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Madge Blossomheart

Gwen Smith's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle. 2,205 posts (2,834 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 20 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

I agree with most of what's already been mentioned. Night March and Overflow Archives are two of my favorites.

Consortium Compact has some potential for shenanigans, depending on your party.

Sewer Dragons of Absalom was a blast for us, but half of our party were circus performers so we hammed the heck out of it (blood bags and all).

3 people marked this as a favorite.
phantom1592 wrote:

There's a teamwork feat that lets you aid another in knowledge checks. I use it with my Inquisitor.

pathfinder society primer wrote:

Collective Recollection

You and your allies can quickly jog each other's memories to remember essential facts.

Benefit: When an ally who also has this feat attempts a trained Knowledge skill check while within 30 feet of you, you may attempt an aid another check as a free action to improve that ally's skill check. You must have at least 1 rank in the Knowledge skill to be aided in order to use this feat. If you succeed at the aid another check, you automatically know any information your ally gains from the Knowledge check as if you had rolled the Knowledge check. Whether or not your aid another check is successful, you cannot attempt a Knowledge check to determine the same information as your ally after using this feat.

While I have seen some GMs infer that this feat means you can't Aid Another on knowledge checks, most of the GMs in our area don't read it that way.

We tend to read it as "everyone can make an Aid Another on knowledge checks, and the feat lets you do it better." In particular, the benefit of the feat is that you can make the aid check as a free action (perhaps even off your turn) and you know the same information your ally does without any communication necessary.

The feat does not say "this feat allows you to aid another on knowledge checks" or "you normally can't do that at all."

dragonhunterq wrote:
Interestingly (maybe), the reverse is not true. You can make all your attacks at your full normal base attack, and 'turn on' power attack before taking your attack of opportunity.

Most GMs I play with would not allow that. Generally, you have to activate an ability or feat on your turn unless it contains specific text that indicates otherwise ("as an immediate action" or "even when it's not your turn" or "whenever you get hit", etc.).

I have also seen a lot of GMs rule that you have to declare Power Attack before you make your very first attack roll on your turn, but I think that may be a holdover from an earlier version.

Statistically, you're better off using Power Attack most of the time, so most players I know just make Power Attack the default. I'll only consider not using when my primary attack needs a 17 or higher on the die to hit. (There's a ton of variables in there, but 17 is a common breakpoint, and it's easy for me to remember from playing BlackJack.)

Far strike monk is a nice archetype. I have one combined with a juggler bard for extra fun.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

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Anytime you have a question about whether your build works or a gray area where you get table variation, bring it up to the GM before the game. Outline the issue, explain the arguments on each side, provide references if requested (links to forum arguments, developer posts, related FAQs, etc.).

Ask your GM to make the ruling before the game starts, and adjust your play accordingly. You benefit by knowing what you're getting into and not being surprised by a negative ruling in the middle of combat. Your GM will also appreciate getting a chance to review the issue with less pressure, and your fellow players will thank you for not slowing down the game after it's started.

First, find out whether your GM is using the "shoot into melee" and "shooting through creatures/cover" rule. If so, then you want to get Precise Shot as soon as possible, before Rapid Shot and Deadly Aim. Consider taking the the Deadeye Bowman trait to ignore soft cover from 1 ally (it might not fit your character). Once you have these basics covered, it's really hard to go wrong with an archer.

You can wear a cestus to threaten in melee and take AoOs. Depending on your GM, you might have to explicitly say, "And I take one hand off of my bow as a free action" at the end of every turn (so you can take AoOs).

Darkvision is awesome for archers. Deep Sight kicks your darkvision out to 120 feet, which is pretty nice when your first range increment is 110 feet.

I've never had much use for anything that increases the range increment or decreases the range penalties on a composite longbow, but that's going to depend on the game. If there are a lot of flyers or ship-to-ship combat, or something, it could be worthwhile.

Weapon blanches are your friend, as are durable arrows.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We just came from playing team trivia, which is all about aiding each other on the knowledge checks:

"It's one of these three countries, but I don't know which one..."
"Well, number 2 is on the other coast, so that narrows it down to two..."
"I just heard a story on the news that makes me think it isn't number 1..."
"Number 3 it is, then!"

Now this is over the course of 2 minutes, so clearly not an in-combat situation. I figure that any time you would be able to look through a book, you could ask someone else to look through the same book for you.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kevin Willis wrote:

2. Cross-table buffing

It sounds cool and interactive, but it can seriously unbalance things at the low tiers. When we played 10-11 at GenCon heroes feast was on the low end of the scale when it came to group buffs we were throwing around. I can picture turning to the 3-4 table beside us and saying "OK, so +2 morale to attacks, damage, skills, and saving throws, +3 competence to attack and damage, and we're about to cast prayer so go ahead and factor that in as well. There will probably be more next round.". . ."Oh yeah, forgot to ask. Does anyone over there worship Sarenrae? If so you've got more buffs to calculate."

Deciding where to draw the line is the tough part. There's no way to put every possible situation in the scenario, so some locales would end up having a much easier time than others. I think the aid tokens that high tier tables have given to lower tier tables in past years worked pretty well. But I do think that there was just too much going on in Cosmic Captive to try to work them in as well.

The way they handled this in Grand Convocation was actually pretty simple:

They designated a few area effect buffs (I remember bardic performance and channel to heal), and when a table launched one, the GM (or player) would call out "Channel!" or "Bardic Performance--Inspire courage!" All adjacent tables then took the effect for one round only, adjusted to the appropriate tier. So when the cleric at the 10-11 channeled, the 1-2 table adjacent to them healed 1d6, the 3-4 healed 2d6, etc.

I haven't seen the rules for the Grand Convocation, so I don't know which buffs they designated as "shareable" or how that decision was made. As a player, I just remember it being very, very cool.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Put some spiritual focus on the items. The amulet is from your master, the robed and beads of your temple etc. Don't consider it gold in the bank just consider it your spiritual connection to the items increasing their power.

And your DM was mistaken. You're not a paladin, they have an oath to obey legitimate authority.

100% agree on both points. Just marking it as a favorite wasn't emphatic enough. :-)

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

MorBere wrote:
Pathfinder society has us running around the fantasy world, paid on commission for the work we do. Take it... the adventures rarely ever start "Ok everyone, your in a tavern and a mysterious woman comes to your table! What do you do?"

How do you propose to make that work when you have a different group at every adventure, with no connection or common history, and the GM knows nothing about their backstory?

Actually, this is one of the things I appreciate about Pathfinder Society. I usually find the "gathering the party" scene in most RPGs to be forced and awkward, and it usually only works with a significant amount of metagaming. (The opening of Rise of the Runelords is a brilliant exception to this: the reaction of the tow forces the party together in a smooth and natural way.)

The "Mission Impossible" opening ("I have a mission, let me assemble my team") eliminates all the weirdness of working new players into an established group, swapping characters out, etc.

And you can add your own roleplay to establish your own motivations. For example, when the Venture Captain says "There's a town that's under siege", you can jump in with "We must go rescue them!" The VC continues with "and we need you get one of our agents out." You respond with "Yes, yes! And rescue the rest of the town!"

I actually don't like the Two-Weapon Warrior archetype, especially if you end up multiclassing. I had a two-weapon warrior with a few rogue levels for sneak attack, and I used the retraining rules to train her out of it.

In particular, I didn't like the fact that Two-Weapon Warrior trades out an always-on bonus (weapon training) for a situational bonus (twin blades).

TWW hits it sweet spot at 9th level. I tend to play up through level 12 only, so my character never hit the real benefits of the archetype.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
geek soduku: Finding which geeks can play at which table at which times. with which characters to balance party numbers, party compositions, who wants to play which character at which level and play the faction relevant scenarios.

Synonyms: Table tetris, geek tetris, mustering (archaic).

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Tetori monk makes a great grappler overall, and halflings do a really good job with grapplers.

First, remember that grappling does not any size limitation (unless your GM house rules otherwise).

Second, Cautious Defender doubles the dodge bonus to AC and CMD when you fight defensively.

Third, the favored class bonus for halfling monks is +1 CMD vs. Grapple. That lets you pump your CMD to stupid levels pretty quickly, and no one can make the grapple check to break out.

Tetoris get all the grappling feats free as class features.

I have a 10th level halfling tetori, and unbuffed, she has +27 CMB and +45 CMD. Buffed, fighting defensively, and spending a ki point, she can pump her CMD to 57 with still a +27 CMB. (She has attack bonus buffs that counter the penalty for fighting defensively.)

No matter what you do with your grapple build, consider worshipping Falyna. Her celestial obedience gives you +4 untyped bonus to CMB and CMD.

There are a couple of key word in Uncanny Dodge that can cause you table variation:
"She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A barbarian with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her."

The use of the word “still” can imply that these are the only ways that the a character with uncanny dodge can lose their dex bonus to AC.

There are several ways for characters to lose their Dex bonus outside of invisibility, immobility, and feint. If the developers intended for uncanny dodge to only work against invisibility, they could have stopped after the second sentence, or they could have used more generic wording like “…can still lose their Dex bonus to AC in other ways” or used some wording like “such as” or “for example” or something. They didn’t. They called out two specific instances as exceptions.

As always, ask your GM how they would rule this.

No feat necessary: just ready an action to attack anyone who moves through your threatened area. For extra effectiveness, trip them so they are prone in your threatened area.

Then they have to spend a move action to stand up, which provokes an AoO unless they have Monkey Style or Stand Up or something). Either way, they wont continue moving through your area.

1bent1 wrote:
How is this handled in PFS?

It varies from region to region and table to table.

The way I've seen it most commonly in my area is this:
Hit the DC, you get the creature's name, type, and subtype. (This includes reminding players of the general characteristics of the type and subtype, especially for new players.)

For each +5 beyond that, you can ask one question or just ask the GM to give you a piece of information.

+20 will usually get you a improvisational backstory.

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Gwiber wrote:

My major stumbling block is not that a rogue can see a trap, its that sometimes there are just no methods to disable one as those traps are. OR the source of the trap is something a Rogue has no actual experience with.

Why is a Rogue with likely No Knowledge: Arcana, or very little of it, going to have enough knowledge on how to disable a magical trap? Recognize it as dangerous? Yeah I buy that. KNOW what to do about it? Not a chance.

How about a mentioned pit trap? Say its in a dungeon room and it covers the entire floor? Sure the Rogue can set it off prematurely to stop anyone form falling in. But if weight is what sets it off, how does he "Disable" said trap?

Recognition and premature activation are one thing, but disabling doesnt always make any sense. Or even having the skill to recognize the thing's functions enough to disable it.

I highly recommend you just don't allow rogues in your games--probably investigator and slayer, too. It will prevent a lot of conflict and bad feelings in the long run.

The trapfinding ability says A rogue can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps. How do they do it? I don't know, maybe the same way a wizard casts a spell? Or a bard makes everyone hit harder by playing a flute? Or a barbarian converts lethal damage to non-lethal damage?

They can do it because it is a power specifically granted to them by their class. They can do it because they took a class that had trapfinding instead of any other power. If you're not going to consistently rule that the trapfinding ability doesn't work in this case because {reasons}, then just don't allow the ability in your games and let them the players trade it out for something they can actually use.

Don't worry about whether channeling can "undo" all the HP that were done in a round. It's useful as a counter to area effect attacks, as a stop gap measure to keep your damage dealers going for one more round, or in situations where you just can't reach your party members for some reason.

Negative channeling is kind of the same way. It's great for softening up a bunch of mooks or triggering multiple morale conditions at the same time. It's nice against swarms, and it's perfect for when you're surrounded and don't want to take an AoO from casting a spell. Grappled or swallowed whole? Negative channel for the win!

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

What Alexander said.

I'd love to see a dossier on each venture captain with their personal histories, skill sets, motivations, etc. Fleshing them out as actual characters--as opposed to disembodied heads that talk at you an go away--would go a long way towards clearing up any misconceptions people have about them.

But most of the variation you see is going to be based on local lore. A few examples from our region:
1) Everyone teases Drendel Dreng about getting PCs up in the middle of the night. I can't actually remember a scenario where that happens, but it doesn't happen in the several Dreng scenarios I am aware of. (A running gag for GMs is to tell the players that they can tell something is terribly wrong because Dreng is meeting them in daylight, so even when he DOESN'T wake them up, he gets blamed for doing so.)

2) Ambrose Valsin was always the favorite VC, largely because one of our real-life venture captains looked exactly like him, and GMs always asked him to come read the briefing. I think he also gets some love from his behavior in the Disappeared.

3) How you portray Sheila Heidmarch depends on who your GM was and which scenarios you played first. She's more sympathetic and personable in the first scenarios I saw her in, but others in our area felt she was a cold, self-centered power junkie.

4) Most GMs portray Kreighton Shane as at least an absent-minded professor because of God's Market Gamble (where he explicitly trails off midsentence and forgets the PCs are there), but he picked up his stoner reputation from his character artwork.

5) A couple of years back, Torch was portrayed by one GM as Hedonism Bot from Futurama, and the creepy factor stuck around.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Anytime HeroLab does something that you don't want it to (whether it's because you have a house rule, you disagree with HL's interpretation, or you found a bug), go to the Adjustments tab. The Pathfinder Basic Pack from Shadow Chemosh has a robust selection of custom adjustments: you can do pretty much anything.

And if you think you've found a bug, be sure to report it.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is it possible that they are misapplying the charge rules?
Since you can't charge through an ally's square and you can't charge through difficult terrain, they might be incorrectly deducing that an ally's square counts as difficult terrain.

At an rate, the relevant rules are under Moving through a square. I've bolded a couple of points that might help you in your argument:

You can move through an unoccupied square without difficulty in most circumstances. Difficult terrain and a number of spell effects might hamper your movement through open spaces.

Friend: You can move through a square occupied by a friendly character, unless you are charging. When you move through a square occupied by a friendly character, that character doesn't provide you with cover.

Opponent: You can't move through a square occupied by an opponent unless the opponent is helpless. You can move through a square occupied by a helpless opponent without penalty. Some creatures, particularly very large ones, may present an obstacle even when helpless. In such cases, each square you move through counts as 2 squares.

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Lots of good information from UnArcaneElection. The only thing I can add it this:

UnArcaneElection wrote:
^If you mean Eldritch Archer from Heroes of the Street, that is the better archer archetype of Magus, but last I heard it is banned in PFS. I am not a PFS person, though, and do not have the PFS supplementary materials, so it could have gotten un-banned some time this spring without my knowing about it.

The list of what's allowed in PFS is the additional resources list.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

nosig wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
nosig wrote:
If my Take 10 T-shirt upset anyone at the table - I'd switch it. (I bring an extra shirt just for this).

Good gods, nosig, what does that shirt look like? Is it "Take 10 on {insert offensive action here}" or something?

Inquiring minds wants to know!

It has printed on the front of it...

Taking 10: When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.



**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

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TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
This is a semi-tangent, but a few people are complaining about what happened when they brought characters with no Knowledge skill investment to the game and I have to wonder why anyone has a PFS character with no ranks in any Knowledge. [...] I also have a 7 Int fighter with a number of ranks in K(Dungeoneering) equal to about half his level (and none in Engineering, his other Knowledge class skill), because every character needs a Knowledge skill decently invested in.

And your fighter would have not been able to use that particular knowledge skill in this scenario. There were 4 or 5 specific knowledges useful in this scenario, and if your character happened to invest the wrong ones, then you would have had difficulties in this scenario. (And I know a lot of people who would say they "had no knowledge skills" when they mean they "have the wrong knowledge skills for this situation" or "had no useful knowledge skills.")

Also, the OP mentioned that they were told it was a social scenario, so they brought their social characters. They probably have other character with varying levels of knowledge skills, but they brought the ones they were told would be appropriate. (For example, my primary knowledge character is a Mindchemist alchemist, with +16 in all knowledge checks at 4th level...and -3 in all charisma skills. If I were told it was an investigation scenario, I would absolutely bring her along. If I were told it was a social scenario, I wouldn't let her anywhere near it.)

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

It is also going to vary from character to character.

I have a diplomancer Holy Tactician paladin who gives out a ton of buffs to allies who follow her advice. She makes a great leader both in social situations and in combat.

I have an insufferable know-it-all Mindchemist with +18 in all Knowledge skills (at level 4) but -3 on all charisma checks: she makes a decent leader in anything but social situations.

I have a somewhat ditsy Zen Archer who has been known to wander off in the middle of briefing sessions to pet another player's animal companion. If anyone tried to make her the leader, she would laugh in their face.

Probably the best solution is to work it out in character. After the briefing, talk through the roles each character can play and decide who is going to be the spokesman/face, the tactician/combat leader, the scout, the science officer, etc.

You should be able to get a pretty decent feel from the party (in and out of character) for how rigid the "hierarchy" should be for each particular group. Adjust accordingly.

And if you want to have a character be a leader, build one. And during introductions, set your character up to the be the leader. You'll find out very quickly whether the rest of the group will respect the character, humor the character, or ignore the character.

For example, one player in our area runs a high-born noblewoman with lots of follower vanities as an entourage. The player tells the table, out of character, that the character believes she's in charge, and explains the various mechanical benefits of going along with what she says. Then in character, she character explicitly introduces herself as as the party leader, and describes what she expects from the group and how she can help them. Other players can then choose whether or not to follow along. But because they were pre-warned out of character and because the player in question doesn't take offense at the party's decision (even if the character might!), I've never seen it cause a problem.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

thorin001 wrote:
I gave the wrong character number of a couple of adventures. I forgot that I had assigned my -3 to my core character. So the last couple of adventures with my latest non-core character (-4) were listed as -3 on the muster sheet.

Is the number only incorrect on the muster sheet/online reporting? Or do you also have chronicle sheets with the incorrect character number?

If you have incorrect chronicle sheets, start by going to the GM and explaining your mistake. (This applies anytime there's any mistake on your chronicle sheet: go to the GM first if you can.) If you can't get in contact with the GM, try to contact one of your local venture officers for help.

If it's only the muster sheet/online reporting, contact the specific Venture Agent who coordinates the location you play at: the VA is usually the person who reports the games to Paizo, and they are the ones who are most likely able to fix it. If you can't contact the location's VA, try to contact your region's Venture Captain.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

nosig wrote:
If my Take 10 T-shirt upset anyone at the table - I'd switch it. (I bring an extra shirt just for this).

Good gods, nosig, what does that shirt look like? Is it "Take 10 on {insert offensive action here}" or something?

Inquiring minds wants to know!

bbangerter wrote:
Maybe we are just talking past each other though. Do you believe free actions related to a readied action should be allowed? (I do). Do you believe free actions not related to the readied action should be allowed? (I don't). I'm trying to understand where you draw the line, or if you draw a line at all, on what free actions are allowed outside of turn, and under what circumstances.

I think that's a reasonable reading of the rules. I also allow players to specify a free action they will take along with the readied action, like "I ready an action to start rage and hit him if he moves" or "I ready an action to hit him if he starts casting a spell, and I will take a five foot step if necessary (assuming I haven't otherwise moved this turn)."

It sounds like the player misremembered the readied action rules, or at least had the terminology wrong.

It's also possible the player is thinking of the
Dodging Panache Deed from the Swashbuckler class, or a similar ability.

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Also, you're supposed to have access to the actual source to use an odd feat or rule. Calling the archetype "Dervish of Dawn" will either a) confuse the GM since that's not the official name or b) signal to a GM that you don't have the necessary source.

I haven't seen anything to contradict that post, so as far as I know it's still in effect. I would ask the GM before each game and adjust my play accordingly.

"Take 10" just means "pretend you rolled the die and it came up a 10."

Normally, you calculate your current bonus for Stealth (Dex modifier - Armor Check Penalty + Skill ranks/Class skill bonus + any other bonuses or penalties), then add the die roll. When you take 10, you just add 10 to the Stealth bonus.

You can put weapon blanch over a special material, and it counts as both materials for the first hit.

Note that the same thing is NOT true of the magic weapon paste Silversheen: it specifically says it replaces the properties of the underlying material.

Rylden wrote:
From quivers I've seen many have the end of an arrow sticking out the top, while I'll concede the "no sunders at range" if we assume its possible given a trait, feat kr what have you, I still dont see a reason you can't slice the tail end of an arrow off while it rests in a quiver making the arrow unable to be fired. I don't know many quivers that are 100% wrapped around an arrow while in the middle of combat. If the arrow is u able to be targeted due to being in a quiver how does an archer draw one? If the archer can find one without looking surely someone aiming for them can hit them.

I used to shoot traditional archery (handcarved longbow and wooden arrows), and I run a lot of archers in PFS games.

The depth of the quiver varies, but at least half of the arrow needs to be in the quiver to keep it from falling out. (I'm ignoring modern "open" style quivers here, which have a cup to hold the heads and then a slot or clip for the shafts.)

The biggest issues with your plan are mechanical and physical. Mechanically, you can only sunder a single object in one attack, and arrows are individual objects. Physically, arrows are loosely packed in the quiver (or the archer can't get them out), so when you hit one, the others will simply move out of the way. It would be very difficult to cleanly connect with more than 1/3 to 1/2 of the arrows. (In a modern open quiver, arrows are help in place, so it would be much easier to break most or all of them in a single shot.)

If your point is to stop an archer from hitting you, your best options are (in order):

1) Stand next to him and force him to provoke an attack of opportunity for each arrow he fires. Combat reflexes plus Step Up or a reach weapon shut down archers pretty handily until level 3 (for a Zen Archer) or level 5 or 6 for fighters and rangers/hunters.

2) Engage in melee with anybody. Once you're engaged in melee, the archer takes a -4 penalty to hit you unless he has Precise Shot. Engaging with the archer himself also grants you the benefit of tactic 1.

3) Drop prone behind cover. You'll get +4 AC for being prone and at least +2 (usually +4) AC for the cover. (If the archer is still hitting you consistently with +8 to your AC, run away.)

4) Sunder the bow.

5) Sunder the bow string. It's one object, it has very few hit points and no hardness to speak of, and it leaves the body of the bow intact as loot. There are not explicit rules for doing this, so your GM may disallow it or assign attack penalties because the string is smaller and somewhat hidden behind the limbs of the bow.

6) Sunder the quiver. There's not an existing rule for what happens to the arrows. My answer to your original post already spells out how I would run this.

That gives you 6 options before you have to start worrying about how many arrows you could break in a single sunder attack.

Generally, sunder targets a single object. In this case, I'd probably say that the target is the quiver itself rather than the arrows. If the quiver (or its strap, etc.) is sundered, the arrows would fall to the ground. They wouldn't necessarily be destroyed, but they wouldn't be available to be pulled as part of the "drawing a bow" action.

Based on the Russian and Mongolian archery styles (that hold multiple arrows in the string hand), I'd probably go with something like "as a move action, you can pick up 1d4 arrows," which you'd then be able to fire as normal over the next few rounds. Picking up the arrows from the ground would provoke an AoO.

Just some general thoughts:
- Improved Critical is not that great for rogues, because sneak attack dice aren't multiplied on a crit, and most light weapons are only 1d4 or 1d6 with x2 on a critical hit. If you want to go with a critical focus build, look into something that debuffs your enemy on a critical hit to get more value out of it.

- Personally, I would take Quick Draw before Improved Initiative. I find that saving the move action to get your weapons out is more useful than trying to go first.

- See if your GM will let the Double Slice feat work with the Unchained Rogue's Dex to Damage. It would be a house rule, but getting full damage on your off hand attack could be nice.

- For dex build barbarian dips, check out the Urban Barbarian archetype. Raging for Dex is kind of nice, and you can still use a lot of your skills. (I'm guessing that your current dip is Unchained Barbarian--if so, that is also a good choice.)

Generally, you can fight defensively any time you make an attack roll, and combat maneuvers need an attack roll.

Each round when you attack, you have to decide whether to fight defensively. If you take the penalty on the attack, you get the bonus on your AC and CMD.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

DoomOtter wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

In addition to the on-point commentary from Alayern above, there is also the 'out of the box' consideration of 'don't be a jerk'.

If you have fellow players at your table who are hearing impaired, it could be viewed as an insult.

Explore, Report, Cooperate

Equally as important as

Courtesy, Dignity, Respect

I don't see how playing a deaf character would be offensive to the hearing impaired. My best friend is paraplegic, and he was ecstatic when I played a lame cleric. He said it's great when others show that being disabled doesn't make someone useless. As long as you're not being mean about it, and being respectful to the condition.

The key words, I think, were "could be viewed". I took that as a call to pay attention to the reactions of your fellow players, not as an injunction against doing something.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

Sam King wrote:
Lyric the Singing Paladin wrote:
The powergaming assumption is why there is no sign language in PFS... So, to the O.P. I repeat my question: "What do you want to play?"

Small exception to this... All Pathfinder Agents are trained in a society hand gesture "language". It's not as complex as a sign language, it isn't even an actual language, but it'll convey tactical and simple information well enough. I think it's in the guide, but I may be recalling something from evergreen fluff.

To the OP: Just play a deaf character. Drop money on a potion of deafness for the GMs who assume you're trying to game the system and just play the character. You don't have to clear the condition between scenarios as far as I recall.

You will have to clear the condition at the end of the scenario, according to the Guide to Organized Play. So you'd have to buy a potion of deafness at the beginning of every scenario AND pay to have the conditioned removed at the end of every scenario.

I actually like the thunderstone idea. I once saw a player with a gnome who was addicted to Color Spray, and he would regularly hit himself with a wand of it out of combat. I could see a similar motivation here...

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

Eindridi wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
MisterSlanky wrote:
Ghostbane dirge does not have a miss chance (though there is a save). I don't believe it allows criticals and sneak attack to function as it "coalesces into a semi-physical form" and still only takes half damage from non-magical weapons. Is there a FAQ stating otherwise?
We looked this one up. Please reference where Ghostbane Dirge does not have the 50% miss chance. The incorporeal type gives a 50% on all spells, so it should have the same penalty as anything. I'll try to dig out the rules route we followed.

The target for Ghostbane Dirge is "one incorporeal creature": to me, that indicates that it should effect incorporeal subtypes.

I see how you might read it like that but the description of the target within the spell description should in no way invalidate existing type/subtype effects or other restrictions.

For example, the target for the spell Suggestion is 'one living creature'.

The language dependent requirement does not cease to exist because the target is indeed 'one living creature'.

But the language limitation is included as part of the Suggestion spell: "[language-dependent, mind-affecting]". If the Suggestion spell did not include that line, then it would not require you to have a common language if you cast it on a "living creature".

Likewise, it has the description "mind-effecting" so it specifically won't work on mindless living creatures. Those descriptors are limitations on the valid target "living creature".

What words in Ghostbane Dirge puts limitations on the target "incorporeal creature"? I don't see any.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

As far as non-harmful spells, I would allow you to use Calm Emotions on other PCs out of combat (they get a Will save, of course) or certain bardic performances like Fascinate. Of course, I would first try to get the players to resolve the issue OOC, but if a player insisted, I would allow it.

I would also allow the affected PC to respond as they saw fit.

I'd make sure everyone involved understood their options and the consequences of each choice. Then I'd let them do what they wanted, and apply the consequences that we just reviewed. That is, unless the players involved were actually only 12 years old.

I usually treat it like the regular mounted combat rules minus the Handle Animal check:

- Your mount acts on your initiative count as you direct it. You move at its speed, but the mount uses its action to move.
- If your mount moves more than 5 feet, you can only make a single melee attack.
- If your mount charges, you also take the AC penalty associated with a charge. If you make an attack at the end of the charge, you receive the bonus gained from the charge.
- You can use ranged weapons while your mount is taking a double move, but at a –4 penalty on the attack roll. You can use ranged weapons while your mount is running (quadruple speed) at a –8 penalty. In either case, you make the attack roll when your mount has completed half its movement. You can make a full attack with a ranged weapon while your mount is moving.
- If you have your mount move both before and after you cast a spell, then you're casting the spell while the mount is moving, and you have to make a concentration check due to the vigorous motion (DC 10 + spell level) or lose the spell.
- With a DC 5 Ride check, you can guide your mount with your knees so as to use both hands to attack or defend yourself. This is a free action. (I use this as "stay on the mount while doing something else" for intelligent mounts.)

Basically, the main problem I see is players wanting to use another PC as a mount and still have the PC count as an independent character. You can't do both. As the mount, you are either doing your own thing or doing what the guy on your back tells you to you. As the rider, you are either directing the mount or you are just along for the ride.

In regular combat, characters can't "interleave" their actions so that you take a full attack in the middle of someone else's move action. (You can take a standard action by readying, but that's not important here.) Mounted characters do exactly that: ranged attackers on horseback take their full attack in the middle of their mount's movement. If the players want the characters to use this ability, then the ridden character has to be treated like a mount.

In regular combat, another character's actions don't usually restrict my actions, but in mounted combat, my mount's movement can restrict me to a single attack, impose a penalty on my attack, etc. If you don't want to have the ridden character's action impact yours, then you can't use them as a combat mount.

And so on.

There are benefits and limitations to being mounted. You can't take the benefits without the limitations, and as the GM, I wouldn't enforce the limitations without letting you take advantage of the benefits.

Oh, and don't forget about encumbrance penalties on the ridden character...

It kind of depends on your build. If you're a fighter with weapon specialization, weapon training, etc., you want to have the same weapon in each hand, because your feats will apply primarily to one weapon. In that case, two light weapons won't cause you take extra penalties on your off hand. If you have improved critical, wakizashi is a great choice.

If you're using Lead Blades or Enlarge Person as a buff, you'll get more bang for the buck out of 1d8 weapons (going up to 2d6) in each hand. In that case, sawtooth sabres are a good choice, but you can't use them with weapon finesse. This works best for strength-based TWF builds, like rangers who can ignore Dex prerequisites or monk/clerics or warpriests of Achakek with Crusder's Flurry.

If you have only taken one attack out of your full attack action, you can change your mind and take a move action instead. Once you have taken your second attack, though, you are committed for the full attack action, whether you use all your attacks or not.

However, after your first attack, you can only take a move action. Since readying an action (e.g., to attack when the orcs come up) is a standard action, you still wouldn't be able to "hold" the rest of your attacks until the enemy closes. If you had some feat or ability that allowed you ready an attack as a move action, then you could choose to do that after your first attack.

I'm not aware of any trick that would let you do this.

At my table, yes, this is correct.

Note that some GMs rule that you can't maintain a grapple on the same round that you initiate it. (The problematic text is "If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold." Some GMs read that to mean that you must wait a round to make your first maintain check.)

If your GM rules this way, then your sequence is:
Round 1: Standard action to initiate grapple.
Round 2: Move action to Pin, automatically activates Blood Drain for 1d4 Con. Standard action to maintain pin, automatically activates Blood Drain for 1d4 Con.
And round 3+ looks exactly like round 2.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

Ryzoken wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
5) At higher levels, keep a scroll of Breath of Life on hand. Pass it to someone who has a chance of casting it and ask them to use it on you if you go down. (I usually tell them to use it on anyone in the party who needs it, in line with suggestion #2.)
The action economy involved in this precludes it functioning in a majority of situations. Move to draw scroll, Standard to activate, touch range. Suggest instead using First Aid Gloves if you're in possession of a copy of the Pathfinder Society Primer

Some GMs allow you to put a scroll in spring loaded wrist sheath, which lets you draw it as a swift action. I've also had my cleric draw the scroll if someone in the party looks like they are getting pounded.

I am a huge fan of First Aid Gloves, but many fighters save their hands slot for Gloves of Dueling. I came really close to suggesting that people carry a pair around and give them to someone with a free hands slot, but I thought they might be too expensive item for that.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

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I have had more than one front-line melee character with a 12 Con. I often run front liners with a 13 Con and bump it to 14 at level 4 or 8. I've had exactly one character death, and that character had a 14 con and d10 hit dice.

If you're concerned about your character dying, then play your character as smart as possible. Some suggestions:

1) Track how many hit points you're taking each round, and determine how many more rounds you can continue fighting. When you're at the point where you might not survive the next round, step back and drink a potion.

2) Don't run into crowds of bad guys by yourself. They will all full attack on their round, and if you are the only target, they will all full attack you.

3) Don't be afraid to tell the rest of your party that your character is really, really hurt. Call for help.

4) ALWAYS carry a cure light wounds potion and make sure everyone in your party knows where you keep it. That way, when (not if) you go to negative HP, anyone in your party can save your life even if they don't cast spells, can't use a wand, or don't have any healing potions. Your goal here isn't to get up and get back in the fight: your goal is to get stabilized so you don't bleed out.

5) At higher levels, keep a scroll of Breath of Life on hand. Pass it to someone who has a chance of casting it and ask them to use it on you if you go down. (I usually tell them to use it on anyone in the party who needs it, in line with suggestion #2.)

6) If you find yourself going unconscious a lot, consider getting an Aegis of Recovery, a Shawl of Life Keeping, or a con increasing item. Or some combination of these kind of items. (I'm a big fan of the Aegis of Recovery, myself.)

7) If you're running an old school barbarian (e.g., not unchained), watch out for that break point where you will automatically die when you go unconscious and drop out of rage. Definitely get an Aegis of Recovery, and grab Raging Vitality as soon as possible.

I'm sure other people have their own survival suggestions, too.

Could it be Snapping Turtle Clutch? That's the only one I see. It's the third feat in the Snapping Turtle Style feat chain.

taks wrote:
I would certainly allow you to burn your move action on something that actually involves movement.

Right. You could use your move action to get down on the floor or carefully lay your weapon down. But you can't fall over or drop you weapon. Kind of silly, but there it is.

You'll probably see a lot more player deaths. With a five foot step, a wounded character can step back, draw a potion, and drink it in one round. Without it, a character will provoke one AoO from drawing the potion and another one from drinking the potion. If the character is hurt badly enough to use a potion, they probably won't survive one AoO, much less two.

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