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Let's Be Clear

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! As we return from our holiday vacations, John, Tonya, and I have been diving into some projects that have been sitting on the Pathfinder Society back burner for some time. We are happy to announce the release of the first of these projects—the Pathfinder Society Campaign Clarifications Document.

As anyone who has ever seen the official list of Additional Resources knows, Pathfinder Society characters have many options. As anyone who is a regular on our forums knows, some of these options can be interpreted in different ways. When these rules ambiguities crop up in a home campaign, where a player is likely to have only one GM, the GM and the player can work together to find a satisfying solution. In the organized play campaign, where players are likely to have many GMs over the course of each character’s adventures, these ambiguities can lead to substantially different rules interpretations from table to table. We created this document to help reach one of goals of organized play—to provide an equitable gaming experience to players all over the world. The Clarifications Document is a centralized place for us to offer official rulings for ambiguous rules.

Many of these interpretations are the suggestions of the developers who worked on the rules in the first place, which have until now been unofficial posts on the messageboards. Others come out of Additional Resources, which we will be trimming down a bit in the next update. The last source is a list of ambiguities I’ve been saving until we had a clear plan for how to address them. I’m sure some of you will notice a couple of rules elements mentioned in the Clarifications Document that are not currently legal in Pathfinder Society. These elements will appear in our next update of Additional Resources.

While GMs are free to use clarifications from this document in their home campaigns if they wish, these are not official errata. The Clarifications Document principally addresses rules material that appears in softcover sources such as the Pathfinder Campaign Setting and Pathfinder Player Companion lines, rather than the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game hardcover books. As part of our Additional Resources process, we plan to revisit this document each month and make changes if necessary. What rules ambiguities have you seen in your Pathfinder Society games that you would like to see resolved?

Download the Campaign Clarifications Document — (8.43mb zip/PDF)

Linda Zayas-Palmer
Assistant Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Campaign Setting Pathfinder Player Companion Pathfinder Society
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****

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks Linda and everyone else that made this happen!

Also shouldn't this be posted in the PFS boards and not just website feedback? Though I may not be understanding how the technical stuff works.

* Contributor

Interesting, useful, and most welcome. Thanks!

* Community Manager

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
Also shouldn't this be posted in the PFS boards and not just website feedback? Though I may not be understanding how the technical stuff works.

Yes! I moved it. >.>

<.<
Pay no attention to the gninja behind the curtain.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Got excited when I saw the Coin Shot spell from Heroes of the Streets, thinking I missed it getting legalized since it was in a PFS document. Sadly it is still not allowed...

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrew L Klein wrote:
Got excited when I saw the Coin Shot spell from Heroes of the Streets, thinking I missed it getting legalized since it was in a PFS document. Sadly it is still not allowed...
Blog wrote:
I’m sure some of you will notice a couple of rules elements mentioned in the Clarifications Document that are not currently legal in Pathfinder Society. These elements will appear in our next update of Additional Resources.

***

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ah, yes. This is a spectacular idea!

Ambiguities I would like to see addressed:

1 What does it take to raise a second level character (RAW raise dead does not work)?

2 Do "effective levels in a class" gained from emulating a class feature with UMD allow you to count as a member of a class?

3 Can classes without spellbooks scribe spells in them using Spellcraft?

4 How do psychic casters regain their spells? (Arcane require 8 hours rest, Divine get spells back at a certain time of day regardless of rest.)

5 Do the inherent bonuses granted by times and manuals transfer between scenarios?

6 Can you emulate class feature of your class that you do not have?

7 Are Psychic casters subject to the "recent casting limit" restriction?

I am sure Ravingdork has a few as well.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent aka kinevon

Andrew, as per Linda's Blog post, it may be in the next AR update.

Linda, there is a typo on the bottom left of Page 3:
Inner Sea Combat
• Page 45—A spellscar drifter’s challenge ability
allows him deals extra damage whenever he
makes attacks with firearms against the target of
his challenge.

I think that is supposed to be Inner Sea Combat
• Page 45—A spellscar drifter’s challenge ability
allows him to deal extra damage whenever he
makes attacks with firearms against the target of
his challenge.

(Sorry, the Grammar Police ID is already taken by someone else)

Dark Archive **** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Charlotte aka Aaron B

Top notch!! Good work everyone!

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Paul aka Hmm

Thank you!
Hmm

Liberty's Edge

The clarification was enough to push me towards putting a new book on my shopping list, so good work.

Also, suddenly very glad about not buying in on the rooted footwear 'fad'...

***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Great idea! This could really clear up a lot of issues.

For future editions, would it be possible to clear up the old wrist sheaths and scrolls debate?

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

Question on one of the clarifications:

PFS-Campaign Clarifications Document wrote:
Page 13—The Kraken Throttle and Kraken Wrack feats are not style feats. When you use Kraken Throttle to choke an opponent, you cut off its ability to breathe. The opponent counts as holding its breath for the purposes of the suffocation rules on page 445 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, and it does not need to roll Constitution checks to avoid falling unconscious until it has been unable to breathe for 2 rounds per Constitution modifier—or fewer rounds as appropriate if she takes standard or full-round actions while unable to breathe.

(bolded part is important)

This is different from the standard suffocation rules:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:

Suffocation

A character who has no air to breathe can hold her breath for 2 rounds per point of Constitution. If a character takes a standard or full-round action, the remaining duration that the character can hold her breath is reduced by 1 round. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check in order to continue holding her breath. The check must be repeated each round, with the DC increasing by +1 for each previous success.

When the character fails one of these Constitution checks, she begins to suffocate. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hit points). In the following round, she drops to –1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she suffocates.

(bolded part is important)

Is this intentional?

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

Andrew Roberts wrote:

Question on one of the clarifications:

PFS-Campaign Clarifications Document wrote:
Page 13—The Kraken Throttle and Kraken Wrack feats are not style feats. When you use Kraken Throttle to choke an opponent, you cut off its ability to breathe. The opponent counts as holding its breath for the purposes of the suffocation rules on page 445 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, and it does not need to roll Constitution checks to avoid falling unconscious until it has been unable to breathe for 2 rounds per Constitution modifier—or fewer rounds as appropriate if she takes standard or full-round actions while unable to breathe.

(bolded part is important)

This is different from the standard suffocation rules:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:

Suffocation

A character who has no air to breathe can hold her breath for 2 rounds per point of Constitution. If a character takes a standard or full-round action, the remaining duration that the character can hold her breath is reduced by 1 round. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check in order to continue holding her breath. The check must be repeated each round, with the DC increasing by +1 for each previous success.

When the character fails one of these Constitution checks, she begins to suffocate. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hit points). In the following round, she drops to –1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she suffocates.

(bolded part is important)

Is this intentional?

No, it should be referencing the suffocations rules as written (2 rounds per point of Constitution).

Shadow Lodge

I second the Spring-Loaded Wrist Sheath and Scrolls debate!

Is the list given (that doesn't include scrolls) exhaustive?

If not, would removing the scroll from a Spring-Loaded Wrist Sheath destroy the scroll, making it useless anyway?

If not, would removing the scroll from a Spring-Loaded Wrist Sheath (a swift action) provoke an AoO?

Those are the three questions that always seem to go along with it.

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South aka JohnF

1 person marked this as a favorite.

On P3, the section on "Paths of Prestige" repeats the common spelling error of referring to the Prestige Class as "Hellknight Signifier". The actual name is "Hellknight Signifer".

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Was it your purpose to not allow Druids with Vermin Companions to cast carry companion on their companions?

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Wow significant raise in the price of ammunition of Gunslingers...

Grand Lodge ****

Steven Lau wrote:
Wow significant raise in the price of ammunition of Gunslingers...

No? That's the rule that it's always been (listed price in this case is talking about the feat's listed discount, not normal purchase price). It's literally just copied and pasted from the AR page.

Shadow Lodge ***

I see Echoes of Glory was revisited. What about ring of the sublime? Does it give permanent fear immunity or not?

Alchemy Manual's vial of efficacious medicine is priced 700 gp, even though the crafting cost is 4500 gp. It's an obvious error.

I'll get back with some more later.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Jeff Merola wrote:
Steven Lau wrote:
Wow significant raise in the price of ammunition of Gunslingers...
No? That's the rule that it's always been (listed price in this case is talking about the feat's listed discount, not normal purchase price). It's literally just copied and pasted from the AR page.

You are right, I read Listed price as Book price... Doh!


Using the stealth skill is done differently at every table I visit.

If I have 3 attacks (+6/+6/+1 using rapid shot) and am attacking from inside an area that is in darkness. I have dark vision and my target does not. Do I get Sneak Attack on all attacks, 1 attack or two attacks.
It is clear that your stealth immediately ends if you make an attack roll. If I have full concealment do I get automatically stealthed between attacks? If I have two attacks that happen simultaneously do I break stealth after the pair of attacks?

Can I make stealth roll after a 5 ft step?

If you are invisible (greater invisibility) and your opponent knows where you are, when you move and make a successful stealth check, does your opponent know if you've taken a 5 ft step or a move action?

If I am invisible and the targets know I am present and what 5' square I occupy, I get +2 to my ranged attack.
If I am hidden and the targets don't know I'm present nor where I am, I get +0 to my ranged attack.
If I am hidden and the targets don't know I'm present nor where I am nor can the targets see into the space where I am due to darkness, I get +0 to my ranged attack.

*

Goodbye, Oracle Life Link + Boots of the Earth goodness - I barely knew you. Our time together was wonderful though brief, cut down from a lighting bolt from above.

/hangs head

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

Muser wrote:
I see Echoes of Glory was revisited. What about ring of the sublime? Does it give permanent fear immunity or not?

It should function as per a constant Remove Fear spell;

Remove Fear wrote:
You instill courage in the subject, granting it a +4 morale bonus against fear effects for 10 minutes. If the subject is under the influence of a fear effect when receiving the spell, that effect is suppressed for the duration of the spell.

So if you're wearing it and someone tries to hit you with a fear effect, you get a +4. If you fail, you can take off the ring and put it back on again to suppress it (and if I was the GM, I'd allow taking it off and back on again to be a single action as long as you had a hand free).

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

Tarma wrote:

Great idea! This could really clear up a lot of issues.

For future editions, would it be possible to clear up the old wrist sheaths and scrolls debate?

As long as the player who wants to put a scroll in a wrist sheath understands how they function together (i.e. has read the Physical Description of what a Scroll is as per the CRB and how Wrist Sheathes work as per AA), there should be no debate, IMHO.

(That said, expect table variation and potentially a future ruling)

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

PS - Linda, out of curiosity, what book is that art from? Thanks in advance!

Sovereign Court *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Mike Bramnik wrote:
PS - Linda, out of curiosity, what book is that art from? Thanks in advance!

Seekers of Secrets, pg. 40. ^_^

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
Mike Bramnik wrote:
PS - Linda, out of curiosity, what book is that art from? Thanks in advance!
Seekers of Secrets, pg. 40. ^_^

Thank ye kindly! :)

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One question for the change of the "boots of earth" does this count as an itemchanging FAQ so that they can be resold for full or do we have to live with the new version.

At all i can only say this document solves a problem with PFS so i am very happy to have it.

Dark Archive

Great Idea.

I'd like to know: can you carry a loaded crossbow around with you through a dungeon?

The rules don't appear to make any comment on it. With most weapons reloading doesn't take an action so the question is moot. But having to spend a full round of combat loading a heavy crossbow before using it changes it from a useful backstop for a Wizard out of spells to not worth the weight of carrying around.

Liberty's Edge

Librain wrote:

Great Idea.

I'd like to know: can you carry a loaded crossbow around with you through a dungeon?

The rules don't appear to make any comment on it. With most weapons reloading doesn't take an action so the question is moot. But having to spend a full round of combat loading a heavy crossbow before using it changes it from a useful backstop for a Wizard out of spells to not worth the weight of carrying around.

Don't forget the move action to pull the thing *out*.

So you'd have to:

Turn 1
*Move action* Draw crossbow.

*Standard Action* Start Loading Crossbow.

Turn 2
*Move Action* Position to shoot?

*Standard Action* Finish Loading Crossbow.

Turn 3
*Standard Action* Shoot Crossbow

It gets a little bit easier for a Light crossbow. You pull it out as your move action, load it in that turn. Next turn you can shoot. Still not a good 'fallback', though. Make an elven wizard next time? (Bow proficiency)

** Venture-Agent aka Chess Pwn

Haven't read this yet, but I'm so excited for this. Having the GM give us GM rulings for unclear things is awesome!

Scarab Sages ****

Page 26—The saddle of the sky river occupies the
belt slot.

Inside Front Cover—The available slots for piscine
creatures are belt (saddle), chest, and eyes.

Should the saddle be the belt (saddle) slot rather than the belt slot?

Sczarni *****

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Excellent! Thank you! This was much needed. I have plenty of suggestions for this document (which I'll post separately below). I do have one small complaint, but overall I'll happily embrace the changes.

My hilarious rant:
Page 3 of the new document wrote:

Inner Sea Gods

•Page 261—The boots of the earth can be activated once per day.

So, hilarious frustration time. I rarely have problems with nerfs or errata, but this will be the 5th time my poor Life Oracle will have had to make a change.

First, it was rebuilding from Aasimar to Half-elf.
Then it was the nerfing of Paragon Surge.
Then it was FCBs changing from 1/2 to 1/6.
Then it was finding out a particular Fast Healing AP Boon was usable only once ever (which prompted the purchase of these boots).
Now, I'll have to get this refunded*.

Normally I have an eye for broken mechanics. I avoid them and try not to use them, because I believe that they'll always get addressed or fixed eventually, and I don't want to be one of the complainers.

But I figured I was safe with all of these choices. I'm not a conspiracy theorist (generally), but it sure seems that all of these changes point towards a dislike of healing or support characters. Ending an encounter in one round is fine, but buffing and healing others is discouraged.

I'm laughing as I type this, because it is somewhat ironic/hilarious, and it's par for this character's course, but it's actually really frustrating.

* I'm assuming full refund, yes?

Sczarni *****

Librain wrote:
can you carry a loaded crossbow around with you through a dungeon?

Same question for firearms and regular bullets.

Sczarni *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Blog wrote:
What rules ambiguities have you seen in your Pathfinder Society games that you would like to see resolved?

Does spending 4,461 gp really get you Improved Unarmed Strike? This item seems too good to be true.

Sczarni *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn't hampered by difficult terrain or darkness, but what about when moving at half speed or when blinded? They're subtly different conditions.

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is it worth creating a separate, stickied, official thread for people to post requests for disambiguation? (Possibly with the ruling that discussion of them happens elsewhere?)

Sczarni *****

Can we get Special Material Firearm Ammunition prices codified in this document?

Sczarni *****

When you're grappling, one "hand" is unavailable.

Sczarni *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Clarification on what an Alchemist can actually do with their Vestigial organs (arms and/or tentacle).

Sczarni *****

5 people marked this as a favorite.

"Caster Level", "Arcane Caster Level", and "Character Level". Can a Divine Caster with a Familiar take the Improved Familiar feat?

Sczarni *****

In THIS thread, Russ Taylor (the author of Boon Companion) explains how to use the feat. Can his simplistic explanation be codified in this document?

Sczarni *****

What type of Elementals can you summon with Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally?

Sczarni *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Can this document elaborate on what class features of the newer classes are capable of being retrained?

Some GMs believe that the list of examples in Ultimate Campaign is exhaustive, while I believe anything that's a Class Feature can be retrained (which is way easier to rule than to require a regularly updated list).

Sczarni *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Does Spellcraft identify "manifestations" from wands, potions, "and the like"?

Sczarni *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If I select a Psychic spell for Magical Lineage or Wayang Spellhunter, and I undercast that spell (for instance Mind Thrust III to Mind Thrust I), does the Trait work for the undercast version?

Sczarni *****

Are FAQs general in nature, or specific? Or, if both, how should we determine when any particular FAQ is general or specific? Example:

There's an FAQ for Magical Lineage, but not Wayang Spellhunter (which functions nearly identical). Most people accept that the FAQ applies to both, making it a general FAQ.

On the other hand, there's an FAQ for the Summoner's SLA, which states that Augment Summoning works with it. Some people claim this is a specific FAQ, and that other feats (such as Superior Summoning) don't work with the Summoner's SLA.

Hopefully the dichotomy here is apparent.

Sczarni *****

Is a Spiked Shield a specific item that can be further enhanced with effects such as Bashing? Or are the Spikes themselves considered a "virtual size increase"?

There is opposition to this specific example, despite having an FAQ on the general matter.

Sczarni *****

Shadow Projection and Share Spells: what size Shadow does my tiny-sized Familiar become?

Sczarni *****

Pricing Mithral Armor for Unusual Creatures. Some 5 Star GMs believe it's the higher price, while I and others believe it's the lower. Hopefully this question will be added to the FAQ anyways, but until then...

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