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Sargogen, Lord of Coils

Darksol the Painbringer's page

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Look at the ability wording closely; it says that it applies that bonus when worn, not holding or carrying. If it's not worn, the bonus isn't being applied to your AC. The final sentence says that even if you don't have it on your person, it still retains that power. In other words, if it's disarmed from you or you decide to unequip it, once you get in possession of it and wear it again, its bonuses reapply.

You are correct though, in that a Buckler is a shield and counts for this ability, as well as effects that ignore Shield Bonuses don't ignore the bonus this ability provides; i.e. Touch Attacks.

Also take note that it specifically calls out mechanics from the Channel Energy class feature, meaning you have to expend Channel Energy uses to power the ability. This makes the Extra Channel feat much more valuable, and that this ability overrides the mechanics one would try to use Quick Channel for.

Of course, a better question would be if a Disarm counts as being struck in combat; RAI, I'd think not, but you're still making an attack against the target's number, so it can go either way.


Rikkan wrote:

Is this FAQ purely for ability bonuses? Or does it include other referential bonuses as well?

Like say, if I play a daring cavalier, when I use challenge I add my level to damage and if I pick up precise strike I also add my level to damage. Are those considered to be the same source?

And what about orange ioun stones? They add an untyped caster level bonus. If I have multiple ioun stones are they considered to be different sources (different ioun stones) or the same source?

As it sits, it is purely for ability scores, though I suspect it may extend to class/character level-based subjects. Simultaneously, you must understand that subject is not exactly a valid argument, as the Challenge feature adds equal to Cavalier levels, whereas the Precise Strike adds equal to Swashbuckler levels. Since those are two separate class level statistics and not your character level or the same class, they would stack.

As far as caster level is concerned though, when it comes to Ioun Stones, they don't stack unless otherwise stated, meaning if you had multiple CL-increasing Ioun Stones of the same type (Orange Prism), they won't stack with themselves, since that CL increase is from the same source of Ioun Stone. If they were separate types, they would stack. [Additionally, I don't think the level-based restriction that may come from the FAQ will apply to that statistic, simply because there are several subjects that increase CL which also have restrictions to that CL increase, so it checks itself (Magical Knack, for example).]


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dragonhunterq wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

So if I am playing an oracle/paladin character with the Sidestep Secret and Smite Evil class abilities (see below) does the Dexterity/Charisma replacement to AC and the Charisma/Deflection bonus to AC no longer stack? They appear to have different bonus types, but come from the same "primary" source.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I suspect that, at least in the short term, this FAQ is going to cause a lot more confusion than it clears up.

That ones nice and straightforward, it's pretty much called out in the FAQ. As smite evil grants a typed bonus (deflection) = to your charisma it will stack with the oracle abilities that replace dexterity with charisma.

This is correct, as in this case it isn't a result of a double-dip, which I will define as using the same modifier type derived from the same ability score to apply to the same statistic. You are simply using your ability score modifier and a deflection bonus that is equal to your ability score modifier, meaning they will stack.

If you were trying to use Divine Grace from the Paladin feature and Divine Protection feat simultaneously (excluding the written Special note that wasn't added until later), then it would not work as they are both the same modifier type (Untyped) derived from the same ability score (Charisma) that applies to the same statistic (Saving Throws).


Blave wrote:

Sources: Core and APG only. No free traits.

In Runelords, my cleric (Iomedae, Heroism/Tactics, melee focus) was the group's healer and tank. She died during the fight with "Big M" at the end of part one. Rest of the group are:

Gnome Sorc - Elemental (Fire)
Elf Alchemist - Archer/Bomber
Elf Ranger - Archer
Dwarf Barbarian - SMASH

As you can see, the group lacks two things: Healing and enough melee guys to protect the archers/caster. My cleric covered both good enough, but now she's quite dead and I need a new character. Preferably one, who can do the same without feeling too similar. So I'd like to avoid another battle cleric or a melee Oracle.

Any ideas?

Well that certainly makes it difficult, and I'm assuming that the GM just won't allow you to make another cleric...

I'll go with the rest and say to go Paladin next. Lay On Hands is going to be your big healing ability (which makes self healing pretty useful) and your spells and auras will serve more as a buffer. A lot of times you're immune to secondary effects, like disease, mind-control, etc. so your utility/heal spells can be reserved for your party members.

Archetypes may help put you in the niche that you desire at the cost of some abilities; unfortunately, a lot of what makes the Paladin extremely powerful is in splat books. On the plus side, about 80% of the crap you fight is evil, meaning as long as you got Smite you can contribute effectively in combat for simply being a Paladin.

IDK what point buy you guys use, or if you guys roll stats, or whatever. But with a 20 point buy, you can have a decent Strength and a fairly high Charisma before racials, those stats of which are your bread and butter for your class.


Mari Amstrong wrote:
You double dip from the belt of constitution, you both use the same constitution score. Why are you guys even arguing this?

Doubledipping is a term only used when you're modifying the same statistic with the same modifier type twice, i.e. adding two separate sources that add your Charisma to your saves; this does not fall under such because you are not adding the same amount twice to the same statistic. If you are going to call the pot black, make sure you're comparing it to the kettle, not the cookie sheet, which has all manners of gray area.

Your Constitution score, when fused, instead of it being your own score, becomes your Eidolon's Constitution score. This increases your normal HP by the amount of Constitution difference between you and your Eidolon (or, in extremely rare cases, would decrease hit points if you manage to get a base constitution score higher than your Eidolon's).

That same score, when fused, also calculates the temporary HP you gain, and is factored in to the Eidolon's hit points (the total of which you get as your temporary HP).

Even if the mechanics are fundamentally the same, regular HP is not the same as temporary HP, no matter how many ways you look at it, and they are called out as separate entities in the book for a reason. By your same logic, Spells and Spell-Like Abilities must be the same, and Arcane and Divine spells must be the same too.

Except, you know, they're not, and they're cited in the book as completely different subjects.


Grindylows are Small in size, which means they can trip up to Medium-sized creatures, and Grapple works on creatures of all sizes; in other words, your tactics will work on the other guys as well. Of course, size differences will definitely work against you, but since it is basically free (what else are you going to use the Swift Action for?), it adds an extra level of danger to the encounter, since lower levels generally mean one-shots from anything, and a trip is basically a death sentence if the party isn't careful.

Honestly, having only 5 hit points means even a max damage magic missile, a couple of cantrips, or a decent arrow shot equates to a dead Grindylow, much less a hit from the fighter, so these guys are definitely squishy (as they should be).

Remember that only one enemy (or in this case, 2) against a party of 6 really works the action economy against them, so they will definitely overwhelm him in a couple of rounds simply because they can do so much more in so little time, not to mention the power of spells at this level can end encounters with just a single cast. If the party is optimized this will become easily apparent; if not, then this might be just fine. Since they are on a ship, running away from the encounter isn't really an option. Additionally, the Grindylows move very slow on land, half the speed of a regular joe, meaning the party with the right tactics should come out unscathed.

That being said, a level 1 party of 6 (each level 1 about a CR 1/2, increasing by that amount) equates to a CR 3 party, probably even higher depending on their optimization skills. A Grindylow Ranger class with a pet would equate to either still being a CR 1/2, or at best a CR 1, so him and his pet would get crushed quite easily by an otherwise CR 3 party.

I'd throw on a Grindylow Druid with an octopus pet as well, and about 2-3 regulars, each carrying javelins/spears/harpoons/etc., call it a raiding party who seizes inbound ships of their goods, and the party will have to defeat them.


Bandw2 wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

Incorrect. You are one being, there is no distinction between summoner and eidolon once fused.

The RAW stating that fact has already been quoted earlier in the thread.

what does that have to do with the eidolon's effective HP for adding temp hp? you only gain the ability scores, not it's HD with it's own con.

as mentioned the eidolon's con REPLACES, you don't use your eidlon's con, your score is replaced with his. the eidolon never actually gains a bonus to con.

edit: nevermind Darksol the Painbringer is wrong, i need to check my own information and not use others. :/

I'm not sure what you read into my statements, but I didn't state that you replace hit dice (only that I'm using averages for calculations), nor did I contradict myself once; I might not have done the math correctly, however, apples and oranges. Let me start from the top again:

You have 3rd level Summoner with 12 Con base. Eidolon has 20 Con base. Summoner comes equipped with a Belt, adding a +2 Enhancement Bonus to his Constitution score, which is added to the base total. Simple enough, right?

Assuming average rolls for both subjects, you'll run into a 20 Hit Point Summoner, and a 36 hit point Eidolon, correct?

Now, when the Summoner fuses with the Eidolon, the Eidolon's base Constitution Score becomes the Summoner's Constitution score as well. So instead of the Summoner having only 20 hit points, he'll have 32 total hit points, with an extra 36 hit points counting as temp.

Once we throw in a Constitution Belt, his Constitution Score receives a +2 Enhancement bonus. So, while not fused with the Eidolon, his Constitution Score becomes 14, resulting in 23 Hit Points total. While fused, his total hit points becomes 35, with an extra 39 hit points counting as temp, resulting in an otherwise grand total of 74 hit points.

Of course when it comes to a blanket increase, it's fairly simple. It is when we get to permanent increases, such as leveling attribute points, or using attribute tomes/Wishes to increase stats, that it becomes important to note the difference of which affects which, but even those are simple as well, since those increase the statistic of one entity.


Gaberlunzie wrote:
Say you have 14 Con and the Eidolon has 16 Con. When fused, the eidolon wears the belt, and thus has 18 Con. You use the Con of the eidolon, so both you and the eidolon have 18 Con. Thus both gain the bonus.

Remember that the Eidolon's base physical ability scores replace the Summoner's; the only saving grace is that the belt is an add-on after the fact, so even if the base is changed, the bonus from the Belt is still being applied to whatever score you're using.

Such a concept would not be applicable to a permanent addition like the ability scores you get from leveling (4th, 8th, 12th, etc.), or from Stat Tomes, since those affect only specifically your own score, not just whatever score you are currently using.


Fused Eidolon wrote:

A synthesist summons the essence of a powerful outsider to meld with his own being. The synthesist wears the eidolon like translucent, living armor. The eidolon mimics all of the synthesist’s movements, and the synthesist perceives through the eidolon’s senses and speaks through its voice, as the two are now one creature.

While fused with his eidolon, the synthesist uses the eidolon’s physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), but retains his own mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma). The synthesist gains the eidolon’s hit points as temporary hit points. When these hit points reach 0, the eidolon is killed and sent back to its home plane. The synthesist uses the eidolon’s base attack bonus, and gains the eidolon’s armor and natural armor bonuses and modifiers to ability scores. The synthesist also gains access to the eidolon’s special abilities and the eidolon’s evolutions. The synthesist is still limited to the eidolon’s maximum number of natural attacks. The eidolon has no skills or feats of its own. The eidolon must be at least the same size as the synthesist. The eidolon must have limbs for the synthesist to cast spells with somatic components. The eidolon’s temporary hit points can be restored with the rejuvenate eidolon spell.
While fused, the synthesist loses the benefits of his armor. He counts as both his original type and as an outsider for any effect related to type, whichever is worse for the synthesist. Spells such as banishment or dismissal work normally on the eidolon, but the synthesist is unaffected. Neither the synthesist nor his eidolon can be targeted separately, as they are fused into one creature. The synthesist and eidolon cannot take separate actions. While fused with his eidolon, the synthesist can use all of his own abilities and gear, except for his armor. In all other cases, this ability functions as the summoner’s normal eidolon ability (for example, the synthesist cannot use his summon monster ability while the eidolon is present).

Reviewing the entire entry, there are several subjects to consider, which are highlighted.

When in fusion, the Eidolon is considered an armor, and as such won't stack with other armor, as evidenced by the final paragraph heading. It also states that the base physical ability scores of the Eidolon replace the Summoner's base physical ability scores.

When calculating temporary hit points gained from the fusion, you only use the Eidolon's hit points, meaning any changes to the Eidolon's, and only the Eidolon's hit points, increases the temporary hit points you gain, meaning if the belt does not affect the Eidolon, it will not increase the temporary hit points.

It mentions several times that even when fused, the Synthesist is ever only considered one creature, though his type changes for effects that are reliant on it, and can be thrown out of his fusion early with the right spell.

The first and final parts are really telling as to how it would be ran, and reinforces the OP's assumption to be the correct one, since the Belt is an add-on to the PC's existing score, which is substituted with the Eidolon's, not a finite, selective subject like a Con Tome would be.

Breaking it down:

Say PC is 3rd level and has 12 Constitution, since he thinks an 18-20 Dexterity is a little spendy on his already 20 main stat. He laters acquires a Con Belt +2, raising it to 14. Now, his Eidolon has 20 Constitution base, with a total of 36 hit points (assuming average D10 hit dice + 5 Con modifier). One the base is calculated, you throw in the extras, such as the +2 Constitution; however, to calculate what is temporary and what is regular, you need to treat the Synthesist and the Eidolon as separate entities, though the result is combined (as by that point they become one creature).

So, to finish the example, Base Synth hit points is 20 (D6 average hit dice + 1 Con modifier), and Base Eidolon hit points is 36. Con modifier adds to your hit points per hit dice, so the 14 Con Synthesist would have 23 hit points, whereas his Eidolon would have 39. Fused together would result in 39 temporary and 23 regular hit points, or a grand total of 62.


You did and you didn't.

The Warpriest 2nd round playtest gave Warpriests a BAB with their Weapon Focused Weapons (and Deity Favored Weapons) equal to their Warpriest level (which stacked with BAB gained from other classes), which is where you're getting the +1 from.

When it came to the final publishing, they removed it because the Fervor power to Swift Self-cast in addition to Full BAB was apparently too much, since it became way too much Cleric (which is good) and not enough Fighter (which is bad); so in order to balance it out with their outdated Fighter class, since apparently it was too much (it is, but the fault wasn't with the Warpriest IMO), they took it out.

They still kept the increased damage dice and empowering abilities though...


dragonhunterq wrote:
glossary wrote:

Grappled: ...

A grappled creature cannot use Stealth to hide from the creature grappling it, even if a special ability, such as hide in plain sight, would normally allow it to do so. If a grappled creature becomes invisible, through a spell or other ability, it gains a +2 circumstance bonus on its CMD to avoid being grappled, but receives no other benefit .

Making a grapple check to maintain is still an attack, but once you are grappled most concealment effects simply won't work. I struggle to justify not applying the rule on invisibility to blur/displacement etc.

I can see ruling that a displaced opponent as having a similar advantage as an invisible one though. I imagine that having your arms about what feels like someones body while he appears to wriggle about somewhere over your left shoulder to be somewhat disorienting.

I'm not so sure that's the case. If it was an attack, you'd be making the roll against their AC, not their CMD, for starters. The Grapple section doesn't call out maintaining the grapple as an attack, simply that it's a check you make if you want to hold the grapple, and it's supported by the factor that a successful check doesn't allow for an attack roll, but automatic damage from the limb maintaining the grapple (unarmed strike or claw in most cases).

Similarly, it calls out that Grapple takes a Standard Action to do, and it can't be done in place of an attack like other maneuvers can, meaning that argument isn't supported by what the RAW restrictions of Grapple are.

Additionally, the entry you cited makes no mention of concealment whatsoever; even the Stealth subject it cites to "hide from the creature grappling it" isn't the same as what Displacement provides, nor is it applicable to the situation, since Displacement isn't the same as a person trying to actively be out of sight and perception of the target. It's a wavering image of the character that alters their percepted location in comparison to their actual location.

@ Brotato: The whole "Invisibility" subject isn't really applicable, since it's not like you can't see the subject, nor can't you actually pin-point his square if you couldn't actually see invisible creatures. It's an exception listed in the Displacement spell that it makes outside of it being Total Concealment. It's just his actual location in the square may or may not be where you see him at, hence the miss chance; my question is if, when maintaining a grapple, you don't have to bother with that miss chance since you are actively holding on to the target.


So let's say you're fighting some punk who has Displacement on. So in order to get to him, you need to beat the miss chance. After rolling miss chances for your grapple attempt, you get a grip on him. Come his turn, he tries to break free, but fails. Next round, you go to maintain the grapple. Here are the relevant rules text:

Grapple wrote:
As a standard action, you can attempt to grapple a foe, hindering his combat options. If you do not have Improved Grapple, grab, or a similar ability, attempting to grapple a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver. Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll. If successful, both you and the target gain the grappled condition (see the Appendices). If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space (if no space is available, your grapple fails). Although both creatures have the grappled condition, you can, as the creature that initiated the grapple, release the grapple as a free action, removing the condition from both you and the target. If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold. If your target does not break the grapple, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds. Once you are grappling an opponent, a successful check allows you to continue grappling the foe, and also allows you to perform one of the following actions (as part of the standard action spent to maintain the grapple).

Now, the rules says in order for you to maintain the grapple, you have to make a check or it breaks free, and a successful check also allows you to make another action in the options listed in conjunction with the check. The damage option says you simply deal damage with an unarmed strike or claw or whatever you used to maintain the grapple.

So, since maintaining the Grapple isn't necessarily an attack, and you can outright deal damage with the maintained grapple check, does that mean you would be able to ignore the miss chance in this manner (until he breaks free or you let go and have to initiate a grapple again), since you aren't making an attack, or would it still apply?


Lost In Limbo wrote:
One point in favor of gaining a griffon through Monstrous Mount rather than Leadership is the fact that (as far as I can tell) a significant portion of the GM population either bans or heavily restricts the Leadership feat.

If the GM is going to ban the Leadership feat, he's going to ban this feat too, since they can accomplish (somewhat) similar goals.


It's a sticky wicket. Here are the relevant texts:

Speed wrote:
When making a full-attack action, the wielder of a speed weapon may make one extra attack with it. The attack uses the wielder's full base attack bonus, plus any modifiers appropriate to the situation.
Dancing wrote:
The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the activating character for all maneuvers and effects that target items.

I would be inclined to say that it does, based on the factor that the Speed property is a specific property to weapons, and since Dancing says you are considered wielding or attending the Dancing weapon for effects that target items (it's safe to assume that the Speed property is an effect for Weapons), it would be able to take advantage of the Speed property. If that extra attack were the result of, say, a Haste spell, it would not apply.

Also considering that since it simply applies your BAB plus the weapon's enhancement modifier, it's not gamebreaking to allow it.

However, many people may state otherwise, so expect table variation. Ask your GM to get the final say as to how he would run it at his table.


Pupsocket wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If it's not listed in the Fighter Weapon Group, it's not a weapon, bottom line.

What rubbish. I'm looking at the Fighter Weapon Groups, and the Falcata isn't there. Nor are there any firearms, or thrown bombs. Clearly, none of those things can be weapons, then.

Your argument is that the term "weapon" is defined on p. 56 of the core book (6th printing), which as a) unsupported by the actual text, b) patently ridiculous given the number of pointy stabby things published in later books. ,

Core Rulebook only includes Core content because Core doesn't assume you have the other splatbooks; if you want splatbook inclusion for Fighter Weapon Group listings, you look toward the splatbooks.

Ultimate Equipment has all of the splatbook extras, and those subjects you listed are defined in that book under Fighter Weapon Groups, including that which is listed in the Core. Not one of those weapon groups, both the Core and the splatbook UE, have Rays or what not listed in any group, ergo they don't count as weapons.

Similarly, the feat text specifically calls out as Rays counting as a weapon for the purpose of how the feat affects it, including being a valid choice for the feat, meaning that it otherwise is not a weapon.

@ FrodoOf9Finger: If it has a set weapon damage dice and is listed in a Fighter Weapon Group (i.e. if Rayguns were a Weapon Group), then yes, you could Vital Strike with it. But if the Ray in question by say, Scorching Ray, were used to attack, it wouldn't work because it's a Spell, not a Weapon; it counts as a weapon for the purposes of spells and effects and for qualifying for certain feat selections, but is otherwise not a weapon. It's no different than Spells V.S. Spell-Like Abilities.


Pupsocket wrote:

Rays are weapons, so if you can take the attack action to fire your ray, you can use vital strike.

-with spellcasting at range, you can never "hold the charge" in order to use the attack action. If you use Reach Spell, you now have a ranged touch spell, not a touch spell, thus no holding the charge.
-most monster abilities cannot vital strike, because they're "use supernatural ability" or "use spell-like ability" actions. a lantern archon uses it's ray as an attack, and could vital strike, if it had the feat.
-it gets a bit vague around (melee) touch spells. last time we did a couple hundred posts on the issue, the general consensus was that, while touch attack spells share many properties of armed attacks, they ultimately are not weapons and as such not eligible for Vital Strike.
-Stop arguing about the bombs ability and vital strike, the ability explicitly tells you how it interacts with vital strike.

Even if you did allow holding the charge, including melee touch attacks, the spell deals the damage, and the spell is not a weapon. If it's not listed in the Fighter Weapon Group, it's not a weapon, bottom line. Rays and such only count as weapons for the purposes of spells and abilities that affect weapons, and for taking feats like Weapon Focus/Specialization, Improved Critical, etc. to use with them.

A lot of those abilities require a Standard Action to activate, not an Attack Action, which is a specific Standard Action, one that is required for Vital Strike to work, and cannot be emulated with merely taking a Standard Action. The Lantern Archon is no exception; Rays aren't weapons, meaning it would fall under the "Use Extraordinary Ability" action, a specific Standard Action separate from the Attack Action.


You should be able to, as many creatures in fantasy are armored with wings.

But from a realistic perspective the GM would probably require you to get your breastplate re-outfitted to adhere to your new limbs, since most standard equipment aren't meant to fit winged creatures.


sowhereaminow wrote:
This will work with thrown alchemist bombs though, correct? I figure it only doubles the original 1d6, but it still works if I recall.

That's tricky; if it's an SU or EX ability, then I'd say it probably would, but if it's an SP, then I'd say no since it's a spell and not a weapon.


Shroud has it right. RAW, the damage you deal with a spell like Scorching Ray is not weapon damage, but damage caused from the spell. You could do it with a spell like Flame Blade, since the damage you deal with that is the damage the fire scimitar weapon deals.

Even so, Vital Strike is it's own special action (Attack Action), something which, when casting a Touch Spell, can't emulate, since it's only restricted to granting a free attack, not a free Vital Strike.

I will say that Shroud is wrong for Punch delivering, since a Touch Attack in itself can be done in place of the punch (though if you were a Monk with scaling unarmed damage, you lose all your other attacks if you wanted to do a FoB), but it still falls apart since the subject being delivered is not a weapon, but a spell, and so isn't affected.

Remember that feats like Weapon Focus/Specialization state that subjects such as rays count as weapons for those feats; they are not in themselves a weapon, as you don't see them in any Fighter weapon group or in the Weapon tables...


Claxon wrote:

The point of the spell is not to make a benefit for the creature. Even if that benefit is round-about in the sense that he doesn't upset you all by accidentally hitting the party.

Play this out in character. You are evil. You will only stand getting hit by errant shots so many times. If you can't stand it any further kick the character out of the group or kill him. Or ask him not to use that feat and retrain it.

As a GM, I would most certainly not allow curse ot be used in the way you are suggesting when there are much more reasonable role play ways to handle this and ways to mechanically handle this without making up rules.

Your question isn't so much "is this fair to do with this spell", as much as it is "how can this character have his cake and eat it too". He shouldn't get to. If he is casuing a problem for the party in character because his choices result in harm for the party then resolve it in character. Tell him not to use the feat, kick him out, or kill him if necessary.

How is shooting yourself should you end up hitting allies instead a benefit to the recipient? He's the one taking the damage, not them, it certainly flies in the ways of both realistic physics and the purpose of self-preservation.

In the OOTS comic, Belkar having a curse where if he harms an innocent, he gets sick and stuff, is an obvious penalty that was bestowed to keep his Evil tendencies under control. Just because it's used for a good end (in this case, other party member fidelity) doesn't change the factor that a curse is a curse is a curse. If a Werewolf does good deeds and no longer eats the hearts of Humans, does that mean he's not really a Lycanthrope? With the logic you use, he wouldn't be a Lycanthrope, even if he has a hairy humanoid body with an ugly snarling drooling dog face with claws that can tear you in half when the moon is full.

If anything, the request I want doesn't correlate because if he is intentionally shooting at somebody who considers him an ally, but he considers an enemy, it doesn't even activate the way I intend for it to, since to him, he isn't shooting it at an ally, but an enemy, meaning we'd have to contingent it to be applicable only to the party members.

We've done that several times already. The Barbarian while raging has made attacks against the Ranger in the middle of combat (though this was early in the campaign, and one other time he was confused); the Witch has thrown Misfortune hexes and the like at him (because RP banality). I'm not personally worried because I have more AC than anything we ever fight anyway, so if he's hitting me, he's hitting them, and the Wizard is never in the line of fire (which is smart). This stuff also really only happens when combat is winding down and we're on the home stretch to victory. Quite frankly, in other more serious groups, your "kill their character" request just only encourages such behavior, and does nothing to solve the problem you claim is present.

@fretgod99

Reviewing the spell text:

Bestow Curse wrote:

You place a curse on the subject. Choose one of the following.

–6 decrease to an ability score (minimum 1).
–4 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks.
Each turn, the target has a 50% chance to act normally; otherwise, it takes no action.

You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than those described above.

The curse bestowed by this spell cannot be dispelled, but it can be removed with a break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell.

Bestow curse counters remove curse.

It just says you place a curse on the subject. It doesn't have to be something that's significantly and obviously worse like you claim; can it? Certainly. But there are several examples in literature where a "curse" has turned into a Strength, and the Oracle class is a prime example of that concept.

The statement about it not being "as strong" as the other curses also doesn't seem to be reflected in the spell description; the only restriction is that it can't be more powerful than the examples given. It can certainly be weaker.

I'll also refer to he Retribution Hex given by Witches as a prime example of an effect similar to what I'm demonstrating:

Retribution Hex wrote:
A witch can place a retribution hex on a creature within 60 feet, causing terrible wounds to open across the target’s flesh whenever it deals damage to another creature in melee. Immediately after the hexed creature deals damage in melee, it takes half that damage (round down). This damage bypasses any resistances, immunities, or damage reduction the creature possesses. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the witch’s Intelligence modifier. A Will save negates this effect.

That Major Hex, which requires 10th level at the earliest to obtain, doesn't subtract the damage the affected target deals, and adds only half of what the damage would normally do back to the affected target. Considering the effect I want Bestow Curse to duplicate, in essence, selectively affects creatures with an enhanced version of a Major Hex permanently, it's already pretty significant, almost too significant. It's much more significant than simply bestowing somebody with Lycanthropy, which occurs a lot less often than what a Retribution hex or example Bestow Curse hex does, but it's one that's certainly allowable with the spell.


I'm glad I make a thread about questioning whether my guidelines for a curse falls under the intention of the spell, but it ends up turning into "FUMBLE CARDS R BAD GAIS."

Don't get me wrong, you have your opinion on cards and it's fine to have them, but imposing it on to people because their way is badwrongfun is a lot less okay than using those rules in the first place; especially when this thread only mentioned fumble cards...

@fretgod99: I'd say to the PC, it certainly would be. As a whole perspective, it's better, and that's what I (and probably the rest of the group) want(s).

It's not a PVP thing, it's simply to help reduce casualties to those who are actually in the thick getting hit versus those who just sit back and cast spells or make attacks.


We're playing an Evil campaign, and one of the several problems that comes up is our bow ranger shooting our allies due to cover or rolling a 1 (because Reckless Shot and/or fumble cards).

At one point, our Witch picked up the Major Curse spell. Some of the effects in there are extremely debilitating; 50% chance to do nothing, -6 to an ability score, -4 to attack rolls/saves/skills, are all extremely powerful for the level. But we don't want to make our ranger a liability in combat.

So, one curse I came up with was that if he shoots any of us with a bow and arrow, whether it is intentional or accidental, the arrow instead veers its trajectory, comes back, and hits him instead (like in those Looney Tunes shows).

It falls within the desired effect we want (which is to reduce his friendly fire rate to affect only himself), but does it fall within the intention of it being a curse?


RAW, you cannot. A critical is a critical, even if you meant it to be or not. There is no ex post facto statement in the rules that allows you to forgo a critical confirmation/threat, nor are there any abilities that allow you to do so as far as I know (that is, on the giving end; there are several ways on the receiving end). RAI, I hardly doubt that it makes sense in a realistic simulation, given that the force you're making propelling said attack won't always equate to being the same when it comes to being in combat with any individual creature, even if they are the same creature, making the same moves; unless you're a supercomputer (and even that is iffy), you won't have the same results every time.

Honestly, the Dice God just showed up and gave your NPCs a scare. The only time I get that sort of luck (I got 3 critical confirmations in a row, 6 total criticals in a fight) on a boss fight where I only deal 25% of my total damage. Not much your Paladin could do other than be forced to roll with it because that's life, though he will probably want to pray and maybe find a means to atone for such a destructive outburst.


Keen wrote:
This ability doubles the threat range of a weapon. Only piercing or slashing melee weapons can be keen. If you roll this special ability randomly for an inappropriate weapon, reroll. This benefit doesn't stack with any other effects that expand the threat range of a weapon (such as the keen edge spell or the Improved Critical feat).
Keen Edge wrote:

This spell makes a weapon magically keen, improving its ability to deal telling blows. This transmutation doubles the threat range of the weapon. A threat range of 20 becomes 19-20, a threat range of 19-20 becomes 17-20, and a threat range of 18-20 becomes 15-20. The spell can be cast only on piercing or slashing weapons. If cast on arrows or crossbow bolts, the keen edge on a particular projectile ends after one use, whether or not the missile strikes its intended target. Treat shuriken as arrows, rather than as thrown weapons, for the purpose of this spell.

Multiple effects that increase a weapon's threat range (such as the keen special weapon property and the Improved Critical feat) don't stack. You can't cast this spell on a natural weapon, such as a claw.

Improved Critical wrote:

Benefit: When using the weapon you selected, your threat range is doubled.

Special: You can gain Improved Critical multiple times. The effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

This effect doesn't stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon.

This is all the relevant text. Your answer should be among them.


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The "ZOMGFULLCASTERSOP" power fix can be pretty simple to implement. You merely cut off the actual 7th-9th level spells, but you keep the slots. It actually gives more incentive for those classes to pick up and apply metamagic feats. (It certainly makes Heighten Spell more attractive.)

I think there was also a feat or something that allowed you to divvy up what a spell slot actually obtained; for example, you could have a 2nd level spell slot instead work as 2 1st level spell slots. That would be another great option for such a game.


No, because they are mechanically the same thing.

In regards to the Shillelagh spell, it has the same language as Lead Blades, it increases X as if it were Y/Z size(s) larger. Things like that don't stack.

Those effects would, however, stack with a spell like Enlarge Person, as that spell increases your actual size, not your effective size damage dice as Lead Blades/Shillelagh do.

It's the same concept with Muleback Cords and the Masterwork Backpack. Because they both treat your score as X/Y higher for determining carrying capacity, they won't stack with themselves because they are the same effect with the same language. A Masterwork Backpack would stack with a Belt of Giant's Strength, though, since one increases your actual Strength score, and the other just treats your Strength score as 1 higher for carrying capacity.


Wow, that Optimistic Gambler trait is bonkers for a Barbarian.

Reactionary and Indomitable Faith are great de facto traits for any character. You can never have enough Initiative or Will Save increases.

If you don't want to deal with ACP from a Mithril Breastplate, Armor Expert can help.

Reckless is a great trait if you want to make use of the Acrobatics skill; granting a +1 and making it a class skill really helps its uses in combat.

Vengeful is a great trait, since it adds +1 damage to any attacks you make against the last person who hit you in 24 hours. It's basically a free +1 damage against one foe whenever you enter combat.

There are probably a couple others, but those are the biggies I've found.


For the special ability to function, you need to have Combat Reflexes (or some other ability that allows you to make more than one attack of opportunity in a round); the benefit it grants from a successful attack of opportunity is another attack of opportunity at a -5 penalty. You can also only have this work once per round, meaning TWF trying to get 2 of them just isn't going to work.

It's not a particularly great feature in the lower levels, though it has uses. By the late game, if forcing AoO provocations is a strong feature, or you're in a party composition that is great at forcing AoO provocations, this enhancement is well worth the +1 bonus, since you would already have +5 weapons, including features like Furious and Courageous for Barbarians, still leaves a total of +3 in bonuses left to allocate, and you have massive bonuses to hit. Since all AoOs go from highest BAB, a 1/round secondary AoO that goes if the first hits is very useful.


master_marshmallow wrote:

I like how we refer to "The Developers" as a single amorphous entity with a single opinion that is always against our favor.

Not like they are actual people who may disagree with you, no, they are an entity whose sole existence is to drive you away.

Considering the rules for the game have to reach a single consensus which is agreed upon by said people who consist of "The Developers," it's not really incorrect to claim that they are one person, one voice. Heck, they have a single account on this forum that supports such a claim for when they make rulings in threads that are FAQ'd, so it's not as far-fetched or politically incorrect as you say it is, to say they are one and the same.

Needless to say, if they wanted to drive people away, they can do a better job at it. We're actually giving them the benefit of the doubt there. But simply stating that their actions don't have consequences, or that they can't ever be wrong or incorrect signals fevered fanatics playing teacher's pet, when the other, more obvious, and logical answers are right in front of our faces: That they don't really care (enough), that the subject matter does not fit their design philosophies. And that's fine; if anything, I'd rather they simply come outright and say it, it'd put everybody else's mind at ease instead of being confused or angry, wondering as to what the heck the Devs are thinking doing X Y and Z.

Them dodging or skewing subject matter isn't the best option if they are going to allow something, because it just shows us that they're trying to cater to the masses without bending their design philosophy as compromise, and that's just not gonna work. If you keep one, you simply ruin the other, and something's gotta give, otherwise it results in the above.

Regardless, the math shows that allowing Dexterity to Damage, even with some of the suggestions the forumites came up with, isn't gamebreaking, nor does it overshadow Strength builds at all. If anything, it's actually inoptimal to do unless you're a Tank type, and even that's pointless, given the mechanics behind armor and a Dexterity build being unable to bypass that level. I mean come on, Attacks and Damage go hand in hand when it comes to playing the game, and making one work while screwing the other one over defeats the paradigm of martial gameplay entirely, and it's already hurting as it is because casters OP.


Rikkan wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Spiritual Weapon is a force effect; even if it's a weapon-like spell, it's still otherwise an object, not a creature, much less an ally, ruling Prayer out.
Well if, according to the FAQ, inspire courage (which also targets allies) does work on the spiritual weapon, I don't see any reason why prayer would not.

I re-read everything, and I suppose it can work; it requires quite a bit of a legalese reading to get to that interpretation though, so some clean-up would be needed.


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Zolanoteph wrote:

So what do I think is wrong with the bard?

I must state clearly that my problems with the bard have nothing at all to do with power level. I'm a part time powergamer at worst and will play anything (even something suboptimal) if I like the concept. My problem with the bard is bardic performance.

Singing in battle

I can't get behind the idea that a character who sings or plays the drums/lute in battle. There's not much of an argument to be made here, this is just my gut reaction. Weather it's beating the drum, singing, playing the lute, you name it. When the ogre comes crashing through the gate, you better be swinging at axe, chucking a fireball or doing something practical/cool.

You're kidding, right?

Not all Bardic Performance is singing and dancing. One of the most optimal forms of Bardic Performance is actually Oratory, or in other words, praying, reciting religious excerpts, etc. Or even Comedy, usually with subtle hilarious gestures, or silly statements. There are all kinds of things that don't involve singing, dancing, or music; are you gonna start calling those people a bunch of hootenannies too?

It doesn't really matter if there were historical accuracies or magical influences regarding singing in the midst of battle, not all bardic performances work that way, and most optimal bards don't choose those options.

I have a bard who doesn't need to be swinging an axe or throwing fireballs to be practical and cool; he's a 100% team player and his purpose in life is to enable those who are in need of guidance to fulfill their true potential and destiny. He's also an Ex-Paladin (that is, he was once in the service, but it did not fit his calling, and so he retired from that way of life) that abandoned that profession for his higher purpose in life.

Zolanoteph wrote:

The Life Coach Problem

This is the phrase I use to describe my chief complaint with the bard, possibly the one that trumps all the others. The bard is a motivational speaker. The bard is a hero who is so good at telling other people that "they can do it!" that he becomes invaluable as a coach and leader. On a related note, the Mary Sue concept is baked right into the class: The bard is a master of skills, especially social skills, to the point where for all intents and purposes, everybody loves em'!

The problem with this is that it lends itself to situations where characters in game give empowering speeches even though the player is inarticulate and unimaginative. Or a situation where my fighter is hyped up by the unerring spirit of the party cheerleader. Think about this; I want to play a stoic, tough guy character. And here he is, being told "You can do it! You're a winner!" by this sissy singer/dancer/speech giver and this stuff is giving my character bonuses in combat. The flavor/mechanical implication is that the bard effects my character emotionally and has an intuitive ability to rally him to greater heights of valor. Shouldn't abilities like this happen through role playing in character? Why should the dice or the basic game mechanics tell me that you just gave an awesome performance and it effected me emotionally?

Ironically enough? Not all bards are designed that way. There are archetypes that make them viable for melee/ranged combat. The base bard himself is actually a very strong caster type, and some archetypes augment that even further without compromising his support capabilities.

In either case, it's quite clear that the only thing limiting the Bard's availability is both your imagination (which is quite skewed) and your ignorance of the mechanics that are already laid out (that support more than just a cheerleader playstyle).


Another quick bump.

I decided to go with a feature called "Power Surges" for replacing Bravery, something that I reflavored to work similar to Ki, but instead be Constitution-based; I also changed around some of its power and increased the costs due to the early access, as well as edited some of the effects to help establish the flavor.

I'm a little worried that it's probably a bit much for what it replaces, but since the power strike can be used with all melee and thrown weapons (and those weapons can be made of special materials), and each of the costs are one step higher (that is, requiring a point equates to spending a point, and spending a point equates to spending 2 points), I think it balances out in the usefulness aspect.

From here, I think the archetype is about as complete as it's gonna get. Enjoy!


I would say it does not work. Here's why:

Spiritual Weapon is a force effect; even if it's a weapon-like spell, it's still otherwise an object, not a creature, much less an ally, ruling Prayer out. If you want that kind of spell to receive those benefits, you should cast this one.

Prayer works for allies and enemies. A Spiritual Weapon is not a creature, whereas a Spiritual Ally is.

As for Wrath, it's a personal spell. Unless you and the Spiritual Ally have the Share Spells teamwork feat line, it's not gonna be affected by it, and since Spiritual Ally does not have feats...

As others have said, it's a fire and forget sort of spell; you cast it on somebody (probably the BBEG) and then redirect your efforts elsewhere.


Updated the content some.

I edited the class skills section, stating what they gain as class skills and what class skills they replace to help clarify that they originally came from the Fighter class (if some of the replacements weren't obvious enough).

I decided against limiting the weapon proficiency list and Weapon Training/Mastery features, since there are some monasteries in fantasy that don't use explicitly monk weapons (although they can most certainly advocate them), so it can still fit that theme without having to compromise it.

I adjusted the confusing language regarding the bonus feats, stating that they can forgo the bonus feat at the respective level interval to increase the damage reduction granted from their Body Training feature by 1, and the option can only be done 3 times.

I still made them non-proficient in using shields, but I allowed them to use shields as weapons, it's just they won't be able to benefit from the shield bonus to AC in doing so, otherwise they lose the benefits of their Protection of Force class feature.

Lastly, I changed the Improved Stalwart to replace the 6th level bonus feat.

I'm still stuck as to what I want to do with the Bravery class feature. Introducing Ki Points can hurt the concept of a brute-like monastery character, and having that require Wisdom as well makes the character all kinds of MAD. If I throw in a Flurry of Blows equivalent, it either becomes useless or very convenient, depending on the playstyle; although that about fits the power level of Bravery, I don't want to force players to have to rely on unarmed strikes that deal piddly damage or Monk weapons in order to benefit from the feature. Some guidance here would be greatly appreciated.


I suppose I could list out all the skills, though the archetypes in the books only reference what is added/removed for class skills, not the entire list.

Adjusting the bonus feat language would probably work better than trying to reference a Rage Power feat, it'd just end up confusing people...

The problem with making it Constitution based is that you run into a really MAD character; Constitution represents life force, something that shouldn't be used when referencing the sheer muscle mass being able to thwart attacks. Although that's a Monk concept, it's one that I don't want to emulate with a Fighter archetype.

The encumbrance comes from them having to both manage their weight and manage their muscular contractions to deflect attacks. As for shields, it defeats the purpose of them relying on their own body for protection instead of armor. I suppose I could put in a clause that says they can use a shield as a weapon, but cannot receive a Shield Bonus to AC from it.

I could make Improved Stalwart a 6th level instead of a 4th. Again, Stalwart has a couple unnecessary feat taxes which have nothing to do with the feats own benefits, so it's honestly fitting that I fix the 1st level bonus feat to help clear that.

I'll update it again soon, but for now I need to get to work.


Bump.

I guess everybody is speechless over this, or think it's so bad they don't want to say anything...


I was mulling over the idea of a character whose unconditional devotion to mastering their physical body made their flesh almost impenetrable, and then it hit me to make a Fighter archetype with a Monk-like feel. Thus I sprang to life The Impervious Zealot archetype.

The highlights:

-Removed all Armor and Shield proficiencies, switched around 4 class skills (removed 4 from Fighter chassis and added 4 from Monk chassis), and threw in a Lawful alignment requirement (to take levels in, anyway).

-Applies Strength to AC as an Armor Bonus and can enhance themself as if they were a suit of armor (this is remediated by removing of proficiencies, and the enhancement and Strength modifier benefits only work while not wearing an armor or shield, and not affected by medium or heavy encumbrance).

-Grants a scaling DR and provided the ability to take a "Rage Power" feat for a Bonus Feat to increase this DR by ignoring pre-requisites. This is remedied in the early game by affixing the 1st and 4th level bonus feats, and remedied by the late game, enforcing the "can only be taken 3 times" rule.

Things left to consider

-I might want to remove their overall martial weapon proficiency and make them only proficient in all Monk weapons, so as to enforce the monastic theme, though this can kill the concept of a regular guy who is so strong he shrugs off blows with his mere figure.

-I will definitely change the Bravery feature, though I am not sure as to which angle I want to change it as. One idea was to implement the Flurry of Blows class feature, though this forces the player into a niche that's not only inoptimal, but also counterintuitive, since some of their bonus feats are already picked for them. It fits the scale well enough, though. Another was the Ki Pool class feature, but for what it grants, it shoehorns the character concept if they want to make full benefit of it, and it also provides a power boost that I'm not sure I'm comfortable with in comparison to what it replaces.

-I'm also debating of switching up or restricting the Weapon Training selections, as well as the Weapon Mastery feature, but the former runs into the same problem as above with weapon proficiencies, and the latter seems good enough in my book.

Please review the concept, rate the result, and provide helpful constructive suggestions/feedback!


TOMfoolery wrote:
But a 5' step is a move action, isn't it? That's why you can't take a 5' step and then double move.

You might want to read this...


Ipslore is correct.

Blood Armor is basically this spell, except is for nearly all arcane casters, and is 2nd level.


Honestly, if he's allowed to retrain, he should be a 10th level Paladin; they get a lot more neat features. Fighters just hit things; Paladins Smite Evil, have Lay On Hands, ridiculous Saving Throws and Immunities, etc.

And since it's Carrion Crown, his interesting martial abilities will be online at least 90% of the time, whereas his other interesting abilities will be on all the time.


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Quote:

Greater Bleed

School: Necromancy
Cleric/Oracle 2, Inquisitor 2, Wizard/Sorcerer 2, Witch 2
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Components: V, S
Target: One Creature
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 caster levels)
Duration: Instantaneous
Save: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

Your target begins to bleed uncontrollably from multiple orifices. It must make a fortitude save or take bleed damage equal to your caster level (maximum 10). A successful save negates this effect. The bleeding persists and cannot be stopped by natural means, such as from the heal skill or an extraordinary ability, but can be stopped by magical and supernatural sources, such as cure light wounds or channel energy. A creature that does not have blood is immune to this effect.

Quote:

Entrapment

School: Evocation [Force]
Wizard/Sorcerer 3
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Components: Verbal, Somatic
Area: 20 ft. radius
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Duration: 1 minute/level
Save: Reflex partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

You weave a ward of pure force that encircles a target area. Any creature that walks out of the affected area triggers the ward and suffers 1d4 force damage for every 2 caster levels you possess.

Creatures that fly over, burrow under, are incorporeal, or teleport out of the target area are not affected by this spell. You may have only 3 Entrapment spells up at any one time.

Quote:

Crippling Disfiguration

School: Transmutation (Polymorph)
Wizard/Sorcerer 4, Witch 4
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Components: Verbal, Somatic
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 round/level.
Save: Fortitude Negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

Through harsh magics, you temporarily alter the physiology of a creature to reduce its mobility. Target creature must make a fortitude save or lose all movement speeds and abilities other than the standard movement speed. If the target does not have a standard movement speed, they are unable to move from their position (though another creature may bull rush, drag, or reposition it as normal), but are given a new saving throw each round to end the effect.

Creatures that are flying that are affected by this spell begin to plummet to the ground. Creatures with a climb speed affected by this spell must make a climb check equal to the save DC or lose their grip and fall to the ground; they may climb using a skill check, but do not receive any benefits from otherwise having a climb speed. Creatures using earth glide that are affected by this spell must immediately move to the nearest open space outside of the earth they currently inhabit.

I made some changes to them; let me know what you think.


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Dex based builds mostly work in skill monkeys that are suffering from MAd issues or urban barbarians (which are weaker than normal ones).

Precisely the argument I make for stating Dex to Attack and Damage isn't gamebreaking; it is limited by other aspects of the game, and most people don't see it until it actually affects them.

And you are correct on the Urban Barbarian aspect; although their ability score adjustments are more flexible and provide better defensive capabilities (not limited in skills, no AC penalty, but at the cost of the Will Save increase normally associated), the net amount is significantly reduced; where a normal Barbarian would get +4 to Strength and Constitution, an Urban Barbarian would be at +2 each if using direct comparison, though also has the option of applying it to Dexterity as well, and that scale is only going to get worse when you throw in TWF feat taxes to maximize the application of your static bonuses (the only source of solid damage you can apply, by the way), the scaling differences when Greater and Mighty Rage come into play, etc.

@ Nicos: I can't speak for them, but my GM has allowed our group to combine magic items into a slot. I believe he limited it to one combination per slot (that is, you can only combine two items for a given slot to comprise the single item to take up the slot), so as to keep things simple, but don't quote me on that. I just might test it to see if I can get Boots of the Battle Herald + Boots of Speed (@ CL 20) + Feather Step Slippers combined into a mega pair of sabatons, but that won't be until much later.


The first one should have a CL cap at, say, CL 10. Remember that those same spells can be used by a BBEG of the same class, and it's pretty brutal to hit a group with a high-end bleed effect.

The second one should have Sonic instead of Force; Force itself is really powerful and basically can't be reduced in any way. Either that or remove the option for the other elements and stick a [Force] descriptor on the spell.

The third one is definitely strong. It's basically a super-powered version of Dimensional Anchor. Removing the teleportation, etc. clause would keep it in line for its level. You'd also need to input a clause determining what happens when you cast this spell on a creature who's climbing or earthgliding or flying, etc. because this can definitely cause instakills in the right circumstances (Flyer going over a cliff to get away from the party, climber forever stuck on a wall with no means to move except to drop down, etc). You also might want to make up a better name, since this spell includes so much more than reducing a creature's ability to fly.


Diminuendo wrote:
Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) can give a bonded item to a Divine Caster: you can cast spells as if your hand was empty.

Minor quote edit, spelling corrections.

That is a feature specific to the Arcane Duelist bard archetype. Here's the full entry for Arcane Bond on the PRD:

Arcane Bond (Wizard) wrote:

At 1st level, wizards form a powerful bond with an object or a creature. This bond can take one of two forms: a familiar or a bonded object. A familiar is a magical pet that enhances the wizard's skills and senses and can aid him in magic, while a bonded object is an item a wizard can use to cast additional spells or to serve as a magical item. Once a wizard makes this choice, it is permanent and cannot be changed. Rules for bonded items are given below, while rules for familiars are at the end of this section.

Wizards who select a bonded object begin play with one at no cost. Objects that are the subject of an arcane bond must fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring, staff, wand, or weapon. These objects are always masterwork quality. Weapons acquired at 1st level are not made of any special material. If the object is an amulet or ring, it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and weapons must be held in one hand. If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell. The DC for this check is equal to 20 + the spell's level. If the object is a ring or amulet, it occupies the ring or neck slot accordingly.

A bonded object can be used once per day to cast any one spell that the wizard has in his spellbook and is capable of casting, even if the spell is not prepared. This spell is treated like any other spell cast by the wizard, including casting time, duration, and other effects dependent on the wizard's level. This spell cannot be modified by metamagic feats or other abilities. The bonded object cannot be used to cast spells from the wizard's opposition schools (see arcane school).

A wizard can add additional magic abilities to his bonded object as if he has the required item creation feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat. For example, a wizard with a bonded dagger must be at least 5th level to add magic abilities to the dagger (see the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat in Feats). If the bonded object is a wand, it loses its wand abilities when its last charge is consumed, but it is not destroyed and it retains all of its bonded object properties and can be used to craft a new wand. The magic properties of a bonded object, including any magic abilities added to the object, only function for the wizard who owns it. If a bonded object's owner dies, or the item is replaced, the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type.

If a bonded object is damaged, it is restored to full hit points the next time the wizard prepares his spells. If the object of an arcane bond is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard level plus the cost of the masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete. Items replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional enchantments of the previous bonded item. A wizard can designate an existing magic item as his bonded item. This functions in the same way as replacing a lost or destroyed item except that the new magic item retains its abilities while gaining the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a bonded item.

Nowhere in the text does it mention being able to use the same hand a weapon, staff, or wand is being held for fulfilling somatic components. Whereas the Arcane Duelist Bard archetype has this text for their Arcane Bond feature:

Arcane Bond (Arcane Duelist Bard) wrote:
At 5th level, an arcane duelist gains the arcane bond ability as a wizard, using a weapon as his bonded item, allowing him to cast any one addition spell that he knows once per day. He may not choose a familiar or other type of bonded item. He may use the hand holding his bonded weapon for somatic components. This ability replaces lore master.

If the same Arcane Duelist bard tried to TWF with a second bonded weapon (via Eldritch Heritage [Arcane]), that second bonded weapon wouldn't be applicable for fulfilling somatic components.

That's one peg down for the many Wizards who are overpowered as heck. Just a million more to go...


@ Peet:

For the record, here's the directory regarding reliquary items.

It says you can count the item (in this case, the shield) as a holy symbol for your deity (in the cases of channeling energy) and a divine focus (in the cases of casting spells), so it follows the standard rules regarding that. So we'll need to pull up the relevant rules for casting spells, specifically components.

Let's bring up the Focus entry and compare to the Divine Focus entry:

Focus wrote:
A focus component is a prop of some sort. Unlike a material component, a focus is not consumed when the spell is cast and can be reused. As with material components, the cost for a focus is negligible unless a price is given. Assume that focus components of negligible cost are in your spell component pouch.
Divine Focus wrote:
A divine focus component is an item of spiritual significance. The divine focus for a cleric or a paladin is a holy symbol appropriate to the character's faith. The divine focus for a druid or a ranger is a sprig of holly, or some other sacred plant.

By RAW, you're required to draw out a (Divine) Focus, which is an item, to cast the spell. Items needed to be drawn out for use takes up a hand (or a foot if you're really skilled like that, but the RAW wouldn't allow it) and you're needed to have a free hand to gesture with, requiring two hands total. Some spells require both a focus and material components, meaning unless you have 3 hands (or 2 limbs that can hold items and a free hand to gesture), by RAW you can't cast the spell at all, since you lack the amount of hands needed to hold the items and make the gestures.

So, as Diego Rossi pointed out, the RAW actually screws you up very badly in this regard, since it's not quite specific. Because of that, RAW can really be thrown out the window, and we're forced to rely on RAI, which is a lot more reasonable.

As the forumites state regarding the RAI for casting spells, having a free hand and having a divine focus, both needed to cast a divine spell, are completely separate subjects and requirements; what's handwaved is the need to have separate hands for each component requirement. RAW, they're even defined as separate things in the components section, and the RAI doesn't circumvent that. Meaning for example, I can have a Reliquary Heavy Shield be a Divine Focus for a spell, but when both hands are occupied (one with the shield, the other with a weapon), I can't cast that spell because I can't make the proper hand gestures needed. I can drop the Heavy Shield to fulfill the free hand pre-requisite, but then I am lacking the Divine Focus component needed. Since both are needed, you can't cast the spell without possessing all of the required components; it just simply fails.

Because of this, compare the Heavy and Light Shield entries:

Light Shield wrote:
You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A light shield's weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it.
Heavy Shield wrote:
You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A heavy shield is so heavy that you can't use your shield hand for anything else.

A Light Shield can carry and use items (bar weapons) in the same hand. (Some argue you can use the same hand for gesturing and the like, but since you're required to hold it in your hand, it won't work; if you want that, use a Buckler.) A Heavy Shield can't carry or use anything in the same hand it's used.

So with a Reliquary Light Shield, by RAW you can have your Divine Focus component in the shield hand (as well as any material component possibly, though you'll want it open for holding your weapon), and when you switch your weapon to your shield hand (a Free Action to do that and vice-versa in the same round), you'll have a free hand for gesturing.


To add to the damage aspect disparity: Strength builds aren't limited to what they can use for weapons, leaving them open to several different sets of builds, such as high damage dice weapons for Vital Strike builds, high multipliers for critical fishing, special properties for combat maneuvers, or a combination of those. It can also be used straight away, not having to jump through hoops or needing to expend resources, meaning any resources they are left with can be used for other, more important aspects, or to improve an already base aspect, resulting in an overall net gain when comparing total benefits.

Dexterity is severely limited; having significantly reduced damage dice is a real killer in the early game, because such options are the only ones available for Dexterity, in addition to being forced to rely on Strength, as it takes time and resources for Dexterity to come online, and by the time it reaches late game, they can only be reliant on static bonuses, since the design choices revolving around an increased Dexterity aren't supported with increased damage dice or the like. It also won't have as much static bonuses due to the restricting options for Dexterity, such as Enlarge/Reduce Person. Their ability to be good with maneuvers also requires even more investment with feats or abilities, hurting their net damage dealt further. Did I mention their extra investments generally have fairly extensive pre-requisites?


I have just one piece of advice if you're going to try this.

No, talking.


I finally managed to get a look over some of the ACG's contents, and there was a subject I found that seems to be too good to be true; I just want to be sure that I am understanding the mechanics correctly.

There is a 2nd level evocation spell on both the Bard and Sorcerer/Wizard spell lists called "Contingent Action." Here's what it says in the spell description:

Contingent Action wrote:
The target gains an extra action that becomes available when a condition which you dictate is met. At the time of casting, you dictate the condition, and the target specifies a readied action that occurs when triggered by this condition. The condition needed to trigger the readied action must be clear, although it can be general. If a complicated or convoluted condition is prescribed, the whole combination might fail when triggered. For example, suppose the trigger and the action are stated as "If the target is attacked while he is not holding a weapon, he draws a weapon." If the target has no weapon to draw when the trigger occurs, the action fails. If the trigger and the action are "If an ally within 20 feet falls unconscious, the target moves to a space adjacent to that ally" but the target is chained to a wall when the trigger occurs and can't reach the unconscious ally, the action fails. The readied action must be a standard, move, or swift action-it cannot be used to cast a spell or use a supernatural ability. This action counts as a readied action and doesn't count toward the number of actions the creature can take in a round. When the condition occurs, the target can decide not to use the readied action. Once the condition is triggered, the spell is discharged-whether or not the target uses the readied action or the action is successful. This spell counts as a contingency spell for the purpose of having multiple contingent effects on a creature at the same time.

So if I'm correct, in addition to a target's full round's worth of actions, he also gets the ability to ready an action in response to a condition which is set by the caster of this spell; it lasts a minute per caster level and discharges once the readied action is taken.

Although you can't use it to cast spells (or use a Supernatural ability), this seems to be a pretty powerful and unique spell, especially when it's only 2nd level; I'm not sure if that's right, though. This does raise some other questions.

For example, it says it can't be used to cast spells or Supernatural Abilities, would this not circumvent Spell-Like Abilities from being used with this spell, or would it fall under the concept of casting spells?

Additionally, would this readied action work in attempts to counterspelling, for example? Some insight would be appreciated...


Yo Dawg, I heard you like feats, so we made a feat that can make feats. We also threw in some socks


Sorry for not being able to contribute my findings, I have been busy with other things. That being said, I'll start with the comparison and contrast of Yeti1069's post.

yeti1069 wrote:
Dex-focused gives you 1 stat for AC, Reflex saves, Initiative, ranged attack, melee attack, melee damage (and possibly ranged), and some valuable skills (Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Stealth).

In comparison to a Str-focused character, the difference in AC is minimal, if actually existing. Assuming a +8 Dexterity Modifier by 10th level, you would be forced to wear lighter armor to get usage out of your modifier, as your bonus to armor is limited by your Maximum Dexterity bonus. For example, Darkleaf Cloth Leather Armor would be the most optimal Dexterity to Armor Bonus ratio, given it matches your +8 Dexterity Modifier, it comes with a mere +2 Armor Bonus. Most Strength builds take a Full Plate armor with having only 12 Dexterity, having only a +1 Dexterity Modifier, the cap for Full Plate, it still comes with a +9 AC, equating the grand total of the lighter-armor, Dexterity-focused character, which is +10 AC (before enhancements and such). This can change with other subjects, such as Shields, but aren't really exclusive to both build types.

As attempts to remedy the situation, not many subjects can increase the amount of Maximum Dexterity Bonus that is on armor, and if they do, it increases it across all armors, not just lighter ones, meaning the net scale difference resulting from Dexterity-focused to Strength-focused remains unchanged. Another alternative is to equip Bracers of Armor for +8 AC, though you may miss out on some of the more decent properties, like Deathless, or possibly some neat wrist slot items.

Regarding Reflex Saves, most characters just run with a Cloak of Resistance of the appropriate scale to counteract effects that rely on that statistic. Most Dex-focused classes will have fewer hit points than those who are not, so the success to fail ratio on Dexterity builds may marginally higher or lower, depending on how invested they are. Of course, this only applies to subjects which rely on such, and aren't too plentiful in circumstance.

Initiative can be a big difference, though there are several means around this, such as class features, a feat/trait, etc. that make the Strength-focused guy keep up. At the very least, it makes a Dexterity-focused character not have to invest in it, though they will end up doing so anyway, given the concept of rocket tag by the endgame.

yeti1069 wrote:
Str-focused gives you 1 stat for melee attack, melee damage, ranged damage (and possibly attack with throwing weapons), some mediocre (but occasionally important) skills (Climb, Swim), carrying capacity, and checks to break things.

Strength for Attack Rolls with Throwing Weapons I believe requires either a feat or a specific magic item. In either case, it does require other extensive investment in compromise for either feats or prized slot items, and it runs into similar problems with cases such as TWF, and those two build types are rarely considered, much less created to be of any use.

Climb and Swim have some uses in the low levels. They lose their value at about 6th or 7th level when everyone can fly, teleport, walk over water, etc. Unless of course, you're stuck in an AMF or you're playing an underwater campaign. But the former doesn't happen until the endgame, and you'll be prepared for it; the latter comes few and far between, and if it does, you'll know what you're in for, and plan accordingly.

Carrying Capacity is the biggest issue for Dexterity-focused builds. Although they won't be carrying as heavy of stuff, if they dump their Strength below 10 (some builds could afford to do this if they build a certain way), they run into encumberance issues, defeating the entire purpose of building Dexterity, and serves as a proper lower level balancer, especially for those levels where one does not have Dexterity to Attack and Damage online, or special materials like Mithril or Darkleaf Cloth.

I understand that I didn't say anything about the damage aspect, and that's because it deserves its own post; it will take me a bit to double-check the numbers to make sure they come out correctly.

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