bartgroks's page

***** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 163 posts (178 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 41 Organized Play characters. 4 aliases.


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Scarab Sages

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I love the idea of Goblins being a core race. The whole idea of "kill on sight" races is repugnant and I am glad to see v2 taking a step away from it. My first v2 PFS toon will likely be a goblin. Great idea and a great blog post giving us more details on it.

Scarab Sages

Robert Jordan wrote:

For instance the sheer blowback on Crane Style and Scarred Witch Doctor looked to me that the issues seen in those options were much more of a PFS issue.

Scarred Witch Doctor was never PFS legal.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

You could even limit it further by saying you can only use this proposal to make one Early Entry toon. My concern is not for people like me or Andrew who have already have early entry toons grandfathered in. It is for that new guy who went "Wow I can have a viable Mystic Theurge? I have been trying to build one of those for years" and then never quite made it to that first MT level.

One of our local players was playing this crazy build that was going to be an "early entry" Oracle/Sorcerer/Paladin/Bard Mystic Theurge at 10th level. That guy is not going to be an MT under the new rules. People who want to abuse the system are going to abuse the system. Stopping one avenue of abuse is not worth disrupting legitimate use by people who just want to play the way they want to play while being respectful of other players.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

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I foresee a new NPC in my burgeoning stick puppet army.

Scarab Sages

With that Charisma I would go for a sorcerer dip in a heartbeat. Wand usage, UMD, utility scrolls, spells, bloodline of your choice and a boost to your weakest save. Might be some kind of Oracle angle you could milk instead but I am not great at milking oracle dips for synergies.

Scarab Sages

I think what the class really needs is it's own equivalent of the Alchemist's "Throw Anything". That feat and the +1 int damage to splash weapon makes a huge difference for low level alchemists. The Investigator still does not get mutagen, bombs and brew potion at 1st so it really would not step on alchemist's toes to give the investigator something similar.

I want to say "Catch Off Guard" and +1 int damage would work great for this purpose but I'm not sure. The investigator being great at using whatever is at hand seems the right flavor but I am not sure it would work for many builds. It needs something. Right now it is considerably weaker than both parent classes until 4th level.

Scarab Sages

TarkXT wrote:
bartgroks wrote:

Could you post some of the builds here or elsewhere on the forums? I had no problem with builds until sneak attack was removed but since then I'm struggling as many others seem to be. Would love to see what you came up with. How are you getting decent damage from a dx build at level 3? Piranha strike?

Dervish Dance most likely.

In any case I've seen 4 builds so far that are very viable with this with the proposed changes to studied combat/strike. I plan on working on an investigator guide shortly after RPGsuperstar.

I have builds I like before 4th level and builds I like after 4th level. Not much overlap between the two though. But I am building as is and not incorporating any proposed changes other than the duration = int mod which is now official. I can come up with viable builds I like at low and high levels by dipping monk, fighter or brawler. The pure investigator builds i have come up with either struggle at low levels or fail to leverage studied combat later on.

Scarab Sages

Javaed wrote:

I have done a lot of testing with a ton of builds, and I haven't had any serious problems with the Inquisitor at levels 1-3. The class winds up with similar stat allocations as a Magus, with the same options. You can go with a Strength build and contribute adequate to good damage for 3 levels or go with a Dex build where your damage will be reduced until level 3, but your defenses will be higher. From level 4 and on you have no problems.

Yes it could be a little better, and probably should be if this class was intended for a pure combat role. However, the core concept of the class is actually as a support role with a strong focus on out of combat utility. The fact that the class can perform adequately in combat while stealing the show outside of it makes this a pretty strong class in my opinion.

Could you post some of the builds here or elsewhere on the forums? I had no problem with builds until sneak attack was removed but since then I'm struggling as many others seem to be. Would love to see what you came up with. How are you getting decent damage from a dx build at level 3? Piranha strike?

Scarab Sages

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cuatroespada wrote:
pretty sure they want it to be an INT class. i'm totally fine with it being practically useless to a low int character.

If that is the case then Int needs to contribute more in melee, especially at low levels. Right now as a 1st level Alchemist in melee you are functionally an alchemist with no bombs or mutagen who can add a d6 to an attack roll or save .5 + int mod/2 times a day. That is if you don't want to not burn inspiration out of combat too. On top of that you need a higher casting stat than any other 6 level casting class so you can be good at studied strike later and you have to be melee oriented to leverage that ability as well. You are much weaker than your parent classes at low levels now.

Scarab Sages

Seeker of skybreak wrote:
guamae wrote:
The limits on Studied Strike seem too extreme to make it very useful (unless you have 18 Int [very expensive with point buy...] you only have 1 round to make your hit...
They did a revision and now it lasts your intelligence modifier in rounds rather than 1/2 modifier. It has been stated in the first post of the revised investigator thread.

Studied Strike can be used now at 14+ int instead of 18+ int. If you want to use it for more than one round you need an int of 16+ though. Which takes points away from your physical stats. It helps but it is still rough on a melee class in it's current state. Right now at 1st level you need Int for later but it does not do much for you in melee until 4th. {1 use of inspiration on an attack role per 4 points of Int.

Scarab Sages

Peet wrote:

Remember for PFS that you can change your character once retroactively at any time before you play at second level. So if something isn't working you can change it. But some players use this feature to make their 1st level characters survive better.

For example, maybe there's one not-especially good feat that for your build you really need at 1st level. Well you could give your PFS character Toughness and then just before getting to 2nd level swap that out for the feat that you need for later.

I saw one PFS guy play 1st level as a barbarian so he would have max HP and then he totally changed his character to a Magus 1/Rogue 1. The only thing that was the same was the name (and probably the faction). A little cheesy but perfectly legal in PFS.


True but my main goal was to generate valid playtest feedback. I chose to go with a build that would not make major changes at 2nd level.

Scarab Sages

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Nozomi Xue wrote:
Is there going to be anything that makes the investigator at least somewhat viable for 1st-3rd level? That's my main concern for the class (after the Studied Combat/Strike changes).
Given our playtest data to this point, the investigator is pretty darn viable at early levels. There is even some mild concerns that it is rather front-loaded. Putting studied combat at an earlier level has a very low likelihood of occurring.

How much low level playtest data do you have from after the V.2 document was released though? Building to leverage studied strike is really different than building to leverage Sneak Attack. I had 5-6 builds pre v.2 I felt could hold their own at low levels and still pull off sneak attacks later. The builds I am working with now are either really sub optimal for levels 1-3 or have a stunted Studied Strike ability later on. Moving from sneak attack to studied strike has a big impact on the levels before you get studied strike.

I would like to see Studied Combat go more or less entirely level based. Maybe some minor functionality tied to Int but still worth using even if the Investigator has an Int 12 or 13 at 4th level.

Scarab Sages

I played a 1st level investigator in Pathfinder Society Scenario #43: The Pallid Plague last night. He rocked the skill checks needed but was pretty lackluster in combat. Part of that was party makeup though. I went with a heavy str/int build so the build could be effective at Studied Combat at later levels. The plan for early levels was to focus on melee and aid other combatants when I could not melee effectively. We had an entangle focused druid and wound up doing a lot of ranged to attack entangled foes and I really could not hit at all. The times melee broke out the Warpriest was wiping out the bad guys easily and really did not need my aids to hit. I landed a lucky crit with a sling but otherwise made no contribution to combat. I also got hit a lot, I would have went down without my Tribal Scars feat.

The knowledge boosts were helpful. I stole the show when it came time to cure the plague. I also burnt two points of inspiration to make a critical fort save so that worked out great. The concept for the toon was he was an investigator from the realm of the mammoth lords who was from his perspective a “Shaman”. It was fun to RP, good when I had the spotlight but struggled to contribute when I was sharing the spotlight with the other players. A more balanced build probably would have done a lot better last night but I was aiming at a build that would be good at studied combat later and failed to come up with effective 1st level toon.

Scarab Sages

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
bartgroks wrote:
Does this count as an official clarification for PFS purposes? Will the first post of this thread be edited to reflect the change? Any playtesting I can do before the 17th will likely be in the context of PFS and I know others in my area plan on playing Investigators in the next week as well.
Yes, and it has been added to Jason's opening post for this thread.

Thank you sir. You rock!

Scarab Sages

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
ChesterCopperpot wrote:

Stephen, when we playtest this, and do the survey, should we assume the longer duration for Studied Combat?

Does this count as an official clarification for PFS purposes? Will the first post of this thread be edited to reflect the change? Any playtesting I can do before the 17th will likely be in the context of PFS and I know others in my area plan on playing Investigators in the next week as well.

Scarab Sages

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RJGrady wrote:
My idea might be to take Weapon Focus and Power Attack. Studied combat should get you into the optimum attack bonus range.

So just dump Cha and Wis, max out int and go with a moderate str/dx/cn.

Or you could go piranha strike but then it will not really work at 1st level.

That could work I will try it out in a few builds.

Scarab Sages

Cheapy wrote:
Not for this thread guys. This is about the investigator.


I am trying to come up with a viable PFS legal Investigator build for tomorrow night. Is anyone else still trying to come up with a workable build? My best ideas so far or for a Tiefling to Dump STR/CHA/WIS and max out DX/INT so you can get your 1 round of studied combat at 4th level and hopefully a 2nd soon afterwords. Take claws to get multiple chances to land a studied strike. Weapon finesse for to hit and AOMF Agile for damage

My other idea is a dip in Lore Warden or Maneuver Master and use the studied combat bonus to pull of maneuvers instead of studied strike. This build still needs to dump 2 or 3 stats to be able have 1 round of studied combat, be able to hit and have decent H.P.

What I don't like about either approach is they don't give you a viable combatant to playtest until 4th level or later. Is anyone else trying to come up with a build that is leveraging studied combat/strike and is viable at low and mid level combat? I would really like to hear some other ideas.

Scarab Sages

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
ubiquitous wrote:

Is there any chance you can comment on the duration of it?

Mreikon wrote:
As Studied Combat is worded currently, it does nothing without Int of at least 18, because effects that last 1 round end at the beginning of investigator's next turn.
As of right now, this is correct. Don't dump Int, and try not to take Int damage. :)

Could Studied Strike maybe last just 1 round longer? Its hard for a melee class to come up enough points for an 17 or 18 INT at 1st level and otherwise you are locked in to taking Quick Study at 5th so you can use studied combat at all. Are there any other classes that are required to have an 18 ability score to be able to use a class ability at all?

I was really excited about starting a PFS investigator this Wednesday (12-11}. Now I am reworking him as a slayer.

Scarab Sages

I have an alchemist who took a 1 level dip in to unbreakable then took discoveries to make him harder to kill when at negative hp. I played him last night. He is a beast.

Scarab Sages

Nani O. Pratt wrote:
We are clearly the weirdest gaming group ever. Or awesomest. You decide.

weirdest = awesomest

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

My group was victorious but came armed for bear and it was really hard. We probably spent the first 45 minutes just shopping and talking over what spells to prep. We were a Cleric, Oracle, Druid/Monk, Zen Archer/Sorcerer and two wizards. The fight with Krune alone took about 4 hours and it felt glorious when he went down.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

htrotter wrote:
John Compton wrote:

Sorry to hear that things turned out so rough. Am I understanding correctly (by inference) that the players spent 90+ minutes of in-game (not out-of-game) time disabling the runes?

I recall that's how long it takes before Krune revives on his own, and that is primarily a means of mitigating the means by which a group might rest after just the first fight.

Of course, if you have a GM who isn't fully prepared and spends 20 minutes reading before you enter the room with the Lashmistress and the naga, then you're just boned.

The time the GM spent reading the mod would be "out of game" time not "in game" time. It should not count against you. Like john said it is there mostly to stop people from resting.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Osirion was the most good faction in Season 4. All their missions were about healing a benevolent ruler. Half the Silver Crusade missions were about vandalism and burning or destroying other people's property. If I was Olysta's GM she would have been an ex paladin by half way through the season.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

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Can we call it "Play Play Replay"?

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

John Compton wrote:
emontague wrote:
andreww wrote:
A party of four clerics is a powerhouse of destruction at any level. Skills might be a bit of an issue though.
This was the first time i've seen a table with 4 of the same class. That happed often?
At one game day in Georgia we decided to do a "Bard Night," in which everyone had to play a bard of some type. We had melee bards, spell bards, skill bards, and generally versatile bards. The scenarios were all ones that involved heavy roleplaying (I ran a table of Frostfur Captives, there was a table of Murder on the Throaty Mermaid, and at least two others were happening). It was one of the wackier events, but I believe everyone had fun.

Tactical drinking with Goblins, Angry mobs hunting False Jadweega, a party cart and a paladin of Cayden Cailaen. Good times sir!

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Yippy Ki Yay!
Congratulations Kyle!

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Yiroep wrote:
What was stated to happen to characters of those factions? I missed this part of the podcast.

They have to move to another faction before season 5. No prestige loss and you keep your old faction trait if you had one.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

/me groans

So will you be placing a Compton's Gulch somewhere in the vicinity of Druma? jp. Congratulations Mr. Compton.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

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Yiroep wrote:
When I saw this thread was called "racial evolution," I thought it referred to the fact that tons of halflings now have 30 ft. movement naturally.

But only outside of Cheliax sir. All the halflings with 20' move were captured fleeing their oppressors. The halflings with 30+ moves fled to freedom and populated the rest of Avistan!

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Congratulations Dust Raven!

Scarab Sages

Deadly Aim
If you can get a ring of ki storing then Extra ki would net you 2 extra smites for a feat
Quick draw could be useful if you are using a lot of weapons at that point.
Weapon Focus Unarmed strike or Dodge lack sex appeal but are sure to be used almost every round of combat.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Jiggy you quite awesome sir. Thanks for this resource.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Congratulations Sir!

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Odea wrote:
Devil's Advocate: The 7 INT (or 5 INT I suppose) character isn't smart and the 7 or 5 CHA character is socially inept.

Yes but many people trying to role play that lack of smarts or social graces overdo it. In PFS somehow your character made it through years of training to become a pathfinder and honestly a 7 int is just not all that dumb. The low end of human intelligence is a 3, not a 7. You just can't dump a stat that low in point buy. given the 3d6 Bell Curve a 7 would indicate the high end of the lowest ~16.5% of the populace.

About one person in 6 would have an INT of 7 or lower and for the most part they walk around Golarion without getting themselves killed. If you want to play a complete and utter buffoon and can do some without spoiling other people's fun then by all means do so. Using your mental stats or character concept to justify tanking missions on the other hands is lame.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

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"I was only playing my character" is not an excuse for being a jerk nor is it an excuse for a player to intentionally make certain a mission fails.

Scarab Sages

Yeah the saves on this build are insane
+10/+8/+10 at 4th level and all monk progression from there.

Looking at Traits now. The one I like the best so far is the Silver Crusade faction trait "Unorthodox Strategy". +2 on Acrobatics checks to avoid AOO's moving through threatened squares. Very monkish.

This guy will be giving up spellcasting. He goes in to COI with only two Divine Hunter levels and his spellcasting will not be leveled by the prestige class.

Anyway still thinking over traits.

Scarab Sages

Rycaut wrote:

Well a few quick reactions:

1) "adopted by tiefling" ... possibly legal by RAW.

I do still like the flavor here but the RAW comment got me thinking and

"Prolong Magic: Whenever you use a spell-like ability gained through your tiefling heritage, it automatically acts as if affected by the Extend Spell metamagic feat."

So not legal as i would be applying to something gained from Aasimir heritage. I am going to change that if anyone has any suggestions for the new trait I would love to hear them. I am sticking with being raised by a rebel in Chu Ye but I am not certain I want to stick with adoped by a tiefling now.

Thanks again Rycaut that is exactly the kind of thing i was looking for.

Scarab Sages

It is an awesome damage dealer. You might con consider dropping the Str 19 and dividing the point savings between IQ and DX. Reflex saves, AC, skills and a nice boost from the 4th level stat bonus too.

It works great as is too. Whether or not I would make the change would hinge on how soon i wanted to this str 22 and what level i thought the campaign would end at.

Scarab Sages

Hrrrm I could do a striker build if I traded the STR and DX. Would have to go with a different Aasimir bloodline to have the point buy work but that is not a huge thing.

Don't know if i want another striker though. I already have a mid level Zen Archer and a mid level Divine hunter so im not sure im ready to start a new striker. Will prolly build one if only as a mental exersize anyway.

Scarab Sages

Thanks Rycaut the story behind the adopted by tiefling trait is that my character is from Chu Ye and was adopted by an oni spawn tiefling who recognized what he was and wanted to raise him to overthrow the Oni rulers of Chu Ye. It definitely cuts against the Angel spawn Stereotype and I almost always play characters that defy their racial/class stereotypes.

The smite thing is a good point. It helps some that as a COI i will be able to smite chaos as well as evil but that sure won't help against the neutral hungry stuff.

Paladin weapon proficiencies net him 10 more monk weapons from UC. Initially he will flurry with a Sansesukon {d10 19-20/x2} and an unarmed kick. It is partially because of all the new monk weapons from UC the paly levels grant I was thinking quick draw could be good. That and busting out with weapons to get around DR but the smites take care of a lot of that.

Definitely no Armor. I would get no use out of any of the monk abilities that continue to level as a COI in armor. I plan on using a wand of mage armor to supplement the ws/dx/monk AC.

Monk will be the favored class but that is only going to net me 3 hp. The skill situation isn't great but i will net 40 skill points through level 11 though. {monk 3 X 4 + paladin 2 X 2 + COI 6 X 4} I would like to go higher but every other stat has class abilities leveraged in it.

I am definitely amenable to doing something other than the extra KI at 7, 9 and 11 but i see him more in the tank role than in the striker role so I don't see myself boosting DX and taking more ranged feats. I would consider other feats to give the character more options as a tank but I am trying to optimize a Champion of Irori and that is no easy task. I don't think there is a lot of room here to spend feats on color and still have a character that can Tank through some of the rougher mods. I was thinking more along the lines of Greater Grapple or other things in the Unarmed combat tree instead of the Extra Ki. Those would def be better against the non evil non chaotic foes.

Scarab Sages

PFS legal but with 3 traits:

str 16
dx 14
cn 13
iq 10
ws 14
ch 14

Race: angelkin {angel blooded Aasimir}
Alternate Racial Traits
Scion of Humanity
Mizuki Hikari Rebel
Dangerously Curious
adopted by tiefling prolong magic

1st level
1 Divine Hunter paladin
Feat Toughness
Class Precise Shot

2nd level
1 monk
Class: Dodge

3rd level
2 monk
Power Attack
Class: Improved Grapple

4th level
2 Divine Hunter paladin

5th level
3 monk
Deadly Aim

6th level
1 Champion Of Irori

7th level
2 Champion Of Irori
Extra KI

8th level
3 Champion Of Irori

9th level
4 Champion Of Irori
Extra KI

10th level
5 Champion Of Irori

11th level
6 Champion Of Irori
Extra KI

I kind of went overboard on the extra ki because i think i can afford a ring of Ki Storing and have each one pay off in the form of 2 smites. For the 5th level feat I had hard time picking between Quick Draw and the Deadly Aim. Can anyone suggest any changes?

Edit: just added alternate racial traits.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
I'm not sure what Big Bird was. He was always very jovial or personable (everyone loved him), but not very nimble or coordinated. Maybe he was a bard (he did sing from time to time). And since no one could ever see the snuffleupagus, perhaps it was the one with ninja levels. Or since they were always together maybe BB was a summoner and snuffy was the eidolon. :-)
Dang it Bob! Now we'll have a ton of yellow dyed tengu summoners with furry elephant-like eidolons!

How about yellow dyed tengu summoners who thought they saw a puddytat eidolon?

Scarab Sages

I'm rootin for you Joe! From the safety of my home in ATL but I'm still rootin for you Joe.

Scarab Sages

I plan my toons out in advance but change up the plan later as often as not.

Scarab Sages

high str, 2h weapon, power attack at 1st level and weapon specialization at 4th is a classic.

Scarab Sages

Clustered shot is overrated. Special material arrows are relatively cheap and every archer wants a efficient quiver. It does help with creatures who have DR/- but it is not one of the better archery feats.l

Scarab Sages

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The 1st edition nostalgia is understandable but people misremember how complex that game was. It was so complicated that groups very rarely actually played by the rules. Most of the time when i see people describing the simplicity of 1st edition they are referring to those groups that played by their own rules. 3rd edition was a huge simplification of the system and Pathfinder has streamlined it even further.

If you need it simpler then do what we did back in the day. Ignore half the rulebook.

Scarab Sages

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Satine Phoenix > *

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

I am a big fan of Beggar's Pearl myself.

Scarab Sages

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
  • can be used to make flurry of blows attacks
  • Correct. It has the "monk" weapon feature.

  • can deal monk's unarmed damage instead of the default 1d3
  • Incorrect. It deals the listed damage

  • cannot be used to make a stunning fist attack
  • Correct. You are not unarmed when using them.

  • cannot benefit from an amulet of mighty fists
  • Correct. It is not an unarmed attack or a natural weapon.

    Could this information be added to the Advanced Player's Guide FAQ please? The second printing of the APG still states the monk is able to do unarmed damage with his Brass knuckles.

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