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Pathfinder Society Survival 101

Monday, October 8, 2012

One of the concerns I have heard pop up lately, both on the messageboards and at shows, is that Pathfinder Society scenarios have become more deadly. I've heard horror stories about TPKs on the rise in various regions of the world. Let's see if we can help combat some of that and help the new player, or the low-level character of a veteran, with some options that may just prove useful.

One of the benefits of being a Venture-Captain before this job was that I met a wide variety of players throughout the southeast. Each and every one has their strong points and weaknesses. One of the strongest rules players I know from my time in Georgia was Jordan James. He survived quite a few tables I GMed, and most of the time, it was because of brilliant use of a piece of equipment I had never heard of or had seen used once at most. He has been discussing equipment that makes survival easier, specifically when it comes to lower-level characters, with the Georgia crowd for the last year through their Pathfinder Society lodge messageboards.

After speaking with Jordan this past week, he proved excited to share his thoughts on a few overlooked items that might just make the difference between your low-level character surviving or going to meet Pharsma earlier than anticipated.

Jordan advised, "Here we have a simple list of items I have found to be ridiculously useful, and sometimes critical, to have around for those situations that, if you aren't prepared, may very well turn into a TPK."

"Please do reply with items I've missed (there will be many) because the sole intention here is to provide a helpful thread for fellow adventurers, and to have a little fun in writing it," he noted.

So, what are some things that are just wonderful to have available in a pinch, and more often than not, are generally not well known?

Elixir of Spirit Sight (1,000 gp): From Pathfinder Adventure Path #38: City of Seven Spears, 1,000 gp for 1 minute of see invisibility and ghost touch for both your weapons and armor! Incorporeal entities got you down with strength drains and random irritating things that ignore your armor and halves your damage? Go to town on them with this wonderful concoction.

Bladeguard (40 gp): Straight out of the Advanced Player's Guide and into your martially inclined character's inventory. This clear resin protects a weapon from harmful attacks from oozes, rust monsters, and similar effects that corrode or melt weapons, rendering the weapon immune for 24 hours. One pot can coat one two-handed weapon, two one-handed or light weapons, or 50 ammunition items. Applying it takes 1 full round. Immersing the weapon in water or similar liquid washes it off. That's pretty useful for its cost.

Potion of Feather Step (50 gp): More Advanced Player's Guide spell goodness, and bottled for your convenience. For 10 minutes, you can ignore difficult terrain, and even take 5-foot steps in such an area, oh HADES YES! Seriously, have you got one of those wizards in your party? You know the type: crazy guy throwing around stone call, sleet storm, and other such "control" spells thinking he's awesome, when all he's really doing is making it impossible for you to move? This bottle is your answer (you can even throw the empty remains at the wizard afterward as a free action!). Smart wizards of the above type also keep a couple of these on hand.

Potion of Invigorate (50 gp): Going into battle with a creature that can sap your endurance, leaving you fatigued or exhausted, this potion will banish that pathetic mortal weakness and allow you to ignore the associated penalties for 10 WHOLE MINUTES. Of course, when it runs out, you get not only the penalties, but also an extra d6 points of nonlethal damage for your arrogance in ignoring your natural limits—but hey, performance enhancements are just an easy way of separating winners from losers! Honestly, though, ignoring those penalties for 10 minutes, that's freaking awesome for 50 gp.

Potion of Delay Poison (300 gp): 300 gp might sound like a lot, but for that handful of gold, you get to tell any and all poisons coursing through your veins for the next HOUR to sit down, shut up, and wait for you to finish beating the stuffing out of the poor fool that thought poisoning you would be its ticket to victory. This is like antitoxin, but sexy.

Smoked Goggles (10 gp): So, medusa, basilisks, and other gaze-type critters suck. You can avert your eyes (50% chance to avoid the gaze, 20% miss chance that round), or close them (immune to the gaze, but then everything gains total concealment from you, which kind of sucks). The answer: These cheap-as-dirt goggles grant you a +8 circumstance bonus on your saving throws vs. gaze, and all you suffer is a 20% miss chance (and a -4 on Perception checks—I know, a real deal breaker there if you're using these for combat). More Advanced Player's Guide goodness.

Smelling Salts (25 gp): Speaking of Advanced Player's Guide goodness, one last entry is the useful smelling salts. These sharply scented gray crystals cause people inhaling them to regain consciousness. Smelling salts grant you a new saving throw to resist any spell or effect that has already rendered you unconscious or staggered. If exposed to smelling salts while dying, you immediately become conscious and staggered, but must still make stabilization checks each round; if you perform any standard action (or any other strenuous action), you take 1 point of damage after completing the act and fall unconscious again. A container of smelling salts has dozens of uses if stoppered after each use, but depletes in a matter of hours if left opened. That's just nifty.

Bracers of Archery, Lesser (5,000 gp): A wrist slot that offers +1 to hit with a bow you're already proficient with is okay, but the hidden gem is that it works like the greater variety in terms of providing you proficiency with ANY bow (excluding crossbows). For characters without any bow proficiency or chaffing under a short bow only restriction, save the feat, drop 5,000 gp, and be happy!

Elixirs (250 gp): These are pretty well known, but just in case, for a paltry 250 gp you can pack potions for a +10 competence bonus on Acrobatics Perception, Stealth, and Swim checks. Handy, but keep in mind the swimming one is sort of overshadowed by the touch of sea potion below.

Golembane Scarab (2,500 gp): It's a neck slot that detects golems within 60 feet and ignores their DR with weapon, unarmed, or natural attacks. This can be a nice little package of helpfulness here!

Pathfinder's Pouch (1,000 gp): This little gem from Seekers of Secrets functions as a small bag of holding, allowing one to store up to 10 pounds of items within its 2-cubic-feet limit. Why is it special? Because detect magic ain't got nothing on this pro—thus, a Pathfinder can keep important or dangerous items safe in its confines with little worry from guards, customs, and random searches. Even if the pouch is opened and turned upside down with a shake, as long as the proper command word remains unspoken, nothing in the extradimensional space will fall out.

Potion of Bestow Grace (400 gp): For good characters only, but this can be a sweet bonus if you happen to have the rare positive Charisma modifier (and aren't already a paladin). For 4 minutes, you get a sacred bonus on all of your saving throws equal to your Charisma score bonus. That's almost good enough to make me consider being good, almost...

Oil of Weapon of Awe (300 gp): For 3 minutes, your weapon not only gains a +2 sacred bonus on damage rolls, but if you score a critical hit, it causes the creature hit to become shaken for 1 round with no save. It can't be used on natural weapons (though it can on unarmed strikes), but the gravy is that when used on ranged weapons, it applies to missiles fired. Loving some of these Advanced Player's Guide spells.

Potion of Touch of Sea (50 gp): For a measly 50 gp, you get a 30-foot swim speed, +8 competence bonus on Swim checks, the ability to take 10 on Swim checks even when distracted or endangered, and even use the run action while swimming. While this is more than enough to leave the poor elixir of swimming curled up in a corner, the one caveat is that it doesn't enable you to breath underwater, but for 1 minute of duration, you are bloody well near a seal.

The following are from the Pathfinder Society Field Guide:

Air Crystals (50 gp): An inexpensive personal bottle of air. Find yourself underwater, in a void, or otherwise bereft of air? Pop some of these beauties in your mouth and you've got 1 minute of breathing space to plan your escape (note that you can't talk while chewing on these crystals).

Comfort (armor special ability) (5,000 gp): Whoa. Okay, for 5,000 gp (doesn't even take up a slot of enhancement bonus on your armor) you get armor that is always clean, doesn't penalize you in hot weather, counts as cold-weather clothing in cold weather, reduces armor check penalties by 1 (minimum 0), AND regardless of what kind of armor it is, it can be slept in as if it were light armor! Note that only applies to being slept in, but my goodness, for anyone concerned about getting caught without their armor in the night, this is a sweet solution!

Dweomer's Essence (500 gp): Casters take note! For 500 gp this one-off pinch of powder may seem insane, until you notice that you can add it as an extra material component to any spell you are casting and receive a +5 bonus to your caster level to overcome spell resistance. It's like an on-demand rod of piercing spell, except it's available whenever you need it, stacks with the Piercing Spell feat if you really need that spell to land, and doesn't cost you an action to get out a rod or an additional level to apply the metamagic. This is the sort of awesome that I'd pay more than 500 gp for, so enjoy and keep some in the component pouch!

Fortunate Charm (3,000 gp): Anything that can help alleviate the terrible pain of lame dice is wonderful, and this neck slot beauty does just that once per day on a failed skill or concentration check. Since failing checks like that can often result in extremely severe consequences, 3,000 gp for that kind of love is just sweet.

Runestone of Power (2,000 gp): Wow, that's a lot of gold! Ever looked longingly at wizards and their fancy pearls of power letting them get free spells? Well, as long as you're a bard, inquisitor, oracle, sorcerer, or summoner you are in luck! For the cost of double an equivalent pearl of power, once per day (per runestone, of course) a spell you cast of its level uses the runestone's power and not one of your limited spells per day.

Potion of Stalwart Resolve (300 gp): New cleric spells to the rescue! For 3 rounds per pop, this little gem lets you ignore ability damage and penalties to any one ability score of your choice (unless it equals your total ability score, in which case you're still screwed). It has a short duration and doesn't protect you from ability drain, but when you really need to shake off some bad ability damage and get back into the fight, this is what you need.

Now for a few from the Adventurer's Armory:

Weapon Cord (1 sp): Cheap as dirt and twice as useful! If you are disarmed or drop your weapon, it never moves farther away from you than an adjacent square and you can recover it as a swift action. The caveat is you cannot wield another weapon with the same hand the cord is tied to, and removing the cord is either a full-round action (untying) or move action (cutting). Great for archers who never want to be separated from their bows.

Spring-Loaded Wrist Sheath (5 gp): Retrieve any dagger, dart, wand, or equivalent-sized object (forearm length or so) as a swift action. Let me provide a simple example of why this is awesome. Your friend is 20 feet away and dying. You move to her, get out your wand, are out of actions, and she dies at your feet. With this wrist sheath, you move to her, produce your wand of cure light wounds with a swift flourish, and save her life.

Antiplague (50 gp): Getting diseased can be really bad. Use this if you know you're moving into an area where such might be likely. For an hour, you receive a +5 alchemical bonus on Fort saves against disease. Even better, if you're already diseased, this will let you make two saves (no +5 bonus though) and use the better result. Good thing to have.

Vermin Repellent (5 gp): Not a perfect defense, but it keeps individual vermin away and swarms of vermin must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to enter your square. Not bad for a 4-hour buff.

Allnight (75 gp): Recommending "herbs" and "black market items"—I love this guide! Allnight eliminates the effects of fatigue for 8 hours, during which time you take a –2 penalty on all skill checks, and when the duration runs out, you're exhausted. The good news: Combine a couple doses with a couple potions of lesser restoration and you are the Energizer Bunny.

And a few other generally useful items to have around:

Potion of Blur (300 gp): Sure, the miss chance may only be 20%, but there are a couple nice bonuses during its 3-minute duration. First, since you gain concealment, most precision-based damage, such as from sneak attacks, won't work on you unless the user has some pretty special feats. Second, if you like to be stealthy, then here is your bottle of "hide in plain sight," since this grants you that necessary concealment you need to hide.

Oil of Align Weapon (300 gp): Your go-to spell when you need a weapon to bypass DR of the evil/good/lawful/chaotic types. Three minutes per use, so it should last long enough to even apply before combat if you know what's around the corner.

Potion of Remove Sickness (50 gp): For 10 minutes, you gain a +4 morale bonus on saves vs. disease and the sickened and nauseated conditions, or suppress effects already being experienced for the duration of the spell. While being sickened is annoying, some diseases, and especially being nauseated, really can make you useless, so this is a lifesaver. Pro tip: When you're nauseated, you can't take standard actions, so either pour this down a nauseated ally's throat on your turn, or hold it out and have one of your comrades do the same for you.

Potion of Negate Aroma (50 gp): For the sneaky types that are sick and tired of being given away by scent, one hit off this potion and you've got 1 hour of scentless scouting as long as you don't get doused in a new, smelly substance.

I know there are more, especially out of Ultimate Equipment, but those are a few I really wanted to throw out! Post other great options and we all might just survive an extra encounter or two!

Mike Brock
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

bobweekend wrote:

Thanks for the information. This looks like an ad to buy more books. I dropped D&D because I could not carry the books I needed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c0FEZuJ1II&feature=relmfu was very explicit that the core book was all that was needed. My backpack is getting full and I do not even have all the basic stuff. My characters are very limited until I buy more books. I know this is the business model. I was under the impression that P was different.

This was my only reservation about doing such a blog. The intent of this blog was not to sale more books. It was something written by a fan that I thought could serve players, especially new ones, well with lesser known useful items. We only listed the books they come from because we didnt want a hundred posts here asking that very question. If my only intent was to sell more books, I would just put them in the Core Assumption. Please do not assume the worst. It certainly wasn't what this blog was about. It was me trying to offer a different kind of blog for a change.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Melbourne aka KestlerGunner

Everything you need to survive is in the Core Rulebook. Paizo developers have done a good job on ensuring the most powerful options are in the CRB, rather than the 'bonus' options provided in other books.

For instance, a potion of water breathing at it's minimum caster level from the CRB gives you TEN HOURS of underwater action. The air crystals written above are cheap yeah, but far, far weaker. I'd hate to only have ten rounds to get out of an underwater grapple or difficult escape artist check!

A scroll of restoration or remove disease is similarly more expensive, but far more reliable than multiple cheaper preventative measures from bonus books.

Take half an hour out to find out what CRB protection and healing spells you can get in potion or scroll format, and you'll be powerfully equipped to deal with 100% of the nasty stuff out there.

*

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oil of Bless Weapon, 50 GP. Even more useful than Oil of Align Weapon, because if your weapon doesn't have a magical effect enhancing threat range, it auto-confirms the critical hit.

Scroll of [boost casting stat] = 150 GP for +2 DCs from levels 1 through about 5. Still worth it until level 7 or so when another +1 to the save DCs might be handy.

Oil of Unseen Servant: 50 GP for something that can open doors from a distance, trigger traps, drag 100 lb rocks, reload crossbows, or pour potions down the throats of allies. (Unseen Servant is such a useful spell that I think any arcane caster should have it.) The Oil form is also a nice roleplay element for Squire In A Bottle for your high class, money is no object, rich entitled fop who needs help getting into his armor.

Wand of Comprehend Languages: It is amazing how many PFS scenarios this thing is useful for. You buy one for 2 PA and never prepare the spell for the rest of your career.

Wand of Mount: In addition to the benefits of being able to send a horse charging through someone's house as a distraction, it's also a convenient source of food...

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

AdAstraGames wrote:


Wand of Mount: In addition to the benefits of being able to send a horse charging through someone's house as a distraction, it's also a convenient source of food.

Yes, but considering the duration of the spell, you're hungry again two hours later.

Andoran *****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
bobweekend wrote:
bobweekend wrote:

I can deal with you need to have items on your character to counter threats. The issue I have is you have to have own the material which mentions such items. It is a catch 22 thing. You want a chance of living buy this book. Total black mail.

This FAQ mentions many additional materials required to survive.

I have never used a single item from this FAQ and have not yet seen a character die in any of my games.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AdAstraGames wrote:

Oil of Unseen Servant: 50 GP for something that can open doors from a distance, trigger traps, drag 100 lb rocks, reload crossbows, or pour potions down the throats of allies. (Unseen Servant is such a useful spell that I think any arcane caster should have it.) The Oil form is also a nice roleplay element for Squire In A Bottle for your high class, money is no object, rich entitled fop who needs help getting into his armor.

I don't think that spell can be made into a potion/oil. The spell has no target. This is the same reason that you cannot make oil of monster summoning.

Andoran ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

2 PP Wands:

Cure Light Wounds
Infernal Healing (no real level-based changes)
Comprehend Languages
Endure Elements (no changes by level)
Magic Missile
Abundant Ammunition
Lead Blades
Gravity Bow
True Strike (no changes by level)
Burning Hands
Expeditious Retreat
Inflict Light Wounds
Protection from Evil

Note: For the Ioun stone that holds a single 1st level spell as spell storing, True Strike should be high on the list, IMO.

*

Chris Mortika wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:


Wand of Mount: In addition to the benefits of being able to send a horse charging through someone's house as a distraction, it's also a convenient source of food.
Yes, but considering the duration of the spell, you're hungry again two hours later.

Not entirely sure that eating conjured animals leaves you malnourished after the spell ends. Admittedly, this was something we did to handle a particularly brutal overland trek, because one wand creating a 1200 lb horse could feed about 40 people per charge expended. You needed to cut up the horse and cook it fast, but that's why the Sorcerer has Burning Hands.

And best of all, no leftovers, and no flies living in the garbage...

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

More seriously, I don't think mount works as a super create massive amounts of food and drink.

For one thing, the mount is a summoned creature, not a natural animal. When it's killed, I'm not even sure it stays around on the material plane. Even if it does, I'm pretty certain it's inedible.

Also, burning hands doesn't cook flesh; that would be pretty horrific. It just does hit points of damage.

Shadow Lodge **

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Its a summoning spell. Doesn't the pony go POOF when you kill it?

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

AdAstraGames wrote:

Oil of Bless Weapon, 50 GP. Even more useful than Oil of Align Weapon, because if your weapon doesn't have a magical effect enhancing threat range, it auto-confirms the critical hit.

Sometimes you need to align your weapon to something other than good.

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Blog post wrote:
Potion of Touch of Sea (50 gp): For a measly 50 gp, you get a 30-foot swim speed, +8 competence bonus on Swim checks, the ability to take 10 on Swim checks even when distracted or endangered, and even use the run action while swimming. While this is more than enough to leave the poor elixir of swimming curled up in a corner, the one caveat is that it doesn't enable you to breath underwater, but for 1 minute of duration, you are bloody well near a seal.

Combine this with the 2g Sponge Potion (Potion Sponge?) from the Advanced Race Guide when you're going on a boat--you don't have to drink it until you hit the water, and you CAN drink it in the water!

*** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Chris Mortika wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:


Wand of Mount: In addition to the benefits of being able to send a horse charging through someone's house as a distraction, it's also a convenient source of food.
Yes, but considering the duration of the spell, you're hungry again two hours later.

So it's Chinese Takeout?

(aside, yes I believe the pony goes poof when killed.)

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kinevon wrote:

For ranged combatants using ammunition:

Cold iron arrows/bolts (blunt if arrows, IMO) then use weapon blanch silver on them. Bypasses a lot of the early DRs. Cold iron blunt arrows, blanched silver cost 14 gp per 20, but it is still cheaper than gunslinger ammo, and covers a lot more situations.

Cold Iron Blunt Arrows?!

Blunt = No tip.
Kinevon are you presuming that the arrow shaft is made of cold iron?

I don't think you are able to do what you are suggesting.
In fact, I'd rule against using them at my PFS tables.

Just saying...

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Michael Azzolino wrote:

Cold Iron Blunt Arrows?!

Blunt = No tip.
Kinevon are you presuming that the arrow shaft is made of cold iron?

I don't think you are able to do what you are suggesting.
In fact, I'd rule against using them at my PFS tables.

Just saying...

Blunt arrows are a legal item (they're in the APG).

EDIT: Snap, I just looked, and the APG specifically says that the blunted tip of blunt arrows is wooden. Cold iron says you can only use it for items with metal parts. Hrm...

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Michael Azzolino wrote:

Cold Iron Blunt Arrows?!

Blunt = No tip.
Kinevon are you presuming that the arrow shaft is made of cold iron?

I don't think you are able to do what you are suggesting.
In fact, I'd rule against using them at my PFS tables.

By RAW, blunt arrow HAVE tips. But they are wood. RAW I'd say they can't be cold iron:

APG wrote:
Arrow, Blunt: These arrows have rounded wooden tips. They deal bludgeoning damage rather than piercing damage. An archer can use a blunt arrow to deal nonlethal damage (at the normal –4 attack penalty for using a lethal weapon to deal nonlethal damage).

You can still coat them in blanch though.

Cheliax ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber
KestlerGunner wrote:


For instance, a potion of water breathing at it's minimum caster level from the CRB gives you TEN HOURS of underwater action. The air crystals written above are cheap yeah, but far, far weaker. I'd hate to only have ten rounds to get out of an underwater grapple or difficult escape artist check!

Actually, the sequence looks like:

Go under water
Operate for CON/3 to CON rounds (depending on situation)
Chew crystals for a round

Repeat up to 10 times per dose of crystals. Plenty of time for a take 20 on most non-combat checks, (not including the 40d4 rounds for a take 20 disable device to open a lock that qualifies as complex device).

Note that this gets up to 11 times con rounds of actions that aren't strenuous like combat...

That's REALLY good for non combat non-casters.

Shadow Lodge *

They're more expensive but Mithral weapons allow you to bypass silver DR without giving up the point of damage.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Or just use a bludgeoning silver weapon.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber
marvin_bishop wrote:
They're more expensive but Mithral weapons allow you to bypass silver DR without giving up the point of damage.

Silversheen (from Qadira) material also bypasses DR/Silver while being rust/corrosion effect proof.

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rycaut wrote:

What first level spell would you recommend for the ioun stone?

I know a gunslinger who uses this plus a wand of abundant ammunition. At the start of the scenario and after each encounter he has a spellcaster use the wand and ion stone and then hand them back. Considering the cost of mundane ammo types, this can be very cost effective.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
bobweekend wrote:

You want a chance of living buy this book. Total black mail.

Did you miss the part of my post where my fighter got from 1st to 9th level without those items?

They're nice, they're handy, etc. But they're not necessary. Not by a longshot. Owning only the CRB is not a death sentence for your PC.

THIS sound like an awesome idea for a future blog post. If some players find their characters struggling without "the new thing," a primer on clever ways to use the tools players already have (and the resulting discussion) might be super helpful.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pfft. I don't need these shiny toys to live. Heck, I've never even had a character die. Bunch of wimpy GMs out there I tell you.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

On a different subject matter, Mike began the blog post with; "One of the concerns I have heard pop up lately, both on the messageboards and at shows, is that Pathfinder Society scenarios have become more deadly. I've heard horror stories about TPKs on the rise in various regions of the world."

I think there's something to this. Recent scenarios do feel tougher. But ...

1) There have always been the very dangerous scenarios, the "Dalsine Affairs", the "Blood at Drakald Manor", the "Heresies of Man", "Rebel's Ransoms", or the "Snipers in the Deep".

There might be more of these nowadays. Mark could probably speak to that*. But I think it's also the case that we aren't sure which of the new scenarios are deadly and which are easier. Nowadays, we know not to throw a new player's 1st-level PCs at Dalsine or God's Market. We don't know about "Rise of the Goblin Guild".

2) As the Pathfinder game continues, as more supplements get released, the effects of "system mastery" become starker. Nowadays, the tactical players are makg cake-walks out of adventures that are dangerous for, say, the iconic pre-gens. If you know about bracers of the Falcon, if you know how to get the best results from a Zen Archer build, then your PC is going to be up to tougher challenges. If Mark is developing scenarios with those players in mind, other players are going to feel pressure to step up their game with their next PCs.

And that's why blog posts like this one are nice. It helps narrow the gap.

* It might not be a PFS thing, either. "Dawn of the Scarlet Sun" is fr and away more deadly than either "We Be Goblins" or "Master of the Fallen Fortress". Paizo's development staff might be shooting for tougher play overall.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I believe one of our jobs as a GM is to help each player get the most out of their character in every aspect. In this case, it may be pointing out an item they don't know about. In other cases it might be discussing different tactics with the player out of combat. Even further would be to push the player to develop more history for their character by asking good questions and then incorporating those RP tid-bits into the story.

Mechanical (items, feats, traits)
Tactical (how to handle themselves or avoid getting full attacked by a 4-armed creature with a bi-sected maw)
Roleplaying (help the player become more invested/attached to their charcter)

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Kyle Baird wrote:
Tactical (how to handle themselves or avoid getting full attacked by a 4-armed creature with a bi-sected maw)

Just as a random example, right? ;)

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Kyle Baird wrote:
Pfft. I don't need these shiny toys to live. Heck, I've never even had a character die. Bunch of wimpy GMs out there I tell you.

I know of some harpies and a cleric that would have had no problem erasing this record...

Qadira ****

I wonder why Jordan James would ever develop a list of useful items to survive...

/Kyle, you're just too afraid to sit at my table.
//Your character's head will look nicely next to MB's Hrothgar :)

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CRobledo wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Pfft. I don't need these shiny toys to live. Heck, I've never even had a character die. Bunch of wimpy GMs out there I tell you.
I know of some harpies and a cleric that would have had no problem erasing this record...

Quiet you! You had your chance.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Joseph Caubo wrote:
Kyle, you're just too afraid to sit at my table.

I'd prefer to sit at a table with a good GM.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Kyle Baird wrote:
CRobledo wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Pfft. I don't need these shiny toys to live. Heck, I've never even had a character die. Bunch of wimpy GMs out there I tell you.
I know of some harpies and a cleric that would have had no problem erasing this record...
Quiet you! You had your chance.

Well, you didn't kill me on Rats or Storval Stairs so... we are even? :)

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CRobledo wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
CRobledo wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Pfft. I don't need these shiny toys to live. Heck, I've never even had a character die. Bunch of wimpy GMs out there I tell you.
I know of some harpies and a cleric that would have had no problem erasing this record...
Quiet you! You had your chance.
Well, you didn't kill me on Rats or Storval Stairs so... we are even? :)

I'm just setting you up for the long con. See Joe for details.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hey, when are you gonna come kill my tiefling like you said? I have to make sure I have lots of prestige before then, so knowing how to ration my game time would be helpful! ;)

*

Lab_Rat wrote:
Rycaut wrote:

What first level spell would you recommend for the ioun stone?

I know a gunslinger who uses this plus a wand of abundant ammunition. At the start of the scenario and after each encounter he has a spellcaster use the wand and ion stone and then hand them back. Considering the cost of mundane ammo types, this can be very cost effective.

Mmmmm, I'm fairly certain that this doesn't work (unless you have an FAQ or official post somewhere that says it does):

PRD Wonderous Items wrote:
Ioun Stone: Vibrant purple Prism Stores three levels of spells, as a ring of spell storing
PRD Magic Rings wrote:

A minor ring of spell storing contains up to three levels of spells (either divine or arcane, or even a mix of both spell types) that the wearer can cast. Each spell has a caster level equal to the minimum level needed to cast that spell. The user need not provide any material components or focus to cast the spell, and there is no arcane spell failure chance for wearing armor (because the ring wearer need not gesture). The activation time for the ring is the same as the casting time for the relevant spell, with a minimum of 1 standard action.

For a randomly generated ring, treat it as a scroll to determine what spells are stored in it. If you roll a spell that would put the ring over the three-level limit, ignore that roll; the ring has no more spells in it.

A spellcaster can cast any spells into the ring, so long as the total spell levels do not add up to more than three. Metamagic versions of spells take up storage space equal to their spell level modified by the metamagic feat. A spellcaster can use a scroll to put a spell into the minor ring of spell storing.

The ring magically imparts to the wearer the names of all spells currently stored within it.

It specifically calls out scrolls as being acceptable, but not wands. (Personally I think wands should work just fine, but RAW they do not appear to do so).

Sczarni **

I'm very certain when you read wands, they describe you as "casting a spell from it"

Regardless of specific mention of wand, it certainly meets the "cast any spell into the ring"

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The problem with using wands is that they're spell completion just like the ring.

***

A wand "has the spell in it", but a scroll "is the spell".

So, just as you can scribe a spell from a scroll into a spell book (or use it to power a mnemonic robe), so can it be entered into a spell storing item.

You could use a wand to cast a spell *at* an item, but not *into* an item!

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

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kinevon wrote:

2 PP Wands:

Cure Light Wounds
Infernal Healing (no real level-based changes)
Comprehend Languages
....

A few more that can save your life:

Grease -- There is no concentration check for using a wand while grappled / entangled. This works well if your puny caster gets hit with black tentacles or is man-handled.

Obscuring Mist -- Breaking line of sight can be critical if targeted by heavy ranged attacks. It also shuts down reach weapons.

Illusion of Calm -- One minute of being able to cast offensive spells (or throw javelins) without provoking AoO's is pretty nice.

Faerie Fire -- My oracle used to rely on invisibility purge until he fought invisible stalkers. This shuts down even natural invisibility.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The only problem with Faerie Fire is that you need to know their exact square. Spending the gold on a 2nd level wand of Glitterdust is worth it at higher levels.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Kyle Baird wrote:
The only problem with Faerie Fire is that you need to know their exact square.

Nope, it's a 5ft radius burst. Still smaller than glitterdust, but doesn't require total precision either. And you can't accidentally blind your allies!

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

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Kyle Baird wrote:
The only problem with Faerie Fire is that you need to know their exact square. Spending the gold on a 2nd level wand of Glitterdust is worth it at higher levels.

True. My oracle had blindsense, so pinpointing the invisible creature's square wasn't too difficult. I basically used this wand with UMD when invisibility purge failed or to negate blur and displacement.

It's a great spell. It has better range than glitterdust, is a much cheaper wand, lasts 7 rounds longer than a wand of glitterdust, and counters more conditions (darkness, blur, displacement, and invisibility).

The downsides are smaller:

  • Glitterdust is a spread, rather than burst, so can turn corners.
  • Glitterdust has a 10' radius, rather than a 5' radius.
  • Glitterdust has a chance to blind, but the Will save is DC 12 from a wand. This is pretty darn low for the level in which you can afford a 4500 GP wand.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Actually, it's DC 13 for glitterdust. (10 + spell level + stat mod for minimum stat required to cast it)

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Jiggy wrote:
Actually, it's DC 13 for glitterdust. (10 + spell level + stat mod for minimum stat required to cast it)

So it is. My bad trying to do math while ducking work and before drinking any coffee.

Andoran *****

I very well could be wrong, but I was under the impression that you couldnt have spells carry over from scenario to scenario after having them cast into a Ring of Spell Storing, or a Vibrant Purple Prism Ioun Stone in this case.

*

Seth Gipson wrote:
I very well could be wrong, but I was under the impression that you couldnt have spells carry over from scenario to scenario after having them cast into a Ring of Spell Storing, or a Vibrant Purple Prism Ioun Stone in this case.

See this thread for a recent discussion of that exact issue... No official response in there though.

*

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

There are items on Chronicle sheets that have spell-storing that imply you can start a game with something in the spell storing (i.e. they come with a spell already loaded)

I was under the impression that you could have a "full" spell storing item - both because that's kinda the point of such items (storing spells for the future - or letting non-casters have access to a spell or two) and because they aren't all that cheap. Sure in scenarios that go for multiple days filling them up wouldn't be too hard to roleplay - but for most scenarios that start immediately it seems like a penalty to force them to be starting empty.

(I don't yet own any but have been thinking about buying a weapon w/spell storing)

Cheliax ****

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Feather Token Whip (Core; 500gp) - STILL shuts down casters! I've seen this be the bane of a party caster in tier 1-2 and in tier 10-11... this IS the secret monsters & BBEGs know that the players aren't using!!!!

Spoiler:
I've seen parties use this and live through Dalsine Affair even when playing up!

Elixir of Darksight (ARG; 1200gp) - for 1 hour you can ignore supernatural darkness! Great for when you just can't keep Deeper Darkness from being spammed. Downside is that the item requires Darkvision (either racial, from an item, or a casting of the Darkvision spell) to properly function. I had a table survive a tier 10-11 TPK only b/c a certain player had almost every contingency item you could think of, including this one.

Amulet of Elemental Strife (UE; 4000gp) - I don't want to hear another person complain that elementals are too deadly and that they shouldn't be in X scenario. This necklace alerts you to the presence of elementals, color-codes itself for the sub-type of elementals present, gives you the appropriate energy resistance, and lets you bypass the DR of elementals! O.o The only thing it doesn't do is chew up the elemental before spoon-feeding the critter to you.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Odea wrote:


See this thread for a recent discussion of that exact issue... No official response in there though.

Official response is there now.

**

Wow. Great blog entry. I'll be pointing my players in the direction of this one as I have a LOT of new players that could benefit from this. I often mention a few common items to grab after the first adventures (using the first PP's got grab a wand of cure light wounds, potions, etc). This does a much better job. Thanks!

Osirion

I clicked on this thread hoping it might contain a gold nugget of invaluable information with regards to surviving subtier 1-2 of a tier 1-7 scenario. Alas my bubble was burst, and hopes were dashed.

Instead, I discovered the "nugget" to be of another type- a foul smelling sort of nugget. A nugget perhaps left behind by some powerful and sadistic creature?

Sure there was a passable idea or 2... but it was akin to finding a silver dollar in a pile of (see previously mentioned metaphor)

Anyways...most of those items are not affordable at character creation and by the time you can afford those items- you are at a point where you dont need them and are far less likely to die. (i.e. not level 1) I'm thinking that level 1 newbies should stick to the "intro to first steps" and level 1 vets should jump into 6 man tables (as the 7th person) at Tier 2-4 or 3-4 and find somewhere to hide when combat happens for the gold boost. (or play pregens to add the T1 chronicle to it)

Is there perhaps a survivability 99? You know...for newly created level 1s? (if you understand how college courses are numbered... 99=remedial course)

TL:DR - The OP was not helpful to new characters where surviving level 1 is the most difficult thing to do.

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