Pathfinder: Kingmaker

fangblackbone wrote:

I feel bad talking so much about it if that encouraged you to buy something you are just not enjoying.
I missed what you wrote so perhaps if you clued us in we could push you towards something you might find more fun. I mean you would have to have fun with a party of pet classes. Apparently either the leopard or smilodon is the best pet due to insane dex that can be buffed to make them nigh invulnerable. (like 50-60 AC)

Don't be! Sale prices after all, plus it's growing on me. Admittedly, some of it is anchored back to my love-hate cycle with base P:K. The game does so much so well that the more egregious dev choices end up [perhaps.. maybe..] disproportionately magnified. It's def a me thing.

As to pets, I really like low-level leopard. IIRC, it gets its buffout at level 4 instead of lvl 7, like most the others pets(?) The frequent trip is really nice if you've built for the team to capitalize on AoO. Also the change to dex use at lvl 4 is crazy. Also, I think size growth is one class size smaller than most the other pets(?), which I actually prefer. Smilodon isn't bad though. Mastadon may be best: didn't they implement where it helps with party weight/carry? If so, then hah-hah ;-P

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Of separate topic, what's everyone's favorite/crazy 'gish' build? I think I'm using the Pathfinder/D&D slang correctly there. I'm a big fan for figuring out where you can 'dip' a class or two for new toys without gimping overall char progression. There's something to be said for fun and having a dense toolkit as opposed to the, sometimes myopic, end game of 'but at level 20 it all clicks' school of building.

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@ Hedinn, I'm fairly certain you can set it to auto level the story characters (?) Really though, for the campaign it's not that bad. You mostly just need to come up with one build for your main (and technically there are some templates at start). The companions you can keep inside their default lane, if you want.

The leopard is pretty awesome, especially if you have more than one of them. They can set themselves up for AoO really well. And then combine that with ranged attackers or someone with sneak attack.

As far as gish (I had to look it up), there are a whole host of stock classes and sub classes that fit the bill. Even the "tank" monk, the sacred fist, gets ki powers to blast from a distance. It is funny though that the classes that should be awesome at both I am not using them to their full potentials. The sword saint I rarely cast with. The druid I rarely cast with and haven't even tried any of the seemingly awesome shapeshifts: shambling mound, and small, medium or large elemental forms. The bard I really only use to pick locks and fling arrows. And as much as I've talked about the cleric necromancer, I have yet to cast any summons on any class. The sorceror gets elemental body and again, I have not cast it nor have I really cast any spells other than acid splash to make trolls and troll hounds stay dead. My first party had an eldritch rogue that, yes... again, I have not cast any spells with. My paladin I used a lot of greatsword, longbow, channel positive energy and lay on hands. I have never used a ranger in melee, hah. I've had great success with mad dog barbarians but I have never used rage (and hence rage powers either). They make pretty good archers I have wanted to try a slayer but I don't know that I get what they are supposed to be or how they are different from a rogue. Probably the saddest thing is I made an alchemist and used her crossbow and cure light wounds instead of her bombs. Practically every party I've made has had an inquisitor in it but I don't get the feeling they are good at melee. Most often they are my trickery class in lieu of a rogue or bard.

My mantra is sort of the opposite of Minsc's; which is to say instead of swords, arcana-for-everyone!

Which reminds me/I'm glad you mentioned: I need to earmark some time one night, specifically, for picking up with my magus and sword saint char learning. Also, this game has a lot of variants of classes that use charisma (not just sorc) in interesting ways. Gotta find where the maximum practical overlap for all that is.

Monks seem like a good bet for lvl dip in certain situations. Especially [well, maybe?] the charisma based one..

Yes. One level of the monk sacred fist IIRC will net you the charisma modifier to your AC. We'd have to work out alignment restrictions but the other monks have the wisdom bonus to AC that could be useful for rangers, druids, paladins and clerics.

It is really hard to think of multiclassing in this game because the classes and subclasses are so complex to begin with.

^ I don't recall the exact gen feat vs combat category breakdowns.. I suspect a human, with their bonus pick, could snag crane style with a 1 lvl dip too instead of 2 lvls. I may be conflating that with recent non monk shenanigans involving slashing / fencing grace on low lvl human melees. That works great on any class that hands out free lvl 1 weapon focus.

Speaking of, since you can weapon focus fists(?) you can make that work with the sword saint skill for simulcasting a 1 round spell(?) Basically it's making you dual wield, right? I think the only prohibition was not ranged and not a 2 handed melee weapon either (as, again, I suspect you are essentially dual wielding the spell in the off hand). Negating AoO is the fun part of that scene, I bet.

And yes, alignment makes that trickier for sure. On your Paladin note, I seem to recall that the mechanics for Paladin's smite ability is pretty good in P:K. More akin to a mark-for-duration vs a buffed single strike. If so, I'd love to fold that in with another class at the [n] level sweet spot.

Hmm, a quick Google indicates:
base 1x use /day at lvl1 /+use on 4th lvl /+use every 3 lvls after
swift action
till enemy dead or paladin dead
+CHA bonus to [all strikes vs marked?] attack rolls
+pal lvl to dmg roll [the 'catch']
+ [more] bonus to first strike if undead, evil outsiders [etc etc?]
pal gains def AC bonus =CHA modifier vs marked enemy for duration

I'm not familiar with the Pathfinder source. Are most monsters 'evil' or shades of 'neutral' ?
Might prove a handy tool for boss-ish enemies.

Hmm, if you just go to lvl2 you still get the Pal's +CHA modifier = bonus to ALL saving throws too.
Would have to look at all the other bits to see if this, or monk shenanigans, would help an eldritch scion hybrid.
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Really though, if I'm going to make a 'gish' or 'gish-like' hybrid then Arcane Trickster, for "impromptu sneak attack", is emerging as a good direction. That mixed in with a sword saint(?) both working off of dex + int. Or perhaps Eldritch Archer. How would sneak attack work with [general idea] the dual nature of bow stacked on top of an EA using "ranged touch" spells I wonder...

Thank you, guys, I think I will get it tonight.

Because who doesn't need more games in their backlog?

^ Backlog smacklog! Deserving titles emerge victorious atop the boneyard piles of lesser, discarded games!

Ha-ha, just kidding.. my backlog keeps me up at night (with one eye o-pen, gripping your pil-low tight, enter.. *record skip* ) more than a bad ballooning mortgage.

Pathfinder is more of a front, center and backlog game, with that 200 hour campaign plus endless mode dlc.

There is a subclass that gets a "spell" that marks a target with a condition that makes it backstabable even when its not flat footed/etc. It even works on things immune to sneak attack but it won't count the sneak attack damage. I think at different levels like 4th, 7th and 12th it goes from an action to a move action to a free action or whatever the terms are. I'll have to look it up.

I looked at the pathfinder wikis to check out how many classes and subclasses exist. For all of the complexity of the ones that are in game, there are an equal amount more not in game. Plus, many classes have more than 3 subclasses (about 5 each). So it is scary to think they have only implemented about 1/4 of the classes and their subclasses. I will be so upset if they abandon development on the game. I want my summoner, gunslinger, oracle, witch (weaponized hair? yes please), and shaman please.

Side note: I actually just counted the classes not yet implemented. 19 out of 35 classes have not been implemented and classes have anywhere from 10-21 subclasses. So we are talking over half of the classes are missing and 2/3 to 6/7 of their subclasses are missing. So 190 to 399 total subclasses are not developed. I'm waiting

Its arcane trickster. It doesn't mark the target it is a stance that last for 1 round per day up to 4 rounds at level 9. The rest is the same. It works on anything whether flatfooted or immune to crit damage or not. If the target is immune to crit damage then damage is rolled normally.

While looking that up I saw the knife master rogue that uses d8 for sneak attack damage with a select set of knife like weapons which is pretty cool. They also get AC bonuses with wielding knives later on

^ yup yup Per my last closing remarks, the arcane trickster is the one I really want to fuse with something now.

I think you can fast track the first required D6 (of 2D6) for sneak attack and arcane spells (lvl2), at the same time, by going vivisectionist lvl 1. That said, I think there's a sorc sub that works of INT, instead of CHA (maybe more uses for a limited spell set). 'Ranged touch' attacks (I assume they count against the same lower 'touch' ac stat of most enemies) seems an option for dex + int builds.

quick detour thought: the SA dice might also help fill out an eldritch archer; I'm guessing that precise shot feat would help archery AND ranged touch(?)

Sword saint might prove an excellent pairing with the arcane trickster if it can be squeezed in.
Weapon finesse the sword saint, leverage the high dex, balance out with SA dice, then alternate between ranged and direct touch attacks with spell strike and spell combat, respectively as needed -- I get the two confused, I believe it has both.

Dueling sword or estoc for weapon. I believe both count for finesse, oddly enough. Even if dueling sword is exotic I don't think the sword saint would have to burn an exotic feat(?), just use its lvl 1 ~chosen weapon type ability.

Anyways, nitty gritty aside on dueling sword, I think the estoc would def work, also, for fencing grace feat (add dex to DMG, and finesse has you covered for to-hit) -- fencing grace requires both weapon focus and weapon finesse, iirc, but the sword saint essentially gets focus for free in it's chosen weapon(?) and one likely has weapon finesse, from earlier, when doing the rogue pre-reqs (though 'vivi' route is probably better for bundling arcane levels plus SA? OR maybe vivi(1) then rogue(1) to rapidly get SA dice done, then slowly get arcane levels in sword saint to unlock the arcane trickster instead of trickster before sword saint...

Hah! half of that is a really long way of saying: attack from shadows with SA+weapon damage+spell damage + sneak attack spell damage might be possible in roughly one round (?) Also, I think you'd rapidly follow up with another spellstrike if you properly run 'spell strike' and 'spell combat' at the same time and you are coming out of stealth.

[confirmation of one point in above -- sword saint and slashing/fencing grace skills]

Yes, this works, though was a bit clunky for me to choose. Rolling human (for bonus feat) /sword saint/level 1 --> feat selection screen (the little squares in the top left) -->choose weapon finesse as the first feat square, then click past and SKIP the second feat square, in the third block it asks for your sword saint weapon (which also counts as weapon focus feat -- make choice), now go BACK to your second block that you skipped and you should be eligible for slashing/fencing grace, as tied to weapon you chose in the third feat block.

Not bad for lvl one, dex bonus is now working for both your to-hit bonus as well as your damage bonus, meaning you can focus int (vs strength) for those combat bonuses as you level sword saint. Also makes the early levels less of a PITA if you can actually hit and damage.

Downside is you may want to be selective with 'spell combat' (toggle) and your cantrips (unlimited use) till you can get ~combat casting and more bonus to AC (etc) otherwise the attacks of opportunity from enemies may eat you up.

How is Beneath the Stolen Lands balanced? Does the progression feel right?

Also do the enemies have crazy stats like in the main game?

^ Beasties can roll some... atypical properties the deeper you go and Last Azlanti is on as default, so they're definitely going for the rogue like you-will-die (eventually) thing. There's a good chance you will be at least level 4++ before you get hit by anything wonky though. So, a bit of time to mold your party.

Per your second line remark (and not that I disagree), but I chalk some of that up to being locked in with default companions. My solution has been to use a mod that sets hiring of mercs to cost zero gold so I can play around with alts, which was nigh unmanageable in the base game (at least way back) unless you grabbed them cheap when you were at lvl 1, or waaaay later when you were flush with cash. It didn't really cost scale well in the middle.

..oh, and camera rotation. Snagged that too. Not having those controls were driving me crazy. Like a game lacking a jump, even if you don't need it, feels odd sometimes.

Some things of note:
You may try elven curved blade as your chosen weapon. It is 2 handed and considered a finesse weapon.

Precise shot and the like works for things like bombs so I am almost positive it works for ranged touch. (I am almost certain I read it somewhere) After looking now, it works on anything that has an attack roll so it should work.

My brain is straining but I swear there is a spell like sneak attack ability. I just have to find it.

The balancing in BTSL is very fair until it isn't. That can come any time around floor 15. The game throws an elder elemental and friends at you. But I think it is one of those things where you can get smarter and eventually build a party and gear to overcome it.

My first party fought the fight 4-5 times and was barely able to get some of the "minions" down.

My second party (with 4 mastodons) easily wiped all the minions but it was unclear whether they were able to hurt the Elder elemental. And really, 4 mastodons other that some pathing problems were doing the lion's share of all the fighting and killing in that party. But I never took advantage of the insane corrosive or other things like negative energy weapons available in the shop.

My third party has been remade several times. It is probably my eighth or ninth party to be honest. Is using 3 leopards to make them more situational and free up combat responsibility to more of my party. I will take advantage of the elemental weapon selection available to me as well as *gasp* use spells... I will also use pause a lot more

Woot Woot! I knew I wasn't (that) crazy. Sense Vitals spell is d6 per 3 levels sneak attack. It is level 2 bard, ranger, sorcerer and wizard spell. I'd wager alchemist or at least vivisectionist gets it too. But does magus too?

fangblackbone wrote:

Woot Woot! I knew I wasn't (that) crazy. Sense Vitals spell is d6 per 3 levels sneak attack. It is level 2 bard, ranger, sorcerer and wizard spell. I'd wager alchemist or at least vivisectionist gets it too. But does magus too?

It;s not on the magus spell list for the PnP game, so it's unlikely it is for Kingmaker. Does kingmaker have the feats where magus can add a small number of spells from the wizard list?

@ Fangi B

Wait, and I realize I've been all over the map with general build musings, but do you mean I can use elven curved blade as a 2-hand and still have a magus/magus sub make use of spell strike and spell combat without messing up their spell + attack in one round aspect??

As to precise shot, I wast thinking about that but wouldn't one also have to burn point blank feat first? Also, I thought that only helps with "ranged touch" spells? I'm thinking, though riskier, one could make things work with combat casting and sticking to mostly straight up "touch" spells since those def roll vs the lower "touch ac" stat.

@ thrawn82

This isn't a hard/certain no, but I believe that in P:K the base Magus gets access to that Wiz list at lvl 19. Maybe there's a later magus arcana that somehow triggers an earlier option in a roundabout way, but the late game access is all I'm aware of.

The "good" news is I think that will allow for sense vitals(?) but it ends up being waaay late :/ Anyways, to expand on that, I believe it goes: at 19th lvl pick (2) each from 1 - 6th level Wiz list.

Time to drop a fireball on this (dbl) post!
(new post is not edit.. derp)

Wait, and I realize I've been all over the map with general build musings, but do you mean I can use elven curved blade as a 2-hand and still have a magus/magus sub make use of spell strike and spell combat without messing up their spell + attack in one round aspect??

Yes?
I mean that is the first main I created after I bought the BTSL DLC. A dwarf magus sword saint with a curved elven blade chosen weapon. It has been a long time since I have played that party (some 40-50 hours) but I believe that is what was happening.

Side note: the alchemist, at least the chiurgeon, cannot learn sense vitals. A lot of what I have read though is that the teamwork feat that gives d6 bonus damage to however many party members are flanking and have the feat is a nice alternative. Freebooter rangers can give some of their favored enemy bonuses to party members within 30 ft.

The game definitely has its hooks. Even when I create a character and want to test it out or look at the creation options I end up playing for a few hours. And it is definitely one of those games that when you want to quit, it becomes "just one more room" for about 3-4 more floors

fangblackbone wrote:
Wait, and I realize I've been all over the map with general build musings, but do you mean I can use elven curved blade as a 2-hand and still have a magus/magus sub make use of spell strike and spell combat without messing up their spell + attack in one round aspect??

Yes?
I mean that is the first main I created after I bought the BTSL DLC. A dwarf magus sword saint with a curved elven blade chosen weapon. It has been a long time since I have played that party (some 40-50 hours) but I believe that is what was happening.

Actually, may be close enough. You have me thinking, it may not work for spell combat (1st level) but 2 hander may very well work with no free off hand for spell strike (2nd level). Trying to run both simultaneous is a little clunky anyways, so spell strike would probably be ok for my needs. I think slashing/fencing grace is just one-handed though... so I may need to look at retooling for STR so I can capitalize on the 1.5x bonus of 2-handers.
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As to BTSL, I wonder just how frigging deep you have to go to clear all three/four (I think four is what the dragon says) DLC bosses..

You can't. You only get one boss per run and then have to import after you retire the characters. Some people want to get to floor 50 but apparently you get the boss as early as 36. When you beat the boss the option to retire the character appears and you get to start over with whatever starting bonuses you earned from the dungeon progress. Apparently the captor/captive encounter is a real doozy.

Do you get anything for your main campaign for doing the BTSL outside of the campaign?

I don't believe so
Apparently the dungeon has far fewer floors in the main campaign and is gated behind each chapter.
From what I have read there are 50 floors in the stand alone and 20 or more in the campaign.

People are also saying they bought +5 stuff from the honest guy vendor but other than a few exorbitantly expensive items, only +1 items are available for me at floor 17.

Man this game is bad for altoholics and theory crafters. You just can't put it down. It is like every party/character you create you have to play 6-8 floors and 6-7 levels. It is so easy to play just one more room/floor for hours. It is easier to continue that to stop

I made an eldritch archer because I wanted to see if I could use the sling staff (that I absolutely love) as a chosen weapon. Well unfortunately the eldritch archer does not get a chosen weapon like the sword saint. The side effect is that it is still a cool class. I rounded out the party with 2 pet classes and the absolutely amazing knife master rogue! I chose elf and was a little pissed when I couldn't use starknives without martial weapons feat. So I just went with daggers and 20 dex and the 3rd level feat that lets you use dex for damage and the class trait that lets you do d8 sneak attack with knife class weapons. The pets run in just ahead of the rogue to shield her from focus fire and tbh, those 3 alone (pets + rogue) would be a formidable party on their own. It is going to be fun when the druid in the party gets better wild shapes to join the melee fray.

fangblackbone wrote:

Man this game is bad for altoholics and theory crafters. .

This is why as a P&P game 3e/Pathfinder can be a real slog to DM, and tough for a mixed group. The crunchability can destroy a campaign.

I really dig the Eldritch Archer. That's what I eventually settled on in the main campaign. It is a slow start (the tutorial was murder) but once you hit 5th level and get that "Devourer of Metal" bow she just tears through everything. High DPS, versatile damage types thanks to the buffing options, plus plenty of fantastic spells for crowd control.

^ Alting aside, my 'main' will probably land on archer. That's my favorite back-to fantasy archetype. I'm tempted by eldritch archer with possibly [undecided X lvls of arcane trickster] and, if so on preceding, a splash of vivi too. Might be getting a bit thin though...

Additionally, mulling over ranger stormcaller (I think that's the name in P:K) or a possible pure bow paladin with a focus on extending the smite bonus to the team.

..primary reservation (planning out 'on paper' and all ) with a pure EA is spell selection, till later on. Seems so-so(?) I'm not convinced that EA isn't best for JUST the early dips of ~spell combat / ~spellstrike.

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Self note for later: look into crossbows instead of bows.. allegedly some shenanigans to be had with an EA + spellstrike + buffing up the crossbow crit range on delivery + [presumably] some metamagic horseplay.

Also-also: maybe something like: 2 Eldritch Archer / 8 Wizard / 10 Eldritch Knight
Hurricane bow (spell) + enlarge person seems a fun gimmick.

[with later, expansive, edits]

Vivi is a beast, bar none. It is the only class so far that I was able to solo BTSL. Feral mutagen is terrific. I hope that there are more medical discoveries at later levels. The way it looks is that there is a fixed set and you can select them in the order you wish. That is disappointing since feral mutagen is far and away the best or my favorite.

And of course because I can't leave well enough alone, I recreated a vivi to duo with a druid. The gist? Elemental wildshapes, even small, are a lot of fun. I can imagine how much more powerful the large elemental versions are.

One thing that will bum RV out is that vivi's only contribute the sneak attack to arcane trickster. The vivi's spell list is called alchemist, and is not considered arcane for arcane trickster qualification in the video game.

But seriously guys... Do yourself a favor and roll a knife master rogue with all dex, d8 sneak attack, two weapon fighting and finesse training (damage rolls use dex instead of str)