Worst Archetype?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Could a siege mage wander around with a siege engine on a floating disc and use summoned monsters as his siege crew? At least the visual would be kind of cool in that case.


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Yeah... It's tough to beat (or even approach) the Brute. I feel bad for the writer... But on the bright side, at least he managed to create something truly memorable!

Liberty's Edge

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PhD. Okkam wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
PhD. Okkam wrote:
Living Grimoire Inquisitor (
Eh. Losing Judgment hurts, but being an Int-based prepared caster is way better than being a Wis-based spontaneous one. And the other losses are mostly not a big deal.
Yes, but an light mace is sad.

You get Warpriest weapon progression on the damage and it's finesseable. Sure, you can't wield it two-handed (for extra Power Attack), but you can do a very solid Dex build and even a Str build is hardly crippled. Especially with all the stuff you can add via Sacred Weapon and spells.

Tabernero wrote:
Yeah... It's tough to beat (or even approach) the Brute. I feel bad for the writer... But on the bright side, at least he managed to create something truly memorable!

Amusingly, I believe Brute was written by the same person who wrote all the other UI Vigilante Archetypes...which are mostly quite good.

Everyone's got to roll a 1 on a design attempt sometime.


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A seige mage would do well enough in a skull and shackles game. Past that, it is clearly a focused archtype in an area more suited to opponent than party member


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Cavall wrote:
A seige mage would do well enough in a skull and shackles game. Past that, it is clearly a focused archtype in an area more suited to opponent than party member

I've run in some mercenary group campaigns where a siege mage cohort would have been friggin great.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tabernero wrote:
Yeah... It's tough to beat (or even approach) the Brute. I feel bad for the writer... But on the bright side, at least he managed to create something truly memorable!

Amusingly, I believe Brute was written by the same person who wrote all the other UI Vigilante Archetypes...which are mostly quite good.

Everyone's got to roll a 1 on a design attempt sometime.

Well also to the writer, we don't know how much was cut or changed from the idea they sent int. Like maybe they wanted it to have str or scale on it's defenses but those were removed and cut out.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
PhD. Okkam wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
PhD. Okkam wrote:
Living Grimoire Inquisitor (
Eh. Losing Judgment hurts, but being an Int-based prepared caster is way better than being a Wis-based spontaneous one. And the other losses are mostly not a big deal.
Yes, but an light mace is sad.

You get Warpriest weapon progression on the damage and it's finesseable. Sure, you can't wield it two-handed (for extra Power Attack), but you can do a very solid Dex build and even a Str build is hardly crippled. Especially with all the stuff you can add via Sacred Weapon and spells.

with dexterity in damage also the problem...

Liberty's Edge

Chess Pwn wrote:
Well also to the writer, we don't know how much was cut or changed from the idea they sent int. Like maybe they wanted it to have str or scale on it's defenses but those were removed and cut out.

Yup. Also a very real possibility.

PhD. Okkam wrote:
with dexterity in damage also the problem...

Agile's an available weapon enchantment. Not with Sacred Weapon, but you can just get it conventionally.


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ryric wrote:
Could a siege mage wander around with a siege engine on a floating disc and use summoned monsters as his siege crew? At least the visual would be kind of cool in that case.

A Floating Disk is 3 feet across, so no. You might be able to swing summoned monsters by utilizing the Alter Summoned Monster spell to get an unusually long duration, but that's a lot of spell slots and by the time you can afford to do it a regular wizard could just take the feats and have caught up to the siege mage.

The siege mage just isn't even very good even at what it's supposed to do. The bonus feat is the only significant class feature before 10th level (and has stopped being special after 5th), and by the time you get that 10th level ability to fire a siege engine without a crew it's already too late. The most powerful siege weapon in the game is a heavy bombard (9d6 damage) which is outclassed by even a completely unoptimized fireball by the time you're 10th level, never mind the reload time or the fact that it costs 16k gp.

Bottom line, even an NPC that's supposed to be a siege engineer wizard is better off just being a regular unarchetyped wizard and taking feats.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Living Grimoire isn't bottom tier, but it's pretty bad in some unfortunate ways.

An int-based prepared divine caster is a really cool concept so it sort of frustrates me that it's tied to so many other underwhleming changes.

Additionally for an archetype that's all about their one special weapon it's not a very good one, stripping away most of your good combat features and leaving you with a pretty crappy light weapon while providing no support for dueling or TWFing.

Really the coolest thing about the archetype was all the theorycrafting about having an enchantable weapon that could benefit from improvised feats for like a week before they FAQ'd that away.

So while I wouldn't say it's in the running for worst archetype, it does fall into a category of archetypes with cool ideas and unfortunate execution, of which there are sadly quite a few as well.

Liberty's Edge

Squiggit wrote:

Living Grimoire isn't bottom tier, but it's pretty bad in some unfortunate ways.

An int-based prepared divine caster is a really cool concept so it sort of frustrates me that it's tied to so many other underwhleming changes.

Additionally for an archetype that's all about their one special weapon it's not a very good one, stripping away most of your good combat features and leaving you with a pretty crappy light weapon while providing no support for dueling or TWFing.

The only combat features you lose are Judgment and Cunning Initiative (well, and the ability to Bane in more than one fight a day). Which are nice, sure, but not remotely enough to cripple them. Yeah, they're worse combatants, but I still say being better casters makes up for that in many cases.

Squiggit wrote:

Really the coolest thing about the archetype was all the theorycrafting about having an enchantable weapon that could benefit from improvised feats for like a week before they FAQ'd that away.

So while I wouldn't say it's in the running for worst archetype, it does fall into a category of archetypes with cool ideas and unfortunate execution, of which there are sadly quite a few as well.

I still disagree. It's not the best Archetype ever or anything, but it's alright.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Living Grimoire isn't bottom tier, but it's pretty bad in some unfortunate ways.

An int-based prepared divine caster is a really cool concept so it sort of frustrates me that it's tied to so many other underwhleming changes.

Additionally for an archetype that's all about their one special weapon it's not a very good one, stripping away most of your good combat features and leaving you with a pretty crappy light weapon while providing no support for dueling or TWFing.

The only combat features you lose are Judgment and Cunning Initiative (well, and the ability to Bane in more than one fight a day). Which are nice, sure, but not remotely enough to cripple them. Yeah, they're worse combatants, but I still say being better casters makes up for that in many cases.

No. You also lose Greater Bane and possibility to change Bane as a swift action.


Dasrak wrote:
ryric wrote:
Could a siege mage wander around with a siege engine on a floating disc and use summoned monsters as his siege crew? At least the visual would be kind of cool in that case.

A Floating Disk is 3 feet across, so no. You might be able to swing summoned monsters by utilizing the Alter Summoned Monster spell to get an unusually long duration, but that's a lot of spell slots and by the time you can afford to do it a regular wizard could just take the feats and have caught up to the siege mage.

The siege mage just isn't even very good even at what it's supposed to do. The bonus feat is the only significant class feature before 10th level (and has stopped being special after 5th), and by the time you get that 10th level ability to fire a siege engine without a crew it's already too late. The most powerful siege weapon in the game is a heavy bombard (9d6 damage) which is outclassed by even a completely unoptimized fireball by the time you're 10th level, never mind the reload time or the fact that it costs 16k gp.

Bottom line, even an NPC that's supposed to be a siege engineer wizard is better off just being a regular unarchetyped wizard and taking feats.

Completely unoptimized fireballs do half damage to structures, the heavy bombard does more than heavily optimized fireballs.

Liberty's Edge

PhD. Okkam wrote:
No. You also lose Greater Bane and possibility to change Bane as a swift action.

The ability to switch Bane is a real loss (and one I noted), but you can add +2d6 elemental damage easily (on top of Bane) by the time you could have Greater Bane.

Still a better caster though, which isn't a small thing.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
PhD. Okkam wrote:
No. You also lose Greater Bane and possibility to change Bane as a swift action.

The ability to switch Bane is a real loss (and one I noted), but you can add +2d6 elemental damage easily (on top of Bane) by the time you could have Greater Bane.

Still a better caster though, which isn't a small thing.

The thought came to mind, to try to play with the Kirin style.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Completely unoptimized fireballs do half damage to structures, the heavy bombard does more than heavily optimized fireballs.

Throw a crossblooded sorcerer dip on it, and yes your fireballs will deal more to objects than the bombard does. You might argue that the crossblooded dip is a bit cheesy, but for a 10th level NPC to use a bombard you need to completely ignore wealth guidelines for NPC's. And again, I'm not even taking reload time into account here. The idea of a siege mage is really cool, but the archetype just doesn't make you particularly good with them.


Dasrak wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Completely unoptimized fireballs do half damage to structures, the heavy bombard does more than heavily optimized fireballs.
Throw a crossblooded sorcerer dip on it, and yes your fireballs will deal more to objects than the bombard does. You might argue that the crossblooded dip is a bit cheesy, but for a 10th level NPC to use a bombard you need to completely ignore wealth guidelines for NPC's. And again, I'm not even taking reload time into account here. The idea of a siege mage is really cool, but the archetype just doesn't make you particularly good with them.

How much gold and exp are you sacrificing to do more damage in this niche situation? What level of spell are you tossing or how many thousands of gold in metamagic rods are you using to achieve parity with a bad archetype?


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Plus, the siege mage is an NPC archetype. The mage doesn't own the Bombard, the King owns the Bombard, they're just letting the mage use it because the King isn't a siege engineer.

Sure, a high level vanilla mage is better in a siege situation than a same level siege mage, but an army can field probably 20 or more level 3 siege mages for the cost of one level 10 wizard, and that's going to be a lot more helpful in a siege situation. You're probably going to go through a bunch of siege weapon teams in a siege situation (since "the thing that can knock down your walls" is what you want to disable most) so being able to have functional siege team captains who are low-level characters is handy. If some of these captains survive miraculously and become fairly high level, they won't be as good at this as a vanilla wizard would be, but the vanilla wizard isn't very good as a siege engineer below level 5 and that matters a lot when it comes to an army that is mostly low-level people.

Whatever higher level wizards you have you'd prefer to keep away from any big obvious targets like catapults, and you'd have them doing more important things than "damage."


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Squiggit wrote:

Living Grimoire isn't bottom tier, but it's pretty bad in some unfortunate ways.

An int-based prepared divine caster is a really cool concept so it sort of frustrates me that it's tied to so many other underwhleming changes.

Additionally for an archetype that's all about their one special weapon it's not a very good one, stripping away most of your good combat features and leaving you with a pretty crappy light weapon while providing no support for dueling or TWFing.

Really the coolest thing about the archetype was all the theorycrafting about having an enchantable weapon that could benefit from improvised feats for like a week before they FAQ'd that away.

So while I wouldn't say it's in the running for worst archetype, it does fall into a category of archetypes with cool ideas and unfortunate execution, of which there are sadly quite a few as well.

I am now having images of a LG NPC librarian who beats loud people to death with a huge encyclopedia britanica


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Plus, the siege mage is an NPC archetype. The mage doesn't own the Bombard, the King owns the Bombard, they're just letting the mage use it because the King isn't a siege engineer.

Sure, a high level vanilla mage is better in a siege situation than a same level siege mage, but an army can field probably 20 or more level 3 siege mages for the cost of one level 10 wizard, and that's going to be a lot more helpful in a siege situation. You're probably going to go through a bunch of siege weapon teams in a siege situation (since "the thing that can knock down your walls" is what you want to disable most) so being able to have functional siege team captains who are low-level characters is handy. If some of these captains survive miraculously and become fairly high level, they won't be as good at this as a vanilla wizard would be, but the vanilla wizard isn't very good as a siege engineer below level 5 and that matters a lot when it comes to an army that is mostly low-level people.

Whatever higher level wizards you have you'd prefer to keep away from any big obvious targets like catapults, and you'd have them doing more important things than "damage."

I mean rest assured if i were to play one in a campaign he'd be craft wondrous iteming himself a flying wagon pulled by phantom steeds with a light ballista or catapult mounted on it. Which would then also be enchanted and i would rain firey death via indirect fire.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I don't know if "three opposition schools" is really that big of a deal for a siege wizard. If your job is "I knock down castle walls" what do you really need Enchantment, Illusion, or Necromancy for?

Necromancy for an army of skeletons to move your siege engines around.

Illusion to create fake siege engines so enemy archers don't know where to target their fire.

Enchantment to... cast Charm Person on the king to persuade him to lend you his cannons?


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Ryan Freire wrote:
How much gold and exp are you sacrificing to do more damage in this niche situation? What level of spell are you tossing or how many thousands of gold in metamagic rods are you using to achieve parity with a bad archetype?

None. I can surpass the bombard without even counting metamagic or equipment... or even picking up all the relevant feats for such a build.

Evoker Wizard 9 / Crossblooded Sorcerer (Orc/Draconic) 1

Take the Bloodline Havoc mutation instead of your 1st level bloodline power, and also take Spell Focus (Evocation) and Varisian Tattoo (Evocation) to bring your caster level back up. Orc bloodline gets you +1 damage per die, Draconic bloodline gets you +1 damage per die on fire spells, bloodline havoc gets you +1 damage per die on evocation spells, and evoker intensity gives you a flat +4. This takes your fireballs up to 10d6+34 damage, for an average of 69 damage (34.5 average vs objects). A bombard deals 9d6 damage, for an average of 31.5.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Sure, a high level vanilla mage is better in a siege situation than a same level siege mage, but an army can field probably 20 or more level 3 siege mages for the cost of one level 10 wizard

The bonus feat is just about the only thing going for it, and even for that you're not significantly better off than a regular Wizard who took exotic weapon proficiency with a specific siege engine at 3rd level.

"It's an NPC archetype" works both ways; NPC's have very specific roles when found in combat encounters, and are unlikely to have any need for using multiple siege weapons. The abilities of the siege mage simply don't offer anything substantial to allow the NPC to fulfill roles it otherwise could not.


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The siege mage then also spends a third level spell slot and goes up to average 40 damage plus the option for adamantite ammo to ignore hardness.

So you did all that and still didn't manage to out damage it.

Also you add hardness after halving damage, its all that work and 26.5 avg damage to a stone wall.

Edit: Seriously though man, your build is almost universally better in every other situation the fact that it cant out siege engine a specifically designed for it and otherwise bad archetype is no big deal.

I'd argue against any archetype of a 9 level caster being the worst though because at the end of the day....still have most of the power of a 9 level caster. There's some archetypes out there that make already mechanically bad classes even worse after all.


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Dasrak wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
How much gold and exp are you sacrificing to do more damage in this niche situation? What level of spell are you tossing or how many thousands of gold in metamagic rods are you using to achieve parity with a bad archetype?

None. I can surpass the bombard without even counting metamagic or equipment... or even picking up all the relevant feats for such a build.

Evoker Wizard 9 / Crossblooded Sorcerer (Orc/Draconic) 1

Take the Bloodline Havoc mutation instead of your 1st level bloodline power, and also take Spell Focus (Evocation) and Varisian Tattoo (Evocation) to bring your caster level back up. Orc bloodline gets you +1 damage per die, Draconic bloodline gets you +1 damage per die on fire spells, bloodline havoc gets you +1 damage per die on evocation spells, and evoker intensity gives you a flat +4. This takes your fireballs up to 10d6+34 damage, for an average of 69 damage (34.5 average vs objects). A bombard deals 9d6 damage, for an average of 31.5.

Bloodline mutations only work for their classes spells. So Havoc only increases sorcerer spells, not all spells.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
How much gold and exp are you sacrificing to do more damage in this niche situation? What level of spell are you tossing or how many thousands of gold in metamagic rods are you using to achieve parity with a bad archetype?

None. I can surpass the bombard without even counting metamagic or equipment... or even picking up all the relevant feats for such a build.

Evoker Wizard 9 / Crossblooded Sorcerer (Orc/Draconic) 1

Take the Bloodline Havoc mutation instead of your 1st level bloodline power, and also take Spell Focus (Evocation) and Varisian Tattoo (Evocation) to bring your caster level back up. Orc bloodline gets you +1 damage per die, Draconic bloodline gets you +1 damage per die on fire spells, bloodline havoc gets you +1 damage per die on evocation spells, and evoker intensity gives you a flat +4. This takes your fireballs up to 10d6+34 damage, for an average of 69 damage (34.5 average vs objects). A bombard deals 9d6 damage, for an average of 31.5.

Bloodline mutations only work for their classes spells. So Havoc only increases sorcerer spells, not all spells.

That does reduce the damage a bit (like 5 points against objects?), but there's another advantage over the guy using the bombard.

Fireball doesn't require a roll to hit.

Silver Crusade

... Fireball is for people, I don't see it doing much vs a rock wall.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I think Siege Mage may peak around level 2-3, using a light ballista. A 3d8(+3 or 6) damage opening shot is fairly respectable at that level.


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Rysky wrote:
... Fireball is for people, I don't see it doing much vs a rock wall.

Indeed, fireball is for using *on* the people who are using complicated, expensive (and largely wooden) machines (possibly with gunpowder lying around) in to try to knock down the walls you hope will keep you safe from danger. The high level vanilla wizard has more important things to do in a siege than brute force, after all.

I think part of the problem with the siege mage is that "a 4-5 person party" generally doesn't have much of an important role in a siege unless it's "sneak in through the secret tunnel and lower the drawbridge" (or something like that). If the PCs are interacting with a siege weapon, it's generally to try to disable it (unless you're on a ship, I guess, our alchemist in Skull & Shackles was a siege engineer.)


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Ryan Freire wrote:
The siege mage then also spends a third level spell slot and goes up to average 40 damage plus the option for adamantite ammo to ignore hardness.

A single adamantine bombard shot would cost 15000 gp (bombard shots weigh 50 lbs and adamantine is 300 gp/lbs). So no, that's not an option.

Ryan Freire wrote:
So you did all that and still didn't manage to out damage it.

To be fair, we've been ignoring reload time up until now. It takes 5 move actions to reload a bombard, so in terms of overall DPR the fireballs are still ahead. And that's really the point here, the siege mage's damage doesn't scale with level. He's got the same DPR at 1st level as he does at 20th, with the only variation being his gear.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Edit: Seriously though man, your build is almost universally better in every other situation the fact that it cant out siege engine a specifically designed for it and otherwise bad archetype is no big deal.

That's the rub; there's nothing stopping any other wizard from just taking the Siege Engineer feat. It's only special from levels 1-4, and even then the PC's might not even notice the difference between that and ordinary proficiency.

Ryan Freire wrote:
I'd argue against any archetype of a 9 level caster being the worst though because at the end of the day....still have most of the power of a 9 level caster. There's some archetypes out there that make already mechanically bad classes even worse after all.

I would disagree; the value of an archetype should be measured by how much it improves or weakens a class. A strong archetype for a weak class might still be less effectual in an absolute sense than a weak archetype for a strong class.

Still, I think the Brute wins by either measure :-)


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Dasrak wrote:


A single adamantine bombard shot would cost 15000 gp (bombard shots weigh 50 lbs and adamantine is 300 gp/lbs). So no, that's not an option.

On the other hand. The rules for creating adamantine weapons say adamantine ammunition is +60 GP, so 105 gold for an adamantine heavy bombard ball.


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Wow a lot of the archetypes mentioned so far are archetypes I do really love in concept!
Sadly I have to agree thou, while being great in concept, they are clunky/underwhelming/broken ( read as "not working",as once was almost the Bolt Ace with no proficiency in crossbows )

Adding to the list both the Havocker Witch, for being a witch with no patron and no hexes, in xchange for kineticist's base simple blast with some infusions to apply levels later for price of burning spell slots (and no gather power or internal buffer, no other ability to reduce the burn, except using spell slots); and Phantom thief Rogue, guilty of transforming a PC "class" to an NPC. Best NPC class btw.

Also Dasrak is right, value of archetype should be separated from value of class itself. There are many archetypes for Druid and Wizard class as an example, which have terrible features swaps (feral child& elemental ally for example, trading wild shape for... traps?? or what about elemental companion which also replaces the nature bond of an animal companion and don't allow creatures summoned through summon nature's ally spells???), that go unnoticed and seen as "OK" because those classes still can have full spellcasting ability.

Silver Crusade

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swoosh wrote:
Dasrak wrote:


A single adamantine bombard shot would cost 15000 gp (bombard shots weigh 50 lbs and adamantine is 300 gp/lbs). So no, that's not an option.
On the other hand. The rules for creating adamantine weapons say adamantine ammunition is +60 GP, so 105 gold for an adamantine heavy bombard ball.

When rules contradict each other the GM gets to decide what to do.

This GM would argue that those rules are for arrows and NOT bombard shots and so the higher cost wins. Or maybe a slightly lesser cost since it could reasonably be argued that the entire bombard doesn't have to be adamantine. Yeah, I'd go with the average cost of 7,500 GP.


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An adamantium bombard-ball could just be plated or banded with the stuff. No reason it has to be solid.


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I disagree with the idea of separating them from the classes as a whle. Siege mage and Gun mage both hammer the wizard class, but at the end of the day, those classes still have 9 level casting off the most powerful list in the game.

Meanwhile [url]http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/monk/archetypes/paizo-monk-arc hetypes/monk-of-the-healing-hand/[/url] Monk of the healing hand exists[/url] which turns your capstone into 50' radius mass resurrection in exchange for complete destruction of your character so thoroughly that gods cant bring them back and they're wiped from history.

Or The needler Where you give up almost all the survivability boosts of a fragile class in exchange for an expensive, slow combat gimmick that targets the highest save value of like 80% of the antagonists out there.


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pauljathome wrote:
swoosh wrote:
Dasrak wrote:


A single adamantine bombard shot would cost 15000 gp (bombard shots weigh 50 lbs and adamantine is 300 gp/lbs). So no, that's not an option.
On the other hand. The rules for creating adamantine weapons say adamantine ammunition is +60 GP, so 105 gold for an adamantine heavy bombard ball.

When rules contradict each other the GM gets to decide what to do.

This GM would argue that those rules are for arrows and NOT bombard shots and so the higher cost wins. Or maybe a slightly lesser cost since it could reasonably be argued that the entire bombard doesn't have to be adamantine. Yeah, I'd go with the average cost of 7,500 GP.

Except one is a rule for miscellaneous things made of adamantine and the other is a rule specifically for adamantine ammunition.

I'd probably split the difference and itd be the cost of the 50 bullets/arrowheads whatever. So 3000 gold purchased or 300 if crafted via the firearm ammunition rules


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swoosh wrote:
On the other hand. The rules for creating adamantine weapons say adamantine ammunition is +60 GP, so 105 gold for an adamantine heavy bombard ball.

That rule is for bullets, bolts, and arrows. These are in a completely different order of magnitude from cannonballs.

With that said, it occurred to me that the cost the materials is not the same cost as the finished product. A crafted item typically sells for three times its material costs, so 45000 gp would be the final price of this cannonball. And yeah, that is ludicrously expensive so ruling for some middle-ground would make a lot of sense.


Dasrak wrote:
swoosh wrote:
On the other hand. The rules for creating adamantine weapons say adamantine ammunition is +60 GP, so 105 gold for an adamantine heavy bombard ball.

That rule is for bullets, bolts, and arrows. These are in a completely different order of magnitude from cannonballs.

With that said, it occurred to me that the cost the materials is not the same cost as the finished product. A crafted item typically sells for three times its material costs, so 45000 gp would be the final price of this cannonball. And yeah, that is ludicrously expensive so ruling for some middle-ground would make a lot of sense.

Costs are given in final costs first off, the price point reductions occur during crafting. Second off firearms(which bombards count as) ammunition costs 1/10th the final cost to craft.


Adding to the list both the Courtly Hunter hunter. Loses almost all the strengths of a hunter.

Liberty's Edge

PhD. Okkam wrote:
Adding to the list both the Courtly Hunter hunter. Loses almost all the strengths of a hunter.

You keep your casting and a fully leveled animal companion. All you lose are the Teamwork Feats. That's a real loss, mind you, but is mitigated slightly by the fact that the Companion can just grab a couple of the essential ones with its Feats.

You also swap out Animal Focus...but that's actually more of a sidegrade than a downgrade if you want to be good at social stuff.

It's definitely a downgrade in raw combat power all things considered, but I wouldn't say it's even always a bad archetype choice, never mind being as bad as something like Brute.


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PhD. Okkam wrote:
Adding to the list both the Courtly Hunter hunter. Loses almost all the strengths of a hunter.

I wouldn’t say it was the worst, archetype though.

After all, it is probably the best archetype to have when you want to sneak an allosaurus into a grand ball disguised as a parakeet.


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I present to you....the cad. All the negatives of base book fighter specializing in combat maneuvers, none of the positives of AWT or AAT


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The Cad isn't bad because 5 years later better options came in for the core fighter. That's not how that should work.


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I don't know, suppose the rubric is "we're running a terrible archetypes one-shot next week, offer some submissions" then by that standard the Cad is absolutely a reasonable consideration.

Silver Crusade

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PhD. Okkam wrote:
Adding to the list both the Courtly Hunter hunter. Loses almost all the strengths of a hunter.

You did notice that this archetype is in a book called Ultimate Intrigue, right?

In an Intrigue based campaign this is a QUITE viable archetype. It loses some combat strength in exchange for all kinds of intriguey strengths. It is not even bad, let alone being in contention for the worst.

I think it only fair that we at least judge archetype value in the campaign setting they're aimed at, not just in terms of raw combat ability in the dungeon.


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Cavall wrote:
The Cad isn't bad because 5 years later better options came in for the core fighter. That's not how that should work.

Why not? The current status is the one that matters, who cares what the situation was 3 years ago?


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If nothing else, Living Grimoire Inquisitor is excellent dip bait for a Faith Magic Wizard/Inquisitor Mystic Theurge. Normally, using a 6/9 spellcaster as an entry for either side of Mystic Theurge would be bad, but in this case, since it completely avoids making you MAD, you give up very little (1 feat and 1 arcane spellcasting level, and progression in your Arcane School Powers) to get up to 11 levels of 6/9 divine spellcasting.


The courtly hunter loses a bunch of boosts to the animal companion - and then the animal companion gets most of the strengths of a familiar. Intelligence, sharing the hunter's skill ranks (and it still gets its own), and the ability mentioned above to change into a familiar-ish shape. I'm sure you could do something scary with the frilled lizard animal aspect and the intimidate skill unlock.


avr wrote:
The courtly hunter loses a bunch of boosts to the animal companion - and then the animal companion gets most of the strengths of a familiar. Intelligence, sharing the hunter's skill ranks (and it still gets its own), and the ability mentioned above to change into a familiar-ish shape. I'm sure you could do something scary with the frilled lizard animal aspect and the intimidate skill unlock.

Build for deadly stroke and have the pet build for dazzling display?


Ryan Freire wrote:
avr wrote:
The courtly hunter loses a bunch of boosts to the animal companion - and then the animal companion gets most of the strengths of a familiar. Intelligence, sharing the hunter's skill ranks (and it still gets its own), and the ability mentioned above to change into a familiar-ish shape. I'm sure you could do something scary with the frilled lizard animal aspect and the intimidate skill unlock.
Build for deadly stroke and have the pet build for dazzling display?

Deadly stroke has a greater weapon focus prereq so probably not that. Shatter defences is good though, and while shaken conditions from demoralise don't stack there's no such wording about frightened conditions. Panicked is a real possibility with a courtly hunter and their pet screaming and waving claws in your direction.


Living Grimoire can at least get a good to hit and a highly enchanted weapon. For a few rounds per day. It has okay spellcasting. Having played it a while, I would say it is firmly mediocre, certainly not hilariously bad.

The Geisha switches Knowledge bonuses for Diplomacy, Perform, Craft and whatever it is, and trades armor and weapons for Scribe Scroll and tea ceremony. Tea ceremony lasts for 10 minutes, but also takes 10 minutes to cast. It also requires 16 rounds of BP for a party of four. Also, range problems aside, a worse problem is that the bonuses still seem to disappear if the geisha can't maintain the performance. It is absolutely not terribad, but the situations where I'd prefer it to a core bard are... few indeed.

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