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Note that if you can get the weapons to exist, this is doable at 4th with an old-spell-list Summoner in the party since that's when they learn Haste. Buut you have to get the weapons to exist.

'Course, you can get six attacks at level 2 with a Ragebred Vivisectionist or Barbarian... it might even be plausible at first with a Bloodrager?

Drop the feat on Extra Feature, a trait on Adopted for Razortusk, claws from your bloodline... yup. Claw/Claw/Bite/Gore/Hoof/Hoof.

Jiggy wrote:

I wonder how all this factors into open-recruitment PbP games. The campaign I'm currently running started with the PCs (strangers at the time) meeting at a local festival and then a body drops out of the sky in their midst. Adventure ensues.

So within the narrative, there's no reason for them to make sure they're a well-balanced party. But since it's a PbP campaign for which I did open recruitment, I was able to look at the pool of available characters and decide on a party that I felt I could run a good game for. That decision included party balance (and plenty else, of course).

So where a pre-determined group of players deciding on party dynamics for that adventure might have felt "contrived" to me, the PbP recruitment selection didn't have that feel.

Hm. Not really sure where to go with that, but there it is.

Sort of becomes a necessity for PbPs if the GM picks on those merits. I don't like it, but I understand that you can't necessarily ask for a shared backstory. At the same time, I can't blame a GM who picks a balanced party, because yeah, they probably are easier to handle.

At the same time, "balanced party" annoys me less than "this guy's a Druid with an animal companion who just so happens to focus on flanking, even though the Druid doesn't, and this guy's a Vivisectionist Alchemist. They've never met, but now they fight evil!"

In related news, two days ago a buddy and I actually did write shared backstories for a pair of characters. The shared portion of mine was intentionally written vaguely (as he hadn't finished yet) and was much shorter and had much less impact than the rest of the backstory. It was my idea to write it, based on this thread, so we'll see how it plays out.

Give him arrows to the knee while you're at it!

We all knew it was coming.

Sohei/Inquisitor VMC Diviner could be hilarious.

Raphael wrote:
Jeraa wrote:

If they have no racial hit dice, they have no caster level, and so have no spell-like abilities from green warden.

Alternatively, as they are no longer humanoid, they no longer get to exchange their one racial hit die for a class level, and therefore would have at least 1 racial hit die.

Humanoids with 1 Hit Die exchange the features of their humanoid Hit Die for the class features of a PC or NPC class.
Thanks. That makes sense. Somehow I think the author of the template didn't consider the possibility that something might gain the template with no racial HD. But I like your suggestion about the 1 HD consolation.

It's less "didn't consider the possibility" and more "didn't want the possibility", in all likelihood.

The Half-Dragon has the same issue, with its breath weapon tied to its racial hit dice. That's something that had to be changed from 3.5, so there's a strong case for reading it as an intentional decision. Same thing here.

The last part, after the break, is basically what I'm aiming at. It is, again, what a lot of the APs tend to do (all the ones I've taken a real look at the intros to, though that's only like four so it's certainly possible I just so happened to pick the four that did that). It's what a lot of home-built games that I've seen do. In fact I've only ever even attempted to join one that pulled some kind of shared-backstory style event and it didn't get off the ground (I have GM'd a second, in that the group was drafted into a military prior to the game's start, but that one didn't go far either). The rest were a group of disparate heroes who learned to work together because the alternative was far worse.

Now, if we really cared to...

More Minor Runelords Spoilers:
Then yes, after our unbalanced party goes and saves Sandpoint from attack, enjoy the accolades from being lauded as heroes (including free room and board for life, just saying), raiding a goblin stronghold, and discovering and destroying a mysterious ancient monster-creating device underneath the city, our four drummers might have that conversation.

They might choose to turn their backs on the free stuff, the acclaim, the promise of further adventures, the knowledge that things are definitely not quite right in Sandpoint, and split up the party by going their own way. The end of Book One is where I'm looking; it's the first place I can see that really has a breather where the PCs might have that kind of conversation, a time when there's no immediate danger to force the conversation to "hey, we sure could use a Wizard, but two Fighters are still going to last longer than one Fighter". So we're a sixth of the way through the AP... and then the start of Book Two's hook is also an incredibly easy plot point to pull them back together if needed, as one member quickly becomes relevant to a series of murders. Same scenario reinitiated, though it's not quite as strict as the first book.

Now yes. It's possible that our merry band of heroes does have somebody leave anyway, or die in the line of "this would be so much easier if we had a Cleric" duty. And in such case the auditions scenario becomes far more appropriate, because now there is actually some shared history going on with the party. That's the easy and convenient fix if a player is unsatisfied with how the party is built... but I haven't seen that yet (unsatisfied with their own character, certainly, but I've never seen "Man, this game would be so much more fun if our party was better built because I went Barbarian instead of Wizard").

*Shrug* To each his own. I freely admit that my opinion is developed from my experiences and those aren't the same for anybody. But I see a lot of "you are forced to work together for Reason A", and not so much working together out of choice (at least initially; ideally and typically the party grows into it), and thus it breaks the world for me when characters who are forced to work together just so happen to be awesome at that out of the gates.

The dragon pulled a Captain America, that's why it has no lair or stuff.

Probably did at one point though, so if you do want to give it some gear, just have it visit its old lair and find some goodies.

Greens are among the nastiest kind of dragon to want you dead. Amusingly enough for a chromatic dragon, they specialize in people. Charms and Dominates, that sort of thing.

A Green that goes tearing off on revenge isn't really making use of his talents or his brain-- or, frankly, that trademark chromatic Evil. They killed two of his? Fine. He's going to Dominate their closest friends and turn them into an assassins. He's going to Charm their villagers until he can stage an uprising. He's going to kill them and become lord of their domain, and perhaps find a way to raise them after just so they can see how mighty he is. He's going to want to watch the PCs suffer, and a straight-up kill 'em all doesn't do that.

Dave Justus wrote:
I find the concept that a group of people would go into life threatening situations together without making sure they had the skills they needed to survive to be bizarre.

And yet... that's exactly what most APs do. "You're all in town and it's attacked". "You're all taken prisoner and have to escape". Etc., etc.

Bizarre as you may find it, it's a really, really common trope. And is literally central to a lot of Pathfinder (to be fair so is the opposite, due to PFS kind-of-sort-of playing up the shared backstory angle). Can you do without it? Certainly. If you don't play any APs, it might not ever come up if your GM doesn't use it. And even if you do play APs, you could certainly throw a built-together party of Bards into Runelords and it wouldn't break the story. But it's a very common thing, such that it's the default assumption.

Dave Justus wrote:
Beyond that, from a meta-perspective, we are telling the stories of heroes. Even if it 'strangers thrown together' it is appropriate that they have the capacity to form a successful team, because a group of strangers that didn't most likely would end up as the subject of a heroic story.

That's a question of how well they work together, not how they were born and raised. A successful team and a balanced party are nowhere near synonymous.

Dave Justus wrote:
If you don't like the concept that your group of random heroes is a balanced party, then it seems to me you should equally expect to be playing commoners and experts, since they are far more common than PC classes. Just as we assume an individual is exceptional when playing the game, we can also assume that the group is exceptional.

That seems like a pretty massive and unwarranted jump on your part. Let's turn it on its head:

"If you like the concept that your group of random adventurers who just met happen to form a balanced party, then it seems to me you should equally expect to be playing a pack of hardcore min-maxed PCs, since they're far more exceptional than most PCs".

See how pointless that statement was?

DM_Blake wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
If the party is meeting up in a tavern, it breaks things for me if they all just so happen to work wonderfully together. I just don't like how contrived that is.


Imagine this:

It's August, 1960, in England. Pete Best (a rock drummer) walks into an audition for a new group.

I'm going to stop this here, because the moment you say the word "audition", you've broken the typical scenario that I see happen and the scenario that I was actually talking about. That type of party formation is covered in the two sentences after the ones you quoted.

"Audition" means that you are actively searching for a person to fill a given role. The "we all meet in a tavern" style concept does not typically have such things. It most certainly could; perhaps they have an employer who actually did have formal or informal auditions. However, that requires some form of employer, which is not typical to such things in my experience.

For example, in Rise of the Runelords (spoilering it even though that's probably unnecessary since it's literally the first thing that happens):

Runelords Intro Spoiler:
The party is formed because they all happen to be in town for a festival when the town is attacked. There are certainly no "auditions"; when the town is attacked nobody stops to say "Okay, we need a well-balanced party to go kill these goblins". People are dying and that demands action; the party is thrown together by circumstance, certainly not because they chose to adventure together by hosting auditions. There's no time to say "guys, you're cool but we just don't have a Wizard, so bye", unless that particular character is decidedly evil. Afterwards, they're given incentives to remain together by the AP itself for a long time, especially if they're Good-inclined (and, I would argue, the vast majority of Neutrals).

At the point that you're holding auditions, you've already moved outside the "you all meet in a tavern" scenario.

Yes, it's possible to have such things. The employer, mysterious or otherwise, that searches out the party members is the obvious one. Of course there are more-- but again, they're atypical.

Or, yes, some people are cool with making shared backstories. That opens up things like The Convenient Adventuring Guild, Because Adventuring Guilds Make Sense (and admittedly their various less-verisimilitude-breaking cousins, but I can't help but roll my eyes at the very thought of an "Adventuring Guild"). And yes, it opens up the Beetles hosting auditions for a drummer.

But your example has, quite literally, nothing to do with my point.

Alchestigators should be using Extracts alongside Mutagens.

That said, Bloodrager hits harder and that seems to be priority A, so go with that.

Archaeik wrote:
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
But you can use spellstrike to cast a spell.
No, you use spellstrike to deliver the effect after you cast a spell.


If I cast Shocking Grasp and decline to deliver the touch in that round, have I used "not going to deliver the touch this round" to cast the spell, or cast via "not going to deliver the touch this round"?

If that statement sounds nonsensical, it's because it is. And yet "not going to deliver the touch this round" is an option chosen at-- quite literally-- the exact same time as one would use the initial Spellstrike option for the spell.

I've got a Tiefling Crossblooded Sorcerer (Sage/Draconic; not PFS legal but mreh). For non-Humanish races shooting for a theme, really all you have to do is realize that past spells of about third level, you are not the utility caster. Course, that's pretty true of the non-Humanish Sorcerers anyway.

Realistically though, for your Blaster-oriented build you're fine on spells known. You don't need a single blast higher than third level, so just grab Fireball, your metamagics, and fill the higher slots with whatever you want. The only real trouble is making it to level 7 so you get your third-level spells.

Beyond that... eh. Grab Iron Will if you've got the feat slot and you're good to go. It's even in a lot of the bloodline feat lists.

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What honestly baffles me about this is how much people care.

Is the use of a first-level spell that, let's be serious, exists as a mediocre healing option and nothing more that big a deal? Is its use really hurting the story in some way, such that we need to deal with it in such massive and dramatic fashion as an alignment shift or throwing a god at the party?

Or, conversely, do you really think looking at your party and saying "Hey, I know you don't have a Cleric, I know that you're using that spell because it's the best healing option the Wizard/Sorcerer/Magus/whatever has, but I think screwing with your character over that spell is going to enhance the game" is going to enhance the game in some way?

Seriously. I want to point out that it was sincerely suggested to use a Deus ex Machina in order to put the party on a very short timer to counteract a second Deus ex Machina because one of them wanted to use a basic healing spell. By throwing a god at them.

The player isn't trying to use Animate Dead to create an army of skeletal flaming puppies and trying to pass that off as CG because he's using them to visit orphanages to bring cupcakes to children. He's trying to heal his buddies, and he's using the spell because he doesn't have a better option.

The OP recognized this with the notion that he didn't want to punish the player. Advice like "well, just send them to Asmodeus' home turf to deal with the plan he's been working on for eons, oh and give them a two-day timer" isn't really helpful to the OP's point or, well... any kind of logical. The response is way out of proportion to what's actually going on here.

James Risner wrote:

Hmm, that brings up another point I'm sure you will see table variance.

When cast via Spellstrike, is it a a single target spell still?

I think it still qualifies, but others may not.

There is literally no such thing as "cast via Spellstrike".

Rylar wrote:
"Ask your GM" doesn't work with PFS. There needs to be an official ruling.

If there "needs to be" an official ruling, go for the RAW: Disciple looks at Sorcerer bloodlines and the Bloodrager is not a Sorcerer.

The desire for a ruling comes primarily from those who don't like the RAW, but this is certainly not a case of the RAW not functioning.

This will vary wildly between GMs. That said, the majority of GMs are more likely to allow only printed races, instead of custom ones, and tend to place Aasimar as the upper limit there.

My GM is generous in a great many respects, but even he only gave us 17 points to play with. Personally, I would only allow something like the centaur or ogre if all players had access to things of similar power.

Bringing in third party classes/items to prove the value of +3 at level 14 isn't really going to go far.

There is no FAQ. The rule is literally "ask your GM".

Matt2VK wrote:

I would be careful with the Unarmed Strike and Musket. Some PFS gm will rule that if you used that Musket this round, you can not Unarmed (AoO) this round.

Those GMs are factually wrong. If they're ruling that and it's become an issue, you should probably alert the VC, because that's blatantly against RAW.

Yes he needs to make a new attack roll, because it's a new target and is treated as such; there would need to be distinct language for it to be an auto-hit. Yes, he can Spellstrike it, because he's delivering a touch spell and that's literally all that Spellstrike mandates.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Don't forget you can always prep a lower level spell in a higher level slot. Throw on a second moment of prescience or something.

I'd strongly consider alternating Moment with Mind Blank and Extending the one for that day.

Larkspire wrote:

Some of the VMCs are pure gold... Barbarian is all goodness...especially for fighter/ranger. Sorceror was mentioned and i agree it's good.

Magus opens up spellcombat and seems to allow extra arcana(?).
VMC rogue is great for trap heavy games where no one wants to be a rogue outright.
Some suck though..Wiz and cleric give some good things but the feat for orison/cantrip is a real crotch punt.As is the armor thing for monk VMC.

Wizard is probably the best VMC around even with the crappy 11.

Magus does not grant Spell Combat, or it would be stupidly broken. It does grant Spellstrike, which is nice, but not the same thing. Extra Arcana is a legal option though.

You're going to need more detail. Stonelords by definition do not have caster levels, so there's nothing to apply it to. Presumably then you're trying to do something with multiclassing? But we need to know what's actually going on to answer the question, because a feat that's directly "apply Stonelord levels to caster level" does not exist.

*Shrug* Not so much forgetting as believing that's a bad idea.

Two ways it plays out. You win initiative, finish casting on your turn, cast another spell (or don't win initiative but get ignored). You got off a standard action spell and a summon between your surprise round+first round. Versus getting off a standard action spell, then a summon... same thing, but the standard action spell may have had some impact already, perhaps as a buff.

Or, you don't win initiative and get attacked, and thus you lose the spell. You're strictly worse off than if you'd gone standard action spell in surprise, then a summon in the first round.

So when you're marginally worse off even in the best case... yeah, I have a problem recommending it as a viable option. I also have trouble imagining a situation in which pre-battle summoning is not an option but you still get a surprise round and are in a position to summon.

You CAN do it, and perhaps that should be noted, but it'd be a really weird corner case to find an occasion where you SHOULD do it.

Admittedly, I'm a tad fuzzy on the rules here-- if you finish a summon spell in the middle of your turn, do the summons get to act in that round? I assume not, but if so, surprise round summoning is stupidly good. In that case it's a very viable option to lead with, especially if you have good initiative, positioning, or both.

Mark Hoover wrote:

There's lots of ways to optimize your PCs these days. While you can't ever MASTER all the ways with a single PC there are a few key choices that mean that, by about 6th level you can solo many fights and lucky hits and bad initiative rolls are all that stand between you and glory.

So do you consider the party when making your character? Do you consider the rest of the PCs when determining your strategy or the development of your character?

I believe that character creation, by and large, should be an individualized thing.

If the party is meeting up in a tavern, it breaks things for me if they all just so happen to work wonderfully together. I just don't like how contrived that is. Now, if everybody is good with getting a shared backstory together where they grew up together and so on, then yeah, okay, I can enjoy that. But I'm not necessarily a fan of the 'shared backstory' thing personally, so I wouldn't do it.

I also believe that a character should be able to stand on their own. If you're reliant on your party entirely, you're more of a liability than an asset.

Still, everything after creation and basic skeleton should involve some group effort and coordination.

For example, I decide I want to make a Sorcerer who specializes in cold spells, but dabbles in some necromancy. In game terms, blaster with some debuffs.

Buddy shows up to the table with an Alchemist, talking about how he's going to use stuff like Curse Bomb and Stink Bomb to debuff and crowd control. Okay. So I was looking at Bestow Curse for that debuffing, but now I'm going to change tacks and grab Enervation instead. I can still run debuffs if necessary, but my debuffs help his (via dropping saves), compliment his (via targeting touch AC instead of saves), and can still stand on their own (they're dropping things that matter to me too). And the reverse is true too; his Curse Bombs and Stink Bombs are a major asset to my character by opening holes in their defenses to blast.

I actually take Unchained Monk back. No benefit to multiple weapons kills it.

So... yeah. Monk is going to suck in all of its forms and copies. That "flurry of misses" thing? Keep in mind that at literally every point in the game, a Flurrying Monk is more accurate per-hit than a TWF Monk not using Flurry. That's what you're walking into. You're going entirely for volume of attacks, which makes betting on Monk silly when you can get the same volume of attacks with, yanno, a class chassis that isn't garbage.

Slayer, Vivisectionist Alchemist, or Unchained Rogue can all work to leverage the hilarious number of hits and take advantage of Sap Master. URogue avoids the necessity of Agile on the AoMF too, which is nice.

Warpriest and Inquisitor can leverage buff spells and Wis benefits to hit, as well as having some inbuilt accuracy boosters.

Brawler works. Trade out the Flurry if there's an archetype for it that doesn't screw you (off-hand I only see Strangler, which isn't what you want, but there may well be another).

Fighter doesn't have a lot going for it, but Weapon Training with Gloves of Dueling will still add more damage than the Monk's damage dice progression, even before the BAB difference.

Cavalier's Challenge is obnoxious with this many attacks. If your GM allows Snake Style or Hamatulatsu Strike to qualify them as piercing mix in Daring Champion, otherwise mreh.

Two levels into Master of Many Styles Monk can benefit many of these (chat with the GM about how Pummeling and Dragon Styles interact), but full Monk levels are... pretty weak.

Aelryinth wrote:

It's all still part of one attack, even if it has multiple 'effects'.

By your reasoning, a Flaming Burst weapon would roll twice against fire resistance, since the Burst is clearly a separate attack from the normal flaming and the sword.

No, it's all rolled into one attack resolving simultaneously.

You're sticking a bomb on an arrow. The net effect of the ability is to add arrow damage to your bomb...and more range, such as it is. That's the way to look at it. The arrow is NOT attacking the enemy it hits with your bomb.

You would have an argument if you had two attack rolls. since you don't...nope.


Flaming Burst labels itself as "extra damage", so... not applicable here. It's in the same situation as the Alchemical Weapon ability, in that it's clearly bonus damage. I don't think anyone is contending that Alchemical Weapon should be treated as an independent attack.

Explosive Missile, however, says "Do the damage of A as normal, then do B as normal". This is structured very differently from Flaming Burst's "extra 1D10 points of fire damage".

Personally, I'd just roll all three into one attack were this to actually occur in-game, because it's quicker to calculate and less likely to lead to shenanigans. But the RAW looks like it's two attacks to me-- closer to Manyshot, as Dave Justus says.

Just a Guess wrote:

The situation we had recently:

The party was sneaking up on some old dwarven keep now populated by trolls. We reached the entrance which lacked a door and through the crenel we could see (and in my case smell) that enemies were inside. We listened and heard two trolls arguing.
Now, standing beside the open entrance we could not charge in (no straight line) and we did not want to buff because we reckoned they could hear the casting. So what we did was just declare that we wait/delay until the surprise round is over. At that time the barbarian engaged and the others either followed or used the arrow slits to cast spells at the trolls.

Other example:
The party scouts sneak up to some enemy camp and want to snipe at them. But sniping costs a standard action to shoot + a move action to re-stealth. Now what do you do with your surprise round and how do you explain that the surprise round is now over without combat having started? How would you handle the sniping without the sniper automatically being spotted because he can't re-stealth?

Third example:
Someone starts combat by summoning a monster. As it is a 1 round spell he can't do it during the surprise round but if he does it with still spell how would the enemy notice until the monster appears and attacks?

Example one: buff spells, those who can't fire through the arrow slits if they can, everybody else stands by the door and readies an action to shank somebody.

If you do this, there are two possibilities:

1. Trolls hear the buffs/get shot, win initiative, move toward you. Congrats; they get one attack and are bottlenecked in the doorway while you got your readied actions and probably a full attack or two. Plus you got a buff up and did some damage.

2. You can't shoot them and they don't hear the buff, or they hear the buff/get shot but you win initiative. Same benefits you got from delaying, but you got one more spell out of it. Strict benefit to you.

Example two: Open combat by maneuvering with your surprise round to a more advantageous position; fire on your second. If you're already in a good position, do something like throwing a rock that will attract noise to somewhere else, to force them into a less advantageous position.

Example three: Summon before you kick the door in, or find a more useful spell. Unless you're a Diviner or the Cleric/Arcainst equivalent and you get ambushed, this really shouldn't happen. Lead with Cloudkill, Grease, Web, something like that. If you are, for whatever reason, really keen to summon in the surprise round then this is a problem... but that's a feature of summon spells, not a bug, and you're a caster (probably a full caster). You can find a valuable standard action to take somewhere in the rest of your spells.

You basically need to go Unchained Monk. While a Kasatha can use Multiweapon Fighting and gets four attacks, standard Flurry dictates the number of attacks you possess. A generous GM might let you circumvent that, but he's already being very generous letting you run a Kasatha with those stats, so I wouldn't push it.

So your options become to trade out Flurry, and thus suck at actually hitting anything, or go Unchained. The route that makes you suck is basically never the good route, so don't do that.

The other option is, of course, a straight Warpriest or similar, or any martial, and you just take Unarmed Strike. Probably not as good as U-Monk, better than core Monk or Sacred Fist.

Orc-Bloodline Sorcerer is begging for it. They get Moment of Greatness and the Heroisms, plus their first-level ability that scales awesomely. Throw on Optimistic Gambler and have fun.

thorin001 wrote:
So you are saying that if the target had fire resistance it would apply to the total of the bomb and alchemist fire damage, not to each separately.

This is a definite yes. One Fire Resistance deduction, not two, when using Alchemical Weapon.

I can see the argument for Bardic Performance only adding once, but I don't buy into it. Explosive Missile has "deals damage normally" for the arrow and "detonates as if the alchemist had thrown the bomb at the target".

Normal arrow damage would add Performance. If the Alchemist had thrown a bomb, he would add Performance. Seems like they both go off.

Which actually makes me question the DR thing. With a bomb that does weapon damage (Scrap Bomb perhaps), it seems like it would be subtracted from the arrow and again from the bomb, because they are treated separately.

And in turn makes me ask about what you're actually using Alchemical Weapon on. I'm used to seeing it used on the bomb, so my gut reaction was that the combined Alchemist's Fire+Bomb was then being used with Explosive Missile, but looking back you could apply both to the arrow itself. Done that way, I would assume Fire Resistance goes off twice. Still no double-Int, for the reason Rub-Eta detailed.

VMC is working well, though one player took a bit to really understand what it was.

Scaling magic items are awesome. Haven't used any of the ones out of the book yet, though I have a player wanting the Super-Sense-Motive glasses and I will find a way to grab the Frozen Crown, come hell or high water. And then I'll never let it go, because that thing is awesome.

Automatic Bonus Progression is awesome on paper but I haven't used it yet. I feel like it needs some minor adjustments, but I think it'll work out very well for my next campaign plans, where divorcing gold from power is a requirement for the game to function.

Fractional Bonuses are something we were using anyway.

One player fell in love with the Unchained Monk and hasn't looked back.

NPC Monk//Rogue was and is a lot of fun.

Stamina is very cool, though I front-loaded the pool. We don't get in a lot of table time so levels come slowly; waiting four or five levels before you can really do much of anything with it isn't fun. Stamina-charging Improved Initiative to get a jump on the party Inquisitor was a cool move though.

Monster creation I toyed with, and I like the system in principle, but you have to be really careful with the CR juggling act (or just ignore CRs; also a valid option).

The only pieces I've really seen dislike for at my tables are...

-The new magic item creation rules. They're too complicated for use with simple stuff likes Bags of Holding so it doesn't make sense to us to remove the old system outright, but there's no good way to dictate when to use the old vs. new system that I could come up with that makes sense, and it power creeps crafters if you hand that choice to the players)
-The Unchained Summoner. I love it, but one of the players hates the new Eidolon rules. If he really wants to play a Summoner and can't work with the new rules I'll probably kitbash the two together with the old Eidolon framework, new Eidolon's attack restrictions, and new spell list.
-Inherent Item Bonuses or whatever they're called; the ones that give you the benefits of a Ring of Protection if you're wearing an expensive enough ring. It's a vastly more complex version of a suggestion in 3.5's Item Compendium that lets players add Big Six items on top of others with no 50% surcharge, so my GM uses that. I use Scaling Magic Items to handle the Big Six.
-Background Skills. I feel like the list needs adjustment. It hands some classes 1-2 more 'real' skill points; Bards no longer need to drop any of their base points on Perform, or pet classes on Handle Animal, as two examples. As with Automatic Bonus Progression I might do this for my next campaign... or I might just hand out two more skill points.
-Alternate Action Economy. I stand by what I said in that thread way back when; I can houserule the base system to solve any problem it does faster and easier than I can houserule the alternate system to be actually playable without screwing over stuff like Slayers.

Looks like you only get Int once; Alchemist's Fire is treated as bonus damage, and so the no-double-stacking rule kicks in. The same issue would hit Bardic Performance, but it should still double-dip on the arrow and bomb because they are treated as separate attacks.

So, I'm reading 1D8+4D6+4. A Bardic Performance adding +1 damage would jump to 1D8+4D6+6.

I think the other thing that gets looked over alot is that a martial is stuck with certain saves (for instance Fort). He needs multiple abilities to target different saves which is much harder for him since his abilities are all behind feat chains. The wizard though can very easily hit whatever you are weak too. Oh got a good fort save? Make a reflex save to not fall into mawing hole. Oh got a good reflex? Make a will save to not be my slave.

Take it a step further even.

A Wizard can affect an enemy by targeting Fort, Ref, Will, AC, CMD, or bypassing defenses outright.

A Fighter can affect an enemy by targeting AC and CMD.

Bandw2 wrote:

if spells has spell prerequisites (needing a prior spell or number of spells) then it might go a long way of curbing their power as wizards would be forced to specialist just like fighters do.

can't just pick up fireball at 5th level when you were an illusionist until now.

I'd honestly really like that. It'd require a significant rework of prepared casters, but it'd be cool.

GeneMemeScene wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
I generally endeavor to have both; my general strategy is to get Arcane Accuracy at 6th and Accurate Strike at 9th. Indeed, the fact that it's more difficult to do this is one of the major reasons why I dislike the Bladebound archetype.
Just wondering, what are you doing with your 3rd level Arcana that you'll miss?

Basic skeleton I work with is something like this:

3rd: Flamboyant Arcana
5th: Extra Arcana: Arcane Deed: Precise Strike
6th: Arcane Accuracy
9th: Accurate Strikes
12: Arcane Deed: Evasive
15: Bane Blade
18: Quicken Magic

If I'm using something like a Kensai that loses one of the mid-level arcanas, I've got no problem losing Evasive. But I'm far less okay with losing an early arcana.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
kestral287 wrote:

For a mild comparison:

A 17th-level Fighter gets brand-new access to Stunning Critical. BAB requirement of +17. It also requires two previous feats, so he had to build into it. When he scores a critical hit (at best, this is a bit under one hit in three), he forces a save (at DC 27; 10+BAB) or the target is stunned for 1D4 rounds; if they make the save they're instead staggered.

A 17th-level Wizard gets brand-new access to Dominate Monster, a 9th level spell whose only requirement is "be a 17th-level Wizard". Whenever he feels like it, he forces a save (At DC 19+Int mod; an Int mod of +8 is easily within reach and he has access to DC-boosting feats, so we'll call it DC27 but it could be higher) or the target is his b%+@@ for seventeen days.

While true, this is simplified, perhaps overly so. The 17th level fighter can do so every hit; the 17th level wizard once, perhaps twice or three times, per day. Of course, the wizard can also control when this effect triggers, while the fighter has to hope for a lucky roll, so this simplification cuts both ways.

I did mention both of those points in that post. :P

You're not wrong, and especially not in the notion that the Fighter is probably only going to Stun/Stagger 3-5 people over the course of the day (or rather 3-5 that matter; "I crit him, he's dead and he's stunned too" isn't worth much), while the Wizard can probably only cast ~3 Dominates over the course of the day.

But really... even in the Fighter managed to stun, oh, twelve people and the Wizard only Dominated two, it would not be hard to make the argument that Dominate Monster is more than six times as good as Stunning Critical. And that's... backwards. Stunning Critical is actually harder to obtain, as you have to go out of your way to get the pre-req feats and be a 17th level martial too. Dominate Person you don't have to go out of your way for, it's just there if you want it and are a 17th level Wizard. And yet the one that's harder to obtain is weaker, because it's still linear.

One part in seven of a Fighter's build-- drastically more for any other class-- has to go toward obtaining that one 17th level ability. The Wizard dedicated, at most, one part in forty (his free level-up spells) to it.

Zhangar wrote:

Though it's worth noting that the Dominate Monster spell is both a one-round cast time (i.e., an entire round of "hit me! hit me! hit me!") and can be hard-countered by a 1st level spell.

But that's just me being nitpicky. =P

I was originally going to use Mass Suffocation as my reference point, but that just felt like cheating.

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First: if you need to use Spell Recall in the first round of actual combat, you deserve the beating that's coming. You should either be using that in the pre-buffing stage or late in the fight. First round means you got caught with your pants down, and given how carefully you have to pilot a Scion I would really not want to assume bad play.

Second: At level 9, I wouldn't be bothering to Empower Grasps; I don't have enough third-level slots to justify it. Maybe if I took Spellhunter and Lineage both, to bring the cost down to two points and give me a whole lot more slots. But, for a point of comparison:

1/2 level = 4 points. Starting Int 18 isn't hard to achieve (base Dex and Int of 16, +2 Tiefling or Elf, drop your Cha and maybe Str to get some decent Con and you're set for stats). At this level another +4 between gold and level-ups is well within reach, so 22 Int is reasonable; you could fall anywhere between 20 and 24. So we're looking at 10 points. Nine free, spending the tenth is an emergency use because it will disable Precise Strike. Scion will have the same number of resources.

Hasted Assault costs one point and will last us six rounds. Recalling a Grasp costs one point; if we're really going all-in on Grasp we're be Recalling Intensified/Empowered for two points. A straight Scion needs to spend one point every other round, so he has eighteen rounds of combat time at full functionality. We need to spend one point every six rounds, so three points over the course of the day. That leaves us six points, so we can Recall six Intensified Shocking Grasps or, in the all-in variation, three Empowered Intensified Grasps.

Of course, that's a very simplistic viewpoint. It's not taking into consideration the probability that either Hasted Assault or the bloodline activation will have wasted time on the clock. Let's adjust:

We'll assume four fights per day, half of which last three rounds and half of which last four rounds, considering only actual combat time (I.E., we're not including time spent on maneuvering before the fight and pre-buffing). This means that our straight Magus' costs rise to four points per day, while the Scion needs to spend eight. Thus the straight Magus has a 'mere' four points more than the Scion free. He's only almost doubled the base first-level spell slots of the Scion, rather than more than doubling it as the previous example.

Let's dial it in a bit more though, shall we? Magus accuracy sucks at the baseline, and they really want Keen. We're going to be augmenting our weapon too. Once per fight.

So the straight Magus needs four points for enhancing his weapon, four points for Hasted Assault, that leaves him a mere one free point. Kinda sucks. What about the Scion?

Well... two points per fight only left him with one point in the first place. He's used his last free point, his Precise Strike point, and still had to do without weapon enhancement on half his fights. Now we're talking losing two points off the to-hit and ~15% of your damage for half your fights. Suddenly, this is a much bigger deal than some spell slots.

And recall-- 9th is the second level where the Scion can actually be considered functional. Let's try this again at level 4, shall we?

4 levels = 2 points, 18 Int/Cha = 4, we have a total of 6.

Number and duration of fights is relatively static. Scion is still spending two per fight, meaning he runs dry after fight #3. Straight can enhance his weapon on all four fights and still Recall two Grasps. Of course, the Scion has Blur for three of those fights, so he's harder to kill for the fights he can fully participate in, in exchange for straight Magus' longer combat endurance and higher to-hit and damage (or doubled crit rate, more likely) on all fights.

Now, if we really want to get detailed, the Scion will simply let his party mates finish the job of those shorter fights. This rests on the assumption that he can consistently and accurately predict the duration and difficulty of each fight, but let's assume both Magi are piloted by experts here.

That gives the Scion another two points per day at all levels. He can actually fight in every encounter at level 4, making this a question of offense (two more first-level spells, either boosted hit/damage or higher crit rate) vs. defense (20% miss chance) with a side twist of anything going wrong being dramatically worse for the Scion than the Magus.

At level 9, those extra two points mean that the straight Magus is down to 'only' two more Shocking Grasps per day with the second set of assumptions, and with the third...

Well, with the third the Scion still runs dry, but at least now he doesn't do it until the end of the day and only has to forgo Precise Strike, so he's 'only' down +9 damage (you can make a case for either ditching the enhancement's +3 to hit/damage but those are roughly equivalent in results, or for ditching your Haste/Blur setup but that's probably a larger loss).

And really, let's take stock of something here.

This was a long set of examples and comparisons that consist of a prepared caster stealing a spontaneous caster's key advantage in casting spontaneously. He's still a prepared caster. And as much as I, personally, don't like prepared casters, they certainly have some significant advantages over spontaneous casters. What does the Scion get to compensate for the straight Magus' larger list of spells known (assuming the straight Magus never manages to get any spells outside level-ups and level 9, he has 20% more first-level spells and 50% more second- and third- level spells known. We won't bother with cantrips, because seriously, even the Scion has six and beyond that who cares).

What does the Scion get to compensate for the straight Magus having twice as many Pearls as he has Runestones? You actually noted that in your build that you'd have one Runestone at level six. That's at least one more spell per day, probably a Grasp, in favor of the straight Magus.

How can the Scion reverse this? Okay, let's figure he has one feat open because the straight Magus did take Preferred Spell. How does he leverage that feat to negate one of the straight Magus' advantages here, as the straight Magus was able to negate his only advantages in casting? Heck, two feats. The Magus had to burn an Arcana slot on Hasted Assault, so that's reasonable.

That's your problem. Even at the levels where the Scion is capable, he's gimped. And at the levels that are the worst for Magi-- the first three-- he's screwed. Five pool points to last through four fights per day? No accuracy booster rendering you literally less accurate than the Rogue? Good luck.


What if we just... stop and think?

What if we stop pretending that the Scion is a straight Magus who's somehow better--or even equivalent--at spamming metamagic-boosted Grasps?

What if we accept that, like the Staff Magus, it's an archetype with some solid advantages for us to leverage in exchange for not being able to smack the target for hilarious damage every round? What if we start playing like a caster?

Well then. We'll ditch Shocking Grasp, won't we? I mean, it's usable at the low levels, we'll certainly learn it and keep it around, maybe retrain out of it at 8th when we get that free swap.

Now we have two feats and a trait free over the Magus. Three, if he wants Hasted Assault down the line.

Now we start using spells like True Strike and Grease in our first-level slots.

Now we're eager to disrupt enemies with Frigid Touch, Darkness, and Web, instead of being eager to rush in with Bladed Dash and Shocking Grasp

Now we're conserving pool points and surviving those critical early levels, because in the early levels we're not far off in our spells from the full casters, so we don't need those points every fight. But when the fight comes to us, we're ready for it, picking up that swift action Blur and going in sword-first.

Now when the straight Magus is a bit higher leveled, and he's trying to juggle the need to support his party with the desire to electrocute faces, we're running support, taking the burden of casting necessities like Haste off the full casters-- and we're doing it from the front lines.

Now we're everything classes like the Fighter and Swashbuckler wish they could be-- martial characters who can control and influence the battlefield, without ever taking our hands from our swords.

The Magus spell list is not large, but it's large enough. It has the pieces of the puzzle.

Can a straight Magus still match what you do? Well... sort of. The thing is, when running control and support as a Magus, prepared casting does lose its big advantage. There just aren't that many fantastic spells of that nature on the Magus list. They're there-- in batches of, oh, about six per level. Enough that you can learn all of the key spells on your list as a spontaneous caster-- and now your benefit really does shine, as the straight Magus has to divvy up his spells, really no more spells than what you know, into slots while you can change course on the fly. And when he struggles, at the mid-game, to find a way to adapt to the game's shift and winds up throwing Empowered on all his spells, maybe learning Monstrous Physique, and just going at it, you already have the solution well in hand.

You won't win the Shocking Grasp game. You can't compete with straight Magus' Spell Recall or Kensai's plethora of abilities. Their resource edge matters, in a straight fight. And trying to win? Trying to compete?

Well. I misspoke earlier in this post. That, more than anything else, is the Scion's problem. Don't compete-- change the game to your strengths.

The very notion of the Eldritch Scion trying to invest four feats into Empowered Elemental Intensified Shocking Grasp and touting his ability to cast that as something of an advantage staggers me. It's a huge level of investment, and no matter how you try to prop it up, it's more investment than what a straight Magus spends on the exact same thing. But for that same spell slot and zero feats, you can Dimension Door to the enemy caster eight hundred feat away and stab him in the back.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Remember that if you want this to be unique, or more accurately, a specific weapon, it should be a flat gold cost that you determine for yourself, and that like most specific magic items, it can only be replicated, not improved upon or transferable to other item types. i.e. You can't sell a Frost Brand, and then craft a weapon besides a Greatsword with the properties of the Frost Brand.

Just pointing out that the rules actually allow for the exact possibility of a Frost Brand Greatsword and explain how to do it.

They keep it lumped into the same GM discretion as all magic item crafting, but to say that it can't be done is a very false statement unless the GM outright says "no customized magic items at all", which is strictly in GM territory and not the general case.

Frost Brand is originally a Greatsword, and I'm not saying you can't craft specific magic weapons; what I'm saying is that you can't craft Frost Brand as anything else besides what the original weapon is (a Greatsword). So you can't make Frost Brand as a Nodachi, for example.

Right. I misspoke, my fault for not looking up the Frost Brand.

The rules clearly and blatantly explain how to make and price a Frost Brand shortsword, longsword, bastard sword, nodachi, dagger, rapier, armor spikes, or literally anything else on the weapons list.

Straight off the PRD's Magic Item Creation page, Pricing New Items section, visible literally without scrolling down:

Some new items are really existing magic items with a different weapon or armor type, such as a dagger of venom that is a rapier instead of a dagger or a lion's shield that's a wooden shield instead of a metal shield. For these items, just replace the price of the nonmagical masterwork item with the cost of the new type of item. For example, a rapier of venom has a price of 8,320 gp instead of the dagger of venom's price of 8,302 gp.

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For a mild comparison:

A 17th-level Fighter gets brand-new access to Stunning Critical. BAB requirement of +17. It also requires two previous feats, so he had to build into it. When he scores a critical hit (at best, this is a bit under one hit in three), he forces a save (at DC 27; 10+BAB) or the target is stunned for 1D4 rounds; if they make the save they're instead staggered.

A 17th-level Wizard gets brand-new access to Dominate Monster, a 9th level spell whose only requirement is "be a 17th-level Wizard". Whenever he feels like it, he forces a save (At DC 19+Int mod; an Int mod of +8 is easily within reach and he has access to DC-boosting feats, so we'll call it DC27 but it could be higher) or the target is his b+&~+ for seventeen days.

The Fighter's ability to influence his enemy's actions with a class ability is limited to reducing or removing the actions they can take for 1D4 rounds, and he has absolutely no control over when this activates. The Wizard outright controls the actions they take, for 244800 rounds (minimum; it's probably higher), and can activate this ability with a limit imposed only by his number of spell slots-- and then he can do similarly dramatic things with his 8th, 7th, 6th, and 5th level slots, and probably even lower (note that 5th is the level of Dominate Person, which gives the Wizard a similar level of power to what he has here, eight levels earlier, albeit with a more restricted list of targets).

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I do think it's worth considering how obvious the immunity is.

The handful of comments about throwing fire at ifrits, for example-- I, as a GM, would (almost) never have an intelligent NPC do that.

Might he throw a fireball at the party, and it catches the ifrit? Sure.

Might there be some Flaming weapons scattered about? Sure, of course. Flaming is a very popular and common weapon enhancement, and you can't change those on the fly-- but no, if they fight a Magus he isn't going to activate the Flaming property on his weapon and charge the ifrit.

Intentionally aiming at something that is well known as fire-resistant? Not unless there are no other options, or the guy has a lot of fire (heh) power at his fingertips.

Now, you wear a Ring of Fire Resistance? Unless you give the NPC reason and opportunity to Spellcraft-check it, he's not going to know.

Of course, I lump this in the same "the guy in robes is probably easier to hit than the guy in armor" theory, so a bit of polymorphing magic could play with this (for bonus points, wear a Ring of Fire Immunity and polymorph into an Aasimar, who resists the three basic elements that aren't fire).

Bandw2 wrote:
Queen Moragan wrote:

I am the throne, so I am never off if it.

Minor crimes, i.e. non-major crimes, get various corporal punishments.

Only un-civilized barbarian heathens cut off people's heads.

We would burn such criminals at the stake.

Queen Moragan, U.S. President 2016.

*party blower sound*

... I'd vote for her. Who's the VP? The stake she burns people at?

Kensai doesn't lose nearly as many spells as two levels of dipping, not where it matters. And, incidentally, you cannot take Spontaneous Metafocus with your bonus feat. If you drop Mutation Warrior, you're going to wind up taking Intensify Spell at 6 and Metafocus at 5 or 7. Realistically 7, so dropping the dip provides little to no gains where feat progression is concerned.

Straight Magus also never runs out of Shocking Grasps, thanks to Spell Recall-- consider how many points you're spending on bloodline activations, and that a straight Magus has those points free to pull back spells (or whatever else he likes really). That gives the straight Magus both greater flexibility, as he's getting his extra Grasp castings on top of his actual spell allotment where you're replacing the daily allotment with them, and greater endurance, as he really never runs out of Grasps; assuming the same number of points, he can recall an Intensified Grasp-- later an Intensified/Empowered Grasp-- every other round and not spend any more arcane pool points than you are. And honestly, if that's the one edge of the Scion... a straight Magus can steal it by dropping two feats for Preferred Spell. Costs one more feat than what the Scion needs for basic setup, but the straight Magus can take those two at his leisure.

And yes, you get two spells... for two rounds... at level 8. Ten in your build, nine if your build sacrifices Mutation Warrior. So at best we're talking 66% of the average character's career. If we accept that "dipping is the norm" then we shift that marker back to 75% or 83%. A straight Magus can pick up Hasted Assault, which is usable for the same action and will last ~two-three times as long, so realistically... you get free action Blur at the cost of raising your resource and action economy costs to keep both active. 20% miss chance is good. It's not good enough.

Couple that with the Scion's Spell Combat issues not being resolved until level 8 (which is what really renders them non-functional, and you've kind of just accepted and glossed over) and their feat issues not being resolved until ~level 7, and the point proves itself.

The best things you've argued for the Scion are available to the straight Magus with one more feat, but better, or aren't available until the mid-game, close to the end of most careers-- and are still pretty close to being available for the Magus.

... Then your GM closes that loophole by using the 'other hand' wording to use the game-defined meaning of 'hand' as off-hand/main hand. Not all that difficult frankly.

Seems odd that your GM chose to ban the class outright instead of just saying "no, don't do that" but to each their own I suppose.

Go Magus. Point out to your GM that they're explicitly prevented from such shenanigans due to Spell Combat requiring the off-hand, and ask if you can take Precise Strike. Profit.

So you have a Greatsword with the abilities of a staff.

Realistically, who makes use of such a tool? What sort of class or concept?

A Bloodrager... maybe. Probably not, because charging the staff is going to give him some issues.

An Eldritch Knight... sure. But then you're an Eldritch Knight. You've also got a lot of gold costs in the 'try not to die' arena.

A Magus... definitely not. The only ones that can realistically use staves want them as actual staves.

A Bard... maybe? If you want to be a Bard with a Greatsword.

Divine casters... generally okay, yeah, but realistically we're talking Oracle/Hunter/Inquisitor; those with restricted spell lists who want access to the flexibility a staff can offer. Clerics don't care about such things when they've got their full list at their fingertips at all times.

So right off the bat: hard to find a use for.

Next problem is, yes, cost.

Put the double weapon thing aside. You can't afford it. Maybe at the really, really high levels, but even then you probably have better things to spend on. You're realistically using a single staff that transforms into a single weapon. And you're still spending more than buying each piece separately.

Final problem, benefits.

Okay. I'm an Oracle with a Staff of the Master transformed into a Greatsword.

How useful, realistically, is that over just owning a Staff of the Master and a Greatsword? How many situations are you going to get into where you need to switch back and forth between the two-- not once, mind, but repeatedly? Are those situations that you should be getting into, or are you better off adjusting your playstyle to stay away from such things?

It seems like one of those things that's hilarious in theory but really needs an actual problem to be a solution for.

First off: Arcane Strike is a feat that adds damage based on your caster level.

Accurate Strike is the target-touch arcana.

Veeery different.

Realistically: Depends on what you think you'll be fighting. Lots and lots of dragons? Their Touch AC blows. Accurate Strike will chew through them. Armies of ninjas? High Touch AC, you want Arcane Accuracy. I generally endeavor to have both; my general strategy is to get Arcane Accuracy at 6th and Accurate Strike at 9th. Indeed, the fact that it's more difficult to do this is one of the major reasons why I dislike the Bladebound archetype.

If I truly had to pick one, I'd default to Arcane Accuracy, because I can use it twice as often and my most important attacks will be landing hits anyway.

However, in the right campaign I could see taking Accurate Strike and leaving Arcane Accuracy behind. But it would require a lot of pre-awareness of what kind of game we're playing.

The standard options are Swashbuckler, Daring Champion Cavalier, and Magus (who may or may not need to be Kensai), in more-or-less ascending order.

With no Swashbuckler, Champion is probably also out. Magus has magic, which may or may not be up your alley. If it's not, you probably need to fall back on some kind of Duelist build, which... is decidedly meh.

It's really not their best option, no.

"Stop pretending you're a normal Magus and can fight like one" is about their best option. Hence from the second post:

kestral287 wrote:
As an Eldritch Scion, though, you're frankly probably better off not using metamagic

But people would rather find workarounds to use the same playstyle than find a new playstyle, and it's important to recognize why we have the need for those workarounds, when and how they work, and what their shortcomings are.

It's really the same problem that crops up with high-level Magi; every now and again we get somebody asking "do Magi fall off at high levels" or commenting about how the Magus peaks around level 10. Is it true? Not really, no. Do you have to change your playstyle or go into some really heavy investment that probably still doesn't leave you as awesome as you once were? Yes. Does it mean the class is non-functional? Well... here the analogy fails, because the Scion kind of is non-functional, but it's not (solely) because of their lack of metamagic. Their big problem lies in Spell Combat falling apart; the Int/Cha and prepared/spontaneous switches are simply icing on the cake of terribleness.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Remember that if you want this to be unique, or more accurately, a specific weapon, it should be a flat gold cost that you determine for yourself, and that like most specific magic items, it can only be replicated, not improved upon or transferable to other item types. i.e. You can't sell a Frost Brand, and then craft a weapon besides a Greatsword with the properties of the Frost Brand.

Just pointing out that the rules actually allow for the exact possibility of a Frost Brand Greatsword and explain how to do it.

They keep it lumped into the same GM discretion as all magic item crafting, but to say that it can't be done is a very false statement unless the GM outright says "no customized magic items at all", which is strictly in GM territory and not the general case.

Improvement is also very easy, though unlike the above there's no specific provision for it. The strict legalities and price points can be argued until we're blue in the face, but we can probably assume that this particular GM doesn't want to spend time designing an item that will be thrown away because it's fixed at a very low base point, so it's wiser to assume that improving the item is on the table, not off.

My first questions would be these: What are you looking to gain with the E6 system, and how does G6 improve that?

The 'delayed' gestalt also has potential for some annoying rules interactions and I could see it making less math-inclined players twitch and run away. Questions like whether or not you're using fractional bonuses become really, really important.

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