Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Power

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 35
This sort of thread is what the Min/Max It! subforum is originally for, but what the heck.

If your goal is to root out evil like that, you would probably be better off playing a Hunting Paladin with the Oath of Vengeance (and perhaps also Oath against Fiends) + Dawnflower Dervish Bard Halfling. I would make the stat array 12str-18dex-16con-14int-14wis-18cha=10str-20dex-16con-14int-14wis-20cha, and then I would probably build the character as an archer while using the scimitar as a backup weapon since you have free Dervish Dance which makes you use dex for attack and damage anyway. The usual archery feats tend to be Point-Blank Shot + Precise Shot + Deadly Aim + Rapid Shot + Manyshot + Clustered Shots. Given Smite Evil, you can likely delay Clustered Shots for last. You should probably equip a Dervish Sikke + Bracers of the Avenging Knight + Celestial Armor + Mnemonic Vestment. It is also an option to replace Versatile Performance with the Focused Study ACF for a lot of Perform (Dance) rounds if you prefer.

Anyway, a character like this would be a very competent martial, an able party face, a solid healer, and also have a large variety of tricks up its sleeves that also has monster saving throws and high hitpoints. Your weakest attack would be melee with a scimitar, but that will still give you dex to damage along with Inspire Courage and likely Smite Evil and whatever self-buffs you cast. Early on, probably you would want to use your scimitar as your primary weapon as you have not yet empowered your archery to do a lot of attacks and damage. Bear in mind that this character is also a fully capable spellcaster in addition to being a full martial. The main pity is that you do not have access to the human's favored class bonus for Bards (which makes an enormous difference in spellcasting) but you may as well ask your GM if you can select that favored class bonus anyway since otherwise the game just over-rewards selecting Human race or a race that also counts as human for all spellcasters.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: BEHOLD!
« on: January 20, 2024, 12:31:05 PM »
That build is also the reason why Pathfinder nerfed spiked chains, even though it practically makes next to no difference whether you are using a spiked chain or a regular reach weapon and armor spikes or unarmed strikes (like kicks) to make your AoOs. Pathfinder has a lot of hilarious balance fixes that fixed absolutely nothing and targeted absolute non-issues (like being able to make AoOs in both melee and reach increments). Actually trip+kiting builds are more powerful in PF because PF nerfed the Tumbling skill into the ground when it folded it into the Acrobatics skill. Jason Bulmahn was very offended at Rogues using AoO-free movement to set up sneak attacks. Meanwhile things like mind controlling and raising undead to obtain entire armies are still a-okay and Wizards and Sorcerers receive massive buffs to their power floor. This is how PF "fixed" 3.5's balance issues. :lol

Regardless, if we're talking ridiculous builds, I'd sooner put in silliness like the Jumplomancer or Lightning Thief or just a plain Bard casting Glibness.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: BEHOLD!
« on: January 16, 2024, 04:58:03 PM »
The spiked chain build is just a plain old tripping build, and it's easily beaten by Tumbling skill checks (in 3.5, at least). There are much worse builds for crippling AoO loops. When it comes to ridiculous & broken builds, I'd rate "I can trip enemies that approach me and play keep-away" as neither particularly ridiculous nor particularly broken.

Looks like a Sacrament Alchemist can use this to obtain any Cleric domain's domain powers. Honestly, you're probably better off playing an Appeaser Cleric for spontaneous domains most of the time, but worth noting anyway.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« on: December 24, 2023, 11:41:44 AM »
Extended Beguiling Gift can force an enemy to use it but then it spends two rounds using it and after that it can throw it away before it triggers. On the bright side of things it does let you use a first-level spell to CC an enemy for 2 turns, but that's assuming you use a metamagic reducer, and the proximity requirements force defensive casting plus you have to hold your gift, which means you probably want a Quick Draw feat too. I'm pretty sure you can use Unseen Servant to activate a Puzzle Box though, since the goal here is to fail the puzzle in order to trigger the stored spell.
On the long-lasting Beguiling Gift front I feel like pointing out that if you are playing a Spell Sage Wizard (or use the Samsaran race's Mystic Past Life), you can cast Beguiling Gift with Blissful Spell and then use the Magaambyan Arcanist prestige class's Lasting Goodness ability to extend its duration by your Magaambyan Arcanist class level. That will give you a long-lasting Beguiling Gift even before mixing in Extend Spell.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: [PF] Fable Tapestry Bard spell
« on: December 18, 2023, 01:32:30 PM »
Turns out you can pay for components costs with gp, gems, and jewelry instead (at 1.5x the cost) using the Invested Magic feat, so there is that.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: The Pathfinder Ubercharger
« on: December 18, 2023, 03:34:19 AM »
I'd missed the Winged Sword spell which for 10 minutes/lvl lets you treat the targeted melee weapon as if it has the Throwing property. That means you no longer need +1 throwing lances when you can just get a Wand of Winged Sword or have someone cast it.

Well, you can use it to perform esoteric variants of spells with Limited Wish and Miracle, giving you access to Oread Gem Magic without being an Oread, for instance, in case you want DR 15/Adamantine Stoneskin or 10 minute/lvl duration Elemental Body spells.

Min/Max 3.x / Re: [PF] Optimizing the Drake Companion
« on: December 08, 2023, 12:49:50 PM »
May as well note that if you use Fey Obedience (The Lantern King) you can use Polymorph Any Object to perhaps permanently turn your drake into a human or other form. According to the book Fey Obedience was printed in, you can use Fey Obedience with the Evangelist, Exalted, and Sentinel prestige classes as a drop-in replacement for Deific Obedience (all other prerequisites stay the same), so you can combine a drake companion archetype with Evangelist (The Lantern King) and get Polymorph Any Object at 11th level and Shapechange at 14th.

So that's one way to polymorph your drake companion. Celestial Obedience (Lymnieris) also works for permanent Greater Polymorph, but the Mystery Cultist PrC does not advance your drake companion so unless your GM generously lets you use it with the Evangelist PrC like Fey Obedience and Monitor Obedience (and Fiendish Obedience, but that one comes with special elevated PrC prerequisites) can be you will have to wait until you have 16 HD before you can get it going, and that's aside from the fact that Lymnieris's obedience has awkward roleplay ramifications.

You can also cast Shapechanger's Gift (or its greater variant) on them to give them 10 min/lvl duration polymorph (1 hour/lvl for greater variant) to turn into a person or monkey or monstrous humanoid, but they would still insist on being naked apparently (cast Mage Armor, at least). Still, they'll wield weapons, so there is that.

On the whole of it though, the drake companion isn't really doing any better than just getting an animal companion and either making it intelligent (Precocious animal companion archetype, ability scores in int, Eye for Talent alternate Human racial trait, or perhaps casting Threefold Aspect on it with share spells, which if you want to go the extra mile counts as a permanent bonus after 24 hours (see here: "Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours."), so if you use Extend Spell and recast it daily to overlap durations, it has a "permanent" bonus from the 2nd day of spellcasting onwards) or switching it for one that is already intelligent (ie. Beast Speaker or Monstrous Mount feats) and then polymorphing it unless it's some kind of ape/monkey and providing it a selection of magic items.

Really, expect table variation here. Some GMs will regard metamagics as part of the spell being identified. Others won't. I personally lean towards the former.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: [PF] Full Pouch spell
« on: November 04, 2023, 09:28:51 AM »
Hm, Draconic Perfume offers a pretty potent +2 spell DCs of either the charm school (as well as a +2 circumstance bonus to Diplomacy checks) or the compulsion school (as well as a +2 circumstance bonus to Bluff checks), so that's worth bearing in mind.

Another post, another atrociously bad feat. Feast your eyes on Crushing Blow!
Source Ultimate Combat pg. 94
Your focus allows you to smash your enemy’s defenses.

Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist.

Benefit: You can make a Stunning Fist attempt as a full-round action. If successful, instead of stunning your target, you reduce the target’s AC by an amount equal to your Wisdom modifier for 1 minute. This penalty does not stack with other penalties applied due to Crushing Blow.

Combat Trick: When using this feat, you can spend either 2 or 4 stamina points. If you do, the Crushing Blow attack reduces the target’s AC by an additional 1 for every 2 stamina points you spent.
Instead of applying Stunning Fist to an unarmed attack (or any attack with a Monk weapon if you have Cornugon Stun), you can use a full round action and expend a stunning fist attempt and if your enemy fails the will save collect an AC penalty to your target instead of, you know, stunning him for a round, which makes him drop everything he's holding, take a -2 penalty to AC, and also lose dex to AC (and it also makes it possible for someone with 5d6 sneak attack damage to coup-de-grace him with Dastardly Finish). The only vaguely useful thing about this is that it works on stun-immune enemies, since typically 1 round of stun is worth more than 1 minute of wis penalty to AC.

Yeah, regular Stunning Fist is way better than this.

If you ever needed proof that the Dunning-Kruger effect is as strong as ever at Paizo HQ, look no further than this amazing screed. Michael Sayre, a Paizo Design Manager, lends us his nuggets of wisdom on class design regarding PF and PF2E:
Quote from: Michael Sayre
An interesting anecdote from PF1 that has some bearing on how #Pathfinder2E came to be what it is:

Once upon a time, PF1 introduced a class called the arcanist. The arcanist was regarded by many to be a very strong class. The thing is, it actually wasn't.

For a player with even a modicum of system mastery, the arcanist was strictly worse than either of the classes who informed its design, the wizard and the sorcerer. The sorcerer had significantly more spells to throw around, and the wizard had both a faster spell progression and more versatility in its ability to prepare for a wide array of encounters. Both classes were strictly better than the arcanist if you knew PF1 well enough to play them to their potential.

What the arcanist had going for it was that it was extremely forgiving. It didn't require anywhere near the same level of system mastery to excel. You could make a lot more mistakes, both in building it and while playing, and still feel powerful. You could adjust your plans a lot more easily on the fly if you hadn't done a very good job planning in advance. The class's ability to elevate the player rather than requiring the player to elevate the class made it quite popular and created the general impression that it was very strong.

It was also just more fun to play, with bespoke abilities and little design flourishes that at least filled up the action economy and gave you ways to feel valuable, even if the core chassis was weaker and less able to reach the highest performance levels.

In many TTRPGs and TTRPG communities, the options that are considered "strongest" are often actually the options that are simplest. Even if a spellcaster in a game like PF1 or PF2 is actually capable of handling significantly more types and kinds of challenges more effectively, achieving that can be a difficult feat. A class that simply has the raw power to do a basic function well with a minimal amount of technical skill applied, like the fighter, will generally feel more powerful because a wider array of players can more easily access and exploit that power.

This can be compounded when you have goals that require complicating solutions. PF2 has goals of depth, customization, and balance. Compared to other games, PF1 sacrificed balance in favor of depth and customization, and 5E forgoes depth and limits customization. In attempting to hit all three goals, PF2 sets a very high and difficult bar for itself. This is further complicated by the fact that PF2 attempts to emulate the spellcasters of traditional TTRPG gaming, with tropes of deep possibility within every single character.

It's been many years and editions of multiple games since things that were actually balance points in older editions were true of d20 spellcasters. D20 TTRPG wizards, generally, have a humongous breadth of spells available to every single individual spellcaster, and their only cohesive theme is "magic". They are expected to be able to do almost anything (except heal), and even "specialists" in most fantasy TTRPGs of the last couple decades are really generalists with an extra bit of flavor and flair in the form of an extra spell slot or ability dedicated to a particular theme.

So bringing it back to balance and customization: if a character has the potential to do anything and a goal of your game is balance, it must be assumed that the character will do all those things they're capable of. Since a wizard very much can have a spell for every situation that targets every possible defense, the game has to assume they do, otherwise you cannot meet the goal of balance. Customization, on the other side, demands that the player be allowed to make other choices and not prepare to the degree that the game assumes they must, which creates striations in the player base where classes are interpreted based on a given person's preferences and ability/desire to engage with the meta of the game. It's ultimately not possible to have the same class provide both endless possibilities and a balanced experience without assuming that those possibilities are capitalized on.

So if you want the fantasy of a wizard, and want a balanced game, but also don't want to have the game force you into having to use particular strategies to succeed, how do you square the circle? I suspect the best answer is "change your idea of what the wizard must be." D20 fantasy TTRPG wizards are heavily influenced by the dominating presence of D&D and, to a significantly lesser degree, the works of Jack Vance. But Vance hasn't been a particularly popular fantasy author for several generations now, and many popular fantasy wizards don't have massively diverse bags of tricks and fire and forget spells. They often have a smaller bag of focused abilities that they get increasingly competent with, with maybe some expansions into specific new themes and abilities as they grow in power. The PF2 kineticist is an example of how limiting the theme and degree of customization of a character can lead to a more overall satisfying and accessible play experience. Modernizing the idea of what a wizard is and can do, and rebuilding to that spec, could make the class more satisfying to those who find it inaccessible.

Of course, the other side of that equation is that a notable number of people like the wizard exactly as the current trope presents it, a fact that's further complicated by people's tendency to want a specific name on the tin for their character. A kineticist isn't a satisfying "elemental wizard" to some people simply because it isn't called a wizard, and that speaks to psychology in a way that you often can't design around. You can create the field of options to give everyone what they want, but it does require drawing lines in places where some people will just never want to see the line, and that's difficult to do anything about without revisiting your core assumptions regarding balance, depth, and customization.


The real power of Walk The Plank is just trying to drag unsuited enemies into an aquatic battle, especially since it has a much wider AoE. That's still not too impressive for a 5th level spell though, but you can also one-shot fire elementals with it, so there's that. The only problem there is that reflex is the fire elemental's strong save, so you may need another way to push it in.

Greater Shadow Transmutation probably wins a prize for looking much more useful than it actually is, essentially being Greater Polymorph with a 2 level tax (9th level spell now, huzzah) and a whole slew of disadvantages.

Min/Max 3.x / Re: Daily Feats for Everyone
« on: September 23, 2023, 05:49:11 PM »
I don't blame you.

The main options are really Chameleon PrC, using Alter Self (Human), or using Psychic Reformation (usually a rechargeable psionic tattoo is popular for this). You can also indirectly get a Psychic Reformation with Limited Wish.

Min/Max 3.x / Re: Daily Feats for Everyone
« on: September 23, 2023, 12:15:24 PM »
Most people don't like to play that way, since the downside is a human using alter self risks cascade failure after losing his bonus feat.

Table rules are always table rules.
Yeah, that's why you have to run it by your GM. At least this is a fully legitimate and appropriate application of the polymorph rules. It's just that people prefer to carve out an exception for this.

*cough*Psychic Reformation*cough*
Psychic Reformation abuse makes getting a single feat of your choice a day positively tame.

Incidentally, if you're looking to do this sort of thing in Pathfinder, here is the Ultimate Paragon Surge thread/mini-guide. Odds are Improved Eldritch Heritage (shapechanger) and Paragon Surge is all you really need for a single feat of your choice per day, but that thread went the extra mile to let you change your feat of choice at-will.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: [PF] Entice Fey spell line
« on: September 19, 2023, 04:59:40 PM »
One stunt that comes to mind is using it with a Fey-type Guardian Spirit that you got from the Summon Guardian Spirit feat. Your personal guardian spirit is a fey you should be able to call by name who would be willing to appear before you. The main perk here isn't really the longer duration or wider spread of SLAs you have access to through calling your familiar, but rather being able to deck out your guardian spirit in gear before summoning them, giving you a much more powerful guardian spirit than the norm.

Of course, you can also just summon your guardian spirit pre-combat and deck it out in gear then.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: [PF] Entice Fey spell line
« on: September 19, 2023, 12:46:03 PM »
List of fey that seem worth calling:
  • Ovinnik (4 HD): Can boost any d20 roll by +4. Occasionally handy for esoteric purposes.
  • Pixie (4 HD): Really depends on what kind of pixie you get, but some will give you access to Irresistible Dance.
  • Danthienne (7 HD): Can cast Glibness upon another person. Can cast Invisibility at will as a SLA (so unlimited invisibility for everyone). Its unusual Share Spells ability might have some potential also, but it has no UMD or regular spellcasting skill. If you have a +2 Headband of Intellect keyed to the UMD skill, however, you can immediately give it 7 skill ranks in UMD for a +12 bonus total.
  • Huldra (7 HD): 1/day: Can give a +2 luck bonus to all attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks for 24 hours. Also has +14 UMD bonus.
  • Nymph (8 HD): Much more useful than the Lampad, unless you wanted UMD (but a +2 Headband of Intellect can provide that). Casts spells as a 7th-level Druid. Also provides Inspiration to a single target at a time, giving +4 to will saves, Craft checks, and Perform checks and extra bardic performance rounds equal to the Nymph's cha mod (default +7).
  • Muse (18 HD): It's basically a 16th level Bard, and can also provide Inspiration to a number of targets equal to charisma modifier (+9). If you use Artistic Ale (with a Full Pouch spell), her bardic performances resolve as a 17th level Bard, making for a +4 Inspire Courage (+5 with Dervish Sikke). Also has a +27 UMD bonus.
Please note that since Entice Fey functions as Planar Ally, the Caller's Feather item (2000gp) can probably be consumed to increase the HD cap by 2, but ask your GM. So that means anything from 1-20HD, not 1-18HD, is callable.

Also, in addition to calling the normal list of fey, it is important to bear in mind the First World Creature template, which exists so that pretty much any creature that exists on the Material Plane can also exist as a fey analogue with the First World Creature template. Now that drastically expands the list of callable creatures, but creatures with the First World Creature template will die normally on planes outside the First World, unless they have strong ties to the Eldest of the First World, which will likely make them more death-averse than other callable fey. But, there is also the Fey Creature template, which can be both inherited and acquired, which serves much the same purpose with greater perks and fewer drawbacks.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / [PF] Entice Fey spell line
« on: September 19, 2023, 12:41:04 PM »
Pathfinder made a Planar Ally-based spell line for calling Fey and granted it to Druids and Bards.
Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 213
School conjuration (calling); Level bard 4, druid 5, hunter 4, medium 3, ranger 4, shaman 5, skald 4
Casting Time 10 minutes
Components V, S, M (offerings worth 500 gp plus payment, see text), DF
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one called fey, with 6 Hit Dice or fewer
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
This spell functions as lesser planar ally, except that you entice a fey of 6 HD or fewer to lend you its aid with an offering of music or something else it finds appealing. Like lesser planar ally, this spell is unpredictable, and the fey who answers the calling is up to the whims of nature and the fey, not your own choice. You must succeed at a Knowledge (nature) check or Perform check (DC = 20 + target’s HD) in addition to the spell’s material component to entice the fey into appearing, after which you can negotiate for the service and your payment. The maximum HD of fey that you can call with that casting is equal to the result of your check – 20. For example, if your check result is a 24, the maximum HD for the called fey is 4. A high result doesn’t allow you to break the HD maximum for the spell, and a result of 20 or less means you can’t call a fey at all. If the fey doesn’t like the sound of your offer, it can simply choose to refuse, in which case you don’t expend any of the material components for the spell, either the offerings or the payment.

Entice Fey reads "This spell functions as lesser entice fey, except that the spell’s whimsical calling can produce a single fey of 12 Hit Dice or less, or two fey of the same kind whose Hit Dice total no more than 12." with 1250gp offering cost and spell levels "bard 6, druid 7, shaman 7, skald 6".

Greater Entice Fey reads "This spell functions as lesser entice fey, except the spell’s whimsical calling can produce a single fey of 18 Hit Dice or less, or up to three fey of the same kind whose Hit Dice total no more than 18." with 2500gp offering cost and spell levels "druid 9, shaman 9".

Now, getting a calling spell is very handy for Druids and Bards, but there are real drawbacks on this one. Aside from needing to overcome the skill check, the list of Fey out there is not that big and you are by no means guaranteed to have Fey favorable to you answer your spell. In a way, it's a worst of both worlds spell, since Planar Binding lets you summon whatever you like, although you need to compel them into service, and Planar Ally at least has your divine helpers sent to you by your patron deity, who is obviously favorably disposed towards you. Entice Fey does none of these things, and can indeed by answered by anyone or anything that is a Fey of appropriate HD.

So, the major question here is: How do we put Entice Fey to good use?

The skill check at least isn't too difficult to overcome. While the temptation is for a Bard to use a Perform check while taking 10 to hit the DC, a Bard can also easily overcome it by using Lore Master and Bardic Knowledge to take 20 and add half his Bard level to the check (or even using the Pageant of the Peacock masterpiece to substitute a Bluff check with a +4 bonus for it), so even if he substituted out Versatile Performance, he can still hit it no problem. Everyone who can cast Entice Fey can also cast Tears to Wine for an easy, large bonus to the Knowledge check in question and Druids get a +2 bonus to Knowledge (Nature) checks. Put ranks in Knowledge (Nature) and anyone will make the checks by taking 10.

But when it comes to the Fey you are calling, we really need to put a finger on the scales somehow. One thing that occurs to me is that since it functions as lesser planar ally, "if you know an individual creature's name, you may request that individual by speaking the name during the spell (though you might get a different creature anyway)." That means that any Fey we are friends with is going to be callable and favorably disposed towards us. With a Fey Gate (or Plane Shift or Gate) spell, presumably we can go over and make friends there, although that'll be an adventure. The upshot of it is getting allies in the form of callable fey. Another point is that if you worship one of the Eldest (in the Golarion setting), probably you can get high-ranking fey associated with them to show up, making the spell function a bit more favorably. That would probably work best if you are actively working for one of the Eldest, rather than just a worshiper.

We do get one more advantage with Entice Fey. Planar Ally stipulates that "few if any creatures will accept a task that seems suicidal (remember a called creature actually dies when it is killed, unlike a summoned creature)." However, Entice Fey overcomes this by sheer dint of the fact that we are calling Fey, who in the Golarion setting, will typically return to life in the First World whenever they die, as a general rule (there are exceptions, and they are mainly carved out for use of the First World Creature template). Most fey also regard death as a curiosity, owing to their immortality on the First World. As such, most fey are not afraid of suicidal ventures.

Bumping to note that grasping the Padma Blossom suppresses the dazed condition indefinitely, in case that were to be a crippling factor of the Constable Cavalier's Instant Order.

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 35