On the topic of the short duration of the summoning spells:
I have a houserule in my games that changes the duration of the spells to "concentration + what it would normally be".
This makes summoning worthwile on lower levels and on top of that gives the players the option to creatively use summons out of combat. (they once sold a summoned horse while the wizard was sitting around the corner concentrating.)
I used max HP in a campaign once and it caused big problems. I had a rogue, a sorcerer, a 3rd party druid-like necromancer and a fighter in the party. The casters stayed out of melee, so they didn't matter as much, but the rogue and the fighter went into melee together. Of course, a fighter will most probably always have higher HP than a rogue, but giving them full HP each level, combined with the high con of the fighter ended up creating a difference in HP that was so great, that by ~14th level anything that had a chance to bring the fighter down to 0 hp within a reasonable time did enough damage to oneshot the rogue on a decent roll without crits.
The Combat Manager Application works pretty well. It has most of the standard creatures and if one is not present, you can make your own. It rolls the dice, adds the + to attack and even rolls the damage for you and you can click the reroll button for additional identical minions.
Bonus XP for good roleplaying work wonders too. Or if you play without XP (which I recommend), make up an alternate reward system. I award something one of my players has jokingly called "happy-points" (as you can imagine, the name stuck). I award them for exceptional roleplaying and for creative problem solving in character and a certain amount of them can be exchanged into a reroll or a free skillpoint.
At my table this wouldn't work.
See, this is P&P, with actual thinking, learning, "living" NPCs, not a computer game where the guy you attacked will be all like "hm, I guess it was the wind" and return to business-as-usual with an arrow still sicking in his head.
@ Scaleclaw: If that is an honest post, I would encourage you to maybe look for another system. Of course socialplay-characters can be built in Pathfinder, but I would never run a campaign in pathfinder that fits for a pacifist/coward character.
It's a shame about the "no custom magic items"-clause. Followers of Cayden Cailean can create an alcoholic beverage instead of water with th create water cantrip. I have a player who's character refuses to drink anything else than a certain brand of beer, so he has an everfull mug of it (really easy and not very expensive via the magic crafting rules.)
@ Detect magic:
For the same reason I sometimes ask them for their exact marching order and spacing or roll some random dice behind the screen, ask one of the players what their bonus on acertain saving throw is and pretend to write something down or have them roll sense motive when the NPC is telling the truth.
If you get tired of having them roll all the time, you can either have them preroll some checks, write them down and use those or treat them as taking 10 on their perception. I mostly do the second whenever the PCs are aware they are in hazardous territory and don't have a reason to be in a hurry or otherwise distracted.
I have a player wo is going to be playing a holy gun paladin of Cayden Caylean with a musket. Since firearms are going to be EXTREMELY rare in the world, he bought the glamered enchantment for it, so he doesn't raise too many questions when he carries it around.
So far we've come up with a rolled up blanket or a huge mead horn, but we're not really satisfied with either.
When I still used XP, I awarded full XP for a fight that was avoided through non-violent means, (this counts only if the obstacle represented by that fight was overcome. The players can't say "hey, I see a dragon, over there and by running from him i have avoided the fight and thus receive XP) sometimes I even awarded a bonus for especially clever solutions.
I let my players transfer the magic from one weapon to another, so they don't have to give up their family heirloom/awesome iconic battle-spade/you name it.
Concerning Spade-Guy: he is fully proficient with axes of course, since that weapon is essentially an axe.
The thing I'd like to bring to peoples minds is: None of my players actually aked for this, because they didn't think of it. Only saying "I'd allow it, if anybody asked" is one step to short in my opinion. My players only started do utilise it, once I added it to my official list of houserules, just because it didn't cross their minds before.
I'm sure everybody on these boards has noticed the issue that there is often one special combination of weapons and feats that is just the best (or close to it) for a certain class. (Good example is the dervish dancing scimitar wielding dex-magus).
For example, one of my players wanted to play a sword-and-board fighter, a big, slightly dumb brute without a lot of finesse. According to a guide he read, the scimitar is the optimal weapon for that build, since he wanted to go a high crit- sword and shield TWF-Route. (I don't want to discuss wether or not that is the best decision or anything, just an example). Now the problem was: A scimitar is way to slim and elegant for the picture he had in mind. Under normal circumstances he would have been forced to choose between the optimal numbers and the fluff he had in mind.
Of course there are limits to this, since it's difficult to refluff a weapon as one with a different damage type for example, or a one handed weapon as two handed or stuff like that, but aside from that, why limit the players?
After I have started to use this "rule" in my games, it encouraged the players to come up with way more interesting and creative character concepts. The player will have a hard time deciding to play that cool pharasmian temple fighter with the gravedigger vibe who uses a spade in combat, if you force him to use the crappy stats for an improvised weapon. If you allow him to describe it as reinforced and sharpened and just use the stats for the greataxe on the other hand, the probability of seing that awesome concept at your table increase drastically.
In my opinion this is a "rule" from which the whole table only benefits and I have yet to encounter any difficulties with it.
Since I'm neither as experienced as many and wouldn't consider myself to be more intelligent, my question is, why do so few other people, if any, seem to do this? Are there any problems with this approach that I have overlooked?
While logic would support the arguments of your GM, there is no facing in pathfinder. All Creatures are techincally considered to be looking in all directions at once, so there is no Bonus for attacking from behind and neither are you flat footed against such attacks.
Tell your GM, that his houserules will unbalance the game IMMENSELY. If he Sticks to them, I recommend making a new character and playing a rogue with a high sneak, because apparently you will allways get sneak attack damage just for sneaking up from behind.
All of the snakes would get flanking bonuses on you 'though, which results in a +2 for each of them, since they each have a "partner" on your other side.
Sure, the immovable tank is strong, but only if you give him the right environment. If you always use single melee enemys that charge the party head on, you'll never get past him.
Ways to target your Squishies that come to mind:
- ranged enemys
One thing, A Coup de Grace is not just an automatical Crit, but on top of that crit forces the victim to make a Fortitude Save with a DC of 10 + damage dealt. Even if the monster is unable to score crits (which I find quite strange, what reason for that would there be, fluff-wise?) it would inflict a maximum of 6 damage with its dagger (ignoring the chain, since a reach weapon can't attack adjacent targets and you need to be adjacent to a creature you want to CdG), meaning a dc 16 save against death. That's still pretty harsh against low level characters.
I had such a moment in the last session of my warhammer 40k only war game.
My players were sent to find and investigate an enemy camp, find out everything about it and then report back to the main assault force that would arrive within 3 days, after they had reported the location of the enemy camp. While they were watching the camp and had found out that it contained about 120 enemy foot-soldiers and some elite troops (a lot more than anticipated by their commander), they managed to get caught by one of the outposts of said camp. They killed him, before he could get an alarm of, but of course they knew that with the next change of guard shifts in 6 hours (they knew the schedule by then) the element of surprise would be gone and then their attack team would have no chance to overtake the enemy, while they where alert.
They did not. They decided, between the 6 of them, to attack the camp on their own. At first I thought they were crazy, but then the sniper/scout/demolitions guy of the crew did the most amazing chain of stealth and demolitions tests, to rig the whole enemy camp with explosives from their own storage. After that they managed to silently snipe the guards in the heavy gun emplacements on both ends of the camp, without ever alerting anybody to their presence (iz was night)
If you take away all monster feats, you REALLY gimp the challenge of some. All flying enemys with flyby attack are being considerably nerfed for example, since they need to stay in range after their attack and probably eat a full attack from whatever they were attacking. Not a good idead Imho.
Taking all feats away from all monsters really takes away a lot from the game, since the monsers become way more similar to each other.
Monsters using feats does not really slow down the combat, it's just more prep work for the GM.
Simple rule at my table:
The monsters work the way I play them. I try to be as well prepared as possible, but of course I make mistakes from time to time. We just assume that the negative and positive mistakes cancel each other out on the long run.
As for Monster Feats the Summoner is trying to use, another rule on my table is: If you want to use any ability/feat/spell, you have to know exactly how it works and if you don't you check the details BEFORE your turn.
The diagonal rule is a little illogical in terms of distance traveled, but should not break the game in any way I am aware of.
I'm not certain if there is an official ruling on this, but i'm pretty sure that the price reduction via alignment or race restrictions is only meant to be applied to sale value, not to crafting price. It Uses the same "ingredients" after all, it's just less valuable on the free market because there are less potenital buyers.
I think the undead blooded necromancer gets an ability to be seen as one of their own by mindless undead, so giving it to PCs without that bloodline would at least require a major effort on their side. By RAW, i don't think there's anything that even keeps unintelligent undead from attacking each other...
Thanks guys, so i guess this will not be an option for them, if the first of them has to start holding his breath after 12 Minutes...
I don't see how this is overpowering. They spend the actions of two characters AND a certain amount of gold EVERY ROUND to achieve this. This has to get really pricey after a while... (+ the bard is standing right there in combat. Diesn't he even trigger an Aoo every time he casts the spell into the weapon? And since the paladin isn't doing the spellcasting himself and is busy all round waving around his weapon, I would probably include some kind of roll to see if the bard even manages to touch the sword to refill it, but that is houseruling of course.
Did this with the sorcerer in my game, no balance problems so far. The versatility of the prepared casters makes up for it in my eyes. Never underestimate the power of a wizard who knows what he'll be fighting...
@ Roberta: there is an equivalent to the pearls of power for sorcerers. It costs twice as much though. Cant remember the name at the moment.
No, actually it doesn't sound completely reasonable to me. Even if we assume that the druid weirdly oscillates all over his 5ft square, which we have to do for the sake of PF simplicity, while he is earth gliding, there CAN be something else where he is, namely earth and stone. (earth elementals don't displace the material they glide through) Since the earth and stone is also all over the square, an attacker can only hit the druid when he is at one specific end of the square, not all the time. How you want to represent that in your rules is up to you, but ignoring it is pretty weird I think.
Up until recently I was always sure on how to play this, but last session one of my players made me uncertain. If a creatures SLA-entry looks, for example like this:
At will: greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), light, major image (DC 20)
3/day: greater dispel magic, mirage arcana (DC 20), rainbow pattern (DC 22), spell turning, sunbeam, wall of force
1/day: scintillating pattern (DC 25), screen (DC 25), symbol of insanity (DC 25)
How many castings of any spell does it get?
I know this is kind of a necro, but wouldn't only the jump up be movement, the grapple attempt at the end of the turn and the way back down just be passive falling?
Depends on the point buy you used (if any) or the stats your players rolled. If they rolled for stats, use this point buy claculator to find out what point buy equivalent they are.) CR assumes a party of 4 with 15 point buy. So if you have one additional player and probably a higher point buy (since most people seem to do that), you should adjust the APL by +1 and treat them as if the APL was 6.