously dependent on Elemental and Stunning Fist (Djinni, Dragon, Efreeti, Mantis, Marid, and Shaitan) all got clauses that allow stamina to be spent as a partial substitute for Fist uses. Mantis, in particular, lets you convert 5 stamina to one Stunning Fist use at will, ensuring you can use Stunning Fist at least once per fight if you're invested in it.

VMC is not a feat that you take, it's an option that reduces the amount of feats you'd normally get. So, no, you can't give an eidolon or a familiar or whatever a VMC.

It's just not very good, sadly. While the evolutions are 'free' in the sense that you don't have to pay evo points, you're still trading out class features to take the archetype in the first place. In particular, you lose share spells (severely limiting the buffs you can grant to your eidolon) in exchange for a +2 to one ability score, but only if you use the biped base form. Either you've lost a huge amount of buffing power for literally nothing, or you're locked to one form forever to keep a bonus that still won't make up for the spells you could've cast.

The free versions of the magic evolutions suffer badly for three reasons. First, the caster level for the gained SLAs is based on eidolon hit dice, which lag behind from 4th level onward. Second, the DCs are based on a combination of lagging hit dice and Charisma, the stat eidolons start with an 11 in and can only raise with 2-point evolutions. Third, all of the magic evolutions are once per day, unless you spend points to buy the upgraded versions. Between the Charisma increases and the 3/d costs, an eidolon trying to make the SLAs usable is going to run dry very quick boosting their 'free' evolutions. And, of course, you lose shield ally in exchange, which was a great buff to the squishy summoner.

Earth Glide is worth having if you took burrow, but you still have to buy burrow to benefit, so that's another 3 points down the drain. Stone Curse comes far too late to be relevant, considering it only works on bull rush builds. You lose aspect for those two abilities, but since you won't have any evolution points left on the eidolon anyway, I guess it's not a big loss.

And finally, Limited Wish 1/d at 20th level. That's nice, I suppose. So the 20th level Shaitan Binder gets his eidolon to grant lesser wishes, and still has to pay the material costs of anything important. Meanwhile, the 20th level summoner in general can cast gate out of their summon monster pool. Gate can call actual genies, who fall under your control because your caster level exceeds their hit dice. Said genies can grant actual wishes at no cost whatsoever, and if they balk or are evil, you can just threaten them with your actually-functional eidolon. Or two of them, because you didn't give up twin eidolon as your capstone.

lemeres wrote:
Hubaris wrote:

Rage Cycling is still possible for the most part, though Rage now has a flat 1 minute Fatigue afterwards; making it much less desirable to go in for a round then out, ad nauseum. Some abilities (Savage Dirty Trick) for instance, can still be cycled; others not so much.

Also much like Totems, there are now Stances. A Barbarian can enter one Rage Stance at a time and receive bonuses from it (much like Guarded). Switching Rage Stances is possible but only one can be active at once.

Wait...people cycled savage dirty tricks? .....why? You already apply two conditions to the opponent, and they are often both rather crippling (looking to the old go to of blinded/deafened +staggered)

I am not going to question the gymnastics of getting a 1/round power to cycle (I vaguely question the need to do that in general), or the desire to zealously tear down an opponent... already do enough with the basic ability as written.

Unless unchained drastically changed that power. I wouldn't know.

You may have missed that Savage Dirty Trick is both once per round and once per opponent. If you attempt your savage dirty trick against the Big Bad and roll a 1, you've lost the use of that power against him for the rest of the fight, unless you can rage cycle.

Eltacolibre wrote:
It's just one of the flurry, so even if use weapons, first attack flying kick, then flurry of blows the rest with your monk weapon, for the rest of the attack.

Given that flurry only gives one or two extra attacks now, and that the kick would need to be the first (and thus highest BAB) attack to get you in range for the rest, that's a rather large detriment to a weapon-flurry build.

Rynjin wrote:
Pummeling Style is far less necessary now that Flying Kick exists.

A short-distance pseudo-pounce is certainly nice, but Flying Kick has vastly less range than a proper charge, has to be performed as a kick (and thus won't benefit from weapon enhancements, etc), locks you out of using other style strikes (in particular Elbow Smash for the extra attack), and lastly doesn't have the DR-ignoring and crit-damage-explosion effects that Pummeling Style attacks do.

Rynjin wrote:
Runelord Apologist wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Because only this specific disciplined, supernatural Monk class can achieve that level of unarmed combat.

Not everyone is cut out to be a Monk.

It's not a question of monk or not-monk, it's what the already-a-monk character uses. If unarmed strikes are equivalent or better from moment one, then you wind up with the ranged ranger issue; there's no reason to go crossbow style when archery style is available. As it is, the armed monk will outperform at the basics, but loses access to very powerful options (like Pummeling Style) that can only be had with dedicated unarmed builds. We could certainly do with more good options (Style Strikes sound like a decent addition), but raising the base power of unarmed strike monks just shoves the armed monks into a corner.

So the obvious solution is to shove the unarmed Monk into the corner instead.


I see no reason why making the two EQUIVALENT would be a bad thing. Yes, Pummeling Style is great. It also requires 2 Feats to pull off, and is mutually exclusive with other Style Feats.

So the armed Monk has the advantage in that he saves Feats. Like, a buttload of them because most Feats that are "Monk Specific" like the Style feats and Ki Throw and whatnot are incredibly Feat (and skill rank) intensive.

But at a base power level, they should be the same.

"Saves feats" seems like an odd way to say "can't ever do what Pummeling Style does". There's no alternative feat chain that the armed monk can take to replicate the effects of unarmed-only feats. And, as a result, if I'm building a monk nowadays, I'm about 50/50 between "lower enchantment cost and higher base damage" over "feats I just can't use unless unarmed". I'd rather equivalency of options over equivalency of numbers, because the former is much more interesting and leads to more varied playstyles.

Rynjin wrote:

Because only this specific disciplined, supernatural Monk class can achieve that level of unarmed combat.

Not everyone is cut out to be a Monk.

It's not a question of monk or not-monk, it's what the already-a-monk character uses. If unarmed strikes are equivalent or better from moment one, then you wind up with the ranged ranger issue; there's no reason to go crossbow style when archery style is available. As it is, the armed monk will outperform at the basics, but loses access to very powerful options (like Pummeling Style) that can only be had with dedicated unarmed builds. We could certainly do with more good options (Style Strikes sound like a decent addition), but raising the base power of unarmed strike monks just shoves the armed monks into a corner.

Fourshadow wrote:

Has the interest in the revamp of this archetype died this quick a death? No one else cares to brainstorm what feats a Sound Striker could use?

Did I interpret the Spellsong feat incorrectly in the above post?

You can blend the power of your performance and spellcasting.

Prerequisites: Cha 13, bardic performance class ability, able to cast 1st-level spells.
Benefit: You can combine your bardic performance and your spellcasting in two ways.
First, you can conceal the activity of casting a bard spell by masking it in a performance. As a swift action, you may combine your casting time of a spell with a Perform check. Observers must make a Perception or Sense Motive check opposed by your Perform check to realize you are also casting a spell. This uses 1 round of your bardic performance ability, regardless of the spell's casting time.
Second, as a move action, you can use 1 round of bardic performance to maintain a bard spell with a duration of concentration. You can cast another spell in the same round you are using bardic magic to maintain concentration; if you do this, your concentration on the maintained spell ends when you end the bardic performance the spell is part of.

Bolded the important bit. You combine your casting with a Perform check, not a bardic performance. All Spellsong does is allow you to spend performance rounds to disguise spellcasting as not-spellcasting-just-singing. No actual bardic performance takes place as part of the casting; you could start a performance as a move action in the same round if you're at that level, but Weird Words specifically never drops below a standard, so it'll never be usable with Spellsong unless you had a spell that's a move action to cast.

Rik-Red wrote:
1- First at all I want to know if I can select Cleric (undead lord archetype) and witch (Gravewalker archetype) for my player character. Because I think it's a better option if I want to be the leader of an undead army.

There's nothing stopping you, other than alignment/deity restrictions if your GM sets those.


My idea is create a 12th level character with 6 undead lord levels and 6 gravewalker levels. I choose gifted adept (animate dead) trait and also spell focus (necromancy), spell specialization (animate dead) and undead master feats.

The gifted adept (animate dead) trait let me cast "animate dead" as +1 caster level, spell specialization (animate dead) let me cast animate dead as +2 caster levels and undead master let me cast animate dead spell as +4 caster levels.

The trait and Spell Specialization are fine, but Undead Master doesn't work the way you think. It allows you to count as four levels higher for the number of undead you can animate at once, but not for the number you can control. Given that the default is twice your caster level, you'll never actually need the boost Undead Master gives (and if you do, just get a scroll of Desecrate, which doubles the raise-at-once limit).


2- The question here if those bonus stacks and if they will work on any "animate dead" spell regardless its origin (divine or arcane).

Because if they do stack my PC should control, using animate dead, 4HD per caster level undeads (skeletons or zombies), with both classes. Considering 13 caster levels in both classes (caster level:6, +1 gifted adept, +2 spell specialization, +4 undead master = 13 cl)
Then my PC should control 13*4 = 62 HD worth undead creatures for each class with a freaking 124 HD total.

Spell Specialization and Gifted Adept would stack, yes. Removing Undead Master, you'd be left with 36 HD per class for 72 HD total. This is more than you'd get by single-classing... but honestly, it's not worth it for the loss of spellcasting progression. Especially since both cleric and gravewalker have separate control pools (through the Command Undead feat for clerics, and the command undead spell or Bonethrall ability for gravewalker).

A pure 12th level cleric could have the same 72 HD total given Spell Specialization, Gifted Adept, and the Command Undead feat. The Undead Lord companion would bring that to 84 HD.

A 12th level gravewalker, meanwhile, could control 60 HD with that base, another 12 through the command undead spell, and yet another 12 through Bonethrall; 84 total without even spending a feat.


3- So with that number in mind, I want to ask how the rules for creating variant skeleton/zombie works.

I read this:
"Editor's Note: The bloody skeleton and burning skeleton variants are created by use of the animate dead spell but count as double their normal HD when doing so."

And I read you can stack more than one variant forms (except when it says it could not) i.e.: "Host Corpse: This skeleton or zombie has been infested with a swarm of vermin or Tiny undead creatures that it releases from its body. Skeletal hosts often hold carrionstorms or bat swarms in their rib cages. Acid, bloody, and burning skeletons...

For skeletons, you're only restricted by the caster level multiple; you can raise twice your caster level at once, but variants count their HD twice, so you can't make a variant skeleton whose HD are more than 1x your caster level. Burning and bloody are the only 'official' variants; others exist as monsters, but aren't specifically noted to be creatable, so it's up to your GM.

Zombies have slightly higher requirements, in that their variants require additional spells to be cast; remove paralysis or haste gives you a fast zombie, while contagion allows plague zombies.

bigrig107 wrote:

Well, we're starting at level one.

What do you suggest doing for the first level?
Just curious.

First level's pretty simple; you've got full BAB from ranger and a nifty sword proficiency from cleric, so just grab Power Attack and go to town. Two-handing and power attacking is about the best anyone can do at first level; you'll have a 1d6 channel and the ability to cast CLW as backup, and a favored enemy (ask your GM for suggestions, but human's always a safe bet). You can pick up a second sword at second level, once you actually get Two-Weapon Fighting as a ranger bonus feat, and then grab Weapon Focus at third, at which point your attack bonus should be high enough to dual-wield full-time.

Hybrid classes are awkward to gestalt, in my experience, because they're just a worse version of a gestalt of the two parent classes. Warpriest can be done just as well or better by gestalting cleric with anything full BAB; the higher level of casting gives you better buffs, which will generally make up for the class features you miss. Swashbuckler in particular would constantly compete with warpriest for swift/immediate actions.

Having played a gestalt Red Mantis Assassin a while back, I'd recommend ranger/cleric. The deity-specific 'Faithful' combat styles are really nice, and, surprise, Achaekek has one! With cleric granting sawtooth sabre proficiency and ranger giving you free TWF, you can get into the prestige with only two 'real' feats expended, and you won't necessarily need to invest heavily in dexterity (since ranger ignores prerequisites) or wisdom (since you aren't worried about spell DCs). That lets you focus on building up strength and charisma, so your channeling and prayer attack will have strong DCs.

If you're looking for cut-and-dry rules on what determines CR, you're gonna be disappointed. Even the chart of values given for Monster Creation completely ignores basic things like spells and monster abilities, which can completely change the capabilities of a monster.

CR is more an art than a science; the question isn't "do these numbers match up to the arbitrary CR chart?" but "does this monster/group, as a whole, pose an appropriate threat to a standard party at the level it's used". Given that, the final stats after buffs and equipment obviously mean a lot more than a 'baseline' that never actually sees play.

Call Lightning is a spell that inflicts damage that is not modified by caster level, and Intensified Spell specifically does not affect such spells.

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I blame archetypes, specifically the Sanctified Slayer inquisitor and Nature Fang druid. The slayer has very few meaningful class features, and yet two other classes can grab all the best ones by trading out a relative handful of their native power. The slayer's unambiguously better than the rogue, but unless I have a strictly no-magic concept, I can't imagine playing one while two flavors of slayer++ are available.

Also, on the other side of things, the slayer's own archetypes have some serious issues. Stygian Slayer, it's cute that you get a handful of invisibility castings a day and the ability to use wands, but the ninja already did all of those things with vastly better mechanics. Your superior class chassis doesn't give you a free pass on the rusty bumpers and faded paint job.

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I'd pick either Shattered Star or Jade Regent, myself, just for the thematic consistency with Runelords. Jade Regent's more exotic, and could really do with a second pass to fix all the subsystems that don't work, while Shattered Star is more traditional but has some very memorable moments and a great where-do-we-go-from-here ending.

Council of Thieves would also be a nice one to see rebound, if only in the hopes of having it extended past the original ending. Bit of an anticlimax, that one was...

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Cheliax's problem isn't 'evil', it's a lack of virtue in the leadership!

What Cheliax needs isn't freedom, it's a new order! Rulership in the hands of those whose first concern is their duty, not in those of decadent priests paying homage to Hell and vacuous politicians that line their own pockets! Asmodeus would weaken Cheliax by making it dependent on his devils, but there was once a goddess who spake that the only worthwhile rewards are those earned through work, service, and sacrifice! Cast off the shackles of the priesthood! In the new order, power will be earned through perseverance and study, not gifted by the gods or inherited from one's ancestors!

Look to the north, Kintargo! The true heritage of humanity is calling, and its symbol is the shattered star! Neo-Thassilon, ho!

Well, Aasimar with the Scion of Humanity trait count as human, and can thus take Racial Heritage. There's also stuff floating around about playing a non-human-descent Aasimar with the same stats, in which case Scion of Humanity would presumably make you count as the other thing (Scion of Elfyness, Scion of Gnominity, etc).

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I wouldn't recommend Throwback; as you said, it basically just makes you a worse version of a normal human. Even Riverfolk is iffy, though. The water dependency trait isn't exactly fun, but it's not unmanageable, especially since, as an oracle, you've got access to create water. A Collapsible Bathtub is cheap and lightweight. Just unfold it when you make camp, fill it with water, and sleep inside (after saying your burbling underwater prayers to Cthulhu, of course).

Either of Dark Tapestry or Heavens works for a mystery. Heavens is a tad stronger in the revelations department (Awesome Display OP), but Dark Tapestry's got the wings and the tentacles and the shapeshifting and can certainly hold its own.

WilliamInnocent wrote:

Seeker works quite well. I'm not much of a fan of Possessed and Psychic though.

I see your arguement that Cthulhu is locked way in the Material Plane I still believe that Planar would compliment the outer gods which Cthulhu does serve.

Why couldn't I be a Planar Oracle with either Dark Tapestry or Heaven that worships Cthulhu. Does that not still stay true to the mythos of wanting to bring Cthulhu out of R'lyeh while channeling the outer gods?

Oh and I do believe I will be going Undine because Cthulhu followers are usually aquatic.

Even the Outer Gods reside in the Dark Tapestry, which, while much more foreign than "another planet", is still firmly in the Material Plane. The problem is that Planar Oracle essentially pledges you to a specific Outer Plane, all of which are dominated by non-Dark-Tapestry-affiliated outsiders. Outsiders in general have little to do with the mythos; Cthulhu and friends are aberrations or magical beasts, and even the extraplanar ones like Bokrug only live in demiplanes.

As far as races, Gillmen would suit better than Undine as far as the general fishfolk appearance and non-outsider nature. Their Unusual Heritage feat, in particular, gives them bonuses to divination and allows them to perform auguries by submerging themselves.

dragonhunterq wrote:
There is no reason to treat a swarm attack as anything other than a natural attack.Just because it automatically hits doesn't make it un-natural. Manifest Blood should trigger each time you are damaged by the swarm.

The trigger condition for Manifest Blood isn't a natural attack, it's a natural weapon attack. All natural weapon attacks are natural attacks, but many natural attacks (stirge's touch attack, witchfire's ranged touch, etc) are not natural weapon attacks. A swarm attack may be considered a natural attack, but it involves no natural weapon of any kind, and thus doesn't trigger Manifest Blood.

Regarding Whirlwind Attack:
The swarm is indeed a single entity for purposes of attacks, regardless of size or consistency. You don't get multiple hits on the swarm any more than you'd get multiple hits on a horse or other multi-space creature, and the fact that you can potentially make multiple melee attacks against different enemies does not make the individual melee attacks count as an AoE.
Further, as you are still making only a single melee attack against the swarm, a Tiny or smaller swarm's weapon immunity will still apply, regardless of energy damage effects on the weapon.

Regarding Manifest Blood:
As written in the subtype, swarms do not make standard melee attacks, they simply deal automatic damage. As this automatic damage is not a natural weapon attack or an unarmed strike, Manifest Blood would not trigger.

I think it's worth noting that Planar Oracle actually contradicts the Lovecraft flavor, as the known Great Old Ones reside in the Inner Planes (Great Cthulhu himself lives on Earth, in the Material), not the Outer Planes. Aligning yourself with Heaven or the Abyss or whathaveyou wouldn't mean anything for a Cthulhu worshipper.

Personally, I'd go with either Possessed Oracle (tongues curse for babbling in Aklo, of course), Psychic Searcher (for the less insane, more refined cult leader), or maybe Seeker (the metamagic reductions and anti-spell-resistance buffs would be nasty on feeblemind or black tentacles).

It remains vague as to whether the two can combine. The RAW is that archetypes which replace or alter the same feature can't stack, but Improved Familiar isn't an archetype, it's a PC feat which happens to modify the familiar's class features. Given that, and lacking an official response, I lean more towards the spirit of the rulings on the Charger animal companion archetype, where Cavalier mounts being left out of the cavalier-specific archetype was an oversight and the devs encouraged switching the replaced features around to allow for it.

Given that Familiar Folio isn't a main line book, there's not likely to be an FAQ or errata in the foreseeable future, sadly.

A while ago on giantitp, someone did a pretty good job statting up Rovagug, just by starting from the 3.5 divine rank rules and the assumption that it'd take multiple max-divine-rank gods (Asmodeus and Sarenrae) to beat him. Backtracing that block into Asmodeus' might work.

Of course, said block is wildly incomprehensibly unbeatable within the Pathfinder ruleset. 3.5 statted deities have too many meta-tricks (precognitive portfolio sense) for a PF-only party to ever stand a chance without equally divine backup.

A Final Fantasy style summoner. What I mean is a summoner whose summons act more like blasts than battlefield control. Say you'd summon a fire elemental, and instead of being a monster with HP and attack sequences and such, it'd behave like Flaming Sphere and just roll around crashing into people. Instead of summoning a single large rat, which isn't something I can imagine any "iconic" summon magic doing, summon a swarm of rats for a little automatic damage plus a chance to inflict disease. There's spells that do things like this, but you could form a whole class around them with much less trouble than the summoner we have now.

It's... variable. There's several different systems for fleshwarping across the span of the books.

Drow fleshcrafting, as described back in the Second Darkness AP, uses the Brew Fleshcrafting Poison feat. There's a list of examples available on AoN. Such alterations can be permanent or temporary, and grant a single new ability with a single (usually crippling) cost.

Fleshwarping is a different process altogether, and wasn't written up until Inner Sea Magic. The general process is "fill vat with magic goo, dump subject in, let them stew until done or dead". There's no listed feat requirement, no craft check, and no religious affiliation besides "demon lord". It's essentially just mixing up the batter according to an evil cookbook and tossing in your secret ingredient (people). The only obstacle is expense, as the batter itself costs 20k gp at least. So your prospective fleshwarper should be extremely wealthy, and can otherwise be whatever you feel fitting.

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I'd aim for Gray Gardener over Arcane Trickster. The latter is mostly good for delivering sneak attacks at range, not for melee combat. Zabuza's a swordsman first and a 'caster' second; the mist and water techniques were to get people in position for a kill, not to do the actual killing. Gray Gardener gives a bit of sneak attack progression, pumps divine spellcasting (which can be used for buffs, not direct damage), and grants a whole bunch of intimidation and kill-this-one-specific-guy-right-now abilities, which would fit Zabuza to a tee. The Moonlight Stalker line would go very well on such a build.

Also, instead of Waves Oracle, look into Waves Shaman. Same mist sight ability, along with a hex that grants mist-based blur to you only for emergencies. The spirit ability, Wave Strike, is very Narutoesque, if not terribly useful due to mechanics. The shaman list has better spells in general for knocking people around with water.

Azten wrote:
What's on that page that does anything for undead?
Vampire Savage's Special Abilities wrote:

Undead Barbarian

An undead creature with the ability to enter a rage gains the morale bonuses from rage despite being immune to morale effects. The bonus to Constitution from the rage applies to an undead creature's Charisma instead.

Not sure if it's meant to be a general rule for all undead, or just a special quality that GMs can opt to apply.

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Feragore wrote:
And that's not even counting the roleplay potential.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here, but the roleplay implications are one of the big balancing factors that make Reincarnate worse than other forms of resurrection. Regardless of how mechanically beneficial it is, very few characters that I've played would be willing to live out their lives as a completely different race, especially a giant smelly monster like a troglodyte; at the same time, blithely committing suicide to re-roll the dice is a little much to ask from someone already traumatized by dying and coming back in a completely foreign shell. Once reincarnated, you are a completely new being; none of the people you've met will ever recognize you, and you're dependent on your party to introduce you in any situation (or to keep you from being killed on sight as a member of a monster race, as the case may be).

On a more technical note, Reincarnate takes a full hour to assemble your new body, making it largely useless in a time-sensitive environment like a dungeon. It is also only available to druids, who are much less likely to be hanging around major cities in most settings; meanwhile, the one-week limit means you can't afford to spend too much time searching. Additionally, while some of the races do offer nice stat increases and traits, the value of those depends on the character. The player of a dervish-dancing human magus who loses their racial bonus to Dex, takes an additional -2 penalty, and gains three useless natural attacks is not going to be very happy as a troglodyte, regardless of the natural armor and Con boost.

The Smiling GM wrote:
A restoration is not going to remove the negative levels from Reincarnate, they cannot be over come.

Not sure where you got that idea. Restoration can remove permanent negative levels from Reincarnate just as easily as those from Raise Dead (which is to say, at 1000 gp each and with a week between castings).

Not gonna happen, sorry. Getting pounce is hard enough, but move-full attack-move just doesn't exist outside of very specific builds, and definitely not on an animal companion.

avr wrote:
Not quite automatic though as Speaker For The Past is very good. You also miss out on Shaman hexes with Unsworn, including the Lore Spirit hex Arcane Enlightment.

You can't take the non-spirit Shaman hexes like Fury and Fetish, but hexes from your wandering spirits are free game once you get said spirits at level 2. Speaker For The Past is a matter of taste, I guess. I've never played an oracle that didn't run out of good revelations later on, and Ancestor is one of the less inspired mysteries IMO (though Time is always fun).

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Unsworn Shaman. Witch hexes outperform 1st-level spirit abilities to a laughable degree, allowing the unsworn to actually contribute to a party at 1st level. The hexes are wandering, meaning you technically have /all/ the witch hexes at first level, just with limited slots to prepare them.

At 6th level, when you get your second wandering spirit, you've traded a single hex slot to have all your hexes be wandering (with access to the full witch hex list) and to have both spirits be wandering, so your whole build can change on a daily basis. Getting access to all the things later is better than access to one of the things early.

Speaking of which, unsworn gets greater and true spirit abilities two levels later than normal shaman, but gets them as wandering spirits, for which normal has to wait a further two levels. Losing 4 hex slots and the manifestation capstone are the only real downsides, but with six wandering hexes and dual true wandering spirits, I don't think any unsworn shaman will be that broken up.

Never got word on whether feral hunter qualifies for feats with wild shape prerequisites. And on a similar note, how are the new teamwork feats? Anything nice for Solo Tactics inquisitors?

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