Frankly, it's easy enough to maintain the specialness of magic items with even a minimal introduction of creativity. One doesn't have to continuously find replacements, for example. Instead: The PCs find a gem said to enhance the power of item X. Or a (one-use) incantation said to do the same. Or a legend about how to awaken further powers. Or a specially constructed piece (such as a hilt). An item might even simply absorb power as a consequence of some magic event or cosmically significant deed.
The rewards are simple to manage - there are set gold piece values associated with the difference in enhancements.
Roberta Yang wrote:
Look, logically Bone Devils aren't only going to fight high-level characters. They exist, so there is a chance for one to happen upon the party. And if they do, they're not just going to go, "Oh, sorry, you're only first-level, I'd better leave you unharmed until you've gained several more levels," they're going to kill you. If they players can't handle a couple of CR9 outsiders, then it's really their fault, I'm not going to fudge things or actually provide a fun playable game or anything.
Your point is still a good one and all, but a minor quibble: Why on earth would a bone devil want to kill a low-level character? Think, for instance, of the countless possible hours of enjoyment that could be derived from torture. Not to mention possible slave or even souls if you pull it off right. I mean, a troll...yeah ok we've got a couple light snacks. Or a daemon.
Way back in a silly, middle-school D&D game I had a character wish that they were a deity. The DM smiled a wicked little smile and allowed it to go through. Ten seconds later, three other deities and a host of powerful liches, wizards, and divine beings appear to alternately deal with the upstart, magically steal his divinity, and/or study the effects of divine nature. The fledgling deity, still not completely sure of how to use his powers, is smashed nigh instantaneously. The others quickly turn on each other. End result: A cataclysmic battle that devastates half a continent. Somehow the other PCs slip away.
The Xills' ability to scout out the material plane from comparative safety on the ethereal plane is fairly powerful. If you're going to house rule ethereal travel into planetary teleportation you should probably either give them some sort of equivalent scouting ability or lower their CR.
Archery in general is pretty powerful. However 1) archers (generally) don't exert the same sort of area control that melee combatants do, and 2) it's easier to gain terrain and other circumstantial bonuses against ranged combatants. For example, the simple and inexpensive smokestick can make archery difficult. As can enclosed spaces and even simple fortifications like an overturned table (cf. low obstacles, soft cover).
Considering the surprisingly unpleasant spatial restrictions (i.e. no two targets more than 30 feet apart) and the presence of some pretty potent alternatives like the mass-disabling spell, Stinking Cloud, or the multi-hour "command" spell, Suggestion, I've honestly never thought Haste was all that bad.
I've long thought that the bear AC entry was missing something (as an oversight), if only an ability like grab. But who can fathom the inscrutable devs....
I AM tempted to houserule in both a climb speed AND grab at 4th in my personal game.
Those who believe that the rules make some subtle distinction here should note that RAW does NOT consider the bastard sword and dwarven waraxe to be normally two-handed weapons. They are in fact listed and described as one-handed exotic weapons that can be used in two hands as martial weapons:
Waraxe, Dwarven: A dwarven waraxe has a large, ornate head mounted to a thick handle, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. A Medium character can use a dwarven waraxe two-handed as a martial weapon, or a Large creature can use it one-handed in the same way. A dwarf treats a dwarven waraxe as a martial weapon even when using it in one hand.
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.
(They also both appear as one-handed exotic weapons in the weapons tables). In contrast, the only two-handed weapon that uses the same language "wielded in one hand" in the latter FAQ entry is, in fact, the lance:
Lance: A lance deals double damage when used from the back of a charging mount. While mounted, you can wield a lance with one hand.
Diego Rossi wrote:
Oh, I don't fault Paizo at all for it. That fact of the matter is that they've created a product that I've derived literally countless hours of enjoyment out of. I just think that attempts to discern some deeper meaning out of the precise arrangement of words and/or the use of an indefinite article are essentially fruitless due to the general level of language-precision in the rulebooks.
Couple things prevent this from actually being the case. First off, the Grab ability allows a grapple attempt as a free action. It doesn't specify that the grapple attempt needs to be taken immediately. So the hezrou can complete its full attack (with the claws) BEFORE trying to make the grapple attempt. Second off, the controller of a grapple can drop the grapple as a free action. So the hezrou can maintain grapple until the beginning of its next turn (preventing Bob from using two weapons or using a two-handed weapon during that time), then drop and full attack again. The Hezrou barely loses anything (i.e. only the +5 pre-grappled bonus to grapple checks) from doing so in fact, since one needs to maintain a grapple every round anyway.
There is absolutely nothing in the rules or errata that imposes any sort of requirements upon the jump part of Janni Rush at all. Not even any sort of Acrobatics check. However, the feat DOES specify that it doubles the dice of unarmed strikes as opposed to natural weapons. The closest existing parallel regarding whether this applies to all attacks would seem to be the ruling regarding the lance. Which, according to the errata, would only apply to the first appropriate attack.
It kinda makes me sad to see this sort of mentality, given the long history of rust monsters, acidic oozes, and the like and the progressive weakening thereof. Destroyed items aren't even gone forever now days, given the Make Whole spell. Of course, the GM always needs to balance challenge with player abuse. But that's true of any sort of nasty effect - disabling spells, paralysis, nausea, black tentacles, energy drain, assassin death attacks...
It seems, however, that feats like Weapon Focus actually specify that spells are allowed. I'm not sure that PF treats spells like weapons as D&D 3.x did. I do note that my printing of the CRB doesn't even specify weapon damage in the text of the Vital Strike feat. Although the prd seems to. Regardless, my inclination is to interpret the intent as being that spells are NOT intended to qualify. I'm just not finding text that specifies that that happens to be the case.
The question I've got is: How does Vital Strike interact with touch spells and/or the magus' spellstrike ability? Convention would seem to indicate that the spell damage is not multiplied. RAW, however....I'm not sure about...
Frankly, games consistently turn out BETTER with 'mobile' encounters. This is not railroading until and unless the DM arbitrarily starts to thwart reasonable player choices and resource investment to avoid the particular encounter or outcome that is planned. E.g. the players spend significant effort making sure the crew of the ship they hire are not pirates and then the GM decides the crew are pirates ANYWAY.
Many other classes can do the same things rogues can do. Whether they can do these things better or not...ignore these sorts of statement. Skill use factors heavily into rogue abilities. Be sneaky and daring as a rogue. Don't ignore social skills like Bluff and Disguise. If you can't hide from the enemy, BE the enemy. Lie outrageously. In PFS especially, gather a collection of useful 1st-level wands. They're easily available with prestige.
Some good choices: Cure light wounds (or Infernal Healing), Silent Image, Obscuring Mist, Grease, Protection from Evil
If anyone cares - yeah, the location was in a fairly lawless area. The region was formally claimed by a feudal human kingdom. But had been more or less ceded to the armies of a frost giant chieftain for several decades, prior to said chieftain's untimely demise. The giants never bothered with any sort of governance, just exacted regular tribute from those still living in the area. As a result of which, plenty of monsters crept in.
Slavery of sapient beings IS illegal in the human kingdom. From the hiring nobleman's perspective, aside from the slain daughter being a deeply personal and painful loss, justice in the form of being a giant's slave was uncertain at best due to an understandable lack of communication between the two cultures.
Yeah, you know, presuming that a morally questionable offer made by a morally debatable individual (even in a grey on grey world) is the one true adventure path certainly does not fit any definition of 'genre savvy' that I'm personally aware of... But to each their own...
Just because you -can- raise legions of undying, untiring minions as a necromancer doesn't mean you have to. One can get by using less loyal, more meaty servants just as easily. Of course, if one chooses to use the former still you can always clap them in obscuring armor, such as plate mail, then add a little perfume or musk to handle the smell.
I was the GM, I came up with the scenario. The situation was set up so that there were multiple possible solutions including, yes, sneaking into the giant's compound to assassinate the ogre. It would also have been possible to convince the giant to accept something else in exhchange with a decent line of argument and sufficient social skill. With respect to crafting the situation, yes, I was fully aware that the PCs might make the choice they eventually did. I just tend to favor gritty gray-on-gray game worlds and didn't really think the ramifications through beforehand.
The nobleman was aware that the ogre was enslaved. He just wasn't satisfied with that. (Said nobleman had actually tried to send armed men to strongarm the giant into giving up the ogre prior to hiring the PCs; with tragic, if predictable, results).
So I had a situation my most recent game that got me thinking about alignment ramifications. Now, nobody's class abilities are at stake (although one character is CG and this did not seem at all in keeping with that alignment to me), but I eventually came to the unusual conclusion that I don't actually know what I think about it. So I thought I'd put it to you all.
Background: In the most recent session of my weekly game the PCs were hired by a nobleman to assassinate an ogre that had raped and murdered his daughter many years previous. It turned out that this ogre had since become enslaved by a stone giant raider-turned-farm-owner. This giant was neutrally aligned. Due to his past, he had no moral qualms about keeping slaves. All the same, he mostly wanted to be left alone. All of his slaves were raiders he had caught trying to steal from him. And his tendency to kill off nearby monsters had lead to a village cropping up around his farm that he occasionally traded with.
The PCs eventually decide to try to bargain with the giant for the life of the ogre. The giant admits that the ogre has always been a trouble-maker, but relies upon the ogre's labor to run his farm. Consequently the giant demands a couple of alternate slaves in exchange. The PCs then set out to find the lair of some orcish raiders that had been troubling the area. They find an orcish warband leading off a number of (evil) goblin captives and immediately attack and subdue these orcs, trading them to the giant for the ogre.
Implications:Now, I'm still mostly inclined to just handwave the situation. As there really isn't anything at stake. But I got to thinking about the ethics of the incident. The PCs had just sold sapient creatures into slavery. True, slavery might be one of the better avenues for mitigation of damages caused by the raiders. And true, these orcs were evil themselves and were enslaving other sapient beings. But....if slavery of sapient beings is justified based upon the moral character of the enslaved...then these orcs were similarly justified in enslaving the goblins. Would it alternately have been more 'ethical' to have just killed the orcs? I expect they would have preferred slavery. Moreover, I got to thinking about real-world parallels. At least a minority of the African slaves obtained by Europeans during the colonial period were actually purchased from other African cultures.
Or maybe I just think about things too much. Anyway, the question I put to you all is: Evil act? Lawful act? I'm inclined to say at least Lawful on the basis of law equaling authoritarianism and chaos equaling libertarianism in my games.
stuart haffenden wrote:
Protection from Evil does NOT protect you from the confusion condition. Confusion is not control. However Calm Emotions will help you.
Any spell or effect based upon the Confusion or Lesser Confusion spells IS control by virtue of being Enchantment (Compulsion) effects. Protection from Evil works just fine at stopping these.
My (admittedly very rusty) understanding is that in addition to the Tolkien reference, elves in previous editions were thematically associated with faerie creatures. Just as gnomes are Golarion. The sleep immunity I always thought was partly an outgrowth of that.
Do you have any ideas for the kinds of encounters they could face in this dungeon? Maybe some traps or puzzles or roleplaying possibilities? Do you see any holes in my ideas? How would they discover what actually happened here? I guess they could find his journal to find out that he was trying to cure himself but...
One way you might disseminate plot information about the guy is to consider his reputation. The cave might be the last known resting or adventuring location of a well-known wizard. Perhaps historians or looters have come looking him over the years in search magical artifacts he is rumored to have possessed or created (only to fall prey to the fungi, of course). You can give out bits of information either directly through journal entries of explorers or indirectly. For example - an adventurer seeking the man may have a book about famous wizards. Or a collection of artifacts bearing his mark. Possessions of the man himself might include a book about curing fungal infections.
Caves may randomly have pits, cliffs, and sheer surfaces inside them. Fungus (and plants) may weaken cavern walls and ceiling, creating the potential for rocks to collapse upon unsuspecting PCs. Surfaces may be covered in a slippery fungal coating, making climbing and movement more treacherous. Pools of water may gather in places, either drawn out by fungal mycelia or simply naturally present because fungi require water to grow in the first place.
Have been waiting for errata for this one FOREVER. My interpretation is ALSO that the intent behind Boar Style PROBABLY is that it should deal 2d6 damage from 'bleeding', once, rather than a recurring 2d6 bleed. Based on 2d6 bleed being inappropriately strong for a low level feat when used against low-intelligence enemies. Notwithstanding the comparative weakness of the second feat in the chain. Regardless, it seems likely that whoever wrote the feat chain was simply unaware of existing rules regarding bleed damage, based upon the language used about recurrence in succeeding rounds.
PFS just doesn't handle alignment very well. It really can't, because the alignment system is fairly arbitrary/DM-specific and PFS needs to be consistent and not generally screw players over.
As to the more general function of Atonement, I think it's fine as written. An Atonement spell is essentially a powerful cleric asking their deity to intercede on the recipient's behalf. If you consider a good cleric devoted to a good deity, then this -probably- isn't ever something someone who wanted to remain good would ever conduct lightly. As in, without strings. Particularly a priest who is -supposed- to be wise and good at reading people.
The house just has a couple spring-loaded, locking doors. There's a simple alarm on something interesting in the basement. Say a chest. Upon hearing the alarm, the thug next door who has been hired to watch the place comes out and lights the house on fire.
You can be hit for ten million points of damage critically and in all ways fatally until... a wave of your hand, dismissing it.
Question - this somehow strains credulity for you more than a 1st level human commoner being able to block bullets with his bare hands (i.e. Deflect Arrows)? Or say another commoner who despite not having trained with weapons a single day in his life is able to automatically stop a bite from the almighty tarrasque with a piddly little frame of leather and wood (i.e. Tower Shield)?
The 10 / 03 / 13 FAQ suggests drawing an arrow 3 times is the max you can draw is a reasonable limit.
Making 8 attack rolls in the first round without a misfire will happen about one time in three, and without an explosion will happen about one time in two. Making 8 rolls a round for two rounds without an explosion will happen less than one time in ten. Making 8 rolls for 3 rounds without an explosion is so unlikely that...
There are, regrettably, a fair number of stackable means of reducing or even eliminating misfire. Amongst them: Alternate racial favored class abilities, weapon enchantments and other magic items, class and class archtype abilities...
More to the point because Empty Body, Ethereal Jaunt, Etherealness are all incredibly powerful abilities. 1) The Prime Material plane is visible from the Ethereal Plane; 2) Walls on the Prime Material plane do not block travel on the Ethereal Plane; 3) A very small minority of magical effects can normally cross the planar boundries; 4) A minority of enemies are capable of perceiving creatures on the Ethereal Plane. Making these effects highly useful for scouting, defense, localized travel, and escape in an enemy complex.
The implication as I read it is that you use the base human versions listed in the bestiary, advanced as appropriate for HD. It becomes a reasonable distraction as one levels. As noted above, this is a summoning ability. It doesn't actually raise, use, or consume an existing corpse.
This has been a classic narrative issue for eons. Really there are only two (major categories of) reasons spawning undead could exist without destroying humanoid life.
1) There is some heretofore unspecified force that constantly reduces their numbers (e.g. hordes of crusading adventurers or divine intervention) by EXACTLY the right amount to keep them from regularly causing huge epidemics while still leaving a few for adventurers to fight in odd places.
2) There is some heretofore unspecified restriction on their ability to kill and create spawn. This latter might be some quirk of behavior...perhaps undead hate each other so much that they never choose to create more progeny unless their unlife is threatened at the time. Or maybe shadows detest the sun so much they never choose to travel...or kill off the other monsters in their dungeon. Or it could be some unknown metaphysical law. Perhaps after a vampire's blood becomes sufficiently diluted they can no longer create more progeny.
Kobold fan here. The way I see them, they tend to be more methodical and less fractious than goblins, resulting in more of a genuine threat. As the goblin fluff tends to imply that goblins tend to be nearly as great a danger to their own communities as they are to others.
From a DMing perspective: I love aagravating players with little traps, sending large hordes at the PCs (thanks to the CR-reduction) that can effectively coordinate tactics, and playing up Kobold bluster and cowardice. That said, I like goblins as well :)
If its fantasy monkey spear fu your looking for go ahead. But aabout the closest thing a monkey can spear is termites. They just cant grip things like humans. Best to have it throw things.
I am highly skeptical of this statement. The capacity of primates to use opposable thumbs varies fairly significantly between particular types.
aaron Ellis wrote:
For example, divine spells tend to be more thematically focused upon: Debuff removal, healing, numerical (bonus-based) buffs, alignment-focused offensive and defensive spells, prophecy divination, undeath creation and destruction, single-target death spells, curses. Arcane magic has the major blasting spells, illusions, major battlefield-control spells, etc.
Rocky Williams has the right of this. A deliberately disguised and hidden cliff is every bit as much a trap as a disguised and hidden pit. The "trigger" is walking through the curtain just as the trigger for a hidden pit would be walking over the pit. The PC would be justifiably frustrated if they are not given an opportunity to detect this. Natural hazards, such as a cliff or sinkhole hidden by vegetation or terrain, of course do exist. But these should have their own means of being detected - such as by Perception, Survival, Knowledge(Nature), or Knowledge(Dungeoneering). You don't want to cheat PCs who have invested character resources into skills and abilities supposedly aimed at providing relevant expertise.
I find that it cheapens the play experience, however, by spoonfeeding the PCs too much information. Such as by outright stating "You find a trap ahead" when one makes a successful perception check. It's better to provide clues and let the PCs work through to their own conclusions - one could inform the successful spotter that "a peculiar breeze billows the curtain and the sounds of sea birds seem unusually loud from beyond it".
That way the PC with Trap Spotter gets to feel useful, the players get a chance to react, they get an "Aha" moment if they fail to interpret the information correctly, you provide a temptation to experiment with the phenomenon and delay while the fleeing kobolds escape...