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Vedavrex Misraria

Lune's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,209 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 5 Pathfinder Society characters.


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I am fine with either a lock or move. At this point the thread has went way behind what I intended. Everyone seems to be (often harshly) judging anything they can find wrongdoing in. I am forgiving of the whole thing and as stated in my first sentence of this thread am not looking for retribution in any way. I would honestly rather the thread die if that continues.

FLite: I had him read a lot of stuff in preparation. I have been GMing for decades but I might be able to pick something up from that thread too.

Thanx again to everyone who has been helpful.

Calenor wrote:

Just to be curious, knowing that you play high with a low group, why did you choose the frontal assault, and did't sneak into the Fortress, as ordered by VC?

This would have made these encounters a lot easier.

Well, it wasn't as if we had the results of both options available to us when the decision was made to abandon the stealth route. Also, we did start out with that intention but another PC (no my son or I) made the choice that they could not tolerate how the slaves were being treated. It was an in character decision (I believe they were Liberty's Edge too) and we weren't about to not backup our team.

My son's character was posing as a "bodyguard" to the "slave trader" another character. That other character made his move and the cover was blown. My son's character also had his horse being a cavalier. Once the cover was blown it went downhill from there. We couldn't really approach the stronghold without the gnoll we had just killed in tow without our cover being blown. In fact, the archer on the tower opened fire upon our approach. At that point it is better to rush in than be a pincushion as the only one of our characters with a strong ranged option was the Arcanist and most of his spells were close range.

Also, my character was the only one among us that was stealthy in the least. And with most of the party lacking darkvision and the gnolls having it the decision was made that a night time approach would favor the gnolls as well.

William: That is fair. No hard feelings here. I seemed to get the impression that you would prefer flexability being allowed in these circumstances. I had thought that a more liberal reading along with the way the rule used to work would have swayed you towards allowing for the "fringe" case under the current rules.

Regarding the CDG and nonlethal attacks:
I have had a recent talk with my son on this topic. It seems that I was mistaken about where the CDG was placed. It wasn't upon his own character, it was upon his mount. I remembered incorrectly, my apologies for the confusion it may have caused.


However, after having read the motivations of what the gnolls goals were supposed to have been I can tell you that they were definitely not played that way. They had the definite advantage throughout that entire fight and it was so obvious even their low intelligence is no excuse for not knowing it. That is worse than the CDG even if it were to have been on my son's character.

That would have turned the game around entirely. My character would have still had a great chance at breaking free with her abilities. It would have allowed the rest of the game to play out as it was intended.

I am actually thinking more now knowing the things that were obviously missed if the GM was purposely being lethal for some reason. I doubt it is the case and I'm probably just being paranoid. I do not recall having any negative interaction with him. It just seems like he took things out of the way they were intended and made things purposefully lethal when they were not meant to be. Like... pretty extremely, honestly. I still am not upset at him, but if they were meant to be as non-lethal as others have pointed out when overpowering the party to the point that they did... well, it is making me think that it may not have been as accidental as I originally thought. It seems like it is too hard to miss ALL of those mistakes.

Especially FLite's last spoiler. Is that true? Is it actually written in the scenario? Why on earth wasn't that followed at least? 2 were captured, 2 (and the horse) were killed. I was made to feel like they were doing a favor by the one guy using his boon and everyone chipping in for raise deads for the two dead. There were no deals made for us. We were worse off than the worst case scenario.

DM's side of the story:
I'm sorry, I don't think that will happen. I'm not sure how often he reads the boards. Even if he did recognize the story I think at this point it would be pretty embarrassing for him to post here, don't you? I honestly don't see what good would come of that for anyone involved. Him, me, the other players or the community as a whole.

Look, I didn't come here to have people judge the GM and any mistakes he made. I didn't come to have people judge my actions or that of my son. I simply came seeking a solution and it has been found. I thank everyone who contributed to helping me on my way to that.

No, I don't think the GM posting would be wise. I also don't know any of the other players that were present besides my son. While I tend to try to keep him out of the drama spotlight, he is quickly becoming an adult so I will allow him to chime in. After all he also has a stake in this.

Also, I support the thread move and spoiler tag if it is appropriate to do so.

Mulgar, no offense but it really seems like you didn't read the whole thread. Nonetheless, thank you for your sentiment. I assure you, we have not been soured on PFS from a single game. :)

andreww wrote:
Actually Lune doesn't seem to be making that distinction.

You are wrong. Re-read my initial post. I gave the levels in that post.

And while you think that the "fringe" statement is clearly supposed to apply only to tier 0-3 there are plenty of other people in this thread that have a different opinion and have shared it. I do not really care to argue the point. I didn't even bring it up.

Mulgar, Mark, et al: Just so you understand my son and I didn't actually know that we were playing in subtier 6-7 until it was brought up in the middle of the grim encounter that this thread is about. The DM didn't tell the table what tier we were playing in much less give us a choice. So while you are likely correct that the Bard's player was making an informed decision that he knew would affect our subtier, we did not know this. We didn't know we were playing in the subtier so we didn't know to adjust what characters we were playing to bump us down to the lower subtier.

Now sure, it is partially our fault for not being well enough informed about how the subtier calculations work. But saying "IF THE PLAYER CHOOSES TO PLAY" is not really accurate to this situation. Understand that those creatures didn't have a CR hovering above their heads. We didn't know either in character or out of character what we were up against until it was too late. And no, running away wasn't an option. They had us on movement speed, numbers, etc. Outmanned and outgunned and all that jazz.

Mark, you are incorrect on your CR calculations, bud. That is what the encounter CR is before the addition of the extra gnoll and the gnoll boss with the greataxe. Recalculate it and you will see. Regardless I am not only referring to just this 3-7 scenario. There are other scenarios in that tier range that have CR9+ bosses.

Further analysis of the mistakes are not really needed. They have already been identified. No one (at least not myself or my son) is trying to place blame or point fingers so allocating the blame for the identified mistakes isn't needed either. As I said from the beginning, I'm sure there were miscommunications aplenty and the blame finger can go in several directions. Yes, even at me. I understand that ignorance is a poor excuse but that doesn't excuse that it happened and it shouldn't have.

Actually, the question (which has been posed several times) is whether or not you believe that level 4s (or even 3) are intended to contend with CR9 bosses.

I understand basic arithmetic as I believe everyone here does. We know how rounding works. But as plaidwandering said, "Anyone 4.6-5 is in the same boat and likely wiped out without any chance at all." Or as William Boyle put it, "I can see the DCs and some full strength monster SAs (which are often toned down in 1-2) etc. in a 4-5 being a bit much for PCS with 6 XPs so I would not lose any sleep if there was some flexibility."

I can understand and respect your opinion whatever it is. I do, honestly, find it hard to believe that you think actually think that level 4s are intended to contend with CR9 bosses. I think it is more likely you are repeating your interpretation of the way the rules read for the sake of argument rather than actually believing the words you are saying. But if you tell me you believe that then I will let the point drop and put you on that side of the disagreement.

It is a minor point in the overall discussion and I am not trying to alienate someone who helped me and supports our situation being resolved in a very amiable way.

BNF: Again, I'm not upset at the DM or anyone. Slack is given in ample amounts.

This is altogether different than believing it was handled correctly.

Mark: But 4.6 (such was the case here) doesn't get that choice? I think you may have avoided plaidwandering's question.

@Yuri: Heh... "Lube". ;)
Yeah, with those changes in effect it would have been a lot easier. However, that gnoll barbarian with the axe was grim. Him, by himself, was difficult for us to deal with. It is hard to believe that it is intentional that at 4th level we are expected to contend with such a foe with all of his goons and pets present.

@Mark: So you believe it is intentional for 3rd level characters to face CR9+ bosses?

Also, the four-character adjust was not the only mistake. Even if you are correct about the intention of the "fringe" situation (which I still question for the same reasons William did) we also fought 3 encounters combined into one. That was not intended as part of the scenario.

Mark, while I understand what you are saying I disagree.

You believe that this is taken out of context: "In the fringe case where there are no players that are high enough to have reached the subtier level (such as a party of six 3rd level characters), the group may decide to play down to the lower subtier." You believe that this sentence only applies when it is a season 0-3 scenario. I do not. I understand that it is in the same paragraph as it is talking about 0-3 scenarios but I still believe that it is meant to apply to all.

If that is true then it would lead to situations where level 4 (or even 3!) characters are designed to fight against CR9+ bosses. I think that the last sentence of that is meant to apply to all seasons of scenarios.

Again, I understand what you are saying but I do not take that sentence as meaning to be applied to only seasons 0-3 otherwise you end up with the situation that we ran into.

Either way, even if you are correct on that point and I am wrong (which I admit is subject to interpretation as others have already posted in this thread with that interpretation) the four-character adjustment wasn't the only mistake here. See my above post. We fought 3 encounters in one which was not intended in the scenario as well.


I think we didn't get as far as where the Genie was. The boss was one that we had fought. It is possible it didn't have the invis potion as there was some kind of ground effect thing going on (obscuring mist) and he could have went around a building. Basically, his disappearance could have been lacking proper description.

But from your description we faced B1, B2 and the Pack Leader together? So this was not intended?

So from the sounds of it, there were three mistakes that happened:

1. There was no four-character adjustment.

2. We were not given the option to play down a tier when we had no one in the tier that we fought.

3. The GM combined 3 encounters (compounding mistakes 1 and 2; with too many and too high tier) into one which was not part of the scenario.

Is that more or less correct?

@FLite: Well, it wasn't run correctly. We should have been given the opportunity to choose a lower tier as stated by Mark and William. The rule states:
"A party of five to seven characters whose APL is between two subtiers must play the higher tier with the four-character adjustment."
"In the fringe case where there are no players that are high enough to have reached the subtier level (such as a party of six 3rd level characters), the group may decide to play down to the lower subtier."

Neither of those were followed. There was no four-character adjustment and no choice in playing down a tier.

I think with just the four-character adjustment it still would have been far too difficult. Fighting a CR 10 as level 4 characters is not good for their health. And even so it sounds like they are supposed to be two separate encounters?... that could have made a difference.

FLite wrote:
...there are a lot of scenarios where the upper tier boss has abilities that the lower tier PCs can't cope with.

But no one in our party was upper teir. None of us were and none of us could cope with the boss's abilities.

@Yuri: Thank you, that is very helpful.

That seems to be missing some things.

So encounters b1 and b2... are they meant to be fought together?

The gnoll lieutenants are like the ones listed here? That seems like exactly what they were.

What about the gnoll boss? What is he? Is he the gnoll warden on that same page? I think he was. He had favored enemy humans. He had a potion of invisibility that he used.

If that is true then that is a CR10!! Surely no one thinks that 4th level characters should be facing CR10 with his CR6 lietenants, and CR4 large sized hyeanas. Do they?

That thing auto hits my level 4 character on any roll except a 1. Even against our tank (my son's level 4 character) he hits on a 8. The one in this scenario was using a battle axe rather than a scimitar. I'm not sure if this was a change the GM made or was printed in the scenario. That gnoll boss can kill him in 2 attacks or one crit. That IS what happened by the way, my son's character was crit and dropped to negative in that one hit. He was then CDG by one of the other gnolls.

If it was down a teir what would we have been fighting instead?

Actually, now I am a bit concerned that this was more than a mistake about both fighting out of subtier and without table size consideration. Would anyone mind greatly checking this scenario and answering a couple of questions for me?

As I recall we had a single encounter on the chain gang that didn't go too poorly. After that road across the desert and made it to the gnoll's stronghold where we were supposed to rescue the person we were sent to save. This is the encounter that went poorly.

Mark said that there would have been a total of 4 creatures? Is that including the final encounter?

How did we end up fighting 6-7 bad guys? As I said, we fought a gnoll archer atop a parapet, 2 gnoll grunty guys, one gnoll leader and 2-3 giant (large sized) hyeana things.

Were these not included in that scenario? Could anyone tell me the CR of the things that we fought at the subtier we fought at?

Mark: ... I'm not sure what happened then.

As I recall there were at minimum 3 gnolls one of which was an archer atop a parapet near the gate. There was also a boss gnoll. There were 2, maybe 3 of the giant hyeana things. Was this two encounters combined into one, perhaps?

Tonya, I think you may be mistaken on some of the details.

First of all, I did not have ready access to my VL or VC when I was at Gencon. It was not an option for me to take the issue to them. I have to abide by the rulings made at the table. While I am happy that the GM took the issue to you I do not believe it was handled correctly at the table or after the game.

The group that I am part of meets every two weeks so I knew I would be seeing my VL the next time we played so I was going to bring it to her there. I spoke to someone who knew her better and they told me she wouldn't be able to do anything anyway so I didn't bother. I don't know my VC at all but was going to bring it to him next weekend which would be the first and only time I would have seen him outside of a brief meeting at Gencon. Luckily he has approached me on his own after seeing this post.

The remedy that you are referring to still cost the lives of two characters. The costs at the table were not reduced at all. As I stated my son still had to pay for the full cost of being raised in both all of his gold, all of my gold and some of other player's gold as well. He also paid the full cost for two Restorations. His animal companion also died but that is mostly a non-issue.

The end results are the same though, Tonya. It was a near TPK due in large part to a mistake made by the GM. Everyone involved acknowledges this. I'm not upset at the GM. I am not upset at you. I just do not think that it is fair to stand by a near TPK due to that mistake. From the people I have spoke with (both on and off this message board) it seems like they agree. And while we were told at Gencon that there was likely nothing we could do about it, I was told afterwords that there is.

I have been playing Pathfinder from it's inception. I played D&D and several other RPGs for years before that. I have had characters die. So has my son. We do not tend to take it personally. But when it was due to an error (even an honest one) that could have been retconned after it was pointed out ... well, this time it stuck with us. The threat of death is one thing. The inevitability of death due to facing too hard of a threat is something else entirely.

That being said, I don't know if I am sorry that I brought it to the boards. Actually, in this circumstance it looks like "Bringing it up to the court of public opinion" has helped. I did not know the correct way to seek resolution and now I do. My VC saw my post and is looking to help. I would think, if anything, this shows that the boards are another tool in the box to help the community. The system works. This is good. I didn't come here to air an issue, get the community fired up and to seek vengeance. Please read the first paragraph of my first post. I came to find how to seek possible resolution for something we felt wronged on.

Perhaps it might be better to discuss this further in private messages? I don't want this discussion to bring down the boards especially after prior to your post I thought things were going very well. I'm sure there were misunderstandings involved on all sides. As it looks like this is moving the right way maybe even locking the thread would be helpful?

Mark, William: I don't think it would be as big of an issue for a 1-5 but when it is a 3-7 there is a fair amount more difference between low subtier and high subtier. Level 4 melees have no business contending with multiple CR7 bad guys. The fight in question had I think... 7 bad guys?

So we were outmanned, outgunned and the bad guys started with a huge advantage being within their base.

My son's character and I road forward at breakneck speed on his mount. He jumped from his mount to the parapet with the archer and tried to take him out. If he was successful in getting there it probably would have worked but it would have been much better to have him with his party as his character is built around assisting others in combat. As luck would have it he failed a climb check bad enough to fall ... on the other side of the gate. ...with all the bad guys.
To his credit he managed to survive until we could get inside. If it hadn't have been for my character being a Breaker/Liberator Barbarian and broken down their door with my adamantine greatsword it would have went MUCH worse. Unfortunately he was so low once we got to the other side that he wasn't going to be much help in the fight. The bard couldn't get to him to heal and couldn't have dropped a large enough cure on him to have made a big difference anyway.
Even without that unfortunate event happening I can't see any way we could have beat the encounter. The gnoll leader in that encounter was rediculously strong for our APL. If it wasn't for a couple lucky crits on my part and the TWF's part it would have went even worse. I know this is only anecdotal evidence to any reader here but let me tell you once we were involved in that encounter it was easy to tell that an error had been made. It was hopeless.

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FLite: Yeah, we weren't given the choice. The GM just did the math to find the average and made the decision. I would have chose to play down a teir as our front line (my character and my son's character) were the lowest levels. If it was the other way around having the front line be higher level I may have decided differently.

And just so everyone knows we are not upset at the GM, the Event Organizers or anyone in particular. We recognize it as an honest mistake. The only thing we are a bit upset about is that it didn't seem like after the mistake was caught that it was handled well from there. But mostly looking for resolution than any kind of justice.

My VC contacted me on his own. It seems that he saw this thread and recognized me from the description (having just met him at Gencon and going to another Con he is running next weekend). He looked up my posting name, saw my alias with my real name and has told me he will correct it.

Problem solved. Thank you all for your input. My son doesn't know yet as he is still sleeping but I'm sure he will be happy.

Thanx, PFS community!

...actually, now that I'm thinking about it that reasoning doesn't make an awful lot of sense. Why would it matter if it was brought up after the fact? Is it because there would be some doubt cast upon the situation? Why? All of this information is recorded on sheets and is reported on the paizo site. It could easily be looked into if someone so desired. The GM's name can be found, the other players can be found, the levels of their characters can be verified. Heck, I just looked it up on the Paizo site myself and can see the GM's board name. (I'm not going to post it here as there is no point to it now.)

And, honestly, what reason would anyone have for mistruths in this scenario? It would bring no gains to someone who hadn't lost anything.

edit: oop, this came a bit late. This was meant to be in reply to Nefreet.

So you are saying that I should have taken the issue over Tanya's head? To Mike?

I did happen to meet Mike at the convention. Heck of a nice guy. I honestly didn't feel the need to bother him with such a (relatively) petty issue.

I was hoping that by bringing it here to the boards that I would be given information on a method of resolution. I didn't realize that the only option was for someone to take care of this issue only when it happens. Honestly, that seems like a poor policy. We were all (everyone at the table) pretty upset about the issue right then and I think it probably would have been the WORST time to have talked about it. Tensions were high and all that.

So now is it true that because we didn't seek resolution at the time that some unwritten policy wasn't followed? If that is true, I honestly have to say that I am let down by lack of player support from the PFS community.

...I guess I will bring it to my VC, though. I appreciate your input.

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First of all, I want to point out that I am not creating this thread because I'm trying to get anyone in trouble or anything else of the sort. That is not the goal here. An unfortunate thing happened that was outside of the control of the players and I am curious if there is any kind of remedy.

My son and I recently attended Gencon and had a great time. Well, at all but one of our games, anyway. So when we were sitting down to play Slave Master's Mirror two other players were already decided on what characters they were going to play. One was a 5th level two weapon fighter and the other was a 5th level Arcanist. My son and I were undecided coming into the table when when they were playing these characters we tried to get the characters that we closest level. We are fairly new to PFS so our highest level PFS characters were level 4. My "human" "rogue" (half-orc barbarian) and his Cavalier tank (he is built around using aid another actions to up AC).

The 5th player at the table was pretty fluid in which character he would play and since we needed a healer he narrowed his choices down to those. Due to the way subtier mechanics are figured his character choice really determined which subteir we were going to fight in. I didn't understand the full levity of his choice at the time but as he was a veteran, I think he did. He chose to play his 5th level Bard. That put our APL at 4.6 and as I understand it that is just enough to bump us up to subtier 6-7. This kinda screwed us as our 4th level characters were the front liners facing CR7+ bad guys. We truly were outmatched.

This player could have chose to play any other level character and it would have been more advantageous to the party. If he played a higher level character we would have been more survivable as a party. If he played a lower level character then we would have been down a subtier. As it was ... I don't honestly see how we could have won.

Now, that wasn't the GM mistake, though. This adventure is one with rules for table size and the GM threw at us the highest number of creatures to challenge us. He missed the part about where he was supposed to remove creatures from fights. He was asked this by another player during the game but said he couldn't find anything in the scenario that talked about it. After the game the other player asked to look at the scenario, found the rule and pointed it out to the GM. The GM acknowledged his mistake but it was too late. The damage was done.

My son's PC died. The Arcanist died. Everyone except the Bard was knocked unconscious. My character was 2 points short of death in unconsciousness which was a very lucky place to be as a Barbarian who went down while raging.

After the deaths occurred the GM went to the front coordinator's desk and talked to a woman named Tanya whom I was told is one of the front runners to take over for Mike Brock. Tanya acknowledged the mistake as well and gave him a way for the surviving PCs to make it out alive and for resurrection attempts to be made. The Bard's player had a boon that allowed him to resurrect a character and was happy to do so realizing that his choice played a huge part in the challenge we faced. My son used all of his money and prestige points, all of my character's money and some of the other players' to pay for his raise dead and restorations.

I was going to bring it to my local venture lieutenant but was told by someone else that I shouldn't bother as she wouldn't be able to do anything about it. I don't know my local venture captain very well yet, I have only met him once and it was at Gencon. I am going to be playing in another small convention that he is running next weekend but didn't want my first real interaction with him be basically about me b$%!&ing about some bad experience at Gencon. So instead I decided to bring it to the boards... logical, right?

Anyway, are we just SOL? I mean, the near TPK was in large part due to the GM's mistake. I'm not saying he should be punished either. It was an unfortunate situation. I don't think anyone should be punished but least of all the players. I considered not bringing this up at all and I was hoping it would stop bothering me but it hasn't. My son is bothered by it to the point of not wanting to even play the character anymore (he was close to making a big purchase but now all of his money and prestige are gone). We are both pretty disheartened by the experience.

I have talked to other PFS GMs since then and they all have given pretty much the same feedback: they have told me that if they were running and had made this kind of mistake and it lead to this kind of issue that they simply would have retconned it as they wouldn't have wanted to be responsible for a TPK that was avoidable due to their mistake.

Does anyone have any advice for us?

How is the character over encumbrance? All his gear merges with him when he polymorphs. That stuff is all part of his body, it doesn't count against his weight unless it specifically says that it does, if he puts it on after he shapes or it retains it's shape regardless of whether he shapes or not.

As I said, I tried convincing him not to go Lame but he would have nothing of it. So those are the constraints that I have to work within.

I think we found a solution. Bloodrager seems like the best option for a single level dip. It gives Fast Movement that stacks with everything including Longstrider which is now "on his spell list". He can spend 2PP and get a wand of it at 2nd level. That will make his movement speed while in medium armor 30. At 10th level Oracle that goes up to 35.

I think the armor that he should go for is Mithril Full Plate, spending a Trait on Armor Expert and getting Steelbone Frame. That makes his ACP -0 and still allows him to keep his fast movement from Bloodrager. Expeditious Retreat is also on his spell list, as is Haste. This gives him some wand options.

Plus, Bloodrage doesn't suck. Celestial seems like the best Bloodline fit as it makes all his attacks aligned and still stacks with Holy.

Honestly, the only downside at that point is that it still delays Oracle caster progression. Also, taking out that level of Fighter moves his feats all down and requires that he actually take Endurance and Diehard. But at least he doesn't have to spend one on Divine Protection anymore. The net affect is he doesn't get Toughness until later (but he already has a massive Con) and he skips Selective Channel altogether. Not a major loss, really as for this build he will be doing most of his healing to only himself.

Thanx for the help guys. LordAwesome is my son.

I didn't notice the ACG errata on Divine Protection. Damn, I really need to read that in full. Paizo goin' rampant with the nerf stick all o'er the place.

Just to elaborate a bit LordAwesome is looking for a long term solution to a long term problem. I tried to convince him out of Lame for a small sized character. It seems that his logic is that he believes immunity to fatigue will be worth it in PFS due to the number of adventures with climate based effects that will cause fatigue. I don't see that as worth it but he isn't to be convinced so those are the confines I have to work within to help him make his concept not suck.

The pony is really a short term solution that only works for places he will be able to take it. He doesn't have a single rank in ride and I doubt he will be taking any. Level 10 Oracle will help some but that is a long time off. He will need a better solution before then.

He really wants that 1 level of Unbreakable Fighter. I can understand it as it is a powerhouse level and those feats will help him with staying up after taking a bunch of damage from Life Link. Fitting in a level of Barbarian would certainly help with the movement speed issues but I fear it would water him down too much from the slow casting progression of Oracle especially after doing the Fighter level as well.

The only solutions I can think of are as follows:
1. A level of Barbarian (or Bloodrager, I suppose).
Pros - +10ft movement that stacks with Boots of Striding and Springing, good HP for one level which will help with soaking from Life Link, Rage gives some options for melee. If he goes with Bloodrager then Longstrider is considered "on his spell list" and he could effectively use a wand of it.
Cons - Even further delaying Oracle progression along with the Fighter dip, the only heavy armor option while retaining the movement bonus is Mithril heavy armor and that is rather expensive. option is to take out the Fighter level. Not taking Divine Protection frees up one feat and he could swap another to get Diehard online.

2. Obtaining the Travel Domain.... only way I see viable is Cleric or Inquisitor.
Pros - +10ft movement that stacks with Boots of Striding and Springing ...thats about it.
Cons - Wis is so low he wouldn't get to cast any spells, even domain spells (I think?). That pretty much means he would be taking a level to get 0 BAB, 2 good saves and s%*!ty skill points. ...and the movement.

3. Ponies and Boots.
Pros - Do not have to invest in spending levels not in Oracle, solves the problem by just throwing gold at it.
Cons - The wait is long, ponies don't always help, boots only bring him up to his normal movement speed which is still crap until level 10.

What he really needs is a way to grab a domain without having high Wis. Honestly if he could get that then it would basically solve his issue.

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I have to say that I am firmly in Oddman80's camp on this one.

Just looked back at 3.x rules and he is right the new Wild is the old Beastskin and that was (and really only should be) worth +2 enhancement bonus.

I think everyone would be alright with it if it were just a +cost bonus rather than a +x enhancement bonus.

Either way this isn't really a FAQ type thing. They are not providing clarity about the way something works. They are changing it. It is the same kind of thing that they did with a number of other rules CHANGES like Slashing Grace, Spirit's Gift, etc. I am opposed to this new change in how things are done.

If it is a rules change then it should be errata and should be changed in future printings. If it is a FAQ then it should not be a change. FAQ is for clarifications.

I think this is what has a lot of people upset. If Paizo would just admit that they are changing something and a simple reason of why it would avoid a lot of these debates. Just something as simple as "we felt this needed to be changed due to balance issues that it caused" would probably be fine (although I would disagree with it on this particular ruling based on a long established accepted bonus:power ratio).

Urath DM wrote:
Lune wrote:

So we are agreed? The PC can "force" his animal companion?

...boy we took the long way around that discussion. ;)

Absolutely, unequivocally, not.

Training does not "force" the creature to do anything. "Force" being measured on the scale of a compulsion magical effect that literally over-rides the normal behavior of the creature.

An animal trained through fear will obey as long as the threat of punishment remains real. As soon as that threat is removed, the animal will flee or turn on its abuser.

If you don't accept that, then we are coming at this from different assumptions, and just need to agree to disagree.

Aside from why this is psychologically untrue which Dallium touched on, and why how you say an animal will react is also often untrue there is that whole rules thing. Nothing of what you said is true within the rules.

Just because a GM doesn't like the idea of an AC being abused by it's master doesn't give him the right to remove the character's Animal Companion class ability. That is what you would effectively be doing by saying "your animal flees from your abuse" or worse, using the class ability against the character. There is nowhere in the rules that it says that an AC will flee from the character or turn on them. You are making that up based on your opinion of how it should work in the real world.

But when we are talking about the Handle Animal skill it most certainly does "force" an animal to do what you are trying to get them to do with a successful check. They don't even get a saving throw like a charm or compulsion effect. It most certainly DOES override the normal behavior of the creature. That, in fact, is exactly what it does.

I'm not talking about abuse. I'm stating that the master can FORCE his companion to do things. "Force" being the word that started this whole tangent in the first place.

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I'm with Oddman80 on this one. It doesn't make sense and the change doesn't make sense. I don't have a character that it affects currently so I'm just not as passionate about it. But he is speaking logic.

So we are agreed? The PC can "force" his animal companion?

...boy we took the long way around that discussion. ;)

alexd1976: I understand that you are trying to come up with the most extreme example possible. It has not changed my opinion or much less what the rules state.

Saying that a character loses a class feature because they mistreated it needs a specific rule. They do exist. Cavaliers, Paladins, Samurais and others all have class abilities that can be removed if they do not follow a set of actions. Druid's/Hunters/Rangers/etc. do not have a rule like this for their ACs. Neither is there any rule similar to that for Handle Animal.

What you are proposing is that if a GM doesn't like how their character are treating their AC that they can take away the class feature. And (outside of GM fiat) that just isn't true.

Before you went down the wild tangent of sawing off your AC's paws this was about the Flank trick and whether or not using Handle Animal "forces" them to do something or not. If we could return to that topic briefly I stand by agreeing with the original person who stated that: "forcing" is an apt description.

How'd I miss that? Sorry. Thanx. ...odd.

Oddman80: You got a link to JJ's statement by chance just for reference?

So, you mean to say that when the rules state, "This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the druid on her adventures." that you are inferring that if the druid/ranger/etc treats their animal companion in a way that is not loyal that the animal companion becomes disloyal? That isn't what it says. It says that the "animal is a loyal companion". It doesn't talk about the master being loyal, it doesn't say why the animal is loyal and it doesn't give exceptions.

It says, "This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the druid on her adventures." Period. Literally.

It could be loyal because of the negative reinforcement that it's master instilled in it for the punishment of disobeying. After all, evil NPCs can have ACs too. Do you think they all treat their animals well?

alexd1976: I disagree. I believe if you were able to train your animal in a trick to make itself Helpless that it would do so and allow you to CDG it.

Likewise, if you had say... a whip and you trained your animal to Stay if it were well trained (you had a high Handle Animal skill) you could sit there and whip it all day long without it attacking you back.

There are examples of this in the real world. Besides that, the game is not the real world. The rules state if you succeed at a Handle Animal check the animal does what you want. Barring GM fiat, of course. But then GM fiat isn't really part of any specific rule. A GM could just as easily fiat the Charm Person or Dominate Person spells even though they have codified rules just like Handle Animal does.

Nope. I'm sticking with "force" being a fairly apt term here.

I think I would agree with you except in the situation where a Handle Animal skill would prevent it. If the animal is alone it and knows it's master isn't nearby it would likely try to escape. Otherwise... nope.

I can tell you that you can be an abusive master and still have loyalty in the real world. Whether through fear being trained into the animal of the repercussions of disloyalty (negative reinforcement) or with the animal still appreciating being fed and taken care of despite its mistreatment it can and does happen.

In the game world though it doesn't matter. You have the Handle Animal skill. If you make the check the critter does what you want it to. It doesn't get a save to resist. Loyalty isn't a factor of Handle Animal barring GM fiat.

I am aware of those passages. Nowhere in them does it say a GM should disregard the Handle Animal skill. In fact, it states quite the opposite. If the animal knows a trick then you refer to the Handle Animal skill. If you pass your Handle Animal DC for a trick (whether pushing or having it complete a trick it knows), it does the trick.

Are you stating that the bit about "You can direct them using the Handle Animal skill, but their specific behavior is up to the GM." means "Disregard what the PC is trying to accomplish via the Handle animal skill and just have the creature do whatever you want because you are the GM and you can fiat anything you want."?

Qaianna wrote:
Lune wrote:
What if the cleric was invisible, was perfectly silent, scentless, hovering above the ground (negating tremorsense) and had nondetection up and wasn't moving? What if the person being attacked was also blind and deaf?

Unmoving. Entirely still ... which means he's electing to NOT threaten. You can imitate a tree all you want, but once you WANT TO swing at things, you're moving at least a little.

Don't forget: I'm not saying the cleric is pinpointed; that I'll grant is impossible merely because there are multiple squares that can provide a flank to the rogue here. You don't know what you're being threatened with. It could be something normal ... or something with reach, and there are three reach squares that would get you flanked there.

So yes, you know you're flanked. You know SOMEONE is on that flanking side. You can ASSUME he's in that square right there, but that'd be an awful time to find out you're dealing with one of Shelyn's friends, wouldn't it?

If nothing else, there's no way in hell you're going to convince the fighter's player that he's flanked if you refuse to let him assume someone else is there. Otherwise that player would (with reason) insist that there's no flanker, so no sneak attack, so give back those damn hit points. Here you have a game mechanic that reveals SOME information by its existence. Remember that it's not a dead giveaway.

Entirely still means you do not threaten? Rules citation, please.

So you are not saying that the cleric is pinpointed ...just that you know someone is flanking you and that you know what square they are in? Isn't that the definition of pinpointing?

Yeah, I know where he is coming from too. I just have never been for punishing a player's character concept just because I do not personally like it. If it is within the rules I try to make sure they have a fun game, not remove class abilities because they do not jive with the iconic idealized concept trope that is cliched by the book, pop culture or anyone's personal opinions.

alexd1976: I knew it. ;)
Also, it has been my experience that hypocrits do not typically announce that they are such up front. I don't hold it against you though. As I said, I think it is something most GMs do based on personal experience.

Generally speaking I do think that animals are poor tacticians when it comes to commanding armies. When it comes to pack tactics, though... well, I think that animals who are used to working in packs typically do flank. That is not something that I consider advanced tactics though. In fact, it is about the most simple of tactics that I am able to think of.

And yeah, I could see adding a modifier as alexd1976 suggested. But not purposefully ignoring rules.

Urath DM: And what rules would you be using to justify this? The AC would be ignoring it's master's commands ... because you say so? Even when the Handle Animal skill specifically contradicts this?

I agree with what everyone has said. I also play a Fox Shaped Kitsune in PFS and my experiences match Byakko's.

In fact, the closest I have come to someone even questioning the rule is asking to read it and that recently happened at Gencon. They agreed that my (our) reading is correct and the game quickly moved on.

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BigNorseWolf is correct here as well. Receiving the bonuses is not connected to how you enter your opponent's square for either feat. If you Stunning Fist into an opponent's square you get the Underfoot Assault bonuses. If you Penache into an opponent's square you get the Monkey Shine bonuses.

This has been discussed a number of times in a number of different threads. The overwhelming majority agrees here. I do not feel the need to discuss the significance of a paragraph or period any longer.


...Cavall is upset.

Ok, part of this is devil's advocate, but part of it is actually just how I feel.

alexd1976 wrote:
So says me.

In a rules forum the best source is yourself as a DM, right? ;)

For the record, I do not believe you. I do not believe that when you DM that you do not have animals purposefully move into flanking position without the input from someone giving them a command to do so. In fact, I wouldn't believe it until you had one of your players posting corroborating your story. Yes, that part I'm serious about. I believe that almost all DMs do this for creatures that they typically believe use these tactics in nature.

Urath DM wrote:
I would not use "force" because the GM still runs the Animal Companion has a NPC. The GM may defer most control over to the Player, but still has the right (and duty) to say "no, the animal won't do something so suicidal"... so the AC will not ignore being frightened or panicked, for example, in order to obey a command. It is not "forced" to obey; it is "trained" to obey. If the master acts so egregiously against the animal companion, no amount of training will "force" it to come back if it gains its freedom. Training is not a magical compulsion.

Whether the compulsion is magical or not it works the same. You have to overcome a DC. The only difference is that the player rolls this rather than the defending creature. They, in fact, do not get a resistance to this. Whether you call it "forcing" or "training" them to obey it amounts to the same thing. If you beat your check the creature obeys your commands. The petty differences between the definitions of the words is moot as the result is the same.

I had a friend who played a Ranger with his first Favored Enemy being Animals. He treated them like tools to accomplish a task. He was more of the "cruel lion tamer" type rather than the "cuddle with my awesome animal companion" type. By your ruling it sounds like you wouldn't allow his concept. But, to be clear, there is nothing in the rules that would disallow this concept. The rules work the same regardless if he is trying to "lightly nudge" his animal companion into doing something or "outright asserting his will and forcing" it to do something. The rules are the same; he makes the check and if he succeeds the outcome is the same regardless of the words you use to get there.

...the rest of your post I agree with. :)

Mine is for PFS. You cannot permanently destroy items that are on the chronicle sheet there. So, yeah... kinda cheating in PFS. Similar to an Arcanist's Consume Magic Exploit. ;)

I can see it for non-PFS play for just temporarily disabling the enemy's loot, though.

Ah. Alright, carry on then.

I still think that the separate question remains of how do DMs run wild wolves, raptors, etc. Do they have them flank when they are not animal companions?

And honestly... regardless of the answer that they would give I know what I believe they do.

alexd1976: Hm. That is even more interesting, but you are correct.

I will have to remember this in my next game. I'll have to ask my players if they want to provide flanking for their enemies.

Was I arguing with someone with my last statement? Who are you so angry at, alexd1976?

You would think it wouldn't, right? Perhaps my games and those I play in are the exception but I have ran into some very similar situations and my table were all perplexed which way to rule.

...anyway, why does it matter why it matters? The question stands.

Does (or is your character going to get) have Sunder Enchantment? If so, or if you will humor me for the moment: for what reason would you get that Rage Power?

...can't you already Sunder all of those things without that Rage Power?

Claxon: I completely agree.

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