Feats You Think Are Awesome!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Collateral damage... just stuff the cleric has to heal up afterwards, LoL. Luckily it never seems to hit the caster (talk about Alchemist rolling a 1). In Org Play all the PCs affected must agree otherwise the caster must use a different spell, so a metagaming fix.
Honestly it's only a problem with One Trick Ponies as they only have a single elemental blast type that they've focused their feats and abilities on. It's best to buff your party front liners against your planned energy type to minimize the collateral damage. Dragon's Breath:K4 gives you a lot of energy type & AoE options when casting without resorting to metamagics. Classic Third level classic spells Stinking Cloud:C3, Summon Monster 3:C3, Heroism:E3, Suggestion:E3, Oneiric Horror I:3, Ray of Exhaustion:N3, Force Punch:K3, Haste:T3, Slow:T3 are pretty useful.

I find Reach Spell metamagic VERY USEFUL. Cure Light Wounds(arcane), Touch of Blindness, Ear-piercing Scream, Shocking Grasp, Touch of Idiocy, Frigid Touch...


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Y'know what's a good feat? Scribe Scroll. Hear me out.

Scrolls are cheap, not as cheap as wands, but doable right from L1. Being so cheap, a lot of them are craftable in 2 hours while you're doing other things, even if you adventured for 8 hours of the day. While it's not often that casters in my games end a day with spells still waiting to be cast, it is the case enough that many days of the week could see the caster yielding a scroll.

The other thing I like about low level scrolls being cheap is that it's easy to change the CL on the spell. Want a scroll of Cure Light Wounds, but your Oracle is L4 now? A CL4 scroll is still just 50 GP to craft. Doing the same thing with a wand means you're going from spending 375 GP to 1500 GP.

I don't feel like folks take enough advantage of scrolls and scroll scribing, and that just seems sad to me.


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Divine Interference is the nuts IMO

Even if you only sacrifice a 1st level spell (which you'll have plenty of by 10th level) it can save your life so easily.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
...Evolved Familiar (goat of death, anyone?)...

For me, this requires more explanation, please. I searched and found no "goat of death" mentioned by such a name. Well, nothing that involved Evolved Familiar [that I could see, anyways]. But, by the gods, I am intrigued!


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I haven't seen the Damnation feats... so much fun if you collect them all.

Flame Blade Dervish, because it is stylish and cool.

Toxic Spell/Infuse Poison, because you can use an infused poison as the component for a toxic spell as the spell in another infused poison that you use as the component for a different toxic spell in another infused poison... target gets hit with spell + poison + spell + poison... talk about action economy. Lol. It gets expensive fast, though, because poisons suck in PF1.

I know racial feats have been mentioned and Racial Heritage probably covers everything else, but I want to include some monster feats that I like, as well... Agile Tongue/Spit Venom/Sonic Croak/Civilized Ghoulishness/Improved Death-Stealing/Noxious Bite... gotta love the flavor these potentially provide.

Scaled Disciple, has that been mentioned, yet? I know it's a racial feat, but hear me out... Kobolds can be Dragon Disciples as divine casters! That's just neat.

Special mention to Sunlit Strike... I forgot to list it when I listed the Arcane Strike feats a while back. Sunlit Strike is also a racial feat, so I guess I really think those [racial feats] are awesome.


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Sacred Geometry for wizzurds:

2 metamagic feat for one (and the cost of skill ranks in engineering) and they are spontaneous.
But there is a small chance of failing and you have to know some math to do it - but it's not complicated and fits the role of a wizard.


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If I'm playing a Dwarf I always take Steel Soul.
Great feat.


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Smite Evil Magic is amazing. You expend a use of smite evil to sunder an ongoing spell effect created by an evil creature. ANY ongoing spell effect, not just one that happens to have the evil spell descriptor. against full arcane casters (most non-monstrous casters, in general), the CMD is negligible... and when you exceed it by 10 or more you simply dispel it.


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Phoebus Alexandros wrote:
Smite Evil Magic is amazing. You expend a use of smite evil to sunder an ongoing spell effect created by an evil creature. ANY ongoing spell effect, not just one that happens to have the evil spell descriptor. against full arcane casters (most non-monstrous casters, in general), the CMD is negligible... and when you exceed it by 10 or more you simply dispel it.

I like Witchbreaker for sort of a similar reason...

"whenever you confirm a critical hit against a hag or a witch, any of your allies affected by a mind-affecting effect from that creature can attempt a new saving throw against the effect as an immediate action."

As a GM, I really like Hags, so I appreciate things that the party can use against them [Hags, that is]. Witchbreaker only has Iron Will as a prerequisite, which is easier to get than Smite Evil. Somewhat, I guess. But Witchbreaker only works against Hags/Witches... probably would only take it if such things were around, though.

Speaking of Hags, has Lamashtu's Mark been mentioned, yet? That is a fun one I have on one of my Hags [not that the feat has anything to do with them in particular]. I like it because it gives your offspring the Fiendish template... so I can have Fiendish Changelings!

Oh, and another one for Arcane Strike list... I don't think Spell Cartridges has been mentioned, yet.


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I have a few, but let's start with Emergency Attunement. So you cast Tactical Adaptation or Paragon Surge and now you suddenly need different options than the ones you chose earlier in the day? This is for you. And all this gets better if you also have Eldritch Heritage (SHapechanger) + Improved Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger) (the latter of which eventually changes the durations of these spells from 1 minute/level to 1 hour/level), or MUCH BETTER if you have the actual Shapechanger Bloodline (in which case you don't need to pay the feat tax of Skill Focus (Disguise)).


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VoodistMonk wrote:
Phoebus Alexandros wrote:
Smite Evil Magic is amazing. You expend a use of smite evil to sunder an ongoing spell effect created by an evil creature. ANY ongoing spell effect, not just one that happens to have the evil spell descriptor. against full arcane casters (most non-monstrous casters, in general), the CMD is negligible... and when you exceed it by 10 or more you simply dispel it.

I like Witchbreaker for sort of a similar reason...

... Witchbreaker only has Iron Will as a prerequisite, which is easier to get than Smite Evil. Somewhat, I guess. But Witchbreaker only works against Hags/Witches... probably would only take it if such things were around, though.

You summed up the play balance Pathfinder tries to maintain. Smite Evil Magic has a very broad application (all evil spellcasters and effects lasting a round or longer), but for a very limited pool of users. Focused campaigns aside, Witchbreaker has a very narrow application… but is available to a significantly larger pool of users.

Quote:
Speaking of Hags, has Lamashtu's Mark been mentioned, yet? That is a fun one I have on one of my Hags [not that the feat has anything to do with them in particular]. I like it because it gives your offspring the Fiendish template... so I can have Fiendish Changelings!

That feat is amazing. Forget number-crunching, it has everything I like in a feat: role-playing-driven bonuses and penalties, a special ability, and a story mechanic for the future. If only more effort had gone into making feats like that, than the more lackluster, vanilla ones that simply offer a bonus.

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Ki Throw, and Improved Ki Throw, is one of the more effective combat tricks I've seen.

Burning Amplification, for the stylish pyromaniacs among you.

Empower Spell on a spontaneous caster, because it feels like an animesque "power up!" maneuver.

Step Up is a nice "gotcha" move; and so is Broken Wing Gambit.

Steel Soul, because of course dwarves should be nigh-immune to magic.

Tumultuous Spell; not all that good, but really funny when it connects.


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VoodistMonk wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
...Evolved Familiar (goat of death, anyone?)...
For me, this requires more explanation, please. I searched and found no "goat of death" mentioned by such a name. Well, nothing that involved Evolved Familiar [that I could see, anyways]. But, by the gods, I am intrigued!

I had this idea of making a familiar a melee combatant. Not the touch spell way but natural attacks. Of course there are eidolons and animal companions etc., but they don't mean a build challenge...

Goat is one of the few Small sized familiars, meaning it has solid reach and at least moderate damage dice (I find rolling 1d3 or 1d2 depressing). So the vague concept is:

1) Choose a goat for familiar.
2) Use the mauler archetype. If you really worry about familiar loss, consider figment instead, but it dilutes the concept of a bad*** combat familiar.
3) Pick up Evolved Familiar a lot of times. Many natural attacks are 1-point evolutions, and by RAW you can take pounce also.

Beast-bonded witch is an option but not a must. Maybe your GM agrees to turn Int boosting FCB into Str boosting ones. Crafting some magic gear for your Goat of Death might help. Defensive buffs seem important. I leave the rest to your imagination...


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Beast-Bonded Witch is really good for a "Goat-O-Death" build... sharing those feats is legit.

Another fun feat is Mark of the Devoted. It's full of flavor like Lamashtu's Mark. You turn into a JuJu Zombie when you die... which is awesome if you have all 5 Agent of the Grave levels. You can be an intelligent JuJu Zombie JuJu Oracle... which I find thematic and silly. I actually have a Scion of Humanity Aasimar JuJu Oracle 8/Agent of the Grave 5 with Mark of the Devoted, Angel Wings, and Flyby Attack... flying, intelligent JuJu Zombie with 6th-level spells... it's hilarious.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
...Evolved Familiar (goat of death, anyone?)...
For me, this requires more explanation, please. I searched and found no "goat of death" mentioned by such a name. Well, nothing that involved Evolved Familiar [that I could see, anyways]. But, by the gods, I am intrigued!

I had this idea of making a familiar a melee combatant. Not the touch spell way but natural attacks. Of course there are eidolons and animal companions etc., but they don't mean a build challenge...

Goat is one of the few Small sized familiars, meaning it has solid reach and at least moderate damage dice (I find rolling 1d3 or 1d2 depressing). So the vague concept is:

1) Choose a goat for familiar.
2) Use the mauler archetype. If you really worry about familiar loss, consider figment instead, but it dilutes the concept of a bad*** combat familiar.
3) Pick up Evolved Familiar a lot of times. Many natural attacks are 1-point evolutions, and by RAW you can take pounce also.

Beast-bonded witch is an option but not a must. Maybe your GM agrees to turn Int boosting FCB into Str boosting ones. Crafting some magic gear for your Goat of Death might help. Defensive buffs seem important. I leave the rest to your imagination...

If you're planning on playing a caster, especially a full caster, there are 3 huge hurdles any melee familiar is going to face: low HP, low BAB and lack of combat feats.

Low HP: Mauler tries to make up for this with Mauler's Endurance; +2 HP every level sounds fun. The average full caster however picks up, what; +5.5 HP/level from L2 on? That means a Mauler with Mauler's Endurance gets an avg of 4.75 HP/level after L2.

Low BAB: no way around this one unless you multiclass. Period. You want your combat buddy to be accurate in battle? Sure you can put Bull's Str on it but if the Mauler is starting with a BAB +1, and through a size change and your best buff they're only getting to a +5... they're just not going to be hitting more than half the time.

Lack of feats: Beast Bonded is one way to do this; Spirit Binder Wizard is another. Thing is, in both instance the PC is giving up some of their own power to hand that power off to the familiar. If your PC isn't gaining their bonus feats or even their standard, level-dependent feats, how can THEY advance well?

The solid fix to all of this is to pick up 2 levels of Eldritch Guardian Fighter. In this manner you grab +2 to your BAB, 2d10 HP and your familiar now shares all of your combat feats. Another way to share feats is to give the familiar the Valet archetype instead of Mauler and from L1 on it automatically shares Teamwork feats.

I've been attacking combat familiar builds from a lot of angles for years now and frankly I just can't figure a way to make it really OP. With a lot of work, optimization on your part and just the right level of gear and spells I can get a combat familiar to "fine" (here meaning they can hit about 50% of the time and may survive a round or 2 on the front lines).

Finally, a note about Evolved Familiar: you have to take the feat. Want to give your goat of death Pounce, (which, I think, will see table variation) hooves and Magic Attacks so it can bypass some DRs? Cool; you just spent 3 of your own feats on that. Add in that, if you go Beast Bonded and want your Mauler to have 2 or more feats you've given away MORE of your own feats in the process, and your PC is maybe about as powerful as an NPC, while your combat familiar still lacks baseline accuracy in their attacks.

Familiars are not and likely won't ever be like Animal Companions, Sacred Mounts or Eidolons in regard to combat benefits; at least, not for full casters. Even 6/9 casters like Magus and Inquisitor would see limited melee benefit from a "goat of death." As far as I can tell the Mauler is almost exclusively geared towards the Eldritch Guardian-inclusive, full BAB, high HD crowd, especially if they get bonus combat feats.


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I tried my hand at making the 'best familiar' a while back. I just toyed around with the best archetypes and classes that you could just cram together and see what pops out.

I was not displeased with the result. The little bugger was tough AND performed well. I went with the Shikigami (Kami) improved familiar.


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Y'know what'd be fun for the shikigami familiar? If the PC sharing their combat feats took the Shikigami Style feats, which are another of my faves that I think are AWESOME!

The shikigami starts with 1d3 base damage using their ranged improvised weapon attacks. After the three style feats named after them, this creature is dealing 2d6 base damage (I think?) with any thrown weapon. Like, how awesome is THAT? Then you add in smite, sneak attack, and maybe vital strike if the PC can handle it... fun times.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
If you're planning on playing a caster, especially a full caster, there are 3 huge hurdles any melee familiar is going to face: low HP, low BAB and lack of combat feats.

Consider the Mascot familiar archetype.

"Once per day at 13th level, as a full-round action, a mascot can designate any member of its team as its master for the purpose of calculating its base attack bonus, Hit Dice, hit points, saving throws, and skill ranks."

At the minimum amount of cheese, you designate the party frontliner to grant your familiar full BAB and some more HP. At the maximum amount of cheese, you befriend a high-HD opponent like a dragon (full BAB, all good saves, d12+inflated Con, 6+int skill ranks) and your familiar's stats increases like crazy.

It's first at level 13 but can be sped up through level stacking or the Robe of Arcane Heritage.

====

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
I've been attacking combat familiar builds from a lot of angles for years now and frankly I just can't figure a way to make it really OP. With a lot of work, optimization on your part and just the right level of gear and spells I can get a combat familiar to "fine" (here meaning they can hit about 50% of the time and may survive a round or 2 on the front lines).

Level 14 Chosen One Paladin of Lymnieris.

You have taken Deific Obedience*, Diverse Obedience*, Fey Foundling, and Passing Grace.

*Lymnieris uses Celestial Obedience, but nothing except PRC requirements prevents you from taking Deific Obedience keyed to whatever deity you want.

With your second divine boon you transform the familiar into a beefed out Magical Beast and ride it. You've got the usual choices that grants you pounce and a lot of natural attacks, but with your high Charisma the DC of any special effect like petrifying breath attacks will be formidable.
It shares your Smites and with any teamwork sharing (the saddle, the ring, Shared Training) Passing Grace will allow you to spam Lay on Hands on yourself as a swift action to heal the familiar as well.


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So... what do you do with your combat-focused, Mascot familiar from levels 1-12? Re: the paladin; see above where I said 6/9 martial focused casters could gain a "fine" familiar. The Paladin would fit into this even though they're a 4/9 caster, b/c of their martial focus.

Finally... this started off with a goat of death and the Mauler archetype. That seems to suggest sticking with the standard familiars and I never deviated from that. If we want to trundle into the realm of Improved Familiar, whether from Class ability or the feat, then there are very simple and obvious ways to take advantage of these helpers in combat. Just the fact that they've usually got as good or better Cha as many of the standard familiars and the fact that they've got hands and speak languages makes them more valuable from an item-wielding standpoint.

Then look at Eldritch Guardian, L2. Since their Type doesn't change if they're not Animals, some Improved Familiars can wield weapons. Couple that with all the weapon-focused Combat feats martials are likely to have and suddenly you've got a mini-me doing everything you can do, only likely at Small or Tiny size. You don't need 14 levels of a Paladin archetype and an obscure deity's Divine Obedience to exploit that.

No, when I say it's tough to optimize a combat familiar, I'm specifically talking about the standard, non-Improved Familiar types. Take a cat, or a cockroach, or a goat, or an owl and so on, and try to slap a build around putting them into melee combat with foes; it'll definitely be a challenge, even by L14.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
So... what do you do with your combat-focused, Mascot familiar from levels 1-12?

Nothing? It's not like you're actually waiting around for 12 levels for your build to come online. The good part about being a full caster is that you don't have to waste your entire build on a gimmick. This is just a thing that every wizard can do when they reach that level and decide to slap a polymorph spell on a boosted familiar.

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
No, when I say it's tough to optimize a combat familiar, I'm specifically talking about the standard, non-Improved Familiar types. Take a cat, or a cockroach, or a goat, or an owl and so on, and try to slap a build around putting them into melee combat with foes; it'll definitely be a challenge, even by L14.

So what you're really after is not to "optimize a familiar" but to "optimize the base form of an animal familiar"? Yeah, that arbitrary limitation would make it harder.


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Wonderstell wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
So... what do you do with your combat-focused, Mascot familiar from levels 1-12?
Nothing? It's not like you're actually waiting around for 12 levels for your build to come online. The good part about being a full caster is that you don't have to waste your entire build on a gimmick. This is just a thing that every wizard can do when they reach that level and decide to slap a polymorph spell on a boosted familiar.

Well, any full caster that took a Mascot familiar at level 1 and fought their way to level 13 with said familiar. Having a mascot familiar is a specific class ability choice, one kind of "gimmick" you're specifically building towards. I'm not saying that its good or bad, nor is it the entirety of your build, but that definitely had to thought of well in advance and can't be a thing EVERY wizard can do when they reach that level.

Wonderstell wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
No, when I say it's tough to optimize a combat familiar, I'm specifically talking about the standard, non-Improved Familiar types. Take a cat, or a cockroach, or a goat, or an owl and so on, and try to slap a build around putting them into melee combat with foes; it'll definitely be a challenge, even by L14.
So what you're really after is not to "optimize a familiar" but to "optimize the base form of an animal familiar"? Yeah, that arbitrary limitation would make it harder.

Well, yeah... and it kind of seemed like a similar limitation in the mentions of the goat of death above. Again, making an Improved Familiar into a combat familiar isn't really that much of a challenge.


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The easiest way to make a combat familiar is to be a barbarian and take Wasp Familiar. Full BAB, big Str bonus, loads of hp, flight, poison...what's not to like*? Add archetypes and other feats to taste.

* awful AC is what


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Taking your familiar behind the shed at lv 13 and getting a new Mascot familiar is not a noteworthy commitment. I find your phrasing of "fighting to level 13" odd when the major advantage is that 95% of your build is untouched and you aren't forced into waiting for it to come online. In contrast to taking two levels of Eldritch Guardian Fighter which sets your whole build back two levels.

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Again, making an Improved Familiar into a combat familiar isn't really that much of a challenge.

It's not about Improved Familiars but anything form-altering, no? You don't want a rat transformed into a Gorgon to wreak havoc, but the rat itself. Otherwise you could transform the goat into a better combat form through Shapeless Familiar.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
I've been attacking combat familiar builds from a lot of angles for years now and frankly I just can't figure a way to make it really OP.

IMO the awesome part is that you turn a creature into something it wasn't intended to be. While mauler is an official and obvious option, it's not enough of a change. So there is room to tinker, thankfully.

It doesn't have to be extremely powerful to be awesome. Actually, if it's too powerful, people will rather notice the power level instead of the awesomeness.


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Well, if you want something that just LOOKS cool but isn't super effective in combat? Well, load up on levels of Wizard (Universalist/Arcane Crafter) and maximize your downtime!

L1 Cypher Magic; Scribe Scroll (b); take an Owl familiar
L3 Familiar Spell; Craft Wondrous Item (b)
L5 Reach Spell; Craft Wand (b)

Keep tons of scrolls that you cast at +1 CL; any time you cast these spell completion items on your familiar, they are double duration. Load up your familiar with Enlarge Person, Cat's Grace (familiars can use Dex or Str for attack bonus), Longarm or other Transmutation spells that all last 12 minutes at a time now. Need your familiar to absolutely hit with that Shocking Grasp charge it's holding? Wand of True Strike.

As for looking cool... you've got an Armor, Belt, Chest, Eyes, Head, Headband, Neck, Ring and Wrist slot to work with. You can make cheap stuff for most of those; go crazy! Bracers of Armor are too obvious; how about Sleeves of Many Garments so your familiar can appear to be wearing unique and interesting outfits? Did your wizard take a trait to gain Disable Device as a class skill? What if their owl is wearing Burglar's Bracers?


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Thunder and Fang... who doesn't like TWF with an Earthbreaker?

Throatslicer... this might have been mentioned, but if not... standard action Coup de Grace is pretty neat, regardless of the limited applications.

Letter Fury (Prerequisite: Goblin, rage class feature), because: If someone reads or writes in your presence (including casting spells like glyph of warding or symbol) you can, as an immediate action, choose to activate your rage class ability for 1 round. This round of rage does not count toward the total number of rounds which you can rage each day, but if you wish to continue your rage beyond that single round you must expend rounds from your daily rage allotment as normal. Once you use this feat you must wait at least 1 minute after you cease raging before you can use it again.


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^Thunder and Fang does sound pretty good -- you could get this online by Level 2 if you are a Human Fighter, as long as you don't choose an archetype that trades out 1st level or 2nd level Bonus Combat Feats. If you want to reduce your MADness by not investing so much in Dexterity, you could still get it online by Level 3 if you are a Human Ranger or Slayer.


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If you just want a cool familiar, try getting him heavy armor proficiency via eldritch knight so you have a monkey knight. Personally, I prefer grabbing one level of Wizard:First World caller so I can have a fox that can turn into a canopy troll. But at that point, it's not really cool feats anymore I guess.

I like throat slicer for companion creatures. Do you really want your witch to walk over and slit a throat every time they put someone to sleep, or would you rather have your monkey knight do the job.


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ErichAD wrote:

If you just want a cool familiar, try getting him heavy armor proficiency via eldritch knight so you have a monkey knight. Personally, I prefer grabbing one level of Wizard:First World caller so I can have a fox that can turn into a canopy troll. But at that point, it's not really cool feats anymore I guess.

I like throat slicer for companion creatures. Do you really want your witch to walk over and slit a throat every time they put someone to sleep, or would you rather have your monkey knight do the job.

How does EK give a familiar Heavy Armor Proficiency? This Prestige Class grants no armor proficiency and while the PC gets bonus combat feats, these don't automatically translate to the PC's familiar.


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I should have looked up the archetype name. I meant Eldritch Guardian, the fighter archetype.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Thunder and Fang does sound pretty good -- you could get this online by Level 2 if you are a Human Fighter, as long as you don't choose an archetype that trades out 1st level or 2nd level Bonus Combat Feats. If you want to reduce your MADness by not investing so much in Dexterity, you could still get it online by Level 3 if you are a Human Ranger or Slayer.

Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest can be online by level 3, too.

Using a Weaponplay Ganzi, going with Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 1, can have it online by level 6. Lol.

There's a Magus archetype which uses a shield that I have been meaning to use for a Thunder and Fang build... Skirnir, or something like that.

The Ranger/Slayer route is nice for Shield Master @ 6... makes upgrading your second weapon much cheaper.


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Going more into depth on how soon various things can get Thunder and Fang online:

What you need directly:

What you need indirectly:

    •Weapon Focus needs proficiency with selected weapon (both weapons are Martial, so no problem for most martial classes), base attack bonus +1 (rules out anybody but full BAB classes at 1st level -- hurts for Skirnir Magus unless you dip into a full BAB martial class, possibly with retraining later).
    Dexterity ≳15 (for Two-Weapon Fighting), unless your class or another feat gets you off the hook for this prerequisite -- Ranger and Slayer with the right Combat Style (Faithful of Achaekek/Iomedae/Irori, Thrown Weapon, Two-Weapon Combat, and Weapon and Shield have Two-Weapon Fighting as a feat you can take at 2nd level without having to meet the prerequisites), and Artful Dodge gets you off the hook as long as you have Intelligence ≳15 (on the downside, that's yet another feat that isn't all that good on its own merits).

Fighter (vanilla edition) gets Bonus Combat Feats at 1st and 2nd level, and Human gets a bonus feat at 1st level (on top of the normal 1st level character feat), so if you have Dexterity ≳15 and Strength ≳15, you can get all 3 prerequisite feats at 1st level and Thunder and Fang at 2nd level, which is a good thing since enemies start getting a lot harder to kill at 2nd level than at 1st level. Note that if you have MADness problems and you can afford to wait until 3rd level, you could trade the Human bonus feat for Dual Talent to help meet the ability score prerequisites; alternatively, if you have a use for high Intelligence and Dodge anyway, you could keep the bonus feat but use it on Artful Dodge to get you off the hook for high Dexterity.

Ranger and Slayer are pretty much explained above -- Human can get both Weapon Focus feats at 1st level, Two-Weapon Fighting at 2nd level by choosing the right Combat Style as specified above, and you only need to have Strength ≳15 to be able to get Thunder and Fang at 3rd level. Note that Ranger Combat Style is incompatible with Heavy Armor, whereas vanilla Fighter has no such restriction, but then needs such high Dexterity that you probably wouldn't want Heavy Armor anyway.

Martial classes with no or late Bonus Combat Feats (like Antipaladin/Paladin, Barbarian, Bloodrager, Cavalier, and Magus) would have to wait until 5th level just to get all the prerequisites in, if not dipping Fighter or Ranger/Slayer. Antipaladin/Paladin, Barbarian, and Bloodrager are pretty much in the same bad shape, since none of the Bloodrager Bloodlines offer Thunder and Fang or any of its prerequisite feats as Bonus Feats, unless I missed a weirdo -- these can't get Thunder and Fang before 7th level without dipping. Cavalier and Magus finally get a Bonus Combat Feat at 6th or 5th level, respectively so they bump this forward to 6th or 5th level, respectively. Any of the above classes who isn't Human (or has to use Dual Talent Human) gets delayed to 9th level (except 7th level for Cavalier and Magus). If you ARE doing some kind of dipping followed by retraining, the above levels are the ones at which you can finally retrain out the whole dip.

So the upshot is: Not only is Thunder and Fang a potentially awesome feat, but Fighters, Rangers, and Slayers also definitely earn their place as classes. Seems thematically weird that Shoanti Barbarians don't have an easier way to get Thunder and Fang online quickly. Ulfen and Kellids can get it online much faster as Viking Fighters (although they don't get Heavy Armor proficiency.

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Going more into depth on how soon various things can get Thunder and Fang online:

Ok, but what do you actually get for all those feats? Instead of attacking once for 2d6+6, you get to attack twice: 2d6+4 and 1d6+4, at a -2 penalty, and you get +1 to armor class. That doesn't strike me as a good deal for four feats, really.

Seems to me that if I want something like that, I'd take one level of unchained monk and flurry with a sansetsukon: two attacks for 1d10+6 at no penalty, and saving all those feats.


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Vital Strike for ranged attack

Yeah, I don't think this is a combination people use a lot. Be for crossbows, slings, firearms and thrown weapons, Vital Strike nets you increased damage at the cost of only ONE ammunition.


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Kurald Galain wrote:
Seems to me that if I want something like that, I'd take one level of unchained monk and flurry with a sansetsukon: two attacks for 1d10+6 at no penalty, and saving all those feats.

It generally comes down to personal preference on the feel of the character. If everyone chose the most 'optimal' means of achieving the same results, things would be very boring, very quickly. Some people don't want to play a monk, or use a three-sectioned staff. An angry beat-stick character swiping wildly in their fervor is different than a calculated and disciplined tactical fighter is different than an orderly and highly technical master of a specific fighting style.

For myself, who has played a halfling Fighter(Viking)/Barbarian(Titan-Mauler) that has made use of the Thunder and Fang fighting style (on top of the Vital Strike chain), you don't really mind the -2 to hit so much when you have means to already boost your attacks on an already high BAB. If you attack six times per round, those penalties start to add up but if you are just doing it once or twice, those are the attacks that are likely to hit in the first place.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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DeathlessOne wrote:
It generally comes down to personal preference on the feel of the character.

Nah. If someone posts "this feet is cool" then I agree with you that it's personal preference. But if someone makes a lengthy and verbose post about how some classes are powerful ("definitely earn their place") because they can use a particular combo, then we're actually talking mechanics, and it's fair to point out if the combo isn't really worth the cost, mechanically speaking.


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Balor Whip... because "Get over here!"

Branch Pounce/Death From Above... just good fun.

Hover/Powerful Wings... because rotorwash on hovering monsters is cool.


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Man, there are some freaking gems in here! Some of these leave me wondering how it is possible I didn't know about them earlier.


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Kurald Galain wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Going more into depth on how soon various things can get Thunder and Fang online:

Ok, but what do you actually get for all those feats? Instead of attacking once for 2d6+6, you get to attack twice: 2d6+4 and 1d6+4, at a -2 penalty, and you get +1 to armor class. That doesn't strike me as a good deal for four feats, really.

Seems to me that if I want something like that, I'd take one level of unchained monk and flurry with a sansetsukon: two attacks for 1d10+6 at no penalty, and saving all those feats.

The -2 penalty depends upon whether you are actually using Two-Weapon Fighting at the moment. When fighting something with relatively low AC, use it. When fighting something with high AC, don't use it, and just use the Klar as a shield (which doesn't seem like much at first, but if you get it enchanted, starts to become a big deal(*)). Being able to use a shield while using a weapon that is normally two-handed with one hand but without penalty is pretty good (which also creates a market for Bastard Swords). I you are going to do something often with Shield Bash (like for instance, Shield Slam, which is a MAJOR action economy buff to Bull Rush and thus another awesome feat for this thread), it's good to have the option. The stuff I posted above isn't just hanging out in a vacuum (although to make it look like it wasn't, I would have to make an EVEN LONGER post).

(*)It also opens up Weapon Trick (Weapon and Shield), which has some not too shabby options in it. The lowest-hanging fruit is Block and Counter (requires Two-Weapon Fighting, which you already have) -- if you are up against an opponent who likes to do one humongous attack, you ready an action to get a chance to block it (take that, 2nd Edition Raise Shield!) and then immediately attack them with a pretty back attack of your own The next low-hanging fruit is Shielded View -- the only prerequisite is putting 1 point in Knowledge (Dungeoneering); it won't come up very often, but when it does, it could save your life. Another low-hanging fruit conditional upon your having gone the Artful Dodge route (for getting off the hook for Dexterity ≳15) is Warded Movement -- pass through a foe's threatened space (provided that only you threaten them) without provoking an Attack of Opportunity from them.

That said, now you've got me interested in the Sansetsukon. As far as I can tell, this ties with the Seven-Branched Sword for highest base damage on a weapon that can be used with Flurry of Blows, although the Sansetsukon has Martial proficiency and 19-20/x2 Critical, while the Seven-Branched Sword has Exotic proficiency and 20/x3 Critical. Unfortunately, Monks do not have proficiency with either one by default, but you could get proficiency in Sansetsukon by dipping in . . . Fighter. (If you are Human, you could instead trade the bonus feat for Martial or Exotic proficiency in 2 weapons by way of the Military Tradition alternate racial trait; otherwise, you would have to get Military/Exotic Weapon Proficiency as a feat to get a Monk to be proficient in either of these weapons.)

VoodistMonk wrote:

Balor Whip... because "Get over here!"

{. . .}

I've been looking for something like that! But I wouldn't have thought of searching under that name.

* * * * * * * *

On an unrelated note (but still relevant to the thread): If you're going to be an icer, consider Chilling Amplification. Technically not Metamagic, so it won't slow down your casting if you are a spontaneous caster.


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Burrowing shot is cool. the -2 to a bunch of stuff is fine, but that 25% spell failure chance is really nice.

I like a couple of the story feats.
Never Conquered Forever Feared-a one stop shop for a free action shaken aoe. It doesn't boost the fear effect, but it doesn't prevent other things from boosting it.

Super Natural Spy - being two levels higher for the purpose of calculating arcanist exploit effects can be pretty interesting as it covers several other classes' abilities.


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How did I miss Supernatural Spy? That is really awesome for a caster.

Never Conquered Forever Feared is a great Intimidation action economy booster, which is great if you can also get a way to make Shaken enemies Flat-Footed, like Shatter Defenses, which shouldn't be too tall an order as long as you aren't totally cramped for feats.


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I don't know that I would call it awesome but Symbolic Mastery is a weird little feat you can throw into just about any character with a decent Use Magic Device and a Good Fort save.

Your Holy Symbol now shoots lasers. Number of times per day equal to you Base FORT save. Damage 1d6+ half your ranks in Use Magic Device

The Neat thing is that the damage it inflicts depends on the Domains of the God you worship. so you usually get 3 or 4 different damage types out of it.
For example with Pharasma you get; Cold, Positive, Negative and Untyped (damage reduced to 1d3 + half ranks in UMD)

plus abilities and feats that affect all weapon attacks function as normal with symbolic bolts.

Maybe not awesome but a really neat trick to pull out of your pocket.

Found in Pathfinder Players Companion; Magic Tactics Toolbox


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Greylurker wrote:

I don't know that I would call it awesome but Symbolic Mastery is a weird little feat you can throw into just about any character with a decent Use Magic Device and a Good Fort save.

Your Holy Symbol now shoots lasers. Number of times per day equal to you Base FORT save. Damage 1d6+ half your ranks in Use Magic Device

The Neat thing is that the damage it inflicts depends on the Domains of the God you worship. so you usually get 3 or 4 different damage types out of it.
For example with Pharasma you get; Cold, Positive, Negative and Untyped (damage reduced to 1d3 + half ranks in UMD)

plus abilities and feats that affect all weapon attacks function as normal with symbolic bolts.

Maybe not awesome but a really neat trick to pull out of your pocket.

Found in Pathfinder Players Companion; Magic Tactics Toolbox

The damage of that ability is slightly better than the arcane bolt bloodline power from the sage bloodline. So, it is a feat to replicate a 1st level ability. It's quite bad.


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Nicos wrote:
Greylurker wrote:

I don't know that I would call it awesome but Symbolic Mastery is a weird little feat you can throw into just about any character with a decent Use Magic Device and a Good Fort save.

Your Holy Symbol now shoots lasers. Number of times per day equal to you Base FORT save. Damage 1d6+ half your ranks in Use Magic Device

The Neat thing is that the damage it inflicts depends on the Domains of the God you worship. so you usually get 3 or 4 different damage types out of it.
For example with Pharasma you get; Cold, Positive, Negative and Untyped (damage reduced to 1d3 + half ranks in UMD)

plus abilities and feats that affect all weapon attacks function as normal with symbolic bolts.

Maybe not awesome but a really neat trick to pull out of your pocket.

Found in Pathfinder Players Companion; Magic Tactics Toolbox

The damage of that ability is slightly better than the arcane bolt bloodline power from the sage bloodline. So, it is a feat to replicate a 1st level ability. It's quite bad.

but you can't Vital Strike with the Sage's Arcane Bolt.

and you can with Symbolic Mastery because

Quote:
Abilities and feats that affect all weapon attacks function as normal with symbolic bolts.


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vital strike + symbolic mastery sounds even worse, now you are wasting to feats to do less damage than a single swing of a great sword use that has spent no feat on increasing damage.


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Greylurker wrote:

you can [Vital Strike] with Symbolic Mastery because

Quote:
Abilities and feats that affect all weapon attacks function as normal with symbolic bolts.

No, you can't. Vital Strike doesn't "affect all weapon attacks", it's a triggered ability that requires performing the attack action.


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Scapegoat... because it is both useful and flavorful. Absorbing a curse from someone, curing them, but suffering the curse yourself is a classic. And it is baller AF every time. It's why they call us heroes. It's why we get paid the big bucks. Lol.

Harmonic Sage... because it encourages interacting with the environment. It also encourages the GM to give you detailed descriptions. And ranks in Knowledge Engineering can be useful if one was interested in Sacred Geometry...

Drunken Sing-Along... another one that encourages interaction with the environment. Just silly and fun.

Divine Expression... because it allows/encourages fun multiclassing shenanigans.


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racial heritage(X) the cheese can go on for a long way with this.

examples are:

racial heritage

(stone giant)
for :
stone soul - +1 nat ac and stone skin sla 1/day (can be taken more hen once)

or
(cloud or storm giant)
for:
storm soul - immunity vs electricity ( immune to electricity at level 1!)
and then
storm warrior - +1d6 electricity with melee metal weapons.
(frost giant get something like that for 1d6 cold with natural or unarmed strike and 1 cold if they are hit).

----

for any familiar\companion etc that can manage it (or yourself if you can get it after they made the requirements a lot harsher)
- final embrace horror (require final embrace)
this gem mean that if two grapple checks are made (so constrict activates) - there are so many, many ways to get more then one grapple check up there, then the target get from shaken to frightened (fear effect stacks unless noted otherwise) and is probably also grappled (unless it's a paladin or something immune to fear). this is almost always end game without freedom of movement as being frightened mean no attack = no grapple checks as they are attack rolls which mean only escape artist is available to try and get out of the grapple. how many great escape artists are truly out there?!? (skill check mean even nat 20 is no auto successes, and i usually have this on a very BIG companion with great grapple checks and size bonus etc etc etc)


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zza ni wrote:

----

for any familiar\companion etc that can manage it (or yourself if you can get it after they made the requirements a lot harsher)
- final embrace horror (require final embrace)
this gem mean that if two grapple checks are made (so constrict activates) - there are so many, many ways to get more then one grapple check up there, then the target get from shaken to frightened (fear effect stacks unless noted otherwise) and is probably also grappled (unless it's a paladin or something immune to fear). this is almost always end game without freedom of movement as being frightened mean no attack = no grapple checks as they are attack rolls which mean only escape artist is available to try and get out of the grapple. how many great escape artists are truly out there?!? (skill check mean even nat 20 is no auto successes, and i usually have this on a very BIG companion with great grapple checks and size bonus etc etc etc)

For a PC yes, 100%. For an AC: just this feat alone means being AT LEAST level 9 to hit BAB +6, while also having Int 3, Str 15 and spending 2 of their 4 feats on this tactic. You mention multiple ways of getting 2 grapple checks/round; what are those ways, and what are their requirements? Would the AC qualify?

Right off the bat I can think of Greater Grapple. This requires Improved Unarmed, Improved Grapple, and Dex 13. I don't see any Archetypes that specifically call out improvements to Str or Grappling, so no improvements there. So if you went the Greater Grapple route, the AC would need to be level 10 at least to have enough feats to pick up this chain as well as Final Embrace/FEH.

Now, to qualify for Final Embrace in the first place, the AC would've needed to start with the Constrict ability right off the bat. This gives you the Cameroceras, Prionosuchus, Constrictor Snake, Giant Squid, or the Titanoboa. Granted, I've only just looked at Animal ACs; there might be better options with Plants or the Beast Speaker feat or something.

Anyway, of these the strongest options are the Constrictor Snake and Titanoboa, each of which by level 10 (if they spent advancement points on Int at least once would qualify for all 5 feats by L10. At that point both creatures have a 26 Str and Large size, barring any other items worn/used. All 5 feats plus those stats puts these AC's at Grapple +19.

Now, what's the avg CMD for CR 10 monsters? From my own anecdotal experience planning encounters around there, the range for stock standard foes I've seen is like 30-32, so maybe an average of 31 with outliers either way. If your AC is, on average, hitting a 29-30 with their initial Grapple check and the average CMD you're facing is a 31, isn't the AC missing about half the time or more?

So if you built your AC for this trick you'd likely have spent resources and perhaps your own character's feats/resources/actions on buffing the AC's ability to pull this off consistently.

And a familiar pulling this off? I suppose if you had at least 2 levels in Fighter/Eldritch Guardian and your PC picked up all 5 feats themselves, maybe...


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ways for grapple more then once?
haste for one.
the feat before that make sure he has grab and constrict. that there is at least 2 attacks that can nab a grapple.
hit > grab > grapple > constrict > free action let go. then repeat.

the feat also (as far as the talk on the forum goes so far) give grab and constrict to all his nat attacks so getting more then one nat attack (real easy with spells\items\feats) should do.

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