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Goblin

DarkKnight27's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 210 posts (211 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Andrew Christian wrote:

This is where you keep putting words in my mouth.

I never said you were wrong in that you disliked the scenario.

I'm saying that your trashing of the scenario instead of placing at least much of the blame on your GM for why you disliked your experience, is what's wrong.

This is what is irksome to many of us who are posting opposite you in this discussion. You are getting defensive like we are saying that you are somehow faulty for having a bad experience. That couldn't be further from the truth.

We are merely trying to explain to you, that the reason you did not have a good experience with this scenario has absolutely nothing to do with the way the scenario was written.

And here you go again. You were NOT at my table, you don't know what happened yet you keep saying my interpretation of what did happen and my impression from the scenario are wrong. For all I know the GM bent over backwards to make the scenario play as well as it did for us. For all you know this was the best GM in the universe that ran this for my table and it still wasn't enjoyable. Or it's possible that the GM was the problem but your insistence that my lack of enjoyment couldn't be anything but the GM's fault and certainly not the fault of the scenario is ridiculous. You keep trying to invalidate my thoughts and feelings on this scenario by saying that the GM was the problem or the table was the problem, or the weather was the problem, or the alignment of the sun and moon was the problem. Anything was the problem but the scenario, because this scenario could never have possibly been the problem. You don't know, you weren't there. You had a different experience than I did. Yours was good, I'm happy for you. I'm not going around saying, "oh, yours was only good because of x,y, or z reasons". I accept that your had a good time. I did not. Please just accept that. Unless you can time travel, watch the game play out and see exactly how it happened please quite trying to tell me my impressions are wrong.

Let me be clear. I did NOT like this scenario. I thought it was poorly conceived and poorly executed. The major part I did not like is the sudden and radical change to social interactions. Maybe, if I had been aware of these changes to the core rules and could have read up on them ahead of time I wouldn't feel this way. But this felt like a gotcha game to me (I know Andrew, I'm 100% wrong in how I feel and any negative feelings I have toward this scenario are 100% wrong. I accept this so you don't need to point it out yet again. We will just have to agree to disagree that I have a right not to like this scenario) and I did not have fun with the new rules.

Grand Lodge *

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Andrew Christian wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Here's the thing though, the influence system / verbal dueling isn't really doing anything new in the same way that mass combat is.

It opens up uses for more skills. Skills that characters have always had access to. It's just now that they're getting more chances to be used.

But it does change things because in stead of rolling a knowledge skill or profession skill to get a bonus on a diplomacy roll (the way it should work in my opinion), you are rolling a knowledge skill or profession skill IN PLACE of a diplomacy skill and the DC for doing this was reduced. So that is a fairly fundamental change.

But it isn't a fundamental change to a pretty standard Diplomacy DC, which you could still use. My +8 at 1-2 did very well.

If you went into this on just diplomacy, you were at standard DC's. I'm not sure how it's unfair that other skills were easier.

I'm really glad that you and your diplomancer did great at the low tier, but you need to accept that your experience at the low tier and my experience at the high tier were NOT the same experience. We did not do well and we failed the entire mission because we could not make the diplomacy checks.

I'm sorry that you feel that my table's failure and my dislike of this scenario and sincere hope that they let players know ahead of time if they're going to feature non-standard rules in future scenarios somehow diminishes your enjoyment of this scenario. That's not my intent. But your insistence that I'm wrong in the fact that I did not like this scenario and that there's no reason I shouldn't love this scenario is getting a little irksome. You need to accept the fact that we did not have the same experience and the results were polar opposite of each other. I never once questioned why you enjoyed it or that you and your table succeeded in this scenario, I don't know why you feel the need to continuously question that I didn't have fun, and that our table didn't succeed.

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nosig wrote:

I have re-reviewed most of the 300 so posts on this and I notice something...

The OP said "I was at a table with four other players and we were told this would be a social scenario. We had a social paladin, a social fighter/rogue another fighter, a sorcerer and a couple others I don't remember. We utterly failed in this adventure because we didn't have the right knowledge skills or profession skills." -

so, if I am reading that right, his judge couldn't have run this correctly. If there were two characters described as "social XXX"... how did they fail the checks? I can only come up with four ways....

1) the judge (incorrectly) restricted checks to only those PCs that first passed the Knowledge/Profession checks - or perhaps only allowed PCs with those skills to make checks. (the "social" characters weren't allowed to make the check)

2) the judge (incorrectly) penalized diplomacy checks made by those PCs or groups that did not first make/pass the Knowledge/Profession checks (the "social" characters using Diplomacy only suffered a major minus to Diplomacy Skill checks)

3) the players rolled poorly. (perhaps because they didn't know/weren't allowed to "Take 10"? - but that's just nosig being nosig).

4) the OP doesn't know what a "social" character is...

I think the most likely answer is #2 - which means this entire thread is about someone (the judge) who doesn't know the (new) rules, enforcing what he thinks they are... Or am I missing something?

I did clear this up at some point but when I say we had social characters that means we had characters with more than one rank in diplomacy, bluff, intimidate and sense motive. But not all of those skills were max ranks for all characters. The best we had in any given skill was a +10 I think and most were around a +7 or +8. This was at tier 4-5. So we were not the super uber social skills out the wazoo table but we were no slouches either and these were characters that, after talking with the other players, had been successful in other social scenarios. We did hit DC 20 and fail at diplomacy, we did hit DC 30 and told we barely succeeded. We were able to do some discovery but because we didn't have the right knowledge/profession skills to use in place of diplomacy we had to use diplomacy and intimidate which were "harder" to use. We did not use bluff because we, as players, didn't want to risk getting kicked out or making negative progress if we failed the check. We did ask about taking 10 at one point and were told that we couldn't and I don't think it came up again. But we as players were completely unfamiliar with the Ultimate Intrigue Influence system so none of us knew how it was supposed to work outside of what our GM told us.

So, could this have been a GM problem, sure, but I don't like to put the blame on a GM unless I know they did something wrong. In this case, I don't know. So, the scenario ends up getting the blame along with poor implementation of new rules that people were not familiar with. If I could go back in time and read a blurb that said that the Ultimate Intrigue Influence rules would be featured in the scenario I would have read up on how they work and what to expect form them. Even if we'd failed then I likely would have had a better time because at least I'd have known what I was getting into.

Grand Lodge *

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Rysky wrote:

Here's the thing though, the influence system / verbal dueling isn't really doing anything new in the same way that mass combat is.

It opens up uses for more skills. Skills that characters have always had access to. It's just now that they're getting more chances to be used.

But it does change things because in stead of rolling a knowledge skill or profession skill to get a bonus on a diplomacy roll (the way it should work in my opinion), you are rolling a knowledge skill or profession skill IN PLACE of a diplomacy skill and the DC for doing this was reduced. So that is a fairly fundamental change.

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Mulgar wrote:

It's not purely a bad gm problem. I also see it as a player issue. People are saying "This scenario wasn't what I expected so you should have warned me" Which is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. Should I expect to be told a scenario uses incorpreal foes so I can avoid it? What if climb or swim is required? Better tell me, I won't have fun if I bring that full plate guy. Heaven forbid I run into hardness or dr\-, better tell me so I can bring that beats tick with an adamantine gteatsword.

What I see a large portion of the complaints being is "I didn't get my 2 prestige so you should have told me so I could avoid it." I get so tired of the whining from people that complain unless they "win", whatever it is that winning means to them. Some of my most memorable scenarios are the ones I wasn't always successful in them.

Nope, there's no need to tell people there might be incorporeal creatures, creatures with DR, swim checks, climb checks, or any other specific check or monster because pretty much all of that is part of the Core game, the rules for incorporeal and DR are right in the CRB even.

But if you're going to feature a completely new way to do something like the Ultimate Intrigue Influence system then it should be noted in the blurb that those rules will feature in the scenario. It's not unreasonable to know going into something what rules mechanic will be used. And like someone else said, no one is asking for a list of monsters that will be fought or specific skill DC's that are going to be faced to be in the blurb. But the number of people who've told me this was all a GM problem is why I brought up limiting these scenarios to big Cons or 5 Star GM's.

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:

You don't have to say how they're being used, how they relate to the story being told or anything like that, just like the blurb doesn't tell you what monsters or opponents or classes or races you will encounter. It seems like a simple solution that will help the game, I still can't see how this would hurt the game in any way.

So you want to ruin the GM experience by giving the player's the exact tactics they need to run rough shot over the scenario? And yeah before you actively complain that Im exaggerating there are simple hard counters to a lot of newer classes that you wouldn't be able to tell normally and would be easy as all hell to do if you had your goofy warning.

Um... what? How does saying "This scenario features Ultimate Intrigue Influence Rules" or "This scenario features Ultimate Combat Mass Combat Rules", give anything away to the players other than what variant or new rules are going to be featured and "ruin the GM experience"? Please explain.

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Andrew Christian wrote:


Creating language in the blurb just so people can either A) choose to avoid a new mechanic or B) choose to avoid for fear of having a bad GM, is what sets the bad precedence. Play a scenario if you want to play it. The mechanics inside should be relatively immaterial as long as a GM does their due diligence and creates a great atmosphere for people having fun.

If they don't do that, it doesn't matter what the blurb says or what they are told in the scenario.

So what if someone truly doesn't enjoy a non-core game mechanic? What if someone really hates the mass combat rules or something? Should that person have to not have fun because they didn't know ahead of time that a scenario would feature those rules? If your answer is yes, then I don't know what to say. Not everyone enjoys what you do and trying to force what you enjoy on someone seems wrong.

If it was only the Core rules that authors could use people would have a generally good idea of what they're getting into in any given situation but people like a variety of things and limiting rules doesn't seem like the right way to go about this either. So why can't we just have a spot in the blurb saying, this scenario uses the Ultimate Intrigue Influence rules, or Ultimate Combat Mass Combat rules, or Ultimate Campaign Downtime Rules, etc?

You don't have to say how they're being used, how they relate to the story being told or anything like that, just like the blurb doesn't tell you what monsters or opponents or classes or races you will encounter. It seems like a simple solution that will help the game, I still can't see how this would hurt the game in any way.

But if you're dead set on saying that this is purely a "bad GM" problem then maybe we should limit these scenarios to big Cons or 5 Star GM's only like the old EX scenarios were.

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Andrew Christian wrote:
Declaring some new mechanic in the blurb sets just as bad as precedent.

You'll have to explain this to me. How does calling out a new mechanic that fundamentally changes how the core rules work in the blurb of a scenario set "just as bad a precedent" as a bad GM playing a gotcha game and trying to rack up TPK's?

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TheFlyingPhoton wrote:

This scenario is getting a lot of backlash from people because they happened to have poor party composition for the kind of scenario it was. And are now demanding that we get told/warned exactly what we have to do/get/roll to win future scenarios before sitting down, or that PFS no longer make any skill-heavy or social scenarios.

Six months ago, I played a game that resulted in a TPK. It was a combat-heavy scenario and we came up against something with DR 5/- in the middle of it. We couldn't get past it because there was no way to bypass it without fighting it and the character with the highest Str was my cleric with a 14, who was also the only healer, so I was doing double-duty while the others couldn't contribute effectively. This is not our fault for having poor party balance nor is it no one's fault because sometimes you're just unlucky at the table - it is clearly the writer's fault and the campaign leadership's fault. Therefore, I demand that all future scenarios have full monster stat blocks posted in the scenario blurbs or that there never be a combat in a PFS scenario ever again.

We had social characters. But the problem is, is that the Influence system changes how social interactions work. There was no warning that the change was happening so while we had characters that would have been able hamdle a normal PFS social scenario, this scenario we were pretty much useless (or at least that's how it felt).

Not knowing what monsters you will fight is normal, not knowing what NPC you are going to negotiate with is normal. Having the rules suddenly change on you is NOT normal. Think of it this way, what if you were playing a PFS game that suddenly used the Wounds and Vigor rules out of Ultimate Combat. It's a change to how the Core game works and without giving the players a heads up it can be a jarring experience.
I really don't see how calling out a new rule that changes how the Core rules work in the blurb is a bad thing, but in my opinion it's a very good thing.

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Mark Seifter wrote:


Hey there DarkKnight. I wasn't involved with this scenario at all, but did some of the development on the influence rules themselves in Ultimate Intrigue. I've been watching this thread as well and have been very interested in your feedback and experience here. Thanks for giving it! I know this wasn't your most recent post I quoted above, but one thing I noticed in it is that it seems like your GM was actually giving you guys information that was supposed to require discovery checks for free, but in a way that seems to have colored a lot of the other dialogue here. I thought I'd clarify the mechanics slightly:

In the influence subsystem, there is a chart by level with suggestions for the "normal" DC. This is the DC you would have for typical skills that were a normal choice, and it's where Diplomacy usually ends up, since it's the normal choice for social situations. There's also...

We didn't get the Discovery information for free. We were told that the "normal" social skills would be harder to use and we should try to discover what alternate skills would be easier. We did manage a few of those Discovery Checks but knowledge and profession skills that were chosen were skills none of the characters at the table had (we had knowledge local and a random non-standard profession). We had talked a little after the event and it turns out that if we had chosen to bring our "combat" characters instead of our "social" ones we likely would have succeeded in this scenario because we would have had the right skills. The one time that knowledge local would have helped us, we had all decided to try and get information on our host and we were never allowed to make a knowledge local check again on anyone, we "missed our shot". When we tried our diplomacy or intimidate checks to influence the NPC's DC 25 was making it, DC 20 wasn't. Add to that that you only have one shot per round to influence each NPC no matter how many people are interacting with them makes the specter of bad dice rolls an even more powerful opponent than the NPC's.

So again, all I ask is that if a new rule is going to be heavily featured in a scenario (like these Influence rules, Mass Combat rules, etc) that it's clearly stated in the adventure blurb so people can prepare for it or choose not to play it.

This used to be done. Back in the early years there were EX scenarios that you could only run at a major Con or if you were a 4 or 5 star GM. These scenarios features the Chase rules for the first time, new classes that were complex to run, and other rules that were new and a little tough to get a handle on. I don't see any reason that the introduction of a new rule like the Influence rules can't be introduced like that.

It will improve player experience and make for a much more successful introduction of new rules.

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John Compton wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
Tony Lindman wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
And it is the scenario and scenario writer's fault that this was a poor event. The writer was the one who made this such a convoluted mess that it was and if a scenario that takes ~4 hours to play takes 8 hours, 10 hours, or more to prep that is poor scenario design. Especially if you then have to spring a new set of rules on the players that make the Core...
"complicated mess" is extremely unfair. Yes, it is complex. However, I honestly can't imagine ever running a scenario that I spent *less* than 4-6 hours preparing, and I happily spend 10 or more if that is what it takes. I *want* my scenarios to require some work for the GM. That work then shows in the resulting game.

No, it's not. It's completely FAIR. This scenario was a mess. Penalizing social skills because you want to shoehorn in new rule that not everyone even knows about is ridiculous. From top to bottom this scenario a waste of time, not worth playing and horribly written and conceived, at least from my perspective, and again, since I'm only going off of my experience (because I can't experience this any other way) my calling this a mess is how I feel.

But please, continue to ignore my criticisms and tell me that my perception of my experience playing this disaster show of a scenario is wrong and unfair.

I don't think people are ignoring your criticismsβ€”at least I'm not. They are (to generalize) saying "Hey, our positive experiences don't align with your negative one, so we're uncomfortable with your insistence that this adventure was a 'horribly written and conceived...disaster show of a scenario.'" Just as you don't want your perceptions to be dismissed by them, they don't want their perceptions to be dismissed out of hand by you.

Like most things published for and critiqued by the organized play campaign, my take-aways for this adventure are nuanced. After all, there are some people who have strongly disliked this adventure but also...

Despite how I'm sure it comes across, I'm not one of those people who want all combat all the time. One of my biggest complaints with PFS is that I can't tell one scenario apart from another because the story takes a back seat to the combat in far too many scenarios. But that being said, when I read that this is a social scenario and I bring a character that has 4 or 5 ranks in each of diplomacy, bluff, intimidate and sense motive (and knowledge local, not that it's really a social skill) only to find out that those skills are penalized or just have arbitrarily higher DC's because of some new rule that I wasn't told was going to be featured in the scenario that favors using knowledge x,y or z, or craft this and that, or profession whatever in place of social skills, I feel like I got cheated. Now I'm not saying that the character that I played was some super social character but getting penalized for trying to use the core social skills felt like a kick in the gut.

So I stand by my original statement. Something needs to change. I'd LOVE to see the scenario blurbs state what new, not commonly used rule, will be featured in a scenario (like Ultimate Intrigue social rules, Mass Combat, Words of Power, or whatever) so that I can either read up on those rules or chose to avoid those scenarios. Also, if a scenario is so complex to run (like people have been implying) because of the new, special, rule that's being used, I really think that these kinds of scenarios should be limited to Cons that have PFS leadership oversight or are limited to 5 star GM's to run. While I don't normally like the idea of any scenario being limited like that, for the scenarios that use these kinds of rules that require special setup/prep to run and a 30 minute rundown of the rules to the players, I think I'd be okay with these being limited until the rule is either widely adopted throughout the entire campaign or at least used enough that every player is comfortable with the new rule.

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Tony Lindman wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
And it is the scenario and scenario writer's fault that this was a poor event. The writer was the one who made this such a convoluted mess that it was and if a scenario that takes ~4 hours to play takes 8 hours, 10 hours, or more to prep that is poor scenario design. Especially if you then have to spring a new set of rules on the players that make the Core...
"complicated mess" is extremely unfair. Yes, it is complex. However, I honestly can't imagine ever running a scenario that I spent *less* than 4-6 hours preparing, and I happily spend 10 or more if that is what it takes. I *want* my scenarios to require some work for the GM. That work then shows in the resulting game.

No, it's not. It's completely FAIR. This scenario was a mess. Penalizing social skills because you want to shoehorn in new rule that not everyone even knows about is ridiculous. From top to bottom this scenario a waste of time, not worth playing and horribly written and conceived, at least from my perspective, and again, since I'm only going off of my experience (because I can't experience this any other way) my calling this a mess is how I feel.

But please, continue to ignore my criticisms and tell me that my perception of my experience playing this disaster show of a scenario is wrong and unfair.

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Andrew, that's simply not true. There were several skills required to succeed, at least three knowledge skills (not K(local) that didn't ever really come up) and one profession skill. We had knowledge local and it only came up once and never again. We had sense motive and that never helped us. We failed more than a few diplomacy checks even when we hit DC 20. This was an extremely poorly done scenario and a gotcha scenario since you were penalized for using diplomacy, bluff or intimidate.

Also, while I haven't read it, the number of people who say that you need to have a GM who has spent a lot of time prepping this scenario to run it right lead me to believe that it's poorly written, organized and executed. If it wasn't then the time it takes to prep it shouldn't be longer than it takes to run it.

Now if you're claiming that all of my problems were completely on the GM then maybe, just maybe, this scenario should have been reserved to only be run by 5 star GM's or at PaizoCon/GenCon/etc because of how complex it was. Obviously I'm not the only one who's had problems with this scenario.

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Andrew Christian wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:

For those who feel the DCs were too high:

** spoiler omitted **...

Here's the problem that some people don't seem to understand, while we were a somewhat diplomatic table the highest diplomacy at the table was maybe +10. We did not have any super diplomats at the table. But we could not do any of the discoveries because we didn't have and of the right knowledge skills or profession skills. We were told that you needed multiple success (2 or more) to influence the 5 people and with the Diplomacy DC's being 25+ (as near as I could tell this was what we needed for every roll) only two of us could have even made those on our own so the others were stuck assisting. On average, we succeeded one out of every 2 or three checks or so. We completely failed this because of dice rolls and lack of Knowledge/profession skills. That is NOT a "fun" way to loose and scenarios should NOT be written to require specific skills to "win".

Like others have said, the discrepancy in skills between classes is vast and needs to be taken into account when writing scenarios like this.

It appears as though you just aren't listening to folk. A +10 diplomacy at low tier makes the check every time (100% of the time) if you take 10.

It's commendable that you trust your GM so much that you are ignoring all the good info people are giving you. And I'm sorry you had a bad experience.

But it's likely that your experience was bad due to a underprepared GM.

I didn't play this at "low tier". I was at the 4-5 tier and checks of 17 to 20 were failing. Checks of 25+ were succeeding.

And it is the scenario and scenario writer's fault that this was a poor event. The writer was the one who made this such a convoluted mess that it was and if a scenario that takes ~4 hours to play takes 8 hours, 10 hours, or more to prep that is poor scenario design. Especially if you then have to spring a new set of rules on the players that make the Core social skills useless to use in favor of knowledge checks and profession skills. That's not fun, creative, or in anyway good.

I'm glad you managed to have the right characters to make this fun for you, but if PFS is going to start requiring specific character builds to succeed, it will mean the death of PFS.

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pH unbalanced wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Also, something scenario writers don't seem to have taken into account (or they really hate people) is how the odds on multiple checks work.

If the DC is 20 and you have a +12.

Your chance of making 1 check is 65%
Your chances of making 2 checks is (.65^2) or 42%
Your chances of making 3 checks is a mere ~27% , about one in 4.

Test of kuar tuata comes to mind, with multiple checks at bad odds

Six tries? No, you have once chance per round and could only influence one person per round. So unless you're specked with all those "social" knowledge skills and professions you're not taking 10 and getting more than once success, and even getting one success per round is not guaranteed. We had two rounds were we didn't get any successful influences.

As for modifiers, I think the best we got was a +2 with two of the four people. So, yeah, lot of help there.

Bottom line, our table failed the mission because we had social skills but not those pesky social knowledge skills or social profession skills and that's not right or fair.

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We had a 5 person table and three of us had Knowledge Local and the ONLY time we could have used it, we all focused on one guy and we were never able to use Knowledge Local again.
When it comes to creatures and fighting (again something like 70% to 90% of all published material focus on these things) it's not really a surprise that you come across a creature with hardness or DR or is incorporeal. Those are core concepts of the game (the definitions are in the Core Rulebook even).

But when you throw an entirely new ruleset at players and say it's a social mod but then penalize the Core social skills it's a bad move and will sour players all because you want to show of a shiny new rule.

I stand behind my call that this kind of thing needs to be called out ahead of time so that people know what they're getting into and can avoid these kinds of situations. A table should never fail because they lacked a skill, class, race, or item. That's a failure of the writer and of Paizo in the creation of the scenario.

On a side note: anyone who puts a 100 HP swarm (that can't be hurt by weapon damage) in any adventure is just being a d*ck and is out to kill PC's.

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Assuming that the others had succeeded their checks on diplomacy. Not everyone what +9 or +10. One guy didn't have diplomacy, he had intimidate and sense motive (I think) and the others were +5 to +7 so the three of them did occasionally fail their assist rolls meaning that we were not guaranteed a success. And since we would have a few failures, the person making the check would roll (to try and get higher than a 10) and would occasionally fail the roll. We also felt a need to split up the party to try and get multiple people influenced (We didn't know if it would take 2, 3, 4, or 5 successes to win over someone, we ended up with one person at 3 successes, one at 2, two at 1 and one at zero (because they couldn't be influenced by us, according to the rules in the scenario, or at least that's what we were told).
And all along we were being told, "Oh, you're using diplomacy... well, it will be harder than if you used Knowledge skill "x" or Profession "y".

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Ferious Thune wrote:

For those who feel the DCs were too high:

** spoiler omitted **...

Here's the problem that some people don't seem to understand, while we were a somewhat diplomatic table the highest diplomacy at the table was maybe +10. We did not have any super diplomats at the table. But we could not do any of the discoveries because we didn't have and of the right knowledge skills or profession skills. We were told that you needed multiple success (2 or more) to influence the 5 people and with the Diplomacy DC's being 25+ (as near as I could tell this was what we needed for every roll) only two of us could have even made those on our own so the others were stuck assisting. On average, we succeeded one out of every 2 or three checks or so. We completely failed this because of dice rolls and lack of Knowledge/profession skills. That is NOT a "fun" way to loose and scenarios should NOT be written to require specific skills to "win".

Like others have said, the discrepancy in skills between classes is vast and needs to be taken into account when writing scenarios like this.

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Maybe it was the GM's fault, maybe it wasn't. I don't typically like to ask the GM if I can read the scenario unless I'm sure that they got something wrong and since I had no way of knowing that this scenario was going to use the Ultimate Intrigue rules I couldn't study them before I played. As for getting it myself, that won't happen. I refuse to let Paizo think that this is a successful kind of scenario by spending my money on it. So I can only go by what was presented to me.

But that doesn't change the basic premise of my original post. If a scenario is going to use non-core rules (like Ultimate Intrigue, Mass Combat, Words of Power, etc) there should be a disclaimer at the beginning of the scenario so people who don't care for those alternate rules don't have to play those scenarios. There have been one or two other scenarios that have done this (used special, non-standard rules) but nothing was as poorly executed as this scenario was (for a refresher I'm referring to #7-22 Bid for Alabastine). And in scenarios like this I really, truly believe that the GM should be empowered to look at the characters that are present and if there's no way for them to actually succeed (because they don't have the required trained only skills, like #7-22 requires) then they should be told this ahead of time.

Look, I'm glad that the people who liked this scenario were lucky enough to bring the right kind of "social" character to this travesty and had a GM that helped make this fun, but that wasn't the experience I had and it sounds like I'm not alone. I did not have fun, I did not enjoy this scenario, and this is the only scenario I've ever thought of just getting up and walking away from mid game (and that's in 18 years of playing Living and Organized Play games).

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TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
This is a semi-tangent, but a few people are complaining about what happened when they brought characters with no Knowledge skill investment to the game and I have to wonder why anyone has a PFS character with no ranks in any Knowledge. When you build a character, you build it for the campaign you are playing (you wouldn't build a Ranger with favored enemies Drow, Duergar, and Wayang for the Giantslayer AP, a Paladin for Hell's Vengeance's villainous campaign, or a desert-focused character for Skull & Shackles). PFS is a campaign centered on an organization of Indiana Joneses. That doesn't mean all of our characters must be bards, but every character should have some form of Knowledge-based expertise. If you don't have many skill ranks available to you, pick one Knowledge skill for your character to specialize in. I have a Barbarian with max ranks in K(Arcana) even though I never made it a class skill through traits or multiclassing, because I chose that to be his Knowledge specialty for character reasons (and only a single rank dropped into Nature). I also have a 7 Int fighter with a number of ranks in K(Dungeoneering) equal to about half his level (and none in Engineering, his other Knowledge class skill), because every character needs a Knowledge skill decently invested in.

My character has nearly max ranks in diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, sense motive and slight of hand. He has max ranks in perception, stealth, and disable device and K(local). He was useless in this scenario because hitting a DC 25+ was ridiculously hard. Now if I was missing these (anti)social checks by one or two, that's one thing, but when I roll a 15 or 17 (on the die) and miss by 5 to 10 points that's not right.

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Quote:
so that I'll know which skills I should have going in when I play
Why should the scenario tell you what character you need to play? Sometimes we fail missions. It probably should happen more often than it does. Sometimes you just won't have the right skill or ability to "win."

For game/story reasons. "Hey Pathfinders, we've chosen you to take this very important mission. We need you to succeed in this mission to make inroads with the leadership." That's basically the setup for this scenario. But after playing this, it strikes me that the Decemvirate and Venture Captains would not send people on a mission that they're guaranteed to fail. And if you're telling me that the Decemvirate and Venture Captains don't have records on which Pathfinders excel at what tasks then you're lying to yourself and me.

From a metagame standpoint. When you have ZERO chance of success because you don't have the skills necessary to succeed it makes for a scenario that is ZERO fun to play. If we fail because of bad choices or dice rolls, that's one thing. But when we fail because we were not every going to succeed it sours you on the whole Pathfinder Society game.

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GM Lamplighter wrote:

We're Pathfinders. ALL scenarios will have some social aspects, so if you can't contribute to that you should at least understand that it will happen to some degree in every scenario.

There are plenty of combat-only scenarios already and no one is complaining that we should have special rules requiring GMs to tell us we might get into a fight in this one.

I think the issue is, there has been more and more demand for scenarios that actually make sense for the campaign background of the Pathfinder Society, instead of scenarios that could as easily have been handled by a group of mercenaries who met in a tavern that day. People who sued to be able to just run combats now have to deal with the rest of the campaign, and frankly it's a part that many of us like/love, and are glad to see it making a comeback.

The other issue may be, that many GMs are used to running with little or no prep, and the scenarios are becoming more complicated. I've always said that no one should ever run cold, and scenarios like 7-22 show why.

People don't complain about "Combat Scenarios" because combat is expected. At least 70% of all Pathfinder books written are focus on Pathfinder combat (it's probably more like 85% or 90%). If someone wants to write a social scenario, that's fine, I actually hope that there are more social scenarios or at least social interactions that matter, but I pray that none of them are EVER like this piece of junk scenario was. Knowledge skills and profession checks are NOT social skills. And if you're going to use the Ultimate Intrigue rules (or mass combat rules, or any other special rules like that) then there should be a warning in the blurb and one given by the GM at the start of the scenario.

How would you feel if you were told that you were going to be playing a scenario that is magic user friendly and then they pull the rug out from under you and say "if you're a traditional caster you will have a harder time, but if you use Words of Power then you will have a much easier time".

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Tineke Bolleman wrote:

I recently played this and had no trouble with my cavalier that had just knowledge religion and a little bit of diplomacy.

If you say, 'social paladin' I take it you mean one with Diplomacy.
Diplomacy is perfectly usable in this scenario. The checks are just a little bit harder then the profession or knowledge checks.

We were told by our GM that the penalty for using Diplomacy was severe, not the exact number mind you but when I managed to hit a 30 Diplomacy with a few assists and just barely made the check, that's ridiculous.

Grand Lodge *

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To The Powers That Be:

This has been nagging at me for just about two weeks now so it's time to put a post about it. I played scenario #7–22: Bid for Alabastrine a few weeks back and something needs to change...

Spoiler:
I was at a table with four other players and we were told this would be a social scenario. We had a social paladin, a social fighter/rogue another fighter, a sorcerer and a couple others I don't remember. We utterly failed in this adventure because we didn't have the right knowledge skills or profession skills.

Scenarios like this are NOT fun. As as matter of fact I'm seriously considering walking away from any future games that use the Ultimate Intrigue rules because of the way scenario #7–22: Bid for Alabastrine was written. But that's beside the point.

What I want changed is that any time a Pathfinder Scenario is going to show off a new set of rules that it's explicitly stated right up front, in the blurb, and the GM is required to tell you ahead of time. Also I think that for scenarios like this the GM should be required to look at the character sheets of the characters at the table and tell them if they have any chance of success or not (and to be clear, having a chance of success doesn't mean getting a natural 20, 10 to 15 time in a row because you can only make diplomacy or bluff checks that are heavily penalized for not being the a "social" skill).

I also really hope that all future scenarios like this one come with a warning at the beginning that you need social skills like Knowledge "x" or Profession "y", you know, the typical social skill that everyone has, in order to actually play the scenario.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
JohnHawkins wrote:

You may be confusing with 3rd edition a specialist wizard can cast spells from his opposition schools they just occupy 2 slots instead of 1. Therefore they are on his spell list and he can use wands,staves and scrolls (spell completion items) as normal. (Unless he is a Thassilonean Specialist).

Also a constant effect item like a ring of water walking works for anyone regardless of their ability to cast spells they work for fighters, druids wizards and commoners.

I don't do page references , that takes time and you can read you won books for them

Thanks for the answer I guess, though I'm sorry for inconveniencing you. And while I did read Wizard section of the Core Book I thought there was another section from the Core Book (or maybe another book) that had didn't let specialist wizards use magic items from opposition schools, or maybe it was more difficult for them to use them.

And I like to get page numbers listed so I can 1) find the reference, which I obviously wasn't able to do, and 2) read it myself. It helps keep people from miss-remembering rules or misinterpreting rules.

Again, sorry to trouble you for help.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The way I've always seen this rules is that the AoO is provoked at the beginning of casting the spell. Moving up to the caster doesn't allow for an AoO because the caster started casting before the other character was there.

Also the chart on page 183 of the Core Book seems to imply that the only spells that provoke AoO's are spells that take a standard action to cast. I don't know if I agree with that, but it could be a balancing factor since taking damage while casting a full-round or 1-round spell can interrupt those spells.

But again, the way I've always seen it run is if you start to cast a spell within the threatened area of an opponent you provoke an AoO unless you cast defensively. But if you start casting and are not threatened you don't retro-actively provoke the AoO if someone moves up to you.

Just my thoughts.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I know I read this somewhere but now I can't seem to find it.

Can a specialist wizard who has has a magic item that was created by magic from an opposition school use the magic item? Also, can that same wizard cast a spell from a magic item that is from one of their opposition schools?

For instance, could a wizard who has Transmutation as an opposition school where a Ring of Water Walking and benefit from it? Or what about a wizard who has conjuration as an opposition school, could they use a Wand of Mage Armor on themself?

Please post the page numbers where this info can be found.

And of course, thanks for the help!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Crimeo wrote:
Readied actions in general are pretty ridiculous. Whoever's idea was it that every creature in Golarion can inherently see up to 3 seconds into the future without magic? Would say that this is an odd result, but it isn't, because NO usage of readied action makes any more sense.

A readied action isn't magic, or any kind of future sight. It's the result of planning. "I will ready to attack the next enemy that comes within my reach." How is that any kind of magic? Also, if no enemy comes within your reach, your action is wasted.

Think of it this way, you're watching football and the team you're rooting for is driving down the field and it looks like they're going to score. You wait for the score to happen before you jump up and cheer, or basically, you "ready to cheer when you're team scores points". It's pretty straight forward, no magic or future sight needed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CampinCarl9127 wrote:

You just claimed that moving is the same as bull rushing and other combat maneuvers. That is by definition untrue.

And no. I will always rule with common sense and an intelligent interpretation of the rules over a strictly pedantic RAW approach (which is truly awful), because I like to actually have my games make sense and be fun. Spare me the appeal to authority.

But have fun with that ruling. Perhaps I can build a monk who spends all his actions sprinting around the battlefield, canceling actions by simply moving into the way. And here I thought casters had battlefield control.

It's obvious that you like to make up you're own rules and change rules that don't make sense. That's fine. You (and you're players?) may find that fun and interesting. But you have to take a step back and realize that not everyone enjoys the game the same way. Some people find that playing by the rules as written to be the best and most fun way to play. Neither option is wrong but they do not play well together.

Also, if this were to be applied to PFS then I'd argue that you should always try to play the rules as written as closely as possible since it's the only way to be fair and consistent across multiple GM's at multiple Cons and Game Days. If you're making up or changing rules that you don't agree with, even when the rules are clearly written, it causes problems for everyone.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rory wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:


(claudekennilol was trying to point out the logic loop hazard)

I interpret it as...

GG - I ready to move up to the BG when he starts to cast a spell.
BG - Starts to cast a spell (triggers AOOs from all those that threaten)
GG - (ready action is ALSO triggered) Moves up to BG.
BG - Sees the GG moving closer but is stuck casting the spell until it is finished.
GG - Is now beside the BG, but the AOO for casting the spell is already past.

This illustrates what I think are the differences (via trigger interpretation). There is no logic loop involved.

Sorry for the misquote.

In reguards to the above example, I don't think it works like this because a readied action takes place before the action that triggered it (so it would take place before the AoO would even happen). As a result, reading to move next to a spell caster when he starts to cast would get you an AoO from the act of casting a spell if the caster didn't declare they were going to cast it defensibly. But I can see the point you are trying to make that's why I said it would ultimately be up to the GM on how they rule it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rory wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:

But one way works and the other way makes universes explode.

Either the action was committed which triggered the readied action, or the action wasn't committed to in which case the readied action doesn't go off. In neither of those scenarios can the readied action be triggered without someone pulling the trigger--that would be buy-buy Golarion.

When you are ready to stop using useless hyperbole, feel free to list the triggers you would use for the OP's question.

I already did up thread. Golarion did not explode. :-)

In Rory's example:

GG - I ready to move up to the BG when he starts to cast a spell.
BG - Starts to cast a spell.
GG - (ready action is triggered) Moves up to BG.
BG - Sees the GG moving toward him so decides not to cast a spell.
GG - Suddenly his readied action never triggers so he's not moving toward BG
BG - (Reality has reset) Starts casting a spell.
GG - (ready action is triggered) Moves up to BG.

This is the logic loop that Rory was trying to point out. This is not how the rules work. Once an action is committed to you have to complete the action if possible.

Quantum Steve wrote:

Casting defensively isn't a separate action from casting a spell like fighting defensively is. There's only one action as listed in the combat section: Cast A Spell.

That's the only action the caster has to continue, any other details the caster can decide after the readied action goes off. They can even wait to pick which spell they're casting until after the readied action goes off.

I disagree with this. I believe that you need to not only declare what spell you are casting but if you are casting defensively at the time you begin casting the spell. This is important to declare this all at the time of casting because things can happen that can cause you to loose your spell.

For instance:
Example 1 (the way Quantum Steve says it works)
GG - I cast a spell.
BG - attacks GG and disrupts spellcasting

What spell or spell slot was lost? Was it a 0-level spell or a 9th-level spell? How do the players/GM know which spell was disrupted? What if the attack missed, then GG gets to freely choose which spell they are going to get off? No this is not how this works.

Example 2 (the way I say it works)
GG - I cast Horrid Wilting
BG - attacks GG and disrupts spellcasting

Horrid Wilting is lost (or the spell slot used is lost). Everyone knows, there are no questions.

Example 3 (the way I say it works)
GG - I will cast defensively a Horrid Wilting
GG - Rolls concentration and fails the roll
BG - Laughs at GG's folly and gets and AoO because of feats

Horrid Wilting is wasted (or the spell slot used is lost). Every knows, there are no questions.

Example 4 (the way I say it works)
GG - I will cast defensively a Horrid Wilting
GG - Rolls concentration and makes the roll
BG - Shrivels and dies as all the water is sucked out of it's body

The spell goes off without a hitch. Everyone knows and there are no questions.

This game is complex enough without adding in complexity that doesn't exist.

To the OP's original question, I can see valid rules arguments going either way, personally I think that the GG with the readied action would get an AoO, but ultimately this will be a GM call.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Unless a creature has Blindsight or something of that nature you can use the stealth skill as long as you are not being observed, have cover or have concealment.

Blur says in the spell that it grants you concealment so that one would work. Displacement gives you a 50% miss chance "like" concealment but it's not concealment. Wind Stance I don't think would work because even though it provides you with concealment, it's only against Ranged Attacks. Walking through a Fog Cloud or Obscuring Mist spell would work because even withing 5' of a creature you have concealment.

Just my thoughts.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally I look at similar to wraithstrike. An animal companion is just an animal, it doesn't matter how "smart" you make them they're just an animal and their brains work differently. The only way for an animal to know a language is through the spell "Awaken" or something similar. So basically, you can have an INT 10 _____, but it will only be able to do things that it's commanded to or things that are natural to it like an INT 2 version.

Now if you do decide to Awaken and animal companion I use the Animal Archive as a guide and go with that the animal can no longer serve as an Animal Companion and you have to take the Leadership Feat and treat it as a Cohort.

To me, this keeps things simple and elegant.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
sageann wrote:
We did not know about the doubled carrying capacity at the time but I have found out about it since. However doubling the carrying capacity is not coming anywhere close to compensating for your gear's weight multiplying by 8. As it stands this spell is better for attacking a fighter then it is for buffing him.

Couple of things...

1) Going from say medium sized to large size only doubles the weight of armor and weapons (and other equipment).

2) The spell says

Quote:
This spell causes instant growth of a humanoid creature, doubling its height and multiplying its weight by 8.

So it's the creature's weight (not it's gear) that increases x8.

So if the fighter weighed 200 pounds it would increase to 1,600 pounds. Full Plate armor would increase from 50 pounds to 100 pounds.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You could make the net a chain net, same effect, but maybe heavy enough to drag the PC's under and kill them all. It would also be harder if not impossible to break with a strength check.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Even it it was a dehydration effect, that's not something that Life Bubble protects you from as you still have to eat and drink while under it's effects so I don't think it would protect you from the fatigue or exhaustion effects.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Major Doom wrote:
Theconiel wrote:
Your mental stats (INT, WIS, CHA) are unchanged. You lose your +2 bonus to CON, and gain +2 DEX.
Are you saying I would not lose the +2 racial bonus to WIS and the -4 racial penalty to CHA when my character was a duergar?

Here's the spell's text:

Quote:
A reincarnated creature recalls the majority of its former life and form. It retains any class abilities, feats, or skill ranks it formerly possessed. Its class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and hit points are unchanged. Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores depend partly on the new body. First eliminate the subject's racial adjustments (since it is no longer necessarily of his previous race) and then apply the adjustments found below to its remaining ability scores. The subject of the spell gains two permanent negative levels when it is reincarnated. If the subject is 1st level, it takes 2 points of Constitution drain instead (if this would reduce its Con to 0 or less, it can't be reincarnated). A character who died with spells prepared has a 50% chance of losing any given spell upon being reincarnated. A spellcasting creature that doesn't prepare spells (such as a sorcerer) has a 50% chance of losing any given unused spell slot as if it had been used to cast a spell.

So any stat bonuses you had from your original race are removed and then you use the chart and apply the bonus to the physical stat as noted. So you would loose the Duergar's +2 CON, +2 WIS and -4 CHA because you're no longer a duergar and you get a +2 to DEX because you're not a half-elf.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't believe that Life Bubble would protect you. It would open up the door to Life Bubble protecting you from too many other things that it shouldn't protect you from. Think of it this way, if you don't have to breath in the spell or effect for it to harm you Life Bubble probably doesn't provide protection against it then.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malovec wrote:

When you move diagonally, do you have to continue the 1-2-1-2 movement if you have started new series of diagonal movements?

Even though this question should be very easy to answer, explaining it always seems very difficult, so I am just going to link a picture and ask if it is right or not.

Picture to better illustrate what I am asking.

In the picture you provided, assuming the creature can move 110' in a round, the picture on the right is the correct measure of distance. At least using the rules for movement. The 1-2-1-2 movement for diagonals resets with each round. So for one long continuous movement you have to keep track of your diagonals.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rikkan wrote:
Spook205 wrote:

I'd argue that alchemist's fire is intrinsically a template attack though. It hits a central square/creature and the adjacent squares. As such, it would get the 1.5 bonus that gets applied and be on full damage.

Alternatively if you want to get all RAWy, you could throw it at a square, incurring the 1d6x1.5 (as a single square could qualify as an area for the swarm rule) and then still take the splash damage from other squares it occupies.

That is not how splash weapons work.

Here is how they work:

you either target a creature and the direct hit damage only hurts that creature (so if there are two creatures in that square, it'll still hit only 1).

Or you target a grid intersection (not a square) and if you target a grid intersection, creatures in all adjacent squares are dealt the splash damage, and the direct hit damage is not dealt to any creature. You can't target a grid intersection occupied by a creature, such as a Large or larger creature; in this case, you're aiming at the creature.

So I have one of the most narrow readings of the rules of most people I know but even I can see that the description of swarms specifically calls out and says that they take an extra 50% of damage inflicted by a splash weapon, and as others have pointed out it does not say that it takes an extra 50% of damage from the splash damage of a splash weapon.

There's also this;

Quote:
A splash weapon is a ranged weapon that breaks on impact, splashing or scattering its contents over its target and nearby creatures or objects.

So a splash weapon is not like a sword or an arrow that can only hit one target at a time. By it's own description a splash weapon covers and area.

I understand where you are coming from (since swarms made up of creatures smaller than tiny are immune to weapon damage. like a sword or an arrow) but the fact that the description of swarms says that it's vulnerable to damage dealt from a splash weapon and that the both in name and description say that it effects an area, seem to make it pretty clear that they can work on swarms. I think you just need to try and take a step back and look at this from a different angle.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Shameless bump.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hoping to get more feedback/input on this.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The problem is at 8th level, when you get the ability, combat usually doesn't last longer than 3 or 4 rounds. Also, there may be tactical reasons to drop it sooner than just letting it run out.

And yes, normally it is a standard action to dismiss a spell and it's also a standard action to concentrate on a spell.

So I'm wondering, is this ability an ability that lasts only as long as you concentrate on it (a.k.a. spend a standard action each round to maintain it) or do you "cast" it like it was a Wall of Fire and then have to spend some type of action to dismiss it?

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:

Evocation School

Evokers revel in the raw power of magic, and can use it to create and destroy with shocking ease.

Intense Spells (Su): Whenever you cast an evocation spell that deals hit point damage, add 1/2 your wizard level to the damage (minimum +1). This bonus only applies once to a spell, not once per missile or ray, and cannot be split between multiple missiles or rays. This bonus damage is not increased by Empower Spell or similar effects. This damage is of the same type as the spell. At 20th level, whenever you cast an evocation spell you can roll twice to penetrate a creature's spell resistance and take the better result.

Force Missile (Sp): As a standard action you can unleash a force missile that automatically strikes a foe, as magic missile. The force missile deals 1d4 points of damage plus the damage from your intense spells evocation power. This is a force effect. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.

Elemental Wall (Sp): At 8th level, you can create a wall of energy that lasts for a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive. This wall deals acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, determined when you create it. The elemental wall otherwise functions like wall of fire.

So the Elemental Wall ability works like Wall of Fire with some exceptions, I get that, but does this wall require concentration each round to maintain it? Also, if it doesn't, what type of action is it to dismiss this wall (the normal Wall of Fire isn't dismisable) since you don't have to use all of the rounds available to you all at once.

Thanks for the input!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah! I did misread it.

Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I just got Book 4 in the mail and I'm flipping though it and start reading through the Treasure section and come across this item and I have to ask: Am I missing something with this item on page 62 or is this literally a useless magic item?

It allows you to deliver a touch spell without provoking an AoO, which you can do any way.

Can someone clarify this or errata/FAQ this item.

Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I knew I saw it somewhere!

Thanks Nefreet!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm sure this has been asked and answered before but I can't find it.

How is the DC for an Aasimar's Spell-like ability? In my case I have a Peri-blooded Aasimar with the Pryrotechnic Sp Ability. I know that it uses my class level as the caster level but how is the DC set?

I would guess that it's 10 + Spell level + (something), but I'm wondering if that "something" is the character's CHA bonus, WIS bonus or INT bonus? Or does the character get to use the better of the three?

Please let me know where this is stated too.

Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mojorat wrote:
All the spells.listed.in non detection are for detecting simone remotely. It doesn't make you invisible.

Since when is Detect Evil (or other alignment) spells or Detect Magic "remote viewing"? They are AoE divinations that come from you. See Invisibility and True Seeing are both divinations and even though they're not called out specifically they would still be blocked by Nondetection.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Korthis wrote:
if that's the case then wouldn't invisibility + nondetection work against see invisible/ trueseeing

It sure does. It still allows a caster level check at least, but it does work.

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