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Astrid Nea Liligradd was my first Pathfinder character, she had a happy backstory and still does to this day whenever I bust her out of retirement. She is a nearly-human Aasimar with an Oracle Mystery related to the sky like Wind, Solar, Lunar, Sky, or etc who came from a rich family. Her days as an adventurer are partly to find some good husband/wife material, party to gather wealth for her family, and partly to fulfill her job as a noble to support the common people.

Of course, she's a ruthless socializer who will use a diplomacy check every other sentence to get whatever she can for free. She's a huge coward and will try to talk down, plot away, and only as a last resort fight her foes. She relies entirely on others to fight for her, including at times an army of summoned monsters, buffed allies, or her own animal companion. Lastly, she generally believes that the laws are for the little people of the world to help make society function and that as a noble woman she is above them provided her actions are in support of the greater good.

Happy backstory, all her family is alive and functioning, she just has some negative personality traits as a result of never really facing adversity in her life.

David knott 242 wrote:

And if you take the Racial Heritage (Kobold) feat, you will qualify for a feat (Scaled Disciple) that will let you use a level of oracle to qualify for Dragon Disciple and advance your oracle spellcasting via that prestige class.

Holycrap thats a cool find!

Honestly, after looking into it the Doom Slayer should just have the Inevitable Stalker template without the speed debuff or special qualities.

The most recent DOOMGUY is:

Extremely Fast and Agile
Heavily Armored
Never encumbered
Capable of tearing apart demons of any size with his bare hands
Heals himself upon tearing apart said demons
Can dent/destroy solid metal with his bare hands
Proficient with Firearms/Technology

Translating that to Pathfinder is difficult in the extreme, leaving you with probably a Ranger/Savage Technologist Barbarian/Brawler of some sort. Likely with mythic tiers, cause he is a one man army.

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I also support Claxon here, its not that a turtle is a bad idea (high defenses can be their own reward, they let you take increased risks) but Pathfinder is a game where you have limited resources. The more resources you invest into becoming unkillable, the fewer resources you have available to do everything else.

The point I'm trying to make here is not that being a hardened glacier of a wo/man is just the first step. The second step is answering the question "Now what?"

I'm reminded of a Samurai that I had recently in one of my games, her Armor Class and HP were absurd and together with Resolve she was terribly difficult to take down with other effects. Still, enemies were able to mostly ignore here because her chance to hit them was quite low for a full BAB character of her level. The reason for this was her low starting strength (only a 14 in a 20 point buy) and the fact that she was using Weapon Trick (Choke Up) to wield a polearm in one hand. This reduced her chance to hit by another two, so that even though she was built to be an AoO machine she couldn't hit anything when she attacked.

Fortunately, the armor master's handbook came out during the campaign and she was able to retrain into Shield Brace which fixed her low accuracy issues. Now she was able to actually hit things pretty reliably. However, she still hadn't answered the question of "Now What?" as everyone in the party was able to hit things fairly reliably. She didn't do enough damage to instantly slay anything that ran through her AoO, so enemies were able to tank a blow in exchange for rushing down our casters. She needed something more, and thats where Stand Still came into play.

Stand Still allowed her to actually play as a Tank, forcing her enemies to stop within her zone of threat and interact with her for at least one round. Together with reach, and a spiked wooden shield, she was able to force foes into fighting her because it was very difficult to get completely outside her range. Even a withdraw didn't do it.

Here, she had finally answered the question of "Now What?" Her high defenses now served a purpose, because she was able to force enemies to behave and interact with her as she intended. Thats what you need to do Rorek, you need to answer the question "I'm very hard to kill, but now what?"

I agree with Ryan, the easiest way to become a tank is to become a gigantic reach monster. The way you tank in Pathfinder is not to become unkillable, but instead to force your enemies into attacking you.

Even without setting up a combat patrol, you can have 25ft reach as fast as level 4. I prefer to be an Abyssal Bloodrager as it allows you to Enlarge for free upon raging, an Aberrant Bloodrager needs to reach level 11 before it can Enlarge for free. This is important because Enlarge Person has a casting time of 1 whole round. Meanwhile, long arm has a casting time of 1 standard and gives the Abyssal Bloodrager the same reach as an Aberrant. The one extra move action you get per combat allows you to move into position with your gigantic polearm. The trade is that Aberrant gives better defensive powers but I really like that move action to position in the first round of combat.

Initiative is rolled, your turn comes up and you rage. You grow to size Large, and then cast long arm. Longarm doesn't sadly double the reach again so we cap out at 25ft for our reach. We move into a position to shelter all our allies as if we had a 15ft aura, trying to keep them within 3-4 squares (3 is better as at 4 they can get 5ft'd). Also, a Lucerne Hammer hits for 3d6 at this point and since you can hit enemies 25ft in the air you pretty much prevent melee combat from happening near you.

My party hired these fellows on after an epic game of cat and mouse that spanned sessions. They were made for 10th level but I elevated them to 16th for you, except I really can't be bothered to get them new spells or feats or magus arcana. Sorry. Maybe given a few days to tinker with them I'd have them fully up to snuff.

Pugwampi Tricksters:
Pugwampi Trickster
Pugwampi 1/Hexcrafter Eldritch Archer Magus 16
3, 24, 8, 24, 14, 12
HP: 62hp
SR 23, DR 15/Cold Iron
AC: 31 (10 +2 Size +7 Dexterity +3 Natural Armor +3 Deflection +6 Mithral Chain Coat)
BAB +12/7/2
CMB: +6
CMD: 23
To Hit: +24/19/14
+3 Conductive Shortbow: 1d4-1
Skills: 128
Stealth (16): + 44 (without invisibility)
Perception (16): 21
Sense Motive (11): 16
Bluff (16): 20
Diplomacy (11): 15
Acrobatics (10): 19
Escape Artist (10): 19
Disable Device (10): 19
Sleight of Hand (10): 19
Climb (1): 10
Swim (1): 10
Spellcraft (16): 26

SQ: Tricky Magic -> Stealth vs perception to avoid showing magic
Ranged Spell Combat, Ranged Spellstrike, Hex Magus, Knowledge Pool, Improved Spell Combat, Fighter Training, Heavy Armor, Medium Armor, Focusing Spellstrike
SLA: At Will - Prestidigitation, Speak with Animals, Shatter

Unluck Aura (Su)
A pugwampi radiates an aura of unluck to a radius of 20 feet. Any creature in this area must roll two d20s whenever a situation calls for a d20 roll (such as an attack roll, a skill check, or a saving throw) and must use the lower of the two results generated. This is a mind-affecting effect that does not work on animals, other gremlins, or gnolls. Any character who gains any sort of luck bonus (such as that granted by a luckstone or divine favor) is immune to the pugwampi unluck aura.

Feat: Racial: Arcane Strike, Riving Strike, Latent Curse
1: Expert Sniper
3: Skill Focus Stealth
3: Magus Arcana - Accursed Strike
5: Signature Skill: Stealth
5: Extra Magus Arcana (Slumber)
6: Magus Arcana - Spell Blending
7: Hellcat Stealth
9: Soothsayer
9: Magus Arcana - Arcane Scent
11: Protective Fortune
12: Magus Arcana -
15: Magus Arcana -

Hexes: Scar, Slumber, Protective Fortune

Spells Prepared (Spells Known at bottom)
Spells: 5/7/7/7/5/4/2
0: Detect Magic, Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Read Magic
1: Expeditious Retreat, Itching Curse, Silent Image, Unseen Servant, Grease, Auditory Hallucination, Hex Vulnerability
2: Puzzlebox, Invisibility, Spider Climb, Blindness/Deafness, Time Shudder, ________, _______
3: Bestow Curse, Major Image, Selective Invisibility, Dispel Magic, ________, _______, ________
4: Mischievous Shadow, Illusion of Treachery, _______, ________, _______
5: _______, ________, _______, ______
6: ___________, ___________

Spells Known:
0: Detect Magic, Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Read Magic, Dancing Lights
1: Expeditious Retreat, Itching Curse, Silent Image, Unseen Servant, Grease, Auditory Hallucination, Hex Vulnerability, Ill Omen, Glue Seal
2: Puzzlebox, Invisibility, Spider Climb, Blindness/Deafness, Time Shudder, Shifted Steps, Lesser Curse Terrain, Mark of Blood, Pilfering Hand
3: Bestow Curse, Major Image, Selective Invisibility, Dispel Magic, Fly, Calamitous Flailing, Arcane Sight, Curse of Disgust, Kalistocrat’s Nightmare, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Mindlocked Messager
4: Mischievous Shadow, Illusion of Treachery, Curse Terrain, Curse of the Outcast, Curse of Burning Sleep, Absorb Rune, Complex Hallucination, Dimension Door, Lesser Geas
5: 6+ New Spells
6: 2+ New Spells

Anyway, with the ability to deliver curses from a distance, along with a conductive longbow to deliver Hexes through their shortbow attacks, these little puggies are horribly difficult to pin down. Selecting quite a bit of illusion and counter magic inbetween the fantastically fun curses they can deliver allows them to pretty much come and go as they please. Hellcat Stealth for hide in plain sight means they don't even need to worry about constant invisibility. The little ability I'm fairly certain I made up (not gonna definately take credit, these guys showed up months ago and I didn't cite my sources) called Tricky Magic means that unless the players can beat their stealth roll they can hide their magic too.

Watching my players mobilize an entire clan of dwarves to chase these guys into a trap was one of my favorite moments from my current campaign. The fact that they are still part of the campaign as hirelings makes me giddy.

Skirmishers are tricky to work in Pathfinder because its tough to move swiftly in and out of combat. Most opponents can keep up with the PCs, and thanks to attacks of opportunity once combat has been entered it usually ends up grinding to a halt. The best results are Monks or Horsemen with Spring Attack/Shot on the Run/Ride By Attack who can either go in/out or break past the enemy without getting mauled/tripped.

Depends on the game you're playing,

My table works together with the party telling a story, the fights come about 1/day (though there are plenty of other encounters per day to keep them going) and the fights are hard but typically fair. I've even added some house rules to prevent accidental death (all healing effects work like Breath of Life but impose long term negative consequences that last a week in game). The death of a character at my table is a really big epic storytelling moment that only comes up rarely, with the same weight other groups might put into an alignment shift or a paladin falling from grace.

At other tables, the game is more of a cooperative board game where death can be an outcome for failing to anticipate the threats thrown your way. This gives combat a real visceral tension and makes every threat you come across potentially game ending for your character (at least until death becomes cheap with higher level play).

What type of game are you running? If you're all together casually to have fun, tell a story, and experience a strange other world then toning down fights is fine. If your party really wants to stretch themselves and grow better at the mechanics of the game, then you should challenge them with the full danger they would normally encounter. Though, perhaps allowing them to flee and then buffing up the encounter when they all get together to face it again, is a reasonable solution.

Dwarf Kineticists are awesome, a racial boost to their core stat of Con alongside a huge boost to saving throws makes them hellishly tanky. Notably, a Dwarven Kinetic Knight is a pretty fun (if limiting as it makes the Dwarf a pure melee combatant instead of a burst-mage).

I think Deathward was more useful back in the "good old days" of instant player death being a core mechanic of the game. I know Deathward was invaluable to getting the "No One Died" achievement on the Enhanced Edition of Baldurs Gate 2. Now that player generation takes so long and deaths are far less common, I doubt Death Ward sees nearly as much use. So much of it is nostalgia, like this thread from 2013.

God I miss 2013.

DM Livgin wrote:
The classic hazard of GMing: not actually reading the full ability... Oops.

I hear you, not only was I very disappointed with the Hellknight's limitations on their abilities but I also fell victim to this recently. Got a new player into my game with an Oracle and completely forgot they get all Cure or Inflict spells for free X_X

Not sure that works Livgin, you need to use up two uses of the ability to activate a Conductive weapon and even a 9th level Hell Knight can only use Wrack 3/day.

Arachnofiend wrote:
Derklord wrote:
(what other class can fly, be invisible, and walk through walls at 4th level?)
Wait, when was this added? I remember being wholly unimpressed with the ki power list, with most things being either too weak or too expensive to bother investing in.

Empty Body costs 3 Ki Points and grants the Monk Etherealness for 1 minute, it can be taken as your level 4 Ki Power and was in Unchained as one of the original unKi Powers.

benwin007 wrote:
Why nature spell all natural attacks? Wouldn't you just need to be able to do it to one natural attack? What do you know that I don't?
ShroudedInLight wrote:
See, we need to take Natural Spell Combat with every type of Natural Attack we want to attack with during spell combat. Since our goal is to eventually be casting Form of the Dragon 2 and stomping on people, we need to select Natural Spell Combat a lot.
Melkiador wrote:
Natural Spell Combat wrote:
Each time he selects this arcana, he selects another natural weapon. For example, a magus could select this arcana twice, choosing claw attacks and bite attacks. This would allow him to use a full-round action to make all of his claw attacks with his free hand and all of his bite attacks in addition to casting a spell.

To put it simply, if we want to full attack as a Dragon with Claw, Bite, Bite w/Touch Spell attached, Wing, Wing, Tailslap then we need to take Natural Spell Combat a lot.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I personally do not like Unchained Monk, but I especially dislike it for multiclassing.

Meanwhile, I LOVE it for Multiclassing. Sure you lose out on a good Will Save but you get full BAB growth and a Flurry of Blows that doesn't suck when you switch classes. If you never plan on getting style strikes you don't need to worry about unarmed progression since you can just wield a Templesword or something as your primary weapon. Even if you do decide to go unarmed, now that Handwraps can be enchanted we can just live with dealing 1d6 melee damage as our base weapon dice per attack since its so much cheaper to buy into Unarmed Strike builds.

While I hate to upset a pure Paladin/Monk multiclass because I love it dearly, I do have to point out that my favorite silly Dragon Disciple build revolves around taking two levels of Scaled Fist Monk, two levels of Divine Hunter Paladin, two levels of Draconic Blooded Sorcerer and then transitioning into Dragon Disciple at level 7. By taking the Favored Prestige Class feat before we actually enter Dragon Disciple, we can use our 7th level feat to take Prestigious Spell-caster to sync up with our Caster Levels so we never miss out on a spell-level. The end result is 16 caster levels giving us 8th level spellcasting and 14 BAB.

Taking only a single level of Scaled Fist Monk and taking a level of Sorcerer instead reduces our BAB by 1, gives up Evasion and a Monk Bonus Feat, but does give us three more spells known (One 7th, one 8th, and Form of the Dragon 3) and a third use of our breath weapon (17d6 DC 18+Cha).

You probably want to skip dragon style since we don't get unarmed strike naturally. Whether you want to go claw or blade is up to you (though if you were running this guy from level 1 you'd have to use a blade for the first 3 levels) but I'm going to build for claws. After all, you said you wanted to go full dragon and what kind of dragon relies on their Sword (except as a handy backup weapon).

As far as feats go, I'd suggest investing in Combat Casting and Intensified Spell to pair with Shocking Grasp once you have access to 2nd level spells (If we forgo any dips we can take the Magical Lineage trait and be casting Intensified Shocking Grasps as level 1 spells which is PRETTY GOOD). We unfortunately need to invest into Intensified Spell earlier than we would like, but thats life.

As far as Magus Arcana, our level 3 Arcana is Natural Spell Combat and then it gets tricky. See, we need to take Natural Spell Combat with every type of Natural Attack we want to attack with during spell combat. Since our goal is to eventually be casting Form of the Dragon 2 and stomping on people, we need to select Natural Spell Combat a lot. We nearly manage to keep pace, we get to incorporate our Bite Attack at the same level we get it from Dragon Disciple, same with the Wings, but sadly we lose out on Spellcombat Full Attacks with a tail for 1 level.

This leaves us with a 19th level feat and the 19th level Magus Arcana to choose (alongside an extra level 1 feat if you go Human).

Magus 1-6/Dragon Disciple 7-16/Magus 17-20
Magical Lineage: Shocking Grasp
1: Combat Casting
3: Favored Prestige Class: Dragon Disciple
5: Intensified Spell
7: Prestigious Spellcaster
9: Extra Magus Arcana (Natural Spell Combat: Bite)
11: Prestigious Spellcaster
13: Extra Magus Arcana (Natural Spell Combat: Wings)
15: Prestigious Spellcaster
17: Extra Magus Arcana (Natural Spell Combat: Tail Swipe)

Magus Arcana:
3: Natural Spell Combat: Claw
6: Close Range

End Result: At 17th level we morph into a Dragon as a SWIFT ACTION (basically, Quickened Form of the Dragon 2) and make a full attack w/ Claw, Bite, Wing, Wing, Tail + casting a free spell. If our spell is a touch attack, we get to make a free Bite. If we took Close Range as our 6th level Magus Arcana (which we damn well should, all the good high level spells are ranged touch attacks) then we get to do silly things at this point like delivering Disintegrate with the same round as our attack pattern. Along the way we got +10 Strength from Dragon Disciple and Form of the Dragon so we hit like a g~#@%@n bus.

Rule #1: Beg, borrow, and steal everything you possibly can to make your campaign easier to generate

If I was building a unique Black Dragon I would start with an existing black dragon and tinker with the ability scores present. For instance, with an Adult Black Dragon I'd start by rounding the stats up. Then I'd push the HP higher, probably 75% or maybe even 90% depending on the party. From there, you can tinker with feats or slas. If I was really feeling fancy, I'd add in some class levels. Swap his wisdom over the Charisma and give him three levels of Anti-paladin and a conductive amulet of mighty fists to let him channel touch of corruption through his melee attacks and force saves.

Sure, a Magus is pretty easy to understand. Their main gimmick is that they are basically spellswords. They can wear armor, cast spells, and channel their spells through their melee attacks. The Magus has better BAB growth, so we don't need to dip to boost our chance to hit, Magus has more HP than a sorcerer so again we don't need to boost it, the magus can cast spells while wearing armor so we don't need to take levels of Monk, and the Magus relies heavily on its spells to augments its melee damage so we want as many spellslots as we can get our hands on.

The short answer is: No, we don't really want to dip. We do not gain nearly as much from doing so as the Sorcerer build.

ElterAgo wrote:
ShroudedInLight wrote:


First level is a level in Sorcerer, used to make it our favored class ...
I can't remember ever seeing a requirement that your first level has to be your favored class. If it is true, could you tell me where it says that?

Sure I...oh, thats crazy. I thought...well, neato. Good to know you can just declare any class your favored class even without a level in it, which seems weird. Guess its like a wish fullfillment thing where little elves dream of being a Wizard when the grow up even when they spend their first few levels into Rogue.

benwin007 wrote:
I want to be a brick sh*& house a beastly dragon who if needs to cast buff spells for himself or blow stuff up pending on the situation.

Yeah, I suggest the Eldritch Scion route then. Just straight ES 6/Dragon Disciple 10 (Again, make sure to enter Dragon Disciple at level 7 so we keep our progression steady) is plenty of murder potential with a minimum of dips. Just straight dragon goodness. Grab Natural Spell Combat as your Arcana at level 3 to ensure you can use your claws to deliver spells and go to town.

Its not just the combat bonuses and HP you get from going to DD10, or the extra 30ft flight/+2 AC/Bloodline Feat/2 free bloodline spells from progressing your bloodline, and its not even the favored class bonus handing you four free high level spells known. Instead, going EK means you never learn 8th level spellcasting because you sacrifice a level of spellcasting upon entering the class. That is the real reason I'd suggest avoiding EK. In exchange all you get is a little bit of extra HP, +2 BAB, and an additional iterative attack you'll never use because at max level you'll spend every single fight as a Dragon.

If you really want to go for the Spellblade aspect of being an Eldritch Knight with the might of a Dragon Disciple, you're better off going as an Eldritch Scion Magus. Lots of viable builds there, including just going straight ESM 10/DD 10 which leaves you with 14 BAB and 6th level spellcasting instead of 8th level spellcasting. The benefits include, however, gaining access to wearing armor while spellcasting, the ability to take Mage Armor at level 1 without regrets, and being able to channel magical energy through your natural attacks for some sick damage (take Natural Spell Combat with claws as your selected weapons so you can still spell combat as a dragon). Part of the capstone is wasted, sadly as you will already possess blindsense 60ft by then. Losing spell levels hurts the magus more than the sorcerer, interestingly, but you can still dip around if you care to do so. My advice, if you dip at all, is the Two Level Dip.

The Two Level Dip:
- The Two Level Dip costs the magus 0 spell casting levels with Magical Knack BUT does cost them two levels of spell slots, a Magus Arcana, 1 point from our Eldritch Pool, and counting as a 5th level Fighter for feats. What we gain from this dip is increased tankyness with two levels of Paladin to get Divine Grace, Lay on Hands, and Smite Evil. We can cast spells in light armor so being a Monk is kinda meh. Since we are a Magus, we specialize in touch spells and can skip out on Precise Shot so we can choose a Paladin Archetype other than Divine Hunter though its still probably the best one around.

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I'd like to think that upon seeing a creature eat another person, assuming a middle ages mindset, the typical response would be to destroy it.

Like if I walk in on a Dragon chowing down on a pile of corpses, my first response isn't "Excuse me, sir, did you kill these people you are eating? Please don't lie, I need to know whether or not you are merely starving or I should beat you unconscious and bring you to trial. Oh, you just found these corpses? Excellent. Would you like my entire satchel of rations or for me to find you a new source of meat? Perhaps a local farmer would sell you cows at 50gp a head?"

The response is "The dragon has a taste for human flesh, for the slaughter of these citizens I sentence you to death. Anything to say in your defense before I strike you down?"

Your build looks similar to mine, though I prefer going for all 10 levels of Dragon Disciple.

Stats: We want charisma really high, dexterity really high, strength and constitution decently high, and Int/Wisdom are stats we can safely keep low. I prefer to have higher Intelligence than Wisdom on this character, as our Will Save will be swole, but its up to you. If I was going to spitball, 13, 18, 14, 10, 7, 18 for a 25 point buy if you are going Aasimar (Plumekin) or 13, 18, 14, 10, 7, 16 if you are going human. The extra bit of Dexterity is going to help us a ton early on.

First level is a level in Sorcerer, used to make it our favored class (we want this for endgame if we go human). We grab our basic kit, Shield, Expeditious Retreat/Enlarge Person, and the Cantrip associated with our Draconic bloodline (Ice, Acid, or Electricity are best because it lets us use our cantrip in place of our crossbow and do better with it most of the time). We want Weapon Finesse as our feat so we can rely on our dexterity to carry our attack rolls for a while.

Second level is Scaled Fist Monk, we grab Dragon Style because its hysterical later on. Now we can flurry of blows, and we're damn hard to hit.

Third and Fourth levels are Divine Hunter Paladin, we want our Divine Grace, a few uses of Lay on Hands to sustain us, and cheating Precise Shot as a bonus feat is just the icing on the g!+#!#n cake. Our 3rd level feat is free, so pick up something fun. Use this feat to grab Favored Prestige Class.

Fifth Level is tricky one because can't become a Dragon Disciple until 6th level at the earliest and its a bit better to time it as our 7th level. This is why I actually have come to like a second level of Monk, it gives us a Bonus Feat, some more BAB, and Evasion which will come in handy later on down the line. We grab Dragon Ferocity so our punches will hit like bricks.

Sixth level is a Sorcerer level, it feels kinda bad as we could go into Dragon Disciple right here but timing our presteige into DD at level 7 makes our feats like up better. This level is pretty dead, it'll feel bad to play but it makes the next level amazing.

Seventh level is Dragon Disciple 1 and its amazing. We get Mage Armor online, our armor and energy resistance go up, we take prestigious spellcaster and are suddenly in business. Our "dead" levels of Sorcerer at 11 and 15 now line up perfectly with levels at which we acquire feats. This means that we get 10 caster levels out of Dragon Disciple without ever experiencing a weird lopsided progression.

This progresses us all the way to Level 16 just building up Dragon Disciple. If we took Magical Knack way back when then our Caster Level is now 14 and our BAB is +12. Our Bloodline is at level 12, and frankly at this point we want more Bloodline and Spell Progression. Another 4 levels of Sorcerer to finish our career to level 20 give us a BAB of +14 (1 short of a full 3/4th caster) and a whopping 18 levels of sorcerous spellcasting (albiet only 16 levels of Sorcerous spell choices). This means we trade 1 BAB for 2 levels of spellcasting, HOT DAMN. Additionally, this is where being a human REALLY shines through, as we use our Favored Class Bonus on these last 4 levels to grab extra spells giving us +1 5th, +2 6th, and +2 7th level spells learned ontop of what we should normally possess.

Antipaladins LOVE conductive weapons

At level 9th, an Antipaladin imposes a -2 penalty to saving throws and another -4 penalty to saves against fear. Enemies normally immune to fear are not immune, meaning an Antipaladin can slap someone with Frightened at a saving throw made at -6 for only 2 uses of Touch of Corruption. Combine this with another fear effect (like Cornugon Smash) and you've got them Panicked. If the Fearmonger archetype worked you could theoretically cause people to Cower on the spot.

Of course, if specializing into fear isn't your goal, the Antipaladin can start casting BESTOW CURSE on successful melee attacks with a conductive weapon. Admittedly the Antipaladin has it harder than most since they get a Fortitude save but hooooo boy is this silly when it works. You can also Naueseate creatures at level 9 and thats just removes a threat from the fight completely.

Antipaladins are SILLY with Conductive weapons, and can do some crazy burst damage if you combine it with Channel Smite (weapon damage + 2x Touch of Corruption) if you can afford the crazy cost of 4/touch of corruption. Have a bonded weapon (+2 at level 9), make it Unholy, Anarchic, or Vicious and Keen and just obliterate the target of your ire.

Makes me wish I could cast Sense Vitals and have it apply to Arcane Cannon.

To reinforce what Blahpers said, the Wizard not taking care of the party can lead to the party not taking care of the Wizard.

Just remember other people are playing with you who are also trying to have fun. Its not up to you to make sure they have fun at the table; but, try not to be the guy whose idea of fun prevents others at the table from having fun. Declaring "Screw you, my fun is the only fun that matters" is the path towards internal conflict and group implosion. Then again, so is being bitter and grumpy over putting the groups fun ahead of your own fun. Like everything its a balancing act.

Cuup wrote:
If 10,000gp-worth of magical defenses were set up to thwart PCs' attempts to find the Lich's Phylactery, would that not count toward making the Lich harder to deal with? Because, until the Phylactery is destroyed, a determined/vengeful Lich will just keep returning to exact its revenge, getting craftier each time, until the PC's invest in the sub-adventure to find/destroy the Phylactery. I agree that gp put into an NPC's combat gear is much more relevant, and I can deal with entirely waiving the cost of creating the Phylactery (though why include a price at all then, I wonder), but shouldn't the Lich still be limited in how much gold it can throw at its out-of-combat defenses?

Would you charge the Lich's wealth for every trap set up in his lair and every undead creation in the dungeon? Do the golems guarding the Lich's sanctuary get made by the create construct feat and cost the Lich money? The costs for Undead, Constructs, and Traps are all laid out across various books. Does the lich pay taxes on his property? Wages to his human assistants? No, each of these things is an encounter on its own with its own budget.

In the same vein, The phylactery defenses are an encounter in their own right. They should, frankly, be just as challenging as the Lich's original fight (albiet more in an exploration and dungeon crawl/puzzle solve way rather than a straight out fight)

Also, Don't forget that every time the Lich regenerates it has lost:
All items on its person
All the monsters/setup as his previous hideout
All the work he had set up at his previous hideout
Up to 10 days of time

Unless you are refilling the Lich's treasure pool every encounter with the PCs (a viable choice depending on the age of the Lich and the number of treasure stores he/she might possess across the planes of existence) then he should get easier every fight as he runs out of consumables and tactics the PCs haven't seen. Especially as a Sorcerer who cannot readily change their spells known.

Lelomenia wrote:
Seems to me a lot of NPCs also have real estate holdings that significantly exceed appropriate NPC WBL standards. “This is Bob. He has 73 GP, art work worth 100, and a flawed ruby worth 150. And a six acre castle.”

Pathfinder doesn't have an inheritance tax, so inheritance doesn't factor into WBL. Its like how you can choose a trait to have rich parents or a masterwork weapon to start the game. Except the NPC has a six acre castle, a wing of pleasure slaves, and a magical talking yacht they never had to work for or pay taxes on.

I don't unfortunately, building NPCs takes a real long time so when I have to build one on the fly its usually pretty slap-dash. My first piece of advice is to anyway have your laptop open, a connection to the internet, and Archive of Nethys open. The NPC Index is excellent for grabbing pre-made characters, you won't find exactly what you are looking for but you'll find something close enough that it can be tweaked into what you want. Give them new weapons, different accents, change their spells to ones you have memorized or open in a new tab, or even slap an archetype on and go to town. Just make sure when you apply ABP to remove any bonuses from duplicate magical equipment and replace it with something worth 1/2 the cost if they are going to use it in combat or the full cost if they are going to drop it for the PCs.

When I have to build an NPC and only have like an hour or so to do it (so like pre-game, during PCs planning, or during combat), this is how it ends up working: I take the normal NPC Heroic stat array of (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8) and turn it into (14, 14, 14, 12, 10, and 10) before applying racial bonuses. This makes life easy for me as I know that all of the modifiers are going to start at either 3, 2, 1, 0 or -1 and that I can safely ignore the 4th level stat increase (only boosting a modifier if the NPC is 8th or 16th level). I try to use non-human races with multiple stat increases so that my NPC starts with two +3s, a +2, a +1, a 0, and sometimes a -1. However, I rarely give them all of the other race's modifiers only the ones I can remember and in exchange I give them either an extra feat or an extra skill point. For instance, an Oread Monk would look like 14, 16, 12, 10, 16, 8 and would have Acid Resistance 5 and Dark Vision. However, they would have a bonus feat instead of Earth Affinity, any alternative traits, and their spell like ability because I can't remember those abilities off the top of my head.

Anyway, I stuff the ability scores into the appropriate slots, high physicals for a fighter, mixed for a gish, magical for a wizard, and then figure out what gear they have by the simple process of "melee, ranged, armor, shield?, + important stuff like a character's gold pocket watch, packet of cigars, cloak of chains, or other character defining items). I have most of the armor's and common weapons memorized so once those go down I apply the Automatic Bonus Progression chart to see what the base looks like. From there, I add the basic class features the character needs to function if the PCs need to encounter them RIGHT NOW like sneak attack, evasion, bravery, armor training, favored enemy, stunning fist, or rage. The same goes for feats if the character is combat based (Power Attack, Precise Shot, Two Weapon Fighting) or skills if the character is role-play based (Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Appraise, Profession Gambler). I only give them what they absolutely need, and leave the rest to be filled in during conversation with the PCs or the next time I can sit down and plan. I do not bother with customizable class features like Ki Powers, Rage Powers, Rogue Talents, or the like until I have time to find them (or I have a cool idea that I need a specific talent for the NPC to work). This is also the point where I'll pick 1-2 spells per spell level that the NPC "prefers" (either because I know it by heart or because its open in another tab).

At this point the NPC will withstand a fairly deep inspection by the players, even if you only started with a concept as short as "old Aasimar Cleric of Erastil in charge of the local cluster of villages" or "Anthropomorphic Millipede-person Wizard named Bugsy, the result of arcane experimentation gone wrong". From there you can apply the rest of the feats, skills, class selections, spells, and gear the next time you have time or whenever something the players say inspires you.

If you're REALLY hard on time then you're best bet is to fall back to this: Last Resort

No, no, not the whole article. Just look at that chart. If you are truly desperate, that chart is gold.

Use the High attack +/- 1d6 for skill checks, 1/3rd their secondary save DC for Initiative, their AC +/- 1d6 for their CMD, their high attack for their CMB. Add anything else you can think of, like movement speeds, feats, spells, or class abilities. Change stats by rolling a dice size appropriate for your CR and the stat in question, raise AC on tough cookies and increase damage on barbarians. Reduce AC on wizards and increase their spell DCs. Write it all down as you go (notepad is your friend), try not to give it more feats or skills than it should have normally and then find some way after the session is done to make this monstrosity function properly. It will be a pain but you MUST get this things stats to match the numbers you gave it (even if its dead because you might need another one). If your PCs are relying on negative levels or ability damage to defeat their foes, good luck. You don't have any hard stats, at this point you're literally pulling all of this outta your butt, so your best bet is to move fast and hope the players don't poke your NPC hard enough that it falls over and reveal itself to be a cardboard cutout with "Insert Ennpeecee here" written on it in Orkish.

(PS: Worth noting, everything I've written applies to giving monsters class levels as well. Just remember the +4, +4, +2, +2, 0, -2 modifiers and then apply ABP.)

(EDIT: PSS: Companion pets like Eidolons and Animal Companions can be simulated for NPCs by an appropriate entry from the bestiary. I'd choose a companion 0-4 CR lower than the NPC you plan to use depending on level of your party. For instance, a 10th level Summoner NPC in my campaign has an Efreeti [CR8] as their Eidolon. This saved me from building an entire Eidolon)

The answer is: However many are needed to survive. Sometimes as a spellcaster you end up in a situation where you need to pass the magic onto others in order to make sure the whole party is capable of having fun and participating at an encounter. Giving the melee fighter flight when up against flying enemies is a pretty good use of a spell-slot. Protecting the party from Acid is worthwhile up against a black dragon. Both of these types of situations end the encounter sooner (which is good from a GM perspective) and make sure the other party members are both alive and engaged.

In general, I have a "1 buff per combat" rule not counting longer lasting pre-combat buffs. In effect, I will cast 1 buff spell (usually at the start of combat unless things are too dicey from an ambush or the like) and then get into disrupting my enemies. Depending on your encounters per day (my table usually has 1 big fight per day instead of 3 small fights) this could mean that you might still need to prepare a number of buff spells in your spell-slots as you will want different buffs for different situations.

Rules are, however, made to be broken. They're more like guidelines anyway, and sometimes a fight will get messy enough that an ally might really need a boost. Othertimes, it might be too messy to even bother with friendly spells at all and you just have to pull out the magical nukes on the first round. Lastly, you might get so banged up that you have to go invisible or intangible and rely on buff spells for the entire fight. Still, one buff on turn 1 is usually good enough for most encounters.

First off, I would like to say what others have said: The rules are there to limit PCs from breaking WBL. Ignore the Phylactery as it is a plot device and the PCs gain nothing from obtaining it other than the destruction of the Lich. If it was worth 150k gold because of its usefulness to the Party going forward, then it would be worthwhile to consider BUT since it exists to be found and broken it can be safely ignored.

Meanwhile, to improve the Lich Have you considered applying Automatic Bonus Progression? This reduces his wealth by 1/2 BUT gives him: +4/2 Mental Stats, +4/2 Physical Stats, Resistance +5, Natural Armor +2, Deflection +2, Armor +3, and Weapons +3 at his current level of 14. The lich can then still gain the benefits from 17,400gp worth of additional wonderous items, single use items, endless spell books, and etc

Then, when the Lich is defeated drop 34,800gp worth of loot subtracting the stuff the Lich burned through fighting the party as his additional "wealth" was stored within his person. This might not make much sense if you need the world to be 100% consistent, but I find a little bit of hand-waving is necessary to keep a story flowing smoothly. From a design perspective, its really handy to have a Chart I can use for my NPCs with class levels to build them without needing to bother with a good portion of bean-counting. I often apply ABP to my NPCs in order to keep them current with the PCs without flooding the PCs with hundreds of cloaks of resistance and rings of protection.

I do agree that needing specific weapons to sneak attack is silly, its why I house rule Investigators to be able to use ranged weapons with studied combat without needing to waste feats on it.

The trick is to have 2 siege weapons, the first uses Ranged Feint with Greater Feint to trick the opponent into letting their guard down while the SECOND siege weapon opens up.

12. The Everlasting Skipping Stone: This perfectly smooth and flat disc of stone is perfect for skipping across a pond. Upon throwing, dropping, placing or otherwise discarding the stone another identical copy of the skipping stone appears in the users hand. Anyone who picks up a copy of the Everlasting Skipping Stone is treated as if they had touched the original. The stone does not prevent complete use of the hand its in, instead imposing a -2 penalty to any skill check, attack roll, or concentration check attempted that involves that hand. This stone functions as a +1 sling bullet if used as ammunition, or can be thrown as a simple weapon using statistics of a +1 shurikan that does bludgeoning damage. The Stone can only be permanently removed from a hand by using remove curse at the same time the stone is discarded. This turns that single copy of the Everlasting Skipping Stone into an ordinary rock.

The whole party had these for a while, as did everyone the party could encounter. Started as a joke, became a religion.

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Fighter can do some fun things these days including:

Hook Fighter. - What a cool concept all neatly tucked into a feat without any of the hassle of the whole Whip feat chain.

Possessed Hand - With another feat on the chain you get to use two one handed weapons while TWFing and all kinds of cool bonuses that make you better at things other than fighting. Very cool.

And this is just scratching the surface of the really cool feats out there, along with some of the cool archetypes created like Gloomblade Fighter or Ankou's Shadow Slayer. Plus, with a focus on playing something fun rather than something munchkined to the max you can do silly things like the above feats or even something crazier like trying to dual wield greatswords without slowing down your group.

Just read the comic, I love it. Just wish there was more of it T_T

6/9 means it can cast up to 6th level spells, think Bard. 4/9 is 4th level casting like a paladin and 9/9 is 9th level casting like a wizard. Its a relatively common abbreviation on the forums/

Worth noting, a swashbuckler of Lamashtu can use her divine fighting style to also potentially stagger your bleeding foes fairly consistently at level 11. Though I'm sure most enemies can make a DC 21 Fort save pretty regularly by that point, at least they don't become immune for too long (only 1 round of immunity which I assume means you can try again on your next turn).

Huh, I never thought to use Dodging Panache like that. That does make it worth using.

VB gets Menacing Swordplay, Swashbuckler's Initiative, Parry and Riposte, AND precise strike? Thats so much better than my precious Daring Champion Cavalier T_T

Oh well, the Swashbuckler is still worth a, I can't even really claim that anymore. The VB does the job better honestly unless you really can't stand the holyness/code of honor thing and desperately need to have 5th level expanded critical ranges.

Ugh, the swashbuckler and gunslinger still really raise my design hackles.

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
May I ask why you don't intend to move into 2nd edition? Personally, I intend to play both 1st and 2nd edition as long as I have players.


1: I know the system well enough that I can design everything around its advantages, disadvantages, and shortfalls even mid-session without missing a beat. Moving onto another game system would severely limit my ability to pair the game mechanics with my innovations without pausing the game mid scene.

2: My players are all a bit casual and teaching them 1e is an ongoing process even after years of play together. Swapping to a new system would confuzzle them all.

3: I've pretty much stuck the entire rulebook for 1e in my head and undoing all of that for a new set of rules would take some severe work.

4: Pathfinder 2e is not available to the public yet and as the GM I buy all the pdfs. My players rely on freely available material such as from Archive of Nethys to build their characters.

Its the same set of reasons I keep saying, "I really wanna run a game of (Paranoia/Black Crusade/Rogue Trader/Deadlands/Vampire The Masquerade/Starwars/Dragon Mech)" and then decide to just do as close to the theme in pathfinder instead. Familiarity.

I do like the concept of a multi-action system where you need to use one action per component of the spell. The only issue with that sort of malarky is that you need to make the spells sufficiently powerful to compensate for turning spells into 2-3 action events instead of 1 action events like in PF1. Thats where the balance comes into question, and the whole system from class abilities down to basic actions basically needs to be redesigned around "how much of this is equivalent to a spell"

Leitner wrote:
I don't think swashbuckler is necessarily required to feel the same every build. True you'll always be a light armored dex based fighter, and you don't get to pick between your deeds as you level up, but you can still make some pretty distinctive builds with your feat selection.

I'm afraid I disagree, but I tend to hunt down experiences in RPGs and check them off my list when I'm done. I'd argue that while different builds can be done with the Swashbuckler the amount you have to change around from one swashbuckler to another is drastically less than from another class. So, rather than claiming that all swashbucklers are the same I'd like to revise my position to: "the swashbuckler, alongside the gunslinger and shifter, have the fewest choices to make during their progression and this can lead to a stale experience"

This is why dipping the swashbuckler is so interesting, because its frontloaded chassis and stale end-game allow for some really neat choices.

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Worth noting, a swashbuckler being a "weak" class only matters if you're in a game of rocket-tag at your table. If your party is not mix-maxed to the brim or competing heavily to have the highest numbers it will do just fine from 1 to 20 without multiclassing. Unless people are being jerks and not helping their frontliners fly, teleport, or highlight dangerous foes so they can smash them.

However, after this campaign any other swashbuckler you play will feel exactly the same as this one mechanically. Thats the real weakness, oh you can swap around personalities and such but the class has no meaningful choices to make during construction beyond your standard selection of 10 feats, magical equipment, and skill distribution. You get the same static abilities everytime, and the archetypes do nothing to relieve this except swap out one set of static abilities for another. Your first swashbuckler is a fun time, your second is pretty dull. Compare this to a class like the Rogue, that gets to at least select its Rogue Talents so every rogue can be a bit different.

That is where multiclassing becomes intriguing, because most of the Swashbuckler's power is distributed up front. Jumping ship into another class with full BAB is a really interesting choice then, since you get the benefits from having all the strengths of Swashbuckler (Swift action intimidates, +2 initiative, free weapon finesse, +6! damage to all attacks with specific weapons before power attack, a free combat feat, +1 to AC, 3/day save boosts, improved critical with a huge selection of weapons) while then also being able to choose a second class. This second class augments your abilities, not only from being able to choose abilities within that class but also from being able to choose a second class.

A lot of other classes work well with these starting perks, though you always need to judge choosing another class if the game goes to 20 because you're going to be missing out on the back quarter of abilities with 5 levels into Swashbuckler. Scaled Fist Monks are pretty cool dudes who can leverage your charisma into armor, and the Waveblade is an 18-20 slashing/piercing weapon that can be flurried! Slayers are another excellent choice as they provide you with a large bonus to your attack rolls over your career along with slayer talents and sneak attack. Speaking of the Waveblade, Brawlers can also flurry with it since its a close weapon, and then you have martial flexibility to play around with during combat!

Heck, you can even try to look into prestige classes!

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Again, casting a magic spell on someone without their prior permission is a criminal offence in my campaigns for a reason.

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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
ShroudedInLight wrote:

My second dislike is Conjuration, because it does literally everything. Talk about a one stop shop for school specialization. Teleportation, summoning monsters, dealing damage, creating area denial, what doesn't this school do?

Doesn't let you CONJURE illusions or CONJURE mental commands directly into people's heads.

Not yet anyway.

I think some of the higher level summoned monsters could do it for you >_>

I dislike Enchantment spells on the basis that the rules really preclude them from being terribly useful. According to the rules a person is aware if they make a saving throw. Since all spells have a visible component without intense specialization, and also casting components, everyone around you is aware you cast a spell. Thus, casting charm person on someone in public leads folks to go "That person bewitched him, GUARDS" and in private if they make their saving throw the same thing happens as well. You need to invest in the ability to conceal your spellcasting or bluff someone into letting you cast another spell on them and hope they don't have spellcraft. This really makes it only useful against captives or the unconscious. Basically, without intense specialization charm person is useless in most of the situations one would expect it to help.

My second dislike is Conjuration, because it does literally everything. Talk about a one stop shop for school specialization. Teleportation, summoning monsters, dealing damage, creating area denial, what doesn't this school do?

So, spells can do things that some folks spend their class levels trying to gain. For instance, Sense Vitals gives you Sneak Attack of up to 5d6 which is great on Bards (and why folks always seem to prefer a Bard to a Rogue in my games).

What other spells just straight up duplicate class features? What spells out-pace class features? I'm curious.

nicholas storm wrote:
Really thinking my next character is going to be a sorcerer with the unicorn bloodline. Bonus spells are healing spells (including heal at level 6). Your bloodline arcana gives light healing every time you cast a spell.

There are some bloodlines I'm not comfortable with because of the parental implications. Unicorn is one of them.

So, I like weirder monsters with interesting effects. Like the

Pugwampi CR 1/2
These guys are jerks, wonderful, wonderful Jerks. Set them up with some Gnolls and they'll put the party through their paces. Heck, have one with some class levels cast invisibility on itself and hang out in the middle of a dangerous puzzle or trap and watch the excitement.

Faceless Stalker CR4
Speaking of Wonderful Jerks, Faceless Stalkers are my personal favorite Dopplegangers to use in a campaign. They are sneaky, durable, tough to detect, and most of all dangerous when encountered unexpectedly. Any mention of these sends my PCs to paranoia town.

Lurker In Light CR 5
The Lurker in Light is just about the single best low level antagonist you could ever ask for in a campaign. Completely invisible in the middle of daylight, sneaky as hell, can sneak attack the party on the middle of a deserted beach, and they can gate in more of themselves with an interruptible and thematic ritual? Oh yeah, sign me on. The story writes itself, especially when you have Faceless Stalkers working together with the Lurkers to abduct people.

I'll find you some others, I know these aren't your standard Zombie, Orc, Dragon sort of monsters but I like the ones that are a bit unexpected.

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