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Syries wrote:
That’s true about the unneeded bloodrager dip, but having played a bloodrager1/skald 10 I can tell you my feats were spoken for at every level, so squeezing in two more for skill focus/Eldritch Heritage or even just one for the wasp familiar can be a bit difficult until you hit 11 or so. Primarily because skalds can suffer Sudden Barbarian Death syndrome, having lingering performance and possibly even diehard are highly suggested.

Wasp Familiar, Amplified Rage, Power Attack, Lingering Performance only take you to 7th. You could also go Community-Minded and put Lingering off until 9th, grabbing either the Eldritch Focus line or Skald's Vigor. Also, you might be better off ditching Lingering and using Community-Minded exclusively if you have a Superstition using Skald, since Lingering can prevent key spot healing with the Skald.

Diehard seems like a particularly bad solution to Sudden Death Syndrome because it is Sudden Death Syndrome. Sudden Death Syndrome happens because you're still standing when you should have gone down, so enemies hit you until you're for real dead. Diehard is another known player killer for that same reason. I know it can prevent you from going down due to Sudden Death but it won't prevent you from going down because you're still standing in front of the thing that just nearly killed you.

I played a Skald from 3-14 and got Sudden Death'd just once. That instance, the hit was less than 10 damage away from killing me by itself - a higher roll on the damage die and I'd have been dead whether or not I was mid-Rage. "Sometimes enemies do the extra 10 or so damage needed to actually kill you (but really only at levels 6+)" isn't a good reason for me take a feat. If the feat incidentally protects from that while offering you other benefits like Lingering Performance it's definitely a bonus but it shouldn't be why you're taking the feat. I know not everyone has the same playstyle though and maybe Sudden Death is a more likely occurrence for some people, so I suppose take me with a grain of salt. We are in a thread for AGGRO support : )

LClemings wrote:
A lot of you mentioned skald, and of course that was automatically the first thing that came to my mind. But considering that A. I don't know what the party comp is even going to be, and B. one of the people playing is the complete opposite of me. (skittish and worrying about everything instead of focusing on one thing) Honestly, I would not be surprised if she went full healbot support and told me to do what I always do.

I think Skald is fine in that situation. You're only slightly behind a Barb on Rage power, so just one other person who accepts the song is good enough. You still have spell buffs for folks that are worried about the AC penalty or casting. You seem to be into the idea of a Paladin, though, which is also a great choice!

ekibus wrote:

Yeah I'm pretty much stuck with PFS for now. But that is part of the fun to me. I like sickening offensive but the more I've been thinking about it I'm soso. Combine extracts is up there for me. Expanded inspiration is definitely up there too, With my massive cha 7 I'm at a 14 diplomacy and am typically the one rolling so it is a good option, I'm good with perception...but hey more is good and sense motive could use the bump. Also forgot about amazing inspiration I need to get it in there soon.

Spells: Infuse self is pretty nice...actually all of them are pretty nice. One thing I'm debating on is getting heroism and freeing up a spot for alchemical allocation. Right now I have 2 prepped and a second level boro bead. Ablative barrier and resist energy is the other two.

I like Alchemical Allocation Heroism better on an Alchemist (and I suppose not in PFS! No crafting) because Brew Potion lets you update the duration on occasion. DEX Investigators have a lot more room in their 3rd level slots than Alchemists too, since you're not just blowing them all on Monstrous Physique I/Fey Form I. I guess it depends on your budget - another 2nd level Boro Bead is relatively cheap.

EDIT: Oh and I might actually avoid Burrow in PFS! I find a lot of scenario writers forget about that effect and it can pretty easily be fun wrecker if your DM isn't prepared for you to have it on hand.

I'm looking at my old Investigator char sheet and I think I took Amazing Inspiration at the same level as Tenacious Inspiration. I liked having the both of them, I'm not sure if I would take Amazing Inspiration before Expanded/Underworld or without Tenacious (which is out of PFS range).

Wondrous Items allow you to ignore non-feat requirements when crafting them in exchange for a +5 to the DC to craft the item. Most crafters would have no problem making it at a DC 13 instead of 8 - you can take 10 on crafting IIRC, so just a single rank and class skill bonus in Spellcraft is an auto-success. The extra requirement of Brew Potion is a lot harsher than the Alchemist requirement.

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blahpers wrote:
The lighting rules aren't that bad until you realize that a human standing in a large dark room can't see a lit torch 50 feet away, much less the person holding it.

The ruling that you can't see through darkness is pretty specifically about Darkness (and its other spell/spell-like variants) and not a lack of light. Darkness interacts with non-magical light differently than darkness. The effectively blinded rule in the Vision and Light section of the CRB isn't actually blinded (thus the use of effectively) - it is likely intended to refer to your vision with regards to the area of darkness and not a lit area nearby. I know you can RAW your way to the conclusion that you can't see through/out of non-magical darkness but that doesn't always mean you should. PF breaks down pretty fast if you go RAW doggin around.

If you're actually replacing the Cleric, I highly recommend Alchemist. Bards are fine for HP healing but don't have Remove X/Lesser Resto/etc. Vivi's Sneak Attack is nice but very much a bonus and not a "plan out every turn for flanking" set-up. They're not Rogues - Mutagen and Transmutation extracts are the reliable way to get damage and do so extremely well. The Preservationist archetype stacks with Vivisectionist and is worth looking into if you want to fill a support role. Summons greatly expand what sort of tools you have access to in any given situation.

I'll also second Syries' vote for the Skald. Except probably don't bother with the Bloodrager dip if you're starting at 5th level. Just pick up a familiar with Eldritch Heritage or Wasp Familiar. One of the benefits of the Bloodrager dip (bigger Rage) is invalidated at 8th level, which isn't very far away (also saving a feat or two isn't worth being late on class features). Skalds aren't as good as Alchemists at healing but Spell Kenning can make up for it in a pinch. If your party doesn't benefit much from Rage, consider instead going Half-Elf and taking Twilight Speaker. You get basically Inspire Courage but you can still add Rage Powers to it. Twilight Speakers also get the Community domain, which fits the support role well, and the ability to per day treat spell trigger/completion items as though they were on your spell list - another benefit as a healer.

Finally, like a few have already mentioned, why not just be a Cleric? The Evangelist archetype is great at support. Between Inspire Courage and Channel Energy, you'll have buffs and HP healing mostly covered, so you can pretty freely use spells for your needs instead of party needs. While I'm of the opinion that all you need to be a pretty impressive battle Cleric is Divine Favor (and Divine Power later on), you could also consider the Rage subdomain. Destruction's base power gives you a decent Smite attack, and pairing that with Rage, Inspire Courage, and Divine Favor makes you a very impressive attacker.

What is the rest of the party like? That would somewhat inform decisions.

Infusion is always a good choice and becomes better as you level and have more extract slots. You can try to convince your team mates to buy Boro Beads if they want specific extracts on the regular. This'd be my choice.

Sickening Offensive just became available and is very good if you have anyone in your party that wants to land saving throws. Despite being called Offensive, it's actually mostly a defense - Sickened for just one round mostly prevents retaliation.

Atheist Inspiration is either very good or underwhelming. Do you fight a lot of Clerics/Druids/etc? Take it!

Underworld/Expanded Inspiration save you daily uses of Inspiration. I found Inspo to run dry quite frequently w/o at least one of these. Easily skippable if you don't run dry too often on Inspo.

Combine Extracts through Extra Talent next level is Combine Extracts. I think it's less necessary if you're not a STR character, since IMO the best extract combos lean towards reach fighting - Long Arm + Enlarge Person, or Fluid Form + basically anything. It's also not really great if you've got Admixture Vials but those are kind of a rules mess, so some DMs might avoid them (and you should too if you're in PFS, because of table variation).

Channel Vigor. If you don't have a Haste caster in your party, take Channel Vigor. Even if you, consider it anyways because it's always good to have more Haste.

Infuse Self. It's a minor effect, but as you clearly know, those 10 min/lvl extracts are great. You're also unlikely to use other polymorph spells as a Fencing Grace Investigator, so this'd be your standard polymorph.

Standard 3rd level stuff you should look into is Displacement, Burrow, and the Remove X spells. They're all pretty self explanatory.

Past 3rd level, my top 4th level extracts would be Greater Invisibility, Freedom of Movement, and Echolocation. Fluid Form is great if you've got Combine Extracts.

Generally, most APs assume that any statted town uses the magic item availability detailed here. Can't help you if your DM doesn't use that system but it's set up that way in the pre-made stuff to help unusual classes like the Alchemist that might want items that aren't a part of loot tables. It improves the game experience, IMO, and it's worth asking your DM if they'll use that set of rules.

FWIW, Kensai could have DEX-to-damage at level 3 with a Wakizashi via Slashing Grace if that's something you're interested in. Weapon Finesse at 1st, Weapon Focus and proficiency from Kensai, and Slashing Grace at 3rd. Or you could have it from the get-go as a Human.

Can a formula be learned from a potion as long as it's a learnable formula?

You can use a Formula Alembic to learn the formula of a potion.

Does having a potion, and knowing what it is, allow me to recreate the potion using Brew Potion as outlined for my class?

No. You need to be able to prepare an extract to make something into a potion.

Can I know a formula before I'm at a level that I am capable of using it in an extract or potion?

Yes. Though, if you're poor, I'd avoid it. Scribing it into your formula book costs money. Table of costs here.

Sintog wrote:
Unfortunately, bonus to save DC only applies to Slayer abilities from my read.

I've always considered it to apply to all class abilities, since that's how it works with the Sanctified Slayer archetype. The only time I've done Gestalt was for an explicitly high power game, though, so we always took the most favorable read of borderline things like that. Even without, it's pretty good but of course you already know that.

I would have ignored them but my players like the little nitpicky rules and start to really question things like when I let the Human see down the 60ft hall with just Light. They monitor their own carrying capacity, too, and consider Ant Haul a key spell. *shrugs* Not the worst problem to have.

Lighting rules are actually pretty brutal, and significantly raise the value of Darkvision and Low-Light. I don't personally like them but they really shift how the game plays out in an interesting way. Ignoring them definitely makes for a very different Pathfinder.

Firebug wrote:

[Ghast Retch is a powder]

I'm afraid that combo doesn't work.

Huh, guessed I missed that! Thanks for pointing it out. An Artokus's Burst Jar is still a nice familiar debuff bomb, though IMO not as good as the guaranteed 3 round sickened. Or just an Acid Flask is fine if you want to be doing 3d6 damage. Your familiar could still potentially be throwing Ghast Retch Flasks on non-damage rounds, of course. The main point was really that Alchs can have cheap alchemical items for their familiar to throw and be able to contribute to combat. Honestly, a Tanglefoot Bag will do you just as well as any Hybridization option most of the time.

If you can change the associated weapon of an Inspired Blade Swashbuckler to the more setting-appropriate Wakizashi (basically the same stats as a Rapier), that'd be a good full BAB class with an INT benefit to pair with Kensai. The deeds lend a lot of good swordplay flavor. I'd also argue that Kensai Magus gives plenty of incentive for for high INT and that going full BAB actually allows you to focus more on INT, since the extra BAB mitigates the drawback of not making your damage stat your primary.

Alternately, a good INT focused option could be an Empiricist Investigator/Full BAB. Alchemy easily reskins as herbalism to fit into eastern tropes. Inspired Blade would again be a good fit here. You could be traveling as the Noble Daughter's attending nurse if you're supposed to be responsible for protecting her.

In general, I would heavily consider a skilled class, since your group seems to be lacking one. Slayer is pretty much always a solid choice for Gestalt because of d10 HD, 6+INT skills, good Fort/Ref, bonus feats, and a class ability with a flexible action economy (Studied Target starts as a move and is a Swift or a move at 7). I would keep it in mind as an addition to most 2+INT casting classes. Note that Studied Target increases your DCs, and should benefit spell saves.

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Lighting rules. I finally have Grappling memorized after 5 years of DM'ing. Most things that are similar-but-not-the-same as they were in 3.5 - I made the switch to PF very late. The second round of most Detect spells.

Technically not Archetypes but the Celestial and Destined Bloodline Familiars are pretty neat for a Sorcerer. Destined is really good - it's essentially Spell Focus: Touch Spells. Celestial is an okay healer at low levels, and doesn't have the weird restrictions of the healing power you trade out.

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Familiars can also Aid Another, they're essentially +2 to all skill checks (within reason - I'd probably restrict a Hedgehog from helping out with things that need thumbs for example).

Some Familiars are definitely capable of using splash weapons. Flying Familiars can probably drop them and hand-having familiars like the Monkey would be able to throw them. Grab a Hybridization Funnel, burn a few Full Pouch extracts, and have your familiar toss homemade Artokus's Ghast Retch Fires.

Infusion+Touch Injection allows your tumor familiar to buff you. It's another way to do the Poisoner's Gloves trick, and is less likely to require your familiar to have hands. Infusion+Preservationist is good, too, allowing you to summon with your familiar's actions.

Sage Familiar is nice for Knowledge checks, they free up some skill points for you and are probably the best for a skills-y character if you or your DM don't enjoy you constantly saying "and my familiar uses Aid Another...". It can stack with Figment Familiar if you want to do the Die for Your Master trick suggested upthread. If you go Figment, I highly recommend a Rhamphorhynchus, since it naturally has Evasion and without Evasion, a Figment Familiar will die to a lot of AoEs even on successful saves. They have basically no HP whatsoever. Tumors make for decent Mauler Familiars, too. You have a lot of good buffs on your formulae list, and having a combatant that can freely heal up to full after every fight is useful.

I would say that Tumor Familiars are one of the top Melee Alchemist discoveries and entirely skippable if you're a Bomber. Melee Alchs don't have any required Discoveries like the Bomber's Precise Bombs, so even just the free pseudo-feat from the Familiar bonus and Alertness for keeping your familiar on your person is pretty good.

Previous Similar Discussions: Here, here. They might answer some additional related questions.

I'm personally in agreement with SorrySleeping and Anguish. Even if it's a (Su) or (Sp) or spell that gives Fast Healing, it's giving Fast Healing (Ex).

Flickering Step gives Dimension Door a few times a day. The Planar Infusion line could get you another two SLAs. Does being able to access more SLAs through summons count? Because then First World is a pretty obvious Planar Infusion choice for the Summon Nature's Ally IV if that's the case.

Opportunist allows you to take the Rogue Talent Minor Magic. Not sure if it's worth losing all those feats for just one SLA, though.

Do you have to be single class Fighter? Are magic items allowed outside of the Item Mastery use? I assume no for directly providing SLAs, because then this is just a WBL experiment.

Bellona wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

Multiclassing still sucked if you assumed that a Wizard/Fighter would go into Eldritch Knight. Paizo's solution was to create the Magus instead.

In my opinion, the Magus doesn't fill that niche properly (and risks becoming a one-trick pony). Note: part of that opinion is based on the fact that I hated 3.x' Spellsword.

Personally, I think that the Magus would have been a better class if it had been designed more along the lines of the Warpriest: swift self-buffing (both of self and weapon/armour) as opposed to sending a spell - usually the same one - through one's sword.

Arguably Spell Combat is better than swift action buffing. You risk AoO but get to cast ANY spell as part of a full attack and can still use your swift action. Given that they can swift action buff their weapon with their arcane pool, I'm not sure the Magus isn't already capable of playing exactly like the better design you suggest.

You're definitely overly focused on Spellstrike, which is nice for a nova strike but anyone who has played the Magus for any length of time will tell you it's a lot more occasional than it's made out to be.

I think it's better to allow saves. I would definitely avoid giving auto-nauseated (or stunned), since totally removing a player's actions isn't fun. I'd probably also avoid going worse than Sickened since most traits don't give better than a +1 or +2 bonus and a drawback shouldn't be significantly worse than the extra trait you get from it. There should be a specific duration, too, maybe an hour?

I'm not sure "how much you need to eat" is a great meter to use, either. There's no hard and fast definition of how much you need to eat each day. Is eating a Goodberry going to mean that you're risking getting stunned for the rest of the day? How and why is that different from eating a full ration? Does a Half-Orc eat more or less than an Elf? It does seem like you're trying to make eating have rules consequences, so "how much you need to eat" might already be defined in which case this isn't a concern.

Stiff Stomach Suggestions:
"-2 to saves vs ingested poison." A very easy to avoid drawback but so are most drawbacks.
Or "Drinking a Potion takes a full round action." You're not good at eating competitions, so it takes you longer to eat/drink stuff.
Or "You must make a Fort Save (DC ?) or be sickened for 1 minute after partaking in any ingested effect (ie potions, Goodberry, Heroe's Feast)." Not sure how to word this one or if the DC should be static or scale with, say, the CL of what you're eating.

Trait seems good, though a little underpowered in most campaigns. I suppose if you're playing a game where you want to take it, it's probably a lifesaver!

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Get the Trap Spotter talent. There's a few traps in places you don't always think to look at.

Book 2 has a lot of Will saves IIRC, so I'd look into Iron Will a little earlier than you otherwise might.

There's not a whole lot of finesse-able weapons in loot early on (and if the party is at level 3, then the one notable one is probably already claimed and/or lost and/or sold), so I'd heavily consider spending some of that 3K on a +1 weapon. RotRL does a bit of the traditional D&D challenges, which means there's at least one early combat that's much easier with magic weapons. Even if you're planning on using the claws, it'll be nice to have in the meantime.

URogue should be fine in RotRL, though, especially on that team.

Cevah wrote:

@Taudis: Detect Magic and Identify do not reveal command words. Spellcraft does when you make the check. DC is 15 + item's CL.


Yes, thank you for making that clearer for readers. I was actually mentioning Detect Magic and Identify because RAW those and Analyze Dweomer are the only tools of item identification that reveal the Command Word (CRB pg 458, under the Command Word section). There's additional Knowledge (Arcana)/(History) DC 30 check to find a Command Word and avoid UMD mishaps if you've identified the item through another means.

baggageboy wrote:
So far we have coflicting thoughts on 2, 3 and maybe 4...

Well, I'm not 100% sure I'm right about 3 (and thus 2) anymore. I've been playing the way I said for a while without giving it much thought but I wouldn't be surprised if a DM required you to make the UMD check to emulate caster level in addition to the UMD check to use the scroll. If it's for your guide, I'd err on the side of caution and either use or mention the more conservative ruling (a check to use the scroll AND check to emulate CL). Which would mean that willuwontu's answers are all correct.

I'm pretty sure I'm right though - I don't think they'd create a specific DC for a scroll and mention that you might need to emulate an ability score but not mention that you need to emulate a CL. Given how closely the Use Scroll DC (20+CL) mirrors the Emulate Class Feature DC (Level-20) I'm of the opinion that you don't have to make a separate check to UMD caster level. The only way you'd suffer a scroll mishap as a UMD caster is if you were allowed to try to activate a scroll with an emulated caster level of less than the scroll's required amount.

I think 4 is pretty clear. The +2 is only mentioned in the Activate Blindly section. It should only apply to items you've previously attempted to Activate Blindly and only increase your Activate Blindly check.

Could be a sort of marker noting that it's appropriate for a summon. Entropic and Resolute had that for a while before being something that could actually be applied to a summon iirc.

Going to the Acadamae school from Inner Sea Magic should allow you to pretty freely add Boreal creatures to your list, seeing as they'd be the same CR as their Celestial/Fiendish equivalents and it's specifically marked as appropriate for summoning. The rules for education are a bit... loose but following the book's recommendations for how to gain prestige within your own school you'd be able to add 1-2 Boreal creatures per class level.

Dasrak wrote:
Taudis wrote:
There're also a few that give up poison and Mutagen, which theoretically might work for bombers but IMO giving up Mutagen is a trap option if you're starting play at early levels. It's an incredibly powerful buff and you'll be relying on it way more than bombs in the early game.
Worth noting that most archetypes that lose mutagen can buy it back with a discovery. This is actually better than losing your 2nd level discovery, since you'd still qualify for extra discovery at 3rd level.

And Bombing means you want Precise Bombs and an alternate damage type ASAP, while also pushing you towards needing to spend your early feats on PBS and Precise Shot. Mutagen also competes with other utility discoveries like Tumor Familiar and Infusion. If you decided that you prefer Brew Potion to Grenadier, you'll probably also need Rapid Reload to make your back-up weapon work (whether it's a sling or an X-Bow). Either you're missing Mutagen or you're missing some other desired early functionality. This is why I consider it a trap - the buyback is a high price.

Even if you do include archetypes that lose Mutagen, it opens up Homunculist and Sacrament Alchemist as archetypes that only trade away Poison abilities (and can still buy back Mutagen). Homunculist has a very specific flavor and there are a ton of players that don't want pets. Sacrament Alchemist places a penalty on a bomber's attack ability score. They're both good archetypes and have their role but there are good reasons why a player would pick base class over them. IMO much better reasons not to take those archetypes than Trap Breaker or Chirurgeon (which are still mostly just "I'd rather have a narrow saving throw bonus than a different ability I might not use").

Not to be too tautological, but the fact that I can argue that there is a role for the base Alch also basically means there is one.

Hunter was a lot of fun for the discount on certain key spells like Strong Jaw.

I'm currently playing with someone who is running a Skald with a Mauler Compsognathus Familiar. Raging Song giving it claw attacks and boosting the poison is pretty cool.

1) If you haven't identified an item, you don't know its command word. I think there might be edge cases where identifying an item doesn't reveal its command word but the two most common methods (Detect Magic, Identify) both reveal the command word.

2) Only activate blindly or when trying to cause an intentional mishap.

3) They shouldn't mishap via UMD. The DC 20 + CL check is essentially a combination of DC 20 plus the rules for emulating a class feature to determine your caster level - if you make the check, you have already UMD'd having the appropriate CL and won't chance mishap.

4) I would say that the +2 only applies to the activate blindly use of UMD, and would only work on a specific item that you've previously activated blindly. So yes, if you have activated wands/staves blindly before?

Alchemist Archetypes that only give up poison use:
Beastmorph - As mentioned upthread, some people have flavor issues with this. Also, if you're getting to 14, persistent Mutagen might be more useful to a bomber since the main benefit for a bomber is flight/senses and you can easily have those all day anyways at 14.
Chirurgeon - This is a pretty much a straight upgrade. Runs into the same flavor issue as Beastmorph but it's a smaller issue.
Royal Alchemist - I feel like I'm missing something but this is actually a downgrade, right? Get something that you could already make with Craft (Alchemy)?
Trap Breaker - Sidegrade if you're not a trapfinder. Poison resistance/immunity is better if you weren't planning to use either Trapfinding or Poison Use.

Honorable Mention to Preservationist, which doesn't give up a discovery until 18th so won't give up a discovery in most games. Suffers the same issue as Trap Breaker - if you didn't want to summon, why would you remove the base class's defenses?

There're also a few that give up poison and Mutagen, which theoretically might work for bombers but IMO giving up Mutagen is a trap option if you're starting play at early levels. It's an incredibly powerful buff and you'll be relying on it way more than bombs in the early game.

So, basically Chirurgeon is better than base Alchemist if you want Bombs and the utility of Brew Potion. And I'm not sure that every player would agree free Infusion/Breath of Life is better than having a better chance to avoid taking ability damage from that Giant Spider you fought at level 2 when a potion of Lesser Resto was half your budget.

Dasrak wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Any of them. All of the base classes are fine.
I think there's an important distinction here. Even if the base class is just fine (which I'd agree is true for almost all classes) there is still very likely an archetype out there that would appeal slightly more than the base class. Going back to the Alchemist, the vanilla class is just fine, but for any given build there's going to be some archetype out there that's going to appeal more. It's not that vanilla is bad, it's just that there will always be something that you'll take over it for any given build.

I'm not sure this is true (with the exception of totally free upgrades like Qinggong Monk and Primalist Bloodrager). Continuing to use Alchemist as an example, the base Alchemist is probably the best choice if what you want to do is throw bombs AND brew potions.

There're also several classes where going un-archetyped is one of the more unique and/or powerful options. Base Bard comes to mind - nearly every archetype trades away either Versatile Performance or Bardic Knowledge but those two abilities make the Bard one of the best skills classes in the game.

There's enough well-designed archetypes that someone going un-archetyped is rare but as said: the base classes are fine.

blahpers wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
I wonder if it'd be more interesting to ask, "What class would you never take without using an archetype?"
Any of them. All of the base classes are fine.

This point. The archetypes are, well, archetypes. They allow for different builds. That's essentially what the discussion on the Alchemist is about - the Grenadier is the bomb-thrower archetype, the Vivisectionist is the melee archetype, the Beastmorph is the Mutagen archetype.

That said, any class with a "free" thing to trade like Uncanny Dodge or Poison Use.

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Loved: The 2/3rds casters, Hybrid classes, Unchained's Automatic Bonus Progression (in theory, practically: only with houserules)

Wanted: Pathfinder's take on some of their unused 3.5 classes - the Warlock, the DFA, the Binder, the Scout, the Factotum, etc. I know we got a few tastes here and there through archetypes but it would have been nice to see full classes.

Also want every instance of a non-INT based class with 2+INT skill points to be changed to 4+INT skill points.

Hated: That they kept Combat Expertise AND split up the effects of its subsidiary feats. I don't think they needed as radical a change as proposed by the popular Elephant-in-the-Room feat tax houserules but adding more feat tax was a blunder and kept me from switching from 3.5 to PF for a long time.

Will Miss: None of it! While I'm sad 1E is finishing, it's a very good set of rules and I'm not going to stop using it. I already own a dozen 1E books and another dozen 3.5 books - I don't really want to buy into a third RPG, especially if 2E doesn't end up as easily cross-compatible as 3.5/1E.

I won't be surprised if I end up buying 2E APs, though. Getting to continue to use Golarion lore and characters could be fun and the 1E APs all had pretty good plots and dungeon maps and the like.

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Not sure how it would work in Gestalt, but Slayer's Studied Target would probably add to the Wizard's spell save DCs. Given that it doesn't compete with the Wizard's usual action (standard), and how nice the rest of the benefits are (d10 HD, 6+INT skills, Good Fort/Ref), I'd put in a vote for Slayer. Stygian Slayer frees up some spell slots with free casts of Invisibility and Gaseous Form.

It's simple but compliments the Wizard nicely and if you're doing Gestalt because of a smaller party rather than as a high-powered campaign, simple but effective is likely a better idea than trying to pull some complex god-tier build.

Rogues (and other sneak attacker like the Vivisectionist or the Slayer) can make very good unarmed strikers due to Sap Adept, Sap Master, and Knockout Artist. It takes a long time to get enough Sneak Attack to qualify for the feats but the Sanctified Slayer archetype for the Inquisitor can be a good way to set up the Sap Adept line, having a massive Intimidate bonus for Shatter Defenses, a bonus feat via Slayer talents at the level you qualify for Shatter Defenses, and native Invisibility

Depending on how averse your DM is to cheese, the Iroran Paladin might be able to double stack CHA-to-AC with the Scaled Fist Monk, since Iroran Paladin's CHA-to-AC is added to the DEX bonus rather than directly to AC, which makes the two bonuses come from different sources.

Hi, sorry for missed questions. I've been away from the game for a bit.

Arc D'lad wrote:
In the sample build you list Combat Reflexes, Spell Focus: Conjuration, Brew Potion and Throw Anything as feats you know but half-elf should have 1 less feat than what you have listed. I was curious if i missed something as to how you were getting this extra feat or is it just an error?

Thanks for catching that, fixed. In the sample, I take Combat Reflexes at 1st and Spell Focus at 3rd. You could do it the other way if you wanted but I prefer having Spell Focus only be a dead feat for 2 levels.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Is it completely unfeasible to do this with finessing a branch spear (Half-Elves can get EWP for skill focus)? It's an extra feat but having a huge number of AoOs can be fun.

Sure, but Strength is a way better stat for doing damage and the pseudo-Iron Will available to Half-Elves is better than EWP. A lot of the Alchemist's better buffs are polymorphs too, which heavily cater to a STR build.

In practice, you also only need 1-2 AoOs a round. Combat Reflexes plus 14 DEX gets you 3 and Greater Mutagen, Ioun Stones, improved stat belts, etc. will bring that number much higher.

lemeres wrote:

I am going to make an odd recommendation- the tentacle discovery.

It know. It seems odd, since that is usually a rather poor discovery, and people usually prefer the vestigial arm. But it can actually work for you.

Normally, the tentacle is a secondary natural attack, which sucks. But what if it was your ONLY natural attack? Then it would be primary, and get 1.5x power attack- putting it on par with a bite.

It also has an additional use- it has the grab property. With your bonuses to strength, as well as any buffs, you could use this for at least some grappling without investing feats. If you don't devote yourself to a grapple build (you already have summoning and reach to worry about), you might only reserve your tentacle for magical girls.... I mean 1/2 bab casters. Overall, it could be a useful weapon to have that doesn't rely upon your spear filled hands.

Because the tentacle has similar rules for 'no extra attacks' as the vestigial arm, I am unsure if you could use it for AoOs (if you can, then sweet- this might be more useful than seeking a bite from feral mutagen). If you cannot... well, if you are large, you could use grappling as an option when enemies get into your reach doughnut- where you can't full attack.

These are good points, so I'll add it in. I don't know if I would ever take it over Feral Mutagen as a "threaten adjacent" discovery since that qualifies you for Master Chymist and can combo with polymorphs.

WRT grappling: You're doing it at -20 if you only use the tentacle or losing the ability to use your spear. It's not like you won't want to drop your primary weapon and start grappling something at some point, so it's strictly a plus but not that great.

WRT to extra attacks counting AoOs: I've read over the rules for tentacle and vestigial arm a lot of times and am 99% sure that you can use it for AoOs. Those aren't actually extra in the way the rule and subsequent FAQs and dev forum posts define extra. If your DM says no, then you should at least still threaten with it for lining up flanking.

deuxhero wrote:
I really doubt it was intended that Alter Self only let you become the most common ethnicity of a species. Several alternate racial traits aren't the result of exceptional individuals but ethnicity and sub-species (most blatant is the half-elf options for half-drow, but some others exist).

This is one of the main reasons that I don't think that line of text actually bars you. It even might have the same mechanical implications, since half-drow could have Darkvision, which is granted by Alter Self.

Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
One of the Xes you get are natural attacks, and some examples Taudis mentions are racial traits giving natural attacks. [...] But in general, I'd say you can't transform into them in the first place, because nothing says that you can.

Thanks for pointing that out. Infuse Self would also give the abilities I noted for the Aasimar if the alternate racial trait were allowed to qualify.

The "nothing saying you can even when there's nothing that says you can't" is definitely where my hesitation is.

Azothath wrote:

hmmm... using polymorph to change into a creature with specific racial traits. It goes against the mandate from the CRB (quoted above) that the end form is a generic member of a (racial)type. Alternate racial traits are uncommon variances from the normal traits. Thus not generic, and No.

I'd talk to your home GM. There is room in game balance for a little give in this area.

I still think the "generic" line is just an explanation to the sentence before it. It's very hard to read that as anything but a restriction on using a 2nd level spell to pretend to be the local king when it's read in context.

FWIW, I am the GM. My playgroup happens to particularly enjoy Polymorph spells, so I end up on here checking certain implications. I prefer to check to see if there has been some kind of official word or at least some forum groupthink conclusion before making a ruling. I always assume the most conservative ruling possible as a player, and if that's something I'll still accept, then I go ask the DM if they'd give a less conservative ruling. No disappointment or builds falling apart that way.

I'd personally like to allow it for Alter Self because it doesn't change anything the spell can already do - the game won't break because you turned into a Half-Orc for a bite attack and Darkvision when you could already be a Troglodyte and get 2 claws on top of that.

It's a slightly bigger concern for Infuse Self, since allowing alternate racial traits allows it to do new things. I'm erring on the side of saying yes, since it's not more powerful than similar Polymorph options at that spell level, like Monstrous Physique I. I was hoping that someone might have had a clear answer that my search-fu hadn't uncovered.

I'll put in a vote for the Falcata just for the ability to switch between one-handed and two-handed. Not for the shield but for being able to still attack in a grapple. If you're able to start with a Ring of Freedom of Movement that might not matter though.

I prefer even a Scimitar over a Falchion for just that reason. You lose 1.5 average damage but aren't totally hosed by a fairly common occurrence? Seems plenty worth it to me.

3.5 had the Spellwarp Sniper prestige class that did pretty much exactly what you describe: change AoEs into ray attacks to get around Reflex saves.

I just looked it up, and it seems like a pretty straight forward conversion* if you didn't want to give the ability totally for free. Or you could just use it as a rules text template.

*I'd remove the Concentration skill from prereqs, and adjust the Spellcraft prereq down by 3. Get rid of Sudden Strike and just use Sneak Attack, because it's needlessly confusing to have two abilities that are so similar and adjust the class skills to add Stealth and Perception instead of Hide, Move Silenttly, and Spot

Isabelle Lee wrote:

I believe the key factor would be this excerpt from the CRB's Magic chapter, under the polymorph subschool:

CRB wrote:
Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature's type.
Since a generic member of that race would not, by definition, have any "alternate" racial traits, the official answer is quite clear.

I saw that but didn't think it applied because of the context of the statement:

CRB wrote:
Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature's type.

I interpreted it as being just a restriction on being able to impersonate specific people. "Appearance" also doesn't really prevent alternate racial traits that don't rely on appearance, like the Aasimar's Deathless Spirit.

I imagine them tasting like real world tinctures - alcoholic and herby.

Do Alter Self and Infuse Self allow for alternate racial traits?

Could you use Alter Self to polymorph into a Half-Orc that has Toothy instead of Orc Ferocity to gain a Bite attack?

Could you use Infuse Self to polymorph into a Tiefling that has Maw or Claw instead of their spell-like ability to gain 2 Claw attacks?

What about using Infuse Self to turn into an Aasimar with the Deathless Spirit racial trait to gain Negative Energy Resistance 5 and a +2 bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school?

I can't find anything that specifically disallows this but "not allowed" isn't always the same thing as "allowed" in Pathfinder.

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In 3.5 any caster could use a Twilight Mithral Chain shirt, which only had 1 less total effective AC (max Dex + actual Armor bonus) than 3.5's Mithral Full Plate. Even in Pathfinder, you can wear Haramaki or Bracers of Armor and get pretty high AC - depending on your Dex bonus, you might actually have a better AC than a twohanded fighter because you can use a Mithral Buckler without penalty. Mechanically, arcane casters having AC is fine and all but explicitly allowed.

Arcane Spell Failure Chance is all about enforcing that Wizard in robes aesthetic.

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Cuup wrote:
I'm confused why I'm getting so much unnecessary push back. My stance is simply that creating Undead doesn't NEED to be an inherently evil part of the Pathfinder system. I'm not arguing that it SHOULDN'T be.

I'm not trying to "push back", just offering a different viewpoint. For what it's worth, checks and balances against full casters gaining cheap, disposable, permanent duration minions probably should be part of the game. Is [Evil] the best implementation of that? Not really, but it's the one we have.

Cuup wrote:
Focusing on the undead labor example.

You never brought up another reason as to why raising the dead isn't evil. You vaguely say that it can be used for good or at least isn't inherently evil but don't give much backing as to why. I'm of the opinion that, even beyond the specific "fix slavery" example where the most likely outcome of creating undead is actually bad, treating the dead as tools isn't good. It involves a fundamental disrespect for life and heavily focuses on the body as a vessel separate from the soul in a way that doesn't disallow the justification of bodily harm.

Cuup wrote:
I never claimed that society was cool with Necromancy in the event that it wasn't inherently evil. Society would be well justified to be disgusted with, and even reject the practice of Necromancy.

I think that this is actually the disconnect we're at. Society decides what is good or evil. Inherent good or evil isn't real. Even within Pathfinder, where inherent good or evil is setting-real, the setting is decided by the DM (and the players to an extent).

Your example of cannibalism is fairly relevant here, because you're right that it doesn't NEED to be evil. Should it be evil? Well, yes, I think my point about verisimilitude holds true here: if the average player would have a gut reaction of cannibal=evil and try to stop or interfere with the practice, then you should leave it as evil in an average game. You risk players acting significantly out of character in a role playing game (why would the character think it evil? They have no knowledge of real world taboos). Should it always be evil? Well, no, I agree with you on that point. Games where players are challenged in their assumptions have value. Does this mean what currently is and isn't evil isn't a fundamental part of the game? I guess not but not being fundamental doesn't rob that stuff of its value as a way to immerse players.

Yqatuba wrote:
Lets go back on topic and just assume for now making undead is evil (according to canon at least).

We should probably respect the OP and start a new thread if we want to continue discussing this.

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Wisdom in the Flesh lets you replace one STR or DEX based skill with Wisdom.

Intrepid Volunteer is the Halfling one.

deuxhero wrote:
Detect Evil/Law/Chaos/Good/Magic's part about lingering auras. Loads of modules involve stolen artifacts, but I've never seen any mention the possibility of using Arcane Sight (Detect Magic is too slow) to track them down, same with HD11+ outsiders involved in some kind of plot.

Using Detect Magic as a radar system and for stuff like this I remember was a big point of opposition to unlimited cantrips - it diminished encounters like the ones you mentioned because anyone could just do that whenever. Very funny to see it mentioned in a thread about unused rules given the context of the last time I heard people talking about it.

As for the thread itself:

Combat Reflexes lets you make attacks of opportunity when you're flat-footed. To be honest, I don't never see it used but it's definitely used uncommonly (and much more often by PCs than by monsters!).

ekibus wrote:

Wow my jaw hit the floor with Taudis comment, "Teamwork feats aren't great for ranged fighting."

I will have to disagree, as a archer two penalties that really hurt is soft cover from allies and shooting in melee to a tune of -8 to hit. Obviously at level 1 you should be taking point blank and precise shot to get that down to -4 from soft cover. At level 3 you get solo tactics and take Friendly fire maneuvers...your allies no longer provide soft cover.. THAT IS HUGE. Oh take rapid shot at 3 :)
Coordinated shot will give you anywhere from +1 or +2 to hit. Enfilading fire wil give you another +2 to hit (teamwork feat bonus are untyped so stackable) For these reasons I'm not a huge fan of ravener hunter due to the lvl 6 solo tactics.

Or you can take the Deadeye Bowman trait and not rely on two other party members to make your feats work. This is kind of meta but I feel like if you've got two melee fighters in your party that are able to set up flanks often enough to turn your feats on, then those players are good enough at playing Pathfinder that their characters probably don't need much help dealing damage to whatever they're flanking. Plus, instead of relying on those teammates, you can help them with Preacher! Protecting your team from crits is sweet.

ekibus wrote:
Feat and spell stuff

I don't think Point Blank Shot is worth it using the Elephant in the Room homebrew options. I certainly wouldn't take it before Weapon Focus if it's not acting as prerequisite anyways. Sanctified Slayer giving you the option to have Manyshot and Clustered Shots that quick is pretty cool, though. Nice find with that!

Major +1 on the spells too. That's some good Inquisitor advice.

BadBird wrote:
The biggest drawback to Sanctified Slayer is that each target requires a new swift-action to use Study Target, while Judgement only needs a swift action at the beginning. Since Inquisitors also need a swift action to activate Bane, this can cause an action-jam. It also depends on how your GM works "pre-buffing" and beginning combat.

For what it's worth, Studied Target allows you to study an additional target for each +1 (2 targets for one action at 5th, 3 targets at 10th, etc.) and doesn't remove the option to use it as a move action at 7th, so you can activate it and Bane in the same round if you don't full attack. Bane also doesn't take a swift action each round to maintain, which is especially relevant for an archer who can begin full attacking a new opponent right away and wouldn't turn Bane off to conserve it while they move from one enemy to another. It's an unusual situation that a Sanctified Slayer needs to activate both Bane and Studied Target at the same time.

I do think Judgment is better for an Archer because the damage scales way faster and that's gonna be super relevant with all the attacks you make. You have to wait until 8th to really get it going but that's also right when you start making enough attacks for it to be a huge boost.

There's a Shaman archetype but it sets the relevant ability to Wisdom and doesn't grant any CHA-to-AC revelations.

Any reason why you'd like to avoid just dipping Oracle for a level?

Ravener Hunter Inquisitor. It's another way to access the Oracle revelations.

Iroran Paladin does CHA-to-AC but can't have it be greater than your Paladin level.

Devoted Muse is a prestige class that has the same restricted CHA-to-AC.

Cavalier Order of the Hero gives Charisma to reflex saves vs. Area effects (most Ref saves, I think?).

Osyluth Guile adds CHA-to-AC when fighting defensively or taking the Total Defense action.

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Cuup wrote:
Instead of attacking the specific example I gave, I was hoping someone would have looked at the actual point I was making, which was that creating Undead is only inherently Evil because the Pathfinder system says it is.
"Taudis" wrote:
For what it's worth, I don't think that the [Evil] descriptor on Animate Dead is there because of what is possible to do with undead, it's there because of existing taboos about messing with the dead. Moral opposition doesn't have to be based on efficiency.

To expand, this isn't an arbitrary taboo Pathfinder adds for no reason. It's based off real world stuff, of which there should be a certain amount to ground your stories in a relatable way. It's fine if you'd like to explore the implications of a world where raising undead minions is morally okay but that world is different enough from our own that certain base assumptions of interactions no longer function. I think Pathfinder can be a great medium to look into Tippyverse style worldbuilding but your average player wants to hit bad guys with a sword and not think about the implications of the Create Water cantrip.

Cuup wrote:
I'm saying that it's not a fundamental part of the system.

It's a worldbuilding decision. Changing it majorly affects the setting and has the potential to negatively impact player immersion. It's not fundamental but changing the moral implications of messing with the dead changes the setting enough that your game will play differently.

I also think that "fundamental to the system" is pretty loose. It isn't uncommon to hear someone say that they handwave Carrying Capacity for example. It's not "fundamental" but it majorly affects how a 7 STR Wizard plays. [Alignment] subtypes and descriptors don't need to be a part of Pathfinder but removing them has an impact on the game. Alignment is only a minor aspect of the game if you choose for it to be a minor aspect. You could say social skills or trapfinding aren't fundamental because not everyone enjoys out-of-combat stuff.

Cuup wrote:
Star Wars

Not the same thing. Destroying a military base and killing a political leader only means unprecedented economic collapse and a galaxy-wide power vacuum if the writers set it up to mean that. I think you're trying to say that massive societal change is going to be uncomfortable no matter what the cause but I don't think you're fully appreciating the implications of undead labor. It would be a very different kind of societal change - the likeliest result is slavers just killing all the slaves so they don't have to feed them or deal with disobedience. That's nowhere close to the same as "potential instability but the good guys are working to fix it".

mek42 wrote:
Is it still evil to reanimate if this usage of the remains was deemed acceptable by the "person" while still alive? Or even creating mindful undead - "Hey Bob, if I bite it this trip, could you make me into a wraith? I've always wanted to walk through walls."

Mechanically, the [Evil] descriptor overrides intent. Using Infernal Healing to save someone's life is evil, consensual animating is evil. Here's the relevant rules on casting [Evil] spells:

Additional Information on the Evil Descriptor wrote:
Casting an evil spell is an evil act, but for most characters simply casting such a spell once isn’t enough to change her alignment; this only occurs if the spell is used for a truly abhorrent act, or if the caster established a pattern of casting evil spells over a long period. A wizard who uses animate dead to create guardians for defenseless people won’t turn evil, but he will if he does it over and over again. The GM decides whether the character’s alignment changes, but typically casting two evil spells is enough to turn a good creature nongood, and three or more evils spells move the caster from nongood to evil. The greater the amount of time between castings, the less likely alignment will change. Some spells require sacrificing a sentient creature, a major evil act that makes the caster evil in almost every circumstance.

See Irontruth's post above for some info on why these spells might be inherently evil. You're free to house rule, of course - many people don't like the limitations of [alignment] descriptors.

EDIT: Ninja'd! Gotta remember to hit preview and check. I'm gonna leave it up for the rules citation. It's pretty clear consensual raising falls into the same camp as "guardians for defenseless people".

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