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A lot of items that claim in the description to be made from a specific part of a specific creature, but don't list that thing in the crafting requirements.
You're not supposed to list physical materials in the Construction Requirements; do you see any such materials in any published magic items?
James Raine wrote:
Are you saying that the Sword of Stabbocity shouldn't always have the same enhancement bonus or something? Because if that's what you're saying, you're wrong; that's not how specific weapons work.
There's a rules difference between a named magic weapon and a flat-cost weapon enhancement: the latter can be placed on any weapon, while the former is an all-or-nothing package deal. Try to let the special ability of a flametongue work on any old magic weapon, and you've changed it from a "specific magic weapon" to a "flat-price weapon enhancement". At that point, it's no longer a valid entry for the contest.
Yeah, a couple years back I found out my item had been getting downvoted by people who were unfamiliar with the spell range categories ("close", "medium", "long") that appear in 90% of the spells in the game, and therefore thought that I was failing to specify the range at all. :/
Hopefully, this time all my terms will be sufficiently obvious. Not that I'm bitter or anything...
Don't forget bull rush, which has that juicy "for every 5 by which you beat the target's CMD" line. True strike effectively adds up to 20 feet to the distance you shove them. ;)
Because the more powerful you make a scorpion whip, the less powerful you make the regular whip and vise versa.
This is not true.If I'm driving down the highway at 70mph and expecting to arrive at my destination in 20 minutes, then I see somebody pass me at 80mph, that doesn't cause me to suddenly be going slower than I was or arrive at my destination later than planned. I'm still going 70mph and arriving in 20min, no matter how fast anyone else is going.
The only thing that might have changed is my relative speed; perhaps I went from being the fastest guy on the road to being the second-fastest. Maybe you think the whip was the best at something, and now it's only second-best? But if so, why is that a problem?
Game balance wise, both should have trade offs that make them useful in some ways but not in other ways that the other one is useful in.
First, "shoulds" are for designing something that's not finished yet, not for figuring out how a finished product works. However it is that it works, it works that way regardless of whether you or anyone else thinks it "should".
Second, your premise that Pathfinder options are different-but-equal (rather than one thing being superior to another) is completely wrong. Just look at the weapon and armor charts: see all those items that nobody ever uses? For any given category there's a small number of "best" items that are just plain old better than similar options. Having the whip and scorpion whip follow this same paradigm that's existed in the system for decades shouldn't be throwing up any red flags for anyone who's looking at the big picture. Like Andy always says, you have to look at the issue in the context of the whole game: an obvious power gap between weapon X and weapon Y is par for the course; it's Pathfinder's "normal".
"Yet another weapon that's better/worse than a different weapon" shouldn't be making anyone familiar with Pathfinder go "Hey, wait a minute, that can't be right!"
Andrew Christian wrote:
I'm not sure where I land on this topic yet, but I wanted to point out that X being better than Y does not mean that you must be misinterpreting X. Sometimes they deliberately make new things that are better than old things.
Back to the entangling stone shape question. I would treat it like Entangle, but with only a 5ft square target. DC to avoid it (and a free 5ft step if they make it). Then you are not emulating a higher level spell, but still getting the kind of effect you are looking for. (at least I think that is the direction you were shooting for)
Drastically reducing the amount of stone you're able to shape is a terrible way of trying to deal with an unanticipated application of the spell.
Remember, grabbing hold of someone has many forms:
And you think an appropriate use of SS to trap someone is to take the 1st-level spell entangle, reduce the range to "touch", and reduce the area from a 40ft radius to a single square? Are you serious? Two-three spell levels result in a massive nerf to effectiveness, instead of an improvement?
So....you could make spikes. Which should still allow a reflex save to get out of the way.
Or more likely, nothing happens immediately, and the area is just treated like it has caltrops. So you could blow a 3rd or 4th-level spell to instantly and permanently caltrop-ify a substantial area. Maybe good for an escape or something?
So, since concentration is not an issue, wouldn't they just immediately "see" the invisible character when it entered their field of vision, with respect to the distance of detect magic?
Does their ability say that it changes how the spell works? Because if not, then they still have to follow the rules of the spell. "Constant" just means they don't have to cast it first.
Making a pit under the enemy, especially a spiked one, would quite honestly fall under the spell Spiked Pit. It probably shouldn't be allowed to work, and if it does it shouldn't work better than the spel Spike Pit.
Well if we're going to compare stone shape to spiked pit, let's do an actual comparison, shall we?
Stone shape's volume is measured by cubic feet. A single 5ft cube is 125 cubic feet. To make a 5ft deep pit with stone shape (that is, to move a 5ft cube out of the space you want to use), you need to have a caster level of 115.
So the only way you can even do this is if you're instead standing on some kind of stone platform which you then shape down into a spiked pit (we'll assume there's a reason that this would be better than just making a hole for them to fall through).
After that, there's also the issue of range. Stone shape is a touch spell. What's the range of spiked pit?
Then there's the fact that stone shape only affects stone, and has to physically move it. Meanwhile spiked pit works on any horizontal surface, such as the deck of a ship, and doesn't care about the material composition of the surface or anything under it, and also doesn't damage anything.
Finally, let's compare spell levels: stone shape is 3rd or 4th, depending on who's casting it. Spiked pit is 3rd. So we're not even talking about emulating a higher-level spell here. For a wizard, in fact, it would actually be a downgrade.
We get similar result if we make (honest) comparisons to wall of stone, black tentacles (when trying to grab), or other spells which could be emulated.
Sorry, but "your idea sounds like the name of another spell" is not the same as "your idea would be encroaching on/invalidating another spell". Good GMs make adjudications based on more than just spell names.
So I touch the ground and warp the stone to try and trap the enemy.... how much can I trap them?
You know, the volume of shapable stone is given in the spell's stats, so you don't have to make this up from scratch. (Hint: Some math can convert the volume from "cubic feet" to "number of 1-inch-thick, 5ftx5ft panels".)
Can I wall them in completely as per Wall of Stone, a 5th level spell? Can I effect multiple enemies?
Again, how much stone can you shape? It's already right there in the spell for you.
Depending on those answers is this in line with a 3rd level spell?
Remember that for sorc/wiz, it's actually 4th-level.
So compare "I use my touch-range stone shape to try and grab the legs of one or two nearby creatures" to "I stand at the other end of the room and use black tentacles to grapple everyone in a 20ft radius, and also deal damage to them round after round".
I'm not seeing the problem.
It's a lot of questions that need answering... but I think the one thing we can all agree on is that Reflex negates.
For grabbing/trapping someone, I'd probably more go for a version of CMB vs CMD. But Reflex could work too, depending.
What about creatures that have detect magic constant, like, say a sprite? If I have a sprite familiar, he shouldn't have to concentrate three rounds to point to a square, say "he's over there!" and I drop a fireball, no?
The spell already has a duration of "concentration", so any random 1st-level wizard can have it going continuously if he likes. Why would your familiar's version function any differently than that?
Also, let us not overlook the plausability that a being able to cast invisibility most likely has items of a magical nature (and therefore other auras to be detected.)
*about 15 seconds pass*
"So... I'm picking up an assortment of magical auras of various strengths, all of them clustered together in a small space with no visible sources of the auras. I wonder what could be going on?"
Nope, a lingering aura always has a strength of "dim" (even weaker than "faint"), so you'll know whether it's a currently active aura or not, even before we check for LoS.
Ooooh, interesting point on needing line of sight to ID the aura's school. Okay, so I guess how it goes down is this:
Round 1: Determine that there is, in fact, magic somewhere in that 60ft cone.