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Madge Blossomheart

Gwen Smith's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle. 1,858 posts (2,298 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 16 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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

I see a lot of people saying that ranged options are strong because you aren't in danger from melee, but in my experience, that is usually not true.

With most scenarios I've seen from both sides of the screen, when combat starts, you are rarely more than 60 feet away. Corners, corridors, and walls limit your options even more.

This is the main reason I consider anything that increases the range modifier of a long bow to be a complete waste (likewise for a halfling sling staff, back when you could still use one). Even with a short bow, a 60 ft range increment is usually plenty.

Does disarm even work when the target actually doesn't have "hands"?

But the OP says his mount has Charge Through:

"Benefit: When making a charge, you can attempt to overrun one creature in the path of the charge as a free action. If you successfully overrun that creature, you can complete the charge. If the overrun is unsuccessful, the charge ends in the space directly in front of that creature.
Normal: You must have a clear path toward the target of your charge."

This feat explicitly allows you to overrun a target when you are charging a second target. So the particular argument about whether you can overrun as a charge is not actually applicable in this case. Why don't you start a completely different thread on that question and leave this one to answering the OP's actual questions?

To the OP:
I don't see anything in the rules about overrunning multiple targets (like there is in the Bull Rush rules). I don't think you can do it.

Regarding #3:
I don't believe you get to make an attack while your mount is using Charge Through, because your round is already dedicated to the charge. Now, if your mount picks up Greater Overrun, you could take an AoO if the target falls prone.

#4 is a bit tricky:
It says "when you make an overrun attempt while mounted", not "when your mount makes an overrun attempt". The problem I see here is that your mount has Charge Through and you do not.

Using Charge Through, your mount would be charging target #2 and overrunning target #1. In order to use Trample, you need to be overrunning target #1 also. In that case, I would say that you could forgo your charge attack on target #2 in order to overrun overrun target #1. That would give your mount a free single attack on target #1 (from trample) while it goes on to attack target #2 at the end of its charge.

I don't think that's the best course of action for you, actually, but that's how I would rule it.

As always, ask your GM. Mounted Combat rules are very confusing, and everyone interprets them differently.

There is a raining arrow, which carries holy water. You might be able to convince your GM to create a similar item for poisons.

Check out the Elves of Golarion or the Alchmey Manual for some cool ideas on specialty arrows.

It really depends on your build and your plan for your build.

Overrun is limited to creatures no more than one size larger than you, so consider the kinds of foes you're usually facing. If you're a full BAB build (fighter, ranger, etc.) or an otherwise maneuver-based build, it could be worth it. (Titanic armor lets you count a one size category larger for combat maneuvers, so that can help later on.)

The other option for getting through an enemy's square is Acrobatics: it's +5 to the check to go through the enemy's square (rather than through a threatened space). I find it a lot easier to crank your acrobatics check without spending feats than to crank your CMB. My two favorites are Boots of Elvenkind (constant +5 competence bonus to acrobatics) and Elixir of Tumbling (+10 competence bonus to acrobatics for 1 hour).

Depending on the height of the ceiling, too, you might be able to jump over an enemy, which is another great use for Acrobatics. Anything that increases your base speed will increase your jump check.

There's also Escape Dust, which will help getting past people, but won't help getting through their squares.

This is a long-standing argument that is waiting on a large FAQ on grapple: see any of the myriad other threads about it. On those threads, some devs have said yes, others have opined no, but there has been no official statement one way or the other.

Until they write the FAQ, it's going to be a house rule/table variation/flip a coin. (If you run a grapple build in PFS, ask your GM before every scenario how they rule this. You want to know your limits up front.)

To the OP:

As the GM, you can rule it however you see fit. If you choose to rule it that you can initiate and maintain a grapple on the same round (through greater/rapid grapple or through mythic multi-standard actions), you can still shut down grappling builds with one very easy method:

Multiple enemies.

Grapple is highly effective against a single target, but you can only grapple one target at a time (maybe two with the Grabbing Style tree). While the grappling build is busy with one target, the rest of your bad guys can full attack him, and probably flat-footed.

Covert Operator wrote:

I'm making a character who is all about dem debuffs, and he has a lot of debuffs trigger when he makes a sneak attack. He also doesn't make melee attack rolls, but rather makes combat maneuver checks and ranged attacks with a Net. His problem is that he achieves this with Grapple, so when they are immune to grapple he can't do a thing.

I want ways for him to deal any amount of damage on a combat maneuver check, so that it triggers sneak attack.
The ways I know of are as follows

  • Grapple to deal damage (Strangler Brawler)
  • several Barbarian Rage Powers, such as Savage Dirty Trick and Knockdown
  • I'm pretty sure there's some Net feats.

Well, there are very few monsters that are immune to grapple, and most of those are also immune to precision damage/sneak attack. And there are many more monsters that are immune to sneak attack but not immune to grapple, so I would expect you to run into this very often.

I'm not seeing any net feats that would help, and I'm not seeing any other methods on a quick search.

Technically, you can't use grapple with Ride-By Attack. Ride-by Attack says "When you are mounted and use the charge action, you may move and attack as if with a standard charge and then move again..."

Grapple is a standard action that can't be swapped in for a normal attack (some combat maneuvers can, but grapple is not one of them). Charge takes a full round action, which means you can't take a separate standard action on that round.

Note that Flyby Attack says you can take a standard action during your move, so you can use Flyby Attack with a grapple--but that would be the mount's feat, I think.

You could give him Grabbing Drag which lets him move the opponent his full movement instead of half.

FWIW, the cowboy lassoing and dragging a target behind his horse might be using the drag maneuver. Or he's using something like:
Round 1) Ride up and make a grapple check
Round 2 through x) Maintain the grapple, and use guide-with knees to have his horse move half his speed.

That's how I would do it, probably. And honestly, I wouldn't worry about house-ruling it too much: as long as you let the players use the same rule tweaks you use for the monsters, you're being fair.

Muleback cords don't give any bonus to your strength at all. "The wearer treats his Strength score as 8 higher than normal when determining his carrying capacity."

Generally, permanent stat boosting items will always count as "normal" for that stat, so there shouldn't be any question as to whether they "stack".

Start with a 20 strength.
Belt of strength increases your strength by 2, so you have a 22 "normally".
Muleback cords treat your strength as 30 for carrying capacity.

Some GMs might not count temporary strength increases as "normal" for the purposes of muleback cords, but most that I play with do. (So Bull's Strength gets you to 24, muleback cords make that count as 32 for carrying things.)

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Mechagamera wrote:

In one of the last Tom Clancy books (this one only 90% ghost written), a special ops team killed some sleeping terrorists while searching a cave for bin Laudin (or whoever the thinly veiled version was), and a misguided liberal from the DOJ was going to prosecute them for War Crimes. If Tom Clancy (or his ghost writer) says that killing sleeping terrorists is good, who are we to argue?

[Mostly I posted this out of curiosity to see if anyone would go "ahhh, I agreed with Tom Clancy" or "oh no, I disagreed with Tom Clancy, I must have been wrong."]

Well, "we" would be citizens of the modern nations who get vote on these exact types of rules, especially when these acts are done in our name. We are the very people who are supposed to argue and decide what we think is right in this circumstance. We don't usually use terms like "evil" in these modern discussions: we use terms like "legal" and "illegal" and "right" and "wrong". In modern times, you have to do a lot of really bad things to rise to the level of "evil". And you can do a lot of illegal things without being evil (e.g., civil disobedience), and you can be evil without ever violating the law (e.g., pharmaceutical patent vultures).

In the game, "evil" is often considered a state of being or an inherent attribute: creatures "are evil" rather than "do evil things". And everyone's definition of evil is different. That gets really tricky.

But in the game, if the entire scenario was a assassination mission, this entire discussion probably needed to happen when the mission was assigned and accepted. If the paladin was sent on a mission that inherently included evil act, and the GM didn't warn the player before she accepted the mission, that's on the GM.

(My paladin actually makes a point of explicitly getting the scope, intention, and acceptable deviations of a mission before accepting it.)

My halfling tetori has a 56 CMD at 9th level. Halflings get +1 to CMD vs Grapple as a favored class bonus.

One thing to look for in your grapple build is the ability to avoid the grapple penalties yourself. You either want to have some way to avoid the grappled condition completely or have some method of offsetting those penalties.

Tetoris ignore most of the penalties, and the Grabbing Style tree is another option.

Also, if you're planning to pin-and-tie-up, have some way to get a rope. Tailed tieflings or extra limb alchemists are handy here, and the equipment trick: rope feat has some potential, also.

Mounted combat is just not that useful on ships. My husband played a halfling cavalier who rode a medium wolf, and after the third boat-based adventure in a row, he wanted to swap the character.

What about suggesting an aquatic mammal like a sea lion, walrus, or otter? Having something that's equally effective on land and in the water would be really useful.

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

My alchemist bought a cart and hands out "free samples!" to the rest of the party at the beginning of the scenario. It's a great way to get them to come to her shop...

And it helps even the power/wealth level, especially if someone at the table is running a pregen. You just have to remember to "collect" any unused items at the end of the scenario.

Crimeo wrote:

No, you cannot swipe at a minion and then delay anything. Delaying requires taking no action, as mentioned. To get at the spellcaster, you'd have to indeed spend a full standard to ready a ranged attack or a smite or whatever for when he pops his head out. OR just run over there and deal with him.

could you 5 foot step and delay?
Yes you should be able to 5 foot step and then delay. Although that can and should still restrict you from moving any other amount of distance or 5 foot stepping again when your delayed turn comes up in order later. As you should still only get one turn a round, and it doesn't imply you would somehow get more, so the 5 foot step should be interpreted as still on your turn IMO.

I would not allow this. The way I read delay the text of delay, the intent is "you choose not to take your turn until later", so you can't start your turn and then decide to delay. If an action can only be performed on your turn, then by definition, taking one of those actions will start your turn.

Although a five-foot step is not an "action", you can only do it on your turn. If you take a five-foot step, you have started your turn and you either have to finish your turn or ready an action.

Now, talking can be done off your turn, as can "non-actions" like knowledge checks or reactive perception checks. So you can make a perception check, identify a creature, tell your buddy to come over and cast a particular buff on you, and then delay until your buddy does that.

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

I think some of the phrasing requires a bit of game background, so it won't be as helpful to player brand new to the genre. For example, the "caster/skilled/support" question might not mean anything to a completely new player.

You might consider replacing these kinds of phrasing with a more descriptive selection. For example, "support" might be described as "your character helps other characters be better at what they do", or something.

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I tend to go for wands and scrolls of spells that are either very, very situational or don't have any level-dependent effects (outside of duration).

Some wands that I've found situationally useful:
- Endure Elements
- Grease (this is great for getting out of grapples)
- Lesser Restoration
- Mage armor (if you wear armor, this is good if you end up fighting incorporeals)
- Ant Haul (if your GM tracks encumbrance)
- Heightened Awareness (since you can dismiss this to bump your initiative, you often end up not taking advantage of the duration)
- Longstrider
- Carry companion
- Air bubble

Higher level spells I tend to get in scrolls, because it's cheaper:
- Restoration
- Heal
- Overland Flight
- Life Bubble
- Keen edge
- Touch of the sea
- Resist energy, communal (If you don't have a caster who can cast this 7th level or higher, it's better than nothing. Also, you don't have to cast this on more than one creature, so you get a longer duration and a higher caster level.)
- Greater Magic Fang (again, better from a caster, but good enough on a scroll or wand)

Some great spells that might make good wands or scrolls (I usually end up casting these directly):
- Heart of the metal
- Versatile weapon
- Arcane sight
- Deathwatch

Picking up some of the Grapple tree could be very useful. Grappling is an excellent debuff, it shuts down spellcasters, and it gives you an option for taking foes alive. And grapple has no size limitations like trip, and there are very few foes that can't be grappled.

Downside: you need Improved Unarmed Strike. One possibility is to dip into Monk and take the Tetori archetype. You get unarmed strike and improved grapple for free, a big boost to all your saves, and some additional class skills. And since tetori trades out flurry, you don't have to forgo your armor to use your class abilities. (Maneuver Master is another archetype that might work with your build, but you'd have to get your GM's call on flurry of maneuvers.)

Right now, if the GM lets you use the kusarigama to grapple at reach, you could actually get by without improved grapple for a while.

My Self wrote:
Qaianna wrote:

Apply the feats to a sling staff and you're equal to a bow (and costing another feat if you're not a halfling).

I still wonder why there's no Rapid Reload option for slings and sling staves tho.

There is, it just happens to be a feat chain.

There is not. Feats that allow rapid reload for the sling do not include work for the slings staff (see this FAQ, and the warslinger trait does not work with sling staffs per this FAQ.

There is no way in the rules to reload the sling staff as less than a move action.

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To the original poster's question: Pregnancy experience varies wildly.

I had a really easy pregnancy, and I suffered from "morning sickness" (randomly) about 6-7 times in the first four months. In the last 6 weeks, my heartburn was so bad that I had to sleep in a recliner, and I only got a few hours of sleep a night at that. I was only in labor for 11 hours from the moment I was induced to delivery.

On the flip side, I know women who were sick nearly every day through 6-7 months. My friend was in labor for 36 hours before they had to switch to a C-section. I know two different women who were on complete bed rest from month 4 on: if they were out of bed, they were in a wheelchair.

The biggest issue that an adventuring female would face is weight gain: your clothes and armor will not fit when you put on 45-60 pounds and your body shape changes dramatically. I went from a 34B to a 36DD and put on 10 inches on my hips--neither of which changed after I lost all the pregnancy weight. There will be some variance, but every woman will gain a significant amount of weight.

Second issue is probably the risk to the fetus. Fighting monsters is not a recommended activity at any stage of pregnancy. The first 4-5 months is actually pretty risky, and after 7 months, you need to refrain from high impact activity: riding, running, aerobics, etc.

Unless the players ask for it as a story line, just don't do it. There's no reason for it unless you actually want to restrict female characters in your games.

Here's why:
In history, a significant portion of magic (and later science) was devoted to controlling reproduction: we have have more surviving examples of spells/charms/prayers/etc. for controlling fertility (in both directions) than we do for making crops grow or curing sickness. It's been one of the biggest concerns--and industries--in human society since we started keeping records (and considering that most of it was handled by the gender that didn't keep the records, it's possible that it was even a bigger industry than weapons and armor). Growing up in modern times where we have reliable contraception methods, we don't realize how big an issue this really was.

If you're in a world where magic actually works, this would have been the first endeavor of most schools of magic--if for no other reason than it's where the money is. Who the heck would waste time creating a floating disk spell (since you can always just get a cheap pack animal to carry your stuff) unless the "fertility problem" had already been dealt with?

But none of source books deal with "daily hygiene" questions: no one has to make a "go to the bathroom" roll (with armor check penalties) or make a saving throw vs. gingivitis if they don't brush their teeth (and I don't see any dental care kits in Ultimate Equipment). Contraception falls under this category. If you're not having your party make profession cook/craft food/survival rolls to make sure they don't get parasites from undercooked meat, then don't deal with pregnancy, either.

Of course, if you never want to have a female character in your games, then go right ahead.

I'm not familiar with any such cult, and I don't see anything mentioned on the Pathfinder Wiki ioun stone article.

Of course, you certainly can create such a cult as a GM, and you could potentially write some interesting story lines around it.

If your goal is to restrict ioun stones, you can either use the wealth by level guidelines (ioun stones are expensive--and a cult trying to collect and destroy them would drive up the price) or just say "no ioun stones".

I agree with people who think that it could vary from creature to creature. First, Chokehold has the following note: "Any creature that does not breathe, is immune to bleed damage, or is immune to critical hits is immune to the effects of your chokehold."

Second, there is actually a feat that specifically calls out "you can shut down a breath weapon": Snoutgrip has the text "If you succeed, you have grappled your opponent and are holding its mouth shut, preventing it from using its bite attack, breath weapon, or spells with a verbal component". As a GM, you could use this to decide whether not being able to use spells with a verbal component implies that you can't also use a breath weapon.

I would probably rule that, at the very least, if the creature uses it's breath weapon, it does not count as "holding its breath", and it would start to suffocate.

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

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Here are some suggestions for when you're playing something you've already run (this is in addition to the "tell the GM and other players" rule):

* Try to avoid metagame knowledge. If you know the monsters that are coming up, it's very easy to prepare for them, either with gear ("I don't know--I just feel like picking up smoked goggles for no particular reason...oh, hey, look: a monster with a gaze attack!") or spell preparation ("I know I usually prep Grease, but I just feel like Burning Hands today...Oh, is that a swarm?"). Resist the temptation.

* If one of your characters happens to have the right build to just wreck the scenario, consider letting the other players vote on which character you play. (Assuming you have more than one in tier, of course.) For example, if you already know that the bad guy happens to be your ranger's favored enemy or that your cleric's domain power happens to negate the enemy's primary tactic, you might be tempted to play that character--or not play that character!--based on your foreknowledge. If the other players don't know, they can honestly choose the best character for the party balance. (I think that deliberately choosing weaker options based on metagame knowledge can be just as bad as deliberately choosing stronger ones.)

* Try not to correct the GM, or be very nice about it. You don't want to get into "Well, that's not how I read that" arguments, because every GM will have a slightly different interpretation and spin on NPCs. However, if you think the GM might have made a mistake on tier or 4-player adjustment, politely ask them if they're sure. If they say yes, then discuss it with them after the session.

* If the GM is clearly struggling with the scenario, consider asking if they want to step away from the table to discuss how you handled it. Always have these discussions out of player earshot, and always go by what the GM says when you return to the table. (And if the GM doesn't want your help, say, "No problem" and move on.)

If you're wanting to get Point Blank and Precise Shot, I'd recommend doing your first level as fighter. Without Point Blank and Precise Shot, you won't be effective as an archer, and if you're trying to use the bow to cover your low levels (because you think you won't be effective as a wizard), you'll be pretty disappointed. Taking -8 on 70% of your shots will kill your effectiveness (-4 for into melee and -4 for cover--not every GM remembers the cover penalties).

You can be pretty effective as a low-level wizard. The school powers provide a lot of versatility, and the knowledge skills are really important (depending on how many bards you see in your area.)

I agree with everything Mysterious Stranger has said so far.

A few other notes:
I would never give up Clustered Shots: it's one of the most effective archer feats, right after Deadly Aim and Improved Precise Shot. At higher levels, DR/- is very common, and you have no other way around it. Also check with your GM on whether Clustered Shots applies against hardness or just DR: if it only applies to DR, then you might consider Hammer the Gap to help you with hardness.

Check out the various trick arrows from Alchemy Manual and Elves of Golarion: see which of these your GM will allow.

Consider carrying multiple single-enhancement bows vs. 1 with everything. There are several decent weapon enhancements for bows, but they are mostly situational. You don't always need Seeking, and Distracting in nice in some cases, etc. (A tangleshot arrow fired from a Distracting bow is a great way to ruin a caster's day.)

Weapon blanches are your friend.

Most of the time, the additional damage from power attack more than makes up for the penalty to hit, but there is a break point. The exact number depends on your build (crit threat, crit multiplier, etc.), but a decent general rule is about 30% chance to hit. That is, if the penalty from Power Attack drops your chance to hit below 30% (and you only hit on a 16 or higher), consider dropping Power Attack.

A lot of people say that Power Attack stops being worth it at higher levels because most melee characters will hit that break point around 8th level. This is just a coincidence, though. Power Attack's penalty (and bonus) goes up another step at BAB 8, and the average enemy AC also happens to jump up around CR 9. Suddenly, at level 8, you're doing less damage with Power Attack than without, but this evens out at level 9 and gets back on track at level 10.

Note that if you have Furious Focus, you can pretty much always Power Attack without worrying about.

I'd let the creature make the climb DC with whatever bonuses they can add (corner climb, rope and grappling hook, any other gear, etc.), but when they get to the top, if they don't have enough movement to get out of the square, they will have to make the Reflex save to avoid falling back in.

(I would also let them end their movement just below the lip, then on the following round climb the last foot or two and continue their move so they don't end their move adjacent to the pit.)

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There's nothing that says swapping out characters has to be a random encounter. Assuming the party wasn't born and raised together, the party members will have friends, relatives, former adventuring partners, etc. that could become new party members. And the odds are pretty good that any of these would show up at a funeral, too. Introduction and motivation ("I want to help you kill the bastard that killed my friend") in one scene. Assuming your party doesn't roleplay every waking moment of every day, you could even back-fill information for a suspicious party: "Oh, yeah, he told you stories about this guy (off camera/while you were traveling/etc.): you might not like him, but you know you can trust him."

If the player doesn't want his old character to have any relation to the old one, any other party member could be told, "You remember working with a guy several years back who would be a great replacement."

King sent you on a quest? Fine, bring back the dead body and ask for a new person to fill out the group. Deal with whomever the king sends you.

Think of it like replacing a co-worker at work. You don't just go down to the bar and hire the first person who seems interesting. You actively recruit people to fill that role, hitting up your network of contacts and asking them to recommend someone. Worst case scenario, you have a cattle call. (You can even have fun roleplaying the interviews, if your players are Mystery Men fans...)

My rule of thumb is "no more than one remarkable coincidence per story": you can make most seemingly random occurrences make perfect sense with a little bit of thought. "We need to hire a new guy to fill the role of the dead guy/guy who quit" is one of the easiest situations to work around.

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Trekkie90909 wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:

TL/DR: If you're in the "no it does not provoke" camp, what does that text actually mean, then? Why is it there?


but if the foe attempts to move to a position where the mouser is no longer in its space, the movement provokes an attack of opportunity from the mouser.

I think the wording "moves to a position where the mouser is no longer in its space" clearly covers 5-foot steps. Otherwise, there is no reason for that text to be there.

If a foe leaves a threatened square without a 5-foot step, it always provokes. The ability already said the mouser threatens the square it's, so there is no reason to reiterate that leaving a threatened square provokes. For withdraws, only the first square doesn't threaten, so again, the mouser would still get an AoO on a withdraw anyway.

If you don't think the ability allows the mouser to threaten on a 5 foot step out of the square, what exactly do you think that text means? Why do you think it is there?

And I don't think that "just to remind us about the general movement rules" is a strong answer here. First because if they were reminding us of the general rule, I would expect them to refer to that rule somehow (e.g., by using the same wording as the rule, calling out the rule explicitly, or just adding the words "as usual" or "like normal" or something).

Second, because of the Rule of Copyfitting. "I want to remind people about a general rule that I am not altering in any way" is not a strong reason to leave 2 whole lines of text in a book.
** spoiler omitted **...

*squints* so the basis of your argument is that the Advanced Class Guide is such a well written work that there couldn't possibly be any typos or extraneous wording?


My argument is that column inches are such a precious commodity that even the worst-written book will not waste 4 lines of text (it's 2 in the PRD, 4 in the 2-column print layout) in a 4-color press run to re-state something that doesn't matter. And it would have to pass three different process roles to make it into print.

My other argument is that professional writers, while not perfect, usually have a reason for what they write, and they are usually conscious of what the reader's interpretation might be. Now, I'm extending that same assessment to game developers, which might not be a correct assumption, and I realize that Paizo doesn't follow the strict terminology rules I'm used to in technical writing. Still, I'm inclined to give other professionals the benefit of the doubt until they demonstrate complete incompetence.

In our Emerald Spire group, our main frontliner is a transmutation specialist wizard with an earthbreaker as his arcane bod. He uses monstrous physique to turn into various creatures with strength, natural armor, and abilities (flight, swim, darkvision, etc.).

He uses all of his spell slots for buff spells, like idealized bear's endurance (+6 Con), false life, stone skin, heart of the metal, echolocation, etc. Using feats, alchemical reagents, and extend rods, he can increase the length of transmutation spells (which covers most buff spells) to cover the length of most dungeon-crawling days.

He's been an effective front-liner, so effective that at 7th level, one of the other party members asked him why he wasn't taking his iterative attack. (Response? "Dude, I'm a wizard--my BAB is 3!")

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TL/DR: If you're in the "no it does not provoke" camp, what does that text actually mean, then? Why is it there?


but if the foe attempts to move to a position where the mouser is no longer in its space, the movement provokes an attack of opportunity from the mouser.

I think the wording "moves to a position where the mouser is no longer in its space" clearly covers 5-foot steps. Otherwise, there is no reason for that text to be there.

If a foe leaves a threatened square without a 5-foot step, it always provokes. The ability already said the mouser threatens the square it's, so there is no reason to reiterate that leaving a threatened square provokes. For withdraws, only the first square doesn't threaten, so again, the mouser would still get an AoO on a withdraw anyway.

If you don't think the ability allows the mouser to threaten on a 5 foot step out of the square, what exactly do you think that text means? Why do you think it is there?

And I don't think that "just to remind us about the general movement rules" is a strong answer here. First because if they were reminding us of the general rule, I would expect them to refer to that rule somehow (e.g., by using the same wording as the rule, calling out the rule explicitly, or just adding the words "as usual" or "like normal" or something).

Second, because of the Rule of Copyfitting. "I want to remind people about a general rule that I am not altering in any way" is not a strong reason to leave 2 whole lines of text in a book.

Rule of Copyfitting:

In print publications, column inches are an exceedingly precious commodity. You can't add a single page: you have to add them in sets of four.

A copyfitter's job is to crawl through the text character by character and pull out any unneeded text, and in many cases text that would be really nice but isn't crucial to understanding. I've had cases where the addition of a single comma forced a book to go an extra four pages--even though the comma was grammatically correct, it's wasn't 100% necessary, and we left it out.

A full two lines of unnecessary text would be a gigantic target for the editor and copyfitter both. The writer would have to make a good argument for leaving it in.

In our area, GMs tend to agree that it does provoke. I haven't met one yet that doesn't.

You could take a one level dip into Warpriest and use the Air blessing. You'd have to worship a deity that gives the air domain, though.

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Well, PFS generally peters out around level 12, so your chances of getting to "god-killing horror" level of any character build are very slim.

We have a 10-11th diviner wizard in our area who is pretty devastating with alchemical power components to augment spells: Slow + Tanglefoot bags = sad, sad bad guys. Not quite what you're describing, but she's a stunningly effective character, and the player has to hold back lest he let his character solo some of the encounters.

We have another wizard in our area (universalist, I think) who possesses his imp familiar and leaves his body in a safe place, doing all the adventures as his familiar (I've seen other magic jar builds, too). He also carries a spell-storing amulet that he hands out to whatever front liner has a free neck slot, then keeps it loaded with an empowered, intensified shocking grasp. If the front liner can land a hit, it makes short work of the target.

As far as surviving early levels, I generally go by the "be useful and the party will take care of you" approach. Get an area effect spell for swarms and prep a damaging cantrip for when you run out of spells. Control spells like glitterdust and grease are usually very helpful (obscuring mist less so, because it blinds your party, too). Tactical spells like message are often lacking in parties, and open/close can save your lives if you don't end up with a trapfinder at your table.

And knowledge skills will go a long way to making your character very popular with the other players.

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

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Summoning isn't an inherently evil act, no matter what you're summoning.

We do see some friction with summoners in general, not with Silver Crusade but with Liberty's Edge: "You're forcing a sentient creature to fight and die against its will? What's wrong with you?"

I have a Liberty's Edge character who bristles even more at Summon Nature's Ally: "Don't send that badger into battle--it's cute and furry!"

The ultimate answer is going to be up to your GM: I wouldn't base a build on this until I got my GM's OK in advance. (In PFS, I would assume this would not work, with very little table variation.)

Here's why I expect you to have issues:
First, the intent is clearly that the solid object is blocking one direction of the enemy's movement, and the floor is not usually considered to do so. (Pathfinder doesn't account for three dimensions very well in melee.) Of course, if your opponent is flying, then the floor would reasonably be considered to block the opponent's movement (but you'll need to be above them in that case).

Second, the list of suggested/example obstacles ("such as columns, tree trunks, and walls") only include a) vertical items and b) things that are generally assumed to be at least as tall as the opponent. If it included something like a table, large chair, or even a boulder, you might have a better argument.

If you can convince your GM, have fun! If PFS, I'd expect the reaction to be somewhere between "LOL! No way!" and "Interesting...but no."

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

Tony Lindman wrote:

The general rule in PFS is that when a rule lists "usually" or "for example", those are the only options available. Without a listing for a club made of metal, I have to assume it can't be done *in PFS*.

I would also disagree that adding cold iron nails to a club would be sufficient to overcome DR.

I'd actually disagree with this. By this logic, cold iron or adamantine shield spikes would not overcome DR on a shield bash, but I've always seen it ruled that they do.

Also, if blanching a weapon blanch (effectively "plating" it with the metal) is sufficient to overcome DR, it seems like nails/studs should be also.

Non-speaking animal companions can also tell other characters what square an invisible character is in: they can attack into the square, face the square and growl, etc.

FLite wrote:

From the developer

The RAW do allow the grappled to make a full attack action, assuming they can do so with only one hand. Since flurry does not require two hands to perform, a monk could flurry. Grappling is not always the best idea. Grappling a monk is one such example. I think folks need to remember that the grappled condition is not as severe as it once was. You are no longer draped all over the target. It is more like you got a hold on them, typically an arm (hence the restriction). The pinned condition is more of your greco-roman wrestling hold.

Basically, when you have the grappled condition, one attacking limb (of your choice) is immobilized.

So your player is a little correct. The badger can bite *and* hit with one claw, but not with both.

Just be glad it is not a tiger, they actually get more attacks when grappled.

First, that's a conceptual description, not a mechanical one. Second, "typically" doesn't mean "always".

There is nothing in the rules to imply that one attacking limb is immobilized or that you can't use all your attacks. (It's a reasonable ruling, certainly, but if you're looking for strict rules language, it's not supported.)

The rule only says that you can't use two hands to perform a single action. (There are several other threads where people argue whether two-weapon fighting "requires two hands to perform".) In the strictest reading, as long as only one hand is holding each weapon, attack all you want (or there's no reason to include "full attack" in the text). For a natural attack, unless it takes "two hands to perform", it should be fair game.

All that said, grapple has always been a bit messy, and most GMs have to apply their own rulings to it. Personally, I'd love the "eliminating one limb" ruling, because it means my tetori monk would take one less attack when she's grappling people! Sadly, my GMs have never ruled that way. (Tell your player to grapple defensively and increase his AC.)

There has been talk about a new grapple FAQ to finally A all the Qs about grapple: until that happens, you just have to make your best judgement.

Sesharan wrote:
I would say that "specific overriding general" applies here. The feat states that you may attempt to Aid Another anytime you have attacks of opportunity and an adjacent ally is attacked. The general (needing to be able to hit the enemy) would seem to be overriden as a result. I would take "attempt" to mean that you're rolling to hit the AC 10 requirement for a successful aid. Still, it'd be lovely to have an official ruling, although I'll certainly be happy to reference JJ's ruling for my GMs.

FWIW, JJ's word on this has been OK among the PFS GMs in my area. I keep a printout of the thread in my character folder.

Kalah wrote:
I tend to agree with you guys, I had the case recently on one game where we had a paladin providing two teamwork feats to the group via this ability, it was absolutely awesome and made me want to build one as well. This now looks less appealing.

I do this with a Cavalier dip and a Bard dip (for Battle Song of the People's Revolt): technically, my Holy Tactician can do three feats at once (it takes two-three rounds, though).

She also has a brawler dip to learn new teamwork feats on the fly.

DM_Blake wrote:

1. Technically, if a colossal dragon flies close enough to a halfing who grapples the dragon successfully, then the dragon is placed in a square adjacent to the halfling. Silly, I know, but this game has no real application of mass or velocity, probably to make sure that it didn't limit itself to only being marketable to physics students.

If you don't like the idea of a halfling with a readied Grapple stopping a dragon in mid-flight, you'll need a house rule for it.

Well, you can't usually grapple as an AoO, so the dragon would have to end its movement next to the halfling. In that case, momentum is not an issue. And since grapple specifies that you cannot move (unless you control the grapple), the dragon isn't able to just fly away. (Of course, a tanglefoot bag would have much the same effect.)

My halfling tetori flavors it as submission holds ("Use the pinky lock!"). She has leaped 10 feet into the air to grapple a young dragon, pin its wings, and force it down.

But the belly flop from the third story onto to gargantuan ooze was probably more epic--and much sillier.

Regarding question 2, James Jacobs says the Bodyguard feat works against ranged attacks. However, Bodyguard requires that your ally be adjacent to you, which takes the place of the "must be threatening the target in melee" requirement of regular Aid Another.

dragonhunterq wrote:
FoolNamedFreedom wrote:

On a side note (because our GM doesn't know and I can't find it) to use a wand what is the spell save dc on wands? Do you use your own save for that level of spell or the crafter's? And is there a chart or standard npc modifier to use. It's a fight that we all go through with her because she doesn't tell us anything about the wands or scrolls we receive as loot and everyone in the party has the skill Use Magic Device. I know the dc's to activate the devices but say it's a save for half damage or spell resistance applies to the spell?

DC is 10+spell level+bonus of the minimum attribute needed to cast that spell

So a first level spell is DC11 (10+1+0 - for an ability score of 11).
A 9th level spell is DC23 (10+9+4 - for an ability score of 19)
EDIT: forgot about staves, without another ability to mess it up, staves are the only magic items to break the above rule, they use the wielders ability score to set the DC.

Assuming they were crafted with the minimum caster level and stat (which is the default assumption), you are correct.

If the crafter is a known, specific character (either a PC or NPC), then you can use the stats and caster level of the character that did the crafting.

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

I'd go for scrolls of utility spells like mage armor instead of offensive spells. Since the scrolls will be at minimum caster level and minimum casting stat, you will get none of your bonuses to the DC.

I also agree with the wand of grease and/or mage armor. One of the best uses of grease is escaping a grapple: you can cast it on yourself or on a teammate.

A lot of times, you can get an offensive school/domain power like hand of the apprentice or force missile which will more than make up for your two spell slots.

Any medium armor is going to reduce your speed by 10', so just keep that in mind. My half-orc bloodrager uses a breastplate (+6) and just deals with the 30' speed, but at starting gold, your best bet is four mirror or kikko, like Chess Pwn suggested.

Hide armor is no better than your chain shirt (they're both +4), so it reduces your speed for no benefit. (I really don't know why that armor exists other than flavor or maybe for druids, but it's really terrible.)

Pendergast's suggestion of the heavy shield (any material) is probably your best AC option, and you can just pick up the shield now without changing your chain shirt.

You can also fight defensively, if you get into real trouble: reduce your to-hit by 4 to get +2 AC.

Whatever build you go with, consider a worshiper of Irori. The Deific Obedience boon for Irori is +4 on all Knowledge Checks.

And the Breadth of Experience feat (for gnomes, elves, and dwarves over 100 years old) gives you +2 on all Knowledge, Craft, and Profession checks, and it lets you make them untrained.

By third level you could be adding +6 to whatever else your build gives you.

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

bdk86 wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Tarma wrote:

Something that gets over looked is that the Shadow Lodge was incredibly difficult to explain to new players.

New Player "So the shadow lodge is looking out for the members of the lodge and fellow Pathfinders? Awesome! I'm in"

GM: So you're adventuring and you get attacked by bandits wearing shadow lodge emblems!

New Player" But they're my faction! I can't attack my fellow faction members!"

GM: "Well, they're a uhhh, different group of the faction! See, this shadow lodge wants to attack the Grand Lodge and destroy it!"

New Player" So, they want to attack the Grand Lodge, but they're also a part of it????" *Confused look on face* "I'm just going to go with the grand lodge"

i always described the lodge as a 'pathfinder's union'. My shadow Lodge PCs saw the job of the Lodge as protecting the interests of the rank and file when the Decembervate put their needs as secondary. After playing Eot10 and Destiny of the Sands, I'm firmly in the camp of 'Torch was right.'
Definitely. EotT pretty firmly left me pro-Torch. Most of Season 2 makes a lot more sense having played it.

Fascinating. I had the exact opposite response. Whether or not Torch was "right" didn't make him "in the right": just because he makes a true statement doesn't make him actually trustworthy or "on your side" or anything.

In our area, several people played Shadow Lodge for the same reason they played Cheliax: it was as close to allowed pvp/evil alignment as they could get in PFS. (The players I'm thinking of explicitly said so: I'm not interpreting or projecting.)

Honestly, I'd like to see the "Looking out for your fellow Pathfinders" aspect of the Shadow Lodge adopted by the Grand Lodge. I think that's really where it makes the most sense, especially since it's the "default" faction that all the pregens automatically belong to. If we're going to emphasize that the main principles of the Society are "Explore, Report, Cooperate", then the Grand Lodge should really push the last of those three: not everyone is great at exploring, some people might not be good at reporting, but everyone, at a minimum, can cooperate.

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LazarX wrote:
dumptruckman wrote:

This seems to be a point of contention for a lot of people. Flat-footed condition states you are "unable to react normally to the situation." Some people argue that since you cannot take immediate actions while flat-footed, you also cannot speak. I argue that since speaking doesn't say you can't do it while flat-footed AND that since it is POSSIBLE to ATTACK while flat-footed through use of Combat Reflexes, it is POSSIBLE to SPEAK while flat-footed.

I'd love to see this FAQ'd so I can stop dealing with it all the time. D:

And like many people who handle rules text wrong, you are arguing backwards. And you're committing the additional sin of false equivalency. Pathfinder isn't a game where it lists what you can't do. It's what you can do, and it's up to you to find a passage which enables you to hold conversations while you're flatfootd.

This is a philosophical approach to the rules, not a rule in itself.

There are two basic "takes" on rulesets in general: 1) Everything is allowed except those things that are expressly forbidden, and 2) Everything is forbidden except those things that are expressly allowed. Since the rules themselves don't specify which approach you should use, both approaches to the rules are equally valid.

In either case, though, when the rule don't cover a specific instance, you have to use analogies, implications, and interpretations. I always try find a situation that is most like the specific instance, then consider the consequences of applying that rule to the instance in question. If the results seem reasonable, then I'll go with it. If the results seem excessively complicated or silly, I'll go back to the rules, find another similar situation, and see what happens if I apply that rule, and so on.

Combat reflexes only applies to attack mechanics, not speech.

But since there's no rule about speech, we need to find a similar situation and see if it makes sense to apply the rule to this situation, too. To me, it seems logical that if characters can attack, they should also be able to speak. I can't come up with any complicated or ridiculous side effects of applying the combat reflexes/uncanny dodge rules to speech, so I'll probably run with that.

I don't have much experience with custom classes, but I can suggest a couple of options that might make easier starting points:

Have you looked at the Bloodrager class? It's a hybrid of barbarian and sorcerer: full bab, d10 hit die, martial weapon proficiency, and light/medium armor proficiency with no arcane spell failure chance.

For channeling spells through your sword, your best bet is the Magus class: as a magus, you can cast and attack in the same round and use your sword to deliver your spells.

There is also an archetype of magus that uses charisma to cast and gains a bloodline: Eldritch Scion.

Calm Emotions and Unbreakable Heart are my go-to anti-fear spells.

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