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Topics - Power

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Board Business / Handbook Discussion, what to do?
« on: Yesterday at 10:39:15 AM »
We've gone back and forth on this situation a bit, and right now everyone can post in the Handbooks forum without a Handbook Discussion thread, but that was based on people being able to post (Continued) into thread titles and having those posts be moved to the top of the thread. But that functionality (if it wasn't done manually) is no longer present. So where do we go from here? Do we try to ensure OPs can add new posts to the top of a handbook or do we move back to dedicated handbook discussion threads? It seems like we may as well go back to the dedicated discussion thread system, which a lot of people have come to expect by now.

I'm asking because I'm contemplating writing some new handbooks.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [PF] Evergreen Seed Pouch
« on: March 14, 2023, 02:27:38 PM »
So, there is an under-the-radar item for Druids, Hunters, and Rangers in Pathfinder:
Price 16,000 gp; Slot none; CL 9th; Weight ½ lb; Aura moderate conjuration
Source Daughters of Fury pg. 59

This leather pouch is decorated with fresh mistletoe and sprigs of holly that are shaped to resemble the druidic symbol of the Green Faith. The pouch contains seeds of various small plants and grasses. When the pouch is used as a divine focus component for a spell that affects or creates plant matter—such as entangle or spike growth—its magic manifests as the pouch opens and the seeds float out. The seeds plant themselves in the ground and instantly grow to create any vegetation or grass that the spell requires to function inside of the spell’s area of effect. The vegetation created by the pouch grows regardless of the terrain, and lasts the full duration of the spell, allowing the user to cast plant-altering or plant-creating spells in deserts, badlands, and other harsh terrains.

Cost 8,000 gp
Craft Wondrous Item, wall of thorns
The original design call is here. It's pretty much identical, but also mentions it can be embroidered with holy symbols of nature gods while this one mentions it just represents the symbol of the green faith. The main thing that is suggested is that this does specifically act as a Druid's divine focus. It doesn't seem to act like a Cleric's divine focus, but there is an open question whether you can use it as an additional divine focus. It is very clear that you can use it with arcane spells if you have the False Focus feat, which is relevant for Skalds and Magaambyan Arcanists, at least. The feat's "Normal: A divine focus has no effect when used as a component in arcane spells." clause also suggests that you can always use a divine focus as part of casting; it just typically doesn't do anything. This is relevant, because not all Druid plant-based spells require a divine focus and the Evergreen Seed Pouch is a useful item for some such spells. But you may want to run that by your GM to be safe.

While Entangle and Spike Growth are already mentioned (and you can enable Entangle with the use of Create Water and Lily Pad Stride easily enough), Plant Growth also stands out as a really good spell to use with this. Pathfinder nerfed Solid Fog from its 3.5 era version but Plant Growth has actually been buffed compared to its 3.5E counterpart, if anything (it now grants +4 to DCs of plant-based spell effects in the area for 1 day).

Anyway, thoughts and ideas?

There is an automatic warning against posting in threads that haven't been posted in for 120 days. I'm pretty sure we don't have any such actual rule and all it's going to do is discourage people from posting on what is already a low activity forum. Does anyone disagree?

So, I've found a neat way to use the Eternal Potion discovery with spells above 3rd level and as a Wizard to boot.

This requires a complete build:
  • Get 19 levels, going Alchemist 4 / Wizard 1 / Brewkeeper 1 (advancing Wizard) / Thuvian Alchemist 3 (advancing Wizard) / Evangelist 10 (advancing Thuvian Alchemist)
  • Make sure to get Favored Prestige Class (Brewkeeper) and Prestigious Spellcaster to cover the dead level in Brewkeeper and the Esoteric Training guild boon from Inner Sea Magic (pg 22) to give yourself +3 caster levels (up to a limit of your HD), including spellcasting progression, to your Wizard. Now you get 9th level spells at level 19.
  • Get the Extend Potion discovery for the prereq using your alchemist or Thuvian Alchemist levels and at level 19 take the Extra Discovery feat and get the Eternal Potion alchemist discovery, since you now have an effective alchemist level of 16 through the combination of Alchemist levels and Thuvian Alchemist levels.
  • Create a draught of  using Brewkeeper 1's Distilled Spells ability. Note that only Alchemist extracts function as if enhanced by the Infusion discovery. Spellcasting converted into a draught does not carry this mechanic and instead requires you to be able to make a potion or oil of that spell otherwise if it didn't have the level limit and explicitly "functions as a potion or oil." This allows us to use our draught with the Eternal Potion discovery for a permanent duration spellcast.
  • Drink the draught and apply the Eternal Potion discovery.
Yep, permanent duration spells.

I'd recommend the Mindchemist archetype for the Alchemist. As for your 20th level after this, I recommend you take Loremaster and use your monster int bonus at this point to immediately unlock a bonus feat for the monstrously powerful Secret of Magical Discipline feat. If you are playing a Half-Elf you can also Paragon Surge for an extra Secret of Magical Discipline use. At that stage, at level 20, you would have permanent Time Stop (or permanent duration anything else if you prefer) and able to cast all the spells in the game (except Fey Boon or Fey Blight, which have no spell level). So your lvl20 build should be looking like this: Mindchemist Alchemist 4 / Wizard 1 / Brewkeeper 1 / Thuvian Alchemist 3 / Evangelist 10 / Loremaster 1

It's also possible to just be a straight lvl16 Alchemist and have someone else with the Brewkeeper prestige class (like a cohort through the Leadership feat) give you a draught of whatever you want, but I'm trying to do it all in 1 character here. You can also forgo Evangelist and just be Alchemist 6 / Wizard 1 / Thuvian Alchemist 10 / Brewkeeper 1 but you only get 9th level spells at level 20 assuming you have Esoteric Training and Prestigious Spellcaster (which you get ahead of time). But this route does give you Loremaster 1 at level 19 which lets you get both the bonus feat secret and a regular feat giving you 2x Secret of Magical Discipline and you can still dip another PrC at level 20 (probably Cyphermage 1 for Insightful Scroll using a Corset of Delicate Moves). This variation is better at level 20 but doesn't have 9th level spells at level 19 so take your pick.

You Break it You Buy it / [PF] Infinite Time Stop
« on: January 01, 2023, 05:08:42 PM »
Does anyone else have more ways to pull an infinite Time Stop off? I've got two so far.

We'll start with the most basic one.Simple and effective. Go rest up and recover spell slots, unless you're a divine spellcaster who needs a specific time of day to recharge spells, but then you can use 2 9th level Pearls of Power or Runestones of Power with your infinite time to recharge everything. Simple and potent. As a bonus point lifespan doesn't matter inside a timeless demiplane either and while normally the difference in time between your timeless plane and the outer world makes you age to death, here it wouldn't because no time passes by. With some means of applying Extend Spell (Magical Lineage magic trait, Runekeeper PrC, Greater Metamagic Rod of Extend Spell, etc.) and infinite magic you can probably also use a fresh Time Stop to hop outside your demiplane for a turn or two, do something, hop back in, and refresh. You can also use the timeless plane for unending Paragon Surge to get any of the item crafting feats to craft all the magic items you want while you're at it.

Also pretty easy, but requires 10 mythic tiers:And that's about the size of it. You can't rest but you still recover everything that recovers every day without rest. The only issue here, provided you fulfill the prerequisite, is to avoid aging to death. Presumably you have a Miracle or Wish up your sleeves to give yourself a Cyclic Reincarnation or something (or perhaps you just have Cyclic Reincarnation) while you convert infinite time into infinite money. You can also bring up to 5 other people into the Time Stop with you.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [PF] Kitsune Star Gems
« on: December 10, 2022, 04:12:16 PM »
Guys, it's time to talk about a fun and PFS legal crazy item dating all the way back to the Advanced Race Guide, the Kitsune Star Gem:
Price 750 gp (1st), 3,000 gp (2nd), 6,750 gp (3rd); Slot none; CL 1st (1st), 3rd (2nd), or 5th (3rd); Weight -; Aura faint transmutation
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 193

This magical jewel glows like faerie fire, shedding light as a candle. It acts as pearl of power, except it only allows a kitsune to recover a spent use of a spell-like ability of the appropriate spell level.

Cost 375 gp (1st), 1,500 gp (2nd), or 3,375 gp (3rd)
Craft Wondrous Item, creator must be a kitsune
:twitch Okay, so it's an extra-cheap Pearl of Power for SLAs of 1st to 3rd level. Notice that it does not require this to be a racial SLA or a SLA from racial feats. Any SLA is fine, so long as it is between 1st to 3rd level. Moreover, you are only 1 DC25 UMD check away from counting as a Kitsune for the purposes of activating a magic item (see here), so the racial prerequisite is a nonissue. :lol

Now, according to a June 2011 FAQ, unique SLAs granted by spellcasting classes have spell levels equal to the highest level spell a character of that class would've been able to cast at the level when they first gain that SLA (for example, 1st level Sorcerer bloodline SLAs, which you can get through Eldritch Heritage, are 1st level spells, as are 1st level Cleric domain SLAs, which you can get through Believer's Boon). So, clearly we need to have a proper thread dedicated to hashing out the silliness possible with this spell.

Some classic stunts with this include playing an Aasimar with the Heavenly Radiance feat where you can recharge your Daylight spell-like ability and expend its use to get a Sunbeam or something, but there's no real impetus to do that, especially as you will have enough daily uses by the time you can use it to make Sunbeam anyway. You can similarly use it with the Shadow's Embrace feat to make the Shadowdancer's Shadow Illusion (a Silent Image SLA) give the benefits of Darkness instead for a cheap way to get more Darkness castings, but that's not too impressive either.

One of the more basic uses of this is to get a single use of Divine Favor (Student of Sulunai, Minor Miracle, Pantheistic Blessing, Faith Singer Bard) and give yourself extra daily uses. Similarly, Haagenti's 1st Sentinel boon from Fiendish Obedience (can also be obtained with Damned Soldier instead of the PrC, giving you the SLA at 12, and there aren't even any alignment prereqs, which is extra fun because Haagenti masquerades as a rather helpful inventor so you can work a story for a non-evil worshiper quite easily) gives 2/day Alchemical Allocation as a SLA, which is extremely useful and easily worth getting more daily uses out of with 2nd-level Kitsune Star Gems.

When it comes to spells, pretty much every 1st level spell can be obtained as a spell-like ability by using the Minor Spell Expertise or Spell Hex feats. The Spell Hex feat has it better as it can be used to copy spells with expensive material and focus components, has a far superior DC, and can be combined with hex-boosting options, like feats and rods, providing you stunts like the Split Hex feat to target two enemies with 1 casting and the Rod of Potent Hexes to double its damage dealt. There is even the ludicrously expensive Rod of Abrupt Hexes (a plain Lesser Metamagic Rod of Quicken Spell is less than half the price of that) for a way to obtain swift action hexing.

For SLAs of 2nd or 3rd level, the Major Spell Expertise feat also works (but if you have 9th level spells, probably stunting around with Kitsune Star Gems is not where it's at for improving your character power) and the Exalted prestige class obtains an entire domain as spell-like abilities (as does the Faith Singer Bard, but only up to 5th level). The various Obedience boons can also be used to get various SLAs of 1st to 3rd level, which means that the various Obedience prestige classes can get a fair bit better for a lot of deities by using Kitsune Star Gems to boost SLA uses. By the way, remember that unless an exception is specifically detailed, a SLA will use charisma-based DCs, even if you are not a cha-based caster.

Since this is a SLA focused build, it is worth keeping in mind ways to make your SLAs do more for you. The following feats will let you apply metamagics to SLAs in limited fashion:
These are regarded as Monster feats (as is the Ability Focus feat that gives +2 to DC) by way of a rather dubious FAQ retcon which didn't like the new feats added in Pathfinder RPG Bestiary and insisted they were only for monsters despite the Bestiary throwing Craft Construct in the middle of those feats and never making any caveat that some of these feats are not available for player usage, and later the Horror Adventures book was used to cement the retcon FAQratta as if it were always the rule. Regardless, players can still take them "with GM permission" even according to Horror Adventures, so it rather sounds like a raging case of someone not liking what options the Bestiary added and trying to ban/undo it with yet another dubious "clarification" so as to effectively obtain an errata without writing one. I think it was actually primarily one of those many Monk-hating FAQrattas earlier in PF's run, back when Jason Bulmahn (and Sean K Reynolds) were going on about how they don't like Monks and haven't figured out the Monk's role yet but did know they weren't supposed to be good damage dealers (ie. Monks, a dedicated mundane combat class, should be a waste of space because their bonus feats, three good saves, and wis to AC are so amazing, but meanwhile they had no problem with Paladins getting giant saves, self-healing, giant damage-dealing buffs, and more, so basically this was about class favoritism, not any form of balance) so that Monks could be banned from taking Improved Natural Attack to enhance their unarmed strike or Ability Focus to enhance their Stunning Fist (which are largely considered must-have feats for the class), along with FAQratta nerfing (followed by fullblown errata) brass knuckles, cestus, gauntlets, etc. from functioning like unarmed strikes (as their text indicates) every single time so that Monks couldn't use them to obtain enchanted fists without AoMF. Didn't stop yet another such item, handwraps, from being printed in 2018 though, but that was after they had finally largely stopped trying to keep Monks from being useful, and they still PFS banned that one.

Aside from the above, it is also possible to get SLAs off with weapon attacks by using the Conductive and Spell Storing weapon properties. When it comes to SLAs you might take advantage of that way, 1st level Sorcerer bloodline powers are an easy pick, and if you are using them incessantly with Conductive and Spell Storing weapons the appeal of carrying a bunch of 1st level Kitsune Star Gems to give you massive amounts of uses is pretty straightforward.

Anyway, made a dedicated thread, so by all means feel free to weigh in and post some ideas.

So here's an old and rather well-known infinite attack loop I thought I may as well document in the forum:

Get a quickdraw shield (which can be equipped as a free action if you have Quick Draw) with the throwing property (which allows you to unequip and throw the shield as a free action), get the Quick Draw feat, and use either Ricochet Toss (use Martial Focus if you do not have the Weapon Training feature) or a Blinkback Belt. In essence you throw, draw, equip, and throw again, ad infinitum, using only free actions.

You Break it You Buy it / [PF] A very simple infinite Limited Wish loop
« on: September 16, 2022, 09:39:34 AM »
Take a Bard, Skald, or Argent Dramaturge with the Music Beyond the Spheres masterpiece, use the Limited Wish to obtain a Shadowbard spell, and command the Shadowbard to start a new Music Beyond the Spheres masterpiece performance each round, creating more Shadowbards as each runs out.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [PF] Untrained Skill Optimization
« on: May 18, 2022, 08:39:54 AM »
Wondering if anyone can help out there. How high can you push untrained skillchecks in PF? If you're a Human, you can take Fast Learner (prereq), Improvisation, and Improved Improvisation to get +4 to all untrained skillchecks and be able to do every skillcheck untrained. The Evangelist prestige class also lends you a +4 bonus to untrained skillchecks (but does not allow you to make all skillchecks untrained). The combination of the PrC and feats (which will put you down 4 feats total) will let you make any skillcheck untrained with a +8 bonus.

The Worldly social trait lets you roll twice and take the best result on any untrained skillcheck 1/day (but it's inferior to the Inspired faith trait which lets you roll twice and take the best result on any skill or ability check).

General spell buffs:
One-off bonuses:

Seems like you can get at least a solid +10 to all untrained skillchecks pretty easily between Heroism, Improved Improvisation, and Evangelist.

Does anyone know of anything else that buffs untrained skillchecks specifically or broad categories of skillchecks?

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / The Pathfinder Ubercharger
« on: April 09, 2022, 05:53:32 PM »
May as well mention these stunts now:

Take a lance, which does double damage while charging with a mount (3x with Spirited Charge) and make it a +1 throwing lance, which lets you apply the Named Bullet spell since our lance is now a thrown weapon (maybe using Ascendant Spell at high levels for the extra crit multiplier, and if you are buffing pre-combat, using Sure Casting and Piercing Spell metamagic is probably a decent way to make spell resistance irrelevant), and use the Charging Hurler feat so that you can throw the lance as part of a charge. Probably a Belt of Mighty Hurling would do good too.

Now the lance is a ranged touch attack to hit the target that is an automatic critical threat, for an easy guaranteed 9x damage (12x with Ascendant Spell on Named Bullet) and a 3x damage on your named bullet damage (9x if it was a nat 20 roll).

Clearly this isn't enough for us, so we should get pounce somehow (4 levels of Weretouched Shifter or 11 levels of Barbarian with greater beast totem rage power), obtain Ricochet Toss (use Martial Focus if not a Fighter) or use a Blinkback Belt (2H weapons like lances do not fit in the belt), and throw the lance iteratively because the FAQ only prohibits getting the lance multiplier on iterative pounce attacks on the rather reasonable basis that you are aborting your momentum while collecting iteratives with a lance attack, but that means as a thrown lance attack you are still charging towards your enemy while making iteratives so maintaining charge momentum on your follow-up attacks is not a problem. Moreover, we can use Two-Weapon Fighting to throw a lance with each limb, so if we play a Kasatha race character (with 4 arms) and take Multiweapon Fighting, we can throw 4 +1 throwing named bullet lances with a pounce for 9x damage each before we even consider what we do with our remaining iteratives, haste, Rapid Shot, etc.

Anyway, I guess an 11th level character doing this sort of thing will get 10 lance attacks, 4 of which are basically auto-crit. That's pretty good, but if we add a Cyclops Helm we can make it 5 auto-crits, which is better. If we get multiple cyclops helms we can just put on a fresh helm after each combat, which is pretty nice too. And considering these are all ranged attacks, we don't need to target the same foe with every lance attack, so probably we can clear out an entire encounter in one charge.

Of course, once you use a Cyclops Helm I'd be remiss to not note that you can just auto-kill enemies with a +1 heart-piercing bow (or arrow, for 1/50th the price) or +1 vorpal weapon and declaring your die roll to be a 20 for a no roll instakill.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [PF] Catatonia spell
« on: March 21, 2022, 03:27:38 PM »
So, Paizo printed a spell that allows you to target creatures as if they were objects:

Source Occult Adventures pg. 161
School necromancy; Level alchemist 2, arcanist 3, bard 2, cleric 3, investigator 2, medium 2, mesmerist 2, oracle 3, psychic 3, skald 2, sorcerer 3, spiritualist 2, warpriest 3, witch 3, wizard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components S
Range touch
Target willing creature touched
Duration 1 hour/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes
You touch the target and place it into a deathlike state that persists for the duration. The target appears to be dead, and any creature that interacts with the target must succeed at a DC 20 Heal check to recognize it is actually alive.

Until the spell ends, the target counts as if it were dead for the purpose of resolving any effects that target or affect only living creatures, but it doesn’t count as undead. The subject is helpless, and can still be killed normally.

Any effect that would bring the creature back to life or animate it as an undead fails, but ends the catatonia. The target can be affected by spells that affect only objects, including animate objects (if the creature is Small) and teleport object. However, anything that would cause the body to change form (such as shrink item) fails and ends the catatonia. This doesn’t prevent the effects of spells that simply deal damage or otherwise destroy objects.

I'm wondering how we can go about taking advantage of that?

Right now all I can think of are permanent Invisibility and Obscure Object. It seems you can use it with Mending cantrip spam to fully heal someone, provided you first polymorph them into a small or tiny shape (Reduce Person works wonders), then cast Catatonia, then spam Mending?

So here's a crazy combo, which requires a 3 character lineup. It gives infinite standard actions and spells in 1 turn (also infinite ki, rage, arcane pool, channel energy, bardic performance, extracts, grit, and smite evil, if you want), to be distributed at your leisure to an infinite amount of targets. Obtaining infinite resources requires build setup for the person in question, but infinite actions can be handed out to anyone without any requirements on their part.

First, we start with our Sensei Monk of the Four Winds. A Monk of the Four Winds at 12th level gets the following ability.:
Quote from: Monk of the Four Winds
Slow Time (Su): At 12th level, a monk of the four winds can use his ki to slow time or quicken his movements, depending on the observer. As a swift action, the monk can expend 6 ki points to gain three standard actions during his turn instead of just one. The monk can use these actions to do the following: take a melee attack action, use a skill, use an extraordinary ability, or take a move action. The monk cannot use these actions to cast spells or use spell-like abilities, and cannot combine them to take full-attack actions. Any move actions the monk makes this turn do not provoke attacks of opportunity. This ability replaces abundant step.
That lets him convert a swift (and his standard) action into obtaining 3 limited standard actions. It does cost 6 ki points though, although we could reduce it with one or more Rings of Ki Mastery. A Monk can equip 5 of them with 2 ring slots, 1 Hand of Glory necklace, and 2 Ten-Ring Swords and still be able to flurry with unarmed strikes (or the ten-ring swords, which are in fact monk weapons), which would reduce the ki cost to 1, but we shouldn't need that much reduction anyway.

At any rate, we can tweak this ability by combining this archetype with the compatible Sensei archetype, which gets the following ability:
Quote from: Sensei Monk
Mystic Wisdom (Su): At 6th level, a sensei may use his advice ability when spending points from his ki pool to activate a class ability (using the normal actions required for each) in order to have that ability affect one ally within 30 feet rather than the sensei himself. At 10th level, a sensei may affect all allies within 30 feet rather than himself (spending points from his ki pool only once, not once for each target).

At 10th level, a sensei may instead spend 1 point from his ki pool (as a swift action) while using advice to provide a single ally within 30 feet with evasion, fast movement, high jump, purity of body, or slow fall. At 14th level, a sensei may spend 2 points to grant one of the abilities listed above to all allies within 30 feet, or diamond body, diamond soul, or improved evasion to a single ally within 30 feet. These abilities function at the sensei’s level and last 1 round. This ability replaces the bonus feats at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.
Seeing as the Monk needs 12th level for Slow Time, he will always give Slow Time to all allies in 30 feet, which is good stuff.

This brings us to our friendly friend, the Constable Cavalier, who gets this ability:
Instant Order (Ex): At 11th level, a constable can bark an order to an ally within 30 feet as a standard action. That ally can instantly take a single move or standard action to comply with the order. Taking the action dazes the ally for 1 round afterward. At 20th level, the constable can use this ability as a move action, but no more than once per round. This ability replaces mighty charge and supreme charge.
Our Cavalier is not yet 20th level, so he can use this ability as many times as he has standard actions. And as this is an extraordinary ability, he can use this with the 3 bonus standard actions he gets from Slow Time. So long as he orders the Monk once, the Monk gets an extra standard action, which he can convert into a swift action (by using a "Ready An Action" - which is a standard action - to ready a swift action (which is explicitly a valid option for readying actions) to go off immediately), letting him use Slow Time again. The constable still has 2 more standard actions to inspire someone else with.

This brings us to our third friend, the Irori-worshiping Cleric with either 1 level of Pathfinder Field Agent for the Ki Pool Rogue Talent or the Perfect Style feat, who also happens to have the Ki Channel feat, which lets a Cleric heal people for Ki points equal to their positive energy dice instead of healing their health (8d6 at class level 17, +2d6 with a Phylactery of Positive Channeling), which covers multiple uses of Slow Time easily enough. We use a single level of Veiled Illusionist to add Greater Shadow Conjuration to the Cleric spell list. If the Cleric has 17th level casting (ie a 17th level char with Perfect Style, or 18 with the Field Agent dip, but we can subtract 2 levels if we use a Candle of Invocation to be treated as 2 levels higher). We use Greater Shadow Conjuration to get Major Creation as a standard action, which we will use to create a giant volume of Tea of Transference (which is conveniently nonmagical and comprised of vegetable matter (spirit of wine), crystal (realgar), and precious metal (gold)), making the DC 20 Craft (Alchemy) (or a suitable Profession check, if the GM allows) check, which at this point with just raw ranks cannot be failed on a 1 anyway. Naturally, we will voluntarily fail our saving throw against our Greater Shadow Conjuration. After that we pick up a cup of tea with a move action, drink it with a standard action, and get another channel energy or restore any depleted spell slot of 7th level or lower (which gives us infinite spellcasting too).

The exact action loop would probably be something like: Monk burns through 2x Slow Time using his own swift and standard action (maybe use a Corset of Delicate Moves for the 2nd Slow Time using up his move action), giving us 6x Instant Order actions and 6x Slow Time actions on the Monk and Cleric, which leaves us with our Constable reserving 1x Instant Order for another Slow Time, and 5x to be used as we will. Cleric uses 1 Instant Order to create a lot of cups' worth of tea (down to 4 Instant Orders), then uses a move action to take a cup of tea (as this is a move action, this does not use a constable action, but uses one of the 6 Slow Time actions that the Cleric gets, which are now down to 5), then uses another Instant Order action (to sidestep any debate on whether or not drinking the tea and transferring the ki point to restore a channel or spell counts as an extraordinary action) to restore the Greater Shadow Conjuration (down to 3 Instant Orders), uses a Ki Channel (down to 2 Instant Orders) to restore enough ki for 2 Slow Time actions (assuming only 1 Ring of Ki Mastery is used) as well as restore his own ki pool to full, takes another cup of tea (Cleric is down to 4 Slow Time actions), drinks it to restore Channel Energy (down to 1 Instant Order). That leaves us with 4 Slow Time actions on the Cleric, 6 Slow Time actions on the Monk, 6 Slow Time actions on anyone else the monk chose to pump, and 1 Instant Order remaining, which can be used for another Slow Time, resetting the loop, only we don't need to cast Greater Shadow Conjuration and restore the slot every loop, which saves us 2 instant orders (and 1 slow time action), which we can spend at our leisure to give anyone extra standard actions.

And now we have a whole party with infinite actions and a Cleric with infinite spellcasting.

Incidentally, if the dazed condition inflicted by the Constable proves to be a problem, you can always replace the Constable with a Dawnflower Dervish Bard (or any class, really) prestiged into 9 levels of Pathfinder Chronicler UMDing a scroll of Shadowbard, which he will direct with move actions from Slow Time to Inspire Action on anyone (alternatively the Bard can use his own move actions to Inspire Action, but then we'll need to use Perfect Style, 2 levels of Ninja, or the Negotiator or Archeologist Bard archetype for the ki pool rogue talent, and make our Chronicler drink tea for rounds of Bardic Performance too), since using the Slow Time standard action to take a move action is a separate option from using an extraordinary ability, and these are indeed move actions. Incidentally, if our Chronicler is a tea-drinker too, then if he worships Tsukiyo and uses Deific Obedience with Diverse Obedience, he can get a Smite Evil (from the 2nd Sentinel boon) which he can replenish for infinite smite evil uses. That's honestly irrelevant when you have infinite attacks and actions before the rest of the world ever gets a turn but hey.

General D&D Discussion / What are the real party roles of D&D?
« on: March 01, 2022, 04:05:05 PM »
When you ask about party roles, people often operate in terms of a stupid Fighter/Wizard/Cleric/Thief dichotomy, but we all know there are tons of parties that use different lineups that work just fine. I'm wondering what the real party roles of the game are, and probably we should split it into combat and non-combat party roles.

One thing that occurs to me, for instance, is that Tank is not a real party role. This is because D&D is not a MMORPG and there is no real aggro mechanic to force enemies to attack you (unless we're counting Mass Suggestion, perhaps), so unless your GM is stupidly accommodating by making enemies attack whoever is insulting them at the moment instead of acting like the intelligent beings they are supposed to be, the idea of stacking survival and expecting enemies to just focus their efforts on attacking you does not really exist. What does exist, however, is the front-liner role, which sums up what keeping your party members from harm (as a martial class) is really about much more effectively. Being a front-liner really consists of two parts: (1) standing in front and (2) making it a pain in the ass for enemies to get past you and reach your allies behind you.

So what would we say are the real party roles of D&D, exactly?


So, Pathfinder decided to redo its Demonic Obedience into Fiendish Obedience (and sometimes into Deific Obedience) and gave a lot of demon lords extra sets of powers for worshiping them. The new Evangelist and Sentinel boons can be obtained through Damned Disciple and Damned Soldier feats, as well as through the Demoniac/Souldrinker/Diabolist prestige classes, which all let you choose which set of boons you want. Incidentally, Diabolist has been massively nerfed (Imp companion has been destroyed, 1st level no longer advances spellcasting, and now requires LE instead of LN, LE, or NE) and Souldrinker slightly nerfed (mostly with regard to using soul points for staff recharging and the capstone SLAs, but using it for magic item creation is actually buffed). In addition to that, you can take the regular Evangelist, Exalted, and Sentinel prestige classes to advance Fiendish Obedience, but with a special nerf, unlike the same allowances that are made for Fey Obedience and Monitor Obedience (which do not elevate the prereqs of those PrCs when used to advance them). Here is what Book of the Damned has to say:
Quote from: Book of the Damned, pg. 3
While the Hit Dice at which you gain boons via Fiendish Obedience or Deific Obedience (from Inner Sea Gods) are identical, the prestige classes in Inner Sea Gods (the evangelist, exalted, and sentinel) that allow accelerated boon achievement have lower entrance requirements than the prestige classes in this book. As a result, if you wish to use one of those three prestige classes for a character who wishes to gain the boons presented by one of the fiendish divinities in this book, increase the requirements for entry into evangelist, exalted, or sentinel so that a character must be 7th level before selecting the class, as summarized below.
  • Evangelist: Base attack bonus +7, 7 ranks in a skill other than Knowledge (religion), or ability to cast 4th-level spells.
  • Exalted: Diplomacy 7 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 7 ranks, ability to cast 4th-level divine spells.
  • Sentinel: Base attack bonus +7.

There are a few cases where Deific and Fiendish Obedience give the same reward (like Asmodeus and Mahathallah), making this kinda ridiculous, and a few other cases where they have both sets, but with different rewards for each (Lamashtu, Mephistopheles, Moloch, Geryon).


So Sifkesh now has the following Evangelist boon which seems rather interesting:
2: Blasphemer’s Piety (Ex) Your blasphemous soul adapts effortlessly to reflect the convictions of others. When you are targeted by an effect based on alignment or patron deity, you can choose to be treated as having the alignment and faith of the creature originating the effect (you don’t need to know that creature’s alignment or faith to make this choice). You can also be treated as having the faith of your target or targets when using a spell or effect dependent on patron deity. Making this choice does not require an action, or even awareness that you are being targeted (in which case the ability always functions as best benefits the character in that situation). In addition, you can select feats, traits, and other options dependent on worship of particular deities as though you were a worshiper of those deities. Once per week, you can choose to perform the obedience of any lawful or good deity with which you are familiar instead of Sifkesh’s obedience. This still grants you your normal benefits from Sifkesh, not those from the other faith.

In brief: You count as the religion and alignment of any creature that is targeting you (unless you don't want to), and if you are targeting them with an effect dependent on deity, you can count as their religion also. Also, you can use any option for any deity as if you worship them. Lastly, you can copy another deity's obedience ritual 1/week and still get Sifkesh's benefits.

Annoyingly, you cannot take options as if your alignment were other than it is (so anything that requires your alignment to match or be within 1 step of deity will still stop you), and a magic item that operates on its own (rather than being used by a creature, which makes for a creature originating the effect) will still expose you (but you can just use UMD for that, although the GM might also require you to make the appropriate Perception check first).

So, I'm wondering about how to go about taking advantage of this, and if anyone has ideas, by all means feel free to share them. Probably the first idea that comes to mind is probably taking an extra Deific/Celestial/Fey/Monitor Obedience feat, but if you aren't a Cleric (or using Evangelist/Exalted/Sentinel PrCs), nothing is actually stopping you from legitimately worshiping more than 1 deity in the first place (Blood of the Coven, for instance, establishes the presence of people who prefer to worship 3 deities, and there are other feats for worshiping pantheons as well, like Pantheistic Blessing) so there's no need to fake worship as one of Sifkesh's devoted.

What does stand out to me though, is using this to take advantage of those deities that give classes access to extra spells and other options. That doesn't even take a feat or anything, just worship, and you qualify as worshiping them alright.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [PF] Ways to acquire Stalwart
« on: February 16, 2022, 01:13:50 PM »
Thought it might be worthwhile to try to create a master list of sources for these perks in PF. Stalwart is "If you can make a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, you instead avoid the effect entirely." For the purposes of this list, any feature that provides these benefits will be listed, rather than ones that explicit say Stalwart or directly lift its rules text.

List of sources for Stalwart:
  • Inquisitor 11: Regular Stalwart, except when wearing heavy armor, but with mithral armor being a thing that's not really an issue.
  • Mammoth Rider 10: Regular Stalwart.
  • Green Knight Cavalier 9: Regular Stalwart
  • Student of War 3: It's a 1/day immediate action with an extra daily use for every 3 levels of Student of War thereafter, but it works on will, fort, and reflex saves. That's an improvement on Evasion which only applies to damage.
  • Technomancer 8: Only against technological effects and does not work when flatfooted, but also applies to reflex saves.
  • Vindictive Bastard Paladin 12: Regular Stalwart.
  • Oath of the Skyseeker Paladin 14: Regular Stalwart.
  • Ironskin Monk 2: Fort saves only, and only when wearing light or no armor.
  • Zealot Vigilante 12: Regular Stalwart. The archetype is basically playing a nerfed Inquisitor, really.
  • Sacred Fist Warpriest 3: Fort saves only. This archetype is basically Monk+, even after they nerfed FoB to no longer give full BAB.
  • Skyseeker 9: Regular Stalwart, except when wearing heavy armor, but with mithral armor being a thing that's not really an issue (bizarre limitation though, considering the PrC gives heavy armor proficiency).
  • Twist Away: A pretty crazy feat. Requires evasion (and only evasion), and what it does is that as an immediate action you can substitute your reflex save for a fort save, ignoring the effect entirely on a successful save, but you are staggered next turn and you are not allowed to ignore the staggered condition or remove it early. No use limit. If you use the Experimental Spellcaster feat to get the Accelerate word of power, you get an extra move action each round, rendering the staggered condition much more tolerable.
Easiest dip so far is Ironskin Monk 2 (assuming you have Racial Heritage to count as a Hobgoblin), but Twist Away with a Ring of Evasion seems good too. And there is also a weirdo/honorable mention in the form of Escapologist Rogue 8, which can use Escape Artist skillchecks (at a -10 penalty) as an immediate action in place of a reflex roll and avoid the effect entirely on a success (not just damage, but the entire effect), but you are staggered next round if you do this.

If you have any more sources for Stalwart or similar effects (including for Reflex saves), let me know.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [PF] Full Pouch spell
« on: August 07, 2021, 12:29:40 PM »
Time to make a thread dedicated to the crazy spell that is Full Pouch:
Source Arcane Anthology pg. 20
School transmutation; Level alchemist 2, arcanist 2, bard 2, druid 2, hunter 2, inquisitor 3, investigator 2, occultist 3, ranger 3, skald 2, sorcerer 2, wizard 2
Casting Time 1 swift action
Components V, S, M (alchemical reagents or herbs worth 1 gp)
Range touch
Target 1 object touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (object); Spell Resistance no
You cast this spell as you draw out a consumable alchemical item to use. The object must be an alchemical item, but not a dose of disease, a poison, a magic potion, or another type of consumable item. The item divides itself into two nearly identical copies and the newly separated one is delivered into your hand. The new item functions as the original in all ways except the copied item suffers a slight reduction in quality. Saves against the new alchemical item’s affects [sic] use the original item’s save DC or the save DC of this spell, whichever is higher.

So, for 1 swift action and 1 gp (if you use False Focus you can waive this cost as an arcane spellcaster, if you take Eschew Materials you can waive this 1 gp cost on any caster, and if you wear a 5k gp Robe of Components you can cast it 50 times per day before dipping into your own pockets), you can make a permanent copy of any alchemical item, and have it upgrade to the save DC of the spell instead of the item too.

I think it's pretty unambiguous that the following lists constitute alchemical items:
There are also two more lists that include clearly contain alchemical items:
Somewhat more ambiguous is whether Herbs count as alchemical items. At the least, it seems reasonable to assert that the herbs that require processing with Craft (Alchemy) constitute alchemical items in their processed form. (Incidentally, as vegetable matter, you can recreate herbs with Minor Creation, including through usage of Greater Shadow Conjuration, which is obtainable on any full spellcaster through the Veiled Illusionist PrC. Of course, this does not work for herbs you want to use as material components.)

Fungal Grafts may or may not count as alchemical items, but they are not consumables (as grafts remain an active part of the user) so they are not valid targets regardless.

Drugs are a more unusual topic. They do explicitly constitute alchemical items (see Drugs and Addiction: "Drugs are alchemical items") so they should work fine, but owing to how drugs parallel and employ the poison rules for some of their mechanics, there are GMs that will houserule that drugs qualify as poison for rules purposes (which would also mean that taking drugs causes a Paladin to fall, as using poison is a code of conduct violation), even though PF always distinguishes drugs from poisons (and at no point says anywhere that drugs are to be treated as poisons), so that is something to bear in mind. Then there is another side of the argument, which is that drug addiction is explicitly a disease, and therefore a dose of drug can also be treated as a dose of disease (which is an invalid target for Full Pouch), which would be an interesting argument to make (Is the disease of addiction considered part of what the drug dose is carrying or a reaction on the user's part to the drug? At any rate, drugs certainly aren't conventionally classified as disease doses). Lawyering and house rules aside, it seems like drugs would be a valid target for Full Pouch also, since they are indeed consumable alchemical items and not counted among either poisons or diseases, but it looks like the saving throw DCs against addiction would be raised to Full Pouch's DC, but at least you can use the spell to make a copy of Antiplague for a +5 alchemical bonus to fortitude saves vs disease before imbibing drugs, and don't forget you can always cast a spell with a lower DC, as if casting with the minimum spellcasting ability score required to be able to cast spells of that level (ie. you can go down to DC13 unless you're Inquisitor or Ranger, in which case it's DC14). You can also just wear a Periapt of Health which will render you immune to all diseases. If you are going to use drugs, you may want to use Amp to boost the drug's effects.

Clearly, this spell has a lot of potential to do things for you, so I figure we may as well make a thread about what would be some good uses of Full Pouch.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [Pathfinder] Ultimate Paragon Surge
« on: January 05, 2021, 04:25:26 PM »
Welp. Here's a thread to tackle the question of "How much further can we take Paragon Surge?" Enjoy.

As a point of reference, here is the Paragon Surge spell:
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 48
School transmutation (polymorph); Level alchemist 3, arcanist 3, bloodrager 3, cleric 3, investigator 3, magus 4, medium 3, oracle 3, paladin 4, red mantis assassin 3, sorcerer 3, warpriest 3, witch 3, wizard 3 (half-elf)
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range personal (half-elf only)
Target you
Duration 1 minute/level
You surge with ancestral power, temporarily embodying all the strengths of both elvenkind and humankind simultaneously, and transforming into a paragon of both races, something greater than elf or human alone. Unlike with most polymorph effects, your basic form does not change, so you keep all extraordinary and supernatural abilities of your half-elven form as well as all of your gear.

For the duration of the spell, you receive a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity and Intelligence and are treated as if you possessed any one feat for which you meet the prerequisites, chosen when you cast this spell. The first time each day that you cast this spell, you must select a feat and make all the associated choices that come with it. Once that choice is made, it is set for the day and additional castings must make the exact same decisions.

Now, Paragon Surge has an unfortunate nerf that we can only have one feat all day. We need to remedy that, and Emergency Attunement is just the feat to expend on fixing that:
Source Pathfinder Society Primer pg. 13
You can adapt your defenses to any situation.

Prerequisites: Spellcraft 7 ranks.

Benefit: As a standard action, you can alter one of your ongoing abjuration or transmutation spells. It must be currently affecting you and must grant a choice of options when cast. You change its benefit to a different one from the same list. In order to accomplish this, you must make a successful Spellcraft check (DC equal to 10 + the level of the spell to be altered). The duration of the spell is reduced to half of the spell’s remaining duration. For example, a 7th-level wizard could change her resist energy (fire) spell with 50 minutes of its duration remaining into resist energy (cold), but the new duration would be 25 minutes. This ability does not change the benefit for any other creatures targeted by the original spell.
So now we get to have our flexible Paragon Surge spell again, letting us change our day's feat with one standard action, at the cost of halving our spell's duration. The pity of it is that if you cast Paragon Surge in combat and use Emergency Attunement to change the feat you are burning a standard action on top of the spellcast (which can be quickened with a lesser metamagic rod, at least), which is pretty expensive in actions (on top of the feat it already cost you), so you are better off making your changes post-combat since most combats won't last long enough to make Paragon Surge with its 1 minute/level duration expire anyway and then you have your last choice on a new spellcast. But Paragon Surge's duration also happens to be just perfect to improve with the Shapechanger bloodline:
Mutable Flesh (Su): At 3rd level, once per day when you cast a transmutation spell with a duration of 1 minute per level that affects only you, you can increase its duration to 10 minutes per level. At 9th level, you can increase the duration to 1 hour per level.
That's a pretty good ability, and you can even get it with Improved Eldritch Heritage (at 11th level). If you have 9th level Shapechanger bloodline you can pretty much cast Paragon Surge spell out of combat and halve the duration a lot of times (especially if you use Extend Spell metamagic) before it runs out. This gets pretty wild. But that's not good enough for us. Let's make the duration even better. Now that we have a 10 minutes/lvl duration or bigger, we can throw throw in a fun Ring of Continuation (56k gp):
Price 56,000 gp; Slot ring; CL 7th; Weight —; Aura moderate transmutation
Source Ultimate Equipment pg. 168

This band of braided copper wires throbs ever so slightly in harmony with its wearer’s heartbeat. Whenever the wearer of this ring casts a spell with a range of personal and a duration of 10 minutes per level or greater, that spell remains in effect for 24 hours or until the wearer casts another spell with a range of personal (whichever comes first). Spells that usually only affect one specific action (such as making a particular attack) are expended after that action. This does not reduce the duration of spells that normally last longer than 24 hours. Casting a new spell does not eliminate a previous spell if its normal duration is such that it would still be in effect. However, attempts to dispel or otherwise eliminate a spell kept active by the ring work normally and, if successful, remove the spell from the ring, causing the wearer to lose all benefits from that spell.

Cost 28,000 gp
Forge Ring, mnemonic enhancer

Neat, now we have 24 hour long Paragon Surge. Also, notice that the Ring of Continuation clearly keeps the spell in effect for 24 hours as a property of the magic item, side-stepping the spell's own duration, even if the spell's duration would have expired. Which goes well with our Emergency Attunement feat above.

Yep, now you get Paragon Surge lasting for 24 hours and can use standard actions at will to change its options! What's not to like?

The only concern here is dispelling, but we can equip a Ring of Counterspells or two (with a Hand of Glory necklace for the 3rd ring slot) to instantly counter dispel magic (or greater dispel magic, but that's rare). I'd also consider using the Paragon Surge to give yourself a Sorcerous Bloodstrike (if you are doing this as a Sorcerer) so that you can cast Paragon Surge this way twice, and maybe use feats/traits/etc to raise the spell's caster level or DC vs dispel attempts (Tenacious Transmutation feat and Tenacious Spell metamagic work for this, and there are a lot of traits to boost caster level or DC vs dispels too). That will pretty much make dispelling this a nightmare. If you really want you can even use Crossblooded to obtain the Protean arcana for +4 to dispel DCs or even use the Daemon bloodline to Fireball a bunch of rats or chickens you buffed with Mass Fox's Cunning for the occasion so you can cast Paragon Surge with a very high CL.

That said, the Ring of Continuation is probably (expensive) overkill when you already have hours/level duration and presumably Extend Spell + Sorcerous Bloodstrike. But at least you can make this ring for half price if you make the ring your arcane bond, and you can pay +5 DC to craft it without having Mnemonic Enhancer (see here: "The DC to create a magic item increases by +5 for each prerequisite the caster does not meet.").

Fun fact: This build is PFS legal too.

So, the PF Druid can summon a Cyclops with Summon Nature's Ally V . The most interesting ability they possess is this one:
Flash of Insight (Su) Once per day as an immediate action, a cyclops can peer into an occluded visual spectrum of possible futures, gaining insight that allows it to select the exact result of one die roll before the roll is made. This effect can alter an action taken by the cyclops only, and cannot be applied to the rolls of others.

So naturally, this begs a question: How can you best make use of this? The most obvious stunt is to make a cyclops charge with a greataxe and declare an automatic 20 for a crit if they make their confirmation roll. If you have a Cleric with the Destruction domain (or you have the domain as your own Nature Bond through some archetype, probably Nature Priest), you can skip the confirmation roll, at which point you might as well hand them an X4 multiplier weapon since a 20 auto-hits and the aura auto-confirms the crit too. As a a matter of fact if your character has the animal or plant domain and the ability to spontaneously cast cure or inflict spells, they can just take the Spontaneous Nature's Ally feat and cast SNA spontaneously as a Druid does.

Anyway, this brings us to a more interesting point. Summons, of course, are a lot more fun if you hand them items that allow them to do unusual things. And it just so happens that Flash of Insight can affect any type of die roll, not just d20s, so if, for instance, you hand a Cyclops a Rod of Wonder, you can just have your cyclops pick the effect of your choice. And if you just hand your cyclops a +1 heart-piercing arrow (only costs 1/50th because it's priced as ammunition) with a longbow you can have it auto-kill an enemy without a roll by making it a 20. Another interesting note is that if you give your cyclops a Ring of Spell Storing, you can store a Reincarnate spell into it, have your Cyclops cast it on someone and have it pick what form they will reincarnate into, but unless you have a way to increase the duration of SNA to minutes/level (Hunters get minutes/level SNA when their animal companions are dead, but only for animals that they summon), your Cyclops probably won't have enough time to use it. A Druid can use Summon Flight of Eagles or Summon Totem Creature with Alter Summoned Monster to obtain summons with a 10 minutes/lvl duration, though. For primarily non-combat summons, Aquatic Cavalry with Alter Summoned Monster works also.

So, really, I'm hoping for any ideas and suggestions on what kinds of mundane items, magic items, and spells (presumably with randomized effects) you can take advantage of using the Flash of Insight ability of the cyclops.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [PF] Fable Tapestry Bard spell
« on: June 04, 2020, 02:14:49 PM »
So there's a Bard only spell that lets you summon NPCs as if using Shadow Conjuration on a Summon Monster spell for some daft reason (with a 1 round casting time too):
Source Inner Sea Races pg. 219
School illusion (shadow) [shadow]; Level bard 5, skald 5 (Varisian)
Casting Time 1 round
Components V, S, F (your kapenia)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect 1 legendary character/4 caster levels
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will disbelief; Spell Resistance yes
The spell weaves shadows and colors from your kapenia into the shape of legendary characters from Varisian folktales. This spell functions as shadow conjuration emulating summon monster I, except as noted here. You can summon only one copy of the same character at the same time, even with multiple castings of this spell. The shadow creatures are 40% real and are drawn from the list below.

Anelda the beautiful (freelance thief)
NPC Codex 147
Old Mother Toad (fey giant toad)
Bestiary 3 116
Sonnorae the storyteller (con artist)
NPC Codex 29
Vyushbaro the savior (carousing champion)
NPC Codex 47
Winter’s Son (evasive slip)
NPC Codex 65
Zykomso the slaver (bearded devil)
Bestiary 73

So it's a bit of a question how to put this spell to use. Worth noting that the bard can immediately summon 3 of them in a single casting. Now, it's possible to add Solid Shadows and make it 60% real (add Crook of Cildhureen for another 50%) if you care, but the more interesting question is what to do with a spell that lets you summon a Cleric, Druid, Rogue, and Bard (also those monsters, but who cares). The most interesting aspect that stands out about this spell is the crazy amounts of healing your party can obtain just by summoning the Carousing Champion (who has 7 channel energy uses and can spontaneously convert all his non-domain spells into cures) and the Evasive Slip (who comes with a wand of cure moderate wounds that has 15 charges remaining). The NPCs come with all their magic items, which makes for a bit of an interesting question. When a summon monster spell expires and the creatures it has summoned disappears, all the spells that creature has cast end. But if you use spells from magic items that the summoned monster possesses? Then it's not exactly the summoned monster casting them. However, a GM might reasonably rule it to fall under that all the same. If not, one of the things that's possible here is summoning the Freelance Thief, Con Artist, and Evasive Slip and getting 4 potions of invisibility, and the Evasive Slip also comes with a wand of barkskin. The summons also come with gold and magic items. I know for sure that the Con Artist's Elixir of Truth will outlast the summon spell, seeing as it's not a spell effect (much like how supernatural abilities don't expire at summon's end), although the double will saves will make it horribly unreliable (unless you either use Beguiling Gift to make them voluntarily drink it or Mind Fog to destroy their will saving throws, but both of those spells are pretty rare picks for spells known).

Other stuff you can probably do involves items that interact with the classes in question. A Bard summon can be handed a Page of Spell Knowledge to cast whatever's on it after all (but you might prefer Summon Monster 6 for a 100% real Lillend Azata that casts as a 7th level Bard) or use its Lore Master ability to make knowledge checks for you (except you are a Bard yourself so you don't exactly need this), but I'm not sure about the rest.

This spell feels like it has some stunts in it (beyond just casting it to out-do Heal with a massive amount of healing spells and channels between the Evasive Slip and Carousing Champion alone), so I'm wondering how far you can push this spell to extract value out of it. It seems to be pretty shitty for combat, tbh, thanks to those shadow conjuration rules giving them garbage health. 

Alright, I've been looking at the Paladin class and just for kicks I've been wondering how feasible it is to make the Paladin also handle the party spellcaster role, considering it has so many options to expand its spell list and abilities. If anybody has any ideas on how best to achieve this, I'm all ears.

The following options for spellcasting expansion come to my mind: Patron deity spell list additions, oaths, the Unsanctioned Knowledge feat, and domain selection with Sacred Servant Paladin. One more thing worth noting is that you probably don't need a spell when you can just UMD a scroll or wand for it. That makes spells that are faster than a standard action or interact better with feats, metamagics, high DCs, and caster levels (use Magical Knack trait to fix CL) a bit more valuable.

With regards to DCs I'm assuming the Paladin has a charisma score of at least 18 (Aasimar race works well for this) and a Lesser Metamagic Rod of Persistent Spell. A Cornugon Smash feat with the cruel weapon property also does a decent job of destroying an enemy's saving throws (-4 to all saves), but that's an investment into melee and you won't be casting in the same turn without a Lesser Metamagic Rod of Quicken Spell and/or a Spell Storing weapon property. On that note though, Paladins do benefit from the lesser metamagic rod of quicken spell and if you have a Glove of Storing it's quite easy to draw out your lesser metamagic rod as a free action and swap another item into the glove, cast your quicken spell, and swap items back. Obviously it's a bit expensive, but at higher levels it's both affordable and worth doing.

Here's the list of spells I've got so far:

Abadar: Word of Recall (homecity temple only) 4
Apsu: Apsu's Shining Scales 3
Erastil: Goodberry 2 / Animal Messenger 2 (may use any nonhostile animal, including friendly guard animals and domesticated animals)
Gruhastha: Burst of Insight 1 / Object Reading 2 / Clairaudience/Clairvoyance 3
Iomedae: Good Hope 3 / Mark of Justice 3
Kazutal: Blessing of Fervor 4 / Freedom of Movement 4 (Remember that Oath of Vengeance gives Blessing of Fervor 3 and Oath of the Skyseeker gives Blessing of Fervor 4)
Kols (requires Oathkeeper's Vow religion trait): Command 1 / Forbid Action 1 / Suggestion (to fulfill a prior promise only) 2 / Lesser Geas 3 / Geas/Quest 4
Sarenrae: Flame Blade 2 / Sunbeam 4
Shelyn: Charm Person 1 / Charm Animal 2 / Good Hope 4
Shizuru: Searing Light 2 / Heroism 3 / Sunbeam 4
Torag: Ironbloom Sprouts 1 / Mending 1 / Fabricate 3 / Major Creation 3
Tsukiyo: Faerie Fire 1 / Calm Spirit 2 / Darkvision 2

These spells are obtained rather effortlessly, since all you have to do is worship the deity in question and that's it. No archetype, feat, trait (Kols excepted), or anything else required.

Far as I can tell, Torag has by far the best spells, since Fabricate and Major Creation are extremely versatile and potent options. Just using Fabricate to craft traps, walls, etc. for instance will do all kinds of silly things, and so does using Major Creation to obtain all kinds of alchemical items, herbs, food, walls, traps, weapons, armor, tools, etc. Strongly recommended to pair with the Voices of Solid Things trait so you can make Craft cha-based. If you're a Half-Elf you can also use Resilient Reservoir with allies full attacking you for 1 damage so you can get a giant skill bonus and Paragon Surge (especially with an Emergency Attunement feat) for Cunning or whatever to give you temporary ranks in the appropriate skill.

From a combat perspective Iomedae's addition of Good Hope is pretty nice, especially if you use it with Encouraging Spell metamagic (assuming your GM makes lesser metamagic rods of it available). The bonus on ability and skill checks also means that if you use it as a pre-combat buff (or simply move quickly enough from one combat to the next that the minutes/lvl duration hasn't expired), it will give the entire party a bonus on initiative checks and Perception checks to avoid being surprised. Also worth noting that Iomedae's Divine Fighting Technique allows a Paladin to replace a mercy with the ability to give allies a +2 sacred bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks for a limited number of rounds if performed as a full-round action or, if it is obtained by making a charge attack or single attack as a standard action, for a full minute. Both forms are at-will uses. Combined with the Good Hope spell (and perhaps even Prayer if you want to go the extra mile), it turns out that Iomedae is low-key potent at party buffing.

Flame Blade is best for damage you do yourself if you add things like Flame Blade Dervish, maybe Divine Favor, and Smite Evil. The other reason to worship Sarenrae is that her Envoy of Healing religion trait lets you reroll all nat 1s on Lay on Hands and Channel Energy (no use limit).

Worth noting that Shelyn has the best Deific Obedience for Paladins when combined with Diverse Obedience to get her 2nd sentinel boon for massive smite evil, but you would need to play a Gray Paladin so you can be a NG Paladin for Diverse Obedience unless you seriously want to prestige into Sentinel for 6 levels. Charm Person can also be quite handy, especially for getting information out of unwilling people, but remember your code of conduct will restrict you from a lot of shenanigans that fall into lawless and dishonorable behavior.

Oath against Fiends: [Resist Energy 1 / Detect Thoughts 2 / Invisibility Purge 3 / Plane Shift 4] Now this is a solid list, all worth having. Worth noting Paladins already get Resist Energy as a 2nd level spell, but having it at 1st level is nice. And you can already use Litany of Seeing at 3rd level if you want. Detect Thoughts is rather handy (although the 2nd round int score condition may become a problem at higher levels) and Plane Shift at 4th level is great. The downside is this does not stack with Sacred Servant Paladin.
Oath against Grotesquery: [Sanctuary 1 / Make Whole 2 / Banish Seeming 3 / True Form 4] This list is only mildly useful unless you anticipate dealing with lots of broken items or facing off against a lot of enemies using polymorph effects. Sanctuary is only good if you have a very high charisma modifier. If the loss of Divine Health bothers you, a Periapt of Health (7.5k gp) will get back your immunity, and losing Aura of Faith doesn't mean much at level 14 when you have more than enough ways to make weapons good-aligned and overcome DR/good anyway, like Bless Weapon and Smite Evil among many other options. Unless you're really concerned about diseases, it's an easy enough pickup, but the restriction against willfully damaging crafted objects will restrict you from using Sunder maneuvers, breaking chests, breaking doors, and breaking manacles. Cutting ropes might also qualify. So you may want someone with a good Disable Device skill on your team, at least, and perhaps prepare Liberating Command.
Oath of the Skyseeker: [Enlarge Person 1 / Find Traps 2 / Spiritual Ally 3 / Blessing of Fervor 4] Enlarge Person is great  Finding traps is really not the Paladin's thing (You're playing the 1 class that can and should dump wis.), but at high levels it may be handy. Spiritual Ally is only good if the GM houserules that it use Charisma instead of Wisdom for Oracles and Paladins. Blessing of Fervor is still great, but you now get it pretty late compared to Oath of Vengeance, which it conflicts against. The real reason you take this Oath is because Stalwart is amazing and Smite Evil Hordes is a pretty good consolation prize for not having extra smite evil uses.
Oath of Vengeance: [Wrath 1 / Confess 2 / Blessing of Fervor 3 / Order's Wrath 4] Wrath might be useful if for some reason Divine Favor is not enough and you are not using better sources of morale bonuses. Confess is a waste when you already have Zone of Truth. And Order's Wrath is only useful against chaotic enemies for the 1 round dazed condition really (but that's still handy). Blessing of Fervor, however, is great to have as a Paladin. The real reason you typically want Oath of Vengeance is for massive amounts of Smite Evil uses, especially as a Sacred Servant Paladin (which gets fewer Smite Evil uses and extra Lay on Hands uses).

Other oaths typically conflict with Oath of Vengeance, trade away Divine Grace, or do other things that are not worth having. Oath of Vengeance is more skippable if you have another source of large amounts of smite evil uses (typically a 2 level ninja dip for the ki pool and loads of Tea of Transference - alternatively a Perfect Style feat will give you a ki pool of 2 which increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 5th). Oath of the Skyseeker is listed despite conflicting with Oath of Vengeance because Stalwart is damn good and so is Smite Evil Hordes.

Unsanctioned Knowledge
1 - Charm Person / Grease / Hideous Laughter / Obscuring Mist (this one should be a wand tbh) / Call Weapon / Dazzling Blade? / Tears to Wine / Deivon's Parry
2 - Heroism (better as wand) / Blur / Invisibility / Glitterdust / Pyrotechnics / Silence / Gallant Inspiration / Bladed Dash (with lesser metamagic rod of quicken spell) / Mirror Image / Full Pouch
3 - Good Hope? / Confusion / Slow / Charm Monster / Invisibility Sphere / Displacement / Shadow Enchantment / Jester's Jaunt / Fear / Glyph of Warding
4 - Sonic Thrust / Shadow Conjuration / Dimension Door / Dance of a Hundred Cuts / Greater Invisibility / Hold Monster / Fear

These are the thoughts I've got so far. Generally speaking for 4th level spells, Sonic Thrust is the best since you can combine it with Quick Draw to draw and drop to the ground (dropping items is a free action) something like 12 large greatswords (or just carry a basket with 12x Alchemist's Fire, Holy Water, or Liquid Ice in it) and add Smite Evil to instantly kill an enemy, but if you take the Telekinetic Mastery feat you can use Telekinesis as a SLA anyway. Call Weapon is a naked melee attack and damage bonus (just target yourself, get +2 to attack and damage until end of round). Jester's Jaunt is more useful with a Spell Storing melee weapon, especially since you can hit yourself for 1 nonlethal to teleport as a free action. Dazzling Blade is mostly recommended for a 1st level spell as swift action to blind an enemy for 1 round. If you decide to use shadow spells, you should get a shadow stencil set for +1 to DCs (assuming your GM allows non-Wayangs to use them) and really use that metamagic rod of Persistent Spell. DC-based spells do, of course, put very high demands on your charisma modifier (at least 18 cha at start is recommended), but fortunately for a Paladin a high charisma modifier pays so many benefits that you can make it work out well enough.

Caves: [Magic Stone 1 / Create Pit 2 / Spiked Pit 3 / Spike Stones 4] More of a battlefield control pick. Tunnel Runner domain power can come in handy too. A decent pick if you have Torag.
Darkness: [Obscuring Mist 1 / Blindness/Deafness (only for causing blindness) 2 / Deeper Darkness 3 / Shadow Conjuration 4] All of these spells are quite decent, and don't forget you can put a second Obscuring Mist in the 2nd level slot if you prefer. Obscuring Mist also has a Magic Trick if you're interested. For the most part, this gives you a smattering of potent concealment and blinding options, but other than giving your party the ability to make stealth checks (which is undermined by the verbal component, unless you use a Lesser Metamagic Rod of Silent Spell), the utility doesn't really branch out until you have Shadow Conjuration, which lets you do all kinds of handy things.
Defense: [Shield 1 / Barkskin 2 / Protection from Energy 3 / Spell Immunity 4] Just in case you needed even more AC, here you go. All of these spells are not on the Paladin list and handy, especially since Shield gives you a shield bonus while equipping a 2H or bow, but it might be an overspecialization into a strong point of the Paladin (staying power and shrugging off spells). But you can put every buff aside from Shield on other people to protect them better, which can be valuable depending on the party and campaign (like escort missions).
Home: [Alarm 1 / Shield Other 2 / Glyph of Warding 3 / Imbue with Spell Ability 4] Mostly useful if you intend to take advantage of Glyph of Warding and Imbue with Spell Ability. Alarm and Shield Other are both spells you can cast daily, so Shield Other being on Paladin list is fine.
Knowledge: [Comprehend Languages 1 / Detect Thoughts 2 / Speak with Dead 3 / Divination 4] None of these are on the Paladin list. Only caveat is that Detect Thoughts can give you problems at high levels when int 26+ NPCs are near. Makes the Paladin into a master investigator. Also means Paladin gets all Knowledge skills as class skills.
Luck: [True Strike 1 / Aid 2 / Protection From Energy 3 / Freedom of Movement 4] This is a smattering of useful spells for the Paladin, all of which are not on his class list. True Strike is generally not considered a particularly useful combat spell, but it shines more if you use it for combat maneuvers and/or use a Lesser Metamagic Rod of Quicken Spell (at which point you can also use it to land your last iterative). There are some weapons, like lassos and bolas, that can be used to land ranged combat maneuvers, and there are maneuvers like Disarm and Steal (or we can call it confiscating because it's a Paladin) which in the right fights can make a massive difference. As always, remember you can prepare additional copies of lower spell slots into higher ones if you prefer. There is also the Fate subdomain variation with Augury 2 / Borrow Fortune 3 and a very good domain power at 10 (normally 8, but Sacred Servant gets it later). Augury and Borrow Fortune can be very useful at the right moment, as can the domain power, but you might favor the normal Luck domain as its spells are easier to use.
Lust (Arshea and Lymnieris only): [Charm Person 1 / Touch of Idiocy 2 / Suggestion 3 / Confusion 4] A solid smattering of mental manipulation spells, all of which the Paladin does not possess. Nice if you want to play at having jedi mind tricks. Use a lesser metamagic rod of maximize spell with Touch of Idiocy so it does good work. There are other Charm domain variants as well, but this seems to be the most useful one.
Plant: [Entangle 1 / Barkskin 2 / Plant Growth 3 / Command Plants 4] Obviously, this list is much more useful in campaigns where you are going into the jungle or forest, although in that case you would probably do better to play a Forest Preserver or Hunting Paladin, aside from the loss of Oath of Vengeance. If you can cast Plant Growth, it's just amazing battlefield control. If you expect you can't, prepare an extra lower level domain spell (like Barkskin) into your 3rd level slot. If you don't like spell DCs or the excessive reliance on plants, you can take the Growth subdomain for Enlarge Person 1 instead of Entangle and the 3+wis mod swift actions to Enlarge Person for a single round. While Clerics do it much better, there are some tricks pulled off by taking advantage of the ability to shrink into the five foot square of your choosing and enlarge in the direction you want, along with taking 5 foot steps, to effectively hand yourself an extra 5 feet of free movement (ie. shrink into the square 5 feet away, enlarge again into the squares farther behind, full attack, take 5 foot step back, and you have 10 feet of distance where you were originally adjacent & you can similarly shrink, move, and enlarge towards the direction of someone to bring you 10 feet closer). With an Evergreen Seed Pouch you can use Entangle and Overgrowth in any terrain, making this domain very strong.
Saurian (No valid Golarion deities): [Magic Fang 1 / Animal Trance 2 / Greater Magic Fang 3 / Summon Nature's Ally 4 (Deinonychus or Pteranodon only)] The biggest perk here is the dinosaur companion (probably a Deinonychus, but you have a good variety of options, including a flier and a Tyrannosaurus) you get at -4 levels (-2 from domain, and another -2 from Sacred Servant), which is 1 Boon Companion feat away from having full companion levels. You also get to buff your animal companion with these spells (and your own Divine Favor and Litanies through the share spells feature), so it's pretty solid. Trading away Poison for the SNA4 is still an improvement (Poison makes the Paladin fall), but you'll probably want to prepare another Greater Magic Fang or something into the slot. On the whole of it, though, it's not entirely clear if this is superior to just getting a normal mount as your divine bond and using Monstrous Companion to get a Celestial Griffon at full Paladin level.
Toil: [Command 1 / Wood Shape 2 / Stone Shape 3 / Minor Creation 4] A decent list of crafting spells to pull off a lot. Works well with the Voices of Solid Things region trait to make Craft cha-based, but if you have Torag as your patron deity (giving you Fabricate and Major Creation), this domain list is rather redundant.
Travel: [Longstrider 1 / Locate Object 2 / Fly 3 / Dimension Door 4] The domain powers are good. Longstrider and Dimension Door are both great spells. Fly is only good for higher speed and buffing others when you already have Angelic Aspect to give yourself a fly speed with minutes/level duration. Locate Object is too situational to have it every day, really.
Trickery (Erecura and Chaldira only): [Disguise Self 1 / Invisibility 2 / Nondetection 3 / Confusion 4] No one really expects the Paladin to be a master of sneaking around, but now you can do it (shadow property on armor helps too - improved and greater variants exist also), and you even get Veil (with a terrible DC) as a domain power. The downside is that your Code of Conduct still looks dimly upon sneaking into anywhere you're not permitted, fraud, or manipulating others with dishonesty (unless you have a rather good reason that necessitates it, like trying to protect someone).

Worth noting that Icon of Aspects lets you swap the domain powers of one of your domains with the domain powers from any other domain you choose that your deity provides, with the change being initiated while preparing spells and lasting for 24 hours. It's not PFS legal though, and it's a Cleric-specific item, but a UMD check will let your Sacred Servant Paladin count as a Cleric anyway. This makes Sacred Servant Paladins much better since you can combine the spells of one domain with the granted powers of another. That means that Hubris subdomain (available to Iomedae) can be obtained with any domain spell list, for instance. Rage subdomain can also be obtained (Ragathiel would be a fitting deity) if you want to add the Barbarian's Rage to your Paladin. Kobold Faith race trait (which can be obtained as a non-Kobold through the Adopted social trait), Urban Acolyte faith trait, and Acolyte of Apocrypha faith trait also allow you to expand the list of subdomains available to your deity.

Still a bit uncertain on what other domains, and spells are good to have. Any thoughts? What do you think are the best spells and domains for a Paladin to add to his list? I think part of the question we need to ask is what kind of proficiencies the Paladin is missing and how to cover that in order to make the Paladin a more useful party member. Another thing worth noting is the ability to UMD scrolls and wands. A wand of Calcific Touch or Sonic Thrust can be used to inflict quite a bit of damage without bothering with any feats.

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