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Normally, use of Wings of Heaven is limited to a certain number of uses per day. The lvl 20 Celestial bloodline power, among other things, removes that limit. So you have no limit on the number of times you can use the ability per day. That isn't the same as granting you the capacity to use the ability. Another way to look at it: there is no limit to the number of times per day you can use Power Attack. Technically, every character has an unlimited number of uses for the Power Attack feat. But you need the actual feat to have the capacity to use Power Attack. So losing the power because of an archetype renders that clause in the lvl 20 power moot; it removes the limit of an ability that you lack the capacity to use anyway.

Now, if you want to create a houserule, you might say that you gain unlimited uses of whatever power Wings of Heaven was replaced by, but, personally, I think that's stepping beyond the intent since Ascension is meant to be an ultimate expression of the Celestial bloodline; but, because of the Razmiran Priest archetype, you explored other avenues rather than your bloodline so "perfection" of your bloodline for the parts you did pursue wouldn't necessarily extend to realization of powers you've ignored in favor of alternate routes of power.


Ok, here's what you do to "fix" crossbows. Keep in mind that, traditionally, crossbows were meant to be a ranged weapon that didn't require tons of training to use and could even be given to conscripted peasants so they wouldn't just stand there like a bunch of useless yokels. They were not meant to be as good as bows and, surprise, they are far inferior to bows.

First, use the composite bow mechanic of having a strength rating for crossbow damage. The harder it is to crank, the more tension you can store up and the harder it will hit. But it would need to be a bit modified due to the nature of the weapon. With a Bow, if you have lower than the strength rating, you suffer a penalty to your attack roll. In the case of a crossbow, it should be a penalty to reloading speed; reloading is increased by 1 step if you don't have the necessary strength. Treat it as a two-handed weapon such that you get 1.5x Str to damage. For example, a Heavy Crossbow with a Str rating of +4 would let you use up to a +4 Str bonus to apply +6 damage (4 * 1.5), but if you had less than a +4 Str modifier, reload time would go from full-round to 1 round (meaning it provokes at any time during the round until the start of your next turn).

Second, Crossbows that are currently martial weapons would be given the caveat that if you lack martial proficiency with them, you can treat them as simple weapons. As simple weapons, their reload time is increased by 1 and they cannot be used one-handed (except for hand crossbows). For exotic crossbows, do the same, except that they can step down to martial proficiency (again, with increased reload and no one-handing). This reflects how they could even be used adequately by untrained persons.

Third, remember that Crossbows are not meant to be a primary weapon. They are meant to be used by those who have no other means to attack. Any loser can pick up a crossbow and take a pot shot at the opponent every other round or so. Having an entire squad of conscripted peasants with crossbows can really put a damper on an approaching enemy, especially if they fire in waves (1 firing, 1 reloading, switch).

Forth, remember that for someone "specializing" in a crossbow, they are already using a sub-standard weapon. But assistance is always OK. Having a couple of them and a helper who reloads a new one for you and hands it off can do wonders for your firing speed. It will still be far slower than using a Bow, though. Crossbows are a great weapon to give to your followers if you have Leadership... not so much a weapon for your character unless you're willing to devote a lot of effort (feats) and maybe take a specialized archetype.


Sarenrae is a very pragmatic deity. She understands that redemption isn't just a "one-and-done" process. Even her Paladin code says to fight fair if it's a fair fight, but don't die in vain when you know they won't fight fair. Seems like the Cleric in question is trying to set the slaver on a path away from brutal beatings and towards some kind of redemption. The Nirvana Fallacy is arguing in favor of the status quo just because the proposed improvement isn't perfect. Better than the current situation is still better. Now, if the Cleric thinks, "Well, my work here is done, this slaver is redeemed" and leaves it at that, well, that might be another thing. But once the slaver starts seeing that brutal beatings aren't the way to go, that might, inexorably, lead towards that the notion that slavery itself is an inefficient means of establishing a work force.


This is why weapon sub-categories needs to be a thing. You could have something like:

Dagger
- Swordbreaker Dagger

Quarterstaff
- Bo Staff

Shortsword
- Gladius

Longsword
- Dueling Sword

Rules elements could apply in various ways; for instance, River Rat would apply to the Dagger as well as any sub-weapons under that category. Proficiency would need to work the other way around, though; simple proficiency would get you the dagger but you'd still need ewp for the swordbreaker dagger.


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PRD wrote:

The Most Important Rule

The rules presented are here to help you breathe life into your characters and the world they explore. While they are designed to make your game easy and exciting, you might find that some of them do not suit the style of play that your gaming group enjoys. Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs. Most Game Masters have a number of "house rules" that they use in their games. The Game Master and players should always discuss any rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how the game will be played. Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt.

Having a Paladin fall or a Cleric lose their powers for a good reason is one thing. Having a Paladin fall or a Cleric lose their powers because the GM just wants to justify his need to be a jerk is a completely different thing. The GM is an arbiter of the rules; he is a referee. But the game belongs to all the players involved. Freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand. The GM is free to adjudicate the rules as he sees fit, but is responsible for doing so fairly. The GM in question here did not. He made up a rule mid-game that wasn't discussed, didn't allow for a check, was total BS, and tried to cite it as a story event in the AP (it wasn't) to "rational lies" it. That is a problem GM who cannot handle the task at hand appropriately. In my book, he can feel free to GM a table with just himself and "most important rule" to his heart's content.


There are really only two logical choices in this kind of situation; which choice you take largely depends on the attitude of the rest of your group. If the rest of them are sane and competent, kick the GM to the curb. Tell him that he isn't welcome if he's going to make clearly incorrect and spiteful rulings. On the other hand, if the rest of the group are perfectly fine with the situation, walk away; they aren't worth your time.


The issue with Phalanx Fighter is that you wield the weapon one-handed. That means you don't get 1.5x Str and Power Attack bonuses and can't use it for abilities that require using a 2-h weapon (eg. Pushing Assault). Shield Brace, on the other hand, doesn't change the effort category of the weapon so it still functions as a 2-h weapon with all the benefits (and restrictions) that entails. I think 2-h Fighter is probably best for this, especially if you want to stick with the Breastplate.


Correct. You're no longer dealing with positive or negative energies. Regardless of your ability to channel Positive or Negative energy, you gain the option of channeling Good, Evil, Chaos, Law, Fire, Cold, Acid, or Electricity, depending on which feat and which energy choice you make and each energy type can either harm or heal outsiders with the appropriate subtype.


It's neither positive nor negative. It just "heals" or "harms" outsiders with the selected alignment subtype. It doesn't go into much detail, but I've come up with a method to explain how it would function in-world. Normally, when channeling positive or negative energy, you're pulling the appropriate energy from the positive or negative energy plane and sending it into the selected creature types (living or undead). So, if you channel positive energy, you can "polarize" it to be absorbed by living entities to heal them, or to be absorbed by undead entities to harm them. But in the case of Alignment channel, you are no longer channeling positive or negative energy but, rather, channeling the four alignment energies (Good, Evil, Lawful, Chaotic). So, if you select Good, you are reaching into one of the Good aligned outer planes (instead of the positive/negative plane) and pulling Good energy to energize outsiders who run off of Good energy. On the other hand, to harm, you are reaching into the outsiders themselves and pulling the Good energy out of their bodies which, consequentially, causes harm. The same reasoning applies to Elemental Channel, except using the four Elemental energies instead of Alignment energies.


You wield the spear/polearm 2-h as normal. In order to count it as 1-h, it has to state that you wield it one-handed, as a one-handed weapon, or that it counts as a one-handed weapon. In fact, you aren't even wielding it "in one hand" like a Lance while mounted. What it does is that it makes a hand holding a shield also capable of contributing towards the hand requirements of wielding the spear/polearm (normally, the hand is occupied and cannot contribute to wielding the spear/polearm). Also note that you can still make shield bash attacks with the shield, just so long as they aren't off-hand attacks. If you have +6 BAB, you could make your +6 attack with the spear and the +1 attack with the shield. But you couldn't make an off-hand attack with the shield since your off-hand attack economy is already subsumed to wield the 2-h weapon. And, lastly, yes, if there is a double weapon in the spear or polearm group, you can use it and TWF with it as a double weapon while still using the shield. Note that, if TWFing with a double weapon, the shield's armor check penalty applies to the "weapon" which means you apply it to attacks with either head.


Skeld wrote:

The quote about Goddard is a good example of how the father of rocket science knew more about physics than the guy who wrote an editorial critiquing Goddard's work. Physics teaches us new things all the time (like the ion engine design that shouldn't work, but totally does!). The big lesson we've learned over the years is that anything that looks like mind control or magic is either misunderstood physics or not accounting for all the variables.

-Skeld

It also demonstrates how, quite frequently, people criticize and condemn without fully understanding the subject at hand. Science is an important tool, but it isn't the only one there is. "When all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail." There are aspects of reality for which science is the improper tool to understand them. I have spiritual pursuits that coexist alongside scientific understanding; the two aren't mutually exclusive.

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" -Hamlet


PRD/Blood Crow Strike wrote:
Your unarmed strikes release blasts of energy in the form of bolts of fire or glowing red crows, which fly instantaneously to strike your target. You can make unarmed strike or flurry of blows attacks against the target as if it were in your threatened area; each successful attack deals damage as if you had hit it with your unarmed strike, except half the damage is fire and half is negative energy (this negative energy does not heal undead). For example, if you are a 14th-level monk, you can use a flurry of blows to attack five times, creating one energy crow for each successful attack against the target, and dealing 2d6 points of damage (plus appropriate unarmed strike modifiers) with each crow.

Show me where, in the spell description, it states you make the attacks as part of casting the spell. It even states in the example you use Flurry of Blows (a full-round action). If you run it strictly as written, the spell has no effect; it instantly comes into effect just before your second turn, but you can't take any actions at that moment to make the attack. Then the spell effect disappears, and your second turn begins. Moreover, even if you did make the attacks part of casting the spell, then you get a full-attack instantly just before your second turn... and then immediately get another full-round worth of actions? It should be changed in one of two ways to make its intent clear:

1) Make the attacks part of casting and change the casting time to Full-Round.
2) State, explicitly, that the spell allows you to benefit from its effect on your next turn with your normal action economy.


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Mindless Undead Tactical Handbook


Skeld wrote:

I have saying, "Never attribute to synchronicity that which is actually confirmation bias."

It's surprising applicable to this thread.

-Skeld

I also have a saying. More of a quote, actually.

New York Times wrote:
"That Professor Goddard with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react--to say that would be absurd. Of course, he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools." -- 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work. The remark was retracted in the July 17, 1969 issue.


It seems weird if you discount synchronicity. Our scientific base is built on a few essential foundations and one of those foundations is conventional Cause/Effect relationships. In order for the dice to consistently give the results you're seeing, by our standard thinking, lends strongly to the notion that some unknown cause (subtle hand manipulation, unbalanced dice, etc.) is generating the observed effect (disproportionately good rolls). But if you take into consideration non-physical interactions through synchronicity, it opens up the possibility that he is rolling good not by a direct interaction with the dice but by non-physical means. In other words, the dice respond directly to his mental state, rather than through the proxy of "the real world". In esoteric studies, this is sometimes referred to as "affirmation"; creating a mental image of eventual success phrased in the present tense (affirming the result) causes the desired result to manifest itself.


swoosh wrote:
This spell seems pretty damn straight forward. You cast it, and you shoot crows at people. The number of crows and how much damage they determine is based on your unarmed strike, but otherwise the spell functions like scorching ray and I haven't seen anyone argue you have to wait a round to shoot your rays.

Scorching Ray doesn't have a casting time of 1 round. BCS, however, does. That's different from just a full-round cast time. Full-round cast time means you spend a full-round action, but the spell goes off the same round. 1 round cast time means you spend a full-round action, but it doesn't complete in that same turn; you must continue the casting until immediately before your next turn and then the effect of the spell activates. No where in the spell does it say that it grants attacks as part of casting; just that you may make unarmed strikes against the target as if they were in your threatened area. That is, fundamentally, different from Scorching Ray and no valid comparison can be made.


Take note that, when you do a search on the forums, it defaults to "relevance" sorting which can bring up old threads that probably don't have up-do-date information (this thread is from almost 5 years ago).

As for the matter at hand, the spell is written a bit poorly, similar to how the Myrmidarch's Ranged Spellstrike didn't provide for making multiple shots to deliver multiple rays without an errata. But I think, maybe, the intent of the spell is that, immediately after the 1 round casting, you then can spend an action to make one or more Unarmed Strikes. To illustrate, in Round 1, you spend a full-round action to begin casting. You are casting until right before your turn in Round 2 (so the spell can be interrupted if you take damage). Then, in Round 2, you must make your attacks (spending action economy as normal). It's just written in a cumbersome manner.


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Feegle wrote:
I was looking under Targets; never occurred to me to look at Casting Time.

Welcome to Pathfinder, where information on how to select spell targets... is in the Casting Time section.


Derklord wrote:
If every body part counts as an Unarmed Strike, can I make a tea bag coup de grâce?

Yes... with bonus points for style.


It only works for spells that call out that they produce a Ray, but it will work for all Ray spells. So you only need to take Weapon Focus (Ray) to benefit both Ray of Frost and Scorching Ray, but Acid Splash wouldn't be affected because, while it is a ranged touch spell, it isn't a Ray.


Flurry is a non-issue. It won't help because it doesn't mesh with Spell Combat since it uses your off-hand attack economy to cast a spell. So it's best to use an archetype that ditches flurry. Sensei might be a good alternative, as you'll get Wis to attack rolls, but you lose Evasion.


You're going to be a bit MAD so, since you're going Human, I strongly recommend the alternate racial for an extra +2 ability score.

20 pt buy
Str 14+2[16] (5)
Dex 14 (5)
Con 13 (3)
Int 14+2[16] (5)
Wis 13 (3)
Cha 9 (-1)

Put your lvl 4 +1 into Con, and your lvl 8 into Wis to round out the modifiers. Toughness would probably also be a good idea if you're going to be more front-line (as opposed to a support combatant). Also, what does the rest of your team look like. It helps to know what the rest of the party is doing so you can synergize.


Sword doesn't really need to be defined because because everyone knows what qualifies as a sword. But, for clarity, here is a list of Heavy Blades with the ones that would qualify as swords in bold, and those that would reasonably possess a scabbard in blue (some swords have shapes that wouldn't work with a scabbard).

pfsrd wrote:
Ankus, dueling sword, bastard sword, chakram, double chicken saber, double walking stick katana, elven curve blade, estoc, falcata, falchion, flambard, greatsword, great terbutje, katana, khopesh, klar, longsword, nine-ring broadsword, nodachi, scimitar, scythe, seven-branched sword, shotel, temple sword, terbutje, and two-bladed sword.

As a rule of thumb, if the name or the description contains the term "sword", it's a sword. If it has branches, protrusions, broad curves, etc. then it wouldn't go in a scabbard. Also note that, while scabbards are a subset of the more general term sheath, a sheath that isn't a scabbard is really just a floppy leather case that doesn't retain its shape when you pull the weapon out. By contrast, a Scabbard is a rigid sheath that retains its shape. As noted above, not every Heavy Blade is a sword and, in addition, not every Sword would go in a scabbard.


Yes, because it only states that he gets Inspire Courage and Inspire Competence; not Bardic Performance. Those are specific performances, but since he doesn't get the full Bardic Performance ability, no dice. Also, I did a little more digging and found the following:

pfsrd wrote:
Prerequisites: Like feats, masterpieces have prerequisites that a bard must meet in order to learn them. Only bards may learn masterpieces.

You have to actually be a Bard to get a masterpiece so, if you're not a Bard, only a rules element that allows you to count as a Bard, either for everything or for masterpieces in particular, would let you take Masterpieces.


Dip bard. From what I found, Maestro bloodline doesn't give you Bardic Performance (uses of which are required to use masterpieces), and neither does VMC Bard. Those would, arguably, have been the best chances. Aside from those, the only other real option is to dip bard for it. Only other method would be a gestalt Sorc/Bard build.


How about false results if you fail by 10 or more. If they are alive, but you fail by 10 or more, you checked their pulse in the wrong spot. If they are dead, you checked using your thumb and thought your own pulse was theirs. Conversely, if you succeed by 10 or more, you can tell how much longer they have left, if alive, or how long ago they died otherwise.


To fully elucidate on the matter:

Attack rolls and damage rolls are two separate animals and are handled on an individual basis. Normal weapon finesse applies only to attack rolls. UnRogue's finesse training applies to both attack and damage.

If it says use Dex (modifier or bonus) in place of Strength bonus, then you may only make the replacement if you have a positive Str modifier (for this purpose, +0 would be considered positive). Eg. your Dex modifier is +3 and Str mod is +1, you use the +3 instead of the +1. But if your Dex mod is +3 and Str mod is -2, you can't use the +3 and must use the -2.

If it says use Dex (modifier or bonus) in place of Strength modifier, then you completely ignore whatever Str penalty you have, because you are using Dex in place of it. Eg. you can use your +3 Dex in place of -2 Str from the previous example.

If it says use Dex bonus in place of Strength (modifier or bonus), you may only make the substitution if your Dex modifier is +0 or higher. Eg. your Dex is -1 and your Str is -3. You can't use your -1 in place of the -3 because the -1 makes it a penalty rather than a bonus.


Just because it references Heavy Blades doesn't necessarily mean that every heavy blade has a scabbard. Scabbards are for swords. Other weapons (like axes) have different accessories to cover their blades. A combat scythe would likely have a sheath similar to that of an axe. A sheath is just something to cover the blade; any bladed weapon would have a sheath. But a scabbard is a special kind of sheath meant for easy drawing of the weapon and such a thing makes no sense for a Scythe.

And Scythes can be good weapons...


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Take it the other direction. Instead of reducing the BAB of classes other than Fighter, increase the Fighter's BAB. Give them an extra point of BAB every so many levels. This allows them to access BAB-restricted feats, greater power attack bonuses, and iterative attacks faster than any other class.


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Ok, we can talk about the problems until were blue in the face, but it's far more important to talk about solutions.

wikipedia wrote:
In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of two or more subs-

Jokes aside, here's the thing. There are two standard debates in regards to alignment. First is, "what counts as good and what counts as evil?" The second is, "do actions determine alignment or does alignment determine actions?" I'm going to address the second first because it's easier; and the answer is "yes". This is like the "nature vs nurture" argument in behavioral science; it is a false dichotomy. Actions and Alignment ought to have a mutually reciprocal relationship; they reinforce one another. Good actions lead to a good alignment and a good alignment ought to, in turn, lead to good actions.

In regards to good and evil, there are a few things to consider. First is that the relationship is not symmetrical. They shouldn't just be presented as two opposing but equal sides; each side has their own particular quirks, advantages, and disadvantages. To wit:

AD&D Complete Paladin's Handbook wrote:
Though DMs may experiment with any type of character they like, we discourage the use of anti-paladins. Good and evil are not merely mirror images of each other. Just as the forces of evil have their unique champions, the paladin is intended as a unique champion of good. The paladin originates from a tradition of dynamic balance, in which the forces of good are few and elite and in which forces of evil are numerous and of lesser quality. Allowing anti-paladins blurs this basic relationship.

This relationship manifests in several ways. For instance, an Evil character, almost unilaterally, considers good acts as means to an ends. How often does the evil character "pose" as someone good? By contrast, truly good characters often look with particular disdain at the practice of using evil acts as means to an ends. Even the description of Neutral alignment emphasizes the asymmetry; a neutral character has compunctions against killing, but lacks the conviction to go out of their way and, especially, to put themselves at risk, in order to prevent someone's death (directly or indirectly). A person using evil acts for good ends would usually be classified as neutral while an evil character using good acts for evil ends is just par for the course. Then, there is the matter of what you do afterwards. If a good character, by matter of circumstance, must compromise their morals, complex things happen upstairs. They experience moral quandaries, self-doubt, ethical dilemmas, and maybe even a need to seek forgiveness or repentance. That's why there are spells like Atonement. Evil characters... not so much. Evil characters don't usually seek "forgiveness" for helping someone. That's actually a very shallow type of behavior to act as "morality accountant" and try to figure out how many orphans you need to kill to make up for acting like a good guy. Additionally, what's the difference between a Good wizard and an Evil wizard? Evil wizards don't care much about collateral damage while Good wizards would have a moral tenancy to rein in their power to void harming others. How should this reflect in their magic? Evil wizards would be better at area spells while Good wizards would be better at precise spells.

Another point is that the alignment table is actually missing an axis. Good/Evil has taken on the role of Heroes/Villains; Villains are presumed to be Evil and Heroes are presumed to be Good. It makes Heel/Face turns (and vice versa) very hard to pull off. In a way, it cheapens moral quandaries. On the cube of alignment, the two-axis chart we have sort of cuts at an angle.

So, with all this in mind, here is what I propose as an ultimate "fix" for alignment issues.

1) Recast the alignment chart from Good-Neutral-Evil to Cooperative-Independent-Competitive, and Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic to Conservative-Liberal-Radical. Several creatures' standard alignments would need to be adjusted to account for the differences in moral tone.

2) Clearly define what counts as what alignment. Bonuses should be granted to actions that match your alignment and saves against actions that would grossly contradict your alignment (eg. you try to kill the helpless opponent, but just can't bring yourself to do it). Cooperative alignment should offer bonuses to teamwork feats and Aid Another actions, penalties to DCs on spells that require saves, and bonuses to hit on attack rolls. Competitive alignment should offer penalties to teamwork feats and Aid Another actions, bonuses to DCs on spells that require saves, and bonuses to damage rolls. Conservative alignment would offer bonuses to Will saves, but penalties to Reflex, and can Take 11 instead of Take 10. Radical alignment would offer penalties to Will saves, but bonuses to Reflex, and take half the time to Take 20. The Neutral equivalents, of course, offer no bonuses nor penalties.

3) Planar alignment energies are recast. Good-Evil are replaced by Radiant and Umbral. Lawful and Chaotic are replaced by Harmonic and Primal. Characters and classes that draw on planar energies to fuel their abilities (ie. Clerics, Paladins, Inquisitors, etc) will be suffused with these energies and gain subtypes based on them. This really hammers in the notion that Paladins are "fueled by radiance". These energies also involve saves against certain "gross misconduct" similarly to the "mortal alignments", but in a much stronger and more absolute and polarized manner.


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I think it's mostly about a visceral reaction against the "moral absolutism" that is established in the Pathfinder system. People are used to subjective morality because that's what we live with every day; moral absolutism is seen as a distillation of everything bad in religion, decrying "us" as Good and "them" as Evil. People love things like villains who do the right thing and morally ambiguous heroes. That's why Marvel's Civil War is so popular; it pits good guys against good guys.

In the real world, people kill each other over differing beliefs about what happens to you after you die, and they completely miss the irony. But that doesn't work in a world where Good, Evil, Chaos, and Law are tangible, real forces, as real as Gravity and Electromagnetism are to us, and where deities exist and interact with mortals on a regular basis. It's not about "where do you go when you die" but more "pick a side".

Ultimately, people don't want to feel pigeonholed or defined by their alignment. There's a strong "anti-label" culture being fostered right now in the western world and alignment systems which have their roots in a decades old system seem a bit... archaic and backwards. People want their heroes to be flawed and not be mechanically punished for those flaws. People want their evil characters to be deep and meaningful, not just evil for the sake of being evil.

That being said, I think that the system has a lot of catching up to do. It is mired in legacy issues that, sooner or later, must come to a head and alignment is just one of those issues. There are some things that can help. There are alternate alignment rules, for instance, such as "de-moralizing" the Good vs Evil axis to omit the obvious moral polarizing and frame it as a fight between "Radiance" and "Shadow". It's kind of "Good and Evil by a different name", but they aren't resonated so strongly with what real people understand to be subjective moral issues. After all, from a subjective viewpoint, what an Orc considers "good and proper behavior" is drastically different from what a Human would consider.


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Strictly speaking, the Paladin's powers don't come from their deity, though a deity can certainly reinforce those powers in certain ways. A Paladin's mojo comes directly from the universal force of Good. Pathfinder is predicated on the notion that Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos are fundamental energies. That's what it means when an outsider has the Good subtype or a spell has the Good descriptor; the outsider or spell in question is actually fueled by or made up of fundamental "Good" energies. Good and Evil are as real and tangible in Pathfinder as Gravity and Electromagnetism are in the real world. And a Paladin's powers come from his unwaivering devotion to these Good energies. He stands as a shining beacon and ideal example for others. Because of this, Good itself powers his abilities, but only so long as he is unwavering and devoted in his commitment. He "resonates" with the powers of Good through his mindset but, if that mindset starts to become dissonant with the Good energies, he can fall. If that happens, it doesn't matter what Abadar cares about; he is no longer strongly resonating with the Good energies, so his Paladin powers will leave him.

Now that the foundation is on the table, on to the specifics of the matter. We have a Paladin of a LN deity. That just means that the deity is bolstering the "Good-given" powers of the Paladin. The deity is more focused on Law and Order (dong dong), but the Paladin still maintains LG alignment and action; just with a bit more of a lean into Lawful than a Paladin would ordinarily have. Hellknights value Law above all else. Good and Evil are merely means to and ends from their perspective. And Asmodeus in particular knows that his devotees are just in it for the power they can get; and he expects that from them. Now, depending on the classes that the Hellknight in question has, he might or might not have a clerical aura. If he does have an aura from his deity, then he'd detect as Evil because of his deity. If he doesn't, then he wouldn't detect as Evil and he is, outright, not Evil because he's only interested in Asmodeus for the Lawful aspect, not devoted to the Evil portion so much. So the Paladin might forge an alliance or, at least, an armistice with the Hellknight if he isn't an outright clerical devotee of Asmodeus. But if the Hellknight is a Clerical devotee, he's expected to follow and expound on the entire doctrine of Asmodeus, Evil included and a long-term friendship would be out of the question. Maybe the Paladin would see the Hellknight as a project of redemption in this case, trying to turn the Hellknight from Asmodeus to Abadar. But in no case should it be OK for the Paladin to help in maintaining an Asmodean temple. Again, these aren't just philosophical and esoteric matters; in Pathfinder, Gods and Good/Evil/Law/Chaos energies are real.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
The two FAQs establish that "wield in one hand" and "wield one-handed" are two entirely separate concepts within the framework of the rules.
Which is one of those rules calls I really don't like, since outside of rules lawyering nobody would ever think those two terms have a different meaning.

Think of it this way then; a mounted character is still wielding the lance with two hands, it's just that, mechanically, one of those "hands" is satisfied by the fact that he is riding a mount. That provides a significant amount of leverage towards wielding the weapon that isn't replicated by using other abilities that just let you wield a two-handed weapon as a one-handed weapon and is why you still get 1.5x Str and Power Attack bonus as a mounted lancer, but not as, say, a Phalanx Fighter one-handing their polearm with a shield.


The two FAQs establish that "wield in one hand" and "wield one-handed" are two entirely separate concepts within the framework of the rules. A lance is wielded "in one hand" while mounted, meaning it still counts as a two-handed weapon for all other purposes, except that it leaves you a free hand to use a shield, handle the reins of your mount, etc. By contrast, several other abilities allow you to wield a two-handed weapon "one-handed" or "as a one-handed weapon". In these cases, it counts as a one-handed weapon for all matters pertaining to use and no longer qualifies as a two-handed weapon (except for physical properties like HP which are agnostic to the manner in which it is wielded). The critical difference is the usage of the term "one-handed" as a system-defined term, as opposed to the more descriptive phrase "in one hand" or "with one hand".

Ergo, you "could" wield two lances while mounted, but you could not TWF with them as your off-hand attack economy is still subsumed because it still counts as a two-handed weapon. You could use two different lances with your normal attack economy, using just your BAB iteratives and extra attacks you might get from sources like Haste. Alternatively, you could, say, wield a Lance in one hand and a light or one-handed non-reach weapon in the other, allowing you to threaten both at reach with the lance, and adjacent with the non-reach weapon.


I'm not sure actually. I had to re-read the arcana a couple of times and I still think it's written somewhat ambiguously. It specifies that you can make "all your claw attacks with your free hand, and all your bite attacks in addition to casting a spell." I'm not sure if that means you can only make the claw attacks associated with free hands, or that you can make all claw attacks you'd normally get with your one free hand.

But, if you hadn't taken NSC, then you'd just get a single Claw attack plus a spell for spell combat.


To add to BadBird's suggestion, take the Noble Scion trait for Scion of War which lets you use Cha in place of Dex for Initiative rolls.


Well, both classes scale strongly with levels so, unless you're going to Gestalt, you're going to be sub-par right out of the gate. That having been said, since Magus can pretty much "do their thing" right out of the gate, whereas the Sword Saint needs a bit of a level ramp before he can really come to the fore, I'd say you're best off dipping Kensai just for supplemental benefits.

Shocking Grasp comes to mind as, with Spellstrike, it will give you a +3 to your attack roll against opponents wearing metal. Probably focus more Shocking Grasp and self-buffs and stay away from spells that require a save, since your caster level and Int are going to be pretty low.

Another thing to mention, just in case you didn't know, is a little trick to the Sword Saint. Iaijutsu Strike is a full-round Use Special Ability action. That means you can use the Start/Finish Full-round Action actions with it. So you can Start the Iaijutsu Strike in one round, move, then complete it in the next round in order to get your positioning.

However, if you can go Gestalt for this, it can be a monster combo.


dragonhunterq wrote:

Bonus feats don't automatically ignore pre-requisites. Unless there is wording to the effect of "you can use this feat even if you don't meet the pre-requisites" you do indeed gain the feat, but you can't use it. At least until you gain light and medium armour proficiency anyway.

It isn't a feat. It's an Oracle Revelation gained via VMC. Normally, an Oracle already has proficiency with simple weapons, as well as light and medium armor, and the revelation adds all Martial weapons and Heavy armor. But the character in question is a Wizard who normally lacks simple weapon, light armor, and heavy armor proficiency. So the question is whether the martial weapon proficiency would "fill in" since martial weapons are, presumably, more complex to use compared to simple weapons; as well as whether heavy armor proficiency would help in wearing lighter armors. In other words, are weapon and armor proficiency considered "inclusive" of lower tiers or "exclusive".

On the one hand, if you know how properly use a martial weapon, it makes logical sense that you have the competence to properly use a simple weapon. Likewise, if you know how to move around properly in heavy armor like full-plate, you should know how to move properly in a lighter armor like Chain, or Leather.

But, on the other hand, different weapons have different principals of proper use. Being able to swing a Shortsword or a Longsword doesn't necessarily mean you can use a Dagger with the same proficiency, since it is a much smaller weapon, has different balance and weight, and attack patterns would be different. Moreover, just because you are skilled with an Exotic weapon doesn't necessarily translate to being skilled with any Martial weapons (though, it probably should). A Cleric using a Bastard Sword as their deity's favored weapon isn't necessarily skilled in using Greatswords. Likewise, skill in using heavy armor like Plate, which is rigid and requires particular movements to use properly, doesn't necessarily mean complete competence in using lighter and more flexible armors.

Therefore, strictly speaking, the Wizard in question does not automatically count his Heavy Armor and Martial Weapon proficiency towards lower-tier equipment. However, it would not be entirely out of line for the GM to offer a circumstance (or maybe competence) bonus towards use of lower-tier equipment. If it were me, I'd give a +2 bonus towards Simple weapons (bringing the total non-prof bonus down to -2) and reduce the penalty to attack for armor by 2 for medium, and 1 for light. Alternatively, modify the ability to reflect the disparate combat abilities of any class that might take it. Maybe offer the "next level" or proficiency with all weapons. So, for a Monk, Monk, or Wizard, they'd gain proficiency with all simple weapons; otherwise, you'd gain proficiency with all martial weapons. Likewise, it would give proficiency with the next tier of armor higher than what they currently have.


That actually sounds pretty interesting. There are a number of Eidolon traits centered around making an "undead" Eidolon, too. It won't "actually" be an Undead (it still counts as an Outsider) but it gets treated as Undead for several purposes. So you can have your hoards of Skeletons, as well as an "Undead Champion" Eidolon. Your GM might question whether Skeleton Summoner will work for the MS's Summoning Mastery ability, so, if it comes up, point out that "ability to cast <specific spell>" includes casting it as a SLA as per this FAQ. So, your Summoning Mastery both qualifies as a prereq for Skeleton Summoner, and the feat will affect it in turn. Also, note that Summon Mastery calls out that, save for the explicitly stated changes, it otherwise functions as the normal Summoner's ability Summon Monster. That means it still gains access to higher levels of Summon Monster and you aren't just stuck at Summon Monster I forever (I hadn't noticed that at first and thought it was stuck at tier I until I read it more closely).

But the real issue is that Summoners can slow down the game and also take a lot of logistics to manage, especially with large hoard-type summoners. I've played with a GM that hated summoning, even to the point that he wasn't to keen on any class that had a built-in "buddy" (companion, familiar, etc). Are you going to be able to handle the logistics of calling up 2-6 Skeletons at a time? Will your group be OK with having to wait around while you handle 3-8 turns per round, compared to their 1-2? It'll kind of be like having two separate GMs, each handling their own swarm of monsters and maybe almost doubling, or at least increasing by half, the number of turns handled per round of combat. Don't exclusively focus on how you "could" do it; spare some thought for whether you "should" do it.

Edit: You may also want to look into Harrowed Summoning to further boost your Skeletons. Even with Augmented Summoning, you only end up with about a 5.5% chance to gain no stat bonus at all and only a 22.2% chance to halve the duration of the summoning (and a 22.2% chance to double it).


HowFortuitous wrote:

Perhaps one of the most frustrating elements of pathfinder is the tendency of players to Rules lawyer absolutely everything.

The paladin is the honorable knight in shining armor atop a noble steed bleed by his god to be a black and white instrument of his will in a grey world. Spoofs on the paladin exist and so do different codes, but this is the iconic archetype. So, the paladin comes with a code. Don't be evil. Don't be dishonorable. Meet your enemies on the field of battle. Make the right decision even when it's hard. Especially when it's hard. That means no poison or cheap shots or dirty tricks or black mail. Pretty clear. That also means no getting your enemies drunk so they are an easier fight. No poisoning them, even with sleep arrows. That's dishonorable. Violation of the code.

Pretty simple. Don't try to play lawyer ball to find a way to justify poison use. Other good people can use poison, the paladin is better than that.

If you want to use the paladin class as a basis to play something that isn't a paladin because it most closely resembles the concept you have, talk with your GM. But don't try to twist the rules as written to technically get away with something not in the spirit of the class. Just be honest, sit down with your gm and tweak some stuff to fit the GMs fame world.

I second this. It really highlights the fundamental basis of the Paladin class. Sure, there might be a handful of archetypes/variants that add/remove restrictions, but those are exceptional situations. But another thing to consider is that the word written on the "class" line isn't necessarily the same as what your character considers himself to be. I've seen a write-up for a "Paladin of Asmodeus" who was actually a LN Inquisitor of Asmodeus using Bane to mimic Smite Evil. But, in-character, he called himself a "Paladin". So, one must ask themselves, am I looking to play a Paladin, or a "Paladin"?


KenderKin wrote:
Further you could argue that getting a bad guy drunk to make him easier to take in is the use of poison

Yeah, that's why Paladins shouldn't fight Orochi.


Irorian Paladin lets you write your own code. Just make a code that permits poison use within certain guidelines; such as paralyzing poisons so you can drop an enemy with minimal physical trauma.


Charisma doesn't describe the quality of personality. It measures the quantity; amount, force, strength, or whatever other metric you want to use. High Charisma doesn't mean you have a winning personality any more than it means you are a beautiful person. But, if the character has a winning personality, higher Charisma makes it more of a winning personality. By the same token, if the person has a sadistic personality, higher Charisma makes it more of a sadistic personality. Charisma fits them because their culture is defined by social competition based on bluffs/deception and intimidation far more than intellectual pursuits.


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Crossfit.


I play a lot of dungeon crawls, especially Stone Soup. Now, when I first started playing, I mostly sucked but, eventually, I piled enough dead characters to get over the initial difficulty wall. The thing that makes a dungeon crawl particularly tense are out-of-depth encounters. When I'm cruising along with a new character, if he's hardy and robust, I can mostly plow through anything I encounter for the first couple of levels. However, eventually, I will meet enemies that are simply too high a risk to fight when I first see them. I've got to avoid them, explore as much as is safe, and get to the next floor. After I gain some more experience, I might be able to come back and deal with them. If I don't expect to see a pack of gnolls until around D3-4, and I run into a gnoll Sargent on D3... well, first I curse out the game for being so unfair, then I flee. And then, I run into another pack of strong monsters and die and have to start all over. There are other times where I'm cruising along, plowing through all enemies in my path... then suddenly, everything goes pear-shaped. It's especially frustrating when I'm on the final floor, about to retrieve the magic macguffin, and I encounter the most devastating enemy on the floor... times two. And I haven't found any of the necessary resistances.

So, it breaks down to this:
1) Don't have a steady, incremental difficulty progression. Make part of the challenge knowing when to run away and when to stand and fight.
2) Don't hand them everything they need on a silver platter. There are actually magic item rules where they need to roll to see if any store in a particular town has a particular magic item. It shouldn't be as simple as, "Oh, I want to buy a Cloak of Resistance" and just orders it on Amazon on the spot.
3) Have dynamic encounters. Don't just make it a slug-fest and flanking conga line. Incorporate difficult terrain, cover, vantage points, tactics, etc. You really want tension? Two words: Tucker's... Kobolds.


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Brings whole new meaning to the phrase "droppin' the fire".


I'll presume you mean Precocious Spellcaster because "precious spellcaster" got no results. Caster level and Spell level are different concepts in the game. It's kind of regrettable that they use "level" to describe so many things because it prompts a lot of conflation. For the sake of clarity, I will refer to spell level as "spell tier" to help with differentiation.

Ray of Frost is a "tier 0" spell. For comparison, Frostbite and Shocking Grasp are examples of tier 1 spells. Rime metamagic relies on the base tier of the spell to determine the number of rounds it lasts. So a Rimed Frostbite spell will cause entangle for 1 round whereas a spell like Frost Fall, a tier 2 spell, entangles for 2 rounds. Ray of Frost entangles for 0 rounds; hence, rime is ineffective for a cantrip.

Caster Level, on the other hand, just refers to how well a spell scales. For instance, Frost Fall's range and duration increase with caster level, Frostbite's number of uses and damage increase with caster level, and Ray of Frost's range increases with caster level. Precocious Spellcaster lets you count your caster level higher for one tier 0 spell and one tier 1 spell so, as a lvl 1 Sorcerer, if you picked Ray of Frost and Frostbite, you'd calculate the range of your ray, as well as the damage and number of touches for Frostbite, as if you were a lvl 2 Sorcerer. But none of this affects the tier of spell being uses; Ray of Frost is still a tier 0 spell even if cast by a lvl 20 Sorcerer, though its range will be 75 feet (compared to 25 feet for a lvl 1 sorc).


Magical Lineage + Rime + Frostbite is the way to go. Fatigue and Entangle with no save. Even better, go Magus and use Close Range arcana with Ray of Frost for an always-available, spellstrike-compatible option for use with Spell Combat.


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Lorewalker wrote:

I did some thinking about this, and in the unique case where you end up with a tiefling with this variant ability...

"16 You have over-sized limbs, allowing you to use Large weapons without penalty."

Massive weapons from Titan Mauler and Thunder and Fang would allow you to use a large two-handed earthbreaker in one hand, with no penalty. Not even the +4 from Massive weapons, as it is added to the penalty for using a large weapon, which the variant tiefling ability negates.

You can do that anyway because "without penalty" doesn't single out the penalty to attack rolls due to wielding oversized weapons. For reference, the Redcap monster has an ability that is worded the same, save for replacing Large with Medium since it is a small Fey. It lets a small creature wield medium weapons "without peanlty" and its stat block lists it as wielding a medium Scythe. Scythes are 2-h weapons when appropriately sized so, for a small creature, a medium scythe would ordinarily be unwieldable. However, due to the Redcap's ability, it can wield the normally unwieldable medium scythe. Since its ability doesn't explicitly state it can wield larger weapons, the only logical option is that it is an implicit allowance rolled into the phrase "without penalty". Therefore, "without penalty" includes both the penalty to attack rolls as well as the "penalty" of size step-up or step-down. Thus, a Tiefling who can wield weapons designed for Large creatures "without penalty" no longer treats the weapons as one size bigger due to the step-up but, rather, wields the weapons still as their normal hand requirements would indicate if used by an appropriately sized wielder.


There are a few things to keep in mind.

1) Pathfinder was, almost entirely, "ripped" from 3.5 and then mended to make it its own system. There are a lot of rules elements that are vestigial from 3.5.

2) The rules should make as much sense as logically possible and should maintain a sense of internal consistency. Given no outright contradictions, if there are two reasonable interpretations of a rule, but one of them end up doing absolutely nothing, it can be logically derived that this interpretation is incorrect.

As such, the rules already explicitly define attacks such as (meaning, not an exhaustive list) punches, kicks, and headbutts as Unarmed Strikes. Various supplementary sources, most importantly the FAQ on Magic Fang, further establish that any attack with any part of your body can be made as an unarmed strike. It doesn't matter if it's a hip check, a head butt, an elbow, or a pelvic thrust, they are all unarmed strikes. However, we also have a rule regarding Monks and Brawlers that they can use their unarmed strikes "even with their hands full". Now, if this were limited to being able to kick while they held objects in both hands, this would be entirely redundant and, essentially, does nothing. However, given the notion that "hands" carries two separate definitions within the rules, regarding to 1) attack economy regarding off-hand attacks and 2-h weapons, and 2) regarding "free hands" for the purpose of certain rules elements such as performing somatic spell components or feats like deflect/catch arrows. The most logical interpretation, therefore, is that "hands" in the rules for Monk/Brawler unarmed strikes is referring to attack economy since the second definition would serve no practical purpose. Hence, by deductive reasoning, a Monk/Brawler being able to strike "even when their hands are full" means that even if their off-hand attack economy would normally be subsumed when attacking with a 2-h weapon, they can still make off-hand unarmed strikes as if it weren't.

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