Red Dragon

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Dark Archive

NEW ADDITION:

For those who don't like prepared-spontaneous arcanist-style casting, or feel it is too strong for Starfinder as a system, I have created a version of the Executive that uses the traditional spells known-spontaneous casting model of the Technomancer and Mystic. The traditional "spells known" version of the Executive can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18YqEYECkRI1-wCV4lbyI-yNpoPlnB_20kWMLJsz PTaE/edit?usp=sharing

Dark Archive

So I posted a raw/untested version of this class a while back, but have since playtested it and gotten it to a more refined point...so I thought I would finally share it with you all here. A few late edition spells and talents that where added after its initial playtesting may not be fully balanced, so if you find anything off balance-wise please let me know!

Anyway, the Executive is a corporate-themed spellcaster who is fluffed as an important and influential individual in a megacorp, or the business landscape in general, who uses their wealth and pull to gain access to highly expensive tech hoarded by megacorps that let their owners/shareholders and top employees gain spellcasting ability without the years of study needed to pick up Technomancy or the deep awareness of cosmic forces required to become a Mystic.

Mechanically, they are a highly versatile spellcaster with a prepared-spontaneous form of casting akin to the PF 1e Arcanist (As they download their spells from company databases each day instead of actually learning how to properly cast them themselves.) and themes of both spending credits to do magical things and using others to to their bidding (whether that be fellow PCs, summoned creatures, raised undead or even NPCs) They can be built into a number of different roles via their magic hack-like class talents, which run the gamut from monster summoner, to necromancer, to support mage + healer, to debuffer/controller and even magical trickster-infiltrator/corporate spy. The class also features a healthy amount of custom spells flavorful to the class, for those who like that in a caster. Anyway, for those interested, the class can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/111JcYQdi_Voj3kocJOgmlxwMW-8QGYDPE0oZrtZ EZls/edit?usp=sharing

Dark Archive

Cool. The doc has been altered with your ideas, BTW. Also, by citing "it" what do you mean by "it"? My doc, or your own changes? Or this entire thread? Just curious, is all...

Also, why did you make them require a book or computer to prepare spells? That seems VERY un-witchwarper-y from a fluff perspective, and more like something I'd expect from a prepared variant of the technomancer? So much that in the doc I took that part out (keeping the prep times the same, however) and just required that they spend their prep time in deep focus viewing all possible realities and pulling what they want from them.

Dark Archive

I actually never considered Arcanist casting for the Witchwarper, but you all have sold me on it. I also like the Warp Specialties....I like how two of them let you do a normally of-limits role (Necromancer and warp healer) while two reinforce things you can already do (devolutionist and summoner). One thing you may want to add though is that specality spells that use your Wis or Int instead use your cha, as Mystic Cure uses Wis mod, not spellcasting ability mod, despite what you'd normally expect. This leads to the healer warper having extra MAD from needing Wis as well as Cha unless such a clause is added.

Either way, great idea! Do you mind if I add it to the doc and credit you?

Dark Archive

EDIT TO PATCH: I REALIZED THAT HAVING THE SHIFTS ALSO BE PREPARED IS AGAINST THE SPIRIT OF STARTFINDER, UNLIKE THE PREPARED CASTING MECHANIC. SO THAT WAS CUT FROM THE PATCH. SORRY FOR THAT OVERSIGHT ON MY PART.

Dark Archive

A lot of people have said that the class as it stands betrays its fluff mechanically. As a "reality warper" class, the witchwarper should feel strong and versatile. However, many who have played the class, myself included, felt nothing like that. The class as it stands, according to many, feels useless in a lot of normal situations, and even further fails to capture the supremely versatile and potent skillset one expects of a reality warper. Many wonder why the class can't pull from a reality where their allies are healthy to heal their wounds, or pull a resident evil-style zombie virus from another reality saturated with it to raise undead minions. Or do any number of other things. Even further, people feel the paradigm shifts as of now are too weak, with most of them being too narrow and situational to see regular play, and the few that aren't being too resolve hungry to use regularly, thus leaving the class with nothing to do against standard "trash mobs" and forced to hold all their good shifts in reserve for the big boss fight.

After taking this all into consideration and playing, I tried to come up with a fix for it. My first effort was in my "Fixing the Spell List" thread, which I ultimately came to the decision to scrap since it was not the right direction. Thus, if there are any mods or people with deleting power here I ask that the thread please be deleted if it can. Thanks ahead of time if this request is filled. Anyway, with that out of the way, your likely asking...what is this "fix"? Use prepared casting as a model for how to fix this class and give it a unique mechanical identity that truly reflects its fluff. Sounds crazy, I know, but here me out. Prepared casting never made sense from a fluff standpoint for a lot of casters. Most casters, including Starfinder's Technomancer and Mystic, are fluffed as learning their spells; typically either through intensive study (technomancer, wizard etc..) or via being given the knowledge and power to use it by a higher being or force (mystic, cleric etc...). However, for a lot of people, it never made sense that a spellcaster would "lose" that knowledge once they cast a spell. Vance's novels on which prepared casting was based are not nearly as well known as they where when D&D was made all those years ago....and that, when combined with the fact Starfinder draws more from sci-fi than fantasy, makes it easy to see why making the technomancer and mystic spontaneous casters was the right choice.

However, in the case of the Witchwarper, I feel we now have a valid excuse to bring vancian prepared casting into starfinder. In terms of fluff, prepared casting can easily be made to make sense with the concept of what a Witchwarper is. As a Witchwarper, you don't "learn" magic like other casters. You instead pull your "spells" from other realities, meaning you in theory could fluff the class as not actually having to learn how to use their spells and abilities; instead you can have them just be a reality warper who does all their stuff by will alone. A simple change of *when* you do this pulling from other realities easily facilitates expressing this mechanically as prepared casting as well. Imagine for a second that witchwarpers don't pull from other realities on the fly in most cases, but instead do so through deep focus and concentration. Imagine that through this focus, they can "sync" themselves to other realities, and then pull the aspects of them they want to harness into their very being through sheer force of personality. Then, they can impose these aspects of other realities they pull into themselves onto the world around them, in the same way they can use their force of personality to impose their will upon others. However, when they impose an aspect of another reality onto their own, it may require pulling it out of them (in the case of their spells), hence why they "lose" or "forget" their prepared spells.

Bam, with one simple fluff change, the Witchwarper is more justifiable as a vancian prepared spellcaster than even a PF wizard.

This change to vancian prepared casting also makes sense from a mechanical standpoint, because as many have noted the class needs a mechanical buff. Many have already said it feels too weak mechanically, and even further them and others have said that the fluff betrays and poorly portrays the crunch. As a reality warper, the class should be able to do all kinds of crazy magical things. Yet the class as it stands feels far too limited and weak, with many often useless features, to really feel like somebody who can tap the infinite tapestry of realities. Swapping them to being vancian prepared casters would help to address these issues in a big way.

For one, it would really help to make the class feel like it could do everything that being a reality warper entails, but in a theoretically balanced way. When one thinks of reality warping, they imagine a very versatile and varied set of abilities that can do almost anything. The features of the class as of now, while maybe underpowered and not the best in execution, at least try to emulate this. You have a lot of class features with very, very situational effects. This has lead the witchwarper to being seen as weak and useless in average combat, with its only good features being its very limited casting and resolve-hungry paradigm shifts. By making the class a prepared spellcaster, you can get a lot of those odd situational abilities one expects from a reality warper in the spellcasting of the class, rather than having to rely on the shifts to have them. This, combind with the easy fluff justification, I feel make a solid case for the Witchwarper being the class that introduces prepared casting to Starfinder.

Likewise, the second part of this fix is also one that makes a lot of sense if we assume the prepared casting is implemented: Allow them to also prepare their known shifts when they prepare their spells, and add witch hex-like shifts to the list that are less situational and more generally useful. This allows them to still pull out things like the resistance swaps when they are useful if they can plan ahead, but also assure they are not stuck with them if they are dead and let the class meaningfully contribute in bogstandard "trash mob" fights where people feel the class is too weak as it stands. The fluff justification for this is the same as the casting, so needs little discussion.

Since all these features would make the class very strong, I feel that if implemented bringing the class down to poor BAB but otherwise leaving the already bad chassis unchanged, is not uncalled for. If this is done, I feel weapon specialization should be replaced with a custom feature I've created called "Spell Specialization" which lets the class add 1/2 its level to the many blast spells it can get, as another common "issue" people have with the class is that it has very poor dpr options. This change, combind with the prepared casting and prepared shifits, some of which can be used at-will, would firmly cement this class as THE "fullcaster" of starfinder, that does something magical every round and who focuses wholly on magic to the detriment of both their skills and talent with weapons, which is a niche' this game is sorely missing and a lot of people feel it needs. With that being said, I have posted a suggestion for a VERY rough patch of the class, with the changes I am suggesting in this thread. If their are any Devs out there, I hope you consider testing at least a little bit of this. Anyway, the patch is outlined below:

UNOFFICIAL ROUGH/PRE-ALPHA HOMEBREW WITCHWARPER PATCH.

NOTE: I have NO idea how balanced any of this is, so any thoughts and opinions on the balance of these changes is most appreciated!

Dark Archive

I suppose; its come up more than most things in this board. Most people's opinions on this class are pretty split and there is very little conscienceless on it. So a "coupe of threads" on the same issue is more significant when opinions are so wildly varied, I'd say. Likewise, another thing that has come up in multible threads is that Infinite Worlds has too few uses at low levels to really be a strong feature at that level, so having another feature come in at 1st that does something cool at least helps to rectify the feeling of being useless at 1st level a little bit.

Dark Archive

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A very hot topic of debate about the witchwarper has been the fact that, in terms of fluff, they should be able to do virtually any magical thing. People have complained about them not being able to, say, overlay a reality where a wounded ally is healthy to heal them, or overlay a reality where an enemy is their slave to control them with a dominate person, or overlay a reality saturated with necrotic energies or a resident evil-style zombie virus to raise undead minions. Or do any number of things that, by their fluff, is totally within their wheelhouse to do, but by crunch just isn't possible with the class as it stands. However, while theoretically a Witchwarper should be able to do these things, thematically, they just can't be allowed to do all of them at once due to game balance reasons. No one class can literally do everything, yet the Witchwarper not being able to do everything, albeit in a very limited capacity, has rubbed people the wrong way, and rightly so.

Thus, I have, after playtesting the class a bit myself and tinkering with a lot of mechanics, come up with a VERY ROUGH and likely unbalanced solution... [WIP/will post shortly]

Dark Archive

@SuperBidi: I agree that most of the time Int would be a more fitting stat for this class. However, as an anime fan I can still get behind it being Cha-based, as unlike most western media in anime there is something of a trope surrounding these types of characters usually being schoolgirls or otherwise young girls. Don't ask me why, Japan and anime can be weird. But there are enough reality-bending schoolgirls/teen girls in anime that its something of a trope/common cliche', and surprisingly a lot of them have varied enough personalities that not all of them are Dr. Strange level geniuses that understand the inner workings of reality so well they can make it do what they want. They range from military experiments with serious personalities, to peppy schoolgirl-types, to demure/shy types, to even murderous psychopaths. They run the full gamut of character personalities, so when mining from anime it becomes a lot easier to find high-Cha personalities and concepts from among them that fit this concept. I instantly saw Haruhi with this class mainly for the reason you brought up; the vast bulk of these characters in western media tend to be more high Int than anything else, while Haruhi is most certainly a very high Cha character. So their use of Cha instantly pushed me towards seeing her with this class instead of somebody like the aforementioned Dr. Strange, or any number of other western examples.

Regardless, I am going to be playing one next week, and they look as follows..

Human Corporate Agent

Str 10 Dex 15 Con 10 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 18

Skills: Bluff, Culture, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Mysticism

Feats: Improved Initiative, Mobility

Spells: Baleful Polymorph, Fear

Dark Archive

With mine I went with a strong Cha-focus, and Dex as a secondary. The class dose not have enough resources to support a melee playstyle yet, nor dose it have anything to make it a standout shooter. As a result, your best either going with a high Dex and high Cha and using your feats to be ok with shooting like most mystics do (so longarm prof, weapon spec (longarms), deadly aim and possibly weapon focus (longarms) if you have the room), or going with like 14 or so Dex and a super jacked cha, and using daze and demoralize (via intimidate) as your main non-casting actions until you are of a level where you have your hands on a good at-will shift, and then once at that level using at-will shifts as your main non-casting action. Remember that in startinder that -2 from demoralize via intimidate is actually a much more potent debuff due to how combat math works, so as long as enemies are not immune using your high cha to just debuff enemies with intimidate seems like a viable combat action, and one that plays nicely with all your save or suck spells and shifts. Both those seem like the best ways to utilize the class right now....either building up your basic skill with longarms to deal ok damage between casting/shift rounds, or forgoing damage all togther and going with a super jacked cha to be the dedicated crowd control/debuff guy and using your non-casting rounds to demoralize with intimidate, and at higher levels use at-will shifts.

Dark Archive

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The class does not seem to have an issue with starship roles, TBH. As a Cha-based class with all social skills as class skills, the Witchwarper is a natural fit for the captian's chair. However, since they are largely cha SAD and can choose what skills to shove their class bonus into, they can also easily pump Dex along with Cha and become a pretty strong pilot by using the Ace Pilot theme to get piloting as a class skill and shoving one of their flex skill bonuses into piloting. While they can shove their flex skill boosts into engineering or computers to be the ship mechanic or science officer, I think that they are far less suited to this than pilot or captain. Reason being that pumping Dex along with Cha will bring a lot to your character; better AC, better REF saves, higher initiative, and better skill with a gun if you want to go down that road. Int, meanwhile, gives you a lot less than Dex, and as a result is generally not worth investing in unless your an Int class. So while theoretically you could shove a Witchwarper into mechanic or science officer by pumping Int and shoving a flex skill into then relivent tech skill, I'd advice against that since investing in int will hurt your effectiveness in ground combat a fair bit, since the Int contributes nothing to ground combat for a warper and eats precious stat points that could be invested into stats that give you a lot more, such as con, wis and the aforementioned Dex.

If you already have a dedicated pilot and a captian, however, you can always make a solid gunner by investing in the piloting skill to use your piloting ranks in place of your BAB, and then pump Dex along with Cha, which would give you a solid to-hit on the guns.

So yeah, Witchwarper looks fine in starship combat. Its a natural-born captain, can be a surprisingly good pilot, and can be a solid gunner as well with enough ranks in piloting to compensate for its BAB.

Dark Archive

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Most people saw Elizabeth from Bioshock. However, as the Weeb I am, I instead saw space Haruhi Suzumia. The "reality warping schoolgirl" is such a common character type in anime that its actually something of a trope of the medium, so much in fact that a small part of me hopes the iconic Witchwarper will be some form of schoolgirl. Anime in the fluff aside, from a crunch standpoint the class looked very back-loaded, which I don't consider to be a good design choice.

At low levels, you have very few strong abilities and look just flat out worse than a Technomancer or Mystic at the same levels. Most of the low level phase shifts are absolute underpowered jokes, and the one good one is still pretty horrid at low levels (though much like the class itself becomes exponentially stronger at higher levels.) Likewise, while Infinite Worlds is really cool and strong, it has such pitiful uses/day at low levels its not even remotely relevant in that tier of play. However, in start contrast to how weak the class is at low levels, at high levels the tools it gets look far stronger than anything the other casters have access to. Infinite Worlds goes from having too few uses to be relevant to being downright dangerous, and your phase shifts give you *at-will* stuns and debuffs, both of which put you heads and shoulders above even an overlord mystic when it comes to crowd control. So much in fact that the class may be too strong at high levels. I am not sure about that, though, and will have to play with it to see if thats actually the case.

Either way, the class strikes me as very much being the "wizard" of Starfinder, in both the best and worst ways. Like the wizard, it is the strongest crowd control and debuff caster in the game, able to really tilt battles in its party's favor, especially at higher levels when you actually get good control and debuff shifts. This niche' was one that I feel was/is much needed in Starfinder. While Mystics can do some crowd control and even specialize in it with connections like Overlord, the fact SF casters get so few casts per-day means that even at higher levels there will be some rounds where your not able to cast spells. For Mystics and Technos, who get no real useful at-will magic abilities, this means those turns will be spent shooting things, either to give harrying/covering fire bonuses, or to actually try and deal some damage. This makes both of them generally have to invest their feats into being good with longarms to truly be able to contribute to every round of combat, which has left a lot of people (myself included) longing for a caster that has some form of at-will magical powers that let it keep the same spell/day progression as the other casters while still being able to do something magical every round, and thus never forced to have to invest in longarms and shoot people if they don't want to. The Witchwarper delivers this option, and its by far the class I am most interested in as a result. It fills the much needed niche of "caster that can do something magical every round" and thus while at-will powers can be hard to balance, I think they should absolutely stay a part of this class, as they give it a unique niche a lot of people have wanted filled for a while.

However, like the wizard, it also suffers from having a VERY slow/weak start, but also a VERY strong/potent finish. Its a class that at low levels feels like playing a watered down, janky, bootleg technomancer, but at high levels feels like playing a god made flesh, much more so than even the other two casters. This is, again, very much like the PF wizard, and while that may be fine from a game balance standpoint (I.E. compensating for the class being very strong at high levels by making it very weak at low levels), from gameplay standpoint thats a poor design decision. Its never fun for a player to feel weaker than the rest of their party, and like the Wizards of old the Witchwarper suffers from feeling weaker than everybody else at low levels, but making everybody else feel weaker than them at high levels. Thus, while I think the class is well on its way to being something awesome, I feel it really needs to have the high level goodness it gets distributed more evenly throughout its progression, making the high level features a little less potent, but likewise giving them some much needed potent low level tools.

Dark Archive

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Well, I suppose that depends on what your definition of “offense” is. Some (like myself) would argue that stuns and debuffs are a form of offense, but regardless I will give you that they seem to be pushing the class very hard in a single direction (Controller/non-Healing suppport Mage being that direction). I’m not defending the class’ design, I am just saying that comparing the dpr of a class not made to be a primary dpr character to a class specificly made to have a very high dpr/have damage dealing as a possible primary combat role is poor, and that if you want to see if it’s dpr is too low or not it should be compared against a Mystic’s DPR potential and not a Techno’s. You did just that, so I am admitting that you are right on their damage options being too weak as if a Mystic can out dpr then as well then that is an issue (unlike a techno being able to do so, which is not because they can also out dpr a mystic are are intended to have the option to be a very high damage class/primary damage dealer.)

Dark Archive

So this is an experimental class I’ve been working on for a while that was made primarily to fill a fluff niche’ very exclusive to my own setting. However, after getting others to look at it a lot of people felt it worked fine outside the context of my setting and really enjoyed the flavor. Thus, after going through several rounds of revision I feel it is in good enough shape to start spreading into other communities to get further playtesting done with it and have its mechanics further refined, as it’s definitely not what I’d call finalized yet. As of now, both myself and several others are starting it’s first official rounds of playtesting, but more never hurts. Hence why I am posting it up here. Any and all help is most appreciated! Anyway, without further hesitation, here is the link to the doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MG-ZlcIbEL7pcTyg79Evih4o-Lhor-W9BG-kmzm sUrs

Dark Archive

Comparing the Witchwarper to the Technomancer on a dpr basis is generally a poor comparison because the Witchwarper is not intended to be a blaster. It’s primarily a controller, or in the forge of combat what you would call in “anvil”, while it’s defensive powers that let it relieve pressure from the party Healer/supporter along with its buff spells make party supporter/buffer or “arm” in the forge of combat it’s secondary role. The class is designed to have both a primary and secondary role that have nothing to do with dealing damage, so of course it’s dpr is gonna look terrible next to a class whoes primary combat role is dealing damage; that’s just going to be a given.

A better compsrison to make would be between the Witchwarper and the other control caster, the Mystic. Between those two, I believe Witchwarper looks to be the superior controller, but mystic looks to bring a lot more versatility to the table as a result of having higher skills and a much more diverse spell list. Thus while Witchwarper will most certainly outperform Mystic as a controller, Mystic is not invalidated by any means as it’s ability to be a controller as well as an off-healer, and fill out of combat roles like party face or even pilot depending on connection, will make it a good caster for filling multible roles that may be missing in a party at the same time. Like, in a party of Soldier, Biohacker, and (insert frail dpr class like Techno or Opperative here), I’d much rather have a Witchwarper over a mystic as all the other party roles outside controller are covered and thus having the best possible controller seems like the right pick. However, in a party of Soldier, Vanguard and Opperative I’d much rather have an overlord mystic over a Witchwarper, as it can fill the missing face, controller and healer roles all at the same time; something a Witchwarper could never hope to do.

Dark Archive

@Xenocrat: On the Healing front you forget that they might be getting more custom spells in the final product. One thing you have to remember about Mystic Cure and it’s vairents is that they actually specificly work off Wis, rather than being keyed to whatever your class’ caster stat is. Thus, if the class was intended to have healing spells they would need to be new, class-custom healing spells that worked off Cha as if they just had Mystic Cure slapped on them it would heal far too little due to the Wis dependence and give them some MAD they would not otherwise have. Since a lot of other people have pointed out how the lack of healing spells dosen’t seem right, there is a chance they might give it a class-specific line of healing spells.

What I find odd, however, is the lack of Animate Dead and friends. You mean to tell me they can’t drag Negative Energy or the “T-Virus” from another world to raise and control some undead?

Dark Archive

Are monsters also more resilient or does their hp remain relatively the same? I would also appreciate an answer to my Cleric and charisma questions if you have them. If not I totally understand because if you didn’t play a Cleric yourself your not likely to know the details of the class...

Dark Archive

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I have one question that’s more selfish, but I would like answered none the less...do clerics have any mechanical use for charisma in-class/beyond social skills, such as uses/day for Channeling? If not, have changes been made to Cha to actually make it worth investing in for a character who does not use it in-class?

Dark Archive

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As the title says. With all the discussions and podcasts that you (the devs) have been engaging in, you all express that allowing players to make "any character they want" is an expressed goal of 2e Pathfinder. This is a goal I am 100% behind, and one that I feel is an awesome thing to aspire to. However, to truely achieve this goal, there is a masisve purple dragon in the room that needs to be adressed...and that is the fact that...for all but the charisma-based classes...charisma is THE GO-TO dump stat mechanically...and this is EXTREMELY prohibitive to many character concepts.

The passionate, firey warrior who leads others into battle. The manipulative, cunning dark wizard. The evangelist priest who inspires others to follow his deity with their powerful personality. All these are classic fantasy concepts and tropes, and are things a lot of players like to play...however, with charisma being as it stands now, players are punished for wanting to play characters like these.

How? Well, lets be frank. While yes, there are some tables that play "intrigue" style games, the VAST majority of groups will invedibly face some combat. This game has more combat rules than anything else, and due to how most adventurers for it tends to be structured, the vast majority of games tend to feature at least some combat. As a result, it becomes important for every character to be able to hold their own in combat situations, and the sad fact is that characters like the ones I mentioned above, who want to invest in charisma a little bit despite it not being an ability score their class uses normally, are harshly punished mechanically for doing so when it comes to holding their own in combat.

While one could say "but it has massive RP benefits"....the sad, cold truth is that for most groups and in most adventure paths, the combat deficiencies that investing in Charisma over Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence or Wisdom creates for non-Cha classes are far worse than any RP benefits the skill may provide.

If you dump strength, you will be carry less loot and you can kiss using any melee weapon goodbye. If you dump dex, you will be hit more often and have lower reflex saves, and therefore die faster. If you dump con, you will have less HP and lower fort saves, and therefore die faster. If you dump int, you will have less skill points, and therefore less things your character can do. If you dump Wisdom you will have lower will saves and therefore die faster. If you dump cha you will not be good at a few skills that you don't even have to take....meaning that if you dump cha, you literally don't suffer at all...or at least suffer in a way thats relevant the typical heroic adventure games that most tables tend to play.

Thus, when you look at things at this perspective, the freedom to make charismatic wizards, fighters, druids, clerics etc.. is one that is stripped from most players, as in any game where combat will be at least a semi-regular occurrence, they are mechanically penalized for investing in charisma over any other stat.

Thus, if you (the devs) truly want to give is the freedom to make the characters we want to play, you must rectify this issue by fixing charisma, and making it so a wizard who, say, wants to invest in charisma over wisdom will not be punished by the game's mechanics for doing so.

In short, to TRULY allow freedom of character creation, Charisma needs to be thrown a serious bone as a stat, and made so it can "put in work" for all characters in combat-focused adventurers and games. Despite the RP benefits, in PF Charisma is pretty much ALWAYS the optimal stat for classes that don't use it for anything to dump...and if you want true freedom in character creation, there should not be one stat is significantly "worse" to invest in than every other stat for characters that don't make use of it directly via their class.

I love what your trying to do with 2e, but if you truly want to do the right thing, and truly want to allow players the maximum freedom to play what they want to play, you will need to see the game for how it is actually played. You will need to realize that most players and most games require some degree of combat effectiveness from their PCs, and that if you have one stat that is more easily dumped than every other stat in the game from a combat effectiveness standpoint, that at most tables and in most games, players who choose to have their characters invest in that stat (as oppose to, say, wisdom) while being a member of class with no direct use of it are mechanically punished for playing what they want to play. This is counter to the goal of allowing players to play what they want to play, and something I very passionately feel should be rectified in PF 2e.

I hope that if you(any devs) read this, that you will at least do so with an open mind and consider what I am saying.

Dark Archive

Thats what I said above. Make wis the casting stat, but have some builds that can take some cha without being mechanically punished for doing so. I suggested above that one way this could be done is to have feats that either let you be a war cleric, or let you leverage your charisma to either make in-combat healing viable (if you worship a more goodly deity) or be a necromancer/undead master (if you worship a more sinister deity) This would work best thematically since cha was always tied to turn/rebuke undead and channeling, so having the cha-build be the one who focuses on healing power (for good-leaning deities) or necromancy (for evil-leaning deities) would be most fitting for the history clerics have with the stat...

Dark Archive

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Admittedly, it IS strange that clerics cast with Wisdom, when they seem much more suited to giving their message out with Charisma-

I was going to answer that if you compare a cleric to say... a Catholic priest, a modern priest has to study for years before becoming a priest. But then again, I guess that would make them Intelligence based rather than Wisdom based. Hmmm.

Anyway, I think the Wisdom requirement is often based on the idea that you have to be wise in order to understand the will of the gods or something. Charisma by itself gets you followers, but doesn't get you anything from a god.

Yeah, which is fine. I am not against clerics casting off or using their wisdom. What I am against is them not having a mechanical use for Cha beyond a handful of skills. Much of what a cleric is often expected to do RP-wise demands a decent charisma, and if the class has no mechanical use for the ability beyond skills like diplomacy, then it becomes THE SINGLE BEST ABILITY TO DUMP for the class...and RP wise, IT SHOULD NOT BE...as much of what a cleric wants to do and is often expected to do demands having a solid Cha (such as a 14 at 1st level, which seems just about right for a Wis primary class that also wants to be fairly charismatic)

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Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:

The unified proficiency bonus of 5E is ultimately what kept our group from adopting it.

Personally, I loved it and loved the 5E engine, however my players didn't.

I am hoping that there will be some way to differentiate skill between characters. In my opinion, not every rogue should be equally as good as any other rogue of the same level in all things that they are proficient in. And, there should be a way for fighter X to be different from fighter y.

I do trust that Paizo already has something in mind that will fulfill what I'me looking for in this regard. And, I'm looking forward to seeing how they address it.

They claimed that their are different “levels” of proficiency beyond just trained and undermined. Thus, we can infir that you will be able to add more than your level +mod to a skill if you take a higher level of proficiency with it. So while I forget the exact proficiency level names mentioned, I’ll make up my own for the sake of example. Untrained means you just add your ability mod while trained is Level + Ability mod. Above trained we have “expert” which is Level x2 + Ability mod. So using your Rouge example, one rogue wants to be more Stealth and theivery focused, so she becomes an expert in stealth, disable device and sleight of hand while being only trained in skills like acrobatics and diplomacy: another rogue wants to be more of s Con-artist/face, so he becomes an expert in bluff, diplomacy, and sense motive while only being trained in stealth and the like.

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That would be a nice compromise, I think, though the only issue is the Cha exploits for arcanist a are strictly worse mechanically than the non-Cha ones, so if this is the route they go i’d Like the Cha (and Str) options to actually be mechanically strong, unlike the mechanically weak Cha exploits for the arcanist.

Like, I think an example of this would be to, say, have each “ability build” focus on a different aspect of cleric-ing. Since all clerics will use Wis regardless, I like the idea of the wis feats being the general spellcasting feats, allowing a Str or Cha clerics to still get mileage out of them since they will also want wis, while also making the wis-sad “caster cleric” build possible. Str Feats would turn the cleric into more of a warpiest/Gish while the Cha feats could be used to, say, make in-combat healing and channeling viable and boost Necromancy/undead pet mastery. (So Cha clerics are not shafted by going evil/evil Cha clerics have a viable build despite not being good at healing. Also having the Channeling and Necro-Mastery Feats work off the same stat (Cha) makes sense themeaticly, since Channeling negative energy and Necromancy have always had a close association)

This would be kinda like an MMO in that it would create “specs” within the class, the breakdowns being as such:

Offensive Caster -Wis SAD Cleric

Melee/Gish - Wis/Str Cleric

In-Combat Healer (if good-leaning)/Necromancer (if evil-leaning) - Wis/Cha Cleric

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That would be an interesting idea. I assume they would still cast off Wisdom, but could take either Str or Cha on as a secondary stat via feats, or just take none of those feats abs be entirely Wis-SAD? If they go this route, Paizo would have to make sure the Cha and Str feats are in all ways equal to each other power wise, and slightly better than the wis feats (as a reward for taking on MAD), otherwise it becomes a case of Cha STILL being an auto-dump.

As for clerics casting off Cha....I personally would LOVE that, but I am not sure that Paizo will make such a massive departure from tradition like that. Like, IDEALLY sorc would just be an archetype of wizard and not acore class, with the core Cha Full caster instead being the cleric.,..but I am not holding my breath for that.

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I also think that there should be archetypes that allow classes to make use of ability scores they normally don't, to allow character concepts that would normally be mechanically punished to be mechanically viable, such as a fiery, passionate evangelist cleric who casts off charisma instead of wisdom, a skad-style bard that favors strength and heavier armor/weapons over dex and more finnese-type weapons, or an intelligent barbarian that goes into a state of deep combat focus during which they apply their knowledge of anatomy and/or combat tactics to make deadly strikes. (as oppose to the traditional rage.)

If they truly want extensive but elegant and easy-to-understand customization for characters within classes instead of using systems outside of classes for that (which seems to be something they want to go for), then archetypes would be a GREAT way for them to allow players who want to have their characters take points in an ability score(s) their class typically has no use for not be mechanically punished for playing what they want to play.

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My personal wishes:

- PLEASE give clerics some mechanical use for cha beyond skill bonuses. Clerics have always been wise, but also often charismatic...RP-wise, charisma is needed to evangelize and convince people of the virtues of your faith, so I do NOT want Cha to become the go-do dump for Clerics, and I want a cleric who wants to invest in cha/be an evangalist not be mechanically punished for doing so.

- No more limited spells known for sorcerers. You heard me. If all other casters are going to cast like an arcanist while sorcs are still limited by spells known...they will suck. HARD. Thus, if this is the route they go as-inspired b y 5e, I think an ideal solution may be to let them prepare spells like a wizard or cleric/have arcanist style casting...but with less spells prepared than a wizard, cleric etc..(like, say, the wizard or cleric having a max of 30 + spells prepared while the sorc only has max of 15 prepared at the same level.) However, in return for being able to prepare less spells, Sorcs will get more spell slots, including higher level spell slots. With spells not scaling as well into higher levels, this will retain the theme of sorcs having more "raw power" (due to more higher level spell slots being a lot more valuable than having lots of spells prepared, but less high level slots, due to spells not scaling as well into high levels) but less "variety" without actually shackling them with limited spells known and therefore just making them straight up worse than wizards (who presumably have arcanist-style casting)

Conversely, if the limited known spells must stay, then at least merge kneticist and summoner into the sorcerer class, letting a sorc choose between having powerful at-will magical abilities to supplement their limited casting (in the same vein as a 3.X warlock or kneticist in 1e PF), or having a summoner/spiritualist-style pet to do the same (which would allow for the sorc not to always be forced into a blaster/dpr role for players who want to play the class as something other than as blaster.) If the limited known spells MUST stay, then at least giving the sorc the option to have some some very strong at-will magical powers or an eidolon would help to compensate for their casting being WAY worse when everybody else has arcanist casting.

Likewise, if the eidolon route will be a possibility for a sorc, I would like it if they can get more summoning/pet options, as well as necromancy options, so they can be the ultimate pet hoard master class. That would also help them compensate majorly for being royally shafted casting-wise compared to other casters.

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As the title says. For a long time, I have played D&D and Pathfinder, and for a long time, one of my favorite classes has been the Cleric. Both the ability suite the cleric possesses and the role play aspects of being a chosen agent of a higher power, sent out to spread their deity's faith and message, have always appealed to me as a player.

However, with starfinder getting dropped, a move made in that game DEEPLY troubled me when it came to this edition...and that was the decision to make Mystics not have any mechanical use for Charisma. While I can understand it in the context of the mystic class; a mystic may not serve a deity, and may not be an evangelist...and for those that are, the massive skill bonuses from channel skill compensated for their lower charisma when it came to social skill checks.

However, thats not why I am troubled. The reason I am troubled is that the wisdom-sad precedent set both by it and the 5e cleric have, in my eyes, set a dangerous trend when it comes to the role play integrity of the cleric class and what it is meant to represent. Thing is, clerics, by virtue of what they are, SHOULD have the mechanical option to make a decent charisma score benefit them in a more direct and potent way than just social skill checks. Why? Because, while there can be cloistered clerics who don't have a way with words and people due to being sequestered from the world to contemplate their faith, when myself and many other gamers imagine an "iconic" cleric, we imagine a very passionate, fiery, and zealous personality that is able to sway others to see the light(or power if evil) of their deity...all things that, in both role play and mechanical terms, require having a good cha.

The iconic cleric who evangelizes, spreads the faith and has a passionate belief in their deity and forceful, fiery, zealous personality is extremely iconic, and what many who imagine a cleric envision. Thus, I personally feel that to keep this "archetype" of what a cleric can be alive and well in the game, that clerics need some mechanical use for charisma beyond skills, which the SF mystic and 5e cleric don't.

Why? Well, if all clerics need cha for is social skills, then mechanically, a cleric is punished for investing in cha. There is no way around this fact. With cha impacting no defenses (I still think it should factor into will saves over wis, but that's a discussion for another time), if a cleric has no in-class feature(s) or power(s) that utilize cha then they are, in fact, mechanically worse off for investing in cha over another stat such as str (melee attack), dex (AC and reflex saves), Con (health and fort saves), Int (skill ranks/points). Every other stat provides a stronger mechanical benefit for the cleric than cha does, and as a result if channel energy is shifted to working off wisdom like the SF mystic instead of Cha, then the charismatic evangelizing preacher cleric is DEAD as a mechanically viable character concept, as cha will always be THE stat you will want to dump as a cleric.

Thus, to keep this kind of cleric alive and mechanically viable, I an making this passionate plea to keep the Cleric's channel energy based on Charisma, as it should be. If this is not possible, then I would at least like to know that their are feats or archetypes that let a cleric make use of cha mechanically for something other than skill bonuses, somehow, such as say an "evangelist" archetype for the class that swaps them from a wis-sad class to a cha-sad class, or say making undead controlled with necromancy spells and/or max summons you can control with summoning spells cha-based.(which should be applied for spellcasting overall if implemented for one class, in my opinion)

If at all possible, if any devs read this thread, I would greatly appreciate re-assurance that clerics have SOME way in PF 2e to make charisma not their go-to dump stat and use it mechanically for something beyond just social skill bonuses. Any and all thoughts and input from devs (or anybody) would be appreciated!

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Takhisis wrote:
Likewise, since Charisma was always the stat most historically associated with Necromancy....

Wait...I'm sorry, what? This was simply never true.

I'm not even sure there was ANY Charisma-based magic before the 3.0 Sorcerer and Bard, and I always thought that was a mistake in the former case.

You forget the Dread Necromancer from 3.5e, which is arguably the most iconic necromancer option from that edition of the game. Likewise, Rebuking undead, undead hit points, and undead fort saves have always been Cha-based since 3.5e. Even further, in PF the best Necromancer class, bar none, was the Oracle...and even non-cha casting Necromancers still needed a relatively high cha to make the most use out of Command Undead. Maybe always historically associated was the wrong phrasing, I'll give you that. I should have said "most historically associated since 3.X" since Cha had nothing to do with anything magical until 3.X, let alone Necromancy.

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As the title says. I am a big, big fan of Necromancy, and as a result I was quite saddened by the lack of a proper necromancer option for starfinder. Additionally, I love charismatic characters, so I was also saddened by the lack of a proper Charisma-based spellcaster for starfinder. Thus, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, rectifying both "issues" with one homebrew Mystic Connection. Seeing as archetypes are no longer class-limited, I felt the Mystic was the best chassis for a casting-stat-swap "archetype" since they get their connection right at first level meaning a stat-swap for the class is as easy as baking it into a connection. Likewise, since Charisma was always the stat most historically associated with Necromancy, and I personally don't find trafficking with dark magics, evil powers and undead a thing a particularly wise person would do, I felt that the casting-stat-swap mystic and necro-mystic at least thematically work well together as being one and the same.

So, during a sleepless night I brewed this in like a half hour. As a result, it likely has the balance of something brewed in a sleepless half hour, so if anybody has any balance comments/advice they would be most appreciated! Anyway, here is the Connection:

Mystic Connection: Reanimator

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As the title asks. If you take the Ecclesitheurge archetype as a cleric, and you make your secondary domain an inqusition (such as, say, the conversion inquisition) instead of a domain, I assume you still get to choose which domains list you draw your domain spell from since you use the new list "instead of that list"...and since the inquisition has a list of "nothing" you would use the new list in place of "nothing?" This is how I've always ran the Ecclesitheurge cleric, and makes taking an inquisition (like conversion for wis-to-social skills) far more viable. However, while this is my assumption, is this the actual RAW or not? I am wondering because I was considering making an Ecclesitheurge with the conversion inqusition as their secondary domain for PF society if this is indeed the actual RAW, but since I am not sure I'd like a straight answer on this before I make said character. Any clarity would be appreciated! Thanks!

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With channeling clerics, without access to a specific 3rd party feat you have to realize something: you will never be a good "spellcaster" cleric OR battle cleric, at least by default. Thing is, offensive channeling requires significant Cha-investment, which means you won't have the spell DCs to be a powerful enough offensive caster. Additionally, since you need wis, cha and likely want some con, you don't have enough points to boost Strength as well which makes you a poor battle cleric, though there is a way around this I'll get to later.

Even further, offensive channeling, unless you can get a daze effect through it, becomes obsolete in terms of damage at higher levels, and even with the daze against foes that are not undead and not able to be effected by channel, you'll feel the pain of being useless. Thus, when building a channeling cleric, it is impossible to build -just- for channeling and be good at all stages of the game: you will be powerful at low levels, but as you increase in level you will start to feel a lot weaker. Thus, all offensive negative channelers will need to be hybrid builds(unless you can get a specific 3rd party feat oked by your GM.) if they want to be good at higher levels

So, with that in mind, there are really only two ways you can go. As stated, the cha-focus means you can never be a DC-focused character, so being a channeling/offensive caster is out. So whats left? Well, normally battle cleric is out because of MAD, if you can somehow pick up channel smite, guided hand AND power attack your all good to go as far as being an effective battle cleric is concerned. If you really want to go this route, I'd actually consider a fighter dip. Why? Channel Smite is a combat feat. Take 1 fighter level and you get heavy armor, better weapon selection and a free combat feat, that feat being channel smite.If you take the dip at the level you get a feat normally, you can get guided hand the same level meaning you don't have to wait centuries for your melee-viability to come online. yes, losing a caster level is painful as hell, but waiting 2 levels after getting channel smite to even get your melee going is even worse depending on the game and there are traits that can make up the lost caster level. If you go this route, I'd highly suggest holy Vindicator as well as it boosts your melee AND channeling at the cost of some CLs, which, if your not going to be a DC-focused "caster" cleric is a good trade for you. While not the most "optimal" build you'll be a strong melee combatant after cleric buffs and will have a powerful offensive channel, so it's a win-win situation.

As for the other "hybrid" build? Well, whats the one kind of "offensive" spell that doesn't give a flying **** how high your DCs are? Summons...and clerics make fine summoners. Normally, to make a summoner/channeler leric is nigh impossible due to the massive feat demand, however, the herald caller archetype fixes that in a massive way. Over the course of the archetype, you save enough feats that you actually have feats to spare in your build...I should know because I play a herald caller of Lamashtu focused on the madness variant channeling in a small online PGFS group and when planning her build I had feats to spare at the high tiers of play thanks to the savings gained from the Hearld Caller Archetype. If your interested in the Negative Channeler/Summoner, I'd build your current character towards it as possible:

Abilities:

Max Cha as high as you possibly can. Then put wisdom at 14 and either con or dex at 14(and the other at 12) if you can manage it. Dump strength and leave int at 10(you get 4+ Int skills as a hearld caller anyway) or if you don't mind RPing a moron dump str AND int.

Archetypes:

herald caller, because you can't make the summoner/offensive channeler without it.

Feats:

1st: Selective Channeling
Bonus (Human): Command undead (If your dumping strength to boost wis/cha you'll need a way to fight undead ASAP. Besideds, urgathoa would approve)
3rd: Shatter Resolve
Bonus (Herald Caller): Augment Summoning (And Spell Focus (Conjuration) effectively for the prerequisites of summoning feats, so 2 feats saved right here for free, not bad at all.)
5th: Improved Channeling
7th: Summon Evil Creature
Bonus (Hearld Caller): Superior Summoning
9th: Quick Channeling
11th: Sacred Summons
13th: Evolved Summons
15th: Free Feat
17th: Free Feat
19th: Free Feat

you can change around the order of the feats here to fit your needs other than selective channel and command undead at 1st level. Either way herald caller allows you to be a good summoner AND focus on your offensive channeling, to the point your summons flat out dodge your disease variant channeling thanks to your archetype. You can also do a nice double whammy of tanking enemy saves with disease variant channel + shatter resolve only to have your summons lay down one of their nasty SLAs. You are an effective battlefield controller through your pets and effective debuffer through your channeling. Even further, with command undead at your disposal you can play around with necromancy(again, urgathoa would approve) and have your conjured fiends fight alongside some rotting minions as well. While you are not a dedicated necromancer, your undead are still potent and you can use them to do things like aid another to buff your allies and your summons.

All and all, it's a powerful build and far more "optimized" than the battle cleric version will ever be. So if you like the thought of being the ultimate pet master, consider the summoning/herald caller route.

NOW, on for the part you've likely been waiting for. IF, and this is a big IF, your GM allows 3rd party content, there is a feat that can let you have good spell DCs even as a channeler with a heavy cha-investment. It's called Divine Charisma, and it can be found on the following SRD page: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/3rd-party-feats/4-winds-fantasy-gaming/genera l-feats/divine-charisma

If you take that feat, you can never boost Wis a single time with your leveling-tied boosts and instead dump everything into cha. By doing this you can effectively be a caster/channeler, using charisma for both your cleric spell DCs AND channeling DC. However, do remember that you can't dump wis entirely with that feat; you still need wis to cast your high level spells and for bonus spells, but you can boost wis through items instead of natural boosts from leveling as all you really need is 19 wis if you have that feat. With that feat, you can be a caster cleric who also debuffs and damages with negative channeling. It's a beautiful feat and it makes channeling clerics actually work well at all levels of play while not being broken (As you still need that wis for some things). Oh, and you don't have to take that feat at 1st level either, so you could easily squeeze it into your current feat roster and have potent spell Dcs and channeling....that is if your DM allows 3rd party. If this is for PFS you are sadly out of luck as I don't think Paizo has their own equivalent, sadly.

So, thats my two copper, take it for what you will.

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I totally forgot about the bloodline familiars, that is actually a GREAT way to take care of the claws issue. I'd actually take that over wildblooded as the wildblooded fluff is that your bloodline comes from linnormes rather than dragons, which would clash with the kobald fluff.

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No, I'm not as insane to DM AND play a PC at the same time, not only would doing so be dumb, but it would also be difficult.

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Good to know, if I did decide, however, to go with the wizard list instead of the cleric one, but kept the casting stat to cha, how well would I stack up in the "not overshadowing other casters" department?

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Yes, and classes, too. I'm actually working on a whole slew of Japanese-mythology themed spellcaster classes and archtypes, since I feel that, while the game has plenty of eastern options for martial characters (Monk, Samurai, Ninja) it's lacking the same options for casters. So I'm making a Kanushi/Miko class(which is a virtually unheard of d6 HD divine caster. It has some nice elements, such as using ofuda/talismans in place of (non-expensive) material components and divine foci and the ability to "petition the Kami" using the diplomacy skill, expanding the spells available to them to prepare in a way similar to 3.5e's sha'ir!), a Kitsune-tsukai (which gets an interesting debuff mechanic that is loosely based on the medium's spirit possession, using the Tsukai's fox spirit to possess enemies and make them suffer penalties or risk being dominated.) and several archetypes. The archetypes include a Yamabushi archetype for clerics, another stab at the Onmyoji (this time as an arcanist archetype), exorcist and marital/gish archetypes for the Kanushi/Miko and several Kitsune-tsukai archetypes that swap the theme(including several class features) from foxes to another type of mythology-fitting animal. (Snake, Toad etc...)

I'm not intending to ever publish any of this in the near future, but...if I mannage to playtest it a bit, polish it, and ever get it in a position I feel is worthy for mass release I may put it out for free in a nice pdf through a site like GiTPG or ENworld, and if anybody here wants to help with the BETA-phase and playtesting of all this materal please let me know!

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These are nice. Very nice indeed. I'm wondering, though, are the rest of us allowed to create characters for this thread? I ask because I feel like whipping up a Kitsune Onmyoji (Interjection Games' awesome class, not the Paizo spirtualist archtype) in the spirit of all things Japanese mythology.

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As the title says. I am trying to get a group togther for a Kingmaker game and in it I'm aiming to be the ruler. My character in this game will be none other then an Eldritch Godling, a wonderful 3PP class made by Rouge Genius Games. The class is fun and flavorful, but quite powerful and I am worried that with their unique style of spellcasting (No concentration checks, still works in an anti-magic field etc...) I will totally overshadow any other spellcaster in my party. Now, to compensate for this, I've already settled on a few things to help "scale down" my power. I've elected to take charisma as my casting stat (generally regarded the "worst" stat you can cast off of), and have opted to take the Cleric spell list instead of the wizard one.(Again, wizard being the "best" spell list in the game) However, is there anything else I could do to help me not overshadow other spellcasters? Any advice on this would be most appreciated!

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Losing inspire courage is not as bad as it seems if you build accordingly. Variant Channeling in particular is a strong option to build around as being able to confuse or daze entire mobs while also damaging them is quite a powerful control tool that, at least to me, makes up for the lack of inspire courage. Also, if you go with Urgathoa instead of one of the daze/confuse channeling deities you can grab Shatter Resolve to make your negative energy channeling also inflict the shaken condition. Combine this with necromancy shenanigans(Urgathoa would approve!) and you can be handing out both "buffs" via aid another and similar actions from your undead to your summons while simultaneously debuffing and damaging enemies. Even further, the fact your "buff" comes in the form of multiple bodies means they serve another purpose: battlefield control. Hoards of undead mooks backed by elite summons make for a very potent little army with which to direct the flow of battle.

Necromancy not your thing? Be an aasimar and take the channel force line of feats. Now instead of using an undead legion to apply control you push, pull and throw enemies around like a Jedi or Sith, controlling the battlefield through manipulating positioning. The evangelist works great as a summoner because it's a natural force multiplier. The hearld caller meanwhle, due to the saved feats, can be made into a strong force divisor I.E. controller via negative channeling.

Thing is, offensive channeling is very feat intensive and kinda worthless to make the sole focus of a character, but it plays exceptionally well with a hearld caller as the archtype covers the weaknesses of a negative channeling-focused cleric(aka being weaker at high levels) while a negative channeling build makes up for the hearld caller being a weaker force multiplier by making it a potent force divisor if built correctly. An evangelist simply can't be built as an effective channeling-focused build because it gets too few feats; so this is the one place the hearld caller really shines over the evangelist in my eyes.

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Herald Caller Clerics are actually one of my favorite character types in all of pathfinder. The archtype is simply amazing. While evangelist is a strong summoner, the herald caller has several boons the evangelist does not. The first, and biggest, is the 4+ Int skill points. This is huge for out of combat effectiveness and it is almost worth taking the archtype for this alone. Herald Caller is, simply put, what the cloistered cleric archtype should have been. However, skill points aside, the saved feats are great because they allow you to take more feats that matter. needing Spell Focus (Concentration) was always a pain for summoning builds, and Herald Caller eliminating that is a huge boon to summoning builds of all kinds.

Why? By saving you three feats, Hearld Caller lets you make "hybrid" builds more effectively than a Evangelist can. For the evangelist to be a truely effective summoner, you need he wants an ABSOLUTE minumum of 3 summoning-focused feats, one of which is the otherwise useless spell focus (conjuration), and likely want at least 5 or possibly even 6 since summon good/evil/neutral(summon good/neutral creature are pretty much mandatory for summoner clerics with non-evil auras), evolved summons and superior summoning are all great feats. So if you want to be "the best" summoner you can be, thats going to be 9 feats as an evangelist. So, if you wanted to be...say...a melee-focused reach cleric AND the best possible summoner you could be, you'd either have to delay your summoning prowis to very high levels to take stuff like power attack and combat expertise early, OR use the bare minimum summoning feats needed to be "good" at summoning.

The Hearld Caller, meanwhile, thanks to his free feats, can squeeze both all the feats needed for reach shenanigans AND the summoner essentials into the early levels, making him effective at both earlier than the evangelist while also letting him take all the summoning feats he wants WHILE STILL HAVING MORE FREE FEATS in the higher levels that can be spent on things to further bolster his combat prowis. Herald Callers, simply put, make far better "reach summoners" than evangelists because of the saved feats and better early game effectiveness with both roles.

Even further, the Hearld Caller does something else that, in my mind, was very needed in Pathfinder, that no other cleric archetype, not even evangelist can do. Whats that? Fix negative energy channelers. Negative energy channelers normally suck hard without either the rulership daze or madness confuse. To "work"a negative channeler needs to pump cha at the expense of wis, lowering their DCs to the point where they can never reliably cast a DC-based spell again, AND have to spend a good number of feats on channeling. Even further, the need for cha makes them too MAD to be a melee cleric, and at higher levels channeling damage doesn't scale strong enough to make it a worthwhile tactic. This leads to negative channeling clerics being limited to the same small handful of deities with OP vairant channeling options or being lame ducks that do nothing but cast buff or utility spells at high levels when channeling starts to suck.

Yet, what else on the cleric list besides buffs, utility spells and heals cares nothing about DCs? SUMMONS. Normally, channeling and summoning don't mix well as a build because both require heavy feat investment. Herald Caller fixes this in a BIG, BIG way. Suddenly, Offensive negative energy channlers become viable at high levels if they are also herald callers; the saved feats from Herald caller lets them stay competent at both channeling and summoning in the early levels while being truly powerful summoners in the later levels where channeling becomes less effective and summoning will end up being their go-to tactic! Hearld Caller actually provides a way to make a negative energy channeling build thats effective at all levels, so much in fact that Hearld Caller is pretty much the ONLY way in the game to make a negative channeler who worships anybody other than Ra, Horus, Lamashtu, Azathoth or that one butterfly goddess who's name I forget effective at all levels, so more power to the heard callers!

Oh, and while it's already been stated, your summons auto-understanding you is EPIC. No need to spend those shiny extra skill points on linguistics!

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I think straight sorcerer is the best way to go, here. However, I will suggest the Kobald bloodline over the draconic bloodline. While the draconic bloodline is very themeatic, it's features are skiewed very much towards a melee build...or at least it's first level power is. Thus, I'd actually suggest the Kobald Bloodline over the draconic bloodline; it's themeatic as you can get for a kobald AND has some very nice interactions with the race's natural stealthieness and perchant for traps and trickery. However, if your dead-set on Draconic Bloodline, there is hope. The only thing about the draconic bloodline that screams "melee" other than the form of the dragon spells is the claws bloodline power. Now, while form of the dragon is best for melee characters, it still has it's uses on a caster; it does provide some solid non-STR stat boosts, a breath weapon and flight, after all. The claws, however, are totally, 100% useless to a kobald sorc. You will just never have the strength to make them worth it.

The hope I mentioned? There is a fix for the claws issue: trade out those claws with an archtype! There are only 2 archetypes that let you trade out the claws, and both are good for different reasons. The -mechanically- superior option is the tattooed sorcerer, which trades out the claws for a nifty tattoo familiar, so it's a solid trade, but a bit dull mechanically. On the other hand, the other archtype, the Dragon Drinker, while not as strong mechanically as tattooed sorcerer, is so flavor-fitting it's awesome. The archtype is all about drinking the blood of dragons to gain EVEN MOAR dragon-ness on top of what the dragon bloodline gives you, as well as irking greater bonuses from consumed dragon blood. Basicly, you are a kobald so devoted to trying to be like a dragon that you consume their blood, hoping to gain draconic power from it. It's a very dark, sinister-feeling Kobald character, but boy oh boy the fluff is fitting and awesome! So, while tattooed sorcerer would be better mechanically, Dragon Drinker gets my vote, here, for the best way to "fix" the draconic bloodline for a kobald, as it is the most fluff-fitting. Word of warning, though, Dragon Drinker replaces the very good Draconic bloodline arcana with a VERY poor arcana of it's own, so if you go that route it's best to forget blasting(as you won't have the arcana to make it worthwhile) and instead build towards being a battlefield controller/"God Sorcerer." Without the draconic bloodline arcana, battlefield control becomes a FAR stronger option to build towards than blasting, which is no big loss as battlefield control is generally a better option than blasting anyway.

So...my votes?

Best choice: Straight Kobald Sorcerer, with Kobald Bloodline
2nd best Choice: Dragon Drinker Kobald Sorcerer, with the Draconic Bloodline
3rd best choice: Tattooed Kobald Sorcerer, with the draconic bloodline
worst possible choice: multiclass anything with sorc...seriously, unless your trying to make a melee build with dragon disciple or eldritch knight, this is not worth it...the spell loss is too great.

I can also give you 20 point-buy builds for any of these options, if you wish!

Dark Archive

Yeah, I'll wait and see, but I think quick channel may be better at level five just because dazing a hoard of mooks and casting a buff in the same turn is a lovely thing. I'll see, though, I am going to be playing PFS almost exclusively online, so once I get a better feel for the DM's prefrences I'll know more. If they seem to favor modules with lots of constructs, undead or things immune to confusion than Evolved Summons will be the superior choice. Otherwise, your right, quick channel does win out for the 5th level slot.

Dark Archive

I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE dumping int for RP, so no, swapping str and int is not an option. Also, herald caller loses medium armor, which is why the dex is there. I am not -100% sold- on noble scion, however, so if you think Command Undead would be better I can swap it out. However, if I do that, then than I'm keeping the 14 dex because +1 initiative is disgustingly bad for a character who's whole gimmick is battlefield control via summons and confusing mobs of enemies with offensive channeling. I can always drop profession and put favored class to HP to mimic the HP benefits of 14 con without actually having 14 con, though....as health > extra downtime gold in the long run, I think. As for melee, this character should, ideally, never be entering it. Against everything except undead and constructs they can use their offensive channeling(with added confusion!) which should be more then enough for PFS purposes since in between that they can be doing things like casting bless and other buffs .If I swap noble scion for command undead, I don't have to worry about Undead at low levels either, and constructs usually don't even show up enough to matter at the levels where my summoning is bleh, so yeah. With that in mind, how does this look?

Class: Herald Caller (Cleric)
Race: Human
Faction: Dark Archives
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Traits: Sacred Conduit, Reactionary
Favored Class Bonus: HP
Variant Channeling: Madness (Harm)
Domain: Trickery

Starting Abilities:
Strength: 8
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 10
Wisdom: 14
Charisma: 18 (16+2)

Skills:
Bluff
Diplomacy
Knowledge (Religion)
Spellcraft
Perception

Feats:
1st: Selective Channeling
Human: Command Undead
3rd: Improved Channeling
Herald Caller: Augment Summoning
5th: Evolved Summons
7th: Quick Channel
Herald Caller: Superior Summoning
9th: Sacred Summons
11th: Divine Interference

Dark Archive

As the title says. Finally settled on a concept for PFS, and here it is. I'm going with Herald Caller Cleric of Lamashtu focused on both summoning and offensive negative energy channeling (With the Madness variant channeling ability to confuse enemies!). The combination actually works out very well in my head because summoning spells don't care what your spell DCs are....so when channeling is not a viable option you can bust out the summons rather than just being a buffbot (battle cleric that negative channels is far too MAD, and with the cha-pumping a traditional DC-focused "caster" cleric is also not a viable route..so Channeling + Summoning seemed like the best option to me!) This build is too feat intensive for a vannella cleric, however, the Hearld Caller frees up three feats, making the build possible. Anyway...here's what I have build-wise...

Class: Herald Caller (Cleric)
Race: Human
Faction: Dark Archives
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Traits: Sacred Conduit, Reactionary
Favored Class Bonus: Skill Points
Variant Channeling: Madness (Harm)
Domain: Trickery

Starting Abilities:
Strength: 8
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 10
Wisdom: 14
Charisma: 18 (16+2)

Skills:
Bluff
Diplomacy
Knowledge (Religion)
Spellcraft
Perception
Profession (Midwife)

Feats:
1st: Selective Channeling
Human: Noble Scion (War)
3rd: Improved Channeling
Herald Caller: Augment Summoning
5th: Evolved Summons
7th: Quick Channel
Herald Caller: Superior Summoning
9th: Sacred Summons
11th: Divine Interference

Still working out the RP of this one, though I'm feeling a Tian devotee of Grandmother Nightmare with an almost otaku-esc(In the original sense of the word, not the typical anime-fan connotation it has now.) obsession with monsters and a hint of madness. I'll likely have a good backstory worked out once I grab some mountain dew.

So any thoughts/ideas on how to improve this build?

Dark Archive

Are you playing a Necromancy Specialist or Diabolist? If not them you have 0 reason to pump cha on a wizard. If you want to play a face there are multibleways to get int to social skills; both he Orater feat and student of philosophy trait spring to mind, here. However, if you want to make a charismatic wizard that's "optimal" than your best bet will be to specalize in necromancy or make a character based around planar binding spells that's working towards the Diabolist PrC. Out of the two if you really want to milk your cha, I'd actually go with a necromancer. Diabolists can easily make do with 12 cha while necromancers want as much as they can feesibly get; the reason for this is that Diabolists get a massive boost to planar binding checks while necromancers have 0 ways to boost their command undead DC save for one feat and raw cha. Thus, minion-focused necromancers usually will try to start with at least 14 cha if possible unless they don't care about ever being able to fully utilize the Create Undead line of spells. Even further, the necromancy school offers several good no-save debuffs that help to weaken enemy saves and in turn help your save-or-sucks land easier, compensating for the slightly lower starting int(though 18 is not "unoptimal" starting int by any means.)

Conversely, if you want a bigger use for cha, have you considered an Arcanist instead of a wizard? Arcanists use a cha-based ability to restore their main resource pool which makes having 14 cha more useful on then than on a wizard. Even further, while Arcanists are still int casters, they get an in-class method of boosting their spell DCs as quickly as first level, meaning that, when it matters, a level 1 Arcanist with 18 int will have the same generalist DCs as a level 1 wizard with 20. Granted, the Arcanist needs to spends resource to get that without 20 int while the 20 into wizard just had it, but the Arcanist likely had more well-rounded stars than that 20 int wizard, so it balances out in my mind. Even further, the Arcanist has even more flexibility than the wizard, with their "5e" style casting. So if you want a charismatic wizard you may be better served by an Arcanist.

Dark Archive

If you like the fluff of the dark tapestry but don't like the shapeshifting, and your DM is ok with 3rd party products, then I wholeheartedly recommend the Old Gods Mystery from Kobald Press. In case your wondering, it's basically fluffed as a "worshiper of eldritch horrors/lovecraftian monsters"...a sort of "cthulu cleric" using the oracle chassis in place of the cleric one. It's on the SRD, too...I've posted the link to it's SRD page for your evaluation. I think it fits exactly what your looking for since it fits the "dark tapestry" theme to a "T" without a heavy shape-shifting focus.

The Link: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/oracle/mysteries/kobold-press- --oracle-mysteries/old-gods

Dark Archive

EDIT: I was ninjaed...so I have removed this redundant post after the fact! =D

Dark Archive

Look at the prerequisites carefully. You don't NEED 3rd level spells, you need AT LEAST ONE of the BAB, skill rank or 3rd level spell requirements, not all three at the same time.(As well as deific obedience and all the other requirements that are not the BAB, skill and spell requirements) This is so martial, skillmonkey and casters each have their own entry method.(Though hilariously enough for spontaneous casters with delayed spell progression(Sorc, Oracle, Arcanist) the skill requirement is often "faster" to meet than the spell one and thus the preferred entry method.) As an alchemist, with 6+ int skill ranks and int-based "casting" the skill rank requirement will be something you should naturally meet just by leveling, so use that to qualify instead of spells.

Dark Archive

Even though that idea is amusing I sadly am too new to PFS to get any boons. If boons where within my reach, this thread would not exsist as I would just roll this character as a tiefling instead of a human.

Dark Archive

That's true, but it's the level of deformity that is the issue here, not it's presence. Hags are ugly, yes, but compared to the kinds of deformity that you find in humans they may and well be beauty queens. Case in point; compare a hag to the elephant man. The issue I was having was no deformity itself, but the extreme nature of the kinds of deformity's you find in the human race. When deformity shows up in humans it is usually so extreme that it WILL effect one's ability to influence others, which means a lower cha despite how personable you may be. The traits, however, provide me an excuse to have a deformity that is not a result of the human gene pool and thus can still be "monsterous" enough for my character to have faced discrimination while not so extreme that their high cha seems contradictory. In simple terms, with the traits I can be more like a hag" or "tiefling" in looks instead of being as extremely deformed as the elephant man.

Dark Archive

"Mad and unhinged" likely means CE though, and evil alignments are forbidden on PFS. If they where allowed this thread would not exsist as there are PLENTY of reasons a CE human, even non-deformed one, would worship Lamashtu. It wad not "non-deformed human" itself so much as "non-deformed human that is not evil" that was the issue. However, I have a sollution now, so I am fine.

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