Kingmaker is extremely bookkeeping heavy.
For the best experience, you honestly need to have a hex-grid map for exploration, you don't have to do it, but having one made is nice, and sets a good mood. You will have to keep track of a plethora of desicions and keep track of how the kingdom is doing, set up battles, intrigue etc.
Giantslayer- generic, good old fashioned dungeon crawl like AP. Its straightforward, requires little bookeeping, theme is interesting. However it likely leans more towards combat heavy, and is not known for its puzzles/traps. Potential good flavor for a dwarven party
Skull and shackles- one of the closest to evil APs you'll get. The PCs are pirates on the high seas, great flavor/fun (particularly if you enjoyed pirates of the Caribbean) minimal bookkeeping, though more than some other APs. Its good fun.
Carrion crown- really good victorian/gothic horror theme. Super minimal bookkeeping, some great RP moments and great combats (though some are meh) first book can be SUPER challenging depending on party composition and how they tackle it. One of my favorites.
Mummies mask- I haven't had the pleasure to play much of this, but I've heard the themes kinda get bogged down in later books. Plenty of puzzled and traps though, and early on its quite deadly.
Strange aeons- can't comment
Now... if you aren't against 3pp content,
Personally, I think this should be run as a "double GM" game. Like, the moment your AP reveals his betrayal, he becomes an enemy BBEG, you can control him and his actions, but should expect to lose. Make it memorable, make it fun, make it a damn close call, but be ready to lose, and have your character killed.
You could take the Trap Finder trait. Or just dispel it. Or go around/over/under it. Or cast Aram Zey's Focus.
He said its a rapan athuk like dungeon style game. I doubt you can go around it,
Yes, cast a spell that might work everytime you hit a magical trap, that's a great idea.
Campaign traits may be banned, I know I certainly ban most AP traits, unless I'm running that AP. And always ban trap finder. But I don't use many traps to begin with, unless they are part of an encounter/fight.
If the trait isn't banned, then sure, go for that instead of a level of rogue/investigator.
Yeah, have fun disarming them once you hit magical traps. Sure, you can use summons or the like, but why waste it when 1 level in rogue or investigator can do it for nothing but the cost of some skill points?
If no one else takes a class with trap finding, you ought take at least few levels of rogue or investigator. Investigator honestly wouldn't be that bad a class to stay in either. Not the best, not the worst.
If someone does, It opens more up for you, people seem to really love the higher HD in gestalt, which is meh in most games, why? Becuse people run half +1 hp games. You know what the difference is in hp between a d10 and a d6 in that regard? 40hp at level 20. Thats, at BEST a single extra hit. It will do little for you save levels 1-5.
Saves? You are a wizard, you have plenty of ways to protect yourself. Sure, in the end its a +6, but if you are being easily targeted, you probably messed up along the way.
Even if you don't want full arcanist, a 2-3 level dip into it from the gestalt class wouldn't hurt, nets you the ability to increase your spell DCs by 2, and IIRC the ability to change around your prepared spells if nothing else. That's good for a SoS/control wizard.
Summoner can be good, but most normal summoners are banned (rightfully so) and inchained summoners are very much chained. Your eidolon is weaker, and IIRC you cannot use Summon monster spell line if your eidolon is out.
In a similar vein of thinking to summoner a spiritualist may be a good fit for you as well, their spirit can go incorporeal from level 1, make great, if limited, scouts. can provide another body to fight, and a lot of their bonuses are somewhat passive. You can summon with it out as well. You also get good fort saves. The only issue is that its a wis based caster, but only 2/3 casting.
I still like the alchemist idea, you can go mind chemist if you want, you'll never fail another knowledge check in your life (can be very helpful), it boosts the DC of your spells to boot. You only need 2 levels for both of those parts. Discoveries like "vestigial limb" can make for some fun shenanigans later on with wands/rods/etc. And bombs are a good way to contribute to fights that don't need your spells.
Gestalt is not about covering weakness, per say, its about finding classes that mesh well together and can make you more versatile, while making your specialized aspect that much better. This is much easier for martial classes, due to many have passive bonuses that can stack, and a fighter benefits greatly from something like inquisitor, warpriest, magus, or even paladin or a cleric.
If you are talking about the occultist class, I've seen it work some in the upper mid levels(7-11)its a decent gish, but doesn't have anything that particularly seemed to stand out. A bunch of neat, if not overly strong, abilities though.
This can actually vary, most days, it likely just gives you the buffer and doesn't do much (speaking of just the spells/day aspect) however, I've played and ran sessions/multiple sessions where circumstances did not allow rests and or require a large number of fights in a relatively short amount of time. During times like that the extra spells will be quite welcome. And if you want to play a blaster because fireballs are awesome, it really makes blasting more viable due to more spells in a day.
Other things arcanist can give other than more spells (the strongest ability in the game, most would argue anyway) +2 DC or CL to spells (and a lot more spells to consume if you wish to get arcanist points), exploits- quick study, free teleporting, etc. Greater exploits are even better. If you take occulist archetype, you get standard action summoning, at wizard progression.
I'm not saying its the best, but I would say from an optimization standpoint, I'd prefer it over fighter levels.
It was mostly to show how having two full level 9 spell lists can get ridiculous. Arcanist just gives so msny additional tricks for a wizard.
That said, for a level 18 god wizard, 25000, is, for most purposes only mildly expensive.
That said, alchemist would be a great gestalt as well, you can throw bombs in fights that don't require your spells, give out extracts, buff your defenses
And at level 20(hah), philosopher stone makes wish uses a non-issue.
Fighter/wizard- kinda meh, but lets you cast or hit things at your leisure. And you can take care or yourself in regards to melee or wizardry.
Wizard/arcanist- whats better than spells? More spells! And spells at higher DC or CL! Exploits are great too. You likely won't need wish on both lists, due to the sheer amount of spells you can prepare. Defenses are lacking (if caught unaware).
Wizard/UCrogue- really great for a wizard that wants to get his hands dirty. Rays can potentially SA, greater invisibility makes it easier to do.
Wizard/alchemist- a good range of offensive and defensive abilities, extracts are nice, better hp and saves than wizard/arcanist.
I disagree, doubling up a spell list can be quite nice,
Arcanist can focus on blast spells or summons what have you, wizard on other.
Or you can just make use of the extra casts. Imagine at level 18, you get access to wish in both wizard and arcanist, being able to throw out that many wishes (while mildy expensive) is exceptionally strong.
But as said before, UC rogue and wizard can be nice.
Personally, I enjoy the fighter/wizard, for the thematic aspect. You can use your spells for utility, buffs, debuffs, and control. (Summons, web, black tentacles, create pit) when needed, but can still swing a sword decently well. For synergy though... unrogue is actually not bad. A lot of your utility spells can be made even more effective through the plethora of skills you would have.
Another one that works well is arcanist. This is because you basically double your spells per day, but ALSO can increase your CL or DC for either spell list. Also, exploits are great, and if you gonl occultist you will likely never run out of summons.
It honestly depends on your goal.
Wizard(sin magic/rune specialist)/arcanist gestalt will be a magic powerhouse, but will also be highly specialized, and rather squishy. Of course, that specialization is very powerful.
Wizard/barbarian(urban barbarian) can be a good way to get better survivability. While still having the power of a wizard.
Magus opens up some options, but you still won't be able to use spell combat with wizard spells, but it lets you focus your wizard spells more on utility/etc.
If you use the scorpion whip as a whip, you threaten as a whip would. If you use it as a light weapon, you don't. When used as a whip, it is equivalent to a whip. "...When you use a scorpion whip as a whip, it is equivalent to a whip, but deals lethal damage and can harm creatures regardless of their armor bonus." Which means... it functions just like a whip except for the specific part mentioned in you can do lethal damage to folk in armor.
Knowledge is power is an arcane discovery, you take a level of wizard at level 3 to get it, since you can use a generic feat or a bonus feat to get a discovery.
Shocking grasp, frostbite, vampiric touch, metamagic rods.
All the above can help get around resistance/immunity. Lesser rod of elemental spell is pretty cheap.
Trip/disarm are useful early on, and can be useful even late game .
You don't even need to worry about improved X if you don't want too. You won't be provoking AoOs usually at 15' anyway.
Kensai (Scorpion) whip build.
Ability scores, 25 pt buy, before racial bonuses
1- weapon focus, combat expertise, (if human improved trip or improved disarm
From level 1, you threaten 15' and 5'
At level 3 your base CMB for trip and disarm is +11 (2 bab, 3 str, 2 from weapon, 4 from Int) your damage is 1d4+3. Note, you can use spellstrike with arcane mark, to get two attacks (and so two combat maneuvers) as a full round out to 20' (5ft step, and 15') at a -2 each, but hey, thats still a +9 to one, and a +11 to one of your choice.
At 5, you can make 3 AoOs, all of which are trip or disarm.
You have 3 1st level spells from wizard for mage armor shield, enlarge person, etc.
The build really comes online at level 5, and only gets better with levels.
By the time a lot of enemies are "immune" to trip/disarm you can get grapple, and by then you can do plenty of damage when you need to just by sake of the class.
You could also dip into sorcerer, for crossblooded dragon/orc, for +20 damage to a 10d6 shocking grasp, but thats getting more into cheese territory.
My advice is to avoid kensai, overall, its a pretty meh archetype that trades away some of the maguses coolest features... that out ofnthe way...
If you go kensai and want to focus on dexterity, I suggest dropping blade bound, unless the GM does 2 things for you, 1, allow you to take a whip as your BBlade, allow you to use agile as a weapon enhancement from your arcane pool.
As a kensai, I would suggest seeing if your GM would allow a whip or scorpion whip as your black blade, why? Because it has a 15ft reach. Once you get Improved whip mastery (about level 8 for you) you threaten ALL 15ft, which is great. I honestly would suggest focusing more on strength for this idea, but
Combine the kensai whip magus with feats like
Suddenly, you laugh at more conventional enemies, another option is to go for stand still feat. (Though this depends on how your GM rules the feat) would suggest elf or human (elf for ability score bonuses, human for extra feat)
Feat path for dex focused, you get weapon focus for free
If you go this route, you want to take ONE level dip into wizard early on (at an odd level) to gain access to knowledge is power this is far better than any generic feat you could take, as its modt likely netting you a 4+ to your rolls. Note, this is in addition to your strength/dexterity bonus.
To be fair, karzoug is EXCEPTIONALLY prideful, full of himself, and quite overconfident. Why go hunt down some random mortals? Its not like they can breach my lair, and if they did, its not like they can defeat my minions or godsforbid me! Haha!.
At least, thats the idea I get from him.
Its actually the better descion at the time to ignore them IMO. IIRC.
Actually, I will rescind at least part of my former statement, as while this is not an official ruling on an FAQ, JJ usually has the right idea on intent with the design team.
Apparently, immunity negates the last part, so taking a level of oracle for fatigue immunity still works with it.
However, it still doesn't cover the cords interaction, but, assuming JJ was correct, would lend credibility to the idea that cords also nullify the ending part of the feat.
Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
except the text of the feat states "..., and you are fatigued (even if you would not normally be)."
have that magic item (or any class/racial ability) keeps you from being fatigued normally. the feats states you would be anyway. hell, undead and constructs that use this feat would be effected and become fatigued
your ability to find an achilles heel is moot here, make them exhausted, congrats, you are useless.
instead is the key word here, its removing the fatigued condition and replacing it with 1d6 NL. the feat supersedes that and says "no, you actually are fatigued"
my only disagreement with that is the menhir savant archetype. You get a bunch of free +1 CL per day, a great Detect ability, free teleport basically, and ethereal jaunt, the only thing you really lose is the 1000 faces ability.
That, and maybe the new herbalist druid bond, you just get X free potions per day, at your CL, for just about any spell you want haha.
source severance alone ruins a wizards day.
Druid has always been one of my "go to" classes for pure versatility and power. That said, I rarely play them, as they usually just don't mesh well with most campaign settings.
If you want to play godmode
I find this immensely humorous of being said about a martial character.
As for the furious finish reading... RAW you will be fatigued. Full stop. It doesn't matter if you are immune, immunities are more general than this feat, which states that, no matter what other abilities you have, you are still fatigued.
I won't be worrying about armor at all, At best, I will only wear armor for effects it can give (resist, shadow etc). rage cycling is normally reserved for level 17+, but getting it early doesn't seem so bad, the powers aren't particularly good even with the cycling, even assuming you can cycle multiple times in one turn. But yes, I will speak to them. As said, I'd likely only go this route if the Stalwart/improved stalwart build seems too cumbersome.
Sadly, the only defense I can rely on vs spells, is making a save, and the HP I have. Other than that, I will have to rely on party buffs, or maybe the occasional potion. 167 HP while raging isn't anything to sneeze at at level 12, and I can't really push it up a lot more.
Furious finish is an odd ability, on one end, RAW it is quite clear that you are fatigued no matter what, however, I love the vital strike feats, so if I were to run a game with it, I may allow for the cycling of it. I think it would still deal less damage than a full attack barbarian with rage.
I run max HD for hp, (partly because it helps balance out "rocket tag", and partly to make the difference in HD more noticeable.)
The following is semi-custom race using the half-dragon template.
The PCs have fought this guy once before, (before he was gifted the blood of dragons, and he nearly bested them in that fight)
He will fight with only one other NPC, and I want it to be one hell of a fight.
However, at this point, Caldir, the BBEG in question, is so prideful, he wagers he can best the group in a straight up fight with pure force. I'm looking for any way to improve on his damage/survivability that doesn't particularly make use of "tricks" and or any other thoughts in regards to this. I used the same 25pt buy for him as the PCs had. The group aren't munchkins, but they do make very powerful characters.
Did I go too overboard? Not overboard enough? This is for all purposes, the most powerful single enemy they have, and will encounter this campaign, and I want him to be terrifying, but, beatable. I want him focused more on martial prowess, with magic being a buff line mostly, a little bit of blast if needed, and comfort spells.
here is a link to the sheet I am using for him.
Ah, I didn't realize hurtful wasn't pfs legal, thats quite a shame. At least it opens a spot for furious focus. Which I just completely forgot about being a prereq. Its what I get for trying to go off mostly memory.
As for the chords... They should be- chord of stubborn resolve.
Which for some reason my mind named "mule". It what I get for doing this over the course of a day when I get some free time in between things lol
Greetings, I recently moved to a city where I can actively participate in weekly PFS games, after a lot of thought, I decided that I'd try a barbarian again, its been a bit since I've played PFS, but I think everything here is legal. Would like thoughts on it.
Human invulnerable rager
Traits: threatening defender, berserker ofnthr society
At level 11 this nets me-
Items would be, a +1 furious keen falchion(18k) ring of freedom of movement(40k), belt of physical might(str/con +2) 10k, cloak of resistance +3(9k), either headband of havoc or headband of deathless devotion,
Other items I would consider are helm of intimidating mein, boots of striding and springing, cord of stubborn resolve(this would likely steer powers towards more 1/rage ones)
What are your thoughts on a ring of Fom? Its quite expensive for something that may or may not come up often. I'm unsure if its worth the 40k
Stats at 12 would be (roughly)
HP: 137 
The other idea, was to just not worry about the DR stacking. Which would have feats and rage powers looking something like-
This build would make use of the chord of stubborn resolve s, so would be down 2 str and con compar
You say tanking is a silly MMO concept, yet use the term "threat", which is a key concept of MMO tanking. (Or was, most games make it laughably easy for tanks to keep threat, or, aggro these days). And speak of identifying abilities as if they were skills from a video game.
Thanks everyone for your responses and thoughts.
Hello all, I'm making this post, both to discuss, and to advise/get advice about DMing enemy NPCs in combat. How to have them behave, and why. Now, let us assume this discussion involves games up to and including level 17, as most APs do not go higher than this.
My Primary question is as follows, should you as a GM, in a "normal" or "generic" fight, have enemies prioritize players, and if so by what prioritization should you do so?
Now, as a secondary question from the first, What constitutes a threatening/priority target character?
I have seen countless times on these boards people speaking of making yourself a threatening target, you have to be threatening in order to be a good frontliner... What constitutes threatening? Is it damage, the thing that actually kills you in game? Control, the thing that sets you up to be easier to damage? space occupation, the thing that keeps you from damaging whoever you want? Can a pure martial character, ever be more threatening than a caster? Can a pure caster, ever truly be more threatening than a pure martial? Is it based on levels? should enemies always have 100% information on the party and their abilities?
If the standard is damage, how much damage is needed? what is "threatening" in terms of damage? do you need to kill something in a hit or two to be threatening, or is it also threatening to be able to kill something in the course of 2-3 rounds? is it damage per hit? damage per turn? Is it not threatening enough to be the thing that actually kills you?
If control, how much control do you need to provide? Is one or two targets a round worthy of being a priority target, or do you need multiple AoE effects to be considered threatening in this regard? Are combat maneuvers enough control, or do you need control like web, entangle etc? Or is control by itself, or in majority, not threatening enough to constitute being a priority target. (which would mean, casters on average should be considered less dangerous off the bat)
is it a "total" combination of the two? If so, which is more "threatening"? Damage, or control?
Example- you think damage, the lifeblood of the game and the one thing that eats away at the life of all people in the world is the largest threat factor.
We have a Sword and board martial, lets say a paladin for full on defensive power that does not try for TWF, and focuses more on defense than offense. He is hard to hit, hard to damage, damn hard to kill or even to effect with most spells. he does "ok" damage via a decent strength score and power attack... Is this a threatening target? If no, should a GM make this player feel nigh useless, because he wanted to play an iconic SnB paladin? should enemies constantly avoid him solely because they don't deem him a worthy "threat", even though he does do damage, just not "enough"
What if the wizard is purely a control wizard and makes use of mostly control/buff/debuff spells? Would he still be a priority target?
Another example, you believe that battlefield control is the most dangerous in combat, and as such should be used to prioritize targets.
What happens to the paladin from the first example? Is he ignored even more now because he has little to no battlefield control, and only "ok" damage outside smite?
What if the wizard decided to focus on blasting because he wanted to throw fireballs, bolts of lightening etc around in fights?
What if a "turtle" character focuses on performing combat maneuvers, and leaves 1-2 enemies prone a turn, or drags them around the battlefield provoking AoOs? Do the enemies focus him now, and miss 9/10 attacks?
If you deem control AND damage necessary to be a threat, or if you deem them equally worthy of being a threat, how do you target players? Would you simply ignore the ones that are harder to hit at this point because "thats no fun" or "thats what the person would do"? Or would you allow the player that wants to be the tank, feel useful in that regard and have enemies fight him? Or would you simply have them target the closest?
And my final question is, Regarding the above, if you believe that yes, your NPCs should prioritize PCs purely on "threat", should we be okay with invalidating character concepts/designs because they don't work within said system?
Sure, the caster can potentially do almost anything, but in reality likely has 1 or 2 things he has planned. Maybe with an outlier or 2 incase of X. They can't prepare everything. They can't even prepare most things well until level 13ish+
My main point has seemed to elude you however, which is that as the GM it falls on you to make the game a fun experience for everyone, invalidating a character design someone wishes to play because you feel it is "not threatening enough", "too hard to hit", or "doesn't have magic" is ridiculous. Are you going to tell me that your NPCs run past the two-handed barbarian and ignore him constantly trying to get to the wizard? After all, the wizard is their prime target. What if they have a wizard themselves and need to protect him?
My point is that you shouldn't invalidate a character design simply because you don't think it is "right". If you want to continue the discussion, I may set up a different thread for it.
Yes, my argument is that
1. You can and should cater, ateast somewhat, to your players, if one wants a SnB character, let him fight 1-3 enemies at a time. If you invalidate a character concept as a GM. That is your fault, blame the system all you want, final say is you.
2. Enemies will not always have 100% info in a fight, and why would they willingly risk themselves harm in AoOs to try and move around a scary dude with a sword? Especially when they have allies that can threaten the others. Sure, if things start going south because of sniper snitchzel ranger in the back 3 rounds in, have the guy try to move past, run away if you must, but thats still 3 rounds it took him assess the flow of the fight, and come to that decision.
3. What is the definition of "offensive action"? Attacking? Doing an ill defined amount of damage set by the GM? Tripping/disarming enemies? If a turtle spends all his attacks tripping/moving/etc the enemies, and putting them in bad situations/causing them to take a lot of AoOs, is that still offensive?
Magic is far from the most dangerous thing, save perhaps high levels when you gain access to a lot of SoS spells, at which point the game system can start falling apart in other ways.
Up to that point, magic is not as dangerous, as it is inconvenience and a deny tool. Fireball can hurt a bit, but it won't hurt as much as a SnB character will over the course of 3-4 rounds.
Note, magic is certainly powerful, I won't deny that, but it is not dangerous usually because it will kill you, but because it can put you in bad positions, deny you advantages, put you at disadvantages, etc.
Most 2/3 casters use magic to enahnce their damage dealing as well.
If damage is your standard for danger, pure magic casters, barring the odd exception, should never be your primary target.
generic towershield fighter level 12:
fighter 11/brawler 1
25 pt buy
Str: 20 (+3 ASI)
decent feats for "open" feat spots- iron will, weapon focus/spec., advanced weapon training(?), Shield Brace (mastery), Greater shield focus, Ray Shield, most any combat maneuver.
Armor and weapon training:
For items, I will assume you don't get "exactly" what you want, and error on the side of less, as I don't particularly want to do the math for purchases.. haha.
Items- Belt of physical prowess +4 (dex/str), +2 weapon, +2 Armor (with choice of energy resistance)(crafted yourself) , +2 Shield (with choice of energy resistance) (crafted yourself), Gloves of dueling, cloak of resistance +3, boots of haste, +2 ring of delf and amulet of NA.
This leaves you a rough estimate of-
DR6/- with adamantine heavy armor.
to hit and damage of-
To hit: +25 due to +19 base (str+BaB), +4 from weapon training, +~2 from magic enhancement,
with power attack, changes to-
note, if you are going to use only 1 weapon, weapon focus/spec increases it by +1/+2.
The biggest issue here, is you really need to be allowed crafting, otherwise your money investments will be hampered due to wanting a shield AND armor. I would focus a little more on defense, likely picking up dodge and spending a little more money on defense, but thats me.
You will use Brawlers martial flexibility 95% of the time ONLY for picking up the AWT option of item mastery for casting spells, such as fly/healing/dispell.
I'll comment on the whole "you must do damage enough damage to be a threat"
Who determines that? The GM? Who determines what any enemy will do? The GM. You can do all the damage in the world, but if your AC is high enough to make attacking you a 5% chance, he will still ignore you if he so wishes. Personally, When I GM, I rarely move enemies away from the "front line" that were engaged. Why would an intelligent creature risk itself harm? This of course, changes in certain situations. But its something I stick to. Allies may rush around the "front skirmish" but, the player playing the sword and board fighter that isn't power gamed still gets to hold 2-3 folk at bay, and take little damage doing it. And I dare to say those GMs that power/meta game are GMing wrong. You aren't trying to beat them, you are trying to give an enjoyable experience to all. If a player wants to play a SnB tank, then cater, at least some, to them. Now then, that aside let me comment on my original reason for posting. (Note, the above is assuming there is only 1, or 2, front line fighters, if the entire group are front liners, then they need to be able to fend for themselves anyway)
The intent for this character is to deal damage, firstly, however, I do not wish to play the dumb barbarian trading blows with whatever it is standing in front of him, that can go down due to a few bad rolls. I am, and always do, look for the best way to keep myself, and hopefully by extension, the party alive.**(see below for another tangent on this topic) **
Now, this is to say, I'm not looking to abuse reach, I will make use of it, and it certainly is a proponent of going for the DR build, due to being enlarged giving an inherent -2 AC(usually). But I want my character to be able to stand toe to toe with a large, deadly, creature, and be able to kill it, without great risk to themselves, and without being a money sink to the party. This means making the enemy hurt less, or making them miss, much more often. Yes, magic and the like still poses a problem, and threat, seeing how enemies can unload their entire repertoire on you without fear of more encounters, but there are only few ways to deal with that, and are things I must contend with, whether or not I choose DR or AC, or AC with some DR. As the MAJORITY of damage, will come from physical attacks. As such, I wished to get peoples thoughts on which they thought better, DR or AC. Which I have, and would like to continue to do so. I don't need them to be unkillable or unhittable, though being unhittable for most blokes is certainly a great way to keep himself and his team alive. I want my character to be able to take a lot of hits, whether that meand ignoring most of the damage, or causing them to miss most of their attacks. And I want to do it within the theme and concept of the character IE no magic, no "ancient or powerful bloodline" etc. Though I do appreciate people putting in their input.
I cannot tell you how mant times I have saved the party, by being unkillable, while still posing at least some threat. In many a game, I have had the "offense over defense" player be dropped two rounds in, after killing 1, or 2 enemies. Or none, if he is unlucky and rolls poorly, meanwhile the enemies can roll a 5 and still hit him. This was over the course of levels 2-13, on separate campaigns through similar levels. On more than one occasion, we won the fights because I was nigh unhittable, usually due to use of combat expertise, or spell buffs. Mind you, its not that I was doing no damage, on average, I did about 6-12 less damage than the "kill it first" characters did per hit, and hit just about as often (varied from 1-3 lower to hit across the course of the campaigns) there were times when they stood out, yes, a crit here, several one shotting AoOs on mooks here, or if we were fighting enemies with a lot of blast spells or SLA and me and mr. Hit hard took about the same damage, but I was always steady, hard to hit, and annoying as hell, and on the campaign where I played a SnB paladin, hard as hell to kill. This was even with an enlarged reach fighter build with the 15-20ft reach. Doesn't help you none when the enemy has a 10-30ft reach. Or by god, if your party has no healing. Because god forbid someone do in combat healing (which is itself another tangent) or be a healer/support character. The point is, hitting hard, especially at med-low teen levels, is far from the "best" way to avoid damage.
The mercenary idea I had would be much more brutal than Aria, obv. But oddly enough wouldn't really want to poison or explode things either, though that comes not from a moral stand point, but a more "I want a good fight" stand point. He could eventually grow into a caring leader, depending on how things turn out in the story, but would start out as a rather aloof, semi pragmatic hired killer.
Aria obviously would be against poison and the like, but would also treat "war" as an art, so conduct herself in the most effective manner. And as her code states, would prefer NOT to kill people. She could function as an additional figurehead in winning over people. And would be more than willingly risk herself if there are ever any diplomacy options/missions (I have no idea. I doubt there would be a lot, but IDK)
Would you be open to a paladin of shelyn?
Aria was found on the outskirts of town near the hinterlands when she was but a young child hardly able to walk. By a cleric of Shelyn who had been wandering the countryside for inspiration. When she was found, she amazingly wasn't malnourished, and already had raven black hair to her shoulders. Her piercing red eyes were seen for the wonder they were. The cleric sought about her family, but found none, and so decided to take her in at the church. What other reason would he have found her for, for surely the child was blessed by Shelyn due to such beauty at a young age. The cleric, by name of Daren, would care for her like a father would his own child. Teaching her the values of Shelyn, and, against the will of some of the clergy, taught her the art of combat, particularly that of the glaive, his deity's favored weapon. As of now, Aria still believes herself to be a human, completely unaware yet of her divine heritage
As the years past, it became obvious that the child had indeed been blessed by Shelyn, for when she was a teenager, her beauty was unmatched by any within the church, and possibly within the city (though this was quite debatable depending on who did the talking). Not only was she beautiful however, but she had been blessed with a wondrous singing voice and she grew into a very humble attitude that has been tempered lately by a growing pride.
She loves all art, and is a prominent promoter of the idea that anything can be made an art, even the dreadful business of war and battle. And that should times demand such horrible actions, to do them as elegantly as possible. Though, her personal taste is favored more towards that of music and practical art. She finds the greatest joy in both hearing, and making music. To her, music is the most powerful form of art, able to evoke a plethora of emotions in people, even ones they try to hide or do away with, and even can affect some animals. She also sees music as the truest, if perhaps, simplest form of expression of ones soul. At least, when ones creates music that is influenced by their feelings at the moment. Even bad music can move a persons heart, as she has seen with many couples. Her second preferred art is making the mundane and practical beautiful. Such as embroidery on armor and weapons. It does not lessen the quality of the item, but gives it even more value for beauty it adds to it. Though, she does understand the beauty of simplicity as well.
She also goes to great lengths to master combat, treating it as both an art, and a way to defend the ideals and beautiful things shes holds dear in the world. Her favored weapon is the glaive, though she easily make use of a sword and shield as well. Every morning she spends time practicing with her glaive in a ritualistic way, more to ingrain the movements in her muscles, and to help her clear her head for the day, than anything else. Much how a monk may meditate while practicing their movements.
While Aria was deemed blessed by Shelyn, she is still young and even by her admission has much to learn in some respects. She holds some sway in the decisions of the church of Shelyn in Kintargo, particularly those involving her adoptive father Daren, but holds no real place power as of yet within its clergy.
Recently, her few feats have been that of deflating a dangerous situation involving two hellknights and a civilian, managing to convince the knights to spare the man death and torture. She also created a painting of minor renown within the art community depicting a beautiful rose that bled blood, symbolizing the beautiful city of Kintargo that is being drained of its life and beauty by the oppressive rule of Thrune. She has also, away from prying eyes, urged the church of Shelyn to consider doing something, making points that, at the present state hardly any true art could be created, and even less could seek to create. She even made the outrageous claim that the rule of this Barzillia was suspect, if not outright unjust in so doing. The clergy of Shelyn were not even allowed to express themselves with their clothes due to all fine clothing being outlawed for any save a select few, or those that pay exorbitant sums of gold. The clergy, particularly Daren, have warned her to keep such thoughts to herself and close members of the clergy. However she is finding it ever harder to do so, not only in respect for the arts, but for the people of the town. She feels a rebellion may be close, their is a stiffness to the air and a hanging sense of dread. The thought of so many lives lost troubles her, she hopes a peaceful solution can be found before that happens that both keeps blood from being shed, and brings life and beauty back into the city. Though, if there is nothing that can be done to stop bloodshed, Aria has already made up her mind which side of that battle she would stand on.
Personality: Aria is contemplative most of the time, however this doesn't stop her bubbly nature from overflowing often. She is kind and caring to most everyone, always trying to bring cheer to folk. She has a tendency to easily get lost in thought, even at very inappropriate times. She can come off cold at first due to this and her piercing red eyes, however, any conversation with her quickly removes any thoughts of that sort as her friendly nature comes out quickly. She always looks for the best in people, sometimes to her own detriment (often times overlooking obvious flaws, particularly in those that seek her affections). Though, she does sometimes indulge in a bit of fun due to the cool demeanor that many seem to get from her. Acting the part of a cold, if almost abrasive, woman. Over time, this too, has turned into a sort of Art for her.
Appearance: Aria is of athletic build, and much more muscled and toned than an average woman. She isn't particularly tall, but she is mildly taller than the average human female. She has pitch black hair, a soft, pale complexion, and the only thing that would even hint at an angelic ancestry would be her red eyes, and sheer beauty.
some other facts about her:
She lives within the temple of Shelyn. It was they who took her in after she was discovered as a child on the outskirts of town.
2. She guards and helps with the temple of Shelyn, aids in their gatherings and proceedings, and frequently sings when possible. She also paints when she finds the time, however due to the martial law and utter oppression she has been unable to do either for awhile. She also has tried her hand at smiting, or, more aptly, etching and embroidering of armor.
3. She is closely tied to the church of Shelyn, and is well acquainted with many folk of the Opera and enjoyed their shows, or did. Until Barzillia all but closed it down and so was known within the Opera society.
4. Aria often can become lost in her thoughts, even walking around town, many times she has wandered past her destination due to becoming so lost in her own thoughts that she all but stops paying attention to things. While she isn't always lost in "sentimental" thoughts, I felt it was the best option to take to represent this. If you have a better fitting one, I'd be happy to look over it though!
5. No family, at least not blood family. She considers many in the church close to her, and while she loves the idea of love, she has never truly taken with a suitor, be it male or female. Though she often will at least accept and spend time with those that pursue her. She hasn't yet found one she feels "right" for her.
6. Well, they would gain closer ties to the church of Shelyn for one. Aria also has a level-headed mind, usually, has proven to be a natural leader of others, and is well respected by many of the cultured folk in town. She is a great mediator and diplomat, as proven when she managed to convince a couple of hellknights to not torture, or possibly kill, a poor man in the streets. She brings a kind perspective to things, and is defiantly no slouch with her Glaive or blade.
If this doesn't seem like a good fit, I've got an idea for a barbarian mercenary as well.
The idea behind stalwart was just for the extra DR.
So it scales even more with the invulnerable rager DR. As I said, its strongest once I get imp. Stalwart, and unbreakable fighter gives me both endurance and diehard for the one dip.
All this aside, the only extra feats I need for this build is combat expertise, and the two stalwart feats. The rest are still going to be cornugoun smash/combat reflexes/PA/etc. So I'm still making use of debuffs, but with reckless abandon I'd likely still be getting hit anyway.
I considered the bloodrager, but, this time around, I'm not sure I want any magic with him this time around, I know thats technically "gimping" him, but thats why I came around asking for thoughts and ideas here haha. Thanks for the input and any more thoughts are welcome.
Hey all! Possibly going to be playing a tank barbarian for a game coming up, and wanted to make him as tanky as I could, with minimal loss in his offensive capacity, after some initial looking, I've come down two different approaches.
We are starting at level 1, with a 20 pt buy.
the first is an Invulnerable Rager archetyped barb, making use of Stalwart/imp. Stalwart and combat expertise. (making use of threatening defender trait)
At level 5, this gives me DR4/-, increased by 1 every 2 levels, with an additional +1 along the way due combat expertise.
at level 11, DR would jump to 13 (5 from barb levels, 6 from CE+Imp. Stalwart)
Note, this build still makes use of Power attack, whose negatives to hit are offset by reckless abandon.
The 2nd build involves using the unchained barbarian with armored hulk archetype, using all barb levels.
AC at level 4-6 would hopefully be around 25, give or take, if everything goes as planned, 10 armor, 1 def, 1 NA, 1 Dodge, 2 guarded stance, and possibly 2-3 from a shield, and or another 2 from combat expertise. Giving a total possible of 30 AC should going defensive be needed. However, this is at the cost of some damage (due to either not Power attacking, missing, and/or not two-handing)
This one feels like it scales slightly worse, quickly running out of ways to increase AC outside of Magic items/enhancements. The positive is that it may be stronger early on, and more survivable than the Invuln Rager who will likely be hit by anything more than a strong breeze during the mid levels.
Any thoughts or potentially other ideas (long as they don't deviate too much) are welcome.
at best, it is a neutral act, and worst evil.
A good character may resort to torture in times of great peril, when the chance of not knowing a bit of information could lead to catastrophe. After exhausting all other means, but someone practiced in the art of torture, and uses it regularly, would never stay in the good alignment in my games.