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CasMat's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 103 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Solution to getting him to clarify, that may or may not work.

Ask: "So what mechanics do you think changed between 3.5 and Pathfinder that make it so Wizards and Rogues are practically the same in Pathfinder but not in 3.5?"

If he says "the way skills work makes them all more accessible" or something along those lines, then maybe you can have more of a reasonable conversation.

If he says "their abilities are just the same things now" then ask him "how?"

If he can't clarify, explain to him that you can't just argue things without any real understanding of why you are arguing the point in the first place. You'll never get anywhere.

Something not much different that could be really fun...

Spell Reflect:

Monsters with a spell reflect score duplicate the effects of any spell that targets them that is affected by spell reflection. The caster functions as the target of the duplicated spell, which functions in all ways as the original spell. A successful caster level check (DC equal to Spell Reflect score) overcomes spell reflection.

Poisonous swarms covering a chest full of unidentified potions, good and bad.

Chair legs aren't often shaped well for hands.

uhhh scorpion

I'd rather do it without home brew.

Alright, so I'm building an arcane duelist bard for a Legacy of Fire campaign, and I'm trying to figure out the best general direction t go with him.

The Arcane Duelist archetype seems to favor a heavy melee type, and so that is what I am building. The stats (with a 15 point buy) I'm planning on are:

STR 13
DEX 15
CON 12
INT 12
CHA 16

+1 HP from favored class, skill points in Bluff, Climb, Intimidate, Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Nature), Perform (Oratory), and UMD.

I'm thinking the traits will be +1 Fort Save and +1 Know (nat.)

And for the level one feat... this is where I have a whole bunch of dilemmas.

Now, I don't know whether I should go for more strength and try to power attack my way to victory, or go for a weapon finesse style.

I've decided I don't want to go for Agile weapons (too expensive), or Dervish Dancer (too limited). Part of this is that I want to be able to occasionally use a composite shortbow, and I'm thinking power attack is a desirable option at some point. As well, the eventual armor upgrades will make the high Dex focus less powerful, and I don't want to dump strength and be useless until 3rd level anyway.

If I were less feat starved, this would be easier, but as it is I'm not really sure where to go with this character. I could try to get Elven Curve Blade proficiency and Focus on Dex and Power Attacking, or I could take the ARG cat pouncing feats and focus on charging down enemy casters.

Or I could make my melee prowess incidental, and focus more on performance and take Lingering Performance or Extra Performance.

What do you all think is the best direction to go?

Is a one skill point per level feat worthy? Probably. If so, taking toughness might open up your favored class bonus for you, if you were relying on that.

Rule 0 is too easy to exploit. So many unintended work-arounds.

The reason Caedwyr's post was perceivably sarcastic was because of how obviously incorrect it was. People who learned to hate on 3PP in their 3.5 days and didn't realize that a lot of 3PP is highly regarded by the Paizo community-and perhaps even Paizo devs itself-didn't get the joke. Hell, Pathfinder is practically just a really good 3PP that happens to not need the 1st party, so all this 3rd party hating feels a little ridiculous to read.

And also, why would a guy who hates some company's 3PP learn the name of the guy heading it? Didn't that seem off? I know it's hard to read subtext on the internet but jeez.

P.S. Spell does seem a bit O.P. Feats are far too variably powerful.

Not trying to ape your thread or anything, but I'll throw up a suggestion instead of just denying the whole concept.

I think the best way to do weapon finesse is to make sure that STR isn't forgotten in the equation. And while I like your idea of restricting it to one hand, allowing the fighter to drop STR really just doesn't jive well with most people's view of how such a character should be built, even if the character is meant to be lithe and not a muscleman. Though I think that it is less about game balance than people say; Dervish Dance hasn't broken the game really, and neither have Agile weapons, but you end up with swordsmen who are physically weaker than the party wizard. Understandably, that seems ridiculous.

I wrote up a feat that addresses that sort of issue a while ago. I honestly think it should (ad originally wrote it to) just replace weapon finesse, so that finesse weapons/light weapons can inherently allow dex to attack, but I'll post a modified version that could be added without rules revision.


Improved Weapon Finesse (Combat)

Your style and finesse in combat allow you to apply your strength in more damaging ways.

Prerequisites: Str 13, Dex 15, Weapon Finesse

Benefit: With a light melee weapon or finesse weapon made for a creature of your size category, you may choose to add the lowest of either your Dexterity modifier or twice your Strength modifier to damage rolls in place of your Strength modifier. You do not multiply this modifier for two-handed or off hand weapons.

Special: Natural weapons are considered light weapons.

I think as long as stuff like crossblooded is avoided, the number isn't really what people should complain about. By their nature, you can't combine that many of them, so each archetype can really just be judged on how good it is by itself. The context of other archetypes only rarely matters, so the bloat doesn't seem as important to me. If the increase in number means less individual quality though, then there might be a problem.

I do have issues with front-loaded archetypes, or better than the original archetypes, as those disrupt the mechanics of the game. A whole horde of underpowered or well balanced archetypes doesn't really seem to me like something I should fuss over though.

Prestige classes seem like a different beast. Prestige classes by necessity need to be useful to multiclass into, and if you create multiple good multiclass options like that, you end up with chimera characters who are benefiting from each additional prestige class more than they would from sticking with one class. I don't feel like I'm getting a bunch of chimeras with archetypes, as long as they replace enough class abilities to remain largely individual from each other.

Also the goal with archetypes seems different than that of prestige classes. Prestige classes seem to aim at making certain abilities or combinations of abilities better, or to provide powerful abilities at a specific requirement, with the fluff sometimes seemingly shaped by the rules rather than vice-versa. Archetypes seem to aim at providing slightly different options to represent a certain flavor of character, usually fluff defined.

So actually I'm sort of glad that most archetypes replace the same ability. If they started replacing different abilities, then combinability would make the number of them disagreeably relevant. The likelihood of an unforeseen combination being too powerful would be too high with a large number of combinable options.

soulofwolf wrote:
i think i'd have to see it clear and concise i kinda get what you mean but without the clarifications I'm not 100% on it. Alternately if you wanted to give actual effects instead of bonuses something i've been thinking of doing with my system is at levels 6, 11, 16, and 20 giving a magic style feat where you select abilities from the items in the game and make them available at that level. I was thinking of just basing it off the wonderous items, making magic style feats for minor (lvl 6) medium (lvl 11) and major wonderous items (lvl 16) and then at lvl 20 something between major and artifact. as an example at lvl 6 i select the magic style feat "Elven Kind" which gives my charactor a +5 circumstance bonus on stealth checks as per a cloak of elven kind. I'd have to go through and write up all the feats available, which would not include any AC or stat bonuses items, but i think that's close to what you were saying?

Yeah basically, I'm just too lazy to try to figure out at which level certain items should be available for purchase ability, and also too lazy to rewrite a bunch of items as feats or boons or what have you. I'd rather just say "pick what you want out of the book. If I think it makes sense I'll let you buy it inherently with the advancement points. Otherwise you'll have to find it in a shop or on someone's corpse." Despite my needing to write a whole lot to explain it, I feel like it would be easy to use in practice; it mostly just relies on the DM checking the wealth of the party every once in a while and using the WBL chart to allocate adv points in addition to/instead of gold. Also making judgment calls on what makes sense as a non-magic item enhancement, but any low magic house rule has the DM doing that anyway.

I do feel like your system would be easier to explain and work well too, I just like the versatility of magic items, and wouldn't want to lose stuff like bashing shields, or a monk's robe, or a lot of the good things magic users can get, or abilities that even make sense for certain characters to have.

Like, I might be cool with a sylph purchasing an inherent wings of flying (for the appropriate cost) at high level, flavored as getting in tune with her air elemental heritage, or an exceptionally good character getting a mantle of faith, flavored as just being so pure that evil can not harm him.

If a character could have such items at that level, and it could be flavored without the item, then it seems perfectly fine to me. Mechanically, magic item crafters could be crafting those items at half price, so the increased availability of such magic items doesn't even really distress me. It might even technically decrease their availability by making crafting technically non-profitable.

That said, there's a lot to address in describing it, so it's not particularly elegant on the surface.

soulofwolf wrote:

cas while i like the general idea of that it gives the players a way to get stuff too easily. if they can use these points to purchase any magic item that could feasibly be an inherent bonus instead of an item it will open up room to way too many debates. ("why can't i have my feet with a perma haste like boots of haste?") if you're goign outside of giving them just straight bonuses you should still be in control of magic items, such as availabilities of different things based on city's and what not, so if players really want a certain item there could be an entire side quest just to get to a city that sells it or to get it back from the tomb it was lost in.. just being able to flat out get stuff is too easy in my opinion.

As i said though, "in my opinion" doesn't make your idea wrong, just throwing in my 2 cents.

summary: straight stat boost = ok to me, magic effects = shouldn't be handed out.

I only meant it as a GM discretion thing. If you really wanted, you could say that the purchasing is limited to +x weapons, +x armor, +x shield, +x natural armor bonus, +x stat bonus, +x to all saves, +1 y level spell from your spell list usable once or addable to spell book with appropriate checks, fill one empty wand with 50 castings of y<5 level spell that you know, +1 prepared spell slot for y level spells, and thats it without GM approval. Each of those has an obvious, directly corresponding item. If you don't like certain items on there, take them off. The whole things a house rule so it's assumed that the GM has control of the game. It's only meant to be a quick fix so that players and GMs can play a flexible and familiar low magic, and even if a player did try to get the GM to break it they would just end up with their wealth by level in items, with perhaps a few extra body slots open (but low magic setting counteracts that aspect anyway).


I forgot to mention that the interaction with magic items ends with the magic bonus taking precedence, no stacking.

Alternatively magic items could have a maximum +bonus with which they could be used, similar to composite bows. The gold cost of such items, say a weapon, would be the same as the cost of upgrading a weapon of the maximum allowed enhancement bonus to a weapon of whatever the magical bonus is, + weapon base cost. This is a little more complicated, but would preserve the flavor and usefulness of magic items if one were to want to go just medium level magic.

I've been planning to write this stuff out in a more clear and concise format, but haven't gotten the time.

What I've been wanting to try as a quick fix is to turn the wealth by level into something that is actually partially "advancement points" by level, and allow players to "purchase" +1 weapons, pearls of power, belt of stat boost +2, etc. by spending advancement points instead of gold.

The points would be non-tradeable, gained in a similar manner to experience (if you are playing a game where leveling up is handwaved, you could even call it experience) and be basically one for one on a par with gold pieces so conversion is simple.

Any magic item that it seems could be explained as a mundane ability can be bought as an ability using the points. +2 weapons cost the same in adv points as they do gold, but when you buy it with adv points it is inherent to you. So instead of a +2 greatsword, you gain a +2 enhancement bonus to attack and damage rolls when wielding one masterwork greatsword.

I think you would basically end up with the same game, and you wouldn't even need to change most enemy npc statblocks, just make the items not there but leave them with the item's bonuses.

You can adjust the ratio of adv points to gold depending on how low you want magic to be. You could even switch it up between levels.

Some items would still need to be magic though. Flaming swords and the such seem to require that. A keen longword or a dueling rapier might not though. But maybe you could say a tiefling fighter could buy a flaming longsword with advancement and flavor it is his demonic heritage coming out. Up to you honestly.

Also, as far as crafting goes, just give everyone the crafting feats for free, but make crafting cost the same gold as buying. The upside to crafting would then be the ability to choose what you get. Or, you could allow the spending of up to 50% of the gold as the spending of adv points instead, to get the flavor of making magic items cheaper without actually making them cheaper. It'd be like the spending of exp on crafting in 3.5, except it wouldn't be debilitating to the character.

As with any christmas tree fixing system, it could be used to let monks make more sense too.

Problems would be with DR and stuff like incorporeal creatures, but if you just play it as normal and flavor it differently (i.e. a truly skillful strike can even hit the incorporeal for some damage) I think it wouldn't cause too many problems.

I sort of think bacteria are so diverse that it is misleading to consider "bacteria" as dominant. Many different sorts of bacteria survive in many different ecological niches to be sure, but it seems to trivialize the concept of species* dominance to make the claim you are making. And if you are going to trivialize that, then you should be forthright about it.

You have to ask why the concept of species dominance is important before you go around assigning things as dominant. The answer could be anything from "the furtherance of control over the state of the universe" to "surviving" to "who cares?"

As far as "surviving" goes, plenty of unicellular organisms are good at that, yeah. Is that the only reason we care about stuff like this, though? Maybe, but probably not.

*I realize bacteria encompass more than a species, that's just the easiest term to refer to what I guess is lifeform dominance or something.

LazarX wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Of course, the problem is that RD can't go on without an official ruling in some cases. :)
Sterling reputation and all that. ;)
The more accurate response might be that RD is going to keep making new threads on this, until he gets the response from a Dev that he wants. He already got an answer from Mr. Jacobs, but it wasn't the one he wanted to read.

I was under the impression that JJ himself did not want his rules answers to be considered the "official ruling." I think they at most provide an insightful interpretation from a developer and player of the game who knows in general what is most likely the best way for a GM to rule this trait/item combo as they are worded. To me, his answer seems to come from what is essentially a very well-versed GM's perspective.

I don't think his answer is necessarily meant to describe how the rule should be interpreted from a position of developer intent, or even from a game design perspective. Those sorts of answers would seem perhaps a little too intensive for the scope of the thread from which it came, unless he was actually the one who authored the rule himself.

I was going to rant but I just decided to spoiler it and instead point out where denying the bonus leads.

By the logic preventing the stone from working, certain class abilities would be rendered useless by the magical knack trait.

This is from the Menhir Savant druid archetype in UM:

Place Magic (Su): At 2nd level, a menhir savant learns to identify and tap into ley lines in different types of terrain. As a free action, she can tap into the magic of a nearby ley line and increase her caster level by +1 for 1 round. She can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom bonus. This ability replaces woodland stride and trackless step.

If JJ's reasoning were right, then a multiclass Menhir Savant (that has two or less levels outside of druid) who took magical knack now has an entirely useless class ability.

Does that seem right to anyone?



Is there really so much wrong with a multiclass caster having a CL 1 higher than his level by spending a load of gold when a full level caster can get the same 1 level higher by spending that same amount? The non-caster levels still lose spells per day and spell levels (and spells known for spontaneous casters), class feature progression, and probably even require the character to have a lower primary casting stat due to a presumably more spread out focus.

So what the Sorcerer8/Fighter2 with magical knack and the stone's flaming spheres are going to last 11 rounds just like the Sorcerer10 with the same stone? Your highest level spells are fourth and his highest level spells are fifth. If it was entire spellcasting progression, this would all be a different story, but its not. The biggest buff is in overcoming spell resistance, but the full caster is benefiting just as much but with higher level spells.

It seems to me like the full caster is getting just as much if not more of a buff out of the ioun stone than the 2 away from full caster with magical knack. If that is the case, then what is the deal here? The full caster is still a better caster than the near full caster. It almost feels like the real problem here is either with magical knack alone or the orange ioun stone alone.

There doesn't seem to be anything that becomes particularly overpowered by doing Knack first. It makes sense that the ioun stone should be as effective for one caster as it is for another. Also, I agree with ravingdork that the intent (magical knack shouldn't allow for a super powerful +2 bonus over level at the cost of a trait, it's only meant for multiclass spellcasters to be able to keep up) seems sort of obvious; it appears as though caster level increasing items were not taken into consideration.

The wording is vague and could be interpreted in multiple ways, and both interpretations look valid. You can either err on the side of caution and just forget/sell the ioun stone, or err on the side of reasonability and allow the seemingly non-gamebreaking alternate interpretation.

EDIT: Missed James Jacobs intepretation. Still seems weird that the 30,000 gold orange prism ioun stone should have no effect for this caster because of HD limitations when making caster level higher than HD seems to be the purpose of the stone in the first place. I mean, it could presumably be used to multiclass as well, but it's not very good at that considering it's such a late game item.

What I am imagining is something like a cross between munchkin, arkham horror, and betrayal at the house on the hill.

Of course these are just the ramblings of a guy who likes board games.

There would be individual characters for players for choose from (iconics) and the board (dungeon) would be built as the players move through it much like the betrayal board is built. Each room would have the players drawing a card (probably after all movement is completed) that could be a monster, an item, or something else, and the room tiles themselves could have special effects such as deep water, traps, difficult terrain, etc.

Similar to arkham horror, I am imagining there being a variable type of boss fight which affects the game as it is played as well as providing some sort of final encounter. Say, something like a necromancer gives a 50% chance that a living creature gains the undead descriptor and already undead things a bonus to combat, or the red dragon makes all deep water tiles deal fire damage (lava environment or something) and has a chance to cause characters to go back towards the start every few rounds (fear aura).

The characters would have special effects also, and would level up in a munchkin like fashion, gaining abilities as they go along. Say, the rogue starts with a bonus to damage when in darkness or difficult terrain (sneak attack), gains an immunity to trap tiles at level 2, and always strikes first at level three. Bard can give a bonus/negative to any allies at least 3 tiles/rooms away, can allow a player to succeed/fail at a check, and finally can grant extra/take away movement. Fighter gets a bonus to combat, can ignore damage from lower CR monsters, and can roll twice in combat against higher CR monsters. ETC.

I think something like that would be pretty cool. I haven't actually played a lot of the table-top inspired boardgames though so there might be other sorts of things that would be cool to take from them.

Drejk wrote:

*cough* 4-spell level classes are prepared casters not spontaneous, that's why they don't have spells known table. While it wouldn't be a stretch to make a spontaneous variants of those there is no guidelines how should their spells known table look like.

When creating prestige class it is important to note that they use different saving throw progression than core/base classes (starting at +1 for favored save and giving +1 at 2nd level for poor saves).

Whoops... guess I have been playing rangers wrong and no one has caught it <_<.... Not sure why I thought they were spontaneous. Well, I hope that doesn't ruin the legitimacy of my opinions too much.

Here's a bunch of opinions...

Some things I didn't see on a quick glance through that document: make sure there is meaningful advancement at every level: You don't want a front-loaded class, or something which has a mix of good levels and bad levels. Each level should be a good level. Similarly, you should build in incentive to stick with the class, either by making later class abilities improve upon earlier ones, or by having class abilities that advance by class level.

Many pathfinder classes have some sort of choosable ability at every even level (rogue talents, rage powers, discoveries, hexes) or at first level that improves with class level (schools, domains, mysteries, orders). These generally serve to help members of the same class individuate themselves from one and other, and makes the character building process more rewarding, but are not a necessity.

Unless making a prestige class, the flavor should be somewhat flexible. Not necessarily generic, but something that you can envision multiple different sorts of character archetypes with.

Finally, you don't want a class to need good ability scores in more than three places, or excellent ability scores in more than two. It is important to make the class relatively viable even from a 15 point buy.

Also, some regularities that may prove helpful as guidelines for pathfinder classes:

The classes have a normalized BaB and Hit Die in Pathfinder. If you have full BaB, you have a d10 or a d12 hit die. If you have 3/4 BaB you have a d8 hit die. 1/2 BaB is a d6 hit die. d4 hit die is something that is no longer present. For the most part, all martial weapons proficiency only and always accompanies full BaB but this is not a hard and fast rule (see Magus).

There are a limited number of spell-casting tables: 9 level prepared (Cleric or Wizard style), 9 level spontaneous (Sorcerer or Oracle style), 6 level prepared (Alchemist or Magus style), 6 level spontaneous (Bard or Inquisitor), and 4 level spontaneous (Paladin and Ranger).

Every spontaneous caster besides 4 level spontaneous has an accompanying spells known table.

If I am not mistaken, Prestige classes have their own method of increasing spellcasting that is similarly regularized.

In pathfinder, each base class has a capstone ability at level 20 which is more powerful than a regular class ability.

1/2 BaB classes are all up to this point 9 level casters, and Full BaB classes are either not casters or 4 level spontaneous casters. 3/4 BaB classes run the gamut, from full spell casting to no spell casting.

And finally prestige classes are not more powerful than a base class, and are usually more specialized (that is, tailored to a more restricted set of abilities). See the Master Chymist compared to the Alchemist for an example. Otherwise prestige classes are tailored to specifically make certain seemingly underpowered multiclass options on a par with regular classes at high levels. (Eldritch Knight, Rage Prophet, Battle Herald, Mystic Theurge, Arcane Trickster)

What I've been thinking of doing is making the effects of current Weapon Finesse automatic, and then making new Weapon Finesse allow you to add the lowest of either your Dex modifier or twice your Str modifier instead of just your Str modifier to damage, so that you need at least some Str to do damage, just not as much if you have a lot of Dex. It would still only apply to light or finesse designated weapons.

It makes logical sense to me. Though, I would remove Dervish Dance and the Agile weapon property to prevent overlap/outclassing of the feat.

I think it fits the imagery better of a lean and flexible, yet muscular and fit swordsman rather than a scrawny contortionist whose precise technique overcomes his nigh non-existent musculature.

I don't want the character to necessarily be the hulk to fight in melee, but I don't want him to be able to have flopping noodles for arms and still make it through either.

Quandary wrote:

From the Blog RAW, it's clear that Fast Learner lets you get HP+Skill OR Other Bonus, but that whole line is a big run-one sentence that is atrocious to read in order to get to that point of understanding. The English language IS actualy capable of structuring things to convey the same info in a coherent way.

Re: Martial Versatility/Mastery, I am thinking less of Weapon Focus than something like Dervish Dance. Hello non-Scimitar DEX to Damage! Or Piranha Strike (DEX Power Attack) for Finesse Elven Curveblade users!

Hmmm.. The intent looked to me as though it was meant for feats in which you select a single weapon for the feat to apply to. I can see where your interpretation comes from, but it seems like a wonky way for the feat to work.

The way I always viewed the hand crossbow was as a weapon any rogue with the quickdraw feat would want hidden on their person at all times. Since there's no penalty for one handed firing, if you want to get that sneak attack at 30 ft. in the surprise round, you can just pull out that hand crossbow and fire. After that you should probably drop it or put it away. It's not worth the feat IMO, but if you can get it for free then it's not a bad thing to have for that purpose at least.

I think the OP has an argument.

The rules intended answer is obvious, but the author is not interested in the rules intended answer.

Let's take the flanking section:


When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.

This section is clear. One receives a bonus when melee attacking an opponent who is threatened on its opposite border. It does not really delineate who exactly can be named to be "flanking", however, simply who gets a bonus and when. One can imply that one who gets a bonus when melee attacking is the only one who can be considered to be flanking, but one could just as easily imply that the one threatening from the opposite border is considered flanking as well.

When in doubt about whether two characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two attackers' centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent's space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.

This section seems to be purely demonstrative, and not definitive, as it makes no mention of threatening, and is thus partially contradictory. Obviously though, in context, we understand the meaning linguistically. Regardless, this lack of clarity leaves this section unhelpful.

Exception: If a flanker takes up more than 1 square, it gets the flanking bonus if any square it occupies counts for flanking.

This is similar to the above, and thus irrelevant.

Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.

This section is much like the first, speaking purely of a bonus designated "flanking bonus". The obvious implication is that one who receives a flanking bonus is flanking, but it is not directly stated. One can still not be sure if it is a "if an only if" statement.

Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent.

This is unfortunately not helpful.

From this section, it is unclear, through purely grammatical interpretation, whether one needs to be currently making an attack with a melee weapon or simply threatening with a melee weapon to be a flanker. It is obvious, however, that one only receives a +2 bonus when attacking with a melee weapon.

So, when rules are unhelpful, the expectation is that your GM can figure it out. I'm guessing he will say no.

I'm also guessing that any developer response would yield a "no". Honestly, I doubt the developers would waste their time when the situation is patently ridiculous. Realistically, if you were afraid of not getting the flanking bonus, you could simply stab at the guy. It may be more relevant when two weapon fighting with a loaded pistol or hand crossbow, but this case is so... trivial that I still doubt it would get answered.

Fun to look at how much people pull from experience and linguistic interpretation, though. :)

Thank you guys for your comments and critiques!

Neil Spicer wrote:
CasMat wrote:
Sightlinked Spies

*Hmmmm. Well, I can see the utility of this item. It's essentially the perfect "bug" to place on someone you want to track. And it also lets you see what's going on in a 60 ft. radius around the linked bug. That really ought to be a clairvoyance effect moreso than arcane eye, though. The latter lets you move a scrying sensor around, while the former is stationary.

*I like the paired bugs being able to follow one another and lead its user to the location of the linked one. I'm not sure how Superstar it is...but it might be worth keeping around for comparison's sake.

*Weak Keep.

*I hate spy items. It seems we get a couple every year.

*These are not that interesting, original or creative and thus not Superstar in my humble opinion.


*Utilitarian, but not superstar.



Awww, I wish I had known that at least one of the judges was just sick of spy items. :(

Well, regardless, I was curious about something concerning judge expectations. I remember hearing or reading somewhere that a good item should be one where the judges go "wait, this doesn't exist already?" and I sort of went for that in my design. A couple of the comments seemed to imply that the item had a good utility, but I'm now confused. There seems to be a fine line between "seems like an item that should already exist" and "not original" and I guess I went into the not original end. The confusion is from the fact that I went looking through the wondrous items in the PRD and didn't really find anything like the item I submitted. Obviously I understand that the items in the Core/APG are not the only things that determine whether an item is original or not, but I figured that it would at least be a good place to start. However, I needed more, it seems.

So the clarification I'm looking for is, I guess, what is the expectation when it comes to originality? Are the judges hoping for something that is new to pathfinder, new to fantasy role-playing, or something that is entirely new as a concept? More specifically, how do I avoid the "unoriginality" that I stumbled into with my entry?

Sightlinked Spies
Aura moderate divination; CL 8th
Slot –; Price 20,000 gp; Weight


These inanimate winged insects with dusky amber gemstones for eyes always come in pairs. If a character gives a command word while pressing upon the eyes of one spy, the character is sent visual information of the area surrounding its counterpart. This functions as the spell arcane eye, originating in the open space closest to the counterpart's location. However, the user cannot view anything outside of a 60 foot radius surrounding the counterpart. The effect remains as long as the spy's eyes remain pressed.

If the same command word is spoken while a spy's eyes are released, then it will animate and travel towards its counterpart at a fly speed of 15 feet. The spy will avoid any spaces too small for a medium sized creature to travel through if possible, and it will not stop until it is either physically halted or in contact with its counterpart. A sightlinked spy will not function if its counterpart is encased in lead or on a different plane of existence.


Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, arcane eye, locate object; Cost 10,000 gp

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
CasMat wrote:
Any smite increasing stuff might make it problematic though.
Maybe that's what they were getting at.

Oh. Well I didnt realize that. Im not even sure where you can get extra smite per day though.

I think even mechanically irrelevant character description systems are good for helping encourage thoughtful roleplay. I have a professor who uses the dresden files rpg's chatacter description system and awards/removes hero points for roleplay, iirc. He says it works well.

I really like parts of these houserules. Im not sure these complaints about smiting anything are valid. As long as the number of smites per day remains the same, it shouldnt be much different. As far as that goes, these balance issues seem more like stealth flavor issues. Any smite increasing stuff might make it problematic though.

Im not sure alignment detection is equivalent to a bonus feat. You might want to limit it to a specific feat for both classes. As far as religion goes, what happens to favored weapons?

You see, when I said coven is powerful, I was imagining two PC witches in the same party with this little pseudo-hag dangling off one of their necks. I think that would have potential to be problematic.

StabbittyDoom wrote:

Spell sunder is NOT normal sunder. It uses the sunder mechanic, but it is not normal sunder. It does not deal HP damage, it dispels (or suppresses) the spell.

If what you're looking for is the ability to sunder a wall of force via HP damage, then I have good news: You already can (and sans-feat too!). It has a described HP value and a described hardness (specifically hardness 30 and 20HP/caster level). Have at. If you can do enough damage, you can break it.

What the AM BARBARIAN has is different. He grabs the magic itself and says "NOPE! You're mine!" and rips it to shreds. He doesn't attack the force, he attacks the magic that sustains it and forces it asunder. He can do this with a weapon as well, but the extremely fun thing is that he can just grab it with his bare hand if he cares to. The AM BARBARIAN is not truly attacking anything physically, he's using his weaponry skill to rip apart magic itself.

I'm pretty sure what you're asking for is from paragraph 2 (attack, deal HP damage, eventually break). Please do not confuse this with what Spell Sunder does. If you think that attacking a wall of force is too hard, then by all means make a "deal more HP damage versus spells" feat or something. That doesn't step on Spell Sunder's toes, because that's not what the ability does.

Obviously spell sunder is different from regular sunder. I'm just saying that when you put try to paint it as some ridiculous "bare hands gripping spells and ripping them apart" thing, you are making the concept seem much more strange than it actually is. I'm saying that it needn't be envisioned in such a fantastically cartoonish way, and that the concept itself is not inherently silly (IMO).

I understand how spell sunder, the barbarian rage power, works. That's why I said, "as opposed to being a straight DC check". And I understand that a wall of force can be broken, that was probably not the best example (I had something like a wall of fire in mind).

I'm not trying to avoid stepping on the rage power "spell sunder"'s toes. The whole point of this thread is to question if a mechanic where the sunder mechanic can inherently be used to disrupt spells (rather than be limited to a barbarian power) would be workable. I'm not saying that everyone should just get that rage power for free minus the rage. I'm asking about what people think of a similar, generalized mechanic, more tailored to general use. Not as in (as Atarlost implied I was suggesting) the ability to perform a sunder check against an easily beaten DC every round, as the rage power would be if it were once per round rather than once per rage. Jesus, this thread would be idiotic if I were saying it would be interesting to just copy/paste the barbarian rage power into the sunder section of the rules. There's no way that would work.

I mean the concept of being able to sunder spells. Not exactly as the rage power spell sunder, but drawing from that to create something similar that would be more balanced as a general mechanic that could be done (although with difficulty without specialization) by anyone with the capability to sunder things. I mean, I thought this was obvious from how I was suggesting all of the ways in which the rage power's mechanics could be altered to meet this end.

The subtext here, that I was trying to avoid harping on because I am not of a solid stance on the alleged issue, is that the (this is probably obscene language around here) caster-martial disparity could be something to take into account, though opinions on that disparity - or lack thereof - vary.

EHHHHHH going by pathfinder canon a baby hag is just a baby changeling, which would be about equivalent to just a plain old baby.

Also the coven thing is really powerful. I always figured it was mostly meant as an npc thing.

But it uh.. sounds cute at least!

StabbittyDoom wrote:

Mostly, it seems like an uber specialized technique to me. You're essentially becoming capable of grabbing magic with your bare hands and ripping it apart with sheer brute force. That CAN'T be an easy thing to do.

At best I can see it being put near the end of some anti-caster feat line (at earliest the 3rd feat in), with Improved Sunder as a pre-requisite, and with that it might be a once or twice per day thing (or maybe "int mod/day" or some such).

Uhhhhh I didn't think I was suggesting that sort of description. I was more envisioning a practiced fighter who knows just where to place his blade against a magical wall to make it rupture, or a monk taking out the sword made of force with a well placed punch. You know, sort of like how I envision either sundering weapons or armor.

I mean, the way you're making it sound, that's not how sundering works: The fighter grabs the other guys breast plate and rips through it like tin foil. Put that way, even normal sundering sounds ridiculous.

I did already suggest that it could be a feat, and there are already anti-magic feats like the Disruptive line. Maybe spell-sundering could still be available at baseline but extremely difficult (to the point where untrained, mid level fighters will only be sundering lower level spells), with the spell sundering feat line making it more generally usable.

You're still not explaining your balance issue clearly though, so it's hard to say if this is how a mechanic like this would need to go. It is pretty commonly accepted that magic is extremely powerful, but you seem to be afraid that with out a lot of requirements, a ubiquitously available spell sunder would neuter magic to the point of ruining balance. Am I interpreting you right?

StabbittyDoom wrote:

I would personally prefer that Spell Sunder remain a class ability for the barbarian and other anti-caster/anti-magic builds (probably via Archetypes). If another class wants to do this, I believe they should have to invest some amount of time as an anti-magic build to get to it.

In other words, if you want this I think you should have to take class levels to show your dedication to the anti-magic approach. It should not be a simple technique for a variety of reasons (balance and cool-factor among them).

I dunno, I think you're sort of taking for granted that sundering, by itself, is not a simple technique. It's not like anyone with a sword in their hand can just walk around and effectively destroy any weapons and armor. The introduction of the mechanic as standard would somewhat change the entire setting though, but I don't see a problem with that.

I'd like to know exactly what your balance issue is. It could help in making this a more balanced mechanic. If you think it is just something that is only functional as a feature of the barbarian class, why? I think it is something that could be implemented universally without making spells useless or relegating them to irrelevancy, but that's only because I know that it is something that at least functions for the barbarian.

Black_Lantern wrote:
It would make area of effect spells near useless to take as spells except spells that have aftereffects.

Okay throwing out some ideas:

Sooooo, it likely wouldn't be implemented as something you could do every round at no cost. Maybe a full-round action, or limit per combat? As well, it would probably need to be something that requires a little building towards to be spectacular at, like any other combat maneuver.

Maybe the rounds the effect lasts could be represented as hp, as opposed to being a straight DC to overcome. Like, the hp for one round is n*spell level, and the duration you reduce a spell by is determined by the damage you do with the sunder. Depending on n, such a system could mean more partial spell sunders and less sword dispelling. If the spell goes by a different increment per level (minutes per level, hours per level, etc), the round hp would be the hp for the appropriate increment instead. Basically, I'm thinking a system more focused on reducing duration rather than dispelling.

As for slicing incoming spells hmmm... a similar system to above could work, except it should probably take an attack of opportunity, and if there's no duration it goes by damage dice rather than rounds. You would have to choose to fail your save, and maybe recognize that a spell is being cast at you (spellcraft?). Or perhaps just a readied action?

/end idea vomit

What if sundering spells was just a game mechanic? As in, no need to be AM BARBARIAN, part of the sunder mechanic simply includes sundering spells.

I haven't thought this out really, and I'm not sure how easy it would be to implement. Perhaps it would require a magic weapon, or a feat. I'm not sure. The bigger question is, would this make magic types unplayable? Or would spells simply become more balanced with the extraordinary? Is there a good way to implement this, or is it just a bad idea?

Just throwing out a random thought I had just now while reading the forums. Maybe you all can make something of it.

It's better against larger creatures with long reach. It allows you to move around them or escape them much easier. As well, if you can get a very big threatened area (couple ways to do this) it allows you some useful options for movement without wasting actions so you can get a full attack.

The most obvious ways I can think of to get a bigger threatened area are to be larger, use a Scorpion Whip, Combat Patrol (APG), and the Snap Shot line (UC).

Edit: When I say "get a full attack", I mean on creatures that are near it that would otherwise be out of your reach. Basically, you can use the creature as a way to reach other creatures or objects, etc. And if you have enough AoOs, you can slingshot yourself around multiple creatures to this end.

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
It kinda makes me sad seeing people using the cleric and druid as "benchmarks" of a well balanced class.

Well, this thread was not about balance versus other classes. That is like judging how well designed one class is based on how well designed other classes are, and that leads to madness. You can ask if the character would be appropriately able to contribute to combat in a party of ideally well designed classes however. That is decidedly different from a 1 on 1 comparison, and does not need to base the evaluation on other evaluations per say.

When it comes to balance, the question is more: Is the class balanced versus the trials it will face in the game, or does it break the game in those regards? In this respect, stereotypes say the wizard would probably fail at higher levels just as much as the rogue would; it isn't because their power relative to one and other though. Presumably, the rogue has too much trouble dealing with higher level challenges while the wizard has too little. Of course, as I said in the OP, this is relative to the type of campaign and the group of players, but I will repeat, you have to try to envision an "average" game and party, as difficult as that may sound.

(Those are just stereotypes though, and I'm not advocating that they are true necessarily. I only mean to use them as examples.)

That isn't to say that one can't use a well designed class to attempt to understand how to accomplish good design and apply these virtues when creating or judging other classes however.

For example if we were to create some sort of base rating for character balance versus the standard game, say a 1 - 10 scale, and if we were to say that 5 is the ideal power level with 10 being overpowered and 1 being underpowered, we could say "why is this class a 5? how do classes that are 2s and 8s differ in comparable ways from this class? the answers might help explain why they are 2s and 8s", or we can say "this class may seem like a 5, but in practice with an ideal party of actual 5 classes it ends up being a 3." We can't say "this class is a 5, but since this other class is a 9, this 5 class isn't well designed".

Regardless this is all only a single aspect of class design, and there are others.

cdogg makes a very good point. What use is damage type if it automatically bypasses DR?

Is the explosive missile discovery from UC not enough?

Inquisitor gets wis to init, I think.

I'm still not sold on the save part of reflex save. I like it on the rogue and ranger and monk, but I don't understand why the fighter needs to lose out. It's not like reaction time isn't a big part of fighting or anything. :I

And should the paladin be getting charisma to init? Does the bard deserve a bonus where the barbarian or magus does not? What about the alchemist?

Using ref save seems wonky to me. If the high number that the BAB alternative produces bothers you, make it one half bab. Sure it wouldn't matter until later levels that way, but it doesn't need to.

Or hell, link the increasing bonus to bab in a non linear way, so that you can get your bonus early. Or just make a base initiative bonus that has either good or bad progression.

There are a lot of options here, and its going to take a lot more work to convince me that ref save is the right one (not that you need to).

1: I think combat types should have a better initiative in general than caster types. just my opinion

2: So why int rather than wis? Wis is not used (for the most part) by the arcane casters, it is the stat used for perception and sense motive, and in general seems to make more sense for mental reaction time considering it is used for your will save. in your example, that "slinky feeling" should be better for your reaction speed than your ability to analyze the current status of the situation. When you analyze something you certainly understand it more, but I'm not sure it means you should react more quickly. that is, it surely helps you know what you should do and how to do it, but that is only a factor of initiative for those who think about these things. The raging barabarian shouldn't be taking a relative or actual penalty because he couldn't think quickly enough about the situation, that seems absurd.

though, other than the balance issue, this is mostly interpretation, and I accept that.

3: why not... BaB rather than the "save" part of reflex save? better for the high bab at later levels, worse for the full casters who should be fine anyway. also it makes it less abusable, as there are ways to make one single save extraordinary

4: ACP should not factor in to how quickly you react to things. it kind of makes sense, but could end up making heavy armor extinct.

5: not being rolled seems bad for interparty balance, combat variety, and realism. The bonus already determines that it isn't random, it doesn't need to be static.


Cavalier. &id=391:ggtp-12-cavaliers&catid=53:gamers-guide-to-pathfinder&I temid=65

I was iffy on them, but this podcast which I found elsewhere in the forums made them seem pretty fun.

StabbittyDoom wrote:
FuelDrop wrote:
C. Nutcase wrote:

I agree with you, but currently, a good ghost Cleric wouldn't be able to channel Positive energy without blowing him/her/itself up.
well, selective channel may be the go here.

Unnecessary. A cleric may always choose whether or not to include themselves in the effect.

As to the original topic: I've always wondered what happened to positive energy undead... and why negative/positive were considered inherently evil/good.

I know of no content off-hand that supports the neutrality of those energy types or the idea that undead need not be inherently evil.

This is sort of going of topic, but I've always viewed them more like a matter/antimatter sort of dealie. The souls of the living are made of positive energy, and the souls of the undead made of negative.

The only reason negative energy turns out being "evil" is because it is the minority, and it is very different. As well, in the presence of their opposites, these energies attempt to destroy one another. A mind can overrule these sorts of tendencies, but many/most undead are mindless.

As for so many intelligent undead being evil, well... perhaps it is a problem of selection bias. That is, most of those that would allow themselves to become undead (since undead are almost all formed from living) are evil, or so close that having a negative energy soul pushes them over the edge in a realm mostly populated by positive energy beings. That would explain why most of the "good" undead are intelligent, and are not undead by choice (usually ghosts).

And so the issue of positive energy undead is less about undead being "good" and more about the nature of such a thing. A non-mindless positive energy undead would not be different from a revived person, and so it wouldn't really be undead. A positive energy zombie would just be some mindless, undead-fighting corpse, and would be a pretty silly concept honestly. A positive energy ghost would probably have to be the ghost of a creature that was born undead, though I'm not sure if that can really happen, it might not even be workable in the concept of negative energy beings. Though I'm led to wonder how the hell Dhampirs work, I'm guessing that's all rule of cool or something.

Alternatively, everything is shullbit and you can just make up the rules as you go. How much sense makes is all in how you justify it. Balance wise, it's practically the same as a normal undead assuming the energy affinity is all you change.

Trikk wrote:
Black_Lantern wrote:
I'm personally afraid to play a cleric because I know they will push me into the healer bot role if I try to play one.
I try to avoid any class with CLW on their spell list, as picking such a class will force you to do nothing but heal the rest of the party. The healer/support is always first to die, because nobody heals/supports him.

I think probably the best way to avoid becoming the heal bot is to do something better than healing, explain why it was better than healing, and then be firm about your decisions.

It's surprising the number of people who don't realize that healbots suck. Gotta show'em the light is all. Not the healing light though. Save that for after the fight.

Of course you kind of have to have an idea of what you're doing for this.

Edit: how did this thread get revived :O

There are more creative things to do with telekinesis. The aforementioned "throwing molten metal at them" was a good start. Just because weapons do their damage doesn't mean they are the best option.

Do you know how big a 25 pound vial of acid is? Do you know how annoying it is to have 10 flaming skeletons thrown at your face? Or how annoying it is to be thrown into a deadly pit?

Throwing weapons sounds cinematic, but is more like a last resort for telekinesis users. And it's better done throwing the enemy's weapons away, if not the enemy himself.

Also, how do you get them thrusting 16 swords? It's 1 object per level, maximum 15.

Reading that response it seems like you're saying one of two things: either you're thinking that there should be an NPC net to ensure that the economy always functions reasonably, or you're saying that such a net would only initially exist until the playerbase is functionally weaned off of it.

The former makes a little more sense to me, as it seems more stable, while the latter seems precarious though it is idealistic.

So which is it?

GBHTchris wrote:

Good information, but I think we might be coming at the spell from the wrong side of things. I am less concerned with keeping blindness. I am trying to create a utilitarian debuff on a single target. I find that i often don't get to use spells like entangle or obscuring mist as my party gets upset that they can't attack at range for the prior on in melee with the later. So my intent is creating a solid level 1 debuff spell.

So what about just knocking it down to a 20% miss chance for level number of rounds on a reflex save.

no SR but the same ways to break the spell as listed above? still too strong? too weak?

I think partial concealment would be fine, and also makes a lot more sense for a bunch of leaves. Though, nerfing it to that point, you can probably afford to make the target:

Targets one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 15 ft. apart

Worse against the boss, better utility against the fireball-formation mobs.

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