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Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,472 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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In general, prestige classes aren't there to make characters more powerful. It is more that they open interesting paths at the exchange of specialization. So it is more a personal choice on how you'd like to see your character move forward.

In a game of average PCs, the Swashbuckler is pretty easy to make pretty strong. It cannot optimize anywhere near the power level of other classes, but the base power level is higher than that of the core classes.

However, he has exactly one trick, and that's hitting this with a lot of bonus damage. If you drop the BAB to 3/4, the class is pointless. And since he is a front line fighter, he needs the HP simply because he gets hit more often because he is all about melee.

His power is offset in a couple of ways. The saves are one, as are all the special abilities requiring swift/immediate actions (thus only one of them per turn). He also is entirely pointless with a ranged weapon, can't use TWF or Power Attack with a great sword, or used polearms. He can't wear heavy armor or carry a large shield.

This class is pretty straight forward in terms of damage output, but it isn't going to do an amazing amount more than, say, a bow ranger with the standard archery feat tree. And when you get into optimized classes, the Swashbuckler falls behind very quickly.

tesuji2 - what does your GM dislike, specifically? Too much damage? Too many special abilities? There may also be a misconception on how some of the class works, such as how a PC only gets 1 swift action a round and that immediate actions count as swift actions.

When crafting magic items, the listed spells are required to be cast once a day every day the item is being crafted. So spell sage would work fine for magic items that require only a single cleric/bard/druid spell to craft. However, something that requires multiple ones would require you to expend use of the ability multiple times. But so long as you spend the necessary wizard spell slots via the rules of Spell Study, it should work.

I... don't actually know. I want to say a piercing weapon is a weapon which does piercing damage natively. So a feat to allow you to alter the damage type doesn't alter the weapon's type... but I have nothing to back that up.

The term used in Swashbuckler, over and over, is "a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon". Elsewhere we see this "An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon"; so far so good. I find no definition specifically for "piercing weapon" other than the grammatical expansion of the term to mean "a weapon that does piercing damage".

So... yes? I guess? There may be a FAQ of which I'm aware, but I think so? I don't like it, and wouldn't necessarily allow it in a game I was running, but that's not the same thing as RAW.

Technically yes.

They are mindless, so theoretically, they'd attack anything in their area, regardless of faction (PCs or monsters).

That said, it is unlikely swarms of the same type would attack each other. It also depends on the swarm type; a tick swarm and a wasp swarm wouldn't do anything to each other, but a rat swarm and a flesh eating beetle swarm would probably hurt each other. This would require some GM consideration.

I'd also rule that this counts as AOE damage, thus not mitigated by swarm protections against single target attacks.

However, an increase to hit of +2 is the more important factor than the +2 damage. Since it is a 3/4 BAB class, they have a harder time reaching the to-hit cap, thus putting a premium on weapon enchantments.

So yes, on the damage of a successful hit calculation, it is definitely better to do impact, but in the ability to actually get the hit (and for confirming criticals), I believe it is more useful to get the +2 bonus on attack rolls (until you hit your level's target number).

Displacement does give the target of the spell total concealment with a small modification (doesn't prevent normal targeting). Since this is considered total concealment, Improved Precise Shot does no good.

It doesn't say you can't, but it does appear that the new familiar would be bound in the way that normal wizards replace familiars, but it will have the same spirit originally bound up. So you are just replacing the vessel for the beloved one.

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The Iguanodon is an example of a creature whose natural attack is improved due to an EX ability. If you beast shape into one of these, you don't (strictly speaking) get the thumb spike increased crit multiplier. Now, a reasonable GM may agree that it is an aspect of the creature's physical form, so you can have it, but the rules strictly interpreted say you don't.

Now, if you are talking about the Giant Lake Octopus then we have another issue. You cannot, technically, polymorph into a Giant Lake Octopus because this isn't a normal octopus; it is an octopus with the Giant and Advanced templates applied to it and templated creatures are not normally valid choices for a polymorph effect. That said, if we presume your GM allows it, there is no EX ability listed that increases the range of the octopus tentacle attack; it is just the attack as it stands.

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Not to my knowledge.

If you become an octopus, do you have tentacles? Are some of them longer than others? Is a 30 foot tentacle considered extraordinary or part of the creature's natural attack.

Basically, if it is described in the Attack Block and there's no special ability (EX, SLA, etc) that mentions it, then it must be part of the Natural Attack. What else could it be?

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You gain the attacks of the base creature. So if it has really long arms, you get really long arms. If it is an Extraordinary physical ability, then generally no but your GM may allow it because that's what the creature is (though this is more about things like super sharp claws that have an increased threat range or crit multiplier than with reach; concept is the same though).

I would say yes, but for a different reason. They both affect the bloodline feats (both archetypes use the term "bloodline bonus feats") but they only add to them. Archetypes cannot be chosen if they overlap on what is being removed or modified, but when it is adding options, I think it is fine.

Another way to think about it is that there are stealth check modifiers taken by the person making a stealth check defined by the stealth skill. Then there are perception check difficulty modifiers defined by the invisibility chart. So you use stealth to decide how quiet you are, then you use the invisibility chart to decide how hard it is to detect you.

It is just a +20 bonus. Some things cannot be known through anything like a lore check. They may know everything there is to know about the tomb, but not things that are not known. Also, they may still know things that are incorrect but accepted as fact. It could be that everyone thinks the temple was by this tribe because it is in the tribe's lands and covered in the tribe's iconography and the tribe says it has always been their's... but it was actually built by someone else. If no one ever figured it out, then how could a knowledge check figure it out?

You can only be an expert on things you've learned and this isn't a divination spell or a means of beseeching a higher power for information.

I'm pretty sure you add the tables together.

There is a base DC 20 perception check to detect an invisible creature within 30 feet of you. The table describes ways that DC 20 is modified. If the invisible creature is actually trying to go undetected, they can replace that base DC 20 with a stealth check + 20, then add any modifiers.

So an invisible creature moving quickly but with stealth, first rolls a stealth check (+6 ranks, trained, 3 dex = +12, d20 = 11, normal speed = -5) and gets a 12+11-5 = 18. Since they are invisible, add 20 for a 38. Moving at full speed means -10. So their final number is 18 + 20 - 10 = 28. This is the DC needed to detect the person within 30 feet assuming no other modifying situations. If it had the 'fast stealth' talent, that would negate the -5 from the stealth check, but not the -10 from the invisibility table.

If the creatures slows down to half speed and roll a 15 on the stealth d20, they'd now have a 15 + 12 + 20 - 5 (half speed) = 42. If they start running, they can no longer make a stealth check, so the number is 20 (base for being invisible) - 20 (for running) = 0 (easy to know someone is around they are running by you, even if you can't see them).

Now, if you have this creature standing perfectly still and they roll a 3, it is 3 + 12 + 20 + 20 (still) = 55. Hard to detect a still and invisible creature. However, if they talk, it will negate the +20 for standing still.

You pay the point at the moment you cast contingency:

Contingency wrote:
You can place another spell upon your person so that it comes into effect under some condition you dictate when casting contingency. The contingency spell and the companion spell are cast at the same time. The 10-minute casting time is the minimum total for both castings; if the companion spell has a casting time longer than 10 minutes, use that instead. You must pay any costs associated with the companion spell when you cast contingency.

It is also possible to modify wake of the watcher into something more fitting. I can think of some interesting ideas. First, make it all about the Mace. The effigy is a distraction. Require that the mace is desired by both groups to get their own doomsday event rolling.

The main goal is to have the Way trick the PCs into recovering the mace from the Watchers. So the Way could have corrupted the Mayor and that's why he pushes the PCs to investigate the church. The Way attacks the town right after the PCs get there, leading to prisoners the church takes and then threatens violence if any PC tries to seek out the prisoners (who, according to notes in the church, were taken down to the Colour's sea caves).

Add more Whispering Way agents (and the corpses there-of) around the place to make it obvious they have been going after the mace for a bit now. They could have already reached the manor house and the PCs have to deal with undead creatures and insane Watcher members that were tortured by the Way looking for the mace and the cultists who attacked Illmarch.

I can think of a great scene in the final cave area. The PCs branch off to investigate one path (perhaps where the Gug is) and when they come back, they see signs of a group of undead have passed through. They come to the room where the Mace is stored to find a large battle between the mi-go and their friends against numerous Way minions (mainly undead as they can get to the underwater base with less trouble).

As long as you make sure the mace is identified easily (perhaps a powerful undead has already grabbed it and is trying to leave), the PCs should know to stop it.

More undead could be coming in behind the PCs, thus the only good way out is forward (there are many ways to make the PCs think there is an exit further in, including lying about it). Add an escape hatch to the final room, but block it with the Dark Young, which is there less to destroy the world as more as a final attempt to grab the Mace and use it to shatter the boundaries of realty so Momma Goat can come to visit.

I agree that the final fight isn't exactly related (at all) to the larger story. I played it up as a "the Whispering Way isn't the only group trying to destroy the world" kind of thing.

There are other ways to do it to. You could try for an uneasy alliance following the enemy of my enemy idea (teaming up with either side against the other's greater threat, though this is somewhat like book 5). You could style it as above, but more-so. The Way completely pulls the wool over the PCs and gets them to kill the Watcher threat through trickery and lies. The PCs get to feel all scummy for helping the Way and that should push them through some kind of revenge path.

I like book 4 as a stand alone story (though the insanity mechanics are meh and I handwaved a lot of that) and wish I had the time and energy to have and implement these ideas when I was actually running the game, heh.

It has been well over a year, so my memory of it is a touch hazy. I believe they crushed the girallion and decided to run as fast as they could to the next floor. I don't specifically recall webs in the intervening rooms, but I know they all failed perception checks to see any of the chalk markings.

In the actual lair, the druid saved against the webs and got up a reasonable distance into the tower. The inquisitor made it further in and spent his time casting fire spells, which kept the AP from getting his bonus third action. The bard and wizard were stuck at the doorway but didn't really want to get any closer. I believe the archons just hovered right there with the wizard and blasted.

The AP ran up and grappled the druid (which was in dire tiger shape) with minimal effort and just crushed him for two turns. Druid dropped down to 1 HP shy of death, so the AP dropped him and grabbed the inquisitor on the third turn while the PC attacked with his flaming sword. Had it lived enough to get a fourth turn, it would have killed the Inquisitor.

And actually, I don't think the fifth player (monk) was there that day. PCs belonging to absent players were sidelined (monk? What monk? We've always only been a party of four people; honest... until next month when we may be five people, or a different four people).

So yeah... three turns is all I got. The damage was impressive, but I guess that's a lesson against grabbing cats (as anyone who owns a house cat would know). Also, fire is very useful in this fight.

I wouldn't be surprised if I had forgotten something (like some of the webs or requiring a save for every square moved...) or fudged something somewhere, but I don't recall actively doing that. Book 2 was before I did things like maxing out HP, rewriting spell lists, adding bonuses to attack/AC/saves, and other things GMs have to do at times.

This was also a great example of PCs doing something they shouldn't be able to do because they didn't know they shouldn't be able to do it. No one told them that the AP was too powerful for them alone. They had no idea about the rooftop device or that they were supposed to use it. They all just figured they were supposed to go in and kill the boss of book 2 like they did for book 1. Crazy players, heh.

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Awesome. Should have had the bell kill her, then her shoes pop off and her feet curl up. Then a young girl and her little dog too could have walked out of the abbey looking more confused than usual.

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All treasure is calculated according to the market price, not the sale price. So a CR2 fight would let your players find 600 gold, or 100 gold and a 500 gold item, or so on. If your players do not like the 500 gold item, they can sell it but they'll only get 250 gold for it.

If you don't like giving your characters items they may not like, then just give them gold.

Now, for art, gems, nonmagical jewelry, and other non-money, non-PC-usable items, the value of the item is the amount you can make selling it. So you could give the PCs 50 gold coins, 3 onyx gems worth 100g each, a small carved stone statue worth 150g, and a pair of level 1 potions worth 50g each.

The PCs can sell the gems and statue for full value (a total of 450g), but if they sold the two potions, they'd only get 25g for each. This is because items like art and jewelry have no use to PCs while potions, weapons, wands, etc have use. Things with usefulness sell for 50% what a PC must spend to buy it.

For reference, the five PCs were hasted, one was a druid in tiger form, the wizard had six augmented lantern archons (mobile laser batteries that ignore DR and hit touch-ac) and the inquisitor liked fire spells... and everyone was getting the bard's song. It went somewhat quickly.

Yeah, I'd say the Beast's job here is to bring a (supposedly) superpowered monster down to a more APL appropriate challenge, not to just solve the fight for the PCs.

No. MoMS styles are not bound by the rules of Flurry because Flurry is completely removed.

In the case of swapping abilities, you completely ignore the ability being replaced and only follow the rules for the new ability. Now, there are cases where existing abilities are modified. In those cases, you modify what it says to modify and you keep limits and abilities that are not mentioned in the archetype.

Summon Monster takes a standard action to cast but one full round until it appears (casting time). You still get your move action for the round you start casting. The spell completes at the start of your next turn, so you get your normal set of actions on the second turn.

Casting time of 1 round is not a full round spell. You can't finish it the turn you started by using your standard and move action like a fighter can make a full attack.

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Constrict and the slam are separate damage sources, so the Beast's DR would kick in twice. It really depends on whether or not you want the Beast to survive. Even if the Promethean kills him, he'd have done enough damage that the party should be able to finish the fight.

Sure. Though you could split the difference and figure any 20th level character has a few friends by that point that would craft them stuff at cost, so it doesn't matter if they have the feat or not.

Call it 1.1 million gold (and twice that with a heroic array).

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Yeah, he doesn't need to break free of the grapple, he can still deliver full attacks with natural weapons. I believe the whole idea is for the pair to be tearing at each other with tooth, claw, fist, and tentacle while the players rush to the rooftop.

Or your players could be like my players and just bumrush the entire tower, ignore the attempt to explain the device on the roof, and just destroy an APL+3 (or even +4) in less than five rounds without anyone dying (so close). I mean, whatever works for you guys, heh.

No, just because you drink it doesn't mean the target is any different. It remains "a point in space". So when you drink the extract, you become the point in space for the alarm spell. If you move, the alarm spell does not move with you, however, as it is not anchored to you but rather the place you were standing when you drank the extract.

-2 to hit will negatively affect your expected damage far more than what you gain from an increase in damage dice.

Now, there is an FAQ about using higher size category firearms and that it isn't possible, but nothing for a bow. So extrapolating the FAQ in a reasonable way, the answer to the OP's question is "no". However, for strict RAW types, it is just -2.

Imbicatus wrote:
Can't be done. A medium longbow is a two handed weapon for a medium character, and is too large to be used by a small character.

Yeah, I thought this too, but they aren't actually two-handed weapons; they are ranged weapons requiring two hands regardless of size (note, a human using a small bow still has to use two hands to fire it, though the human could use a small greatsword one handed).

No, Wild Shape assumes some of the rules of a polymorph spell. Wild Shape is not a spell, let alone a polymorph spell.

It is a -2 to hit for using an inappropriately sized weapon.

Now, in concept, it would be unlikely that a halfling has the draw distance to fully draw a human sized bow, but the game does not model this, so there's no penalty to damage.

It is... complicated. Even the full rules are confusing and in need of a serious review.

So, if you're standing in front of a guard and want to sneak attack him while he is staring at you, there's not much you can do with stealth. You are being observed, thus you cannot use stealth.

You can use bluff to create a diversion, but that won't let you get a stealth check and then a sneak attack; it would let you duck into some bushes or behind/under a wagon, so that when the guard turns back around, you are no longer standing there (having to quickly duck behind/under/inside/over/whatever something means -10 on the stealth check). Assuming this check works, you are now in concealment/cover and thus can be considered stealthed for the next round. Of course, don't be surprised if you duck behind the only barrel in the courtyard that the guard knows where you probably went.

Now, you can use bluff to feint in combat:

Feinting wrote:

You can also use Bluff to feint in combat, causing your opponent to be denied his Dexterity bonus to his AC against your next attack. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + your opponent’s base attack bonus + your opponent’s Wisdom modifier. If your opponent is trained in Sense Motive, the DC is instead equal to 10 + your opponent’s Sense Motive bonus, if higher. For more information on feinting in combat, see Combat.

Action: Feinting in combat is a standard action.

Retry? Yes. You can attempt to feint against someone again if you fail.

This is likely what the player is imagining would be done. Distract the guard, then stab him. The next round. Because it takes time to distract someone.

The rules are complicated because the situations are quite varied and full of situational nuances. It is worth noting that you generally want to avoid allowing a player to go from "standing in front of a guard" to "surprising the guard with a stab in the back" in the same round for reasons related to overpowered actions... or at least the game rules are generally balanced against doing such things.

In the end, do what seems reasonable and fun for you and the player.

Esoteric Linguistics can offer a bit more use out of the skill. You can also use the skill to forge documents, so there's probably some fun to be had there.

APL is a fast and loose suggestion of rough estimation. Challenging, likewise, means the PCs will have to burn some resources (spells, potions, hitpoints) to handle it, not that anyone is in danger of being killed.

That said, keep packs of 2-4 raiders 'in the wings'. If the PCs just destroy what you have without trouble, add some extra guards (maybe with a subchief) at the end of the round. You can also up the bad guy's health.

I also heavily suggest there be terrain to favor the bad guys (a rule good for every battle). Elevated archer platforms, pit traps, auto-locking doors, special magic items the boss can activate that gives everyone he likes a pile of buffs at once, etc.

It also happens that around level 7 the game starts to favor the PCs. Their power curve, compared to the monster difficulty curve, is a bit on the PC's side. So you may find the need to bump the challenge up to CR 9, maybe toss in another subchief (always fun to add casters to the mix; makes players nervous).

Short answer - no.

Long answer - Channel Smite is not your Channel Energy ability. It is a feat which uses charges from your Channel Energy use pool. So no, the bless equipment is specifically focused on your Channel Energy ability.

The target gets the benefit of your active judgement. I'd say they get all the same bonuses that you get, so they would benefit from your favored class bonus for the specific judgement (assuming that is the one you shared).

Correct in that Swarming has no use for Tiny creatures without additional rules being added. Now, if you had a tiny creature with a 5' reach (say, with a tiny polearm, which I think would work), then two or more in one square would be able to use the Swarming trait to flank the target, but otherwise I think it is unnecessary.

A pile of move and/or standard actions. You're removing an item, putting it into a bag, getting something out of a bag, putting on an item.

Removing the item from the bag is a move action. Considering sheathing weapons, readying/dropping shields, and retrieving items are also move actions, I'd say four move actions seems reasonable. The only one that could provoke would be retrieval, which is negated by using the Handy Haversack.

So, two rounds. One to remove and stow, another retrieve and place. Alternatively, you could retrieve with a move on an earlier round, then two moves to remove and wear, then a third round's move to store. Of course, this alternative method requires one hand to have the amulet and the other hand to be empty.

You may also consider Gloves of Storing. With this, you could (assuming empty hands to start) remove amulet one, free action to summon amulet two, move action to put amulet two on, and free action to store amulet one (a few other free actions to swap what you're holding between free and gloved hands).

I know it does. So let me provide you some quotes:

Bloodrage base rule wrote:
When a bloodrager enters a bloodrage, he often takes on a physical transformation influenced by his bloodline and powered by the magic that roils within him. Unless otherwise specified, he gains the effects of his bloodline powers only while in a bloodrage; once the bloodrage ends, all powers from his bloodline immediately cease, and any physical changes the bloodrager underwent revert, restoring him to normal.
Abyssal Bloodline wrote:
Claws (Su) At 1st level, you grow claws while bloodraging.
Draconic Bloodline wrote:
Claws (Su) At 1st level, you grow claws.
Draconic Bloodline for comparison wrote:

Dragon Wings (Su)

At 12th level, when entering a bloodrage, you can choose to have leathery wings grow from your back...

So Abyssal specifically says it happens during the bloodrage. Draconic does not for claws but does for wings. If Draconic was meant to provide claws during bloodrage, it would read identically to the Abyssal version. The wings definition shows that this caveat was not overlooked when writing the Draconic list of abilities. From this list of information, I presume draconic bloodline bloodragers get claws from first level onwards. If this isn't the case, the wording for draconic bloodline claws should be amended to be identical to abyssal.

The claws are there permanently starting at level 1. Unlike with Abyssal, the Draconic level 1 ability says that you now have claws. Since it doesn't mention anything about growing them at will or only when you bloodrage, they are permanent.

Nesting the rules and descriptions leads to its own set of issues. Take for example the druid wild shape. A player starts by reading the wild shape rules, which say they work like Beast Shape except for certain things. Beast Shape is a Transmutation [Polymorph] spell, which has its own definition. Then the creature stat block itself has notations and abilities to consider (which may further reference universal rules like monster type inherited qualities, templates, and special abilities).

So all these sections (wild shape class ability up to the druid's level, the progressively more specific versions of beast shape up to the one valid for the druid's wild shape, the transmutation school of magic, and the polymorph subschool, monster stat block, monster abilities) are required to be mashed together to determine what the druid can become and, once a form is chosen, which aspects and qualities are gained or lost in the shape changing.

There isn't much duplicated wording here. In a way, this is good because it saves space. However, it also means you have to read a half dozen different parts of the rules and, more importantly, be aware of the fact that you have to read these different parts to get the complete picture.

If there was simply a nice full page or two complete description, taking all relevant rules and duplicating them in the Wild Shape Class Ability section, it would be far easier for players to understand limitations. It would also be great to have a single reference point for all this information. Right now we have a "works just like this except for these things" nested rules with links to other pages and progressively more generalized information. Can be a headache.

With all that said, give it a shot. Post the result on the boards. If it is something people want, they'll ask for more. But without actual proof of concept, it is hard to get a lot of "yes, I would like that" answers.

Arcane Bond is neither a spell nor an effect, it is a class feature. Just like craft arms and armor doesn't produce either spells or effects but instills enchantments into a weapon. We can also see that this doesn't work by looking at it in another way - can you sunder a brawler's fists? No, because the fists aren't weapons. Nor can you disarm them or steal them.

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First, I direct you to this XKCD comic.

Secondly, it sounds like you would have to start with the base system and work your way up, not with the most complicated character class from the second round of characters. If you want to manage wording and system standardization, you first have to gather the base rules together and standardize them. Then you have a single lexicon from which you can build upwards. Starting with a class means you'd have a lexicon for just that class that may not be compatible with other classes.

Considering the Thylacine and Iguanadon crit modifications are due to Extraordinary abilities, which you do not gain with wild shape, your attacks with such creatures would be normal 20/x2. A GM can always overrule this and say "You know what, sure, as a iguanadon you have the thumb spikes and thus you do x3 on a crit".

The Velociraptor is probably missing an Ex ability to describe this deviation. However, so long as it lacks such a listed ability, you would get the 19-20 threat range in that form because you gain the creature's natural attack profile.

Constrict is absolutely free damage done by a creature to their grappled victim. It happens every round in which the creature as something grappled (including the first) because it is triggered by the grapple check made to initiate or maintain a grapple. This is 1d4+4 free damage.

Every round, a grappler may do one of several things to their target, one of which is to do natural weapon damage without making an attack roll. This is 1d4+4 free damage.

So, the snake attacks a deer and hits, does 1d4+4 damage from bite, then makes a grab roll. It succeeds, does 1d4+4 damage from constrict (total this round: 2d4+8).

Next round, the snake rolls to maintain the grapple and succeeds, does 1d4+4 constrict damage, then decides to do an auto-hit melee attack, dealing 1d4+4 bite damage (total this round: 2d4+8).

Third round, the snake rolls to maintain the grapple and succeeds, does 1d4+4 constrict damage, then decides to pin the deer. The snake does not do any bite damage, but the deer is now pinned (total this round: 1d4+4).

Lastly, your bolded section of Constrict rules is just to provide a 'rule of thumb' for determining constriction damage. Unless otherwise indicated, creatures with constrict should do the same die+bonus damage with constrict as they do with their standard melee attack. It is useful for building new creatures or modifying existing ones, that's all.

I believe the casting still occurs and then the fortitude save has to be made. It won't interrupt casting as it says it triggers on "casts a spell" not "starts casting a spell".

Yeah, the enemy is not provoking so this doesn't work.

Pinpoint Targeting is not a "targeting feat".

The term "any targeting feat" means any feat in the category called "targeting", not feats with the word "targeting" in their name. There are many other feat categories, such as combat, metamagic, style, etc. My guess is that the Ranged Tactics Toolbox book (where the far strike monk archetype is from) added this new category of feats.

For example: Ranged Trip is a feat in the (combat, targeting) categories. This is available to the monk archetype at level 1.

Jodokai - I meant more in the area of prerequisites that are transitory. Final Embrace, among other things, requires the 'constriction' special feature. A level 8 human druid can turn into a boa constrictor which has the special feature 'constriction', which the druid gets to use while in that form.

Can the druid, at level 9, take the feat Final Embrace? He doesn't always have constriction, but he can get pick it up whenever he uses wild shape.

OilHorse - Ok, I now see your concern. Normally, you only get Swashbuckler's Finesse for piercing weapons. Slashing Grace lets you treat a slashing weapon as a piercing one for the purpose of Swashbuckler abilities, but it requires Weapon Finesse. But you don't have Weapon Finesse except when you are using a piercing weapon, but Slashing Grace is only for slashing weapons.

So either you can't get Slashing Grace because you don't have Weapon Finesse for the weapon type you choose for Slashing Grace. Or, Slashing Grace never activates because of a circular dependency (SG only when using a SF weapon, but SG is required to make the slashing weapon an SF weapon).

Do not consider it as a sequence of activation, but rather a holistic approach that simply checks off boxes without worrying about order. Do you have the Slashing Grace feat for this slashing weapon? Then you also have Swashbuckler's Finesse for this slashing weapon, which allows SG to be active.

You should be fine at level 1 taking Weapon Focus and Slashing Grace.

There is a bit of a grey area in taking feats for which you do not qualify. If you do not meet the prerequisite for a feat, you cannot use that feat, but that doesn't mean you can't choose to learn it. Most GMs will at least require you to be capable of meeting the feat before you take it, even if only conditionally (a primary example is a druid taking feats based on abilities gained from wild shape).

In my games, I require my players to effectively be able to train in the feat before they can take the feat. A druid cannot take Final Embrace (prerequisite: constrict) at level 1, since they cannot take the form of anything with constrict, but they can take it after level 8 because they can wild shape into a boa constrictor with the constrict special ability.

So you can get Slashing Grace as soon as you have Swashbuckler's Finesse. However, if you aren't using a Swashbuckler weapon, you do not count as have Weapon Finesse and thus Slashing Grace is inactive. Once you use a Swashbuckler's Finesse-able weapon, your Slashing Grace feat becomes active and you are good to go.

This isn't different from someone with Power Attack being drained down to a 10 strength. They have the feat but it is inactive until their strength gets back above the Power Attack's prerequisite.

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