As for the first: You really had no way of knowing what were the effects of either of the two paths. You could have tried some careful experimentation first (dip some object in the water, possible the rope or a piece of the coffin if it could be broken). But it really was a crapshoot either way. You mentioned no apparent ill effects (if I'm reading correctly), so you may very well have guessed correctly.
As for the second: My personal first inclination would be to 'disbelieve' the door in your circumstances :) There are conceivably spells or magic effects that might mask the presence of magic...if the DM hasn't just ruled that illusions just don't provide a telltale magic aura so as to make them reasonably difficult to spot immediately.
By contrast, a Fighter has proficiency in all martial weapons so he could wield a Bastard Sword, Katana, etc. in two hands proficiently, but not in one hand unless he also has EWP(Katana)
No, that would be incorrect. In Pathfinder, unlike in D&D 3.X, a katana is a one-handed exotic weapon. To wield it at all without the -4 nonproficiency penalty, a fighter would need EWP. (A ninja, as noted by others above, specifically gets proficiency in katanas)
So, when Daylight interacts with a higher level Darkness spell, then it will be temporarily negated (I wish they had said "suppressed" like they do in many other similar situations) until one of the spells ends. When it interacts with an equal or lower level Darkness spell, it wipes that spell out and is not negated since the Daylight is then the only spell in the area.
That sounds very much like the view of it I personally hold. However, the fact of the matter is that the specifics of what is meant by suppressed, countered, dispelled are all unfortunately vague. Which is why one faces discussion such as the above when the subject is brought up. And why I feel it is important to get clarification.
Next part of the FAQ to consider - What precisely happens when...
1) a Daylight spell (level 3) is cast in the area of a Darkness spell (level 2)?
2) a Daylight spell (level 3) that has previously been cast is brought into the area of a Darkness spell (level 2)?
3) a Darkness spell (level 2) is cast in the area of a Daylight spell (level 3)?
That is to say, do the spells negate each other? Does one continue after the other has been negated?
The rogue 'niche' was never just traps. It was effectively skills, finding secret doors, using magic items that only bards and primary caster could otherwise, rapid advancement.
Their niche has been completely blasted into oblivion. Rogues are no longer particularly skilled compared to a great number of the other classes at these things.
Just for the record: One of the major benefits of Combat Reflexes, particularly for a pole-arm build, is that it allows you to take AoOs while flat-footed. Unless you are getting a similar ability (e.g. uncanny dodge) by another means, this should be a high priority for you.
I really hate when they do crap like that. Obviously a class will be better suited to some things than others, and you should if anything reward them for playing to their strength, not nerf them to try and keep it "in line with the others."
Personally, I'm in FAVOR of niche protection. With 3 + Cha times per day, the oracle who chose that ability would be hands down better at channeling energy than the cleric; whereas the ability is supposed to be part of the cleric's shtick. (I could wish that significantly more emphasis was placed on niche protection for the rogue, but that's another story).
The oracle already gains better use out of their (normally) arcane spells, and powerful supplemental abilities that the cleric cannot replicate very easily.
Hmm...another option you might consider is trying the variant channeling from Ultimate Magic. I'm not sure whether it's allowable under PFS, but if so...the Envy variant is probably appropriate for a pirate deity. It deals half damage regardless of save, but if the save is failed compels the victim to attempt a Steal maneuver on their next turn against an adjacent foe.
I suppose one possible solution it might be worthwhile to plan for is to make mercenaries available for hire if the party decides they NEED a tank. Nobody still has to play one so problem solved. Having a stat-block prepared and readily available would likely speed things up.
While the OP is quite amusing, I think the problem is mostly illusory. There are any number of ways to cope with the issue of not having a party tank. Not least of which are a fair number of battlefield control spells that a tank might otherwise object to one's casting.
Orcs aren't necessarily an unavoidable death sentence any more than shadows or spectres are depending upon equipment and character level. And OF COURSE certain tactics are going to be more effective than others. These lines of reasoning are a distraction - orcs are disproportionately damaging and threatening for the CR they have been assigned.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
That strikes me as the simplest solution. And it's all that's necessary to make them suitable as NPC antagonists. Sounds like most of the mechanical suggestions are intended to make them useful as a PC race.
That would be one possible solution. It's not one I'm personally in favor of, however, as orcs are a staple of low-level play.
Orcs have great strengths, but they also have great weaknesses. If you fight any other race sub-optimally, it's your own damn fault. Why should Orcs be any different? These glaring weaknesses are easily exploited and can make short work of Orcs. They don't need to be adjusted. And if you're still not happy, race the CR. Don't nerf their abilities.
Weaknesses, however, do not necessarily make up for a creature, object, or ability's strength. Many of the nasty, incorporeal undead are completely ineffectual if faced in sunlight. This does not, however, justify lowering their CR. With respect to orcs, in a confined space for example, it may not be reasonably possible to keep out of melee distance. Or if they appear in front of a ranged 'glass cannon' type of enemy.
My personal thoughts on balance with respect to orcs is that it's purely the ferocity ability which breaks them. Sure, their attack bonus and average damage is higher than other CR 1/3, but not so much as to be game breaking. It's really the fact that they can't be downed in one or two hits that makes them a disproportionate threat.
I think exchanging the ferocity ability for the half-orc's 'orc ferocity' would be a fine fix. They would STILL get another attack in after having been effectively cut down, but they would not have quite as disproportionately greater effective HPs in low-level combats. One could even have the ability scale (to full on ferocity or Die Hard status) after a certain number of hit die without appreciably affecting balance IMO. Die Hard becomes increasingly negligible as average damage and hit points go up.
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
diehard is a pretty poor feat, essentially you give up self preservation for roughly an extra 2 hit dice worth of HP with the downside that when you lose them, you DO Die.
Diehard is a poor feat for a player character. Here's a hint: Not all character options are designed with the PCs in mind. Diehard is a fantastic feat for a DM wishing to beef up mooks so that they present the semblance of a threat.
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
meaning every round the orc fights at 0 or less health, he is staggered and loses a hit point every round in addition to the damage he would take for fighting while he should be unconscious.
Effective HPs are still too high. This becomes clearly apparent in low-level play when comparing against other low-level bruisers.
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
a character with the diehard feat has this issue too.
And the Diehard feat has a prereq, putting it out of reach for the overwhelming majority of 1 HD, fractional CR foes.
I never use truly random encounters. I will have a list of possible encounters and invoke some when I feel something needs to happen. Based partly on the PCs' actions or inactions (making lots of noise vs hiding themselves) as well as what I feel will be most entertaining for the players at the time.
Uh...plenty of ways? Pools, trenches, shorelines, piers and marinas, bridges, coastal caverns filled with both watery deeps and dry rocks. Marshes filled with dry land, clumps of stable reeds, watery pools, and bogs. I've personally used plenty of water-based encounters with bits of dry land, objects to walk across, or jump to (e.g. stepping stones). Many aquatic creatures are capable of limited land movement...include a mix of terrain and they fight well enough.
It's easy enough to introduce an aquatic encounter here and there even in a land-based adventure. Monster comes and attacks a merchant or other innocent at a ford, bridge, or ferry crossing. The PCs don't even have to be directly under threat - but may be rewarded if they intercede.
You still only have 1d4 3 times
Yeah, our figures match. The thing you're missing is that the extra fire damage the elemental deals on a successful strike is part of the Burn ability.
Fire elementals do not deal fire damage outside of this ability:
Small Fire Elemental CR 1
N Small outsider (elemental, extraplanar, fire)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +4
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 natural, +1 size)
hp 11 (2d10)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +0
Immune elemental traits, fire
Weaknesses vulnerability to cold
Speed 50 ft.
Melee slam +4 (1d4 plus burn)
Special Attacks burn (1d4, DC 11)
Str 10, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 11
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 13
Feats Dodge, Improved InitiativeB, Weapon FinesseB
Skills Acrobatics +5, Climb +4, Escape Artist +5, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (planes) +1, Perception +4.
The second time the victim gets hit with the burn ability, they AGAIN take the fire damage immediately AND the duration of the damage-over-time effect is (possibly) increased.
Burn (Ex) A creature with the burn special attack deals fire damage in addition to damage dealt on a successful hit in melee. Those affected by the burn ability must also succeed on a Reflex save or catch fire, taking the listed damage for an additional 1d4 rounds at the start of its turn (DC 10 + 1/2 burning creature's racial HD + burning creature's Con modifier). A burning creature can attempt a new save as a full-round action. Dropping and rolling on the ground grants a +4 bonus on this save. Creatures that hit a burning creature with natural weapons or unarmed attacks take fire damage as though hit by the burning creature and must make a Reflex save to avoid catching on fire.
Or to include an example:
Round 2 -
No, the burn doesn't stack. But the elemental deals burn damage on every successful strike in ADDITION to the damage at the beginning of the enemies' turn. The OP didn't include this. So, as you say, 1d4 bludgeoning from the slam + 1d4 fire damage immediately + 1d4 rounds of 1d4 fire damage at the BEGINNING of the victim's turn if the save is failed.
Another thing I think the OP and likely several other people have missed: A creature with the burn ability deals that damage on every successful hit ON TOP of the possible damage over time. So the base damage of a small fire elemental is actually 2d4 + (1d4*1d4 on a failed save).
The numbers are probably balanced about right. The real benefit of the fire elemental is indirect damage - foes who hit them with natural attacks take burn damage for every hit, on top of needing to save or catch fire. This is regardless of whether burn stacks (and I don't personally believe it does). It's all there under the burn ability description.
That little breastplate shown in the pictures was referred to as a 'heart protector' by the romans. It was less expensive and considered inferior to chain mail at the time. I'm not a huge roman armor buff - but I know it was used several centuries BC, when roman armor was comparatively primitive. Back in the days of the Republic.
It is ALWAYS important to design encounters around the PCs, taking into account both abilities, restoratives, and the capacity to obtain more. Particularly when planning encounters of higher CR than the APL. A curse or blindness/deafness spell, for example, can destroy a character if the party is unequipped to deal with it.
You don't need to make things easy on the PCs, nor only ever pit them against foes they're capable of handling. But it's important to make sure that a player doesn't sit in the corner bored and useless for hours on end after a character death or debilitating debuff.
Hmm....Box of Distant Voices. Price unknown; moderate conjuration.
This burnished wooden box has been carved with reliefs of all sorts of bizarre and fantastic creatures. The interior seems perpetually shrouded in shadow, and is prone to making bizarre speech-like echoes in any sort of breeze. A knowledgeable user who concentrates on the box can make contact and communicate (but not otherwise interact) with a random extraplanar creature. The creature is under no compunctions to tell the truth or even answer questions appropriately. Whatever entity the user of the box makes contact is granted a psychic image of the user and his or her surroundings, as if using clairvoyance and clairvoyance. The user of the box, however, does not gain this ability.
DM secretly rolls d8
1/day the box can open itself and speak to anyone within earshot (rolling randomly for an outsider as normal).
Not paranoia, but I once had a DM who decided that he could bypass the normal Spot/Perception mechanics by claiming "Nobody said they looked up." Occasionally, a DM will try to pull something similar. Nowdays my response is typically to say "I look up" with nauseating frequency until they get the point.
I don't really understand how the chaos/law scale relates to the act being described. I mean, it doesn't seem all that random or impulsive or a breaking down of order.
The reasoning being that it is against most cultural traditions, thus chaotic.
Yeah, read the part below that:
Universal Monster Rules wrote:
This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one.
The witch has the capacity to make weapon attacks, even if (s)he chooses not to.
Prehensile hair is a SECONDARY natural attack. It takes a -5 penalty to hit and gains damage bonus equal to HALF the appropriate stat (INT). Unless one takes a certain archtype from an obscure, Golarion-specific book that costs a witch ALL of their hexes. At higher levels, once one has a chance to pump INT a bit, that's probably still a better means of delivering touch attacks, but...
I play and GM a lot of PFS as well, and with a group that is only a few months old our highest level character is Level 4. At the best of times early Sorc/Wizards slowed down the scenario with their abysmal action economy (we've basically gotten used to seeing Grease cast all the time).
With all due respect, I find it hilarious that you talk about action economy (ETA: Unless you're ONLY talking about your own specific situation; in which case, yeah, I bet virtually anyone marginally literate can come up with an ineffective character if they work at it). Sure, let's compare the witch spending a standard action to make a single foe slumber for a round or two at low level while a Sorcerer or Wizard is using Color Spray to incapacitate groups of foes for several times that duration. Or are you talking about a witch sending in that familiar they generally can't communicate precisely with at low level and can't afford to lose into dangerous situations? Wait, no Wizards and Sorcerers can still get those and suffer less risk. And generally have better spells to use with their familiar.
Bloodlines and Schools just don't offer the same early game utility or power (and you get more bloodline/school powers through feats). I might go as far to argue that they are better early game than the full divine casters too, but that's a very different role for comparison.
In the context of "better spellcasters", Schools and Bloodlines add increased power to spells that the witch cannot (well, hardly) ever match - like being able to use Charm Person on undead, animals, and magical beasts. Or gaining bonus damage to evocations. Or not having to concentrate on basic illusions.
What sorta big name spells are lost by the Witch?
Depending on patron, of course: Illusions, color spray, blur-mirror image-displacement, haste/slow, the create pit line of spells, polymorphing, stone shape / wall of stone, Resist Energy...
It's pretty much been already stated - but witches really aren't the best early game casters (depending on how one chooses to define "best"). Hexes are consistently pretty potent and useful - but witches lack the breadth and versatility of other arcane spell lists. Furthermore, both Sorcerers AND Wizards tend to get abilities that augment the focus of their school specialization / bloodline. These may or may not be as potent as the witch's hexes, but that IS another trade-off.
You're also presuming that the commoners in the goblin-farmer equation are actually interested and feel confident in fighting.
For example: Jon "Old Farmer" Brown has lived through 40 summers and plenty of goblin raids. He can take a few hits, but believes that actually fighting goblins is a good way to get killed. He's possibly even gotten a bit of actual fighting experience here and there courtesy of a couple bar brawls. Although he's had plenty of time and opportunity to do so, he's never TRIED to learn how to swing a proper weapon. He'd rather leave that stuff to younger folks who are not quite so worried if they get hurt or crippled.
I think it really depends on what sort of abilities you're after. Faerie dragon is PROBABLY the most powerful; but a few of my favorites:
- Pseudodragon: gets blindsense, UMD as a class skill, AND 5-ft reach (making them actually potentially usable for delivering touch spells)
- Small earth elemental: gets tremorsense, 5-ft reach, and the ability to scout and seek refuge through earth and stone
- Mephits: Get a (generally weak) debuff breath weapon, 5-ft reach, and some useful spell-likes
- Shikigami(kami): Get Invis(self) at will and Commune with nature - which are pretty standard-power familiar abilities. But mostly I just find their ability to throw random junk at the enemy hilarious.
- Arbiter (inevitable) and Augur (kyton): Are both a bit lackluster, but have great survivability due to having regeneration.
Communication: Faerie Dragons, Pseudodragons, and Doru (div) all get telepathy at useful ranges. Arbiters, Cassisians, Silvanshees, Harbingers, and Lyrakiens get Truespeech which is almost as useful. Silvanshees also get Speak with Animals at will.
As DM, I'm -generally- fine with a good or neutrally aligned PC engaging in cannibalism so long as they're not seeking out still living, sentient creatures to ingest.
HOWEVER - in a fantasy magical world improper disposal of a body may have magical/spiritual ramifications. It was a common European historical trope, for example, that improperly burying people had a tendency to disturb their afterlife. Possibly causing them to come back as undead. Many cultural variations on burial and entombment were based on some concept that disrespecting the dead caused some unpleasant attitudes and effects upon the living.
And in a fantasy magical world where spirits and undead DO exist and gods walk the world...
...who is to say that some of these beliefs are not in fact true.
Yeah, sorry to burst your bubble, but there are no such hereditary associations (in the Animal Lord description or otherwise) with the word categories. Terrestrial animals, aquatic animals, purple things, red rocks are all categories. The closest approximation to some sort genetic classification in the template is the "Species Affinity" set of abilities. As I expect you're aware, not a single one of those categories are species.
When the gods of nature or powerful spirits desire a champion to defend the animal world, they invest a token of their power in a chosen vessel—be it animal or humanoid.
...sure sounds like spiritual investiture and association to me. If you're going to gripe:1) Waaah, the game designers are not intimately familiar with the specifics of biological terminology and possibly evolutionary history. That's so much worse for verisimilitude than the innumerable thermodynamic and other glaring scientific inaccuracies present in the system. (What, "acid" is an "energy" type?)
2) As mentioned previously by others, the cladistic differences between Creodonts and Carnivores (i.e. Carnivora) is pretty small compared to some of those other categories. Dinosaurs, looking at you.
Not to mention the old question of "after it wears off, do they realize they were charmed?"
The spell makes no mention of causing targets to forget...the description of charm effects makes no mention of causing memory loss, the description of enchantment effects makes no mention or causing targets to forget...
...so our default assumption must be....?
Those confused might try reading the passage in the core book about charm effects on page 561. It is more powerful than you seem to be to weasel the spell into.
1) A number of monster types have historically used charm effects in combat. It has NEVER required any sort of extended action to make requests of a charmee.
2) The description of charm effects specifically addresses the case of a charmee being asked to attack his or her companions. It does NOT cause the charm effect to break.
Referring back to the OP:
Then there's the opposed CHA check. What commands trigger this check and what happens if it fails?
The commands that will trigger an opposed CHA check are dependent upon the command and the nature of the charmee. The best way to adjudicate this is to try to imagine what sort of requests the charmed creature would readily agree to if asked by a good friend, what sort would require some convincing, and what sort are completely against the charmee's view of the world (i.e new save).
Orcs, for example, are typically violent, militaristic, creatures who, being chaotic evil, tend not to have significant feelings of loyalty. Being asked to fight other orcs (even of their own warband) should not generally require a CHA check unless they have some strong personal connection to those others.
A simple cobbler without fighting experience, on the other hand, might take up arms for a friend or loved one but is not likely to do so unless they could be convinced said friend or loved one was in extreme danger. Or possibly for some sort of life-changing reward.
An Azata, supernatural manifestation of good, would probably fundamentally rebel at the prospect of murdering an innocent puppy. Or contrarily if a demon, supernatural manifestation of evil, was asked to babysit and change the diapers of some puling orphans without any other justification.
Does the spell break and end?
If the request is exceptionally contary to their nature (e.g. azata being asked to kill a puppy) the target gets a new save. Otherwise - the friend is unconvinced and merely refuses.
What would YOU do if two of your...useful minions... suddenly started violently attacking each other?