Making a character for Hell's Rebels


Advice


Okay, so I wanted to make a character based in social aspects, mind control, compulsion, etc... You know, a force of personality. I was going with a Mesmerist because it really speaks to me. Not just for the numbers but it is something I enjoy. GM said no psychic magic, no occult adventures. Fine, that's fine. So now I am working on a bard and I am trying to find a way to make that work without the problem of "Mid to late game, charming and mind affecting spells are worthless." Hopefully I can get some help with that. I'm thinking some type of bard that worked in opera or a con man or something, but I just need to make this work. Also there are so many archetypes that I can't figure out which are the the good ones and which are the poopy ones.

So please help. I will listen to all suggestions. I love the idea of talking my way out of stuff and manipulating people, but mid and late game, it never works cause that is when you get stuff that is immune or just has a stupid high save.

Liberty's Edge

Sound Striker is a good Archetype for this. It gives them a non-spell damage option that's mostly Cha based. Ditto Thundercaller. In both cases that gives you something to do to undead or other stuff immune to your mind control stuff.

Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus (Enchantment) are musts, of course. As is keeping Cha maxed.

Alternately, you could go Sorcerer. Fey Bloodline can manage some seriously nasty mind control shenanigans, and easily still have tricks other than the mind control. Skills are an issue, but not an unsoveable one.

In either case, but especially Sorcerer due to Racial FCB, Kitsune are actually super-excellent for this if their flavor works for you.


Man I have not played a sorcerer since 3.5, before pathfinder came out. I'll think about it though the touch ability for the fey sorcerer is useless. I don't see why a melee touch is strength based at all. Why do you need to be strong to tap someone?


Okay I don't know how to make a kitsune fey sorcerer that is good at mind control and social manipulation due to the 2 skills per level. The party face needs the social skills but bard sucks at compulsion/mind control in the mid to late game. I don't want to just be another meathead or a buffer.

Edit: Sorry folks, I am just trying to make this work. There has to be a way to make a good face character with strong compulsion/mind control style stuff that wont just be garbage late game due to everything having an awesome save or everything is immune to mind-affecting. I love the idea of the force of personality character who, if talking isn't working, can make you do what benefits him with magic. I just hate the idea of doing it in the past because usually by book 4, I have never seen anyone of equivalent HD to myself fail a will save on enchantment for this mind-affecting stuff.

Liberty's Edge

Well, as for a Sorcerer being good at skills..what point-buy are we talking?

Because at 20, here's a sample Kitsune Sorcerer:

Str 8 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 14 Wis 8 Cha 18

That's 4 skill points per level. Which isn't great, but enough for Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive, and a smattering of other skills for flavor. Take Traits or Cosmopolitan to make them Class Skills as necessary.

And Fey Bloodline is great because of the Arcana. Add in the Kitsune racial bonus and FCB and a 4th level version of the Kitsune above can have (assuming spell Focus, but not Greater Spell Focus, and no items) Save DC 21 on their 2nd level Compulsion spell. That's just absurd for that level. By 8th, with a +2 Headband and Greater Spell Focus, we're talking Save DC 27 on confusion.

As or a Bard being good at mind controlling people, Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus plus a heavy Charisma focus get you equal Save DCs to a Sorcerer or other full caster without those Feats up through 16th level, and only falling behind by one even when they get to 9th level spells. Toss on Kitsune, and you've got +1 DC over that, and are as good as, say, a human full caster who just never took Greater Spell Focus up through 16th. They won't be anywhere near the sorcerer build, but by 8th level, say, we're talking with Cha 24 (including items) DC 23 on Confusion, which isn't exactly low (indeed, a non-Kitsune Sorcerer can't manage more than 23 on the same spell at that level with equivalent Cha). By 16th, it's up to DC 28, which isn't the highest number ever (and has fallen behind the maximal human Sorcerer's 29 including Spell Focus Feats by a whole point), but very respectable.

Now, your spells per day aren't superb, but that's why I recommend Thundercaller or Sound Striker, since both can use Bardic Performance rounds to make direct attacks and supplement your spell casting or be useful when things immune to mind control are about.

In early levels, you'll likely need to spend some rounds doing things other than casting, but that would've been true on the Mesmerist, too.

Grand Lodge

Jaçinto wrote:

Okay I don't know how to make a kitsune fey sorcerer that is good at mind control and social manipulation due to the 2 skills per level. The party face needs the social skills but bard sucks at compulsion/mind control in the mid to late game. I don't want to just be another meathead or a buffer.

Edit: Sorry folks, I am just trying to make this work. There has to be a way to make a good face character with strong compulsion/mind control style stuff that wont just be garbage late game due to everything having an awesome save or everything is immune to mind-affecting. I love the idea of the force of personality character who, if talking isn't working, can make you do what benefits him with magic. I just hate the idea of doing it in the past because usually by book 4, I have never seen anyone of equivalent HD to myself fail a will save on enchantment for this mind-affecting stuff.

A Evangelist Cleric Works. They lose Spontaneous Cures for the ability to cast a choice list of Enchantment spells. Command starting at 1st level, Enthrall at 2nd level, tongues at 3rd, Suggestion at 4th.

Evangelist clerics gains only the following types of bardic performance: countersong, fascinate, and inspire courage at 1st level; inspire greatness at 9th level; and inspire heroics at 15th level.

But you still get Fascinate to play with along with Inspire Courage, Greatness, and heroics.

What you lack is skills but you could be ok taking a 13 Int, Being Human and Grabbing Fast Learner Level 1 with your bonus feat. This will net you 5 skills a Level and if you bump into to 14 you can be netting 6 skills a Level. Diplomacy, sense motive, (you can trait in Bluff). They wont excel like a Cha based class but you can make due for sure with all your buffs and such.

Plus a Holy Con Man seems pretty cool too.

The other options is Sorcerer like others have stated or a Witch. A witch can pull some nasty tricks as well. They have a ton of Enchantment spells on their list as well as Hexes which are just so freaking strong.

Liberty's Edge

If not caring about actual high Charisma, Inquisitor is also an option. Conversion Inquisition makes you good at social skills even dumping Cha, and there's a surprisingly high number of powerful and effective Enchantments on the Inquisitor list.

Probably want to grab Preacher to ditch the Teamwork Feats, and build much like the Bard build I mention above to make it work, since it's more usually a weapon-user, but it's doable.


Alright. Lets see if I can get the sorcerer working. We are doing 25 point buy and I am trying to decide between two campaign traits for Hell's Rebels. Those being Ex-Asmodean and Natural Born Leader.

Character Sheet

Here it is so far. I'm not totally sure on my spells cause it looks like, if a fight happens, I get one shot and then I am screwed or become useless. Maybe I should swap in a spell for hypnotism. Let me know if anything there is wrong or needs work. Don't know if I should go for spell perfection or something else, or if I should go down for leadership or craft wondrous or what. Really trying to make this work here and, it feels like, if melee gets close I am screwed with the 0 BAB and 8 strength so I can't really even make use of a one handed simple weapon to defend myself in case something gets close. Maybe I should get rid of SF for combat casting instead, but I don't know.

Lantern Lodge

Bard class with inspire courage

Flagbearer

Banner of the Ancient Kings

Courageous enchant on a staff or spear holding the banner.

By 7th level, or whenever you can afford it, you will grant your group

+6 to attack/damage
+5 to saves vs fear/charm

If you add in Moment of Greatness (level 1 spell), everyone gets +9/+10 on the next attack roll, damage roll, or save vs fear or charm, then fall back to the baseline +6/+5.

You can improve this further by enchanting the weapon some more, but diminishing returns kick in fast.

I know mind-affecting effects don't work as much late game, but I'd also look into Improved Dirge of Doom and Greater Dirge of Doom on top of Dazzling Display or Blistering Invective. Not only is it an area effect, you don't have to contend with saves or spell resistance, only immunity.

You can even tack on the Sound Striker archetype if you want, and attack with both hands full, hee hee.


Thanks Deadmoon, but I believe I said I don't want to buff. I am also looking specifically for things to make the mind-affecting work for the entire game.

Liberty's Edge

Jaçinto wrote:

Alright. Lets see if I can get the sorcerer working. We are doing 25 point buy and I am trying to decide between two campaign traits for Hell's Rebels. Those being Ex-Asmodean and Natural Born Leader.

Character Sheet

Looks okay. I'd just accept being screwed by melee. That's what front-lines and 5 foot steps are for at this level, and eventually you'll have all sorts of options. Grab a light crossbow and view yourself as a ranged character even sans spells.

For spells, take Sleep instead of Charm Person. Charm Person can be your second pick, but Sleep's an encounter ender at this level, often taking out the whole opposition at once, and a Compulsion spell to boot (making it DC 19 to resist), which Charm Person isn't. You'll want to retrain it at 4th, but that's fine it will have served its purpose by then.

Take whichever Trait you prefer (though Natural Leader seems more appropriate). For your other Trait, I'd grab Affable. It makes Diplomacy and Knowledge (Local) Class Skills and makes you a whiz at info gathering. Those are all solid benefits int this AP (and I might actually go with Knowledge-Local rather than Spellcraft, too). If you can, getting Sense Motive as a Class skill as well would be good, but that's doable a few different ways.


I'd up Charisma to 19 and drop Con to 12. You're not a front-liner. You can survive having one less HP per level. With a 19 Cha you can get to 20 at 4th level which is a very nice and timely boost.


Updated it but I am looking at my skills and wondering if I should abandon sense motive. No wisdom bonus, no way to make it a class skill without burning a feat, and that hurts. Trying to plan out my feats really but I am not sure. The perfection chain is heavy investment and it means no craft wondrous or leadership really.


I wouldn´t bother. As a sorcerer you are sort of short on skills anyway - sense motive is nice, but it is okay if someone else picks it up and tries to play the sensible man/woman/kobold while you charm the togas off everyone :) .

Liberty's Edge

Jaçinto wrote:
Updated it but I am looking at my skills and wondering if I should abandon sense motive. No wisdom bonus, no way to make it a class skill without burning a feat, and that hurts. Trying to plan out my feats really but I am not sure. The perfection chain is heavy investment and it means no craft wondrous or leadership really.

Your HP should be 7.

Dropping Sense Motive is pretty valid. I'd probably find a way to make it class, but that says more about me than about how good an idea that is. It's probably an even better call if maxing spellcraft since it will let you sprinkle some skill points around (to Knowledge skills and the like).

As for Feats, you could do the following:

1: Spell Focus
3: Greater Spell Focus
5: Craft Wondrous Item
7: Leadership
7 (Bloodline): Improved Initiative
9: Realistic Likeness (because this sounds awesome for this AP...swap positions with Craft Wondrous Item if you like)
11: Metamagic Feat of your choice
13: Metamagic Feat of your choice
13 (Bloodline): Quicken Spell
15 Spell Perfection

You can ditch Realistic Likeness if you want, really that's just a free slot. And can rearrange things as you like. But it looks quite doable. The Bloodline Bonus Feats actually help quite a bit.

Remember to get a Wand of Mage Armor when you can. It's a very good investment, even if you won't use it after you swap Sleep for Mage Armor at 4th level.

Grand Lodge

I tend to always recommend Daze for a 1st level Enchanter. You can trade it out later but early it can do good work on single targets for the first few levels. It is a good way to mitigate damage on other players too. Hold turn till the thug gets next to the fighter. Cast Daze and he loses his round and the fighter can full attack him. But I have learned the first few levels you want something Spam-able, Daze, Ray of Frost, Acid Splash. Something that you can at least contribute to combat with. I tend to spend my first level gold on scrolls and starting gear so I can not afford a Crossbow. I just wait till we kill something with one and use it. But till then I recommend something.


Urban Druid - Love Subdomain.

Thwart ranged or melee attacks on you 3x+Wis bonus a day.
Spontaneously cast Charm spells.
Immunity to Charm and Compulsion spells at 9th.
A Thousand Faces at 6th lvl instead of 13th for disappearing into crowds.

Decent skills, and bonus Diplomacy & Knowledge (Local & Nobility) as class skills w/additional +2 to them at 2nd lvl.


I read spell perfection and quicken spell does not work with it. Perfection says it does not alter casting time. Realistic Likeness looks fun. Turn into the BBEG and ruin their rep.

Mardaddy, the druid is neat but I have played too many druids lately and need a break.

Liberty's Edge

Jaçinto wrote:
I read spell perfection and quicken spell does not work with it. Perfection says it does not alter casting time.

No, you're misreading. The Feat itself doesn't modify casting time (which is relevant because normally using metamagic on Sorcerer spells makes them full actions), it doesn't prevent the metamagic from doing so like Quicken Spell does.

Additionally, even if they didn't work together, it's still valid as a prerequisite, and something you'll want to have for defensive spells like mirror image if nothing else.

Jaçinto wrote:
Realistic Likeness looks fun. Turn into the BBEG and ruin their rep.

Yeah, it sounds really fun in the context of that particular AP. :)


This is where I am getting confused.

Whenever you cast that spell you may apply any one metamagic feat you have to that spell without affecting its level or casting time, as long as the total modified level of the spell does not use a spell slot above 9th level.

Without affecting its casting time. Quicken affects the casting time.

Based on what I read in the player guide for Hell's Rebels, I'm gonna turn into the BBEG and eat a bunch of mint and say opera is dumb.


Wait, does spell perfection boost the DC bonuses from race and class and favored class at all?


You could be a wizard instead.

Late game mind control is good if you are neutral. the most common protections are protection from evil, good, etc. If you are neutral you blow right through them.


That line in spell perfection is referring to sorcerers, who must cast metamagic as a full round action


Ok talked to my DM. He wants to change things to 20 point buy. So I need to take it down a notch.

Liberty's Edge

Jaçinto wrote:
Ok talked to my DM. He wants to change things to 20 point buy. So I need to take it down a notch.

20 point buy isn't so bad, you can drop Dex to 14 or Cha to 18 and either Wis to 8 or Str to 6 and you're good to go.


Hm. Dex to 14 shaves off three points (it was +2 racial) and I gotta shave two more. I guess I can drop my wisdom to 8 but that hurts. Dropping strength any more bugs me. I mean, I get it but having it THAT frail really irks me.

Liberty's Edge

Jaçinto wrote:
Hm. Dex to 14 shaves off three points (it was +2 racial) and I gotta shave two more. I guess I can drop my wisdom to 8 but that hurts. Dropping strength any more bugs me. I mean, I get it but having it THAT frail really irks me.

Those are pretty much the options...well, or you can drop Dex to 14 and Cha to 18.

That'd do it and give you a point to spare, but it hurts a lot too.


As an option - I'm playing a sorcerer concentrating in enchantment magic in Iron Gods and having a blast with it.


Planning ahead is gonna take some work of course. picking spells and metamagics, crafting, and building a cohort for leadership.

Of course, Spell perfection is a long ways off but picking a spell for it to work. At level 15 for sorc, is there an objectively awesome compulsion spell?

Also maybe I should swap the craft wondrous for crafting rods, but I dunno.

Also a player in the group wants to be a wizard illusionist so that should be interesting.

I think I made a mistake on my DCs. At level 1, sleep should be DC 18 right?


Dominate monster is pretty good

Liberty's Edge

Jaçinto wrote:
Planning ahead is gonna take some work of course. picking spells and metamagics, crafting, and building a cohort for leadership.

Yeah, that can be tricky.

Jaçinto wrote:
Of course, Spell perfection is a long ways off but picking a spell for it to work. At level 15 for sorc, is there an objectively awesome compulsion spell?

Well, Mass Hold Person, insanity, and Waves of Ecstasy are all decent at that level. At 16, you can grab Irresistible Dance, Mass Charm Monster, or (best of all) Symbol of Insanity. That last one is ugly.

Jaçinto wrote:
Also maybe I should swap the craft wondrous for crafting rods, but I dunno.

I'd probably stick with CWI. Rods are nice, but nothing beats Wondrous Items for saving gold.

Jaçinto wrote:
Also a player in the group wants to be a wizard illusionist so that should be interesting.

Coordinating with this guy in what Crafting Feat to take is also a good plan. You can have access to more Crafting feats and avoid duplication of effort that way.

Jaçinto wrote:
I think I made a mistake on my DCs. At level 1, sleep should be DC 18 right?

Sleep should be DC 19 (10 + 1 Level + 1 Spell Focus + 4 Charisma +1 Kitsune +2 Bloodline).


Thanks for the advice and he wants us both to take craft wondrous. I want to debate, with the group, that people should be able to work together on magic crafting to reduce time or meet requirements. I know by RAW, magic crafting has to be done solo but I find that ridiculous. One person has the skill, another cast spells into it, etc...

I may have to get the rod that allows you to apply that metamagic that makes enchantment work on mindless things. So metamagic feats to go for, I guess, may be highten, quicken, and uh, extend? Not sure how good the last one is there. Trying to maximize my options to get the best out of perfection, since it only applies to one spell and you can never change it.

Edit: Would it be a bad idea to go crossblooded Fey and Arcane?


Jaçinto wrote:
he wants us both to take craft wondrous. I want to debate, with the group, that people should be able to work together on magic crafting to reduce time or meet requirements. I know by RAW, magic crafting has to be done solo but I find that ridiculous. One person has the skill, another cast spells into it, etc...

Cooperative Crafting feat does this. Since he is a Wizard he could take the Valet (Familiar Archetype) by himself which grants him this via his familiar.


Eh, our group is in the "That feat is stupid. Remove it from the game." You shouldn't need a feat for things that really should just be features of the game. Give it time and there will be a feat for blowing your nose, implying you can't do it without it.

Edit: Some of us think power attack shouldn't be a feat but instead be a combat option like fighting defensively. All it is, is swinging your sword harder but have bad aim due to losing control of the momentum, thus the penalty to hit.


Jaçinto wrote:
Eh, our group is in the "That feat is stupid. Remove it from the game." You shouldn't need a feat for things that really should just be features of the game. Give it time and there will be a feat for blowing your nose, implying you can't do it without it.

Well if that's your group's feelings on the feat then I would expect a house rule to already be in place so it wouldn't matter. By itself I would never take it either but the familiar archetype is a RAW solution to almost double the amount of crafting you want to get done without forcing another person to take any feats. Wand monkey + speed crafting is not a bad deal. I was just giving an option to where you don't have to take a feat you might not want.


Sorry if it sounds like I overreacted. Thanks and I know he took a familiar. Maybe he is going for the Valet, I dunno I forget. I hope this adventure goes well. I have been waiting for a city based, more social based, pathfinder adventure for a while rather than "Get in a hole in the ground and stay there."

Liberty's Edge

Jaçinto wrote:
I may have to get the rod that allows you to apply that metamagic that makes enchantment work on mindless things. So metamagic feats to go for, I guess, may be highten, quicken, and uh, extend? Not sure how good the last one is there. Trying to maximize my options to get the best out of perfection, since it only applies to one spell and you can never change it.

Persistent Spell is amazing. I strongly recommend it.

Jaçinto wrote:
Edit: Would it be a bad idea to go crossblooded Fey and Arcane?

Probably. The cost in spells is astronomically high. It effectively means you don't get, for example, 3rd level spells until level 7. That hurts.


Right. The DC bonus is not worth that slow of a spell progression on a primary caster. Thanks. So Persistant, Quicken, and something else.

Edit: Sorry if it seems like I am having you folks build the character for me. I have the concept down in my head but I lack system mastery. I don't actually know how most of the feats and abilities work.


Jaçinto wrote:
Sorry if it sounds like I overreacted. Thanks and I know he took a familiar. Maybe he is going for the Valet, I dunno I forget. I hope this adventure goes well. I have been waiting for a city based, more social based, pathfinder adventure for a while rather than "Get in a hole in the ground and stay there."

You're good. I understand the pressure too for wanting to take double CWI which I wouldn't do under normal circumstance. But with the population of Kintargo always being accounted for it very much a soft timer. "Well ten more people died this week, hope that __________ was worth it."


Well, crafting can be important and it lets more people get stuff faster if two people can do it. Timers in game kinda bug me cause it pushes the "No, you don't get to explore or really have any down time. Go rush rush rush." It reminds me of that terrible Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter game for PS2 where the entire game is on a timer and if you use any powers, the timer speeds up.

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