Brawler is very tempting.
Taldor is very human-centric (with Elves and Dwarves given grudging parity) and a lot of the campaign seems to be pursuading various faction members. So I'm either going to be human, elven, dwarven or half-elf. I might be able to sneak in an Aasimar but not likely.
So I'm still leaning towards Warpriest. Just not sure how to build one effectively.
Character is going to be a Warpriest of Irori, likely focusing on unarmed combat, since many situations we will not be allowed to carry weapons and obvious armor.
I like being able to do damage but I will need to be able to do at least one social skill well.
Thanks in advance for all your help.
I did something similar, sticking with the full BAB martials, Jack-of-the-Many. He started Barb 1, then ranger 1, then (due to plot shenanigans) Samurai Ronin 1, Fighter 1 (Corsair, maybe? Memory fails me), Gunslinger (musketeer) 1, Brawler 1.
Heck of a Fort save, good/weird mix of skills, deadly in combat. I played him as a switch hitter and he rocked...right up until he got caught in a three archer/Spectral Hand sorcerer crossfire. I'm a little bitter about that.
But on the whole, I think he'd have been better served to have stuck with 3 or so classes. Ranger 2, Barb 2, Brawler 2 would have worked much better. Still, fun times. Doubt I'll get the greenlight to make that toon again from my GM.
I suggested Transmuter for the stat bonus they get, very useful for a melee wizard. Boosted my strength, which paid off at low levels.
A level of Barbarian + Cleric of Gorum sounds pretty cool. Losing one spell casting level isn't the end of the world, as a Sorcerer would tell you :) We have a Dwarven Cleric in the party, he ended up taking extra channel feat, we usually need the healing.
I'd love to see that build, dunno if my GM would allow it but I'd like to try to adapt it to my nekkid barbarian character.
I did Eldrich Knight path for halfway through. I'd suggest Transmuter instead. It will be effective up to and maybe including the first real giants.
The Ranger is going to be VERY happy and effective.
Orc fighter sounds fun and solid, melee is king for the first few books.
Yes, you NEED healing. Wands will not cut it in these APs.
Current (as of next session) group, all lvl 7:
Agatha - Human Tattooed Sorcerer specialized in Fireball
Jah, I agree with most of your points.
Modify it to make it feel real to you. They aren't going to write an AP that deals seriously with racism, religion or sex. Just not going to happen, you need to make that happen in your gameplay.
I DO agree that setting up those themes and then not doing anything with it feels half-assed, from a writing viewpoint.
Magi are great with another arcane caster. Their spells are most evocation but they also have buff spells, to add to their own or the front-liner's offense.
If you have an evoker Sorcerer, your role will be to kill things quickly. Dervish dancer with shocking grasp, a scimitar and Intensified Spell is 'boring' (I like it) but it works.
Don't sell short the other utility of being an arcane caster, mage hand, detect magic come in very useful, as does identifying magic items or assisting in that.
I am a big fan of bard archers. If you're starting out, just play vanilla Bard with no archtypes.
Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim for archery Feats.
Have fun! I think Bard is one of the best non-frontline fighter classes there is.
Well I played a S&S toon who was a Ranger (and a Cavalier and a Samurai...look, he was a complicated experiment) and my GM said 'no mounts'.
I said, ok, no mounts.
There's got to be some give and take but ultimately, you're GMing. You're putting in the time. The player needs to meet you halfway. If he wants to GM a Dragonball Z campaign, let me GM next campaign. For now, you're doing Skull and Shackles with (what sounds like) the restrictions clear up front.
Two schools of thought, for me. First, the firearms are intended to be balanced against other classes. This is a game, first and foremost, not a simulation. GURPS is better for sim RPGing. So if you make firearms more realistic, you're going to gimp the class.
...unless, you dramatically increase the damage. A .75 round or, moreso, a minie ball does horrific things to unarmored flesh. If you feel you need to increase load times, increase damage proportionally.
If neither appeals, then like Jaunt says, just say 'no'.
Shar Tahl wrote:
What class would be best suited for creating a literary viking? Do the archtypes that sound like they should work do the job(Skald being one)?
You've got three classic Viking archtypes. A Harald Hardrata axeman is just your normal 2-hander Fighter with a Greataxe, you can spinkle in Endurance, profession:sailor and the Fleet feat (I think that's the right one to increase movement)
The second is the standard 'sword and board' fighter or ranger. Med armor with the shield combat feats. Axe or Longsoword for primary hand, spiked shield for the off. Add profession sailor, etc for flavor and flexibility.
Then you have your Viking shield wall. The Fighter Formation/Phalanx fighter will let you use a Longspear and shield at the same time and simulate the shield wall. Sprinkle in some teamwork feats for flavor as well as the standard profession and swim skills.
That's up to you as a GM. In book 1, no probably not until after the module is 'done'.
Book 2, there's a boat trip which could easily be used for downtime for crafting, if you can allow them to craft on a riverboat.
Sorry to hear about your character loss.
A Bard will be very good at buffing your party as well, archer spec will let you help with damage a bit too.
What do you feel like playing?
I haven't gotten terribly far but I think mind control spells are going to be competative. The Giants will have access to feats that let them buff their will vs enchantment effects but it doesn't provide immunity. Though if your GM has other things planned, you might want to listen to him.
Even so, there will be plenty o' foes to use enchantments on, besides Giants. Just be ready and able to do combat damage, there's a LOT of it in this game and running out of spell and spell effects can be an issue, at least for the first two books.
It sounds like you're not interested in realism and just want to end things. So that's not a game, that's a story. So just tell it cinematically.
Have them negotiate with, oh say Nocticula, a CE Demon Lord who wants to be a goddess off assassins. Or ally with Aboleths to take over the country. Or just script the final battle, it doesn't sound like game mechanics are going to matter.
Or if you want to let the PCs feel like they earned a win instead of just had one handed to them, have your artifact thing inflict 4-6 negative levels on the Pit Fiend allies or whatever.
Paladin sounds pretty good for your setting. Also Inquistor, their Bane ability is wonderful.
If the GM allows, a Magus (Hexcrafter/Bladebound archetypes) will be able to handle the lack of purchasable magic.
A Barbarian (Invul Rager) with a two-handed weapon will also let you be survivable and effective.
Barbarian/Fighter. As Charon said, Slayer is also very very good so maybe Barbarian/Slayer.
The Fighter levels will help for the feats you need to make 'axe and board' builds useful and for the heavy armor/tower shields in case you want to go that way.
Alternatively, Barb/Fighter with the 'formation fighter' archtype for longspear + Shield combo.
If you're set on Aasimar, I'll suggest a Bard, actually. If you're newish to the game, going for a support role will be useful. Plus social skills can be useful in the town.
Go for a ranged spec, archery or reach weapons. And be ready for a LOT of combat in the first module.
Alchemist may have other benefits for this module so I won't gainsay it. Just make sure you have a way to deal with lots of combat. Spells/etc will run out.
If you want to play a Wizard, go for an Enchantment specialist. Just, again, be sure you have combat ability to survive the first three or four levels, they will be rough.
A dwarven ranger, archer or reach weapon specialist, might be the 'best' way to go.
Have you considered Zen Archer? If you would like I could try to put together a sample build for you, but if you are looking for best archer, I believe Zen Archer 8/Weapon Master Fighter 3 with Gloves of Dueling is more powerful than a straight 11 fighter.
Based on my test builds in PC Gen, I think Jayder is right.
Ranger will net you more skills. Fighter will edge out in damage slightly.
You'll want Deadly Aim, though. That really buffs archery.
Switch Hitter Ranger is a good choice, I think.
You need to be able to burn orcs down fast, high strength and a two-handed weapon is what you want. Honestly, I'd suggest a polearm. If you want to start out with arrows, sure, Rangers get some combat style feats to help with that.
Make sure you have a good healer and I'd suggest Toughness to your player at lvl 3 rather than anything else. Strength and Hit points, strength and hit points.
I'm playing a high strength wizard (long story) and it worked well for this first module. But if I were to do it over, I'd go with Ranger/barbarian.
Sounds like you're making the right decisions and being flexible/improvising. Mastery of the rules will come, learning flexibility is harder, so good on you.
Try to 'work ahead', sketch out a few NPCs (just race, name and class level) in advance. The more named people you have, the more real the world will be and if you need to improvise on the fly, you will have some people already half created.
Vary roleplaying encounters with combat encounters, see what folks enjoy most.
Ask questions about how things went, especially if there's a player in the group you know and trust.
Most of all, have fun!
How about a fighter that uses spiked gauntlets? With the bonus feats you get, you can wander into a variety of Styles or combat manuvers.
Or a Gnome Barbarian? Sometimes a counter-intuitive race matchup can help.
Or a Urban Barbarian/Invulnerable Rager that walks around in a loincloth and bountiful quiver and nothing else?
A goblin with a Scorpion Whip and trip attack focus? Pair it with a pickaxe for crit fun.
Sword and board two-weapon fighter who talks like the Swedish Chef?
Dwarven Phalanx Fighter archetype for reach plus shield?
Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?
Set your campaign limits and stick to your guns. If you're afraid of game breakers like Synthasist Summoners, state up front that they're banned. A decent player will shrug and move on. But try not to ban characters after they've been created.
Challenge the player's mind. Illusions, as Orfamy mentioned, can be good. Or just run off time between encounters so buff spells run out. Short line of sight settings hurt archers. Enchantment spells help deal with most full BAB classes.