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That's the joy of the system. Rules go from general to specific. Since the general rule is "all feats require the listed prerequisites" and there is no specific "fighter bonus feats do not require the listed prerequisites", they require the listed prerequisites.
In all situations where a class allows you to gain the bonus feat while ignoring the prerequisites (I'm starting to hate typing this word, heh), that fact is spelled out clearly in the particular class feature. Fighters don't have that spelled out. Ergo, you must have the prerequisites.
Ok, so. You buy the mithral breastplate for 4200 gold. Then you want to give it +1 enchantment bonus and a +2 equivalent special ability. The crafting would cost 9000 gold, the price of +3 worth of enchantment, so crafting is 4500g.
The CL is kind of right but you're in luck. It is only 25 because you use the highest CL required of the bonus OR the abilities, not both, so you don't need the "+5(as I am level 7 and need to be level 9 caster to make a +3 item)" bit. There is only ever one CL requirement for a magic item and for this one it is 15.
I thought there was a hard limit preventing the crafting of arms and armor with an enchantment bonus more than 3 times your level, but I can't find it. All I can find is the simple CL requirement, so I must have been misremembering.
So yes, 8700 gold, Spellcraft CL 25, and 5 days of crafting.
Though, it is worth remembering that spell resistance will affect spells cast by yourself or your allies as much as ones cast by your enemies. You can suppress it as a standard action (it automatically returns the next round), but it can be annoying when your party is trying to buff or heal you (or whoever is wearing the breastplate).
Anthropomorphic Animal hops the creature's intellect to 3. Awaken requires the target have an intellect no more than 2 (last line of the spell description). That's where the intelligence drain idea comes up. Though, realistically, I don't know if an Int 3 with 1 point of drain actually counts as 2. That's for the GM to decide (it wouldn't work in my game).
As for the spell expiration, that's for the GM. I'd probably rule it that Anthro goes away because the creature is no longer a valid target, even if it has a permanent Anthro spell cast upon it. But others would argue that it was valid when it was cast, so it remains active after it is Awakened.
Aware of the party... and on fire?
I'm thinking the leader would come to a window and the cultists would come running outside to see what the heck happened. Then the leader can be dropping spells down while the others work with the moss giant to deal with the melee types. Add some smoke if anyone runs in to try to get to the boss and it'll be a grand old time!
You can also stagger the bad guys arrivals as necessary if all at once is too much.
Chance at guilt:
Of course, if the house burns down, they'll probably not realize the baby is inside and needs rescuing
Short Answer: Yes.
In your scenario though, a charge lets you move double your movement, so the readied action could trigger after the guy moves 30 feet, but then the guy continues charging the additional 5 feet. Also, if you ready this attack-and-five-foot action, you cannot otherwise move... so it'll only work if you start exactly double move distance from the other guy and only for one turn. Though maybe one more turn if the attacker tries to use a five foot to get close and the defender has readies to back up if the attacker comes near them. But then the attacker should figure it out for turn 3 and just use a move action.
The next turn, the one guy can 'ready action to run away if the guy moves towards me', sure, but that's just how the game works. It turns into a chase that is based on endurance rolls eventually.
There is no way for the defender to continually get a free attack-and-five-foot-away while the attacker is kept out of range and unable to attack.
The main difference is that the wand casts the spell at the caster level that was set when the wand was made. A CL 1 wand of cure light wounds heals 1d8+1 regardless of the level of the person using the wand. A basic wand of mage armor is only 1 hour's worth.
Unless otherwise specified, a wand has a Caster Level of the lowest necessary for the contained spell. You can make it higher, but the cost goes up (equation is Caster Level * Spell Level * 750 gold).
Let me think. For simplicity, I'm using Barb for Barbarian, CGM for come and get me, and BWG for broken wing gambit.
Barb activates CGM as a free action
The barb cannot use Paired Opportunists to trigger an AOO from the Horse's AOO that came from the Barb's AOO from the Bad Guy's attacking during CGM. Paired Opportunists specifically states that it cannot be used to get two AOOs from the same event, which is the Bad Guy's attack during CGM.
I also think that BWG cannot trigger an AOO because CGM already handled it for this attack. You would otherwise be allowed to take two AOOs from the same action, which is frowned upon in the rules when it comes up.
CGM lets you get the two attacks before the badguy hits you, but is active the entire round (thus for every iterative attack, and for any AOOs you provoke) at the cost of +4/+4 to the enemy. BWG is only good for the next attack, provokes after the attack, but gives the guy only +2/+2. Trade offs!
Necronus, I believe your most recent question is
What benefit do the haunts serve, that couldn't be better served through something else? What makes them so unique and awesome, that makes everyone defend them so.
Is that accurate? Because that is what I originally answered.
The benefit is that we have a codified system for making puzzles that fit a specific thematic concept. Why is this good? Because systems ensure consistency from instance to instance of the feature. There exists these systems for monsters, traps, animated objects, golems, magic items, etc.
If you are suggesting there is a better system of rules for making a haunt currently in Pathfinder, what is it? Your suggestion of a trap with the [haunt] tag isn't actually a thing in the game.
It is an option but it would either mean special rules that would remove aspects of what makes a trap into a trap, or it requires a large pile of extra rules that specify how a haunt is different from a trap. At that point, you are better off making a new system than trying to retrofit an existing system with a pile of new rules. An example is specialized system for animated objects instead of just using the monster rules and having an 'animated object' template.
If you instead suggest that haunts aren't anything special because any GM could just throw together as a puzzle, that's fine, but there is no system for this. Every GM approaches puzzles differently and they are a safe place for arbitrary effects and qualities where the limit is the GM's imagination. That's great, and awesome, and no one will ever want to codify puzzles.
Are Haunts awesome? Not necessarily; no more than traps or monsters or environmental effects. They are simply a thing you can do. Some people think Golems are awesome and make all kinds of fancy constructs for their games. I don't think they are fun (and my player who prefers wizards really dislikes them) but that doesn't make the rules for Golem customization horrible, wrong, stupid, or a waste. The rules exist because there was a need for a system.
What we have is a difference of opinion. You have stated that a Haunt isn't any different than a puzzle or a trap that you could make. That's entirely possible. They may not meet your expectations for something called a Haunt. That is bound to happen. The rule for them are a bit iffy. Yes, I agree, I believe the majority of GMs playing Carrion Crown have had trouble with the specific details. And there have been plenty of discussions on how to 'fix' them, or house rules for odd edge cases (can you use Lay on Hands? Can I just cast CLW?) But that doesn't mean the entire system should be scrapped.
Several of us have tried to describe how they are different, giving various examples of cases where a Haunt does something a Trap cannot. Do you disagree? Can a pit trap, using the rules for traps, provide priority targeting to someone with a specific Holy Symbol? Your counter example was a puzzle, and a good one, but as I've said, puzzles aren't systems of rules.
There are people who replaced all the haunts in the books with custom puzzles. There are people who removed them entirely. Others turned them into monsters or traps. Others house ruled the issues to a position where they and their players all agreed would make sense. There is always room to discuss the system, but taking an initial stance of confrontational sarcasm and then refuting every attempt to come to a consensus by stating that if we don't agree with you then we are obviously just not listening hard enough isn't going to actually get anything out of the discussion.
We accept that you don't like them. Several of us have tried to answer your core question but have been rebuffed with sarcasm, our points selectively addressed, and been told that we're obviously incorrect because we don't agree. That's fine, but it won't lead to production conversation on any issue.
Sometimes people cannot agree and that isn't the same thing as bruised egos and glad-handing.
It is a combination of two factors.
One is the rule you quoted, seebs, which provides the retroactive bonus. Moving forward, the additional skill points come from the generic rule for all stat bonus items and wearing them for 24 hours.
Once you level up, you get an additional skill point because your intellect bonus is one higher. Just as someone with a 12 Dex and a belt of +2 dex can, at their next odd level up, qualify for a feat with a prereq of 13.
Short answer: Yes
Long answer: More or less. Heroic Finale allows the bard to give another player a free move or standard action. If the other player casts a spell that is a standard action to cast (this in the majority of spells), then they can cast it. The time to cast is specified in the spell's "Casting Time" section, under the Casting header.
Short Answer: Yes.
Long Answer: After 24 hours of wearing a headband, you can treat your stat score as higher for all leveling up stuff, such as skill ranks and feat requirements. So when you level up, your intellect bonus is considered one higher, so your skill ranks to spend is one higher. It is also retroactive.
The idea of tying the headband to a specific skill is... short hand, I guess? It makes it far easier to track which skill ranks are lost if you remove/lose the headband.
My opinion is that the system works well enough as is, though there are definitely issues. One problem my players have complained about is a bit larger than feats, but has a component in this area.
The dichotomy between combat and non-combat situations is often very stark and the pressure to succeed in combat is often considered greater as the result of such failure is far more severe than non-combat situations (especially since failure in this area can often simply lead to a combat event).
One complaint my players have is the pressure to pick combat feats and never the noncombat feats. Except in the case where it is a feat tax or has direct combat benefit (e.g. spellcraft for identifying spells so you can dispel them), my players don't take things like skill focus. They like the idea and would if they could fit them in, these feats are at the bottom of the list for them.
We've talked about some means to get non-combat feats every 3 or 4 levels. There would need to be limitations on them, such as they cannot be used as pre-reqs for combat feats, but otherwise I think it would help the characters feel a bit less like combat machines.
Yes. Any PC or monster can take a five foot step in a round in which they do not otherwise move (unless otherwise prevented by special rule or condition, like stunned; also some monsters will specifically say they cannot do it).
A tricky bit of rules is that they can do it even if they take a move-equivalent action, such as drawing a sword. It is only prevented if the character moves.
I'd say if you just add the disease and it is a low DC, it isn't really a CR increase. The DR/magic though, that's definitely a bump in CR because it will make it much harder to kill, which means it is more of a challenge.
The other way to think about it is that the monster CR is a way to set XP and XP is a way to reward players for overcoming an encounter, not specifically for killing monsters. So the 'right' way to do it is to say you want the encounter to be a certain difficulty, which gives you an XP budget. Then you spend the budget on monsters, traps, difficult environments, puzzles, whatever.
So you could just add an extra bit of xp to the encounter's reward for defeating the diseased zombies, rather than fully bumping up the CR. The same goes if you want to add fog that makes it hard to see or if you want to the zombies to keep coming back to life until the players destroy the weird glowing blue statue in the back of the room. Those don't have a way to increase an individual monster's CR, but they do affect the encounter's total challenge, thus the XP reward.
An interesting idea but probably not. I don't think the rules exist for this situation, but we can consider the physics. You have a longer reach with a reach weapon because it is two handed and you're holding on to the back half.
If you were to try to throw it by holding it at the halfway point (or further back), you probably wouldn't do too well since the point is so heavy. Instead you would throw it from a hold higher up on the weapon's neck, thus negating the reach quality of the weapon.
That's my theory anyway. By the rules it is also a no, since there is nothing specifically allowing it.
If you boil things down to bare mechanics, all things are the same. Traps and monsters are the same thing, right? They affect the players and removal requires specific conditions to be met. In that way, haunts are traps are monsters are puzzles are environmental effects. It isn't until you break out the rules on player interaction that you see differences.
Haunts interact with parties differently than traps. They are, as a category, separate from traps and have a different set of inherited rules. Haunts act on initiative, they are capable of making choices and responding to environmental situations, like monsters. A pit trap doesn't target the person carrying a holy symbol, a swinging scythe doesn't ignore anyone who is singing the nursery rhyme. Haunts also have a destruction mechanic that is far more variable than 'disable device, DC 25'.
If you make a trap which can only be overcome by setting the five fire crystals of Zyeraan into the right sections of the mural, then you've not made a trap. You made a puzzle and that isn't actually a category of things from a purely rules-focused point of view. They are purely of GM construct and can, theoretically, do anything the GM wants.
The Haunt system provides an attempt to codify and quantify a type of puzzle that can be used as a framework to provide future similar puzzles. This is the same thing as the "how to build an animated object" rules. You get tables, you get points, and you get trade-offs that allow systematic and consistent animated object 'monsters'. A GM doesn't need to them to say the candlestick comes to life and starts going for your eyes, but if the system is used to make the stats, the results is a more consistent experience.
That's all haunts are. It is a system for generating unique experiences that do not already exist Pathfinder. A GM could have written these things before the haunt system, naturally, but the same could be set about the ship-to-ship combat system in Skulls and Shackles, the kingdom building of Kingmaker, the caravan system of Jade Empire (I think that's the one). It is a new system to be used by GMs who are interested in a system to generate something the other systems wouldn't allow.
I wouldn't hesitate to add that all these game systems are frameworks and the GM shouldn't assume they must be followed. If a group doesn't like how the rules work, they should change them; this goes for every single rule in the entirety of Pathfinder though, so I figure it was a known rule. That's how one turns traps into puzzles, after all, so if you can do that then you can fix haunts. Anyone who wants to keep existing systems in place without modifications, however, could not duplicate haunts with the trap mechanics.
There's nothing in Carrion Crown's list of haunts that an inventive GM couldn't create on their own. But I would hesitate to suggest any GM can do this, or even "all the good ones" could, because there are a lot of things that make a GM good and being able to create involved traps or puzzles isn't necessarily one of them.
The first half is right. The number in front of the word attack is the attack bonus (added to the d20 roll to see if you hit) while the number before the damage is added to how much damage is done when a hit succeeds.
The attacks are different. If the skeleton moves, it can only make a single claw attack. If it doesn't take its move action, it can make all of its attacks (in this case, two claw attacks), this is called a Full Attack action. Full Attack uses up your move and your standard actions for the round, though you can still use the 5 foot step and full attack.
Haunts are, mechanically, a unique feature. You can call them traps, but they aren't. Traps can be detected using Detect Trap or Perception. They have triggers like trip wires, door latches, or loose stones. They can be disarmed via a skill check, even the magical ones.
Haunts are similar to traps in that they are location specific, have trigger conditions, have a means to remove them, and have means to detect them. However, it isn't exclusively perception and disable device, so you aren't hosed if you lack a rogue. Anyone can damage them in a variety of ways, or determine and act upon the dismissal mechanic.
This means they have far more flexibility than a trap. They can provide a creepy sense of horror to the game and provide the players with an interactive puzzle. Sure, you can create from scratch mechanics of your own to do this. But you can also invent your own monsters instead of using a Bestiary, though most players don't.
Haunts are simply another mechanic providing an interesting approach to a problem. How do you provide players with traps that don't require rogues to find and disable, can provide background story, and can increase the 'creepy' factor of an adventure?
Lastly, and this is being stated rhetorically, but you don't have to use them if you don't like them.
You can also throw new monsters into the middle of a fight to keep tensions high. So if the players go into a fight and by round 2 have killed most of the badguys, just have a goblin or two come running in because they heard fighting. You want to keep this fluid though since you don't want to do the same thing if the players are getting beaten up pretty badly.
You can also add some health to monsters if they die too quickly. Another 15%-25% or so HP will usually let them live through an additional hit. This can also make things a bit more interesting if your players like to swarm bad guys.
A third way is to change where the monsters are so they are a bit more spread out and tactical. This makes things interesting for the players, having to decide if they all run at the three goblins by the table or the fighter goes to the one on the side so he doesn't circle around and hit the wizard.
These are ways to make easy fights a bit harder - more targets, longer lasting badguys, and tactical considerations; I don't recommend doing any of them if the fights are already hard or if your players are still learning the ropes.
XP is for overcoming challenges. They are not little ephemeral bits of sparkle that fall out of corpses but rather rewards for not being wiped out of existence in an encounter. For calculating the XP of an encounter, take the monsters that will be fighting, any traps, bonuses for environmental effects or objects, and any possible 'extra credit' for dealing with things in a unique way, uncovering interesting facts, etc.
So in your example, it is up to you to determine if the fight was really 4 creatures or 2. Were these trained warhorses or just transportation means with a bit of self defense? Then you decide is capturing the NPC alive worth more XP than killing him (or do you not care/don't want your PCs to think they get more out of kidnapping everything they fight)? Or is the information the guy provides the real bit of info?
In most cases, the 'fight with two NPCs and mounts' would be worth X experience points. Whether or not they kill everything, chase them away, bribe them to leave, lie to them and make them think the PCs are actually three towns over, or whatever... they should get X experience points for handling the encounter. If keeping one alive is good for the plot, give them an extra 5-10% for doing something right.
Treasure, however, should be considered a bit differently. Each rider probably had gear, so one getting away meant a loss of gear. Since gear and level have a relationship, you should provide a means to get a bit more money/gear later to compensate for the loss here. Otherwise a party that tries to overcome activities through nonviolence will be quite undergeared when violence comes up.
You could ensure there are NPCs that can provide information or even just act as scenery. The first time through, they meet some guides who lead them to the adventure place talking about how great the alligator meat trade is around these parts. Next time the players come through, they'll run into one of the guides who is begging on the street because there just ain't no more crocs to hunt. The third time through they pass through the area and there are bleached croc skeletons all over the place.
This can also be done with buildings. Things built in a swamp would be on stilts because of flooding. Each time they go back, the buildings are harder to get into, needing stairs or even ladders. Also reference all the dying vegetation.
I don't know. You could go to the FAQs and count them yourself. But then again, you won't have a window into the number of unanswered questions since anything short of actually examining the data would be a bit iffy. Posting a question like that here is only going to get you biased opinions and inaccurate assumptions by people who think "well, my question about X was/was not answered, so the DEVs must answer/ignore all questions about X".
I can make an assumption though. Martial questions tend to be focused on shared core rule systems. Can I trip someone who is prone? That can come from someone asking about Greater Trip, or someone who is wondering if they can trip a snake, or someone wondering if they can trip off the AOO of someone standing up. All those questions are about one issue and have a common theme that needs to be answered in order to mark several questions closed. It also can be asked by many different classes and levels.
A question like "how does frost tomb hex work" is very specific. It is a question about one spell used by some members of one class that are high enough to access it. A wizard doesn't ask about hexes. Even a low level witch may not ask about it.
Of course, there are rules about martial characters that are equally specific. Monks, flurry of blows, and multiple weapons for example. Stealth is a good example of a middle ground; not as many people use it as tripping, but far more than Ice Tomb. The monk question was around for awhile and the stealth question is still outstanding.
So the number of people affected by the question about a specific spell is far smaller, as a percentage of players who ask questions and read FAQs, than the ones who ask about the martial rules system.
I'd say it is a perception issue. The Devs post one answer that addresses five questions and people seem to think that counts as five answers and has a wider applicability area. When the Devs post one answer that addresses a single question, it is also noticed by far fewer players.
I can say from experience as a GM. I care about the FAQs to trip and stealth but I don't care about the ones for a witch. I have no witches in my party, I have never used one with Ice Tomb. I have players and used monsters that trip, however.
So you have ranged offense, melee offense, magic control/damage, stealth offense, and melee offense.
You're offense-heavy party, so there are quite a few options to pursue. A full blown healer, Life Oracle for example, isn't a bad plan. Or if you want more survivability and to be up with everyone, there's a life oracle/paladin (the Oradin) build that is pretty wicked.
The warpriest is fun but it is melee offense + self buff divine magic. It can be pretty vicious, sure, but I don't think the party really needs more melee offense.
A reach cleric build is also pretty useful, can heal, and can stand a bit back from the other melee characters. Or you can go with a ranged offensive magic cleric and get the healing that way. It would also be useful to have someone with armor back with the witch and the gunslinger in case the group is attacked from an unexpected direction.
All of these builds can be found in the forums.
It is an interesting fight, as all around this level are. If they can close with and take out the Vizier (Vicar? Whatever; the head priest) or at least prevent his casting, he is much less dangerous. Or if they just fill him full of arrows.
I believe my party fought the giant, then the ticks, then all the non-phased creatures in a big brawl (though anticlimactic because the monk cornered the leader in the library and the druid-as-wind-elemental just picked up the other cultists and held them in the central stairs as a whirlwind), then the hounds, and finally the big flier on the roof.
Combining fights is a good tactic to get through a lot of combat in one go, reducing play time spent on recovery and on planning/buffing, keeping tensions high, and teaching players to be more careful when blowing up sizable sections of a building.
I assume you want a non-spellcaster that runs around hitting things with a staff while wearing a robe and pointy hat claiming he's a wizard who casts MAXIMIZED EMPOWERED SMAAAAASH! I'd say a monk could work, or a barbarian, or a fighter though the lack of armor... Unless he just wears an ill-fitting gray robe over his armor, heh. I like this concept, sounds fun!
If you want an actual spell caster that focuses on self-buffs to make him capable of smashing things, then either bloodrager for arcane or warpriest for divine.
So was this town a corrupt LE town? Were all the city guards evil? Were the townsfolk that the monk burned to death evil? If so, then at best they didn't do anything Good. Othrewise, tell them they are all evil because chaining a bar shut and burning everyone inside is evil. As is killing sleeping lawful city guards.
Your options from here are either restart the game saying that you don't want to run an evil campaign OR roll with it. So they want to play evil characters, great, make up an evil campaign for them. Create an organization that hunts down adventurers when they go bad and go after them.
It also depends on what the players want to do. If they just want to be a band of murdering thieves, then give them places to rob. Then when they come out of one such place, have this new group attack them with the intent of dragging them back to base and putting them on trial.
I have done so. You are basically creating an illusion of a wall with a painting of the continuation of the road.
If you want to get technical, it would only look right at a specific location or at greater distance; come too close and the perspective won't shift as it would if it were actually a long street. But at a block or two away, just glancing down the street, it should be fine.
It is also considered to be something outside the task at hand. Walking across a tightrope with the chance of falling and dieing is bad... but it is also what you're focused on doing so take 10 should be allowed. However, if you're being shot at while doing this, your mind is going to be preoccupied and you shouldn't be able to take 10.
I find the combats get far more interesting when they get all dog-pile-y. I'd say give them a few rounds of party-vs-giant before the hounds pop by to see what's going on. You could have them come in one at a time or together.
This is the fun part of being a GM; keep a feel on the pulse of the combat. If the players are doing well, you can throw more at them. If it is going poorly, the monsters just... don't show up.
Maybe the hounds were ethereal when the explosions went off and they didn't notice. Maybe they just don't really care.
Also... aren't they stuck in that bed room? I vaguely remember something like that from the book.
Basically any monster that can surprise a wizard will have a good chance to wreck them. Sneak attack damage, poisons, grappling. Stuff that targets their CMD or Fortitude saves (Reflex to a lesser degree, since Wizards tend to have decent dex for use with ranged attack spells). Wizards can get out of danger with relative ease, especially if they have Dimension Door, so you have to hit them hard and fast.
Clerics are tougher and usually better armored.
A good general purpose solution to dealing with any caster are spells, effects, and poisons that reduce the spell casting stat for the class.
One idea tossed around on the boards is to have a multi-phased fight with Andivion. Human at first, then lich after they kill him. You could also go with Ghost to make him uncritable. Or give him armor of fortification to counter crits? I suspect I will have similar problems from the swashbuckler (not that the party is actually going to make it that far, heh).
For stairs it can help if you just assume that only one person can fit on a five foot wide section of stairs regardless of how they fit on the overall 1" grid for the map. Otherwise you end up with weird placement and movement rules. Divide into wedge segments such that the middle line is one inch (five feet) long. Or never play in round buildings because of the headache. That's generally how I handle it.
So my players started book 6 on Saturday after quite a good time in the final fight at the Abbey (see obituaries for how that went). I fear for my players.
Party make-up (all 13th level):
Their healing solution is 10 CLW wands they just bought. They also have a rod of healing and a few potions of lesser restoration. Oh and like 3 vials of holy water. I don't... think they are going to make it very far. Granted, all of them have some combination of holy and/or undead bane weapons, but considering the Barbarian's plan is based on getting hurt and the magus player likes to charge into battle...
My poor players. Think they are doomed? All they need is for the Inquisitor to fall and the Magus to try teleporting the party home.
My players just lost their druid and wizard and gained a magus and a barbarian (level 13). The only divine caster is an Inquisitor. They party bought 10 CLW wands before heading off to the final dungeon. If the inquisitor dies, they are all screwed, but it is really the only option for parties that lack a dedicated and specially designed healer.
1) Custom armors are all kinds of complicated. You're almost better off going the other way. Upgrading from +1 to +3 is easy to price and mithral is a flat fee. But otherwise it is whatever you think is most reasonable. I'd suggest that the rainment's price should be reverse engineered assuming it starts as a +1 breastplate rather than a normal breastplate with the special quality.
2) Technically, yes, I'd assume so.
3) Medium and Small creatures are assumed to need a five foot by five foot area in which they can fight without problems. Anything less than that would count as squeezing.
4) Flanking is gained because you are threatening a target that is being threatened by another person on the other side of them; the issue being that the target has to split attention. So if the flyer could attack someone, then they threaten them and thus provide half of the flanker's bonus.
Of course, the real answer is "the GM is always right".
Eh... maybe? It is hotly discussed and it kind of doesn't make any sense at all either way. How can playing strings make you diplomatic anyway? Maybe the other guy hates stringed instruments? I don't know; magic I guess.
The wording suggests that you do get the bonus, that in fact you get both bonuses to perform and bonuses to diplomacy in this case. It seems fishy to me; at the least, it should be one way or the other.
Wands are especially expensive and they maintain the caster level chosen at creation, which feeds into price. At low levels they are rather great; 50 charges of Caster Level 1 magic missile? Awesome! A single missile for 1d4+1 damage! For 750gp... wait a moment... that's quite a bit at level 1.
But by level 10... it is still 1d4+1 damage and only one missile.
And if you want 50 charges of a level 4 spell? It is 21,000 gold.
You can make higher caster level wands, sure, such as a CL 9 wand of magic missile... but the formula is Spell Level * Caster Level * 750gp... so 6750gp for a wand of 50 CL 9 Magic Missile... which has five 1d4+1 missiles. This isn't exactly a thrilling amount of damage at level 9.