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Only that if you are suggesting half orc ranger, also suggest the racial feat Keen Scent. Not only is it an extremely powerful feat (especially for a ranger), it will give him an ability no other party member without that feat can match or duplicate, even if they are also playing martial types.

Ranger with Natural Weapons style and Aspect of the Beast feat?

You could flip the script. Maybe it's not about the dark-adapted races raiding/attacking the Shard Realms. Maybe it's the other way round. If most of the world is Darkened, then that's where most of the resources are. What are the odds that each and every Shard-lit area is completely self-sufficient? Maybe after the former Underdark races moved in to abandoned territory, they understandably didn't feel like sharing their new mines and allowing their rivers and streams to be diverted for Shard-lit agriculture. Maybe any attacks on the lighted areas are simple retribution for what they see as attacks on them.

Moreover, the people living in those lighted areas are probably not going to give up on the idea they still "rightfully" own the dark areas they once lived in, which still contain many or most of the necessities of life. At the very, very least, they'd still need to trade with the Darkworlders, even if they weren't raiding. They couldn't afford to pretend they didn't matter or exist, the way most surface worlders used to pretend about the subterranean races. I would not be surprised if dwarves suddenly became much more prominent, what with their combination of darkvision, combat ability, and business sense (yes, yes, I know #NotAllDwarves). At the same time, with so much new territory opening up to them, races like the drow would have less internal pressures. I'm not saying they'd all turn good or neutral, but when everything you need is simply there for the taking and there's plenty of new room to escape a hostile society, I bet there would be some breakaway groups.

Anyway, interesting premise. It'd be cool to hear what you do with it.

Intimidate builds. PF1Ed has utterly broken intimidate rules. No save, the DC doesn't scale remotely fast enough, and there are easy ways to increase the fear level past shaken. The most frustrating character of this type I ever saw was a PC whose player utterly refused to even roleplay the fact he was scary. He wanted to be able to make the party's enemies run away by hitting them with Cornugon Smash (for generally unimpressive damage), but insisted against the evidence that he was playing a "nice guy" who no one could find at all threatening. If he hit, the only suspense was in finding out how many rounds the enemy was out of commission, not whether they would be (undead and constructs aside, of course).

Use those monster special abilities, and ignore the AP whenever it has the monsters acting really dumb. Maybe 4 PCs need a break now and then. 6 PCs do not. If the monsters have Power Attack and are using a one-handed weapon with nothing in their other hand, have them attack two-handed for the extra damage (or give them a tower shield, at least). Give the bad guys guard beasts with scent so they're not as easily surprised (speaking of which, don't forget the increased sensory range of the few dragons in the AP, who should never be surprised by anything short of mass teleport into attack range). If monsters know the party is near, readied actions can prevent the party winning initiative and DPSing them down before they get off a single attack. Don't let the party get away with the 15 minute adventuring day. If they stop to rest too often, let some of the areas they "cleared" become UNcleared. And, by Desna's bright stars, never EVER let them fight a flying dragon or air-walking rune giant on the ground. Those creatures have ranged attacks and reach for a reason.

At least theoretically, once the Runeforge has been opened and Karzoug has been dealt with the knowledge of the old magics could have re-entered the world in several different ways.

I am currently playing a Thassilonian wizard in a Shattered Star campaign who was one of many people rescued from the Runeforge by the PCs in my gaming group's previous Rise of the Runelords campaign. He had spent millennia as one of several polymorphed goldfish in a fountain in that timeless place.

My GM ruled that the physical transmutation was permanent, both because of the "natural decay or spoilage" language and to avoid drinkers ending up with stomachs full of blood or sewage or acid or whatever at end of spell duration, which is clearly not the spell intent. However, my GM also ruled that the spell effect was so strong and the buff so good (at higher levels) that only the first person drinking of the wine within the spell duration gets the buff effect (for the remainder of the duration), after which the rest of the wine becomes nonmagical. This is obviously a house rule, but it seemed reasonable to me, as a strong buff that could effect hundreds seems overpowered for a spell of this level.

Who is to say that "With this Sword" is not appropriate? He has ridiculous wealth even without that glaive. Would saying it was a capstone item really be short-changing him?

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Dasrak wrote:


Multimorph: 2/5 if you like polymorph spells it's pretty good, but polymorph spells are pretty niche for wizards...

No argument here, but as an aside, if that niche is one you want to roleplay, then Multimorph with Improved Eldritch Heritage (shapechanger bloodline) is a definitely a good way to go, as Multimorph combined with the bloodline power Mutable Flesh is a beautiful thing.

Mutable Flesh (Su) At 3rd level, once per day when you cast a transmutation spell with a duration of 1 minute per level that affects only you, you can increase its duration to 10 minutes per level. At 9th level, you can increase the duration to 1 hour per level.

In mountainous terrain there is the avalanche trap and the "catch the party with flying critters halfway up a cliff face" situation (flat-footed from climbing and no bows or two handed melee weapons) and the "giant(s) trying to bull rush PCs off the trail and over a cliff" situation (I ran that once where the giants jumped from the cliff above and a giant adept cast Feather Fall just before they landed on the trail. Instant brawl from nowhere and fun times.

Named Bullet can be cast well ahead of any encounters on any arrows/bolts/bullets the allies might be using (although it's kinda wasted on bolts). Shared Training is only a 2nd level spell and also can be cast well ahead of time to give multiple allies access to multiple teamwork feats. Blistering Invective requires only an easily pumped skill check and allows no save (if they have a paladin, combine it with Draconic Malice to eliminate immunity to fear). The initial damage is relatively trivial, but mass shaken condition plus catching your enemies on fire is not. Hidden Presence can be super fun if you can overcome their Will saves, as is Shadowmind. Inquisitors can be combat beasts, but if you are going for a spellcaster, make him a buffer/debuffer over a straight damager.

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I currently play in a party of three that is on book 6 of Carrion Crown. Aasimar Oracle/Soul Warden (life mystery, blackened curse), half-elf paladin of Sarenrae (undead scourge), and human witch (with a nervous giggle tic that doubles as cackle in combat). My Oracle also carries and frequently talks to the polished and enchanted skull of the witch PC's first character, a Samsaran sorcerer lost early on in Book 2. It has been made into an "Orb" of Golden Heaven.

All of us have maxed ranks in Perform (Sing) because our self identity is that we are a singing troupe that does a little light adventuring on the side. We prefer to draw masses of enemies to us via loud, annoying, and coordinated song than go looking for them one by one. Favorites include "Walking on Sunshine," "Lil Red Riding Hood," and "We are the Champions."

The paladin tanks (with the oracle occasionally stepping up), and the oracle and witch buff/debuff. If it's undead we face, they might be pushed/pulled en masse through Walls of Fire or Walls of Silver via Improved Channel Force. The witch throws Misfortune hexes everywhere.

The GM increases numbers faced and maxes enemy hit points, but as the paladin frequently observes, "Bards exaggerate. This adventuring gig just isn't that hard."

Anyone with the ability to cast Named Bullet or use a wand of same.

Named Bullet wrote:

Named Bullet

School divination; Level inquisitor 4, ranger 3, sorcerer/wizard 4, witch 4


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (an item from the selected creature or creature type)


Range touch
Target one piece of ammunition or one thrown weapon
Duration 10 minutes/level or until discharged
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless, object); Spell Resistance yes (harmless, object)


You imbue the target with deadly accuracy against a selected creature type (and subtype for humanoids or outsiders) or a specific creature you know and can name. When used against the selected creature, the ammunition never misfires and is unaffected by concealment (but not total concealment), and at a range of 30 feet or less, the attack targets the selected creature’s touch AC. When the target hits the selected creature, you must overcome that creature’s spell resistance, or this spell has no effect. A normal hit scored using the target against the selected creature is considered to be a critical threat and deals 1 extra point of damage per caster level (maximum 20), which is not multiplied on a critical hit. A natural critical hit deals the same extra damage, but that damage is multiplied due to the critical.

Once the target is used to attack the selected creature, successfully or not, this spell is discharged.

Tick swarm (CR9) or fiendish tick swarm (CR10)

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8 days normally, or 4 days if you fast craft, but that raises the crafting DC by 5.

I guess I wasn't clear in my last question. If we replaced the word "feat" with "talent" in your last post, why would that not be true?

Wouldn't that same logic imply that individual talents themselves do not count as class abilities, despite the fact that--at least in some cases--only slayers may take them?

Hm. Okay, I can see that yours may be the correct interpretation. Just checking, though: would you ALSO say that the Endurance feat and the combat style feats that rangers get outside the normal odd level feat progression (or Scribe Scroll for wizards or Eschew Components for sorcerers) do not count as class abilities? I was under the impression that the extra fighter feats WERE the greater part of a fighter's class abilities.

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This question may have been previously addressed, but if so I haven't seen it.

A slayer's studied target bonus increases the DCs of slayer class abilities by one for each point of bonus. I feel safe in assuming that slayer talents with DCs (e.g., Assassinate) count as class abilities, but what about combat feats gained via slayer talents that also have associated save DCs (e.g., Blinding Critical)?

Animate Dreams, created by the tortured subconscious of the by now hopelessly insane dwarf. Also, or alternatively, multiple kastamut inevitables (as a bonus, they look like metallic dwarves) who were bound or showed up on their own to prevent the demon's release and therefore see the party as probable enemies.

You could go Barbarian/Brawler to get Weapon Specialization. It would take just as many levels to go Barbarian/Fighter, of course, but Brawler might work better with some character concepts.

Awwww. Well, heck. Would have still been a possibly worthwhile bonus at +1/3, but 1/6 is just insulting. I'll keep the PC, but favored class bonus is definitely going to change.

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It's campaign specific, but in Carrion Crown I'm currently playing an aasimar Oracle of Pharasma (Life mystery) who has the channeling revelation, is taking the aasimar-only channeling feats, and gets the favored class bonus that gives him an extra +1/2 effective channeling level per class level. He also has the Blackened curse, which will soon allow him to create Walls of Fire that his channeling feats will be able to blast or pull undead into. He's pretty fun.

The fact that there is such an insane number of threads on this and the devs have never (to my knowledge) weighed in with any indication that they had any intention of allowing ranged flanking bonuses or ranged flanking sneak attacks seems a fairly decent indication to me that they didn't mean to do so. A pity, I think, but there it is.

That said, the Gang Up feat FAQ really isn't the be-all and end-all of this debate. I belive that particular question was answered before it was even possible to legally threaten with a ranged weapon. The Snap Shot, Improved Snap Shot, and Point Blank Master feats came out after 2010. It's unreasonable to expect a ruling to cover things that aren't possible at the time the ruling is made.

There were not a lot of trees in any part of Vaasa any of my characters ever got to see, so there isn't likely to be a lot of wooden buildings. Theoretically, you could have a city made of yurts, but the players might not want to stick around and building security becomes a serious issue in an evil city. I guess it could be mostly stone, but Vaasa might not have the population base for quarries. So that leaves using ice, maybe with mammoth bone struts/bracing. Actually, you could have carved animal bone and horn in place of lots of things normally fashioned from wood. Two of the largest buildings in town might be a temple to Loviatar (to contrast with the following of Loviatar's rival Ilmater in Damara) fashioned from black ice treated with the Hardening spell and a stone public bath house connected to geothermal springs that is commonly used as a neutral meeting spot to conduct business.

I dunno, just a few thoughts trying to set the place apart visually from other places your PCs have visited.

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If wizards were given access to cure spells, it would not be a power-up. What, use their precious spell slots to restore (not buff, but restore) other PCs to factory mint condition AFTER they have taken damage? They've got far better things to do! Or at least they ought to. Any wizard in a party of normal size who wanted the ability to heal others would want it for role-playing reasons, not because healing would represent a pathway to increased power. That's one reason Pathfinder gave clerics the ability to channel healing energy in addition to spells--they were trying to do away with the idea that clerical spellpower was best used as handing out bandaids. Even bards have better things to do with their spell slots in and out of combat than heal, unless no one else is in a position to do so. But as to why they have the ability in the first place, bards started out way back when (before 2nd Ed AD&D) as the first and prototypical prestige class (before the term even existed, in fact), a PrC that required them to work through levels in fighter, thief, and druid before they got any levels in bard, so they always did have the ability to heal and there's never been any game balance reason to take that away from them.

I don't know if his is still a permitted use of the spell, but Rope Trick has been used for several past editions as one slightly awkward way to bypass a door or relatively thin wall. If the spell is cast immediately adjacent to a vertical surface then the opening at the top (which enters the extradimensional hideyhole) can be placed so that it appears on both sides of the barrier.

As an aside, the enchantment has only shown up twice in the game I run, on weapons in the hands of NPCs. When the PCs asked what they knew about it, those with decent rolls in knowledge: arcana were told it was called the hellfire enchantment, a flame that burns only the life force. The nomenclature change did nothing to alter the power of the enchantment, but it did help to avoid the light saber connotations.

Kryptik wrote:
Zog of Deadwood wrote:
It seems as if this tactic would be substantially less useful with judicious use of Magic Aura and Phantom Trap spells.
Yeah, except for the fact that a section of wall or floor doesn't really qualify as an "item."

Depends. A door or flagstone could easily fit within the 5lbs/caster level of the Magic Aura spell. Same goes for a carpet. And even on a seemingly seamless cavern or tunnel floor who is to say that some sections are not actually thin plates of separate material? Especially if those plates are magicked to blend in?

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Oh, and don't forget to occasionally add an illusion masking a real, but invisible danger. They can disbelieve the illusion of the pit, but that won't help much if the illusion covers a true pit trap that hasn't yet revealed itself (optional: mocking laughter from a magic mouth spell when the pit trap is activated).

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It seems as if this tactic would be substantially less useful with judicious use of Magic Aura and Phantom Trap spells.

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Geas doesn't remove free will the way Dominate Person does. An affected target of this spell can choose not to obey and take the penalties to stats over time. The penalties cannot directly kill you, and don't kick in quickly, so the spell is useless in combat except against the most selfish of PCs in situations in which a geas is not likely to be removed.

Calybos1 wrote:

This was more of a player problem than a character one, because every character this guy made was essentially the same character: a sullen, standoffish thug who bulked up in one particular fighting specialty (depending on the system it could be armor, super-strength, grappling, an all-encompassing smite, etc.).

Then, whenever we encountered a situation not specifically attuned to his specialty--roleplaying, for example--, he'd sit on the sidelines and complain that "there's nothing I can do. This sucks." In PFS, he made an armor tank with these exact same characteristics. If anybody hit him with a spell or touch attack, he'd howl and say "Oh, so my armor's worthless. Thanks a lot."

Oh, and he made sure never to tell the other PCs (or players) anything he saw or learned. Or what he was planning to do, in or out of combat. The same character, over and over and over again....

You must live near Sacramento, because that guy is in my gaming group too. You left out the constant inappropriate come-ons to female PCs and NPCs, though.

MurphysParadox wrote:

1) Yes, since one of the spells to gain access to the class (command undead) is a wizard/sorcerer only spell.

2) "Soul warden levels stack with levels in any class that grants channel energy for the purpose of determining the number of damage dice his channel energy ability deals to undead (if any)." That's the only part that stacks. So you have two sets of uses per day; one from the Cleric levels and one from the Soul Warden levels. So your cleric levels make this feature of the Soul Warden more powerful, but Soul Warden levels do not improve the Cleric's Channel Energy in any way.

3) I'd say no. Necromancers don't really get channel energy, the class feature, they get specific bonus feats and count, for only the chosen feat, as being able to channel because it is required to use the feat. However, it is a semantics argument, so there is no 100% clear answer.

Regarding 2) and 3) above, I started with a few points of divergence from your conclusions. After thinking it over, I still do, but not the same ones I started with.

Here is the text of the wizard necromancer's Power Over Undead ability:

CRB wrote:
You receive Command Undead or Turn Undead as a bonus feat. You can channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier, but only to use the selected feat. You can take other feats to add to this ability, such as Extra Channel and Improved Channel, but not feats that alter this ability, such as Elemental Channel and Alignment Channel. The DC to save against these feats is equal to 10 + 1/2 your wizard level + your Charisma modifier. At 20th level, undead cannot add their channel resistance to the save against this ability.

Here is the full text of the Soul Warden Channel Damage ability:

Soul Warden wrote:
At 1st level, a soul warden gains the power to harm undead with positive energy. This ability functions exactly like a cleric's ability to channel positive energy to deal damage to undead (but not to heal living creatures), and counts as channel energy for the purposes of qualifying for feats or determining effects that rely on channel energy. A soul warden uses his class level as his effective cleric level when channeling damage. He can channel damage a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. Soul warden levels stack with levels in any class that grants channel energy for the purpose of determining the number of damage dice his channel energy ability deals to undead (if any).

Now, the necromancer's channeling ability is extremely circumscribed, but there is no denying that he does have it. It's right there in the description. I originally believed that this meant they would count for damage purposes. As far as that goes, I still think they should. There is already a feat, Channeling Scourge, allowing multi-classed cleric/inquisitors to count their inquisitor levels as cleric levels for the purpose of channeling when dealing damage. A necromancer specialist, far more invested in necromantic power than most inquisitors, who has chosen the option of channeling positive energy and thus forgone the ability to Command Undead (vastly more powerful and long-lasting than Turn Undead) really should get something for that sacrifice.

Sadly, I now realize that, by RAW, they do not, even if that was the intent. Wizard necromancer levels stack with Soul Warden levels when channeling for damage, but it nowhere says they count as either Soul Warden levels or as cleric levels, so the only good they get of being necromancers is being able to channel for damage using the channels they receive as a necromancer specialist, counting damage only from the dice they get from Soul Warden. Pretty lame. It's very slightly better than any other wizard who became a Soul Warden, at least when killing skeletons and zombies, but a wizard at mid-to-high levels shouldn't even be thinking about such trivial opponents.

Of course, the primary utility of Channel Damage is not actually using it to damage, but instead to get nifty spells that don't take up a spell slot. That would be true even if necromancer levels did add to channeling damage, but it's the principle of the thing.

I cannot give official answers, but here is what I think:

  • From a RAI standpoint, it seems very clear from the abilities, background fluff, and even the illustration that this PrC was designed for wizards and to be an optimal option for non-evil necromancer wizards. Fortunately, from a RAW standpoint the text in the sentence you noted does not actually debar that option, even though, like you, I think the word divine was included in error (maybe cut and pasted from another PrC). Nowhere is it claimed that divine spell casting is a prerequisite, and that sentence does not actually state that Soul Warden levels increase divine casting. Rather, it says that a character with levels in more than one divine spellcasting class must choose which class the added levels go to, without specifying that the class in question must be divine.
  • Regarding the 2nd question, the uses are independent, so the caster gets more channel attempts, but the Soul Warden channels can only be used to damage. Further, note the second and last sentences in the Channel Damage description: "This ability functions exactly like a cleric's ability to channel positive energy to deal damage to undead (but not to heal living creatures), and counts as channel energy for the purposes of qualifying for feats or determining effects that rely on channel energy. [...] Soul warden levels stack with levels in any class that grants channel energy for the purpose of determining the number of damage dice his channel energy ability deals to undead (if any)." It seems clear that the damage to undead is stackable either way, whether using a cleric's channel energy or a Soul Warden's channel damage. So no worries there, except for this sentence: "A soul warden uses his class level as his effective cleric level when channeling damage." Per RAW, that would seem to say the DC of Channel Damage does NOT similarly increase with stacked levels, but is based solely on the class level of the Soul Warden. I think this is probably carelessness on the writer's part and is not RAI, but it is difficult to be sure.
  • Yes, those necromancer wizard specialists who channel positive energy (a tiny minority, to be sure), can stack their levels in necromancer with their levels in Soul Warden for the purpose of determining damage. And, it would seem from RAW, can now use their normal channels to damage as well (although I am unsure that was intentional). But as per above, possibly not for determining save DC.

Lifat wrote:
Not sure where you are getting the half cost from?

Because adding abilities to a bonded item works like crafting, and crafting cost is half the base cost of the item.

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Sure, greenwood seems as if it should work to block brilliant weapons, but unless your PC is restricted to light armor, it seems as if living steel would be a better choice, if it exists in your campaign world.

The most expensive ability in an item is crafted at normal cost and every additional ability at normal cost x 1.5.

If the item is one that occupies a specific place on a character's body, the cost of adding any additional ability to that item increases by 50%. For example, if a character adds the power to confer invisibility to her ring of protection 2, the cost of adding this ability is the same as for creating a ring of invisibility multiplied by 1.5.

Edit: I should have said that the most economical way to craft an item with multiple abilities is to craft the most expensive ability first at normal cost, with other abilities at 150% normal cost. The example given in the CRB shows Invisibility added onto a Ring of Protection +2, which can be done but is more expensive than the reverse, adding Protection +2 to a Ring of Invisibility.

Joex gives good advice above. I don't know that I can add much, except...

You say this PC is rather like Captain America in his outlook and you cannot see how you can make him choose to be a fugitive. Question: have you seen the latest Captain America movie? If you have not, you should. It's very relevant.

Just to be 100% sure I follow your reasoning, Jiggy, I believe you are saying

  • that a cleric without a currently applied Charisma enhancer who casts Eagle's Splendor upon himself would be thereby enabled to channel two more times that day than his normal Charisma-determined allotment, so long as the final two channels take place within the duration of the spell and the cleric hasn't already made use of a spell or item that day that increased Charisma and made use of those extra channels at that time.

  • This is canon and game designer intent.

  • No dairy products would be involved.

Is that right?

A truism attributed to William James is

"A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all."

It is a truism because it is inarguable. That being the case, what conceivable reason could there be for saying that certain items grant "temporary" ability bonuses when worn less than 24 hours, but grant "permanent" bonuses if worn 24 hours or longer, if there is in fact supposed to be no difference at all between the two types of bonus? Especially when it is made perfectly clear that any such bonus, of either type, lasts only as long as the item in question is worn. There either must be some difference, or the designers have wasted their time and ours in this. If there is no difference, they might as well have written of "green" bonuses and "red" bonuses and then clarified that of course by "green" and "red" they meant the exact same thing!

ZanThrax wrote:
I'm in the same boat MrSin; I feel like I'm forgetting an alternative way to get Diehard for free.

Play an Orc?

I actually play a good necromancer with similar stats. Her path is set now (homebrew PrC), but in the wayback I'd have liked the option of the only recently released Soul Warden PrC. Oddly enough, the Soul Warden is actually extremely similar to what I ended up building myself, although somewhat more elegant. It should be something your character would qualify for. Note that your wizard necromancer levels would stack with your Soul Warden levels for the purpose of channelling positive energy to DAMAGE undead. It also gives you access to spells arcane casters normally don't get.

Just thought you might be interested.

Well, maybe it could have one of two effects, chosen at casting:

1) grant 1 temporary hit point, as per current effect

2) allow caster to select 1, 2, 3, or 4 dice of the next single healing spell, healing channel, or lay on hands effect used in the next minute and roll them twice, taking the better roll.

The second option would allow out of combat healing to work significantly better, but not beyond current maximums and would not generally be possible more than once (at most) if used in any given combat.

Atracious wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
I have a 3' wooden pole with a rod screwed into each end....
This is kinda what I was looking for...think about it as item invention if you want...

Okay, sure, although for me it kinda breaks the "magic is cool" vibe to postulate rods that screw onto both ends of a mop handle (or whatever), I can at least imagine it, but I am still confused by the reference to "wielding" a double weapon in each hand. If you are holding a staff in either hand you're not gonna hit with either hand. Gandalf's battle prowess in the movies notwithstanding, a quarterstaff is a two handed weapon.

Jiggy wrote:
Zog of Deadwood wrote:
So you've got a stat-boosting item that grants, say, +2 to Strength. Your strength is naturally 17 without the item and you only just found it and put it on. Congratulations! Your effective Strength is now 19 for almost all purposes. Almost. Because until you've taken a day to attune the item to you your ACTUAL Strength is still counted as 17 for purposes of ability damage and drain. If you get attacked by undead Shadows and get hit 3 times for max damage (3x6=18 pts of Str damage), you are now an undead thing. Had you found that belt a day earlier, you'd still be alive (at 1 Strength).
This appears to contradict the FAQ.

True. Per the CRB, though, under Ability Score Bonuses, it says this (emphasis added):

CRB wrote:
Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours.

The only things the CRB lists as being increased by temporary ability score increases are the epiphenomena of the ability scores, not the scores themselves. There is no need for the word "actually" in the quoted sentence above or, indeed, for ANY distinction between temporary and permanent bonuses if they do exactly the same thing.

So you've got a stat-boosting item that grants, say, +2 to Strength. Your strength is naturally 17 without the item and you only just found it and put it on. Congratulations! Your effective Strength is now 19 for almost all purposes. Almost. Because until you've taken a day to attune the item to you your ACTUAL Strength is still counted as 17 for purposes of ability damage and drain. If you get attacked by undead Shadows and get hit 3 times for max damage (3x6=18 pts of Str damage), you are now an undead thing. Had you found that belt a day earlier, you'd still be alive (at 1 Strength).

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Necromancers of the Northwest have put out quite a few really excellent supplements, although it's probably important to note that their name is misleading. Most of their material has little or nothing to do with necromancy.

Sebastrd wrote:

You could always run the old Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) standby 18 Wiz/2 Rogue. The Wizard's high intelligence and utility spells combine nicely with Rogue. Take Rogue as your first level, then use all the extra skill points you get from your high Intelligence score to keep the vital Rogue skills like Search and Disable max'd. Around level 9, take your second level of Rogue.

From a role-playing perspective, the sneaky Wizard stealing/adventuring to fund his research make perfect sense.

Note: I don't recall if the feat exists in Core or not, but there's a feat called Insightful Reflexes that lets you use Intelligence instead of Dexterity for Reflex saves. Take it, if you can.

I myself have a long-running Wizard/Rogue character, but a few points here are worthy of note. First, Insightful Reflexes is a 3.5 Ed feat. If the game incorporates 3.5 material, any Wizard/Rogue should have it (mine does), but many games don't.

Second, too many games treat the Knock spell as a superior replacement for Disable Device. It is not.

Knock spell wrote:
When you complete the casting of this spell, make a caster level check against the DC of the lock with a +10 bonus.

A wand of Knock is useful primarily for opening simple locks, which have a DC of only 20, and even then will sometimes fail. So any character with maxed ranks in Disable Device is good for a party. Nonetheless, locks and traps should not be any PC's main utility.

If you want a more combat capable character, the previous suggestions of Slayer or Archaeologist Bard or Vivisectionist Alchemist are all good rogue-like Rogue alternatives. The Alchemist is more complicated than the others. Don't forget that Bards have access to the Heroism spell and other self buffs and that Archaeologist Bards don't need to sing or play an instrument to have stirring theme music. They're cinematic action heroes, so it comes installed.

Never take feats or talents that grant extra damage for a minus to hit unless you are playing a class with full BAB progression. For any other class they are a trap. You need to hit to deal any damage.

You might find out if your GM allows firearms. Ammo and shot might be too expensive to just blaze away in combat, but it's nice to target touch AC for sneak attacks when you've got the drop on someone.

I'm sure others can help you more--I haven't played a combat-oriented rogue in PF. But that's what I've got.

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A couple of thoughts. First, Lawful in the alignment sense doesn't necessarily imply disciplined, sensible, or neat, EVEN THOUGH those are features of the Outer Planes associated with Law. Similarly, a Chaotic person is not necessarily whimsical or unbalanced or a seeker of immediate gratification, even though those things are associated with the planes of Chaos. Those things are personality traits, that are perhaps more common in people of certain alignments, but are not exclusive to them.

A Lawful alignment denotes a willingness, even an eagerness, to accept obligations and an expectation that others should do likewise. Also, they have an underlying belief that there is or should be a structure to society into which people should fit themselves for the good (small 'g') of all, including themselves. Despite this, a Lawful person could still be a scatterbrained, fun-loving person with a whimsical sense of humor (traits usually thought of as Chaotic).

A Chaotic person could be patient, methodical, and self-disciplined in her daily life (all commonly associated with Law) but her alignment would be reflected in her belief or attitude that many rules simply don't or shouldn't apply to her, either because she thinks she knows better than her society how she personally should act (conceivably true in some instances) or because she believes that society simply has too many rules, laws, and regulations for everybody.

Likewise, Good people are not always pleasant and polite and Evil people the reverse. As C.S. Lewis put it,

"The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices."

On an aside, Ebenezer Scrooge was certainly not a fiend in human form, but if he was not evil he at the least had very strong tendencies that way, for he cared nothing for anyone outside himself. Before his nightly visitation, he was indifferent to bad fortune that might come to others, even others in his immediate orbit. Indeed, he was perfectly willing to exploit others for his own gain, despite the fact that he had no real need to do so to live a comfortable life. He also had what I would consider a fairly high Charisma score, measured in force of personality. Charismatic people aren't always likeable--they just are people who very often are able to get their way, by persuasion of one sort or another.

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