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Madge Blossomheart

Gwen Smith's page

FullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle. 935 posts (1,021 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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

DaveFrahm wrote:
LazarX wrote:
It's a basic lesson you learn when setting up priorities... when everything is high priority... nothing is.
Now if only my work knew this...

I didn't know you worked at my old office! Our project planners actually scheduled it out so that every single item was on a critical path, so when some piece was late, they subtracted the slip from the time allotted to the people at the end of the process, so the last processes in line just got less and less time.

Guess where I was? (More than one I had to explain to the higher ups that we can't physically give you artwork for the box until the people in front of us actually give us the dieline for that box.)

VampByDay wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
At 5th level, a two-weapon warrior gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when making a full attack with two weapons or a double weapon. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 5th. This ability replaces weapon training 1.
When you are attacking with a natural attack you are not attacking with a weapon.

I was just confused because, as a linguist, I recognize that the sentence can be diagrammed and parsed two different ways. It is unclear and could mean:

When making a full attack with two weapons, those weapons gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls.


When making a full attack with two weapons, all attacks gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Now, don't get me wrong, it is pretty clear what RAI are. But the thing is, pathfinder (and in particular PFS) are very big into RAW and they don't give a flying whatever about what the intent of the rules was.

If it's any consolation, the two-weapon warrior is a terrible archetype for PFS. It trades away way too much at the earlier levels and doesn't start to get good until at least level 9. PFS stops at level 12.

(I think it's a terrible archetype overall, but opinions vary. Trading out always-useful stuff like armor training and weapon training for situational bonuses never seems like a good deal, to me.)

If you want to do a two-weapon fighter with a natural attack, you might look at the Ranger Natural Weapon combat style.

claudekennilol wrote:

This weekend I was GM'ing a session for some friends, and they were trying to capture an NPC dressed up as a guard that attacked them (good for them not just attacking back). Anyways, the paladin being the only person that thought of this and him not liking to metagame didn't say anything before his turn. There were two guards and the barbarian crit and splatted the first one right out of the box. The paladin tries to deal nonlethal damage and rolls a 20 and then confirms the crit even with the nonlethal penalty.

These were all first level PCs and NPCs, both martials had greatswords and obviously a crit with a greatsword from a str based character at lvl 1 is pretty lethal. Luckily, he did just enough nonlethal damage that it didn't outright kill him, but was there any way he could've just said "I'll just take a normal hit and not crit?" RAW I don't see it. Obviously it's up to me in this situation, but is there any way RAW to just forego a crit and deal normal damage (outside of feats/class features/weapon enchants that allow you to do other stuff in lieu of crits)?

I suppose you could technically use Butterfly's Sting to pass the crit on to the next ally that hits, and then don't let anyone hit the guy before your next turn when the ability expires. Or make sure the next ally to hit is the 8 STR Halfling sorcerer with his dagger at 1d3-1...

If you take Intimidating Prowess, the Enforcer feat gives you a nice option for those times you don't want to turn the enemy into red mist. Bludgeoner (do non-lethal damage with no penalty) goes along well with that combination, or there are some traits that can reduce the penalties there, also.

Also, my favorite low-cost magic item for Barbarians is the Aegis of Recovery. For 1500 gp, it automatically casts cure moderate wounds on you when you go below 0 hp. Once you hit the "going unconscious while raging = instant death" break point, it's money well spent!

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

I think it's inevitable that the Ten have evolved over the years in their outlook/approach to the world.
When you're a small, ragtag group of amateur archaeologists, your actions don't have a lot of impact on the world as a whole, so you can go wild and do whatever you want. (Chaotic neutral, chaotic evil, whatever! Live it up!)

When you're starting to accumulate enough power to get enemies and want allies, you actually need to abide by treaties and contracts, or else you're going to get you ass kicked. (Lawfulish, at least--behave yourself or get in trouble.)

Once you've become a global power, your actions start to have serious consequences. Hopefully, you have enough foresight to realize that blowing up the world means that you don't have anywhere to live anymore, and that all your power is kind of pointless if you turn Rovagug loose in your house. (Lawful-ish neutral-ish? maybe? Don't mess up your own good thing, is really the point.)

It's likely that the Society is kind of "actively" True Neutral overall. When the demons swarm out of the Worldwound and drag the rest of the world towards evil, the Society shifts towards good to counteract them. If the rest of the world swings towards good to the point that the Ten feel their power is threatened, they might step the Society towards evil to balance that out.

(The Pathfinder Society is really a limited liability corporation, when you think about it.)

wraithstrike wrote:

While the crit and confirm are two attack rolls, they are still one attack so in game time they likely happen at the same time, just like attacks and damage are taking place simultaneously. You can't hit someone and then decide to lessen the blow. That decision has to be made before you hit them.

edit: changed "why" to "while"

edit: due to my reading comprehension failing. :)

Can you make that decision before you hit? Before you roll, can you say "I'm not going to add my strength mod to this" or "If it rolls a crit, I won't confirm/do crit damage"?

The only method I know of for "pulling your punch" is to do non-lethal damage. But it certainly seems like a trainer warrior would be able to lessen the force of the blow in general, regardless of whether the hit does lethal damage.

In a home game, I'd allow it as an option before you roll, and I'm not sure that I would even apply any penalty on the attack. But I'm not aware of any actual rules for this that would make it legal in PFS.

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

Dafydd wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

So, I have yet to find a ruling against this.

if you start a conversation that way, the answer is most likely no.

Well, there are a number of things not legal in Society play that simply boggle my mind, both as a player and GM.

The important thing to remember is that Society Play is actually a campaign, with an ongoing storyline in a specific version of the world. There is a "head GM" and a group of writers who create each encounter within the guidelines from that "Head GM".

No one denies a "normal" GM the right to say, "My world, my rules, and this [class/race/archetype/magic item] doesn't fit in my world." The "GM" for PFS has the same right.

Some of this is right in the guide. Other bits are less obvious, like the archetype restrictions.

Everything is laid out on the Additional Resources list. They can't constantly update the guide as new material comes out, so they refer players to this list. If it's listed as legal here, you can play it. If it isn't, you can't.

Unless you're planning to two-weapon fight, there's no difference between a sawtooth saber and a long sword. The primary benefit of the sawtooth sabre is that you can use it in your off hand as if it were a light weapon.

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

Unless you were running a newly-released scenario, you also have to consider the possibility that some of the players had already played the scenario.

Or the possibility that players didn't have characters that were a good fit for the scenario. A no-social-skills combat character doesn't do well in a schmoozing scenario, or a cavalier with a large mount might not work inside.

I empathize with your frustration. More than once, I've gone home early or hung out in a hotel bar for 4 hours when my table didn't make for whatever reason.

Please talk to the event coordinator and/or your local VOs. Once everyone understands why the table didn't make, they can take steps to reduce the chance of it happening again. Or maybe they can do table sign ups in advance so you know whether you have players before you make the trip out to the event.

Victor Zajic wrote:

So this is one corner case of rules interaction that is not going to work for you in PFS.

In a home game, you DM has the liberty to say, "Oh yeah, totally, those sling abilities should work with Sling Staffs, that totally makes sense".

In PFS, the GM's can do that, and we have to abide by strick RAW even when it's dumb or doesn't make sense.

I find it incredibly unlikely that any of the Paizo employees are going to make an official ruling on this very small corner case. There are way too many tiny little corner cases like this (dwarven boulder helment not being in the close weapons group comes to mind), for the PFS admins to make ruling for all of them, if they did that would be their full time instead. A lot of the quirky racial weapons don't work well in PFS because the abilties they are clearly intended to have aren't spelled out RAW. I think dwarven longaxe might not be RAW in the axes weapon group, and there are a lot of quirky little racial weapons.

This is a cool concept for a character, but it won't work in PFS. Save it for a home game where it can get the treatment it deserves. Don't try and get it to slide through for PFS, putting the volunteer judges in the position where they have to be the bad guy isn't the nicest thing to do.

It's actually not a corner case at all. The Halfling sling staff has been around since before 3.5 was released as OGL. If worked fine until an FAQ made it completely impossible to load a sling staff as anything but a move action, which makes it useless for a ranged weapon specialist overall, and useless for anybody past BAB 6 (No single-attack build will ever match the damage output of a Rapid Shot full-attack, and even it one did, losing your move action is a massive disadvantage in the overall action economy--Believe me, I've tried.)

Currently, the sling staff is the only ranged weapon in the game (short of siege engines) that doesn't have any option to reload as faster than a move action. With the correct combinations of feats, characters can reload a sling, both ends of a double sling, a heavy crossbow, a double crossbow, a double-barreled pistol, and a musket all as a free action. But there is no possible way to reload a sling staff. Period.

Reading the Halflings of Golarion book, I actually got the impression that the developer was not aware of the sling staff at all. Otherwise, why did they go out of their way to create two feats and a new special item that come close to mimicking the effect of sling staff? Honestly, I would have preferred that the FAQ had just declared the weapon not legal for Pathfinder. Then, at least, those of us with dedicated sling staff builds could at least get a free rebuild to recover our characters.

But removing a longstanding weapon from practical use does not count as "a corner case" at all.

We are confirmed for two tables at Geek Girl Con. We'll have one table running SilverHex Chronicles, and the other table will be introductory demonstrations of the game, Q&A, character building, etc. (We tried out the Game Intros/Build Your Characters table at Dragonflight, and it was packed almost all weekend.)

We should be in the gaming area, where we were last year. We'll try to have some posters up, or you can just look for the people in the purple Goblin t-shirts.

See you there!

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

Dhjika wrote:
The +3 strength darkwood long composite bow or the +2 strength greenwood long composite bow for the archer types

Those are specifically Masterwork, aren't they? Otherwise you're not getting the full 750 gp value out of it.

Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Tho I tend to grab armor spikes or spike gauntlet instead of improved unarmed strikes unless I multi class and gain it for free. In which case I would use the unarmed strikes,

That's a good point. I almost always multiclass, so I don't usually notice that it costs a feat... :-)

With Advanced Class Guide, a Brawler dip might become standard for my martial characters: Improved Unarmed Strike and situational feat swapping? Tank your INT and still get to use the whole Combat Expertise feat tree? More skill points and class skills? Yes, please!

I also usually consider a Barbarian dip on my fighters, just because Furious is such a nice weapon enhancement.

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KestrelZ wrote:

I'm fine with using charisma and social skills in a mechanical sense, though I would appreciate how they are being used.

A person that says "I use stealth" gives a GM little to elaborate on. A player that says "I hide behind the large chest" gives a GM a little more to work with.

In a similar fashion "I use diplomacy" gives the GM very little idea of how you are negotiating, A player that says "I use diplomacy to compliment the guard, and then ask him questions that such a knowledgeable guard would surely know" gives a GM much more to work with.

I agree.

I always encourage players to at least tell me the general idea of the tactics they are using for Diplomacy, etc., rather than force them to tell me exactly what they are saying or worse, act it out in character.

Sadly, there is no solution. And it wasn't actually the ruling that made it invalid, it was the explanation of the ruling, and it's all inference from there. If they had just said "the warslinger racial trait only applies to normal slings--for other slings, you have to use the feat trees" that would be fine.

My 3rd-level weapon master (sling staff) warslinger sits in the drawer, completely useless because almost none of the Halfling racial feats for slings actually apply to the only weapon in the game with "Halfling" in the name. (But I'm not bitter or anything...)

If you want to go resurrect and flag any of the FAQ request threads, it might help. Might not.

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Two data points for you to consider:
1) The two-handed fighter in our group with the 12 con died at 5th level last week. Two full attacks from a CR 8 critter and that was it. If he'd had a 14 con, he would have survived.

2) On the flip side, my 12 con charge build/earth breaker specialist is still going strong at 9th level, having never once gone unconscious in her career.

I tend to find that overly-specialized characters don't do too well in PFS. You really do need to have at least one thing you can do outside of combat, and two would be better. Your character won't die necessarily, but you will miss out on a lot of prestige from secondary success conditions. Turning everything you encounter into red mist in one swing isn't very helpful on those occasions when you need to capture someone alive.

My usual stat array (across 14 PFS characters, two retired) is main stat at 17 to start, bump to 18 at 4, then apply magic liberally. Secondary stat at 16 or two secondaries at 14. No more than one stat below 10, if possible.

For a THF, you really only need Power Attack and Furious Focus to be effective. Everything else is flavor. You can pick up some ranged feats to be useful from a distance, or pick a combat maneuver or two to play with.

Some combos that I like for a straight THF:
1) Intimidating Prowess + Bludgeoner + Enforcer. (Use Bludgeoner to do non-lethal damage, then Enforcer to make them shaken for the rest of the combat.
2) Combat Reflexes + Reach Weapon + Unarmed Strike (to threaten close in)

Kazumetsa_Raijin wrote:
Take 1 level of Sacred Fist or 2 levels of Brawler. Fixed.

I hadn't seen the Sacred Fist archetype--thanks for mentioning that!

DM Crustypeanut wrote:
The Goblin's grab is special in that he can grab bigger than himself. He can eventually grapple Huge creatures, hilariously enough. I can only imagine WHAT he bites in order to grapple a giant..

What's really funny is that "grapple" does not have a size limitation--only "grab" does. So if your Goblin doesn't care about getting the free grapple check on an attack, he can grapple anything he wants to.

My 5th level Halfling tetori monk recently grappled a huge ooze and held it down while everyone else beat up on it. Then it exploded all over was icky.

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

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
For scale meaning for pay?

"For scale" is essentially the actor's equivalent of "for minimum wage".

Ahenoam Didma wrote:
First, can a mount take a five foot step? One of our other party members has a companion animal of the same size that can, but it has been indicated that the mount cannot do the same.

Indicated where? I've never heard this before, so I'd need to understand what rule is being applied here.

Any creature can take a 5-foot-step if it's not in difficult terrain. Having someone on your back doesn't change that.

Ahenoam Didma wrote:

If that is the case it would be possible for the mount to attack once and then the rider guides the mount to move back from a foe that is directly in front of the rider/mount as the round’s movement so that the rider can attack with a lance. Or another scenario would be: the rider attacks with a sword, the mount attacks, and then the mount is guided to move.

(excised for space)
The GM said this was not possible because the rider would have to tell the horse to move on the rider’s turn and then wait for the horse to move on its turn. This would mean the rider could not attack with the lance until the rider’s next turn. It’s being treated more like two player characters who are acting at the same initiative roll one after another.

For the first scenario, if the GM rules it this way, all you need to do is this:

1) The rider takes a free action to the direct the mount, then readies an action to attack after the mount takes its action.
2) The mount takes its action.
3) The rider's readied action is triggered, and the rider takes his attack.

For the second scenario ("the rider attacks with a sword, the mount attacks, and then the mount is guided to move"), there is nothing you need to do here. What is happening is this:
1) The rider attacks.
2) The rider orders his mount, "Attack, then move over there."
3) The mount follows the riders orders, makes an attack, and then moves.

If I'm reading the situation correctly, it sounds like your GM is saying that every single part of the mount's action must be directed by a separate action on the part of the rider, so "move over there and attack" must be done on two separate turns:
Turn 1 (rider): rider directs the mount to move
Turn 1 (mount): mount moves
Turn 2 (rider): rider directs the mount to attack
Turn 2 (mount): mount attacks

It also sounds like he's not making the same ruling for the other animal companion. You might ask him if the difference is that the cavalier is mounted (thus making it a mounted combat ruling) or if he's treating the cavalier's mount differently from the other animal companion for some other reason (he thinks mounts aren't as smart as druid's companions, or he's using the "purchased animal" rules instead of the "class feature companion" rules).

The strongest option I've found for AC is a Halfling with Cautious Fighter and 3 ranks in Acrobatics. Fight defensively for +5 AC dodge bonus, +7 for Total Defense. As dodge bonuses, these would stack with anything else in your build, and it has no other prerequisites.

If your build qualifies for Crane Style, you can kick that up to +6 and +8 for only a -2 to your attack roll.

If not, take Exotic Weapon Proficiency in Madu to cut the attack roll penalty down to -2 and add +1 shield bonus to your AC.

Rhatahema wrote:

@Gwen Smith: Why are you ignoring the word "that"? I think your read should be


Ranged weapons include thrown weapons

Ranged weapons include projectile weapons that are not effective in melee

I'm not ignoring "that"--I simply replaced the relative pronoun with the noun it refers to: "projectile weapons".

It's hard to show a full diagram of a sentence in ASCII, but this is the basic concept: when parsing a sentence, you need to split it into the individual clauses and phrases. Basically, you break it down to the individual thoughts and figure out how they fit together.

The sentence consists of two separate thoughts. It has an independent clause with a compound direct object ("Ranged weapons include throw weapons or projectile weapons"), and it has a dependent clause introduced with the relative pronoun "that" ("that are not effective in melee"). By default, all pronouns refer to the closest noun, so you can replace the relative pronoun with the closest noun ("Projectile weapons are not effective in melee").

Rhatahema wrote:
Aside from that, I never said that line indicates ranged thrown weapons cannot be used in melee, only that they're "not effective". Which I saw expressed in the various penalties you receive for wielding those weapons in melee (as you listed).

But you ignored the much more common phenomenon: all the melee weapons with numerical values in the "Range" column--and the very existence of the "Range" column in the melee weapons table. That's the most compelling evidence.

Rhatahema wrote:
Anyway, I don't think my read is nonsense, but I'm persuaded it may be wrong. Where I'm uncertain is the difference between how a weapon is used and what a weapons is, which you see contradictory rules logic applied to in the FAQs on lances and bastard swords. But if there's a consensus that melee weapons are ranged weapons when thrown, then I'll let it rest. I agree that the rules should be that way, anyway.

I didn't say your read was nonsense, and I apologize if it came out that way.

As far as the distinction between what a weapon is and how it's used, think of it as a Venn diagram. There are ranged weapons and melee weapons, and there are some weapons that fall into both categories (where the categories overlap). For those weapons that are "switch hitters", you use the rules based on how the weapon is used.

Tacticslion wrote:
Bioboygamer wrote:

So, one of my players has, through some combination of feats and traits and other things that I probably should have looked at more closely before I OK'd their character sheet, managed to basically make their character faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to blow through encounters in a single round. Their character has an ungodly initiative modifier and has a move speed of 60 ft. per round, along with more potential spells and spell-like abilities than any reasonable 3rd level character should have. At the same time, the other characters in the party are almost underpowered, even compared to a normal character, so anything that would challenge the first player would annihilate the others.

Does anyone have any idea how I could possibly turn his high initiative bonus, crazy movement speed, and seemingly unending list of spell-like abilities against him, without killing the rest of the party?

After reading this, at first I thought the GM was thinking about a monk, probably qinggong archetype... but nope, 3rd level is way, way too low for this.

So, I went on a search.

That netted me the medium (with covenants), draconic exemplar, and savant are the only valid ways to get spell-like abilities before 4th level.

Maaayyybe the True...

I was wondering if he's using the aasimar or tiefling racial spell-like abilities to qualify for prestige classes or feats at way-too-early a level.

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

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I want to point out one thing:
If it was unintentional, it wasn't "cheating". It was just a mistake.

When anyone talks to a GM or coordinator or VO, please, please keep this in mind. Don't assume malice where there was honest misreading.

(For some reason, parenthesis turn into hash marks...)

Rhatahema wrote:
PRD, Weapons wrote:
Melee and Ranged Weapons: Melee weapons are used for making melee attacks, though some can be thrown as well. Ranged weapons include thrown weapons or projectile weapons that are not effective in melee.
That's where I'm reading the distinction, in addition to their placement on the weapons table. By definition, a thrown weapon that's "effective in melee" (presumably indicated by its classification as a melee weapon) is not a ranged weapon, by my read.

Why are you reading the relative clause as applying to both nouns? Generally, a relative clause refers to the closest noun, so parsing the sentence would get you:

Grammar wrote:

Ranged weapons include thrown weapons

Ranged weapons include projectile weapons
Projectile weapons are not effective in melee

If we look at the context of the sentence, we see that they are drawing a distinction between two groups (melee and ranged) and that one subset (thrown) belongs to both groups:

PRD (emphasis mine) wrote:
Melee weapons are used for making melee attacks, though some can be thrown as well. Ranged weapons include thrown weapons or projectile weapons that are not effective in melee.

If you parse the whole paragraph, you get:

Grammar wrote:

Melee weapons are effective in melee

Some melee weapons can be thrown

Ranged weapons include thrown weapons
Ranged weapons include projectile weapons
projectile weapons are not effective in melee

In context, it seems pretty clear to me. However, even out of context, it's a big stretch difficult to apply the relative clause to both nouns here, especially since all the writer had to do was leave out the first noun to make it clear.

Hypothetical wording:
Ranged weapons include thrown or projectile weapons that are not effective in melee.

Here, "thrown" and "projectile" both modify the same noun, and that noun is also modified by the relative clause. So parsing this sentence gets you:

Grammar wrote:

Ranged weapons include thrown weapons

Ranged weapons include projectile weapons
Ranged weapons are not effective in melee

But they didn't do that. They included the first "weapons" after "thrown", which leaves "thrown weapons" abandoned on the other side of the conjunction from the relative clause.

Rhatahema wrote:
If a thrown dagger can't benefit from precise shot because it's not a ranged weapon, that wouldn't be a problem because the penalty for firing into melee only applies to ranged weapons.

If everybody ruled this way, I'd probably be OK with saying that "thrown weapons aren't ranged". Sadly, I have never, ever seen a GM rule this way, ever.

Rhatahema wrote:
I did find this sentence in the magic weapons section: "Some of the weapons listed as melee weapons can also be used as ranged weapons. In this case, their enhancement bonuses apply to both melee and ranged attacks." So that supports your argument. Any other rules you can quote? The returning property is listed under "ranged weapon special abilities", and there are certainly returning daggers out there, but the only limit placed by the description is "This special ability can only be placed on a weapon that can be thrown". So it's not the best example.

In Ultimate Equipment, the weapons table includes a column called "Range":

Weapon qualities wrote:
Range: Any attack at more than this distance is penalized for range. Beyond this range, the attack takes a cumulative –2 penalty for each full range increment (or fraction thereof) of distance to the target. For example, a dagger (with a range of 10 feet) thrown at a target that is 25 feet away would incur a –4 penalty. A thrown weapon has a maximum range of five range increments. A projectile weapon can shoot up to 10 range increments.

And a bit earlier, it says

Melee and ranged weapons wrote:
It is possible to throw a weapon that isn't designed to be thrown (that is, a melee weapon that doesn't have a numeric entry in the Range column on the following weapon tables)...

So any weapon in the Melee Weapons tables that has a numeric entry in the "Range" column is designed to be thrown. Clearly, these are weapons that are effective in melee and are also effective as thrown weapons. If "cannot be used effectively in melee" is an intrinsic part of the definition of "ranged weapon", then there would be no "Range" column on the Melee Weapons tables.

Also, some of the thrown weapons in the Ranged Weapons table include notes about what happens if you wield them in melee:

Weapon descriptions wrote:

You can wield the chakram as a melee weapon, but it is not designed for such use; you take a –1 penalty on your attack roll with the weapon and must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save or cut yourself on the blade (half damage, no Strength modifier). You do not need to make this save if wearing heavy armor.

(Hunga munga) Also called a mambele, danisco, goleyo, njiga, or any of many lesser-known names, this three-bladed dagger is intended for throwing but can be used as a melee weapon.
A javelin is a thin throwing spear . Since it is not designed for melee, you are treated as nonproficient with it and take a –4 penalty on attack rolls if you use a javelin as a melee weapon.

Note that bows, crossbows, and firearms do not have these types of notes. That becomes especially interesting when you look at the description of the bayonet:

Weapon descriptions wrote:
Bayonets are close combat weapons designed to fit into the grooves or muzzles of crossbows and firearms. They allow you to make melee attacks with these weapons but render them temporarily useless as ranged weapons. Attaching or removing a bayonet is a move action.

Now, what do bows, crossbows, and firearms have in common that makes them different from chakrams, javelins, and hunga mungas?

They are all "projectile weapons that are not effective in melee."

I think the problem you should focus on is the other 2 players that feel left out. Start with a solid understanding of their issues--it could be a lot of different things:
Did they build buffing characters and the party doesn't need buffing?
Are they buffing, but they don't see that as contributing?
Are the other 2 players grandstanding and shutting them out (the classic "I go into the room..." "Me too! I'm there!" problem)?
Are all the encounters combat-based when they have social characters or skill monkeys?

Once you understand what their feelings are, you can adjust your game to solve that problem first. Some of that adjustment could help out the overpowered feeling, too.

Some common mistakes to check for on the fighter: armor applied to touch AC, armor bonuses stacking when they shouldn't, speed not being slowed from armor, adding more Dex bonus to AC that the armor allows, and not applying armor check penalties. If he uses a shield, make sure he's not keeping the shield AC bonus when he shield bashes and is not still adding the strength/Power Attack bonus for wielding a weapon two handed.

And if you need a way to shut down a fighter and animal companion, I have two words: Will Saves. Avoid fear effects if the fighter has bravery: Go for dazed, stunned, sleep effects, and confusion effects.

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
I offered them a place in this game because one is the cousin of my friends who is playing, and has been looking for a gaming group for a while now. Apparently the reason he can't find one is because he refuses to modify his playstyle to fit with the group he's joining, and expects people to just accept whatever he wants to bring into the game. I found out AFTER I invited him to join that he's on the entitled side, and spoiled by his mum. He's been bugging me because I used to run PFS (stopped for now due to health reasons) and had wanted to start playing in a group again because he loved his 4th ed group so much and all the zany things they got up to.

Have you tried pointing him to your old PFS group? He could interact with different people and potentially find a group of people he does fit in with. At the very least, the episodic nature of PFS means that not every game will be the same tone and approach, and his character concepts have a better chance of fitting in there.

clawclawbite wrote:

My party in Wrath of the Righteous has 6 players, one of whom is a bard. The new fighter/archer did 250 damage in one round to a CR 15 creature at 11th level. Without expending mythics. No criticals. The bard's bonuses scale so dramatically that missing is a real rarity and hey - mythics if you're close.

Which is exactly legal and proper. Except that...

For two fights, no one else in the party even went. Just the archer, who delays to the bard, then steps in with 7 attacks with a Seeking bow (hello concealment, goodbye concealment). For those same fights, the monsters didn't go either.

Thematically, yeah, easy to bypass DR. At the table, radically different to play any other class. If a monster is going to have a protection that makes it durable, it should be durable enough to matter.

Out of curiosity: How did he get 7 attacks? With Rapid Shot, Manyshot, and 2 iteratives, he should only have 6 arrows in flight.

Even with 7 attacks a round, he would have to get over 35 points per shot to get 250 damage. Assuming a weapon master with a 16 str and a +3 bow, I get max damage at about 30 points per shot, and average damage is more like 25 points per shot. Adjusted for chance to hit against AC 31, it's around 21 points per shot.

This particular experience is an outlier--if your archer does this more than once, I'd audit his character.

(For comparison, a great-sword wielding weapon master or a barbarian with a furious great sword can easily average over 40 damage per hit, and adjusted for chance to hit AC 31, should easily average 37 points per hit. The archer and the two-handed fighter or barbarian should be very close in damage dealt on a full round attack.)

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

Fearspect wrote:
Still a big hit to their rewards. The level 5 player essentially paid 700-800 gold just to play in this low level scenario with minimal risk.

Lower risk always equals lower rewards. At least it is better than it was before: previously, he would just get the low tier gold.

There was a huge problem with groups "always playing up" because they all got the upper tier gold. This skewed the wealth by level and created a high-pressure environment where a lot of the lower-tier players felt bullied or forced into playing up when they didn't want to--and they had the biggest risk.

If you need an arcane caster and he needs to do damage, consider a magus.

Alternatively, you can tell him about how our (fairly-effective) ninja in RotRL swapped out for a full wizard at 6th level because it became clear that we would need one.

Once he starts crafting, he will own the groups' souls.

It seems like you have the situation under control. Personally, I would start with laying down the "no minors" rule, because that's a non-negotiable issue with you regardless of whether you like the players or not.

I think the idea of starting them with NPCs is a good one. If they complain, explain that this helps them get used to the mechanics and game play before they commit to making a character. That way, they have a better chance of building the character they want--and making it effective in the game.

Also, it seems like you are aware of your potential biases and are willing to watch how you interact with them. You might consider discussing this with one or two of your more regular players and ask them to keep an eye for biased behavior and decision, but I'm not sure you can do a whole lot more than that. I think you'll be OK.

As far as the Caydenite monk, if you were OK with the concept, he could look at the Martial Artist archetype, which doesn't require the monk to be lawful but trades out ki pool. Alternatively, he might consider running a Brawler from Advanced Class Guide, which doesn't have an alignment restriction.

I'm not sure how flexible you are with letting players "spin" alignment, but that's another option. For example, I have a completely anti-social Zen Archer with a (well-earned) persecution complex. She's lawful neutral, and I run her as "if I keep my head down, follow the rules, and don't get into trouble, maybe I won't get run out of this town". Essentially, she's lawful out of practical self-preservation rather than any respect for authority or philosophical leanings.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:

More exotic ways involve getting obscuring mist/smokestick and a way to see through fog/smoke and hiding inside it so the player can see out and their enemies can't see in.

There's also invisibility and greater invisibility and any ranged attacks.

The magic item to help ranged sneak attacks is Sniper Goggles which let a player avoid the range limitation on it.

The biggest problem with mist/smokestick/darkness route is that the target now has concealment, so you can't do precision damage--which is the type of damage a sneak attack deals.

The way around that is the feat Shadow Strike. Once you have that, you have a lot more options.

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

Traskus wrote:

Thank you all for you advice on getting better organized as a group. I brought almost all of the suggestions up with the fellow coordinators/GMs and I think it was well received and I believe we will be implementing most of the ideas we found here. I'm going to start putting things up on warhorn once I can get all of our 'regular' GMs to a sit down meeting to discuss scenarios that we will run so I can make a good list of what days will run.


If you know how to get a VO or more experienced GM to Central Arkansas I'm all ears.

Traskus, start here: Regional Coordinators

It looks like the only Arkansas VO is the VL in Jonesboro. It looks like Arkansas is part of a larger region.

Diminuendo wrote:
I dont see how cover affects Channel Force

Actually, it had nothing to do with the cover bonus. To me, the relevant part was the idea that a grappling character can move the target of the grapple around as an immediate action, not on his turn. That seems to indicate a lot of control over the grappled character.

Im also not suggesting the grapple-ie just get up and walk away, im suggesting that they violently throw the grappler with such force - which the grappler can resist with a sucessful will save - away from them that their grip loosens.

That's basically why I suggested using a combat maneuver check to break the grapple.

Now unless the grappler has arms like Mr Fantastic then the grapple ends when they are thrown 10 feet. A grapplers hands are not masterwork manicles.

Or he holds on tightly and drags the other character with him. The grappling character is not being teleported away (which I would allow, BTW): he's being pushed away. Since there's already a mechanism for the grappling character to forcibly move the target of the grapple up to half his speed (which is usually at least 15 feet, and for a monk can easily be 20-30 feet), I don't see why being shoved 10 feet would automatically cause the grappling character to lose his hold.

You're right: a grappler's hands are not masterwork manacles. Masterwork manacles only have an Escape Artist check of 35 and only 20 effective hit points. A 6th level tetori monk can easily have a CMD of 38 or higher, and way, way more than 20 hit points. And he can react to changing circumstances, while manacles can't.

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

Avatar-1 wrote:

The metagaming thing is generally commonsense (reiterate it if need be), but it sounds like that was your plan A anyway.

Just ask everyone to give you their specific-cases on saves at the beginning of the game, and give them the tools they need to do it. Help them to help you.

The other problem with running the saving throws in secret is that players who have a "add your Charisma bonus to a save three times a day" or "once a day, roll twice and take the batter result" abilities won't have the opportunity to use them.

Diminuendo wrote:

because casters don't have a hard enough time in melee already, we have to make up rules that limit their options more?

I'd also like to point out that this is a limited use response.

you say there needs to be a rule for the grappler to drop anything they are holding, but there is also no rule for negating another attack because you just happened to be in grapple.

Think of it as a set of conditions:

Grappler attempts to grapple in grapple range and has a sucessful check = foe is now grappled

Grappler is no longer in grapple range = grapple ends

The method used to take the grappler out of range is not affected by the two characters being in grapple unless the method specifically states it does.

What about other methods of breaking a grapple by pushing the foe away? would you rule the same on Hydraulic Push? Awesome Blow? None of these methods are you just win situations, in each case a check is made by either the attacker or reciever.

Options when grappled:

If You Are Grappled: If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent's CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) or Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to your opponent's CMD). If you succeed, you break the grapple and can act normally. Alternatively, if you succeed, you can become the grappler, grappling the other creature (meaning that the other creature cannot freely release the grapple without making a combat maneuver check, while you can). Instead of attempting to break or reverse the grapple, you can take any action that doesn't require two hands to perform, such as cast a spell or make an attack or full attack with a light or one-handed weapon against any creature within your reach, including the creature that is grappling you.

Nothing in this text or in the grappled condition indicates that you can just "move out of range" of the grappler. Since the grappler a) moved the target to an adjacent square and b) can move the target as part of maintaining the grapple, I don't see any RAW option for "pushing the foe away" as a method of breaking the grapple.

Also, given that the Body Shield feat says

As an immediate action while you are grappling an adjacent creature, you can make a grapple combat maneuver check against that creature to gain cover against a single attack. If you are successful and the attack misses you, that attack targets the creature you used as cover, using the same attack roll.

It seems like the creature controlling the grapple has a whole lot of control over what happens to the grappled creature. Based on this, I would rule the opposite way: any method of pushing a grappler "out of range" doesn't work unless the method specifically says it does.

Some of the other options you discussed are based on Bull Rush. Looking at the text on Bull Rush, there's nothing to indicate what the effect is when you try to Bull Rush a creature that is grappling you. That's probably going to be a GM's discretion issue.

I suppose a reasonable ruling could be "Make your Bull Rush attempt against the character grappling you, using their CMD vs. Grapple and applying all your penalties for being grappled. If you make the Bull Rush attempt, you break the grapple."

But I don't see anything in the rules that would make this ruling anything other than a house rule.

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

trollbill wrote:
The cards should work fine if you just have them list circumstantial bonuses. Most characters only have 1 or 2 of those...well...except for my Fey Foundling dwarf superstitious barbarian.

Who worships Korada and is a member of Druma’s Mercenary League...

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

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All of this advice is good. A few more specific suggestions:
Table size:
If you have a lot of trouble with people failing to show up, then you might want to 6 per table, so if 2 people don't show you can still run the table.
At new stores where we have a lot of walk-ins, we cap our online sign-ups at 4 per table. When we're trying to build a location, the last thing we want to do is turn people away.

Audits, rules instructions, character building/leveling, etc.:
If you can, set aside the hour before the session to handle these kinds of things. If you can't, that gets trickier.
In the past, we've scheduled entire game days devoted to nothing but housekeeping and advice, all day, but these were usually poorly-attended. At a recent convention, we scheduled one table in each session just for introductions to the game, character building assistance, and Q&A--and that table was booked solid for most of the weekend.
I would recommend the second approach: schedule one table at each game day for character advice, audits, Q&A, rules clarifications, etc. If you have a big problem with illegal or incomplete characters, you can try to make it mandatory for a player to "play" at that table sometime in the first three-four game days they attend. (That gets into some interesting bookkeeping issues, though.)

As far as you not wanting to always be the "rules guy":
Unfortunately, once you have a reputation for knowing your stuff, you'll continue to get asked. One thing you can try is doing some GM 101 classes to encourage more GMs with enough rules knowledge (and confidence) that they need to ask you less as time goes by.

About your venture officers:
Contact them anyway. They should be able to give you some advice and possibly get you some resources. They might already have an online sign up that you can piggy-back onto, which will cut down the amount of set-up and maintenance you need to handle yourself.
Getting your events listed onto regional calendars can raise visibility for your efforts: you might find more people in your area, and you might get some more experienced GMs or VOs who happen to be traveling to your area and are willing to help you out. You might also be able to schedule a "special visit" from some of the more experienced GMs.
Qualifications for venture officers are generally "some understanding of the RPG rules", "a commitment to follow the PFS rules", and most importantly, "a willingness to step up and do the work".

General note:
Thank you for stepping up and getting things coordinated. You and the other GMs in your area deserve a lot of credit for trying to get things started again, and I hope you all remember to keep having fun: don't burn yourself out with all the hard work!

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

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How do you balance the desire to keep the players guessing about what's going on vs. giving the players enough information to use any special abilities they have?

I used to collect saving throws on initiative cards so I could make saves against surprise attacks without the players knowing what's coming. However, with bonuses to saves against specific effects, under specific circumstances, or against specific creatures are getting very common, and there's no way I can collect all of them on the card. Add to that the fact that players also have situational boons or uses/day options that they can choose to use, and I don't think I can justify making saving throws behind the scenes, without giving players the chance to use these abilities.

Whenever I ask for a Will save, it goes something like this:
Player: Is it a spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability?
Me: Yes
Player: Is it an illusion, compulsion, or a fear-based effect?
Me (digging out the books to double-check):
Player: Is it from an evil outsider?
Me: Yes
Player: I get plus 3 on this...

That really slows the game down. And newer players don't always know to ask all the right questions, and I don't think it's fair to punish them just for being new.

My other option is:
Me: Give me a Will save against a supernatural ability of an evil outsider--it's a mind-effecting, death effect.
Player: Hey guys, there's a evil outsider hiding around here somewhere--probably a kalavakas demon...

That really spoils the surprise.

Does anybody have any suggestions for different ways to deal with situations like this?

Ravingdork wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

These seem somewhat contradictory to me. Do fired projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them, or not?
It depends on which spell you're under the effect of, as can be seen from the effects in your post.
But that's highly inconsistent...

Unless the guideline is "always round against the player". Then it's perfectly consistent.

You can also take the feat Cosmopolitan: pick two skills that use the same mental attribute and make them class skills. You also get two languages for free with that feat.

I played with a movement build and faced the "OK, I'm fast--now what?" problem. I played around with focusing on the Panther Style tree: when you provoke AoOs from moving through people's threatened area, you get a retaliatory unarmed strike.

Pick up Dodge and Mobility. Worship Rowdrosh and take Celestial Obedience for a +4 sacred bonus to AC vs movement-provoked AoOs. With +8 AC vs AoOs for moving through people's squares, you can suck up every AoO on the board, every round until they get smart enough to stop trying (but by then all your friends should be in place).

If you want to go Maneuver Master Monk, combine the Snake Style tree with Panther Style for free AoOs whenever an opponent misses you, or use the Snapping Turtle Style tree to get a free grapple attempt when someone misses you.

Westerner wrote:
Another cool feat for down the road is hammer the gap...

I'm not a big fan of hammer the gap. The way I read it, the hits have to be consecutive. So your attack sequence could go

Attack 1: Hit (+0)
Attack 2: Hit (+1)
Attack 3: Miss (reset to +0)
Attack 4: Hit (+0)
Attack 5: Hit (+1)

It seems like a lot of bookkeeping for not a lot of benefit. (Of course, I could just have terrible dice luck.)

CKorfmann wrote:
BTW, if you're allowed to use 3rd party material, you should consider a 2 level dip in Serene Barbarian. You get all the goodness of Barbarian (full BAB, +10 speed, d12 HD), but instead of Rage, you go into a state of serenity. This grants you +2 to WIS and DEX and all your saves. This means that you are +2 to hit and your AC is +4. Otherwise it acts like Rage in the things you can and can't do (cast spells, etc.) and has the same limited rounds per day. At the second level, your Rage/Serenity Power could be Scent. Using pheromone arrows with Scent gives you +2/+2 on pheromone marked targets. If your DM gets hung up on alignment restrictions, the designer of this "alternate class feature" stated that he would support a change in the non-lawful restriction in this thread

I have a half-orc Zen Archer who had "anger management issues" and was finally kicked out of the monastery at level 6. Two levels of barbarian got her the Scent rage power, and she carries a +4 composite bow for when she rages--she calls it her "angry bow" (it's Adaptive now, but she still switches bows when she rages). And she picked up Scent just because she discovered Pheromone Arrows. :-)

The reason this works is because monks who become non-lawful don't lose any abilities: they just can't advance any further in the monk class. If you want to go that route, you can check out the Urban Barbarian archetype, which can rage for Dex instead of Strength.

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I guess I'm out of some loop. Geek Girl vs Fake Geek Girl? If this is a taboo topic just delete my entry here.

I'm in the same boat. My first thought was that there was some spam or phishing scam pretending to be Geek Girl Con but sucked all the passwords out of your computer when you went to sign up...

I assumed it was the convention that was "fake"...because that other stuff makes no sense at all.

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We're currently talking with Geek Girl Con about running some demos, possibly the Silverhex Chronicles. (We don't have enough people there to run actual scenarios, and most of the attendees don't want to sit in one place for 5 hours anyway.)

We'll post more information on (the local events board for Washington & Oregon) as we have it.

Mathius wrote:
Ricochet shot deals with cover quite well. I do not suffer for shooting into melee itself and as long as I can bounce the shot off the floor behind him I get around cover. If that will not work I spend a grit and ignore it that way. I will probably get it back with a crit.

This won't work in many cases (flying creatures, creatures on both sides of your target, etc.), and it would be subject to GM's discretion. It's not the "shooting into melee" penalty: any creature between you and your target provides Soft Cover (-4). You would be able to pick up Improved Precise Shot at level 11 or higher, though.

For the gloves action:


Crossbow 1 in right hand and glove in left with stored crossbow.
Fire all interative attacks, rapid, and haste shots.
Retrieve cross bow 2 (free)
Swap hands (free)
store crossbow 1 (free)
Swap hands (free)
Fire off hand shots
Swap hands (free)
(Crossbow 2 starts out and 1 stored on the next round)

A couple of issues with this:

1) It's a free action to swap an item from one hand to the other. I'm not sure that is the same thing as changing hands with items in both hands. How do you swap the crossbows when both your hands are full? I suppose if you put ranks in Profession: Juggler or something, your GM might let you get away with it...

2) You currently have two Hands slot items: Glove of Storing and Gloves of Dueling.

3) Your first line "fire all iterative attacks, rapid and haste shots" takes at least 5 free actions (to reload between shots). Swapping the crossbows takes 5 free actions, and your second crossbow takes another 5 free actions. 15 free actions in a single round is pretty insane. GMs are allowed to limit the number of free actions to what they think is reasonable, and 5 free actions a round is given as a guideline.

On the mount:
You need Mounted Archery or you'll take an additional penalty whenever your mount moves. Your Dex is high enough that you should be able to use Guide With Knees (Ride check DC 15) without any trouble, so at least you won't need a move action to guide your mount.

Your flying mount won't be able to use Bodyguard very often, because he'd have to be in melee range of the target to use Aid Another (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a flying ranged fighter). You'd get more benefit spending those two feats somewhere else.

Slacker2010 wrote:
RainyDayNinja wrote:
I'd probably let the grappler make a grapple check versus the DC of the channel to hold on.
Even if he failed his save? The failed save means he is going flying away. If he holds on then are you going flying with him? Does he get two chances to negate the spell? (one being the save the other being another grapple check)

He doesn't get two chances to negate the channel. He gets one chance to negate the channel: the saving throw. If he fails the save, he goes flying.

The grapple check is to mitigate the results of going flying. For example, if the target got pushed off a cliff by the channel, I would absolutely give him a reflex save to catch the edge of the cliff before he plummets to his death.

Likewise, I would give a grappling creature a grapple check to hold on to the grappled cleric. Unless there's something in the channel force tree that says "you drop everything you are carrying" or "you are flat-footed while moving" or "you are completely helpless", I don't see why the grappling creature wouldn't get a chance to hold on--especially considering that one of the options for maintaining a grapple is to move the grappled creature around.

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

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One of the recurring arguments on this thread is that paladins are the "only class" that loses benefits from an alignment shift. I'm somewhat surprised that no one else had mentioned that this statement is blatantly untrue.

Monks have to be lawful, too, and monks who have taken various oaths have very specific rules to follow (but I guess most GMs don't have those on their radar). Clerics, inquisitors, and warpriests have to be within one step of their deity or else they lose their powers. And no character can cast any alignment-based spell unless their alignment exactly matches that of the spell.

The only rationale I see for paladins getting picked on more that these other cases is that the paladin code is more specific than just "must be lawful good". But there are multiple versions of the paladin's code, from the different "Oath against..." options to the deity-specific codes in various books.

So why do paladins get the brunt of the hate? History, maybe (everybody has hated paladins since AD&D)? The lawful-good-stupid stereotype (countless old stories of a paladin who wouldn't let the rogue pick a lock in the ancient, centuries-abandoned dungeon)? GM resentment (because that damn aura of courage ruins my mummy's fear aura)?

This is a serious question: with lawful good clerics and inquisitors of Iomedae and monks with the Oath of Peace and Oath of Truth running around, why are paladins the only ones in trouble for not being sneaky, lying murder-hobos?

I strongly suspect that we are just letting other classes get away with ignoring their restrictions. But why can't we ignore those restrictions with paladins? Because they are such an integral feature of the class? Maybe...but I see a lot of examples of oracles who "forget" that they can't see/hear/speak/whatever, despite the fact that the oracle's curse is a defining feature of the class.

On some level, I think it's probably the same issue in "Gamers 2": some players (and GMs) seem to think the only purpose of a paladin is to police the party and ruin their fun.

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Rambear wrote:
I still think inquisitor has more potential. Divine Power/Wrath/Greater Magic Weapon/Litany of Vengeance/Weapon of Awe would all outpace gravity bow, which is a +1 to damage most times.

Actually, for a medium character, Gravity bow takes the weapon from 1d8 (4.5 avg) to 2d6 (7.0), for an increase of 2.5 points on average.

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