Ringeirr Malenkov

Torger Miltenberger's page

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Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
He will find another excuse... look at all the caveats he has to do just to make a "point"....

Well they're really all the same cavet, which is "No matter how much you want to white wash it my character is clearly doing magic and I don't want him to be."

I just thought it would be nice to address the rebuttal point by point.

- Torger

Chess Pwn wrote:
Investigator has 2 archetypes that get rid of extracts, making them a purely non-magical class.

Neat, did not know that, pardon me whist I have a look.

*Comes back*

Ok so if looks like the two you're talking about are Spiritualist and Sleuth

Spiritualist still smacks of magic to me.

Sleuth on the other hand I'm on board with as a 100% non magical rogue replacement. Point conceded.

- Torger

Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Torger Miltenberger wrote:
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Urban trapper ranger. No spells, lots of skills, contributes quite well AND more thematic...

The idea that how many traps I can make is limited not by the resources at my disposal but instead by the passing of 24hrs is loathsome to me.

- Torger

Slayer then.

Oh and you still can... its called Craft (trapsmith)

As I admitted in my post directly above the one you chose to reply to, slayer is very close to getting the job done for me.

Feel free to you know... read it.

- Torger

N. Jolly wrote:
You could EASILY just flavor the extracts as potions you got 'from a guy' or 'just had enough knowhow' to make.

I hope we agree that extracts do magical things. Assuming that, I do not want to be capable of creating something magical. I am just a dude. As to just getting them "from a guy" I find it hard to believe that the rogue happens to know an alchemist that owes him indefinite favors everywhere he happens to be, from the smallest hamlet, to a deserted island to stuck underground.

N. Jolly wrote:
Investigator has a built in sneak attack substitute (that's better) and Alchs can go either vivi (sorry PFS)

They can both get (essentially) sneak attack. No argument there and I'm not arguing that rogue is a match for these clasees mechanicaly. They're not. I'm arguing that there's a flavor that can be gotten out of rogue that's not possible once there's bombs and extracts flying about.

N. Jolly wrote:
or bombs, and let's not even pretend things like a smoke bomb/poison bomb/80% of poison discoveries don't just scream better rogue flavor than most of what a rogue already does.

Sure, up until this conversation happens, "hey rogue you have like a billion bombs, give me one and we can both toss one at the guy when he comes around the corner and it'll be sweet." Now I'm stuck coming up with a weak rationalization why I can't hand out my "mundane equipment" when the actual answer is clearly 'cause they're magic.

N. Jolly wrote:
As for 'only they can make use of' both have Infusion as a class ability, take it and everyone can use them, they're standard scaling potions. Higher intelligence gives better potions/extracts? It's because you find a better source/use your resources more intelligently.

Infusion, yea sure, it's a work around, can't have it right out the gate though, there's still a point in your career that you were making potions that were strictly tied to you.

Funny how my wizard buddy who's at least as brilliant as me can't seem to duplicate the amazing potions of the humble party "rogue".

N. Jolly wrote:
Alchemist/Investigator are perfect subs, and while you can talk about not wanting to have daily resources (which I myself don't understand),

For some people it's about having as little to keep track of as possible, for others it's the idea that this resource that I've been swearing up and down is a totally mundane thing is something i'll run out of and then with no explanation have more of even if we're stuck in the most barren of locales.

N. Jolly wrote:
what about your non renewable consumables, or do you just never pick up anything that's use dependent?

I pick them up all the time, the important thing is that I didn't make them, they work for me exactly like they work for every other dude out there and that I don't inexplicably just get more of them.

N. Jolly wrote:
Seriously, an alch/invest's ability to take a minute to make a potion works great thematically for a rogue like character who just 'somehow' has the right item when it's needed.

Again, the humble party rogue is out doing the dedicated potion crafter while swearing it's just some simple trick he's picked up. Not that he could possibly show someone else how to do it if his life depended on it.

N. Jolly wrote:

Aside from that (and mutagen, which again is only a 'different' potion), there's nothing inherently magical about the class that you're forced to take, no one's making you take vestigial arm, you could just act like a rogue and you'd be fine!

Our definitions of inherently magical are clearly very different.

Now, can all of these things be swept under the rug and hand waved away? Yes, sure they can and if a group wants to all collectively pretend that you being unable to craft more of your "mundane equipment" till you sleep isn't a clear sign that it's less mundane then you're letting on then that's great, more power to them. The whole game is about collective pretending after all.

But I want a non magical sneaky dude that doesn't have to pretend.

- Torger

Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Urban trapper ranger. No spells, lots of skills, contributes quite well AND more thematic...

The idea that how many traps I can make is limited not by the resources at my disposal but instead by the passing of 24hrs is loathsome to me.

- Torger

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Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
I seriously am not seeing any compelling reason AT ALL to be a rogue over Investigator/Bard/Urban Ranger/Slayer/Swashbuckler/alchemist/Wizard/Sorcerer/Arcanist/Mesmerist/Nin ja... besides to write ROGUE on your character sheet...

Ok, so rogue is a bad class, even the unchained version is at best passable. But there are flavor things I want out of rogue that each of those fall short of.

My reason for wanting a rogue over an

Investigator, Bard, Urban Ranger, alchemist, Wizard, Sorcerer, Arcanist, Mesmerist or Ninja

is, I do not want to have innate powers of a clearly magical nature, I want to just be a person. Argue all you want for the reflavoring of ninja ki but the very first power you get with it is the ability to jump like you're in a wire works kung fu movie and at 6th level I can literally walk across lava. Too magic. Don't want. All the others either have straight up magic or brew magic potions that only they can make use of.

The remaining two you bring up are swashbuckler and slayer.

Swashbuckler doesn't get any particular benefit from getting the drop on people which is part of the flavor I expect out of a rogue.

Slayer... I'll admit is mostly a better rogue. This one's hard to argue against. Still doesn't quite feel right to me though. I think that's mostly because it feels more like a front liner that can get his sneaky underhandedness on when he needs to than it does someone who relies entirely on the sneaky underhandedness.

The argument on the last one is weak, and if I put my mind to it I could probably make a Slayer that scratched 95% of my rogue itch but that doesn't stop me from wanting a class that scratches it 100%.

- Torger

NPCs integral to a PCs backstory are doubly a grey area.

On the one hand the DM saying what, no your uncle was totally a drunken abusive pedophile... not cool. *example exaggerated for the purpose of making a point.*

On the other hand you've infiltrated the home base of the thieves guild that you've been in a cold war with for the whole campaign, past a bulwark of traps and guards you've penetrated the guild master's inner sanctum. As the door splinters forcing your ingress a figure by the moonlit window calmly turns to face you. With a casual smirk she greets you, "Hello dear". A chill runs down your spine, that voice permeates your earliest memories. It's your mother.

Kind of awesome and impossible to have happen unless the DM gets to muck about with your backstory NPCs the same way he does all other NPCs. It's a trust exercise and can be the best part of a game or also the worst.

- Torger

Was it like
- game starts, first thing that happens, town gets taken over and your mother enslaved.

or was it more like
- Here's my backstory. Cool... oh wait no, this won't work, that town's been enslaved by <organization> for several years leading up to the campaign BTW that would totally include your mom.

If it was the first thing then the DM has done nothing wrong other than rely a little heavily on a trope or two. Your character got blindsided by a raw deal, no need to change backstory but time to react to circumstances.

If it was the second one then it's a little more of a grey area. He has every right to establish the history of how an NPC organization has behaved in the past X years. If he knew you were planning on a character that would be tied to the history of the area then perhaps he could/should have been a little more forthcoming with the information but my gut reaction is to cut the GM some slack. We have a lot of different information floating around in our heads and deciding what information PCs need to have and what to save for dramatic reveals can be a tricky needle to thread.

- Torger

thejeff wrote:
Torger Miltenberger wrote:

Falling rules I see as a necessary evil. If during the course of a sweet battle atop a silly high structure my villain gets pushed off I want him to survive and get away. Likewise I would rather the PCs survive a fall than not.

So in my group it's one of those things that doesn't make sense but remains true as long as no one calls attention to it.

Yeah, it's one thing for the hero to fall from the cliff, pick himself off the ground and go "Wow, that was a lucky fall. Can't believe I survived it. Healing, please."

Another entirely for him to internalize that he can't be killed by 200' falls and act on that knowledge.

Exactly that, and my group is pretty good about maintaining that implicit gentleman's agreement.

- Torger

My opinion

First thing's first. Must obtain proof. Suspicion alone isn't enough to bring accusations. A number of solid methods have been mentioned already.

Following that accuse him in front of the whole party and deliver something akin to this monologue, all while emphasizing how disappointed and sad your character looks.

"Striving towards our glorious purpose we face death together every day. There is so little in our lives that we can truly trust when each next step could easily be our last. What strength then do we have to lean on? Surely our steadfast and loyal allies. Sadly not even that it would seem. Our purpose at present transcends such petty concerns as personal wealth and gain. If you truly required that 50ft of rope you pilfered I'd have given it to you without a second thought but there is one thing I can no longer give you and that is my trust. Know that upon achieving our goal our association will be terminated and until then I'll be watching you very closely for the smallest hint of a larger betrayal.

Now, are there any other possessions of mine that would better serve our cause in the hands of another?"

Then when your current quest is done leave the party and report the petty thefts to the local law enforcement agencies. They likely won't do anything about it and that's fine but they should know that there's a wizard with criminal leanings residing in their town.

Best case scenario the rest of the party comes with you because they'd rather hang with a party member they can trust then one they can't.

Worse case they don't which informs what kind of PC you should make next to better fit the table dynamic.

- Torger

Falling rules I see as a necessary evil. If during the course of a sweet battle atop a silly high structure my villain gets pushed off I want him to survive and get away. Likewise I would rather the PCs survive a fall than not.

So in my group it's one of those things that doesn't make sense but remains true as long as no one calls attention to it.

Lava on the other hand is a problem.

- Torger

Doomed Hero wrote:
voideternal wrote:
I guess what's really absurd is the fact that an Adamantine dagger and Adamantine greataxe have roughly the same cost, despite the greataxe being 12x more massive than the dagger.
You're really going to break your brain when you compare the cost of an adamantine chain shirt for a pixie and an adamantine chain shirt for a storm giant.

Diving into extrapolated DnD economy never fails to result in the brain hurts.

- Torger

Azih wrote:

Torger: I don't think I'm being inconsistent.

For most class and skill combinations just putting loads of ranks into a skill you like is more than enough to get really good with the skill. A Ranger with +13 in Sense Motive will be pretty damn good at figuring out someone's motivations without the mind reading tricks of the unlock and that's good enough.

For some class and skill combinations though it doesn't make sense that the rogue can pull of tricks with the skill that another class has no access to. (Unlocked Survival and Ranger for example).

I guess the needle I'm threading is:

* Unlocked skills are strictly better than locked skills. So the classes that should be the best at that skill need to have it unlocked for free in a similar manner to Rogue's edge.

* Unlocked skills aren't necessary to still being good with the skill. So classes that aren't thematically supposed to be the best of the best with the skill can still be really very good with the standard method of investing ranks into it (just not the 'best'). a +23 bonus or whatever in any skill is really fantastic for the challenges the game throws at you.

* The Rogue should get the most of the unlocked skills system from unchained. Having more unlocks and more ways to get even more unlocks does a pretty good job of this. Even if the other four members of the group have different skills. Rogue still has Disable Device all to itself. (In fact I now think Archaeologist Bards should get Kn:Dungeoneering as their skill instead of Disable Device) Plus in my games I've always found that having multiple people good with the same skills is a life saver since a bad roll from the one who's supposed to be the specialist can be pulled out of the fire by the other person who's overlapping.

No one is arguing that a high skill without having it unlocked is suddenly bad. It's still quite good. We all know that.

But you said it yourself

Azih wrote:
Unlocked skills are strictly better than locked skills.

To my design sense it was a good thing that if a character of any class got it into his head that he wanted to be the best in the world at whatever skill he chose he could do it. It wasn't always a good decision to do it, but it could be done.

Under the proposed rule that would no longer be the case and I'd be sad to see it go. The fact that any character can still be good at a skill is no consolation at all when the idea you had in your head was to be the best at it.

I get that you're offering classes a way to still be the best at the skill that you feel their class exemplifies I just think that your opinion regarding what they should be good at locks out a lot of cool character customization ideas. I would find it frustratingly limiting because if I want a fighter who is the absolute best blacksmith in the world I feel that should be possible.

I agree that overlapping skills in a party can be a good thing. No argument there.

I feel like neither of us is changing the others mind at this point, I believe I understand where you're coming from and what you're trying to do. Some of it I like, I just don't agree with the level of limitation you're imposing. I feel I've explained my position to the best of my ability but if there's anything I can clarify don't hesitate to ask. It's been a pleasure debating even if we'll are unlikely to agree on the subject ^_^

- Torger

Azih wrote:
Let's not forget that characters can still put loads of ranks in a skill even if they haven't unlocked it and still be really good at it. Unlocking a skill is an extra layer of awesome; it's not a necessity.

Ok, no, right from the get go this thread hasn't been about who can be good at a skill it's been about who can be the best at a skill (Ranger v Rogue at tracking). Skill unlocks raise the bar on what can be considered the best and being the best at a thing is a fairly common character creation goal. Saying that good is good enough doesn't cut it as evidenced by your own feelings on the ranger v rogue tracking problem.

You're of the opinion that what skill a character should have the opportunity to be the best in the world at should be a single option that's rigidly defined by their class. Fair enough, but don't try and sell good is good enough. Clearly for your idea of a ranger good at tracking isn't good enough.

- Torger

Under this system the:
Best blacksmith in the world is a rogue
Best librarian in the world - rogue
Best in the world at running a business - Rogue
Most knowledgeable person in the world in an area of expertise - rogue
Best flyer in the world - rogue
Best swimmer in the world - rogue

etc etc

Maybe that's how you want it and if so that's fine.

Azih wrote:
But coming up with options for each class is fun and I like Aelryinth's expanded list of possible edge skills as well.

Fair enough, to my mind it seems like a lot of extra work that ends with the players disagreeing with the choices someone else made about what their characters should be good at. But you know you players better than I do.

So is this a standard class feature, tied to class level? Or is it more like ability score increases, tied to character level?

In other words does a Ranger 5/Fighter 5 have the skill unlocks for both survival and intimidate?

Or does a ranger 3/Fighter 2 have a skill unlock and never get another? Does he get to choose or is it based on which class is higher level when he hits level character level 5?

- Torger

Azih wrote:
Torger: Yeah it does heavily encourage how to spend one of the skill points you get per rank but so do a lot of other class features. Monster Lore and Stern Gaze for example aren't forcing any Inquisitor to put points into Knowledge, Intimidate, and Sense Motive but they're certainly giving a not very gentle shove in that direction.

1) There are archetypes to trade out those abilities for people that are interested in the class but not those skills.

2) They "not so gently nudge you" toward putting some points into those skills, not a point every level. And that's on a class with a base 6sp/level. You've got a little wiggle room. Consider the poor fighter with his paltry 2sp/level who didn't really want to be scary but that intimidate skill unlock is soooo tempting.

Azih wrote:
still allowing each class to keep at least on par with the rogue without paying a feat tax in what should be their best skill. And any Ranger who doesn't want to be especially good at Survival is free to ignore the class feature by putting their skill points elsewhere.

I think the part I bolded is where we fundamentally disagree. I think what should be a characters best skill is a choice for the person who's making the character, not something that should be hard coded into a class.

I could easily create a plant focused druid who's only ok with animals. He doesn't have an animal companion (he took a domain). Animals like him a bit better than normal people but it's nothing amazing. On the other hand it would be neat if he could track like he was talking to the surrounding plants themselves gleaning the sort of information that seems all but magical to even the best of trackers. Too bad I'm locked into Handle Animal because that's what the rule has told me I'm supposed to be amazing at.

And likewise I can flip it and make the horse whisperer ranger, he's a passable tracker but animals seem to respond to him on an almost spiritual level. It's a gift.

Nope, can't do it, can only be best at tracking.

To summarize
- I agree that other classes should be able to keep up with the rogue in a skill
- I agree that a feat tax to do so is a little harsh
- I would balk at being to what skill my character is supposed to be good at then having it incentivized. I suspect I'm not alone in this.
- I'm strongly considering handing out a 5th level skill unlock in a class skill of the player's choice. So I thank you for bringing up the concern even if I don't agree with your execution.


- Torger

In fact it just occurred to me that the rule as you've presented it effectively pre spends my characters skill points if I want to get anything out of it.

I get where you're coming from and I do completely agree that the rogue shouldn't be able to out track a ranger who's been focusing on tracking.

I just think that choice of whether or not they want to focus on tracking to begin with shouldn't be as hard coded into the class as this would make it.

- Torger

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Kjeldor wrote:
I don't think locking someone into a choice is the best plan of attack and agree that kestral that the best option may be to give every class an unlock at 5th level.

As a middle ground you could limit it to one of their class skills.

That way the ranger who wants to be the very best at tracking still can be but the ranger who's put one token rank into survival isn't locked into a character type that the player's not interested in.

- Torger

gustavo iglesias wrote:
But even if we are wrong with our model, there is a real life math behind the process, which has the real answer. And it's either X>Y or Y>X.

Interesting that you don't allow for the possibility that X=Y.

*drops bear poking stick and runs away*

- Torger

If in a game the PCs are rarely separated and characters are working with the same teammates for the entirety of their career then team work feats can look appealing.

If on the other hand solo challenges happen sometimes in your game or the campaign is so long term that the teammates you had at level one are 3 steps removed from the ones you hang with now then the bloom comes off that rose pretty quick.

I enter every game with the hope that it will become the latter. As such I don't even really look at teamwork feats.

To each their own though.

- Torger

*edit* in response to your fourth example in particular I'll take an unconditional +2 on a save or a conditional +3 any day of the week. Especially when getting the +3 would require me to influence someone else's character build.

Sadly, this is true, the quickdraw feat does not work with wands.

Which means that you can quickdraw a club (big stick) but not a wand (small stick).

Seems like a good place for a house rule to me.

- Torger

Fagatron wrote:
with the possibility of taking the good stuff before the group can know what is it I found

My biggest advice is don't do this.

If you're absolutely set on it then make peace with the fact that there will be backlash when the other characters find out. You will be stealing from your partners. In the real world we have a word for that. It's embezzlement and people take it kinda personal. The nicest of my characters would refuse to ever work with your character again. The meanest would kill your character.

- Torger

Puna'chong wrote:
I hate having to make players reroll their little buddies

Best term for PCs I've seen in a long time.

- Torger

Cheating as in illegal builds I don't tolerate at all. I audit my players character sheets regularly and get them to correct any errors.

Players cheating as in the fudging of dice rolls... meh. I can't get too worked up about it. The way I see it everyone around the table is (or at least should be) invested in the characters and the outcome. If every now and then a player decides to take the reigns and ensure an outcome it really doesn't bother me.

Moderation in all things of course. If it gets to the point where every other rolls is "a 20" and the character never fails at anything then it's time for the talk. There's a fine line. I'm not sure exactly where it is but it's there.

DM cheating I view as a tool that also should be used sparingly.

Cheating in favor of the PCs I reserve exclusively for situations that strike me a grossly unfair or particularly lame. Unless of course they've earned a stupid death.

Cheating in favor of the enemies is tricky, I feel like the players should occasionally get to absolutely wreck encounters. I also feel that if your players suspect you've cheated then you've failed, not because it's some dirty little secret but because you've broken their immersion. So usually I don't do it, I just make a note of why that encounter got so horribly trashed and I try to plan better for next time.

When I do go there I try to keep it subtle, close misses might become close hits, HP might get padded by one or two solid hits from the DPR of the party, that sort of thing.

I guess to sum up, in order for cheating to bother me it has to be ruining my fun, and unless I'm playing a competitive game with a clear winner and clear looser then it doesn't ruin my fun. To me breaking immersion is a bigger crime than bypassing the random number generator and deciding on an outcome every now and then.

- Torger

Sadly this is my tipping point. I'll have to cancel my adventure path subscription. I've no doubt the reasons are perfectly justifiable. It's just past the point of sustainability for me :/

- Torger

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just wanted to pop in and say to Joe M. huge props for the way you not only clearly stated the parameters of what you were trying to determine but then showed your work in crazy detail.

It's a refreshing change and I very much respect it.

- Torger

I've been following this thread silently for a couple days now.

First off there are a couple people who've really impressed me with their level of politeness and decorum while discussing a touchy subject that's clearly near and dear to their hearts. Well done Paizo community.

I'm a little surprised that people put so much stock in tiny little pieces of backstory fiction. I guess with the comics line being a thing now it's a little more than that. Still I always felt like part of the beauty of RPGs was even pregens can be whoever you want them to be. If you tell me Valeros is gay when you play him or that Lini is asexual who am I to argue?

But ok representation everywhere is better. I'm onboard with that.

My big thing is I can never fault a writer for writing what they know. I personally would never feel comfortable writing an agendered character for mass public consumption because even after a fair bit of research and reading it's not a point of view I understand very well and I've no doubt that to anyone who does, any attempt on my part would come off as shoddy and forced and best, offensive at worst.

So I guess I'm all for inclusiveness but am wary of making the problem worse by trying to help.

- Torger

P.S. full disclosure, white, straight, cis, male. I tick pretty much all the majority demographic boxes.

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
So now that we got the class... Are you sure you want half orc? ::evil smile::

Heh, yea I'm aware that Orc is nothing but mechanically better for this concept but I think half orc will do just fine and is closer to the character I have in my head.

- Torger

Kaouse wrote:
I think it's bonus spells.

Huh, yea didn't read it as closely as I should, just skimmed it and assumed it was for everything witch magic related. Guess I'm trading my bonus spells for more hit points.

- Torger

Buri Reborn wrote:

Interesting goal considering you and your supposed 'not another millimeter' stance on caster power. My mental voice for the quoted portion was done in a Nixon one Futurama style.

You said you've already done a multiclassed dragon disciple. But, really, it plays out differently if you just stick with it. The orc bloodline eventually gives you a +6 inherent bonus to strength. Is it the orc line? Might be one of the fiendish ones (abyssal or infernal). One of the fiendish ones also does the same for con which you'll desperately need for having a d6 HD. That's better than what wish can get you. Orc, though, gives you other benefits useful to melee. Otherwise, transmutations are how you're accomplishing the goal. If you go wizard, take the discovery that gives you +2 to trans. spells that give an enhancement bonus. The transformation spell itself changes your BAB and gives other benefits but cuts off casting for its duration.

Good luck.

Yea, that's games I run. This is for a game I play in. I can't control the DMs rule set (nor should I be able to) so I may as well roll with it.

Yup, would be a different type of dragon disciple mechanically no doubt but the flavor is similar enough that I don't want to go back there.

I will be taking a look at the wizard discovery you mentioned. Thanks for bringing it up.

- Torger

BadBird wrote:

I know GMs vary enormously in the way they run games so I don't know your case, but are you really looking at a situation where, outside of surprises, core 1min/level buffs aren't usually going to be pre-cast once they last a considerable amount of time?

For example, the Ironskin spell is more or less on par with the Witch Doctor's natural AC buff ability, but by simply spending a few level 2 spells at mid level or higher, you can start Ironskin up when you're walking into trouble and then keep it going. Unless you're dealing with a GM who likes repeated surprise attacks in between long, pointless crawls, I would think that spells like that should be reaching 'almost always on' status. Even with a high level slot you can't afford to waste like Giant Form, it will last 13 minutes by the time you can cast it. Still, I suppose some GMs (or parties...) basically either make it extremely difficult to pre-cast or just flat out don't permit it, so it comes down to your situation.

As good as Augment Summoning is, I'm not sure a solid but pedestrian improvement on summons is the way you want to go with two of your precious, precious feats. In the end a summon is a throw-away ally whose contribution is, first and foremost, to live and die. A little more attack, damage and hp is handy on a summon, but it's still the 'help'.

In contrast, Spell Focus/ Augment Summon/ Arcane Strike are three feats plus a swift action that could instead be leveraged for enormous benefit in melee by using the Intimidating Prowess & Cornugon Smash -> Hurtful combo, or by using Hex Strike: Evil Eye.

Hurtful is just a straight-up almost-guaranteed extra full ab strike per round, even on a charge or single attack. As a huge side benefit, foes are shaken. Really, I'd probably go for Cornugon Smash eventually whatever else you do.

Hex Strike: Evil Eye allows you to add a nasty, versatile debuff to an unarmed strike with a swift action - even if they save, it still lasts 1 round. All other attacks would use your normal weapon; you simply punch once per round when your target is big enough to warrant a debuff. With a Brawling Haramaki you can make unarmed strike quite effective for cheap; since you presumably don't need an Amulet of Natural Armor, throwing another fun feature like Cruel onto your unarmed strike is also very cost-effective; and since you're only using unarmed strike once per round, a Bodywrap of Mighty Strikes +1 is a third fairly cheap option.

I suspect my table includes higher than average amounts of unexpected combat. I'll definitely be trying to make use of 1min/level buffs pre combat but I can't 100% say I'll be able to rely on them so I prefer to concentrate on planning for the worst case scenario.

I went with augment summoning because this is a weird build and I want to have a 100% no one can argue with it's awesomeness traditional caster option to fall back on should the weirdness fail.

Looking at the Corrogun/hurtful thing it's interesting, I would have to redo my mental stats as I'd need intimidate but I tanked INT and get a whopping 1 skill point per level. I appreciate the suggestion for sure, I'll look into it.

I see where you're going with the Hex strike and I like it but it's moving into a number of gear types that I might not be able to get away with at this table. Also do I really want to sink two feats and a hex into it when arcane strike gives me something useful to do with my swift action in combat at the cost of a single feat? Probably worth it, but I know I'd be resenting the hell out of improved unarmed strike for a few levels until it came online.

Thanks for your thoughts, definitely good stuff.

- Torger

Mystic Madness wrote:

How about a Blade Adept Magus w/ a longsword? With 25 points, you have enough stat points to make it work, such as the following starting stats (elf):

Str: 16
Dex: 16
Con: 12
Int: 18
Wis: 9
Cha: 7

This will give you a black blade, a nice boon. You can also select the very powerful Magus arcana, Arcane Accuracy, which gives you your Int bonus as an insight bonus (at least +4) to attack rolls. You can use spellstrike to do additional damage. Use mage armor continuously and wear a magical mithral buckler for some additional AC, as well as Mirror Image for a significant miss chance. Use Dimensional Slide for unprecedented mobility.

This is much better than the Blood Magus.

That does indeed look like a solid way to go, but I was thinking half-orc for this character from the get go and not taking the opportunity to use the scarred witch doctor or orc bloodline without feeling a little dirty is too good to pass up.

- Torger

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ok so here's what I've come up with so far

The Concept:
1/2 Orc Scarred Witchdoctor with the strength Patron. This Character serves three functions

1) Buff up a for a round or two and head into melee with a Falchion. Preferred buffs involve an increase to size category and all the reach funness that comes with that.

2) Cast Summon spells, feel like I don't need to elaborate on why this is good.

3) Serve as a backup healer with the healing and major healing hexes.

and as a bonus 4) fire off utility spells as required and battlefield control spells that don't involve saves.

I've statted out to level 15 because I wanted to see if the character would still be viable come high level.

The Attribute Scores:
25 point buy, after level increases and enhancement items

STR: 26
DEX: 18
CON: 20
INT: 7
WIS: 10
CHA: 11

INT getting dumped over Charisma was a roleplaying decision. I'm well aware that dumping charisma would be the smarter play.

The Feats and Hexes:
Lvl 1 - Spell Focus (Conjuration)
Lvl 3 - Augment Summoning
Lvl 5 - Arcane Strike
Lvl 7 - Power Attack
Lvl 9 - Quicken Spell
Lvl 11 - Ability Focus (Retribution Hex)
Lvl 13 - ????
Lvl 15 - ????

Lvl 2 - Fortune
Lvl 4 - Soothsayer
Lvl 6 - Healing
Lvl 8 - Flight
Lvl 10 - Retribution
Lvl 12 - Major Healing
Lvl 14 - ????
I specificly avoided save hexes on the ground that I'm not paying all that much attention to my casting stat. It's ok, but not amazing.

The Gear:
This is quick and dirty gear purchasing. I know there's ways I could better spend my money I just wanted to get it done quickly. Also you may note there's one custom item, when my OP stated none. My DMs pretty cool with which bonus goes in which slot so I know that one will fly, but wholly unique items won't.

Falchion +5
Ring of Protection +5
Cloak of Minor Displacement
Garment of Resistance +5
Belt of Physical Perfection +4
Headband of Wisdom +4

The Buffs:
The following buffs have a long duration and are assumed to be on.
Mage Armor
False Life
Fortune Hex

One Round of buffing, expending a 7th level and an 8th level spell slot
Giant Form I (Troll)
Quickened Divine Power

Second Round of Buffs
Retribution Hex if I suspect the opponent has a vulnerable will save
Scarshield for 7 points of natural armor if I suspect the opponent has a strong will save
Plus some other quickened buff I've yet to decide on.

The Combat Stats:
After one round of buffing my combat stats look like this

Initiative: +3
Hit points: 182 + 17 temporary

I get a reroll on the first d20 I roll and on a d20 of my choice in the second round.

Falchion, Power attacking and Arcane Striking
+30/+30/+25, 2d4+41, 18-20/x2

AC: 25
20% Miss Chance
Regeneration 5

Fort: +20
Ref: +16
Will: +19
I took the Sacred Tattoo alternate racial trait incase anyone is really doing the math

A second round of buffing adds either +7 to AC or forces the opponent a DC 23 Will save or suffer half the damage they deal.

The Problems:
My buff plan is only really doable once or twice per day so if I want to melee minor encounters I'll be relying on lesser buffs.

Without a round to apply scarshield my AC is pretty garbage.

Honestly I'm pretty happy with the results overall. There's still a few blank spots that I'd be interested to hear advice on and am still interested in any cool ideas that haven't been considered yet.

Once again, thanks to everyone for contributing.

- Torger

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for all the options guys, it's been super helpful, I have a few build ideas I'm toying around with now. When I narrow it down a bit I'll post a preliminary build and see what people think.

Right now I'm going back and forth between a Transformation spell focused, orc bloodline, blood arcanist and a Scarred Witchdoctor with the strength patron.

Do feel free to keep throwing new options at me in the meantime if you think of any.

- Torger

BadBird wrote:

If you want a non-transformation option, a Witch with the Strength Patron gets Divine Favor & Power, Righteous Might, and eventually Giant Form. Divine Power and Fate's Favored is a pretty huge asset for melee, particularly since a Witch doesn't normally get Haste. Enlarge Person or Alter Self may not be the most thrilling polymorph spells, but they're still easy and cheap options.

I like this a lot, starts to come online much earlier too.

- Torger

Inlaa wrote:
Picking Summoner lets you get Greater Invisibility as a 3rd level spell, so imagine being 5th level and wading into a fight with that up. Etc.

Somehow Greater Invisibility had escaped my mind entirely, thanks for bringing it up.

- Torger

chaoseffect wrote:

Melee Sorcerer WIP

That's a rough version of a guy I was considering for a home game. His stats aren't 25 (were rolled) and his gear needs some adjustments.

He could be functional and ready to rock in a single round of buffing, but two would be better.

One Round Only: Transformation, Quickened Touch of Rage, maybe Barroom Brawler as move for Dazing Assault

Round 1 of 2: Quickened Mirror Image, Transformation, maybe Barroom Brawler as move for Dazing Assault

Round 2 of 2: Orc bloodline level 15 ability for size increase, Quickened Touch of Rage

The main issue is that you are super dependent on Transformation, but it's not like you are really hurting for spells of that level or scrolls could be used. The spell costing 125 gold a pop is annoying though. Unfortunately to keep up for AC I invested in armor so he has a minor spell failure chance but no actual armor check penalty.

Oh damn quicken spell like ability! good call.

This is super useful, and nice to see some numbers that don't look too shabby at higher level.

Thanks very much for sharing it.

- Torger

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Whenever I sit down to make an Oracle I end up making a Cleric.

I just don't think the spell list suits spontaneous casting particularly well. Trying to select spells I'm always left with too many I regret not having room for.

That being said, as people have noted up thread there's not really such a thing as an underpowered 9 level spell casting class and with sufficient system mastery there are a number of frighteningly powerful Oracle builds.

... I still end up with a cleric though.

- Torger

*edit* or an inquisitor, I ended up with an inquisitor once.

Abraham spalding wrote:

I would offer witch on the following build:

Bloodrager 1
Witch (scarred witch doctor) 4
Evangelist 5 (push witch with it)
Eldritch Knight 10

You will have BAB +16, and con based casting. You will get ninth level spells (but only just barely). You saves are good, your skills are fine. You don't need much in any of the mental stats, so max your Con, and take as much strength as you can get.

Curse your enemies and then hit them with a big sword.

I do appreciate the build, looks like it would be fun and viable.

but as I said in the first post and at least once since I'm trying to go single classed.

I get why many are jumping on Eldritch Knight and Dragon Disciple and recommending them but it's just not what I'm going for.

Again I do very much appreciate the thought though.

- Torger

Ipslore the Red wrote:
Here it is.

Awesome, thanks much. 6th level is pretty high, but then it probably should be. Definitely something to work towards.

- Torger

Gisher wrote:
I think that this type of build would work pretty well with a Spirit Whisperer Wizard (battle). You get a light version of Inspire Courage to buff you and your allies, and the ability to temporarily add Bane to your weapon.

Also an archetype I hadn't read, thanks for pointing it out. Could be a good way to go.

- Torger

kestral287 wrote:
Torger Miltenberger wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
Pick whichever caster you want-- Sorc works for the Str bonus, sure-- and just spam the hell out of the new Dimensional Weapon spell as soon as you can get it. Now you can actually hit things reliably past the lower levels.

I cannot find that spell online anywhere. Do you know where I could find a description or failing that a source?

- Torger

d20 has it, though it doesn't show up in the search bar-- you have to manually go through the spell lists. It's from the Melee Tactics Toolbox.

Basically: Swift action cast, resolve attacks against Touch for the round (except Force effects), if you use a Bludgeoning weapon they suddenly suck so don't do that.

Huh, yea, that would do it, thanks for the heads up.

- Torger

Renegadeshepherd wrote:

Sry missed the single class bit. New idea... Sylvan bloodline. With an animal companion as your friend you grab a number of teamwork feats so that the two of you output high amounts of damage. Grab eldritch heritage for orc bloodline, the two metamagic traits so that you can grab extend spell for those great buffs. You are going to need sorcerer for the number of spells anyway.

How do you about having that sidekick?

No worries, I wasn't thinking sidekick but am open to the idea as long as I'm not just hiding behind it but am up there kicking ass alongside (or flanking with) it. And given the suggestion of teamwork feats it sounds like that's what you're getting at. Great suggestion.

- Torger

Magda Luckbender wrote:

There are lots of effective ways to do an arcane caster who is also good with weapons. Is it your plan to get to close range with foes and swap full attacks, or do you intend to move around and use something like reach tactics? The latter would allow you to cast a spell and sometimes also get a melee attack, while also preventing foes from delivering a full attack. Smart tactics can partially compensate for not being a full-BaB martial.

I suggest making your first round buff be your defensive buff. Probably Mirror Image. You can skip the defensive buff if you don't feel threatened. Any offensive buffs will need to be done before combat starts. Look to things like Enlarge Person, Bull's Strength, etc.

My melee arcane caster is a strength-based Mystic Theurge. Whacky idea, but it's worked out pretty well. This guy is also a Cleric. You said you want to be single-classed arcane, so this is just FYI. Cleric domain Plant (Growth) is the fast path to martial divinity, domain Trickery provides a single mirror image as a Move action. This domain combination allows for the Round One sequence: 5' step -> Swift Action Enlarge Person -> Move Action Copycat -> Standard Action whack something that started 30' away -> almost guaranteed AoO vs same target. E.g. On Round One you cast two buff spells, one offensive and one defensive, then you generally get two attacks on the foe before foe can attack you even once.

Excellent question. I'll probably only get reach by way of increases to size category. That being said I'm definitely looking at increases to size category. Enlarge person will certainly be a go to for awhile.

Honestly I'm open to considering any tactics that might work.

I really like the idea of the strength based mystic theurge, isn't something I'll be doing for this character, but it's a very cool idea, well done.

- Torger

kestral287 wrote:
Pick whichever caster you want-- Sorc works for the Str bonus, sure-- and just spam the hell out of the new Dimensional Weapon spell as soon as you can get it. Now you can actually hit things reliably past the lower levels.

I cannot find that spell online anywhere. Do you know where I could find a description or failing that a source?

- Torger

Renegadeshepherd wrote:

Just for reference there is something for witch. A scarred witch doctor has the health to be in battle, has hexes to weaken the opponent enough to bridge gap on full BAB, and full caster. I couldn't say melee was their strength but their ability to debuff an opponent to the point where just curl into a ball makes you effective much like a cleric based on madness domain. Don't even have to be a half orc.

This is more what I'm looking for. Melee doesn't have to be great, just not the worst idea ever. (obviously I'd take great though)

and yea, love them hit points, great suggestion.

- Torger

QuidEst wrote:

Let's get it out of the way… Orc or Half-Orc Scarred Witch Doctor. Full caster using Con. If you want to melee, it's nice to have hit points. No need to bother with mental stats.

For Sorcerer, you might consider Eldritch Scrapper. Bonus combat feats when you need 'em! You'll want to pick a bloodline based on its third-level ability, arcana, and spells. The Ghoul bloodline will give you some pretty snazzy natural armor, or you can swap it for the first level paralyzing claws. If you want to go regular summoner, take a look at the Nanite bloodline for the best boost to your weapons.

Don't mind getting a little help? Pick up an animal companion (Sylvan) or one of the combat familiar options. (Mauler for a battle-buddy or Protector for what will at later levels be +2 AC and a spare pool of hitpoints). In addition, your familiar can grant you +1 natural armor if you grab an armadillo. Don't want to be have the Arcane bloodline? No problem! Get a bloodline familiar. In any case, the Spirit's Blessing feat will let you grant your familiar or animal companion fast healing 1, DR 5/adamantine, or +2 Str.

Eldritch scrapper is a neat archetype I never knew about thanks for the heads up. I can't see nanite bloodline being allowed but that first ability would indeed be nice.

The familiar stuff is interesting and will require a lot more reading, thanks for pointing me to it.

- Torger

Chess Pwn wrote:
I recommend the brown-fur transmuter, getting a bigger bonus on your transmutations. And transmutations are where it's at for melee casters.

Not gonna lie, haven't read it till now. The name put me off, but I'm reading it now.

- Torger

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
I'd go sorcerer 6/eldritch knight 10/dragon disciple 4. Ill post the rest after I check one thing

Apologies (I hope you haven't put too much work into it already) but it was in my original post.

Torger Miltenberger wrote:
So here's the goal. Single classed, full level 1-9 spell progression arcane caster that can hold their own in melee combat, with no more than 2 prep rounds and preferably just one.

I do appreciate that you jumped right in to help but the single classed part is definitely something that I want. I don't want to have to wait levels for game changer spells like teleport. I want to be a pure caster no question, but also have stepping into melee not be a terrible choice. I don't even have to be amazing at it, just not be a total waste.

Which is why I prefaced with I know this is a bad idea.

- Torger

chbgraphicarts wrote:

You will find all your answers within...

Also, remember that Dragon Disciple is a thing, and is absolutely hilarious for knocking around skulls as a pure Sorc.

Thanks or the link, will certainly be giving it a look through.

Have done Dragon Disciple before. Though I multi classed it with a bunch of martial type things so the caster aspect was pretty downplayed.

It would be a great place to start no question but I don't think I want to retread that ground. Thanks for the suggestion though :D

- Torger

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