Dr Lucky

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Male Human Wizard (Diviner)

Wrong alias...


Male Human Wizard (Diviner)
DM Kor wrote:

Since this is more of a test on this type of scenario, and since there is just 3 or 4 of you, I'm debating on whether to make this a full on, last wizard standing scenario, or to make it an objective-based scenario (first 1 to achieve the objective wins -- although I suspect it will still end up as a last wizard standing scenario).

Please let me know if you have a preference between Outright-Battle or Objective-Based.

I'm good with an outright battle.


DM Kor wrote:

I've created a Discussion and Gameplay thread now. I'm just waiting to hear back from my friend now.

Please go to the Discussion thread, to review my first question for the 3 of you.

Thanks, and good luck all!

Yep - got your email - sounds like fun, count me in. I'll throw a character together today.


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If you want to play Pathfinder (and use the Pathfinder campaign paths) with players who find the rules confusing, here are a few suggestions: (I've dealt with a similar situation myself introducing my wife and daughter to roleplaying)

1) Restrict the rules. Core rules works fine, or Core + APG at most. Less rules = less complexity. Also, spontaneous casters only. Oracles and Sorcerers are easier to play than Clerics and Wizards.

2) Make the characters yourself. Get an idea what each player wants to play and then make a character for them. Make sure to crunch all the numbers so they have all the calculations they need close at hand. If you want to take this to the next level, do the levelups as well (give the player maybe 3 good choices then do the calculations for them)

3) Give them a handicap. New players often have difficulty with the tactics of the game, and the game is VERY tactical. Give them levels above what is recommended for the module to make it a bit easier. Once they get the hang of it, you'll know when the encounters start to become too easy, then even it back out.

4) Multiple Choice. My wife taught me the importance of this technique when I was teaching her. Delete "What do you do?" from your vocabulary and instead give 3 options. As in, "You could open the door, listen at the door, or look for another entrance, which do you want to try?" This is much easier for very new players who find the endless options in roleplaying overwhelming.

5) Find a ringer. If you can get even one experienced player at the table, they can be the mentor for everyone. It makes the learning period much easier.

Hope that helps.


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Demoyn wrote:


I, of course, prefer the imp over the mephits. They all have positives and negatives, though, but they're all better than a bonded object except in rare cases.

Imps have better special abilities than Mephits have. I prefer Mephits because of the size issue. Can a tiny creature use a wand? Can a tiny creature throw a tanglefoot bag? Can a tiny creature carry a haversack full of goodies?

As a small creature a mephit can do all those things (since Halflings and Gnomes can)

(note I'm not looking for debate on those questions, the debate would need to be with your GM)

Jeff W wrote:
what makes Mephit so good? Faerie Dragon seems like the best because they have UMD +9 and 3 Sorcerer Levels so they don't need UMD to many wands. Not to mention they also have Greater Invisibility, Telepathy, etc.

I totally agree about abilities, same point as above though. Faerie Dragons are tiny, Mephits are small.

If your GM is clear that they will allow a tiny creature to carry a bunch of equipment and use it, then Faerie Dragon is the way to go.


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Broken record alert:

Familiars + Improved Familiar are really that great.

However, you need to know how to use them. I'm strongly considering working on a mini-guide for making the most of your familiar. It is surprising how few players know the tricks to make them work so well for you.

Here's some basic tips:

1) Always improve at level 7. I think Mephit is pretty much the best choice possible for improved familiar. (personally I like Dust, you get perfect fly, blur and wind wall, great combo!)

2) Get your familiar some nets (small size + net = entangled condition for free on medium or smaller sized enemies, goodbye charge attacks and reflex saves)

3) Tanglefoot bags and smokesticks too (I think the uses here are pretty obvious, but let me just give an example: My character throws X (horrible debilitating spell) on the enemy, and my familiar throws a smokestick in front of me so the horrible enemy cannot see me to take revenge)

4) Max a few skills: Healing, Use Magic Device, Stealth. No, your wizard probably won't use these skills, but your familiar will! BTW get him a healing kit. Ally gets poisoned? Familiar goes with healing kit and fixes him up.

5) Wands. Yep, these are great by mid level (use the option in Advanced races to switch your familiars feat to Skill Focus: Use Magic Device for additional bonuses). Some obvious wands: Remove Fear, Protection from X, Delay Poison (Ranger wand), Lesser Restoration (Paladin wand), invigorate, silent image, Entangle, Faerie Fire, keen senses, Obscuring mist, Enlarge Person, Bless...these are all level 1 wands (and don't necessarily need 50 charges)

Treat your familiar like an extra action and reach spell put together every round. I generally use my familiars for light buffing/debuffing and then as a combat medic when party members get poisoned/diseased/frightened/panicked/exhausted/fatigued/mind controlled/ability drained etc.


Suthainn wrote:
Any chance you might feel like the (admittedly monumental no doubt) task of updating your guides to current rulebooks Treantmonk? They're all still really good starting points despite the extra books now published, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't look forwards to your take on all the new options as well.

There are SOOOOO many supplements out now that I agree it would be monumental.

Being that I don't even play with all the supplements myself, the odds are I won't be updating the old guides.

I am glad they still see some use regardless.


Athos710 wrote:
Can anyone else still access this guide? This one and several others are giving me an error that they aren't accessible. Lots of others work though. I'm wondering if it's an issue with my mobile devices or if some of the guides have been taken down by the owners.

I haven't taken it down, though it's pretty outdated now.

try this link and see if it helps:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/extras/community-creations/treatmonks-lab/test2/tre antmonk-s-guide-to-rangers


Just a Mort wrote:
If someone turned into an ape(as per beast shape), and found a way to cast without vocal components (deaf curse, or ring of eloquence allowing you to speak), and eschew materials, does that mean an ape can use somatic gestures? Everyone would agree gorillas have hands like humans, no?

I would agree.

Just a Mort wrote:
Anyway treantmonk, thanks a lot for creating this thread.

Sometimes something like this comes up where I assume everyone would agree on how a rule should be used, then end up getting surprised when it turns out there are different interpretations.

Love to discuss and get all those different interpretations on the table so we can debate them and make up our own minds in the end once we have considered all the various assumptions.

Thanks for participating.

P.S.

I like casting in alternate forms too. Hopefully Pathfinder creates an alternative to the Natural Spell feat that could help out other casters taking other forms.


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Artanthos wrote:


Are you going to allow the character in fire elemental form to start fires and emit light?

A fire elemental can already start fires with the burn ability. That makes sense to me.

As for emitting light, see below*

Artanthos wrote:
Are you going to allow the character in water elemental form to extinguish fires by moving over them or flow through narrow areas?

A water elemental can already extinguish fires with the drench ability. That makes sense to me.

As for moving through narrow areas, see below*

Artanthos wrote:
Don't add effects that are not in the rules, unless you are house ruling a home game.

This statement is the differing view here.

*The rules are excellent for giving general guidelines on how to play, but they just can't cover everything, especially when players get creative.

The GREASE spell tells you how it works when you cast it on a target, or on an area.

Let's say you cast it on an area that is a steep downgrade just before the enemy runs down the slope. According to the rules, if he fails his REF save, he falls down and stays exactly in the place he falls so now you have a guy sitting on a greasy hill and not sliding.

In these cases the rules fall down. The grease spell is excellent for giving multiple uses, but it would be insane for the rules to cover every circumstance. That's why the game needs a GM.

In the example given, as a GM I would have the enemy slide to the edge of the Grease spell. If that sent him over a cliff, congrats to the players for being creative. If it happened to a player, I might be soft and give him a REF save to grab onto something before he went over.

In the case of taking the form of a Fire Elemental, if a player didn't like the existing rules for setting stuff on fire, too bad. There are rules for a Fire Elemental setting things on fire, so it's covered.

If a character wants the Fire Elemental form to emit light, it would seem to me inconceivable that it wouldn't. Torchlight seems to be the obvious realistic amount. If the rules disagree, then the rules have fallen down again, just like falling on Grease on the slope.

Now if a character in Water Elemental form wants to move through a narrow area, I would be more inclined to say he couldn't, since water elementals have a shape, and I'm not convinced they can change that shape. I would probably point out that humans are made primarily of water as well, but squishing them too much gets messy.

That said, if another GM went another way on that, I probably wouldn't bat an eyelash.

(I should mention, as it's probably relevant, that I only play "home" games)


So far we all seem to be in agreement here.

If anyone reading this disagrees, don't be shy, I would love to hear your opinions. Would love for some discussion/debate on this topic.

When it comes up in other threads, there does not seem to be any consensus on this!

Mojorat wrote:
The problem with elementals is they are not defined well for manipulative digits. Though I think the consensus is they can wield weapons and cast spells.

Wait...did you say "wield weapons"?

So a fire elemental, as in made of fire can pick up and wield a sword?

When did we get consensus on that?


Regarding requirements for Somatic/Verbal components when using Beast Shape

I'm concerned we are getting off topic with this, therefore, I've started a new thread in the Rules Questions forum continuing our discussion (with specific quotes by you Just a Mort)

Feel free to weigh in there:

NEW THREAD


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This discussion is carried over from a post in the advice forum as it was about to go off topic.

When I wrote my Guide on Wizards, one of the things I wrote that generated a lot of disagreement was when I suggested that a wizard who cast Elemental Form would be unable to meet the somatic component for casting spells (as I had always seen pictures of elementals without proper hands). I was linked many pictures of elementals with hands to show me the error of my ways. My opinion on elemental form interfering with spellcasting has become clouded since.

Now though, on another thread discussing Oracles, I suggested that an Oracle using Beast Shape would not be able to cast spells with Somatic components since none of the applicable forms have proper hands (of course Still Spell would work), nor are Oracles able to take the natural spell feat.

Here's my opinions on the topic, but please reply below with your own.

Just a Mort wrote:
I've always wondered what consists being able to use somatic components for casting.

Here's the appropriate snip from the polymorph spells rules: (bolding emphasis is mine)

Quote:
When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor and shield bonuses, which cease to function). Items that require activation cannot be used while you maintain that form. While in such a form, you cannot cast any spells that require material components (unless you have the Eschew Materials or Natural Spell feat), and can only cast spells with somatic or verbal components if the form you choose has the capability to make such movements or speak, such as a dragon.

I think the rules for Material components/Verbal components are pretty clear. With Material components you need a pouch, natural spell or eschew materials. For Verbal you need Natural Spell, Silent Spell or a form that can speak.

Somatic components are a bit more vague. Here's what the rules say about Somatic components:

Quote:
Somatic: A somatic component is a measured and precise movement of the hand.

I've always thought that was clear, but am second guessing myself now as this is not the first time my interpretation of this has been challenged.

I've always interpreted it as you need a hand, and that hand must be free, unrestricted, and able to make specific and precise gestures.

That would mean a paw wouldn't work, nor would a tentacle, or an appendage, or a talon. It would need to be a hand, as in an appendage with a thumb and some fingers.

When I look at the Natural Spell feat, it allows you to: "substitute various noises and gestures for the normal verbal and somatic components" which suggests to me that making gestures with something that is not capable precise movements of a hand does not satisfy the requirement unless you have the feat.

The rules specifically say that a Dragon meets the requirements. Illustrations I've seen in Pathfinder sources seem to be pretty consistent on the front appendages. 1 thumb and 3 fingers (all clawed). This fits with my previous assumption on the requirements.

However, then the question goes to:

Just a Mort wrote:
If it is hands, or claws, how do royal nagas and coutals cast? Neither of them have hands, both are snakes.

If you look at the feats of these creatures, Natural Spell is notoriously absent. How indeed do these creatures cast? They clearly would be unable to meet the somatic components for their spells.

Personally, I would say it's because according to the entry in the appropriate Bestiary...they can.

I know that is not a particularly satisfying answer, but I strongly suspect it is the correct one. I would suggest that they wouldn't need the Natural Spell feat to get the effect of the feat because that IS their natural form.

Just a Mort wrote:
Quite a number of magical beasts (kamadan, catobepas, chimera) speak a language, so spell casting as a magical beast should not be a problem, even though lunar oracled can never take natural spell.

Certainly any creature that speaks a language is going to be able to meet the verbal requirement of spellcasting, but you've made the conclusion that Somatic Components are unnecessary.

Here's the conclusion where we must disagree, and I would ask others to weigh in on their opinions.

The logic here appears to be "because they can cast in that form without somatic component, so can my character..."

My opinion would be that if you make a character who IS a Royal Naga, your character can cast spells. If your character takes the form of a Royal Naga, you would not (unless using the Still Spell feat or a spell without Somatic components)


sunbeam wrote:
Now, since you know everything, and have a desperate need to prove it

I'm guessing you took something I said as a personal insult?

If so, you have my apologies. I don't know everything, but I do like to have fun debates. Obviously, was not a fun debate for you.

For the record, I think you bring up some interesting questions, but I'll skip responding specifically as I have a style which some (including you obviously) don't appreciate. Sorry about that.

Hawktitan wrote:
I'm curious as to what feats you would pick for a physical oracle at levels 3 and 5, assuming you did take the Wood mystery.

That's a heavy question as it would rely on what kind of build I was going for, I can maybe provide a couple examples...

Obviously with differing combat styles there are a number of feats that are particularly useful. Naturally there are specific feat chains for mounted/melee/sword and board.

The less obvious (but really good) choices are those that don't provide the straight statistical bonuses, but instead provide flexibility in use of the combat skill you already have.

Personally, I think Step Up/Follow up/Step up and strike is a particularly nice feat chain.

Naturally, with a Battle Oracle, combat manoeuvres are an option, which of course require their own feat chains.

Sometimes it's a good idea to go for other kinds of feats. Abundant Revelations is a great way to make Surprising Charge even more surprising.

Combat Casting becomes a bit unnecessary at high levels, but at low levels it's great, especially for a melee/caster

It's not particularly creative, but Improved Initiative will often allow you to cast off a quick buff before you get close and personal with big baddies.

If I want a defensive-tank build, the halfling racial feat chain offers a number of nice defensive options that aid your allies as well. Add in Lucky Halfing and you can frustrate your GM as attacks and spells seem to never stick.

If I was to take Weapon Focus, I'm probably not taking it for the +1 to hit as much as I'm taking it to qualify for Dazzling Display, allowing a nice little debuff based off Charisma. Make a Half-Orc, add in Skill Focus and (the name escapes me right now, but the feat that allows both Str and Cha bonuses to Intimidation rolls) for fun.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a flat +1 to hit with your primary weapon, it's just that you can do a lot of things with feats to improve your flexibility and provide some cool abilities that add a lot of interest to a character beyond a small flat bonus.

Hawktitan wrote:
Still having good armor with no ACP or max dex is fairly nice.

Agreed. Not suggesting it wasn't good, just not amazing. (Certainly not amazing enough to recommend an otherwise lackluster mystery on its merits alone)

My last Oracle had the similar shadow armor through Dark Tapestry. I liked it (that one gave stealth bonuses as well)

PH Unbalanced wrote:
I'm actually not using Form of the Beast. I get my natural attacks in my base form -- Tiefling claws, bite (and eventually gore) from Gift of Horn and Claw.

I totally misunderstood. I thought you were making spell attacks in Form of the Beast. Got it now, thanks!

Yes, with that build, I can see why you went Lunar.


Optimizing Vital strike is built completely around increasing the base damage of the weapon used.

This usually begins with a 2H weapon with higher base damage, then coming up with every way possible to increase effective weapon size. Permanent Enlarge Person is usually a good start, but you need multiple weapon size increases to really pack a whollop.

Feats like "Cleave" can also be useful since it is usable as a standard action attack (or is there some dumb ruling that it doesn't work with Vital Strike?)

I would suggest the vital strike route is harder to optimize (and often sillier). Also, there are some very restrictive rulings by the developers on this feat making it a minefield to optimize. (Also be careful with language when stacking size modifiers. Some don't stack the way you might think they do)

It also tends to put your eggs in one basket (often one roll, doing massive damage or nothing)

Generally I would consider Vital Strike optimization builds to be very interesting as thought-experiments, but generally I would recommend full attack builds (preferably with some kind of pouncing option) for actual gameplay.


nosig wrote:


but ... I am getting two different stories on how communication with the eidolon works. Wiggz above says "... can communicate with you telepathically at any distance." which I took to mean the Link (Ex) ability from the eidolon write-up was two-way communication. But some people are saying it is only one way communication - for the Summoner to give the eidolon orders.

This is the rule in question:

A summoner and his eidolon share a mental link allows for communication across any distance (as long as they are on the same plane). This communication is a free action, allowing the summoner to give orders to his eidolon at any time.

I can see it being interpreted either way since the rule does not specify whether the communication is "one way" or "two way" communication.

Normally, when communication is discussed, two-way is assumed. Normally, if it is one-way, that would be specified in the description.

The statement "allowing the summoner to give orders..." doesn't mean no other form of communication is possible.

"My car allows me to travel easily and quickly along great distances, allowing me to get to work in 10 minutes."

It would be silly to assume that travelling to work in 10 minutes was the ONLY form of travel I could use the car for.


Belros wrote:
It looks like a Teleportation Circle followed by a Permanency spell would make achieve what I'm looking for, correct?

That's exactly what you need.


Hawktitan wrote:
I'd argue that a battle focused Wood Oracle would get Weapon focus early in his career.

I would certainly have that argument with you. Weapon Focus is usually a decent choice, but with a feat-starved class, it's normally not your best choice.

Hawktitan wrote:
Additionally Wood Bond affects more weapons so you aren't as bad if you switch weapons. Pulling out a bow isn't as painful for a wood oracle as it is for a battle oracle.

Are you thinking that an Oracle without archery feats is going to be a decent archer with "wood bond" alone? I expect that neither build should be pulling out a bow (unless the build is made for archery, in which case I would still go with battle mystery over wood btw, for surprising charge alone, though nature mystery might be a tempting archer option with a mounted-archer tilt)

Also, take a look at the wooden melee weapons. Club, Staff...they can work in a pinch, but aren't good weapons.

Hawktitan wrote:
If you are a elf, half elf, or in PFS any race with a trait to burn it's possible to become proficient with a bow.

It's possible for any character to become proficient in a bow. My elf wizard was proficient in a bow. Archery in Pathfinder is very powerful if you build a character around it, decent if you devote feat slots to it, and pointless otherwise.

Hawktitan wrote:
Wood Oracles are more mobile, not having speed slowed when using the Wood Armor Revelation.

The ways to improve mobility are exceedingly plentiful. Wood Armor is but one of those options. How many other options would you like me to list? I suspect I could list 10 good options to provide mobility equal or better than wood armor without much difficulty, or should I list 20?

Hawktitan wrote:
and pseudo pouncing is nothing to sneeze at

Keep in mind that surprising charge is an immediate action which means you can use it to interrupt.

As in:

DM: "The wizard casts a spell"
Player: "I identify the spell being cast with spellcraft..." rolls a die
DM: "He's casting (insert save or die here) on the Oracle...make a Fort save"
Player: "Actually I'll use my surprising charge ability as an immediate action to interrupt and move around the corner breaking line of effect. I'll use a free action to laugh at the funny wizard."
DM: "oh."

It's SOOOOOOOOO much more than a pseudo pounce.

sunbeam wrote:
Now some of the magical beast forms should be capable of casting spells, though this is always a debate (like the elemental form one).

Elemental forms are not a magical beast form. Druids emulate the "Elemental Body" spells to take elemental forms. Lunar Oracles can't do this.

Can you name a decent Form of the Beast shape (legal for the Lunar Oracle) that could also cast spells without Natural Spell? (As in capable of somatic/verbal components)

You said "some", I would be impressed if you could name any.

Can you name just one?

sunbeam wrote:
Instead of comparing the Lunar Oracle to a druid, build one, pick some form from the magical beast list, then compare it to a Battle Oracle.

Right now there is NO comparison since one is a primary spellcaster and the other can't cast spells at all.

Or have you found that form of the beast that can cast spells yet? If so, list the creature and I'll do a comparison.

PH unbalanced wrote:
Inflict casting works well with natural attacks

...and how are you casting spells in form of the beast without the natural spell feat? If there's a legal form to do so, I think sunbeam would be interested!

Sunbeam/PH Unbalanced:

If a spell has a "V" component:

Verbal: A verbal component is a spoken incantation. To provide a verbal component, you must be able to speak in a strong voice.

If a spell has a "S" component:

Somatic: A somatic component is a measured and precise movement of the hand.

Also, any material or focus item required will be melded into your form and unusable.

Druids get around this with the "Natural spell" feat:

Natural Spell

You can cast spells even while in a form that cannot normally cast spells.

Prerequisites: Wis 13, wild shape class feature (Oracles don't have this)

Benefit: You can complete the verbal and somatic components of spells while using wild shape. You substitute various noises and gestures for the normal verbal and somatic components of a spell.

You can also use any material components or focuses you possess, even if such items are melded within your current form. This feat does not permit the use of magic items while you are in a form that could not ordinarily use them, and you do not gain the ability to speak while using wild shape.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
I wouldn't call the numbers similar: wood bond maxes out at a +5 to hit, while weapon mastery only gets up to +2.

Yep, at level 20 they aren't similar. I'm not used to playing level 20 games (I think most people aren't).

6 of your first 9 levels the bonuses are identical (1-4, 8-9)

12 out of first 14 levels the bonuses are within +1

To me that counts as similar since most campaigns I play complete by level 12 or 13. I tend to assume most people play the same way.

If you play high level campaigns, then I would agree the numbers are not similar.

Chengar Qordath wrote:
Further, a Wood Bond Oracle can still pick up weapon focus

Not sure that's much of an advantage. Oracles are feat hungry. Most aren't going to select Weapon Focus (unless they get it included with a revelation of course ;) )

Chengar Qordath wrote:
He might be referencing the trick of taking an animal companion, and then using the Elf/Aasimar favored class bonus to boost its effective level.

I'm not sure that would be overly effective. Animal companions provide diminishing returns as levels increase. Using the Elf/Aasimar FC bonus would slow that down, but the returns would still diminish I expect.

Chengar Qordath wrote:
I'm not sure I'd call build the Lunar as a combat oracle, though. Prophetic Armor makes pumping your charisma and going for a caster oracle very tempting, especially if you combine it with other "Charisma to X" abilities.

I thought the same thing when I first read the mystery, though if you dump Dex (which is kind of the point) you end up with a crap-tastic initiative modifier which can be terrible for a caster. With a low point buy I could still see it being a good choice though.


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sunbeam wrote:
I used to think Wood made the best battle oracle. I still think it is very good (Wood Bond is huge for a combat character), ahead of both Metal and Battle.

I'm not sure I get the reverence for Wood bond, it's similar in value to the Weapon Mastery revelation from Battle mystery (similar attack bonus values, of course there are differences in weapons that can be used and inclusion of improved critical)

The main difference is that Wood bond is top 2 for Wood mystery, while Weapon Mastery ranks fourth (at best) for Battle mystery

Also keep in mind the Battle mystery spells are better suited to a combatant.

sunbeam wrote:
Heck it's been a while, but I remember thinking Ancestor would be as good as the latter two as well, but it has been a long time since I thought about these builds.

I would rank Ancestor #2 for a battle oracle build. Very strong mystery. You have about 4 revelations that are well-made for an Oracle specializing in combat (Spirit shield, Blood of heroes, Spirit of the warrior and ancestral weapon) and some decent mystery spells including heroism and Greater heroism)

sunbeam wrote:
But the new kid on the block, the Lunar Oracle is pretty much the best one to use for this now.

This statement is why I'm responding to your post. Would love for you to explain how Lunar Oracle is best for a Combat Oracle build.

If you combine Form of the Beast with Gift of Claw and Horn I could see a Lunar Oracle being in good at combat as a Druid who BAFFLINGLY didn't take the Natural Spell feat, and vastly inferior to a Druid who did.

The spells are not well suited to combat, not that you can cast them if you are using one of your only revelations that give you any combat ability at all.

Am I missing something?

sunbeam wrote:
You can do some of the same things with Dark Tapestry, another mystery I think contends with Battle and Metal in the pecking order, but Lunar is hands down the best if that style is something you can live with.

Dark Tapestry is IMO the best Oracle Mystery, though not for an Oracle specialized for combat (though it's OK for that). I particularly love this mystery for the amazing versatility. Last Oracle I made used Dark Tapestry (Halfing Oracle) and he was a friggin' Ninja.


I also prefer battle. Surprising charge is fantastic (adding to the value, it is an immediate action, not a swift action, which means moving even when it is not your turn as an interrupt), war sight is excellent.


Every character needs the basic stat boosts, attack/defense boosts.

Fighters have no magical abilities which would mean that if I was to play a fighter the magic items I would want are:

Cape of the Mountebank (10,800 gp) Dimension door 1/day for a fighter? Yes please.

Figurine of wondrous power: Ebony fly or Bronze Griffon (10,000 gp) A flying mount usable multiple times/week. I would lean to the ebony fly because it's faster and usable more often.

Fighters are good at fighting, so magic items that make them even better are useful, but not interesting. Fighters tend to have bad maneuverability. Fighters that can fly and dimension door are formidable.


Druid is a strong choice. With a 15 point buy I might go with something like:

Str 14+2 (5 pt)
Dex 14 (5 pt)
Con 12 (2 pt)
Int 10 (0 pt)
Wis 14 (5 pt)
Cha 8 (-2 pt)

The low equipment buy won't be a problem.


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Mortistic wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
Thac20 wrote:
Ask your team-mates to shoot at you instead of the giant. When they miss your AC 30 the giant takes the damage. :-)
If your GM gives you any resistance (because GM's can make up rules if they want), this is the answer. When you turn it around to show how ridiculous his ruling truly is, he'll get why he shouldn't use it.

By doing this you would need to score 30-33 on your attack roll to hit the offending giant. The rule wasn't made up without thought and preparation first, it just makes the feat Precise Shot more valuable. The idea is to make the game more realistic and a touch more risky for people shooting into combat without the feat (which I still think is fair it's a risk vs reward mechanic for those people who aren't intending on becoming Legolas) its not to punish someone with an AC of 30.

One of the best games I've run resulted in a goblin joining the party on the basis he shot his mate and claimed he had planned to all along.

I think you misread the OP.

He said if the attack on the target misses, then the character the target is in melee with takes the damage.

If they shoot at the halfling, they are almost certain to miss. By missing the giant is hit automatically.

With this crazy house rule - the arrow ALWAYS hits someone. That's silliness.

If a GM wants to have some form of danger for missing when firing into melee, then fine. Might I suggest the following as a houserule instead:

1) When firing at an opponent in melee, if you roll a natural 1, you make a second attack roll targeting the character they are in melee with. If that attack hits, the character takes the damage.


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Thac20 wrote:
Ask your team-mates to shoot at you instead of the giant. When they miss your AC 30 the giant takes the damage. :-)

If your GM gives you any resistance (because GM's can make up rules if they want), this is the answer. When you turn it around to show how ridiculous his ruling truly is, he'll get why he shouldn't use it.


You may want to consider building a large part of the character around casting quickened dimensional anchors. Pretty much all the biggest baddest outsiders teleport at will.


The best things to make a character interesting aren't statted out on a character sheet.

Come up with an interesting personality and role play it. My characters are almost always eccentric as I find that more interesting. Nothing on the character sheet says "eccentric" though.


Phithis wrote:
Looks like I should stick with wizard then. Most likely specialize in evocation or is there another option I should consider?

Admixture subschool is going to end up being a bit redundant since you can already get the cold descriptor onto your spells.

Teleportation subschool is a good choice, and it's easy to find 1 conjuration spell per level you'll want on your memorization list.

Divination is actually a decent choice too, despite the fact that it's sometimes hard to find a good divination spell for each level. Scaling initiative bonuses are great for wizards.


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waiph wrote:

I thought he was agreeing that it has its place.

Ahhh, that would make much more sense.

Dr Deth wrote:
A cleric optimized for melee should more often hit rather than heal.

A Cleric optimized for melee should do what is tactically appropriate for the situation. Agreed that it is more likely to be attacking most of the time. However, Clerics have healing built into their abilities, naturally there are times that healing is a good option for any Cleric.

Dr Deth wrote:
A divine caster optimized for healing should often heal rather than hit.

Well, if you've optimized your Cleric for healing:

1) Why? Clerics are good at healing without any optimization in healing.

2) Clerics not made for melee definitely shouldn't be wading into melee (normally), but that doesn't mean that healing is the only remaining option. Even if you are "optimized" for healing, you can still probably cast combat spells, buffs, etc. Probably, more often than not, there are spells that would aid combat more than a cure wounds spell, no optimization required (except perhaps your memorization list)

Dr Deth wrote:
Both can be a substantial asset to a party. However, if there's already a tank in the party, the melee cleric player should discuss his role with the party.

Most parties would probably benefit substantially more from a second melee character who can heal when it's needed than a "primary healer" character. All positive-energy Clerics are good at healing, if that's what you focus on with your build, you end up reducing the versatility of your character.

Of course, melee-Cleric is just one option. What about Summoning cleric? Archery Cleric? Enchantment Cleric? Mobility-tactical Cleric?

They're all healing-clerics, they can just do things that are better than healing most of the time.

You can purposely make a Cleric can't contribute anything except healing to the party, just as you can make a Rogue who isn't good at anything besides opening locks, but why?


LazarX wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:

When you pick spells for a Sorcerer (especially core) you want to pick spells that remain useful at higher levels. A first level sorcerer might find sleep to be super-useful, but by 6th level it's become entirely useless.

You get a free retrain of ONE of your first level spells at 4th level, so feel free to take a spell that's good for the first three and that you'd want to get rid of later, such as Sleep.

That's true, but you can only trade 1 spell every 2 levels, so I think my advise is still good.


TarkXT wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:


No kidding? Those people are crazy. Healing has it's place. I'm not sure it's the most effective thing a Cleric can do, but it has it's place.

*takes a picture before he flees back into the forest*

Pretty much all I've said ever.

Now that is interesting. Are you saying you would never cast a healing spell in combat as a Cleric regardless of the situation? What would be your reasoning?


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When you pick spells for a Sorcerer (especially core) you want to pick spells that remain useful at higher levels. A first level sorcerer might find sleep to be super-useful, but by 6th level it's become entirely useless.

another trick is to avoid spells that are circumstantial. Spells like Breathe Water for example just aren't going to come up enough and would be better off on a scroll.

The final trick is to avoid redundancy. A Sorcerer spell list should never have Levitate, Fly and Overland Flight. You've wasted 2 spell selections!

Here are some spell selections I think are pretty good:

1: Silent image, grease, shield, Enlarge person

2: Glitterdust, Flaming sphere, Hideous laughter

3: Fly, Haste, Slow (BTW haste and slow are not redundant, they are complimentary!)

4: Dimension door, Fear, Confusion

5: Wall of stone, Feeblemind, Telekinesis

6: Form of the dragon, circle of death

Just some examples....


This build seems more weighted to mounted/melee than ranged. That's OK, but I would remember that in combat (archery will end up being more of a backup than a primary role)

I also should point out that the bloating of the game has largely reduced the effectiveness of the "switch hitter" build I recommended in my (core-only) guide. The issue is that there are SO many archery/melee feats available now.


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Fake Healer wrote:
There are people on the boards that will tell you how healing in combat is bad, a wasted action...

No kidding? Those people are crazy. Healing has it's place. I'm not sure it's the most effective thing a Cleric can do, but it has it's place.

Fake Healer wrote:
The trick is not wasting too many resources and getting shoe-horned into a totally heal-bot role.

I think this is the far more prevailing opinion out there.

Healing can be useful in combat, but tends to be a poor primary role because healing:

Fake Healer wrote:
scales horribly with the damage being dished out at the levels in question....

At least until spells like Heal come up, which changes the landscape. It's the "cure" spells that are problematic (unfortunately the ones that Clerics cast spontaneously)

Fake Healer wrote:
I am not one of them. I have seen healing in combat be the difference in keeping a Barbarian doing his excellent melee damage. I have seen healing in combat be the difference where I could see that if one guy fell the rest of the party would topple soon after.

I think it's important to point out at this point that if that Cleric is spending his time buffing/controlling/doing damage instead of healing when the healing isn't needed, you may never get to the point where it is vital in many combats. Still, every combat is different...

Fake Healer wrote:
Incidentally I have also seen the effectiveness of a blaster caster even though they are supposed to be totally horrible and a drain on the party according to the messageboards.

No kidding? Those people are crazy. Blasting has it's place. Clerics aren't particularly suited to blasting, but the occasional flame strike has it's place.

Fake Healer wrote:

The messageboards are full of people who theorycraft and DPR themselves into stupidly restrictive roles in the name of some supposed "effectiveness equation".

Don't listen to them and do what you think is best in your game.

I find playing a character who can only do one thing well quite boring. Versatility is power anyways. Considering what the other characters are good at and considering how you might work well as a team has value, especially if you don't want to be falling into the die-raise dead-die-raise dead pattern.

My advise would be opposite of what is quoted above. You should ALWAYS listen to advise, just take it for what it's worth. If that advise is criticized, consider the criticism with the same skepticism as the original advise. There is a lot of differing views on these boards, there is value in that.


Witches and Druids are both very powerful, certainly just as powerful as a Wizard.

You will find with either option, your character will be less focused on spellcasting, and more focused on spell-like abilities.

Druids will be doing a lot of Wildshape and gaining the help of an animal companion, which at lower levels especially is quite effective. Spontaneous summoning is quite handy as well.

The Witch will be using a lot of hexes, especially evil eye, misfortune and cackle. (Which in succession are particularly nasty).

Neither blasts particularly well, especially the Witch, who tends to get blasty spells at higher levels than other classes. The Druid makes a better blaster, but not a particularly good "cold spell" blaster.


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4 words:

Way of the Wicked

In other words, if your players want to play evil characters, maybe you should just go with it.


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5. Noisy party member in the hole, then sneaky halfling carries it into heavily guarded area, then noisy party member climbs out.

6. Set in wall, climb in, silent image wall over top of hole - perfect hiding place

7. Getting through a locked door. Place under door, crawl into hole on your side of door, crawl out on other side.

8. Place it on a flat and thin piece of wood. Turn the wood upside down (hole upwards) and place over yourself for even more perfect hiding place.


Human is of course always a good choice.

If you want to go for something a bit more interesting, what about a Tiefling? Stat bonuses are appropriate and you could say he/she is descended from some form of ice/frost demon.

Elves of course are well suited to arcane casting, if you find them less boring than humans. (Can't say I do)


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Blasting sucks. Sorry, couldn't resist, and a few years ago, it really was true.

Fortunately, metamagic changed that, and Rime spell is a great example of how it did. The real lovely thing about Rime spell is you can affect multiple creatures with a single spell, EVEN IF THEY SAVE. Lovely.

As for suggestions:

1) Don't stop at Rime spell. It's going to be great at low levels, but by mid level, metamagic like Daze spell becomes game-changing. Daze makes a particularly nice "lesser" metamagic rod, since then you can throw daze-fireballs with 3rd level slots.

2) On the same line of thinking, consider your magical lineage trait carefully. Magic Missile + Rime spell is going to be wonderful at lower levels, but if you chose something like Fireball (cold damage), you could cast it once with Rime to affect more targets than magic missile ever would (even if they make their saves), and then a followup Daze fireball would really clean house (everyone would be -2 to saving throw, and failed save would mean dazed for 3 rounds - game over.) Finally, because the damage dice are higher, you have a better chance at punching through cold resistance to do that all important 1 point of damage that makes the metamagic effects work.


pclark4422 wrote:

Maybe derailing slightly but still on the topic of mounted combat.

How do you make it practical and worthwhile for non-mount centered classes like the cavalier or paladin.

Unless your mount levels with you (which I've seen nothing stating that it does) it is going to be consistently destroyed by anything you fight past 3rd or 4th level.

There is of course the mounted combat feat, but that only does so much. Sure you can glance off blows, but one or two effective hits would probably kill it it.

You are absolutely right that a vanilla warhorse (or other mount) is simply not viable after low level.

There are a few options for non Paladins/Cavaliers though:

1) Oracles, Rangers, Clerics and Druids can all get animal companions. Choose a viable mount.

2) Summoners of course can have a mount easy too.

3) Other classes can use the "Leadership" feat to make a mount if that feat is allowed by the GM

4) You can potentially permanently alter a familiar to a mount with a polymorph any object spell. This of course is level dependent.

5) Use magic items as mounts. Certain Figurines of Wondrous Power are obvious choices.

6) Use summoning to create replaceable mounts. The obvious choice is phantom steed which provides both long duration and great speed. If you are playing a non-caster, that means either a wand (with use magic device) or a friendly party member who is also a caster.


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I would say that you are missing 2 things.

1) Reach is an advantage, not a disadvantage as you are suggesting. You do require 5 feet of extra distance from the target to start, on the other hand, you can charge from a distance that is too far for someone without reach damage as well.

That's not the real advantage of reach however. The reason reach weapons are good is because a) They tend to provide you with more attacks of opportunity (twice as many threatened squares and anyone trying to get close to you provokes)

and b) They provide a tactical advantage when fighting with allies who also use melee weapons. (More can surround a single enemy)

2) Your math (which I'm assuming includes critical damage for those extra decimal points) is way off since you only include base damage.

Extending damage numbers while ignoring bonuses to damage is meaningless.

Consider a conservative bonus of +20 to damage at level 20. What do the numbers look like then? Heck, consider a moderate +5 to damage when you first get spirited charge...

Hope that answers your question.


Nadlor wrote:

Hi, everyone. I'm working on a new character and I'd like to know if you think it can be improved. It's an archer ranger, and there are three conditions it has to meet:

- Small race, preferably halfling (I know medium-sized races, specially human, would work better, but bear with me on this one)

Actually, small size is pretty solid for ranged builds. The primary concerns of small size (bad CMB, Dex>Str) aren't necessarily a problem for a ranged build, also, a stealth build benefits nicely from that nice +4. You are going to be hitting pretty consistently between the small size bonus and the increase to Dex.

The main concern with going halfling is doing damage. This makes Deadly Aim all that much more important, as well as picking those favored enemies carefully.

Nadlor wrote:

Starting Attributes (using 20-point buy):

Str 13 (15-2), Dex 18 (16+2), Con 12, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 10 (8+2).
Increments at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20: STR, WIS, DEX, DEX, ?.

Here's where I might make a switch. If I had 20 points with a Halfling archer-ranger I would probably go:

Str: 14 (10 points) Dex: 18 (10 points) Con 12 (2 points) Int 10 (0 points) Wis 12 (2 points) Cha 9 (-4 points).

Then with Stat increases I would go Str/Str/Dex/Dex

1) Consider the small size longbow. With 13 Str it's 4.5 average damage (not point blank, no favored enemy), with 14 it's 5.5 - that's a significant % difference (not going to calculate - somewhere around 20%)

Giving up 1 Wis really doesn't hurt. You actually can probably get by without ever raising it to 14. You can probably get a +2 wis item by level 11 (the first time you'll really need it).

Also, 9 Cha is plenty for a Ranger that probably will not have social skills...

The other option is to get Deadly Aim at level 1. Then you might get by with a Str of 12. You could then go Dex 19 for the quick up to 20 at level 4.

Oh, and get a pipe. All halfing characters need to smoke a pipe. I think it's a rule.

Nadlor wrote:
Race: Halfling ("fleet of foot" alternate racial trait)

Have you considered grabbing a wolf as your animal companion and going mounted? If so, you can get by without sure-footed (Outrider probably a better choice.) I'm particularly fond of halfings as mounted archers since their mounts can usually go in dungeons and the like. You can probably get by with a riding dog until level 4... (Just a suggestion. Archers have to full attack to get use of their feats - a mounted archer can move and full attack)

Also, maybe consider adaptive luck. It's a bit more paperwork, but it's pretty awesome.

Nadlor wrote:

Feats by level:

- 1: Point Blank Shot
- 2: Precise Shot (ranger archery combat style)
- 3: Rapid Shot
- 5: Deadly Aim

If you go Str 14 off the bat, this is a decent order - otherwise at least consider getting Deadly Aim at level 1.

Nadlor wrote:

- 6: Improved Precise Shot (ranger archery combat style)

- 7: Combat Reflexes
- 9: Snap Shot
- 10: Manyshot (ranger archery combat style)
- 11: Improved Snap Shot
- 13: Clustered Shots
- 14: Point Blank Master (ranger archery combat style)
- 15: Shot on the Run
- 17: Weapon Focus (Longbow)
- 19: ?

I would take Manyshot at level 6 everytime. That's an extra shot at your highest attack bonus every round. I know IPS sounds better because the requirements are more, but it's ultimately circumstantial. Get the extra arrow and you'll be hitting MORE.

Hit WITH more by getting clustered shots at level 7 (I'm mimicking the first response I guess). DR is a pain with arrows, but that takes care of the problem.

Unfortunately Snap Shot requires Weapon Focus so you have to rearrange the order of the rest of your feats to make it legal.


Kayland wrote:

So we made characters last night to begin a Council of Thieves campaign...and needing a little healing with some utility I thought a Witch would be fun to try out as I've never played one before. So I figured I'd give everyone my current stats, minor build info etc and ask for advice on what if anything I should change up (we're not playing for a week or two yet so I have tweak time) as well as solicit advice on how to build it up in the future. We rolled stats...and I crushed it, heh. I had 2 17s...and put the second into charisma. I know it's not optimal but it made sense for my character background. I took the Infernal Bastard and Child of Infamy Traits from CoT and a greensting scorpion familiar for a +4 initiative but I might change that to the small dino variety with the same bonus for fun.

Tiefling Witch
Patron: Time

Str: 11
Dex: 15
Con: 15
Int: 19
Wis: 14
Cha: 15

Skills - Intimidate, knowledge history, knowledge planes, perception, perform act (was recommended and fits with the background), spellcraft. (Should I switch out intimidate for use magic device? Additionally I took the 1 hp rather than 1 skill at level one due to wanting to make it past first level).

Feat wise...I think I'm starting with Extra Hex and taking Cackle and Evil Eye. I don't want to take slumber...as I hear that can be a bit too much and being this is run by a first time GM I didn't want to wreck things and make them boring. I don't know where to go in the future on feats though...except for split hex at 10 most likely.

My main problems are this...I don't really know how witches work well in combat and I'm scared to death about having to be within 30 feet with a 12 AC. I'm guessing mage armor is a must because of this. Does anyone have some good advice on spell selections as well as future feats, skill advice, future build help etc? I'm guessing when I enter combat the first things I'm going to want to do is hit the biggest guy with an evil eye and start cackling and at that point layer on various...

My apologies to anyone who has already posted any of these suggestions, but time is tight today and I can't go through all the responses.

1) Ability scores: You recognize Cha isn't optimal but it fits your concept. All I can say is that based on that, your stat placement seems spot on.

2) Skills: UMD is great, but intimidate can be useful, with a good Cha it makes sense to have at least 1 social skill. If you were going to switch out any skill to make room for UMD, I would consider switching out Knowledge: History (or take a single rank at level 1, then start taking UMD instead)

3) Feats: Yep - extra hex is an excellent choice

4) Hexes: You might get more mileage out of misfortune than evil eye at low levels. Evil eye is a great choice, but I would take it at 2nd level (or even 4th). Most CR appropriate creatures are going to fail their save at low levels and misfortune has a more dramatic effect than evil eye at low level.

5)Mechanics: I'm assuming the mechanics were cleared up in previous posts. If not, I'll check back tomorrow and provide mechanic info.

6) Tactics: You are correct, witches are squishy, and the 30 ft range of hexes should make you nervous. Your best bet is to ensure there is always a PC between you and the bad guy. If enemies have to work through a PC to get to you, it makes it far more difficult for them. At higher levels, you have some decent magic defense options. Either way, make yourself a hard target through positioning relative to other PC's, and pick up a fly/levitate option as soon as available. Tanglefoot bags and a net are always a good idea right from level 1 to restrict movement of enemies.

7) Spells: At level 1, you wouldn't think it, but enlarge person is a good spell for defense (bigger fighter means fighter with reach, means fighter hard to get around to get to witch). Mage armor is a no-brainer. Obscuring mist is a good defensive option too. Since you are a debuffer extraordinaire, Ray of Enfeeblement is fun for witches and makes enemies less scary too.

Hope that helps

P.S.: At 7th level take Improved Familiar - get a mephit. It can throw those tanglefoot bags for you! (as well as some other spell like abilities that could be helpful - like wind wall!)


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qutoes wrote:

blah blah healing not healing. The most important thing in this post is "The Treantmonk" sighting!!!!

Good to see a Legend posting!

Thank you for the guides that set the standard and format of all to follow!

You make me blush. Thanks.


Devilkiller wrote:


@Treantmonk - I’m not saying Life Oracle is a “better” PC overall, just that it could be effective and should be a great healer (if for some reason a player wants to be great at healing).

I won't argue with that. Of course, any Oracle mystery could be used to make an effective character, I would just personally rank the "Life" mystery near the bottom (with "bones").

The better Mysteries overall I would say are Battle, Ancestor, Nature and Dark Tapestry (if UM is used).

Any Oracle should be pretty great at healing, but yes, the life Oracle is the best healer of the mysteries.

Devilkiller wrote:
@DrDeth - Our access to Heal is via an Inquisitor, so we don’t have much of that resource to spare. We can’t count on Miracles, and we can only Wish for a Wish since the arcane caster knows Waves of Exhaustion instead. WoE has been absolutely devastating against a wide variety of foes, so I wouldn’t say I regret her choice.

Not directed at me, but I would recommend in any party where a Bard, or a caster with "bard spell progression" becomes the party healer, the players should agree to devote a % of all party funds to healing consumables (wands and scrolls - not potions preferably). 10% is a reasonable amount. An inquisitor can be as good a healer as a cleric if he always has the right wand/scroll handy.


P.S. Sorry for double post - meant to edit, ended up reposting.


DrDeth wrote:
Treatmonk, I still say the Life Oracle is better.

I disagree, and I'll try one more time to convince you. If not, no problem.

DrDeth wrote:
Channel gives you 4+ Channels a day, which is that many spells about = to your highest or next highest level.

I can use the healing skill an infinite number of times per day, but I'm still not taking it with a character that can already do the job. Taking Channel Energy isn't free, if you take it, you rob yourself of an ability that doesn't duplicate your existing toolbox.

DrDeth wrote:
And, as you said, you can channel while grappled, and it doesn't provoke, which can be huge, as the healing can save YOU.

I don't think I said that. Nevertheless, it's not really a unique feature of channel energy. A wand or staff does the same thing.

However, once you have a few levels under your belt, you won't even need to roll to cast from grappled or cast on defensive as the concentration difficulties do not scale with level.

For the record, if I'm heavily injured, and my life is in danger, I'll want something that heals a significant amount (actually, good chance I'll want to cast something that gets me the heck out of danger). At pretty much any level, channel energy is sub-par for healing a single target as it just doesn't heal very much.

DrDeth wrote:
They both get Combat Healer (Su)

yep

DrDeth wrote:
but Enhanced Cures (Su), Life Link (Su) and Spirit Boost (Su) are all good. Later take Lifesense (Su) which is a great detection ability.

Ummmmm...got to just about universally disagree.

Enhanced Cures is awful. You get an enhancement on a spell that your level has made obsolete that doesn't make it relevant again.

Life Link is one of the worst revelations in the game. You give an ally fast healing 5, which by itself would be meh, but they make it even less appealing by applying any damage healed to you. Yuck. Oh, and once again, it's more of just duplicating what you can already do. P.S. Shield Other is far more effective, gives additional bonuses, is only a 2nd level spell (that is on your spell list) and isn't even considered a great spell. That's how bad this ability is.

Spirit Boost isn't awful, but not noteworthy. Very short duration temporary HP are OK I guess.

Lifesense is decent. I like blindsight

DrDeth wrote:
And, if you are the main healer, you will want those spells on the Life oracles list, at least the restorations and Breath of Life.

That's another thing. I would strongly recommend a mystery where the bonus spell list isn't pulled straight off the existing oracle spell list.

Every Oracle can have any of those spells (and they should all take Restoration - L.R. probably is fine in a wand (having both on your spell list is a bit redundant, that's an ongoing theme here of course), Breath of life is pretty circumstantial for a spontaneous casting list IMO)

Spells like enlarge person, barkskin, fear or heroism, these are great spells, but only available to the Oracle that selects a Mystery with the spell desired on the bonus spell list.

Personally, the Ancestor bonus spell list I find particularly desirable, I just think the revelations aren't quite as good as the battle oracle (though better than Life mystery)

I'll leave with this final thought experiment - If this doesn't convince you, then we may have to agree to disagree:

Pretend you are playing a Sorcerer. You have 2 first level spells that you can use 4 times per day. Those spells are Mage Armor and another first level spell (we'll say silent image).

Your GM is going to start your character with a wand with the first level spell of your choice.

Are you going to select a wand of Mage Armor? If you think you would rather have a different spell - look at any of your arguments why "Channel Energy" is a good option for a caster who can already heal, and you'll find most apply (save castings for other spells, doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, can be used in a grapple to save YOU, etc)

The reason you would want a spell on that wand that is neither Mage armor nor Grease is the same reason you don't want to take a revelation that provides an ability that performs the same function as abilities you already possess.

My rant is over. Feels good to rant again!


DrDeth wrote:
Treatmonk, I still say the Life Oracle is better.

I disagree, and I'll try one more time to convince you. If not, no problem.

DrDeth wrote:
Channel gives you 4+ Channels a day, which is that many spells about = to your highest or next highest level.

I can use the healing skill an infinite number of times per day, but I'm still not taking it with a character that can already do the job. Taking Channel Energy isn't free, if you take it, you rob yourself of an ability that doesn't duplicate your existing toolbox.

DrDeth wrote:
And, as you said, you can channel while grappled, and it doesn't provoke, which can be huge, as the healing can save YOU.

I don't think I said that. Nevertheless, it's not really a unique feature of channel energy. A wand or staff does the same thing.

However, once you have a few levels under your belt, you won't even need to roll to cast from grappled or cast on defensive as the concentration difficulties do not scale with level.

For the record, if I'm heavily injured, and my life is in danger, I'll want something that heals a significant amount (actually, good chance I'll want to cast something that gets me the heck out of danger). At pretty much any level, channel energy is sub-par for healing a single target as it just doesn't heal very much.

DrDeth wrote:
They both get Combat Healer (Su)

yep

DrDeth wrote:
but Enhanced Cures (Su), Life Link (Su) and Spirit Boost (Su) are all good. Later take Lifesense (Su) which is a great detection ability.

Ummmmm...got to just about universally disagree.

Enhanced Cures is awful. You get an enhancement on a spell that your level has made obsolete that doesn't make it relevant again.

Life Link is one of the worst revelations in the game. You give an ally fast healing 5, which by itself would be meh, but they make it even less appealing by applying any damage healed to you. Yuck. Oh, and once again, it's more of just duplicating what you can already do. P.S. Shield Other is far more effective, gives additional bonuses, is only a 2nd level spell (that is on your spell list) and isn't even considered a great spell. That's how bad this ability is.

Spirit Boost isn't awful, but not noteworthy. Very short duration temporary HP are OK I guess.

Lifesense is decent. I like blindsight

DrDeth wrote:
And, if you are the main healer, you will want those spells on the Life oracles list, at least the restorations and Breath of Life.

That's another thing. I would strongly recommend a mystery where the bonus spell list isn't pulled straight off the existing oracle spell list.

Every Oracle can have any of those spells (and they should all take Restoration - L.R. probably is fine in a wand (having both on your spell list is a bit redundant, that's an ongoing theme here of course), Breath of life is pretty circumstantial for a spontaneous casting list IMO)

Spells like enlarge person, barkskin, fear or heroism, these are great spells, but only available to the Oracle that selects a Mystery with the spell desired on the bonus spell list.

Personally, the Ancestor bonus spell list I find particularly desirable, I just think the revelations aren't quite as good as the battle oracle (though better than Life mystery)

I'll leave with this final thought experiment - If this doesn't convince you, then we may have to agree to disagree:

Pretend you are playing a Sorcerer. You have 2 first level spells that you can use 4 times per day. Those spells are Mage Armor and another first level spell (we'll say silent image).

Your GM is going to start your character with a wand with the first level spell of your choice.

Are you going to select a wand of Mage Armor? If you think you would rather have a different spell - look at any of your arguments why "Channel Energy" is a good option for a caster who can already heal, and you'll find most apply (save castings for other spells, doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, can be used in a grapple to save YOU, etc)

The reason you would want a spell on that wand that is neither Mage armor nor Grease is the same reason you don't want to take a revelation that provides an ability that performs the same function as abilities you already possess.


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Rory wrote:
For posterity, that swift action healing revelation requires 7th level, a revelation pick, burns two spell slots and still can only be used once per day at 7th level. It's okay for an emergency heal, but do note the extravagant cost. You'd get far more bang for the buck with the Extra Channel feat. Channels heal at range, while threatened and/or grappled as well, so have different, but as much emergency healing utility (while retaining immensely more out of combat healing).

You can cast when grappled too. You can also move and cast a spell in the same round too. Channel energy will also heal less to a single wounded ally then a level appropriate healing spell. BTW, Oracles get lots of castings per day. Yes, you can run out of spells, but probably no faster than an equivalent level sorcerer.

The healing revelation is indeed limited, but using 2 spell slots to get quicken spell with no level adjustment is a bargain.

Normally for an Oracle to use quicken spell on cure critical wounds he would need to be 16th level. 7th level is fantastic.

That said, its not nearly the best mystery on the Battle Oracle list, but useful for someone who wants to be able to heal in combat.

(Personally, I would take Surprising charge at 1st level, War sight at 3rd, and maybe Combat Healer or Battlefield Clarity at 7th, and Iron Skin at 11th (stoneskin without material components - wizards will be so jealous!))


Rory wrote:


The strength of the Life Oracle is that you get lots of healing without using spell slots.

Lots of points made, but this is the key right here. This sums it all up.

As an Oracle, you will have all the cure spells automatically (assuming you don't pick lousy "inflict" spells...ew.)

That means you can heal, automatically, several times per day. Granted, you'll absolutely need the Heal spell when it comes available as cure critical wounds does not hold up beyond mid level.

Revelations are the best feature of an Oracle, probably the main reason one would choose an Oracle over a Cleric. With revelations you get 3 choices.

1) Pick a revelation that enhances a current ability
2) Pick a revelation that provides you with a completely new ability
3) Pick a revelation that duplicates an ability you already have

Yes, if you use up your revelation on the third option, you can do the things you could already do even more often than before, but you've reduced your options.

You can either choose to do a small number of things a set number of times, or a large number of things with the same number of overall uses. The versatility is free if you choose it.

Someone mentioned earlier in this thread "Don't forget the healing skill - it's a class skill!" This is pretty much the same thing (and the optimizer in me winced when I read it). You can duplicate any of the uses of the healing skill with spells you are probably going to have (or at least have in a scroll or wand), or you could choose a skill that you can't duplicate with spells, increasing the number of things you can actually do (How about Diplomacy? - it's not based on a stat you will likely dump)

Yes, having the healing skill might save you a spell, but you have the spells, and you have lots of castings per day, and you have a limited number of things you can do with those spells. When you get other abilities included in your character, it makes sense (at least to me) to deliberately choose abilities/skills that you CAN'T otherwise do. You just have more options that way.

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