Advice for a beginner


Advice

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Hello!

After having played in about 5 different settings in an attempt to learn to tabletop or DnD or whatever the fashion is, and having played in my first campaign where I have successfully leveled to 2 (most others were abruptly ended via disappearing members, though supposedly a good run of shadowrun can last as short as 3 sessions), I feel that this is a good time to become invested in a character and try to get this going for the long haul.

That, and the setting is rather nice.

So with that in mind, I have a ton of questions. However, there wasn't really a sticky or conveniently marked section with which to ask beginner related questions.

I understand that the beginner box section may be where to start, but after reading up it seems it would be more appropriate if we were actually using the starter box rather than just the core rulebook, and considering I'm a bard i'm technically already out of that scope.

Would this section be the right place to start asking? Or should I direct my attention to the beginners box area and ask beginner-but-not-beginner-box questions there :)


Here's a fine place!

Welcome to the boards.


shoot =)


This is a good section if it is for advice on builds and such. If it is a rules based question... well there is a Forum for that.

So shoot.

EDIT: Ninja'd x2

EDIT.2: Welcome to the Forum BTW


Well come to the boards and this is the perfect spot for your questions so start asking.


:) hooray.

So I'm pretty sure I shot myself in the foot with my bard. We decided that to determine stats we would favor the luck of the roll and do 5 d6, taking the top 3. That scored me pretty nice with a perfect 18, but also gave me the most depressing 5 I had seen. Also not thinking, I took a halfling role, and without really knowing the plans slapped that 5 into strength.

So in short, I have a 3 for STR.

Needless to say, my first feat was Weapon Finess, with a modest 17 on DEX, hooray.

Plan to do a melee-ish dodger bard, combat bard from the 2 recommended guides at the top of the section :). Because we already have a ranger and.. I'm not sure why not, it sounded fun.

I'm reading up on the guide and I just can't really fathom out how any of them are going to work. I get my second feat at 3, but say, for instance, the critical chain which sounds fun requires +8 Base attack bonus, which I wouldn't get until.. 9? I think. You can't bank empty feats can you? (if so is it even wise to?).

Of course, the other thing would be that most if not everyone references that Lingering .. something is the go-to feat. And it sounds like it, but it's not in the core. And I'm pretty sure the DM mentioned that we're doing purely the core to keep it simple. So in light of this, and that a crit build sounds awesome but more roguey, any suggestions as to what a high dex person could do? other than shoot a bow? Maybe two weapons but the tree looks like it'd take a lot of investment, wasn't too sure if that was worth it.

I really don't understand the point of profession and crafting. If that's something that should even really be considered. This might be because my campaigns never lasted longer than a few days, but. I didn't know if picking one up for the heck of it would be something even substantially worth it.

So really, I'm trying to find out if hope is lost and I should just go ranged, what feats are actually possible at 3, and what is the point of crafting if it takes weeks to get anything done? :)


I guess I should just keep going further... I'm finding it .. confusing to spend money. This probably feels like it comes from non-tabletop gaming and I know I need to break it, but. I can't hold much of anything anyways.

Armor though is required, i know next to nothing about obtaining "better" armor other than getting heavier, which is obviously a bad idea. What's a good level to be considering "upgrades" to increase AC? And where does an adventurer typically look?


Crafting/Profession is mainly for downtime.

You would need Crossbow as you would suffer a damage penalty for the low STR.

Honestly you need to look at the Scimitar and Dervish Dancer feat unfortunately it isn't Core.

and maybe you ought to talk to your GM about rerolling the stats.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Crafting gives you something to do with downtime.

Lingering Melody is from 3.5 and lets you stop singing...your song's effects continue another 3 rounds. Obviously that is not an option for you.

With a 3 str you literally cannot carry anything heavier then clothing, a dagger and a pouch, and maybe a flute. You're going to need to invest in a Str buffer.

If you're playing a bard, you will have to be spell support for everyone else. Right now, you're doing what, -4 damage a swing? You aren't going to hurt anything you swing at. So you're going to have to focus on spells, singing, and tossing alchemical items.

Get a small bag of holding as soon as you can, and just stock it with Liquid Ice and Alchemist Fire. If you have nothing else to do, throw them. The damage they do is not based on Str, it's just energy damage.

Your ranged attacks will be penalized by your Str.

seriously, you should have just bitten the bullet and become a sorceror. At least then you've have some damaging ranged attacks.

In combat, you're either going to be casting a buff spell/heal, or fighting defensively while doing Aid ANother Actions (touch attacks) to give your pals bonuses to hit while getting into position to flank with them, or throwing alchemical vials around.

There are some offensive bardic spells, but they are later in levels.

Basically, stay out of combat and don't think about doing weapon damage. You aren't going to do any damage, let others fight for you, buff them up, heal them, and help them out. Flanking for a fighter and Aid Another for +2 to hit means he just got his Power Attack for free. Make use of it.

===Aelryinth


@Aelryinth: Pathfinder has a feat called Lingering Performance.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

is it in core? It works different from 3.5 as I recall.

Crossbow is too heavy for him to carry. 3 Str, remember? And a small xbow doing 1-6 dmg? Why bother?

==Aelryinth


Lingering Performance, there it is.

But it's not core :(.

Least it's not in the book.

I get by with damage because of Weapon Finesse, which lets me use my DEX bonus instead of my STR bonus. Or.. oh crud. Am I doing it wrong?

I had a pony, on our very first outing it died to wolves :(.

And yes I do stick to inspire courage quite a lot but, and the GM has already warned me, if I think I can just stick to the back and be fine.. well. It won't happen.

I asked about professions because of Alchemical based stuff, because you're all pretty much right. The choice with str was probably the worst one I could have made :).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Weapon finesse does nothing for your DAMAGE.

It only affects your roll TO HIT. With a 3 Str, you are at -4 on melee damage.

So you might be level 2 with +6 to hit with Weapon Finesse 17 Dex, Masterwork small rapier (weight!), small size and +1 BAB, but you are doing d4-4 dmg per hit...min 1 pt, so, 1 pt a thrust.

If you want Dex to damage...you're talking specific feats (Dervish Dancer) or the Agile weapon property, which you can't afford until you can afford a +2 weapon.

So, you MUST rely on stuff that doesn't rely on Strength to do damage. A crossbow would be one way, but probably blows your carrying capability away.

==Aelryinth


Craft(Alchemy) will work wonderful. And Weapon Finesse only allows you to use DEX to hit not for damage.

EDIT: Ninja'd again!


Well :) good to know. I'll take all of that to mind and I guess work out what I can! I'm sure I'll have more, but that gives me at least a starting direction to realize that I have isn't working.


@KHShadowrunner: What is the rest of the party?


I would consider asking the DM if he will give you a small boost to the strength, or let you change race so you don't take the penalty from the halfling.

Melee can still be viable for you, with the weapon finesse stuff. I think there is a way to get dex to damage(anyone care to jog the memory on it?)

Two weapon fighting is feat intensive, but can produce nice results. You don't want to 'save' feats for later. Those critical hit feats are intended for higher levels.

This build could become complicated, you might want to consider sticking with the classes in the beginner's box for now, and move onto others when your group is more comfortable with the rules.


He is locked into CRB. That means no Dervish Dance.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Core only means no Agile weapon, either. he's mucked.

==Aelryinth


I personally would try and see if you could get a redo on stats. Having a 3 is very bad, anything with strength draining effects is gonna have a field day with you.

But this is something to bring up with you DM. I have used craft and profession to gain insight into certain situations.

For example, my ranger had profession engineer. Which i used to set up a mechanical trap, and to repair catapults for a siege event.


Redo is probably necessary. Maybe make it to where this character retires and his friend/brother/father's-brother's-nephew's-cousin's-former-roommate takes his place.

Liberty's Edge

Obviously, you're playing in a home campaign, not Pathfinder Society organized play. In any case, combat will not only not be your forte; but it will be your enemy. Stay as far from direct combat as reasonably possible. If forced into a combat situation, either run or fight defensively. Use your bard abilities to buff others in the group. Despite your character's lack of martial abilities, you can still not only be a great aid to your group; but can become a memorable character as well. It just takes a different mindset and different expectations from those of a slash and bash character. You start with four zero level and two first level spells known; and dependent upon your charisma you can cast one or probably two first level spells daily. Useful first level spells are cure light wounds ( also obtain a wand of cure light wounds as soon as you can ). Other spells you might wish to consider are cause fear, charm person, hideous laughter,grease, or lesser confusion. While these spells do not do direct damage, they can nevertheless greatly help your group. I assume that, as a bard, your character has above average charisma. Focus your skills (6+ INT per level) on diplomacy, perform,perception,bluff, use magic device, and skills involving dexterity. Hope that at least some of these suggestions are helpful,


Martin Kauffman 530 has made a very good point. Hmm your first pick for Magic Items should be Muleback Cords.


Back from dinner :).

All of these sound like pretty sound advice. I can live with the never-fight mentality, would investing in Dodge be worth it then? Basically build my AC as high as possible (as strength permits I guess ..) and i guess I could pick up extra performance to make perform simply last as long as possible.

I picked up CLW to start, knowing I can sub it out, and grease.

I took Wind, so Versatile Performance is going to be used for Diplomacy / Handle Animal. but I think I'll be ok with the skills :).

Magic items! lol. I've never gotten far enough to even begin thinking of such things. Exciting stuff!

Any suggestions on what to read up for Halfling history (or to make some kind of a back story?). I guess I'll give the magic items section a quadruple check.


Someone asked as well:

We're a small group :( {But they insisted that I play a bard if i wanted lol}

Monk
Ranger
Bard

I'll probably wind up sticking to the heal spells and wands :)


Actually using Core only that is a pretty good party if they are built fairly well...

You and Ranger both can get a Wand of CLW/CMW to use to heal. The Monk and Ranger can be switch hitters meaning they can handle most of the combat.

You might see if you can use a wand of Bull's Strength to boost your Strength. I can't remember if a Bard can use it or not.


I'm in the rules section asking about how wands work but, from what I seem to understand, I won't be able to as it's not a native bard spell :(.

sigh.. starting to wonder what I can do.

Really don't want to give up, considering. But the more I read the more I find out I just didn't know how things work and I might as well have just been a caster. Ho hum.

Never give up though, I suppose. I need to find out the difference between herbalism and alchemy and this "brew potion" feat and all that. :). Maybe I'll just be that one weird guy that likes to throw things..

Not to mention, bags of holding and wands cost somewhere around 10x how much gold I have :(.


Heck, even if you ask the GM for a re-roll on that one stat. One touch from a Shadow and you're toast, man. And trust me...it is ridiculously easy for a shadow to get a touch off on a character (maybe not a monk, but still...)


It might not help too much, but keep in mind that the weight of the equipment in the Core Rulebook are all for medium sized items (made for medium sized PCs). Whenever you get equipment for a small sized character, such as your halfling, the weight for it will be half the listed amount. Core Rulebook pg. 144 under weight explains it for weapons, pg. 150 for armor, and I'm assuming that many of the other adventuring items could weigh half as much as well. For example, I would imagine that a halflings clothing weighs half as much as the clothing of a medium sized creature. On the other hand 50' of hemp rope is 50' of hemp rope, no matter the size of the creature carring it.


It's your GMs call, but I would never allow a char with a stat below 5.
I mean, 3 strength? You will be over HEAVY encumberance (e.g. unable to move) at 31 lbs and you start taking penalties for medium encumberance at 11 lbs. Lets say your char wears an explorers outfit and a padded armor (lightest armor in the crb). Now he wants to grab a light crossbow. Oh, stop. That would already put him on 11 lbs and into medium encumberance...
You are talking about a guy here who couldn't wear sturdy clothing, a melee weapon and carry food and water for himself for 3 days without being weighted down. IMHO thats just plain silly.


I think it's probably more my fault, but I'll talk to him and see if i can default the state to at least be a -1 or -2 modifier (raise the skill to at least a -5 after the halfling hit) rather than a -4. I don't mind being weak, but if it's that close to crippling then I suppose I'll try to come up with some fashionable way to off or remove myself and create another. Due to party mechanics, probably a pure caster.


Aelryinth wrote:

Weapon finesse does nothing for your DAMAGE.

It only affects your roll TO HIT. With a 3 Str, you are at -4 on melee damage.

So you might be level 2 with +6 to hit with Weapon Finesse 17 Dex, Masterwork small rapier (weight!), small size and +1 BAB, but you are doing d4-4 dmg per hit...min 1 pt, so, 1 pt a thrust.

Grab a whip (weight?) and start tripping people from 15 feet away. Weapon finesse allows you to use your CMB when using a weapon to trip. You won't do any damage, but your monk and ranger will love you. At least, as long as the ranger is a melee-type.

Muleback chords in Ultimate Equipment, which you apparently don't have access to, would help with the not-being-able-to-carry-anything problem, but not much else.

But yeah, the best option is to reroll at least the strength, a 3 in anything is pretty crippling.


Would a 5 be any better? I'm trying to figure out if this was just an abhorrently bad choice on my part or if we should scrap the "luck of the roll" start-up plan and either set a floor or do something else :).

EDIT: A trip build wont work as I'm already a size smaller than most, Unless tripping large creatures is faux pas anyways.. Sorry I'm still rather new :(.

The more I hear the more I want to just want to die, incorporate some human or orc barbarian and just smash things with a very large object :(

Grand Lodge

Always great to see someone else interested in playing a bard. Looking for advice to a beginner on two issues:

I just got my Pathfinder Society card number and I'm having trouble creating and registering a character online. I've submitted several times, but the site continues to state I have no registered characters. Not sure what to do.

I'd like to create a Ranger/Bard, 16 STR, 15 CHA, 12 in all others at Level 1. I've read Treantmonk's guides and am trying to create a character with elements of the Ranger switch-hitter and the melee Bard. Not a "tank," but a guy who casts a spell, inspires courage, and then wades into combat to help the companion who needs it most. Was thinking about a half-elf selecting Ancestral Arms (Elven Curve Blade proficiency) instead of Adaptability racial trait and Anatomist or Reactionary combat trait. Would appreciate anyone's thoughts on race, skills, feats, traits selection and character level progression (and which of the two classes to start with).


No, the concept of the halfling bard can be fun, with buffs, spellcasting and party face - options. A strength of 5 would not be so much better damage-wise, but it would at least help your carrying capacity a bit.
The values can be found here.

I know this is supposed to be core only, but MAYBE you can get your GM to allow the sandman bard or just negotiate a way to get a sneak attack progression via homebrew. Sneak attack is the only way for a character with so little strength to be abled to do any decent melee damage that comes to my mind.

Edit: linkyfied links


If I did a multiclass rogue? I'm no longer really concerned about damage, though I should be in a 3 PC campaign. I'm worried about how little 3 (or 5) really is and how fast I would be completely out of commission.

I'm not going to give up, the DM is either fairly new or being ridiculously easy-going and lucky with me. I already need to discuss that our last session was completely inaccurate because I misunderstood Weapon finnesse, but now a lot of other things as well.

I guess I'm just worried that: to overcome what situation I've managed to dance and sing myself into, I have to use +STR items (which I haven't even begun to look up, but) and they need to be permanent or semi-permanent. To do this I'm trying to find out if we're talking about losing out on developing my character at all, and bringing my character from sub-level to onlevel versus level to progression (if i only focus on strength, there's a whole ton of other stuff that would need to go up as my character levels).

If there's no way to circumvent that efficiently, I might as well give it my gusto, and accept fate when it deals a devilish blow (or in this case, maybe a soft touch).

@Lawrence

I'm almost completely new, so I'm of no help, but what benefits does Ranger provide over say.. fighter or any other melee-bound (monk, rogue, etc)?

At least you have the strength to pull it off :), I'd figure ranger would want a higher dex.


KHShadowrunner wrote:
... But they insisted that I play a bard ...

I have a bit of a problem with this. To tell a brand new player that they have to play a bard and then not give help on the build is pretty lame.

However, given that it has already happened.

1) See if you can get the GM to let you rebuild with reasonable rolls.
2) Carry the halfling sized dagger (d3 damage) but try to never use it.
3) Concentrate on your spells and other abilities.
4) Buy a trained riding dog. Even if you don't ride it and just have it follow you around, it can carry stuff for you.

You can still contribute to the group, but you can't carry very much gear. So you won't have as good of AC. No weapons that will be worth while for a long time. But scrolls and a few wands don't weigh much. You will be at severe risk from some undead and poisons that target strength.

Grand Lodge

KHShadowrunner wrote:

If I did a multiclass rogue? I'm no longer really concerned about damage, though I should be in a 3 PC campaign. I'm worried about how little 3 (or 5) really is and how fast I would be completely out of commission.

I'm not going to give up, the DM is either fairly new or being ridiculously easy-going and lucky with me. I already need to discuss that our last session was completely inaccurate because I misunderstood Weapon finnesse, but now a lot of other things as well.

I guess I'm just worried that: to overcome what situation I've managed to dance and sing myself into, I have to use +STR items (which I haven't even begun to look up, but) and they need to be permanent or semi-permanent. To do this I'm trying to find out if we're talking about losing out on developing my character at all, and bringing my character from sub-level to onlevel versus level to progression (if i only focus on strength, there's a whole ton of other stuff that would need to go up as my character levels).

If there's no way to circumvent that efficiently, I might as well give it my gusto, and accept fate when it deals a devilish blow (or in this case, maybe a soft touch).

@Lawrence

I'm almost completely new, so I'm of no help, but what benefits does Ranger provide over say.. fighter or any other melee-bound (monk, rogue, etc)?

At least you have the strength to pull it off :), I'd figure ranger would want a higher dex.

Thanks for responding. I have always loved both the ranger and bard classes, not just for their combat skills, but their other abilities and class features as applied to the broader aspects of role-playing. I'd welcome advice from anyone, including on how to effectively create such a character and register him online with the Pathfinder Society.

Sczarni

1. As others have said, having a 3 on strength is realy bad. Generally the game is not designed for PCs to have such low stats. If I were in your shoes, I'd ask for a re-roll on that one, and if I were your GM I would allow you to have one.

2. So, what should you do if you DON'T reroll? Well, if I were you, I would NOT multiclass into Rogue. I would focus on Bard, and concentrate on buffing your party with Music and casting spells. Bards have a nice list of "save-or-suck" spells that can take out enemies just as thoroughly as shooting them.

For level 1 spells: Charm Person, Grease, and Sleep are really good. If you want to fight, cast Summon Monster 1 and let your monster do your fighting for you. :)

For level 2 spells (you'll get them when you're level 4): Hold Person and Suggestion. Get Summon Monster II. The Summon spells get progressively WAY better as you increase in caster level.

You'll clobber enemies with low Will saves. Your party mates can clobber enemies with low armor. That should cover most things, but you'l need to watch out for Undead creatures, who will be immune to your mind-affecting spells.

And as others said, pick up a wand of Cure Light Wounds. You don't have to actually know the spell to use the wand. A good strategy for a small party like yours: try to heal your party members up to full hit points outside of combat. That way, during combat you can spend your actions helping to win rather than healing as much.


The good news is I had CLW and Sleep from lvl 1 :), lots of people seem to think that sleep isn't so great but, whatever. It already proved useful in my books. I just picked up Grease too as I hear you can really start to have some fun with it.

Going to drop CLW when I can (and when I have a wand or scroll or something that will let me cast it).

How do I determine how much a riding dog (or a dog, though after looking it up I could do a riding as they're not afraid) can carry if I use a pack sattle? There's no real details of it in the book :( (that i could find)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KHShadowrunner wrote:

The good news is I had CLW and Sleep from lvl 1 :), lots of people seem to think that sleep isn't so great but, whatever. It already proved useful in my books. I just picked up Grease too as I hear you can really start to have some fun with it.

Going to drop CLW when I can (and when I have a wand or scroll or something that will let me cast it).

How do I determine how much a riding dog (or a dog, though after looking it up I could do a riding as they're not afraid) can carry if I use a pack sattle? There's no real details of it in the book :( (that i could find)

From the core rules section on carrying capacity:

"Quadrupeds can carry heavier loads than bipeds can. Multiply the values corresponding to the creature's Strength score from Table: Carrying Capacity by the appropriate modifier, as follows: Fine ×1/4, Diminutive ×1/2, Tiny ×3/4, Small ×1, Medium ×1-1/2, Large ×3, Huge ×6, Gargantuan ×12, Colossal ×24."

Take the normal carrying capacity table for the riding dogs strength score and multiply the normal capacity by 1.5 (riding dogs are medium in size).

A riding dog has a 15 strength, which is 66lbs in the carrying capacity chart. 66*1.5 is 99lbs. A light load for a riding dog INCLUDING the rider and any gear or armor it is carrying/wearing is 99lbs. Luckily halflings tend to be light ;).


I'd encourage you to stay with this character, actually. Having such a low Str, but phenomenal Dex and Cha, can make for a really interesting character. Don't worry about damage at all, and focus on the bard's other strengths (skills, buffing, incapacitating enemies). Wands and scrolls will greatly increase your spell versatility. Get some useful, versatile spells that favor creativity, like unseen servant, prestidigitation, mage hand, illusions, message, etc. that can allow you to influence your environment/encounters and help your allies. For "combat" spells that have more uses, animate rope is excellent in addition to grease. A riding dog is definitely the way to go for carrying your extra stuff--I do the same thing with my low-Str gnome alchemist.

Ultimately, roleplaying is about having fun. If you can have fun with this character, you "win" regardless of how many orcs he takes down in combat!


Is your GM not allowing you to switch your 5 to another stat? It sucks for you to start a whole campaign with this character and be punished for not knowing all the rule interactions at the time.

I think it's fair to give some leeway when it's this early and it was an honest mistake that you regret.


the DM is, as far as I know, being extremely leniant. I know it's clear to him that he wants me to keep this guy going as long as I enjoy it, and he's not exactly picking out the things I do wrong (such as with Finnesse). It might be that he opts to keep up what he did, which is to negate the -STR for damage but not allow the +DEX bonus i guess I never knew about.

Or her doesn't know either! again we're all pretty new or at the very least new to the setting. Considering it's based off 3.5 though I just assume he's being pretty nice.

The only thing that really keeps me on edge is that i didn't realize if you hit 0 in certain states (STR, INT, CHA, WIS?) that you go unconscious.
If anything though, it'll just lead to me finding the undead absolutely frightening and craft Alchemy will allow me to detect poison.. if i read it right. Avoid poisons, avoid undead, don't bother with trying to smash it. I think I'll try to do ok.

If not, this setting (and so far this community!) is awesome, I already have at least 2 or 3 other things I'd like to dabble in just to see how some different aspects are like.


What isn't a Native Bard Spell?

BTW: Muleback Cords are in the Core Rulebook or Advanced Player's Guide.


Azaelas Fayth wrote:

What isn't a Native Bard Spell?

BTW: Muleback Cords are in the Core Rulebook or Advanced Player's Guide.

I first saw them in Ultimate Equipment, but I think they originally showed up in APG.

Sczarni

Sleep is really nice at low levels, but it basically becomes useless once you're regulary fighting enemies with more than 4 Hit Dice (that means right around Level 4 or 5).

Charm Person, while it only works on humanoids, stays useful longer. Plus, it has some great out-of-combat applications. :)


@Trinite: Unless you deal with someone like me who loves the horde of weak little minions.

Sczarni

Azaelas Fayth wrote:
@Trinite: Unless you deal with someone like me who loves the horde of weak little minions.

That's true! I like that every once in a while, too. I sent my level 4 players up against 40 Grindylows a couple sessions back. They had fun. :)


40 Grindylows 0_o... I was thinking 14 Goblins led by a Chieftain & Shaman.

Hmm, one option is to look into materials and such that reduce the weight of items.

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