Arclord of Nex

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Ediwir wrote:
For the adventure itself, I'd love if you could give this guide a shot and give me some feedback if possible.

Seen it, nice work, I was planning to use it already.

Will let you know if I've some feedback about specific points once i start actually using it.

Ediwir wrote:

For the Champion, the playtest actually had an antipaladin NPC. Her Touch of Corruption was a harmful version of LoH, and her champion reaction was triggered on being critically hit. It could mirror Paladin's RetStrike pretty cleanly, and would work well in boosting defense and offense especially against powerful enemies.

Nice! will dig out the playtest then, didn't catch that.

Ediwir wrote:

If you're gestalting them, I'd stick with regular feat progression, 2/4/6/8/10/12/14/16/18/20, mostly because that's what max multiclass is set to. get a point... I guess I can always start skipping some feats later if the results start to be *too* imbalanced. And after all, the true overpower balancer, action economy and non cumulation of bonuses, remain in place.

Ediwir wrote:
I never played WotW (I am STILL hoping to join that one as a player someday in the far future) so can't help too much. The Guide however might give some useful insight with possible subsystems or guidelines?

My group is having a blast. We are at the end of module 1, right now, so still plenty of road to go.

About module 1, the first part have been a bit quite uninspiring, but the last part, "Burning Balentyne", really got my players going.

Granted, last session ended in a cliffhanger near TPK that may mean that I don't need to convert the old PCs but simply let them roll a brand new party, but I trust they will manage to crawl back from the brink of disaster... :-p

I'm conducting a "Way of the Wicked" campaign at the moment, and I'm seriously considering to try to convert it to the new PF2e.

Apart for converting NPCs and monsters, that's going to be a lot of work but I guess quite straightforward and all on me as a GM, I wanted to ask some suggestions on how to resolve the PC conversion, and how to manage some potential pitfalls.

The first and most obvious, right now the champion class is limited to good characters, while way of the wicked is of course an evil path.

I could, I guess, simply take the current champion, switch 'evil' for 'good', 'negative' for 'positive', 'inflict' for 'cure', use the tenets of Asmodeus, and be done with it... but if somebody have further suggestions i will gladly listen to them.

Another thing, my players need all the support and help they can get to survive, so right now I allowed them to be gestalt characters.

I would like to allow them to keep the same feel, so that they do not feel shortened by the switch, and I thought about this way to do it: giving them a bunch of bonus feats to spend exclusively on multiclass archetypes.

I've yet to get a proper feel of 2e characters progression and play, so I don't know if going for a stricter , for example, 2nd, 8th, 14th, 20th bonus feat, or maybe a more generous 2,5,8,11,14,17,20 bonus feats.

Other ideas are of course welcome.

Any other suggestions or pitfall pointers from people that knows the campaign and/or the new 2E are also welcome.

Thanks to everybody, and to Paizo and Fire Mountain Games for their excellent work.

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For myself: I like the setting and I like the quality of the adventure paths.
Adventure paths particularly are a true boon for older GM like me, that do not have the time anymore for homebrewed settings and adventures, and have to be ready for an evening session after a grueling working week.

I like the rule system changes introduced more than 3.5e, and for sure much more than 4e.

There are also many things of the rule system that drive me crazy: coming from systems like GURPS, finding that feats like "Altitude affinity" do cost the same as, for example, "Craft Wondrous Items" seems quite absurd.

Or the lawyeristic design of the rules that strongly encourage a "right-way/wrong-way" mindset in players. I understand the need for a "standard" set for PS play, but for those like me that do not partake, it's only an annoyance when dealing with a certain kind of players.

By the way, I often hear that Pathfinder is an "easy" system for new players, but the number of traps, the "dependency hell" of feats and classes, to borrow the sysadmin term, and the strongly structured class progression are poison for casual players, especially if they've more expert ones around that tend to either "guide" or eclipse them, interfering with their character development.

On the other hand, the same things that IMHO make it a not especially good RP rule system, make it almost addictive as a game system. Creating an optimized character build, capable of being a valuable party resource while maintaining coherency of background options, an original concept and working around the many many obstacles and limitations of the system, is a worthy challenge that have stolen many of my hours.

Suggestion: I'm starting to GM a C.Crown campaign with only 2 players.
They're going to play a vanilla Samsarang Inquisitor and Tiefling Investigator, both not specially optimized.

To compensate for having only 2 players, I gave them a very generous point buy (35) and I was considering using the fast XP progression: the XP concentration plus the fast track should keep them 1/2 levels ahead of a standard party.

Asking to people with more experience GMing this path and/or with smaller groups, do you think this is going to be enough? Or should I take some other steps?
I considered both adding NPC or allowing gestalt chars, but they do not like the idea.

Thematically they're a quite fine group, very well suited to the less combat-intensive part of the AP, and with a carefull, stealthy approach to exploration, but sooner or later it will come to frontal fight, and I'm worried about the lack of full-casting, both arcane and divine, and real tanking.

Oh! I must try to buld a warpriest of Calistria or Jalaijatali (or some of the evils) based on this.

In fact I would gestalt fighter and rogue. Leave the result be the only totally non-magical non-supernatural class, but the absolutely best at anything non-magic: plenty of feats, plenty of talents, 2 good saves, evasion, good HD, full bab, combat training, sneak attack, trap-finding, best skill points... but still, no magic or supernatural.

Call the resulting class "the hero".

Leave to the choice in skills and feats the specialization in scouting or fighting or meatshielding.

The warriors would benefit by being useful out of combat, and the scouts would benefit from being actually good in a fight.

After all, if all those that claims that without magic no class is competitive are right, it will still not be an overpowered class... only slightly more resourceful and less fragile.

Personally, I like having low-magic gameplay options because I often like designing my worlds, and some of them have rule of magic different from the custom on given in PF (and PF <> Golarion).

Physical reality have only one set of rules, with which we're all comfortable.
Almost any game system approximation of the physical reality is at least acceptable.

Magic not existing, we can imagine multiple mechanics behind it, and a single-flavor of it can't hope to catch all variations.

For example, among the worlds I've designed, I've one where magic is a byproduct of lifeforms, gods are more or less symbionts that draw magic from higher lifeforms in exchange for benefits, an outsider parasite godling have managed to banish gods from the world, conquests most of the world with the armies of its followers, and it's drawing all the free-flowing magic.
Only its follower still maintain "classic" magic powers, there're no other divine casters, and arcane casters need to use their own life force to cast, taking damage anytime they cast.

In another one, civilization is relatively high tech, '800 style, but magic instead of being a developed art, have just been rediscovered, and only the most basic form of it are known... but they're being studied and used scientifically and industrially.
On the other hand, there was a previous draconic civilization extinct from ages that were totally magic in the usual way: different powers are competing to conquer and explore the old ruins in distant continents to re-discover pieces of superior arcane powers in a Great Game-like competition... in this world there're only arcane casters, and the only spells widely known are the core manual ones from level 0 to 3. Casters can use upper level slots to cast lower level spell with metamagic (all available), but that's all. Other spells are found only while adventuring, or are made available as plot-devices. On the other hand, magic items are quite common and mass-produced, and there are common versions of wands and staves usable by non-magic-users too...

In a third, the nature of magic is different, in that it all descend by dealing with otherworldly beings. As a consequence, magic is even more powerful, but must be used with care and after great consideration, because each use have a steep price and consequences. Moreover, tend to be slow, to be used not so much directly in battle, apart for the occasional well studied devastating strike, but in preparing for battle, in dealing with the consequence of battles, and in out of battle situations.
In this world, instead of the standard daily spell allotment, spell-users have to bargain in advance for a bunch of spell levels that they can then use all at one or sparingly as they see fit... you can also deal for daily fixed usages and/or SLA or supernatural abilities, for the right price.

Other worlds I implemented using other more generic systems, designed from the start to leave creative freedom, like GURPS.
Still, PF d20 is nice, known by more people, so I also made some customizations to support different kind of gameplay...

As it does contains also brass keys, with enough time, given infinite keys to test, you should also be able to get rid of thieves tools...

Oh, and containing salt and copper pieces for corpse eyes, you've also a steady supply of cash in small change form.

Plus a +2 of initiative is not enough to be guaranteed to be the first, so you'll still have to plan for when you're not going first.
Maybe if you really want take Improved Initiative in place of extra traits... or be careful in keeping casting Anticipate Peril before likely encounters.

Mmmmh, if I had to generally nerf spellcasting in pathfinder, making the warrior classes more relevant while maintaining the caster niche of "masters of the impossibile", I think I would increase all spells casting time.

Increase all spells casting time to the successive step:

Swift -> Standard
Standard -> Full round
Full round -> 1 round (including metamagic spontaneous)
1 round -> 1 min.
Immediate > Immediate, but no other casting the following round.

Limit spellcasting to a maximum of 1 spell/round, whatever the circumstances (extra actions, contingency, etc.).

If you feel it's still not enough, take away casting on the defensive: casting always provoke.
In this case, at least re-purpose the Combat Casting bonus to all the other concentration rolls.

With these modifications, caster while still uber-powerfull, are much more vulnerable, static, and do require much more protection from their BFS friends.

Is having flurry of blow sufficient to take mythic two-weapon fighting?
Flurry does not say explicitly that it does count as having TWF for prerequisites... from RAW I would say that you can't...

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4 knifemaster rogues ratfolk with swarming racial trait and river rat background trait.
A.K.A. the Lawn-mowers.

Some section about possible multiclassing options could help... for example, a 1-level dip in Inspired blade would be nice for a dex-based Investigator and help the build at starting levels, like adding some Gunslinger (maybe Pistolero or Musket Master) to a Steelhound (you waste the duplicate Gunsmithing, but you add a lot of skill-mastery and buffing without sacrificing too much).

A possible good use for the Arcane Weapon exploit would be with a 1-level dip in Wizard Spellslinger.
Lose another spell level vs wizard, but for a potential +5 DC on some spells. With the right spells and/or metamagic and the Potent Spell exploit could be devastating.

Kazumetsa_Raijin wrote:

1.) I believe they do not.'He uses his warpriest levels as monk levels for determining the amount of damage dealt with an unarmed strike". However any GM probably wouldn't really mind if they did. At most I only see a 2 level dip from Monk for most of these builds.

I think the answer to this specifically should be yes exactly for the language used: saying to use "his warpriest levels as monk levels" to me mean summing them up. It would have been different if it was "his warpriest level as the equivalent monk level".

For the 2. I would agree with everybody (although I think it would have been cleared adding something to specify the implicit assumption that the "Sacred fist" levels are used in place of Monk levels for Flurry of blows).

For the 3., RAW they do stack, probably RAI they do not, as some developers stated in some previous posts that a bonus from the same stat should not be added twice if not explicitly stated otherwise... but to my knowledge it was not a ruling, only an opinion...

Trying some build, and it does seem that the Investigator does benefit greatly from taking the first level as an Inspired blade, with the spoilered fencing grace feat.

Even if Inspiration and Studied combat come online 1 level later, and you miss the capstone, the boost at the first levels seems to be sufficient to keep you relevant, at least on paper.

The best race for the moment seems to be the half-elf: adding a static bonus to inspiration with its favored class bonus seems to be quite helpful.

It's a pity that the Inspired weapon property can't be applied to firearms, the Steelhound would have been much more attractive.
The Steelhound also have some starting-levels problem due to the fact that the class is proficient only with a single firearm, but at the second level (why not first, sigh...) can only choose as "free-weapons" a pistol, a musket or a blunderbuss.
So, either you optimize to start shooting relatively early by choosing one of those weapons as proficiencies, or you choose a firearm more suited to you but have to actually wait to be able to afford it, and in the meantime you do not shoot at all.
Or invest a feat in exotic weapon (firearms), obviously, and we go back to the half-elf being a nice choice...
I've tried some combos and obtaining a decent rate of fire is going to be tricky, you've to invest a lot on it and it only start working well quite late in the game.

Well, there's the point blank shot feat that should apply.

Plus, sorcerer bloodlines arcana like orc, dragon and elemental. Using crossblooded orc/dragon or elemental with acid that's a +2.

There are traits if I remember well that adds +1 do damage to a spell.
Ah yes, if you're allowed to combine "havoc of the society" and "elemental pupil (acid)" you should get another +2.

Oh, and if you're an arcane trickster (or have sneak attack in some other way) you should be able to deliver sneak attacks with it for a potentially very devastating ranged touch attack that ignore SR, especially considering that depending on the reading of the rules each of the additional sneak attacks dices should get modified with that nasty crossblooded sorcerer bonus damage.

I guess that a rogue could do worse than take a 1/2 lvl dip in a crossblooded orc/brass dragon sorcerer that know only detect magic, acid splash, prestidigitation and vanish, and with a couple of related traits (like magical knack for extra invisibility rounds or something similar).

Plus, maybe I'm forgetting some other way to increase it further...

Edit: ninja'd

My small bit:

p. 76, Blade Adept exploits, Magus arcana.

Among the allowed Magus arcana there's the Wand Wielder arcana.
Wand wielder arcana does allow to use wands when using Spell Combat, but the Blade Adept can only get Spellstrike, not Spell Combat.

I see 3/4 possible RAI, but I'd like to know if I'm missing something or what.

a) Wand wielder was included by mistake, either directly or referencing a Spell combat option of the archetype that was later scrapped.
b) Wand wielder was included intentionally and it was the way to get Spell Combat that was excluded by mistake.
c) Wand wielder was included intentionally, and taking it does means that the Blade Adept get Spell Combat strictly when using wands (!).
d) Wand wielder was included intentionally as a support for multiclassing (!!)
e) Something else...

Bardarok wrote:

I don't like Shorten Grip though, I would think that anyone would be able to use a reach weapon against an adjacent foe as an improvised club like weapon already. No logical reason they wouldn't be able to and the rules for an improvised weapon seem entirely appropriate for such an attack.

Mmh, I did not read the normal improvised weapon rules in this way, but I desired to do so, hence this feat... maybe I'll take your suggestion and simply use it as the "normal" rule, I'll think about it.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:

Since flurry of blows uses full BAB, if would be better to not reference that.

I think your feats are personal preference, and not necessarily better than existing rules. Before implementing them in a game, discuss them with your gaming group to find out their opinions.

The list that ranks the "speed" of each action makes sense to those of us who already understand it. For those who do not, your write up will require additional explanation.

Obviously these feats are my own personal preference, I stated so myself in my introduction to them. What I'm interested is in making sure they're not significantly worse than standard game, by being exploitable, redundant or something! :p

Anyway I'll try to rewrite the two you pointed out in a more clear way.
Even if at my table I'm obviously always available to explain them to my own players, in the spirit of making them usable by other interested parties some editing would still be useful.
Please also consider that I'm not a native English speaker, so some things could seem well written to me while instead being badly worded.

ElementalXX wrote:

I like your feats however i think it shouldnt work on two handed, or at least make it so it doesnt add 1.5 so not to destroy strengh niche

Vital strike is cool

Shorten grip is unecesary, there already a similar a little bit more balanced feat.

Well, about the 1,5x strength, Agile combat does state that the weapon is always considered a light weapon for damage bonuses, so even if wielded with 2 hands would not receive 1,5x strength.

I'd like to know about the shorten grip feat alternate feat, I seem to have missed it (I know that there was one in 3,5 that gave a simple -2 to hit, but, well, I wanted to be more conservative in the feats I do introduce).

Hello to everybody.
Inspired by the recent discussions on the ACG and about the upcoming Pathfinder Unchained, I wanted to show here some homebrewed rules that I use in the campaigns I GM for, and ask for a forum opinion.

Please note, I'm not proposing these solutions as universally worthy ones, and so I'm not asking here if these are the solutions to all Pathfinder woes and should be adopted by all the world or something similar.
They're simply more suited to my personal taste.

Only, even if these rules have been well received in my own groups and did not have caused any particular noticeable imbalance in my game, I've only few groups, and even the most munchkin players of mine are better at parsing online guides than actual number-crunching.

So, I would like opinions from a more wast group of players about corner-cases and unforeseen consequences of these modifications.
And maybe some suggestions about other similar modifications that could be suited to my tables.

Also, maybe some other players could enjoy these rules and find some ideas they may like...



Agile combat

Prerequisites: Dexterity 13

Benefit: With a light weapon, or a one or two handed handed piercing or slashing weapon made for a creature of your size category, you may use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls. If you carry a shield or a medium or heavy armor, their armor check penalty applies to your attack rolls. Any strength modifier penalty is still applied to the attack roll. Using one handed weapons with this feat require a minimum strength of 13, and using 2 handed weapons with this feat require a minimum strength of 15. Increase or decrease the strength requirements by 2 for each size step difference from medium. Any weapon one handed or 2 handed wielded with Agile combat is considered a one handed light weapon exclusively for calculating any type damage bonuses (for example, not for off-handed use or two weapon attack penalties).

Special: Natural weapons are considered light weapons.

Personal note: the desired effect is extending the range of weapons that you should logically be able to use with dexterity, while avoiding strength dumping and min maxing, and in a thematically appropriate way for the idea of “agile combatant”.
Note that leaving reach weapons inside this was a conscious decision, to reflect the style of combat that it's possible to see in some eastern martial arts with lances.


Scientific fencing

Prerequisites: Dexterity 13, Agile combat, Profession (soldier or other appropriate martial profession) 2 ranks.

Benefit: When wielding a weapon usable with Agile combat, you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on melee attack and damage rolls. If you carry a shield or a medium or heavy armor, their armor check penalty applies to your damage rolls. Any strength modifier penalty is also applied to the damage roll. Using one handed weapons with this feat require a minimum strength of 13, and using 2 handed weapons with this feat require a minimum strength of 15. Increase or decrease the strength requirements by 2 for each size step difference from medium.

Personal note: as per the previous feat, plus you've to wait a bit and invest in the feat tax to keep things balanced. The inclusion of 2-handed weapons is compensated by the fact that they receive only 1x Strength.


Shorten grip

Prerequisites: Dexterity 13, Martial weapons proficency

Benefit: When wielding a pole arm with reach that you are proficient with, you may at will treat the weapon as if it did not have reach. The weapon is unwieldy when used in this fashion and you consider it an improvised club-like weapon when attacking an opponent you normally could not.

Normal: Reach weapons cannot be used against adjacent foes.

Personal note: Referring to previous dex-based feats, as the shortened polearm is considered club-like (and improvised...), it does means that when using it shortened it can't benefit from them.


Vital strike

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: When you are doing a single melee or ranged attack in a round, your attack deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Personal note: consider this wording extended also to the rest of the chain.
Almost everybody agree that Vital strike as it is is quite underpowered. At the same time, I feel that the combat balance is too rewarding to immobile combatants and not enough to mobile ones. This is my first attempt to deal with it... now you can combine it with Spring attacks and Charges, plus some other maneuvers and abilities.
Also note that this wording helps with Mythic Vital Strike abuse, where having more than one standard actions in a round means being able to deliver more terribly damaging Mythic Vital Strikes...



All types of crossbows are made with a particular Strength bonus rating. The crossbow deliver extra damage related to this Strength bonus rating, indipendently from the user Strength. If your Strength bonus is less or more than the Strength bonus rating of the crossbow, reloading it's going to take longer or shorter in proportion to the difference between your Strength bonus and the crossbow Strength bonus rating. For each bonus point of difference, the reloading time shift from the crossbow default reloading time (after applying all relevant feats and class features) one step in the following table:

  • Free action
  • Swift action
  • Move Action
  • Standard action
  • Full-round action
  • 1 round
  • 2 rounds
  • 3 rounds
  • ...

(Addition from the new Bolt Ace: the reloading time of “not an action” should not be accessible by using crossbows with lower strength rating, but should remain a Bolt Ace exclusive, I think)

The default crossbow is rated for a Strength bonus rating of +0. Each point of additional Strength bonus granted by the crossbow adds 100 gp to its base cost. A crossbow rated for less than +0 does not reduce its base price.


Wand Holster

Price: 1gp Weigth: 1lb

A belt attachment that can holster a single wand or rod.
Special: if you have the Quick draw feat you can draw the wand or rod as if it was a normal weapon.
To benefit from this effect you may not wear more than one of these holsters in a specific location, and it can't be worn near other sheated weapons (i.e. if you wear one on the left side of your belt, you can't wear another on that side, and you can't also keep a sword sheated there).

Note: an holstered wand is in clear view of anybody observing you.

Magic Items:


Wand of cantrips

When creating a wand with a cantrip, a caster can choose to create it with infinite charges for 2x the normal wand price.

Class abilities:


Martial Monk

The Monk have a full-bab progression even when not using flurry of blows.

Capsule Extract discovery (Ex)

Prerequisite: Alchemist 10, Infusion discovery

You can create a very concentrated rapid-acting infusion as a solid capsule.
This capsule is easy to conceal, so you've +10 to your Sleight of Hand checks to conceal, palm or otherwise manipulate it.
Retrieving and ingesting such an extract from a pouch or similar container is a move action.
Ingesting such an extract while having it already in hand is a Swift action.
The capsule is water-soluble and will be wasted if it does get wet.
It can be dissolved in a glass of pure water to recreate a standard extract, but if dissolved in other beverages will be ruined and wasted.
Creating a capsule extract does consume an extract slot 3 levels higher than the equivalent normal extract, but the spell effective level does not change.

Personal note: I will extend this discovery to the ones accessible to the new Investigator class.

Combat rules:


Pinned Coup de Grace

If you manage to pin an adversary while holding a one-handed piercing or slashing weapon, in the following round you can attempt a grapple combat maneuver check at -10 to deliver a coup de grace with that weapon as a full-round action.
If you need to also extract the weapon first, you need to be able to do so while using at least one hand to maintain a grapple, and the grapple combat maneuver check to be able to deliver the coup de grace is at -20.
If this maneuver fails the adversary receive a free attempt to break the grapple at +8 bonus.

Personal note: used rarely, but it gave me a couple of nice hostage situations different to replicate otherwise. Leaving one handed ranged weapons like guns and light/hand crossbows was a conscious decision.

Well, not every character need to be absolutely devastating in combat: you can always use your investigator as a supporter, either using the "aid another" actions to help the party BFS or using ranged weapons.

Personally, I'm trying some Steelhound Investigator builds to see if it's feasible: even if firearms are far from optimized, using touch attacks to deliver those nice studied strikes later is going to be fun.

At the first level, while waiting for the actual gun and feats, I'll likely use a light crossbow to do second-line support.

Before the build come online, I'll do what I did when I played old AD&D wizards at starting levels... I'll support other PCs during combat, and I'll take my chances to shine out of it.

Btw, for this build I think that the best favored option is the half-elf one. +1/4/lvl bonus to the inspiration dice is going to be huge for your rolls once you start adding them to anything including damage (see also the inspired strike feat).
Mmmh, thinking about it, also the elf one to add 1/3 inspiration use... maybe mix&match a bit? :p

zapbib wrote:

I think these feat are a little too complicated. Also no shield or armor? That's a little too much, no one outside of caster and kansai would be able to use that feat. Remember, we wanted a more generic feat so there would be more variation, this feat encourage very specific stats and build.

Also, while I like at first the idea of having 2-handed weap be finessable, I think I like more the fact that reach weapon are a str specialty.

Which is actualy another advantage of strength user, they get reach easily. The only way right now for dex user is a whip, while good it's very feat intensive.

Well, I don't want to go too into the details of defending my modifications, as after all I reported them here not as a proposed solution but as an example of a damage-to-dexterity solution that scratch the hitches of me and my group if not all while not upsetting the balance all too much, so I'll limit them to this only post...

The limitations about armor are about giving the dex-to-damage to those that thematically wants them... the agile warriors... and if they're agile, they will already use light armors or no armor to benefit their dex. About reach, I don't see it as a problem (reach is already limited by other factors, and there're ways to obtain it for the current bunch of dex fighter anyways, with bloodlines, feats, spells etc.), but I guess adding it a clause "piercing or slashing non-reach weapons" would be easy enough I think...

About it being complicated, well, there are a lot of complicated feats, even much more than these (i.e. the recently cited "sacred geometry").
Anyway, I'm not a professional game designer: I expect the professionals would come out with a more refined version, again I only reported this here to show an example of thing that did not lead to troubles at now 4 different groups of players including some quite dedicated optimizers.

Just to add my maybe redundants 2 bits.
In my table, we've the following houserules:


Alternative weapon finesse
Prerequisites: Dexterity 13
Benefit: With a light weapon or a one handed or two handed piercing or slashing weapon made for a creature of your size category, you may use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls. If you carry a shield or an armor, their armor check penalty applies to your attack rolls. Any penalty to strength is still applied to the attack roll. Using one handed weapons with this feat require a minimum strength of 13, and using 2 handed weapons with this feat require a minimum strength of 15. Increase or decrease the strength requirements by 2 for each size step difference from medium. Any weapon one handed or 2 handed wielded with alternative weapon finesse is considered a one handed light weapon exclusively for calculating any type damage bonuses (for example, not for off-handed use or two weapon attack penalties).

Special: Natural weapons are considered light weapons.


Scientific fencing
Prerequisites: Dexterity 13, Alternative weapon Finesse, Profession (soldier or professional fencer (or other appropriate martial profession)) 2 ranks.

Benefit: When wielding a weapon usable with alternative weapon finesse, you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on melee attack and damage rolls. If you carry a shield or an armor, their armor check penalty applies to your damage rolls. Any penalty to strength is also applied to the damage roll. Using one handed weapons with this feat require a minimum strength of 13, and using 2 handed weapons with this feat require a minimum strength of 15. Increase or decrease the strength requirements by 2 for each size step difference from medium.

The most efficient melee characters are still strength based builds, because they can use heavy armor much more easily and deliver a lot of .

It have been used with most satisfaction by a buccaneer gunslinger to be able to use a more flavorful cutlass when not shooting instead of being forced to use out-of-character scimitar, and by an elf archery ranger to be slightly more useful when switch hitting with his elven curve blade.

A slightly munchkin player tried to do a reach magus with the whip, but found it at the end not very satisfying (and I've to point that slashing grace now would have allowed it anyway). He was happy to rebuild it with a normal sword.

All in all, the world did not end.

(Edited for typos)

Joe M. wrote:
fuzzyillogic wrote:

A question about the investigator: does it have the option to apply studied combat and studied strikes to ranged attacks?

There's also some archetype/facilitation to do a gun-based investigator?

Yes and yes.


Yay! Depending on the details of this, maybe I have found my next character!

For Science! :D

About the problem of effectiveness of martials vs magics, be careful what you wish for: they tried doing an absolutely fair system in 4e, and the result was that all classes felt almost the same thing.

In my mind, the goal should be differentiation in mechanics and complementarity.
No play style should be effective in all situations, but every style should be the best in its ideal conditions.

From this point of view, characters that are not so useful in combat are perfectly fine as long as they have other roles to fulfill.

In my mind, a good way to differentiate martials from the various kind of magic users should be reliability: I actively dislike all those kind of mechanics that have been introduced to give some kind of resource management to non-magic-users, for me the key of differentiate them from m.u. should be reliability: any power given to a non-magic character, should be usable almost at will, always available, and always reliable.

M.u. instead should be the only one having to rely on a limited pool of resources for they greater powers, the less the amount of resources the greater the power. And moreover, for really awesome powers, they should be *slow*.

Now, I understand that some of the things I'd like to see would mean a change to big to be realistic with all the accumulated material... this does not mean that some of those idea could not be implemented here and there...

(p.s. another small gripe I've with the current system is that there are too much differences in feat effectiveness: some are really good, flexible and powerful, other are really weak, and moreover often they do have byzantine trees of dependencies and requisites, so that a non-dedicated-power-gamers that do not plan all their character career well in advance would never ever have a chance to choose it.
The fact that a feat is useful to different kind of character is not an issue, but in my mind generalistic feats, useful in all situations, should be weaker than specialistic feats, awesome in their specific case and useless otherwise.
Another thing, complex trees of prerequisites should be substituted with flat in-game events for very rare feats: you can't choose it if that rare events does not happen, but if it does happen you gain access to that super-powerful feat without having to worry about having designed your character to very specific circumstances.

A question about the investigator: does it have the option to apply studied combat and studied strikes to ranged attacks?
There's also some archetype/facilitation to do a gun-based investigator?

Mmmh, about the beginning of the thread, if I went Tengu or Catfolk or Tiefling or so on, getting the claws options, and then I took Aspect of the Beast (Claws fo the Beast), would I not get 4 claws attacks? After all, humanoids do have 4 limbs, I guess it could be argued that the 2 extra claws are on your feet... or there's something somewhere that does forbid it?

For the incoming Worldwound-based campaign, I was considering a cleric + divine scion character.

Reading the description I've now a doubt that maybe you can resolve: in the Divine Wrath power it states that "damaging spells deal +1 point of damage per die against creatures with an alignment subtype that matches the divine scion’s opposition alignment".
If I interpret this correctly, the power should them only work on creatures that have the specific subtype evil, or good, or whatever, so almost exclusively outsiders, not on all creatures of that alignment, like for example characters or humanoid NPC.
In fact, according to the description of the subtypes, it would affect such a creature even if its alignment were different from the subtype.

On the other hand, later, in the True Scion capstone power, the language is different, stating "Her divine wrath ability now deals +2 points of damage per die against creatures of the appropriate alignment.".

So, the intended Divine Wrath effect is:

a) It only ever affect creatures of the subtype <alignment>

b) It affect all creatures with <alignment>

c) It affect both creatures of subtype <alignment> and simply <alignment>

d) At 4th level it affect creatures of the subtype <alignment>, but at 10th level it affect all <alignment> creatures too.

ZanThrax wrote:
If you boost the Selected target word (the only valid target for Servitor words), the effects of all words in the spell are increased by three.

Oh, right, I missed the part where it was explained that it was the target part that had to be boosted. -_-

Yeah, definitely not worth it.

Still, going to try the experimental spellcaster with a sorcerer, if the GM allows me (btw, it could be a good chapter for the guide offering some suggestion for an efficient word selection for someone only trying it out with that feat... with few words it's important to choose the best ones...)

There's one thing that leave me perplexed: inspired by this guide I went and read the full rules, both on the UC manual and on the srd... but I did not see where it does say that the Boost Meta word does increase the total level of a Servitor spell by 3.

The Boost meta word does say that

Some boosted descriptions increase the level of the effect word or target word, and can only be used if the wordspell is of a high enough level to accommodate the new level.

But in the Servitor effect word does say simply, if I'm not being blind

If the target word is boosted, a wordspell with this effect word summons 1d4+1 of the chosen creatures.

As a counterexample, reading another effect like Altered Form, the level increase is obvious

This wordspell can use the Selected target word. Boosting this effect word increases its level by 1.

Am i missing something?

Some useful addition for Gishes: the Caster's Tattoo from Inner Sea Magic allow (swift action, 1/day) to both Silent and Still cast a spell.

Tattoo magic in general is useful for a gish: False Focus with a tattoed holy symbol (notably, worth exactly 100Gp) is arguably better than Eschew material.
Also, even if it does involve some GM judgement, it's more or less arguable that it should be possible to tattoo with the appropriate feat any metamagic rod, for always available metamagics like Quicken and Intensify.

In my game, I want to alter slightly the current game balance by making some options quite more lethal.

In particular, I want to obtain the following results (mix of general and specific situations):
a) Ambushes should be much more dangerous even when performed by clearly inferior opponents: if an adventuring party does not take the proper precautions, even a bunch of low-level goblins that staged an ambush should represent a non-trivial danger.

b) Stealthy approaches to enemies should be more lethal even for non-dedicated backstabbers: if a warrior manage to silently slip behind a standing guard, he too should be able to dispatch the guard without raising alarm, even if likely not as cleanly as a rogue.

c) Taking somebody prisoner by keeping him under aim should be a real menace for the prisoner: if a bunch of city guards surround the party keeping them under fire with their crossbows, the party should feel a greater pressure about having those crossbows aimed at them than the few hitpoints that they usually risk now.

d) Taking somebody hostage by menacing him with a weapon should be a real option even after 1st level: the standard movie and novels situation where a villain take as an hostage somebody poiting a kife at the throat, or the hero is surpried by the antagonist with a gud at the back of his head, right now is almost impossibile without relying purely on roleplay.

I think all these results can be obtained in Pathfinder without rebalancing massively everything with a couple quite simple changes to the rules, but I may be missing some unforeseen consequences, so I would gladly hear other opinions and even alternative suggestions.

My proposed changes:

1. Each time somebody lose his DEX bonus to AC due to any maneuver or check, if the margin of success/failure of the check/maneuver is 10+, any hit to the target by the source of the check is considered a coup de grace.

So, if my character is flat-footed due to a surprise check failed with a margin of 10+, if I'm hit it will be a coup-de-grace.

If I'm in battle and somebody sneak at my back with a stealth check successful by a margin of 10+, his attacks will be coups-de-grace, while the attacks by the other enemies I'm battling will be normal.
Also, if somebody pin me down and succeed by 10+, he can then deliver its damage as a coup-de-grace.

2. If somebody, for whatever reason including the previous cases, let a drawn slashing or piercing melee weapon (or ranged weapon of the bow, crossbow or firearm type at a point-blank range, or spell with a touch attack that deal lethal damage) be aimed at him without being able/willing to enter combat in that round, the enemies keeping the weapon aimed at him will then be able at any moment to deliver a single coup-de-grace as an immediate action.

So, if I'm not willing to immediately start a fight with the approaching guards and let them point their crossbows at me at close range, I will hten have to be very careful about later resisting arrest or anything, as they'll be able to hit me with very dangerous coups-de-grace.

At the same time, if somebody have a knife placed at my back and is ordering me to obey him , I'll have to fear the situation much more than a simple 1d4 of hit points...

The immediate considerations I've made are that "Uncanny dodge" is suddenly much more important, perception and stealth skills become fundamental, and grapple become really much more dangerous.

It is stated in the rules that you can't trip some kind of creatures, like the flying ones.

On the other hand, in the Battering Blast spell description, it does not say that it does trip, it says that if the Bull Rush attempt have been successful the creature must attempt a Reflex save or fall prone, a specific addition to the Bull Rush rules.

battering blast:
A creature struck by any of these is subject to a bull rush attempt. The force has a Strength modifier equal to your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier (whichever is highest). The CMB for the force’s bull rush uses your caster level as its base attack bonus, adding the force’s Strength modifier and a +10 bonus for each additional blast directed against the same target. Each sphere of force makes its own separate bull rush attempt—if multiple spheres strike one target, you make multiple CMB checks but only take the highest result to determine success. If the bull rush succeeds, the force pushes the creature away from you in a straight line, and the creature must make a Reflex save or fall prone.

What does this mean for a flying target? Does the target fall to the ground to be rendered prone? taking maybe falling damage too?

For a winged or similar target it does make sense, but what about floating targets?

Also, if the target does effectively fall to the ground anfter having been batttered, his altitude should be adjusted by his movement away from the caster: as a limit case, if the caster was directly under the target when he hurled the spell, the target should be bullrushed straight up 5+ feets, and then fall down all the distance to the ground, at the very feet of the caster himself.

Technically we could even discuss about the other creatures that are immune to trip, like oozes and creatures without legs, but I guess that that would be a bit of difficult to justify with common sense.

I know how I would resolve most of these things, but I'm curious to know if there're official rules/rulings that I've missed and what other players/GM thinks...

Also, the Spontaneous Metafocus feat.

One thing that is not clear to me: when you're crafting a magic weapon, for example an adamantine +1 sword, starting from scratch, do you need to:

a) provide the adamantine sword as pre-made component before starting to enchant, taking the many many weeks necessary to prepare that sword with the "craft" skill, and then simply add the couple of days necessary to enchant it to +1, or

b)could you start with a lump of adamantite and consider as time required for the enchanting the total price of the weapon, including the special material cost, i.e. about 5 days?

Well, skill focus and maximize knowledge(engineering), and maybe craft (alchemy) and profession (stonemason).
Then invest in a bunch of alchemical components, ranging from stonechipper salve for softening the base of load-bearing pillars, rusting powder to corrode iron beams used to keep together stones, and fuse grenades, plus maybe some lamp oil and alchemist fire to start a true fire in the building.

Also, a cantrip of acid splash can be useful, as with time you can spam it for hours to drill holes in rock, corrode bars and other similar uses.

I guess with your cost and level constraints this is the most reliable way to take down a building: play it as much as possible as near to real life.

Introduce a "Shape spell" metamagic, +0 lvl, it does change the appearance of a spell according to a specific character theme.

Just to not do a purely RP feat, you could give to your spells a bonus half of the Spell Bluff one... a +2 DC to counterspell your casting.

This is my first try with a build: a cleric-divine scion fire blaster.
Being new at this, I accept gladly any comment and suggestion!

Guide (Discussion)

trollbill wrote:


Maybe my melee witch idea will work after all.

Didn't try it in any campaing, but at least on paper a white-haired archetype witch combined maybe with some Eldritch knight should allow a quite decent BAB, making for a reach-build that, if not overly powerful, seems quite fun to play...

While thinking about a class that could have been fun and relatively straightforward to play, I came up witht he idea of this: a fire-based blaster cleric, that used the peculiarities fo the Theologian archetype and the Divine Scion prestige class to extend the power of his blasting to a level that I think comparable to a not fully optimized wizard blaster.

This is my first attempt to do a proper character build, so I'll gladly accept any suggestions, corrections to mistake I will have almost certainly made, and so on.

Here the link.

A ranger/inquisitor with undead enemy is not bad either.
Trapper archetype is usefull, considering that inquisitor can supply the mystic side, and you get a companion to be used as flanker and meat shield.

3 levels of Horizon Walker Astral Plane dominance plus Dimensional X feat chain?
Expensive to accomplish, but not too traumatic and full BAB, for a non caster...

Maybe it have been already treated elsewhere, but what about using the "Crusader's flurry" feat to power up the duelist?
The most obvious use would be a 4 level paladin of Sarenrae plus 3/4 levels of Monk then Duelist and Either Monk or Paladin at the end.
Flurry with scimitar, dervish dance, precision strike, 18-20 critical range, the occasional smite and stunning blow/cornugon stun to wrap everything... terribly MAD but in a point build would allow to optimize wis, int, cha buy, dump str, and focus on dex for optimal results.

Another possibility would be either 1 or 4 levels of Cayden crusader cleric, followed by 8 (sigh) or 4 levels of Martial Artist Monk (for alignment...).

Hello to everybody... I was considering these 2 spells, and I had the idea that, as the snapdragon fireworks launched in the round after the first use only the move action part of the round, and they deal fire damage, maybe they could be considered a legitimate fire source for the pyrotechnics spell.

Is this point of view legitimate? I searched a bit the forum but I've not found any pertinent discussion.

Also, even if the first option would not be considered legitimate, what if I applied the "burning spell" meta to snapdragon? in this case, the target the following round should be taking additional damage being "on fire", so the target itself should become a legitimate source for pyrothecnics.