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Hand of the Inheritor

Fergie's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,421 posts (1,441 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 3 aliases.


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Komoda wrote:
Some creatures only have 1 slam but have 2 limbs with hands.

Captain Kirk Double-Fisted Punch!

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Fergie wrote:

I propose that weapons are generally carried but not wielded in most travel or social situations. You don't threaten adjacent squares even if you have the weapon in your hands. It takes the "Draw or Sheathe a Weapon" action to make it attack-ready, at which point you are officially "wielding" the weapon. You can generally only wield a single weapon per hand or a two handed or double weapon in both hands at any given time.

I suspect some of the items/abilities might need a little text change if "wielding" was to become an official term. Some things, like the defending weapon property, were intended to work when attacking rather then held or even wielded.

You are right on some terms in some circumstances, but not all weapons follow the general rule of having to be drawn to be usable. What about a shield you can bash with, or a spiked gauntlet? They're worn on the hand(s), meaning they're effectively constantly drawn. By that point, the only thing holding the bearer back is being flat-footed to an otherwise present danger he is unaware of, and even that is counteracted by taking Combat Reflexes.

I would say that is one of the benefits of natural weapons, unarmed strikes and the types of weapons that are generally difficult or impossible to disarm. These types generally have disadvantages compared to heavier weapons. Most weapons would still require the "Draw Weapon" move action to threaten, even if they are not being pulled from a scabbard.

I propose that weapons are generally carried but not wielded in most travel or social situations. You don't threaten adjacent squares even if you have the weapon in your hands. It takes the "Draw or Sheathe a Weapon" action to make it attack-ready, at which point you are officially "wielding" the weapon. You can generally only wield a single weapon per hand or a two handed or double weapon in both hands at any given time.

I suspect some of the items/abilities might need a little text change if "wielding" was to become an official term. Some things, like the defending weapon property, were intended to work when attacking rather then held or even wielded.

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Just have to say I'm enjoying this thread.

But now I want to watch some Twin Peaks and eat some pie.

Killer_GM wrote:
SIXTY PERCENT INCOME TAX RATES! Good God man. And one of the reasons that your country has money to pay for their national healthcare, is that you literally pay almost Nothing for national defense. That's because the USA literally pays to defend and safeguard Europe, leaving your country to bilk you for 60% to pay for everyone's healthcare.

Ummm, you do know that during some of the most prosperous years of the United States history our highest income tax rate was over 90%... And somehow the world didn't end? Even after Regan's first term the top rate was 50%. And during all that time, the rich even managed to get richer! rate_history_nominal.pdf

So yeah, the golden years of the United States had a max income tax rate of well more then Denmark.

PS Saying, "USA literally pays to defend and safeguard Europe" isn't really that accurate, but that is a thread of it's own.

Specialist: At 7th level a rogue may choose to specialize in combat or magic.

At 7th level, a rogue who selected to pursue magic must choose between arcane and divine magic. If the rogue chooses arcane spells, they can either choose to use intelligence or charisma as their casting stat. If the rogue selects divine spells, wisdom is their casting stat. Once a rogue selects a magic type and casting stat, it cannot be changed.

Beginning at 7th level, a rogue gains the ability to cast a small number of spells, which are drawn from the druid and cleric lists for divine spells, and the sorcerer/wizard list for arcane. A rogue must choose and prepare his spells in advance.

To prepare or cast a divine spell, a rogue must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a rogue's divine spell is 10 + the spell level + the rogue's Wisdom modifier.

To prepare or cast an arcane spell, a rogue must have an intelligence or charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a rogue's divine spell is 10 + the spell level + the rogue's intelligence or charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a rogue can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. A rogue casts as per a ranger three levels lower. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Ranger. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high casting stat (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). When Table: Ranger indicates that the rogue gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to them based on his casting stat score for that spell level.

A rogue must spend 1 hour per day in quiet meditation to regain his daily allotment of spells. A ranger may prepare and cast any spell on his spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

Through 6th level, a rogue has no caster level. At 7th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his rogue level – 6. A rogue can cast arcane spells while wearing light armor and use a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a rogue wearing medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component.

Combat Specialization Feat (Ex): At 7th level, a rogue who selected to pursue combat may select any feat from the list available to 2nd level rangers (see below). The rogue does not need to choose between ranged and two-weapon, and may select from any combat styles available to rangers. The rogue's combat specialization manifests in the form of bonus feats at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level. He can choose from these feats, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites.

The rogue can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat feat: Far Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Double Slice, Improved Shield Bash, Quick Draw, and Two-Weapon Fighting. At 11th level, he adds Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, and Two-Weapon Defense to the list. At 15th level, he adds Pinpoint Targeting, Shot on the Run, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting and Two-Weapon Rend to the list.

The benefits of the rogue's chosen combat feats apply only when he wears light, medium, or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style feats when wearing heavy armor.

Based on the last 1000 posts my conclusion is that rogues are only slightly underpowered. Giving them something like rangers weapon feats, or casting as a ranger -3 levels and allow choice of all spells would make rogues a well balanced class.

I think the real issue is that traps, and the single PC scouting ahead alone while the party waits is a bad dynamic in a group game. It is also a lot less important then back when many traps were save or die.

Rogues are only slightly underpowered, and only suck if you are expecting them to shine in a non-skill focused game style.

Kazaan wrote:

..."Combat Attorneys"...

I think it might be "Attorneys Combat" if you are talking about a bunch of them.

But yeah, I'm thinking bards, rogues, experts and aristocrats. And wigs. You need a wig.

Scavion, I think if your re-read what I wrote, and think about it in the context of the thread title (and various assertions throughout), you will see that I did not make some of the assertions you suggest.

If you look back at some of my earlier posts in this thread you will find a strength based rogue outline that I posted that is adequate in combat and excellent in social situations. It would be better at combat (and a skill or two) with a dip of barbarian, but it was OK without that dip. Power attack opened up shield of swings, and if I was seriously concerned about the penalty to attack, there is a feat that fixes that.

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It's funny, in the course of just a few years "Bards Suck" has gone from a foregone conclusion to painfully obvious trolling.

I also think it is funny that not being the best at something means a character sucks. All it takes to make a rogue viable at combat is to power attack with a two handed weapon. With a dip into a full BAB class a rogue can kick lots of ass. Just like a fighter with a dip of rogue can be the skill monkey.

Although I enjoy optimizing and theorycrafting, threads like this one make me glad the designers aim for a wider audience then messageboard "experts" when designing the game.

There are some good suggestions in this thread:

I think the one I liked most involved using the guided hand feat to use wisdom on attack rolls. There are also archetypes like Crusader that give some good combat stuff but at a price.

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SPCDRI wrote:

Has about as much to do with a core rogue as Captain Crunch has with Captain Kangaroo.

That about sums up the situation round these parts.

Were they both in the navy?

OK, I had originally set this up as a human with a dip in barbarian at first level, so this might be off by a level in some spots.
Half-Orc Rogue
20pt. buy, race to str)
S 17
D 14
C 14
I 10
W 12
C 10

Feats & Rogue talents:
1 Dodge
r2 combat trick - power attack
3 shield of swings
r4 fast getaway
5 Mobility
r6 Befuddling strike
7 Spring Attack
9 Iron will

We swap out the trap stuff for the Thug* archetype and the uncanny dodge stuff for the Scout archetype. This gives us nice debuffing options such as making a guy sickened, and allows us to sneak attack more often.

In terms of skills, we are going to max out perception, acrobatics, diplomacy, sense motive, and UMD. A lot of ranks will go into intimidate and knowledge yokel, and most of the other skills will be good.

At 6th level, The attack will be something like +7 to hit and ~20 damage per hit average. (1d12+ 6 str + 6 power + 1 enchant)
If it is a sneak attack, add about 10 more average damage.
AC will be pretty lame at about 17-18, but shield of swings or a total defense will get that up in the 20-25 range.
HP = 51 (8+25+12+6)
Will save and fortitude are weak but not that far off from many other common builds. Again, originally this build started with a level of barbarian, so that would have added speed, rage, HP, and fortitude, as well as weapon options, medium armor, more class skills and BAB.

Can you make a bard who does all that plus mirror image and heroism? Basically.
Can you build an expert or aristocrat who does all that? No.

I would feel comfortable bringing this character to any normal game and not have to worry about sucking. If it is an "optimized" game, I'll just bring my high-DC-blindness spamming caster, and complain if the GM optimizes the monsters to compensate.

*Note The only thing better then writing rogue on your character sheet is writing THUG!

Sadurian wrote:

If the seduction is unimportant to the game then it happens, possibly involving a Social roll if the character is particularly unpleasant.

If the seduction is more important then I used to use a system taken from Pendragon. The seduction is split into stages (I used 4) and each must be passed to move to the next stage. The different stages require rolls and PC actions, and I would suggest at least a week go by for each stage. Failure at any stage requires another week and another attempt at a small penalty (-2?). Increase the DCs as each stage is reached, the target's attractiveness/CHA and relative social/financial standing should determine what the DC is. Any roll 5 over the required DC results in a +2 to the following stage's roll, a critical skips the next stage. Any fumble (natural 1) means the relationship is irretrievably over.

For example:

Stage 1. Impress the lady into believing you are worth her time: a thoughtful gift (not just expensive) plus a roll on diplomacy or perform. Imaginative players can substitute another roll (Ride, Handle Animal, Craft and so on). The idea is to become interesting.

Stage 2. Woo the lady, spending time alone with her (but fully clothed!). Some chaste kissing may result, together with trips to the theatre or whatever. This is generally perform or diplomacy as you are trying to be charming. Bluff might work in some situations. Intimidate probably not.

Stage 3. Become intimate with the lady, but not fully-on intimate.... We are talking passionate kisses and fairly explicit love letters. This stage is mostly about convincing her that you are worth pursuing so more gifts are in order. I'd probably go for diplomacy again. Bluff might work at this stage but at a small penalty because you are spending a considerable amount of time together.

Stage 4. Either a proposal of marriage or becoming an established lover, depending on what the aim of the seduction was. A GM might want the target of the PC's affection to request a 'small favour' here. A mini scenario in...

OK, that is how women handle it.

For the guys it's, "I ask the barmaid if she wants to step out behind the tavern and discuss 'The nomenclature of pole arms'."
GM flips coin...

Avh wrote:

@Fergie : except that for other classes, skills aren't the only thing they can do, while the rogue only have that.


Outside of combat, you're not even in the first part of "good" classes : out of the eleven classes from the CRB, I see six that are at least on par with the rogue, and some others can shine in specific situations.

I think rogues have more going for them then just the skills, by 10th level, they have 5 rogue talents, evasion, improved uncanny dodge, trap sense +3 (oohhhh) and a 5d6 sneak attack. With their 3/4 BAB, 8/level skill points and access to weapons and armor, they are absolutely in PC class power level. Is it equal to what a wizard has? Hell no.

And as for skills, rogues are probably the best in social situations except for bards and maybe inquisitors. Again, bards and maybe inquisitors aside, there is something to be said for having a whole bunch of maxed out skills, especially skills like UMD and perception.

EDIT: Opps, left of trapfinding, which is pretty good. Too bad trap sense didn't follow the same mechanic (+1 per 2 rogue levels).
Also noticed that rogues get NOTHING new from level 10 - 20. <-- maybe that is part of the problem?

I think there is a vast difference between being weaker (or even the weakest) mechanically, and "sucking".

You can have a great time playing a rogue, and contribute to a variety of situations, so the class isn't broken. It is just that the rogue falls victim to several problems that are hardly unique to the class.

The rogues main problem is that he is at his best when he is alone in the spotlight, sneaking ahead, picking a lock, or disabling a trap. However, since this is a cooperative game, most of the real-life table time will be spent in activities where everyone can contribute, mainly combats and social situations. Again, the rogue is OK in almost any situation, but participating is just not the same as kicking ass.

The other problems that rogues suffer from are common, especially among martial characters. A d6, or even several d6, are just not that much damage any more. So the rogue needs to get multiple sneak attacks by using a full attack action in melee. This means that he needs AC and HP which force him to need dex and con. Since he has bad will and fortitude saves, and several skills that operate off of charisma, he is now officially MAD. (Multiple Ability score Dependent)

Finally, the rogues Thing is that he is a skill monkey, but skills don't really ramp up in power in many cases. Often later in the game your climb, acrobatics, etc. won't even compare to the options a fly spell will give you, and many other mundane abilities are blown away by a few charges from a wand or something.

But these things are hardly specific to the rogue class, and most of this stuff won't make it so you can't have fun playing the class.

Thanks so much for your contributions to a great game, and a great community! I wish you the best in the future, and hope that you stick around these message boards and enjoy them in a stress free way.


HangarFlying wrote:

You do realize that if you have iterative attacks (high BAB), you can make one attack with the longspear, and another attack with armor spikes, right?

Yes, it involves taking a hand off the spear to use the spikes, then grabbing the spear again (free actions). But at the end of your turn, you either have both hands on the spear, and threaten with it, or you have a hand free to use the spikes, and thus don't threaten with the spear any more.

There is a way for a PC to use a reach weapon AND threaten adjacent squares.. Anyone know what it is?

HangarFlying wrote:
Fergie wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:

The prohibition on TWF with a longspear and armor spikes is in no way a prohibition to use both weapons in the course of a full attack action or able to threaten with both weapons in order to make attacks of opportunity.

Armor Spikes: Can I use two-weapon fighting to make an "off-hand" attack with my armor spikes in the same round I use a two-handed weapon?

Likewise, you couldn't use an armored gauntlet to do so, as you are using both of your hands to wield your two-handed weapon, therefore your off-hand is unavailable to make any attacks.

unavailable to make any attacks = not threatening adjacent squares, and thus no AoO.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah, and the part about how that only applies to two-weapon fighting went right over your head.

Indeed it did.

Armor Spikes: You can have spikes added to your armor, which allow you to deal extra piercing damage (see “spiked armor” on Table: Weapons) on a successful grapple attack. The spikes count as a martial weapon. If you are not proficient with them, you take a –4 penalty on grapple checks when you try to use them. You can also make a regular melee attack (or off-hand attack) with the spikes, and they count as a light weapon in this case. (You can't also make an attack with armor spikes if you have already made an attack with another off-hand weapon, and vice versa.)...

2 handed weapon requires primary and off-hand attack to use, same way fighting with two weapons does. You can attack with the spikes as a light weapon, but doing so requires a free hand.

EDIT: The bottom line is that you need at least one hand to use (threaten an AoO) a weapon. If you are currently using both your hands to use a longspear, how are you threatening adjacent squares?

HangarFlying wrote:

The prohibition on TWF with a longspear and armor spikes is in no way a prohibition to use both weapons in the course of a full attack action or able to threaten with both weapons in order to make attacks of opportunity.

Armor Spikes: Can I use two-weapon fighting to make an "off-hand" attack with my armor spikes in the same round I use a two-handed weapon?

Likewise, you couldn't use an armored gauntlet to do so, as you are using both of your hands to wield your two-handed weapon, therefore your off-hand is unavailable to make any attacks.

unavailable to make any attacks = not threatening adjacent squares, and thus no AoO.

Note: Sorry to use the FAQ system for comedic purposes, but I just wanted to lighten the mood of an otherwise dour thread.

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Democratus wrote:
Fergie wrote:

This is wrong. You don't get to use an object as a "weapon" AND an "improvised weapon" at the same time. It requires at least a free action to change from one to another*

Do you have a rules reference for switching from 'weapon' to 'improvised weapon' as a free action? Or is this a house rule at your table? a#30

Like so many things in this game, it is a GM call I make based on the best input I can get.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

If you declare that, contrary to the written rules, in your house longspears may be used at both 10-feet and, as an improvised blunt weapon, at 5-feet, then not only have you allowed damage types to be bypassed but you have also taken away one of the design limitations of combat in the game. Suddenly, that wizard who risked that AoO to get inside your reach to cast a spell safely just provoked, because you changed the rules to make reach weapons useable at 5-feet.

This is wrong. You don't get to use an object as a "weapon" AND an "improvised weapon" at the same time. It requires at least a free action to change from one to another*, and except for speaking, you only get to take actions on your own turn. Think of having spiked gauntlets, and a longspear. You are either using the lonpear in both hands, and thus threatening from 5'-10' OR you are holding the longspear in one hand and threatening with a spiked gauntlet, you can't threaten with both simultaneously.

Furthermore, using an improvised weapon is in every way worse then using a weapon. It takes a few feats just to have it not be at -4, it has a weak damage and crit range, and it doesn't benefit from any feats such as weapon focus, or abilities like weapon training. It isn't magical, masterwork, or even made of a special material.

*In the case of bulky objects, such as a longspear, I think it would be ok to invoke the section from double weapons, "You can choose to wield one end of a double weapon two-handed, but it cannot be used as a double weapon when wielded in this way—only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round." I think a GM is free to say that if you want to use it as an improvised weapon, you must decide to do so for the full round.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I see you just want a clear ruling on whether you could use it to attack adjacent as a improvised weapon. I will FAQ for you.
Precisely, and thank you. : )

As much as I would like to hit the FAQ button, (and I still might) I can't help but feel that this is one of those things that is so obvious that no FAQ response is required.

Of Course you can use a long spear as an improvised weapon. For the same reason that you could pick up any 8ft. long stick and use it as an improvised weapon. The key is that you get ZERO benefits of it being a "weapon" listed on the table in the equipment section. In essence, it stops being a longspear and becomes an object, or improvised weapon once you declare you are using it as one.

I think it would do damage as an improvised quarterstaff that could only be used two handed (and not as a double weapon), perhaps even a large sized one since it is almost twice as long as a quarterstaff. But these kinds of things are up to the GM, and I don't think Paizo needs to go through the weapons table and list the different ways each weapon could be used as an improvised weapon.

NOTE:Arrows: An arrow used as a melee weapon is treated as a light improvised weapon (–4 penalty on attack rolls) and deals damage as a dagger of its size (critical multiplier ×2).

Majuba wrote:

- How do I handle obscene powergaming?

With laughter, all the way to the "Core-only, thanks" Bank.

That can be a step in the right direction, but you can powergame the Core rules to an obscene level as well.

First off all, everyone powergames to some extent, so the first step is deciding as a group what level of powergaming is acceptable.

It is also important to figure out what IS power in your game. Generally it is a full caster, with a maxed out casting stat, spamming save or suck spells. However, it starts as a raging barbarian and evolves as the levels go up. At your table, other things might be very powerful, such as social skills, mobility, or allies. Figure it out before you start to ban things or change rules. Often GM's will restrict martial characters based on the first few levels of the game, only to see casters blow past them after the mid levels. This is especially true in games where the GM bumps up monster hit points. Martial characters are stuck chipping away at a big pool of hp, while casters just shut down the encounter by targeting the creatures lowest save.

In my group I limit starting stats to 17 after racial adjustments. I have also asked players to generally limit the use of action denial spells and abilities, and I use them rarely as a GM.

So talk to the players, come to a consensus on what level of optimization everyone is comfortable with and the problem should be easier to solve.

But yeah, if it is banned in PFS (or beyond the scope of PFS, like high level play, chances are it is generally agreed to be over-power, or require heavy GM moderation.

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Lot's of smaller golems...

Also, duct tape, spray foam, and zip ties.
Elbow macaroni and glitter.

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Also, I thought "The Most Important Rule" was; if you get pinched, don't be a rat! Don't tell nuthin' to no one!

Reminds me of what happened when Germany invaded France during WWII. In some places they just kind of drove in without resistance... things got worse before they got better.

If Ukraine didn't want to to be taken over by Russia, (or lose a chunk of the Ukraine to Russia) they missed their chance. The precedent has been set, and the Russians know there isn't a meaningful resistance.

For an idea of what combat might be like in the region, here is how our grandparents era went about it:

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Vivianne, in the thread that you reference with your post, James Jacobs writes:
"I'm pretty sure this thread has run it's course, especially considering it's now the weekend.

Let's all take a step away from the thread for a few days, folks, take some deep calming breaths, and then look forward to starting next week, hopefully, with an official response to the hex question. Continuing to argue here isn't gonna make that happen any faster, but I can certainly see it making things happen much slower."

The thread is then locked by Sean who adds, "James asked nicely for people to step away from the thread for a few days, and some people aren't willing to do so."

If you want to be treated better, or affect the moderation policy, you will get better results if you are willing to meet them halfway and respect their request for 48 hours or so.

As Slick Rick once said, ...whipping don't pay off, a lot better to give a [Paizo developer] one day off.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
*punches the internet*

I was going to joke that in some alternate universe SKRs counterpart was stroking his goatee and thinking, "You know, I'm really going to miss this..."

Then I checked his site and noticed his goatee...
So if that SKR is in our universe, then ...
Oh no!

All jokes aside, Sean, please, please stay on the boards even after your big move!

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Write a letter to Dragon Magazines' Sage Advice column, written by Roger Moore (played James Bond in the 80's). Send your letter to Lake Geneva (Switzerland) and in approximately 2-3 business decades your response will be printed in Dragon Magazine.

Oh yeah, don't forget to include a Self Addressed Stamped Envelop! Apparently there is some sort of "No SASE Ogre" at the magazine who will beat you to death with a great club or something if it's not included! Beware!

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Ross Byers wrote:
Also 'Publishing' is gone! Rumors! Panic!

Paizo Automated Defense Systems - The Golem's Got It! ("It" now refers to white phosphorous and depleted uranium.)

Everyone knows the real money is in the other kind of RPG's!

Welcome Naturalist!

Rise of the Runelords is a great Adventure Path! With that said, no matter how well written, there will always be some issues that come up. One of the best things about Paizo* is that they provide a forum for people who play that Adventure Path: th/runelords

Note: While it is not a rule, it is probably best for the GM, rather then the players to read that part of the messageboards as spoilers abound!

In that forum you will find discussions with the authors and editors, some amazing creative writings, GMs posting their experiences, and my dirty pleasure, the obituaries of PCs who died in the adventure. Skimming these obits and various thread titles will tip you off to some of the most lethal or troublesome parts of the Adventure Path. You can also visit the Play by Post section of the forums to see how other GMs and players are handling things. Finally there are also some great podcasts and online videos, although I can't find a link at the moment.

*Another great thing about Paizo; the designers, developers, authors, editors, tech folks, etc. are on the boards here, and if you have questions, there is a good chance that the guy who wrote the rule or designed the encounter can help you understand things better. For example, the guy who posted above designed the game... it doesn't get much better then that!

One final note about Rise of the Runelords: The original was released for the D&D 3.5 rule system before Pathfinder existed. While the two systems are very similar, it is best to stick with the updated Pathfinder version until you get the hang of the rules.

Have Fun!

Our group has been playing Jade Reagent and Carrion Crown. There are three players and the GM, and we generally use 20 pt buy, and what I would describe as a medium level of optimization.

I find most of the regular encounters are well balanced, but it seems some of the boss monsters are just brutal.

Jade reagent:
The nastiest encounters were the half-fiend insect thing (I think at the end of book 1) and the ghost of the wind cleric. The Evil Insect thing TPK'd us when we found the hidden entrance to it's lair too soon, then basically TPK'd us again after we went through the rest of the dungeon. The kicker was smite good and a half dozen attacks, combined with great stealth.

The really demoralizing TPK was the ghost cleric at the end of book 3. The smite good basically shut down the fighter, the sorcerer couldn't affect it with any spells due to SR and resistances, and my cleric could do little more then a few single digits of damage here and there.

Having read about some of the carrion crown boss encounters, there seems to be a big divide between the groups with gunslingers, paladins and a few other specific PC types and what I would describe as "normal parties".

Perhaps it would be worth including a side bar for some of the boss monsters noting what types of PCs will be very effective or not effective, and a quick note of how to change the encounter accordingly.

I'm not sure what you are getting at with this thread?

There are many spells that allow basically "auto-success" against many types of encounters. To expand on your shadows example, Death Ward shuts down any encounter where the monsters prime ability is level drain or death magic - specters or banshees for example. The fly spell (or levitate, etc.) will defeat creatures without flight or a good ranged attack. Protection from alignment will shut down many encounters that rely on enchantment or summoned creatures. Protection from energy will make many encounters a easy. Hide from undead, delay or neutralize poison, etc. etc.

You could even say that the parties ability to heal (and or teleport away) will allow them to defeat creatures that can't heal themselves.

There are just so many spells that neutralize encounters that it seems like it would be easier to list the spells that DON'T trivialize encounters.

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I hope that this comment doesn't bring up any awkwardness, but I would also like to say that I'm happy that Ross Byers is still active here even though it is no longer a job requirement. I would hope that spirit applies to everyone at Paizo and other related publishers.

I also wish Ross all the best in whatever his future holds!

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thejeff wrote:
It might also be a good idea for staff not to moderate discussions they're taking part in. Pass it on to someone else.

I have to disagree with this idea. In theory it sounds like a great way to get an impartial moderator, but I think the reality might have a bad effect.

[Speculation] Paizo moderators are working at a job. If they have to tell their boss/co-workers that they can't do their job because they have been participating in a thread, they are going to be much less inclined to be active on these boards. I think that would be a great loss, and would cause the staff of Paizo to avoid the boards for fear of conflict of interest. [/speculation]

Having the Paizo staff engaged and active on the boards is a huge benefit to everyone involved. Every possible step should be taken to ensure that they feel their participation won't be used against them.

As for the legal stuff: I always thought that internet speech wasn't really taken seriously, but I was detained by the police for an extended period of time because of internet rumors that protesters would simply accept a ticket or summons, and continue protesting. While I found that idea absurd it apparently was upheld by NYS judge Sullivan in October 2012

EDIT: The 8th Dwarf makes a good point that Moderators should have their official Avatar, and a personal one so that their personal opinions can be separated from official duties.

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Having moderated a web forum myself in the past, I have to say, it is a nasty job. If you do it well, (as Paizo consistently seems to) most users won't notice, but you have to sort through the worst of the worst, read and consider every crap post, then weigh the trouble the post will cause with the trouble removing it will cause. Ugh! And at the end of the day, the result of all your hard work is a pile of deleted posts that no one will see.

Keep in mind that moderators are Human (or perhaps Goblin or Golem at Paizo) there decisions are heavily influenced by the deleted stuff that is thankfully invisible to the user. It is unfortunately also influenced by having to read through every post, of every thread, of every board... my eyes bleed thinking about it.

While I find nothing wrong with discussing moderation, I would ask that everyone just put themselves in the shoes of the moderator, and imagine having to do it day after day, even if you are not in the mood to deal with it.

PS I have had disagreements in the past with various designer/developers, but always found them to very dedicated and passionate about their work. It means a lot to get an honest answer from them, even if I disagree, then some canned "Your opinions are important to us, blah blah blah" response. And don't tell them, but I even learned something in the process, and they may have even been right about one or two things...]

There is some great stuff in that thread. I think Guided Hand is probably the key to the pure classic cleric archer, but there are some great options for archetypes and dips in martial classes.

Ashiel wrote:
Guess what. I can kill a 20th level solar cleric with epic PC wealth too. At 7th level. He just has to fail two saving throws for my phantasmal killer spell.

Just keep in mind that that Solar has Truesight, and 34 SR.

But again, I don't think this whole thing is about hitting something 10 CRs above your APL, because that is generally not something that comes up in the game much. This is about a witch being able to shut down many encounters with a CR = APL+4, with better odds of success then any other tactic, and no use of expendable resources. It doesn't require any special build, although you can min/max it.

Ashiel wrote:
There are a lot of encounters that can be easily foiled with little trouble if you have the perfect tool for the job. And the slumber hex does indeed cost something. It costs you a hex and a standard action, and it's pretty "meh" in any encounter that isn't against a single low-Will bruiser. Also, Witch is a full caster which makes it decent. Still, I can't bring myself to play a witch when there are better classes in core (pretty much all the other full casters).

The problem as I see it, is that hex is "the perfect tool" for too many jobs. The fact that SR doesn't apply makes it amazing against things with SR. Yes, it doesn't work against dragons, undead, elves and mindless creatures, and you are going to have a hard time against clerics and druids, but against EVERYONE else, you have very little to lose in trying slumber before using up precious memorized spells.

Yes it takes a standard action, but if that action ends the encounter, or takes out an opponent, who cares? You will get more standard actions next encounter, you won't get your spell slot back.

EDIT: One more thing, since the witch gets most of the spells people say are better, such as charm, hold, and glitterdust, slumber allows you to use these spells when they are perfect tools, because you were conserving resources by using the slumber hex instead of spell slots, and ending encounters before they begin.

Stuff wrote:


Just to be clear, this is just stupid rules tweezing on the internet, and I don't think pride or macho-head-games, or whatever should be wrapped up in this.

I took a few lumps! But twas all in good fun!

Erick Wilson wrote:
Shifty wrote:

You don't actually have a gauntlet to throw in this case.

It's thrown. It's at your feet. It's been slapped across your face and you're retreating like a punk.

Give. Me. One. Thing. That. Is. Better. Than. Slumber.

If you can't, you've got nothing.

Since you aren't going to accept the challenge Shifty, I will.

There is one thing even better then slumber.
It is a spell.
It is subject to SR.
It provokes an AoO.
It has V,S components.
It doesn't scale with level (although there is a more powerful version at 9th spell level...).
It is only available to 9th level and above arcane casters.
It takes a fifth level spell.
It is limited to humanoids.
It is mind affecting compulsion enchantment, that can be suppressed with protection from evil.
But despite all that, it is still one of the most powerful spells in the game- Dominate Person.

But since it is a spell on the witches spell list (as are all the other powerful enchantment spells), it really serves more to show that slumber hex doesn't need to be that great, because the witch has the best stuff already. Almost all the spells that people have brought up as having better attributes then slumber are on the witches list. It just takes the minimal investment of memorizing a spell, in addition to all your hexes.

So yes, you can have the best thing- dominate, and the second best thing - slumber hex. Since you have the two most powerful things in the game, that makes slumber balanced... I guess that is the best argument against slumber...

Erick Wilson wrote:
Shifty wrote:

You don't actually have a gauntlet to throw in this case.

It's thrown. It's at your feet. It's been slapped across your face and you're retreating like a punk.

Give. Me. One. Thing. That. Is. Better. Than. Slumber.

If you can't, you've got nothing.

With a heavy dose of humor and good will, I just want to add:

OOOoowwwwwwwww! Oh no he didn't!

OK, here is what I have so far for Alpon Caromarc, Old Male Human Vampire Aristocrat 4, Wizard 5, Alchemist 3 :
He starts off with the heroic NPC array with the human shoring up his weakest stat:
S 12 D 14 c 13 I 15 W 10 Ch 10

Adjusting his stats for age and 12 class levels, he looks like this:
S 10 D 12 C 10 I 18 W 12 Ch 12

Finally, we give him the whopping vampire bonuses:
S 16 D 16 C - I 20 W 14 Ch 16

Note I didn't want to power game or min/max, just come up with a simple and fairly consistent set of NPC stats.

Now the fun part, he starts his life off aristocrat 4, then branches into wizard (transmutation) 5, and alchemist 3.
This gives him:
Base Attack: +7
F +5 R +5 W +9 (F +8 R +10 W +11 after ability score and feat modifiers)
98 skill ranks 38 + 60 (Int bonus)
HP=111 ( 8 + (3x5) + (5x4) + (3x5)= 58+36(cha)+5 favored class wiz+ 12 toughness)
AC= 24 (+6 NA, +3 Dex, +1 Dodge, +4 mage armor)
Note: NOT included in any of these stat is a +4 to dex, -2 to Wis, +2 NA from mutegen. AND a +2 to a physical stat for being a transmuter

And feats:
Proficiency with all armor, shields, martial and simple weapons
Human: ???
1 Persuasive
3 ???
5 ???
7 combat casting
9 craft wondrous item
11 craft construct
W1 scribe scroll
W5 craft arms and armor
A1 Throw anything
A1 Brew Potion
Vampire bonus feats
Combat reflexes
Improved initiative
Lightning reflexes
Note: I guess he took a level of wizard early in life to qualify for some of these feats. Any idea for additional feats? I would like to keep this core only, and not add too much complexity.

Alpon also gets 5 extracts and 8 bombs (exploding bomb discovery) per day.
He gets 4 cantrips, 6 first level, 4 second, 3 third level spells per day, school spells included. He aslo gets a casting of his highest level spell from his bonded object - his wedding ring.
Alpon also has all the resistances, abilities and everything else for being a vampire, but it is too much to list here.

I was thinking of having Alpon have almost no gear, since the Whispering Way would have mostly looted him before they left. I'm thinking that they might also leave him a decent weapon, and perhaps some armor, (instead of mage armor?)

Anyone have any additional ideas? A feat choice? Anything I should keep in mind when running this encounter? Any good ideas for organizing all this info into a coherent stat block I can use during the game? Will this encounter butcher a 3 person, 7th level party? The PCs encountered the count once, fled back to town and gathered info on vampires and got 2 deathward scrolls.

Here is my attempt at getting rid of the items in place of fixed bonuses:

Any feedback would be great!

That sounds like a real cool idea, and one that my party would get into. I have only skimmed Ashes, but I suspect I might lift some of your ideas!
Thanks again!

My group is only at the end of book 2 and since we alternate between CC and Jade Regent, it might be months or a year before we get to Ashes, much less Gallowspire.

Ashiel wrote:
Guess what. I can kill a 20th level solar cleric with epic PC wealth too. At 7th level. He just has to fail two saving throws for my phantasmal killer spell.

Sorry Ashiel, but you are forgetting one reason why this almost definitely won't work and one reason why it couldn't possibly work. Both of which don't apply to slumber.

Once again, people are entirely missing the point by focusing on what a pair of first level characters can do to a CR 9 creature.

Slumber hex can allow witches to take on a wide variety of encounters above what should even be possible, with a better chance of success then any other single ability or spell. It takes no resources, no special build, and works in most circumstances. If the hex is not useful in the encounter, the witch is still one of the most powerful classes in the game, with a wide variety of other powerful options. If you want to powergame the hell out of it, it isn't hard to do.

Other options like sleep, color spray (even from a heavens oracle), glitter dust, grease, and even hold person (probably the closest in power to slumber hex), are all substantially more limited and restricted. They may be better then slumber hex in one way or another, but Slumber hex is far better overall.
Given the substantial number of posts I have seen on these boards (over 12 posts and probably over 20) of people saying slumber hex had a bad affect on their games, I'm baffled people are so resistant to change. I would just remind everyone that Pathfinder is generally considered BETTER then 3.5 because they added things like a save every round to glitterdust, and toned down other save or suck/die options. Why go back to the bad ole days?

Tacticslion wrote:
Perhaps a giant who badly underestimates the relative power of a town and doesn't know any better. But under the majority of cases that's simply not what they do. And we have a word for humans who do that sort of thing, too: stupid.

At the risk of getting into the ecology of giants debate...

We call humans who go out and kill another species or gather what it produces hunters and gatherers. And when you go off and gather up some monkey meat, take eggs from a nest, or take the puny peons ale, you should bring a buddy for safety. Safety first after all, and better safe then sorry, doncha know.

But that is all loser talk if you are some Large Sized Greataxe Power Attacking Viking Badass! Some are part of the Jarl's Outlaw Motorcycle gang, but some are not, and they have to scrounge the outskirts of the human lands for ale, gold, and slaves. And sometimes, when you just want an entire cow and a barrel of ale, it is just easier to sneak onto the edge of town and just grab it and go without making a big thing of it.

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Diego Rossi wrote:
So I would say that we agree that the solitary raider essentially don't exist, right?

Yeah, none of the giants are ever found alone...

Environment cold mountains
Organization solitary, gang (3–5), band (6–12 plus 35% noncombatants and 1 adept or cleric of 1st–2nd level), raiding party (6–12 plus 35% noncombatants, 1 adept or sorcerer of 3rd–5th level, 1–4 winter wolves, and 2–3 ogres), or tribe (21–30 plus 1 adept, cleric, or sorcerer of 6th–7th level; 1 barbarian or ranger jarl of 7th–9th level; and 15–36 winter wolves, 13–22 ogres, and 1–2 young white dragons)
Treasure standard (chain shirt, greataxe, other treasure)

Yup, never alone.

Kryptik wrote:
This thread has become very silly.

It wasn't silly from the beginning?

Pan wrote:

What about using....

** spoiler omitted **

That is the best I can do. I really didnt care for ashes at dawn and re-wrote that entire part of the AP when I ran it.

Good idea, I'll look into that.

Can you give me an idea of what you did for Ashes at Dawn? I have a CG good domain cleric in the group, and generally play alignment as black and white in my campaigns, so I couldn't blame my players for going full- genocide on the vampires.

RJGrady wrote:
Convince me that if you can get within close range of a giant, you'd rather use the slumber hex than cast charm person. note that if you have the drop on him, he's not in combat and does not get a +5 bonus to his save.

Assuming both have the same DC (for a second level witch, slumber would be 1 higher).

-Charm will make the giant friendly towards the caster for a few hours, but it would require an opposed charisma check to convince it to do anything it wouldn't ordinary do - (like stop raiding the village). The giant will probably go raid the next village. Once the spell wears off, the giant is going to be pissed.
>If the giant makes the save, it is going to be pissed.

-Slumber will make the giant a very easy almost automatic coup de grace. You get to take all his stuff, and that giant never bothers anyone ever again.
>If the giant makes the save, it is going to be pissed.
If you are in AoO range, slumber wins hands down.

This reminds me of The Seven Samurai - except instead of the villagers finding proud warriors, they get witches with slumber hex. If I were the villagers I would be much more likely to want seven witches then samurai!

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