Mathus Mordrinacht

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Daw wrote:
Bill Redford wrote:
So then those who show no talent for magic get tossed aside, banished or killed at birth. Interesting...

Being deliberately provocative, are we?

OK then, in this (arguably real) world, people judged as deficient are sidelined and often sequestered. Go talk to any of the groups trying to get support for special needs. Look how poorly we do it even in the wealthy nations. You think it will be any different in your posited world?

The inability to sense magic will be analogous to blindness or deafness in being able to recognize magic environmental threats. If flight is the norm, then stairs and walkways are just inefficiencies, unless you are one of the few who need them....

Well considering this is a one possible hypothetical option (that I posited, not the OP) for a fictional scenario in a fictional setting - yes - that would be very unbalanced and could lead to a great deal of abuse by the magically gifted. This leads to a plethora of story hooks and RP options for the players. Which is what we look for in these games.

If folks haven't read the Darksword Trilogy it's a great series. The sequels were okay as I recall. Not bad, but hard to follow the original trilogy.

The original books were written by Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman.

If you were to take it to the extreme of the Darksword Adventures game world (I'm showing my age) or even certain societies in Pathfinder and it's predecessors, those with magical ability become the ruling class with non-magical people as a subordinate or even shunned strata. Additionally, you could have a person's place in society determined by the nature of their magical ability.

On a practical level, everything is done with magic rather than physical effort. People don't hike up stairs, they fly. They don't ride a horse or wagon to another city, they take a magical conveyance or cast teleport. Battle mages become the enforcers and soldiers, along with abjurers, divine casters are the healthcare system and transmuters and conjurers control the weather and act as craftsmen.

That's great - I hadn't even considered WBL (and fractions) as a guide. Thanks!

Hello fellow gamers!

So I find myself in a bit of mess and I'm hoping some more experienced input would be helpful. I'm an infrequent (at best) Pathfinder GM and I'm having an issue with loot and my group. I've read the appropriate sections of the books and I'm good on the math, but I'm having trouble balancing it out for my group.

We're in a relatively low loot campaign (pregenerated) and I'm referring specifically to encounter loot where nothing else is specified in the adventure. It's a bit of a melee heavy group and I'm having a hard time balancing out gear for our arcane caster.

We're at about a +2 weapon/armor level (just hit 7th level) but I can't seem to determine a good equivalency. Should I just go by item cost? Aim for his highest spell level? Some other metric I'm not thinking of. The loot cap only goes so far split 5 ways.

I'm getting a bit frustrated which is why I'm bringing this here - he's raised some (understandable) concerns and I want to address them, but I feel like I'm failing and I don't like that. Other than playing fast and loose with the loot cap (which I've thought of), any advice would be welcome.


Haladir...I think I love you.

<In a strictly non-prison movie kind of way.>

This is awesome - thank you SO much! Last time I ran for my group I adapted Return to the Tomb of Horrors and after 8 months I was so burnt out more than two years later I'm finally GMing again. This will be a tremendous help. I hope both our groups enjoy the hell out of this!

I try to avoid thread necromancy but I wanted to check with those who've already ventured in to the Dark.

I have Expedition to Castle Ravenloft and Curse of Strahd and I love the setting in general. Is there any benefit to meshing the two, or adding the extra locations and other features from Curse to Expedition to help "flesh out" the campaign? I'm going to be running this for my group in a couple of weeks and if there's anything of real value in Curse I'd love to bring it over to make this a really fun, memorable game for my group.

Thanks for any input!

@Misori You're correct in your assessment of our GM's policy.

I appreciate the insight in to the group dynamics for this game. The Eldritch Scrapper is a Sorcerer archetype that gives him some Brawler abilities without impeding spellcasting - it causes some minor tweaks to his bloodline. I think he intends to go Dragon Disciple eventually.

I ended up building a Slayer to provide anti-trap/lock capabilities and still contribute in combat and as a scout/spy. Thanks for your input!

So my group has decided to play our first AP and we're going with Rise of the Runelords. Our DM has been very generous and allowed us to completely redo our characters if we wish up to level 4. Until recently I was the party healer as a fetchling Oradin. One of the other players decided to rebuild their character as a caster cleric (and new party healer) so I now have to decide if I will stay with my Life Oracle 1/Gray Paladin 3 build, go to a Gray Paladin 4 which hits hard and heals reasonably but has limited versatility, go to a Warpriest build or something completely different.

Without giving away any story points I was hoping for some advice on which might be the most fun to play and contribute most to the party over the long term. We have a human fighter, a fetchling swashbuckler (my character's cousin), a half elf eldritch scrapper and an aasimar cleric.

I'm currently playing a Samsaran Warpriest of Pharasma and have been struggling with my feat build ( I like to plan out all the way to level 20, even if I know I won't be going that high). It's not a PFS game, so I've had some flexibility with my DM (he allowed kukris to be considered as daggers from a different culture, since there's a huge part of his world that's modeled after Asia [including India]). I've been playing my guy as a sword and board, high armor combatant and he's been very effective (using a bastard sword) but getting scaling damage on a light weapon is a way to really surprise the hell out of enemies.

I don't know what combat style you were considering, but dual weilding daggers as a Warpriest and sticking to medium armor or lighter (even robes) really isn't the worst plan in the world. If you're playing a human, you might want to look in to Martial Versatility to expand your free Weapon Focus (and therefore Sacred Weapon powers) to all light blades. That should open up some options for you.

If you're looking for a cool take on priests of Pharasma, pick up the Pathfinder novel The Redemption Engine - the main character is probably the most unique concept for this kind of character I've ever come across.

Good luck - I hope you're able to find a build to fit your playstyle and have fun with.

I've run the Tomb of Horrors and the Return to the Tomb of Horrors 4 times now (I'm currently on my 4th and final run) and I will say - it's earned it's reputation. Even with the 3.5 version from WotC providing saves on things that 1st and 2nd don't, it's still an unmitigated meat grinder. My current group of players were right about level 13, knew very well what they were walking in to and were well equipped as well as being a long running group who have established really good team dynamics...and they still suffered some big losses.

The materials for the GM in the Return box set specifically caution you against using long running campaign characters - and the Tomb isn't even the worst part of that adventure! I'd caution against it - maybe see if something from an AP would be a good fit - Carrion Crown has a similar feel to it (though I've never played it, so I can't say for sure). If you feel like ToH is really the way you want to go - talk to your players in advance, even in a general way, and take their temperature on it.

Excellent. Thanks guys. I really appreciate your responses.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I'm running my group through a high level campaign that has led them to the Big Bad's stronghold in a custom pocket plane adjacent to the Negative Energy Plane. One of the custom effects is that all magical weapons lose 1 off their enhancement bonuses. I don't plan for it to effect abilities, but I noticed one of my players has a weapon with several abilities, but only a +1 enhancement bonus.

And this is my main point of concern now: while it's a back up weapon, if he pulls it, how would you rule it is affected? +0 equivalent with all the abilities? Is it considered masterwork? Would the abilities still work with an equivalent +0? It's only in effect while they're there - once they leave it will return to +1 - it's just temporarily suppressed by 1.

I've looked and didn't see a thread covering this and I'm not aware of any rules on this. Any input would be appreciated.

BloodyManticore wrote:
Wandering Loon wrote:
A versatile cleric build can be a neutral cleric with the Versatile Channeler feat and the Death Domain. You can channel negative energy and heal yourself while you harm enemies. Makes it really easy to hold a confined area with little to no support and stay in the fight. One of the channeling phylacteries would be a great choice as well. And you can still channel positive energy for those pesky undead and the burst healing of your party. Extra Channeling, Selective Channeling and Improved Channel are all great feats to take for this build.
you cant heal yourself and deal damafe sorry you pick one, you can damage or you can heal you cant do both

Normally true, but the Death doman's granted ability changes the normal rules:

"Death's Embrace (Ex): At 8th level, you heal damage instead of taking damage from channeled negative energy. If the channeled negative energy targets undead, you heal hit points just like undead in the area."

The channel is a burst centered on the cleric. So unless the GM house rules something different (which is always a valid consideration) a case can be made that if you channel negative energy to do damage (which you would take as well w/o the Death domain) you now heal that amount (with the Death domain). Now if the OP's GM has house ruled something different, then yes, that would invalidate my offered concept. But RAW, it's doable (admittedly you need to reach level 8 first, so...not without it's drawbacks).

A versatile cleric build can be a neutral cleric with the Versatile Channeler feat and the Death Domain. You can channel negative energy and heal yourself while you harm enemies. Makes it really easy to hold a confined area with little to no support and stay in the fight. One of the channeling phylacteries would be a great choice as well. And you can still channel positive energy for those pesky undead and the burst healing of your party. Extra Channeling, Selective Channeling and Improved Channel are all great feats to take for this build.

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Jason Beardsley wrote:

I've changed the title to include NON-combat optimized, as that was my intent.

At my table, my DM lets me try out different combat optimized builds. Though they do great in combat, I get very bored with it. Winning all the time kinda takes the fun out of it, first of all. And outside combat, he's pretty boring as well, since he has no real skill outside of "winning combat".

Maybe I will try an illusionist build next.. I like playing wizards, and it's not a wizard I've tried yet.

I've always had the most fun with characters whose concepts I found interesting. I played a Suli Summoner who was the party Crafter. Hardly optimized (outside of the racial bonus to CHA, but with a penalty to INT) but I had a very interesting back story and came up with little mannarisms for him. I RPed my responses to PCs and NPCs in and out of combat and had a blast. The DM did the voice of my eidolon which added more color and humor.

Another example from Forgotten Realms was a priest of Kelemvor. Fantastic against the undead - crud against most other things. But he had Brew Potion (or whatever the equivalent was in that edition) so he could still contribute in certain ways.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you have a fun concept you can usually finesse the mechanics to match what you want to play. It sounds like you have a pretty openminded GM (which is awesome) so I'm sure he/she would be excited to see how much interest and thought you're putting in to his/her game. With the Advance Class Guide (and it's Archmage) coming out you should really be able to have some fun. It *is* a game and you should have fun playing it.

Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Holy flying monkies of doom. Who knew we had someone like Dr. D on the boards? My hat's off to you sir, Thief has always been awesome (and always my 'home' class when I get burned by the other ones).

That said... I did not know they made a Return to the Tomb of Horrors... I've always wanted to try it.

Was it Tomb of Horrors or Temple of Elemental Evil that had the Sphere of Annihilation in the gargoyle's mouth that I hear joked about so much?

I don't know about Temple of Elemental Evil, but the Tomb has the Sphere in the mouth of a Green Devil Face. That's probably the one you've heard about.

Return to the Tomb of Horrors is a campaign box set published using 2nd edition rules. As such, it requires a fair bit of adaptation. The monsters aren't that bad, but the specific enemies (named baddies with class levels) are a bit of a chore. Thankfully, many brave souls have ventured in to that arena and there are lots of online resources to draw from. I started my group around level 10 to allow them to make progress rapidly while maintaing a reasonable level of real danger. It goes to high levels, so comfort with those sorts of games is certainly needed (and as I'm learning, hard won). I think they sell the box set on Amazon.

Lincoln Hills wrote:

Oh! Ooh! If you can, refer your potential GM to Return to White Plume Mountain, one of the few jewels of TSR's decidedly unsuccessful "revamp" era. Largely written by Bruce Cordell if I recall. The original module is surprisingly small; Return is impressive in scale and has a wicked plotline that my players still talk about years later.

As for my references to Hall of the Fire Giant King and Vault of the Drow, sorry if it seemed I was replying to one of your references. I was just saying that with so few modules back in the day, most of the AD&D veterans have played most of them, so it was unlikely DrDeth had missed anything as... er... genre-defining as Tomb. No offense intended on my end either.

Cordell wrote Return to the Tomb of Horrors! I'll mention the Return to Whiteplume. I think we're going to have to go back to 'normal' games for a bit. The classics are awesome, but I'm not sure they'll go for two in a row. I'm very anxious to actually play in one of the classics. This'll probably be the last time I run the Return to the Tomb of Horrors. I'm just no enjoying it as much anymore.

And as mentioned - no offense taken. Cheers!

Lincoln Hills wrote:

I never forget. As I've posted before, I was delighted to shuck the title of "Dungeon Master," which when overheard by non-gamers tended to leave me in a little bubble of 'Stay away from that guy' space. I'm not terribly fond of "Game Master" as it still suggests a certain... shall we say James Bond villain quality?... but it is an improvement.

Still, it lacks a certain something in the mate-attracting department. Would anyone care to sign my petition requesting Paizo to change the title of GM to "Commitment-Loving Billionaire"?

I explained Pathfinder to my girlfriend using sports comparisons and now she's fascinated. I was vey lucky to find her. Lol.

I've always been partial to storyteller or ST but there may be some copyright issues.

DrDeth wrote:
Wandering Loon wrote:

Metagaming seriously chaps my butt,

Have you tried "Anti Monkey Butt Powder"?

I have not. Not sure I want anything with 'Monkey' in the name on my butt, but I'll look in to it. Thanks! Lol

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DrDeth wrote:
Lincoln, he probably doesn't know who I am...which is understandable of course.

I certainly did not know. You have my respect sir. I've always been more a cleric guy but one of my best friends (and longest running gaming buddies) loves the Thief in all iterations and will probably faint when I tell him I interacted with you. And then promptly laugh at me for stumbling in to that one. Lol.

Lincoln Hills wrote:

Don't accuse Dr. Deth of never having run or played in any of the classic modules. He goes back a ways. I'd wager that he fought King Snurre before the Vault of the Drow was more than a gleam in Gary Gygax's eye... am I right, there, DrD?

(Now me, I've never played Tomb of Horrors, but that's merely a combination of a shortage of GMs who owned the module and my personal desire to have all my characters retain their starting quota of 1 life, 1 soul, and 4 limbs.)

I'm pretty sure I only referenced ToH and the Return...

<checks post>

...Yep, I only referenced those two.

As I said in my other response, no offense intended, but context is key. If you get the oppurtunity, I'd whleheartedly recommend playing them. They really challenge players to up their game and the story is a great one. I wouldn't recommend DMing though unless you're *very* comfortable with high level games. It's starting to wear me down a bit. But that could also be the players. LOL!

No disrespect is intended, but as you said, ToH and the Return (which got Gygax's blessing after he read it) are so wildly different from what most people consider fair, fun play that it's hard to apply the same standards. When success is measured in how few characters you had to go through, it's a whole different paradigm.

No one in my group runs games like this. *I* don't (normally) run games like this. I warned them for almost a year (between when it came up and when we started) that it was brutal, unforgiving and I would not be able to help them in anyway. It's like comparing an evening stroll to a triathalon - sure, you're using your feet, but one's for fun and relaxation - the other is to kick your own ass.

My biggest regret is that I'll never get to play this module to see how I would do. I've been lobbying for one of the other members of my group to run Whiteplume Mountain since I've heard so many horror stories about that one (and he's run it) - I have a feeling after this, I'm gonna get punched if I bring it up again...

Lincoln Hills wrote:
Water under the bridge now, of course, but for anybody else running 'Return' with the same conversion WL used, I'd advise using the Juju Zombie template rather than the death knight/graveknight because Dave Justus raises a valid point - the undead needs to be of a type that can plausibly attempt Bluff/Disguise if the adventure text seems to indicate that that is an option. (I don't remember reading any rule saying that a DK/GK has to have luminous eyes, an odor as of the grave, and an eerie sepulchral voice, but the flavor text for such monsters invariably has those qualities. Sets a precedent of sorts.)

While I agree with you in principle, there were no other templates that struck me as appropriate and reasonable given the entire circumstance. I gave him the oppurtunity to retire the character and he said he was ok to play it. And he's done a fine job. It's a one off that exists a bit outside the normal rules and as much as they have to adjust how they normally play, I have to adjust how I normally DM. In any other game, none of this crap would have happened. :)

Juju Zombie is an interesting template, but all things considered, I felt the DK template was closer to what he actually was while forcing him to deal with his new nature. A few minor mechanical elements helped round it out (suppressing the aura, etc.). In the end, it had a major impact ont he character who ignored the signs of danger and didn't wildely unbalance the game.

DrDeth wrote:
Wow, this is a huge change for the Pc's. It hardly seems fair.

You've obviously never run or played the Tomb of Horrors or the Return.

Believe me when I tell you - without embelishment - that "Fair" doesn't even enter the equation. In fact, it's decidely 'unfair'. It's explained in the materials, but the entire cmapaign is a meat grinder for characters. They even caution you to carefully consider whether you want to make it a part of your regular campaign as every player is likely to lose *at least* one character. This is my fourth time running it but the first in PF and I've never had a single player make it all the way through with a single character. It tests the players and punishes the characters if the player fails. That's probably the hardest part of running it and the part I caution people on the most. But they all said they wanted to try it and made separate characters just for this, so...

Sorry for the lack of response - Real Life Stuff is a pain.

Dave Justus - It's the Return to the Tomb of Horrors, so I don't know if the writer was trying to be subtle, or just an @$$hole - I guess it could have been a little of each. :) I even found an old copy of Ravenloft: Grim Harvest to use as a reference for the conversion, but templates fit better.

Gargs454 - There *was* some email back and forth about what was going on, and this was one of the things that contributed to my response. I also didn't fully realize the passive aspect of Knowledge skills, which would allow them to make a check if they "realized" something from context clues or differences in behavior vs. having a reason to actively distrust a valued ally.

Paladin of Baha-who: it's not a PF AP. It's the infamous Return to the Tomb of Horrors, converted from 2nd edition to Pathfinder by yours truly, with a fantastic amount of assistance from a variety of web sources.

supervillan wrote:

I've converted the Return to 3.5e. Yet to run it, but I plan to do so in my current campaign. Here's how I converted the Sensorium:

** spoiler omitted **

By the way, what's your party's average level at this point?

Sorry for the delay in response - real life is such a pain!

They are level 16. I ended up allowing their armor to kick in (it was Deathless) but no save - situational clues were provided in place of a save (oppurtunity to avoid the effect) and the Paladin ended up a Deathknight. Good bye Holy Bow, hello Blade Perilous! The player thought it was hysterical. I allowed him to become LE, since they're freewilled and this was not a normal creation for a Deathknight. So far the party is adapting well, though they have no main healer and a limited number of healing sources to draw from (heh heh heh).

To Everyone: Thank you so much for your input on this question. I'm relatively new to running PF (I usually run d10 systems) so I appreciate your willingness to help.

Dave Justus wrote:

Honestly, while a roll to realize exactly what he is would be appropriate, realizing that your friend is an undead horror, emitting an aura of fear and is, in short, an ex-alive ex-Paladin, should not take any roll at all.

He is dead. And walking around. With glowy eyes and all sorts of scary now. He is so different that his stats have changed, including CHR which is how others react to your presence. Perhaps a deathknight that took special means to prepare could conceal what he was, but transforming without warning means that the deathknight doesn't even know what he needs to conceal right away.

The question isn't why your player is asking for a roll, the question is, why you didn't tell you player things that should have been obvious.

Fair points all. Parts of this are my personal handling of it. I ruled (in the interests of keeping the game moving) that he could suppress his aura with a concentration check. I also ruled, as a concession to the DK player, that if he took steps to try to reverse his state (or switch characters) before leveling, he wouldn't fully show all aspects of his new state (only cosmetic factors eg, unnatural parlor, glowing eyes, sepulcher voice, etc). If he doesn't do so, he is fully,obviously undead. I did allow him to shift alignment to LE instead of CE (because frankly that player is a handful when he's playing NG - him playing CE gives me nightmares). Also, he made a point of saying (when he intro'd the character) that he's always in his full plate (and all that this entails).

At this point, when the roll is made (and it will be made), it's likely to be very easy for PIQ.

My intent with the original post was to build an idea of what a fair standard is, as I don't have a lot of PF experience as a GM. This particular example was the first that came to mind and may not have been the best, but has been very helpful. If anyone has other helpful hints, I always appreciate learning from those with more experience under their belts.

OK - This is what I was looking for.

There hasn't been any combat, and the weapons aren't inferior, just different (ranged vs. melee). It was a holy bow for an intelligent longsword.

In fact, there hasn't been a session since this happened, so this is all very new and the characters have had minimal interaction OR oppurtunity to really notice a difference. The DK player has said that if he asks, he'll tell him outright - but PIQ hasn't, so it entered less clear territory than a Sense Motive v Bluff check.

The Knowledge (religion) portion *is* a good point - I hadn't considered it. Thank you very much!

I really encourage the players to be perceptive and careful (and creative), but to do it through the lens of the characters. The fact that an out of game email seemed to lead to the request was what caused me to hesitate (and come here, of course). The biggest point for me in this (perhaps in error) is that the change is explicitly described as instantaneous and subtle - even to the character affected. If he doesn't know right away (maybe 3 hours have passed in game), it seemed like something that would need a specific cause for a check.

I think I have a good in game solution (seperate from the knowledge religion one) - the intelligent sword changes it's appearance based on it's wielder, so when he takes it up, that will lead to a check oppurtunity.

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the input.

Jiggy wrote:
Sorry, but your post is waaaaaaaaaay too vague for me to understand where you're coming from or what you're asking. Can you give a real example?

OK, a detailed situation:

Both he and another character were in close proximity to conduits to the Negative Energy Plane. It's a pre-generated adventure which states that after 1 round, they experience intense pain (a warning to leave ASAP) and after 2 rounds they make a save or be instantly converted in to free-willed undead. They failed their saves, but between games we were discussing it and the player in question (PIQ) pointed out (correctly) that his response would have had him exiting before the end of the second round. The other player very honestly pointed out that he would still have been there, but was wearing deathless armor which I ruled entitled him to a roll. We did the roll with out the PIQ involved and it turns out he failed the roll - his halfling paladin is now a deathknight!

The PIQ is now wanting to make an attempt to determine what's different about him after the DK 1/2 asked to use an extra sword he had, rather than his holy bow (which is how the DK character knows something has changed).

I asked the player to explain why he is making the check and am currently awaiting a response. I hope that was enough detail - if there are any particular aspects I can further clarify, please let me know - I appreciate the help.

Hey everyone -

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere but a search didn't turn up anything quite like this, so I wanted to get this out there.

I don't GM PF games very often and I have a player who seems to be having some issues with seperating player knowledge from character knowledge - specifically, looking for changes in NPC and PCs that (may) have occured, but his PC would have little to no reason to suspect anything. He rolls his skill checks (or asks which he'd need to roll) to see what's changed and when I ask him to explain why he's checking, it turns out he's reaching to justify it or using past experience with another character to justify the current attempt. And of course, he get's huffy when I ask him to justify it.

So my questions is this - how do you usually define a legitimate reason vs. a stretch in to player knowledge? Would you allow 'previous experience' so long as a connection can be made? He views it as nitpicking on my part and feels that his "character would notice" but in some of these cases the story states even the player affected doesn't immediately realize it, so I have a hard time going with that.

Metagaming seriously chaps my butt, but I don't want to take a hardline if he has a reasonable (if a bit tenuous) position.

Any thoughts would be extremely welcome.

Happy Memorial Day to my fellow US gamers and Happy Sunday to all others!

I'm having difficulty with a part of the cross-generation conversion of RtToH and I'm hoping others have encounter something like this and will share their advice.

*Note* - any members of the Friday Knights, please do not read this or I'll send your characters screaming in to the Abyss. Thanks!





OK, so one of the things about the original adventure from 2Ed. is that there are a lot of things that don't get saves. They just happen if you linger, or slip, or happen to be in range when they trigger. 3.5 and Pathfinder have basically given everything a saving throw. I want to preserve the severity and unrelenting cruelty of the original but I also don't want to turn my players against the game. Instances where there's a clear translation or some other rule applies (spell resistance, etc)aren't an issue. But this circumstance is rather less clear - my players defeated a named bad guy and were checking his sanctum. There were 4 violet stones, each one a conduit to the Negative Energy Plane that allowed the Baddie (who was free-willed undead) to remain 'charged' without having to find living beings to feed from (useful since there aren't a whole lot of the living coming through his neck of the woods).

In the book as written, anyone exposed to the stones (basically, within the sanctum) for 2 rounds has their soul drained and is spontaneously reanimated as free-willed undead. The book even says that it happens so quickly that, after a moment of disorientation, the character may not even realize what's happened until time passes or something else (channeled healing, etc) occurs to alert them that something is different. I'd certainly allow them to continue going with their characters and simply apply templates, but this is my issue - should I somehow assign a save to this, or go as written? The description does tell them they experience intense pain after 1 round and leaves it to them to linger or leave.

I admit to being a bit of a softie when it comes to giving the players some slack, so I'm trying not to overcompensate by being a colossal a$$h@t, but I'd really love some input. Many thanks in advance!

So, my group ran a one off last night to test out some of the new classes presented in the revised version of the book. It was presented as the final assault on the mountain fortress of a young red dragon, concluding a long and bloody campaign to drive it's forces from the Barony of Manorholt. This was a custom world and the night's adventure was a mix of straight combat, stealth take downs and one particularly vicious trapped room. We went up against a variety of enemies - troglodytes, lizardmen and the aforementioned young red dragon.

For the purposes of this thread, we all survived and none of the fights were so arduous that we feared for our character's survival. We tend to prefer stealth and careful planning of charging in, so that was a factor as well.

We were all level 10 with starting money for that level. Gear was drawn from the Core book and Ultimate Equipment and there were no outrageous house rules in place. Were an all human group, except for the Slayer, who was an elf.

The group make up was:
human Arcanist
human Bloodrager
Elven Slayer
human Swashbuckler
human Fighter (we wanted to see how a standard class fit in and the player was available last minute, so we didn't have time to make a test character).

First, a couple of notes on character creation - I love the perks and abilities my swashbuckler got, but there was a lot of flipping back and forth to double check what I got, when and with what weapons and in what situations. The other classes had similar issues. Also, 'panache' would be better off as 'savy' or 'style' or almost anything else. One note each test player had was that it was noticeably more complicated making one of these characters than any of the previously existing classes. That may simply be lack of familiarity, but each player has a lot of experience across several systems, so a bit of streamlining may be warranted (or at least looked in to).

Now to the classes:

The Arcanist - pretty damn solid. The Arcane exploits were 'OK' but there was no stand out 'WOW!' exploit that really leap out. However, the consensus was that, properly built, the Arcanist completely replaced the Wizard. Barring some very specific concept related reason or a major change to the Arcanist, I don't think we'll be seeing anymore Wizards in our group.

The Bloodrager - a scary concept that is still scary, but not for all the reasons we were hoping. Intended to be a Viking sorceress, in melee this was a solid character - built with Combat Reflexes and swinging a great axe. The lack of rage powers didn't significantly influence her effectiveness in combat. However, the spell casting aspect seemed tacked on. With the limited number of spells she could cast and the limited selection, there was little reason to do so. To my recollection, she only cast See Invisibility on the Slayer - her axe took care of the rest of the encounters. The bloodline powers were nice, but overall, not enough to make up for lackluster spell casting.

The Slayer - built as a ranged (bow) character, the Slayer got a very good review from the player who built/played him. The limited sneak attack was more than made up for by the Favored Target ability and all the other abilities were solid with no real throw-aways. Like the Arcanist, the Slayer pretty much replaces the Rogue/Ninja as a stealth combatant and with trap finding and other related tricks taken, can substitute for the Rogue fairly well. One note was that the class could benefit from some more "stand out" advanced tricks, but we didn't have any glaring holes that needed to be filled off the tops of our heads.

The Swashbuckler - I played this one and built him with Jack Sparrow/Porthos (Oliver Platt) in mind. He had Snapshot and Firearms proficiency and the aim was to give him a solid ranged option, since so many class abilities are melee specific. This was a mistake. The Swashbuckler is a melee combatant - first, last and only. Throwing daggers and Precise Strike would have been a better option than investing so many feats. The gunslinger/swashbuckler combo is extremely tempting, but the cost in feats is too high and the Swashbuckler does not benefit from diversifying. Some way of dealing with ranged encounters or reach enemies seems to be called for, but I honestly don't have any specific ideas on this.

The human fighter did alright, but between the Slayer's ranged damage and the Bloodrager's running to close and Cleave, the poor guy didn't get a whole lot of kills. He was in Adamantine Full Plate with a Bastard Sword and Shield, so he usually went in first and held the attention of the bad guys while the rest of us swept in.

So, that's it. There were some obvious formatting issues (the Hunter's Animal Focus says the uses must be consecutive, then says they can be in 1 minute increments) and some clarification is needed where "free feat effects" like in the Swashbuckler's Finesse and Weapon Training write ups. All in all, we're really looking forward to the finished product. Thank you Pazio!

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I would think just the one end. The staff magus can only attack with one end while using the staff one-handed. To attack with both ends (using it as a double weapon) would require two hands and thus you couldn't use spell combat. You could enchant both ends, like you said, paying double and taking two actions and two weapon fight when you weren't using spell combat.

Thanks for your input, Dungrun - that was one side of the argument, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one taking that view.

Sorry to revive a dead thread, but a friend and I were discussing Magus archetypes - specifically the Bladebound and the Staff Magus - and he raised a good question: when a Magus uses arcane points to enhance his weapon as a Staff Magus, does normal expenditure of points enhance both ends of the staff (double weapon) or does he have to spend twice as many to achieve that end? I've been searching the forums for some insight on this but it doesn't seem to have come up. Anyone out there dealt with this before? Any (on topic, constructive) thoughts or comments would be welcome.

Hello all! This is my first post on the forums, so please bear with me.

My DM is allowing me (after allowing him to turn my established summoner in to a possessed traitor in a major plot twist) to make a lycanthrope character. I love werewolves in general and was trying to come up with a spellcaster/lycanthrope combo as the other werewolves in his game (all NPCs) tend to be melee combatants.

Alignment isn't a concern as he doesn't hold individuals to the alignment of the race, and he's using the 3.5 Werewolf Lord class (all 6 levels). We're currently 9th level and I can mix & match levels how I like between the Werewolf Lord (WWL) and class levels.

I'm really stuck and could use some fresh perspectives. I have great concepts for rangers, fighters and monks, but for some reason am having a hard time with making an interesting caster combo.

Any thoughts? I'm mostly looking for advice on Bloodlines, Feats, that sort of thing. I'm hoping I can get inspired.