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Madge Blossomheart

Gwen Smith's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle. 2,156 posts (2,722 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 20 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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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.

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

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.

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

Da Brain wrote:
Jason S wrote:
Z...D... wrote:
But if you fought something before, how would you magically forget that you fought it and forget important things such as, I don't know, what it's weaknesses are?

Your GM is correct, but he should have given you a bonus on the roll (honor system). Just because you remember doesn't mean your PC remembers.

Having said that, the Pathfinder Knowledge skills in general need to be streamlined and simplified more.

(Bolding mine) Wait, what if my PC remembers the monster, but I (the player) doesn't?

I mean, my PC has a photographic memory (mind chemist), but I don't. What if I fought the creature last adventure for the PC - but that was a year of real time for my less than photographic player memory. Can I get information about the beast - if I don't actually know I have encountered it before (but my PC would?)

At my table, always. I always separate the character's knowledge from the player's knowledge, and I won't punish the character because of things the player doesn't know. Your wizard would know how that spell works, even if you forget whether it's conjuration or adjuration. (I tend to run a lot of demo games, so I often deal with brand new players.)

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

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I tend to avoid the "all or nothing" approach for knowledge checks, where if you fail you know absolutely nothing at all. (If this were the case, how would characters even recognize that it's hostile and they should run?)

If someone misses the knowledge check by less than 5, I'll tell them something like "it looks like a skeleton, but not like any skeleton you've ever seen" or "your best guess is that might be in the dragon family, but you're not sure". A lot of this information is what the players will be guessing from the description anyway, so it makes sense to put it in character, to me:
"You smell rotting flesh."
"Crap, it's probably undead. My knowledge religion roll is 11." (CR is 15)
"You're pretty sure it's undead, but you have no idea what kind or what it does."

Of course, this doesn't work on monsters that specifically mimic other creatures' traits. (There's one critter in Mummy's Mask that looks a lot like a mummy, even though it's not even undead.)

Also, as characters get more information, I'll give them additional checks. "Holy water didn't hurt it, so it's probably not undead..."

On the flip side, I've had GMs who wouldn't even let you make a knowledge check unless you a) specifically asked and b) correctly guessed which knowledge check to make. Even worse, sometimes they would only let you make one or two checks a turn, so it was possible for characters with two knowledge skills to identify creatures faster than scholar characters with 10 ranks in everything.

I understand where the idea comes from: if your goal is to keep the players as much in the dark as possible, even telling them which knowledge check to make gives them too much information. I just hate being on the receiving end of it, so I never do it as a GM.

Wand of Grease, negative channels, psychic spells, any supernatural abilities that don't require concentration. Shirt of immolation, grinding armor...

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

Fourshadow wrote:
So is this a combination of a Wayfinder and Dayplanner? If you don't know what a Dayplanner is, you are definitely too young.

Oh, man, now I want one! Wayfinder with multiple Alarm spells you can configure each morning...

Sammy T wrote:
with 3 ranks of Acrobatics, you now can go Total Defense for +6 Dodge to your AC. You can Dodge tank a foe or try to provoke an AOO to trigger Turtle Clutch.

Check with your GM before you go this route. Many GMs will not let you take AoOs when going Total Defense. Also, if you are doing Total Defense, you might not be able to maintain your grapple.

If you're concerned about AC and CMD, you can go halfling (for a Dex based grappler). The Cautious Fighter feat increases your bonus from fighting defensively (and Total Defense) by 2. Crane Style will increase that another 1. YOu get another +1 for size, and the halfling favored class bonus for monks is +1 CMD vs. Trip and Grapple.

I second the recommendation for wands/potions of Mage Armor and Qiggong for Barkskin. Those are great for any monk build, really.

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Aelryinth wrote:

Just a note: Remember to apply the distance modifiers of +2/10 feet on perception checks.


It's +1 to the DC for every 10 feet of distance, not +2.

I think the general take-away is to talk to your players and find out what kind of game they want to play, and then come up with some kind of compromise to make that type of game fun for the GM, too.

In my early RPG days, I had several "gotcha" GMs who went out of their way to "beat" the players, to trick them, etc. Some of the "fun" sessions we had:
- A four-hour session that consisted of nothing but climbing out of a 100 ft. canyon, rolling climb checks every 10 feet, falling to our deaths, rolling another character, and starting again. I don't think we actually ever got out of that canyon...
- Spending an hour of real time crossing a 30 foot room, while the rogue rolled Perception for every single 5 foot square, and every single character behind the rogue had to specify which squares they stepping into, just in case the player misremembered which square was safe...This is the primary reason every character I've had since then carries chalk.
- Taking 10-15 minutes to enter every single room, with the chant "I check the square to the right of the door. I check the square in front of the door. I check the square to the left of the door. I check the square above the door. I step up to the door. I check the door for traps. I check the lock and the door handle for traps (because the door and the handle are two different things, you see...). I check to see if the door is locked. I crack the door 2 inches. I check the square just inside the door. I check the ceiling inside the room..."

Personally, I found that type of game to be as tedious as the "busy work" they used to give us in elementary school when we couldn't go outside for recess. If your players enjoy that sort of thing, more power to you.

If you want to be "merciful" and kill them quickly and painlessly, look at various techniques for slaughtering animals used over the years, particularly in cultures that valued "painless" kills for sacrificial animals (e.g., ancient Greek, traditional Jewish, etc.). Throat slitting was the preferred method for centuries; in more modern times, they use the "bolt to the back of the skull" technique, but I'm not sure how much of that is concern for suffering over just clean and quick. (There's a quote in one of the Amber books about slaughter house workers drawing an X from the top of each ear to the opposite eye and then delivering a sharp bludgeoning blow to the center of the X. No idea if that actually works...)

All that aside...
I'm kind of blown away by the idea that the Punisher could be considered Lawful Anything. Daredevil is Lawful Good: all of his vigilante efforts are in support of the legal system: gathering evidence, turning in the bad guys, involving the police, etc.

Punisher is much more Chaotic Good: he will do whatever he thinks is necessary for (his version of) the greater good of the community, because the law is stupid and doesn't ever work. During his career, he tones it back to Neutral Good, somewhat, but Lawful never once enters his mind.

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

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Andrew Christian wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

My opinion is that subsequent products cannot invalidate previous books and rules simply because something new was created. It is my postulation, that even potion sponges don't change the rules. They just add something more you can do with a potion, essentially helping with action economy.

These new feats should be no different.

Both locally and online potion sponges, the flank trick, etc absolutely changed what was allowable at the table. They changed the rules.

Clearly that experience is shared by lots of people.

The flank trick absolutely did not change the rules. People were doing something animals should not have been doing. You can go back to all the arguments about that if you like.

But the creation of the flank trick validated the arguments that animals couldn't choose to go out of thier way to flank.

So lets not conflate the two.

Except animals do flank--all the time. Wolves flank their quarry in nature: it's well documented in photos and on video. (They often surround their quarry, and attack from multiple directions, one distracts the prey while others lunge in from the other side.) Sheep dogs are trained to circle around in different directions based on different whistle commands. And so on.

There was no reason for animals not to flank as part of the attack trick. The flank trick not only made it impossible for those animals who naturally flank in the wild to flank when trained, it also causes most GMs to force the animal to provoke AoOs when they normally wouldn't.

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

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p-sto wrote:
Granted I don't have the book so I'm only gleaning what I can from the commentary in this thread but I am feeling that for the most part common sense will prevail over overly rigid interpretations of these feats, even in PFS. It does seem that it will make the feats rather unattractive character options. Spending multiple feats for niche advantages on things that most reasonable GMs would let you anyway seems like a waste to me.

I'd like to believe that's true...I'd like to, but I can't.

Because I have to buy potion sponges and teach my wolf a separate trick to flank and take a full round to do ranged combat maneuvers at a -2 penalty and...

Players generally have to assume the strictest interpretation of any rule because all it takes is one GM to rule that way to break a character build.

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

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Andrew Christian wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Curaigh wrote:
Hmmm... I don't see the shaitan modifying the eidolon's base form.
I didn't until i looked it up and the stat bonus is written under a big old heading of "base form"

It does say "if", though: "if a shaitan binder’s eidolon has the biped base form, it gains a +2 bonus to one ability score. The shaitan binder must make this choice at 1st level. If at any time the shaitan binder’s eidolon has another base form, it loses this bonus until it returns to biped form."

So is it legal to make a Shaitan Binder who doesn't choose the biped as the base form?

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Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Just to be clear, if the temporary bonuses did/do apply equally to permanent bonuses to attributes for the purposes of feat prerequisites, can you use the feat always, or only when you meet the requirements?

You can only use the feat if you meet the requirements at the time you intend to use it. This has never been in question. For example, if you are wearing a belt of strength to qualify for Power Attack, you could not use Power Attack while you were in an anti-magic field (and the belt's power was suppressed).

The only change the brawler discussion made was clarifying that you could take feats even if you only had the prerequisites under specific circumstances (in this case, brawlers only "have" the TWF feat when they are flurrying, but they can still take feats that have the TWF feat as a prerequisite, even if they are not constantly flurrying).

The brawler precedent combined with October 2013 FAQ on temporary bonuses has caused a lot of people to think that you can actually use short term spells to qualify for feats, but you can then only use the feat when you cast those spells again.

The basic "brawler argument" is that flurry is a full round action that lasts only 6 seconds. If the brawler can qualify for a feat based on an effect that lasts only 6 seconds, why is it unreasonable to use a minute-long effect to qualify for the exact same feat? (Your GM has to be the one to answer that question. And remember that "Because I say so" is a valid answer from your GM.)

But no matter what you rule on the prerequisite qualifications, there is no argument that you can only use the feat if you meet the prerequisite right now. If you have a natural strength score of 18, and your strength is somehow lowered below 13 (polymorph effect, drain, curse, whatever), you can't use Power Attack until you get that fixed.

Firebug wrote:

I am not seeing how my first example is not coming from the exact same corner as the rules text example, it's just mirrored along the edge that contains that corner.

... X
... X X
... X X X
Starting from the NE corner of M.
.. .. X
.. X X
.. .. M
Still starting from the NE corner of M, just rotated 90 degrees at that corner.

Infact, the second feels more natural if you were to make a 90 degree arc using your arms.

In these examples, your caster is at the right angle of the triangle.

In your original example, your caster was at one of the acute angles of the triangle:
.X X
.X X X

Label your corners this way:

Your caster can be at B, but not at A or C, no matter which direction you turn the cone.

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(Finally found the discussion I was looking for.)
During the ACG playtest, there was a dev clarification that you can take feats that you qualify for in specific situations. You simply can't use the feat outside of those situations:

From Brawler's discussion:
"A brawler can use the feats granted by brawler's flurry to qualify for other feats, but can only use those other feats when using brawler's flurry (as that's the only time she actually meets those prerequisites)."

This was in answer to the question about the class ability that says a Brawler has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat only while flurrying:
Question and SKR's answer"2 Does the Brawler's flurry allow the Brawler to take two weapon fighting feats such as two weapon rend?"
SKR: "As written, the brawler is treated as having TWF when using brawler's flurry (this may change in later development). So, she could use it as a prereq... but would only be able to use feats from later in the chain when she was using brawler's flurry, as that's the only time she actually has the feat."

There's nothing in the discussion that says this only applies to brawlers, so most GMs in my area took it as a precedent that you can take feats even if you only meet the prerequisites part of the time. How temporary these can be is up to the individual GM, however.

As far as your angel wings go...
You certainly can't use them when your Con drops below the threshold. But I think it would up to your GM whether the wings actually disappear.

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The SKR post is from January 2012. The FAQ on temporary vs. permanent ability scores is from October 2013.

The October FAQ functionally removes the distinction between temporary and permanent ability scores. (Actually, if you're brand new to the game, you might be completely unaware that any distinction ever existed in previous versions.)

Kchaka wrote:
The definiton of Enemies and Allies should be irrelevant, since anybody can hit a friend in the face if they so desire (a Flat-Footed friend at that). What should matter are what spells and abilities affect every creature in the area, regardless of you considering them friend or foe, and what spells allow you to chose who you can target and who you can exclude. If the creature is a Ally or an Enemy, that's entirely up to you.

The definition of enemy and ally is very relevant. Several spells and supernatural abilities have targets of "allies in X area" or "enemies in X area"--if there is no definition of "ally" then how do you adjudicate those spells? For example, if the designation of ally is irrelevant, then a bard would have to select targets for Inspire Courage, but he can't select an invisible ally, so now Inspire Courage can't work for invisible creatures.

Teamwork feats only function with "an ally who also this feat"--with no designation between enemy and ally, how do you know whether your teamwork feat works?

There is also an entire category of feats called Betrayal feats that bend the definition of ally and introduce new terms to cover "allies who are about to screw you over".

Kchaka wrote:
Having said that, even though a strick readig of the rules would allow you to AoO an ally, you should also be able to understand that the mechanics behind AoO make them a form of retaliation in response to some actions, and using them in a clever way to gain extra actions is not what they were intended for.

I disagree. The AoO rules talk about what happens when an enemy takes specific actions. By a strict reading of the rules, you can only AoO an enemy: by definition, allies cannot provoke AoOs.

One thing I would never let you do is treat someone as both your ally and your enemy at the same time. If you want to take an AoO against an ally, you (at least temporarily) have to treat them as your enemy. If you have any abilities that rely on your allies, they no longer function in regards to that particular ally. The ally no longer provide cover for you from other AoOs, teamwork feats don't function, you no longer benefit for your ally's bardic performance, benevolent armor, guarding shield, etc. Spells with targets of "ally" would end their effects, and arguably, spells like Prayer would reverse effect and start giving you the penalty instead of the bonus.

So if you are holding a charge of a touch spell and want to make an AoO against a moving ally, you first have to define them as your enemy. So now you need to succeed at a touch attack, the ex-ally gets a saving throw against it, and if that ex-ally has spell resistance, you have to beat it, etc.

Then you have an interesting question:
How long does the enemy designation last? At a minimum, I would say it must last for an entire round, and it might make more sense to make it last for the remainder of the combat, until you get a chance to explain your actions.

From the PRD under Combat Maneuver Bonus (emphasis mine):

"When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll."

Unless you are making a ranged combat maneuver, prone penalties apply. Note that there are very few ranged weapons that can be used while prone (crossbow by default, gun and sling with additional feats). There are currently many, many arguments about whether throwing a melee weapon makes it count as a "ranged weapon" (instead of just a "ranged attack" with a melee weapon), so ask your GM about that before you rely on it.

Feral wrote:

VOs have no additional rules knowledge or training and should never be treated as gospel. I've had VOs make all kinds of wacky rulings that were commonly known to be wrong (like allowing vital strike on a charge).

I really wish the PFS campaign leadership would stop pushing VOs as a rules source.

VOs aren't specifically a rules source: they're an escalation option. If you think the GM ruled incorrectly, you can appeal to a VO. Often, VOs also happen to be experienced GMs also, but that's just a coincidence.

In our area, we have several 5-star GMs who are not VOs, and those VOs with fewer stars tend to listen to them.

(Except for Louis--we never listen to Louis.) :-)

Imbicatus wrote:

Slings and Blowguns fall into the confusing rules space of being projectile weapons in the thrown weapon fighter group.

This means that when most feats and abilities mention "thrown" weapons they will not apply to slings or blowguns. However, if a feat or ability mentions a weapon in the "Thrown Weapon Group", such as Startoss Style or Advanced Weapon Training, it will work with a sling or blowgun.

For the OP, since Close Combat Thrower mentions thrown weapons instead of the thrown weapon group, it is not valid whit the sling.

A []recent blog post[/url] updated the fighter weapons groups to include nearly all of the available weapons, and all types of slings are in the thrown group, along with other "assisted throw" weapons like the amentum, atatl-atatl, and the flask thrower.

I'm having a hard time understanding why something in the "thrown weapons group" wouldn't count as a "thrown weapon"--how are we supposed to decide when a weapon is a thrown weapon and when it is a projectile weapon? For example, if you use a javelin by itself, it's thrown; if you use that same javelin with an amentum, it's ...? How do we draw the line?

At first I thought it had to do with using ammunition, but the shuriken is "thrown ammunition"...

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I think there's a difference between "an optimized character" and "a character that always takes the mechanically better choice for their specific build." In many of my characters, I purposefully make a choice that is not the best mechanical option for that character's build because I have a character concept in mind. In that sense, I sometimes choose "fun" over "optimization".

I had one martial character who was obsessed with wands and collected them, always trying to Use Magic Device (UMD) to activate them. If someone else at the table could cast the spell, she would still try several times before handing the wand over. If someone pulled out their own wand, she would beg to try and cast it first. When I took a barbarian level, someone suggested that I should take bloodrager instead so that the character could have a spell list and cast some wands without UMD. But the character *wanted* to UMD: the chance of failure was part of the fun for her. She even had a charisma penalty, and I specifically didn't use one of the options to replace charisma with a different stat for UMD. Clearly, these decisions were not optimal for this character build, but it was fun for me.

I was playing with a two-weapon fighter build and considered using a (chained/original) monk wielding dual nine-ring broadswords. A friend asked me why the character would bother dual-wielding the swords when he could get the same number of attacks wielding a single sword in both hands AND do more damage with each attack. The only answer I had was, "Because I want to use two swords with this character."

I was asking about Zen Archer builds and lamenting that the Zen Archer doesn't qualify for Stabbing Shot without paying a feat tax (Rapid Shot), and someone pointed out that the build didn't provoke shooting in melee, so why on earth would I ever want to use Stabbing Shot? My answer--"Because it looked really cool when Legolas did it in the movie"--was met with mild derision, and I was chided for wasting my time with something because it was "cool" instead of "doing my job" for the party and doing as much damage as that build could do.

Note that none of these characters were "useless" and they all contributed both in and out of combat, but each one had at least one aspect where I chose "fun" over "optimized."

This won't help for magic arrows, but here are some ideas to increase your flexibility:

There are actually a lot of pretty nice special arrows in the Elves of Golarion book and the Alchemy Manual. Check these out and see which ones your GM will allow.
- Durable arrows are the most cost effective way to get special material arrows (adamantine, silver, etc.).
- Tanglefoot arrows let you entangle enemies.
- Slow burn arrows are essentially an alchemist's fire on the end of an arrow.
- If anyone in your party has the scent ability, pheremone arrows will give them +2 attack and damage against someone you hit with that arrow.

Other options:
- Weapon blanches are great with ammunition, to help you get through DR. Ghost Salt weapon blanch lets your arrows count as Ghost Touch.
- Blunt arrows let you get through DR bludgeoning (e.g., skeletons) and give you the option of doing non-lethal damage.

darth_borehd wrote:
When a warpriest uses the Magic Blessing to launch a melee weapon, is he at -4 penalty for throwing the weapon unless he takes the Throw Anything feat?

I don't think you're actually "throwing" the weapon in this case. The weapon flies out of your hand and strikes an opponent. Even though the attack "is treated" as a ranged attack with a thrown weapon, it is still a magical effect.

RedDogMT wrote:

Negotiating the release of a take 10.

Negotiating the price of a pastie...ok to take 10.

Intimidating the captain of the take 10.
Intimidating a no name street urchin...ok to take 10.

Can you clarify exactly what about the first examples causes "distraction" that prevents taking 10? Players aren't in initiative counts, so they aren't in combat. Why are the first examples distracting when the others aren't?

If the point is that you just want the first examples to be more difficult, I think a better option is to up the DC:
The kidnapper is a professional dealing from a position of strength, so increase the DC by 5.
The captain of the guard is master of his own domain, he has the weight of the law behind him, and he himself is intimidating, so the DC increases by 10.

If you want to make sure that players can't auto-succeed on important checks, just set the DC high enough that taking 10 isn't going to work. If the players have to spend resources to get their bonus high enough that taking 10 will work, that isn't an auto-success.

The only thing that disallowing take 10 does is put the players completely at the mercy of the dice. If that's what your players want, go for it. (Personally, I find it really frustrating.)

I don't think the Darkvision spell lets you see in supernatural darkness, like that created by Deeper Darkness. The See in Darkness ability does.

I don't know if there's a spell that lets you, but the Elixir of Darksight does.

Edited to add: The Rod of Shadows also lets you see in supernatural darkness, and it uses True Seeing in its construction. The True Seeing spell doesn't specifically call out supernatural darkness, but I think you can make a strong case that it's intended to work in supernatural darkness.

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

My husband runs a monk with both a vow of peace and a vow of truth. At the beginning of the session, he explains (in character) that he personally can't attack someone first without giving them a chance to surrender, and he personally cannot lie. He will clarify that he does not expect the rest of the party to follow his rules, and he points out that he can stay silent while someone else lies but warns them not to ask him to back up their lie, because he can't.

He points out that if the other party initiates combat, all bets are off, and he doesn't have to offer surrender to things like undead or non-sentient monsters. He can also defend comrades, remove people from danger, etc., without violating his vow.

The main thing is that he makes sure that everyone else at the table understands his character's restrictions and knows how work to around them (or with them, if they choose). So far, he hasn't any issues.

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Basically, it depends on how much the GM wants the game to rely on luck vs. talent or training.

Taking 10 lets you confidently do those things you are trained to do, the things you are good at, the things you do every day. When you drive to work in the morning, you take 10. It's a routine: you do it every day, and most days, you even do it on auto-pilot, without thinking. (Assuming Drive is a class skill for Commoners and is trained only, most people will have a 4 for their Drive skill. If the DC to "drive to work without crashing your car" is 10, and if everyone has to roll every time they get behind the wheel, everyone risks crashing on a 5 or less, or 25% of the time. Eek!)

Personally, I am a huge fan of take 10 because I believe that characters should be rewarded for investing in their skills. There are plenty of times that characters are under stress or distracted and therefore forced to roll, and if I want something to be especially difficult, I just set the DC higher.

Asking someone for directions? DC 10, you can take 10. Most of us can do this on a regular basis.
Asking someone for money? DC 20. You can take 10, but most characters can't make that DC and would have to roll.
Asking someone for directions while people are chasing you? Yeah, still a DC 10, but you're going to have to roll that one.

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

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Baroness Calliope Zhan Blakros wrote:

Hey, I've only interrupted monologues with a thrown shield to the face three times! Okay, four if you count that orc, but he wasn't so much monologing as mumbling to himself.


BBEG, on a throne, across a large room: "You are not worthy of approaching me! You must prove yourself before coming closer."

Zen Archer: "No, that's OK--I'm fine where I am." (opens fire)

The Freebooter Ranger archetype has a "studied enemy" feature: it lets you choose a target as a move action, and your entire party gets bonus to hit and damage.

The Guide archetype has a similar feature: designate a foe as a swift action and treat them as your favored enemy. (This only affects the ranger, though, not the party as well.)

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

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I've developed a very simple definition for my characters.

If you can talk to it, it counts as a person (so killing could be murder). If you can breed with it, it counts as a member of your race (so eating would be cannibalism).

Palinurus wrote:
Neither the flanking rules nor the threaten rules ever refer to AoOs so it seems clear to me that you can flank when grappled. Otherwise why say you can't take AoOs when grappled, the rules would just say you don't threaten.

Except for the fact that the definition of "threaten" comes under the heading of Attacks of Opportunity.

Also, searching the CRB (pdf version) for the concept of "threatening a square" shows that this text appears nearly 50 times. Of those, the only places that talk about threatening in isolation from are 1) under the bloodline power Long Limbs, 2) the whip weapon description, 3) the shooting into melee rules, and 4) the flanking rules. Everywhere else, the concept of "threatening an area" is always discussed alongside attacks of opportunity. That's more than 90% of the time.

It's completely reasonable to read this to mean that the term "threaten" only has any meaning within the context of "Attack of Opportunity," and I know a lot of GMs who read it exactly that way. Whether that's the developers' intent is a completely different question, but it's not as obvious as people seem to think.

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

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

But, of course, antiheroes are trendy, because good and evil are so dated.....

an antihero by definition changes with societies idea of conventional heroic qualities.

The only problem with this is that the concept of an antihero is itself largely a modern creation. The immediate precursors (for example, A.J. Raffles' and the "gentleman thief," or Sam Spade and the "hard-boiled detective" tropes) are clearly heroic characters. Similarly, Batman wasn't initially an antihero; he was a hero in a different tradition than Superman (Batman was basically a detective knockoff, hence his close relation with the Gotham PD; Supes followed the older mythological hero tropes).

The modern definition of "anti-hero" is really just "hero who happens to be a jerk." The original definition was "admirable protagonist who is working on the wrong side"--the guy that everyone loves but you just can't let him win because he's actually the villain and has terrible plans for the world. In my Lit studies (cough cough) years ago, the first "recognized" anti-hero was Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost: he's the protagonist, he's compelling and sympathetic, but c'mon--he's frickin' Satan! He's literally the definition of the "bad guy" in Milton's time, and if he "wins" everyone winds up in hell.

Magneto is a great example of this kind of anti-hero, as is Darth Vader, Frankenstein's monster, heck even the Terminator and Godzilla probably qualify. (Often, in a sequel, an anti-hero is redeemed and brought over to the "light side" because he's just too popular to continue as the villain.)

In the original concept of anti-hero, rogue or outlaw heroes were never considered anti-heroes, and the dark, brooding hero was just a dark, brooding hero. Then the "have to be bad to be successful" hero became popular, and the definition became muddled. Now it's unrecognizable, and these darn kids should get off my literary lawn! :-)

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Maybe, just maybe, their bad experiences are based on luck, dming style, playing out of tier, party composition, etc., as much as my good experiences are?
Yes. They are. But planning on/for an unlikely confluence of bad factors is the POINT of having a good con.

But the whole argument centers around the definition of a "good" Con.

Your argument earlier was that playstyle can't account for survival--that it's luck and assorted other factors. I'm agreeing with you--but I'm also saying that the same thing is probably true of character deaths.

In my experience, 12 Con is high enough for anyone who doesn't have class features based on it. Character death is much less common now that constantly playing up is no longer a thing. There are probably regional variations in GMing style (e.g., I don't know personally know any GMs who gleefully anticipate killing characters) and party composition (maybe we have more healers in our area--I don't know) and party size (the vast majority of our tables have 6 players).

In your experience, 12 Con isn't high enough. And that's totally fine: I understand that completely. Your experiences are subject to the exact same external factors and regional variances that mine are, so our experiences are going to be different.

But nobody ridicules your choices. I actually stopped discussing specific build numbers because I got tired of people telling me I'm doing it wrong or asking what the hell I was thinking.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Maybe the conventional wisdom that "Anything below 14 Con is unplayable" is based on anecdata exactly as much as my "Eh, 12 Con is fine for melee characters" approach?
I don't know if anyone is taking the position that its unplayable but having a 10 con is flirting with pharasma hard enough that I'm not breaking the bank to stop it if she decides its time to dance.

Have you read the whole thread? Or any of the others on this topic? You might not be taking that position personally, but it is a fairly common one. And a very loud and adamant one.

Even the feeling in the original post was "If you have (what I consider to be) a low Con, your character deserves to die and stay dead."

Now, I strongly disagree with the idea that anyone at the table should feel pressured into contributing towards a raise dead. But I'm also really bothered by the idea that my character only "deserves" to be raised if I built my character to your specifications or to match some pretty arbitrary rules of what makes a character worth saving.

Especially since my experience is different from yours, and so my ideas of what makes a "worthwhile" character will be different.

My mileage varies.

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

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
noisig wrote:

Oh, I don't figure I am "typical" - LOL! I'm far from it. It appears that my play style is very different from other people's.

Let me try to explain how that sort of statement is coming across

It sounds like you're saying -I can get away with having less than a 12 con because I'm a better player than people telling you you need a 14-

To which i call bull. The vast majority of time your character is taking damage they're just standing there, out of turn, unable to do anything. Due to the stop motion nature of the game its not like you can dart in and out of combat. Unless you can explain what the allegedly better play-style is I'm going to insist its some combination of luck, different dming styles (you avoid killer DMs), bowing out of the all wizard party, and most importantly always having a character in subtier as well as tier.

I don't see it that way. I see it more as "Everyone says this is the case--and more to the point, vehemently insists that new players build characters by these rules--but it doesn't match my experience. That's so weird."

More than once, I've had people drop their jaw at my 12 Con frontline melee characters, completely disbelieving that I could be so stupid as to build them that way. And these exact same people talk about the various deaths their frontline characters have faced, but none of mine have actually died...If I'm doing it "all wrong" like they say, how come my characters don't die as often as the "correctly built" characters do?

Maybe, just maybe, their bad experiences are based on luck, dming style, playing out of tier, party composition, etc., as much as my good experiences are?

Maybe the conventional wisdom that "Anything below 14 Con is unplayable" is based on anecdata exactly as much as my "Eh, 12 Con is fine for melee characters" approach?


Which is why I try very hard to never say, "Oh, god! How can you possibly play a character like??!!!??!" I try to say, "I probably wouldn't play it that way, and here's why, but it's completely your choice."

Here's a link to my Damage Calculator spreadsheet.

It has a tab for ranged and melee and can account for concealment, mirror image, precision damage, DR, etc. It also has a "basic" tab that lets you just quickly enter attack and damage modifiers if you already have them calculated out.

Instructions are in cell comments and in the accompanying Word document. (The Word document also breaks out the calculations.)

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

I'm on character number 25. I've retired 2, with 4 more in the upper tier. Most of them are melee builds. Only 2 have Cons over 12.

I've had exactly 1 character death, and that one was hit by an invisible attacker who critted with an intensified shocking grasp with sneak attack, and the GM rolled near max damage. The character went from unhurt to 10 below dead in one shot. That character had a 14 Con.


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James Risner wrote:

In general, the rules consider something you have for 24 hours as permanent and something for less time temporary.

You can't use a temporary feature as a pre-req.

For example, the stat items mention the 24 hours requirement.

Another example, is how Paragon Surge allows a choice of a new feat to be made. But once chosen, that choice is used for the whole day. You could argue this is a "permanent" choice. But you wouldn't have it all day unless you could cast a lot of Paragon Surges in a day.

The discussion of the Brawler indicates that this is not true. The Brawler is considered to have the Two Weapon Fighting feat when flurrying with an appropriate weapon. The Brawler can take other feats that require TWF as prerequisite, but he loses the ability to use those other feats when he is not flurrying with an appropriate weapon.

(I'm trying to find the "conditional feats" discussion--I thought it was an FAQ, but it might have just been a developer post during the ACG playtest. If I can find the source, I'll post a link.)

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Grapple wrote:
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,
This raises another point. If you are Grappled and standing amongst your enemies, and you attempt to escape using Escape Artist, I think you are subject to Attacks of Opportunity from your opponent's allies for using a Skill in a Threatened Square. It wouldn't usually Provoke from the Grappler, since usually the Grappler has the Grappled Condition, too, when you have the Grappled Condition, you can't make Attacks of Opportunity. Again, I might be overlooking something, and if you can think of what it is, I'd like to see it.

Where is the rule that says you take an AoO from using a skill?

As far as I know, if a specific skill provokes an AoO, that skill description says so. If you always provoke for using a skill, then you could never use Acrobatics to avoid an AoO, make a knowledge check to identify a monster, make a perform check to use certain bardic abilities, make a fly check to hover or only move 5 feet, etc.

The Archive wrote:

I don't really see the need for an FAQ here. What the CRB says is clear.

The "conflicting" sources are a simplified version of the game and a book from 3.5. The Beginner Box is definitely not a place to go looking for rules precedent. And there's nothing so ambiguous here as to go looking through 3.5 material that isn't even part of the SRD.

Can you tell us where the CRB defines "poor visibility" then? The CRB says that movement is hampered during poor visibility, but we can't find a global definition of "poor visibility," and there are some definitions that clearly do not apply to the context of a 5 foot step.

For example, the "Survival: getting lost" rules define "poor visibility" as "you can't see any further than 60 ft"--obviously, that definition is not appropriate to apply to the 5 foot step rule.

The other issue is that the darkness rules under "Environment" discuss darkness using the terms for blindness--you "move at half speed" instead of "each square of movement counts as double." So is that considered hampered movement or not?

Can you 5 foot step in darkness? Clearly not, from the 5 foot step rule.
Can you 5 foot step while blinded? I have no idea.
Can you 5 foot step in difficult terrain? Clearly not, from the 5 foot step rule?
Can you 5 foot step in dim light without darkvision or low light vision? I used to think yes, but other people disagree, and now I'm not sure.
Can you 5 foot step in the area of an Obscuring Mist spell? That's what started this entire argument.

All of this context is from the CRB only. People started looking at the other sources to see if there was any useful information there. There wasn't, hence the FAQ.

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From a real-world perspective (if you care):

You can play any end-blown flute one handed, but you can't usually get the full range of notes on it.

You can actually play smaller transverse or side-blown flutes with one hand (say, around piccolo size) without too much trouble, but you can only get about 4 notes. Larger ones like modern concert flutes can also be played with one hand, but it's a bit unwieldy.

It's much easier to play any of the fipple woodwinds) with one hand, because you can actually hold them with your mouth if you need to adjust your grip to reach more notes. You can also do this trick with smaller vessel flutes or ocarinas, but larger ones will be a bit heavy. Downside to these kinds of instruments is that you can't talk at all while playing a fipple woodwind (because you hold them in your mouth...)

You can talk over any "non-fipple" flute without losing your embouchure, so you can easily switch between playing and talking.

(Why, yes, I did sell--and have to demonstrate--folk instruments at a Renaissance Faire! However did you guess?) :-)

Loengrin wrote:

Mmmh.. The Core Rulebook is pretty clear about the 5 foot step:

Core Rulebook, Take 5 foot step, p.189 :


Take 5-Foot Step

You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn’t hampered by diff icult terrain or darkness. Any creature with a speed of 5 feet or less can’t take a 5-foot step, since moving even 5 feet requires a move action for such a slow creature.
Hope it helped ;)

If you go look at the linked thread that started this FAQ request, you'll see multiple citations from the Core Rulebook that seem to contradict each other along with several (failed) attempts to find a common definition of "hampered movement"...

Believe it or not, people actually tried to read the rules on their own before branching off an FAQ thread. (Weird, I know!)

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I suppose you could be a spiritualist--then your phantom could have sold its soul and you could sell yours...

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

chris manning wrote:

the revised version of the scenario makes it clearer in the handout whats expected

>We have updated the Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–98: Serpents Rise <snip>
>Revised text of Handout #6 to clarify objectives

Thanks! I'll double check which version I have.

The grapple weapon ability only lets you get a free grapple attempt on a critical hit: it says nothing about whether you can perform a grapple maneuver normally with the weapon.

I'd say that any weapon with the grapple ability would also allow you to use the weapon to perform a grapple check as your normal standard action, but your GM may not agree. (Actually, I would probably let you grapple someone with any weapon that could reasonably wrap around a person, and of course, with a Dan Bong.)

concerro wrote:

That is correct.

Any individually targeted spell has a 50% chance to fail against you while you're blinking unless your attacker can target invisible, ethereal creatures. Your own spells have a 20% chance to activate just as you go ethereal, in which case they typically do not affect the Material Plane (but they might affect targets on the Ethereal Plane).

The phrase "attacker can target invisible, ethereal creatures" means that the attacker must be able to target creatures that are both invisible AND ethereal. (A list of adjectives separated with a comma means that all of the adjectives apply equally to the noun at the same time.)

While See Invisibility would let you see ethereal creatures, I don't know if that's enough to be considered "targeting" the ethereal creature with a mundane weapon. (With a spell, it is obviously enough, but I don't know whether "target" implies "able to hit/touch" instead of just "able to see".)

Also, I don't think you suffer any miss chance if you can target invisible, ethereal creatures: I think you get no benefit from this spell in that case.

Obscuring mist specifically says it "obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet." That means that my sight is not obscured within 5 feet, so a 5 foot step should be permitted. (FWIW, from 3.5 on, I've never had a GM rule that Obscuring Mist made your movement count as double, much less prevent a 5 foot step.)

For the overall "poor visibility" question, there doesn't seem to be a global definition of poor visibility, and there are some of the definitions in specific contexts that clearly shouldn't apply (e.g., the aforementioned "must be able to see at least 60 feet to avoid getting lost due to poor visibility").

Oddly, the entire Darkness section under "Environment" does not contain any reference to "hampered movement" or "double movement" or the lack of ability to take a 5 foot step--but based on the reference to darkness in the movement rules, it seems like it should. The only reference to movement in that section is "Blind creatures must make a DC 10 Acrobatics skill check to move faster than half speed. Creatures that fail this check fall prone. Blinded creatures can't run or charge."

If darkness automatically doubles movement AND you can only move half your speed, darkness effectively cuts your speed to 1/4th normal. (I can't remember a GM ever ruling that way, but it's possible the characters just made the DC 10 Acrobatics check and I missed it.)

Gauss wrote:
Just an extra note: you cannot 5'step while your movement is hampered. Obscuring Mist hampers movement (poor visibility).

The core rulebook says, "You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn't hampered by difficult terrain or darkness." (emphasis mine)

It doesn't say "anytime your movement is hampered in any way," but I can see some GMs ruling that way.

Edited to add:
There are also mentions of hampered movement under Tactical Movement and Special Movement Rules.

I'm not finding anything that describes "poor visibility" in this context, though. There are descriptions of "poor visibility" in both the Getting Lost rules and the Survival skill "Follow Tracks" rules, but I don't think those are supposed to apply here. (For example, I can't imagine that you would be prevented from taking a 5 foot step because you can't see at least 60 feet in front of you.)

My tetori monk (grapple build) was blinded in a dungeon crawl, and the rest of the party just pointed her at the bad guys and pushed. Half speed for her was still 30 feet a round, so the main issue was the 50% miss chance. It sucked, but she was far from "useless".

(The GM was nice and let her make her maintain checks without the miss chance; he reasoned that once she got her hands on someone and had them grappled, she was just holding on at that point instead of trying to "hit" them.)

You might look at Darkwood and Greenwood instead of Darkleaf cloth (the material used for leaf armor.

Greenwood is extra cool because it's alive and can heal any damage when it's in moist dirt. That could be a really appropriate side benefit/flavor for the type of weapon you've described.

Darkwood is half the weight of any normal wood, so it would be a good choice for a one-handed finessable weapon.

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