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Then perhaps some rewording is in order.
An invisible barrier are the first three words in AMF text. Collision of english and RAW I can buy but ... (barrier to spells not the same as barrier to creatures and all that)
My first thought is more along the lines of well it is a first level wizard. Expecting a first level wizard to be interesting because of spell availability and choices is not going to happen at least for me. And it sounds like that is all the OP initially had. Any first level character is going to have a difficult road being interesting without background and seeing potential ahead. As in just how interesting would Gandalf or Elminster be at first level really based on spells alone? Much more about the background and journey ahead at that point.
Just had another thought ... FAQ time maybe?
Forcing an abjuration barrier against creatures that the spell keeps at bay collapses the barrier.
This bit of text comes from Antilife Shell. But it doesn't say forcing Antilife Shell against a creature it says "abjuration barrier" which AMF is. Does this preclude using AMF by moving up into the Wizard or other casters face (or any creatures for that matter)?
Then we have this from Antiplant Shell:
As with many abjuration spells, forcing the barrier against creatures that the spell keeps at bay strains and collapses the field.
Thoughts? Seems like the tactic of using AMF offensively against a caster/creature just got stopped cold.
Maybe there is errata somewhere but oddly enough AMF does have a range listed ... 10ft. The range is not personal.
Edit: PS Several emanation spells are similar - Antilife Shell, Antiplant Shell, Globe of Invulnerability, and Prismatic Sphere to name a few. All have a range listed as 10ft.
Other thoughts in no particular order.
Don't get trapped in the AMF, keep your movement options open.
Wall of Force, Prismatic Wall, Prismatic Sphere remain unaffected by AMF. I would consider Forcecage to also be uneffected.
Artifacts are not effected.
Golems are not effected at least physically. An Iron Golem can still smack them upside the head ... and most PCs are at least as dependent on magic/magic items as you are for defense and offense. Ditto for any other non-Summoned allies.
Never thought about it before but using Greater Spell Immunity on a Summoned Creature should keep it from 'winking out' in an AMF. Obviously select a Summons with strong non-magical attack capability.
Similarly Gate should work to call an ally/allies to help. The calling version is not summoning magic, the creature cannot be dispelled and will be affected by an AMF just like you ... but it won't wink out, just select something again with strong attack ability while otherwise effected by an AMF (i.e. a Solar is still a fairly frightening archer etc. even if it's cleric casting abilities are nerfed considering it will be shooting at something also not benefitting from magic.)
That's where knowing your party comes into play when designing a BBEG lair vs your party at high levels of play.
Passwall, Phase Door, or even Disintegrate will blow/bypass physical walls full of incorporeal undead. Toss in Death Ward and Sunburst when you know the BBEG trick. (Merely as an example, not saying DM_Blake's idea is a bad one as it's not)
Dispel Magic and/or Disjunction make very short work of Teleport Traps and many of the various Wall spells. While Arcane Sight, True Seeing and various Divinations (and plain old skill) can aid in detecting the presence of such barriers/traps.
The planar barrier surrounding your very own demiplane much more difficult but even it is a planar boundary nothing more, nothing less and spells can breach those as well but it does mean the GM better have a very solid grasp of what they consider the metaphysics of their world.
From the GM side of things it reminds me a lot of Charm Person in terms of as written issues (the Cha check can of worms among other things).
Just how many unintelligent undead you run into with any significant number of HD is largely dependent on ... you guessed it, your GM. Most of the higher HD undead in the Bestiaries are anything but unintelligent and many would put the non-wizards in the party to shame.
Potent yes. How potent, however, depends an awful lot on the GM and the overall campaign. Plenty of controls built into it for the GM to make the spell as reasonable as the GM needs it to be. By the time 15+ HD enters to picture so does Dominate Monster, Planar Ally, Summon IX, etc, etc..
Difficult to penetrate by whom? Or more exactly by what levels/capabilities of whom?
How much wealth are you willing to blow ... i.e. That is a lot of wealth (even for PCs) to cover most lairs with Teleportation Circle traps? And where are these traps sending folks? Also sounds as if you've already figured away to keep those teleport circles from annoying your minions and slaves, yes? (since those traps teleport anyone standing in them or have been made relatively obvious)
Frankly both the Walls and the Teleport Traps sound more annoying than threatening or effective for the wealth needed to make permanent. My Loremaster, for instance, might just decide to drive you into bankruptcy by destroying your barriers, let you replace, destroy again >>(rinse repeat till you run out of funds to replace or elect not to replace).
Gravity Well - I see no reason in the description why Gravity Well would eliminate or alter the (by RAW) vertical requirement of any Wall spell. The spell changes the strength not the relative direction of gravity near as I can tell.
Blazing Rainbow - Any reason to believe from the text you can't just walk (move) through it? It seems to only effect those who are resisting being moved from the bridge version. The spell does seem to lack some clarity however (or a lot of footnotes). Nothing, for instance, says those effects apply to someone being Bull Rushed in the direction of the bridge vs off the side (and it's hard to say, for me, if that is RAI or not).
Very old spell (pre 1980 AD&D) and I suspect the concentration bit is left over from earlier pre 3.0 writing and simply meant to indicate the caster has to stop and focus on calling the lightning as his 'attack' for that round (i.e. unable to cast other spells, melee, or range weapon attack etc.) and nothing more (it won't fizzle the bolt much less the spell itself). The spell, like a number of older spells, needs some editorial touch-up perhaps to clarify what today's writers/designers intend for today's version of the game.
That said, the RAW is IMO unclear. So if my DM said "sorry, Forbiddance trumps Gate", I might roll my eyes a little but then I'd carry on with the adventure. YMMV.
While I may disagree with your position on Forbiddance vs Gate I do agree with this bit. GM makes his call and either way this is fairly minor, move on and enjoy the story.
el cuervo wrote:
I suppose since this is the Rules forum that would be correct.
But honestly that's a feat created to do something that a character should already have the option to due without needing a feat to accomplish and should really be for something above and beyond the basic ability to whack at something that is quite potentially right in your face already. But clearly that is my opinion and not apparently RAW.
Edit/PS: And I get that attacking a limb or other natural attack is something above and beyond what is normally allowed (and that I don't have issue with). It's the reach non-natural weapon that strikes me as wrong somehow. But I suspect most of the time it would just be easier to step back from the window/arrow loop, lift an appropriate finger and pelt the guy with a range attack or spell till he realizes who can't get at who (or move outside his vision etc.).
No, FoM will not allow a creature to move through a Magic Circle.
A citation of the rules is pointless as I would cite the same rules but interpret those rules differently.
I'd rather see a more compelling argument from the minority opinion if this is in fact more than what appears to be a devil's advocate or interesting topic to debate based opinion.
1) You're the GM. Tell your players your issue with 'effect/affects' ... that it might cause issues and if it does you and they will work it out. Nothing is necessarily written in stone (see rule 0) and every now and then you will need to make it up on the fly. If there's a problem then you and your group will work it out. Do not over think the problem when there might not even be one to worry about. You could write a thousand pages of home rules and barely break the surface of "what if". Deciding, often on the fly, what happens in those "wtf!, what if" moments is what you as a GM are there for.
2) I'm not sure but I also get the feeling you are trying to mix the english definition and the game definition (what ever that might be) together. Often the two are the same. But you seem to be extending the english meaning onto the game mechanic (or maybe vice versa). Yes Fireball (to pull one spell out of a few hundred) has effects as per the game i.e. it creates a firey blast doing d6/caster level maximum 10d6 barring other stuff. And yes it also gives off light, has color maybe smell and a bunch of other things that are effects (english) but not associated with defined game mechanics.
^This wouldn't surprise me at all. Grab is for Bite and Claw attacks, Pull is for positioning (in this case to the mouth for the Bite).
After all it's trying to simulate-> attack with tongue, drag victim to mouth and chomp. Any 'grapple' is a side consequence of trying to eat while having still living, squirming food in its not so little lizard mouth as the lizard itself doesn't really care whether the food is currently dead or alive, it's just hungry. Something a Tarrasque grasps quite well :p
Might be RAW and I have no issue with not being able to reach and attack him. His weapon, particularly on a round in which he attacked me, I do have a hard time buying into RAW or not. It's called Sunder and if I got into that situation I'd be annoyed if not able to do so. And that annoyance would skyrocket if not allowed to do so as a Ready Action to Sunder when he did try to poke me.
Unrelated to the rules discussion, have you ever seen slow motion footage of a chameleon or frog catching bugs with its tongue? Granted it isn't the same mechanically (no grapple, creature pulled all the way into mouth in one action) but you rarely see the bug getting enough time to react. If they get away at all, it is usually due to poor aim on the original tongue attack (complete miss or glancing blow).
While I'm hardly an expert at running PF grapple rules (compared to 3.5) I am getting the general feel that while mechanically it's broken into steps the overall effect is fairly "target has minimal time to react and it pretty much happens all at once" Grapple started as a free action (grab), pulled 5 ft towards bite free action (pull) and Bite attack with 10 ft normal/natural reach for large creature none of which provokes unless I'm missing something (which I may very well be).
Edit: Bah, reading again the attack sequence above is quite debateable ... holy complicated O.O
I've been thinking about Forbiddance vs Gate and at the moment probably go with the following. The Gate would in fact form (the creation subschool effect) but travel via the Gate would be blocked as long as the Forbiddance remained. One of the advantages to this would be the potential to create a situation/encounter/story where you could have someone "forming and holding open" the Gate while another group is attempting to knock out the Forbiddance and allow whatever to come through the Gate. Any usage of the calling subschool version would be blocked.
I also tend to see such lists of spells as in Forbiddance as examples and not intended to be an all inclusive list unless it is extremely clear that the list is in fact intended to be all inclusive (which I do not believe is the case with Forbiddance). Otherwise it tends to create issues when introducing new publications or player created materials and spells to the campaign.
Edit: Note for instance that neither Shadow Walk nor similar magics are mentioned at all. And I likewise believe planar travel into a Forbiddance area would be blocked when using these spells.
Or Forbiddance or Hallow/Unhallow + Dimensional Anchor
Or any AoE with sufficient area to hit both locations, i.e. anything with a 30ft radius or greater.
Edit: Hrrmph, an AoE wouldn't trigger the Mirror Dodge unless it was a Ranged Touch attack of some sort though (i.e. something like Meteor Swarm).
My Self wrote:
Me either, my search (relatively cursory I'll admit) didn't uncover any but my feeling is it got lost in translating the old 3.0/3.5 rules into the new Perception rules. Using the Search skill in 3.5 was a full round action when used to search a 5 ft by 5 ft area or when used to search a volume of goods 5 ft on a side.
Serious but ... protection from Nightmare, particularly when used by a Wendigo.
And there's a thread not long ago on this very topic. Seeing if I can find it.
"Hiding the rope from rope trick" posted by Ravingdork back on May 24, 2015
Wow now I know I type way too much sometimes :D Said more or less what I tried to say above in two sentences.
While I get what is meant I think saying PF worlds don't use real world physics is not truly correct either or you wouldn't default to falling off a cliff if you jumped off one etc. i.e. gravity does exist even in PF. Magic does take and bend those laws and sometimes does so with a vengeance and problems can arise where those two meet.
As to Fabricate there's a few hoops to jump through first. Even if diamonds come from coal on Golarion (or most other fantasy worlds) is your character even remotely aware of this fact? I totally agree with this comment:
Likely, you don't know how to do this non-magically, which means Fabricate can't do it magically for you.
The vast majority of coal becomes other stuff when done by natural geological processes and the portion that becomes diamonds is generally not of gem quality. It's good for putting on a industrial drill or grinder not into a wedding band and I suspect even a top flight gemcutter using modern equipment isn't going to be able to change this fact.
In short I largely agree with Aelryinth.
Vague thoughts on the subject:
1) Perhaps we need a base DC for the Perception skill to notice a spell being cast (or magical effect being generated to cover SLA etc.). If I were to establish one it would likely be in the 0 or even -5 area (but not as bad as "hearing the sound of battle DC -10)
2) Maybe certain spells need a "Subtle" descriptor making them individually harder to notice.
But overall it does seem that currently and historically that hiding you are casting a spell is intentionally difficult if not impossible to do by RAW.
And last do not forget that any Spellcraft check is modified by Perception mods (distance, concealment/conditions and other factors). Note that one of those mods is "creature making check is distracted" so, in fact, Bluff might be useful that way by RAW. One of the "other factors" I'd be likely to toss in is casting time with Standard Action being the baseline of +0 DC.
Keep in mind too that the game (and specifically the majority of its spells and rules) were not designed with large scale combat in mind. You run into the same general issue when talking about besieging castles or fortified settlements as well as things like ship to ship combat. I think in reality you'd be looking at a couple of outcomes in such a world. Either there isn't any real defense against such things akin to how do planet earth populations protect themselves against NBC warfare and it becomes a MAD situation where societal pressures are the main deterrence to usage or defenses (in this case spells/magic/ship design) attempt to keep pace in an endless arms race (offense vs defense).
And probably some of both would occur with something like ship to ship combat the tipping point being the relative availability of casters and magic in that world/campaign.
Because of the above thoughts I tend to personally favor an outlook not to different from Torbynes. Namely have fun and encourage player creativity ... let them be the frontrunners in the current cycle of the arms race. Designing and altering ships, researching new spells and creating new items (magical or otherwise) if they seem so inclined. If not one can always handwave reality away and focus on the fun if not so realistic side of things.
Dispel Evil will flip the tables quite nicely and is likely available at the levels a CR 17 creature is a foe.
The range (unlimited) seems to indicate the target must be on the same plane of existence. So anything placing the target on another plane should do it by putting the target out of range.
CRB, Magic wrote:
Unlimited: The spell reaches anywhere on the same plane of existence.
A Rope Trick would do this since it creates an extradimensional space and has the following text:
CRB, Rope Trick text wrote:
Creatures in the extradimensional space are hidden, beyond the reach of spells (including divinations), unless those spells work across planes.
By 8th level the duration of Rope Trick should allow a night's undisturbed rest.
Random thoughts and ideas
Any dedicated archer character near 20th level is likely not going to miss owing to miss chances (and hitting AC 40 reliably at well beyond 60ft is also not much of an issue).
I agree that going above a 50% miss chance is not a good idea. How do you get harder to hit than something you can't even see? I also agree with the assessment that such chances will just lengthen the fight from a distance.
Maybe the Gate itself is so easy to see because it is blindingly bright and that it is what causes miss chances. Blindingly bright as if you're looking at something as "bright as the sun". Cerberus simply happens to be the 'gunfighter' who always has the sun behind him.
Maybe there is a howling wind rushing from the gate which blows any missile weapons fired towards it auto miss (as if effected by Fickle Winds) so any PCs using ranged weaponry must be upwind between the Gate and Cerberus (cone effect from gate out to ... 120 ft). And perhaps it must be resisted like Wind Force: Windstorm (helpfully tending to blow PCs away from the Gate and towards Cerberus). Clever PC's may use Control Winds or similar to alter/negate this effect of the Gate. Maybe this wind effectively halves the range of Cerberus' breath weapon when he spits towards the gate but doubles his range when he spits away from the gate.
Cerberus has a rather solid ability to track by scent ... pretty odd and contradictory ability for something that never leaves the vicinity of the gate. Points towards while he doesn't like to leave the area he will if necessary in particular to fulfill his duty to ward the Gate.
Nothing really says which side of the Gate he must be on. Maybe he simple retreats to the other side and waits if heavily threatened by something. Perhaps Cerberus is the only being outside of Greater Deities that can easily move back and forth through the Gate (and perhaps readily see something on the other side of the Gate as well). So he waits until the PC's get close to the gate then emerges (passes through the Gate) to attack.
The Gate is visible at great distance but that doesn't mean Cerberus is standing out in the open. His den is a cavern adjoining the portal. If found outside his den and seriously threatened and hurt he simply retreats within the allow his Regeneration to heal him. He has Spring attack and solid Perception. The den gives him total cover but is well within his movement range to emerge, attack and retreat back under cover if needed.
The Howl is readily useable from within the total cover of the den and can be heard within several hundred feet of the Gate even when used under the total cover of the den.
Using the Gate requires a key. The key to use the Gate is a chunk of Cerberus' black drool-matted fur. Because Cerberus rarely if ever leaves the area around the Gate, the area around the Gate (and specifically his den) is also the only place one can readily find the fur. This might also explain why only Cerberus can readily use the gate ... he always has a handy supply of black drool-matted fur :p
Maybe Cerberus is effectively immortal (that last line of his descriptive text is merely disinformation :D), you kill him and lich-like he merely reforms within a day or so within his den (and ready to try and stop the living on their return trip). Or maybe one of the souls he's previously devoured gets reborn as the new Cerberus 24 hours later.
Whether there's enough "drug" to be effective depends entirely on the drug in question. You don't have to inhale more than a few drops of certain nerve agents to be seriously if not lethally effected. The question isn't so much how much drug as how effectively the crafter can make it spread out nicely over an area to get inhaled with his throwable weaponized device as a knowledgeable crafter is going to select a drug which doesn't require a large amount/volume to be effective.
But as this thread is clearly indicative expect some major table variation.
As for BBT's question the answer is pretty much the same as how one answers "How do you drag lots of Tanglefoot bags (4 lbs each), Acid Flasks, or Holy Water vials (each weighing 1.0 lbs)?" Characters regularly carry absurd amounts of equipment via methods ranging from encumbrance rules largely ignored to multitudes of spells and items.
@TheYell - a link to said rules would be great.
And I agree with Claxon, a fair bit of GM rule creation is going have to happen but some raw RAW is there. See the Poison section of the Glossary in the CRB. There are no specific rules that I am aware of but Craft Alchemy to weaponize the drug/poison/chemical agent sounds like a good place to start. And I'd probably also start with allowing the inhalant poisons to be made into a 'special substance and item' weapon similar to other such items and go from there as comfort with fairness, game balance and other such mechanics fell into place.
Glord Funkelhand wrote:
Taking the RaW, if a drug is listed as "type: inhaled" does this mean I could use drug as throwing weapon by targeting the square the create I want to effect is standing in?
No, while useful info for the purpose of rules creation (for the GM/you) of turning stuff into a weaponize "grenade" it's there I suspect because as a result of Environment/Trap Design for the GM.
PS: Far as I am concerned the difference between the terms drug and poison is largely in the intended use of whatever chemical is involved (It's where "LD 50" and related terminology come from in medicine).
Bluff and Sense Motive ideally as class skills.
Detect Thoughts - for obvious reasons
Touch of Idiocy - Hopefully it doesn't drop things too far, a potential drawback to its use.
Tongues - For when you don't speak their language, now you do.
Bestow Curse - Perhaps work with your GM for something creative beyond the 1st two bullet points though they have their use too -> "For every time you tell a lie you must now speak a truth" ... or something similar.
And remember your Summons for their skills as well combat ability (and to watch your back while you focus on the subject) -> Lantern Archon (Sense Motive and Diplomacy), Hound Archon (Intimidate and Sense Motive), Mephit (Bluff).
And expect a lot of variance between GM's. Personally if I knew story-wise or from party chatter that the character was going to be subject to being Raised or Rezzed in the near future I'd not have the familiar 'immediately or within an hour' return to 'normal'. Might even have it fade slowly over time (days??) while treating it as an NPC remaining near the corpse or even perhaps loitering near where the soul was if for some reason the soul was in a separate location. If, for example, his soul was being effected by magic to remain near the scene of their death the familiar may remain near the soul rather than following the corpse (whether the party or some creature is dragging it off etc.). Basically it's a potential story device and if suitable to the campaign, party, character I'd use it as such.
No with something like the castle above I'd probably consider that to be some portion of the castle, maybe even just treat it as an actual building and assign damage to portions of it. But no the castle (or other 'super' colossal creature) is in no way is going to squeeze down to a 30 by 30 cube for most purposes.
Gronk de'Morcaine wrote:
Short answer: no there are no rules for Spellcraft to identify such a thing. Detect Magic can be used as described in its text to reveal the strength of an observed aura which can give a rather vague range of levels of strength involved. But no, again it doesn't really say yes that's maxed or not. There isn't even a defined set of rules/mods for either skill that can say yes or no there is metamagic involved in the casting of the spell, for example. Something which could quite reasonably, to my mind, be created as a campaign rule.
Gronk de'Morcaine wrote:
I agree should probably not buff the enemy. But they could voluntarily fail their saves vs some debuff spells like bane. Anyone observing would feel it a reasonable spell to cast on the enemy and not realize you are casting it on your allies.
Whether or not bluffing is a good idea really depends on the skill(s) of the bluffer and the observers and to some extent the skill being bluffed. Note someone with Spellcraft could even ID a spell cast at the them/the party and elect to fail that save if it served a purpose to allow themselves to be debuffed by the foe(s).
Gronk de'Morcaine wrote:
As far as doing poorly at weapons or skill checks. Say opposed bluff vs sense motive checks with a penalty of -1/2 on the bluff check total for every point by which you reduce the attack or damage roll. Seam reasonable?
I'd probably keep it simple myself and just apply a flat increase to the Sense Motive DC. Keep in mind the d20 roll involved already places a considerable variance then stack all the other potential mods (archetypes, traits, magic items etc.) the overall range of 'all possible results' is well rather huge when you compare two characters even if several levels apart.
I agree that any ranged character is likely to get targeted first/fast and as this dragon most likely knows which of the characters can put out the serious ranged dps at a target within an AMF. The archer better be figuring out how to avoid/escape a Snatch attempt while within an AMF, which, in addition to lowering his Attack rolls, is likely shutting down his methods of surviving underwater. No Freedom of Movement, Waterbreathing nor Pearl of the Sirines, etc. is going to be functioning aka how long before drowning is a serious threat while grappled by said dragon.
Random thoughts/things not to forget in the heat of battle:
The lair could certainly be near lightless if both underground and underwater especially if the water is very murky. This also makes any light sources likely less effective and any magical light is going to be instantly suppressed within an AMF. Communication with anyone grabbed, snatched or dragged away while in the AMF is also going to be just this side of impossible ("Hey anyone just see where Justin the Golden Archer got dragged off to?")
Hosts of fear using Undead, haunted partially submerged temple grounds, dark murky swamps and underwater lairs, ... why do I suddenly want to create some level appropriate 'advanced' Will O' Wisps allies/co-inhabitants for this dragon?
Tossing some spitballs back :p
1) No Somatic component, no arcane spell failure.
Good point about Bull Rush and that is more or less what I would assume. Still it's a bit odd since both tripping and grappling would also require moving or manipulating an opponent to fail to mention bull rush as well.
I guess one way I can agree with the no random portion to the spell is that the damage described is not scaled to the caster level but size of the object. In other words the same object hurled by casters of differing levels does the same damage. The only change is the higher level caster can potentially hurl a heavier object.
Size of hole covered (need a big enough one for LoE).
If the barrel is in motion concentration check involved.
Moving/Mobility is going to be a serious issue unless using more magic(i.e. Floating Disc etc.).
Adamantine or other metal construction. Expense, weight and further mobility issues as a result. And as mentioned vulnerability to certain spells (What do you mean the barrel has been Greased?!). Then again riding a mount makes one similarly vulnerable so *shrug*.
Ability to end up in your own prison ... what do you mean the wizard used Arcane Lock on the barrel?
On the other hand I have a soft spot for:
Wondrous 2-man Barrel contraption:
Apparatus of the Crab
Aura strong evocation and transmutation; CL 19th
Slot none; Price 90,000 gp; Weight 500 lbs.
At first glance, an inactive apparatus of the crab appears to be a large, sealed iron barrel big enough to hold two Medium creatures. Close examination, and a DC 20 Perception check, reveals a secret catch that opens a hatch at one end. Anyone who crawls inside finds 10 (unlabeled) levers and seating for two Medium or Small occupants. These levers allow those inside to activate and control the apparatus's movements and actions.
Operating a lever is a full-round action, and no lever may be operated more than once per round. However, since two characters can fit inside, the apparatus can move and attack in the same round. The device can function in water up to 900 feet deep. It holds enough air for a crew of two to survive 1d4+1 hours (twice as long for a single occupant). When activated, the apparatus looks something like a giant lobster.
When active, an apparatus of the crab has the following characteristics: hp 200; hardness 15; Spd 20 ft., swim 20 ft.; AC 20 (–1 size, +11 natural); Attack 2 pincers +12 melee (2d8); CMB +14; CMD 24.
I believe the answer is yes keeping in mind that two creatures cannot occupy the same space at the end of a turn and what gear the PC may or may not be wearing. A wraith moving through a PC would have no effect at all on the PC by itself. Causing damage or ability drain etc. still requires an attack roll and the wraith cannot remain in the space with the PC at the end of the turn. Feel free to add any cosmetic/dramatic and purely colorful effect you wish if you so desire i.e. the PC feels a cold chill run up his back etc. but there would be no ingame mechanical effect by RAW.
It is interesting that the rules mention grappling and trip attacks but are quiet on the subject of a bull rush.
If there are no banks ... then welcome to the First (literally) Bank of the Original Poster.
There have been such individuals (and probably institutions) since the idea of money came to be even if they weren't called 'banks' particularly with the growth and development of towns, cities and the mercantile industry.
In a generally good-aligned community, do you allow your players to get free healing services from the church?
Normally no or if I did it would be the minimum needed to keep a character from dying.
If so, do you find this reduces the challenge of say, clearing a dungeon of Shadows when they can just pop out and get restored (aside from paying material costs of course).
Yes that would reduce the effective challenge, somewhat akin to having a cohort or healing NPC in the group. About the only difference is they need to survive long enough to leave and seek help.
What about channelling to heal wounds?
Whether its channeled or spells or some other resource the answer is essentially the same.
Or if you do charge your players for these kinds of spellcasting services, how do the clerics justify it if they follow a good-aligned God?
How does the ER room justify it? Hint they heal first then seek payment if they don't send you up the road to the next facility. Point being technically it isn't free. And that's if it is potentially life threatening. Not to mention the mound of paperwork proving your need.
If I use this magic on you what about if a follower, one of my flock, shows up needing aid and now I cannot provide it? My deity expects me to use my wisdom to give to those who truly need it, do you? I'll happily give you a warm dry room, food, rest and tend to your wounds "the old fashioned" way if you wish (maybe in a rich well to do area/community). Magic and other highly limited resources are for emergencies not skinned knees and other minor lumps and bumps. And as a good character you should be thinking twice about taking free (and limited) service(s) which might deprive someone who truly needs and cannot afford the service shouldn't you?
Foul Necromancy --
Sanctuary uses the wording directly in referring to the to the nature of the attack. It also does not prevent a warded creature from being harmed or affected by AoE attacks. If you are under the effects of Sanctuary you are not going to end the warding if you cast Obscuring Mist or Darkness even if foes are in the area. That'll take something like Entangle, Fireball, or Acid Fog. At least that is how I view it and believe RAI.
And yes you can use it on yourself. I had a character use it once, then deliberately move through an area where a large number of foes were set to use AoO's with reach weapons. She drew all the AoO's and the remainder of the party entered and closed with the foes without getting hammered by the AoO's.
If you "fire" an arrow off with no intent to harm and or no attack roll I, as a GM, would not have it break Invisibility or trigger a save vs Sanctuary (or cause Sanctuary to end if you were warded). I would how ever point out in the case of Invisibility that the arrow would become visible and the noise from shooting the arrow are both solid reasons to potentially cause your position to be revealed (i.e. allow a foe to learn which square you were in ... you moved after firing right :D))
Far Shot will reduce penalties do to range:
Note this is a change from 3.5 where Far Shot increased your range increment rather than reducing the penalties associated with the increments.