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There will be a talent (ie: advanced training except it’s now just a Fighter talent, they get them on even levels) that adds some of the basic archery feats to the list. I’m going to be careful about what I give for free, the idea behind the current version of the ability is that the Fighter will need to buy their way into the stronger options out there and then get given the better versions as long as they meet the prerequisites. This keeps Brawlers identity as the class that can on demand get feats and Ranger/Slayer as the class that skips prerequisites for feats

But we’re getting off track, I’ll be happy to post the full thing when it’s done. For now I need more feat chains that are too cost prohibitive to justify grabbing normally. Moonlight Striker, that sort of thing.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Good news is I have you mostly covered there. Exact details are largely irreverent to the current topic but Fighters get access to “advanced training” much earlier.

The big one though, and the one I will post in detail is what I’m doing to ease off feat taxes. Fighters don’t gain a feat on even levels, instead they have this:

Effortless Training:
“Effortless Training (Ex):
Starting at 2nd level, a Fighter’s talent for rapidly learning new abilities grants them intuitive understanding of any advanced ability they could learn. Whenever a Fighter gains a Fighter Level and meets all the qualifications for certain feats, they learn them automatically without needing to select those feats manually. Mark these feats as Effortless Feats on your character sheet. The Fighter must meet all prerequisites for the feat to learn it in this manner without the assistance of spells or abilities, only permanent magical items with a constant effect (such as a Belt of Strength) may assist a Fighter in meeting these qualifications.

The Feats the Fighter may learn through Effortless Training include all feats with “Improved” and “Greater” in their names. This means Fighters automatically gain Improved Initiative and Improved Unarmed Strike as bonus feats at level 2.”

Some new advanced training options add additional feats to this list, like selecting a style feat and adding the style feat and any feat that lists that style feat as a prerequisite to the list of feats you learn when leveling up.

Basically, I’m looking for fear chains to add as new advanced trainings. Stuff like Nightmare Weaver or other fear chains where Improved and Greater won’t cover it.

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I’m working on some Fighter changes for my campaign, the exact details are in flux but I’d be happy to share them in Homebrew when I’m done. Meanwhile, I’d like to tap on the communities collective consciousness to find feat chains that just take too long to fire off, or when they do fire off they end up being extremely lack luster. I know about stuff like Cleave, Vital Strike, anything to do with the Aldori Dueling Sword, and that there are a few style feats that are just silly. There are however a lot of feats out there, and so I’d welcome being pointed in the right direction.

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So this is tricky because you have to tell your story to appeal to your audience, which first means learning about your audience and to whom you are catering.

Some people like having unambiguous evil to target, it makes their lives simple. They hate when things get complicated or morally grey. Its easy to fight something whose only goal is to harm others.

Other people like the ambiguity of the situation. Two rival kingdoms at war, a misguided father trying to bring their child back to life through eldritch ritual, and etc. The idea of a relatable or tragic villain appeals to some groups because it gives them opportunities to be introspective about their own path through life, or a chance to turn the misguided villain back towards the light.

Personally, I attempt to write my villains as characters. They have motivations and desires, and the PCs can investigate (or not) the villains to the degree of their choice before confronting them. Enough investigation could allow them to turn foes into friends, or at least persuade someone towards a less destructive path.

However there are forces within the classical pathfinder/dnd world which are not easily disuaded from their path. Or forces whose paths are darker or violent because of their nature, like extraplanar evil creatures or abberations who have entirely different views on morality. Once again I try to write these enemies as characters, however understanding their desires (and how to subvert them) is a much larger challenge for the player characters. Can you convince a Vampire that it is in their best interest to protect their flock from other threats and to trade that protection for tribute in blood rather than simply ravaging the country side? Depends on the GM and the players, their expectations and desires.

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I really like Aura Flare feat but I'm deeply upset it is once per day and not like once per combat/once per hour or something. High level cleric being able to stagger everything within 30ft for doing their big cleric thing is good and fun.

I believe a Master of Many Styles could take the improved versions without meeting the prerequisites for the style.

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I mean, I'd be fine with my player benefitting from Blinded Blade Style all the time and then just ruling that their first Swift Action of every combat is spent on Blinded Blade Style.

Like, this person is role playing being a blind person and not just using this to see in darkness or w/e. That seems like a reasonable concession.

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If we're making sneak attack easier to perform, there are two methods I've thought about:

1: Adding additional conditions - For example allowing Sneak Attacks to be performed against creatures that are Shaken or Dazzled

2: Changing Flat Footed to be any AC penalty - This adds the Prone condition alongside other methods of triggering sneak attack, including the Rogue's built in debilitating injury.

But even then, what fixes the Rogue is giving them +5 over their career to hit through some manner. Improvements to Flanking bonuses, the ability to flank with their own shadow or some such, some kind of conditional attack bonus against enemies suffering from certain conditions, etc etc etc

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Boomerang Nebula wrote:

If you close all those gaps you don’t have a rogue anymore you have a fighter/wizard hybrid. The solution is to give rogue abilities that are thematically consistent with being a rogue and that other classes don’t have.

So it seems folks are misreading that sentence, its not a laundry list of the things Rogues need to be a functional class. It's a list of flaws that other "skillful" classes have that the Rogue does not. Bard has the Rogue's skill points and spellcasting. Alchemist has the Rogue's skill points and spellcasting. Investigator is the king of skill checks and has spellcasting. Slayer has full BAB, sneak attack, and solid skill points. Swashbuckler is the king of finesse and has full BAB (though Swashbuckler has its own problems I won't get into here).

While I agree that a full rework of the Rogue, giving it some kind of fun new class feature would be advantageous. I also fully think that any kind of Rogue rework should either keep the current stats and give it spellcasting of some sort OR make it a full BAB class. Its actively absurd that the Rogue (and by extension Ninja and Vigilante) doesn't have one of those two features.

Mr. Charisma wrote:

You don't "make up for that", making up for that would just make them a Fighter, that's the point. Rogues aren't meant to be as good at combat as a Fighter. If you want a class that plays like a Fighter, play a Fighter (in fact I think for about half the people who have a problem with the Rogue this is the actual problem).

(and just because I feel like being pedantic, Fighters only have 1 good save, and they also can't cast spells.)

If your argument for the Rogue having decent stats is that would make them a fighter, its pretty clear then Fighters are A: a better class. Which is insane because B: Fighters suck too. I've gone into the ways that the Fighter lacks any kind of unique identity in other topics, so I won't get into that. Instead I'll talk about about the things the Fighter gets that would still differentiate them from a Full BAB Rogue.

Namely: Not being locked into Finesse fighting. The Ability to wear non-light armor. Ranged combat that can take advantage of the Fighter's limited class features. +5 to Hit through Greater Weapon Focus and Weapon Training. Advanced Weapon Training that allows for: improved saving throws, ANOTHER +5 to his attack rolls with Warrior Spirit, the ability to dual wield one handed weapons, teamwork feat abuse, more skill points (up to a value of +4 total which is 6 skill points a level effectively), and he can stack up all of the Advanced Weapon Training Bonuses he wants because he can take it a total of 7 times.

I could go on, but I won't. But I could.

Nudging the Rogue's numbers up enough doesn't remove his limited selection of proficient weapons. It doesn't make him able to use heavier armor. It doesn't let him sneak attack from ranged (one of the hardest things to do in the entire game past the surprise round) so he's still stuck in melee. It doesn't make him able to one man army his way through a fight the way a Fighter could. He still would be reliant on sneak attack and his allies to position themselves intelligently.

I honestly don't understand why some people are so vehemently opposed to this change. Giving the Rogue full BAB doesn't make it a fighter any more than the Fighter having full BAB makes it a Paladin. Multiple classes have this chassis and they differentiate themselves by way of their actual class features and gameplay.

Look, I'll be honest in my games a lot of classes are house ruled to be better. Rogue is one of them, Fighter is another. Every class has 2 good saves and one bad save. Rogue's have full BAB progression and d10 HP. Sneak Attack is multiplied on Vital Strike. It all feels really good to play, especially because this applies across the board. So all the Rogues in APs also get these buffs. They go from jokes to actual threats.

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Boomerang Nebula wrote:
I would rather make rogues better at what they are supposed to excel in rather than make them more like fighters.

And how does one make up for -10 to attack rolls over the career, only 1 good saving throw, low maximum HP, a complete lack of spellcasting, and 1 fewer attack each turn?

Like the Rogue can't afford to spend their resources on doing Rogue things because every ounce of energy needs to be directed into "Not being an Expert NPC" in combat. It is entirely possible to play the Rogue and succeed at combat, you can build nearly anything to be effective with enough game knowledge.

Would +5 to attack rolls, +1 HP per level on average, an extra attack late game, and a better saving throw really be harmful to the fantasy of playing the rogue? I argue not. With those kind of buffs the Rogue could spend some talents on things that aren't a desperate attempt to keep up with everyone else.

Right now the Shifter is a better put together class than the Rogue and it makes me very grumpy.

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So like, the Fighter's got a couple of problems. As Andostre mentions, they don't really have a useful unique mechanic. They get access to more feats, but so do all the martial classes. They get higher attack and damage rolls under certain conditions, but so do other classes.

The only really unique thing they had going for them are the Fighter only feats (which are okay but aren't really interesting until the book that adds the Advanced Weapon and Advanced Armor training) and faster movement in medium and heavy armor. Its only "recently" in PF1 terms anyway that Fighter got unique selectable mechanics in the advanced training options and most of the Fighter archetypes don't let you play with them because they swap out Weapon or Armor training.

So thats on the mechanics side. On the flavor side, the Fighter is in a whole other jam.

Wanna be a master of a specific fighting style? Ranger or Slayer.
Wanna be a knight in shining armor? Cavalier or Paladin
Wanna be a knight in black armor? Cavalier or Anti-paladin
Wanna be a close range ball of death? Monk or Brawler
Wanna be a finesse master? Swashbuckler or Unchained Rogue
Wanna hit things really hard? Barbarian or Bloodrager

It doesn't fulfill any of those fantasies better than the other options you have available.

Back over to mechanics, the Fighter is a generalist who will do a decent job at whatever you design it to do. However, at the end of the day, it still needs to focus down a single path. The Fighter doesn't have any class features that allow it to be an actual generalist.

Honestly, what I would want to see out of a Fighter rework is if the Fighter could pick up any weapon and know how to use it. Give the Fighter free feats based on the weapon they're currently wielding, just the basics at first and then talents that expand on those.

For instance, a Fighter should be able to pick up any exotic weapon and just wield it. A Fighter should be able to grab a bow and shoot into melee without worrying about spending two feats on making Bows viable, then swap over to a Greatsword or a Sword and Shield when needed. Give them free Two Weapon Fighting when they wield two weapons, or Combat Reflexes when they have a polearm.

Stuff like that.

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So, my complaints with those classes (and the Shifter) aren't all that complicated and are more about overall Design philosophy than about how good they are/are not at their job.

Design Talk:

So, I feel like all classes should have some modular element about them. I want to be able to play the same class over the course of five-ten different campaigns and still feel like I'm doing something new each time. I also want my players to be able to field multiple of the same class without feeling like they're all mechanically identical.

For some classes their spellcasting does this for them. You can play 8 different Wizards each specialized around making the most of their specific school and not feel like you've played the same character each time. Sure you'll want to default to the "best" spells in each case, but its entirely doable to focus down on specific schools of magic.

For classes with more restrictive Spellcasting, you end up needing more modular class features. Stuff like Oracle Mysteries, Witch Hexes/Patrons, Arcanist Exploits, Evolution Points for Eidolons, and etc that allow for replay/differentiation.

The most interesting Martial Classes also have this modular nature to their abilities, Barbarian Rage Powers. Vigilante Talents. Fighter's long, long, long overdue Advanced Weapon/Armor Training Options. There are even a few interesting Rogue Talents thanks to Unchained, though most are still hot garbage. The classes I mention are guilty of being too similar to each other when played either sequentially or together in a group, or too narrow in some manner.

Its not about whether or not its possible to do something fun or overpowered with the class. Its really about ensuring that you have enough options to make the character unique and interesting.

Ranger: Favored Enemy and Terrain are ass unless you get the GM to give you prior knowledge to what you're facing, the Slayer does this so much better. Its also awkward because the Hunter exists and largely does the nature-y aspect of the Ranger so much better. It suffers from being a 3.5 conversion, 2e does a better job but I don't know the math there yet so I'm still running 1e.

Fighter isn't bad, but is exceptionally boring. Advanced Weapon and Armor Training come too late to the party to really make the Fighter stand out as different or unique. It needs to follow a chassis more similar to the Slayer or Monk with talents at even levels instead of Feats. Again, this suffers from the 3.5e conversion.

Ninja is okay but it suffers from its nature as a throw away class designed to be an alternate to the Rogue. That gives it two problems, one of them being a lack of material and the other being that it was tied to Core Rogue, yuck. I do have ideas on how I'm going to homebrew this. I'm taking aspects from Monk, Alchemist, and Rogue and mixing them all together, make it something other than just Eastern Themed Rogue TM.

Cavalier and Samurai are my current project, I just have to design 30 odd talents and they'll be good to go. Design wise the lack of talents and the reliance upon the extremely limited stuff they get from their Order is just silly in comparison to over classes who get to pick fun things every level. Plus they're a class without spellcasting who has an animal companion, when animal companions are largely balanced around the idea that they have a buddy casting spells on them. Extremely silly.

Swashbuckler has no modular abilities at all, Deeds are exceptionally stupid and make every swashbuckler feel identical. Gunslinger is like swashbuckler but even worse because it is tied to the awful rules associated with Guns. So glad I've finished my homebrew on these folks, playtesting is currently on going and nothing seems to have broken yet.

Shifter needs to actually be able to shift, make its Wild Shape just dramatically better than the Druids and hopefully expand the options for transformations. Shifters should be going Dragon Shape 3 at late game, again, with actual choices throughout the class in the form of talents on even levels.

Brawler honestly is another dishonorable mention, Martial Flexibility does a lot to save them from my general ire at the lack of modular talents. However, they really don't have much else going for them. They're also in a weird spot between Fighter and Monk without the advantage of Ki Powers and Style Strikes to really make themselves stand out.

In terms of the remaining classes that don't have modular talents of some kind: Paladin/Antipaladin could have a bunch of class features turned into talents and then allow them to pick those up as they level up. Same goes for Warpriest, Bard, Inquisitor, Druid, Summoner, Spiritualist and Hunter. These folks just have spellcasting to fall back on and usually at least some modularity to their chassis.

Basically, strip off some abilities from the chassis of any of the above classes and give these folks a modular ability on even levels and a much larger modular ability every 5-7 levels and I'd be happy. It'll take me forever to homebrew everything, but that's the plan.

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Oh, yeah, literally forgot about it because Shifter is so bad.

Its at the bottom of my personal homebrew rework list because I have no idea how to fix it.

Absolutely bogus that they made a martial class that was worse than the druid at shifting.

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Faceless Stalker.

These guys are a favorite of mine, easily boosted with any amount of armor, weapons, or feat choices. A group of faceless stalkers are quite hard to track down among a populace while able to go about whatever plan they have unhindered.

Add class levels for extra spice, you don't even need to give them the class advancement stat adjustment (4, 4, 2, 2, 0, -2) though you can if you want.

They make excellent Vigilantes, Mesmerists, Ninjas, or even Kineticists. Round up their Wisdom and Dexterity for extra fun and options.

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Unchained Ranger
Unchained Fighter
Unchained Ninja
Unchained Cavalier/Samurai
Unchained Swashbuckler
Unchained Gunslinger

Fix the underperforming classes. One last big gift to martial classes.

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The Eldritch Heritage line, aka, we have Obedience at home.

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Pack Flanking is, in my opinion, a class feature of the Hunter. Between Pack Flanking and Outflank, the Hunter is effectively a 19 BAB class.

But yeah, most of the Teamwork feats are terrible.

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Uh, the spell ends when you use Shadow Gambit. So even if the Illusion were permanent, you only get one "shot" per illusion and each shot is a standard action.

The main spell that your plan would even work with is Permanent Image, which is a 6th level spell. Each image requires a separate move action to command into position and the target needs to be adjacent to an Image to activate. Additionally, you need line of sight.

This is basically an NPC only tactic that is vaguely useful for defending a location/setting an ambush. Its...fine, but I really dislike that it provides rules for something that could have been left to GM discretion.

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I've played a reach using Abyssal Bloodrager at a high enough level to auto-cast an additional bloodrager spell.

Its glorious. Anything that isn't flying is screwed.

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Your foes not getting within your reach (Or not gambling that you have the Reflexes and moving around your reach) is still not zero value. Having a larger zone of control is quite strong and can protect your allies.

Sure, a GM can get around that too, but a GM being a dick can make any feat suck. Thats part of why having a good GM is worth irl gold.

Anyway, I'd like to nominate Shadow Gambit as another feat that just blows massive chunks. You can end your Illusion spells early to deal damage and provide a save/attack roll as normal. However, the damage is only 1d6 per SPELL LEVEL, so you can at most spend 2 rounds to set up a 9th level illusion and then end it early with a bonus saving throw for 9d6 points of damage.

It also pretty much prevents any really creative "Well, Major Images can create thermal illusions so I have my dragon breath fire for damage" as you now have rules for doing something like that, but it costs a feat and sucks both in the action economy and damage department.

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Yes, as a house rule Vital Strike multiplies sneak by a similar amount to the rest of the rolled damage. You still lose out on total damage dealt compared to a full attack, because the static damage from Enhancement/Ability Modifier isn't multiplied, but it ends up being a worthwhile action and eases up on the "Get Pounce or Fall X Tiers" problem martials have.

To be clear though, UnRogues in my campaigns are also d10 full BAB characters with "good" growth on Will saves. So they're better off than normal already. PC Classes without spellcasting should have full BAB growth, its absurd that some don't.

I had some plans to rework Swashbuckler entirely and make them especially adept at Vital Striking, but they're stalled behind Cavalier and Ninja who are next on my rework list after I recently finished Gunslinger.

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Mudfoot wrote:

I double that too. It's not going to make a huge difference, after all: typically 10% extra. Or 30% for a keen scimitar, I guess. But I double precision damage like Sneak Attack too; martials are entitled to nice things as well.

This is one of my house rules as well, Vital Strike is multiplied on crits and works with Sneak Attack. Additionally, Un-Rogues get Vital Strike at level 6 for free without needing to meet the pre-reqs, and the upgrades at the appropriate level as well.

Sneak Attack doesn't multiply on crit because that would be a bit much, especially with the number of Rogues that show up in adventure paths, but Rogues being able to acrobatics into position for a flank and still get off their big stab feels really good.

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I don't feel like doing links right now but:

1: The Flying Talon
This thing is basically a whip without all the fuss. Sure you can't ever threaten with the weapon but it doesn't take 9 feats to be usable and its a light reach weapon for the Magus' out there.

2: Waveblade
You gain proficiency with this as a monk and it crits on an 18-20. Nearly every monk I've ever made tries to grab a Keen Waveblade asap. We make all these extra attacks per turn, might as well use them to fish for crits!

3: The Blade Boot
This is an awful weapon, it has nearly no redeeming qualities. I still love it to pieces, its just so flavorful. That this isn't a Monk weapon is criminal.

4: Elven Branched Spear
Its a finessable reach weapon that doesn't require worshipping Shelyn. Whoo! It also gives bonuses on AoOs because its just a damn good weapon. If you're a finesse character and don't need a free hand or a shield you should buy into this whenever you can afford the Ioun Stone (Elves get it for free!)

5: Switchscythe
Who even thought of this thing? Its a scythe that folds? Why, what purpose does this serve, other than being awesome?

6: Orc Hornbow
Ever thought, "you know, archery isn't strong enough" in Pathfinder? Well, what about a dice step over the regular Composite Bow. Sure thats only a little extra damage by default but if we use Gravity Bow suddenly we are throwing 3d6 arrows instead of 2d6 arrows and thats worth 3.5 damage. Hehehehehe

7: Traveling Kettle
There is something about beating people up with kitchen equipment that is extremely satisfying. This is one of those moments.

Thanks folks,

I'm considering making some elements half-breed access only. Maybe call them the Esoteric Elements or something that can only be accessed by the blooded humans like Time, Aether, Sound, and Viscera. That way I don't need a Genie/demi-human parent. Of course that would generally prevent people from selecting those as their first element, so I'm not sure how I feel about that all.

That would just leave me with Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Light, Void, Wood, and Poison.

Yeah, its a caste based society with the progenitor races at the top and humans at the bottom (but a pretty cushy bottom in terms of caste societies, nicer than modern day to an extent but still a pretty immutable caste society, you're very much stuck where you are born). The half-breeds hold a special status near the second to top most caste because of the low birth rates of the Progenitor races and are trained as monastic imperial agents given their unique powers (sorta likea cross between the Dragon Blooded in Exalted and Jedi in Star Wars). Each of the progenitor races belongs to a House that serves as their faction within the Empire serving as Lords, Warriors, Priests (religion isn't all that important in this world as even divine magic is gated by having the correct parents and non-native outsiders have trouble reaching this world), and Clerks while the Humans serve as Merchants and Workers. A particularly prosperous human could be the mayor of a small village or the secretary to a minor progenitor official.

The Jyoti aren't a bad choice all things considered for nature (though they may be better off in Light if I use the 3rd Party Content, I'm already testing some homebrew materials like a fix to the VMC system and a new version of Gunslinger and it all comes down to how much my players want me to deviate from Archives of Nethys). I've also considered Norn for Time, Vampires for Viscera, and I'm not too sure about Poison or Sound.

The Toshigami might work if I make a male variant, so that's an excellent suggestion. I thought I might have to start looking through Fey to see if one worked particularly well.

Currently things look like:

Paizo Elements:
Fire: Efreeti + Human = Ifrit
Water: Marid + Human = Undine
Air: Djinni + Human = Sylph
Earth: Shaitan + Human = Oread
Aether: X + Human = Samsaran?
Wood: Toshigami? + Human = Leshy? Ghoran? Gathlain?
Void: X + Human = Dhampir? Shabti? Astomoi? Tiefling?

Then the 3rd party elements
Light: Jyoti + Human = Aasimar? Kitsune?
Time: X + Human = Aphorite? Samsaran? Yaddithian?
Sound: X + Human = ?????
Poison: Naga? + Human = Nagaji?
Viscera: Vampire? + Human = Dhampir? Shabti? Wyrwood?

Suli and Janni are not available as options for any of these for various plot reasons.

Yeah, they were like the groups mom too. Always bringing in treats and such, so dedicated to the game too. The whole next arc of the campaign was going to be their final challenge before achieving true Paladin hood. Her loss will hang over the table for some time, but she was also the type of person who would kick us about if we moped about and let her loss end our group. Anyway, thanks for the condolences.

I’m trying to keep the progenitors as human like as possible, but those are still decent suggestions. I need to have my session 0 before I need to know if I have to find one for Sound, Light, Time, Viscera, and Poison.

As said the outsiders are Native to this plane and so I need to be careful which ones I pick. The Nightshades are a touch too evil for the Void element (though I know their patron will be unsavory). The progenitors in this case are still very active and high caste members of society so I need things that tend towards human but X like how Efreeti are basically just human fire elementals. I know there won’t be clean answers for everything but the closer I can get the better.

Okay, so one of my players passed away recently and it killed our existing campaign. They were too integral to the story and no one feels like continuing without them. As a result I need to put something I had on the back burner into production without nearly as much time as I thought I had.

The idea behind the campaign is fairly simple, everyone is at least part Kineticist. The elemental Genie tribes are native outsiders to this world and the only way humans have access to magic is by being their descendants. This sets up four of the kineticists elements easily, ifrit and efreeti, etc etc….then I get to the remaining three elements.

I still want players to be able to select Wood, Void, or Aether as elements but I don’t really have a good idea of what outsider/Fey/monsterous humanoid would be appropriate as the progenitors for the relevant element and what their corresponding PC race would be. I don’t mind judging the details a bit, I’ve been thinking of using Astomoi as the Void defended PC race but then I need something that could theoretically birth Astomoi when I’m a union with a human. So I’m unsure.

I have some ideas for some of the third party elements from Kineticists of Polyphera but I’m not sure my players want to have the expanded content to choose from or not…so I may need ideas spitballed for that too.

I can provide more details if it would help folks, thanks in advance.

My home brew campaign’s religions are currently a mess, and I’m looking for some in canon sources of creatures that can be worshipped and grant access to domains. I remember reading about a few of these that can give out domains and limited spellcasting (like up to 5th level, but I’ll take any that grant full 9th level spell access too) but I’m having trouble finding them. I’d take a list, but even individual instances of this would help me have a starting point for my current project.

Thanks folks!

PS: I know a number of Emphenral Lords and such grant spells, looking more for things under 20 HD.

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Knowing your group is very important. Establishing from session zero what is and isn't okay is a good way to do that. That way if stealing from each other is what you consider fun then you can go for it. Its about making sure everyone in the party feels accepted.

But its worth noting folks can have trauma about theft, a different group from the one I was talking about earlier, that I know of through the grapevine, lost two players because of it. GM thought the rogue was funny, the player who had their stuff stolen had recently gone through a bad break-up. The party didn't know about this at the time, but their ex pawned all their jewelry for booze.

She left the group, and when the Rogue's player learned about why she left they felt awful enough they took a break from gaming for a few months. Campaign died without the two of them, I think the players made up later but I don't think she games with that party anymore.

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Keeping details about your character's alignment or past secret can be very fun for a story. However, the line exists when those secrets bleed into and effect another character. Your alignment affects nothing but your own perceptions of the character and the effects of certain abilities/spells, it doesn't directly harm your allies. Because the effect is limited to your character and people's interactions with them, this is a perfectly fine secret to keep. Even if your backstory did cause the party some kind of trouble further down the road, that is still something for the party to face as a team. It affects them, but is still ultimately the world acting upon your party. Not individual members of the party acting against the interest of the group at large.

Stealing, harming, or purposefully bringing up triggering topics directly harms your allies and violates the social contract set up at the table. There is no winner in a Pathfinder session, you are there to work as a team to tell a story.

Now, when a PC flips to an NPC, the rules change because the GM is given limited authority over everyone's characters. That is also part of the contract. Theft can be a form of hardship imposed upon the party the same as a dangerous storm, or a monster encounter. I could talk for days about proper GMing for this sort of situation, but its an entirely different topic.

If you're going to harm another party member, get their permission first. This can literally end friendships.

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So uh, I have literally seen a gaming group explode from this. Like full disintegrate, no save, no future sessions. Just dead. Mostly because the GM was on the Rogue's side, refused to let us kill or exile the Rogue for stealing from the party and then trying to murder a fellow party member for personal gain, and so every single other player got up and walked out.

If any type of this is planned or seems like a good idea, hit yourself in the head with the core book a few times. If it still seems like a good idea, clear it with everyone in the group. Not just the DM, if you are going to interact with another character in a potentially negative manner you clear it with them. You don't have to say that you're going to steal from them, but let them know that you're thinking it would be fun pull something traitorous. Ask if this is okay, if the answer ISN'T YES then its not okay. Basic rules of consent apply to gaming.

If you're worried the people in your group can't separate their in game knowledge from out of game knowledge, or it would affect their roleplaying and you wouldn't enjoy it...A: Screw yourself and B you probably shouldn't be trying to dick them over in the first place.

The game world exists to be interacted with, if you're going to be a clepto keep it to the NPCs.

Whoopsidaisy, sorry Senko, I should have looked at the World Dragon statline otherwise I'd have gotten it. For some reason I saw Fey Planet Dragon and thought it was a Wyrmling.

No idea how I managed to dyslexia that hard, I don't even have the condition.

I mean, stack enough templates on anything and it can kill a party. You're the GM, its not hard to kill the players. All I meant is that I use templates to spice up normal monsters, anything with a name and a personality that needs class features will get the full treatment.

Dragon78 wrote:
Personally you should only add class levels to monsters that are 0HD races. For the rest just use those class base templates.

Eh, named characters enjoy the full treatment. Templates are for advanced but still throw-away enemies, or if I'm tragically low on time. I will take the time to put together 15 levels of Magus on a Pugwampi, because it also gives me the time to work on the character's personality and choices.

So, suggestion if you're still taking them.

How about taking advantage of that small size?

EDIT: I can't get this damn HTML to work properly, its the Mouser Swashbuckler archetype.

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I wish the rules for adding classes to monsters were based off gestalt rules rather than the absurd boosts that come from adding class levels.

Like 4/4/2/2/0/-2 is such a huge stat boost and then you start adding additional hit dice? A Succubus with 12 levels of Sorcerer is a 20 HD monster and that just seems unreasonable when it would have been easier to use gestalt rules and make it a 12 HD monster.

I know its only like, parallel to class discussion but it was on my mind the other day.

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Christmas transcends the boundaries of many worlds, with one form or another of Santa Claus popping up in everything from Discworld to Harry Dresden. Around this time of year, I like to surprise any campaign I've been running for a few months with a secret visit from the jolly red gentleman and drop off some magical adventuring gifts.

Its a fun tradition that has led to a whole host of homebrewed magical items ranging from toy to terror. So I thought I'd share it with you. Lets come up with all sorts of fun seasonal magical gifts.

I'll start us off with one from late into a game:

Icecrown Tophat:
CL18 Conjuration/Transmutation
Slot: Head

This slightly beat-up black hat's brim is constantly laced with a combination of ice and snowflakes. This hat provides the wearer with the effects of the spell Ice Body at will, except as noted below. This version of the spell has a duration of permanent, but may be temporarily dispelled upon suffering fire damage. When struck with fire damage while under the effects of Ice Body, make a DC 22 fortitude save. Failure immediately dispels the effects of Ice Body, and this ability may not be reactived for 1d4 rounds. If you are burrowing through snow or ice, you immediately ejected from the ice to the nearest unobstructed space and are stunned for one round. In addition to the spells usual effects, a target struck by the unarmed strikes of the user must make a fortitude save (DC 22) or be staggered for one round.

Additionally, once per week the user may throw the hat upon the ground and speak a command word. An Elder Ice Elemental with the Advanced Template and HP equal to its rolled maximum will appear and agrees to serve you for seven days, provided it retains possession of the Icecrown Tophat throughout. As long as the Elemental is in possession of the Icecrown Tophat, it gains additional spell like abilities.

At Will: Snowball
5/day: Frosty Aura, Icicle Spears, Winter's Grasp
3/day: Icy Prison, Cold Ice Strike, Wall of Ice
1/Day: Polar Midnight, Mythic Control Weather (Augmented, but cast at Tier 0)

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Exotic weapons also just, aren't worth the feat for the most part. Most of them don't pass the Weapon Specialization bar of +2 damage in comparison to their martial equivielent. Or they only add a single new damage type (there is a feat that lets you change damage types freely, forget what its called if thats a big deal for your campaign). The end result is that you've spent a feat and gotten less than a feat in return, so folks really only obtain them once they can buy proficiency with an Ioun stone or if they get the proficiency for free from their race/class.

The only ones that are really worth it are ones that expand the critical hit multiplier and even then only if you can easily apply Keen to them (Falcata and Tongi). The one handed non-whip reach weapons (Gnome Flick Mace and Flying Talon), and finally the Waveblade for being a Monk weapon with 18-20 innate threat range. Otherwise, its just not worth a feat slot.

A lot of them are cool and flavorable, but just not really mechanically interesting enough to eat up one of your customizable options.

Druids are even better than element/animal types. You can have melee druids with herbalism, caster druids with animal companions, hybrid druids with domains. Druids deal physical damage, cast spells to bypass problems, have meat shields with their animal companions/summoned animals. Only problem is not having full access to some of the more specific cleric/paladin spells that heal statuses and removing traps the normal (non "throw a Nature's Ally 1 at it") way. They even have a Cha based caster that can be the party face with one of the druid archetypes.

Bards are another good choice, strong melee combatants with tons of alternate archetypes to deal with most situations (including traps) but in exchange are worse at using spells to bypass obstacles/deal damage, and have even fewer good healing options than the Druids.

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I give all classes with full BAB 1 Exotic Weapon Proficiency at level 1 and again at 5, 10, 15, and 20. Lets folks get stuff like nets, lassos, slaver's crossbows, and other weird but cool weapons alongside the normal exotics that just do on average +1 damage.

Also boosts the fact that you're playing a class that likely has near zero spell access.

On that note, would have loved nets, bolas, and the like to be catagorized as equipment instead of exotics. Makes them almost never see play without house rules.

Dragonborn3 wrote:

They might have been using rays?

True, it also frustrates Magi and anyone else with spellstrike. Reach casters (who want to cast spells on their turn and poke during other people's turns) and a few other builds that wanna cast spells and receive bonuses on their attack rolls.

So, back on topic.

The thing that bugs me about the Skald is that I've never seen one in a party that can take full advantage of Raging Song. Most classes in the game have some element of casting that gets turned off during rage. I know that not buffing the Wizard with Raging song isn't that big of a deal (after all, what benefit were they getting from Inspire Courage?) but it still bugs me all the same.

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My current party has a cure light wounds wand that they've, 8 charges of over 3-4 levels. Between the Paladin, Oracle, Investigator, and the nightly heal checks (Paladin has a Ring of Sustenance) they almost never run out of HP until their adventuring day is over.

I think they all have "Elixir Syndrome," after all, what if they need their consumable items later! (Hint: Later never happens, they will end this game with that Cure Light Wounds wand on like, 22 charges).

So it really depends on your party composition and your players. In some groups, wands of CLW are the classic. People pitch in to buy them together under the understanding that its group healing and no one knows when they're the one who is gonna run around on 1 HP if they decide to skip on chipping in for the wand. In other groups, its bring your own healing, or players will fall back on their party casters.

Drovier is one of the few Druid archetypes that can pair with Green Scourge along with Skinshifter and Feral Shifter.

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avr wrote:
Druid wants Wis, VMC magus wants Int, flame blade dervish wants Cha; then you want to fight in melee? Can you say MAD?

Its less mad than you think, but just as MAD as any druid that wants to melee fight. I wouldn't play this build without a 20 point buy, 14, 14, 14, 10, 14, 10 before race bonuses. Pick a race that gives +Str without a stat negative (Human, Aasimar subvariant, Half-X, etc) and you're good for melee combat at low levels with Lamellar Horn + a Heavy Wooden Shield.

Since you don't need to spend money on weapons with the build, you can put all your money into better armor, shields, and stat up belts. Especially if your GM allows crafting (9th level spell caster woot woot).

VMC magus only wants INT for Arcane Pool (since our Discoveries are gonna focus either on improving the pool or Spellstrike, we don't care about our Int mod too much) and Flame Blade Dervish still gives +10ft movement speed and lets you ignore 10-30 fire resistance with flame blade even with +0 cha. But we can use Skinshifting to boost our Flame Blade's damage (since its a touch attack we really don't care about its accuracy) by boosting our Cha by +4. Oh, and when we're spell striking with our Flame Blade we're doing so at Touch AC, so thats nice.

At the end of the day, our lowish starting wisdom hampers our DCs when casting but if we only focus on buff and utlity spells it ends up working out okay at the end of the day. Plus, 2 free potions to hand out daily. Its a fun build, MAD as any combat druid, but fun.

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Also worth noting, Skinshaping can be used to buff Flame Blade's Damage Output by +2 with the feat Flame Blade Dervish that lets you put your Cha Modifier to Flame Blade's damage. Combined with enhancement bonuses and the Vicious enchantment and you can do some silly things at Touch AC.

Plus all the other goodies on Flame Blade Dervish, +10ft land speed, ignoring Fire Resistance on enemies (and you still have the Green Scourge option of subbing in for Ice or Lightning against stuff immune to fire).

And you literally don't need to spend any other combat feats at that point. Maybe power attack for your Shillelagh, but otherwise you're free to put your feats to Metamagic, skill boosts, VMCs, all sorts of stuff.

EDIT: VMC Magus gets silly almost immediately, since you can use the Arcane Pool to enchant your conjured weapons/hand wraps. Later on, once you get access to Spellstrike by default there are only so many spells you can use with Spellstrike since they need to be shared across the druid and magus spell list but if you take the Broad Study Magus Arcana most GMs should read that as allowing you to Spellstrike with any druid touch spell. Which is fun. You might lack Spell Combat, but you've got 9th level spellcasting so Quickened Spells are a lot easier. The Close Range Magus Arcana also helps expand the spells you can cast via Flame Blade. Round that off with Bane Blade and you've got a deadly weapon in your hands at all times.

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Gonna also jump in here on Green Scourge, but specifically a Green Scourge/SkinShaper Druid with the Herbalism Nature Bond.

So, you've given up nearly every druid class feature at this point. In exchange you get:

1: Spellbased magic weapons that scale with your level at 0 gold cost
2: Wisdom Mod free potions each day
3: Bonuses to your Human form from Skinshaper to a total of +10 spread across your stats (Max +4 to any one catagory except Dex/Str, +2 must be assigned to either Dex or Str based on your chosen form using Alter Self)
4: 9th level spell casting
5: Monk unarmed scaling for when you're too lazy to conjure a +5 Vicious Flameblade

You're a jack of all trades and its fantastic.

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Wonderstell wrote:
it's like getting the full Opportune Parry and Riposte swashbuckler class feature on every single attack without any Panache Cost or Immediate Action expenditure.

Its better than one deed off one of the worst classes in the game so its waaaay stronger than my example of...Come and Get Me, one of the cornerstones of high level barbarian shenanigans (the best martial class)?

I'm sorry that very specifically Monkey Style Monks got a nice thing and you're grumpy about it?

Hey, don't knock the Intrepid Rescuer shenanigans. Its one of the few ways to make an entertainingly "drunken master" monk and at the very least requires additional feat investment to get going. By the time this turns on the party Wizard can start throwing around Fireballs or Stinking Clouds.

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The main issue with VMC is that they are horribly imbalanced...among themselves. Some of the VMC options are really quite good and a fair trade for half your feats. Others are uh, awful. I try not to get on writers and developers backs but VMC is one of the things where I wanna shake whoever they farmed this out to vigorously.

Just to make the point clear here...

Barbarian: Gives you Rage for your 3rd level feat, a Rage Power at 11, and Greater Rage at some smaller benefits at 7 and 15. Honestly fantastic, well worth the feat loss. Uncanny Dodge is whatever but everything else is worth a feat. VMC barbarians rule.

Gunslinger: Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Gunsmithing, and three deeds...what the hell is this garbage? You literally take ONE level of Gunslinger and get 3/5ths of the abilities here. Who wrote this? Why doesn't this offer Dex to Damage at 11th level? Who thought giving you a 7th level deed at level 19 was anywhere close to gaining GREATER RAGE at the same level?

And yes, I took the best and worst to make the point but come the hell on. Who proofread that and thought, "Hmm, that seems legit"

PS: The Fighter Mutation Warrior archetype makes for a hysterical VMC barbarian. Starting at level 3 you drink your Mutagen and then rage on the next round for uh, +8 Strength. Can you say, Hulk Smash?

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