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** Pathfinder Society GM. 66 posts (67 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 14 Organized Play characters.


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I know it's PFS, so RAW is RAW, but I am really disappointed by the line on subtiers10-11 322's tactics:

"Use the same tactics as subtier 7-8"

What's the point of having a level 15 caster who by tactics can't use any 5th+ level spells.


A little request for advice:
The end of pt. I makes it clear that the final encounter is a will'o wisp.

Now having 2 players at the table who never encountered one, and not having read pt. II, I rationalized sharing some info the players knew about them, since you pretty much get a divine being warning you are going to face one. While in a major metropole, where just about everything can be purchased, and where research should be a lot easier. And the opening line of the scenario says you spend a week resting before pt II. And there is a new player with his first level 3, and fighting them unprepared is pretty unfun.

Reading the scenario, I'm now pretty afraid that scroll of Communal Resist, Elec completely trivializes the final bosses. A scroll with 2 charges costs 2 PP, and completely negates the wisp. Only the haunt remains as a source of damage, and the scenario ensures that it will die in max 2 rounds, and a possible (but unlikely, with such low DC's to detect) explosion.

I'm certainly not going to remind anyone about this, but if it happens, any idea how to make this end less anti-climactic?

The first rule is - It's up to the GM. Restricting wealth by level restricts the powercurve, and at higher tier this is arguably more important.
But some classes scale way better of money than others.
And some are way more flexible about using whatever they find, while others need specific stuff.

I'm currently playing in a Jade Regent campaign, where we've just hit level 11, and my character only has around 20k of valuables, not counting 1 hilariously expensive and mostly useless magic item (worth 30k, hopefully able to find someone who will buy it for 15k). That's because I'm playing a Zen Archer/Inquisitor, who needs no armor, no weapons apart from a Composite Longbow, can't use much of the scrolls and wands we find, rarely has a better combat action than "shoot arrows" so circumstantial items are given to the melee characters (who can't always reach foes).

Compared to my PFS archer, who is level 9, she has about 60k worth of stuff. Because I can buy after each session exactly what I need. And PFS characters usually have 20% more gold than the table, AND "free" consumables thanks to prestige points.

This creates a large powergap between the two. But that isn't a bad thing. The more cool magic items you give to your players, the bigger chance that some of them start dominating encounters.

Like how I saw an early given Keen rapier with storyline hooks overshadow the damage of 2 other players because of how often it critted, and confirmed, in the hands of a swashbuckler.

Roleplaying games are cooperative storytelling games. And the story of "And then we 1 rounded everything in the dungeon" can be funny for a bit, but it'll also burn it out.

That said, if you think a character is particularly hampered by wealth, talk to the group and the GM. What do you really need to function on the same level as the others.

This depends a lot on what you're playing.

If you play PFS scenarios or adventure paths, you can probably count on there not be too many insane enemies / encounters / situations if you just behave somewhat logically.

If it's a home campaign, it is more up to you and the GM. You can talk outside of the game about this concern. Gaming time is limited, and while there is some fun into preparing for a fight so they become easier, it may also suck some of the fun out of the game. And more importantly, you spend a lot of time talking.

If most of the convo is in character about in character concern, this could be fine.
But if a conversation becomes 30 minutes of "which spells to prepare, which consumables to buy" every time, it really takes the game from "roleplaying game" to "tactical gridbased boardgame" (I enjoy both, you gotta be on board with what exactly you are playing)

"How do we make these 4 hour sessions more engaging" is a good conversation to have.

That said, some people just love it when a plan comes together.

I have an Evangelist with Luck and it really worked it's magic at low levels.
Using Touch of Luck on someone who had to make save, or on the Monk about to Flurry or Ranger about to Rapidshot was probably a better buff than most level 1-2 spells. And rerolls are good.

That said, Heroism is really good. The starting power is good out of combat, but needs to level up before it really impacts, and the L8 is really good in combat. It depends on which range you expect the campaign to be of course.

And the Luck spells are probably not as good as the Glory spells.


With PF 1.0 at the end of its lifecycle, lessons about this should probably taken into design of 2.0 more than flipping it

I ran 10-00 for a 4man table 10-11, with 2 int characters (A wizard and an alchemist). They failed a single hard knowledge check by exactly 1, on having 2 3's rolled.

There is a very large skill disparity inherent in the system. I have 10 PFS characters currently (10 different classes), and the hunter and the warpriest can pretty much only make perception and sense motive checks, the monk only intimidate, and not hit any of the treshholds on a 20. Meanwhile my Bard, Arcanist, and Witch would all of these on hard on a 5 at the lowest. Before assists or items. My upcoming Rebirth Psychic, probably on 1's. The combo of Int class + Bardic Knowledge is complete overkill. Our lodge has 1 Bard / Lore Oracle which is potentially more ridiculous.

This makes designing a skill challenge almost impossible. Either you exclude the lower half of your player base completely, or you trivialize it for tables that do make it.

The problem is more fundamental than "these rules that have to fit in 2 paragraphs and be understood by the players are unfun."

That said, let's take a stab at it:

1. Encourage spending resources for bonuses (The special does do this, by giving a static bonus for "creative solutions"). But you could replace this by a "boosted" reward that is only given in return of somewhat serious investment. On average such a thing should pay off, but not always (Just like being Good should probably pay off in the long run, but can also really screw you over).
2. Make it clear that roleplay can give bonuses.
2. Have multiple treshholds per roll, and different success conditions. For instance, the best result could need 5 successes, where 1 player can get a maximum of 3. An assist would instead be 1 success.

The downside is that any system with more math than this would probably be bad to run on a special. I really like when different sections use different rules, but I already winged some things because I'm also dealing with 20 potential combat encounters, a ticking clock per segment, modifiers on announcement, and in our case, ambient noise drowning out the table at times so rules were missed by players.

There's also some statistics involved here that's easily overlooked.
Say only 1 person can make a check. The odds of him rolling a 16 or higher are 25%. So that sounds pretty tough.
But if you let 6 players roll, the odds are (1-16^6/20^6)~74%.
So a check that is personally hard, is actually easy for the table.
And this is why a multi "success" system works better than a single treshhold.

In scenarios, I would highly encourage a bit more unique or complex systems. For instance, like Shores of Heaven did.

But the real work needs to be done in 2.0 so that characters at the same level can't be more than a +10 apart. That way you can stick it on a 10 for the true specialist, a group can work together to make a somewhat invested character have a 50/50, or a lone dude can lucky and roll a 20.


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Without too many spoilers, The Shores of Heaven is a bit of a weird scenario Lorewise. The NPC it revolves around comes from an earlier, higher level, adventure, that in itself is the middle part of a trilogy of scenarios, which loosely tie into the season 5 plot.

It is also a bit of an outlier gameplay wise, and make sure you have some time to prep it.

The Goblin scenarios (Frostfur Captives, Rise of Goblin Guild) are pretty good gameplay introductory scenarios. People get into the mood a bit easier beating up goblins, and both those scenarios are actually fairly interesting to play.

Chaining the Hao Jin Tapestry adventures could be fun for the slightly more advanced group. Rats of Round Mountain is a pretty memorable 2 parter if they make it to 7-8 to cap it off.

And/Or the Aspis Concortium scenarios. They get clowned on a lot, but the mix of scenarios they appear in is actually pretty good.

I have a Brawler(Wildchild) 1/Hunter X that could fit this role.
It uses teamwork feats to really, really boost the animal companion, and stand next to it.

The reason for the Brawler are two-fold - It allows for low int while still taking Combat Expertise and it allows you to take an extra combat feat as a move action (3/day). There are a lot of (teamwork) combat feats that solve problems.

Now this build undergoes a big jump at level 7 because that's when the AC increases in size.

Racial Trait: Eye for Talent (instead of L1 bonus feat)

Feat(1): Combat Expertise
Feat(H2): Outflank (TW)
Feat(3): Precise Strike (TW)
Feat (H3): Pack Flanking (TW)
Feat(5): Improved Spell Sharing

And later take:
Planar Focus
Totem Beast
Escape Artist (TW)

What happens here is 3 things:

1. The Ape (My choice, the Big Cat is probably statistically better, but the ape gets reach, and later with Animal Growth a lot of reach) hits pretty hard with enhanced Str (From Eye for Talent) the teamwork feats (which make it always flank and do 1d6 precision damage) and 1d6 or 2d6 fire damage from Planar Focus.

2. It can also reach a pretty respectable AC while wearing armor, sharing barkskin, having natural AC. So it really tends to pull attention from enemies.

3. Meanwhile, the hunter chooses to fight defensively with combat expertise. You get a real s%@& Attack Role, but you don't care because it gives you +5 dodge AC (+2 from defensive +1 from ranks in acrobatics, +2 from combat expertise), and you to have the Barkskin. All the damage comes from the AC, so your round is really "lost." But if the threat needs an extra hit, you can just hit someone with the same combat feats, and land a decent blow. Get a reach weapon and positioning becomes a lot easier.

Extra tricks:
Buy the animal a Helm of the Mammoth Lord for an extra natural attack
Get him a few skirmisher tricks. The "move at double speed" one has proven very valuable. (The rules are badly written, discuss with GM)
Wear a +1 Menacing Gauntlet. This adds another +2 to hit to the ape if you stand adjacent to the enemy.
Don't buy a +1 amulet of mighty fists, go straight for an elemental enchant. Use Greater Magic Fang instead once you are level 8.
Know your animal focuses... they solve problems.


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I ran this low tier yesterday and it was generally well received. I'll warn that even though I expected this to run short, because of a failed bluff + failed diplo to recover in the Guildhouse, the game added another hour as different avenues were explored.

The shenanigans involving this also incurred quite a few delays... going to shop for magic disguise scrolls only then to roll a 2 on the disguise check and not get past the bouncers was a particular highlight. Then came the sneaking mission, where they noticed the trap but couldn't discern what it was, and because they came in through the hatch they couldn't reach the prisoner without triggering it, so they abandoned her.
Then after they killed the demon they went in loud anyway.

I ran into a bit of issues on how much to give away about special mechanics like the ones in talking with the wizards (where only bluff works, and it gets more difficult as time get on), and then different mechanics talking to the druid. (Where the table commented that Bluff/Intim. was a bit odd for the part about his son, which I struggled to straighten out.

They were pretty scared about the demon, but once they realized that even though it's a whirlwind of attacks it has very limited damage potential it quickly became just annoying. And that's with a skald who gave all weapons good alignment.

So they ended up with 5 delays at the end, which made an already dangerous final encounter brutal.

The manyshot deadly aim against a human does 2d8+2x(2+4+4), so 2d8+20, which is just zany at level 3-4, and then the rapidshot and iterative can potentially add that again. I knocked one guy unconscious in the suprise round with a hushing arrow crit (although I'm not completely sure it does damage, but 2 other GM's locally agreed that it probably would), and another unconscious and one to 3 hp in the first round and there was still almost no damage on the main boss.

In the end they sundered his bow after armor spikes killed the constrictor as it constricted, but with 1 or 2 die rolls different it may have been a TPK.
Especially because the charmed croc was mostly comic relief, running into one of entangle traps and then having to bite itself free, then being stuck on land with its slow walkspeed.


A question: Is the artefact supposed to enable players to bring one of the constructs into the final boss fight?
Because as written that certainly seems possible, and the likelyhood of them doing that seem about 95%


A possibility:

Much like the new support boons, give out 'legacy' boons on the start of Season 11.

A model for that could be:
A pool of 6 boons
1-2* GMs can pick one boon
3-4* can pick two boons
5* can pick 3 boons

Ideally these boons are either
a) One-time and pretty powerful (Play a rewritten Aasimar or Tiefling char)
b) Long lasting but limited in scope (The ability to slot a reroll, or the ability to replay 1 scenario every season)


The difficulty curve is a rough thing to set straight. There have an always will be people who optimize more and less.

From my point of view 2 things have happened:

1. Early scenarios were generally pretty easy, with a few (sometimes drastic) outliers. This must've become common knowledge so you basically see bumps in S2, S4 especially in both straight up deadliness, "creative" CR calculations etcet, undead with antipaladin levels...

2. The amount of options available in classes, feats and items all grows over time, and inevitably, some of them, or some combinations, become stronger over time.

People remember the hard fights much more than the easy ones, and start to look for ways to mitigate all the nasty effects the game can throw at you.

This leads to anything from the clear spindle ioun stone, to the "dual cursed oracle gives rerolls to allies," to the Lesser Talisman livesavers, the antitoxin and antiplagues now always recommended to l1 chars by other players, to "remove charms and compulsions" scrolls, etcet. If you shop well, you can negate or mitigate almost any challenge.
And because people have seen the very deadly scenarios more and more people will prepare (And in my opinion, a new S9 one has probably entered the top 10 of those, though I have only played roughly half). For my new monk, when she hit level 3, I looked at what my Arcanist bought over time and cherry picked a dozen items to save situations, instead of getting 1 ~2k gold upgrade. And that has already paid off 3 times in 4 plays since.

There could be a hard look at some things that could well be considered out of line (Even though I do my best on my arcanist to be prepared for all the situations I can imagine, currently in EotT, to be prepared for any scenario, I refuse to get Emergency Force Sphere because it makes me pretty much invulnerable against any enemy not able to deal with force walls, of which there are very very few, or for instance to give my improved familiar a wand of ill-omen)

There could also be an "encounter rewrite" for S0-S3, to make fights 4/6 players and to write away the "standard array warrior" opponents that downgrade otherwise fun scenarios (The time I ran Perils of the Pirate Pact one pirate hit 1 player once, even though the party was pretty unoptimized and took many turns to deal with the encounters, including hitting 1 18HP opponent 7 times including a crit before it went down). This is however a fairly massive undertaking, though it could be outsourced to the community in big parts (By prioritizing which scenarios need work first, offering replacements or additions)

In the more general term, what PFS misses is a way to alter scenarios if they are found flawed. From wrong stats on monsters, to mechanics that don't work as was intended as written, to wrong info on chronicle sheets. I'm not sure I ever come across anything being "officially" fixed. The best you can get is commentary in the GM thread. A way to implement "Updated for organized play" documents on the shop page could perhaps be a path for this, where both the original document, and the revised document become accessible, perhaps combined with a listing in the Campaign clarification "The following scenarios received updates available on the store and download page: List"


GM thread posts are not a "source" though. Players can't reference them without spoiling themselves.
It is really weird that probably the most iconic scenario series is supposed to give xp, but it isn't on the sheet, the FAQ, the Campaign Guide or anywhere where you can reference it.
My own GM for it asked for sourcing when I said the xp on the sheet was wrong. And I couldn't truely provide it, having to resort to a 2013 forum post.


I would request that somewhere it is officially noted how much experience the Eyes of the Ten arc gives.

It was noted that people end up with 38xp after completion in the Guide 4.2, but got lost when the season 8 update was released.

As far as I am aware, there is now no offical source that EotT gives any experience at all. You can get a lot of forum threads / GM discussion that it's supposed to be 2/1/1/1

Dual Cursed Oracle (1)/Witch X probably has a lot of what you want

-As an immediate action you can force rerolls with Oracle misfortune (allies or foes)
-As a Standard action you can hex to either lower rolls (evil eye) or attempt to get an enemy disadvantage (Witch Misfortune) or allies advantage (Fortune)
- You can spend a move action to Cackle and continue this bonus.
- You can cast Ill-Omen as a witch, which is a nosave disadvantage. Buy a wand of this.
-As an Oracle you can use a scroll (with a UMD) or wand of prayer. (Which is a luck bonus on allies / penalty on enemies)

The luck domain path is strong too.
I have an evangelist luck domain cleric, so you get Bardic Performance + cleric spells + Luck domain advantage.


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One comment on the encounter design would be "better use of traps"

Too often traps are nothing more than a "CLW wand charge loss" because they very rarely kill someone, and nothing happens if you trigger it that affects the scenario.

If the trap triggering alerts the next encounter, perhaps making them buff and/or stealth, or if the trap is part of the encounter, people will actually care about the rogue more.

The simple example is a certain end boss who gloats at you from behind a pit trap. Charge him and fall into it. (But be sure to give such a boss enough athletics to jump it)

I also really like it when enemies take advantage of the room they are in for combat. Hidden passages, height advantage, a stash of emergency supplies, alarm spells, doors that can easily be barred from one side, a hole in the floor where you can drop some alchemist fires through...
Most factions would know a chance of a raid exist, and prepare in some way. That sort of thing makes fights a lot more memorable.

A dwarf could be a good choice if you want to go defensive, though you give up some channel and luck domain uses with the cha penalty. The bonus to saves, which you can change to +4 with the Steel Soul feat make it more likely that you're not suffering from what the party is. (In general, will > fort > refl are orders of importance for this). And it allows you to feat in heavy armor and still move 4 squares once you have the gold, which allows for a really low dex.

Selective Channeling is very good if you want to focus on healing. It means you don't heal your opponents.

Mathematically, the luck domain 1st level power is an amazing boost. I use one standing next to our archer ranger, and it makes monster cry.

Scribe scroll is good, make sure your GM is ok with crafting, and that you will have downtime to do it. Because it takes up quite a bit of ingame time.

About what to buy:

- A cold iron weapon and a silver weapon for when you need to bypass DR.
Make sure 1 is a light slashing or piercing weapon, so you can wield it if you ever get grappled or eaten (and have to cut open a stomach from the inside)
- A ranged weapon. Light crossbows usually serve this. You can have arrows that bypass DR very cheaply.
- Alchemist fire flasks (20) /holy water (25) /acid flasks (10) to deal with swarms
- A masterwork armor (250 ish) - These help you against swarms and undead. Touch attacks are generally easier to make.
- A mw light shield or buckler (160 ish). If your GM allows it, consider having your holy symbol on it. That allows you to channel and cast spells without getting into fuzzy "present your holy symbol" territory.
- the basic cleric kit (holy symbol, spell component bag)

Consider a wand of Cure Light Wounds (750gp). 50 extra charges of healing until you get enough casts per day to not need it anymore.

A scroll of invisibility purge (150gp). You will need it one day, and be very happy when you do, but it's not good enough for your very few daily level 2 slots.

2 scrolls of remove sickness (2 x25gp). This supresses nausea, disease and sickened for 10 minutes and gives a +4 bonus against saves against new effects. It allows you to return a debuffed friend to the fight.

These stack with anti-toxins and anti-plagues, which is just great. If someone gets diseased

Also read the Heal skill real well, it solves more than you think.

Don't sweat exactly what you buy, income increases rapidly by level.

Have fun!

1 level of brawler (wildchild to keep advancing your animal companion) will give you the ability to take a combat feat for which you qualify. 3x/day for 1 minute.

So if you use this while you have a bite attack temporarily (from one of the druid /ranger spells perhaps) you can get the bite attack in, and your companion learns it too.

I would say ZenArcher4 is worth it. You gain the Ki pool, which allows for +4AC as an immediate action, and to buff yourself with Barkskin through Qingong Archetype. It is also nice for the intermediate levels where you can't get manyshot/rapidshot yet (because of BAB requirements). Instead you can an extra shot on your flurry shot.

Going for Zen6 is tougher proposal for me. You lose a BAB at L5, in return for Manyshot as a bonus feat at 6. But you're also delaying access to Bane further and further.

I play a ZenArcher/Inquisitor, and it works pretty well, though his attack roll needs a bit of help from the (de)buffers. A Perfect Shot Manyshot arrow is consistently painful though.

An archer picks up a lot of damage from Deadly Aim, but at an attack roll penalty. This is a flexible source of damage. I do have a 14Str on him for a bit of extra damage. Combined with bane, he does his job, without being a total powerhouse that a truely minmaxed archer is (My PFS warpriest archer is so consistently deadly I hesitate bringing her out except when scenarios are known to be dangerous.)

I'm not sure I'd go for sanctified slayer, because getting sneak attacks as a ranged character is hard. (You do get improved invis eventually, but at level 14 a lot of people will see through it) And judgement does really help with the attack rolls.

2/5 20SatchelNormal

I would like to nominate the Specialized(Treatment) Healers Satchel for allowing you to replace a poison/disease saving throw with the result of a Heal skill check. And if you fail, you still get a +4 bonus and roll the save anyway.

So essentially save twice as long as you can spare the treat actions, withna huge bonus as long as one person in the party has a decent Heal.

Even if no-one has heal it may still be worthwhile just for the extra roll....

I play a brawler1(wildchild)/hunterX with an ape.
3 natural attacks, a climb speed and reach. Main price is low constitution. A pounce build is probably stronger, but I was looking for something a bit less common.
I have a reach weapon and a menacing gauntlet

Totem Beast is very good.
It gets better if you also have Planar Focus

You're basically channelling more and more power in your animal.

A big power move is buying a Helm of the Mammoth Lord

Now at L9 my Ape had 4Str 4Con and 2D6 fire damage. With Precise Strike, Outflank, Greater Magic Fang and a lightning amulet my Ape hits for 4x +19 5d6+14, before offensive buffs.

A warning to include in the guide is that the strict guidelines for gear on animal companions in PFS. You need a feat for any item except barding and neck.

Now playing this is a bit of a risky gambit, because the saves of the animal aren't great, and the will save especially is a pain. But when it works, It's slobbering time.

I get some decent use out of a spellstoring armor on my arcanist. I put Frigid Touch in it, which means that if something went Bad and an enemy gets a full attack on me, I can stagger it (and end its full attack) after the first round. It probably saved my life at least twice.

Rods are potentially very very strong and you can spend money on them endlessly.

Toppling (with magic missile), Persistent, Dazing, Extend, empower, maximize, quicken, you can spend a ton of money on them.

Action economy on switching them becomes tedious though.
Remember that holding a staff or rod takes a hand, and you need the other to cast spells.

Something my arcanist just did with his money:
Visit a magical tattoo shop: o-runeward/
The +1 on saves is nice, but the fact that I am aware of spellcasting or SLAs within 60 feet is a really nice alarm.

You can get a lot of utility out of smart wand buying too.


I'm looking at the final boss, and as a player of Warpriests itself, I found it quite surprising that he doesn't have Sacred Weapon listed.

Now I understand that warpriests are a pain and a half to run as a BBEG anyway, but he actually did the thing Cult Leaders need to do and buy Weapon Focus, which qualifies him as far as I can see? He can sacred weapon anything he has a

This does make it a very dangerous boss if he is able to set up a sneak attack....

Is leaving out Sacred Weapon as an ability on purpose or an oversight?


So I always try to flourish my character attacks with lines my character may say.
My low my cha arcanist saw an assassin threaten a servant ("If you don't let me walk out of here, I'll slit this guys throat"), and I was looking for a real dorky line, and came up "You're not nice, and you know what is nice, a bunny" And then I baleful polymorphed him into a bunny. He failed both his saves.

What's important is that the bunny still has its sneak attack, because that's not an ex, su or sp ability. And it has weapon finesse, and its dex only went up from being turned into a tiny animal. So the bunny has roughly +15 to hit and does 1d2-1+6d6 sneak damage if it bites you.

Its a shame it wasn't an actual assassin with death attack, a bunny that would stare at you for 3 rounds while you pet it, and then, instakills you would be truely pythonesque.

For reasons not completely known to me, it was named Scallywag.

Also if you ever walk it into an antimagic field it will revert with all its gear.

and another time..... spoiler for EotT pt1

EotT pt1:
I also baleful polymorphed the Phoenix, thanks in large parts to it being sickened, shaken and having constitution damage. It did however make it will save, and shortly after our rogue took the ring of control off of the unconscious woman.
So our rogue ordered the burning goose (I had to choose a flying form because otherwise it would not be suited to its environment and gain a bonus to its saves) and it obliterated the bugbears and the one archer that was still up with the fire storm. And then cast mass cure crit on our party.

Of course when we forgot to give it an order for a round, it greater dispelled itself. But it has adopted the name of Zaligoose (instead of Zaliex) as a thanks to its saviors.


I'm almost certainly not the first one to request this, but is it possible to have a "Always Show Evergreens" toggle on the search result page?

Knowing how many people played which evergreen helps as a "last resort" for a table full of veterans.

A human warpriest starts going at level 2 really (when fervor pushes your hit/dam at or beyond a noncaster fullbab), and never looks back.
A nonhuman has to pick between deadly aim and rapid shot at L3, which hurts a bit, but is pretty much set at 5.

Going full warpriest gives you level 6 spells which I would take over the early gain of monk levels. A fervor'd Heal is hilarious.

I have one in PFS, and it's just pure power.

Biggest boons:

Faiths Favored as a trait = a +1/+1 with luck buffs, divine favor, prayer, lucky horseshoes and divine power
Duelist gloves before buying a +3 weapon. A +2/+2 for 15k
Channel Vigor: An Irori follower spell, under PFS rules everyone can cast it, but maybe not for your GM. It's personal Haste, or a +4 competence to attack rolls, or a +6 competence to Will or Fort.
A Scroll of Invisibility Purge probably will safe your life at some point.
Scrolls of Remove X are very good to have around
Erastil Bowman trait is very good, but not sure if you want to tie yourself to Erastil
Remember that you can carry a buckler without penalty to the bow. This adds AC if you get surprised, or if people get close to you.
Shop heavily in the arrows section. There are a lot of special effect arrows and they are all cheap.
And tattoo your holy symbol.


I've got a question about the haunt:
It's listed as a 100ft radius haunt, which means it covers the entire map.
Is the idea that it only triggers if you get within 5 feet of the center, and then bombards you where-ever you go?
Or does it immediately go off when you enter the map?

(I assume the former, since haunts normally only have a size of (CR)x squares

A fun thing to do would be to Atone it to Lawful Good, and then turn it into a Sacred Shield Paladin

Sacred Shield turns smite evil into an untyped 50% damage reduction bonus if the smitten enemy hits someone close to the paladin that isn't the paladin itself, a huge combat buff.
In effect, the succubus is taking the hits for you to atone for all it past misdeeds. They get their Cha to AC, get to weird fullplate and heavy shields, which should mean AC through the roof.

Meanwhile you get their shield bonus to your AC too.

Because it is a paladin, it also get +Cha to saves which is neat.

With the bracers item whose name I forget you can do it 3x/day, which should be plenty.


I was reading through the "Items that can save your life in 2017 list" and saw the Bloodstone Collar. r-bloodstone/

This is a very cheap neckslot item that only works if it's worn by a familiar.

Now with the recent FAQ ruling familiars don't have neckslots by default. So my guess is that you'd need to switch a feat to "Extra Slot: Neck" in order for this to function.

But this line makes me doubt:
"However, an item called out to be used by a specific animal is usable by that animal regardless of slot."

Familiars aren't animals, so it isn't 100% analogous.

But on the other hand, it is pretty weird that an item made for familiars only works on the 1% of familiars that exchange their feats at creation, and makes it tough on witches who have their spellbook tied to their familiar so their cost to switch familiars (In order to get Extra Slot) is skyhigh

I currently don't own the book, and it's a pretty big spend only for this item, so before I plunge I'd like some input.

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I know the particular rogue in question, and also the party EotT will be played with, including me:

- A paladin who hits like a truck and is pretty tanky
- An arcanist with a conjuration focus, focused on battlefield control (me)
- A cleric of Urguthoa who spreads disease to disable foes very quickly
- The gnome rogue in question, melee built

I don't know the exact build, but I know she's about to do her first adventure at level 11 this week. It's a straight rogue build with at least 1 archetype that trades out trapfinding for something, but I can't quite recall.

Now the real bad news is what almost everyone knows about pathfinder: Spellcasters improve way quicker than melee. And at level 12 that has definitely happened already. And you're the only one unable to cast spells.

I obviously don't know what we're facing, but my high level pfs experience is that there are 2 kinds of fights that tend to go really differently:

Humanoid(ish) opponent fights
The rogue generally should do ok with this. Stealth is usually quite good because perception is usually not skyhigh, nor do they usually have special visions, these opponents tend to stick to the ground most of the time, and they usually don't hard counter rogue abilities. Positioning is important, and tricks to move faster help a lot.

Big Bad Monster fights
This is where the problem comes in. There are many flavors where rogues get in trouble:

1. Flying
I would advocate potions of fly over other solutions. You can't rely on the casters to help you out in combat because often times there are many potential problems to either solve or prevent, and the rogue not being able to help out may not be near the top. And there are no fly spells that are longer than minute per level. Pots of fly are cheap enough at this level that you should have some. Consumables are way better than many players realize in general. I have 22k saved up, and I'm considering spending 10k of it on a ridiculously stacked handy haversack. Have one in your wristsheaths perhaps, so you can swift take it, standard quaff and still position with your move.

2. Reach
Getting into flank here is tough, especially because CMD checks are so large that tumbling is near impossible even if you fully invest in it. There are also a lot of grabs out there.
There are lesser talismans of freedom that allow you to prevent grappling at 900 gold at a time.

The other way around these two is ranged attacks. My first advice would be, see if you can get UMD to 19.
A wand of ray of frost turns your sneak attack into a touch attack, and I know you recently picked up a chronicle with a 7th level schorching ray on it. If you fire that, your first ray will sneak attack too, if you can get close enough to sneak. If both rays hit with 1 sneaking, that's 8d6+6d6 damage. And there are ways to do that ((greater)invis, sniper rules, tiny hut, darkness (you're a gnome!), the goz mask/fog cloud trick)Even without precise shot your dex+bab will make it almost a guaranteed hit.
Even so, still have a backup bow with arrows. there are arrows out there that help. A tanglefoot arrow is a tanglefoot bag at much greater range, a smoke arrow can break line of sight in small corridors and prevent a spellcaster or enemy charge, you can get lucky with a dye arrow and mark an invisible creature, there are cheap arrows to counter any damage reduction except alignment.

Furthermore, these types of monsters usually do a ton of damage, and taking these hits can be Bad. Rogues don't have easy armor class boosters.

I will contact all of the team before EotT, but one of things I came up with is an offer that anyone who buys a spellstoring armor or buckler will get frigid touch in it from me. This is a 4k investment that essentially prevents the first full attack of an encounter (at least if I have spellslots to refill it), because once you get hit, you automatically stagger your opponent.

3. Immune to sneak attack
(Incorporeal, oozes, elementals, swarms) this is where you probably shouldn't engage directly. Your damage is too low without sneak attack. Help the team out. This is again where consumables come in, and UMD too if you can get to 19.
There are level 1 wands out there that solve a problems.

A very important part is that you don't have to win every fight personally, you're in a team. It's more important to not lose it.
And the way to not lose is to be prepared for Bad Status Effects.
People get into trouble from bad status effects way more than from hp damage. Mindcontrol, fear, confusion, paralysis, stun, nausea, stagger, poison and disease are all potential Real Problems, and if you can reach into your back and produce counters for that, you are helping out more than if you are doing an extra sneak attack.

The alchemical remedies list has so many counters on it. Many of the 1 use talismans are also excellent. A quickrunners shirt is very good to solve a positioning problem, and they are very cheap. (1000 gold pieces to take an extra move action instead of a swift action, once per day)

And if you don't have something to do that round, think about how to make the next round count. Drink a cheap potion. A 50g pot of reduce person improves your AC and hit by 2, and your stealth by 5 for a minute. Especially with the paladins many attacks, a tanglefoot bag (or tangleburn) is +2 to hit for someone else, nearly guaranteed. A Ghast Retch is a guaranteed -2 to attack rolls, damage rolls and saves on most enemies.
First Aid Gloves seem expensive, but literally save lives.

A pathfinders career is pretty short. You have, if you win all of them, maybe 20-25 combats left when EotT starts. Consider this when weighing consumables versus permanent upgrades. Especially if you consider how much money you get. A 10-11 is 7k per mission, a 12-13 is considerably more.

Things to consider:

1. Wrath is a mythic campaign, effectively tacking on a extra rules system, and intended to go all the way to level 20
2. The campaign is very heavy on demons (I am playing it, currently only at the middle of book 1,but it's an easy guess). Demons have spell resistance, and elemental resistances and immunities. You need to have ways around those demonic traits.

Only a limited amount of spells have mythic versions, and a quick glance I only see Ice Storm (L4) and Cone of Cold(L5) as ice based spells.

Cone of Cold comes a bit late for most campaigns, but its mythic effects are pretty strong.
Ice Storms mythic effect seems meh.

One of the strongest ability in all of mythic, and one that covers the main weakness of sorcerers, is available to you though:
Wild Arcana. That allows you to cast any spell available to sorcerer/wizards. You can solve any problem, just about, but only if you know the system well enough to know the right spell. It's great but requires a lot of work.

Other things to consider:
The Rime Metamagic is strong. Slowing down enemies gives a lot of battlefield control. Unfortunately metamagic on sorcerers increases your cast time. You can get around that with the "Spontaneous Metafocus" feat. It only applies to a single spell though.

The spell Snowball is in a weird place right now. It is reprinted in the newest book, and weakened (Changed to evocation, added SR, lost stagger). Check with your DM which version of the spell you use.

Its brother Flurry of Snowballs is still pretty good. 30ft cone at level 2, doesn't scale though.

If you can find a way to deliver it, Frigid Touch is a powerful effect. Stagger is one of the best debuffs in the game, and Frigid Touch allows no save, only needs a touch. The reason stagger is so strong is that if an enemy has many attacks, it can only swing once.


I only played this (twice) so I can only offer perhaps a more limited feedback, but yes:

There was a large gap in how lightlevels were played on my two tables in the penultimate encounter, and this resulted in really differing outcomes.
One the one ruled "in the dark" we were given no check to spot our enemies, since our light didn't run to where they were, and RP wise we were told to hurry, so me and my animal companion ran ahead with light cast on the animal companion, and he basically got surprise rounded, then full attacked next round with the rest of the team both out of position and really scared.

We incurred something like 20 negative levels total between the 5 chars on the map (The level 7 ranger and my 8 HD ape both were down to 1, I was down to 3, and the other 2 each got 1 gaze attack hit), it took forever, and we too ran into "can we get rid of these negative levels or do we all decide not to even go to the final encounter" conundrum.
And even then you run into the "having to make saves every 24h or the negative levels become permanent, which costs something like 1250gold per level to remove then). Having clear instructions how to handle that would be a blessing.

On the lowbie table, we got a perception check from the placement area, which was aced, and then I'm not sure most enemies even got a hit in.

The final encounter, in both cases, took a long time not only because of the distance from the encounter but because of the terrain. Apart from a narrow path, it's all difficult terrain, hilly, and breaks Line of Sight. The lowbie party understandably didn't want to lose sight of each other so moved forward slowly. This ate up a lot of RL time while nothing happened on the map.

In the high tier scenario we spent more time fighting the terrain then fighting the monster. My Ape never got close against the mobile enemy, I spent all my time trying to deal with negative effects on other people, and I think the ranger did 90% of the damage.

In general at 7-8 4 player without an arcane caster it felt really tough. It's hard to judge though.


I played my arcanist at L11 pretty freely and came pretty close (maybe spending 20 of my 26ish spells? I still had 2 L5s in reserve), though I was in the opposite situation of Lau, where 2 paladins were critting all day, backed up by a banner bard, so it wasn't very threatening. I spent most of slots on haste and dimdoor.

It is one of the tougher scenarios for sure, and I imagine that low level casters, and worse low level 2/3rds casters, would have a rough time.

I'd always advice a new lowbie caster to have an offensive wand anyway though. My arcanist went through a 25 charge wand of magic missile, and by the time it dried I was L6 and it was never the best option anymore.

Partially I feel like it's supposed to be on an adventurers mind though. There can always be a bigger boss, a next fight.
In PFS it's sometimes a bit too easy to know you're at the final fight.

The quick and dirty way to deal with it is to have the body turn into a similar gem. And have it transform back when the spell ends.

This not really written in the rules anywhere though.

I'll soon be running a Cayden Cailean centric scenario, and to add some flavor I'd like to have more bits of Holy Text to find throughout the temple.

Cayden Cailean has "Placards of Wisdom" basically short sayings engraved and to be hung in bars anywhere.

A few examples I dug up elsewhere:

"We don't take kindly to slaves. Don't be a slave to your drink."

"There's always something worth celebrating."

"Don't let rules get in the way of enjoying what is truely good in life"

"Hangovers are the Lucky Drunk's gentle reminder to not overdo things."

Does anyone else have any fun suggestions? may be a handy tool for you. It allows you to search which scenarios are at which tier, and then click through into the paizo page, where you can see the reviews.

Also most scenarios have a GM thread on the Organized Play subforum, where you can read up on any questions other people have had, and ask your own question

As for which exact scenarios to pick.... adding magical McGuffins to scenarios should be easy enough.

Many scenarios deal with some sort of magic or artifact, many more send you to exotic locations where such things may be found.

As for adventure paths, I haven't played it, but from the blurp Serpent's Skull may be a good main focus? It sends you into the jungle trying to find an ancient city, with competitive factions also chasing you. is a list of all Aspis scenarios. You could fairly easy pick from these to have a "Deal with the Aspis all over the world" subplot.

A note would be is that a lot of them are chumps. They lose, and make bad decisions, and are generally poorly equipped for their task a lot of them.

If these cancellations are fairly late notice, you may also want to select on how quickly it is to prepare. If you have the correct flipmats it is a lot faster than drawing giant mansions.....

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Resilient Sphere is a pretty good offensive spell for any multi-enemy fight.
You have to be able be fighting large creatures or smaller and it does have SR and teleport abilities work through it, but otherwise it almost always traps someone, on a reflex save.
What's extra nice about it is that it's also a defensive ability if you need protection, and a possibility to disable the dominated or confused frontliner if needed.
It's a force effect, so it imprisons incorporeals too.

The humble magic missile remains a good choice against incorporeals. 5d4+5 isn't a lot, but it's autohit and nosave. It's damage is the same as a 10d6 nonforce effect.
A rod of toppling can help boost the MM and is hilarious, though the way CMB scales this only works vs medium or smaller.

If you know for sure you're facing undead, Halt Undead isn't bad at all. Up to 3 targets, medium range.

Boneshatter works on objects, and thus on undead, targetting their usually bad fortsave.

Vampires are tough tough foes if played to their full (100 different) abilities. If you know you're facing them, you may want to be prepared to counterspell them.

What is the "best" is certainly up for debate. One really nice thing about Zen Archer is that it gets so many bonus feats that you have some to spare. My Zen Archer/Inquisitor (With the goal of avoiding the flurry of misses and instead get Perfect Shot/Manyshot/Bane going, as well as backing up a party with no divine casting) is a dwarf with Steel Soul and Glory of Old, which means that at level 9 I have a ridiculous +21 will/+18 fort save vs spells/sla's (16/13 vs Su/Ex), and I also have toughness for some pretty solid hp (93 at L9)

But my warpriest is a better archer, higher to hit and higher damage per hit. It's almost all due to Divine Favor/Faiths Favored. Without those scaling luck bonuses it wouldn't compete with any of the builds. And having the cleric spellcasting list means cleric scrolls, which are huge. All the "Remove" spells,(Lesser) resto, invis purge. And medium armor and spontenaous healing.

My main takeaway is that any of the archer builds will play their role well. They do a lot of damage, they usually can start full attacking in round 1 and care far less about positioning. They can deal with almost any monster defense through buying the right arrows.


I'm posting the questions here because 2 of my players are active on the rules forum:

If someone casts daylight in the vincinity of a shadow demon, is it allowed to counter with deeper darkness?

A shadow demon is utterly powerless in bright light or natural sunlight and flees from it. A shadow demon caught in such light cannot attack and can take only a single move or standard action

Does it have to flee, or can it counter?


If there was a way to play level 2 in evergreens it would allow some veterans to join such lowbie tables more, and allow for more scenarios at 3-7. Something akin to the Tome of Righteous Repose?

I'd agree that 4-9 are the most fun parts of pathfinder. It's where characters are really differentiated, can handle a large variety of threats, but the game doesn't bog down so much most of the time.

10-11 is a sometimes treat for me, so lethal that it makes people very conscious about spending their turn optimally, some classes with many attacks to resolve, a ton of effects to go on etcet. I'm fairly certain we spent over 90 minutes on a 3 turn fight versus a dragon recently.

I was bored a few weeks ago and went over a year of NL playdata, and what stood out more than anything else is that tables have a high chance of being played "down" A 1-5 tends to be played at 1-2, and 3-7 at 3-4 etcet. And roughly 35% of all games are 1-2.


I'm about to run this and got some questions:

In room BH5, can you notice toxic fumes before you enter the room? And where do they start exactly? Only on the ground floor of the lab, or also the upstairs areas?

Would you get your first exposure if you try to open the doors from BH3/BH4 leading in, and the poison wafts out?

Normally such details aren't very important, but because it's a con-drain poison it's quite expensive to remove if you don't happen to have a cleric with you. (I know there's a single scroll of restoration)

Because the room "ticks" every minute, I'm also a bit unsure about how the perceptions checks are supposed to work. They list 2 different perception checks, 1 to "check of the lab" to find the secret panel, and a second one with the same DC to find the secret door.

Is the idea here that you only get to make the second check if you actively call out "I search for secret doors" or "I inspect the wall?" (or if you're a dwarf).
Because otherwise you'd always notice both at the same time, but if it is the case I could sense some potential frustration.

As a sidenote, I'm always sad if a final boss doesn't use all it's available items, and I would've loved to have the Nine Lives Stealer in the hands of the demon (who frankly seems like a pushover on 10-11, I'm hoping the succubus makes it to the final fight)
The odds of it triggering would be small, but at 10-11 people have counters to death and would add some threat.
Or perhaps a monster that attempts to bullrush people into that Chekov's pit that's in the room.....

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Vampires are strong for their CR.
And the large group of spawns presents a unique danger: Dominate Person spam.

If you group can learn, and gets the option to negate the dominate, then it could be a fun/challenging fight.
If you throw them in unprepared, they will probably all end up dominated as thralls due to having potentially 9 will saves / round, and whenever someone doesn't make it they fight for the other side.

An extra note is that the Vampire Sorceror as written on the srd is pretty nasty because the vampire template greatly enhances the sorcerors DCs and spells / day. The RAW vampire can be Greater Invisible and attempt to drain, or just rain scorching rays, or punch negative levels against flatfooted. I've seen people struggle against them for sure.

If you decide to build your own vampire (Say a vampire anti-paladin(8)) things get really bad though.

The options are many. Warpriest archers are very strong, in part because a prepared archer can deal with most enemy types equally (cheap special material / ghost salt arrows). It's definitely up there as a flexible high dps with good utility.

If you are ok with playing support, you could be a Detective Bard (for the very high perception/trapfinding) and just open every fight with haste. Your melee with love it, the cleric can always get position, and your arcanist can start lobbing damage right away. Starting at 8 you could open with Dirge of Doom and find some other source of shaken as a standard action. This may be too strong against anyone not immune against it you may be asked to stop though.....

You could go for combat control too. A witch or shaman can ruin many opponents lives. Lowering an opponents ac or saves by 4 (more if you go halfling jinx) turns tides. And any class with heal spells on their list are very handy.

Hunters are fun and if build well quite strong, but animal companions all clog more melee space, and take up a lot of time.

Conjuration wizards are very strong, though a big part of that is glitterdust. No SR on many of the conjuration debuff spells matters a lot at 8+. If you want to summon, be a summoner. They're better at it, and by level 8 the Eidolon is pretty cool.

I saw a bolt-ace in action, it seemed competitive with other archery builds.


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I use Perrams spell cards to have all my spells at hand.

And then just write down on paper what I have in my current slots.

The descriptions are 99% accurate as far as I found, with the only thing missing is that it doesn't list if a spell is dismissable. (Leaving me to claim someone was stuck in a Resilient Sphere for 11 least he was safe from the rest of the combat, next time don't get dominated)

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A kazoo of fog - like a horn of fog, except less effective and more annoying. It fills your square, or a single square adjacent to you, with fog that gives concealment, which dissipates after 1 round.

Cutting Board of Cleanliness - Selfcleans and doesn't absorb any smells.

Pool Noodle of Amazing Buoyancy - This pink wobbly..... thing..... is magically imbued to support up to 300 pounds of weight in calm water.

Animated Deck of Monsters - These playing cards have simple moving animations of some of the most dangerous monsters in the world. If a character studies them at the start of the day for 10 minutes, he gets a +2 to the first knowledge check to identify a monster that day.

Gnome Voice Candy - A bag of colored hard candy. If you suck on one, your voice changes pitch drastically for 1 minute.

potion of exquisite plumage - For 1 hour, your whole body is covered in an amazing array of colorful feathers.

Tankard of Mediocre Ale - This tankard fills with 1 pint of mediocre ale at sundown. It is not refrigerated by itself. Still, it's better than nothing!

Mechanical Coal-miners Canary - this tiny construct in a rather unwieldy cage will squeak for 1 minute when it detects poison (As if casting Detect Poison At-will), then cease to function.


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I've had 2 games where my familiar was the best social character on the table.
Tiny flying angels (lyrakien azata) are pretty bad undercover agents though.....and a +5 to diplomacy doesn't really cut it anyway at level 9.

I would disagree mostly on the hands interpretation on the Banner. I think all its bonuses only work if you hold it in 2 hands.

The language is, as is often the case, sloppy, but the first paragraph interchanges between "wield" and "carry" and then later affirms that an earlier version of "carries" means "carries with both hands"

The second paragraph then starts with "When (a bard) carries"

Now it is true that the second paragraph doesn't explicitly say "two hands" or "firmly carries" anywhere, but I would apply continuation, that if starts of assuming "carries" as meaning "in two hands" it continues using that for the entire item description.
Otherwise you could even argue that carries doesn't even mean wield, the bard could wear it strapped on their back and have 2 free hands, for a shield and casting/fighting.

I would also argue that magic effects get brought into the world, and then continue at their same level. Spells certainly always do this.
The bardic performance is created as a (nonfree) action at some time A, and whatever that bonus gives, you would be allowed to continue as a free action. If you want to change it, you have to start a new perfomance.

You definitely need to hold the horn to produce the effect, so I would assume that you just run out of hands. If you somehow have 3 hands that are allowed to hold weapons / activate magical items, you could pull this trick.

I am not on as sure footing with what the other part. My instinct is that "are calculated as 6 levels higher" and "are treated as 4 levels higher" don't stack. It doesn't seem written like the way bonuses usually are (Gives a +X (type or untyped) bonus Y)

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One of the most important things about any campaign, is a session 0

That's where people talk about the setting, what they are going to play but also very importantly, about the expectations of the campaign.

Some people want to dungeon crawl into hero-dom
Some people want to play in a clockwork universe (and probably want to break it)
Some people want to build a world with social intrigue and tough moral choices
Some people want to play "edgy" characters (Evil, sexist, slavers, racists, I've seen them all, "Chaotic neutral isn't evil but means can do whatever I want and I want to rob and murder this noble because he's kinda a dick") and you probably want to not have any of the last categories unless it's a very deliberate choice that anyone agrees with.

Usually this is a game you play with friends, or to make friends.
But it's only fun if everyone plays the game they want to play.

A GM has to set expectations and boundaries, and players need to make clear what they want. The earlier this happens, the better the experience is for everyone.

A way to not outright kill, but create some real panic, is to have some areas of the map be Antimagic fields (If the enemies have the time to prepare....)
And then when a player ends up in such a zone, you cast a Resilient Sphere around it.

They do get a reflex save, but without all their gear bonuses.

Good luck getting out of that.

Extra funny if you cast it at the bottom of a pit (trap?), since any magical flight gets dispelled and you fall into the into the pit.

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