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Gold Dragon

Ambrus's page

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
One could hypothesize that the walls of the extradimensional space have a constant temperature X, that is inferior to lava's temperature, which results in a constant heat flow from the lava to the wall of the space. If the extradimensional space is a perfectly closed system, like a perfect thermos, then yes one could keep ice or lava in there.

Trying to apply real physics to magical effects is always fraught with peril. The interior of a Portable Hole is an extradimensional space with finite boundaries, but those boundaries aren't really "walls" in any conventional sense; they're planar boundaries. I'd say that heat can't dissipate out through those boundaries when the opening to the hole is closed for the same reason that PCs can't tunnel their way through them: there's simply nothing beyond them; nowhere for the heat to escape to.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
I would argue against it for the very reason outlined here, as the item was probably not designed to be weaponized as such.

If you're looking for a way to limit what PCs can place within a hole, I'd propose looking at the nature of the item itself. A portable hole is essentially a circle of magical cloth 6-ft across. Even when placed upon a flat surface and the center of the cloth effectively disappears, some measure of it's cloth edges remain; characters need that edge so they can pull the hole away from a surface. Having that fabric edge where lava (or acid) can flow over it into the hole would seem to be a very bad idea. If the fabric suffers sufficient damage, the item will eventually be destroyed. Certainly there are workarounds that clever PCs can devise to get damaging substances in and out of the hole safely, but it's still a risky proposition; one which thrifty PCs may prefer to avoid for fear of loosing an expensive item. Just my 2¢.

Summoners are spellcasters, but I'm not seeing any pressing need to conserve swift actions. Have examples?

It's a tricky matter and will depend largely on how your GM views Intelligence. Even the basest familiar starts with an intelligence of 6, which is several orders of magnitude smarter than even the best trained mundane animal; perhaps akin to a child of middling years. If dogs can be trained to understand voice commands, I think it's only fair to assume that an Int 6 familiar can understand far more of a master's intent. I'd say it's a given that familiars understand most of their master's plain spoken instructions (perhaps with a bit of pantomine thrown in for good measure) about as well as a six or seven year old might. "Go to that window over there to see if there's anyone there then come back to me. Be careful and try to stay hidden. Okay?" is well within even a dumb familiar's ability to understand. Keep in mind also that a familiar automatically shares a master's skill ranks so, if the master has learned languages through the Linguistics skill, so has the familiar; so the question of it being able to understand spoken language (even if it cannot yet speak them) becomes moot.

As for communicating back what it's seen, the animal can answer yes or no questions easily enough with a nod or shake of its head while numbers can be tapped out. It can recognize things familiar to it, remember details and then answer questions about them, again, about as well as a child could. Race, gender, clothing worn, weapons and armor, number of people, activities of those assembled are all within their ability to conceptualize; it just might take awhile to get the information out of them with a series of yes or no questions. If the familiar knows some languages through the Linguistics skill, then I suppose you could employ something like a Ouija board for it to spell out answers.

My 2¢. YMMV.

joefro wrote:
So many good uses for a portable hole. Too many people to teleport? Put a couple in the portable hole. Can put allies in it and sneak them into an area with you. It's only 10 mins of air for 1 person, but even so it's easily abusable.

This. A caster can scoop up the party and fly, dimension door or teleport into a hard to reach area with his whole party in tow. A stealthy scout can do the same at unleash his buffed and readied party on an unsuspecting target. If you need to keep your party, rescued NPCs or prisoners in the hole for more than a few minutes, have them enter suspended animation via readied Sepia Snake Sigil notes kept inside.

born_of_fire wrote:
We also stole, er looted, the entire library out of Delvehaven the same way.

This. Adventures are chock full of grandiose room descriptions with fancy furnishing intended as mere window dressing. But with a portable hole you can lift those "rows of floor to ceiling bookshelves" every villain seems to have in their lair. Pick up armoires, four-poster beds, desks, statues and whatnot to furnish your own newly purchased house. One character I had collected the thrones of defeated BBEGs, stocking his dining room in gaudy majesty. :D

Thanks for the math breakdown. My problem had been that I hadn't known how to reconcile average damage with the reduced chance to hit; but I get it now. Following the model and running my own numbers, I see that my current cutoff point is indeed at AC 22; 23 and up is better without Power Aatack.

AC 22, 40% chance to hit with +9, of 10.5 dmg x 4 = 16.8 dmg.
30% chance to hit with +7, of 14.5 dmg  x 4 = 17.4 dmg.

AC 23, 35% chance to hit with +9, of 10.5 dmg x 4 = 14.7 dmg.
25% chance to hit with +7, of 14.5 dmg  x 4 = 14.5 dmg.

Now that I know the math however I can see that, in my case at least, either Improved Natural Attack or Arcane Strike have a better return for damage on average than Power Attack. It'd probably be different if I were getting 150% Str on attacks. So I'll aim to get those two feats first and pick up Power Attack down the line.

avr wrote:
Note that you can't take the large evolution until 8th level though.

Large sized is gained from enlarge person. At 8th level I'll be huge.

OilHorse wrote:
I am also playing a 5th level synthesist, 4 claws, 20 str.

I'd be curious to see more of your build at present.

Aemesh wrote:
Your synthesist build is going to focus on attack spam -- those secondary attacks are all going to be at 50% strength, and 50% of the normal power-attack bonuses, but you'll still make up for it through sheer numbers... mostly.

Claw attacks are all primary. For the sake of keeping it primary and for ease of boosting with spells and feats, I'm going to keep focusing on claws; so no secondary attacks ever.

Claxon wrote:
Always Be Power Attacking

That seems to be the take-away from this. Is there a simple rule of thumb for when it's best to stop power attacking; say like when I'm missing on attack rolls equal to my full attack bonus +5 or +10?

Looking at comparable damage boosting feats, I'm just wondering if the added damage/lower to-hit of Power Attack (+4 dam. x 4 = 16; -2 to hit) outpaces the damage of say Arcane Strike (+2 dam. x 4 attacks = 8) or Improved Natural Attack (increase 1d8 die to 2d6 x 4 = 10) for this character.

Power Attack is one of those feats which I've read is a statistical must-have for melee builds but which I'm always hesitant to make use of since the penalty to hit makes me nervous. How do you properly gauge when to use it? People will say it depends largely on the AC of your target but, for a combat that lasts only 3-4 rounds, spending a round or two trying to determine the exact AC and then running some numbers to figure out whether you've reached a viable Power Attacking opportunity seems too time consuming to be worthwhile. Can someone to whom Power Attacking is second nature help me figure out how I should go about getting the most out of this feat?

For reference, I'm playing a 5th level Synthesist who is large, with 20 Str, and with four claw attacks; dealing approximately 1d8+5 per hit.

I'm currently playing what is essentially a half-elf summoner (synthesist). The character concept is that she's a dryad who's been bonded to a treant (her eidolon) after her original tree was destroyed. Since they now share a life, when the dryad is awake the treant slumbers and vice versa. So when the half-elf summons her eidolon the "dryad" merges into the treant and falls asleep while the "treant" wakes up. I play them as two different characters with seperate personalities.

I used the Race Point system to swap out a few of the half-elf's racial traits and abilities to make her a fey with a few dryad-like qualities while the eidolon has a Plant Appearance evolution (based off of the Undead Appearance evolution, but switching the two types).

The dryad handles most of the social interaction of the pair while the treant is the party's tank. It's a lot of fun. :)

Maybe not appropriate for you, but my sorcerer's favorite way to walk through walls was the Elemental Body I spell to gain an earth elemental's earth glide ability paired with invisibility and possibly silence.

In most dungeon settings as well as stone buildings it's ideal for scouting out terrain; using the walls, floors and ceiling surrounding rooms as your own personal secret passage while briefly peeking into adjoining chambers. Bypass traps and sentries, map out the whole dungeon, identify primary targets and then report back to the party to develop a strategy. Dimension door would then allow us to pop in on the unprepared BBEG. Taking out the BBEG first and then working our way back out of the dungeon become our defacto approach. Very effective.

Pretty much any character with extradimensional containers crammed with a wide array of mundane equipment can pull off this concept. Really, the only things holding you back is how much stuff you can carry, how much you're willing to spend to acquire all this stuff and how well you know the rules for each item you're carrying and how each might be exploited to maximum benefit. You have to be the type of player who, when presented with an obstacle, can mentally review his inventory and quickly conceptualize how that stuff might be used to overcome the obstacle. If you have trouble coming up with clever solutions in real life, you'll probably be disappointed in the character.

The other possible hiccup is if your GM is not receptive to the idea. Those who don't appreciate offbeat ways of dealing with obstacles might not support your character concept. Some GMs prefer to have their obstacles be insurmountable as a means of keeping the PCs on a linear path that they've plotted out beforehand. Proposing ways of knocking down those obstacles can push that sort of GM into a panic and they'll instinctively shut down your clever plans as a way to maintain the plot. Of course not all GMs are like this, but it's something to keep in mind.

There are a few feats, traits, class abilities and racial abilities peppered throughout game that somehow incorporate the use of mundane equipment. I imagine most are too focused on a specific piece of equipment to be generally useful for the sort of know-it-all character you're aiming for however. Maybe I'm wrong on that count though.

As I said, pretty much any character can be a gadget master if he's got enough equipment on hand, but a few races and classes seem better geared (heh heh) to embody the concept. Dwarves and Gnomes seem best suited to be gadgeteers. Classwise, I'd say the Investigator has "MacGyver" written all over it, with the Sleuth archetype further bolstering the improvisation angle nicely.

My 2¢.

AFAIK, there's no penalty for attacking him assuming you have sufficient reach or range with your weapons. He does receive a +1 on melee attack rolls against those on the ground floor however; again, assuming he has sufficient reach with his weapon(s).

Depending on positioning of attackers and defenders and the construction of the balcony, it's conceivable that the NPC and attackers might receive a +4 bonus to their AC because of cover provided by the balcony itself.

I know I'm late to the party, but I just picked up this supplement and am looking forward to making a bat-kin character for an upcoming game. I was just wondering if someone could clarify the intention behind the bat shape feat.

Bats are normally diminutive. Do you become a tiny bat or do you become a diminutive bat, but use the tiny animal ability modifiers from beast shape 2? Does the feat contain a typo, and it should read beast shape 3, which does allow diminutive animals?

Is there some consensus on this issue? I'd like to roll up a bat-kin character with the feat and would like to know whether I should stat him up Asa tiny or diminutive bat.

Wow. A lot of heated debate on this issue. I'm glad to read people's take on it though, so keep it coming.

In assessing power vs cost, I think the most straightforward approach is to compare it to a permanent enlarge person spell which is 2500 gp. Power-wise, the benefits (and penalties) are in effect every combat, which is the only time it matters power-wise and seems to be the main concern of those who propose an increased cost for the item.

Each option has pros and cons on its side. On the good side, the permanency spell requires no actions to activate, takes up no body slots and can't be stolen. On the downside, there's the added hassle of not being able to end the effect when it would be helpful to do so and there's the risk of having a high level opponent dispel the effect permanently. As for an equivalent item the main benefits are that the effect can be ended when desired and it can't be permanently dispelled. On the downside, it costs more, takes up a body slot and the item can be taken from you.

In my mind, the difference between the two isn't so great and consequently the prices for each should be fairly close to each other. I'd say increasing the price for the item by 1500 over the cost of the permanent spell and adding in the body slot requirement easily makes up for the added benefit of being able to discontinue the effect when desired. If the price we're much higher than the 4,000 that the guidelines propose, I'd probably just opt for the permanency effect and use reduce person spells as needed to get around obstacles. Thoughts?

I'm looking to have created a crown which allows the wearer to grow in size as if under the effect of an enlarge person spell at will and to remain so as long as the crown is worn. I'd just like confirm the price for such an item. Since it's "Use-activated or continuous" item the cost would be Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp x 2 since the duration of the spell is normally 1 minute/level. So a 1st level spell x 1st level caster x 2,000 x 2 = 4,000 gp. Is this correct?

It would seem not based on this clarification from the Skull & Shackles Player's Guide:

Skull & Shackles Player's Guide wrote:
Because ships are constantly in motion, the caster of spells of the teleportation subschool must have line of sight to teleport onto a ship. Otherwise, a caster must scry upon a particular ship first, then immediately teleport to the scryed destination. Any delay in casting means the ship has moved from its scryed location and the spell fails.

It seems familiarity only works for those places that are in fixed locations. At best the tent and it's interior could count as being 'studied carefully' if the caster spent some time in the latest location of the tent or 'seen once' if it was erected hastily and abandoned. My 2¢.

Ravingdork wrote:
Anyone passing a save against magic jar automatically succeeds at all future saves against your spell.

Quite right; my mistake. Still, I would expect only a small fraction of an army's rank-and-file soldiers to succeed on the initial save. You'd have try and get the survivor on a second go around later with a follow up casting of the spell.

Ravingdork wrote:
Without special feats, magic jar also possesses people more or less randomly, so assassinating key people via possession-suicide is right out. (Though you could possess someone else, then attempt to sabotage the enemy or assassinate one of their ranking officials in the traditional sense; then try, try again if you fail.)

The spell does allow you to differentiate between targets with 4 or more levels difference between them. Also, your familiar should be sufficiently intelligent by the time you're casting Magic Jar to identify leader-types and bring your soul gem within range of them. That should be sufficient to target the leaders if that's your goal. If you succeed in possessing the leader(s), then you can outiright usurp control of the army; which might be worthwhile for awhile depending on your short term goals. But if you're aiming to outright break the army then you're probably better off skirting around the leaders (who are more likely to make their saves, figure out what's happening and take steps to stop you) and simply target the rank-and-file soldiers; they're the real backbone of the army after all and relatively vulnerable one-on-one.

daemonprince wrote:
this spell is an insanely powerful way to take down an army.

Yup. I find it amusing when GMs specify "core material only" for their campaigns. Truth is that the craziest make-the-DM cry sort of stuff can be found in the Core rules. :)

fictionfan wrote:
Use magic jar and get the army to destroy itself.


Magic Jar is an army breaking spell if used cleverly. It lasts for hours, can be used to repeatedly assault & supplant the souls of enemies with little way for them to defend themselves or retaliate against it. Although it could be used to some extent in the heat of battle to sow confusion and chaos amongst the ranks, it works best against entrenched armies at rest. Simply hide your body in a safe place, cast the spell at dusk and entrust the gem to your tiny, stealthy familiar. The familiar then sneaks through the encamped army under cover of darkness; surreptitiously bringing the gem within range (though not necessarily within line-of-sight) of slumbering soldiers. Possess one, quietly commit suicide, rinse and repeat. The few soldiers who succeed on the saving throw are hard-pressed to identify the source of the attack and can be assaulted repeatedly until they fail their saving throw. Since the spell lasts for hours this tactic can be attempted every few rounds for an entire evening. Come morning the bulk of the army lies dead or is fleeing for the lives.

This spell is almost biblical in scope; it turns you into an invisible and nigh unstoppable angel of death drifting through enemy ranks, reaping souls as you pass by unseen. I tried this tactic once to break an army of giants in the Rise of the Runelords AP which our party would have been hard-pressed to assault conventionally in the light of day.

Thanks for answering. It's certainly a reasonable interpretation. Anyone else feel like chiming in?

Our group just picked up this trinket in the Reign of Winter AP. Just looking to clarify its function.

"Once per day, if used as the focus or divine focus for a summon monster or summon nature’s ally spell, the cauldron automatically conjures 1d3 additional creatures of the same kind from the next lower level list. For example, if a user casts summon monster III to summon 1d3 wolves, he could also summon 1d3 additional wolves (or other creatures from the 2nd-level list)."

Since it only grant "additional creatures of the same kind from the next lower level list" it seems that what's implied, but not outright stated, is that the cauldron has no effect when summoning creatures of the same-level list as that of the spell or when casting the 1st level version of either spell (since there's no lower level list to choose 1d3 creatures from).

I'm also wondering whether the cauldron would work in conjunction with a summoner's Summon Monster spell-like ability seeing as it doesn't require a focus though since, according to the general description of spell-like abilities, it "functions just like a spell. Further, would the Cauldron function in conjunction with appropriate spell-completion or spell-trigger items such as scrolls and wands?

I don't think there's any official ruling on this item, so conjecture is welcome.

Sorry to resurrect this thread, but our group just collected this item during last night's session and it remains unclear how it's intended to work. Also, we were wondering whether it would work with a summoner's Summon Monster class ability. Any help would be appreciated.

Rathendar wrote:
I'd allow the purchase, but with the PC understanding that even with 2 you'd only get the one extra attack due to the hard cap.

Naturally. I'm just wondering if this requires house-ruling or is a valid option rules-wise.

Chess Pwn wrote:
yeah, claws are in pairs. this is when you swap in and out something, like rake. odd attacks have rake, even have claws with no rake.

Rake is only good for Quadrupeds though.

LazarX wrote:
At that point you want to get the Rend evolution which will take care of that left over natural attack and you get pretty good return on it.

I believe that Rend by itself is a special ability, not an attack. It has no attack roll of its own; it happens automatically if you hit with 2 other claw attacks, so it shouldn't count towards your maximum number of attacks per round. Correct me if I'm wrong.

David knott 242 wrote:
Alternatively, you can get a Slam attack for one pair of arms if you are under 6th level.

That's true, though what does being under 6th level have to do with it?

I searched but couldn't find an answer. The claws evolution states: "An eidolon has a pair of vicious claws at the end of its limbs, giving it two claw attacks." No problem there; spend a point and you get two claws. But what if you've reached a level where your eidolon is allowed an odd number of attacks and you'd rather add an extra claw rather than say a bite, slam, tentacle or what-have-you? You're free to buy as many pairs of limbs as you can afford, but can you spend 1 evolution point to add claws to one of those limbs or, alternatively, add claws to both limbs but only use one of them in battle to make your odd number of attacks?

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Cleric PC trying to explain the concept of souls to my hatchling dragon PC:

Cleric: "t's a part of you, something you need to make you whole, like your arms or your legs. What would you be without your arms?"
Dragon: "A wyvern."


PSusac wrote:
Silent image would do it. Just modify the image like a police sketch artist would.

This. Though, since the image of the parents doesn't have to be full-size or need to be realistic enough to fool anyone, I'd say that a simple prestidigitation cantrip should be sufficient to creat a miniature ghostly image that the artist can study. This is the kind of simple magical effect Prestidigitation is designed for.

I've listening to this age old debate about players trying to ride their floating disks for over twenty years. It's nice to see that some ideas never die. The notion invariably ends in disappointment once others chime in and rain on the O.P.'s great idea. Perhaps the mythic version allows this trick, but the base spell, alas, never has without a generous GM's say so.

One amusing idea I've heard of to make it possible is to affix a contraption atop the floating disk with a 5-ft. boom sticking off the front with a seat for the caster on its end. While moving forward, the caster hops up into the seat and so ends up coasting along as the floating disk both follows and propels him forward. Of course, you're stuck going in the same direction unless you engineer some sort of mechanism which allows for the caster to swing the boom around; usually involving a counterweight, a vertical axle, some pulleys and guide ropes. Other approaches include rigging a vertical mast and using a sail to steer around.

This is the point at which physicists usually chime in to point out that this kind of push/pull system can't realistically work and that air friction would invariably slow down and stop the disk and caster even if it did. The counter argument is that the contraption is based on magic rather than physics and so would work because it follows the RAW.

I wish learning a new language were as easy as being exposed to it and spending a skill point. I've been with my Romanian wife for nearly six years and the best I can manage is the most elementary of small talk.

It's a Mosin-Nagant M1891 Rifle with a 5 round internal non-detachable magazine that is typically loaded with 5-round stripper clips (loading it is a move action). Without stripper clips, it can only be reloaded with up to 2 rounds of ammunition as a move action.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
I am not trying to spoil anything, but modern firearms will fit just fine in Reign of Winter.

We players are aware that this unique character is an itinerant WW 1 Russian soldier armed with his stock rifle who's been indadvertedly ported to the Forgotten Realms. Thing is, he'll be starting off as such at 1st level. That's about all we know however, so no more AP spoilers please.

Jamie Charlan wrote:
advanced firearms have a cost not entirely unlike low grade magical weapons. This is worth noting both for 'when it should be available' but also for 'what you're paying for the weapon's abilities'. That advanced firearm is a significant chunk of your WBL at very low levels. You'll have a mundane shotgun, the fighter'll have his +2 weapon, and everyone could be happy.

That might matter if the character were to pay for the rifle, but he'll be receiving it for free in lieu of the gunslinger's usual firearm. He'll be keeping pace treasure-wise with the other PCs as they level, so when others have +2 weapons, he'll likely have enhanced his modern rifle to +2 as well.

Jamie Charlan wrote:
Reason is that Rapid Reload and Alchemical Cartridges are incompatible with advanced firearms. This means you will ALWAYS require a move action to reload your gun, rather than being able to get it down to a free action. The advanced firearms have no real support from archetypes either.

From what I can see, Rapid Reload isn't so much incompatible as it is redundant; reloading a modern rifle is automatically faster than the feat can manage; a move action I believe. When combined with a 5 cartridge capacity firearm, seems to me that the character will be able to pull off full attacks most of the time, only needing to slow down to a single shot every 3rd round or so once he has sufficient iterative attacks.

Is there really no spell, feat, item enhancement or class ability that can further improve a modern firearm's reloading speed from a move to a free action? I'm just trying to get a view of the big picture.

SlimGauge wrote:
I totally misread the title of this thread. I expected a party made up entirely of tiny sized PCs.

Same here. I'm a little disappointed.

Since no one else in the campaign setting would know how to produce modern firearms or ammunition, neither would be more common nor would proficiency in their use be any easier for others to acquire. Effective prices for ammunition wouldn't be any lower, which in turn would mean that our lone gunslinger must retain the gunsmithing feat to function.

All in all, I can't see what effect a gunslinger with a single advanced firearm would have either on the frequency of guns or their associated prices in the campaign setting nor how it would directly affect his class abilities beyond the balance issues that have been pointed out above. Unless of course the character or some NPC goes out of his way to backwards engineer the advanced firearm and seek to spread the technology throughout the setting. Then we're discussing a setting-wide arms & armor revolution.

Leliel the 12th wrote:
Go for it, if you can think you can find a justification for more magazines in Golarion. Or why you know how to make them.
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Depending on how this PC came to be trained in advanced firearms, and his/her upbringing, the DM may want to apply the Commonplace Guns, or Guns Everywhere rules, in regards to this PC.

The character and his firearm will be effectively unique in a standard "emerging firearms" campaign setting; his origins being another, more technologically advanced, world. I believe the intent is for him to produce his own ammunition via the gunsmithing feat.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Is this for Reign of Winter? Is it a homebrew setting?

It's for Reign of Winter, though set in the Forgotten Realms; in Aglarond & Rashemen mostly.

Our group is about to start a new Pathfinder Adventure Path at 1st level with four 15-pt buy PCs. The GM encouraged one of the players to try out a gunslinger and, due to an elaborate background, is considering giving him starting access to a modern 5-round capacity rifle rather than a gunslinger's typical firearm options.

I'm not terribly familiar with Pathfinder firearms or the gunslinger class. For those who are; what effect would this modern technology have on the the gunslinger's overall class balance at low and higher levels?

Melvin the Mediocre wrote:
"A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description."

Ah, yes. That's the part I'd missed. That'd settle it. Thanks everybody!

SlimGauge wrote:
People disagree with me on this, but my view is that unless you get multiple attacks due to a high BAB, you get to designate ONE of your attacks as carrying the touch attack rider effect and only that one attack can carry the effect.

Interesting. Can you explain the rationale behind your view?

I've searched the rules forum and got bogged down in inconclusive similar-though-not-quite-the-same questions. Hopefully someone can clarify the issue for me.

Say I have a character with the fey bloodline's laughing touch power...

SRD wrote:
Laughing Touch (Sp): At 1st level, you can cause a creature to burst out laughing for 1 round as a melee touch attack. A laughing creature can only take a move action but can defend itself normally. Once a creature has been affected by laughing touch, it is immune to its effects for 24 hours. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. This is a mind-affecting effect.

…and multiple natural attacks per round (bite/claw/claw for instance), since touch attack effects can be delivered with successful natural attacks, can I full attack and successfully inflict a laughing touch effect on multiple opponents as a full attack?

As a secondary question, does a failed attack roll on a laughing touch use up one of the daily uses of that power or does the 3 + Cha limit only apply to successful attacks?

Thanks for the help.

Add me to the big-hatted gnome aficionado club. My gnome's hat of choice was a lcomically large stocking cap which hung down to his ankles; a family heirloom. It was magical and functioned as a handy haversack with plenty of room to store all my adventuring gear along with a wide assortment of potions, scrolls & alchemical supplies to suit any oddball circumstance; all retrievable as a move action. The interior space was about the size of a sleeping bag so I could even fit my gnome, familiar or another character inside in a pinch. I'd usually tuck the hat inside the empty knothole of a tree, well off the group, and use it as my character's tent at night. Very cozy. I took the improved familiar feat to acquire an air elemental familiar and occasionally had her ferry me around in the hat for some quick overland travel. Best thing I ever pulled out of my hat? A quintet of previously summoned shadows to surprise strength-drain Black Magga to death in Runelords. Good times.

Yeah, like Matrix Dragon said, there's no actual animal form involved with Skinwalkers; just superficial animalistic features/bonuses. I'm looking for full-on canine alternate shape.

I'll take a look at the 3.5 Druid Shapeshifter variant later. Thanks KahnyaGnorc.

A player in our group is looking to play a humanoid woman who can naturally change shape into a wolf as a part of her character concept; though she isn't infected with lycanthropy. Since she's supposedly been doing this since birth, is there any way for a character to effect that transformation at 1st level?

What Samasboy1 said. "Shadow" is just a name for the undead creature; they aren't actually shadows in the absence-of-light sense.

How about the caster touching himself? If a cleric casts a cure spell and soon after walks into a battle and is injured, can he touch himself on his turn before taking other actions? I can't imagine that touching yourself would require a standard action; seems it should be a free action if there are no complications.

Samasboy1 wrote:
Wow. Think how many pints of blood a dragon has.....

Yeah, but it's only good for 24 hours, so I sure hope you're thirsty. I can't imagine what the bathroom breaks that day must be like...

Imbicatus wrote:
Although, how did the caster cast the spell in a tavern? It has a range of touch and the target is one dead spellcaster. That seems to indicate you would need access to the body to cast the spell and drink the blood directly from the tap as it were.

The OP did mention that the whole group pilfered some trophies from the carcass. Maybe they're carting enough of it around for the spell to work. :P Edit: Ninja'ed!

Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Indeed, and by indeed I mean, not so much. Eidolons are intelligent, have a will to do their own thing

That's entirely true for conventional eidolons but synthesist eidolons work differently.

Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Think of the Eidolon's mind as being a whispering voice in the back, but that cannot see or hear the physical world (thereby being unable to make extra "free" knowledge or other checks

It's great if you and your GM want to play it that way; sounds very cool for some character concepts. But there's nothing in the synthesist description that hints at the summoner being able to communicate with his eidolon, even on an empathic level, and I wouldn't assume that it'd be the case by default.

If he's only ever summoned his eidolon while melding, I wonder if a summoner would even conceive of his eidolon as being some alien entity. It would be like a Soulknife assuming that his mind blade has a secret life of its own when he's not manifesting it.

Malwing wrote:
Other players have an inherent urge to try to disrupt the secret identity status quo and start acting with mistrust despite being aided so it doesn't work out too well.

Their reaction sounds reasonable to me. I'd get suspicious too if some strange super-dude kept popping up every single time me and my four buddies got into a scrape. Add to that this strange guy is always nearby to us no matter where our group happens to be, he's never spotted with anyone else and he always appears a moment after one buddy ducks out? Right...

It seems to me that expecting unscripted characters to react with the same plot-driven obliviousness of Lois Lane without their prior agreement is more your failing than theirs. You might as well don a pair of glasses and try to fool your real life buddies into thinking you're somebody else.

There's nothing in the synthesist's description that hints at the eidolon being independently sentient. On the contrary, since the eidolon has no independent mental scores, skills or feats of its own, that would seem to indicate that it is entirely non-sentient. A synthesist's eidolon is essentially just a suit of armor whipped up out of extra-planar matter at the summoner's whim.

That being said, you're free to come up with your own twist on it as long as your GM agrees. I'm playing a merged and unmerged synthesist as if they were two different people sharing one body; a sort of Jekyl & Hide scenario. They share the same mental array & skills to keep them rules-kosher, but I roleplay them as two distinct personalities. In my character's background, they actually used to be two people who were brought together out of necessity.

Mulet wrote:
The Paladin is a hunter, and the PC controlling him, opposes Vegetarianism. It was an evil dragon anyway, and each player took either a scale, some skin or some other token from it. Bunch of pack rats. :)

In that case, were I the Magus, I'd be pretty dubious about my meat-eating, trophy-collecting, dragon-hunting buddy's objections.

Mulet wrote:
I'll add alignment check to it, so the Paladin has the opportunity to start some drama.

What's an alignment check?

Imbicatus wrote:
Blood Transcription is a spell with the [Evil] descriptor, so if the Paladin knows what's going on, they should be a bit upset about it yes.

Good (heh heh) point. But I'd only allow the Paladin to make that call if he successfully used Spellcraft to identify the spell's evil nature first. Otherwise he's just inventing reasons to object.

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As long as the spells were from an older dragon's sorcerer-esque spellcasting rather than some spell-like abilities, I'd say it's legit.

SRD wrote:
A dragon knows and casts arcane spells as a sorcerer.

The ability to "cast arcane spells" makes the dragon a legitimate spellcaster. So Chug! Chug! Chug!

Bonus Question: Is the Paladin a strict vegetarian? If not, does he equate consuming other sentient beings' remains as a form of canibalism? If yes to the latter, did the paladin's player establish those as his character's beliefs beforehand or did he just invent that ethical dilemma on the spot so that he could mess with the Magus' player?

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