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Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Instant Enemy does not come online until 10th level. A lot of games don’t get too much higher of a level, so focusing on a single enemy is rarely going to be that good of an idea.

/.../

Have a lot of medium bonuses instead of a two maxed out will usually give better results.

10th level is coincidentally also exactly when you make the choice of +2/+2/+6 or +2/+4/+4. So before level 10 you don't actually make any decision about spreading out your bonuses or not. And the issue about spreading out the bonuses is that other classes' accuracy steroids will catch up if you do so, making your FE just a more limited version of those.

A +4/+4/+2 spread at level 10 means that the Slayer (or Inquisitor) is just 1 point behind your maximum but much more flexible.
A +4/+4/+4/+2 spread at level 15 as a Ranger just means being on par with their accuracy boost, but way behind if you're not fighting your FE.
This is why Rangers trend towards stacking bonuses.

I don't doubt that your NPC sheriff was capable. But he was put by you, the GM, in a location where his prioritized Favored Terrain and Favored Enemy will always be highly relevant. PCs don't have that advantage.

===

Re: Combat Styles

I'm aware that there have been additions, and some styles are better than others (as mentioned), but generally they don't allow you to meaningfully cheat prerequisites. Let's take a closer look at the Cayden style:

2nd: Catch Off-Guard, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, and Weapon Finesse.
6th: Improved Disarm and Lunge.
10th: Disarming Strike and Improved Critical (rapier).

The bolded feats are those you already fulfilled the prerequisites for, making them equivalent to bonus combat feats if you actually wanted those feats.

Improved Disarm at lv 6 is actually pretty late, a Fighter can at this level pick up Greater Disarm. If you wanted to focus on disarm, chances are you've already taken Imp Disarm before lv 6 (qualifying through Dirty Fighting nowadays), making it worse than a bonus combat feat as you must retrain to make use of it. Furthermore, if you wanted to keep branching out in the disarm feats (like taking Wrist Grab) then cheating the Int 13 prerequisite or Combat Expertise doesn't help you at all.

And the value of cheating prerequisites of Disarming Strike at level 10 is inversely proportional to how much you've already invested in disarm. Which you've likely done if you choose a combat style based on disarm.


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Melkiador wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
But the Ranger is overshadowed by the Slayer and Hunter, to the point that when people ask about advice for a Ranger the common sentiment is "what about this other class instead?"

My experience has been the reverse. Unless it's an explicitly urban campaign, I see way more rangers than slayers. And Hunters are so rare, I've never actually played with one.

The ranger's instant enemy spell is just way too good.

Super late with my response but I'll elaborate.

The ranger is suffering from splitting up its Favored Enemy/Terrain into separate incremental bonuses of different size which just leads to extra bookkeeping for both you and the GM. And the existence of options made to cheat the inherent specificity of them (Ilsurian Archer, Terrain Bond, Instant Enemy, etc) just incentives people to stack all their bonuses on one option instead of the equal spread, which devalues the concept of having multiple bonuses in the first place.
The most recommended options for Ranger are actually just ways to not engage with the class gimmick.

Then we take a look at the Combat Styles. With some exceptions, like Mounted and Archery, these are usually just straight up worse than getting bonus combat feats. Improved Precise Shot five entire levels before it's available to other classes is great. But! Other Combat Styles aren't so lucky. Not only were some styles made when the feat list was one percent of what it is now, they neither provide you with the ability to meaningfully cheat level or feat requirements.

Additionally, the ranger gets a companion which includes the feat tax of Boon Companion, but not a way to actually focus on their companion if they so wish. If they try to do so they're cutting straight into their own competence by spending feats and gold.

And the 4th level prepared casters haven't really been given a fair shot at it, but the ranger is especially bad. Unlike a paladin they don't have a reason to invest excessively in their casting attribute so they always have very few spell slots. The -3 CL isn't doing you any favors either. As is every 3rd level spell slot being prepared as Instant Enemy, and 4th level spell slot Terrain Bond.

===

The Ranger could use a lot of polishing. A complete overhaul of the Combat Styles at the very least. And I think you'd see more hunters if Sacred Huntsmaster was banned.


There has been no clarification afaik.

Dan Bong lacks the exception to the normal "hands free" grapple rule, like the Crook has, so RAW you'd take the penalty for a net -2.

My own interpretation is that the Dan Bong (and the Crook) are weapons you can grapple with as opposed to the grapple weapon special ability which triggers on a critical.
So you'd apply any weapon bonus/penalty (like nonproficiency), will not suffer from missing hands, and can use it to pin foes if you'd like.


Chell Raighn wrote:
2) when you wildshape into your major form these benefits are applied automatically. If the creature has claws it applied to their claws all the time. If the creature does not have claws you pick up to 2 of their natural weapons and apply the benefits to them for the duration of the wildshape. You don’t get to choose if it applies, the benefits apply at all times when using your major form. In effect your claws are extended.

Okay this here is what went wrong. "Extending" your claws is specifically referring to the swift action when you gain two claw attacks. The term has nothing to do with paragraph 3 and using the term like that invites misunderstandings.

But as long as we agree the Weretouched is the only Shifter that can [gain two extra natural attacks] from Shifter Claws while in their hybrid form, that's ok.


The sentence you're speaking of is referring to the paragraph directly before that which details how the Shifter Claws ignore certain DR at certain levels. What it says is that a Shifter that enters their Major Form will ignore DR/Cold Iron, DR/magic, and DR/Silver. And at level 19 you ignore DR/adamantine and DR/—.

Nowhere does it state that you get the benefit of your Shifter Claws while in a Major Form. Or that your Major Form does. It states that your natural attacks gain the same benefits [as those just described]. Which if you've read paragraph two should be obvious what they're referring to.

Even if your natural attacks did get the ability to extend Shifter Claws, it wouldn't do anything because they're not creatures and doesn't have actions. I'm honestly shook that you interpreted the ability this way.

Shifter Claws (Su):
At will, a shifter in her natural form can extend her claws as a swift action to use as a weapon. This magical transformation is fueled as much by the shifter's faith in the natural world as it is by inborn talent. The claws on each hand can be used as a primary natural attack, dealing 1d4 points of piercing and slashing damage (1d3 if she is Small). If she uses one of her claw attacks in concert with a weapon held in the other hand, the claw acts as a secondary natural attack instead.

As the shifter gains levels, the power of her claws increases. At 3rd level, her claws ignore DR/cold iron, DR/magic, and DR/silver. At 7th level, her claw damage increases to 1d6 (1d4 if Small). At 11th level, her claw damage increases to 1d8 (1d6 if Small). At 13th level, her claw damage increases to 1d10 (1d8 if Small). At 17th level, the damage die does not increase, but the critical multiplier becomes ×3. Lastly, at 19th level, the claws ignore DR/adamantine and DR/—.

While a shifter uses wild shape to assume her aspect's major form, her natural attacks gain the same benefits granted by her shifter claws ability. If the form she takes has claw attacks, she can use either the base damage of her shifter claws or the damage of the form's claws, whichever is greater. If the form does not have claw attacks, she can choose up to two natural attacks that would deal less damage than her shifter claw damage and have those attacks instead deal the same damage as her shifter claws.


Chell Raighn wrote:
lycanthropic wild shape in all honesty doesn’t provide any major benefit over vanilla shifters wildshape other than retaining access to all equipment.

The benefits of Lycanthropic Wild Shape includes using wands, having thumbs, climbing ladders, speaking with allies, using a shield and armor, having the option to wield weapons, activating your boots of speed, riding a mount, not being hosed as a Dex build, etc etc.

I can't tell exactly what you mean by "retract your shifter claws" or how you came to that conclusion, but the text is quite clear. A normal shifter can only extend their claws while "in her natural form" and a Weretouched explicitly "counts as being in her natural form for the purpose of determining whether she can extend her shifter claws".

So if you had the Bat aspect you'd normally get just a Bite attack when you use your Major Form and be unable to extend your shifter claws. As a Weretouched you can do so for a total of three natural attacks instead of just the bite.


This also depends on how intelligent the enemies are. Smart enemies don't usually walk up to the party TWF blender and let themselves get shredded. And smart enemies realize that attacking once and disengaging while risking an AoO is way better than certain death.

===

Chell Raighn wrote:
This sort of experience is exactly why every melee character I’ve made has either focused on standard action attack abilities or had some way to combine a full movement with a full attack (pounce, rolling flurry, circling mongoose, mobile fighter’s rapid attack)… speaking of… I’ve seen numerous posts claiming that pounce is easy to get… I have to ask… How? It has been my experience that pounce is very difficult to get access to…

Dunno about those claiming pounce is easy to get, don't think I've seen that. It's way easier to secure swift action attacks and AoOs. They also fare much better than normal builds while moving for obvious reasons.

I wouldn't place Circling Mongoose in that list of yours, though. It doesn't help you move toward an enemy and attack which is the real issue, and prevents 5-ft stepping as it is movement. So relying on Circling Mongoose means that you're actually even more limited in who you can target than normal.


Assuming you go for a pouncing aspect, Brawler is a bit of a waste since you have no use for Flurry or scaling unarmed damage. And excluding some Horn of the Criosphinx/Ascetic Style/Martial Versatility jank, you lack good ways to add damage as well.

Among the full-BAB options I'd say Samurai/Cavalier can work well. Four levels of Shifter is exactly enough for Boon Companion to get you on track, and the Challenge is a good source of damage.
Barbarian would, as you've realized, suit Shifter. Bloodrager is a bit worse off since you want to pump your Wisdom as a Shifter. Same reason why Pally won't suit you.
Slayer/Ranger/Fighter aren't especially bad or good, imo. They will serve you fine.

I think Derklord has named the Warpriest a couple of times in previous threads, and I agree with that. Swift-action casting that won't interfere with your pouncing, bonus combat feats to offset the relative poor levels of Shifter, and Wisdom synergy.
The downside is that Sacred Weapon isn't really all that good when it's delayed by four levels and split over 3-4 different types of natural attacks. It's worth switching it out with an archetype.

Dumber ideas would be a Spiritualist with Phantom Ally as a Weretouched Shifter with the Elephant Aspect. Then you can act as your Phantom's mount (and benefit from feats such as Mounted Combat) even if you're size small, like some horrifying ghostly bear-on-a-tricycle circus trick.


@AwesomenessDog

It's incredible that you've (allegedly) spent so much time playing Pathfinder, according to G), and yet every post you've made in this thread made me mistake you for someone new to the system. And someone who has a troubled relationship with math.

One: The UnRogue came with UnRogue Talents. You can see them on Archives. Just as with the UnBarb, you use the unchained talents exclusively if you choose to play the unchained rogue.

Two: If you expect to actually perform feint attempts regularly, which you should if you've invested so much in it, then three extra feint rolls per day are nowhere enough. It's extremely disingenuous to use this very limited resource as the baseline in your calculations. Which you did.

Three: Your overestimation of Weapon Focus is quaint. This with the apparent ignorance of not knowing how the Feint DC is calculated, the "one sneak attack per round" sentiment, the unfamiliarity with basic DPR calculations, and just general missteps makes me doubt you actually are experienced with the system. I simply don't believe you.

Four: You're telling me to go back and reread? Alright.
We're starting off with you making wild claims about the success rate of feints with nothing to back it up. This was disproved. Especially now with the actual feint values supplied.

Then when you realized this wasn't the case you pivoted into how feinting in place of an attack would break the game. (Nowhere was it ever implied or suggested that this change would give the benefit of Greater Feint.) Again, you did not back up your claim and I had to do your homework for you. Which proved that replacing an attack isn't actually all that strong.

To this you made your own calculations based on faulty and biased assumptions, but still actually just ended up proving yourself wrong in that there wasn't any huge difference in DPR even with all that. So you immediately tried the angle of "the rogue should deal much less damage even when optimized because it has more skill ranks".

And when I showed how that was a ridiculous sentiment, you're now trying to make the conversation about pre-2012 content when we've been talking about the UnRogue released in 2015.

===

In brief. You are an exhausting person whose opinion I do not respect because of your incessant moving of goal posts and very evident lack of system knowledge. This has been a lot of wasted time and I hope we never do this again.


@willuwontu

Nice! That feint table is very handy to have. I'll be sure to refer to it in the future. Looks like my earlier calculation wasn't too far from the truth.


Ranger, no doubt. Most of the core 9th level casters are bereft of class features except their spell list and can be pretty boring. But the Ranger is overshadowed by the Slayer and Hunter, to the point that when people ask about advice for a Ranger the common sentiment is "what about this other class instead?"


AwesomenessDog wrote:
So with stuff published up to 2012, not only have we shown how Rogue if given free reign is still better, its more better when left to its job of trash cleaning, but the rogue is better as the class not designed exclusively for fighting.

You've shown that an unoptimized fighter is effectively on par with your optimized rogue. That's not the great "got yah!" you think it is. And with real feint values the fighter is better. You've also completely forgotten that you don't always get to full-attack. And that the rogue can only focus one target at a time, so the fighter is better cleaning trash because they waste less damage.

AwesomenessDog wrote:
So, I'll ask again, what is your point? We take away the requirement for a rogue to spend these feats to get to the point it is at, as you are suggesting, and this just becomes what virtually any rogue can regularly do in virtually every situation. A rogue should not have a chance of getting this close to a Fighter's fighting potential a majority of the time, just like a fighter shouldn't come close to the rogue's out of combat utility.

Turns out, classes in pathfinder are actually designed around combat. The rogue was given Sneak Attack because they're supposed to use it in combat. An unreliable combat drug that's meant to eclipse the reliable fighter when you set up everything. The idea that the rogue shouldn't deal comparable damage is laughable. Another example would be the Ranger or Slayer. Both have loads more skill ranks than the Fighter (and better saves), but you wouldn't bat an eye if they deal comparable damage.

As for what I'm suggesting, which you haven't actually asked me about thank you very much, I would do this:

(New) Improved Feint:
Benefit: You may combine a move action to move with a feint attempt. In addition, you gain a +2 bonus on checks to feint an opponent. You also receive a +2 bonus to resist feint attempts.

Special: This benefit may be used with Spring Attack and similar abilities.

Normal: A Feint is either a move action or in place of an attack.

(New) Greater Feint:
Benefit: Whenever you use feint to cause an opponent to lose his Dexterity bonus, he loses that bonus until the beginning of your next turn, in addition to losing his Dexterity bonus against your next attack. You gain an additional +2 on checks to feint an opponent and to resist a feint attempt. Finally, you may feint opponents lacking an intelligence score but take the -8 penalty as if the enemy was of animal intelligence.


AwesomenessDog. Instead of being so confrontational you could have let me answer your objections first. You're just muddying the waters by spewing so much word vomit.

Answers:
It's standard to give the TWF builds one less enhancement bonus because of how the costs scales.
The dagger is a good versatile weapon with two damage types and can be thrown. I didn't take Knife Master because I'm not optimizing the fighter in the slightest.
Obviously I am using the exact same table you're using, which is the base for the Bench-Pressing blog, which is praxis for all DPR calculations and the assumption unless told otherwise.
Not counting critical hits is favoring the Rogue because 70% of your damage is precision and not multiplied on a crit. The dmg increase in percentage is higher for the Fighter than the Rogue.

I'd answer the rest but it just devolved into rambling.

AwesomenessDog wrote:
But let's do some at least halfway baked clown math to really show how wrong who's assumptions are:

Your Feint DC assumptions are heavily skewed in your favor. The previous DC I showed for CR 5 creatures was DC 22. Which is the same you've assigned a CR 8 creature. And you're seriously using a twice/day reroll ability as the baseline? Very biased. Not to mention that Honeyed Words isn't an UnRogue talent and not a legal choice.

Your actual feint % would be in the ball park of 75, 65, and 45 but you've put them as 99, 96, and 84.

And the entire reason why I used the bare minimum unoptimized Fighter, was because I didn't want a pissing contest about whose optimized build is better than whose. Min-maxing your rogue and putting it up against a fighter you've spent 10 seconds assembling isn't fair.

For absolute starters, you don't take Weapon Specialization on a 2H build and Weapon Focus has never been good. Go on, give the Fighter the Mutation Warrior archetype (to reflect the Rogue having Knife Master) and some Boots of Speed instead of their Gloves of Dueling. Then maybe build for Hurtful with all the feats you have, and you'll see it outclass the Rogue real quick.

But such a comparison wouldn't make you agree with me because then the focus moves to the optimization aspect.


I can see some advantages with a Str duelist build, but most of the time Dex will be better. Being feat starved edges you towards Strength, as does wanting the advantage of being able to switch grip for extra damage.

You could for example make a Crane Wing/Stylish Riposte (from One-Handed weapon tricks) build that attacks during their turn with 1.5x Str and PA, but switches to a one-handed stance when you're done to benefit from the feats since they're most useful out of turn.

If you used an Estoc you could even use feats exclusive to one-handed and two-handed weapons depending on your grip. Pushing Assault with two hands, Stylish Riposte with one hand.


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AwesomenessDog wrote:
words

Please do yourself a favor and actually compare the real numbers instead of what you imagine the numbers to be. Legitimately, compare a normal fighter with Power Attack and a 2h weapon at lv 8 with the Rogue that gives up their first strike to feint.

Comparison:
I'm giving the UnRogue TWF, Imp TWF, CE (not in use), TWF Feint, Imp TWF Feint, and Skill Focus. Their equipment is two +1 Daggers and a belt of Dex. It would require the same amount of feats if you could replace your attack with a feint already since you need Greater Feint in that case.
The Fighter uses a +2 Greatsword, has Power Attack, a belt of Str, and nothing else.

Full-attacks:
Their average DPR vs a CR 6 foe is 37.8 and 46.2. (Fighter to the left)
Their average DPR vs a CR 8 foe is 32.2 and 43
Their average DPR vs a CR 8 foe when hasted is 56 and 63.8.

I'm assuming that the UnRogue's first strike always connects to trigger Debilitating Injury, and we're ignoring critical hits. Both assumptions favoring the UnRogue.

And this is all relying on that you actually get to full-attack, that the enemy can be feinted, that you succeed on the feint, and that the enemy doesn't have total concealment/immunity to sneak attack.

This is the result. Compared to a fighter that has spent one feat (one, 1) you deal one third more damage in the best case. You've spent more feats than you have available, your entire build, to be better than the bare minimum fighter.


AwesomenessDog wrote:
Is that DC including the -4/-8 for different monster/animal categories?

Yes. Otherwise the data wouldn't provide an accurate assessment if you had to manually modify the values. There are however multiple humanoids among those data points. 29 of them.

AwesomenessDog wrote:
Even if we agree I was intentionally or not exaggerating with "ridiculously"

What a weird way to phrase this. Either you agree, or you don't. Either you intentionally exaggerated, or you didn't. You are speaking about yourself. You know the answers to both hypotheticals.

====

AwesomenessDog wrote:
you're missing the core point that making feint be just a replacement for an individual attack in a full attack breaks a core class feature of 3 (and a half if you count ninja) classes and plenty of archetypes, a spell, and a lot of other incidental class features/abilities.

I didn't want to get into this because it's not relevant to the tread discussion in any way. But it doesn't break anything. The idea that the rogue would be balanced around one sneak attack per round is both antiquated and a consequence of 5e's influence.

Instead of getting riled up over nothing I urge you to actually inspect your molehill. You're a lv 8 Rogue that gives up their most accurate strike to maybe successfully feint and get a damage boost that elevates you from "wet noodle" to "on par". If you manage to actually hit your opponent. And this costs you the equivalent of around 5 feats. Or more.

There are of course ways to make better feint builds but the above was true for a very long time.

Compare this with other options, run the numbers, and you'll see what I mean.


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AwesomenessDog wrote:
*Some* enemies are immune to feinting, some are resistant to anyone who hasn't invested at least moderately, and some will just completely fall for it most if not every time.

Here's some data from CR 5 enemies.

Out of 205 monsters there were 23 immune to feinting.
Among the 182 that can be feinted, the average feint DC was 21,95 and 60.4% of them had a feint DC above or equal to 22.

"Feinting is already ridiculously easy because very few enemies have enough sense motive to matter against someone who has even the slightest investment into bluff (over just max ranks)"

At level 5 you'd be sitting at 8+[Cha mod] to bluff/feint. The 'slightest investment' already includes not dumping charisma and having 13 Int but let's add Skill Focus to that. 11+[Cha mod] barely puts you over the 50% chance of success mark against what you're likely to meet. I don't think it's fair to call it ridiculously easy.


@Mysterious Stranger

I dunno, that "out of position" reasoning seems to contradict both the dictionary definition of a feint and the common idea of a feint. If you feint while boxing or playing basketball it's so that your opponent reacts to the false movement, leaving their guard open. Tricking someone into thinking you're not a threat is something else entirely.

===

@AwesomenessDog

Maybe my real beef with mindless creatures is that thematically speaking they shouldn't even get a Dex bonus to AC. The undead mindless horde is usually depicted as just ignoring any attacks while focusing on their task.

I disagree with your overestimation of Feint (and Sneak Attack). Feinting is far from ridiculously easy since enemies get the better of 10+Sense Motive and 10+BAB+Wis. Additionally, most get what's effectively +4 to this since they're non-humanoids. A quick glance at CR 8 enemies puts the DC at 25+, while max ranks as a rogue with +1 Cha mod gives you a +12 bonus (remember that Dirty Fighting doesn't work so you need 13 Int in addition to all other stats).
And being viewed as a non-combat stat means some monsters have incredibly inflated Sense Motive scores because they're supposed to be socially competent.

Quote:
That completely changes if you can just walk straight into an enemy alone, feint with a full bab attack, then just hammer away on the same first turn with every other attack in sneak attack.

Uh, well, feinting doesn't magically grant the rogue pounce so they're still on par with someone who spent the first turn moving into a flanking position in this scenario.


Related: feinting is impossible against a foe lacking an intelligence score. But it's not called out as being a mind-affecting effect. So you can feint a vampire but you can't feint a skeleton.

I find this super weird.
Not because it should be a mind-affecting effect and the vampire immune, but because if anything a mindless skeleton should be even easier to feint. It should be an auto-success.

Say you've got a shambling skeleton in front of your character. It has a Dex bonus to AC, which it can only have if it reacts to avoid the blow. So the Dex bonus means it is actively trying to dodge your attacks.

As a mindless creature it is actually incapable of determining which one of your attacks is a feint, a fake out. So it will try to dodge every attack, every feint.

...So why is it immune?

Also, feinting is literally a fake attack so you should be able to replace an attack with a feint, like a trip/sunder/disarm, from level 1 without feats.


Derklord wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
And stances doesn't lead to party cohesion through prebuffing as you must still activate a resource limited to rounds per day, making it very improbable that you do so before combat when the rest of the party applies minute/level buffs.
I'm not talking about buffing before you enter a dungeon, I'm talking about a buffing before you kick down the door, or when you see the enemies in the distance. And in those situations, stance rage powers bring the Barbarian more in line with other classes.

Fair enough, but the first one is foolhardy considering that a raging barb can't use stealth and will most likely alert the enemies on the other side of the door. And enemies in the distance is, if you're not undetected (in which case the stealth issue stands), at least in my experience when combat is already underway.

The subset of prebuffing that can be done with stances is so small that I don't think it's a worthwhile distinction to say it will occur outside of combat. And since it won't, it's a hit to your action economy in the large majority of cases. ...which isn't an entirely bad thing if the rage powers in that category deserved that treatment. CaGM does, though.

===

Derklord wrote:
Nope, I'm not forgetting anything. Superstition, Reckless Abandon, and CaGM are easily the most recommended rage powers apart from Greater Beast Totem, as their upsides way overshadow their downsides. Also, the downside of Superstition is "if you roll high on Init, you have to delay until after the guy who casts Haste". Oh no, what a nightmare!

You're a smart fellow. Do you suppose that there may be a correlation between the idea that the Barb is a glass cannon and that people keep recommending options that trade out defense for offense? The reason you're struggling to challenge but not randomly kill the barb is because their build is extremely volatile and poorly made. This is an issue with the sum of the player's choices, not the choices themselves. I wouldn't ban Risky Striker even though it leads to the same issue.

Re Superstition. You must delay, yes. But you're also swearing off all the flexibility of responding to the situation with ally spells. For example, an ally wants to cast Fly on you when the boss starts hovering above your reach. Or Liberating Command.

And an anecdote about Superstition. After a fight our Barb was barely standing and made some pointed comments about maybe needing a little healing. They just wouldn't stop making their saves. It took five entire rounds to heal them above the instant death range and it only worked because we had them unequip their Cloak of Resistance and demoralized them for the Shaken penalty.


Derklord wrote:
The stance rage powers make a lot of sense form a balancing and design viewpoint. Since all of the stances except for Taunting Stance are merely numerical benefits, letting players easily get multiple of those would make for a very boring character. I understand having to activate a rage power can sometimes feel frustrating, but it brings Barbarian more in line with party members if the group knows to expect a fight (i.e. the Barb is not the only party member that has no way to prebuff, something that can feel frustrating, too, and is problematic for inner-party balance).

The idea behind it is sound, but my criticism is that they've created an issue where there was none and then solved it. Taking both Accurate and Reckless at the same time would be too good, but Accurate didn't exist before they made that addition. So you're making a single choice that depends entirely on if you've got access to Inspire courage or not. The other stances, except CaGM, aren't actual contenders.

And stances doesn't lead to party cohesion through prebuffing as you must still activate a resource limited to rounds per day, making it very improbable that you do so before combat when the rest of the party applies minute/level buffs.

===

Re: your grievances with Reckless Abandon, CaGM, and Superstition.

I feel like you're forgetting that all three of those abilities come with very real drawbacks. CaGM + Reckless Abandon (at lv 12) imposes effectively a -8 AC penalty which can turn any Barb into a pincushion real quick, or just get CMB'd down easily. They actively chose to lean into the rocket tag. And Superstition (excluding ragecycling) can be an absolute drag if your party actually want to cast anything on you.

I'm all in favor of once per encounter powers, like Eater of Magic, actually being strong enough to warrant being once per encounter. If you're investing resources into your defenses then you deserve to be tankier.


The Urban archetype, in addition to giving dex raging, also allows you to poach spells known from the Bard/Magus lists where you will find something valuable. Among the 1st level spells you've got Tears to Wine, Moment of Greatness, Silent Image, Floating Disk (with Magic Trick), Obscuring Mist, Unseen Servant, Vanish, etc.
At 2nd level spells we also see Heroism which means you get it a whole spell level lower than normal.

But that's not to say the Bloodrager spells are entirely useless for a ranged build. True Strike will always be a winner, Blade Lash gives you the ability to trip without investment, Cheetah's Sprint is the poor man's dimension door when you need to run, and Protection from Evil is Protection from Evil.

An archetype that is very suited for ranged builds is Id Rager (Hatred). With it you get half your level to damage as a studied target effect which is better with the additional attacks from a bow. You may want to start out with two levels in fighter to kickstart your ranged feats, though.


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Derklord wrote:
unBarb is a much better made class than cBarb, with a higher floor (i.e. better at low optimization levels) and lower ceiling (worse at high optimization levels). It removed the cheezy abuse or Ragecycling, has more rounded defenses, and makes the class play more organic. It's not without flaws (e.g. it no longer has in-class flight), but I would definitely use it and make my players use it, unless they have a really good reason why they want the core version.

unBarb is a kick in the shins when the cBarb is already struggling with an identity crisis since the Skald and Bloodrager encroached on their turf.

The unBarb removes around 50 rage powers compared to the cBarb, changes a couple more, and among them are several powerful and fun options that could have been the cornerstone of your build. A deliberate choice to make the class overall weaker.

The creation of "stances" is a half-baked idea to make all the powerful rage powers incompatible with each other (and ruin the unBarb's action economy), but wasn't given much more thought than that. The only stance rage power that belongs to that category is "Taunting Stance", which is the equivalent of "Come and Get Me". The rest aren't powerful enough to warrant being exclusive.

A 'really good reason' why I'd use the core version is that you shouldn't base your unchained version on the idea of collective punishment. Some players ragecycle and now we must nerf the entire class?

Use the unBarb's rage as its more streamlined but keep the cBarb's rage powers as they are. Then you simply say that "once per rage" rage powers get replenished after a minute of not raging, just like the temp HP. The solution was there the entire time but they had to salt the earth.


Yeup, seems like it.

I'm guessing that the "tentacles" attack represents the squid's attempt to attack with all of their tentacles at once. This is better supported by the monster stat block where the tentacles attack has much larger dmg dice than its bite attack.

Turns out its only the Giant Octopus that gets multiple attacks.


Belafon wrote:
(the assertion that touching yourself with a held spell is a "free action at worst").

Yeah, switching the grip on your weapon is a free action. Do that and the spell discharges. Easy peasy.

@Belafon + Name Violation

Feel free to start a rules thread if you'd like, but the only relevant piece of information is whether or not you can hold the charge.


St0nemender wrote:
But it's not. What you try to do here is basicly making a spell that is inteded to be standard action into a swift action and you do that by mincing words.

I dunno what to tell you. If you don't want to use it then don't. There's hundreds of "exploits" of rules roaming around, holding a touch spell charge is just another. You might as well get upset that using a cone spell from above gives you a better radius, or that wearing shades makes you immune to demoralize.


DeathlessOne wrote:
You experience a strong gust of wind that blows all your arrows back in your direction and they clatter all over the floor below you. The Windwall spell the Shaman had cast in response to the door opening prevents your ranged attacks from being effective. It also looks like they are about to start casting another spell... Roll initiative. [Use spells to help minimize the effects of ranged attacks]

Nitpicking, but you can't ready actions outside of combat as readying is a Special Initiative Action.

That shaman would need to win initiative if they want to act first, just like the rest of the class!


Belafon wrote:
That's some serious linguistic gymnastics.

Thanks

Belafon wrote:
Share Spells wrote:
The wizard may cast a spell with a target of “You” on his familiar (as a touch spell) instead of on himself.
You are using a convoluted chain of reasoning to bypass the words "instead of on himself" in the ability, which are pretty clear.

I thought it was straightforward. But yes, that's exactly what I'm doing: I'm using the rules for touch spells to bypass the need to affect your familiar. If your familiar is lv 3 you can even let it hold onto that spell charge as per Deliver Touch Spells.

All for the 'gamebreaking' benefit of doing with a personal spell what you could already do with any other touch spell buff. Like Displacement and Greater Invisibility.

The reason I have zero qualms about using this trick is because I see no reason why a Personal spell should be worse at self buffing than a Touch spell.


Java Man wrote:
Except the you cannot cast the spell as a touch spell on yourself, only your familiar.

You aren't.

You're casting the spell on your familiar, as a touch spell. The rules say that you 'may' attempt to touch as a free action, not that you must. The spell doesn't cease to function as a touch spell just because you didn't use your free/automatic touch attempt. So you hold the charge.

The spell discharges upon touch, which is different from dissipating. When it discharges (accidentally or not) the spell takes effect if the 'touching creature' is a viable target.

The spell never changes into "target: Familiar only". You remain a viable target.


St0nemender wrote:
As far as i understand it, weapon enchantments will only count for trip attempts if the weapon actually has the trip property. Which means i would potentially miss out on a +5 here.

I think that was the case once, but it's been changed. All weapons apply their enhancement bonus (and other weapon bonuses) to your trip attempts.

Phoebus Alexandros linked a FAQ that links to a Paizo Blog that explains this in detail, but yeah it's hidden quite deep.

Some maneuvers actually need the Trip property to apply the enhancement bonus, Reposition afaik, but not Trip.

St0nemender wrote:
No self-respecting Paladin would ever wear a Horse-Chopper. :-)

Those Goblin paladins are gonna get in a smiting mood if they see this!


St0nemender wrote:
I dont understand what you mean by the familiar holding the charge on the spell. There is nothing in the rules that suggest that a familiar could cast spell on you?

In retrospect, I really should have clarified what I was talking about but the post was getting kinda long.

Holding the charge, part of the 'Touch Spells in Combat' rules. It's when you hold the spell charge on a touch spell so that you can still trigger the spell later.
It can be used for both offensive and beneficial spells.

This is relevant for Familiars as they get the 'Share Spells' ability at 1st level which allows you to cast personal spells on them, as a touch spell. So if you target your familiar with Divine Favor, a personal spell, it is possible to hold the charge on it.

When holding the charge, it can either dissipate or discharge. When it discharges, even accidentally, the target is affected by the spell. So if you hold the charge in your hand and just touch yourself, which at worst is a free action, you'd get the benefit of Divine Favor without using a standard action at the start of combat.

So it's a trick to improve your action economy and wouldn't normally work with a personal spell, but because you have a familiar it's possible.

===

The downside is that you must actually hold the charge which requires keeping your hand free. So no opening doors with that hand, and without some specific abilities that means you're not threatening with your polearm before you've gotten a chance to discharge Divine Favor.

...actually Weapon Trick would help there to not lose AoOs at the start of combat by using the Choke Up trick.


Minigiant wrote:
Can the Greater Beast Totem allow me to pounce with weapons other than the claws?

Yep. The nat attack limitation is only for those that get it through that feat path.

Go with the Toothy ART so you begin with a bite attack. Wear a quiver full of arrows. Take Destroyer's Blessing and free-action draw an arrow to sunder as part of your secondary bite attack when you full-attack with your weapon.

Smashing an object:
"Smashing a weapon or shield with a slashing or bludgeoning weapon is accomplished with the sunder combat maneuver. Smashing an object is like sundering a weapon or shield, except that your combat maneuver check is opposed by the object’s AC. Generally, you can smash an object only with a bludgeoning or slashing weapon."

Eating the arrow counts as a sunder maneuver, which only provokes from the target of the maneuver, which is yourself. So you can snack on arrows when threatened without issue.

This solves your lower rage rounds issue.

===

As a half-orc, I'd capitalize on the human FCB which improves Superstition.
If you're okay with rage cycling then you should follow the path to Eater of Magic, then top off with Strength Surge, Savage Dirty Trick, and Unexpected Strike.

===

If you're expecting to fight a lot of Giants then I'd take full advantage of that. Dip one level into Reliquarian Occultist for Legacy Weapon and the Luck Domain (see if you can start with 14 wis).
You can hold the charge on Bit of Luck to get the roll every d20 twice effect without wasting a standard action at the start of combat. Prolong it with another round by wearing the Headband of Fortune's Favor.

Then either rush a Keen weapon (that or Bane with Legacy Weapon) or Improved Critical for Faith's Hunter. It's not entirely set in stone what spell abilities affect SLAs, but since this trait doesn't refer to spell levels or casting in any way I'm very confident it will apply.

So whenever you crit a favored enemy, you prolong the "roll every d20 twice" effect by one round. With a 15-20 weapon when rolling twice you have a 51% chance of scoring a critical threat. Per attack.


MrCharisma wrote:
I also don't think you can call the Warpriest better based solely on the Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain. If it needs that archetype to compete then the class isn't better, it's the archetype propping it up.

Agreed. Comparing the base paladin to the offensively strongest warpriest archetype seems a bit biased. Like comparing Barb with Primalist Bloodrager.

(Coincidentally, I think neither of those archetypes should have been written)

MrCharisma wrote:

Also this is a separate thing, but I do all my Paladin-building with a Weapon Divine Bond. I've never been huge on mounted builds, so I haven't done much with this but it is an option too.

For all of you out there with a Divine Mount, how do you fare generally? Now how do you fare when you can't use your mount?

Obviously in optimal circumstances your Spirited Charge with Smite will 1-shot the boss, but how does it fare in morr usual circumstances?

That's funny, I feel the opposite about Weapon Divine Bond. You've already got Divine Favor on the pally class list (Pearls of Power lasts you an entire day) so using another standard action buff just never looked attractive. Offensively you've got the old boring Spirited Charge, sure. But with a single dip into Sohei you can get Mounted Skirmisher way before level 14 which is a treat on a class with no inherent mobility.

For sneaking your mount in where it doesn't belong there's the Hosteling armor enchant, or a wand of that hunter spell I can't recall. The already existing TP-to-me ability is of course good for this... but just remember to save one use to get your mount out of there.

But the bigger issue is that you're bringing another creature to the frontline whose tank capabilities are way worse than yours. "Kill the general's horse" still holds true, so I recommend the Shining Knight archetype for boosting its saving throws (which also solves the ACP issue) and Passing Grace to make it benefit from your swift-action LoH.

Shared Training is on the Pally spell list which allows the rest of the party to benefit as well. And beyond the action economy, the real draw of Passing Grace is that your Fey Foundling/Tiefling FCB pally can heal others with their supercharged LoH.


St0nemender wrote:

I dont understand some things:

Urban Bloodrager and Blood Conduit Bloodrager are two different archetypes, i cant mix those, can i?

What is bloodline Familiar?

The main reasoning behind Weapon trick was not haft bash, but close sweep.

Phoebus Alexandros got you covered on the archetype stacking and familiar part. Thanks!

===

Close Sweep is useful, and definitely a reason to take Weapon Trick later on if you so choose. But in the meantime you can simply use a close-range weapon like armor spikes or a gauntlet in addition to your polearm, which allows you to trip nearby foes.

Before you ask, two-weapon fighting penalties wouldn't apply to such an attack.

What Close Sweep effectively does is allow you to apply your polearm enhancement bonus to trip attempts within your reach. If you're using a +2 polearm, then compared to a MWK gauntlet, it's just a +1 attack difference.

Later on, when you've bought a better polearm and/or use Divine Bond to increase the enhancement bonus, the difference grows. But before that it's better to just use a gauntlet. So you could take Weapon Trick at lv 9 instead.

===

St0nemender wrote:
The main problem being that the glaive has no trip...

It is possible to add the Trip property to a Glaive through a Tactically Adapted Weapon Modification.

It's not a major concern imo as the Trip property is only good... if you're bad at tripping and often fail by 10.


St0nemender wrote:

We are currently at lvl8 and i want to take a human anyway since i like the +1 skillpoint/lvl.

That being said i was considering starting out with 2 levels of Fighter with Drill Seargent archetype, which gets me 2 bonus feats and 1 teamwork feat.

Oh, I see. I thought you posted a build progression but it was a list of the feats you want.

I propose the following. Get Fey Foundling at lv 1 to boost the absolute most important class feature to being a tanky paladin, Lay on Hands. LoH is even more important than Smite Evil (imo) so you should definitely capitalize on it.

And there is an issue with Shield Brace (for a heavy shield) in that you won't have a hand free for your LoH, so most Pally builds either use a light shield/buckler or no shield at all. (With a light shield/buckler you can shift the grip on your weapon to get a hand free).
So delay Shield Brace until you can dump a lot of cash into it for better value of your feats.

Finally, with how restricted the bonus feats are from Tempered Champion I'd argue that even as feat starved as you are, it would be better to keep your spellcasting.

Right now you're taking Weapon Focus just for the Haft Bash trick, but it's a really awful trick tbh. Since it lowers your dmg/crit profile and suppresses Reach until your next turn, it's actually worse than just equipping a Gauntlet in addition to your polearm. Especially since it imposes a -2 attack penalty.

====

A more slimmed down build would be the following:

Urban, Blood Conduit Bloodrager 1 / (normal) Paladin 7
1 Fey Foundling, Combat Reflexes, Improved Trip (B), Bloodline Familiar
3 Dirty Fighting
5 Additional Traits (Magical Knack, Fate's Favored)
7 Greater Trip

Divine Favor would at this level provide a +3 bonus to Att/Dmg, and thanks to your familiar it's actually possible to hold the charge on it. Saving you a standard action every combat.
Stock up on Pearls of Power and you'll have it up for every fight.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Assuming they've been away from the forums for enough years then the attitude of only wanting an official response isn't too out there.

It's conceited to start a public thread and ask specifically for an official response and errata, but what they're unaware of is that it has also become a ridiculous request.

The last pf1 book was released in what, 2018? We have errata from 2016 that still hasn't made it to the books.
The designers are completely focused on pf2 now, compared to at the start of pf1's lifecycle when they were more involved in the forums.

Here's an answer from 2015 in a thread specifically for asking a designer.
They're treated as arcane.


Phoebus Alexandros wrote:
Shield Focus and Shield Brace assume someone will get adjacent to you. You’re incurring an additional -1 or -2 penalty to hit (until you get a mithril shield) on top of the -2 you’re getting from the Choke Up or Haft Bash weapon tricks, though. So you’re taking as much (if not more) of a penalty ALL the time in exchange for an AC bump you’ll get some of the time—if an enemy gets adjacent to you, or against enemies with reach.

The attack penalty from Shield Brace is a nonissue. MWK drops any Buckler or Light Shield to 0 ACP, while a Darkwood Heavy Shield is just 257 GP. And there would be no point to using Choke Up if you have Shield Brace.

I agree with the old saying that "the best defense is a good offense", but it's very optimistic to think you'll not get hit during combat. Ranged attacks are still a thing, your trips can fail, etc etc.

====

@St0nemender

That's a lot of feats. Are you getting extra feats from somewhere at lv 2 and 6? The archetype only gives you feats at lv 4 and every 4 levels after that.


St0nemender wrote:
starting with close sweep to trip enemies directly adjacent to me, i think that Choke up sounds incredibly cheesy. Therefore my question: Does the Choke Up Weapon trick actually allow me to use my Glaive together with a Shield?

Yes. You suffer a pretty notable -2 att/dmg when using Choke Up, though.

Other options would be Unhindering Shield or Shield Brace.

St0nemender wrote:
as he can select numerous weapon tricks...

Just fyi, you get access to all the Polearm Tricks when you take Weapon Trick: Polearm. Don't know if that was unclear to you.


@Migthypion

Whoops. There must be something about those bloodrager archetypes making people miss stuff...

====

@Heather 540

Yeah, Weretouched is strongly recommended for early level nat attack builds.

There's actually two aspects that gives pounce (Tiger and Deinonychus) but it sounds like you're talking about the dino. One thing you should know is that the alternate shifter claws... are optional. You can always choose to simply get claws instead. Since the Hybrid Form counts as your normal form for the purpose of Shifter Claws, this means that you'll get five primary natural attacks from those 4 levels in weretouched.

Claw/Claw/Talon/Talon/Bite

The Wis focus makes it a poor multiclass with Bloodrager, so I'd go for Barb in that case.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I see the opposite being the real problem. Bracers of Armor are way overpriced which pushes people towards other solutions. That this solution happens to be a spell and very effective at it... is par for the course in pathfinder.

These grievances can also be said for spells such as Mirror Image, Blur, or Displacement. Spells made to boost the survivability of squishy classes but still extremely good for whoever has them on a wand.

Kurald Galain wrote:
However, in the past decade of gameplay, I note that any and all shapeshifter druids, animal companions, and high-dex classes use it to very cheaply add +4 to AC, with no check penalty or max dexterity, all the time.

'

Animal Companions don't even need Light Armor Prof if the ACP is 0 so there's not much difference to barding. Not an issue.
Shapeshifter druids are below the AC curve without it, so that gets a pass. The Wild armor ability overtakes it at higher levels but it is, like the bracers, overpriced for mid level play.
High-dex classes that break the +7 Dex soft cap for armor do benefit the most, and could use a closer look. But in return they swear off magic armor abilities like Fortification. That said, later on they do get overtaken by Bracers either way.

Kurald Galain wrote:
Imho it does make the game less fun if PCs are unhittable or near-unhittable. And pretty much all the "unhittable" builds I've seen at mid level use Mage Armor.

About 90% of all charisma-stacking builds dip a level into Scaled Fist (source: my ass). That doesn't make Scaled Fist unbalanced or particularly stronger than normal monk. It's a player issue, not a content issue. Same with the 5 Str/Cha Goblin with 30 Dex at lv 8.

Kurald Galain wrote:
I'm curious what other people think of this, and how to deal with it? Making it self-only doesn't help because characters can just UMD it. I'm tempted to give it a max dex of +4 and make it block any class abilities that require you to be unarmored; that way arcane casters can still use it as intended, but everybody else it's more in line with other options.

I'd skip the unarmored clause. Unnecessarily harsh towards a very specific subset of builds. You could implement a Max Dex of +8 though, that would place it more in line with light armor options.


@Mightypion

You've made a very common Primalist mistake, which I've also done once. You don't qualify for Extra Rage Power (says so in the ability) so you'd need to replace your 12th level bloodline power unless you want to delay pounce to lv 16.

Also, Rageshaper doesn't increase the dmg dice of your claws afaik. It needs to be a spell granting the natural attacks.


What deity are you considering for the Evangelist PRC?


Unless you want anything specific I'd go with what Ryze Kuja recommends.
I'd settle for just taking Step Up though, if at all, as the feat path is a lot of feats for something quite inconsistent.

Another idea would be to dip a level for Endurance/Diehard so that you qualify for Stalwart early, combined with Crane Style. Maybe as a Savage Technologist so that your AC is kept high as well. This has faster (and better) DR scaling than Invulnerable Rager but requires more feats.

Also, consider the exotic dwarven weapons. A Longhammer has identical stats to the Earth Breaker but reach, and would be a martial weapon as you're a dwarf.

===

A complete shift in character direction would be to make a dwarf Bacchanal Skald focused on Lesser Celestial Healing + Path of Glory + Drunken Brawler.


Yonman wrote:
So, doesn't this mean that the Strangler looses improved unarmed strike Feat in addition to the increased unarmed strike damage progression?

Yes.

Yonman wrote:
Is the damage dice progression for a Brawler part of the Unarmed Strike Class feature?

Yes.

Yonman wrote:
If so, that would mean the Strangler loses out on all increased damage dice as he levels.

Yes.


Yes. You do lose IUS and no longer qualify for Improved Grapple. I recommend stacking Strangler with Verdant Grappler so that you get Imp Grapple as a bonus feat at 2nd level.

Take Dirty Fighting rather than IUS after that. You'll get more mileage out of a Cestus or Armor Spikes than IUS without the scaling dmg.


I can't speak for the designer's intent for the Unchained Barb, but imo it is clear that UnBarb is a deliberate nerf to the CBarb. They look fine side by side if all you're doing is looking at their class tables, but the real difference lies in their Rage Powers.

Few, very few, are changed for the better. Like Superstition now being a competence bonus which is arguably better than morale. But the majority of Rage Powers were nerfed one way or another.

We no longer get Strength Surge. Or Savage Dirty Trick. Or Spell Sunder. or Deathless Frenzy. Etc, etc.
And Eater of Magic no longer allows you to reroll the save, it just gives you temp HP.
Some common rage powers are now grouped into 'Stances' which means they require a move action to enter and are incompatible with each other. Come and Get Me and Reckless Abandon are found here.

In addition, you'll see that a lot of the "once per rage" powers are either removed or changed. Paizo were apparently quite pissed at Rage Cycling but managed to ruin it for everyone else as well. In their quest to prevent anyone from using "once per encounter" powers every round, they turned the powers balanced at "once per encounter" into "once per day". In other words, they turned them into trash.


Lebeaubrun wrote:
I feel like that arcane pet lv boost trick is a case of RAW not following RAI which I feel iffy about. Plus if I was gm id prob remove the heart of the team boost has soon has the familiar lose the ability.

The Eldritch Heritage route wouldn't be temporary, just fyi. Then your familiar would always be at effective level [your level-1]x2. Which is pretty worthless in most cases as all stats are still dependent on the master. The exceptions being if you're trying to get abilities early, or want to super-stack a Mauler familiar as Mauler's Endurance and the STR bonus both scale off master level.

But fair 'nuff. It's a good idea to never bring anything to the table that you wouldn't allow yourself.


Lebeaubrun wrote:
Well the wasp gets imp stats so: DR5 + regen2, +3AC, +1str and a few spells has well has change shape. which is kinda fun.

Your call. But the DR, Fast Healing, and Nat AC disappears if you use change shape/polymorph it. I was under the impression that you would transform it into a stronger form regularly.

Lebeaubrun wrote:
Maybe I should just go for a figment instead of mauler tho so I get evolutions points (and pounce) and dont have to worry about it dying (plus no more need to boost my charisma). imp stats become even more tempting if im not getting any str buff from mauler..

Level 10 Arcanist with 14 Con, +hit points FCB, and Mauler's Endurance:

Figment: 16 HP
Mauler: 53 HP

The problem with Figment is that you're leaning into the issue rather than avoiding it. Now your familiar will take exactly one hit and then go *poof* for the rest of the day. It's a good archetype for a familiar running around giving out buff spells, but not so good if you're trying to make it a combatant.

Lebeaubrun wrote:
Umm that bloodline development thing seems like a weird logical leap, does getting two familiar feat really let you double one familiar effective level? wouldnt it just give you a 2nd familiar instead? Maybe I misunderstood something?

Arcane Bloodline: Arcane Bond:

"At 1st level, you gain an arcane bond, as a wizard equal to your sorcerer level. Your sorcerer levels stack with any wizard levels you possess when determining the powers of your familiar or bonded object."

Edit:

Wew, didn't notice the exploit-specific caveat preventing it from stacking. In that case, you'd need Skill Focus->Eldritch Heritage which would come online a level later. Requires 13 Cha as well.


I think you can skip Wasp Familiar entirely for the following reasons. It's barely a step up (in statistics) from the Fox or a Greensting Scorpion, and while the flight is noteworthy it will disappear whenever you cast a transmutation spell on it.
And on that note, choose a Greensting Scorpion instead of a Fox.

At level 7 you should take the Bloodline Development exploit and choose Arcane-Familiar. This will give your familiar an effective level of 8, but by spending an arcane point it will rise to effective level 14 for exactly one round. Which is enough time for a Mascot familiar to use its Heart of the Team feature. While it may take a full day to add a member to its team, the stat-cloning is instant.

===

If you'd like more alternatives for your polymorphing I'd consider redoing your stat spread to get some more CHA. If you drop DEX to 14+2 you can raise CHA to 11, which means you'd qualify for Evolved Familiar if you buy one of those stat booster Ioun Stones for 8000.

As Evolved Familiar is a feat your familiar would not lose Pounce even if transformed (as long as its a quadruped form) which allows you to mix-n-match for better forms. Rather than always looking at Pounce forms.


Lebeaubrun wrote:
Reason I get metamagic is a big worry for cash since I know this gm is pretty stingy and doesnt really follow the recommendations.

In that case I'd try to squeeze in Craft Wondrous Items, and ask the Investigator to take Harvest Parts (so that you share the burden).

===

A bit high-level (unless you stack familiar levels) but I'd keep an eye on the Mascot archetype at around lv 13. Your party makeup isn't perfectly suited for it as you'd normally want to steal the stats from a full BAB d10 class but it can work.

If your GM includes NPCs of higher CR/level around you it should be quite easy to emulate a really strong statblock. Something like a dragon would be perfect (d12, full BAB, all good saves, lots of skills) and usually means the familiar's HP gets way more bloated than if you'd just stick with Mauler's Endurance.

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