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Devilkiller's page

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I was making a custom monster to go with a mini I have when I realized that I'm not sure how the "hybrid" classes should interact with the rules for advancing monsters with class levels. The "chassis" I decided to build on was an Aboleth with the Young template (since the mini is Large rather than Huge)

The Aboleth has pretty good Charisma, and it seemed fun for this monster to be able to act in a support role before it moves into combat directly. I figured that a Bard might be fun. The Aboleth (perhaps somewhat oddly) is classified as a "Combat Role" monster, so Bard would be a non-key class. Then I thought about Skald. It is mostly like Bard and gets roughly similar combat bonuses (+4 Str/Con vs +2 or +3 to attacks and damage at the levels I'm looking at) along with a few Rage Powers. Are those enough to turn a non-key class Bard into a key class Barbarian though?

I'm inclined to say yes since I'd rather be a little conservative with CR, but I wonder if anybody has seen guidelines on hybrid classes for monsters somewhere.


I generally only do non-lethal damage on my Vicious Stomp (which has to be an unarmed strike anyhow) though my PC will sometimes haul off and slap enemies who can't be tripped so he can score a demoralize and trigger the extra attack from Hurtful.

Still, the enemies having a healer isn't generally that common. I guess DMs could get into using mook healers at higher levels, but I haven't seen it in APs much at least.


It might be funny to put just a few ranks in a Perform skill and do a really bad ventriloquist act with the flea where you insist it is saying rude stuff about people. Maybe then you could ventriloquize the giant flea insisting that the rude comments are actually coming from a normal sized flea who is goofing on him.

If being a moron doesn't amuse you as much as it does me I guess that a Circlet of Speaking might arguably allow a familiar to speak depending on how strictly the DM defines the word "animal" in the item's description. A flea is a vermin, and a flea familiar would be a magical beast. I'd probably let it slide, but I guess I'm pretty lenient and like the idea of having animals (and perhaps vermin) insult people.

@Cevah - Per the RAW which Wraithstrike quoted you can't charge through squares which slow movement either. Anyhow, an ottoman is an actual obstacle.


I've pressed the FAQ button.

I've always allowed folks to jump while charging and occasionally felt disappointed when DMs wouldn't let my PCs jump over obstacles while charging. Now that I stop and think about it a little more I guess I wouldn't allow somebody to charge by flying around an obstacle though. For some reason leaping wildly seems very much like "charging" to me while veering around things doesn't. I can't explain it logically. I just hope whoever makes the official rulings feels the same way.

A weird situation will be if it turns out that you can officially jump during a charge so long as you're not jumping over an obstacle. I'm imagining somebody jumping 20 through the air with a flying kick but not being able to do that if a 5 foot wide mud puddle or an ottoman is in the way. Anyhow, if you can officially jump over stuff while charging I hope you can officially attempt to do so even if you might fail. Gwen Smith's rule kind of makes sense, but it might make you miss many wonderful moments where a Barbarian slams facefirst into an obstacle might be lost.


I have a few mapping questions. The first is whether there's any free and easy to use dungeon mapping tool out there which produces decent looking full color dungeon maps and allows you to use custom tiles. I'm looking for something like the defunct Dungeon Crafter III with the added ability to open previously saved maps to work on them again (a feature which I guess never quite got developed in DC3). Some more advanced features might be nice too, but if I need a map to be extra fancy I can haul it into something like Paint.Net or GIMP and add some layers. I'm mostly just looking for something to whip up quick maps with the ability to use some custom tiles. Some of the online mapping tools seem to have pretty limited tile sets...maybe I just don't know the best tools to use or how to use them though...assistance would be appreciated!

The second question is whether anybody out there has some good "jungle" maps they could share with me or links to sites which have them. At the moment I'm looking for encounter sized maps of jungle locations such as a ruined temple, a makeshift village, and if possible a mansion/inn/villa type building with balconies. I'll be running some adventures starting tomorrow evening, and I'd like to offer the players something nicer than my modest and rather slow wet erase marker drawings on a vinyl mat. Obviously I'm a little short on prep time at this point, and DC3 isn't particularly good for outdoor scenes anyhow since everything is drawn with square tiles.

I'm just looking to print maps out for now and have found that the Poster Razor app is helpful for that. A friend of mine has been using a projector lately though, and I might switch to that or a table with an LCD TV in it at some point. Does anybody have some experience with tables which incorporate a TV and what the challenges are?


Regarding Enforcer and non-lethal damage, I suspect that there's a fairly small cross section of monsters which are immune to non-lethal damage but susceptible to demoralization. Obviously non-lethal damage is also easier to heal, but most enemies especially in published adventures won't have an in combat healer available, and if an enemy Cleric spends a turn healing an ally's non-lethal damage instead of subjecting my PC to a Will save that's probably a good thing.

Since grappling has come up a few times I'll mention that it is pretty easy to pick up Grab with Alchemist or Mutation Warrior via the Tentacle discovery. My dirty trick PC has it, but I chose no to concentrate on grappling with him since I have a Feral Gnasher PC in another game who is very grapple focused.

The campaign I'm using dirty tricks in should be coming off of hiatus within the next month or so. After that I'll get a chance to see how Dirty Trick Master works out at first hand.


The Liberation domain has a better low level domain power. I guess the Travel domain has a better 3rd level spell with Fly, but it seems like your high level casters should probably have that already. If you're flush with gold the follower could even work with you to craft a wand of it for 5,625gp. The +2 bonus to attacks and damage is actually a great boost. Figure, in numerical terms it is almost as good as the entire party and any summoned monsters being raging Barbarians.

Summoning monsters would definitely be helpful since they can perform a lot of utility tasks and provide flank and aid another during combat as well as actually attacking lower AC foes. You'll just have to make a judgement call regarding whether it is worthwhile spending multiple feats to make those monsters a little more powerful in melee. Since these are feats on a low level NPC follower I don't think it is a major issue either way.

I figure that on a ship an Evangelist could be "heard not seen" in a cabin or down in the cargo hold shouting holy advice and summoning bobo monsters to surge up onto the decks and help the PCs. Coming into direct contact with high level combat seems like a bad plan for a 5th level NPC.


If you're taking IUS anyhow I think Enforcer is a great alternative to Cornugon Smash. Being able to demoralize foes for 10-15 rounds is very nice. I also probably could have saved a feat on Intimidating Prowess since I only need to match the DC for intimidate rather than blowing it away.

I can hardly wait to get the Cruel enchantment on my Dirty Fighter's heavy flail. Sure, that's -1 to Trip and Disarm attempts compared to getting another "plus", but giving everybody I slap around or stomp on an extra -2 debuff to attacks, damage, and saves just seems too good to pass up.


The Evangelist archetype really does seem great for a 5th level NPC. I mean, it would boost your entire crew’s attack and damage rolls by +2, so the only reason I can think of to avoid it is if you’re afraid the NPC will get targeted by the DM for being too effective. I guess you also might prefer healing a little more with Channel Energy though if that’s your concern the Phylactery of Positive Channeling might be a nice magic item for the NPC.

Summoning would be very useful for a support NPC. I'm not sure if he'd really need Augment Summoning since the summoned monsters would more likely be used for utility than combat, but having enough ranks in Linguistics to communicate with the various elementals would let him get a lot of things done.

The clip you linked gives me a terrible idea for the NPC or his familiar/eidolon/companion being named Steven Seagull, possibly a follower of Irori...


In the Pathfinder world, Viking is an archetype of Fighter and can take Profession (Sailor) as a class skill. In fact, I'm looking forward to hopefully getting some bonus ranks in "background" skills from Pathfinder Unchained since it will allow my own Viking PC to improve his sailing skills.

I've always wished that PCs crafting equipment for themselves with the Craft skills worked in a somewhat more abstract manner which would allow characters to gain more benefit from those skills. The idea of a dwarf who is skilled at smithing making his own armor and weapons seems iconic, but many campaigns don't feature enough downtime to make such ambitions realistic. Something like "crafting points" gained with XP or as you level might help, but it isn't really a big deal, and just allowing more downtime would work too.


I kind of prefer vampires to be Evil. I like to have different degrees of Evil in my games though. There are some Evil folks you can work with. They might even be pretty reasonable most of the time and show at least superficial concern for the well being of others. They also might not hesitate to murder somebody who makes them angry or gets in their way. If you have such urges but never act on them for fear of being caught I wonder if that means you're Evil or Neutral in game terms.

In the typical game world plenty of folks can tame tigers, especially Druids. My girlfriend thinks those Russian domesticated foxes are really cute.


I wonder how or if tools like Hero Lab will deal with the variant rules in Unchained. I don't use Hero Lab myself, but since a lot of folks I play with do I suppose that there might be some unexpected resistance to Unchained if people can't incorporate the variants into Hero Lab. I'm guessing this is something which will likely be addressed though.


The Slayer wasn't out yet when I started the Dirty Fighter, but maybe it could be interesting for a future PC.

Do folks have any other thoughts on the possible issues with Dirty Trick Master though? My PC should finally be able to take it in a few levels.


I don't think that cohorts should receive a direct share of the party's treasure when loot is split. Giving the cohort "hand me down" items like the +1 ring you throw into the party pot when you find a +2 ring might make sense, but I'd expect that all PCs would get serviced first before cohorts, familiars, etc. If the PC with Leadership ends up a little behind other PCs in WBL this is probably a good thing since having a cohort is a huge benefit. If you want the party to help out equipping your cohort that's probably likely to work out best if the equipment in question might directly benefit the PCs. For instance, if you have a Cleric cohort and want help buying a Phylactery of Positive Channeling you'll probably have way better luck seeking donations than if you're looking to buy the same cohort a holy +1 mace (even though killing monsters faster might presumably save your allies more HP than the +2d6 on channel energy would help to restore)

Whether or not a cohort will leave if the PC doesn't provide good enough gear would probably depend a lot on the cohort in question, but I'd consider applying a modifier to a PC's Leadership score for being especially generous or stingy in this regards. A tougher question can sometimes be how much gear the cohort needs just to stay alive. Being around higher level combats is dangerous business for somebody a few levels behind equipped with NPC WBL.


The idea of allowing other creatures to assist one affected by a Dirty Trick is kind of interesting. Overall I don't think I like it though since it takes the burden of wasting some actions off the enemy you tricked, who is presumably the one you want to stop from acting effectively.

You are correct that the game includes a lot of single roll combat enders whereas Dirty Trick Master even as written is more like a two roll combat ender. However, I like the idea that d20 games are slowly moving away from "Save or Die!" and other evening ending d20 rolls. In our games we've recently started allowing new saving throws for the Fear spell in subsequent rounds to reduce the condition from frightened to shaken, and I'd like to see more changes like that to the game in general.

My Dirty Fighter isn't any sort of pacifist. He's a bitter and vengeful psychopath who transfers his own feelings of powerlessness and worthlessness onto his victims and then crushes them in effigy as he strives to elevate himself by debasing others. He especially likes the idea of rape since it gives him a chance to create half-orc offspring who will never be as strong as him. This is all played rather tongue in cheek, and anything really terrible happens "off camera", but the PC's incredibly negative outlook has been pretty amusing for the group, especially since the plot of the adventure has sort of locked the PCs into being the heroes of the story (and who doesn't want a deformed psychopathic rapist who trips people, stomps up and down on them, and spits blinding substances in their eyes coming to save the day? did I mention that he recently grew a devil tail and mutates into a form with small horns?)


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Back to Fighters and background skills, I guess that we don't have a detailed breakdown of which skills are on that list yet, and maybe that's part of the reason folks disagree so strongly on whether or not the bonus ranks will really help the Fighter with skills.

I think being able to give your Fighter a little extra personality without sacrificing Perception and such seems nice. I could also imagine mechanical benefits though. For instance, if Craft is a background skill this would make it a lot easier for a Dwarf Fighter to invest in Master Craftsman, which seems like an iconic choice to me. Putting max ranks in a Craft skill would be a pretty big investment for somebody who probably only gets 1-3 skill ranks per level, but if you have extra ranks to put in Craft skills anyhow it would be less of a sacrifice. With the new variant multiclassing maybe you'll also be able to pick up bardic performances, qualify for Discordant Voice with 10 free ranks in Perform, and do some sort of dwarven smithing chant during battle, maybe something like:

"As fer ye goblins I'll hit in the head
I'm swinging me hammer to make ye all dead!
I'll cave in your skulls as I'm drinking me brew
Cuz smithin and killin are things that I do!
I'll slay your whole tribe and I'll do it today
You'll soon know the truth of these things that I say!"

I'd bet there are other potential uses out there, and I wouldn't be surprised if Unchained creates even more. Even if it somehow turns out that the Fighter is a big loser in Unchained and unexpectedly emerges even further "behind the curve" than he went in I think I'll still probably like the variant rule for background skills. Even classes with lots of skill ranks like Bards and Rogues might be a little more interesting if every rank weren't chosen to maximize its effect on exploration and combat. That's not to say that they always are now, but if they're not you're often "giving up" something to have that extra RP tidbit.


66. "Does anybody search the toilet/latrine/outhouse/chamber pot? How do you do it? Do you reach right in there? Do you use a tool? If so then what tool exactly?" (there could be an ooze in there - there could also be gems or maybe a secret compartment - it seems like someplace most people are unlikely to check thoroughly)

67. "You want to break the chains and free the prisoners? Ok, what do you use to break those chains? Do you use your magic sword? Aren't you concerned that might damage the blade? You don't have any non-magical tools or weapons on your character sheet, do you?"

In our groups the DM also might say, "Ok, everybody have an ugly off!" to call for a Charisma check to determine who gets targeted by a sniper attack, who gets crapped on by a bird, or who gets a really smelly outfit when we steal enemy uniforms as a disguise. The call for a luck check probably bothers people the most if it happens right after the DM puts a really nasty looking mini on the table and or rolls a d20 which comes up nat 20.


Because I myself am not a goblin I didn't read the spoiler I wasn't supposed to read. I like the idea of somebody pregnant with a demon baby ending up kind of like a Bloatmage though. Heck, if some sorts of fiendish babies had a longer rather than shorter gestation period than normal maybe the Demon Mother could be a prestige class where you go along gaining various Bloatmage like powers before gaining some minor Synthesist type abilities and finally maybe giving birth to a full fledged monster.

In another thread a while back somebody talked about the idea of an evil Summoner who gives birth to the summoned monsters (reminiscent of Game of Thrones I suppose)


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Regarding balance issues with Paizo material vs 3rd party material, many DMs I know seem to be in a mode where they begrudgingly allow most Paizo materials because they're "official" but are disinclined to allow 3rd party material in the first place. I've rarely played with groups which felt comfortable adding much 3rd party stuff in terms of rules for classes, feats, and spells. I've seen much greater uptake rates for 3rd party monsters, which are more in the DM's toolbox, and I think that most folks I know wouldn't have any problem at all with 3rd party adventures (even if they included a few unique or custom monsters)

I haven't used HeroLab myself and generally don't find doing the math and sheets for my own PCs that troubling. One thing I'd really like to see from Paizo or a 3rd party though would be a very accurate monster customizing tool where you can apply templates, hit dice advancement, etc and get the tool to output an accurate stat block. I've seen fan made template adding tools in the past, but unfortunately they were all pretty glitchy. I'll be running some adventures again soon, and customizing monsters can be a real time sink.


I had to search a little, but here's a link to the thread. Neal Litherland, who is apparently the author of the feat, was discussing and promoting it a bit. In the relevant post Neal said:
"While I have no authority to rule on it, my interpretation is that you would be able to remove nauseated with a standard action outside the normal parameters. Otherwise it would be 1d4 rounds (minimum) of total shutdown, and DMs would never stop throwing this ability at players."

Those are Neal's words, not mine, but I agree that interpretation seems fair.


I very much like the idea of SoL spells offering new saving throws in subsequent rounds. Giving more spells an effect which you suffer even if you make the save (or perhaps fail the initial save but make subsequent ones) would also help iron out the "all or nothing" aspect of many SoL spells. Losing a round or two of actions for failing a save seems like a fitting punishment. Sitting around watching other people play for hours on end because you failed a single save seems like a torture. Of course some people really treasure that big moment when the super critical d20 rolls, but I think you can still have those moments without 1 roll SoL.

I suppose we're probably getting a bit off topic though...


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Appraise often feels like a wasted investment since so many DMs either skip it outright or decide to gloss over it if nobody in the party is good at it.

I wonder if Lore is limited to one specific subject or if you get to know about an additional subject when you invest another rank. Spending multiple skill ranks to know all there is to know about owlbears sounds like it might be a little disappointing in the long run, but knowing all there is to know about owlbears as well as being an expert on the history of Cheliax and being able to identify all of the different sorts of devils might be fun.


I mostly like the rules presented in the document, especially the "chase" scenes where problems arise during the contest and you have a couple of potential ways to deal with them.

The cooking contest idea reminds me of the movie "God of Cookery". Even if your kitchen contestants aren't performing kung-fu cookery I guess they might add a little flair to their cooking style through the flashy (or clandestine) use of minor magics such as Ray of Frost or Prestidigitation. One area you might be able to expand on is having an assortment of judges who might focus on different areas such as flavor or presentation or maybe just prefer something like very spicy food, rare meat. Doing the proper research or diplomacy to find out the preference's of the judges could give contestants an edge in presenting dishes which appeal to a specific judge without alienating the others.

@Eris - Would the barmaid be challenging the goblins to a cooking contest judged by somebody else, or would she be attempting to cook for the goblins to impress them?


Maybe saying the skill rank problem has clearly been addressed was an unclear statement. By saying that the problem has been addressed I didn't necessarily mean that it has been solved to everybody's satisfaction. It is clear that something has been done though, something which could in my opinion make a big difference for a lot of PCs.

If my orc Dirty Fighter is able to free up some skill ranks to invest in Sleight of Hand to help represent stage magic tricks he's taught himself and might incorporate into some of his dirty tricks in combat that seems like a nice benefit to me. I was previously investing ranks in Sleight of Hand and Craft (Alchemy) for almost purely roleplaying reasons along with UMD for early roleplaying needs along with longer term aspirations of actual usefulness. Taking even a little pressure off of that PC's skill rank assignment would make it easier to meet my RP goals for the PC.

If a Fighter can afford to spend the skill ranks to be a tailor or painter without compromising combat effectiveness I think that's great. As I'd mentioned before, the idea of my Viking getting better at sailing ships is actually pretty exciting to me. Like most PCs, he can't afford to stop maxing out Perception, and our party badly needed him to have at least a little Knowledge (Dungeoneering) even though knowing about slimy tentacle monsters might not seem like the typical Viking's bailiwick. Having a few extra points will be nice - if the DM allows the book...

Anyhow, I know folks will have their own opinions. I won't change theirs, and they probably won't change mine. Maybe my glass is half full and theirs is half empty, but to me it seems worth at least giving Unchained a chance before complaining that the Fighter still sucks.


If people think having sex with animals is dark you should see the other stuff a party of goblins might tend get into. Slapstick comedy using people's severed limbs is just the beginning. Anyhow, I can view the document now. I've sent a link to the DM of our Goblin Game seeking her comment. Unfortunately the only female PC in the game is played by somebody else, so my PC won't be giving birth to any fiendish offspring unless maybe we find some alchemically enhanced cookies.

Since I'm already making movie references what I'm thinking of with the cookies is a film called "The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle", in which some guys from a janitorial company eat some apparently leftover cookies which chemists designed to taste warm and delicious even when they're at room temperature. The janitors are basically being used as unwitting human test subjects, and the cookies have the strange side effect of making men pregnant. A few days later these guys start giving anal birth to little creatures which look kind of like glowing blue fish and tend to escape into the city's sewer system (which seems reminiscent of the glowing jellyfish in the Japanese film "Bright Future")

Goblins do like to eat a lot of weird stuff and drink potions and alchemical concoctions, so I guess there's really no telling what might happen...


I find the continued complaints about the Fighter class before we've even seen the book kind of tiring. I've had a lot of in game experience playing PCs with all or mostly Fighter levels recently, and the two things which have really stood out as drawbacks to me are low skill points and low Will saves exacerbated by the temptation to dump Wis so you can be intelligent enough for Combat Expertise and maybe help shore up your low skill ranks a little.

The problem with low skill ranks has clearly been addressed. That by itself reduces the pressure to have a high Int. If there are some other answers for the problems surrounding Combat Expertise I'd say that the Fighter should be in great shape. There have already been a lot of killer Fighter options in recent books like the Mutation Warrior and the Eldritch Guardian, and those two can even be taken together! Ftr, the F is for Fantastic!


I'm sure Sharky would like to meet Boomie too. If your RotRL campaign is still taking place in the Sandpoint area they're technically neighbors since Sharky hails from the Brinestump Marsh in a campaign booted off by We Be Goblins.

I wasn't able to see the file with your link. I'm curious to see what you came up with. The DM of our Goblin Game is a woman, so I'd kind of like to get her perspective on all this. I also wonder if it wouldn't be convenient for story reasons to allow whatever fiendish offspring the mask produces to mature at a magically accelerated rate. The idea of giving birth to fiendish babies is interesting, but having them grow into monsters which can actually do something seems like even more fun.

This just reminded me of a Hong Kong movie called "The Demon's Baby". I won't say it is a "good" movie, but it features some scenes where a demonic fetus splits open its mother's abdomen and starts attacking people from inside her, resulting in stuff like a guy staggering around with all of the flesh stripped off of his bloody skull. Whether it is cheesy gore, poor subtitles, or kung-fu fights against babies this film has something for practically everybody to dislike. Maybe your crazy goblin player would get a kick out of it.


The variant multiclassing really does sound great for Fighters. The extra skill points to flesh out a PC also appeals to me. One of my current PCs is a Viking. Despite his 12 Int, Captain Arnvarg wasn't wise and skilled enough to use a rowboat while taking a 10, so he had to swim out to his ship in armor. When he got there he could barely sail the darned thing since he was only able to afford a few ranks in Profession (Sailor). No wonder the poor guy flies into a Rage a lot. Soon maybe he'll actually be good at things one might expect Vikings to be good at!


If the player is interested in having a familiar, animal companion, or cohort it might be interesting to let one of the PC's fiendish offspring fill that role. I'm not sure if forcing a bunch of stereotypical problems with pregnancy onto the PC would really be fun or not. I guess that the idea demon babies might be dangerous to their mothers has some merit though. If you've absolutely got to enforce some penalties it might be fair to give some benefits too. Like maybe the mother would gain Alertness as the little critter kicks when danger is near? I suppose that some weird Lamashtu themed minor SLAs could work too.

Now for some in character comments by a goblin PC of mine named Sharky:
"Sharky not know why these people talk bad about Demon Mother’s Mask. Sharky like Venkelvore since she’s always hungry like him, but Lamashtu is great goblin goddess of motherhood. Without her mask how we make pig-man and man-pig? How we make wolf with goblin head and goblin with wolf head so we can be more like barghest? How they think first Goblin Snake got made? Humans they not think! They say not take this dark road, but Sharky think then you miss lots of fun.

Imagine fun of torturing gnomes and humans until they beg Mother for mercy, put on Mask, and wait for Squealy Nord to give them babies! First Sharky chews arms and legs off so they can’t get away and goblins can have a snack. Pickled human and gnome shank is great goblin delicacy, and Chief Sharky is expert pickler! Then Janka the Witch gives them Infernal Healing to keep them alive. All goblin tribe takes turns having fun with prisoners while we advise them of how good it is to accept Mother’s mercy and help her children come into this world. Soon our tribe have whole garden of these demon eggs like big, moaning melons only tastier! Sharky can hardly wait for them to pop open as fiendish babies burst forth from undersized wombs and goblins lick up delicious Abyssal afterbirth. What can be better than this? Maybe it is when Sharky find helicoprion and make Goblin Shark!"

As you can tell, my PC has high hopes for the Demon Mother's Mask as well as plans to attain regional power and oppress the local human and gnome populations in the most brutal manner possible...all in good fun of course...


Speak with Bread might be a joke spell, but there's a 2nd level Ranger spell in the APG called Allfood which makes an object of up to 5lbs per level edible (or a collection of similar objects like a pile of rocks). That's not useless, but it could obviously lead to a lot of silly antics.


That's a good catch, dork. I think my combo using the immediate action as the trigger might actually still work by RAW since the readied action technically occurs "before" the trigger.

I agree that losing your readied action because you spoke or used an immediate action seems kind of weird. I suppose somebody might say that keeping the action readied takes up all of your attention, but then the fact you can perform an AoO without losing it wouldn't make much sense. There was a somewhat recent though long awaited FAQ saying that you can use the Grab and Trip abilities during an AoO. I guess that by strict RAW doing so would cause you to lose any action you happened to have readied at the time though.

Of course by strict RAW using Grab on an AoO didn't work previously either, but I allowed it for years anyhow. I'll probably go the same way with this readied action stuff. It seems like more of a corner case, and there are probably a lot of other things which deserve some FAQ action before this.


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Otto's Irresistible Danes sounds pretty good to me. There are some who consider D&D (and by extension Pathfinder) a "Wicked Game", and as I recall, the model in Chris Isaak's wonderful video was Danish.


As far as I know you can Power Attack while grappling and receive the normal bonus to melee damage rolls. For some reason it seems that Power Attack doesn't get applied to Constrict and Rend though.

I agree with Lance that the intent of Rake seems pretty clear even though I think the wording is somewhat contradictory. Constrict has actually received some FAQ attention in the past, and I think it is one of the easiest parts of grappling to understand and apply now though I still very often see DMs get it wrong initially. Maybe there's some hope that grappling has been addressed somehow in Pathfinder Unchained. I kind of doubt it, but it would be nice if the grappling subsystem got some clarifications and updates since it is one of the more confusing areas of the rules in some ways.

Unarmed combat in d20 games has come a long way from the Pummeling, Grappling, and Overbearing tables in the 1e DMG. It seems like striking has gotten most of the benefit though. Even non-Monks can now punch and kick people using the normal combat rules and without consulting a special Pummeling, Brawling, or Martial Arts table. Meanwhile some folks have actually created flow charts to try to help people understand the grappling rules, but it seems like ultimately nobody can quite agree what those rules are.


@Ravingdork - I don't think that using an immediate action while holding a readied action would cause you to lose the readied action. In fact, I wonder if you could specify your own immediate action as the trigger for your readied action. For instance, maybe you could ready an action to attack any foe who you use Body Shield to defend against. I suppose that in most cases just readying an action to attack any foe who attacks you and then using Body Shield as an immediate action before that foe's attack resolves would work out about the same, but I'm not sure that the former wouldn't be legal too.


The "Missing Spell" which plagues our parties is generally a divine one. I've bought a lot of scrolls over the years and headed back to town because somebody needed Restoration more than once. I guess the sor/wiz list can also solve petrification though, and we did face a situation in one game where 2 of 3 PCs got turned to stone along with a couple of familiars and an animal companion (encounters which spam AoE+SoL really suck). I'm not sure if the party's primary arcane caster had break Enchantment or not, but being an Arcanist wouldn't have helped her since she was one of the PCs who got petrified. My PC was a Paladin/Bard, so he had to go back to town for some scrolls.

Keeping some scrolls handy can be nice, but stocking all the potentially useful ones can get expensive, and sometimes folks just forget. The Summon Monster spells can also help solve a lot of problems, especially if the caster can communicate with the creatures. I've solved "oh no, it's a fire!" plot elements in multiple games with water elementals as well as using them to secretly deliver items into a guarded building through the toilet. Flying creatures and elementals in general are also great for getting past obstacles.

On the flip side, back in 3.5 I played a Sorcerer who specialized in Fireball. With the Searing Spell metamagic he was able to beat all fire resistance and do half damage even against stuff which was immune to fire, so Fireball was his solution to basically every combat. For golems he had an construct bane adamantine guisarme. It might sound boring, but actually it was kind of hilarious. He had other spells of course. He just mostly didn't use them.


I think if you have a Tentacle you should be able to Grab and grapple just fine with that. At the very least I'd think that the Tentacle would count as a hand so that one hand and a Tentacle free would meet the requirement.

Another thing which seems confusing is whether actually grappling somebody makes one or both of your hands stop being free. For instance, what if a PC with nothing in his hands used Crane Wing and then hit and grabbed somebody with a Tentacle? Would he still have a hand free for Crane Wing? What if he was holding something in one hand?


Goblins are fun. Roll With It seems amusing, by my goblin is taking Ankle Biter instead.

In a discussion a while back I think that the guy who wrote Dirty Trick Master said that you should be able to take an action to remove the effect of a dirty trick even if you normally wouldn't be able to take that action due to the effect of the dirty trick. I think we were focusing on stuff like nauseated which would normally make it impossible to take a standard action. Even if I'm attributing this stance to the right person it wouldn't prove what should happen "officially", but it might give some insight into the original intent.

I've worked a Dirty Fighter up in levels to the point where he's on the cusp of gaining the exciting class abilities at levels 9+. I think that he should do pretty well even if we go with that conservative ruling.


Rage Powers can be really nice. In some cases like Raging Grappler I've found them to be better than most feats. I'm still not sure why everybody is saying that the Barbarian will get morale typed bonuses to attack and damage though. I mean, maybe Paizo stated that and I just missed it. If so that's disappointing news in terms of Good Hope and a few other buffs, but I wonder how it would interact with the Skald's Inspired Rage song.

Maybe the attack and damage bonuses from Rage will suddenly stack with the Str and Con bonuses from Inspired Rage. Maybe the Str and Con bonuses from Inspired Rage will get changed to attack and damage bonuses too and those will or won't stack with the ones from Rage. Maybe I'll rebuild my retired Diabolist PC as an Unchained Summoner, especially if they added some options which make multiclassing as an eidolon based Summoner a little more viable.

Obviously it is way too late to influence this book, but if something like Boon Companion for eidolons hasn't been added maybe the revamped Summoner will help soften people's stance towards eidolons enough that such a feat could be considered for some upcoming release. There are a lot of character concepts which could be fulfilled with 2-5 levels of multiclassing.


I definitely wouldn't allow you to hold a bundle of wands in one hand and use one of those particular wands with that hand. Depending on the mood of the group I'd probably allow you to hold a bundle of wands with one hand and then take one wand out of the bundle and use it with your other hand. I'd imagine that many DMs might having misgivings about that since there is no rule explicitly permitting it. I'm also not aware of any rule explicitly prohibiting it though. Either way the DM could enforce his or her desired action economy by ruling that pulling a wand out of the bundle this way is a free action or a move action. I guess there would also need to be a ruling for the action cost to put the wand back in the bundle.

Probably the worst problem with allowing a PC to carry multiple object in one hand is that you will then need to make rulings on how many objects and which combinations of objects can reasonably be grasped at the same time. It is pretty easy to carry two bottles of beer with one hand. I'd imagine that most people can carry 3 or 4. Whether or not they could also manage to carry a pencil, a d20, and a sheet of paper at the same time is more likely to get tested around the game table than on top of it (though maybe that's where some of the stuff will land if they fail)

I guess you could also get into weird situations where players ask about allowing the PC to hold items with his or her mouth. I guess this might seem more reasonable if attempted by an animal companion, familiar, or Druid in wildshape.


The Cavalier gets some class features similar to those of a Paladin or Anti-Paladin without all the possibly problematic alignment issues. It shouldn't matter too much how well the goblin moves on his own if he's usually riding a mount (and Cavaliers get to ignore their armor check penalty on Ride checks)

Anyhow, I'd be even more worried about putting 1st level PCs on a ship with a 20th level NPC captain. I suppose that could be handled well, but it would be easy for it to go wrong too.


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Which one's worse, Bigby's Groping Hand and Evard's Invasive Tentacles? I've (luckily) never seen either one in play, but I've heard both mentioned around gaming tables.


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In the real world the idea that every person is created equal and all people are more alike than different in terms of tendency and potential are deeply entrenched social values. It seems natural to project real world values onto the fantasy world to some extent, but in the fantasy world different races clearly have different abilities. Some are smarter, some are faster, some are stronger, so it doesn't seem strange to propose that maybe some have a greater inherent tendency to be Good or Evil.

I'd say that a goblin raised by humans could end up Neutral or Good but might have a tendency to end up Evil anyhow. Even if you're strictly against the idea that creatures could have inherent negative tendencies you might consider the prejudice and oppression which a goblin living in human society might encounter and the negative reaction that might create. Contrarily you could consider how that goblin's suffering might cause him or her to become a Paladin turning the other cheek to insults, championing the rights of oppressed people, and trying to redeem the goblin race - who would likely be violently disinterested in such salvation...


Since PFS won't let you do it a lot of home DMs probably won't let you do it either. If you use a familiar which clearly has the ability to speak such as a Raven or Parrot you might have better luck. I'd imagine that some folks will say you still can't use a Ring of Invisibility since, "That's a foot, not a hand!"

Animal Archive has a table of which item slots different animal companions and familiars have available though, and Ring is a permitted item for the Avian body type, which includes Ravens and Parrots. They still wouldn't be able to use rings in PFS, but presumably Paizo intended the rules in Animal Archive to be used in at least some games, so I'd ask your DM about them.


I guess folks feel that the text in Pounce allowing Rake is specific text which trumps the general text in the Rake ability which requires you to be grappling to use Rake. Maybe that's true, and I've certainly always played it that way, but I've had DMs challenge it in the past due to the text under the Rake ability repeatedly mentioning grappling restrictions.

I'm still not firmly convinced that the "free" attacks from Rake aren't in addition to what you get from Move/Damage/Pin/Tie Up rather than in place of it. Granted, Rake says it offers a new "option" while grappling, but I'm not sure if "option" and "action" are equivalent here. For instance, I'd consider Constrict to be an additional "option" you have when you succeed on a grapple check using one of the grapple "actions". I wouldn't force a creature or character to use Constrict if he or she didn't want to (perhaps because they just wanted to Pin somebody without harming them). Similarly, I'd consider making two free Claw attacks with Rake to be an option you can choose to take advantage of or not when you start a round grappling rather than an alternative to the regular actions available during a grapple.

Being able to maintain a Pin from round to round without using the Pin action each round would be a huge change for many groups. I agree that there's nothing in the rules which implies you need to keep on using the Pin action, but I doubt that most people I play with would agree to change how things are done without some comment by Paizo showing this was an intentional change rather than an oversight. I did raise the idea during a previous campaign, but the DM dismissed it partially due to concerns that it would make the monsters too deadly. I'd feel a little guilty if we switched rules and people had some PCs die and then later on Paizo said it was just an oversight and you do indeed need to use the Pin action every round to keep somebody pinned.

I kind of wish that the pinned condition just gave you some big penalties on your actions rather than making you essentially unable to act. That's obviously a separate issue and beyond a "rules question" though.


Did Paizo say that the Barbarian's new bonuses to combat stats will be Morale typed bonuses? If not then maybe they'll be untyped bonuses or bonuses of some new type like a "rage bonus".

I was thinking about the new Monk a little and decided that Paizo probably would have kept the 1st and 2nd level bonus feats to help make the new class backwards compatible with as many PC builds as possible. On the other hand, part of the buzz on Unchained was that it wouldn't necessarily be backwards compatible. I guess I won't know what's up for sure until the book hits the shelves though. I'm interested in trying the new rules if they can fit my existing PCs. If not it might take literally a year or two before I'm playing a new PC.

Skill based healing might work best in out of combat situations, helping to replace the "Wand Tax" for wands of CLW. This doesn't seem like a big deal at this point, but it might be a nice touch.


I'd say yes. I think that whether you delay your spot in initiative or ready an action you should still be able to perform an immediate action in the meantime. You wouldn't be able to perform a swift action during the upcoming turn though. That's the part which is tough but important to remember.


Regarding Grab, there was a FAQ a while back based on a question I posted. Bestiary said that you could only use Grab on creatures smaller than you while Bestiary 2 said that you could use Grab on creatures of up to your own size. The FAQ upheld the rules from Bestiary 2 as the correct ones. Of course that size limitation is just the default and a specific creature's Grab ability might specify something different. For instance, my Feral Gnasher is Small but can Grab up to Medium creatures, and in a few levels he'll be able to use Grab on Large creatures too.

Anyhow, I'm not saying that a create shouldn't be able to Rake on a Pounce, just that it might appear that way based on the RAW for Rake. When the RAW and the way most people expect things to work aren't in alignment I think that's a great time for a FAQ. I think that whether or not you need to maintain the Pin is a much more important question than anything regarding Rake though. As I've said, there's really nothing I can find in the rules which seems to imply that you should need to use the Pin action round after round to keep somebody pinned, but I've never seen a DM who didn't play it that way. Maybe I've just played with 6 or 7 weird DMs and everybody else knows the right way, but from where I'm sitting it seems like there's some potential confusion on this issue.

Something else which has changed since 3.5 is that there don't seem to be any size limits on what you can grapple (not Grab, just grapple). Maybe that was intentional, or maybe it was just an omission.


If I buy a book directly from Paizo it is usually as just a PDF. I can generally count on other people I play with to pick up hardcovers of at least the major books. That said, even players who don't buy a lot of product can have a strong influence over what games their groups do or don't play, so every customer is important.

Still, if there's a threat to Paizo's sales I suspect it will come from competing RPG makers rather than from Lemmy expressing some disgruntlement. If Unchained shows that Pathfinder will continuously evolve to be more balanced and play better then Paizo will probably do very well. If not then the good reviews coming through the grapevine about a competitor's newest rule set will probably get checked out more thoroughly by more groups.

That's not entitlement. It is just business. I'm guessing Paizo understands that and will try their best to put out quality products which appeal to their customers and fix perceived problems.


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It is possible that Rake is intended to work in the manner you've proposed with a new "Rake" action being added to the usual list of actions available while maintaining the grapple (Move, Damage, Pin, and Tie Up). If so that seems really unclear from the RAW though, and the fact the text for Rake refers to the attacks as "free" seems to imply that you shouldn't have to sacrifice something else to gain them. I mean, if you give up the Bite damage you could normally inflict while maintaining the grapple with the "Damage" action for the chance to make 2 Claw attacks I wouldn't call that "free". I guess I should also ask whether you think the two free Claw attacks require attack rolls or just automatically hit and do damage if the grapple check is successful. I'd assume the former. I'll also ask if you allow Rake attacks during a Pounce. I do even though that seems to contradict the language in the Rake ability which says, "A monster with the rake ability must begin its turn already grappling to use its rake". I think whoever wrote that might have assumed we'd be smart enough to know that restriction only applies to the use of Rake while grappling rather than to the use of Rake while pouncing. I'm not really that worried about Rake though. I think it is pretty clear how it is "supposed to" work and even the difference between your interpretation and mine seems pretty minor to me.

I'm aware that the two checks needed to move from pinned to freedom was cut down to one in Pathfinder. I don't think it is clear from the RAW whether the Pin needs to be maintained from round to round though, especially in the light of 3.5 history. Paizo actually took the time to clarify that getting out of a pin only requires one successful check. I'd like it if they could also take the time to clarify whether you need to use the Pin action each round to maintain the Pin. There's really nothing in the new rules which implies this is the case, but every Pathfinder game I've played in has treated it that way. As a result, most monsters rarely use the Pin action, and monsters with Grab but not Constrict tend to get killed by full attacks from the grappled PC. I'm not saying that's right or wrong, just that it might change dramatically if an Owlbear could Pin you in round 2 and then Damage you in subsequent rounds without losing the Pin.

Now that I've started thinking about it a little more I'm also beginning to wonder how Swallow Whole should work in a world where a Pin doesn't need to be maintained. I'd assume that once you're swallowed whole you just have the grappled condition rather than the pinned condition since otherwise you wouldn't have a chance to cut your way out of the monster's stomach (something which is currently way too easy in most cases but should certainly be possible)


Yeah, I don't think home DMs should feel that they have to follow PFS specific rules. There are plenty of options banned in PFS which might work well in home games.

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