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Steve Geddes's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber. 7,636 posts (8,633 including aliases). 12 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 aliases.


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BigDTBone wrote:

Steve, I think you'll find that RAW-lawyers are far more reasonable in rules debates than you imagine. We take the game as a whole to contextualize specific statements.

"arcane spell," for example, isn't defined any where with the requisite clarity to allow wizards to activate scrolls. But, we know that wizards do activate scrolls. So how do we determine that scrolls are arcane or divine? (Because sometimes even the module doesn't tell us.) We look to see if the spell appears on an Arcane caster's spell list. If it does, then the scroll can count as arcane because we know the spell is arcane.

That is the definition of arcane spells we are working with. It isn't a book:chapter:verse discussion all the time, but actually a very nuanced discussion.

HOWEVER; when rules text is available it will always trump inference (which is good, because inference errs on the conservative side anyway.) So when we see something like, "You can cast any arcane spell," then that statement is both explicit and specific so it trumps all other considerations. Then we go about understanding what that means and how the game would have us adjudicate that. Just because part of the sentence isn't well defined, like "arcane spells," doesn't open the statement up to additional scrutiny; UNLESS you are prepared to break a major game subsystem to deny it (scrolls.)

Assuming you are not willing to break a major subsystem of the game is also part of "reading RAW." Ie, if we accept X in this case then we must accept X in all cases. Therefore in case Z, ability Q works differently than previously thought.

Reading RAW is more about applying strict consistency of interpretation and demanding clear language use than it is finding exploits. It's just that the exploits get all of the attention (usually negative) from those folks who don't read the rules like we do.

Cheers. I wasn't operating under the belief that RAW discussions were just about being difficult. Although I don't often post in them, I do read RAW debates and generally find the people reasonable. I also appreciate the nuance. I had a rebuttal to my own query and a rebuttal to that. In my case, I don't find RAW meaningful - so the exercise of teasing it out is purely interesting, not useful (or important) to me.

One thing I've never seen explicitly stated is:

Quote:
Assuming you are not willing to break a major subsystem of the game is also part of "reading RAW." Ie, if we accept X in this case then we must accept X in all cases. Therefore in case Z, ability Q works differently than previously thought.

which is a surprise to me. My take would have been that if examining RAW in a new situation leads us to come to some new understanding of X, then we've learned something new about Z and Q - or that RAW contradicts itself.

The assumption that RAW is consistent seems an odd one, to my mind. I would have assumed that, given the body of work out there and the plethora of designers releasing material over several years under deadline pressure, the chance of RAW being consistent would be negligible.


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

They definitely both require reading.

However a citation of book and page number provides an explicit, textual statement. An inference does not - any textual reference is generally implicit (unless a citation is also provided).

The book and page number provides the explicitness.

Oh, is it still about that. I already apologized for my mistaken assumption that you would understand that when I said scrolls I meant the section of the rules covering scrolls. What more do you want.

Nothing really (that's what "never mind" meant, above) I'm just answering your questions.


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah, I think I see the argument. I just thought that when one argues RAW, it is customary to grant greater weight to explicit textual statements rather than inference.

It's not my usual neck of the woods though.

What do you mean. I left open the possibility that there are no scrolls that contain arcane spells.

I mean that when I asked you for a definition of "arcane spell" I was asking for a book and page number. That's how I thought RAW arguments worked.

It's not an area of the boards I frequent often though.

What do book and page numbers have to do with "explicit textual statements rather than inference." Both cases are going to require reading some text that is in a book on a page.

They definitely both require reading.

However a citation of book and page number provides an explicit, textual statement. An inference does not - any textual reference is generally implicit (unless a citation is also provided).

The book and page number provides the explicitness.


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah, I think I see the argument. I just thought that when one argues RAW, it is customary to grant greater weight to explicit textual statements rather than inference.

It's not my usual neck of the woods though.

What do you mean. I left open the possibility that there are no scrolls that contain arcane spells.

I mean that when I asked you for a definition of "arcane spell" I was asking for a book and page number. That's how I thought RAW arguments worked.

It's not an area of the boards I frequent often though.


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Anguish wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Perhaps I misunderstand the RAW game. Never mind.
I think what he's saying is "because an arcane scroll of cure light wounds exists per RAW, cure light wounds counts as an arcane spell."

Cheers, I think I see the argument. I just thought that when one argues RAW, it is customary to grant greater weight to explicit textual statements rather than inference.

It's not my usual neck of the woods though.


Mandraiv Gaborza wrote:
All I did was just try to parse what the PHB said. The general description was that you could "communicate with" as opposed to "communicate to". But the GM will have the final say.

Yeah, from what I read, most people agree with your interpretation. I raised it more as a point of discussion, since it seemed part of the point of this exercise was for the DM to gain some familiarity with the system.

I think the "target" should be able to reply, personally.


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Perhaps I misunderstand the RAW game. Never mind.


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


No, I didn't miss the bit where you said scrolls. I obviously didn't explain myself well enough.

I meant is there some section of the rules where "arcane spell" is defined, other than the CRB section I quoted?

Hmm, so you're saying that scrolls do not constitute a sufficiently strong exception to the general rule and as such can not ever contain arcane spells, meaning that arcane spellcasters can never use scrolls.

No, I'm not making any such claim. I'm asking a question.

Okay then. By scrolls I meant the section of the rules covering scrolls. I apologize for being unclear as to what part of the rules I was talking about when I said scrolls.

It doesn't appear to define arcane spells in the scrolls section of the CRB. Where it mentions the type of spell (on page 490):

"To have any chance of activating a scroll spell, the scroll user must meet the following requirements:

  • the spell must be if the correct type (arcane or divine)...

(Etcetera)..."

it relies on the concept being previously defined.


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My understanding is that BigDTBone's contention is that arcane surge grants a fighter/archmage the ability to cast any arcane spell. I'm happy to accept that premise and figure the next, obvious question is "what (by RAW) is an arcane spell?"

The only answer I have seen is as I quoted (which means anyone must, per force, fall into one of the limited cases he's trying to avoid). I'm interested to hear the RAW counter to that. But figure, being RAW, that it should be based on the text of the rules - since any kind of handwaving, RAI argument opens his initial OP up to similar attack.


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I was basing it from the CRB, page 206:

"Spells come in two types: arcane (cast by bards, sorcerers and wizards) and divine (cast by clerics, Druids and experienced Paladins and rangers."

Is there somewhere else where "arcane spell" is defined?

Did you miss the part where I said scrolls. Well if you did, scrolls. It's actually rather useful that spells on scrolls can be arcane, as it keeps the ability from being unusable by everyone (which would exclude fighters but at a great cost).

No, I didn't miss the bit where you said scrolls. I obviously didn't explain myself well enough.

I meant is there some section of the rules where "arcane spell" is defined, other than the CRB section I quoted?

Hmm, so you're saying that scrolls do not constitute a sufficiently strong exception to the general rule and as such can not ever contain arcane spells, meaning that arcane spellcasters can never use scrolls.

No, I'm not making any such claim. I'm asking a question.


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Eh, it would seem that scrolls can be used to classify spells. That at least allows for classification of all spells that have ever been made into scrolls even if one objects to generalizing that to all spells.

I was basing it from the CRB, page 206:

"Spells come in two types: arcane (cast by bards, sorcerers and wizards) and divine (cast by clerics, Druids and experienced Paladins and rangers."

Is there somewhere else where "arcane spell" is defined?

Did you miss the part where I said scrolls. Well if you did, scrolls. It's actually rather useful that spells on scrolls can be arcane, as it keeps the ability from being unusable by everyone (which would exclude fighters but at a great cost).

No, I didn't miss the bit where you said scrolls. I obviously didn't explain myself well enough.

I meant is there some section of the rules where "arcane spell" is defined, other than the CRB section I quoted?


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
FWIW - I think the objection I repeated that someone raised earlier (that a spell is not inherently "arcane" but becomes so based on the class of the caster - if the fighter/Archmage tries to cast wish it won't meet the definition of an arcane spell, since it hasn't been cast by a sorcerer, wizard or bard) is a decent RAW rebuttal. It's certainly the best I've been able to come up with.
Eh, it would seem that scrolls can be used to classify spells. That at least allows for classification of all spells that have ever been made into scrolls even if one objects to generalizing that to all spells.

I was basing it from the CRB, page 206:

"Spells come in two types: arcane (cast by bards, sorcerers and wizards) and divine (cast by clerics, Druids and experienced Paladins and rangers."

Is there somewhere else where "arcane spell" is defined?


I did a little googling on the Warlock's awakened mind ability - the RAI is apparently that it's 'one-way' telepathy, but there's a significant school of thought that suggests targets can 'answer back'.

Apparently the designers tweeted that one-way was the intention, but that they saw no problem with the DM allowing the target to reply.


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I bet BigDTBone can do it with one. :)


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Skeld wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Before you kick him out, ask the other players. Gauge their feelings.

Then kick him out.

I've had to do this before and this is exactly the route I took. I had lunch with each of my players one-on-one over the course of a week and asked each of them their thoughts about the problem player. To my surprise, all f them said he was being a disruptive jetk and needed to go, including the one guy that had been friends with him since forever. It made the decision much easier to know everyone was in agreement.

-Skeld

A great way to do it.


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Cuuniyevo wrote:


…I'm still unclear about why anyone would feel the need to argue that this isn't RAW.

In my case, it's partly intellectual exercise but mainly because I don't take the view that RAW is an objectively determinable "thing" - language is too imprecise for that, in my view. RAW only has meaning (imo) when it is uncontroversial. The issues people argue about stem from inherent ambiguity - no amount of selective quoting, linking or parsing ever changes that.

I prefer to focus on the consequences - if this is RAW, can you cast a spell without components? If it's an (Su) power does that imply that any arcane spell cast via this power bypasses SR? Does that change if you're a wizard/Archmage vs a fighter/archmage?

FWIW - I think the objection I repeated that someone raised earlier (that a spell is not inherently "arcane" but becomes so based on the class of the caster - if the fighter/Archmage tries to cast wish it won't meet the definition of an arcane spell, since it hasn't been cast by a sorcerer, wizard or bard) is a decent RAW rebuttal. It's certainly the best I've been able to come up with.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What I mean is, taking the strict interpretation of "any arcane spell" which is being advocated - if you're gagged and get told "you can't cast a spell with a verbal component as per this general rule on spellcasting", you can reply: "my specific rule is a self contained rule that tells me everything I need to know about casting spells. It trumps the general rule, so I can cast ANY arcane spell." (This seemed to be what BigDTBone was arguing before, in ignoring the 'choose a spell' section).

Again, I'm accepting the premise and suggesting it leads to absurdity - not advocating an interpretation.

"Any arcane spell" is still argued from within the context of the ability as a whole. It does not ignore the rest of the wording, where that wording applies.

Yeah, I'm not suggesting adding a metamagic feat, merely pointing out that my self contained magic system makes no mention of components and says I can cast ANY arcane spell - therefore win. :)

I think BigDTBone will walk that claim back. One could rather argue that specifying which of the any spells you can cast constitutes choosing one. And therefore my previous objection doesn't apply.

I don't know, it's a fine line; but I think I fall on the side of, "it's a (su) ability so verbal, somatic, and material components (even expensive ones) aren't required." I should add, I think the ability actually does work this way for wizards/sorcerers/whatever's that use it too.

Supernatural spellcasting would relieve the need for almost all other adjudications.

Would you also rule any such spell bypasses SR and can't be dispelled?


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Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What I mean is, taking the strict interpretation of "any arcane spell" which is being advocated - if you're gagged and get told "you can't cast a spell with a verbal component as per this general rule on spellcasting", you can reply: "my specific rule is a self contained rule that tells me everything I need to know about casting spells. It trumps the general rule, so I can cast ANY arcane spell." (This seemed to be what BigDTBone was arguing before, in ignoring the 'choose a spell' section).

Again, I'm accepting the premise and suggesting it leads to absurdity - not advocating an interpretation.

"Any arcane spell" is still argued from within the context of the ability as a whole. It does not ignore the rest of the wording, where that wording applies.

Yeah, I'm not suggesting adding a metamagic feat, merely pointing out that my self contained magic system makes no mention of components and says I can cast ANY arcane spell - therefore win. :)

I think BigDTBone will walk that claim back. One could rather argue that specifying which of the any spells you can cast constitutes choosing one. And therefore my previous objection doesn't apply.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
If you're really going to take "any arcane spell" at face value, as unrestricted by the general rule by virtue of "trumping" it, then you'd have to allow verbal spells while silenced, and spells with somatic components while restrained, wouldn't you?
Arcane Surge wrote:
You can't add a metamagic feat to a spell you cast using this ability.
Thus, only if you'd know a variant of a verbal or stilled spell would it apply.

What I mean is, taking the strict interpretation of "any arcane spell" which is being advocated - if you're gagged and get told "you can't cast a spell with a verbal component as per this general rule on spellcasting", you can reply: "my specific rule is a self contained rule that tells me everything I need to know about casting spells. It trumps the general rule, so I can cast ANY arcane spell." (This seemed to be what BigDTBone was arguing before, in ignoring the 'choose a spell' section).

Again, I'm accepting the premise and suggesting it leads to absurdity - not advocating an interpretation.


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I think someone mentioned this previously, but looking up the definition of "Arcane Spell" seems like another way to reject the OP, whilst accepting the premise.

An arcane spell is a spell cast by a wizard, sorcerer or bard (presumably later books spell out which subsequent classes are also casters of arcane spells, but neither fighter nor Archmage is on the list).

Thus, this ability grants the ability to cast any arcane spell - but that trait is not a quality of the spell, but of the caster. In order to be an arcane spell, the caster must be a wizard, sorcerer or bard (or similar, newer class). As such, you will, per force, fall into one of the limited scenarios depending on whether you're a prepared or spontaneous caster.


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BigDTBone wrote:
This ability doesn't require a spell list. The ability specifically allows the casting of "any arcane" spell.

I still don't understand how being granted the ability to cast a spell bypasses the "Casting Spells" section on page 206 of the CRB. (As per your claim that this one ability is an entirely self contained subset of the rules - introducing a new type of spellcasting different from all others).

It seems to me that you're taking a hardline RAW approach in the OP, then hand waving that section of the rules. It spells out how each class casts a spell in inordinate detail and spellcasting classes released subsequent to the CRB also go into a lot of detail as to how spellcasting works.

If you're really going to take "any arcane spell" at face value, as unrestricted by the general rule by virtue of "trumping" it, then you'd have to allow verbal spells while silenced, and spells with somatic components while restrained, wouldn't you? Those restrictions are called out in the same section as the "choose a spell" step, which It has been claimed is either implied or superseded by "any arcane spell". The alternative interpretation (that "any" contains an implicit restriction to any arcane spell you are otherwise entitled to cast) sounds like the reasonable one to me.

My draw a weapon example may not have been perfect, but it wouldn't be hard to find a similar, mundane example would it? That is, after all, basically what you did in coming up with the OP (except you didn't restrict yourself to the mundane).


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WWWW wrote:
So in the end we have gone nowhere. We are right back at the rules are too vague and ambiguous for anyone to ever hope to get their meaning. Discussion is pointless as we can not ever get any closer to an answer and there is no point to talking about what to do in a particular group since it would be better to, you know, talk to the people in the group about that.

I don't have any particular need to keep talking about it, nonetheless I don't share this view.

I reject the idea that the concept of "their meaning" (singular) has any objective substance (other than RAI). As such, discussion has a point - it's just that the point isn't to determine who is correct, but rather to determine the strengths and weaknesses of different resolutions of any ambiguity.


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:
I see, so your argument is that the rules are so vague and ambiguous that it is impossible to even hope to understand their meaning, except by trying to guess the minds of the designers

Not at all. In fact, in the post you quoted, I specifically said that I preferred a different way to arbitrate in ambiguous situations.

My argument is that the rules are ambiguous in places - making pursuit of RAW a meaningless endeavour in those situations. I think RAW is mostly useful in straightforward places in the rules (like "what's the benefit of cover?" and so forth). I don't think it's useful when you encounter a situation where knowledgeable players disagree about the rules. All that happens is a lot of back-and-forth sprinkled with quotations of snippets of rules or fragments of dictionaries. None of which actually helps, in my view.

I think a better approach, when such ambiguities arise, is to acknowledge that there are multiple interpretations and discuss the pros and cons of accepting each.

Right, but I was talking about meaning not about how one might chose to rule regardless of what the meaning is. Only guessing at developer intent seems to satisfy that from the methods you listed.

I think there are two distinct ways in which we might conceive of the meaning of a rule: what the developer intended to convey when they wrote it and what the words mean by the usual conventions of language (basically RAI and RAW). The situation I think we're discussing is where the latter is inconclusive - where two or more interpretations can be argued, based on usual, English usage.

If our expectation is that it must be an objectively, "settleable" question, then I think you're right. The only way to truly learn The meaning of an ambiguous phrase or term is to discern what the user of the phrase intended.

However, in the case of rules of an RPG, I reject such an expectation. I don't consider "the rules" to be an objectively determinable list of statements. I think they are a subjectively adjudicated set of guidelines. Some things are clear and unambiguous and others not. In my mind that's a feature, not a bug.

Quote:
Okay, so even if the rules are too ambiguous to ever derive a meaning, are there interpretation that are too out there, or must we consider all of them. If we can exclude some of them, then why could we not attempt to exclude all but one. Where do we draw the line and why do we draw it there.

I think we draw it based on the needs of the players in each, individual group. I don't think there's "One True Answer" I think it's a fundamentally messy thing, where we each adopt what seems best to us. Nobody's right and there isn't any way to settle it once and for all (imo).


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DominusMegadeus wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

As far as the rules lawyering goes; this ability is giving a new kind of casting. It isn't prepared (prepared spells), it isnt spontaneous (spell slots), but unique (mythic power points). All the rules needed to adjudicate the system are provided in the ability. Casting time -swift action, resource to manage -mythic power, spells allowed -any arcane.

All of these rules are more specific than the (general) "cast a spell" action rules, so those rules are trumped by the text in this ability.

The hypothetical argument is that if there's a reason to explicitly spell out how to choose a spell in the general rule, it will only be "trumped" by a specific rule if it's explicitly stated as an exception. As you point out, the specific rule replaces the general rules on casting time, resource managed, spells allowed.... but doesn't speak to the "choice of spell" section.

Since a sorcerer requires the "choose a spell" step to be spelled out, wouldnt we expect the same for a fighter/Archmage using arcane surge? Since its not explained in the specific rule, don't we need to fall back on the general?

"any arcane spell"

With no limits?

A spell with verbal components whilst gagged? A spell with material components when you don't have them to hand? Do the relevant specific rules apply here? Or are they similarly exempted by the (in my view incomplete) specific?


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BigDTBone wrote:

As far as the rules lawyering goes; this ability is giving a new kind of casting. It isn't prepared (prepared spells), it isnt spontaneous (spell slots), but unique (mythic power points). All the rules needed to adjudicate the system are provided in the ability. Casting time -swift action, resource to manage -mythic power, spells allowed -any arcane.

All of these rules are more specific than the (general) "cast a spell" action rules, so those rules are trumped by the text in this ability.

The hypothetical argument is that if there's a reason to explicitly spell out how to choose a spell in the general rule, it will only be "trumped" by a specific rule if it's explicitly stated as an exception. As you point out, the specific rule replaces the general rules on casting time, resource managed, spells allowed.... but doesn't speak to the "choice of spell" section.

Since a sorcerer requires the "choose a spell" step to be spelled out, wouldnt we expect the same for a fighter/Archmage using arcane surge? Since its not explained in the specific rule, don't we need to fall back on the general?


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WWWW wrote:
I see, so your argument is that the rules are so vague and ambiguous that it is impossible to even hope to understand their meaning, except by trying to guess the minds of the designers

Not at all. In fact, in the post you quoted, I specifically said that I preferred a different way to arbitrate in ambiguous situations.

My argument is that the rules are ambiguous in places - making pursuit of RAW a meaningless endeavour in those situations. I think RAW is mostly useful in straightforward places in the rules (like "what's the benefit of cover?" and so forth). I don't think it's useful when you encounter a situation where knowledgeable players disagree about the rules. All that happens is a lot of back-and-forth sprinkled with quotations of snippets of rules or fragments of dictionaries. None of which actually helps, in my view.

I think a better approach, when such ambiguities arise, is to acknowledge that there are multiple interpretations and discuss the pros and cons of accepting each.


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BigDTBone wrote:
The idea that "[You can]draw a weapon within easy reach [of you] as a move action," is equivalent to "you can cast any arcane spell," is somewhat disingenuous.

It may be naive, but it isnt disingenuous. I dont do this very often and dont spend much time looking around for the perfect example.


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RJGrady wrote:
It is obvious a new kind of spellcasting, as the way it works for sorcerers and wizards is not the way sorcerers and wizards ordinarily cast spells. That seems irrefutable to me. For a wizard, Arcane Surge completely replaces the "choose a spell to cast" which is being used an ammunition. The argument that a fighter can't "choose a spell" has no legs.

Do you think "any spell" means you can cast a spell with verbal components, even when gagged?


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BigDTBone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
WWWW wrote:

While one must at times step outside the rules, that does not necessarily mean that it is impossible to ever follow any part of the rules.

Now, if you wish to argue that this specific instance is too vague and ambiguous for anyone to even hope to understand what it means, that might be a different matter.

My position is actually that the context makes it very clear what it means but that semantic arguments tend to be made in the absence of context (or with selectively quoted context).

However, I'm still interested in BigDTBone's rebuttal. I'm not really arguing the OP - at my table, you need to be a spellcaster to be an archmage, so that's all that's relevant to me.

I dont think that BigDTBone really believes the OP is how things should work though, so resolving the specifics doesnt seem important, to me.

As far as the rules lawyering goes; this ability is giving a new kind of casting. It isn't prepared (prepared spells), it isnt spontaneous (spell slots), but unique (mythic power points). All the rules needed to adjudicate the system are provided in the ability. Casting time -swift action, resource to manage -mythic power, spells allowed -any arcane.

All of these rules are more specific than the (general) "cast a spell" action rules, so those rules are trumped by the text in this ability.

So you wouldnt use the "cast a spell" section to adjudicate results of this? Or it sometimes applies, but only if it doesnt contradict this? It seems to me you're reading an awful lot into one word (granting this whole new kind of spellcasting as opposed to 'reading in' the intended restriction).

After all, you say the rules are complete. Yet, for normal spellcasting, they gave indications of how to choose a spell. They didnt do so here. Dont you think there's a choice as to whether the usual rules are "supposed" to apply or whether they're "supposed" to be captured by the all encompassing "any"?

Quote:
As for my personal belief on whether this should be a thing? It probably has a use to someone somewhere. Depending on the group and the game; maybe it would even have a use at my table. Probably not though.

But the point was essentially "Don't bring up silly RAW examples in theory debates" right?


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WWWW wrote:

When I say what it means I am talking about the meaning of the words, as that is what this discussion was presumably originally about, and not the implied developer intent that one might read into things.

So anyway, am I to take this to mean you do not care to continue. If so I am perfectly willing to drop things.

It may not be fruitful or interesting to you (I'm going to keep posting until it's not fruitful or interesting to me and wont take offense if you decline to respond).

However, to expand on my position somewhat. When you say:

Quote:
When I say what it means I am talking about the meaning of the words......not the implied developer intent that one might read into things.

I think this is a false dichotomy of sorts. In my view there is no, unique "meaning of the words" since "any arcane spell" could be limited in some fashion (To illustrate: does this, specific rule grant one the ability to cast an arcane spell with a vocal component when gagged? Can you cast a spell if you dont meet any of the other requirements? If you think "any spell" is unrestricted then it should, shouldnt it? Specific trumps general and all that.)

It seems to me that interpreting rules sometimes involves determining which meaning of some word or phrase should apply - "any spell at all", "any spell which you meet all the other pre-requisites for" (ie have the material components, can see the target, etcetera) or "any spell you can already cast". One way to do this is to try and discern what the designer intended, however that's not the only way (I prefer to take the meaning which my table will enjoy the most, even if I know it's against RAI).

To provide another illustration of my position. It seems to me that someone following BigDTBone's approach could point to the move action of "drawing a weapon" and argue that:

"All it says is that the weapon has to be within easy reach. It doesnt specify that it has to be within easy reach of the person taking the action though, so I'd like to draw the BBEG's weapon from across the room."

We could spend a lot of time debating what "within easy reach" entails, but it's clear what the rule should be - no matter what decision we come to as to what the words mean taken on their own.


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WWWW wrote:

While one must at times step outside the rules, that does not necessarily mean that it is impossible to ever follow any part of the rules.

Now, if you wish to argue that this specific instance is too vague and ambiguous for anyone to even hope to understand what it means, that might be a different matter.

My position is actually that the context makes it very clear what it means but that semantic arguments tend to be made in the absence of context (or with selectively quoted context).

However, I'm still interested in BigDTBone's rebuttal. I'm not really arguing the OP - at my table, you need to be a spellcaster to be an archmage, so that's all that's relevant to me.

I dont think that BigDTBone really believes the OP is how things should work though, so resolving the specifics doesnt seem important, to me.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Tacticslion and his disciples
... you have just uttered the world's most terrifying phrase.

I can see the writing on the wall.


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WWWW wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

*shrug*

I guess (if you take this extreme "the rules are literal and complete" view). It's hard to know, since it's all an intellectual exercise that only Tacticslion and his disciples would actually take at face value*. I'll be interested to hear BigDTBone's response/rebuttal.

Personally, I think the lesson is that "following RAW" is a fruitless endeavour, since the rules are neither complete, nor consistent.

** spoiler omitted **

I'm not really sure what to say. The whole of the rules are very clearly not complete given that they explicitly call for DM ruling in cases. Or perhaps you are not actually trying to have a discussion at all (as per your spoiler). Either way, discussion on whether or not the rules cover all circumstances seems fruitless at the moment and so I will end my involvement in that for the time being.

My point is that the OP is predicated on the idea that it's possible to play strictly RAW, whereas I dont think that's the case. However, if one is to try to do so it seems to me you have to be consistent in that application - you cant insist on strict "but the rules say..." interpretation for Arcane Surge and then say "Oh well, even though it doesnt grant you the ability to choose, that's implied...."

Admittedly, I may have missed BigDTBone's point.

The point for the spoiler wasnt to indicate that I'm not trying to have a discussion but that I wasnt having a go at Tacticslion and bookrat (on the off chance they thought I was).


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*shrug*

As I said, I'm no rules lawyer, so I don't know. I guess it means that (if you take this extreme "the rules are literal and complete" view). It's hard to know, since it's all an intellectual exercise that only Tacticslion and his disciples would actually take at face value*. I'll be interested to hear BigDTBone's response/rebuttal.

Personally, I think the lesson is that "following RAW" is a fruitless endeavour, since the rules are neither complete, nor consistent. But Godel told us that nearly a century ago..

*:
in case it's necessary:

;)


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RJGrady wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I'm no rules lawyer, but how does this go as a "It's not really RAW" counterargument:

A fighter trying to cast a spell has to go through the "Casting a Spell" process. Step one of which is choosing which spell to cast - it spells out how different classes do that in the core rules based on whether you are a prepared or a spontaneous caster. (There's only a subset of the classes listed, but subsequently released spell casting classes stipulate specifically how this step is performed).

As fighters arent in either of these categories, they can't actually fulfill this step of the process.

But they aren't casting as fighters. Arcane Surge takes care of choosing which spell to cast: "any one arcane spell." Arcane Surge replaces all those operations, even for the wizards and sorcerers for whom the ability was intended. For instance, wizards ordinarily expend an unused spell. With Arcane Surge, they don't expend any spells or slots, but instead can cast a spell they have prepared that day.

I'm obviously intending the "casting a spell" section to be read as literally as the OP is suggesting Arcane Surge be read. It's obvious what was intended, but we're restricting ourself to what was explicitly spelled out. As such, the arcane surge power failed to grant the power to fulfil a pre-requisite step: before you can cast the spell, you have to choose it and although spell casters can all do that (which is pretty much why it wasn't mentioned), a fighter can't. Allowing wriggle room there by falling back on "what it obviously means" destroys the whole premise of BigDTbone's argument.

As such, I don't see any such dispensation in the Arcane Surge power for bypassing the step of selecting your spell. The fighter/Archmage can cast any arcane spell, sure. Now how does that work in practise? (Using the same extremist-RAW approach the OP did):

First step is to choose a spell - the rules give pretty clear guidance on how you do this and the fighter has no spell list and no prepared spell. Thus, despite being "able to cast any arcane spell" he can't actually fulfil the "choose which spell to cast" step (according to the same, RAW-is-all-that-matters approach the OP relied on).

Hand waving this as "well of course being able to cast any spell means they're all added to your spell list" or "because you're able to cast any spell, you can obviously choose any spell you like" is deviating from the extremist, the-rules-are-exactly-as-they're-written-and-that's-it approach the OP was advocating.

"Being able to cast any spell" doesn't inherently grant you any increase in the number of spells you know, nor does it grant you any prepared spells. So congratulations, you can now cast any arcane spell, but you can't actually fulfil one of the prerequisite steps (choosing which spell to cast) so it's not going to help you, since you'll never get to the casting bit (which you could fulfil, by virtue of Arcane Surge).


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I'm no rules lawyer, but how does this go as a "It's not really RAW" counterargument:

A fighter trying to cast a spell has to go through the "Casting a Spell" process. Step one of which is choosing which spell to cast - it spells out how different classes do that in the core rules based on whether you are a prepared or a spontaneous caster. (There's only a subset of the classes listed, but subsequently released spell casting classes stipulate specifically how this step is performed).

As fighters arent in either of these categories, they can't actually fulfill this step of the process. They may well be granted the ability to cast any arcane spell by virtue of being an archmage, but they arent actually granted any known spells, nor do they have a spell list. As such, when casting a spell, step one is that they must choose from.....nothing.


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Yeah, that makes sense. It must be a nightmare tracking it all and fishing the odd miniature or two out (especially seeing how far back some of your singles go). Nonetheless, I thought I'd mention it in the internet spirit of "it's all about me". :)


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No worries, thanks Liz.

FWIW (though I realise I'm only one datapoint), that makes it significantly more likely that I'll buy my case from elsewhere. I prefer keeping all my RPG shopping in one place, but if I'm going to have to get the singles elsewhere anyhow, it makes more sense to get the case there too.


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Is there any chance you'll open a case or two and make some of these available as singles purchases?


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Erik Mona wrote:
Another idea I thought of (but not fast enough for this set, alas) is to do certain bits of dungeon dressing you might want more of as promotional repaints. That way, when the extras eventually end up for sale on paizo.com, you can order as many as you want.

Great idea. It also means those of us who aren't so keen on dungeon dressing "miss out" on the possibility of a repaint, rather than a whole new figure (which doesn't seem so bad at all).


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Berk the Black wrote:
Not everyone is excited about the dungeon dressings, maybe that will help availability for those who are.

I'm one of those who isn't really looking forward to them. Unfortunately, I'm in Australia and listing RPG things on eBay is just not worth the effort. I wish there were some easy way to trade unwanted minis.


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Quote:
So what is WotC doing with their time?

I think the answer is "farming stuff out". It seems to me that they've taken a real shift with this edition - significant support for the tabletop RPG doesnt seem to me to be terribly important to them.

They seem more interested in creating a 'storyline' and then providing lots of different ways to experience the same story - MMORPG, computer game, miniatures, comics, TTRPS modules.... No doubt that's due to the revenue/profit calculations on board games/computer games/TTRPGs/accessories.


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FWIW, I got a malware warning after following that link.


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We've managed to be clear enough up front about what the limitations are going to be. I've played in games where wizards didn't get any choice as to spells they got in their spell books, where magic use was illegal where the more you used magic the more risky it became.

I like playing in those games. Telling me it's wrong to do so with other people who like playing in those games just seems weird to me. I don't really have any way to argue with "there is a right way to play and a wrong way".

In my view, there's lots of ways to play. "Jerkish" is about how you treat people, not about what you like. I have no doubt that if we played a game with narrative restrictions on magic and a spellcasting player was unhappy with how it was playing out, they'd be allowed to change their PC, we'd tweak the rules or we'd abandon the campaign.


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I think it's worth exploring how things are different in a world where worship of the evil gods is out in the open and accepted and the role of "secret cults" is being filled by followers of good deities.


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Kolokotroni wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Sure. That's part of the enjoyment of playing a magicuser in a limited magic setting.

It's obviously wrong to impose limits without warning players beforehand, but if everyone knows about them (including the uncertain nature) what's the problem? If you don't like that uncertainty or lack of definition, you know not to play a magical character or not to play at all.

Is it actually enjoyable to anyone to not get to play during portions of the game? Because that is what your asking. It often makes for a tense and interesting sorry. But it makes for a crummy game when you tell someone to sit there and do nothing while other people have fun, because if you had fun it will ruin everything for everyone and you'll have to be punished for it.

Yeah - dont say that. Say "If you play a wizard, here are the limitations. If you dont want those limitations, dont play a wizard. If you dont want to play in a game where wizards are limited, dont play in this game".

It's not adversarial. I like these games. That doesnt mean I think everyone should be limited. I'm not arguing for a change to the base assumptions of Pathfinder or suggesting any kind of overhaul. This thread is about tweaking Pathfinder to be low-magic based on the assumption you want to play a low magic game. Ruling out narrative restrictions on aesthetic grounds is one thing - a lot of people won't like it. But that doesnt make it always wrong.

Quote:
As I have mentioned before, most of the time, games that have these sorts of limitations shouldn't have classes like the wizard where the overwhelming majority of the thing they do is arbitrarily limited by narrative means. That isn't fun, thats obnoxious. In a story, a character sitting there and doing nothing because its someone else's turn, is just fine, the specialist gets to shine. In an rpg thats an actual person, spending hours of his actual life, watching other people have fun.

I've played magicusers in these kinds of games - another that I remember was that certain kind of magicusers really struggled to learn new spells (they were all terribly rare). I knew that when I made my character and enjoyed the game (even though I had severely limited spell choices).

It might not be a game you're interested in, but how can that possibly be obnoxious if it's all up front and clear from the beginning?


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Anzyr wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
If you're going to curtail the abilities of a wizard or another class, this should be made known before a game even begins, so a player will know up front, before character creation, what specific limits are placed on a given class. He may opt to play something else, or not play at all, but the decision should be his and he should be provided with all such information to make such a choice.
This is all fine if the limits or curtailing is done within the mechanics of the game. If its narrative, its dramatically less predictable. Its also less real to the person making the choice. Its often a matter of perception or opinions. What is too much? What is 'noisy' in the belgariad, what causes 'ripples' in the force. Narrative limits on mechanical abilities cant be accurately described before the character choices are made because all the circumstances of those limits are not apparent until the moment they occur.

Sure. That's part of the enjoyment of playing a magicuser in a limited magic setting.

It's obviously wrong to impose limits without warning players beforehand, but if everyone knows about them (including the uncertain nature) what's the problem? If you don't like that uncertainty or lack of definition, you know not to play a magical character or not to play at all.

Except Divine Caster that know their entire lists aren't limited at all as I said above. So it just changes which caster you play in that setting.

It may - or the limitations we're discussing might apply to all (the campaign I played in where magic use risked summoning demons if you did too much of it applied to essence, mentalism and channelling - essentially divine and arcane magic).

My point is that, provided everyone knows what's what going into the campaign, it's not "unfair" or "ambushing" the players, nor depriving them of some features they thought they'd be relying on or any of the other issues that have been raised. Most objections seem to me to be based on the idea that the DM has advertised a game of pathfinder, then suddenly springs a whole bunch of limitations on the players after-the-fact, which I dont think is being advocated by anyone.

I agree with you that one shouldnt change the rules once someone's brought a character along just to "get" them for daring to try and circumvent the restrictions. But I reject the idea that, because some (even most) pathfinder players dont enjoy games where magic users are limited beyond the core book's assumptions it is therefore wrong to do so. It's wrong to do so if those people are ignorant of the changes, but I quite enjoy games where magic is limited in this way and provided it's all spelled out in advance, what's the problem?

There's no 'correct' way to play - if you want to limit a campaign to all dwarves, all commoners, all classes-except-that-magicusers-have-a-hard-time.... how is it a problem? It might not suit everyone, but no game will.


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Kolokotroni wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
If you're going to curtail the abilities of a wizard or another class, this should be made known before a game even begins, so a player will know up front, before character creation, what specific limits are placed on a given class. He may opt to play something else, or not play at all, but the decision should be his and he should be provided with all such information to make such a choice.
This is all fine if the limits or curtailing is done within the mechanics of the game. If its narrative, its dramatically less predictable. Its also less real to the person making the choice. Its often a matter of perception or opinions. What is too much? What is 'noisy' in the belgariad, what causes 'ripples' in the force. Narrative limits on mechanical abilities cant be accurately described before the character choices are made because all the circumstances of those limits are not apparent until the moment they occur.

Sure. That's part of the enjoyment of playing a magicuser in a limited magic setting.

It's obviously wrong to impose limits without warning players beforehand, but if everyone knows about them (including the uncertain nature) what's the problem? If you don't like that uncertainty or lack of definition, you know not to play a magical character or not to play at all.


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Sara Marie wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Hi Sara.

It's no big deal, but I just noticed Belkzen, Firesoul and Daughters of Fury sitting in my sidecart as subscription copies. There's a button saying I can ship them now, rather than waiting, which is presumably nonsense.
Does that seem odd? I don't remember future subscriptions sitting in the sidecart.

When you signed back up for subs it was the starting item so it spawned a physical copy and then it got bumped to February so it stayed in your side cart.

The ship it now button will pull all the items out into a order preview. You hit submit and the ones that aren't actually ready go back to your sidecart. That's not spelled out anywhere so its very confusing.

Ah, I see. I didn't realise that commencing a subscription actually spawns the first order.

Makes sense. Thanks.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
The catch is Paizo has been expanding a LOT in the past five years, really increasing their production. Monthly Player Companions, five hardcovers a year, and more. I've heard comparisons to TSR in it's peak. Having done the numbers myself, Paizo is comparable in terms of RPG books, even if you include the Realms and campaign settings (it does fall behind when you consider the magazines though).
We've just learned from our German translation partners that there are now more Pathfinder products in German than there have ever been D&D products—ever, regardless of edition. And while our French translation partners haven't actually counted, they believe the same is probably true for their language.

Congratulations on all your successes. Smart people, producing high quality work deserve to be rewarded. Like the last two posters, I hope 5E does well for WotC and I hope Paizo continue to do well.

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