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V-Monk! Thank you so much. Game is tomorrow, and of course I've cut things to the last minute. This though, is exactly what I needed. I'll tweak things a bit, but this fits perfectly outside the Faerie dragon's cave.

I'm also using the Pugwampi. At first, he's actually too big, but I've come up with a story way to get him to be only huge size in relation to the party.

Hi folks. This is a bump. I've been away for a bit, but I'm about to run for my group in a micro sized world. Came here for inspiration, and very glad I did. Seeing if folks have anything new to add or link, that I might shamelessly plunder.

Shout outs to the dust bunnies, blighted sprites, frostwing butterflies, scoop toads, and lightning bugs. I think all of these are likely to show up in my campaign.

Hope to see more. Hope others might enjoy this thread.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Prestidigitations are minor tricks that novice spellcasters use for practice. Once cast, a prestidigitation spell enables you to perform simple magical effects for 1 hour. The effects are minor and have severe limitations. A prestidigitation can slowly lift 1 pound of material. It can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round. It can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material. It cannot deal damage or affect the concentration of spellcasters. Prestidigitation can create small objects, but they look crude and artificial. The materials created by a prestidigitation spell are extremely fragile, and they cannot be used as tools, weapons, or spell components. Finally, prestidigitation lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects. Any actual change to an object (beyond just moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.

The spark example is completely untrue. In Pathfinder Prestidigitation has a specific list of what it can do and igniting a flame is not on the list. Many GM may have allowed it to do so, but that is a house rule. Spark was created because this is really something a spell caster should be to easily do and is not powerful enough to be more than a cantrip. Prestidigitation was not meant to be the catch all spell that does everything it was designed to do minor parlor tricks.

I stand corrected. I was recalling prestidigitation from D&D (I think 3.x). In that system, producing a flame from your fingertips was an example of the spell's capabilities. I didn't realize that option was gone in Pathfinder.

You mentioned this player needs to b given tasks, that the mega dungeon tends to backfill with enemies, and that once a task is given she is on point and focused. With the social skills and underlings the rogue has access to, why not task her with coming up with solutions to stop the backfill. Start making plans to franchise and open trade depots with the inhabitants of the clear/safe parts of the dungeon. She can take point on this, but collaboration with her fellow players will probably come in at some point.

Not trying to stifle your creativity, just asking for clarity. While the names are your own, how do these beings and their plane differ from the negative energy plane? Are they similar/the same? If so, I'd scroll exiting templates for those types of creatures. If they are more distinct, in what ways?

Utter nothingness is obviously an abstract concept. Some might argue that even thought is something. We were mortals can't truly conceive of nothing. That being said, you might embrace the brain bendy contradictoriness of these creatures and look at abilities from the denizens of the planes of chaos, madness, and or thoughts. For the thought aspect, not sure if it's the Astral or Ethereal plane where thoughts/ideas are reality, but I'd look there.

Late night ramble; sorry folks!

The TL;DR of my above post: Prestidigitation and its relative spells are the attempt of Vancian magic game designers to allow for some of the perks of non-vancian systems. But, with the advent of every new supplement of spells, Prestidigitation's versatility by RAW gets whittled away.

Best solution for my groups. Prestidigitation gets grandfathered in for what it could originally do by RAW/RAI. If someone wants to take one of the newer, more niche spells, it's a roleplay choice, and it may or may not come with some tiny in game bonus at time of use. GM, story, group's call.

Chell Raighn wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:

If you use Prestidigitation to create a mundane disguise that changes your appearance of: gender, race, age, or size category, then you're emulating what the skill Disguise (Cha) can do, and you would be allowed to make Disguise checks per normal rules (albeit with massive negatives).

Using Prestidigitation in this way does not emulate Disguise Self in the slightest, because Disguise Self doesn't apply any negatives for changing gender, race, or change height/fat/thin and furthermore you gain a +10 bonus to your Disguise check.

So using Prestidigitation to create a mundane disguise is perfectly kosher.

I don’t think Disguise Self is the problematic spell using it this way risks emulating… but rather Fabricate Disguise… which after reading the spell description… functions exactly how someone would expect Prestidigitation to work to create a mundane disguise…

A sloppy “disguise” could be done with prestidigitation… sloppy enough to not actually qualify as a disguise therefore not even getting the +5 for “minor details only” if even allowed a disguise check at all…

Your reasoning is entirely correct. I'm not sure how old the spell you linked is, but it's a perfect example of Prestidigitation's greatest weakness. Prestidigitation is an old spell at this point. I know it's been around since the beginning of 3.0, but I feel relatively safe in assuming it has been around since first edition. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, prestidigitation gets cut down in its versatility with every new supplement, splat book, and supporting publication. Especially in the 3.x/Pathfinder era, this is an enormous list, even without taking into account 3pp.

Another easy example, the spell Spark. Prestidigitation is said to be able to produce a small flame to light a candle. Spark can instantaneously ignite a small fire, a candle, lantern, or any other ignitable thing. So, does Prestidigitation now lose its fire ability? I actually love the plethora of spells out there in some ways. They help to balance mechanical/rules consistency with players' desires for variety and versatility. But, the down side of having all of these options, assuming your group plays with them, is that some of the classic multi-purpose versatility spells get hamstrung.

I may have my terms mixed up, so again, please feel free to correct me, but I think the troubles with prestidigitation provide a good example of the troubles with Vancian magic in general. Magic is perhaps one of the most difficult concepts for fantasy games to encapsulate. Magic can do basically everything. Many systems try and let that be the guide, and allow players to do or describe whatever they want. Problem is, playing with a group, when someone has magic they become the yes button. Why bother with anything else. (Similar verbage, but I swear, THIS IS NOT about the martial/caster debate.) This is more akin to Superman vs. Red Tornado, Phoenix vs. ShadowCat, or more aptly Doc Strange vs. Mr. Fantastic. Basically the everything character vs. the themed or specialist character. But . . . I've segued too much here.

The issue is wrangling magic. To keep thing fair, balanced, fun, what have you, role playing systems have to try and impose rules on magic. Systems like Marvel or White Wolf try to let you create whatever you want (similar to crafting your own spells in Pathfinder), but then place rules on the mechanics of the actions you take to achieve your desired goals. With Marvel, the rules are so sparse and open to interpretation, you either end up with the god wizard, or a character who can't act until everything is already over. White Wolf and other systems that use spell points keep things better contained and still functional, but the rules for building/crafting/casting a spell are massive, complicated, and ponderous.

So we jump back to the Vancian system. Pre made spells with specific standardized actions, mechanics, numeric variables, and rules of application. As complicated as casters can be, way less book keeping and math headaches for most players. The down side, because everything is already laid out and defined, no matter how many options you have, a single magic character really CAN'T do everything. You can play with flavor text/fluff quite a bit, but if you want a mechanical benefit to go with your creativity, you're out of luck. But, the game designers saw this trouble, and so we get spells like Prestidigitation, and Wish, and several others I probably don't know to name. And, if you're willing to put up with the headache of building your own spells, with a friendly GM, you can. But then you run into balance problems, and game time usage, and all the other niggling details. So, bold and savvy designers, seeing a desire in the market for more spells, they make them. And the versatile spells get nibbled away at. The pendulum swings back and forth. . . . Dang it! Why can't magic just be simple :p

Chell Raighn wrote:
Java Man wrote:
Chell Raighn wrote:

The only thing having extra iterative attacks does for natural weapons is enables you to use multiple natural weapons that require use of the same limb. For example if you had a bite and a gore, you would need atleast BAB +6 to attack with both in the same round since they both are attacks using your head. Another example is if you had Claws and were to gain access to 2x Slam attacks using your arms, you would similarly require +6 BAB to use both claws and both slam attacks In One round, you could still do one attack of each or both attacks of one type without +6 BAB though.

99% of the time though having +6 or higher BAB will not change how many natural attacks you make.

If you have an animal companion that only has one natural attack, Such as a Wolf, then the Multiattack feature for Animal Companions will let them make extra natural attacks with high BAB, but that is a special exception only for animal companions.

I have never heard of this +6 BAB two natural weapons on the same limb rule, can you point to to the text for it?

It’s in the exact rules text Derklord posted.

"You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus. Instead, you receive additional attack rolls for multiple limb and body parts capable of making the attack (as noted by the race or ability that grants the attacks)." CRB pg. 182

By RAW, you cannot use the same limb to deliver more than one natural attack unless you have a high enough BAB to have an iterative attack.

Sorry, but you are drawing the incorrect conclusion from that line of rules text. In the first sentence, it is explained that a high BAB does not grant additional natural attacks. This means, that even if you have a BAB +20, if you only have a bite attack, you're still only getting one bite. The only way to bite multiple times with the same bite is via monstrous feats or class features like on a Summoner's Eidolon.

The second sentence, as indicated by the instead, is explaining how one may do more than a single Natural weapon attack. They are granted by having the appropriate body part or limb that allows the attack, which is to say, you need a stinger to sting, a tail to slap, a tentacle to tentacle, etc. The loading up of multiple attacks on the same limb has always caused confusion because, when referring to arms and legs, there are few (if any) creatures which have multiple weapons on the same limb. This is mostly a hypothetical abstract. By comparison, there are numerous creatures with the bite/gore combo, even more with the stinger/tail slap. The only hard and fast rule we really have, is that you can't use a natural attack on the same limb you used to wield a forged weapon with.

Multiple natural attacks, one per body part/attack available, are right there in the rules. It's why low level natural attack builds can be so powerful in combat. With the right combos you can easily have 3,4, or maybe more attacks at level 1, and most/all at full Str.

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Big respect normally to Chell, but I will have to second that that's all wrong. You absolutely can use a gore and bite on the same turn at level 1 if you had the ability. The only hinky spot comes with claws/pincers/slams if/when they are on the same limb.

As to the OP: BAB on characters in relation to number of attacks per turn affects Iterative attacks. Iterative attacks explicitly are those made with a forged/manufactured/crafted weapon. (Technically unarmed strikes fall here too, but let's not confuse the issue) So, with your BAB at 7, you are entitled to two attacks (at +7, and +2) with your greatsword, when taking a full attack action. During this full attack action, you may also include any Natural weapon attacks you may have. However, all Natural attacks when combined with forged weapon attacks are treated as secondary natural attacks. That means you can use the bite, but only with your BAB -5 (+2, in this case). Secondary Natural weapons also only add half your Str mod on damage. These restrictions reflect the difficulty/awkwardness of combing weapon attacks with Natural weapons.

So, TLDR: Full attack with Greatsword and Bite at BAB +7 ---> one sword at +7, one sword at +2, and one bite at +2.

P.S.: For other options or confusion :p . . . . If you had multiple Natural attacks, let's say claw, bite, slam. You could do all three of those as a full attack action at level one, and each would be at full strength.

With the right backstory, a GM can give permission to aquire racial spells outside of their norms. That's how my ratfolk knew mudball, a goblin spell, at first level. As long as it's not something inherent to the biology or intrinsic nature of the race, this is definitely a RAI option, and possibly RAW, but I can't recall where the exact text is.

I mostly agree with DeathlessOne's last post. To parahrase a quote from Ghost, "Mark! You in danger boy."

But, to play, devil's advocate, I see a tiny seed of hope in your exchange with the paladin player. He did say he has tried to engage with NPCs. I don't think you're guilty of demanding that your players handle things only one way, but in your depression and frustration, I think you might have fallen into a singular syntax. The impression I got from your relay of the email exchange, is that the paladin player wants to engage, but he (and possibly the others) either can't or won't do so as an "Actor". What I mean by this is that some players really struggle to put themselves into the shoes of their character. It's nearly impossible for these players to speak "in character" and so they do rely on die rolls and mechanics. These tools are how those players narrate their characters actions AND intentions. Basically they need to just tell what they are doing or trying to accomplish, because they're not strong on showing it. If you can open yourself up to that different gaming language, you might just to be able to find the emotional common ground.

Now, all that said, that's a hell of a hypothetical happy blossom out of one tiny hope seed. I know how long you've struggled with this group. If you need to, step away. Don't let your love for this hobby die.

Yes, lean into video game and movie tropes. Not so much MMORPGs, but more storyline adventure games. Think Legend of Zelda from the N64 generation, the Final Fantasy franchise, or Diablo. Your fun gets to come from colorful cut scenes where you narrate for a bit, your players get stretches of combats and skill challenges sprinkled with gp, trophies, and shiny new toys.

Also strongly second the over the top characters bit. Get creative, get weird, but don't get deep unless your players bite the lure. This crew will probably be fine with fish hooking/railroading, so lay out the story you want to tell, and let them act out their parts in the play.

As to the bestiary question, again yes. But, hunt for stuff that excites you. Run creatures you love mechanically or just for flavor. Choose creatures that don't necessarily fit the dungeon, but that you've just always wanted to try out. I know your players are rules sticklers, but it is your prerogative as a gm to customize creatures. Have fun with templates, and mix and match monster abilities. Hopefully this can give you some fun back, and maybe your renewed enthusiasm will perk their interests enough that they might start to care.

All else failing, I think you and I might both be the tilt at windmills type, but it may be time to see the golden helmet for the shaving basin it is. You may need to scrap the campaign and start with a fresh slate of characters and expectations. Or, ultimately, it may be time to step away entirely. You've put a lot into the game/group, but it's starting to sound like you're the only one trying in a failing marriage.

As always, good luck. Hope you're doing okay man.

At first blush, I would say go in blind. Whatever you choose, make sure it's something you've never played before. Read only the back cover, intro, or synopsis before you build your character(s). If you're trying to create an "authentic" play experience, you want as little metagame foreknowledge as possible.

Since you are playing solo, I'd also advise you build characters you've always wanted, but never gotten, to play. If you've got any themes or teams in mind, go for it; even if they aren't optimal or entirely campaign/setting appropriate.

Off the top of my head, it's probably my current character's outfit. I took the trait rich parents. I then used most of my starting gold to buy a slew of masterwork tools and kits. The single biggest ticket item(s) though, are my clothes, which had to total either 150 or 250 gp. I have to keep this outfit pristine, and it affords me some bonuses on diplomacy, and two other skills. Can't find my sheet at the moment. The important bit isn't the mechanical advantage though. I'm a wealthy merchant prince, with a strong obsession for keeping things clean. I must present the proper image. Every combat ends in a prestidigitation cleaning frenzy on my part :p

I'll have to scrounge through old sheets to see if I've ever made a mega purchase. Usually my characters don't see high level wealth.

I love the stereotypical "heal-bot" cleric. It was one of the first characters I ever played, and to me it's a classic archetype all on its own. However, the above referenced individual's view seems staggeringly I'll informed. Clerics have such inherently good built in healing, that they require little to no optimization in that task. Even if one chooses to make healing their main schtick, there are plenty of resources left over to have strong secondary skills and flesh out any type of character you wish.

From what I've seen, it's usually excepted that a cleric can be a decent secondary frontliner. With the right build they can even be the primary in this role. What had this player so convinced the cleric was made of spun sugar?!

My first cleric ended up drawing the ire of my GM. All of the baddies focused on trying to take me down in combat. I had enough healing to keep myself up, with plenty left over for when my party members needed it. As a result, I never went down, and the heavy hitters on our side had free reign to ginsu the encounters.

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The dEVIL is in the details. There's nothing new under the sun. What makes something original is how you put pieces together. The conversation partner of the OP mostly sounds like a hipster or a nihilist without any additional context. However, for that individual, or any group really, I find the best way to present an engaging or compelling evil is to tap dance on the line of your real-world players' fears and ethics. Obviously this requires trust/consent on the part of all parties, as well as a relatively intimate knowledge of your players. If you threaten kids for the players who are parents, or subvert faith for those who are devout, or whatever, you're going to get that visceral feel that some players want.

However, like others have said, this type of thing should be done sparingly. Variety is the spice and all that. You need the bad guys with bad guy signs to make a contrast for those more involved villains. The tropes you use, or that your players respond to, also help you to set the tone or theme of your campaign.

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Hear, hear! Always happy to see some undiluted positivity coming out. I will second these kudos.

I'd like to also respectfully add DungeonMasterCal, Set, Quixote, and Mr. Charisma to this list of worthies. I'm sure there are others I have favorited over the last few years; but all of these names, above and here, have provided many laughs and wonderful ideas.

Thanks to you all!

Reskinned the pig familiar into a baby mastodon for my mammoth spirit shaman. GM did give me special dispensation to change the bite into a slam attack, but numbers were all the same. Little Jarzum was dearly loved by the whole party. He swiped the counter bell from an inn, and he'd use it to make emphasizing chimes whenever anyone in the party made a solid or funny point in an argument.

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I love character concepts like this! I would tend to agree with most of the pairings above, but I also like to mix and match against type sometimes.

For me, the most fun would be mixing and matching the various beastial races with the elements. Really, any combo could be justified, but at first thought:

Vanarran = Wood
Ratfolk = Earth
Tengu = Air
Kitsune = Aether
Grippli = Water
Samsarran = Fire
Catfolk = Void

I was already debating with myself as I typed those out. I can see many alternate combos there. As there are many more animal kin races, I'd also want to dip toes into the 3rd party elements; or at least break the elements down between their physical and energetic manifestations.

Big ol' Tyger themed catfolk, with a giant crystaline hammer, using Earth magics for my personal favorite.

The adage that "every table/game/group is different" certainly applies here too. I do have to wonder though if, generally, some of the push for optimization doesn't come out of APs and/or society play. I've only ever played in a few such games briefly at a convention, so forgive if this is a false conclusion. The general impression that I get from these threads though, is that such games tend to be more linear and weighted to more frequent combats. The lethality varies to be sure, but if one comes to expect mostly combat from the game, then that's naturally where most will choose to devote the character building resources to.

I try not to min/max too hard, but I'm probably a bit more guilty of it than I realize. I don't really use any external benchmarks when building my characters, I just come up with a list of three to a dozen things I want mechanically to reflect the concept. One or two of these I try to get "big" numerical bonuses in, a few more I try to boost moderately, and any remainders get a single skill point, trait, or feat if I have leftovers.

My current group is very free form and casual. Combats haven't been too dire. My character is a bit all over the map, but I almost always have something to contribute, and I'm having a blast.

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I don't have an immediate example of the party doing the obviously dumb thing, but instead something I feel better matches the cartoon you linked.

In our current story arc, the GM went out of her way to emphasize how dangerous and monster infested the seas were between where we started and the island we needed to get to. The entire first third of her story has revolve around us getting hired on as guards to a flying vessel, and avoiding the water at all costs.

When we arrived near the coast of the island, of course the docks had been destroyed, and the ship had taken damage from storms and encounters along the way. So, naturally, it was necessary for us to have to leave the ship and guide it in to moor amongst some small islets off the shore.

Fast forward, these "small" landmasses were actually gargantuan or colossal hippo type beasts. We later discovered that this was meant to have been a simple combat encounter. However, from all the effort we'd made to avoid all the sea monsters, we were conditioned to fear anything coming out of those waters. We all scrambled and bailed for shore, and basically just waited for the behemoths to move on.

Point is, not sure where the balance is, but sometimes the warnings are too effective.

No jail. I lay out all of the dice I'm willing to use for the night in little groups either based on complete sets, or by size. I stick with one die until it fails me in a grand fashion. 3 or 4 moderately cruddy rolls will also get that die sent to "time out". I tend to roll poorly anyway, so I often go through several d20's in one session. It's kind of cool when I realize I've used the same one all night :)

So, I don't really ever jail or "fire" my dice, they just get put in detention sometimes.

My group on the other hand has fired my dice tower. It's a lovely handcrafted wooden book, emblazoned with my name. The "spine" of the book is a dice rolling tower. As much as I love this thing (best Groomsmen gift ever!), every time I try to use it, I roll terribly. I want to keep trying to give it a chance, but the group says "NO!"

DRD1812 wrote:

Do any of you guys do "event based planning?" I'm talking stuff like:

1. They wake up after their hangover.

2. They sheriff shows up with a warrant for their arrest.

3. They receive a sending from an unknown mage asking if they'd like their sword belt back.

4. Fighting the wererat gang members who insist they cheated at cards last night.

Event X: Looking for the missing party member at his favorite hangouts, A, B, and C.

etc. etc.

I mean, there's a tacit understanding that these events can be rearranged depending on what the players actually do, but I find it's nice to have a step-by-step of a "most likely path" to vary up and return to at need.

That's quite a bit how I tend to prepare, but I'm still a fairly green GM. My brain works that way, but I'm trying to figure out how to stay modular so that I don't railroad my group.

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Still can't think of a great dragon encounter I've played at the table, but if it's not too much against the spirit of the thread, I do have a strong favorite from fiction.

I believe the name was Fyrentennemar, but regardless, the ancient red dragon from book four of R.A. Salvatore's Cleric Quintet, stands out as an amazing encounter in my mind. He is actually in several scenes, but the climactic fight in the canyon is perhaps my favorite part.

Senko's Hell of Saws proposal prompted a question. Are these Hell's sequential as you presented them, similar to the Nine Hells, or are they randomly associated?

What I mean is, could you start in Crushing Boulder, go to Mountain of Fire, and then Scissors? Or will Blood Pool always precede Wrongful Dead, and Saws will always be the final Hell?

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I know I'm quite junior to some players, but in nearly 14 years of gaming, I can't think of one really awesome dragon encounter. I know we've faced a few, even a few CR appropriate wyrmlings (which satisfied my beastiary nerd itch). I'm truly hard pressed to think of an encounter that stood out though.

I'll ponder, but in the spirit of the thread, I'll posit an encounter I hope to run in the next few months that I hope goes well.

I intend to shrink my party down using the rules from Microsized Adventures. Whilst adventuring in these dimensions (and hopefully being clueless) I intend to take the party into the lair of a youngish fairy dragon; still in the pinkish red faze of developement. From the party perspective this normally tiny beast should appear as a Colossal 3 sized Ancient Wyrm. As we will only be 5th level, I'm hoping an appropriate amount of panic ensues, before we engage the dragon. There are meant to be clues that will push this towards a social and/or skills encounter, hopefully with the party finally realizing they've been shrunk. I'm not above going a few rounds though, if my more impetuous players decide to push the big red button. :p

I like everything you've come up with so far. Beyond the classic monastery trope, I think what really defines the monk class (flavor wise) is some level of focus and discipline manifesting in a state of physical/martial mastery. I think you've managed to capture that quite well with your descriptions. The only thing I can think to add, would be giving your character some relationships. These could be other orphans he looked out for, love interests, kindly shop keeps or mentors who offered the very occasional kind word or help, or long standing rivals on the streets. Once you've defined these relationships, giving some thought as to how his discipline served to facilitate his triumphs or failures in these interactions can help to flesh him out. These story elements can help you to more fully answer the "why's" of who he is, and why he joins the adventuring party.

More expert advice will be coming from posters to follow, but shorthand, YES! Wildshape combat druid can be an absolute beast. Arguably one of the strongest classes (and maybe melee types) out there.

A few quick points you may be missing. There is an enchantment you can get on armors to keep the AC bonus while wildshaped. There is a feat, "Natural Spell" to let you cast and buff while wild shaped. And unless I'm much mistaken the Amulet of Mighty fists will boost all of your natural attacks. Or maybe there is a similar item with a slightly different name.

To the duration question, that depends entirely on how far spaced your encounters normally are, and whether or not you are willing to stay wild shaped outside of combat.

Not too sure on most of this, but general conventional wisdom, is that you do NOT want to mix weapon attacks with natural attacks. When using weapons, all of your natural attacks convert to secondary, and the accuracy penalty is makes them less worthwhile. If you plan on using your eidolon to ginsue through mostly low ac minions and mooks, the plethora of attacks might work for you. But from a feat, enchantments, and other resources perspective, it's usually better to focus on one or the other. I like animal types and natural attacks, but I'm pretty sure the weapon wielding eidolons are the ones topping out the dps meters.

With my current crew we're a bit too mixed to delve too much into backstories. Some of us like to really story tell, and develop a whole back history (like me), but we have others who are a little more bare bones in their character development. We try to keep things balanced so that everyone can have a good time/be involved, so delving too far into one PC's background rarely works.

We also take turns GMing, but the group of characters are all the same. Since some of us are more story delvers than others, the campaigns vary a fair bit in style and theme. We don't all know each others backstories as well as I might like. Some of us try to draw those details out during the rp sessions when we run, but it doesn't always bear fruit. Building a story around my own character's background, just doesn't seem to be fair if I'm the one running. Our characters stay with the group when we step up as GM's, but we're supposed to fade a bit into the background, as only a little more than NPCs.

I wouldn't mind delving in more in the future. I just need to know more about my party members, and find a way to make it organic to the group story.

Prince Covid XIX, 2nd Czar and Scion of the merchant clan Corona.

Ratfolk, gestalt Sorcerer/Plague Bringer Alchemist

Always well dressed in fastidiously clean outfits
Ardent proponent of free trade in all forms
Aficionado of fine coins and cuisines

Yeah, I know. The name. . . . It was early in and I needed to laugh or rage. I chose to laugh.

Firebug wrote:
Sysryke wrote:
Just to take it in a different direction, you could look at the Shaman Class. It's a hybrid class of witch and oracle, prepared caster, and still counts as divine. Comes with a spirit animal familiar, functionally similar to the witch's familiar, but with some fun and flavorful spirit choices. I believe lore spirit is one of these that might suit you quite well. Shaman hexes are neat too, though often considered a bit weaker and/or more niche than witch hexes.

Yep, Lore spirit's Arcane Enlightenment can give several Wizard/Sorcerer spells on list. Also several of the FCBs give spells from other lists. Half-elf/Half-Orc/Human/Vanara are Cleric, Gathlain/Ghoran/Vine Leshy are Druid, Shabti is Psychic, and Wayang is Wizard. And Samsarans's Mystic Past Life of course.

I suggest looking into Shaman over Theurge and see if you can get what you want that way.

Good points, but I meant to suggest the shaman as an alternative to cleric on the way to Mystic Theurge, not as a total replacement.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:

We scrapped confirmation rolls for critical hits a long time ago. For instance, it takes all of the excitement out of rolling a Natural 20 when a confirmation roll shows it's not a critical hit after all.

We also added in something if you or your foe fumbles. The one who rolls a fumble is subject to an AoO by the opponent. Yeah, it's an extra roll in combat but it's not that big a difference with the dropped confirmation roll. And my players enjoy the extra drop of danger into the combat mix.

That is an excellent idea! I like random fumble rules normally, but when you played with sharing GM's creativity and consistency vary a fair bit. Having a fumble provoke an AoO, is a wonderful way to normalize this, and a good GM can still describe the how/why of the fumble for proper excitement or hilarity. Cheers for this!

Omega Metroid wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:

Weapon Trick only needs to be taken once, and works with everything for which you meet the prerequisites. Because taking Weapon Trick for TWF and again for Weapon & Shield is just stupid.

All of your races' Racial Feats are given as bonus feats as soon as you meet their prerequisites. Because spending your limited feats to just be yourself is also stupid.

I definitely like the first one here...

...But the second feels like it should be "You have the option of taking any or all of your race's Racial Feats as bonus feats as soon as you meet the prerequisites," because they aren't always appropriate for all characters. (E.g., for Catfolk, Black Cat automatically makes their fur black, Catfolk Exemplar is explicitly "you're more catlike than most Catfolk" (and would they get it once, or all three times?). And for Tengu, Long-Nose Form feels like it's something the player would want to choose rather than have forced on them. ...And Kitsune exists, and really likes your idea, which is a vote both for and against it. xD)

I truly love racial feats. Regardless of almost any other mechanical/tactical choices, racial feats are almost always the first ones I look at when building a character. That being said, some races have way more feat goodies than others. @VoodistMonk, how do you handle balance issues between a race like drow with a dozen or so racial feats, and some race with only a few (oread maybe?)?

Both are performers. I don't know too much about the mechanics of those archetypes, but from a flavor perspective the deciding factor comes down to how you want your smithing and performance to relate. If the forging is more an expression of artistry, and every creation is also an inspirational performance, then bard seems to be the way to go. If instead every item crafted is a lesson and/or legacy made physically manifest, a totem or emblem, to educate and bolster your allies and future generations, then the skald makes more sense.

Just to take it in a different direction, you could look at the Shaman Class. It's a hybrid class of witch and oracle, prepared caster, and still counts as divine. Comes with a spirit animal familiar, functionally similar to the witch's familiar, but with some fun and flavorful spirit choices. I believe lore spirit is one of these that might suit you quite well. Shaman hexes are neat too, though often considered a bit weaker and/or more niche than witch hexes.

It's a fun idea. Could play a couple of ways. Just an excuse to have extra pets. A way to create a little family. A dark and/or wry take on multiple personalities. Or a hilarious little homage to Jeff D, Peanut, and Little Jeff.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Sysryke wrote:
I'm with you on the gunslingers, but I'm a total critter lover. If you're saying no furry as in the dress up community, I'd have to agree. No disrespect, just not my thing. If you're saying none of the critter races, then I have to rail. I love my ratfolk, catfolk, and kitsune characters. Anthro PCs matter! :P

Yeah, I meant the critter races. They just never fit the feel of our setting. If someone wants to dress up like a kitsune or armadillo or whatever and play then sure, bring 'em

@Mark Hoover

No one in my group, going back as far as I can remember, has ever played a Gnome. I've used them as NPCs plenty, with a couple of storylines revolving around one in particular.

To be clear, we actually have played with a dress up type furry in our group before. The outfit was neat, and she was a great story-teller type player. Trying to combine the two hobbies on a regular basis is just a bit much for my brain to process. Plus, my friends house is really warm. Too long in one of the suits and I'm pretty sure I'd pass out. I love a good costume party, but the rest of the time I'll stick to some ears or a tiger tail if I'm feeling the fuzzy.

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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

I would 100% be ok with furry characters, whether the races or the lifestyle. Or players for that matter. One of the "iconics" for my homebrew is a grippili ranger called Niblix; I've also had a kitsune character played in one of my games, though the campaign only made it to 3rd level.

The only race I disallow are gnomes. I've seen them exploited into oblivion and one player decades ago took the combination of Gnome and Chaotic Neutral to grandstand and hijack the game SO HARD that it soured me on several things, including the race.

I am trying this new thing where I ask my players to make characters with some element of "good" in their alignment. I've got 2 games going, and only one of these is all good, but here are my reasons: I wanted PCs specifically interested in being heroes on some level, not just murderhobos only concerned with personal power and secondly, I planned on using monsters with protection vs good spells/abilities, templates that grant smite good and so on.

Oh, and I also do the gunslinger thing. Ironically, not a single player has ever challenged me on this restriction. I have endured hours of lobbying for GNOMES... but no one seems to care if their character uses guns.

The only race I can think of that any group I've played in has collectively banned were Warforged in 4E. Just felt wrong for the games we played. I did have a GM who absolutely hated halflings, because to him ALL halflings were Kinder, but oddly he didn't ban. He just tartgeted any of us who dared to play one. Joke's on him; I played an uber healing halfling cleric. All the monsters tried to get to me through our defensive types. I stayed up with heals, and had enough left over to keep our crew alive while they ginsued the baddies.

Belafon wrote:

The thread from last year I was referring to.

There's some statements in that thread that are wrong, both about kineticist caster level and SLAs in general so tread carefully (including some mistakes I made myself, but I acknowledge that I was wrong later in the thread).

The people who were in search of a solution (rather than just arguing that there "had" to be a RAW answer) came to the conclusion that there's contradictory information both in the rules and in designer commentary. The only solution that actually makes the kineticist function is to give her a caster level equal to her kineticist level.

Thanks for the info. I stand corrected as well. With the post from Melkiador, your conclusion fits both common sense, RAW, and most likely RAI, as for PCs hd and class level are the same. (A bit hinky if we start talking multiclass).

Not sure what spells a 15 hd gold dragon comes with, but keep in mind that the beastiary stat blocks are generic examples of the creature. It would be entirely legitimate to swap some of the spells the dragon comes with for some of the players spells known. That way, the power boost is present, but not overwhelming, and he still retains some of who he was pre wish.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I put very few limits on players compared to a lot GMs I know. My setting is a cooperative homebrew but I originated it so I run things via benevolent dictatorship. I'll allow them to do a lot of stuff by bending rules or using an "at that moment use of the Rule of Cool" but I have final say over things. No gunslingers and no "furry" races are the two biggest that jump to mind immediately.

I'm with you on the gunslingers, but I'm a total critter lover. If you're saying no furry as in the dress up community, I'd have to agree. No disrespect, just not my thing. If you're saying none of the critter races, then I have to rail. I love my ratfolk, catfolk, and kitsune characters. Anthro PCs matter! :P

Even though the ability is supernatural, or possibly spell like, kineticists are not actual casters. The class is based on benders from Avatar: The last Airbender. So, technically the fire you are manifesting is "real" fire manifested via your own energies. Mostly it's all fluff, but the point is you may not have to make the caster check at all, as your blast isn't an actual spell. Not sure if there's a hard and fast rule here. You're probably in GM discretion territory.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

The cleric can also continue to summon round after round and end up with a massive number of summoned creatures. If the summoner wants to do that he has to choose the summon monster as one of his spells known and the spell and he is limited to summon monster IV, where the cleric can eventually get summon monster IX.

Overall the cleric has the advantage over the summoner.

The rest of your analysis was pretty accurate, but you have a bit of an error here. Summoners get summon monster 8 as a 6th level spell, so not limited to SM IV. Not sure how many spells per day the summoner gets versus cleric, but the ability to spam for an army of creatures is still there.

Also, while the summoner can only have their eidolon OR one use of their summon monster SP ability class feature in use at a time, this also adds bodies to the field. The class feature allows summoners to reach SM IX, and it can also eventually be used for Gate spells. I don't know if the herald caller gets to spontaneously convert for gates. Obviously this only comes up at super high levels, but still a factor.

If we're going to focus on fall back utility/versatility, then cleric still wins. For "pure" summoning though it's hard for me to pass on the summoners standard action summons and the minutes long durations. Quicker casts means harder to interrupt stop, and the time means single summon spells could carry you through multiple encounters. The herald caller can spam summons, but with every casting taking full round actions, that's more theory than practical game play.

Also, to be fair, if we're looking at archetypes, are there any summoner archetypes that give the summoner options for multiple SP uses at in play and/or field swamping options?

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We collectively GM in my group, so we set any restrictions during the world building sessions. We're pretty open, but usually it's just creating a line of how far into 3pp we're willing to go. We usually stick to Paizo races, but will make group voted case by case exceptions. All 3pp spells are available, but we stick to the Paizo classes excepting archetypes. Generally we all avoid gunslingers, but the option does exist in our current world. Similarly, I do think we avoid all/any of the android/robot type races. Living constructs okay, but we try to stick to a "pure" fantasy setting.

The only other time that I've ever played long term with restrictions is if we do what we call a "challenge" game. Then we as a group call out people's playing habits/styles, and each of us has to build something outside of our typical wheelhouse.

I don't object to stacking templates, but I can see why others might. I am curious why Mysterious Stranger has an issue with this particular combo. I may be mistaken, but isn't Celestial the default "good" template and Entropic the chaotic one? There are plenty of chaotic good creatures, including either the angels or devas I think. So, why not these two templates together? Not saying right or wrong, just curious.

Flavor wise, I love this progression. I love familiars in general.

I usually start with flavor and imagination, and then ease into the rules. Assuming of course that the person I'm talking to has expressed interest, I'll ask them what kind of stories or movies they like. What kind of characters they are drawn to, or what things they played make believe as a kid. Once we have a base to get excited about, then I'll explain the basic d20 mechanic, the cooperative storytelling element of the game, and then jump into basic character creation. I usually start with stat rolling, and then just follow the flow of the character sheets. Some folks pick things up naturally, and for others the terms of number crunching can be tricky. I just try and leave room for any questions, and ask the newbie how they best learn.

I really like familiars, but I'm partial to animals. I wouldn't mind some of the magical beast type critters though. Are their rules for acquiring improved familiars that aren't on the pre-made lists?

I'm thinking of things like blink dogs, shocker lizards, ash rats, etc?

Alternatively, are there rules for adding templates to familiars to create your own custom critter?

Sorry, don't mean to derail. As to the OP, I also like fairy dragons, but I might go more for the pseudo-dragon just for the stinger. I like a familiar that has just a little offensive oomph.

Never seen an official rule on this one way or the other, so at my tables, we roll stats for our familiars.

I think you also have to take into account how thoroughly the party are in their looting.

There's a pretty big difference between picking up dropped weapons/items, searching through clothes, or stripping the bodies down and taking "trophies".

Gritty means different things to different folks obviously, so it all depends on how descriptive/detailed your players choose to be, and what you decide the letter of the law is. Does looting count the same as it does on a battlefield? Is self defense, bounty hunting, and/or vigilante justice allowed in this society?

If the party goes for the thorough, but sort of mid-level pat down and search, but conducts themselves like semi professionals and reports their findings to the guard, they might be able to "get away" without even a raised eyebrow. The consequences depend entirely upon what story hooks you have planned for after.

If she's content with spells like that, the options open up considerably.

Help her understand the different types of saves (if she doesn't already), and then encourage her to diversify the types of spells she knows/preps so that she can cover as many bases as possible. The spells you mentioned are great, because even if the enemies make their initial saves, there are still lesser penalties and/or obstacles for the enemies to have to deal with. I would think transmutation, conjuration, and maybe some necromancy spells would help move her in the right direction, and find ways around immunity.

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