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Stephen Radney-MacFarland's page

Designer. Pathfinder Society Member. 665 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Why do some folks act like Sean killed their pet?

I don't get it.

He could not have done possibly anything personal enough to random people on the internet to warrant the d-baggery that is on display sometimes.

Ok here is what I know he did, but it's not a comprehensive list. Proof is on these boards, just hard to find. There are screenshots too.

-Killed the Monk class
-Treated a lot of play testers badly in the play test
-Made a lot of very bad feats and class abilities
-Played a huge part in why Crossbows are so bad
-Helped nerf martial characters a lot

If you like Monks then yes, SKR did in fact kick your puppy.

This is not quite accurate. Sean was the mouth of the message boards for a long time, so it was him out defending some decisions that were made by the Design Team.

Sean was (and will be) responsible for putting some great stuff in the game and was a valuable and is very missed member of the Design Team.

He will be a hard fellow to replace. I also think folks are going to be very happy with the final classes he lead for the Advance Class Guide. Sean and I had many discussions about those classes in playtest and final form, and a lot of what we talked about was spurred on my the great discussions and comments made on these boards.

I'll tell you a little secret. Back when I was in college, Sean and I used to go rounds frequently on the old TSR Online AOL boards. I will admit that online he can be...well...challenging at times. His dedication, passion, and quirky sense of humor sometimes doest translate well on forums. After working with him for years I can also tell you he is one of the nicest most talented guys in the industry. And he cares a lot about his work and the fans.

I miss that bald bastard. :)

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Bizbag wrote:
Wouldn't it be simple just to say that a lance gets double damage on the first attack, but not any subsequent ones? You get the benefit you invested in (extra attacks from pounce, extra lance damage) without going all force-multiplier on the game.

The lance FAQ already states that, and the new FAQ on mounted charge now says that too. That is one of the clarifications that was already out there that we are implicitly putting in the paragraph describing a mounted charge, or as the cavalier class features refers to it "charging while mounted."

The main problem when it came to mounted charge is that while the mounted combat section of the Core Rulebook stated that the mount charged, and that line was used to justify the argument that the barbarian couldn't pounce on a mounted charge, there were too many abilities (the lance, cavalier abilities, archetype abilities) that hinged on a mounted charge or when you charge while mounted. There was a disconnect between the FAQ and those rules.

In the end we do realize that this allows a mounted barbarian with the Greater Beast Totem rage power to use pounce at the end of a charge, but if she is using a lance, has Spirited Charge, or is using both the multiplier is only applied to the first attack if that attack hits.

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Ssalarn wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


No, and this is one of the points I want to make. Messageboard posts on a subjects made by the design and development team are not "official rulings" on the games. Clarifications in FAQ posts and errata are official rulings.

Stephen,

There is a FAQ on the ragelancepounce issue. This specifically states that Pounce works when you are the one charging, not when the mount is charging, making this new ruling a change in the existing rules.

And upon further reflection on this matter, the first part of that FAQ is in error, but the second part is purely valid.

We will clarify this in the near future.

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thebigragu wrote:
Yes, this disregards official rulings SKR already made. What a mess.

No, and this is one of the points I want to make. Messageboard posts on a subjects made by the design and development team are not "official rulings" on the games. Clarifications in FAQ posts and errata are official rulings.

This serves a couple of purposes.

First, it allows the design and development team to interact with fans, and have rules discussions with fans, in an exploratory, argumentative (and I mean that in a construct sense) and even sometimes a playful manner without the fear of taking such comments out of context. This is good for everyone.

Second, it does not force anyone playing the game to participate in or wade through message board threads (some of which can be a thousand or more posts long) in order to find official rulings. Many of us enjoy doing such things, but not everyone, and it should not be seen as a requirement for playing Pathfinder.

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Ziegander wrote:


So to clarify further: If you want to charge while you are mounted both you and your mount must spend your full-round actions to do so?

Correct.

Ziegander wrote:


Can you charge as a standard action while mounted? If yes, then do both of you have to be denied the ability to take a move action or can you do it if just your mount is unable to take a move action? If you can standard-action charge while only your mount is unable to take a move action, could you still take a move action, such as dismounting at the end of the charge?

Only if both you and your mount can only take standard actions (since you are both are charging and must conform to the charge rules when you make a mounted charge).

Ziegander wrote:


When riding a mount, can you command the mount to charge while you yourself do not charge? If not, well, why not? If yes, do you lose your actions anyway, or can you spend them on doing something else? For example, if I'm riding a war-trained mount, can I not cast a spell on my mount (standard action) and then command the mount to charge after being buffed (or simultaneously while I buff it as the case of turn order may be)?

Of course. The mount is charging, but it is not a mounted charge. In order for you to make a mounted charge (and get things like the bonus for using a lance or the effects of Spirited charge, you must make a mounted charge). The clarification will deal for what is a mounted charge and the effects are.

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Okay, folks, after some long and illuminating talks about this issue, I have answers.

First, I learned that the Core Rulebook I use at home is woefully out of date, so I got myself a shiny new home copy to help answer after-hours rules questions. The Spring Attack issue I noted last night has, of course, been fixed in later printings of the book. I know you are all excited. ;)

Second, my suspicions and knowledge of the rules were correct. Vital Strike can only be used when you make an attack action. It cannot be used with any other actions (including those actions that happen to be standard actions) that allow you to make an attack roll as part of them (even if it is a single attack roll). It can’t be used as part of Spring Attack, as part of a charge (even if it is the standard action charge you can take if you are limited to only taking standard actions), Ride-By Attack, or even as part of the fleet charge champion strike in Mythic Adventures.

In short, if you want to use Vital Strike, you must take the attack action as describe on page 182 of the Core Rulebook. Attack rolls as part of another action and ability's will not do, unless there is an some exception involving Vital Strike written in that action and ability’s rules.

That, of course, brings us to the question of whether or not you are considered charging when making a mounted charge. After much discussion, some gnashing of teeth, and combing through the various rules bits involving mounted combat, we have decided to clarify that section of the Core Rulebook to state that when you charge on horseback you do so as a full-round action, and both you and your mount are considered charging.

There will be an official FAQ of that change to that clarification of mounted charge in the near future posted by the Design Team.

Also, keep in mind that while the design and development team does enjoy to interact with all of you, and even give our feedback to rules issues, off-the hip (and after hours) rules discussion by the staff should not be taken as an FAQ or errata for the game as a whole. If you are using random posts to justify your build in Pathfinder Society or as a player in other games…you really should cut that out. Just a bit of friendly advice from this designer.

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Nefreet wrote:
I don't think Stephen realized the kerfuffle when he made his initial comment. This topic gets the forums stirred up easily.

I know kerfuffles when I see them--I don't shy away from them. My original post stands. You can make a Vital Strike when you use the attack action (standard action). The rest is just a clarification of what are attack actions and what are not.

Forums stir. That's what they do. It is my job (or one of my jobs) to give folks answers, tempest in the proverbial teapot or not.

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Oh, and The Walking Dead is over, and the lady is on her computer doing work...so I figured I could do the same. What is good good for the goose is good for the gander, or so I'm told. ;)

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Archaeik wrote:


Mounted Skirmisher (Combat) wrote:


You are adept at attacking from upon a swift moving steed.

Prerequisites: Ride rank 14, Mounted Combat, Trick Riding.

Benefit: If your mount moves its speed or less, you can still take a full-attack action.

Normal: If your mount moves more than 5 feet, you can only take an attack action.

/popcorn

That is fairly weak sauce if it is being used to justify the use of Vital Strike at the end of a charge. It still takes a move action to move the horse (or a full-round action if you fail the check) so it seems to be talking about that and maybe not considering the charge because, well, the rules are vague and maybe not well understood...the question really is whether charging with a horse is a charge action on your part or it is some kind of strange exception (as Sean argued in the post quoted above).

My guess is yes when you charge on horseback, you are making a charge action, but I will agree the mounted combat section is really unclear on that and to clarify it is worth an FAQ. Hence I will consult with the rest of the design team (read: Jason) and get the real answers. With that answer I can also answer a few of the other questions floating around. The real issues is a bunch of actions that use an attack (as I read an attack roll) for something other than the attack action, and the full-attack action, and where those instances sit in the action economy and how they interact with one another.

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Alexandros Satorum wrote:

Great to felling smash plus vital strike, I thought It woudl be ruled the other way :)

I recommend stephen to not post about mount charge + vital strike, not until he have everything crystal clear, otherwise it could be a forum stampede XD

Oh, I agree. I would rather get a right answer that clears up all these nagging questions. I try not to post off the cuff and have to back track.

"Yes, darling. Sorry. I'll be right there."

Off to watch some Walking Dead with the lady. Talk to you tomorrow, everyone.

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Shimesen wrote:
OK, here's an interesting one: what about using vital strike with the single attack from fleet charge (the mythic path ability) which is a swift action. I doubt this works because the action used is a swift action, and therefore not a standard action attack, but it begs the question because...well...because mythic! However, the wording of the ability suggests a move and standard action made in the time space of a swift action. It would be interesting to see what a designer says about it.

This is an interesting one, because you make an attack, not an attack action (I know...I know). I thought I could look at Spring Attack for guidance, but the problem with that feat (that to be honest I never noticed before) is that it does not have an action implicitly associated with it.

Anyhow, now I have a short list of questions to talk about tomorrow and my girlfriend is bugging me to stop working tonight. And I try to listen to her. I will get back to you tomorrow on these things. Till then, have a great night.

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Nefreet wrote:

But, it's the mount that's charging.

Not the rider.

Right?

I see what you are saying. That is unclear. You take the penalties and benefit of the charge It is also an attack (not necessarily an attack action, though I admit it is unclear) in my own game I would rule that when you charge on a mount it is treated like your charge (as it is in all other ways), but I will have to discuss it with Jason and see what was the intent since it seems unclear to me as written.

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Davick wrote:
But can Vital Strike be used on a charging mount? For that matter, can I use any combination of move/standard actions if on a chraging mount, or do I become limiting to charging as well?

Vital Strike cannot be used with a charge. "A charge is a special full-round action" (Core Rulebook 198) where you make an attack roll (not an attack action, which is a standard action).

You can move and then make an attack action (as a standard action) and use vital strike.

Making a single attack as a standard action, Vital Strike yes.

Make any kind of attack as part of a full-round action, Vital Strike no.

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LoneKnave wrote:
Is it compatible with felling smash? The wording seems to imply it is.

Yes. It can be used with Felling Smash, as you can use both with an attack action, as long as that attack action also conforms to the other requirements of Felling Smash.

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WinterwolfNW wrote:

Sorry it's been a while since I been here, I'm not a forum troll. I see I stirred up some conversation.

I can see your arguments about the extra free damage when you have to move anyway before attacking. Good point.

However I hardly think an extra D8 (for a Longsword) is stupidly overpowered when a -3 Power attack does 6 extra points of damage, but then I admit I don't know your campaigns.

As for "Attack Actions"... I consider anything that would break an Invisibility spell an "Attack Action", I guess we each have our own interpretations here.

There is a difference between an attack action, which is under the heading of "Standard Actions," (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 182) and an attack when you use a full-attack action, which is under the header of "Full-Round Actions" (Core Rulebook 187). It can be a little confusing because and attack action has one attack, while a full-attack action has multiple attacks and things in the game can trigger on attacks or attack actions or rules can hinge on using an attack action or when making an attack. While the distinction is there in the text, it can be very easy to gloss over it because of the similarity of words and terms the rules use.

If we had it to do over, I think we could have made a better distinction between the two, but it was like that way in the 3.5 ruleset as well, so a bit of momentum took hold and now the problem my be too systemic for a reasonable and complete fix.

To answer the original question, you can gain the benefits of Vital Strike when you take the attack action, that is a standard action where you make one attack. You cannot use it when you take a full-attack action where your make multiple attacks.

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First the Nonfiction:

I currently finished The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick and Aftershock by Robert B. Reich. Both were good reads. Each very illuminating in there own way. I've just started on Ronin: Skirmish Wargames in the Age of Samurai which I can tell you if you are looking for a good, easy, and fast-paced skirmish wargame that uses only a handful of miniatures and inexpensive rulebook ($17.95 US) look no further. Osprey Wargames did a great job with this one.

Now the Fiction:

I'm currently reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne and Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Journey is fun. It is one of those books I should have tackled before but till now I've just never taken the time to actually read Verne. I will definitely be reading more. Rothfuss is impressive. Great story, interesting characters, fascinating world, extremely well written. I'm glad I picked it up.

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Question wrote:

It is obvious that outside of special events like playtests, paizo staff barring mods do not actually read or respond to threads on the forums.

How exactly are people supposed to get stuff clarified by Paizo then, ask them questions, bring issues to their attention, etc?

Yes i know there is a customer service email but im fairly sure thats for order related questions...

You know, I hate to say this to someone on the messageboards, but you are wrong.

We do spend a lot of time reading and responding to messageboard posts. I spend at least a good hour each day reading posts and compiling lists of issues that are most important and that I think I can help with. You will also notice the staff will spend time posting, moderating, and reading these boards late into the evening and on weekends.

If I can help with an issue immediately, I do. If they are more complex or have many facets (such as the simulacrum issue or the issues involving how scry and teleport interact, we have internal conversations to figure out what is the best way to handle that issue.

In either case the entire Paizo design and development staff take the messageboards, questions and issues that pop up on them very seriously.

Good gaming.

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First the Non-Fiction:

Just started The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt, which so far is engrossing and brilliant. It has really made me rethink common wisdom and about such conflicts, and using pure reason as tool for overcoming them. It has also given me much to think on when listening to and responding to rules issues on the Paizo messageboards.

Before that I finished Playing at the World by Jon Peterson, which is a really fantastic (and very long and detailed) history of early D&D and its wargame and literary antecedents. A must read for those interested in the subject. Then I read The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens.

After that sobering cleanse, I moved on to Mastering the Game buy Gary Gygax, which was not as good (and in many ways a rehash of) Roleplaying Mastery, but had some interesting tid-bits the early book did not to make it worth while. Then I moved on to The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins, a fine and entertaining book that covered basics of many scientific disciplines and basic epistemology, and was of course was not very sympathetic to supernatural causes for anything.

Fiction:

I finished Finch by Jeff VanderMeer, which made me love and hate the gray caps even more than I had in the past, and moved on to his newest book Annihilation, which is the first part of the Southern Reach trilogy. It is creepy, thought-provoking, and excellently written. I highly recommend especially if you dig Lovecraftian things and both loved and were ultimately disappointed by Lost.

I am still picking at Swords & Dark Magic, reading the Abercrombie, Erikson, and Cook tales thus far and have enjoyed all three.

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AM DEVELOPER wrote:
Tels wrote:
AM DEVELOPER wrote:

BEHOLD!

AM DEVELOPER SEZ: SLA's of 3rd level or lower need not be removed from abilities when HD are reduced. If new HD is less than 7 it should have no SLA's of 4th level spells or higher. If new HD is less than 9 it should have no SLA's of 5th level spells of higher. Etc.

So sayeth the unwritten RAW and AM DEVELOPER.

Will AM DEVELOPER answer how Lantern Archon's have Greater Teleport at-will if they only have 2 HD?
AM DEVELOPER SEZ: You have clearly forgotten to apply the unwritten RAW whereby all stat blocks in published product are commissioned by baby Jesus and are beyond reproach.

:) Cute and funny. Just keep it in good taste, AM DEVELOPER.

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Rynjin wrote:
I think in this case it's warranted since this is one of the (if not THE) most frequently used examples of something being broken in the Pathfinder ruleset.

Everyone thinks issues that they are passionate about are warranted. What I'm saying doing this makes our job a little harder. And, if your are correct (and you may be) wouldn't it get enough FAQ hits without the need for such appeals?

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DrDeth wrote:
PS- need more FAQ, guys, please.

I understand you are passionate about this issue, see it as an important issue and we are going to look into it, but this kind of post should keep in mind the guidelines set out in the "The Rules FAQ, and How to Use It" sticky. (Or as I like to call it the FAQ FAQ).

I want a rule changed. Should I start a thread and ask people to FAQ-click it?
No. The FAQ is not to be used to get rules changed. Posts attempting to use the FAQ for this purpose will be cleared from the FAQ queue.

Keep in mind that the FAQ is exactly that: Frequently asked questions. Not questions you want answered and can get enough people to push a button. I know the distinction may seem subtle, but it is there.

We need this for a few reasons. It is important for us to distinguish legitimate FAQ items from an artificial echo chamber effect or the creation of items that seem more of a concern than they actually are because of a "get out the vote" campaign. It helps us get a genuine and unbiased idea of the trouble spots in our rules and our user's experience.

It also allows us to look at issues that are real for new players, and not focus on corner case rules and exceptions.

Lastly cuts down on the danger of making this process a kind of skinner box zoo, and allows us to prioritize issues and workload.

By the FAQ FAQ's guidelines I should clear it from the FAQ now. I will not this time as a warning. Please avoid this kind of lobbying in the future, please.

Thanks everyone.

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Chemlak wrote:

There's an FAQ request about this floating around somewhere.

There are three schools of thought:

1) The character is undetectable by any means (including Perception skill checks, blind sight, tremorsense and true seeing).

2) The character is undetectable by magic, but senses work normally.

3) The character is immune to "detect" spells and any effects based on the scry spell.

Pick your preference. I waver between 1 and 2.

Yes, it is 1. Because mythic.

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Folks are walking a fine line here. Keep it civil please.

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It more than makes mention of mind-affecting spells.

Some undead are susceptible to your mind-affecting spells. Corporeal undead that were once humanoids are treated as humanoids for the purposes of determining which spells affect them.

The them in the second sentence refers to "your mind-affecting spells." Not spells in general. Thus the arcana, as written, and taken as a whole, allows you to affect corporeal undead with your mind-affecting spells as if they were humanoids.

I hope that helps.

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Yeah, sad day. I've shared a team and office with Sean for a while now, and he will be missed. Good luck with the new chapter, Sean and Jodi! Remember you always have people (including long-haired freaks) who love you.

Make the next chapter the best, you two!

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Howdy, everyone. Someone had a rules question, and I answered it. Like always, I understand if not everyone likes the answer, but that's what we do in this forum...answer rules questions.

Keep it civil, and you can continue to discuss this issue, but if the arguments get too heated or off topic, I will close it.

Good gaming, everyone, and have a great day.

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Quantum Steve wrote:

He didn't just remove ambiguity, he completely changed the meaning of the feat.

Choosing +1 hit point and +1 skill point was specifically instead of choosing one or the other. The alternate class reward was not instead of; like every other feat in the game it was in addition to. You could pick an alternate class reward and still get your normal +1 hit point or +1 skill point.

That's how I interpret the grammar of the feat. I prefer my reading because it unambiguous, doesn't have any confusing or redundant text, and it makes the feat actually worth something.
Not that I don't see the advantages of an ambiguous, confusing, worthless interpretation; it's just not for me.

That may be your interpretation but it is not what the feat does.

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

@Stephen: if you remember the Belt of Battle from the 3.5 Magic Item Compendium, it was an item that could be activated as a swift action and granted an extra move (1 charge), standard (2 charges) or full-round action (3 charges), which must be taken immediately (before you take any other action).

If you take a full-round action, would that prevent you from benefitting from the Belt, either in 3.5 or in PF (if it were to be converted to PF)?

Sorry, I don't answer rules questions from non-Paizo products.

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In the case of the swift runner's shirt you take a move action (to move not other things that don't involve movement that might take a move action) as the swift action. Since swift actions are not barred, you can use the shirt when you take a full-round action, unless for some strange reason, that would stop you from taking the swift action.

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Quandary wrote:

The description for Full-Round Action (Category) states:

Quote:

"Full-Round Action: A full-round action consumes all your effort during a round. The only movement you can take during a full-round action is a 5-foot step before, during, or after the action. You can also perform free actions and swift actions (see below)."

"A full-round action requires an entire round to complete. Thus, it can't be coupled with a standard or a move action, though if it does not involve moving any distance, you can take a 5-foot step."

The bolded passage seems to mean that all Full-Round actions work like 1-Round Casting Time spells: "taking an entire round to complete".

"A spell that takes 1 round to cast is a full-round action. It comes into effect just before the beginning of your turn in the round after you begin casting the spell" (Core Rulebook 213)

Basically the first two sentences in this paragraph tell you that such a casting is a full-round action, and how it is different in the case of casting. Because the second part is important in the case of spell casting, the exception is made and that is why you don't have full-actions in casting times, because--like many other full-round actions--one might mistakenly believe that the effects come into play at the end of your turn, and not the start of your next.

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The feat does exactly what it says it does (grammatically). If you have this feat you can either choose +1 hit point and +1 skill rank, or you can choose the alternate class reward.

You do not get your choice of two of the three, but it does not preclude you from taking an alternate class reward if you choose to do that instead.

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Cheapy wrote:
Remember to apply the rule of common sense and also that most often rule designers are interested in restricting power level than increasing it!

Common sense is key when the rules are either ambiguous or they tread into territory where we don't strictly define things that we consider to be common sense (such as humans, as a general rule, don't have tails). In other words, when the narrative of fantasy seems clear, we tend not to make concrete rules systems to help the players and GMs to judge them. We consider them givens. We have to, either that or our rules would be two to three times longer than they currently are.

Second, we are only interested in restricting power levels when such power levels would disrupt or invalidate the status quo or the core assumptions of the game. Many times we are interesting in increasing the power levels, or creating new power level paradigms in new and interesting design space. The downtime system and the mythic rules are examples of this, but there are many more.

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Aelryinth wrote:

Stephen repeatedly emphasized expending the attack action, not rolling a dice when I pressed him.

Thus, using up the action is the key. You could probably do most of them as a free action, but they are symbolic of the fact you are spending your attack action.

==Aelryinth

::sigh::

No, I repeatedly emphasized that it was when you make either an attack action (which is a standard action) or a full-attack action (which is a full-round action) as it states in the rules.

Using a standard or a full-round action is not the key, using an attack action or a full-attack action are the key. Those actions are defined and explained in the Core Rulebook.

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Aelryinth wrote:

If you're all done, Mr. Anti-Paladin, I thank you for your time.

==Aelryinth

You are welcome, good sir. I had time for your other questions. Hope it helps.

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Aelryinth wrote:

And so if I Ready an Attack action, I'm all good with Defensive Fighting?

==Aelryinth

Only if you ready an attack action, and not until you take that attack action, which will be in response to the conditions you specify and and just before the triggering action.

Readying an action, even readying an attack action is not an attack action, it is a special initiative action. The act of taking the attack action just before the trigger is, and that's when you can choose to use Combat Expertise or fight defensively with a standard action.

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Kudaku wrote:

It is indeed a free action to switch weapon grip, as stated in this FAQ - the question is rather if the Crane Wing user qualifies for the "one hand free while fighting defensively"-requirement when he has no free hands while actually making the attacks.

On a related note, thank you for your quick and illuminating answers, Stephen - these questions have been argued back in forth in the Crane wing thread for pages and pages. I really appreciate you shedding some light on it :)

Ah, I thought we did an FAQ about it, but couldn't find it on a quick search. It is definitely not in the rulebook, though. Oh well.

This starts to get into rules intent material, but yes you can. The idea behind having the had free is that you must have a hand free to foil the attack, since this is primarily a weaponless martial arts style (wax on, wax off). The one hand free is to block the attack, not as a limiting factor that you have to have one hand free throughout the entirety of your fighting defensively. It so you have the tools for the job.

That said, your GM is well within her right to limit the free actions you can perform in a round, and to rule that in order to use crane style you must have one hand free throughout your entire fighting defensively up to that point, if it makes sense to her.

I hope that helps, even when I cannot give concrete answers. Good gaming everyone. :)

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Aelryinth wrote:

Okay, so the bonus applies after the attack.

Corollary argument: Can you do this without actually making an attack roll at an enemy, or do I really have to toss a rock in his general direction, or shadow-box the air to start the process?

Because once again that's blatantly unfair to melee characters who have to move and attack.

==Aelryinth

It is not about the roll, it is about the action. As long as you are throwing the rock as an attack action, sure. But you are still taking a standard action to do so.

I think you are confusing the attack action with the actual rolling of a melee or ranged attack. They are two separate things in the rules.

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Aelryinth wrote:

Stephen, it says right in the rules that an Attack is a standard action.

Attack

Making an attack is a standard action.

Yes. And you want to add movement before that. Moving is, well a move action, or a full-round action. I really don't see what the problem with this concept is.

I want to move before I make an attack action. I move (move action) and then I attack (attack action). I can choose to use Combat Expertise or Fight Defensively as part of a attack action or a full-attack action. I cannot do it as part of a move action.

Since a charge is neither an attack action or a full-attack action, but rather a special full-round action called charge, I can't use Combat Expertise or Fighting Defensively as part of that action. It doesn't fit the requirements.

That's what I'm saying. Those are the rules.

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Aelryinth wrote:

So, you're saying you can't approach a dangerous foe in a defensive posture and swing at him, but the archer back there shooting once has no problem, because he got to roll the die before he moved?

Or am I missing something?

Or, you can't Ready an attack in defensive posture, taking all bonuses and penalties thereunto, even if you don't make an attack?

I'm missing something if that's what you're ruling, because it really makes no sense to me.

I know that you can make an attack and then take a move action, getting the bonus to AC for the full time. Why, since I am declaring an attack action, would I not gain a bonus until the instant I made an attack roll? Because that seems an extremely narrow interpretation of what Defensive Fighting is.

Because this is what we are arguing over. The idea that the die roll starts the Defensive Fighting has never been played that way at any table I've been at, ever.

==Aelryinth

What I'm saying is that fighting defensively starts when you attack and lasts until the start of your next turn (Core Rulebook 184 and 187) as does Combat Expertise (Core Rulebook 119) , which I believe was the question.

I'm sorry it makes no sense to you, but it written that way in the rules. I hope it helps.

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No, you declare you are fighting defensively or using Combat Expertise when you attack (either as a standard or a full-round action). You can't declare it, take a move action and benefit from it during that move action, and then make the attack as a standard action.

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Zark wrote:

Great post Stephen.

I like reading your posts. You both sane and amusing... and a Gentleman. :)

Thanks, Zark. Those are the three things I always aim for when posting. :)

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Cardinal Chunder wrote:
Did you have to weigh in this originally because you lost at "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock" in the office?

Ayep. ;)

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Talonhawke wrote:
maybe by post 2000 we can have a dev weigh in on this issue. Since now apparently we have a new can of worms opened up.

I weighed in a while ago. To be honest I've seen nothing that needs me to weigh in any further. But I will say this: Disguise does not change morphology, it allows you to hide or emulate (but not actually have) morphology.

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VargrBoartusk wrote:
Common sense and fantasy are if not mutually exclusive at least bad guests to invite to the same dinner party. Instead of logic and common sense maybe you should shoot for internal consistency and erring on the side of clarity with phrases such as 'If you have a tail you may make a tail attack' rather then 'with your tail.'

I don't know what to tell you. But we do use this construction all the time and noncontroversially. We also give you the ability to take feats that you can't use all the time either situationally or because you lack an ability or some other key component. You can take Combat Casting (it has no prerequisites) even if you don't have any spells or spell-like abilities. Logic assumes you will not if it is no use to you. Just because you have Deadly Aim, we don't assume you always have the ability to make ranged attacks.

The only difference between "if you have a tail attack" and "with your tail" is the number of words. "With your tail" assumes you have a tail, because it is a kobold feat, and kobolds typically have tails. There are circumstances where kobolds don't have tails, or creatures who do not have tails might take this feat (specifically if they have an effect that allows them to "count as that race for any effects related to race.") But it gives neither creature a tail. Nothing in the RAW of this feat says you gain a tail. Noting in the RAW of the Racial Heritage feat says you gain a tail.

On a side note about this subject. I've entered this discussion to answer a question, and I have done so. I'm not going to enter into side conversations about design philosophy (I think I've contributed enough to that conversation about this issue). I have a books to design and develop, but thought since the issue has raged for nearly 1,000 posts, it deserved some feedback from the rules team.

Have a great day everyone, and good gaming!

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Forseti wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
In other words, I have no idea how rules as written say you grow a tail.
An argument that keeps popping up is that "effects related to race" as mentioned in the Racial Heritage feat ("You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race.") includes appearance and anatomy.

Morphology is not an effect related to race in game terms. Feat prerequisites are. Favored enemy is (hence there is not half-elf subtype, half elf has both the elf and the human subtype).

When you take Racial Heritage (kobold) your size does not change, the number of digits does not change, you do not gain scales, you do not gain access to natural armor, or the crafty ability, interestingly enough you do not even gain the reptilian subtype in this case. What you gain is an access to a handful of feats, one of which is useless if you don't have a tail, the other you can't get because you don't have scales.

Assuming of course, your GM says it is okay because she decides that your Racial Heritage manifests in a way not describe in the feat, but interesting either to your character concept or her story.

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Tacticslion wrote:
Actually, Stephen, a tail is not in the prerequisites. Being a kobold is. Thus you can take the feat by RAW (though, since you've weighed in this is clearly not RAI). If you wish to make it more air-tight, please change the prerequisites.

Yes, you can take the feat, but it does no good, unless you have a tail. If you are human (no tail) and take the feat, there are ways in which you could gain a tail (including GM fiat) get a tail, hence it is not part of the prerequisites.

As a matter of design principle, I'm not sympathetic to making rules always as air-tight as you suggest. While the game may not seem to act like it sometimes, the rule of Pathfinder are not a strict code. Rather it is a matrix using our natural language with some game jargon to create a narrative, relative ease of play, and enough space to deal with complicate circumstance; a narrative, adjudicated and can be played with by a GM both to tell her tale and to create fun.

Logic will eventually have to suffice. If the feat allows you to do something with your tail, and you have no tail, the assumption that it grants you a tail is stretching. At the same time any home GM can easily come in and say that you have a tail, if it fits your character concept and her story.

As some of you have pointed out, PFS has to take a harder tact on this, and I agree. But I believe they have the tools to do so. If you are a human, who takes the Racial Heritage, you can take the feat, but it does not grant you anything if you don't have a tail. Humans do not have tails, ergo, your tail is nonexistent and can't be augment. In other words it is foolish to take the feat expecting it allows you to grow a tail. Neither feat says you grow a tail.

In other words, I have no idea how rules as written say you grow a tail. That seems purely outside the rules as written. The same could be said for a magic item of feat that augments darkvision. If it said your darkvision improves by 20 feet, but you don't have darkvision that does not mean that it grants you darkvision of 20 feet, because you cannot improve what you don't have. It could be possible (due to the prerequisites or the available item slot) to take the feat or wear the item. It is even possible with some of racial trait swaps to take an item designed to augment the core traits or morphology of the race, but since you have swapped out of that option, it is possible for you to take it, but for you it does nothing. It is also possible though some strange item, encounter, or monster, or GM fiat to lose a tail if you were a kobold, but that doesn't mean the act of having this feat would allow you to regrow such a tail.

In summary, when we write the rules, we do intend a level of reason and even common sense. We have to, because instead of making things "air-tight." Personally I believe, and have always believed, that one of the benefits of tabletop RPGs is to allow the mind and the imagination to breathe. Often we don't feel we need to codify such things in rules, because the logic is (we suppose) easily apprehended by the mind and the common sense of it is pleasing to the imagination.

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Charender wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Charender wrote:
No, just got "Designer" Confused with the other title for the 3rd party publishers combined with getting ninjaed.
Ninja'd no. But I am very sneaky for an anti-paladin. ;)

On a side note, there goes my shot at getting this thread to 1000 posts.

:(

LOL! You didn't know? My black blade is called Threadkiller. ;)

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Charender wrote:
No, just got "Designer" Confused with the other title for the 3rd party publishers combined with getting ninjaed.

Ninja'd no. But I am very sneaky for an anti-paladin. ;)

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Charender wrote:


What you don't see to understand is that the "it doesn't work argument" relies on 3 things.
1. Tail Terror requires a tail to operate.
2. Humans don't have tails or the tail that a human has is insufficient.
3. Racial Heritage: Kobold does not allow you to have a tail.

If and only if all 3 of these statements are true, then a human cannot make use of Tail Terror. If any of these 3 statements is false, then the combo of RH: Kobold + Tail Terror will work by RAW.

All of these statements are true.

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el cuervo wrote:

My goodness, you're a feisty one. Is a tail a characteristic of a human? No. Is a tail a characteristic of a kobold? Yes.

Now that we've cleared that up, let's move on. Tail Terror doesn't grant you a tail because you need to be a kobold to take Tail Terror. Racial Heritage means you can have kobold ancestry but it still doesn't grant you a tail.

This is entirely correct. I hate to say this folks, I really do, but we do expect and modicum of common sense when it comes to the finer points of rules adjudication. If your half-orc has kobold heritage, it does not mean it has a tail and can get the tail slap feat, unless your GM decides (for whatever reason) you have a tail.

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