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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Be polite to your fellow platesetters everyone.
I'm going to be platesetting the vigilante this weekend, but I'm already confused by dual identity. Does an avenger's social identity go to the left or the right of the salad fork? :P
Why does it have to be a prestige class? It could be the first-ever evangelist-like base class. That would make the vigilante a self-contained gestalt subsystem that can transform any other class in the game into its superhero alter-ego starting at 1st level. (Okay, probably starting at 2nd-level, since you can't give all of the abilities of another class in addition to the starting vigilante stuff all on 1st level. The evangelist-style stuff would have to wait until 2nd level.)
If it's true that the vigilante is a more-specialized version of something that multiple other classes can already pull off, then the vigilante shouldn't be a base class. A more-specialized version of a class that already exists is just an archetype.
In fact, the vigilante class reads a lot like a list of abilities meant to appear in archetypes for other classes. Avenger could be a brawler or fighter archetype, stalker could be a rogue archetype, warlock could be split into an arcanist and a kineticist archetype, and zealot could be an inquisitor archetype. The vigilante class is just dual identity and renown plus a bunch of abilities that should be options available to other base classes.
If the vigilante is going to be a base class, it needs to be something more compelling than "I'm kinda like that other base class, but I can socialize, too." Vigilante needs to be to the master spy what the swashbuckler is to the duelist; it needs to be a spell-less analog of the bard; it needs to be something, anything, that we don't already have. What it doesn't need to be is four existing base classes with some social subsystem abilities tacked on. That's what archetypes and feats are for.
If it's absolutely necessary that a vigilante mimic the role of another base class, at least do away with all of these designer-imposter specializations. You should just get to count some fraction of your vigilante levels as levels in one other base class of your choice and gain the features of that other class accordingly. You aren't a feaux inquisitor (or whatever other class). You're a super-diplomat who can turn into a super-boogeyman, both of whom happen to have some genuine inquisitor class features in addition to their social/anti-social talents. (Which, incidentally, makes for a great cover story. "I'm not a rebellious vigilante, I'm an inquisitor who keeps the peasants in line. I can demonstrate my inquisitor abilities if you require proof.")
To expand upon Abraham's point, let's compare the dual identity mechanics from Ultimate Intrigue to the performance combat mechanic from Ultimate Combat and the kingdom building mechanic from Ultimate Campaign.
What happens if we want to make a new subsystem for airship pilots? Do we have to make a new airship pilot base class with specializations that allow cleric-like airship pilots, fighter-like airship pilots, rogue-like airship pilots, and wizard-like airship pilots? And do we have to go back and add an airship pilot specialization to the vigilante class, the gladiator class, and the kingmaker class?
Why should we recreate the existing base classes every time we get a new subsystem? Why not just design rules that allow characters of any class or archetype participate in the new subsystem?
Avengers and stalkers, being mundane, should require a few rounds to change identities, but they should get to keep all of their talents when in their social identity (since a mundane disguise doesn't magically change who you are).
Warlocks and zealots, being magical, should lose most of their spells and talents when in their social identities (because you have to turn off your magic to hide it from other magic), but they should be able to magically assume their vigilante identities as a standard, move, or swift action.
The vigilante's niche seems to be "one-level dip class."
You take one level in vigilante if your character concept requires a scry-proof dual identity, then immediately multiclass into something else:
vigilante (avenger) 1 / slayer X
You have your one vigilante level to protect your secret identity plus a bunch of levels in something else to get vigilante-like abilities you can use even when you are not using your vigilante identity.
No mutagenic vigilantes that sprout adamantine claws or turn into big green monsters?
No artificer vigilantes that craft custom suits of magic armor?
No supernatural flight talent?
I have some progress to report, as well as some spoilers to reveal:
I'm getting closer to publishing an introductory version of the Custom Class Builder. I still have lots of class and archetype features to edit, but most of the central mechanics are finalized.
The Custom Class Builder streamlines a fair number of common class features by making them work like inquisitor judgments (or unchained barbarian rage stances): you can, in theory, gain a large number of these class features from a single custom class; every one of them scales with your class level, no matter how many others you gain; and you can (usually) have only one of these scaling class features active at any given time.
By setting things up this way, the Custom Class Builder makes it easy to mix and match class features like bardic performances, fighter weapon training, inquisitor judgments, ranger favored enemies, etc. A custom class grants a combination of these scaling abilities that fit its theme, and class members choose which one of these abilities is active at any given time.
In addition, every custom class has an ability called heroic effort, which serves as a general-purpose point pool. Some of the scaling class features mentioned above require heroic effort to activate and maintain. Custom classes can also grant various other features that would normally depend upon different point pools: arcanist exploits, gunslinger and swashbuckler deeds, monk and ninja ki powers, magus arcana, etc.
Every custom class grants one class feature per level plus a number of additional proficiencies on 1st level. Many low-level features of existing classes can be selected as proficiencies. Each custom class also gains a progression of bonus talents based upon its Hit Die, with smaller Hit Dice granting more bonus talents. Blocks of these bonus talents can be exchanged during class creation for spellcasting (or similar abilities), with larger blocks resulting in better spellcasting progressions.
The last major component of the class creation process, which I am developing now, involves companions (animal companions, eidolons, familiars, etc.). During creation, a custom class can exchange one or more proficiencies to gain a companion as a class feature; the more proficiencies exchanged, the better the companion. One proficiency might get you an animal, ooze, plant, or vermin companion that must be controlled using the Handle Animal skill, while four proficiencies might get you an independent dragon or outsider companion with eidolon evolutions.
The introductory version of the Custom Class Builder won't contain all of the three-thousand-plus character options currently in development, but it will contain a beta version of the custom class creation process, along with a representative sample of the many features that can be added to a custom class.
My current goal is to release this introductory PDF for playtesting and review later this summer.
Of course if he playtests by making up parties of characters and having them converse and interact with one another when he's the only one there... that would be a little strange.
Now I want to run a PbP with no one but myself and four aliases so I can tell the story of an AP in the form of an online novel about my four characters.
I am referring, in the above statements, to Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur and Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod. Each of these two, related PDFs features a new, playable and customizable race of humanoid dinosaurs.
In Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur, you meet the ruthless carnosaurians, the often-villainous upper class of the Great and Terrible Lizard Empire. In Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod, you meet the fierce but noble Bird-Feet, Bone-Heads, Horn-Heads, and Shield-Bearers that are the common folk of the same ancient empire.
All of that is ancient history, but history tends to repeat itself. Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur includes the stats of a carnosaurian lich who may be scheming to revive his long-dead race, while Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur details numerous ways an ancient race might survive its apparent extinction. (Hint: one of those ways involves an extradimensional zoo which may or may not be a theme park.)
If you feel like playing an anthropomorphic dinosaur (or someone who wants to revive an ancient race of anthropomorphic dinosaurs in the modern world), check out Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur and Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod.
The dinosaurs are on their way...
Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur and Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod have both been uploaded. Barring technical difficulties, both are on schedule for release on June 12th (or slightly before that, depending upon your time zone).
Psionics is essentially magic wearing the clothes of New Age psychic phenomena. Unlike magic, whose literary heritage spans from much older sources, Psionics in the game draws mainly from comic books, horror movies like "Scanners", and the "New Age" movement.
Psionics is essentially is less sci-fi version of D&D's magic system. Unlike D&D's Vancian magic system, which was lifted directly from a science fiction novel and appears nowhere else in literature or mythology, D&D psionics creates a mechanic that reflects the way most people assume magic would work in a fantasy setting: practioners draw upon a depletable pool of energy which they shape to their will without "preparing" or "memorizing" an abitrary number of fire-and-forget spells.
I am referring to the proposed Cerapoda clade, which includes Ceratopsians, Ornithopods, and Pachycephalosaurs.
The same PDF also covers Cerapoda's sister clade, Thyreophora, so it would have been more accurate to call it Dawn of the Ornithischian, but "Ornithischian" didn't sound as cool as "Cerapod" (and wouldn't have fit on the cover even if it did).
Saurapoda, meanwhile, make an appearance in both PDFs as a race of reptilian giants.
Ah, you're primarily running PFS scenarios. That explains why you aren't noticing any number-related character growth in Pathfinder. In my experience, PFS focuses on a very narrow slice of the Pathfinder game. Many types of encounters that showcase character growth are specifically excluded from PFS (as opposed to something like Kingmaker, where the advancement of your raw numerical bonuses can change the difficulty and feel of entire dungeons).
Your examples keep assuming that Pathfinder characters encounter only monsters whose CR is approximately equal to their own level. Sure, in a poorly-designed adventure where the PCs never meet groups of lower-level enemies, they won't feel like they are advancing. Advancement in Pathfinder is all about becoming significantly more badass than creatures that are below your level; that's why those creatures are below your level.
The problem with flying kick is that it doesn't say you actually fly when you move, so difficult terrain will still half your movement.
The description of flying kick flat out states that you move through the air when using flying kick. The first sentence reads: "The monk leaps through the air to strike a foe with a kick."
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
And don't forget chainmail bikinis.
I can see how the unchained action economy can be made to work (as your house rules demonstrate), but I don't know that I would call the new action economy a smooth fit for the existing game.
To me, dropping the unchained action economy into the current Pathfinder game feels like replacing a car's entire engine because a few bad spark plugs are holding back its performance. I'd rather just keep the engine where it is and replace the bad spark plugs.
In Pathfinder, the full-attack action is the bad spark plug. Rather than seeing a rewrite of the entire action economy that makes combat more dynamic, I really wanted to see a rewrite of the full-attack action that makes combat just as dynamic while leaving everything other than full-attacking intact.
For (a very rough) example, change the full attack action so it grants you three acts, each of which can be used to either attack or move. [Insert the attacking and moving portion of the unchained action economy rules here.] Everything other than full-attacking uses the normal rules.
A (cleaned-up) version of the above suggestion would create dynamic combat very similar to that which occurs in the unchained action economy without having to first gut the entire Pathfinder action economy system.
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
This quickly becoming a homebrew thread...
Any thread about implementing the unchained action economy has to be a homebrew thread. The unchained action economy is just a framework with extensive examples, not a complete system; you have to homebrew it to make it work.
That being said, if Pathfinder 2.0 is built with this action economy as a starting point, I suspect that PF2 will run much better than PF1 with no homebrewing required.
Joe M. wrote:
I'm glad they used the space in unchained for more optional rules rather than a suite of Unchained Monk options...
Off the top of my head, you can add dozens of options to the unchained monk, including backwards and forwards compatibility with Core monk support material, by adding a single ki power:
"Archetype Power: You can select a class feature granted by a monk archetype as a ki power if that class feature replaces a single monk class feature (and nothing else). To select an archetype class feature as a ki power, your monk level must be no less than the level on which that class feature is granted by a monk archetype. You cannot select a class feature as a ki power if that feature improves or relies upon an ability you do not have."
The lack of something quick but effective like that built into the unchained monk is, in my opinion, a missed opportunity.
*reads unchained monk*
Yes, I think that's more to my liking.
Animal Races: Clan of the Swan introduces a playable race of avian shapechangers with ties to the realm of the fey. Born from the fires of the first Phoenix and the primordial magic of fairy-kind, members of the Swan Clans undergo a process of continuous reincarnation that has carried their ancient souls forward from a long-forgotten past into the present day world.
In addition to the rules you need to play Swan Clan shapechangers in modern times, this book includes guidelines for past-life adventures, allowing your character to relive memories from past lives to learn about bygone eras or to extrapolate historical trends into the future.
Whether you want to play a bird-themed shapechanger with ties to the fey or want advice for incorporating an in-character flashback to ancient times into your campaign, this PDF is for you.
Matrix Dragon wrote:
I think I'll also give all summoners a bonus evolution point at every 4th level and then ban the half-elf favored class bonus so people don't feel like they have to be half-elfs to be effective.
Why not just unchain the half-elf favored class bonus by letting any summoner take it, regardless of race?
The unchained monk would have been a perfect place to unchain the medium saving throw progression (+1 at every odd level) that is currently used by every prestige class in the game but not by any existing base class. The unchained monk could have had all medium saves, making it perfectly balanced without giving it saves as good as those of the d8-HD monk.
Everyone is missing the point of Formless Mastery. Don't think of it as an unchained monk class feature; think of it as an unchained Crane Wing nerf. If you look at it that way, Formless Mastery is a thing of beauty.
You see, the standard Crane Wing nerf turned a feat that automatically blocked one melee attack into a feat that provided a +4 bonus to AC against one melee attack if you happened to burn an immediate action before that attack was rolled in the first place. That's a fairly intensive nerf, but all of the sacred cows were really holding it back.
Now that everything's been unchained, Crane Wing can be properly nerfed. If you're stuck GMing for a bunch of uppity martials who insist on taking Crane Wing, even though its been nerfed down to an occasional +4 AC bonus against one melee attack, you can teach them a lesson by giving Formless Mastery to your NPC monks.
Your monks get a +4 bonus on attack rolls against anyone using Crane Wing, perfectly counteracting the +4 bonus to AC that Crane Wing occasionally provides. Plus, to further punish the PCs for daring to take a non-magical defense nearly as effective as some 1st- or 2nd-level spells, your NPCs also get massive damage bonuses and other perks against them.
Never before has a nerf been so perfectly complete.
Re: 3pp HeroLab support:Re: Unchained.
Honestly... The only thing that stops me from using more 3pp stuff is that they don't usually have HeroLab support. :/
A few months ago, I wanted to write a huge 3pp HeroLab file. Sadly, the HeroLab licensing terms disallowed 90% of the content I wanted to create.
And the winner of Pathfinder Unchained is... the warsighted oracle of battle.
David knott 242 wrote:
I think I see some opportunities for 3rd party publishers here.
I can't properly express how much I agree with this statement. Because reasons.
I won't have time to upload Clan of the Raptor to stores this afternoon, but it is done, so expect it in the near future.
Next month's release, Clan of the Swan, is also well underway.
After that, Clan of the Raven for all the tengu fans out there.
Unchained core race changes sound dumb
Look, I get that halflings are not as popular as fantasy staples like dwarves and elves.
That said, I think Unchained sets a bad precedent by completely replacing the halfling core race with a tiefling core race. It's true that tieflings have better flavor and stronger mechanics than halflings, but using that as an excuse to errata halflings out of existence is a bad move. Unchained should never have done that.
And by, "Unchained," I mean, "an imaginary game supplement I saw in a dream last night," because I've never actually seen a Paizo product suggesting that halflings be replaced with tieflings. But that's beside the point. A future Paizo product might say that, so I'm putting my foot down.
The harshest critique the Animal Races series has yet received still managed to squeak in at four out of five stars. As the reviewer correctly observes, as a race that can fly unaided at 1st level, Bats are not perfectly balanced against the standard core races.
As a matter of fact, Bats are balanced against wyrwoods and wyvarans, a pair of 0-HD races you can read about on the linked pages of the PRD. If exotic races like wyrwoods and wyvarans would work in your campaign, Bats and other flying animal races will, too. If wyrwoods and wyvarans are outside the scope of your campaign, consider instead sticking to animal races based on non-flying animals. Non-flying animal races make up the majority of the Animal Races series and have capabilities similar to members of core races with access to APG feats like Aspect of the Beast and Keen Scent.
A note for customers who haven't checked their email lately:
If you purchased Clan of the Pig, Clan of the Raccoon, or Clan of the Turtle prior to this week, a new version of your PDF with some minor corrections should be available for you to download.
If you purchased Clan of the Bear prior to this week, a new version of your PDF with two full pages of new (and critically acclaimed) content should be available for you to download.
Steve Wieck wrote:
In that case, I have to object to this Card Creator on ethical grounds.
DriveThru earns money on each sale, which is perfectly fair and ethical, since Drive Thru is providing a service by printing and distributing these cards. There's nothing wrong with that part of the process.
The providers of the stock art earn money each time someone licenses their artwork, which is perfectly fair and ethical, since artists have the right to profit from their own intellectual property. There's nothing wrong with that part of the process.
But then we get to the part where Paizo is asking amateur designers to transfer ownership of their intellectual property to Paizo without compensation. And we're not talking about messageboard posts here. We're talking about designers putting time and effort into the creation of published, proprietary, Paizo-owned products without getting paid for their work.
That would be tolerable if the designers retained full ownership (or even a copyleft) of the intellectual property they created while doing this volunteer work for Paizo, Inc., but the designers don't even get that. They are donating their time (and potentially paying for licenses) to create intellectual property owned by a for-profit corporation that is not their employer.
That is exploitative, and helps perpetuate a culture where creative workers are conditioned to expect no compensation for work they perform on behalf of others. I realize this was probably not anyone's intention when setting up this project, but it is still the end result. As someone who believes artists should receive fair compensation for any work they perform that generates revenue for any party, I cannot support this Card Creator.
If I purchase a community-created card, does the community member who designed that card earn a percentage of that sale?
Eric Hinkle wrote:
And we get some birds, unless you mean the scaly sort of raptors. Any hints on what sort of 'subclans' we can expect in these releases? I.e., eagles, hawks, swans, ravens, etc.?
Clan of the Raptor will feature Eagle, Hawk, Owl, and Vulture clans. (Ravens have their own book.)Clan of the Swan will feature Peacock and Swan clans, plus lots of fey and samsarans.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Yep, Clan of the Bat now has two pages of new information about non-vampire Bats.
Also, Clan of the Bear, Clan of the Deer, and Clan of the Rabbit were all updated to add a scent ability that got lost in cut-and-paste limbo.
Clan of the Pig and Clan of the Turtle will receive a few cosmetic tweaks soon.
After that, I will be adding two additional pages to Clan of the Bear, since I have more to say about Cave Bears and Polar Bears, plus a new bloodline option for the bloodrager class.
Following those updates, I'll be moving on to some new releases, namely Clan of the Raptor and Clan of the Swan.
More like:Player 1: I'm playing a catfolk.
GM: Actually, that's not a playable race in this campaign.
Player 1: Why?
And then the conversation branches in one of several directions
Gm: Because I am the GM and I want to shove it in your face by reminding you that I can ban stuff!
Player 1: Waa! You're a tyrant!
It takes 7 days of progress per spell level to finish researching a spell. That means it costs a total of 700*(spell level)^2 gp and requires 14 skill checks per spell level to complete. You cannot take 10 on any of these checks and you risk losing days of progress.
The "shenanigans" being discussed in this thread are an inefficient way to increase the number of different spells your sorcerer can choose to cast. If you have the Craft Wondrous Item feat, you can craft a page of spell knowledge for only 500*(spell level)^2 gp in less downtime than it takes to research a spell of the same level.
Products of alchemical evolution, members of the Frog Clans and their allies represent two new playable races of humanoid amphibians. Hailing from a mysterious land beyond the stars, these races now preside over ancient frog temples in the hearts of swamps everywhere. Led by templars equipped with technological relics and altered through strange alchemical and surgical experiments, these new races showcase dozens of new character options.
Spur your continuing evolution with new alchemist discoveries. Become a test subject for experimental body modification procedures. Wield circuit-threaded weapons, ray guns, and other strange gear. Worship at the altar of high technology with a new Technology cleric domain. All of these options and more are available to the boggards of the Frog Clans and to other characters who cross their path.
Chris Shaeffer wrote:
P.S. - Looks like our team lost at sportsball. :/
Allow me to translate that Sportsball match into Pathfinder terminology for folks with no ranks in Knowledge (Sportsball):
You are at the end of a PFS scenario. In order to win, you must move through a doorway and activate a McGuffin in your possession in the room on the other side. There are a bunch of ogres standing in the doorway, trying to stop you, and time is running out.
Your party consists of a low-level, ranged-weapon fighter with really good stats; a handful of moderately-optimized, mid-level rogues; and a super-optimized, high-level barbarian with Dodge, Mobility, Greater Bull Rush, and a special boon that increases his CMB against ogres.
Instead of handing the McGuffin to the super-optimized barbarian so he can bull rush through the ogres, your party tells the barbarian to stand guard one room over. The fighter throws the McGuffin through the crowded doorway and the rogues attempt to grab it before any of the ogres do.
The rogues predictably fail to get past the ogres to claim the McGuffin. The party attempts a few ineffectual attacks against the ogres that now own their McGuffin, time runs out, and no experience points are awarded to the party. The barbarian is still standing guard one room over.
The things the players hate more than anything is having to constantly swap out items and having bags of 'magic' vendor trash after every fight.
There's a simple house rule you can use to fix both of these problems:
Permanent magic items are user-specific. When the PCs loot an opponent, the opponent's permanent magic items become non-magical, but the PCs gain an amount of mana with a gp-value equal to the sales price of those permanent magic items. The PCs can spend their mana to upgrade their own magic items as if that mana was actual gp.
That gives you upgrading magic items without all the vendor trash.
Steven Helt wrote:
I wanna be in that glacier with time running out, background music spiked very high, and ice walls collapsing as I fight my way out.
Now I'm convinced they need to add a challenge that takes place between Rounds 2 and 3: every finalist has to submit a background music playlist for someone else's map.
In a campaign where the GM plays efreet as creatures with their listed stats, it should be very hard to planar bind an efreeti. An efreeti has enough Spellcraft to know what planar binding is, enough Wisdom to know that people will want to bind it, and enough Intelligence to utilize a few straightforward defenses against planar binding.
The first thing any efreeti worth its stats will do in life is acquire a loyal minion (preferably an intelligent minor magic item, which is both affordable and easy to control). The efreeti can grant its minion three wishes per day and have the minion use those wishes to the efreeti's advantage. First order of business: protect the efreeti from calling spells via contingency and dimensional anchor.
Heck, the entire City of Brass (and every other place inhabited by efreet) should be blanketed with dimensional lock effects so none of its residents can be whisked away by calling spells. None of that makes it impossible to planar bind efreet, but the process should be much harder than just casting planar binding and asking for an efreeti.
Animal Races: Clan of the Frog is just around the corner. I just need to find room in this PDF for all of the content I want to include. Clan of the Frog has not one but two new playable races; new feats, new traits, and a new deity, as usual; a new Improved Familiar option or two; new technological items and artifacts; and new alchemist discoveries, several of which can be taken by non-alchemists who take a feat for subjects of alchemical and surgical experiments. (One of the options you can select gives you adamantine claws.) As soon as I cram all of that crunch into one PDF, Clan of the Frog will be good to go.
Neil Spicer wrote:
But is [studying the Top 100 list] really necessary? It's pretty clear that you can get a sense of what it takes to make the contest by simply reviewing the Top 32.
A visual learner might learn what it takes to succeed in this contest by simply reviewing the Top 32, but an auditory learner might only learn the same lesson when listening to a panel at PaizoCon. Likewise, a participatory learner might only learn the same lesson by walking through the judging process, comparing the Top 32 to their highest-ranked also-ran competition.
An alternative set of learning tools will always have value, because there are as many different ways of teaching a given lesson as their are people willing to learn it.
So the Top 100 list could certainly prove useful to some contestants. That doesn't make the list "necessary," by any means, but the list would have some value.
I can already imagine one potential response Neil Spicer might give: The whole purpose of Superstar is to help Paizo find talented freelancers, and the contest is serving that purpose just fine without catering to contestants who don't make the Top 32. Any desire to divert contest resources away from the Top 32 is ultimately self-serving, and is distracting Paizo from its talent search.
If someone posted the words I'm unfairly putting in Neil's mouth, I would agree with them 100%. Everyone asking to see a Top 100 list is being self-serving and distracting Paizo from its talent search. So is everyone (myself included) asking that the public be given more say in the Top 32 selection process. We are definitely putting our own interests ahead of Paizo's interests...
As it should be. I would not expect Paizo to host Superstar if doing so did not benefit Paizo. That being said, the audience is still the consumer and Paizo is still the producer. If Superstar is run in such a way that its achieves Paizo's goals without also providing its audience with entertainment value and opportunities for self-improvement, Paizo is eventually going to lose its audience.
The Top 32 potential freelancers are the part of this contest most important to Paizo's goals, but that doesn't mean discussions about Top 100 lists or increased voter input should be dismissed simply because they involve different agendas. Paizo is in the entertainment industry. Paizo's audience should get as much out of Paizo as Paizo gets out of its audience, no more, no less. The discussion going on in this thread should be about finding the equilibrium point in that equation.
Garrick Williams wrote:
I'd honestly like to see future years have maps as Round 2.
I'd honestly like to see future years have maps as Round 1.
Sorting 800 maps two at a time would be so much more enjoyable than sorting 800 magic items. After side-by-side voting ends, you could have the Top 64 map designers submit some descriptive text to accompany their maps (or reveal descriptive text they already submitted for their map) and let the public ballot-vote finalists into the Top 32 based upon a combination of mapping skills and writing skills.
Scott LaBarge wrote:
So are there minions around to give back-rubs in this guildhall joint or what? (Filigree not required.)
The Guildhall is fully staffed by the Staff of the Top 32 Guildhall, which can tend to all your chiropractic needs. Observe!
*pokes Scott LaBarge with a stick*
That is precisely the problem, though. "You can cast any one arcane spell" is in one sentence. All the meanings we are supposed to infer are locked behind a couple of gates that start with, "If." Of course we are supposed to read the whole thing together. But the whole thing together does not restrict characters who are neither prepared nor spontaneous casters.
On its own, the phrase, "You can cast any one arcane spell," does not grant anyone the ability to cast spells. To resolve an action using the "Casting a Spell" rules in the Core, you must have a defined caster level available in case you are required to make an unexpected concentration check. The phrase in question does not, on its own, define a caster level. To rule that the phrase in question allows non-casters to cast spells, you have to invent an unwritten house rule that provides the information you must have available when resolving any "cast a spell" action. You literally cannot make that ruling without also inventing a house rule.
In the same way, the hypothetical rule, "Your attack deals sneak attack damage even if your opponent is neither flanked nor denied its Dexterity bonus to AC," does not, on its own, grant any character the ability to deal sneak attack damage. Sure, it says, "Your attack deals sneak attack damage," but to resolve a sneak attack using the Core definition of the sneak attack ability, you must have a defined amount of sneak attack damage available in case your attack hits. The phrase from the hypothetical rule does not, on its own, define your amount of sneak attack damage. If you rule that the phrase grants sneak attack damage to characters without sneak attack, your ruling requires you to invent an unwritten house rule defining the amount of that damage. You literally cannot make this ruling without also inventing a house rule.
If your interpretation of a written rule requires you to invent an unwritten house rule in order to resolve whatever it is your ruling allows, you are no longer talking about RAW. You are talking about house rules you are inventing to handle contingencies not covered by anything in the RAW. That is an instance of the RAW not defining something, not an instance of the RAW letting you do something broken.