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News for 1/13/14

Philly-Specific News

We had a very successful Winter Gameday this past weekend.15 tables went off, including 4 tables of Library of the Lion. Things are back to usual for a while in Philly, with regularly scheduled games at the Strat, 7th Dimension, and Redcap’s.

Pathfinder Society General News

Library of the Lion is finally out! If you haven’t played it yet, grab your Investigators and get ready to infiltrate a secret Taldan library for hints from the past that might help our future. It contains faction missions for Cheliax, Grand Lodge, and Taldor and is a scenario designed for characters from levels 1-5.

Also, Carrion Crown has just been sanctioned for PFS play. Details are available at John Compton’s blog post. Also according to that blog post, Wardens of the Reborn Forge will be sanctioned most likely around the end of the month. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Pathfinder General News

There’s only one more day left in voting for round 1 of RPG Superstar. Check out all the cool custom items created by members of the Paizo community and vote to help your favorites advance to the top 32!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in News & Updates

 

Statblock Scavenger Hunt – Sellsword

I’ve been writing a lot of articles recently that focus on the player side of the screen. However, one of the things that I have been thankful about in Philadelphia is the amount of people who also GM as well as play. It’s about time I wrote an article for GMing.

Take a moment and look over this statblock:

Sellsword CR 7
(Edited from Gamemastery Guide 283)
Human fighter 8
N Medium humanoid
Init +6; Senses Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 25, touch 12, flat-footed 23 (+10 armor, +2 Dex, +3 shield)
hp 80 (8d10+36)
Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +6; +2 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities bravery +2
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 bastard sword +14/+9 (1d10+8/17–20) or spiked gauntlet +11/+6 (1d4+3)
Ranged javelin +10 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks weapon training (heavy blades +1)
STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +8; CMB +11; CMD 23
Feats Cleave, Improved Critical (bastard sword), Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Iron Will, Power Attack, Toughness, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bastard sword), Weapon Specialization (bastard sword)
Skills Intimidate +7, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +5, Perception +8, Profession (soldier) +5, Ride +8, Survival +10
Languages Common
SQ armor training 2
Combat Gear potion of align weapon, potion of bull’s strength, potions of cure light wounds (2); Other Gear +1 full plate, +1 heavy steel shield, +1 bastard sword, spiked gauntlet, javelins (5), cloak of resistance +1, 40 gp

Now, answer the following questions. Feel free to look back at the statblock, but first see how much you can answer without looking anything up.

  1. A PC caster targeted you with phantasmal killer with a DC of 17. You rolled a 10 on your first save. Did you pass?
  2. A PC caster targeted you with confusion with a DC of 17. You rolled a 10 on your save. Did you pass?
  3. Modify the attack line to account for Power Attack
  4. Modify the attack line to account for Vital Strike
  5. What’s the Sellsword’s bonus to Trip? Disarm?
  6. What’s the Sellsword’s CMD vs. Trip? CMD vs. Disarm?
  7. What’s the Sellsword’s Perception bonus?
  8. What’s the Sellsword’s Sense Motive bonus?
  9. What’s the Sellsword’s Acrobatics bonus?
  10. Why is this stat block slightly misleading? (The answer is related to at least one of the questions above.)

When you think you have your answers, click here to check your work.

(Special thanks to Alexander Nudd for help with editing this article.)

Feel free to discuss the questions in the comments below. If you’re looking to complete the questions without spoilers, I would recommend not looking in the comments.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Articles, Statblock Scavenger Hunt

 

News for 12/29/13

Philly-Specific News

We have a bunch of conventions/special game days coming up in the near future. On January 11, we have the Winter Gameday, February 20-23 is DREAMATION over in Northern New Jersey, April 4-6 is MEPACON, and April 17-20 is Seelie Court. All the links go to their respective Warhorns for signing up (except MEPACON, which doesn’t have signups available yet). If you’re available those weekends, we’d love to have you.

Pathfinder Society General News

We have new content! Well, at the time of writing this, we have one piece of new content – 5-10 Where Mammoths Dare Not Tread, a 7-11 scenario set in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords with no faction missions. I’ve run it already, and it’s a pretty sweet scenario. Fair warning to GMs though, it’s a lot to prep. I already put my prep for it on the Google Shared Prep Drive, and I would highly recommend you take a look at it. There’s a lot of stat blocks in the scenario.

The other December scenario, 5-11 Library of the Lion, got delayed and is due to come out January 3rd. It has to do with Taldan history, which obviously means it has to be good. There will be faction opportunities for Cheliax, Grand Lodge and Taldor.

Also, Wardens of the Reborn Forge came out this month! It takes place in the mana-dead/primal magic city of Alkenstar with guns! It looks to be pretty sweet, and it looks like it’s going to be sanctioned for PFS play much like Dragon’s Demand was. The most interesting part is that the module is designed for 12th level characters and will take them to 15th, potentially making it a pseudo 2nd retirement arc for PFS characters. The chronicle sheets haven’t come out yet, so if you want to run it for PFS credit don’t start yet. You can, however, certainly pick it up and start preparing if you want to GM it.

Pathfinder General News

The time to submit your RPG Superstar wondrous item is coming to a close. You have until January 1st at 5pm Eastern to submit your item!

FAQs

Presumably the Pathfinder Design Team has been hard at work on the Advanced Class Guide and hasn’t had much time to address FAQs. There are no new FAQs to report.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2013 in News & Updates

 

The Game Changes at Level 5

As your character gains levels, they will become more specialized. Your character has a couple things that they are really good at, and they will certainly try to spend most combats following that one strategy, whether it be summoning monsters, full attack power attack with a greatsword, or yelling insults at enemies to get them to attack your super high AC instead of squishy party members. The problem is, your enemies also have some things that they are very good at and sometimes their strategy trumps yours. A lot of these are things you can prepare for if you know they exist. However, if this is your first higher level character, you may not be aware of the effects and strategies at these levels. Here are some things you can expect.

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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Advice, Articles

 

News for 12/13/13

Philly-Specific News

Winter Gameday is coming! Make sure to sign up on the warhorn here to reserve your slot!

Congrats to Benn Roe on his fourth star!

Pathfinder Society General News

The playtest will soon be ending. I’ve had a lot of questions about what this means for Pathfinder Society. The answer is pretty much nothing. You can keep playing your playtest characters from now until when the book comes out. Once the book comes out, you have to update your characters to the new version of the class, changing only what has changed between the playtest and the final version. As usual, make sure you pay attention to the playtest forum during the final days of the playtest to see if there are any changes to the class from the pdf they released. (For example, they fixed one part of the Investigator since the last update.)

A recent blog post has posted the schedule for the first 3 months of 2014. Get ready for a 3-part series in Osirion!

Pathfinder General News

RPG Superstar 2014 has been announced! RPG Superstar is a competition Paizo has every year to gain new freelancers. The winner writes a module for Paizo, and the rest of the top 4 each write a PFS scenario. All you have to do to enter is to come up with a wondrous item and submit it to the linked page! Check it out and start designing those wondrous items. You have until the end of the year to submit your item.

FAQs

Let’s see what the Pathfinder Design Team has done in the past month!

The magus must use a spell in a magus spell slot with spell combat (unless he gets an ability that says otherwise) – As with any build focused on spell damage, a level dip into crossblooded orc/draconic sorcerer can do wonders for magus spell damage. However, this FA clarifies that you can’t use the spells granted to you by that level for spell combat by default. (Like usual, broad study lets the magus get around this restriction.) (source)

A weapon can get multiple bane enhancements, but their bonuses overlap – Pretty much what it says on the tin. A +1 elf bane human bane longsword only gets +2 to hit and +2d6+2 to damage when used against a half-elf. (source)

Celestial Servant only changes the type of the animal companion, not anything that would change because of the type changeCelestial Servant changes the type of your animal companion to magical beast. Magical beast, like any other creature type, defines what kind of hit die, BAB, save progressions, class skills, and other abilities the creature has. This would change a lot of things about the animal companion (including needing to rebuild 1/2 the animal companion table), but it has been clarified that the feat doesn’t do that.

Claws on your feet? Four legs good. Two legs bad. – Turns out the difference between talons and claws are actually something to pay attention to. The FAQ breaks down when you’re allowed to put claws on your legs and the reason for doing so. (source)

Clerics with outsider subdomains can actually use their planar binding spells – Normally, in order to use planar binding, you must make a magic circle spell of the same alignment to trap it. Unfortunately, all the magic circle spells have alignment descriptors of the opposite type of the creatures they trap, which means that clerics cannot prepare them if they are of the same alignment of their subdomain. This is off, so the FAQ lets them do the binding without doing the magic circle. (source)

Vestigal arms don’t grant you an extra attack – This is right in the wording of the discovery, but this FAQ clarifies what that actually means. Vestigal arms are still really useful, but they don’t actually give an extra attack in a full attack. (source)

Half Orcs can’t select the Acute Darkvision as a racial trait unless they kept their darkvision – RAW, you could trade away darkvision and get it back by taking Acute Darkvision. RAI, Acute Darkvision is supposed to be an upgrade for regular darkvision, not an ability that gives you darkvision in the first place. This FAQ makes RAW match RAI. (source)

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in News & Updates

 

The ACG Playtest is Here!

Today the playtest for the Advanced Class Guide will drop, and as of this blog post, will be legal right away. Additional Resources will be updated with exactly what is legal for playtesting, although one can imagine that most of the playtest will be legal. I know that I’m excited to try out the new classes, and I’m sure that a lot of you guys are too. There hasn’t been an open playtest in PFS in a while, so here’s some advice to make the playtesting experience a little bit better for all.

The player is responsible for bringing the playtest rules to the game. Much like any other additional resource, players are responsible for bringing any playtest material to the game so that the GM can become familiar with the mechanics upon request. While there may be some GMs who dive into the playtest and become familiar with all 10 classes deeply, most GMs will need a reminder about what your class can do. If you are playing a playtest character, it is polite to inform your GM of this and ask them if they are familiar with the mechanics of it. If they aren’t, provide a copy of the playtest rules plus a copy of any messageboard clarifications.

Be involved with the playtest on the Paizo boards. There will be forums set up on Paizo’s site dedicated to discussing the playtest classes. This is one of your opportunities to affect the content that Paizo puts out. Discuss your experiences, what you liked and didn’t like about the class, and how it performed during the game. This playtest is a giant conversation, and the developers are listening. If you take the time to give feedback, it will be better for all.

Untested mechanics are no excuse for bad behavior. It’s already possible in Pathfinder Society to create broken characters. Optimized summoners, slumber-spamming witches, and kitsune fey sorcerers are all examples of characters who are on the very top of the power curve. There are 10 new classes in the playtest, each with something brand new. Chances are, something will be overpowered and/or broken. You may be playtesting, but everyone at the table is trying to play Pathfinder Society. If you realize that you are dominating the table, hold back and let other people participate. As players who play those kind of builds know – you may have found a “win button” in the rules, but that doesn’t mean that the game is automatically enjoyable.

Different is not necessarily overpowered. This one is mostly for the GMs out there. As people play the playtest classes in your games, you are going to see brand new mechanics that break your expectations over and over again. Certainly, when this happens, check to make sure that everything is kosher and that there are no problems. However, that little voice in the back of your head that tells you when something is overpowered will probably be wrong at some point in the playtest process. There will be new strong options, and sometimes we need to tell the voice in the back of our heads to shut up. If the mechanic is causing the problem at the table, then you should let the player know and tell him to hold back a bit, much like you would for a powerful build from current material. And if a new mechanic is constant causing problems, please post that feedback on the Paizo forums! That’s really important to know!

Most importantly, have fun! Playtests are an exciting time where we can try out lots of cool new stuff! Just remember to have fun while doing it! If you have any questions about the playtest, feel free to send me an email, although I won’t be able to answer anything until the playtest is actually posted.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Advice, Articles, Community

 

Changing Our Expectations for Season 5

Season 5 changed a lot about how Pathfinder Society works and the overall direction of the campaign. Now that we’re 7 scenarios in, we have a clearer picture about where Season 5 is going and how we should change our expectations about various parts of the campaign. I wanted to take a moment and talk about how the changes have affected us so far and how we should take a different look at the campaign going forward.

Even more so than previous posts, this is definitely an opinion piece by me, so take everything here with a grain of salt. Given my experience, I hope that my opinion is a useful one, but it is certainly not an universal truth. Take these opinions with a grain of salt like you should for all opinions, and use them to form your own opinions about how we should look at PFS going forward. (And I’m certainly interested in hearing your take on the things I bring up in this article.)

(Added a cut since this is a long one.)

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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in Articles, Community, James' Soapbox

 

News for 11/3/13

Philly-Specific News

Honestly, there’s not much new on the local news front. Just a reminder that there are two conventions coming up – MEPACON and Nerdvemberfest. Other than that, things are back to normal in Philly, with our gamedays happening back on schedule after the momentary blip that was Unseelie Court. As usual, check the Calendar for more details!

Pathfinder Society General News

Two new scenarios have come out! 5-06: You Have What You Hold is a exploration into the city-state of Tymon, where gladitoral combat is the great equalizer. Someone’s messing with Pathfinder shipments, and it’s up to you to figure out who. Sczarni members won’t want to miss this one!

5-07: Port Godless is Pathfinder Society’s 2nd trip to Rahadoum, the country of atheists. At least this time, you won’t be smuggling in clerics into a godless nation. However, you still need to watch out for those Pure Legionnaires. Can you make it through and save the Riftwardens that have been captured there? Members of the Cheliax, Osirion and Qadiran factions won’t want to miss this!

Also, while we were at Unseelie Court, John Compton, head developer for PFS, had a video chat with one of the VCs for Atlanta, Nani Pratt. During that chat, he took questions from the audience and said a lot about the direction of PFS over the course of the season. You can find that chat here.

Additional Resources was updated for Blood of the Moon. While the skinwalker race isn’t freely available, all the equipment and magic items are open. Check it out!

FAQs

There’s a lot of FAQs over the past two weeks, so here they are in one post to keep track of them. Most of them are relatively minor, although there are some changes to archetypes that players of that archetype should really pay attention to.

Weird Words – Our first FAQ is not actually an FAQ, but the Pathfinder Design Team suggesting a fix to an ability.The Weird Words ability of the Sound Striker Bard Archetype has pretty bad wording. It can be read one of two ways – either all the words could hit one target and then it’s pretty strong or the words had to target separate targets in which case it was pretty weak. On top of that, no matter how you read it it required about 30 dice rolls to resolve, which was just too much. (I ended up going out an buying color-coded dice for my Sound Striker at GenCon). The Pathfinder Design Team ended up suggesting a fix to it, and that’s what the link to the side is for. If you have a sound striker, or if you just want to see this ability work, feel free to comment on the thread linked. (source)

Crossblooded/Wildblooded Don’t Work Together – The title of this one basically says it all. You can’t combine the Crossblooded and Wildblooded Sorcerer archetypes since they both replace the same class features. This FAQ reinforces that although the wildblooded bloodlines look like alternate sorcerer bloodlines, they are in fact archetypes and behave like archetypes (unlike say, subdomains). Another side effect of this is that it’s really hard for crossblooded to stack with any sorcerer archetype, which honestly is fine since crossblooded is already pretty strong. (source)

You Can Lose Actions During Your Turn – If you get reduced in the number of actions you can take in a turn, then that reduction is applied immediately, even if it means you no longer get the action you are currently attempting to do. The easiest example of this is if you provoke an AoO from a monk, and he uses Stunning Fist and you fail your Fortitude save, you stop where you provoked from and lose the rest of your turn. (source)

Black Blades Can Be Sundered – The Bladebound Magus Archetype allows the magus to gain an intelligent weapon called a black blade with its own arcane pool and its own abilities. One of those abilities is Unbreakable, which makes the black blade immune to the broken condition and making the blade unconscious when it would be broken. This FAQ clarifies that while you can’t break the black blade, you can still destroy it. Unbreakable is apparently not undestroyable. (source)

Eagle Shamans Have the Ability to Become Medium and Large!Eagle Shamans were hindered from fully using their abilities by the availability of stat blocks of Medium- and Large-sized birds. This FAQ tells those druids how to find appropriate shapes to turn into. (source)

Sohei Monks Can Flurry of Blows With Light ArmorSohei is a Monk Archetype that, among other things, grants the monk armor proficiency but still wants it to use flurry of blows, which is an ability that doesn’t work if the monk is wearing armor. This FAQ fixes that, and makes sohei an even stronger archetype for monks. (You still don’t get the monk AC bonus if you’re wearing armor though. That would be silly.) (source)

Prestige Classes Which Advance Spellcasting Only Advance Spellcasting – When your prestige class says that it advances spellcasting, it advances your caster level, spells per day, and spells known if you are a spontaneous caster. No bloodline spells, not mystery spells, no patron spells, nothing besides what is written in the spells class feature of your class. (source)

Metamagic Spells Count as Their Effective Level or Original Level, Whichever is Worse For the Caster – Say you have a dazing intensified fireball. (First of all, holy crap, you have a dazing intensified fireball. That’s pretty sweet!) You want to cast it defensively? That’s a DC 29 concentration check since it’s a 7th level spell. You want to use a selective metamagic rod on it? Hope you have a greater version since the lesser and normal versions won’t work on it. However, you will be sad when you try to make that spell go through a globe of invulnerability and it doesn’t work since it counts as a 3rd level spell for that. (source)

Clarification on How Mithral Pricing Works for Non-Armor Items – You use the item’s weight, not the new weight once it becomes mithral. Yeah, I know, not exciting. Not every FAQ is. (source)

If a Weapon is Made Out of Multiple Materials, Use the Lower Hardness for Sunder – The basic idea behind this FAQ is that if you are taking the time to sunder a battleaxe, you would be a fool if you tried to break the hard metal head instead of the softer wooden haft, so you use the hardness of the wood rather than the metal. This means you should really have the description of your weapon with you when you play a character so that the GM can quickly adjudicate what kind of materials the weapon is made out of. But of course, you’ve been making sure that you have your additional resources with you whenever you play that character, right? (source)

The Bastard Sword is Either One-Handed or Two-Handed, But Not Both – The bastard sword is a weird weapon. Anyone with martial weapon proficiency can use it as a two-handed weapon, but if you burn a feat on exotic weapon proficiency (or you’re a half-elf who took the ancestral arms racial trait), you can use the bastard sword as a one-handed weapon. The question then comes up with feats like Power Attack which care if it’s a one- or two-handed weapon. The answer is that if you’re wielding it in one hand, it’s one handed. If you’re wielding it in two hands, it’s two handed. (source)

Alchemist Confusion Bombs Require a Saving Throw – The alchemist discovery Confusion Bombs allowed the alchemist to auto-confuse someone who took a direct hit from an alchemist bomb, but he had to trade away 2d6 damage to do that. This effect was ridiculous, and now there’s a saving throw to bring it back in line with, say, actual confusion. (source)

Temporary Bonuses to Ability Scores Work Like Permanent Bonuses, Except They Are Temporary – In the glossary, they had to save space when referencing what temporary bonuses to ability scores do. This FAQ clarifies that it was only to save space, but they should still do everything that full ability scores do. (For instance, temporary increases to strength will increase carrying capacity.) (source)

Feral Combat Training Allows You to Use Your Monk Increased Unarmed Strike Damage in Place of the Natural Attack’s Damage – The basic rule is that natural attacks and flurry of blows don’t mix, unless you have Feral Combat Training. Since it says that all effects that apply to an unarmed strike apply to a natural attack, this includes the monk’s class feature that increases their damage. I’m sure there’s some ridiculous build that comes from this – so monk optimizers have fun! (source)

If Your Familiar Delivers a Touch Spell For You, it Doesn’t Break Your Invisibility – The trick here is that you aren’t the one making the attack, your familiar is the one making the attack. Not an big leap of logic, but one nice to have written down. (source)

Alchemists With the Chirurgeon Archetype Can Now Use Their Archetype to “Cast” Breath of Life on People – At 10th level, Alchemists with the Chirurgeon Archetype gain the ability to prepare breath of life as an extract and give it to other people. The problem is that usually the action economy of feeding other people potions doesn’t work out that well. Normally this doesn’t matter, but the action economy actually prevents breath of life from actually being cast on anyone. This has been fixed. (source)

Augment Summoning Now Works on Summon Monster or Summon Nature’s Ally Spell-Like Abilities – Continuing Paizo’s recent trend of spells = spell-like abilities, summoners can use Augment Summoning to improve the summoned creatures off of their spell-like abilities just like their spells. They still can’t use it to buff their eidolon though. (source)

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2013 in News & Updates

 

Starting Equipment Checklist

PFS Characters start out with 150 gold, which really limits martial characters while giving spellcasters more money than they know what to do with. This article should help you stretch that money for martial characters while giving those who don’t know what to do with their money some ideas.

Basic Gear – There is a lot of basic gear in the Equipment chapter of the Core Rulebook, and there’s a lot more if you own Ultimate Equipment or Adventurer’s Armory. If you wanted to, you could spend a lot of time going through the chapter and guessing at exactly what you’ll need to bring while trying to keep the weight and cost to as low as possible. For those of us who don’t want to do that, Ultimate Equipment gave us gear kits that contain a bunch of basic gear all wrapped up in one package. Check them out and pick up one that fits your needs. (Although if it doesn’t have rope, you’ll need to pick up some rope.)

Armor – If you are an armor wearer, you’re probably going to have crappy armor for your first mission. Light armored people probably aren’t going to go above studded leather, medium armor wearers aren’t probably going above scale mail and most likely sticking to hide armor, and heavy armor wearers are probably sticking with medium armor for the time being. You’ll be getting much better armor after your first scenario. Shields, on the other hand, are pretty cheap. Pick up wooden shields for now – you can pick up steel ones later if that’s your eventual goal, but there’s no point in spending that extra money.

Melee Weapon – Even the 7 Strength character should have some sort of melee weapon. Fortunately, everyone is proficient with a club, and they are free! Granted, you may not deal a lot of damage with it, but it is at least something. For melee characters, you want to make sure that you have all 3 damage types covered (bludgeoning, piercing and slashing). There are plenty of cheap options in the simple weapons. Slashing users especially can pick up the morningstar to have the other two types taken care of in one weapon. You should also look at having a cold iron weapon early in the game. Cold iron doubles the cost of the weapon, which is very little gold if you pick the right weapon, and DR/cold iron generally tends to be on annoying creatures (like dretches).

Ranged Weapon – Every PFS character should have the ability to attack at range. Every PFS character should have the ability to attack at range. Every PFS character should have the ability to attack at range. Every PFS character should have the ability to attack at range. Hopefully by repeating it 4 times you get the picture. At low levels, even if you’re rolling a flat d20 vs. AC, you’re still hitting around 40% of the time, and there’s plenty of examples where either you can’t get into combat because of terrain features or because the creature is really nasty. (Xtabays are a wonderful example of creatures you don’t really want to stand next to, along with 1st level halfling barbarians.) While not having enough money is a limiting factor for a lot of equipment for this list, slings are free and sling bullets are a silver piece for 10. You have room in your equipment to spend a silver piece on a sling and 10 bullets. Slings are especially good for melee characters since they add your Strength modifier to damage.

A note for archers – it may be really tempting to buy a longbow or a shortbow for your brand new level 1 archer. It’s a trap. You’re going to be upgrading to a masterwork composite longbow or a masterwork composite shortbow after a scenario or two anyway, and a 75gp item or a 30gp item for a moderate damage increase (or maybe not depending on what your strength modifier is) isn’t worth it. Use the sling for an adventure or two, then go get your appropriate masterwork composite bow and spend the money you save initially on other things to help keep you alive.

Method to Deal WIth Swarms – Paizo sure does love their swarms. They were very prominent in the early seasons, and while they’ve toned down on putting swarms in low-level scenarios in recent seasons, they have by no means stopped doing so. While swarms made of Tiny creatures can be attacked by weapons, swarms made of Fine or Diminutive creatures need area of effect attacks to harm them. (source) If you are an arcane caster, Burning Hands is an effective option.  For everyone else, alchemical equipment is your best option. An alchemist fire or two give you a good bang for your buck. Many low level swarms can be destroyed by a single alchemist fire and a good damage roll, and if everyone has an alchemist fire or acid flask, generally that will be enough to destroy the swarm.

Method to Heal Downed Party Members – 1st level characters don’t have a lot of hit points. There are of course outliers (aka the Human Barbarian build with 27 hp and 20 Con), but most 1st level characters have somewhere between 7 and 14 hit points. Even a single cure light wounds is very helpful. Most players buy a wand of cure light wounds at some point after their first scenario, but it’s a really good idea to have a potion of cure light wounds available if you can’t use a wand so that you can bring up someone who is close to death. This becomes more important the more brand new 1st level characters you have in the party with you, since there are probably less and less people with lots of healing resources available. If you can cast cure light wounds, a scroll of it might not be a bad idea until you can get access to a wand. A scroll of cure light wounds costs 25gp, and a potion costs 50gp.

Method to Deal With Incorporeal Creatures – Paizo has had a tendency to put shadows as low level fights. While they aren’t common, when they do show up they are brutal. Shadows are incorporeal, which means they take no damage from regular weapons and half damage from magic weapons. Usually if Paizo puts an incorporeal creature into a low-level module or scenario, they provide a way in the game of dealing with it, but a scroll or oil of magic weapon can make the fight much easier for your party. This advice is more important for sanctioned modules than it is for scenarios seeing as shadows seem to show up more often in sanctioned modules. A scroll of magic weapon costs 25gp, and an oil of magic weapon costs 50gp.

This article suggests a lot of gear, especially recommending a bunch of consumables that are going to eat into your budget at character creation. Low level survival is all about budgeting what tools you need and making sure you have the basics covered before you go onto more expensive gear like a chain shirt or an expensive weapon. Low level characters tend to be versatile since they don’t have a lot of class features that pidgeonhole them into certain fighting styles yet. Use that versatility to your advantage and get gear that will help you and your party members anything that the scenario throws at you! And if you’re really worried about your character dying at 1st level, GM a scenario and apply the credit to the character. There’s 500 extra gold to purchase all the equipment you need! No risk involved!

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Advice, Articles

 

News for 10/19/13

Local News

We’re in the middle of Unseelie Court right now, and we’ve had an awesome turnout! We have a five table Siege of the Diamond City going off as this post is being written. Defending Nerosyan is tough work, but they seem to be holding off the demons for now!

In other con news, MEPACON signups are open. Sign up soon to make sure the tables you want are available!

Pathfinder General News

Weapon cords have been errata’d. Now you can retrieve the weapon tied on the other end of them as a move action (as opposed to a swift action). FAQ here. Note that due to rules for retraining in PFS due to rules changes/clarifications, you may sell weapon cords back at their full price, but you may not change anything else about your character.

If you are a divine class with a deity whose favored weapon is unarmed strikes, your deity now gives you the feat Improved Unarmed Strike. Previously this only worked for Clerics, but not other classes that worshiped a deity. Inquisitors of Irori rejoice! FAQ here.

A couple answers on retraining. First, when you retrain something, it only matters if you meet the prerequisites now – not when you gained the feat that you are replacing. For example, you can have a rogue take Skill Focus (Craft (pie)) at first level, then retrain into Weapon Focus at 2nd level, even though the rogue didn’t have +1 BAB at first level, he has it when he retrains and that’s all that matters. FAQ here.

Also on retraining, there was an idea floating around call “bootstrapping,” where you retrain levels of the classes that you used to qualify for a prestige class into more levels of the prestige class, using the other prestige class levels to qualify. The hammer has come down on that practice. FAQ here.

Spell Mastery is no longer a wizard-only feat in Pathfinder Society. Back in the days of the Core Rulebook, the only arcane prepared caster was a wizard, so the feat only references wizards. Since then, we’ve had alchemists, witches and magi (plus who knows what coming out of Advanced Class Guide!), so John Compton has PFS house-ruled it to also apply to all other prepared arcane casters. (For people who are reading Spell Mastery and wondering why people would take it, it’s a prerequisite to get into Magaambyan Arcanist.) Messageboard post here.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in News & Updates