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Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Black Blade derail:
You have not parsed the actual Black Blades ability fully.
A black blade is always a one-handed slashing weapon, a rapier, or a sword cane.
A whip is a one-handed slashing weapon. Similarly, you could have a battleaxe, klar, or terbutje black blade.
Given the semi-recent thread about Blackblade whip legality, it's probably more likely than you think. We can all be hopeful about GM behavior, but it's always worth remembering that Pathfinder is an evolving game with roughly 7 years of its own material and many more of its predecessor. As a result, there is likely no single person who completely understands every rule decision that has been made over that time, devs/designers included. Misunderstandings are bound to occur.
Ultimately, the question comes down to how people choose to present information and how people choose to receive it. Most people are pretty chill about it on either side. Others have issues. That being the case, the ambiguity is simply an enabler of a type of behavior and it's fair to question whether there can be a satisfying resolution via campaign ruling.
It's worth remembering, as well, that the Pure Legionnaire prestige class has a prerequisite of the Godless Healing feat. Their elite can heal themselves, even if they're martial.
If we assume some degree of Occult class presence, the Spiritualist, Kineticist, and Occultist all have access to healing without divine magic.
To make sure I'm getting this right, are you inquiring about adding spells known via Improved Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), selecting New Arcana? If so, is there a reason you wouldn't be doing this through Expanded Arcana (from APG) instead?
My snap judgment on this is that your example of a Bard adding Heroism would be able to cast it as it would both be a spell known and on the Bard's spell list. I would even be inclined to say that the Bard learns Heroism as a 2nd level spell because, for Bards, it is a 2nd level spell. The fact that you're adding it from the Sorc/Wiz list is irrelevant other than it being a shared spell rather than two different spells.
Oread and oni-blood tiefling serve similar purposes here. Nagaji is a clear win for the paladin due to being always available in PFS and capitalizing on a planned Int dump (WOO 5 INT!), but I will always advocate tiefling over aasimar in this sort of setting - better alt racials.
As someone who has made adjustments mid-game on numerous items because of GM interpretation (I tend not to argue at the table unless I have a clear citation immediately available, but I won't hesitate to disagree and prove my case if I have one), I will say that my first response would be to use a different legal character if able to address the challenge. In some cases, I've had weird interpretations sprung on me by reputable sources, which has resulted in me making on-the-fly adjustments to playstyle until I could research it later. For example, I was once told that my hunter with a dead companion could not switch the "permanent" Animal Focus after the companion died and, because I wasn't prepared to deal with that ruling, the GM ruled that I had to use whatever the last Animal Focus was from my companion. For that scenario, I did. I then researched it and found that this interpretation is not correct, so I'm now prepared to rebut this claim if it's made again as I know exactly what sentence in the Animal Focus ability to reference.
As a GM, my first question would be "how do you think it works?" If I deem that it's both (a) a reasonable reading and (b) not disruptive to the table, I'm more than willing to run with that. The best course of action is to inform me before the table starts, mind you, because I would VERY MUCH like to look into questionable things before I have to make a table ruling. It is my opinion that part of GMing is ensuring the least amount of disruption possible. If I'm concerned afterwards, I'm likely to discuss the character with the player or recommend a VO audit. This almost never happens at my tables, mind you.
There are obvious examples of "go get a pregen" out there - a new guy comes with a character that had "killer stat rolls" or there's a blatantly illegal character choice. It sucks to be the bearer of bad news to those folks, but it's unfair to the table to ignore that responsibility.
IUS on snakes derail:
In the specific example brought up in the OP, a reasonable response would be "explain how a snake is not capable of performing a headbutt if trained." If the answer is "But realism!," there's no argument to be had and you may as well say that a snake is definitely lacking arms (PUNS!). The snake won't prefer it (as the FAQ indicates, he'd still prefer his natural weapons), but just like training an unintuitive Handle Animal trick like Perform, the snake could perform a headbutt on command if it had the IUS feat.
I ran into that recently during an AP that had a lead-lined container for the sole purpose of hiding its contents. If such a container would stand out as NULL! when detecting magic then it wouldn't be all that desirable as a hiding place.
It's quite desirable for against other forms of divination, such as Locate Object, where the location of the container might not be known. Additionally, it's quite useful simply to reward the players with such a container in some campaigns.
Not so hot in PFS, of course.
Well, in terms of the "we didn't specify a system, so everybody came with characters from different systems" scenario.
There are systems where a dedicated Session 0 are important, but Pathfinder really isn't one of them. Compare with Numenera, which requires you to coordinate hooks with each others' characters that have mechanical impact and also requires that no two people have the same specialty (not just a gentle nudge, it's actually not legal), and you'll find that the requirements of a Pathfinder group are significantly less stringent.
I did find it funny that the blog post mentions "What system are we playing?" as a Session 0 question. I would have thought that question would be answered when the prospective GM says "Hey, I think I'm going to run a Pathfinder game..."
I would totally love to see the combination GURPS/Ponyfinder/Cthulu/Conan/Palladium/Cyberpunk table, though, where this question wasn't addressed in advance.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
That particular floor of ES certainly is a grind, but many other floors are cakewalk easy.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
PFS sanctioned module.
where this happened:
Emerald Spire 14
My favorite kill as a GM remains something where the player successfully saved, but showed the glory of that d6 hit die. maximized fireball, quickened magic missile. Yes, he made the save vs the fireball. He was level 11 or 12, I think. That was earlier this month.
#2 was terrible tactics and allowing a spellcasting enemy to buff for 5 rounds, then open the door and deal with SO MUCH LIGHTNING BOLT. It didn't defensively cast because it had 32 AC and Displacement up vs a level 7 party, along with decent HP and Expeditious Retreat up to allow for strategic movement.
As a player, I've managed to avoid death with my handy-dandy Talisman of Life's Breath multiple times. It is an excellent investment. The other part of my defense is to not be near the danger. My level 6 archer (hunter 5/medium 1) escaped near-certain death by use of Planar Focus: Earth and 5' burrowing when playing up in a Season 5.
Ultimately, survival is a choice. After taking a few lessons from the school of hard knocks in that season 5, I spent most of my gold upgrading AC pieces so I'm less likely to get wrecked in the future. I see a few folks who haven't quite learned that lesson. They're kind of silly and I love seeing the gymnastics that people go to protecting these party members right up until the gold costs kick in.
The archetype opens up a trait slot (since Magical Knack would be a common selection otherwise), provides Debilitating Injury, and opens up Rogue Talents, along with providing a smoother entry overall by streamlining BAB and spellcasting. I agree that you end up with superior spellcasting starting at level 6 (though it levels off at 7 temporarily) using Rogue 1/Wiz 3/AT X, but there's a degree of suffering on the way up as you have fewer spell slots on the way up.
In the PFS environment, roughly half of your character life is improved by going Eldritch Scoundrel 4/AT X and you end up with a more martial-capable character. While you firmly trail from 8-11 for spellcasting, you'd also be trailing a straight Wizard most of your levels, too.
Are you afraid that you'll see a table with 6 of this build? I'd be afraid as a GM. :-p
TBF, I think most everybody sees this build option as soon as they read the archetype. Now the trick will be if it gets sanctioned for PFS.
As someone who has both GM'd for and played with this character, one of my favorite things to hear is "This letter is too heavy, someone else needs to carry it."
As a GM:
As a player:
Agreed. The +1 initiative ioun stone is always a popular sale.
The Morphling wrote:
I just finished gming Emerald Spire 15 in standard and I've done up through 8 in Core. It racks up quickly.
If they publish it elsewhere, it won't be PFS legal. :-(
I get that there's a lot to the publishing process (art assets, formatting, distribution, etc.) that make this potentially unrealistic, but the playtest version was definitely more compelling to me. I kind of wish there was an option to just publish it as a blog, but again, dat PFS legality.
Mark Seifter wrote:
I know I'm a small market, but I've kind of got an open-wallet policy for that version of the class. The "just dip Relic Channeler" version that was published has been somewhat heartbreaking to consider playing compared to my playtest experience. I've got a regular Medium statted up to try out in PFS, but that's more of a test to see how much the location bit affects actual play and not near as exciting/interesting as what we could do with the playtest.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Linda is still playing one in Skull and Shackles to great effect. Granted, she has all 54 spirits available, and the updated spirits, but I think she has mostly ones from the playtest anyway, except the Peacock, which I think was not.
Making any headway on getting the harrowed medium published? I know you had talked about it around the time that OA released and I would love to pay for that, especially if it ends up being PFS legal.
Many of the special materials, particularly metals, have charts that indicate cost based on item type. Darkwood, however, uses the following pricing, which doesn't delineate whether it can be used for non-weapon/armor gear:
To determine the price of a darkwood item, use the original weight but add 10 gp per pound to the price of a masterwork version of that item.
Would it be PFS legal to get a darkwood portable altar, for example? There is no masterwork version of this item, in part because I think it's assumed to just be masterwork for all intents and purposes.
If there's anything that I've learned about the MN lodge, there's no such thing as putting one's beer down until it's drained. I frequently wonder if I'm the only sober one in the lodge. >.>
Tindalen, if you need another GM, lemme know when things are gonna go down. I could probably run something of whatever flavor is desired.
The sane, rational, and germane part of my first post was removed with the inflammatory quote of another user, so I'll reiterate the part that bears repeating:
I've had to inform several players of the "paper copy required" rule, up to and including VOs, and I've yet to have a bad response once I explain why the rule is in place and that it can be found in the forums. I haven't kicked anyone from the table over it because most hadn't heard about it and the next time I saw them, they were in compliance. Every one of them still ran the character electronically, but they had a paper copy for reference purposes, which I've even asked for on occasion (looking at spell lists, non-wearable gear, languages, etc. that were relevant to the scenario). It has never been a disruption at any of my tables while GMing or playing.
I think it's reasonable for audit purposes and balances liability concerns well.
Jared Thaler wrote:
12 17s in a row with a 17-20 weapon is sure to rouse suspicions.
though I would prefer no electronic dice rollers.
We've had issues with a number of dice rolling programs locally and being not-at-all random. I've offered dice to players, as have some other local GMs. I've also requested that players go to random.org to handle rolls if they insist on digital rolling for some reason. I get really suspicious of players who insist on digital and won't let people see their screens, though.
An alternative: Elemental Annihilator Kineticists create their weapons as they attack, get a default attack in melee option, can full attack with the weapon, and it disappears as they finish the attack. If you want to have hand-flourishes that look like you're drawing and sheathing each full-round attack, those are free actions.
I agree with this 100%, because I don't necessarily know what I'll be buying after a scenario until I know what the gold totals will be, and even if I did plan around a prospective gold total, consumable costs could wreck that plan - what if there's a Raise Dead in there, or what if I used a potion of fly that I kept in reserve and need to replace it? I mean, the only exception here is big-ticket items that you save for multiple scenarios to afford (here's lookin' at you, Staff of the Master).
When GMing, I would much rather let the players take their time to figure out purchases, as well. In that regard, a "check register" format ITS makes A LOT of sense. Honestly, I'd like if all scenarios in a given subtier had identical gold instead of the minor variances, as well, or major variances in some cases.
Scenario with major gold variance:
#16 To Scale The Dragon has the estimated gold of a 3-7 rather than a 5-9 - 1681 in the 5-6 subtier, 3531 in the 8-9. Compare that to a season 2 5-9, like Rebel's Ransom, which is 2543 and 5462, respectively. Think about how that impacts a purchase plan and the ability to intelligently fill out your chronicle for the GM to sign it.
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Oh I agree with all that is being said above. Stinking Cloud is one of my favorite spells, because you can't beat effect; especially against casters since it targets fort. But I worry that I negate the rest of my party for a while; I still think they can be incredibly useful, but I feel like melee characters hate when you do it unless they have special items.
This is the case if you blanket the entire encounter, but if you split an encounter, it's a totally different story.
So, in the rough format of Jiggy's unbanning of a certain trait, here are a couple points for consideration:
1. Is it imbalancing the class? There's an argument to be made about the eidolon getting additional effective evolutions and evolution availability (in theory, but not actually in practice: there are no evolutions that Devils get and Proteans do not in the Unchained book itself) in place of Shield Ally at 4, but we're looking at a fairly significant trade-off here. Nothing else is overly impactful.
2. Does it imbalance the table? Not really. The most concerning thing would be alignment detection, but we already have several legal options that create this issue, not least of which is the cleric of an evil deity.
3. Does it negatively impact the campaign? I can't really see why it would. Again, we already have multiple classes that can emulate the main piece of this, which would be the alignment detection.
A Stinking Cloud anecdote for you.
Way of the Wicked:
Party make-up: Arcanist/Rogue, Alchemist, crazy Monk thing, Antipaladin, and Witch (me).
In book 1, there's an assault on a keep. Midway through the assault, the GM informs us that we level to 5 and are "blessed" with the ability to immediately re-prepare spells. We went during the big concert, so most of the encounters thus far had been relatively easy, but we had the concert hall left. Little did we know, there were about 80 NPCs in there, 7 or so of them named. We sealed all but the roof access and the main door, opened the main door, and nearly crapped ourselves as the GM added all the tokens in Roll20.
We split the encounter with a Feather Token boat, which barely fit in the hall. Most of what was on our side was mooks, which we disabled with Web + Stinking Cloud (failed save on the cloud means you can't attempt to escape the Web). This also prevented the named NPC archer fighter from sniping us from on top of the boat. What few enemies were not in some way fastened into the room were quickly dispatched, at which point we started coating the room with flasks of oil. The alchemist then ignited it all with a bomb and we sealed the main door with a Feather Token tree. Only 3 named NPCs escaped the blaze onto the roof, which we dealt with by Ki Throwing them down to the ground while within a Darkness effect after climbing the tree and having a murder party at the bottom.
So yes, with judicious use, there are incredible tactical benefits to the LoS breaks. The key is knowing the right situations for them. Archers are a great one because they have to start guessing squares. With enemy casters, it's less good sometimes because you don't necessarily know what they'll do about it. If you Fog Cloud and they just Fireball through it, you've probably ended up on the short end of that stick. At the same time, maybe you end up disrupting his placement for Summon Monster or cause him to blunder into a bad position while you have Goz Masks.
I'm much more willing to say that this is a good investment of your spell slots if you're using it on archers, followed by melee, followed by casters. As you noted, casters are the most likely to have the tools to address this issue, while archers typically start sipping coffee and hoping they don't get ganked in the meantime.
Deities this would impact: Irori (IUS), Shizuru (Katana), Imbrex (Dire Flail), Korada (IUS), Lythertida (IUS), Ragathiel (Bastard Sword)...maybe some more Tien deities that I don't have source material handy for in Hero Lab.
In looking up the list, I'm compelled to be against this idea. Paladins already have a lot of great weapon choices from their full martial proficiency and it's completely legit to say "Go take EWP if you want your katana."
"Power point classes" is a weird term that made me think of a Microsoft product and not a mechanic, as in "You need a Power Point to explain the class."
Mesmerist: Tricks end up being the straw that breaks the camel's back most of the time. Most mesmerists that I've seen have managed to finagle everything but that effectively.
Spiritualist: Should be easy in theory, doesn't seem to end up that way in play. Not sure why.
Occultist: Did not understand the Mental Focus mechanic as well as he thought.
No. While the faerie dragon casts "as a 3rd level sorceror," this doesn't give any access to the spell it stores for the witch.