Alchemist: Is an alchemist a spellcaster for the purpose of crafting magic items other than potions?
As written, no, alchemists are not spellcasters, and therefore can't select feats such as Craft Wondrous Item.
The design team is aware that this creates some thematic problems with the idea of an alchemist creating golems and so on, and plan to examine this in the future.
Alchemist: What kind of action is it to use an extract, mutagen, or throw a bomb?
It is a standard action to use an extract, mutagen, or throw a bomb. This action includes retrieving the necessary materials from the alchemist's supplies, in the same manner as retrieving a material component is included in the act of spellcasting.
Archetype Stacking and Altering: What exactly counts as altering a class feature for the purpose of stacking archetypes?
In general, if a class feature grants multiple subfeatures, it’s OK to take two archetypes that only change two separate subfeatures. This includes two bard archetypes that alter or replace different bardic performances (even though bardic performance is technically a single class feature) or two fighter archetypes that replace the weapon training gained at different levels (sometimes referred to as “weapon training I, II, III, or IV”) even though those all fall under the class feature weapon training. However, if something alters the way the parent class feature works, such as a mime archetype that makes all bardic performances completely silent, with only visual components instead of auditory, you can’t take that archetype with an archetype that alters or replaces any of the sub-features. This even applies for something as small as adding 1 extra round of bardic performance each day, adding an additional bonus feat to the list of bonus feats you can select, or adding an additional class skill to the class. As always, individual GMs should feel free to houserule to allow small overlaps on a case by case basis, but the underlying rule exists due to the unpredictability of combining these changes.
Barbarian, Lesser Spirit Totem: Who decides who the spirits attack, and what effects affect the spirits?
The barbarian decides who the spirits attack each round. The spirits are not affected by effects that aid their attacks or damage (such as bardic performance or bless) or penalize their attacks or damage (such as bane or darkness). The spirits always strike from your direction. They do not get flanking bonuses or help a combatant get one.
Barbarian--Totem Warrior: Does this archetype allow you to take more than one type of totem rage powers?
No, the line in Ultimate Combat is in error; a barbarian cannot select from more than one group of totem rage powers.
This error will be corrected in the next printing of Ultimate Combat.
This answer originally appeared in the 9/11/12 Paizo blog.
Cavalier: Do animal companion levels from the druid class stack with cavalier mount levels?
If the animal is on the cavalier mount list and on the list of animal companions for your other class, your cavalier and druid levels stack to determine the animal's abilities. If the animal is not on the cavalier mount list, the druid levels do not stack and you must have different animals (one an animal companion, one a cavalier mount).
For example, if you are Medium druid and you choose a horse companion, levels in cavalier stack to determine the horse's abilities. If you are a Medium druid and you choose a bird companion, levels in cavalier do not stack to determine the bird's abilities, and you must choose a second creature to be your mount (or abandon the bird and select an animal companion you can use as a mount).
This same answer applies to multiclassed cavalier/rangers.
(Note that the design team discourages players from having more than one companion creature at a time, as those creatures tend to be much weaker than a single creature affected by these stacking rules, and add to the bookkeeping for playing that character.)
Cleric, Outsider Subdomains: How am I supposed to use the planar binding domain spell granted by these subdomains?
This is an error, in that there is an alignment incompatibility between the outsider subdomains and the magic circle spells needed to bind the respective types of outsiders. For example, a chaotic cleric with the Protean (Chaos) subdomain would need to cast a [lawful] magic circle against chaos domain spell to bind a chaotic protean, but her chaotic alignment prevents her from doing so (see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells in the Core Rulebook).
The solution is to allow the use of that planar binding domain spell without requiring the magic circle spell. (If the cleric wanted to create a calling diagram to improve her chances, she could enlist the aid of another caster to cast the required magic circle spell.)
This text will be updated in a future printing of the Advanced Player's Guide
Druid, Animal Shamans: At what class level do these archetypes gain wild shape?
The animal shaman archetypes for the druid class do not gain wild shape until class level 6.
(The other druid archetypes in this book use clearer phrasing to explain that the character doesn't gain the ability until level 6, and the animal shamans should also use that language. Furthermore, the descriptions of the modified wild shape class ability should include "This ability replaces wild shape.")
Druid, Eagle Shaman: How can I take the form of a roc if a roc is Gargantuan and the maximum size I can reach with wild shape is Huge?
The lack of suitable giant bird stat blocks in official Paizo products hinders the rules options for this archetype.
To remedy this problem, an eagle shaman druid can use wild shape to take the form of a Medium eagle (as if applying the giant creature simple template to a Small eagle), and can use wild shape to take the form of a Huge roc (as if applying the young creature simple template to a Gargantuan roc). Abilities of the assumed form are determined by which beast shape spell the wild shape ability functions as, as determined by the eagle shaman's effective druid level.
This ruling only applies to the eagle shaman, not any other kind of animal shaman archetype.
Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial favored class options?
Yes. Half-elves and half-orcs may select racial favored class options, archetypes, traits, and so on, as if they were a full member of both races (a half-elf can select elf and human rules elements, a half-orc can select human and orc rules elements).
Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ, another APG FAQ, and a Core Rulebook FAQ.
Half-Orc--Toothy: Does this alternate racial trait stack with the Razortusk feat (page 168) granting you two bite attacks?
This is one of those areas where we tried to get at the same idea multiple ways. In this case, the answer is no, unless you somehow manage to get an extra mouth. Generally speaking, natural weapons can only be used once per round each. This also applies to the Animal Fury barbarian rage power (Core Rulebook, page 32).
Holy Vindicator: Thise class has an ability that gives him a sacred bonus to AC until "struck in combat." Does a touch attack count as being "struck"? What about a spell like magic missile or fireball?
The ability lasts until an opponent makes a successful attack roll against the vindicator's Armor Class.
Horizon Walker: How long does the terrain mastery ability (page 265) last when the character grants the bonus to his allies?
This ability basically works like hunter's bond (companions), except the character is lending his terrain bonus instead of his enemy bonus. Like hunter's bond (companions), it lasts a number of rounds equal to the character's Wis modifier (minimum 1).
Inquisitor: Does an inquisitor's bane ability (page 40) affect both ends of a double weapon?
No. In general, the game treats double weapons as if they were two different weapons, and an ability, spell, or effect that changes or augments "a weapon" only applies to one end of a double weapon.
Sometimes the rules are redundant and specifically call out that an ability that affects "a weapon" (such as a paladin's divine bond) only affects one end of a double weapon. Sometimes the rules aren't redundant (such as the magic weapon spell, or the inquisitor's bane ability), but the general rule still applies: the double weapon is treated as two separate weapons.
Inquisitor: If an inquisitor uses Solo Tactics (Advanced Player's Guide, page 40) with the Outflank feat (APG, page 165), does the enemy provoke attacks of opportunity when hit with a critical hit?
Yes, but only when the inquisitors allies score a critical hit against a foe that they both flank. In this case, the enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from the inquisitor. The reverse is not true, since her allies can only gain bonuses from teamwork feats if they themselves possess them.
Inquisitor: Some of the inquisitor abilities still refer to the scaling bonuses from the playtest version of the class. What is the rule for these abilities?
(This information will appear in the APG errata document; this FAQ entry is here to address these recurring inquisitor questions until the errata is posted.)
Page 41: In the Slayer class feature, change the text to read as follows.
Slayer (Ex): At 17th level, an inquisitor learns to focus her judgment. Whenever an inquisitor uses her judgment ability, she must select one type of judgment. She is treated as if she were 5 levels higher for the purposes of determining the bonus granted by this judgment. Unlike other types of judgment, the one enhanced by this ability cannot be changed for the remainder of the judgment.
Page 41: In the True Judgement class feature, delete the sixth sentence.
Page 222: In the flames of the faithful spell, change the second sentence of the description to read as follows.
If you are using the judgement class feature, your weapon gains the flaming burst property instead.
Page 288: In the jurist special weapon ability, in the first paragraph, delete the last sentence.
Master Chymist: For the dual mind advanced mutagen (page 269), if you makes your second save and change forms, does that cost one of your uses of the mutate ability?
Yes. In effect, the chymist is spending a use of the mutate ability to override a failed saving throw. If she doesn't have any daily uses left of the mutate ability, she doesn't have any uses to spare to activate this override.
Master Chymist: For the mutate ability (page 268), if the character is unable to take a standard action on her next turn, is she still forced to mutate against her will, and if so, what sort of action does she take to do so?
Being forced to change form is a penalty the master chymist risks. She shouldn't be able to ignore that penalty just because she can't take a standard action on her next turn (for example, if she is nauseated). Under these circumstances, she must use all of her available actions on her turn to change form. For example, if nauseated, she must use her available move action to mutate. If restricted to just a swift action on her next turn after the triggering effect, she must use that swift action to mutate. If she is helpless, the transformation doesn't occur until the first turn where she can take a standard action (or whatever is available to her) to mutate.
For example, if she is helpless from a hold person spell, the only action available to her is the full-round action to break free. Once she is free of that spell, on her next turn (the first turn where she can take other actions) she must spend a standard action to mutate.
Monk ki mystic archetype: The ki mystic ability seems like it alters the monk’s ki pool ability, but it doesn’t say “This ability alters ki pool.” Is this because the ki mystic’s ki pool is a separate second pool that can only be used for the powers described in the ki mystic archetype, and the monk then also receives the regular ki pool that works as normal?
No. When Advanced Player’s Guide was written, archetypes were new and the “this alters” language didn’t exist yet, meaning archetypes in this book, including ki mystic, never include it, even when they should by current standards. The ki mystic ability alters ki pool. At 3rd level, a ki mystic gets a ki pool of Wisdom modifier points that can be used for the abilities listed in the archetype. At level 4, this upgrades to a ki pool of 1/2 monk level + Wisdom modifier + 2 points, which is a single ki pool (the ki mystic does not gain two) that can be used in all the usual ways a monk can use ki, plus those mentioned in the archetype.
Oracle: Can I use my Charisma modifier for cleric spells and effects that use Wisdom, such as spiritual weapon?
As written, those effects say "Wisdom" (because they were written before the idea of the oracle class as a Charisma-based caster), so an oracle has to use her Wisdom modifier.
However, it is a perfectly reasonable house rule to allow an oracle to use her Charisma modifier (or bonus) for cleric spells that refer to the caster's Wisdom modifier (or bonus).
Oracle: Does an oracle of lore with the sidestep secret (page 50) revelation use her Charisma to calculate her CMD instead of her Dexterity? If she is flat-footed, does she lose her Charisma bonus to AC?
An oracle of lore with the sidestep secret revelation uses her Dexterity to calculate her CMD since no provision is made in the text to use her Charisma for that statistic. She does, however, lose her Charisma bonus to AC whenever she is flat-footed, since her Charisma modifier is being used in place of her Dexterity modifier.
Oracle: Does the haunted curse (page 44) affect the items in an oracle's spell component pouch?
The question here is whether or not the haunted curse makes is so that to cast any spell using a material component, the oracle has to first spend a standard action to find the right material component. Fortunately for oracles everywhere, this is not the case. The items in a spell component pouch are nebulous and not defined (intentionally, so as to prevent casters from having to track the amount of bat guano they are carrying). As a result, this curse has no effect on such components. For ease of play, this extends to all material components, including expensive ones.
Oracle: Does the haunted curse affect how long it takes to draw a weapon?
No. The curse affects the "retrieve a stored item" action. If you are using the "draw a weapon" action (such as to draw a dagger from a belt sheath), that is a different kind of action and the haunted curse does not affect it.
If you were attempting to retrieve a dagger from your backpack, that would count as a "retrieve a stored item" action and the curse would interfere.
Oracle: How can the revelation "Mantle of Moonlight" (page 48) force a target into a rage when that spell only affects willing targets?
The mantle of moonlight's touch attack forces a creature into a state with the same game effects as a rage spell, even though that spell normally only works on willing targets. There is no saving throw. The oracle affects one creature per use of this ability.
Oracle: What kind of DR does an oracle get from the righteous might spell?
If the oracle chose the "all cure spells" option for her spells known, treat that as "channels positive energy" for the purpose of righteous might. If she chose "all inflict spells," treat that as "channels negative energy" for the purpose of righteous might.
Paladin: The sacred servant archetype (page 117) gets a domain. Does the sacred servant get all of the benefits of that domain, such as granted powers?
Unless the text specifically says otherwise, when a character gains a cleric domain, they gain all benefits associated with that domain: granted powers, access to domain spells, and a domain spell slot at each spell level they can cast.
Paladin: For the "nimbus of light" ability of the Warrior of the Holy Light archetype (page 118), what kind of light does it count as for the purpose of overcoming darkness effects? Is there a limit to how often a paladin can activate this ability? Does the 12th-level ability affect the paladin, or just her allies?
The ability counts as light up until 8th-level, at which point it counts as daylight. Activating the "nimbus of light" expends one use of her lay on hands ability. All effects of the nimbus affect the paladin as well as her allies (the game considers you an ally of yourself).
The APG update will include these clarifications.
Rogue: Does the dodge bonus from the “offensive defensive” rogue talent (page 131) stack with itself? Does it apply to everyone, or just to the target I’m attacking?
There are two issues relating to this rogue talent.
One, in the first printing it provided a +1 circumstance bonus against the attacked target, which was a very weak ability. The second printing update changed it from a circumstance bonus to a dodge bonus, but accidentally omitted the “against that creature” text, which made it a very strong ability.
Two, it doesn’t specify whether the dodge bonus stacks with itself, and because this creates a strange place in the rules where bonuses don’t stack from the same source but dodge bonuses always stack. While we haven’t reached a final decision on what to do about this talent, we are leaning toward this solution: the dodge bonus only applies against the creature you sneak attacked, and the dodge bonus does not stack with itself. This prevents you from getting a dodge bonus to AC against a strong creature by sneak attacking a weak creature, and prevents you from reaching an absurdly high AC by sneak attacking multiple times in the same round.
Sorcerer: Is the aquatic sorcerer bloodline (page 136) supposed to get geyser as a bonus spell at sorcerer level 9, even though that’s normally a 5th-level sorcerer/wizard spell and unavailable to sorcerers before caster level 10?
Yes, and the sorcerer learns it as a 4th-level spell. Note that geyser is also a 4th-level druid spell (available at character level 7), so the aquatic sorcerer gaining it at character level 9 as a 4th-level arcane spell isn’t too powerful.
Subdomains: Can druids, inquisitors, and other classes with access to domains take the subdomains listed in the cleric section of the APG?
Yes, as long as they follow the rules for subdomains on page 86. A character who does not worship a deity (such as some druids and paladins) may select any one subdomain appropriate to a domain available to his or her class.
Summoner: Can I use life link when it's not my turn, I'm paralyzed, or I otherwise can't take actions?
Although the ability is listed as a free action, it's something a summoner should be able to do at any time the eidolon would take enough damage to send it back to its home plane, even if it's not his turn (as is normally the case when he's being attacked), he's helpless from Strength or Dexterity poison, he's under a hold person spell, and so on. In other words, it's not an action at all, and shouldn't be listed as such.
Update: APG page 56, in the Life Link description, paragraph 1, sentence 2, delete "as a free action"
Summoner: If I choose the reach evolution for my eidolon, how many of its attacks gains increased reach?
The ability description says "pick one attack," not "pick one attack type." So if your eidolon has two claws and you pick "claw" for the reach evolution, only one claw gets increased reach. (The reach evolution is intended to let you emulate having a dragon-eidolon, as a dragon's bite attack has greater reach than its claws.)
Summoner: What's the minimum level to take the improved natural armor evolution (page 60) for an eidolon?
The description of the evolution says, "This evolution can be taken once for every five levels the summoner possesses." Unfortunately, that text is unclear.
A summoner can select this evolution once for levels 1—4, again for levels 5–9, a third time at levels 10–14, a fourth time at levels 15–19, and a fifth time at level 20.
This wording will be clarified in the next update document and print run for the APG.
Update: Page 60: Change the the Improved Natural Armor evolution to read as follows: "Improved Natural Armor (Ex): An eidolon's hide grows thick fur, rigid scales, or bony plates, giving it a +2 bonus to its natural armor. This evolution can be taken once at 1st level, and again at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th."
Witch, Cackle Hex: Does my character literally have to cackle madly when I use this hex, or is that just flavor text?
Your character actually has to cackle—probably in a strong voice, akin to the volume and clarity necessary for verbal spell components.
If the witch is in a silence effect, she can't use the cackle hex.
If the target is in a silence effect, it is unaffected by the cackle.
This may require some clarifying text in the next printing of the Advanced Player's Guide.
Witch, Evil Eye Hex: Can I use this hex more than once on a target?
Yes. As long as you apply a different penalty with each use of the hex (AC, ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks), you can have multiple penalties on the same target. Applying the same hex penalty to a target just resets the duration to the most recent use of the hex.
Example: On round 1, you hex the target's AC. On round 2, you hex the target's attack rolls, so the target now has two evil eye hexes on it. On round 3, you hex the target's saving throws, so it now has three evil eye hexes on it. On round 4, you hex its AC again, resetting the duration of the AC-hex (which does not add an additional –2 penalty to its AC). The same thing would happen if two witches were using evil eye on the same target--as long as each evil eye hex applied a penalty to a different thing, they'd all apply.
This doesn't violate the general rule for stacking penalties--each evil eye effect is basically a different source, even though they stem from the evil eye hex (the evil eye hex is much like 5 separate weak hexes under a common umbrella). In the same way that multiple castings of bestow curse on the same target should stack as long as they do different things (penalize Strength, penalize Dex, penalize attack rolls, take no action, and so on), multiple uses of the evil eye hex stack as long as they're targeting different game statistics.
Witch, Flight Hex: Can my witch use her feather fall and levitate abilities on other creatures?
No. All aspects of the flight hex affect only the witch (though she can carry objects or creatures as part of her weight allowance as described in those spell effects). (The 2nd printing of the APG includes this updated information.)
Witch, Fortune Hex: How often can a creature "benefit" from this hex? If it lasts more than one round, does it end after the first time it is used?
When a creature becomes the target of the fortune hex, it gains the benefit of that hex once per round, until the hex runs out, as determined by the level of the witch that created the effect. Once it ends, the creature cannot again be the target of that hex for 24 hours.
Witch, Healing Hex: Can I use this hex to damage undead? If so, how often can I affect a particular undead?
The hex acts like the appropriate cure wounds spell, so it damages undead.
When used this to damage undead, it should have the same once-per-24-hours limitation as its healing usage (even though that's not a "benefit" to the targeted undead).
For clarity, where the hex currently says:
"Once a creature has benefited from the healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours."
It should actually say:
"Once a creature has been affected by the hex, it cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours."
This will be updated in the next printing of the APG.
Witch: If a hex says it can only affect a creature once every 24 hours, does that mean no other witch can use it on that target?
No, the restriction only applies to that particular witch using that hex, and doesn't prevent other witches from using their own hex with that name on the target.
For example, if Esmerelda uses her healing hex on Gustav, she can't use it on him again for 24 hours. Morda can still use her healing hex on Gustav during Esmerelda's no-healing-hex time period (and doing so prevents Morda from using it on him again for 24 hours). Repeat ad infinitum for any other witch using the healing hex
Witch: If I take levels in a prestige class that advances my spellcasting, do I continue to gain bonus spells from my patron as I gain levels?
No. That is a class feature of the witch class, and the standard "+1 level of spellcasting" prestige class ability only advances spells known, spells per day, effective spellcaster level. (You retain the patron spells from your familiar based on your actual witch level, of course.)
Cloud Step: How does this feat (and Spider Step) interact with a level 20 monk who can fall an unlimited distance?
Both of those feats should allow the monk to travel up to 50 feet (if it weren't for the level 20 change to "unlimited," the mathematical progression of the monk class's slow fall ability would be 100 feet, and half that is 50 feet). The 2nd printing of the APG will reflect this information.
Gang Up: Does this feat (page 161) allow you to flank a foe with ranged weapons?
The Gang Up feat allows you to count as flanking so long as two of your allies are threatening your opponent. The feat makes no mention of ranged attacks being included, and since flanking specifically refers to melee attacks, ranged attacks do not benefit from this feat. (JMB, 8/13/10)
Perfect Strike: Can I use this feat with unarmed strikes?
As written, you can only use the feat with the specific weapons mentioned in the feat description.
So why does the feat have Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite, if you can't actually use it with unarmed strikes? Because the feat is intended to be a cool thing that monks can do, and monks get IUS automatically (barring an archetype that replaces that feat), so having IUS as a prerequisite means it's easy for monks to learn Perfect Strike but more difficult for other classes. The prerequisite could have been "monk level X," but that would mean that only monks could take the feat (prohibiting even other martial arts classes or archetypes).
Note that the zen archer archetype allows you to use the feat with a bow, which means there's a precedent for creating an unarmed-combat archetype that modifies the feat for use with other weapons.
Creating Items and Caster Level: The APG magic items chapter says (on page 282), "The creator's caster level must be as high as the item's caster level." This contradicts the Core Rulebook. Which is correct?
That line in the APG is an error. An item's caster level is not a prerequisite for item creation unless it is specifically mentioned in an item's Requirements line (for example, an amulet of natural armor).
Effective Level Increases From Magic Items: Several items in the APG increase a character's effective level for class abilities, such as the necklace of ki serenity for monks, robes of arcane heritage for sorcerers, and silver smite bracelet for paladins. What exactly does that entail?
The necklace says it affects "the size of his ki pool and the level-based effects of his ki pool ability (such as bypassing damage reduction)." Thus, increasing the monk's effective level for the ki pool ability just increases the number of ki points and what sort of DR the monk's unarmed strikes bypass. Other abilities that depend on ki points (wholeness of body, abundant step, and empty body) are not part of the ki pool ability, and the magic item doesn't affect those abilities or when the monk gets access to them.
The robes say "treats her sorcerer level as 4 higher than normal for the purpose of determining what bloodline powers she can use and their effects. Note that bloodline powers, bloodline arcana, bonus spells, and bloodline feats are three separate abilities of the sorcerer class; the robes only affect the bloodline powers.
The bracelet says "treats her paladin level as 4 higher than normal for the purpose of her smite evil class feature." As the only level-based aspects of smite evil are the bonus to damage rolls and how many times per day she can use it, those are the two things the bracelet affects.
"Does not stack with" and spells with effects other than bonuses: What does it mean if a spell tells me it doesn’t stack with another spell or "similar effects" if some of the effects aren't bonuses?
If you have two spells with effects other than bonuses and those spells or effects are called out not to stack, that means that the effects that apply to the same rules component or situation do not stack, so if they apply different non-bonus effects to the same rules component, the most recent spell takes precedent. For example, aspect of the falcon specifically doesn't stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon, such as Improved Critical or keen. This means that the part of aspect of the falcon that applies to criticals doesn't stack with those effects, but it doesn't prevent someone with Improved Critical from receiving the competence bonuses on attack rolls and Perception checks. If a character with Improved Critical (light crossbow) cast aspect of the falcon, his criticals would change from 17–20/x2 to 19–20/x3. Similarly, blessing of fervor does not stack with haste, which means that the increased speed, extra attack, and attack roll/AC/Reflex save bonuses wouldn't stack between the two spells, but if you had both spells active, you could still get those three benefits from haste while choosing to stand up as a swift action or apply metamagic to a low-level spell.