Pathfinder: Kingmaker

fangblackbone wrote:

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)

I have a merc in the main game that's built like that. Basic party set up is maximum tanky Val out in front, standing next to knife-merc, with Linzi (built for ranged combat), Eldritch archer main, Ekundayo, and either NPC cleric hanging behind. Val takes all of the aggro, Ekundayo's pet functions as a secondary tank, and the three archers just focus fire and demolish things. If I've got Harrim in the group he isn't bad in melee, so he'll also hang out on the front line if needed.

fangblackbone wrote:

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)

What?? I saw the alchemist label but assumed it would just alter the class-granted spells, but still count as arcane/INT (I mean, it's still NOT ~faith/divine/whatevs WIS casting after all -- keep in mind I have absolutely no PnP experience). Très lament on the vivi thing :/

As to knife master, I was looking at rolling a 'Mick Dundee' but need to suss if I can mix him with anything, because... well... multi class 4 life. Also, despite daggers being rogue-iconic, feels like you never see many straight up PC dagger-wielding rogues. Granted, I'd probably still give him kurkris or something despite saying that.

Yep. in PnP alchemist isn't considered an arcane spellcaster either. They are technically using chemical alchemy to replicate arcane spell effects, but aren't actually casting spells, and their memorization at the beginning of the day isn't the partial cast of arcane wizards but actually using an alchemy kit to pre-mix the proper chemicals for the spells effects they want. Alchemists don't qualify for any of the presige classes that require an arcane caster level unless they are specifically for alchemists (like Master Chymist)

What?? I saw the alchemist label but assumed it would just alter the class-granted spells, but still count as arcane/INT (I mean, it's still NOT ~faith/divine/whatevs WIS casting after all -- keep in mind I have absolutely no PnP experience). Très lament on the vivi thing :/

The game only does that with alchemists for whatever reason.
Paladins, rangers, clerics, druids, inquisitors but not chiurgeons are divine casters
Bards, eldritch scoundrels, magus, sorcerers and wizards but not alchemist, vivisectionists, or grenadiers are arcane casters

I will be frank though. Vivisectionists really don't need anything right now. They even get trickery as a class skill. I mean if you want to to be more uber, you could give them a pet and finesse training...

Alchemists not being 'casters' is something that is purely in service to the Pathfinder PnP game and the fluff attached to how alchemists work in the world of golarion. What they do isn't technically magic, it's Victorian steam-punk science.

I'm OK with that reasoning and, from a design standpoint, entirely agree with the spirit of their choice. On the other hand, I'm not really fussed about the vivi either -- at least, not as a long term keeper class.

Rogue is, what, SA dice every 2 [vanilla] rogue levels. The thought was one could back-to-back vivi with rogue and have 2 SA dice requirements in two char levels flat, as opposed to grinding the off-levels between SA on vanilla rogue, but still net 1 free arcane casting level towards requirements. Would have been nice gravy.

I'm assuming that, in addition to not counting towards prestige classes, the game won't even calculate vivi towards total caster level for overcoming things like.. what do they call it.. the DC of resistance(?) -- and other such things. Oh well (though let me know if there are some loopholes there). Otherwise I assume not.

I finally played a party long enough to stumble on and defeat the fallen priestess (?) boss on floor 21.
I had no idea it was a boss fight and nearly wiped playing it with the normal send in the pets and knife master and let them work their magic with next to nil target priority. Actually, I essentially did wipe as my eldritch archer was the sole survivor with less than 10% health at the end. Also of note is my druid died died and I needed to buy a scroll of raise dead and pray my ranger could cast it. (it worked!) Of course I then went about discovering how to retire the party (go back to the area where your character started behind the dragon)

The only reason I recognized it as a boss fight is the "boss" had a ton of hit points and was surrounded by an unusually high number of lieutenants. I believe it may have been as high as 8 alchemist lieutenants that were lobbing bombs constantly which I should have eliminated before tackling the boss. I thought the boss would go down much quicker but the difference was probably a good 20 seconds of mostly focus fire versus any other tougher enemies lasting no more than 5 seconds. (and usually could be handled by the trio of my pets + knife master)

So I am looking forward to the next boss and party which I am thinking will focus on a sacred fist monk. I think I am going to "protect" her by surrounding her with 2 pets like I did with the knife master. I did an elk and a leopard last time but may try 2 leopards or a leopard and a bear (I want to see what rend does... bleeding damage? armor reduction?)

^ Congratulations on the takedown! Sounds like a real nailbiter. I'm leaning towards the campaign at the moment, but my next dabble with BtSL will likely be a 4-party where everyone is on the theme of dbl stacking classes that have a stat gimmick. INT or WIS based (sage any empyreal??) sorc sub + X or scaled fist + eldritch scion or paladin + X, etc.

I suppose I need my campaign plan first (which much like BtSTL) will probably drop off low level due to char distraction

Prime candidates at the moment, somewhat, overlap with the above. Tiefling scaled fist, going STR in lieu of DEX with abyssal background and dragon style (gotta figure out the AC issues). Maybe mix with eldritch scion.. Or maybe the reverse and mostly ES with SF dip(s). Or maybe roll that INT-based sorc sub into something. Might make an eldritch knight actually on par with a magus type.

I also have a sudden itch to roll a halfling that uses cautious fighter then stacks all the AC tricks.

That and a high STR, half orc, glass cannon, slayer ~ 'dual wielding', specifically, an orc double axe. Some gimmicks to get around the low dex and still make that happen but I think it's doable with slayer class overlapping with ranger/rogue progression so much. First few levels may be a bear though.

My monk had to be the primary class because you get the 5 extra stat points. Scaled fists are much more MAD (hah I'm learning the lingo) but there is plenty of opportunity to get +stat belts, gloves, amulets and helms.

My new party is scaled fist, herald caller, mad dog and vivisectionist. The vivi actually is the real hero as a sneak attack longbow sniper!

I like that group! Though your last sentence highlights why I'll probably hang this up again soon. There's a lot of 'stuff' in P:K, but 75-80% of it seems, comparatively, useless or lackluster due to the underlying systems and poor balance. Off the cuff a level 7 magus gets what, one use of a lvl 3 spell per rest? Conceptually it's ALL good stuff, and the class seems like it's coming into some bang.. till you realize ~7 of the ~9 choices are worth a handful of sneak attacks with one or two of those spells being head and shoulders the clear choice over anything else -- and even those best choices will work out to about 1-3/10 of the value of sneak attack across a rest.

So freaking many of these abilities, feats spells, heritage derived doodads and such would have to be X uses per encounter or have some mechanic where every X +class levels they move into the cantrips or orisons level of reuse for them to be on par with a select handful of the stuff that's really worth a damn.

Aside from the fun of building chars just to build them, you could give me 15 uses of X 'thing' and I'd still dump most of it into a trashcan and light it on fire in exchange for (1) use of a good crowd control spell and (1) use of fireball.

Going back to sneak attack as an example, there's a reason that's mechanically the way it is now as opposed to being the original point blank, rear backstab only or bust route it was waaay back in the day.

I guess what bothers me the most is the other 75-80% of this stuff that ends up being just character fluff / flavor or, comparatively, sub optimal could be really great if it wasn't so self-hamstrung. The bedrock of what's here is an embarrassment of riches that seems to be largely squandered outside of summons, sneak attack, certain ray attacks, just-stick-with-a-cleric crusader, fireballs and the same two or three go-to crowd control abilities.

The monk will probably get better in short order. She seems to get a lot of attacks of opportunity and I don't have or don't know if I need to have two weapon fighting. Oh, you know what? I bet its flurry of blows...

Mad dog seems like a waste as a ranged attacker but the width of the hallways and the way the rooms are arranged makes having more than 3 melee attackers a mess. It would be nice to pound things alongside my pet with all those teamwork feats that automatically get applied to the pet. But there are no ranged pets, which is a big oversight in my book, so I would have to move the monk to ranged.

I may try long spear or short ranged (a 20-30 ft thrown weapon) on the mad dog. It could force the barb to be in close enough range to benefit from teamwork and not cause pathing shennanigans from too many melee attackers.

Combat reflexes seems to be pretty good if you set up for it (extra AoOs /round = to char's DEX bonus). The teamwork feats are a bit harder to approach / spread around, but they can really help control a situation.

Trip is crazy overall it seems. Bowling infusion seems to get loltastic if you go all in around that.

So I did what I said I was going to do and converted my mad dog to a dual javelin thrower with two weapon fighter. Well it worked

It is good to have a barrier to your back line that will intercept sneak attackers and flankers that wait until your frontline charges and tries to slip into your back line that will interrupt their sniping. My half orc mad dog definitely fits that bill.

Unfortunately, my party lacks a fire or acid cantrip caster to deal with trolls. So I had to buy some flaming or corrosive weapons to counter them. The funny thing is my monk was using her ki power scorching ray to deal with trolls before I was able to track down the right elemental weapons. Oddly, I found a shock+sonic nunchucks and a lot of frost weapons well before I found a flaming weapon.

The other odd thing is I typically find a whole host of necklaces of agile fists on my prior parties with no monks. I could have saved myself a few points in str if I had found one before level 9. The party is level 11 now and on floor 21. I killed a soul eater on floor 7 and it left behind the same weird portal looking thing that the boss did on the prior run. I have thought that perhaps I had already found and killed the next boss but I didn't get any quest completion so it seems I must go on. Anyone know what the portal thingie is? It is black in the center with a glowing gold rim around it. I'll see if I can find a screenshot of it. It looks like the Diablo 3 portal to greed's realm but rippled or more wavy.

I've bounced really hard off of this. I made it past the point where you get the barony and I'm just done for now. I don't like the characters. I don't care for the world. The ridiculousness of the Pathfinder system is just grating. And the Old Sycamore is one of the worst dungeons I've ever experienced in a game ever. And that's almost 30 years of gaming. The wildly inconsistent encounters are just absurd.

I love CRPGs. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I've played through the Baldur's Gate series, Fallout, so on and so forth, and this game has absolutely zero charm to it. It is not a game that I feel is designed well in any shape or form.

I absolutely understand and agree with this. And my next advice may not appeal to you at all if you would enjoy less story. Did you get all the DLC? I went from where you are standing with a grand total of 1-2 hours played to now over 53 hours plus a dozen or so hours researching onine resources and another 12 hours of watching videos.

The difference is the Beneath the Stolen Lands DLC. It is a rogue-like that you can turn off or ignore the rogue parts and just play it like a semi-randomly generated dungeon delver. To me it helps tremendously since you really don't want to be stuck pulled in different directions between the class system and the story and its maintenance. It directly addresses having your campaign completely nullified by forgetting one thing in your build, choosing the wrong talent or stat point or party make up.

In BTSL, you can just back out of the dungeon and roll a new companion to replace on of your others that is under performing, has a skill that doesn't work like you hoped, lacks a critical skill (like fire damage or trickery as mention in prior posts) or lacks direction due to the complexity of the character generation. This companion can be permanent or short term as you have a stable of them. (at least half a dozen outside of the ones in your party) If you are having trouble finding an item from looting, you will be given enough gold to buy it or something that will get you by until you do loot it.

Thanks for the reply, buddy. To be honest, that DLC really doesn't appeal to me. All it would do is embrace the aspects of a CRPG that I consider to be the least important and doesn't rectify my major issues with the game. Heck, I never cared for Durlag's Tower or Watcher's Keep and those dungeons are from games I love, lol.

No worries. I just wanted to put it out there because it really was night and day for me. From a wasted $40 pre-order to a gem that I will put 100s of hours into over the next several years.

In fact I am still dreaming about a solo character run...

I'm glad you were able to salvage it. It hits hard when you pull the gun on a big ticket item and you don't jive. Thankfully, I think I got it for $16, but still. I'll try it again in a better frame of mind and this time as an evil character because I just want that world to burn, lol.

Lol. One thing to remember if you want to faceroll combat in the campaign (for your evil playthrough) so that you can check out and only pay attention to the story is that many classes can get permanent pets. A lot of them become available at level 4 if you have the capability to select a domain (animal) in addition to a deity. I'm not sure if there is more than one deity that allows the animal domain. I believe the deity begins with an "E" and has the benefit of the longbow as a favored weapon.

You can always take 1 level of a class that gets a pet at level 1 for all your campaign companions. You can also give any of the cleric and inquisitor subclasses a pet through the animal domain. A stock ranger with no subclass can select a pet with hunter's bond at level 4.

I see a few videos online run with or recommend smilodon pets. I have no problems running with leopards and they have the added benefit of being small/medium so that they cause the least pathing problems in combat. Mastodons are great but they are huge and constantly block each other and my party. Elk are a good second choice. Bears are good but only one as they would be almost as bad as mastodons with pathing. My first pet was a centipede which I thought was the coolest and his attack was poison. Unfortunately other pets get trip and bite and claw attacks which makes them much more useful to the party. (creating attacks of opportunity allows you to chew through normally tough fights and enemies)

edit: never mind, doesn't work. Also, and I probably missed this upthread, but apparently when you are using a javelin in melee range it provokes an attack of opportunity (??) I assumed it would just be used like a lower damage spear --guess you would need fighter ranks and that one feat that's essentially improved PBS, or a class that lets you treat their class as X partial fighter ranks for fighter-only feat qualifications.

Anyways, a wash with the one character. On the other character, the other arcane archer using spellstrike with a javelin was at least amusing to watch.

I don't think you need fighter to get improved PBS. I believe a few of my characters have improved PBS. I will have to check the requirements.

In other news, my level 13 party that can wipe (with some effort) rooms filled with elementals (2x ancient, +any# of elder, huge, etc.) just ran into the Wicked Chanter boss. Nearly defeated him too with masses of high level undead and animal summons. My last attempt I think I could have defeated him if I'd summoned another round of animals. I killed his ungodly amount of minions and got him down to 25% hp. He is an unbelievable bastard. (well its his super unfair aura)

My retired party seemed much more fun at this stage/ floor number. Then again I was fighting tough stuff but I hadn't run into rooms filled with ancient and elder elementals. I never died as much and I didn't have to rely on create undead or summon monster VII, summon nature's ally VII.

edit: I was thinking of something else. Point blank master does require 4 fighter levels. You can get combat mobility that gives you +4 ac against attacks of opportunity.
I wish they had a better encyclopedia or complete manual somewhere. I like me some rpgbot but it contains everything in the pnp version. It is a lot to sift through

fangblackbone wrote:

I don't think you need fighter to get improved PBS. I believe a few of my characters have improved PBS. I will have to check the requirements.

In other news, my level 13 party that can wipe (with some effort) rooms filled with elementals (2x ancient, +any# of elder, huge, etc.) just ran into the Wicked Chanter boss. Nearly defeated him too with masses of high level undead and animal summons. My last attempt I think I could have defeated him if I'd summoned another round of animals. I killed his ungodly amount of minions and got him down to 25% hp. He is an unbelievable bastard. (well its his super unfair aura)

My retired party seemed much more fun at this stage/ floor number. Then again I was fighting tough stuff but I hadn't run into rooms filled with ancient and elder elementals. I never died as much and I didn't have to rely on create undead or summon monster VII, summon nature's ally VII.

edit: I was thinking of something else. Point blank master does require 4 fighter levels. You can get combat mobility that gives you +4 ac against attacks of opportunity.
I wish they had a better encyclopedia or complete manual somewhere. I like me some rpgbot but it contains everything in the pnp version. It is a lot to sift through :)

I believe you can also get point blank master as part of the rangers combat style feat tree

You can. The thundercaller ranger which only lets you select archery as a combat style has it available at level 6. So it should be available to the other ranger subclasses if you choose archery combat style.

^ I suspect the Slayer, as implemented in P:K, can access that as well(?) seeing as they get the choice of lvl progressing combat style options too (dual wielding vs archery tree stuff).

Of separate note, while some of the cleric domain abilities are ho-hum (aside from plant and animal -- the latter granting a pet option per Fang's notes) the cleric ~magic domain gives you 3+wisdom bonus /day uses of throwing your weapon. Also, swaps out the DEX requirement for WIS so you don't have to burn points.

Throwing a 2 handed greatsword was NOT a bad way to deal with lvl 1 archers when I couldn't quite close the gap while running ;-P

Recreational Villain wrote:

^ I suspect the Slayer, as implemented in P:K, can access that as well(?) seeing as they get the choice of lvl progressing combat style options too (dual wielding vs archery tree stuff).

Of separate note, while some of the cleric domain abilities are ho-hum (aside from plant and animal -- the latter granting a pet option per Fang's notes) the cleric ~magic domain gives you 3+wisdom bonus /day uses of throwing your weapon. Also, swaps out the DEX requirement for WIS so you don't have to burn points.

Throwing a 2 handed greatsword was NOT a bad way to deal with lvl 1 archers when I couldn't quite close the gap while running ;-P

WHo offers that? Is it only Nethys?

^ That sounds right. I'd need to check again at home as I'm not familiar with the pantheon to that degree [yet]. Hah, was a suprise when I crit'd someone at lvl 1 for ~ mid to high 40s damage, IIRC ~ 48 with a ranged hit.

Good god, the exciting hidden bonuses in this game is incredible.
I'd love to see a two bladed sword or orc double axe wield magic cleric throwing his weapon. Although dex is too critical for armor and reflex saves.

I wonder what would happen if you combined rogue and a magic cleric. Would the finesse training transfer everything to wisdom with that magic bonus? So you can throw a weapon and don't need str or dex. Just pump wisdom and constitution ftw? Time to go experiment...

[placeholder edit] the one thought should be enough to Google for now..

So obviously I have to think things through more clearly.
Because neither of those weapons are light or finesse weapon. So I chose to go with dual wielding rapiers. The weapon throw has a longish cast time so quite often the target is dead or gravely wounded before I can cast it.

The cool bonus is like was mentioned before, you don't have to be a cleric to get the magic domain. I did one level of inquisitor sacred huntsman and I got the +wis weapon throw, some cure light wounds and a pet to add to my thug rogue.

Unfortunately I thought of perhaps throwing axes being the only ranged finesse or light weapon after I had selected my finesse training. They are really hard to find as they aren't sold by the merchant so I usually ignore them in favor of darts or javelins. (I only use darts if they are flaming or corrosive for trolls and if I want a dual wielding druid ranged attacker) So I'll have to wait until level 8 I think to select another weapon.

One of the things I love about pathfinder kingmaker is that throwing axes, javelins and darts don't have ammo. I always wanted to use them but they were kind of gimped in that even in melee, they used ammo and their stacks were expensive had limited quantity and were in limited supply.

^ [in RE to longish cast time and that spell] [also: a longish detour]

The stumbling manner that P:K is trying to smash together the move action phase + the attack action phase, plus keep it RTwP within a very rigid (six second, iirc) round may be what's messing up the feel for that.

In defense of that statement: most spells are going to be move action or full round, right? As such there's not spell time variance -- at least like that. Ie, the spell isn't one of the rare multi-round mega casts and it's certainly not that quick/instant action class, else you wouldn't have a complaint Note that I believe your underlying observation is valid, it just goes beyond that spell and actually demonstrates itself in a variety of other ways.

Movement, relative to when you start moving in that six seconds of a WIP round, if you you stop 'in time' (during movement phase), if you took a few steps too far and are now rolling into another round is a total mess under the hood. Keeping clockwork tabs on that is a joke once people start getting multiple attacks per round and you have a mix of full round and move action spells being smashed together. Animations can hitch and drop like crazy. One need only compare to the combat log. There's a mod out there that helps track this by breaking the combat log into demarked round sections.

I'm down with RTwP in general (in fact, I prefer it in Poe2 by far) ; however, P:K wasn't substantially retooled for RTwP as far as I can tell. In PoE2, a round doesn't interact the same way. There, almost everything scales off of your dex stat and they did a comparatively great job of figuring out the slowest and the fastest they could sync up the animations across the spread of potential dex. Seriously, go make a min dex monk and a max dex monk and try bashing things in that cave on the beach at the start of the game. It plays out really smooth whether you are moving like a snail or a machine gun.

Or, in short, it doesn't happen often but there are times where, if you watch, you effectively get screwed out of a half round to whole round.

Looping back, yes -- I think the throw spell gimmick works best when it's a single high damage strike you are making. I'd need to look at the specific rules to see if there are exceptions, but unless it has such then milking for crit would also be the way to go. I think one of the tiefling bloodlines has a +2 to crit confirmation. I need to try that but, with builds where I use tiefling, it's hard to give up that free bite attack the one bloodline gets.