I'd tend to agree with that. The Lonewolf (HL company) often want a source to site, but are happy to change things that aren't done correctly if we can show them a ruling.
I can easily use an adjustment to grant as many free skill ranks as the bonus is giving, and then HL sees actual regular ranks in the skill and gives the appropriate bonus based on that.
I'm just not 100% sure if that is correct, RAW, or my interpretation of the rules.
Hero Lab is giving a +3 bonus to a skill, with more than ten "virtual" ranks in the skill and the Skill Focus feat.
I'm actually interested in Spheres of Might, where based off of the number of talents within a given sphere, you have ranks in the associated sphere (capped to your character level).
The only Paizo class with a similar mechanic I can find is Versatile Training (The Fighter "weapon training" option, from The Weapon Master's Handbook).
"The fighter can use his base attack bonus in place of his ranks in two skills of his choice that are associated with the fighter weapon group he has chosen with this option (see below)...
"When using versatile training the fighter substitutes his total base attack bonus (including his base attack bonus gained through levels in other classes) for his ranks in these skills, but adds the skill's usual ability modifier and any other bonuses or penalties that would modify these skills."
In the case of Versatile Training, a Fighter of 10th level or higher is only gaining +3 extra bonus from Skill Focus with the skill that has zero ranks but as many virtual ranks as the Fighter's BAB.
Should Skill Focus grant only +3 (with 10+ virtual ranks in a skill) or the full +6?
Ideally looking for a Paizo ruling, so we can show Hero Lab it's coded wrong, if that is in fact the official ruling.
Thanks for your time.
Depending on the campaign, players can die a lot...
In my campaign, if someone dies, they come in with a new character at the same level (and experience total) as the party... group experience.
That said, we have a very wide disparity on number of deaths, so far through 42 sessions of Rappan Athuk (pathfinder version, including the expansion levels).
No one is high enough to Raise Dead/Breathe of Life yet...
DD 35, 42.
*SB played from 12-16, and sporadically from 30 onward.
The reasoning for different point-buys is differing power levels of the races.
A base (PHB) race (or Pathfinder Core Book), like a Human, Elf, Dwarf or whatever is going to have a net +2 to their stats. That can be +2 to a single stat or +2 to a pair of stats, but -2 to a single stat.
The Uncommon races options can get a +4 to a key stat, or have more wild racial options. From a number crunching point of view, the Oracle had better stats as an Uncommon Race (an Aasimar, with alternate racial features... +4 CHA and +2 WIS) with a 20-point buy than as any of the 25-point buy races. The 25-point races however would have been close enough on the stats, and had more options for alternate racial features and for their race/class combination granting different Favored Class bonuses (from the Advanced Player's Guide), and might have been a more optimal choice.
The monster racial classes (Savage Species style) make things a little more complicated. From previous experience in our last Gestalt game (two campaigns ago), anyone who didn't take a monster race as one side of their build (with a class on the other side) was very much behind the power curve of anyone who did, and any race that was even only slightly a good choice for their class combination upped the power level dramatically.
In non-Gestalt games, no one has wanted to play the monster racial classes, they were/are too far behind just playing a base race with a normal class.
The balance this campaign, is that a monster class (like Quickling, Nymph, Ghaele, etc) occupies both sides of the build, until it is complete. I'm not sure if that is too harsh, but with it only taking one side of the build makes it far too strong.
One of my players absolutely loves the idea of playing a monstrous race; he has tried a Minotaur Barbarian/Fighter, and a Pixie Wizard so far, and has spent a lot of time browsing the Monstrous Racial writeups for this upcoming campaign.
The monster races can give some really wicked statistical adjustments, but giving up two classes for however many levels might be a decent balance point. After this campaign has played out, I'll know if that's the case or not.
The objective of course is to reach a point where the monster racial advancement isn't an obviously superior choice almost all of the time, yet is not a horrible one either... so any given player can pick the "cooler" or "more interesting" option, and in theory be relatively balanced (at least in the same ball-park) against a straight human, elf or half-orc.
Buff Slots were an idea from Trailblazer that we have really liked for this campaign.
In the past, a very low level group... or a triumvirate of NPC casters, in a swamp encounter from 'War of the Burning Sky', combined Wizard, Druid and Cleric buffs to become far harder to 'hit' than their level would indicate.
Armor of Faith (Deflection Bonus), Barkskin (Enhancement to Natural Armor), (Mage Armor (Armor Bonus), Shield (Shield Bonus), and other buffs can absolutely destroy balance when combined.
With two initial 'Buff Slots', a player has to choose which spells they want at a given time. At fifth level they gain a third buff slot, at tenth level a fourth buff slot... our group is currently 14th, so we haven't unlocked the fifth buff slot yet.
Balance has been good so far, and it's a lot easier to track a finite number of buffs at any point. NPC casters have been limited to buff slots as well, and that hasn't really impacted play.
I don't want to penalize a class that has a pet as their class feature, such as an Eidolon, Paladin Mount, or Animal Companion.
That said, I also don't want someone to run around with an Eidolon, an Animal Companion, and to summon monsters/summon nature's ally for each of the first six rounds every combat.
I could go with the first class feature Animal Companion, Eidolon, Familiar, or Mount does not count as a buff slot, but each additional extra creature including summons occupies a buff slot.
Would that be a fair compromise, to limit the craziness of a build focusing on summons without overly penalizing a class which assumes fluffy is part of the action?
If Mythic has the potential to break the game entirely, even at a very low mythic rank, it might be best to not offer that for this campaign.
Gestalt is already a powerful option, with a lot of potential combinations or interactions of class features.
Feedback is really appreciated, thank you.
It sounds like the build options given, have a potential as being too generous for a player who is going to put an effort into optimization.
I don't mind stronger characters, and have a lot of experience with very high end epic games. What I do mind is a large disparity in power between two characters.
Since I cannot be sure all of the players will take less optimal choices, to end up in line with each other, I can reduce the overall power of the options.
Do you like any of these?
The fractional saves, is basically on a spread sheet... by making it fractions (three decimal places, would work as well), it advances properly even if a player is going to make a convoluted build with Slow-Slow-Fast-Slow-Fast-Fast-Slow-Slow-Slow-Fast-Slow Fortitude Saves.
Vital Strike seems like a sub-par option for the most part, compared to a full-attack action, and likely only a good choice when you need to move more than a 5-ft. adjustment. However, with iterative attacks capping at two swings (with bonuses to damage twice) vs two, three or four sets of damage-dice (with bonuses once, in each case), at what point does it balance out?
I could take the literal 'Trailblazer' weapon damage cap of 3D8 (as opposed to 3D8 for a single swing), and set that as an absolute maximum final roll, with any amount of Vital Strike... so even Vital Strike/Improved Vital Strike/Greater Vital Strike (with a Greatsword) is 3D8; alternatively, we could ban Improved/Greater Vital Strike, to bring the two sets of damage dice in line with two attack rolls.
Trailblazer suggests adding 'Dead Weight' XP to each encounter budget, to offset Companions/Summoned Creatures, if those become an issue.
Basically, use 8 Trolls instead of 6, but only award experience for the 6 Trolls.
If a player (or players) really want an Eidolon, an Animal Companion, and six summoned creatures... I can as easily use 12 Trolls and 8 Ogres, in the above encounter (still only worth the 6 Trolls of experience). I'd tend to think the group would convince the player that playing nine (including their character) creatures isn't fair to everyone else in terms of time, especially if I explain the extra stuff isn't worth anything to the party.
An alternative would be for a companion/summoned creature to use a Buff Slot. That limits how many can be active at once, while allowing for additional summons and/or buffs, as a character gains levels. The player then has to choose whether they want Fly / Mage Armor / Resist Energy or Summon A / Summon B / Fly or Summon A / Companion B / Resist Energy.
How nasty could the combination of classes get, with Pathfinder Gestalt characters?
I'll likely have five players, each with their own character. Two of them are fairly new to the game (in the midst of their second 1st-20th campaign now), and three of them have 20+ years of gaming experience... and will optimize to various degrees of success.
One of the experienced players is leaning towards a 'Tank' role, built off of Oracle (Battle Mystery) | Paladin.
Another is leaning towards a Rogue | Soulknife build. Our current campaign has limited purchase options (the Market has a 10,000gp limit, and he would like to have whatever weapon he desires, not what can be bought). He is also toying around with Aegis | Soulknife, for a similar reason.
One of the newer players is thinking of going Inquisitor | Bard.
Nothing is set in stone... the builds could change between now and the start of the next campaign.
Nymph (Rare Race, so net 0-point buy)
LV 01 Base Stats:
LV...CLASS A... CLASS B......... BAB... FORT.. REF ... WILL ... HD
Equivalent BAB to a Priest Class, at 20th.
Spellcasting as a Level 19 Druid, but only has the class features of a Druid 12.
Survivability should be decent... with:
Wildshape into a mobile form (Air Elementals once available), for superior battlefield mobility including +8 to AC for AoO provoked by movement (from Mobility and Enhanced Mobility).
Will Mythic - 'Cure Light Wounds' (2D8+ x (2/LV, max +10))in LV 1 and LV 2 slots be enough healing, compared to a regular healer using Cure Light Wounds in level 1 slots and Cure Moderate Wounds in level 2 slots?
Aasimar (Uncommon race, so using a 20-point buy).
Using the alternate racial feature +2 CHA, in the place of the power Daylight.
STR 10 = 10
All level based stat increases to Charisma.
Oracle (Life Mystery), Monk (Zen Archer), Ranger, and Warpriest (Sacred Fist)
+1 BAB short of +20 at LV 20; +1 REF save short of +12 at 20th.
Monk (Zen Archer) provides:
Warpriest (Sacred Fist) provides:
Oracle (Life Mystery) provides:
LV 01, 14 AC.
WIS/CHA Headbands are an ideal item.
Feat at LV 05: Divine Protection (Advanced Class Guide) adds CHA modifier to Saving Throws.
I have two ideas for a healer type character... one is based around primarily playing an Oracle (Life Mystery) and the other is built off of a Nymph (Racial Levels) which then progresses into Druid.
The Oracle will have superior healing, likely by a long shot. The major drawback to Oracle is that one of my players currently leans towards an Oracle (Battle Mastery) | Paladin build... envisioned/built as 'Main Tank', and I'd rather not have an NPC Healer (the group either often doesn't have a primary healer, or if they do then a player has gone that route despite preferring another role).
The Nymph has 7 levels of Druid Healing, through 8 racial levels. Cure Light Wounds is a level one spell for Cleric/Oracles as well as Druids. However Cure Moderate Wounds isn't available until 3rd level spells for a Druid, while it is a 2nd level spell for other healers. If I went with Mythic Spellcasting (as the Mythic Ability) and chose Cure Light Wounds, then we have a level 1 heal which hits for 2D8+ (2/LV, capping at +10)... which is likely similar power to a normal Cleric's/Oracle's healing power with non-Mythic 'Cure Light Wounds' and 'Cure Moderate Wounds'. My healer doesn't have to shine, just be sufficient to the task... the PCs are the ones who should enjoy the spotlight.
Gestalt Builds - two classes at once merged into a single hybrid class.
01 Fighter 01 | Rogue 01 1D4+6 HD, 1.00 BAB, 030/12 Fort, 030/12 REF, 004/12 Will.
The character is not a Fighter 5, Rogue 3, Barbarian 2. The character has three levels in Fighter|Rogue and two levels in Fighter|Barbarian. There are a total of five character levels here.
We're using Fractional BAB, Fractional SAVES, and Fractional PROGRESSIONS (basically, even if you alternate the levels that two classes provide say Sneak Attack dice, you cannot have more than the better progression at 20th level (likely 10 Sneak Dice)).
At each level, a character either gains 1.00, 0.75, or 0.50 BAB, always considering the most favorable of their two classes. The Fighter's (1.00, meaning +20 BAB at level 20) is superior to the Rogue's (0.75, meaning +15 BAB at level 20). A Wizard/Sorcerer gains 0.50 BAB (meaning +10 BAB at level 20).
If you went with:
Fractional Saves can be expressed by increments of 1/12th. If at character level one, a Saving Throw is good, the character begins with 30/12ths in that save (+2.50, rounded to +2 on the character sheet). If at level one, a Saving Throw is poor, the character begins with 4/12ths in that save (0.33, rounded to +0 on the character sheet).
After level 1, each save increases by either 6/12ths or 4/12ths.
Dual Advancement Classes are not valid in a Gestalt game. Meaning, you cannot take levels in Mystic Theurge, Cerebremancer, Eldritch Knight, Arcane Trickster or anything similar to those.
Prestige Classes are valid, on either side of the build, but only one prestige class at a time. You can go BASE CLASS | PRESTIGE CLASS, or BASE | BASE, but not PRESTIGE | PRESTIGE at the same time. However you want to express your build, you can have Prestige Classes on both the Left and/or Right sides of the build.
If you're good with merely +1 Hit Point or +1 Skill Point (choose at each level increase), you can pick 'Gestalt' as your Favored Class Bonus.
Racial Classes (see this thread: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2m6rz&page=1?Savage-Species-Rulebook-Conver sion or specifically https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6rJbTyPSm6CUWpsV0FrYlhKWlU/edit?pli=1 ) are allowed.
RACES & STATS
A Drow Noble has: STR 10, DEX 14, CON 08, INT 12, WIS 12, CHA 12, not +4 DEX, +2 INT, +2 WIS, +2 CHA and -2 CON applied to a point array.
The Ghaele starts with STR 12, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 12, WIS 10, CHA 10... and over 13 racial levels progresses towards final stats appropriate for its race: STR 25, DEX 12, CON 20, INT 16, WIS 19, CHA 17.
House Rules in effect:
HPs & Skills
Critical Hits & Sneak Attacks
Attacks of Opportunity
I'm in the planning stage for my next campaign for my players. It is going to be a ways off, since we still have the latter third of the current campaign (Fire Mountain Games's - Way of the Wicked) to finish.
My plan is to use a slightly modified Rappan Athuk. Due to the lethality of the adventure, I'm allowing my players stronger than average characters.
Ideally, I would like characters to be strong enough to survive the challenges, but weak enough that the dungeon presents a challenge. So, I'm kind of looking for a barometer of what kind of characters are possible, given my build rules. The build rules can be tweaked before the campaign actually starts, to hopefully reach a point where the players have very powerful characters, which they'll likely not get to use anytime soon... but in a setting that has a strong chance of pushing them and possibly finishing off several sets of characters along the way... but with characters who are strong enough that they can survive if they play a bit smart.
I have a mechanic in mind for replacing characters who are lost beyond recovery, or for a player who just wants a new character, while simultaneously removing that character's items/wealth. The new character would then enter, at average party level and wealth (likely with a maximum value of 20% of that total invested into a single item). Most of my players enjoy the progress of a character from 1st to 20th, but that's not saying they'll have the component on hand or even access to a Raise Dead type spell yet, when someone dies or their corpse is lost beyond recovery. One of my players tends to get bored with a character, and would likely switch to a new character if his existing character died (but would not suicide the current character just for a new one).
My group can be impulsive at times, and just rush in to kill something rather than scout, investigate, or research what is ahead. That naturally drastically increases the difficulty of an already very hard adventure.
We're playing with Paizo Pathfinder products that also exist as available data packages for Hero Labs. The only third party material is the revised (hardcover) Ultimate Psionics, by Dreamscarred Press. If the content is 3rd party or from 3.5 than it is not valid unless specifically allowed (the Gestalt Rules, are from Unearthed Arcana and will be specifically allowed for example).
We're using a number of house rules primarily based off of Trailblazer, by Badaxe Games... with a little bit from Iron Heroes as well. They're not necessarily exactly the Trailblazer/Iron Heroes versions, but I will try to summarize what we are using.
I'm trying to design a villain, who will magic jar/mind switch from one host to another.
Is there anything like that in Pathfinder.. (I think there was something in BoVD to that effect).