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Sargogen, Lord of Coils

Darksol the Painbringer's page

4,523 posts (4,527 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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I'll FAQ this, since it's not explicitly stated as to what your "chosen weapon" actually is, and Paizo could've done a better job actually explaining that. I mean, there's nothing that explicitly says "Choose a single Martial or Exotic Weapon. You gain proficiency with this weapon, and is considered your chosen weapon for the purposes of the Kensai's class features." And there should be.

I will, however, say that the quoted sentence above is most likely the intent behind the "chosen weapon" stuff for the Kensai archetype.

Tyinyk wrote:

It's because all three are used to gain access to deeds, which is why they stack.

Someone who gets panache, luck, and a level in Mysterious Stranger gunslinger, gets 3x their charisma.

Yeah, no. If you can't get twice your Charisma Bonus to Saves in accordance to the FAQ, then you can't get thrice your Charisma Bonus to your Panache/Grit/Luck pool, especially when the rules say that they count as the same resource for all intents and purposes.

@ Klorox: I disagree on Gunslingers being useless. I just started a 1st level Gunslinger (Bolt Ace, to be precise), and quite honestly, you can still be very useful without spending Grit, especially if you're optimized enough. I was hitting enemies quite a bit (even if my damage was lackluster at points), and I never had to use my Grit ability to target Touch AC for basic fights.

Really, Grit serves as a supplement to deal with foes that have certain strengths, or as a cureall against Boss Fights.

There's also the Extra Grit feat, and magic items that supplement your Grit usage (by granting, reducing, or increasing Grit); a Grit user not taking those items, especially if he feels they're absolutely necessary, is a foolish player.

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Oh god. Herolabs. My #1 triggerword on this site.

You know what's going to happen if this FAQ gets answered, right? Bucklers will be nerfed into uselessness, and Dervish Dance may actually be published in an official Hardcover, with the same text as Slashing Grace (as is what happened with Fencing Grace) to prevent these sorts of "shenanigans".

I'd prefer to actually have the FAQs do what they say they do, instead of resulting in a ruling reversal. So yes, it should work.

And with that said, I'm going to bow my head out of this one before I go on a relentless tirade about my #1 triggerword. (Yes, saying it is basically my command word for my Rage spell-like ability.)

Angel Hunter D wrote:
Darksol, they nerfed crane wing last I checked. I think I get what you mean about blindfight now so I think I'll take improved initiative instead there.

Hear that? That's the sound of the joke going over your head.

Snarkiness aside, I really think that the worry of having a "weak" Dexterity isn't that big of a deal, since all they really do is increase Dexterity-based skills (which only Acrobatics is perhaps all you'll ever use, and it scales worth crap against the enemies you'd be forced to use it on), increase Reflex Saves (which really only reduces damage you take from blasting, which is quite an inoptimal choice; could've been fixed with Primalist archetype, but you know), and increase AC. Initiative is great, but Improved Initiative will get you at a level that you need. Any character can have 6+ in their Initiative with the proper selections, without any investment in Dexterity, which is plenty for PFS.

There's always the whole "Combat Reflexes" thing, but it would require a much further investment into Dexterity than is desired to be able to make more than one Attack of Opportunity, and don't forget that it costs a precious feat. (A bonus feat from a fairly junky list, but a feat no less.)

I'd instead consider Iron Will; a +2 to Will Saves is great, and remember when you said that there are a lot of bad saves to make during PFS scenarios? Will Saves comprise ~80% of them. So not having "good" Will saves will really hurt you.

Don't forget that you do get spells to buff yourself with, which increase with Dragon Disciple levels. Don't discount the benefits of Shield (which you can learn for free, I might add), Mirror Images, and so on, so if you're wanting Dexterity for a defensive option, your spells do it on a much better scale.

Angel Hunter D wrote:

Darksol, you seem a little late to the party so I'll fill you in.

I'm building this BECAUSE I want to use natural weapons. Even if my Aberrant bloodline doesn't progress, I just need the level 4 power and having it gives me the Tumor (which if you read above you will see it becomes an ablative HP pool equal to half my HP that I can split damage with; and it has fast healing 5 in addition to other familiar benefits)

Also, Primalist is not PFS legal, so no rage powers, and Suli require a boon last I checked. As for stacking natural attacks, I can get a Gore attack without much trouble in addition to the bite from DD.

I do like what you're getting at about Combat Reflexes though, I just don't have enough attribute points to do the reflexes well. Fighting the big things without having to get crap-kicked on the way in is probably good enough, and the option to keep regular sized enemies at arm's length sounds better than AC to me.

As for Blind Fight, I get Blindsense at higher levels so it seemed like a good idea for invisible enemies.

Glad we got that cleared up then. Having a second set of sub-hit points is pretty impressive.

A good option is banned in PFS? Go figure. Sometimes I wish they stuck to that advice for situations that actually called for it *COUGHMASTEROFMANYSTYLESCRANEWINGABUSECOUGH*, excuse me. Oh well...

I wouldn't be too worried about reach creatures; don't forget, you'll have a lot of hit points and decent AC to soak up whatever damage you take. You also only provoke once ever for movement per round, so taking a hit just to get into melee range is no big deal.

Blind Fight is very synonymous with Blindsense. I just don't think either are particularly pertinent unless you're thrown into a situation where that happens (and since you're a Half-Orc with Darkvision, unless some jerk casts Deeper Darkness at you, you will hardly ever have to deal with blindness issues). Even so, Improved Initiative is always a great feat, no matter what character you play.

Angel Hunter D wrote:

Sorry to revive this guys, but I've been conversing with the local power-gamer (great guy to talk to if you're sick of having your party's wipe) and it's got me seriously considering crossblooding after all.

The downside can be effectively negated with a four-leaf clover (hurray for fate's favoured, that +2 becomes a +4 therefore negating my "effective" -4 from being crossblooded) which is 3750GP. Not exactly cheap, but seems a worthwhile investment in that it can affect any save up to 3 times a day. And how many nasty saves are there in a Society game anyhow? My highest so far was 5.

The upside is I can get a better level 4 bloodline ability than Draconic Resistance. So, here are the options:

1:Black Blood/Aberrant - either gives me another 5' of reach. but which one is better for access to feats/spells? and aberrant gives me the option to get a tumor familiar

2: Abyssal - Free Enlarge when I'm raging (voluntary). Gives me all the pro's and con's of being larger.

which do you guys think is the better bet Black Blood/Aberrant or Abyssal for cross-blooding?

Crossblooding is neat, but the Dragon Disciple levels won't increase the benefits of your second bloodline. Even if RAW would allow it, I can assure you that it's not RAI, and any sane GM would shut it down. Since this is PFS, chances are it's going to be disallowed based that it's designed to improve Draconic Bloodlines, and not serve as a generic improvement to all other bloodlines.

Sure, the option to switch between Bloodrage powers are nice, but Dragon Resistances aren't that bad of a Bloodrage power, especially since you're gaining Natural Armor on top of it. If anything, the 1st level ability (Claws) sucks, but if you're going to go Rageshaper archetype (which improve the effectiveness of your natural weapons and polymorph effects), and Dragon Disciple (which gives you a Dragon Bite with automatic 1.5x Strength in addition to your claws), you're kind of already committed to using natural weapons. I'd focus more on trying to stack as many natural weapons to your person that you possibly can, through feats, items, or otherwise. The Suli race is ridiculously strong for a Bloodrager, since they get +2 to Strength and Charisma, all-around resistances (which means you can reasonably substitute the Dragon Resistances Bloodline Power), and Elemental Assault (which can be activated and changed via a feat for extra damage).

I'd instead consider the Primalist archetype (yes, it stacks with Rageshaper) if you're wanting to substitute Bloodline powers, which instead lets you substitute one of 4th level or higher for 2 Rage Powers of your choice (and scale based off of your Bloodrager level). My suggestions are Reckless Abandon and Superstition, but there are other solid choices.

Remember that having Reach also requires having a high Dexterity to take advantage of Combat Reflexes. Between Charisma and Strength, you'd be pretty hard-pressed to make the concept of a Reach character difficult to pull off. This is true regardless of how you're getting it (being Large or otherwise). At best, it allows you to fight larger enemies without consequence, which can be done in several other ways.

As for feats, they're okay choices. I don't know what the benefit of a Tumor Familiar is, so you'd have to explain why you're getting that. Cleave sucks, so pick up Cornugon Smash so you can debuff while you beat your enemies down. For the bonus feats, I'd consider Improved Initiative and Toughness from Draconic bloodline. Initiative and Hit Points (which is why you'd take Raging Vitality) are much better than a feat that requires high Dexterity, making you MAD as all hell, and a feat that has very little to no application outside of being affected with a Blindness spell (but you should have crazy Constitution and a good Fortitude Save, meaning there's no way you can feasibly fail it).

Qaianna wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
Is a terrible feat. First, the prereq is very high, as androids have a penalty to charisma. Second, the feat takes away at least as much as it gives, where a good feat should always give a little more than it takes.
Getting rid of a core race feature should take more than just a simple feat investment.
Should've simply made it an alternate racial trait. Honestly, making it a feat requirement is certainly more than hefty enough, since the only real Android character I'd think of that would be able to take the feat and want to are Bloodragers.

Ow my main casting stat.

Still ... honestly, if Calm Emotions can kill a rage, it'd have to follow that rage is an emotional thing. While it's funny to imagine an android 'replicating' a rage ('Grr. Argh. Blood. Death. Vengeance.'), mechanically it's falling flat, even Unchained. (Otherwise ... an android unchained barbarian would be immune to Calm Emotions, right?)

The problem I have with that is that it stems from people going with the assumption that robots are linear and rail-roaded, like a bad Diablo clone adventure, not quadratic and complex, like a truly fleshed out character, storyline, and adventure.

Seriously, it's like comparing something with a "0101101001001" coding, to...well...Bender, from Futurama, for a more colloquial example.

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Raving Nerd wrote:

I made an unarmed monk (no archetype) using the CRB for the campaign, and I was doing okay for awhile, but now I feel really incompetent. A new player joined with a brawler, and he basically does everything better than my character. His attacks hit and do more damage than mine, and it seems like everything saves against my Stunning Fist. He also gets hit less often than me (or so it seems), and he has more HP.

How should I build my character to make him better?

Assuming the base Monk, there's a lot of issues with it compared to a brawler.

1. 3/4 BAB; you can't really call yourself a strong martial character unless you're either full BAB, or you have a lot of class-related ways to increase your to-hit (like Magi, Inquisitors, and so on). Monk is and has neither of those things. Brawler is a full BAB class, with flexible feats, and has the same unarmed strike damage scaling as you. So unfortunately, he's going to out-attack bonus you, which means he will effectively out-damage you too. There's also the matter of you guys fighting over the same gear, and if he's getting the better gear because he'd "make better use of it," then all you'll end up getting are handmedowns from him, and that's not fair, or ethical.

2. Flurry of Blows; you basically get the TWF feat chain for free with any unarmed strikes and Monk weapons (which you still need proficiency with, by the way). If you've seen any of the "TWF V.S. Two-Handing" martial threads, you'll know that a lot of people dislike TWF for its hefty pre-requisites, extensive feat taxing, and that it makes it harder for you to hit compared to simply using a two-handed weapon. Those people are right, and quite frankly, that's why Flurry of Blows is always mocked into being named "Flurry of Misses."

3. D8 Hit Dice. I hate to say it, but having D8 Hit Dice and being expected to be a frontline martial character is just absolutely silly. It's scary enough for Rogues and similar "support martials" (remember the Magi and Inquisitor? They fall under this paradigm too) to be stuck with little to no armor, and D8 Hit Dice, but you're expected to be able to hold you own. Without a very strong Constitution, you're going to have less HP than the Brawler too, I might add.

4. Stunning Fist. Normally, this would be a welcome onset, because stunning enemies is pretty brutal. But the problem is that it's Wisdom-based (which makes ramping the DC difficult, even if Wisdom is a priority attribute for you), and most importantly, it's a Fortitude Save. Everything and their grandma, even the stupid D6 Hit Dice and Low Constitution Wizards, have good Fortitude Saves. You'd have better luck using a Fireball on an enemy than a Stunning Fist, 9 times out of 10, and this effectively turns into a dull and pointless feature. In fact, the only good use of getting this right away, is not having to spend character feats to grab it for other feats.

The only saving grace for a Monk in comparison is that they get the Good Will Save progression, gain Fast Movement, Evasion, and a slew of other powers (that, in my opinion, and pretty crappy). They also get to supplement their stupid Flurry of Misses with Ki Points that will result in a Greater Flurry of Misses.

So, how do you fix all of those issues?

For starters, that point buy is abysmally defensive. 14 Dexterity is decent for defenses, but you have practically no Strength, which means you have, outside of an Amulet of Mighty Fists, no bonuses to your damage. Simply using damage dice isn't going to fix a whole lot. Your Constitution would've been okay for D8 Hit Dice, but you have to sacrifice your fidelity if you wish to deal out some wicked damage. That's how the game works; turtling doesn't kill the enemy, that only works if the only thing you have to do to win is to turtle (and therefore leave the enemy to either fail in their objective, or turtling results in them killing themselves), which almost always never happens in this game.

Now, as others have said, Unchained Monk is your friend. Simply ask your GM to be able to revert your Monk class and abilities to the Unchained version. This fixes your BAB issue (because 3/4 BAB for a frontline martial sucks without supplements to back it up), your D8 Hit Dice (now D10), and your Flurry of Blows (which lets you simply make an extra attack at your highest BAB with unarmed strikes, stacking with Haste. At 11th level, you get 2 extra attacks, and with the Ki Points, you can spend 1 to tack on yet another full BAB attack, with the same stackability as Flurry). You sacrifice your Good Will Saves, but since you have a strong Wisdom, it's not like you're missing out a whole lot, since you will probably still have better saves than the Brawler, have more full BAB attacks (and to-hit) than the Brawler, and potentially have the better AC too.

The next best suggestion is to pump up your Strength (dump your Constitution down some, since you'll have D10 Hit Dice), and pick up Dragon Style; more specifically, Dragon Ferocity. With each attack you make with Dragon Style, you're adding 1.5x Strength to your attacks, and with the first attack of each round, it's 2x Strength instead. That's big damage, something which the Brawler can't get access to (at least not right away, like you can). Remember that whole "TWF V.S. Two-handing" debacle I threw at you? Forget about it, you effectively get the best of both worlds there.

So, let's assume 20 Point Buy, you should have (before racial adjustments):

Strength 16
Dexterity 14
Constitution 14
Intelligence 9
Wisdom 14
Charisma 7

With Human, that's an easy +2 to your Strength, putting you at a solid 18. That's +4 to hit and damage. By 5th level, you'll gain access to Dragon Ferocity, which would increase your first attack to +8 damage, and your following attacks to +6. You could have up to 3 attacks by that level, each at your full BAB, meaning you could deal as much as 3D8+20 damage per round, an average of 33.5 damage, not including Power Attack (which would be an extra +12 damage on top of it).

You'll have more hit points, even if slightly less AC and Will Saves, but that's the nature of the game. You have to sacrifice the concept of being the god turtle (unless you want to pick up Crane Style, but with the nerfs it received, it's not worth it in my opinion); as appealing as having all that AC is, all it amounts to is a giant "IGNORE ME!" sign, and it is actually a big source of why you're being overshadowed.

I'm not saying having AC is bad, what I'm saying is that compromising between your defense (which is too good for what it's being used on) and your offense (which was abysmal and caused the Brawler to outpace you) is the necessary solution to your problem; well, that, and having the better offensive option available to you.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
Is a terrible feat. First, the prereq is very high, as androids have a penalty to charisma. Second, the feat takes away at least as much as it gives, where a good feat should always give a little more than it takes.
Getting rid of a core race feature should take more than just a simple feat investment.

Should've simply made it an alternate racial trait. Honestly, making it a feat requirement is certainly more than hefty enough, since the only real Android character I'd think of that would be able to take the feat and want to are Bloodragers.

Weapons with the Scatter property are different from spells or special abilities, as they are weapon attacks, so the FAQ wouldn't apply to them. So yes, Kinetic Blasts could apply to each one.

However, the Conductive property says:

Conductive wrote:
A given character can use this weapon special ability only once per round (even if she has several conductive weapons), and the power works only with magical abilities of the same type as the weapon (melee or ranged).

So, you could only ever enhance one attack per round with a Kinetic Blast.

As a side note, I just realized that this severely nerfs my single-target blast build, because this means that I have to apply my Orc Bloodline benefits to a single Battering Blast attack (which by the endgame, is +35 Force Damage), and if that attack misses, then the entire bonus of my Orc Bloodline is gone.

Which is stupid.

To throw on my input, I don't see this being particularly unbalanced.

For starters, enemies could be behind an ally and attack you with a reach weapon (or with reach in general); the acid spray is what deals the damage, and the lines say that it has a 10 foot reach (meaning creatures with 15+ feet of reach don't have to worry about it), and it travels from your square in a straight line toward the direction of the creature that attacked you, affecting the first creature in said line. Remember when I said that enemy is behind your ally? Well, now they're using your own defense against your party, as any smart enemy should. Quite frankly, a proper full attack could very easily wipe out half of your party, even with buffs applied.

There's also the matter that it's a 4th level spell; that's a 4th level spell slot (which you don't get many of at 10th level for 6/9 spellcasters), or 4 Arcane Points (which will run out very fast if you're casting spells like this a lot, even with a bunch of Extra Arcane Pool invested). Not only will this tactic be a drain on your nova power, but it can very easily be used against you.

You also forget that several enemies that aren't Huge or bigger (or Large with a Reach weapon) are going to have some good Reflex saves, and that Magi aren't exactly invested in their Intelligence score (they have some, but they won't be nearly as effective as someone who specifically prepares for their spells to have a saving throw). This means that any creature with incredible Reflex Saves, or dare I say Evasion, will make child's play of this spell.

Though I understand that you sought experienced feedback, and not theoretical feedback, it's safe to say that some or all of the theoretics that I've applied can most certainly apply to any practical use of this spell at a table.

Lastly, and I bring this up for animal-like intelligence creatures; they may not be sentient or brainiacs, but I can assure you that if they are injured enough by what appears to be a natural reaction (such as trying to bite into a cactus to drain the water from it), they probably won't be stupid enough to repeat that same mistake, and perhaps go after someone that doesn't have that defense mechanism.

As the others have said, there appears to be no definitive proof. To my knowledge, based on the organization in the Ultimate Equipment tables of the PRD (sans the errata'd magic item pricings), it's based off of how expensive the item is (because let's face it, a lot of items, in my opinion, and grossly overpriced).

If it's less than 8,000 gold, it's a Minor item. If it's between the prices of 8,000 and 30,000, it's a Medium item, and if it's greater than 30,000 gold, it's a Major item.

After all, there is only this text, based from the purchasing of magic items, and it says:

Purchasing Magic Items wrote:
The number and types of magic items available in a community depend upon its size. Each community has a base value associated with it (see Table: Available Magic Items or Table: Available Magic Items. There is a 75% chance that any item of that value or lower can be found for sale with little effort in that community. In addition, the community has a number of other items for sale. These items are randomly determined and are broken down by category (minor, medium, or major). After determining the number of items available in each category, refer to Table: Random Magic Item Generation to determine the type of each item (potion, scroll, ring, weapon, etc.) before moving on to the individual charts to determine the exact item. Reroll any items that fall below the community's base value.

Granted, you're asking how that is, the only clear indicator is price, and based on the paragraph's subject matter (value of magic items in merchant areas), that appears to be the defining factor.

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vhok wrote:

Critical Hits: When you make an attack roll and get a natural 20 (the d20 shows 20), you hit regardless of your target's Armor Class

A natural 20 is a hit, regardless of armor class. If your attack bonus is +1 and you attack a creature with an AC of 99, you still hit on a nat 20 even though the result of your attack roll is a 21 and that did not equal or beat the targets AC.

Opportune Parry and Riposte: The swashbuckler makes an attack roll as if she were making an attack of opportunity... If her result is greater than the attacking creature's result, the creature's attack automatically misses.

A miss from Parry is not a miss from armor class. Therefore a nat 20 is not an automatic hit regardless of Parry. So if your enemy rolls a nat 20, you can still cause the attack to miss if the result of your attack roll is higher. If the orc has an attack bonus of +3, and rolls a nat 20, the result of his attack roll is 23. If your attack bonus if +8, and you roll a 16, the result of your attack roll is 24. Since your roll is greater, the orc misses.

However, your attack roll is not opposed by armor class, so a nat 20 doesn't cause you to auto-parry or anything. If the ogre's attack bonus is +15, and he rolls a 14, the result of his attack roll is a 29. If your attack bonus is +8, and you roll a nat 20, the result of your attack roll is 28. In this case, you fail to parry.


Kalindlara wrote:
Geramies wrote:
Did "FAQ Friday" turn into "FAQ Monthly"? Why is the FAQ always so slow?

On top of what others have noted, given the following...

-The heavy preponderance of recent drama
-The loss of one of the site's only two moderators
-The community's usual reaction to FAQs

...I believe the team decided to skip over this week's FAQ Friday.

Perhaps. But it's just one of many theories, and Paizo is a big company; I don't think they'll let some bit of drama (as well as clear misunderstanding) get in the way of what they want to do, both as a company, and the direction they wish to steer the game toward. If people don't like it, that's fine, they can find another game to enjoy (perhaps something else that Paizo has released?), or houserule it out. Sure, PFS gets the short stick, but guess what, that's in the PFS "contract", you basically signed away your right to divulge the "bad" rules and fixes from the "good" rules and fixes. It's not exactly nice or fair, but them's the breaks; they made their bed, now they have to lie in it.

Anyway, bringing back a more optimistic approach, I'd prefer to think that they're busy with other, more important things (even if it's as you've described) to work on a FAQ Friday. I mean, it hasn't really been a tradition, it's only really been active for, I'd estimate, about 3-4 months (could be more, could be less, that's about how often I've seen it in action). It's not like they've made it a very high priority in the past (as evidenced by SKR's testimony on the factor), so the ideal that they simply "missed it" shouldn't raise some cause for alarm any more than them simply mistyping "a" instead of "an" in a published hardcover.

There could also be the factor that there simply isn't anything currently worthwhile to be FAQ'd. I mean, the things that people ask to be FAQ'd probably won't because said things should simply be left to the GM to adjudicate, as is the case with the Overrun rules (they're quite broken, and no amount of FAQ/Errata will fix it), the effects of food (or lack thereof for creatures), and so on. There's also the matter of things that simply require errata, as I've demonstrated above, and that sort of stuff simply shouldn't be wasted on a FAQ.

It's too soon to tell as to what the reason is. (Besides, isn't Mark Seifter in charge of the "FAQ Friday" stuff?)


And why are we discussing this sort of thing in a thread that has already had its official answer given? Feels like this sort of thing should've been its own thread.

zainale wrote:
wouldn't rolling a natural twenty against another natural twenty cause you to roll again higher roll wins?

No, because such rules don't exist in the ability description.

If you want to be pedantic like that, Nat 20 would be a critical threat, but clearly those rules don't apply to things like Parry/Riposte, so people saying you critically hit (similar to automatically hitting) don't apply.

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TOZ has the right of it.

Either way, it's safe to say that if both rolls are a Nat 20, then whichever one is normally higher would take the cake.

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Rake wrote:
A creature with this special attack gains extra natural attacks under certain conditions, typically when it grapples its foe. In addition to the options available to all grapplers, a monster with the rake ability gains two free claw attacks that it can use only against a grappled foe. The bonus and damage caused by these attacks is included in the creature's description. A monster with the rake ability must begin its turn already grappling to use its rake—it can't begin a grapple and rake in the same turn.

I do agree it's ambiguous as to whether it's done as part of maintaining a grapple or not, but there's a lot more at play here than simply using rake. For example, maintaining a grapple only lets you attack with a single natural weapon. Rake usually involves two (or more) natural weapons, and the Rake ability says you take them for free against a grappled foe, with the restriction that rake can't be used in the same turn that a foe receives the grappled condition (sans Pounce, of course).

It's safe to say that rake isn't required as part of maintaining the grapple, especially if we go with the interpretation that maintaining the grapple only allows a single natural attack, period. So it's more likely that it's just free attacks made while you have an enemy afflicted with the Grappled condition.

Disrupt Undead does allow a fairly safe ranged option to deal with undead enemies. As a 0th level spell, it's also able to be constantly used as well.

As the title.

Basically, I designed a BBEG for the GM to throw at us, and he's decided to put me in charge of running the encounter (he'll play my PC, which will be interesting). There is a party of 5 PCs, and they will be fresh at 8th level when they face the encounter. The party composition (with basic descriptions) is as follows:

1. Vanara Druid (Mehnir Savant, Fire Domain), strong in casting, functional in melee
2. Elf Magus (Strength Based), extreme burst damage
3. Ratfolk Alchemist (Plaguebringer), strong bombs and crowd control via Smoke Bombs
4. Human Monk (Vow of Poverty, can't equip any items), Dexterity-based, Crane Style melee type
5. Fetchling Ninja (Standard class type), Dexterity-based, TWF with Wakizashis.

Here's some relevant houserules:

1. Charisma is gone. It's not an attribute. Its types have been replaced with other attributes, as appropriate (such as Strength for Intimidate, Intelligence for Bard Spellcasting, Wisdom for Paladin abilities, and so on).

2. Weapon Focus, Shield Focus, and their Greater variants are gone as well. They are not feats, nor are they considered pre-requisites for feats that call for them. (Specialization feats are still present.)

3. Power Attack and Point-Blank Shot are free feats given to all characters if they meet the pre-requisites. All other feats must still be taken as normal.

4. PCs were given up to 15 RP to work with their chosen race (that is, the PCs could choose up to 15 - their chosen race's RP value in additional Racial Traits).

5. Automatic Bonus Progression is enabled. Creatures use their hit dice + 1 to determine ABP benefits.

The Scenario:
Effectively, the PCs are investigating a ruined temple for a portal back home. When they come into the boss room, they'll spot the BBEG (well, the BBEG will probably spot them before they spot her). She will go on a tirade about having all of these interruptions for her quest to reclaim that which was taken from her (a long story, basically two dragons decided to kidnap her children and killed the war hero husband that was trying to defend them in a single swipe of their claws, because within her, as well as her progeny, flowed the dormant blood of dragonkind; she realized that she couldn't physically do something about it, but she wished she had it, the power to protect her offspring. The only thing she knew was that she had to fight fire with fire, in a sense, and went on a quest to access the strength of dragons). She will then praise their power and tenacity, and say that in truth, she isn't currently prepared for them, and that she'll have to use what she came here for well before the time that she wanted to use it; clenching the Dragonsblood Elixir in her hand, she drinks it, unleashing her hidden power to take out on the PCs (and eventually the dragons that stole her children).

Now, I originally planned the boss to be 9th level (2 levels above the PCs), having 5 levels of Bloodrager with the Draconic Bloodline, and 4 levels of Dragon Disciple (as I expected us to be 7th level fighting her), granting her SR = 11 + HD, and +2 Natural Armor. She'll also have maximum HP for the HD, since she's the boss and all.

But, with the PCs being 8th level, I could bump her up to 10th level (taking another Bloodrager level), tack on the Half-Dragon template (and ditch the +2 Natural Armor for something else), or do both, and fit the story's flavor a lot better (showing that the elixir brings out the Dragon Disciple levels and bringing her to Half-Dragon status). The downside to doing that though, is that I fear I'll be making her too strong for the PCs to deal with.

There's also the matter of throwing in minions; if I buff her up to the desired level, would throwing in minions be overkill, or would I still have to, just to keep the BBEG from getting slaughtered by action economy? And if I do throw in minions, what kind of minions would be appropriate for her (preferably something that would mesh quite well with her build and concept)?

For what it's worth, here's the current build of her, here.

Bumping her up a Bloodrager level would provide an extra BAB, Toughness (bloodline feat), plus an extra 1st level spell. The Breath Weapon will deal 10D6, with a Save DC of 20. It will put her base HP at 158, with her raging HP at ~188. A sizable increase, but really only in the HP department.

Adding the Half-Dragon Template would provide an extra +4 to-hit and damage (or +6 with 1.5x Strength attacks), ~2 AC, an extra 30 HP (and +3 to the Breath Weapon Save DC), and other goodies.

So, what should I do?

1. Relevant FAQ would suggest no, as it says it only counts as a weapon for certain abilities that apply to weapon attack rolls and damage rolls (such as inspire courage), and feat selections (as you said, Weapon Focus), but not for any other purpose; ABP would probably fall under the "other purpose" pretense, so probably not.

2. Per RAW, it would be a single Natural Weapon. This would mean that you can never increase more than 2 natural weapons at any given time. Of course, I'd rather rule that it applies in the same manner as if wearing an Amulet of Mighty Fists, since that would be the most likely intent behind the aspect of enhancing Natural Weapons, Unarmed Strikes, and so on.

As for the Black Blade, that's purely GM FIAT, and to be honest, I wouldn't bother with a Bladebound if you're using ABP, as it's basically the same thing. However, the Black Blade already receives a set Enhancement Bonus increase, and that would probably not stack with ABP bonuses (though it stacks with the Magus' Arcane Pool enhancements, because the ability says it stacks with existing bonuses), meaning those extra sets of enhancement bonuses could apply to a ranged weapon (such as a bow).

3. Very similar argument made with the Black Blade can apply here, as far as I know. I don't care to understand Psionic/Occult classes, because they are nothing but a massive set of confusion, so the answer here isn't going to be particularly accurate.

Dasrak wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

The SR appears nice, but probably won't see useful play until past 3rd level or so
The SR is nice, but it's only the tip of the iceberg for a half-dragon. +8 to strength, +6 constitution, immunity to sleep, paralysis, and one energy type, 60 foot fly speed, +4 natural armor, claw and bite attacks... that's a lot of bonuses and I'm shocked your GM is allowing a half-dragon when everyone else appears to be a standard race.

I said Half-Dragon because that's effectively what he is. As a Wyvaran, he's allowing the 10 RP Dragon template for the character, which gives Immunity to Sleep/Paralysis, Darkvision 60, and Low Light Vision. That's it. He doesn't have the Half-Dragon Template, he has the Dragon Type, and for simplicity purposes, we're calling him a Half-Dragon, because Wyvarans sound like a bunch of degenerates.

It's basically a supped up version of any standard race that normally gets Darkvision or Low Light or Sleep Immunity, in which case he's paying 2/3 of his RP to get all of that stuff rolled up into one. It's not overpowered in the slightest.

Again, I'm not going to argue about what the Wizard is doing, because he's valuing flavor over power. The only thing I bothered to tell him is that he has no right to complain about being crappy or saying his character or the game sucks, because in essence, he chose those results.

Thanks for showing the Clever Wordplay, that will really help later down the road. We use a special points system that rewards out-of-the-box tactics and completion to be assigned to certain categories (10 points results in a trait, or for certain categories, 20 points for a specialized feat).

The SR appears nice, but probably won't see useful play until past 3rd level or so, when spellcasters become a regular thing. I mean, he is Half-Dragon, and Dragons usually have spell resistance to deal with; that, and the GM OK'd it, so it's already a done deal. Plus normally he'd have a fly speed, but he substituted that and his broken tail attack that doesn't work right (but is somehow valued at 3 RP) for the SR, so he more than paid for it in both a racial trait and RP value standpoint.

As others have suggested, I may have to go Urban Ranger, perhaps with the Guide archetype (because I dislike Favored Enemy) as well; as cool as Slayer is, I can't make use of the Sneak Attack too well with ranged attacks, and Studied Target can basically be emulated with the Guide archetype, and plus I get other utilitarian goodies. Not the best idea, but it will serve.

As the title.

One of our otherwise 5-man party appears to be going on a predicted, long hiatus (this isn't the first time this has happened, it's actually one of many...hiatuses? Haitii? Anyway, so), we decided to create a separate 4-man good-guy party and start on our first ever Adventure Path (normally we play 3.X or homemade campaigns), the Rise of the Runelords (I believe it's the hardback anniversary edition too). Although we might seem mechanically sound, I have a feeling that there are critical things we are missing.

Before we begin, there are a few houserules that people should be aware of that we're enforcing; it makes a difference, and does help us enforce our choices. They are as follows:

1. Every player picks a race from the ARG, and will have 15 race points to work with (subtracted from their starting race points, of course).
2. Power Attack and Point-Blank Shot are given to everyone for free, but otherwise only work (and count as having the feat) when you fulfill the pre-requisites (at least in the case of Power Attack).
3. Weapon Focus and Shield Focus (and their greater counterparts) are removed completely from the game. What this means is that they cannot be chosen as a feat, and therefore are no longer a pre-requisite for feats/abilities that otherwise require them.
4. Spells and abilities that function as (or very similar to) Haste are removed completely from the game. The GM also talked about making adjustments to summoning (such as by altering their duration and casting time), but nothing concrete has been given to us in relation to that.

With all of the disclaimers done, we have our 4-man party, each with 15 Point Buy:

1. Gnome Wizard with Illusion specialty/Transmutation+Enchantment opposed (I personally suggested Sorcerer, but he absolutely insisted on being a Wizard; since he's adamant on his flavor choices, I decided not to argue with it.)
2. Half-Elf Melee Inquisitor of Ragathiel (Destruction Domain, no archetype)
3. Half-Dragon (Wyvaran) Melee Warpriest of Ragathiel (Destruction and Good Blessings, no archetype), with SR = 11 + HD
4. Human Bolt Ace Gunslinger -> Slayer? [me]

On its surface, we have a fairly well-rounded party. We have two melee "cleric" types with 3/4 BAB (and spellcasting), we have our full arcane spellcasting Wizard, and we have our skill monkey (me) who is full BAB and provides ranged "support". But, there are a few lingering concerns as to our composition. They are as follows:

1. Although we've never actually played an AP, from what I've seen from the forums, they usually require at least 1 full Arcane spellcaster and 1 full Divine spellcaster, as well as 1 full BAB frontliner, and 1 skill monkey. Although I know that the players made these characters to be more fun than powerhouses (myself sort of included), is lacking a full Divine spellcaster (with 2 3/4 spellcasters in its place) going to hurt us in the long run?

2. One thing I noticed is that almost every one of us dumped Charisma (except the Warpriest, who dumped Intelligence instead), to further our offensive capabilities, and our highest Charisma character doesn't have any Diplomacy ranks. I mean, we are more of a hack-and-slash playstyle table, but since we are playing an AP, and decided to put Charisma back on the table as a result, I have a feeling there will be a lot of missed opportunities by not having a "face" party member to help gather valuable information and open special doors for us. (I would've considered being the face if I could've stacked the Mysterious Stranger archetype that allowed Charisma for Grit instead of Wisdom, but per the rules I can't do that since the Grit feature is replaced via Bolt Ace.) So, on a scale of 1 to "You should just quit the AP now," how big of a mistake would this be to leave it unchecked, even if only from the beginning? Is there a way to, at the very least, switch the attribute allocation of Diplomacy to something other than Charisma, so that other party members with more skill points can make use of it?

3. Even if I am a skill monkey who basically watches for traps and tries to disarm them, I won't be able to disarm magical traps until 9th level, when I get my Slayer talent for trapfinding. As with above, on a scale of 1 to "You're going to end up dying in a 20x10 hallway with a maximized empowered intensified fireball," how big of an issue would lacking the ability to disarm magical traps for that period of time become?

As a bonus question, I'm not sure if picking levels in Slayer is the smartest thing to do past 5th level. I do want the full BAB, and the trapfinding feature, but is there another way besides Slayer or Rogue to be able to disarm magical traps (while still maintaining the full BAB)?

I do appreciate some answers and feedback as to how we could improve our performance for an adventure path. Thanks in advance!

1. Relevant FAQ specifically says you can't enhance your Black Blade in that manner, including adding properties.

2. You cannot stack two of the same (or even similar) weapon properties onto a weapon. The only exceptions noted are the Bane/Defiant properties, but it still requires you to select different types (or subtypes) each time.

ShroudedInLight wrote:
Come on, you're playing a Succubus and you're not a Tetori monk abusing the grappling rules?

Too bad Succubus abilities are Charisma-based, and several Monk features are Wisdom-based, otherwise it would totally work.

Sadly, an Iroran Paladin would probably be the better choice, getting Charisma to AC, Saves, and a bunch of similar scaling abilities. On top of that, you can still wear a tight leather dominatrix outfit, have a much looser code of conduct, and otherwise specialize in grappling.

Not really. As demonstrated, the reason why should be quite clear.

Either way, all we can gather, is that there is no definitive manner of what constitutes a Standard, Advanced, or Monstrous Race, since the only means of doing so requires houseruling or the understanding and knowledge of some unwritten rule.

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Bober wrote:


I'm building a level 4 character, being a Rogue of Tiny size. While on the role-play side is awesome, I'm concerned about combat utility.
I have a great score of Dexterity but low Strength (10), and using Tiny weapons would mean having a small dice for dmg.

While I'm not interested in becoming a war machine, dealing tons of dmg, it would still be nice to do SOME dmg, especially when our enemies will become stronger (and eventually get some DR).

Any suggestion on how to boost a bit my dmg output without multi classing?

I'm open to weird ideas, my master is pretty openminded. So far I only thought about getting some kind of animal companion (just trained animals), or working with traps (which would only work in a controlled environment, where I could set the traps before engaging)..

10 Strength isn't that big of a deal, especially if you're Tiny size. If anything, that's actually a little much, because being Tiny size results in gear weighing only 1/4 of its normal weight (and having an average Strength is really only useful for carrying capacity). You could dump it down to 7, and still have plenty of carrying capacity to work with. The only downside would be for medium-sized items, like potions.

As others have said, Sneak Attack does a flat amount of damage, regardless of what weapon you use, so as long as you can maintain Sneak Attack bonuses (such as by having a Flank buddy, or denying the enemy their Dexterity to AC). There's also the matter of optimizing Dexterity to Damage by going UCRogue (better option, certain archetypes like Swashbuckler, Scout, or Sanctified will still work with the character), since being Tiny usually results in a higher Dexterity (and a higher AC/Touch AC). There's also the Debilitating Wound feature for UCRogues at 4th level, which debuffs an enemy's to-hit, AC, or speed, which scales to as high as +8, and is insanely awesome.

The biggest flaw in this is that dealing with any sort of Combat Maneuvers, such as optimizing in them, or defending against them, becomes significantly difficult, since you'll have penalties to your CMB and CMD, and it makes larger enemies who can perform such combat maneuvers much more powerful. The other flaws would include having 0 reach, and provoking AoOs just to move into their square and attack them.

There's also the matter of providing and receiving Flanking with a reach of 0, as that's a gray area entirely. From what I can tell though, as long as you're in their square (and an enemy is adjacent to them and able to attack), you'd be able to flank them.

As for attack methods, that's up to you. One of the most unique things with an UCRogue is being able to pick up an Elven Curved Blade, a two-handed finesse weapon that can deal 1.5x Dexterity, which is nice and consistent, and doesn't require many feats. But, to optimize Sneak Attack, you'll want to go the TWF route, as it gives you more attacks (and therefore more opportunities to apply Sneak Attack). In my opinion, though, TWF as a 3/4 BAB class isn't worth it.

Although you said multi-classing is a bad idea, it's actually pretty good if you do, as there are several class options which give you Sneak Attack as a Rogue, and other interesting benefits. The Snakebite Brawler archetype gives you +1D6 Sneak Attack (which would stack with your current Sneak Attack progression, allowing you 11D6 Sneak Attack at max level), gives you Improved Unarmed Strike, so even if you're unarmed, you're still a very big threat. There's also the Mantis UCMonk archetype, which gives the same Sneak Attack progression as a Rogue with a 2 level dip. The Sneak Attack has its restrictions, but with adding Wisdom to AC (and forgoing that tedious Max Dexterity Bonus armor and picking up Bracers of Armor +8), and other interesting goodies, does offer a better defensive benefit.

Of course, these are just a few ideas. I have others, but they do drastically change the Rogue concept (such as by implementing Unarmed Strikes to deal ridiculous Non-Lethal and still-competent Lethal damage against Non-Lethal-Immune enemies, like Undead and Constructs), but it's ultimately up to you if you wish to learn more or pursue such subjects. I just hope the information I provided is of some help.

Chemlak wrote:
Umm, Darksol? You're the first person in this thread to mention being in the same square to feed a potion.

It's the first thing that's come to mind, because that seems to be the most common situation whenever there is talk of "two creatures in the same square." Call it a reflex, I suppose. There's also the matter of the OP mentioning healing the helpless creature, which certainly can push the conversation in the direction I stated. So really, it's not like my post is outlandish or off-topic.

Either way, the helpless condition making it so that any creature can occupy your square is a pretty stupid and nonsensible rule, and creates ridiculous situations as above. If the helpless condition didn't all-of-a-sudden make your square open, then this sort of crap wouldn't happen.

Bwang wrote:

I trust the English Lit Dr at my table, a monstrous race does not need to spend one point. Neither does 'advanced'. She blames illiteracy on all our parts for not being able to read plain English. Something about backwards compatibility not being a given. The tirade devolved into Jung and Socrates (among others) and I went on a pizza run to miss the rest. If the writers had meant 'only' above x points, they should have said so.

All participants agreed with the above, but for differing reasons. I had some pizza.

Who would have thought language doctors are a bunch of rambling elitist jerks...and people wonder why I despise doctors so much...

Sure, the table tells you what race points are expected in relation to the power levels listed, but it's not like creatures all-of-a-sudden gain those power levels as a "type." That's not really expanded upon in the rules,

Unfortunately, given the text, it's the only conclusion that makes sense, even though it requires making up rules that aren't actually there.

This is a gray area and isn't defined in the rules, primarily because it's paradoxical if they do. If you require that they must move, then they will be spending their entire round of actions being forced to move out of a space that was made illegal (and shouldn't have been legal in the first place).

If you don't require that they move, then as the OP stated, they can effectively share the same square until they decide to move out of it, and that's just as stupid as the former.

To be fair, though, you shouldn't have to move into an unconscious ally's square to heal them, whether through delivering a Cure spell, force-feeding a potion, and so on. So really, the above situation shouldn't even be present, because you can do all of that stuff while you are adjacent to a creature. To quote the force-feeding portion of the text:

Potions wrote:
A character can carefully administer a potion to an unconscious creature as a full-round action, trickling the liquid down the creature's throat. Likewise, it takes a full-round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.

Nothing in that text requires you to be in the same square as the creature, so I don't know where people are coming up with this "you must be in the same square to force-feed a potion" shenanigans. I mean, maybe the whole "carefully administer" thing could apply, but that's GM FIAT/houseruling, because that has no mechanical ramifications, but really, the only requirement is that you'd have to be adjacent to the creature.

In truth, the only time creatures can enter other creatures squares are when A. They have an ability that says they can, B. Are Tiny size or smaller, or C. The creature is actually dead, and isn't a creature at all, simply a corpse.

The spell will still have its more-than-obvious effects. For example, Invisibility or Fireball will certainly still register as you casting magic, because you will either completely vanish from sight, or they will see a tiny red bead come from your square, travel into the respective intersection, and blow up. There's also the matter of GMs ruling that there will still be runic emanations from your body as a result of the spell being cast, which can certainly still apply to you casting the spell in some sort of manner.

Really, what needs to happen is an item or a metamagic feat or something that lets you hide the magical emanations from casting a spell, treating it as if you never cast the spell in the first place. To be honest, the whole concept of "Hiding the spell" seems pretty stupid in my opinion, especially when spells are so powerful to end encounters, that even if your position is revealed while you are invisible, that it won't matter because the entire encounter will be over.

Creating a New Race wrote:
There are three power levels: standard, advanced, and monstrous. Standard races can only take standard racial traits, while advanced races can take both standard and advanced racial traits, and monstrous races can take standard, advanced, and monstrous racial traits. Table 4–1 summarizes the number of RP you can spend as well as the maximum number of traits per racial trait category you can take based on your power level.

Based on the above text, yes, you would have to be a monstrous race (i.e. have 20+ race points) in order to select monstrous racial traits.

Quite frankly, a race can be considered "monstrous" well before it hits the 20 point mark. Heck, certain combinations are monstrous with the 10 standard race points, it just goes to show you that balancing the race builder is theoretically impossible, as is the case with creating magic items.

You're applying your Weapon Focus (from Focus Weapon, not Sacred Weapon, that alters the weapon's damage dice) to your Heavy Steel Shield, and giving it a +3, when it should only be getting +2.

Normally, you'd have +3 to hit with the Scimitar (assuming +2 from Strength and +1 from Weapon Focus), and +2 to hit with the Heavy Steel Shield (again, +2 Strength, but no Weapon Focus).

With TWF penalties, you're applying -6 to your main-hand (presumably Scimitar), and -10 to your off-hand (presumably Heavy Steel Shield). Basic math from the two sets of numbers above leaves you with the -3/-8 bonuses that PCGen is giving you, which means they're actually correct.

There's also the matter that if the +1 strength difference of carrying capacity is 2 pounds (especially in the case of completely-dumped strength), then there is no benefit of having a Masterwork Backpack compared to a regular backpack.

137ben has committed an evil act by casting Animate Thread. Two more infractions, and you shall be banished by the Pathfinder Society!

I'm not seeing the typo.

The feat says if you critically hit an enemy, they make a fortitude saving throw with the listed DC. If they fail, they're deafened permanently. If they succeed, they're deafened for 1 round.

The deafened effect isn't reduced by 1 round, as you say. It's reduced to 1 round, as the feat says.

-In my opinion, weapons could use some better balancing, making them more useful in comparison to other weapons. For example, every martial with a ranged option is going to use a +1 Composite Longbow (probably with Adaptive property), because it's mechanically the best ranged weapon ever (highest range, ability to add an attribute to your damage roll, best damage dice, etc). Nerfing those "best options" is a real big and unnecessary detriment, because nothing in those options makes them absolutely toxic, it's just that compared to other options, there's no reason (outside of maybe proficiency) to use them.

Implementing special features for those "lackluster" weapons are perhaps the best ways to balance them. For example, if we took a Shortbow, and allowed a player to add three arrows instead of two for the Manyshot feat, it really changes the power dynamic between those two options; do I want the extra benefit from that feat, or do I just say screw that feat, and stick with the extra range and damage dice? Simple things like that really do make a difference between players choosing other options.

I'm not saying that the game shouldn't have obviously worse choices (because not everything needs to be equal, especially since not every class has the same or similar proficiencies), but that there should be more than one "absolutely good" choice.

-Starting outfits aren't really a major thing, and a lot of games that I've played usually handwave that sort of stuff (because we assume players aren't absolutely stupid and forget to purchase things like clothes and rations and such). On top of that, there really aren't any outfits who are cheap and offer a mechanical edge. If they do exist, most players won't pick them because they'd rather not compromise their adventuring equipment of armor and weapons. (I know I wouldn't.)

-Favored Class Bonuses in and of themselves can be helpful, but as far as Racial FCBs are concerned, very few of them are really worthwhile (and fewer still can actually be taken at 1st level). I mean, the only Racial FCBs I'd take over a hit point (or more likely, a skill point) are the ones that let you learn more spells as a spontaneous spellcaster with a limited set of spells known, because that's the only benefit that is worth the hit point (or skill point) you'd end up gaining anyway.

There's also the matter of players who multiclass, and they may not actually get the benefit of their FCB, or if they do, it's not always there for every character level they acquire. Not to mention that Racial FCBs are there in a flavorful sense as well (even though most everybody wouldn't even take certain race and class combinations, such as Dwarf Sorcerer, unless they took a bloodline that gave Wisdom as their main attribute).

A simple solution to this would be to abolish the Racial FCBs entirely, but then FCBs altogether become a simple linear scale that is exactly the same for every character, and becomes boring that way too.

wraithstrike wrote:
There are no rules for this interaction because the rules don't cover every possible idea. It falls to the GM. I would let them both work, however the drinker may notice that the potion vial is bigger than a normal vial due to the extra liquid and question it.

Assuming all potions are made exactly the same, sure, that line of reasoning makes sense.

Realistically speaking, I'd doubt it, because not every potion is made the same exact way, or looks exactly the same. To be fair though, if a player identifies a potion via an Alchemy check (i.e. taste), they would probably also inadvertantly identify the poison (if any) in that potion as well.

Don't worry guys, we can still get away with running around with 3D6 Heavy Spiked Shields with Bashing and Enlarge Person, because Heavy Spiked Shields are their own weapons!

...OH WAIT...

Cavall wrote:

That's not what the rules say at all, however. I quoted it and asked where it says roll and then divide. It doesn't use the word reduce divide or anything like that.

In fact reduced isn't used, increased is. By half.

Empower Metamagic. I copied and pasted it above.

Yes, sure, that's all fine and dandy, but then we have the Empower FAQ, which states you increase the total result of your roll by 50%. So the standard equation actually becomes 1.5(10d6), and not 15d6 like everyone says.

But that's not how it works when you apply Maximize on top of it.

Maximize specifically states you take only half of the normally rolled result (constituted as the Empowered benefit) and apply it on top of a Maximized result if you use it in conjunction with the Empower Metamagic.

The specifics of the Maximize feat trumps the general rules of Empower.

Cavall wrote:
Well you did say player not players.

Doesn't matter if I added and s or not, point is that it makes a lot of room for imbalance (GM takes away all the 1's, keeps the 5's/6's) and doesn't fit the other precedents in the Pathfinder rules (specified saving throws reduce the total damage you take by half).

Even so, at no point did the rules say that you reduce the dice you roll, only that you reduce the total result of your roll, and people handwave it under the assumption that 10D6/2 and 5D6 are the same, and that is only truly the case when you look at things from a purely average perspective (i.e. every dice result is the exact same, whether you roll all 1's, or all 3.5's).

Subtle, perhaps, but most certainly different.

I'm curious as to how you're getting Hellfire Fireballs, is there some sort of ability that lets you transform fire spells into [Evil] spells (and therefore allowing Maleficium to apply to your Fireballs)?

Cavall wrote:
Actually it would be simpler to roll the save then just roll 5d6, if you're looking for the simplest way to do it.

And then you're running into having creatures who do and do not make the save. So no, it's not simpler.

Cavall wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Cavall wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MageHunter wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Cavall wrote:

To make it simpler, a max emp fireball at level 10 would do

10 d6 maximize and 5d6 more.

So 60 + 5d6.

this is wrong. It would do 60 + (10d6)/2
10d6/2 = 5d6

Incorrect. You take the total roll (bonuses and all, like from Bloodline Arcana) and then cut it in half.

So it would be:

10d6 + 10

And that total would be reduced by half, to 23, and then added on to a maximized result (70), to become a total of 93 damage.


Here's a FAQ for confirmation.

Your FAQ has nothing to do with it being 10d6/2 or 5d6. All you've done is add 10 and no one is arguing you don't add 5.

It would still be 5d6 or 10d6/2 (which is 5d6). No one said you aren't adding 5 more because no one brought up draconic.

How is "increased by half" read as "doubled and then divided the second part by half?

It's 5d6

Fine, don't believe me, that just means I get to go to plan B.

The text of the Maximize Spell in the Core Rulebook, via the PRD:

Maximize Spell wrote:
An empowered, maximized spell gains the separate benefits of each feat: the maximum result plus half the normally rolled result.
There you go. The feat text says you take the result, roll it normally, and take half of the total and apply it to a maximum result. Therefore, "It's 5D6," is clearly incorrect.

Half the normally rolled result? Normally you roll 10. Half the normally rolled is 5d6. If anything that's telling you it's not normal, and you roll half.

Are you saying it's better to roll twice the amount and divide then just roll 5d6? That doesn't seem efficient just to get the same result.

By that logic, whenever a player makes a successful saving throw against a spell, that means they only take 5D6 damage, right? No? So then why is this any different? Because again, you can sit there and say "Oh, you made the save? I'll just remove all of these 1's I rolled and keep all the 5's and 6's because I'm a jerk GM," and you'll be left with a result that isn't definitively half. You can even go the opposite way if you're a nice GM, or some other arbitrary method that probably won't result in an exactly half reduction, as a successful saving throw would allow.

Also, 5D6 isn't what's "normally rolled," in the context of casting an as-is CL 10 Fireball, which is what I'm presuming we're going with. What's normally rolled is 10D6. Maximize+Empower says you take the normally rolled result, which would be this:

Fireball: 10d6 ⇒ (6, 5, 4, 4, 1, 5, 1, 2, 2, 4) = 34

And cut that total number (34) in half (17).

If we went by your inane and arbitrary conclusion, you'd have to cut 5 of those dice. Could you do that in this case and get the "half" number? Yes. But not all cases would be that forgiving or lucky.

There's also the factor of odd-numbered dice (say, a CL 9 Fireball), would you cut 5 dice or 4 dice? Or 4.5 dice, because apparently we're now splitting dice results in half too, which can cause equally skewed results as before?

That's why it's simpler (and much more accurate) to take the basic result and split it in half. And plus, that's exactly what the rules tell you to do.

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Cavall wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MageHunter wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Cavall wrote:

To make it simpler, a max emp fireball at level 10 would do

10 d6 maximize and 5d6 more.

So 60 + 5d6.

this is wrong. It would do 60 + (10d6)/2
10d6/2 = 5d6

Incorrect. You take the total roll (bonuses and all, like from Bloodline Arcana) and then cut it in half.

So it would be:

Empower: 10d6 + 10 ⇒ (4, 5, 1, 1, 5, 5, 5, 3, 6, 6) + 10 = 51

And that total would be reduced by half, to 23, and then added on to a maximized result (70), to become a total of 93 damage.


Here's a FAQ for confirmation.

Your FAQ has nothing to do with it being 10d6/2 or 5d6. All you've done is add 10 and no one is arguing you don't add 5.

It would still be 5d6 or 10d6/2 (which is 5d6). No one said you aren't adding 5 more because no one brought up draconic.

How is "increased by half" read as "doubled and then divided the second part by half?

It's 5d6

Fine, don't believe me, that just means I get to go to plan B.

The text of the Maximize Spell in the Core Rulebook, via the PRD:

Maximize Spell wrote:
An empowered, maximized spell gains the separate benefits of each feat: the maximum result plus half the normally rolled result.

There you go. The feat text says you take the result, roll it normally, and take half of the total and apply it to a maximum result. Therefore, "It's 5D6," is clearly incorrect.

You'd need to define what exactly would be grounds for parameters in regards to applying debuffs to your blasting effects, because simply applying something along the lines of "moves at half speed" or "damage now and damage over time," might not fit the same sort of debuffs you're exampling.

As a penultimate example, simply applying the Dazing Metamagic can essentially nullify enemies for multiple rounds at a time. Even if it's +3 spell level, a lot of people say it is the most overpowered debuff of any one spell (including insta-death), since all you have to do is hit them with the spell, have them fail the save (i.e. optimize your Save DCs), and then just let them sit and have your party members clean up.

To be fair though, if a blast is optimized well enough, having the extra rider effects becomes pointless, because they're already unconscious (or flat-out dead).

I've made a blasting guide which can give you a lot of insights into making blasting the best it can be.

While I don't personally disagree with adding insult ("Haha, you're dazed for X rounds!") to injury (TONS OF DAMAGE), the strength of one can invalidate the need for another. In my opinion, Control Wizards specialize in the former, and that's much easier (and more broken) to do. Blasting Wizards specialize in the latter, and that's more difficult (but more fun) to do.

But both work towards the same end, which is to trivialize the encounter.

Per the feat description, it would work that way, but Shield Master isn't intended to negate all penalties, only the TWF penalty in relation to your shield attacks according to the table entry on the PRD.

vhok wrote:
shield bonuses do not stack so there is no benefit for using 2

Negating TWF penalties altogether is most certainly a valued and coveted benefit for using 2 shields instead of just 1.

Not to mention, applying the AC Enhancement Bonus from both shields (yes, they won't stack for determining your own AC) to the attack and damage rolls of both saves you a lot of money.

MageHunter wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Cavall wrote:

To make it simpler, a max emp fireball at level 10 would do

10 d6 maximize and 5d6 more.

So 60 + 5d6.

this is wrong. It would do 60 + (10d6)/2
10d6/2 = 5d6

Incorrect. You take the total roll (bonuses and all, like from Bloodline Arcana) and then cut it in half.

So it would be:

Empower: 10d6 + 10 ⇒ (6, 1, 3, 2, 5, 5, 4, 1, 6, 3) + 10 = 46

And that total would be reduced by half, to 23, and then added on to a maximized result (70), to become a total of 93 damage.


Here's a FAQ for confirmation.

Maximized and Empowered function differently.

Maximized gives all of your dice the maximum result. Empower increases the damage dice (and the bonus to those dice) by 50%. Both function independently of each other, but are added to the result.

Simply put, you roll the dice as if it weren't Maximized. You then take 50% of the total result, and add it to the otherwise Maximized result.

I suggest you read this, it will give you a lot of helpful foresight in specific relations to optimal blasting.

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