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Madge Blossomheart

Gwen Smith's page

FullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle. 1,184 posts (1,373 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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RumpinRufus wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:

Then the three melee fighters picked up Outflank, and fights were over as soon as they got in flank position. The rogue crits, which triggers an AoO from the fighter and the druid's wolf companion. The first one to hit gets an automatic critical, and gods help the poor bad guy if one of those AoOs also crits, because the rogue and the wolf both had Combat Reflexes.

It takes some pretty precise positioning to get this working, though. And it doesn't work against medium or smaller creatures, since there's no way for all three of you to be flanking the same square, unless you have a fourth flanking partner.

That's where Gang Up came in. The fighter and the wolf actually flank, and if the rogue was in any threatening square, Gang Up made him count as flanking.

(We also had an NPC melee fighter and a ranged fighter who threatened and didn't provoke, so he could also could provide flank. By the time we hit 7th level, they had the maneuvers down and could pull it off in every combat.)

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

ashman1000 wrote:

I decided it would be awesome if I could get someone and me to make characters built around helping each other to make an unstoppable team. But I am not entirely sure if/what rules cover this.

Here are my main questions:
1. Am I even allowed to plan on being at the same table as another player and build a character to work together?
2. If I am allowed to do this can I use my pathfinder society account for the characters but at the table I play one character and he plays one character?
3. Would using this strategy be considered cheating.

Regarding #2:

You can't play someone else's society character. If the GM tries to report the session, your character will be 12345-01 and your friend's will be 12345-02, which will probably get kicked back as an error.

Just have your friends create their own accounts and plan to play certain characters together. A lot of friends and relatives do this--it's not a problem at all.

My husband and I try to have a couple of characters in each tier. We usually end up pairing off characters because of theme, personality, or abilities. Sometimes, we specifically build characters that we only play together, like our teamwork-built two-weapon fighter sword dancers who are also a professional dance duet or our twin bloodragers with Amplified Rage. Sometimes characters evolve together because we coincidently end up playing them together.

If you really want to play strategy, just plan several tactics that your characters together. If you end up not playing together that day, just explain your regular tactics to the group and see if there's anyone else in the party who can fit your friend's usual role.

(I have an Honor Guard cavalier who introduces herself with the phrase, "Just stay next to me, and I will protect you." Mechanically, any adjacent ally gets +3 AC, and she can use Bodyguard to boost them by another 7. She has to explain her build and tactics to each table she sits down at, but it usually works.)


If he's committed to core only, a nice fighter build is reach weapon + Combat Reflexes. Then, at the start of combat, he can ready an action to attack if someone comes into reach. When the bad guys move up to attack, he gets his readied action immediately followed by an AoO. Also, he can attempt trips on bad guys without provoking (because of reach) and without investing in trip feats. He can build a nice battlefield control character who can still dish out quite a bit of damage.

Now, you said the player likes to charge into combat first. If he continues this tactic, vanilla fighter might be the best choice for him. With armor training, he'll have the heaviest armor and normal movement, which means he'll get to close while the paladin is still trucking along at 20 ft.

If that's his chosen tactic, then he's probably better off with a non-reach weapon. I'd also recommend a shield, and maybe Improved Shield Bash. If he's faster than the other melee characters, he'll end up taking full attacks for a round or two before the rest of the party closes. The shield will help his AC, and Improved Shield Bash will let him attack with the shield if he wants to.

The main advantage is that he'll have all the feats he could want, so he can build a pretty versatile character.


Keep in mind that some maneuvers might contain provoking actions. For example, Bull Rush and Overrun usually require movement. If you move out of a threatened square, you'll provoke from anyone who threatens. But the maneuver itself only provokes from the target.


Auriea wrote:

As a side note, maybe suggest having your fighter, if not impressed with his damage output, try to go a route involving Butterfly's Sting. Sure, he may not hit hard, but a confirmed hit turning into an auto crit from the big hitter is a great teamwork feat.

Example: Fighter is fighting with an 18-20 threat weapon, and confirms the critical. Forgoing the crit, the next melee attack that hit the target is granted an auto confirmed crit, as long as it isn't the fighter that activated the critical.

I am a huge fan of Butterfly's Sting.

We had a game with a disarming rogue who picked up Butterfly's Sting and a keen rapier. If the bad guy had something he could disarm, he took it away (which saved our butts on several "bad guys who do ability damage with their weapons" occasions). If not, he lined up in flank and passed crits to the two-handed fighter. He also had Gang Up and Improved Feint, so he got sneak attack almost every attack.

Then the three melee fighters picked up Outflank, and fights were over as soon as they got in flank position. The rogue crits, which triggers an AoO from the fighter and the druid's wolf companion. The first one to hit gets an automatic critical, and gods help the poor bad guy if one of those AoOs also crits, because the rogue and the wolf both had Combat Reflexes.


Gregory Connolly wrote:
Back in 3.5 it was easy, it was called Druid. My 5 strength gnome turns into a 28 strength bear, and the fighter cries. In pathfinder it seems to be a design goal to actually make strong characters invest in strength. Perhaps a strong character who invests in the disguise skill to appear weak would be more workable.

You can still do the wild shaping druid in Pathfinder. I've heard people talking about shifting into a huge hippopotamus.


Brad McDowell wrote:

Is this the Improved Critical you're talking about...??

Razor's Kiss (Su): At 8th level, a dervish dancer can use his battle dance to improve his weapons' critical range. All attacks he makes with manufactured weapons are treated as though he had the Improved Critical feat. Natural weapons and spells are not affected. This ability replaces dirge of doom.

In your build, you'll get it at level 10.

I think the OP was thinking of the regular Improved Critical feat, which requires BAB 8. Your find is better, because it's the same net effect without burning a feat.

Until 9th or 10th level (depending on which version of Improved Critical you want), you can use Oil of Keen Edge to increase your threat range.

Oh, and after you get Improved Critical, carry a wand of Bless Weapon: it lets you automatically confirm crits on evil creatures, which is sweet when you have a 15-20 crit threat weapon.


I always start by trying to find a reference point they are familiar with, then build from that. Have they played D&D? Have they played any d20 system games? Have they ever played a role-playing game?

If someone is completely unfamiliar with the concept of a d20 system, I start with "This is a 20-sided die, or d20. Whenever you want your character to do something, you roll the d20 and add your listed bonus. If you meet or beat the target number, you succeed." Then I give one or two examples based on the stat blocks they are looking at--like attack bonus vs. armor class, skill check vs. DC, or saving throw vs. spell DC.

If someone is completely unfamiliar with the concept of role playing games, I explain that you take on a character, decide what things that character can do, and have adventures.


Imbicatus wrote:
I just had another thought, slings are in the thrown weapon group and are considered thrown weapons. This might be a good option to build a halfling warslinger.

The biggest problem with that is this FAQ. Because of the wording here and the wording used in both Ammo Drop and Juggle Load, there's not currently any RAW way to reload a halfling sling staff as less than a move action. (Rapid Reload only works with crossbows.)

Before you invest too much time in that particular build, just make sure ask your GM whether you can reload a sling staff more than once a round.

Then there's the whole "thrown vs projectile" weapon issue. The are described as projectile weapons, but then they're included in the thrown group for weapon training.
If slings and sling staves are thrown weapons, then you can use Close Quarters Thrower to avoid provoking in combat, and they have a max range of 5 x Range Increment. If they're projectile weapons, then you need Point Blank Master to avoid provoking in combat (which requires 4 levels of Fighter or 2 levels of Ranger), and they have a max range of 10 x Range Increment.


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It kind of depends on why the players are making their characters leave the group.

I had a player who constantly left the group to do his own thing (didn't matter what game we were playing), then constantly interrupt the rest of the game with "What happens to me? What about me? What am I doing while the rest of them are saving the world?" Basically, he wanted all the attention and "camera time" to focus on him.

The problem here was that if I tried to "punish" his character or throw tough encounters at him to convince his character to rejoin the group for safety, I was actually giving the player exactly what he wanted: his own adventure, all by himself.

What finally worked with this guy was to just completely ignore him. Every instance of "what happens to me" was met with "Nothing. You wander around a while a go to sleep. The night passes uneventfully." Eventually, he figured out that I was not going to invent a plot just for his character alone, and he learned that his character could either join the story with the rest of the group or stay at home and do nothing.

And while he learned that, it didn't disrupt the rest of game.


Scrapper is correct.

The 9th level ability of the Two Weapon Warrior (fighter archetype) is what will let you move and attack:

Doublestrike (Ex): At 9th level, a two-weapon warrior may, as a standard action, make one attack with both his primary and secondary weapons. The penalties for attacking with two weapons apply normally. This ability replaces weapon training 2.

When you hit 9th level, you can move and then attack with both your main hand and off-hand weapons. Now, you won't get your iterative attack (the one you got at 6th level at -5); you attack once with each hand.

Here's a breakdown of your attack options, if it helps:
Levels 1-5:
1) Full attack:
- 1 attack with your main hand
- 1 attack with your off hand

2) Move and attack:
- Move action
- 1 attack with either hand

Level 6-8:
1) Full attack:
- 1 attack with your main hand
- 1 attack with your off hand
- 1 attack with either hand at -5 (this is the "iterative attack")

1a) If you take the Improved Two Weapon Fighting feat (requires BAB 8), your full attack becomes:
- 1 attack with your main hand
- 1 attack with your off hand
- 1 attack with your main hand at -5 (iterative attack)
- 1 attack with your off hand at -5 (bonus iterative attack from Improved Two Weapon Fighting)

2) Move and attack
- Move action
- 1 attack with either hand

Level 9 (Two Weapon Warrior archetype only)
1) Full attack (no change from levels 6-8):
- 1 attack with your main hand
- 1 attack with your off hand
- 1 attack with either hand at -5 (this is the "iterative attack")

1a) Full attack with Improved Two Weapon Fighting:
- 1 attack with your main hand
- 1 attack with your off hand
- 1 attack with your main hand at -5 (iterative attack)
- 1 attack with your off hand at -5 (bonus iterative attack from Improved Two Weapon Fighting)

2) Move and attack (This is the big change)
- Move action
- 1 attack with your main hand
- 1 attack with your off hand

One suggestion: as you get up into the higher levels, consider getting color-coded dice so you can roll all your attacks at once. Declare what color is which attack before you roll, then sort out the attacks. It helps keep combat going.

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

nosig wrote:

I'm not sure...

No more than working in an office with two people with the same name (which has happened more than once to me....). Or having a PC in a game with an unpronounceable name.

Same name? No problem. Same family? Sure, why not?

Same actual person? Hm...that's going to get confusing.

In our area, we have quite the collection of distantly-related Blachros cousins, at least one Kitsune who enjoys disguising himself as NPCs from last week's scenario ("No, I'm totally Lander! Really!"), and a pirate captain who commandeered the Hydra's Fang--all good fun.

And then there's the ever-exanding Flutterfoot clan of the Flying Flutterfoot Family Circus and Traveling Pathfinder Lodge...


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Combine that with scent so you know the correct square, and invisible creatures will tremble before you.


Well, readied action just says "To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it."

Since it says "conditions", you could argue it allows you to ready against multiple conditions. But since it says "action" (singular), you could also argue that you can only ready one action against those multiple conditions.

I would probably allow a single ELSE, within reason, but that's going to be up to your GM.

You would be much more likely to get your GM to allow something like, "If someone attacks me or the wizard, I plant the shield to give the target cover against the attack" (since you can pick the corner when you plant the shield and take a five foot step as part of the readied action).

In this particular case, though:
When your turn comes back around, you lose your readied action and get to take your next turn. To me, it sounds like you're just readying an action and then taking your regular turn if it's not triggered by your next round, which is exactly how readied actions work.


Rerednaw wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:

An Inspired Blade gets the ability to declare any hit to be a crit threat when using the Inspired Strike deed. Combine that with the spell Bless Weapon, which lets you auto-confirm crit threats against evil creatures, and now you can make it so all your hits are critical hits.

Granted, it costs one or two panache per attack (depending on if you roll a natural crit threat) and it only works against evil creatures, but it seems like a great way to supernova vs the BBEG.

Any way to enhance this, possibly by adding riders that activate on crits? The critical feats are the obvious choice, I'm wondering if there's anything more devious.

I dunno, maybe Leadership feat to get a follower with Butterfly Sting? (unless this is PFS.)

Also this assumes you have a friendly paladin in the party or perhaps a wand of Bless Weapon and a decent UMD?

You don't need a follower. Just take Butterfly's Sting. If there's another melee fighter around who does more damage, pass them the crit. If not, take the crit yourself.

I'd probably dip a level of Brawler so I could pick up different critical feats on the fly at higher levels. See who you're fighting and spend a move action to pick up an appropriate critical feat.


Sammy T wrote:

James Jacobs said, RAI, 3 Grapple checks in one round would allow you to grapple, pin and tie up in one round.

Mark Seifter clarified in a PFS scenario thread HERE that you couldn't.

Actually, that's not an official clarification. He said there's an FAQ coming that would resolve that particular argument.

Bruno's post goes back to the long-standing argument over whether the "subsequent rounds" text in the Grapple description is present because you maintain as a standard action and you only get one standard action per round, or whether it means that the maintain check must always come the round after the grapple check because...? (I hope they fill that part in if the FAQ goes that way.)

Personally, I think the second interpretation creates way too big a gap between grapple and grab/constrict. Monsters are able to grab/constrict/release as many times a turn as they have limbs, from birth. Forcing players to wait an extra turn just to do damage once, no matter how many feats they invest in the ability--oh, and they're taking a full attack in the meantime--seems amazingly unfair.

If the FAQ does come down on the second interpretation, the future answer to "How do I play a grappler?" becomes "Build a summoner, because only eidelons can grapple effectively."


Sammy T wrote:

Rules heads up for players and GMs:

Unless you start the round grappling someone (like via Turtle clutch or an AOO with grab), you cannot one round grapple and pin--Mark Seifter clarified that in scenario discussion in the GM forum.

While James Jacobs has said the opposite, he's not a rules guy and Mark is.

Do I agree with Mark? No--especially since the level you can Grapple/Greater Grapple/Rapid Grapple (L9) is the same level full casters start getting their L5 spells and at L11 full martials are full attacking 3 times a round.

But the rules are the rules.

Can you point me to a link for this? No one in our area is playing this way.

Once you get Rapid Grappler, by RAW, you can absolutely pin in one round: standard action, grapple, then move action to maintain, where one of your options is pin. I don't see any ambiguity.

Now, you can't tie up in one round (without taking the -10)--is that what James Jacobs is referring to?


Exguardi wrote:

If you're trying to be a DEX-based grappler, it can be a little difficult to get your Grapple bonus up to snuff (especially in regard to CMD) with characters that are stacking STR for it.

Some nice quick avenues for increasing your bonus to Grapple:

1) Armbands of the Brawler (very cheap, can replace if you get a bigger competence bonus later)
2) Bred for War (unique among the traits in that it gives +1 to your actual CMB, I believe you can pick this up with the Adopted trait)
3) Falayna's Celestial Obedience (this is a HUGE boost, +4 to Grapple and to CMD)

You can't take Bred for War unless you at least 6 feet tall, IIRC.

For a halfling, there's an Andoran regional trait Equality for All, which increases your CMB/CMD against larger foes.

Also, if your favored class is a Monk or Fighter, your favored class bonus gets you +1 CMS vs. Grapple, which really helps counter balance the size. The other advantage of the tetori is that you add your Wisdom to the CMD, also.

My Str-based halfling Tetori has a 15 CMB and 36 CMD for grappling at level 7, completely unbuffed.

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

There's Harmonizing armor...


raghnarock.warrior wrote:

Hi i have this question about the possibility of full parry and riposte or opportune parry and riposte

Opportune Parry and Riposte (Ex): At 1st level, when an opponent makes a melee attack against the swashbuckler, she can spend 1 panache point and expend a use of an attack of opportunity to attempt to parry that attack.

expend a use? so it is possible to expend more panache points to expends more attacks of oportunity (considering you have combat reflexes)?

Exactly. (The wording "use of an AoO" means that you tick off the one of your available AoOs for the round, but you don't actually "attack" with it.)

raghnarock.warrior wrote:

duelist:

Parry (Ex): At 2nd level, a duelist learns to parry the attacks of other creatures, causing them to miss. Whenever the duelist takes a full attack action with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, she can elect not to take one of her attacks. At any time before her next turn, she can attempt to parry an attack against her or an adjacent ally as an immediate action.
Riposte (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a duelist can make an attack of opportunity against any creature whose attack she successfully parries, so long as the creature she is attacking is within reach.

so the same you can elect not to take more than one attack? and wait for attacks from the enemy?

I'm not an expert on the duelist, but I read that as "one attack only". Now, I don't see why you can't the parry from the swashbuckler and the riposte from the duelist: a parry is a parry, and the riposte ability doesn't specify you have to use the duelist parry.


Karuth wrote:
Why would a sling count as thrown weapon?

Because it's in the "Thrown" group for fighter weapon training.

If you were looking at Cautious Fighter and/or Crane Style, Close Quarters Thrower has Dodge as a requirement anyway.


If you're spending a feat for longbow proficiency and are willing to worship Erastil, check out the Deadeye Bowman trait. It won't eliminate all cover penalties, but it will certainly help.


Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

After years of playing a cleric in both 3.5 & Pathfinder this is my jaded view of clerics.

Summon & caster clerics > reach melee >melee > bad touch > channel clerics.

What's the advantage of going with a summoning cleric vs a plain old summoner?

My favorite channel cleric build was a friend who built an Aasimar debuff/battlefield control cleric around the Channel Force feat tree. At lower levels, pushing or pulling people around the battlefield was very handy. At higher levels, the flying enemies were quite distressed when the cleric channeled at them and dragged them to the ground to get beaten up. There was really only one way to make that build, though.


Karuth wrote:

@Gwen Smith

Ammo Drop also prevents me from provoking Attacks of Opportunity when reloading which sadly Warslinger does not. That's why I took it early.

If you think Precise Shot is so important I can try switching things around.

I understand. It also lets you keep a hand free, which is important when you're a caster. If your experience so far is that you don't see a lot of melee penalties on ranged attacks, you might keep your 1st level feats the way they are, and switch out Deadly Aim for Precise Shot at 3rd level.

Of course, you'll still take AoOs for firing the sling, even if you don't for loading it, so if you don't need the free hand, you could wait and pick up Ammo Drop around Point Blank Master. (Another thought: slings can qualify both as projectile and as thrown weapons. You could grab Close Quarters Thrower earlier than Point Blank Master, if that works better for your build.

Karuth wrote:
And I am aware that Rapid Shot gives an overall DPS bonus. That is what I meant when I wrote I was sacrificing some attack power.

Ah! I had misread "attack power" as "attack bonus"...That makes much more sense now!

Karuth wrote:
And I am using a normal sling. Sadly neither Ammo Drop now Warslinger seems to work with a Sling staff. I could of course just go for the staff and drop multiple ranged attacks per round as a whole. But since the Sacred Weapon Bonus quickly surpasses the Staffs increased damage, the only advantage left would be the higher range increment.

Right. (Brief moment of silence for the death of my favorite weapon of all time.) You'll have many more uses for the distance weapon ability with a normal sling.

Karuth wrote:
Going Vital strike was what I found interesting change for a ranged build. I have a hard time throwing the basic premise of the character out the window, because it doesn't do the most damage.

I toyed with the idea of rebuilding my early-retired sling staffer (in PFS) wielder with Vital Strike to replace Rapid Shot, et al. Didn't really have enough prestige to pull it off. It's an interesting approach, though.

Vital Strike does have several advantages. It applies to any weapon, ranged or melee, so it gives you a lot of flexibility. If you don't take Precise Shot or if you have a lot of cover penalties, you probably won't hit with your iterative attack anyway, so your damage will even out quickly. Also, with Vital Strike, you can take advantage of some fun feats like Focused Shot and Bullseye Shot that take a move action.

If I implied that you "shouldn't ever take Vital Strike", I apologize. I just wanted to make sure you had all the information before making your decision. And it is completely your decision. I've seen a really nice Vital Strike build with Furious Finish. It looks like there are some nice new Vital Strike-based feats in Advanced Class Guide, too.

Karuth wrote:
However I may have another idea. If I can pump my AC into the sky I could simply ignore the AoOs I provoke when attacking and drop Point Blank Master as a whole.

That's got some potential. You'd also suck up AoOs from the bad guys, freeing up your friends to move around the battlefield.


A couple of general suggestions off the top of my head:

If you're a ranged-based character, get Precise Shot as soon as possible. In my experience, my ranged characters (four, concurrently) shoot into melee at least 80% of the time. If your party is mostly reach weapon users, you might be able to get away without it. Otherwise, it should be one of your first level feats.

I wouldn't ever take Deadly Aim until you have Precise Shot: Stacking Deadly Aim penalties on top of into melee (-4) and cover (-2 to -4) will reduce your to hit down into the "fishing for a 20" range.

You can use a buckler until you pick up Ammo Drop, so you have a little bit of a shield bonus, at least.

Generally, Rapid Shot will get you more damage than Deadly Aim, so you usually want to take that first.

Getting Vital Strike after you have iterative attacks is less helpful, since you have to take a standard action to Vital Strike. The Vital Strike tree plus Rapid Shot don't work together at all.

For #3, I would say Arc Slinger would work with the Distance capability. That said, I don't think the distance capability is that helpful if you're using a sling staff. On a normal sling it's probably worth it.

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

Mekkis wrote:

Yay! It's this time of year again!

People bringing up how a fringe item that has a massive effect on action economy doesn't have even more of its effect.

Please refer to the previous thread

To Brock and Compton: Please ban this considerably contentious and broken item.

Side question:

Can anyone point me to the origin of the term/concept "action economy" in Pathfinder? I understand what it means, but I have no idea where it came from. I see it used as a justification for rulings often, so I wanted to know where it gets introduced in the ruleset.


The title of the post asks about creatures that are immune to precision damage...

Did you mean creatures that are immune to critical hits? Because critical hits are a completely separate thing from precision damage.


There's Spelunker's Mail, among others. Reduce Person potions are always available, too.

Archives of Nethys uses the little Grand Lodge logo to show items are PFS legal. He's got all the magic items from all the sources indexed, too.

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

My introduction to spring-loaded wrist sheaths was by a GM who had no trouble letting you put a scroll in regular wrist sheath, but balked at putting them in spring loaded ones. His reasoning was that the action of the spring would more likely damage the scroll than push it out, and since scrolls aren't stiff by nature, it would also be likely to get stuck up your sleeve.

Then there's the issue of unrolling the scroll to read it, so a lot of GMs would say you still have to take a move action to unroll it. I think the assumption is that unrolling it is a free action as part of the move action to get it out, but if you don't take a move action to retrieve it, you can't have the free action to unroll it. (Like drawing a weapon as a free action while moving--it's a move action otherwise.)

When we get out BoL scrolls for someone else to cast, we make a point of saying that we unroll them and hold them up for the caster, just to avoid this problem. (That's probably being too literal, but I get paranoid with BoL.)

It would be nice to see this clarified: I'd love to be able to do it, but I know a lot of GMs won't allow it, so I usually warn players away from it.


Merm7th wrote:
So I am a hunter with a mantis companion I use as a mount. I usually wield a lance but sometimes I want to free up the hand. Can I pass off the lance to the mantis. The mantis can grab and I just want it to hold it for me, not wield it. If so, how would it work? Would it be a free action for both of us, free for me and move for mantis or vice versa? Wild it be a trick I need to train. The character is in pfs.

You can normally use a lance one-handed while mounted--is that somehow different when you're mounted on a mantis?


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thejeff wrote:
Oakbreaker wrote:

@ Secret Wizard

But the game has to be Horde/Alliance = Good/Evil lest we all have to meta-game. If I play a Dwarven paladin and in the course of our adventure decimate an Orc tribe leaving no survivors must I atone and lose my class features despite my worship of a diety who is against orcs and being raised in Dwarven society where due to a history of war we are taught how to take them down specifically? With this genre of game the goal is to be someone else. It is not to play through your morality but your character. To say it is an evil act despite a character upbringing saying it was the right thing to do is to force us all to play through the game not as our characters, but as 3rd person overseers.

Yes. You should atone. Or maybe not even be able to.

There is nothing in any of the Dwarven writeups saying all orcs must be killed on sight. Yeah, you don't like orcs. You won't trust them. You're good at killing them when they attack, as they always do. You still don't have to kill all of them. Even your dwarven god doesn't command killing every orc. I know that, because he's not an evil deity. Which I know because you're a paladin.

Unless that dwarven god is Torag:

Torag's Paladin Code wrote:
Against my people’s enemies, I will show no mercy. I will not allow their surrender, except when strategy warrants. I will defeat them, yet even in the direst struggle, I will act in a way that brings honor to Torag.


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thegreenteagamer wrote:
Le Petite Mort wrote:

One thing to keep in mind, whoever gets the party face character NEEDS to be someone capable of doing that. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be at a table with the +20 Diplomacy mod paladin whose player can never think of anything relevant to say.

Just an idea.

Ah, yes, the classic "charismatic characters need to have charismatic players" argument.

Time for the "You better make sure your wizards are members of Mensa and your barbarians can bench over double their weight" response.

But, even further, despite how aptly that sums up my opinion on the matter:

Just as a wizard should not have to say "I grab a handful of guano from my spell component pouch, dangling from my side, rubbing it in my fingers and mumbling 'shabaladouchilachilaroustic' while moving my left hand in a counterclockwise circle and gyrating my hips like young Elvis, but most certainly not like old Elvis...I then fling my hand roughly thirty-five degrees to the north and watch amazed as a ball of flame explodes roughly 20' in diameter putting out the heat of, well, not a thousand suns, but like four ovens baking turkeys, at least"...

...but rather, is okay saying, "I cast fireball. I center it here. It does 27 damage...reflex 19 for half". The players and GM kinda fill in the blanks.

So, too, should a paladin not have to spell everything out. Rather, "I come up with a convincing argument for why they should let us go. I rolled a 23. Oh, and I have this cloak which gives me +2 to diplomacy with nobles," is perfectly acceptable.

Not everyone...in fact, the majority of players I've been around, (not that anecdotal evidence is everything, but so far for me it's been around 75% don't) want to roleplay absolutely every detail...but some of those same people want to play someone charismatic.

I usually tell my players to just give me the general idea of what they want to say--what approach they want to use, what emotions they want to appeal to, etc. It's a good way to get them started thinking along those lines, and I can adjust circumstance bonuses for good ideas.

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

rknop wrote:
...and while he looks through those portfolios, the Mission Impossible theme plays.

My next rogue totally has be named Rollie Fingers....


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yazo wrote:
I just started a RotRL campaign with a few of my close friends, who i normally game with. To get them to play something different i got them to roll 4D6 down the line and build a character around that. One of my players rolled a Druid and is complaining about his lack of spells and the low ac of his animal companion, how do i deal with this?

What is your goal, here? What do you mean by "deal with it"?

If your goal is "How do I get him to shut up and just play," most of the posts on this thread already addressed that.

If your goal is "How can I help my player find the fun in what he has," then you need to focus on the problems and see if they can be fixed:

Low AC on animal companion? Get it armor, or let him switch his animal companion.

Lack of spells? Let him get scrolls. I know there aren't many in RoTRL, but you're the GM--you can change that. Make one of the traveling merchants in Sandpoint be from the Verderun Forest and have a pack of druid-only scrolls that he hasn't be able to sell anywhere else. Heck, if the merchandise is so old, he might even offer a discount.

Feeling like he doesn't contribute? Let him know that they won't be in town forever, and most druid spells will work in Sandpoint anyway (it's not New York City or Magnimar: there's lots of "nature" around). Send him to one of the numerous "how to build a druid" guides that are available online and see if he can get some ideas.

If your goal is "How can I help him rebuild his character with those stats," then we need to know more about what roles your player likes to play.

For a rogue-like character, Zen archer is an excellent choice. Qiggong/Zen Archer is even better. Tell him to pick up the Monkey Style tree if he wants to be super-acrobat. A 2-level dip into Paladin will give him Charisma to all saves and a smite ability to help his damage, and he'll have to be lawful for a monk anyway. (The Divine Hunter archetype could blend well with a Zen Archer.)

For a more powerful caster, does he want to be an offensive caster, defensive caster, or buffing caster? He has a high Wisdom, so his DCs will be pretty high. Those stats would make an awesome cleric, and he can pick some really sweet domain abilities or variant channeling to make up for his lack of spells.


Murdock Mudeater wrote:

Silly thought, put curative spells in a weapon. Spell Storing on the weapon. Would be downright useful in a whip, as it can only do non-lethal damage anyway and has a long reach.

Not sure if you could make it viable, suggestions?

I've seen someone get a similar effect by using Weapon Wand to insert a wand of Cure Light Wounds into a whip, then use the wand at 15 ft. reach. It was really effective, and he did it at 1st level.


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I have a multiclassed Ranger/Cleric. Getting all martial weapons, bonus feat, more class skills, lots of skill points, and access to the ranger spell list as wands has be well worth it for me.

All you have to do is buy scrolls of the beneficial spells that you can't cast yet, and you can buff your party just fine. Since you don't have to worry about a saving throw, you don't care what the casting stat is.

(Actually, my cleric uses scrolls for most spells that don't have a high level-dependent benefit. If it's just 2 more rounds or 2 minutes, she'll save her spell slots for Shield of Faith or Magic Vestment.)

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

Nefreet wrote:

THIS is what I keep in my car trunk, and carry with me to every game.

And THIS is what one of those files looks like.

Many people I know keep their characters in binders, with every sheet protected in plastic.

But hauling around 10 (or more!) PCs like gets expensive, and heavy!

And that accordion file is just my non-retired characters. My level 12+ PCs (I have 5 at the moment) I keep in a file crate at home.

I'm not likely to need those on a whim, like I do with my active characters.

2 years thus far and no problems, yet.

We picked up some prong fasteners to attach our chronicles to the back of the folder, then character pages, inventory sheet, etc. just sit loose in the front.

Nefreet wrote:

One guy locally scans and uploads his Chronicles to Google Drive. Since I'm not doing anything really this weekend I considered doing the same.

But, for me, that means hundreds of Chronicles, so we'll see how far I get.

If you can find a sheet-fed scanner or a fax machine that can save as scan output, it will go really, really fast. (I used to have to archive parts manuals by scanning them, to the tune of thousands of pages, double sided. Ugh!)

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

GM Derek W wrote:
I also like explaining the rules as I go at low level tables, but I've realized this can make me seem a condescending a$$. So I recommit to trust the players more after every game. I think I'm getting better.

One thing you can try is making it clear that you will happily explain any rules and invite the players to ask questions. Before the game starts, ask them if they have any questions about their characters, different items, new rules, etc. If you have new players, ask them about their experience and comfort level with the rules.

Then, during the game, if you see a player having some confusion about a rule, explain that rule only.

This can help set you up as helpful resource while letting the players decide whether they need you.

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

Mystic Lemur wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:


Interesting note: about 2/3 of the mistakes we find are not in the player's favor.

That's what I've found, too.

In my admittedly limited experience, I usually find things in the player's favor like missing favored class bonuses, missing racial bonuses to skills, not picking traits, having thousands of gold pieces unspent, not knowing about bonus spell slots from high ability scores, etc.

But then, I tend to run low level tables for newer players.

Let me clarify my wording:

The mistakes we find most often are ones that hurt the player (i.e., the mistake was not in the player's favor).

Correcting the mistakes helps the player (i.e., is in the player's favor).

Players are more often harmed by their own mistakes than helped by them.

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

Chris Mortika wrote:

Last year, at a convention, I was running a table of 11th-level PCs through "Siege of the Diamond City". As we were waiting for the event to start, I asked to see the PCs' Chronicle sheets. One player explained, "I never keep those. Am I supposed to?"

Yep, you are. And that table over there is where you can pick up a lovely 7th-level pre-gen.

He actually started crying. If any single GM from his previous 30 games would have asked to see his Chronicles, we could have avoided that scene.

In our area, before the big conventions, we started offering voluntary character audits to help players get their paperwork together and double-checked. It helps to make sure this doesn't happen, and it mitigates the problem of generally not having enough time to do regular audits at normal game days. We also use this time to go through and give the players advice, answer questions, etc., so it gives the players a direct benefit as well.

Interesting note: about 2/3 of the mistakes we find are not in the player's favor.


Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

I'd suggest buying boots of feather step instead of nimble moves or acrobatic steps.

Improved Critical, and Mobility-Spring attack would be my two picks.

I agree.

You won't be able to get Improved Critical until you have BAB 8, but Mobility and Spring Attack are nice for characters that maneuver around the battlefield.

Disruptive is a very nice choice for a battlefield controller, especially if you have a reach weapon. Step Up is also useful.

There aren't that many reach weapons with the Monk quality, but there are a few:
Tri-point double-edged sword
Kyoketsu shoge (Exotic)

There's also the kusarigama and kyoketsu shoge, but these have confusing descriptions and might cause issues with a GM.


_Ozy_ wrote:

They ignore displacement because they aren't 'visually targeting' any of the creatures in their area of effect.

Would you allow a casting of darkness to give everyone in the area a 50% miss chance from the tentacles? Fog cloud? Do the tentacles get to make perception checks against stealthed characters? Do the tentacles have darkvision? Low-light vision? Normal vision? Can they be blinded with spells other than darkness?

Treating the tentacles as a creature using vision to make attacks seems pretty silly, IMO.

Gah, wrong spell. I meant Blink.


N N 959 wrote:
The GM came here asking for opinions on the rules. As there is no rule regarding this matter, that means the GM has to make a rule. Saying you cannnot do something that is clearly possible in the real world, is in fact, house ruling. There's no rule that I can use a hollow read to breath below the surface of a pond. Does that mean the GM is justified in telling me I can't do it? Such is the mentality of your response.

No, the mentality of my response is this:

The player asks to do a non-lethal coup de grace. I read the text of coup de grace, see that it specifies "killing blow" and has a "fort save or die" mechanic, and say, "I'm sorry--that particular mechanic won't let you knock someone out without risking killing them." Whether you can do non-lethal damage is kind of irrelevant: if there's no fort save, it's not a CDG, by definition.

I then try to see if there is any other mechanic that will accomplish what the player wants to do. There are other "knockout" maneuvers or feats that might work, but the player doesn't have those. Of course, the player is certainly welcome to just do non-lethal damage until the target falls unconscious--there's absolutely no question about that.

However, if the player specifically wants to do an automatic critical hit with non-lethal damage and have absolutely no risk of killing the target, that requires a brand new rule. For whatever reason, I'm not comfortable creating a new rule, so I give the player his options: do regular non-lethal attacks, or risk killing the target.

N N 959 wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:
Sometimes players want to do things that are outside the rules. Sometimes GMs have to tell players "No." That doesn't make them bad GMs.
On the contrary, that's exactly what makes them bad GMs when the things that the players are proposing are certainly possible in the real world. The GM's job is to bridge the gap between the rules and things not covered by the rules. Refusing to allow something based on the narrow minded approach that there is no specific ruling allowing it, does in fact make you a poor quality GM. A good/great GM provides a logical basis for how it can happen within the context of the rules/mechanics/paradigm.

What about things that are clearly possible in the real world that are specifically forbidden by the rules?

In the real world, my ally and I can certainly fit within a five foot square and fight back to back. But this is not allowed. Am I a terrible GM because I won't let my players share a square in combat?

Or do I have to let my players charge through a square with an ally in it--because you can absolutely run past someone within 5 feet in the real world?

After all, these maneuvers are not allowed in the game just because the developers said so. Why shouldn't players be able to do them?

Where do you draw the line?


N N 959 wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

From an old 3.5 FAQ:

Quote:

What happens if you attempt a coup de grace with a weapon that deals nonlethal damage, such as a sap or a weapon with the merciful property? Is the coup de grace still automatically a critical hit? Is the target required to make a Fortitude save? If so, what’s the DC, and what happens if the target fails? What happens if you use a normally lethal weapon to deal nonlethal damage as a coup de grace?

This question takes us beyond the rules. You could rule that you cannot deliver a coup de gace with nonlethal damage, but if you want rules for using nonlethal damage in such an attack, try these:
When you attempt a coup de grace with a weapon that deals nonlethal damage, you automatically hit and inflict a critical hit. Note that you cannot deliver a coup de grace to a creature that is immune to critical hits. Calculate the nonlethal damage from the resulting critical hit just as you would normally. If the nonlethal damage isn’t sufficient to render the subject unconscious (see page 153 in the Player’s Handbook), the subject should make a Fortitude save (DC of 10 + the nonlethal damage dealt). If the save fails, the subject is rendered unconscious. The subject immediately suffers enough nonlethal damage to make his current nonlethal damage total equal to his current hit points +10. For example, you perform a nonlethal coup de grace on a helpless gnoll that currently has 12 hit points. You hit the gnoll and deal 10 points of nonlethal damage, not enough to knock out the gnoll. The gnoll, however, must make a DC 20 Fortitude save. If the gnoll fails the save, its nonlethal damage total immediately rises to 22 (current hit points +10), and it falls unconscious. This is roughly the equivalent of being killed when you fail your saving throw against a lethal coup de grace, since death occurs at –10 hit points.

The game allows the GM to make sensible calls. The old 3.5 FAQ seems an obvious extension of the rule.

@OP,

The problem I have with your approach is that your taking a formalistic approach to the rules simply to thwart the player. It's 100% reasonable to allow a CDG with non-lethal to knock someone out.

There's a key piece of advice in a 3.5 book that says the GM should facilitate. As GM, you should look for ways to allow the player to do what they want...not insist that they can't.

Please don't chide people because their GMing style differs from yours. Some people aren't comfortable house ruling. Others are bound by group rules beyond their control. And some people just prefer to use a strict interpretation of the rules (to avoid charges of favoritism, because the group rotates GMs, because they are OCD, whatever).

The OP said he checked the rules, and on his reading, it didn't seem to be allowed. Subsequently, he came here asking for advice on how to let the player do what what he wanted.

How does that count as trying to "thwart the player"? If he was simply trying to thwart the player, he wouldn't have bothered asking. Or he would have phrased the question as "How do I make sure my player can't do this?"

Sometimes players want to do things that are outside the rules. Sometimes GMs have to tell players "No." That doesn't make them bad GMs.

Side note:
The 3.5 FAQ specifically says that the non-lethal CDG is "outside the rules". And you can't assume that a Pathfinder GM has ever heard of 3.5, much less is aware of all the FAQs and advice from different books.


For some tactical positioning on a reach character, stand back and wait for the foes to come to you. Ready an action to attack when they come into your reach, then attack with your readied action and take your AoO as they close the last five feet. This is much more effective with Enlarge Person and Combat Reflexes, but at lower levels it can be a devastating tactic.

If you're having trouble hitting, you can drop to the second rank and use Aid Another to help the people who can hit.

Also, my clerics tend to get wands of Bless and scrolls of most spells that don't have a level dependency. They reserve their actual spell slots for round/level or effect/level spells.

Just some ideas to play with.


Avoron wrote:

"This spell causes a field of rubbery black tentacles to appear, burrowing up from the floor and reaching for any creature in the area.

Every creature within the area of the spell is the target of a combat maneuver check made to grapple each round at the beginning of your turn, including the round that black tentacles is cast. Creatures that enter the area of effect are also automatically attacked."

"If you have line of effect to a target but not line of sight, he is considered to have total concealment from you. You can't attack an opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a square that you think he occupies. A successful attack into a square occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance (instead of the normal 20% miss chance for an opponent with concealment)."

You cannot attack an opponent with total concealment. Black tentacles automatically attacks its targets. I'm pretty sure this lays foundation that black tentacles ignores total concealment. The 50% miss chance only applies when a someone is attacking into a creature's square, not when the creature itself is being attacked.

I would read it as "attacking the square you think he occupies". Since black tentacles attack all squares in the area, I would call it an automatic successful attack into the square, which incurs the 50% miss chance.

If black tentacles is subject to concealment normally, you don't have to review every possible cause of concealment and rule on each one individually. For example, I don't see how they could possibly ignore displacement.


You can drag your opponent around in a grapple: it's the "move the target up to have your speed" option.

If you haven't yet, check out the grappling details her3. It's a 3rd party site, but the grappling flow charts are good. The other combat maneuvers on that page might also help you piece together what you're after.


Zhayne is right. The rage description only restricts using "any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration."

The difference is probably in the GM's interpretation of "ability that requires patience or concentration".

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

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Play what you think will be fun. Seriously.

I've played PFS scenarios with no arcane casters, no divine casters, no healer, no "tank", etc. Our Emerald Spire group has a transmuter wizard as our front line melee damage dealer, because everyone else is squishier. We've had all-melee parties and all-ranged parties. I've seen a regular old fighter pull out a Breath of Life scroll and bring a party member back to life with Use Magic Device.

Just build your character so that you have something to do out of combat and something to do when combat starts. Have a backup plan. If you want, make a backup character to help fit the party makeup better.

Just have fun. You'll be fine.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
First off, SKR no longer works for Paizo. Second, let's rebold!
CRB, Buckler wrote:
You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an off-hand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you lose the buckler's Armor Class bonus until your next turn. You can cast a spell with somatic components using your shield arm, but you lose the buckler's Armor Class bonus until your next turn. You can't make a shield bash with a buckler.
So yes, it specifically mentions using your off hand to hold a two-handed weapon.

There's also a fighter archetype that restores the shield bonus to AC when wielding a two-handed weapon: Thunderstriker.

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