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1) A wraith doesn't do negative levels with its touch attack, it just does negative energy damage. Energy Drain is a Su ability possessed by other undead, not wraiths. AMF would stop Energy Drain.
2) A wraith's negative energy damage isn't described in enough detail to get a Su tag, but if you had to ask, "is the way the insubstantial spirit hurts the meaty adventurers magical", would you answer Yes? If you had to decide if it was an Ex or Sp or Su ability, which one would you pick? I'd personally go with Su. After all, if nonmagical things can't touch an incorporeal creature, it seems properly symmetrical that the incorporeal creature needs magic to touch corporeal creatures.
It's the same table as monk/brawler unarmed strike damage based on size. I don't think it's such a stretch to think they were really thinking of the size of the priest, like they said, instead of the weapon's size. Not every paragraph needs an annotation saying "yes we really meant what we just said".
On top of that Spells don't actually enlarge the weapon, they just make it hit harder as if it were bigger. By that logic an enhancement bonus can't add to the 2d6 because 2d6+2 isn't 2d6.
The spells wouldn't do much. If a medium L1 war priest casts Lead Blades on his dagger, it doesn't do more sacred weapon damage, because the war priest hasn't changed size. If he casts it on a shortsword, he would no longer do sacred weapon damage because the sword's normal damage is now better than its sacred weapon damage. But if he used Enlarge Person he'd do sacred weapon damage as a large war priest.
Enhancement bonuses on a weapon on the other hand are completely separate from what dice the weapon uses so sacred weapon doesn't make a difference; they apply either way.
A big war priest could pick up a big sword that does a lot of damage. But his Sacred Weapon damage is entirely separate from that; it only looks at the size of the war priest, not at the size of the weapon. That's why it says:
Sacred Weapon wrote:
The damage for Medium warpriests is given on the table above; see the table below for Small and Large warpriests.
A large war priest could wield a tiny toothpick for 1d8 damage (L1). Or he could wield an appropriately-sized longsword for 2d6 damage (at level 1, sacred weapon lags behind ordinary longsword damage for everyone).
Since the war priest sacred weapon dice depends on the war priest's size, I don't think enlarging the weapon is going to help much in that respect.
The basic rule you're looking for is in the Combat chapter:
CRB > Combat wrote:
So if during your turn (at initiative count X) you use a Hex that lasts for "one round", it ends just before the start of your next turn (at initiative count X).
So the way to use Cackle is to use it immediately after a one-round hex.
The simple reason is this: SLAs are like spells except for the differences that were explicitly put into the rules. Spells provoke and SLAs have no exception, so they also provoke.
As to the "but why is that so?" - there's the old story about lowering your guard.
Why would that matter if you're paralyzed and presumably you haven't really got much guard left to lower? Well, casting a normal spell while paralyzed (still, silent, or psychic) would also provoke. Does that make sense? Well, if you want to drive these realism questions to their hilt, you could ask why being paralyzed doesn't provoke in the first place, because it's pretty much the essence of letting your guard down.
Being paralyzed means you can't move - you can still take actions for which you don't need to move.
SLAs and Su abilities don't have spell components, and psychic magic doesn't use Somatic or Verbal components, so all those can be used while paralyzed.
Also, Fortitude is one of the saves that scales up quite nicely on enemies because badass monsters tend to be big (bonus Con) and have lots of HD.
In addition, Ghoul Touch does allow Spell Resistance to negate it.
Finally, it's a Touch spell - kill the necromancer if he comes near, use AoOs if you've got the reach for it etcetera.
He might start using Spectral Hand. Keep in mind though that the Spectral Hand can provoke AoOs for movement (it returns to the caster after every touch, which would provoke), and it can be destroyed if you have magic weapons.
So if I understand you correctly, you want to...
1) Disarm opponents with an unarmed attack, and take their weapon.
#2 could be tricky. There are some ideas that you can wield a pole-arm as an improvised non-reach weapon, but I don't think there's a nice rule that works for all weapons in general.
A much simpler solution is to have one improvised weapon in one hand, and disarm your opponents with the other hand. That should always be an option.
Also, if your hands are getting full (because you disarmed your opponent but he drew another weapon, just drop his first weapon behind you;
CRB > Combat wrote:
He could try to step around you to get his weapon back, but:
CRB > Combat wrote:
And in that table, it lists "Pick up an item" as "Yes" - it provokes an AoO. So sure, your enemy gets his weapon back and can even still attack with it, but it cost him a Move, made him provoke, and end up moving to where you wanted him to go.
It's as if you threw your sword as a ranged attack, but instead of your real sword leaving your hands, a copy of your sword is generated, flies through the air, and then disappears.
As a consequence...
1) You use all the rules for making a thrown weapon attack, pretending that your weapon has an increment of 10. So the normal maximum range is 50ft.
2) You'd use Deadly Aim, not Power Attack.
3) Since your weapon doesn't leave your hands, you could make a full attack this way.
Incidentally, the Lesser Belt of Mighty Hurling is an excellent companion item for a Sharding weapon.
1) Casting a spell normally provokes.
If you cast Blade Lash carelessly and then try to trip someone carelessly, you'll provoke twice, which someone with Combat Reflexes could take advantage of.
If you use a wand to cast, you won't provoke. But a magus should use the Wand Wielder arcana otherwise he can't do that with Spell Combat. This takes care of the #1 AoO.
The #2 AoO still remains, even if the spell doesn't provoke; it's a separate provocation. The obvious ways to avoid it are of course:
Writing "standard attack" would, in hindsight, probably be clearer than "the attack action".
The issue here though is that you just can't anticipate everything. Software gets refactored and patched. We've been developing mechanisms to do localized changed without breaking the greater whole for decades now. Which also isn't easy (not all updates go off without a hitch), but at least computers are less b~%*%y about it and there are many more ways to do automatic integration testing in software development.
In RPGs, you generally get one chance to do it right, and if you mess it up you may be stuck doing errata constrained by pagination on the next printing, or waiting until a new edition. Those are really hard circumstances for delivering quality and coherence.
The language related to "must I use a feat" was really not so sensitive when feats first appeared, because at that time feats were beneficial only. So the need to clearly specify whether you have to use them just wasn't important.
If top-notch software development can't anticipate every new requirement, why would it be reasonable to expect game developers to anticipate everything?
Good (without significant bugs), on time, on budget. Pick two.
Writing game rules is more like writing software (that runs on peoples' minds) than it is like scientific papers. And you have the following things making your life difficult:
I don't mean to excuse Paizo for some of the big mistakes they've made. I do understand them, and I realize that without massive expansion of the editorial budget it'd be hard to fix.
Comparing an RPG product to a scientific paper is interesting. Leaving aside any lab work, just looking at the writing. In a scientific paper the quality of the writing is obviously of enormous importance. I suspect you receive more resources (time allocated, attention from editors/supervisors) per "item" in the paper than RPG publishers typically allocate towards items in their books.
I'm not saying RPGs don't want quality - they do, it keeps customers coming back - but they have other pressures too (time, budget) which they also have to balance. They could hire better and more editors, but what would increase the cost of production, which has to come from somewhere. If you increase the price of the book too much, sales will drop. If you don't increase the price, your bottom line suffers, and Paizo does want to stay in business (I have no idea of their profit margin). Any business has to weigh the benefits of investing in quality (and increasing long-term customer satisfaction) against the costs of doing so.
I believe the audience for scientific papers places a higher value on quality than the audience for RPGs. RPG customers want affordable product. Science audience (journals, readers) want the best quality and generally, some other institution (university, government, business sponsor) picks up the tab. Science competes more heavily on quality than sales price, compared to RPGs.
I'm not saying "too good", but in the PFS play I see, monks from around level 5 (flying kick) are a fully functional class that don't need to apologize to anyone. Especially with Pummeling Style to handle DR. When the L10 monk is consistently doing 90 damage per round in a DR-only-once burst no matter where on the map enemies started, that's not an underpowered class anymore.
Michael Eshleman wrote:
Not entirely. Chained rogues (and just about every other class that gets sneak attack, apart from the unchained rogue) can't sneak attack an enemy with concealment while an unchained rogue can.
I'm totally in agreement on not allowing more than a single swift/immediate action per turn; many of them are more powerful than move actions. It's no mistake that you can't trade them.
However, that nauseated FAQ raised some weird concerns, and I'd consider allowing someone to use their move action to do something that would normally take a swift or even free action (like dropping prone, dropping weapons etc.)
Lemme run through your math. Not saying you're wrong, I just wanna work it out for myself.
I'm assuming the ability score increases at 4 and 8 HD go into something else than Str, like Int 3 so as to use some ore magic items and feats perhaps, or to round out odd Con fractions. In addition, I'm ignoring critical hits and hitting on 1/20.
I'll use your AC 24 benchmark cuz that sounds reasonable. Now a tiger to a L10 PC would have 24 Str (+7) and BAB +6. We add in the GMF for a +2 and we end up with the +15 to hit. Against AC 24 that would let us hit on a 9, so a hit rate of 60%. If we activate PA it drops to 50%.
Now the base damage is 1d6+9 or 1d6+13 with PA for a claw, d8 for the bite. That gives us an expected damage output of 0.6*(4.5 + 9 + 2 * (3.5 + 9)) = 23.1
PA gives us 0.5*(4.5+13 + 2*(3.5+13)) = 25.25; it's kind of underwhelming against "medium" AC.
If we use INA on the bite, it increases by 0.6*2.5 = 1.5 or 0.5*2.5 = 1.25; if we use INA on the claws it increases by 0.6*2*1 = 1.2 or 0.5*2*1 = 1.
Then let's look at the Pounce case. Since we already established a slight gain for using PA even without the +2 to hit from charging, I'm only looking at using PA now. It gets us 0.6*(4.5+13 + 4*(3.5+13)) = 50.1; almost double the normal on a full attack.
Now let's see how Pounce does with INA-bite and INA-claw;
I'm still not sold on INA here. Let's instead consider the effects of Weapon Focus on claws. A +1 to hit here improves the claws' to-hit chance by 5%. And we're again using PA.
Weapon Focus comes out slightly ahead of INA against an enemy with AC 24 and no DR. Against an enemy with lower AC, or with DR, INA would perform better. However, I think Weapon Focus is a superior choice because it both helps against enemies with higher AC, and boosts the chance of hampering an enemy with a successful Grab.
Another issue is how often Pounce comes into play. It's true that it won't be every round, but I think it's still pretty often. The vast majority of combats starts out at more than 10ft after all. And also, in any combat against multiple enemies, the tiger can pounce to the assistance of any teammates fighting remaining enemies after it deals with its current foe. Also, improving your tiger's initiative will increase it's chances to pounce.
Finally, I'd say the buffs you're considering are conservative. It's not out of the realm of possibility to give your tiger a +2 strength belt by level 10, which will do a lot more for it than it does on the rhino.
My top choices for animal companions, based on what I've seen so far, and excluding dinos, would be:
Hmm, odd. Wonder when that disappeared, could have sworn it was in there.
Shows how much faith I have in random rolling I guess.
I prefer 20pt buy. I think it's the sweet spot between SAD party and curbstomping madness party.
The book lists several things that aren't true.
1) That 15pts are the norm. Actually, it lists roll 4d6 drop lowest as the norm, point buy as an alternative, and 15pts as the standard way of doing the alternative. But if you study the average point buy result of random rolling, you end up at about 19pt buy. (It's a fairly complicated calculation especially when you try to factor in people rerolling PCs whose stats match the "hopeless" configuration.)
2) That 10pts would be low fantasy. In fact, at such low built points, pure casters and pet classes are at such a major advantage that the players are strongly incentivized to go for the highest of fantasy.
With 15pts you can certainly make a character competent at a main job, but with 20pts it becomes doable to make characters who are well-rounded, participating in multiple aspects of the game, AND do one main job very well.
That's why I prefer 20pts; I'm fine with boosting monsters a bit to keep combat interesting. I really like that everyone has enough points to be more than a specialist.
As a rule of thumb I'd say that things that were clearly meant as an always-on downside (fey foundling) can't be turned off.
But feats that have a downside only if you actually use the feat (acadamae graduate, shield slam), especially if they represent an extra skill you picked up, you should be able to not-use those if you don't want to.
I've been running Corrupting Touch as being essentially a natural weapon, i.e. it can make AoOs. However, it does have the "as a standard action" text, which means it could not do so.
Compare the ghost to the shadow and the wraith:
Corrupting Touch (Su): All ghosts gain this incorporeal touch attack. By passing part of its incorporeal body through a foe's body as a standard action, the ghost inflicts a number of d6s equal to its CR in damage. This damage is not negative energy—it manifests in the form of physical wounds and aches from supernatural aging. Creatures immune to magical aging are immune to this damage, but otherwise the damage bypasses all forms of damage reduction. A Fortitude save halves the damage inflicted.
Strength Damage (Su) A shadow's touch deals 1d6 points of Strength damage to a living creature. This is a negative energy effect. A creature dies if this Strength damage equals or exceeds its actual Strength score.
Constitution Drain (Su) Creatures hit by a wraith's touch attack must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution drain. On each successful attack, the wraith gains 5 temporary hit points. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Now you could argue that all of these monsters need to use a standard action to deliver their attacks, because they're supernatural abilities and therefore by default standard actions.
But I think it's also reasonable to say ghosts really are different; this is an unusual attack (not ye generic negative energy touch, but magical aging), and also ghosts often have a lot more abilities, compared to wraiths and shadows.
I found the final map to be so different from the description that it ended up being one of the few maps I actually drew myself. I drew the puzzle orb as a 20ft radius sphere surrounded by another 20 ft. of circles. Apart from that, the cave is pretty wide open (I didn't bother drawing all the small ridges that were "all that's left of the walls").
Having a clear map there is important, especially on high tier, because you'll be running a lot of large and huge monsters on it.
1) They're supposed to come there quite a few times for conversations with the captain, so that should fix the place in the players' minds. You can also mention that when they come in she hastily puts aside some sheet of paper she was reading.
2) Each piece of evidence needs to be presented by someone, and everyone has to take turns presenting a piece before the general will let the first spokesperson talk again ("no silver tongued rascals") - the non-Face PCs will also have to work on it.
3) Yes, it could be difficult. But, each piece of evidence has a bonus to present that piece of evidence, some of which are big bonuses. Also, for each previous piece that was succesfully presented, each next one gets easier (+2). Finally, you're allowed to award up to a +4 bonus if the players really put in an effort to present the evidence well.
4) Don't tell them the specific bonuses per piece, but do tell them that each succesful presentation will make the rest easier, so that it's good to put your best diplomats first so they can make it easier for the rest.
I would say that you move through the following;
1) You could aim for no movement at all (DC 15), if you fail by less than 5, you have to pick another option that you haven't tied yet.
If you fail at 1 and 2 but not too badly, but can't do 3 (for example, you already made a full attack, you overconfident person), then you can't remain flying. So I guess you plummet after all.
This is why it's safer to roll Fly checks first, so that you can still pick option 3 if all else fails. But sometimes getting in that attack matters more, or you don't want to give up your flanking position before attack rolls.
I think it's pushing the limits to try to speak as a plant if the bestiary version of that plant can't speak. Yes, the druid description mentions animals specifically, but I think that's because animals are the first thing normal druids turn into. And the reason why they can't talk (lacking the proper vocal cords) applies to some non-animal forms as well. So while you could hide behind a narrow interpretation of the rules to try to justify a talking pumpkin, it's clearly not how the rules are intended.
Escape Route wrote:
Benefit: An ally who also has this feat provokes no attacks of opportunity for moving through squares adjacent to you or within your space.
CRB > Combat > Mounted Combat wrote:
For simplicity, assume that you share your mount's space during combat.
At all times you're in the same spaces as your mount, so at all times you satisfy the positioning requirements of the feat. It's very neatly written. Cheesy perhaps, but the rules are clear.
It also works with a (possibly Valet) familiar riding on your shoulder.
Fish are basically taking 10 all the time because their native swim speed allows them to, and they're good enough at it that a take 10 is sufficient. So nobody notices there's a "roll" happening at all.
Fly is a bit different because the skill allows you finer maneuverability, which some creatures lack because they're just that big and clumsy. Like dragons. Those often have trouble taking sharp turns, which means taking cover in complicated terrain can be a way to foil the dragons flyby strafe runs.
This feat does kind of make you want that the GM rolls openly. Then, when you see a particularly high number, you know it's time to use it.
I don't think the GM has to disclose the threat per se - for example, the creature might have a bigger than normal threat range due to a feat or special ability, and you'll find that out from bitter experience. But if you see an enemy wielding a weapon, it's good to know what that weapon's normal threat range is.
And yeah, I'm a big fan of the GM (and everyone else) rolling in the open for all the things that don't need to be rolled secretly (like stealth or bluff situations where players don't always know whether their roll was good enough).