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Thanks for the link, Valfen.
One of the rules in my game is "The gods hate cheese." meaning if you had an imp supplying you with shields from a bag of holding while you cheesed out some weird defense scene by exploiting the "Shields Shall Be Splintered" houserule, you would get away with it ONCE and then never again.
Also, I don't believe a bag of holding can hold a shield. Try putting a trashcan lid in a potato sack. The bag of holding is extradimensional inside, but I don't see any indication that it opens to admit anything of any size. It's not a cartoon bag.
(It might as well be a cartoon bag.)
It does say that it works as the alter self spell, which has a duration of minutes per level. So technically, a kitsune must concentrate on maintaining human form every one to twenty minutes.
Thanks for spotting that.
I had a kitsune rogue in my group recently, and he let his disguise slip for dramatic purposes during a scene, and the other players began teasing him.
"Can I scratch you behind your ears?"
I'd probably simply allow a very perceptive character to notice (maybe slipping her a note) that "You notice ______ has brilliant amber eyes." and let it go at that.
I might rule that in a place where high magic is occurring, the player casts a multi-tailed fox shadow on the wall. Keep it subtle, in other words.
I came across a few interesting house rules recently in (a certain forum that ends with "...Chan") and I thought they were interesting. Tell me what you think of them for Pathfinder, please.
(Paraphrased and rewritten from memory):
Shields Will Be Splintered A player wielding a shield can choose to allow his shield to receive the destroyed condition rather than take the damage from a single attack.
[I would consider allowing Vital Strike to be an exception to this to boost that feat and given its nature]
Eye for an Eye When receiving damage that would put a character at 0 HP or less, the player may opt instead to lose a body part, such as an eye or an arm or leg (with commensurate loss of ability), and is reduced instead to 1 HP.
Training Montage During downtime of 3 days or more, a martial character may opt to train his abilities, receiving a Natural Combat Bonus of +1 until the next time she chooses to activate her Natural Training Bonus as follows:
When the Training Bonus is expended, the +1 Natural Combat Bonus is as well.
A player engaging in Training Montage may not retrain abilities during this time. It is assumed the character is engaging in a regimen of combat training and physical fitness and rest.
Indeed. Also consider that summoned creatures cannot use teleport in the first place.
I agree with PSusac and the others that assert your game changes around level 9. Wizards become adept at handling weird problems (which is what they're for). My suggestions:
1. Stick to the ruling of the spell. Those percentile rolls exist for a reason; to make the spell slightly dangerous for the unprepared caster. Never been there before? Dangerous teleport. I don't allow scrying some tom/dick/harry in that location to reveal enough to allow a safe teleport.
Also, as an escape spell, it requires everyone be touching one another, and one person touching the caster. Efficient escape? Only if everyone is ready with a move action to get near the wizard and hold on.
2. Consider logistics Are your players equipped with horses? A 9th level caster can't take along all the horses too. Where is all that camping gear and treasure stored? Saddlebags? Don't want to leave the horses behind, do ya? Especially if one of them in an Animal Companion.
If they teleport to a dangerous location, then they're going to have to teleport out again. What if that location requires accessing a local town for healing and equipment and quest information? Are they going to WALK to that town? Across dangerous terrain full of orcs? Wouldn't they rather move FAST across such dangerous territory (using horses)...? Mounts make adventuring much easier, and teleportation tends to exclude mounts.
3. Build the adventure around the players' ability. I do believe James Jacobs or Sean Reynolds are on the record for having stated that they build higher level adventures with the assumption that player-characters have abilities like teleport, flight and scrying and passwall, etc. Plan ahead. Make that next encounter a necessity rather than an obstacle. An example would be an enemy commander and soldiers raiding and pillaging villages across the land. Who is he working for? Why is he provoking the rulers? The players can't teleport to every unknown location, they're going to have to be mobile in a different way, and deal with threats as they come. Teleport won't be much good in that situation. How about rescuing a dozen people from a hostile lair? Can't teleport out with them. You'll have to escort them to safety.
1. Group starts messing up BBEG's plans.
Caster in the group who likes to use invisibility? Wandering Star Motes and archers. LOTS of archers. Roll those d20's MUAHAHAHAA!!!
Caster in the group who likes to use evocations? Stinking Cloud'Hard to cast if you can't target anything and you're busy barfing.
Wall of Fire = Constant damage to a caster.
Caster who likes to fly? [Summon Air Elemental + Obscuring Mist]. Caster can't target what's on the ground and he's busy fighting an air elemental who can fly faster and better than him.
Meanwhile, you're naturally keeping the rest of the party busy with minions and a big-bad minion or two.
Home turf should always be to the BBEG's advantage too. Never let them corner the villain unless they've earned it.
As an adventurer, I would avoid that fighter like the plague. No doubt he stole it from someone VERY powerful and important who is going to be looking for it, or the gods have some nightmare task set aside for him that will end badly, or he's going to get you all killed anyway. Power of that level should be used sparingly.
But you know, I remember back in 1.0 days: Some friends and I ran multi-class characters with really high stats and 18/00 Str and special familiars...etc. We had fun, but we would have had MORE fun with an experienced DM to keep us in check.
An argument could be made that all treasures, wealth and memorabilia left behind in a grave is part of the consecration of the grave, and should not be even touched for up to a year after the corpse was interned, lest the consecration of the grave be violated; The spirit needs the treasures and memorabilia left to them to make their journey to the Bonelands, or the lands beyond in their final reward.
For example: (borrowing from WoD-Wraith) a spirit would use the incorporeal spirit of a sword left at his grave as a spirit weapon in the journey to the Happy Hunting Lands.
A priest of Pharasma would know whether or not a spirit has made the journey, and whether a tomb is lootable or not.
I'm seeing two attacks there. Either two scimitars, or one touch attack (although I don't know why she couldn't do ONE scimitar AND a touch).
I did a scene where she was the head of a cult; she would drain all the men of their wisdom so that they were completely obedient to her, and they would fight "fight-club" style with one another for the privilege of being her next meal. I gave her a scroll of Obscuring Mist to make it interesting when the players showed-up. Good times.
1. Letting the flow bog down. Sometimes one or two players get something going and we forget the other people who are driving the entire story forward. Sometimes everyone gets stymied by "what do we do now" or a lack of group initiative, and things slow to a halt while entertaining discussions go on. An hour can go by while someone figures out whether or not to pull the lever. Get things moving again by simply going around the table. "I'm going to go around the table and you can each tell me what you're doing." followed by "Okay, anything else? Let's move on."
2. Getting frustrated with character specializations I've been guilty of this myself, until I had to admit "Well, taking 20 in this skill is what makes your character really tick, so ...take the 20 and enjoy being really, really good at what you do." Sure, I was hoping to really challenge the players in a specific scene I had planned, but they have an expert along who is really good at bypassing that sort of thing. "Well done!"
3. DMPC's It's tempting, it's fun for the GM, but don't do it. You can have NPC's along for the ride as part of the adventure, but don't EVER give in to the temptation to "play alongside" your friends, because it's lazy storytelling (deus ex machina: "Come along friends, and I'll show you the way!")and leads to heavy-handed abuse (force majeur: "The henchman turns into a silver dragon and teleports you all out of danger. Surprise!") and robs the players of their agency in the world ("Gee whiz, what did he need US for after all?").
Someone once posted that there was a magical bedroll that healed the character at twice the usual rate for resting for one night. He insisted that "everyone should have them or wasn't taking the game seriously". I spent a long time searching for that bedroll on the equipment lists and never found it. I assume it was a third-party published item.
Imposing "realistic" limitations and liabilities on the party has its place. It's a good way to instill a sense of danger and survival, like thirst and hunger penalties play their part if the party were lost in the desert. However, I'm not inclined to impose a bedroll penalty unless I thought the group was being too off-the-cuff with their own survivability and I thought they needed to be reminded the world was a rough and dangerous place:
"Make a Fort save at +2 if you have a good bedroll, +4 if you have a masterwork bedroll, or wake up fatigued. If you're a survivalist, roll Survival instead."
I detested Oblivion and its scaling encounters. Bandits wielding glass weapons and armor, etc. Immersion-breaking, imho.
In an rpg, we have the luxury of skipping over low-level encounters.
Level 1: "There are rumours of orcs in the nearby woods!"
Level 5: "The orc king's patrols are no match for you, (hand waving forest encounters) but they are numerous. He's clearly paranoid, and expecting you. How do you want to approach his stronghold?"
Level 10: "The local orc chief sends a generous tribute so that you will hopefully leave him alone this season while you're making plans to take on the dragon. He may be a useful font of information though..."
Level 15: "Your generals report that they have captured another orc chieftain with ambitions for making himself king. Do you want to have him tortured?"
Level 20: "Golarion: a fantastic world, known to be home to many races, including humans, elves, giants and orcs. Do you want to land your ship there?"
I am creating a new undead; a powerful, cursed creature that can steal someone's face, one feature at a time.
If I consider what spells would be on that level, to consider the power level of the creature's SLA, I would think that Bestow Curse would be about right. However, since combat seems to be a quick sort of running-of-the-numbers much of the time, the general effects of something like Bestow Curse gets overlooked. What IS the effect of -6 to one's charisma? What would it look like to be cursed to stand there every six seconds drooling like an idiot for the rest of one's life?
What are the ancillary effects of Bestow Curse, and does it break verisimilitude in the game to bestow these effects on others? Does anyone know of any examples from the bestiary or from any adventure paths?
For example: I considered that if I wanted my wizard to curse someone with -6 CHA, then I would bestow "eternal flatulence" to him, and let him enjoy how THAT affects his likeability until he can find a wizard who can remove it.
So I want my undead to be able to touch attack, and steal a person's eyes or mouth for their own use. Again, can anyone think of any similar weird abilities ("Hey! What spell was THAT?!!") from anything in the bestiary. I bring this up because we have gotten into the habit of equating every affect with some quantifiable spell. I would like to keep the horror fresh, if possible. Thoughts?
Base Value and Purchase Limit This section lists the community's base value for available magic items in gp (see Table: Available Magic Items). There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort. If an item is not available, a new check to determine if the item has become available can be made in 1 week.
For every week, if the players are hanging around, I roll anew on http://archivesofnethys.com/RandomItemGenerator.aspx: a very handy website.
I don't think anything is necessarily "owed" to the party. We all play this to have fun being adventurers in a fantasy world. There is a certain amount of respect you need to pay your fellow players; i.e., they might be curious why they're taking along a cackling mad, three-armed alchemist when their last traveling companion (who was killed) was so much more...sane...but there should be no real expectations as to one's role.
To get back to Thomas Gock's question, I believe that flat footedness occurs because one's opponent was either distracted by your intent (Bluff: Feint vs. Sense Motive) or distracted by what he was already doing (Stealth vs. Perception)...OR...losing the initiative roll simply reflects the fact they were caught off-balance, their weapons weren't out of their sheathes, their eyes were looking at someone else in the group and weren't looking at the rogue coming at them, etc.
As Xaratherus pointed out, an adventurer who walks around ready for combat all the time is going to be labeled a psycho...BUT these people DO exist. They are suspicious, jumpy, reactionary people.
I don't disagree with bbangerter's assertion that a battle can begin much sooner than we might assume. If people are prepared for battle, and are expecting a battle, it makes a case for not denying them their AC when it all goes down.
I think the real art of it is going to be the GM knowing when to have everyone roll for initiative.
I've read over Surprise, Initiative, Bluff and Sense Motive. I'm not seeing anything that says we COULDN'T use Bluff to gain a surprise round, after all there are those cinematic situations where some people (like in a hostile bar) are hiding behind the decorum of a public setting; challenging the protagonist to lose his cool or whatever. Sidling up to someone and sucker punching them is too good of a maneuver to chock it all up to Initiative.
Combat: Surprise wrote:
Determining awareness may call for Perception checks or other checks.
Han vs. Greedo: (if we rightly assume Han shot first)- Han uses Bluff to distract Greedo
- Greedo fails his Sense Motive
- Han gets a surprise round and shoots Greedo under the table. Greedo is flat-footed.
Han vs. Greedo: (the digital remake)
I have to agree with both DJ: a PVP situation is only good for the gaming group if it adds something to the story and the group dynamic. Does the GM think it's a good idea? Nothing wrong with leveraging a little power against the group if it comes to that, but only if it's fun and interesting for everyone.
I also agree with Aboniks: a cursed item NEVER works in your favor, however, it can be engineered to work in YOUR favor. Wondrous Item- Contingency and Curse and Whatever Regular Enchantment. Mind you, a clever wizard may be able to detect the "hidden" nature of the tattoo for the character in the future. Such is the risk a wizard takes on the path to power, imho.
It is my understanding that one must charge "directly toward the designated opponent." and "You must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent." It seems to me that one's opponent taking a 5ft step isn't going to get him out of the way of most melee attackers. Simply stepping out of the line of the charge won't do it (unless the attacker is rolling a barrel or something).
I remember someone posted a diagram made by SKR illustrating this principle.
What got me to thinking was; what if someone readied an attack against a well-armored opponent, and wanted to take advantage of a possibly lower AC if that opponent power attacked? Would the -2 apply to the attacker (A) if (B) has a readied action "In case he power attacks me"...?
Actually a good thread. It's a good, mind-opening discussion about that first six seconds of combat.
I'm tempted to make some sort of rule about charged crossbows too (as it would make them more viable in PF) but I'd need to include ready firearms and possibly held spells, which got me to thinking:
Those Sense Motive and Bluff skills someone mentioned earlier could come in handy for those face-to-face situations where everything is becoming hostile. It's the equivalent of Mickey Spillane carefully reaching into his pocket to cock his pistol, or some cowboy villain eyeing that rifle laying in the dirt nearby, or Han Solo reaching under the table to unsnap his holster. Fail your Sense Motive check? Too bad, they now have a readied action on you.
What does that mean? It means HAN SHOOTS FIRST. It doesn't mean an automatic success of course (still gotta roll those) but everyone can make Bluff and Sense motive rolls to ready an action before Initiative is rolled.
Made your Sense Motive roll? Did he fail his Bluff roll? You see him readying an action and you can all roll initiative. Good luck. He still might be faster than you.
EDIT: Here's a scene to help explain how someone face-to-face and ready for combat can beat you in initiative: Billy Jack Whopping
I can second Hollow's Last Hope. It's an engaging storyline that's not too complex, and contains many of the elements that make Pathfinder stand out. Falcon's Hollow is also a good campaign town, as it's centrally located and yet small enough to be intriguing. Watch out for werewolves...and harpies...and undead dwarves...and ghostly armor...
The traditional challenge has always been to get players to STOP being loners.
Example: All of my taverns in-game are round, so that there are no shadowy corners for the player characters to sit in.
But if you really want to, go read the Drizzt Do'Urden series of Forgotten Realms, or check out Lord of the Rings's Aragorn.
I would say it is offensive to those who identify as "undead" and "trans-undead".
Why, last Monday morning I woke up feeling like undead, and I thought to myself "I must be born in a living body by mistake". I went to work and someone said "Hey, you look like the walking dead." and someone asked me if I'd seen that t.v. show and I went and found an undead support group (I still hadn't had my coffee) and THEY told me I had every right to be offended by the living if I felt undead. I'm marching in a parade next week for NECROPRIDE.
So...Thank you Werebat for reminding me to be offended. I feel so much more righteous now. Nevermind the fact that I'm not actually undead, or that there's no such thing. My feelings (so I'm told) take precedence over reality.
I can tell by Anzyr's usual righteous sarcastic tone that I must be saying the right things, but I think I'm not saying it right.
I suggest playing the game from the GM's side of the screen. Do plenty of social interaction (as well as battles), and learn to see the world (and the PCs) from the perspective of the NPCs and you'll see what I'm getting at, and obviously failing to relate to you all... But it has something to do with purpose and bearing, and that has nothing at all to do with your Charisma score. Not a bit.
Good luck to OP and his group. Have fun.
Another problem with just allowing a person to roleplay no matter the ski1l points is that it kind of screws other players who do invest in social skills. I am playing a Bard at the moment. I sure as hell don't want the fighter being as good as my bard in diplomacy without having the skill points. What's the point of investing major points in social skills if just everyone is equal at the table...
There are roles that people play in the world by virtue of their character's appearance and participation, AND by people's perception of them, not just their character class.
A narrow example: A fighter and a sorcerer walk into a town that is beset with monster problems. Which PC are the simple townsfolk likely to approach? The townspeople are looking for a hero. They don't even know what a "sorcerer" IS. If they realized it was someone with magic in their blood, they might be afraid of him/her and would be indifferent at best, suspicious and fearful at worst.
In such a situation as GM, I'd make the fighter the go-to guy for the townspeople, and the sorcerer would take a secondary role.
Another narrow example: A monk and a bard return to the monk's home town, which is beset by a tyrant who has taken over the monastery. Sure, the bard is terrific at diplomacy and bluff, but who are the townspeople going to trust to deal with this very localized problem?
An extreme example: A group of adventurers (cleric, fighter and bard) is seated at an important dinner with the king and his general. The king wants to discuss a problem with bandits. He sees the fighter as the group's warrior leader, and the cleric as the group's spiritual heart. The bard? Well, to a king a bard is entertainment. The player playing the bard attempts diplomacy roll after diplomacy roll until the king announces "If this one opens his mouth again, take him to the dungeon."
Roleplaying is an answer if the players seize the opportunity to play ...roles...and not just feel entitled to results based on their character stats.
In one of my games, I have a player playing a rogue kitsune with high charisma skills. It took him a while to get used to the idea that he can't talk everyone out of their purse, and eventually learned he could be a local contact for the thieves guild. The player lets me know how he wants to play his character, and I let him know what is possible within the confines of whatever society he's IN.
Right now I have a player playing a half-orc oracle with high charisma. He's not doing too well because he's dark and mysterious and a half-orc wandering around a human settlement.
No, not everything I listed is a charisma check.
This is what we call a "false dichotomy"; the idea that it's one or the other, and nothing else is possible.
Believe it or not, you can play and have a good time without having every related stat maxed in an optimum "build". I have players make rolls on their non-optimized stats all the time. I have had them make untrained skill checks. I have had entire hours of play time go by with everyone enjoying themselves, and no dice are rolled. It's called "roleplaying" , give it a try sometime.
This idea that everyone has to wrap themselves up in "RAW" to prevent abuse by some evil, evil, Dungeonmaster and his capricious and unfair whims has to go.
- Fighters are men-at-arms, and thus display all those traits that common people really admire. The common man doesn't really know all of the PC classes, he just knows there are those who wear common garb, those who wear robes and don't HAVE to work and those who wear armor and carry weapons and slay monsters. That fighter is likely to be noticed as a man of power and accomplishment.
- Locals ask him to tell the stories of his adventures. They completely ignore the rest of the group, who appear as weirdos, and robe-wearing snobs.
- Merchants want to hire him for protection of their caravan. Even if he's not available, they tell him about local dangers (because he's a warrior, and knows how to handle such things).
- The local mob wants to hire him to "do jobs". It doesn't matter that he's not a rogue, it matters that he's big and tough.
- The local ruler wants to invite him for dinner, because it's politically advantageous to be seen with powerful adventuring warriors. (Especially those who may do favors for your enemies if you don't make friends first)
- Local men-at-arms and soldiers want him to join them, or small groups want to join with HIM. (Forget the leadership trait and treat them as loose followers, or "fans").
- A local ruler wants to hire him to train his men/guard his stuff/deal with a problem/return something somewhere risky/get a message to someone/take some troops and get something done.
Fighters...tend to become kings. Think about it. This is how a warrior grows and is seen by others. They become barons and lords and landholders. Leaders of thousands of men.
Monks? They are warrior-poets. Aesthetes. Watch Kung-Fu the series with David Carradine for some ideas.
I don't mean to be rude, but this is how back-and-forth hurt feelings and misunderstandings lead to flame wars. I'm going to sidestep that minefield. I make posts to help people who come to these forums seeking help. Here is help, echoing what I posted earlier:
From the SRD: wrote:
Let's consider that the XP Leveling system goes way back to before video games. It's antiquated. Gamers have matured. Expectations have matured. We now demand a little more verisimilitude in our gaming worlds, and many of us would like tabletop rpgs to have a bit of realism that video MMO's lack.
Yep. I've pondered and read people's ideas on training. I don't think it works mechanically. Still, it's strange that level 1 characters can blow into a town, and within a few weeks, they're more powerful than the captain of the guard. What gives?
Scheduled leveling is the answer, I believe. Level the characters at certain points in the story.
- Level them every two or three adventures.
The GM can then work downtime into the storyline that reflects meeting one's peers for counsel and training.
Damian Magecraft wrote:
1: Any class ability that is governed by GM whim is not a good draw point for a class.
To whit: No class, or "every class" is "governed by GM whim". My advice is relax, or find another GM. I've never lost a spellbook, but if I did, I would consider it a setback for my character and carry on. Did Conan cry when Thulsa Doom took his stuff?
He did not.
My name is Owly, and I play a Universalist.
I'm having a great time. I kick ass and my party loves me. My Arcane Bond has saved party bacon a half-dozen times, at we all just hit level 11. Heck, my character has even had a girlfriend. Can all of you say the same? I thought not.
Being versatile is a difficult path in life, but it is a potent one. I've got something for every situation, and I've made my GM throw food across the table at me in frustration.
Sure others can cast more powerful spells, but I've got metamagic feats too, and you have to roll twice to save your can from some of my magic. I can penetrate SR, and I've got an Amulet of Magecraft that allows me to substitute spells when needed. Half Elves with Paragon Surge? Pfft. *pats them on the head*. Good job, son. Now stand back.
Some excellent points have been raised in this thread. I'm not convinced that Sorcerers are better. Maybe if we were screwdrivers, a sorcerer would be a custom ratcheting phillips 14" screwdriver. Excellent. My wizard is a whole set of standard and phillips with custom grips. Magnetized. Maybe I can't do what he does, but it doesn't mean I'm turning up my nose at him. We NEED 14" ratcheting screwdrivers. Come along for the ride, Sorcerer.
As for "Guidelines" versus "Rules", that 75% chance is the "Magic Mart" that has been discussed in so many threads. Let players buy what they will on that table. Use the rules. It works. Use Nethys's Random Treasure Generator. It's fun. Miss that 75% chance for a scroll of Lightning Bolt? Damn. Go to another town. Buy your secrets there. Carry on. Stay alive. Win or die. Keep adventuring.
Do it like triangulation. She can detect the direction of the scent as a move action. She takes a second move action. Her turn ends. You place a marker on the board WAY AHEAD of OR BEHIND her opponent, and tell her "You detect scent in this direction."
On her next turn, she scents again. Again you place a marker WAY AHEAD or BEHIND the opponent. Tell her "You detect scent in this direction".
From that, the player should be able to triangulate the location of the opponent, if that opponent hasn't moved. If they have, one or two more scentings should allow them to triangulate the opponent's movement path. I did this with two morlocks against a player who was invisible and in a small basement. The two worked together to find him almost instantly.
Some good answers here, I'll just add my two copper pieces:
I call it "The Rule of Your Peers", and it means that you tend to attract the people who are most like YOU. If you're Chaotic Neutral and you "don't give a ph***!" then you are going to find yourself in the company of the kind of people who also "don't give a ph***!". Selfish people tend to attract more selfish people. That CN bard or sorcerer is going to have a hard time finding places to buy and sell high-end items because everyone is going to think he's a brigand. He's going to find it impossible to get a Resurrection or Raise Dead because no one in the holy orders will trust him.
And remember, there is always someone more powerful than you, and some other organization that is better informed/better equipped than you. You're CN? CE? The thieves guild in town heard you were around, and they don't like you. In-fact, the guildmaster wants you run out of town. How did they know? They got connections, now get yer hands up!
In other words, those who make the effort to be lawful and/or good, get to enjoy the benefits of a lawful and good society, i.e. trust and mutual respect.
As for shenanigans and murderhobo-ing, this is a necessary evil. Sometimes players WANT to play with that kind of freedom. Do your best to keep your world real, but don't get in the way of their fun, unless it's egregious and tedious (and bad for paladins). Then when they want a better game, tell them you're ready.
None of the things you mentioned are "balancing" enough to justify the additional actions per round.
As far as I'm concerned, using weapons cords for anything but preventing the loss of a disarmed weapon is the equivalent of dealing off the bottom of the deck.
But I'm happy so many players want to master the rules so thoroughly that they've found a way, Magic the Gathering style, to get themselves extra actions. Most impressive.
Thanks for giving me yet another reason not to allow weapon's cords in my game.
No, there are not "plenty of ways to do it". You can hold something in your left hand, and you can hold something in your right hand. If you're a freak alchemist, you can hold something in your...extra hand. If you're casting a spell that has a somatic component, you need one hand free.
If you're holding a staff, you can hold it in one hand while you cast with the other.
If you're holding a metamagic rod, you can hold it in one hand while you cast with the other.
It's a full-round action, and it's cruel (sometimes a necessity of war, but nonetheless cruel). Let players use up their actions if that's what they want. I don't think I've ever played in a game where an enemy NPC runs over to help another enemy NPC with a potion or a Healing check.
Still, this is a good reason to fudge letting players survive: the enemy is more concerned with dropping the PC's than "finishing them off" (usually). It doesn't stop some ghouls in the back of the room from helping themselves to a fresh meal if their cohorts are busy with the rest of the PC's.