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Matthew Downie's page

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"If an object falls on a creature (instead of being thrown), that creature can make a DC 15 Reflex save to halve the damage if he is aware of the object."
That suggests that anything in the square automatically takes damage. It sounds like an area damage effect to me.


Even if you're small sized and you're firing a 1d8 heavy crossbow, it can still be useful. Fire it once at the start of battle, then drop it and use acid splash.


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To be fair, very few human languages were carefully designed and tested by professional languageers.


Mage Armor gives an Armor bonus, the same type of bonus as you get from wearing armour. They don't stack.


Undone wrote:
Communal 10/level spells are poor choices because 10/min level is significantly better than 10/min/level/target.

For an imminent danger to your entire party, would you rather spend four+ rounds and all your level two spell slots or one action and one level three spell slot?

Communal spells are overpowered in my opinion. In one round, you can give your entire party near immunity to a specific threat, which is crippling to many kinds of opponent. With a lesser rod of reach they don't even need to stand together.


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Undone wrote:
Level 3 Spells: This might be the worst spell level of all lists, in the entire game. There are less than 4 spells you'd ever want to prepare on a normal adventuring day and they are all spells from a previous edition which didn't get nerfed.

Blindness, Daylight (or Deeper Darkness for a group with darkvision), Dispel Magic, Invisibility Purge, Magic Circle against Evil, Magic Vestment, Prayer, Stone Shape, Summon Monster III, Wind Wall, and the Communal versions of Delay Poison and Resist Energy all seem like useful spells to have prepared. Which nine of those are you saying are spells I'd never want on a normal adventuring day? And that's not to mention Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Curse, Remove Disease and Water Breathing which you can leave a slot open for.


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The economics of it are complicated by the fact that spin-offs can provide a significant income, meaning that even if RPG rulebooks & adventures run at a loss, they can often make the money back.

D&D is a valuable intellectual property providing income from miniatures, movies, novels, 1980s cartoons, comics and videogames.

Similarly, superhero comics make very little money, but so long as superhero movies make billions, it hardly matters.


Sap, whip and bolas are also nonlethal by default.


'Spells per day' and 'spells in your spellbook' are two different things.


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shadowkras wrote:
He can actually write four scrolls a day (they take 2 hours if under 250 gp)

There is a (weird) rule in the magic item creation section which doesn't seem to make any exception for scrolls or potions: "Regardless of the time needed for construction, a caster can create no more than one magic item per day."


K177Y C47 wrote:
What do you think your fighter/rogue is doing? If you are not the only martial in the party (which you probably are not) then they are probably right there with you, so someone in reach is not that hard

Not incredibly hard (assuming the enemy is standing on the ground close to the martial ally with nothing in the way), but to avoid giving the enemy a chance to be woken up, you need a combo like:

A: Fighter charges the enemy.
B: Enemy gets a round to do whatever he wants - retreat, kill the fighter, turn invisible, etc.
C: If the enemy and fighter are still adjacent, Warpriest moves in and double-touches the bad guy.
D: Fighter inflicts coup-de-grace.
Quite a lot of things could go wrong between A & C.
It's an effective technique, but not an instant kill. If you have a third ally who can teleport the fighter to the right position, it gets easier.


This spell targets one 5 foot square; I'll put it at the corner of four map squares and hit all four of my enemies!


Oh? Then that's significantly better than the old Repose Domain power.


It's not a combo you can pull off effortlessly, though. You need to have conserved your blessings for the purpose. You need a healthy ally with a weapon already in reach of the BBEG. You need to time it such that your ally acts immediately after you, so no allies of the BBEG can intervene to wake him up before the CdG. You need to land two melee touch attacks (sometimes easy, but what about the flying mirror-imaged wizard?). You, presumably, need to penetrate spell resistance twice? You need the BBEG not to know this is your technique or he could have an ally standing by with a readied action to wake him up should he fall asleep in combat...


xavier c wrote:
I just want a cleric that can blast stuff.
Link fixed.


Undone wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
Codzilla was a 3.0/3.5 thing, and required a lot of splat books and navigating a few grey areas, and focused on self-buffing.
Core Cleric and druid were and are the two most powerful classes in the entire game.

The 3.5 Codzilla thing was because clerics and druids who picked the right combination of options could outperform martials in melee while remaining full casters. They're still top-tier classes but I don't see them winning the DPR olympics. (Unless there's a wild-shape option I'm forgetting about.)


Spend your money on scrolls of Heal. Ride a fast-moving animal companion so you can get to the people who need healing quickly.


xavier c wrote:
I just want a cleric that can blast stuff.

It can be done.


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Clerics have decent BAB and HD, good saves, channel energy, cool domain powers, spontaneous healing spells, and free access to every spell on their list. If their spells were as good as the wizard's as well, it would be hard to justify playing anything that wasn't a cleric.


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I find it helps to think that only adventurers level up by adventuring; it's their personality type.

(Some psychologist divide people up into 'Auditory Learners', who can learn from listening to lectures, 'Visual Learners', who can learn by watching or reading, and 'Kinesthetic Learners' who can only really learn by doing.)

So the heir to the throne would level up just by having tutors intensively train him. Someone who's been trained by the best swordsmen in the kingdom for fifteen years ought to be better at fighting than a level 1 barbarian.

If you want to have a Lex Luthor genius who is dangerous, but not through his own personal power, the nearest you can come in the Pathfinder rules is probably a high level aristocrat/expert. A low level character is always going to be weak willed and incompetent compared to a high level character.

The only ruler you could really represent as a low level character is a fairly feeble one - either a fool who received his position through inheritance and is unlikely to last long, or a figurehead with a high level guy behind him who is the real ruler.


Wiggz wrote:
Wizards are only guaranteed access to two spells per level, they are reliant on chance and GM fiat for all the rest, neither of which are guaranteed.

Not guaranteed, but cheap scrolls being available in every town is the normal game assumption.

The differences I've noticed:

Sorcerers take a while to get going. You get to level 4, and you finally get to learn one, and only one, second level spell. A wizard could be casting three different level two spells a day at level 3.

With wizards and other prepared characters, if you cast a spell, you no longer have that spell. For me that makes casting spells a stressful decision. If I cast Fly now, and I only prepared it once, I won't have access to it for the rest of the day, which could be fatal. That leads me to try to save all my spells for emergencies. (Most people don't seem to have this issue. It can also be mitigated with Pearls of Power.)
With spontaneous casters, once you've leveled up enough, if you have five level 3 spells per day and you know Fly and Haste and Fireball, you can cast any of those spells four times and still have the ability to cast all those spells, or a lower level spell (with a metamagic feat?) from the same slot.


Ipslore the Red wrote:

Cons of the boots:

-More expensive
-Takes up a slot that you might want for a different pair of shoes if you get ambushed
-Doesn't work in an aerial or aquatic campaign(?)
-More easily stolen, sundered, or damaged from stepping in lava, acid, or an ooze.

Also, if you take 50 damage in a fight, you then have to make the party wait five minutes before continuing. This will cause buffs to run out, give enemies a chance to regroup, etc.


Yes, but there's a difference between 'enemies can only hit on a 15' and 'enemies can only hit on a 20 because the PC put all his feats and money into improving AC'.


Ah, binary chop technique. In English, you can identify a single letter with five yes or no questions.
Is the first letter of his name 'N' or later in the alphabet? No.
Is it 'G' or later in the alphabet? Yes.
Is it 'J' or later in the alphabet? Yes.
Is it 'L' or later in the alphabet? Yes.
Is it 'M'? Yes.


Ah, the old 'Fighters with swords and shields are overpowered' problem.

With something like a Skeletal Champion, you're free to play them as crazed life-hating undeads with no survival instinct who attack whoever seems easiest to murder.

If you can, don't let any one PC get too high AC. It makes fights silly. What intelligent enemy is going to keep fighting if they can't land a hit? Then you get a situation where everyone is running all the time.

Beyond that, I wouldn't worry too much, as long as the players are having fun.


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Intelligent enemies should make similar decisions to the PCs. If there's an enemy who seems dangerous but easy to hit, you should probably target them.

There might be other considerations - some foes may think, "I am going to challenge the strongest enemy, to demonstrate my invincible power!"

If you're unsure, rolling a dice openly is usually acceptable. "On a 1 or 2, he attacks the cleric. On a 3 or 4, he moves to attack the fighter. On a 5 or 6, he provokes an AoO from the cleric and runs past him to attack the witch."


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Kirth Gersen wrote:

5. "I never have this problem because the DM fixes it!"

Answer: Then you're playing storytime hour, not Pathfinder. If we fixed the problems, you could still play storytime hour, and we would BOTH win.

If you're going to repost this, you might want to edit the tone of that one. If I ban some of the more abusable magics (Simulacrum and teleporting to places you've only scried on and dazing metamagic, etc) and ensure that the fighter finds an intelligent magic weapon that gives him some cool abilities, and it results in a game that seems balanced, that's not 'storytime hour', whatever that is. It's Pathfinder with houserules. And who plays Pathfinder without houserules?


Things I'd do in preference to rolling 1d6 and multiply it by 40 for Disintegrate damage:
Stop playing before I got to level 20 when Disintegrate does that much damage.
Use a computerised dice roller.
Get all five players to roll 8d6 each simultaneously, add up their totals.
Roll 4d6 and multiply it by ten.


I'd never roll 100d3 (I'd get a computer to do that for me) but rolling one dice and multiplying isn't normal and skews the random distribution. Taking 10d6 damage rarely produces a number outside the 25 to 45 range. If you rolled one dice and multiplied it by 10, there's a good chance you'd take 60 damage, which makes sudden death a lot more likely.


It sounds fair to me - too easy for an experienced group, but probably about right for yours.


VorpalKitten wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Temporary negative levels are not permanent until you fail your fort save. Once you fail your fort save you are stuck with them until you can get them removed via magic.

Well, temporary ones never become permanent, right? Or did they errata this?

"A creature with temporary negative levels receives a new saving throw to remove the negative level each day. The DC of this save is the same as the effect that caused the negative levels."

Since this dead thread was just linked to I'll note that the specific Bestiary rules for energy drain say:

"If a negative level is not removed before 24 hours have passed, the affected creature must attempt a Fortitude save. On a success, the negative level goes away with no harm to the creature. On a failure, the negative level becomes permanent."


davypi wrote:
How much difference is there between three 1200XP enounters and one single 3600XP encounter?

Depends on environmental factors. If it's the difference between 'fighting as a team against one owlbear' and 'fighting three owlbears who are all attacking at once', then the latter is massively more dangerous. The party will be taking three times as much damage per round, and will have to inflict three times as much damage to win. One owlbear is a CR 4 encounter and three is a CR 7 encounter.

But if you can get in a situation where three owlbears are stuck in a corridor and can only attack one at a time, it's not much more dangerous than three separate encounters.


He used to be a money-lender, but foolishly lent money to orcs for sub-prime mortgages and lost everything, even the clothes on his back. He now remains naked at all times, to remind him of his past mistakes, in his new career as a private dick.


The OP was talking about an Investigator. So the character I envision is, "Shylock Cumberhorn, Nudist Detective".


Kolokotroni wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
if you are ambushed on a shakey rope bridge with enemies on either side of you shooting arrows. The fighter can pull out a bow and shoot back, the rogue and make acrobatics rolls to make his way to one end and stab someone. The Wizard casts fly and calmly floats above the battle attacking with offensive magic
Unless he has first cast an 'immunity to arrows' spell, that really isn't going to end well for him.
You mean invisibility, greater invisibility, wind wall, mirror image, or any of the dozens of other spells a wizard can use to avoid being hurt during the course of any fight in any encounter?

Yes. In the scenario described, the wizard spends the first two rounds of the combat casting two spells on himself, then can start casting offensive spells on round three. The archer fighter, meanwhile, can be doing full attacks on every one of those rounds. It's not exactly a clear-cut case of superior caster narrative power.


daimaru wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
There are no rules requiring you to wear clothes.
Still, if you don't have fur or scales or something and not wearing clothes, the DM might have you harassed by the authorities whenever you come to town, not served in the inn, whatever.

Some would call that a role-playing problem. I would call it a role-playing opportunity.


Kolokotroni wrote:
if you are ambushed on a shakey rope bridge with enemies on either side of you shooting arrows. The fighter can pull out a bow and shoot back, the rogue and make acrobatics rolls to make his way to one end and stab someone. The Wizard casts fly and calmly floats above the battle attacking with offensive magic

Unless he has first cast an 'immunity to arrows' spell, that really isn't going to end well for him.


It looks like you'll have a terrible Will save. There's a good chance that at some point in the campaign someone will cast a mind control spell on you, and you'll start massacring your allies with your optimal damage output.


There are no rules requiring you to wear clothes.


Ravingdork wrote:
There is a contradiction though. One says "unless noted otherwise" whereas the other says "unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description."

They're not inherently contradictory. If the second one is the correct one, the first one is merely being annoyingly vague - it could be taken to mean "unless noted otherwise, for example in the spell description".


Rynjin wrote:
I find that relying on CLW wands to heal the party adds up really quick. If you have a party with, say, a Barbarian and an Anti-Paladin on the frontlines getting pounded all day long, you chew through CLW and Infernal Healing wands like nobody's business. And in-combat healing isn't even an option with them, and that's needed sometimes.

It's about 270GP per 100HP. It's a valid option, depending on WBL assumptions and party makeup. If your GM is pressuring you into fighting ten combats a day, it's probably the best option, since it saves your cleric spells for in-combat healing and other emergencies.


Rynjin wrote:

The Cleric never runs out of healing? Yes, yes he does. Limited Channels (which don't heal a whole lot in the first place past low levels) and limited spell slots means his healing is very limited indeed, especially if he wants to actually have fun instead of doing nothing but patching ouchies all day with every one of his spells.

And I'll tell you the Fighter runs out of muscle and the Rogue runs out of rogueishness really damn quick when the Cleric is out of healing.

The Ranger who's invested in a sack of wands of cure light wounds doesn't tend to run out of (out-of-combat) healing.


All these years and I still don't understand charging. Or maybe I do understand the rules and don't like them. So, in this case, can the fighter only charge to B2 since the other positions are not 'direct'?


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Healing may or may not be suboptimal in any given situation and playing suboptimally may or may not be a bad thing. I defy you to prove me wrong!


thejeff wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Black_Lantern wrote:
The only real way to stretch a caster's resources at higher levels is to make them participate in five or more combats a day, consistently, which means most of your days just consistent of combat.
I don't think the last part of that sentence is true. If I make you fight ten combats one day, and each takes ten rounds, that's still only ten minutes of the day spent in battle. Anything could happen in the other 23 hours 50 minutes.
Your character's days might not be only combat, but your sessions will be.

Days and sessions can be independent from one another. You could have a day that lasts five gaming sessions involving ten battles, and dozens of role-playing encounters.


Black_Lantern wrote:
The only real way to stretch a caster's resources at higher levels is to make them participate in five or more combats a day, consistently, which means most of your days just consistent of combat.

I don't think the last part of that sentence is true. If I make you fight ten combats one day, and each takes ten rounds, that's still only ten minutes of the day spent in battle. Anything could happen in the other 23 hours 50 minutes.


CommandoDude wrote:
Do I even need to mention how crucial Dispel Magic is beyond 10th level? Oh, it doesn't come up often, but when you need to cast it, you NEED to cast it, either that or run away because you can't hit the BBEG even on a nat 20 due to displacement combined with absurd AC boosting spells.

I've played through APs where that never happens. Optimized martials with buffs always seem to be able to keep up with enemy ACs. Spells like True Seeing can overcome Displacement, or you can just overwhelm it by attacking them enough times. Dispel Magic seems like a '50% chance of negating one enemy action, 50% chance of nothing happening' spell.


Simon Legrande wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
With their incredibly dull, poor senses, the rest of the party would be that much less likely to see my rogue slipping from bed roll to bed roll during his watch, slitting the throats of his party members, then escaping with all of their magical equipment into the night to sell off their possessions and retire early to live comfortably for the rest of his life.
Wait, what? I thought rogue was the class that sucked at everything.

No, they only suck at HELPING the rest of the party...

I'm currently playing a humans-only campaign. I don't miss the other races at all.
I'm not so keen on the idea of forcing people to play classes that they're bored of / that someone else in the party is already playing.


fictionfan wrote:
Reading this thread I get the impression that both side think the same thing, but are misrepresenting the other side so that they can Win the argument. Unless anyone really thinks that the best action for a cleric is to Top up the parties HP in the middle of combat when they are not likely to go down that round?

Sometimes it is, if (a) it might prevent a party member from dying three rounds later, and (b) you can't think of anything better to do with your action.


JoeJ wrote:
Is your 9th level wizard going to use his one 5th level spell for Teleport?

A 9th level wizard with Int 20 and Arcane Bond can cast three 5th level spells per day.

JoeJ wrote:
And if your party is bigger than 4, how does he decide who to leave behind?

The fighter, if you don't have a rogue.

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