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Mynafee Gorse

Bill Dunn's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,403 posts (4,885 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 14 aliases.


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I'm not sure I'd the rules absolutely require an acrobatics roll for something like this. The PCs are invisible and so won't provoke an AoO, period, and the acrobatics roll is to avoid an AoO. So no matter what people think the rules are saying, we're well into GM adjudication and the right answer is the one that works best for you, your players, and the pacing of the game.

First - all turning invisible and trying to escape is a good plan, and may be a necessary one to prevent a TPK. My inclination is to not make it too hard to accomplish since they're already stacking the deck in their favor by turning invisible.

Second - The orcs won't be able to see and target them with AoO as long as they're invisible. But the PCs will want to avoid giving away their exact position or they'll likely just be in the orc soup again once the orcs adjust. So avoiding contact and avoiding excess noise are both important.

I'd have them make stealth rolls to determine how well their general movement is going to give them away to the orcs' perceptions. This will be important more for the follow-up rounds and how the orcs will adjust.

Then I'd have them roll acrobatics just to avoid making contact with wary orcs milling about their combat spaces, but I would cut the DC down from the CMD that normally sets the DC. The situations are different with the orcs significantly hampered relative to the normal case. Off hand, using the Acrobatics skill as a model, what's the difference between moving through an opponent's square and past them? It's 5. I'd set the base DC at 5 and then modify it by how fast they're moving. I wouldn't add +2 for every orc whose threatened spaces they move through. Most of those can't target them and are irrelevant and shouldn't add to the DC. I'd only add for each actual orc space they move through.

As far as failing, I'd take a look at how close they got to the DC. If they didn't even make the DC I set without any +2s for additional orcs, I'd say they bumped into the first one and halt movement. If they failed at some point but would have passed by just one, I'd prorate how far they got into the mass based on how close they got to the final and then I'd just displace the orcs they passed to carve out a space for them to start in for their next move action. Every orc in reach will almost certainly attack that space (with the 50% miss) but, as long as the PC keeps his head and doesn't strike back, he can try again next round, hopefully with a shorter path to escape.

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Nefreet wrote:

Since rider and mount are both performing a charge, which is movement, then attack, the charge ends the moment either can reach their target.

There is no stipulation in the rules for choice (outside of feats, such as Ride-By Attack and Wheeling Charge).

Why would you interpret the rules in such a way as to make it so dysfunctional? Shouldn't the assumption be that the rules are intended to work?

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I generally consider it a tendency or preference to respect authority - all other things considering. That doesn't mean that the current authority will always be preferred. I expect a lawful character to be uncomfortable with bucking legal authority without the justification of an authority with a higher priority. And even then, I expect them to try to reconcile them and respect both whenever they can.

That's my take on lawful as a GM.

The inner ironwork gate offers a clear view of the courtyard and keep.

The barren courtyard of hard-packed earth contains clumps of tough-looking weeds, furrows in the ground as if made by taloned feet, and chalky white mounds about the size of human heads. They look suspiciously like bird droppings.

The main doors of the keep across from the gate stand closed and appear largely sturdy, if vandalized with gouges and spatters of gunk.

The courtyard extends off to the right and out of view, but Piper hears vigorous sounds coming from that direction. Grunts, thuds, and thwacks can be heard - perhaps a fight? If so, there is no sound of ringing steel. But maybe a brawl...

I have added Piper to the ground floor map with Alara and marked the corby on the upper floor map with an icon to indicate he's asleep. Sorry the maps are so small.

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LazarX wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Move it back to Milwaukee!
GenCon left Milwaukee for only one reason. The city did not have the hotel facilities to contain it. I don't think even with MECCA's expansion, it does now, given how large the con itself has grown.

This is true. Gen Con is simply to big for Milwaukee's convention infrastructure.

Piper, pretty much all bard spells require an auditory component. I think we had discussed the somatic component being incorporated into the motions necessary to play the instrument, but I don't think we had ever discussed skipping the verbal/auditory. For that, you need the silent spell feat (and it pushes the spell to a higher level). That said, hitting him with a successful spell is going to make him hearing you a moot point and casting at a decent range (say 100 feet) imposes a penalty on his perception check anyway.

Will save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
The dire corby hits the flagstones of the parapet, sound asleep.

The castle is a fairly squat affair with its curtain walls standing a relatively modest 15 feet tall. The medium range of the sleep spell would enable you to target the dire corby closest to the gate from the cover where you are now (assuming you've gotten as close the castle as you can via the foliage on the left side of the road). Daze's short range would require you to cross the road's open ground - though there is plenty of foliage on the other side that would let you get very close to the wall.

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I can't say I've followed his stuff recently because I don't follow Magic, but I really did like the work he did for Paizo - particularly the dragons. What sad news.

Dire Corby perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18

Alara's dash to the gate seems to be accomplished with nobody noticing. Beyond the outer gate, is a gatehouse room with a packed dirt floor and numerous wooden support beams for the stone ceiling overhead. The gate she passed through is significantly rusted, as is a second gate ahead that allows access into a courtyard. In two places, wooden ladders lead to trapdoors in the ceilings, most likely affording access to the parapet above.

Alara is now on the map of the ground floor of the fortress.
Piper, what's your plan? To follow?

I've added a couple of dire corbies to the upper floors map, which includes the parapets. That should give you an idea about where they may be at any given time.

The dire corbies atop the parapet mosey about their patrols. They seem pretty bored with their duty.

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Aelryinth wrote:

Indeed, if evocations and a few abjurations like Dispel Magic were the ONLY spells that you could get off with a swift or Standard action, barring some rare excetpions like feather fall, that would do a LOT for making it a more popular school of magic.

I can see some pretty good arguments for this as well. In fact, with respect to movement and casting, before 3e, all spells were effectively full round actions as the caster could only move a small amount and were relatively easily disrupted (though there were additional complexities on that issue). Cutting most spells down to just a standard action simplified things considerably, but also gave the caster an uncompensated boost.

Staying in range of the message won't be hard. The foliage you're currently in extends quite a way up near the castle. The group can move forward with little chance of being seen - which would enable Piper and Alara to remain well within the spell's range and keep the groups in contact.

Masamune makes short work of the dire corby. That makes 3 dire corbies fewer within the castle, which does not seem to have been alerted to the short altercation nearby. It is still about midday.

This close to the castle, you can see a small amount of activity along the wall parapet. Two dire corbies "patrol" the wall - which is to say, you can see them occasionally walking about, singly, looking here and there, pitching a few broken stones off the walk, and otherwise idly spending a boring time. They do not appear to be particularly vigilant.

You can also see that the front gate is ajar.

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Game Master wrote:
Grazing would count as foraging - you can't graze if you're spending 12 hours exploring every corner of a hex. If they want to go at half speed though, that's a good consideration - I'd allow any plains hexes to feed the horses as though they auto-succeeded on their survival checks to forage.

Even without half-speed, I'd probably allow your basic horses and mules to auto-succeed. Exploring a hex is probably not going to be about constant riding and movement. There will be plenty of stops for snacks, to scan the area (and maybe even jot down details) from a vantage point, and other elements of rest that a horse should be able to forage just fine.

I'd consider requiring anyone owning a warhorse (or pony) to buy feed, though. That should be a higher maintenance animal.

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It may be easier to keep track of them at a somewhat higher level. Ask them how much they want to stock up at Oleg's. Record that and then pre-calculate basic quartiles - how encumbered and slowed they are carrying 100% provisions, how long it takes to get to 75% and how encumbered they'll be, how long it takes to get to 50% and how encumbered they'll be, 25%, and then 0%. Then just tell them when, via adventuring, they hit the 75% zone, then at 50% zone, then 25%. They won't have to do it individually but they can decide what point it's time to head back for reprovisioning.

Basically, I think what you want is to make sure they're thinking about getting back to Oleg's periodically rather than stay out in the field 100% of the time. And you want to make sure they're covering some of the complexities - like having a wagon or mules - to tote their provisions around and how that affects their moving about speed.

And, of course, if they do have wagons or mules, you'll want to occasionally wreck some of that due to hazards so they lose provisions as another challenge to overcome...

Alara Dawnchaser wrote:
Would Piper know what language Dire Corbies speak?

Good question! Not from the perspective of knowing much about dire corbies, no. But they said enough that I think recognition would be possible - given Piper's experiences studying in Absalom. I'll let him describe what he knows for you (once he gets a chance to review my spoiler).

There are some obscure languages that people spoke about around the White Grotto. One referred to, usually in hushed tones that tended to bring chills to the spine, was Aklo - a language of forbidden knowledge, madness, and dark times deep in history. The corbies spoke in a language that evoked the same chills.

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Abraham spalding wrote:

Staggered is its own thing and has no relation to slow.

Slow has a relation to to the staggered condition.

Indeed. It's important to realize that these conditions are reusable for different situations. They're written to be used by a variety of events that end up inflicting some sort of condition on a character. Swarms cause nausea, not because they make you want to barf, but because the characteristics of that condition fit the effect of being swarmed. The same is true with staggered. Slow inflicts the staggered condition because that condition fits the game mechanic effects of being magically slowed. It also fits the effect of being so badly beat up that you're at 0 hit points and being under the effect of the frigid touch spell. Haste remove the staggered effect of the slow spell by reversing the slow spell, but it has no effect on the staggered condition imposed by having 0 hit points or the frigid touch spell. Those are undone by other means (like a healing spell for the 0 hit point version).

Both of those attacks actually hit, Alara!

Masamune's blade badly injures the dire corby and it croaks in fury. But it has no time to fight back any further because a pair of blows from Alara lays it low - as in dead.

Relative quiet returns to this little corner of Brinewall, though that is soon broken by the normal background of insects.

As far as the dead go, each of the dire corbies was carrying a sack before the fight started. They are all empty, though they are all stained with blood and grime. There are also bits of fur and feathers of small game creatures, suggesting these sacks are used to bring the bounties of the hunt back to the castle.

What do you want to do with the slumbering dire corby?

Ash is due to take 5 hit points of Alara's wounds, but he will have plenty of time to cure himself as desired. Spivey will even do so if he wants to conserve his own healing resources.

Masamune's attack strikes home, but Alara's fails to do so as the dire corby is a bit too swift in its reactions. Rawnie's ray of frost also goes wide. The creature is badly hurt, even staggered, but its uncanny stamina keeps it on its feet.

On the subject of Masamune, his injuries heal further as the wounds are transferred to Ash.

The dire corby, beset on two sides, lashes out at the newcomer, Alara.
Claw attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23 Crit threat
Confirm: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12 not confirmed
Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

...and strikes true! 5 hp damage to Alara

That effort costs him, though, as he sags a bit further and seems a bit more desperate. -1 hp to the corby

Masamune -2 hp
Alara -5 hp
Ash -10 hp
Dire corby with the red gash: -16 hp, staggered
Dire Corby with icy icon: -2 hp, asleep
Other Dire Corby: dead

Back to Masamune and then everyone else.

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Aelryinth wrote:

A wizard with stoneskin taken by surprise. You need to throw a handful of marbles at him, each 'hit' takes off a stoneskin (I,e, all of them), and then murder him with the weapon in your other hand. A weapon of speed, Girdle of giant str, and double weapon spec, you are basically guaranteed to do so at higher levels.
Stoneskin is only an impediment to things which don't know how to exploit multiple non-attacks.

That's called abusive DMing. We would pretty much have dragged a DM like that from behind the screen and he'd never have been DM for us again.

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JonathonWilder wrote:
Full caster were never intended to level up at the same speed as non-casters, it is why there is such an imbalance in 3.x and Pathfinder because the 'streamlined' experience gain.

That is definitely not it. Putting everybody on the same XP chart improved matters because defenses could be redesigned to match the increase. And they do, to a certain degree.

A far bigger problem was the design of the magic item system which included the capacity to substantially improve caster stats, something NOT in AD&D and something that strains the bejeezus out of the defensive system they came up with. And, with the rationing of magic and treasure, there was little incentive to invest in anything else.

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Having been playing a summoner for a while, early access to some spells doesn't seem problematic in adventure time. Haste a little early is a win for the whole party so it's not a question of overshadowing the other players.

The problem that keeps cropping up, as I see it, is the issue of magic item creation. And since that keeps coming up as a problem in many class imbalance issues, my inclination is to see that as the root of many problems in 3e and Pathfinder. Without the ability to make haste as a wand as a 2nd level spell or improved invisibility potions, the issue of summoner spells is contained to adventuring use and, in my experience, is not much of a problem.

It's not for nothing I'm happy to see 5th edition D&D severely curtail magic item creation and availability.

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JonathonWilder wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

On the internet, when people refer to AD&D, they're referring to 1E.

IF they say 2E, it's a different animal.

That's all I was referring to.

And BECMI is, of course, it's own thing entirely.


I was taught by my DM in saying AD&D when talking about 2E myself and that is what I refer too. Your way feels pointlessly complicated. AD&D and 2E is/can be the same thing so stop trying to divide them.

Indeed. Making a distinction is pretty unnecessary since the two editions of AD&D, 1e and 2e, were highly compatible.

There are major differences between 2e and the 3e family, which includes Pathfinder. When 3e came out, it primarily did a few major things.
1) turned AC around from getting lower as it got better to getting higher as it got better - this greatly simplified the math
2) simplified a lot of spell casting rules - turning most casting times into "actions" rather than segments of time
3) changes skills from the spikey non-weapon proficiencies (first you can't do it, then suddenly you're a master) that were based on rolling a d20 under the governing stat to a skill point system that you invested in with gradual improvement (this initially appeared in a 2.5-ish edition called Player's Option)
4) reorganized saving throws from a hodgepodge of values into something more systematic
5) redesigned classes so that all would grow more organically from 1st through 20th level
6) systematized monster design
7) systematized magic item design and valuation

A lot of the systemization was designed to take D&D as it was in 2e, which had lots of irregular subsystems - and this is even after reforming some of 1e's irregularities, and improve on it in recognizable ways. In fact, lots of the changes (particularly around the simplification of spell casting) echoed what people were playing as house rules for 2e. So a lot of us found it an easy transition.

It will probably be harder to transition back in many ways because the more systematic versions have a certain elegance of redesign while AD&D version have a more quaint and piecemeal feel to them.

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Robert Hetherington wrote:
If you keep reading to page 2 of the thread there is another important post from SKR on the topic.

Personally, I think way too much is made of the "directly toward" phrase. Comparing the 3.0 and 3.5 versions, I assume that the "directly toward" phrase was meant to replace 3.0's declaration that the charge must be in a straight line and disallowing running past to strike from another direction. The interpretive focus that leads to the idea that the squares must be "head-on" at the end (clearly contradicting the possibility of ride-by attacks as well as standard jousting tournaments) is far too myopic to be reasonable.

My rule of thumb: If it can be interpreted to make the game break or product foolish results, that's almost certainly not its intention.

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Pathfinders aren't as different from Indiana Jones as some people seem to think. Indiana Jones may take the line "It belongs in a museum," but that's still grave robbing. And the latest morality on that is "it does not belong in a museum," it belongs back in the grave. Or at least it belongs to the culture or bloodline/family of closest relation to the grave from which the artifact was stolen.

The main difference between Jones and the mercenary archaeologists he opposes is the accessibility of the artifact after it has been stolen. Is he stealing it for a private collection with private access or for a private collection with public access?

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CommandoDude wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
keeping up your fighting tempo and coming back to complete your searching later.
This is another area I'm having trouble with the group on. Whenever we are in a place that is obviously multi roomed (so several back to back but not continuous encounters are expected) they keep insisting on searching every single room 1 by 1 and I keep getting flack for searching for more encounters.

If you can't convince the rest of your adventuring companions, that makes you the odd man out. I'd consider re-thinking your strategy to mesh better with theirs.

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Well, there's rules and then there's common understanding. Five to ten minutes to thoroughly search a room is probably even fast by a realistic standard. And that's probably the criteria they're basing their estimate on.

Three seconds to search a room - that's barely a scan by a realistic understanding. But by the rules, that gets you a single perception check (don't forget to apply the -1/10ft of distance). So it's cursory and subject to a lot of luck with the die.

Taking 20 multiplies that by 20 so you get TriOmegaZero's 10 rounds (or 1 minute). Of course that also is subject to the -1/10ft distance and, I'd say, potential condition modifiers, some of which are described in the Perception modifiers table. Taking 20 in various places about the room has the potential to be a better search, at 1 minute per attempt.

This area of PF is one that really lost a lot in the translation from 3.5. Combining Search into Perception, I think, was fine. But most of the separate text for search was cut, including the full round action to search a 5x5 area - an action term that was, I think, a much better match to the reality of the task than a move action.

The ultimate authority on how much time the group needs to search an area will depend on the GM. Ask them. And if their answer isn't to your liking, you may have to live with either re-buffing and taking more resources or keeping up your fighting tempo and coming back to complete your searching later.

Will save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12

The chilled dire corby plops right to the ground - sound asleep - as it fails to resist Piper's lullaby.
Now that the dire corby is aware of all of the adventurers and is no longer flat-footed, he moves around a lot more warily. Rawnie's frost ray goes a little wide of the mark.

The last standing dire corby isn't going to give up easily. He presses his attack against his prime target - Masamune.
Claw 1: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Claw 2: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Claw 2 damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

One of his strikes merely clutches at Masamune's armor, but the other is enough to inflict injury. Fortunately, as soon as the corby inflicts the pain, Ash soothes it away.
No net change in hit points.

Masamune is up - then everyone else.

Masamune -7 hp
Ash -5 hp
Dire corby with the red gash: -6 hp
Dire Corby with icy icon: -2 hp, asleep
Other Dire Corby: dead

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claudekennilol wrote:
If a wolf takes Improved Unarmed Strike, how much damage does it do?

I guess the question comes up... given it has a natural attack that's reasonably effective, why would a wolf take improved unarmed strike.

And frankly I'm at a loss why it would bother, even if intelligent. It already has an option to attack without provoking an AoO. It could opt to do non-lethal damage with that attack. It might get more interesting mileage out of improved grapple.

So why improved unarmed strike - from the wolf's point of view?

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Skeld wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I just don't see how it takes so much effort not to swear.
Maybe you should try an experiment. Have a friend quietly observe you for a few sessions, jotting down expressions you use frequently. Then spend the rest of the campaign not using them under threat of being kicked out.

I don't know... If swearing is such a deeply ingrained behavior that you simply cannot control yourself, then it will probably cause problems in other areas of your social interactions.


Edit: what I mean by the above is that swearing can be situationally dependent; there are times it's more socially acceptable than other times and that's dictated not only by the setting but by the audience as well. Swearing in the wrong setting and/or audience can leave others with the impression that the swearer lacks self-control. Whether or not it's ok for others to make those types of judgements is another topic.

The point is - what polite society calls profanity is part of the vernacular in some parts of society. People who think it's easy to change the way others speak have probably never tried it themselves.

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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I just don't see how it takes so much effort not to swear.

Maybe you should try an experiment. Have a friend quietly observe you for a few sessions, jotting down expressions you use frequently. Then spend the rest of the campaign not using them under threat of being kicked out.

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Sure, they also work well as contacts. They don't all have to be together or part of a single group all alike and doing the same things.

Alara, are you forgetting Piper's music again? As it turns out, with or without it, your damage is enough.

Another blow from Alara takes the fight completely out of the dire corby between her and Masamune. It likes dead at their feet.

It's good to hear that you've got someone working with her. My wife serves adults with developmental disabilities now (and used to have a caseload of kids), so I hear a lot about the sorts of programs available for people (many of whom are reluctant to pursue them because they have a hard acknowledging they need the help).

A solid hit, but sadly, no crit.

Masamune's blade cuts into feather and flesh. All of the dire corbies are now wounded. But Masamune's own injury lessens as it partly transfers to Ash.
Masamune goes to -7 from healthy and Ash to -5 with the start of Ash's next action
Dire corby with the red gash: -6 hp
Dire Corby with bloody splotch: -15 hp, staggered
Dire Corby with icy icon: -2 hp

Rawnie, Ash, and now also Alara and Piper are up before the corbies next actions. They will no longer be flat-footed to your attacks now that the surprise has been taken.

Autism? Ouch! Does your local area have a good early education program? We've got one (Dane County, Wisconsin) Birth to Three program that's good for early therapy. Getting kids with autism into therapy early is a big help. We've know 4 kids with autism in our close gaming network. One of them, now either 8 or 9, has gone from non-verbal to being pretty verbal and communicative and they started therapy a little late.

Of course, every case is different, but the sooner you get the professionals in, the more help and respite you'll get.

And to answer a previous question - Piper, at the start of combat, your bardic music is at full capacity. It resets with every night's sleep.

The dire corbies react quickly to Masamune's appearance, the lead one breaking into a sprint that ends with a leaping pounce at Masamune.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24

His successful pounce enables him to come down at the samurai with both claws and a loud shriek.
Claw 1: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Claw 2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

Both catch purchase on Masamune, enabling the creature to exert a tearing force.
Claw 1 Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Claw 2 Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Rend Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

Meanwhile, the other two advance. But as the one comes around his pouncing companion to come at Masamune from another direction, the other side of the trail bursts into activity. Ash finishes his spell, putting Alara under his shield of faith. Piper starts to play his music to inspire courage. And Alara breaks the cover of the foliage in order to pin the dire corby between herself and Masamune.

That's +2 deflection bonus to your AC, Alara. And +1 morale bonus to hit and damage (as well as saves vs fear) for everyone thanks to Piper.

Alara, good thinking to pre-roll the attack. I'll add +1 damage for Piper's music.

The elf ninja hits the dire corby hard enough to feel bone give way. But the dire corby does not go down! He is staggered, but his stamina keeps him on his feet.

Since there is one dire corby still not locked in combat, Rawnie takes the opportunity to zap him while he is still an easy target.
Ray of Frost: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Damage: 1d3 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2

She hits but only barely!

Dire Corby with bloody splotch: -15 hp, staggered
Dire Corby with icy icon: -2 hp
Masamune -12 hp (but soon to be only -7 when Ash's life link kicks in at the top of next round)

Masamune is up. Piper and Alara's initiatives are being reset to come just before the dire corbies go again. So I'll give Masamune his chance to hold the spotlight before we start up again with pretty much everybody else.

I think that's everyone who has surprise on the dire corbies except Rawnie. How's the healing coming, Rawnie? If you don't mind, I'll have your PC delay rather than give away her position before the dire corbies move in. That way, I can post the next move now.

I think that would be fine. You're restricted to a standard action in the surprise round and that's the sort of condition a standard-action charge requires.

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Otherwhere wrote:

I can't believe Paizo thought that extending the duration by a factor of 10 wasn't broken!

It's not particularly broken. As others have said, most combats are over long before that duration comes up. And if PCs are looting and searching areas, the monsters will finish up their durations faster than you think. If they want to use them for multiple combats, they need to keep the pressure on and that probably undermines healing between combat as well as other buffs.

The main overpowered aspect of the master summoner for a PC really is being able to use the summon monster SLA concurrently. The main summoner can't and can't even do so with his eidolon around. I'm playing a summoner in Skull and Shackles and there are quite a few times I wish I had been able to do multiple SLA summons at the same time but have had to settle for sequential.

The master summoner has a role in PF but that role isn't right for every game. He's great for war-oriented campaigns since he can spam a lot of troops that the GM can deal with narratively rather than roll dice for and he's great as an enemy for PCs. But his summoning powers and how they work don't work with traditional 4-man dungeon-crawlng very well.

Piper recognizes that the bird men are not extraplanar, but are subterranean. Known as dire corbies, they are flightless, have a look much like a humanoid crow, and fight with sharp claws (not talons). As far as hunting and fighting goes, they are pouncers with a surprising leap. They do not have any particularly stout defenses, as far as he can recall, but they are pretty ferocious, exhibiting a lot of stamina in a fight.

The corbies walk down the road, not particularly cautious, but their heads seem to twitch and turn back and forth, much like a regular bird's does. And it isn't long before they spot Masamune among the foliage on the left side of the trail (from their perspective). They cry out in surprise before hissing in anger and malice.

Initiative for everybody. Nobody but Masamune has been spotted yet. That gives the rest of you the option of surprising the dire corbies. Normally, surprise happens before a fight starts in earnest with surprising characters taking a single action (standard or move), but if you want to delay for a while to preserve the surprise, I"m going to let you take a regular round's worth of actions and still benefit from the surprise conditions (flatfooted enemies, etc) when you finally jump in. This may be useful if you want the corbies to close a bit more before revealing your presence...

Alara: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Ash: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Masamune: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Piper: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Rawnie: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Dire Corbies: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15

Alara, Ash, Piper, and Rawnie all of the option of going before the corbies with a single action, truly initiating an ambush.
Otherwise, the initiative will be Ash and Rawnie, Corbies, Alara, Masamune, and Piper.

From the point where they are in the road, the dire corbies start to move forward to close the gap with Masamune, not knowing there are hidden adventurers ready to get the drop on them...

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm a player in a Skull and Shackles game and have the only evil PC in the group (which is mostly neutral). I'm also the captain of our pirate ship and commander of the (small) fleet and I'm about to explore just how cruel I can get now that we've captured a saboteur...

True to Spivey's prediction, a small party of bird men set out from the castle and head down the road. The bird men have a distinct resemblance to crows, though the likeness doesn't extend much farther than their heads and black feathery covering. Their bodies are definitely humanoid, lacking wings or talons. They don't seem particularly wary of trouble judging from the croaking noise they are making as their speak in their rough voices.

OK, I've fixed the link so if you want to adjust a position, go ahead and do it or you can always ask me to shuffle you around a little.

Nuts. Had it set to view not edit. Should be fixed now.

Birdman hunting party map is up. Pick a specific spot (or describe one) and we'll be all set up and ready to run it.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
NikolaiJuno wrote:

I don't think you can benefit from your own Butterfly’s Sting because it automatically triggers on the next attack. You can't choose to pass it off to someone else. So if you use it for an attack earlier in the routine you have to use the crit on your next attack or forgo the rest of your full attack in order to pass it to a different ally.

The feat is obviously intended to let you pass the crit to another character, which is fairly broken by making you use it yourself.
This falls into the doesn't make sense category.

That's not actually true. It doesn't apply to the "next [successful melee] attack", rather it applies to your next ally successfully hitting with a melee attack. So even if you read yourself as an ally (which we already have wiggle room to dispense with for situations in which it doesn't make sense), you're not really your own next ally. Calling yourself your next ally is a really torturous language construction - maybe even bad enough for me to say that nobody rationally writes rules like that intending for the feat owner to be able to benefit from his own passed crit.

It really does not make you use it yourself if you have multiple attacks.

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DM_Blake wrote:

I'll say that again: Pathfinder assumes you always try your hardest, do your best, most careful work, every time.

That is exactly what the Take-10 rule is for: trying your hardest, doing your best, and being extra careful to eliminate all chance of failure when you have mastered your skill to the point that the task you're attempting is easy for you."

I like your climbing situation comparison, but I think you're not characterizing the Take 10 approach with this bit you emphasized. It really isn't trying your hardest and that's easily shown by recognizing that it comes pretty far short of your best possible attempt.

What I think it reflects is doing a more risk-averse, routine effort. You're avoiding doing a bad job but not exactly setting out to impress either. As such, it's good at certain tasks (ones within your 10+skill modifier) but not at tougher ones (once above that limit but still achievable).

I think a good model for this is Taking 10 while searching for traps while exploring a dungeon. Taking 10 can indicate running over a mental checklist of common search techniques-looking for tripwires, looking for pressure plates, and so on, but not necessarily going beyond the checklist. It's good for catching the relatively low hanging fruit reliably and quickly (hence no extra time as with Take 20), but really complex stuff won't be on the checklist.

Importantly, the Pathfinder looks at those tasks that you can achieve by Taking 10 as being ultimately unimportant to the action pacing of the game. So it is better for the table to not have to roll those tasks and say, "Yep, you've got the skills for it-you're over the wall" and move on.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
The guy's a bard, there is literally no way he could be useless in an encounter unless he is making a deliberate attempt to do so.

But that usefulness is probably not related to how the player saw the PC as he was building him and that means the interests he built into that character aren't being served. It's like playing Johnny Storm in a fist-fight. He can do it, but he's the Human Torch, man! If you are denying him any chances to "Flame on!", you're going to make the game suck for him.

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