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Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras

Owen K. C. Stephens's page

Developer. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,097 posts (4,101 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Andrew Betts wrote:
How does the spell wild instinct work for the Bloodrager? It requires a Divine Focus, which I'm pretty sure the Bloodrager does not get.

The bloodrager ignores the DF. It's essentially M/DF, with the M instead being "nothing."

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Nohwear wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Sam Defoe wrote:
Did shamans get anything new by chance?
I don't have the book myself, but someone said earlier in the thread there's a new shaman spirit. I'd guess there's some new shaman spells too, but that's just speculation...
Correct, I believe that all of the new spells are on the Shaman list. The new plant spirit seems interesting.

Of the eight new spells, seven are on the shaman list. The lone exception is oasis, which is just cleric/druid/sorcerer-wizard.

The wood spirit has all the elements of a typical shaman spirit - hexes, spirit abilities, manifestation and so on.

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Bleeding Attack from Pathfinder Chronicles - Cheliax: Empire of Devils, but it specifically doesn't stack with anything else.

Blood Beak, from Advanced Race Guide, but it's tengu-only.

Splintering Weapon from Ultimate Combat, but you'll need a golf bag of spare weapons to break.

The vengeful hunter fighter archetype in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Combat

The bleeding wound deed of an 11th level swashbuckler from Advanced Class Guide.

Bloodletting Kukri from Ultimate Equipment

Pinning Rend from ultimate combat, which requires you to be 9th, pin a foe, and deal unarmed strike damage, but can add up to a lot of bleed.

Red mantis Assassin prestige class from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Paths of Prestige

Bloody Assault from Advanced Player's Guide, which stacks with other bleeds but not itself (and requires a -5 attack penalty)

Bloodletting from Pathfinder Player Companion: Faiths of Corruption, which requires you worship evil deities.

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Hey folks! The question about how the freebooter can use quarry actually rose to the top of the FAQ list (in large part because of Mark Seifter's tireless work going through FAQ's), so there's now an official answer!

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Hey folks! This question actually rose to the top of the FAQ list (in large part because of Mark Seifter's tireless work going through FAQ's), so there's now an official answer!

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Hey folks!

So, this is part three of my multiyear plot to have players clear all of the Emerald Spire! Last year, two groups of players using regenerated characters managed to clear levels 1 & 2! They made an assault on Level 3 but failed to clear it, so that's where the group playing Part 3 will start! So who knows, you may have to make yet another run on level 3, or move on to level 4, or even get to try your hand at level 5!

I'll have the pregenerated characters representing a wide range of classes and heroes, miniatures tied to the pregens, dice, pencils, and so on. You can bring your own dice if you want, but you are stuck with my character builds.

Decisions made by players last time impact your resources this time, and things you do this time can impact character options for years to come!

So join me for a few hours, as we see how far you can make it through the Emerald Spire Superdungeon!

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Hey folks!

So, this is part three of my multiyear plot to have players clear all of the Emerald Spire! Last year, two groups of players using regenerated characters managed to clear levels 1 & 2! They made an assault on Level 3 but failed to clear it, so you get to try again!

I'll have the pregenerated characters representing a wide range of classes and heroes, miniatures tied to the pregens, dice, pencils, and so on. You can bring your own dice if you want, but you are stuck with my character builds.

Decisions made by players last time impact your resources this time, and things you do this time can impact character options for years to come!

So join me for a few hours, as we see how far you can make it through the Emerald Spire Superdungeon!

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Exciting!

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Matrix Dragon wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:

How about I throw you the rules for the Plant Eidolon class feature it gives you? :)

** spoiler omitted **...

Oh no, as soon as I saw Cactus as an option I immediately pictured the cactuar from final fantasy, lol.

In any case, the options look pretty interesting. I wonder how these kinds of archetypes will work with the unchained summoner though? Doesn't that thing require you to select from a specific list out outsider types?

Yes. While all PC I develop from here on out will strive to make sure summoner options work for both APG and PU summoners, that is not the case for Heroes of the Wild, which we finished a while ago, before PU was out.

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Sure, and it doesn't make it any less playable. But such a gaffe is not work of the standard I expect of myself.

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Andrew Betts wrote:
and yes this makes it the second Wild Caller Summoner Archetype released.

Well that's just disappointing and personally embarrassing. My apologies to everyone for failing to catch that. It's my responsibility to prevent this sort of thing, and in this case I flubbed it.

I actually changed the name late in the process from First World Summoner, because I thought that was too close to the First Worlder archetype. I introduced this bad call late in the process, so no one else can be blamed for it.
Since we reference anything that isn't from the core, there should never actually be an issue with knowing which archetype we mean, since Wild Caller (ARG) and Wild Caller (PC:HotW) are going to send you to the correct source in each case.
But this is still unacceptable for my own sense of the quality of work I should be doing in Paizo's name. Obviously I need to double check all archetype names, along with spells, feats, weapons, traits, and so on. I'll endeavor to be more rigorous about that going forward.
It is a different archetype (though it has some similarities), open to all races, and with its primary point of interest being a plant-creature eidolon.

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The Marshal, from Miniature's Handbook.
I played one, and GMed one in a campaign of mine. Both characters were a lot of fun.

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To be clear:
Jabbing Style has this prerequisite line:
Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike; base attack bonus +6, brawler's flurry class feature, or flurry of blows class feature.

Improved Unarmed Strike is a prereq for everyone.
There is then a semicolon.
Of the items after the semicolon (base attack bonus +6, brawler's flurry class feature, or flurry of blows class feature) you must have one (it's A, B, or C).

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Fourshadow wrote:
Anything nice for Bards in this?

I think the fey Performance feat is quite nice, and not nearly as situational as it sounds. And the nature's path and raven's flight spells are available to bards, and in my opinion raven's flight is a smart choice for your third or forth 3rd level spell known.

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We use the language "This ability modifies... " fairly often. The Huntmaster, also in Animal Archive says "This ability modifies the challenge ability." for bestial challenge, and something like that is my preference.

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It also has a base attack bonus +6 as a prerequisite, which is what Thvari is talking about.

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I really like a lot of the new witch stuff. There's an herb witch, who both have an easier time brewing alchemical stuff and get access to a new herbal power called remedies, and five new patrons, which are a small thing, but I think witches with patron themes for mountains, plants, storms, summer, and thorns are all pretty cool.

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Protoman wrote:
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
I have a question concerning the Mad Dog barbarian archetype, and if this has already been asked, then my apologies for not noticing. According to the archetype, it gains Damage Reduction at level 10, but the regular barbarian gains it 7. Yet the Mad Dog doesn't lose this class feature at 7th level. Is this a typo or was the archetype supposed to follow the normal progression, with the addition that the animal companion gains it as well?
Since it doesn't replace anything, I believe the damage reduction gets delayed to 10 for both the barbarian and the animal companion with a stated maximum of DR 4 rather than the regular barbarian's DR 5.

That's how I read it as well. It's like the rage ability for the mad dog, which states when she does get it, rather than noting that at 1st level she doesn't get it yet.

That's not ideal wording, and I'll watch for such issues going forward.

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Elicoor wrote:
And finally... Owen, Dragon78 asked for the racial traits only when someone gets his/her pdf, not when they wrote it themselves. (obviously joking of course)

Yeah but, I did get my pdf. Print copy too!

:D

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The Feyborn alternate racial traits are: Fey Magic (granting access to three 0-level and one 1st-level druid spell, each once per day), Fey Thoughts (granting two class skills selected from a list, one of which is UMD), and Low-Light Visions. In each case it gives the race point cost in case you are using Advanced race Guide, and otherwise tells you what it replaces for any of the core 7 races.

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We didn't focus on the Ekujae or their wildborn, but we did manage to give some information on Feyborn, members of all the core races who have alternate racial traits based on their fey heritage.

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Serisan wrote:
If you could please clarify which part of the suffocation rules are intended to be invoked, that would be appreciated. Specifically, does the target have the opportunity to hold their breath?

You cut off their air. They get to hold their breath, 2 rounds per point of Constitution, -1 if they take a standard or full-round action.

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deuxhero wrote:
Why is a spell that draws from the wisdom of spirits not on the Ranger list?

Because the spirits aren't particularly nature-based, so it's not a strong match for the ranger's magical theme.

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Since there's a process for official FAQs that goes with highest priority first, and as far as I can tell only a few folks have hit a FAQ request on this even, this is not an official FAQ. It is a declaration of intent of one of book's the two developers.

The feat Kraken Throttle should be read to cutting off air from the target, and thus activating the "Suffocation" rules on 445. Yes, as written one could claim that since it uses the word "suffocate" it actually refers the very last step of that process "In the third round, she suffocates." No, that's not what is intended. Since most people agree it doesn't mean "make two checks (in the same round if you have Greater Grapple) and you kill anyone," I'm hope it's not a surprise that it was never intended to mean "make two checks (in the same round if you have Greater Grapple) and you KO anyone, and kill them 1 round later."

The main utility of the feat is that it adds 2 hp to the damage dealt by Kraken Style. This is the same size boost as Weapon Specialization, and enough to make the feat useful in the builds it's designed for even without the ability to choke someone to death over a couple of minutes. The choking aspect is secondary (and Chokehold is a better choice if that's what you want to focus on.)

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Since there's a process for official FAQs that goes with highest priority first, and as far as I can tell only a few folks have hit a FAQ request on this even, this is not an official FAQ. It is a declaration of intent of one of book's the two developers.

Kraken Throttle should be read to cutting off air from the target, and thus activating the "Suffocation" rules on 445. Yes, as written one could claim that since it uses the word "suffocate" it actually refers the very last step of that process "In the third round, she suffocates." No, that's not what is intended. Since most people agree it doesn't mean "make two checks (in the same round if you have Greater Grapple) and you kill anyone," I'm hope it's not a surprise that it was never intended to mean "make two checks (in the same round if you have Greater Grapple) and you KO anyone, and kill them 1 round later."

The main utility of the feat is that it adds 2 hp to the damage dealt by Kraken Style. This is the same size boost as Weapon Specialization, and enough to make the feat useful in the builds it's designed for even without the ability to choke someone to death over a couple of minutes. It certainly doesn't need to become the first 1-round-kill-no-save-feat in order to have fair utility.

Also, if you have questions about a Player Companion rule, I'll see it sooner if it's in that product's thread. I do scan the rest of the forums, but I can;t get to every thread every day. :)

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I actually left that off the bloodrager list intentionally, after careful consideration. While it would be an excellent game mechanical boost for bloodragers, a spell of additional caution doesn't feel like something that develops from reservoirs of buried rage or power that seethes in veins during with power, as the bloodrage class is described.
The one advantage of custom spell lists is maintaining strong class flavor, which was my guiding principle here.

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Cthulhudrew wrote:
"Recruit teams of criminals" sounds very cool. I wonder if that will mesh with some of Ultimate Campaigns' Downtime Systems (notably Team and Organization building).

It's designed to only work with that system. :)

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It's an aghasura :D

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Welcome to the word mines!

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Especially with the OGL as an underpinning, and a common pool of inspiration material, independent overlap is inevitable.

I wrote a pdf for Rogue Genius Games that includes a new weapon, the estoc. I also wrote an estoc for Player Companion: Melee Tactics Toolbox as part of my development work on the manuscript. Same weapon, same writer, but the estoc in MTT isn't based on the estoc from the RGG book. Instead it's two different efforts (both by me) to define a real-world weapon in specific game terms for the same game.

Similarly I introduced a game mechanic called "pastiche" for a Charisma-based version of grit in Advanced Options: Grit and Gunslingers in 2011. Independently, the same idea got used for the swashbuckler in APG last year. I happen to know the folks who made that choice for the APG, and they were't aware of my having done the same thing. Independent development just naturally suggests both a Charisma-based version of grit, and that "pastiche" is an obvious choice for the resource in question.

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Unfortunately there isn't currently a system in place for "official errata" on Pathfinder Modules. There's a specific process for errata that includes having it written, double-checked, and edited, and we haven;t done that in the past on the softcover books (with one noble exception), so I can't say this is the same category of correction as the things we normally call official errata. That's something we're looking into, but there's no change on how we handle those things at this time.

That correction IS what I am saying on the matter in my capacity as developer of the adventure. This was my very first product developed for Paizo, and I made a mistake here. Mea culpa, and I'm already better at that job, but this one I got wrong.

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Metal Sonic wrote:
The feats are terrible, they are so corner-case that hurts.

Really? Artful Dodge certainly can happen a lot if you use tactics designed to cause it to do so, and it stacks with Dodge, and (as importantly) it becomes a gateway for low-Int fighters to get Mobility and Spring Attack.

Circling Mongoose is pricey for people who will care, but they'll use it all the time.

Heroic Leader IS corner case... but it fixes a major problem for people in that corner.

Those are just the first three feats in the book. And many of the feats work together for specific builds (Steadfast Slayer is going to come up a LOT for 2-handed weapon users who have Artful Dodge).

Obviously corner case is subjective, but it's worth noting that if you don't want a feat you can just not take it, but if you want a specific build often corner case feats are the only things that can make it work.

And, of course, we've DONE Power Attack and most other generic all-situation feats.

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Because we missed it. Treat them all as Craft DC 25.

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the Haunted Jester wrote:
Any chance the name of the module could change based on the feedback from the judges? Down the Blighted Path just doesn't seem to capture the essence of the module for me.

Sure, it's possible. We've done it before. We'll see what thoughts we and Monica have as we go forward with the process of writing and developing the full module.

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Scott LaBarge wrote:
I don't know, multi-classing is a dangerous business....Maybe just a few skill points in Craft (Pathfinder adventure) or Profession (game designer)?

Designer is a prestige class. I'm not saying that doesn't have it's own risks but... prestige!

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A note, which is especially aimed at the top 32 + 4, but also applies to everyone in the guildhall.

This is a tough industry to break into. There aren't a lot of guidance councilors who can tell you the normal pathway into RPG writing, and a big part of that is because there's no "normal" route.

I remember the years after I have a few Dragon articles published, but before I was hired by Wizards of the Coast, and I was very much adrift career-wise. I didn't know who to talk to, what to try for, how to expand my skills and visibility to increase my odds of making a solid full-time living, or even good sideline income, over the long term.

I really could have used someone to talk to, ask questions of, and run ideas by.

Of course things have changed a lot since then. There are fewer print magazines, and more online venues. The OGL and online/pdf sales have changed what a person can do on their own. Social media has become a major method of outreach.

I've been doing this for a couple of decades now, and while I can't claim to have found the "one true way," I do have a lot of experience and opinions. Anyone who wants to keep working on a career in rpg writing, who thinks they could use some advice or feedback, feel free to drop me a line. If it's Paizo-realted, just IM me. If you have broader questions, IM me for my private email or hunt me down on Facebook. I'm happy to try to help.

While I'll obviously be limited by things like scheduling and getting my own work done, and I may end up having to say "I honestly don't know," I'm happy to try to give some guidance to anyone who wants to be part of the industry.

Thanks to everyone for helping make this a great first year as host of RPG Superstar.

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It's in "jocularities", which tend to run 16.8 hours each, though it varies a bit depending on what length is funniest.

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365!

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Mike was one of the first people at Paizo to reach out to me, and that has (obviously) had a major impact on my career. I wish I had gotten to know him better. He will be missed.

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HUGE Congratulations to Monica, who I just informed of her victory by phone.
And yes, Monica. You need to learn all the rules now. :)

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Liz Courts wrote:
Heh. For the first couple of weeks that I worked here, my co-workers still referred to me as "Lilith." :D

I bet that only stopped because there wasn't a constant supply of cookies.

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On a broad note, let me say that at the pitch stage, we're dealing with people who have already proven they are a cut above average, and have very few things like game mechanics with clear right/wrong issues. As a result, most constructive criticism IS going to be matters of opinion, and the opinions of people who actually green light adventures for noteworthy RPG companies (speaking of James Jacobs and Nicole Lindroos, not myself) are something anyone who wants to be a successful freelance writer should take very seriously.

Put another way, even if Grower was a culturally appropriate name for a duergar that doesn't change the fact that it's silly, and is likely to be a source of ridicule. However, we've named Duergar NPCs before, and they don't take the form of the 3pp material you reference. In fact if I thought the name had come from referencing a 3pp source, that would have been another mark against this pitch - never assume 3pp material applies to Golarion. Since we have War-Marshal Brithuan (the duergar leader of the Nar-Voth community of Fellstrok), there's no reason to think Grower is even appropriate to Nar-Voth duergar.

As for my specific comment, I stand by my assessment that it under-uses the main villain. Her plot is only described as "sees great potential in the vegepygmy and their explosive reproductive process." There's no sense of her end goal, no suggestion the PCs will learn about her until she explodes onto the scene, and no sign of her until that moment. Yes, an end product could add those things, but the pitch should mention such elements since they are the entire reason there's an adventure, and form the motivation and PC expectations of the final villain. I have no reason, from this pitch, to believe such elements will make it into the final adventure unless I add them as developer, and that's a major failing of the pitch.

As I said, there are things I like about Journey into Midnight, but overall the pitch lacked some crucial elements, and I disagree with most of your criticism of the criticism.

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Story Time!

When I first got a job at Wizards of the Coast in 2000, I was eventually paired to work on "Tempest Feud" with Jeff Grubb. I was more than a little in awe of Jeff - I still have the 1st edition Monster Manual II I got as a birthday present from my parents in 1983, which though credited to Gary Gygax has Jeff Grubb as a "design consultant."

So I stammered and goobed and generally made a fanboy of myself, and kept calling him "Mr. Grubb."

Eventually, Jeff said if we were going to get anything done, I'd have to call him Jeff. That felt weird for weeks, but eventually I got used to it. And then it helped me feel like we were in the same community.

I have no issue with people being either polite or formal, and I think there's a time and place for using someone's full name.

I also think of all of us as part of the same community. I was a Pathfinder fan long before I was a Paizo employee.

So if anyone is more comfortable using my full name, that's totally fine. But I'm also perfectly happy with being called by my first name here.

:D

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Congratulations, Jason!

When we storm the Editorial Kingdom, your name will be on the protected lists.

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Help welcome our new editor, Jason Keeley! Who had to drop out of this year's RPG Superstar when he got a new job. What we didn't mention to anyone at the time was that the new job was here at Paizo!

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"Understand its uses" and "Know how to use it at a professional" level aren't the same thing.

Indeed, since a character making a grapple check without both hands free takes a -4 penalty to their CMB check, and non proficiency penalty with a weapon is is -4, and a crook is a reach weapon, there are lots of circumstances where you are better off using a crook (from out of your target's reach) to make a grapple EVEN if you are not proficient, since your odds are just as good as if you tried it with a sword in one hand.

But like pata, whips, nets, falcatas, khopesh, sword breaker daggers, bo staffs and harpoons, it's awkward to fight with unless you have special training, and it doesn't work close enough to other weapons for expertise with them to offset that awkwardness.

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A crook isn't easy to fight with, and thus isn't an appropriate simple weapon. Most herders either aren't going to be proficient with it (instead using it because it still allows them to make grapple checks without taking the penalty for not having 2 hands free), or if they become veteran herders who reach 3rd level as commoners, use their feat at that level to gain proficiency.

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Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

My last Superstar blog entry looks back at the numbers and I'm happy to say people were more involved this year!

This is my last blog post for the moment, but I'm excited to say Mikko and I have some other plans in the works that could be of interest to the Superstar community. I think we're both really looking forward to revealing them when the time is right.

That's a neat analysis. Thanks for doing it!

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apexut wrote:
My Artful Dodge question is this... "You can use Intelligence, rather than Dexterity, for feats with a minimum Dexterity prerequisite." It doesn't say use Int qualify, if says "use for" which would seem to imply that INT mod follows through the mechanics of the feat (Combat Reflexes giving INT attacks bonus instead of DEX... etc). If that is the case Dervish Dance just became incredible for gish and magus characters.

My position on how to answer this question has evolved somewhat since coming to work here. I'd now say that if a sentence exists in a section that is clearly discussing a specific context, the sentence should be read in that context unless there's a strong reason to do otherwise, even if it does not specifically limit itself to that context.

So, Artful Dodge does two things.

First, it gives you a +1 dodge bonus to AC under specific circumstances. Since Dodge gives you +1 dodge bonus to AC under (pretty much) all circumstances, it seems to be strictly better (although you can take both and use them both, since dodge bonuses stack). Since Artiful Dodge is strictly worse than Dodge unless you take both, every character with an Int of 13 and a Dex of 13 should take Dodge, or both, so Artful Dodge really only makes sense if you have a Dex of 12 or less - any other character should have Dodge either or alone or in conjunction with Artful Dodge.

Artful Dodge ALSO lets you use Artful Dodge instead of Doge as a prerequisite. Since Dodge has a Dex 13 prerequisite, and that's going to be picked up by nearly any feat with Dodge as a prerequisite (such as Close-Quarters Thrower, False Opening, Improved Sidestep, Landing Roll, Mobility, Shot on the Run, Sidestep, Spring Attack, Sweeping Dodge, Whirlwind Attack, and Wind Stance), just allowing Artful Dodge to count as Dodge won't actually let you take any feats if you have a Dex of 12 or less... and we just covered why folks who have a Dex of 13 or more should have Dodge.

So, in the same Special section where it says Artful Dodge counts as Dodge for prerequisites, it also states it allows you to use your Intelligence rather than Dexterity for feats with a minimum Dexterity. The context here is clearly about prerequisites. It might have been better to state it could use your Intelligence rather than Dexterity for prerequisites of feats, but that language can get muddy fast as well.

Now that still makes it useful to higher-Int, lower-Dex characters, opening up a vast array of feats they previously could't get. But it's not designed to change the rules of those feats, so it does not give low-Dex characters the ability to base their number of attacks of opportunity on their Int bonus rather than Dex bonus.

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Dinosaur includes those entries in a bestiary under "dinosaur" and megafauna includes those entires in a bestiary under "megafauna." So pteranodons are in, mastodons and smilodons are out.

The wild shape and enlarge person don't work together (though they do overlap). This is because "other spells that change your size have no effect on you" while under the effects of a polymorph effect (such as wild shape, that acts as beast shape). This is also why the goliath druid ends up gaining giant form options for wild shape.

While the limitation to wild shape early on is a known effect, it is at least in part offset by access to a broader range of enlarge person (that can, for example, also increase the size of an animal companion).

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