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Matthew Downie's page

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Well, with a hostage you can just have Koya (or whoever) say, "The betting syndicate gangsters will kill the hostage if you make a rash rescue attempt. We'll have to play along and wait for an opportunity."

You could have someone trying to force the PCs into the tournament for fairly justified reasons. For example, they have a personal grudge against some evil villains who are the favorites to win, and are hoping the PCs will kill them.

chaoseffect wrote:
One of my players uses Stone Shape to be a real estate tycoon; one casting = 1 house.

You can make a house from 15 cubic feet of rock? You could make one wall 10 feet long, 6 feet high and 3 inches thick with that. Another five castings and you might have one tiny enclosed room.

chaoseffect wrote:
It's a lot of questions that need answering... but I think the one thing we can all agree on is that Reflex negates.

Since the spell says Saving Throw: None, I think it would be a better rule of thumb that any use that you would expect to grant a saving throw (eg make a stone cage around a moving target) shouldn't be allowed.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
Gauss wrote:
GreyWolfLord, you are ignoring that the Devs have stated that it works.

Is that in the faq?

Or where did they say that? Was it an opinion, or an official answer?

I'm not ignoring that...I must have missed it completely.

From what I saw, it was a thought or idea that was being tossed around, but NOTHING solidified or codified in the rulings by Jason.

Well, there's this acknowledgement of the issue from six years ago.

Having the PCs taken captive can be difficult. Your players may not co-operate. Especially if they have a lot of magic. "I teleport us away and then use divination to find the caravan."

There's also a risk that the players will be trying to murder the guards and escape rather than fight the tournament battles you planned for.

If you want the players to be forced into it, you could do it another way. For example, the Amatatsu Seal (or Suishen if that makes more sense) is stolen and is one of the tournament prizes. Or a caravan member is kidnapped to force the PCs to fight - there could be a powerful betting syndicate behind it? "We need you to throw the final battle - but make it last at least five rounds." Then, during the battle, the kidnapped NPC appears in the crowds waving to you, having been rescued by the other NPCs.

Rat swarms take full damage from bludgeoning weapons and half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. As long as the distraction DR isn't too high, I don't think there's a balance issue.

_Ozy_ wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Just refresh it every minute while walking in the wilderness. If a combat begins, you have 20 rounds of guaranteed invisibility.
You carry a timepiece with you? You're going to blow 10% of your standard actions on ring activation? The whole day?

It doesn't need to be as accurate as once per minute - just aim for 30 to 90 seconds and you'll be fine. I'm pretty sure I can spare 10% of my standard actions while exploring a dangerous area. I suppose a GM might rule that saying a command word hundreds of times is fatiguing?

_Ozy_ wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
It's a command word.
I think you're probably right, but the existence of this thread seems to indicate that this is still in dispute.
No, it's not.

Has everyone suddenly agreed? That's a nice change.

_Ozy_ wrote:
Yes, there are isolated incidences where RoI stealth works.

There are only isolated instances where any kind of stealth works. There are all kinds of enemies who can spot you even if you're invisible (scent, tremorsense...) and most are incredibly dangerous to a solo PC. If there's a couple of goblins in front of a closed door, how are you going to sneak past even with permanent greater invisibility and 30 Stealth?

_Ozy_ wrote:
For most cases, just having a high stealth skill is much, much better. And it doesn't cost you 20k of your WBL.

It doesn't cost 20K, but it does require you to have high Dex and low ACP and stealth as a class skill and to put many skill ranks into it (or similar investment). And even then you can't hide in plain sight so are completely dependent on the environment.

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
SO MUCH DAMAGE can happen in three rounds, it's preposterous.

With Detect Magic, can't you walk around dungeons concentrating constantly on the spell? And then you've permanently got the benefits of the third round information? (Not that this would make it as good as See Invisibility.)

CRB, Paladin's Detect Evil wrote:
Detect Evil (Sp): At will, a paladin can use detect evil, as the spell. A paladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is evil, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds.

See previous threads debating whether the paladin can use Detect Evil as the spell but can in addition detect evil individuals as a move action, or can only detect evil individuals as a move action.

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_Ozy_ wrote:
1/3 the time you will need to use a standard action to refresh your ring invisibility anyways

How so? Just refresh it every minute while walking in the wilderness. If a combat begins, you have 20 rounds of guaranteed invisibility.

_Ozy_ wrote:
It's a command word.

I think you're probably right, but the existence of this thread seems to indicate that this is still in dispute.

_Ozy_ wrote:
The whole previous debate was how this completely eliminates the 'stealth mission' capabilities of the ring. It's not a 'bit harder', it's ludicrously stupid because you will be detected with a normal DC hearing check when you speak the command word.

Depends on the location. In a noisy place, you can probably speak a command word without anyone noticing. For many stealth missions, doors will negate invisibility anyway. In a typical cave adventure, all you really need to do is sneak into the next cavern, see what's in there, then sneak back and tell your friends - that's possible within three minutes. In situations where the enemy realizes that an invisible person is spying on them, catching you is still going to be difficult.

Some bits of fluff are easier to separate from crunch than others.

If I want to play a half-orc with the bonuses of a dwarf, or vice versa, it could be done with permission of a kind GM, though you'd have a tangle of 'speaks dwarvish and is proficient with dwarvish waraxe' to deal with. If you wanted to play an unusually small human, then the stats of a halfling would be a reasonable way to do it. But it wouldn't be RAW / PFS legal, in the way that a Monk who isn't a monk would be.

Changing a barbarian to a martial character who isn't from a barbarian tribe is fairly easy. Changing an alchemist to something else requires some heavy effort in reimagining all his powers.

And I guess some people just like the default archetypes associated with the classes as written?

Since it says, "Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention" I don't think anyone sensible would demand all free & swift actions be permitted.

But it would be nice if paladins with the ability to heal themselves of the nauseated condition as a swift action could actually use that ability.

_Ozy_ wrote:
(a) buy a wand and save tons of $

How many skill ranks do you think the average cleric has in UMD?

Being invisible all the time is, in my experience, much safer than being invisible only when you thought it was worth using up a charge from your wand. Let's say you're playing Kingmaker and you're constantly getting attacked by wandering monsters in the wilderness. A wand is nowhere near as good because you'd have to use your first standard action of every battle to benefit, or use up a wand every two and a half hours. In other types of campaign, it's a closer call, but at least it saves you constantly having to keep track of 3 minute durations and worrying about whether you should waste a 90gp wand charge whenever you open a cupboard.

_Ozy_ wrote:
(b) how does having a 3 minute 'reactivation' fix this issue?

It doesn't - I was discussing the price of the item. The 3 minute duration is completely irrelevant if rings of invisibility are activated by mental command (except for a few unusual situations, such as when you fall unconscious and no-one knows where), and just makes it a bit harder to do stealth missions if they have command words.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
NO ONE EVER PURCHASE THIS RING! I want to see it in use!

Having found one and used it, I'd say: (a) it's not that badly priced for a character who buffs and heals and summons in combat rather than attacking. (b) a character who is invisible all the time can be quite frustrating for a GM (see also: high level ninjas). The majority of monsters have no way of seeing invisible enemies. Most spells and effects are powerless against a foe who can't be targeted.

It's something that definitely works for some people (see the posts by Gauss in this thread). I haven't done it much myself.

Cap. Darling wrote:

why is it more tense to know who Will go first?

It's your turn! What are you going to do? Hesitate and you've missed your chance! Make a wrong step and someone will die! Decide now!

This seems more tense then than a situation where whoever feels like doing something gets to do it, and there's unlimited chatting with no danger of being suddenly stabbed.
If you're already in initiative, violence can break in an instant. There's no "he's decided to attack you so let's all roll initiative".

(Note that this might actually work less well in situations where a battle is inevitable and you just want to have the PCs and enemies talk for a bit to establish the stakes without someone starting the fight early.)

24 Strength humans via RAW: they're level 16 Commoners. Gain 4 ability point increases for leveling up.

Or: they're level 1 Barbarians. They can temporarily gain 24 Strength through Rage.

Cap. Darling wrote:
Using initiative for situations that have not yet turned violent serves no purpose.

It can create tense situations. The party and a potentially hostile being are having a face off. It's your move. Do you talk? Lay down your weapon? Cast a defensive buff, and risk triggering hostilities? Abandon all hope for a peaceful solution in hope of getting in the first attack? Retreat? Ready an action?

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
This reminds me of a similar 'making a point' situation I read where a GM said, "You're walking along in the wilderness..." and put all the character miniatures on a map. They all immediately started casting buff spells on themselves. Then, nothing happened, because there was no enemy, and the GM asked why they cast the spells. This was to remind them not to metagame. The players accepted this lesson.

What lesson? That the GM will fake you out sometimes?

That you should wait to cast buff spells until it's too late?

That you should wait to cast buff spells until your characters have reason to think there's a threat.

The group were in the habit of metagaming their buffing which was giving them an unfair advantage. "It's early in the afternoon, you're walking beside a stream, and you've just found a suitable place to cross..." "I cast Haste." "I cast Prayer." "I begin summoning." "I drink a potion of Bull's Strength."

Mindless undead can be evil in Pathfinder... somehow.

This reminds me of a similar 'making a point' situation I read where a GM said, "You're walking along in the wilderness..." and put all the character miniatures on a map. They all immediately started casting buff spells on themselves. Then, nothing happened, because there was no enemy, and the GM asked why they cast the spells. This was to remind them not to metagame. The players accepted this lesson.

It's actually reasonable to roll initiative in a potential combat situation. A dangerous creature has appeared. Do you attack it or stop and talk? If you stop and talk, you lose initiative. But if you're not doing a 'gotcha', you should probably say, "It hasn't taken any aggressive action... yet." Because 'roll initiative' implies that it has.

HangarFlying wrote:
black tentacles don't have eyes.


And even if they don't, that doesn't mean they can't see.

(What? See without eyes? Are these supposed to be some kind of magic tentacles?
(a) yes
(b) Skeletons don't have eyes but do have normal vision.)

CraziFuzzy wrote:
I don't think the 'half-giant' race requires a giant and a human. I'd say 1/4 giant would qualify as a half-giant as well.

Since there aren't rules for quarter-giants, a reasonable rule is 50% change of half-giant, 50% chance of human.

Gingerbreadman wrote:
I like that summoning an angel to kill a child is a good deed while summoning a demon to save a child is an evil action.

Trying to kill the child is a good deed. Trying to save a child is an evil deed.

Summoning an Angel is a spell that channels Good energy. This will warp your alignment (slightly) towards good and make you (eventually) not want to kill children.
Summoning a Demon for good purposes is like using Sauron's Ring with good intentions. Turning invisible isn't an evil act, but doing it with a cursed evil ring warps your mind towards evil.

Ashiel wrote:
Alignment doesn't affect how you act. The old adage is action affects alignment, alignment doesn't affect action.

I don't know the source of that adage, but it's the opposite of how I currently think of it. If you put a Helm of Opposite Alignment on a Paladin, and it causes him to become Evil, then that is likely to affect his future actions.

There's a similar case, mechanically, with arrow traps and the like. These absolutely do make attack rolls, and definitely don't have eyes (unlike the tentacles which might be covered with eyeballs for all we know) and would, I think, only be affected by concealment with a very literal reading of RAW.

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ElyasRavenwood wrote:
I suppose the easiest way to "humanize" the "green" races, (goblinoids, Orcs etc) would be to look at what World of Warcraft has done. You have the Horde and the Alliance. That might be a good model to follow.

In most D&D-descended games the goal is to dehumanize the "greens". Players want enemies that are fun to kill, not constant guilt trips.

The constant slaughter in World of Warcraft would be monstrously evil if everyone didn't come back to life three minutes later.

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Umbranus wrote:

How about this houserule:

You can make a non-lethal CdG. If the target fails the save it's unconscious. If it fails the save by more than 5 it is dead.

Wouldn't that mean you'd never have more than a 25% chance of successfully knocking someone out without killing them?

Tarantula wrote:
What about a stunned player? Paralyzed? Held person? Do they have to explicitly be helpless? Tied up? What if they are already unconscious? What if they are dying? Does it still not have a chance to kill them?

If I had to make up a houserule on the spot? Yes, they have to explicitly be helpless, same as Coup De Grace. Anything else would have game balance implications. You do double damage, same as Coup De Grace. If that's enough to kill them by the nonlethal rules, they die, assuming you're going for gritty realism in your abstract Hit Points mechanic.

If you don't have a nonlethal weapon, you'd have to use an unarmed strike or improvised weapon - 1d4 or 1d6 or whatever seems appropriate. If they don't die, they make a Fortitude save, same as Coup De Grace, and if they fail, they take enough nonlethal damage to make them unconscious.

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LazarX wrote:
Keep in mind that Pathfinder is a wargame

I still prefer to think of it as a role-playing game.

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My difficulty as GM when I try to look at things from the monster's rational viewpoint is that usually, within the first round of combat, they would come to a conclusion along the lines of, "Oh no! I'm a CR-appropriate challenge! Run away!"

Would they both be squeezing? I think if the mount is squeezing into a 5 foot wide space, and gets the combat penalties for not having enough space to move around normally, then that leaves enough room for the paladin to fight without penalty.

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If a fictional hero had a foe tied up and helpless, and wanted to knock him unconscious with the hilt of his sword to stop him shouting for help, I'd expect it to work and not kill him accidentally. This seems like a case where it's better to say yes to the player rather than shutting down their ideas.

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Raziel the Equivocator wrote:
My reasoning was that the tentacles posess some form of tremorsense although it is not explicitly mentioned.

Note that standard tremorsense doesn't negate the 50% chance of hitting an invisible creature either - it just allows you to identify what square a creature is in. A GM could rule that the tentacles have blindsight, regular sight (which is the normal default), or that they are blind and flailing around randomly but there's so many of them it doesn't matter that they can't see.

Some types of insanity that won't be instantly cured:
(1) A character is struck by a form of insanity that is extremely subtle - none of the other characters can cure him without diagnosing him. This may or may not require keeping the fact of the characters' insanity secret from the player. (For example, paranoia such that whenever he makes a Sense Motive roll on someone, the GM tells him that this person wishes him harm.)
(2) The only guy who can cast Heal is struck by a form of insanity which causes him to believe he is the only sane one; he won't cure himself except by accident, but thinks everyone else needs curing.
(3) A character is smitten with divine insanity through the power of a chaos god, and cannot be cured with anything less than Miracle, Limited Wish or whatever you think is sufficiently difficult to get hold of.
(4) A character is seized by a form of insanity that provides superficial benefits, so the player is not motivated to get treatment.
(5) The entire party is struck by insanity simultaneously while on a time-critical mission - they won't be able to cast Heal enough to cure them all.

HyperMissingno wrote:
Is there any point to using spell combat at levels 2-7 for a magus when spellstrike is available?

You can do both at once, which I think is what you mean when you say spell combat.

HyperMissingno wrote:
Spell combat requires a full round action with two attacks at -2 while spellstrike gives you one attack that typically requires a standard action and you can cast without needing a concentration check since you can cast the spell, move, and then attack.

If you're five feet away from your target, you can do the same thing with spell combat. If you're adjacent to an enemy already, you can't do the spellstrike thing. If you're more than 5 feet from your target, spell combat isn't available at all so there's no comparison to be made.

Two attacks at -2 is typically better than one attack. (For example, if you have a 50% chance of hitting normally, you will land on average 0.5 of a hit. If you could instead attack twice with 40% hit chance, you will land on average 0.8 of a hit.)

If you're hasted you can make three attacks with spell combat.

Gaberlunzie wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
That isn't really twisting words so much as a potential misunderstanding.
That might be theoretically possible, but it's a continuous trend and I find it highly unlikely. I could probably find you a half-dozen examples from this thread alone.

Probably, but aside from a bit of strawmanning I haven't seen anything too malicious here. This thread is riddled with misunderstandings throughout, due to the usual confusion over people using "low magic" as a blanket term for "no full casters" or "no magic shops" or "some spells nerfed" or "no casters of any kind"...

That isn't really twisting words so much as a potential misunderstanding. "Lack" means either deficiency or complete absence, and it isn't really possible to deduce which was intended from the context.

VRMH wrote:
Your player may simply be eager to keep the game moving along, which is a good thing.

The "has yet to roll beneath a 15" thing makes that unlikely.

Ravingdork wrote:
Evil is what keeps the world from being overwhelmed by overpopulation.

In Golarion, there's a substance called 'Night Tea' that can do the same thing.

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Anzyr wrote:
I don't like this idea that evil is special. It isn't. It's just one of four alignment. Remember in D&D and PF, none of those alignments is "correct". They are just opposed universal forces.

I disagree. Good is the correct choice. Evil is the wrong choice.

Also, the scales are weighted so that Good is a much more difficult choice than Evil. To be Good you have to be Good pretty consistently. A single murder spree at an orphanage is enough to make you Evil, even if you were extremely Good all the rest of the time.

I favor the idea of a fairly generous Point Buy, but with a maximum upper limit on any one stat. This makes it harder to create 'win the battle in one round' characters, and easier to make competent characters without dumping stats.

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Canta wrote:
Unles the GM starts creating side effects for [evil] spells, they are not actually EVIL (most of the time). So, personally, i think they shouldn't influence in your alignment.

The idea appears to be not that they're evil in the sense of making the world a worse place, they're evil in the sense that they warp your mind and make you a worse person.

Jiggy wrote:
If this were a design meeting being held prior to printing the CRB, where the rules hadn't been finalized yet and so we were all deciding how those two spells should work, your post would be a fantastic resource for reaching a decision.

Or if there were a staff member considering answering the FAQ, or a GM making their own ruling for their home game and therefore having to decide how the spell should work, it would also be useful.

Alignment is, I think, intended to describe what characters are likely to do in the future, not what they've done in the past. If you burn down an orphanage, that shouldn't change your alignment to Evil - you must have been Evil already, or you wouldn't have done it. (And if your character sheet said you were Good, your character sheet was wrong.)

Casting Evil spells is a different type of evil act, because it can gradually change your alignment, rather than being symptomatic of your existing Evil nature. If you spend all your time summoning demons and creating undead creatures, you're likely to wind up as Evil as the RPG villains you were fighting against.

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Oliver Veyrac wrote:

3. My sorcerer uses Summon Monster A LOT, which is fine. The rules indicate that if you can talk with the animal, you can point out specific targets and whether or not the summoned monster attacks. Does this constitute a handle animal check or is it simply inherent to the spell? Secondly, does this mean, without instruction, that the summoned monster will simply aggro to the closest enemy until it dissipates? If it kills that enemy, does it re-aggro if possible?
First, it is treated like an animal for intents and purposes so you need to do a handle animal check. It doesn't attack the closest enemy, as it can't tell friend from ally.

I think most people play it that summoned creatures automatically know who the summoner considers an enemy and attacks them to the best of their abilities. Anything more complicated requires a means of communication.

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DirectX 10 didn't work on Windows XP - presumably to push people into getting Windows Vista, rather than due to any technical limitations. Do you expect Microsoft to adopt a business model where you buy one operating system and never give them any money ever again? Fortunately most game developers will want their games to run on the maximum possible number of machines, so the majority will still be compatible with Windows 7 as long as that remains popular.

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Usual Suspect wrote:
Oh goddess, I could see the three of us in a game having no clue why everybody is unhappy. After all everybody says they love the game.

Since I'm quoting psychological theories, that sounds like the Abilene Paradox. Often you get situations where groups of people put 'getting what they want' low on their list of priorities, compared to other things like 'sounding positive', 'making sure everyone else gets what they want', and 'not making everyone else feel bad by letting them know you're unhappy'.

The result is that people sometimes make collective decisions that none of them support, but which they all think everyone else supports, and wind up making each other unhappy as a consequence of trying to keep each other happy.

Chess Pwn wrote:
so what spells are good for buffing allies? I know haste, and heroism, what other spells are good to buff allies with?

Don't forget the defensive buffs - Displacement, Stoneskin, Resist Energy. Things like Bear's Endurance, Mass aren't bad if your party doesn't already have belts that give them the same enhancement bonuses.

Freedom of Movement states that it allows you to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell. You could make a case that, RAW, it temporarily cures the dead condition. Whether it works on difficult terrain, paralyzing poison, and so forth, has been debated for years in past without any conclusive arguments provided by either side.
The idea that it is effective against difficult terrain is quite common and not "on the far outskirts of what anyone would realistically rule".

Vincent Takeda wrote:
I remember reading an article somewhere that 'Sometimes having more choices isnt a good thing.'

"As the number of options increases, the costs, in time and effort, of gathering the information needed to make a good choice also increase. The level of certainty people have about their choice decreases. And the anticipation that they will regret their choice increases." Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice

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It's very simple: followers of Chaotic gods have a duty to violate the code of their god in order to demonstrate their loyalty to chaos through disloyalty. Those who don't do this are being insufficiently rigorous in their following of the chaotic code, which, fortunately, demonstrates their chaotic nature, which means they're being loyal after all, which means that they're not.

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