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Madge Blossomheart

Gwen Smith's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle. 2,181 posts (2,768 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 20 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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

It is also going to vary from character to character.

I have a diplomancer Holy Tactician paladin who gives out a ton of buffs to allies who follow her advice. She makes a great leader both in social situations and in combat.

I have an insufferable know-it-all Mindchemist with +18 in all Knowledge skills (at level 4) but -3 on all charisma checks: she makes a decent leader in anything but social situations.

I have a somewhat ditsy Zen Archer who has been known to wander off in the middle of briefing sessions to pet another player's animal companion. If anyone tried to make her the leader, she would laugh in their face.

Probably the best solution is to work it out in character. After the briefing, talk through the roles each character can play and decide who is going to be the spokesman/face, the tactician/combat leader, the scout, the science officer, etc.

You should be able to get a pretty decent feel from the party (in and out of character) for how rigid the "hierarchy" should be for each particular group. Adjust accordingly.

And if you want to have a character be a leader, build one. And during introductions, set your character up to the be the leader. You'll find out very quickly whether the rest of the group will respect the character, humor the character, or ignore the character.

For example, one player in our area runs a high-born noblewoman with lots of follower vanities as an entourage. The player tells the table, out of character, that the character believes she's in charge, and explains the various mechanical benefits of going along with what she says. Then in character, she character explicitly introduces herself as as the party leader, and describes what she expects from the group and how she can help them. Other players can then choose whether or not to follow along. But because they were pre-warned out of character and because the player in question doesn't take offense at the party's decision (even if the character might!), I've never seen it cause a problem.

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

thorin001 wrote:
I gave the wrong character number of a couple of adventures. I forgot that I had assigned my -3 to my core character. So the last couple of adventures with my latest non-core character (-4) were listed as -3 on the muster sheet.

Is the number only incorrect on the muster sheet/online reporting? Or do you also have chronicle sheets with the incorrect character number?

If you have incorrect chronicle sheets, start by going to the GM and explaining your mistake. (This applies anytime there's any mistake on your chronicle sheet: go to the GM first if you can.) If you can't get in contact with the GM, try to contact one of your local venture officers for help.

If it's only the muster sheet/online reporting, contact the specific Venture Agent who coordinates the location you play at: the VA is usually the person who reports the games to Paizo, and they are the ones who are most likely able to fix it. If you can't contact the location's VA, try to contact your region's Venture Captain.

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

nosig wrote:
If my Take 10 T-shirt upset anyone at the table - I'd switch it. (I bring an extra shirt just for this).

Good gods, nosig, what does that shirt look like? Is it "Take 10 on {insert offensive action here}" or something?

Inquiring minds wants to know!

bbangerter wrote:
Maybe we are just talking past each other though. Do you believe free actions related to a readied action should be allowed? (I do). Do you believe free actions not related to the readied action should be allowed? (I don't). I'm trying to understand where you draw the line, or if you draw a line at all, on what free actions are allowed outside of turn, and under what circumstances.

I think that's a reasonable reading of the rules. I also allow players to specify a free action they will take along with the readied action, like "I ready an action to start rage and hit him if he moves" or "I ready an action to hit him if he starts casting a spell, and I will take a five foot step if necessary (assuming I haven't otherwise moved this turn)."

It sounds like the player misremembered the readied action rules, or at least had the terminology wrong.

It's also possible the player is thinking of the
Dodging Panache Deed from the Swashbuckler class, or a similar ability.

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Also, you're supposed to have access to the actual source to use an odd feat or rule. Calling the archetype "Dervish of Dawn" will either a) confuse the GM since that's not the official name or b) signal to a GM that you don't have the necessary source.

I haven't seen anything to contradict that post, so as far as I know it's still in effect. I would ask the GM before each game and adjust my play accordingly.

"Take 10" just means "pretend you rolled the die and it came up a 10."

Normally, you calculate your current bonus for Stealth (Dex modifier - Armor Check Penalty + Skill ranks/Class skill bonus + any other bonuses or penalties), then add the die roll. When you take 10, you just add 10 to the Stealth bonus.

You can put weapon blanch over a special material, and it counts as both materials for the first hit.

Note that the same thing is NOT true of the magic weapon paste Silversheen: it specifically says it replaces the properties of the underlying material.

Rylden wrote:
From quivers I've seen many have the end of an arrow sticking out the top, while I'll concede the "no sunders at range" if we assume its possible given a trait, feat kr what have you, I still dont see a reason you can't slice the tail end of an arrow off while it rests in a quiver making the arrow unable to be fired. I don't know many quivers that are 100% wrapped around an arrow while in the middle of combat. If the arrow is u able to be targeted due to being in a quiver how does an archer draw one? If the archer can find one without looking surely someone aiming for them can hit them.

I used to shoot traditional archery (handcarved longbow and wooden arrows), and I run a lot of archers in PFS games.

The depth of the quiver varies, but at least half of the arrow needs to be in the quiver to keep it from falling out. (I'm ignoring modern "open" style quivers here, which have a cup to hold the heads and then a slot or clip for the shafts.)

The biggest issues with your plan are mechanical and physical. Mechanically, you can only sunder a single object in one attack, and arrows are individual objects. Physically, arrows are loosely packed in the quiver (or the archer can't get them out), so when you hit one, the others will simply move out of the way. It would be very difficult to cleanly connect with more than 1/3 to 1/2 of the arrows. (In a modern open quiver, arrows are help in place, so it would be much easier to break most or all of them in a single shot.)

If your point is to stop an archer from hitting you, your best options are (in order):

1) Stand next to him and force him to provoke an attack of opportunity for each arrow he fires. Combat reflexes plus Step Up or a reach weapon shut down archers pretty handily until level 3 (for a Zen Archer) or level 5 or 6 for fighters and rangers/hunters.

2) Engage in melee with anybody. Once you're engaged in melee, the archer takes a -4 penalty to hit you unless he has Precise Shot. Engaging with the archer himself also grants you the benefit of tactic 1.

3) Drop prone behind cover. You'll get +4 AC for being prone and at least +2 (usually +4) AC for the cover. (If the archer is still hitting you consistently with +8 to your AC, run away.)

4) Sunder the bow.

5) Sunder the bow string. It's one object, it has very few hit points and no hardness to speak of, and it leaves the body of the bow intact as loot. There are not explicit rules for doing this, so your GM may disallow it or assign attack penalties because the string is smaller and somewhat hidden behind the limbs of the bow.

6) Sunder the quiver. There's not an existing rule for what happens to the arrows. My answer to your original post already spells out how I would run this.

That gives you 6 options before you have to start worrying about how many arrows you could break in a single sunder attack.

Generally, sunder targets a single object. In this case, I'd probably say that the target is the quiver itself rather than the arrows. If the quiver (or its strap, etc.) is sundered, the arrows would fall to the ground. They wouldn't necessarily be destroyed, but they wouldn't be available to be pulled as part of the "drawing a bow" action.

Based on the Russian and Mongolian archery styles (that hold multiple arrows in the string hand), I'd probably go with something like "as a move action, you can pick up 1d4 arrows," which you'd then be able to fire as normal over the next few rounds. Picking up the arrows from the ground would provoke an AoO.

Just some general thoughts:
- Improved Critical is not that great for rogues, because sneak attack dice aren't multiplied on a crit, and most light weapons are only 1d4 or 1d6 with x2 on a critical hit. If you want to go with a critical focus build, look into something that debuffs your enemy on a critical hit to get more value out of it.

- Personally, I would take Quick Draw before Improved Initiative. I find that saving the move action to get your weapons out is more useful than trying to go first.

- See if your GM will let the Double Slice feat work with the Unchained Rogue's Dex to Damage. It would be a house rule, but getting full damage on your off hand attack could be nice.

- For dex build barbarian dips, check out the Urban Barbarian archetype. Raging for Dex is kind of nice, and you can still use a lot of your skills. (I'm guessing that your current dip is Unchained Barbarian--if so, that is also a good choice.)

Generally, you can fight defensively any time you make an attack roll, and combat maneuvers need an attack roll.

Each round when you attack, you have to decide whether to fight defensively. If you take the penalty on the attack, you get the bonus on your AC and CMD.

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

DoomOtter wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

In addition to the on-point commentary from Alayern above, there is also the 'out of the box' consideration of 'don't be a jerk'.

If you have fellow players at your table who are hearing impaired, it could be viewed as an insult.

Explore, Report, Cooperate

Equally as important as

Courtesy, Dignity, Respect

I don't see how playing a deaf character would be offensive to the hearing impaired. My best friend is paraplegic, and he was ecstatic when I played a lame cleric. He said it's great when others show that being disabled doesn't make someone useless. As long as you're not being mean about it, and being respectful to the condition.

The key words, I think, were "could be viewed". I took that as a call to pay attention to the reactions of your fellow players, not as an injunction against doing something.

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

Sam King wrote:
Lyric the Singing Paladin wrote:
The powergaming assumption is why there is no sign language in PFS... So, to the O.P. I repeat my question: "What do you want to play?"

Small exception to this... All Pathfinder Agents are trained in a society hand gesture "language". It's not as complex as a sign language, it isn't even an actual language, but it'll convey tactical and simple information well enough. I think it's in the guide, but I may be recalling something from evergreen fluff.

To the OP: Just play a deaf character. Drop money on a potion of deafness for the GMs who assume you're trying to game the system and just play the character. You don't have to clear the condition between scenarios as far as I recall.

You will have to clear the condition at the end of the scenario, according to the Guide to Organized Play. So you'd have to buy a potion of deafness at the beginning of every scenario AND pay to have the conditioned removed at the end of every scenario.

I actually like the thunderstone idea. I once saw a player with a gnome who was addicted to Color Spray, and he would regularly hit himself with a wand of it out of combat. I could see a similar motivation here...

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

Eindridi wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
MisterSlanky wrote:
Ghostbane dirge does not have a miss chance (though there is a save). I don't believe it allows criticals and sneak attack to function as it "coalesces into a semi-physical form" and still only takes half damage from non-magical weapons. Is there a FAQ stating otherwise?
We looked this one up. Please reference where Ghostbane Dirge does not have the 50% miss chance. The incorporeal type gives a 50% on all spells, so it should have the same penalty as anything. I'll try to dig out the rules route we followed.

The target for Ghostbane Dirge is "one incorporeal creature": to me, that indicates that it should effect incorporeal subtypes.

I see how you might read it like that but the description of the target within the spell description should in no way invalidate existing type/subtype effects or other restrictions.

For example, the target for the spell Suggestion is 'one living creature'.

The language dependent requirement does not cease to exist because the target is indeed 'one living creature'.

But the language limitation is included as part of the Suggestion spell: "[language-dependent, mind-affecting]". If the Suggestion spell did not include that line, then it would not require you to have a common language if you cast it on a "living creature".

Likewise, it has the description "mind-effecting" so it specifically won't work on mindless living creatures. Those descriptors are limitations on the valid target "living creature".

What words in Ghostbane Dirge puts limitations on the target "incorporeal creature"? I don't see any.

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

As far as non-harmful spells, I would allow you to use Calm Emotions on other PCs out of combat (they get a Will save, of course) or certain bardic performances like Fascinate. Of course, I would first try to get the players to resolve the issue OOC, but if a player insisted, I would allow it.

I would also allow the affected PC to respond as they saw fit.

I'd make sure everyone involved understood their options and the consequences of each choice. Then I'd let them do what they wanted, and apply the consequences that we just reviewed. That is, unless the players involved were actually only 12 years old.

I usually treat it like the regular mounted combat rules minus the Handle Animal check:

- Your mount acts on your initiative count as you direct it. You move at its speed, but the mount uses its action to move.
- If your mount moves more than 5 feet, you can only make a single melee attack.
- If your mount charges, you also take the AC penalty associated with a charge. If you make an attack at the end of the charge, you receive the bonus gained from the charge.
- You can use ranged weapons while your mount is taking a double move, but at a –4 penalty on the attack roll. You can use ranged weapons while your mount is running (quadruple speed) at a –8 penalty. In either case, you make the attack roll when your mount has completed half its movement. You can make a full attack with a ranged weapon while your mount is moving.
- If you have your mount move both before and after you cast a spell, then you're casting the spell while the mount is moving, and you have to make a concentration check due to the vigorous motion (DC 10 + spell level) or lose the spell.
- With a DC 5 Ride check, you can guide your mount with your knees so as to use both hands to attack or defend yourself. This is a free action. (I use this as "stay on the mount while doing something else" for intelligent mounts.)

Basically, the main problem I see is players wanting to use another PC as a mount and still have the PC count as an independent character. You can't do both. As the mount, you are either doing your own thing or doing what the guy on your back tells you to you. As the rider, you are either directing the mount or you are just along for the ride.

In regular combat, characters can't "interleave" their actions so that you take a full attack in the middle of someone else's move action. (You can take a standard action by readying, but that's not important here.) Mounted characters do exactly that: ranged attackers on horseback take their full attack in the middle of their mount's movement. If the players want the characters to use this ability, then the ridden character has to be treated like a mount.

In regular combat, another character's actions don't usually restrict my actions, but in mounted combat, my mount's movement can restrict me to a single attack, impose a penalty on my attack, etc. If you don't want to have the ridden character's action impact yours, then you can't use them as a combat mount.

And so on.

There are benefits and limitations to being mounted. You can't take the benefits without the limitations, and as the GM, I wouldn't enforce the limitations without letting you take advantage of the benefits.

Oh, and don't forget about encumbrance penalties on the ridden character...

It kind of depends on your build. If you're a fighter with weapon specialization, weapon training, etc., you want to have the same weapon in each hand, because your feats will apply primarily to one weapon. In that case, two light weapons won't cause you take extra penalties on your off hand. If you have improved critical, wakizashi is a great choice.

If you're using Lead Blades or Enlarge Person as a buff, you'll get more bang for the buck out of 1d8 weapons (going up to 2d6) in each hand. In that case, sawtooth sabres are a good choice, but you can't use them with weapon finesse. This works best for strength-based TWF builds, like rangers who can ignore Dex prerequisites or monk/clerics or warpriests of Achakek with Crusder's Flurry.

If you have only taken one attack out of your full attack action, you can change your mind and take a move action instead. Once you have taken your second attack, though, you are committed for the full attack action, whether you use all your attacks or not.

However, after your first attack, you can only take a move action. Since readying an action (e.g., to attack when the orcs come up) is a standard action, you still wouldn't be able to "hold" the rest of your attacks until the enemy closes. If you had some feat or ability that allowed you ready an attack as a move action, then you could choose to do that after your first attack.

I'm not aware of any trick that would let you do this.

At my table, yes, this is correct.

Note that some GMs rule that you can't maintain a grapple on the same round that you initiate it. (The problematic text is "If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold." Some GMs read that to mean that you must wait a round to make your first maintain check.)

If your GM rules this way, then your sequence is:
Round 1: Standard action to initiate grapple.
Round 2: Move action to Pin, automatically activates Blood Drain for 1d4 Con. Standard action to maintain pin, automatically activates Blood Drain for 1d4 Con.
And round 3+ looks exactly like round 2.

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

Ryzoken wrote:
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
5) At higher levels, keep a scroll of Breath of Life on hand. Pass it to someone who has a chance of casting it and ask them to use it on you if you go down. (I usually tell them to use it on anyone in the party who needs it, in line with suggestion #2.)
The action economy involved in this precludes it functioning in a majority of situations. Move to draw scroll, Standard to activate, touch range. Suggest instead using First Aid Gloves if you're in possession of a copy of the Pathfinder Society Primer

Some GMs allow you to put a scroll in spring loaded wrist sheath, which lets you draw it as a swift action. I've also had my cleric draw the scroll if someone in the party looks like they are getting pounded.

I am a huge fan of First Aid Gloves, but many fighters save their hands slot for Gloves of Dueling. I came really close to suggesting that people carry a pair around and give them to someone with a free hands slot, but I thought they might be too expensive item for that.

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

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I have had more than one front-line melee character with a 12 Con. I often run front liners with a 13 Con and bump it to 14 at level 4 or 8. I've had exactly one character death, and that character had a 14 con and d10 hit dice.

If you're concerned about your character dying, then play your character as smart as possible. Some suggestions:

1) Track how many hit points you're taking each round, and determine how many more rounds you can continue fighting. When you're at the point where you might not survive the next round, step back and drink a potion.

2) Don't run into crowds of bad guys by yourself. They will all full attack on their round, and if you are the only target, they will all full attack you.

3) Don't be afraid to tell the rest of your party that your character is really, really hurt. Call for help.

4) ALWAYS carry a cure light wounds potion and make sure everyone in your party knows where you keep it. That way, when (not if) you go to negative HP, anyone in your party can save your life even if they don't cast spells, can't use a wand, or don't have any healing potions. Your goal here isn't to get up and get back in the fight: your goal is to get stabilized so you don't bleed out.

5) At higher levels, keep a scroll of Breath of Life on hand. Pass it to someone who has a chance of casting it and ask them to use it on you if you go down. (I usually tell them to use it on anyone in the party who needs it, in line with suggestion #2.)

6) If you find yourself going unconscious a lot, consider getting an Aegis of Recovery, a Shawl of Life Keeping, or a con increasing item. Or some combination of these kind of items. (I'm a big fan of the Aegis of Recovery, myself.)

7) If you're running an old school barbarian (e.g., not unchained), watch out for that break point where you will automatically die when you go unconscious and drop out of rage. Definitely get an Aegis of Recovery, and grab Raging Vitality as soon as possible.

I'm sure other people have their own survival suggestions, too.

Could it be Snapping Turtle Clutch? That's the only one I see. It's the third feat in the Snapping Turtle Style feat chain.

taks wrote:
I would certainly allow you to burn your move action on something that actually involves movement.

Right. You could use your move action to get down on the floor or carefully lay your weapon down. But you can't fall over or drop you weapon. Kind of silly, but there it is.

You'll probably see a lot more player deaths. With a five foot step, a wounded character can step back, draw a potion, and drink it in one round. Without it, a character will provoke one AoO from drawing the potion and another one from drinking the potion. If the character is hurt badly enough to use a potion, they probably won't survive one AoO, much less two.

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

MisterSlanky wrote:
Ghostbane dirge does not have a miss chance (though there is a save). I don't believe it allows criticals and sneak attack to function as it "coalesces into a semi-physical form" and still only takes half damage from non-magical weapons. Is there a FAQ stating otherwise?
We looked this one up. Please reference where Ghostbane Dirge does not have the 50% miss chance. The incorporeal type gives a 50% on all spells, so it should have the same penalty as anything. I'll try to dig out the rules route we followed.

The target for Ghostbane Dirge is "one incorporeal creature": to me, that indicates that it should effect incorporeal subtypes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aelryinth wrote:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These new feats should be no different.

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

Clearly that experience is shared by lots of people.

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

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

So lets not conflate the two.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Firebug wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

Label your corners this way:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feral wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

Imbicatus wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RedDogMT wrote:

Negotiating the release of a take 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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