Are there any Feats for / ways to use spears it that reflect it’s dominance over shorter melee weapons

Spear are wildly effective weapons, in small-ish Combat Groups. In particular, when used defensively, they can keep melee attackers at bay with no ability to retaliate relatively easily. You would, for example be able to hold a 5ft-wide bridge against a mass of opponents pretty easily if they weren’t willing to rush you and sacrifice themselves.

I was disappointed to find that in DnD 5e, they really aren’t very effective or interesting weapons. They don’t even have Reach.

I’m planning to come up with some ideas for a homebrew additions to them, and propose them on here, but before I do, are there any existing official ways to make a spear behave like this?

Is there a class or set of feats that focuses on shooting with the ballista?

I’ve tried to do a little research, as my players will soon fight pirates, whose warship is armed with ballistas (gunpowder hasn’t been invented yet). Unfortunately, I was unable to find any class that would exactly fit the role of a ballista operator.

Is there a class that gets bonuses for attack, damage or some other useful features for ballistae? The pirates should be around 12th–14th level.

I use ballista rules from Heroes of The Battle, both heavy and light.

If there are some useful feats for that, please do not hestitate to mention it. As far as I have found I have:

  • ballista proficiency
  • crossbow sniper
  • plunging shot
  • ranged weapon mastery

Materials from 3.0, 3.5, Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Adventures are allowed.

Just to clarify, as the gamemaster, I do define ballista as an oversized variation of crossbow, thus most of feats, classes or features that affect crossbows will affect ballistae as well.

Can I use two feats affecting unarmed strike at the same time?

Is there anything preventing a character from using, for example, Stunning Fist on the same attack as he uses Befuddling Strike, Perfect Strike (with a Ki Focus weapon), Scorpion Style, or similar feats?

As far as I can tell from the descriptions the only limit on them is that you can only use each once per round, or in the case of Scorpion Style, as a standard action.

How do I respond to a player’s criticism that the breadth of feats available in Pathfinder 2e is by its nature restrictive?

Not sure how better to phrase the title. Let me explain.

I recently migrated a 5e campaign across to PF2e. One player has been resistant to this move. As an example, he asked how a character might perform a Feint-like action, but making the target flat-footed to an ally, rather than themselves. I referred him to Distracting Performance, which he said wasn’t what he meant, but we reached a point in the conversation where he made the following claim:

For every feat that says "you can do this thing", that inherently means "if you don’t have this feat, you can’t".

In other words, the breadth of character choices is actually restrictive.

So for instance, a character without Distracting Performance in principle has no way by which to get an enemy’s attention. This appears to be his main gripe with PF2e as a system, as he sees 5e as flexible enough that a DM can ‘just sorta make it up on the spot as necessary’.

I don’t believe that a system is superior because it’s easier to fill in gaps in the system ad-hoc. I know there’s creating actions, as a route for DMs to create new actions on the fly, but this is different to a character attempting something that’s already outlined, but behind a feat wall, so to speak. I understand his point – a character shouldn’t be blocked entirely from trying to grab a creature’s attention, just because they haven’t taken the feat.

So I think the root of my question is how to handle a character attempting an action or set of actions that’s facilitated by a particular feat (such as in the case of Distracting Performance), without having that feat, but also without drastically devaluing the feat.

RAW, is it a straight "no, the character cannot do that until they have the feat"? Or is there leeway in the system for "a character can attempt it, but the DC is then modified to hard / very hard (+2 / +5)?"

Can metamagic feats be applied to Apocalypse from the Sky?

Apocalypse from the Sky is a 9th level spell from the Book of Vile Darkness. Epic level rules allow for spell slots higher than 9th level, so assuming one had access to those, could such feats be applied? This would make an already powerful spell even more dangerous (example: widen spell). But I can’t see a rule that would forbid this.

What feats and class features can grant a half-orc monk natural attacks?

I want to play a half-orc monk who specializes in combining unarmed strikes with natural attacks. By monk, I mean I’d at least like the character to be enough of a monk so that he benefits from the special abilities AC bonus and flurry of blows.

Are there class features or feats that enable my dream of a serene master of fist, tusk, and claw?

Pathfinder 1E – Penalties to the Power Attack and Stunning Assault Feats

The Power Attack feat allows you to choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls.

The Stunning Assault feat, which lists Power Attack as a prerequisite, allows you to choose to take a –5 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to stun targets you hit with your melee attacks for 1 round.

Does this mean that using the two feats together requires you to take a cumulative –10 penalty to your melee attack rolls?

How can this in-combat healing specialist best spend their remaining levels and feats?

For an upcoming game (starting at ~level 9-10, continuing until level 20 or we get bored/distracted), I’ve been working on a build specialized in in-combat healing, with a secondary focus on buffing allies and disabling enemies. Unlike my usual experience with 3.5 character optimization, I find myself with spare levels and feats after "finishing" the character’s core concept. I’m seeking feedback on how to best spend these character resources to strengthen the character’s performance in its core roles, and perhaps shore up its weaknesses as well.


The Build

Race: Human

Ability Scores (32 point buy):

  • Str: 8
  • Dex: 14
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 14
  • Wis: 14
  • Cha: 15

Build Table:

Level Class Feats Ability Scores Other
1 Cloistered Cleric 11 Imbued Healing, Combat Casting2, Travel Devotion3 Healing Domain, Knowledge Domain
2 Bard 1
3 Bard 2 Dodge
4 Bard 3 Cha 16
5 Bard 4
6 Combat Medic 1 Enlarge Spell
7 Combat Medic 2
8 Combat Medic 3 Mobility4 Cha 17
9 War Weaver 1 Reach Spell5
10 War Weaver 2
11 Sublime Chord 1
12 War Weaver 36 FREE Cha 18
13 War Weaver 4
14 War Weaver 5
15 Combat Medic 4 FREE
16 Combat Medic 5 Cha 19
17 FREE
18 FREE FREE
19 FREE
20 FREE Cha 20

1: of the Sovereign Host

2: Human bonus feat

3: from trading Travel domain

4: Combat Medic bonus feat

5: I haven’t asked the DM yet if retraining will be allowed. If so, this feat will be retrained after level 14, when War Weaver’s Enlarged Tapestry class feature makes it largely redundant.

6: From this point on, all prestige class levels advance Sublime Chord casting.


Goals

The build’s core goals are to:

  • Heal the party, using War Weaver to apply Cure X Wounds spells to all party members at once, with additional rider effects from Imbued Healing and Combat Medic, plus spontaneous Heal starting at level 16.
  • Buff the party, using War Weaver’s class features to do so efficiently in terms of actions and spell slots.
  • Perform various other support utility functions, such as removing status effects using Resurgence and wands of Healing Lorecall.
  • Disable enemies using spells that ignore saving throws, like Solid Fog, Fanfare, and Irresistable Dance.

I’m looking to achieve the following with my remaining build resources:

  • Find additional ways to improve the efficacy of my healing spells, or add additional rider effects to them.
  • Find additional ways to support my party that synergize with my existing suite of healing, buffing, and disabling.
  • Find things to do with my spare actions. The build currently has limited uses for swift actions prior to getting Arcane Spellsurge at level 15, and limited uses for standard actions after that (although increasing the action cost of spells via metamagic with Enlarge Spell remains an option). It also lacks things to do with its move actions beyond moving and activating Quiescent Weaving, though this is true of most builds.
  • Shore up weaknesses, such as the build’s low Fortitude save.

Things I’ve considered:

  • Gish stuff (Arcane Strike, Snowflake Wardance, Knowledge Devotion instead of domain, levels in Abjurant Champion): Gives me something to do with standard actions at high levels. My BAB is garbage but I can use a wand of Divine Power. This option is shiny but I suspect not actually good.
  • ToB dip: I can dip 1 level at 17+ and get level 5 maneuvers/stances, while still getting level 9 spells by level 20. White Raven Tactics is really, really good, and fits the character perfectly. On the other hand, losing caster levels, yuck.
  • Inspire Courage investment: Can I make this work? Not very many effective Bard levels for Bardic Music, unfortunately.
  • Fatespinner: Low barrier to entry, 4 levels fits with the build and doesn’t lose caster levels, class features are good for supporting. On the other hand, the build is already badly starved for skill points (can’t even keep Concentration maxed at some levels, though I catch up eventually), and Fatespinner requires even more.

The choices I’ve made in the build table above are also not locked-in; I’m open to suggestions to change the existing portions of the build in pursuit of the goals I’ve described here.


Restrictions

Allowed sources:

  • All official 1st party 3.5 sourcebooks
  • Official 1st party 3.0 sourcebooks, subject to 3.5’s standard rules about not using 3.0 content if a newer 3.5 version is available
  • All official WotC web content

Not allowed:

  • Dragon/Dungeon content (aside from that found in the Dragon Compendium)
  • Pathfinder content
  • Homebrew
  • Epic level content (if we make it to level 20, we will stop there)
  • Extremely setting-specific Forgotten Realms content (but content from Forgotten Realms sources might be allowed if it’s not too heavily based on Faerun fluff)

Not what I’m looking for:

  • "In combat healing is weak, you should play something else": Yes, I know; making the best in combat healing specialist I can even though I know it’s a weak character archetype is the whole point of the build.
  • Extreme metamagic cheese (e.g., Incantatrix levels to offset the cost of Persistent Spell): This is a higher level of optimization than I expect from the rest of the table, and part of why I’m committing to healing and support is to avoid overshadowing other players, who mostly have less system mastery and interest in character optimization than I do.
  • Extreme action economy cheese (e.g., Mark of the Dauntless to ignore the penalty of Celerity): As above.

Are abilities that “Treat the results as a bull rush attempt” modified by feats and abilities that modify your standard Bull Rush?

Specifically I’m looking at the power Wind Blast from the Wind subdomain of the Air domain. The ability reads as follows:

Wind Blast (Su): As a standard action, you can unleash a blast of air in a 30-foot line. Make a combat maneuver check against each creature in the line, using your caster level as your base attack bonus and your Wisdom modifier in place of your Strength modifier. Treat the results as a bull rush attempt. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

With this and similar abilities, do any bonuses or effects from class abilities, feats, or traits such as Greater Bull Rush apply to the roll or result?