I have played both sorcerers and wizards who make use of the various armor proficiency feats and arcane armor training feats to appear as a fighter in a group of fighters.
Once you start casting it will be pretty obvious that the enemy should treat you like a caster, but until then, you look just like one of the guys.
There's the Pilfering Hand spell, a force effect, for ranged disarm. I know of no 'improvised weapon' that would allow a ranged disarm.
A grappling hook on a rope would certainly be a ranged improvised weapon that could be thrown and pulled back. You could certainly attempt a disarm maneuver with it. Allowing it to catch the weapon would be purely gm caveat.
If you want language barriers to be a thing, eliminate the 'commons' as languages altogether and allow multiple languages for each race. There could be dozens of 'human' languages and the same for elves, dwarves, etc.
Ranks from the linguistics skill (and intelligence) can be used to learn additional languages as normal but these are in language families. For a human to learn another human language of a nearby society would be one rank, but an elven language would be 2 and an elemental language would be 3.
1. Wait until you are out on the road somewhere.
The parents were enslaved at the same time as the PC but he doesn't remember that as it was a traumatic event. He was sold into the pits (or whatever other bad place you wanted him to be sent) while they were purchased by a more progressive lord. While he wouldn't free them, he did allow them to live a life that wasn't like the traditional slave.
A legendary adventurer, from ages long past, met their fate in one of these caverns and has become a ghost. After many centuries of existing, he has become truly, deeply, bored!
If he thought the party was a legitimate challenge for him, he would provoke a fight that he hoped would lead to his ultimate destruction. Alas, they are obviously inferior.
Instead of destroying them, he manifests and offers a deal. If the group can entertain him for the length of one night (day, or other period of time) he will allow them to pass peacefully AND reward them with any of the treasures he has collected from other passers-by over that he has preyed upon through the long cold, dark years.
While thoroughly evil, he is more interested in the entertainment value and will keep his word if the party succeeds at entertaining him for the duration.
He is well versed on MANY topics and is willing to watch typical entertainment sorts of performances, watch combat, discuss morality and ethics, law, or arcane matters. Any skill or ability on the character list could be used in an entertaining way if the party will just think of it that way. The problem is that he grows easily distracted and simply can't pay attention to anyone/anything that has already lost its appeal.
Any character can make skill checks on any skill they have with gradually increasing DCs. Once the character fails, another character must use a different skill to distract the ghost. Characters can come back in on rotation but no skill can ever be used twice during the night. (Characters could use the aid another action to prolong a performance.
Pathfinder does a pretty poor job of simulating three dimensions. There is no direct rule support (AFAIK) for the logical assumption that ammunition fired down into a pit will continue downward until it hits the bottom. As long as you continue to add range penalties as normal, I wouldn't have any issue with exceeding the 'maximum' range of thrown weapons or bows/crossbows.
Since the entire AP is about saving the world from the Whispering Tyrant, I would think it would be pretty easy to start letting the ends justify the means.
I started the AP with a NG sorcerer and ended it with a sorcerer who was willing to become a vampire to secure te help of other vampires. Since they need the living as a source of food, they should have been reliable allies in the effort to prevent the whispering way from being successful.
I 'sort of' know the heraldic terms for describing armorial achievements, but only enough to understand what someone else's text means. Mostly I just like creating the abstract symbolism.
Here's a quick idea from me based on your background and descriptions.
(Link to file on deviantart.com)
The shield is black and white to represent your struggle between the good and evil in your heart, your life, and the world. It is divided with a fleur-de-lis like pattern because of the gothic feel of the Carrion Crown AP.
The symbolism represents your faith in three disparate deities.
The motto (in Romanian - because Transylvanian and Ustalav aren't options in Google Translate) says: "Death is a gift to be gratefully accepted."
I don't know how close or far this is from your ideal but it might help generate some ideas.
I teach heraldry as a lesson on symbolism for my graphic design students.
Each was an individual design that could be based on the designs of prior generations or on specific aspects of the individual.
Give me some character info and I'll give whatever help I can.
I like the idea of each one having a "signature" form. but of course they could pick a new one if need be. Also why don't all dragons have a humanoid form? I had the idea of having a copper dragon who's humanoid form would be a beautiful woman with red hair and green eyes.
In the Dragonlance novels ALL dragons could transform into humanoids. They could all also breathe fire in addition to their normal breath weapons ("Except for the cowardly whites...")
The OP asked if the situation is 'believable.'
If the intelligent quadruped in question is a centaur and the mouth in question is used to blow a dart through a blowgun, then sure.
If you're talking about an awakened animal or familiar using any sort of a manufactured weapon in its mouth, then the answer (for me) is no.
It doesn't really have anything to do with the intelligence of the quadruped... it has to do with what a mouth is for. Most animals/monsters have the mouth in the head. That means the part of the body manipulating the weapon also holds onto the brain. The mouth is designed to bite or chew, not to make the fine manipulations that a hand does.
Consider another body part as an analogy. If I am going to attack something with my foot, I won't try to pinch it real hard with my toes. Why not? Because my foot doesn't work that way. I will stomp it or kick it instead. Why? because my foot is designed to stomp/kick.
Similarly, my mouth is designed to bite (which I will do if desperate enough to attack with my face) but is not designed to wield a knife or sword. If I am intelligent enough to recognize that manufactured weapons are a thing, I believe that I am also intelligent enough to realize that my quadrupedal (I assume handless) body is not intended to wield them, and that I am better off biting, kicking, clawing, or running away when threatened.
Hemotoxins will frequently feel like 'burning' at the site of the injection or as it spreads through the circulatory system.
Neurotoxins don't usually burn but will cause an area to become numb or paralyzed. They might interfere with breathing or muscle actions.
Any poison is detectable if it acts quickly enough and in a manner that causes a loss of bodily function (any type of game penalty).
1) Create an NPC cleric.
*) You could do the same with feats if you want. (The good cleric has access to improved channel (for instance) while the evil demonic cleric has access to command undead instead.)
One possibility is let the party treat the dragon as a cohort. It gains XP and levels up as a character class (NPC) instead of as a dragon. It won't get more powerful as a dragon during their adventuring careers but they have a chance to raise up a dragon in their own images. 500 years from now there might be an adventuring rogue/fighter/sorcerer dragon running around.
If you look at any character from literature and try to make it using the rules of the game, you quickly realize that all of them have a lot of levels. The story telling of a novel is simply different from that of a pathfinder game.
Good literary characters have background or story reasons why they can or can't do stuff while good game characters are made to cover each others weaknesses and compliment the strengths.
All three of your characters are the children of the wealthy and powerful elites of their nations. They would all be trained in a variety of things because the parents want their kids to be capable leaders and rulers.
It is likely that Tara has weekly (or daily) lessons with many of the court's advisors and officers:
In short, use character classes for a brief outline but don't be concerned with mechanics or rules. You're telling a story, not writing a module.
You would be allowing him to pick up a +2 bonus to all of his saves and a couple of bonus feats (from 1st level monk) while still allowing unarmed damage, ki, and all f the other level dependent abilities to stack. The only thing he gives up for this is (potentially) the capstone unMonk ability.
I wouldn't allow it and I allow almost everything.
UnMonk and Monk are 2 different versions of the same class. It would be like allowing someone to take levels of fighter twice so they can take two different archetypes by trading weapon training away twice.
HalfOrc alternate race trait:
Chain Fighter: Some half-orcs have escaped from slavery and reforged the chains of their imprisonment into deadly weapons. Half-orcs with this racial trait are proficient with flails and heavy flails, and treat dire flails and spiked chains as martial weapons. This racial trait replaces weapon familiarity.
As a swift action, reduce the ACP for any armor worn by 10%. Use mithril chain for a 0% ASF for the cost of your swift action each round.
Arcane Armor Mastery reduces the ASF by 20% so you can start using heavier armor.
Giving up the swift action every time you want to cast a spell is a burden but I've got a sorcerer that went this route.
The best villains are those that the PCs make for themselves.
My most satisfying was in a Dragonlance campaign (2 Knights, a white robe mage, a LG Dwarf fighter, a LN Minotaur, a Kender, and a Druid).
They group was on the front lines of a draconic invasion of the elven homelands. While they eventually won out against the forces of evil, one of the Knights was killed. During the celebrations around the city and in the camps, the Druid found the dead knight and used a scroll or reincarnation on him. He comes back as a Hobgoblin... in the middle of an elven city... that had just been attacked by an army composed mostly of Hobgoblins.
The player had no interest in playing his character as a hobgoblin and so he passed to me as an NPC. I had him sneak into the inn where the party was staying and into the room of the other Knight. He begged for help in returning to his true form and returning home. I thought that I made his plight obvious and immediate. The funny thing is that the party simply forgot all about him. they didn't smuggle him out as a prisoner or in the back of a wagon, they didn't tell his father, nothing.
I decided that he eventually left his hiding place and got out on his own. Starving and with every hand turned against him, he eventually turned to the only place where he could be accepted. He fell in with a band of refugee Hobgoblins retreating from the war. Since so many of the Hobgoblin units had been nearly wiped out, new groups were forming out of the old. He took charge of a group through his superior military skills and tried to move them away from evil.
The party ran across him six times through the course of the campaign, every time they interfered with his plans and caused him more trouble than they should have and each time they apologized and went their merry way. It drove him crazy, drove him evil, and eventually it drove him to his death trying to stop a rampant demon from breaking out of the abyss.
Finally the party decided to bury him with full Solamnic honors where he had fallen and take word of his death to his family. Unfortunately, they buried him right where he had fallen in a doorway to the abyss. As they left the area they saw the mountain explode like a volcano of black necromantic energy. Emerging from the center of the crater they saw their once boon companion rise again as a DeathKnight astride a Nightmare.
He was the campaign's recurring nemesis for the better part of 10 levels. I loved it.
The thing that you seem to be missing the point on is that there is no degree/amount of evil that a Paladin will "be OK with."
A paladin may well choose to go after a bigger evil first, but even a slightly evil shopkeeper who purposely shortchanges peasants will STILL draw the ire of a local paladin when it comes to his/her attention. That might not involve smiting but will certainly draw some sort of a reaction.
Paladins do not accept evil around them. Period.
When I run home games (that, typically, I have written or heavily edited) I do not give XP. I advance the characters at times that make sense for the story and the encounter levels. I will typically advance the entire group after 10-15 'encounters' which might be obstacles, opponents, or traps. They don't necessarily have to fight for the PCs to be challenged.
As soon as the barbarian begins healing without taking an obvious action, his opponents should immediately realize that 'something' is happening. Afterall, they've seen magic before.
If I'm an opposing character, I start preparing an action to attack an area as soon as I see healing start. I know it takes feats to do healing at a distance so the healer has to be close. Bombs, nets, oils, AOE spells, etc. can all make the oracle a little more uncomfortable.
Here are the 'rules' for designing a custom weapon...
By my math, an exotic one handed, finessible, monk weapon with the trip feature that does d8 slashing damage and crits 18-20/x2 would cost 20 of the (maximum allowed) 10 points.
The d8 damage and crit range already make this one of the best weapons in the game before you start tacking on all the additional stuff.