Alastir Wade

The Best of Us's page

1 post. Alias of Daedalus the Dungeon Builder.

As the title. I'm running Rise for a group of my friends at college, but I recently got a handful of minis, the most notable of which is a Cloud Giant, and am interested in trying to use them. However, I'm not sure where I can insert one into the campaign. Ideally, it would be a fairly major battle. The natural time would be to replace Mokmurian with one, but I also can't figure out how to make that have story sense.

Greetings, deities and adventurers alike! Have you ever wondered what Magic really is? Yes, of course it's magic, but that's hardly a satisfying answer.We want to figure out some sort of actual rules for why magic is the way it is, and what that means!

So, just to get it out of the way: this is a bit of a work in progress. There's areas that need refinement, other areas I still want to work on, but this is just about the basics of understanding what Magic is and why it works. In addition, because I'm trying to synthesize the general 'concept' of magic as a whole, taking into account numerous sources (primarily Pathfinder, but also more generic fantasy magic), it may not work perfectly for any given example, but that's fine. My main goal is to get a good baseline, that can be refined in time. So, what are qualities of magic that need to be explained? Let's define our parameters.


1- Magic is a thing that exists and can affect the actual, physical world.
2- Magic can break through the physical world and into other realms or locations (teleportation, for example)
3- Magic can last 'forever' in some conditions, but can also affect things only momentarily.
4- Magic has no respect for the laws of thermodynamics.
5- Magic can be stopped before it forms (counterspells), and it is possible to find an area where magic simply doesn't work or exist, with no apparent barrier between where it does work or doesn't (anti-magic and dead magic areas)
6- Magic can be impeded or enhanced selectively (some kinds of magic can be selectively stopped while leaving others unaffected)


There's more as well, but those 6 points will be a good place to start our fundamentals. So, here's my hypothesis:

Magic is a other-propagating wave, originating from other planes of existence, that those who can use Magic can manipulate to affect the physical world.


Magic, like all waves, though, requires a medium to propagate through, and unlike light, it is not truly self-propagating. Instead, it propagates through other waves of magic. (Confused? Welcome to any high-level physics) Basically, Magic, in order to affect something, travels perpendicular to other waves of Magic, each allowing the other to continue moving. Think of it like a woven piece of cloth, with each thread supporting and being supported by those around it.

Therefore, in areas with large amounts of ambient Magic, spells can move quicker and be more powerful. Areas with no ambient Magic, for whatever reason, cannot have magic introduced to them without a concerted and very careful effort, because there is nothing for the magic to propagate through. Perhaps ambient Magic waves can be specifically attuned to allow for the propagation of some magic but not others, or you can use a spell to counter or disrupt another spell, by affecting the Magic that it's traveling through. Spells that last longer include waves automatically travelling perpendicular to each other, allowing them to exist longer by utilizing itself in the maintenance of the Magic's structure.


So, that covers what Magic is, but that's only half the picture. Where does it come from? Well, my hypothesis is that it originates from an alternate plane of existence. You know how in Doctor Strange, it's explained that magic is just energy drawn from other realms of existence? Basically that.

For whatever reason, within those who can use magic, there is a portal to another realm of existence (let's call it a Slip), and that Slip is where Magical energy comes from. When Magic is used, the user draws energy from their Slip and shapes it, sending out shockwaves in the surrounding Magical energy, directed towards a specific purpose. Once it reaches its goal, the Magic coalesces and, depending on the exact pattern of magic, affects some sort of physical change on the world. Or, alternatively, opens up a new Slip, allowing energy, matter, or both, to travel between realities.


What do you all think of my hypothesis? Does it fit what is typically seen in fiction/RPGs? Do you like it? Does it make sense? What further insights do you have for the nature of Magic? If this proves popular enough, I'll keep doing posts like this, on the nature of Magic. I have ideas for the origins of Slips (including why I chose that name), breakdowns of different schools of Magic (along with analysis of other casting traditions), the origin of Magic from other realities, the nature of magical items, and lots more. Let me know what you'd be interested in hearing about.

I’m looking to make dragons truly formidable foes, and was considering giving all dragons Mythic abilities. How bad of an idea would this be? What I was thinking is

-Dragons have an automatic MR equal to their age category-2 (so a Wyrmling would have 0, but a Great Wyrm would have 10).

-However, they don’t gain the actual Mythic subtype (that would be reserved for dragons that were already Mythic).

-If the dragon as it stands wouldn’t have DR, it still doesn’t.

So what do people think? I like the idea of true dragons simply being so powerful and primal that they naturally tap into the same wellspring of power that most creatures could only dream of, and the oldest and most powerful dragons are beings on-par with demigods. Is this a good way to make dragons truly special once again? Or is it a sure-fire TPK?

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This is just a little Sorcerer build that I thought of spontaneously, and it's too fantastic not to share. It's a level 20 build, so I'll be going off of that assumption, however, the basic concepts of the build still apply from level 6 onward.

So, with the release of Chronicle of Legends, we got a whole lot of new toys to play with. The most obvious of which is, of course, the new capstones. However, that's not what we're focusing on today. No, we're looking at the wonderful feat Magic Trick (fireball). The main features that we want to pay attention to are Cluster Bomb (throw multiple mini-fireballs, with no maximum to the number) and Concentrated Fire (reduce the area of the fireball to deal more damage). Now, we can combine these two applications of the feat together to throw a whole bunch of 5-foot radius fireballs that each deal 3d6 points of damage. If you point them at all the same square (which you can do), whoever is in that little area is about to have a very bad day, taking 30d6 points of damage straight to the face. However, we're only just getting started.

Concentrated Fire, as one of it's prerequisites, requires you to have either Selective Spell or Widen Spell, with the obvious implication that they considered that you could concentrate your Widened Fireball to deal an extra 4d6 points of damage, which seems like a pretty suboptimal trade all told. However, things get a bit crazier when you also throw in Cluster Bomb. Suddenly, each of those 10 mini-fireballs deals 5d6 points of damage, and you can stack them all into the same space to deal 50d6 points of damage to our unfortunate victim.

But, oh no, we're not done yet. We're far from done. We, of course, take Spell Perfection (fireball), meaning all our lovely Widened Fireballs still only take a level 3 slot to use. Naturally, we also have Arcane Lineage and Wayang Spellhunter (fireball), meaning we have two more spell levels that we can use. How about... we Empower it.
Our fireball is now dealing 50d6+Empowered points of damage with a level 3 spell slot. We could also use a level 4 spell slot to Maximize it instead, dealing a nice, even 300 points of damage. But why stop there? So long as we have Spell Focus (evocation), we can apply Blood Havoc to the spell, upping our damage to 50d6+50+empowered. Then, since we're 20th level, let's just say we're Crossblooded Orc/Dragon, so our bloodline arcana, combined with blood havoc gives our tiny fireball now 50d6+150+empowered damage, or 450 damage if we Maximize.

But Magic Trick, Spell focus (evocation), Widen Spell, Empower Spell, Maximize Spell and Spell Perfection are only 6 feats. We're also taking Quicken Spell, of course, because that's just what you do. However, we have at least 10 feats, so we have, at minimum, 3 more feats to play with. We can do better. We use two of those feats on Spell Specialization (fireball, of course) and Varisian Tattoo, which nets us a +6 caster level when combined with spell perfection, meaning we get three more mini fireballs, and means we can add on an extra 15d6+45 damage to our total.

We are now dealing 65d6+195 damage (I'm just going to ignore maximized/empowered for a while now).

We even have a feat left over! Or more, rather, once you count Bloodline Feats and potential race bonus feats. That said, you'll probably want something along the lines of Elemental Spell, so you aren't completely helpless when fighting a red dragon, but you have metamagic rods for that.

But we still aren't quite done. Because, as a level 20 sorcerer, it is our right to get a capstone. And here, we are presented with a choice. Unique Bloodline is definitely the best option, as neither the Draconic nor Orc bloodline capstones are that spectacular for us. However, you know what is? Getting a new bloodline arcana. And this is where the choice manifests. Do you want to take the Primal Elemental bloodline, and deal an extra +1 damage per dice on your fireballs, bringing your total to 65d6+260 damage, or do you go with the Phoenix bloodline, and get the capability to heal up to four people obscene amounts of health each round? For this, we'll say you go for extra damage, but you can be more than a 1-trick pony if you choose (granted, it's only one more trick, but still).

But, now you're throwing fireballs that essentially deal an average of 601.25 damage with a 3rd level spell. Or, if you want to use a 4th level spell, 650 damage exactly. If you want to use a 6th level spell slot, well, that would be an average of 763.75 damage.

For reference, according to the Technology Guide, an exploding fission reactor (a literal atomic bomb) deals 20d10 bludgeoning and 20d10 fire damage (plus severe radiation), which is an average of 220 damage.
Your fireballs are 10 feet across, and are three times as destructive as an atomic bomb.

Chthulu has 774 HP. Pazuzu has 752. They both have fire resistance, but you are still nearly one-shotting demigods with a 6th level spell slot. If he weren't immune to fire damage, you're killing Godzilla with a pair of 3rd-level fireball spells and some wither lucky dice rolls or bad saves.

In summary? Magic Trick (fireball) lets you nearly one-shot demigods with a 3rd-level spell slot, with a hefty 65d6+260 damage (plus Empowering).

So... yeah. Do I win the DPR olympics now?

With the Chronicle of Legends out and giving wizards a level 20 capstone where before they didn’t have any, which one should Karzoug have?

On a fairly related note, which abilities that have been published since the Anniversary Edition should be given to Karzoug?

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, but I don't know where it should go, so.... *shrug.*

Are we going to have any APs or Campaign Settings set in Nex anytime soon? It just seems like such an awesome, high-fantasy place to explore, yet we know so little about the country (unless there's some hidden treasure trove I missed, which is absolutely possible).

Does anyone else wish that we knew more about the ultimate Wizard nation? It just seems like it's rarely talked about.

So, I recently found myself rereading some old threads, plenty of which were bemoaning how the only real viable way to deal combat damage is by attacking a lot of times, hence making Pounce vital and making it really hard to accomplish a lot of character concepts and actually be viable...

Anyway, it got me wondering how terrible of an idea this rule would be as a way to potentially re-level the playing field.

When your BAB reaches +6, you can choose to either go for quick attacks or powerful attacks.
Quick attacks work as they do now, where you take a full round to make a number of attacks based on your BAB, etc.
If you choose powerful attacks, though, when you take a standard action to attack, instead of making a number of attacks, you instead roll damage for a single attack that many times (so at BAB +6 you roll damage twice, +11 you roll three times, etc.). However, when you crit, it only adds on one additional damage roll (for a x2 weapon, more for higher crit modifiers).

However, it's only one or the other. So, you can choose to be a mobile warrior, running around the battlefield dealing powerful blows that are very likely to hit (but not devastating on a crit) or be stationary on the battlefield and attacking a ton of times, each of which could crit.

So... yeah. How unbalanced would it be to let players choose between vital strikes or full attacks?

I'm running a group through Rise of the Runelords, with my entire group being new to Pathfinder and the Inner Sea setting. At some point, I'm planning on outlining the overarching world of Golarion to them, so they know a little about the world they're playing in. My question is, what should I say, and what should I leave mysterious? Obviously stuff like the Starstone should be brought up, but what about Numeria? What should I tell them about Earthfall?

Note: this is much more for the players, not the characters. I'm not asking what sorts of things might be common knowledge to adventurers, but rather what kinds of things players should know to be roughly familiar with the setting.

All day, I keep getting logged out of my account when I go to open a new page or refresh one I'm on. It's been happening a bit the last couple of days, here and there, but it was really absurd today, where I'd have to log in every hour or so.
The really strange thing is that the browser on my phone has stayed connected, but it's just my computer that keeps kicking me off. Did something change recently in the way logins are stored, or is my computer just being crazy?

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Okay, so having had a couple weeks to mull it over and get some perspective, I think I can finally articulate what my main problem with PF2 is. It's not the mechanics, it's the flavor. I'm sure that PF2 is a perfectly serviceable, mechanically sound game (or at the very least, will be by the end of the playtest) so, instead of trying to overhaul the way numbers work (though I do think it should be 1/2 level for proficiency, that's neither here nor there) I'm going to try and take a stab at keeping the game as close to how it currently is numbers-wise (though perhaps just a bit stronger in a couple areas. It's okay for someone to be actually good at something, Paizo.) while overhauling the 'feel' of everything. That way, a lot more people can be happy. Through all of this, I'm going to try and keep all of the apparent design goals intact, perhaps even better off than before. I'm not going to remove an aspect simply because I don't like it, I'm going to try and head in the same direction that Paizo seems to be heading with PF2, whether I like it or not.

However, this is also a lot of different points, so I'm going to break it down into different subsections, each focusing on their own aspect. The common theme throughout all of this is to try and get rid of as many redundant parts as possible, streamline it, make things feel less arbitrary, and make everything feel rewarding from a mechanical standpoint, while also keeping all numbers as close as possible to how they are now. So, without further ado:

Part 1: Make Abilities Great Again (Ability Scores):

Okay, first things first: Ability Scores (as much as I love them and wish they would never leave) need to die in PF2. Make the modifier the only thing that actually applies to anything, and instead of bonuses adding +2 to your ability score, they are simply +1 to your ability modifier. So far as I can tell, nothing actually keys off of an odd-score number, and you'll only really ever have an odd number in your primary stat, after it's +4. Speaking of which…

+4 is a weird cap.
Here's a quick suggestion to appease the powergamers: make your design walls invisible. You don't need to say "you can never start with a score greater than 18 when creating your character" because that's redundant. It's already impossible to have an ability modifier higher than +4 with the current setup of generating ability scores. Saying it just makes the powergamers annoyed and feeling like they're being intentionally stonewalled out of their preferred playstyle. I'll go more into that later on, as well.
However, you may be wondering, "how are the +1 to ability scores on level-up supposed to work if there are no more ability scores?" Well, to that I say "they don't."
Why is there the cap exactly? Sure, it's to reward diversifying your level-up ability points, but with the way it's all set up now, you're already incentivized to spread out your ability points. No stat is entirely useless (though INT is close, but that's irrelevant here) and by boosting 4 different stats every time, you can't pile up a ton of bonuses onto one score anyway. Yes, I know I said that I would try to keep the numbers as close to how they are now as possible, but really, think about how big of a difference this actually is. Over the course of 20 levels, at the end of it all, there will be a +2 difference between the previous setup and this one. +2. When you're already getting +20 from your level. Yes, that is an extra 10% chance to hit, and an extra 10% chance to crit, but this is your defining attribute, the one thing that you, a level 20 being, that can move mountains, cause earthquakes, and smack divine heralds around with one hand tied behind your back, this is the ability you have trained and worked on your entire career to make it your best attribute. An extra +2 almost feels kind of small then.

But, of course, it's spread out through your levels. At level 1-4, your scores would be the same as they are without this system. At level 5-14, you have an extra +1, which, while not insignificant, is also hardly drastic. It's only at level 15+ that the full +2 over where you would 'normally' be actually comes into play, and by then, people are getting to be Legendary in skills and other craziness. Overall, it's a small buff, but one that comes with a ton of streamlining, gets rid of the 'arbitrary 18' cap that's currently there, and if you want to keep rolling for stats a thing, simply roll 1d6-2 for a similar distribution to your standard roll 3d6 for a stat. But ability scores are only the tip of the iceberg.

Part 2: Legend of the Sword (Proficiency):

Okay, so Proficiencies. At the moment, a +1/+2/+3, while better with the current system than P1e, still doesn't quite feel like it lives up to the 'so high that you’ll go down in history' promise of the rulebook. Yes, I know that Skill Proficiencies unlock additional options, but that doesn't account for the fact that Legendary doesn't feel all that great on it's own. So, let's bundle them automatically with additional bonuses, stolen from similar areas. Just have all of these written in the section on Proficiency, and never worry about them again:

Saving Throws:
Expert: It's actually fine as it is, especially as a starting rank.
Master: Just include the 'treat any success you have with this saving throw as a critical success' as part of the Master proficiency rank. Most classes (except for the poor Monk, so far as I can tell) get them at the same time anyway. If you package them together, you can save space and make it seem like your Master rank in a save actually makes you a master.
Legendary: Have it so, when you're Legendary in a saving throw, you treat a Crit Fail as a regular Fail, and a Fail as a success. It's pretty similar to how Improved Evasion works now, but by making it an inbuilt part of Legendary Proficiency, it really feels like you're living up to the 'going down in history' line given.

For this, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone: Magic Weapons are even more required than in P1e, and it would be much nicer if they weren't. So, instead of your sword's +X bonus determining how many dice you roll, make it based on Proficiency. It gives the Fighter something unique and cool (rolling multiple dice from level 1), and while the Fighter will certainly be dealing much more damage than intended with the current Potency runes early on, it's one class whose progression could be moved around slightly to make it fit the curve better. Of course, even still, if each level of proficiency granted an extra +1 to the dice pool, it would cap off way too early, unless you set Legendary to give +2 dice, providing quite the jump at once, but still making the progression go 1dx-2dx-3dx-5dx, only slightly ahead of when each bump would come with the current Potency system. Admittedly, doing this would require giving other classes the ability to increase their Weapon Proficiency, which does step on the fighter's toes a little, but it could be made up for by giving them to the Fighter earlier than other classes gain them (perhaps Legendary Proficiency for a single weapon/group being a Capstone or level 19 ability), or giving them the damage boost other ways.

I can't quite think of something that might fit Armor as an automatic Proficiency bonus, though one possibility I did think of is to increase your critical hit/decrease your critical miss threshold by your bonus (that is, an Expert in armor would need, for example, a 20 to hit, but would need a 31 to crit, and the attack would be a crit fail for 11 or lower. Legendary would be base 20, but takes a 33 to crit, and less than 13 to crit fail). It would be something interesting, for sure, but I'm not entirely sure how well it would work.

Skills, at the moment, have too much randomness IMO. Letting them reduce randomness inherently wouldn't be bad. Including Assurance as automatically instead of as a feat for all skills (perhaps an automatic 5 for Untrained skills) would be a nice bonus, but another possibility would be:
Expert: Natural 1s are not an automatic failure, but count as though you rolled a -2 on the dice
Master: Natural 1s are not an automatic failure, but simply count as though you rolled a 1
Legendary: If you roll less than 5 (or 10?), treat the roll as though you had rolled a 5 (or 10)
This just allows for characters whose skills are supposed to be beyond belief to not absolutely fumble and crash through the window 1 in 20 times. It doesn't add anything, but it does make failure less likely on your best skills, which is always nice.

For this, I believe we will have to segway to the next section planned, but essentially, I think those that are at least Trained in spellcasting should add their Proficiency modifier (or perhaps twice it?) to their Mana pool. Now, what's Mana you may ask? Well, as it happens...

Part 3: Mana and Magic Wands (Resonance/Spell Points):

So, my understanding of what Resonance is supposed to achieve is threefold: it is supposed to reduce CLW wand spam, it's supposed to make Charisma important, and it's to keep a million 1/day uses from different items simply being switched between with no penalty beyond the cost to buy a dozen Quick Runner's Shirts (for example). The problem is that it goes a bit overboard and feels icky from a story perspective. So, how can we fix Resonance while keeping its design goals intact?

Well, let's introduce a different pool, called Mana. Mana is the inherent magical ability that all creatures have. It's used to make magical items, use magical abilities, and is the power that allows creatures to cast spells (though that's not part of the Mana pool). Mana would replace both Resonance and Spell Points, to reduce things to track.

So, all creatures have a Mana pool of 3+their CHA modifier (the exact number isn't key to the idea, it's just an example) This doesn't increase with level, and is simply the amount of magical energy a creature has to work with. Spellcasters (and pseudocasters, like the Paladin- anyone who gets a Spell Pool now, but also Alchemists, because come on) also add their casting modifier to this amount, including double-dipping CHA for sorcerers and the like. This represents their additional studies providing additional insight into manipulating magic, their god providing extra power, or simply a complete and utter domination of magical energy through sheer personality. From this pool, both magical items and Spell Powers are used. Now, this may seem to be a strictly worse version of Resonance, with a boost to spellcasters while Martials are left out to dry. However, there is a new golden rule in play:

Anything that takes Mana to use, adds Mana to the pool.

So, if you get a new class ability that takes 3 Mana to use, it adds (at least) 3 Mana to the pool. That way, everything can be treated as its own individual 1/day power, or you can steal some points from one place and use them another if you really need them. This also applies to magical items as well, which now have two new values: Capacity and Cost. Capacity is the amount of Mana an item comes with, and it refreshes every morning when your own Mana pool does as well. Cost is the amount of Mana an item takes to use. However, when an item has a constant effect as well as an activated one, the constant effect is Invested, which takes an Action to do, same as now. The difference is, you can also use an Action to de-Invest your Mana from the object and use it elsewhere. So, perhaps your Cloak of Elvenkind has a Capacity of 3, has an invisibiliy active effect with Cost 2, an Invested Stealth bonus with a Cost of 1, and you're down to your last point of Mana, but you really need to turn invisible. So, you take an Action to de-Invest your Mana from the Stealth bonus and use it, in addition to your last free Mana point, to activate the cloak's invisibility as another Action.

Now, to prevent characters from simply buying a hundred 1 Capacity items and using them to power 8 Cost abilities (or whatever), simply place a cap on the number of (let's call them Attuned) items that one can have at a time (perhaps equal to 1/2 level+ CHA modifier?), and any spent points are applied to however large your Mana pool is at the time. If you remove an item that gives you a Capacity of 2, after having used those Mana points, then Attune an item with Capacity of 3, the item only gives you 1 more Mana that you can spend.

So, if that all sounds way too complicated, here's how it works: For worn items, once an item is Attuned, you can do two things (depending on the item): either Invest a Mana point (temporarily) to gain its passive effect or Spend a Mana (permanently) to use its active power. If you de-Attune the item later, you get back any points you've Invested, but not those you're Spent (which only come back with rest).

Now, all this may seem great, but doesn't cover any items other than Worn items. This is what gives us a great way to make different item types feel unique, and would work as follows:

Scrolls/potions: Do not require Mana to use, but have a different limit that prevents a bunch from all being used at once (perhaps no more than *CHA modifier* per 10 minutes or something, that stops endless spamming, but also doesn't cut into daily magic item use). No Cost, no Capacity, no Attunement

Wands: Require 1 Mana/spell level to use, and can be used at-will provided you have the Mana for it (functionally acting as a 'spell in a can' that anyone can use). No Cost, no Capacity, no Attunement.

Staves: Requires a variable amount of Mana to use, but doesn't provide any Mana to the pool, rather functioning as a battery for the storage and later use of Mana (put in 1 Mana and it keeps it indefinitely- essentially allowing you to pre-use Mana for a later day), and count towards your Attunement limit

Worn Items: as above

Rods: Count as Worn Items for Attunement, Cost, and Capacity

Weapons/Armor: Can be used for their passive abilities without Attunement, but for activated abilities, they do require Attunement.

What this system allows for, is for characters to have a number of magical items, all of which work perfectly fine on their own, and even can have a couple of limited-use abilities, same as for P1e. However, if push comes to shove, and you *really* need that extra fireball from your wand, you can, as a last resort, pull magic from your sword to power it, leaving your sword drained of magical energy but still being able to cast that last spell. The important distinction between this and Resonance, though, is that you never have to choose between having the passive abilities of your items and using their activated abilities. Rather, all items come with enough magical power to do *both*, and the option to lose passive bonuses to use an active power. Also, it keeps Casters and Martials distinct and with their own spin on magic- casters have to balance the magic they have on them with their own abilities, while still having more subtle options with what to do with their magic items, and Martials can load up on trinkets without worrying about how it impacts their class abilities. Actually, while we're talking about martials and casters....

Part 4: Swords and Sorcerery (Caster/Martial Disparity):

This section is quite a bit shorter than my others, since it's far too broad a subject for me to get into the details, ironically. Basically, it's the difference between Casters and Martials.

Martials should function at 100% capacity all day, perhaps with some options to push them up to 125% capacity a couple times per day.

Casters would ideally function at 50% the capacity of the Martial all day, 75% most of the day, 100% a few times per day, and 125%/150% once or twice per day.

Basically, Casters only have 1-3 of their highest-level spell for use each day. Please don't make that equivalent to what the martial is doing at 100%. Make the few high-level spells you have equal to 125%-150% of what the Martial can put out, then mid-level spells at 100% of the Martial, with low-level spells and Spell Powers equivalent to 75% of the Martial, and Cantrips at 50%. However, when considering this, keep in mind the opportunity cost. It usually takes 2 Actions to cast a spell, meaning a Cantrip should be comparable to a single swing of a sword, a Spell Power equal to 3/2 of a sword swing, a mid-level spell equivalent to 2 swings of the sword, and a high-level spell equivalent to 3-4 swings of a sword. With utility spells largely nerfed to the point of extreme nichehood, it would be nice for a dedicated blaster to keep pace with a fighter. Heck, buff utility too, at least to the point of usability. Why can't my mid-level wizard be flying everywhere he goes? Make the spells Uncommon if you must, but at least present RAW rules to accomplish most of what could be done in P1e. The Rarity system is a goldmine for you. Use it. It's okay if a spell is more powerful than the "baseline" if it requires GM approval. But that's straying a bit far from the point I'm trying to make with this whole mess, so onwards!

Part 5: Invisible Walls and Munchkins (General Feel):

Okay, just to get it out of the way, I love optimizing. It's why I enjoy the game so much, to make the most powerful character I can. That said, none of this is to cater to me and people like me for any reason other than making it feel better. Not more flexible so that we can make OP characters, just making it feel like the game isn't slapping us every time we try to play it the way we like.

I touched on this a little earlier, but the first step here is to simply not write "At 1st level, a character can never have any ability score that’s higher than 18." That 'never' feels like a slap in the face, and is redundant besides. There's no way to apply more than 4 boosts to a single ability score, so it really doesn't matter. By simply omitting that one line, you can make people like me happy. It doesn't matter that nothing mechanically changes, by not using an absolute, it still gives optimizers the thrill of thinking 'maybe there's a chance.' The fact that there isn't is irrelevant. We love the hunt, even if it turns up with nothing to show for it.

The main thing to think about for people like us is to, whenever possible, remove a hard cap, and instead replace it with a soft cap that has more or less the same value. Let's use Controlling Undead as an example here. The playtest text reads, "You can’t have more than four undead minions at a time." So, how about, instead of simply having a hard cap of 4, instead replace it with a soft cap of about the same range. A couple of possibilities would be to either have it be equal to 1 (or 2)+ your Spellcasting Proficiency bonus. That way, at the end of the game, there's still only 4-5 undead being controlled by a single character, but there's a natural scaling progression and a distinct feeling of improvement. Alternatively, simply put "You can’t have more undead minions than your Charisma bonus at a time." That way, since Charisma would be a secondary stat for most necromancers (except for Sorcerers and Bards, plus Oracles later I suppose), it will be less than 4 at level 1. At level 5, it might hit 4, and will never exceed 7 at most, for classes whose primary ability is Charisma, and at level 20. For almost all of the time, the number of controlled undead still stays comfortably in the range of 4, preventing too much action economy abuse. Of course, with my previously proposed Ability overhaul, that number could be bumped up as high as 9 controlled undead, but that would only be for those characters built around charisma, with items and every possible boost going into it, and is nowhere near as bad as P1e, with still a very good cap on the number.

Basically, the fewer times the word 'never' shows up, the happier we are. It's sort of like WoW's Rested Experience. Back when it was the Unrested penalty, it was universally hated. All that it took to completely change everyone's option was to rename it. That's all it'll take here, too.

...Phew. That was a lot. Anyway, that's just my opinion. Remember, my goal is to keep the math basically as close as possible to how it currently exists, while making your character actually feel distinct and powerful in their own right, at least moreso than they currently do. So what do you all think of this take on the system? Do you like it, do you hate it, do you think a couple things should be different?

So, I'm pretty sure this is just a typo and by pointing it out it's sure to be corrected in the next errata, but still.

So, if you decide not to become a specialist, this is the ability you get for not getting 1 extra spell per level:

Universalist wrote:
If you do, youcan use Drain Arcane Focus once each day per each spell level you can cast, instead of only once per day.

The interesting thing here is exactly what Drain Arcane Focus allows you to do.

Drain Arcane Focus wrote:

You expend the magical power stored in your arcane focus. This gives you the ability to cast one spell you prepared today and previously cast, without spending a spell slot. You must still complete the required spellcasting actions and meet the spell’s other requirements.

So, the Universalist gives you the ability to use this 2 times/day at level 3, 3/day at level 5, 4/day at level 7, and so on.

What makes this a little on the OP side is that Drain Arcane Focus doesn't care what level spell you cast, meaning at level 3, you get 4 level 2 spells/day instead of just 2. Granted, it can't be 4 different spells, but you could still do 1 cast of 1 spell, and 3 of the other, or 2 and 2.

This only gets more insane as you keep leveling up, topping off at level 20 (assuming you took the Archmage's Might capstone) with the ability to cast Wish (or a different Level 10 spell) 11 times per day.

So... yeah. What the Universalist loses in flexibility, ironically enough, it gains in sheer power and the ability to cast tons of high-level spells each day.

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Not entirely sure where to ask this, or if it's been asked elsewhere, but is it the intention that it's better for wizards to wear armor than not to? Because as it stands, with no classes (other than the Monk) being Trained in Unarmored, there is no circumstance where not wearing armor would be better than wearing armor. Not sure if this is intentional, a typo, or if I'm missing something. Wouldn't it make the most sense if all classes were at least Trained in Unarmored, so to provide even a small incentive to not wear armor?

So, when I first heard about PF2, I was excited. That excitement quickly fell away as the blogs started rolling out, with just the occasional tidbit to actually keep me interested.

Now the full thing is here, and I absolutely plan on being part of the playtest. Why?

Because I have to. I want to make my voice heard and to have actual experience playing when I do so. So, what's the problem?
I don't want to. I'm reading through the classes, through the feats, through the spells, looking for something that might interest me that I can build my character around (I usually play wizards, so I'll probably try to play one in the playtest to get a feel for how they're different). Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything. Like, absolutely nothing has sparked my interest. Occasionally, something will catch my eye, I'll say, "oh, that looks cool," and look at it a bit more, only to realize it's actually nowhere near as good as it looked.

Now, I understand that, if everything is equally bad, then it should be all equal and balanced. But that only comes into play if it's actually used. And no matter how much I want to be part of the playtest, looking at my options, I just... can't imagine actually enjoying myself. Character creation (usually my favorite part) just seems.... bland and uninteresting. I can't find anything that seems even remotely enjoyable, and that's a problem.

So, in addition to simply bemoaning my situation, I was hoping this post might serve an additional purpose: can the vast hivemind let me know what sorts of options are either cool and interesting that you can't wait to play in the play test, and hopefully help me find something I have even the slightest interest in playing?

So, you're an aspiring cleric (or divine-blooded Sorcerer), and you've made it all the way to level 20. This is it. You're the High Priest of your religion. Now, you have ULTIMATE POWER in your grasp. And because you don't cast enough Heal (or Harm) spells to make the other capstone worth it, you decide that, as your 20th-level capstone, you want to be able to cast 10th level spells! You get one a day, and so you choose, as a good, faithful servant, to pick Avatar, to channel your god in the purest way possible. So, what does that give you?

An AC of 42. Okay. It's a respectable AC (so far as I can tell), and seems to be on par with most characters paying attention to AC

Attacks with a +31 attack modifier. Again, it doesn't seem to be too bad, but it's also kind of average for anybody with level-appropriate melee ability. I'll come back to this in a minute

30 Temporary HP. It's there. It's not a lot (maybe enough to take a couple of hits) but it's there. Clearly the draw for this spell is elsewhere.

Darkvision. I guess it's helpful, I suppose, if you don't have any light sources. But at level 20, I'm not sure how often darkness would (or should) present any sort of a problem.

Athletics bonus of +31 (feels kind of weird that this holds as true for Gorum as it does for Desna, but whatever) It's something. Nothing special, and seems average for what someone interested in Athletics would have.

And, for your GODLY attacks, what do we have?

a 6d10+3 Crossbow for Abadar.
a 6d10+6 mace (or 6d6+3 ranged attack from Asmodeus
6d8+6 for Iomedae.... Nethys gets a 6d6 ranged attack... Sarenrae has 6d6+6.... Torag gets 6d8+6 damage as his attack....

Yeah, this is at level 20. As your CAPSTONE. You can assume this form for ONE MINUTE. And what do you get? You get to become the party fighter. ONCE PER DAY. I haven't gotten the chance to actually break down all the bonuses availible, but a character that maxes their attack stat, with Legendary for their +5 weapon, will have, if I understand it all correctly, a 20+3+5+6=+34 bonus, before factoring in class abilities, bonuses, or feats of any kind. And if they're 2-handing a Bastard Sword, they're dealing 6d10+6 damage at a minimum, with other abilities boosting that.

So, right there, your average skilled frontliner has an attack that's just as damaging as Avatar's attack, and is more accurate as well.

When I heard 10th-level spells, I didn't imagine that I might be able to almost be as good as a fighter for a minute a day at fighting.

Oh, and fun fact: Ray of Frost, the cantrip, deals 4d8+(probably) 6 damage (average 24) points of damage by the time you hit level 17. Nethys' attack, dealing 6d6, only does 21 on average. If a Cantrip is dealing more damage than a 10th level spell, there's a problem.

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I die a little inside every time I read 'you may never have more than X' or 'you cannot have a value greater than X'.

The whole reason I like PF is that it allows me to scour a ton of options, trying squeeze out the last bonus, and this system just... does away with that completely.
I understand why it's done. It's to future-proof the game, I know, to avoid something unexpected coming up and breaking the game. But just make it so that something is impossible on your Big List of Design Rules hanging on the Paizo HQ wall, don't tell it to the players if you have to do that.

Even better, don't put hard limits on anything, just make it exponentially harder to make something higher and higher as you go on. Because as it stands, if there's no way for me to ever improve my skill as a player when making a character, if I can't come up with new and exciting ways to push the limits of the game further and further without hitting a brick wall if I go an inch past normal, and what any new player could make day 1, why would I ever want to keep playing?

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(seems to be my reaction a lot lately)

So, does this mean that a medusa will only turn you into a statue if you fail the save by more than 10? That seems... incredibly counter-genre.

That said, I can't say I'm opposed to the four degrees of success, just that it could prove problematic in certain situations meant to be highly deadly.

Still, I was kind of hoping we would get something new in this blog, not just the crit system, which we've known about for a while.

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Hooray! Finally!

In any case,

But how do elves fair in the bustling human courts?

I'm glad that elves are able to maintain their independence and stay fair even in human courts.

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I just wanted to get this out here.
Mark Seifter especially, with him always being one of the first to jump into the frying pan, but I really appreciate how much you all are wading into the boiling sea of outraged fans as you handle the PF2 slow unveiling. You guys really don't get enough credit for putting up with us angry geeks. For we are many, we are passionate, and we love our game. This can't be easy, especially with how much work you've put into all of this. So, I just wanted to extend to all of you, a big


You've earned it.

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With the announcement of 2e, and everybody talking about what they do and don't want to make it into the new edition, I figured it would be best to have a discussion about the most important thing of all:

Why do you play Pathfinder?

Why not 5e? Why not 3.0? Why not Star Wars d20, or Shadowrun, or Midgard, or any of the other RPGs out there? What is it that 2.0 really needs to keep in order for it to still feel like Pathfinder, and to maintain what it is you love about the system?

Personally, I love the complexity and the depth. I love looking for the best way to get an extra +1 to attack, how to maximize my ability scores, and looking for just the right options to make my character just the way I want it. Not *almost* the way I want it. *Exactly* the way I want it. It's the technical side of the game that I love about PF.

What about you all? What sorts of things keep you playing?

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Okay! Hopefully this will work out better. Once you open the door, the battle will begin. It's only been a month longer than anticipated, so who's still here?

Before you stands a pair of tall, oaken doors, magnificent in their size and craftsmanship. It has been a long, hard-fought journey to get here, crawling through the vampire's lair one battle at a time, yet now, you have arrived at your destination, and you are brimming with energy, more ready than ever to face your greatest challenge yet.

Okay, here we go! List your buffs, get yourself mentally prepared, and open the doors when you're ready.

So, some of my friends recently asked me to GM them a game. None of them have ever played PF, and of those who have done a TTRPG before, their experience was brief. We’re just planning on doing a one-off for now, but it would be nice if it had good continuation potential. Also, I was thinking about starting at level 5, so that most character concepts could work.

Anyway, long story short: what level 5 module/adventure is good for a group of completely new players?

I think most people overlook Flesh to Ooze because it just doesn't seem useful. Why would you ever want to turn your opponent into a gray ooze, gelatinous cube, ochre jelly, or black pudding?

Well, so far as I can tell, you wouldn't. If you're a 13th level wizard and your opponent fails a Fort save, you can do better than that.
However, that's overlooking this little line right here:

Flesh to Ooze wrote:
Alternatively, instead of a creature you may target a quantity of inert flesh (such as that created by the stone to flesh spell) of sufficient mass, which becomes an ooze of your choice.

An ooze of your choice, eh? This was published quite some time ago, before we got quite the influx of powerful oozes. *Cough* This seems like the perfect spell for the narrative device of a wizard creating something too powerful to control and it wreaking havoc on the countryside.

Also, it's a great Oozemorph origin story.


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So, in my Ironfang Invasion game, we just completed book 1, and found a Cloak of Woodland Creatures.

Item description:

PRICE 3,500 GP
SLOT shoulders CL 5th WEIGHT 1 lb.
AURA faint abjuration and conjuration

This forest-green wool cloak is thick and warm. Its hem and the edge of its hood are embroidered with small figures of forest creatures (rabbits, squirrels, and the like) in white thread.

When worn, this cloak bestows a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws. The wearer can remove the cloak at any time and lay it on the ground outdoors. This ends the resistance bonus but summons a number of animals from the cloak. The animals serve the character who summoned them for 10 minutes (or until slain or returned to the cloak’s folds). A summoned creature can follow any of the commands described in the Handle Animal skill. Use the following tables to determine what animals can be called forth.

The cloak summons creatures only when laid down outdoors on naturally occurring ground (not, for example, on a wooden deck or stone pathway). The cloak can be used to summon animals up to three times per day.

d% Animal
01–30 1 owl
31–60 1d3 rats
61–75 1 weasel
76–90 1d6 squirrels
91–100 1d4 rabbits

Craft Wondrous Item, resistance, summon nature’s ally I

So..... what's up with this thing? It's just a cloak of resistance +1 that, three times per day, can summon a random creature of CR 1/2 or less. You don't even get to choose which one. In return, you lose your save bonus for... some length of time. It could be the standard action (is it even a standard action?) where you put the cloak on the ground, or it could be for the full ten minutes you have your animals... doesn't specify. The way it's worded, though, suggests that you lose the bonus whenever you have animals summoned.

Now, that's great, I suppose. It'll likely never be used by most people, but that's fine. It's still an option, if a subpar one. Maybe worth an extra couple hundred gold. But the cloak costs 3,500 gp. What about this really weak ability makes it worth 2,500 extra? How is this thing comparable to a cloak of resistance +2, at only 500 gp cheaper?

Under what circumstances would this be comparable or better than buying 3 +1 cloaks with 500 gp left over, or spending an extra 500 gp to get a +2? Heck, if you're crafting these things, it's actually cheaper to craft a +2 cloak than this, as the crafting cost is 2/3rds the price, not 1/2. (Again, why is this?)

So.... yeah. Thoughts? What am I missing? Or is this thing just really as bad as it looks?

Yeah, yeah. OP munchkinry, wrongbadfun, broken, etc. etc. Let's just skip all that, can we, and just discuss what patron is the best for the Pact Wizard?

My opinion is the Endurance patron, as it gives access to a number of great defensive spells that are great to spontaneously cast, most of which are unavailible for Wizards normally (and, of course, gets Miracle). What else is a powerful option?

First gameplay post up! Dot in, and we'll get started!

It is the fourth of Neth in the small Nirmathan town of Kassen, and the winter winds are just beginning to blow. Regardless of what time you woke up this morning, the town was already bustling with preparations for the town's semi-annual Everflame festival, where a group of fresh-faced young heroes venture forth to the tomb of the town's founder and namesake, and bring back a small portion of the eternal flame that burns within. Each of you have been informed that you will be a part of the group tasked with retrieving the Everflame and bringing its protection back to this small town. It is almost noon, and you still have a short while before your quest will begin. What do you do?

It is the fourth of Neth, with the winter winds just beginning to blow, and it is once again time for the town of Kassen's annual tradition: sending out aspiring young adventurers to light a beacon from the Crypt of the Everflame, the tomb of the town's founder. You are part of this annual quest, and eagerly await your chance to prove yourself!


I'm opening recruitment for my first game as a GM. I'm looking for 4-6 players for a fast-moving game that should go from level 1-3. So, without further ado, here's the guidelines:

Character Creation:

Alignment: No Evil.
Ability Scores: 20 point buy
Races: Core only.
Classes: Any other than Occult. I'm just not very familiar with them.
Sources: Anything from Paizo that you can link to.
Third Party: None. No, not even Spheres of Power or Dreamscarred press. Yes, I'm sure.
Traits: Two, with the option to take a drawback for a third.

Background skills are in use, start with average gold for your class (but don't worry about standard adventuring gear), and make sure I can understand your character sheet.


So, I expect backgrounds that explain the following:

How you came to be part of the quest, and why you were selected. If you come from outside the town, explain why you want to be a part of the mission and how you managed to join the group.

That is all that you have to include. I do like a good background, but you're still only first level. You haven't killed any dragons, defended a city from invaders, or anything like that. You're fresh out of training, and your background should indicate that.


I am fairly new to Pathfinder in general, and my first time GMing. As such, please be patient with me if I mess up with a rule or do something wrong.

I expect players to be consistently posting, at least once a day on weekdays (weekends I know can be a bit harder), even if it's just a check-in post in discussion. I personally will post daily, and often times more, especially in combat. If you have not posted for 24 hours while we are in combat, I will bot you and we will move on. However, RL is a thing, and just let me know if you'll be busy or otherwise unavailable. I do want to keep the game moving quickly, so the more you can post, the better.

I will roll passive perception checks for you, and initiative as well, to keep things moving along. We will also be using block initiative, with your posting order being the same order you will actually act.

Recruitment will be open until I find enough players, minimum until Saturday. Let me know if you have any questions.

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What abilities does a vampire keep when polymorphed using an external effect, such as alter self? From my understanding, they would lose everything except their Children of the Night ability. It could also be argued that they lose their weakness to sunlight, cast a shadow, and so on.

So, in other words, which (if any) of the following abilities does a vampire keep during a polymorph effect?

Weaknesses, Blood Drain, Children of the Night, Create Spawn, Dominate, Energy Drain, Change Shape, Gaseous Form, Shadowless, Spider Climb.

Also, bonus question: does a polymorphed creature lose their fast healing and energy resistance?

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So, over on this thread I mentioned that there were ways to make the curse portion of Legalistic curse more of a benefit than a hindrance if you're clever.
The best part is, this could be considered completely RAI, as devils are notorious for trying to twist anything and everything to their favor.
Anyway, here's the relevant part of the curse:

Legalistic "Curse" wrote:
The shackles of Hell impose savage consequences should you violate a covenant, but also imbue you with remarkable guile. Whenever you break your word (either purposefully or unintentionally), you become sickened for 24 hours or until you meet your obligation, whichever comes first.

In this case, the key points are: even if you unintentionally break your word, you're sickened, and you're only sickened until you un-break your word. Here's a few oaths you could take that would trigger your sickened condition (thus letting you know you broke one of your oaths):

"I swear I will not talk to that man's murderer, and if I do, I will punch them"

"I swear that I will touch a white pebble every time I associate with any creature with evil intentions."

"I swear that if I come within 15 feet of a mimic, I will attack it"

"I swear that I will not allow anything to be stolen from me"

"I swear that I shall not approach within 30 feet of a trap that could harm myself, allies, or innocents, unless I am aware of the trap, its danger, and am attempting to either willfully trigger it or disable it"

"I swear that I will not come within 20 feet of any non-ally that is invisible without attempting to either identify it or attack it"

And so on. How would you abuse the Legalistic "Curse?"

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So, I found myself wondering about science in the pathfinder universe. Specifically two parts of it:

What science that we have in the real world actually holds true for Golarion and the rest of the Material Plane.

And how much of this is actually known in the majority of Golarion.

For example, do scholars know what an atom is? How about bacteria? DO either of them even exist?

And changing any one of these things changes up much of how the world works, too. For example, as plate tectonics seems unlikely (given the presence of the Darklands), what causes earthquakes? Does evolution exist, on any scale, in a multiverse with numerous creator deities?
Do the laws of thermodynamics exist? Interestingly, magic may not even violate thermodynamics if any energy was drawn from another plane's substance. (i.e. a fireball actually siphoned a small amount of elemental flame from the plane of fire when cast, and didn't actually create it from nothing)

The next part of this is, how much do Golarion's brightest know? I mean, obviously Alkenstar's finest know quite a bit about combustion, materials science, engineering, and so on. Presumably, the Technic League would know at least the basics of how electricity works and the interaction between magnetism and electricity. And clearly gravity has been discovered, if only noted by the spell "reverse gravity," but does anybody know what a cell is? Have they figured out Newton's laws of motion? Have they recognized Mendelian inheritance patterns? Have they discovered and can classify an element? The list goes on.

Thoughts? How might natural phenomena happen if the underlying principle changes? What laws of reality exist in the Pathfinder multiverse? How many of them do they know?

The name says it all. I was inspired by this thread, along with some thoughts that I've been having for some time. Anyway, as this is a bit of a superhero build, this can go all the way to the top (level 20/MR 10), but doesn't have to.
So, this is a challenge. The goal is the highest possible base speed (and/or fly speed, climb speed, swim speed, etc.), perfectly crafted so this guy is insanely good at running.

I'll start it off with a simple build. 11 levels, 1 mythic rank.
Elven Monk 10/ Cleric of Abadar 1; Champion 1
30 base speed + 30 fast movement + 10 traveling domain + 30 impossible speed +10 FCB for a grand total of 110 base speed at level 11/ MR 1.
And that's before being able to take fleet up to 5 times (+25 base speed), mythic fleet once (+5 feet), using mythic power to increase impossible speed (+10) and any enhancement bonuses from haste (+30 feet), giving a grand total of 180 feet.

I'm pretty sure he can go faster. What's every possible stacking bonus for base speed? And, while we're at it, can we bump up base swim, climb, fly, and burrow speeds?

So, looking through the threads, I see plenty of places where people mention how "such and such a build is extremely powerful, and needs to be nerfed," but I haven't actually seen any threads where the reverse is true. So, how about a thread that lets you unleash your inner munchkin, ravaging RAI and staying strictly RAW. Put Milo Amastacia-Liadon to shame with your extreme munchkining!
If your munchkin is invalidated from an FAQ, you can still post it, but be sure to note that it has been invalidated, and can't be used.
Also, let's keep things simple. Paizo products only, 100% RAW. If it flies in a strict reading of the rules, it flies here. If it should work, but no sane GM would ever let it within a mile of their table? It goes here.

How about an example of what we're looking for?

By RAI, you would use the spell Alter Summoned Monster (from the Monster Summoner's handbook) to get a creature from your Summon Nature's Ally casting to turn into something from Summon Monster.

Per normal munchkining, you would summon a lot of monsters with, say Summon Monster IV, and turn one of them into a full-powered monster only summonable with Summon Monster IV, not a lower-leveled one.

What I'm looking for:
Using Alter Summoned Monster on a pony summoned with a heightened Mount spell, to get a powerful monster with a 1 hour/level duration.

So, this entire problem started a little while ago when I noticed that the definition of Spell-Like Abilities changed. While, when first introduced, SLAs went by the following definition (found in the Bestiary):

PRD wrote:
Spell-Like Abilities (Sp)Spell-like abilities are magical and work just like spells (though they are not spells and so have no verbal, somatic, focus, or material components). They go away in an antimagic field and are subject to spell resistance if the spell the ability is based on would be subject to spell resistance.

However, with a recent reprinting of the CRB, SLAs now obey the following rules:

PRD wrote:
Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): Spell-like abilities function just like spells, but are granted through a special racial ability or by a specific class ability (as opposed to spells, which are gained by spellcasting classes as a character gains levels).

This seems to raise a lot of problems, both flavor-wise and mechanics-wise.

Firstly, if an Astral Deva has to start chanting and waving thier hands around in the air every time they want to plane shift, it takes a lot of flavor away from the monster, and makes it seem more like a thing of study than intuition. But more problematic is that it would require the angel to never wear any kind of armor. Why? Because plane shift appears on the Sorcerer/Wizard list, and according to an FAQ, that would mean that the SLA obeys the rules for a Sorcerer/Wizard spell- including, if I understand this correctly, Armor Failure Chance. This seems to be a serious problem, unless I'm misunderstanding something.

Another problem comes with Wish. While before, the rules allowed for there to be no problem with Efreet granting unlimited wishes, given enough time, the new definition of a SLA means that ALL components stay the same.... including material components. Does this mean that all Efreet are assumed to have an infinite pile of diamonds on them at all times? Does it mean that any wish-granters have no wealth of their own, having spent it all on material components? Does entire problem need to just be ignored?


Post all of your character concepts here! It's pretty simple. No matter how ridiculous, clichè, or non-functional it may be, here's the spot to put them! This is a place to have fun, and maybe find a good idea for a character to play in an upcoming campaign. Be as detailed or as vague as you want, but be sure to include things like race, class, and general playstyle. There's only one rule governing the builds, and that is they must be an absolute blast to play.
(Yes, I am aware these threads have come before, but the most recent I could find was from over a year ago.)

A few ideas to start it off;
Elven monk focused on running and hitting on the run- focuses on tripping foes and/or jumping on them and literally running circles around them. Also likely to take the dimensional agility feat tree.

Gnome sorcerer whose spells known are illusion focused, primarily figments, but also having a really good selection of conjuration and transmutation spells to keep foes on their toes.

Human swashbuckler acting like a complete idiot, but actually utterly brilliant and constantly outwitting his foes. As a shameless ripoff of Captain Jack Sparrow, own the references.

Half-orc Wizard or Magus that carries around a massive sword and pretends to be a barbarian, feigning rage and all.

Kitsune Druid battleshifter that spends most of his time as a fox, pretending to be the caster's familiar.

Halting fighter that pretends to be a wizard with the Kitsune^ as their familiar. (Naturally, the fox does all the magic)

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So, as a GM, I like cantrips/orisons as a sort of narrative device; not necessarily the most useful spell, but good if used creatively, as well as a way to show off your magical prowess in-game without wasting a spell slot. That being said, there's only a few (relatively speaking) 0-level spells, so I thought that this could be a place to share those home brew cantrips, and get some feedback from others.
I'll start it off:

Shell Trick
School: conjuration(teleportation); Level: bard 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, summoner 0
Casting time: 1 swift action
Components: V, S, M ( a piece of walnut shell and a pebble)
Range: 5 ft./ level
Target: 1 small, unattended, nonmagical item
Duration: instantaneous
Saving throw: Will negates (object); Spell Resistance: yes (object)
You teleport one tiny object, whose largest dimension cannot exceed 6 inches, and weighing no more than 1 pound,, between two points. The object must be in range at both its starting point and destination, but you do not need to teleport the item to or from your person. (For example, you could teleport a coin from a nearby table to your bag, into your hand, or to any other point somewhere in range.) a common use of this spell is to retrieve or store small items as a swift action, though the spell cannot reach inside an extradimensional space.

I'm a fairly new GM, so I'm not sure if this is balanced.