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1. Dead Taken.
2. Snatch group.
3. Mystery ship.
4. Wood thing.

Once we have more information about the boat, it's worth investigating, but for our first caper I think we should target something else. The boat could be our second caper.

Are we allowed to split up to do 2 capers at once? Or do we all have to do 1 caper?

I'd use a Discord!

I agree on this being an IC conversation that needs to be had. Briallen certainly thinks so!

Briallen is over here thinking "I am WAY less informed on strange worlds than the nerds of the group," basically. She trusts herself on battle savvy and on being able to negotiate with people easily (very solid diplomacy), but her knowledge on various matters is far less than that of the nerds.

Definitely needs to be discussed IC, I think. But GM thoughts would be good here!

Reading posts now! ...Briallen as leader? Hmm... I'll have to see what the fellow PCs say. Paladin leader is an odd choice, but we have, what, *three* paladins? :thinking:

How short are we talking? Just to clarify.

I'm still debating whether to take the Divine Bond with weapons for extra damage or to take the Divine Bond with an Angel to give AoE Protection From Evil (but better, scaling with level). On the one hand, early access to Keen for 15-20 crit range. On the other... +3 Deflection/Resistance vs. evil for 5 minutes to all allies within 20 feet of Briallen (including self), +4 at 8th.

Leaning toward the angelic option partly because I can RP the halo as burning with silver fire, and also because she doesn't get Deflection to AC from her smite. And no spellcasting.

Same, definitely! I thought about saying hi when you first mentioned considering a halfling virtuous bravo, but I figured I'd just keep quiet and see how your ideas developed. I'm glad that's where you ended up — having a duo like that sounds super fun if we're both chosen, and the character concepts themselves seem very different so no issue there.

They're very different narratively for sure! Mechanically they have a lot of similarities, but I can see your character is going toward an intellect route vs. my character going full-on smitebuckler.

Definitely hoping both halflings get in. Attack of the tiny fencers!

Working on my sheet. Almost done. I've chosen to play a Halfling Paladin (Virtuous Bravo) of the Silver Flame from the Eberron Campaign Setting.

I'll have a post up shortly with questions answered and stuff. I worry my character is a bit too mechanically similar to Mus' halfling swashbuckler (I realized that after looking back to see who had a PC), but honestly I'm aggressively okay with that. The potential of there being TWO swashbuckling halflings tromping around is actually really cool to me.

I do want to ask: how are you handling HP? Max at first, average on subsequent levels? For now, I'm assuming that is the case.

Also, would you allow (at later levels) Deific Obedience (Iomedae) as a stand in for Deific Obedience to the Silver Flame? Iomedae or Sarenrae, either/or; both seem like good fits for my character's religion.

Hmm. If two people are going for tech-oriented builds, then I suppose I'll avoid going tech as well.

I'll save the Spheres of Might Technician for another campaign. I'll work on a straightforward Virtuous Bravo Paladin.

I DO like the Technician from Spheres of Might. I've never, ever used Spheres of Might, so I'm still staring at this and squinting, but it does look REALLY fun. However, I can also see that it might be a bit... too good at skills?

@GM, if you want to allow this class, I'll give it a whirl and try to design the character because this looks very fun.

If that class is too much, I'll make a paladin instead. I have a good feeling that a CHA-based martial with social skills + the aforementioned backstory could be fun in this campaign.

I'll throw out one more question... Would a paladin be usable in this campaign? I get the feeling it could make subterfuge a little harder, but I want an opinion there.

I've basically narrowed my ideas down to the following:

- A goblin from Sigil, some sort of scoundrel with magic. Thinking he could be a Rogue/Wizard/Arcane Trickster, a Rogue (Eldritch Scoundrel), or a Bard without too much difficulty. Could even see him as a Mesmerist. Would RP this guy as basically a grifter, fast-talker, and generally ne'er-do-well that wound up getting recruited by the organization because they needed someone quick with their tongue.

- A Virtuous Bravo paladin mixing swashbuckling and smiting. Or, alternatively, an Oath of the People's Council + some bardic stuff paladin. Probably a halfling. Intended to be a derring-do type from a Renaissance fantasy world with experience fighting pirates and such. REALLY wants to find a way to go back home, but their prime material home is so unheard of that nobody knows exactly how to find it. Perhaps she did a stint on Spelljammer vessels once she was lost in the Planescape?

- A tinkerer of some sort from a fantasy-meets-technology world. Think 'Tinker Gnomes' or 'World of Warcraft Gnomes.' The issue is I have NO IDEA what class I'd want to use for this, as I'm 100% unfamiliar with 3rd party classes that make tinkering a thing.

@GM if you have any ideas for the third idea, I'd love to do that. Otherwise, I'll pick one of the other two ideas.

Zorblag wrote:
@Shorticus, have you looked at the Mesmerist? They're an occult class that might cover a lot of what you would want in a Beguiler that's already in Pathfinder.

I'm familiar with 'em and have played 'em, but they don't quite fill the same niche. Don't get me wrong, the Mesmerist is one of my favorite classes; but the Beguiler is all able subtle/sneaky casting, and they get 9th level spells where the Mesmerist gets 6th.

Plus, the Mesmerist is a psychic caster rather than Arcane, which is a very different vibe. (It does have a really cool druidic spellcasting archetype, though.)

If the 3rd party options I have in mind aren't allowed, then I'll probably go for a half-caster class like the Mesmerist, Eldritch Scoundrel Rogue (I know, not a strong option), or a Bard.

So, I know something about Sigil! It's an old setting that I have enough familiarity with to go sprinting with.

I have two class ideas that I'd like to pitch since you're allowing 3rd party content:

A) An artificer class of some sort, something focused on engineering / tinkering vs. magic, if that's allowed;
B) A conversion of the Beguiler class from 3.5 D&D (light armor full arcane caster that casts spontaneously from a full list of Enchantment/Illusion spells).

Do either of those sound tenable?

Hey, are you still looking for new potential members? I'm interested in this.

I know a little bit - but just a little bit - about the Birthright setting, mostly because I played in a Planescape game where one of the characters was from the Birthright setting. I find it REALLY interesting and would love to try it out.

I'd be interested in playing either an unblooded adventurer, a priest of some kind, or a druid of some kind. (Or perhaps Fey Trickster Mesmerist? That class uses druidic (divine) magic on a Mesmerist template.)

What races are allowed? I remember reading that goblins have a VERY different sort of role in the Birthright setting, so that interests me, but otherwise I could see myself playing a Human just so I can focus more on learning the setting lore, perhaps as some podunk farmer without too much knowledge outside of feudal servitude.

EDIT: Yeah, the more I think on it... Rogue, Bard, and Fey Trickster Mesmerist sound like my chief ideas for classes. Those seem like they'd all offer some options for intrigue.

EDIT 2: Hey, I recognize this portion of the continent! This is the part of the world used in that old video game - Birthright: Gorgon's Alliance! I don't know too much lore, but that kind of helps me remember what's up.

You know, the sad thing is doesn't the core rulebook suggest doing something similar to that?

It's a weird symptom of several systems I've seen, including (funnily enough) The One Ring, which assumes that a fresh player should sit down with a brand new, first time adventure character when joining an existing party of experienced adventurers.


But yeah, no, on topic: don't play a super old character on a physical class with a race that has all the wrong stats in the wrong places. That's just a "please don't do that to yourself" situation.

And the GMPC turned out to have made a really good choice.

Plus, Bilbo actually had some absurd racial bonuses to stealth, sleight of hand, and riddles, which apparently were all things the dwarves were all terrible at. I mean... how many times did Hobbit cleverness save everyone?

Ideas, IMO:

- Be a ranged character. Human or half-orc can do a lot for you here. Seems obvious.
- Be a kineticist. Dwarf is a REALLY strong option and would shore up your bad Will saves by a lot (+1 for WIS, +2 vs. spells). It's largely ranged but CAN go melee, and ranged options make up for dwarves' slow speed. Your CON also directly boosts your offense, so... Really good. (Halfling would be doable as well, as would gnome, and human is never bad.)
- Unchained Rogue looks really solid on there. Human, half-orc, half-elf, halfling (with 30 foot speed) are all good choices.
- A specific ranged option that could be fun if you've never done it is a halfling slinger. With Slipslinger Style + Startoss Style + Weapon Style Mastery you can do some incredible things. Your STR would be your first stat boost at level 4. Put that on a Fighter and wield a staff sling and you shouldn't have any problems if you pick the right options from Advanced Weapon Training.
- Just in general, I think Dwarf is a really good choice to get your saves up on this array. It's not the most offensive impressive option to pick, but your array becomes very sturdy with it.
- Speaking of dwarves, the Stonelord Paladin could be an interesting choice. Yes, really. Stonelord doesn't really care about Charisma (no smite/divine grace/spells), and instead acts as a sort of crazy defensive martial that if given a reach weapon can hold any line. And do you know who's got DEX and STR? Yes, your character.
- But let's make sure to mention Barbarian. Whether you go ranged, melee, or thrown, core Barbarian's reliance on a good CON score lines up beautifully with your array. Human, half-elf, half-orc, or dwarf would all be great race choices. You can build them in a variety of ways, all of which kill real good in unique flavors. Worth considering.

That's a good summary for me. Thanks for the help!

I'm about to run a session involving LOTS of water in a living campaign so I'm just making sure I have all the official rules I need to reference when writing notes for that adventure. Trying to keep everything as true to the RAW as possible since it's a living world and not a home table.

RAWmonger wrote:
No. Vigorous through very violent movement might apply depending on the type of water, or other distraction-related concentration checks. But the main problem with casting underwater is the fact that the caster can’t breathe underwater.

Right, I know about those rules, so I was just asking if anything RAW made casting above water require any sort of additional checks or the like.

How are you staying afloat? If holding onto a float/surface, you might not have a hand free. If treading water, vigorous activity/violent motion. If the water is moving you're talking Move actions for Swim checks unless you have a swim speed. If using the Levitate spell that carries it's own issues. All of the penalties with this activity are from how you're remaining above water, not the water itself.

Okay, but do move actions to stay afloat for swim checks prevent casting spells or require concentration checks?

What if the creature has a swim speed but can't breathe underwater?

I'm looking for any rules that exist on the topic, not homebrew, note. Specifically, I'm looking for any rules that might exist for casting spells while afloat above the water but not underwater.

It doesn't seem like there are, by the sounds of it.

I know there are rules for casting spells underwater. But are there rules regarding casting spells while swimming with your head above the surface of water?

I don't know that a brewkeeper is intended for wizards particularly but it works best for them. Better than an alchemist certainly. You could say the same of the Thuvian alchemist PrC.

I was actually talking about whether Brewkeeper would be more fun for a Wizard or an Alchemist with someone today. What makes you say it's better for a Wizard?

I like the Wizard angle more myself, but alchemist bombs + Harmful Homebrew looks fun.


Unlike enchantments like flaming or such, Kinetic Fist makes no mention of critical hits:

Kinetic Fist wrote:

Element(s) universal; Type form infusion; Level 1; Burn 1

Associated Blasts any
Saving Throw none

You surround your body with energy or elemental matter from your kinetic abilities. You can use this form infusion as part of an attack action, a charge action, or a full-attack action to add damage to each of your natural attacks and unarmed strikes until the beginning of your next turn. Since kinetic fist is part of another action, using this wild talent doesn’t provoke any additional attack of opportunity. You deal an additional 1d6 points of damage per 3 dice of your kinetic blast’s damage (minimum 1d6), and this damage is of the same type as your kinetic blast’s damage. This extra damage ignores spell resistance and doesn’t apply any modifiers to your kinetic blast’s damage, such as your Constitution modifier.

So, let's say I punch a guy. I critically hit. Do I just get unarmed strike + STR again as my crit, or do I get unarmed strike + STR + kinetic fist damage?

you are a necromancer

Derklord wrote:
I hope you realize that (when flurrying) for a swift action and a ki point you could make a bonus attack instead. That's guaranteed to do more damage.

Oh, for sure. +4 damage per attack might come close at higher levels, maybe.

Mostly I just want to have my gnome say weird things and make enemies go "Huh!" Sometimes to deny an action, sometimes to deal extra damage.

Elsewise, yeah, just getting more punches is probably more efficient unless I'm actively trying to 'daze' them via Bewildering Koan.

EDIT: It will also blend nicely with the dragon breath ability my character's archetype gains at way later levels (12th).

Thanks for the help, Sandslice!

Are you sure? The reason I ask is because:

- the fire damage is separate from the other damage, meeting resistance instead of DR, etc; effectively treated as a separate attack for the purposes of any kind of damage reduction or resistance
- and so is the touch attack spell, which also encounters spell resistance vs. encountering something else
- and the elemental ascetic kineticist damage is separate from those, and,
- the unarmed strike is separate from those.

I could easily see Unarmed Strike and fiery enchantment being rolled together (same weapon and such), but the other two abilities - especially the spell - seem distinct.

Is there an official ruling or FAQ that will tell me if this is only +2 damage, or what a damage roll is in this sort of situation?

I have a question about Bewildering Koan. The full description is here, but I'll bold the relevant bit:

As a swift action, spend 1 point from your ki pool and make a Bluff check by asking a creature one of the impossible questions you ponder when meditating. If the creature fails its check, you choose whether it loses its next action or you gain a +2 bonus on all damage rolls you make against that creature for 1 round.

Let's talk about that damage.

Let's say I am a gnome with a 1 level dip in Elemental Ascetic, so I add 1d6 damage from some sort of energy attack. I have a touch attack spell that deals damage held as a charge. I also have, say, a Flaming Amulet of Mighty Fists.

When I do an unarmed strike, there are now multiple separate damage rolls:
- Unarmed Strike Damage
- 1d6 from Elemental Ascetic
- touch attack damage (discharged as part of an unarmed strike)
- 1d6 fire damage from Flaming enchantment

How many +2 damage amounts do I add to this attack?

The reason I didn't mention Martyr Paladin is that I feel like it pales in comparison to the OotPC Paladin.

But yes, that's an option - it works well enough.

One more post before I head to bed:

If you want to be full BAB and still get a song and you DON'T want to be a paladin, your options are practically non-existent. Exemplar Brawler is an option, yes, and you don't need to dip for any silly proficiencies.

At low levels you can use similar tactics to the paladin tactics above: Buckler, melee weapon from close group, flag. Buckler hand holds flag. Your weapon hand could be a cestus, say, which is not a bad weapon at all.

If your GM allows, at high levels just use a longspear and use the Versatile Design weapon modification to make it count as part of the Close weapon group so you can flurry with it.

Elsewise, I ALSO think Skald makes a terrific option. It's not a bard, though it feels similar, and Spell Kenning is a beautiful thing to behold.

If none of those work for you, you could always ask the GM if you're allowed to use VMC rules. VMC bard is kind of "meh," but you can put it on anything, and it makes a good skillmonkey addition.

Also: once you get access to the Banner of the Ancient Kings, your GM shouldn't tell you it can't go on a Longspear without a feat. It says it can go on a longspear in the item description. And a longspear is a good weapon - 1d8 x3 reach.

So, stick with Oath of the People's Council. Go sword-and-buckler for now, flag in buckler hand. Switch to longspear + power attack at high levels (when you get the banner). Fixed.

EDIT: As far as things to do as a Paladin...

- Inspire
- Power Attack, yes
- Move, yes
- Cast spells
- Activate divine bond with weapon to do cool stuff
- Did I mention paladin spells are actually really good?
- Lay on Hands
- Channel Energy

Skills will be lacking, yes, but you'll be a Human I presume (to get Flagbearer at level 1 and another feat). That'll help with skill point deficiencies. You also get Inspire Competence, which helps you make the people who do actual skillmonkey stuff better.

Assuming your group uses Background Skills, that's 2 skill points from background skills, 2 from paladin, 1 from human, and then your INT bonus (which I would NOT have higher than 12, and you could even dump it if you really wished safely).

I'm struggling mightily with the build. I do not want a bard. I want to be a strength based martial ideally with inspire courage and flagbearer

There's a Paladin archetype for exactly that.

EDIT: JUST RE-READ. YOU'RE ALREADY PLAYING IT. Just don't use a polearm, man. See below.

STR-based, CHA-based martial. Has Inspire Courage. Can use a polearm just fine. Catch Off-Guard is a silly requirement, but it'll be fine, I think.

But what if you didn't use a polearm? What if you used a Buckler and held a flag in that hand? You'd still get shield bonus to AC, making you a little tougher, and you'd be able to one-hand a weapon of your choice in the other hand. AND you wouldn't need the Catch Off-Guard feat.

Flag + buckler + longsword + that archetype + flagbearer = perhaps not as mighty as a two-handing warrior type, but surely will hold the line fine and make your allies happy.

Oh, wow.

Yeah, that FAQ is pretty damning. Thanks for telling me.

Heather 540 wrote:
An Unchained Monk can get it as a ki power at level 4.

They can! But Scaled Fist (the archetype I'm using) replaces the level 4 power with another ability.

I'll get it at 6th.

You know, I forgot that Quinngong Monk can cast Barkskin. If I wait until 6th level, I'll have natural AC already.

Thanks for the advice!

I thought so, but I wanted to make sure.

So, per this thread, I have settled on making a negative energy punch boy gnome. Have a token and everything. I'm not here to debate the rules on the negative energy stuff, but to go over everything else.

This isn't for PFS, but is at a home game that uses SLIGHTLY modified PFS rules. The main difference is I'm not allowed to dump stats below 8, or 7 if it's a racial penalty (like Strength for gnomes).

Here's what I'm considering for my character's stats:

Gnome Kineticist (Elemental Ascetic) 1 / Unchained Monk (Scaled Fist) X
20 Point Buy

STR - 8
DEX - 16
CON - 16
INT - 8
WIS - 12
CHA - 16

My character uses CHA for monk abilities instead of WIS. (Scaled Fist.)

For feats, my first feat is probably going to be Weapon Finesse. Level 2 (UC Monk 1) will be Dragon Style, and level 3 will be Extra Gnome Magic.

After that, I'm not entirely sure what all I need.

I'll obviously need an Agile item, either an Amulet of Mighty Fists or the Body Wrap of Mighty Strikes. (Handwraps disallowed in PFS.) I have another thread looking into what might be able to replace the amulet of natural armor that's lost, since having good AC is key with this sort of build.

I know I'm going to want a wand of Mage Armor and a wand of Recharge Innate Magic. I will therefore need to have good UMD, but because I have 16 CHA that shouldn't be hard. (Going to take the Dangerously Curious trait.)

I've never played a monk of any sort, not since the days of 3.5, so what all do I need? What should I be looking for item-wise and feat-wise?

Are there any good, simple replacements for an amulet of natural armor? I'm looking for an item that takes a different slot, as I may need an Amulet of Mighty Fists.

(Alternatively, I may use a Body Wrap of Mighty Strikes. Handwraps are unfortunately not PFS legal.)

I only found one old thread on this topic.

How do Dragon Style and the Agile enchantment work together, if at all? Do you get 1.5xDEX mod on that first attack?

Matthew Downie wrote:
Shorticus wrote:
I can cast it in Round 1 of combat, or BEFORE combat begins, and full attack in all subsequent rounds with Chill Touch each time?

The FAQ page linked above says:

Making a touch attack against an enemy by touching it, beyond the free action to do so as part of casting the spell, is a standard action. It can’t be used with a full attack.
I don't think this concept works. Unless you're a Magus with Spellstrike or have a similar special ability I've missed, you can't deliver touch attacks for free when you make a melee attack.

Isn't that talking about delivering a touch spell just with touch attacks? You can deliver touch spells via unarmed strikes, which operates differently, allowing full attacks. See below:

FAQ wrote:

Q: Touch Spells: In the Magic and Combat chapters, it says that I can touch a single ally as a standard action or up to six allies as a full-round action and that I can combine delivering a touch spell with a natural attack or unarmed strike. But what if I just want to deliver the touch spell to an enemy? It just says I can do it “round after round.”

A: Making a touch attack against an enemy by touching it, beyond the free action to do so as part of casting the spell, is a standard action. It can’t be used with a full attack.

This SEEMS to be specifically talking about delivering touch spells with touch attacks, NOT delivering them with unarmed strikes or natural attacks, which it specifically mentions beforehand. (I.E. you can't full attack with just touching at touch AC.)

If I'm wrong, then that's fair. Chill Touch is a bonkers spell, so I apologize for my confusion.

avr wrote:
Medium of the master might be fun. I think scaled fist unmonk would be best though; its flurry comes in at 1st level rather than a mediums 6th and it gets bonus feats which can get dragon style without Str 15, etc.

Dragon Style... Yeah, that's important. IF this works (again, see my question to Matthew above) then Dragon Style would definitely be an almost must-have.

So, basically:

I can cast it in Round 1 of combat, or BEFORE combat begins, and full attack in all subsequent rounds with Chill Touch each time?

If so, that's the interpretation I was working with. My intention has always been "cast it before the fight begins and full attack during the fight."

If all of the above is doable and correct...


On classes: what classes would work best here? Magus isn't really an option because it's an SLA. My instincts were Iroran Paladin or Scaled Fist Unchained Monk, as previously stated, or perhaps brawler.

I also have considered trying core Paladin rather than Iroran Paladin to get smite (which is handy dandy), but obviously I would have awful unarmed strike damage.

Are there any other classes I should be considering for an unarmed strike build?


EDIT: Quicken Spell-like is a fun option! It doesn't work within PFS rules, but I never knew that feat existed before. That's cool.

@Secret Wizard

Are you sure about this? Because Chill Touch seems to be an exception to the rules.

Chill Touch wrote:

A touch from your hand, which glows with blue energy, disrupts the life force of living creatures. Each touch channels negative energy that deals 1d6 points of damage. The touched creature also takes 1 point of Strength damage unless it makes a successful Fortitude saving throw. You can use this melee touch attack up to one time per level.

An undead creature you touch takes no damage of either sort, but it must make a successful Will saving throw or flee as if panicked for 1d4 rounds + 1 round per caster level.

It's not that you're attacking multiple targets at once, such as with a Scorching Ray shooting at multiple targets or somesuch. Rather, casting Chill Touch gives you multiple attacks.

If you cannot hold the charge, then you literally can't use it more than once, correct? Which would make the spell's multiple usage point moot. And there won't be any circumstances in which a level 15 wizard feasibly can attack 15 times in a single round, which your reading of the text would suggest he's intended to somehow do before all his chill touch attacks disappear.

Specific trumps general, right? Chill Touch seems designed as an exception.

Unless you're arguing that a spell printed before the existence of the Magus which grants attacks equal to your level should only be usable to make a single attack, period, before it simply cannot be used any more? Doesn't it make more sense that it's an exception intended to be used over several turns to make touch attacks, therefore being able to be transmitted via natural attacks / unarmed strikes?

Also, just to check: does Fell Magic's +1 caster level bonus apply to the SLAs? I.E. does the Chill Touch SLA count as 1 caster level higher, meaning 2 touches at level 1?

So, first things first, let me state outright: The goal of this thread is to make a viable punching gnome using the Fell Magic racial trait's Chill Touch spell. I would like to keep everything PFS legal.

Fell Magic gives you 1/day Chill Touch that scales with your level, I.E. uses/day keep increasing. Extra Gnome Magic gives you 3 extra uses of that ability per day. Recharge Innate Magic lets you refresh all your racial spells with a single 1st level spell slot.

So, the plan is basically this:

Step 1. Take a single level in Kineticist (Elemental Ascetic archetype). Pick Void.
Step 2. Make sure this gnome has high UMD.
Step 3. Get a wand of Recharge Innate Magic.
Step 4. Put all remaining levels into punch classes that are NOT Elemental Ascetic.

All of this should work together because, as I recall, you can combine natural attacks and unarmed strikes with touch attacks. And Chill Touch gives you multiple uses of it per cast, meaning - if I'm right - you can make a full attack and apply Chill Touch to each attack. (If this is incorrect, please tell me as this build sort of hinges on it.)

Now you have a punch-gnome dealing 2d6 negative energy damage per attack, forcing Will Saves out of undead (if they fail, they run away), and otherwise being... Kind of viable?

The issue is I'm not sure what the rest of the classes I should take are. My gut says "Lean into your Charisma! Put Agile on your Amulet of Mighty Fists!" However, I'm not sure if this is the right course of action.

Iroran Paladin (AKA Enlightened Paladin) with a single level of Scaled Fist seemed like a good idea at first. However, losing Smite Evil makes me sad. Smite Evil is such a good ability, and the Enlightened Paladin doesn't provide the same offensive oomph. It DOES give amazing defensive capabilities (it + Scaled Fist = one of the few cases where you can legally get double CHA to AC, I believe), but I feel my damage will feel weak in comparison to a regular paladin.

Scaled Fist is definitely an option, and it's available for Unchained Monk. I'm seriously considering that. Unfortunately, 'Negatie Energy Damage' and 'Dragon' don't necessarily fit perfectly thematically, so I'd need to do some backstory gymnastics. It also has a Will gap for Scaled Fist.

Brawler is something I'm putting on the table as well, but I have very little experience with it.

I don't know what other classes or archetypes would be worth considering for the punchy portion of this build.


So, is this all kosher? Does it work as intended? What are the classes you would use for the punchy portion of this build?

Oo. Actually, I got permission to potentially roll up an Aasimar Cleric for this role later. That might be even better than half-orc: while my defenses would be considerably lower, having +2 WIS *and* +2 CHA could be exactly what this build needs.

Still, +2 to all saving throws is really hard to beat. And I could replace my half-orc's Darkvision with the Skilled trait for +1 Skill Point/level, which would keep me from feeling skill starved.

Hey, thanks for the insight.

Do you think this would let me drop people off cliffs or the like? Entangle someone, pull the sand over a cliff?

Doing some bad touch could work nicely. I've got a few ideas for that...

This is for the Forgotten Realms, so I've chosen to worship Beshaba. My domain options are: Chaos, Evil, Luck, and Trickery. Fate is a subdomain option. Since my character will be Chaotic Neutral, Evil can't be picked.

My instinct is to pick the Fate subdomain for certain. (Alternatively, I can probably convince my GM to let me take the Curse subdomain; however, I think Fate is strictly more powerful.) However, while Chaos's level 8 ability won't come up often, that 1st level domain power is nice for bad touching things. On the other hand... that 1st level Trickery power is a Move Action and won't prevent me from casting spells, and having a mirror double is always nice.

For race I'm considering a half-orc with fate's favored and sacred tattoo, as that seems in-character and gives me solid starting defenses. Selective Channel at level 1, then alternate between spellcasting and channel feats after that as necessary.

For feats, Select Channel, Improved Channel (higher save DCs), and the spell focus feats seem important. For traits, I'm considering Fate's Favored (as mentioned) and perhaps something like Desperate Focus or Reactionary. +2 Concentration for a cleric that will be in melee a lot seems important.

So, I saw this ability and I'm pretty interested in it:

Luck: Heal—Creatures gain a channel bonus or a luck bonus (creature’s choice) on one roll (attack roll, CMB check, saving throw, or skill check) made before the end of your next turn. Harm—Creatures take a channel penalty on all d20 rolls until the end of your next turn.

With Quick Channel you can channel as a move action. Meaning:

Move Action > Channel to harm, incurring penalties on all d20s for enemies.
Standard Action > Cast an offensive spell targeting the enemy's saves.

The question is: how can I best make this work? What classes or archetypes would work well here?

Firstly, I realize that Charisma is an important stat for this character if I go this route. I unfortunately don't know of any good options that let me Channel Negative Energy AND let me cast divine spells drawn from a deity's power with Charisma, so I think I'm going to be playing a cleric one way or the other. If playing a Cleric... What's the best way to keep my channel likely enough to actually work?

Also, what Spell Focus should I take on this Cleric? After all, this would be intended as an aggressive caster cleric, probably worshiping an evil deity. Is there a specific school of aggressive spells I should use?

Thanks for any advice in advance!

Shifting Sand!

I'm looking at this as a possible pick for my Fey Trickster Mesmerist (who has been a blast to play!) since she's working those Transmutation spells really well. I like that it's able to be used more frequently than the various Entangle spells...

...but I'm not clear on a few things. For instance, am I correct in interpreting this spell as NOT immediately demanding a Reflex saving throw from enemies when I move the sand into someone's square? And NOT demanding a saving throw when I initially cast it? It's specifically for enemies beginning their turn in it or entering it, right?

So, how useful is this spell exactly? I like that I can move it around. Would you use it?

Also, what is a 20 foot spread? Is that a 20 foot radius, or a 20 foot diameter, or...?

Whichever version gets picked, i think its important to note that if it cant get all the buffs you want on either ahead of engaging the dungeon or in the first 2 or so rounds of combat, its probably too slow at applying buffs. Casting a buff on turn 3 for a combat that ends on turn 4 or 5 isn't really efficient.

This is one reason I like Warpriests a lot. Warpriests can get swift-action blessings and swift-action castings of their actual spells really easily. It lets you continuously drop the hammer down on baddies while you're bolstering yourself.

Warpriest is the obvious second choice, but it seems better at buffs-now than total number of buffs.

Its buffs are pretty dang incredible, though. My suggestion is to worship a deity with the Destruction Domain and get Quicken Blessing. Yes, it's buffs now, but it means when you buff the fight won't be over while you do it.

However, whatever class you pick, make sure you have the following:

1) Long-term buffs. Heroism, Magic Circle Against Evil / Protection From Evil, really anything that's 10 minutes/level or better is good.
2) Buffs you can cast before you enter a room you KNOW is filled to the brim with bad guys that want to eat you.
3) Buffs you can cast as swift actions.
4) A buff to open the fight with.

Bard is a good example here. It has some long-term buffs and can Haste up the whole party upon starting a fight. The song eventually kicks off as a move or swift action - very nice. And of course Bard has a few really cool min/level spells worth casting before kicking the boss room open (if you know it's the boss room, or there's only a few rooms left in the dungeon). So, bards are good at this, and there's plenty of martial bard builds out there.

Warpriest... I've rambled too much about it, but it's good at this.

Hunter is good at this, but by "self buff" we're really talking about the hunter and the hunter's pet getting uber-strong.

Inquisitors can make surprisingly strong fighter types that also have a selection of cool buffs, judgments, and interesting Solo Tactics combos. Worth checking out.

EDIT: Remember, you want to be using standard actions to end fights, so minimize buff time inside a fight.

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