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Mekkis's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 276 posts (300 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 14 Pathfinder Society characters. 5 aliases.


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Mike Bramnik wrote:

Obviously, if AR says that an older one is no longer legal, that's the rule (like with Armored Kilts and Scorpion Whips).

For the record, the OLDER version of the scorpion whip (the one in the Adventurer's Armoury) is the one that IS legal. The version in Ultimate Equipment is not legal.

Has anyone had issues where a player bought one from UE and was forced to buy AA in order to maintain a legal character?


Ascalaphus wrote:

There should never be the situation where you own an old but still legal resource, and have to refer to a new, different source that you don't own.

Either the old book is no longer a legal source for the item, or every legal source is a stand-alone source for the item.

I want to expand on this and state that there should never be a situation where the release of a new source forces a player to buy it in order to continue playing their character - either allow a full rebuild, or grandfather it in.


I find it interesting the selection of scenarios your GM is putting you through, and there might be a reason for this.

From one perspective, it seems to be a combination of two factors:
You have a GM who wants to provide a challenge to the party; and
You have a character who is trivialising most challenges.

I can see that this would cause an escalation of a GM vs Player mentality, which would explain why the GM keeps running scenarios that are not trivialised by your character.

I would suggest speaking with your GM and coming up with an agreement where you all start over with new characters, and provide a bit more balance for everyone.

Very interested in the bulk discounts for poisons. I hope there's the crunch to back it up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A couple of reasons: Firstly, it's never considered a 'good' act, so there aren't people arguing that. Secondly, it's pretty difficult to pull off: you need serious levels of wizard or cleric to do it, so it doesn't come up much. Finally, it seems that trying to negotiate a deal with a devil in a summoning circle is so fraught with dangers (the kind of Definitely Table Variation dangers), that they're dealt with pretty quickly.


One of the ways to speed up animal companions in combat is to allow them to act on their masters' initiative. It does give them a small advantage, but it prevents a player being required to handle multiple actions at multiple different times in a round.

When Brock GMed for me, that was how he ran it.

4 people marked this as a favorite.

One thing that I would like to see is errata being issued independently of a new printing. This allows a few positive results:

- FAQs can remain as rules clarifications, and can be separated from actual changes.
- It allows community feedback of errata to be taken into account after errata has been released but before the next set of books is sent to the printers.
- After the first set of Ultimate Combat errata, several abilities needed to be recorrected to actually work. This could have been corrected prior to the release of the second printing had errata already been released.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I generally have a very open policy. In the game I run, I allow everything from the core rulebook, and I will generally allow anything from any other books (including third-party publications), but I will read over them before I allow them.

I don't buy into the argument that Paizo's publications are necessarily more balanced than third-party stuff.


Joe Ducey wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
TClifford wrote:
is it okay for a Paladin to case Infernal Healing on themselves

If you can give me a good reason why, sure.

I can't think of one off the top of my head, though.

Fighting in the worldwound and you're running out of resources but know how to turn the blood of the demons you've slain into healing for you and your comrades?

Infernal healing requires devil blood. I shudder to think what substituting it with demon blood would result in...


Andrew Christian wrote:
Mekkis wrote:

As far as I can tell, you're saying that the potential for punitive measures on the off chance that Paizo FAQs or erratas something is an effective deterrent to creating overpowered characters.

I said nothing of the sort. I'm not about creating a system to try and stop rule abuse.

That and not wanting to allow more opportunities for such are completely different concepts.

And John and the rest of campaign management and Paizo as a whole has done a great job of allowing great options. So I'm not seeing how any actions they have taken are punitive.

Maybe I read your previous comments incorrectly, I apologise.

Could you clarify that you believe that opening up rebuilding in the case of errata would cause a rise in powergaming? Or does your opposition to the idea stem from something else?


Benjamin Falk, Andrew Christian:

As far as I can tell, you're saying that the potential for punitive measures on the off chance that Paizo FAQs or erratas something is an effective deterrent to creating overpowered characters.

The presence of overpowered characters under these current measures is evident that this is not effective.

I have asked several of the munchkins in my local community if they are concerned about this, and they general response ranges from "It's a good way of getting Paizo to fix their mistakes", to "I'll worry about that if it happens.". (There was also one player who expressed that they "made this character to get back at Paizo for banning the vivisectionist.")

We should also take into account the other people who are inconvenienced by these measures. The policy is not only punishing the powergamers.

Another more insidious measure that the current policy causes is the view that the PFS leadership does not respect the players affected by the changes. This leads to resentment, and a lack of respect for both this policy, and other policy. When a player self-justifies an unsanctioned rebuild, they are more likely to (for instance), self-justify other unwarranted behaviour.

To conclude:

I feel that the use of punitive measures in response to errata is ineffective as a deterrent to powergaming, and does considerably more harm than good.


rknop wrote:

My confidence that I had even a vague hope of keeping up with the Pathfinder ruleset as GM, and to be even passingly familiar with the classes players brought to my table, died with the release of the ACG.


Occult adventures is just nails in the coffin.

I couldn't agree with you more. Once they announced 105 archetypes in the ACG, I knew that it was impossible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Christian wrote:
I've seen one person, who found it fun to exploit the math if the game to create some pretty gross builds.

So you're saying that it's already happened, even without liberal rebuilding rules. And I agree, losing a good GM and creating negative drama is bad for the community.

Andrew Christian wrote:
The moral to my story, is that when you open the door to potential abuse of the available options, one person can create major negative drama in an entire region.

But, as you stated above, the door is already wide open. The player already did.

The restrictive rebuilding rules don't stop it. If anything, they provide a disincentive for Paizo to close the door.


Todd Morgan wrote:
People would abuse the more liberal policy. Liberal policies in the past have had to be re-structured due to abuse in the short amount of time they were open. When a small amount of people abuse the system it ends up hurting everyone.

I would disagree. Currently, if a player feels that the rules aren't making the game more fun for him, he will end up either quitting the campaign, or ignoring the rules.

We already tolerate abuse of the rules: look at the broken characters that some players bring from time to time. As GMs, we're Required to allow them on our tables, even if they trounce encounters.

Yet we're punishing a player who is now stuck with a character that now does not do what it was envisaged to do due to an oversight by Paizo.

I understand that we are not supposed to promote cheating, but we also should try and avoid creating punitive rules that allow players to self-justify it.


FLite wrote:

Assuming you had not dumped stats
Mystic Madness wrote:
His stats are also entirely Charisma-focused to facilitate the maximum possible number of channels. He does not even carry a weapon because he has not the strength to wield it.

Assume again.


Reading the guide and the bit about rebuilding due to rules changes makes me very uneasy.

It seems less liberal than the previous version. In particular:

Guidev6.1 wrote:

If a class, prestige class, or a class feature-dependent

ability score is altered: You may rebuild your character to
its current XP, maintaining the same equipment.

I acknowledge that the old version did have some ambiguity, but in the spirit of "don't be a jerk", the consensus (at least in my area) was that if a class changed, you could rebuild your character.

Guide7.0 wrote:

If an ability-score-dependent feature of a class, prestige

class, or archetype is altered: You may rebuild your
character to its current XP. Keep the same equipment, but
you can resell any equipment that augments the changed
ability score at its full market price.
If a class, prestige class, or archetype changes in such
a way that you no longer have proficiency with a given
weapon or armor type:
You may sell back the affected
equipment and only the affected equipment at full market
value. You may also retrain any feats directly associated
with the affected equipment.

What this seems to be making clear is that if a class feature changes (that isn't ability-score-dependent), the player either needs to suck it up, or spend $10 on Ultimate Campaign, as well as a non-trivial amount of prestige and gold on a retrain.


I'll point it out again: For a necromancer to cast Animate Dead, he would have had to prepare it (and the material components) in advance.

He was INTENDING to do this all along.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm pretty sure that it was stated that failing to render aid does not qualify as PvP.

I find it disturbing that some posters above seem to think that the necromancer did not do anything wrong. It takes a certain amount of preparation to cast Animate Dead (there are definitely more practical third-level necromancy spells out there), and he could have defused the whole situation by realising that it would antagonise the inquisitor. Instead, he deliberately chose to escalate the situation.

As a GM in this situation, I wouldn't penalise the inquisitor for what he did. On the other hand, I wouldn't require the inquisitor to.

As a player who does play the odd controversial PC, I accept that if I offend other PCs, I don't expect them to assist me. In my Eyes group - where I was playing a diabolist - I did not expect the paladin to heal me after what happened in the first section.


If we're getting all rules-lawyery on this subject, please note that the Additional Resources page requires that a player bring "a name-watermarked Paizo PDF of it". It doesn't say anything about a requirement for the PDF to be viewable.


If I didn't want to buy (but still wanted to use) the additional resources, I wouldn't go to the painstaking effort of borrowing other peoples' books in order to hoodwink a VO into believing I owned those books.

I would simply use one of the multitude of free online watermarking tools that are out there to provide a much more reliable method of hoodwinking the GMs.

I would argue that if a player has a list that details is or her ownership of materials, and which ones are being used for the character, it would make my job as a GM easier: I might even check players' ownership of additional resources more than once every ten tables.

Have you tried to audit a character sheet for ownership next to a crate of books that the player has brought along?


Walter Sheppard wrote:

[1] VOs and high stars GM would have the ability to "sign off" on the resources that a player can prove ownership. This means having the book in hand or be able to show a PDF with proper watermark.

[2] This form would have to be updated on a regular basis (annually) but could be updated more often.
[3] If the player purchases a new resource than they would have to bring the book or PDF printout with them until they can get their Ownership Form updated.
[4] Players would need to bring photocopies of the pages in the book related to their character. Failure to bring a photocopy would be the same as not owning the resource.
So Gary, in short, your proposal is to leave things as is, but allow some way for photocopies of books to become legal alternatives to carrying the physical books, similar to how PDF printouts are existing alternatives to having tablets.

PDF printouts are now considered 'existing alternatives to having tablets'?

For the record, until about two years ago, bringing an electronic version of a watermarked PDF was not considered acceptable.


Profession: People Smuggler.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think that this is an important datapoint, but I disagree with your conclusion.

Socalwarhammer wrote:

Well, rather than debate I thought I would go and gather some evidence regarding the use of PDFs vs. books.

This week, myself and another GM took the painstaking task of verifying our players characters and resources used to create them. With 2 GMs and 9 PFS players- 5 failed to own the necessary materials which were needed to 'build' their characters and a 6th player could show they had the necessary PDFs (on their Paizo Downloads)but hadn't brought in a print copy or their i-pad for play.

So, of the nine players, six are "taking advantage" of the fact that it is very difficult ("painstaking") to audit a character sheet to determine what additional resources they are using. One of whom probably would not have much trouble meeting the requirements.

A proposal that involves having the players list their additional resources before the game, would make the GM's job considerably easier in this regard.

Socalwarhammer wrote:

It was disheartening to see. 3 of the players in question lacked only 1 or 2 items which would have been necessary to complete their character- such as for a specific trait, feat or piece of equipment. 2 others, had completed characters formulated from a complex array of books/supplements and possessed only the Core Rules and/or 1 or 2 additional books (such as Advanced Players Guide and Ultimate Combat). When asked, a few of the players stated that they planned on buying the necessary materials in the future, but could not afford it currently. This was in stark contrast to 2 players who said they 'didn't care' if PFS had rules requiring the ownership of materials for use in games and said that it was too easy to get everything off the internet for free.

This is interesting: so the players didn't actually own the resources they were using. Were there any players who would be affected by the proposal (Did they own the books, but found it too arduous to carry them to the session with them?).

Socalwarhammer wrote:

I didn't sign up to be a member of the PFS Police, but after taking the time to get a better understanding of it myself- I am much more sympathetic to Paizo's policy. This experience helped me dramatically change my opinion on the ownership of materials in regards to PFS play.

I understand that noone really has signed up to be a member of the PFS police. The best we can hope for is a cultural change that will strongly encourage ownership of resources. Making it easier to audit ownership of materials would go a long way.

Socalwarhammer wrote:
When I think of the hundreds of dollars I have invested in PFS materials, the apathy displayed towards Paizo by some players was rather sobering. As of now, I support the status quo- bring it if you own it- otherwise you don't get to use it.

When I look at my bookshelf, and think of the hundred of dollars that went into purchase the 30+ kilograms of PFS materials, I feel that when someone representing Paizo comes out and says "If you don't want to get a hernia carrying them all around whenever you go to a PFS game, buy the PDFs as well as the books that you've already bought from us.", I feel that the system needs to change.

Noone here is suggesting that we let players who haven't bought the materials play.

We are just proposing methods that would make it easier to enforce this rule, and would allow people who have supported their FLGS by buying books from them to use the books that they have bought without being horribly inconvenienced.


tivadar27 wrote:

rknop wrote:

3b: Some people think there already is too much replay.

Literally 0 people suggested this, and I've re-read the posts. Please reference at least one instance where someone indicated they thought this was the case.

Okay. I'll bite.

This has happened, in my region, amoung some prominent members of my local community who really should know better.

After the GM star replay was announced, a number of people started some very concerted efforts to achieving four stars, including discouraging regular GMs from GMing in order to rack up more games. In addition, they started encouraging newer players to concentrate on levelling up their highest-level characters, even spreading misinformation that Eyes of the Ten would be retired "by September 2014". All this in order to have the opportunity to replay Eyes.

This has been my only direct exposure to GM star replay.


One thing that really needs to be added to the summary:

Printing scenarios more frequently will make things much, much easier.

I feel that everything that has been tried (Evergreens, GM star replay, Expanded Narrative Boon, Core campaign) has really been a band-aid solution.


Michael Brock wrote:
People can also choose to not use more than 2-4 books to create a character. It's always a choice and there ar options. Please stop advising that we discrimate. That is the fatherest thing from the truth.

Even with four books, (say, Core rulebook, APG, Ultimate Equipment, Bestiary), we're talking about 4kg. Given that included baggage allowances for Australian airlines is 7kg, (and the airlines are pretty committed to enforcing them!), it leaves very little space for clothes and other sundries. This makes it difficult (or more expensive) if you want to attend a convention without spending a day driving.

I have already started storing Core Rulebooks in various Australian capital cities to alleviate the strain, but I'm not sure if it's really the right effect to create.


I think we should stop talking about forgery. When it comes to supplying additional resources, the easiest thing to forge would be the watermark.

I would be happy with Photocopy of the pages + a one-off sign-off by a Figure of Authority (GM/VL/VC - whatever satisfies Paizo).


Gary Bush wrote:
Gamerskum wrote:
The rule isn't just to prove ownership. Its to present an unadulterated copy of the rules you are using. GM's don't own everything so you need to bring proof that that is how that stuff your using works.

And this can be handled by a player with signed ownership forum and copies of the relevant sections of the books needed to support what the character can do.

Anyone with more than a basic amount of technical knowledge and access to google would not have much trouble editing a watermarked PDF before printing it out to present.

Much less hassle than trying to doctor photocopies.


I suggested a solution two years ago.

I believe that the rules have changed since then: you now are allowed to carry 'a name-watermarked Paizo PDF of it'. As blackbloodtroll indicated above, there is nothing saying you can't bring your PDF on some form of media that's unreadable (I carry all of my PDFs around on a ZIP disk... that's legal, right?). Food for thought.


The solution, as always, is to pressure Paizo to release more scenarios.

Guide 6.1 (2014) wrote:
Reporting has a cascading effect. Pathfinder Society campaign management needs accurate records to correctly gauge how many people are playing Pathfinder Society each month in order to track growth and properly budget resources to meet the campaign’s needs. The more people who play, the more money and time are dedicated to the Pathfinder Society program.
Guide 2.0 (2009) wrote:
We need accurate records so that we know how many people are playing Pathfinder Society each month so that we can track growth so that we can properly budget the Society. The more people that play, the more money we dedicate to the Society.

I hope that the release schedule can reflect player growth between 2009 and now.


IQuarent wrote:
IQuarent wrote:
If the rules are going to punish me for having more material that seems pretty ass-backwards. Im just saying.
trollbill wrote:
Not to mention that, given the current level of enforcement, the rule punishes those who follow it far more than it punishes those who don't.

That... is a really good point. The only offset of it is that if someone doesnt follow it, they get totally screwed when caught. But that seems like entirely the wrong intent of how ANY rule shod be made enforced.

Do they really get totally screwed if caught? Have you ever witnessed (or even heard of) someone being forced to leave the table (or reported up the chain) for not bringing correct source materials?

Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

No FAQ Required:

The point of the Take 10 option is to allow the GM to control the pacing and tension of the game, avoiding having the game bog down with unnecessary and pointless checks, but still calling for checks when the chance of failure leads to tension or drama, as well as when a series of checks would have a nonsensical result if all outcomes were exactly the Take 10 result. To that end, it would be counterproductive to attempt to make a strict ruling on what counts as “immediate danger and distracted” because that’s going to vary based on the pacing and dramatic needs of the moment. The very soul of the Take 10 rule is in the GM’s discretion of when it applies, and tying the GM’s hands, forcing them to allow Take 10 in some cases and disallow it in others would run counter to the point of the rule’s inclusion in the game. The rule is currently flexible enough to allow this, and it should maintain that flexibility.

I think this in and of itself would be a good answer the this (obviously) Frequently Asked Question.

In the context of PFS, I think it would be beneficial for Campaign Leadership (the "GM" of PFS) to issue their own set of guidelines.

Torbyne wrote:

Perhaps a better FAQ question for this instance would be:

"When using the TWF rules to gain additional attacks does that require a character to forgo their shield AC bonus regardless of what limbs are used in the TWF attacks?"

It doesnt clear up the whole issue but seems to be more in line with the original post.

At this point it's moving away from "FAQ" and into "errata". To be honest, the whole "Hands of Effort unwritten rule" should be revisited.


I think that removing the "trade scribe scroll for spell focus" and "trade Brew Potion for Extra Bombs" special rules would (assuming that the "don't break WBL" balancing act is done) result in a net powerlevel decrease for wizards and alchemists.

The idea of "1 prestige per day" crafting is basically the same as "trade prestige for money at a rate of 1/500gp."


Master Craftsman is not a banned feat. It is the most useless feat in PFS, given that you can't craft anything.

However. It is called out in one scenario, where it gives a minute advantage.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This seems somewhat related.

The Harvard Business Review wrote:

at least two dozen studies over the last three decades have conclusively shown that people who expect to receive a reward for completing a task or for doing that task successfully simply do not perform as well as those who expect no reward at all. These studies examined rewards for children and adults, males and females, and included tasks ranging from memorizing facts to creative problem-solving to designing collages. In general, the more cognitive sophistication and open-ended thinking that was required, the worse people performed when working for a reward.



It's been stated several times on this forum that it is extremely frowned upon to find scenarios to play based on their chronicle sheets.

That being said, the post-season 4 approach to faction missions seems to put a lot of emphasis on attempting to match up a PC of the 'correct' faction with the corresponding scenario. This seems to be kosher.

Draw your own conclusions.


I would be very much in favour of a reconsideration of the system of "the first time you GM a scenario, you get a boon; subsequent times, you get nothing". In my experience from both sides of the screen, the game gets better the more times a GM runs a scenario, and we should be encouraging this.


Noone Needs to know the identities of the Decimvirate:

Ever wondered what the secret Pathfinder Handshake is?

Ever actually looked into your Wayfinder? It contains ten values of y, where y = gᵡ mod p. Each of the Ten have knowledge of x.

Coming soon: 7-12: A deluge of counterfeit wayfinders with the wrong values in them flood Absalom and beyond.


I would like to see more faction missions: preferably, a given faction member should be able to do a faction-related activity (not just part of a journal card), one in every two scenarios.

Storywise, I'd like to see a followup to The Immortal Conundrum.


I can't see how reducing the amount of money that the PCs receive because the players didn't kill everyone and loot everything can EVER make the PFS experience BETTER.

And I'd be willing to apply the Reward Creative Solutions (and the 'invalidated tactics') clauses to ensure that this penalising doesn't happen.


Michael Brock wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

Meh...Anything else?

Some token degree of basic morality and sense of fairness? Evidently, they've screwed up in the past, and nobody should be completely beyond accountability.
Next question...if YOU were the Decimverate, would you voluntarily keep a watch dog and his cronies around? Why would a private organization with adventurers who volunteer to be part of it, care about basic morality and a sense of fairness?

I would like to think that it's the same reason why private companies allow government auditors into them to ensure that they're following the law.

(And, in a governmental situation, why the whole 'three houses of government' exist)

That being said, if a known traitor (Torch, for example) turns up as an auditor, the staff (Pathfinders, in this example) are definitely going to resent it, especially if the board (the Decemvirate) don't do something about this.


Deussu wrote:
I kinda liked Skeleton Moon, though we had it easy and managed to win our way out without a single death. And cockatrices, well, on the lower subtier they were juvenile and only inflicted paralysis.

I remember my first game of PFS. We were playing Skeleton Moon, playing up. After the first encounter, the GM walked over to Jason Buhlmann (who happened to be in the room) and asked "What happens when someone gets petrified in the first encounter?"


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trik wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Do we really want to eliminate death in the game, entirely?
I have nothing against deaths that have a counter. If proper tactics or a well placed spell can stop someone from dying, but isn't applied, so be it. SOS even have counters. It's the straight SOD that really isn't fun.

I don't think that there is a single save-or-die effect that doesn't have a counter. If a PC is extremely paranoid, there is a significant array of divinations to determine whether one is upcoming, and a 4000gp item will be able to protect against almost any of them you'll encounter in PFS play.

We have Death Ward, we have Freedom of Movement, we have True Seeing, we have Mirror Image (to avoid the attack rolls), and, for the totally paranoid, a scroll of Antimagic Field is only 1650gp.

Once you add in the rerolls routinely available to PCs, it's pretty obvious why save-or-die effects really don't affect PCs that much.

One interesting thing that this topic has brought up seems to be that some GMs (perhaps even a representative sample) are less likely to regret taking out a powergaming PC than one who is less optimised.

I personally find topics like this very adversarial. Generally, a reasonable GM doesn't enjoy killing a reasonable PC.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

I'd very much like to see less of it in the game. Pathfinder did away and raised the levels it took to do it by making sleep a full round cast, raising the level on baleful polymorph, making disintegrate and slay living just a LOT of damage...

.. and then brought in the witch with slumber hex.

For the record, sleep was a one-round cast in 3.5.


Reading the unchained rogue, it does seem intentional, and it probably was done deliberately. I think something as important as ki pool would have been specifically called out if it were to be an option.


When there is a month-long playtest, and they release two scenarios a month, there isn't that much opportunity for an experienced player (one who has played most scenarios) to actually play a new character.


DM Beckett wrote:

Personally, my hope is that for the Rogue and Summoner, they 100% supersede the original, (notice I said "hope", not "belief"). I've never really bought into the belief that the Rogue is underpowered, nor really even the Fighter.

My hope is that we're not going to require all Rogue and Summoner players to buy another book if they wish to continue playing their characters in PFS.

Chess Pwn wrote:

So I'm curious if I can get a response to this. How much longer are we looking at for the ACG errata? are we talking

A) about a month or less away (I'd love this but don't expect it)
B) like 2-3 months away
C) up to 6 months away
D) over 6 months away
It's been 8 months since release and many months since the errata left Mark's hands and we haven't had a status update of whats happening for awhile. This isn't meant to be a "hurry" question, I'm on board with the take the time needed to get it done right, and I know there's a lot going on that I'm not aware of.

And if you don't feel comfortable answering the above question, or if you feel like answering two questions, can you answer this one?
I'm asking if I can become a bit more aware of what's happening now to it and what's left that needs to be done. This avoids giving any type of date estimation and just helps us know how it's coming along.

I am pretty sure that it will follow Paizo's standard errata release schedule: When they run out of print copies of the books, they'll release the errata along with the second printing.

If you want errata quickly, I suggest buying all the copies of the book :)

Alex Smith 908 wrote:
CWheezy wrote:

What if you changed these items to actually do something useful?

At any of the levels?

The only useful power of the item I can see is the 8th level robe power, which is good for oracles and people who take noble scion(war).

I laughed at the suggestion power, I sure hope the other person doesn't have spellcraft

Have you just never played in a game that involved actual intrigue ever? This is a better circlet of persuasion, already a really good item, that just has a minimum level requirement for only 300 more gp.

A circlet of persuasion's abilities don't require them to be used against creatures. I'm particularly referring to Use Magic Device.

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