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Gronk de'Morcaine's page

425 posts. Alias of Kydeem de'Morcaine.


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SmiloDan, I kinda like that. It needs to have some down sides too though. Hmm... Maybe it sometimes tries to counter a beneficial divine spell being cast on the wielder.

Improved counter spell.
Wielders level and higher of wielder's or item's wisdom for the dispel check.
Detect Divine Magic
What is another power that could piss off divine casters or divine beings (but not too powerful)?

1) I like the ideas I'm seeing. I will give it some more thought and let you know what I decide.

2) I think most of you are going a little too powerful for what I have in mind. I want this to be something they get toward the middle of the campaign and need to try to make use of for a long while not just for the final fight.
Though the ideas are interesting if I can tone them down a bit.

3) Definitely like a labyrinth. However I'm not entirely sure how to give that vibe when mapping on graph paper makes getting lost almost impossible.
I kinda like the Order of Meyr.
Really like the positive and negative channeling to unlock doors.
Sorry, don't know Rappan Athuck or World of Warcraft.

Working on some ideas for a future campaign. Have a few things I'm having trouble getting set in my head.

1) Will have a lizard folk-ish race. But not aquatic. Desert lizards. How should I modify their stats or attitudes? Moderately civilized. Use weapons in preference over natural attacks. What seems good for the 'standard' weapons of desert lizards?

2) Powerful caster. Hates the gods. All of them. Feels they just toy with mortals. Knows he is dying. Makes one last super powerful magic item to interfere with the entire set of gods (not quite an artifact). What does he make?
Not certain, but I was thinking an intelligent weapon with the special purpose of slaying divine spell casters. If so, what other powers and what type of weapon? If not a weapon, what else would you suggest?

3) Bunch of divine casters (all alignments) work together to create a vault to hold something dangerous. (Yes, it will be the previous item.) How to guard it? Can't be too simple of items/traps/spells. Don't want someone to just be able to swamp it with summoned monsters to take out the traps. Can't have someone just carve their way in from the back with an adamantine pick. Want to make sure they would have to cooperate if they decided to take it back out.

Some more questions that have come up during games and/or discussions.

1) Character has only light armor proficiency. Buys mithral agile breastplate. Doesn't slow him down, but does he have the penalties associated with not having proficiency in medium armor?

2) Bard can cast cast class spells while wearing light armor with no arcane spell failure chance. Buys a mithral agile breastplate. Does he have an arcane spell failure chance while wearing it?

3) Can you add armor spikes to any armor or only hard plate type armors? I have a hard time seeing how armor spikes would work with silken ceremonial armor, padded, leather, or even a chain shirt. (Don't even get me started on the spiked kilt!) What about dragon scale armor?

4) Character wants to add armor spikes to his armor that he already has. Can he do that or does it have to be part of the armor when originally made?

5) Can armor spikes use a different special material than what the armor is made of?

6) Can you make scrolls, potions, wands, or even staves with meta-magic spells?

7) Can you use a meta-magic feat with a normal potion, wand, scroll, or staff? What about a meta-magic rod?

8) Character misses with a touch attack spell and is now holding the charge. Does he now threaten for the purposes of flanking?

9) Holding a spell is lost if you cast another spell. Character wants to know if there is any way to use true strike to deliver a touch or ranged touch spell to guarantee a hit?

10) Character has a pseudo dragon familiar. Pseudo dragon has blind sense, darkvision, and low light vision. Player said master gets all the sense of the familiar so the human master now has all darkvision, low light vision, and blind sense. I didn't want to slow down the game, so I let him have it (wasn't making too huge a difference anyway). However, I can't seem to locate that rule in the book. Is he correct? If so, where is it?

11) Does an invisible character with a melee weapon count as threatening for flanking?

12) What if he doesn't intend to attack and break the invisibility?

Assume you have a familiar that is able to use wands.
Can he stay in your Handy Haversack or backpack, then reach out to tap you with buff wands?

I want a buff wand servant, but I'm concerned with the best way to keep it safe at the same time since I will likely be in melee combat.

Any better ideas?

andreww wrote:
Gronk de'Morcaine wrote:
c. Lore spirit guide gives a few arcane spells known. Can I choose different spells each day or do they have to stay the same?

If you pick the Lore spirit as your wandering spirit as a shaman then yes you can change each time.

Trying to do this as an Oracle does nothing as the lore spirit hex adds spells to the list you can prepare, not your spells known.

Well crap, I should have read that closer. Guess there isn't much point to that spirit then.

a. Can you combine unchained rogue and the carnivalist rogue archtype?

b. Oracle with spirit guide archtype. Can you choose a new spirit guide each day?

c. Lore spirit guide gives a few arcane spells known. Can I choose different spells each day or do they have to stay the same?

Ok, that's what I thought. People keep telling me I cand use the wands or scrolls until I get to 4th level. I had forgotten about the caster level check for scrolls though. Thanks for the reminder.

I keep seeing people interpreting this differently.
Assume a PC is say a level 1-3 ranger, paladin, or bloodrager; he does not yet cast any spells.
Assume he did not take an archtype that gives up spellcasting.

Does he or does he not have a spell list for things like scrolls and wands without needing UMD?

Ok, I guess that is reasonable.

Issac Daneil wrote:


But for Shaitan Binder, as far as I see, it works with Unchained.

The Shaitan Binder gives the eidolon evolutions that don't seem to exist any more. Do you get those old evolutions anyway, or do you just get nothing?

Recently got the Unchained book and was wondering about a few things.
Specifically can you combine the Unchained classes with the earlier archtypes?

- Unchained Summoner with the Shaitan Binder archtype (Oread).
- Unchained Monk with the Student of Stone archtype (Oread).

Those happened to be the first two that came to mind since I was just reading about Oreads. Though I'm not just interested in just those two, but in general.

There were several of us trying to figure an escape plan. I had enough slots for all of us, but not my riding dog and me. GM decided to allow it to work, but wasn't real certain.

In no particular order.

1) If I ride a (non-flying) mount off a cliff and cast feather fall on the mount, is that sufficient or do I also need feather fall on the rider?

2) Celestial bloodline eventually sorc gets wings for a limited amount of fly time each day. Does he have to take a standard action to activate the wings then start flying as a move action or can he just start flying as his move action and still have his standard action left?

3) If flying with wings or the fly spell, can you quadruple move run?

4) If you are flying can you burning hands straight down to hit a 15’ diameter circle?

5) Raging song gives a morale bonus to will saves. The superstition rage power gives a morale bonus to all saves. Do those stack? Or just the higher one?

6) Can you charge if you don’t melee attack someone at the end of the movement (example: charge to get within spell range of a target)?

7) Narrow corridor. Front rank A is fighting in melee and getting beat up. Second rank B is fighting same opponent with a reach weapon. Third rank C has a wand of CLW. Can C squeeze into B’s position to use the wand to heal A?

8) Which book(s) have the list of which types of bonuses stack?

9) Which book(s) have the durable ammunition?

10) Constrictor snake with greater magic fang attacking an incorporeal opponent. The greater magic fang allows it to hit for half damage. Can it still grab/constrict?

The PC's that may be considering this have all put at least some effort into bluff for their characters (it's that kind of campaign) but I don't remember how much of a bonus they have.
Agreed, the barbarian would have to pretend to rage.

Ok, I think I can accept players can cast with down to minimum level and casting stat for a given spell.
Can an observer with spellcraft and or detect magic tell you are not at max?

I agree should probably not buff the enemy. But they could voluntarily fail their saves vs some debuff spells like bane. Anyone observing would feel it a reasonable spell to cast on the enemy and not realize you are casting it on your allies.

As far as doing poorly at weapons or skill checks. Say opposed bluff vs sense motive checks with a penalty of -1/2 on the bluff check total for every point by which you reduce the attack or damage roll. Seam reasonable?

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
... But it just sounded like you were looking for a RAW way to do it.

Yes and no.

This would be a home game thing with me as the GM. I am not completely opposed to house rules for things.

But especially since several are new players still learning the rules, I much prefer to try and use the actual rules if there are some available.

Non-lethal won't work. They would have to be seen killing the enemy at somewhere in the ball park of their usual capabilities.

My players may have a few situations coming up where it would be advantageous to seem substantially less competent than they really are (but not actually incompetent).

Can the raging barbarian chose to impose on himself a -2 to hit and -6 to damage?
Can the rogue sneak attack for only 2 rather than 4 dice of damage?
Can the sorcerer cast the burning hands with only 3 rather than 5 dice of damage?
Can the druid cast entangle or web with a save DC that is 13 rather than 17?
Can the cleric cast hold person with only half the normal duration?
Can the spy-ish character operate as if his bluff and disguise were only +6 rather than +18 (so his bosses don’t suspect he might be able to get away with lying to them)?

Bigger question. How high should I set the bluff DC for them to get away with fooling people to not let them know the PC’s are underperforming?

If those are too difficult, I suppose they could debuff themselves. Can you chose to have something like a prayer spell help the bad guys and hurt your guys? Haste the bad guys and slow the bad guys? Can you cast resist energy or displacement on the bad guys without everyone being able to tell you did it?

Yes, that was a typo. I meant 4th level.

I think a SoD spell, like phantasmal killer, would just be a waste of time. I think a no save or at worst a save for half would be the only way to go.

I like Enervation, but it would be hard to kill with it.

I was thinking like an intensified empowered magic missile or ear piercing scream.
Magic Missile has no save as well as no miss. But stopped by a simple shield spell (which have been kinda common in the campaign so far).
Ear Piercing Scream has a save, but almost nothing resists sonic damage.

I hadn't thought of Vampiric Touch, but that would fit for the concept and has no save.

Hellmouth Lash might be amusing and also has no save.

I think I will leave it as a normal charged wand. The number of charges will depend upon when/if they get it.
I'm ruling that they can understand and be understood in the dialect. The question was specifically sounding like a local.

I can sorta see any of them (hadn't considered disguise).
Learning several languages does seem to help people sound more like a native. I would assume the additional practice at making more different sounding word noises helps. When people do learn to disguise themselves, I would think they would also have to practice with the voice. I can see pretending to be a local as a bluff check.

I think what I will do is up the DC a little beyond what I was thinking to maybe 17, but they can chose any of the 3 skills to use.

I am the GM for this, so the questions are from that point of view.

There will be an NPC that mostly uses a particular wand for killing opponents. I want this to still be within the fairly standard rules because it is quite likely that PC’s will eventually end up with the wand. I would like it to seem at least moderately effective and useful in the range of character level 5-8 or even a bit beyond.
Wands have the limitations of minimum casting stat. Yet it could be made at any caster level and meta-magiced up to 5th spell level. What single target attack (not AoE) spell seems most generally effective coming from a wand? For this, I really don't care if it is ranged or touch.

For the above wand, I was considering making it approx. 3 charges each day rather than 50 charges. Does that seem reasonable? What about making it rechargeable like a staff? Would it be a significant value/cost increase?

Dialect. Let’s say the people in this extremely isolated area speak a dialect of Varisien. The PC’s are not from the area. A PC that speaks and understands Varisien can communicate with and understand the locals. Not a problem. But say he wants to sound like a local. Would that be a bluff or a linguistics check? How high would you set the DC?


His things related to real world stuff.
He has stated (in regards to other topics) that he doesn't like the 'just roll a knowledge check and you know all about it' kind of thing. He wants the characters to figure things out, not just be told by a die roll. I sorta see where he's trying to go, but I don't think he is getting there.
As far as I could tell, any level of knowledge/diplomacy check or any thing we could think of to have our characters ask NPC's made no difference. You pretty much had to be aware of the real world thing he was basing it on. We never caught any clues/hints to those type of things. I can't say whether or not the GM might have given us some if we had asked just the right questions, but I can say we asked dozens of questions that covered everything we could think of and got nothing.

I actually don't see anything wrong with having bad guys occasionally use bad tactics. This guy massively underestimates the PC's, that guy is actually insane level egomaniac and refuses to consider the PC's a threat, he's just a stupider than usual example of the race, etc...
This seemed to be the usual for the GM. The final fight of every sub-section was always way over APL then was beatable only because it didn't use all of it's capabilities. Felt kinda lame to me. {shrug}

They did not really 'win' the powerful magic items. They just 'happened' to find the spear (from the first example) guarded by nothing and it was nearly mandatory to complete the first mission. The murdered uncle of the guy that hired them just happened to have a complete collection of every evocation spell in all the books that he just cave to the party's 3rd level evoker. By 5th level the cleric had a +4 equiv intelligent holy weapon dedicated to his god in the treasure chest of a mid level lieutenant. Things like that.

I do kinda like the concept of the scaling magic items, but this was before that book was out. I will probably look into adding that into my missions.

Some of the PC's had a significant motivation for the campaign. Genocidal hatred of the primary opponent type, wanted to get the fame/cash/contacts to start a powerful mercenary guild, become a world famous hero so could take over the council back home, etc... Yeah the 2 newer guys didn't have much other than 'become powerful' but that isn't uncommon for new players.
For whatever reason they were all working for a given noble (whom they were starting to suspect was not as nice a guy as they originally believed). There were plots going on.
Ok what I'm seeing is the real world tie-ins is ok if there is a way the characters can find out or at least get clues in-game.

The stupid tactics is ok if used occasionally.

A lot of people seem to like the powerful magic items early.

Thanks folks.

This may come out sounding rather accusatory, but it really isn’t intended to be that way. I am just looking for information in an attempt to make a game that people like. I am likely to become a co-GM for a group. We will probably alternate with various missions, roughly analogous to a short module or couple of long scenarios. As is not uncommon for some gamers, the group is a mix of people. We have a couple that are fairly new to gaming (other than MMORPG’s), a couple more that are fairly introverted and will probably never actually say if they don’t like something, and at least 1 guy that is so easy going and adaptable I’m pretty sure he would enjoy almost any style of gaming. So although I have tried, I really don’t feel like I’ve gotten any constructive feedback from these folks.
I played with these folks a few times last year and there were some oddities about the game. (At least the seemed like oddities to me.) The current GM (he will be moving, hence the replacement) had some things that seemed ‘typical’ for him Everyone seemed to like the game, but I don’t know if they’ve never been exposed to anything different, if they have and appreciate those things, or if they just don’t want to say anything that sounded unsupportive.

Tie-ins to our world, legendary or RL:

He will have an army following say Rommel’s desert tactics from WW2, if you as a player happen to notice that you can set up an ambush for where you know a unit should be moving. Even though there is no way for the PC to have any of that info or even guess the unit will be there.
Say 5 years ago there was a movie/novel/greek saga that had some monster whose life was tied to an artifact spear. Toward the end of the movie the hero snaps the spear shaft and it weakened the monster enough for the hero to defeat it. If you happen to have seen the movie, recognize it from his description of the creature, and break the shaft it becomes an easy fight. If not, then it was nearly impossible. After the fight he told us how we could have easily beaten it. “How would we have figured that out? Well you were losing anyway, you could have just started trying different things. We were trying things, but breaking the only weapon that had so far managed to damage it would never have made the list. Well it would if you had seen the movie. We didn’t see the movie. Yep, that makes it harder…”

I will say this really kinda bugged me, but most of the group seemed to think it was just humorous.
I’m not certain, but I think he is trying to encourage creative tactics and ‘outside the box’ solutions instead of just direct combat. But it wasn’t doing that for me.
If I happen to know and recognize the RL thing he based this on, it is easy. If not, there is really no way to figure it out.
Powerful monster with bad tactics:

Elder Earth Elemental doesn’t use earth glide, just slowly stomps across the field absorbing spells and arrows. Almost dead by the time it is in melee.
Undead demon possessed dragon doesn’t use flying, mobility, spells, or breath fire. Just closes to melee and lets the party flank it.
Warrior bad guy challenges the whole party. Even with plenty of time and knowing he is fighting multiple opponents, doesn’t have his shaman buff him or even use any of his own buff potions.
I can see every once in a while someone will be insanely arrogant or totally misjudge the players. But most of them even when they are losing?
These are all experienced, at least moderately intelligent, successful bad guys using really stupid tactics. How did they become the BBEG if they are that stupid?

I think his reasoning here is to allow the party to feel more powerful because they’ve defeated an APL+6 monster. But it doesn’t do that for me. All I can think is “Yeah but we only beat it because it was suddenly and inexplicably idiotic.” It’s not like we tricked it into making a poor choice. There was never any intention of it behaving intelligently.
This didn’t really bother me, but it didn’t give me a positive feeling either. To me it wasn’t an APL+6 encounter since the creature wasn’t using all its capabilities/resources including smart tactics. This where some of the inexperienced players come in. I don’t think most of them realized what the monster should/could have been doing and how it would have torn us up if it had.
early powerful magic weapons:

Early in the game we were finding multiple weapons, most of which were not used against us. They were just found.
By 4th level the sorc had a +3 equivalent weapon. The rest had better. The caster build cleric was mostly using his weapon in combat because he the weapon was so powerful he was more successful as a martial than a caster. By 6th level or so most of the characters had the same weapon they would be using at campaign end of level 15.

I’ve never been a big fan of the ‘Monty Haul’ game since later there is nothing much to look forward to getting later. I know some people like this. But this seemed pretty extreme to me.
Would you as a player or GM like these in your games. If many of you say you would, I will try to include things like that in mine. If not, I probably won’t unless/until the players tell me otherwise.

Sorry, no it wasn't meant to be in the card game forum.
Thanks for the move Vic.

I’ve got a weird kinda half way concept idea for some magic items worked out. I’d like some help refining them.

What I’m thinking is an amulet or brooch type of item. The PC’s will be given them by the guy that hires them for X job. It is to keep them from being magically tracked or detected by enemies of their employer. And it really will do that.

But it also has some unadvertised effects.
Cursed so you can’t take it off.
Slowly changes the wearer.
So over the course of say 4 or 5 levels there are changes and they get a new subtype or template (umbral, necrotic, insectile, feral, fiendish, etc…).
I was also going to give it gradually increasing powers that have a cost for use.
Like the umbral one will turn you ethereal, but damages a point of con each round it is used.
Or the insectile one will give you a poisonous bite, but a point of charisma damage each time you bite someone.

What do you think of the concept? Any ideas on how to implement and/or improve?

Thanks folks!

claudekennilol wrote:
... However, there's nothing stopping him from casting a second buff with his standard action which will let him get two buffs on in the round.

That is what he ended up doing, but he would have preferred having all 3 swift actions on the first round.

Couple of questions have come up recently. I said I would check with the folks on the boards.

3646) Barbarian has successfully grappled a guy in plate armor. They are now standing in the square right on the edge of the deep water pier. Barbarian wants to just fall over backwards into the water with the tank (assumes he would need to focus all efforts on not drowning). Group eventually ruled it was a reposition maneuver (which failed) but the play felt falling over backward should not require any kind of check or should at least be ridiculously easy. What would be the ‘correct’ way to handle this.

3647) A particular PC (warpriest actually) has 3 different swift action buffs. Can he:
Take the normal swift action buff, use his move action for a swift action buff, then use his standard action for a swift action buff, to get a total of 3 buffs in the first round?
(It really was a situation where he didn’t want to actually do anything else for that round since the wizard and druid were area blasting).

kestral287 wrote:

Pretty much. There are niche occasions where they're useful, and there are parties who certainly can take advantage of them-- if you have two melee Sneak Attackers in your group, then yes it does make sense for both of them to take the flanking-oriented teamwork feats. And they'll become exponentially better for taking Outflank than they would be for taking Weapon Focus, because it's rewarding behavior that they engage in anyway. If a Vivisectionist-Rogue tag team can't flank their targets consistently, they probably need to roll up new characters.

But for my table, even though we have three to four melee characters in the group, Outflank is pretty terrible, because if we can't flank consistently we don't really care.

I absolutely agree with what you said here.

The thing that started the thread was players who actually are in that niche situation (say your 2 melee sneak attackers that already intend to flank most of the time) and still refuse to even consider taking them.
Apparently a lot of people are so convinced that they are horrible, that they won't even think about it.

I just don't understand that. All the other niche and low powered options that are built so often even though they are univercially recognized as weak options, but this whole classification of them are practically anathema.

BigDTBone wrote:


You can take 20 on perception.

So, in order to sneak into and out a place undetected, the PC's take 10 needs to beat the guards' take 20.

Which seems appropriate.

See this I would disagree with even more than all the other stuff I've read here.

Everyone says taking 20 is taking 20 times as long to cover all the possible rolls you could have made. So the PC's are sneaking by sometime during that 20 rounds. Was it during the round when they would have rolled the 2 or the round when they would have rolled the 17.

Plus the number of people that can operate at the absolute peak of performance during long periods of nothing happening is vanishingly small.

Lab_Rat wrote:
... However, a guard on patrol is NOT taking 10. Their whole job is to spot people and thus they are rolling a perception check every round like clockwork. ...

Not disagreeing, but not sure where/how you get that. Almost everyone here seems to be saying that taking reasonable care at a task is 'taking 10' on that task.

Lab_Rat wrote:
... Also note that the dogs have scent and thus will auto detect the presence but not the location of any stealthed character in range, unless they took the effort to remove scent.

iirc, down wind on top of the wall/building.

Since it came up in another thread, I will ask for opinions here. This happened way in the past so it has no immediate effect, I'm just curious.

Hypothetical approximation of the situation as I vaguely remember it.
The whole party has invested heavily in the stealth skill. They are trying to sneak into the castle. There are patrolling guards on the wall, in the tower, at the gate, and some dogs in the courtyard.

If you say there is no danger because no one is fighting yet, so the guards take 10 on their perception and the party takes 10 on climb and stealth checks.
The party will absolutely never fail at almost any concentration of guards. Standard NPC and even guard dogs have a much lower perception modifier than the PC's have stealth modifier. They will always be able to sneak into anyplace no matter how heavily guarded. So some posters were saying things like Stealth Synergy or even a heavy focus on the Stealth skill is completely unnecessary. You just take 10 and succeed all the time.

If you say there is danger because they could be discovered and shot at, so the guards roll perception and the party rolls stealth every round on their infiltration. Some dog/guard is going to roll a 19 when someone in the party rolls a 2.
Now the party will almost always fail the infiltration without something like Stealth Synergy or really astronomical stealth skills so they literally can't be detected even with a very low roll. {This is what our group went with and to be honest, I can't remember for sure if take 10 was ever even brought up as a possibility. I guarantee we would have said that was 'immediate danger.' It was nearly impossible to ever sneak into anyplace with significant guards no matter how good we were at it.}

One seems too ridiculously easy the other seems too horrifically difficult. Yes, in real life teams of trained people can sneak past guards. It does happen. But it also isn't so stupidly easy that almost anyone can do it. How would you guys rule this?

Devilkiller wrote:


@Gronk - One criticism I'll offer on Lookout is that unless somebody has an ability to always act in the surprise round you could find that having the entire team invest a feat into not being surprised becomes a big disappointment when the DM ensures (or simply rules by fiat) that you're all surprised anyhow.

Your group stealth story seems pretty sad, but did the players know about Taking 10? If so are you sure they understand that you can take 10 even when there's a risk of failure? It is taking 20 which isn't allowed then, but a lot of folks get those rules confused, and some DMs enforce them incorrectly. Anyhow, in some ways Teamwork Feats might as well be called Don't Work All the Time Feats, and a lot of players probably figure that feats which don't work all the time won't work when they need them.

I honestly don't remember. That may have been back before it was understood, but it may have just been they didn't feel like the could take 10 times as long to do everything.

Create Mr. Pitt wrote:

It seems as if OP had four very specific and somewhat unusual examples of where he/she felt teamwork feats would be awesome, but then the players didn't take them.

There were not enough details to know why the players didn't take them; aside from the many legitimate reasons enunciated in this thread. Then OP saw one post that suggested it's because players want to be special snowflakes and said, "Oh yeah it's probably this!" because it confirmed his initial suspicions that not taking teamwork feats was due to some inherent selfishness.

The truth is most of them aren't great. If teamwork feats are realistically useful it's situation. They'd need to be better to be a valid choice more frequently (I can't address the examples tailored to make them sound like good choices where they were not taken because OP did not explain what the alternate strategy of these party members were).

This is one of the threads where OP wanted his belief confirmed. He found one poster who did that and stuck with his conclusion on that basis. The internet, as in life, often leads to long conversations where people are really just waiting for an opportunity for someone to agree with them.

Uhmm... not. I ageed with a few and favorited a couple others for a reminder to myself.

Actually, in most of them I did explain the alternate strategy.

In "small teams" they took weapon focus. One of the took it twice. Nearly every fight they were maneuvering to flank because they felt they had to to hit the tough opponents.

In "group sneaking" every character took 1 trait and at least 2 or 3 feats dedicated to raising their stealth score. Skill focus and stealthy. Some took another that I forget atm. They tried for 6 levels to make the concept work, then gave up. Every single time the sneak was blown due to a low roll, stealth synergy would have saved it. I don't think there was a single instance where trading out the +2 from one of the other feats would have been enough worse to cause a fail because of getting to take the high group roll.
The gave up the group concept rather than even giving stealth synergy a try, because 'everyone knows' teamwork feats suck.

In "mounted combat" they really had no alternate strategy. They complained a bunch about how spread out they were and how delaying for they guy with the lowest initiative caused the bad guys to out maneuver them all the time. Yes they had all the prereqs.

In "will saves" the alternate strategy was for everyone to take iron will and spend as much as possible on a headband of wisdom and their cloak of resistance. It was very rare in that large group to not be next to at least 2 other PC's/pets.

They were not special situations made up and tailored to make a teamwork feat look good. They were actual group concepts and nearly entire campaign situations.
Most of the "legitimate reasons enunciated in this thread" ignored or at least didn't make sense in regard to the specific examples I presented.

I'm not sure since I haven't kept track, But I don't remember lots of times where people spread out very much to avoid AoE spells. There just usually isn't that much room and if you do spreasd out you invite getting individually surrounded, especially bad for the squishy casters/archers.

Most games I've seen try very hard to be flanking as much as possible. Skill focus perception is moderately common. Lookout works better.

I've never said anything even remotely close to "They are always great and everyone should take them!"
But there are situations, groups, and/or campaigns were they just plain do work very well. Arguably better than most of what people chose instead. Yet they aren't even considered.

I was not looking for agreement, I was trying to find why. Most of what I've seen is 'I can't count on others working with me' or 'I'm so convinced they are bad, that I won't consider them.'

I think the party should be able to count on others working with them especially if they say they will and take it in their build so they can. I'm trying to think of ways to get past the 'won't consider' attitude.

Next time I GM I was already considering giving out traits or feats based on backstory and how they act in-character during the game. I might try giving out a few teamwork feats when it works out along those lines. That would give them a little exposure and demo when they will and won't work.

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kestral287 wrote:


Hence, you have micro scale scenarios of actual play where they would have been helpful, but in the massive majority (read as: macro scale) of actual play they would not be. And that develops an aversion to consider them even in the .01% of the time that they're actually a viable choice outside of class features.

(I don't think it is anywhere near that rare that they are a good idea, but that is really irrelevant to my point.)

You last sentence is a reason that I could almost agree with. If I didn't constantly watch people spend huge amounts of time on convoluted schemes to make a really lousy feat workout at least halfway decent.
What ever, it seems most people are absolutely convinced they are horrible no matter what.

A few of the responses make a bit more sense than most of the others, but still don't hold out much hope that anyone will be willing to give them much of a chance.

Thanks folks. Catch you later.

kestral287 wrote:

The biggest problem is that your examples are not indicative of actual play.

For every group where everybody decides to focus on stealth, there's another group-- or probably ten groups-- where there's one or two stealthy guys, and at least one guy clanking around in full plate.

The same is true for the mounted thing. Even assuming a party is nothing but mounted characters... every one of them wants melee? Really? And every one of them actually has open feats? Those are kind of hard to come by for mounted combat, which has bigger feat costs than most combat styles.

Shake It Off has a separate concern. If I'm fighting a caster-- if I even think there's a caster nearby-- bunching up is the last thing I want to do. That's inviting a Cloudkill, Dazing Fireball, or the entire group to be trapped behind a Wall. It's inviting the suddenly Dominated Fighter to do an about-face and full attack the Wizard.

No, I want to spread out. Sure, Johnny might get caught in a Fireball or a Wall of Stone, but Timmy and Spike can push through. And if Johnny gets Dominated, then he at least has to move, so he's not launching a full attack.

Even in a game where I was expecting lots of Will saves, unless I knew that what was causing them was not a spellcaster and could not turn into a Dominate, I would take Iron Will over Shake It Off. That feat just seems suicidal.

I will say that melee Druids and Summoners not using any teamwork feats is odd to me if they're emphasizing the Eidolon/Companion... but that's honestly a pretty big 'if'. Half the day the Summoner is probably falling back on Summoned Monsters, who don't really have teamwork feats. And for any major fight the Druid probably drops some summons, and it's not at all hard to imagine a battlefield where he and his companion wind up being tactically better off working with a summon apiece than with each other.

Yes, all of them are indicative of actual play.

I agree not necessarily common situations but they were actual true to life examples that actually occurred.
That small party did actually have a druid and summoner that were built to be and almost always were in flanking positions with their pets.
Another group did make an all sneaky group with a whole bunch of feats dedicated to being super stealthy. They eventually gave up on it as not working even though 1 single feat for each of them would have made it work just fine.
They really did make a mounted combat group that tried to make good use of charges and position to protect the squishies. Not very successfully because they didn't take the teamwork feats designed to allow exactly what they were trying to do.
The last was the most niche case. That particular issue was about 90% undead with fear and insanity effects. The group did tend to stay bunched up. (They were very concerned about getting split up if they spread out. It happened a few times early in the campaign.)

Note: Again I am not saying they are always great. But sometimes they very clearly are very good. Certainly sometimes better than what is taken instead.

Guru-Meditation wrote:

1. Most people want to be The Hero of their own little narrative in their head, with the other PCs being the Robin to their Batman.

2. Teamwork-Feats are a pact of equals.

--> These two desires do not mix.

This makes the most sense of anything I've read so far. Seems kinda sad to me.

avr wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:
avr wrote:
You might feel that investing a feat on yourself and also on your pet is too much to spend for a +2 on that tactic only (as opposed to just carrying a longspear which costs nothing much).

Hunters solve this problem by getting teamwork feats for free and automatically sharing them with their pets.

Of course, inquisitors get solo tactics which let them use teamwork feats without partners, and those are really effective.

Yeah, I was thinking of the OP's scenario which involved a druid and a summoner. No solo tactics or similar for them.
DM_Blake wrote:


THAT is the problem with most Teamwork feats. Double the cost, not necessarily double the benefit, so probably not worth the investment.

That druid, summoner, and both their pets all had weapon focus for one single type of natural attack. I think the eidolon took it twice. That's 5 feats for a +1 to each. They are 3/4 BaB attackers (except the summoner who is 1/2). They were worried about hitting since they did almost always maneuver for a flanking position.

If they hadn't taken weapon focus already, I can easily see the rational for something else is more important to me than a +2 to hit most of the time.

Jaunt wrote:

Why don't people take teamwork feats?

1) Caster feats are normally a lot more expensive than +2 on attacks (while being in melee, which is a mistake in my opinion, but your players said they planned on it, so okay.)
2) Stealth Synergy is great for all stealth groups. Which are maybe 1 in 1000 groups.
3) Only half of an average party would even want to make charges, the other half would cast spells.
4) When you say they'd have had +3 "almost always", you mean in your party of 4, it's a rare event for any person to leave adjacency from the other 3? Because in the groups I play in and run, Shake It Off is more often "+1 for like half the turns, nothing for the rest". And with Inquisitors, yes, I'm watching for it.

tldr: they're good for super specialized groups designed to take maximum advantage of them. Most aren't.

1) Agreed, but they were already taking melee combat feats.

2) Yes, it is rare. The group was going to be an all super sneaky group.
3) But they wanted to be able to stay together to keep those casters out of isolation. Plus the mounts with reach would still be able to make their charge attacks.
4) That particular group has typically 5-7 players present and usually at least 1 of them has a pet of some sort. They are usually near at least 2 and sometimes up to 4 or 5 allies.

Dremaa wrote:


In all of your examples, the teamwork feats would be good choices, but that may not always be the case.

Absolutely agree. Never said it would always be a good choice. The game would be very boring if the same thing was always the best choice.

But even when they clearly are the best choice, most people won't consider them.


I already agreed it wouldn't be a good idea for PFS.

Several of them don't require the PC's to have the same role. Some of them even, by design, work best for PC's that have different roles.

All 4 of my examples, the group was already planning on doing and eventually did in fact do everything required to make the teamwork feat work. They were already functioning as a unit, flanking, riding in close formation, etc...

It was mathematically and demonstrably (in actual play) better than what they did take.

They would have been much more optimized if they had taken the teamwork feats. Not useless and not unoptimized.

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Ok, I can see why in PFS they would be unpopular. Unless you have a very small pool of players, you won’t know who you are going to be with at the table so they probably won’t have the matching abilities.

But as far as I can tell, most home groups never use them (unless free from the class abilities). Even when they are pretty obviously mathematically superior, people don’t use them. I’ve demonstrated it with the opposition forces (when I was GM) and with a short term demo with a 1 shot. Every single player and GM was amazed at how great they worked. But still no one was willing to take them next time they were making characters. Even ‘optimizers’ making teams to work together will only rarely consider using them.

example 1, designed to be a small team anyway:

Small group had 2 players making pet builds. A summoner and a druid. Both actively planned to provide flanking for their melee pets as much as possible. Plus there would be 2 pets usually in melee. One of which was intelligent and could work toward flanking with the other. The summoner was also working toward a reach eidolon (for attacks of opportunity) and was himself using a long spear.
Flanking and weapon focus claws (and PC weapon) gives a +3 to the claw attacks (and the PC’s weapon attacks). The bite and gore attacks are only at +2.
Flanking and outflank gives a +4 to the claws, weapon, bite, and gore attacks and an extra AoO when a critical is scored.
Besides you could still take weapon focus and they stack just fine.
Four melee creatures with outflank should be able to provide flanking most of the time. Yet neither player was willing to seriously consider taking outflank.

example 2, group sneaking:

Players all said they really wanted to make a sneaky group kinda like a magical special forces unit. Complained the system doesn’t allow it. They made builds with a whole bunch of feats and traits devoted to max stealth. With the 5 players, familiar, and animal companion someone would be rolling low and blowing the sneak most of the time. I showed them how replacing one of the feats with Stealth Synergy makes it work just fine. With 7 creatures rolling and always taking the highest die rolled, you will almost never blow the stealth. I both worked out the probability and used computer generated example rolls for 1000 times. Then we even all rolled dice at the table about 10 times. I don’t remember the percentage off the top of my head any more, but it is pretty dang rare to get 7 rolls to all be around 4-5 or less and the average was like +8 (much better than the stealth feat they were replacing).
They talked about how many possibilities this opened up and how much better the sneaky force would be. First session, other than me, they all brought characters without Stealth Synergy.

example 3, mounted combat:

Next campaign was going to be the PC’s were from a nomad tribe of Halfling dinosaur riders (Eberron & PF). They weren’t sure if mounted combat could be made to work with the way initiative rolls unless everyone delayed to whoever rolled the lowest. One of the last encounters of my campaign I made an opposing party of mounted characters with a few mounted teamwork feats. Most of the opposing party was lower level and much lower gear than the PC’s. But they very quickly almost killed several of the PC’s. They saw how easy it was to get lots of very successful charges with cavalry formation and coordinated charge.
None of them took a teamwork feat except for the hunters free one.

example 4, will saves galore:

We were in a campaign where we were constantly rolling moderately high AoE DC will saves from surprise ambushes. We didn’t expect it from the campaign description for our initial builds. So most just had the standard ‘decent’ will save. About halfway through every single PC took the feat iron will for a +2 on will saves. If they had instead took shake it off they would have almost always had a +3 to all saves. But no one did.

I just don’t get it. Even when a teamwork feat is numerically better and perfectly fits the build concept and/or does a better job of solving the problem in front of them, most people seem unwilling to even try them. The only answer I’ve been able to get is “They don’t work all the time. What if you are not right next to your team mates?” But you usually are next to your team mates and almost no feat works all the time.

Is there something I’m missing? If you are one of the people that won’t take them even when they work great for what you want to do, can you tell me why?

DM DoctorEvil wrote:

Let's see I think I was on:

** spoiler omitted **

Gronk's reactions to people:

Within the party, he should be fine once they have proven themselves capable and trustworthy. He will probably be a bit suspicious until then. Could potentially have problems with a Chelaxian and/or devil worshiper.
To strangers, he would initially be unfriendly and suspicious. If they act like the arrogant, cheating, devil worshiping Chelaxian’s – probably more hostile.
He’s going to be wary of any casters. Magic stuff is the province of the tribe shaman’s not the warrior’s.

Gronk is a very primitive tribesman trying to get away from the Chelaxians and back to the jungle he knows.
If you don't like the 'True Primitive' archtype, I can certainly drop it. I would still play him pretty much the same. The vanilla barbarian is quite a bit more powerful, but it really fit the concept.
Although he bought a lot, I tried to keep his purchases to what would seem useful (or just possibly entertaining) to a primitive tribesman.

fluffy bits:

Gronk boarded the Jenivere in Corentyn and is on his way home. He doesn't know if he will fit in with his tribe any better than he did before, but it has to be better than those decieving devil worshipers in Cheliax.
He felt stifled in the tribe traditions so took a job as a guard for rich human whose city guards died in the jungle. The rich man tried to claim he had paper that Gronk has written promising to serve him for years. But that was obviously a lie. Gronk doesn't know how to write and would never pretend to do so. Gronk may not read books, but he isn't stupid.
Gronk doesn't think the man will try to chase him since he was so frightened of the jungle. But If he wants to try to force Gronk in the jungle he knows, the man is welcome to try.
Gronk was however, impressed with the markets. He spent the day before leaving in the market buying anything that seemed like it might be helpful back home. Or at least those things he could understand. Much was confusing and strange. He did leave those alone. That would be for a shamman to decide.

crunchy bits:

Gronk de'Morcaine
Male half-orc (feral) barbarian (true primitive) 1 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 30)
CG Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 16, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +1 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 14 (1d12+2)
Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +2; +1 trait bonus vs. traps and natural hazards while in ruins
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee greatclub +5 (1d10+6) or
. . shortspear +5 (1d6+4) or
. . spiked gauntlet +5 (1d4+4) or
. . bite +0 (1d4+2)
Ranged sling +2 (1d4+4)
Special Attacks rage (7 rounds/day)
Str 18, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +5; CMD 16
Feats Power Attack
Traits boarded in the mwangi expanse, spirits in the stone (human - mwangi), suspicious
Skills Acrobatics -4 (-8 to jump), Climb +1, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (nature) +4, Perception +6, Sense Motive +7, Survival +6 (+8 to avoid becoming lost when using this); Racial Modifiers +2 Climb, +2 Intimidate
Languages Common, Orc, Polyglot
SQ favored terrain (jungle +2), illiteracy, orc blood, paranoid
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds, oil (2), paper candle firework (4); Other Gear hide armor, bone heavy wooden shield, greatclub, shortspear, sling, spiked gauntlet, backpack, bear trap, bedroll, belt pouch, candle (2), chalk (2), cleats, compass, crowbar, drill, earplugs, fishhook (2), flint and steel, grappling hook, hammer, hemp rope (50 ft.), hip flask, iron spike (4), marbles, piton (4), poncho, portable ram, saw, sewing needle, shovel, signal whistle, silk rope (50 ft.), sledge, snorkel, soap, spear-thrower, string or twine (2), sunrod (2), swim fins, tindertwig (2), torch (4), trail rations (4), waterproof bag, waterskin, whetstone, wooden holy symbol of Gorum, 1 gp, 2 sp
Tracked Resources
Paper candle firework - 0/4
Potion of cure light wounds - 0/1
Rage (7 rounds/day) (Ex) - 0/7
Shortspear - 0/1
Sunrod - 0/2
Tindertwig - 0/2
Torch - 0/4
Trail rations - 0/4
Special Abilities
Boarded In the Mwangi Expanse +1 Knowledge (Nature) regarding the Mwangi Jungle.
Cleats -50% walking penalty for slick surfaces.
Compass +2 circumstance for Survival or Knowledge (Dungeoneering) to avoid becoming lost.
Earplugs +2 save vs. hearing effects, -5 hearing-based Perception.
Favored Terrain (Jungle +2) (Ex) +2 to rolls when in Favored Terrain (Jungle).
Illiteracy May never learn to read or write any language.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Orc Blood Half-orcs count as both humans and orcs for any effect related to race.
Paranoid Aid Another DC 15 for attempts to help you.
Portable ram +2 to STR checks to break open a door, and allows a second helper (+2).
Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Rage (7 rounds/day) (Ex) +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.
Spirits in the Stone (Human - Mwangi) In ruins, +2 Init, +1 save vs. traps

Let me know what you think.

Chess Pwn wrote:


And I'm surprised that no one in the party could even try to use the scroll.

The player/PC that had a decent UMD dropped out of the group a few weeks ago.

Whoops! I charged them a lot more than that.

How much might be charged if it was not of their own faith?

Anyone have other ideas on 1) or 2) above?

5) For a scroll of Raise Dead. Is the 5k diamond needed when casting off of the scroll or when writing the scroll.

6) Approx how much should an NPC caster charge to use a scroll for the PC's. Say I want to have a Remove Curse cast and have the scroll but no one in the party that can use it.

I am considering a primarily buff caster.
I especially like the ‘communal’ buff spells. Things like haste, prayer, communal protection from energy, and communal bears endurance are very appreciated and really greatly increase the combat capability and survivability of the group.

Especially since the rest of the group will be a martial or at least hybrid build that will already be doing damage to the bad guys. So I have a couple of questions about how to do this even better.

I do not have a build yet. I need a little more information before I decide on a class/build.

1) Is there a way to get ‘personal’ spells on other PC’s? For example: I really love Mirror Image and would love to be able to cast it on the cavalier.

2) Is there a way to make a single target spell into a multi-target spell. For example: It would be great if I could cast displacement on the whole party at once, rather than 5 rounds to get it on everyone.

3) If I've cast a buff spell on someone then I get knocked unconscious or killed, do the buffs go away? I didn't think so, but someone said that it worked that way.

4) Can I cast Magic Vestment (assume level 8 for a +2) on both my shield and on my armor to get a +4 to my armor class?

kikidmonkey wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

You can of course make an item which gives you true strike either at will (2000gp) or on command (1800gp), but it takes a standard action to activate, so you're not making any attacks at all in that round, and only the first attack (which is your highest attack bonus anyway) will get the +20, assuming you didn't make an AoO in the meantime.

which would make for an epic bad guy archer/crossbowman encounter, if your group is into that sort of challenge

I once used a whole army of goblins scattered through the forest with light crossbows and poisoned bolts. It was the weakest cheapest poison in the book.

However, running around among all the others, there was one arcane trickster goblin with a true strike wand. His crossbow bolts had the most powerful poison in the book.

=) Writing with more clarity and precision...

I did not realize that it was only the held charge of a touch spell that dissipated when another spell was cast.

For some reason I got it in my head that it was any spell that had not yet taken effect. So since the True Strike had not yet taken effect (you haven't gotten a +20 on a to hit roll) it would dissipate when you cast the next spell. (Mage armor would have already taken effect so would not be affected by the overland flight.)

I am glad to find I was wrong.

Ok, I didn't remember it was only touch spells. Thanks guys.

A friend is wanting to use true strike to make sure the really important spells with an attack roll actually hit.

However, I thought if you cast a spell you lose the one you were getting ready. So if:
You cast True Strike then Enervation, you would lose the True Strike and get a normal ranged touch attack Enervation.
You cats Enervation then True Strike, you would lose the enervation and have nothing on which to apply the +20 to hit.

Are we remembering wrong?

I think they have decided that a mounted campaign will be too complicated, but thanks for the help.

I think they would all be taking something that would give them a mount that advances.

I can always have things mostly occur in the out of doors.

They like their feats, I don't know that they will still want to try it when they find out how feat intensive it is.

They didn't mention aerial mounts yet, I'm just guessing they will.

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