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Bad Mojo's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 41 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


Please cancel my Pathfinder Adventure Path and Pathfinder Comic subscriptions.


A. sounds plausible, you'd just be using the off hand as a wand and not attacking with it which seems to fall in line with the rules.

B. Weapon Wand specifically states that the weapon can be used as a weapon or as a wand, not both. This would seem to preclude using it as a wand then making TWF attacks with it. Even if the spell requires an attack roll you are limited to a single attack at your highest bonus but do no actual weapon damage.

Cevah wrote:

2nd Ed DMG, (c) 1989, table 34 wrote:

Individual Class Awards

Making potion or scroll
Making permanent magical item

Making potion or scroll
Making permanent magical item

Been there quite a while. :-)

Your local gaming community might not have used the term. Mine did.

Probably regional. Using 2nd Edition D&D rules and definitions in Pathfinder is pretty much straight up homegrown and house ruled and not RAW Pathfinder. It's a totally acceptable way to play of course but not really what I was asking. I'll certainly look you up next time I play a 2nd Ed game though ;)

Cevah wrote:
I do agree that keeping track when a non-continuous item is *on* can be fun, my definition is based on what the books actually said. I have 1sd ed books, but not on line. Otherwise I would have looked there.

Sure, and while I played 1st and 2nd Ed's, that was a long time ago with an incredibly long stint of Rolemaster, Spacemaster, Traveller, Twilight 2k and a bunch of others in there. I may not be remembering my rules correctly, but it still doesn't seem to jive with the verbiage in Pathfinder per say.

Cevah wrote:
Definitely a better estimate of OP than mine. I tend toward OP, even when I am GM. I like high magic campaigns.

Completely legit, I've played and run a few high fantasy games myself. This particular one however we are trying to keep to the standard wealth by level chart at medium progression - so permanent/continuous Unseen Servant would certainly be overwhelming compared to the "flavor" of the rest of the campaign.

Cevah wrote:
There are numerous intelligent items that have daily charge limits. The exclusion is against things that run out of charges and become non-magical.

Right, there are intelligent items with #/day abilities in addition to a permanent effect(s) (+1, Holy, flaming, etc) - so in effect even depleted of charges they would still be magical. I can't think of any that have a set number of total charges (like a wand) that is intelligent though. If we wanted to stick to RAW, there are costs associated with adding abilities to already magical items - it's simple to say that an Intelligent item had the charges added to it's abilities at the end of (or even after) the creation process.

Cevah wrote:
Words can be so fun. My intent was not to be a devil's advocate, but to rather to be sure you knew your options. What you choose, is entirely up to you.

Fair enough.

Cevah wrote:

Since it does not occupy space, I don't think it can block movement. If it is holding something, that could change. As to working on the other side of a door, I think it can. Consider the classic concept of a wizard in a jail cell, and the keys are on the wall beyond the wizard's reach. One spell later, and the keys are being brought to the wizard.


The description says nothing about it not occupying space, or that it has the ability to move through solid objects. I keep re-reading it and honestly I don't see where there's an implication that it can be tangible or intangible as needed. All the listed examples of what it can do involve it interacting with the environment, there's nothing that says it can reach inside a closed box for example.

The definition of "invisible" states it's only visually undetectable, it can still be heard, smelled, or felt if you are into that kind of thing :)

Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable.

Further defining invisibility from the Special Abilities definition:

The ability to move about unseen is not foolproof. While they can't be seen, invisible creatures can be heard, smelled, or felt.

Invisibility makes a creature undetectable by vision, including darkvision.


Invisible creatures leave tracks. They can be tracked normally. Footprints in sand, mud, or other soft surfaces can give enemies clues to an invisible creature's location.

An invisible creature in the water displaces water, revealing its location. The invisible creature, however, is still hard to see and benefits from concealment.

A creature with the scent ability can detect an invisible creature as it would a visible one.

To be able to not physically be there, we would be looking at two other abilities - Ethereal and Incorporeal, neither of which describes the Unseen Servant.

Ethereal creatures are invisible. Since ethereal creatures are not materially present, Perception checks, scent, Blind-Fight, and blindsight don't help locate them. Incorporeal creatures are often invisible. Scent, Blind-Fight, and blindsight don't help creatures find or attack invisible, incorporeal creatures, but Perception checks can help.

Incorporeal: Creatures with the incorporeal condition do not have a physical body.

LazarX wrote:
Bad Mojo wrote:

We have a player that would like permanent Unseen Servant enchanted to one of his items. I guess the first question would be is that even possible per RAW?

Lots of things are possible with RAW. Many of them however should not be allowed by any GM with a modicum of sanity. Don't make the mistake of assuming that just because an item can be built according to a RAW formula that it's automatically balanced, or appropriate.

Completely agree. That's what prompted my question as it's inexplicably cheap and seems a bit over powered. Taming it with a 1/day charge with a 24 hour duration is a good balancing point between players and GM I think though, if you abuse it it'll be gone until the next game day. Not a bad trade off.

Ravingdork wrote:
Can unseen servant really block movement? I was under the impression that they were a formless, shapeless "force." In effect, not really physically present.

Not "visually" present, if it wasn't physically present than saying it's invisible would be redundant. It has a movement speed, a STR value, and interacts with the environment to the extend of making skill checks. Nothing in the text says it's incorporeal or insubstantial, even the name alludes only to being unseen, not untouchable :) Allowing it to shift/phase through solid objects like a charging bad guy means it would also be able to move through walls and doors and interact with things on the other side - seems a bit much for a 1st level spell.

Ravingdork wrote:
Bad Mojo wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It's also important to note that the magic item crafting price guidelines are not absolute. You need to compare the finished item with others like it in order to determine it's real value.
Absolutely! I couldn't find much for items that utilize Unseen Servant though, not on a permanent/continuous basis anyway. :/

Think about what unseen servant is used for: generally, to move things.

Perhaps you should compare it to a hand of the mage or a ring of telekinesis.

I actually looked at those but ruled them out based on the following:

Both Mage Hand and RoT require concentration to use which means that while active the caster can't cast another spell and only has his movement action available each round - so they are in effect self policing. Mage Hand only has a fraction of the usefulness of RoT which in turn only has a fraction of the utility of Unseen Servant. There's actually a ton of neat tricks you can do with an invisible mindless entity of force that you can't do with mage hand or telekinesis such as:

The ability to attempt any DC10 or less skill that can be tried untrained.

Blocking movement through a square (charges, etc.)

Dragging a heavy sack over traps (they can only lift 20 lbs. but can drag 100 lb).

Throwing a robe on it and marching it 30' in front of the party.

Concentration free menial tasks like clearing a room of caltrops.

If I had to adjust the price of a continuous Unseen Servant based on the Ring of Telekinesis, I'd multiply the cost of RoT by 10, at least!

Ravingdork wrote:
It's also important to note that the magic item crafting price guidelines are not absolute. You need to compare the finished item with others like it in order to determine it's real value.

Absolutely! I couldn't find much for items that utilize Unseen Servant though, not on a permanent/continuous basis anyway. :/

Cevah wrote:
Bad Mojo wrote:
The word "permanent" isn't mentioned anywhere on the magic item creation page, but nor is the rules for "continuous" spelled out on how they affect spells that summon entities that can die. Per RAW, wouldn't they basically be a summon spell with unlimited duration but once the summon is dead the item is useless? As far as I can tell, it's purely a duration modifier and not one that imparts immortality/resurrection or multiple castings in the case of something like a "continuous" summon monster I item.

You were looking in the wrong place. :-)

CRB p478 wrote:
Rings bestow magical powers upon their wearers. Only a rare few have charges—most magic rings are permanent and potent magic items. Anyone can use a ring.
CRB p532 wrote:
Magic items sometimes have intelligence of their own. Magically imbued with sentience, these items think and feel the same way characters do and should be treated as NPCs. Intelligent items have extra abilities and sometimes extraordinary powers and special purposes. Only permanent magic items (as opposed to single-use items or those with charges) can be intelligent. (This means that potions, scrolls, and wands, among other items, are never intelligent.) In general, less than 1% of magic items have intelligence.

The item in question is neither a ring nor intelligent - it's actually a dumb Lucerne Hammer :)

Your ring passage is obviously talking about permanent effects such as feather fall. Your intelligent items passage is obviously stating that a thing with finite charges can't be intelligent, which makes sense because as you said earlier once you run out of charges the item becomes mundane.

Both of those passages seem to go against the impression that anything with "charges that don't run out" is permanent, per your last post and the crux of my initial confusion with your stance, specifically this quote:

Cevah wrote:
The latter are usually referred to a Permanent magic items, because they last forever. Some are limited to charges per day, others are continuous or at will.

Your ring and intelligent item passages seem to indicate that something with charges (even daily) is not actually a "permanent" magic item. I beginning to think maybe we are closer in opinion that we think, just words getting in the way ;)

Cevah wrote:
Actually, there are two kinds of magic items. Charged ones that become non-magical after all their charges are used (potions, scrolls, wands, etc.) and those that retain their magic no matter how often or long they are used. The latter are usually referred to a Permanent magic items, because they last forever. Some are limited to charges per day, others are continuous or at will.

30 years of roleplaying and I've never heard items referred to as permanent unless the bonus conferred was on all the time (e.g. Boots of Springing and Striding). Anything with an "on use" ability that can be depleted for a time (such as a daily charges item) isn't "permanent" in the sense that the player and GM need to know if the item has been activated, it's not a "given" that someone with 3/day Shield item is "permanently" protected by Shield.

Maybe it's a regional thing, but it's not a vernacular I've heard applied to anything that isn't on all the time.

Cevah wrote:
The linkage with the Permanency spell was left back in 2nd edition. 3.0, 3.5, and PF do not have that requirement. Not sure why you keep linking the word "Permanency" when used with magic items with the spell. There is no such link. In fact, the spell is designed as a way to cheaply simulate a magic item.

With the last paragraph, I think I'm linking it because you keep referring to "permanent" magic items, and I didn't realize you were talking about every magic item that doesn't have a finite number of uses.

Cevah wrote:

Back in 2nd edition, there was a ring of genie summoning. If the genie was ever killed, the ring became worthless. I see no reason for not applying that logic to any summoning spell. You need a non-continuous version to summon something new each time, and it lasts only as ling as CL dictates. Unseen Servant is not a summoning spell, but a Conjuration (creation) spell.

** spoiler omitted **

Each time you invoke it, a brand new force is conjured. No need to worry about what happened to the previous one. If you want to rule that a new invocation must be used and not reactivating a continuous one, I have no problem with that.

Right, but if you aren't invoking a continuous one that it's not a continuous item, it's a user-activated one.

Cevah wrote:
Since you have found a version that you think is fair, then go with it. Just know that you have chosen not to allow something many would also find acceptable.

A few searches on this and other forums shows a defined lean towards 24/7 unlimited Unseen Servants as being horribly overpowered. A few may find that scenario acceptable, but we aren't necessarily running a Monte Haul campaign :)

Cevah wrote:

To reiterate, Permanent magic items are called Permanent, not based on the spell, but because they will not quit. Dispel magic will only slow them down a few rounds. Then can have charges per day, rounds or minutes per day, or even be continuous.


Still not verbiage I'm used to. I understand what you are saying but I still find it weird to equate "permanent" to a ring with 1/day charge of Fireball. I get that you are focused purely on the fact of what "Dispell Magic" affects, where I'm looking at the duration of the bonus applied in use. With that in mind I do understand more where you are coming from, and I appreciate your devil's advocacy in the thread.

Cevah wrote:
Bad Mojo wrote:
Cevah wrote:

Your edit note looks like a house rule, not RAW.


The last sentence in the Permanency description right here in the PRD:

The GM may allow other spells to be made permanent.

I'm reading this to indicate that only the spells listed (and there are quite a few) in the Permanency description are covered by the spell per RAW, but your GM may allow others or he may not. If there's another way to interpret that I'm missing it.

You are confusing the spell Permanency with the creation of permanent magic items. That is why I said is was a house rule.

When you dispel a Permanency version of a spell, it is gone. Do the same with a magic item, and it goes away for 1d4 rounds, then returns,

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **


Per RAW magic item creation, there aren't any "permanent" magic items that you can actually create. There are "continuous and user-activated" items.

We can view this two ways, that "continuous" and "permanent" are synonymous and this allows permanent items to be created but in return links the permanency spell to the creation of permanent magic items... or they are completely different mechanics in which case there are no rules for creating a "permanent" item.

The word "permanent" isn't mentioned anywhere on the magic item creation page, but nor is the rules for "continuous" spelled out on how they affect spells that summon entities that can die. Per RAW, wouldn't they basically be a summon spell with unlimited duration but once the summon is dead the item is useless? As far as I can tell, it's purely a duration modifier and not one that imparts immortality/resurrection or multiple castings in the case of something like a "continuous" summon monster I item.

Without clarification on the relationship between the two, I think the proposed CL12+1 (extended) for 24 hour duration works well. It prevents abuse while allowing a 24/7 Unseen Servant (with care), and it fits within the established RAW rules for item creation without needing to answer if "continuous" = "permanent" or not.

I was more concerned with the possibility of abuse. A dozen Unseen Servants that die in a fireball are dead, and there is a monetary loss because you paid for those charges. The player now needs to decide and budget if he's willing to eat more charges and summon more. A continuous Unseen Servant is another beast all together.
"Dies" to a fireball? Resummon.
"Dies" in a trap? Resummon.
Suspect an ambush ahead? Put robe on Unseen Servant oops dead resummon.

Literally forever, 24/7. No charges to ever worry about.

Cevah wrote:

Your edit note looks like a house rule, not RAW.


The last sentence in the Permanency description right here in the PRD:

The GM may allow other spells to be made permanent.

I'm reading this to indicate that only the spells listed (and there are quite a few) in the Permanency description are covered by the spell per RAW, but your GM may allow others or he may not. If there's another way to interpret that I'm missing it.

ryric wrote:

It really is up to you as a GM, as with any custom item.

I will let you know, I think continuous unseen servant in an item is super powerful, especially if the user can just get it right back if the servant is dispelled or killed. Imagine having the party never personally open doors, set off traps, pick things up, transfer items between characters, and so forth. And if it "dies" you just bring it right back? Yeah I would drive my GM nuts with this item. Unseen servant is one of my "must have" 1st level spells, great for outside the box problem solving.

Personally, I would price it as caster level 12 extended unseen servant, one use a day lasting 24 hours, costing 12x2x2000/5 = 9600 gp. That would curtail some of the abuses by making it gone for a day if it "dies."

That's a fantastic solution! I'll present that to the crew, thanks!

We have a player that would like permanent Unseen Servant enchanted to one of his items. I guess the first question would be is that even possible per RAW?

Second would be how much would it cost?

The rulebook says [spell level x caster level x 2,000gp], since it's "permanent" we don't need anything more than a 1st level casting of it, so cost would be [1 x 1 x 2,000 = 2,000gp]. There is some subtext offering multipliers and divisors depending on if the spell is usually timed in rounds, minutes, or days. Unseen Servant is timed in hours which isn't listed.

My confusion comes in when you compare 2,000gp for permanent to the costs of just having a number of charges per day, which breaks out like this:

CL1 = each cast lasts 1 hour
1 charge/day = 360 gp
2 charges/day = 720 gp
3 charges/day = 1,080 gp
4 charges/day = 1,440 gp
5 charges/day = 1,800 gp
CL2 = each cast lasts 2 hours
1 charge/day = 720 gp
2 charges/day = 1440 gp
3 charges/day = 2160 gp
4 charges/day = 2880 gp
5 charges/day = 3,600 gp
CL3 = each cast lasts 3 hours
1 charge/day = 1,080 gp
2 charges/day = 2,160 gp
3 charges/day = 3,240 gp
4 charges/day = 4,320 gp
5 charges/day = 5,400 gp
CL4 = each cast lasts 4 hours
1 charge/day = 1,440 gp
2 charges/day = 2,880 gp
3 charges/day = 4,320 gp
4 charges/day = 5,760 gp
5 charges/day = 7,200 gp
CL5 = each cast lasts 5 hours
1 charge/day = 1,800 gp
2 charges/day = 3,600 gp
3 charges/day = 5,400 gp
4 charges/day = 7,200 gp
5 charges/day = 9,000 gp

With these numbers, why would you ever purchase this item with charges of Unseen Servant as opposed to having it permanent? Am I missing something?

EDIT: may have answered my own question, looks like the spells given in the Permanency description are the only spells allowed without GM approval.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Player Companion
Pathfinder Campaign Setting


Nicos wrote:
Those are not rules but guidelines, so basically ask your DM.

Good to know. Since Pathfinder doesn't allow +1 stat items, I was curious if there was a hard rule in place since I didn't see any 'official' items with mixed values of stat adds. If it's GM discretion that makes it easy!


Going off the rule that you can add an ability from a slot item to a same slot item for 1.5x the price of the second item. For example, you can "add" boots of the cat to boots of springing and striding for 1,500 gold (1.5 times the cost of boots of the cat).

Assuming that is correct, could you "add" a Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2 to a Belt of Giant Strength +4? Or does it have to follow the existing items and have a +2/+2, +4/+4, or +6/+6 pattern?

Thanks in advance!

beej67 wrote:

124.3 lb dry weight.

I did the math.

I'd guesstimate 2 quarts of oil to keep things moving, so maybe @ 128.3 pounds wet. For math simplicity I'll just round it to 128.


rainzax wrote:
...or as a skeleton with DR 5/- and Electricity vulnerability?

Great ideas, thanks.

Xuttah wrote:
Why not make it strictly a flavor change for the original spell? Why complicate matters if you don't have to? Just say his god has a variant spell that makes a lesser animated object that works like a skeleton or zombie from bits and pieces of junk instead of a body.

Because as part of the flavor he wants to carry it in a pack like Chewie carried C-3PO in Star Wars, his pet name for the project is C-3PO actually.

Quandary wrote:

re: the timeline given for the combat,

1) tripping a larger creature who is grappling you does not bring you down too.
a grapple can still be maintained even if the grappler is prone.

Under what circumstances would you go down then? If a Giant has hold of your head and falls off a cliff, how would you not go with it? Is there a rule for that?

Quandary wrote:
2) i'm not clear what happened on the round 'the demon grappled with sterling'. maintain grapple for damage?

Yeah, grappling, though admittedly I was calling the roll an attack and not to maintain the grapple.

Quandary wrote:

given that the demon CAN hit sterling's AC (to trigger the original grab),

if you want damage, dropping the grapple and full attacking is the better option IMHO.

Which is what it did after two rounds of grappling with both prone if I recall.

Quandary wrote:
otherwise, the only reason to maintain would be to pin or use the move option to move thru this mirror.

I figured the mirror move would be out of the question as both were prone?

Quandary wrote:

perhaps if the demon could only hit on a 20 or something vs. normal AC (and got lucky the first round) it might make sense to use maintain if it would be easier...

but if moving thru the mirror is the priority, they should do that and not the damage option.

I didn't know if that was an option. The demon had been enlarged in a 5' hallway by a rod of wonder, so it had the squeezed condition. It was also prone while grappling with a prone Sterling.

Quandary wrote:
3)it's also unclear if 2 rounds passed between 'Next round the Demon grapples with Sterling, the following it decides to let the grapple go...', and if so, what Sterling DID during that round... Try to escape the Grapple (unsuccesfully)?

Two rounds, demon decides standing is the best option, Sterling continued making his attacks from the ground.

Quandary wrote:

4) there is no reason to drop the grapple in order to stand up and bring all arms to bear.

all arms are usable while you are prone, there is just an attack penalty. (to CMB also)

True, he could have dropped the grapple and did full attacks from the floor, but he was being jumped by a ninja and catching Sorcerer spells as well. Mobility was a consideration.

Quandary wrote:

regardless, you don't need to drop the grapple to stand up, you can do that while grappled.

it provokes, but Sterling can't take the AoO because he is grappled, only other adjacent people.

Good to know, maybe next time it'll stand while maintaining the grapple and use Sterling as a human shield. ;)

Quandary wrote:
if you are maintaining for damage, you don't roll a separate attack roll to do 1x natural attack damage, that is included in the effect of the grapple maintain roll. that roll does target CMD, not AC, and thus this IS a way to do melee damage to a character without targetting AC... you just can't full attack with it.

So even though the verbiage was off, making a roll against CMD and doing a single attacks worth of damage is the rule, so the combat was handled properly. I should have called the roll a maintenance action instead of an actual attack, I can see where the confusion may have been but the end result would be unchanged which is good.

Quandary wrote:
i am baffled why DQ thinks initiating a grab/free grapple in the middle of a full attack would prevent one from continuing the full attack. being grappled yourself doesn't prevent one from full attacking, after all. if you are grappled yourself (didn't take the -20 option from grab), there are certain limitations and penalties, but they don't prevent you from taking iteratives. you can't take AoOs if you are grappled, but that's irrelevant to completing your full attack. you will take a penalty to DEX, and apply a -2 penalty to non-grapple attack rolls, but you can still make those attack rolls.

Agree, the rule for grab specifically states it affects the grabbing limb and no other.

Quandary wrote:
the only thing that MAY apply is the wording saying you can't take actions which require 2 hands, which means 2-handed weapons would be unusable, and plausibly that may preclude 2WF with 2 actual hands (vs. headbutts, etc). i'm not sure if that is truly intended to apply to EVERYBODY though, or only the HUMANOIDS that the -4 penalty for not having 2 hands free applies to. per RAW, it applies to everybody... but if they are using natural attacks and/or 1-handed weapons, there is no restriction.

I guess the interpretation would be up to whether or not the demon fell under a humanoid type?

DeathQuaker wrote:

Yes, but I am not certain you should be able to continue your multiple attacks after you initiate the grapple, even if you are able to initiate the grapple as a free action. I think I'm forgetting something, so hopefully someone else can provide insight.

It continued it's attacks after initiating a grab and hold, which the rules state only affect the grabbing limb. A grapple is different.

DeathQuaker wrote:

It takes a move action to stand from prone and thus it could only attack once on that turn (and thus it could "not bring all arms to bear again"--not on that same turn anyway).

It stood so the next round it could make a full attack as opposed to a single one. Trust me, Sterling trips enough things constantly that we are all intimate with the rule of standing.

DeathQuaker wrote:

If you are rolling to maintain, that is a standard action, so you cannot make any further attack rolls.

Again, correct, I don't have to roll for attacks, I should have just straight applied the natural weapon damage from one attack. That's what I'm saying. Nothing really changed, I made a roll, it was well above his CMD and he took one attack worth of damage.

DeathQuaker wrote:

The wording for the one doing the grappling is:

Once successfully maintaining a grapple, you an deal the damage equal to one of your attacks automatically, yes.

That rule by itself does NOT mean you can do a multiattack on the character and automatically hit with all of your natural attacks.

I never said it did and that's not what happened in the game. When the grapple condition was set, one natural attack was made - though I did roll it against his CMD which was wrong. We play with a guy that has been roleplaying since the 70's and owned his own game shop, he's a great rules lawyer and more than one attack was quickly nixed.

DeathQuaker wrote:

Now, it sounds like we're talking about a creature with grab, and grab does make it more complicated. Just for rules reference:

PRD wrote:
Grab (Ex) If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. Unless otherwise noted, grab can only be used against targets of a size equal to or smaller than the creature with this ability. If the creature can use grab on creatures of other sizes, it is noted in the creature's Special Attacks line. The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent.

Here's the timeline:

Demon attacks Sterling with attack one and opts to grab and hold
Demon attacks Sterling with attack two
Demon attacks Sterling with attack three
Demon attacks Sterling with attack four
Sterling trips Demon

since sterling is still held and Demon is Large to Sterling's Medium I ruled it drags him down as well.
Next round the Demon grapples with Sterling, the following it decides to let the grapple go and stand up so it can bring all arms to bear again. I think on the round it grappled I rolled the CMD to maintain *as well as* another CMB to attack. That may be wrong, but it's no where near "full attacks with all natural attacks."

Quandary wrote:

+1... with the caveat that if they are just full attacking and doing grabs 'just because', that IS very nasty.

This particular demon grabbed with intent to drag into a mirror, not 'just because,' so no caveat necessary in this case :)

Quandary wrote:

But any NORMAL attacks, whether from your Grappler (if they have actions to spare) or other enemies, still use normal AC,

albeit it will be penalized a bit due to you being Grappled, but not really very much.

The PRD is worded like this for the one being grappled:

Instead of attempting to break or reverse the grapple, you can take any action that doesn't require two hands to perform, such as cast a spell or make an attack or full attack with a light or one-handed weapon against any creature within your reach, including the creature that is grappling you.

The wording for the one doing the grappling is:

Damage: You can inflict damage to your target equal to your unarmed strike, a natural attack, or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal.

It doesn't say you need to make an attack as the grappler, just that you can choose to inflict damage. As written, the person getting grappled needs to roll an attack, the grappler does not. This doesn't negate the AC, but does seem to completely bypass it for that one attack per round if that's what the grappler decides to do. Technically I was still wrong by rolling against Sterlings CMD, as the single natural attack the demon took should have automatically hit per RAW. I think that's what you are saying, just clarifying in case I'm misreading it.

I have a player (cleric) that wants to replace Lesser Animate Dead with a spell that animates a clockwork humanoid construct. His idea is to carry the construct in his pack, and assemble it when needed and animate it via this spell. He has said it will never be for attacking, more for doing mundane tasks and maybe eating a trap or being a target.

I'm more than willing to work with him on it but have a few questions.

Weight. How much would a man-sized construct weigh? A human skeleton is @ 30 pounds. A human skeleton made of solid brass would weight on the order of 260 pounds. Obviously the construct wouldn't be solid brass, what is a good middle ground weight to assign it?

The spell itself is looking like this so far, any holes?

Animate Clockwork:
Domain: Artificer, or Class: Artificer. Level 2.
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (A Masterwork Clockwork of at least 25GP in value per size catagory:25 tiny, 50 small, 75 medium)
Range touch
Targets one Clockwork touched that must have been built by the casting Artificer.
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

An Animated Clockwork is a mindless automaton that performs simple tasks at your command. It can run and fetch
things, open unstuck doors, and hold chairs, as well as clean and mend. The clockwork can perform only one
activity at a time, but it repeats the same activity over and over again if told to do so. It can open only normal
doors, drawers, lids, and the like. It has an effective Strength score of 2 (so it can lift 20 pounds or drag 100
pounds). It can't perform any task that requires a skill check with a DC higher than 10 or that
requires a check using a skill that can't be used untrained. The clockwork cannot climb or swim (though it can
walk under water). Its base speed is 30 feet.

The Clockwork cannot attack in any way; it is never allowed an attack roll. It cannot be killed, but it
breaks/deactivates if it takes 6 points of damage. Repair of the Clockwork requires ½ the initial material cost.
It gets no saves against attacks. You can have any number of
clockworks made, but can only control/command one at a time.

GM for Sterlings here, the adventure spanned two looong sessions each deep into the wee hours... so some facts got muddled. Let me clarify some stuff:

The demon wasn't making 3 attacks per round while in the grappled state, it was making them while it had the player grabbed. Basically the first attack hit, Sterling was grabbed, the rules state the grab is only via the limb used so it took it's next three attacks. Sterling tripped it the same round (of course). Once they started rolling around on the floor it only made one attack until it released the grapple and stood up.

Sterling was only grappled by one monster as I recall, and that was the demon. He was however hit by an adhesive slam attack from a mimic which gives the grapple condition, but it was that or justify the mimic walking past the dwarf standing right in front of it to get to another party member that hadn't attacked it yet.

In fact, to quickly recap the fights:
- a fungus that didn't attack at all (non combatant).
- Neanderthals who barely fought, and definitely did not grapple - they actually ran away. One spent entire fight tripped.
- Winged guardians that ignored anyone but the player with the emerald (not Sterling) and did not grapple.
- Giant fly, may have tried a pick up to drop attack on the Ninja, but I think it died too quickly, it didn't last two rounds.
- Rock Grubs, didn't grapple.
- Ghost goblins, didn't grapple.
- Minotaur, spent the entire fight tripped, did not grapple.
- Mimic, Sterling given grapple condition through special ability, not specifically targeted at him, he was the only one within range.
- Medusa, caged and bypassed.
- Hill Giant, bribed and bypassed.
- Druid in Tyrannosaurus form via foul magic, Sterling argued he couldn't be swallowed whole, then tripped it and it spent the rest of the fight on the floor as it's BAB was high enough that attacking from prone was a better option than eating the AoO.
- Antipaladin, tripped and disarmed immediately. Resorted to touch of corruption from the ground rather than eat an entire round of AoO from half the group just to be tripped again the following round. This was the only creature with a touch attack.
- Mimic, auto grapple on successful slam attack, as mentioned above not much to do here, slam was it's only attack.
- Blood Beast, assaulted from outside it's range by magic, did not grapple.

So out of two sessions, Sterling was actually CMB vs. CMD grappled once, and had to deal with touch attacks once. I wouldn't really call that targeting him with only those abilities. Other than touch of corruption, every bit of damage he took (and it was a lot) was with weapons against his AC. This is also only the third time I've GM'ed for him and the first time had zero grapples and zero touch attacks.

In fact, in 9 levels Sterling has only ever been grappled once and dealt with touch attacks once - though admittedly we pass around the GM hat and he hasn't played every session.

Two sides to every story folks.

I guarantee that if one of his players played like he does his Cleric with the constant chain tripping, he'd be in here asking for advice on how to counter it. :D

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I would like to see a quick one night scenario, 3-5 hour playtime. Plot points, couple RP parts, couple fights, and treasure. All wrapped into a nice tidy bundle.
And let me check out the Druid book.

Does it have to be a cursed item?

I'm not sure if Undines have gills or rely on lungs, but what about a parasite that has infected his gills/lungs that prohibits his ability to breathe underwater. Due to the unknown nature of the parasite and it's very aggressive attachment behavior, surgery is out and spell based cures have failed (though if you wanted to be nice, you could say a cure minor reduces the damage to the gills/lung enough to breathe under water for 5 minutes, a cure moderate 10 minutes, etc).

Turn the level 8 water breathing into a side quest to have the parasite removed, maybe it's an issue that has all but wiped out his clan - not to go changing back stories, just on a roll :)

Lots of RP ability in there too, maybe it's sentient and hostile? Who knows!

AnnoyingOrange wrote:

The fact that there are several threads on the pit spells shows that they require quite a bit of GM adjudication and rule mastery to deal with. Sometimes it is better to just start with core and expand options from there slowly.

I understand the value in starting core and slowly expanding, but citing the number of threads on the forum questioning a mechanic as an indicator of GM complication and the forerunner to banning means we can run a series of searches and reduce even the Core to a pamphlet of a few pages, and that will most likely be the table of contents and the index :)

AnnoyingOrange wrote:
Bad Mojo wrote:
FallofCamelot wrote:
Ban it.
Worst solution ever. Better to read the description and enforce it's limits.
I wouldn't say it is the worst I tend to ban options I find unbalanced or uncool, reading description and enforcing limits is basically a given but a single (new) spell shouldn't affect the way you build encounters as a GM. Sometimes it is just better to cut the workload and disallow options that give you headaches, preparing a proper game tends to be enough of a workload already.

I don't know that this spell fits into that category, given that the pit can be bypassed freely with no save via the 5' of mandatory sloped ground that surrounds it and is ineffectual unless the being stops on it. The slope also prevents completely blocking a passage. In my experience Glitter Dust or the many wall spells are more powerful. RAW appears to include the sloped ground as part of the spell effect, meaning it needs a 20x20 area, leaving that easily passed 5' rim around it in every situation.

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FallofCamelot wrote:
Ban it.

Worst solution ever. Better to read the description and enforce it's limits.

Dabbler wrote:
Bad Mojo wrote:
People fall into wells all the time, and those are pre-existing (not suddenly appearing beneath you) and usually have signs and walls to prevent falling in. Having a 30' well suddenly open up underneath you is probably a more difficult situation to avoid than stepping over a 5' hole you are approaching as you walk/run.
That they do, but the spell is as much about battlefield control as it is about direct damage.

I was going off the OP's ending statement of the giant being in the pit. But your post did make me think, and I believe the answer to his question is answered in the description of the spell.

You create a 10-foot-by-10-foot extradimensional hole with a depth of 10 feet per two caster levels (maximum 30 feet). You must create the pit on a horizontal surface of sufficient size. Since it extends into another dimension, the pit has no weight and does not otherwise displace the original underlying material. You can create the pit in the deck of a ship as easily as in a dungeon floor or the ground of a forest. Any creature standing in the area where you first conjured the pit must make a Reflex saving throw to jump to safety in the nearest open space. In addition, the edges of the pit are sloped, and any creature ending its turn on a square adjacent to the pit must make a Reflex saving throw with a +2 bonus to avoid falling into it. Creatures subjected to an effect intended to push them into the pit (such as bull rush) do not get a saving throw to avoid falling in if they are affected by the pushing effect.

That clearly states that the adjacent squares are considered part of the pit.

That being the case, and the fact that it describes the 10x10 area as "the hole" of the pit and not just simply "the pit," I believe the spell needs a 20x20 area to accept the pit casting. This means you can create choke points but never completely block a hallway or anything.


- you need 20x20 to cast the pit, you cast it in a 20x20 hallway. You now have a 10x10 'hole' in the center, and a 5' path on each side that can be bypassed with no save needed unless they end their turn on it.

- You have a 40x40 area and cast two pits next to each other. You would have a 5' path along one wall, a 10' hole, then two 5' squares adjacent to each other for a 10' total width path, then another 10' hole, and finally a 5' path on the other wall.

At most, the pit will either trap a bad guy, or force a +2 reflex save for ending a turn on an adjacent square. Otherwise they can simply travel over the adjacent squares with no ill effect, bypassing the pit completely.

This makes sense as it solves the issue of planting one interdimensional space right next to another, and lowers the actual value of the spell to something more level equivalent. In our games we have been assuming you need a 10x10 area, but reading it I think that's incorrect.

james maissen wrote:
SterlingEdge wrote:
My partys Sorcerer just got Spiked Pit last level, and used it to devistating affect against some frost giants.

Another thing, in the case of intelligent humanoid type foes, have them reasonably equipped. Would a fighter of that level not have a ranged option? No, why doesn't the giant have his boulders? What happens when the giant pulls out and equips his tower shield?


I'm familiar with the scenario SterlingEdge is talking about, and the 15' giant in a 30' pit didn't have a line of sight to anyone since the closest party member was a solid 25-40' from the pit. Instead, it spent a round climbing out as a full action, then the following round sundered and broke the Clerics shield while it's Worg pet tripped and mauled the Sorcerer that cast the pit. The giant did go down a few rounds later, but not until cure XXX wounds where being spontaneously cast and the Ninja was in full retreat. The pit literally only affected the BBEG for 1 round.

Other instances of pit use in the adventure:
A group of 3 Ogre, pit trap on the boss (advanced) who failed his save and went in. A minor setback for the Ogres, but no where near as devastating as the Glitter spell that followed and blinded the remaining two Ogres. That fight was a push over but it was due to low resistance rolls more than anything else.

In the last fight of the adventure against two oncoming frost giants. Group set up a ruse with disguise + enlarge person to act as the BBEG previously mentioned and order the two giants front and center. Before hand the party cast a pit and put an illusion of ground over it - the lead giant failed and went in, the following giant went into a second pit cast directly on him. Party rolled a wagon into the first pit, which the giant sundered so he could climb out, but ended up creating a bunch of kindling which just made the fires worse when they were cast in the next round. The other giant probably was handled poorly, while in the pit he was surrounded by good guys with long spears who proceeded to attack repeatedly (an idea that came from Sterling if I recall correctly). Nobody knew how to handle bullrushing out of a pit, and it was the last mob and getting late, it turned into a pin cushion and died.

Over all, I don't know that the pit itself was an issue, it certainly did almost nothing to stop the BBEG. Glitter dust was more devastating on the Ogres, and the final fight was an afterthought from the get go.

gnomersy wrote:
Crysknife wrote:
Roll your reflex save hidden, put on a big smile and say rejoice for the natural 20 you rolled.
creatures with natural climb speeds or burrowing,

The pit is an extradimensionary space, can burrow be used in this example or would the beasty be opening a portal to a level of hell or something? Interesting :)

Dabbler wrote:
SterlingEdge wrote:

My partys Sorcerer just got Spiked Pit last level, and used it to devistating affect against some frost giants. I can see this (and Create Pit) becoming a regular thing, and it seems very BBEG breaking. I dont want every climactic battle they go into to start and end with "He is in a pit and we throw stuff at him till hes dead".

I like to reward ingenuity and all, but it looks like its going to get alot more boring for me to GM.

I dont want to completly negate this spell line, but I dont want to attack with flying creatures from here on out either.

Am I missing a simple idea, is climbing out of a pit actually really easy? Its 30 feet deep, effectivly trapping the mob for 2 rounds while my players are in no danger and my mob is getting pummpled.

It's a 10' by 10' pit, and they are frost giants. The pit is barely big enough to fit one of them, it's like threatening a human with a 5' by 5' pit. You can practically step over it. Or they just hack a tree down and place it over the pit. Even if they fall in, they can chimney climb out of it very easily.

People fall into wells all the time, and those are pre-existing (not suddenly appearing beneath you) and usually have signs and walls to prevent falling in. Having a 30' well suddenly open up underneath you is probably a more difficult situation to avoid than stepping over a 5' hole you are approaching as you walk/run.

Spes Magna Mark wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
It's a 10' by 10' pit, and they are frost giants. The pit is barely big enough to fit one of them....
Quite right. The frost giant is about 15 feet tall. The pit covers him to about halfway up his torso. Just stay in the pit and lob rocks while enjoying the cover. :)

It would take a caster level of 4 to make the pit 20' deep, and by the time you get Spiked Pit (6th level)you are looking at 30'. Roll a cask of oil into it at that point and throw in a torch. :)

Goblin Squad Member

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Wow, long thread, so these may have been mentioned already...

- Allow thieves the tabletop utility of picking locks and disarming traps. This was one of the most exciting aspects of DDO, a pleasant departure from thievs/rogues in other games being "stabby stabby" all the time.

- Randomly generated dungeons, similar to what was introduced in EQ's Dungeons of Norrath expansion. End game content consisting of running the exact same handful dungeons over and over with the exact same monsters placed in the exact same locations is, well, boring.

- Some kind of system in place to limit the constant jumping around common in pretty much every MMO today. In PvP especially, if you are constantly hopping up and down, you should take some kind of hit - be it accuracy or stamina or something.

Goblin Squad Member

The upcoming EQ2 expansion (Age of Discovery) is allowing exactly this. To what extent or how they are working the logistics, I don't know (I think the release date is in a few days), but it will at least allow for the examination of a predecessor system if PFO decides to go this route.

Goblin Squad Member

Scott Betts wrote:
MicMan wrote:
SW:TOR is not generating that much of a buzz despite being hailed as THE new mega-MMO.

This is one of the most crazy-town things I've seen in a long while. The Old Republic utterly shattered EA's pre-order records, and reservations are now well into the hundreds of thousands range. Their beta weekends have been ridiculously well-attended, including the weekend that Skyrim was released.

Where did you even come up with this notion?

I can attest to this. My first beta weekend was Skyrim release weekend and I waited over three hours in queue to get into the game. This weekend there have been queues of 8+ hours to get into the game. Will it be a "WoW killer?" Nobody can tell the future, but it's a solid bet that even if it never sees half of WoW's [questionable] clientele, it will still be a success as a product.

Goblin Squad Member

superfly2000 wrote:
The recharge-o-meters in the HUD where enough research for me...

MMO GUI's have evolved to what they are today as companies strive for interfaces that are less intrusive and more intuitive - I don't know that every new MMO that comes out needs to completely reinvent the wheel?

I ordered the Tome of Horrors print/pdf bundle, and was charged for it as order #1814093, 90-something dollars. I'm now seeing two further charges for just over $10 each, also for the Tome of Horrors print/pdf bundle, both are order #1814094 and one is complete and one is pending?

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