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Father Jackal

Mathwei ap Niall's page

Goblin Squad Member. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,494 posts (2,504 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 Pathfinder Society characters.

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claudekennilol wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

FIRST you don't need natural spellcombat for claws, those are already hand based weapons so automatically work with spellcombat/spellstrike. Natural spellcombat is for natural attacks that aren't hand based (like Bites, Gores, Pincers, etc.) As for it only allowing you 1 natural attack a round, well that's just completely wrong.

A magus using spellcombat can attack with ALL their hand based weapons as well as any natural attack they defined with natural spell combat.

Not quite. Spell combat requires that you wield a spell in your off hand, which means you can only use one of your hand based weapons. You can't spell combat with two daggers, you can't spell combat with two claws.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
FOURTH, some of you really need to re-read the rules for touch spells. ANY offensive touch spell allows you to cast then move and attack. Base rules allow you to swap that with a natural attack. Natural Weapon Magi don't even need spellstrike at all as long as they focus on just their natural weapons.

It's my understanding that delivering a touch spell through a natural weapon normally (without spellstrike) requires you to be holding the charge from a previous round, and that the free touch you get in the first round (when you can cast as a standard, move, and deliver as a free action) only works for a touch.

** spoiler omitted **...

Weirdo is right, Mathwei is only spewing half-truths. For spell combat one hand is wielding a weapon the other is wielding a spell. You cannot do claw (main), claw (off), spell + claw (main) in a single turn.

Also, casting a touch spell in combat gives you a free touch attack. You can also deliver touch spells via natural attacks, but casting a touch spell does not give you a free natural attack. The only exception is if you're a magus--then you can use a natural attack. Normally you have to wait til following rounds to deliver spells with natural attacks.

This is even plainly...

OK, I see where the issue is, You haven't kept up with the faq updates on spellcombat and Magi. Lets address the points where you are mistaken.

A). Spellcombat doesn't restrict you to only attacking with your main hand. Spellcombat was errata'd to function as a full attack action here:

Spellcombat action type:
Does spell combat count as making a full attack action for the purpose of haste and other effects?

Yes (revised 9/9/13) This is a revised ruling about how haste interacts with effects that are essentially a full attack, even though the creature isn't specifically using the full attack action (as required by haste). The earlier ruling did not allow the extra attack from haste when using spell combat.

Since it is considered a full attack action you get to make ALL of your legal attacks possible that round as long as the fulfil the requirement of being a hand based attack or have been flagged as one by the natural spellcombat arcana.

B). You do not need to take natural spellcombat for Claws or Slam attacks, ever. Those natural weapons have been officially stated as working with spellcombat normally and don't need any extra rules to channel the spell..

spellcombat weapons faq:
When using spell combat, can the weapon in my other hand be an unarmed strike or a natural weapon?

Yes, so long as the weapon is a light or one-handed melee weapon and is associated with that hand. For example, unarmed strikes, claws, and slams are light melee weapons associated with a hand, and therefore are valid for use with spell combat. A tail slap is not associated with a hand, and therefore is not valid for use with spell combat.

C). Using touch spells through natural attacks can be done the same round they are cast. This is addressed in the spellstrike rules you just quoted.

whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell.

See where it says ANY weapon? As the previous faq quote just directly said that all natural attacks are light, 1-handed weapons that makes them a valid choice for spellstrike allowing you to use any of them as a delivery method for that spell.

I have multiple faq posts showing how these rules work. There's also about a dozen direct Developer quotes agreeing with my explanation on how this works as well. Now if you have anything to show that your ideas are correct and mine is wrong I'd be happy to see them.

Before you go much further into building your Magus I'm going to give you some advice that should really hammer home what a Magi is.

"Magi are casters who know how to fight, not fighters who can cast."

Think on that for a bit, Magi can't really wear real armor for most of the game, have rogue Hit Points, Rogue Base attack bonus (but worse since they suffer a -2 to hit on all their best attacks), Cleric saves and Wizard stat requirements. They are not frontline fighters or meatshields. Trying to build a basic magus like a fighter means you are going to be hurting for most of the game.
Int is your most important stat, it controls how powerful ALL of your attacks are (Int gives you spells which is where 80% of all your damage comes from), it controls your defenses (it powers you shield spell, your mirror image, your invisibility, etc.) and if you want it can be the source of all your melee direct damage as well (Hair Hex, Pool Strike, Flamboyant Arcana).
EVERYTHING is secondary to that stat since it powers everything a magi can do.
Just remember, a Magi who tries to fight without spells is just a second rate rogue without sneak attack, and we all know how effective they are.

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Jiggy wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
a good GM needs to feel confident in that they are making the right call

Because feeling confident in yourself and what you are doing matters. Nothing is more immersion-breaking in a game as a GM who doesn't feel comfortable in what they are doing. A GM who is unsure of what's going on has serious problems keeping the story flowing and track of everything that's happening in the game.

It's like the new guy at the office who has no idea of what processes or tools the team has or is using and is lost in every meeting. That is intensely uncomfortable and really does not inspire respect or confidence from the rest of those at the table.


What gets hurt if you instead trust the players to make the right call for you, in the areas in which you're uninformed?

Speaking of trusting players to make the right call...

Trusting your players is not the issue, they can be 100% honest and do everything above board but you not knowing or understanding how any of this works...

"I believe you're not cheating" is only half of what "trust" means, and frankly, it's the easy half. I think most GMs act on the assumption that no one is cheating until they encounter evidence to suggest otherwise.

Then there's the other half of trust: "I believe enough in your competence that I'll let you handle it." This is the bigger part of trust, and the one that I think way too few GMs are willing to engage in.

You say that trusting your players is not the issue. But if you're not willing to let THEM tell YOU how something works, if you're not comfortable with character options unless you know them well enough yourself that you'll be able to spot any errors, then you do not trust your players.

It's not about cheating or needing to be in control, those are immaterial to this. What we are all talking about is not us trusting the players, it's about inspiring trust FROM the players.

We want to run a good game and give the players a chance to use their characters how they want to use them but without knowing what that is how can we do it?
You say trust the players to handle it but I say can you tell a story that lets everyone have their moment in the spotlight if you don't know where to point that light?
A GM NEEDS to know what a character can do so they can give them a chance to do it. Not knowing the rules for those characters doesn't let you know how to make those moments happen.
Ignoring what makes a character/class/build special is like having a party of dedicated killing machines and putting them in a all politics/RP adventure. You run a game around the players game style and that's really hard to do if you don't understand what that style is.


Unless you can gauge what is and isn't a challenge or whether a party can or cannot overcome a challenge based on their abilities you are either going to have a cakewalk session or a frustrating slog.

No one wants either option so a good GM studies and learns the new rules and then the next book comes out with even more crazy new rules that conflict with other older rules and you just want to scream.

Well, there's part of your problem: you mistakenly think that part of the GM's role is to produce a specific type of experience with a specific challenge level.

If so, you're wrong.

Your role is to present the setting, then step back and see what happens when the PCs are added to the equation. Maybe they lack crucial thing X and struggle, or maybe they have perfect solution Y and succeed with ease, but either way they're getting the chance to help tell the story. If you try to enforce a certain difficulty level instead of letting it be a product of setting plus characters, you've stolen something precious from the players.

I can't speak for everyone, but I loathe tables where I realize the difficulty is always going to be approximately X no matter what abilities I do or don't have. At that point, I'm just watching a bad movie disguised as a roleplaying game.

I have to disagree with this, you are wrong here.

Your job as a GM is to present a fun, involving experience where each player gets to use their character to explore, have fun and overcome a series of interesting and DO-ABLE challenges. It should take into account what the party can and cannot do and should give each of them a chance to contribute. The players are the stars and should be treated as such. If you as a GM don't know what one of your stars can do its impossible to set the stage for them to do it.
Example: If you have a player who is a dedicated trap solver as one of their main abilities and you never put a trap in the game that's that's bad but not knowing what a trap IS is far worse.
That's what we are talking about here, if we don't know what the characters CAN do then how can we ever give them the chance to actually do it?


But really the worst thing is nearly ALL of the new material is all about giving players more and better options while really giving the GM next to nothing to challenge those options with.

This is one of the most disturbing GM comments I've read in a long time. I've sometimes suspected that this or that GM had nasty "GM vs Players" attitude, but to have someone literally just come right out and complain that they're losing the arms race... Wow.

That is not what we said, we said Challenge not Compete.

No one enjoys playing a game where Bob the almighty steam rolls over everything and never takes damage or even has the hint of risk. That's boring and those games fall apart, quickly. The goal is for it to be exciting, fun and require some expenditure of resources. If the party can defeat/bypass/overcome every obstacle in their way naked with a stick they found outside then it's no fun for anyone.
Players who use these options want to actually USE them and when everything they run into is instantly destroyed by the basics of their build that is incredibly frustrating for the Player.
THAT'S what we are talking about, PC's power level has reason so drastically because of the glut of options that what is supposed to be a challenging encounter for the party isn't even a speedbump for ONE of them. One of my worst PFS examples was literally player A said wait here at the beginning of the scenario and walked straight through the dungeon to the boss (one shotting everything on the way) and killed it in 1 hit.This took all of 15 minutes. The downside was 2 of the other players admitting they could have done it faster. This is not fun or interesting.

Everything Paizo has released this last 1-2 years has been about increasing PC's options but nothing to actually make those options necessary. There needs to be something appropriate to use those options against.

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dwayne germaine wrote:

I can definitely empathize with what the OP is feeling. I'm encountering tables with over half the characters coming from the ACG, using combinations of rules that seem overly powerful to me. We don't really have time for me to track down all the rules they are using to find out if they are misinterperating something, It would take way too much time. Stores close, people have jobs in the morning to go to, etc...

So the party walks through the scenario, I feel like I didn't do a good job as a GM because there was no challenge, some players feel like their time was wasted because they were mostly just spectators.

I'm actually worried that a lot of the drop off of people willing to GM in our area is because of this. I don't know that it is, but from conversations I have had with other GMs I strongly suspect that it is a factor. I know I'm considering not GMing PFS anymore, and its directly related to the ACG, I haven't even seen anything from Occult Adventures yet.

As one of the Drop out GM's THIS right here is a big part of it but not all.

Mostly it's a confidence thing, a good GM needs to feel confident in that they are making the right call when running a game and this massive rules glut is making that a lot harder. When you sit down at a table planning on providing half a dozen people a good time and realize you have no idea how the majority of the classes, powers, rules, etc. for your players work is really shaking to that sense of confidence.

Trusting your players is not the issue, they can be 100% honest and do everything above board but you not knowing or understanding how any of this works really does make it a LOT harder to provide an enjoyable challenging experience. Unless you can gauge what is and isn't a challenge or whether a party can or cannot overcome a challenge based on their abilities you are either going to have a cakewalk session or a frustrating slog.
No one wants either option so a good GM studies and learns the new rules and then the next book comes out with even more crazy new rules that conflict with other older rules and you just want to scream.

But really the worst thing is nearly ALL of the new material is all about giving players more and better options while really giving the GM next to nothing to challenge those options with. How many coordinators have had to just stop scheduling season 0-1 (and sometimes season 2) stuff simply because the players will just waltz over it in 45 minutes and ask is that it?

Finally, and this is the big one, some GM's just really don't like the new options. They find them overly complicated, powerful or just distasteful and the only option they have is to suck it up and watch it drain their fun out of the hobby or walk away and only do home games and ban huge swaths of material.
I enjoyed PFS for a long time but had to walk away, it just stopped being fun any more.

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And what good do you see coming from those hexes at any level?
Ward can't be used on the witch and doesn't stack with any other resistance bonus (cloaks) or deflection Bonuses (rings of Protection or most defensive spells).
Fortune eats your move action every round of the day from the moment you use it.

What do you actually expect to gain from burning all your feats/hexes in this manner?

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This feat is the most poorly written thing I've seen come out of pathfinder in a long time (including original prone shooter).

The issue is not the crit fishing or the DR abuse. The real issue is this line right here:

For each roll that is a hit, you deal the normal amount of damage, adding it to any damage the attack has already dealt from previous rolls (if any).

Parse that as it's written (not as it's intended) and watch the damage sky-rocket.

Assuming a simple 4 attacks a round with a D6+3 attack and all of them hit.

1st attack: 1D6+3 for 6 damage avg.
2nd attack: 1d6+3 +6 from the previous attack 12 damage avg.
3rd attack: 1D6+3 +12 +6 from 2 previous attacks 24 damage avg.
4th attack: 1D6+3 +24 +12 +6 from 3 previous attacks 42 damage avg.

Total damage = 84 damage

Remember the sentence specifically states For each roll that is a hit you add the damage dealt from previous rolls.

Stupid, broken and so badly written I can't believe it made it into print.

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Muser wrote:

Alright that really helps. A couple of minor things:

The scenario states that he scries on the PC's when they spend time (90 minutes or so) inside his office at the Golemworks (B1). I picked a scrying target at random and prerolled their Will save(natural 1!) using an IRC bot on our community channel just in case, but I'd like to know whether or not we are supposed to use the actual spell in that encounter.

On the syringes, yeah I expect they won't come to play much at all. Their range starts at the D3 marker and I epect most of the PC's will be tied down with tentacles and red herrings.


He doesn't have to scry on any of the PC's so they won't get saves vs it. Simply have him scry on one of his animated chairs making it a pretty much automatic success. As for the syringes those are mostly there to interfere and mangle anyone who tries to get close to him.

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Just looking over the ACG and putting together a list of items or spells to be on the lookout for from the ACG. Hoping to get a gist of what to expect once these things start showing up in the game.

First thing that I expect to be an issue is the Ring of Elequence.
Giving every caster in the game access to slightly watered down Natural Spell feat for 3500GP is bad enough but giving every Familiar and Animal Companion the ability to speak and understand 4 languages (no matter it's Int) is really going to cause problems.
(Yes I know that most AC's don't have access to the ring slot normally but there are way to many ways to get around that issue long enough to get this item working for them)

Next is the Monstrification Staff is going to be on every melee alchemists list as soon as possible. 12,000GP seems like a lot but having access to a pretty much at-will Monstrous Physique spell at will with all the goodies that brings is pretty brutal. (There are enough forms out there with massive natural attacks and movements to make this an uber item).

As for Spells the Contingent action spells are going to be a problem. I fully expect every party melee'er to run around with half a dozen scrolls of Contingent action of charge X (where x is whatever name/creature type they expect to encounter). Since the target is limited to a standard action that falls under charge exception rule so it should work, otherwise it'll be a simple move.

charge wrote:
If you are able to take only a standard action on your turn, you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up to your speed (instead of up to double your speed) and you cannot draw a weapon unless you possess the Quick Draw feat. You can't use this option unless you are restricted to taking only a standard action on your turn.

Relatively free Pounce for everyone now at 150GP a pop but technically superior then normal pounce since it gives you an extra attack since you charge and attack off turn then full attack when your turn starts.

These are just the ones that jump out at me but I'm sure more of them are out there.
Do you all see any that will cause GM headaches?

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So much confusion and incorrect information here.

First, to answer your original you CAN pin the target with your hair but you won't be able to sneak attack them. Pinned is just a grappled condition so you would still need to use your standard action each round to maintain the grapple. This will prevent you from taking the attack action to sneak attack the target.
Now if you are asking if you can get sneak attack damage off of the Constrict power of the WHW that's a different question.

Second, the rules of sneak attack don't care whether the target is pinned or grappled, it only cares if the target is flanked or denied their dex bonus. As long as those either of those conditions are met you can get your sneak attack off.

Finally, please ignore the incorrect information on natural attacks and grappling provided by absolutegrndzer0, it's all wrong.

Natural attacks and iterative attacks interact poorly and with the grab rules for the WHW makes it even more complicated. Trying to use your hair and iteratives together would go like this.

A). Declare full attack with hair and iterative strikes.

B). Natural attack with hair at Bab+strength bonus -5 to hit (penalty for mixing natural and iterative attacks, applies ONLY to nat attacks).
If you hit the target you deal 1D3 + half your int mod in damage and make a free action combat maneuver check (also at -5) to grapple the target. If this succeeds the target gains the grappled condition.

C. You now get to make your iterative attacks against the targets AC -2 (grappled applies a -4 to dex which equals a -2 to AC). You do NOT get your sneak attack since the target is not denied his Dex bonus they only have a penalty to it.
End your turn.

D). Target gets to act and since he's not tied up he can either try to break/reverse the grapple, cast a spell/power or full attack you with a 1 handed weapon (he can't use a 2-hander since the grappled condition denies that option). end turn

E. Your turn, you now try to maintain the grapple (a standard action) and if the target didn't break it last round you get a +5 on your attempt to grapple. You also are no longer taking the -5 penalty to attack rolls since you are no longer mixing nat and iterative attacks.
Since the grapple maintain is a standard action you don't get any other standard actions this round (like attacking) but you can choose to pin the target.

F. Jumping ahead to after you've pinned the target you still need to maintain the grapple so you still can't get your sneak attack from your iterative attacks (you don't have the actions left to actually attack with them).

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Serum wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Load up on a few Rays of Enfeeblement in those little used 1st level slots.

Remember a flyer cannot fly if their encumbrance is at a heavy load and they get terrible penalties if they are at or over medium.
(A medium or heavy load counts as medium or heavy armor for the purpose of abilities or skills that are restricted by armor.)
Hit a wizard/sorcerer with this spell and you can actually strip them of their ability to cast spells (impose an arcane spell failure check on every attempt to cast a spell).

A metamagic'ed (empowered or persistent or quickened are best) can take a flyer completely out of the fight in 1 round.

Where does it say in Pathfinder that a creature cannot fly if they are restricted by heavy/medium armor (Barding and its restrictions only applies to mounts)?

What spell failure chance does a medium load create?

Under the lifting and carrying rules.

Lifting & Carrying wrote:
A character can lift as much as double his maximum load off the ground, but he or she can only stagger around with it. While overloaded in this way, the character loses any Dexterity bonus to AC and can move only 5 feet per round (as a full-round action).

Added to this rule under the fly skill

fly skill wrote:
a flying creature can remain flying at the end of its turn so long as it moves a distance greater than half its speed.

A creature who's strength is dropped enough (especially a flyer who isn't known for having high strength to begin with) is suddenly completely over-loaded with 1 casting of the OP's ray of enfeeblement (minimum 7 points max 12 or 15 if empowered).

Per the encumbrance rules not only does that target all but +1 from his dexterity bonus (which is what Fly is based on) they also suffer a -6 to all fly checks and that's just if they are carrying less then twice their new maximum load.
Now for any character other then the strength based martial the OP's will drop their strength to a 1 or 2 meaning 21 lbs keeps them from moving at all.
With the sheer number of str 8 casters out there this drops them below 0 and invokes this rule
Strength wrote:
A character with a Strength score of 0 is too weak to move in any way and is unconscious.

And they fall out of the sky.

As for what spell failure chance a medium load causes that will be somewhere between %20-%30 like all medium armors cause (the GM will have to decide the exact amount).

I never said the rules are perfect only that this is another option to bring flyers down.

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Create Pit is a complicated spell but remember it actually allows 2 chances to resist it.

Once your bad guy has failed his save against the spell he is still entitled to a immediate climb check to catch himself from actually falling into the pit.

climb skill wrote:

Catch Yourself When Falling

It’s practically impossible to catch yourself on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC = wall’s DC + 20) to do so. It’s much easier to catch yourself on a slope (DC = slope’s DC + 10).

DC for climbing a slope wrote:

DC Example Surface or Activity

0 A slope too steep to walk up, or a knotted rope with a wall to brace against.

Remember all the wall spells specifically call out that there is a slope that the target slides down before falling into the pit.

That means a target who fails the save needs to make a DC 10-ish climb check to avoid falling into the pit. Now they are prone and probably flat footed while they climb up the slope and leave the area of the pit so it's still a nasty spell but it's not the complete end of the world that most GM's have been complaining about.

Now if your critter can't make that Climb check then they are still completely shut down but at least this gives you a chance.

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Harakani wrote: wrote:

Hit Dice Modification: Hit Dice represent the overall strength and power of a construct. They affect a number of subsequent abilities, including hit points, saving throws, and base attacks. Determine the effects of a Hit Dice modification using the rules for adding creature Hit Dice on pages 290–291 of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary. Because a construct’s size is limited, a Hit Dice modification cannot increase its size. Therefore Hit Dice modification can never increase the base construct’s Hit Dice beyond 50% of its total HD. Some constructs have a defined cost for increasing Hit Dice. To calculate the cost per Hit Die of other constructs, divide the construct’s construction cost by its existing Hit Dice.

A). That's from the optional construct modifications in Ultimate Magic and only affects modifying a construct AFTER it's been constructed.

B). That's the generic rules for general constructs. This example uses the specific rules for Homonculus modifications. Homonculi have spefic rules for crafting them which supercede this generic rule.

A homunculus with more than 2 Hit Dice can be created, but each additional Hit Die adds +2,000 gp to the cost to create.

As you see this rule has no limit assigned to it.

Continue the exercise.

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It took a bit longer then I had planned but here is the first of the Beastmass challenge creatures who have prepared themselves for this fight.

Balthazar the Champion
Solar champion and master of the duel

Balthazar the Champion has served as the receiver of challenges for over 10,000 years and never once in all that time has he been bested. He has learned in the innumerable challenges he has experienced tactics versus nearly every possible permutation of single combat and distilled that down into his personal Holy Book: The Rules of the Ring.
Here prospective gladiators learn the secrets of single combat against a variety of enemies, secrets Balthazar has taken to heart. He has devoted his considerable wealth and spell casting abilities to harden his weaknesses and prepare himself to overcome all challengers.

“Rule 1:Knowledge is the greatest strength:
With that Balthazar casts commune each day and asks his god 20 questions to determine in what 90 minute period his next fight will occur in and what type of opponent he will face.
This lets him always have all his buffs up and to determine whether he’s fighting a spellcaster (and whether they are Arcane or Divine) or if they are strictly martial.

“Rule 2:In battle speed defines the winner”:
With this truism he has devoted his wealth and spells to increase the speed in which he reacts in combat.
This means purchasing an Cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone, a Commanding Dueling spiked gauntlet(runeforged), a Belt of Incredible Dexterity +6 and a ready supply of Zerk drug. These changes increase his initiative from +9 to +20. He then casts his all day buffs of Eaglesworn and Bloodsworn Retribution increasing his initiative from 20 to 27. He has also used the retraining rules to replace his Cleave and Mobility feats with Extra Traits (reactionary & a +1 reflex save) and quicken spell boosting his init to +29.

“Rule 3:Respect your opponents’ strengths and cover your weaknesses”:
Knowing that a single powerful effect can cost a battle Balthazar has invested in strengthening his ability to shrug off any effect.
This means buying a Cloak of Resistance +5, Cracked Pale Green Prism – Saves, and keeping the Nine Lives spell active all day. This with the previous spells running adds +11 to all his savings throws and removes any of these conditions the instant they are applied (blinded, confused, cowering, dazed, dazzled, entangled, exhausted, fatigued, frightened, nauseated, panicked, shaken, sickened, or staggered) though he usually reserves using this for the more dangerous conditions like Dazed, Confused, frightened, panicked or staggered.

“Rule 4:You can ensure your defenses if you simply hold positions that Should not be attacked”:
Rushing to attack an opponent on neutral ground (or worse, their own territory) weakens you and strengthens your opponent. Make them attack you where you are strongest to solidify your defenses. As the Champion Balthazar is content to force his opponents to attack him so routinely meditates in his home waiting for challengers to attack him. Most of these challengers are brash enough to attempt to strike him in a single devastating attack, hoping to eliminate him before he can act.
This means while he appears to be meditating with his sword across his lap and a stick in his hand he is actually luring his opponent to unleash their strongest ability against him so it can be neutralized costing them their first action and with that the fight. He has purchased a Rod of Absorption, taken the drug Aether and cast Hallow upon his shrine and with a dispel magic attached to it set to counterspell any cast from someone who doesn’t worship his diety and cast Impart Mind on his greatsword.
Per the beastmass rules this hits any spell cast here with a 31 counterspell check (unless the caster has boosted the CL of his spell above 20 it’s automatically countered), if it gets past that it’s absorbed by the rod of absorption (no action) and if it gets past that it has to contend with his (minimum) 40 savings throw. If anything gets past that then the intelligent dancing +5 greatsword harries the attacker while Balthazar recovers.

Balthazar prepared:

NG Large outsider (angel, extraplanar, good)
Init +29; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, detect evil, detect snares and pits, true seeing; Perception +33
Aura protective aura
AC 47, touch 14, flat-footed 42 (+14 armor, +4 Dex, +1 dodge, +19 natural, –1 size; +4 deflection vs. evil)
hp 318 (22d10+242); regeneration 15 (evil artifacts, effects, and spells) -35HP from spells
Fort +36, Ref +30, Will +34; +4 vs. poison, +4 resistance vs. evil
DR 15/epic and evil; Immune acid, cold, petrification; Resist electricity 30(pro energy 120), fire 30(pro energy 120); SR 34
Speed 50 ft., fly 150 ft. (good); 35 ft., fly 100 ft. (good) in armor
Melee +5 dancing greatsword (power attack) +35/+30/+25/+20 (3d6+33) or slam +30 (2d8+13)
Ranged +5 composite longbow (+9 Str bonus) +31/+26/+21/+16 (2d6+24 plus slaying arrow)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th)
Constant—detect evil, detect snares and pits, discern lies (DC 21), true seeing
At Will—aid, animate objects, commune, continual flame, dimensional anchor, greater dispel magic, holy smite (DC 21), imprisonment (DC 26), invisibility (self only), lesser restoration, remove curse, remove disease, remove fear, resist energy, summon monster VII, speak with dead (DC 20), waves of fatigue
3/day—blade barrier (DC 23), earthquake (DC 25), heal, mass charm monster (DC 25), permanency, resurrection, waves of exhaustion
1/day—greater restoration, power word blind, power word kill, power word stun, prismatic spray (DC 24), wish
Spells Prepared (CL 20th)
9th—etherealness, mass heal, miracle, Quickened Boneshatter(DC27)
8th—fire storm (DC 26), Anti-magic Field, Quickened Greater Dispel(2) ,Quickened Blessing of Fervor
7th—destruction (DC 25), Quickened Dispel Magic(3), holy word (DC 25),
6th—banishment (DC 24), Antilife Shell, Elemental Assessor(2), Impart Mind
5th—break enchantment, breath of life, dispel evil (DC 23), plane shift (DC 23), righteous might, symbol of sleep (DC 23)
4th—cure critical wounds (3), death ward, dismissal (DC 22), neutralize poison (2) (DC 22)
3rd—cure serious wounds, daylight, invisibility purge, magic circle against evil, prayer, protection from energy, wind wall
2nd—Martyr’s Bargain, bear's endurance, bull's strength, consecrate, cure moderate wounds (2), eagle's splendor
1st—bless, cure light wounds (3), divine favor, entropic shield, shield of faith
0 (at will)—detect magic, purify food and drink, stabilize, virtue
Str 28, Dex 26, Con 30, Int 23, Wis 27, Cha 25
Base Atk +22; CMB +37; CMD 52
Feats Extra Traits, Deadly Aim, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Quicken Spell, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Craft (any one) +36, Diplomacy +37, Fly +37, Knowledge (history) +36, Knowledge (nature) +37, Knowledge (planes) +37, Knowledge (religion) +37, Perception +37, Sense Motive +38, Spellcraft +36, Stealth +27, Survival +37
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
SQ change shape (alter self)
Slaying Arrow (Su)
A solar's bow needs no ammunition, and automatically creates a slaying arrow of the solar's choice when drawn.
Solars can cast divine spells as 20th-level clerics. They do not gain access to domains or other
Treasure double (+5 full plate, +5 dancing greatsword, +5 composite longbow [+9 Str bonus]), Cracked Dusty Rose Ioun Stone (500GP), Cloak of Resistance +5 (25,000GP), Cracked Pale Green Prism – Saves (4000GP), Rod of Absorption (50,000GP), Spiked Gauntlet +1(Dueling & Runeforged-Comanding) 32,000GP, Zerk Drug (50gp), Ring of Terrible Cost (20,000GP), Belt of incredible Dexterity +6 (36,000), aether drug (20gp)

Running Buffs:
Eaglesoul: 20Hours
Bloodsworn Retribution: Duration of Beastmass
Nine Lives
Hallow: Counterspell at 21st caster level (aether when cast)
Impart Mind (Greatsword)
Resist Energy Fire & Electricty
Protection from Energy Fire & Electricity

Usual Battle Tactics vs casters:

Balthazar is content to wait for spellcasters to attack him in his shrine hoping to draw them into attacking him so his Hallowed Dispel magic and Rod of Absorption can negate their first attack if they are quick enough to attack him before he can respond. Knowing that usually the only creatures that can act faster then he does are specialist Diviners he makes sure to immediately destroy any scrying eyes that attempt to peer into his shrine before they can learn of his preparations.
Combats usually follow the basic pattern of Initiative, Balthazar goes first with quick spellcraft +Permanent Arcane Sight to identify each spell effect and magic item on the target follwed by a quickened Blessing of Fervor on himself and the greatsword and a greater Dispel Magic to remove any pesky spells with Freedom of Movement, Contingency, SpellBane, Mind Blank and any flight spell in that order and draws his bow. At this point the Greatsword activates and moves into melee range with the speed boost from Blessing of Fervor and threatens the caster.
He'll drop his rod (weapon cord) on the next round and cast Quickened Greater Dispel Magic to remove any Fortitude boosting spells or items before peppering the caster with Arrows of Slaying +5. If the caster is still alive after that then the +5 Dancing Greatsword will continue the attack hoping to drop the caster through sheer damage output or sundering it's fort boosting gear to force it's save vs the slaying arrows to fail. He reserves his Martyrs Sacrifice, quickened boneshatter and Prismatic Spray for emergency purposes.
Nothing should live past round 2, round 3 at the most.

Usual Battle Tactics vs Martials:
For martial based opponents he is inclined to leave his shrine and attacking them from a distance. Those fights begin with a quickened Greater Dispel Magic (boosted with the Aether Drug) to remove any flight granting gear, Armor, potent weapon or CMB boosting item in that order. (The only time this isn't the first order of business is if the martial has actual spells cast on him (especially via permanency) in which case he strips those first followed by a full burst of Fervored +5 arrows of slaying. After that then the greatsword moves in and begins sundering gear with Ranged weapons then movement granting items and then save boosting gear. This should neutralize the Martials ability to reach and respond to the flying Solar's attacks.

This post has gone on long enough for the first post in this challenge.
This is a moderately optimized and prepared opponent though I choose to skip several significant power increases that would nearly double his survivability and attack power since this should be more then enough to annihilate any challenge from a mortal who dares try.
I'll get around to posting the next opponent some time later if someone can find a way past Balthazar.

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The only thing that dies faster then a melee witch is the average rogue.

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FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

My intimidate is not Cha Based, but intelligence based via Bruising Intellect. My intimidate skill is at 41 (int + ranks + trained + crown of conquests).

My readied action is along the lines of "anything significant happening". Since this is pretty broad, if I got hit in the face with a fireball, it got really cold, or anything really, it would go off. A portal appeared in front of my face, that's pretty significant. The several GM's I've played that I've done this with have been pretty cool about it (not this specific encounter, but with others). But, seeing people's reaction to it, I'll just leave it out. No invisibility.

The Pit Fiend doesn't know I'm in the room until initiative starts. So, I do get the jump on him, and I do hit him as normally (he hasn't acted, so he's flat footed). I deal even more damage in the first slavo too, and still hit the same amount of times. No readied action, much simpler.

So, officially what your saying is if I go into a fight with all my buffs up against a target who doesn't know he's going into a fight and doesn't have any of his buffs up AND I get to pick where the opponent appears AND I get to know what powers/defenses it has AND get to set up all my powers to counter those AND I get to go first I can beat a Pit Fiend.

With those kind of rules sure, anyone can beat a Pit Fiend.

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STR Ranger wrote:

While I really like where you are going with that Mathwei ap Niall, while I would say it MAY be RAW, I don't think it's RAI.

Until a dev were to ccomment I would say that is totally a GM fiat call.

You could add a guide note in italics but I probably wouldn't use it.

You know me, I only ever write from the RAW point of view. Trying to get into the RAI viewpoint is like trying to guess which way the wind is going to blow 5 minutes from now, pointless.

Anyway, everything is GM's fiat, I just like to present the rules as the game is written so the GM has all the information to make that call correctly.

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Roran Strax wrote:
That's terribly uncreative and short minded. Why play an RPG instead of a video game if there's not some creative measures allowed?

Oh, so you want your GM to have the next creature you fight to politely chop off your arm/jaw now? The no decapitation or called shot to remove limbs is there to protect the players more then the monsters. Once you all put that on the table expect your GM to start removing parts from you now.

It's a game and it's there to keep it a game.

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FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Kensai has MORE AC than hexcrafter starting as soon as you can afford a wand. Getting the curse descriptor spells isn't huge, except maybe for brand just for the idea of a non-cheesy touch cantrip.

Having reduced spells isn't that big of a deal either. Pearls of Power are cheap, and your main damage spell is typically a level 1 spell. Full round attacks are the majority of combat. Hexcrafters don't out perform Kensai when you can't get a full attack.

A Kensai can have more AC then a Hexcrafter that can be taken away with a single feat and a few skill points. A simple feint build (shouldn't even call it a build, it's 2 feats and a handful of skill points) takes away ALL of this classes AC boosts and drops them down to just the mage armor (or grossly overpriced bracers) armor and is then easily hit.

Honestly any BBEG who suspects a Kensai is coming for him should just hire a mook with Greater Feint to stand around waiting. As soon as tissue paper Kensai shows up just feint him when he walks in the door and ready an action to attack him if he tries to cast a spell. Boom, now the Kensai is just a second rate fighter with no AC, a crappy bab and inferior HP's.

I fail to see why this archetype is so popular, it can be beaten by a non-idiot rogue, a ROGUE, how embarrassing.

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FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Kensai all the way.

I really don't understand the whole "hexcrafter" perspective. You can't spell combat with a hex, so you give up all your attacks that round for a save or suck effect. Or you could cast a spell, and STILL get all of your attacks. There are a few good self buff hexes, such as getting fly early. See treantmonk's guide to the wizard for an explanation of why save or suck spells are not just risky, but a bad idea even when they do succeed.

Kensai, on the other hand, deal more damage, and offer more options for things you can do. You get weapon focus for free (awesome), get more AC, and confirming critical hits become jokes when your adding 10+ to the critical confirmation rolls.

Hexcrafter all the way.

And the issue with Hexcrafter over Kensai is all the Kensai can really do is damage. And since there is no combat difference between a target with 1000 Hp or 1 Hp the Kensai becomes just another mook at that point.

Hexcrafter gives flexibility and extra options without reducing the damage dealing potential of the class. Realistically the Hexcrafter can do everything that the Kensai can do but the Kensai can't do everything the Hexcrafter can.


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Resurrecting this thread simply to make note that the holy grail of the monstrous physique forms was introduced in the Beastiary 4. We finally have a humanoid form that lets you Pounce.

Introducing the Tikbalang!!
Not only does it come with pounce it also has reach and no natural attacks on it's hands making weapon use a great option.
For those weapon loving Magi this is by far the best form for them to invest in.

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LazarX wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

A). Your understanding is incorrect and your own quoted link shows you why (though I do appreciate you finding that link I've been looking for that forever). Here I'll break it down for you.

Shocking Grasp is a first level spell, add intensified to it and it's a 2nd level spell. A spell-storing weapon can store up to a third level spell so if I wanted to I could add another +1 metamagic to it and still be able to store it into a spellstoring item. After it's in there and we decide to use it on a hit we can invoke the rod then (or a gem if money's not an issue) and drop an intensified maximized/empowered spell from a spellstoring item.

You can NOT invoke a metamagic rod, or a magus arcana for that matter, on a spell stored inside a weapon. Metamagic rods can only be used while casting, and the casting process has already been completed with putting the spell inside. You can either intensify the shocking grasp, or empower it, not both.

Way to not bother reading the link to the DEV post OR the text quoted from that DEV post saying that is EXACTLY what you can do.

Go back and read the post and come back after that.

@Alexandros, I'm not underestimating the martial ability of the Magus just stating that is significantly inferior to the Magical ability of the magus and THAT is a better place to focus on.

Well I'm actually going to say that the Dev is wrong on this. Because what are you doing when you're unleashing that spell, you're in melee, probably engaging in spell combat casting another spell while you're unleashing the magic stored in the blade.

Where is the free hand for holding a metamagic rod for applying metamagic on this process? If I had seen Jason's post in the wild, I probably would have brought up some objections against using the metamagic rod in either end of the process.

There's also another issue. When the magic of a spellstoring weapon is released, it is not a...

So your argument is that YOU are smarter and know more then the guy who CREATED the game and is responsible for exactly how the game works (AND the creative director who decides how the world works) and everyone should listen to you instead of them? Ok.

As for where the rod is well A). noone said the rod is being used during spell combat and B). if it is being used there are soooo many ways to have a third hand to hold a rod that it's immaterial to this discussion.

@Thaago, you are the one who found the dev post stating you can.

Jason Buhlmahn wrote:

This does not work.

There is an ambiguity in the language of the spell storing property here that is causing a bit of confusion. The storage process for adding a spell to a spell storing weapon is a special action that is similar, although not the same as casting a spell. The issue here is that the rod applies to a spell as it is being cast, which this is not quite the same.

In the end, this is an issue for your GM to decide, but since I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to issues such as these, I am going to say that this does not work. A spell storing weapon holds a spell of up to 3rd level. A metamagic rod cannot be used during the storage process (although I would probably allow it during the usages of the stored spell... )

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

@alexandros, sure, if you want to see any of the more magically focused magus builds we've done go ahead and read them.

Magus Builds

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LazarX wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

A). Your understanding is incorrect and your own quoted link shows you why (though I do appreciate you finding that link I've been looking for that forever). Here I'll break it down for you.

Shocking Grasp is a first level spell, add intensified to it and it's a 2nd level spell. A spell-storing weapon can store up to a third level spell so if I wanted to I could add another +1 metamagic to it and still be able to store it into a spellstoring item. After it's in there and we decide to use it on a hit we can invoke the rod then (or a gem if money's not an issue) and drop an intensified maximized/empowered spell from a spellstoring item.

You can NOT invoke a metamagic rod, or a magus arcana for that matter, on a spell stored inside a weapon. Metamagic rods can only be used while casting, and the casting process has already been completed with putting the spell inside. You can either intensify the shocking grasp, or empower it, not both.

Way to not bother reading the link to the DEV post OR the text quoted from that DEV post saying that is EXACTLY what you can do.

Go back and read the post and come back after that.

@Alexandros, I'm not underestimating the martial ability of the Magus just stating that is significantly inferior to the Magical ability of the magus and THAT is a better place to focus on.

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STR Ranger wrote:

Just checking up (been away awhile)

this new spell scars arcana looks interesting......

but on the surface just looks like a way to create scrolls and cast them without extra actions to pull them out......

other than that follows the normal rules for scrolls.

so's basically extra spell slots you pay for.

Hmmm. Not sure how to rate this. on the surface it looks good but Hexcrafters are not really spell starved because of the backup of hexes

It's a powerful arcana with several unique advantages.

A). It's a scroll spell that can't be stolen or destroyed and works inside a deeper darkness field (Better then an oil of daylight).

B. It's 18 extra spell levels per day that doesn't eat up your memory (drop all utility spells as scars since their levels don't matter).

C. It doesn't say these have to be spells on the magus spell list. ANY spell can be made into a scar (no guarantee they can successfully be cast but still useful ability)

It's a very useful and flexible arcana and should be rated accordingly.

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kevin_video wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

The 9th THINKS they made sure of that. Every messenger, delivery boy, minion and new trainee who's made it too or past the front door saw something.Elise would have interrogated them all to find out what little scrap of information they might have seen or heard as they were doing their jobs.

Anyway, that actually makes it even easier. The hydra is outside the door and the golem is inside it. Use the exact same tactic and have the hydra beat the trap door down and attack the psychotic golem. If it wins great, if it loses the Verdant can finish off the golem and continue.
With the hydra's fast healing and multiple heads it should walk through any trap (especially with a pocket healer keeping it up) and wail on the golem hard enough to take it out of the fight in 2 rounds. It's bite bypasses the Golems DR and it's pounce makes sure it's always full attack. Have one of the casters hit it with lockjaw or strong jaw and not only...

The minions never made it past the front door. They know of the hydra, hangman tree, assassin vines, and golem, but that's it. The wizard is crazy paranoid. I mean, his eventual character's plot is, even if it takes 200k years, he wants to overthrow Asmodeus and replace the god. Not that Asmodeus doesn't already have that with the 8 other layers.

And they got rid of the lillend a long time ago by killing off Jurak and framing the priestesses of Farholde, and getting them to slaughter each other. There's no longer any clerics in Farholde, save Trik. The 9th made sure of that.
The dire tiger is the PC ranger's new animal companion, so one-eye won't betray them any time soon.
They'll have no problem with magical support since four of them are casters, and the other four are fighter types. There are eight of them, not including the NPCs they've got, and the undead. It will definitely be hard to make it a difficult fight, but I'll try.

There will ALWAYS be more clerics, until they complete book 3 there is an endless supply of new clerics out there coming this way. Doesn't matter though, clerics are immaterial to this combat. Since the druid and sorcerer know there's assassin vines, Hydra's, Hangman trees and a golem there, it stands to reason those two would simply charm all of those to attack the front door, kill the golem and rampage through. I'd do it and I know most PC's would do it too, it's just efficient that way.

As for the Dire Tiger:
A). That's not a legal animal companion for Rangers but you allow it so B). There's nothing about being an animal companion that prevents Charm monster from forcing it to attack it's master. It's just an opposed Charisma check and with the Gnome's charisma score he has a better then average chance of commanding the Tiger to turn(especially with a quick bungle spell at the right time).

Realistically both of these NPC's were built as controllers focused on enchantment and mind control spells. Given as much forewarning as they apparently have (without a doubt they know what classes and magical abilities the PC's have from the 7th) they'll be trucking as many charmed/summoned minions as they can and that could easily be a LOT (the ward doesn't stop summoning spells, it just makes you step inside of it to cast the summon).
Considering how big your players group is it would be madness not to bring at least an equal number if not more.

Finally this fight is as difficult as you want it to be, if you are concerned it'll be too easy then break the rules, you are the GM your job is to make it fun and exciting. Personally I'd sneak in with the druid wild shaped into an earth elemental and completely scout/map the place out, identify the priority targets and with a quick silence spell dog pile each PC when they are alone and asleep. That's no fun but probably the easiest most efficient way to do it.
Just remember, a Druid can go anywhere they want to and there's nothing you can do to stop them.

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molten_dragon wrote:
Conspicuous wrote:

I've been running a party through Way of the Wicked for a couple months now, and we're closing in on the end of Book 3, and I'm seeing issues left and right.

In the first book, my players were getting spanked by everything, though in book two and especially book 3, nothing is challenging. The reason is clear: three of them have leadership. I know they acknowledge the issue with multiple cohorts in book 2 and I've accounted for that in fights, but seemingly to no avail. By finishing Artephius, they have an infinite-shot catapult with touch attacks that follows them into (nearly) every combat. Has anyone else seen these issues?

During the assault on the Vale, my party was roaming around with the four, three cohorts, Artephius, and three Nessian Warhounds from the Contract Devil (each of which can do fireball damage every 1d4 rounds). Did anyone else watch the Warhounds smother absolutely everything they faced in seconds? ((Book 2: the party had used their last 'request' of Vetra Kali to be eternal servitude (the players are wicked indeed)! Ironically, they forgot to call on him during this whole book. All the same, can you imagine?))

When it came to the Phoenix (which they put off until the last possible minute), they buffed like mad (fire resist 30 on everyone but Artephius), moved in with the half-fiend-Vital-Striking Grumblejack + Four-Armed Elephant-sized Eidolon, and smoked it in two turns. Desecrate was easy to manage (half-fiends). They drained its blood for Blood Transcription, stuffed the ashes into a Bag of Holding IV, plane-shifted to Hell, dumped it out and left! They got the egg, and I RPed an example NPC that traded undead grafts


Welcome to the wonderful world of High Level Pathfinder play. There is no way an author that can write an AP that can played as is for every group of crazy players with access to feats/spells/abilities that didn't exist when the book was written.

This AP is designed to be an excellent framework for a DM to tweak to address the vagaries of their individual parties. Your GM is responsible for taking what is presented and polishing it to make the PC's experience fit their abilities/playstyle.
It's written to assume a default set of classes (the standard fighter, rogue, Wizard,Cleric) who are assumed to be able to do x,y & z at this level of play. If you have a party of all witches with a dozen undead/outsider minions then the GM needs to change it to challenge that style of group.
If your GM hasn't taken the time to set it at your parties level of competence and play-style then things are definitely going to be less then optimal.

As for the Cohorts, yeah they are potent when you get them but they don't stay that way.
As the party levels those cohorts fall further and further behind and stop contributing much pretty quickly. Remember when XP time comes around those cohorts get between 1/3rd to 1/4th as much as the PC's so they quickly become 3-5 levels behind. They actually become a liability by the next book in the series. (when assigning XP divide the cohort's level by the PC's leaders level. Multiply this result by the total XP awarded to you, then add that number of experience points to the cohort's total).

As for the Dragon encounter yeah, that's the reason I said rock to mud instead of reverse gravity. By this level of the game (and with your party specifically) it's assumed that most if not all of them can fly. Dropping them into a mud pool does more than throw them off their feet, it significantly messes with their mobility and the anti-magic field removes their ability to get out of it. Reverse gravity just gives them a free get away from the dragon's area card. It helps more then it hurts.

As for the worm and dragon being unable to kill the demon I have no idea how it lived. It's DR isn't good enough to stop the sheer amount of damage those two can put out in a round. Especially since all of those abilities it has stops working inside the anti-magic field the dragon has running.

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Thanks for the party make-up. You have an interesting set of players there and a well played Eiramanthus will devastate them in 2 rounds. You'll have to dispense with his tactics as written but considering your difficulties with these players you should be fine tweaking things a bit.
If you're open to suggestions do this.

First give him a Diamond Metamagic Gem to give him a single Quicken spell for any level spell.
Second, Change his Extend metamagic rod to an enlarge one.
Finally, cast mislead right before the party enters the room and talk to them through that. A +4 init will be the death of him in the first round if he doesn't get them to waste their first round on an illusion.

This will turn that fight into a nightmare for the players but still give them a real chance to win. The actual fight (after the dialogue and RP) should go like this:
Standard action cast Stone to Mud on the area UNDER the players. There is no save for this so instantly the party is chest deep in the mud. Difficult terrain and limited to 5 feet movement with penalties to AC and hit. Follow this with a quickened (from the Gem) Anti-magic field (Enlarged by the rod) so it's 20 feet area under the dragon (the dragon's head is outside the area of the spell so it can still breath and cast spells. Move action to fly over the stuck party and cover them with the field.

This shuts down all their magic items, spells, spell-like & supernatural abilities and banishes all their summoned creatures. Panic will immediately set in since the only party member that can reach/attack the dragon is Grumblejack (he's the only one with non-magical flight) and as soon as he tries he eats a +36 CMB improved Disarm to remove his ability to do damage.

The important thing to remember at this point is you DO want the players to win so don't just land and full attack. That's an insta-kill and no fun for anyone (his minimum is 70pts of damage a round with a 100+ being a safe bet). The dragon is a trickster, not a combat machine, have him talk, joke and threaten while they figure out how to get out of this horrible situation.

You can also use this opportunity to remove a few of the more unpleasant minions the party has accumulated to make your future easier.This would be an excellent time to remove Vetra-Kali Eats-The-Eyes and Grumblejack (put the PC armor Master back in the spotlight as the main melee machine with these two gone) by having the dragon devour them. Give a little speech on how much he despises demon/daemon-kind then swallow them whole (they'll need a reincarnate or resurrection to bring them back from that which they probably won't be able to do).

Eventually the fight will really start but the players will be thinking defensively instead of trying to annhilate it in one round making the fight a little less one-sided (9 against 1 is a death sentence for the 1 in a straight fight) but there are a few more things you can do to make it more interesting.

The dragon's See Invis last 2.5 hours per cast so no sneak attacks from the rogue and a 19 will save should make him relatively immune to Misfortune hex (he's immune to most of the other offensive hexes the witch should have) especially if he stays flying out of range.

Remember to never stop flying to avoid the full attacks and throw Reverse Gravity, Wall of Stone, Programmed image (of the allies running into the room to defend him) and Mislead as much as you can with the occasional Quickened Glitterdust for giggles.

Tactics make or break encounters and at this level of the game it's all about using ALL of your creatures abilities against their foes. A dragon of this level is no joke and if it wants to should be able to annhilate nearly any party who dares to challenge it. If you still thnk the party is going to easily run over this encounter well there's a certain Demi-Lich in the next room who could very easily use this battle as an opportunity to try and break lose making this a 3 way fight. Be careful with this option though, that's a CR 18 challenge fighting these 2 together and would normally be a TPK (this isn't a normal party though).

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FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
It doesn't work, the weapon you use with spell combat *has* to be associated with a hand, as per the FAQ. So if you had a talon or claw, you could use those, by the hair can't be used with spell combat.

Incorrect, the prehinsile hair hex functions as a hand and as a natural weapon so is a valid choice for Spellcombat/Spellstrike.

There is already a dev post stating this. You may want to look at the Hexcrafter guide thread for questions like this, it's already been covered there.

edit: Yes there is a natural spell arcana but that is only for natural weapons that aren't hand associated, the hair hex, claws and pincers are associated with hands.

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A much cheaper and easier way to get touch of fatigue is to pick up a Cracked Orange Prism ioun stone for 1000 GP. It allows you to add any cantrip or orison to your list of spells known. Grab all the touch rabge zero level spells this way and save your feats/discoveries for more important uses.

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aceDiamond wrote:

I don't mind playing a campaign that includes firearms, but I'm slowly starting to get sick of the touch AC mechanic. Feels to me that any shmuck with a gun can kill large creatures no sweat. I'd at least recommend one of two things for Pathfinder guns.

1) Cheapen the Amulet of Bullet Deflection (or whatever it's called), as to keep the ACs tough enough for your swordsman AND gunslinger.

2) Consider switching the Touch AC target with flat footed AC. Hard to dodge bullets.

However, thematically, I see no problem with guns.

I'm a fan of moving it to flat-footed AC (would be a massive step in the right direction) but more importantly I'd simply stop the rapid reload feat from working with primitive guns.

I fully accept and expect when something gets hit by a bullet it should hurt, a lot, but spitting out a dozen bullets every 6 seconds from a muzzle load musket just really breaks my suspension of dis-belief.

Have your guns but slow down the rate of fire or accuracy and it becomes far more palatable.

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Make your Familiar a Homonculus instead and then just poor cash into upgrading and modifying it. Every 2 HD you buy for it gives it an additional +1 to hit and a free feat. Follow that up with the building and modifying construct rules to give it a Rune of shielding (+4 force armor effect) and Rune of Terror (20ft burst fear effect that panicks every target in range).
Also unlike with the Belt stat boosters you can burn a flat 5K to increase any stat the homonculus has by +2 that stacks with itself with no limit.

With just a bit of cash and the right Patron a Witch with a Homonculus familiar can build a BEAST of a flying combat familiar with more feats and a higher attack bonus/# of attacks than any Animal companion or pure fighter in the game.

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Pupsocket wrote:
Like the standard action to use a bomb or extract, the action you use for Alchemical Weapon covers the entire proces.

There's nothing in the ability description that has anything to do with retrieving the alchemical item.

As for the extract and bomb those explicitly state the action is part of the standard.

If your GM decides to house rule it to work that way great for you but as written it's a different action to retrieve and another to infuse.

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Most powerful Poison build is a Witch with Cauldron Hex, Poison Steel and profession:chef.

With the stacking rules of Poison and the weight limit on Poison Steep you can easily make a poisonous sandwich or bag of candy with a save DC in the 30's.
Throw in a Beguiling gift spell and you can really get that poison into the target.

Also, the best part of using which is cost, unlike the rest of the builds all the witch poison is negligible in cost (how expensive is a pound of raisins?)

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It's not spell recall he's talking about, it's knowledge pool that is important.

Knowledge Pool wrote:
At 7th level, when a magus prepares his magus spells, he can decide to expend 1 or more points from his arcane pool, up to his Intelligence bonus. For each point he expends, he can treat any one spell from the magus spell list as if it were in his spellbook and can prepare that spell as normal that day. If he does not cast spells prepared in this way before the next time he prepares spells, he loses those spells. He can also cast spells added in this way using his spell recall ability, but only until he prepares spells again.

What he's trying to do is use Paragon Surge to pick up spell blending and grab several wizard/sorceror spells and add them to the magus spell list and then use Knowledge Pool to memorize them now and add them to his spellbook.

THEN use the drunken monk ability to replenish his KI which can be used as Arcane Pool points.
Finally he then uses Spell Recall with his unlimited arcane pool points to recover paragon surge and repeats this processes.

This will let him add every wiz/sorc spell of 6th level or lower to his spell list and spell book.
It's a redo of an old trick where you used a wyroot club and a bag of rats to have unlimited arcane pool points and burn them to get every spell/arcana/power out there.

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Thiles Targon wrote:
Drachasor wrote:

If the hair is your ONLY natural attack, then it is treated as a primary attack. No penalty to attack with it and 1.5 strength (replaced by int) damage.

Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks (attacks made without a weapon). These attacks fall into one of two categories, primary and secondary attacks. Primary attacks are made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and add the creature’s full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one. If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type.

The text for the ability says "Her hair has reach 10 feet, and she can

use it as a secondary natural attack", so it's a secondary attack, no attack penalty, .5 strength bonus.

And that still doesn't change the rules for natural attacks which states if it's your ONLY natural attack it's treated as primary (even if it's normally secondary) and gets full attack bonus and 1.5x str on damage.

There's nothing in the power that changes this default rule.

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Prior to 10th level there's only 1 way to resolve that.

First is you buy a Cackling Hag's Blouse.
This will let you chase your target down and still cackle to keep the debuff up.

After 10th level you get split hex and scar hex and a bag of flying critters you can control (Homonculi are great for this). Give each critter a scar and send them flying out over the battlefield and watch them. When they spot the target the fly within 30 feet of it and then you hit that critter with a hex and bounce it off them to the bad guy. This way you don't care about range, anything within a mile is fair game.

Also a good idea is to give each party member a scarred turtle to hang from their backpack so that if they get jumped by a bad guy you can bounce a good hex on them or a bad hex onto the bad guy.

Before that you just have to stay close to your target.

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nate lange wrote:
you need Net Adept to use a net with spellstrike; you need quickdraw to use the shield (or any other weapon) with a blinkback belt (and will not be able to use spellstrike when you throw it, and can never use it with ranged spellstrike since its a throwable melee weapon). if you're willing to spend the feats (and sacrifice spellstrike most of the time) that's a pretty solid build (and one i probably wouldn't have thought of).

Not really correct here, spellstrike has no limits on which weapon it can be used with. It specifies ANY weapon, period. Net adept just reduces the penalties but since it's a touch attack the penalties are nothing especially if the magus burns a swift action to use arcane accuracy.

Quickdraw is a requirement for any throwing build so is not an issue and as we've already stated spellstrike doesn't care what weapon you use. Spell combat though DOES require you to wield a light or one handed weapon but DOES NOT require you to use it as the weapon during spell combat. I recommend a spiked gauntlet myself, it lets you use spellcombat to cast your spells at the beginning of your turn then you quickdraw your shield from your belt and throw it with ranged spellstrike to do your combat maneuver (trip), it returns to your belt instantly, you re-draw it (free action) and throw it again. Repeat until you are out of attacks.

Legal, efficient, powerful and fun to play.

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Major_Blackhart wrote:

Ahh, ok. I see what the problem is then.

And while Blinkback belt is indeed awesome, and I didn't know it existed, I would rather have a +6 Belt.

You can easily have both, simply combine both effects into one, it'll increase the cost a bit.

As for the weapon of choice for the Myrmidach you use the NET as your primary opening weapon and add a Throwing shield with shield spike at 11th level.
You'll start a fight using spellstrike with the net to drop a debilitating spell + entangle on your target then follow that up the next round with spell combat with the shield + Blinkback belt to unleash a full attack of trip combat maneuvers at range and end the turn using the shield as a defensive item.

This combo hits the big bad with entangle + prone + spell damage while hitting several of his mooks with with spell damage + prone every round. Good for the magus, good for the party and cheapish to do.

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Ok, well your problem isn't the Synthesist it's your encounter design. Well beyond the 1 big monster flaw is the fact that your players have shown you that they all build themselves to excel vs. melee bruiser bad guys and you keep giving them those to fight. Change that, exploit that weakness they have all chosen and take your game in a whole new and broader direction.

My recommendation is to start using SWARMS and Summoned critters against your players for awhile.
Especially these:
HellWasp Swarms, Leech Swarms and Rot Grub Swarm
With several summoned/called semi-casters to back them up. Something like a few Elementals, Succubi, Mothman and/or Bralani Azata.

These are all major challenges for the entire party while exploiting the weaknesses the Synthesist archetype has.
All these creatures either ignore AC or targets touch AC, the swarms all inflict Ability damage or drain which an Eidolon cannot ever heal and the summoner doesn't have spells to fix (cleric does but they can't afford to load up on those) and they are also mostly immune to the damage type the party specializes in while the summons all function as force multipliers for each encounter.

Here is an example for you of a 3 session encounter that will challenge your entire party.

Location: Gold rush town on the coast within an old growth swamp.
Plot: BBEG attempting to destroy a burgeoning town for invading his swamp.
Encounters: Multiple swarm/vermin/summoned creature fights. Make at leeast one take place underwater.
BBEG: Versha the Vile, aWorm that Walks (Though I would change them from a conjurer to a Witch instead.)

The slog through the swamp puts the terrain as a environmental hazard that really changes how each fight goes and forces them to make significant changes to how they expect each encounter to go.

The change in opponent types pushes the Cleric into a primary role (giving them a chance to develop their character more) and forces the summoner to change tactics from melee powerhouse to secondary caster. The Monk gets vaulted to the point guard position since his AC and abilities make him harder to hit kill then any of the others (while letting you help him fix his character).

Finally the BBEG is a super unique type of opponent who can easily handle being focus fired by the party but will always have allies around to make the fight more interesting.

Do something like this for the next few sessions and see how it goes. If the synthesist lives you will have more tricks up your sleeve to handle it and your party will start building more rounded less one-trick pony characters. At the very least the change in player focus should put most of your players back on a more even level.

You could even use this as a campaign ending scenario and reboot it with all new characters to give you a chance to start fresh with a better understanding of what is in store for you as a GM of these players.

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I like to keep it simple, the one I'd like to see pop back up is Alarka.

The fire Oracle from Rebels Ransom she was perfect. Well built stat-wise, effective, ruthless and has made enough PC's take a dirtnap to warm even my jaded heart.

I'd love her to come back and just start robbing everyone while torching the city around her.

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The easier way to handle this issue is to simply use the rules of the game.

"Ultimate Campaign, pg 140 wrote:

A nonsentient companion (one with animal-level intelligence) is loyal to you in the way a well-trained dog is—the creature is conditioned to obey your commands, but its behavior is limited by its intelligence and it can’t make altruistic moral decisions — such as nobly sacrificing itself to save another.
Animal companions, cavalier mounts, and purchased creatures (such as common horses and guard dogs) fall into this category. In general they’re GM-controlled companions. You can direct them using the Handle Animal skill, but their specific behavior is up to the GM.

Roughly this creature is a wild animal completely under the control of the GM. Realistically anytime it encounters a situation it hasn't been trained for it defaults back to it's instinctual reaction (which are determined by the GM) and you'd better make sure to not get in it's way when that happens.

Oh, and a hand full of kobolds is not an acceptable challenge for a CR 4+ party. The tiger is not a class feature so it needs to be added to the party's APL as normal to determine the correct CR you should be facing.

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

In all but the most explicit declaration in the rules, natural attacks are light weapons. Go forth and prosper.

But how does that actually play out? Are you making a 'full attack' with just that 1 natural weapon = 1 attack, regardless of BAB?

Yes. You don't get iteratives with natural attacks.
If you're a monster that just has a bite attack (say, a snake animal companion), and you make a full attack, you just get 1 bite.
If you cast haste on that monster, and it makes a full attack, it gets 1 bite for its normal (unmodified) full attack, plus 1 bite for the haste.

Now replace "monster that has a bite" with "monster that has two claws and is using one claw to cast a spell." One hand is used up to cast the spell, the other hand is being used for melee.
If the creature makes a full attack, it gets 1 claw attack. "All of its attacks" is "1 claw attack."
If it's hasted and makes a full attack, it gets 1 claw attack for its full attack, plus 1 claw for the haste. "All of its attacks" is "1 claw attack plus 1 claw attack for the haste."

So if such a creature is using spell combat, it makes "all of its attacks" (as defined above) and casts a 1-standard-action spell.

In other words, using spell combat doesn't suddenly allow you to make iterative attacks with natural weapons. All spell combat does is allow you to attack with one hand and cast a spell with the other hand. If the first hand is using a weapon that could make iterative attacks, great. If the first hand is using a weapon that can only make 1 attack per round, oh well.

Thank you for that explanation and it does make things clearer for the basic use of spellcombat + claw attacks. However our main question was regarding any/all of the other natural attacks available (a bite, or tail slap or wing buffett, etc) and how Magi without claws or slams function.

For example take the Naga, that ruling completely removes the option of ever having a Naga magus. They can be wizards, sorcerers, clerics or oracles and function perfectly fine but can never use the magus class ability because they lack a hand. Or a Lizardfolk Magus, the only have 1 claw attack do they have to give it up completely just to use spellcombat? With the introduction of the Race guide these became available but this ruling shuts them out of the class.

Ignoring the corner race case lets examine the other side of the table and those Magi who like to shapechange (nearly all of the polymorph spells are on their spell list). Many Magi liked to cast Monstrous Physique to become a (harpy, popobala or Gargoyle) when in combat to shore up their physical weaknesses and avoid the cookie cutter shocking grasp builds, or the occasional Beast shape users who would use silent spell to try something different. This prevents them from ever using their signature class ability for what appears to be an arbitrary reason.

Everyone complained with the previous ruling that Haste didn't work with spellcombat but many of the Magi abilities actually gave you Haste and now it's being changed back. That leaves us with the same issue but worse, spellcombat doesn't work with most natural attacks (but it's unclear which ones though, ie. what about pincers?) even though your main class ability gives you all of the natural attacks in the game (spellcasting with most of the polymorph spells), your archetype ability gives you others (hexcrafters get Prehensile Hair, etc), and some of the dedicated Magus spells actually require you to use a non-hand related natural weapon as part of casting a spell (Vanara: Prehensile Pilfer). The class appears to be designed to add natural attacks to itself.
Every other two-weapon wielder can freely mix any natural attack in with it's attack routine when using it's signature class abilities except for the Magus. (rangers get favored enemy with it, wizards get spellcasting, monks can get FoB, Rogues get Sneak Attack, etc.)

Basically our question is what is it about the Spellcombat ability that requires a user to give up it's innate abilities to use it?

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Citation provided. :)

PRD wrote:

Natural Attacks Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks (attacks made without a weapon). These attacks fall into one of two categories, primary and secondary attacks. Primary attacks are made using the creature's full base attack bonus and add the creature's full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature's base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature's Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature's full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 the creature's Strength bonus on damage rolls. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one. If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type. Table: Natural Attacks by Size lists some of the most common types of natural attacks and their classifications.

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And before you forget please remember the hex only prevents the target from needing to eat or breath it doesn't protect them from needing to drink.

thirst rules wrote:

A character can go without water for 1 day plus a number of hours equal to his Constitution score. After this time, the character must make a Constitution check each hour (DC 10, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. Characters that take an amount of nonlethal damage equal to their total hit points begin to take lethal damage instead.

The average creature can survive about 2-3 days before dying of thirst while frozen. Don't forget that rule when you start freezing targets and walking away.

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Artanthos wrote:



Anything else that is immune to mind affecting spells / sleep.

That's a really short list. The actual list of critters is more like this:

And anything taking any kind of bleed damage (Effectively).

Slumber is potent but it has a LOT of ways to deal with it. As Kolokotroni said, don't use single critter encounters. EVER. Also remember all the effects that break slumber (a standard action from a pet, a single point of damage, a loud noise, etc) and general environmental effects that also work (Extreme heat, rain, thunder).

This is not a game-breaking ability, it's just a game changer.

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mdt wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I am talking about Teleporting Scholars, Whispering Wind, Raucous Cancards and Scrivener's Chant.

Passing information much faster and more efficiently than was available in, say, Medieval Europe.

That still doesn't mean that knowledge of something on the other side of the world is common knowledge. It just makes it more likely that high level merchants and kings know about them. The average 1st to 10th level adventurer is ot going to be spending the gold needed for all those spells by all those high level casters. :)


You know the wandering minstrels who go all over the place telling people about where they've been and what they've seen there. These guys exist for one reason and that is to function as the internet for the medieval world. Plus as an organization they are constantly sharing stories with each other to keep the information fresh and new.

Anything you ever want to know about anywhere in the world you talk to a Bard and if he hasn't been there he probably has a story or two from someone who has been. That's pretty much how I've always considered the skill, you either are remembering tales and stories you've heard from all the wandering bards who sit in taverns (where EVERY adventurer hangs out) or you looked around the new town you are in until you found a Bard and picked his brain for the rules of the new location.

Fast, quick, easy and makes historical sense. Plus after all, it's just a game. Go with it.

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Andrew Christian wrote:

I think that you guys are missing my point. You are assuming I'm against all skill checks winning, and that I actually don't allow them.

That couldn't be further from the truth.

You also seem to be putting the assumption in my actions that I don't allow certain things or that I change the rules or whatever.

That also couldn't be further from the truth.

To the best of my ability and memory, I use the rules as written. I also let the characters use the skills and abilities they have.

One poster posted that in a home game they design encounters specifically to allow certain character's to shine. I do the same. But in a home game, I can modify things on the fly to make sure they are challenging (or if I accidentally make them too challenging, dial it back so that its just right). Would you design a series of encounters with Perception DC's set at 18, when you know that the characters will auto succeed on them all the time? Probably not. But putting it at about 50/50 or even 70/30 success, is about right. Lets them succeed most of the time, but still a chance of failure.

What happens in PFS, is that you can't modify encounters on the fly or not, to accommodate the ridiculous numbers some characters can pump out.

So you have that Diplomacy, Sense Motive, or Perception guy who will auto succeed on all the DC's in a scenario. So why bother playing it out if there is no challenge?

An auto success does NOT equal challenge. And auto successes over and over and over, are not fun for ME, and I'd wager most GM's. Heck, I don't have fun with auto successes that are supposed to be challenging as a player. If there is no sense of possible failure, I don't have fun at either side of the table.

The quoted comment above is the problem I have with your argument. the only thing making auto-successes not fun is YOU. As I learned in one of the recent scenarios.

Fortress of the Nail
Having encounters where there really is no chance of failure frees the GM up to focus on the ROLE-playing aspect of the game instead of the ROLL-playing side of it. That scenario has a foregone conclusion from the GM's side but the players all bust their humps scraping for every bonus, idea and role-play the heck out of their dialogue simply because they DON'T KNOW WHAT THE DC IS, all they know is it's important and the npc is actually talking to THEM, not delivering box text.

The players have no idea whether this is an auto-success or not, they only know what you as a GM describe to them. whether they succeed by 1 or 100 it's still just a success as far as the rules are concerned.

If you describe the scene as just "You step into a room, give me a perception check. you get a 55? you find x,y & z. Moving on..." then yes it's boring for everyone. IF you change that to a real description on how cleverly concealed that x,y & z were and how they just barely managed to find them then the party feels good about having that character involved, you get to have fun stretching your improv skills and the player feels justified in their expenditure to get that skill so high. Total cost to you as a GM to increase everyone's enjoyment, 10 seconds to come up with a descriptive statement.

It really comes down to whether you enjoy creating an immersive scene that gets your players thinking like their characters or if you just like the tension of random dice rolls.

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Blackstorm wrote:

Come back in my topic. I've started a good hexcrafter, for now I'm 4th level, and I'm pretty satisfied (aside the little fact that I have too much arcana/hex to choose and too few times I get them - even with extra arcana feat). By now I've Evil Eye, Cackle, and next at 5th lev will be fly hex (absolutely a must), with 2 arcanas at 6th lev (elf favored class bonus),and I'm thinking on take arcane accuracy and fortune (cackle the fortune hex is a win-win, as I have a paladin and a rogue that would deal massive damage).

Aside that, I've a big trouble: the concentration checks. I've a +10 (+4 CL + 4 int + 2 racial), And I plan to raise my int anyway, but, do you know something aside combat casting that raise concentration? The ideal thind would be a magus spell, but it could be even a spell from any other list (our wiz is going to take create wondrous items at 5th lev). But, aside the traits, that I cannot select again, do you know any way to raise concentration? Feats (I don't have enough feat slot, anyway, so if you advice me with a feat, it must totally worth a slot), or spell, or magic items. Until now I saw 2 items that give concentration, but a really low value. My Pc has a pair of gloves that raises the CL of +2 2/day of a spell of 1st lev or lower, but I'd like a continuos bonus...

Yes, learn this spell Warding Weapon and you will no longer need to cast defensively when in combat. In general though once you hit 7th level your Concentration checks should become almost automatic so it's not that big a deal.

As for your upcoming hex/arcana choices; Fortune/Cackle has been nerfed into the dirt so I wouldn't bother with those two anymore. Arcane Accuracy is a must get and the Familiar Arcana is underestimated but REALLY powerful.
As for Hexes Aura of Purity, Misfortune and Slumber are all extremely useful as well.

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Thod wrote:

Otherworld Miniatures have a great Owlbear mini.

Paizo did sell them in the past but I don't know if any are in stock. It likely comes with a 30mm base (need to check mine somewhere tugged safely away) but I'm sure you can mount it on a 25 mm base.

It actually comes on a 40mm base and stands 38mm tall. Awesome looking mini and it comes in 5 separate pieces.

Here, take a look at it OwlBear.

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Teller of Tales wrote:

On a side note, the whole haste thing has no impact whatsoever on the fact that Spellcombat is not a full attack and can thus not be used with pounce.

Also yeah, bladed dash, force hook charge etc...

It's based on the manner in which Haste and Full-Attack interact and the categorization of abilities under their respective action types.
And basing the ruling on this iteraction without errataing the skill is the whole problem here, since that categorization also catches the iteratives....

I've been following this thread for awhile and (though I fully agree with Teller of Tales on the ambiguity of the full round action) I'm beginning to think this is intentional.

As a Magus player I've personally had the massive 1 shot kills when I crit but just as often that crit didn't kill the BBEG but the follow up iteratives did finish him off. If this clarification DOES make spell combat work as Teller describes then perhaps the Dev's current intent is to reduce the magus down to 1 spell and 1 attack?

This would bring the magus DPR down to manageable levels across the board without requiring anything more then the errata notice they've put out so far. It would take some time to adjust to the new playstyle but overall I could see this as being a functional re-balance for the class.
It's also in-line with the last several faq updates that significantly curtailed the power of some of the new classes.

I'm not a fan of the re-balances but I can see the reasoning if that's what they are doing.

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Scent has 3 main benefits and is actually pretty easy to handle though you'll need to remind your GM a bit about them for awhile.

A. Scent grants a simple +8 to all perception checks made inside the range of your scent ability (Usually 30 feet but sometimes more or less depending on environment) that could benefit from it. I routinely make use of it for looking for traps (sniffing the oiled gears) & picking out hidden invisible targets.

B. Tracking, scent allows you to track any target without needing to invest in the survival skill. Normally you must be trained to follow tracks with a DC over 10, scent bypasses that restriction. The mechanical benefits of having scent and survival together allow you to ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility the two biggest modifiers to tracking. You still only make 1 check but the DC is much MUCH easier.

B. Finally the biggest advantage is dealing with invisible/hidden enemies. Remember it's a move action to actively sniff around to determine if something is in range and no action at all anytime you come within 5 feet of a target you automatically pinpoint them no matter what.

If you have an invisible or hidden target somewhere out there you simply roll Perception +8 vs their stealth (ignore the +20 bonus for invisibility since you aren't using your eyes) to determine what direction and move that way. As soon as you come within 5 feet you auto notice them and pinpoint the square.
IF you fail that Perception check then you roll survival instead (DC 10 +size modifier) to find their tracks and follow that to their square and THEN you auto determine the square. Invisibility and Stealth mean NOTHING to you, no one can hide from you now.

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idilippy wrote:

I think it's actually a 25 int after a headband +6 (17 base, +2 for levels if I remember right for how the witch has 19 pre-items) with the corset of dire witch-whatever that gives one hex a +2 CL to make up the 23 instead of 22 save(so CL 13 on ice tomb with 10+1/2CL+int save seems to check out as 23). I could have it wrong and it be a 20 base (18+2 for levels) with the +6 int and the corset applying to something else.

Yeah, the more I read the more poorly worded it seems, taking into account nothing and being iffy enough that I read a compelling argument on whether it can even affect objects/undead. I think 60' works for a range, until now we've just used "in sight" but the witch hasn't been abusing it from hundreds of feet away or anything. Cold resistance I didn't think about using, last session the witch iced a succubus and did no or little cold damage through resistance (can't remember exactly) but I had it iced, wish I had thought of that ahead of time since that could be another limiter.

Hmm, I guess that brings up a question, does it seem like a fair move as DM to make immunity to paralysis or immunity to unconsciousness cancel out the hex, or would that just cancel out that part of the hex and the rest (encased in 6 inches of ice at least, the other of paralysis/unconsciousness too if the enemy doesn't have both) still goes through?

If you do decide to go the route of making those immunities work then go all out. Swap out all the demons for summoned Ice Elementals instead. Your 2 big bads, a shadow demon and 3 Ice Elementals (large) gives you a EL of 12 (13 if you ice the floor which I really think you should, force them to fly or make acrobatics checks) and is visually awesome.

You have a frozen cavern dimly lit from lights glittering off all the icicles with a sheer transparent wall ahead of them with the sorceress madly summoning something. As the party moves to engage enormous serpents made of snow and ice erupting from the slick floor of ice to engage the party frontliners and slipping back into the ice when your players attempting to bring their might to bear on them.
All this while the faint sound of metal sliding on ice is heard as the invisible duelist ice-skates around the party striking hard and skating away.
Overwhelmed the party seeks to re-group when swooping down from the ceiling is an impossibly black shadow with murder in it's eyes come for revenge on the foolish mortals who thought they had destroyed him.

THAT is a fight they'll remember forever.

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