calicokat's page

38 posts. Alias of jellyfishaxiom.


Malwing wrote:

How do you feel about these feats?:


Shadow of the Falcon: Can spend a stamina point to make a Combat Maneuver without provoking.

Personally I feel like opening up the combat maneuver system to that it can be used flexibly and creatively would go a long way toward giving melee martials the tools they need to compete with the spellcasting crowd.

You're already making a big tradeoff choosing a combat maneuver over an attack action. I don't understand why you have to pay so painfully many tolls along the way to use what would otherwise be a great set of options for mixing up melee combat.

I've played a combat maneuver focused fighter and I've played a battlefield control focused sorcerer.

For the sorcerer, all I had to do was pick out the spells and, bam, there it was, battlefield control at my fingertips. Still had all my feats. Still had a slew of other abilities. Could stun, stagger, sicken, fatigue, daze, dazzle, nauseate, deafen, confuse, etc. etc. to my heart's content.

The sheer variety of status effects I could pick from was phenomenal.

The fighter...first, I had to spend pretty much all my feats on combat maneuvers, even with all the extra feats fighters get. Even then, I was restricted in what I could choose to do each turn, didn't have half the impact my sorcerer had, and if I had played the sorcerer first I probably never would have played the fighter.

If I choose to grapple with a fighter, that's it. That's all I'm doing. However long I want the enemy tied up, that's how long I'm grappling.

If I wanted to "grapple" an enemy with my sorcerer, I cast Chains of Light on that enemy from a distance...and I go on to do whatever else I wanna do.

So, yeah. Gimmie combat maneuvers. Gimmie ALL the combat maneuvers. Open the gates. Set them free.

I still wouldn't be that sorcerer, but at least I'd have fun options at my fingertips.

I was thinking while I've been at work about how some of Guilty Gear's most outrageous 'anime' concepts are already firmly enthroned in Pathfinder and playable through magic users.

For example, this thread is all about how to build a Millia Rage, a character famous for fighting with her mystically empowered hair.

Another of the more outrageous characters from the game, Dizzy, can be built starting on the chassis of an Aberrant bloodline Sorcerer -- a cute girl with magical powers who monstrously deforms, lashing out with transforming limbs.

The character Eddie is a Synthesist sorcerer. I-no is a tricked out Bard. Ky Kiske is a Magus.

The problem here isn't "being anime." Pathfinder is already as anime as it gets with its spellcaster options. People are playing characters that would fit right in in a game considered wacky amid a genre of OTT games.

The problem comes in when I wanna play Johnny Sfondi. When I want to perform a series of cool strikes based on my specialty. When maybe I'd like to stagger an opponent and overrun to the other side of him to hit him in the back for extra precision damage, or spend a stamina point to execute a flurry of blows style series of iaijutsu strikes, or, heck, sure, why not, air throw an opponent and air juggle.

All that said, I think working from a stamina pool is a perfect solution for the doledrums of martial classes. The chassis has already been laid down with the Gunslinger's grit pool.

and I mean, there are so many cool things you can do but Martials are just shackled to "realism" and anything remotely cool immediately gets disparaged as "too wuxia" or "too weeaboo" or something stupid (like moving so fast you literaly blur and make it harder to track your movements)

I think this is the biggest impediment I see to martials getting a significant upgrade within Pathfinder and similar games:

People's virulent derision of Asian pop culture, which also happens to be where fantasy upgrades to martial abilities have been innovated en masse across past decades.

Take this recent discussion of the Sword Saint and Iaijutsu Strike, since it's already deep into Asian flavor.

A lot of people in the thread, myself included, are underwhelmed by the archetype's signature ability and the few times it can be used per day.

In the end, somebody points out that the ability is perfectly effective in game and we're making a lot of noise about nothing.

From a flavor perspective, I'm still disappointed.

When I imagine a 20th level iaijutsu master I imagine Johnny Sfondi from the fighting game Guilty Gear, a character performing an Iaijutsu Strike with every golden flash of light across the screen whose mastery of iaijutsu means he can perform its techniques at will.

Johnny is, in this case, a great example for me of a martial who competes toe to toe with magically empowered characters and does it through total and devoted mastery of a martial technique.

He can set his sword on fire, yes, but by smashing it through a bottle of high proof liquor as he strikes.

By and on the way to 20th level -- and if I put a lot into dex and focus my resources around making iaijutsu strikes -- I wanna feel like I'm Johnny, a character whose kit is a versatile array of iaijutsu abilities.

Just like a magic user is able to cast spell after spell turn after turn, I wanna be doing cool things each turn, too -- I want it to be because I worked for them and planned my kit out since low levels, but I wanna get to be stylish.

(Note: Johnny's sword does have the magical ability to generate mist, but the enchantment on his sword is a minor detail in his martial kit. Getting a magic user to enchant your weapon is hardly a minor detail in Pathfinder.)

Unfortunately, Paizo got the flavor of pop culture iaijutsu down but fell short in the execution.

I was so excited when I first saw it! For about five minutes; until I digested the text.

I would've preferred it to be a combat flourish that adds a little oomph to your attacks with one mechanism limiting its use being the need to resheathe your sword between strikes.

I think they left that one intentionally vague and up to role-player discretion.

I'd approach it like designing an Aasimar or Tiefling, etc. A carte blanche to give your character a physical 'upgrade' with no mechanical effect.

Looking at gnomes, unusual hair (and skin color) is definitely a 'mark of the First World.'

I like the idea of eyes that constantly change color -- the girl, or boy, with kaleidoscope eyes.

Like Deighton Thrane says, the distinction lies in the prereqs of Animal Ally:

Prerequisites: Nature Soul, character level 4th, must not have an animal companion or mount that advances as an animal companion.

When I got around to previewing my post he'd already answered the question, but that still leaves me to ask what animal companions' and eidolons' levels are called.

Are they simply "animal companion level" and "eidolon level"?

I enjoyed reading this thread so far. As somebody with a background in paleoanthroplogy it really has me thinking.

You did say "first six villages" so I'm already guessing you're imagining more than six Phanaton villages, but one thing I thought I'd mention is that when plotting their villages/distribution on the island(s) to keep in mind the idea of minimum viable population.

From here:

Published median MVPs across taxonomic groups, standardized to a definition of a > 99% probability of persistence for 40 generations, vary from 5,816 to 4,169 individuals and may be as low as 1,377 if density-dependent compensation is adequately considered.

This is a bare minimum, tho, and for species like chimpanzees and orangutans we're talking hundreds of thousands of individuals alive even after modern population depletion.

For the technological complexity the Phanatons above have developed -- especially r.e. construction -- there would (realistically) have been a healthy ability to pass the accrued knowledge of generations down through time, so I'd anticipate a healthy population size.

Ofc, magic eases all things and both their individual survival prospects and the prospects for their survival as a culture are way better than they would be without magic.

Anyway, rather than trying to drown your game in realism I think the circumstances could make for some interesting plot hooks.

For example, and you may already be familiar with the concept, but the smaller the society, the more valuable experts are because if an expert in any given area dies that could mean the sudden loss of generations of knowledge. New experts can only be trained so fast.

That makes the idea of "quest givers" itself especially realistic in this setting.

Traveling a long way just to speak to one person to gain their knowledge on a situation could be vital, and the fact that the heroes of the story may be the only people on the island capable of going out and putting that expertise into practice puts both the focus and the heat on their role as heroes.

When the life of "quest givers" can't be risked, and the number of people capable of "questing" is much smaller than in a setting like Golarion, every life is worth that much more and risking death is that much more intense.

That's what first comes to mind for me.

I'm interested in the concept but it's a little beyond my slim theorycrafting skills. It does make me wonder how VMC rules progress when Prestige Classes are thrown into the mix.

Does the Unarmed Strike continue to progress at character level no matter if you take levels in other classes?

Now, I don't see anything that says otherwise. If it works, it works!

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The action in question strikes me as a something that's difficult to perform without skill and training...

...and that skill and training should be skill and training in the Stealth area, covered by allocating skill points into Stealth.

This should be a basic something you can perform with Stealth.

As it stands, it seems possible that condensing it into an alternate racial trait package for Humans would be as effective as creating a new race.

There doesn't seem to be anything in their makeup that differentiates them from Humans at a fundamental level right now?

Like Ciaran Barnes said, that also looks like a whole lot of skill bonuses in there! Definitely looks in the realm of an Advanced (vs Standard) race atm.

None of this is to say I don't dig the concept, because I do dig the concept. Flavor wise you've got a good thing going.

"Death Mask" is begging for a little bit deeper fluff, for example maybe they tattoo/scarify in order to mimic the appearance of guardian or avenging spirits? The effect would be the same but there could be a richer cultural detail to back it.

Right now it's definitely striking me as a complex, isolated Human culture rather than an independent race, though.

I'm not particularly advanced at balancing the game, I'm here to read and learn.

But! I wanted to second the idea of giving them a bite attack.

There's an impressive reason the most widely successful species of hyena are the group called the bone-crushing hyenas.

Afaik -- and from watching some videos just now -- hyenas' jaws are overwhelming and they go head first at everything.

Not that the claws aren't there or that humanoid hyenas wouldn't deserve weak claw attacks on top of a brutal bite, taking into account different, advantageous anatomy.

This is all from a perspective of awesome and not game balance, tho. ;)

To try and be clearer, I meant that INA seems necessary to make Aspect of the Beast functional without making your claws particularly deadly compared to Bloodrager's claws which already start out one damage die larger.

My reasoning could be seriously flawed somewhere in here, especially since INA also applies to Wild Shape so if you choose to focus on multiple natural attacks instead of a Vital Strike build buffing claws could be worth it?

But, generally, since if you go Wild Shape you'll be spending most of your day in Wild Shape I'm also not sure fighting with natural weapons outside of Wild Shape is worth the investment.

Lastoutkast wrote:

*fights with natural weapons in and out of wild shape.

Abyssal or Draconic bloodline Bloodrager for claw attacks, Tiefling or Orc for additional racial bite attack.

Otherwise, I'm curious if you've found an effective way to do this that isn't a feat sink where the feats could be better spent to make you a more vicious animal in wild shape.

I was trying to do the same thing on paper and ended up stymied.

That said, if you did go a non-Bloodrager route the Savage Warrior archetype might shore up feats lost to things like Aspect of the Beast and/or Improved Natural Weapon.

Not sure if as viable as Druid/Monk.

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In tangentially related news, my first print editions of Raging Swan books came in the mail a few days ago and I wanna applaud you on that sweet, sweet matte finish.

I really could not say enough good things about the content of your product line, either! I'm glad you've got incentive to keep up the great work.

It's not important to me if it's in Pathfinder 2 or among the slew of new classes Paizo continues to introduce, but I'd like to see more classes with players like me in mind. Players who just want to pick a class and have it work.

Sorcerer and Kineticist are, so far, the two classes that feel the most natural to me.

I come into the class. I pick a theme. Not necessarily a flavor/fluff theme, I mean a mechanical theme. For example, maybe my theme is "battlefield control," etc.

I choose a bloodline or a blast that supports my theme and then I augment it by making a reasonable number of decisions in terms of spells/wild talents that flesh out my build.

Meanwhile, I have core class features that just work. Bloodline Powers are typically a good example of something that just works. I get a level, I get a Bloodline Power, it does a specific thing, and I'm happy.

Metakinesis on the Kineticist similarly 'just works'. No calculating new spell levels and/or assigning things to higher level slots or whatever, just accrue a couple of points of burn in a simple, single burn pool and move on.

I usually put it that the more it's like a video game the happier I am.

Unchained Barbarian has situated itself in a pretty comfortable place for me, too. Static changes for rage, reasonably sized list of rage powers to choose from.


It's not like I only play Sorcerers. In the one game I'm in right now I'm working on a Wild Shape focused Druid, the epitome of something that doesn't 'just work'. However, safe to say that after I go out and stat out a certain number/variety of animal forms for myself I'm going to be particularly devoted to those.

Buuut...add to this that I'll be preparing a number of spells per day equal to an Arcanist and from that list spontaneously casting the same number of spells per day as a regular Druid of my level because I can't with traditionally prepared spells. I'm not about that life.

If I had to deal with a daily number of prepared spells slot by slot I wouldn't be playing a druid.

Kind of thing that deters me from exploring PFS.


Generally, it's that I'd like there to be more classes that have low barriers to entry so that when I'm looking to branch out into a different playstyle it's not with a sinking feeling.

I was so excited when I heard about Occult Adventures until the reality of the playtest came around: "Choose from 54 different spirits! Switch between them on the fly! Have a lot of different items that can do totally different things including manifesting a different power each day based on resource expenditure! Collect tricks that only activate in specific combat circumstances!"

Luckily there's the Kineticist, and I can't wait to play one, but dang if it doesn't feel like Pathfinder's generally getting more and more abstruse.

And now there's the Vigilante, something that upon cursory examination and starting at "It's like having two completely different characters!" looks like something I'll probably decline to play.

Distinction: I'm not against that level of complexity as long as I have the option not to engage in it.

What I'm trying to say is that it's clearly possible make classes without high barriers to entry and I think making a few more 'video game' classes would only expand Pathfinder's audience.

It seems obvious that both mechanically simple classes and mechanically complex classes can exist side by side within Pathfinder -- that everybody can play at the same table.

I'd just like Paizo to remember us simple, video-game-minded souls who are playing, too. (Remember us maybe slightly more often.)


If there was a Pathfinder 2, I'd like 1/3rd of the classes to be designed with a low barrier to entry, a sort of plug-and-play mindset in mind from the ground up.

Seconding the other planet idea. It could be a real mix up from the themed planes, give you a little more diversity and flexibility in the encounters.

I haven't cracked open Distant Worlds in awhile and don't remember all the particulars of each, but they're a nice alternative to the relative redundancy inherent in planes.

Add in the alien cultures found on each planet to the diverse/interesting creature lists and you have infinitely less predictable possibilities for an adventure. It's no longer "Ah, demons. Yes, demons doing demon things. Here's another demon. What's next! Spoiler: Another demon."

I'm not saying you can't make politics in Hell or the Abyss interesting, but those planes are monochrome compared to the planets.

Making a druid seems like a reasonable step. You get a lot of things you like about the cleric but a flavor switch up.

Or, like Cap. Darling said, don't switch at all.

Back when I played World of Warcraft, I loved the hunter class.

I made the mistake of leveling several other classes up to whichever current max level because I felt like I should try new things only to discover how bored I got raiding with each of them.

Be tanking a raid boss looking at the clock like "Why am I even here?"

If the passion for playing a cleric is there there's no real reason not to keep building better and/or different clerics.

I had 8 different hunters just because I could.

Point is, I was happy.

avr wrote:
By level 12 your animal companion is a 10 HD creature with BAB +7, probably less equipment than a PC, and no spells or class abilities of its won. Obviously, staying relevant in melee will be tricky.

To reiterate a great point somebody made in another thread, sending a naked animal companion into battle is exactly like sending a naked PC into battle. Don't do it.

When I read that I started thinking of my AnC in a new (and expensive) way.

Here is a table listing the slots for various shapes of AnCs in case you need it, ooki. (And GM willing.)

Meanwhile, I'm still early days with my druid and looking for tips on what to equip my own AnC with. I'll watch this thread with interest.

Yeah, I got you, gustavo, I was just saying I hadn't even considered the angle that two crafters could do twice the work in the same time frame.

Also, thank you for bringing my attention to that ring!

I think I'm settling with the normal feat progression for utility's sake and for power attack.

The thing about wild shape is I may be in it for the full duration of the spell, so hours at a time.

Natural spell is important for consecutive fights since there are buffs I'll need to refresh. Plus, even if my role is primarily melee, since my wis is going to be my strongest stat* to get up to those 9th level spells I'm still planning to provide battlefield control spells if I can work them into my daily allotment.

*before bonuses from magic items

Right now, I'm really happy with how the character looks. I think we've looked at pretty much every angle and I'm making a conscious decision to be a little more middle of the road in my gameplay but if that changes I've got all the resources I need to go down another path.

Now there's just seeing how it goes Saturday. :)

I didn't even think about the time cost for items for 7 players, gustavo. I was thinking about the gold cost and figured if other people wanted items, hey, I'd just make them for them, too, but...I've never actually been a crafter before, totally forgot about the time cost.

Tho, if I don't take Craft Wondrous Item then I'd have room in my build for Wild Speech, a non-essential feat I'd really like for ease of social interaction.

Rerednaw wrote:
Really depends on your groups dynamics, something we don't know here.

Our group dynamics are great. It's not like I think people will get angry with me. I just want to be mindful, too, going in, but particularly because I (personally) feel like I wasn't too mindful previously.

I think we could socially navigate me being a druid with an animal companion with a familiar and who summons. Sure, we could do that.

It's more about exploring options where I'm not in that situation for it to become a problem one night when my index cards get misplaced/I forget my iPad I work off of, or anything else that makes it become a real nuisance.

All that said my understanding of the druid class is far beyond the understanding I had going into this thread and I feel like I'm really ready to tackle the diversity of options.

I remain grateful for all the advice you've all given. Hopefully my druid will survive and thrive and go forward in the campaign prepared to be great at druiding.

I think I'm going to stow my worries as far as sticking with my animal companion. It's always good to have another flanker on the field and a flanker with a free trip is even better.

Right now, I'm up in the air on VMC. I'm still considering it, especially Barbarian.

For Wizard, it seems like trading out a feat for a familiar I'm not going to get much use out of and an extra natural weapon attack I can only use 3 times a day isn't gonna be worth it.

The thing that might be worth it would be being able to advance strength alongside wisdom as I go up in levels but I suspect just that isn't worth giving up so many feats.

Even with Barbarian, seems like I'd like to go...

1: Toughness(?)
3: Power Attack
5: Natural Spell
7: Craft Wondrous Item
9: Powerful Shape

and otherwise it'd be...

1: Toughness(?)
3: Rage
5: Natural Spell
7: Uncanny Dodge
9: Powerful Shape

In this case as far as my first 10 levels go rage is nice but is it worth giving up Power Attack when I'm guessing I won't get as much out of Uncanny Dodge in the long run as I'd get out of a slew of half price Wondrous items?

Let's not turn this thread into a phenetics versus cladistics showdown. We'll be here fifty years. ;)

That said, we're in Paizo's house and like gustavo points out it tragically remains phenetist territory.

Rerednaw wrote:

Wait 7 PC's? Including two tier 1 full casters? Dang with that lineup do what you want. I like the Air Elemental DFA approach myself or big bite single attack cause you don't have maths or full attack worries.

Oh and Roc is awesome. Having a flying companion is great for helping with encounters. :D

I guess for me I'm more concerned about being a team player at a metagame level in a group of 7 players than I am in a group of 4 players.

I feel like the last character I made was supposed to be a team player but, mechanically and RP wise, came off diva when I specialized in speaking all the languages and was the only one who could talk to a number of NPCs. It was a lot of fun for me but maybe played out on the side of holding up the game a little.

I wanna make sure this time around that other folks get their chance to do their thing at lower levels where a druid specced the right way can be dominant, if that makes sense. With the AnC I get two goes a round where other folks just get one and I'm like "Hmm, but it's not my intention to tie up combat like I tied up RP before."

Add to that that at the first couple of levels AnCs are a force of their own.

(I plan, for example, to avoid using Summon Nature's Ally and going three or more times a round. Tact isn't my strong suit but I wanna have some.)

Kaboogy wrote:
As for the actual post discussion, I highly recommend you look at the vmc options. Smite, judgment and slow unarmed strike progression are all options, and so is rage, wizard school powers and bloodlines. The shapshifting transmutation subschool power lets you have additional natural attacks, which can synergise well, since you'll already have an aomf.

I hadn't even thought about VMC. That opens up a whole slew of options that weren't on my radar.

It does also potentially tie up some feats I could use for other things, though, and potentially takes Wild Speech and Craft Wonderous Item off the table.

Otoh, it might alleviate trying to do through combat feats what I might better be able to do through VMC?

The shapeshifting transmutation subschool is tempting, although for the reasons above I'm not sure I want to get into a situation where I have a familiar as well as an AnC.

Seems like having rage could be a huge boon to my combat stats and keeping my damage competitive. Wondering if there's any sorcerer bloodlines that would synergize with a shapeshifting druid. I won't get to look at that until after work.

Dukeh555 wrote:
Out of curiosity, what are your other party members?

We've got quite a group: Inquisitor, Magus, Ranger, Slayer, Wizard, and Oracle.

Also, since you seemed to think that a roc was a dinosaur of some sort, just to tell you, a roc is a massive bird.

Ah, up there I meant that I hoped you didn't take me lamenting how much better dinosaurs' stats are than almost all other animal companions' stats in general (and the bear's in particular) as me disregarding your suggestions.

A roc is definitely a viable choice if I want to switch away from the wolf. Possibly an easier to obtain one, too.

Thank you for the link, it pointed out a few things that I hadn't looked into yet, like that Greater Magic Fang lasts 1/hour per level.

Question about Cloak of Fangs, though.

My understanding from CRB p.212 is that the only magic items that work in wild shape are continuous effects as per other polymorph effects.

In this case, that the Cloak of Fangs would provide the +1 resistance bonus to saving throws in wild shape but that the activated power would be unusable in wild shape.

Am I understanding that one incorrectly?

Kingmaker is a great adventure path, although because of the sandboxy nature of it you may want to read all six books before you get going...which is a bit of an investment if you don't already know somebody with copies on hand.

I haven't run it, but I did read through the books in preparation to potentially run it. I feel like the quality of the story the players get is really on the GM with Kingmaker.

I also haven't gotten around to purchasing them yet but Legendary Games has a couple of plug in adventure modules to further flesh out the Kingmaker AP and help tie together the story that dedicated 3PP reviewer Endzeitgeist rated highly.

If anybody has a yea or nay on those I'd love to know.

With or without those, if you want a world that's pre-visualized and stat blocked out but one you can make your own, that's something to look into.

Great points about scouting. The main thing I don't have is stealth in class. I'll have to consider taking that as a trait.

Druid feels pretty skill starved. I'll just have to roleplay and overachieve as a gamer for those house rule free skill points from my GM.

Speaking of starved, it seems like there's a ton of different things I could spend feats on that I'm not going to have enough feats to spend on. I feel like I'm gonna have to choose my feats very carefully. It's a shame because I'd like Wild Speech for RP purposes but there's so many other things I could put in that slot.

Dukeh555 wrote:
I only suggested allosaurus and roc because they take the highest stat choices overall.

Don't worry about me QQing about dinosaurs. I'm QQ because it may be difficult to get my hands on one in the game I'm playing in. (Unless Minkai is secretly full of dinosaurs.) I definitely wouldn't mind having one by my side.

Hopefully the wolf can stick with me a long time. If I spec and gear her as a big assist to the party that allows other players to shine in their roles then just as hopefully she won't garner any of the potential resentment that sometimes comes with animal companions being so viscous at lower levels. (Not generally a problem in my group, thankfully, but still!)

I don't wanna nerf myself but in a big group where I know other players are making a concentrated effort to be team players I want to join in that effort and make us an effective team rather than competitors for DPR.

Thanks to you guys I have a lot of options on tap, now! Eager to get started playing this Saturday to see how it all shakes out in game.

That druid/monk/fighter/barbarian stuff looks completely sick.

I confess it might be a little more complicated than I'm ready to tackle, but then, like you said, that's levels away from level 1 and I'll have plenty of time to get used to just being a melee druid before I'd really be considering those options.

Right now, at least, we have a ranger and a slayer and I'm thinking those two can handle the scouting burden pretty squarely.

I've got a wolf statted up for 1st level and I'm glad to hear it's a solid choice.

Dinosaurs seem to outshine every other animal in the game. Fair, dinosaurs are awesome, but a little unfair, too. I wish they balanced animal companions a little better so there was a wide variety of equally good choices, you know? (I was in the mood for a bear but then I looked at the bear and was like "Wow, that's no good.")

We've also a wizard and an orcale to the group but I'm guessing I may still need to consider my spellcasting skills (especially in the area of battlefield control) throughout the game. Right now I feel like I could make a pretty balanced character playing the middle of the road in some respects?

With the loaded DPR in our party right now it's looking like I can focus on a tactical role, interrupting spellcasters and tying up enemy melee units with combat maneuvers.

I'm not sure how much my own spellcasting can/will play into that because it seems like I'd need to find a way to get my DCs reasonably high while remaining solid in melee.

I'm wondering if increasing my wisdom score and taking spell penetration while loading up on items to support my melee abilities is a way to go?

As much as I'd enjoy getting out there and dealing sick damage I feel like I might get the most out of my character working synergistically with the DPR focused classes/characters. (I don't want the Magus to get eaten when myself and my animal companion could be facilitating him doing his thing.)

Thank you! That's a lot of awesome info. Some of those hadn't been on my radar at all.

A vital strike build looks pretty crazy. Hard to pass that up. That's some ridiculous DPR. I had seen people talking about these 21d6 sort of builds but hadn't worked it all out on paper myself.

With that kind of damage I'm a little surprised people say wild shape druids fall off at high levels? It seems like they have a solid, consistent damage source available to them.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

If your group allow magic crafting feats and/or buy magic items, it's not that hard to do both.

Craft woundreous item is an awesome feat for Druids, by the way. It allows you to craft almost anything you need, as your "weapon" needs can be covered with an amulet of mighty fists

That's a great idea. I had been wondering how in the heck to get my hands on a higher bonus Amulet of Mighty Fists as early as possible seeing how it's essential to functioning.

Are there any other magic items in particular that I should keep an eye out for?

Thanks, Turin, I've implemented both suggestions!

Unless the party composition changes I'm guessing I'll be boosting wis for my whole adventuring career.

Then again, I'm also going to be one of the only people in line for wisdom boosting magic items so I'm guessing I may luck out in that sense.

I brought my Cha down to 10 and brought my wisdom up to 14 for 16 total with stat boost.

I'm feeling pretty good about where the character is at and a whole lot better in terms of the strategy I'm approaching him with.

Thank you, everybody, for all the help!

Now I've just got to pick out some traits and decide if I'm gonna keep toughness.

I went to a scythe from shield/club for spellcasting purposes (the ability to free a hand, which I forgot about until gustavo pointed it out!) so my AC is now a 16.

Okay, so I'm lowering my wis by 1 and increasing my dex by 1 for:

Str: 16
Dex: 14
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 15
Cha: 12

I'm probably keeping the Cha 12 although I recognize it's not optimal compared to the Intelligence 12 because this guy isn't as bright as he is gabby. Roleplaying decision there.

The tradeoff is that extra effort in and outside of the game is going to win us extra skillpoints in this campaign. For example, if I find a miniature for myself and bring it Saturday I'll get a couple skill points in return.

Partly roleplaying/flavor, partly so we can't abuse dinosaurs, partly because our GM almost TPK'd with a pack of deinonychus and a magnificent series of crits that one time back in 3.X, but we've got a "no dinosaurs at low levels" rule in effect. Unfortunately or fortunately. I still remember...

DM: You above neg 10?
Me: I'm at neg 32.
DM: Nevermind.

Meanwhile, Mooncaller, I'm on the fence. Might consider World Walker, or might just try playing it base class and seeing how it goes.

Thank you 666Bender for laying out those wildshape options up there, that was really helpful in terms of framing the class for me.

Hogeyhead wrote:

If your objective is primarily to protect the party, then I would recommend lowering your wisdom by 1 and raising your dex by 1, then take combat reflexes, this way you can attack or trip people coming for the squishies. Also you aren't naturally proficient with a reach weapon, however you could take one that you are proficient with with heirloom weapon. A good solution till you get large with wildshape. Flavorful too. Now You get 3 attacks of oportunity per round and you can trip without getting an attack of opportunity in your face as they can't reach you presumably.

This is a very effective combat style at lower levels, tough ymmv as you level, but by then you will have wildshape. Remember masterwork transformation for your heirloom weapon.

I was definitely considering doing this, however, that brings me over to party composition...

Looks like we're going to be going Inquisitor, Magus, Ranger, and then either an Arcanist or Slayer. I dropped the unknown a line, waiting to find out. I assume a healer, though, he was waiting until the rest of us picked to see what needed plugging. I could swear the Slayer had been going to be an Arcanist, but right now I'm hearing Slayer. (I'll doublecheck that.)

I know the Inquisitor and Ranger are going to be ranged attackers. If the Slayer is a Slayer, frankly I'm Jon Snow on the Magus and Slayer class except that Magus has arcane abilities but melees and Slayer...I have no idea how much time it spends in melee.

Therefore, I'm guessing that my animal companion and I are going to be looking at providing flanking for the Magus and Slayer? In that case being up in their faces seems like it'll be key.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
In any case: remember your don't have any "taunt" ability, so "main tanking" is a myth in PF. Your hace people who dissable enemies in melee (anvils, like a grappler por reach trip bild) por people who kill them (mostró chars). You hace the option to be tough instead of a glass canon, but you can't "tank" in the mmo sense, there are not mechanics for it.

This feels like a big decision point. Should I make a character who's combat maneuver based and tie up foes with techniques like grapple or should I focus on dishing out DPR along with the rest of the party to end combats more quickly?

I'd definitely still like to focus on not sweating taking some damage in a fight but the melee field looks like it's evened out a little.

(We're also seriously lacking in spellcasting if we lost that Arcanist. That should be interesting. Maybe not quite interesting enough to convert me to dedicated casting.)

Meanwhile I'll have to take a close look at this Druid/Monk guide because Monk is the single core class I've never played. It seems like it might be a bit outside my flavor but I probably haven't given the monk a fair shake.

I was also wondering if anybody had opinions on the Fighter's Savage Warrior archetype?

ETA: Slayer is a Slayer for sure.

With the group lacking a real in your face front line fighter I'd suggest looking at the Titan Mauler archetype for the Barbarian.

We had a very successful Titan Mauler in our own RotRL game.

If the reach fighter is AOO and stand stilling everything that comes their way, however, adding additional crowd control might be a way to go?

I had a good time as a sorcerer in RotRL with spells like chains of light and river of wind and waves of ecstasy, etc.

A caster druid or a witch might also have utility in that area.

Thank you for all the advice so far! I feel a little more comfortable with the character already.

So far, I know I at least need to carry a slashing weapon and that both the shield and Toughness are optional.

Dafydd wrote:
Did you go pet or domain? Any archetype in particular?
Weirdo wrote:
Stats, race, any archetype, what's your animal companion? Maybe even what the rest of the party looks like - if you're the only melee character you'll be under more pressure than if you're sharing the field.

Probably the thing to say up front is that so far I'm shaping up to be the main tank and main melee combatant, part of the reason I'm so squirrely about death.

Our party is looking pretty ranged damage heavy so far and I see my main role as that of intercepting threats and protecting the casters/archers while doing enough damage for people not to wade right past me.

Stats are:

Str: 16
Dex: 13
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 16
Cha: 12

20 point buy, human with Dual Talent.

Since we roleplay heavily and roleplay from stats I don't really see myself having a "dump" stat per se.

I'd like to be good at handle animal and in diplomatic situations so the cha is semi-important.

I went with pet, which is, right now, a wolf -- mostly for flavor reasons.

The character is a Varisian wanderer/worshiper of Desna and as much as I played around with the idea of having a mastodon or a roc or a big cat, location and resources don't really support that.

The campaign I'm starting in is Jade Regent and depending on how this animal companion holds up I'm sure there's also going to be the option to switch her out for other interesting creatures.

(Am slain by the irony that the panda looks like it's better at being a bear than an actual bear.)

I was considering the Mooncaller archetype what with Desna's associations with the night and the stars and moon (she gives clerics/druids access to the "dream" spell at 5th level as well)...

...until I realized last night that that might be at the expense of being vulnerable to my own entangle and wall of thorns. Is that the case?

I can always get senses and DR from wild shape so the main draw is thematic and also replacing Resist Nature's Lure with something a little less situational and the possibility of always having DR.

Now that I think about it, tho, I'm not sure that that DR stacks with DR from wild shape forms.

Rerednaw wrote:

Also depends how long the game goes on.

Pure casters come into their own a bit after start and stay good till almost end game.
Animal companion and Wild Shape melee builds peak around levels 8-10 and start falling behind by the teens.

I'm hoping my wisdom stat is good enough that with another couple points I can heavily supplement with casting or move closer to being a habitual caster at higher levels if necessary.

I have extremely limited experience with PFS play so I don't know how worshipping evil deities goes down there, but...

I assume wherein a cleric's alignment can be within one step of their deity's that that safely makes your cleric chaotic neutral.

The main problem I see with the current character concept is that Lamashtu considers all other gods enemies even though some gods are greater enemies to her than others, or, in other words, I'm not sure why she would personally send someone to the Pathfinder Society except to attempt to corrupt it from within?

There's also the option of focusing on the character's personal reasons for choosing Lamashtu as a deity. I'm too tired to brainstorm anything up atm but the question would be what drew him to Lamashtu while still firmly placing him within the CN alignment.

It sounds like not being level 10 is the quickest solution to the problem.

Maybe you could bring the PCs down a few levels and put some brakes on the experience progression if needed after that?

I'm creating a first level druid that I'd like first and foremost to be a melee character, focusing on wild shape at later levels.

Right now, I have him outfitted with a club, a wooden shield, and hide armor and intend to use Shillelagh to boost my damage in a pinch. His AC is 17 and he has 14 hp.

It's been a long time since I've been in a first level game, a few years, so I was hoping to get some input on whether that's a solid place to be, if I'm investing too much in defense, or if I'm not investing enough in defense and should plan on standing back and supporting my animal companion until I get wild shape.

It seems like there are some potentially fun options that would lose me my shield, like the Aspect of the Beast feat:

Claws of the Beast (Ex): You grow a pair of claws. These claws are primary attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage (1d3 if you are Small).

Or a weapon like the scythe.

(If I took Aspect of the Beast I'd have to lose Toughness which I am, ofc, hesitant to do.)

Normally my #1 concern is having fun, but right now "not dying" is tied for first.

As somebody who's played a NE character who was hiding it from the rest of the party and also had it hidden from the other players (with the GM's full permission)...

There's no issue here at all if the idea behind it is that you're playing a character who's going to suffer the consequences if they're discovered and see that as a role-playing opportunity that may shape and change your and other characters.

The question for me is in the players at the table. Do the players know each other? Is there a reason to suspect this is going to cause a conflict between the players, not just the characters?

I think those are the important questions to ask here.

Sure, the characters are going to do this and that based on their premise and alignments if played correctly. If you think there's going to be a problem between the players because of it you've got a very different problem on your hands than how it all works mechanically in game.


That said, in terms of handling it in game: Is the conflict the players are confronting bigger than the individual morals and motivations of the characters confronting it?

If so, I'd recommend playing that angle up before any revelations came out. That was what made it smooth sailing for me to play an evil character in our game. My character and the good characters' concerns were firmly aligned -- even though the characters' motivations differed.