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Matthew Downie's page

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Xexyz wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
If Bob isn't an idiot he'd see that any price cut he made would be matched by Alice almost immediately, reducing both their profits and not increasing his sales at all.

Ok, so let's go in the other direction. Why don't Alice & Bob then collude to sell their fabricated diamonds for 20,000gp then? If we're going to pretend supply and demand don't exist.

Because naturally occurring diamonds already exist and are cheaper than that?

Xexyz wrote:

Or, let's take this in a totally different direction. The argument is that fabricate is overpowered. From my perspective in order for something to be overpowered it has to have a negative effect on my game such that I find the need to change/nerf it. So far none of my players have expressed any interest in learning fabricate, and even if they did I'm willing to bet they'd want to use it for adventuring purposes since they want to play a heroic fantasy game, not Simulationfinder.

So, given the above, please explain to me how fabricate is broken and is ruining my game.

Obviously, it isn't ruining your game. A spell that did infinite damage to all enemies wouldn't ruin your game if no-one ever cast it, but would still be a broken spell.

However, if you were playing a Kingmaker-style campaign with years of downtime, and one of your players attempted to use the spell in a way that would by RAW give him an income of 500,000gp a year, you would probably want to either house-rule the spell or house-rule the economy.


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Xexyz wrote:
What? That makes no sense whatsoever. Do you understand how competition works? How is Bob an idiot if, seeing that Alice is trying to sell her fabricated diamonds for 15k sells his for 14k? Since they're both the same, his are going to sell because why would anyone buy a diamond from Alice when they can get the exact same diamond from Bob for 1000gp less?

If Bob isn't an idiot he'd see that any price cut he made would be matched by Alice almost immediately, reducing both their profits and not increasing his sales at all.


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Mark Hoover wrote:
50 GP for a potion of Expeditious Retreat

Expeditious Retreat is Personal. No potions allowed.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Saying "just don't make it huge" or "well, it's still better than the old summoner" doesn't address the issue.

The issue being that not every single option in Pathfinder is of equal value, and therefore some of them are trap options, and Paizo ought to fix this?


a shadow wrote:
Smite Evil is most certainly a physical effect targeting a single creature and since the Worm is immune to that, a Smite Evil attack has no effect on a Worm That Walks...

It might target a single creature, but don't see where it says it's a physical effect. It's a supernatural effect where you call out to the powers of good to aid you in your battle against the target.


That was my original intention, but it's is extremely hard to name three Pathfinder classes that are widely considered to be well balanced. Either they're able to kill bosses in one round or they're hopeless at fighting. Either they're useless out of combat, or they're super flexible casters who can do anything.

I don't know whether you think the Ninja is too powerful or too weak - I'm sure I could find many threads complaining about both - but feel free to substitute Inquisitor or something if that helps.


Dr. Johnny Fever wrote:

The eidolon types get some abilities baked in, but the point value of them, combined with the level provided column totals, heck even extra evolution included, results in an eidolon that's pretty much on par with a druid's animal companion, especially after the animals 4th or 7th level advancement.

Now compared to the Druid: it gets 9 levels of spell casting, two strong save columns and wildshape (a very powerful ability).

Had the PU summoner been rewritten as a 9 level caster it might have been balanced against the druid (summoning SLA being IMHO of equal value to wildshape) given the now reduced power level of the eidolon.

The druid's generally considered to be at the far upper end of the power spectrum, though. In a party consisting of, say, Bard, Unchained Summoner, Alchemist & Ninja, would the Summoner seem weak?


voska66 wrote:
How is going all digital more environmentally friendly. I'd argue the exact opposite. To use digital material you need a device capable of reading. You have tons of devices on the market to read these PCs, laptop, tablets and such. All of them last about 3-5 years and end in the junk pile.

True, but assuming we already have devices capable of displaying digital material - which most of us do - a new e-book uses less resources than a new paper book.


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Something like Fabricate 'breaks' the economy, rather than breaking normal gameplay. But the economy as written is broken right from the start because it doesn't contain any concept of supply and demand. Mass famine? Doesn't matter! Food always costs the same amount, and profession checks always bring in money, so you can always afford to buy food.

RAW suggests that most high-grade items would be made by extremely wealthy mid- to high-level wizards, perhaps belonging to rival guilds - unless there is a powerful force that has both the capability and the desire to crush such wizards. I don't see either of those as breaking the game world as a place where adventures can happen. Interesting plot hooks, if anything.


Does using the original class instead of the 'Unchained' version constitute a houserule?


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Player: I spent three thousand gold on this item specifically because by RAW it allows me to tunnel through anything with hardness below 20 and because my strength of 'only' 18 isn't enough to shove down a strong door with my bare hands. Why didn't you inform me of this house rule sooner?


"When you use a full-attack action to make multiple ranged weapon attacks against the same opponent, total the damage from all hits before applying that opponent’s damage reduction."

I'd say no? It says you add all the damage together, then apply DR. It doesn't seem to consider the possibility that some of your attacks will bypass the DR and not others.


Atarlost wrote:
Bedroll, food, water, rope, rapier, chain shirt, all the other s+%+ you can get into trouble for not having: it adds up. A melee combatant other than a monk is going to have trouble staying in light load at 10 strength and even 11 doesn't leave a comfortable amount of slack.

You don't have to stay at a light load. You can drag around a medium load, you can drop your bedroll when expecting combat, you can get Ant Haul cast on you...


gamer-printer wrote:
I cannot imagine how any existing class can be reskinned and somehow gain an advantage

That really depends on what you imagine the player doing otherwise.

"I'm going to play a crossbow specialist, but I'll ask the GM to let me use a composite longbow for mechanics and reflavor it as a repeating crossbow." Does the GM let them use the longbow, or force them to use regular crossbow mechanics? In this situation, the PC is more powerful as a result of reskinning.

But if you imagine them as saying, "I'm going to play an archer. I wonder if the GM would let me call my longbow a crossbow?" then the mechanical decisions are already made and the reskin only affects appearance.

So my advice to anyone wanting to try this is to present it to the GM as your mechanical choices having already been made and you're merely interested in the possibility of adjusting the appearance.


Waterproof scrolls are a houserule:

WATERPROOF BAG
Price 5 sp; Weight 1/2 lb.
This leather sack sealed with tar or pitch keeps delicate items from being ruined by water. Items kept inside remain relatively dry, making the bag ideal for carrying maps, scrolls, spellbooks, and the like, although the bag is not impervious and can only be completely immersed for 10 rounds before enough water seeps in to ruin such items.


What can you make a wall from that would stop a determined adventurer party, aside from more adamantine?


Or they could wind up on top of the creature in the pit, vertically adjacent rather than sharing a square.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Honestly, I might even say the same thing about Fleet's ugly cousin, Run. Who cares if it only comes up once in a campaign? That's once in a campaign that you get away and don't die. 150 feet versus 120 means that no matter what the longbowmen do, they're going to be at least one range increment off when they shoot, and you'll still have your Dex bonus.

I doubt I'd ever take Fleet, but I'd take Fleet over Run. With Fleet you can still run at 140 and you have the faster movement the rest of the time too.

Anyway, it's pretty rare you've got 150 feet of completely open terrain to run over - standing behind a tree is also effective against archers and requires no feats at all.


I would think of that as being for things like Resist Energy or Fire Shield where you get to pick an element, or Restoration which has a cheap version and an expensive version.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
^So if you Move (or 5 foot step) and then Standard Action(Take Cover), you should be covered.

If you do this, the archers could ready an action to shoot you while you're moving.


BigDTBone wrote:
My position is very basic, the game defines exactly what a monk is. If you do something else it is a houserule.

The game definition of a Monk has nothing to do with what being a monk is in our world.

"These monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers."
It doesn't define what these philosophies or disciplines are. Within this definition, practically anyone can take Monk levels as long as they have Lawful alignment.

I would also argue that allowing a Monk who has no interest in ancient philosophies or martial disciplines would be a houseflavor rather than a houserule. It seems worth distinguishing between a GM decision that lightning bolts can be blue, and a GM decision that lightning bolts fired into water affect a 30 foot radius instead of a line. The latter is a houserule that affects game mechanics.

But arguing about definitions of the words doesn't usually achieve much, so I'm going to stop now.


Most people who fall over while asleep would wake up when they hit the floor. It's not an unreasonable question. All I can say is that I would expect the majority of GMs to say you fall over and it doesn't wake you up.

I don't think there's a clear answer to this for paralysis either.


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Doomed Hero wrote:

The low-light vision issue is simple.

If a torch casts normal light out to 20 feet, it also casts dim light (with concealment) from 20 feet to 40 feet.

Low-light vision just doubles the effective light ranges. In torchlight someone with low-light vision would see normally out to 40 feet and then from 40 to 80 feet in dim light.

If a moon casts normal light out to 150,000 miles (not far enough to reach Golarion), it also casts dim light (with concealment) from 150,000 miles to 300,000 miles (which is far enough to reach Golarion).

Low-light just doubles the effective light ranges. In moonlight someone with low-light vision would see normally whenever they were within 300,000 miles of the moon (which is anywhere on the planet), but if they got on a spaceship and flew further away they would see in dim light (with concealment) anywhere from 300,000 miles to 600,000 miles away.


voideternal wrote:
If a player chose a Samurai, grabbed a katana, and refluffed it as a Knight with a Flamberge(refluffed katana), how would you rule if the PC found a +5 Katana(not Flamberge) in a treasure hoard? Would you let the PC use the weapon / feat?

If the player wanted a Knight with a flamberge using Samurai mechanics, I'd probably discuss it and allow them to add the flamberge to the game as a new weapon with its own exotic proficiency requirement. Having established we're in a part of the game world with knights and flamberges, the flamberge would then be more likely to appear in treasure hordes than a katana.

Alternatively, he could write 'katana' on his character sheet. He can imagine it as a flamberge all he wants, but in game terms he's proficient with the katana.


Question 1: Should the GM add more wealth to support the NPC?

As far as I know, no Adventure Path has ever suggested adding more wealth if there are more characters, be they PC or NPC allies. More characters means the group is more powerful. Adding more wealth would make them more powerful still, causing further balance problems. So the implied 'official' answer is probably no.

Question 2: Should the rest of the party give a share of the wealth to the cohort?

There are no rules for this aspect of the game. It is up to the players to sort out the distribution of wealth - who pays for wands of healing that everyone benefits from, and so forth.
There is certainly no requirement that anyone give up a share of their wealth to a cohort, but they are free to do so if they wish.


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No. If you want to dual-wield shortswords, just do it. I'm pretty sure there are going to be a number of mechanics that don't make sense when you use two small weapons to represent one big one. What if you're swallowed and want to cut your way out? What if another member of the party has his only weapon destroyed, and wants to borrow one of the two swords? Suppose the group finds a +5 shortsword and a +3 greatsword in a treasure horde, and one of the other members of the party uses a greatsword. How do I sort out the logic of what the players can do with them? Too much of a headache.


You don't need to target the hinges. The walls around the door aren't going to be adamantine. Just sunder / shatter / stone-shape the walls until the doors aren't attached to anything.


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It's quite interesting to read the class descriptions for characters (which in many cases I don't think I ever read before - I already know what a wizard is) working on the assumption that the GM is treating it as part of the rules and that no other flavor is acceptable.
Multi-classing must be really difficult in such a game.

Barbarians: "For some, there is only rage... these warmongers know little of training, preparation, or the rules of warfare". No preparing for battle, and make sure you kill enemies who surrender.

Bard: "Through cleverness, talent, and magic, these cunning few unravel the wiles of the world, becoming adept in the arts of persuasion, manipulation, and inspiration." So, no dumping Int as a Bard. Putting skill points into Diplomacy is compulsory.

Cleric: "Called to serve powers beyond most mortal understanding, all priests preach wonders and provide for the spiritual needs of their people. Clerics are more than mere priests, though... The ways of the cleric are varied, yet all who tread these paths walk with the mightiest of allies and bear the arms of the gods themselves."
So you must be a priest, and you must bear the arms of the gods. Bear that in mind when shopping for equipment.

Druid: "servants of philosophical balance"

Fighter: "fighters are unparalleled champions" Optimizing is compulsory.

Monk: "monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines)" So, nothing to do with monasteries, but you do have to know about ancient philosophies.

Paladin: "these noble souls dedicate their swords and lives to the battle against evil" Swords are compulsory!

Ranger: "For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey." Sounds pretty incompatible with Good alignment.

Rogue: "Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely
upon wits, prowess, or luck... In the end, any who desire to shape their fates and live life on their own terms might come to be called rogues." So if that describes your character, you should be a Rogue.

Sorcerer: "for them magic is more than a boon or a field of study; it is life itself"

Wizard: "These shrewd magic-users seek, collect, and covet esoteric knowledge" Coveting is compulsory!


If a creature is attacking with multiple Natural Attacks, there is no -5 to additional attacks. If the monster is attacking with weapons using iterative attacks due to high BAB, the successive -5 penalties will already appear in the stat blocks.


BigDTBone wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
That's fine, and as far as our interaction goes I am happy to leave it with this parting thought; that gruff dwarf can still get the bonus to saves in my game by choosing the mechanics that provide it. However, if I wanted to play a disgruntled, tough, loner halfling I couldn't capture that as well if I played in your game. And I promise you that my level of immersive rollplay wouldn't be affected by that mechanical choice at character creation. I would also posit that none of your other players would suspect anything unless you told them. (And I certainly wouldn't, I don't let other players look at my c-sheets when I play because it encourages metagaming.)
A halfling who uses the mechanics of a dwarf sounds like an example of the sort of thing that shouldn't be encouraged. Dwarves, among many other differences, are a larger size category than halflings. Isn't that like saying, "I'm going to be an elf, but I want to use the stats and weapons of a large creature, like an ogre, and I don't want any of the other players to notice I'm doing this"?
I'm a human but my stats would place me as a "large" creature. Am I cheating at real life? Am I really an ogre?

Are you between 8 and 16 feet tall? Are you capable of wielding a twelve-foot-long sword?

I think my main objection to the dwarvish halfling was the suggestion that no other player would ever notice. If you're using all the stats of a dwarf, you have darkvision, the ability to wear full plate without slowing down, you can't ride a medium animal, you use larger weapons and armor, you get proficiency in dwarven weapons...

And if you're not doing all those things, you're basically making a new homebrew race. I'm the sort of GM who might allow that, but I'd understand one who wouldn't.


BigDTBone wrote:
That's fine, and as far as our interaction goes I am happy to leave it with this parting thought; that gruff dwarf can still get the bonus to saves in my game by choosing the mechanics that provide it. However, if I wanted to play a disgruntled, tough, loner halfling I couldn't capture that as well if I played in your game. And I promise you that my level of immersive rollplay wouldn't be affected by that mechanical choice at character creation. I would also posit that none of your other players would suspect anything unless you told them. (And I certainly wouldn't, I don't let other players look at my c-sheets when I play because it encourages metagaming.)

A halfling who uses the mechanics of a dwarf sounds like an example of the sort of thing that shouldn't be encouraged. Dwarves, among many other differences, are a larger size category than halflings. Isn't that like saying, "I'm going to be an elf, but I want to use the stats and weapons of a large creature, like an ogre, and I don't want any of the other players to notice I'm doing this"?


"dealing slashing damage through ... stabbing someone with claws" was the misleading bit I was responding to.

Anyway, by RAW using this trick works with bows. The only argument against it is that it's ridiculous and therefore may not have been RAI, but most uses of this feat are equally ridiculous. Doing as much damage with a rapier using it as a club as by stabbing people with it? Impaling someone on a sap? Slitting their throat with a club? Can those possibly be RAI? Probably.


Claws already do slashing damage.


I don't find the idea of using this ability for arrows any more implausible than the idea of using this ability for a club, or the idea that blunt arrows would be an effective weapon.


I hadn't heard that. What are slashing damage arrows called?


Because you found some non-bludgeoning +5 Undead Bane Arrows and want to use them on a lich? Because you want to be able to inflict Slashing damage?


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"Restricted Activity: In some situations, you may be unable to take a full round's worth of actions. In such cases, you are restricted to taking only a single standard action or a single move action (plus free and swift actions as normal)."
I read that as a compressed way of saying:
"Restricted Activity: In some situations, you may be unable to take a full round's worth of actions. In such cases, you are restricted to taking only a single standard action, or restricted to taking a single move action (you can always take free and swift actions as normal in these situations)."
In which case, Nauseated is an example of Restricted Activity and free actions are allowed even if not specified.

I can see that there are other ways of interpreting it, such as:
"Restricted Activity: In some situations, you may be unable to take a full round's worth of actions. In these situations, you are restricted to taking only a single standard action or a single move action plus free and swift actions as normal. Any situation where you cannot take a standard action, or cannot take free or swift actions, does not constitute Restricted Activity."

Or:
"Restricted Activity: In some situations, you may be unable to take a full round's worth of actions. In such cases, you are restricted to taking only a single standard action or restricted to taking only a single move action (plus free and swift actions as normal, unless the condition says otherwise)."

All three of these are legitimate ways someone might use the English language. But two of those interpretations lead somewhere stupid ("you can't drop your sword") and therefore should be rejected.


That's a fairly high level of investment for a Fighter who could otherwise save a trait, multiple skill points, and dump CHA.
Sometimes it's easier to dip into a class that gets the spells you want, giving access to the wands automatically with no failure chance. Fighter class features aren't usually so exciting that they suffer much from taking a level of Ranger or whatever.


alexd1976 wrote:

Also, to answer the original question:

Yes. You can feel if your target has a deflection bonus, WHEN YOU ATTACK THEM...

If you have one, it is helping your opponent miss, not pushing YOU out of the way. Nothing to feel. Especially if you are just standing there like a dork.

So:

Deflection bonus to AC should be detectable to attacker, but not defender.

I'd say that if you gave a +5 Ring of Protection to an newbie fighter, he'd notice if suddenly all the arrows flying towards him were being deflected off course. But only when being attacked, not as soon as he put the ring on. And in the case of Smite Evil, only when being attacked by the target of the smite.


NobodysHome wrote:

Everything went swimmingly until... Dead Man's Dome.

I need real stats for the Dead Man, not caravan stats.

Has anyone done that already, or do I just wing it?

For the Dead Man specifically, or for the enemies you're fighting? I just had the battle end when the Dead Man showed up.

Discussion linking to older discussions of the same thing.


alexd1976 wrote:

Using the rules as written doesn't make me a 'rules lawyer', it makes me a consistent and reliable GM. My players know what to expect when they come to the table, because we all have the same books...

Do I _like_ how Nausea works? No. It's stupid.

My players know what to expect because I tell them what house rules I'm using. Do I like how the rules work in my games? Yes. If I didn't, I would change them.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I don't require backstory.

I just want some idea of what the PC looks like. This could effect how NPCs react to PCs.

That's it.

I do not share your priorities.

Average male human fighter? Fine. There's one in the Core rulebook. I think his name is Valeros.
I don't care about the colour of his hair or eyes. I don't care if his nose is big or small. I don't care if he's fat or thin. I don't care if he wears green or brown. I don't care about the colour of his skin unless I'm running a campaign themed around racism. (I'm not.)

Tell me what armor he's wearing, what weapons he's displaying. That's enough for me to gauge initial NPC responses.

Now tell me why he's willing to risk his life in adventure. Tell me how he responds when he gets hit by three arrows but still has half his hit points left - like a human, or like a hero? Tell me if he's the first one to flee from a battle that's going badly, or the last one. Tell me if he thinks being good is about helping everyone, or helping only the worthy and punishing the vile. Tell me if he acts on emotion, or reason. Tell me what he'd do if he was rich and had no enemies to fight. Tell me what he does with his time when the party settles down to camp for the night. Tell me if he's romantic. Tell me if he's artistic. Tell me if he's cruel.

Better yet, don't tell me. Show me. But at least convince me you've thought more about these things than what your character looks like.


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solitary_solidarity wrote:
Ultimately, I'm of the school that your character should be based in flavor before it is based in mechanics.

The other side of the debate mostly agrees with that statement, as far as I can tell. "The flavor of my character is a knight in shining armor who rides around on a horse and who has amazing resolve. How can I do this with the available mechanics? I'll use the Samurai class - that seems easiest."

Their opinion differs from yours in that they think the flavor of the character concept is what matters, and the flavor of the class is optional, except where there are mechanics to support it.


Lamontius wrote:
should I just pick a side

The real question, ignoring the usual 'whiny / entitled' hyperbole, is how you would feel about a GM who said, "In my campaign setting samurai - members of a far eastern warrior class - are special, so are the only ones capable of taking the Samurai class, and you're not in the far east so you can't be one"?

And, secondarily, how would you feel about a GM who had lots of rules like that but thought they were so obvious that they didn't need to be mentioned?


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blackbloodtroll wrote:
What the heck does a "Average Human" look like?

Seems pretty straightforward to me. Average height, average race (light brown), average hair colour and eye colour, and average gender.


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GM: "You return from your quest. The kingdom is saved. You are proclaimed heroes. Nothing much happens for the next hundred years. Then, as the prophecy warned, the dark lord rises again. Immortal Wizard, you're fine. Immortal Alchemist, you're fine. Elf Cleric, you move up an age category. Human Fighter, you're dead and can't be resurrected. Make a new level 1 character."


How do I know that a cloak of resistance +1 and a cold iron dagger cost 6 credit? Is there a price list, or a '150 gold is 1 credit' exchange rate? If I don't know how much things cost, it's going to take longer to shop...


Can you give more a more concrete example?

In the standard economy, I come back from a quest with 1500 gold pieces. I buy a cloak of resistance, a level 2 scroll, a cold iron dagger, and role play by buying drinks for everyone at the inn. I now have 173 gold left. (Or some amount like that.) If we take a week off I can make some money with my Profession skill.

How would this look in your system?


There have been FAQ requests for that since 2009.
A popular answer is 'free action to kneel, move action to stand from kneeling, does not provoke'.


Str: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 4) = 12
Dex: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 3, 5) = 11
Con: 3d6 ⇒ (5, 1, 6) = 12
Int: 3d6 ⇒ (5, 2, 5) = 12
Wis: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 5) = 13
Cha: 3d6 ⇒ (2, 2, 6) = 12
Consistently above average, yet utterly lacking in any stand-out abilities. Might make a playable Dwarf Druid...
I will instead use these stats to make Jenny Dippy (Human, Chaotic Good) - a barbarian warrior with eclectic interests and a short attention span.
She picks a different class at every level, eventually becoming a Barbarian-Slayer-Fighter-Ranger-Cavalier-Monk-Alchemist-Oracle-Wizard-Cleri c-Bard-Duellist-Ninja.

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