Thomas Seitz wrote:
According to James Jacobs on the AP seminars at Paizocon it's actually
Unchained summoner, with the kyton eidolon included in the adventure
Kineticist: I've been playing a geokineticist in a fairly slow-running emerald spire campaign since the playtest and I've enjoyed it quite a bit. Especially impressed by how the different elements cater to different playstyles, and just how much expanded element expanded my tactical options.
Medium: I was super hyped for the playtest version and its ability to bind spirits in sequence for cool combos. Really let down by the finished product. It's competent, but I'd likely stick to one spirit through most of the campaign and then what's the point? Quite possibly my least liked class in the game as it stands.
Mesmerist: Recently got to play this after retiring an old cleric of mine. I really like playing debuffers and the spell-list and the cool and varied lass abilities really appeals to me. It's much more interesting than what I initially though when the classes were announced, and it's my new favorite class, period.
Occultist: Really like the flavor, and the mechanics seems fine if a bit hard to get into. It's on my to-play list, but that list is quite long as is.
Psychic: I understand the need for this class to be a thing, but I'm just not all that excited for another full-caster when presented alongside more mechanically interesting classes.
Spiritualist: Not a fan of pet-classes, so I've barely even looked into this one.
Bit of a sidetrack, but I feel that it's worth mentioning that the trait in question is a campaign trait from Mummy's Mask. Those are often special cases and tends not to be allowed outside of their respective campaigns, something that's often forgotten when the subject of Trapfinding availability comes up. I agree with the rest of your assessment though.
More on topic, I've been playing with a slayer and a hunter in the Emerald Spire for a while now and both perform well. The hunter's player has had a blast with the animal focus flexibility and the nicely mashed spell list (though he tends to forget his teamwork feats), and the slayer has been quite effective as both the trap spotter and our primary frontliner, which is especially nice since he usually has the lead for trap-duty anyhow.
1) Mesmerist - I was very ambivalent about the class at first, but the mix of spells, class abilities and class specific feats centered around debuffing appeals to me. Mesmerist tricks are also pretty fun to play around with.
2) Oracle - My go to full caster. I prefer spontaneous casting, and the oracle is flexible enough in its flavor that I can use the class for almost any magic-focused character I'd care to try.
3) Fighter - Specifically the lore warden and only post weapon master's handbook (my previous pick being Slayer). I like getting off the ground with my combat feats quickly when I'm playing martial characters and don't care for the added bookkeeping of martial flexibility.
The blurb about Milani and giving characters boons... how does that work exactly? Or where I can read more information on that? This will be my first AP as a DM and so if this additional information is coming out with the first book, great, but otherwise I would like to know as my players seem to be rather fond of Milani as their patron deity.
I certainly reccommend getting your hands in Inner Sea Gods if you are the least bit interested in Pathfinder deities, since it's a great read, but if you only want to know about how to get the boons see here: Deific Obedience.
Animal Soul got one of the more baffling errata entries actually, essentially being replaced with an entirely different feat.
I probably won't be able to run this AP as written, since I wouldn't trust one of my players to take the subject matter in a non-cartoony way, and my other mainstay have no interest in evil APs. I'll still get the PDFs though, because even when I don't plan to run the adventures, I can typically mine them for ideas, and I enjoy the reading.
To be clear, I would have liked to see better ki powers, not worse rage powers. The redesign of a lot of those rage powers are AWESOME, and a lot of previously average to bad options are now at least viable, and sometimes even advisable. That's why I'm so sad to see the monk get powers like Elemental Fury while barbarian get Elemental Stance (which, while competing with better stances, at least serve its niche well, scales with level, last for more than 1/2 rounds per level and costs no more than a move action activation and standard rage rounds rather than one of your ki points).
Personally, I don't think I'd mind the lackluster nature of the ki powers if I didn't have the almost universally superior rage powers to read just pages prior. Somewhat like the unchained rogue I feel like the new monk is a clear improvement, but fears to go far enough. I'll withhold final judgement until I've seen them in play I guess.
Keeping skill unlocks just for rogues, will get people playing rogues again, otherwise it will just be a dip class at best and never be able to stand on its own two feet.
While I agree with the overall sentiment, skill unlocks wouldn't even be on my top five reasons to play an unchained rogue, which is a shame because I got really interested based on the blog post.
Personally I'd either roll with Mark's suggestion of all free from level 1 and +5 at level 5, or use another suggestion I've seen tossed around; letting the rogue apply 1.5 times his skill ranks at level 5, 2 times his skill ranks at level 10, and so on.
Hi Mark! Got to say that I love a lot of the stuff in Unchained and I've been wanting something like automatic bonus progression table for a *long* time.
That being said, I'll admit that I'm a bit disappointed about the way armor and weapon abilities other than the strict plusses are handled in the system. Your blog post with capacity certainly helps a lot in terms of cost, but seems to still bind the character to investing lots of resources in specific equipment, much like before, rather than being something tied to the character.
I was considering using your table from the blog, but having the cost apply to the *character* by means of rituals of attunement rather than the cost of a specific weapon. What I mean is that a character could spend 6000 gp to apply his +1 attunement bonus to whichever +1-equivalent weapon he picks for his attunement on a given day (and only that one!), though he could switch attuned weapons between days, and spend additional gold down the line to keep up with the tables progression as he sees fit.
I was thinking of using this system for my next campaign, but being a relatively green GM (and not really a number cruncher) I thought I should check if I'm missing any glaring problems with this approach. Thoughts?
I quite enjoy the blank slate nature of the fighter, though I admit that I'd basically never play the class without an archetype for a firmer niche. Basically, the only thing I actually dislike about the class aside from how underwhelming bravery is (especially next to aura of courage) is the skill points and arguably the prior lack of the stamina system's greater tactical decision making. Different strokes, I guess.
While balancing classes with exceedingly powerful spells like the wizard/sorcerer one is hard from a logistics perspective, there's also adherence to "sacred cows". Anything which would reasonably bring the druid's class features in line with other classes' power balance would attract a lot more vitriol from a greater proportion of the community than the already commonly banned summoner, since the changes would impact a greater number of groups negatively (at least from the druid player's perspective). Sad, but true.
Humans are just proportionally more innately averse to losses than we're appreciative of gains (not saying that's the case here, I don't even have the book yet and I'm not *that* into power level discussions, just in general).
Given that there's little inherently "eastern" about the samurai's class abilities other than weapon proficiencies I typically just rename it as knight, keep the longbow an option for Weapon Expertise and allows any regionally significant one-handed sword (khopesh, aldori dueling sword, falcata...) be a optional substitute for the katana, with bastard sword being the default, and any martial polearm being an optional trade for the naginata.
This is a very small part of the class anyhow, and unlike the gunslinger and gun-averse GMs, there's very little actual crunch which makes me see why someone who want no Asian influences in their games couldn't simply alter the fluff of the samurai.
Artful Dodge could perhaps be used with the swashbuckler's and daring champion's ability to substitute intelligence prerequisites for charisma?
Swashbuckler 1/Paladin X, focusing on strength and charisma and picking up two-weapon fighting based on his charisma score would be pretty cool as far as two-weapon fighting goes, especially for the Paladin of Irori archetype which can be somewhat less reliant on dexterity for AC and make use of TWF unarmed strikes and pummeling charge?
Do we have data for any other deities?
The only other fractional one I find with the search function in the PDF is a note that 1/10th of Gozreh's priests are Druids, but most of the gods have a blurb about which classes make up the priesthood. Most notably:
"Rogues, assassins, alchemists, and shadowdancers make up the bulk of Norgorber’s clergy, though spellcasters and even more specialized types also serve him."
Though I suspect that this is a bit of an oversight and that clerics would still be the plurality, if not the majority. Especially since the "Temples and Shrines" section states that the faith's "guildmasters" are most commonly rogues, assassins or clerics, though I'd imagine that rogue/cleric multiclassing would be common.
That being said, non-divine priest are interesting from a plot perspective because they can't actually fall, unless they are evangelists/sentinels/some archetypes/have faith feats or whatever, so having one of them be a heretical leader of a congregation or splinter sect becomes more feasible.
Also, while I'd imagine that most non-cleric priests would chose not to be such, for instance by focusing on Irori's spiritual enlightenment by emulating his dedication as a monk, "cleric-envy" could be a cause for internal strife in a church were certain priest simply won't receive spells from their patron, be it due to mismatched alignments, unimpressive wisdom scores or other reasons.
Inner Sea Gods p.46, on the subject of Desna's church:
"Most of her clergy are clerics, although about one-third of her priests are bards or rogues, with a number of neutral good druids and rangers also choosing her as their patron."
AKA less than two in three Desnan priests are clerics, and one of the "about one-third" classes is the non-casting rogue. Not exactly what I'd call "super uncommon".
Actually, there are precedence for non-spellcasting priests, at least in Golarion according to Inner Sea Gods. Norgorber's and Desnas' priesthoods are mentioned to include rogues, Irori has an almost equal number of clerics and monks in his priesthood, Rovagug has barbarians, Torag has cavaliers and fighters, and I may even have missed some in my admittedly quick skimming.
Basically, priest is a profession, and there's actually little reason other than tradition to turn away a potential member of the clergy based on how he choose to approach the worship of his god. Whether or not a church's hierarchy actually accepts non-clerics like, say, a brawler or a wizard, into the priesthood will vary with the faith and probably even regionally with church politics.
The oracle is my favorite class, in part because you're pretty much free to pick and choose how your character fits into the setting and how they came to possess their mysteries and curses.
Though most published oracles I've seen have been of the involuntary kind (if explained at all), the first installment of the Giantslayer AP has an oracle NPC who gained his powers through exposure to supposedly volcanic fumes which are supposed to grant visions of the future. Since the orcs of Belkzen has a temple by the volcano for this purpose, and since at least this particular NPC left with a level in oracle, it would seem reasonable to assume that this is not that uncommon.
Beyond that, there's really nothing stopping you from making any kind of flavorful mystery/curse combination. Though I'm always hesitant to pick the harsher curses like clouded vision, I do like the idea of a secluded order of oracles who receive their insight (and solar/flame mysteries) by meditating and staring at the sun until their sight's ruined for example.
I assume that this character is meant to be used in scenarios similar to Skulls & Shackles in which case chokehold seems a bit superfluous. Also, I've always considered the bull rush feats a bit circumstantial, which means that they're good candidates to pick up through martial versatility rather than level up. If you want to try to simulate Kano's heart ripping and still make a decent grappler, maybe consider Hamatulatsu Strike, Hamatula Strike and Hamatula Grasp, either as regular feats or through MV. As mentioned upthread, Combat Expertise never hurts for a few more option I guess.
More generally, brawler's can also benefit quite a bit from dipping. Master of Many Styles is always a good choice, as is Maneuver Master, and if you can pick up Stunning Fist or one of it's replacements through the monk dip, it should still stack for uses with your brawler level. Also, a level of fighter is a good way to pick up more bonus feat, especially if you can get your hands on a Manual of War
On the whole, I like the brawler quite a bit, though I wish that many of its class features belonged to the fighter instead (at brawler progression level). It does seem like a very boring NPC class however, especially in published adventures where the feat selection has to be more or less fixed to make life easy on the GM.
Animal Archive has a pretty interesting section on intelligent animals which includes this part in the section for animals, and in the primate section it's noted that intelligent primates use a wide variety of weapons, listing greatclubs for gorillas, greatswords for chimpanzees and hand crossbow/blunderbuss for monkeys as examples. These were clearly written with Awaken in mind however, and game balance for companions/familiars is probably another issue altogether.
I'm actually quite interested to know whether the figment familiar is intended to work with the shaman, since a witch (and by logical extension also the unlettered arcanist and familiar adept) is excluded from taking one. I guess that the principal argument for enforcing the ban would be that the familiar-needed-for-spell-preparation is in play as some sort of balancing factor, but unlike the witch's familiar the shaman's doesn't actually store the spells known, so it's not like you're risking the investment of scrolls and borrowed spellbooks. Besides, having a dream guide, possibly representing the primal nature of your soul or your personal spirit, seems very much in line with the shaman's flavor!
So is the shaman's familiar (or I guess I should say spirit animal) allowed to take this archetype, or was it just written before the ACG classes really got any traction (seems like those classes are slow to get into the player companion line?)?
Though I'm hardly an expert on the subject, it's also worth mentioning that many mythological beings have had their stories, or at least the representation thereof, somewhat skewed by later scholars and authors tampering with the stories, many primarily oral prior to the rise of Christianity in the region, to better fit the dualistic narrative of good and evil.
This is especially true for deities like Loki, who were seen mostly as tricksters and troublemakers rather than outright villains, and who often served practically as Thor's sidekick.
Some races can get you extra uses per day as a favored class bonus. Notable among them half-orc for the potential to add a luck bonus to all saves which works incredibly well with archeologist's luck and the Fate's Favored trait.
Secret Wizard wrote:
You've seen that movie, Martyrs?
No. A quick wikipedia/imdb search does make it seem like a near perfect concept for a Kuthite sect, save perhaps for the lack of self-inflicted harm. But I don't really expect that dimension of the faith to be a constant across all worshippers, just most of them.
I'm personally a bit too squeamish for this kind of film though, so I'll have to give it a pass :).