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Serpent God Statue

Matthew Downie's page

3,706 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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A Moss Troll is only CR 3.
(Found on Monsters by CR)

Still extremely dangerous to a level 1 group. They might be better just paying it off.

Seems OK. As far as I can tell, hovering doesn't require an action.

Action: None. A Fly check doesn't require an action; it is made as part of another action or as a reaction to a situation.

Which means you have both a move and standard action free to do other things.

MannyGoblin wrote:
Sucks to get a TPK when you are $20 into your $75 super dungeon.

I'm happy to make a new party to continue the adventure where the first one left off (perhaps with some GM creativity to cover the gap). Even if it means, implausibly, there just happen to be four level 13 heroes in the area who no-one ever noticed before.

I hate leaving a storyline unresolved.

Is the question about the cost of buying any old door, or buying a door and having it installed in a doorway?

4 people marked this as a favorite.
KenderKin wrote:
Isn't the whole "disparity" myth simply a matter of comparing apples to oranges.

It's more like eggs and oranges. The eggs can make a valuable contribution in a much wider variety of recipes. That doesn't mean an orange soufflé doesn't work, or there aren't cases where oranges are fine on their own, but if you want to run a kitchen that can meet the demands of your customers, you'd better make sure you don't run out of eggs.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Even a fighter's ability to swing a sword is limited by how many fights per day he can handle due to his other constraints -- when he runs out of hit points (or fails a saving throw), he loses the ability to swing his sword.

Thought experiment:

A party of three fighters, plus one ranger with fifty wands of Cure Light Wounds, is made to fight dozens of easy-ish battles in one day by their sadistic GM.

Would they do better than a party of casters (let's say Summoner, Druid, Cleric and Wizard) with the same wands and opposition?

In theory the Fighters could keep on going as long as the wands held out, if they didn't die to unlucky rolls, while the caster group would run out of resources after the first dozen battles and then have to rely on their inferior melee skills.

In practice, Pathfinder encounters being what they are, there'd probably be threats the Fighters couldn't entirely handle; status effects, attribute drain, mind control, etc.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
But if that's the case, nothing keeps your druid from tumbling down the cliff face. C/MD is about options. The druid can tumble or fly, as she sees fit -- the ranger has no choice in the matter.

The player of the druid can't (in this scenario) have fun narrowly surviving the fall, because in order to do that he'd have to inflict the danger on himself intentionally, which would require him to role-play doing something stupid for no reason. Disparity is about options; options that make things too easy aren't always fun.

Fun is definitely very subjective.
As a martial, I might have to tumble down a cliff face making multiple acrobatics checks to not get killed, while the druid simply floats down as an Air Elemental - but maybe the danger is my idea of fun.
As a spontaneous caster I've had to use up all my spell slots to cast multiple Resist Energy spells on the entire group to face an unexpected danger - useful, but not exactly fun.

SKR on summoning other elementals

If you want a different answer, you could FAQ it here.

I think of Feather Step as allowing you to move like Legolas in Fellowship of the Ring where he walks on top of the deep snow while everyone else has to push their way through it.

I don't think you could do that with four-foot-deep water (without a Water Walking spell).

In terms of game balance, deep bogs aren't so common in most games that it matters much one way or another.

I think "Feather step doesn't help at all" is more 'RAW' than "Feather step reduces it to regular difficult terrain" but either of your suggestions should be OK.

By RAI, just Air, Earth, Fire and Water elementals.

Deep Bog wrote:
A square that is part of a deep bog has roughly 4 feet of standing water. It costs Medium or larger creatures 4 squares of movement to move into a square with a deep bog, or characters can swim if they wish. Small or smaller creatures must swim to move through a deep bog. Tumbling is impossible in a deep bog.
Feather Step wrote:
For the duration of this spell, the subject ignores the adverse movement effects of difficult terrain, and can even take 5-foot steps in difficult terrain.

I think it would be reasonable for the GM to say that a deep bog isn't just difficult terrain, it's something worse, so feather step doesn't help.

Haladir wrote:

My conclusion is that if there is indeed a martial/caster disparity, it probably only happens at high-level play.

Again, I'm basing this solely on my own anecdotal experience of the past dozen years. Your experiences may vary based on play style and level of system mastery.

Perceived disparity varies according to:

Character level
System mastery
Powergaming (a player with high system mastery could choose to make a caster with built-in limitations, or could try to make the most powerful one possible)
Party class choices (Fighter & Wizard have more noticeable disparity than Inquisitor & Oracle)
Interpersonal relationships (if the Fighter player tells the Wizard player what spells need casting, and the Wizard goes along with it, it doesn't mean the Wizard isn't more versatile than the Fighter, but it does shift the balance of player agency)
Attitude to magic (a Wizard who uses magic only when strictly necessary is less likely to create disparity than one who uses casually uses mind control spells rather than try to win the trust of NPCs the polite way)
Adventure design: Is the adventure full of problems that only magic can solve?
Adventure design: Does the GM force the PCs to fight so many battles in a day that casters run out of spells?

Zilvar2k11 wrote:

My GM is basically threatening to kill everyone in the party (by ramping up encounter difficulty) because my paladin is trivializing end-level encounters (who are mostly evil caster types who can't 5' step to get away from me). He's been rolling poorly on concentration checks and complains a lot about not being able to Do Anything.

This is a funny story to me because he doesn't get it. That's pretty much how anyone who accepts that CM/D is A Thing feels any time a caster steps up and does what needs to be done and the non casters just shrug and wait for another opportunity to roll a d20.

Invincibility disparity is A Thing.

While GMing, if a PC seems invincible, it can feel like the player broke the game. Why are these monsters bothering to attack him? Can't they see that they'll never hit his AC? If the last two spells just bounced off his saving throw, why the evil caster try a third time?

A character with powerful narrative agency (but no invincibility) can break a campaign, but generally only by doing clever things the GM didn't think of, and they have to be careful because if they slip up they could die at any moment.

A character with unhittable AC and high saving throws can simply kick down the door, kill everything in the room, and move on, without needing to do anything interesting. From the GM viewpoint, that's a more serious problem.

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That would require your character to always be in a convenient place for them to find.

How about: "Here is a rock. Look after this rock and follow me around keeping me alive until you can give it back to me next week."

Then you cast Geas on them again regularly.

Paladin archer has good survivability - can heal self as swift action, good saves, and no need to go on the front line.

Wizards and Sorcerers and Oracles are quite prone to dropping dead or being rendered harmless by failed Fortitude saves. Monks and Paladins and superstitious Barbarians tend to have pretty good saves. There's definitely a saving throw disparity, but it's not clearly divided along caster/martial lines.

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A scroll of Geas is 1,650gp. Since there's no saving throw, it's just as effective as the real thing. Could be pretty useful for a mid-level group who has captured a powerful enemy.

LuniasM wrote:
Geas them to teleport or plane shift somewhere remote, tell them not to negatively influence/affect anyone or set things in motion that will cause something bad to happen, and tell them to ensure their survival so they won't die and remove the geas.

I don't think that wording works. "If the instructions involve some open-ended task that the recipient cannot complete through his own actions, the spell remains in effect for a maximum of 1 day per caster level." You have to give them a task they can complete within a finite amount of time. Once it's complete they're free of your commands. If they can't complete it, it wears off within days.

DM_Blake wrote:
Third-party material is fun. Eye use it a lot. But it hardly makes a case against the fact that there are no official rules for losing an eye or that there are no official rules for goggles protecting your eyes.
Jade Regent wrote:
Eye-Rake (Ex) Any living creature damaged by a raven swarm must make a DC 14 Reflex save or be blinded as the swarm scratches and tears at the victim’s eyes. The blindness lasts for 1d4 days until the eyes naturally heal, or until they are healed (with remove blindness or a DC 15 Heal check). The save DC is Constitution-based.

The first-party equivalent is only different in that it demands a higher reflex save and mentions 'eyes' more times. Though not permanent eye loss or the possibility of eye protection.

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Melkiador wrote:
In such a case, the rules for cover or concealment should apply.

These would be the relevant rules, assuming this is the standard Reflex-negates eye-rake:


Cover grants you a +2 bonus on Reflex saves against attacks that originate or burst out from a point on the other side of the cover from you.


Varying Degrees of Cover
In some cases, cover may provide a greater bonus to AC and Reflex saves. In such situations the normal cover bonuses to AC and Reflex saves can be doubled (to +8 and +4, respectively).

Note that getting this from eyewear requires a somewhat different definition of Cover than the standard one. ("If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).")

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Scry & Geas strategy: Start casting Geas. Nine minutes and fifty four seconds later, an ally teleports you to where the enemy is.

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1: Say: "You're a pacifist? Explain your philosophy to me."

2: The pacifist PC explains.

3: Everyone else: "That's very convincing! I will reassess my way of life!"

4: Next time a fight breaks out, everyone tries to hide behind the pacifist PC and not help at all until the pacifist PC is no longer alive.

Derek Dalton wrote:
Your DM is being a jerk in the regard to not just putting a two after your dead characters name. We do that a lot in our campaigns.

That's sounds like the kind of thing that motivates 'punishing' deaths in the first place - when players stop treating their characters as real people and start treating them like easily replaceable clones.

DM_Blake wrote:
You have ZERO allies on this battlefield, EVERYBODY is out to get you, you're going to die next round no matter what. The crossbow option won't save you; it will guarantee your death.

I don't think that's in the spell at all. It doesn't let you take AoOs against anyone except the one person you think is an enemy. If you thought everyone was an enemy, it should require you to take AoOs against everyone you can.

And if the spell made you think everyone was an enemy, "escape by any means" would be the most plausible option, and "use AoE effects to attack everyone if you can" would be the second most logical, but the spell doesn't encourage you to do either of those things.

The "Fight or Flight" instinct is the one that prevents people from doing anything complicated - in real life, even firing a gun is almost impossible.

As far as I know, no mundane item exists with a written mechanical effect to protect you from attacks that target the eyes. You can wear a gas mask over a full helmet over a pair of metal eyepatches, and those pesky ravens will make off with your eyes if you fail your reflex save.

So this is 'ask your GM' territory.

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Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
I feel like it takes away some of the punishment of death, cheapens it to the point of "Oh, I'll just roll a new character, no big loss!"

My goal as GM is to make the characters a significant part of the narrative, so even if the player receives no mechanical penalty, they still don't want to their PC to die. This is harder work than punishing them for dying, but seems worth the effort.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Every indication from the OP has been that the 'offending' party is indeed participating/contributing, just not in a way that some would expect.

Perhaps a new thread is needed to just address 'What is contribution to a PFS scenario/module/special?'

Standing at the back in Total Defense doesn't sound like an adequate contribution to me, not in any situation where my character's life is in danger.

Wheldrake wrote:
However, you should try to explain to him that being *forever* behind by 2 levels makes is decidedly un-fun.

He's behind by something like 28,000 XP. If the game continues to level 12, that's only half a level's worth. Assuming he can stop dying.

DM_Blake wrote:
Still, it's pretty harsh that he's insisting on starting over at level 1. What will he do when you're all 12th level and someone dies? Make that guy bring a level 1 character to the level 12 group?

The GM's policy is that your new character is at base XP for your current level. It's just happened so many times for one PC he's now two levels behind.

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Surprised by the number of people here who assume that death has no consequences and that anything else is a house-rule. "New characters appear at a lower level" is quite a common way to play - although not one I particularly like myself.

At least it isn't AD&D-style "all new characters appear at level 1"...

In a game where the GM reduces the challenge to compensate, there should be no problem with a pacifist PC.

In PFS, if you make a pacifist PC you're forcing everyone else in the group to optimize for combat or die. If the other players are OK with that, it's not a problem. But not everyone wants that.

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Krensky wrote:
KenderKin wrote:

If your character is going to insult the local sheriff in order to play his or her role the character needs to voice an insult not just this:

"I insult the sheriff."
[dice=insulting skill] 1d20+8

And the fighter should get up and preform stage or boffer combat to determine if his attack hit the bandit. Right?

If you're LARPing, yes. If you're playing a non-physical game based on intelligence and skill, no.

Every single decision made in play is a decision made by the player, not by the character. The GM does not force me to roll a dice and add my modifier to decide my in-combat actions - I do that with my own brain, and I don't suddenly get better at it when I play a character who's a genius. That means the game is pretty harsh on people who are bad tacticians. But the alternative - a system where humans don't make decisions - would be boring. Similarly, a system where conversation is reduced to dice rolls is boring.

In addition to the game balance issues mentioned (I use a form of innate magical bonus progression myself), you have the issue that you're effectively removing Loot from the game. Some players won't take that well.

GM: "The dragon was lying on a hoard of treasure, at least ten thousand gold pieces' worth."
Wizard: "I cast detect magic on it. Anything good?"
GM: "There is nothing magical. There will never be anything magical."
Fighter: "Well, at least we can use the money to buy... stuff. Mundane, non-magical stuff." (Sighs.)
GM: "But you rescued the princess!"
Fighter: "Yeah, and I bet we'll get a great reward from the king. A great mundane non-magical reward."

Avoron wrote:
Stone to Flesh would simply turn it to flesh, but Break Enchantment would turn it back into a sword.

Stone to Flesh:

This spell restores a petrified creature to its normal state, restoring life and goods...

Despite the name, StF works on items when reversing Flesh to Stone.

I'd interpret it that if you cast the spell on any part of the petrified person and their petrified gear, the whole spell would be reversed, even if the pieces were scattered.

For me, these feats make it feel like my character's actions and achievements have an organic effect on the game. I'm not just riding the rails, moving from set piece to set piece.

I prefer to achieve this through allowing player actions to affect the game world - who lives, who dies, who's an ally or enemy.

Though I might consider offering players a free story feat - a Vengeance or Mercy or Friendship or Justice or Villainy feat, based on how they responded to a situation. But there are too many desirable feats around to expect them to take them in place of the feat of their choice.

I've always played it that casters are too confused to cast spells - basically option 2.

Blymurkla wrote:

I always assumed time didn't really move in extra-dimensional spaces, seeing how they are outside the normal dimensions- time being one of them. Which means that you can't use rope trick as a place to rest and regain spells.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Yeah, that certainly isn't the standard interpretation of 'extra-dimensional'. Making demiplanes where time flows at a different rate is a higher level spell ability.

Cyg wrote:
That seems like these spells have a very high chance to hit

Depends. Some creatures have high touch AC (especially the smaller ones). And you get penalties for cover and firing into melee, which can make it quite hard.

Handy Haversack is ambiguous.
"It has two side pouches, each of which appears large enough to hold about a quart of material. In fact, each is like a bag of holding and can actually hold material of as much as 2 cubic feet in volume or 20 pounds in weight."
Are they like a bag of holding in terms of how they interact with a portable hole too? I wouldn't advise trying it.

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Derek Dalton wrote:
A four person party needs two things, a healer and someone able to disarm like a Rogue.

Not in my experience.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

In many dungeon situations, leaving, resting a safe distance away (possibly with Hide Campsite magic), and then returning, is just as convenient as sleeping in an extradimensional space in the dungeon itself.

You can't hide the rope. So what would happen if you destroyed it? Or if the people who found the rope destroyed it?

Bill Dunn wrote:
I'd much rather be told that the hezrou's skin is difficult to penetrate without holy weapons, they are moderately resistant to all forms of spells, acid, cold, and fire.

To someone using fire spells, the precise level of fire resistance is very significant. If my interpretation of 'moderately' fire resistant is different to my GMs, I might wind up wasting my spells despite having passed the knowledge checks. It's like the GM who won't tell players what their current hit points are, but instead describes injuries and leaves them to guess how close they are to death. If it's done well, it's fine. If it's done badly, it's infuriating.

Diego Rossi wrote:

I suppose that you would dislike Carrion crown then, as half of the AP is finding what the bad guys are doing and why.

It's been a while.

I remember exploring a rotating maze.
I remember undergoing trials in an attempt to join a tribe in the Cinderlands.
I remember being killed by a demi-lich while exploring a giant castle full of undead things.
I don't remember why I was doing any of those things.

Diego Rossi wrote:
How many adventures include you traveling to the only sage that know enough about the beast to know what can kill it and making a quest to get the map to reach the temple of Zara Thoot?

That could equally be a quest to befriend the sage who has the magic key to open the inner sanctum of the temple of Zara Thoot. That way, the PCs are strongly motivated to go to the sage, and not just go to libraries or cast divination spells to find the same information.

Anyway, I think we've strayed so far from the original point (which I think was, should we err on the side of giving the players too much benefit from a knowledge roll, or too little?) that we're no longer debating anything meaningful.

Thanks to the "rope cannot be removed or hidden" clause, instead of being a 'rest anywhere' spell, it's pretty awkward.

Steel Forged Games wrote:
If this is correct why put a DC at all on perception check? After combat everyone is obviously going to take 20 to search the room.

Most groups have ongoing buff spells that could last for multiple encounters if you don't stop all the time to search everywhere.

I interpret 'useful information' as one piece of knowledge the character in question would find mechanically useful, plus I throw in some free flavor information.

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An adventure about travelling to and then exploring the lost temple of Zara Thoot sounds more exciting than an adventure spent researching that information.

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You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally.
You can take a swift action anytime you would normally be allowed to take a free action.

I'd say yes.

Just a Mort wrote:
Feint is a standard action without improved feint, which most non specialized builds won't have. Also feint only affects attacks you make on the target. If you don't have improved feint, you won't get any actions to attack.

It lasts until your next attack, though, so you can get the benefit on a subsequent round.

H2Osw wrote:
When he finishes raging, does his HP reflect the 1 damage taken?


H2Osw wrote:
Also when he reaches lvl 2, does he get 8 con, because he gets 2hp per hit dice?

No. He gets 2hp per hit dice - the effect of +4 con - for a total of +4hp.

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