I already knew of the Earthly occurence of Droskar's ideology "If you don't succeed, it's because you didn't toil enough", but now here's an article about it.
So, we have had a number of instances of Earth having divine influence on Golarion (the Egyptian pantheon in Osirion comes most readily to mind), but what about plausible instances of the reverse? I offer the above as a start.
Reign of Winter:
We also have the Reign of Winter assertion of Rasputin being connected to Baba Yaga -- technically, that isn't actually divine, but does hint at the possibility.
This is the second time this has happened.
Not related to this particular convention, but related in concept: This happened to one of my colleagues who attended a scientific convention.
I think that the take-home message is that it is too early to start having in-person meetings.
Also too early to drop mask mandates (I don't know what was the case at this convention, but this has been happening all over the country, including the CDC's change of recommendations). I think the Kasatha are on to something.
Just stumbled upon some really cool entrances to Earth's closest equivalents to the Darklands (and some of them connect to really awesome caves too):
[•]So far unnamed(?) sinkhole in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
[•]Hong Kong·Haiting Hall
[•]Xiaozhai Tiankeng (so far the champion for sheer size of entrance)
This type of Darklands entrance so far seems missing from Golarion. The Earthnavel seems closest in type, but it's closed, and doesn't have the lush growth of the Earth examples anyway.
Any chance we could get some Darklands entrances like Earth's would-be examples above? At least in Tian Xia?
Edit: Another weird bug: For 15 seconds after posting this, the thread appeared empty (like somehow the thread had been created but this post didn't exist). I have also noticed the same thing when posting to existing threads -- it comes and goes, sometimes with posting working normally, and sometimes with new (or occasionally even edited) posts not appearing for up to a minute. This problem seems to occur regardless of web browser.
(Starting new thread to avoid derailing the one about themes for APs.)
Animals and Vermin (all classified as Animals in Pathfinder Second Edition) don't get enough respect in -- as far as I can tell -- any edition of D&D and Pathfinder. This thread is for ideas on what to do to make wild Animals (that is, ones that are not Animal Companions, altered Summons, or something like that) worthy opponents for levels beyond the very early levels. I am talking about the theme in which you have to survive in the wild or on the edges of civilization, and Nature does not want you there, and will do whatever it can to put you in your place, and that place may well be in its gut.
The Messageboards don't have a Pathfinder First and Second Edition Advice subdivision, so I had to put this in one or the other, and I definitely lean towards First Edition, so that's where this went, but if you have insight into ways that Second Edition makes this easier, harder, or changes it sideways, go ahead and chime in.
Above the low levels, it becomes too easy to use magic to subvert even apex predators (because Animals have mediocre Will Saves) so that you don't have to fight them if you're not ready. Best ideas I can come up with are Swarms and Troops of Animals or Vermin: Burn, crunch, or mind-control all you want -- more are coming. Clever animals should be able to make hit-and-run raids on supplies (usually food stores), but this flies in the face of them all being assigned an Intelligence of 2 (or occasionally 1, or for Vermin usually No Intelligence).
Abigail Slater (she/her) wrote:
Squishing your cats?
For the past several months (may be a year now), occasionally when I try to log in I get the error message "The requested URL was not found on this server, or you do not have permission to access this area."
If I try again it usually works, although occasionally I have to try again more than once.
I did a quick search and found a couple of threads about people getting this error when trying to buy or download stuff, but this is just from trying to log in. It occurs a minority of the time and usually doesn't recur, so I don't know how to figure out what causes it.
Although I have been reading some stuff for Pathfinder 2nd Edition (still wouldn't consider myself Trained, yet), my main liking is still for Pathfinder 1st Edition, and within that, my mind has recently been drifting back to the challenge of making a viable party with no (or at most only one) full caster. This came up in an old discussion thread, although unfortunately it was partially derailed by an extended argument about the functionality and worthiness of the Black Market Connections Rogue Talent, so rather than perform Necromancy on that thread, I'm starting a new one. Another reason for starting a new one is that Pathfinder 1st Edition was around for long enough after that thread that some stuff (Quick Runner's Shirts, for instance, if I remember correctly) got NerfSledgeHammered since then, while significant new stuff also became available since then.
Some definitions are in order (copied and pasted and slightly edited from my old post in there), notably a suggested letter tier scheme (trying to be roughly consistent with what was discussed before it in the old thread, but adding numbers corresponding to the size of the parties). (In the definitions below, Bard/Skald substitute refers to someone other than a Bard/Skald having Bardic/Skaldic abilities -- this usually means an archetype that adds Bardic/Skaldic abilities to something else, but could alternatively be VMC Bard -- unfortunately no VMC Skald was ever released -- or a prestige class like Battle Herald, or even a combination thereof.)
A4 team: Has 1 arcane 9/9 caster + 1 divine 9/9 caster + 1 primary damage dealer + 1 skill monkey; A4+ if the skill monkey is a Bard/Skald or Investigator and/or the party otherwise has a Bard/Skald substitute (such as the 9/9 divine caster being an Evangelist Cleric); A4- if the 9/9 casters have small but noticeable defects in synergy/division of labor and/or if one of them has delayed progression (multiclass/prestige class, such as a pre-(SLA FAQ nerf) Mystic Theurge); A5 adds another character (optional + and - as noted for A4, except that Bard/Skald or substitute thereof adds more to A5 than to A4).
B4 team: Like A4 but 1 of the 9/9 casters is replaced by a 6/9 caster; B+ if the replacement 6/9 caster is a Summoner or the remaining 9/9 caster has highly optimized to cover the bases left open by the replacement (for instance, Witch very carefully built to cover the most glaring loss of divine spellcasting and/or rapidly weaken enemies so that they can't do anything that would require the highest level divine spellcasting services); B4- if the 6/9 and 9/9 casters have small but noticeable defects in synergy/division of labor as noted above for A4-, or if the 6/9 caster uses truncated 9/9 spellcasting (Warpriest, and at higher levels also Hunter) or is an extract user (personally strong, and a great addition to a party that has other members to cover actual spellcasting, but not so great for the party if you have to be a substitute spellcaster); B5 adds another character (optional + and - as noted for B4, except that Bard/Skald or substitute thereof adds more to B5 than to B4).
C4 team: Like B4 but the other 9/9 caster is replaced by a 6/9 caster, or alternatively the 6/9 caster that replaced a 9/9 caster is replaced by a 4/9 caster (only works if class choices and builds are adjusted to compensate -- for instance, Witch + Paladin); C+ if one of the 6/9 casters is a Summoner or the skill monkey is an Investigator; C4- in case of synergy/division of labor defects or if one of the 6/9 casters uses truncated 9/9 spellcasting or is an extract user (as noted for B4-); C5 adds another character (optional + and - as noted for C4, except that Bard/Skald or substitute thereof adds more to B5 than to C4).
D4 team: Like C4 but now we're replacing 1 of 2 of the 6/9 casters with a 4/9 casters (alternatively, the 6/9 caster was previously replaced with a 4/9 caster, and now we're replacing the remaining 9/9 caster with a 6/9 caster); D4+ if the remaining 6/9 caster is a Summoner or Bard/Skald; D4- in case of synergy/division of labor defects (which will now require extra teamwork effort to work around) or if one of the 6/9 casters uses truncated 9/9 spellcasting or is an extract user (as noted for C4-); D5 adds another character (optional + and - as noted for C4, except that Bard/Skald or substitute thereof and/or especially good teamwork add more to B5 than to C4).
E4 team: Like D4, but no casters higher than 4/9, or a single 6/9 caster but no other spellcasters; E4+ if the party has some kind of spellcasting substitute (party member with significant spell-like and/or supernatural abilities that synergize with the rest of the party) or if using the single 6/9 caster option with a Summoner; E4- in case of synergy/division of labor defects (which will now require even more extra teamwork effort to work around) or if using the single 6/9 caster option with a spellcaster that uses truncated 9/9 spellcasting or is an extract user (as noted for D4-); E5 adds another character (optional + and - as noted for D4, except that Bard/Skald or substitute thereof and/or especially good teamwork add more to B5 than to D4).
F4 team: Like E4, but no more than a single 4/9 spellcaster (not even a 6/6 extract user); F4+ if if the party has some kind of spellcasting substitute (as noted above for E4+); F4- in case of synergy/division of labor defects (which will now require even more extra teamwork effort to work around) or if the party has no spellcasting (better have some kind of spellcasting substitute); E5 adds another character (optional + and - as noted for E4, except that a Bard/Skald substitute (by definition, can't have an actual Bard/Skald in an F-series team) and/or especially good teamwork add more to F5 than to F4).
So, having gotten through that wall of text, what I'd like is proposals for and discussion of actual party/character builds to make this work (bonus points for having an eye towards specific campaigns and even more bonus points for keeping magic item dependency other than consumables to a minimum(*)).
(*)One of the things I DON'T like in Pathfinder 1st Edition is how the default rules have the potential to gain new abilities depend heavily upon magic items that boost ability scores. If I ever got the chance, I would house rule that magic item bonuses DON'T net you abilities (bonus spells, spell level access, feats, etc.) you wouldn't otherwise qualify for, but just make you better at using them when you do qualify; in exchange, I would raise the default point buy from 15 to 20 (but NPCs get the the same treatment). At any rate, the builds I have posted will work without such magic item bonuses, but can still make use of them under Rules As Written.
So here's my shot at a D4 team, partially fleshed out:
The Only 6/9 (Arcane) Spellcaster, Battlefield Controller, and Secondary Tank (Anvil and Hammer)
Option for campaign with a lot of Medium Humanoid opponents, like Ironfang Invasion: Dwarven Tank Magus, but try to figure out how to squeeze Weapon Trick (Weapon and Shield) for this purpose. This option can actually become the primary tank once the Magus ability Medium Armor comes online.
Option for campaign with frequent (not necessarily numerous) flying opponents that might otherwise prove troublesome (Iron Gods?): Human Switch-Hitter Magus with Gunslinger (or something) dip (see posts below that one) -- 1 level of vanilla Gunslinger, Bolt Ace Gunslinger, or Hooded Champion Ranger makes Myrmidarch's Ranged Spellstrike actually usable by way of the Deadeye Deed or equivalent (especially once you get an enchanted ranged weapon), and Myrmidarch's Weapon Training (Weapon Group containing your primary ranged weapon) gets you Ace Trip and Spell Blending gets you Staggering Fall (eventually Persistent Staggering Fall) so that you can shoot things out of the air and give everybody (including yourself) the opportunity to whack on them in melee.
The Striker and Skill Monkey (Hammer and Utility, and Secondary Face)
This Human Scout Unchained Rogue(*)/Free-Style Fighter/Snakebite Striker Brawler, but the Dancing Scarves part is completely optional and probably should be left out in most circumstances. Note: Once you get Circling Mongoose online, you get to flank with yourself on the 2nd and following attacks of each round, thereby reducing the need for Holy Tactician's Guide the Battle (see below).
(*)(*)In a campaign with a LOT of big opponents it might be worthwhile to choose Vexing Dodger instead; both of these trade out Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge, which hurts, but with your Fighter and Brawler dips, Improved Uncanny Dodge is going to be painfully under-leveled anyway.
The Divine Champion (Arm, Hammer, and Primary Face)
Human Combat Medic Paladin (by default no archetype, but I'm tempted to specify Holy Tactician instead to be able to hand out Teamwork Feats all day)
Human with Powerful Presence alternate racial trait (scroll about 2/5 of the way down to find it) -- lets us rush Ultimate Mercy while keeping Charisma investment from needing to be outrageous.
01: Level 1 character feat = Cunning (we need more skill ranks -- see above); bonus feat from Human Powerful Presence alternate racial trait = Persuasive (bonuses to Diplomacy and Intimidate)
The Bard Substitute (Arm, Secondary Hammer, Secondary(?) Face, and Utility)
Sensei Monk(*) or Daring Champion Cavalier/Exemplar Brawler/Battle Herald (not fleshed out yet) -- Inspire Courage, primary or secondary Tactician (depending upon whether Holy Tactician was selected above for Paladin), and other stuff not covered by the other characters and stuff which you really need more than one to cover.
(*)Just looking at this again, even though it isn't listed under Unchained Monk archetypes, technically it seems it should work on Unchained Monk, since (unless I read something wrong), it is replacing abilities that are exactly the same (including levels of occurrence) on both pre-Unchained and Unchained Monk.
Reincarnating another thread:
Ross Byers wrote:
Surprised nobody seems to have mentioned the following possibility on these messageboards -- at least, searches for "Kasatha pandemic" and "Kasatha epidemic" don't turn up anything at all, and a search "Kasatha mask" doesn't turn up anything related, with this thread seeming to be the closest result.
Maybe Kasatha wear masks because they have had bad experiences with pandemics of respiratory diseases. This would be especially relevant when traveling for very long periods on a worldship. Now, they might well rationalize the tradition as described in the original post, but guarding against infectious disease transmission might have been the original incentive.
Ross Byers wrote:
If Kasatha do remember the original incentive for wearing masks, they might also see Humans and other species as living dangerously -- especially in a crowded enclosed environment like Absalom Station that probably has large sections that have air filtration of dubious quality.
And now (even at the risk of immediately derailing my own thread) I want to see a Duckfolk race . . . .
I didn't know that Earth still has insects with wingspans of nearly a foot, much less that they would be butterflies.
In recent scientific research, it looks like a bad environment really can cause some kind of epigenetic damage.
It has not escaped my notice that a more fleshed-out version of this could be a very plausible mechanism for an Enhanced Life Form to be able to adapt quickly to varied environments even while having a long generation time.
What the title says. This particular version of it sounds suited more for Starfinder and Numeria (and likely for some of the late pre-Gap time), but imagine some species evolving (or being genetically engineered) to generate the required nanoparticles in their own tissues so as not to need injections of such . . . .
When I click on Login, the page I get is no longer an https page, and Firefox (correctly) gives a warning about insecure login when I click in the Password field. This is something that used to work properly as recently as a bit over 1 day ago.
Temporary workaround: Manually edit the URL in the address bar to have "https://" in front of it -- then login works normally.
New Sorcerer Eldritch Knight Option
If you are a Ganzi with the Planar Adventures options available, and you can choose the Weaponplay option, you get familiarity with all Simple and Martial weapons. This means that you can qualify for Eldritch Knight with no martial dip and no VMC Oracle (Battle). Ganzis have an Intelligence penalty and a Charisma bonus, so while they will be poor Arcanists, Wizards, and Witches (except Seducer), they will be excellent Sorcerers (and Seducer Witches). The Constitution bonus is also very nice for partially offsetting the low hit points and bad Fortitude Save in the pre-Eldritch-Knight part of your career.
Also, if you are able to afford 2 feats (and can make good use of 2/3 of a Skill Focus to make the first feat worthwhile in its own right), you can take Favored Prestige Class and Prestigious Spellcaster to have NO delay in spellcasting progression.
As requested in the latest update to the Pathfinder side of Archives of Nethys:
On the Archives of Nethys front page, Nethys wrote:
We have a couple new books for the Archives! Devin has been hard at work and helped complete Ultimate Wilderness, along with adding Merchant’s Manifest. In addition, I've completed a number of changes to support animal companions and their owners:
I just realized that since Return of the Runelords is scheduled to have its final installment come out in January 2019, this means that we get exactly 1 more AP afterwards that has to support the Pathfinder 1st Edition rules (although it might have sidebars or other pointers for conversion to Pathfinder 2nd Edition, and Return of the Runelords conceivably could even have this as well, although it seems less likely due to the earlier state of the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Playtest(*)). As far as I know, not much has been said after the AP after Rise of the Runelords(**).
(*)And James Jacobs said that Return of the Runelords will be 100% 1st Edition Pathfinder, which leaves 0% for sidebars.
Made this new thread to avoid derailing the one about the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Playtest.
Original Post wrote:
For some reason I kept misreading that as an exploration of what it would be like for an ancient Azlanti to suddenly awaken in modern-day Earth . . . .
Here's something familiar and yet different, which I think we tech types can appreciate; it isn't roleplaying, nor obviously related, but we probably wouldn't have much roleplaying (or other) gaming for several more centuries without the invention referred to therein:
Ruins of Azlant Player's Guide Domains section wrote:
Neither of the Liberation Domain's Powers are triggered automatically by non-magical effects, so they neither help against falling over the side of a boat nor are consumed by being in the water thereafter. In other words, no problem if you take the Liberation Domain and want to adventure underwater as you will probably need to do, but you still need to know how to swim and to fight under water in ways that won't be impeded, without relying on your Domain Powers.
Last night I had a really weird political/pathfinder dream. The setting isn't important (it was a bizarrified workplace, cafe/lunchroom area, and I was trying to find a clean cup or something to put water in to drink, but of course somebody had dirtied all the available ones). The important thing is that it had a video tickertape running across the bottom, in the style of some news shows:
Shelyn will beat Donald Trump. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Shelyn must beat Donald Trump. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Donald Trump has beat Shelyn.
(Now THAT'S a nightmare . . . .)
(And in case you're wondering: No, I don't identify Hillary Clinton with Shelyn. That would also be a nightmare.)
The weirdness of the 2016 US elections has driven me to think:
What would our politics be like if a real Outsider ran for political office here? I don't mean just somebody who claims to be from outside the Washington DC Beltway and claims to be different from those inside it. I mean Outsider as we think of it: yes, the Outsider creature type, having come to Earth from another plane, possibly by way of Golarion. (In the case of running for US President/Vice President, they would have to be second-generation to qualify, or do a good enough job of faking it that they slip in past the corresponding part of the US Constitution.) What are your thoughts on this? To broaden the scope of the discussion a bit, let Golarion honorary outsiders also qualify -- such as extremely high-level PC-class characters or even Dragons and maybe even a few other very powerful monsters capable of high Intrigue, who could pull off some of the same things (and add some tricks of their own not necessarily available to most Outsiders) . . . such as, for instance, a certain very high-level Mythic Thassilonian Wizard of Pride . . . .
Today, I just had an idea of a Thassilonian Specialist Psychic as a way of remixing the Runelords. I totally understand why the Runelords were Wizards as things stand, because Pathfinder RPG wasn't even out yet and was only going to have the core classes initially, but what if the Runelords were made today? Psychic has a case for it.
I searched for this, but couldn't find anything about somebody doing an Occult reload of the Runelords, so here goes.
Runelords are supposed to be able to warp reality with their minds, and having them be able to do it with a thought and not needing any words or gestures seems thematically fitting -- although most of the time they would probably add words and gestures for dramatic flourish. Not only that, but their connection with the Seven Deadly Sins seems thematically fitting with Emotion Components.
So with that in mind, here's the idea of an archetype that would support this idea. This archetype is made with the idea that the Thassilonian Specialist Wizards still exist (or at least existed back in the time of of the Runelords), but were not the actual Runelords.
Sin Magic Spell Casting
A Thassilonian casts psychic spells similarly to a standard Psychic, but also has an Arcane School like a Thassilonian Specialist Wizard (see below). In addition to spells from the Psychic spell list, a Thassilonian Psychic's spell list adds all Sorcerer/Wizard spells from the corresponding specialty Arcane School, replacing Verbal Components with Thought Components, and replacing Somatic Components with Emotion Components to convert these spells from Arcane to Psychic magic. Furthermore, the Thassilonian Psychic gains an additional spell known of each level that the Thassilonian Psychic can cast, which must be picked from this specialty Arcane School. Sorcerer/Wizard spells in a Thassilonian Psychic's specialty Arcane School that have ranks (such as Summon Monster I - IX for a Sloth/Conjuration Specialist, or Minor and Major Image or Invisibility and Greater Invisibility for a Pride/Illusion Specialist) qualify for undercasting, the same as Psychic spells that can be undercast. In exchange, a Thassilonian Psychic also gains two Prohibited Schools, specified the same as for a Thassilonian Specialist Wizard, and cannot learn spells from these Prohibited Schools at all; such spells are treated as not being on the Psychic spell list, and a Thassilonian Psychic must make a successful Use Magic Device check to cast such spells from spell trigger or spell completion magic devices.
Like other Occult spellcasters, a Thassilonian Psychic generally cannot cast spells with Emotion components while uder the influence of a non-harmless effect with the Emotion or Fear descriptors; however, this restriction is lifted if the emotion matches the one of the Seven Deadly Sins associated with the Thassilonian Psychic's specialty Arcane School, even when casting spells not in this school. (As with Thassilonian Specialist Wizards, the matching emotions/sins are: Envy for Abjuration, Sloth for Conjuration, Lust for Enchantment, Wrath for Evocation, Pride for Illusion, Gluttony for Necromancy, and Greed for Transmutation.)
This alters the Thassilonian Psychic's spell casting and replaces all Discipline Spells.
As noted above, a Thassilonian Psychic gains a specialty Arcane School like a Thassilonian Specialist Wizard; and gains Wizard Arcane School Powers as the Thassilonian Psychic increases in level. This Arcane School must be oe usable by a Thassilonian Specialist Wizard, and, not a sub-school or one altered by an archetype. At 1st level, the Thassilonian Psychic gains the passive 1st level School Power (the one that is normally applied continuously or automatically, without a limit of uses per day). At 2nd level, the Thassilonian Psychic gains the ability to use the Arcane School's 1st level active School Power (the one usable by a Wizard a number of times per day equal to 3 + a Wizard's Intelligence modifier) by spending 1 Phrenic Pool point. At 9th level, a Thassilonian Psychic gains the ability to use the Arcane School's 8th level School Power. At 20th level, a Thassilonian Psychic gains any upgrades to Arcane Schools that a 20th level Wizard of the same Arcane School specialization would gain. In all cases, the Thassilonian Psychic's level is treated as effective Wizard level to determine the effect of School Powers, even when the School Powers are gained one level later.
This replaces the Phrenic Amplification gained at 1st level, Detect Thoughts, Telepathic Bond, and Remade Self.
* * * * * * * *
Edit: To REALLY get into the Thassilonian theme, I would go further and replace the Psychic Disciplines entirely with specialty Arcane School Powers, and alter the list of Phrenic Amplifications accordingly, but that's a LOT more work (the Psychic class text is LONG).
Apologies if a thread already exists for noting potential errors in Blood of Shadows, but after an extensive search for existing threads on Blood of Shadows errors/errata and Dwarf and Gnome bonus feats, I couldn't find anything, so here goes -- apologies in advance if such a thread actually exists, and apologies in advance if the following is an error specific to www.d20pfsrd.com instead of an error in the quoted sources.
The Shadowhunter alternate racial trait for Dwarves and Gnomes (but not Halflings or Elves) is listed as replacing the Bonus Feat. One small problem: Dwarves and Gnomes don't have a bonus feat. Is this supposed to be a feat that can only be taken at 1st level? (Actually, even if it is, it's still really good -- you get to be not completely helpless against Incorporeal creatures, AND you get free Iron Will.)
Example from Dwarf entry wrote:
Shadowhunter (2 RP): Characters with this trait deal 50% weapon damage to incorporeal creatures when using non-magical weapons (including natural and unarmed attacks), as if using magic weapons. They also gain a +2 bonus on saving throws to remove negative levels, and recover physical ability damage from attacks by undead creatures at a rate of 2 points per ability score per day (rather than the normal 1 point per ability score per day). Dwarves can take this trait in place of their bonus feat, also gaining Iron Will as a bonus feat. Source PPC:BoS
(The text for Gnomes is the same except for saying Gnomes instead of Dwarves.)
I haven't yet exhaustively searched to see if other races have the same problem, but as noted above, Halflings and Elves don't have this problem.
Note: Although Archives of Nethys mentions Blood of Shadows in its sources (Player Companion), it doesn't seem to have been updated with anything from there.
Been having this idea of monsters getting into a civilized material plane environment and taking up professions that allow them to coexist with the civilization, which would be unusual for them, but still thematically related. I couldn't find a thread on this, so I'm starting this one. Here are my two initial ideas to get things going:
Erodaemon proprietor of the Heartbreak Hotel
Have at it, folks!
Oh, and by the way, terrible puns are welcome.
Doesn't seem to be a thread about this (searched with 8 combinations of art, artwork, minis, miniatures, model, modeling), so I'll start a new one:
One of the cool things about Paizo's products is that the artwork is generally top-notch, definitely upholding and building upon the standard set by the best days of D&D 3.x.
What I want to know is: Did anyone serve as a model (directly or indirectly) for any of this artwork(*)?
(*)At least of the artwork of Humanoids, but if anyone modeled for a non-Humanoid, don't feel you have to keep it to yourself . . .
I don't know if TSR or Wizards of the Coast ever had anyone model for their artwork, but the idea isn't' totally without precedent: Blizzard Entertainment modeled the (portraits of) pilots of the regular Goliaths and Spartan Company Goliaths (respectively) after their own Brian Sousa (3-D artist) and Dustin Browder (lead designer and game director), and modeled the (portraits of) the Thor pilots after Chris Metzen (vice president of creative direction, and himself a creator of non-digital Blizzard artwork, as well as voice actor for StarCraft 1 and the various WarCraft games starting with WarCraft II). These are the only three that I know of.
What's the smallest party that can successfully complete a Paizo Adventure Path while not getting any break from the GM (except for a slight break on point buy that is commonly given anyway)?
Here is my inspiration for this question:
This thread about a party of 2 for Council of Thieves (however, I think most of the posters lost sight of potential problems for medium/large-pet-dependent parties in this heavily urban AP -- still cool ideas though)
You can use almost(*) any non-Mythic (but see below) Paizo material, but it must be current (sorry, no pre-Errata Scarred Witch Doctor), with no Gestalt (however, VMC as presented in Pathfinder Unchained is allowed), and the GM isn't going to give you ANY breaks in running the AP, except for allowing you to start with 20 point buy (since it seems that most people do this anyway, as does PFS) instead of 15 point buy. Consider that the answer may not be the same for every AP (maybe some APs absolutely require more than 2 PCs and/or require breaking the final Extra Credit recommendation?), and consider that highly urban APs may give problems for classes dependent upon medium/large pets that cannot be dismissed or otherwise hidden. For Wrath of the Righteous (the only Mythic Paizo AP so far), consider this to be 2 alternate APs: one Mythic and one non-Mythic.
(*)No super powerful things like a PC being a Gargoyle -- races are limited to Core Group, Featured Group (Drow excluded before Second Darkness), Uncommon Group, Standard Group, Android (Iron Gods and later only), Lashunta, Shabti, and Syrinx -- the remaining Advanced Races and all Monstrous and Very Powerful Races being excluded for being too powerful for a normal-sized party (remember, this is supposed to be a challenge.
Extra Credit to anyone who actually made it through an AP with a constantly under-sized party.
Also Extra Credit if you can do this without Leadership or related feats (Torchbearer, Herald Squire, and any others I might have missed), and without using Master Summoner or similar archetypes that have a nova Summons ability (and using two such characters is legal but frowned upon :-) ).
The sidebars that appear below the "TOP SELLERS" sidebar on the right of the home page ("MESSAGEBOARDS", "ONLINE CAMPAIGNS", "BLOGS", etc.), then have been replaced by empty space. At first I thought it was just Chrome on my phone doing weird things, but then I tried on a real computer, and it looks the same). Anyone know what happened to them?
Has anyone tried to actually use the Pathfinder Unchained Simple Monster Creation rules? (This can be found on www.d20pfsrd.com as 1 giant page or on the Paizo PRD as a set of linked pages, although the latter seems to lack the examples placed at the end of the former.) I haven't seen anyone post anything at all about this on these messageboards (Search for "Pathfinder Unchained Simple Monster Creation" came up with nothing relevant, but with a whole bunch of unrelated threads).
My first thought is that calling this "Simple Monster Creation" seems odd based upon the sheer size of the thing. At this point, might as well go a little bit further and bring in Mutants & Masterminds(*). But I wonder if it could be semi-automated with a spreadsheet or program that would be reasonably quick to use?
(*)An unholy hybrid of Pathfinder with Mutants & Masterminds would be awesome. Edit: Actually, now that I think about it more, I wonder if a version of the Simple Monster Creation codified as a more traditional point buy system would be more straightforward to use, and maybe even easier to semi-automate?
Also, I wonder if the Paizo developers now use this, or do they still use a more traditional way of designing monsters?
What classes would be good to have more than one of in the same party (without necessarily composing the whole party of that class)?
Barbarian (pre-Unchained or Unchained): Needs more study, but reportedly certain Teamwork feats on Half-Orc or Orc Barbarian can make a really scary duo. Some other dual Barbarian combinations may also exist.
Bard: Vanilla Bard won't work so well (because the buffs won't stack, although having more total rounds of Bardic performance is welcome if you have really long adventuring days), but Bard archetypes are so varied that you can cover all sorts of stuff, and even have a whole band of adventurers (should work well for most of Council of Thieves, and maybe for Hell's Rebels, and be thematically fitting). Of course, you can also cover for each other's missing spells.
Cleric: Should work, and don't even need to pick different archetypes, due to versatility of spell list (although a subset of the archetypes actually are decent). Channeling one at a time is just nice, but Channel Bombing with multiple Clerics at a time is better, since each one affects every valid enemy (usually Undead) within range with damage and possible rider debuffs or every other party member (unless of the wrong Energy Affinity) with healing and possible rider buffs or un-debuffs.
Druid: Like Cleric, but with more options to concentrate on in build, so can even fit different primary roles in the Forge of Combat.
Fighter: At first glance doesn't seem exceptional, but has more feats than anything else and a HUGE number of archetypes, so should be able to make something good and have feats left over for Teamwork, to make things like Shield Walls (although for some things like this you probably want more than just two, although in ordinary sized parties this runs the risk of having two manny hammers and not leaving room for arms and hammers, so the remaining party member(s) will have to build to be VERY versatile and REALLY optimize their action economy).
Monk (pre-Unchained, and count Unchained as an alternate class of this): Like Bard although with a more reasonable number of archetypes, but of course more martial-focused (but you can still get party buffing out of one of the archetypes). (Unfortunately, only one archetype is reported for Unchained Monk, and it appears not to be online yet.)
Paladin (or Antipaladin for murderohobo parties): Great if you are often up against a lot of Smitable opponents; poor if not. At least you can cover for each other's limited spells per day, or one could choose an archetype that trades out spells (although the spells aren't bad).
Ranger: This is probably not so great -- you have a choice between choosing different Favored Enemy and Terrain to cover for each other's lacks, but never being up to full power until you get high enough level to cast Instant Enemy, or making the same choices but then both being fish out of water when the situation is wrong. At least you can cover for each other's limited spells per day, or one could choose an archetype that trades out spells (although the spells aren't bad).
Rogue (and Ninja): This class isn't very powerful, but two of them with Teamwork Feats AND the players actually using teamwork should be able to set up Sneak Attack quite well, and do a lot of damage.
Sorcerer and Wizard: The upside: Two of them can cover for each other's limited spell selection (Sorcerer) or Opposition Schools (Wizard), and build for different roles, even without needing different archetypes. The downside: This makes two party members rather squishy unless they invest a lot in defense.
Base Classes (pre-ACG)
Alchemist: Even without archetypes, you can build for a self-buffing melee monster (Jekyll and Hyde) or a battlefield-controlling Mad Bomber, so you can cover different roles in the Forge of Combat.
Cavalier/Samurai: If you are going to have open charge lanes a lot of the time, this could be good for sheer damage. If not, archetypes let you branch out roles, although it won't be ideal. With the Tactician ability, you really want to be the one leading a squad of Fighters, rather than being one of a squad yourself, although having mutiple Cavaliers does mitigate the risk of running out of uses of Tactician, while multiple Challenge does boost damage output more reliably than multiple Smites.
Gunslinger: Like Fighter, but with a LOT less archetypes to provide variety, and less defensive capability. Still, you might be able to follow the advice given for Fighter (a lot harder due to much fewer feats), and the remaining party member(s) would have to follow the same advice as for those accompanying a Fighter team. If you could pull this off, you could make a SWAT team.
Inquisitor: This class seems like it wasn't really made to work in multiple, but with coordinated choice of Teamwork Feats, it ought to be possible to pull it off fairly well anyway, and different Inquisitors should be able to cover for each other's limited spell selection.
Magus: Like Gunslinger, but with choices of spells and Arcana, as well as Arcane Pool-based Weapon Enchantments to make up for the smaller number of archetypes. Most of the archetypes are really meant for melee only, but you might have Eldritch Archer for ranged combat, although messages on these boards make it sound like this archetype will be frequently banned. If it is, Myrmidarch offers some ranged capability, although this seems really meant for switch-hitting rather than heavy investment in ranged tactics, and Myrmidarch will take a long time to get really online; Card Caster also offers some short-ranged capability that probably works better than that of Myrmidarch, as long as you are within its short range; Hexcrafter offers Witch Hexes, of which many are (again short) ranged.
Oracle: This should be one of the supreme choices for having in multiple -- the sheer variety of Curses, Mysteries, and Revelations within each Mystery let you build characters for all sorts of roles within the Forge of Combat, even without archetypes -- and some of the archetypes add significantly to this as well.
Summoner (including Unchained): The sheer variety of capabilities of summoned creatures just about guarantees that once you get past the low levels, you will be able to fill in holes in each other's and the whole party's capabilities, and the Eidolons aren't bad either (especially pre-Unchained). The biggest downside in non-PbP/non-PbEM play will be managing all those extra creatures.
Witch: Like Sorcerer and Wizard (including the squishiness problem), but Hexes give you staying power (and you can cover for each other's missing Hexes to a certain extent, as well as for limited spells per day). Still, for just two Witches, this is probably not so great; this would really start to shine if you went hog-wild and made the whole party (or at least a large fraction of a large party) be Witches, because then each Witch can affect every opponent with an offensive Hex, and each Witch can affect each other Witch with a beneficial Hex to patch the party back up afterwards. Short of that, to alleviate the squishiness problem and get some more conventional offensive power, see Hexcrafter Magus above.
Hybrid Classes (pre-Occult)
Arcanist: Like Sorcerer and Wizard, but with fewer spells per day, but on the other hand more flexibility.
Bloodrager: Needs more study, but probably works like Barbarian, except now you also have limited sets of spells known, which you can choose differently to cover for each other.
Brawler: Needs more study, but probably like Fighter. Hint: Coordinate use of Martial Flexibility to take the Teamwork Feats that you need at the moment -- actually could probably be pretty good.
Hunter: Sort of the best of Inquisitor and Ranger, in a way -- built for working out in the wild, with full-progression Animal Companions, and free Teamwork Feats that you can use with your Animal Companions, BUT if you coordinate, you can also use them with each other. You are spontaneous spellcasters, so coordinate to cover for each other's missing spells.
Investigator: Like Inquisitor, Investigator seems to have been not meant to work in multiple, but unlike Inquisitor, you don't get several bonus Teamwork Feats that you can coordinate to make it work anyway. Between extract selection and the available archetypes, it should be possible to make this okay, but it won't be optimal.
Shaman: Needs more study, but this will probably turn out to be excellent like Oracle (see above), except probably trickier to build right (for one thing, the spell list is by default much more limited, and takes some finagling to expand it back up to what you want).
Skald: Like Bard + Barbarian, but with fewer archetypes available to branch out your roles (and for the most part they don't alter Raging Song, although again, more total rounds of Raging Song are welcome if you have really long adventuring days), and you do have Rage Powers to choose from. Of course, you can also cover for each other's missing spells.
Slayer: See Rogue/Ninja above.
Swashbuckler: See Fighter above.
Warpriest: Like a combination of Cleric and Magus, but you actually get more Bonus Combat Feats than either, thus letting you build for Teamwork like a Fighter, while scaling Sacred Weapon damage lets you Hammer opponents to death faster like a group of Monks, Rogues, Ninjas, or Slayers, while you can actually use the Cleric spells thereafter to patch each other back up afterwards. Actually, this should be pretty good. Again, Channel Bombing is also good (see Cleric above), although you don't get as much of it as a Cleric.
Occult Classes (pre-Intrigue)
Kineticist: Needs more study, but choosing different Elements should allow you to cover for each other's weaknesses. Also, having two ranged combatants that never run out of at least their lighter ammunition will help the party's staying power, relative to having just one.
Medium: Needs more study, but since it looks like Influence will build up awfully fast, you can give each other a break. On the other hand, I'm not convinced that the Medium's abilities are all that great to start with, so having two of them may not be such a great thing, unless you are in a situation where the Mediums actually have access to favored locations for different Spirits to let them fill in different holes in the party's capabilities.
Mesmerist: This class seems very powerful even in single, being both a decent combatant and an excellent debuffer. Need more study of how much their debuffs can stack, but debuffing and whacking multiple moderately tough opponents simultaneously sounds pretty good.
Occultist: Needs more study, but since you have limited implements until high levels, having more of you means getting more of these online sooner.
Psychic: Like Sorcerer, but with a more limited selection of spells (although you get some for patching up the party that Sorcerers can't get). Since you have some area of affect defensive spells, but these are of short duration, you will burn through them fast even with your generous allotment of spells per day, so having two of you will help with this (although that partially interferes with the concept of covering for each other's missing spells). You are probably too squishy to do a good job of all roles in the Forge of Combat (you won't be able to Gish very well), so keep that in mind.
Spiritualist: Needs more study (this class doesn't even have a guide for it yet, making it the exception for the Paizo classes released to date). The Spiritualist appears to be sort of a Summoner without the Summon Monster ability and without the level-down-bumped Summon Monster spells of the Summoner spell list, and thus much more dependent on the Phantom (quasi-Eidolon), but with a decent selection of Cleric/Oracle spells on the spell list instead, thus enabling decent ability to patch the party back up, athough some of this capability is substantially delayed relative to Cleric/Oracle/Shaman (or even Summoner, for those subsets that can be had on summoned monsters), so having two of these isn't necessarily terrible, but probably won't be great either.
I sometimes have Trouble loading paizo.com home page on a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S4, using latest version of Android OS (build L720TVPUC0H1) and Chrome (47.02526.83). The problem manifests as the page starting to load, flashing on the screen briefly, and then going blank, with the page loading progress bar getting stuck (usually less than half way through). Normally (connecting from 3G/4G) this only happens a minority of the time, and reloading the page usually works. But connecting from a hotel WiFi (Towneplace by Marriott) -- not sure who their provider is), it is happening a majority of the time, thus requiring several retries to get the home page to load and stay loaded. So far, this doesn't seem to happen on Paizo pages other than the home page.
This problem does not occur on a normal computer, even one too old to support the security protocol required by the secure parts of the site.
Just had a thought: One common complaint about being a martial character is that unless you have something that gives you Pounce, you can't Full Attack much of the time, because it is a Full-Round Action, and you often have to move first by more than a 5 Foot Step. Well, what if you could Move and then Full Attack by having your Full Attack action span the boundary between rounds?
The revision would be that if you have used a Standard Action in the current round but have your Move Action remaining, you can start a Full-Found Action as your Move Action, and then it will also consume your Standard Action in the next round. Likewise, if you have used a Move Action in the current round, but have a Standard Action remaining, you can start a Full-Round Action as your Standard Action, and then it will also consume your Move Action in the next round.
This will also help spellcasters trying to cast Full-Round Action spells to some extent, but not as much, because they are more likely to just stay where they are (or 5 Foot Step) and start casting right away rather than moving.
From the way I understand the Pathfinder Unchained Revised Action Economy, this could be combined with the above, except that instead of Full-Round Actions spanning a round boundary approximately 50%~50% (actually more like 51%~49% or 49%~51%), they would span a round boundary 1/3~2/3 or 2/3~1/3.
I thought for sure somebody must have thought of this already, but I searched for Fractional Round Action Economy (also tried just the first 2 terms) and didn't find anything relevant.
Edit #1: Just read the Pathfinder Unchained Revised Action Economy again and saw that it looks like by itself it allows round boundary spanning for Full Action spellcasting, but I can't find that it does so for Full Attacks, although maybe I missed some subtlety in how iterative attacks have been replaced -- actually, HOW DO you replace Full Attacks in there? -- the "Attack Actions" section makes it sound like you can actually remove some of your iterative attack penalty by making the equivalent of a Full Attack span a round boundary, but if you would have had 4 iterative attacks under the old rules, you can never get the last one, and what do you do if you have Flurry of Blows or Two/Multi-Weapon Fighting or more than 3 Natural Weapon Attacks?
Edit #2: What I like about what I proposed above (if I may say so myself) is that you don't have to change everything in the Action Economy -- just allow Fractional Rounds and otherwise do everything the same as in pre-Unchained rules.
Tried searching for this, but surprisingly didn't come up:
Which Adventure Paths that can you succeed in (enough to prevent whatever disaster is threatened) without killing the boss villain(s)? Not actually having any of the Adventure Paths, here's my best guesses based upon what I have read (including following PbPs):
Plot Spoiler just in case:
Rise of the Runelords: Does NOT seem like a good candidate for this. Opponents are VERY malign and dangerous.
Curse of the Crimson Throne: By default, seems like not a good candidate for this. However, by some interpretations (probably all unofficial, though), Queen Ileosa might be redeemable if freed from Kazavon's influence. A subset of the lesser bosses might be capturable so that you could turn them in to the Korvosan Guard instead of killing them.
Second Darkness: Although many of the villains are portrayed as ones many people wouldn't WANT to avoid killing, you have to leave quite a lot of them alive out of sheer necessity, even if your inclinations run to the murderhobo side of things.
Legacy of Fire: Not sure, but doesn't look too optimistic so far.
Council of Thieves: Mixed bag -- more roleplaying heavy than most, and you really shouldn't be killing some of the intermediate villain bosses -- this is not an Adventure Path for Murderhoboes. Still up in the air about whether it is possible to succeed without killing the 2 final bosses -- the otherwise excellent PbP that I followed of this unfortunately suffered from loss of Gm at a late crucial point. On the other hand, if you aren't killing the more villainous bosses, you're probably having to cut deals with them.
Kingmaker: Another roleplaying-heavy AP that is not friendly to murderhoboes. You aren't going to be able to avoid killing every boss villain, but if you try to kill them all, you're going to become just another of the latest victims of the Stolen Lands.
Serpent's Skull: Not sure, although from what I can gather, in this one you really need to kill most of the villains, who pose existential threats,
Carrion Crown: Another existential threat AP. You're not going to have much luck hauling Vampires off to jail, unless you can somehow establish the Golarion equivalent of SCP, and even if you succeeded, it would be extremely risky (and likely to morph into the organization depicted in Cabin in the Woods).
Jade Regent: Not sure.
Skull and Shackles: Even if the GM does the incredible work of rewriting this as a non-Evil AP, it looks like you're going to be either killing main villains or cutting deals with them.
Shattered Star: Not sure. This AP seems to suffer severrely from PbP infant mortality.
Reign of Winter: Looks like you have to kill them all, except for pledging yourself into the service of the very worst one, who as far as I can tell, is for all practical purposes absolutely unkillable without some extreme metagame shenanigans.
Wrath of the Righteous: Another existential threat AP, but looks like 1 or 2 boss villains are potentially cut out for redemption. However, this AP has suffered severely from PbP infant mortality, so hard to be sure.
Mummy's Mask: Another existential threat AP. Indiana Jones didn't leave behind any major villains, even though several died not by his hand, and you won't either.
Iron Gods: Uh . . . any way to do what the sequels to 2001 did with HAL-9000?
Giantslayer: Not sure, but previous feedback on these boards has been negative about this prospect in this AP.
Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance: Not out yet, although it sounds like the latter is an Evil AP anyway.
This isn't the question of whether a Cleric/Inquisitor/Paladin/Warpriest in Golarion can function without a deity -- that's already been answered in the negative (with a possible exception for Paladins -- information on them on these forums seems to be contradictory).
This also isn't the question of whether a Cleric/Inquisitor/Paladin/Warpriest can worship a deity that nobody else in Golarion knows about -- the answer to this is also no, with possibly a few exceptions specifically carved out in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting and Adventure Paths.
This question is about whether it is possible for a Cleric/Inquisitor/Paladin/Warpriest to be unable to determine who their patron deity is, and yet function. Not because they are unperceptive or lacking in attempts to determine what they belong to, but because their patron deity wishes to remain hidden from them for now, even if the existence of said patron deity is well known to most people on Golarion, including the divine spellcasting character.
In other words, one day, the character wakes up and finds out that they now have the powers of a Cleric, Inquisitor, Paladin, or Warpriest, and can't figure out where these powers came from, and a visit to the doctor is unable to diagnose any Oracle's Curse whatsoever.
Naturally, the default character class for such characters would be Oracle (which doesn't even have to be tied to just one deity), or possibly Shaman or Witch (but that is arcane anyway), but I could see situations in which a patron deity might want to prepare some kind of specialist, and/or consider the path of Oracle otherwise unsuitable for the development and trial a particular minion.
One potential mechanical sticking point is the requirement of these classes for a holy symbol for divine casting; most of the ways to get around this require already having some levels. A more minor point for some of the classes is that becoming proficient with a deity's would help the character narrow down the list, assuming that the character had not already gotten the proficiency from racial proficiency or levels in a martial class. Although the latter problem could make for some more interesting roleplaying opportunity -- 'I'm really good with a Greataxe without having been trained with it, and just who has that as their favored weapon -- Angradd?, but I'm not a Dwarf, and he doesn't take non-Dwarves; Damerrich?, but I'm not the judicious type, and despite all efforts I don't think I'm anywhere near good enough for Damerrich; oh $#&%, that leaves only a Draconic Malebranche, several Demon Lords, and Rovagug . . . and the doctor did say that I have Qlippoth blood in me . . .'.
Every once in a while, warnings about campaign derailment pop up in the forums, but always talking about it like it was a bad thing.
I want to know (and did some searching for existing threads but didn't find anything), has anyone ever had a campaign (AP or otherwise) derail and it turned out for the best? Like, everyone including the GM had a blast as a result?
I'll submit this example to start things off, although in this case, it was the GM doing it on purpose to customize the AP. Note: Linked thread contains Curse of the Crimson Throne spoilers.
Here is a video and a project page about ancient Greek linothorax armor and a project at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay to reverse-engineer it, and it looks like it (or at least the reverse-engineered version) does its job pretty well. The closest armor I can find in Pathfinder is Quilted Cloth, which: ". . . has internal layers specifically designed to trap arrows, bolts, darts, shuriken, thrown daggers, and other small ranged piercing weapons. When these kinds of weapons strike you, they tend to become snagged in these layers and fail to harm you. You gain DR 3/— against attacks of this kind. The special layers of the armor have no effect on other kinds of weapons." But it only gives you +1 AC, although at least it is light and doesn't limit your Dex much or give you an ACP. But from the video it looks like it also provides decent protection against more than just small piercing projectiles, whereas Rules as Written it is good only if you expect to be shot at a lot by hand crossbows and thrown daggers (which oddly enough makes it potentially good for Second Darkness, but not much good anywhere else).
Thoughts? Pathfinder does have a Bronze Age weapons section, but doesn't seem to have a Bronze Age armor and shields section.
This slightly older thread posed an interesting question, of whether any concepts cannot be done with existing Pathfinder rules, but got derailed into various types of largely pointless arguments.
So I'll try to rephrase the original question: What fantasy concepts (preferably ones introduced by the system itself) are difficult to impossible to make into usable player character options in Pathfinder? Temporarily leave out most things from different genres, such as superheroes (we can revisit this when the Wrath of the Transcendentals Adventure Path is announced or leaked). Also temporarily leave out things that are way beyond mid-level player characters, such as Hercules (we can revisit this when the Epic Player's Guide is announced or leaked, or a revision to the Mythic Rules tailors itself to the same kind of thing in a more widely acceptable way than the current Mythic Rules). Things that are overpowered compared to low-level characters but reasonable compared to mid-level characters are still on the table for now, because Pathfinder actually has a precedent for a mid-powered race to upgrade itself into a high-powered race, namely the Drow and the Drow Nobility feat chain (for which the feat tax is high enough that it may actually be a bit underpowered).
The idea of this thread is not to argue about whether something is totally impossible or becomes possible just by flat DM fiat, but to try to think of how to implement a concept with a minimum of DM handwaving, and what kind of rules additions would be needed to make something workable. (With respect to rules additions, what would REALLY be needed would be for Paizo and Green Ronin to team up to make a hybrid of Pathfinder with Mutants and Masterminds, with all the Pathfinder stuff converted into Mutants and Masterminds examples so that nothing breaks in existing sourcebooks, including Adventure Paths, or at least no more breaks than broke going from D&D 3.5 to Pathfinder, and yet new much more flexible options become available. This would be awesome when finished, but represents a huge up-front investment, and so would not arrive for several years even if both companies heartily approved of the idea. So lets think of rules additions short of that: Evolutionary, not Revolutionary.)
So here are my 2 examples, one small and one big:
First, the small one: Normally I wouldn't want to play a character of a race that doesn't yet have its backstory, but I saw that Kasatha are available in Iron Gods, and they have 4 arms, and I just couldn't resist the idea of a 4 armed organist (to be a Bard). To get around the lack of race backstory while depowering the racial abilities to close to Core Race levels, I would have the character be adopted and brought up by Humans or some other Core Race (problem: I don't know their lifespan/maturation rate, so can't match them up with appropriate adoptive parents), and thus not even know his own race's backstory, and also be missing the Kathasa potentially overpowered abilities due to lack of Kasatha upbringing. To upgrade to full Kathasa racial capabilities later, if desired, Defensive training, greater (4 RP) could be available as a Feat; Desert runner (2 RP), Stalker (1 RP), Jumper (2 RP), and Terrain stride (desert) (1 RP) could all be available as Traits that could be picked up by way of the Additional Traits Feat (DM handwave required: make a specific set of exceptions to the rule that doesn't let you pick 2 Traits from the same list). Removing all those capabilities at the start actually gets the Kasatha down from 20 RP to 10 RP, in Core Race territory -- not saying that the Advanced Race Guide (which is used to build the races) is balanced ([url=http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2r9m8?Adv-Race-Guide-Race-Builder-Reduced-stats]it isn't[/u4l]), but it's something (although not good enough for the big example below). I think I can get this with just the minimum DM handwaving listed above, and honestly I probably wouldn't even use most or all of the removed capabilities, so the only DM handwaving really needed for my purposes is in the character origin (and could somebody please tell me Kasatha lifespan/maturation, if this is known?).
Second, the big one: Pathfinder currently doesn't have any equivalent to WotC's Savage Species for letting you play monsters and similar things. (Savage Species left something to be desired in its implementation, but the basic idea was a noble one.) So Pathfinder doesn't have any obvious way to play (let alone balance) a full-blooded Fiend/Celestial/Fey/Giant/Monstrous Humanoid etc. (as opposed to just Tiefling/Aasimar/Whatever, which probably need minor updates/errata but are currently quite usable overall). So here's the highly incomplete thought I had for this, inspired by Curse of the Crimson Throne: the Summoner Switch.
Example includes mild spoiler for Curse of the Crimson Throne:
Start with a Summoner that is doomed to die early in the Adventure Path while (or shortly after) aiding a certain legendary freedom fighter in preventing a certain travesty of justice, and be replaced by the newly Unfettered Eidolon, which is a heretical (from Hell's point of view) Devil which the Summoner had accidentally rescued from punitive reconstitution and reprogramming. After the Summoner is executed (and the Eidolon is banished), in gratitude the freedom fighter helps the other PCs attempt a resurrection of the Summoner, but something goes wrong with the attempt, and instead of the Summoner, the Eidolon is brought back, now as an independent character.
Problems with a Summoner Switch that would currently require a BIG DM handwave or a rules supplement (not just errata) include the fact that Eidolon stats are just about set in stone. I'll figure out the point buy equivalent later, but basically you only get to make Eidolons that are melee combatants or Rogue stand-ins, in either case dumping Intelligence and not doing too great on the other mental stats; even with a fair number of Summoner levels, options for changing this are quite limited. Related to this, Eidolons don't get much in the way of out-of-combat options other than spying and some wimpy spell-like abilities. For the Summoner Switch itself, I'd like to see some Story Feats that help tie it together (something like an Unfulfilled Mission Story Feat taken by an Eidolon or other companion that ties to a Story Feat that the master had unfulfilled). So right now, I have this concept in mind, but I don't feel like I have a viable implementation. The Advanced Race Guide just doesn't cut it in this territory (and is already rather wobbly on its feet for the above smaller example with the Kasatha).
So, having said that, I'll temporarily stop talking and open the floor.
Looking on d20pfsrd.com, I see a HUGE number of Prestige Classes, much more than any I have heard people express interest in, much less use. So, going down the list, does anyone actually use any of these? The ones that I have seen guides for have the existence of the guides as strong circumstantial evidence for PCs, but in many cases I have yet to see a PC.
Arcane Archer -- seen a guide for this, but no actual PC or NPC
Expanded list (specific name listed after generic name, when applicable):
Agent of the Grave -- no guide, PC, or NPC
So we have a whole slew of Prestige Classes, of which most seem to get no easily visible use. Probably the same could be said for Base Class Archetypes, but that would REALLY be too long to go through now.