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Revenge of the FAQ Attack!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Last week’s FAQ blog was so popular, we made a sequel!

In a world where FAQs run rampant...

What does “with” in the Special line for the Feral Combat Training feat (Ultimate Combat, page 101) mean for monks making a flurry of blows?

Normally a monk who has natural attacks (such as a lizardfolk monk with claw attacks) cannot use those natural attacks as part of a flurry of blows (Core Rulebook 57). Feral Combat Training allows you to use the selected natural attack as if it were a monk weapon—you can use it as one of your flurry of blows attacks, use it to deploy special attacks that require you to use a monk weapon, apply the effects of the natural weapon (such as a poisonous bite) for each flurry of blows attack, and so on.

The feat does not allow you to make your normal flurry of blows attack sequence plus one or more natural attacks with the natural weapon. In other words, if you can flurry for four attacks per round, with this feat you still only make four attacks per round... but any number of those attacks may be with the selected natural weapon.

Can I use Cleave (Core Rulebook, page 119) or Great Cleave (page 124) to cleave to or from an image created by a mirror image spell (page 315)?

No. If your initial attack hit the caster, you can’t cleave to an image as if it were an actual creature. If your initial attack hit an image, you failed to hit your intended target (the caster), and therefore can’t cleave. As you can’t specifically target an image (because you can’t tell the images from the actual caster), you likewise can’t aim for an image and try to cleave to another image.

Can I use magic missile (Core Rulebook, page 309) to destroy one or more images from a mirror image spell (page 315)?

No. Magic missile targets a creature and does not require an attack roll, so it bypasses all the images and always hits the caster.

Sean K Reynolds
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Frequently Asked Questions Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So to confirm a lizard folk monk uses the table and not his own natural attacks to determine monk damage w/ flurry...cool with me.

Also for rule purposes, hitting an image does not count as a successful hit...cool with me.

FIRST POST!!!

P.S. Please keep these coming, it is nice to have an official ruling on the rules


Thanks for clearing these things up, SKR!

If you've got a moment, I had a touch spell question in the last FAQ Attack, which I think may have gotten buried under the mountain of negative energy.

Also, if it's not presumptuous, I would nominate the Scorpion Whip for whenever the next round of FAQing kicks off.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

At the risk of contributing nothing to the discussion, I just want to say I love these FAQ posts. Fan as I am of applying common sense rulings and GM's law, I'll take as many FAQ clarifications as I can get.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yay for FAQ posts! Can we make this a daily thing? Maybe I'm the only one who'd enjoy that...

So how about Take 10 and Take 20? :D


Okay, silly question: where do I find the complete FAQ?

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I really appreciate having official answers to a lot of these questions. Please keep them coming.


Kriss Lambert wrote:
where do I find the complete FAQ?

Not silly at all.

At the top right corner of every page is a link like thus: Help/FAQ

The page it links to has a box on the right side with More FAQs based on product. Core Rulebook, APG, PFS, etc. Clicking any of those will take you to the FAQ page for that product (or for PFS). The More FAQs box seems to re-arrange itself sometimes, so the same link won't always be in the same place, but they're always in there.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:

Yay for FAQ posts! Can we make this a daily thing? Maybe I'm the only one who'd enjoy that...

So how about Take 10 and Take 20? :D

No I would really enjoy that too. While James Jacobs is correct, that the rules don´t have to detail everything, as a DM and a player, I vastly perefer a clear ruleset.

Just for my personal peace of mind.

@Kris Lambert, look for the core rulebook on the site and scroll down it has its own tab.


Strange, this time none of the FAQ points seem to be able to spawn three+ page discussion that would give Sean headache, nightmares and and forcing him to revise the revision... ;)


Thanks guys, I've never actually thought of clicking that link up there, looks like I have some reading to do!

BTW: Hi Ryan, love your podcast :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Keep on bringing the FAQy love! In fact, I'd go as far as to encourage 4 or more items resolved on FAQ each week!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'll also add that the titles of this post and its predecessor make me feel vindicated for not having pronounced it "eff ae cue". ;)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

My group really appreciates these FAQ Attack posts! Hope they keep on coming.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can just see next week's: FAQ Attack: Questions Boogaloo

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
I can just see next week's: FAQ Attack: Questions Boogaloo

...Not "The Empire Strikes FAQ"?


"FAQ 2: The Questioning"?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Wait wait, I have more!

Let's see...

FAQ to the Future

BrokeFAQ Mountain

A FAQ of the Killer Tomatoes

Men in FAQ (and the sequel, Men in FAQ 2: FAQ in Black)

[ReFAQted] (a tribute to the Overheard thread)

Fear FAQtor

There are more, I'm sure. ;)

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I normally love a good FAQ entry, but the ones about Mirror Image smack of patching the symptom instead of the problem (in this case, patching how cleave/magic missile work instead of addressing the mirror image's shaky justifications.)

If the reason you can't hit the caster properly is that you don't know the right thing to target, then why does a magic missile bypass that? Does it know something you don't? What if I attempt to attack a silent image that happens to share the square with the caster, does the magic missile redirect to the caster or simply fizzle on the image? If it's the latter, why doesn't it do that with mirror image? If it's the former, would that work for any figment that shares a square with a creature? What about attacking an image that shares a square with a solid creature using a normal attack, do those attacks hit the other creature or the figment? If the latter, why is magic missile different?

Similarly, with cleave, why would hitting something immaterial *stop* your cleaving (thinking conceptually here)? If figments have an explicit AC (which they do), could a cleave guy not cleave off of a figment into another creature (being completely unaware of the figment's nature)? If not, then why can they cleave off of an incorporeal creature to which they do no damage, and why does a figment have an AC if they can't actually hit it? (The incorporeal subtype states they are immune to the damage, but not that the attack misses.) If they can cleave off of a figment, then what makes these figments different?

Maybe I'm just being picky here, but I'm a "world first, rules second" kind of guy and I would rather modify a spell to be fair then modify the world to make the spell work. These FAQ entries, though sensible as a "keep the game going" kind of thing, don't feel fully thought through as they are currently written.

If the spell were instead a pattern, the FAQ would make total sense as it's mostly that it messes with your head. But as a figment, not as much.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was wondering what would be this post's NEA.

But it seems logical that magic missile knows something you don't know, since it just *works*.


Thanks for that mirror image verification.


StabbittyDoom wrote:

I normally love a good FAQ entry, but the ones about Mirror Image smack of patching the symptom instead of the problem (in this case, patching how cleave/magic missile work instead of addressing the mirror image's shaky justifications.)

If the reason you can't hit the caster properly is that you don't know the right thing to target, then why does a magic missile bypass that? Does it know something you don't? What if I attempt to attack a silent image that happens to share the square with the caster, does the magic missile redirect to the caster or simply fizzle on the image? If it's the latter, why doesn't it do that with mirror image? If it's the former, would that work for any figment that shares a square with a creature? What about attacking an image that shares a square with a solid creature using a normal attack, do those attacks hit the other creature or the figment? If the latter, why is magic missile different?

Similarly, with cleave, why would hitting something immaterial *stop* your cleaving (thinking conceptually here)? If figments have an explicit AC (which they do), could a cleave guy not cleave off of a figment into another creature (being completely unaware of the figment's nature)? If not, then why can they cleave off of an incorporeal creature to which they do no damage, and why does a figment have an AC if they can't actually hit it? (The incorporeal subtype states they are immune to the damage, but not that the attack misses.) If they can cleave off of a figment, then what makes these figments different?

Maybe I'm just being picky here, but I'm a "world first, rules second" kind of guy and I would rather modify a spell to be fair then modify the world to make the spell work. These FAQ entries, though sensible as a "keep the game going" kind of thing, don't feel fully thought through as they are currently written.

If the spell were instead a pattern, the FAQ would make total sense as it's mostly that it messes with your head. But as a figment, not as much.

Magic missile works because mirror image states that it does not stop targeted effects. Examples are charm person and magic missile.

Quote:
Spells and effects that do not require an attack roll affect you normally and do not destroy any of your figments.
The answers to your other questions are in [url=http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz52ia?CleaveGreat-Cleave-vs-Mirror-Image]this thread.

It is long, but I did answer all of those questions there, and Sean's FAq uses the same reasoning that I did.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
StabbittyDoom wrote:
If the reason you can't hit the caster properly is that you don't know the right thing to target, then why does a magic missile bypass that? Does it know something you don't?

My take on it is that the PFRPG version of Mirror Image is more like Blur or Displacement -- it makes a visual mess that makes aiming difficult. For a Magic Missile, you just aim for the blob of images and let 'er rip; magic takes care of the rest. For a regular missile, sometimes you're aiming at the wrong part of the blob.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I'm not so excited about the FAQ blogs, probably because when my group hits a corner case we just rule it and move on.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sean these ROCK! Keep them coming.


I can't agree with the whole mirror image debate so I will stay on the side that each Cleave/Greater Cleave works.

On a side note with this already imperfectly created spell I also ignore this portion of the spell text since it makes no sense in the real world.

An attacker must be able to see the figments to be fooled. If you are invisible or the attacker is blind, the spell has no effect (although the normal miss chances still apply).

Since the spell involves sounds it includes the mechanism that most blind people rely on to be aware of where something is. This only makes the fact that Cleave/Greater Cleave should work that much more reasonable since you can see the figments which somehow can allow up to 9 "wizards" standing in a 5 foot square area. Only pick two? More like roll to slice through each and every one depending on your weapon.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:

Wait wait, I have more!

Let's see...

FAQ to the Future

BrokeFAQ Mountain

A FAQ of the Killer Tomatoes

Men in FAQ (and the sequel, Men in FAQ 2: FAQ in Black)

[ReFAQted] (a tribute to the Overheard thread)

Fear FAQtor

There are more, I'm sure. ;)

Isn't it pronounced Faaa Que?


I will also state that Cleave/MM ruling is wonky, and makes no sense.


Love the FAQ blogs! Oh so brief! You are such teasers!

Are you taking requests? For instance: an official ruling on such nonsense as rage+lance+pounce. Or more succinctly, can iterative attacks be used in conjunction with a pounce...with a charge...with a lance...with a charging lance...with a charging lance as part of a pounce?

I do not like green eggs and ham!


*sigh* still no art.....


The Critic wrote:
*sigh* still no art.....

Sounds like a job for Liz and her goblins and raptors!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Grick wrote:

At the top right corner of every page is a link like thus: Help/FAQ

The page it links to has a box on the right side with More FAQs based on product. Core Rulebook, APG, PFS, etc. Clicking any of those will take you to the FAQ page for that product (or for PFS). The More FAQs box seems to re-arrange itself sometimes, so the same link won't always be in the same place, but they're always in there.

"More FAQs" is arranged alphabetically, so the only reason they might move is if a new one gets added.


Gururamalamaswami wrote:

Love the FAQ blogs! Oh so brief! You are such teasers!

Are you taking requests? For instance: an official ruling on such nonsense as rage+lance+pounce. Or more succinctly, can iterative attacks be used in conjunction with a pounce...with a charge...with a lance...with a charging lance...with a charging lance as part of a pounce?

I do not like green eggs and ham!

No, they are not. What happens is someone might ask a question in the rules forum. If the community can not resolve the issue, and the misunderstanding is deemed to be reasonable they answer the FAQ. Most rules can be explained by other members.


Vic Wertz wrote:
"More FAQs" is arranged alphabetically, so the only reason they might move is if a new one gets added.

Hrm, so they are. I thought I remembered them crawling around, but maybe it's just the one you're currently on being removed (then re-added) to the list as you navigate.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah the rulings won't make everyone happy (ugh mirror image) but at least they give an authoritative judgement call. So yay and keep em coming.

Andoran

concerro wrote:
Magic missile works because mirror image states that it does not stop targeted effects. Examples are charm person and magic missile.

And this tells me you missed entirely what my point was. My point is not what the rules of the spell currently say, my point is what those rules say about how the world works (specifically the flavor of the spell). Sometimes a spell or ability just does not allow verisimilitude (and "a wizard did it" is only a good excuse when you're pressed for time at the table).

In other words, I believe that mirror image should be reworded to accomplish its desired effect WITHOUT having strange consequences like cleave/great-cleave or magic missile. Heck, the fact that any targeted effects can bypass mirror image bothers me (if I can't tell which is the caster, how do I tell which to cast dominate person on?)

I would much prefer Hogarth's version: Something that's more akin to a blur or displacement that loses effectiveness every time someone misses. It would accomplish the same goal (being hard to hit) and the same flavor (confusing mess of copies) without having strange world consequences (or at least, not as many).

I would propose changing the flavor of the spell as follows (note that this version does NOT change any significant rules or interpretations, including the above):

Stabbity's Version wrote:

This spell creates a number of illusory doubles of you that overlap with you. These doubles make it difficult for enemies to attack you as they get misdirected.

When mirror image is cast, 1d4 images plus one image per three caster levels (maximum eight images total) are created. These images overlap with you exactly and move with you, mimicking your movements, sounds, and actions exactly. Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, the images that overlap with you react to the attack differently than you, creating a possibility that the attacker follows and thus targets one of the images instead. If the attack is a hit, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment. If it is a figment, the figment is destroyed. If the attack misses by 5 or less, one of your figments is destroyed by the near miss. Area spells affect you normally and do not destroy any of your figments. Spells and effects that do not require an attack roll affect you normally and do not destroy any of your figments. Spells that require a touch attack are not discharged if used to destroy a figment as nothing was actually touched, but the figment is still destroyed.

An attacker must be able to see the figments to be fooled. If you are invisible or the attacker is blind, the spell has no effect (although the normal miss chances still apply).

Unlike normal figments, these figments do not have their own AC and cannot be targeted separately. This is because they do not occupy any appreciable amount of unique space.

Changes in bold. Note that this still has the disorienting effect and still has the miss chance effect, without all these questions about "what am I really targeting?" It also removes the "how the hell did my spell discharge on something that doesn't exist?!" issue.

In other words, it emphasizes that you did, in fact, target the caster (because that was all that there was to target when you started the attack), but that you may have reacted to the wrong attempt to dodge the attack (with one being real and the others being illusions).

TL;DR - The problem isn't really how the rules work, and it isn't *entirely* the flavor. It's how the two interact. I would have just as big of a problem if a spell told me "this causes the area to become freezing cold" and "this deals 3d6 points of fire damage to those in the area." The rule part and the flavor part conflict, but are individually fine. This conflict, however, makes it hard to tell players how some other ability might interact with it.


StabbittyDoom wrote:
concerro wrote:
Magic missile works because mirror image states that it does not stop targeted effects. Examples are charm person and magic missile.

And this tells me you missed entirely what my point was. My point is not what the rules of the spell currently say, my point is what those rules say about how the world works (specifically the flavor of the spell). Sometimes a spell or ability just does not allow verisimilitude (and "a wizard did it" is only a good excuse when you're pressed for time at the table).

The effect is normally written before the flavor, but I do see your point. Why not just rewrite the flavor? Mirror image is not the only place where the flavor is hard to swallow.

Making a reflex save why paralyzed is hard to swallow since the reflex saves says it represents your ability to move out of the way. The fluff many of us use is that luck is involved also.

For my own personal satisfaction I would say that the figments are not considered to be foes for the purpose of cleave, and therefore don't count. That takes care of a lot of issues right there.

People generally take abilities for the effects so I would avoid changing the mechanics as much as I could.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
wraithstrike wrote:
StabbittyDoom wrote:
concerro wrote:
Magic missile works because mirror image states that it does not stop targeted effects. Examples are charm person and magic missile.

And this tells me you missed entirely what my point was. My point is not what the rules of the spell currently say, my point is what those rules say about how the world works (specifically the flavor of the spell). Sometimes a spell or ability just does not allow verisimilitude (and "a wizard did it" is only a good excuse when you're pressed for time at the table).

The effect is normally written before the flavor, but I do see your point. Why not just rewrite the flavor? Mirror image is not the only place where the flavor is hard to swallow.

Making a reflex save why paralyzed is hard to swallow since the reflex saves says it represents your ability to move out of the way. The fluff many of us use is that luck is involved also.

For my own personal satisfaction I would say that the figments are not considered to be foes for the purpose of cleave, and therefore don't count. That takes care of a lot of issues right there.

People generally take abilities for the effects so I would avoid changing the mechanics as much as I could.

Your first sentence tells me you did not read my whole post (or, I suppose, that I wasn't clear enough), as my proposed solution *was* a change in flavor.

To the second sentence: I also make the "reflex == skill + luck" flavor assertion in my home games.

To the third: Rather than say that figments are not foes, I would say that *these* figments are not foes, with the justification that they do not occupy any appreciable amount of space (but this only works with the flavor change I proposed, as under normal mirror image they are mostly non-overlapping rather than mostly overlapping).

Yes, some people take abilities for the effects, but many take them for the flavor. I have a player who wants to make a construct-based character, knowing nothing about how constructs might work, simply because it sounds cool. They don't care much what the specifics are, just that they have one or more machines under their control squishing stuff and helping carry their loots. (When I told them it wouldn't be precisely what was listed in the book, they still didn't care, showing to me that they aren't even after being able to say "LOL Iron Golem!" or some such.)

The job of a rules writer (and to some extent a DM) is to make sure that things make sense in the context of both flavor and rules (both individually and how they interact), because to mess up the former would kill immersion, to mess up the latter would imbalance the game, and to mess up how they interact could have both problems. If the rules and the flavor conflict, one must be changed (possibly both in a few odd cases).


oops. Sorry about that. I did misread it. I do agree that flavor and text should always(as much as possible) match which is why I don't like the horse lord archetype's writeup.

Andoran

I dislike the "change" (from 3rd edition) regarding the interaction of Magic Missile and Mirror Image, but I digress.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Agreeing with everyone else, I love the idea of a weekly FAQ blog post. Cuts it down to little manageable bites for the Devs, fills in some blog space, and keeps all us forum monsters sated. :)

I'd really really really really really like to nominate Reincarnate for a blog post. More of a combination FAQ/Clarification type thing, similar to what was done for the animal intelligence blog posting (the one about feats/etc for animal companions when Int goes to 3 or higher, etc). A little walk through on how the polymorph school and reincarnate specifics work together, taking a reincarnated human for example who became a bugbear or a lizardfolk or something. Same for a Dwarf who becomes a human for example. This is especially important with the Reincarnated Druid archetype. What they lose, what they keep, and why.


concerro wrote:
Thanks for that mirror image verification.

+1.

Both of them :-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Its always good to have statements on how confusing rules are supposed to work from an official source so +1 for keeping these FAQs coming. Its really helpful especially to new players and groups to read things like this to know problem rules before they become an issue at the table.

Re: Mirror image/cleave, its good to know what the official rules are, for something like a PFS game. As for a home game, especially if I'm GMing it, I'd still vote for or rule that you can cleave the images. The official ruling makes no in-world sense. It seems like the official stance on the rule is derived entirely on grid mechanics, instead of envisioning the behaviors the characters would exhibit if such circumstances could occur in "real life". Really, since its not a "will save" type of illusion messing with the fighter's head, "realistically" he could just cut through all of the images in one sweeping cleave, since a "cleave" is not actually multiple attacks, its one big attack over an arching area, for which the mechanics of this game require multiple attack rolls purely for mechanics sake ;)

To illustrate with "hyperbole", it gets kind of ridiculous if a mirror image stops a 20 foot tall giant from hitting his target because of some images when his weapon is likely filling most of the 5 foot square as he swings through it (in which case he'd hit all the images and the caster all at once, as would someone taking a sweeping arc through it with a normal sized sword...)


concerro wrote:

The answers to your other questions are in [url=http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz52ia?CleaveGreat-Cleave-vs-Mirror-Image]this thread.

It is long, but I did answer all of those questions there, and Sean's FAq uses the same reasoning that I did.

I read that thread. You did a great job and I was amazed that you had the patience to go on posting. Some posters just can't take no for an answer.

"There would actually be nothing wrong with attacking the air so that you could continue cleaving." LOL!
Or even better 'There would actually be nothing wrong with attacking the ground so that you could continue cleaving.'

Anyway, I'm glad you where proven right. No problem targeting someone with MI with spells like haste or mass CLM.


Wow, best valentine's day gift ever? More clarificatios!

I like the idea of making this semi-regular, but I'll let SKR & the rules team come up with a consensus for the timing. 1 per month is probably fine.

Again, your efforts are much appreciated.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, this is why house rules are a good thing.

Qadira

I can't agree with the answers to the last two questions. Logically they don't make sense, much like setzer9999 said. Mirror Image has an AC. Magic Missile is not an AoE spell. The same goes for cleave and great cleave. They're not area attacks. However, if that's the official ruling for Pathfinder, then I guess I'll be considered a house ruler in this case.


So I dont know if this was asked. But does alchemist fire hit and thereby destroy all figments?

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