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Quelian's page

FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 99 posts (137 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Andoran

DM_Blake wrote:
All things considered, however, when I play a mage, I almost never prepare a spell that allows a saving throw. Right now, my 8th level wizard has Black Tentacles. That's it, that's the only spell in my regular preparations that allows any kind of save at all. Extend Spell is my friend, but Maximize, Empower, and Heighten are all worthless to me as a player.

And this is really the key here. I think this interpretation keeps the save system from entirely breaking down until 17th level or so. The save system is still inherently flawed, but this allows for a much easier time of predicting when and where that occurs and handling it appropriately as a DM.

Andoran

Kalyth wrote:

This was always the way we have inturpreted Heighten Spell. If I maximize (+3 Lvls) a Fireball (3rd lvl) and have the Heighten spell feat then the DC of the fireball is set at its maximized level (6th). If you have to add spell levels solely to raise the DC, for instance to get the above result about (6th level fireball spell) you would have to use a 9th level slot, its not worth the feat or the higher level spellslot.

I have always understood Height to be like the Meta-Meta-Magic Feat.

Yeah. I like how this seems like it should play.

In practice, arcane casters have about 10-15 spells per day that can get DCs into the range where they're relevant vs equivalent level monsters. (their top 2 or 3 spell levels) Interpereting the feat in this manner allows a caster to slowly become more exhausted as the day progresses, by chaining the DC to the spell slot level instead of the spell level. This means players have a much more accurate prediction and a much more CONSISTENT prediction of just how much heavy firepower they have left and DM's can also make their own determinations on that front, helping prevent players feeling like they have to rest before they actually do and DM's from misjudging the resources left to the party and hitting them with an encounter during watch rotations because they think the party doesn't need to rest at the moment.

It also make sorcerer casting more flexible as you can use your feats to get the most out of your limited spell selection. A wizard can customize to the exact spell, but that maximized empowered heightened fireball really can macguyver into the meteor storm slot when you need it, freeing up vital high level spell slots as a sorceror for more interesting spells.

The only worry I have is if this might force some readjustment on mob saves. However, I think it makes the arcane caster saves far more predictable over the course of the day and as a DM allows you to better build encounters and be able to predict the outcomes of said encounters. The casters now have X chances to do DC 17 spells, Y chances for DC 16 spells, and so on.

It also allows, from a player perspective, far more customization of your own spells, which is a HUGE PROBLEM I have with the current casting system. Caster feats are boring. The ones that are interesting (metamagic feats) always seem mechanically debilitating to the point that while they're cool, they're ineffective. This allows low level spells that you would never otherwise see at high levels to see play above level 10. And I think that's better for the game overall. Does it require a bit of math adjustment on the DM's part? Maybe. But really is it all THAT big a deal? Nah. The sheer amount of cool stuff that can come of interpereting the feat this way far outweighs the damage it could do to the system in my mind.

What I might end up doing if saves got out of hand under this interpretation is mess with some of the DC boosting effects. Most of those effects are LAME anyway, as +1 feats are basically bad for the system. I probably wouldn't bother, but it's something I would leave open if it got out of hand.

Andoran

Morgen wrote:

My high level sorcerer in 3.5 just assumed anyone would make the saves on his spells so he didn't care and enjoyed using metamagic. Couldn't start with a 20 charisma like the gray elf wizards started for intelligence so why bother? Best to focus on having a good time and being prepared for unusual situations. Metamagic helps really get a bang out of fireball or black tentacles so it was alright in the end.

Honestly your much more likely to have monsters fail their saving throws due to them being debuffed and forcing rerolls onto them then raising your save DC's like that.

Yeah, but I think this interperetation makes more intuitive sense to someone who comes in without the baggage of 3.5 behind them.

Wait, why is the archmage's grease spell just as easy to resist as the level 1 character's grease spell? Because he snapped his fingers to make it happen? Even though he burned the same amount of arcane power he would use for a spell that could freeze a small town?

Andoran

gbonehead wrote:

So it's long been a complaint that spell DCs lag due to metamagic. Consider an Empowered, Maximized Fireball - the caster is burning an 8th-level slot for a base save DC of 13.

But what about Heighten Spell?

PFSRD wrote:
A heightened spell has a higher spell level than normal (up to a maximum of 9th level). Unlike other metamagic feats, Heighten Spell actually increases the effective level of the spell that it modifies. All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level. The heightened spell is as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level.

Important: Note that it does not say "increase the slot by the number of levels you increase the spell." It does say that the effective level is now the level you prepared it at.

So if you now Heighten the fireball of doom, you've now got a base save DC of 18, at the same slot.

There's nothing in the RAW that says in what order you have to apply the metamagic - so I say apply Heighten last. It's not like it's game-breaking - it just means the save DCs for metamagic spells don't lag.

This is in fact an interperetation I had not considered before and fixes many of my issues with the metamagic system in general.

Towards the end of 3.5, if a metamagic feat was a +2 or higher level adjustment and it wasn't Quicken spell, it wasn't worth taking. You'd never land your saves.

Andoran

Warforged Gardener wrote:
With an AC that borders on untouchable and fighting skill that would likely drop any member of the party in two rounds, how does the group defeat a much more dangerous foe?

I do not know the level of your party, so I am throwing out spells that are 3rd-5th level. If lower, attempt to replicate the effect with mundane alchemy etc. Remember, if you're preparing traps gold funds suddenly matter a whole lot!

First rule of High CR monsters. Don't attack them, attack around them. Use conjuration effects, falling rocks, traps, any anything EXCEPT your own attacks. Keep him far far away from you and don't allow him to close the distance.

If indoors, collapse a cave onto him. If outdoors? Abuse fly and win the game. If he can fly, don't fight outside. Summon walls of ice/thorns/stone/iron/force and box him in. Stone is preferable because you can then stone shape the wall and just throw murder holes into it. You can also aquire some extremely EXTREMELY scary inhaled/contact poisons to make the trap brutal. Even if you can't get crazy poisons remember that as you apply more doses the save DC goes up and up.

You can also set the inside of the trap to do all kinds of ridiculous effects like the various cloud o' doom effects: Acid fog, incendiary cloud, ice storm, and the nefarious cloudkill. Your noncasters can stand at the ready to collapse ceilings, drop boiling oil, etc.

If you MUST enter combat, Ray of enfeeblement and ray of Exhaustion (twice if necessary to get him to fully exhausted) will kill any single foe's ability to do much of anything. When your strength score is under 5 it's REALLY hard to do damage. Power attack turns off if your strength drops lower than 13, Deadly Aim turns off if your dex drops under 13. All of the high Dex feats like two weapon fighting and the archery trees? They turn off too.

There's always enervation to throw flat -1d4 and 1d4x5 HP drain all around.

Remember, when dealing with anything that can probably cut you up faster than a salad shooter DO NOT ENGAGE. If the plan fails, run. Running is OK, and it is extremely difficult to outrun any party who really wants to get away. There's a reason Teleport is a standard action (if you have access to it).

Andoran

ProfessorCirno wrote:

It's not just that. Sundering is weird. I don't mean mechanically (though it is). I mean the actual thought process behind it. Why on earth would a monster or, hell, even almost any normal fighter, try to sunder an item rather then just murderize the guy using it?

"That man is trying to hit me with his sword. Rather then killing the man, I think I will attempt to kill his sword! Surely then he will feel so ashamed that the battle will immidiately end!"

The thought process is more like:

That man is hitting me with his sword. OH GOD IT'S GLOWING AND IT BUURRRRNSS OH GOD OWWWW.

STOP POKING ME <Bends sword in half>.

There, little man is now trying to punch me to death with his hands? Thanks, I needed a massage. Would you mind standing in front of my huge toothy maw so I can roast you before my midnight snack?

Intelligent critters using sunder makes sense.

The "broken" quality really allows for use of sunder without making the game fall apart. A broken sword is still a usable sword, it's just kind of bad at its job compared to a sword that still has an edge. Same with armor and other items. Sundering an item to the broken state often is fine, so long as the party has a mending spell around. You don't need to have exceedingly high caster levels to bring something back from the broken state. This is where you should stop if using the skill in moderation.

Destroying an item is different. Bringing an item to zero and permanently destroying it is something best used to bring up an entirely new story arc, where people go off to fix (and in fact upgrade) their broken item. This should be done by major villains and NPCs you intend to use throughout your game who your players should want VENGEANCE on. You will make your Players HATE these enemies. You will make the fighter characters HATE these enemies in character. "YOU BROKE MY SWORD". This can be good for a game so long as you can effectively direct the hatred at the NPC, rather than at you as the GM.

Andoran

Magicdealer wrote:

Here are the mechanical benefits of the feat:

When you draw a light weapon, you may make a Sleight of Hand check instead of a Bluff check to feint in combat. Other feats and abilities that affect a feint still apply to your feint.

So, switch bluff for sleight of hand.

Thats.... about it.

Nothing there about it changing action types, so it doesn't.

Fair enough. Fixes that problem. I do wish they'd have indicated a time frame where the sly draw switches the check. I suppose it should be directly after.

Andoran

First, its not free. He has a limited amount of those per day and they need to occur prior to incoming damage to do much.

I don't know if I would view this as a problem, but if it's really disrupting everyone else's gameplay by trivializing encounters the best solution would be to rule you can't "change" a performance without actually changing the type of performance you're playing. I don't see the raw specifically commenting on that aspect of the ability, and it's a perfectly reasonable interperetation in my mind.

Andoran

Indeed. It's less a problem of their power level and more that they just require a lot more context to plan actions. Casters are very much a thinker's class, and a well thought out caster can wreck things equal its CR with a little luck and preparation. Once your players wrap their heads around their spells they'll usually realize just how powerful spells are.

Andoran

Magus Black wrote:

Depends:

Page 201 Pathfinder 'Player's Handbook'
"Feinting is a standard action."

If you have the 'Improved Feint' feat it becomes a 'move action'.

And certain prestige classes (non-core mostly) can even speed it up further.

So the answer is that it depends on whether or not the're trained in the art of feinting.

The point being the feat as written indicates the feint check as part of drawing the weapon (a free action). Are you saying this is not a correct interperetation?

Andoran

I'm rather dissapointed in those saying that giving the magus a reason to leave and go EK is a bad idea. If a player is willing to dip into EK and deny themselves a capstone class ability and a caster level for the sake of an extra attack? More power to them.

I'm also very interested to see the meshing of the Magus and the Arcane archer. I really do like the Bard -> arcane archer builds and I think the magus could easily accomplish this type of build more effectively.

Giving the Magus 3/4 BAB makes mechanical sense. You now have a reason to class into the EK and specialize in beating things with sharp objects, or into the Arcane archer and specialize in shooting them with sharp objects. If you gave it full BAB you would completely marginalize the eldritch knight as a customization option for the class. Giving it full spellcasting progression effectively trades school specialization for 3/4 BAB and class features. I would make that trade in a heartbeat.

Narrowing the spell list too far pigeonholes the class into a single character concept. Its spell list should complement but otherwise angle away from the bard. If a bard is good at it a magus should avoid it, and vice versa. (Exceptions of course for primary utility spells such as detect magic, mage armor, and the like)

So what I want to see:

What I do see as a problem with 3/4 BAB is less in the numbers and more in the feat progression options. You're going to get stuck waiting until level 6 for great cleave and spring attack, and level 8 for greater combat maneuvers, lunge, improved two weapon, etc. Possibly level 7 or 9, respectively, if the class doesn't recieve ranger/monk/etc bonus feat progression. (Which I firmly believe it will need to work as a flexible class.)

I want to see levels in magus count as and stack with fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats. I want to see the major combat trees appear on a 2,6,10,14,18 bonus feat progression, and allow them to ignore prerequisites for those bonus feats. An archery progression, a two weapon fighting progression, Weapon master progression (power attack into weapon specializations and the like), spellcasting progression, etc.

I want to see a feature similar to fighter weapon training that gives an overall +5 to attacks and damage but is unlinked to the type of weapon you're using. Let it stack with arcane strike. If you want to get really fancy, make it like a paladin's divine bond. Start it at 5th. This ensures it always falls on a level which is not a spell level, but doesn't give the magus the ability to break magic DR early on which would trivialize many low level encounters. It also hard caps the ridiculousness from this and magic weapons at +5 to attack with some crazy arcane effects to assist. Alternatively give them access to a familiar which expands their spells known in the same manner as the witch from the APG playtest along with a +3 to a relevant combat skill like acrobatics, sleight of hand, bluff, and such. Call it Bond of the Magi or something. Don't let a familiar flank. Keep them to reach 0ft.

On Defense, I want one of the following options:

1) Arcane Armor training, giving the Magus the ability to move about and cast freely in medium armor at level 6 and heavy at level 12 (just before their 3rd and 5th spell levels). I am wary of giving them full dex in their armor, as that's a fighter's special awesomeness. Full casting seems perfectly appropriate. Not to mention that as a MAD class straining their ability scores to encompass dexterity as well might not end well on all fronts. Most dexterity issues can be solved with mithril armor just like we used to do in 3.5 anyway.

2) Make them an unarmored class and give them an AC bonus based on their casting stat.

Personally, I think #1 is the best option. The monk-style insight bonus would be neat but lead to all the problems inherent with monk AC. Not to mention it steps on the duelist's toes.

At level 1 I want the ability to channel touch attacks through a melee weapon instead. Put shocking grasp on my spell list. It'll be my 'smite' attack.

At level 5 I want to be able to hold the charge on a ranged touch attack if I miss.

At level 10 I want to see the ability to lower your BAB by 5 for a round to cast a standard action casting time spell as part of a full attack action provoking no attacks of opportunity. Specifically lowering your BAB by 5 to prevent people getting around negating the penalty with haste effects.

At level 15 I want to see the ability to cast spells with a range of personal as a swift action.

At level 20 I want the ability to link spells to critical hits in some manner, similar to the EK. I think that capstone is particularly elegant for an offensive caster in melee.

Should the class get ALL of these? probably not. But hey, at least I'm not worried about a d10 hit die. Seriously, take the toughness feat or ask for it as a bonus feat option. Same difference.

Andoran

Brendan Flood wrote:
The major source of contention amongst them is that they are worried that magic users, primarily the sorcerer and wizard, will run out of spells too fast and be left to their unlimited, but weak, 0 level spells. The fighter and other melee can keep fighting on with their weapons that are often higher than a D6 and gain multiple attacks per round. Magic users are limited to base D6 through their progression and have limited uses of the higher spell levels per day.

First off, remind your players that wizards and sorcerers aren't about doing a massive amount of damage. Arcane casters are the "Oh Sh-" classes. They take smaller actions to do what they do than a fighter, and rarely worry about positional requirements. They make up for a lack of endurance with the ability to completely end encounters with a standard action or two.

Quote:
Having never played Pathfinder, I am left without a good answer on this subject. Should I allow my players to refresh their spell count more than once per in-game day? Or do wizards and sorcerers rarely find themselves in a lurch spell-wise (I know they got a boost in hit die, but they really can't do much weapon damage, especially up close). How do you guys think these two classes play?

Yes, for the first few levels your characters playing wizards and sorcerers will feel strained and unable to play long adventuring days. (Rather, long dungeons) Give them a couple anyway so they can get a feel for the concept of spell conservation. There will be encounters where a mage really doesn't NEED to throw a spell in. Magic missiling a rat will certainly help but if the fighter has the entire thing in hand, it's better to throw some 0-levels around and use the specialist/bloodline X+3 times per day ability.

As a DM, it's important to keep tabs on your player's spells remaining every once in a while. If your players who play casters aren't forceful people the fighter can start pressuring the party into fighting when they really shouldn't. As a GM you should give the players some kind of option to rest once you're obviously running them ragged. If your players try to rest when they don't really need to? Give them a random encounter.

As your players level up, they'll stop running out of spells so often. By the time they hit level 5 (or 6 as a sorceror) they're not really going to burn through their entire spell selection in a day. They'll probably use up all their big guns but the lower level stuff will get them by until they realize they need to stop and rest.

Also, as was said above: Encourage non-traditional spell use. A player should not be punished for creativity.

Oh, one last thing. If lack of spells actually does become a problem, show your players the pearl of power magic item. Since it doesn't prep another slot, but rather refreshes an old one, it gives a wizard far more flexibility in their spell selection. They can memorize one of each relevant spell and then play much like they had 2 of each prepared.

A wizard should seek one of these for each of his spell levels, though a GM should be VERY careful about when they give them out.

Andoran

It's also entirely possible to play a priest of a god and not be involved in the organized church.

Regardless, the RAW allows a neutral cleric of a NE deity. The odds of a cleric staying neutral are rather low.

This is part of the reason you can play clerics of Asmodeus in Pathfinder Society.

As a neutral character of a NE religion you are literally walking a tightrope every day. Want to see an excellent example of that tightrope? Go read the Erevis Cale books from forgotten realms. Cale is a barely neutral cleric who has to deal with his NE god of assassination constantly screwing with him and trying to trick him into slipping further toward the evil alignments.

Andoran

srd5090 wrote:
What about if they get caught by the trap, and don't die, any XP for that? Essentially XP for surviving?

Considering that roleplaying around a combat encounter should give the EXP for the combat encounter, so long as they actively deal with the trap and bypass it, they should get the EXP for it. They're taking time at the table to address it.

Though, good traps are designed to force players to interact with it. They don't have to solve the thing, they just have to find a way to "beat" it, whether that be entirely bypassing the trap or disarming it.

Andoran

First off, here's the feat:

Adventurer's Armory wrote:

Sly Draw

You can draw your weapon with suchspeed and finesse that your opponents don’t realize they’re threatened.

Prerequisite: Quick Draw.

Benefit: When you draw a light weapon, you may make a Sleight of Hand check instead of a Bluff check to feint in combat. Other feats and abilities that affect a feint still apply to your feint.

My question is pretty simple: What action does the feint take?

As written, I'm seeing this feat giving you the ability to feint as a part of the act of drawing a weapon. Which the prerequisite of quick draw gives you as a free action.

This usually isn't that big of a deal. Normally people only draw a weapon once or twice in a combat, as weapons tend to be enchanted pretty heavily.

However: If, say, a rogue were to hide several daggers on their person and use quick draw/sly draw to simply continuously feint with each attack, strike their opponent with a sneak attack, then drop the weapon (Free action) to draw another one.

I don't see this being particularly broken as later you're certainly going to have monetary issues with getting enough enchanted daggers and/or other light weapons to keep up with AC values, especially on Rogue BAB.

What say thee, rules experts?

Andoran

In the seven years I have played D&D, I have fled from a total of two encounters.

First was the Kraken in the lake, which only one party member was foolish enough to approach after being told there was NO wildlife in the area. He died horribly. This was specifically to teach that player that yes, the sorting algorithm of evil doesn't apply here. He had been rather adamant about "the DM won't throw something we can't handle at us". We rewound after the player got the point.

Don't do the above. It ends badly.

The second was when another DM hit our party with a vampire monk around level 12. We were pretty much badasses as a party at this point, but the vampire monk quickly reduced our paladin and a couple other party members to 3 negative levels from instant doom. I called "EVAC" and thanked my stars I had a teleportation prepared. Got us about 100 miles clear.

You want to scare your party? Have a monster that very clearly drains their ability to fight. Bring the wizard and cleric under their respective int/cha scores needed to cast spells. Bring the fighter so low on strength/dex that TWF and Power attack turn off. Give them a clear method of escape. Make the beast extremely slow and obviously unlikely to give chase. Basically, you need to make it rather obvious that it's the best option.

Below level 5, it's best to penalize a score with a minimum score of 1. Don't target constitution, as you may accidentally slay a PC outright.

Andoran

James Jacobs wrote:
The tricky thing about shipwrecks being an adventure start is that if you run them out and the PCs stop the shipwreck from happening, then you don't get to run the shipwrecked adventure.

Depending on how the shipwreck is set up you can almost always ensure that the ship does in fact wreck. Cinematic wave crash, a wall of rocks appearing from the mist, etc. can all provide an unavoidable stop to the encounter.

Will the players become upset that they were railroaded into a shipwreck? That depends on your players. Generally it's a matter of presentation, and really making sure you frame the "win condition" for the encounter well. There's no enemy to kill here, but instead an objective: survive as long as possible. If you start the encounter out with an extremely damaging event for a ship the players often realize that the ship is likely going down. A ship can only take so much damage, so eventually a storm that's likely to wreck a vessel will win. Especially if players start a campaign at level 1 where casters cannot simply wave their hands to save the day.

Keeping the railroad from being demoralizing to your players requires GM interaction and communication, as always. Getting to the end of the shipwreck encounter ensures the crew can swim to shore, have time to load into lifeboats, or something similar. So long as the players see some kind of positive outcome to their efforts they can take comfort in that result.

Andoran

Character Workshop builds are now posted on our D20radio Forums.

Andoran

Don't just handwave the shipwreck. Play the shipwreck out as your initial encounter. Give the ship an appropriate amount of HP. Now play up your storm:

Set up an encounter in an extreme thunderstorm.

Every round everyone makes a DC 5 acrobatics check or the slippery, moving deck knocks them prone. Watch deadliest catch. That's what your players are dealing with in terms of boat being tossed about.

First thing that goes wrong: Lightning bolt to the ship's primary mast. It topples over and is dragging the ship down with its rigging. The players must cut the rigging free (by slicing the 10 ropes that bind it(or using escape artist to untie knots and free each rope), and using strength checks to push the mast over the side. Each rope attaches at a different point on the boat, forcing players to move over crates and other hazards on the boats surface.

The main mast dumps the ship's lookout into the ocean when it falls over. If the players rescue him they get better chances at finding useful items washed ashore.

Each round the main mast isn't freed the ship takes 5% of its hp in damage. At 50% damage the cargo hold is breached and cargo starts falling out of the ship.

Additionally, you're following the coast and the coastline is ROCKY. Someone has to get up onto the rigging on another mast and spot for the captain so they can navigate the rocks. Every 1d4 rounds a rock will come up dead ahead, 6 rounds of travel out. A DC 20 perception check spots the rock. Perception checks are made each round by the lookout. The DC decreases by 3 each round. The ship can avoid them if they are spotted at least 3 rounds out. At 2 rounds out, the captain grazes the rock and does 2% damage to the ship. At 1 round out, the damage increases to 5%. If the player fails his final perception check the rock appears out of the backside of a wave and the captain nearly capsizes the boat in emergency evasive maneuvers, dealing 10% damage to the boat and requiring a DC 10 acrobatics check to not fall prone and slide 5 ft toward the side dipping lowest. (GM's call)

The guy on the rigging also has to deal with effectively being on a lightning rod, especially if he has metal on him. Make him dodge a few 1d3 damage lightning bolts with reflex saves for half, and each one makes holding onto that rigging slightly more difficult, requiring a DC 10+2 for each lightning bolt that has damaged the rigging.

Once the ropes are clear and a few rocks have passed (basically as soon as it gets repetitive) the encounter ends with the players getting capsized by a massive wave.

Add up the amount of damage dealt to the ship. Figure out a table beforehand of what gear you want to give them access to on the beach. Figure out what is absolutely necessary, and what would be nice. For each 10% of HP remaining to the players open up new options (Starting with simple weapons and light armor and ending with masterwork exotic weapons, medium armor, and alchemical supplies if they aced the entire encounter!)

Andoran

I actually have come to like the Bard 8 / AA 10 progression, finishing with two more bard levels.

It's not the most broken thing in the world but when you consider all the tricks, buffs, and sheer amount of skills a bard gets you do end up with a rather versatile character.

I also like that the class appears to play like support artillery, and you can effectively work with multiple non targeted spells that don't give saves and still do incredible stuff. Specifically, the Arrow of Mass Cure Light Wounds, Good hope, etc. is a great infantry support spell.

Granted this particular character is in kingmaker, where bards are rather useful to have around.

Andoran

HalfOrcHeavyMetal wrote:
I'd treat a broken bone, especially a major break like the leg-bones, as 'exagerated constitution damage', meaning that it will take at least a week per amount of constitution you believe the player has lost for the body to recuperate. Cure spells set the bone, but it's still quite a traumatic injury and I'd also argue that the Cure series of spells would do little more than just mesh the bones together, not actually 'heal' the break. It will take time for the body to fully recover from this.

I like repurposing it as strength damage. Also note that falling objects have rules for hit point damage dealt with regard to distance fallen. Strength damage reduces effectiveness in melee, hobbles them if they wear armor, etc. That seems extremely appropriate.

In doing this you give them an out via restoration and cures. (If a group is burning 5-6 spells to get a guy back out of a broken leg and has to stop for 2-3 days? That seems enough of an impediment in a world where people can light things on fire with their mind.)

Andoran

Could always try to throw a resilient sphere down on a good section of the party, and hit the shadow too. Then it becomes a 1 vs 1 or 1 vs 2 fight. Force effect stops the shadow from getting out for a while.

Granted getting more than one party member into sphere configuration is hard.

Also, if he's using the thing to scout excessively, might I suggest writing the words explosive runes into some notes the shadow reads?

If your sorcerer has a cleric ally, death wards stop the shadow cold. Really the divine caster is your best counter here.

Andoran

Ravingdork wrote:
(I suppose I can make it up to him with the dragon's treasure hoard that it was forced to abandon.)

This.

"You stole my ship!" (You broke my sword!)
"I'll get you another ship!"
"Which one?"
"That one!"
"THAT ONE?!"

Remember that by breaking his weapon you have decreased his inherent wealth and now need to bring him back up to equivalent wealth by level in order to keep the gameplay at a balanced level. If he specifically got that sword forged and spent time getting it to exact specifications, you NEED to give him a direct upgrade or at the very least a side-grade.

The sundering in itself wasn't a jerk move. Sundering almost never is as long as you use it sparingly. It's the sunder-then-never-replace that's a jerk move. A paladin functions on having a good sword. Make sure he gets a replacement weapon that works with his weapon focus feats and whatnot.

If he took an heirloom weapon trait from adventurer's armory, and now can't repair it magically, give him a quest to get it put back together. Go find the hermit elven mage-smithy in the far corner of blahdeblahland and bring him a magical fruitbat to use as an apprentice's familiar or something.

Remember, when trying to gain the assistance of high level mages their time is worth far more than their gold, so if you make your players do some extra easy roleplaying of a couple weeks game time in out of combat stuff you can certainly justify a higher level mage assisting.

Andoran

Depending on how long I intend to run a campaign I could bang out an adventure in a couple days to as long as 2-3 years.

I have one right now that should run from 1-12. I don't intend to finish it before next summer. Our group has plenty of backlogged adventures to play and I'm just slowly working in little modifications every few days, spending 1-2 hours a week on it at this point. This is something I want to be able to hand to another person and have them be able to "Get it" and tinker and play with.

In the past, I've slammed through a one-shot design in a day or so. These runs I am usually flying by the seat of my pants. I've got some stat blocks made and a general plan, but 90% of GMing one shots is playing off your player's actions. It's very similar to how organized play works out.

Really, it depends on your goals, and if you have a player group that immediately wants to run your set of adventures. If the primary DM for my college group called me and said "I have a story I'd like to run" I would be constantly trying to get updates, and he would probably work on it more. I know the quality of his work. Newer GM's don't always have that "5 people waiting for you to hurry up and RUN THE THING" factor.

Andoran

The only ones I could think up that hasn't appeared are:

Strategist
Tactician

I like them because they don't have an alignment connotation, involve combat prowess, and hint at some mental ability.

Tactician might step on Cavalier toes far too much though.

Andoran

It all comes down to this: Forcing roleplaying will tie you up harder then just not worrying about it. You've been given some pretty great suggestions so far about when to interject but in reality you're just going to come across a moment where your entire character will click into place.

I usually have no clue how I'm going to play a character for at least 3 long sessions. I just took a fighter I was playing the other day and multiclassed into ranger. Why? Because I was able to tame a "wild" animal with handle animal, and I had been using survival all over the place as I was the only one with a decent survival. Suddenly my character got far more interesting than "I have daddy's broadsword and I cut things". He found his schtick. (Though being nigh unkillable when he got jumped solo by a trio of bandits helped.)

It took me nearly 5 levels to figure out how my stormlord would play out, and I had to /switch gods/ on that character and completely lose my divine ranks, sacrifice three feats, and lose a couple levels to really figure out what I wanted to do. In the end, it was the most memorable character I've ever played. (That campaign went to 15 and ran for two years.)

Focus less on your character and more on the world you're in. Engage the GM. Your character will evolve. Your GM is spending time creating a world. Dive in with both feet and he'll appreciate that you're appreciating his work. Everyone will be better for it, and I absolutely guaruntee that you will have a far more entertaining character that you feel works better than if you just made "The halfling dancer" and played up "I'm dancing because it's what I do".

Andoran

He's not MAKING me do it. I could whine and get new stats I'm sure. I don't intend to.

Andoran

Abraham spalding wrote:
I realize, however that's the way people are suggesting capping this, so I used similar terms for them. Personally I think the Hex is fine as is (and almost useless overall anyways).

Situational to be sure. Useless, I think not.

Definitely doesn't NEED a nerf.

Andoran

Yarp. Been a while since I had to deal with a shadowdancer. Oh well.

Andoran

Abraham spalding wrote:

Perhaps simply a reduced effect against higher hit dice:

Hit dice <= level -- Save fails, sleep: Save successful fatigued.
Hit dice > level -- Save fails, fatigued: Save successful nothing.

Hit dice caps are inherently bad ways to do spell mechanics. CR and Hit dice are nearly completely unrelated, so at the higher levels you end up with spells that have completely inconsistent results that you have no solid way of predicting.

Basically, HD limits and HD stage spells are unpredictable. The caster doesn't know enemy HD and has no way to FIND enemy HD, so they can't be sure WHEN an enemy is worth using a spell with HD caps is useful. This is not the case for a GM. The GM knows EXACTLY how many HD his players have.

Andoran

Charender wrote:
Light, Daylight, etc. Anything that gets rid of shadows will negate HiPS.

Depends on the situation and level of darkness. But yes, I see where you're coming from there.

Andoran

Looking through that... I can see where you're getting that, and I think you're right. Guess I better put that down on the houserule list. Wizard needs a way to prepare against HiPS.

Andoran

Cartigan wrote:

Aimed at you or not, you are wrong.

You are not supernaturally concealed, you are supernaturally activating the basic stealth skill when you otherwise couldn't.

No, it specifically calls out HiPS as supernatural. True sight sees through HiPS. It does not see through stealth. True sight effectively negates the class feature.

Andoran

james maissen wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
shadowdancer makes a worthwhile 2 level dip as well. assuming you are human. but i wouldn't invest more than 2 levels in it.

That's funny as I see the shadow companion as one of the strongest of the class abilities the shadowdancer is given.

-James

The shadow thing is a personal abhorrence of mine. I hate pets. But yes, it's a really good ability.

Andoran

Abraham spalding wrote:

This part isn't true: A coup de gras is a full attack action, but it does not wait until the next round to resolve. Otherwise full attacking would not resolve until the next round.

Casting a spell with a full round action also resolves in the round it is cast -- a spell with a casting time of 1 round isn't the same and takes until the next round to cast.

A coup-de-grace is a full ROUND action, not a full attack. Full attacks are a weird subset of Full-Round actions.

From the rulebook, pg 197:

Coup de Grace: As a full-round action, you can use a
melee weapon to deliver a coup de grace (pronounced “coo
day grahs”) to a helpless opponent.

I do believe I was misreading the intent of the standard action to initiate complete full round actions, though. Thus, your point still stands.

Cutting duration to 1/2 level, minimum 1, still prevents move and CDG until level 4. Personally, I think that's fine.

And yeah, if my DM capped the HD on slumber hex via houserules in a home game I would ask to reroll or walk. It's just not that broken.

Andoran

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Ten years from now, what are you going to remember? How much damage you dealt? How many monsters failed their saves against you? Or the story and adventure and rapport that grew between you and your party-mates. (Yeah,its a daunting task with what you've described of the Paladin, but odds are decent he may follow your lead if you took the step and went all out)

Definitely truth. Also, if the paladin wants to have limelight, share it. Play off his actions and team up to do a little good cop, bad cop and the like. You'll find it ends with your GM happier. Happier GMs give better circumstance modifiers.

Hell, I've let people do incredibly epic things in both roleplaying and combat because they made it sound so incredibly COOL. Normally they'd have never had a chance. A +5 to a check from the GM for making him laugh or even just a doubletake is sometimes all it takes.

Andoran

Are wrote:

This reminds me of the 3.5 PHB2 Beguiler.. If the enemies didn't have sky-high Will saves or mind-affecting immunity, the Beguiler could handle the entire encounter by herself (leading to the other PCs not really doing anything except coup-de-grace'ing), while if they DID have sky-high Will saves or immunity, the Beguiler did absolutely nothing (which led to the encounters being pretty tough on the remaining PCs).

I played a beguiler in 3.5 as well. (I love enchanter type casters. Can you tell?)

Anyway, the witch is like a severely toned down and not asininely broken beguiler. The beguiler's main issue was they had access to way, way, way too many spells that they could randomly spontaneously cast, and then they added in the 11 or so skills per level if you got decent rolls.

The witch only has one truly moderately broken hex in the slumber hex. Cutting the duration to 1/2 level progression completely fixes it too. Also, I need to edit the move-and-CDG comment. 1/2 level progression allows that at level 6, but really a witch is going to glitterdust you into the ground at that point.

Andoran

Kolokotroni wrote:
Certainly there are tons of feats and abilities that change things, spells focus, and greater spell focus changes things. But certainly those 2 feats should not be required for success should they? Nor do they apply to all the wizards spells. I am trying...

Actually, given that melee characters are balanced around them having weapon focus in their specific weapon... yes. Spell focus at least should matter. Pure casters don't have an incredible amount of feat taxes outside of the Spell Focus feats.

Andoran

Actually, the fact that the subject sees through normal and magical darkness when true seeing is up pretty much trumps the magic/nonmagic argument. You can magically cut through all darkness both mundane and magical. This hits either of our interperetations.

Andoran

Ravingdork wrote:

That doesn't mean they are hiding in "magical shadows."

Sure it's supernatural in nature, but no where does it say it is illusory. I looked up True Seeing and I don't see anything on its "defeat list" that would apply to HiPS.

Shadows aren't actually where the player is if they're outside the dim light. Their supernatural effect is allowing them to act as if they were within the dim light. They are not. Without their supernatural ability they are now subject to a DC 0 perception check to be seen.

HiPS is a supernatural effect that alters what would be happening were no supernatural effect going on. True seeing clearly states it shows things as they would be if everything was mundane. Effectively, it's antimagic sight.

Edit: I clearly stated earlier this is a RAI patch to a RAW grey area. If you are making an RAI call that you can't true seeing a shadow, then that's no more or less valid, really. RAW is incredibly vague here.

Andoran

Ravingdork wrote:

Flyby attack doesn't do much for dragons using ranged attacks. If a dragon is above and to the right of me, I am going to shoot him with my ranged attacks. If he flies overhead and breathes fire, then continues flying to the left of me, not much has changed tactically. Assuming I am not dead, I am simply going to continue firing ranged attacks at it.

It's not like it can pop in and out of cover easily with its crappy maneuverability.

This is why all the smart dragons fill their lairs with tubes of acid/lava/liquid nitrogen/<insert energy damage liquid here> that they can pop in and out of while their breath weapon recharges!

Andoran

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Heh, I cheat. I reward my characters with levels when I feel they're characters have grown enough in the story. It's got absolutely nothing to do with the b&&#-kicking that they happen to do along the way.

Guilty of that as well. My college group was notorious for that. Unfortunately the DMs would still ping you a level for dying so if you died you were stuck behind everyone with no way to earn it back.

Andoran

Where's his cold/fire resistance coming from? Or is it just an added thing on the monster?

Andoran

Ravingdork wrote:
The moment you show me where the rules say supernatural shadows are are involved I will happily agree with you. Until then...

From the core rulebook:

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A shadowdancer can use the Stealth
skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10
feet of an area of dim light, a shadowdancer can hide herself
from view in the open without anything to actually hide
behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.

Hide in plain sight is a supernatural ability. The dim light itself? not supernatural. The concealment the players draw from being near the dim light is very much supernatural. You can't HiPS in an antimagic field.

Andoran

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Interestingly enough though, I just finished a session with my optimized 'combat monster' Pathfinder Paladin player, and all we did the entire session was just roleplay back and forth between him and the Highwaymen that had intended to gut and rob him at his campfire, and instead he ended up persuading them to give up crime and go find work in his home town where he'd just come from. Through the whole game we made maybe 6 rolls, a couple perceptions, a couple stealths, and he made two diplomacy checks. And some people have this idea that optimizers are all about killing and/or fighting and don't want to RP>>

I hear that. My characters may be beasts in combat but that doesn't mean I'm not down for a 8 hour session with 30 minutes of combat. So long as we get EXP for it!

Andoran

Ravingdork wrote:
I don't think either spell would do anything VS HiPS. Using the stealth skill is mundane and not affected by magic.

Doesn't remove the effect of the stealth skill. Does remove the effect of the supernatural shadow allowing you use of the stealth skill where you otherwise would be unable to, IE outside of cover/concealment in normal or bright light.

If the shadowdancer is in a place any normal person could make a stealth check, true seeing does nothing. Effectively true seeing simply removes HiPS, not stealth.

This would be different were HiPS not supernatural as true seeing makes a very specific exception for non-magical deceptions. Extraordinary abilities remain unaffected by true sight regardless of what they do.

Andoran

kyrt-ryder wrote:
It's actually a lot of fun, and because of the way I handle the character generation process (as a pre-game roleplaying session through the character's life as these abilities are gained) it really builds a lot of depth and emotional attachment into the character.

I could see this being a lot of fun, but I imagine this works primarily because your group is comprised of very avid roleplayers. In a roleplay heavy group stat disparity is less of a factor.

Andoran

ProfessorCirno wrote:
...Uh, I'm referring to his comment that HiPS shouldn't be as powerful as Invisibility.

Apologies. Without a quote I assumed you were speaking to the last point spells were brought up, which was my post above. Let me edit that.

Andoran

Oh, let's see if I can beat my commoner rolls in the advice thread I posted!

3d6 ⇒ (5, 2, 3) = 10
3d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 1) = 7
3d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 5) = 11
3d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 3) = 11
3d6 ⇒ (2, 1, 4) = 7
3d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 6) = 12

Nope. 4d6:

1d6 ⇒ 6
1d6 ⇒ 6
1d6 ⇒ 3
1d6 ⇒ 5
1d6 ⇒ 3
1d6 ⇒ 3

oooh. 14, 12, 13, 13, 9, 14

I like those. Wish I had rolled that in kingmaker, hehe.

Andoran

ProfessorCirno wrote:

Yes, level 2 spells should be able to supercede all supernatural abilities from PrCs.

Why the hell does anyone play anything but casters if that's your philosophy? Really? Only casters are allowed to have cool things? Christ.

True seeing is a 6th level spell with a 250 gp material component. Yes, it supercedes your supernatural concealment. It specifically states in the spell that this is what true seeing does.

See invisibility is the 2nd level version and we never let it do squat vs HiPS.

EDIT: Nevermind, mistook that to be directed at me.

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