Problem is, the GM believes the Repose Domain's 'Gentle Rest' ability is OP, and wants to swap it out.
Did you discuss adding a saving throw to the Gentle Rest ability? The only thing that strikes me as OP about it is the lack of a save (although compare to Ray spells that require a ranged touch but don't allow saves). DC should scale or the ability becomes useless as you level up, so 10+ 1/2 level + WIS mod.
Is there some reason you're not considering an inquisitor? They can be extraordinarily powerful archers. Additionally, their spells and skills make them quite versatile.
In addition to the other suggestions, if you have a powerful caster in the party, Spell Storing is a good option.
Two variants on the party antagonist from my friend's campaign (sadly ended early):
1) The Dubious Benefactor. A LE caster who never attacked us or, as far as we were aware, ever caused us any trouble. In fact he commissioned us for a couple of jobs that appeared to be quite legit, paid well and promptly. He was careful to arrange a couple of meetings that would show him to be powerful and merciless. "But it's just business." IIRC the GM said he was never more than a couple of levels above us, but he made it a point to never give us a reason to come after him. Eventually he could have turned into the BBEG, or maybe we would have worked an arrangement and the Final Boss would have been someone else.
2) The Pain in the Neck. This was a Druid, also no more than a couple of levels higher than us. But she was very much at cross-purposes to our party and almost never let us see her directly. Instead she popped up near us, tossed some spells or summons that interfered with what we were doing, sometimes snagged the mcguffin before us, and always had a getaway. The last time we saw her she was a couple of hundred feet away on the edge of a roof by the river. Flipped us the finger, dove off the roof and turned into a seal or something on the way down. I think in the end her status could have gone multiple directions depending on how we decided to approach her. She was basically a nature champion, and we were from the primary city in that world.
The different perspectives here are really useful. If you look at it as gimping or scrapping the encounter, or modifying to go easy on the players, then it feels bad - it's like you're cheating as GM. BUT if you look at it as trying to deliver the awesome set piece you've planned, then not so bad.
Assassins in D&D-style games are a problem. For one, they would certainly try to pick off their targets one by one rather than as a party. For another, they are going to do everything they can to make sure their target stays dead. That means stealing or destroying the body or potentially even more elaborate means to prevent resurrection. (This actually suggests two or more levels of assassination, priced accordingly. The highest level prevents anything short of true resurrection. A cheaper level just makes sure the body isn't found for 10+ days (prevents raise dead). The cheapest is just a kill; nobody's concerned if the target's associates can get them back. This would be more a 'send these guys a message' attack.) And finally, effective assassins are going to know everything possible about their targets: Level, abilities, equipment, typical spells, strategies, you name it. And they're going to have ways to deal with it all.
If you've decided not to nuke the solo PC, there are ways around it. You've already suggested a delay that holds off the attempt until later. Alternatively, you could have someone get word to the party, or to Bill, that the assassins were going after the flying ship, giving them a chance to get PC out of there or get the whole party on the ship in time. You could engineer another encounter on the ship that screws up the assassination attempt - and potentially lets the solo PC know the assassins were there.
Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
If you’re planning a PFS character, be aware you’ll run pretty close to recommended Wealth by Level. That means when you’re finishing your career at 11th level, you’re looking at 82k total. You’ll never be able to afford the Labrys. Affording Warbringer would mean buying nearly nothing most of your career.
From all the notes above, one key takeaway is that the system you use for rolling the stats is pretty important. Simple 3d6 x 6 can be absolutely brutal. 4d6 drop lowest does pretty well (I think but can't be sure it approximates a 20-point buy). There are plenty of other options to take the sting out, such as 2d6+6, d10+8, or adding rerolls for 1s and 2s.
But suppose you're going with 3d6 only. Enough feats are tied to ability scores that I'd certainly think twice about playing an entire AP with a significantly substandard character. But hey, if your players are cool with it, have a ball!
Getting ready to run the scenario this weekend, and one of the things I'm hung up on is the heresy devil. He really seems primed to shred a party that's not ready to deal with deeper darkness. "...he avoids using his blasphemous bile and summon abilities, nor does he cast any of the following spells: stinking cloud, unhallow, or unholy blight." Of course he's not going to use unhallow, it has a 24 hour casting time. But he's got blasphemy, and against a 7-8 party that will be devastating. Did other GM's just stick with searing words or was there another approach?
Under the equipment listing, you have: Headband of Cha +6, Int +2. Unless your GM has a house rule for it, that's not a legal combination. Bonuses from headbands and belts have to be balanced (See Headband of Mental Prowess or Headband of Mental Superiority). Even as a house rule, the cost looks low. A scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone would provide the same benefit and costs 8000gp, or 4k crafted.
Marshal Theoden wrote:
Your big problem as I see it is only having the bow(s) and arrows for weaponry. A Hasted uRogue Goblin, for example, can pretty well puree anything that it can sneak attack, but it needs Two Weapon Fighting and appropriate blades. (Flank buddies, too, but let's assume your other party members can supply that.)
Since you need your bows to be able to get through the remaining fights, I would recommend building out an Inquisitor, and yes, as an archer. You'd still have lots of options from the skill ranks and spells, the saves would be good, and it gets the benefit of your belt and headband.
Check with the GM about crafting. I don't know how Kingmaker is set up for downtime, but often there's a fair amount of leeway. If the GM allows you time to craft, find out what the others aren't already making and go to work!
OMG, that 10th level reroll for the HH Pact Wizard. No wonder people think it's OP. Fix a blown save or make a CL check to beat SR? Yes, please!
The scenarios that are designed to introduce players to Pathfinder and PFS are all targeted at level 1-2. See The Confirmation, The Wounded Wisp, and The Consortium Compact. Replayable Scenarios
If you're set on running 4th level characters, I'd go with a Season 3 scenario. If it's written for 1-5, possibly adjust the 4-5 tier to be a little easier. A 3-7 should take care of itself. 3-19, The Icebound Outpost might fit.
I'm actually making a PFS gunslinger right now, and I'm going to take all 10 levels of Gray Corsair with him..
You realize, I hope, that regular PFS only goes to 11th level, so you’d only get six levels of Gray Corsair. (You may have a group set for Seeker-level play, but that’s not regular PFS.)
The key question is how dispersed this army is. Very few spells can affect widely-separated targets. Best bets as far as I can tell are Cloudkill and Firefall.
Edit: Cloudkill would most definitely take care of your criteria, assuming your caster can position correctly. Initial 20' radius is 44 squares, with an additional 12 squares/round. At CL 10, it moves for 10 minutes or 100 rounds, so the maximum is 1232 squares if I'm calculating right.
Firefall is just barely in criteria, as the 60' radius should cover about 450 squares, so 1800 for four castings.
This is Paizo-only. There may be 3rd party spells that work as well or better.
So here's the deal: I'm trying to run a game for my family. I have almost no experience GMing(I've run a small oneshot, but I've got plenty of player experience), and most the players have their play experience from that game(Execpt my mom, who's started coming with me to society play and has the best idea of how to play out of all of them, and my younger siblings who are 8 and 11). I'm running two games, one for my younger siblings, and the other for the rest. I'm just looking for any advice that more experienced GMs might have. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Second-hand advice: A friend of mine who designed a FRPG for young kids said a key element is to focus as much as possible on the youngest child at the table. They probably have the shortest attention span and the weakest grasp of what's going on, so spend extra effort keeping them engaged.
Not that I'm aware of. Tome of Clear Thought is permanent, but an inherent bonus. Ditto using a wish spell.
Between posts from non-native English speakers and posts composed on tiny smartphone screens, there are far too many good reasons for typos, misspellings, and um, alternate wordings on these forums. No disrespect intended Alzhan! But I confess I was giggling madly at the thought of a Battle Oracle vigorously shaking their behind on the dance floor.
I was going to write a long post about heraldic design and history, but almost none of it is relevant to Pathfinder, so what the hell. 99.9% of players don't care about it one way or the other.
marcryser, it's a very pretty design, well done. My attempt at the blazon (heraldic description):
"Per pale fleury argent and sable, to sinister a crow displayed sable and on a sun gules two wooden stakes crossed proper."
The only option I think might work - meaning I’d allow it as GM - is the alternate version of telekinetic blast: “Alternatively, you can loosen the strands of aether in order to deal damage to both the object and the target as though you had thrown the object yourself (instead of dealing your normal blast damage). You substitute your Constitution modifier for your Strength modifier if throwing the object would have added your Strength modifier on the damage roll, and you don’t take the –4 penalty on the attack roll for throwing an object that wasn’t designed to be thrown. In this case, the object’s special effects apply (including effects from its materials), and if the object is a weapon, you must be proficient with it and able to wield it with one hand; otherwise, the item deals damage as a one-handed improvised weapon for a creature of your size.“
But if you’re not a telekineticist, I think you’re out of luck.
I am Nemesis wrote:
Rolled stats? I get that as a 29 point buy.your forgetting +1 Wis @ 4th level
Ah. I misunderstood what you meant by ‘original’.
Bashing enchantment ='s 2 sizes larger
Light shield d3, Large goes to d4, two sizes larger would be 1d8, I think.correct. then add Powerful Build (use large weapons) to get 2d6, net total is 3 sizes larger.
In regular Pathfinder, the ability to use Large weapons doesn’t make the weapon itself larger or treat it as larger. Take a look at the Titan Mauler Barbarian archetype and the Inappropriately Sized Weapons rules to see how it works. Powerful Build seems to be another 3rd party thing, so it could be different, but everything I saw online looked equivalent. Not saying you’re wrong in the context of your game group, just saying it’s not in sync with the way most of us play.
Thanks for the explanation!
I am Nemesis wrote:
Rolled stats? I get that as a 29 point buy.
That’s not how Scion of Humanity works, alas. It qualifies you for feats with Human prerequisites, but it doesn’t give you the Human floating +2. And Dual Talent is a Human alternate trait.
Chosen Aasimar Abilities: +2 Wis & Powerful Build (use large weapons)
There’s no Aasimar trait or feat I’m aware of that gives you an additional +2.
Bashing enchantment ='s 2 sizes larger
Light shield d3, Large goes to d4, two sizes larger would be 1d8, I think.
All that being said: If your GM and the other players are cool with this build, keep enjoying yourselves! Just be ready for some big adjustments if you start playing PFS or join another campaign.
War Scholar, according to d20pfsrd.com, is 3rd party material from Rite Publishing. Thats' where the teamwork equivalent to the Inquisitor's Solo Tactics comes from. I can't figure that statblock at all. 10,16,16,10,24,10? And 2d6 as base damage for a shield? Shield bash for a light shield is 1d3, so for Large, what 1d4 or 6? Finally, Shield Champion does not allow a free action throw - it's an attack, so has to be a standard action.
Fractured Jester wrote:
The only way I've ever played (or seen played in PFS) is that you get bonus spells as soon as you reach the appropriate level. I.e. With a 20 Int, your wizard starts with two bonus first level spells for a total of 3/day. When he reaches Wiz3, he gets his bonus spell as well as the usual one. And so on.
NPCs are much more challenging than monsters. A single lvl 11 NPC is a CR 10 encounter. Three of them are CR13, or for your 8th level party, APL+5. This is not a fight you are going to win straight up. Gestalt will make up for some of it, but still, you're beyond Epic on the encounter table.
You only win by leveling the playing field. You want to fight them one at a time, not all at once. You want to fight them after they've already used a lot of their daily resources (tough with a rogue or monk) but you're fresh. You want to metaphorically sneak up behind them and hit them hard before they know the fight has started. You want to find out what their weaknesses are and attack them that way.
There's no magic formula for beating a particular NPC class. Especially at higher level, the differences between builds can be huge. To make matters worse, a God Wizard is pretty much only limited by what spells they have access to.
That being said, the GM is not a neutral party here. He/she can *always* generate encounters you can't overcome. The GM knows what your party can do and can counter all your best abilities. The GM knows your weaknesses and can exploit them. For example, I was playing in a level 12 game where two of our big attacks were a Musket Master and cleric who channel-dazed opponents. The Boss fight had mooks with Steel-Mind Caps and Fickle Winds spells on them. (The Boss had been spying on us, it was a legit tactic.)
But a not-terrible GM doesn't throw a CR+5 encounter at you just to make you squirm. Perhaps they want you to take a different approach than a straight fight. Perhaps they want you to be impressed with the NPCs now so you feel more satisfied beating them after you've leveled up - and maybe more than once. You need to get a feel for what your GM is trying to do. Some GMs are willing to talk about that kind of thing straight up, others want you to figure it out for yourself. The latter might require some - possibly a lot - of non-combat roleplaying.
Oh, so your spell is only +1 to AC? Is that a shield bonus? Those are important to know.
But as others have pointed out, this is an immediate action cantrip. There's essentially zero cost for casting it every round. I think if you make it a move action and drop the feats and abilities clause, it's more in line with other cantrips. That's assuming only +1 shield bonus to AC.
Fixed my error, sorry about that.
The GM has quite a bit of experience. He does a very good job. I think his problem is that he follows the AP a little bit too literally, and Paizo doesn't do a very good job with their written tactics.
You may have zeroed in on the problem and indirectly, the solution. Have the GM try one or two combats where he has the opponents make good use of their abilities. Give him free rein to I've been playing some level 13-15 content with a GM who works to make things challenging. If we are slow and careless approaching a fight, he has the opponents throw up buffs, position themselves, and ready spells and attacks. They use smart battlefield control. Illusions and invisibility can make a combat much more exciting (or frustrating, depending on your mood).
I agree that it's terribly unbalancing, but for the reverse reason. Other classes can get arcane cantrips (by a one-level dip if nothing else). Making it an immediate action is a huge advantage, especially for any class that doesn't use swift actions a lot.
I'm not sure these guys are as strong as you seem to believe.
Contains monster details:
Check the DCs against your PC saves. Those are some bad effects, but if the PC saves 80% of the time it's not so big a threat. Your wraiths, especially are in this category. The BB has a lot of hit points, but I'm not seeing a lot of other defense besides the DR. You say you want it to be recurring. What will you do if the party is winning the first fight? Shouldn't it have a way to escape? At only 9hp, the wraiths should be going down on the first hit even with DR5. Being able to fly makes them a bit more scary to the PC back line casters but doesn't protect the Big Bad.
You should have the PC's basic stats even if you don't have copies of the character sheets. I'd recommend you simulate the fight once or twice and see how it works out before you try it with the players.
My recommendation is to try to spend some time with each player and work out their background. Find out what they want for their character and how that can fit into your world. And importantly: *make sure this actually matters in the game.* Not just the obvious PC race & class mechanics, but if they are from city-state X, they actually have all the basic local knowledge. They should have local connections, family and friends as appropriate. In other words, don't treat them as completely naive and ignorant.
As far as their starting circumstance is concerned, the races & classes are going to make a big difference. Two arcane casters in a land where magic isn't trusted and a tiefling that is going to be hated on sight. You didn't specify if Tengu are considered monstrous, but that wouldn't be surprising. So you've got reasons for three, possibly four of your party to start the game on the run or in the shadows.
You can use the Suicide Squad/Dirty Dozen approach. Someone wants a dangerous job done and 'recruits' a group of outcasts.
Another thought: Have them all in the same city for a festival. Something bad happens, like a riot or an attack by some outside (possibly even extraplanar) force. The party winds up in the same spot by chance. They're confronted by some obvious menace - this gives them a chance to get one combat in before worrying much about roleplaying. Be sure it's something they can handle. But after resolving the fight, they get picked up by the local guards (religious police?) on suspicion of causing the riot/attack/whatever. It doesn't have to be clear how long they'll be held or what will happen next. Others are held with them, giving them a chance to gather information. So, do they escape, is there a general jailbreak, do they get assigned to some dangerous civil duty as punishment, or does someone get them out? Up to you.
Hope these ideas help a bit.
You're quite right, and I guess I wasn't clear. There are plenty of ways a non-plot-related encounter can benefit a game. But I've got a current GM who likes random encounters for their own sake, and frankly some of them are a waste of game time. My advice to TheLeviathanQuandry could also be summed up as 'have a purpose for your random encounters.'
Assuming you're running a homebrew campaign, as opposed to a Paizo Adventure Path, I have a general recommendation on random encounters. Mostly you should avoid them. They suck up table time on activity that, by definition, does not advance the plot. They will either be trivial or suck up party resources in fighting or escaping. They can often leave the players thinking the GM is just screwing with them rather than working on the cooperative storytelling that can be such an enjoyable part of this game.
That being said, a GM might have good reason to insert a random encounter. You might want to illustrate the hazards of the environment. You might want to add some variety to a session that is otherwise all roleplay. You might want to see how they react to certain threats. You might want to have them use up some resources before a planned encounter (be careful with that one - they deserve to succeed more easily if they've made the right preparations and you don't want them feeling you've neutralized an advantage they earned).
To my way of thinking, a 'random' encounter should be more or less the kind that shows up in PFS scenarios. It occurs at a fixed time and location, it's generally CR+/-1, and only the particular foe is chosen by the dice.
Where’s the Weapon Focus to qualify for Outslug? Close weapon mastery doesn’t kick in until level 5.
You can absolutely get a great Intimidating build on a Barbarian, even if you have to take the -1 from a low Cha score. But in this case it looks like your GM is doing you a huge favor, not only tossing aside the -1 but saving you a feat (Intimidating Prowess). As a combat build, you'll want to work toward Cornugon Smash at level 6. You can get a great boost off of Gravelly Tonic (50gp, +5 alchemical bonus, 1 hour) and Elixir of the Thundering Voice (250gp, +10 competence bonus, 1 hour).
You can get Dazzling Display, but I don't think it's worthwhile. Rather than spend a round debuffing enemies within 30', you want to get yourself in position and deal damage.
As for overall builds, look for the guides. Links are in the top pinned threads in this forum.
Building a homebrew weapon(Threading gloves), but need to decide if it should just be a homebrew class, or what class would get the most leverage from the custom weapon.
Before you ask about the gloves, you need to give a clearer explanation of Thread. That seems to be the specialized ammunition that does different damage types and allows ranged combat maneuvers. Thread seems to come in spools. Is there a difference between the composition of the thread and the spool? Are they different objects, with the thread wound on the spool, or is the spool just a certain quantity of thread? How is Thread consumed or used up? How much Thread is on a Spool?
Further questions: Are Threading Gloves required in order to use Thread and/or Spools in combat? If not, what advantages do they provide? How many different Spools can you load in the gloves? How many can you attack with at once? Are all Thread attacks ranged attacks? Do they necessarily provoke AOOs? How do Thread Combat Maneuvers interact with Improved Trip or Improved Grapple?
Slashing: Get rid of the amputation and beheading options unless they’re big-time magical enhancements. Maybe amputate is a +2 enhancement and beheading is +5 and each only happens on a confirmed crit. Likewise, bleed damage should be a magical enhancement in line with other weapons that have bleeding enhancement options.
You're welcome. Based on what I've read here on the boards, you may want to look closely at the 2-Weapon Rend feat. The generally commentary is that it's not worth a feat, although I don't recall what alternatives are suggested. Assassinate is also a difficult talent. Since "This attempt automatically fails if the target recognizes the slayer as an enemy," I'm not sure if it's possible to use it in combat.
Assuming the tattoos provide no more magical powers or abilities than the fancy clothes, it shouldn't be any different most of the time. About the only circumstance where you'd get an advantage is where you're dragged out of bed or bath, or captured and stripped, but how often does that happen?
The concept here is to pull enemies from (up to) hundreds of feet across the map and have them land next to you, prone. The basic combo is Wolf Trip and toppling magic missile.
Better make sure your GM(s) will allow moving the opponent more than 10 feet. While it is certainly within Rule as Written, it's hard to imagine that it's Rule as Intended. I wouldn't allow it at my table for PFS unless I was overruled by an officer.
Speaking of which, when I've used toppling magic missle, I was only allowed a single CMB check. There was only one target in that case, but I am not sure if the GM was going to allow checks against multiple targets off the same spell.
The only thing I did well on building my first PFS character was selecting his domains. Travel and Liberation. Travel is praised already, but Liberation is also excellent. At low levels, ignoring difficult terrain for a few rounds is fantastic. At level 8+, Freedom's Call can be huge. Black Tentacles grabbed the whole party? Nope, not the ones within 30 feet of the Liberation cleric.
Luck domain is also great. Who doesn't want to pass around a half dozen re-rolls? But you do need to be adjacent to your party, so it could present some challenges to a ranged character.
In my PFS Seeker-level group (started at level 12, currently 15) we have a cleric of Dispater/Diabolist basically built around the Rulership variant channeling. It does half damage or 1/4 on a save, but the ones that fail are dazed. He's got a stupid number of channels/day, can toss off a quickened channel or a targeted ray (save DC is +4). A lot of our opponents never really get to act.
How much will you allow the characters to know about undead? Obviously the players can do all the research they want, but are you going to require Knowledge Religion checks to act on it? If so, that might be another area to give the characters a boost. Perhaps, rather than a straight bonus to K(Religion), grant them full knowledge of basic undead up to CR = character level +2 and only require rolls for knowledge of variants or higher level opponents.
You allude to tactics being against the party in the skeleton encounter. That's huge. You might want to factor the tactical situation into the CR. Finally, it's less about the CR of a single encounter than how all the encounters stack up between chances to rest and resupply.