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GrenMeera's page

518 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Well, these actions were certainly chaotic. Breaking into a dungeon? That's a little chaotic in the first place, or at the very least not lawful. Seeing friend hurt and going into a blind rage? That's definitely chaotic (there's reasons why Barbarians are not lawful). Going against an offered rules of engagement of a duel? Extremely chaotic (and slightly evil considering it wasn't necessary but revenge was on the mind).

Now were these actions evil? Well, they weren't good. That part is clear. Neutral? Maybe.

The difference to consider is, was he killing enemies in combat, or was he going on a murderous rampage. It sounds a little in between.

As to "is he a bad GM"? I see no evidence of that. GMs know things that you do not. It was stated that this dungeon was run in an evil kingdom, so it certainly makes sense that the Paladin was tortured.

Did the guards above ground know what happened below ground? Yes. Is this meta-gaming? Maybe not. It is very reasonable that an evil king would have people in his employ have contingency spells or scrying devices in his dungeon. Honestly if a kingdom doesn't have any form of protection against people waltzing into their dungeon and going on a murderous rampage, I'd consider the leader incompetent.

Coming to the boards seeking justification and telling your side of the story in a rant? I worry more about the player's attitude than the GM at this point.

You get a free attempt to deliver a touch attack upon casting the spell, but this is not done with the hair, the hair is a natural attack and requires a standard action or full attack to use.

You can hold the charge indefinitely to be released with any natural attack or touch attack in the future. The witch's hair is a natural attack. This means you do not have to use the spell on the round it was cast, or you can both cast the spell without discharge AND attack with Quicken.

Whenever the hair strikes a foe and you have a held charge of a touch spell, you will automatically discharge the spell AND get a free attempt to grapple.

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Acedio wrote:
A friend of mine has a detailed analysis of the effects of the nerf.

Your friend's heart was in the right place, and it's great to get a start on these things, but the data is very misleading.

The chart assumes the same attack bonus on consecutive attacks, while iterative attacks are not using the same bonus. The new crane wing would change depending upon which attack is chosen in this case, which adds a third dimension to the chart.

Also, the new crane wing dodge bonus AC also applies to confirming criticals, and critical confirmation is not applied to this chart as well.

The last thing that the nerf changes is the chance % to Crane Riposte, which is not reflected at all on this chart.

I am contemplating making a graph that takes all factors into account like I did with the "Allow odd modifiers" debate.

Imbicatus wrote:
True, and magical knack makes it less painful.

It's true and worth seconding that Magical Knack is practically a requirement for Dragon Disciple.

Imbicatus wrote:
However, sorcerer has slow access to spells already, and the further delayed spell levels really hurt.

I hear this all the time from arrogant wizards who think that spell access is why they're godly. Usually it's right before their brains get bashed in.

It's a gish PRC and it's a fairly effective one. The claws and strength bonus both help to fill that role so it's actually quite fitting.

As a caster, you usually focus on buffs, touch attacks, or blaster to work in tandem with the melee ability. If you wanted to be another type of caster, there are certainly better builds than this PRC (though you can certainly do whatever you wish and probably be effective enough).

I actually went full Sorcerer to start as a Sorcerer 5/Dragon Disciple 10/Paladin 2. It has a weak beginning if you plan on playing the character the same way with bloodline claws as a sorcerer, but came into its own and dominated later on.

I had no problem whatsoever soloing CR 20 creatures with natural attacks.

DrDeth wrote:

Now, we all know no sane DM would allow these, we all know they are against RAI, and we all know they are all there because of a strained or over literal wording of the RAW.

Sure. Given.

Ad populum

DrDeth wrote:
The devs know these things are silly, savvy PF players know these things are silly, heck, likely the people who post them know they are silly.

Appeal to ridicule

DrDeth wrote:
Newbs, non-PF players, etc also read these boards.

Ad hominem

Now I know you're not making logical statements and these fallacies are fairly meaningless in that sense, but the point I am trying to illustrate is that you appear to be getting riled up simply by your own viewpoint of the boards.

This is the internet, and it is full of a vast array of many personalities and viewpoints. The moderators of these boards do a very decent job of keeping discussions civil and intelligent. There are times I feel like they have even been overly attentive to such things and deleted posts that weren't even insulting.

I would like to add that I am in favor of errata and FAQs in general, so your proposition is not a bad one.

However it seems to me, and I could easily be wrong, that this post has an emotional context. I am trying to suggest that, in the case of people having discussions that you do not like, you let it go.

Hawktitan wrote:
You said you were focusing on naturals which means you don't care about BAB - you care about strength.

Exactly what I was going to say. Iterative attacks lose much of their zeal as they continue, but natural attacks remain at the same bonuses for primary and secondary. As long as you are hitting your targets with your secondary attacks, you don't really need more BAB.

You can EASILY get +26 strength without entirely too much effort using the methods described. If you start at 18, we're talking 44 strength.
18 start
+6 Enhancement (belt)
+6 Inherent (Abyssal bloodline)
+10 Size (Form of the Dragon III)
+4 Untyped (Dragon Disciple levels)

You can even get other bonus types if you try to optimize for strength (Rage being a good place to start).

With an Amulet of Natural Attack + 5, and a moderate BAB (~14), you essentially won't miss an AC of 42 with primary attacks.

Certainly you can get a better result if you tried to optimize your BAB as well, but this isn't a bad place to be. If you are running a Pathfinder campaign, I doubt you'll ever miss a target. So I personally don't think worrying about the BAB is a huge concern.

Also, if you choose the feats that Taku Ooka Nin suggested above, you will be doing a minimum of 273 damage if all of your attacks hit while hasted (which is common) on a full round attack.

TheSideKick wrote:
how did your gm let you play a paladin with an evil dragon base?

What does my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather being evil have to do with me?

Also I chose Eldritch Heritage: Abyssal on this character. My ancestors were quite evil. (and actually part of an interesting story that took elements from Curse of the Crimson Throne's Kazavon).

My ancestors being evil have no real bearing on who I am.

Tieflings can be good aligned Paladins and they are only a single generation removed from evil blood.

Since it hasn't been posted, it is useful to start with Oterisks' Guide to the Dragon Disciple.

Beyond that, I have had a great deal of fun with a Dragon Disciple build as you described.

I went Sorcerer 5/Dragon Disciple 10/Paladin 2 in that order, but our game seemed to need me to focus on having caster levels early on. What order you build can be affected by a great many things, but I find party make-up to be the most influencing. If you are the primary arcane caster, you may need to get those Sorcerer levels early. If you have a primary arcane caster already, I'd focus on Paladin first.

It seems most people suggest Paladin 2 to start, then Sor 3, then Dragon Disciple 8 as the primary order of things, and you can finish off the last levels in whichever direction you choose to go.

Beyond that, there are many other class dips beyond what you were asking. It seems you have been getting that type of advice in spades so I'll refrain from rehashing what you already know.

Magical Knack is a must. Magical Lineage is fun as well if you plan on narrowing your magical focus, and it sounds like you are. Spell Perfection at level 15 can really boost your Magical Lineage spell to an insane degree.

rorek55 wrote:
I meant, why would I be better of taking a manufactured weapon instead of natural attacks?

You are not better off taking manufactured. It all depends on your build and what you wish to do. Form of the Dragon III can be game changing if you make it a focus, but you run the risk of not having enough casts per day. For DD, I haven't seen one method being drastically better than another. It's a very versatile class.

To illustrate what I did (and because I love gushing about how fun it was), I made a natural attacking DD with the above class make-up. My dragon type was blue, which gave me additional damage for electricity. I took Magical Knack, Magical Lineage (Shocking Grasp), and Spell Perfection (Shocking Grasp). Because of this, I could use Quickened Intensified Empowered Shocking Grasp as a level 3 spell slot and then full attack in Form of the Dragon III, getting 6 attacks (7 with haste) and if I successfully hit (which I always did due to my ludicrous strength) the touch spell would get delivered.

This allowed me to solo CR 20 encounters at level 17 if they could take electricity damage. I certainly had other options if they were immune.

I can't quite see this choice as meta-gaming. It simply makes too much sense based upon what a melee could be thinking at the time. Let's say there's a low level melee who has never encountered Mirror Image before:

*Suddenly the mage becomes a whirl of himself, seven exact duplicates intricately weaving amongst each other. As the mage taps his foot, you can hear seven distinct sounds of leather on the wet concrete ground. Their locations seem erratic, but their motions are exactly identical. You are fairly sure one mage's hand is going through another mage's chest*

(inner monologue)
"What the crap? Umm... huh. That's hard to look at. Okay. I guess I'll put my sword through it"

*One of the mage's arms seems close enough to get a chunk out of, so you take a quick swipe only to seemingly hit nothing but air. The mage that you hit vanishes, and none of the other mage's seem to mind too much*

"Seriously!? I was hoping for some bleedy bits! This crap is annoying. Is he even really in there? This is why I hate mages! Okay, calm down. Think."

To me, there are two paths of thought that both seem perfectly reasonable for a melee with any intelligence.

Option 1:
"Well, that one mage went bye bye when he touched the sharp bit. That seemed like progress right?"
*melee continues attacking like normal*

Option 2:
"Screw this, if he's in there somewhere, I'll just try to hit em all!"
*melee swings blindly*

Now here's the weird part to me. Swinging blindly does not mean you need to close your eyes. It means, to me, that you target the square the mage is occupying. I would assume you take a concealment penalty for targeting a pinpointed square, but the rules get very vague as to if this would help, and doesn't specifically outline targeting a square except for blinded or with splash weapons. I would think that such a thing would work exactly as full concealment, but there aren't rules for it.

However, if a melee is specifically trained to fight blind, training done almost specifically by closing one's eyes, I could see this as a perfectly normal instinct when you want to "swing blindly". In this case, you're more or less falling back on your instincts to clean up your chaos.

Now, if the melee has SEEN this spell before, it clearly changes to:

"Aww, not this crap again"

GralphidB wrote:
Cast animate dead, have your familiar hold the charge, kill yourself, and have it animate you.

What scares me about this is the fact that Animate Dead does not specify that it brings the soul back to the body. Undead have always been a curiosity to me because they seem inconsistent on what exactly animates them. Is it negative energy? Is it the original soul? Is it a random soul grabbed by magic? Is it the original soul now completely shredded by negative energy?

You may not get what you bargained for. The GM could turn this into something unexpected.

LazarX wrote:
When you ask it that way one could just as easily flip back and ask "Do you have any evidence that it would be controlled for a dead PC? You should know very well that the rules simply do not address this topic and it's a matter for GM adjudication.

Yeah, I will be the first to admit that I don't have all rules memorized. I was asking if there is actually a RAW ruling and it probably came across a little accusatory. That wasn't my intent.

To answer your question: No, I do not have evidence that they would continue to be controlled.

I was leaning more towards the "specific overrides the general" mentality when finding no general description on what happens. With nothing to go off of, I lean towards "nothing happens" unless it simply doesn't make any reasonable sense.

Since the spell is instantaneous, I found it reasonable to think that the magic is keyed into it's purpose at the time of casting and control is a limit on your soul and not body (wasting time in the Boneyard while all these undead are just waiting on you, Pharasma may dislike you).

I could understand another reasonable interpretation that believes that control is maintained through your physical being. You are right, there is no RAW answer and there is room for GM adjudication.

Cevah wrote:
Nope. It becomes an uncontrolled undead that will go after the nearest living thing.

You know, I initially thought this too, but when I looked up uncontrolled undead the only description I could find is if you animate more undead HD than you can control.

I suppose a GM could go either way with it, but do you have any evidence that it would be uncontrolled for a dead PC?

Ultimate Campaign wrote:

Controlling Companions

How a companion works depends on the campaign as well as the companion's nature, intelligence, and abilities. In some cases, the rules do not specify whether you or the GM controls the companion. If you're entirely in control, the companion acts like a subsidiary PC, doing exactly what you want just like a true PC. If the GM is control, you can make suggestions or attempt to influence the companion, but the GM determines whether the creature is willing or able to attempt what you want.
Aspects of Control

Whether you or the GM controls a particular companion depends largely on the creature's intelligence and level of independence from you.

Nonsentient Companions: a nonsentient companion (one with animal-level intelligence) is loyal to you in the way a well-trained dog is—the creature is conditioned to obey your commands, but its behavior is limited by its intelligence and it can't make altruistic moral decisions—such as nobly sacrificing itself to save another. Animal companions, cavalier mounts, and purchased creatures (such as common horses and guard dogs) fall into this category. In general they're GM-controlled companions. You can direct them using the Handle Animal skill, but their specific behavior is up to the GM.

Sentient Companions: a sentient companion (a creature that can understand language and has an Intelligence score of at least 3) is considered your ally and obeys your suggestions and orders to the best of its ability. It won't necessarily blindly follow a suicidal order, but it has your interests at heart and does what it can to keep you alive. Paladin bonded mounts, familiars, and cohorts fall into this category, and are usually player-controlled companions.

Nothing changes when the caster dies. The PC never necessarily controlled the familiar in the first place, but it is usually a player-controlled companion, so its actions can continue to be PC decided, though I could see a GM deciding to take over upon death. There is no reason for the touch spell to have dissipated upon the caster's death, it can still be used.

Animate Dead wrote:
This spell turns corpses into undead skeletons or zombies that obey your spoken commands.

The familiar can deliver the touch spell, but the caster remains the same. Since the caster is dead, no spoken commands are delivered and I would say that the raised dead just stand there doing nothing.

The metamagic feats don't disguise casting at all anyway, but they may become a factor in a perception check if other variables (blocking line of sight with other PCs in a loud crowded bar) make the check worthwhile.

Basically, as has come up many times, you can still identify a stilled, silent, eschewed spell with no RAW penalties. It's the other factors (loud room, no line of sight) that make the check more difficult and may even give importance to the Silent Spell feat. It's up to the GM to determine how to apply penalties appropriately based upon the outline in the rulebook.

This is one of the reasons why the skill trick in complete scoundrel exists.

I've made a Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple build around Shocking Grasp before, and it was a lot of fun.

A spell that has no saving throw and can be part of a full round attack? Yes, that sounds lovely.

Magical Lineage and Spell Perfection are a requirement. The fact that Draconic Sorcerers get Quickened Spell (metamagic) as a bonus feat is a big plus.

As a draconic sorcerer, you can choose a dragon color to add +1 to every damage die, so I choose blue dragon to get that extra boost.

Because of the level 9 limit for spells after metamagic feats, I've found you can do more damage with Shocking Grasp than you can with Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning on a single target, and on average it's a close call on 2 targets. Once you get 3+ targets, you should certainly be using the other spells. However, you need to remember that saving throws can also give you diminished returns for your average output (also, the ability to deliver touch attacks affects your damage return).

Because of this, it depends on the types of encounters you expect from your GM when choosing.

Quickened Intensified Empowered Shocking Grasp + full round attack in Form of the Dragon III = 67.5 + full attack dmg average


Quickened Intensified Empowered Shocking Grasp + Intensified Empowered Shocking Grasp = 135 dmg average
(10d6 + 10) x 1.5

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The real infinity gems are kinda' overpowered for all rules everywhere, considering that they represent absolute control over everything in the universe.

I take it you want to represent them in idea but not in power? More of a control of the planet (the entire material plane still seems a bit overpowered)?

Maybe you can keep them in scope simply by having a mechanism for your abilities with the gem itself. An "attunement" rating that they increase through feats or a mythic path. At low attunement, they gain some fairly impressive supernatural abilities (+2 Strength and DR 10/- for Power or Teleport as a spell like ability for Space). At high attunement, they get the epitome of prowess as represented through powers/spells (+10 Strength and DR 40/- with 50 regeneration for Power and Plane Shift with precise accuracy for Space).

Because honestly, only Thanos can control all gems at once. Most others seems to fail at even controlling the limitless power of one of them. It should be difficult to unlock the full potential of the gems.

Magda Luckbender wrote:
I've seen a funny Sorcerer build that aims to boost strength to ridiculous levels and fight with claws. I've not seen anyone actually do this. I believe the theory-craft build got a STR of 50+ by about 10th level. I believe this person was aiming for a PFS legal build.

If you include Dragon Disciple as part of it, then it's fairly common to build Sorcerers that focus on claws and strength. I did this in my Kingmaker campaign and enjoyed it immensely. I didn't optimize strength as ridiculously as I posted above, but it still gets pretty high.

Also quickened touch attack spells combined with a Form of the Dragon III full attack is a beautiful thing.

In fact, the build I posted above could easily do 500 DPR on a full round attack.

I had a fun time with this thought experiment once. As a player PC I came up with:

Controlled by Party PC: 69
Circumstantial damage: 71
Allowed Template: 77
Template with circumstantial damage: 79

The breakdown can be found here.


18 untyped Base
+4 untyped Racial: Orc
+5 untyped from leveling
+4 untyped from Dragon Disciple
+6 Inherent from Eldritch Heritage: Abyssal
+6 Enhancement from Belt of Giant Strength
+8 Morale from Rage while using Amplified Rage feat
+10 Size from Form of the Dragon III
+6 Alchemical from Mutagen
+2 Profane from a Succubus' Profane Gift

This is a total of: 69

Now, if we are counting things that the party cannot control, which is a circumstantial damage due to combat totaling 50:
+10 Morale from Blood Rage

If we are counting very circumstantial and GM controlled:
+8 untyped from Half Dragon template

Now, this is with normal humanoid starting races and some of the older templates, which means that this can get higher still.

So to add in the additional allowed CR 6, I will do the above and make it a Half dragon/Half Celestial Ogre.

Allowed Templates: 87
Templates with circumstantial damage: 89

18 untyped Base
+10 untyped Racial: Ogre
+8 Half-dragon template
+4 Half-celestial template
+5 untyped from leveling
+4 untyped from Dragon Disciple
+6 Inherent from Eldritch Heritage: Abyssal
+6 Enhancement from Belt of Giant Strength
+8 Morale from Rage while using Amplified Rage feat
+10 Size from Form of the Dragon III
+6 Alchemical from Mutagen
+2 Profane from a Succubus' Profane Gift

Classes required:
Barbarian 1/Rage Alchemist 2/Sorceror 13/Dragon Disciple 4

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Anyone else notice the irony in the OP's username?

I was wondering if anybody would point it out and almost asked if this account was made specifically to ask this question.

Clectabled wrote:
As written in the AD&D 1st edition rule book by good old Gary Gygax himself.

Gary Gygax writing about being a GM is like Bill Gates explaining how he invented the mouse.

Nobody ever gives Dave Arneson proper credit...

XMorsX wrote:
In our case, dragon style gives bonus damage to unarmed strikes egual to half your Str mod and bonus to charge damage equal to double your Str

Oooh, I like that option. I may consider making a build of that some time.

Oops, I gave the Sorcerer 4/Monk 1 troglodyte full attack too much BAB.

It should be:
claw/claw/bite (+7/+7/+7) (1d4+5) BAB: 2, Strength mod: +5
(11.25 dpr Average CR5 AC of 18)

XMorsX wrote:
Smite is awesome no doubt about that. With 2 lvls of paladin though you will just not have enough of it.

Well it's all about flavor and what you prefer though, since casters already have a great deal of daily resource management. I mean, you save your Mage's Disjunction casts for the BBEG instead of wasting all your 9th level slots on his minions. The same is true for Smite.

XMorsX wrote:
One of my players started as a paladin for going eventually DD. At his 5th lvl he was frustated with the low spellcasting progression and simultaneously amazed from the paladin class features that he dropped the concept and made a pure paladin instead.

Yeah I'd probably feel the same way. 5 levels of Paladin is not a great spot to be in. I usually would only do a 2 level dip and not worry about my pathetic/useless channeling or spellcasting. That level of spellcasting just does not have longevity.

Zwordsman wrote:
Of note is new errata from ultimate combat on feral combat training.

It's a great errata, but if I were focusing on Feral Combat Training I'd have much more than simply a monk dip. Flurry would quickly become a poor option as only a level 1 Monk compared to Form of the Dragon which can grant you Claw/Claw/Bite/Wing/Wing/Tail, making Feral Combat Training moot.

If I were focusing on Feral Combat Training, I'd probably only do a Dragon Disciple dip to 4th level to maintain decent casting and get the strength modifiers, then put a lot more levels in Monk.

XMorsX wrote:
Check the bonuses that you can have if you transform into a Troglodyte and tell me who is going to be the best melee fighter at 5th lvl.

Yes, but you'll have a lower base attack bonus and a slightly frustrating progression of it as well. :) All of these options work and as I said I actually like the monk dip variant as well.

Some of these builds have different levels where they shine and come into their own, but they all get there and do it without any major struggle levels.

Comparing a Trog attack of
claw/claw/bite (+8/+8/+8) (1d4+5) BAB: 3, Strength mod: +5
(12.375 dpr Average CR5 AC of 18)
vs a smite attack
claw/claw (+11/+11) (1d4+8,1d4+6) BAB: 3, Strength mod: +4, Smite Target Charisma mod: +4
(13.3 dpr Average CR5 AC of 18)

The results depend upon AC and smite type. Both results vary depending upon fights per day and resource allocation as well. They all work and each is fun in it's own way. ^.^

By the way, I do like your 7th level feat progression. Basically what I would have done with those classes.

Sorcerer 11/Dragon Disciple 8/Monk 1 is a pretty good combination, but make sure you're going all the way to level 20 for this build. Otherwise I think you're worrying about caster levels that may never happen regardless.

For example, I only went to Sorcerer 5/Dragon Disciple 10/Paladin 2 because I knew the game was going to 17th level at maximum. Normally the last 2 levels of Dragon Disciple are not worth it, but the only way I could get much higher caster level was to ditch Paladin and go more Sorcerer (Sorcerer 9/Dragon Disciple 8). The main difference here is the addition of 7th level spells. However, this was weighed against a lower base attack bonus, worse saves, the loss of Smite, and I would actually have to use my spells per day to cast Form of the Dragon II instead of using my 2/day.

To me, a few 7th level spells per day were not worth that. To others they might be. The build you are looking at for monk is trying to squeeze those last spell levels out. Just make sure you're going to level 20 or you may have made a choice you don't get to play with.

In my opinion ranger is not right for you, but I am no expert. It's a lot more focused on melee combat with no real synergy with your casting. You can always take those same feats if you desire without being a ranger.

I feel like Paladin synergies with the casting stats nicely because of the focus on Charisma, and Barbarian not only is good for natural attacking, but rage/pounce is a good mix for a lengthy full attack (Form of the Dragon) with the additional strength being great for your bite.

Optimizing natural attacks can be tricky, but the most interesting thing is that Dragon Disciple is already one of the best ways to optimize natural attacks.

You get a 1d6 claw and a bite that uses 1 1/2 strength modifier as a primary natural attack. There's ways to make these better, but I think you'll get more out of optimizing your generic prowess in combat (Smite, Rage) than focusing entirely on your natural attacks which are already pretty good.

Also, if you take Magical Knack, a Sorcerer 12/Dragon Disciple 8 will be at a caster level 20 able to cast 9th level spells as spells per day of an 18th level Sorcerer.

DeathlessOne wrote:
If you REALLY want high strength ...

Don't forget that Form of the Dragon III is a +10 size bonus and that a succubus can grant you a +2 profane bonus.

I remember doing a thought experiments on the highest strength scores here.

I played Dragon Disciple and REALLY enjoyed it a great deal. I also went for natural attacking primarily and the incredible strength you can get makes this quite fun.

The most important thing to realize is that the Magical Knack trait is key. It makes the caster level losses barely matter.

Now I know people are tossing Barbarian in there as a great melee option, but also you may want to consider Paladin instead. Smite evil can wreck a bad guy, but also Divine Grace makes your saves decent.

I ended my game as Sorcerer 5/Dragon Disciple 10/Paladin 2.

This was not a fully optimized build, but I was able to solo a CR 20 black dragon without even taking half my HP in damage.

Also I had a great deal of fun with touch spells. Natural attacks can be used to deliver touch spells, which make your Form of the Dragon II full attack routine even deadlier with a bit of Quickened metamagic feat usage (which is a bonus feat for dragon sorcerer's anyway).

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Oh it's back! This conversation has happened at least five times already with the EXACT same points being made!

I'm not sure I need to link all of the relevant posts again like I usually do since I see some have been on the ball and already done so.

I swear this argument is like my warm fuzzy home.

The Morphling wrote:
You're saying that you can roll spellcraft to identify a componentless, silent spell cast by an invisible creature which produces no observable effect?

Yes I am saying precisely this!

Can you counter-spell? No, but not for reasons you're probably thinking. You need to pinpoint an invisible creature before you can ready an action against him. He still has the upper hand due to his invisibility.

It seems you are quite convinced of what the words "see the spell" mean. I usually think of them as seeing a spell, but you are very confident that it means seeing their components or effects. One of these being dismissed by Jason Bulhman and the other required the spell to have already completed casting before it exists therefore rendering counter-spelling impossible by it's own definition.

This is a perspective and an interpretation, but FAR from a fact. None of us will ever have even any remote amount of proof about this one way or the other until it is verified in a FAQ or official ruling.

So, like usual, I am requesting that people stop saying that they have the RAW answer as definitive. You do not. Neither do I. Your interpretation is a house-rule as well.

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TheSideKick wrote:
i proved you wrong.

Actually you just said that he was wrong. Saying something and proving something are very different things.

I doubt that in a thread comparing effectiveness of a class you're ever going to find any proof of any sort for any viewpoint.

Maximize and Empower are not new feats to the D&D world. This exact dilemma has been discussed and FAQ'd many times.

I may go searching for the posts in which they were answered, but I can verify that Chemlak's interpretation is the accepted one.

Tacticslion wrote:
3a) Given the level of descriptive thought on both parts in this, you seem to be a) presuming the player just plain made a mistake, or b) are arbitrating that someone beat them. You may not be. Regardless of whether or not you are, this part of the post kind of comes off, "Oh, yeah, well, I've got BIGGER guns!" which is kinda "eeeeehhhh...," and never ends well in thread debates. This does apply to both groups to a point.

Yeah, I fully agree with you. My post that said this exact thing was deleted unfortunately and I didn't feel like re-iterating. I tried to point out that bringing up examples and anecdotal evidence was meaningless, because every situation can be countered, which is what I was demonstrating.

Wraith Shadar wrote:
The point of the discussion is to show how a non-caster can go against a caster without his own caster to help him.

I never viewed this as the point of the discussion. I simply stated that casters are not more powerful than martials. This is a very broad range of situations, including full party dynamics at high level play.

Every single one of those spells can be used by a martial using items.

I never once said magic is pointless, but that casters are not simply better. Martials can use magic too, but that's barely the point. High level play involves a mixed party and I don't know why this solo 1v1 situation is even relevant (though we can continue to do pointer/counter-point if you insist, I just don't see a reason).

Wraith Shadar wrote:
As in show that casters and martials are equal in ability.

They are not EQUAL per se. They operate differently. A caster has more options and potential. To get this, he becomes more vulnerable and variable in effectiveness. Consistently pointing out his strengths with his range of capability does not help. His weaknesses are still being ignored.

A simple midnight ambush in a party situation usually pulls this out fairly well. Let's say the watch was late in alarming his allies; the character who is most screwed is the wizard who didn't get to sleep, followed immediately by the martials who rely on donning armor and don't have the feats to sleep in it.

These are actually situations in which the monk shines, by the way. All he needs to do is stand up and he's at full fighting capacity.

Atarlost wrote:
Demiplanes aren't subject to attack unless you leave a gate up.

I'm not sure why you say this? I might be missing something, but I have never seen anything about this spell that makes it safe.

SRD wrote:
Creatures can only enter the plane by the use of planar travel magic such as astral projection, etherealness, or plane shift.

Leaving your clones behind in your demi-plane while you go off adventuring eh? Heh, that sounds like an easy mark. Just go to the wizard's plane when he's not there and destroy his work.

Also, Permanency can be dispelled. It requires a higher caster level, but considering all factors (are we ONLY talking level 20, what level did you cast it at, does your enemy have access to epic caster levels) it is not unlikely.

Justin Rocket wrote:
Wizards aren't that hard to keep in check as long as...

That was a fairly decent summary. Well done, I like it!

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Raith Shadar wrote:
Why do you keep assuming I'm going to show up to an encounter unprepared for what is there. Why do you keep insisting on thinking I'm going to operate like a regular dungeon party wandering around the place meeting the encounters head on? Why are you making this assumption?

I haven't made those assumptions, my assertion is that there is no proof, not that I can prove otherwise.

Why are you making assumption that you CAN prepare for an encounter? When you do these campaigns, your GM has every enemy you come across simply let you leave/rest/prepare all the time? Your enemies are fools, which is fine sometimes because some enemies are fools, but to treat it like you have "the solution" is simply wrong.

I think Wizards/casters HAVE strength and can shine, but the assertion that they are BETTER is so extraordinarily circumstantial and anecdotal that I find it dismissable.

My point is that it's random. That's what casters are. They forgo consistency for power and options, but the inconsistency and reliance on preparation is a weakness and it seems that it is often overlooked.

Raith Shadar wrote:
I don't see why you have trouble accepting that this is the current reality of 3rd edition/Pathfinder at high level.

Because it's not. It's subjective. I can guarantee that these factors change drastically from table to table, just like the monk versus fighter experiences.

Also I don't ~see~ it because I have been tabletop role-playing for a very long time and have seen no evidence aside from online anecdotes that I can always work out a way that they got lucky.

Avh wrote:
only on different days each.

Yes, that was what I said in the beginning. A caster who can prepare can do a great deal, which is why I don't think a Wizard is weak.

However, this is like saying that there's never a sense of urgency. I've certainly seen a LOT of stories in which going away to rest is not an option.

In pre-made campaigns, there's a sense of urgency like 80% of the time.

Raith Shadar wrote:
Unless the DM is trying to kill you by setting up very specific encounters to do so, this isn't the case.

In my experiences, this is not remotely true. I've played a great deal (and GMed) of pre-made campaigns. Random dungeon themes that the wizard didn't prepare for is basically the most common thing.

I notice that your Schrödinger's wizard has an odd metamagic rod (I bet he also has the expensive Quicken and Maximize ones too because of course he can afford all gear), lots of dominate spells including the control undead spells, polymorph, plagues, he's a good blaster, very specific sun based spells, can summon like crazy, and has contingency setup?

Yeah... you're out of spell slots there big guy. You can't have all that, and if you DID you are aiming for versatility and cannot keep up a consistent slew to be effective.

You'll only convince me if you can show me a full build with all spells. The only real way to manage a wizard is to do what Justin Rocket said and create a series of spell-sets... which of course are ONLY useful if you knew where you'd be and your assumptions about encounters are correct (which they're not).

I have a working theory that holds true fairly often in life (particularly with politics). When somebody tells you that solving a problem is easy, they're often the worst person to try.

To me the biggest thing you're missing is Eldritch Heritage so you can toss in another bloodline and get the inherent strength bonuses (Orc, Abyssal).

I've done this character myself in a way. What level are you going to? You'll start off struggling, but it pays off late game very well. Around level 14 I was unstoppable (and this was with claws only, so a claw build IS viable).

Shadoven wrote:
I have settled on Human, and im considering Paladin 4, Sorcerer 2, DD 8, EK 5 at the moment.

That's a good mix. I've never done Eldritch Knight, and I went with much more Sorcerer for better casting, but I'm willing to bet that this works great.

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Though this is getting WAY off topic, I'm going to have to say that I, for once, agree with shallowsoul. I've never seen Schrödinger God Wizard in my many years of playing. I can only imagine a summoning specialist for adventuring alone, the rest would be ripped to shreds.

Not only is it possible that you did not prepare the very specific spells that would help you in an encounter, most of the time it is likely unless you know precisely what's coming.

Mind control some meat shields and decimate with spells? Well, that kinda' falls apart in high level undead or construct dungeons. The GM doesn't even have to do this on purpose, it just happens that way in real play.

Wizards are far from weak, FAR from it, but I've yet to see how they are SO much better than martials. I can actually imagine Lorymyr's monk beating the crap out of most people's wizards.

blahpers wrote:
Don't forget that Perception modifiers apply to Spellcraft rolls made to identify a spell as it's being cast.

Yup, if the spell is in concealment, at long range, etc, then all appropriate modifiers affect the roll. The discussion above was about invisible casters specifically, in which the caster is unseen but that says nothing for the spell.

Ravingdork wrote:

Casting time? I thought all spell-like abilities were a standard action unless they stated otherwise.

Is that no longer true in Pathfinder?

Well.. er... it always was true, and always was a casting time? These two things are not mutually exclusive. You are correct that they are a standard action. It is a casting time of 1 standard action. I dunno if you missed the SRD quote above but this has always been this way:

SRD wrote:
A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description.

Ravingdork wrote:
Functioning like a spell =/= being cast like a spell
SRD wrote:
A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.

Well, it certainly has a casting time, so you can't say that it isn't cast.

Other than that, the line "In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell." is very vague. People can debate what that means (and have) for weeks. If you don't think identification counts as "in all other ways", then fine, but I do feel like the language ~ALL other ways~ leans towards acceptance instead of exception.

I usually tend to follow the trend that the specific overrides the general, but in anything else the general holds true. I would consider this statement to be a general one, and therefore the omission from Spellcraft as a specific is meaningless.

Gauss wrote:
Since you must be able to see the spell "as it is being cast" then you must be able to see the caster. I do not see any other way to interpret this because until the spell is finished, which is before "as it is being cast", the spell effect does not exist.

There are two things wrong with this statement.

1) You said spell "effect" and not spell. These two things must be viewed differently. The spell effect is never in place until casting is completed. This is necessary to distinguish for all counter-spelling. The spell is identified before the effect. This is a given for counter-spelling to work.

2) Even replacing the text, the statement "until the spell is finished, the spell does not exist" is entirely presumptuous to the rules. Nowhere is this laid out.

If you follow your logic, then identification of a spell as it is being cast would be impossible under any circumstances, since you must see a spell as it is being cast. If you believe that the term "spell" is inconclusive until casting is completed, then all identification is impossible.

So for identification to make sense using the statements laid out by Jason; A spell is a thing; a spell is not its components; a spell is not its effect. It must be observable DURING the casting process and not only after completion. All of these things must be true in order for identification and counter-spelling to be reasonable.

If a spell is not its caster, then what are we observing? I have always explained it as a glowing mass of magic, an aura, or hovering magical pattern (depending upon the spell). However you decide to describe it or make sense of it, you must use something that fits in the rules as they are written. This is ONE way that fits in the rules, but it is NOT the rules. If you need your own explanation, then please come up with one, then continue to apply the same logic.

Now, regardless if you are using my glowing magic theory or your own explanation, why would the caster being invisible affect it? Following the rules as they are written, there would be no reason that I can find that the spell would not be visible, observable, identifiable, and counter-able.

Now, this is all for an invisible caster casting a spell, the specific rules for spell-like abilities would make it not counter-able, but certainly I see no reason why it would not be identifiable.

Gauss wrote:
2) You DO need to see the caster in order to identify a spell as it is being cast.

There's actually no proof of this. I made a comment about that above as to how it can be interpreted otherwise.

To make things interesting, the rules say:

Spellcraft wrote:
Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.

You must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, not the caster. In the case of an invisible caster, it could be debated that as long as his location is pinpointed you may be able to identify his spells. This is where rules are unclear and a bit hairy though. Invisibility has a habit of bringing up odd complications to the rules.

Also, there are some that believe that a spell-like ability is not cast because the description uses "mentally activated":

Spell-like ability wrote:

Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability's use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.

I personally don't view these things as mutually exclusive, but I'm trying to make sure that other opinions are represented. I always figured that a casting time and the fact that it functions just like a spell in all other ways means that it is cast and can be identified. However, language is not perfect after all, and you can claim some ambiguity on the rules for this.

As for illusions, I say that it is a good idea to cast those from unseen locations most of the time anyway. However, there is this:

Illusions wrote:
A character faced with proof that an illusion isn't real needs no saving throw.

Some could argue that identifying the illusion spell would count as proof.

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Wow, this is back again so soon!

Here is the last lengthy thread about this that also has my links to OTHER lengthy threads about this.

This is the most quoted and relevant post by Jason Buhlman.

Now to add in my 2 cents (which at this point is adding up to a lot of dollars), a spell is not the casting components in the same way that a cake is not an oven or the heat. You use the casting components to cast the spell, but they are not the same things. In fact, I don't even view casting components as the ingredients. Magic itself accounts for the ingredients, the casting components are your tools to cast with.

When you must be able to see a spell in order to identify, they are talking about the spell, not the casting components, not the caster. ~The-spell~

Back to the point really:

Negative energy isn't inherently evil any more than fire is. It is a force of nature more than anything. Fire (and acid) are forces of absolute entropy, of destruction. They are still not inherently evil.

However, negative energy is essentially a force of anti-life. Now, this doesn't mean that the energy itself is evil, but I think it shows why undead are. Undead are an expression of willpower, even if it is not their own. You are giving a force of life-destruction a will of it's own? Yes, that is inherently evil.

I would also think that living fire should be inherently evil too, but I don't have the bestiary on hand to see. A force of absolute destruction with a mind certainly sounds evil.

Finally, James Jacobs points out that there are exceptions to every rule, so I think it's fine to play with that. I mean, it's not even that hard to think of a back-story for an undead that is striving for good despite his heart being filled with the destruction of life. It can't be a very happy unlife though. A great deal of opposition.

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Lormyr wrote:
That is like comparing the deadly weapon potential of a ball point pen to a gladius, though.

Yeah, and everybody knows that the pen is mightier than the sword.

By the way Lormyr, I would love to see you write a guide.

Lormyr wrote:

+3 temple sword - 18.33k

50 +1 shuriken - 2.35k
belt of giant strength +2 - 4k
bracers of armor +5 - 25k
cloak of resistance +3 - 9k
headband of wisdom +2 - 4k
monk's robe - 13k
ring of protection +2 - 8k
+1 shock amulet of mighty fists - 16k

About 104k in gear. A better selection of items for him would have been:

+2 amulet of mighty fists
belt of giant strength +4
bracers of armor +4
cloak of resistance +3
headband of wisdom +2
deep red sphere ioun stone
dusty rose prism ioun stone
jingasa of the fortunate soldier
monk's robe
ring of protection +2
about 4k left for expendables

Ah okay I see, thank you. You basically tossed out the sword and shurikens and added some ioun stones and jingasa. Otherwise, you kept every single magic item, but just changed their bonuses.

When you said you couldn't comprehend those items, I thought you meant a much more drastic change, but it seems you were thinking the same as I. I appreciate you taking the time to explain.

Lormyr wrote:
I stand flatly baffled by the magic item selection of that monk...

Could you further explain what you mean by this? At a glance, that is the most generic item selection I've ever seen for a Core monk.

He has a temple sword, a Bracer's of Armor, an Amulet of Mighty Fists, a belt, a headband, a Monk's Robe, a Cloak of Resistance, and Ring of Protection.

That's the most standard fare thing I've ever seen. I suppose you could question the shurikens, or how much of a bonus goes into each item, but I'm still curious what your expectations are.

Marthkus wrote:

Pls post(or have someone else post) a full CRB fighter build before making comparisons.

I estimate the fighter to have 10+9arm+5enh+5def+5nat+6dex = 40 AC.

PLS post a full build to show otherwise.

Peter Steward posted the build in a link above, before you even posted yours so he obviously wasn't simply trying to best you at specific numbers:

Peter's 20th level Fighter

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I am having difficulty understanding why this is a problem.

His build doesn't make him particularly good at killing the enemy, it makes him particularly good at staying alive. Why is this bad?

Are you worried that his method of survivability will make the other characters get killed because he is not a potential target? Is this even a problem? Personally, if he is risking the other characters I'd say my solution is to play it out. Kill the other players, or at least incapacitate them.

Then the enemy can focus on that insect that kept shooting arrows at them. There are MANY options on tracking down a stealth sniper that have already been presented to you.

I am just having difficulty understanding why you think you need a special solution to this type of character. If you play the game realistically, he's not creating any problems that don't solve themselves, and he's far from overpowered.

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