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Very interesting ideas, Keerawa. Thank you.

Brawler is very tempting.
We lack any divine casters, though.
Not that my prospective Warpriest is intended to carry all that weight, but I can probably self-heal enough to keep myself up.

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.

I appreciate the effort.

This is going to be a highly social campaign. Like dressing up nicely and trying to impress people socially.

So I need to balance combat effectiveness with at least some social skills.

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I'm hoping to get some build help/advice for making a Warpriest of Irori for an upcoming Crownfall campaign.
This will have a lot of social interactions and one of my traits will need to be a campaign trait from the new player's guide. I'd like to save my other trait for Fate's Favored but I'm open to advice there.

Build guidelines:
20 point buy
Exotic races are frowned upon for game setting/GM
No guarantees I'll be able to get specific magic items (like Agile Amulets of Mighty Fists...I may be able to but I may not)
The GM doesn't like Min/Max builds so cheesy dips or rule bending are discouraged.

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.

Sorry for any necromancy on the thread but:

How about the Urban Bloodrager? Put that rage bonus into dex, pick up Arcane strike at lvl 5?

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Love the Suicide Squad angle, may try to steal that.

I'd also suggest Glen Cook's Black Company novels, especially the books of the north: The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose. Best military fantasy about mercs serving the big bad ever written.

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Jah, evil = ugly for most of the devils and demons.

I'd go with Nocticula, though, as mentioned, Besmara seems as cruel as any demon.

I'm guessing Ardad Lili went to Vassar and posts on Tumblr a lot.

I'd reskin Warpriest, say of Irori, so you get the unarmed attack mojo working. You can cast a number of mind effecting spells from the cleric spell list.

I re-skin them and use them in my Abyssal campaign. They're sort of the every-day citizen of the Midnight Isles.

If you can start at lvl 5, you might as well just go Bloodrager.

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.

Piccolo wrote:
TaigaKirdApe wrote:

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.

Why a Transmuter? The player wants a Universalist because he wants to be able to reduce the cost of metamagic feats, and he wants the most versatility.

Yeah, there isn't that many traps in the AP, but there ARE a few, so a Ranger should cut it with Disable Device. Gonna try to get everyone to take Stealth Synergy so the party can sneak along with the Ranger.

Plans have changed somewhat. The guy who wanted the Fighter is going to play a Cleric of Gorum. I'm trying to convince him that he'll be too busy casting spells to bother with a greatsword, but he's obsessed with the damn sword. He suggested taking a Oread, but I warned him that mobility was needed (Oreads are slow) and that race takes a Charisma penalty (bad for a Cleric's healing). Even worse, he wanted to take a level of Barbarian for movement, but I explained that slowing spell progression was a REALLY bad idea. He's never played a Cleric before (and I bet never a spellcaster of any kind).

As for the final player, I'm trying to convince her to take an archer Fighter or a straight Fighter with Acrobatics and a melee weapon (that way armor check penalties are minimized for Acrobatics and Climb).

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.

Wiggz wrote:
Piccolo wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
A competently built Barbarian has the same survivability as a Fighter, and can kill things faster. In D&D/PF, killing things faster is better than having them kill you longer. Offense > defense, except for some corner cases.

One, that's an opinion, not a fact.

Two, I've never seen a Barbarian that wasn't a marshmallow in a fight. Lots of hp, crap for AC, and decent offense. They always end up soaking up all the healing a divine caster can come up with, and I've been running games for upwards of what, 20 years now?

Three, you'd have to show me what you consider a competently built Barbarian that isn't a glass cannon. And don't bother using the Armored Hulk archetype, I already know that one is the only Barb that can wear full plate.

Well, I've got a Barbarian with incredibly high saves and ridiculous DR (DR 13/- at 12th level, DR 20/- at 17th level)... however, he does take a 1 level Fighter dip - does that count? At 12th level he fought an 11-headed cryohydra (CR 12) who was pretty much incapable of injuring him.

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.

Piccolo wrote:

I had the guys sit down and think up characters. With the exception of one player, all of them are pretty much done. Here's what I ended up with:

Jim says he wants an Elf Eldritch Knight (Fighter 1, Wizard Universalist 5 bonded object), Magic is Life trait (worshipper of Nethys). Jason wants a Hobgoblin Ranger (archery), Orcs favored enemy, Vagabond Child: Disable Device and Armor Expert traits. Allan wants an Orc straight Fighter (follower of Gorum) with Vexing Defender and Giantslayer Scion traits, and Hat of Disguise. We desperately need a Cleric or other divine caster as a healer. Try to get everyone to take Stealth Synergy feat at 1st level.

What do you guys think?

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.

Sounds like Paladins will be key for their lay on hands ability. Otherwise, yes, UMD will be needed for wands.

Slayers are pretty awesome at killin' and winning DPS races will also be important.

Current (as of next session) group, all lvl 7:

Agatha - Human Tattooed Sorcerer specialized in Fireball
Ernst - Dwarf Druid + Anklebiter, the world's best Raptor companion
Colton - Human Rogue
Fen - Dwarf Fighter 1 / Cleric 6

Lost -
Rongar - Half-Orc melee wizard 5 (Transmuter) / Ranger 1 /Eldrich Knight 1. Surprisingly effective, player just got tired of dwarven insults and decided the party needed a dedicated blaster instead of imperfect melee.

Bard archer is competitive, damage-wise, especially in a party of melee types.

Inquisitor archer just works.

Urban Barbarian archer can get insane to-hit bonuses.

Zen archer is the archery king, though.

I'll chime in: Human Bard Archer for skill + Combat.

I'm also seeing some amazing skill rolls from an Investigator but the combat part doesn't really come online until lvl 4.

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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.

Get Lingering Performance to effectively triple your inspire courage rounds.

Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim for archery Feats.

A good dex (16 is fine)
Don't tank Con (as listed above, a 14 is good)
A good Chr (14 or 16)

Pick a Perform skill that will cover a couple good social skills, Oratory and Singing are good

Haste is your go-to goal spell
At lower levels, Silent Image, Vanish
2nd lvl buff spells like Bull's Strength and Cat's Dex.

Have fun! I think Bard is one of the best non-frontline fighter classes there is.

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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.

Give the PCs something simple and clear to do immediately. How they perform those tasks will tell you who they are and what they want to do. A couple of named NPCs and a basic quest will get things rolling.

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'.

Play Iron Age Greek. Plenty of Bronze Age ruins to explore, classic monster and gods.

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Joey, god of basketweaving?

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.

I like 'frell' and I steal the 'almost profanity' from Johnny Dangerously .

I also just swear sometimes. Occasionally...too loudly. That's on me.

Warpriest/Paladin's self-heal makes for good tanking.

Though a Ranger could possibly make a fine front-line melee toon.

I'm playing a melee wizard, Transmutation has meant a very useful buff to my strength. So far, very good at lower levels where an 18 str means more.

Buff spells to start and then later, go for evocation. Optimized? Not at all, but fun.

Jah, wrong section

Go Empire!

I'd add Elemental, Fire vs water (maybe air vs earth for the minors).

From what you're showing here, there's not a lot of 'meat' for clerics to dig into. Nobility is very fine but the rest...eh. I wouldn't pick either of the two main gods, just based on Domains.

My $.02

Captain-Green wrote:

I'm starting this AP in the next few weeks, and one of the PC's has asked if there is enough down time to craft few items.

Does the AP offer the chance for PC's to craft items?

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.

Covered by other posters but I'll pile on:

Reward good dice. Give hints or point to who or what might tell them more.

A "Yes" leads to more interesting story ideas than a 'no' does.

You don't have to tell all with a 32 but you should have said something.

Sorry to hear about your character loss.
I'd suggest a Reach Cleric (heals keep toons alive in our Giantslayer games) or a Wizard. Evoker or Enchanter might work best.

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?

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The black raven wrote:
harmor wrote:
What would you recommend to get started?

A Wizard

Honestly, can you imagine a thread called "STR-based wizard build" ?

I'm playing one for Giantslayer. 18 STR, 15 Int at lvl 4. Honestly, it's working.

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.

Ryzoken wrote:
Find a new group

Ding, ding, ding!

But, yeah, bang for buck is going to be dex or str.

From a player's POV, I think it would be ok. The first AP was not really giant focused. Orcslayer would have been a better name.

All you need is a motivation for the PCs to go take out the giant leading the orc attacks on Masada...I mean, Trunau.

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.

First, seriously, don't play a low Con character.

Second, Toughness feat.

Third, consider dipping a high hit point class like Barbarian.

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.

Kate_C wrote:

Thanks in advance for all the help guys!

Also I think I will go with Aasimar for the race.

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.

Jayder22 wrote:
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.

What Wiggz said.

I would allow the beacon lighting to remove concealment (and it shouldn't work with toons with low-light or darkvision).

There isn't a good explanation how an army sneaks up on a city full of paranoids. I'd say 'forced night marches' and leave it at that.

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.

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