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I remember a really neat psywar/slayer/elocater build from the Dark Sun, Pathfinder Edition thread played by Dark Netwerk here on the boards (http://paizo.com/people/GorkhanTrask). Focused on keeping mobile, maxing Dexterity, and relying on powers and the fact that he wasn't the party's main melee combatant to keep him safe.


It's an untyped bonus, so they stack just fine. That is, the Armored Swiftness ability provides an untyped bonus to speed, so it stacks with all other forms of bonus to movement speed save that from getting the same ability twice (somehow).


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As Kalindlara has recommended, one pressure-suited astomoi psychic cultist of the Old Gods. I tried to preserve the summoning angle they mentioned, but if my concession feat and spell-wise doesn't feel like enough, I'd also switch out Fear for Summon Monster IV.

The Arcturn Occultist

Spoiler:
The Arcturn Occultist
CR 10; XP 9600

Astemoi Psychic 11 (Bestiary 5 37, Occult Adventures 60)
CE Medium Humanoid (Astomoi)
Init +4; Senses Darkvision 60ft., Scent, Telepathic Senses; Perception +2
DEFENSE
AC
25, touch 12, flat-footed 25 (+4 armor, +2 deflection, +5 natural, +4 Shield)
hp 64 (11d6 + 11 plus 15 temporary [False Life])
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +9; -2 vs. disease and inhaled poison; +1 vs. discipline spells
Defensive Abilities Endure Elements, Morphic Form; Immune ingested poisons
Weaknesses sensitive breath
OFFENSE
Speed
30ft., fly 60ft. (good)
Ranged touch +5 (spell)
Special Attacks Dark Half (2 points, 10 rounds/day), Phrenic Amplification (Conjured Armor +3, Intense Focus, Overpowering Mind, Space-Rending Spell), Phrenic Pool (7 points)
Psychic Spell-like Abilities (CL 11th; Concentration +15)
1/day- Detect Thoughts (DC 15), Telepathic Bond
Psychic Spells Known (CL 11th; Concentration +15 [+16 when casting discipline spells])
5th (4/day)- Explode Head (DC 20)*, Summon Monster V, Greater Synaptic Pulse (DC 19)
4th (7/day)- Black Tentacles*, Ego Whip II (DC 18), Fear (DC 18), Mass Pain Strike (DC 18)
3rd (7/day)- Cognitive Block (DC 17), Excruciating Deformation (DC 18)*, Fly, Haste, Mind Thrust III (DC 17)
2nd (7/day)- Alter Self*, Aversion (DC 16), False Life, Ironskin, Spider Climb[/i]
1st (7/day)- Entropic Shield, Forced Quiet (DC 15), Lesser Confusion (DC 15), Mage Armor, Ray of Enfeeblement (DC 16)*, Shield
0 (At Will)- Bleed, Daze (DC 14), Detect Magic, Detect Psychic Significance, Ghost Sound (DC 14), Light, Mage Hand, Message, Telekinetic Projectile
Psychic Discipline Abomination (discipline spells marked with *)
TACTICS
Before Combat
The Occultist casts Mage Armor, Shield, Ironskin, False Life, and Fly.
During Combat The Occultist’s first action in any fight is to hit the PCs with Greater Synaptic Pulse to buy itself some time to use Summon Monster V to summon 1d3 + 1 Medium Earth Elementals with Conjured Armor from the Occultist’s phrenic amplification. Thereafter, it casts Haste and on following rounds hammers the PCs with its higher-level spells while the Mi-Go and gug from the adjoining chambers join it in waves.
Morale The Arcturn Occultist fights to the death.
STATISTICS
Str
8, Dex 10, Con 11, Int 19, Wis 14, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +4; CMD 14
Feats Augment Summoning, Combat Casting, Disciplinary Devotee, Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (Conjuration), Superior Summoning
Skills Fly +14, Knowledge (arcana, planes, religion) +18, Knowledge (geography) +15, Spellcraft +18
Languages Aklo, Aquan, Common, Draconic (can’t speak any language); telepathy 100ft.
SQ Detect Thoughts, Mouthless, Telepathic Bond
Gear Pressure Suit (DC 20), Ring of Protection +2 (DC 20)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Mouthless (Ex)
Astomoi don’t need to eat or drink to survive. Instead, they absorb the essence of food and drink; this consumes the nutrients of the meal as though it had been eaten, rendering the food useless to others. Astomoi consume potions and other ingested materials in the same fashion. Since they never actually ingest anything, they can’t normally be exposed to ingested poisons.
Telepathic Senses (Ex) Astomot can’t speak or see, but can mentally sense the area within 60 feet, as per darkvision, and can speak telepathically. An astomoi can’t see anything beyond 60 feet. An astomoi must provide thought components for spells that usually require verbal components. It can use language-dependent abilities with its telepathy, but not abilities that depend on audible components.


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The occultist Whispering Way cultists and our replacement Accretia are finished. I left the latter alive (rather than making her a dread wight) so I could get more mileage out of her class levels; that Sudden Strike makes a big difference as far as her damage output goes.

Whispering Way Occultist

Spoiler:
Whispering Way Cultist
CR 5; XP 1600

Human Occultist 6 (Occult Adventures 46)
NE Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +8; Senses Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC
23, touch 14, flat-footed 19 (+5 armor, +4 Dex, +4 Shield)
hp 65 (6d8 + 18 plus 20 temporary [False Life, Spirit Shroud])
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +6; +1 vs. death effects, fear effects, negative energy spells or effects
OFFENSE
Speed
30ft.
Melee +2 Agile Rapier +10 (1d8 + 6/18-20)
Ranged touch +8 (spell)
Implements
Abjuration (Amulet, 2 points)- Resonant Warding Talisman +1; Focus Mind Barrier (12 points)
Evocation (Gloves, 3 points)- Resonant Intense Focus +1; Focus Energy Ray 3d6
Necromancy (Robe, 2 points)- Resonant Necromantic Focus; Focus Mind Fear (DC 15), Necromantic Servant (60 minutes, 19 hp), Spirit Shroud (1d6 + 6, +1 saves)
Transmutation (Vest, 3 points)- Resonant Physical Enhancement (+2 Dex); Focus Legacy Weapon +2, Quickness (6 rounds)
Occultist Spells Prepared (CL 6th; Concentration +8)
2nd (4/day)- Effortless Armor, False Life, Resist Energy, Sound Burst (DC 14)
1st (5/day)- Inflict Light Wounds (DC 13), Lead Blades, Shield, Shocking Grasp
0 (At Will)- Light, Message, Resistance, Touch of Fatigue
TACTICS
Before Combat
Whispering Way Cultists cast False Life, Lead Blades, and Shield before entering combat, then spend mental focus to activate Legacy Weapon (making their weapons +2 Agile Rapiers) and Spirit Shroud.
During Combat The first round of combat, cultists expend a second point of mental focus for Necromantic Servant or Quickness, depending on how crowded the battlefield is and how nearby the PCs are. At range, they make use of their energy ray or Sound Burst to attack; in melee, they prefer to eschew spellcasting in favor of melee attacks with their rapier.
Morale Whispering Way cultists fight to the death.
STATISTICS
Str
12, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +4; CMB +5; CMD 19
Feats Extra Mental Focus, Improved Initiative, Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Appraise +11, Knowledge (arcana, religion) +11, Perception +9, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +11, Use Magic Device +9
Languages Common, Varisian
SQ Aura Sight, Magic Item Skill +3, Object Reading, Shift Focus
Gear +1 Rapier (DC 18), +1 Chain Shirt (DC 18), 2 Potions of Darkvision (DC 18)

Accretia

Spoiler:
Accretia
CR 7; XP 3200

Female Human Medium 8 (Occult Adventures 30)
NE Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +1; Senses Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC
18, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+7 armor, +1 Dex)
hp 84 (8d8 + 48)
Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +5
OFFENSE
Speed
20ft.
Melee +1 Greataxe +16/+11 (1d12 + 12/x3)
Space 5ft.; Reach 10ft.
Special Attacks Champion's Prowess (Falcata), Haunt Channeler, Spirit (Champion), Spirit Bonus +4, Spirit Surge, Sudden Attack
Medium Spells Known (CL 8th; Concentration +9)
2nd (1/day)- Aid, Blur, Bear's Endurance
1st (2/day)- Deathwatch, Ill Omen (DC 12), Long Arm, Psychic Reading
0 (At Will)- Detect Magic, Detect Psychic Significance, Ghost Sound (DC 11), Light, Mage Hand, Message
TACTICS
Before Combat
Accretia casts Long Arm and Bear’s Endurance before combat.
During Combat Accretia prefers to remain at midrange and make use of her greataxe to cleave through the PCs. She’s not afraid to make liberal use of her Spirit Surge to boost her attack rolls if she feels Furious Focus is not enough- only the last point of influence. Because her full attacks are her most dangerous option for melee, she prefers to have the wights accompanying her attack anyone that won’t get close enough for her to hit.
Morale Accretia fights to the death.
STATISTICS
Str
20, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 13
Base Atk +6; CMB +11; CMD 22
Feats Combat Reflexes, Furious Focus, Power Attack, Spirit Focus (Champion), Toughness
Skills Bluff +12, Knowledge (arcana, religion) +11, Perception +10, Spellcraft +11
Languages Common, Varisian
SQ Location Channel (8 rounds), Shared Seance, Taboo
Gear Belt of Giant Strength +2 (DC 23), +1 Greataxe (DC 18), +1 Breastplate (DC 18)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Spirit Bonus (Su)
Because Accretia is channeling a Champion spirit, she gains a +4 bonus on attack rolls, non-spell damage rolls, Strength checks, Strength-based skill checks, and Fortitude saves.
Sudden Attack (Su) Whenever the Champion takes a full attack action, they gain one additional attack at their highest base attack bonus. This ability stacks with the extra attack from Haste, but it doesn’t stack with special actions that grant extra attacks, such as flurry of blows or spell combat. Sudden attack works as normal with full-attack options such as two-weapon fighting.


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One Vivisectionist Vorkstag, and one Promethean Whispering Way cultist. I had more fun making the promethean than I expected; initial impression had me unimpressed by the homunculus, but it's growing on me.

Vorkstag

Spoiler:

Vorkstag the Vivisectionist
CR 5; XP 1600

Male Skin Stealer Alchemist 4 (Pathfinder #44 88, Ultimate Magic 20)
NE Medium Fey
Init +7; Senses Low-Light Vision; Perception +11
DEFENSE
AC
19, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +4 Shield)
hp 72 (4d6 + 4d8 + 40)
Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +7; +2 vs. poison
Defensive Abilities Blur, Fortification 50%
OFFENSE
Speed
30ft.
Melee Masterwork Heavy Mace +11 (1d8 + 5 plus poison) or 2 Claws +10 (1d4 + 5)
Ranged touch +8 (spell)
Special Attacks Sneak Attack +3d6, Steal Skin
Alchemist Extracts Prepared (CL 4th; Concentration +8)
2nd- Blur, Fire Breath (DC 16)
1st- Cure Light Wounds, Jump, Shield, True Strike
TACTICS
As noted.
STATISTICS
Str 21, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 23
Feats Brew Potion, Deceitful, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Throw Anything, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +14 (+24 jump), Bluff +14, Craft (alchemy) +15 (+19 to craft alchemical items), Disguise +16 (+26 with stolen skin), Escape Artist +10, Knowledge (local) +13, Knowledge (nature) +17, Perception +11, Sense Motive +9, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +18, Use Magic Device +14
Languages Aklo, Common, Elven, Undercommon, Varisian
SQ Discoveries (Preserve Organs [2]), Mutagen (+4 Con/-2 Cha, +2 natural, 40 minutes), Poison Use, Swift Alchemy
Gear Potion of Bull’s Strength (DC 18) 2 Potions of Cure Light Wounds (DC 16), Potion of Invisibility (DC 18), Potion of Spider Climb (DC 18), Potion of Water Breathing (DC 20), Wand of Acid Arrow (DC 18, 21 charges), Dust of Tracelessness (2 doses, DC 18), Masterwork Heavy Mace, Alchemist’s Kit, Formula Book (contains all prepared extracts, plus Bull’s Strength, Darkvision, Endure Elements, Invisibility, and Spider Climb), keys (to all locked doors in the Chymic Works, including the Cabinet of Skins and Faces [area E8], and the grille beyond area E12), poison (black adder venom [2 doses], blue whinnis [2 doses], and deathblade [1 dose]

I’d probably put Davos here on the second floor of area G, and the homunculus on the first floor. The Little Ghoule makes a few attacks at range when the PCs are exploring the first floor, then finds a way upstairs to fight at his master's side.

Davos Westmarch, Promethean Alchemist

Spoiler:

Davos Westmarch
CR 6; XP 2400

Male Human Alchemist (Promethean Alchemist) 7 (APG 26, Occult Adventures 112)
NE Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +1; Senses Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC
23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 (+5 armor, +1 Dex, +3 natural, +4 shield)
hp 59 (7d8 + 28)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +2; +4 vs. poison
Defensive Abilities Fortification 25%; Miss Chance 50% (Displacement)
OFFENSE
Speed 30ft.
Melee +1 Longspear +12 (1d8 + 10 plus giant wasp poison) or Stone Fist +11 (1d6 + 6)
Space 5ft.; Reach 5ft. (10ft. only with Longspear)
Alchemist Extracts Prepared (CL 7th; Concentration +8)
3rd- Displacement
2nd- Alchemical Allocation, Barkskin, Bull’s Strength
1st- Cure Light Wounds (2), Identify, Shield, Stone Fist
TACTICS
Before Combat
Davos prepares himself for combat by drinking his extracts of Stone Fist, Shield, Barkskin, Alchemical Allocation, Displacement, and Bull’s Strength. He uses Alchemical Allocation to save a dose of the Displacement extract for the Little Ghoule.
During Combat Davos has the Little Ghoule ambush the PCs before starting a more conventional combat upstairs. They corner up in a tight hallway to force the PCs to come at them from only one direction, and then make extensive use of their reach weapons. If pressed, they switch to their (in Davos’ case newly-acquired) natural weapons to even the score. Davos makes free use of his Spontaneous Healing to keep himself in fighting shape, unconcerned for the Little Ghoule’s condition.
Morale Davos attempts to flee with his Potion of Gaseous Form if the Little Ghoule is slain and he drops below 30 hp.
STATISTICS
Str 22, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +5; CMB +11; CMD 22
Feats Brew Potion, Combat Reflexes, Craft Construct, Furious Focus, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Craft (alchemy) +14, Disable Device +14, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Perception +10, Survival +11, Use Magic Device +9
Languages Common, Varisian
SQ Discoveries (Healing Touch, Preserve Organs, Promethean Disciple, Spontaneous Healing [30 points]), Homunculus Companion, Poison Use, Swift Alchemy, Swift Poisoning
Gear +1 Longspear (DC 18) coated in giant wasp poison, +1 Chain Shirt (DC 18), Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (DC 20), Potion of Gaseous Form (DC 20), Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds (DC 18), Potion of Barkskin +2 (DC 18)

The Little Ghoule, Homunculus Companion

Spoiler:

The Little Ghoule
CR -; XP -

Homunculus Companion
NE Medium Construct
Init +3; Senses Darkvision 60ft., Low-light Vision; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC
19, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +3 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 53 (6d10 + 20)
Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +3
Defensive Abilities Evasion
OFFENSE
Speed 30ft., fly 40ft.
Melee Bite +9 (1d6 + 3 plus poison), 2 Claws +9 (1d6 + 3) or Masterwork Longspear +10 (1d8 + 4)
Ranged Light Crossbow +9 (1d8/19-20 plus greenblood oil)
Space 5ft.; Reach 5ft. (10ft. only with Longspear)
Special Attacks Poison
TACTICS
During Combat
The Little Ghoule starts combat with a volley of poisoned crossbow bolts, then retreats to his master’s side to form a formidable defensive position.
Morale The Little Ghoule fights to the death at his master’s side; elsewhere, he flees.
STATISTICS
Str
16, Dex 16, Con -, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 22
Feats Combat Reflexes, Light Armor Proficiency, Rapid Reload
Skills Fly +10, Perception +8, Stealth +10
Languages Common
SQ Sympathetic Alchemy, Telepathic Link
Gear +1 Studded Leather (DC 18), Masterwork Longspear, Light Crossbow with 10 bolts coated in greenblood oil
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Poison (Ex)
Bite- injury; Save Fort DC 15; Frequency 1/minute for 60 minutes; Effect Sleep for 1 minute; Cure 1 Save


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Having nothing in particular to do, and being enamored with this idea in general, I'm gonna start posting stat blocks here for some of the additions Kalindlara's recommended.

First up: One Whispering Way Spiritualist. She should probably be snooping around the basement when the PCs arrive; she's...dangerous for groups of only first or second level. Hence her suboptimal tactics.

Amala Sala
CR 4; XP 1200

Female Human Spiritualist 5 (Occult Adventures 72)
NE Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +2
DEFENSE
AC
21, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (+5 armor, +2 Dex, +4 Shield)
hp 32 (5d8 + 10)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +6
Defensive Abilities Spiritual Interference
OFFENSE
Speed 30ft.
Melee +1 Kukri +6 (1d4 + 3/18-20)
Ranged Light Crossbow with +1 Bolt +6 (1d8 + 1/19-20)
Special Attacks Bonded Manifestation 8 rounds/day
Spiritualist Spell-like Abilities (CL 5th; Concentration +7)
At Will- Detect Undead
Spiritualist Spells Known (CL 5th; Concentration +7)
2nd (3/day)- Inflict Pain (DC 14), Invisibility, Rage, Stricken Heart (DC 14)
1st (5/day)- Burst of Adrenaline, Cause Fear (DC 13), Cure Light Wounds, Psychic Reading, Shield
0 (at will)- Detect Magic, Detect Psychic Significance, Guidance, Light, Mage Hand, Mending
TACTICS
Before Combat
Warned of the PCs’ intrusion, Amala casts Invisibility and Shield.
During Combat Amala starts combat by sending Viordan to attack the PCs, then two rounds later makes her presence known by casting Inflict Pain or Stricken Heart on a PC she deemed to be a particular threat. Once she’s visible, she eschews spellcasting for more material tactics, taking shots at the PCs with her crossbow or attacking with her kukri. Once Viordan is reduced to half HP, she brings him back into her consciousness to use Bonded Manifestation.
Morale Amala sends Viordan out again when she’s reduced to 10 hp or less to distract the PCs while she heals up or flees, depending on how overmatched she feels.
STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Emotional Conduit, Logical Spell, Medium Armor Proficiency, Scribe Scroll
Skills Bluff +7, Knowledge (arcana, history) +8, Linguistics +8, Spellcraft +8
Languages Ancient Osiriani, Common, Draconic, Infernal, Necril, Varisian
SQ Bonded Senses 5 rounds/day, Etheric Tether, Phantom (Anger), Shared Consciousness
Gear +1 Kukri (DC 18), Masterwork Scale Mail, Haunt Siphon (DC 18), Light Crossbow with 10 bolts and 4 +1 Bolts (DC 18)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Bonded Manifestation (Su)
A spiritualist can draw on the power of her phantom while it is bound to her consciousness as a swift action. She chooses either ectoplasmic or incorporeal form- if she chooses Ectoplasmic form, she gains a +4 shield bonus to her AC which applies to incorporeal touch attacks. If the chooses incorporeal form, she gains concealment against ranged attacks.
Etheric Tether (Su) as Life Link, save that past 50 feet the spiritualist must make Concentration checks as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity or the ectoplasmic phantom is returned to the Ethereal Plane, from whence it cannot be summoned for the next 24 hours. If the ectoplasmic phantom is ever more than 100 feet from its spiritualist, or the incorporeal phantom is ever 50 feet away from the spiritualist or outside of line of effect from the spiritualist for more than 5 rounds, the tether is automatically broken.
Shared Consciousness (Su) While the phantom is contained in the spiritualist’s consciousness, the spiritualist gains Skill Focus in two skills (this one grants Intimidate and Survival) and a +4 bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects. Additionally, once per day, when the spiritualist fails her saving throw against a mind-affecting effect, as an immediate action she can shunt that effect into the phantom’s section of her consciousness instead. When she does so, she loses the usual benefits of Shared Consciousness but is not affected by the mind-affecting effect; these both persist until the effect would normally end.
Spiritual Interference (Ex or Su) Whenever a spiritualist is within the reach of her ectoplasmic manifested phantom, she gain a +2 shield bonus to her AC and a +2 circumstance bonus on her saving throws. A spiritualist within 30 feet of her incorporeally manifested phantom receives a +2 circumstance bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects.

Viordan Sala [Ectoplasmic Form]
CR -; XP -

Anger Phantom
NE Medium Outsider (phantom)
Init +5; Senses Darkvision 60ft.; Perception +7
DEFENSE
AC
17, touch 11, flat-footed 16 (+1 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 34 (4d10 + 12)
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +4
DR 5/slashing, 5/magic
OFFENSE
Speed
30ft.
Melee 2 Slams +7 (2d6 + 3)
Special Attacks Magic Attacks
TACTICS
During Combat
Viordan attacks the PCs without regard to his own safety, counting on his formidable damage reduction and natural armor to protect him. He uses Power Attack on any round after he hits with both slam attacks.
Morale Viordan fights until destroyed or dismissed, although Amala pulls him back into her consciousness to use him for Bonded Manifestation once he’s reduced to half HP.
STATISTICS
Str
16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 15
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 18
Feats Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Intimidate +8, Knowledge (planes) +5, Perception +7, Survival +7
Languages -
SQ Deliver Touch Spells (30ft.), Link, Phase Lurch, Share Spells


It looks like just one implement to me, but I could see arguments either way. Perhaps bump it again once the sun comes up?


Alright, cool, thanks again!


I have another question about this campaign, specifically: the equipment you all used. Your equipment document notwithstanding, I noticed that certain weapons were being given attack roll penalties based on materials (which was not reflected in either your equipment document or canon rules)- I was wondering to what degree you were following the nonmetal equipment rules from Ultimate Equipment for determining what weapons had what penalties or could be made of certain materials and so on. Ditto armor, to a lesser degree: did you have a breakage chance for nonmetal, nonmasterwork armors made out of things like bone or inix-hide?


Which of the new Occult Adventures classes would you say fit best with the vision of Castrovel you and the creative team had?


Quote:

Sure thing, NightmareOne.

There were a couple of things going on:

* Most humanoid NPCs were built from the ground up, using the modified character generation options listed in the Campaign Info tab, or by tweaking pre-built stat blocks from the NPC database at d20pfsrd.com.

* Back in the 3E days, WotC gave certain fan sites permission to do official conversions of old campaign settings. The Dark Sun site, athas.org, put out a free ebook, Terrors of Athas, that updates almost all of the 2E monsters to 3.0 (or maybe 3.5). It's a really handy book, and many of the monsters need minimal conversion - the braxat the group fought before Crossroads, the dark spiders below the village, those were all minor conversions as I recall.

* Other monsters and mooks were reskinned Pathfinder creatures with a few modifications. Ogres make great half-giants. The dune reapers the group encountered in Arkhold were dire lions (or cave lions or something like that). In several cases, I was able to find a suitable monster that subbed in better (or with less effort) than converting the version in Terrors of Athas. You can also find the 2E versions of most Dark Sun monsters online by googling around a bit.

Thank you so much! Now time for some psionic postapocalyptica...


This is wildly off topic and I don't know if this is the right place to put this, but here goes.

I've loved reading all of your Dark Sun adventures. This counts as my first taste of Athas, and I must say, you've all done a bang-up job of getting me interested in seeing more of the setting.

That said, I was wondering where the stats for all the monsters came from? I suspect some of them are reskinned bestiary things, but in the interest of someday running my own Dark Sun game, I wonder if I could impose for some details?


Pharasma doesn't take issue to souls returning to life and aiding the living, she takes issue to perversions of the natural order. If this were not the case, her church would prohibit (or place sanctions on) the resurrection of the dead (which it canonically does not). The Medium is within acceptable boundaries; after all, everybody dies Eventually. Even PCs. It is those who take steps to subvert this on a permanent basis (usually those that seek undeath) that she takes any issue with.


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Great God of the Sprawl
CN Minor God

With all of these things, you know what comes to mind? A hive. Not like a bug-hive, a people-hive. A city that has seen revolution, and plague, and multiple overthrows of government. The god's focus is the city itself: how a place of industry, control, and community becomes anarchy with its own rules (and the defiance thereof).

A god embodying the inherent chaos of large cities, basically.


With regards to the original question.

Occultist has a good range of flexibility with regards to build as a class, as people have demonstrated here: I've even heard of a few more caster-y builds floating around elsewhere (there's a Harry Dresden one that looks fun that caught my eye). However, you do kind of lock yourself in to your options, and your (relatively) shallow pool of spells and the focus powers you choose can severely limit your utility.

Medium has a little more flexibility from day to day, if one is adventuring in an urban climate or does away with the required seance locations (I believe one of the writers also said something about playing a little fast-and-loose with the requirements; the example used was turning a normal forest glen into a "practice yard" for the champion legend by sparring with an ally in it or otherwise simple weapons practice: shooting targets or so forth). The penalties can be mitigated with clever roleplaying and archetypes, and with flexible spell selection from day-to-day with Archmage and Heirophant they can be a decent patch caster if the party needs to deal with a specific kind of problem or needs access to certain spells.

Tl;DR: Occultist is more flexible as a class concept but Medium moreso as a character. As to why I'd pick one over the other...depends on my character concept, what the group needs, etc. As a tank or more invested caster, Occultist. As a more flexible/skill monkey/specific champion build character, Medium.


Druids work best with allies that can work around difficult terrain somehow- a field overgrown with nonmagical briars and thorns is a nightmare for most PC parties because of the difficult terrain, but a druid backed up by a handful of archers (or anything with reach and feather step) will tear them apart. A 9th-level Druid with six 5th-level rangers as backup would tear most parties apart just by dint of "watch us move freely while you get half speed," ranged weapons, buff spells on all the rangers, and "lol, we have Combat Reflexes, Stand Still, and reach weapons". That's not to mention the druid raining down Call Lightning Storm bolts while using Fickle Winds to protect the rangers from PC ranged rebuttal.

Druid might work OK too, it's just that druids control the battlefield by reshaping it and letting their allies ignore the problem while clerics do it by punishing their enemies directly. Different mindset from a tactical standpoint. Not sure which you would prefer.

Plus druid has redundant effects with Korred. Entangled comes from a lot of sources for druid and would be unnecessary with their hair. They chuck stones with the force of javelins so magic stone is useless. So on and so forth. Cleric has a suite of totally different control options, while allowing for better party buffing and utility.


Hmm. You could have the Magus swarm him with Empowered Maximized Magic Missiles (dual wielding metamagic wands if necessary, that's 37 damage a shot that can't miss and hits incorporeal easily).

Your plan for an alpha strike really does only require a dose of holy weapon balm, dealing that much damage in one go is worth 30 gp easy and it makes your whole first-turn strategy not only viable but potentially disabling. Use it on a secondary weapon of some kind (or several)- if you're gonna hit and crit anyway, why worry about whether it's on your +5 (or whatever) lance? Losing 5 points of damage for that first turn is not gonna ruin you. Probably.

After that, a group armed with magical weapons should tear him apart. 71 hp is not that much to ask of a 15th level party, and AC 31 is kind of pathetic for a CR 20 enemy. That makes his DR the only significant challenge, and if your party's got weapons they can (somehow) crank up to at least a +5 enhancement bonus, they ignore his DR (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/special-abilities#TOC-Overcoming-DR)


Simple magic weapons won't do it for you? Half damage may not sound like much, but most incorporeal creatures don't have that much AC (people tend to build them so Incorporeal is their be-all end-all defense) so Power Attack and stacking static damage (potions of Bull's Strength, Divine Favor, etc.) might be viable.

Failing that...Ghostbane Dirge is a tolerable option, but Ghost Touch is better. Note if this enemy of yours is undead Holy Water deals full damage; again, hardly ideal but if your other option is sitting around twiddling one's thumbs...What is the exact makeup of your team? Build, class, level, etc.


Try Korred Cleric. CN Cleric of Cayden Cailean, play up the similarities in CC's portfolio to Dionysus and you're good to go. Tactically, he'd play like an AoE debuffer. Probably want variant channel (Ale/Wine) to add to the madness/entertainment value. Tanuki with the same premise would work too, but be slightly worse at controlling (due to losing out on entangling hair and stunning laugh) and slightly better as an extra mainline combatant (plus Quick Channel Ale/Wine Variant Channel plus Sake Affinity plus a spell or attack would be the BOMB). Druid...could be entertaining, but one of the best builds for druids as enemies is when they grant their whole team "home field" advantage, and that doesn't seem to be your foe-party's game.


It's not so much that divine doesn't matter, it's more that if you have access to HP recovery and a way to break mind-affecting effects you need little else. The alchemist idea's not bad, but I'd like to endorse an Oradin build. It's not classic pulp, but it would complement the party well. Perhaps an arcane duelist, archaeologist or other melee-oriented bard?

...

Actually. An archaeologist bard would provide the social skills you'll (apparently) need, the trapfinding you'll want, and the spells to be another as-needed healer or other support caster. Archaeologist's Luck is a decent ability for a secondary frontliner- grab a reach weapon and call it good?


Ok, that makes sense. Nice to know the concern becomes "revert to a corpse, temporarily" rather than "become an NPC". Having the influence penalty practically all the time sucks a lot (particularly trickster), but part of the fun of playing a medium at all is experimenting with wildly different personalities. Thanks for the clarification!


Am I just being dense, or is the Reanimated Medium really confusingly phrased?

I get that the medium (which I'll refer to as X, meaning the inhabiting spirit of the character) having a higher influence over his own body (spiritless without assistance, henceforth Y) is good and that he invites a legend (Z) in there with him, I'm just a little fuzzy on what else happens. Looking at it as-is, it reads to me like he (X) and the spirit (Z) have two different influence totals, but there is no clarification in-text. If they have two different influence totals, who gains the 3 points of influence when he channels a legendary spirit?

Was the intention of this to make the medium immediately suffer the influence penalty from the legendary spirit, because that kind of looks like what it means if the legend is the one that gets the 3 influence when it's channeled. It seems counterintuitive that the Medium should suffer an influence penalty practically all the time when he has Z bound, although that may have been the intention.

So...X is the only one who gains and loses influence over his body? Do I track the legend's influence separately, but suffer no penalties when it has 5 or more influence over the body? Does "The spirit" (at the beginning of the quote) refer to the Medium's spirit, X, or the spirit of the legend he's channeling, Z?


Hm. I suspect the reading the rules as intended you would only lose the one bolt. Because, once cast, the spell is working just fine on its own without you concentrating, it just doesn't do anything until you try to concentrate.


http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rn8q&page=95?General-Discussion-Kineticist #4706


Specifically, this clause:

Occult Adventures wrote:
The spirit gains 3 points of influence over his body, to a maximum of 6 points. Since he is his own possessing spirit, he doesn’t lose control at 5 or more points of influence, though he still suffers the legend’s influence penalty as normal at 3 or more points of influence.

I get that the medium (which I'll refer to as X, meaning the inhabiting spirit of the character) having a higher influence over his own body (spiritless without assistance, henceforth Y) is good and that he invites a legend (Z) in there with him, I'm just a little fuzzy on what else happens. Looking at it as-is, it reads to me like he (X) and the spirit (Z) have two different influence totals, but there is no clarification in-text. If they have two different influence totals, who gains the 3 points of influence when he channels a legendary spirit? Was the intention of this to make the medium immediately suffer the influence penalty from the legendary spirit, because that kind of looks like what it means if the legend is the one that gets the 3 influence when it's channeled.

So...X is the only one who gains and loses influence over his body? Do I track the legend's influence separately, but suffer no penalties when it has 5 or more influence over the body? Does "The spirit" (at the beginning of the quote) refer to the Medium's spirit, X, or the spirit of the legend he's channeling, Z?

Basically hoping for writer confirmation one way or the other on this-I'm kind of turned around.


Mirya can wield weapons two sizes larger than herself because of the War Machine template from the Advanced Bestiary, which she possesses. It's explained nowhere and until I got my PDF of the AB I was similarly confused.


Yebng: Proooooobably all caster levels. Given that the benefits are so all-encompassing, it makes logical sense for the penalties to be as well.


cavernshark wrote:
I see where you're coming from, but if the most reasonable way to play a medium is to pick a spirit and focus on it then wouldn't it have made more sense for the Medium to pick a single base spirit to specialize in and then gain additional spirits as they level (not unlike the Shaman)?

You'd have to ask the developers what their intent was. As-is, all I can offer is advice.

cavernshark wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I definitely see the strength in the static bonuses, especially if your party participates in the seance. The issue I have is that with the exception of the Champion and Marshall, I can't really see the bonus affecting more than one person on a given day and when it does it means you're hitting a redundancy. To use your example, if I've got a healer running around, turning myself into a healer and giving that other healer a boost now means we have two full healers. If the party needed a healer, then my boost isn't helping anyone but me most of the time.

So leave the healing to the healer, choose heirophant anyway, and pick utility or cleric blasting spells for divine surge. I see your point (and indeed, two blaster casters in a party would be quite redundant) but the ability to choose new spells for Archmage Arcana and Divine Surge every day cannot be underestimated, so the flexibility might be worth it even if it means only one person in the group is benefiting from the seance boon. If anything, the underwhelming one is Guardian. +1 CMD isn't exactly the stuff of legend, although the other abilities are a little better.

cavernshark wrote:
The only other way I could see any of this making sense (short of specializing in a single spirit and devoting all your feats to making it strong -- like being a channel focused hierophant healer) was if you could swap in other spirits temporarily during the adventure day in a reasonable amount of time.

Perhaps that's a nice idea for an archetype? Not sure what they'd sacrifice though. I like the medium as-is; makes it a challenge to play it well.


Like any class, the point of playing a medium is to choose a specialty, not generalize. Bards choose melee or ranged to be their primary mode of combat, and choose how intensely they focus on spellcasting and skills. Mediums are little different. A medium is obliged to choose at character creation whether he will focus primarily on melee combat or ranged, and on spellcasting or no. It's implausible to expect the class to be able to generalize as broadly as it is capable: you would not expect a bard to be a primary caster AND a tank AND a ranged threat (although it is possible to build it as such), you build it to be a melee team buffer or a ranged enchanter or whatever.

If you mean to be a melee combatant, prioritize Strength and Dexterity and focus on the physical legends. Pick feats for combat. If you intend to cover spellcasting holes, stack your Charisma, choose Archmage and Heirophant legends, and stay away from melee. Choose two legends to use most of the time, count on the static bonuses they grant rather than spirit surging your way through every encounter (taboos only take effect if you want them to, and you only start incurring influence penalties at 3 influence or more) and otherwise "play by the rules."

*shrugs* Some of the legends are pretty weak, I'll grant, and you'll never have the potency of a full caster, but the trade is fair to my eye. Even if you focus on melee, with primarily combat feats, you can then switch to the heirophant legend whenever your group's got downtime and in need of a healer or trickster when they need a skillmonkey for a day. Even if you focus on casting, with feats and ability investment toward that end, you can pull a quick switch to champion to become a capable melee combatant for a day (armed with a reach weapon, ideally), or pick marshal to make the primary combatants better at their job.

Medium's greatest strength is the raw flexibility of their legends. Their spirit bonuses are broadly focused, and if they're careful they'll never trigger their influence penalty. That alone is an unexpectedly strong ability. And the seance boon they grant their comrades should not be underestimated- a medium in the same party as another caster can make a healer's job far easier or make a blaster caster more potent just by convincing them to talk to the spirits with them.


Up the movement speed to 40ft., make a bite attack automatic (Str x 1.5 because it would be the primary natural attack) and give it a Construction Points option for the claws. Maybe up the bite damage to 1d8.


Hmm. Upping the difficulty of

Spoiler:
Feast of Ravenmoor
...yeah, no, making the townsfolk harder is not the answer. Play them a little smarter, maybe. They have been doing this for some time, after all. They would have gotten better at it, even without tactical training. A couple of the encounters in this module have the potential to be kind of brutal, especially that very last one. You know the one. So maybe the ones with the regular commoners don't need to be super hard, if you can pull off the really challenging ones well.

Again, if they opt to go off the rails and the townsfolk know they know, maybe a mob of cultists might be the right way to go. Adding more stirges couldn't hurt, either; they're not exactly easy to hit, and Con damage sticks and sucks.

Ultimately, if you have your PCs' stats and a good idea of their tactics, field-testing the encounters is a good way to go. Just remember to hold over damage and lost resources from one to another; no matter how good they are, each fight is gonna take something out of them, be it channel uses, or ammunition, or (hopefully) hit points.


Best advice is contingent on your situation. Instructions to build certain encounters are less than helpful unless they can be integrated into the campaign without feeling..."bumpy". Mismatched. So what's the plot of your campaign? What are their current objectives, opponents, and complications? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your party, and how can you prey on their weaknesses without breaking immersion in the game?

Generally speaking, though, these pieces of advice are good ones. Up the average CR a little, make your monsters smarter, use terrain and multi-stage combats to the enemies' advantage...think about how your PCs are fighting. Remember that the average human is Intelligence 10- it doesn't take much brains to stack the odds in one's favor, just a little patience. Entrenched enemies would fortify their position- the first few rooms of a dungeon inhabited by intelligent humanoids would be their preferred battleground, and they'd be on the defense. Play that up. Put caltrop fields in front of your PCs and archers with cover on the other side. Arm the little guys with longspears and tower shields and have them turtle up while fending off the PCs again and again. Have a small force draw them into an ambush, then hit them from all sides. Have a dungeon react like a poked beehive as your PCs try to murder their way through it and empty everyone inside at them in a raging mob if you must.

Monsters are smart, and will pick battlefields to their advantage. Humanoids encountered together, will fight together.

As for the guilt...that's not something we can help you with. In my experience, most players can recognize when they lose a fight fairly, or when they provoke an unfair fight and lose. Roll your dice in the open and if they get gutted on a crit, so it goes. Risk is part of what makes games like Pathfinder fun, and the personal element of having your character endangered is part of that. I wouldn't stay in a game where my team effortlessly curbstomped everything the DM threw at us. Would you?


I use mythic to help compensate for the PC power creep that happens late-game; putting a few ranks on boss monster-type encounters is starting to become SOP. It's not so much a house rule as a comment on how I look at things, but: in my games, mythic ranks are not a good indication of how well-known something is. Especially if it's been guarding the deepest room of a dungeon for...hundreds of years, at this point. Meanwhile the civilization that built it has crumbled around it (which happens to be exactly the case).

What if the presence of other ancient constructs scattered about the ruins- some potentially helpful, some not- served as a clue? Seeing smaller versions of this thing scattered around would get me prepping to fight one f I were a PC. Plus a few bits and pieces of lore scattered around (if the ancient civilization was proud of their work, they might write about it somewhere the PCs can find it)? It's not exactly a cold open, but I don't really want to give them anything so concrete as, "It's a big construct. Don't forget the adamantine ammunition and bludgeoning weapons."


I don't know how my party will build their characters because I don't have one, yet. This is as much theorycrafting as anything else. When I say "boss" monster, I'm more thinking "the huge thing in the innermost chamber of the dungeon" than "the thing in charge." Rune of Terror's in the Rune-Carved section after Rune of Agony.

Tactics that involve the PCs coming in with some kind of plan are...unlikely. I'm leaning away from informing them of anything about this creature ahead of time, so they're coming in cold. Perhaps that will prevent them from railgunning it to death in the first round. I keep forgetting that Clustered Shots is a thing. This is what I get for never having archer PCs.

I think offensively, it should be alright. The space I'm considering having this thing encountered (it's smart enough to know it can't kill birds it can't reach) has a thirty-foot ceiling and should be small enough for it to reach most corners in a move action or two.

As for it coming alone: I reached the same conclusion. Alone, they'd murder it in two rounds. I was thinking augmenting it by adding a handful of Arcane (the mythic simple template) Shadows or Wraiths to debuff and harass the party. Armed with, say...ray of enfeeblement, acid arrow, and Web, they'd be very annoying to PCs that might engage our boss here with ranged weapons. That said, GM Arkwright's suggestion is also excellent. Perhaps lesser versions with only two mythic ranks?...

Thanks for the crits, folks, keep it coming! The more data I have, the better this is going to turn out.


Context: I am building a boss monster to put up against a group of four or five 11th level PCs with 1 mythic tier. Yes, I know that's not the advised mythic progression, story reasons. The campaign will have no full casters (ban hammer; it's a long story, but also story reasons). What I want to know is: fully healed and rested, do they have any chance of beating this thing? Specifically, what tactics would work against it? I am concerned it might be a bit too much to handle knowing nothing about it going in, and I'm open to advice on how I could balance it/subtly warn the PCs about the looming figure in their future.

Mythic Rune-Carved Lifespark Tiberolith (Bestiary 4 259, Ultimate Magic 115, Advanced Bestiary 191, Mythic Adventures 225)
CR 12/MR 5; XP 19,200
N Huge Construct (mythic)
Init +1/-19; Senses Darkvision 60ft., low-light vision; Perception +0
DEFENSE
AC 30, touch 9, flat-footed 29 (+1 Dex, +21 natural, -2 size)
hp 161 (13d10 + 90); fast healing 10
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +4; -2 vs. mind-affecting effects; Second Save
DR 10/adamantine, bludgeoning, and epic; Defensive Abilities Block Attacks, Rune-Carved, Spell Trap; Immune acid, construct traits; Resist cold 15 fire 15, electricity 30, sonic 15; SR 29
Weaknesses Healing Immunity
OFFENSE
Speed 30ft.
Melee 2 Slams +21 (3d8 + 20/19-20)
Space 15ft; Reach 15ft.
Special Attacks Corrosive Strikes, Mythic Power (5/day, Surge +1d8), Rune of Agony, Rune of Terror, Shockwave
STATISTICS
Str 28, Dex 13, Con -, Int 7, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +13; CMB +24 (+28 Bull Rush); CMD 35 (39 vs. Bull Rush)
Feats Ability Focus (Shockwave), Awesome Blow, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush (M), Improved Critical (Slam), Power Attack (M), Weapon Focus (M, Slam)
Skills Craft (stonemasonry) +14
Languages Common
SQ Accelerated Repair, Keyed Domains (Artifice and Rune), Open Mind, Spirit Within
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Accelerated Repair (Ex) As a full-round action, a lifespark construct can heal damage by jerry-rigging itself. The construct attempts an appropriate Craft skill check (DC 10). With a successful roll, the construct heals itself of 1d4 hit points of damage per number rolled above the DC. Accelerated repair provokes attacks of opportunity. If it wishes, the construct may make a standard effort to repair itself, but without the standard repair cost. This repair takes 1 day of constant work.
Corrosive Strikes (Ex) A tiberolith reduced to 30 or fewer hit points leaks acid, and deals an additional 1d6 points of acid damage with its slam attacks.
Healing Immunity (Ex) A lifespark construct cannot be affected by spells with the healing descriptor unless the spell specifically states it can affect constructs.
Keyed Domains (Ex and Su) The creature has fast healing 10 (from the Artifice domain) and is rune-carved (from the Rune domain). Whenever the creature takes energy damage or energy damage fails to overcome its SR, for the next round, its attacks deal 2d6 points of damage of that energy type. If more than one type of energy attack occurs in a round, roll randomly to determine what kind of extra energy damage it deals.
Open Mind (Ex) Lifespark constructs lack constructs’ usual immunity to mind-affecting effects, and in fact take a -2 penalty on saving throws against mind-affecting effects.
Rune-Carved The creature has been enhanced by the rune-carved construct modification. The Rune of Agony triggers the first time the creature takes damage. Creatures within a 20-foot-radius spread must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or suffer from wracking pains that impose a -4 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws for 1 minute. On a successful saving throw, the creature takes the penalties imposed by the rune for 1 round. The Rune of Terror triggers the first time a creature moves adjacent to the creature, and creates a 20-foot-radius spread of necromantic energy that panics creatures within it for 1d4 rounds (Will DC 20 shortens to shaken for 1 round).
Shockwave (Su) Three times per day, a tiberolith can unleash a burst of electricity. This blast deals 12d6 points of electricity damage to all creatures within 30 feet (Reflex DC 18 half). A tiberolith is immune to its own shockwave and that of other tiberoliths. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Spell Trap (Su) When a tiberolith is targeted by a spell that allows spell resistance and its spell resistance fails to protect it against that spell, the spell instead becomes trapped in the tiberolith’s magical runes. The runes can only trap one spell at a time; if a second spell would become trapped, the first spell affects the tiberolith normally (including allowing a saving throw, if appropriate) and the second spell is trapped. A trapped spell dissipates harmlessly after 24 hours.
Spirit Within (Ex) Certain spells that rely on the existence of a creature’s soul- namely astral projection, clone, magic jar, and soul bind- can affect lifespark constructs. No other necromantic effects affect lifespark constructs, and they are still immune to death effects. Though they cannot be raised or resurrected, they can be reincarnated as described by the reincarnate spell.
Mythic Feats Mythic Improved Bull Rush grants a +2 bonus on checks to bull rush and to CMD against bull rush. Furthermore, the user can make an attack of opportunity against any creature that attempts to bull rush them, unless it also has this feat. Mythic Power Attack improves the bonuses by +1, and the bonus damage is doubled on a critical hit before being multiplied by the weapon’s critical modifier. The user can expend one use of mythic power when they activate Power Attack to ignore the penalties on melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks for 1 minute. Mythic Weapon Focus doubles the bonus from Weapon Focus. As a swift action, they can expend one use of mythic power to gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls with the selected weapon until the end of their turn.


What are the parenthesized values after each item in the chase sequence? Also, am I correct in assuming a luck roll is just a d20 with no modifiers?


Hrm. The only published ones of the correct level are in the last volume of the Council of Thieves Adventure path, but they are...dated. How urgently do you need them?


Ah. I didn't catch that they were actually running it for PFS, I just assumed it was for friends FROM PFS. My mistake.


Quick disclaimer: I haven't run it, so I'm just looking at it from a reader's standpoint.

Spoiler:

1) Hmm. Quickest fix is just to make them afflicted lycanthropes. Handwave the phase of the moon and drop their DR to 5/silver and it should work OK as written.

2) They are, as written. Maybe give them an extra round or 2 to win the race? Your fix looks pretty good too, but I think the extra brawlers at the tavern (that show up only if they're not the first there) are meant to cover the gap somewhat.

3) Hrm. Their Bestiary 3 entry is also not particularly helpful. Given their acid immunity, maybe they rotate spitting at the PCs and meleeing them? Like, round 1 drake A spits mucus, drakes B and C flap down for a full round of attacks (and maybe dart back out with Speed Surge?). Round 2 drake A joins the fray, drake B retreats and spits, and drake C stays where it is? That would make them provoke a lot of Attacks of opportunity and keep this from turning into the wrong kind of shooting gallery (and that is what you seem to be trying to avoid). I dunno, it's actually a pretty brutal fight at this level...and they're smart, too, so they won't just all sit there and let the PCs hack away at them.

4) Depends on your group of PCs, but remember to track his swift actions: he can only take one per round, so that may help; he can't Spellstrike/Spell Combat in the same round as he spell recalls. Don't forget his Spell Combat penalty to melee attacks if he tries to nova a PC with Spellstrike (Scorching Ray)/Spell Combat. That leaves him with two attacks at +6 that deal (1d6 + 2) and (1d6 + 2 + 4d6 fire) on hits; these are all against normal AC, so PCs with average AC for their level (which I tentatively calculate as 15 + PC level, so 19) are not in as much immediate danger as they may seem. That said, yeah. He's pretty dangerous. Magus NPCs usually are exceptionally dangerous to PCs before say, 7th level; thereafter, the PCs pick up magic items, combat-prep spells and such to mitigate energy damage or improve their saves and AC past what the average NPC is necessarily prepared to deal with. If it really bugs you, you could rebuild him as a rogue/sorcerer or the like; alternatively, change out his Combat Casting feat and Close Range magus arcana to significantly reduce the TPK potential (or at least cause him to risk failing a Concentration check/lose the ability to Scorching Ray with Spellstrike).


22 Catfolk
3 Dwarf
46 Forlarren
62 Cecaelia
65 Derhii

Sunspot Cliffs

The Cliffs are eternal, say the dwarves. The cecaelia disagree, pointing to the pounding of surf on stone for the proof; all things erode with wind, tide and time. The Derhii say little, content to accept the Cliffs as they are: miles-high white stone, dropping without sand or ceremony into the ocean, sheltering a vast inland tropical forest. Despite their philosophical differences, the three Cliff Peoples live in uneasy truce; the dwarves' stonework is coveted by those in the sea and above it, the cecaelia with their ocean-lore and vast wealth of food, and the derhii with the wisdom of the open sky and wanderlust unbound by petty gravity.

Inland, the children of the wood treat cautiously with each other, the peculiar and tentative dance of generations. The leopard people build their homes in the canopies and their temples on the forest floor, traded white stone and dwarven expertise informing their architecture; the Forlarren eschew both in favor of the wilder places and what solitude they can find to quell their murderous impulses. Trade goes uneasily; the forlarren find the catfolk too pious, the catfolk think the forlarren unstable (and dangerous; the former is always true, but the latter not always so).

All is not sun, wood and surf; the cecaelia battle back aboleths on all fronts, and the dwarves' lowest sea caves hide refugees and hostile creatures from land and sea alike. In the treetops of the inland woods catfolk and derhii sometimes war over territory and sometimes band together to ward off drake rampages, and hidden among the ancient white stone temples of the forest floor are evil secrets the earth whispers to the weak and vulnerable...


Oddly, I recently did a thing with exactly (somewhat) this premise. He's fighter rather than gunslinger, but it's simple to write a little history to justify whatever you come up with...

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2s46q?Rasputin-Must-Die-Ways-to-slip-your-playe rs-a#1


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Rasputin Must Die! did something that no previous Adventure Path has made me do- want my PC to die so I could build someone from Earth, 1918. However, lacking an adventuring group, I thought I might just drop him here. My thought was that he could be a replacement for Dmitri in area D4- a man who has given his life to first the war, and then to Rasputin's unholy allies.

His name is...

Aleksei Vasiliy Molokov
Human Fighter (Trench Fighter) 9/Assassin 2/Shadowdancer 2
LE Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +5; Senses Darkvision 60ft., Perception +16
DEFENSE
AC
16, touch 16, flat-footed 10 (+5 Dex, +1 Dodge)
hp 102 on average (9d10 + 4d8 + 35)
Fort +10, Ref +10, Will +5; +2 vs. Fear, +1 vs. Poison
Defensive Abilities Bravery +2, Evasion, Improved Uncanny Dodge
OFFENSE
Speed
30ft.
Melee +1 Scimitar +15/+10/+5 (1d6 + 4/18-20)
Ranged Mosin-Nagant M1891 Rifle +18/+13/+8 (1d10 + 6/x4) or Mosin-Nagant M1891 Rifle +16/+16/+11/+6 (1d10 + 6/x4) with Rapid Shot or Nagant M1895 Revolver +17/+12/+7 (1d8 + 6/x4) or Nagant M1895 Revolver +15/+15/+10/+5 (1d8 + 6/x4) with Rapid Shot
Special Attacks Death Attack (DC 13), Grit (1), Poison Use, Sneak Attack +1d6, Trench Warfare (Revolver, Rifle), Weapon Training (Heavy Blades +2, Firearms +1)
STATISTICS
Str 13, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +11; CMB +12; CMD 27
Feats Amateur Gunslinger (Gunslinger’s Dodge), Clustered Shots, Combat Reflexes, Deadly Aim, Dodge, Mobility, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Focus (Rifle)
Skills Acrobatics +15, Bluff +12, Disguise +10, Perception +16, Perform (dance) +4, Sleight of Hand +16, Stealth +27, Survival +6
Languages German, Russian
SQ Deeds (Gunslinger’s Dodge), Hide in Plain Sight
Gear It is assumed Aleksei arms himself with at least a mosin-nagant M1891 rifle, a nagant M1895 revolver, and one of the headless cossacks’ +1 Scimitars. Ammunition is likely not an issue given how plentiful it is around Akuvskaya.

I built Aleksei here with the elite array, but his stats can be beefed up as necessary for your campaign; just keeping Dex his highest stat is really the only priority. Ditto his HP: I used the average for the rolls. Fixing him up with some gear mid-campaign should be simple enough with the mercane Zilvazaraat at the PCs' beck and call; even armed only with scavenged Russian gear, he can contribute well to most combats between now and campaign's end.

Aleksei was recruited in 1910 at the young age of 17, but being from a poor household, clung to the soldier's life with startling ferocity; devoted to the state that saved him from starvation, he made of himself an exemplary soldier, with a particular talent for unorthodox tactics; his superiors noticed his devotion and talent for subterfuge, and in 1915 made him a recognized irregular: excused from standard duty, he instead infiltrated enemy encampments to assassinate officers, sabotage supplies and weapons, and gather intelligence. During the war, he met a handful of individuals that would change his life forever, not least of which was an old Russian woman with iron teeth, who taught him to hide in others' shadows. As his effectiveness as an assassin became nearly unprecedented among the Russian forces, Aleksei's superiors turned their heads to the fact that he could literally disappear from sight in anything less than full illumination. Humble (and never good at making a good impression), Aleksei never attracted the notice that was due him until he was sent to Akuvskaya; one of the nosferatu Brothers Three noted his potential, but Aleksei shook their domination a little more frequently than they were comfortable with, so they are using him as food instead. When the PCs storm the prison camp, he asks that they take him with them; confronted with their conveyance, he instantly recognizes the Baba Yaga from tales he was told (and a suspicion that his wartime mentor was the crone herself) and instantly rallies to their cause. Assuming the PCs can use the hand, he joins them and serves their cause with the same vigor he brought to the Army.

Obviously, his training as a modern soldier gives him the trench fighter archetype from page 67 of the same volume. He's got some unusual skills for a soldier, but they all build into the role he makes for himself, eventually making him a talented infiltrator despite dumping Charisma. Despite the roguish multiclassing, he is still very much a ranged combatant. The weapons training for heavy blades is more to reflect the fact that he has been trained to fence with a contemporary weapon than out of any sense of optimization; that can be changed easily to up his firearm-related game. Similarly, the presence of Death Attack rather than the more sophisticated slayer or ninja Assassinate Advanced Talent is meant to show that he was in fact rank and file before he started doing "special" work; if the lack of optimization bothers you, take solace from the fact that the Assassin levels cost him relatively little in combat effectiveness. If the 6th-level soldiers in RMD are hardened veterans, he can still pull off the assassination of various high-level officers (many of whom would likely have aristocrat levels in addition to, if not rather than, fighter ones) with some ease, and sneak out of camp totally undetected with HIPS. Like the heavy blades specialization, they are story-based and can be changed if it irks you.

His relative lack of optimization is easily made up by his use of modern firearms; the ability to hit touch for the first five range increments makes him dangerous to basically everything else the PCs might face in the campaign, and between his Stealth modifier and Hide in Plain Sight he makes an excellent scout. While his Sneak Attack is a pittance, nothing likes getting four (touch attack!) rifle rounds with Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim and Clustered Shots from a surprise-round attack. As long as he loots the hell out of the prison camp, he should never have issues with ammunition. To offset his lack of Rapid Reload, Quick Draw and a brace of extra revolvers should serve to keep his damage adequate; he deals nearly equal damage either way (1d10 to 1d8 isn't much of a loss).

Advancing him is to personal taste; he gains little by advancing in either of his current prestige classes, and gunslinger is less than optimal, but otherwise as long as he picks a full-BAB class he'll probably be able to railgun things to death between now and the end of the AP with little trouble.

*clears throat* So, I'll just leave him, shall I? Better sitting around on the forums than quietly moldering away in my Reign of Winter file.


I know you folks like a challenge, so I figured I'd crowdsource this one on account of Paizo not having rules to cover it.

A little background: my pet project is a campaign setting where Nethys...dies/is killed. And they take with them the ability to craft new magic items, access to mythic power for mortals, and most importantly all spellcasting for full casting classes. Arcanists, Clerics, Druids, Oracles, Shaman, Sorcerers, Witches, and Wizards all completely lose their ability to cast spells. They keep their other class features, like witch hexes and the cleric's channel energy and domain powers, but no casting (the clergy of Nethys gets it worse; they all either die or lose their minds from divine backlash).

My query, then, is this: I am designing a nosferatu villain to be one of the BBEGs for a campaign. He is a follower of the Horseman of Pestilence, and was a cleric and souleater before the Fall. So when the PCs meet him, they face a villain with no spellcasting but with his domains, channel energy, and supernatural powers from the Souleater prestige class intact. I'm thinking of pegging him at (human?) Nosferatu Fallen Cleric 5/Souleater 10 (or thereabouts), but his CR can't be 16- it simply wouldn't make sense without his spellcasting, upon which the Souleater class builds very heavily. So, what do you think?

Other suggestions on how to optimize him in the face of this are welcome, of course, but he'll have at least two wasted feats (probably Combat Casting and Empower Spell) that were, when he took them, perfectly valid.


So I've concocted another adventure. It's sort of a hodgepodge of various things, but takes some influence from the movies Prometheus and Aliens wrapped up in a road trip film. The short version is that the PCs have joined up with a water caravan headed to the northern Winterlands for a little harvesting. This is kind of slated (in my head, anyway) to be the first part of a three-part arc about the journey, and covers the trip to the Winterlands (the other two parts being intended to cover the actual harvest and the return "home," respectively). It's got some "random" encounters on the road, some dungeon crawl, an unscrupulous archaeologist, and an ancient proto-shobhad research and development center.

I guess I'm polling for interest in what I've written. I have it saved as a .doc, and if there's any interest here I'll find some way to make it available to y'all on here. It's not setting neutral (and I hope it doesn't violate fair use or the open gaming license or anything like that), but I like how it came out.


I don't know about legal, but Musket Master gets a deed at 3rd level that lets them reload two-handed firearms as though they were one-handed ones, if they have at least 1 grit point.


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Same adventure as the akatas; I wanted to have more Vercite involvement than a bunch of unused tech lying around. I had initially statted these things out differently, but once People of the Stars and the Technology Guide came out, I modified them a bit. There are two of these things hanging around the crash site: one of them is inside an armored X-laser turret the Vercite crew installed after a shobhad attack on the camp, and the other is inside the Vercite vessel with her void-zombified crew. They'd be members of the Augmented caste, I suppose, but due to the gp limit and their undead state I skipped the cybernetic implants in favor of equipment the PCs might recognize. Although I don't say so, the Sonic Sword is a tech item presented in the Red Redoubt section of Dungeons of Golarion.

Vercite Void Officer
CR 8; XP 4800

Void Zombie Lord Vercite Fighter (Tactician) 8 (People of the Stars 15, Bestiary 2 23, Bestiary 4 286, Ultimate Combat 47)
LE Medium Undead
Init +6; Senses Low-Light Vision, Perception +13
DEFENSE
AC
23, touch 14, flat-footed 19 (+7 armor, +3 Dex, +1 Dodge, +2 natural)
hp 71 (8d10 + 2d8 + 18)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +4
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4
OFFENSE
Speed
40ft.
Melee Sonic Sword +15/+10 (1d8 + 7/17-20 plus 1d8 sonic and deafened [DC 14]), Slam +8 (1d6 + 2), tongue +8 (1d6 + 2 plus blood drain) or 2 slams +13 (1d6 + 6), tongue +8 (1d6 + 2 plus blood drain)
Special Attacks Blood Drain (2 Str), Quick Strikes, Tactician 1/day
TACTICS
During Combat
The Void Officer uses its Tactician ability on the first round of combat to grant the void zombies Outflank, then moves into melee with the apparent leader of the enemy force. She ably keeps up with him with her Mobility and Step Up feats, benefiting from her improved movement speed. Otherwise, she is a straightforward combatant, lashing out with her sword and natural attacks, hoping for criticals with her Sonic Sword.
Morale Void Zombies fight to the death.
STATISTICS
Str
19, Dex 18, Con -, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +13; CMD 27
Feats Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Dodge, Improved Critical (Longsword), Mobility, Outflank, Step Up, Toughness, Weapon Focus (Longsword), Weapon Specialization (Longsword)
Skills Intimidate +13, Knowledge (engineering) +13, Perception +13, Sense Motive +14, Stealth +3 (+12 without armor); Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, +8 Stealth
Languages Vercite
SQ Armor Training 2, Chameleon Skin, Tactical Awareness +2
Gear Sonic Sword (as +1 Thundering Longsword, capacity 10 charges, consumes 1 charge/day, Tech, DC 23), +1 Breastplate (DC 18), 8 Batteries (DC 25)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Chameleon Skin (Ex)
A vercite’s racial bonus to Stealth comes from her ability to change the color of her skin to match her surroundings. A vercite loses this conditional bonus if she is wearing armor, or if she wears any clothing that covers more than one-quarter of her body, as vercites can only change their own flesh, not things they carry.
Tactician (Ex) Once per day, a tactician fighter can use a standard action to grant all allies within 30 feet the use of a tactical feat she possesses. They retain the use of this bonus feat for 7 rounds.


Using Dancing Lights as light signals over long range like a magical morse code?


Other gods? Internal strife? Maybe they simply don't know? While near-omniscience is implied, it's never outright stated, so it's entirely possible that the gods are not aware of the multitude of evils at hand in the various Material Plane worlds and beyond.


DM Papa.DRB wrote:

Generally they fall behind one month during the year, and the AP that ends in July gets the last two books at the same time in July.

-- david

This has happened before? I didn't notice. Thanks for letting me know, I felt like I was seriously missing something.


Is it typical for the last TWO books in an adventure path to be printed and released in the same month? This has been bothering me for a while, and I can't quite wrap my head around whether it's a publishing decision (originally I thought it was a mistake on the website) or I've just been not paying attention to how the other adventure paths are printed. Help?

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