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Ascalaphus's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 4,252 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 7 Pathfinder Society characters.


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David knott 242 wrote:
Bacon666 wrote:
I like the idea, but calculating in case of multiclassing breaks the idea for me..

While I am not particularly fond of the overall idea, I do have an idea for how multiclassing could be handled: once you have levels in more than one class, you simply use the slowest applicable XP table for whatever classes you have. Shifting from a faster table to a slower table could leave you stuck at one level for quite a while if you are of high enough level when the shift occurs.

So a Monk 1/Wizard 9 would go slow just like a Wizard 10, while a Monk 10 would be going fast?

Well, that certainly sounds fair. After all, everyone knows that multiclassing caster/noncasters are totally OP.</sarcasm>


I can tell you from experience, you have a pretty modest amount of house rules. :)


Have you considered the possibility that there's something wrong with your dice?

One of my GMs nowaways uses my dice, in the open. (They're easy to read.) So when a whole scenario long he doesn't roll less than 18 to hit against me, I can't blame anyone else but my own dice.


Tarantula wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
False Focus wrote:
By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component.
You don't need alchemical power components to cast spells. You can cast the spell without them, so you don't need them. They're completely optional. Therefore it's not at all certain that False Focus applies to them.
I bolded a different section of false focus. Any spell with a material component. Does casting Ray of Frost with Liquid Ice as a material component have a material component? Yes. Does False Focus let you ignore the cost of a material component if less than the cost of the focus? Yes. Its that easy.

It's not really that easy. False Focus would "apply" to augmented Ray of Frost because it now has material components, but then do absolutely nothing, because you didn't actually need those components. False Focus only does anything if you actually needed the component, and you don't need APCs.

You're allowed to cast the spell without the APC, but if you do, you don't get the bonus, because you didn't include it.


@zrandrews: APCs don't replace the prior material component, they add to it.


Yes, but it also says it must arrive in "an open location", without defining that exactly. I choose to interpret it as "a square where it could legally end its move".


I have to say, the factions letters are a somewhat obscure thing. I realize there may have been some effort to email players about them, but nobody I know ever got those emails. Pointing out their existence in the GtOP might be a good idea.


I didn't actually find any 2d10 medium weapons in the UE table. The only 2d10 weapon is for small characters.


I'm not sure what a fighter's martial pool is, or what technique feats are. Blood Money is a spell, not a feat, though it's certainly abusive.

On the whole your rules seem pretty reasonable and in fact broader than the baseline I'd expect.


It's been ruled before that if a class gives you a choice of bonus feats, the choice of those feats is made during the "allocate skills and feats" step of the leveling up process, not the "add new class abilities" step.

So suppose at level 7 you got to select a bonus feat from some specific list of feats, and you need to meet prerequisites. You can first allocate skill ranks and get your level 7 normal feat, before testing if you qualify for the bonus feat you'd like to select.


Eh. It's not a martial-only feat. It works just as well for casters.


False Focus wrote:
By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component.

You don't need alchemical power components to cast spells. You can cast the spell without them, so you don't need them. They're completely optional. Therefore it's not at all certain that False Focus applies to them.


Do you think the monk player will enjoy the game more if his wizard colleague is lower level?

Do you think it will be more fun to play a wizard if it means you'll be lower level than your party-mates?

Personally, I wouldn't like either. I've had the dubious joy of playing an archer that was at some point level 7 while the rest of the party was level 3-5. So I got stuck playing the tank because they were all too squishy.


There's of course a big difference between CR and level. CR tells you how hard it is to defeat a monster using PC-style abilities and gear. It tells you very little about how well the monster would do against other monsters. It's a lot like comparing apples and apple knives.

Consider: a CR 10 vampire might be CR-appropriate for the level 10 party, who have magic weapons and anti-domination gear/spells. But if you put him up against say, a 10HD wight, he'll totally win that fight, because the wight's energy drain doesn't do anything to the vampire, and the vampire has DR and fast healing.

However, against other humanoids, who resemble the PCs in the sort of abilities they could have, CR is a bit more useful as a guideline.

If you're worried, maybe it's better to take slightly weaker monsters but with unusual abilities; the novelty factor of playing something you normally never get to play with should make it a fun game.


How about the following?

  • When you upsize/downsize a weapon to a size for which there is a listed damage value (using the master table in UE that has all the core weapons), use that damage value. So if a small creature is enlarged, it just looks up the damage for his weapon in the table in the equipment chapter. Hence we maintain backwards compatibility with UE, APG, UC and CRB weapon tables.

  • There's a damage progression listing one standard series of dice upgrades, for example 1>1d2>1d3>1d4>1d6>1d8>2d6>3d6>4d6>6d6>8d6> 12d6->16d6->24d6 and so forth. The logic here is that the number of dice doubles every two upgrades. If you're upgrading a weapon beyond medium or below small and it's got one of these numbers, just move the new dice pool up or down the appropriate number of steps. This rule allows for upsizing a weapon any number of steps with total predictability. I arbitrarily chose to let the damage progression settle into using only many d6s, because that's likely the dice you have most of anyway.

  • Certain dice pools are approximately equivalent to those listed here: 2d4~>1d8, 1d12~>2d6 and so forth. When up/downsizing such a weapon, pretend it's the "tidy" number and go from there.

  • There are some 2d8 and 2d12 medium firearms in UE. For them I say apply the 1d8 and 1d12 upgrade twice. So 2d8->4d6, and 2d12->6d6.

  • Most bestiary monsters have relatively tidy dice: 2d8, 4d8, 6d8 and so forth. Whenever possible, use the previous rule to get those to fall in line with the standard damage progression. So 4d8->8d6, and that's on our progression, so from there on follow the progression.

  • If a monster has an untidy number, like the carnivorous crystal ooze (7d8), first transform it into d6s, then round it to the nearest number on the standard progression, rounding down if tied. So 6d6<~7d6<-7d8->14d6~>12d6. (You don't ever actually use the intermediate untidy value. If the monster isn't standard-size, it always uses a tidy damage value.)

  • Finally, we have the d10 weapons. This is an arbitary/balance decision, really. Do we count 1d10 as equivalent to 1d8 or 2d6? I think it's best to consider it equal to 2d6, so that a large nodachi will deal 3d6 damage (close to the current 2d8), and that a tiny greataxe will deal 1d8. If we instead equate the d10 to a d8, the tiny greataxe would deal 1d6 and the large nodachi would deal 2d6. I think those values are too low, and too far from the current standard.


  • I'm not entirely sure if it should or shouldn't work. "I don't like it" is of course not a sufficient GM argument, especially in PFS. "I don't believe it's supposed to work that way" is a legitimate argument. The rules are at least somewhat vague after all, and that means the GM needs to decide how to interpret them.

    A better argument against I think is this. Alchemical components are optional. You don't need them to cast the spell. False Focus allows you to bypass the need for a component. It lets you cast Burning Hands without the alchemist's fire. (Well, you always could.)

    I do think the burden of proof is on the player in this case, to prove that you really can do this. Although I think it would be nice if it were true.


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    Life wouldn't be the same without Zarta's letters, true.


    I was looking for a rule that would tell me whether you could summon a creature into a square occupied by another (because creatures with 3+ size difference can share a square). What I found though was this:

    CRB->Magic->Conjuration wrote:
    A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

    Interpreting this overly literally, you can't actually summon aquatic creatures in water, only on dry land. I think that's where the common sense part of Rule 0 comes into play. I'd interpret this a bit more liberally:

  • You can summon a creature with a fly speed in the air, and a creature with a swim speed in water. You can't summon a creature without ground speed (like a fish, or lantern archon) onto the ground. The common sense interpretation of "a surface capable of supporting it.

  • You can summon a creature in an area already occupied by another creature if those two creatures could legally share that space, for example due to size difference. A somewhat liberal interpretation of "open location".

    So if that dog is small and that hippo is huge, you could summon the dog into the hippo's square. Sadly the PFS rules have no mechanics for smaller creatures climbing bigger creatures, despite those being widely represented in cinema (like Legolas climbing those elephants in RotK), so it's undefined whether you can summon the dog on top of the hippo.

    EDIT: I'm not saying the rules are good rules, just how I understand them to work. :P


  • Huh, I hadn't realized this. Looks pretty nice, maybe too nice to be true. FAQ'ed, though I'm hoping this was actually the intent; I don't really like SoD/SoS.


    Okay, so you use Natural Spell Combat (Prehensile Hair) so that you can use the hair for spell combat, and then Feral Combat Training (Prehensile Hair) so that you can use Hex Strike when you spell combat with your hair.

    That works.


    Well, it works "as enlarge person", and you can't combine enlarge person with polymorph spells.


    Sometimes the faction missions actually contain clues to the main mission, or goad you in a direction that's good for the main mission. Sometimes they provide context for the story that you wouldn't discover otherwise.

    These faction missions I'll keep. I remind players that there are no consequences for failing them. However, I also assure them that I'm only handing them out of they're somehow relevant.

    That said, how do you set up games? If you know in advance that you're going to play a social scenario, why didn't you bring a socially capable character?

    Quote:
    The eldest daughter of the prominent Blakros family is set to wed an influential Hellknight, and the Pathfinder Society is invited to the festivities. Dressed for a wedding befitting royalty, a team of Pathfinders attend the ceremony on behalf of the Decemvirate, but will their presence ultimately strengthen the Society's relationship with the influential Blakroses, or will events at the wedding bring the already tenuous alliance to a breaking point?

    If you saw that, isn't it fairly obvious that social skills will be needed to participate fully?


    I'm not really sure what you want to do and why, but I think I should draw your attention to this bit in the equipment chapter of the CRB:

    Quote:

    Strike, Unarmed: A Medium character deals 1d3 points of nonlethal damage with an unarmed strike. A Small character deals 1d2 points of nonlethal damage. A monk or any character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat can deal lethal or nonlethal damage with unarmed strikes, at his discretion. The damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus on weapon damage rolls.

    An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. Therefore, you can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with an unarmed strike. Unarmed strikes do not count as natural weapons (see Combat).


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    Take a look at the scenario Before the Dawn 2: Rescue at Azlant Ridge. You get to play with something that's a lot like a jaeger in that scenario.


    It's kinda obscure. Polymorph effects have lots of these little rules.


    From the PRD/CRB, magic chapter:

    Quote:
    You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.


    redward wrote:
    Undone wrote:
    The MoMS is a badly designed and will cause more things to get FAQ'ed/banned/changed. It's the 3.5 prestige dip issue all over again.
    I agree, so I guess the question becomes how do you fix that with a minimum of disruption to the campaign?

    We can keep the MoMS, but we'd have to restrict the dipping tricks. The point of the archetype is to have many styles, not one style without limits.

    EDIT: I think fixing the MoMS is a job for the PDT though, not for campaign leadership. These problems affect the game as a whole, it's just PFS that's drawing attention to it.

  • Rewrite MoMS so that you only ignore the prerequisites of the first part of each style chain. That way you actually encourage picking up many styles. You can still take second and third parts of a style as a bonus feat, but you must meet the prerequisites.

    Or:

  • Rewrite MoMS so that you cannot ignore BAB/monk level prerequisites. You can still ignore other prerequisites like long chains of feats. It's still dippable at later levels but you get rid of overly early entry.

    ---

    In the meantime, I do think it's safe to un-ban Pummeling Charge.

  • The uncertainty over what weapons it works with has been resolved.

  • Now that it's limited to unarmed strikes, it's not OP, compared to other legal abilities. Your damage output will probably still be below 2H barbarians/paladins and archers.

  • Pounce is already present in PFS in less-restricted ways (wildshape, eidolon) at low levels, so while possible entry is earlier than intended, this doesn't make it much more available than other legal abilities.

    It's my understanding that PFS allows things unless there's a good reason not to. I don't think any sufficient reason to ban it remains.


  • Lantern archons only have a flying speed, no land speed. I think it's safe to summon them in mid-air.


    redward wrote:


    Note that this also means the (at least local) common practice of summoning an eagle and letting it wail on people requires that the Eagle make a DC 15 Fly check to hover in place.

    It could just land and make full attacks.


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    I get the desire for a different, low-magic flavor of the game.

    And then sometimes people argue the game would be more balanced by making it more low-magic. But when you look at the proposed house rules, they're rarely more balanced; they yank the balance around, screw over one or more classes, but the end result usually isn't actually balanced. For example:

  • Martials suffer a lot if there's no magical healing available to "refuel" them.
  • You can no longer use many cool monsters that require magic to fight effectively.
  • Without fog and wind spells, archers will probably be even more OP compared to melee types.
  • If a PC does have magic, he'll be at a huge advantage vs. NPCs, who will rarely have magic to counter it.

    Overhauling PF to yank out big elements is quite hard. So why do people try? I think Bob's outlined the major reasons on that.


  • Take Precise Shot, take the longbow instead of the crossbow, and at level 5 take Rapid Shot, then enjoy going postal with your Bane longbow.

    The nice thing about inquisitors is that you can easily be both good at combat and good at 1-3 other things, like social and stealth.


    Interesting.

    What about wayangs as a race? Just like elves and tieflings, good ability modifiers, but also the advantages of being Small.

    I think you're selling Fabricate short. Before you start enchanting items, you first need to build them. Fabricate can shortcut the normally obscenely long crafting times of mundane crafting.


    Making it harder to layer multiple buffs does sound like a good change, especially if you design the available buffs so that there's no single one that's always the best for every situation. Meaning that you really need to think about what buff to lay on.

    I'm not sure if concentration is the best way to do it, because that way you can still buff other people (and profit from a Leadership-driven regiment of support casters).

    A straight maximum on the number of spells that can affect you at the same time (X buffs, Y debuffs) seems nicer. If you exceed it a random previous one goes away. ("Hit me with some more Dazzle effects, maybe you'll randomly evict that Blindness curse...") That could also put a limit on the more obnoxious SoS builds (the ones that ruin all the GM's fun).

    If you're gonna design limits, I think you should be honest about them; not hiding prestige classes behind a "can cast level X spells" if what you really want is to say "must be level Y". If Paizo had just said "you must be level 6 before becoming Mystic Theurge", we wouldn't have this embarrassing early entry thing. Although I think MT entry ought to happen around level 5, not 7.

    Likewise, if you want to limit the number of buffs, just put a cap on them; making it harder just pushes people to try harder.


    I think the writer meant "You can gain no more than 1 extra round of rage each round from this ability."

    I generally interpret later sentences in a paragraph as applying to the topic of that paragraph, rather than the entire whole wide world.


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    *shrug* There have been rumours that double-dipping the same ability wasn't kosher for years. If you do it anyway, you know you're in dubious territory.


    It's really only a few corner cases in the inquisitor that get hit by this. And if you were using those to double-stack Wisdom to some abilities, I personally think you had it coming because you should've known that was a little cheesy.

    I think wraithstrike's points are good: typed bonuses are easier to understand than nested sources, but page concerns are of course a real thing. I think it could be solved with a CRB FAQ titled "so what is the exhaustive list of bonus types, and which ones stack with themselves?"


    I do think Andrew has a point about the typed ability bonuses. They aren't defined anywhere except in the Ultimate Magic section, so you're not actually changing an explicit list of bonus types that people at large have been using. (Although now might be a good time to make such a list).

    I also think that typing them "strength bonus" is less confusing than the nested sources technique. I think people don't know or expect nested sources to exist; it's not written anywhere and it's not intuitive. So if you want to base rulings on it you need to make it a lot more well-known.


    blackbloodtroll wrote:
    Umm, does this not make just about every Inquisitor option redundant?

    I don't think so. It makes the combination of some inquisitions (Conversion for example) with some archetypes (Heretic, Infiltrator) somewhat redundant, although not totally. The archetypes do more than just alter the abilities, and the inquisition changes some skills that the archetypes don't.


    Excellent. I'm glad to see that you're moving towards a tighter language plan for these kinds of abilities.


    This sounds like a good FAQ in general, though I wonder how this applies to Dragon Ferocity?


    I stopped using the PDF because I didn't want to be accidentally using an outdated versions. Huh!


    How about red and strikethrough?


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    BigNorseWolf wrote:

    Crane wing would have required scenarios to be written around single attacking monsters in order to be able to hit a monk at all. I don't see that problem with monkpounce 3 levels before the druid that can be blocked with minions, difficult terrain, minions, stairs, baricades, minions, hostages, and minions on stairs. Winding up in charge range of melee is never a good idea: bad guys doing that should already be prepared for rage axe chomp or lancecharge or charging raptors ...

    These are good points.

    I think the early entry is pretty cheesy and should be discouraged. But in this case I don't think it's actually harmful, just cheesy.


    Maybe because it's quite powerful. I could understand banning it because it might certainly overshadow even well-built martial characters at low levels.

    But that should still be done with a bit more noise, not silently in the night.


    In my experience the way to get a group thinking about tactics is to bring it up as a player after a combat that went rough. "Do you guys think we could've done this better if we did it differently?"


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    Most of the time you can get the prestige as long as you follow these guidelines:

    1) Do what the VC asked you to.
    2) Explore, report, cooperate. If you quickly find the primary mission target, you should probably explore the location further because there's still part of the scenario you haven't stumbled into.
    3) Save everyone who needs saving. This is a very common secondary Prestige condition.
    4) When in doubt, do the heroic thing. The society may be Neutral, but the people setting secondary Prestige conditions aren't.


    It's because he says someone is correct, and then immediately changes the statement he just said was correct.


    I played this a while ago and really liked it. Now I'm gonna run it next Sunday, and I'm really looking forward to it. I do think I'm gonna need a GM screen for this; I usually don't use one but I might need some trackers for stuff, and a place to arrange clue cards without people seeing how it's done.

    Does anyone have advice on how to track time as a GM in a convenient way?


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    Good teamwork can be as simple as figuring out how to work together to fight around a 5ft doorway, rather than allowing enemies to use the bottleneck against the party.


    I wonder if it's easier to get a group to start using teamwork feats if they have an inquisitor? Solo tactics lets the inquisitor take a feat without the painful waiting time until he has a partner. Then, other PCs can take the same feat knowing they have at least one partner.

    ---

    Anyway, teamwork feats are only a small aspect of actual teamwork. Most of the time I play with random PFS groups so we're not really good at working together. It's at its worst on low tier, because you get some inexperienced people, some people with pregens and often very cramped dungeons with everyone playing a 2H melee striker. At least we've got a decent amount of wand discipline. It's very easy to get Dutchmen to understand why everyone should pay for their own healing :P

    At higher tiers it's better. People are already familiar with PF, and familiar with typical PFS challenges. Groups are usually formed in advance on Warhorn so there's a chance of a balanced group. If someone does use a pregen they tend to choose them based on what the group is weak in rather than based on what would appeal to a first-time player.

    But a while back I had the distinct pleasure of playing in a mini-con where we played four games over three days, with a more or less constant group. Also nicely, the four scenarios (5-99, 6-01, 6-03 and 6-02) came to us in ascending order of difficulty. So by game three we were pretty well tuned to each other and by four we were an efficient machine. We still had a lot of melee strikers, but then you kinda need them in "robot scenarios", and we didn't get in each others' way.

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