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You Have Questions, We Have Answers

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hi Pathfinders! Early last year, we released the Campaign Clarifications document, which gave us on the Pathfinder Society team a way to answer rules questions and to adapt some rules to better fit the needs of an organized play campaign. When we put out the document, I asked the forums to tell us which rules questions have caused issues in their games. You all gave us a bunch of excellent feedback and we continue to keep an eye on the clarifications threads for new questions that crop up.

However, we ran into a bit of an issue. Campaign Clarifications works well for questions that involve a single rule from one book, but it's equipped to handle questions over multiple sources. We made lists of these more general questions and answered some of them Season 8's version of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide, but we wanted to limit the guide to only the most broadly applicable information. As a side note, Guide 8.1 is still in the works and we'll address some of the questions in that update.

In order to answer the remaining questions, we knew we'd need to make a significant update to our FAQ. We also wanted to clean out information that was already answered in the guide, or that was no longer accurate, as well as gather the forum posts from John, Tonya, and myself that had been serving as unofficial suggestions. Today's update has been a long time in the making, and I'm happy to present it to you all today.

So, what's changed? I'll go through some of the highlights by section. Please read the full FAQ entries for any of the changes below that interest you.

Organized Play Events

  • Creating More Events: The instructions for creating and reporting events now take Core mode games and Adventure Card Guild games into account.

Roleplaying Guild General Questions

  • Required Materials: There were some questions about what players needed to bring to the table in order to use material from a book other than the Core Rulebook. We cleaned up the language in the FAQ entry on legal sources to make some lesser-known options more obvious.
  • Factions for pregenerated characters: You can now earn faction rewards when playing pregenerated characters, as if they were a member of the faction of the character who is receiving credit for the adventure.
  • Caster level and spellcasting services: We've tightened up the rules on the caster level for spellcasting services, specifying which ones you can purchase at higher than minimum caster levels.

Wealth and Treasure

  • Poisons: the list of available poisons from the Core Rulebook has been expanded.
  • Upgrading Magic Items: We've expanded the rules for upgrading magic items to allow some upgrades that do more than increase a number.
  • Intelligent Items: You can carry more than one intelligent item at a time, and 1st level characters are never at risk of dying from picking up an intelligent item during an adventure.
  • Alternative Ammunition: We've created a blanket rule to allows you to purchase magical ammunition listed on a Chronicle sheet as a different form of ammunition; for example, buying +1 frost shuriken when the chronicle lists +1 frost bolts.
  • Scrolls: We've cleared up the rules around scrolls, such as codifying their arcane spell failure chance, the rules for scrolls with multiple spells, and the rules for determining which ability score is appropriate to use when activating a scroll with the Use Magic Device skill.

Character Questions

  • Race-Specific Options: We've clarified the rules around the Racial Heritage feat from the Advanced Player's Guide and other options that allow characters to take options initially written for other races.
  • Legal Abilities Referencing Ones That Aren't: We've clarified what happens if your archetype or other class ability grants you an option that does not appear in Additional Resources.
  • Spell Study: We've expanded the rules around learning spells from NPCs and filling spellbooks to make it clear that such actions are not restricted only to wizards.

Character Companions

  • How Many Companions: The FAQ and the latest version of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide disagreed with each other about the rules for how many creatures a character can bring to the table and use at one time. We've updated the FAQ to more closely align with the Guide.
  • Animal Companions and Shields: We've explicitly added shields to the list of tools that animal companions cannot use.
  • Retraining Companions: We've added rules for retraining your companion creature's abilities and replacing a companion's tricks with different ones.
  • Companions and Boons: We've added the rule from John's forum post describing what happens if a companion creature gains a boon during an adventure.
  • Improved Familiars (Work in Progress): We have not yet updated the entry about which familiars have which item slots and which familiars can use wands and other magic items. An update for this entry is in the works, with the help of a team of Venture-Officers, but it will take some time to pull it all together.

Do you have any feedback about this update? What questions would you like to see added in our next update to the FAQ? Let us know in the comments below.

Linda Zayas-Palmer
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Society
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Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

What a welcome surprise ^^ good job everyone!

**

Looks good.

Formatting-wise, it does look like the FAQ on Vanity NPCS got partially eaten by the FAQ on Animal Companions & Familiars.

Scarab Sages *****

I'm most interested in the caster level of spellcasting services and which ability is appropriate for UMD on scrolls.

Paizo Employee ***** Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

21 people marked this as a favorite.

This project involved filtering through years of messageboard posts, clarifications, rules history, and evolving terminology. It wouldn't have been possible without Linda taking the time to identify so many pending FAQ updates, develop the proper wording, and make this happen.

Thanks, Linda!

Sovereign Court *

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Thank you for the update!

Also, very glad to see that vishkanya can buy poison now. ^_^

Dark Archive *

Awesome! Thank you for all the hard work getting these updates out for everyone, very much appreciated :D

Quick question, is the note about Balor Whip just to make sure people realise this is how it works and not an actual change to say that Whips cannot Drag without it?

Quote:
Page 80—The Balor Whip feat grants the ability to perform drag combat manuevers with a whip.

According to this Paizo blog all Trip weapons can do that already? (Though I freely admit I could entirely have misunderstood something!)

Quote:
There is a special exception to the above rules. If you’re using a weapon with the trip special feature, and you’re attempting a drag or reposition combat maneuver (Advanced Player’s Guide 321–322), you may apply the weapon’s bonuses to the roll because trip weapons are also suitable for dragging and repositioning (this also means we don’t have to add “drag” and “reposition” weapon properties to existing weapons).

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh gosh, this actually answered my question from the Campaign Clarifications thread regarding the Bookish Rogue feat and spellbooks! Thanks a bunch, that had been bothering me for a while now :D

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

Quote:
Race-Specific Options: We've clarified the rules around the Racial Heritage feat from the Advanced Player's Guide and other options that allow characters to take options initially written for other races.

My skin is clear, my crops are flourishing

Silver Crusade ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks like a big improvement!

* Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

All the hard work shows; thank you for all the updates!

Sovereign Court *

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Does the Race-Specific Options thing apply to the race traits you can select with the Adopted social trait?

I'd always assumed it did... and it looks like it does... but I've been told that it doesn't.

*** Contributor aka Alexander Augunas

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Let Yrishi use wands!
Let Yrishi use wands!

Do it—you KNOW you guys love her! :D

Now, for a real question, the updated FAQ no longer noted whether upgrading named magic items (say, Dawnfire from Inner Sea Gods) is permitted. If the old ruling still applies (you cannot upgrade such items), then its sort of made confusing by the wording of the following ruling, which specifically talks about turning non-named items into named items:

Quote:

You may upgrade one weapon, armor, or wondrous item to another as long as the new item occupies the same slot, is made of the same material, has the same general shape, and has all of the abilities of the original item. For example, you can upgrade a +1 longsword into a +1 frost longsword or a cloak of resistance +1 into a cloak of resistance +2. You may also upgrade a magic weapon or armor into one of the named weapons or armors, such as upgrading a +1 banded mail into a banded mail of luck. As another example, you can upgrade a belt of incredible dexterity +2 into a belt of the weasel from Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Equipment , which grants a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity as well as other benefits.

To upgrade a magic item, pay the difference in price between the new item and the original item.

But seriously, can we have this? I —really— don't want to feel bad about keeping dawnfire when its becoming increasingly clear my cleric of Sarenrae could use an upgrade to stay relevant in melee when I fight things toe to toe.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

TimD wrote:

Looks good.

Formatting-wise, it does look like the FAQ on Vanity NPCS got partially eaten by the FAQ on Animal Companions & Familiars.

It was a long FAQ, the animals got hungry

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Sovereign Court *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'd love the option to upgrade named items of that sort as well, for the record. ^_^

*****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
or electronic access to the Pathfinder Reference Document along with a screenshot of your My Downloads page proving that you own the source of the material.

The spines of many convention going nerds thank you.

Scarab Sages *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

The change to spellcasting services makes it more difficult to pay for useful spells like wind walk and teleport for transportation, due to the allowed targets based on caster level.

For example:
A base casting of wind walk is CL 11 and costs 660g, and affects 3 targets (plus the caster, but that's not relevant for spellcasting services). Paying for CL 12 costs 720g, but works on 4 targets. With this change, a party of 4 must pay for 2 separate castings.

This change also adds (in my opinion) unneeded complexity to the spellcasting services rules. (looking up the prestige purchase list despite wanting to spend gold, not prestige)

My last question might just be me missing something somewhere. Some high level effects can only be cured by wish or miracle. I can't seem to find any rules that would allow the purchasing of said spellcasting, only this line from the guide to organized play that disallows it:

Guide to Organized Play wrote:
Spells that are 7th level or higher can’t be purchased from hired spellcasters, unless listed as available by your faction.

Is there anything that allows condition removal spells that aren't on the prestige list that are spell level 7+?

**Examples: Having one's soul destroyed by a devourer or having one's +5 very expensive longsword of awesome turned into a sad masterwork longsword via a rod of cancellation.

Paizo Employee ***** Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alex Augunas wrote:

Now, for a real question, the updated FAQ no longer noted whether upgrading named magic items (say, Dawnfire from Inner Sea Gods) is permitted. If the old ruling still applies (you cannot upgrade such items), then its sort of made confusing by the wording of the following ruling, which specifically talks about turning non-named items into named items:

Quote:

You may upgrade one weapon, armor, or wondrous item to another as long as the new item occupies the same slot, is made of the same material, has the same general shape, and has all of the abilities of the original item. For example, you can upgrade a +1 longsword into a +1 frost longsword or a cloak of resistance +1 into a cloak of resistance +2. You may also upgrade a magic weapon or armor into one of the named weapons or armors, such as upgrading a +1 banded mail into a banded mail of luck. As another example, you can upgrade a belt of incredible dexterity +2 into a belt of the weasel from Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Equipment , which grants a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity as well as other benefits.

To upgrade a magic item, pay the difference in price between the new item and the original item.

But seriously, can we have this? I —really— don't want to feel bad about keeping dawnfire when its becoming increasingly clear my cleric of Sarenrae could use an upgrade to stay relevant in melee when I fight things toe to toe.

When a named/unique magic item is effectively a less pricey magic item with extra abilities (such as how a flame tongue is a +1 longsword with extra abilities), a PC can upgrade from the simpler weapon into the the more complicated version by paying the difference. That doesn't allow two particular situations:

  • Upgrading a superior item into a named weapon (e.g. turning a +5 longsword into a flame tongue)
  • Upgrading a named item's functions (e.g. upgrading a flame tongue into a +5 flame tongue)

    Many named items have special cost calculations for their abilities, take into account their effective "plus" for pricing, are adjusted for their necessary caster level, or have a pricing model partly divorced from the standard guidelines for upgrading a weapon from a +1 to a +2. The main reason this form of upgrading isn't allowed in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild is because there's not a standard means by which to assess whether upgrading a +1 custom weapon to a +2 special version would cost 6,000 gp or something else.

    Dawnfire is a named item with set abilities, and the current FAQ wording does not support upgrading the weapon into a +5 Dawnfire.

  • **

    Huzzah!!! Much appreciation for all the work this entails!

    *** Contributor aka Alexander Augunas

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Kalindlara wrote:
    I'd love the option to upgrade named items of that sort as well, for the record. ^_^

    It could be relatively easy:

    "You may upgrade the generic component of a named magic weapon, suit of armor, or shield, such as banded mail of luck. The "generic component" of a named magic item is another other non-named magic weapon, suit of armor, or shield that the named magic item references. For instance, the "generic component" of banded mail of luck is +3 banded mail. To determine the price that you must pay to upgrade a named item, you must determine the named item's price with the desired upgrades, then subtract the named item's price from its modified price and pay the difference.

    To determine the price of a named item with one or more desired upgrades, follow the following steps:


    • Step 1) Determine the value of the "named component" of the named magic item by subtracting the cost of the named item's generic component from its total price. For instance, to determine the value of the named component of a suit of banded mail of luck, subtract the price of a suit of +3 banded mail from the banded mail of luck's price. (18,400 gp – 9,400 gp = 9,000 gp)
    • Step 2) Determine the value of the generic component with the desired upgrades. For instance, if you want a suit of banded mail of luck with a +4 enhancement bonus, you would use the price of a suit of +4 banded mail for this purpose. (16,400 gp)
    • Step 3) Add the value of the named magic item's named component to the price of the desired upgrade to determine the named item's price with the desired upgrade. For instance, a suit of banded mail of luck with a +4 enhancement bonus would cost 25,400 gp. (16,400 gp for +4 banded mail, plus the 9,000 gp named component cost from Step 1)
    • Once you have determined the named item's modified price, you can use that modified price to determine the cost of upgrading a named item with the desired modifications.

    Upgrading named items is far more challenging than simply upgrading generic magic items. As a result, before you can use an upgraded named item during an adventure, your GM or a Venture-Officer must sign off on your purchase in order to verify the validity and correctness of your calculations."

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka Yasumoto

    Wow- this is so helpful! Thank y'all for all the hard work! :)

    Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Oregon—Portland aka xebeche

    Can't thank you all enough for your hard work!

    Sczarni *****

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Excellent! Thank you to everyone who made this possible ^^.

    I'll see if I can't go through the current Campaign Clarifications request thread and see what's left to clarify, and create an updated list of what needs to be looked at.

    Sovereign Court *

    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

    I should note that I'm not that worried about this rule (mostly because it doesn't work that well in Hero Lab).

    It'd be nice, but it's not essential. ^_^

    **

    Well it's nice to know that all classes theoretically have access to alternate summons if called out in the book.

    Shadow Lodge **

    Here's a simple question: do the relaxed magic item upgrade rules apply to weapon and armor special ability, such as upgrading flaming into flaming burst, or light fortification into moderate fortification?

    Dark Archive ***

    Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

    Ok ill win the booby prize... these updates are to what FAQ? Only http://paizo.com/organizedplay/faq correct? Campaign Clairifications hasnt changed since january? Do these above changes (thanks!!!) affect any FAQs other than the organized play FAQ?

    thx in advance

    Paizo Employee ***** Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    strangepork wrote:

    Ok ill win the booby prize... these updates are to what FAQ? Only http://paizo.com/organizedplay/faq correct? Campaign Clairifications hasnt changed since january? Do these above changes (thanks!!!) affect any FAQs other than the organized play FAQ?

    thx in advance

    Take a look at this FAQ page.

    The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

    SCPRedMage wrote:
    Here's a simple question: do the relaxed magic item upgrade rules apply to weapon and armor special ability, such as upgrading flaming into flaming burst, or light fortification into moderate fortification?
    Quote:
    You may upgrade one weapon, armor, or wondrous item to another as long as the new item occupies the same slot, is made of the same material, has the same general shape, and has all of the abilities of the original item.

    Flaming burst has all the abilities as a flaming weapon plus an extra effect on a critical.

    Moderate fortification has all the abilities as light fortification plus an extra 25% chance to negate crits.

    Those would be fine to upgrade. Upgrading a +1 shock weapon into a +1 flaming burst, however, would not be allowed. (Though you could upgrade it into a +1 shock, flaming burst weapon if you had the fame and money.)

    Grand Lodge *

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I'm on my phone so this I can't easily quote the relevant text, but the FAQ about an illegal choice in a list still isn't legal implies that natural combat style rangers can't take improved natural attack. Is that intended?

    Sovereign Court

    The article date mentions "Monday, March 6, 2017", but we are the "Monday, March 13, 2017" today.

    Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

    7 people marked this as a favorite.
    dragonvan wrote:
    The article date mentions "Monday, March 6, 2017", but we are the "Monday, March 13, 2017" today.

    Oops. That's what I get for time traveling. Should be sorted now!

    ***

    Wow. Thank you, all. I am still reading, but I am very excited so far!

    Hmm

    Silver Crusade ***

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Question about scrolls: one of the few things that became more limited was scrolls of many (identical) spells. Are these grandfathered in or do must we trade them back in for the cost? (In one of my character's cases, 2 prestige.)

    Not that it affects me, but it came very close to doing so--in cases where these things were purchased with prestige and then partially used (ex: a scroll of CLW with 30 castings of a 1st-level spell, and you've cast one of them) should it still be sold back for 2 prestige or do we use some calculation to determine what portion of the value is returned?

    Paizo Employee ***** Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    I would just break the scrolls that wouldn't be legal under the new ruling into several smaller scrolls. Got a scroll of cure light wounds with 30 copies of the same spell? Just break it into 5 scrolls with 6 copies each. It's not worth the trouble of doing any sell-back operation.

    Sovereign Court

    If I jump back in PFS after a hiatus, reading this FAQ and the Campaign Clarifications document may be a good idea.

    Anything I should read, except those two pages.

    Silver Crusade ***

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    John Compton wrote:
    I would just break the scrolls that wouldn't be legal under the new ruling into several smaller scrolls. Got a scroll of cure light wounds with 30 copies of the same spell? Just break it into 5 scrolls with 6 copies each. It's not worth the trouble of doing any sell-back operation.

    Oh, hadn't thought of that solution. Thanks!

    Dark Archive ***

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    "Squeeeeeeeeeee!"

    The excited little gnomish librarian cartwheels into the room. She conjures a solid note as a step stool, so she can leap up and give hugs to Chris, Tonya, John and Linda. "Oh, I can get a spellbook of my very OWN! I have a traveling library, but I was wondering how on earth I could complete my comparative arcane studies without being able to scribe spells. But now... Now I have my own spellbook!"

    Calpurnia Underhall Poshkettle (Cup to her friends) hugs her spell book close, stroking the binding. "Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you many times! I promise to take good care of it!"

    _____
    Oh, thank goodness. I thought I was going to have to dip wizard or arcanist to get one of these. Thank you, from both Cup and me! -- Hmm

    ****

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    I have not read this document, but I am already in love with it.

    Liberty's Edge **** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

    I have a question that a player asked me, that might be good for a future update.

    This is specifically for the Battle Host Occultist and an item chosen for the panoply bond archetype feature. (The same question might be applied to an arcane bond item.) Here is the relevant text form the Pathfinder PRD:

    Quote:
    Panoply Bond (Su): At 1st level, a battle host forms a supernatural bond with a specific weapon, suit of armor, or shield. This selection is permanent and can never be changed. The bonded item is masterwork quality and the battle host begins play with it at no cost. The bonded item is immune to the broken condition for as long as the battle host lives. If a battle host dies and is restored to life, the bonded item is also restored if it was destroyed. Any magic powers associated with a battle host's bonded item function only for the battle host; in the hands of anyone else it is only a masterwork item. The bonded item starts as an implement for any single school of magic at 1st level, and gains access to additional schools of magic at 2nd, 10th, 14th, and 18th levels, granting the battle host access to base focus powers and resonant powers accordingly. The battle host's bonded item serves as his implement component to cast occultist spells of all the schools that he knows. However, he must split his mental focus among the schools he knows for the purpose of determining resonant powers and using focus powers, even though he possesses only one physical item as an implement. This ability alters implements, mental focus, spellcasting, and implement mastery.

    Is there a limit on the item value or special materials. Can a character make the bonded item a suit of full plate armor or even full plate adamantine armor? I told the player that my judgment would be an item made of materials that are commonly available.

    Sovereign Court * Venture-Captain, Mexico—Guadalajara aka KhaozKnight

    Thank you for this update! Now, I've got some reading to do to help my players with any doubts they might still have.

    **

    Thank you so much for all the hard work you've put into this! I really appreciate it.

    I especially like the expanded ability to upgrade equipment. That was a very welcome surprise to me.

    Now to spend time re-reading several of the FAQs to make sure I understand the changes.

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