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The FAQ That Time Forgot

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Every once and a while I like to take a break from my current design challenges to tackle some frequently asked questions from our files. We've got some bigger issues to tackle soon, but these are a start.

Ultimate Combat seems to imply that the Totem Warrior archetype (from the Advanced Player's Guide) allows you to take more than one type of totem rage powers. Is this an erratum for the Totem Warrior archetype?

No, the line in Ultimate Combat is in error. We will get that fixed in the next printing. Until then, the restriction on only taking totem rage powers from one group remains in place.

When you cast a spell that allows you to make a ranged touch attack, such as scorching ray, and an enemy is within reach, do you provoke two attacks of opportunity?

Yes, you provoke two attacks of opportunity, one for casting the spell and one for making a ranged attack, since these are two separate events. As a note, since all of the rays are fired simultaneously (in the case of scorching ray), you would only provoke one attack of opportunity for making the ranged attack, even if you fired more than one ray.

The Greater Trip feat allows you to take an attack of opportunity against a foe that you trip. The Vicious Stomp feat allows you to take an attack of opportunity against a foe that falls prone adjacent to you. If you have both these feats and trip a foe, do you get to make two attacks of opportunity (assuming that you can)?

Yes, the two triggering acts are similar here but they are different. One occurs when you trip a foe. The other occurs when a foe falls prone. It requires a large number of feats to accomplish, but you can really pile on the attacks with this combination.

Does the ring of continuation (Ultimate Equipment, page 168) allow you to cast time stop with a duration of 24 hours?

This item has had some unintended consequences and needs a fix. Change the second sentence of the description to read as follows: "Whenever the wearer of the ring casts a spell with a range of personal and a duration of 10 minutes per level or greater, that spell remains in effect for 24 hours or until the wearer casts another spell with a range of personal (whichever comes first)."

Charm person makes a humanoid "friendly" to you, as per the rules found in the Diplomacy skill, but it also allows you to issue orders to the target, making an opposed Charisma check to convince the target to do something that it would not normally do. How does that work?

The charm person spell (and charm monster by extension) makes the target your friend. It will treat you kindly (although maybe not your allies) and will generally help you as long as your interests align. This is mostly in the purview of the GM. If you ask the creature to do something that it would not normally do (in relation to your friendship), that is when the opposed Charisma check comes into play. For example, if you use charm person to befriend an orc, the orc might share his grog with you and talk with you about the upcoming raid on a nearby settlement. If you asked him to help you fight some skeletons, he might very well lend a hand. If you asked him to help you till a field, however, you might need to make that check to convince him to do it.

That about wraps it up for this week. Keep those questions coming.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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Any chance these can be added to the FAQs?

Hudax wrote:

Respectfully, I think the FAQ on ranged touch attacks may be in error. I didn't participate in the thread on the subject so I don't know what was discussed, but it seems off to me. Here is what the PRD says from the combat "cast a spell" section:

Ranged Touch Spells in Combat: Some spells allow you to make a ranged touch attack as part of the casting of the spell. These attacks are made as part of the spell and do not require a separate action. Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity...

Making a ranged touch attack is a single action (whatever action the spell requires to cast). The attack is made as a part of casting the spell. The last line "Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity" is, in my opinion, only there to clarify that they do provoke, but only once. Obviously casting a spell in melee provokes. Obviously making a ranged attack in melee provokes. However, if as a ranged touch attack doing these two things together "do not require a separate action" then they should not provoke as if they were two actions.

I have to agree, Hudax. Generally, I find the devs to be spot on with their interpretations, but this one seems ridiculous to me. Let us use the metaphor of spellcaster as archer. The two AoO ruling basically says, if an archer fires an arrow, he provokes AoO once for drawing the string to his ear, and provokes again when he looses the arrow. An argument could be made for archers to do that (AoO triggers are arbitrary, after all, so we can define as many as we want), but it seems unbalanced and excessive. There is no real difference between the spellcaster loosing his ray and loosing the tiny glowing bead of a fireball spell, or blasting out a fan of fire with burning hands. It seems to me some got a little overzealous and forgot to do a reasonableness check (as I often do myself 9^>).

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