One thing I don't care much about is the magus fluff. The other classes seem to have a place in Golarion. Bards have inspire courage, but the reason they go into the world tends to be things like gathering knowledge, telling/learning stories, etc etc. The wizard seeks out arcane knowledge, the cleric and paladin are in service to their gods, the druid has a bond with the natural world. The magus entries in the Adventure Path guides always say something like "Those who can use weapons but also do magic" and it just turns me off to the whole class. I love the idea on a good character but the class itself reminds me of the kid you used to rp with before you knew the meaning of the term, who told you with wide eyes "Oh yeah, my guy well he has a sword but he can also do magic." The class strikes me as a mechanical concept rather than a fleshed out class, if that makes sense.
So I just finished running Souls for Smuggler's Shiv with my team, and we're right about to jump headfirst into Racing to Ruins. While a lot of the reviews of the campaign seem sort of negative, I'm actually ultra looking forward to it. There's one thing I want to change, however.
Maybe I'm wrong, but the Mwangi seem to be a little bit, well, pushed to the side here? One of the players at my table rolled himself a Taldan bard by the name of Iacobus. Iacobus has a fascination with other cultures, but sort of in a dehumanizing way. He is, to put it one way, a firm believer in that "Noble Savage" archetype, seeing it as quaint and fascinating. The player would ideally want to have native NPCs to run off of. Nkechi certainly provides such an opportunity, sure, but that's a small section of a much larger AP. I'm looking in particular for something more lasting, and while viewing the boards, I've been seeing a lot of people adding Mwangi factions to the campaign. I think I'm going to attempt to do this as well.
In particular, I'm looking to replace the Free Captains with a Mwangi group. Yet, I'm not entirely sure how! I guess I'll post my main concerns/ideas and see what others think, or hopefully what others did, if anyone else went this route.
1. I'm not sure why Mwangi would ever need trailblazers, since they sort of live in these areas and all that, really.
2. I have two thoughts for motive. One would suppose the group joins the Freeman's Brotherhood, who is looking to use the wealth of the temple to establish political control. The other one, probably less shady, would be to have a group of Mwangi looking to prove Mwangi influence in Saventh-Yi. I'm thinking they might be particularly scared that, should another group find it (including even the Pathfinders, but definitely the Sargavan government) that they'll intentionally hide the information in order to marginalize the Mwangi people.
3. So that's probably pretty simple, maybe! But now I'm struggling on sort of creating the units. I want to design them a level 9 leader like the other factions have, as well as those level 4 units. And I'm looking for an image. In both Heart of the Jungle and Sargava: the Lost Colony, I can't find very many Mwangi images at all. I honestly can say I want a headshot like the other groups have because my players are into that sort of thing. I'd love to keep the lead unit female, just because why not. It's been rather difficult to find anything worth using!
4. I thought I had more issues but this is actually it so I'll stop now.
You know, I see where you're coming from, but at the same time, I can't help but sort of love that when someone wants to set up a character, they can set them up to be from anywhere in the real world.
I guess I'll add to this a bit: I'm sort of bored of European fantasy ideas! I'm also getting sort of tired of Asian fantasy ideas. The thing that really sold me on Golarion was most definitely Sargava. I think it's from playing Age of Empires 2 in my youth. To me the idea of people from vastly different cultures interacting has always been a selling point.
That said, here's one thing that gets me: Sargava. Which is weird because it sold me on the campaign setting. But I can love something and still have it bug me.
I don't really care for the demon worship aspect of some of the Mwangi people. Especially, I don't care for the bit that sort of implies that when the pale skinned people think the dark skinned people are savage and evil, it's because they totally are. It reeks of a Eurocentric mindset that I find sort of creepy, and quite frankly, way less interesting than the reality. Let me go ahead and say that in general, Golarion seems to use the Hollywood versions of different cultures a little too much to my taste.
I like the Gods, and I love the idea that different people might worship the same Gods under different names (Shimye-Magalla, Goddess of the North Star, etc etc). I also really like that different people will worship different Gods differently depending on their cultures. The Mwangi referring to Iomedae as a Mwangi warrior rather than a knight was particularly interesting. That all said, I also feel like Golarion has straight up too many gods. I'd sort of rather they utilized more of this "same gods in different forms" idea.
I don't care for the Great Old Ones, or Baba Yaga, because these ideas don't strike me as quite "standard fantasy" enough to be seen as separate from the works they came from, and that always took me out of the scene.
I don't mind Andoran like most people do, though the fashion is irksome. Galt on the other hand sounds almost exactly the same as its French namesake, and is so plainly France (and at a time not usually associated with fantasy) that I don't see it being inspiring to anyone, really. I've always been an Egypt fanboy so I'll let it slide with Osiriani, though I wish they changed its name.
Numeria is something I write out of my own games, but I think if I played a game set in Numeria and set it in my characters from other nations were in a completely separate universe, I'd probably love it.
Evil creatures always seem to invalidate each other. Like orcs are evil, sure, but there are so many horrible evil things, like demons or devils or oni or worse (another reason I don't care for the lovecraftian elements) that after a while orc becomes a joke.
That said, I recognize that these things aren't necessarily bad. I'm reading other people's opinions, and finding that I like a lot of the things people hate. Gnomes are amazing and unique (and for those who think unusually colored hair began in anime or Warcraft, look no further than Gawain and the Green Knight). Different cultures all together is a fun time. Guns are cool when only a couple people have them and not that cool when everyone does. Andoran is a cool nation.
So as far as I'm concerned, the separation part is maybe my favorite bit here. I can move things and erase things without much effort. I can play exactly the world I want to, and other people can play their own settings, and we'll still have a majority of things in common.
Most people have said most of the things I wanted to say, so I'll stick to these things:
Be especially careful not to treat your girlfriend differently than the others. As a DM this is really hard, because, as people mentioned, there's sort of an antagonistic relationship between player and GM. But understand this much: If you treat your gf differently in game, the other players may notice, and even if they do it without at all meaning to, there's a chance they'll respond with some antagonism as well. Your girlfriend will quite possibly want to play the game as a group experience as well as a girlfriend/boyfriend experience, and if she doesn't have fun with the entire group it will be a miserable experience.
Two solutions I can think of (which you can consider and ignore, really): Don't GM. Theme your character with hers. Consider avoiding your real life dynamic. I'm in 2 campaigns with my girlfriend now. In one of them, we both play halflings. I'm a paladin and she's an evil ranger who takes advantage of my trusting nature to sell my things. (DM agreed to not take my powers for this). It's been loads of fun.
The other solution is just to be sort of light on everyone as DM. This is my "solution" to the other game, where I DM (honestly, it just happens to be my style all the time). I'm running Serpent's Skull (maybe a bad idea) with 4 beginners (more beginners is also a good idea for running a new player), and sort of being a forgiving DM in general has really helped me not have to be antagonistic and let the character aspect really shine through.
What people aren't really talking about: Because this is a girlfriend/boyfriend, this IS a different sort of game. You want it to work well because you really want that person to be happy. A regular new player not want to play the game? Whatever, you know? But a significant other will bring all sorts of pressures because you really, really want them to have fun.
The real trick is not to let that influence your style. Play how you would anything, hope for the best!
The thug fight isn't even dangerous--they're absolutely no threat, and it's the only encounter the PCs face for days, so it's not even for the purpose of attrition. The whole encounter feels like a chore.
Am I the only one who loves this whole bit here? There's a very popular (if perhaps overused) sort of scene in action movies where a two bit thug attempts to rob someone they don't realize is a superhero, only to get completely destroyed. My group isn't here in the campaign yet, I'll admit , so I don't really know how they'll feel... But so far, every battle they've faced has been fairly terrifying and difficult. Getting a small chance in a long journey to remember they're quite extraordinary adventurers seems like a good change of pace!
That's how I'm seeing this whole encounter, at least. I don't really see the choice aspect as mattering too much here. I mean, to each their own, but I figure it's not really a scene with consequences, so much as a little tiny movie scene where the group gets to sort of enjoy the spoils of being hella cool.
First off, thanks so much for this guide, I've been using it a ton to help a friend out with her witch character, it's been all sorts of useful. Couple clarifications:
Not sure if anybody else commented this already, and completely honestly it's pretty unimportant, but coven is actually a bit worse than you stated.
Your statement was "If you have another Witch in the party (or, I guess, a Hag) this one can be kind of useful, but largely a waste of a Hex."
Now, some of those spell-like abilities seem pretty awesome to me, but I'm not very good about that so I'll trust your judgment on that.
But more importantly, covens actually require 3 hags, not just too. And the witch's coven specifically states that it needs to have at least 1 actual hag per coven. So really the statement is closer to "If you have another Witch and a hag in the party (or, I guess, 2 Hags)..." not a big thing at all, but the scenarios in which one could utilize the coven hex are ultra specific.
Also, question: how does scar interact with cackling? If I am correct and it increases the range to up to a mile, I could see this having a more than decent use for those witches with the fortune hex, for instance.
If I was to name one thing I considered a flaw, it would be how many different formulas there are when doing the same thing. On the other hand, I'm not sure how much could be taken away without me missing it.
I always thought it was really weird that when you're trying to hurt someone with a weapon YOU rolled a dice, but when you're trying to use a spell against someone THEY roll a dice. Unless the spell is like a beam, in which case YOU roll a dice again. This, admittedly, isn't that big a deal, especially since the "players roll all the dice" rule seems to be a really elegant fix.
I'd like to sort of get rid of the summoner. It would seem a lot of people feel the same way. The magus is a class I'm on the fence about: It's a beautifully designed class in terms of abilities for sure! But also the fluff information is "Some people use magic like a wizard but they also swing a sword." If you look in the player's guides for the Adventure Paths under "wizard", you'll get things like "In search for the arcane secrets, wizards..." but under magus it'll be like "Some people who love to combine swords and magic..." Which, forgive me, is a little bit lame.
I think we could do to fix firearms... Actually, we could do to fix ranged combat. I've found uses for [composite] longbows, slings/Sling staffs, and shuriken on a low level monk.. But every other ranged weapon seems to be completely worthless, which is unfortunate.
I'd like some character concepts to be playable at level 1. finesse fighters specifically. Getting rid of certain feat taxes would be a wonderful first step towards that.
Mostly though I want things to be better defined. Especially if they're very common archetypes. Right now the one that jumps to mind is all the rules about mounted combat.
Maybe it's because I'm very tired and just drank a ton of caffeine, but this story makes me so happy. I kept expecting your character to die, but it's like your whole group is coming together, all success story and such.
I don't have any advice for you that hasn't been given, but I wanted to give those thoughts right away.
Looking at the forums there have been quite a few threads asking about the Halfling Sling Staff and exactly how it works, rules-wise. I can't find any official (or relatively official) rulings on these matters anywhere, but I feel like the sling staff is such an old weapon (Core rulebook in fact) that there must be something. If not, I'd love to hear some thoughts on all this.
Anyway, some questions:
- Can the halfling sling staff be loaded as a free action with the alternate trait "War Slinger?" On the one hand, it isn't a sling but a sling staff. On the other hand it has sling in the name, and follows the exact same rules as the sling does for reloading and adding strength modifier, implying they're meant to be handled the same. One could argue that the sling staff is a type of sling and thus might qualify.
- Do enhancement bonuses applied to the sling staff modify the weapon as both a ranged and a melee weapon? Some could argue that it would, since the weapon is not a double weapon officially, and doesn't necessarily say it doesn't. Others might argue that it would not, since there are examples of projectile/melee hybrids (mostly firearms with melee weapons attached) that explicitly state that enhancements must be purchased separately. Of course, the counter to that might be that if those weapons do state it, and the sling staff does NOT, then perhaps the sling staff is an exception to that rule. Another argument is the spell bowstaff, which according to fluff only makes the weapon stiff enough to use as a staff, but still transfers enhancement bonuses.
I really thought there were more questions but it turns out that's about it.
I was going to say something about not being able to use spell perfection on either of those spells, but I had forgotten about magical lineage. Do note, however, that doing this is a big feat investment, with boon companion, extra traits, and spell perfection. While he couldn't quicken it, a half-orc druid with beast rider, magical aptitude, and an item creation feat can take 2 levels of pathfinder savant and get access to transformation as well.
Also note that form of the dragon doesn't give you 6 attacks at full BAB but 4 attacks at full BAB and 2 secondaries, which are at BAB-2 and, more importantly, only deal half your strength modifier.
Anyway, at this point you can't deny that you're investing some resources for things similar to what a druid gets already.
However, more importantly, in the end you're not replicating a druid, but fusing the druidic animal companion with the sorcerer's powerful arcane magic. I like this idea a lot actually, and under this sort of thought process seems only sensible that the sorcerer's companion be even stronger than the druid's.
To defend our good friend the druid, we can admit that she gets a lot more mileage out of those same buff spells than the sorcerer does, having wild shape, a higher hit dice and BAB, etc etc. So in terms of fighting in the wild with the help of an animal companion, it would seem the druid still wins first prize.
In the end, it comes down to: Similar feature, but very different style.
Now, that's maybe an acceptable justification, but I mean, it probably wasn't the original intention. As to why Paizo did it? Probably because the game is very large, and they have no real way of predicting every possible option. Combining magical lineage and spell perfection, the boon companion feat, the transformation / share spells combination... There's a lot to look at here. We can't hope to see them get all of it.
So, I'm about to start up a new campaign, and my friend and I are sort of hoping to make characters that can work off each other (while still being effective individually). We're both sort of looking to create support hybrids, with his being more focused on front line fighting and mine being more geared towards ranged combat.
His build is pretty much set: He's going for a cavalier (order of the shield), then into steel falcon as soon as it's available. He took the feat racial heritage (tengu) and intends to eventually take Tengu Wings and Tengu Raven form.
Naturally I want to create a character who can ride on his back.
Right now I'm looking at a halfling paladin, which has a "cheer for the little guy" sort of appeal which is just absolutely heartwarming. Right now I want to try something a little different and go for sling staff/light shield, with the warslinger racial trait. I'd sort of like to be a switch hitter, but I have a feeling with this particular race/class combination it wouldn't be possible. I suppose I'm telling you this because I would be happy to hear general advice, but really I come here with a more specific question.
I can see my little halfling being a valuable teammate right at level 5, when he can have point blank shot, precise shot, and deadly aim. But level 5 is a long time to wait.
So I'm trying to figure out how I would be effective until that point. Divine Hunter seemed like a possibility, but quite frankly I really want some of the vanilla paladin's class features, most notably the divine mount. (It's also incompatible with oath of vengeance, which fits terribly roleplay wise but perfectly mechanics wise.) Another option seems to me to go sort of with a pseudo-switch hitter, using my staff as a melee weapon when all the targets are engaged in melee, taking deadly aim as my first level feat, and delaying precise shot until level 5. A fighter level seems like a valid idea, but then again I love paladin and would rather delay those class features as little as possible.
So anyway, any help that could be offered would be absolutely wonderful, I'll check in here to see how things are going and such periodically.
PS: If it matters we're all using using 15 point buy.
I'm going to agree with this here. Currently I really strongly dislike the idea of Numeria. But I'm the sort of person who can be convinced otherwise by a good writer. If a adventure path in Numeria did come along, I'd certainly be at the least curious.
Dimensional agility grapple is also the most amusing counter to flying enemies ever.
On another note, I've been thinking about trying out a Suli monk, using the favored class bonus to add some unarmed strike bonus damage. I'm not sure if it would ever be worth it but it seems like a cool idea. Any thoughts?
Oh man, thank you so much, there have been a ton of responses here.
I think my favorite here is just to pull the initiative card, since everyone is so ready to respond to things anyway. I'm not going to have anyone flat-footed either, quite frankly.
The universal nature of actions (rather than the wait 6 seconds idea) really helps me see how they could drop the hostages into the fire, but have the flame put out quickly enough not to kill them. So I think I have found a way to resolve this that feels natural and works with my style of gameplay.
Thanks again for all the help, everyone.
This is one of the reasons I dislike the anti-paladin class. Being forced into chaotic evil alignment, with a "Here are the rules: don't follow rules. If you are lawful and follow codes you will lose your powers. Remember if you break this code and set of rules you will lose your powers"
As for your setup: It's an interesting idea, but personally I can easily imagine a paladin of any lawful or even neutral alignment without needing to resort to the idea of a double alignment system. The anti-paladin presented by Paizo, and Unearthed Arcana's paladins of different faiths seem to present that enough. What I'm trying to say is that I believe what you want to do will work, but also that perhaps it is more effort than it is truly worth, and that it'd be easier to simply design the paladin for other alignments.
There's definitely great incentive to do it, but it's ultra feat intensive, and you lose out on the wonders of a 15-20 critical, which standard two-weapon fighting will give you. You also lose out on a lot of cool potential weapon enhancements, which shields, not being weapons, can't actually have.
It has some wonderful advantages, but I'd be hard pressed to call it better.
There's the general question, I suppose. I also want to ask a more specific question. Those unaware with the serpent's skull adventure path might want to keep away from this one. The spoiler is extremely mild but it's a spoiler none-the-less.
So I've been running Serpent's skull with a group, and to get ready for that I've been really quickly doing a test run with some other people (taking out the NPC interactions, etc. to learn what might come up in the real game). Anyway, here's the particular scenario:
The party reaches a room where there are four enemies who are basically about to sacrifice some tar covered people by throwing them into a flame. They warn the party that if they attack them, they'll kill the hostages. There's a paladin in the party, so there's no way at all they'll take that risk.
Now, one of the members of the group is a druid (storm druid to be exact, though it's irrelevant to the situation) who was lucky enough to have sleet storm prepared for the day. He figures (and as DM I agree with him) that casting sleet storm would put out the mundane fire and make the situation something less dire.
The question I have is how to resolve this sort of conflict. It's clearly a hostile scenario, but since no one is actually attacking, is initiative rolled? Can he just "have the spell cast" or is there a process to allow him to attempt this? Is there an official ruling for this sort of scenario, and if not how would you rule it personally?
This question is particularly about the yellow Musk creeper, but I suppose it applies to all scenarios like it as well.
So the YMC has a pollen attack, and when effected, a unit must move at its speed towards the creeper and then stop so as to get infected. The question is, what happens if walking one's speed toward the creeper isn't possible? Say, 4 scenarios:
1. The creeper is in the air so that the unit cannot actually make it.
Would the unit, being under this entrancement, attempt anyway and suffer consequences, stop attempting at the barrier, or would it actively attempt to find a way around said barrier?
Thanks in advance!
I've always really liked the monk-tank idea, and contrary to the belief of some there seems to be a way to do it.
But one thing I'd recommend is not to try to be a fighter tank. A monk isn't a fighter, and if he tries to imitate he'll find he's a weak comparison. Personally, I'd focus on what the monk can do that the fighter can only dream of.
I'd say while a fighter's job as a tank is to gather people's attention, a monk can do it his own way, by using his superior movement to get in people's way first. I feel like dragon style accomplishes this nicely, allowing one to charge through difficult to terrain without issue. At later levels, dimension door improves this even more.
A monk has lower ac than a fighter at lower levels, but even so, the monk undeniably has a greater touch AC. There are things you can work on keeping at bay that a fighter would shiver in his platemail at. And his saves are also going to be quite a bit superior.
While not a big damage dealer or anything of that sort, the monk does have access to stunning fist, which can allow the monk to stall his enemies in his own way.
I forget the name of it, but there is a style feat for monks which allow them to use sense motive as AC once a round, which can get fairly incredible. If I remember correctly, another style allows a monk to gain free attack actions against those who attack in his threatened spaces.
Shuriken are a very unusual choice for a ranged attack, but arguments have been made that they can be used in a variety of ways, dealing strength damage with flurry of blows at a range right out of the box.
Essentially, I imagine a monk would fill an interesting niche as a very mobile tank, the defensive version of a skirmisher. I am not experienced enough to solidify this idea, but it seems appealing to me. I suggest seeing if someone else on this forum proves me wrong or expands on the ideas.
First off, apologies if there's a rule against reviving old topics. I couldn't find the information on it and since this is a guide thread I figured it might still be "active" in one sense or another.
Anyway, the thing I want to bring up is to ask about the viability of a Tengu monk. They seem to have an ok stat array for it, but what's really catching my eye is their proficiency with the 7-branched sword, which is a 1d10 two-handed disarming monk weapon, 20/x3 critical.
If I understand correctly, a monk would be able to flurry with this weapon, and while by RAW she wouldn't get the 1.5x strength multiplier to damage, she would still be able to get the -1/+3 given by power attack for a weapon wielded in two hands.
Even without enhancing the sword, this option seems to do more damage all through a monk's 20 levels, and this gap is wider at early levels. Would this be enough of a reason to consider a tengu even with their penalty to constitution?
The issue with TWF is that when you aren't smiting, your damage isn't going to be too awesome.
The other issue is that TWF costs a ton of feats. The other issue is that it requires you have a decent dexterity score when the paladin doesn't have that much free roaming space. I guess the final issue I can think of is that enhancing two weapons is expensive even with your divine weapon option.
That said, two-weapon fighting will give you the most smiting damage. Sword and board might be a bit preferable, with all the shield feats and such.
If you're planning to be the party's tank, I'd go with two-handed or sword and board for sure. The multiple taxes two-weapon fighting puts on you will show in your AC and hit points.
But if you're going for more of a striker position, and have someone to take the front lines if you need to dart, two-weapon fighting can be excellent on attack returns.
Note: If you go two-weapon fighting, you want to have high crit ratio weapons. Dual wielding kukri and taking the improved critical feat is possibly the best way to do it: smite multiplies on a crit, and if you're not maximizing smite damage two weapon fighting is not worth it.
Way I see it, both styles are viable enough in the longrun.