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Pathfinder Society Member. 126 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Harrowed Wizard wrote:

@Aldarionn- I do believe that is what is eventually supposed to happen. In fact the beginning of Book 3 talks about just that happening basically.

What I think the OP was getting at was Drezen BEFORE the PCs & their Paladin army arrives.

Indeed that is what I was referring to, the status of Drezen when the PCs arrive there not after conquering it.

Harrowed Wizard wrote:

It is my thought that yes, it is in fact basically an empty shell. And thinking on it, the way Changing Man described it would make sense too after having read The Worldwound Gambit.

Also, while those craftsmen might be with the enemy armies, why would they deal with the PCs seeing as they are either part of enemy armies.

I haven't read the Worldwound Gambit so I don't really know what is described there - any hints would be appreciated!

So... why am I asking for ideas? The most interesting thing with mass combat up to this point for my group is handling the prisoners. Some players wanted to release them, some wanted to keep them along, most suggested that they were executed and that caused a very interesting debate (other than the party's paladin and the cleric of Iomeadae all the others play characters extremely hostile towards demon supporters - they actually expected that the army of paladin should execute all prisoners!).

Therefore, conquering Drezen and having to deal with several, dozens actually, prisoners, most of whom were non-combatants (not really civilians but rather not involved in the fighting) feels like it would be leading to very interesting situations as well as makes sense for the setting - tending the needs of standing armies I mean. Furthermore, several of those prisoners, may actually have been slaves, so were probably liberated rather than taken prisoner. What happens to all these people?

As to why would demons care about the welfare of human and tiefling supporters, I'd say for several reasons. First and foremost because they'd want them around! Fear can keep them leashed for so much. Armies would need food and drink, wages and something interesting to spend that money on - read here gambling, drinking, drugs, whoring, you name it. Otherwise...

Furthermore, don't forget that demons *need* mortals to "sin". They need mortals to behave in such a way in order to achieve their greater goal, which of course, as noted in the adventure itself, is not conquering land. Demons spend their time trying to seduce mortals to their cause, wouldn't they try to keep those already seduced satisfied? Up to a point of course...

So... that's the background story of my thoughts!

As always, any ideas and insight shall be greatly appreciated!

So... my group is nearing Drezen and I just realised that the city is rather... empty!

I mean, sure, it's supposed to be ruined, but, hey, there are hundreds of human and tiefling troops stationed there and many more were there as well before Aponavicius decided to move the bulk of her forces south.

That bears the question then. What do these troops eat? The food and water reclaimed by the PC army would last only for a few days so there must be a way for them to resupply! Who repairs their weapons and armor? Where? Who provides mundane items? How do these troops entertain themselves? Who pays them and how do they spent their ill-earned wages?

Isn't there absolutely no kind of market / business in Drezen? I'm not expecting civilians, of course, but there must be some kind of infrastructure or else Drezen would collapse, in my opinion at least.

What is there for the PCs to conquer? Just a citadel and an empty shell of a city?

Help me flesh out Drezen!

Just in case anyone's interested my GM finally ruled it as polearm.

Thanks a lot your insight people!

Well, that's a possibility as well, being on two categories!

Furthermore, the word "Hammer" does not necessarily mean that it belongs to the "Hammers" category, e.g. Lucerne Hammer is a polearm and not a hammer or Meteor Hammer which is a flail and not a hammer.

On a final note, it would seem that no weapons listed in the "Hammers" category have reach. That should be a +1 for my case, right?

Ahhh... I knew there should be a definition somewhere!

Unfortunately the list does not contain the Dwarven Longhammer, neither in polearms or in hammers, so I can't get a RAW response to my question, albeit, since hammers are a category on their own, I guess my GM would rule Dwarven Longhammers there instead of in polearms...

Oh, well...

Thanks a lot people!

Concerning the Polearm Master Fighter archetype, which weapons are considered polearms? Is there some special ability the weapon must have? Reach? Brace? Something else?

I'm specifically interested in the Dwarven Longhammer, an exotic large warhammer with reach. Can I use it with the aforementioned archetype?


Do we have anything official as to when should we expect Game Space to be delivered? Maybe something about when will beta open??

Any educated guesses?


Probably silly question, but, well, here it goes!

Most of the demons encountered in the AP are not summoned right? They should be able to summon more demons, isn't that so?

This could lead to really ugly situations! :)

James Jacobs wrote:
EDIT: I take that last part back. Just thought of a REALLY cool idea for them if the PCs still have them around in the last adventure. Ha.

And I am the one who caused this to happen? Woot!!! :)

Well, yeah, but unfortunately Hosila (the "boss") managed to escape so tatoos (which were a really cool idea! I'll definitely use them at some point!) and interrogation can't work... as for having a code, an Int score of 8 would make any code difficult for her to decode even having a codebook. Her superior naturally knew that, so he used a very simple code, that is replace the actual names of the places with the respective acronyms. Even an Int 8 would be enough to allow her to identify the places, since she actually knew about them.

The nobleman won't react more than "wow, cultists in our midst!", not until the party actually figures that NM stands for Nyserian Manor (which I expect to happen when they manage to follow some cultists there).

As for what happens if she were to forget the password? Simply put, the guards in the safe house would kill her. Why would her superior be concerned as long as she delivers the sword to the safe house? (which she will fail to do since in her arrogance she never thought that she might be forced to flee - naturally her life is forfeit as soon as her superior realizes that).

But, of course, this is the way I'm thinking to run this situation and not some kind of ultimate solution! :)

I think I will replace the names of the safe houses from the handout with acronyms (e.g. NM for Nyserian Manor etc.) as well as replace the actual passphrase with the words "the same" ("the passphrase remains the same for now") and then use the encounters in Kenabres to steer my players towards the cultist safe houses.

Unfortunately there is no option of interrogating a prisoner as two of the cultists escaped and one died before they managed to stabilize her.

If all else fail my last resort would be a Knowledge (Local) / Wisdom / Intelligence check, either by them or the NPCs as to what might the acronyms stand for.

This should happen next Sunday (or the one after that), so I should soon be able to report how well will it go!

Yeah, but James Jacobs said that the Scale's caster level is 19th.

Of course as a GM one may change anything, but... I have the feeling that those Scales will evolve during the course of the AP!

It seems there's an error in the description of the Resistance Power. The description says you can use the scale to cast Resist Elements, only there is no such spell, right?

I think it should read Endure Elements or Resist Energy. Which one is correct? And if the latter, isn't it overpowering, giving resist 30 vs cold / electricity at 1st lvl? Way more powerful than the other scales!

Can we have an official response?

J-Bone wrote:
Can you take a 5 ft step while prone. So perhaps to move out of a threatened square, then take a second move action to stand up and not get blasted by AoO?

I believe that this can be done only if you have a listed crawling speed...

As I've said in my initial post, I understand the reasoning behind this tactic, I just don't like it... :)

I can, of course, change those things in an adventure that I do not like, but first of all, I don't have the time to do so and furthermore, let's be honest, you guys are way better than I am!

So, here's my suggestion! Create these situations in such a way as to provide the players with the means of identifying their goals without resorting to bluntness. I would very much prefer instead of the said handout to have a box indicating possible solutions to the problem of "where do we go next". It could contain some of the ideas mentioned in this thread, it might note interrogating cultists, it might point to some of the Kenabres encounters indicating that it could be used to track cultists to one of their secret houses and maybe there the PCs would be able to find another hint to point to the next target. It would also contain the possibility of a note containing all the necessary information, but, in my opinion, it should be noted in a "if all else fail" clause.

I feel that the majority of your players would prefer this over a blunt "Deus ex machina" plot resolution device, especially if it's used time and again!

All the above being said, I'd like to really, *really* thank you James (and all other Paizo staff) for being there to address our concerns. There are not many major companies (and I believe that Paizo *is* a major company in its respective domain) who treat their customers with the respect I feel I'm getting from Paizo and this is something not to be taken lightly.

Keep up the good work!

Hmmm... interesting thoughts from both of you! The handout / message is supposed to be several weeks old so Hossila should not really be decoding *that* message, but maybe she has received some new orders and is using the handout as a guide to decode them. This actually gives a reason for her to keep the handout, as a guide to decode further messages.

The code should probably be rather difficult to break at 1st-2nd lvl even using the guide (unless we invent more orders for the cultists!), but we now have a valid reasoning for why such a handout exists at all.

A Sense Motive / Knowledge (Local) check may also serve to recognize / identify the specific buildings / establishments mentioned in the message, in case the GM doesn't feel good mentioning actual names and the NPCs may actually earn their salt here.

Excellent thoughts my friends!

Any other ideas?

Hello all!

Don't get me wrong, I really like Paizo's adventures, after all, if I didn't I wouldn't be here, but there are some things they keep repeating that really get on my nerves.

One of those, fortunately few, things is the insistence of using letters from villains to subordinates which explain crucial secrets / give essential pointers, as methods of forwarding the adventure to its next stage.

Now, some times this may be logical. I mean, not all villains are smart, right? Or maybe the hints lie hidden in the midst of some other type of information that the subordinate had to keep or didn't even have but the PCs acquired through other means.

Some times, though, as is the case of "Worldwound Incursion - Handout 1", it's plainly ridiculous. Is there any reason for a cult's cell leader to send a letter to his subordinate containing all the necessary information (locations, passphrase) for the authorities to uproot his cult? And even if there is, why did the subordinate keep the letter and not destroy it? Why was the information not encoded somehow?

I can understand the reasons for Paizo doing that (adventure page space, some players might have difficulties following subtler hints, etc.), still...

Anyway... my question, thus, is: How would you approach the "Worldwound Incursion - Handout 1" situation, without giving the PCs all those blatant information? How would you point them to the right direction, using subtler methods?

Maybe they could encounter cultists above, in Kenabres, and follow them towards one of the safe houses? Or might they find something in Hossila's things that they could relate to some specific place or person? Or... ???

So... what would you do?

As always, your insight is appreciated!

James Jacobs wrote:
As with all magic items, the effects generated function at the magic item's caster level. In the case of the scales, that means 19th level (we list item caster levels near the top of the item's description in the boxes just under its name).

Ah... my other possible choice!

Well, it can't get more official than that! :)


My idea as well...


Easy question - what is Terendelev's Scales effective caster level, for the purpose of defining the characteristics of the spells being cast using them?

Is it equal to the PCs level? Is it 19th? Something else?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Do you really need to actually *remove* the shield from your hand? Why? It's strapped, it won't fall! As for further penalties... hmmm... why would it give more penalties? If you were just carrying it from the straps would it give penalties? I doubt it!

But, anyway, that's for my GM to decide! :)

Matthew Downie wrote:
Adjusting a shield like that is a move action.

Hmmm... is this RAW?

Matthew Downie wrote:
It's still physically large and you still need to grip a strap with your shield hand to hold it in a balanced position or you don't get the AC bonus.

Ahhh... that's interesting! So, you *can* do it, you just lose the shield's AC bonus for the round you cast the spell?

Well, subject says it all!

A mithral heavy shield weighs 5 lbs and, quoting the PRD,

PRD wrote:
is much lighter than a standard steel shield. It has a 5% arcane spell failure chance and no armor check penalty

Compare this to a standard light steel shield which weighs 6 lbs and has a -1 armor check penalty. It seems obvious that the light steel shield is heavier (6 lbs vs 5 lbs) and more awkward (-1 armor check penalty vs 0 armor check penalty) than the mithral heavy shield.

Rules as interpreted by James Jacobs allow casting spells with somatic and material components while wielding a one-handed weapon and a light shield (such as a light steel shield).

As far as I know there is no rule concerning what I'm asking but there sure is a rule that mithral armor is considered one category lighter than it's specification.

So, even if it isn't RAW, would you think it would be logical to houserule that mithral heavy shields to be considered light?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Ahhh... that makes the set much more interesting!


Could these cards be clearly identified as specific items used / found during the AP or are they just loosely connected (thematically) to the AP?

This question, of course, pertains to all card sets labeled as AP specific, but it arose from the fact that I'm about to start Wrath of the Righteous (well, as soon as it's published) yet I already own several past card sets, so I'm not sure if it would be worth it to buy one more card set or just use what I already have...

Imbicatus wrote:
EDIT: It also might help to observe the traditional rites of halfling manhood.

+1! No, make this +a_lot! :)

An excellent comic, OOTS, really made my day on several occasions!

Trust issues are my major concern as well... while I never intended to "harm" the party by being "evil" (whenever the issue of evil characters arose in the past I was always in favor of "fair to the party, evil towards the others" option), I clearly understand that there will come a time when clash of beliefs / interests will surface. What then?

Both ideas of creating a phony religion (could be further supported if I were to suggest that I hail for Sargava, an option that allows me to be exotic enough to follow some obscure religion and lend me enough ties to Cheliax so that I have a base material to work with) or pretending to be an Abadarian cleric seem valid, not to mention extremely entertaining, choices. In either case I'm thinking of decorating my character's head and body with various tatoos and ornamental decorations and piercings in order to hide a tatoo holy symbol somewhere between the other tatoos - the Sargavian background would certainly give creditibilty to such a display, right?

I'm torn between informing (OOC of course) my fellow players of who my character really is and leave them in the dark. Telling them is, of course, more honest towards them but I'm afraid most are not good enough role players to not allow this knowledge dictate their character's actions. They might react to something that I do not based on what I actually do but, rather, based on what they (the players, not the characters) know about my character. Leaving them in the dark allows a more natural building of bonds between the PCs and the shock of discovering the truth (if ever!) would be genuine, but on the other hand it may very well lead to nasty situations between us...

I'd like to make giving me suggestions a bit more difficult for you, though, and mention now that we're starting from 1st level so there won't be any CLW wands for some time, there probably won't be any other source of healing available to the party (at least in the beginning) and I've decided to use the whip as my major weapon, thematically connected by being raised in a family owning slaves - I think Cheliax is not against slavery, neither Asmodeus nor Abadar for what it matters. I'm also determined to provide that information to the party (among other things) as it is my (character's) firm belief that the best lies are built upon true foundations.

What do you think?

Hmmm... lots and lots of very interesting things said here!

I don't mind my GM's "demand", it was more of a suggestion actually rather than a demand. I guess he's a bit inexperienced in handling evil characters (as all in our party are!), so, basically it's ok, I prefer to view it as a challenge!

Concerning some of the ideas above now... The Hidden Priest archetype is exactly what I should be doing, but...hmmm... I don't know, there's something about it that does not appeal to me... What I really like is the idea of pretending to be some other god's cleric trying to hide myself in the river kingdoms... I could craft some obscure LN god's variant holy symbol and claim that it's variant in order to look like something else because the "real" holy symbol is rare and might work like a beacon towards me.

I'm thinking of a holy symbol that carries the generic shape of the Asmodean one but also carries enough differences so that it may support my story. It could work because, to the best of my knowledge, the rest of the party does not contain knowledgeable characters (a fighter, a barbarian, a sorcerer and a ranger most probably). There are two hindrances that I see now, one being wether Asmodeus would allow me to cast spells using such a holy symbol and two, what would I say as soon as they realise that I cannot spontaneusly cast cure spells! I guess I would have to memorise some cure spells...

I think that the GM has in mind for me to be a Chelaxian agent trying to scout Brevoy's movements in the River Kingdoms, though I'm not sure yet. If this is the case then my pride in my Chelaxian and Asmodean heritage would be satisfied! :)

How about being (almost!) entirely honest? I could take the Separatist archetype and not lie about being Chelaxian or even about following Asmodeus, instead claiming that even though I was a son of a minor noble house I was deemed a heretic for my views concerning the Chelaxian society and the faith of Asmodeus in general and had to flee for my life. What do you think?

Any other ideas?

P.S.: I just saw the wiki on Abadar... pretending to be Abadar's cleric might actually work! I was going to focus on the Lawful aspect of my alignment mostly rather than the Evil part anyway, so I could actually pass for an Abadarian priest! Hey, he's even closely allied to Asmodeus! What a great idea! *grin*

So, we're about to start a new campaign (Kingmaker to be specific) and somehow, even though it won't be an evil party campaign (just no LG characters), I ended up playing a LE cleric of Asmodeus (could be LN as well, but I think it will be much more fun to be LE).

I was going to be a proud member of the Asmodean clergy. mostly stressing the Lawful aspects of my alignment and the Cheliaxian way of thinking, but then the GM saw that I had elected the Trickery domain and promptly declared "You shall hide your identity from the party - do it well and you shall be rewarded", the "... or else!" didn't even have to be voiced! ;)

So, anyway, how can I hide the fact that I'm an Asmodean cleric when I'm supposed to cast spells? I can get away for some time doing roguish things, but in the end I'll have to cast some spell or to channel energy or ... well, you know, I'm supposed to be a cleric!!!

Any ideas? Your insight, as always, is extremely appreciated!

Hmmm... I never thought of checking the relevant skills!

Thanks a lot people!


I was wandering... is there some equivalent action to running using other types of movement, i.e. flying / swimming? In other words, can a creature use a full-round action to move more than double its movement rate using some form of movement other than walking?

Please assume that the creature has a listed speed in this form of movement.

Thanks in advance for your insight!

Ahhhh...that settles it!


Quoting the PRD:

PRD wrote:
If an abjuration creates a barrier that keeps certain types of creatures at bay, that barrier cannot be used to push away those creatures. If you force the barrier against such a creature, you feel a discernible pressure against the barrier. If you continue to apply pressure, you end the spell.

So, when is someone forcing the barrier against a creature? Suppose a PC, having a Magic Circle vs Evil cast on him, is trying to move in a 10' wide corridor. At some point of the corridor stands a medium-sized evil-aligned summoned creature. If the PC tries to pass beside said creature will he be considered as "forcing the protection from evil barrier" against it and thereby breaking the spell?

In other words, does the barrier spell collapse whenever the recipient tries to move near a creature he's warded from? (and by near I mean closer than the barrier's range of course)

Matthew Downie wrote:
Then again, if one of your PCs grapples someone, do you allow their target to use the sunder rules to cut off their arms?

Well, no, not their hands, but if someone was using some kind of polearm to perform the grapple (e.g. a mancatcher) I'd most certainly allow a helper to try and sunder it, wouldn't you?

After all, isn't cutting the vines what every hero in every film does in similar situations? :)

Thanks a lot for your suggestion! I was thinking of something more supple, like a thick rope maybe, but it would be too easy to cut, right?


My party is about to fight some Hangman Trees and it's quite certain that the PCs will try to cut the vines grabbing them.

I think I should use the sunder rules for this, but what stats (hardness, hp)should I use for the vines?

Any other suggestions as to how should I deal with this situation?

Ahhhh... that was exactly what I was looking for!

Thanks a lot!

Hello people!

A Paladin's Smite Evil ability bypasses any DR that the target creature might possess (as long as said creature is evil of course).

Does the same apply to the Smite Evil ability of other creatures? For example, the Smite Evil ability of Celestial creatures summoned using Summon Monster spells?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Hmmm... I see your point... I should probably have posted this to the "advice" section of the forum, as I was looking for inspiration mostly rather than "rules", either as RAW or as RAI.

@Rynjin, my friend don't get me wrong, I meant the "what about non damaging spells" case, your clarification on spells that deal damage was excellent and right on the spot!

Thanks a lot people!

Actually, I was not thinking in terms of damage, but more like a Fort save or knocked prone, or maybe, knocked prone and Fort save or stunned for 1 round. Remember that you're actually running against an invisible wall!

If you've ever read The Dome from Steven King you'd know what I mean... King has people bloody their noses just by walking against an invisible wall of force and no few died by crushing against it, albeit at car speeds.

Noone addressed my spell question though... no ideas at all as to what would happen when a spellcaster tried to target a spot beyond the wall of force?

Rynjin wrote:
No to A (there are no rules for hitting a wall I believe), yes to B so long as the spell didn't do enough damage to bust through it, same as any other wall.

I would think that there are no rules for slamming against walls because it is perceived that nobody would do it. But in this case you can't see the wall and you may be running (or even charging!). So, would you'd rule that nothing happens, you just stop moving?

As for spells, I was mostly thinking of non-damaging spells... what would happen to a web, for example, or a grease? Maybe it would fail to cast, thereby alerting the caster that something is wrong?

Hello people!

My wizard just acquired the Wall of Force spell and it occurred to me that several interesting things might happen after casting in a battlefield full of unsuspecting creatures.

The spell creates an invisible wall of pure force which would mean that creatures unable to see invisible objects would not be able to detect it, right? Thus, it might try to charge or cast a spell through it...

How would rule these cases? Would it stun someone trying to charge through for example (failing a fortitude save maybe)? Would the spell effect take place as if centered on the wall of force (and not expanding to the other side)?

Any other ideas?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


Well, my party does have a few force spells, such as Magic Missile and Spiritual Weapon, but I wonder if they'll be enough...

I think I'll rule that the leash which binds the beastie does not allow it to either enter solid matter or leave the room where it is set. Therefore the party should be able to fall back and consider the options. Worst case scenario is rest, memorise spells for the occasion then charge, strike a single spell / hit, retreat, heal at leisure and repeat as necessary.

It might still lead to a death though... or two! ;)

Thanks a lot people!

Bellona wrote:
The Vital Strike feat (standard action to use) doesn't work in conjunction with the Spring Attack feat (full-round action to use). (I would assume that the same applies to the Fly-By Attack feat, despite the wording of that feat.)

Ahhhh...yes, indeed, you are correct my friend!

Bellona wrote:
So the COoS can either a), move a bit, attack normally, and move some more (total move no more than 50'), or b), single move (max. 50') into its range (15', which is far longer than most PCs with weapons), then Vital Strike. Unless it gets hit by a lot of de-buffs, it will automatically make its Fly skill check to hover.

(b) is what I'm thinking here... what kind of de-buffs could be used against it? It's incorporeal, immune to mind-affecting spells... hmmm... I think I shall make the room be 15' in height and rule that the leash does not allow the beastie to enter solid matter... this way reach weapons, at least, would be able to reach it...

Hello people,

just checking that beastie before I run the encounter and it occured to me that this flying beastie with a reach of 15 ft and a speed of 50 ft could easily spring in range of a character, Vital Strike for 12d6 with a *touch* attack, then fly back above the party's heads and taunt the miserable PCs who wouldn't be able to hit it with anything other range weapons (spells being mostly useless - there are some which could damage the beastie but precious few...). And then, being incorporeal, range damage would be minimal, since the party's ranger doesn't own any Ghost Touch Bow or Arrows...

Force vulnerability is a plus, but then again, how many force spells does my party carry? To the best of my knowledge other than Mage Armor and a couple of Magic Missiles, none... (btw, Mage Armor would apply against its touch attack, but would it be possible to negate it?)

Am I looking at a serious threat to my party's health or am I missing something? Is there some reason for which Vital Strike wouldn't work?

Thanks a lot for your insight!

Leonal wrote:
Re slugspawn. IIRC it's not just to notice them, it's also to notice that they're not normal leeches and thus potentially very dangerous.

Yeah, that's what the DC 16 is for... Quoting from the slugspawn's description:

Wake of the Watcher Bestiary wrote:
a creature must make a DC 16 Perception check to note that a slugspawn is something other than a normal slug (though hidden slugspawn can be more difficult to detect)

So...? I understand that hidden slugspawn are "more difficult to detect", but DC 31? Isn't this an overkill?

Hello people!

I'm about to run the Illmarsh encounters tonight and I've just realised that even though most of the villagers, the sheriff included (especially him!), are described as devout Dagon followers, there don't seem to be any repercussions to the PCs for trashing the Temple of the Indomitable Sea!

Surely somebody should respond to that, right? At least the sheriff, he's a 9th lvl fighter and shouldn't shirk from combat!

How would you handle this situation?

Thanks a lot in advance!

P.S.: BTW, any idea why the Perception DC to notice the slugspawn in Event 4 is so high? Base DC is 16 plus whatever bonus thw slugspawn would get for being hidden, but a total of 31? Isn't that a bit exaggerated?

Count Duck wrote:
Normal for under water and swimming rules. So 1/4 of your movement when you pass a swim check.

And what about when you fail the swimming check? Can you move at all? The table lists "normal" movement, which seems absurd...

BTW, sorry for the double post...

Hello, confused GM calling, in need of assistance!

Page 433 of the CRB contains a table with the adjustments for underwater combat. Everything seems clear until one checks the table's last line concerning "None of the above" that is when one fails a swimming check and has neither magic to help, nor a swimming speed or firm footing.

In this case the table lists the adjustment to movement as "normal". I can't possibly believe that this can be correct, right? So... what is the correct adjustment? I'd say "no movement at all", but...

Furthermore, what modifiers would you suggest to CMB and CMD when underwater? The above mentioned table states a -2 to grapple checks, but no more than that. Any further ideas?

As always, your insight is appreciated!

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