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Serpent God Statue

Matthew Downie's page

3,074 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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"Just crazy" can be an offensive characterization to a (fairly small) number of people.

The dialogue tends to go:
Adventure designer: "(Villain) worships a demon who plans to devour the souls of all mankind."
"Uhh... He's crazy bonkers insane."
"Speaking as someone whose (relative) has (chronic mental illness), I find your characterization of people with mental health issues offensive."
"It's like if you said someone was a terrorist 'because he's a Muslim'. It's not a real reason. You're stigmatizing all the decent law-abiding crazy people who don't want to destroy the world."

"Suicidal Player" is a misleading thread title.

Guang wrote:
The Civilized Races Band Together

Not particularly difficult. The traditional 'elves and dwarves hate each other' idea isn't a big thing in Golarion. And the Advanced Race Guide is full of options for friendly species.

Guang wrote:
The World is Mysterious:

Golarion can be pretty weird. Look at a page like Tian Xia

Nearby nations are summarized as "hobgoblin empire", "kraken-ruled swampland", "kingdom of sorcerers", etc.

Guang wrote:
Monsters are Everywhere:

Order of the Stick explains uneventful journeys

Probably the latter. There's no rules support for allowing a failed Diplomacy check to provide useful results.

If the ultimate effect is to make someone scared, Intimidate. If the effect is to make them like you and think of you as a (potential) friend, Diplomacy. Intimidate seems like the better answer.

Which isn't to say you couldn't use Diplomacy as well.

The majority of classes look broken if you take a heavily optimized example and compare it to a unoptimized versions of other classes.

Damon Griffin wrote:
Killing isn't always evil; murder is always evil.

Yes, that tells us a definition of the words 'killing' and 'murder'. Without knowing when killing is OK, it doesn't help us much.

To me killing these acolytes in their sleep isn't 'Good' but it isn't notably worse than standard RPG behaviour of killing people when they're not helpless. Either way, you're using killing to solve your problems because it's more convenient than the alternatives - something that is frowned upon in civilized society.

If a group of bandits attacks the PCs, do you consider killing them to be murder? What if PCs could defeat them with nonlethal damage at very little risk to themselves (which is true in most battles in my experience)? Does it make a difference if they're orc bandits? If they're known murderers? If it's a dragon instead?

Unless you don't want it to be immune to precision damage because that would marginalise the rogue.

Redjack_rose wrote:


That sounds wonderful. Glad things worked out. Still irrelevant then. If the party didn't ask and wouldn't ask, then a story about how you didn't do what you think the best thing for the party was and it turned out fun isn't really important.

As the OP askes, with spelling and obvious negative connotation aside;

Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:

So qhat do yu guys think? Are you obligated to break from your theme or build or whatever to give someone else something?

If no one asked for anything, and thus you gave them nothing... hurray!

My point has been if someone asks for something and it's a significant benefit to the whole party over whatever artsy character model you got, yeah, you should do it. If you don't, you're not really being a team player and you have traits many find dis-favorable.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The original post didn't specifically mention people asking for things. Whether or not someone asks for something seems less important than whether it was a good idea. If I'm a Barbarian and you're a Cleric and you cast Bull's Strength on yourself instead of me, even though the group would be better off if you cast it on me (since I can attack twice per round and you can only attack once per round), I'm going to think of you as a poor strategist and poor team player.

Note that I'm unlikely to ask you to cast Bull's Strength on me unless you first ask me for advice. I don't want to be the player who tells everyone what to do and forces everyone to choose between blindly following my plan and sabotaging it.

Is it this chaos beast?
That has the amorphous quality, which makes it immune to sneak attacks as well as crits.

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Some of you aren't making enough of a distinction between a player being a jerk, and a character being a jerk.

If a Wizard character has the ability to learn Haste and cast Haste, and Haste would significantly reduce the chances of the party getting killed, but the Wizard decides to carry on casting fireballs anyway, that Wizard is either an idiot with no understanding of tactics, or a psychopath who loves burning people so much he doesn't care if it endangers the lives of himself and his allies.

Whether the player is a jerk for playing such a Wizard is a separate question. Is the Wizard dominating out-of-combat play, and by refusing to buff his martial allies ensuring that they don't get to shine in battle either? Are you playing the sort of game where this kind of sub-optimal play is likely to lead to a TPK? Or will playing him optimally just cause the GM to beef up the opposition?

Fromper wrote:
Raging Vitality is mandatory for barbarians, even more than Power Attack, I'd say.

Never heard of that one before. Looks like quite a good feat though. If I've seen multiple effective Barbarians without it (including those made without access to APG feats, and those who didn't meet the prerequisites due to low Constitution) is it still mandatory?

In a game where the GM is constructing encounters around the group, the ideal PC is optimized to match the rest of the group.

In a game where the GM is running an adventure as written, the ideal PC is one that compensates for the rest of the group - if the group is particularly weak, then they'll need an extra-strong ally to be able to survive.

It's usually pretty easy to get around GM-imposed restrictions on light armor with Mage Armor anyway. A Pearl of Power or Wand as a gift to the nearest friendly arcane caster is cheaper than mithral chain barding.

I'd have thought they'd switch to back-up weapons against the columns rather than risk breaking their primary weapons once the danger becomes clear. Many non-magic weapons have hardness 10, so those will last for some time.

nemophles wrote:
I'm not suggesting combat isn't a big part of the game. The question being asked and the rhetoric being used is about characters "staying competitive in combat". Are you going to deny that GMs plan encounters with the PCs combat capacities in mind?

Around 50% do, I'd guess? Some GMs are inexperienced and don't have the skills to do that, so just pick CR-appropriate enemies. Some run PFS. Some run Adventure Paths and don't have much time to rewrite things.

When you're not optimizing to meet the challenges of the CR system, you still might want to optimize to match the rest of the group. If half the group make optimized combat characters because that's what they enjoy, while you refuse to take the 'non-optional' feats, and the GM plans encounters with the strongest PCs in mind, you could end up spending half the time during the game playing, say, an archer who can't hit anything. Most people don't like that.

3d6-7 is about 4 points of damage per attack on a typical roll. 'Broken' is 50% HP. They can probably attack a couple of times each before there's a serious risk. After that? Most players are adaptable enough to have secondary weapons. And anyone using Suishen isn't going to have to worry about breaking him.

M1k31 wrote:
from the quotes provided thusfar on the thread, it actually states that the creature attacked gets to determine cover from whatever square they choose... not the attackers choice, the defenders.

What quote are you thinking of? I see this one giving the attacker a choice:

"Similarly, when making a melee attack against such a creature, you can pick any of the squares it occupies to determine if it has cover against you."
...and nothing about whether the same rule applies to ranged attacks.

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Craft the cube with Stone Shape, then cast Shrink Object on it. You can dismiss the size-reduction magic when needed.

Wear it as a hat.

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Tacticslion wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Does having total cover also grant that +10 to Stealth? If not, why not?
If you have total cover, you're not visible. If you're not visible, you're invisible. That's +20 to stealth.
I...don't think that's true. Not being seen is not the same as the invisible condition.
I don't think he meant it by rules. I just took it as hilarious. Also, I love it.

It's true by the rules I play by. If there's a rules difference between being unable to see someone because of ten feet of thick fog, invisibility, a brick wall, darkness, or my hat slipping down over my eyes, I don't want to know about it.

Ravingdork wrote:
Does having total cover also grant that +10 to Stealth? If not, why not?

If you have total cover, you're not visible. If you're not visible, you're invisible. That's +20 to stealth.

Melkiador wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Does "the target's square" mean the whole (square) area the target covers, or one square within the target chosen by the attacker?

Further down:

Big Creatures and Cover: Any creature with a space larger than 5 feet (1 square) determines cover against melee attacks slightly differently than smaller creatures do. Such a creature can choose any square that it occupies to determine if an opponent has cover against its melee attacks. Similarly, when making a melee attack against such a creature, you can pick any of the squares it occupies to determine if it has cover against you.

That seems awfully specific to melee attacks...

Melkiador wrote:
So, is it the responsibility of the defender to determine if he has cover or the responsibility of the attacker to inform the defender that he gets a +4 to his AC.

It's the responsibility of the GM to determine who gets cover and to make sure it's applied.

Ravingdork wrote:
Pretty sure you can ignore cover altogether for a large creature simply by targeting the square of the creature that isn't covered.


"Choose a corner of your square. 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)."

Does "the target's square" mean the whole (square) area the target covers, or one square within the target chosen by the attacker?

Maybe the reason people ignore cover rules is that they're not as clear as people think.

Party of five: super-perception, super-sleight-of-hand, super-disable-device, super-stealth and super-bluff. Between them they can rob anyone; if caught, they can bluff their way out.

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Rub-Eta wrote:
Ultimatly, what I'm saying is that "realism" shouldn't be used as an argument, in either direction.

Realism has inherent value. Can I jump over a five foot river? How long does it take to knock down a wall with a pickaxe? If I try to murder someone in their sleep with a dagger, will that work?

If the rules don't behave realistically, then real life knowledge will mislead you. Novice players will describe the actions they want to take, expecting them to work, only to be confused when the game rules tell them it won't. "No, you can't walk five feet and pick up an item and then walk another five feet in one round. But you can walk thirty feet and then pick up an item."

Obviously, any rules for the sake of realism should be run past other filters. Is the rule clear and simple to understand? Does it harm game balance? Does it slow down gameplay?

CraziFuzzy wrote:
This is probably my biggest gripe with soft cover/firing into melee, the lack of the chance to hit the cover, but the increased chance to miss the target. The math to handle this gets incredibly hard though, because Attack vs. AC is not just the chance of hitting, it's the chance of penetrating. You could rule that a miss against a covered foe has a chance of striking the cover, but how do you determine that chance? I mean, it could also miss both, it could also strike the cover, but not penetrate their armor. The Armor as DR rules would make this a little simpler to determine, as at least then, the attack roll is really just determining contact, but there's still the 'missed both' aspect. And implementing something like this would take it even further past the rulers/lasers complication.

You'd also probably need separate rules for when the cover is an ally you really don't want to hit, for when the cover is an enemy you're happy to hit, and for when you don't care either way, since this should have a lot of effect on how careful the ranged attacker is.

More trouble than it's worth, really.

(Is there a feat for getting out the way of your ally's arrows?)

HWalsh wrote:
Under the right situation if these two mmf would allow someone to walk into a room and slaughter everyone in it without anyone even having the chance to spot the culpret.

(Casts invisibility on self, casts Silenced Confusion on the room, watches slaughter ensue.)

Otherwhere wrote:
Identifying stilled, silent spells via Spellcraft is legal by RAW but lacks any real justification aside from "as long as I can see the spell as it is being cast, I can try to identify it."

I still think RAW is ambiguous.

"as long as I can see the spell as it is being cast, I can try to identify it"
But can you see a spell being cast if it is still and silent (and has no material components)?

The rulebook does not say.

Yet for some reason lots of people are convinced their way is right. "There's no modifier given to Spellcraft DC so it must be fully visible no matter what!" "There's no modifier given to Spellcraft because it's 100% impossible to identify something you can't see!"

HWalsh wrote:
The rules say you must see the spell you are saying they need to see actions performed by the spell caster which are two completely different things.

Source? I see no reason why "seeing the spell being cast" shouldn't mean "seeing the spell caster performing the activities that cast the spell".

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This may be unusual, but I've played or GMed across six campaigns, and I've never seen an optimized archer.

With a non-optimized ranged attack, cover works like this:
Cleric: "Well, I'm low on spells, and I can't get into melee, so I throw my spear at the ogre. Let's see, my BAB is 2 and I've got +1 for Dex, and +1 for Divine Favor, and +1 for Bless. I rolled a 19, so that's 24 total. AC of 17, you said?"
GM: "Right, but you're firing into melee with -4, and the barbarian acts as cover between you and the ogre for a second -4... So you miss."

Cyrad wrote:
As CraziFuzzy points out, they're not meant to be optional.

They should be optional. There are hundreds of interesting feats out there. If I can't take any of them because I need the ones that are the bare minimum for being a competent melee attacker / archer, then all those feats are going to waste, I'm not making interesting decisions, and my character is less distinctive.

Cyrad wrote:
If you want to be good at something, you have to take feats that make you good at it.

Fighting is something you should be good at by default.

Yup. Jumping over a 15 foot pit (with a running start) is a DC 15 Acrobatics check. Jumping over a 50 foot pit is a DC 50 check.

+50 to Acrobatics means being able to jump 50 feet further than would normally be the case. That's one of the more quantifiable effects.

It's quite common to make minor house rules for 'realism' - "Yes, an illusory enemy can help you flank as long as the enemy believes he's flanked, even though it doesn't 'threaten' by RAW." "If you Cackle for an hour, you're going to be Fatigued; I don't care if that's in the rules or not."

This particular house rule is very, very bad; it requires the entire combat system to be rebalanced according to undefinable considerations. Can a monk hurt someone in plate mail? A giant with a sword? A kobold with a wooden club? An ogre with a wooden club? A wolf? A bear? A tiger?

I don't see any real conflict - just different spells working in different ways, for reasons of game balance, 'physics' (damage is based on ammo or weapon, whichever is smallest), or carelessness.

While a different rule might have been simpler, there are currently way too many 'errata' FAQs out there. As a GM, I find it hard to keep track.

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bookrat wrote:
Paizo did a lot to change the game, and if attrition was a part of D&D, it most assuredly is not a part of Pathfinder.

It still is a part of the game - if you cast all your best spells, you are no longer as powerful. It's just one that's severely undermined by factors like wands of cure light wounds, and the ability of parties to retreat and rest up under most circumstances.

Cyrad wrote:
The original designers deliberately built the math of the game such that a CR=APL encounter uses up 20%-25% of a party's resources.

I've heard this claimed, but I've never seen any evidence of it.

Most finite resources (barbarian rage, spells per day, bardic performance) increase in quantity as you level up. But the number of rounds a battle takes does not, in my experience, increase as you level up. So the chance of running out of resources after four battles seems to decrease every time you level up.

Or the Skum or Sahuagin if you want something a little tougher (CR2) - one on its own shouldn't be a big problem for a level 1 party.

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David knott 242 wrote:
Well -- it does kill most plots that depend on a drought or other lack of water if there are enough 1st level divine spellcasters around to deal with the worst issues.

A divine caster can't create enough water to irrigate more than a small area of cropland. It takes a couple of thousand gallons of water per day to grow enough food to feed one person. Unless about 10% of your population are divine casters, low level magic can't prevent a mundane drought from causing a famine. (And if the GM wants to create a drought demon, then the rules are whatever he makes of them.)

There's a plotline in an AP where you're expected to go to an island to collect fresh water. It's harder to justify that with a Cleric in the party, but not impossible. ("The ship's captain doesn't want to be completely reliant on you.")

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Melkiador wrote:
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
When it comes yo.create water.... me and a few friends destroyed.our poor GMs dungeon with it... turns out he didnt expect me (oracle) out cleric amd our Loradin to flood the dungeon with create water...
Unless the dungeon was somehow described as water tight, the DM could have just said the water escaped through natural fissures in the floor and walls.

Or he could have run the numbers. A level 7 caster working an eight hour shift could fill something like a single 20 by 20 by 20 foot room, I think?

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Trekkie90909 wrote:
It's not the issue at hand; limited vs constant use includes things like deflect arrows vs an AC bonus, crane wing (single target AC bonus) vs dodge (blanket AC bonus), bonus feats vs martial flexibility, etc.

I don't think 'constant use' is the issue. It's finite times per day against unlimited. You can use Deflect Arrows and Crane Wing a thousand times a day if your combats go on long enough.

So, anyone seen any Barbarians running out of rage lately?

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It depends on the type of ability.

Unlimited use healing means you never need to use spells or wands to heal yourself up after a battle. The value of this in a campaign depends a lot on the availability of cheap healing wands in your game world.

A magic ring can give you unlimited invisibility. That means you can conveniently scout around in the wilderness while invisible and be almost guaranteed to see all enemies before they can see you. It means you can be invisible at the start of every battle. If you could cast invisibility three times a day, by the time you knew you needed it, it would probably be too late. (Unless I was, for example, doing nothing that day except making one very quick raid on an enemy base.)

Would an unlimited use fireball be better than having one ten times a day? Somewhat - while exploring hostile terrain you could casually explode objects to flush out enemies. Although you might wind up destroying loot and killing random strangers.

An ability like Disarm is unlimited use, but realistically you're not going to use it all that many times in the average day.

Unlimited fighter sword-use is only special if the party has to keep on fighting when the casters have run out of spells. Which doesn't happen often, but when it does, you'll be very glad of it.

Crimeo wrote:
It would depend on the method of blindsense. If you just "hear really well" and that's all, then objects should be a no-go.

Does that mean some forms of blindsense should be defeated by a Silence spell?

Guru-Meditation wrote:

It is vague, because it covers stuff like Super-Smell, the comic hero Daredevil's Echolocation and the animal Bat's Sonar Sight.

Effectively you can "see" without using your eyes.

Echolocation exists in Pathfinder as a spell - it grants Blindsight rather than Blindsense. Blindsight would give you Daredevil's ability to fight opponents in pitch darkness with no penalties. Blindsense is a vaguer "I think there's someone over there" ability.

Dire bats, which should have a version of real-world echolocation, use Blindsense.

I assume bats are capable of flying in the dark without crashing into walls all the time, suggesting blindsense is good enough for avoiding furniture.

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FAQ trumps text.

I'm experimenting with allowing martials to do anything the player can imagine that would be possible in real life, as long as the player can make a CMB check (or other roll as appropriate), rather than locking these options behind feats and insisting on published rules.

This requires me to make up suitable CMD modifiers and effects for things like, "My monk will judo-flip this enemy into this that enemy." The tricky thing is to avoid ever improvising a rule that makes other forms of combat obsolete.

Ironwood isn't on the permanency list as far as I know. If it was, I'd expect it to cost more than 550gp in components.

Scythia wrote:
Because Wizards don't have much else to buy. They aren't buying armor, they probably aren't buying weapons, they really only need one stat item.

Better a pearl of power than a Metamagic Rod of Dazing...

Daniel Myhre wrote:
Or for that matter buy a suit of ironwood agile breastplate for 550 gold, which is about half the cost of a dragonhide breastplate with a lower ACP for climb and jump checks.

That would be great, if ironwood armor could be bought and didn't expire after a few days.

Byakko wrote:

Readying an action to move next to a caster in order to get an AoO against them... this may be legal, but I hope someone gives a strong argument for why it isn't. I don't want this to be legal.

However, if it IS legal, I would definitely classify it as a "dark side" tactic - i.e. abusing the rules to achieve something which is almost certainly against the spirit of the combat system.

How so?

It has no real strategic advantage over readying an action to use a ranged weapon. It could easily fail if the caster decides to stand in the wrong place. It won't work twice against the same enemy, as a caster can simply start casting defensively once they realise the danger.

The only strike against it is that there's a slightly odd order of events, like many things in a turn-based system, especially when readied actions are involved. But I can easily visualise a fighter dashing across a room to hit a wizard while he's distracted casting a spell.

The only way it's out of tune with the rest of the combat system is that it allows martial characters to do something unexpected to mess things up for casters, instead of the other way round as usual.

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