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I feel that when we are talking about "magic as science" we are mixing up phenomena and the study of that phenomena.
And you can use science to study anything you want. Say that magic is a sentient force that actively changes when you try to study it. You can still study it. That study just becomes more like psychology than like physics.
Assuming that the machines have a non-trivial chance of defeating the army of Verda (since they wouldn't be trying otherwise) I think that it is correct to sacrifice 100k people to save a whole plane. Especially since it presumably kills the machine army.
It would be better if they could save those people too, but if they don't have an actual plan now, then they are just risking the lives of millions because they feel squeamish.
Don't fantasy races that live underground just gain darkvision?
Also, this race seems kinda wimpy, they basically have +2 to survival and the blindness that is in theory equaled out by the deep-sight.
I think the easiest way to make a "blind" elf race is to take regular elves and have them trade elvish magic (because they are less intellectual) for the oracle blind curse that progresses at your character level.
Well, even a level 1 city guard can put a point into spellcraft. Its literally the smallest investment you could ask for. This makes sense to me. A trained watchman should be able to notice if something is amiss, but your regular country bumpkin won't notice anything.
I may be late to the party, but why does being able to spellcraft a spell require it to have glowy runes? Maybe being trained in spellcraft lets you sense that magic is being worked. I think that is a much more reasonable interpretation.
Personally, I'd give a circumstance penalty per missing component to the spellcraft check and if the identifier fails by, say, 5: then they can't tell magic is happening at all.
The Pact-bound cavalier is cool. Lots of flavor there. I like that the mount becomes a nightmare.
I don't think that that the pact/edict should have mechanical requirements. Let the player/GM decide how to role-play that part. Consider: You can't play the pact-bound in a kingmaker campaign as the first book could easily have the cavalier spend more than a month in the wilderness. On the other hand, some campaigns take place within the space of a week, so the pact would have no effect on that character at all.
Finally, why are all the infernal-pact cavaliers lawyers? What if my vision for the character is to make someone who does dirty work for my infernal master, like working to kill a good king, or corrupt the heir.
The 1v1 situations is fairly contrived. To be able to say anything we need to know the set up of the arena.
For example: How far apart do the combatants start? Where does the fight take place? etc.
For example: Say the fight starts within 5 ft. your foe is a Tetori. If he wins initiative, you are grappled and your Freedom Of Movement is suppressed. Also, he dimensional anchors you. You are quickly strangled as your contingent teleport fails.
On the other hand, say the wizard wins initiative. He can greater teleport to a different planet, put on a mind blank and wait while the monk dies of old age.
Hmm, if souls are assigned at conception, then I'd guess that if a fetus dies the soul that never got any chance to do anything should be reassigned into the birth queue. At least, hats how I'd have Pharasma do it. It makes things nice and tidy wihot the question of how to judge a fetus soul and send it to the afterlife.
I like this. Very pragmatic. I could imagine a particularly unlucky soul having to go through many many 'attempts' to be born. Maybe this is how you get stuff like the Martyred bloodline.
Spellcraft != proof.
You see a wizard cast major image. Meanwhile, a nearby wizard under an invisibility spell casts a silent Summon Monster. You see a Hound Archon appear.
If you 'auto disbelieve' then does the very real Archon get a free Coup de Grace on you? You are after all ignoring him.
The illusion only becomes transparent when you spend an action to interact with it (or it interacts with you) and then succeed on a will save.
I think that the longspear can only be wielded one-handed in a phalanx: where you pretty much know that your enemy will be straight ahead of you. If you are fighting in a smaller skirmish, you are going to need far more control over your spear to be able to point it all your foes. At least that's how I justify it to myself :)
You could model that with a greater vulnerability to disarms, maybe?
Knowledge of Phylacteries is found in the same place as other forbidden lore: ruined monasteries, black tomes, the whispers of Evil outsiders, or after long personal experimentation.
Since each phylactery is unique, you probably need to do a bunch of experiments. And since you need to be able to muck about with your own soul, this research probably requires killing a bunch of people. Probably in fairly gruesome ways. Think Discovery Requires Experimentation. I don't think that the research or rituals can destroy any souls, or even detain them for a long time. Trap the Soul is a level 8 spell while Lichdom only requires caster level 11 after all.
As to the actual crafting process, you can go as far down the evil rabbit hole as you want. Maybe you need the tears of good outsiders, shed when they are betrayed by one they trusted. Maybe you need to twist a good king into a psychopathic dictator so that when the people rebel and brother fights brother the final battle will lead to ten thousand dying with bitterness in their hearts. etc..
I think that the lich's body would decay quickly, unless they use magic to preserve it. It is driven by negative energy, and that stuff is terrible for your complexion.
I imagine that redeeming a lich is hard. Assuming that to become a lich, it has probobly committed some terrible acts implying that it did not really care about others, and now it has no empathy to help it care about petty mortals. That being said, I could see someone with an iron will and a powerful drive staying good throughout the process. That person might find a way to make a phylactery ethically, and would have the mental discipline to remain moral through intellectual reasoning alone.
I am curious if anyone else has used the alternate affliction rules in a real game. It seems like they would kill you awfully fast. My PCs are running through a kobold lair where every other little bugger has strength poison. One of my players had already failed 3 saves :D
What I did to make it less lethal, is made weaker poisons advance 1/3 or 1/2 along the affliction track. So the player that failed three times is only at the first stage. So far it seems to be working fine.
The conversion rate I use is:
1 poison damage => 1/3 advancement per failed save
So imagine this, death costs money, a large lump sum cost. What do we do in real life when large costs might show up unexpectedly? We buy Insurance! I imagine an order of clerics that sell life insurance at an affordable rate. When the insured dies, the order would send it's adventurers out to retrieve the body and cast Raise Dead.
The characters can be Insurance Agents!
I am playing a Ratfolk warlord right now. My friend is playing a Ratfolk unchained rogue. I use Golden Lion shenanigans to move him into position an let him full attack every turn. He has Butterfly sting and I wield a pick. We will get Outflank later, and that should be fun :)
You don't even need a high crit weapon to make this silly. If both of you have Combat Reflexes, Outflank, and Butterfly Sting, whenever any one crits, you can hand that crit back and forth until you run out of AoOs. Your weapon's crit multiplier becomes equal to both your dex bonuses +3 :)
There are other options too. You could get Outflank and that Path of War teamwork feat that increases threat ranges.
I'm not sure how you can call someone a "very experienced GM" if they need to look up the same DC twice in the same turn. I am the rules guru in my group, and I just have all the AoO triggers and DCs memorized. Also, was the second caster not listening when the DM explained casting defensively to the first?
Maybe if the GM is new to D&D or Pathfinder, it would happen like this; but then I imagine that the game will go slowly anyway as everyone figures out what their attack bonuses are.
I think that my system allows for the same idea as your shadow snake, if anything, it is what I was trying to enable. I don't have shadow in evolutions because it was not part of the unchained list that I copied.
At level 12, you have 5 Offense Points that you can spend on:
You could choose the elemental subtype, choosing earth to give you earth-glide for more sneakiness. and an extra evolution point. Taking extra evolution will let you grab magical flight too.
You also have 8 evolution points. you can go
More relevantly, you can get grab at level 1; and you can spend evolutions on increased speed without adding legs to your snake :) Though I agree that reach feels kinda bad if you only have one attack.
This differed from the original eidolon because it lacks a gore attack and poison. However, I've tried to make poison a more relevant combat option.
Huh, so you are right about the spellcraft...
I meant that you would change the requirements of say Craft Wondrous Items to:
prerequisites: Caster level 3rd or 3 ranks is a craft skill.
This way, mundanes already have a harder time because they need a bajillion craft skills. Though you are not making one feat that can be used to craft every item.
Ah, but RAW says nothing about the astral plane being 4d. And my explanation makes the planar cosmology function exactly as the rules say it does. RAW tells us how things work, not why. So really, both of our explanations are guesses, and thus equally possible; you can't assert that your way is correct. And Occam's Razor tells us that since there are no rules for 4d combat / motion, we should not assume that it is a thing we should care about.
So My problem with the eidolon and its unchained brother is that it forces you into a cookie cutter build where you max the natural attacks you can bring to bear and then take pounce. I don't this it is necessarily broken but i think it is boring. Also, I feel that a lot of the option of the eidolon have sort of forced flavor. (And why does gore cost 2 points when bite costs 1?)
The goals of these changes is to make eidolons that use different combat styles viable and interesting without re-inventing the wheel. For example, I should be able to build an lillend azata, a unicorn, a marilith or a spider or a dragon and have them all be viable. Not laughed into the ground by the claw-ball.
The tl;dr is:
Please let me know if you think that something is broken, or if there is an obvious best build that is hiding in there. I like the sub-types Paizo added, but maybe I should make them optional and increase the evolution pool?
My problem with the eidolon was always was not really addressed in the Unchaining. That problem is that eidolons are forced to be cookie-cutter natural attack beasts if they want to be effective.
For example, you can't make a unicorn that focuses only on it's horn attack, becoming stronger as it levels. Like a 2-handed fighter.
Even getting weapon proficiencies costs 4 (!) evolution points and is worse than the pounce monster.
It would make much more sense to have two pools of evolution points: Offense and Other. Each point in the Offense pool would be used to buy either a single natural attack, or to strengthen an existing attack. Ex, you might gain a scaling elemental damage for one point, or Powerful Charge, etc... You could also use an Offense point to gain a weapon attack.
The Offense pool would match the 'max attacks' column of the eidolon so would naturally scale correctly.
The Other pool would have all the quirky things like flight, natural armor, energy resistance, etc.
If you were feeling adventurous, you could add some spell casting to the Offense evolutions.
One day I will write this... :)
About planar physics:
Options other than infinite points and 3d slices:
1) When you enter the astral plane, you become a 4d creature. The magic does this so that you can survive there. Bam. Now you can use find the path.
2) All the planes are 3d. When you plane-shift, the magic takes you from one, applies coordinate mapping and puts you in the other. All the theories that creatures that live in those planes have are mistaken because they can't access the mechanism that contains the planes.
Ghosts and stuff that occupy multiple planes at once are literally copied into both planes, though their soul (that is their thinky bit) is singular so they can't tell and act the same in both planes.
Just because a 4d plane seems elegant does not mean it is the only solution.
Why is everyone so hung up on the supposed power of the spell? If you want to kill a man's wife, you could charm him, pass a CHA check and a second save, or you could have your fighter friend hit her with a great-sword... That hardly seems over-powered.
That dwarven merchant probably has a hidden lackey to cast Protection From Evil on him if he sees someone throwing charms around. Or even a Permanenceied Circle Against Evil on his counter if his wears are worth anything at all.
I would be more worried about the Evil PCs killing everyone in the store and taking their stuff.
And Dominate is way stronger. It lasts days per level. That's pretty important if you need dependable minions.
Our group has decided to try out the Path of War. I am playing a warlord with Silver Crane. Am I right in that Enduring Crane Strike basically gives unlimited out-of-combat healing?
Enduring Crane Strike wrote:
I know that out-of-combat healing is not broken per-se, but it is weird to me that after a fight, everyone stops and watches the initiator whack a tree for a bit to get healed...
What's a sensible in-world reason that this strike would only work in real combat.
The law is hard, because the contract you read is not actually everything you need to know. for example, if you sign a contract with your employer where you promise not to work in your industry for five years if you quit, that would be unenforceable, because you can not be blocked from making a living.
I like to imagine that the Infernal Courts also have a vast body of case law and probably a constitution.
so you might have a simple looking contract like this:
Where the infernal law codes for contracts may define a 'vast sum of money' as a very precise amount, say 100 gp. They just never bothered to adjust it for inflation since the law was written way back when Rovagug was sealed.
Or you could have taxes consume large parts of their wish. Everyone loves taxes :)
Keep in mind, most wizards, blasters or otherwise, don't want their fireballs to deal full damage to wood. Imagine you have a nice little brawl in the corrupt noble's mansion. He drops a fireball, and all the walls in a 30ft burst disintegrate and the roof collapses :p