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1,590 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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By RAW, the only penalty wielding a non-proficient weapon gives is you a -4 penalty on attack rolls. Everything else remains unchanged.

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DrDeth wrote:
I'd say a Perception roll before you get that Spellcraft roll would not be inappropriate.

Actually, it probably is inappropriate. The Spellcraft check already includes the Perception modifiers.

Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.

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Common sense says that a normal lion can not wield a normal sword. You have to use common sense when reading the rules - its simply impossible to include every single little thing in the rules.

Though it should be possible to make certain weapons for animals. I know that in some rooster fights, a razor blade can be attached to its leg to inflict greater injuries on its opponent.

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You get your sneak attack damage on every attack that qualifies. So if you are using Greater Invisibility, or are flanking your target, you get to add sneak attack damage on every attack you make.

Rogue class, Sneak Attack description wrote:
The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

The description of sneak attack does not say you can only get the extra damage once per round, it specifically says you get it anytime you meet the requirements. If you meet the requirements on 2 attacks in a round, both get the extra damage.

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Matthias_DM wrote:

"15 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata."

When and where was this answered in the errata??

"Answered in the Errata" or FAQ or whatever doesn't always mean that. It could of very well just been marked that way to clear it off their list of FAQ requests.

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Granted, this is from 3.5, but its the full paragraph of the rules.

If you miss the target (whether aiming at a creature or a grid intersection), roll 1d8. This determines the misdirection of the throw, with 1 being straight back at you and 2 through 8 counting clockwise around the grid intersection or target creature. Then, count a number of squares in the indicated direction equal to the range increment of the throw. So, if you miss on a throw out to two range increments and roll a 1 to determine the misdirection of the throw, the splash weapon lands on the intersection that is 2 squares away from the target in the direction toward you. See the accompanying diagram.

It specifically says 2 range increments results in a 2 square distance when you miss. It doesn't say anything about the 2 squares being because the weapons range increment is 10 feet (2 squares), but because it was thrown 2 increments.

Now the full text wasn't made Open Content, so couldn't of been used in Pathfinder, but thats the original intention. The number of squares you count is equal to the number of range increments that you threw the weapon, not the same distance as the weapons range increment.

Of course, Pathfinder could of changed that like they did other things.

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Reecy wrote:

Also even By rules of taking 10 and 20... They are considering you had failures before you finally Succeed... So anything that has a consequence for failure would not be allowed to take 10 or 20...

Incorrect. Taking 10 does not assume you fail many times before you succeed. Only Taking 20 does that. Furthermore, a consequence for failure only prevents Take 20 - Take 10 has no such limitation.

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Aeric Blackberry wrote:

Lightning bow is a special ittem (a named one). You cannot ad further abilities to a special object. They have a fixed set of abilities that cannot be changed and they have a fixed price. Either you like as they are or you don't.

Perhaps for that reason they have lesser prices....

People really need to stop saying this. There is absolutely no rule anywhere in the books that disallows someone from further enchanting a specific item. Not a single one anywhere. (Nor was it a rule in 3.0 or 3.5 D&D either.)

The only thing that does stop it is that doing so makes a custom item, meaning its entirely up to the DM whether its allowed or not. It also can not be done in a Pathfinder Society game, as the Society does not allow custom making items of any type.

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You automatically hit and score a critical hit. If the defender survives the damage, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or die. A rogue also gets her extra sneak attack damage against a helpless opponent when delivering a coup de grace.

If DR negates all of the damage, then the character took no damage. Therefore, the save should never be triggered, as it requires you to survive the damage - damage which you never took. The attack was negated.

Whenever damage reduction completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates most special effects that accompany the attack, such as injury poison, a monk's stunning, and injury-based disease. Damage reduction does not negate touch attacks, energy damage dealt along with an attack, or energy drains. Nor does it affect poisons or diseases delivered by inhalation, ingestion, or contact.

Temporary hit points, however, are still hit points. The rogue still took damage, even if it was only to hit temporary his points.

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There are no limits on the number of potions you can have effecting you at any one time (or spell effects, for that matter). Just a limit of drinking 1 per round (as its a standard action, and you only get one of those per round).

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You don't call him on it. Thats not your responsibility. Tell your Game Master. Its his game, its his job and responsibility, let him deal with it.

Just tell the GM what you have seen. Let him make decide what to do.

(If you are the GM, just tell the player to stop. Preferably away from the entire group so as not to make a big deal out of it.)

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When a monster says it "casts spells as a Xth level" whatever, it means exactly that. They cast spells as that level of caster. They get no other benefits from that class at all, just the spellcasting. That means monsters that cast as sorcerers don't have a Bloodline and monsters that cast as clerics don't get Channel Energy. They only get that classes spellcasting ability.

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And you don't have to wear the belt for 24 hours to get the additional hit points. You gain those immediately upon wearing the belt.

Constitution: Temporary increases to your Constitution score give you a bonus on your Fortitude saving throws. In addition, multiply your total Hit Dice by this bonus and add that amount to your current and total hit points. When the bonus ends, remove this total from your current and total hit points.

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Touch Spells and Holding the Charge: In most cases, if you don't discharge a touch spell on the round you cast it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell) indefinitely. You can make touch attacks round after round until the spell is discharged. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.

You can only hold the charge on a single spell. Trying to cast another spell while you are holding the charge automatically ends the first spell.

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How far is a "long distance?"

The Whispering Wind spell has a range of 1 mile/level, but only allows up to 25 words.

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The first step to pricing a custom magic item is to always compare with existing items first.

A constant Mage Armor effect (+4 AC) is the same as Bracers of Armor +4, and must therefore cost the same. So 16,000gp.

The Shield effect is equivalent to +2 bracers, so 8,000gp at least. Thats not including the protection from Magic Missiles part.

And don't forget the additional cost modifier for multiple powers in an item. The most expensive ability cost remains unchanged, but each additional ability has its cost increased by 50%. So the Shield effect actually costs at least 12,000gp. The Mage Armor and Shield effect combined cost 28,000gp, not the 4000gp like the formulas would suggest.

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Everything that is not a PC should be under control of the DM. That includes animal companions.

Animal companions actually require Handle Animal checks to get them to do what you want. Thats why druids get a +4 bonus on Handle Animal checks when dealing with their companion.

Link (Ex): A druid can handle her animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if she doesn't have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. The druid gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.

If an animal companion was under control of the druid, and so does whatever the druid wants, then there would be no need for that. If the check is required, then there is at least a chance of failure, and the companion not obeying the character and doing what it wants (what the DM wants it to do).

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Charisma has no real effect on beauty.

In 3.5, mind flayers had high charisma, and they had squids for heads.

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Spamming random threads would be a Chaotic behavior, yes? Sounds like something Asmodeus wouldn't like. Reporting the threads is a lawful behavior. Asmodeus should like that.

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Something is only an enchantment effect if it specifically says it is an enchantment effect (or belongs to the Enchantment magic school). The mummies Despair ability is not an enchantment effect.

It is, however, a fear effect, as it specifically says its a fear effect. The bards Inspire Courage can be used against it then.

Despair (Su) All creatures within a 30-foot radius that see a mummy must make a DC 16 Will save or be paralyzed by fear for 1d4 rounds. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same mummy’s despair ability for 24 hours. This is a paralysis and a mind-affecting fear affect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Crushing Despair is an enchantment effect, as it belongs to the Enchantment school of magic. A mummies Despair effect is not an enchantment effect, as it does not belong to the enchantment school of magic, and because it doesn't specifically say it is an enchantment effect.

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Don't forget about the Ninja Gaiden game where you fight a tank with your sword!

Just a tank? Pfft. I've seen a katana cut through 30ft+ wide warships in a single strike.

Anime can't be wrong, can it? Its a Japanese weapon in a Japanese show. Surely they know what the katana is truly capable of.

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Dehydrating Touch (Sp): Starting at 1st level, you can make a melee touch attack as a standard action that inflicts 1d6 points of nonlethal damage + 1 for every two sorcerer levels you possess and sickens the target for 1 round. Oozes, plants, and creatures with the aquatic or water subtypes suffer lethal damage instead. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

Its not an instant kill. "Lethal damage" doesn't mean the creature automatically dies. Most weapons do lethal damage, like swords, axes, maces, etc. Normal damage is lethal damage.

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Only weapons, shields, and armor must be masterwork. None of the other item creation feats require masterwork items.

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Its value is dependent on your DM. Is your DM someone who like to have the party get captured a lot? Is the party wizards spellbook stolen/lost? If the DM never separates the party wizard from his spellbook, then the feat is practically worthless.

However, if the DM has no problem with having the PCs get captures, or having thieves steal the wizards spellbook, or cause the book to be lost (like the party is shipwrecked), then Spell Mastery can be worthwhile, as the wizard can still prepare (some) of his spells.

In my group, the feat was worthless. The party wizards were never separated from their spellbook.

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If you don't like how the spell component pouch works, just be glad this isn't Dungeons & Dragons. The Book of Vile Darkness contained spells that required evil artifacts, severed hands of good aligned clerics, and bones from still living children. As none of those had a cost associated with them, they were all assumed to be contained in infinite amounts in the standard spell component pouch.

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Ventnor wrote:

Okay, so I was looking through the Advanced Race Guide, when I realized just how dumb-sounding catfolk and ratfolk sound. I mean, sure, they look like cats and rats, but they're really the only races who seem singled out by that designation in their name.

After all, gnolls aren't called hyenafolk. There aren't ravenfolk, there are tengus. It's vanaris, not monkeyfolk. And gods help you if you call a minotaur a bullfolk.

So, why don't we have cooler names for catfolk and ratfolk, if every other animal-themed race gets a better name?

You forgot the lizardfolk (Bestiary 1).

And halflings, who are half the height of the "normal" races.
Giant eagles, who are intelligent, and probably don't see themselves as giant, but as normal.
The entire line of giant races. They probably wouldn't call themselves giants - they are normal size. Its everyone else who is abnormally tiny.

Look at the race names as what those races are commonly referred to as. The races probably have their own names for themselves. Like in Faerun, most people call them halflings. But to the halflings, who don't see themselves as half of anything, they are the Hin.

"Catfolk", "Ratfolk", and "Lizardfolk" are probably just the generic, Common name for them. Each race probably has its own name, but that is something that should be setting specific.

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Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Isn't this a relic from Chainmail, or possibly earlier?

It is from Chainmail, as a balancing mechanic. Numbers of cheap Undead units could easily kill the more expensive Elf units, so Elves were made immune to ghoul paralysis to compensate.

When Chainmail was made into D&D, it carried over.

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A 1st level sorcerer with, lets say, a 16 Charisma, can cast 4 1st level spells per day. However, he only knows two different first level spells.

A 1st level wizard with 16 Intelligence can only cast 2 first level spells, but knows 4 different first level spells (3 minimum, +1 from his Intelligence). As a minimum - he could of spent time and money to learn more.

So, while the wizard does have fewer spell slots, he know more spells. Wizards have more options then sorcerers, and can change what spells they have prepared every day. A sorcerer is pretty much stuck with what he knows.

(Plus, sorcerers get access to higher level spells a level later then wizards. Wizards get 2nd level spells at 3rd level, while sorcerers have to wait until 4th level.)

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The magical ageing rules were removed. It didn't affect everyone. A half-orc might care that Haste aged him a year (with death from old age potentially occuring as soon as 45 years), but grey elves probably couldn't care less (where death from old-age could occur at around 1000, or as high as 2000 years old). Most campaigns didn't last long enough from the majority of races to really be affected.

The largest drawback of magical aging, though, was any amount (no matter how small) could kill you. If magically aged, you had to make a System Shock check. Fail that, and you died. (Magical aging was only one of the things that could cause a system shock roll).

It sucked to have the party caster Haste you (which aged you a year), and end up killing half the party because of bad System Shock rolls.

If you want to bring back the aging mechanics, it basically converts to a DC 7 Constitution check. A characters level had nothing to do with it - it was just a straight check based on constitution. And make aging a percentage effect, not a static number. It might age a half-orc by a year, but an elf by 10-20 years. And remove the aging benefits (boosts to mental scores) to prevent abuse.

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Do note that undead are not immune to all ability damage. They are only immune to ability damage to physical ability scores. They can still take ability damage to mental scores.

Not subject to nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength), as well as to exhaustion and fatigue effects.

Not that it actually matters in this case. Bestow Curse is a penalty, not ability drain or ability damage.

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666bender wrote:

constant permanent item that make the spell mage armor is:

1X1X2000X1.5 - 3000, 1500 to make.
hence, +4 armor item that works all the time is 1500 to make.
compare that to bracers of armor +4 ....

Only if you ignore the first step for pricing a custom item - comparing it to existing items first. A constant mage armor effect would therefore cost the same as bracers of armor +4.

The formulas are only a guideline, to be used if there is no existing item to compare to.

Many factors must be considered when determining the price of new magic items. The easiest way to come up with a price is to compare the new item to an item that is already priced, using that price as a guide. Otherwise, use the guidelines summarized on Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values.

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An elf raised by human could possibly start adventuring before 100. But, he should also lose the elf weapon proficiencies. Thats something that is learned, not innate. If he isn't raised the elven way, he shouldn't learn the elven stuff.

Similarly, a dwarf raised among humans shouldn't gain the Hatred, Defensive Training, and Weapon Familiarity abilities, as they are learned as well.

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How to make a crossbow viable:

1) Load crossbow
2) shoot elf with crossbow
3) steal elf's bow
4) ???
5) Profit!

But seriously, every feat that benefits a crossbow user also benefits a bow user. Since an inquisitor is already proficient with both bows and crossbows, his best bet would be to just use a bow. That way you don't have to spend a feat on Rapid Reload, which is a feat slot you can spend to make your bow use better.

Spend a feat slot to make a crossbow equal to a bow, or just use a bow and spend that feat slot to make the bow better.

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Half-plate is not simply half a suit of full plate with some chain. A lot of work goes into making full plate (even non-masterwork full plate is designed to fit one specific person), and the quality of the materials and techniques used means the suit can be made thinner while still preserving its strength.

Half-plate would be a form of munition-grade armor. Mass-produced, and of inferior quality (still, kind of expensive for mass-produced). Since the materials and techniques used are inferior to full plate, the armor must be made thicker to compensate. Hence, the added weight and increased encumbrance (ACP and ASF). (And a suit of half-plate can fit anyone of the appropriate size, just as mass-produced armor should.)

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Skill ranks aren't equal, so pricing them isn't easy. A rank in Perception is far more valuable then a rank in Craft(Underwater Basketweaving).

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Lemmy wrote:

And dragons don't need magic to fly. Or speak. Or... you know... being ageless lizards who breath-fire and are absurdly intelligent.

While it is true they don't need magic to fly or speak, they do need magic to breathe fire. Breath weapons are Supernatural abilities (Su), and as such go away in anti-magic fields. They are magical in nature.

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You get exactly what the template says your get, and nothing more.

The bonus strength and stuff from increasing size only applies when advancing a monster by adding racial hit dice. Thats why its in a separate section of the rules. (The "Adding Racial Hit Dice" section, as opposed to the "Templates" section.)

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I would say, don't use the single adult red dragon.

Solo monsters don't fare well against entire parties. The PCs get 4-5 rounds worth of actions total (1 per PC) for every round the dragon gets.

Using multiple weaker monsters (but not too weak) will probably make for a better, and more challenging, fight. (For instance, 2 young adult red dragons [CR 13 individual, combined CR 15], or a young adult and a juvenile [CR 11 and 13 individual, combined CR 14].

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Fatespinner wrote:
Also, they have almost no chance of spotting your +38 stealth rogue (while the CR 14 at least has a remote chance).

All dragons have 60' blindsense. If the rogue is withing 60' of the dragon, and has anything less then total cover (concealment would be useless), the dragon or dragons know exactly which square the rogue is in. (Blindsense needs line of effect to work.) They would still have the 50% miss chance if the dragon couldn't see the rogue, but the dragon would know the rogue was there.

Their breath weapon wouldn't care about the miss chance (no attack roll). IT might do no damage to the rogue himself (Evasion), but it could remove whatever the rogue is hiding behind.

Also, make the area smokey. Red dragons of very young (CR 10) or higher can see perfectly well in smokey conditions. For everyone else, the smoke would create concealment, meaning you can't sneak attack.

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First, you mean Reincarnate, not Resurrection. Resurrection brings you back to life in your current form, it doesn't give you a new form.

And its Option B. Mentally, you would still e a half-elf. Physically, you are an elf now. You would retain the mental ability scores of the half-elf, and gain the physical ability scores of the elf.

The "mental stats remain" clause is just there to indicate that you don't change your mental stats based on your new race; any racial stat affects on int/wis/cha don't take effect.

If you don't gain the mental stats of the new form, why would you lose the mental stats of the old form? Either you are still mentally a member of your old form, and retain your mental stat adjustments, or mentally you are a member of your new form, and should gain the mental adjustments of your new form.

A half-elf reincarnated as a full elf is still mentally a half-elf.

And James Jacobs agrees. Or at least he did in late 2011. Certainly could of changed his mind since then. And in other Reincarnate threads (do a search on the forums for "Reincarnate James Jacobs"), he also mentions things like retaining you human bonus feat when you reincarnate. The only thing Reincarnate changes are physical qualities - mental qualities remain the same.


James Jacobs wrote:
In this case, though, I actually agree with your players reincarnate specifically does NOT alter your mental stats, so whatever those were in your previous life, even if you gained racial bonuses, should not change.

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Magic items, unless otherwise noted, take damage as nonmagical items of the same sort. A damaged magic item continues to function, but if it is destroyed, all its magical power is lost. Magic items that take damage in excess of half their total hit points, but not more than their total hit points, gain the broken condition, and might not function properly.

Most magical items are just as easy to destroy as a mundane item.

Potions: The vial has AC 13, 1 hit point, hardness 1, and a break DC of 12
Rings: A ring has AC 13, 2 hit points, hardness 10, and a break DC of 25.
Rods: These sturdy items have AC 9, 10 hit points, hardness 10, and a break DC of 27.
Scrolls: A scroll has AC 9, 1 hit point, hardness 0, and a break DC of 8.
Staves: It has AC 7, 10 hit points, hardness 5, and a break DC of 24.
Wands: A typical wand has AC 7, 5 hit points, hardness 5, and a break DC of 16
Magic Armor, Shields, and Weapons: Each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 2 to the hardness of armor, a weapon, or a shield, and +10 to the item's hit points.

So for wondrous items, just give them from 1-10 hitpoints, and an appropriate hardness.

The description on +stat headbands say they're silver, but substance hardness doesn't have silver. I'm thinking of assuming steel hardness, but I still don't really know how thick they are. And if cloaks of resistance have 2hp and 0 hardness, then why don't they just get sundered every combat?

The alchemical silver material is listed as Hardness 8 and 10 hit points per inch, so regular silver should be the same or somewhat less.

As for why they usually aren't in combat? Most magical items aren't obviously magical. Why take the time to just randomly attack someones (potentially mundane)cloak, instead of attacking the person themselves?

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Its not Pathfinder specific, but I don't like how everything about a character is tied into his level.

If I want to become a better underwater basket weaver, I must also become harder to kill (more hitpoints), become better at fighting (base attack bonus), become more stubborn (will save), healthier (fort), and developer faster reflexes (reflex save). And also becoming better in about half a dozen other areas of expertise (skill points besides the ones I use for underwater basketweaving), and possibly learning a random trick (feat) or becoming stronger/faster/smarter/etc (ability increase). If all I want is to become a better underwater basketweaver, thats what should happen. I shouldn't have to improve in every other area of my character as well.

Also, I don't like how a d20 is used for skill checks, saves, and attack rolls. You have an equal chance to roll a 1 as you do a 7, 10, 15, or 20. It shouldn't be that random. You should be more likely to roll an average result then a really bad one or a really good one. (It should be a 3d6 roll, not a 1d20 roll.)

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Xexyz wrote:

I have many questions:

1. How did you get so many feats? You should have a total of 14 + Focused Study. I counted 17 + your skill focus feats.

Is that counting the feats he gained from Rogue Talents? (Granted to him through the shadowdancer class.) Combat Trick gives a bonus combat feat, and Finesse Rogue gives Weapon Finesse. Weapon Training gives Weapon Focus.

18th level character: 9 feats
8th level fighter: 5 feats
Talent that switches human bonus feat for 3 skill focuses: 3 feats
3 bonus feats from rogue talents: 3 feats

I count at least 20 feats he should have. And he has 20 feats.

2. How did you get 3 levels of armor training with only 8 levels of fighter?

He has a Sash of the War Champion.. He is effectively 12th level for the armor training and bravery class abilities.

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Cheapy wrote:
I've been meaning to go through and list what core constructs you can actually make with this possibly new rule at the level you can get Craft Construct. So 5th as the earliest and 7th for most.

From the first Bestiary:

Flesh Golem - 8th
Homunculus - no required level
Iron Cobra - no required level
Animated Objects*

From Bestiary 2:
Carrion Golem - 7th
Necrophidius - 7th
Scarecrow - 6th
Soulbound Doll - no required level

From Bestiary 3:
Graven Guardian - 7th level
Tupilaq - 8th level

Plus several more in all 3 books at 9th level.

*Ultimate Magic says that Craft Construct can make permanent Animated Objects, but no listed caster level requirement.

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There are no limits to the number of scrolls you can have deciphered at one time, and once deciphered the scroll stays that way (for you) forever.

I notice it says that after deciphering a particular piece of magical writing, the character does not need to decipher it again. So does this mean for eternity?

Yes. Once deciphered, that particular scroll stays that way (for you) for eternity. Other casters would have to decipher it for themselves before they could use it.

Does it mean that all scrolls of that spell from that caster are deciphered?

No. It means that specific scroll if deciphered. If you find another scroll of the same spell, you would need to decipher that second scroll before using it.

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Everything is retroactive. A 5th level fighter putting on an item that grants +2 constitution (An so raises his Con modifier by +1) gains 5 hit points. If he becomes 6th level, he now gets a total of +6 hit points from the item.

However, an Intelligence boosting item does not actually grant retroactive skill points. Instead, it has a specific skill (or skills) assigned to it. If you wear the Int boosting item for at least 24 hours, the item will grant you a number of ranks in those specific skills equal to your hit dice. (So a 5th level fighter, with a +2 Int booster with the Knowledge(Religion) skill, wears the item for 24 hours. As long as he continues to wear it, he is treated as having 5 ranks in Knowledge (Religion).)

In any case, if you ever remove the item (or its deactivated somehow), all those retroactive bonuses disappear until the item is functioning again (temporary bonuses only - you must still wear the item for another 24 hours to get the full effects.)

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Blackerose wrote:
Am I the only one concerned with the 165 TONS the character can push/drag? Even with suspension of disbelief, you are talking having a stego pulling an aircraft carrier with weight to spare....

Your off by a major amount. An M1A1 Abrahms tank weighs 60-70 tons. Blue whales are ~200 tons. Aircraft carriers are much, much heavier (as in, tens of thousands of tons).

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James Jacobs did have this to say on the subject.


If your party includes gnomes and halflings, you should certainly adjust some of the sizes of magic items, since most magic items do not resize. Alternately, it'd be cool to introduce a spell that allows weapons and armor to be permanently resized.

That was said before Pathfinder was published, but the rules for magic item resizing haven't changed from 3.5 to Pathfinder.

Sean K. Reynolds said this about a custom magic item, whose purpose was to resize magical weapons and armor. (And this is for Pathfinder.)

It's one of those weird things where it fixes a "problem" with the game, but the "problem" would likewise go away if armor resized like all other magic items did.

If magical weapons and armor automatically resized, there would be no need for the item.

So at least as far as the developers were concerned at those times, magic weapons and armor did not resize automatically.

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daken201 wrote:

Depends on one thing, Would everyone agree that it is well within the rights of the GM to decide that the Wizard has to memorize spells that he says or the the cleric has to use channel energy when he says? Because they are all class features of the character.

It seems to me taking control of a familiar is just like telling the cleric that he just used his channel energy to heal everyone. even if he had no intention of doing so himself.

Except spells and Channel Energy don't have minds of their own. There isn't a "Handle Magic" skill, but there is a Handle Animal skill, and druids get a bonus with it when dealing with their companions. That alone implies that the animal is not under the control of the druid.

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The player only controls their character. Everything else, including animal companions, familiars, hirelings, cohorts, mounts, and so on are controlled by the GM. Most of the time though, its just easier to let the player control them, as the GM has enough to worry about just with the monsters.

(Druids even receive a bonus on Handle Animal and Wild Empathy checks with their animal companions. If the druid was totally in control of their companion, that would be totally unnecessary, implying the at least some of the time the companion does as it wishes not how the druid wants it to.)

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