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I really like the new action economy, but I think it should be mentioned its basics were introduced years ago, in Pathfinder: Unchained. Yes, that would draw reader's focus away from the fancy new product, but I don't see anything wrong with openly stating that PF2 is partially "evolution instead of revolution".

There are more changes I liked, and I didn't find a real stinker yet. Still I stick with PF1, and will do so for the next few years. Why? Because it lacks a "killer application" for me, like an AP that immediately engages me, or further rulebooks with interesting options beyond PF1. Sooner or later something will pop up, but till then, PF1 wins with its superior amount of material and because we need less effort to get familiar with it (because we made most of the effort in the past).

mikeawmids wrote:
I have bought the book as a direct result of bags' dreadful, one-star review. Seriously, f@@* that guy. I might not love the system, but Paizo is an awesome company who have earned my support and they deserve to succeed.

Paizo wouldn't be that awesome if they never got critical feedback. And yes, there is almost always something to learn from critical texts, even if they are short, one-sided and emotional like the review in question.

I actually hoped for way more discussion about the book's content before PDF release. But now the blog entry covered that...

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Elorebaen wrote:
cinxz wrote:
Hi, i usually dont type something in Threads but can someone tell me which of you guys thought brown and blue synergizes, its like the worst combination i have ever seen
Apparently someone with much better visual design skills than you ;)

Well, he has a point, no matter the tone. Combining hues of red and blue is always risky, and these sheets have a lot of brown. Red hues are usually used to mark small areas that demand attention.

Don't get me wrong: The structure seems pretty good and it's great the sheets are out. But I will spend my next minutes on trying to improve these colors...

EDIT: I found the following attempts to improve the coloring (for my taste, of course):

1) Invert colors. Brown becomes teal, blue becomes yellow.
2) Reduce saturation. Once it's down to 50%, the brown is way less dominant. Turning it black and white (saturation of 0%) also looks fine.
3) Replace brown by a rather light blue (#3D6798).

baggageboy wrote:
Riving Strike does this, but I suppose you could expand on the concept.

Shaken on hit (easiest way might be Cornugon Smash) would fit also. A cruel weapon would add sickened on top of it - so you are at three stacking -2 penalties.

Tiring, exhausting and stunning could lower Reflex saves. Draining levels on hit is an all-rounder, but hard to get.

It's an interesting build idea for sure...

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Andostre wrote:
A friend and I had a discussion where one of us pointed out that most classes are made up of abilities that could be quantified with points, and so a modular class system could be created where a character could gain abilities by spending a set number of points on them.

Some people already did, so you might enjoy this thread .

It's a fun exercise to design a class with such a system, sure. However, I could imagine it results in players emphasizing offensive abilities, meaning they are screwed fast in the few cases when they are surprised. Also, it further widens the gap between motivated players with high system mastery and casual players. Finally, it's not that trivial to tell fellow players what you are capable of and what not - everyone has some idea what a ranger does, but you might have trouble to even assign a name to the combination you created...

Hrm, the true necromancer could be covered by oracle with bones mystery and some crafting, more or less. Taking Vile Leadership as a regular feat seems fitting, especially given the potentially high power level of Leadership.

When it comes to a mix of kineticist and monk, Paizo appearantly intended the elemental ascetic archetype for that.

Loved: The rework of most Core classes. The emphasis on archetypes over prestige classes which become only relevant at level 6+ anyway. Among the Paizo classes I preferred oracle, witch, arcanist, brawler, kineticist and psychic - clear theme, clear role and well-rounded options.

Wanted: More balancing measures which are NOT restricted to nerfs. Maybe if you nerf one thing, improve a weak one to compensate. I know this is not a computer game with automatic patches, but Unchained showed that it can work to some extend.

Hated: The action system. Actually I was indifferent first, but the more I deal with it, the more I loathe the overly complex ruleset.

Will Miss: Multiclassing as in 3E? Not sure what route they go in PF2.

Well, I am hesitant to spend a lot of money on PF2, too - as long as I don't see the according value in return. But, in Paizo's defense, it is absolutely possible to play first edition without spending any money. Of course, buying the books and accessoires helps, but depending on your budget and will you are free to skip whatever you want, to rely on legal online sources and selfmade material instead.

Looks like they go for the same course at PF2 (at least Archive of Nethys is free to distribute PF2 content) - and they might get me as a PF2 customer that way.

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Some ideas I didn't play yet:

1) Bastard. Half-elf, wields a bastard sword, dips in many classes, feats to emulate further classes. Probably needs some thought about role(s) and synergy effects to stay relevant, but has a lot of tools for sure.

2) Reincarnated druid 6 + psychic (self-perfection discipline) 7. Can reincarnate herself one a week, uses wild shape to get back to the party (and her equipment) and gets Wis to AC. At character level 12, she can remove the negative levels herself.

3) Rogue (phantom thief) with Int 20. Who needs sneak attacks when you can use skills? Demoralize single targets, heal well even without a healer's kit, be party's scout, get 1+ rank in pretty much any skill - that's level 3, thanks to multiple Skill Focus feats and refined education. Later you start crafting and using magic items via UMD. If you ever make it to level 17, use Eldritch Heritage (destined) for a whopping +8 to any skill check that seems still challenging, for some reason.

4) Superfast bloodrager. Pick up the elemental (fire) for +30 feet at level 8. Sacrifice your level 4 and 12 powers to get four rage powers, including the complete elemental blood power line. The greater one means another +30 feet. Together with +10 from fast movement that's 100 feet per move action, at level 12, before enhancement bonuses. Weeee...

5) Qinggong monk. With invested regent archetype - qinggong's crazy CHA based twin which trades bonus feats for qinggong-like powers. Yup, they stack. Cherrypick your way through a doubled amount of possible powers and show your fellow gamers that MAD actually means "multiple ability domination".

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Half-elf fighter + rogue + wizard + eldritch knight + arcane trickster to emulate 2nd edition's triple class (fighter + wizard + "thief"). Effective fighter, rogue and wizard levels are to be pretty much equal, resulting in 5th level spells, Greater Weapon Focus, 5d6 sneak attack, BAB 14 and solid base saves (9 and 8) at level 20.

Actually worked fine in the computer game Pathfinder: Kingmaker, from level 1 to 17.

The alternate capstones are probably interesting free bonus powers for character level 21, 22 and 23. Suddenly players would have something unique to pursue, instead of just increasing numbers a bit further. Since each character could take each capstone only once, it wouldn't even hurt much if one capstone looks clearly superior to the others, for the given character.

That said, I'm a bit skeptical about the familiar capstone: 12 spell levels as SLAs? So wish 1/day for free? Might be ok for this level, especially if the campaign is under high time pressure, but at first it looks like a horrible exploit.

doc roc wrote:
And as for getting a 3rd domain... what possible domain powers are gonna be worth having/using and since you only have 1 domain slot per level, the domain spells wont be much use either! And as always half the time your domain spells are ones that clerics get anyway!

Reading through the CRB domains, I guess half of them would have at least one useful power for level 20. Become immune to an element, add +10 to d20s, offer allies your save, add holy / axiomatic / anarchic multiple encounters a day etc..

And having a third possible choice for the domain slot doesn't hurt.

Honestly, after playing the CRPG, I am not so interested in playing the AP as PnP anymore. The computer game is pretty good (after most bugs got ironed out, finally), but since I have seen all the content there, I'd rather spend my time on a new campaign full of surprises instead of a slightly revised known AP.

But that's just me. I wish Game On Tabletop success with their project - especially if they plan a pawn set. ;)

And to be fair, I appreciate Paizo's move to allow 3PP such a project at all. Who knows what good will come from this attitude during the next years...

Doggan wrote:
So will we no longer have an iconic that uses a bow/crossbow as a primary weapon? That's lame.

The crossbow is still there, on his back. Maybe he is a switch hitter to the point that both the handaxe pair and the crossbow can be considered primary weapons.

Elter Ago wrote:
From what you have read of the first book, how well are the social situations set up?

Given that (almost) every book of an AP is written by a different person, it's difficult to judge the whole AP before every book is out. Might be a good idea to wait some more time.

If your group wants to focus on social situations, War for the Crown might be a good choice.

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Xenocrat wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:
Wow, I love these campaign traits.
They're pretty bad, except for Pessimist.

The campaign is supposed to be survival horror - meaning exceptionally strong campaign traits would be counterproductive.

When it comes to design (creativity, plausibility etc.), I find them solid to really good. My favourite is the Outsider - a well-grounded penalty AND bonus to Aid Another at the same time is a great idea.

Two pawn packages are announced: "Return of the Runelords" and "Enemy Encounters". I'd guess they will create a "Tyrant's Grasp" package, too.

There is some synergy between scaling unarmed damage and giant form: Size increase is basically a multiplier on damage, so it's great when the damage die are big before multiplying. As Rysky pointed out, you can also combine unarmed and the gore attack (it's not flurry of blows, after all). But otherwise the archetype sounds a bit like patchwork indeed.

Now patchwork can still be a blast in actual play, so I'd give it a try.

thecursor wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
I want to create robots out of living creatures... =/
Like Dr. Frankenstein?

No! No... Not like him... Well... Yes... But you know, in a lawful good way. =)

"Yes, Hello, is there a lawful good way to play God and to create an abomination of life itself?"

It's a tough one indeed. If you want to stay on the good side, the creature would have to volunteer to be turned into a robot - for example because its natural body is close to death. And even then you would have to make sure the process inflicts as little pain as possible.

On the lawful side, there might be a bunch of restrictions what creatures are allowed be turned into what robots. For example you shouldn't provide a typical goblin with a battle robot chassis that allows him to tear down whole villages.

pad300 wrote:
Can anyone give me some detail on the planar harmonizer occultist?

I am late and not an expert on the occultist, but:

Focuses on conjuration school, fares better on other planes and can catch outsiders with their magic circle (at level 5).

The CRB is rather restrictive about it:

Spells: A sorcerer casts arcane spells drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list presented in Chapter 10.

Now this list was expanded by other books, and there is the "unusual spells that the sorcerer has gained some understanding of through study" loophole. A GM can allow you to learn a new spell that's basically empowered magic missile.

However, it's usually not a good deal. Sorcerers have a very limited amount of known spells already. With spending a precious known spell on something that could be done via metamagic you cut down your versatility, in favor of a (tiny?) advantage in action economy. You could have learned fireball, haste or fly instead, to stick with the 3rd-level example...

So what's your intention? Do you want to stick with magic missile as your primary spell?

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For the median the formula is roughly 11.75 + 1.25*CR. While that's close to 15 + CR, the factor of 1.25 is important on the long run. It means that with full BAB alone you can't keep up with the increasing AC - you need to improve weapon enhancement bonuses, ability scores, class powers and probably buffs.

I like to think in "quarters" here, bonuses of roughly 0.25 per level. Each quarter gives you +1 to AB within 4 levels:

Full BAB: 4 quarters (+4 AB over 4 levels)
Medium BAB: 3 quarters (+3 AB over 4 levels)
Weapon enhancement: 1 quarter (+3 weapon at level 12, for example)
Ability scores: 1 quarter (+2 AB from +2 regular increases and +2 item increases at level 8, for example)
Class powers: 1 quarter (+1 from weapon training roughly every 4 levels, for example)
Buffs: varies a lot

If you can make it to 5 quarters (factor 1.25), you can at least keep up with the increasing AC - might be good enough for a secondary martial. For good progress you need 6 quarters, though.

There are also things which drag you down:

Power Attack / Combat Expertise / Deadly Aim: -1 quarter
Iteratives: -1 quarter in average, varies between -0 and -2 quarters (level 6 is harsh, for example: -0 AB and -5 AB means -2.5 AB in average, so about -0.417, nearly -2 quarters)

So you should aim to compensate them, get rid of them (sooner or later) or accept the reduced accuracy for other benefits (damage is the most obvious).

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I'd go with statements like this, to get into the mindset:

It's perfectly legal.
They totally deserved it.
They had the chance to help themselves, but obviously they were too lazy.
I just want order. In order everyone has a chance to prosper.
Evil? Nah, I just have a realistic outlook.
Evil? Look at those demon worshippers! They are all about destroying and killing!
These goody-goodys mean well, sure. But have you ever checked out the collateral damage they cause?

The feat Cunning Killer is somewhat close. When you succeed at a Knowledge check about a creature, you gain an insight bonus on attack & damage. It has a few strings attached, but should work in practice, for example for an investigator, eldritch knight or magus.

Some people at Paizo emphasized they would like to see more reviews. Especially since the latest products got even less ratings than those before, I collected some ideas which might help:

Options with (relatively) little effort

1) Make the "write a review" link more prominent. I wrote several reviews in the past, but I still have to search for the link every other time.

2) Encourage people with a sentence that you want reviews. From the discussion I remember several people were hesitant to write, even if they could make up valuable contributions (from my point of view).

Option with more effort, likely

Protect the review text from being killed by the need of another login. If you spend enough time to write more than a few sentences and click "Submit", the page requires you to login again - and the text is gone. The frustration will ensure many people won't write such a long review again. Sure, there are ways around it (saving the text with Ctrl-C, for example), but not everyone knows about them.

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You are right with the alternate racial traits for both half-human races - they are mostly redundant with Bastards of Golarion. Beyond these traits I don't spot any reprints, though.

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Random comments:

I miss the foreword a bit, despite knowing it's for a good case (more adventure pages).

Matthias Rothenaicher's maps remind me of the maps of a certain other big RPG. I slightly prefer Robert Lazzaretti's style, but it means at least some variety (which comes handy for custom campaigns).

So far, I skimmed the adventure (versatile, imaginative and sometimes challenging - great), runelord article (very welcome topic) and bestiary (creative as always, I dig magic-scent).

Personally, I found the adventure summary to be exhausting (more than a whole page of related events), though that's a general issue with APs for me.

I am not so happy with the first event - it promises combat but doesn't deliver (which would offend at least one of my regular players). The players can't do much more than a few skill checks, and then they risk to see their PCs run away (which is put into perspective, but still). To be fair, it's relatively easy to modify, and the following events are pretty good. Mister Retch has so much potential...

I was surprised to see a whopping amount of 11 new feats in this volume. They are all across the board, including metamagic, item creation and teamwork. I like some of them for being straightforward and helpful (charge and run through difficult terrain, Step Up and Strike with two weapons) and others for their creativity (ignore ability damage's penalties, create your own Charisma headband).

doomman47 wrote:
It gives you a bloodline, since it can't be in a bloodline that you already have

Hm, the text of Eldritch Heritage etc. doesn't support this claim. And the "This bloodline cannot be a bloodline you already have." clause could easily be about bloodline powers - doesn't make much sense to get them twice*.

* Now there are some options to exchange your regular bloodline powers. With enough of them traded away, getting them back from Eldritch Heritage etc. would make sense. But such options were rare back in UM times, the book only (?) had the wildblooded archetype for such tricks.

Saurclaus wrote:
I would like to not kill everything on site for xp but everyone else wants to play that way and I was told unless I come up with a chart I'm stuck playing their way.

Don't be surprised when you do come up with a chart and they still won't change.

There are some compromises possible, actually:

* Convince the opponents that the conflict should be settled by a duel instead of a full battle. Means less bloodshed.

* Involve the fellow players: Let them intimidate the crap out of weak foes, so they flee outright. Ask the GM whether he would award the same XP as for killing.

* Make your diplomatic move, but accept that some opponents won't be cooperative, no matter what you say or how high you roll. This kind of tolerance will make you more bearable for the remaining players.

* Deal significant nonlethal damage or knock foes out with stun / paralysis / sleep / other battlefield control effects. This way they are beaten but not killed. Be ready for fellow players still trying to kill neutralized creatures - make sure the GM awards XP already for neutralization.

If you want Str from feats, there is Raging Blood. Now it's "just" +2 Str and +2 Con for some rounds, but you don't need Skill Focus or Eldritch Heritage for it. And you get these +2 right now, opposed to the two bloodlines where you have to wait until level 19 for full benefit (level 17 if you also take Greater Eldritch Heritage).

In case you are settled on long-term bonuses, Exotic Heritage allows you to pick up Eldritch Heritage (pit-touched) - gain +6 Con instead of +6 Str. But the Eldritch Heritage for infernal bloodline is still pretty much a feat tax - unless the GM rules such a touch attack isn't a standard action but replaces a single attack.

Spending class levels is more effective. A single level of bloodrager adds +4 Str temporarily, a level of alchemist does the same. When it comes to items, a Str belt is probably an obvious choice, but also consider a mask of giants. The greater version offers a whopping +6 and is compatible with claws and bite from bloodlines (well, unless they are permanent - you might need GM's support here again).

Mary Yamato wrote:
_Giantslayer_ could well end at 2 and be about orcs and a few hill giants: 1-2 makes a reasonable arc.

You could do that, but it depends on the players. If they are aware they are playing "Giantslayer" and adjusted their expectations and characters accordingly, you might be better off with also adding book 3. After a giant-free section it allows the players to face a variety of different giants, so they shouldn't suffer from boredom by then.

Book 4 is probably a good candidate to be run on its own. Its theme and execution seems pretty good, but that gets overshadowed by "oh, giants again, and always the same type" if you play it as part of an AP.

Encounters in book 5 look like the author ran out of time - maybe another candidate for a standalone scenario, with heavy modifications from the GM. To a lesser extent, this also applies to book 6 - especially the final boss' evilness should be more obvious to the players.

Well, there are always a few new monsters in each AP volume, and there is the chance an upcoming Campaign Setting book has some. So there is a slim chance overall.

Personally I find elementals rather dull creatures - each type has only one or two interesting things, no matter the CR, so more types wouldn't add much (in my opinion). This has an advantage, though: It's relatively easy to rework an elemental type into another. Water elementals without their special powers but with an ability score damaging touch could make good void elementals, while earth elementals are a good base for wood elementals etc..

If you find the 3rd party elementals balanced - maybe make an exception from "Paizo only" and include them into your campaign.

The mouser archetype of the swashbuckler allows flanking from within the space of a bigger creature.

Derklord wrote:
Your argument ignores two things: First, other classes have these options, too (and due to higher BAB and other class features often better than Rogue), and there is no such thing as a melee who isn't a frontliner.

Other classes get much less out of flanking, feint etc.. A standard action attack might be a bad decision for them, but a rogue has the benefit of an easier sneak attack on the first hit (striking from Stealth / invisibility), still solid damage and the chance to apply a debuff.

I am not sure what your definition of frontliner is, but mine is "stays within reach of the opponent". Not necessarily true for the three options I listed at the reply to Arachnofiend.

If Rogue is supposed to rely on flanking, why does it have to wait longer than others to pick Outflank?

Wait a moment. Rogue isn't supposed to rely on flanking. Rogue is supposed to have flanking in his toolbox. Flanking works without any investment (beside going melee), so I'd consider it a priority to add other tools first. Afterwards I can still work on existing tools.

Outflank comes at level 7 or 6 (using combat trick), meaning at the right time to compensate -2 BAB in comparison to full BAB. If the party composition supports teamwork feats at all.

If Rogue is supposed to rely on the standard attack action, why does it have to wait longer than others to pick Vital Strike?

A fighter can pick up Vital Strike at level 6.

Most other martials have to wait until 7.
A rogue can spend combat trick at 8 to get the feat.
Alternatively, he can take it as a regular feat at 9.

So, the level difference isn't as bad as it looks first.

If Rogue is supposed to rely on the natural attack action, why doesn't it have a class feature grating those (unlike others)? If Rogue is supposed to deny dexterity, why doesn't it have a class feature to do so? If Rogue is supposed to use TWF, why does it have no class features helping it overcome TWF's problems? (Note: unRogue does deal with the MADness, but not with the other issues.)

Because you get heavily rewarded for building towards these options.

Sneak attack is roughly 2 points of damage per level per hit, all day long. It has to be situational, otherwise it would have to be cut down for the sake of balance. If you have to spend precious character options on making it more reliable, that's ok for table balance, because you will be lacking somewhere else. But if you would get it all for free (via class features) and stack more on top of it, you might end up breaking encounters and hence the fun of everyone else.

Arachnofiend wrote:
H...how do you get flanking... if you're not on the front line...

Spring Attack, fast getaway and reach weapon come to my mind right now. Depending on battlefield situation, there might also be a difference between "in the middle of combat" and "at the edge" - the latter doesn't exclude flanking.

And these options don't even have to be perfect, because you play a class with rewards having a whole toolbox of tricks.

Different classes are supposed to lead to different play experiences. There are enough classes that work well in a straightforward way, so it's good there are a few classes like the rogue where you actually have to work with situational tools.

I don't think the rogue needs full BAB. He is rather encouraged to use the following to boost his AB:

a) flank
b) attack flat-footed / Dex denied opponents
c) use two-weapon fighting / natural attacks / standard action attacks (reducing the need for a second iterative)

Full BAB would further build the (totally misleading) concept that the rogue is a frontliner. No, he is not. Even with full BAB he'd suffer from weak saves, low AC, unreliable damage etc.. Officially his role is the following:

CRB wrote:
Role: Rogues excel at moving about unseen and catching foes unaware, and tend to avoid head-to-head combat.

If you want a sneaky frontliner, there is the slayer.

I checked out Cunning for a phantom thief, but the feat has the issue of starting slow (just 1 rank at level 1 etc.) while skills become less important over the course of levels. If you use it to unlock class skills more quickly, it might be worth it.

An exotic alternative is the story feat City-locked: +1 to 21 skills is huge and available at a time when Cunning still builds up. It comes with some strings attached, both positive and negative.

As I remember a designer's argument from a related discussion, it's rather about book dependancy. If you want to play a magus, you only need the CRB and UM - not even the APG which predated UM (note there are no APG weapon properties for the magus). Well, despite a few spells that were introduced in the APG, but you will be fine with CRB (and UM) spells.

While it's technically all freely available in the official PRD, not everyone enjoys digging through several books for a single thing and not everyone enjoys using online resources (due to readability, ban of technical devices at the table, being old-fashioned etc.).

Finally, a magus doesn't need corrosive that urgently:

1) Acid is pretty good for a elemental damage bonus, if you have to decide once and forever. But a magus can add bonuses on the fly - and there are some foes which are vulnerable to either fire or cold. Flaming and frost become way more attractive in such situations.

2) A magus can add corrosive via crafting. Actually the class is pretty good at crafting: Full CL (unlike ranger, paladin etc.), Int based, bonus feat that can be item creation feats. It's just that you usually have other priorities.

3) A gnome magus can pick it up as FCB, as noted by Gisher.

I made up an oneshot against zombies a while ago. The two powergamers of my group joined and it was a nice session. Lessons learned:

* Players are good at adapting to enemies, if they are presented with the same challenges over and over. Make sure to add something completely different (like a cleric focused on channeling negative energy) here and there.

* I found myself tempted to build fair encounters all the time. After years of regular campaigns I got used to think among line like "not more than APL+4", "do only a single neutralization effect" or "they don't have a real counter to that yet". Actively challenge that! PCs are here to die, not to succeed.

* If you throw a lot of foes at them, you potentially also throw a lot of XP at them. There was no leveling in the oneshot - if there would have been, they would have wiped the floor with the encounters. And I am afraid the slow advancement track wouldn't have changed much.

* I allowed them to rejoin with "identical twins" of their PCs once a death occured. It was weird for them first, but they were happy to have a second try on the same challenge.

How do players lose a battle? I think it most often comes down to: They got surprised or disabled. As long as they are able to plot and act, they have a good chance to figure out how to beat even "impossible" odds.

So, whatever you do, keep the powers of the BBEG mostly a secret. Maybe reveal one or two things, so they think they know what to expect - then engage them with something completely different. Make sure the powers are not about raw damage or direct kills, but rather about neutralizing them without permanent harm:

Nonlethal damage

It needs to be something that really takes them out of the battle, so there is no risk they engage the BBEG despite a hefty debuff (exhausted, sickened, magically aged etc.) and die due to it.

Dasrak wrote:
Secondly, his only way of perceiving invisible foes is with tremorsense. This means Varklops has no way of locating invisible attackers if they're flying.

Isn't detecting an invisible creature "just" a DC 40 Perception check? Varklops gets a +34 on its roll.

CRB wrote:
A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that “something’s there” but can’t see it or target it accurately with an attack. It’s practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature’s location with a Perception check.

Ok, there is another +1 DC for each 10 feet the opponent is away, but on the other hand there are hefty penalties for combat (-20) and moving (-5 or -10). And as I read Perception, pinpointing is a move action - which means the breath weapon (two lines version) can still be used in the same turn.

Speaking of breath weapon, against sneaky players I'd ready an action to fire it at anything that shows up.

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What's the goal? Having fun building them or creating memorable foes for your players? Because depending on the answer, the villains might be very different.

I assume the second, memorable foes. Players often only get a very superficial impression of their opponents, so I'd go for one very visible ability from the first class and another one from the second. Random examples:

Monk + cleric: Moves around at amazing speed, casts divine spells then. They could cast a touch spell while still around the corner, move to the PCs, bypass the martials and touch a more fragile target.

Barbarian + druid: Activates wildshape, then manifests totem powers and some elemental rage powers. Fear the burning tiger with the gore attack!

Rogue + bard: Casts vanish, sneak attacks, runs away, taunts the pursuer with music.

Metamagic can speed up things. Quicken Spell adds a second deadly spell per round, and Widen Spell increases the amount of targets by up to 300% (!).

Pizza Lord wrote:
Aside from the fact that I can't find much indication of 'half-demon' anywhere, I assume that's a direct genealogical specification (I would likely count being a half-fiend acceptable).

Demon Revisited has some text on half-demons:


When a demon breeds with a mortal humanoid, the resulting birth is often a specific sub-category of half-fiend — a half-demon. Certain rituals can ensure that the resulting child is a half-demon rather than a half-fiend: such rituals are common in certain demon-worshiping cults, and some demons seek to sire or birth such children for their own sinister purposes.

A half-demon’s statistics are generated as if they were half-fiends, save for some modifications dependent on the type of its demonic parentage. The majority of half-demons are chaotic evil. Each of the following chapters presents adjustments to the half-fiend template when generating a specific half-demon; you can use these 10 examples to generate new half-demon templates for demons not detailed in this book. If an element of the half-fiend template is not mentioned in a particular half-demon sidebar, that element is not adjusted.

Almost all half-demons are half-humanoids. It’s exceptionally rare for a non-humanoid to gain this template — most such situations result in a typical half-fiend. While tieflings — humanoids with a smattering of fiendish blood — may trace their lineage back to such a union, true half-demons are far rarer and more powerful than their watered-down descendants.

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MR. H wrote:
The Druid is still a better wildshaper which is just unacceptable.

As I read it, an adaptive shifter can totally combine wildshape and reactive aspects. At level 15 it's five simultaneous aspects on top of wildshape.

And even if druid is still better at wildshape, you could see it the other way: Druid is brokenly powerful, shifter is well-balanced. The game rather needs well-balanced classes than broken ones, so a shifter is a good addition. Depends on your priorities, of course.

Oh, I missed Kobold Sniper (reduces penalty to -10) and tiefling's race trait Fiendish Sniper (+5 on the check).

A rogue can pick up the fast getaway talent at level 2. Meaning they can sneak attack (for example after flanking) and withdraw in the same round. For a low level NPC respective monster that might be quite helpful.

And if players have some success with prepared actions and reach weapons against such tactics, that's a fair reward for them thinking and spending precious combat actions.

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
First off there's sniping, but most ranged attackers of CR 2 or even CR 6 for that matter aren't really good at it. They suffer -10 to -20 on their checks

Well, there is the Expert Sniper feat for a penalty reduction of -10. Beyond that:

Halfling alternate racial trait swift as shadows: Reduce penalty by 10
Rogue (guerrilla) 4: Set penalty to -10
Slayer (guerilla) 1: Reduce penalty by class level/2

Further, you can look for significant bonuses to Stealth in general, to make sniping work. Getting them from race (such as being Small) is usually cheaper than from feats, at that low level.

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Yes, it's good to listen to what a player actually wants and not just recommend the "best" class. No disagreement so far. Of course you should warn the player if:

a) the character concept not really works in Pathfinder (character who avoids magical items)
b) the power level or style won't fit the campaign (gunslingers etc.) or
c) the concept will negatively impact fellow players' or the GM's fun (necromancer vs. paladin etc.)

With the great amount of material it should usually be possible to figure something out.

That said, I agree with Claxon: There are (usually) many ways. A player could pick up the challenge and build Batman based on a wizard, without even casting much. A quick draft:

Transmutation school with enhancement subschool, craft your own Batman gear (including Arcane Builder discovery), throw in some quickened buffs later. Get Arcane Strike for some extra oomph, compensate the low amount of attacks with Two-Weapon Fighting, and pick up any unarmed style you like and which doesn't require a high BAB. There are also a bunch of magic items which can help you with punching and kicking (or melee in general) - and hey, you can craft some of them yourself.

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