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Gem Inspector

Mattastrophic's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 1,296 posts (1,952 including aliases). 23 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.


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Taldor

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Hmm...

I wonder... does greater magic weapon actually stack with furious, or does it simply provide a "constant overwrite" effect of the weapon's enhancement bonus?

If the latter... then the greater magic weapon/furious/courageous combo doesn't really work, and courageous simply requires a CL 16+ casting of greater magic weapon to go nuclear.

-Matt

Taldor

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King of Vrock wrote:
With courageous he still needs to make an attack with the weapon to gain the bonuses.

How does that work with Rage, Vrock? Do the barbarian's hit points, saves, etc. bounce up and down based on whether he is attacking? If so, when exactly does the barbarian stop attacking?

See the weirdness?

-Matt

Taldor ***

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TetsujinOni wrote:
I do not see a way to structure a card-based range-related chase which is both compelling and has any potential for entertainment past APL 7.

Off the top of my head, I'd say:

-Is there a reason why ranges can't be abstracted?
-Is there a reason why chases have to be conducted in six-second rounds?
-Why do the obstacles need to be ones which, as you say, don't stand up to ability scaling?

I remember designing a chase for The Golemworks Incident...:
meant to cover the case where Black teleports away. If I remember correctly (this was about eighteen months ago), the mod doesn't cover what happens next, because the text assumes that the players incapacitate Black. The chase scene I drew up for it had the players pursuing Black through investigation, making checks to track down Black's safehouse in the city before Black could burn his loose ends and get away. I basically came up with Law and Order on index cards. There, I abstracted both time and distance.

The chase scenes we have seen from Paizo have been low-level chases. That does not mean that adaptation past 4th level is impossible.

But that's for another day, and for scenario authors to consider, not so much for the GM running an existing chase.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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Though this will never happen, it could make for a good discussion:

-Reduce PFS characters' point-buy down to 15, as well as sharply reduce the number of Additional Resources offerings which a given character can take, in order to align the power level of PFS characters with the power level that Paizo products expect.

In other words, if the APs assume 15-point PCs with little to no non-Core options, would PFS be better served if its PCs adhered to the same baseline?

-Matt

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's worth pointing out that if we have table variation over something as simple as drawing or sheathing an item, based on the language of the Core book, a revision of the Core book is long overdue.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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Hi everyone,

I stumbled across this earlier today. Looks like big changes are coming to the leadership of the Society! I was pretty blown away, but I'll let you guys read and find out about what's happening to the Decemvirate yourself.

Once There Were Ten...

-Matt

Taldor ***

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I've updated the previous posting with a revised version of the illustration of Lady Gabrielle. The above link no longer works.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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I recently commissioned a portrait of the lovely and elegant Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher. The Lady is pictured in an example of her adventuring garb.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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Mark Seifter wrote:
The top Lymnieris devotion boon, which anyone can get at super-high levels for one feat, allows limitless lowering of people's age categories with no apparent duration or reversibility.

Good call. The method I'm thinking of is not a player option, though, as in not related to a feat, spell, class feature, etc.

Anyways, I'm really glad to see that we've moved well beyond "Doesn't work in PFS. Sorry." and we are coming up with ways for the original poster to accomplish his goal.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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It is only sometimes in my nature to be mysterious. This is one of those times. Call it a PFS Mystery, and perhaps a goal for your character?

To rule a few options out, the method I am thinking of is not a class feature.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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It is always a pleasure to learn of another of the shining examplars of etiquette which serve to define our renowned society. They are the public face which drives our glorious reputation throughout the world.

-Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Fourth Horseman wrote:

But ... It was permanent. You got better?

Yep! I can read your post right now! The 50% miss chance on all keystrokes was a real pain there.

-Matt

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Erick Wilson wrote:

This is a point I have been trying to make for a while. The real problem players never cheat. Why would they? They can already secure themselves nearly unlimited power/advantages by playing strictly by the rules. The hardcore min-maxers LOVE the rules. They love RAW. They know that playing by the rules allows them to go on flagrantly abusing the system unhindered. It is for this reason that I encourage behavior that emphasizes personal responsibility over rules following. When people have morals, they don't need rules (and oddly enough, beyond a certain point rules actually seem to erode morals). But for this to work, the higher ups would have to take some kind of definite moral stance when it comes to min maxing, which they seem reluctant to do.

I guess I just wish they'd get off the fence.

Well said. One could argue that RAW is too-often used as a mechanism for absolving oneself of any social responsibility. "It's legal, so I deserve to play this superpowered character. It's not my fault that I'm steamrolling scenarios and soloing everything, it's the campaign's fault!"

-Matt

Taldor

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On the other hand...

Why do some classes get two good saves and other classes only get one? It would be more balanced if every class got one Good, one Moderate, and one Poor save. Except the Monk, because three good saves is their thing.

-Matt

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is actually why I try to avoid using alignment at all. The players who are able to treat it as a roleplaying aid don't need the crutch, and the players who are not able to often use it as an excuse to cause social conflict.

Alignment is just more trouble than it's worth.

In fact, let's examine the story that spawned this thread once more, with more objective language and stripping out references to alignment and the poster's character class, which the OP has also cited as justification for his actions...

Unaligned Clone of OP wrote:

So our Paladin fell and got arrested for trying to seduce the princess. They decided to keep him in the lowest dungeon of the town. So we find a way to break in and spring him. We find that he has basically been stripped of the ability to move properly, having had all his bones broken and been subject to torture.

This prompts my PC to snap. In the ensuing chaos, my PC kills the prisoner NPC. The DM says "What do you say to the guards when they come down?" My response: I pull out my Enlarge Person potion and Bull's Strength potion. Hold person fails. I kill the guard's mage. We slaughter the remaining guards. I charge their leader, and naturally critical. He's dead. I continue a cleave and kill his top mook. The following round we slaughter all the guard and burn their corpses after combat.

We make it out the town guard has found our mercs above ground. The sorcerer goes invisible and a brief dialogue ensues. They demand that we all return and stand trial.

Ensuing is another fight, as I kill a few more guards. The sorcerer breaks stealth and casts an empowered, intensified Fireball on myself and the guards. I take some damage. Guards are mostly dead. The arrogant prince arrives and challenges me to a one-on-one duel to see if we are allowed to go free. We count to three. On two, I turn around and charge him after the mage casts silence on me. I kill the Prince.

His mooks get involved and we slaughter them as well. The DM looks *REALLY* pissed off.

There we go. Based on this version of the tale, is the GM worthy of being called a bad GM?

-Matt

Taldor ***

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48. Just as every Runelord knew about the power of Divination, so do I. I will not be caught unaware of the meddling adventurers. I will make sure I know when they are coming, and I will cast my buff spells right before they do, just as I know they are casting theirs right before they meet me.

49. I will commission dispel magic traps in my sanctum, which will target those up-to-no-good Pathfinders.

50. I will always have a way to escape. I know that the Pathfinders are coming, and they always kill anything with a statblock (and some things without!). I will not trust them when they say they don't mean to kill me, because they do.

Taldor ***

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14. I will pray to the gods every day, begging that my stat block be written by Alex Greenshields.

Taldor ***

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andreww wrote:
I am not really seeing how that is true. A group of 4 or 6 pregens is going to be crushed in many scenarios, especially 5-9 or 7-11's.

If that is actually the case, then it is a problem of the campaign not adhering to the expectations it has set for itself. The standards are still in place.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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The Fox wrote:
Matt, what is an appropriate benchmark?

I would say take the Core pregens and let them be the benchmark.

The campaign staff believes that the power level of the campaign's opposition is at a level such that a player playing a pregen should and will have a good time, making them the best thing PFS has, and a very appropriate thing, for players to compare their characters to.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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I have learned that the Paizo board wisdom often focuses way too much on optimization for combat effectiveness, and following such wisdom is actually a bad thing in Pathfinder Society. That wisdom simply tries to maximize effectiveness, without paying consideration to the power level of the opponents. Since Pathfinder gets a lot less fun when overpowered characters are at the table, players who subscribe to that wisdom often harm the fun of the whole table.

I have learned that it's actually pretty tough, as a player, to build a PC that is of a "just right" power level. There is just so much variability of power level of the available material, from the Core to the splatbooks, that it's very easy to build an overpowered character "accidentally" instead of intentionally.

I have learned that it's very important to find a group of players and GMs who all have similar expectations about power level. Unfortunately, the nature of Pathfinder Society means that stable groups with aligned expectations will have trouble with a "public" campaign.

Also...
Did you know that rogues are totally viable in PFS?

-Matt

Taldor ***

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Wraithcannon wrote:

Well, I asked James Jacobs if he could flesh out the 7 other staff's for us and he said he was way too busy.

Who's monkey tree to we have to shake to get these made up? I would dearly love to see them in PFS.

A scenario author's. This sounds like a great item for a Chronicle.

-Matt

Taldor

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Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Yep, it's a very neat build, and I've been messing around with a few of them for a few minutes. I'm looking at it and I can't possibly deny that you can build for it if you spend enough feats and traits, but even then you've spent several additional feats and also your potentially-precious immediate action on Snake that you needn't spend on Crane, and Crane protects somewhat from all attacks whereas Snake only helps for the one.

It's worth noting that Crane Style requires you be attacking, while Snake does not. For this reason, Snake Style synergizes with the Antagonize feat, while Crane does not.

Snake Fang also can grant a ton of AOs, while Crane Riposte can only grant one.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

-Matt

Taldor

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I gotta say, the campaign that happens after the PCs fail sounds like a ton of fun. Having to bring the nations of Avistan together to oppose the growing threat and save the world, that sounds like a great idea!
-Matt

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kudaku wrote:
I'd be very interested in how many of the PFS GMs that complained about Crane Wing were actually complaining about characters with a MoMS dip that picked up the feat early.

Bingo. It is important to consider that Crane Wing and Master of Many Styles are two different things, a difference which often gets lost in the PFS environment where a character's foundations tend to be overlooked and the end results are what get all the attention.

In the PFS environment, it's easy to say "Whoa, he's deflecting attacks!" and ignore "He dipped Master of Many Styles and picked it up before he could have normally."

Are we going to be back here doing this again due to Masters of Many Styles who pick up Snake Fang early?

By the way, is the errata set in stone, or subject to change?

-Matt

Taldor

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Mystically Inclined wrote:

Jason, on the off chance you're still reading, let me just put a word on.

If you have to nerf it, then you have to nerf it. Nerfing it to this level was too much. Is it possible to have a middle ground?

Not at the moment. We plan to let it stand for a while and look at it as we go along (as we do all of our rules). Nothing is ever set in stone, but we are not going to change it based on 24 hours of messageboard posts.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

For the sake of those of us who have PFS characters who are affected by this change, and who are not allowed to retcon their decisions if Crane Wing changes again...

Can you give us a date for when the feat's text will be set in stone? What about a date for when the rules change takes effect for purposes of PFS? I would hate to retrain Crane Wing (Osyluth's Guile and Offensive Defense do what New Crane Wing does but better, in my case) then be unable to reverse the decision if it changes again.

-Matt

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

B is a fine way to go, based on my experiences. If you combine that with rolling your attack and damage die together, you'll be appreciated for the time savings you are providing.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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Though I find the whole matter quite strange, I am beginning to understand the usefulness of these certifications. If it will assist the community, I would be glad to help by determining which members of the Society are proper aristocrats and which are merely poseurs.

Best wishes,
Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher

Taldor ***

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Erik Mona wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
When Erik Mona can fit another double-length scenario into his writing schedule, that's when I'd like to see talk about a replacement Seeker arc and possible retirement of Eyes.

That is a clever way to make sure it is years before this ever gets retired… :)

If Eyes were to be retired, a revised edition of Requiem of the Red Raven would make a great standalone product. It is the best thing PFS has ever done, and it really should be kept playable.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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One thing that I have discovered is very tough about PFS is that Pathfinders really don't have very much to talk about, largely because just about everything we do have to talk about is deep in spoiler territory.

It's as if Fight Club decided to hold a company picnic.

Fortunately, we've got the faction boards to host discussions, but I can say from experience that it takes some effort to really make things move without any help from the spoiler-laden Golarion canon or the campaign's material. That being said, I can say that the Taldan Winter Masquerade thread has a solid number of posts and can serve as a proof-of-concept for aspiring organizers.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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Netopalis wrote:
Would anybody be opposed to me starting an offshoot thread for unofficial IC organizations? That's an idea that I'm really interested in, but which is tangential to the focus of this thread.

I would be eager to see what sorts of ideas for organizations the community can come up with.

-Matt wonders what a Taldan aristocratic fraternal organization would look like.

Taldor ***

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DM Beckett wrote:
True, and I get that. The issue I'm starting to have is running out of things to run that a given group can mostly play for credit as we get new players. It tends to put the players that have played longer locked at 5th-7th as we wait for the new players to catch up more, which means we keep making new starter characters, and then getting up to 3rdish, and start over as even more new players come. The more we do that, the less options we can then play as a group, etc. . .

This here is pretty much the story of PFS. When new players keep coming in, and everyone is fully accommodated for (as in, no one replays for zero XP or plays a pregen), this is what happens.

If you want to get out of the low tiers, at some point, you'll just have to hold 5-9 and 7-11 tables, and the new players will have to either play a pregen or wait. If 5-9 never happens, then your group won't ever play it.

-Matt

Taldor

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If he needs a suggestion for a feat to substitute Manyshot for, try Vital Strike. It has similar flavor to Manyshot, extra damage in a single attack roll, without being as powerful as Manyshot.

Be glad that you have a player who is willing to dial it back. That's a great player to have.

-Matt

Taldor

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One of the ninja tricks would let him spend a ki point for darkvision, with a one-hour duration.

SRD wrote:


Darkvision (Su): This trick allows the ninja to use her ki to enhance her sight, granting darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. Using this trick is a standard action that costs 1 ki point. The enhanced senses last for 1 hour.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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Dragnmoon wrote:
What other suggestions do we have out there?

Anything about the canon that the campaign deals with and the NPCs which live there.

In-character posts from the faction heads or Venture-Captains would be particularly great, as they would help us have a glimpse at the Golarion we're supposed to be experiencing, and give GMs and scenario authors some source material to base their versions of the NPCs on rather than constantly having to make up their personalities from scratch.

The Golarion sourcebooks like to focus on breadth at the expense of depth; a blog post is an excellent opportunity to add depth to the canon.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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I'd relax the Run As Written rules, and dispel the overly-restrictive culture they create, allowing GMs' talents to really shine by GMing games which fit their individual talents and style, and allowing them to really tailor the play experience to their play groups.

Oh, and then I'd remove a bunch of stuff from Additional Resources so threads like this one happen less often. It's just so sad to see so many potential hours of play experiences be vaporized because of overpowered options, and how easy it would be to reduce that waste.

So that's two things.

-Matt

Taldor ***

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Again, I think something beyond initiative is wrong if the fights are over in 1 round every time. Were the initiative monkeys both ranged martial classes?

Thing is, there has been enough powerful options introduced in the Pathfinder system that victories can occur during the first round of combat. It's kinda frustrating, and there's really nothing any of us can do about the issues with the available options. The only thing you can do is let the offending players know your frustration, and if they continue to frustrate you as a GM and/or drive players away, then their only solution is to not invite them to your tables.

-Matt

Taldor

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
You need strong direct damage folks to take point, but it works really well. An optimized counterspeller can waste a ton of important enemy actions... not every time, but enough to really turn any fight just as it gets going.

I agree. What's also important is that an optimized counterspeller can be the one who negates the nastiest, most important enemy actions. So even if it doesn't come up often, it's a huge benefit to the party.

-Matt

Taldor

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Majuba wrote:


Options:
  • a) Want to hack through images? Eyes open.
  • b) Want to get a good swing in but stay on your guard? Burn a move-equivalent action to close and open your eyes.
  • c) Want to cut loose and cut down your enemy? Close your eyes as a free action and full-attack (or move and attack).
  • Though we kinda had to fill in the gaps in the rules, this seems like a fair and balanced way to run "temporary self-blindness."

    -Matt

    Taldor

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    My experience says that's not actually true. A full-attack with Blind-Fight going is often enough to just paste the thing with Images running. Basically, the tactic turns mirror image into displacement and then makes displacement an inferior defense to mirror image.

    When you're looking at eight images, popping a couple of them is just slow compared to sucking up the virtual-25% miss chance and wailing away.

    The "choose at the beginning of your turn" way, mirroring gaze attacks, that seems like a solid way to run it.

    -Matt

    Taldor ***

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    Kyle Baird wrote:

    Any 5-star GM whose table I have yet to play at.

    I'd also love to run a table for anyone I have met here, but not in real life AND hates my guts or thinks it wouldn't be a fun time. You all know who you are! ;-)

    I once feared the Baird. Then I played at his Grand Melee table at PaizoCon 2011. I swapped out to a higher-level character upon learning of my GM's identity.

    I had a great time. Some hot d20s helped me not die, as in multiple longsword crits in a full-attack hot. "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???"

    -Matt

    Taldor ***

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    It's about that time, as we have two groups present for the first round of games. Remember that card that was enclosed in your invitations? It is now your starting hand for this game.

    We will be playing an adaptation of the game Love Letter, a card game of wit and deduction. Here is how it is played...

    In this game, each player represents an eligible suitor who wishes to court the elusive Princess of Taldor. In order to attract the Princess's attention, players attempt to have their letters of love delivered to her and read by her. However, since the Princess is very difficult to reach, the suitors have to rely on intermediaries to carry their messages to her.

    During the game, you hold one card in your hand, which is always kept secret from the other players. This card represents the current holder of your letter. Your objective is to make sure that your letter is in the hands of the someone closer to the Princess than anyone else's intermediary when the round ends.

    On each of your turns, you will receive one random card from the deck carried by the Master of Games. You will then have two cards in your hand. At this point, choose one of the two to play and return it to the Master of Games. The card's effect is then resolved, even if the effect is bad for you. All cards played will be made known to all of the competing players; this information assists with deducing which cards the other players might be holding. A list of all the cards in the deck held by the Master of Games, along with their quantities, is given below for your reference.

    Certain cards will have the effect of removing a player from the round, as that player's letter is intercepted or destroyed. In that case, the card which was in that player's hand is made known to the remaining players. For the remainder of the round, the removed player cannot be chosen as a part of resolving other cards' effects.

    A round ends when there are no more cards remaining in the deck held by the Master of Games at the end of a turn. At this point, the player holding the card representing the person closest to the Princess wins the round, as that person delivers the love letter to the Princess, who retires to her chambers to read it. A round also ends if there is only one player remaining.

    Since this is a game of deduction, the details of the randomized deck of cards is known to all players. As mentioned above, each card represents a person in close proximity to the Princess, and each card carries with it an effect.

    Note: At the beginning of each round, one card is secretly removed from the deck and hidden from all players. Thus, the deck for each round will contain fifteen of the sixteen cards.

    The deck contains sixteen total cards, listed here in order from the farthest away to the closest to the Princess:
    5x House Guard: When played, name a card other than House Guard and choose a player. If the chosen player is carrying the chosen card, that player is removed from the round.
    2x Priestess: When played, you may learn the name of the card held by a chosen player. Keep this information a secret.
    2x Baron: When played, choose another player still in the round. The Master of Games will compare the card remaining in your hand with the card in the chosen player's hand. The player holding the card furthest away from the Princess is removed from the round. If there is a tie, nothing happens.
    2x Handmaiden: When played, you are immune to the effects of other players' cards, and cannot be chosen as a part of resolving other cards' effects, until your next turn.
    2x Count: When played, choose a player (you may choose yourself). That player must discard the card in his or her hand (the card has no effect) and be given a new one. The discarded card is known to all players. If the deck is currently empty, that player is handed the round's hidden card.
    1x Grand Prince: When played, choose a player. The card remaining in your hand is swapped with the card in the chosen player's hand.
    1x Marquise: When played, the Marquise has no effect. However, if after receiving a card on your turn, your hand contains both the Marquise and either the Grand Prince or the Count, you must play the Marquise. Naturally, you may play the Marquise even if the Grand Prince or the Count are not in your hand. She enjoys such mind games.
    1x Princess: When you have this card in your hand, the Princess herself is in possession of your letter. However, if she is confronted on the matter, she will toss your letter into the fire and deny having ever seen it. If you ever play the Princess or are forced to discard the Princess for any reason, you are removed from the round.

    There you have it. I hope you enjoy this little game of wit and deduction. Best of luck to all of you. As always, feel free to PM me with questions or find me on the Paizo chat at chat.dmtools.org.

    Taldor ***

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    Cao Phen wrote:
    We all know that all magus came from Minata. All of that training as a Wayang Spellhunter gave them the Magical Lineage to make their shocking grasps all the more poweful. In matter of fact, I think that the majority of spellcasters come from Minata...

    That would explain where all the funny hats that Pathfinders wear come from, as well.

    -Matt

    Taldor ***

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    There's a spreadsheet now, and it does a great job of maintaining our little list.

    -Matt

    Taldor

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    Requiem of the Red Raven, first encounter. Best thing PFS has ever done.

    -Matt

    Taldor ***

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    This is true, Arshean obedience is even easier to handwave than the shard.

    -Matt

    Taldor ***

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    When this came up in my table with a PC with Celestial Obedience to Arshea, my solution involved a herald or other vanity NPC.

    -Matt

    Taldor ***

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    Dieben wrote:

    This also raises the question of how it is viewed whenever someone casts enhanced diplomacy or tap inner beauty before beginning to speak to you.

    "What are you doing?"
    "Oh, I'm just making it so that I can persuade you more easily. So, you know, nothing you need to be concerned about."

    Good point! I saw that sort of thing happen all the time!

    Example:
    Player: "I cast guidance on Jane's character while she's talking."

    -Matt

    Taldor ***

    1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Mark Seifter wrote:
    The Guide to Absalom book told me that casting invisibility is massively illegal in Absalom, punishable extremely harshly. We could use sources like that one if we wanted to answer that question.

    Yeah, this is a question to be asked of the setting. Are there any other insights into how magic fits in Golarion's various cultures scattered throughout the sourcebooks?

    If there are, it would be nice to see them placed in the Guide, or at least in the scenarios.

    I keep thinking back to that one time my PC sat down to tea at a formal event with a paladin in full-plate, a barbarian with multiple reach weapons strapped to her back while at the dinner table, a druid who shed his armor out of respect to the host, and two synthesists in full power armor. The socially-acceptable use of magic question goes hand-in-hand with the socially-acceptable carrying of very large weapons (even loaded guns!) and mighty animal companions.

    It would be nice to have some guidance on this issue.

    -Matt

    Taldor

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    Wearing armor or wielding a shield that you aren't proficient in, that causes an initiative penalty equal to its armor check penalty:

    PRD Equipment entry wrote:
    Nonproficient with Armor Worn: A character who wears armor and/or uses a shield with which he is not proficient takes the armor's (and/or shield's) armor check penalty on attack rolls as well as on all Dexterity- and Strength-based ability and skill checks. The penalty for nonproficiency with armor stacks with the penalty for shields.
    PRD Combat entry wrote:

    Initiative

    At the start of a battle, each combatant makes an initiative check. An initiative check is a Dexterity check.

    Splint Mail and a Tower Shield would buy you -17 to initiative right there.

    -Matt

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