Besmara

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As far as I know, there are no rules for this, so, I am asking for some other opinions on what rules to adapt and apply to it, because I can easily foresee this being very important in the next session of the game I am running.

Imagine this:
Two strong characters are on dry land holding a long rope tied to a third character. The third dives underwater. How quickly (how many feet per round) can the two pull the diver back up to the surface?

To further complicate this, what if the diver is not dead weight? What if they actively swim towards the pullers? Could you really just combine the two speeds or is it impossible to swim while getting dragged? What if you can't swim at all? Can you still help by pulling yourself along the rope you're tied to?

And how about a useful extrapolation not as immediately relevant to me, but still useful to know:

What if someone is at the bottom of a cliff tied to your rope. How quickly can somebody pull them up the cliff (could be relevant if there are pursuers)? Again, what if the person is actively climbing the rope you're pulling?


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As per the subject, I don't really understand why this is even a class. Why is the vigilante your choice of "weak slayer with a social identity," "weak rogue with a social identity," weak wizard with a social identiy," and "weak inquisitor with a social identity?"

Why isn't the whole social identity thing just an add on option? Why not have a Slayer, Wizard, Rogue, Inquisitor, or frankly, every class, archetype that adds the social identity? Or, let's be honest, this isn't super strong; maybe it could just be a feat? Or even a function of the disguise skill?

I am just not seeing a compelling reason this is a class at all. Most of the class talents that are legitimately cool and new ideas (Mystic Bolt, Penance Gaze, etc.) could be added as options/talents/archetypes/whatever for other classes instead.


The title is pretty self explanatory. I'm not intending to even wield weapons (beyond a Cestus to threaten for flanking purposes), so, I am looking to dump both Strength and Dexterity on my Oracle, but I still want to reliably (i.e. almost always) hit with my touch (and ray) spells. Yes, I know most monsters have horrible touch ACs, but I'm not concerned with big brute monsters, I'm more nervous about landing them on high level boss (i.e. caster) enemies who can have pretty hefty non-Armor/Natural bonuses and spare more point buy for Dex.

What options are available to me? I know I could take Weapon Focus, but +1 is pretty lackluster. Any way to change my attack stat with touch/ray spells to something else? Feats that give more than just +1? Items? Any good buff spells that last more than rounds/level that could help me?


So, let's say you are a level 7 kobold cleric with the Artifice (Traps) and Runes (Language) subdomains. You are leading a group of kobolds that are mostly snare setter and underground chemist rogues with a few construct guardians to boot. Your lair is a series of tunnels underneath an old keep built by humans that your people drove out from below maybe 75 years ago. It is heavily trapped with more mundane options like pits and poison and deadfalls and what have you, but you want to add a little more.

You have access to glyph of warding. The blast rune has obvious uses. What are the best options for the spell rune version? Is there anything better than bestow curse? That's really nasty, but also feels kind of boring. I liked the idea, briefly, of murderous command, but the short duration means it's probably just an annoyance at best. Any other ideas for protecting your hellish (to invade) kobold lair?


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Unchained is out, and, well, I am frustrated that the Rogue's Dex to damage doesn't kick in until 3rd level. Why does Paizo seem to value Dex to damage so highly that it charges such high costs to attain it?

You need:
1) 3 levels of Unchained Rogue
2) 4 levels of Whirling Dervish Swashbuckler
3) Weapon Finesse + 2 Ranks of Perform + Dervish Dance + a Scimitar + an empty offhand
4) 1 level of Dawnflower Dervish Bard + all those restrictions above
5) Weapon Finesse + Weapon Focus + Slashing or Fencing Grace + one specific one-handed weapon
6) 4,000+ gp for an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists (but you'll lack a +1 enhancement bonus, so, you'll lose more damage to DR and the slightly reduced accuracy)
7) 8,000+ gp for any other Agile weapon

My question is, uh, why?

I understand fearing level dips--or rather I don't, because I think multiclassing is not something that should be discouraged, but even if it were, Favored Class Bonuses and generally delayed feature access are sufficient punishment in my book, but I at least get that Paizo fears people dipping. And, I mean, that's all well and good for stopping (I have no idea what power builds to insert here, but let's pretend dipping one level of Rogue to get Dex to damage somehow made some specific build incredibly amazing), but what are Dex based warriors (especially Unchained Rogues and Whirling Dervish Swashbucklers not intending to multiclass at all) supposed to do for 3+ levels while they wait for their class features to kick in?

Seriously, low level is all about the damage--enemies are still one-shottable at this stage, so bog-standard-full-bab-Power-Attacker-with-18 -Strength has a ridiculously huge advantage, throwing around 2d6+9 or so like it's nothing. Meanwhile, Dex Rogues are left with, assuming ideal conditions with their Sneak Attack, something like 2d6+1 or 2 maybe, if they even have any Strength at all. That's a huge divide--double damage or more. And it doesn't get better at 2nd, since there's generally no feat or other damage adding ability to pick up Power Attack with.

Then, even when you finally get Dex to damage, you have to use a weapon with a smaller damage die, you lose out on 1.5x damage scaling for both your stat and Power Attack and like 80% of common melee buffs (which rely on Dex destroying size increases or flat out Strength boosts), and you've also spent [choose one: lots of money, several feats, wasted class levels] that the normal Strength based fighter didn't need to worry about and could use on other stuff.

It's not even like Dex is actually a better stat than Strength. Despite common perceptions, Dex builds do not get more AC than Strength builds, because Strength builds just wear medium or heavy armor (which have higher Armor + Max Dex Totals to begin with). Dex has Reflex saves, but they are generally the least important saves in the game. It has slightly more skills, sure, and Initiative, which is awesome, but is that really worth at least 50% more damage (and probably more)? Honestly, I'd wager even Swashbucklers would do more damage with a Strength build than a Dex one, despite their free Weapon Finesse.

So, what am I missing? Why is Dex to damage so highly valued/feared that it costs so much to get? Why are Dex warriors punished so severely? I am willing to accept that I am wrong here, just give me an explanation as to why.


I know there's always lots of discussion about whether you count as your own ally or not, but I've not been able to find anything about who can count as your ally. Must it be a mutual thing? Can you consider someone an ally who doesn't consider you an ally in return? Must you actually consider them an ally, or can you just consider them an ally for a short while in order to get some benefit and then consider them an enemy again whenever you feel like it?

This is specifically relevant to me because there is an Inquisitor NPC in my setting who may (or may not) end up in combat with the PCs (they may ally themselves with him, but it's like 50/50). I'm debating between going Preacher or keeping Solo Tactics.

I think it'd be kind of awesome and insidious if he could take Swarm Scatter or Back to Back and get an AC buff when they surround him. Or Outflank/Precise Strike if he can maneuver it right to get to of the party members next to each other.

On the other hand, I sort of fear the precedent. If it works, Inquisitor PCs just got a whole lot more dangerous...


So, the story is, in short, a cult in charge of protecting...something...knew they could not live as they were for long (isolated, underground, hostile environment), so, they enacted a great ritual suicide. They killed themselves so that they would rise as undead guardians to keep watch forevermore.

I want a few "ranks" of different undead. Some became better, stronger undead for various reasons. I know I will likely be creating custom undead for them, but for the low level scrub guardians, what do I do? Zombies and skeletons are the standard, but lack the zazz I am looking for. They don't really do anything, they're just aggressive bags of hp with unusual DR.

I considered maybe ghouls, but they're wrong both because of the corpse eating thing (there would be nothing to eat) and because I intend to use them in large numbers and rolling three attacks and four easy saves every round for each one is going to get annoying.

What else is there that makes for interesting low level guardian undead? If I can't come up with anything else, I may fudge the ectoplasmic template a bit and allow class levels. The airwalk/phase lurch/shaken on slam combo feels like it could be interesting enough.


So, I am playing a Hydrokineticist (from the Occult Adventures playtest), and I can now control a LOT of water. I can freely move water in an amount and at the range equivalent to the Control Water spell, at will. This is a truly ridiculous amount of water. Right now, at 6th, I can move around 43,200 cubic feet aka 323,158 gallons of water aka ~345 5'x5'x5'cubes, and the amount is just going to grow from there. But the water needs to be there to begin with.

So, I am trying to reverse engineer a Decanter of Endless water because I want, well, significantly more water, but I don't want the high pressure jet. Not only is the push/damage not interesting/useful to me, I also lack the strength to hold it. I just need a way to create or transport as much water as possible.

How could I make a Decanter of Endless Water with a wider mouth, so the pressure doesn't have to get so high to pour even more water out? Or a specialized bag of holding/portable hole that can only carry water, but it can carry much more than normal?

Anyway to pull this off? What do you guys think?


I'm helping my groupmate make a Hunter and he'd really like to throw hand axes. I already warned him he might need to use a Bow instead, but, I'm wondering if there's any way to make this work.

The game uses some houserules:

1) We start at 3rd and our stat array is 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12
2) We get 2 extra skill ranks per level
3) We know we will eventually be Mythic (and fairly early on--within the first 6 levels or so)
4) High tech stuff will eventually be available

I know the Blinkback Belt is virtually required, and we have a party member looking to be a magic item crafter, so that should work.

I am wondering if he might get a small advantage--if epic weapon finesse might allow dex to damage with thrown hand axes?

Anything you guys can come up with would be welcome. The only requirement really is that the character be a Hunter with nor more than a 1 or maybe 2 level dip.


We're starting a game next week. So far, the party is going to be a strength magus, a Barbarian with a greatsword, an iron priest (focused mostly on crafting), and a hydrokineticist (me), but one of the players appears stuck as far as an idea is concerned.

I want to help him out--I have helped him make characters in the past with great success--but my mind is off in another world of complex, quirky builds that I might want to play but that he would hate. So, I need some suggestions, but this guy enjoys a very specific kind of character. As you can see by the title, it's kind of tricky to explain, but he likes characters more advanced than just simple fighters smashing or shooting stuff, but he still needs the character to be fairly straightforward and focused. Let me give some examples that should help:

Oracles are perfect. Oracles can fight and cast, but their mystery focuses them on a certain theme and their spontaneous casting narrows their options. This guy has played three different Oracles and enjoyed them all.

On the other hand, Bard was a no go. Their music and spells are not focused enough and he never remembered to actually use inspire courage. Bards do too many things and have too many options that overwhelm him despite the relatively small pool of know spells. Perhaps an archaeologist bard would maybe work, but he really doesn't even care for their enchantment/illusion/support spell list. His favorite spell in the game is spiritual weapon, for example (though before you mention it, Shaman is definitely too complex and versatile).

And yeah, obviously any prepared spellcaster is going to be too complicated unless it's laser focused so he can just almost always memorize the same kinds of spells.

Oh, and he's paranoid about dying and prefers the comfort of heavier armor and/or longer range.

Other than more Oracles, I am stumped as to what to suggest to him to help him through his character block. Any ideas?


So, I personally don't like spells and I'm going to be playing a game with people that don't optimize, so I'd like to try something unorthodox and be a character with no spells.

Now, I generally feel that "Pathfinder = spells or go home," so, I understand I am sacrificing a lot of power here, but I'd like to give it a shot. I don't mind any kind of supernatural powers, spell like abilities, or anything like that, just no actual spellcasting.

I already know plenty about Superstitious Barbarians and Gunslingers in general, so, unless you've got something especially unusual (like, say, a Dex based barbarian or something), those are not necessary.

Keep in mind, this has to be an all around useful character, which includes some level of survivability.

The stat array is 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12. Everything in the SRD is legal except obvious stuff like Leadership.

What would be the best all around? I'm actually considering that it might be a Monk (GASP!) with Pummeling Style. What do you think?


I would like to play a one-shot-one-kill style gunslinger in an upcoming game. Yes, I know dual wielding pistols is stronger, but I'd like to make the most of this conceptually. The game will have fairly high stats, high tech stuff from the tech guide (one guy is planning on being a Technomancer), and I believe we will become at least a little bit mythic.

I was thinking about Mysterious Strange + Dead Shot as my go to attack, since the Charisma would add to each successful attack and there'd be a higher than normal chance to crit. With Mythic, I wouldn't even necessarily need to stay still, since several abilities let you move and shoot as a swift action.

That said, there's also certain appeal to Techslinger--though only for the high end, using Dead Shot with Heavy Weapons. Honestly, an Advanced Rifle looks significantly more appealing to me than the high tech laser/sonic/zero weapons. They do practically the same damage, but the Rifle has a x4 crit (vs. x2 for most of the high tech stuff) and I can make bullets rather than having guns that can permanently run out of charge (or cost me Grit just to shoot if I go Techslinger). The only one that seems worth it is the Grapple Gun--and it's absurd to me that I'd rather hit someone with a Batman Zip Line than a frickin' laser.

The other way to go seems to be just picking up Mythic Vital Strike. Assuming a hyper consevative reading of Dead Shot, it basically trades the higher crit/lower misfire rate and costing extra feats for action economy and grit conservation. I could theoretically Vital Strike while actually sniping (and with Champion's Limitless Range, that should prove nasty).

Speaking of a hyper conservative reading of Dead Shot--has there been anything conclusively stated about it? Does it only work on BAB-granted attacks, or will Rapid Shot type stuff add into it? I'll be using a two-handed gun, so dual wielding isn't relevant here. I don't know how my GM will read Dead Shot, but before I try convincing him to let it work with Rapid Shot/Haste/Mythic Rapid Shot, I want to make sure there wasn't anything official denying that possibility.

What would you do? Dead Shot or Mythic Vital Strike? And should I be a Mysterious Stranger or a Techslinger (or neither, I guess)? I really prefer Charisma to Wisdom for flavor reasons and adding Charisma (and Dex after level 9) to each hit is appealing (not to mention being able to use Charisma with ANY gun I pick up, which matters in a game with timeworn tech), but I know it will cost me (I'll need that Cha to Will feat, for sure, and I'll also lose Nimble's AC bonus and Quick Clear before I get to ignore misfires).


Background info:
So, it's been almost a year since I last dealt with Pathfinder at all, so I am pretty rusty, but I caught wind that the other GM in the group (other than me) wants to go back to it. He's always had a thing for Numera or whatever its called that has the technic league and he's really excited about the tech guide or whatever. He wrote his own AP taking place there and now wants to go back and run it after our current game ends. The game is at least a month off in the future, maybe more, but I like to be prepared and well researched.

Here's the issue, though, behind the odd title: I basically have to carry the party. There are only three of us now, but even when the group was 8 strong, everyone looked to me to solve everything.

One player deliberately makes bad characters focused on niche, noncombat nonsense that doesn't really come up (like, he'll take only divination spells for his detective bard and refuse to buff anyone with his music). No, he will not change and he will not go away, so I generally just ignore him in considering good party make up.

The other guy is a casual gamer. Of all games, he knows Pathfinder best, but he generally just tells me his concept and asked me to make it fir him, and he can't handle any kind of complicated combos or rules interactions. He's most comfortable with something like an oracle--it can reasonably fight, has simple magic (spontaneous is his limit--no preparation), and can be built into a one trick pony he won't need to constantly adjust his strategy for. He also misses up to a quarter of our sessions for various reasons.

None of this bothers me, but it does restrict my options. My favorite characters are support. I love bards, sensei, evangelists, ridiculously good healers, crowd control specialists, etc., but I can't use them here. This is not meant insultingly, but the people in my group are not really worth buffing or healing (unless they get incidentally buffed by the buffs I put on myself). Believe me, I tried.

So, I am looking to make a character that can basically adventure on their own. It is not that the others will do nothing, just that I can't rely on them to do anything specific to fill out a party. I need to be able to win fights with minimal support or help, and I need some skills or magic for common adventuring problems (not, say social skills--we all talk and they are fine in those cases, and they're at least reliable when it comes to knowledge skills).

Here's what I know:

1) Stats will be fairly high. Last time he ran a Pathfinder game, we had an array of each number from 12 to 17. Anything published by paizo and on the srd is generally fine, though, there are usually odd racial restrictions. The races I like, however, have always been allowed (human, elf, half elf, sometimes tiefling). I don't know what level we will start or end on. I would expect level 2, though, as we've never played at 1st.

2) Technological stuff will matter, so, I would expect guns and constructs (so, no mind magic specialists and touch ac probably means more than usual).

3) I am the group's rules lawyer. The GM knows the general rules well, but is foggy on niche specifics. For example, last game, we fought guys with guns fairly often, but he was unaware they targeted touch. I don't want a cheesy or questionable build. Not only do I not want to be a douche, but he might not understand the implications of certain things without my explanation. I want obscure combos, but they should be fairly self explanatory when presented.

4) Based on past practices, I do not think I need to worry about traps, permanent debilitating effects, or random instant death. I also don't expect to get whatever magic items I want. We can sometimes order specific pieces, but they're just not the focus. Again, I am fine with this, but it means I can't rely on specific items for a specific build.

5) I can be a little slack in my optimization. I can get away with unusual or less purely powerful concepts and still carry the day because the others will be so weak and the GM does not play hardball with optimized tactics. He spreads the hits around, we've seen plenty of casters not flying around greater invisible, and there are always more fireballs than black tentacles. I need to carry the team, but not through the tomb of horrors.

6) In recent games, I have been several paladins, a druid, and a ranger, so, as much as they would do what I want, I would rather avoid them. I also generally prefer dex, int, and cha over str, con, and wis, so, if possible, I would like to focus on them. Oh, and I don't like pets or summoning and don't feel I need to be THAT powerful anyway. I prefer less magic if possible.

Right now, my leading ideas are Magus, Swashbuckler, and Gunslinger.

I was leaning magus, specifically Kensai, possibly opening with a 1 level dip of swashbuckler if I we start very low level. I feel that it would prove the most fun and be very effective in the mid levels, but I fear early on with so few spell slots and relatively low damage without spells.

I could also just do straight magus or hexcrafter, if kensai is the mistake. I love the defiler build in theory, but focusing on debuffing won't work because I need to be the one finishing the fight, not making it easy for the others to finish it.

Swashbuckler would just be the nonmagical version of the above. If it's viable, I am into it, but it seems like immensely less burst damage, a bit less defense, and all my magical utility/versatility for a little bit if accuracy and hp.

Gunslinger just seems like the same thing, except I have to use wisdom in exchange for better/easier dpr (ranged vs melee) and sort of embracing the techno themes of the game.

I am also really into the investigator's studied strike, but I fear it would ultimately be terrible. I fear the best way to use it is to polymorph into something with lots of big natural attacks and I am not into that right now.

What do you guys think? Am I missing anything cool or new? Will my preliminary ideas carry a party?


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Reading through the new forum here on the ACG, I can't help but pick up on a strong undercurrent that seems to be just smiling and nodding at all the theorycrafting and other analysis and looking only at playtesting reports, or at the very least, considering playtest reports as being somehow more valuable.

I have some problems with this attitude:

1) Playtesting is always going to be a case of small sample sizes, at the very least until dozens of people play entire year long campaigns as these classes. Your experience playtesting in a short session (or even a dozen) will be tainted by luck and circumstance. If you roll really well for the whole game, you're going to have a very different opinion of the class than if you rolled poorly, or even average.

Other analysis will pick up on this. Instead of seeing, "oh, I rarely missed with my Hunter," they'll look at the actual math and point out that they are behind other 3/4 BAB characters in the accuracy/damage department because their main class buff duplicates an item the others will have (and it doesn't matter that they don't have to buy the item, because there won't be anything accuracy/damage related to spend that money on anyway).

2) Playtesting is inherently biased. Most people are only going to playtest a class they already think looks good to them. You're basically going to get a lot of noise, then, from people who love the concept of their characters and so don't really care about the mechanics behind them, which is really the whole point of a playtest like this. I saw one playtest report, for example, from a Warpriest of Gorum who was thrilled by the character and had tons of fun, even though literally everything he described doing would have been possible for a base Cleric as well. Non-playtest feedback is valuable in this regard because it is "pure." Someone who picked a Hunter because they love animals and spent the whole playtest loving their pet tiger wouldn't necessarily know or care that a Druid (or Ranger with an archetype) could have the exact same pet with other, stronger abilities. Such a player will make Hunter look perfectly fine when it is clearly not in good shape.

On a similar note, you can use volume of comments as a measure of success to some degree here, then. Just look at the Skald discussion (probably the most problematic class in the playtest)--it's tiny compared to the others because the mechanical flaws were already pointed out fairly quickly and the flavor is just not grabbing people. In fact, the main playtest complaints coming out of it are things like "Scribe Scroll doesn't feel right for a viking!" That's because the only people playtesting the Skald are going to be people playing with lots of characters that could benefit from the Rage--you'll never get a report from a Skald in a party with a Swashbuckler, Wizard, Cleric, and Inquisitor because anyone can immediately see that the Rage Song will be utterly useless for them. So, you won't see the complaints that say, "Rage song was pointless! Nobody in the party wanted it!" that just about every analyst and theorycrafter immediately picked up on.

3) PFS is the realm where the rules and mechanics matter most, but almost nobody plays that way outside of PFS. For example, if I were to run a playtest for these classes, the Hunter and Warpriest would look much better because I don't use any magic items at all, so their ability to add enhancement bonuses to stats/weapons/armor would be far more valuable than it really is in an official environment like PFS (where it basically just means "this class has slightly more money").

I prefer lower levels, too, and deliberately avoid all of the "one bad roll and you die" abilities (like instant death or petrification or whatever) because I don't allow coming back from the dead. So, anything my players had to say about, for example, a Swashbuckler, will be tainted by that preference. They'll see how fun it is at low levels (well, levels after 1, since they suck for a whole level), and never get to the point where they're failing instant death saves left and right because they're the "front line muscle" but have only a good Reflex save.

In other words, table variation and houserules are everywhere in the community. I think that's a great thing in and of itself, but it makes a public playtest very difficult at best. Most people have used their houserules so long that they don't even realize it's a houserule anymore. You're going to get very uneven reports based on that, and it's going to make the situation look better or worse than it will really be in PFS, which is the main place the rules matter and where they need to be the most "crisp."

The point, I suppose, is that non-playtesting analysis and theorycrafting is "pure." It doesn't take emotions, houserules, biases, etc., into account--it only cares about the system and the mechanics. There's great value to be had in that, because any playtest report is going to be muddy water at best.

Now, I'm not saying Playtest reports have no value--far from it. I just don't think they should be put on a pedestal above other kinds of analysis. They should be considered equally valuable, not the only feedback that is valuable.


[Edit: Some text removed that only confused the issue]
The situation:

An evil cleric channels negative energy to hurt the party. However, one PC has negative energy affinity (in this case, from Curse of Black Blood, but it could be from any source). What happens?

Does the PC in question get healed by the negative energy damage? Or is she not a valid target in the first place because she doesn't count as a living target for purposes of the channel? If she is not a valid target, does the cleric know that?

If the cleric does know, does he find out before or after settling on the action (i.e. if he channels just to hit that one PC, does he waste his action, or does he realize it won't work and get the option of taking a different action)?

The same goes for an anti-paladin using Touch of Corruption, which we now know is a negative energy effect. If an anti-paladin uses ToC on the PC with negative energy affinity, does it work and heal her, fizzle and give the anti-paladin a chance at taking a different action, or fizzle and waste the anti-paladin's turn?

How about positive energy channeling to heal your party when you think some of the enemies are undead (they are disguised as undead for whatever reason--most likely, for my purposes, because of the Juju Oracle Mystery, but it would apply equally to someone using Undead Form or whatever)? Let's say you have Selective Channel--do you know you need to use it on those enemies instinctively?


A player of mine has the trap spotter talent on his Archaeologist, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what the threshold is for something being considered a "trap."

This will be difficult to explain, but in my setting right now, there are a series of tunnels dug by kobolds that are especially confusing and hazardous. They've purposefully designed the tunnels to be hazardous, but the hazards are not really traps in any kind of traditional sense.

For example, the kobolds are concerned with pursuit and have instituted a number of counter measures. Specifically, they've placed heavy hide "curtains" in the tunnels in seemingly random corners. If the PCs are nervous and don't want to blow through them for fear of tricks, then the kobolds get away. If they just run straight through, however, they're in for a surprise:

Five flaps in, the tunnel abruptly opens to a sheer cliff over the ocean--you have to make an unusually tight turn past the flap to avoid it and continue on. If you're walking, no problem, but if you're chasing kobolds, well, it's going to be a danger.

Rules-wise, if the PCs are moving at top speed and not otherwise saying they are being careful about the flaps, I'm going to require a Reflex save not to just careen out the open cave and into the sea below. There is a similar trick later in the tunnels when a curtain opens into a waist deep pool of acid with just a narrow walk around the edges and if they're going full speed, they're going to be hurting if they don't make a reflex save.

My problem, though, is, do I give my trap-spotter player a free perception check to notice running full speed here is going to lead to a fall/acid? It's not really a trap--there's no trigger, no mechanism, nothing to disable or anything else--it's just a tricky construction that makes a natural hazard more dangerous.

But then, it is deliberately constructed to be dangerous, and one could argue from the perspective of the flap followed by a drop being an unconventionally concealed pit and claim that removing the flap disables the trap (though for these hazards, just knowing they're there is enough to automatically avoid them). I don't know.

My concerns are:
1) If the trapspotter gets a free roll, he's going to notice it. His perception is fairly high, so, traps are not an issue if he's in the lead. Unfortunately, that will make these trapped construction elements into window dressing rather than a real concern, and I think, severely diminish how interesting and dangerous these kobolds could be.

2) If he doesn't get a free roll, is he going to just get frustrated with me and argue the definition of what makes something a trap, thus derailing the session a bit?

Should I compromise and give him a roll but at a penalty for moving too quickly or whatever?


If you didn't know:
DoT = Damage over Time

This is an usual concept in Pathfinder, I know, since it's so rare and generally pretty weak, but I really enjoy DoT damage in other media, so I'd like to see what I can do.

The first difficult decision is what class to use as a base. Oracles and Clerics have easy sources of Bleed, for example (Bleeding Wounds from the Bone's Mystery or Murder Variant Channeling), and the best bleed spell, Blood of the Martyr is on their list, but I don't think they have much beyond that.

I think I would need to be arcane, but please correct me if I'm wrong. Sorcerer/Wizards still get Brow Gasher, which is not too far behind Blood of the Martyr.

Right now, I'm thinking about Burning Blood and Acid Arrow with the Burning Spell and Heighten metamagic. Burning Blood seems to last forever, and with Burning could be dealing 5 damage per turn (even more if you Heighten it). Acid Arrow does 5 more damage "per tick," but for less time.

Am I missing anything? Are there better spell options for this concept? Does anyone know about better Bleed spells or more non-bleed DoTs? What else will help this general strategy?

What about poison? Con Poison seems like an obvious route, but poison seems like it has such low DCs and that so many things are immune to it...


The title should be relatively self-explanatory. I'm playing a Druid currently, and just acquired Wild Shape.

I've read the guides that are up on this site. Treantmonk's guide is formatted perfectly, listing good form ideas for each level of Wild Shape (i.e. it lists good forms for Beast Shape I, then good ones for Beast Shape II, etc.). Unfortunately, his guide was last updated in 2010, so it's missing quite a lot.

Meanwhile, the other guide includes all current material, but it seems to be aiming its wildshape advice towards Druids that already have all forms available, because it's split by special ability, not Shape equivalent. (For example, it lists all the forms with a fly speed, or all the forms with pounce, but doesn't list which forms are obtainable at what level).

I'm not necessarily looking for someone to evaluate the forms (though I'd happily take that), because I am confident in my ability to evaluate them, I was just hoping for a more comprehensive and up to date list of forms. Just something that listed all the medium animals would be huge to start.

I know the Deinonychus is probably my strongest choice for most combats, but the ability is so versatile, I just want to have all the information I can so I can tailor my choice of form to the situation I happen to be in at the time.


Let's say a player really likes the ideas behind the "Bad Touch" Cleric, but hates preparing spells.

Would a "Bad Touch" Oracle work, or are domains and channeling totally integral to the build and not replaceable with revelations?

If you had to try and build one with an Oracle base, what mystery/curse would you choose?

I'm thinking a Bones Oracle might be able to do it--it certainly seems that at mid-high level, they'd be fairly comparable. However, I'm hitting a snag at low levels. The Cleric has two domain powers to draw from to give them something to do early on when they're out of spells or don't want to use a slot on a particular turn. The Oracle, meanwhile, seems stuck with a crossbow until they can build up a few revelations.

Any ideas?


So, here's my dilemma in short: should I spend two feats to get Augment Summoning with my warrior-druid?

Here's the story if you want more detail. I'm making a character for a sandbox game in the River Kingdoms and everyone else claimed characters before I could decide. The party now has a Rogue, a Sorcerer, an Inquisitor inspired by Judge Dredd, and the last guy wanted to be a blaster, so I built him an optimized fire blasting Oracle of Flame/crossblooded sorcerer. A few weeks in, we'll have someone coming in with a Summoner, and the last guy is still undecided. That basically sticks me (and probably the undecided guy) with front line duties.

I love fighter types in every RPG ever except for games based on 3rd edition D&D, so I had some trouble figuring out what to do--I'm almost always a full support or battlefield-control character in Pathfinder.

I ultimately decided on a warrior-Druid. I like the versatility offered by the class--spells, wild shapes, pets, animal training, all the kinds of fiddly bits that I love. That said, my primary role is a front line body dishing out melee damage.

As such, I'm torn. Augment Summoning really beefs up my Nature's Allies and provides me another layer of versatile options--calling up the right summon for the job. There's a lot of pluses--they can absorb damage for us, fill the front lines out even more, bring special abilities to counter what our specific foes are doing--but there are major downsides, too. First, that full round casting time bothers me--I'm not super optimized for casting, so my concentration checks won't be ideal, and if I'm the party's frontline, wasting my first turn casting isn't going to help the party.

Full disclosure: (special creation rules and things I've already decided on):
The game starts at level 3. We get 32 point buy, but can't dump stats below a 10 and we can't just take two 18s. Core races only, two traits as normal, normal WBL (that's 3k), and everyone gets a free racial or "local" feat.

I would prefer being human--I'd be willing to consider half-elf or maybe elf, but I'm vain and am opposed to playing "ugly" or short races.

My plan was to take Str 16(+2 racial), Wis 16, Cha 10, and either (Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12) or (Dex 12, Con 16, In 10), and rely on a Scythe or Shillelagh and Power Attack (my 3rd level feat for sure) until 5th when I can take Natural Spell and I'll be more comfortable existing as an beast most of the time (deinonychus is very attractive to me early).

I haven't decided on traits--I was thinking of just being boring and taking Dirty Fighter and Reactionary since I can't see anything better and getting +1 CL for Call Animal seems kind of cheesy--I'm trying to fight the temptation.

Oh, and since we get 3k, I can afford a Dragonhide Breastplate to start with!

I did some analysis on the companions and what I'd enjoy most combined with what ends up mechanically the strongest results in a Deinonychus. They start with just barely less damage than an Allosaurus or Big Cat, but they're little tanks--they're a small creature with more Con than most bigger ones--and I'm excited for all those attacks at 7th combined with the convenience of being medium sized so I won't need to worry about squeezing or anything until I get Animal Growth. His feats will be Light Armor proficiency and probably Power Attack. And no, I don't think I can afford the feat past level 1 to get a domain with a weak companion and use Boon Companion to fix it (since I need Natural Spell, probably Wild Speech, Powerful Shape, etc.).

So the expanded version of my dilemma is, should I use my 1st level and human bonus feat to take Augment Summoning or take more "fighty" stuff?

Not that I really know what a better "fighty" feat is for 1st level--maybe Toughness? I don't know. I do know that I could take Eye for Talent and give my Deinonychus +2 to any stat--Str is quite attractive, since +1 to hit and damage on so many attacks is awesome and he'll have Int 3 next level anyway.

I don't know, what would you do?


17 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

For reference, Haunting Mist.

Haunting Mist:
HAUNTING MISTS
School illusion (figment) [fear, shadow]; Level bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, witch 2
Components V, S
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range 20 ft.
Effect cloud spreads in 20-ft. radius, 20 ft. high
Duration 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Spell Resistance no
An illusion of misty vapor inhabited by shadowy shapes arises around you. It is stationary. The illusory mist obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. A creature 5 feet away has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker cannot use sight to locate the target). All creatures within the mist must save or take 1d2 points of Wisdom damage and gain the shaken condition. The shaken condition lasts as long as the creature remains in the mist.

My questions are thus:

1) This is a figment and the mist is explicitly called an illusion, but the save is not noted as a disbelief save. Is that correct? Is it not possible to disbelieve the mist?

2) If it's not possible to disbelieve the mist, then is there any other way to protect your allies from it other than them not standing in it?

3) If it's not possible to disbelieve the mist, then does that mean deals Wisdom damage to you and shakes you? The effect is centered on you, after all.

I really want to like this spell, but it seems like without the (disbelief) tag on that save, it's worse than useless.


I'm making a level 2 Elven Witch for an upcoming game and I'll have normal WBL, which I believe is 1000gp.

My focus is definitely going to be on debuffing and finishing with the Sleep Hex, so I obviously don't need to invest in armor and certainly not much in weapons.

So, uh, what do I buy? I want to know more spells, but can I buy new spells the way a wizard can? Is there a standard price for learning from someone else's familiar the way there is for learning from someone's spellbook?

Is it a good idea to buy a bunch of scrolls to feed to my familiar? Perhaps I should buy level 2 or even 3 scrolls to make sure I get more spells that I want later?

Is there some mundane equipment I'm forgetting? Masterwork Silken Ceremonial Armor as a back up behind my Mage Armor?

I'm generally very good with mechanics and character builds, but this is my first Witch (and prepared caster in general, actually), and I'm not big on gear, as the games I run are very low wealth.


My PCs will be entering ancient Azlanti ruins soon, and I want to include undead Azlanti soldiers. The game is E6 and I don't want incorporeal enemies, so I'm going to use a modified version of the Ectoplasmic creature template (one that keeps class levels and intelligence/feats).

So, if you were making three "tiers" of soldiers, one with 2 class levels, one with 4 class levels (midlevel officer types), and the big boss types with 6 class levels, how would you do it?

I want them to be interesting and memorable, with a recognizable fighting style and maybe an exotic weapon choice.

I initially wrote it up with the low level guys being Fighters with Tridents, Heavy Shields, Precise Strike, Expertise, Gang Up, and Shield Wall, so they'd basically fight kind of like Hoplites.

However, I'm tempted to go a different direction with something more exotic. Maybe a weird weapon, like they all have Falcatas, Khopeshes, or Terbutjes? Maybe the level 4 guys should have some kind of leadership or tactical ability, making them warrior Bards or Cavaliers or something?

I don't know, how would you make Azlanti soldiers? What weapons would you give them? What classes/archetypes? Help me brainstorm.


3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Let's say, I'm a Carnivalist 2/Vivisectionist 3. I flank with my familiar. I know I deal an extra 3d6 in sneak attack damage on my attacks, but how much does my familiar do: 1d6 or 3d6?

Carnivalist Sneak Attack:
A carnivalist gains this ability starting at 2nd level. The sneak attack damage dealt is 1d6 points at 2nd level, and increases by 1d6 points every 4 carnivalist levels thereafter. A carnivalist's familiar can also deal sneak attack damage as appropriate to foes as long as it is within 30 feet of her (though only Small and larger creatures may flank enemies, as usual).

So, basically, does the Familiar only get sneak attack dice I get from Carnivalist, or does it get all my sneak attack dice? If it's the former, why? If it's the latter, has this now become the new standard for Sneak Attack builds?


So, if you've seen my other thread here, I really dislike Race to Ruin in general, but I'm going to run my own version of it, taking the encounters I like, but otherwise opening it up quite a bit more and tying things together more.

I'm going to let the PCs make their own path, and play up the tribal tumult a lot more.

So, anyway, I still want to end the chapter with Tazion, but I kind of feel like the Charau-ka are, well, ridiculous.

Is there a reason they went with monkey men rather than, uh, actual men other than: "this is D&D, so everything has to be weird?" They don't even seem to have their "standard culture," (/sigh, why do monkey people have a standard culture?) since they randomly worship Ydersius for some reason.

Is there some important function they fill that I missed? Possibly in a later book?

Would I be ruining Tazion in some way if I just put Mwangi tribesman there? Possibly Mzali, since the tiny blips of information we get about them is pretty interesting? I just have a really hard time taking small monkey people serious, especially when they "throw anything" super well and have a "shrieking fury" or whatever nonsense.


So, I'm running Serpent Skull and converting it to E6 as I go. My players made characters today and I ended up with two Rangers. They're both totally new to D&D in general (having only played world of darkness games), so I'm helping them out pretty heavily with their characters.

I am trying to give them advice on what favored enemies might be good choices, but I'm not totally sure. I've only read Book 1 and 2 so far, so I don't know what's coming up later, yet, and since it's going to be E6, they'll only ever get 2 favored enemies, so it's not like they can adjust and take more appropriate ones later.

Based on the first two books, I suggested Human, Undead, and Animal, but I wanted to make sure there wasn't some obviously better choice.

I'm particularly worried about Human--the first two books are full of them, but I'm concerned that 3-6 cut down on that tremendously based on what I know of their content.

Any suggestions?


Brief background: I've run RPGs for about 20 years, but I've never run a module or anyone else's story but my own. However, I have heard great things about the general quality of the APs, so I decided to give some a read.

I read Souls for Smuggler's Shiv and I was totally hooked. I love the structure--there is a clear goal (get off the island), but is otherwise totally open ended and player driven. It's very much in the spirit of the way I run my own campaigns, so, while I'm sure I'll tweak some stuff, I'm really looking forward to running it.

I then eagerly acquired Book 2 and, well, what happened? It just completely switched styles. Book 1 put the PCs in the driver seat, but Book 2 puts me there, and that's not a seat I want to occupy as GM. It's perfectly linear with only the illusion of choice. And to further frustrate me, there's even a foreward basically telling me I'm wrong to dislike the "railroad" because all good games have them. Really?

So, I am not happy with this and there's no way I'm running Race to Ruin. At best, I'll take the general idea of journeying to find ruins that lead to the hidden city, but I'm not narrating a predetermined trip with predetermined stops with mini-rails (the salt mine is a straight line) on the way.

My question is, what do I do after Smuggler's Shiv? I'd like to continue the game, and I like the idea of racing Yarzoth (if the PCs kill her, so be it, but I'm running her smart, not suicidal, so I find it unlikely) to find the ancient city, but if the rest of the books are more like Race to Ruin than Smuggler's Shiv, I don't want to bother with them.

Do they get better? Can I basically stick my own stuff in there for Book 2 and then pick up Book 3 and enjoy it again? Am I better off transitioning to another AP? Are any especially good for that sort of thing? Do any of the others have the same kind of "driving goal that is otherwise open ended" feel to it?

I'm not concerned with doing conversion work or adjusting encounters or whatever--I'm already going to be doing that since I'm intending to do this with a Pathfinderized E6 and few to no magic items--so anything you might recommend is probably doable for me.

So, yeah, what's your best suggestion for me?


Ok, so maybe the title's too long, but I am going to be running my first AP soon. This is hardly my first game--I've been running RPGs for about 20 years--but I've never run any modules before, just my own stuff. I'm going to be changing a lot and adding stuff, I'm sure, but I want to give it a shot because Souls for Smuggler's Shiv (Serpent Skull Book 1) so totally hooked me when I read it.

I loved book 1 so much, I got book 2 and, wow, I hate it. I hate it with a burning passion--it almost reads like a parody of bad D&D. It even comes with a preface explaining why I am a bad person for hating it--unbelievable.

So, I'm looking for some general advice about what, if any, AP I can transition into. I'm not concerned too much about power levels or whatever--I can adjust that--so if the best option requires running through another book 1, I'm down with that.

I really loved how open Book 1 was--you had an obvious goal, but no real time limit and no set path whatsoever. It was completely player driven, and that's always how I run my games. Book 2 just put the GM in the driver seat, and I have zero interest in that (never mind all the perfectly linear mini-dungeons and illusionary choices that get you attacked either way).

Yeah, so can anyone give me some advice here about what other APs I might like and what I can transition into?


I generally don't make non-support characters, but special circumstances are forcing my hand. I want now to be self-sufficient (support needs people to buff, for example), hard to kill, and most importantly, difficult to pin conditions on (the GM seems fond of inflicting 7th level spells like Insanity on 4th level characters).

As such, I think a Paladin archer is my best bet--self healing/condition removal, great saves, and the ability to lay down damage in all situations.

That said, I'm curious as to the best way to go about building this. The Divine Hunter is obviously custom made for archery, however, I am not sure if it's really worth it in the end. Because I am starting this character at level 5 (and in Carrion Crown, if that's relevant), it seems to me like they trade several of their immunities for a single bonus feat and ranged Lay on Hands.

My full analysis of the Divine Hunter:

Precise Shot - This is obviously a feat I'd be taking regardless and I won't be wearing Heavy Armor, so it's basically a bonus feat.

Shared Precision - It seems great because it lets my allies stand near me and be effective ranged attackers without really investing in it. However, I have to ask--if your party members are standing near you shooting, who is in melee with the enemy that you need Precise Shot to avoid? Seems like a waste of an ability, especially considering that I lose immunity to fear for it.

Divine Bond - I lose two abilities I couldn't use anyway because they only work on melee weapons, and instead gain three new abilities I'll never use either. Oh well.

Distant Mercy - This is the best ability the archetype gets, it seems--not like the Mercies are especially great. However, the more I think about it, the worse it seems. I'll never use it out of combat because it takes two uses, meaning it'll be for in combat healing. However, I'll never be able to heal more damage with Lay on Hands than I could deal with my action, so how much use will I really get out of this? It seems like a much better use of my time would be casting Shield Other and just LoHing myself as a swift action.

Aura of Care - Oh, my allies within 10' don't provide cover against me. Great, why am I that close to the guys I'm shooting? Seems useless. I know the ability I gave up for it was only immunity to Charm, but that is at least more useful, in my mind, than doing nothing at all.

Hunter's Blessing - Ok, this is pretty sweet--your whole party becomes a bunch of marksmen if I spend a Smite. Oh, but it replaces the ability to give my entire party ridiculous Smite bonuses using their preferred method of attack instead of mine. Lame.

Righteous Hunter - I assume having good aligned attacks is good? Smite overcomes DR anyway, though, so I'm not sure it's that critical. It replaces an ability that does almost the same thing, with the only exception being that it helps allies rather than hindering foes. Not a huge difference.

So, yeah, bonus feat and distant mercy are the only things that seem worth having.

The other archetype that looks good is the Oath of Vengeance. I lose channeling (which I am likely to never use since it's so inefficient) and gain the ability to spend Lay on Hands uses for more Smites? Amazing. The group smite isn't nearly as good, but it costs fewer resources, so it's not that bad. My main concern is that I'm not really all that into Iomedae and Torag.

Of course, I could always just stick to the core Paladin. Since I'll be 5th level, I can easily have PB Shot, Precise Shot, and Deadly Aim regardless.

Final note: we're rolling stats :( so I can't plan a point buy here. However, the rolls are really generous and we end up with high stats. What should my priorities here be?

Should I keep Str, Dex, and Cha all about even? Should one receive more or less than the others? Seems like they're all extremely important.

I am really starting to consider playing an Aasimar over my standard Human--is the loss of a feat and skill worth it for the extra 2 stat points and darkvision?


I am currently in a position where one of my groups has only enough time for a short adventure before a two month hiatus. I generally run campaigns of my own design--I've actually never run a module or anything--but considering the short time available, I don't really want to invest the kind of mental effort for that sort of thing.

I want to run just a single book out of some AP, but I'm not sure of which one. I'm open to any except for Carrion Crown, as I am PCing in a Carrion Crown game right now (we're on Trial of the Beast), and I'd rather not have spoilers. Ideally, the book would have a solid conclusion, so the PCs can feel accomplished when it's over (rather than simply transitioning into the next book, for example).

The group will be small and I'd prefer to keep the power level in the 4-10 range, but if a particular book is really good, I'm ok with trying it anyway.


My Sound Striker Dirge Bard is imminently becoming 5th level (in Carrion Crown, if that matters), and I've got no idea what feat to take. This is tricky because of the concept build I'm using--I pretty much don't fight with weapons at all.

I'm trying to be as much support as possible--I've used my sling three times in 4 levels and whiffed once with a whip attacking a spider, and that's it. I'd much rather buff the party or debuff the enemy than deal weapon damage. Generally, I use my first action to begin Inspire Courage, then cast spells until clean up time.

My current Bard:

There are some character creation houserules in place affecting this, so just trust that the things I have are legal--but they were only different at creation, so they won't affect my future feat choices.
Level 4 Human Sound Striker Dirge Bard

Str 10, Dex 14, Con 16, Wis 10, Int 14, Cha 21

HP: 40, AC: 17, Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +4

Key skills (I'm not listing them all): Diplomacy +17, Knowledge: Religion +16, Perform: Dancing +12, Perform: Keyboards +12, Perform: Singing +12, UMD +12

Traits:
Making Good on Promises (+2 saves vs. Fear), Two World Magic (Disrupt Undead--I used it a lot, since this is Carrion Crown)

Feats:
Skill Focus: Knowledge(Religion), Lingering Performance, Flagbearer, Fast Learner, Eldritch Heritage: Arcane (Thrush Familiar)

Spells:
0th--Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation
1st--Chill Touch, Grease, Liberating Command, Silent Image, Saving Finale
2nd--Cacophanous Call (holy crap, I can't say enough good things about this spell!), Glitterdust

Masterpieces:
Triple Time

Bard Stuff:
Bardic Knowledge
Haunted Eyes (I get a bonus vs. Necromancy effects)
Secrets of the Grave(I can use Mind-Affecting spells on Undead and I get extra Necromancy spells added to my known spells every so often)
Inspire Courage +1 (set to become +2 at level 5)
Countersong (I used it once!), Distraction, Fascinate, Wordstrike

My only magic item is a Wand of Cure Light Wounds. I typically carry my banner in my buckler hand, and leave the other open for casting or once or twice, my sling/whip. I considered a net, but I don't really want to get that close to the front lines if I can help it.

I really have no need for magic weapons and I've let the armor go to those on the front lines (I've only been attacked twice anyway). I'd be perfectly happy if I got nothing except a Banner of the Ancient Kings.


Now, at level 5, I'm set to get Haunting Refrain, which lets me use my Perform: Keyboards in place of Intimidate and gives me a bonus to it equal to half my level, plus enemies have a -2 to saves against my fear effects. It's pretty nice, and I can start Demoralizing enemies pretty reliably.

At 6th, I'll never need a weapon again because I'll have Weird Words.

At level 7, I intend to take Improved Familiar, at 11 I'll take Discordant Voice, and at 13th, I'll probably grab Improved Eldritch Heritage. However, I have no idea what to do with my 5th level feat (or my 9th for that matter).

I've been thinking about a few ideas, but all have fell kind of flat.

Spellsong won't really do anything in this game (due to the way the GM runs spells like Charms and the fact that there are very few Concentration spells). Harmonic Spell is not really necessary--I've switched performances once, ever, and I never run out of performance rounds. Dazzling Display requires I hold a weapon, and I basically never do (plus it takes two feats, and Weapon Focus essentially won't help me). Arcane Strike probably won't work with Weird Words (I'll ask the GM, but even then, it's a back up plan at best). There's not really any Metamagic feats that seem worthwhile (I like the one that sickens, but it's too many levels and requires my spells deal damage, and almost none of my spells do that). I wish I had built this character with the Helper trait and gone for Combat Reflexes/Bodyguard earlier, but I think it's too late to bother (plus I stay out of the front lines anyway).

Evolve Familiar for a +8 racial bonus to UMD or Reach seems cool (my bird has delivered its fair share of Chill Touches), but there are so few wands dropping this game so far and they've not been especially good.

The best idea I could come up with was Antagonize, actually. The diplomacy version seems pretty good, since it can apply a fairly long duration -2 penalty to enemy attacks and when I stay in the back, they'll have a tough time circumventing my party's melee to get at me.

Otherwise, I've really got nothing. Is there anything good I'm missing? I'd really like to enhance my Intimidation abilities, but there doesn't seem to be any option other than Dazzling Display. Should I just take something boring like Improved Initiative, Dodge, or Toughness? Spell Focus (not that I'd know what school to choose)?


Arcane Strike enhances my weapons, and Weird Words' biggest weakness is DR. Can I use Arcane Strike to make Weird Words magical? Are the potent sounds weapons? They use ranged touch attacks, and I was never totally clear on if all RTAs were weapons, or if only specifically Rays were (or if all RTAs were considered Rays).


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I'd like to get a Masterwork Tool for Diplomacy. My immediate gut reaction would be a fancy new dress and accessories. This will suffice for the current situation (the Trial of the Beast, if you're familiar), but I would prefer one that I could use while adventuring and wearing armor and whatnot.

I know a chain shirt probably could fit undernearth typical Victorian dresses, but it would require near constant Mending and Prestidigitation to keep in nice. Could something else do it? Nice make up? Fancy perfume? Jewelry? A book on public speaking?

A bonus side question:
Far in the future, I'd like a masterwork tool for Spellcraft and Use Magic Device, but absolutely can't think of anything. Any ideas?


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This is not for anything specific, just a general, "I think it'd be cool if..." kind of build.

It actually started as a "how can I make an Int based warrior" but when I noticed the White Haired Witch and Feral Combat Training, I became fixated on the idea.

Now, to make the idea work, I'll need at least one level of White-Haired Witch and at least one level of Monk, Weapon Focus: Hair, and Feral Combat Training (which would allow me to make full flurry attacks with my hair).

The question becomes, then: what do I do with the rest of my character to optimize this? Keep in mind that the point is to fight with the hair, so recommending that I just be a full casting witch and only use the Hair as back-up is not what I'm looking for.

Should I just stick with Witch for at least 8 levels until my hair is maxed out (which lets me grab, constrict, trip, pull, and prevent verbal components)? Would it even be worth it to take Witch levels past 8 for the reach and those Rogue talents (which seem decidedly underwhelming to me)?

Should I focus on grappling and make the monk levels Tetori? Or go with some kind of Fighter archetype that helps grappling? Is grappling even worth investing feats in?

Should I make the monk level Sohei and be an Eldritch Knight because, hey, why not have more spells and full BAB?

Should I do Kensei Magus, choosing hair as my weapon of choice so I get Int to AC and touch spells with my hair? I'm concerned because it seems like the entire point of Magus is getting a wider crit range for touch spells, and I wouldn't have that. The upside, though, is that I could take Hexcrafter and get my hexes back...

Is there a good Fighter archetype for this? Lore Warden? Savage Warrior? Unarmed Fighter?

Should I get one of the several feats that would (via Feral Combat Training) allow my hair to deal piercing damage and thus qualify for Duelist? Would Duelist even work (is my hair a light weapon)?

Is Kirin Style worth it to double up on Intelligence to damage? Maybe some kind of Alchemist stuff (Mindchemist?)?

What Patron should I take? What other feats and spells would complement this? How would you optimize a hair based warrior?


Another player in the Carrion Crown game I'm playing in just had a character die and asked me to help him make another. He wants to be an Aasimar, which is a race I've never liked so never looked at before now.

First, let me say, "wow!" Part of me wonders how this could possibly be balanced, though the other part would never give up the free feat (for spontaneous casters, the extra spells known) from being human even for this, so I guess it's ok.

That said, I have a question here about how the variant racial bonuses work (in addition to how anyone thought +2 to a stat was equal to casting Daylight once per day).

Let's say I make an Angel-kin Aasimar, which gives me +2 Str and +2 Cha. One of the variant abilities says:

"You gain an additional +2 racial bonus to your Strength score."

The word "additional" is tripping me up here. Which is correct:

1) I have an additional +2 racial bonus to strength, meaning that I would have a +2 racial bonus to Str, a second +2 racial bonus to Strength (which would not stack), and a +2 racial bonus to Charisma

or

2) I have an additional +2 to my racial strength bonus, meaning I now have a +4 racial bonus to Strength and a +2 racial bonus to Charisma

I really can't tell which way to read it. It seems so powerful to get a +4 to a stat with no minuses, but it also seems powerful to have three +2's with no minuses, so that's not really a clear indication. Has this been answered before?


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I have tons of fun playing almost pure support characters, and I'm always looking for more wrinkles on the concept.

Now when I say "Support" I mean primarily buffing and healing first and foremost, but that can also definitely incorporate Utility and Battlefield Control (as a sort of indirect buff), or even just protecting other characters. The point is that these characters should make everyone else at the table better, and, just as importantly, take a meaningful action every turn.

I often like to take this a step further and usually avoid all serious attempts to deal physical damage, but that's not required for the purposes of this thread.

I've made two characters like this so far and loved them, one, a Sound Striker Dirge Bard (it was carrion crown or I'd have ditched Dirge), and the other an Oracle of Life.

Now I'm curious about what else is out there? Is there some quirky Sensei build that's awesome? Is some obscure archetype of--I don't know--Inquisitor perfect for this role? Show me what you've got.


My bard is heavily focused on support. I generally avoid fighting and stick to magic and performances. I'm a Sound Striker, so eventually, I won't need to worry about fighting at all--if I absolutely need to, I can just deal damage with Weird Words. The game is Carrion Crown, so I'm also a Dirge Bard, meaning I can use Mind-Affecting spells on undead and I get bonus Necromancy spells from any arcane list.

Right now, I'm torn between two routes I could take with my feats. I already have Lingering Performance and Flagbearer, and I am unquestionably taking Discordant Voice when I qualify. What should I do for the rest?:

1) Eldritch Heritage: Arcane (for a familiar), Improved Familiar (for a Psuedodragon), and Improved Eldritch Heritage (for extra wiz/sorc spells added to my lsit.

2) Improved Initiative, Spellsong, and I don't know, whatever other feat I want--probably metamagic like Heighten or something.

I thought the familiar and extra spells would be a no-brainer, but looking over the spells I could choose with Improved Eldritch Heritage, I was totally underwhelmed. There are too many to choose from that are worth having, but none that stand out as a clear "this is the best spell I could choose and is totally worth a feat." I mean, I already get the good Necromancy spells (Enervation and Magic Jar please). I don't know, I'd feel lame if I went through all this trouble and just ended up with something bland (though of course useful) like Black Tentacles, Wall of Stone, or Telekinesis.

Plus, it's just a lot of investment in one thing. Two feats for a familiar--it's awesome, but I don't think I can fit both Improved Initiative and Spellsong into my build before the teens if I do that, and obviously going first is huge and when your GM runs Charms the way this guy does, you want to be able to hide that you're casting it.

What would you do?


My Bard is planning on taking Improved Arcane Eldritch Heritage at level 11, and I'm looking ahead to see what spells I might want to take with it.

I'm what might be considered a "caster bard," so my DCs are pretty high and I'm not afraid of spells with saving throws. The game is Carrion Crown and I am a Sound Striker Dirge Bard, so I can already grab Necromancy spells, I can use mind-affecting effects freely on Undead, and my Weird Words does plenty of damage (so I'd rather not take a blast).

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I'm pretty lost--I don't even know where to begin, as there are just so many spells to choose from.

Maybe one of the Shadow Conjurations to increase versatility? Wall of Stone since there's so many uses for it?

Summoning is really no good, as my spell levels are behind and the summons would be even more behind the curve than they already are. I don't know, I'm open to any suggestion.


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I'm looking to come up with a list of good Necromancy spells to take with my Dirge Bard's Secrets of the Grave feature.

For reference:

"In addition, he may add one necromancy spell from the spell list of any arcane spellcasting class to his list of spells known at 2nd level and every four levels thereafter."

Now, the begin with, I'm having trouble figuring out all of my options. The Sorcerer/Wizard list is thankfully separated by school, but the Magus, Summoner, and Witch lists aren't. Are there any Necromancy spells on their lists that aren't on the Sorcerer/Wizard list? Are there any obscure Arcane spell lists on prestige classes to draw from (for example, the Assassin had a 4-level spell list in 3rd)? I feel like there has to be something out there, or else they'd have just said to take the spell from the sorcerer/wizard list.

Additionally, since I only get these spells at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th, and I don't think you can "know" a spell you can't cast, that means I'll be able to grab a 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th level spell from this feature. What are my best choices in that context?

It seemed to me like the only real choices for my first pick are Ray of Enfeeblement and Chill Touch. I imagine the Ray is probably better overall, but considering that this is Carrion Crown (lots of undead) and Dirge Bards later get bonuses for fear effects, I went with Chill Touch.

At 6th, it seems like my best option might be Command Undead--but is it really?

And I'm completely lost on later picks. I must admit, I don't know Necromancy spells very well.


As the thread title asks, is an Unseen Servant a viable target for various spells and effects?

I'm asking this specifically because I was thinking about taking the spell with my Bard. I love it both for the flavor and utility--it can feed my allies potions if they drop, retrieve their weapons when disarmed, put some force behind my Silent Image (to go along with my Ghost Sound), reveal Symbols the party has prepared, and generally do servanty stuff. Awesome.

But I starting thinking about what makes the Unseen Servant awesome and what makes it tricky to deal with. The biggest limitation that stood out to me was it's 15' speed. If it's not in the thick of things, it really can't effectively save dead people or retrieve weapons. But in the thick of things, it's susceptible to area attacks that could destroy it, and as a Bard, level 1 spells are far more precious to me than they are to a Sorcerer.

(And no, just getting a wand is not an option--I can't guarantee the presence of absence of any magic item)

Then I wondered, "but hey, I can use Triple Time to buff my entire party's speed for an hour--can I use use that on the Unseen Servant to let him move 25' per turn?"

And while we're at it--what about Haste? Can I buff its speed with that?

The floodgates opened--wait, a big limitation is it's Strength of 2. Can I buff that somehow? Can Bull's Strength give it 6 Strength?

What about Silence? Can I cast Silence centered on my Unseen Servant? The possibilities are endless...


I think I know the answer, but I want to be absolutely sure and have the answer out there to show my GM in case he disagrees with me:

When you use Versatile Performer (or the Dirge Bard's Haunting Refrain) to roll an instrument-based Perform check in place of some other skill, do you need to actually play the instrument in question?

Specific example:

If I use Haunting Refrain to demoralize someone, do I need to be sitting at a piano to roll Perform(Keyboards) instead of Intimidate?


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Has anyone written a guide on these? Are any of them worth taking? I'm curious because I want to plan my skill points--I'm playing a Sound Striker Dirge Bard (it's for Carrion Crown), so I, sadly, lose Versatile Performer. That means I have little reason to take a wide variety of Perform skills other than qualifying for these Masterpieces (and Percussion, for the bonus and fear thing).

Here are my thoughts--please, offer yours:

At the Heart of It All seems interesting, but probably not worth it--I imagine it's more of a "prepare for the final boss" kind of thing.

Legato Peice on the Infernal Bargain is just Planar Ally. I guess it's nice in that Bards don't have that spell on their list, but in a party with a Cleric, it's probably pointless. Plus, while I recognize all the theorycraft that makes Planar Ally amazing, but I think in practice, it's more trouble than it's worth.

Melody of Frightful Death seems anemic. At level 7 when you can get this, 1d6 damage per turn (especially for the price of a round of performance) is absurdly weak. There's probably some kind of exploit dealing energy damage every turn opens up, but I don't care enough to look for it. Is forcing concentration checks for ongoing damage worth it? I doubt it.

Minuet of the Midnight Ivy looked completely awesome to me at first--this provides a really nice utility effect (it's practically Spider Climb), which is something Bards usually can't afford to spend their limited spell slots on. However, it requires such an absurdly high Performance (Dance) check for anyone else to benefit from it that it loses a lot of its appeal.

Pallavi of Nirvana’s Blossoming--now that's what I'm talking about! Not just one, but two spells not on the Bard list, and Plant Growth is an amazing control spell--it slows enemies to a crawl--and on top of that, you allies can be unaffected! Oh, wait, it takes 3 full rounds to do, and it only lasts for minutes/level. Yeah, ok, never mind. Moving on.

Rondeau of Heavenly Order is a flavorful ability that is, as far as I know, cannot be duplicated by a spell. However, in really thinking about it--I can't think of anything good to do with this spell. Unless your allies all have Spring Attack/ranged attacks and there are lots of convenient corners to hide behind, it just won't matter.

Stone Face is another effect Bards can't do, but, well, it's Stone to Flesh. That's already more of a "get a scroll" spell, so there's no way I want to take it as a performance.

Symphony of the Elysian Heart--ok, this is the first one I love and want (unfortunately, it requires the least convenient Perform skills for me). It provides early entry Freedom of Movement, and more than that, it's multi-target, making it more useful in my opinion. It doesn't work under water--who cares--and it's short duration, but most of the time, you only need it for a couple of rounds. It's not like you're spelunking in the dreaded caves of Jell-o or something, and if you are, even knowing the spell will be insufficient. I really love this performance--just wish I could use other skills with it (like, any I had already planned on taking).

The Cat Step Dance has all the downsides of the Minuet of Midnight Ivy plus the additional costs way more rounds and takes way more time to start up thing. Oh, and it has a less useful effect. Fantastic. When are you supposed to use this? When your dance troupe is about to hop down a series of short drops? Even when it is helpful, in most normal situations, the Minuet of Midnight Ivy will be more helpful.

The Dance of 23 Steps is amazingly good--it's a free action, so you can use it after your actions for a turn. It's basically free AC for a round of Bardic Music. And it works with Lingering Performance (practically every Bard's first feat). I love this and want it bad.

The Dance of Kindled Desires is of dubious use. It's kind of somewhere between Charm Person and Dominate Person, but it's reliant on you being able to provide the thing the GM decides a target most wants. It seems like kind of an evil power, actually, and while strong, I think this is a "depends on the GM" sort of thing.

The Depths of the Mountain requires that you be level 15 and duplicates Earthquake. I don't think I could care less about this ability if I tried. Earthquake is totally underwhelming and way to high a level for its pitiful effects. I understand that it has to be that way or any evil low level caster would ravage towns with ease, but it's just generally not useful for a PC.

The Dumbshow of Gorroc is intriguing because it's rather large amount of damage for a level 2 spell, but it's only to plants and oozes. Are these even remotely common enough to be worthy of a spell/feat? Maybe in a very specific campaign?

The House of the Imaginary Walls is something I love in theory, but hate in practice (or rather that I theorize that I will hate in practice). It's a super awesome utilitarian effect--imagine getting the party across a chasm on a fake bridge! But it seems too costly to be of any use. Imagine how many rounds you'd need to build a useful wall 10' x 10' at a time. And then on top of that, you have to keep spending rounds to maintain it. The only time I can imagine it helping is if you're putting a 10' x 10' wall in a chokepoint (like a doorway). I'm not sure it's worth the cost (in time and Performance) despite the awesomeness.

The Lullaby of Ember the Ancient--what's worse than a spell with a Hit Die cap? A special ability emulating that spell that you can't swap out later!

The Quickening Pulse is essentially identical to the Melody of Frightful Death, except that it causes Bleed instead of energy damage. The difference is probably negligible, which is bad because Melody of Frightful Death is too weak.

The Requiem of the Fallen Priest King--this can go from an amazingly awesome way to set up a nova round for your entire party against a tough encounter to a gigantic waste of time and Performance rounds in a matter of "at least 10 minutes pass before the next fight." It's really powerful, but requires too much forethought and planning, I think to be practical. Plus, the extra standard action clearly favors spellcasters over melee, since an extra spell is usually going to be better than one extra attack.

The Rheumy Refrain seems really cool, but ultimately, I think, it literally does not work as written. The target has to make a Concentration check to take almost any action. If you use this on a Wizard, how it works is obvious. They roll their caster level plus their casting stat and try to beat a DC of 10+your Cha (a pitifully easy concentration check most of the time). But what does a non-caster roll? Concentration checks are defined as rolling a d20 and adding your caster level and casting stat. A Fighter has neither--does he just roll a d20? If so, that's unbelievably powerful, but also barely makes any sense. It almost seems like the guy who wrote this masterpiece was using the 3rd edition Concentration rules.

The Winds of the Five Heavens is another one of those abilities that is an awesome, normally out-of-class spell that takes multiple rounds to use. That kind of defeats almost every usage I can think of for Control Winds (probably since most of them involve abusing flying creatures). I mean, I guess the fact that you can use the effect for 10/min per level after casting it for just 3 rounds--yeah, it could be decent, but I still don't like relying on powers you need to use ahead of time.

Toccata and Fugue of the Danse Macabre makes me sad because the name is so cool and the ability so terrible. Take an already borderline useless spell, raise the level (since clerics and oracles can cast it at 1st), and then make it more costly to use? No thanks.

Triple Time is a CL 1 Longstrider with a 1 minute cast time. I would say that it's nice and useful, but I don't think it's really worth the cost of a precious spell known/feat. Maybe if you're Human, it might be worth a HP from your favored class if you already have every spell you want, but otherwise, I think you'll almost certainly have better things to take.

So, yeah, to me, it seems like Symphony of the Elysian Heart and The Dance of 23 Steps are the real winners, here, and everything else is underwhelming or outright terrible. Thoughts?


I'm making this character for Carrion Crown, if it matters (I already made an Oracle of Life, but the GM asked me to make something else, instead, so this is attempt #2). My goal is to be a purely support/control character. The party is loaded with melee dps (all 7 other characters are melee focused and two of them also have animal companions that fight), so our front lines are crowded and I'd much rather enhance their ability to fight or interfere with or enemy's ability to fight than to fight myself.

From what I've seen of the first two levels of Carrion Crown, it's an undead heavy game, so I am going with Dirge Bard to make sure I'm a little better prepared for that. The character will be Human and start at level 2.

Stats are rolled, but if at all possible, I'd like to put my highest stat in Charisma. I kind of want to avoid fighting in general, and support/control the battlefield instead, whenever possible. Plus, Charisma is going to help my spells, bardic music, most of my skills, and eventually Sound Striking.

I've read Treatmonk's Bard Guide and I'm nervous. I don't want to invest the feats in Archery to be an "archer bard," as I'd rather invest in my music and spells. I want to dump Strength if possible and the party has (effectively) 9 front line combatants, so the Melee Bard is out, too. However, is a controller bard with dumped Strength viable early (before I get Weird Words and more spells/bardic music)?

As far as feats go, I know I want Lingering Performance. To further extend my Music, I like the look of Harmonic Spell, too, but is it actually worth taking? Flagbearer seems like a must, so I'll grab that, but when is a good time for it? Is it worth taking at 1st level (I'm Human, so I could theoretically take Flagbearer and Lingering Performance right away)?

Do you think it'd be a good idea to go for an Eldritch Heritage? I could take the Skill Focus thing instead of my Human bonus skill if I want to get one. Arcane seems pretty awesome and nets me a familiar and later on some cross-listed spells. Are there better options?

I like the idea of Dazzling Display, but I am pretty sure undead can't be shaken, and taking Weapon Focus is a pretty steep cost for someone uninterested in fighting.

Are there any other feats I should look out for? Is there any way I can have two Bardic Music effects going at once? Otherwise, right now, my plan looks like:

1: Lingering Performance, either Flagbearer or Harmonic Spell
3: Eldritch Heritage (Arcane)
5: Whichever I didn't take at 1st level
7: Improved Familiar
9: ?
11: Discordant Voice

For spells, I'm stuck on what to learn early on. Most enemies are undead, but Secrets of the Grave lets me use a small number of spells I couldn't otherwise. Plus, it gives me a free Necromancy spell from another list.

What are my best options? I believe that for my Necromancy Spell, the best ones are either Chill Touch (so I have something early to use to deal with undead) or Ray of Enfeeblement (so I have something to debuff people with later on when we fight something other than Undead (I assume we do eventually in Carrion Crown, right?). Depending on your reading of the ability, I could also theoretically take a higher level Necromancy spell (like Command Undead), even though I couldn't actually cast it until 4th level).

I don't actually know what to do with my regular spells, either, though. Normally, I'd grab Charm Person, Grease, and Silent Image. However, Charm Person won't really help at all with what we've faced so far (Secrets of the Grave gets by the mind-affecting part, but not the Person part). Grease won't trip ghosts (and I assume we're looking at facing ghosts, too). Silent Image requires a lot of GM fiat, and not only do I not know this GM well, but he's been fairly resistant to any sort of cleverness with our abilities in the past.

Are Masterpieces worth taking? The invisible wall one sounded good, for example. I need to know early, so that I can invest the right amount into the required Performance Skills.

Can anyone help with some good suggestions?


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I'm playing in an undead heavy game (Carrion Crown) and making a new character. I am leaning Bard, but also considered Sorcerer, and saw both have ways to cast spells on Undead that normally would have no effect.

My questions basically all have to do with how those abilities (the Undead Bloodline's Arcana, and the Dirge Bard's Secrets of the Grave) actually function.

Undead Arcana reads, "Some undead are susceptible to your mind-affecting spells. Corporeal undead that were once humanoids are treated as humanoids for the purposes of determining which spells affect them."

Now, maybe I'm reading that wrong, but, while the first, fluffy line implies the ability will let me Charm Person a Zombie or Hold Person a skeleton, the second, actually rules-text line does not actually grant that ability.

Treating Undead as Humanoids for determining which spells affect them would allow a spell like Enlarge Person just fine, but nothing that I see about the ability actually bypasses an Undead creature's immunity to Mind-Affecting effects.

I mean, if treating the undead as a humanoid is all it takes to allow mind-affecting effects (because the creature would only be immune to mind-affecting effects by virtue of it being undead), that opens a huge can of worms. Would I be able to use death effects on a zombie because I treat it as humanoid and it is only immune to death effects because it is undead? Could I knock a skeleton unconscious with Color Spray? How far does this go?

Has there been some errata or FAQ entry or developer post about this? Because assuming it doesn't let me use mind-affecting effects, it seems like it's only good for buffing my allied Undead creatures, rather than controlling opposing undead.

Secrets of the Grave reads, "A dirge bard may use mind-affecting spells to affect undead as if they were living creatures, even if they are mindless (though spells that affect only humanoids do not affect them, even if they were humanoids in life)."

So, I could Charm Monster, but not Charm Person a zombie. This seems clear cut, but as above, my question here is as to the extent of "treating the undead as a living creature."

Does it strictly apply to overcoming the immunity to mind-affecting spells, or does it apply to the entire spell? For example, if I cast Color Spray (a mind affecting effect) on a zombie, could I stun it because I can treat it as a living creature and living creatures are not immune to stun? Could I Sleep a skeleton? Can I use Phantasmal Killer on an Undead creature and kill it because it's treated as living for my mind-affecting spell?

Lastly, do you think that there would be any benefit to getting both abilities (starting out as Bard 2/Sorcerer 1)?


I'm playing in a Carrion Crown game and I need a new character. If it matters why I want to change, here's the story.

The Story:
I made an Alchemist and had basically zero fun. The GM has subtly manipulated things to prevent me from ever using bombs. No amount of cleverness was rewarded when I attempted to bypass these obstacles. In fact, I was punished--in one instance, I threw a bomb at the ceiling and used Splash Mastery to splash the damage down onto the monster we were fighting. However, even though the bomb would not have bypassed even the hardness of the wood (as energy damage is halved before being applied to items), and the fact that bombs that set things on fire are later discovery, the GM still ruled I set the shop we were fighting in on fire (without warning me that would happen).

Even after I spent my first Discovery on Precise Bombs, rather than Infusion as I had planned, he houseruled some swarm rules on the spot and declared that if I threw a bomb at the 5x5 swarm we were fighting, it'd hurt the ally sharing the swarm's space--even if I exclude that square from the splash damage. Hell, I was told I'd hurt my ally even if I used Targeted Bomb Admixture.

I know what the typical answer will be, but the AP seems really cool, so, I want to give this another shot. Maybe he just didn't like Alchemists?


I was all set and ready with an awesome Dual Cursed Oracle of Life. However, he denied it, saying that an Oracle of Life would remove all danger and effectively obsolete the first dungeon. I don't know, I thought the entire point of playing a well-built Oracle of Life was to remove danger, but whatever--it's his right, of course, so I'll deal.

Unfortunately, this has left me with no idea on what to do. I don't want to step on the party's toes--most of them are hideously unoptimized (almost anti-optimized in some cases), so it would be difficult to play the same class without outshining them. Plus, it's a large party--8 players--so, there's not a lot of toe room left.

The Party:
Half-Elf Inquisitor (she's probably the most optimized other character--basically built like a two-handed fighter except with spells/judgments/skills)
Half-Orc Two-Handed Fighter
Half-Orc Wolf Shaman (powerful now, but obviously his archetype choice was short-sighted)
Aasimar Sword 'n' Board Paladin
Dwarven Waraxe 'n' Board Fighter
Human Rogue (is already frustrated with how weak rogues are, at level 2)
Aasimar Cleric (chose Air and Animal for domains...)

Oh, and only the Inquisitor carries a real ranged weapon. /sigh

The group definitely needs fewer Big Dumb Fighters and more magical and/or ranged support/utility/control, so my initial thought was a Sorcerer. I love playing control-focused sorcerers, but it's Carrion Crown. While I don't know spoilers, at least through 2 levels, it's been all undead all the time and I'm pretty sure there's more to come, including incorporeal stuff.

All the early control spells I'm most familiar with won't work on undead, especially incorporeal undead (not even Grease will work on them!). The Undead Bloodline won't help, either, because from what I can tell, while it makes the undead count as humanoid, it doesn't actually alter their immunity to mind affecting effects. I can't think of a single control spell that this would help with--it seems far more helpful for buffing (Enlarge Person) than controlling undead, which I guess makes sense but doesn't help me.

I also considered a Magus crit build, but the GM is using a crit deck, and so far, it has turned every crit we've landed into a disappointment. Not a single card dealt extra damage so far, and none of the special effects generated were worthwhile.

I like the idea of the Lorewarden, but, well, we don't need more melee and there's two fighters already. An archer Ranger is appealing, but I don't know if I'd enjoy it out of combat (too much overlap with the Druid and Inquisitor), plus, there's already two animal companions in the party.

Does anyone have any suggestions for something interesting and effective against a lot of undead, including convincing me that one of the above ideas is actually a good one? I'm open to pretty much any idea.

As a sidenote, though, because the group is so lacking in optimization, I'd far rather prop them up with buffs and control effects than taking all the spotlight myself. I would rather make them feel awesome than have every action I take make them feel inadequate. Oh, and there's already too many players, in my opinion, and two animal companions, so as much as I love summoning, I think it'll just drag every combat out even longer.


I'm thinking of replacing my current character in Carrion Crown with an Oracle of Life. This is for several reasons I could write an entire thread about, but the short answer is, I want to do something the GM can't really interfere with, so that I can make sure I actually get to do the thing I built my character to do .

Plus, the group is large (8 people), has no healer, and for the most part are--how can I say this politely--not concerned with building effective characters (half of them made multiple character choices that would be rated Red in a class guide). In a single session, 6 out of 8 PCs hit the negatives (and two of them dropped multiple times), one died, and another was coup de graced, but the GM made it abundantly clear that he fudged things to keep him alive.

So, I have a pretty strong concept for the character, but I'm not very familiar with divine spellcasting, and I'm looking for some advice. Relevant information:

We're level 2 right now and the game is an AP, so I'm expecting to get at least to the upper teens. As I said, I'll be a human Oracle of Life, and I'd like to be Dual-Cursed if I can swing it. Haunted fits really well with the concept and has a great spell list, so that'd be my actually advancing curse. Blackened is a good conceptual fit for my second curse, but the -4 to weapon attacks is something I'm worried about in the early game, so my back up choice is Legalistic. I'm open to other ideas, but I'd really prefer to avoid Tongues if possible.

Stats are rolled, unfortunately, but I have pretty good ones: 18, 16, 14, 14, 10, 9.

My preliminary plan is:

1: Channel, Selective Channel, Extra Revelation (Life Link or Misfortune)
3: Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), Energy Body (or Life Link if I took Misfortune)
5: Whichever of Life Link, Energy Body, or Misfortune I haven't taken yet.
7: Fortune, maybe Improved Familiar as a feat?
9: ?
11: Life Sense and Improved Eldritch Heritage

As far as spells are concerned I'm really not familiar with divine magic and what is good, but here's what I was thinking (in my order of priority):
1st: Bless, maybe Protection from Evil?
2nd: Shield Other, Spiritual Weapon, Shatter, Resist Energy, Delay Poison
3rd: Prayer, Stone Shape, Dispel Magic
4th: Blessing of Fervor, Air Walk, Spiritual Ally, Freedom of Movement
5th: I don't know--Holy Ice or Fickle Winds maybe?

Oh, and I didn't want to type it every level, but I'd be happy to grab Summon Monsters, too. Now, ideally, I'll never use any weapons (I'd like the Blackened Curse as my second one for flavor reasons) and instead, spend every round using a spell or ability to support or control. Early on, though, that's looking less viable.

I can Bless first round every fight, sure, but what else can I do? Are there any good level 1 and 2 spells (I miss Color Spray and Glitterdust)? I'm hesitant about taking mind-affecting spells like Command since this is Carrion Crown and so far it's been all undead. Should I just give in, take Legalistic instead of Blackened, and wade in with a weapon until I get higher level spells, or is there still a useful way for me to support at early levels?


I'm thinking of playing a Dual-Cursed Oracle of Life who, eventually, I intend to play as a pure caster (casting Healing, Buffing, Summoning, and Control spells every round without ever bothering to swing a weapon).

I'm definitely into the Haunted Curse for the spells it gives, and it fits my concept very well to take the Blacked Curse as my "never improving" one. However, I know that early on, I am basically required to fight in melee--I won't have the spell slots to keep casting, nor will I have any real repeated options anyway (even the Burning Hands spell that the Blackened curse grants is pretty lame, so it'll probably just be Bless and then fight).

So, knowing this, I'm wondering if the Improved Unarmed Strike feat would let me fight without the -4 weapon attack penalty from the Blackened Curse. If not, I'll probably still suck it up anyway(or take the Legalistic curse instead), so it's not a huge deal--but if anyone has a work around so I can function for the first few levels (unfortunately when the -4 penalty hurts the most anyway), I'd love to hear it.


The situation:
A swarm of rats occupies the same space as PC1. Can PC2 make an attack against the rats without hurting PC1?

I can't find anything in the rules that suggests PC1 would take damage when the rats are attacked, but the GM insisted that is what would happen. I've checked through both the swarm rules and the general combat rules and found nothing to that effect--am I missing something, or is this basically an on-the-fly house rule?

As a secondary question, assuming that attacking the rats does not harm PC1, could an Alchemist with Precise Bombs throw a bomb directly at the rats and then exclude the space the rats and PC1 occupy from the splash damage to keep PC1 safe?

Again, I'm pretty sure this is fine, and I felt pretty clever for coming up with it, but the idea was shot down. Because the rats were apparently on PC1, splash damage was irrelevant as PC1 would take direct hit damage.

It ultimately didn't matter too much, as I just delayed until the PC stepped out of the space, but I'm still curious about the correct answer.

Now, obviously, the GM is always right, so, even if there is no rule like this, I have to deal with his decision. However, this would not be the first time this campaign that an on-the-spot house rule like this negatively impacted my character, and I'm getting a little frustrated.

If I just missed the rule, no big deal--wouldn't be the first time I was wrong. But, if he changed the rule, I'm going to have to start considering making a new character--something that can't be arbitrarily interfered with as easily (like a buffer/healer/enabler sort).

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