What's a good PC mix for this AP?


Giantslayer

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Piccolo wrote:

Hello,

I just bought this AP, and was wondering what party build would work for this AP.

So far, I've come up with:
an archer, preferably a Fighter for all the feats necessary
an cavalier, because there's lots of room to maneuver and lance charges

What classes would work? What sort of party balance?

Also, what races would work? I know that Belkzen is nearby so an Orc might be a good idea. Then too, Dwarves get bonuses vs giants.

Fighter archer works well as does ranger archer. Archery is the strongest "fighting style" out there and both these classes can excel at it. Ranger is tempting because favored enemy humanoid(giant) gives you an edge against them, but the AP is not solely about giants (although most boss fights obviously are).

THEN:

Wizard or Mesmerist, either way the idea here is to mind wipe giants to do your bidding (they are usually weak against enchantments).

Cleric or Oracle because you need healing. This AP is deadly (even the first book is) and giants hit really hard.

Druid or Paladin: both classes can soak damage pretty well and act as tanks while bringing additional healing to the fray. Obviously 2 different classes but both fit the AP well (personally I'm fond of dwarven druids, bear companion could fit this AP well).

As for races, human (as usual), dwarf (both for flavour and inherent advantages when fighting giants and orcs) and half orc fit the AP well.


Mesmerist? What's that?

I'm not a fan of half-orcs, and so I ban them from my games. They aren't much different from humans in game stats. So, I plan on encouraging an Orc in the party, and have him mistaken by Trunau NPC's to be a half-orc.

A Druid in Giantslayer? Interesting. Didn't think one would work well. Personally I would rather have a straight up Cleric of Sarenrae since they can heal well and there's a special magic item for one.

In most of my games, players avoid humans because the prevailing sentiment is that they're boring. Most just choose races from the ARG because they have more mechanical flavor. Now, I *DO* have a human Fighter with a lot of Rogue skills in my current Carrion Crown campaign, interestingly enough. It's the first one we've ever had.


Druids work well in every adventure path.

Mesmerist can be found in Occult Adventures, a spectacular book just as good as the Advanced Player's Guide.


Gorbacz wrote:


Stalwart explicitly states that it stacks with Barbarian DR.

Where did you get Stalwart?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Piccolo wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


Stalwart explicitly states that it stacks with Barbarian DR.

Where did you get Stalwart?

It's from Ultimate Combat, you can find it on whatever Pathfinder SRD that strikes your fancy.


Piccolo wrote:

Mesmerist? What's that?

I'm not a fan of half-orcs, and so I ban them from my games. They aren't much different from humans in game stats. So, I plan on encouraging an Orc in the party, and have him mistaken by Trunau NPC's to be a half-orc.

A Druid in Giantslayer? Interesting. Didn't think one would work well. Personally I would rather have a straight up Cleric of Sarenrae since they can heal well and there's a special magic item for one.

In most of my games, players avoid humans because the prevailing sentiment is that they're boring. Most just choose races from the ARG because they have more mechanical flavor. Now, I *DO* have a human Fighter with a lot of Rogue skills in my current Carrion Crown campaign, interestingly enough. It's the first one we've ever had.

Your game. But it should be said that it makes very little sense for the people of Trunau of all people not to be able to recognize the difference between an Orc and an half-orc.


Have you seen the art for half orcs in the Giantslayer AP? They look almost identical to regular orcs.


Piccolo wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
A competently built Barbarian has the same survivability as a Fighter, and can kill things faster. In D&D/PF, killing things faster is better than having them kill you longer. Offense > defense, except for some corner cases.

One, that's an opinion, not a fact.

Two, I've never seen a Barbarian that wasn't a marshmallow in a fight. Lots of hp, crap for AC, and decent offense. They always end up soaking up all the healing a divine caster can come up with, and I've been running games for upwards of what, 20 years now?

Three, you'd have to show me what you consider a competently built Barbarian that isn't a glass cannon. And don't bother using the Armored Hulk archetype, I already know that one is the only Barb that can wear full plate.

Well, I've got a Barbarian with incredibly high saves and ridiculous DR (DR 13/- at 12th level, DR 20/- at 17th level)... however, he does take a 1 level Fighter dip - does that count? At 12th level he fought an 11-headed cryohydra (CR 12) who was pretty much incapable of injuring him.


Piccolo wrote:

Actually, Big Game Hunter from the Rise of the Runelords guide grants +1 attack +2 damage vs Large or bigger creatures. That's a must have feat in Giantslayer, methinks.

That's assuming, of course, that you allow Traits specifically tailored for one AP to be used in another. Allowing this tends to open the door for some of the most mechanically abused traits in the game.


It wasn't a trait, it was a feat.


I had the guys sit down and think up characters. With the exception of one player, all of them are pretty much done. Here's what I ended up with:

Jim says he wants an Elf Eldritch Knight (Fighter 1, Wizard Universalist 5 bonded object), Magic is Life trait (worshipper of Nethys). Jason wants a Hobgoblin Ranger (archery), Orcs favored enemy, Vagabond Child: Disable Device and Armor Expert traits. Allan wants an Orc straight Fighter (follower of Gorum) with Vexing Defender and Giantslayer Scion traits, and Hat of Disguise. We desperately need a Cleric or other divine caster as a healer. Try to get everyone to take Stealth Synergy feat at 1st level.

What do you guys think?


Piccolo wrote:

I had the guys sit down and think up characters. With the exception of one player, all of them are pretty much done. Here's what I ended up with:

Jim says he wants an Elf Eldritch Knight (Fighter 1, Wizard Universalist 5 bonded object), Magic is Life trait (worshipper of Nethys). Jason wants a Hobgoblin Ranger (archery), Orcs favored enemy, Vagabond Child: Disable Device and Armor Expert traits. Allan wants an Orc straight Fighter (follower of Gorum) with Vexing Defender and Giantslayer Scion traits, and Hat of Disguise. We desperately need a Cleric or other divine caster as a healer. Try to get everyone to take Stealth Synergy feat at 1st level.

What do you guys think?

I did Eldrich Knight path for halfway through. I'd suggest Transmuter instead. It will be effective up to and maybe including the first real giants.

The Ranger is going to be VERY happy and effective.

Orc fighter sounds fun and solid, melee is king for the first few books.

Yes, you NEED healing. Wands will not cut it in these APs.


Wiggz wrote:
Piccolo wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
A competently built Barbarian has the same survivability as a Fighter, and can kill things faster. In D&D/PF, killing things faster is better than having them kill you longer. Offense > defense, except for some corner cases.

One, that's an opinion, not a fact.

Two, I've never seen a Barbarian that wasn't a marshmallow in a fight. Lots of hp, crap for AC, and decent offense. They always end up soaking up all the healing a divine caster can come up with, and I've been running games for upwards of what, 20 years now?

Three, you'd have to show me what you consider a competently built Barbarian that isn't a glass cannon. And don't bother using the Armored Hulk archetype, I already know that one is the only Barb that can wear full plate.

Well, I've got a Barbarian with incredibly high saves and ridiculous DR (DR 13/- at 12th level, DR 20/- at 17th level)... however, he does take a 1 level Fighter dip - does that count? At 12th level he fought an 11-headed cryohydra (CR 12) who was pretty much incapable of injuring him.

I'd love to see that build, dunno if my GM would allow it but I'd like to try to adapt it to my nekkid barbarian character.


TaigaKirdApe wrote:


I did Eldrich Knight path for halfway through. I'd suggest Transmuter instead. It will be effective up to and maybe including the first real giants.

The Ranger is going to be VERY happy and effective.

Orc fighter sounds fun and solid, melee is king for the first few books.

Yes, you NEED healing. Wands will not cut it in these APs.

Why a Transmuter? The player wants a Universalist because he wants to be able to reduce the cost of metamagic feats, and he wants the most versatility.

Yeah, there isn't that many traps in the AP, but there ARE a few, so a Ranger should cut it with Disable Device. Gonna try to get everyone to take Stealth Synergy so the party can sneak along with the Ranger.

Plans have changed somewhat. The guy who wanted the Fighter is going to play a Cleric of Gorum. I'm trying to convince him that he'll be too busy casting spells to bother with a greatsword, but he's obsessed with the damn sword. He suggested taking a Oread, but I warned him that mobility was needed (Oreads are slow) and that race takes a Charisma penalty (bad for a Cleric's healing). Even worse, he wanted to take a level of Barbarian for movement, but I explained that slowing spell progression was a REALLY bad idea. He's never played a Cleric before (and I bet never a spellcaster of any kind).

As for the final player, I'm trying to convince her to take an archer Fighter or a straight Fighter with Acrobatics and a melee weapon (that way armor check penalties are minimized for Acrobatics and Climb).


Piccolo wrote:
What about divine and arcane magic, are those necessary? Are there traps in the AP?

How much of it do you want spoiled for you? The Player's Guide to the AP is a good springboard on building your character without overspoiling the campaign.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Piccolo wrote:
What about divine and arcane magic, are those necessary? Are there traps in the AP?
How much of it do you want spoiled for you? The Player's Guide to the AP is a good springboard on building your character without overspoiling the campaign.

Can't be spoiled. I'm the GM.


Piccolo wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Piccolo wrote:
What about divine and arcane magic, are those necessary? Are there traps in the AP?
How much of it do you want spoiled for you? The Player's Guide to the AP is a good springboard on building your character without overspoiling the campaign.
Can't be spoiled. I'm the GM.

If you are the GM your best bet then is to look at the challenges that are in the AP. See what the avenues are in overcoming them. (many will have more than one approach) From what I gather every AP assumes that the standard 4 roles will be covered more or less. there will be traps, there will be conditions to overcome, and creatures to battle. And times when information can be very handy.

With that in mind the four traditional roles have wide orbits in filling them. Let your players do the worrying and take care of their own party composition. And get them reading the players guide to the AP front and back until they can sing it in their sleep.

Shadow Lodge

Don't your players have initiative? Are they super new ones that require maintenance and/or coddling? Just let them play whatever, within reasonable limits(so not an all-wizard or all-barbarian party, e.g) and whatch what happens! I've yet to play in a campaign with some kind of balanced party(our RoW group has 1 melee character and 3 support ones, RotRL had no arcanists, P&P's only caster is a bard, etc) and we've got the cohesion down eventually. It might take a death or two tho.


Actually, they picked out the characters themselves. I gave them my advice, like the fact that a professional Rogue trapfinder wasn't necessary (but that someone to handle traps would be nice), and that they didn't really need a Wizard (but they picked one anyway). They know already that balanced parties actually survive for the most part. Hell, the guy who wants the Eldritch Knight picked that because his Wizard got dead in the Carrion Crown campaign I'm running currently. He wanted more HP.

The only thing I told them was that they'd probably need a warrior type or two, and a Cleric or divine caster to heal. Very little else, but I did recall mentioning that Stealth was important so a teamwork feat would be useful (Stealth Synergy).

The thing is, the guy who wants to play a Cleric has exclusively played warrior types (normally Paladins) before. He doesn't understand how Clerics/full spellcasters work.

The final player is a real newbie, and hasn't played much. She seems to like warrior types (and is afraid of trying spellcasters), so I'm encouraging her to pick one that can deal with creatures that have lots of reach.


There's nothing wrong with a cleric using a melee weapon in a pinch, let the player have fun with the greatsword swinging cleric.


Oh aye, but he seems to think that he's going to be using the greatsword all the time. I told him that even with a really high Strength he wouldn't be using it much past the first few levels; he's going to be too busy casting spells. Hell, I might even grant him an 18 Strength just to prove my point.

The only reason why he chose Gorum is that he wanted a greatsword for his Cleric.

I really don't care which deity he chooses. I just thought finding a special item in the campaign would thrill him, as it does for most players, so I suggested a Cleric of Sarenrae. He didn't listen, of course.


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It may just be us misreading your tone, but it really seems that you're discouraging your players from making the characters that they want to make. Certainly trying to convince your players that they should all take a specific teamwork feats at level one comes off as very meddlesome.

You told them that they need a warrior type or two; a Gorumite cleric can mimic a greatsword fighter quite well; once he has Power Attack his offense will be sufficient, and if he takes Ironbound Master at 7th, he'll get the same armor training as a fighter. And there's nothing wrong with building a Cleric around being a melee warrior. The class is broad, there are many types of characters that can be made within it's confines, and there's no one "correct" way to play a full caster anyhow.


Actually, this is a very long running group (years and years now), and they're quite happy (I've asked them every now and then). One of the things I've taught them is that you build characters so that they not only make the player happy, but also fit the needs of the group.

Hell, the guy who wants to build the Cleric VOLUNTEERED to do so after he found out another player didn't want to. And I am seriously considering boosting his PC's Strength score because of that. If that's not teamwork, what is?

If that's being "meddlesome" then so be it.

Where did you find Ironbound Master?


It's from Inner Sea Gods.


It has quite the penalty though, Cleric level -4 = Fighter armor training level. Not sure it's a good feat, though I will show the player on Saturday when he comes over.


It lets him move at regular speed in Medium armor straight away, and eventually in Heavy armor (and since he'd have to spend a feat to get Heavy armor anyhow, that's not much of a problem). You already said you told him he couldn't be a Oread because they're too slow (even though Oreads, like Dwarves, make great clerics); I assumed you'd be in favour of something that lets someone move at full speed in medium armor.


No, Oreads and Dwarves suck at being Clerics because both have penalties to Charisma. As a Cleric you want a bonus to Wisdom sure, but not to have a loss in Charisma because you use it for healing and skills. Since the whole reason why the PC's need a Cleric is heavy duty healing (giants hit hard), having a penalty to Charisma defeats the purpose.

That's why, while he COULD take a Oread anyway, being a standard aasimar is better. All he has to do is put a high score into Strength (melee and weight limits/heavy armor) or Dexterity (heavy crossbow) and he's got offense.

Like I wrote before, I'll show him the feat, although I have no clue if he'll take it.


Channelling's not that strong; losing one per day to a Charisma penalty isn't that big a deal, and besides, as Tark says, "thou art not a bandaid" As for skills, he's a cleric, he's not going to have the skill points to spend on face skills anyhow.

As for standard Aasimar being better, two things. First, given that you seemed to be quite concerned that he wasn't focused enough on the "caster" part of "9 level caster", it's odd that you aren't considering a Wisdom bonus to be the most important stat adjustment for a cleric. Second, that sort of decision, much like deciding if he wants to take Ironbound Master is the sort of thing that ought to be up to the players.


Piccolo wrote:
TaigaKirdApe wrote:


I did Eldrich Knight path for halfway through. I'd suggest Transmuter instead. It will be effective up to and maybe including the first real giants.

The Ranger is going to be VERY happy and effective.

Orc fighter sounds fun and solid, melee is king for the first few books.

Yes, you NEED healing. Wands will not cut it in these APs.

Why a Transmuter? The player wants a Universalist because he wants to be able to reduce the cost of metamagic feats, and he wants the most versatility.

Yeah, there isn't that many traps in the AP, but there ARE a few, so a Ranger should cut it with Disable Device. Gonna try to get everyone to take Stealth Synergy so the party can sneak along with the Ranger.

Plans have changed somewhat. The guy who wanted the Fighter is going to play a Cleric of Gorum. I'm trying to convince him that he'll be too busy casting spells to bother with a greatsword, but he's obsessed with the damn sword. He suggested taking a Oread, but I warned him that mobility was needed (Oreads are slow) and that race takes a Charisma penalty (bad for a Cleric's healing). Even worse, he wanted to take a level of Barbarian for movement, but I explained that slowing spell progression was a REALLY bad idea. He's never played a Cleric before (and I bet never a spellcaster of any kind).

As for the final player, I'm trying to convince her to take an archer Fighter or a straight Fighter with Acrobatics and a melee weapon (that way armor check penalties are minimized for Acrobatics and Climb).

I suggested Transmuter for the stat bonus they get, very useful for a melee wizard. Boosted my strength, which paid off at low levels.

A level of Barbarian + Cleric of Gorum sounds pretty cool. Losing one spell casting level isn't the end of the world, as a Sorcerer would tell you :) We have a Dwarven Cleric in the party, he ended up taking extra channel feat, we usually need the healing.


I would think that having a boost to Dexterity would help more with a Wizard, since you occasionally have to do touch attacks. I'll suggest taking a transmuter, but he seems pretty set on his choice of universalist wizard so far.

I don't think taking a level of Barb is a good idea. Spell progression is pretty important. However, the PC isn't made yet, so we'll see what the player chooses.


Okay. He ended up taking a standard Aasimar Cleric of Gorum (wielding a greatsword, yet again) with the Destruction domain and Ferocity subdomain. He said he understood my point about a Cleric depending on a high Charisma for channeling/healing.

Basically, I told him he could have whatever he wanted, but that it was likely he wasn't going to get much use out of the greatsword once his Cleric got to a high enough level because he'd be spellcasting most of the time.

Since he is effectively taking the hit for the team by playing a Cleric instead of his typical warrior, I'm going to improve his PC's Strength or Dexterity somewhat. Too bad there's really no decent special items for a Cleric of Gorum besides that one crappy greatsword.


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Piccolo wrote:
Basically, I told him he could have whatever he wanted, but that it was likely he wasn't going to get much use out of the greatsword once his Cleric got to a high enough level because he'd be spellcasting most of the time.

You must play your clerics a TON differently than I play mine. Most of the spells mine cast are self-buffs and party-buffs, followed by wading into melee. Higher level just means more and better buffs. Divine direct-offensive spells for the most part are pretty unimpressive.


Orthos wrote:
Piccolo wrote:
Basically, I told him he could have whatever he wanted, but that it was likely he wasn't going to get much use out of the greatsword once his Cleric got to a high enough level because he'd be spellcasting most of the time.
You must play your clerics a TON differently than I play mine. Most of the spells mine cast are self-buffs and party-buffs, followed by wading into melee. Higher level just means more and better buffs. Divine direct-offensive spells for the most part are pretty unimpressive.

You're forgetting the debuffs like Bestow Curse that Clerics are good at. Between healing, debuffs, buffs, etc, he's going to be spellcasting for the most part as he gets to the mid to upper levels. Bear in mind that the opponents, giants in this case, are going to be dishing out a lot of melee damage, requiring healing in combat.


Chalk it up to different playstyles mostly, I never use those spells. Never found the risks worth the potential rewards, compared to just amping up my own combat abilities and beating the enemies to death.


Jim says he wants an Elf Eldritch Knight (Fighter 1, Wizard Universalist 5 bonded object), Forlorn and Magic is Life trait (worshipper of Nethys).

Jason wants a Hobgoblin Ranger (archery), Orcs favored enemy, Vagabond Child: Disable Device and Armor Expert traits.

Allan wants a standard aasimar Cleric of Gorum ”Lothar” (Destruction, Ferocity (Strength)), Selective Channeling, Ironbound Master feat at 7th from Inner Sea Gods, greatsword (give him accelerated Strength to compensate for taking a Cleric).

Talk to Tracy about taking an Orc or Dwarf Fighter with a warhammer, because of the artifact warhammer that's in the AP.


Reach Eldritch Knight build, if your 1st player is interested. Just replace the choice of Arcane School in there with the one you want, although if you want to ham it up with Metamagic, you will be tight on feats; also note that Universalist Wizard only assists you with Metamagic a very limited number of times per day starting at 8th level, with the limitation being much harsher if you use Metamagic feats that increase spell level by more than 1; the 1st level power is rather forgettable unless you want to go Arclord of Nex; the replacement 3rd level power for Crafting would be better, except then Item Crafting feats have to compete with Metamagic feats in your tight feat space.


Sorry, since none of us possesses the Unchained book, that's not available. What is Arclord of Nex?

I really don't know what he plans for this PC, to be honest. Right now we are in the middle of Carrion Crown, and either Giantslayer, Rise of the Runelords, Reign of Winter, or Mummy's Mask will be the next campaign.

We're just getting down the general roles for now.


^All kinds of good stuff, including Unchained rules, to be found on www.d20pfsrd.com (some things renamed for legal reasons because they are a commercial site, but otherwise easier to read and navigate) and Archives of Nethys (as far as I know, always has original names, because they are not a commercial site). Much of this material can also be found on the Paizo PRD linked from Paizo's own site, but the organization is harder to navigate if you don't know what book something is in.

For example, Arclord of Nex can be found as Mage of the Third Eye on www.d20pfsrd.com and as Arclord of Nex on Archives of Nethys. Both of them give you a link to get the book, as well as giving you all the information you need to play the class. (On www.d20pfsrd.com, at least, this information is sometimes missing for very old material, usually from the Core Rulebook -- seems that when they started putting in the book information, they didn't bother to go back and do this for all of the really old stuff.)

Unchained classes and several other Unchained rule subsystems are linked separately from the home page of www.d20pfsrd.com, but some of the Unchained content is buried down in other sections that it is relevant to (for instance, Skills).


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Orthos wrote:
Chalk it up to different playstyles mostly, I never use those spells. Never found the risks worth the potential rewards, compared to just amping up my own combat abilities and beating the enemies to death.

I personally play clerics this way as well. Clerics imho have too many responsibilities with regards to spellcasting: buffs, healing, utility spells, and limited spell slots to accomplish all those things. For me personally, I'd never waste a spell slot on an attack spell which can be saved against when I can buff someone instead and not worry about saving throws negating my spell.

My offense as a cleric consists of a high strength, TH weapon and power attack.


Where the player of the Gorum Cleric is concerned, I figure he'll just find out for himself how Clerics work. Our current cleric is really good at incapacitating the enemy (debuffs) and healing, along with taking out vast quantities of undead (which is appropriate considering it's Carrion Crown).

The thing about Clerics is that they don't necessarily have a high Strength, since you want to have both a high Wisdom and Charisma first.

I'm not going to use unchained rules at all, since I don't want to have to buy new books if I don't have to. Right now, I am broke from buying lots of AP's. I had Carrion Crown and Rise of the Runelords already, but found a cheap Gianstlayer, Reign of Winter, and Mummy's Mask. In January, I've given my word that I'll purchase 2 more AP's, Shattered Star and Jade Regent for $172 including shipping on FB. That means I'm busted into next month already.

This month I just sent out for Bestiary 5, NPC Codex, and Monster Codex so I can run Giantslayer.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

With all the rules available on PRD/PFSRD/AON you don't *have* to buy the hardcover rulebooks.


Yes actually, I do. I can't just consult my computer whenever, I have to be sitting at my desk to do so. And I typically run my games quite some distance from my apartment already.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In that case, getting a cheap tablet with PDFs of all relevant books will cost you far less than having them all in print, and if you have WiFi wherever you game, you don't even need the PDFs. At this point, I'm running my games pretty much exclusively using my tablet and my phone. All my players use their phones to consult the rules and pick spells and so on.


For once, I agree with Picollo, I hate using my computer or phone during games, I'm doing it right now with Occult Adventures, and it's annoying as s+@!. :-D


If you just need a handful of pages from an open content book that you don't have, you could just print the pages and keep them with your printed books.


I just purchased Bestiary 5, and I found out a lot of the monsters in it depend on Occult Adventures psionics. Remember that if you purchase it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Piccolo wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
A competently built Barbarian has the same survivability as a Fighter, and can kill things faster. In D&D/PF, killing things faster is better than having them kill you longer. Offense > defense, except for some corner cases.

One, that's an opinion, not a fact.

Two, I've never seen a Barbarian that wasn't a marshmallow in a fight. Lots of hp, crap for AC, and decent offense. They always end up soaking up all the healing a divine caster can come up with, and I've been running games for upwards of what, 20 years now?

Three, you'd have to show me what you consider a competently built Barbarian that isn't a glass cannon. And don't bother using the Armored Hulk archetype, I already know that one is the only Barb that can wear full plate.

Well, the Barbarian in our already finished RotRL campaign had three levels of Alchemist and sported a very decent AC throughout the entire campaign.

But I know what you are saying, in the other RotRL campaign which is running right now, we got two Barbarian with AC for crap. Both were already down multiple times due to getting hit too often, with one death so far (he came back with a Raise Dead).

The "offense > defense> paradigm only holds if you can kill them before they get a chance to hit back, which giants are quite resistant too, with their decent AC and high hitpoint pools.

Piccolo wrote:
I just purchased Bestiary 5, and I found out a lot of the monsters in it depend on Occult Adventures psionics. Remember that if you purchase it.

Yes, that is quite annoying for me, too, especially since I don't know all the new spells. :-/


Do they have sick Dr? That's the only reason I can think of to have bad ac


CWheezy wrote:
Do they have sick Dr? That's the only reason I can think of to have bad ac

Nope. All Barbarians have a bit of a problem with AC. -2 for Raging, and another -3 for not wearing full plate. To make it worse, most like to use 2 handed weapons instead of a shield, so reduce AC by another 2.

So, yer better off with a Paladin or Fighter etc in the group. At least they won't soak up all the healing like a Barbarian would.

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