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Devilkiller's page

2,734 posts (2,740 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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If Todd asks to use Perception to look for traps and you insist on rolling the d20 for him that sounds a little oppressive, but I don't see how it would reduce DM and player interaction. I mean, Todd is asking, and you're rolling and giving him a result. That's interaction, right?

I guess if at other times you're secretly rolling d20 Perception checks for the PCs without the players asking that could reduce interaction, but it seems like you could simply ask a player to roll a d20 without telling him or her what it is for. After they roll low you look thoughtful, say, "Hmm" or "ahh", and nod a little, perhaps while tapping something in your notes with your index finger.

It is my belief that DMs should roll all of their dice out upon the open table for all the world to fear. If you're worried about meta-gaming I'd suggest some humorous chiding rather than taking away people's dice.

I've always thought it was odd that it is easier to end the influence of Dominate Person than Charm Person.

Dominating Vampire: Kill your wife and eat her flesh!
PC (fails new save): Yes, master
PC (makes new save): No, I made my save! Now I'll kill you!

Charming Bard: Kill your wife and eat her flesh!
PC (loses Cha check): Ok, I'll check with the DM and see if I should follow through on that
PC (wins Cha check): No, I'd rather not. Would you like to go get something else for lunch though?

Do folks who take the Star Stone Challenge but fail die? If so then I guess the bets could start to get pretty risky after a while.

#19. Calistria's Kiss - Let's take turns injecting doses of giant wasp poison until one of us is immobilized!

Since a character with a Dex of 0 is immobile but not unconscious this could lead to hilarity and or horror.

At least one DM we play with seems to "make treasure special again" by making big treasures less common. We still get some coins and basic magic gear off enemies, but once in a while we'll find out about a quest which leads to some really big treasure or reward, and most of our WBL tends to come from those. This makes my PC and at least one of the others willing to do risky stuff and work with questionable NPCs in the hope of scoring another big treasure.

@Bandw2 - I've seen suggestions like mojo before. I think a system like that would be most interesting if the DM made an effort to keep actual gold based WBL low. That way it would be tough to buy enough magic items to use up all your mojo, and the PCs might end up relatively broke sometimes so that getting more gold or magic items would be a good inspiration to go adventure even if the amounts of wealth involved aren't constantly skyrocketing.

On the other hand, I also kind of like the idea of PCs being able to invest some resource (maybe mojo instead of gold) to gain permanent bonuses not dependent on equipment. This would be kind of like buying slotless items which can't be lost, and while expensive it might be fun for a PC who doesn't want to be laden down with lots of magic trinkets - say an esoteric warrior-monk or a sorcerer whose power "comes from within".

Yeah, the Undersized Mount feat could be helpful. The Narrow Frame feat is good too. Cavalry Formation might help if your party will have more than one mounted PC. If you've got enough feats, Gang Up can work really well for mounted PCs and their allies.

When I was a kid I ran a game for a group of friends. Their PCs were trekking across the wilderness and decided to investigate some ruins they spotted. Soon after they entered the kobolds guarding the entrance from a side room ran out and slammed the doors shut. That's when it became clear that none of the PCs had bothered to buy a light source, and with the massive doors closed the windowless room was completely dark.

With no way to see the PCs were easily defeated, stripped of their possessions, and taken in chains before the kobold leader, who had servants stoking a big bonfire. There was definitely an implication that the PCs might end up getting cooked on the bonfire, but I figured that it at least gave them light so they could see and try to stage an escape. One of my friends announced that his PC committed suicide though, bashing his brains out against the wall or whatever. I learned that maybe the thrill (to a 10 year old) of a clever, "Aha, you forgot torches and lanterns!" wasn't worth the acrimony of the resulting battle in darkness and its aftermath. At worst maybe I could have let a little light stream in and rule there was a 20% miss chance, but I didn't know about such rules at the time.

It has been many years since I was in a game which tracked rations. In the last one the party ended up knocking on farmhouse doors begging for food and my PC went off chasing a sheep with his falchion.

I've seen people play various alignments including Lawful Good in a "The DM didn't let me be Evil, but I'm doing it anyhow" manner.

One of my current PCs started out as CG but over time "slipped" to CN partially due to the influence of an Evil magic item. He still performs a lot of heroic acts, but he's greedy, boastful, and prone to fits of rage. He's got an ongoing struggle between being a hero or giving in to the temptation of the daemonic powers which have been offered to him. Some see a villain where others see a hero. He's saved towns from terrible monsters, but he's also sacrificed foes to Evil magic for a thrill while in the throes of rage. The same campaign has another CN character who acts more like CG most of the time since he usually agrees to help folks out, rarely asks about rewards, and seems to chafe at dealing with Evil NPCs.

I guess I'm just offering some examples contrary to the usual reputation of CN. Anyhow, I seem to remember a time before all the complications of Good and Evil, back when Chaos was just Chaos - "Blood and souls for Lord Arioch!!!"

I like the idea of letting enemies come to the party, potentially suffering AoOs and generally getting in just single melee attacks before PCs get full attacks on them. There's almost always another PC who wants to charge in and attack though. Not infrequently that PC has a low AC and ends up needing some healing to stay alive. I'm told that's what "fun" is.

I'm not a fan of PVP but notice that a fair number of DMs like using stuff like Confusion and Dominate Person to encourage the PCs to fight each other. This can be a tough situation since a lot of PCs focus heavily on offense, and suffering an unexpected attack from them can be deadly.

In one game my girlfriend and I have often discussed how to survive an attack from the greatly invisible, swift feinting, claw pouncing Ninja with a Will save of +6. It is the sort of situation which can come up pretty easily if the DM wants.

We had a campaign which went to 24th level once back in 3.5, where there was an Epic Level Handbook (or something like that). There also used to be 36 levels (like the 36 Chambers of Shaolin...)

Ok, if this works that's pretty cool since it means that "The Singing Stone" (Giant Geon Skald 5) will actually be singing to some purpose as it knocks folks into nearby menhirs, off a cliff, etc. Obviously even a "regular" Barbarian could sing, but I'd like a mechanical tie in there if possible.

For the purposes of the Raging Throw feat would a Skald count as having the rage class feature? Could he spend a round of raging song for inspired rage instead of a round of rage to activate the feat's ability? I know Skalds can't share rage powers which require spending rounds of rage, but Raging Throw is a feat rather than a rage power and wouldn't be shared.

I think that by RAW it looks like this probably wouldn't work, but I'm not sure if some rulings might have been made about Skalds and rage which might let it work after all.

@taks - You're the one who said my comment made no sense, prompting my further response to explain it. I've never claimed that you aren't entitled to your opinion, just that enforcing the rule doesn't require any rationalization and creating the rule doesn't seem to either. It sounds like you agree with the first point, so I'll apologize for any misunderstanding about that part.

@Orfamay Quest - I think that going from "You need a hand free to use Spell Combat, so I'm ruling that Spell Combat uses that hand" to "You can't wear metal armor, so I'm ruling that leather armor is made of metal" is a pretty big leap.

I guess technically the requirement to threaten an enemy when you want to improve your ally's AC against that enemy wouldn't apply to increasing your ally's saving throw against a spell. I mean, being in position to attack an enemy clearly doesn't apply to using Aid Another to boost an ally's skill check, which is probably the most common use of Aid Another in many games.

As an aside, I always found it odd that the Aid Another action seemed to imply you could help boost an ally's saving throw against a spell (perhaps helping to break the effect of Hold Person, Dominate Person, etc?) but didn't offer any details on how that boost worked. I mean, even for Vanguard Style, do you make an attack roll against AC 10 to boost your ally's Reflex save, or do you make a Reflex save against DC 10? I'd guess the latter, but it doesn't seem clear. I've yet to find a DM who would allow Aid Another for saving throws anyhow, but maybe if I could explain how it works somebody be more likely to allow it.

I wonder if a "happy medium" might have been achieved by a ruling that no matter what happens you can't get more than a +4 total boost on anything from Aid Another no matter how many allies help you or how great their Aid Another abilities are. I'm not sure if only 2 allies being able to assist on a skill check is a house rule or a real rule, but I've seen it as a general assumption at a lot of tables (maybe it is a relic of 3.5?)

Yeah, you "should" be able to get Blinkback Belt on a Belt of Dex for 2500gp more. I guess some DMs might not allow combining enchantments, but I don't think banning it is common practice. Maybe I'd be surprised...

Anyhow, paying 7500gp to basically get Ricochet Toss without spending a feat while bypassing the Martial Focus prerequisite doesn't seem like a bad deal to me.

A Core Monk actually wouldn't be able to pick up Ricochet Toss until 9th level due to the BAB requirement. I'm not sure if Far Strike Monk works with Unchained Monk or not.

That Rhino Charge feat looks pretty great. The fact it requires the sometimes less than useful Improved Bull Rush feat means you're paying a pretty good price for it though. I suspect you also might encounter table variation regarding whether DMs will let you blatantly use it as a way to get around charging restrictions

Player: I circle around the enemy and ready an action to charge him from behind as soon as anybody else does anything at all! (or for caster suppression maybe "if he tries to cast")
DM#1: Ok, cool

Player: I circle around the enemy and ready an action to charge him from behind as soon as anybody else does anything at all!
DM#2: No, you have to state some particular event which will trigger your charge, such as the enemy trying to cast a spell or making a melee attack. If the event doesn't happen then you don't get to charge.
Player: I'll charge when I say "Die!" as a free action, which is right now!
DM#2: No, no, you can't trigger your own readied action...
Player: Ok, I'll charge when the Bard says, "Charge!" as a free action
Bard: Charge!
DM#2: Darn it, guys...

You didn't sound too thrilled about the difference of having some races move at Speed 20'. Do you think that's too crippling somehow? If so do you feel the same way about faster races who get slowed down by armor?

If a rationalization is a lot like an excuse or cover up I don't see how a DM enforcing the actual rule is a rationalization. I guess you're saying that Paizo making the rule was a rationalization though. It sounds to me more like it was just a ruling you don't like.

I think "rationalization" often carries a negative connotation of illegitimacy, delusion, or dishonesty whereas Paizo's ruling here seems legitimate and fairly reasonable at least to me. I mean, if you need a hand free to use Spell Combat and Paizo rules that means Spell Combat uses that hand I don't see why that's illogical or requires a defense mechanism.

I think that having meaningful differences between races, classes, and other sorts of options is a good thing. I also think DMs should be more open to allowing mounts on adventures. Most dungeons I've seen are big enough for Large mounts if you follow the rules, especially with the Narrow Frame feat.

When it comes to other people's builds I'm not really tired of any builds in particular though I think it would be nice if level 10+ Ninjas had something to do other than turn invisible all the time. I guess there also is a certain "sameness" about many Barbarians. We honestly have been involved in two campaigns in a row (with different groups) which had a Barbarian named Butcher who had Superstition and 300+ HP. The second one doesn't have Beast Totem like the first one, but he's Mythic and has 60+ speed and an ability which allows him to move and still full attack (basically superior to Pounce)

For my own PCs I tend to make the craziest most complicated builds I can, so I never really get bored. For the next campaign cycle I might have to make at least one PC with low AC though since I've probably been relying too much on AC as my primary defense.

I think that the cat kicking Barbarian should really be a Bloodrager with a cat bloodline familiar, perhaps a Figment who he regularly kicks to death each day before it reappears the next day.

The fact you can't ready actions even when you're pretty sure combat will start soon has been a source of frustration and amusement in many games. Sometimes you "just know" that the pile of bones will turn into a skeleton or the statue will attack you when you get near. Somehow that damned statue still gets the drop on you though. It is the same with the animated rugs...alas...

If you just can't wait until 6th or 7th level to be Warrior from Gauntlet maybe you could buy a Blinkback Belt.

I've got a "throwing build" of sorts in a Mythic game and have found that Mythic Vital Strike can make throwing a light hammer at least viable. Full attacking with a bow and Clustered Shots would result in better damage, but I'm ready to switch hit at any time, and I get to keep my shield out, so it isn't all bad - of course this cost me 2 regular feats and a Mythic Feat.

@Qaianna - I thought pilum were usually designed to bend or break when they hit so that they couldn't be thrown back and would be harder to pull out of shields. That didn't stop the Romans from having legends of +1 Animal Bane pilums though. They allegedly threw some at Hannibal's elephants, not realizing that an enemy caster had Awakened them into Magical Beasts.

Why is it a rationalization when that's how the rules work? I mean, weren't the rules actually clarified or rewritten to work that way?

It seems like you want folks to have more feats available. I'd be leery of giving casters anything for free though, and I might think twice about doing so for archers.

I think this is pretty much the basic thing a Magus does.

Getting a couple more players is a good idea.

I've often ended up running a campaign kind of like what you're describing "by mistake" for a few levels when I had to insert published adventures since I didn't have enough material ready for my homebrew game. If you can find any old issues of Dungeon magazine they have a lot of adventures intended for PCs of a certain level, and each one generally includes advice on how to run it for parties a few levels higher or lower. Monster templates can also help a lot with adjusting adventures by a level or two.

Even if you don't have Dungeon I'd consider grouping the adventures into rough categories by level, say 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, etc. Any adventures the party doesn't follow up on by the time they reach the next XP band might "expire". Maybe some other adventurers dealt with the situation or the threat has grown and is now represented by some other adventure.

As for presenting the hooks, maybe there could be different NPCs who offer different adventures.

The brownie only needs Extra Item Slot because he's in PFS, right? (just making sure there's not some magic item rule I've missed here)

I'd say that the RAW is wrong here and should be ignored - even for PFS

I agree you can move and then ready an action (or draw a weapon and then ready an action, etc)

What I don't think you're allowed to do is ready an action to charge (since you had more than a standard action available on your turn). If this were allowed it would let you play all sorts of tricks like moving into charging position and readying an action to charge when some likely trigger occurs (when the party's Wizard says, "Charge!")

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In the past I've often started out my homebrew adventures with too much focus on a small area like a town and the surrounding countryside. I then tended to let them wander too much until the crisscrossing plot lines and sidequests had thoroughly confused us all. Finally the whole thing would tend to run out of steam as the higher level sessions became too tough to consistently prepare during a week when I might unexpectedly need to work 60+ hours and play in another game or two.

One step I'm considering to remedy that would be to write the high level portion of the adventure first. I could also try to write the entire campaign in advance though I'm concerned that might make my adventure railroad a little too restrictive. Folks don't seem to mind with APs, but when they know it is homebrew I think they like to challenge the DM a little and poke around to see what you are or aren't prepped for. Another way to implement that might be to use an AP for the early part of an adventure and then cap it off with some homebrewed stuff or just bastardize an AP so that worst case you'll always have something to run when game time comes. I've had some experience with "winging it", but while it can sometimes be fun it can also easily go wrong.

We had one DM who would delay our progress with random wilderness encounters and then kind of apologize for it. The funny thing was that we actually enjoyed those mindless battles. Maybe they would have grown dull at some point, but it wasn't a bad way to spend a session once in a while.

@Bwang - I started an online project similar to your notes a while back for a campaign where the DM offered us way too many adventure hooks. The main document has grown to 17 pages and also uses color coding:
Blue = completed quest
Purple = quest which was started but not finished
Red = current quest
Fuschia = adventure hook we haven't investigated yet

When I arrived for the last session the other players had printed out the document and were poring over it to determine which quest the party should go on next. That made me feel like maybe it wasn't a wasted effort!

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The fact you have to be threatening the enemy isn't my favorite ruling, but I actually like the clarification that Paired Opportunists won't work since I'd seen some proposed builds of that sort popping up and didn't think "Come and Get Me Plus" should be that easy to achieve.

If there were balance problems with Bodyguard I think they were mostly around bonus boosters such as the Benevolent enchantment for armor, which Paizo nerfed slightly a while back. I guess Paizo could have felt that something which gives you a bonus against melee attacks shouldn't work against ranged attacks too though. That's unfortunate since I think stopping ranged attacks seems very thematic for a "Bodyguard".

My PC with Bodyguard rode an eidolon who had it too, so generally they were both threatening the same stuff. My Viking will be pretty sad that the shieldmaiden he travels with can no longer block ranged attacks for him though. Still, I agree with DM Livgin that it is better to have a firm answer here.

I'm just about like Ravingdork - well - in terms of this survey...

Maybe I deserve 2 stars for 3rd party though since one of our DMs uses Mystara as a setting and I guess TSR is "3rd party" if you're playing Pathfinder. He also uses some 3rd party monsters. The other night we had to fight a "Xxyth", which was so obscure I had to visit Inner Circle's website to find a picture of the darned thing for our adventure log.

Does that make me level 17?

Besides the fact that the Magus can take Weapon Specialization I’ve actually seen Arcane Strike mostly on Bards. I'd imagine that an Arcane Duelist with TWF who uses Arcane Strike with Inspire Courage and Dance of a Hundred Cuts could be pretty effective though I haven't seen such a PC in play yet. Perhaps I'll build an NPC like that for use as a monster.

Besides the Ricochet Shot feat folks there’s also the Blinkback Belt so long as the DM will agree that a chakram could be held with a sheath or strap.

I don’t think that spending one feat for Martial Focus to qualify for Ricochet Shot is that big of a feat tax if you’d rather play another class instead of Fighter, especially since some of those other classes might give you bonus feats too. For instance, the Far Strike Monk gets several useful bonus feats along with a bunch of potentially fun Monk abilities. You’d get EWP(chakram), Quick Draw, and Shot on the Run along with bonus feats at levels 1, 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. So, a Fighter gets 10 bonus feats which could be used for thrown weapons whereas this Monk gains 9.

That’s not a big difference in feats, plus the Monk is actually more front loaded. The Far Strike Monk’s Far Shot is superior since you can make extra attacks (one at 8th level, two at 15th) . Finally, the Monk also gets Improved Unarmed Strike, which could be useful for style feats and maybe some grappling. Being able to achieve a decent AC without armor also might be well suited to the OP’s character concept.

That’s not to say that the Fighter is bad, just that maybe the Monk could be fun too.

I'll list a few things I think are relevant
-In PFS only Improved Familiars can activate magic items
-A familiar could hold a wand with a Tentacle
-It seems unclear whether speaking is a strict requirement for activating a wand with a UMD check (some folks say yes, others say no, a few say you'd need to use the DC 25 for "activate blindly" since you can't speak the "single word" to activate the wand)

It is arguable whether most familiars can speak. Ravens clearly can. Some folks feel that the Speak With Master ability most familiars gain should count too, but others don't. If you're in a home game ask your DM. If you're in PFS you'll need an Improved Familiar. I suspect they made it that way at least partially to prevent such questions from coming up so often.

I thought there was a rule that aquatic creatures could do normal damage with their natural weapons while underwater even if those weapons deal bludgeoning or slashing damage. This seems sensible to me since otherwise a giant octopus might only do half damage with its tentacles. Then again, maybe the fact that you get to do full bludgeoning damage while grappling is why an octopus likes grappling so much.

A lot of aquatic creatures use Bites, and those would do full damage due to the piercing component. It is the tentacles and claws I'm worried about though it was a draugr's slam which made me think of all this. With Improved Natural Attack it does 2d8 base damage, which might still be pretty decent even after it gets halved.

Now it makes me wonder about Water Elementals too though. They only have slam attacks and don't seem to concentrate on grappling, so do they inflict half damage in their native environment? Should creatures with the Water subtype do full damage underwater? Are there rules on any of this anywhere?

I think that the rule against dragging foes into dangerous areas are a major drag (and now the source of a terrible pun). I’m also not sure why Drag and Reposition deserve to be separate maneuvers. Is there a doctrine of “Separate but Useless” in play?

If the Trip weapon property gave you a +2 on Trip attempts that would not only make you less likely to fall down but more likely to succeed. I guess maybe somebody was concerned that Trip was too powerful though. Maybe that's the same reason you can't Trip flying creatures in Pathfinder. Grapple is another combat maneuver that tends towards "Dominant or Useless", but I'm forgetting this is actually a thread about improvised weapons...

@Artfix - The fact that there are a few class abilities which make improvised weapons a bit better doesn’t change my opinion of how they are “in general”. I’m not sure that making improvised weapons as useful as “regular” weapons is something every table would want although Sean K Reynolds’ opinion on water balloon based PCs has apparently changed a bit over the years.

@Fig - I may indeed have seen a movie featuring such a character! My PC was a from an Asian themed nation around Tian Xia and ate with chopsticks but found a use for forks too.

I choose "C": Succeed at a Knowledge check. I think that's the way PCs are supposed to know about stuff like a creature's DR. Depending on the situation options B or D might garner the creature's alignment and allow you to guess about DR. As an aside, I've seen a lot of DMs house rule away the ability to overcome metal and alignment based DR using a weapon's enhancement bonus. I'm not sure if that would ameliorate or exacerbate your concerns though.

I do agree that the Law vs Chaos axis seems a little ill defined for roleplaying purposes. I sometimes wonder if being Chaotic is more about not making plans or if making plans is fine but you won't necessarily stick to them if something else strikes your fancy. I've been kind of taking the latter approach lately.

Dark Creepers being wrapped in layers of dirty cloth and smelling like spoiled food makes me think that maybe bugs could live on their person. Besides centipedes I guess another sort of bug known to dislike light is the roach. Dirty little dark creepers infested with roaches could probably make an adventurer sickened if not downright nauseated (perhaps with a swarm-like aura)

If there were baby giant centipedes eating the roaches I guess you could end up with a whole ecosystem in a dark creeper's clothing. Maybe there would be big, fat dark folk be called Filth Wardens or something. They could be infested with maggots and surrounded by clouds of flies, kind of a final Herod-like bloated stage of the dark creeper life cycle which lives for a while in a "royal" state before bursting open to release something nasty - maybe lots of horrible grubs with humanoid faces which slowly grow and molt into new dark creepers?

I guess another pet/mount dark creepers might keep would be giant cave crickets (aka "sprickets" since they look like a cross between spiders and crickets). Somehow that also reminds me of rust monsters though I guess dark folks who want to ally with those would need to use weapons made of bone, stone, etc.

I'm glad to see Improved Familiar has been clarified and even more glad that my girlfriend's PC who would no longer have qualified to have a faerie dragon after the FAQ was in a campaign which finished up a while back.

It is nice to get an official answer regarding Improved Familiar.

Ok, it is good to know that. It makes me feel a little better about having Bloodrager levels on a PC with a 5 Charisma. He's also a Hellknight, so Barbarian wasn't a viable way of embracing Hell's Fury.

I've gained the impression over the years that Michael Moorcock's work probably had a big influence on D&D's concepts of Law and Chaos. For some reason I'd never read the Elric stories up until now, but I'm currently in the process of doing so. Maybe when I'm done I'll better understand what folks were thinking when they made Law basically good and Chaos basically evil in Basic D&D. Obviously alignments were a lot more nuanced and confusing (perhaps even advanced) in AD&D and subsequent editions. I remember when I first saw a copy of the AD&D Monster Manual and was slightly fascinated by the concept of creatures who were Chaotic Good or those noted to have "good tendencies".

I can't help but notice that some of us (me included) have a tendency to put Law before Chaos just as we might tend to put Good before Evil even though that's not how they'd appear in alphabetical order. Maybe this is why Lord Arioch wants our blood and souls.

Back to the actual subject of the thread, I have no idea what the OP is talking about. Is there some special rule which makes it harder to ID a Lawful or Chaotic outsider with Knowledge (Planes) than it is to ID a Good or Evil one?

I agree with the Bard/Skald advice, and it is worth noting the two could combine to buff any Str based melee characters present. That might be nice for the low level sailor types. Another Bard archetype which can stack bonuses is the Archivist, who could help cover even more Knowledge skills.

Also, nobody would expect a Mammoth Rider. If you can get the DM to permit an animal companion with a Swim speed it might be thematic and effective. If not then a Druid could still make a mammoth (or a mammoth sized tiger) Air Walk.

This seems like an important question for folks with Sneak Attack. Even if you can't use iterative attacks I'd kind of expect that you could make an extra attack due to Haste though (as with a natural weapon)

It was interesting to see the artwork though I found the red hair a little unexpected. Older artwork emphasized the Dark Creeper's big nose and bushy eyebrows.

As for pets, centipedes are pretty weird and tend to be blind or have limited vision, which seems like it would fit with dark places.

SmiloDan wrote:
Flightless crows and ravens that have evolved forearms and claws, like mini-kenku?

Are you aware of Dire Corbies? Whether they're allies or enemies they might fit in pretty well with the areas Dark Folk tend to inhabit.

@Vidmaster7 - If you're using touch attacks you'll hit much more consistently against most enemies. It is pretty easy to do some basic math for this stuff. If you just take your percentage chance to hit and multiply it by your average damage you'll get a reasonable estimate. I guess you could compare that back to the chart JDLPF posted.

On a somewhat related note, can a Barbarian use a wand while raging? If not then can a Bloodrager do so? I have a PC with a few levels of Bloodrager and lots of wands, so this will probably come up for me at some point. My assumption is that the answer is "no", but maybe it doesn't hurt to ask.

I once had a PC who threw silver forks as improvised shuriken, a tactic which was marginally effective against low CR devils.

My Feral Gnasher sometimes throws random objects when he can't get into melee and often attempts to use his grappling hook to "go fishing" for underwater monsters. That has produced some fun moments since the DM got creative with it, but in general the inability to enchant improvised weapons makes them suck in terms of effectiveness, and Catch Off Guard doesn't really fix that.

The concept of making skills more useful during rest periods seems like a good one. It might be nice to expand that beyond Survival though.

-Stealth: While hiding a campsite might rely on Survival I think that hiding the campers themselves should be aided by Stealth.
-Knowledge (Engineering): I'd think that this class skill for Fighters might be helpful for setting up impromptu fortifications.
-Heal: This seems like it would be a good skill for the "infirmary" aspect of the camp.

I think the Lakesidefantasy method sounds kind of interesting though certain players might be more likely to question enemy stats than treasure sourcing, like, "How did that guy have a 28 Str without a magic belt?" It might be pretty nice if the party's treasure scribe didn't have to track dozens of +1 items though.

On the flip side, in our evil aligned Goblin Game the DM warned us that we wouldn't easily be able to buy items in town of from friendly NPCs. As a result we've become quite self-sufficient.

As far as crafting feats reducing an enemy's effectiveness, I don't think that will prove true if you allow the enemy who has the feat to have items of the associated type for half their normal WBL price.

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