As far as character related developments go... Nim would like to start training with Corb to make him part of his pack hunter feat... whenever we have any down time to spare.
The answer that I have worked out is super-multi-classing. Taking ranger, barbarian, fighter (phalanx soldier?), and cavalier (beast rider, emissary, and order of the dragon?) all up to at least 3rd level each, with the Horse Master feat from UC tentatively approved at character level - 3. It's going to be a bit of a climb, with some strategic switching back and forth to advance in a balanced way, but it'll be worth it.
And I just might still have a surprise for you down the line, if we survive long enough. ;)
Anton - just taking it out of spoiler to make the conversation easier to follow.
What do you actually get out of the multi-multi-classing? - I know it was all the rave back in 3.5 days, but I find that in Pathfinder a focused build invariably performs better than a massively spread one. Plus I have a personal dislike for taking extra classes seemingly for the sake of it.
So what do you actually get that you wouldn't get from a focused build?
Excellent question. To answer it, I have to show you what I'm trying to emulate. That's my 2nd-level PFS character, who's a @#$%ing badass. So there are two questions: what roles does Anton already fill well, and what does he need to fill his other roles as well?
Anton is a Perception monster, and can Stealth at full speed without penalty. He also has trapfinding, and the concomitant ability to disable magical traps. So he's definitely rogue-like.
However, he's weak for a switch-hitter, and doesn't have the right foundation for one. A well-built switch-hitting ranger would go with high Strength, and then use the ranger feats (that you don't have to meet the prereqs for) to get the ranged stuff.
So. What to do? There are several things that Anton needs.
1a. Why barbarian? For more damage and speed. It became glaringly clear that it didn't matter how good Anton's armor was if no one bothered to swing at him, because he wasn't really a threat. Also, it doesn't matter what you can do, if you can't maneuver into the right position to do it in time.
1b. So what else? As long as he's going barbarian, there are other benefits. Being able to not be caught flat-footed, and eventually not be flanked (except by higher-level rogues). Gaining access to game-changing abilities like No Escape and Scent.
2a. Why fighter (phalanx soldier)? For more feats. He needs Power Attack and Quick Draw to be an effective switch-hitter; and with such a high Dex (and propensity for using a reach weapon), it would be crazy not to get Combat Reflexes.
2b. So what else? One other benefit is being able to use a polearm one-handed with a shield, so he can bump his AC up even more. There's also a bonus to CMD against certain combat maneuvers (which Small characters have a problem with).
3a. Why cavalier (beast rider, emissary, and order of the dragon)? For more feats, greater mobility, and an Animal Companion. He would get Mounted Combat and the ability to move at full speed in medium armor. Plus with the Horse Master feat, his mount would be as good as a ranger's (but not a druid's, since our DM ruled it down to character level - 3).
3b. So what else? The challenge ability gives cavaliers a rather significant bonus to damage (which is Anton's weakness) against the Big Bad, and the Order of the Dragon would also make his Aid Another more effective.
4a. What about ranger (trapper)? In the short run, he would just lose out on getting a small bump to his Fortitude save, Reflex save, tracking, wild empathy, and trapfinding.
4b. So what else not? He also wouldn't get ranger traps (which I'd like to see in action), a +2 bonus against humans (the bastards), an archery style feat (without having to meet the prereqs), moving through undergrowth at full speed, tracking at full speed, a +2 bonus in cities, evading attacks on successful Reflex saves, a +2 bonus against undead (the fiends), another archery style feat, a +2 bonus to hit the Big Bad, and the ability to Stealth in jungles and cities without cover or concealment. For example.
Crux of the Matter:
The biggest problem here is that Anton is not really built to be a switch hitter. He's built to be an archer... if you embraced that aspect of the character you'd make a far more effective damage dealer. Using Deadly Aim and leveraged off your high Dex you'll see that your damage will be much better than trying to hit something with your hammer.
You're gaming the system to try and pick up low hanging fruit... but you're missing out on so much that is deeper within the class trees. I would state with pretty good confidence that a single class (or perhaps with a single dip for a couple of levels) character would exceed what you're trying to put together as well as being less of a logistical mess.
Or petition DM Stephen for a re-build so you can reorganise some of your abilities. The way that PF combat tends to work is that you really need to get at least a 13 strength so that you can leverage off power attack to boost your melee damage.
Yeah, great, an archer with -4 to hit from shooting into melee, and another -4 from soft cover. Wow. Awesome.
And he doesn't even have the Warslinger racial trait to reload a sling as a free action, having taken Swift as Shadows instead.
My top priority for when we finally get back to some semblance of civilization is to get a belt of giant strength +2. Doesn't matter if Nim wants his, I'll just buy another at full price. It's the only way that I can see to make this character work.
[sarcasm]Yeah, cos swinging that polearm with 12 strength is totally better.[/sarcasm]
I'm not going to comment more as I don't think you're really open to it... I'll just leave you with one thought:
Wouldn't it be better talking with DM Stephen to see if you could re-jig your character slightly (abilities and feats) rather than trying to force a round peg through a square hole?
I have a deadline for the 29th and i'm 4000 words and a couple dozen references short so you won't hear from me until then. I will have another nasty deadline on the 3rd of May but i'l attempt to squeeze some posts in on the 30th. Sorry for the slowness on my part. Bot Aedalis as needed, he has plans to teach Pezock a language of his choice in return for the technique the Tengu taught him, nothing else pressing beyond research etc..
I'm not going to comment more as I don't think you're really open to it...
I appreciate your constructive criticism, I really do. If I don't seem really open to your conclusion, it's just because I've spent many hours researching and pondering and researching and pondering and back again.
DM Stephen made it clear at leveling to 2nd that it was my last rebuild. And I've done enough research since then to know that what makes archer builds effective are primarily Precise Shot and Rapid Shot, followed by Improved Precise Shot.
And rangers with the archery style can get IPS at 6th! So, it would only take three more levels of ranger to be able (at level 7) to shoot multiple shots into melee, even past other characters. That's pretty good.
But then the character with the best AC in the party would forgo being effective up front. It isn't just about Anton. It's about the group. I need to make them want to swing at me, which means getting up in their grill and seeming so dangerous that they can't just ignore me.
That's what all that squeezing into a square hole is all about. And with rage and a belt and Power Attack, he can have +12 to 2h melee damage. Next level.
I don't think Anton is really ever going to be more threatening in melee than Nim is, or Corbius when you take into consideration his magus spells. That gap is really only going to widen as levels climb - as Nim starts turning into large size animals that have Bull's Strength boosting his attacks.
What the party actually could use is a competent and effective ranged combatant. No one else really has any capacity there at present - except for Anton.
Excellent argument! :) Honestly, it's a relief to finally hash this out with someone else, and not just in my own head. I've thought a lot about the fact that Anton can't compete in melee with Corbius or Nim, and that the group is short on ranged firepower. This is what I concluded.
1. Tactically, Anton doesn't have to do as much damage as those two powerhouses. He just has to do too much to ignore, like in the battle with Ieana (exactly as I planned). Also, he can do a little battlefield control with his reach weapon -- like how he destroyed two dark clerics' holy symbols in a row.
2. Strategically, Anton has other things to add in terms of forewarnings from scouting, perils avoided by disarming traps, things like that.
3. Ranged attacks will be most needed when the opponents just can't be reached right away, in which case Precise Shot (and even Improved) probably won't matter that much. So never mind.
My whole goal here is to try and be the best team player that I can be, so I am absolutely open to contrary perspectives.
I'm just confused more than anything else... your character's sheet and character's actions engender some mental dissonance for me.
But my biggest hangup is on the want to mix four character classes. It's just not the way that I look at characters.
I don't want to mix four classes. I just don't care how many classes it takes, as long as the result is consistent with how I see the character.
He's a scout, he's a soldier, he's a diplomat with a mount (with hot dice and waves over his pony), and he's become very angry (and even gone a little primitive) in the hard times since their ship was sunk. Makes sense to me.
Just a couple of points. I wouldn't worry about building the best character as long as the character you build is fun for you.
Expect everyone to shine at certain times but stealth and trapfinding will have a major role in chapter 3 and beyond in this AP.
Anton will have a tough time out-damaging Nim and Corbrius as they focus on one class but I am not sure it matters. He and everyone else is adding value to the group.
One thing to keep in mind, if you are not having fun with your character, let me know. This is about all of us having some fun with our imaginations. I know I said I didn't want any character re-works but if you are losing interest in the game I would rather address that than lose someone.
I'd make a case for Aedalis to have the rod as he uses several hour/level spells (Mage Armour, False Life) as well as a variety of 10 min/level ones. But he does already have the cloak and i'm not sure where the others are WBL wise.
Indeed. Magus spells (afaik so correct me if i'm wrong) do't include that many long duration buffs at low levels so to my mind its between Tragershen and Aedalis at the moment.
Aedalis has the azlanti cloak (represented on his sheet by a cloak of resistance and a pearl of power) and a ring of swimming, but the former is his only claimed treasure along with a cure light potion.
You can always keep the rod as a "party item" to use for group spells. I am sure stuff like status and haste are useful things to have for the rod.
BTW I have been modifying the treasure somewhat to be a little more useful. Starting in chapter 2 when you have more contact with markets and such the treasure will be more "as is" so to speak.
It doesn't have to be floating... someone can carry it. But it can be a party use item. Use it to extend 2 or 3 mage armors per day for the time being and voila! :)
I have no problem with Aedalis carrying and using the rod for now. I think once we touch foot in civilization again we can evaulate what we came away from the island with and go from there.
Corbius has no intrest in the rod for the reasons Aedalis mentioned.:)
Corbius is on the lower end of the WBL I Would with Tragershen being the bottom I believe.
Gear value ~9,000
but.. 5000 for bracers of archery (Took because no one else wanted but are of no use to me)
1100 for wand of mirror image
900 for wand of vampiric touch
In my home campaigns we usually do not count wands as they are consumables not sure if we are doing that here.:) If it is then Corbius really has only his +1 mithral chain shirt at 2100.
I think Trag has even less.
Please note this is for information purposes only and is not meant as a complaint about the actual act of treasure division as there has been little that Corbius would actually of been interested in so far.:)
While it is true that Tragershen doesn't have any permanent magic items at the moment, I'm still okay with us being more practical than fair while we are still trying to survive and get off the island.
I am a little confused by Nim's comment that we have what we came for. Didn't we come for the reflector? I don't see where we've gotten our hands on that yet.
So is the RMD creating a party schism that we aren't going to recover from? If that's the case, I'd rather it get provoked so we can finish this and move on.
No party schism... Nim will not assist, but also will not oppose any who wish to work with the RMD. :)
I may have jumped the gun a little but was operating under the assumption that the reflector was as good as ours given the RMD's comment to that effect.
We should destroy the altar, search the remaining wrecks and finish the lighthouse repairs.
I think your response may have confused people a little Nim.
The group seems split on what they want to do.
Where Nim, Mihai, and Corb are probably opposed to having anything to do with the RMD, Anton, Tragershen, and Aedalis probably don't care that much either way but were willing to consider his request.
With half the group having a strong opinion and the other half probably not caring enough to cause a disagreement in the group I am guessing the general leaning will be to say thanks but no thanks to the RMD and move forward.
Any other thoughts from anyone or if you disagree please let us know? My plan is to summarize the other pieces and move us forward to you getting off the island tomorrow night as I have my tabletop group tonight, they are just finishing capter 4.
Just so you know, the RMD was changed to be an ambigious force. I wanted to see how the party dealt with an encounter that could have gone many different ways.
BBEG's have a tendency to be very one dimensional and I wanted to add some depth to a character I found interesting on the island.
I hoped you enjoyed the twists vs. just fighting him as a regular encounter. PBP lends itself to be able to do things like this where a normal tabletop doesn't. Something like this could come up again, this isn't a straight good vs. evil PBP so alliances and enemies can shape themselves in many different ways in this PBP.
Just because Nim, Mihai and Corb don't want to assist the RMD, that doesn't mean the others can't. Nim's own stance is hardly "strong"... it is more like indifference. :)
Nim did not care to "assist" the dryad either... but did not oppose those that did.
Ultimately no one character or characters can tell the others what to do.. which Nim made clear when he said as much. They must take responsibility for their own actions that is all. We usually work together, but in a few instances we may disagree on a course of action. That doesn't mean the party is dysfunctional or unworkable, at least not in Nim's eyes.
Nim is not the slightest bit concerned with "evil". His dislike for the RMD is due to his threatening first impressions. Nim has seen no actions to change his opinion of the beast.
I suggest that Nim, Mihai and Corb can return with the reflector and the others can continue negotiating with the Grolick if they feel so inclined. Nim, at least, won't hold it against anyone. ;)
Lets be honest - Mihai is really the only one who feels strongly about this in the negative, which is why he stepped back. It's not a big schism, differences happen and everyone walks a slightly different path. Mihai reserves the right to be smug if things go pear shaped is all ;)
Thanks guys. I was concerned that a couple of characters felt like they couldn't continue to associate with the rest of the group if they worked with RMD. And frankly, I was concerned that that would spill over to players feeling like they had to break away. I'm glad I was just reading too much into it. Thanks for making that clear.
I posted IC what I think will let us move on to the next step.
I will be flying back home across the country on Saturday, and then my posting will be more consistent. My sister's baby is healthy, calm, and strong, and I'm glad that I was able to spend the last couple of weeks helping out -- but I'm also looking forward to getting back into my usual routines with my proper setup. ;)
A ghostly shape manifests inside the lighthouse, right beside Mihai...it appears to be a man its hands outstretched...it seems to be talking to you but you can't hear anything...after a short time the spirit seems to anger and it strikes out at Mihai! He turns in discomfort but it doesn't seem to hurt him physically...it then seems to fade away.
Your sleep is not restful. The dreams come, you are the one you saw at the other Azlanti ruin, on the wall, but you ARE him in te dream. You are fighting in great battles alongside a great female warrior you don't recognize or have never heard of but in your dreams you know her...you are her friend. At every turn there are Serpentfolk like Ieana as well as their allies...not Serpentfolk the ones the other's have told you about.
There are great battles, many die on both sides. The dream ends in sadness though...you have a great feeling of something being left undone...something not accomplished. You awake not very well rested. You are barely able to recover and pray for new spells.
The feeling lingers and your gaze returns to the Chainmail shirt you found with the Azlanti symbols...
Mihai is bothered with dreams all night...he tries to reach Aedalis to help him against Ieana, but can not quite reach him before he dies horribly...he tries to mend Corbrius' leg, but can't find his healing kit...he tries to help Jask cure a disease on Geilk but can't remember how to cure this disease. You awaken not exactly tired but restless and bothered.
The armor seems the about the size/fit of the corpse and now that you look at the drawings on the wall, maybe the follower is wearing a vest, it is a little hard to tell due to their age...the cards though, they seem to indicate you were to find the vest...and right some situation...it's confusing at best....
The bones are scattered about what you suppose is a crypt by this point. The wall carvings seem to show someone following a great hero...fighting snakemen. You get the feeling that this may be the crypt of that person...the follower.
The cards lay out before you...a few things of note become immediately apparent...
The Wanderer...it is aligned...you think it is showing the armor.
The crows...it is miss-aligned...you think it indicates some type of thievery that needs to be put to rest.
The other cards mean little, but you get the feeling that something is out of place or must be righted...
Anyone care to help me see what DM Stephen seems to think is well signposted but Mark cannot seem to filter out?
I would guess the "something" is either the armor itself or the bones left scattered about in the ruins. A third possibly could be the as yet undiscovered remains of the great female hero.
I would go with either of the 1st two myself.
So either the bones need to be returned to their "rightful" place... properly inturred in the ruins (?) or possibly the temple (?) or the armor needs to be returned to the ruins... or the temple. Although the harrow reading seems to indicate the armor is where it should be... with Mihai apparently. :P
Anyone's guess at this point. :)
Wildcard option, the bleeding altar contains the remains of the female warrior and they need to be "freed" and returned to the ruins/crypt. :)
That is all I have at the moment. :P
Thanks for sticking with me wrapping up all of the loose ends. I will provide a list of the shipwreck treasure as well as the RMD items.
Just a note, it may have taken some help from Mihai to get the RMD on the ship. He would have nothing to do with him until the gold and a sweet tongue is used to convince him. But when he sees it is with you he is hesitant to let any of you on board so it ends up being in his best interest in order just to get all of you on board.
I will try to get up the new chapter thread late today but I wanted to get the other items tied up first. Chapter two should be interesting...
Heh - someones in a hurry to get off the island :P
Now I know what was missing... the missing thing we didn't find!
It seemed to be dragging it out to make you RP what I knew you already do :)Figured I had already walked you down that path far enough. There will be plenty of RP early in chapter 2 before we hit the action again
Yeah, no problems with the assumed actions - no need to waste a few days muddling through that when it can be easily nipped in the bud.
I desperately went searching to see if anyone else had any points in Diplomacy... then saw that Mihai seems to be the only one.
I'll handwave the umbrage at ending up being forced to argue the case for a beast that he'd feel perfectly happy leaving to rot on the island for the sake of moving us forward ;)