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Glendwyr's page

287 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Rudy2 wrote:
While I agree that you could do so, I'm not sure I'd personally want to add in the complication of different costs for different classes. It's true that I can't envision making an optimal build that has Rogue as its primary class under this system, but I can easily envision many builds that have Rogue as a secondary class, without having to alter the costs at all.

I think using different costs for different classes would be kind of a nuisance here (if for no other reason, then because of the way you're handling total character level and its effect on hit points, skill ranks, and whatnot). Just wanted to throw that out there as a general comment for systems of this basic type, particularly since making rogue levels cheaper than wizard levels is probably also useful for characters who choose not to multiclass at all.

I've been toying with similar ideas but haven't had a chance to test them, so I'll be fascinated to see how this progresses. Dotting for interest.

One thing I particularly like about the approach of buying levels with XP is that, calling back to AD&D, you can easily mix different XP advancement tracks in order to help balance classes against one another. One could envision, say, putting rogue levels on the fast XP track, wizard levels on the slow track, and ranger levels on the medium track. That kind of thing doesn't really work easily with 3e multiclassing, but works just fine here.

My party is beginning to get a little discouraged...

Name: Sameon Geistenfaust
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Paladin 6
Adventure: Trial of the Beast
Location: Lightning Tower
Catalyst: Guardian of the Tower

The Gory Details:

The party fighter having spied through the front door with his gloves of reconnaissance, the party, freshly stocked on characters, buffed up a bit and then went inside. The guardian very helpfully rolled a 1 for initiative, and was so far last in order it's not even funny.

While the replacement wizard, bard, and archer elected to stay outside and attack the golem at range, the oracle, paladin, and fighter who had survived the fiasco with the erinyes pushed inside to fight the golem up close. Unfortunately for them, the party struggled somewhat to actually get past the guardian's AC, a lot of them having rolled really, really poorly, and when the golem's turn came up, he had his choice of targets.

Sensitive to the players' feelings, I decided to roll randomly to see who the golem would attack with each of its four attacks. Unfortunately, Sam's number came up three times, and all three were hits, with one a crit. When the dust cleared from the first round, the paladin was down to just north of -Con.

While Sam was still recoverable at this point, the oracle opted not to channel energy, since the bard was in a position to cast cure light and then walk up and save him. The bard, for her part, elected to try a glitterdust instead, reasoning that she could always stabilize Sam later, and the oracle could always channel anyway.

Unfortunately, the guardian made its Will save against the glitterdust, and on its turn it dropped the oracle to -2. Worse, with only the fighter still left standing inside the room, it moved to attack the archer, thereby blocking the door.

At this point, the party pinned its hopes on dropping the beast before Sam died, but they came just shy; the golem still had 2 hp left when Sam bled out.

So maybe I'm just an idiot, but I don't understand how the weaverworm's drag ability it supposed to work. What kind of action is it for her to use it? And what's a CMD check?

legomojo wrote:
Huh. What page is stowing items on?

It's under the generic "manipulate an item" heading:

prd, bolding mine wrote:

Moving or manipulating an item is usually a move action.

This includes retrieving or putting away a stored item, picking up an item, moving a heavy object, and opening a door. Examples of this kind of action, along with whether they incur an attack of opportunity, are given in Table: Actions in Combat.

Schloss Caromarc has been unkind to my PCs so far. I've a larger group, so they're a bit behind in XP although very close to level 6 at this point.

Name: Zacharia
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Inquisitor 5
Adventure: Trial of the Beast
Location: Schloss Caromarc Gatehouse
Catalyst: Grork

The Gory Details:

The party elected to attack the trollhounds in front of the gatehouse from range, which alerted the trolls inside. The party advanced on the gatehouse under fire, forced their way inside, and were cheerily slaying the trolls waiting there for them.

Since the party was finding this far too easy, I decided to have Grork leap off of his tower and come around behind the party. Zack saw the troll coming and stepped in front, crying "We are attacked from behind! I'll hold yon foul beast off..."

On Grork's next turn, he hit Zach with all three of his claw/claw/bite attack routine, and the rend tore the unfortunate inquisitor's body in half.

Names: Sonja Valorian, Montgomery Sebastian Williams III, and Aerlinniel Ithilriell
Races: Human, Human, and Half-Elven
Classes/Levels: Ranger 5, Wizard 5, Bard 5
Adventure: Trial of the Beast
Location: The Rope Bridge
Catalyst: Poor Planning and Terrible Tactics

The Gory Details:

The party finished with the rust monsters and decided to press on despite some subtle hints that they might want to rest. In order to cross the bridge, they sent their rope of climbing across to form a sort of extra hand rail and then tied themselves to the rope, figuring that this would help them in case they slipped and fell. The paladin was uncomfortable with this plan and had Monty levitate him. He was followed by the fighter, the oracle, then Monty, Aerlinniel, and Sonja last.

As the paladin got to the half-way point of the bridge, the erinyes was summoned, and rolled very well on her initiative. The fighter was first and, cursing his lack of investment in quality ranged weapons, ran for the living museum, with the floating paladin being tugged along behind him like a balloon. The erinyes shot the oracle and Sonja, but fortunately no one fell off, and the rest of the party retreated back to the Alchemy Wing.

From there, Sonja made the mistake of taunting the erinyes. "I'm the best archer here, hell-fiend!" she yelled, after begging for some healing. She took a single shot and actually hurt the erinyes before ducking for cover in the doorway over the stone bridge to the manse.

Unfortunately, the erinyes was fast enough that she flew over and got line of sight and took a shot in reply, which was a nigh-max damage crit and killed Sonja instantly. "Who's the best archer now?" she gloated as Sonja crumpled to the floor with a flaming arrow sticking out the back of her head.

All this time, the paladin and the fighter were securely over in the living museum, ruing the fact that between them they'd spent about 100 gp on ranged weapons. Since the oracle's best ranged weapon was a nonmagical crossbow and Aerlinniel wasn't exactly doing much damage either, Monty took it upon himself to win the fight and though he had already undone his safety harness, he heroically stepped out onto the rope bridge, whereupon he fireballed the erinyes and did, of course, no damage.

On her turn, the erinyes shot Monty, who failed his acrobatics check, failed his reflex save, and hit the water below with such force that he broke his neck and died.

Aerlinniel, as the party's last remaining archer, took this opportunity to run to the manse, hoping to catch the erinyes in a crossfire. On her next turn, she stepped back out from behind cover and hit the erinyes with a single shot for piddly damage. "Selene," she yelled for the oracle, "step out and get this beast in a crossfire with me!"

Selene, still equipped only with a nonmagical light crossbow that had only been fired twice in five levels, thought better of the suggestion and heroically hid behind a table in the alchemy wing. Alex and Sam, the fighter and paladin, had already decided to lure the erinyes into the living museum, and were waiting in the foyer for her, weapons drawn and ready.

Thus, when it was the erinyes' turn again, the only person she could even see was Aerlinniel, all out on her own. The erinyes took a full attack at point-blank range, hit all three times, and did far more damage than Aerlinniel had hit points remaining, slaying the bard as well.

At this point, I was concerned that I might have a TPK on my hands, the erinyes still having 5 rounds or so to spend in trying to off the remaining characters... but fortunately, Selene lived through the encounter by playing dead and the paladin and fighter in the museum managed to at least last long enough that they ended up with about 15 hit points between them when the spell ran out and the erinyes finally disappeared.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
If that were the case then killing anyone would always be evil, every time, no matter what, which is clearly not the case.

"Evil implies killing others" does not mean "killing others is always evil," as Weirdo has pointed out. Nevertheless, we know that the rules do not make a distinction between killing others and killing the innocent. Make of that what you will. For my part, I find the team celestial / team fiend version of good and evil to be utterly daft, and I see no need to rehash that discussion for the 400th time.

Eirikrautha wrote:
I hope you don't mind, but I've notified the IRS of your accomplishment.

Are you seriously trying to tell me that the IRS is not evil? =)

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Also, as an aside, I'm not seeing in game terms where it is evil to hurt, oppress and kill those that are evil themselves, unless it's something grossly hyperbolic (in b4 gross hyperbole) that could be seen as a debasement of sapient life in itself.
The game seems pretty clear about it to me:
prd wrote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

I see "evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others," not "evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing the innocent." The inference seems pretty obvious. YMMV.

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Weirdo wrote:
So intentions matter, but an action made with the best intentions using limited information is still morally wrong? Is that what you mean by "my judgment must be tempered by the fact that the information was morally correct," or did you just mean "I should regret having made that choice because it turned out poorly but it was still the right thing to do at the time"?

Obviously, I'm not being terribly clear here!

It strikes me that frequently people are using "the right thing to do" to mean the efficient thing to do, and not the morally correct thing to do. In other words, it's being suggested that committing a lesser atrocity is "the right thing to do" when it prevents a greater atrocity. At a bare minimum, I would say that committing the lesser atrocity can be defended as the "right" thing to do only if it is the least of all evils and not simply the lesser of two. You're thinking along similar lines, so I doubt we're as far apart as we might appear to be.

Even so, the reason we call something "the least of all evils" is because it's an evil. It's not an evil for which I would condemn someone, but neither is it an evil for which I would praise someone.

Going back to your example, then, I would say that it was a rational thing to do at the time, and as a well-intentioned act was not morally blameworthy. I certainly don't accept that it's morally praiseworthy. Does that make it the right thing to do? That depends entirely on what we mean by "right."

Rod Godfrey wrote:
You cannot use hindsight, they used the best information they had, which was a viable atomic weapons program, the least damaging method of achieving the goal, a commando team (rather than saturation bombing) and made the call, I am sure the people involved wish they could, with waht they then knew have made a different call, but we have the best intel available, and trying to sleep at night, not a time machine.

Of course one must make do with the best information available, because we can't simply wait for omniscience. That doesn't somehow prevent me from making a judgment using hindsight; it just means that my judgment must be tempered by the fact that the information was incorrect.

But that's not the point. The point, simply, is that "we must choose between the lesser and the greater of two evils" is usually a silly thing to say, because it denies the possibility of a third choice which may be preferable to both. And rarely, in the real world or in fantasy, do only two choices exist.

Re: vaccinations and the like. I think people would be absolutely appalled at someone who developed vaccinations by deliberate testing on human beings until they found something that worked. That's a different moral calculus from "we know this works most of the time, but sometimes fails, and sometimes that failure has dire consequences" which is the actual consideration made there. If nothing else, it's the difference between intentionally killing someone on the one hand and doing something which will probably help them but has a small chance of hurting them instead.

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Weirdo wrote:
No, but the people who sunk the SF Hydro (to sabotage the Nazi nuclear weapons program) were directly responsible for the deaths of 14 civilians. Was that the wrong thing to do?

I really like this example, because I don't think it makes the point you think it makes.

wikipedia wrote:

Hence the Hydro was carrying too little heavy water to supply one reactor, let alone the 10 or more tons of heavy water needed to make enough plutonium for a nuclear weapon.

With the benefit of hindsight, the consensus on the German wartime nuclear program is that it was a long way from producing a bomb, even had the Norwegian heavy water been produced and shipped at the maximum rate.

Since it appears that several innocent civilians were needlessly slain, I think a pretty compelling case could be made that while well-intentioned it was not the right thing to do. With the benefit of hindsight, we see that "either kill these innocents, or those innocents will die" was a false dilemma, as I suggest you'll find that it usually is.

Alternatively, perhaps they were just thinking that some doofus was going to grab +5 defending armor spikes and just call it a permanent untyped +5 AC bonus, as was the conventional wisdom for years on the WotC boards.

Diego Rossi wrote:
What you cite would apply to haste+haste, but not to haste+Blessing of fervor. The specific limitations on the haste effect instead apply both to Haste and BoF.

While I grant that the fact that haste + blessing of fervor doesn't stack has to be read from haste and blessing of fervor, I don't see how that has any bearing on the topic under discussion, inasmuch as the example only makes sense if, as is clear from context, we're talking about haste + haste. That being the case, we don't have to actually read the specific rule under haste to notice that casting it twice benefits you only once.

Xaratherus wrote:

But there's a marked difference you're ignoring: The Haste spell and the Speed effect both explicitly state that they do not stack with other similar effects. This is of course a reiteration of a general rule.

The Defending property explicitly states that it does stack, with all other effects. It doesn't say "all other effects except itself".

Since you feel that the explicit statement that the spell follows the rules disqualifies it from being an example, we can just go to a different spell that doesn't include the excess verbiage. Let's go to aid. If one casts aid ten times, does one get 10d8 temporary hit points (since temporary hit points stack)? No, one gets 1d8. See the FAQ:

FAQ wrote:

Temporary Hit Points: Do temporary hit point from the same source stack?

No. Generally, effects do not stack if they are from the same source (Core Rulebook page 208, Combining Magical Effects). Although temporary hit points are not a "bonus," the principle still applies.

This prevents a creature with energy drain (which grants the creature 5 temporary hit points when used) from draining an entire village of 100 people in order to gain 500 temporary hit points before the PCs arrive to fight it.

Temporary hit points from different sources (such as an aid spell, a use of energy drain, and a vampiric touch spell) still stack with each other.

Certainly there's an argument to be made that specific trumps general and since the bonus from the Defender property stacks with everything, it stacks with itself. I don't buy that argument, but you could make it (and have, obviously).

"These are different instances of the same effect because they're different weapons, therefore they stack," however, is simply wrong. Different instances of the same spell, per rule, apply once and only once.

The argument that two instances of the defending property are two different sources and therefore stack is identical to the argument that two instances of the haste spell are two different sources, so the untyped bonus to hit and the dodge bonuses to AC/Reflex saves stack. The rules are I think pretty clear that this isn't the case:

prd wrote:

Several other general rules apply when spells or magical effects operate in the same place:


Same Effect More than Once in Different Strengths: In cases when two or more identical spells are operating in the same area or on the same target, but at different strengths, only the one with the highest strength applies.

It's clear that the "same spell" here is not limited to the "same casting." If a character is hasted four times by four different casters, he still only has a +1 bonus to hit (even though haste gives an untyped bonus to hit) and a +1 bonus to AC/Reflex saves (even though haste gives dodge bonuses to these and dodge bonuses stack).

It's also clear from the whole section on combining magical effects that this isn't a property of spells per se but of magical effects in general. And the AC bonuses from the defending property are surely a magical effect. Given the clause above, I think Aelryinth is right here.

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This doesn't seem particularly complicated, but if people insist on a RAW explication, how's this?

Breath of Life wrote:
Unlike other spells that heal damage, breath of life can bring recently slain creatures back to life. If cast upon a creature that has died within 1 round, apply the healing from this spell to the creature. If the healed creature's hit point total is at a negative amount less than its Constitution score, it comes back to life and stabilizes at its new hit point total. If the creature's hit point total is at a negative amount equal to or greater than its Constitution score, the creature remains dead.
Disintegrate wrote:
Any creature reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by this spell is entirely disintegrated, leaving behind only a trace of fine dust.
Things to note:
  • For purposes of coming back to life, breath of life functions on creatures with the "dead" condition. This is shown by the fact that if the spell doesn't give you enough hit points, you "remain dead." In order to remain dead, you must have been dead.
  • Being disintegrated does not give you the dead condition. Spells do what they say they do, and they do not do what they do not say they do. Disintegrate does not say you are dead; ergo you are not dead.

So while breath of life can bring back people from being dead, people who have been disintegrated are not dead in the first place. Therefore, you do not count as a "recently slain creature" and cannot "come back to life."

Of course this is hyper-literal and ridiculous, but then so too is the argument that breath of life reconstitutes a disintegrated body.

Lots of things I like about VTT games. In no particular order:

  • I can play with people from all over the world, not just within driving distance. So if I move, I don't have to find new players. If my players move, they don't have to drop out. If I am away on a business trip and have the free time, I can still play.
  • The number-crunching is easier if I have the computer do it for me - rather than having to remember to add an extra +1 to hit because your character is hasted, it's done automatically.
  • I can save a transcript of the session, so I can later go back to it and know exactly who did what.
  • Maps with vision, fog of war, and so on, so you always know what your character can see.
  • It helps with suspension of disbelief, in that all I see is typing; there's no dissonance between my friend's 5'2" self and her enormous half-orc barbarian Thag the Indestructible.

The main things I don't like about VTT games are first, that they tend to take longer to do anything because we're typing rather than speaking (although voice chat would solve that), and second, since everyone's on a computer, it's very easy for people to not be paying as much attention as they should. Also, I wind up doing a fair bit of tech support for my less computer literate players.

D'arandriel wrote:
This is inaccurate. I had initially agreed that the cost for shield with cl1, 3/day should cost from 1000-4000. This seemed reasonable to me. Once the cloak of the hedge wizard was brought up, the game changed. It just wouldn't make sense to be charged an astronomical amount of gold when all I want is only the shield power of a cloak of the hedge wizard - nothing else. I'm willing to pay a slight premium for the convenience of using it 3/day instead of switching items. But because of how the cloak is priced, I just don't see justification for a five figure cost on this item.

Ah. My mistake. Carry on!

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If you ask a question and the only answer you're willing to hear is "yes, you're right," you shouldn't bother asking the question, because all you're doing is wasting everyone's time. D'arandriel has made it clear that all s/he wants is to be told how right s/he is - that, in fact, those who disagree are "fools" - and that means that asking the question in the first place was utterly pointless.

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It's all very simple: if you look at the price and think "no way would I pay a price this high for such an item," you're overpricing it. If you look at it and think "no way would I pass up the item at this price," you're underpricing it. And I wouldn't pass up a ring of shield at less than the price of a shield +1.

D'arandriel, pricing things your way, I can obviously come up with an item functionally equivalent to bracers of armor +4 at about 1/2 the cost. We can't compare the price to potions of shield because you can't make such things, but if we could, your price is equivalent to 3 potions/day for the first week, only it lasts forever. Your 3 cloaks of the hedge wizard would be 7 times as expensive, and even marking it down significantly due to the fact that it's only one spell, you're still coming in well under that as well.

By disregarding the rule that you should first price against comparable items and only then use the formula, you're underpricing, because AC is expensive. I can't blame you for doing it, but it's silly to pretend that there's no reasonable argument to be made that the price you've arrived at is too low, just like it's silly to pretend that there's no reasonable argument to be made that 25k is too high.

That aside, you've clearly asked a question with no intention of listening to the answer. Was there a point to this thread, or were you just seeking validation on the internet?

Jacob Saltband wrote:
The Shield Spell does not provide protection from touch attacks. It does provide protection from incorporeal touch attack. I believe anyways.

Yeah, I have no idea how I managed to leave out the crucial word "incorporeal."

D'arandriel wrote:
That alone tells me that any cost that is greater than 3 cloaks of the hedge wizard is just too much.

Alternatively, it tells you that the particular cloak of the hedge wizard is underpriced.

I totally agree that there's no way you'd talk me into buying this proposed item at the 25K price that's been bandied about. Something in the 6000 +/- 2000 range seems reasonable to me as well.

It seems pretty clear to me that pricing this as less than a shield +1 is pretty ludicrous - the shield doesn't apply to touch attacks, it doesn't render you immune to magic missiles, and you can't use it and still have two hands free; it adds armor check penalty, spell failure, and weight, and it provides a lower bonus to AC to boot. I can't think of an occasion where I wouldn't take this over a shield +1 - for a lower price, I could just buy this ring and keep a shield on hand for backup. And obviously, if you would never choose a loosely comparable alternative over this item, you've underpriced it.

Buri, are you really trying to say that you can't take a swift actions with full-round actions? Because if so, note:

prd wrote:
Full-Round Action: A full-round action consumes all your effort during a round. The only movement you can take during a full-round action is a 5-foot step before, during, or after the action. You can also perform free actions and swift actions (see below). See Table: Actions in Combat for a list of full-round actions.

If not, carry on!

StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Ok, while "base speed" may not be specifically defined anywhere in the rules as "land speed", there's an AWFUL LARGE amount of evidence that is the case...

As I interpret it, your land speed is set equal to your base speed unless instructed otherwise (e.g. you are encumbered). However, some effects increase your land speed only (e.g. barbarian fast movement) and some your base speed (e.g. travel domain).

There is at least one precedent I can think of off the top of my head for retaining that difference. Consider wings of air:

ARG wrote:
Benefit: Your bonus on saves against effects with the air or electricity descriptors and effects that deal electricity damage increases to +4. In addition, you gain a supernatural fly speed equal to your base speed (good maneuverability). You may only fly with this ability when wearing light armor or no armor.

So as I read it, barbarian fast movement wouldn't increase your fly speed, but travel domain does.

All of that aside, the PRD currently reads that monk fast movement applies to land speed.

Associating "bard" with "musician" or what have you is really no different from associating "barbarian" with "foreign savage" or "monk" with "guy who comes from a monastery." Yet I think most of us are able to deal with the fact that barbarian (the class) is distinct from barbarian (the culture) and that monk (the class) is different from monk (the occupation). I see no reason that it would be any harder to overcome the first association than the other two. If you can't overcome any of them, that seems to me to speak more to lack of imagination than anything else.

EldonG wrote:
...but it's 'aha', you're just an athlete. Pathetic, isn't it?

I mean, look, I'm happy to concede that there are many situations to which the fighter isn't particularly well suited. But it's true of basically everyone that some situations play to their weaknesses, not to their strengths. This is why it's a team game in the first place.

The fighter is not blessed with a large number of skill points or a long list of class skills. But "I have 2 skills" is not "I have no skills at all."

Rynjin wrote:
you've got a 50/50 shot or less of making that DC 10 (if he's well known or in a small town) or DC 15 (he's less well known or in a city) Diplomacy check.

In fact, if it's DC 10, you've got a 100% shot of making it.

That said, you shouldn't have to ask someone what gear one needs for wilderness survival, because Survival is one of your class skills. Either you don't need any skill in order to know what gear would be useful in wilderness survival, or you do. If the former, the fighter is perfectly competent for this, and if the latter, the fighter is still perfectly competent, since Survival is the obvious relevant skill.

Weirdo wrote:

And the dumb fighter might accidentally activate the trap by cutting the wire, if it's a clever trap. And if the dumb fighter goes around habitually cutting tripwires, I'll make sure he runs into at least one clever trap.

Which is why a smart fighter invests in one or two useful skills that cover gaps in the party!

Agreed on all counts (and hopefully not a double post!).

Rynjin wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Huh. I've just finished book 1 and am running a quick little one-shot adventure to help deal with the fact that I've got a largish group who are thus a bit short on cash/levels.

Rynjin wrote:
This is actually one of the options to get the key to a locked box in Carrion Crown, funnily enough.

Ironically, I'm DMing Carrion Crown now - apparently I just haven't gotten this far yet!

Lemmy wrote:
Oh, I see what you mean, because DD and handle Animals are "trained only" skills...


Wasn't there a rule that you don't need ranks in "trained only" skills if the DC was 10 or lower? Was it just for Knowledge checks? Does that rule even exist at all?

It depends on the skill. If the skill entry says the skill is "trained only," you can't even try unless it has a line for "untrained," which spells out what you can try to do without training. See here:

prd wrote:
Untrained: This entry indicates what a character without at least 1 rank in the skill can do with it. If this entry doesn't appear, it means that the skill functions normally for untrained characters (if it can be used untrained) or that an untrained character can't attempt checks with this skill (for skills that are designated “Trained Only”).

So, for example, with Knowledge or Sleight of Hand, you can try DC 10 checks, even untrained. Handle Animal lets you try to command a domestic animal with a Cha check, and you can attempt to make it try a trick it doesn't know (even though the DC is 25), but you can't train animals. Disable Device or Spellcraft, on the other hand, you can't even try without training.

Lemmy wrote:
He was pointing out the bizarre consequences of ruling the natural 1s are auto-failures in skill-checks. As that would mean that you would fail 5% in even the easiest of tasks (which he treats as skill checks).

Oh, I get that. But per his example, no ranks in Disable Device means you literally cannot even attempt to tie your own shoes, so there's obviously something a little wonky with his example. =)

Otherwise, yeah, we agree that you can cut the wire. What happens next? The DM controls that, not the player (and I don't think anyone is suggesting otherwise). But "I cut the wire" is legitimate, and potentially disarms the trap, or sets it off, or anything in between. And stuff like "I cut the wire" and "I fish the key out of the bowl of acid using a coat hanger" is the sort of thing I think people are suggesting they can legitimately attempt.

Weirdo wrote:

but if something isn't explicitly covered by those rules you don't assume there's no check, you assume it's a GM call.

I've never seen a specific DC for swinging on a rope across a pit, but that doesn't mean it doesn't take a check - or that it's impossible to attempt.

Fair enough, and conceded. I'd add that some GM calls are reasonable (like needing a check to swing a rope across a pit, despite the lack of rules one way or the other) and some GM calls are not (like needing a check to pick up an object you can lift, despite the existence of rules for picking up objects, in the combat chapter).

I don't mind treating traps like puzzle, but if a GM is inclined to do that I'd appreciate finding out ahead of time. Before I put a bunch of ranks in Disable Device in the hopes that my +30 modifier will prevent me from getting a tub of acid dropped on my head.

To be fair in turn, that +30 modifier in Disable Device should let you say "I disarm the trap" which ought to work just fine with accompanying roll/take 10, presuming the DC is reasonable. The dumb fighter might look at the wire and decide to cut it on general principle; the skilled rogue actually knows what he's doing.

Lemmy, the DC is 0, as is spelled out in my post and in the Acrobatics rules. Clem can't readily pass that DC 0 check, but fortunately it doesn't matter because, as is also spelled out in the Acrobatics rules, no check is needed.

Now, you're saying, in effect, "I don't have to roll the check, because I automatically pass. This is what 'no check is needed' means."

That's clearly false. I must point out, again, that the DC could get as high as 9 without requiring a check, and for an armored fighter in combat, DC 9 is not an auto-pass. In fact, it's a quite probable fail. But no check is needed.

Similarly, if you're making an Acrobatics check, you're flat-footed, you lose Dex to AC, and you move at 1/2 speed, as pointed out earlier. Even if I pass the check, I still suffer those consequences. But because "there is no check" is not "I automatically pass the check," I am not perpetually flat-footed.

So I'll say it again: "DC 0" and "no check is needed" are different. In fact, any DC and "no check is needed" are different. If the rules do not call for a check, then there is no check, even one in the background which I do not have to roll because I can be presumed to have passed it.

Admittedly, this isn't directly to the point, so let me bring it back around.

Because no checks are needed for certain actions, the PCs can take those actions without needing to be able to pass a corresponding check. Thus, for example, a fighter can readily cut a wire (maybe with a Sunder check if we're being pedantic) even though he has no ranks in Disable Device and therefore cannot make Disable Device checks at all.*

Now, if cutting the wire would disarm the trap, then the fighter has disarmed the trap without making a Disable Device check. If cutting the wire would set off the trap, then he's set it off instead. Note that the action is "I cut the wire," not "I disarm the trap."

This does not say that he automatically succeeds at finding a trap. It does not say that he automatically succeeds at disarming a trap. It does say that he automatically succeeds at cutting the wire (or at least, that he can cut the wire with a Sunder check), and that when cutting the wire disarms the trap, the fighter therefore successfully disarms the trap.


* Incidentally: in your quote, SKR seems to be saying that the average fighter cannot tie his own shoes and the average thief can't pet a cat. I'd buy that!

Lemmy, there are listed DC 0 checks. There are even listed DC -10 checks. Heck, there's no lower limit to the DC on Survival checks to track large groups. Under usual circumstances, you cannot possibly fail such easy checks, and I agree, there's no need to roll them. Nevertheless, those DCs exist, and the checks exist likewise; under circumstances where you cannot take 10 and could fail those checks, you must roll them.

Let's take a simple example. Under Acrobatics, we see that the DC to walk across a wide surface is 0. The ground is such a surface. There are listed modifiers for things like slope, rubble, slippery ground, and so forth. Let us assume that we are in a case where none of these modifiers apply. The DC is therefore explicitly 0.

Suppose now that my PC is Clem the Clumsy. He has Dex 6, is wearing half plate and has a tower shield, and has no ranks in Acrobatics. His Acrobatics modifier is thus -19.

  • Under your rules - that everything is a check, though often a check we don't bother making - I must succeed on a DC 0 Acrobatics check to walk (and I cannot take 10 and succeed). When I am moving, I am moving at half speed. I am flat-footed, I lose my Dexterity bonus to AC, and I must check again if I take any damage. If I do not roll a 19 or 20, Clem the Clumsy falls down every time he tries to walk.

  • Under the rules as they are written, it's not that this is a DC 0 check. Rather, there is simply no check:
    Acrobatics wrote:
    No Acrobatics check is needed to move across these surfaces unless the modifiers to the surface (below) increase the DC to 10 or higher.

You're simply wrong here. The rules don't say "the check is so easy that you don't have to roll it," the rules say "there is no check at all."

I will, of course, happily concede if you can show me a single shred of evidence that your position has rules support. I see nowhere that it does.


ETA: Basically, the reason I'm insisting on this is that if we say "there's actually a check, just a check you can't fail so we don't roll it," you run into the problem that there are times when the check could be failed, yet the rules don't ask us to roll them. There are also checks which you cannot legally make - skill checks for untrained skills, for example. And there are times when the very act of having a check has consequences, even if you pass - as with Acrobatics.

There are two general frameworks I can see. Yours is "while the rules don't say this, actually everything is a check, all the time, but most of them are so easy that you can't fail them, so we don't make them." Mine is "if it doesn't say it's a check, it isn't a check." The vast majority of the time, the two approaches will give the same answer. When they disagree, your approach seems to give the wrong answer. So why assume it?

And again, there is no check for "I walk across the street," not even a DC 0 check. There is no check for "I pick up an object my PC can carry." These are both house rules. Maybe reasonable house rules, but house rules.

No where in the encumbrance section does it say anything about needing a check to lift an object. If it did, you would have to require each character who wants to pick up, say, a dagger he dropped to roll a check if he were in the middle of combat (since you can't take 10 and you might conceivably fail the check given a negative Str mod). But the rules on encumbrance don't say "roll a check to lift an object you can carry," and the combat rules for "pick up an item" don't mention it either.

Not everything is a check. Things that say "this requires a check" require a check (which you may then skip blithely by if the check cannot be failed). Things that do not say "this requires a check" don't require checks.

EldonG wrote:
Edit: Let me rephrase - there is no DC 0 when there is no penalty. It's considered an automatic success. 1 is the lowest you can get with no penalty.

Uhh... What Lemmy is saying is "I set the DC to 0, which you automatically succeed at."

There are, of course, many skill checks where the DC is 0 or worse (Perception to hear a battle taking place around the corner, for example).

And Vod, of course there are. I don't think people are saying "I cut the wire, and the trap therefore is disarmed!" What they're saying is "I cut the wire" and then the DM tells them "okay, the wire is cut," perhaps after making them roll a sunder attempt. Whether cutting the wire results in the trap being disarmed or results in the characters having a 100 gallons of acid dropped on their heads is a separate issue.

There are at least three problems with what you've described, Lemmy. For example,

  • The notion that "I walk across the road" is a DC 0 Acrobatics check is wrong. Per the rules, no check is needed unless the DC is 10 or more. Walking across a street isn't an Acrobatics check you can't reasonably fail, it's just not a check at all. And that's a good thing, since it means that clumsy people in heavy armor can walk. It also means that, per the rules, not everything is a skill check, even though you believe otherwise.
  • The notion that "I think this wire might be a trap" is a DC 0 Int check is wrong. This is simply because if you make it a check, you're claiming the right to tell me what my PC thinks (or doesn't think). After all, under unusual circumstances,* I could fail that check. But I see no reason to believe that you get the right anywhere to tell me what my PC thinks.
  • The notion that "I cut the wire" is a DC 0 Disable Device check is also wrong. Since you can't make Disable Device checks untrained, you're telling me that without ranks in Disable Device, I can't cut a wire even though I can certainly roll a sunder check. "I cut the wire" and "I disable the trap" are not equivalent statements, even though you are conflating them. A person is probably cutting the wire under the belief that it will disarm the trap, but what the person is actually doing is cutting the wire - which may disarm the trap, may trigger the trap, and may do neither.

* Say, we're distracted, and I get an unlucky roll.

LowRoller wrote:
What your cohort do or not do to help me is up to you. I would make no demands on him, except maybe to pass the ketchup at lunch.

That's a perfectly fair position which which I have no argument whatsoever, as hopefully has been clear enough.

LowRoller wrote:

And this is where you clearly miss the point so many have tried to get through to you. OUT OF CHARACTER MATTERS! You cant take a feat, get a cohort and a bunch of followers, demand their share of treasure and expect the other PLAYERS to be happy about this.

No amount of in character justification will make you anything else then a total douchebag if you try to do this.

True. But then, that out of character problem cuts both ways. If I take a cohort and demand that you should therefore give me more loot, I'm being a jerk. If I take a cohort and you demand to share in the benefits but not in the costs, you're being a jerk.

If you say

hypothetical wrote:
Glendwyr, you spent a feat acquiring a cohort for yourself. I am aware that if your cohort dies, the value of that feat choice is diminished.* I expect your cohort to heal me when I need healing, buff me when I need buffing, and so forth, but while doing this may put your cohort at greater risk, I will not contribute to his upkeep.

no amount of in character justification will make you anything else than a total douchebag.

The responsible out of character thing to do is of course to discuss the potential cohort with your other players ahead of time and hash out some workable ground rules before picking the feat. But it's fair neither in character nor out of character to expect the cohort to act for your benefit unless you are willing to reciprocate.

* If nothing else, because my leadership score decreases.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Do you want to bring Alfred to the battle, Mr Batman? Fine, but then he has to be useful. Otherwise, leave him in the batcave, right besides the other 30 followers you also got with the feat.

So you really are saying that you get to decide how someone else uses his feat. I disagree, and think your perspective is staggeringly arrogant.

You're under no obligation to save Alfred (or, more reasonably, Robin), but if Batman wants to bring his sidekick/servant/pet cat along, you have zero right to prevent him from doing so even if the cohort doesn't go out of his way to help you since you haven't given him any reason to do so.

Sorry, now I'm back to being confused about your position. I thought I understood it, but "my friend took leadership, so his cohort is his responsibility and on his payroll, but if his cohort doesn't help me, his cohort doesn't get to come with us" is just baffling.

Bill Dunn wrote:
Is this supposed to be some kind of special revelation?

It certainly shouldn't be, but given that this has been my position for the entirety of the thread but it's been disputed nonetheless, and that I said almost exactly the same thing 3 hours ago and the response was "this is a silly argument," apparently it's not universally accepted.

Ub3r_n3rd, nowhere have I said that I expect a cohort to get a full share of the wealth. Nowhere have I said that I expect the cohort to get any share of the treasure. Nowhere have I said that the cohort is a PC (a "PC" and "a character" are obviously not the same).

I have said that there is a logical consequence to treating the cohort as nothing more than someone else's employer. How you choose to deal with that logical consequence is up to you. A perfectly reasonable approach is to simply accept it. What is not reasonable is to expect the cohort to do more for you than you do for him - that's what the leadership feat is for.

And gustavo, same page. It's a perfectly valid way to run things. I was just confused when you gave us

you wrote:

For the purpose of treasure, he is a hireling, so he get paid by his liege.

And for the purpose of going to adventures, I only go with adventurers. Guys that are there just to eat iron rations, be in the middle when the wizard want to cast a fireball, and begging for rescue, without giving us anything else, should get at home. My character has a wife and two daughters, one of them a baby, and a half blind parrot, and they don't come to the adventure either.

which certainly seems to say that (a) you don't want to pay the cohort, and (b) you feel comfortable demanding that the leader doesn't take the cohort with him because (subsequently) (c) the cohort's presence causes you harm, since (d) he's taking a share of treasure even though (a) he wasn't.

ub3r_n3rd wrote:
What's so funny to me about this whole argument is that people keep putting themselves in the NPC's shoes as if it was an actual PC.

With all due respect, what people are actually doing is putting themselves in the NPC's shoes as if the NPC were a character, where in practice your approach is to treat the NPC as a convenient statblock. Thus, you think that "an NPC should behave logically" is "a silly argument" where I think "an NPC should behave logically" is, in fact, an essential aspect of roleplaying.

Now, in practice I don't think we treat cohorts too differently, and I don't disagree with your first list at all. Your second list, however, is an embarrassingly dishonest characterization of any position that anyone has advocated.

You keep saying "let me put this simply" or some variant thereof. So let me put this simply: If you treat a cohort as though he is merely the employee of your friend, you should expect him to treat you as if you are merely the friend of his employer.

gustavo, think we're on the same page. I don't know why you suddenly started talking about the cohort taking a share of your wealth when we'd already established that in your model he didn't, but hey.

ub3r_n3rd wrote:
It's in the best interest of the party as a whole to all heal each other, buff each other, debuff enemies, and protect each other without any sort of compensation.

Except that you've already defined the cohort as not part of the party. To you, he's just some schmuck that your friend is paying to tag along; to him, you're just some schmuck that his boss hangs out with. That's the way you've defined it, anyway.

And if that's the kind of relationship with the cohort you want, that's completely fine, and completely understandable. But in that case, the only thing you can reasonably demand of the cohort is that he do what he can to help his boss. You deserve no freebies.

Likewise, of course, in such a non-relationship, the cohort cannot reasonably demand anything of you.

Ssalarn wrote:
Your cohort taking my money out of my pocket is you taking a feat that is causing quantifiable harm to me. That's the point he's making. Maybe it would have been better if he'd said "If your power attack takes money out of my pocket to give YOU a bonus to damage, I'll tell you please not to take it, yes".

Your reading comprehension appears to be failing you (or possibly mine is failing me, or gustavo's is failing him).

gustavo iglesias wrote:

For the purpose of treasure, he is a hireling, so he get paid by his liege.


But he is not going to get a share of the treasure, beyond the wage you pay him.

This position is perfectly fair, and it is crystal clear that the "harm" you have proposed is not happening.

So we've established that the cohort gets no money. We've also established that gustavo does not expect the cohort to help his character:

gustavo iglesias wrote:

That said, I won't complain if he wants to charge for his heals.


He doesn't have to feed my horse, help me don my armor, or bear my shield.

We also see pretty clearly that gustavo feels that if the cohort isn't helping him as well as the leader, the cohort should stay home and the person who took leadership should be denied the mechanical advantages of his feat, because the cohort has harmed him in some as yet unquantified way. Taking money out of his pocket is self-evidently not that way.

Shifty wrote:
He isn't a class feature, he's a feat.

Yes, I'm well aware. I'm continuing the earlier semantics.

shifty wrote:
The cohort deserves the same pay our Druids Large Cat companion does, possibly less, because the average 10th level Druid large cat would destroy your follower, so which would actually represent better value for money investment from the party?

The cat. So? If the cat would expect payment for services rendered, the cat should receive payment for services rendered, and if it doesn't get the former, it shouldn't render the latter. Just like the cohort or the familiar or the mount or the followers or any other creature in the game world. That's all I'm suggesting. I'm frankly kind of surprised that's controversial.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
If your power attack gives ME a penalty to hit to give YOU a bonus to damage, I'll tell you please not to take it, yes.

How does my cohort not helping you logically equate to my cohort harming you? The fallacy of the excluded middle is hovering in the wings.

ub3r_n3rd wrote:
Any argument that states: A cohort has joined the party and now it is the party's responsibility as a whole to provide for said cohort's needs including food, drink, transportation, arms, armor, lodging, and various magical items is dead wrong.

Agreed completely.

And to be precise, I should have said that my argument is with people who say that the cohort gets nothing, but should nevertheless be expected to help their PCs. If you're fine with the healbot not healing you when needed, the buffer not buffing you when needed, the crafter not crafting for you when needed, and so on, groovy.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Exactly. Just like a Knight and his squire, or a Noble and his Majordomo. For the purpose of treasure, he is a hireling, so he get paid by his liege.

And for the purpose of going to adventures, I only go with adventurers. Guys that are there just to eat iron rations, be in the middle when the wizard want to cast a fireball, and begging for rescue, without giving us anything else, should get at home. My character has a wife and two daughters, one of them a baby, and a half blind parrot, and they don't come to the adventure either.

What gives you the right to insist that your fellow PCs don't get access to their class features? Is it okay for me to say that I'm not cool with your power attack, so don't use it? What makes the cohort different? You can't have it both ways - either he's a class feature, and in all cases should be treated as one, or he's a person, and in all cases should be treated as one. To do otherwise is blatant hypocrisy.

Incidentally, you'll note that the argument I have is less with people who say "the cohort deserves a smaller share of loot" and more with people who say "a cohort gets nothing." Your position I find perfectly reasonable, apart from the insistence that if the cohort doesn't go out of his way to help you despite a lack of quid pro quo, the cohort should stay at home.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
That said, I won't complain if he wants to charge for his heals. I'll just ask him to stay in his house, and not come to adventures with me. My groups of friends is very close, and not everybody has the right to come and say "hey, I want to be part of your group. Give me presents in my birthday". Do you admit in your group every single NPC who wants to go to adventures?
So, just to be clear:
  • For purposes of determining whether the cohort gets any share of the loot, he is an appendage of the person who took leadership.
  • For purposes of roleplay, he is not - or at least, you're totally okay with insisting that your close friends leave their appendages at home because their appendages treat you as would any other NPC.
Is that about the size of it?

Just like the wizard can't go and say "I built winged boots to all of you. Here is the bill, pay me".

Indeed, but not really what I had in mind. What I had in mind was whether you pay the cohort NPC rates for services you request, not for services he provides and you don't request. Indeed, under the "the cohort gets nothing" school of thought, I would assume the cohort provides no services whatsoever that aren't actually requested, unless directed by the leader.

For my part, I'm perfectly fine with the cohort getting no loot at all except what the leader takes out of his share, and I think that in return, the cohort does nothing for anyone else without being paid. I'm also perfectly fine with the cohort getting a (lesser) share of the loot and acting to benefit other PCs without requesting payment. Obviously, in the latter case, the party needs to discuss it first.

How you can't see "moo" in your answer is beyond me. I asked a simple yes or no question - if a cohort does a service for you, would you be okay with him demanding payment for it? That you wouldn't ask him to perform the service in the first place is perfectly reasonable, but it doesn't answer the question because you've ignored a word: "if."


Edit: I got a payer/payee backwards!

LowRoller wrote:

Healbot clerics are known for their high cost gear requirements...

I'd ignore him and buy a CLW wand

So your response to the hypothetical "would it be okay if he charged you for services rendered" is "moo." How useful.

Hypothetical for those of you who fall into the camp that "the cohort is the sole responsibility of the person who took Leadership." Would you complain if a cleric healbot cohort charged you the going rate every time you needed him to heal you? And if not, why not? After all, you've defined him as, effectively, not part of the party, so should he not be expected to treat you as would any other NPC spellcaster?

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