Feat Friday: Quick Mnemonic

Quick Mnemonic

You can learn spells just by seeing them cast.

Prerequisites: Ability to cast arcane spells, Spellcraft 1 rank, Intelligence 15

Benefit: If you beat the DC to identify a spell being cast by 10, you can use a memory-aiding mnemonic to act as though you had a scroll of that spell for the purposes of scribing a new spell into your spellbook or adding spells to your familiar. This mnemonic lasts for 8 hours, after which you forget the precise look of the components. Due to the need for experimentation, scribing these spells costs an additional 25 gp/spell level worth of materials.

Notes

A fun feat for wizards and the occasional witch, which can let them use the enemy’s magic against them. It’s always more interesting when your character’s major actions–like learning new spells–happens on-screen, so to speak. You can watch your character increase his or her knowledge, and feel good for once about putting all those ranks into spellcraft. It also means that identifying spells being cast during combat isn’t a waste of time. You will actually care whether or not you succeed.

Have fun with this one!

-Max

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Theme Thursday: The Enigma

The Enigma is a fun player or NPC theme. You have a mysterious background, and your motives are powerful yet inscrutable. Part of creating this character will be writing two backstories: one for you and the GM, and another as ‘cover’ for your friends and enemies.

However, if you want to do it right and actually have some abilities that hint at your dark background, consider some of the following options:

Wanderer

A 3.5 homebrew prestige class that’s seriously broken. I wrestled over whether or not to include this, but the cool factor won. It would require some major edits to be balanced, but the concept is very cool.

Arcane Vendetta

A feat from the Inner Sea World Guide. Use if your backstory involves a hatred of arcane magic. It’s a bit on the powerful side and I would probably require higher prerequisites.

Breadth of Experience 

A feat from the APG. Adds a lot of spice and even a bit of realism to those long-lived races. Great for a world-weary character and lets you talk down to the other players in a hilarious way.

Cypher Magic

A feat from the Inner Sea World Guide. There can hardly be a better way to create an enigmatic character than to deal in mysteries. Let this feat stand for all the cypher stuff from Paizo.

Experienced Vagabond 

A feat from Taldor, Echoes of Glory. Lends a classic sense of the rough and unsavory past to your character, even if you appear all above-board now.

Galley Slave

An awfully specific feat tied to background, but dramatic nonetheless. You’ll have a powerful reason to avoid questions about your painful past.

Notes

Make sure your GM is okay with this style of character. Also, make it fun and not annoying for your fellow players by not grabbing the spotlight too often, although going all cool and mysterious occasionally should be your modus operandi.

-Max

Weapon Wednesday: Sideswipe Axe

Sideswipe Axe

1-handed light exotic weapon. 3 lbs. 1d6 slashing damage. Critical x3.

Made with odd curves and a strangely shaped blade, a sideswipe axe is designed to surprise opponents. Once during an encounter, you  may declare that you are using this weapon to sideswipe before you make an attack with the sideswipe axe. Your opponent is flat-footed against that attack, and the critical multiplier of this weapon is x4. Unless they are mindless, opponents figure out how the axe may be used and can’t be caught flat-footed in this way again.

Notes

A weapon meant as a scary off-hand weapon mainly for rogues, though rangers and others might like it as well.

Also, we’re back after Passover! Thank goodness! Hello again and welcome back!

-Max

Feat Friday: Paired Spell

Paired Spell

You can alter the technique of one spell with such skill that it becomes another.

Prerequisites: Ability to prepare spells.

Benefit: Choose two spells that you can cast that are of the same school, and are the same spell level. You can spontaneously convert one spell into the other when you have prepared that spell. At 10th level, any metamagic feats you have prepared one spell with are applied to the converted spell as well.

Special: You can take this feat multiple times. When you do, choose a new pair of spells that you can cast.

-Notes

A neat little feat for spellcasters. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve struggled over the choice of two spells to prepare, every dang day. At least this feat can let you switch out the most frustrating choice!

-Max

Thursday Theme: The Tough Guy (or Gal!)

Today we present a couple thoughts on creating a character who’s the toughest, the roughest, and the most down-to-earth in the party. The tough guy (or gal!) isn’t fazed by much, but knows when it’s time to run. When that happens, he can keep it up longer than anyone.

The tough guy is usually a front-line combatant, but not always. You might play a tough guy (or tough gal!) who casts spells. Sometimes that’s what the world needs.

Anyways, here are your finest options:

Dwarf

The epitome of the gruff and tough. A classic that’s been almost done to death. How do you make this your own? The answer is to think about why your tough, gruff character is this way. Perhaps your dwarf experienced the most unimaginable of tragedies, or maybe he’s afraid someone will see the scared kid inside.

Half-Orc

Another hard-bitten classic. However, where this gets fun is if you become a wizard or other spellcaster–the unique half-orc abilities work wonders with spellcasting, and this guy gets a +2 to anything for his human heritage. Prejudice will drive the most intelligent of wizards to being tough.

Toughness

Mandatory feat for playing the tough guy (or gal!). Hit Points are generally the most precious commodity in the game, and your tough practicality would never let you ignore the feat that bears your name. Melee combatants need toughness because they are constantly taking damage; ranged combatants need toughness because if they take damage, they’re in trouble.

Ironhide

A feat from the Advanced Player’s Guide for half-orcs and dwarves. Don’t play an orc. Anyway, it’s a strong feat with lots of flavor and it makes you look like a badass every single time you get attacked. Make sure to mention how your callused skin deflected the blow.

Heroic Defiance & Heroic Recovery

Let these feats from the Advanced Player’s Guide stand in for endurance and diehard as well . This series of feats is a powerful series of choices for the tough character. Unlike most melee-style defensive abilities, this series rocks against casters as well as fanged monsters. Endurance doesn’t rock, but it’s quite flavorful. You can laugh at the other players who can’t keep up with your unfaltering step.

Ranger

It should be fairly obvious that rangers fit easily into the tough guy (or gal!) role. Make sure that your character comments on the need for being tough and being practical. There are too many strong, silent, and boring rangers in the world already.

Mind’s Eye

A homebrew feat with good flavor for the tough character. Not the most effective of feat choices, but nice in that it counteracts the most frustrating spells commonly used on tough characters.

Touch Me Not

A hilarious spell from Forgotten Foes by Tricky Owlbear publishing. Use this lightning spell to make sure that enemies leave you alone. You take your personal space seriously, and you want everyone else to take it very, very seriously too.

Dieharder

A really wonderful homebrew prestige class. Originally designed for 3.5, it would need a little expansion to get up to Pathfinder standards. Instead of having your dieharder die at -20 instead of -10, I would simply double and then triple the requirement to keep the same ratio. So becoming a Dieharder means you die when your hit points reach a negative number equal to twice your constitution score. And you stay conscious all through! The truly tough tread here.

Notes

The most important thing to remember is that being tough or defensive does not mean being passive. Your practical, hard-as-nails character wants to impose his or her worldview on everyone. Then maybe everyone will survive like you.

-Max

Sunday Spell: Paladin’s Plea

Paladin’s Plea

School echantment [charm, language-dependent, mind-affecting]; Level Paladin 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S,
Range close (25 ft +5 ft per level)
Target 1 creature that can understand you
Duration instantaneous

Saving throw: none Spell Resistance: yes

You beg  a creature with all the compassion you can muster to follow a particular course of action in line with your alignment. You make either a Diplomacy check or an Intimidate check (your choice) against the target with a +5 bonus to try and get them to do as you would in their situation. You can attempt to inspire, cajole, plead, or convince them into acting. Highly reasonable suggestions may grant you an additional +2 bonus on the check, at GM’s discretion.

Notes

Here’s a way to get Paladins to stop killing teammates and laying waste to random stubborn people with little provocation. You may not be able to change the mind of the big bad guy, but Paladins should be able to convince the local captain of the guard to stop bringing corrupt charges forward, or get a goblin to take his family and leave in peace. Paladins should not resort to violence as a first option, but as a last. This spell is an attempt to help fight against “lawful stupid.”

This spell reflects the more functional uses of Diplomacy and Intimidate rather than the strict rules-as-written versions. You’ll also notice that Paladin’s Plea allows for the possible existence of paladins of alignments other than Lawful Good, should that ever be necessary.

-Max