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RumpinRufus's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 878 posts (973 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 4 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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Level 2 is a good one for Half-Orc Barbarian, because that's where you get bite/claw/claw. You can do a crazy amount of damage, which might be overkill for PFS, but who doesn't like having three attacks at full BAB as a 2nd level character?

Breakthrough! If I take Defiant Luck -> Inexplicable Luck I can add a +8(!!!) to my Int check every day!

That's enough to chat with a greater deity daily with no failure chance.

I considered Fortune/Cackle but my GM would probably rule that the distraction would make it impossible to cast the spell.

Guidance doesn't apply to ability checks, unfortunately.

Embrace Destiny is personal and only lasts for rounds/level, so it could never last the required 10 minutes.

Diviner's Fortune also only lasts one round - I don't think my GM would let this fly.

I have found a couple more ways to boost, though: until I get a +6 headband, I can have our alchemist give me an Amplify Elixir infusion on a Fox's Cunning potion.

A Stone of Good Luck can also give me a +1.

I also realize the entire endeavor is less risky than I initially thought - a nat 1 doesn't auto-fail an ability check, so with 26 Int I can contact at least the Astral Plane with no chance of failure.

Unfortunately Touch of Law only lasts 1 round, and with a casting time of 10 minutes I don't think my GM would allow me to use it that way. (For example, he also doesn't allow that ability to be used for crafting checks.)

Obviously, Contact Other Plane is supposed to be risky. But my character is a planar-obsessed divination wizard, and I just don't think I'd be doing him justice if I don't try to use it.

Is there any way to make it less risky? It seems like the options are (1) buffing intelligence checks and (2) allowing rerolls.

If I already have a headband, is there anything besides Good Hope that will help me buff my Int check?

And is there anything short of an 8th-level Fate subdomain cleric that would let me reroll a botched check?

Thanks in advance!

Hmm, but the official Paizo site lists "Utopia" while the wikis use "Axis".

Where do LN characters go in their afterlife? Is it Utopia, Axis, or are both possible? Or are they the same?

Planar Adventures lists Utopia as the LN Outer Plane, but the wikis list the LN plane as Axis, and don't mention Utopia.

Can anyone explain this for me?

No, Lay on Hands is a supernatural ability, and Su abilities don't provoke unless specifically mentioned.

Maybe the reason it specifies using LoH as an attack doesn't provoke is that you are using a touch attack, and maybe they thought touch attacks seem similar enough to unarmed strikes that people might assume it provoked? Although touch attack spells also don't provoke.

Anyway, the rules are redundant and I'm not sure why, but neither using it to heal nor to hurt provokes.

(first post in the Homebrew section, let me know if I'm doing it wrong)

For a new character, I want to make a new feat, Craft Magic Maps. My GM has said he's open to the idea in theory, but it needs to be clear how it works. So, I'm looking for input on how to make it work.

Spells I'm thinking of making into maps: Alarm, Clairvoyance/Clairaudience, Arcane Eye, Teleport. Any other suggestions?

In many ways, it seems similar to a normal Wondrous Item, with a couple differences: (1) each map will only have a specific number of locations that it will work at (for example, it could teleport you between Absalom, Almas, and Egorian). (2) the map will work at a longer range than a normal spell (for example, Clairvoyance usually has a 400+40/level ft. range, whereas in a map it will work hundreds of miles away.)

So, how should I price it? And any suggestions on how to determine how many "targets" will be on each map? Also, would it be fair to say that since there are really only a handful of feasible Magic Maps, whereas there are hundreds of Wondrous Items, there should be some moderate price reduction to account for the feat tax?

Any and all suggestions are useful, perhaps I'll even take this in an entirely different direction! Right now I'm just looking for any ideas to run by my GM.

Due to busy schedules, I'm co-running Kingmaker with another player/GM. Both of us play PCs, but also switch off GMing. Right now we're alternating each week. We're about to start week 2, so he's GMed one session and I am about to GM the second.

Does anyone have advice on how best to do this? We don't want to completely spoil the surprises for ourselves, but we do want to be prepared enough to be able to effectively run the encounters. Due to the non-linear nature, I'm not sure which encounters will come up each session, so I don't know which ones to read in detail.

Should we continue switching week-by-week? Or is there some better way to do this, like have a "master GM" who reads ahead and an "encounter GM" who prepares specific battles?

I've never been in a co-GMing situation like this, so any advice is helpful!

andreww wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:

Sorry, but this plan doesn't work at all.

Mystic Theurge requires you to be able to cast 2nd-level divine spells. The Fate inquisition lets you use Augury as a spell-like ability. Using a spell-like =/= casting a spell. (Moreover, the pre-reqs say "2nd-level spells", not "2nd-level spell".)

I don't think there's any way to qualify early for MT, although I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

You are several months out of date, reread the faq.

Which FAQ post? Link?

edit: found the FAQ, but Mystic Theurge still requires you to be able to cast 2nd-level spells (plural). Being able to cast one spell (Augury) doesn't qualify you to be a Theurge.

Sorry, but this plan doesn't work at all.

Mystic Theurge requires you to be able to cast 2nd-level divine spells. The Fate inquisition lets you use Augury as a spell-like ability. Using a spell-like =/= casting a spell. (Moreover, the pre-reqs say "2nd-level spells", not "2nd-level spell".)

I don't think there's any way to qualify early for MT, although I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Sissyl wrote:

Then what should I do during the sessions I'm not GMing?

Does anyone have advice for playing a GMPC, as far as what role/class to play, and perhaps how to play it?

I'm about to start co-GMing Kingmaker, so I'll be GM for half the sessions. I want the character to be fun to play, but also easy/quick to handle when I'm GMing.

My current line of thinking:

1) No prepared spellcasters - I don't want to have to waste time picking out spells every day

2) No party face - having GM knowledge about the NPCs, I don't know if I trust myself to avoid metagaming during social interactions

3) No complex tactics - I want a character whose combat turns will go quickly and require little planning

Any additions/modifications? Has anyone who has played a GMPC have any suggestions about what does/doesn't work?

What Slim said. It's so you can use a reach weapon and still threaten adjacent.

I also want to point out that by RAW you do not need to look at someone as you're detecting evil. It says "concentrate on", which can easily be done with your eyes closed or your back turned once you've picked out your target.

GrenMeera wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:

Let's see:

1) you can't hear it

2) you can't see it

3) you can't smell it

4) you can't taste it

5) you can't feel it

So how exactly are you noticing it?

The casting of a spell or spell-like ability? However you choose, because you CAN see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, OR feel it depending upon how the GM decides to describe it.

I've quoted the rules and a developer. Exactly why are you jumping to the conclusion that you cannot?

Once again, the developer you quoted was not talking about spell-like abilities. You cast a spell. You activate a spell-like. These are different things, and you can't use Spellcraft on an activated ability when it doesn't involve spellcasting.

The spell says "You can sense the presence of evil." I don't know about you, but when someone smells a peach, I can't look at that person and say "that guy is definitely smelling peach right now." If your GM wants to rule that it additionally makes a giant cone of white light that's clearly visible, I suppose that's his prerogative but I don't think it fits the text of the spell at all. Visible effects are not usually associated with Divination spells, except where it's explicitly mentioned in the text of the spell (such as Arcane Sight.)

GrenMeera wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
and it's NOT noticeable
Except, of course, that it is.

Let's see:

1) you can't hear it

2) you can't see it

3) you can't smell it

4) you can't taste it

5) you can't feel it

So how exactly are you noticing it?

redward wrote:
mdt wrote:
Again, doesn't make the player decide to do something, it forces him to. Different mechanic.

I see this a lot with respect to Antagonize. It "forces them to decide". "My character has to attack someone of their own free will." These statements are essentially contradictory.

Antagonize is Sophie's Choice. You're going to attack, you just "get" to choose how. You can't not attack. No free will.

Why should the game give characters absolute agency over their actions, when real people in real life DON'T have absolute agency? The clear Simulationist view would be to allow the feat in some form. In order to fit it into the mechanics of the game, they made it a standard action, when you could make a good case it should take longer than that, but in general the existence of the feat adds to verisimilitude (unless you roleplay it poorly.) And the DC is clearly too low, I don't think anyone's debating over that, but that's a separate issue.

Also, you can't compare Antagonize to Greater Command. You know why. Stop that.

So much picking and choosing going on. What about Beguiling Gift? What about Calm Emotions? What about Knight's Calling? All of these things can easily force people to act against their nature, and they don't get any bonus on saves, etc. for that.

-Anvil- wrote:

Yes you could. But it becomes a much less valid option at that point especially when it takes several rounds and is noticeable. Not that the NPC's will know what you're doing other than staring a lot.

I'm really glad that creatures below 4hd don't register because if they did Detect Eveil would be REALLY broken for a lvl 1 spell. It's a good balancing mechanic.

It DOESN'T take several rounds (it's a move action for the targeted version) and it's NOT noticeable (all it requires is for you to concentrate on the target - it doesn't even say you have to be looking at them.)

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IejirIsk wrote:
though, an invisible person a pally could NOT detect on, no LOS

The cone-version Detect Evil still works, it just takes 3 rounds. But yes, not the targeted version.

-Anvil- wrote:

Am I missing something here?

According to the chart under Detect Evil on the PRD. (which the Paladin's ability mimicks)
It states that creatures with HD 4 or less have no discernable aura.

So NO you can't go through a city scanning every person because 95% of the NPC population isn't "strong" enough to register on your radar.

You can still scan every person. It just means that when your evildar does ping, you know it's someone important.

mdt wrote:
redward wrote:

I'm pretty sure it doesn't get the opportunity for additional saves because it only lasts a round. As does Antagonize.

If you're going to make sweeping generalizations like "every other mechanic in the game" it would be helpful to know your pet exceptions prior to formulating a response.

My apologies, I honestly didn't even know what the spell was until you mentioned it. I actually do, despite all rumors to the contrary, have a life. So I don't have the entirety of the rule set memorized and at the tip of my tongue. However, I stand by the statement that 'every other mind controling effect in the game has this' and just add the caveat of 'other than broken spells and feats' on to it, thus covering Murderous Command.

BTW: That's also banned in my games, use dominate or something if you want to make people do things they don't want to do.

This is so very very wrong it's utterly ridiculous. There are at least a dozen mind-affecting spells that force your action and don't give you any bonus or additional save if it's against your nature. Cause Fear, Beguiling Gift, Calm Emotions, Knight's Calling, Zone of Truth, Lesser Geas, Geas, Confusion, Insanity, Fear, Euphoric Tranquility, Antipathy.

There are more spells that don't give any bonus for acting against your nature than spells that do.

Back to Antagonize, the realistic fact is that people are not ever in absolute control of their emotions or their actions. Effects like unconscious priming rely on the ability to alter the way someone else's mind works, and guess what, it's a completely mundane effect. You can't declare "my character never sleeps", and for the exact same reasons, you can't declare "my character would never attack someone". If you're that concerned about being forced to attack someone, you can shell out the whole 12.5 GP required to get a scroll of Daze.

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paladinguy wrote:
Victor Zajic wrote:
Not only is detecting evil on everyone you meet rude, If I were GM, over use might have an affect on your alignment or access to paladin powers.
And this is why playing a paladin can be frustrating. Often the player and GM can have wildly different views on what counts as lawful good acts, and the GM can punish the player pretty badly just because the player has a different interpretation of lawful good.

Honestly, I can't ever remember hearing a better example of "lawful stupid" than what Victor suggested. Should a paladin also blind himself because the eyes are easily fooled by low-level magic? Should he deafen himself because of the existence of Ghost Sound?

magnuskn wrote:

Since everybody seems to disregard this, I'll quote it once more:

BillyGoat wrote:

This is an excellent point. Given that Spell-Like Abilities are mechanically identical to spells (excluding where the rules specifically differentiate), then it must be noticeable to an observer as a spell-like ability (by RAW). Why? Because strict RAW says you can use the Spellcraft skill to identify a spell as it's being cast. Since spell-like abilities function as spells wherever they aren't defined as differing, they must be readily apparent in some fashion to the trained eye. Also note that identifying a spell with Spellcraft does not require any magical senses, merely a successful skill check.

I side with Jason Buhlman/Grenmeera on the idea that this means there's some form of observable phenomena associated with spells (and, consequently, spell-like abilities). However, the exact mechanics of why it's identifiable as Detect Evil to anyone making the DC 16 Spellcraft check are up to the individual GM.

This means that everybody, even people not trained in Spellcraft, will perceive that a spell was cast on them. People without Spellcraft only have no idea what spell that was.

So, probably glowing eyes for the Paladin or the like.

RumpinRufus wrote:

It's clearly silent. It clearly requires no hand gestures or holy symbols. You have to concentrate on them for ~3 seconds, that's it.

You wouldn't be able to identify it with Spellcraft because there's no casting involved. Spellcraft only lets you identify casting, and the paladin is not casting anything, only activating an ability.

This is clearly a wrong reading of the rules regarding Spellcraft, as Jason Bulmahn pointed out in the linked post last page.

Jason Bulmahn was talking about spells being cast without components. That is not the issue here, we're talking about using a spell-like ability. Spell-likes are not cast, they are activated. There is no mechanic for identifying an activated ability.

ryric wrote:
That's really one of the core issues with the feat - it's very existence implies a game world where anyone, anywhere can instigate deadly violence from complete strangers with a casual insult.

Who said anything about deadly force? You could try to grab them, you could throw a copper piece (or a shoe) at them, you could cast Daze on them. You could cast Message on them and softly whisper "that wasn't very nice". The noble that was mentioned earlier could slap someone with a glove.

I agree with a sentiment that was expressed earlier - you cannot say "my character wouldn't do that" any more than you can say "my character wouldn't get hit by an arrow". If your character concept is being unflappable, invest in wisdom.

I do agree that bonuses to your Will save should give you a bonus. Probably the easiest thing to do would be to give it a Will save vs DC 10+Intimidate modifier. I would also make it a Compulsion effect.

It's clearly silent. It clearly requires no hand gestures or holy symbols. You have to concentrate on them for ~3 seconds, that's it.

You wouldn't be able to identify it with Spellcraft because there's no casting involved. Spellcraft only lets you identify casting, and the paladin is not casting anything, only activating an ability.

I don't understand anyone who is saying it "negates" Invisibility. Getting a 50% miss chance on attacks against you is an awesome buff and nothing about Detect Magic negates that part.

A Paladin can get Good Hope with the Unsanctioned Knowledge feat.

Roc is great if you think you'll have ample opportunity to be flying.

Technically, having your AC perform a trick it already knows is still a DC 10 Handle Animal check (DC 12 if it's injured.)

The easy solution to avoiding Handle Animal checks is bump your companion's INT to 3 ASAP, then give it a rank in Linguistics and teach it a language you know.

Ok, that's what I thought. It just seems strange that the Wizard and Bard say it one way and Arcane Trickster says another, even though they mean the exact same thing.

The class skills for the Arcane Trickster include the entry "Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int)".

Is this intended to mean all Knowledge skills are class skills? I'm confused about (all skills taken individually), as opposed to the Wizard skill list which just says Knowledge (all).

So it's 100% ok that magic can do it, but even though it is entirely possible in real life (to the point of being cliché,) it should never be allowed via non-magical means?

It's quite common in literature that the extremely mild-mannered and friendly character eventually snaps when faced with an enemy who knows how to really get underneath their skin and antagonize them. I don't think it's unrealistic to say someone gets so heated that they're distracted from doing anything else but respond to the aggravator.

Greater Whip Mastery is worthless, but Improved Whip Mastery is awesome. AFAIK it's the only way you can threaten both adjacent and range at the same time with the same weapon. With Improved Trip and Improved Whip Mastery, it's almost impossible for anyone to get into melee with you without being tripped by your AoO.

A: Weapon Finesse lets you add dex instead of str for maneuvers you make with a weapon (disarm, trip, or sunder), but to get dex to CMB for other maneuvers you need the Agile Maneuvers feat.

If she doesn't want to hurt people, take a good long hard look at the Blade of Mercy trait. It lets you do nonlethal AND does bonus damage.

For more ideas on how to build a nonlethal PF character, you can check out this thread. The final post gives 11 viable nonlethal build ideas. I don't know anything about River Song, though, so I don't know what would be most appropriate.

How about this line of reasoning: people who actually play in campaigns with Synthesists end up complaining that they feel useless because the Synthesist can solo encounters that would challenge the rest of the party.

If it's so powerful it makes things unfun for other players, it's broken.

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This whole thread is a giant straw man.

Buri, can you point out ONE person who has said that Synthesists are stronger than every other character at every conceivable task?

Obviously at specific jobs other classes will surpass the Synthesist. The advantages that make Synthesist broken are 1) double HP, 2) incredible stat arrays, 3) switch-hitting between melee and casting, and 4) choice of evolutions.

A class doesn't need to be strictly better than every other class to be broken. Having twice as many HP as everyone else along with the ability to hit just as hard as the hardest hitters is already enough to make it far more powerful than the average character. You don't need to out-wizard the wizard in order to be broken.

mdt wrote:
Ok, I'm pretty much done. If people can't see it's a broken feat, despite them coming out and saying it requires a gentleman's agreement not to use it the way it's written, and for people not to take it even though it's really really really powerful, then yeah, I'm wasting my time. Do whatever you want in your own games. PFS bans it, I ban it, everyone I know in RL bans it. Enjoy.

I think you're overemphasizing how strong the feat is. It's situationally useful, but not "really really really powerful". I mean, should the Selective Channeling feat be banned because having 6 mook clerics Selective Channeling negative energy is overpowered? Should Hideous Laughter be banned because 6 mook wizards casting Hideous Laughter can shut someone down more effectively than Antagonize can?

There's a difference between "not using it how its written" and "not giving it to every mook on the planet". Antagonize is a feat for people who are willing to take hits, therefore it's essentially a feat for heroes/antiheroes. Most mercenaries don't open themselves up to harm if they can avoid it.

But even so, I don't think "stopping the cleric from healing" is nearly as OP as you think it is. I'm curious to see how you would use this feat that makes it "really really really powerful".

But aren't you specifically talking about the mooks? I don't think anyone thinks that having the BBEG use Antagonize is broken. It's only broken when you use specially-designed mooks.

My point was that most mooks don't have the morale that a BBEG would. They aren't looking to take hits, they're looking to get paid. If they can do so without losing any body parts, so much the better.

If someone uses Antagonize, it's pretty much implied that they're willing to take hits and fight to the death. Most mooks shouldn't be the type that will fight to the death, unless they have some special motivation to do so.

mdt, do you really think having an enemy use his standard action to prevent in-combat healing is game-breaking? Most enemies will do more damage taking a swing at a PC than they would prevent by stopping the cleric from healing.

The only way I can see that being seriously exploited is having a lot of low-level mooks with Intimidate builds and this feat, but if that's the case then slicing them down before they have a chance to use their Antagonize should be easy.

When used by an equal-power opponent it's basically a wash (use your action to eat their action,) although tactically this can be useful. And then there's the question - what is motivating these puny guys to provoke attacks from bad*** heroes? Most enemies don't have death-wishes, and won't Antagonize someone who is clearly more powerful than them.

You're also making assumptions that the Antagonize always works (it's usually an easy check but not so much against a cleric,) and that the cleric is using his spells to attack (he can just as easily throw a shoe.)

Buri wrote:
I think you just contradicted yourself. Spellcraft is a skill. 20 ranks is not a small investment over the lifetime of a character.

But there are many reasons you already NEED Spellcraft. You NEED Spellcraft to identify spells as they're being cast. You NEED Spellcraft to copy spells to your spellbook. You NEED Spellcraft to identify magic items.

The fact that you also use Spellcraft for making magic weapons is just a bonus. If you're a wizard and don't keep Spellcraft maxed, I won't say you're definitely doing something wrong, but... you're probably doing something wrong. That's why I say crafting has no skill investment - the only skill you use for crafting is one that you would keep maxed whether or not you are a crafter.

Spellcraft should probably be maxed anyway, so there's no skill investment for making magic items. If you need a masterwork breastplate to enchant, just buy one instead of taking 4 months to craft it yourself.

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Here is a thread listing compatible archetypes.

Lucky Luke

character description:
With a fearless attitude some would call reckless and an easy air of confidence that inspires instant trust, Luke is a natural swashbuckler. Gifted with preternatural luck by a foreign god of prosperity, he has come to expect everything to go right. Those around him are so astonished that his audacity seems to bring only deserts, and never demise, that his reputation has spread as “Lucky Luke”. While some of his fellow clerics consider it uncouth, he is often seen charging to the front line of a fight, bastard sword in both hands, self-assured that his blows will be guided just so by forces unseen, while his enemies’ strikes will falter.

Though aware his luck has a divine origin, he has learned that Kofusachi smiles most felicitously on those who make their own luck. Thus, he always keeps his eyes open and and mind active, looking for opportunities wherever they arise, with remarkable results. He has learned to visualize exactly how he will succeed before he acts, so much so that it has become automatic.

When he spins the wheel of fortune, he knows how hard to push.

His daily meditation consists of visualizing himself succeeding in every possible way, at every conceivable activity. Thus, when the chance arises, he is prepared and ready to strike. He typically only contemplates success, but when he does meet failure, he sees it as an opportunity for further consummation.

While he knows he is lucky, he is not a gambler, as his only fear is his luck running out, and he is hesitant to use his powers for personal gain lest he offend the god of fortune. Certain he will succeed at any task he sets his mind to, he opts to tackle the problems that few others dare to. He rarely looks for treasure, but often finds it.

Human cleric (Luck and Charm {Love} domains)

strength 14, dexterity 12, constitution 14, intelligence 14, wisdom 16, charisma 13

domain abilities: Bit of Luck (allows someone to roll all d20 rolls twice for one turn), Adoration (deflects a melee or ranged attack unless a Will save is made)

feats: Toughness, Martial Weapon Proficiency (greatsword)

traits: Dangerously Curious, Poverty-Stricken

trained skills: Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Use Magic Device, Survival, Knowledge (religion)

I've had a lot of fun playing this character - he's nicely rounded, has good diplomacy and also has Charm Person as a domain spell, has awesome domain abilities (Bit of Luck is just so awesome), and he has tons of personality. I like to use non-flashy spells that give the illusion that everything he does could just be a result of natural luck or charm. So things like Doom, Command, and Protection from Evil are in, but Sun Metal or Ant Haul is out.

I also have a full backstory (currently using this character in a play-by-post)

Luke grew up in poverty in Absalom - his father died when he was only 5, and his mom was a poor washerwoman. When Luke wasn't helping his mother with her chores and work, he would spend a lot of his free time chasing birds around the city, trying to catch them. Sometimes he did this for fun, sometimes for food. On a brisk autumn day, he was up on a high wall, chasing the largest raven he had ever seen. The bird kept flying just out of reach, but Luke was determined to catch the magnificent beast. The bird perched itself on the edge of the wall and was looking out over the precipice. Seeing that the bird was looking away, Luke lunged, but his foot caught on a raised stone, throwing him off balance. Before he could catch himself, the raven had flown away and Luke was tumbling off the edge of the wall.

As he was falling head over heels off the wall, a panic gripped Luke more intense than anything he had ever felt, for he knew for sure his death was mere seconds away. The deep chill of the air rushing by was intensified by the cold sensation of the blood flowing out of his extremities. But then, as his midair tumbling directed his gaze upwards, he noticed an eagle flying overhead, dangling something in its mouth. Luke saw the eagle release the object and it began falling. As he spun around once more, he felt the object fall directly over his head, landing securely around his neck.

Before he had time to marvel at the bizarre spectacle of an eagle dropping a necklace around the neck of a plummeting child, the ground came rushing towards him. He felt his body sink into the ground with a loud rustling, then he was enveloped by darkness. Am I dead, he thought to himself, is that why it's so dark? But he didn't feel dead - in fact, he didn't feel hurt at all. He grasped for his neck, and felt a number of patterned metal discs, cool to the touch, all bound by a leather thong. Maybe I'm not dead, he thought, but what just happened? He felt a scratchiness on his exposed skin, and heard the crunching of leaves when he moved his limbs. Gods be good, did something break my fall?

Luke came to his senses and began digging through the pile of leaves in which he had landed. When he reached the edge of the pile, he saw that there was a mound of leaves 15 feet high, standing at the base of the 100-foot wall. Looking around, he saw no other leaves covering the ground anywhere else - every leaf in sight was heaped onto the pile which had broken his fall. As he looked about, Luke also saw that some cityfolk had started to assemble, mouths agape.

Taking a few moments to regain his composure, Luke walked over the the crowd to ask what they had seen. "We saw you tumble, lad, and then that bird! The bird came out of the clear blue sky and dropped... what is that around your neck? Anyway, no sooner than it landed about your neck than a tremendous gust of wind came about, it picked up all the leaves within sight, it did! It picked them all up and dropped them in that pile, right there! The pile you landed in!"

The cityfolk gawked and made signs to the gods while the words sunk into Luke's mind. Still not sure what to make of what happened, he humored the onlookers when they asked to kiss the necklace, which he now saw carried seven golden coins inscribed with a language he had never before seen. Well, it can't hurt, he thought, and he also brought the necklace up to his lips and gave one of the coins a firm kiss, filled with exhilaration, wonder, and most of all, gratitude.

From then onwards, Luke was never seen without the amulet around his neck. And from then onwards, everything seemed to go right for Luke. His mom was named in the inheritance of one of her clients, a frugal old man who had no children to leave his pinched pennies to. Luke found he could now handle himself against his bullies, and instead of running away he began to fight back, watching as his opponents fists grazed off him while his fists always seemed guided to their weak points. His confidence soared, and soon he was defending not only himself, but all of the kids in his neighborhood from the bullies that had previously made their lives miserable.

As long as Luke kept on his necklace, his luck never faltered. He searched long and hard for a clue as to what his necklace was, and where it had come from. The local mages insisted there was nothing magic about it. The archivists and antiquarians claimed never to have seen the like. Until one day, when Luke chanced across a foreign monk in bright red robes. Luke happened to notice a sparkle of recognition in his eye, and soon learned from the old monk that the necklace was the holy symbol of a god named Kofusachi, who many worshiped in the land of Tian. The writing on the coins, as well, was Tian writing. But as much as Luke badgered the traveler, the man knew nothing more about Kofusachi, his teachings, or his clergy.

Luke's life suddenly had new focus. Now knowing the divine provenance of his fortune, he knew he could not rest until he found out more about the god Kofusachi. He took to the life of an adventurer, ever looking for clues or signs that would lead him to a master with knowledge of his divine benefactor. In the course of his explorations, he also knew that squandering his gift could offend Kofusachi, so Luke applied himself with relish to overcoming whatever challenges life threw at him, whether they be beasts that need slaying or damsels that need rescuing.

This sounds like a very very difficult type of maneuver. I would give it a chance to work, but low probability. And as people have mentioned, the snake won't be affected by its own venom.

I might resolve it like this:

1) Player makes readied action to grab the snake when it attacks.

2) When the snake attacks, the character can grab it. She makes a Sleight of Hand check opposed by the snake's Perception.

3a) If the player makes her check, she gets to use the snake as partial cover (+2 to AC). If the snake then misses its attack by less than 2, it bites itself. If it misses by more than 2, it would have missed her anyway and so won't bite itself. If it makes its attack even with partial cover, it just hits her even though she is using cover.

3b) If the player doesn't make her check, she doesn't get to use the snake as cover, and just gets attacked normally.

This gives a 10% chance of it working if she can make her check, which is certainly a low chance, but what she is trying to do does seem extremely difficult.

Strategy: long-term planning

Strategy examples:
Planning your character's leveling progression and gear in advance.

Knowing what scrolls/other consumables to keep handy.

Learning about your enemy to exploit his weaknesses.

Working with your party to take feats/spells/class abilities that complement one another.

Tactics: short-term planning

Tactics examples:
Readying actions (such as ranged attacks or spells to disrupt a caster.)

Knowing when to enter or not enter the room your enemy is when fighting him.

Using terrain such as choke points and difficult terrain to your advantage.

Delaying your action (especially until after your caster has cast his spell.)

Using effective combat maneuvers or other actions such as demoralize/Antagonize/stealth.

How does a Knife Master add his dex to damage (besides two agile weapons?)

I think what Bigdaddy is suggesting is replacing Sneak Attack with those other abilities. I can see plenty of rogues not wanting to give up their sneak dice in order to get those abilities.

Grick wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
By my reading, it would expend a use of Lay on Hands with no effect

While you certainly can't hold the charge (because it's not a touch spell, like you said), one could argue that missing doesn't expend the use.

Lay On Hands (Su): "Alternatively, a paladin can use this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures, dealing 1d6 points of damage for every two levels the paladin possesses. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity."

One could say that, since using the ability that way requires a successful attack roll, failing that attack roll means the ability did not get used.

I'm pretty sure that's wrong, but can't come up with a good reason why.

I was debating this as well, but the reasoning behind my interpretation: it says "Using this ability is a standard action," which I interpret to mean that you declare your Lay on Hands first, and then get a touch attack. If the attack misses, it was still your standard action, but if it wasn't a use of the Lay on Hands ability, what was it? It was the use of Lay on Hands that allowed a touch attack in the first place. If you didn't use Lay on Hands, you wouldn't even be able to make a touch attack. The fact that it had no effect doesn't mean it wasn't used.

By "using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack", it could just be referring to "a paladin can use this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures, dealing 1d6 points of damage." If the attack doesn't hit, it doesn't do any damage and hence wasn't used "in this way" (i.e., doing damage,) but it still counts as a "use".

It is rather ambiguous, though, probably worth FAQing.

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