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Madge Blossomheart

Gwen Smith's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle. 1,710 posts (2,064 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

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Mystic Lemur wrote:
Dhjika wrote:

Also - if a character has a low wisdom or int - and the dominatrix said "take care of the rest of the party" why would one assume that means to murder them? There has to be reasonableness on the part of the dominatee. If the GM gives an out in words, one should take it.

even "kill them all" might allow a minion to be attacked, or one could go for animal companions and eidolons or high AC types.

If you encounter a group of enemies, and the party leader/strategist tells you to take care of them, do you assume that means draw them a warm bath, or do you kill them? Playing word games because you are dominated when your character would normally just stomp face is a bad as cheating, IMO.

There are gray areas that can be kind of fun, though--you just have to work with the GM.

My Ranger/Zen Archer got secretly possessed and was told to kill another character "to the best of her ability". Well, she had Freebooter's bane, so I asked the GM if using a move action to bane the other party member was in the spirit of the command. GM agreed, so my character's opening move was, "Come on, everybody! Let's kill the fighter!"--which alerted the rest of the party to what was going on so they could beat the crap out of me before I unloaded 4 arrows into fighter.

Another time, my cuisinart TWF was ordered to "stop him/keep him away from me"--"him" being her dance partner and husband. So she "grappled" him, which left her partner saying, "I love you, too, dear, but this is hardly the time!"


A few years back at a convention, a charging hurler barbarian with Throw Anything pitched a gnome druid over a chasm at the bad guy. The gnome druid had a readied action to wild shape, and she shifted into a large bear right before she landed on the bad guy.

That has triggered a lot of "fast ball special" builds in our area, but I've never seen one use acrobatics to pull it off. I don't see any Teamwork Feats that would help...

The best I can come up with is use Aid Another on an Acrobatics check to jump or use the Reposition Maneuver and just flavor it as acrobatics.


The Deathwatch spell (ported up from 3.5) says:
"Using the powers of necromancy, you can determine the condition of creatures near death within the spell's range. You instantly know whether each creature within the area is dead, fragile[...]"

It sounds like it would be a free action ("instantly know"), but the spell doesn't specify. Since you can already use move action to do a Heal check, I'd say a 1st level spell should be faster than that.

Has anyone ever used this spell in their games? If so, how did you rule?

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

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IQuarent wrote:

My character in PFS is a halfling rogue who, when not pathfindering, is a very active member in the Bellflower Network(halfling-founded anti-chelaxian slave liberator underground railroad type deal).

What day job would he take to reflect this? Profession(spy)? His wisdom is terrible, so I would much prefer to have it reflected by a charisma skill if possible. The job is more about interacting with people than things anyway.

Bluff or Disguise would honestly reflect the required skills much better, but I can't use those for a day job check to my knowledge.

I have heard rumors of a halfling-run family circus and traveling Pathfinder lodge that doubles as a contact point for the Bellflower league.

But I'm sure those are just rumors.


Angry Ghost wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:
Angry Ghost wrote:

its just when I look at his

+3 to hit and +6 Damage

compared to others
+2 to hit and +4 Damage

essentially I wonder that the fighter mage person is able to out fighter the fighters, just based off his knowledge and that he looks and researches forums for super powered builds while the others create something that they think would be fun as opposed to building something that is powerful.

First, he can't use Spell Combat if he's wielding a two-handed weapon, so he should rarely use his weapon two-handed.

Second, all of his damage is going to come from the Empowered Shocking Grasp that he delivers through the weapon, so it's really the 3d6 x 1.5 electricity damage at 1st level that you need to worry about.

Third, as the GM, you can just rein his power level in. Restrict his caster level to actual character level and don't let him have extra tricks with metamagic feats. His magus class features are going to be strong enough without any Varisian Tattoo/Magical Lineage/Wayang Spell Hunter shenanigans.

And you have every right to restrict your players to certain content. Many of the splat books have easily exploitable wording, and some of the APs have traits that are good for that AP but overpowered anywhere else. Don't approve anything you aren't comfortable with.

If you're really worried, you can even set maximums for attack, damage, AC, HP, and saves for the characters.

ah thanks

its funny you mention the magical lineage and wayang spell hunter traits... is that more common now these days people exploiting that?
we had an issue last game where that happened and it was presented to me that with those and metamagic feats he was able to lower a spells level to 0 and make it a cantrip casting it infinitely. Until it was read that a spell can never go below its starting level.

Yes, those are favorite exploits. Even when read correctly, they are still really good. (Magical Knack is another favorite until you realize that it can't raise your caster level past your character level.)

If I were a very tricky player, I would get my GM to focus on the additional 1-2 points of damage I'm getting for finessing a weapon two-handed so that he doesn't notice that a) I'm casting while wielding a two-handed weapon and b) casting at too high a caster level. :-)

If your other players want something simple that still does a ton of damage, try the Two-Handed Fighter fighter archetype and just house-rule that Power Attack has the same multiplier as your strength bonus: if you're strength is x1.5, PA is x1.5, and if your strength is x2, PA is x2. (That also makes Double Slice work better, if you have any two-weapon fighters.)

Alternatively, the Unchained Barbarian has all the benefits of a normal barbarian with less math.

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

There are several threads on story arcs and metaplots. Story arcs? Connections? seems to be the most complete and up to date. Meta-plot Scenarios contains the overarching plot for Season 4.

I like First Steps part 1, Wounded Wisp, and Confirmation as the first level block. Master of the Fallen Fortress is a good insert anywhere in front of the Confirmation, too. (I don't do Confirmation as the first scenario for new players--they miss a lot of context that way.)


Angry Ghost wrote:

its just when I look at his

+3 to hit and +6 Damage

compared to others
+2 to hit and +4 Damage

essentially I wonder that the fighter mage person is able to out fighter the fighters, just based off his knowledge and that he looks and researches forums for super powered builds while the others create something that they think would be fun as opposed to building something that is powerful.

First, he can't use Spell Combat if he's wielding a two-handed weapon, so he should rarely use his weapon two-handed.

Second, all of his damage is going to come from the Empowered Shocking Grasp that he delivers through the weapon, so it's really the 3d6 x 1.5 electricity damage at 1st level that you need to worry about.

Third, as the GM, you can just rein his power level in. Restrict his caster level to actual character level and don't let him have extra tricks with metamagic feats. His magus class features are going to be strong enough without any Varisian Tattoo/Magical Lineage/Wayang Spell Hunter shenanigans.

And you have every right to restrict your players to certain content. Many of the splat books have easily exploitable wording, and some of the APs have traits that are good for that AP but overpowered anywhere else. Don't approve anything you aren't comfortable with.

If you're really worried, you can even set maximums for attack, damage, AC, HP, and saves for the characters.


Angry Ghost wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:
Sgt Spectre wrote:
Yes, but I always envisioned a Power attack as a wind up (like a baseball bat swing), and then a huge swing for the fences(again baseball reference), basically raw power at the expense of everything else.

That might be how you envision it, but there is no mechanic to support that picture.

Maybe it would help if you compared it to pool instead of baseball: when you want to hit the ball harder and add more power to your shot, you pull the cue back a few inches further (the wind up) and move it forward faster as you strike (the "big swing"). This reduces the control you have over your cue, and therefore increases the chances that you'll hit the ball in the wrong spot and your shot will go awry. So you are definitely trading accuracy for power, but clearly, pool is still a game of finesse over brute strength.

but using a pool stick and swinging a sword are completely unrelated... a sword swing even a thrust in fencing is different then a pool stick simply going to sink a ball, the similarity is really only in the basic thrust. Beyond the thrust there is the motion of the body to a much larger degree. I understand what you are trying to hint at but I am just saying that the motions are completely different as you try to "Power attack" with a pool stick, i.e. hitting it with everything you got, then your going to shoot the ball off the table, so how would you then be sinking the eight ball when you catapult it into someone's sinus cavity.

But the physics are the same: more force and more speed = more power on impact with some loss of control. I used pool because a fencing thrust has more in common with the motion of a pool cue than it does with a baseball bat. You could find other analogies--say a striker in soccer or footvolley, where you can't exaggerate your wind up too much or you'll fall on your butt, but the physics of "sacrifice control for power" certainly still apply.

Remember, there's no "motion" defined for Power Attack: this image you have of "swinging for the fences" is all in your head. It's not in the rules or the description of Power Attack in any way. As a GM, you would certainly be within your purview to define it however you like, but there's no mechanical requirement anywhere in the rule book.

Angry Ghost wrote:
Power Attack essentially means that you sacrifice accuracy/precision for power, while by definition using dexterity is the very root of precision. To have very dexterous hands means that you are able to make, say very precise actions with your hands, like working on a motherboard of a computer with a soldering iron.

Here you're conflating accuracy and precision, but those are not the same. My physics professor described it this way: If you have a dart that always pulls to the right and hit outside the bullseye in the same spot every time, the dart is very precise, but it sure ain't accurate.

I would also argue that your example of the soldering iron requires more stability than dexterity. I see dexterity as more "hand-eye coordination" than "steady hands".

Angry Ghost wrote:
When you swing with all your strength into something that level of exertion detracts from your accuracy. When practicing with a sword if I were to go all out on a swing I didn't just swing with my arms but with my chest and back to. The Attack is less accurate then when I say did a simple thrust or a normal swing worrying about hitting what would be a location viewed as a vital or something as a point target for points.

And that's why you take the minus to hit. Maybe I'm not quite understanding what your issue is.


Clyde "Bill" Billings wrote:

Okay so I am looking to get this character to level 4 and give him Healing Bomb so he can use his infused cure extracts to simulate Channeling energy. He is a so called Cleric or High Priest of Razmir, and this is his little way of trying to fool people.

Anyway here is the text on the discovery:
Benefit: When the alchemist creates a bomb, he can choose to have it heal damage instead of dealing it. Creating a healing bomb requires the alchemist to expend an infused extract or potion containing a cure spell. A creature that takes a direct hit from a healing bomb is healed as if she had imbibed the infusion or potion used to create the bomb. Creatures in the splash radius are healed for the minimum amount of damage the cure spell is capable of healing. A healing bomb damages undead instead of healing them.

[...]Third, do I add my intelligence to the healing? I know Alchemists add their Int to splash weapon damage, it is a class ability, but from the text of the discovery it does not seem to allow that and would only heal it's minimum as splash. Just wanted to confirm this one way or the other.

I agree with the people who say that you won't add your Int to the healing, nor would you add it to the damage. However, according to this line in the alchemist extract description...

"The alchemist uses his level as the caster level to determine any effect based on caster level."

...In most cases, you should add your Alchemist level to amount healed and/or damage dealt to undead (e.g., Cure Light Wounds is 1d8+caster level, max 5). That should very quickly make up for not getting your Int bonus, especially if you start doing Cure Moderate Wounds or higher.


DM_Blake wrote:

Your quote of the GRAB ability never says what action is required to hold the opponent. It doesn't turn this into a free action (if it did, it would need to explicitly say so).

But the Grapple rules in the Combat section are quite explicit about what action is required to maintain a grapple: Standard.

So GRAB tells you that you can do one of two things:
1. Conduct the grapple normally. You and your victim both get the Grappled condition. Each round you can maintain the grapple as a standard action and if you do, you can do the usual stuff (damage, move, pin).
2. Hold the victim with your body part (e.g. octopus tentacles). If you do, only your victim gets the grappled condition, you do not. Each round you can maintain the grapple as a standard action at -20 on the check and if you do, you can do the usual stuff (damage, move, pin).

Either way, normal grapple or simple hold, it's a standard action to maintain it. If you want to maintain two grapples, you need two standard actions.

The Greater Grapple feat lets you maintain a grapple as a move action. Theoretically, if our cuddly mollusk were to have this feat, it could maintain two grapples each round, one as a move action and the other as a standard action.

One minor edit on number 2:

You have to start the grapple with -20 for number 2 to apply ("–20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain").

I realize you were talking about maintaining in your response, but with that one minor edit, this is a really good summary of the rules that can be copied and used outside of this conversation.


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Sgt Spectre wrote:
Yes, but I always envisioned a Power attack as a wind up (like a baseball bat swing), and then a huge swing for the fences(again baseball reference), basically raw power at the expense of everything else.

That might be how you envision it, but there is no mechanic to support that picture.

Maybe it would help if you compared it to pool instead of baseball: when you want to hit the ball harder and add more power to your shot, you pull the cue back a few inches further (the wind up) and move it forward faster as you strike (the "big swing"). This reduces the control you have over your cue, and therefore increases the chances that you'll hit the ball in the wrong spot and your shot will go awry. So you are definitely trading accuracy for power, but clearly, pool is still a game of finesse over brute strength.

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

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Ron Feldman wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Telling people to buy PDFs online while we're sitting in the local game store is rude at best, and in the long term, it's potentially self-destructive. In the past, we've lost slots at stores because the store had to devote the table space to games that bring in money. I suspect other areas have similar anecdotes, but I don't know if anyone has actually tried to quantify the trend.

Have you spoken to these stores about what they sell and where their profits come from? Do you have any data to support your claim that this solution is self-destructive? I assume not, as you probably would have included it in your message.

So, based on your assumption about how everything works, you're calling a person rude and destructive when they're offering several practical solutions for some people who want to use many books but do not want to carry them around.

Further, you are taking one issue which matters to you and using it to paint a picture of a company that cares nothing for the stores that sell its products. Do you take into consideration any of the other work that is done on behalf of and in support of stores when you decide what Paizo or Mike actually care about and focus on?

Here's a problem: you are making assumptions, not relying on facts to make your arguments, and ignoring the behavior of the target of your criticism which runs counter to your argument.

Here's a solution: talk to store owners and managers and obtain data; pay attention to the larger picture of the workings of an RPG publisher and its community; refrain from making unsupported arguments; if you are going to make a complaint, offer a practical solution.

Please re-read my post.

I called no one rude. I called "the act of telling someone no to buy from a store while we are sitting in that very store" rude.

I called no one destructive. I said the trend of driving sales away from our venues is self-destructive.

I made no assumptions. I related an anecdote from personal experience and explicitly stated that I did not know whether there was any data to measure the impact of similar anecdotes.

I made no statements about Paizo, Mike, or any individual. I made no criticisms about anyone.

I made no complaints. I pointed out that I had seen a potential issue with the "everyone buy PDFs" suggestion, and I expressed a hope that there might be another solution that accommodated the stores as well as the players.

If you must berate people on the messageboards, at least berate them for what they actually said instead of putting words in their mouth and then berating them for your own words.

(Side note: I have made suggestions on other threads, but if they weren't accepted over there, I didn't see the point in dragging them over here.)

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

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The biggest problem I have with using PDFs as the solution to this issue is that there is no way for the local game stores to benefit from PDF sales.

If we want a public venue, we have to support the game stores with purchases. Hardcover books are among the most expensive items they sell (not sure of the margin on books vs other merchandise).

Telling people to buy PDFs online while we're sitting in the local game store is rude at best, and in the long term, it's potentially self-destructive. In the past, we've lost slots at stores because the store had to devote the table space to games that bring in money. I suspect other areas have similar anecdotes, but I don't know if anyone has actually tried to quantify the trend.

Players and GMs are not only people impacted by this situation. I'd love to see some kind of solution that takes our hosts into account, too.


I would let the character do it, but retrieving the item would provoke an AoO.

He would only need a Sleight of Hand check if he's trying to do it without the grappler noticing.

If he has to remove another ring first, he could easily do that by putting his finger in his mouth, pulling the ring off with his teeth, and then spitting it out or swallowing it, depending on how long he wants to wait before he has a chance of getting it back. :-)


Rhaleroad wrote:
Wait till the wizard can fly or turn invis, then wave your bow and point out that you can't do that.

Actually, if they're 6th level, the wizard should already be able to do that.

To the OP:
It might not help, but you could explain that you will not be doing full damage all the time.

You will very quickly start running into things with damage reduction and hardness, and you can't get around DR/slashing with a bow. That will take a serious bite out of your bow damage until you can pick up Clustered Shot (and even then it's iffy whether Clustered Shot works against hardness). The wizard can pick spells that get around DR and hardness.

Concealment and cover will ruin your day. (Not sure if your GM is using the cover rules, but in my experience, about 60-70% of ranged attacks should be taking -4 for cover.) Magic Missile ignores both of these.

Swarms are your downfall unless you can pick up a swarmbane clasp. Wizards are awesome against swarms.

And so on.

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

Natertot wrote:

Isn't this thread the same issue: with out the "interleaving" title?

Go to[http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2r33h&page=1?Rolling-Creatures-into-the-same-initiative].

It is. And it has links to previous threads.

The only additions in this thread are the term "interleaving" (which I've never heard in a game context) and the separation between "acting on group initiative" vs. "acting a single unit/creature".

It seems to basically come down to
- make sure your bad guys take the correct number of actions (e.g., no moving and full attacking without pounce or something)

- roll more than one die for your grouped bad guys and take the lowest initiative

- let delaying players jump back into the initiative order between bad guys (even if they are readied)

-consider splitting the bad guys into multiple groups (I usually aim for 2-3 in each group, 4 at the max).

Tactically, you're actually better off splitting the bad guys into at least 2 groups. That way, they can react to what the players do and not be sitting there with invalidated actions. For example:

- If they all swarm (and kill) the first guy that comes up, they might discover that the second guy was actually the biggest damage dealer, and they just swarmed the rogue who couldn't really hurt them anyway.

- If they all swarm the first guy and wait until everyone's in place to attack, if the first guy drops after only half the bad guys attack, the rest of your bad guys are wasting their attacks on a non-threatening target.

- If they all move to flank a single character, they'll be really annoyed when the first attack goes off and the swashbuckler steps out of flank as an immediate action. (If they hadn't all moved together, some of them would have the chance to move into flanking again, and the swashbuckler doesn't have another immediate action.)

- When a player jumps back into the initiative order and reveals himself as a combat healer, they won't be able to change targets and take him out before next round.

Etc.

So if you're actually clumping bad guys together to have a tactical advantage against the players, you end up hurting yourself more often than helping yourself.

If you're clumping them together to make it easier to run combats and speed up play, more power to you!


A variant of low charisma that I like is the person who can't get anyone to pay attention or has no force of personality at all. (Kids in the Hall had one of my favorite examples of this kind of character.)

There's also the angle of being almost invisible to other people, like the guy who talks in meetings but no one "hears" him. Then the guy next to him says the same thing, and everyone lauds him for being brilliant.
I mean, if you're still just as intelligent and wise, it could be really frustrating to be completely ignored. But that's more of how the world responds to you, so you're GM would have to go along with it.


BretI wrote:
Anything beyond Diplomacy +15 is a waste in my opinion. At that point you can take 10 and improve the attitude of someone hostile.

Actually, the DC is (Attitude)+Charisma modifier. A straight 15 bonus is only going to get you hostile creatures with no charisma bonus.

+17 will get most creatures, but you will occasionally run into +5 or higher charisma mods on bards, sorcerers, oracles, and spell casting creatures. And there may be circumstance modifiers you're not aware of (all elves are at -5, for example).

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

FLite wrote:
rknop wrote:
FLite wrote:
[You start moving goblins around "starting" their turn. Now I can't come back in until their turn is over. (If you had readied, I could come in, but since you haven't declared that, their turn isn't over.)

Why can't you?

This is exactly what Dorothy is talking about. It's not a problem of group initiative, it's a problem of the GM treating the separate individuals as a single individual all acting at once.

I have in the past grouped mooks together in fights. (As with TOZ, I tend not to nowadays as it's pretty easy in Roll20 to track it. Even in person I tend not to-- I haven't run much 7-11, so it's rare to have more than 3 or 4 total bad guys. But, in the past I've done it.) I have let players interrupt in the middle of the group doing their thing when a condition arises that makes them want to come out of delay. You can definitely do it. The GM may well change what the mooks who go after the delay do from what he said they were going to do; that's also reasonable.

It is not a problem with the GM moving the NPCs in a single initiative chunk. It is a problem with the GM giving each NPC half their turn, and then giving each one the other half.

That means there is no way to com in after NPC2 attacks, but before NPC 3 moves.

Which is exactly the problem of treating all the bad guys as a single creature. You do not have a single creature that gets 4 move actions and 4 attacks: you have 4 creatures acting right after each other.

Either those 4 creatures went "move up, attack" each in turn, which means the player can jump in between any two creatures
OR the creatures went "move up, ready to attack when the last guy moves into place", which means the player can jump in between any two creatures.

I can't come up with any legal reason to lock a delaying player out of jumping back in the initiative order. Likewise, I can't come up with any legal reason to lock a delaying creature out of jumping back into the initiative order between a cavalier and his mount, a summoner and his summoned creature, etc.

The people sitting at the table do not have turns in combat: the minis on the map do.


What are you gaining from the Swashbuckler dip? You already have weapon finesss and dex to damage. If you're just looking for another full BAB class, you could consider Ranger for a spell list and lots of skill points or unchained Monk for flurry.

I'm not familiar with the Hurler barbarian archetype: which book is it in? I know the Urban Barbarian gets Dex rage also, and the Unchained Barbarian just gives you +2 attack/damage without basing it one an ability score. Either of those will also work.

Uncanny dodge has nothing to do with Dex: are you thinking of Evasion?

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

I hate pushing people to PDFs, because that doesn't help the local game stores.

It's not "official", but I would probably accept a photo of you with the book and then scans or copies of whatever relevant pages as a reasonable compromise.

You should check with the local GMs/VOs where you play and see if they can come up with some suggestions to accommodate your situation.

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

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RealAlchemy wrote:
So to be clear on this, certain people are requesting that in a scenario where the enemies are attacking in waves of 5-6 bad guys with a couple rounds in between each wave, I need to constantly be holding a bridge hand in initiative tracking cards?

No one's requesting that. Split the bad guys into as many or as few groups as you want. Just don't treat every group of bad guys as a single, uninterruptible creature that can take 5-6 full round actions on it's turn.

BTW, my record is 17 cards at one time: remember that PC's and animal companions/eidelons also go on separate initiative counts and should technically have separate cards. (I fudge it a bit and let them just use one card if the character is mounted.) So that's more like a BS hand than a bridge hand...

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

The Grand Convocation special had a multi-table buff mechanic in it. When a cleric channeled, for example, the GM or player would shout "Channel positive energy!", and all the adjacent tables would take the appropriate level of healing for their tier. So a 7th level cleric would channel, and the adjacent 1st level table would heal 1d6 (instead of 4d6).

Likewise, when a bard started a performance, GM or player would announce "Bardic performance: inspire courage!", and the adjacent tables would benefit from a level-appropriate inspire courage for 1 round.

I'm sure there were others built in, but those are the two I remember.

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

LazarX wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:


To me, the problems happen when you treat all the bad guys as a single creature, and prevent delaying players from jumping in. Most commonly, I see party healers go on delay, so not letting that character jump in between the bad guys is going to get you some complaints.

Choosing to delay rather than ready is a sticky wicket. Quite frankly it's something that has to be looked at on a case by case basis.

Here's how I work it out. Lets say I have a group of 4 goblins all acting on initative 8. Player at init 10 decides he's going to delay.

Now those goblins are going to be moved at one at a time. If the player announces he's going to insert when I'm moving goblin 3, that means goblin 3 gets his go, and he gets to move before I move goblin 4.

If he had readied an action specifically on goblin 2, then he goes after I resolve goblin 1, but before goblin 2.

Why is that "sticky"?

If the player readies an action for something, the readied action goes off when the trigger occurs. If the player readies for "when goblin 2 gets in reach, I hit it", then he hits goblin 2 when it gets in reach, regardless of whether Goblin 2 is finished his turn. (That's the point of readying--so that you can interrupt someone else's action.)

Goblin 1's action is completely irrelevant.

Maybe I don't understand the issue.

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
I have several skill monkeys who spend a large amount of resources bumping skills into high bonuses specifically so that they can take 10 and succeed 80% of the time. They invest in this at the expense of other aspects of the game.
A skill monkey should be able to succeed at LEAST that often rolling dice. If you have sklll focus thats a 15% increase in your chance of success. If you have a +5 magical dodad thats still a 25% chance increase of success. They still provide a benefit whether or not you take 10.

I have a low-level character with a +17 diplomacy. 27 beats the DC for most hostile creatures I run into; 24 beats the DC for none of them.

Sure, as soon as I have more skill ranks and enough fame/money to invest in a +5 dohickey (is there even one for Diplomacy? Highest I see is +3, and most of them don't stack), I'll be OK most of the time. But for the next several scenarios, this character might or might not work as intended, depending on the GM's whim.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Now my character is pointless, because it's all down to dice luck instead of my choices.
Its not entirely luck, that's the entire point of skill bonuses, to shift the odds in your favor.

In the past week, I've rolled five 1s in a row in one session and rolled 4 or less for seven rolls in a row in another session. I can shift the odds all I want, but sometimes, the dice just turn on you. :-)

Side question:
If the point of not allowing take-10 is so that the GM can prevent auto-successes to increase the drama, can't use the same reasoning to say that natural 1s always automatically fail skill checks? A lot GMs (myself included) were taught this way, so how is this different from where we are with taking 10 now?

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

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Andrew Christian wrote:
FLite wrote:

As far as I am concerned, a lot of this is a non issue.

If GMs are abusing their discretion and eliminating all take 10s, the answer is to talk to your VO. If the problem is a VO, take it up with Mike Brock.

Mike Brock has repeatedly said on issues like this that he wants people to be able to use their judgement, and that if the do not have the judgement, they shouldn't be GMing.

An awful lot of this sounds like adversarial GMing, which is against the spirit of PFS.

That's not really fair though. Lots of GM's (including myself about 2 or 3 years ago) were taught that the pit or the chance of falling constituted distraction or immediate danger. So that's how we interpreted it. There is no language that directly disputes that interpretation.

So using that interpretation is not abuse of GM powers.

And lots of us were specifically taught that it wasn't.

So now we have two competing interpretations of the rules, and players never know which one they are going to get. Yet another thing to add to my list of "here's my rulings in advance" speech before the game.

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

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Having a bunch of bad guys act on a single initiative number is perfectly fine as long as they are still treated as individuals who happen to have the same initiative number.

That means that readied actions will still work as normal, and it lets players delay and jump back into the order between bad guys. They can even switch around which one of them goes first (mechanically, they are delaying to switch order).

To me, the problems happen when you treat all the bad guys as a single creature, and prevent delaying players from jumping in. Most commonly, I see party healers go on delay, so not letting that character jump in between the bad guys is going to get you some complaints.


Icy Turbo wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:

Scenario:

A party of adventurers selflessly go to cleanse the town crypt of undead. The only caster with them is a wizard. After a tough fight, they finally defeat the undead abominations and save the town. The wizard heals up his injured buddies with the only arcane healing spell he knows. As they are leaving the crypt, they run into a paladin...
...who smites them and kills them all because they detect as evil.

Or would smite them except they can't because "If the paladin targets a creature that is not evil, the smite is wasted with no effect."

Honestly this is slowly going from "What is the interaction of Paladins with Evil Outsiders (and as the thread continued, evil anything)" to "What situation can I think of to make a Paladin fall and see if the thread thinks it will work."

I have no desire or intention of making paladins fall. I'm actually a big supporter of paladins (I am currently running two in different games).

I was merely pointing out (to the person I was responding to--the part of my post that you cut out) that "unknown people who detect as evil" are not automatically deserving of smiting and/or butchery.

Don't put words in my mouth.


For reach+AoO builds, I like a brawler dip for improved unarmed strike and martial flexibility.

Trip at reach is nice, because they provoke when the stand up and again when they continue their move.

My favorite tactic is ready an action to attack when they get into range. Then you get your readied attack and your AoO before the bad guy gets to go.

My reach/AoO build is a Holy Tactician Paladin with dips in Cavalier and Bard (for the masterpiece Song of the People's revolt). I can get three teamwork feats running at the same time. This build also has a brawler dip for "move action to learn a teamwork feat", since the Holy Tactician can pass out any teamwork feat they know. Bodyguard + Harrying Partner is an awesome combo when your team is getting pounded by two elementals (and Outflank and Precise Strike are worthless).

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

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Andrew Christian wrote:
Talonhawke wrote:
BNW the issue arises when party A uses T10 as was previously deemed normal for a risky task and does just fine, but then Party B hits the same task is told they can't and end up losing hp/death and use up resources that would not have been used otherwise.

The guide to organized play allows for table variation. It allows GMs to add environmental effects that are part of the fluff descriptions of encounters.

Now we have another situation where GNs get to use their discretion. This is a good thing.

I disagree that this level of table variation is a good thing. This level of table variation can completely invalidate a character build.

I have several skill monkeys who spend a large amount of resources bumping skills into high bonuses specifically so that they can take 10 and succeed 80% of the time. They invest in this at the expense of other aspects of the game.

Some GMs have stated directly that they hate the entire concept of take 10 and will never allow it, no matter what. Now I no longer have a rule that tells says "sorry, you have to, even if you don't like it".

Now my character is pointless, because it's all down to dice luck instead of my choices. The high-DPR, barely-any-skills guys can take over my role in the party just because they have better dice luck than I do. (There's a reason I play poker instead of slot machines: I want to have at much control over my destiny as possible. I don't like blind luck.)

Now I've wasted my 750 gp of consumables I took before I found out that this particular GM is an anti-take-10 guy. (Or worse, because this GM said he allows take 10 but then always found some reason not to allow it.)

Not knowing whether my character is an expert or an idiot from table to table is not the kind of variation I consider "good". Now I have to start quizzing GMs about their take-10 rules before the game to decide what character to play or if I think I can play at all.


Socalwarhammer wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
Socalwarhammer wrote:

There is a very simple logic tree for Paladins-

Step 1: Is this an (evil) creature that I have fought before? If yes go to Step 6, if no go to Step 2.

Step 2: Do I possess the appropriate Knowledge skill in order to identify this creature? If yes go to Step 5, if no go to step 3.

Step 3: Is the creature being hostile to myself, my friends or a perceived non-combatant? If yes go to Step 6, if no go to Step 4.

Step 4: Does the creature 'detect' as evil? If yes go to step 6, if no go to Step 5.

Step 5: Is the creature willing to parlay and/or stand-down? If yes resolve parlay, if no go to Step 6.

Step 6: Kill it!

I was right there with you until you got to step 4. Detecting as evil is not, in and of itself, a reason for a paladin to kill something. For one thing there are reasons a non-evil being might detect as evil. For another, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

I would argue that 'detecting' as evil is in fact justification for a Paladin to attack an unknown foe. By this point, he/she has never seen or fought this type of foe before, has no knowledge regarding it and has been granted by his/her deity the supernatural power to detect evil at will- not all archetypes have this ability. For those that do- a positive detect evil result can serve as justification for eradication. Now if you would like to revise an affirmative answer to Step 4 to be lead to Step 5 (parlay), fine- different strokes for different folks.

"Lawful Good...(blah, blah, blah). They oppose evil wherever it is found, and avoid putting the good of the individual ahead of what is good for the masses....(more blah, blah)."

Scenario:

A party of adventurers selflessly go to cleanse the town crypt of undead. The only caster with them is a wizard. After a tough fight, they finally defeat the undead abominations and save the town. The wizard heals up his injured buddies with the only arcane healing spell he knows. As they are leaving the crypt, they run into a paladin...

...who smites them and kills them all because they detect as evil.

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

James McTeague wrote:
I do try to enforce the "no talking about your hit points once unconscious rule," although noticing whether someone is bleeding out, stable or dead is automatic. I also waive it if I have a brand new player at the table and I need to explain how the rules work. (In general, I need to get better at enforcing this rule.)

I wish there was a rule for this. When I'm trying to stabilize someone, I don't have time to spend an extra move action to see if they're dead. And I would hate to have someone die at the table because I can't roll well on my Heal check to see whether they're dying.

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

Jeff Merola wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

Requiring someone to pay double is just being way too pedantic about the rules. If someone wants to train from Rogue to Unchained Rogue, as long as they train all the levels before they play again, I'm not making them also train to a holder class.

I do not believe that was ever the intent, and I'm not going to hold anyone to it.

I doubt it was the intent, but it is the rule. Barring the rule changing or PFS specific ruling being made (which I would really like to see), ignoring it is technically cheating.

I don't know that it is the rule. "Training goal" is never defined, so you are applying a definition that is not present in the rules. The way I read it, you and your GM negotiate each training goal so that you can split your training up to work around your GM's adventure schedule.

My single "training goal" is to retrain all 5 levels of rogue into all 5 levels of unchained rogue. I don't see anything in the retraining rules that prevents me from stating that as my training goal. As long as your training goal is not interrupted, you're fine. If you have an indefinite amount of time between adventures, you can't be interrupted.

It's a disagreement on a rules interpretation, not cheating.


My house rules are always about consistency. If you count as a barbarian for any negative consequences, then you count as a barbarian for all positive consequences, and vice versa. For example, if a Bloodrager counts as a sorcerer to restrict his bloodline choice going into Dragon Disciple, then he counts as a sorcerer when he's choosing "of the society" traits.

If there's no downside involved, then I would probably let the player to choose one of the two hybrid classes to "count", and the other wouldn't.


thaX wrote:

Using the oversized crossbow would need two hands and be at the -2 penalty. (since it can be use one handed otherwise.) I believe that the biggest (Heavy?) crossbow needs two hands to wield normally, but I could be wrong.

Bows are two handed. Period. It still can be held in one hand as one fights with a melee weapon with the other. (Perhaps an arrow as an improvised weapon?)

Firearms have been silly with their own rules and should have never targeted with Touch Attacks, but that is another discussion. That they denote handyness when other Ranged weapons do not shouldn't be to problematic. Weapons have a basic standard rules wise, main and off hand use, and most weapons are plain in what you use to wield the weapon. When writing up Firearms, I suppose, it was elaborated to include Handyness for each firearm to make clear what is needed to wield them. It also could be that the particular designer saw the Melee weapon chart and copied the format and included the handyness by mistake.

To me, some are making it more complicated than it actually needs to be.

"You need two hands to wield X ranged weapon" and "X is a two-handed weapon" are not the same thing. That's the entire point of the discussion.

Now, how much that distinction matters to you is a completely different question, but there is a distinction there. It primarily matters for the purposes of size categories when you want to use off-sized ranged weapons or when you have to argue down the player that insists he gets 1.5 X strength on ranged weapon with the "two handed weapon" text.

It also matters if you're trying to maintain consistent definitions through the text, and expect "one-handed/two-handed weapons" to be defining characteristics of melee weapons, each with specific rules details attached to it.


My husband runs a Wand Wielder (Spire Defender) with a rogue dip, using Vanish to get sneak attack in without a flanking buddy and True Strike when he has to deal with concealment. He got a monkey familiar to hand him his wands (you might be able to get away with just a pet), but Unseen Servant would also work.

For your build, you could save a feat by using a scimitar or cutlass instead of a katana: it only costs you 1 point of damage on average (1d6 instead of 1d8), which you could make up by taking Arcane Strike at level 1. That would let you take Extra Arcana at level 3 (or just pick up Intensified if you decide not to go with Wand Wielder).


I'm not that familiar with the hunter class, but I do have a general suggestion:

If you put some detail about the character in the title of your post, you'll be more likely to get help. "Help with my Hunter character" will catch the eye of people who really know the class.


If you have access to wands, check out the wand wielder arcana. A wand of True Strike or Vanish lets you land attacks all day long without blowing your 1st level spells. Or you can buff yourself without losing attack actions, which is really nice.

If your GM lets you pick up the Weaponwand spell, you can even have your hand free.

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

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Aydin D'Ampfer wrote:

The problem is that retraining does not happen all at once. You have to resolve each retrain individually. Because you cannot be a Rogue X/Unchained Rogue Y, where X+Y=5, things get strange.

This means going from Rogue to Unchained Rogue requires a 'holder' class, so that you are never illegally multiclassing. So you have to go 5 levels into something, for 1250gp and 25 pp. Then you have to go from that holder class into Unchained Rogue, which is another 1250gp and 25pp.

Quote:
You can retrain only one thing at a time; you must complete or abandon a particular training goal before starting another one.

I don't know if that particular clause would hold for a) the Unchained classes and b) for PFS play.

First, when the retraining rules were issued, there were not any "illegal multiclassing" combinations that I'm aware of. I don't know that it was ever the intent of the retraining rules to force you to retrain into a complete third class to move from one version of Rogue to another. That seems very odd.

Second, I don't see in the text where it says how to define a "training goal"? If you define the training goal as "convert 5 levels of X into 5 levels of Y", then you can do it. (The words "training goal" only occur in the paragraph you cited--nowhere else in the book.)

Third, since there's indefinite time between scenarios, you don't ever risk having to play an illegal build. You also don't have to worry about running out of time before you're finished your "training goal".

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

I'm not sure how much "skinning" you can do on the new eidelons, but your puppy might be able to have non-functional heads, like one is always eating and the other is always sleeping (since it's a corgi, and all).


Remember that wands are listed under the "drawing a weapon" rules: you can draw a wand on the run with a BAB greater than 1 as long as you have it "at hand"--in a sheath, tucked in a belt, etc.

Unfortunately, a "bandolier" in game is useless because it specifically says it uses the "retrieve a stored item" action, which can't be done on the run and always provokes.

My advice is to tell the GM "I have a bunch of wands in sheaths attached to a strap that runs across my chest."
GM: "You mean a bandolier?"
Me: "Yeah, kind of, but it's a real life, useful bandolier, not the one from Adventurer's Armory."


Gwen Smith wrote:

If you want a pretty good story of a paladin dealing with "what makes evil" and "when should I smite", check out the Queen of Thorns and King of Chaos novels in the Pathfinder Tales series

There's an example in King of Chaos where smiting the evil outsider turns out to be the worst decision the paladin could make, and it causes the destruction of hundreds of innocents.

Just to be clear, the outsider involved was completely and obviously evil. But an evil individual can still manage to serve the greater good, even if it's just by pure coincidence. And all actions have consequences: just because a paladin is justified in smiting evil doesn't mean everything always works out in her favor.

(One reason I like King of Chaos is that these issues are handled from the paladin's point of view, so you get to see the internal struggle. There's also another character struggling with "Wait--am I evil? The paladin keeps saying that, but I think I'm a good guy!" Overall, it's a really good story that happens to deal with these issues using complex, real characters.)


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If you want a pretty good story of a paladin dealing with "what makes evil" and "when should I smite", check out the Queen of Thorns and King of Chaos novels in the Pathfinder Tales series

There's an example in King of Chaos where smiting the evil outsider turns out to be the worst decision the paladin could make, and it causes the destruction of hundreds of innocents.


Why bother with Int at all? You get no penalty for dumping Int, since an Oracle is not a skill monkey class (unless you're going for Lore). Sure you won't have as many skills as a Bard, but that's because you're an Oracle. Let someone else fill that role. If you want to play a skill monkey, play a Bard/Inquisitor/Ninja/Rogue, whatever.

As far as reliably hitting with ray spells, you will need Precise Shot unless your GM house-rules away the -4 penalty for shooting into melee. Because unless your GM rules away cover penalties, too, you will be taking a -8 on about 60-70% of your ranged attacks.

Although if you're going with touch spells, you shouldn't need to worry about saving throws as much, so you don't need to keep your casting stat pumped all the way up. Drop your Charisma to 16 and put the extra points in Dex.


"The laws don't apply to evil outsiders" is an incorrect statement: it is factually wrong.

"A paladin can smite all evil outsiders with impunity" is an opinion that can and will be argued. A lot. Repeatedly.

Also note that "devil" and "demon" and "daemon" are completely differently creatures, and they operate by different rules.


So the "readying an action to take" action seems more like a relay race baton handoff. Those get messed up on a fairly high percentage (for my purposes).

I'm aiming for something a lot cleaner, with a small a chance of messing up and no action taken on the receiver's part. The best example I can think of is nurse handing off to surgeon: it's rarely dropped, the item is in the receiver's hand and ready to go, and the receiver doesn't lose any actions or focus in the process.


So is there any reason I can't use the "manipulate an item" action to physically put the item in my partner's hand?

Assuming my partner is adjacent to me and has a free hand, can I take my move action, provoke an AoO, and put the item in my partner's hand?

My goal is to spend as many actions as I have to so that my partner can take his full round actions with the item already in his hand.


Basically, start with a reach weapon and get Combat Reflexes and/or Uncanny Dodge. You can use trip at reach without Improved Trip (but improved trip is still nice for a reach/battlefield control build).

2 levels of barbarian will get you Uncanny Dodge and +10 to your movement
1 level of Brawler will let you learn feats as a move action and qualify for combat maneuvers without an int of 13.


This just came up in another game, and this is the only thread I've found on it.

Hogeyhead's description doesn't cover the case where the character already has the item in hand (e.g., no move action necessary to get it out).

Do both characters have to spend a move action just to pass the item? So it takes my friend a move action to hold the item out and it takes me a move action to get it?

It seems wrong that it requires two move actions to take something my friend is holding out to me, but it only takes one move action for me to dig in my friend's backpack and get the same item. If it's going to take my move action anyway, my friend can just drop the item as a free action and use his move action for something else.

I'm trying to mimic the action of a nurse slapping a tool into a surgeon's hand: the nurse spends her (whatever actions) to directly the place the tool in the surgeon's hand, specifically so the surgeon has his full turn to deal with the patient.

How would you do you that, mechanically?

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

spectrevk wrote:

THEN, he insists that I can't possibly stab the guy while the fighter is tying him up, and that doing so would count as an Evil Act. The fighter, meanwhile, doesn't even really have a goal here; first he wants to turn him over to one authority, then the other. There's no mechanical difference in rewards if we capture or kill in this scenario. I'm pretty sure the GM's ruling falls outside of what is normally considered an "Evil Act", and I'm also pretty sure that there's no way I could have lost that race to the Fighter in the first place due to action economy.

Any thoughts?

Technically, until the fighter finishes tying him up, the guy is not "helpless". While the fighter is in the process of tying him up, nothing is preventing you from attacking him. If the guy was helpless because he's already unconscious, did anybody stabilize him? Or did the fighter just tie up the guy and let him bleed out? (And why would that not be considered just as evil?)

Anyway, one evil act does not change your alignment.

The GM has to warn you if you're about to do something that he considers an evil act (rather than spring it on you as a "Gotcha!"), but there's not really any way he can prevent you from doing it. He can dutifully make a note on your chronicle sheet, and if you continue the pattern, then your alignment shifts and you get reported as dead. But atonement spells and psychotherapy can more than make up for a few "helpless enemy mishaps".

Now, if you're talking about doing something monstrously evil (like slaughter a bunch of orphans so you can raise them as undead minions or eat the wrong cookie), then, sure, you'll go straight to evil and potentially get reported as dead right away. But even then, you should still have the chance to get an atonement cast, as long as you are actually, truly repentant.

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