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Thanks. The first sentence is what I was looking for.

I recall reading the bloodline arcana actually appeared in a PFS module before it was published in full and "stand in Flaming Sphere to heal" is actually one of the printed tactics for that fight.

On your favorite thing

Sounds neat. One thing I have to ask about this: You say the talent gives "physical" Disguise Self and follows with physical changes while the social talent gives different physical forms? Does it change how Disguise Self is illusion based (like 3.5's Changeling did) or will a handshake destroy your disguise?

PFRPGrognard wrote:
Pathfinder adventures are generally designed for four players with characters built from a 15 point build following wealth by level.

More recent ones (I think Skulls and Shackles onward) are made for 20 point buy. PFS used it for even longer.

In general I'd recommend 20 PB over 15, since it benifits classes dependant upon multiple attributes which are always weaker than those focused on a single attribute. The difference between a wizard with 9/14/14/16/8/8 (before racial mods) and a wizard with 10/14/14/16/10/10 is negligible, but for a Paladin, Warpriest, Magus ect. this extra point buy is much more important

Faerie Dragon. Actually having spellcasting allows it to do all kinds of nifty stuff. This includes no UMD checks for sorcerer/wizard spell items and Page of Spell Knowledge to cast without blowing money.

Do the Rogue/Cavalier/Paladin capstones support Ninja/Samurai/Antipaladin or are they forced to go with a generic one?

Is the wizard capstone nearly as cool as their current option of Immortality?

I don't think it's possible to make a spontaneous caster got to tier 1 without overshooting it and hitting tier 0.

I'd love to see more filters on spells. The only other option to sort spells I know of is several years out of date.

Wilderness Origins adds two feats of note for Eldritch Guardians. Changling Familiar (requires Shapeless Familiar) gives your familiar a human form while still letting it take Mauler. Hefty Brute can replace a familiar's (useless) feat in exchange for making it count as one size higher for carrying capacity, which is quite big when trying to ride one.

3.5 had Magical Training in Player's Guide to Faruen, but it's 1st level only and 3.5 material.

Unchained Rogue 3/Slayer X works out better for what the Swashbuckler does.

1: Dex to damage is better
2: You get more skill points and class skills, enabling effective out of combat
3: You can use medium armor for more AC, since the only thing you lose is Evasion. Even if you want to keep that, it enables wearing a mithral breastplate when you can afford one
4: Right selection of slayer talents and rogue tricks (you can get more through extra trick feat) lets you debuff with your sneak attacks or let you tear the enemy in two faster. Many big monsters have minimal dex, so Pressure Points can get nasty if you have other sources of ability damage to stack it with.
5: Two good saves
6: Ranger fighting style from slayer talents gives pre-requisite free feats

Sacred Attendant (Cleric)
Power -1, Versatility -1
None of the granted abilities are worth a domain. The armor bonus is terrible and not worth your ability to wear armor.

Elder Mythos Cultist
Power -1/-2, Versatility -0
Charisma is generally a worse ability score than wisdom, even when this lets you use charisma for will saves. The inability to heal with channel energy would hurt versatility on its own, but with the deity choice and alignment restrictions there's little chance you were channeling positive energy anyways so unless you wanted to be or are allied with a necromancer that's not a huge loss. The real stinker is the autofailure against certain spell effects, with a blank check to the GM to add "other similar effects" to the things you auto-fail. If the GM only applies it to the named effects and those that reference them explicitly (like Lesser Confusion) it's -1 power, if the GM applies it widely it's -2. Note that the obvious expansion is the madness domain's spells (and that of its subdomains) and those include Phantasmal Killer which becomes a no-save just die effect under this interpretation.

Divine Scourage
Power +1/-1, Versatility -1
In exchange for a domain, being forced to pick a good domain choice for the other slot, and all your channel energy you get a few hexes from a limited list... which happens to include some of the best hexes anyways. Unfortunately the major hex options, bar Retributions, are terrible in comparison and a -1 if you go past level 11 in the class.

That just leaves the racial archetypes for Cleric

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Yeah, transmutation and conjuration being the best schools of magic has been unquestioned since the 3.5 days. Their abilities are too versatile for them not to be.

Fire. Its school abilities are lame and its spells are pretty lame. Pyrotechnics and Sirocco are the only spells I'd say are particularly good, but both of them are replaceable.

Double Scion (vigilante)
Power +0, Versatility +0
In exchange for your ability to appear as two different alignments you can can appear as an elf or human without penalty (and RAW you're still a half-elf so shouldn't take a penalty for that either). On its own this is so minor it can't be rated. You also gain acess to three exclusive talents, all underwhelming but all optional so you lose nothing. This is probably a better disguise than default, seeing one is an elf and the other not is much more common than alignment detection by far, but still far too small a change to deviant much from the default.

For the record, the spells Force Hook Charge (a requirement for the Caver's Bolt) and Ranged Piton also do most of the functions you want, as does the spell Handy Grapnel.

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Off the top of my head (Tenser's) Transformation gives profiencies and BAB equal to level. It's not worth it unless you're already built to Gish though.

Searching finds the following:

Oracle's Burden can give people an oracle curse. You need to have one to cast it in the first place and it only gives the negative effects.

Bestow Grace and Bestow Grace of Champion give a bunch of Paladin abilities.

There are a bunch of 1st level spells that make unarmed strikes lethal and not provoke an AoO. Most of these stack with actual IUS/monk levels in some way.

Hunter's Friend and Forest Friend give some ranger/druid abilities. You need to have the abilities to give them with Hunter's Friend and Forest Friend doesn't explicitly call itself say it's Woodland Stride.

Pass Without Trace is often tacked onto nature archetypes/class options. More of an inversion since those duplicate the spell's effects.

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Dragons Revisted mentions a few trends and calls fallen metalic dragons "tarnished". Copper Dragons can become greedy, rampaging drunks and are the most likely to fall to evil or neutrality. Green dragons are often too involved in their books to maintain an evil alignment and often "fall" to neutral. Silver dragons can become neutral easily, but evil ones are handful in 1000 years rare. It claims such fallen silvers are completely different creatures like fallen angels become devils, but it doesn't elaborate on it.

Barbarian and unMonk are great in combat, but don't really have much use outside of them. It's in the race but can't turn. As for Kineticist, I can't really call them a non-caster.

Strongest non-caster is a bit like being the fastest antique utility van in an F1 race. It can be fast in its category, but it's not close to the completion. If you're playing with Spheres of Might and casters its abilities are even less relevant.

A character with 0 intelligence is also comatose.

Alluring Light is one of exceedingly few aggro drawing effects in Pathfinder. Shame it's not on the Bloodrager, Paladin or Ranger list (since they have the HD to actually use that aggro).

Eldritch Archer Magus? The bond takes care of getting a gun (you start with a masterwork one), the low damage is negated by the fact that you're applying touch attacks to the spell, and mending removes the need for quick clear.

I'd say Bloodrager for full CL+full BAB, but sadly they never got a dex boosting archetype like Barbarian did.

Yeah, 1346 just from stuff released before the end of July 2015, but most aren't very good .

Ideally well designed and not just stupidly OP.
Burst of Radiance has its ups and downs from the (PF nerfed version) of Glitterdust but freeing it from the coin flip doomed/nothing result in particular makes it pretty nice. It's also on the Cleric list and has good flavor to be there.

Blistering Invective gives a two-fold boost of letting you mass-intimidate (while using the actual demoralize action, which lets it stack with some abilities) as a standard action and boosts that debuff by setting them on fire.

Bladed Dash is a spell so well made it should have been reprinted in the APG just to put it on the Bloodrager list.

As far as I know there's no actual mechanical way to even determine if magic is divine or arcane beyond witnessing a holy symbol being used (fallible as Oracles don't use them and False Focus arcane casters do), knowing the spell is divine only or testing ability that hose divine magic against it.

Not really feeling the cover art. The book directly before it already did the giant enemy thing, but better.

Black Powder is actually a low explosive.

Luring Cavalier does what it's intended to do without overcomplicating it.

Gorbacz wrote:
is pretty much a textbook example on how negativity is easier to generate than positivity :)

Or that, like with everything, bad content greatly outnumbers good content. This is especially when "best" is restricting to both mechanically good and good designed while "worst" only needs one of those to be bad.

Infertility is an alternate option for Bestow Curse in the 3rd Edition Book of Vile Darkness. Another alternative from the same book "Target is struck blind and deaf" is strictly "better" than making them illiterate if they don't know some Braille equivalent (Braille is a relatively modern invention, but in a world with high literacy standards that's full of underground civilizations having something like it isn't implausable).

I'd go against making the target mute however. While a character hit by Bestow Curse is out of the fight, making a target mute means they can't cast remove curse or even ask for it if they survive. That makes it stronger.

Adaptive Shifter: It actually works!
Eldritch Archer: Simple, logical change to a base class without complicating it with a bunch of unrelated changes.
Mooncursed Barbarian: A variant rage that works. Allows Androids to play barbarian too.
Zen Archer, Sensei (+Hungry Ghost): Only reason for chained Monk to exist past level 2.

Seconding Eldritch Scoundrel, even if it is inferior to acessing Arcane Trickster early via Accomplished Sneak Attacker (I'd have give it light armor casting and some support talents). Also Vivisectionist.

Lethal Grace doesn't work on bolts.

One good critera for a bad archetype is one that is worse at its intended area than the unmodified class:

Crusader would be an unimpressive but useable archetype if it was exactly the same but without Diminished Spellcasting. With Diminished Spellcasting it is worse at its intended role than a base Cleric.

Many Druid archetypes stunt wildshape and get nothing in return. They're worse at theming around that animal than a normal druid that just favors that one animal.

Empyreal Knight gains the ability to summon allies, but only after trading out all the abilities that could support that for trash. Everything the archetype can do a standard Paladin with a not that expensive magic item can do better.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
blahpers wrote:
This thread has quickly turned into "what archetypes are weaker in the general case than their vanilla class", which is expected by design for the majority of archetypes. Maybe a useful question is, "what criteria do you use to decide whether an archetype is good or bad?"
I feel like since it's hard to top things like the brute and the oozemorph for sheer weakness, it does probably make sense to recontextualize "worst" to be something like "worst designed". Like something that is not unplayable, but does constitute a missed opportunity.

Magical Child is a good candidate for bad design. It has no idea what it wants to be. Frankly Vigilante had a lot of badly designed archetypes. In addition to the already mentioned Brute, while Warlock is actually good and completely playable it is still "badly designed" since it has zero ability to make its main unique ability (Mystic Bolt) work and past low levels you're forced to ignore it or use third party content. Should have skipped adding Cabalist (it wasn't in the playtest) and used the space to print support items/feat.

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It's hardly "simulation" to make it hard to shoot things above than below. Especially when, with the rules as they are, having high ground is actually bad for ranged attackers since it can create situations where it's harder to shoot something at ground level from the top of battlements than it is to shoot from their base.

Easiest house rule would be that squares upward cost double range and distance down is free.

Dasrak wrote:
Milani offers a mediocre selection of domains and an uninspired favored weapon

Well given the feat gains benefits from charisma, the obvious solution is using it with an Oracle of a mystery that grants channel.

Which is not as bad as it sounds since Warrior outcompetes Swashbuckler in raw numbers. A level 3 Warrior's Greatsword +8 (2d6+4/19-20) or (with Power Attack) +7 (2d6+7/19-20) with 20 AC beats a level 3 swashbuckler's Scimitar +8 (1d6+7/18-20) with 19 AC.

Spell Research (at least the downtime version) does however let you bypass spells known limits.

Speaking of which: Is there a single archetype with the Diminished Spellcasting "feature" that's worth it beyond dipping? Cloistered Cleric is easily the worst since it's based on a 3.5 ACF that didn't need a nerf of its own since the only things that made it OP, divine power setting BAB to full and Knowledge Devotion, didn't exist in PF.

Val'bryn2 wrote:
Speaking is a free action. Just break it into chunks for during combat.

This is how the Circle of Eight mod for the Temple of Elemental Evil video game did it with Lareth. On the first round he joins the fray he says "As you will die soon anyway, I will tell you a little of what you have stumbled upon." then his next act he says "This place is but an outpost for [...]" and so on. One thing to note is that Lareth is beyond a hoard of low level enemies and the players aren't high enough level yet to have serious AoE spells while the geography (he starts behind an L-bend) prevents throwing ranged attacks at him early so the risk of the players rushing him before he can complete it isn't too big.

Actual support for Mystic Bolts.

Alternate classes (Antipaladin) are really just big archetypes. It's mostly important for Ninja (since there are some rogue archetypes that can be stacked with Ninja) and feat requirements, a Paladin can channel negative energy. How Extra Channel actually works on a Antipaladin is up in the air (though every GM in existence will make it work like it does for normal Paladin) and not really relevant though.

@name violation
What page? I can't find it. Indeed, as far as I can tell that book has zero new races and zero templates that can be applied to non-dragons. You may be thinking of the Dragonblood subtype from Races of the Dragon, for creatures with dragon ancestry but non-dragon type, or something else from that book but that race isn't in either of them.

That would explain PF, but not D&D. There's also a bunch of PF books that are dragon based so it's not as solid as it could be.

You mean Spellslinger? That one actually works... on the caveat you only ever take a single level in Wizard since there is ZERO limitation on where your casting comes from (not even arcane/divine/psychic or attribute). Think of it as a one level prestige class that doesn't advance casting with no requirements beyond "can't have any levels in wizard".

Despite half-dragon being as iconic a template as half-fiend or half-celestial, they never got a planetouched equivlent, either in D&D or PF. The only reason I know what to call them is one buried in d20 Modern's Urban Arcana called "Dragonblooded Human" (they're OGL). It seems like a easy design space, yet has gone untouched. Anybody know why?

(I'm aware of the Dragon Magic races and Spellscale. They're truebreeding races. Planetouched aren't.)

S&S ship combat taking so long that boarding is the only viable option has long been the consensus in my experience. Siege Mage as an archetype however truly shines as an NPC foe.

I'd like to nominate Counter-Summoner. It gives up awesomes abilities to hose a single school of magic. Conjuration is easily the best or second best school of magic and pretty bad to be hit with so that might be decent, except the ability doesn't actually work that well. Firstly it only works against actual spells, not SLAs. Secondly you have to make a dispel check, which requires you both win a spellcraft check (on a non-intelligence based class with 2 skill points a level) AND win a dispel check you're predisposed to fail since enemy casters will be higher level and, if they're focused on cojuration enough they won't stick to other schools after you try this once, will have stuff that gives an even higher CL!

The other abilities are pretty terrible too. Since only outsiders can be called, rarely coming to the prime material by any other method, and only a small list of creatures can be summoned (plus summons tend to have low enough duration you'll have witnessed the casting) this doesn't really do anything Knowledge (Planes) and a little guess work can do. The odds it even matters if a creature was called or wandering in through some other method is extremely low.

Weaken Summons is a terrible ability since it's worse (and less likely to work!) than just intimidating them.

Yes? The "already been done" part still stands.

James Jacobs did make the 3.5 modules Red Hand of Doom, which focused on dragons. Problem is to do this it had to be about the scheme of a god of evil dragons, which doesn't really exist in PF anymore (Tiamat will no longer be mentioned since her as a dragon goddess is too close to WotC property), evil dragons are too over the place on law/chaos axis to assign them a demon or devil pseudo-deity in her place, and would have to be a repeat of something that's already been done by them.

I was going to say they don't have arms, but PF harpies do.

If someone can help work out spell selection: Sorcerer. Picking good spells and a good bloodline (Arcane is good for most things) is the main difficulty in playing a Sorcerer. With that out of the way it's easy to understand.


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