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Barl Breakbones

Svipdag's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 297 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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Shadow Lodge

It all depends on your take on fantasy, your gm and your gaming style.

In the right environment tigres may be pretty common. With magic they might be pretty easy to train, thus you might get them pretty cheap, as the price stated. This subject has been raised before. A heavy warhorse can be pretty awesome in a fight, a tiger is better.

If tigers are that easy to come by then should they be part of NPC basic equipment? If that's your world mechanics, encounters become somewhat harder. Is the mount the encounter, do you always consider it in the CR? After all, take out the rider, the mount is out of the fight... (A heavy horse is CR2 by itself).

You have to think what you are doing to the game and what consequences that might have. Some things in game don't have to balance power with cost, in many games you simply won't be able to get a trained tiger. In those you can, enjoy, but be prepared for how the gm will balance things.

Also be prepared for if someone controls it and turns it on you, +4 will save is pretty poor...

Shadow Lodge

Natural attacks are always a bit of an anomaly. They should be a big part of the builds with them like the Bloodrager.

I see the tail slap is considered a secondary weapon if used with claws or a light weapon if used with a weapon attack. This seems pretty strange for a 16th level ability. That means it can't be used with a two handed weapon... If used with claws then its a 1d6 plus half strength. There is a nice bonus to maneuvers, so perhaps thats the motive, but pretty weak otherwise...

Its the total number of natural attacks that make the difference with natural attacks as there is no iterative. What other sources are there? Gore attacks? The barbarian Rage Powers are out as you can't muliticlass barbarian.

Of course if the idea was that the bloodrager shouldn't be having 3 natural attacks at level one, the ability does not currently state they are primary attacks. However they read like primary attacks and I can't see why they shouldn't be primary attacks.

Shadow Lodge

Yes there are a few rage powers like lesser beast totem that give claws at 2nd level, which are pretty directly comparable. I tend not to play in games where Catfolk, Tengu and Tieflings are available so hadn't thought of those alternative races.

How common are natural attack builds and how would these compare with the bloodrager? After all they can only use the claws when raging?

Shadow Lodge

Looking at a Draconic half orc bloodrager with toothy alternative racial trait.

If I max out strength and take power attack this gives:

2 claws +7 (+5 str, +2 rage, +1 BA, -1 PA) 1d6+9 damage (+5 str, +2 rage, +2 PA)
1 bite +7 1d4+9 damage

Assuming the claws count as Primary.

When not raging uses a great axe +5 1d12+10 damage.

I realise this character may be limited elsewhere maximising strength.

I was considering which other classes can get three natural attacks at low levels. I know a ranger with the Natural Weapon combat style could get 2 claws at 2nd level with Aspect of the Beast. I saw a high strength druid use natural attacks very effectively at lower levels (4th).

I notice at 8th level the damage increases to 1d8. Could this be increased with Improved Natural Attack to 2d6 damage?

I don't have a DPR number cruncher, but how does this stack against other more conventional attacks?

Shadow Lodge

I think the extra classes are ways of expanding and changing the game with different mechanics.

When Pathfinder was born and the core classes were reworked the developers were limited to what they could change. There were some excellent new resources developed, Ki pool for monks, performance for bards, rage points for barbarians.

This was built upon in the APG. Witches and hex's, allowing you a resource that doesn't run out like spells. The build your own pet quality of the summoner, teamwork feats and classes that exploit them like the cavalier and the inquisitor.

The theme carried on with magus and arcane pool, and gunslingers and grit. These developments allow the game to adapt and change. With luck they will prevent the need for a Pathfinder 2.0

I was pretty resistant to a lot of the new classes when they first emerged. The alchemists bombs seemed too good. The summoner seemed too good, the magus and recurrent shocking grasp seemed too good. However, the core classes still feature highly in most games I play. After watching the classes progress you see they are just more easily optimised, or have one feature that is quite effective against most things, but often completely useless in the wrong situation.

While I was happy with the core classes, the invention of new classes allows the development of the game through different mechanics and continues the longevity of the current edition.

Shadow Lodge

These are an example of extreme class level encounters. They are also very specialised melee opponents.

The value of them will depend upon the party they encounter and the circumstances, as others have stated.

The damage is more in line with CR5 creatures, but the hp and saves will be lower, although still good for their level as they are barbarians raging.

If they face a melee based party, they will carve them up as they will effectively be facing a much higher threat. Colour spray can be effective against these creatures by comparison. As you say, against the right spell caster they could be finished pretty quickly.

Consider the group, consider the point of the encounter. The stats aren't consistent with CR1 creatures. There are several threads about how easy it is to break the CR system.

If you have 4 or 5 7th level characters facing them, then it could be fun. If its an "epic" encounter for 4 4th level characters such as a fighter, rogue, cleric and magus, don't be surprised if you strike up a TPK.

Shadow Lodge

As for those advocating hoards of bison, just imagine trying to command them all?

Secondly, once they are running amok, try commanding them all...

Shadow Lodge

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There are a number of good points with regard to how this balances.

First, the character does not have standard wealth and has effectively brought an NPC into the equation. They have used a resource. Once its gone it is gone.

Second, the tigre is controlled by the GM and follows tricks. Its very dangerous, but if treated properly should not be hostile to its owner. As mentioned this does limit it somewhat more than most people assume.

Third, should someone get control of your tigre it will be very nasty. As mentioned, the tigre is a separate entity. Once controlled by someone else its not going to obey your heel command any more than it would a heel command from anyone else.

Out of interest, what are the rules on opposed handle animal checks? Looking at the rules it only talks about getting animals to follow simple commands. What if I have a trained mount and somebody else commands it to do something.

There are a number of movie style examples. My dog will sometimes go to other people who are shouting for their own dogs. Try getting an animal to attack Crocodile Dundee :)

Shadow Lodge

Just to add on to what Jiggy mentioned, average stats for none PC classes are 6-15 with racial penalties and bonuses. PC class NPC's are 6-17 and PC's are 5-20 with point buy.

If you still work in the die rolling for stats realm then you have the full range of 1 to 20, -5 to +5 in terms of bonus.

As mentioned, the only real measured stat is strength. There is a definitive measure you can work with. However, what your character looks like is still up to you.

Most people who can lift 400lbs over their head are pretty big, they aren't cut in the way fantasy characters are in art. If you turn up at the table with a 20 strength (max start for a PC) do you have to look like a bodybuilder? No.

I have a reasonable IQ, I'm also dyslexic which makes it hard for me to learn languages and study. If I were a PC would I have a high or low Int? Probably low as in the game Int measures skill points, knowledges and languages. I should be multilingual at least if its a measure of IQ, as should most English first language language speakers.

Using stats as real world comparisons is rarely helpful when its used as a definitive measure. Stats can be used as a guide to what your character looks like and what they can do. However, its a fantasy game. If you want your low int or low charisma character to be mentally lazy, or quiet then thats fine. Unless you are the GM and insist upon telling your players exactly how they should look, act and behave according to their stats, alignment and other numbers.

This discussion comes up again and again in a point buy system as those who don't want to dump stats seek to penalise those who do. Those who do want to dump stats seek to justify their characters penalty. Charisma, Intelligence and Strength are the most commonly dumped stats. Of those Charisma has the least in game consequences and so generates the most "heat".

What is 7 charisma? Do a search and you will find the gaming community split. Its either 4 extra points to spend on other stats and -2 on social skills or your mr stinky with rotting teeth that nobody notices, but might manage to worm your way into a conversation if you put points into diplomacy...

Shadow Lodge

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These arguments will rage and rage because there is not definitive answer.

The game has mechanics, these give roleplay indicators and rule modifiers. We all interpret the role play indicators differently, with two extremes.

In the point buy system there are those who cannot tolerate the thought of a player choosing a 7 stat. They also resent those players having better combat stats, spell casting stats etc. for no apparent penalty.

There are also those who cannot tolerate wasting points in a stat for no practical benefit, eg int for a human fighter/ paladin/ sorcerer who will get the same number of skill points for a 9 or a 7 int.

The two camps will never agree...

In game terms however most NPC's have an 8 in one stat if you follow the creation guidelines in Core Rules. Thats a potential 6 with a racial modifier (like all dwarf warriors and charisma).

You probably guessed, I fall into the second camp and couldn't resist a little dig ;)

Shadow Lodge

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Obviously if its a number crunching mechanic then you are looking at straight Charisma. However the Charisma argument is one which has been had many times.

"Five feet tall at the shoulder, its tawny fur often coated with dried and clotted filth, the leucrotta is a powerful beast weighing over 800 pounds. The sharp bone ridges that line its oversized jaws instead of teeth are incredibly durable and, combined with massive jaw muscles, allow its bite to shear through bone and even steel." Charisma 17

However in the terms of people, a person with a high charisma will look better, tell you how good you look and make you believe it (bluff), your friends will like them (diplomacy), as will your pets (handle animal).

You might look for different things in a partner, the princess with the best child bearing hips (constitution?), your intellectual equal, someone with insight. If they tell you exactly how they feel, your friends hate them, your dog hates them, your parents hate them, they have a poor charisma.

Charisma isn't only looks, but its the only measure there is in the game. There is room for flexibility, which means everyone with a low charisma doesn't have to look like they were hit with the ugly stick (all NPC fighters have charisma 8, doesn't mean the ladies don't like to look at the militias abs), (are halflings and gnomes really the best looking individuals?) but you can have a pretty safe bet that the person with the highest charisma generally is going to be the most desirable partner without looking at other, specific traits.

Shadow Lodge

Power depends a lot about the level of play and the type of party. I think its true classes like the rogue and fighter can at time be outdone by others filling the same roles such as the ranger and barbarian as pointed out earlier in the thread.

A lot of classes have a "sweet spot", the guides point these out, such as the Magus at level 5, druid when it gets large wild shape etc. These tend to be damage comparisons and the balance switches between the levels.

Some spells can be very good at certain levels, the fore mentioned colour spray can be devastating in a martial style campaign at low level where will saves are low and the caster has maxed out their casting stat.

For all the criticism of certain classes such as the rogue and fighter, I still see people playing them and enjoying the game.

Shadow Lodge

As you see already, it depends what you want to achieve and at what level...

At level 1 you can have a halfling fighter that has AC24 without too much difficulty (Dex+armour +9, size +1, shield +2 feats dodge and shield focus). Your damage will probably be only 1d6+2 and to hit +3?

Alternatively you could have a human barbarian hitting for 2d8+14 (7str, 3PA, 4rage) but only +6 to hit. Thats a max of 30hp per shot. To hit could be as high as +9 if you had a normal great axe rather than a large war axe, no power attack, rage and weapon focus. AC will be lower probably no higher than 17, 15 while raging (scale armour, dex bonus +2 as you put so much into strength, no feats for defence and -2 for rage...)

At level 5 your magus can regularly hit for +5d6 damage with a shocking grasp, spell recalled many times per day...

At level 6 or 7 your druid can wildshape in to a large animal with 3 primary attacks with a large strength bonus and do a lot of damage...

If you want a traditional melee character, if you have point buy, then you will probably want a two-handed weapon fighter with 18 strength as a base for damage. That will be 2d6+6 damage, plus your power attack.

The AC can be pretty high with heavy armour or a reasonable dex, normally around 18 or 19 and working up from that at level 1.

There is a vast variation on themes with monks and flurry, ranger with natural attacks, dwarves and half orcs with natural armour, prestige classes...

The DPR Olympics demonstrated how varied characters could be and the ac/ damage they could give out at different levels...

Shadow Lodge

TPK's will happen, particularly with small groups, particularly at low level.

Clerics are a tough call if they get chance to do their thing. They can melee, buff, heal, deal area damage, debuff... Stopping them doing their thing is the plan. Kill it quick, or suffer the consequences.

An AC 21 will be tough for 2nd level characters. I was TPK'd at level 1 by 2 2nd level fighters as we had run out of colour sprays and they had 17AC. Never got a hit in and they did, just luck of the die. Its likely the fighter had a max bonus of +6 or 7, so would need 14 or 15 to hit. The sorcerer was probably wasting their time even running into combat...

18hp isn't that high, but was extended by healing. A lucky hit (crit) from the fighter and the fight would have been over (assuming a greatsword and 18 strength a crit without power attack would average 26hp damage). They got the skeleton to 5hp when they were all standing.

If you play tough, and don't fudge, you will have TPK's, the sorcerer should have realised it was hopeless and run away for another day, or retreated and kept up the disrupt undead from a distance...

Shadow Lodge

I know why some people would have an issue with rage-cycling, and justify their objection with a RP reasoning. Tireless rage is a level 17 power, which suggests this is the kind of level you might be looking at the rage cycle.

Rage powers can do some pretty good things, auto confirming crits, add your barbarian level to your cmd, +1 to +5 to hit for one of your attacks, make an attack of opportunity into any square threatened by the barbarian. These are just some of the per rage abilities. They are per rage for a reason, they are meant to be a limited resource.

Its relatively easy to remove fatigue however, allowing the rage cycle. Generally this has some form of cost, either dipping a level or 2 into oracle or some other class for example. This doesn't appear to unbalance the class, but it may be perceived as doing so as it effectively allows you to duplicate the level 17 ability...

So why can't you RP a rage cycle? As suggested above, there are many ways. Will your group accept them? Only if they feel the cost you pay to be able to rage cycle is sufficient I imagine.

Shadow Lodge

I was considering the defence system, but its all pretty linked at the moment.

I don't like the bonus to hit from strength, ogres can be slow and clumsy so why do they hit so easily?

Armour as damage reduction seems like a good way forward. It normally slows a person down wearing armour, but its a significant advantage against most things (perhaps not the fore mentioned ogre...)

I really didn't like in 4th ed that touch AC's were so high for some creatures it would be really easy to touch...

Game balance is a finely balanced thing however. There are optional rules for many things such as scaling defence to represent parrying, but these often have their own "realism" problems.

I have found as many suggest, if you want a more realistic combat look elsewhere, but for fast and fun combat use the existing system.

I think the Swords and Sorcery Game of Thrones D20 version had a pretty realistic combat system that incorporated a lot of the above, but unless you can get the pdf, the hardback goes for silly prices...

Shadow Lodge

I find Total Defence then standing can help. +4 dodge AC against the aoo. Its even better if you have 3 ranks in acrobatics as this grants a +6 AC. The down side is no attack that round and you don't threaten...

Shadow Lodge

I normally associate charisma with assertiveness. The low charisma characters I played have generally made quiet suggestions and don't have the force of personality to push them through in a group. The higher charisma characters will push through their ideas even if they aren't the best... They fade in crowds and struggle in company. They don't fare well in the limelight. If you have a high wisdom you will probably realise your limitations and may find ways of dealing with this, typically befriending a higher charisma character that has the sense to listen to you and help you out in those situations...

Harsk the dwarf ranger icon has a charisma 6 and wisdom 14. "Yet few
dare to mock him for his choices, for if there’s anywhere that Harsk is dwarven, it is in his gruff and off-putting attitude... His companions value his skill at combat even if they’re somewhat afraid of him."

A lot of the combat based icons only have 8 charisma.

Most combat orientated dwarf NPC's will have a charisma of 6 and a wisdom of 12. So you could say you have an exaggerated typical dwarven personality.

Shadow Lodge

Its easy to see the new classes as overpowered as often they are built around a particular concept. I have normally found that over time this balances out with other optimised base classes.

For example, the Magus can spam out shacking grasps and recall them all day using the arcana pool. This means by 5th level they do a lot of reliable damage. This starts to level out as they progress and around 7th level the druid in our party was out damaging the magus when he was in wild shape as a large cat with a large cat companion.

The alchemist seems very powerful when they are throwing bombs that do a lot of damage and damage over time, but this can still pale when compared to regular melee damage from a maxed out fighter.

The new base classes have their place.

Want a fighter with a horse that doesn't just die? Play a cavalier. You are a weaker fighter, but you have a powerful animal companion and more skills.

Played the Witcher computer game and want to be like him? Play an alchemist. In an oriental setting use the samuri and ninja. (I always wondered why there was a monk in core rules..?)

Got a gunpowder setting? Play a gunslinger. Fire arms are pretty useless with out the class or a lot of feats.

Want to have a more powerful pet than a druid? Be a summoner. You can't wild shape and you can be vulnerable once your pet has gone.

Want a hybrid caster? Play a witch or a magus. The witch we play with has limited effect if something makes its first save versus sleep.

The oracle is to the cleric as the sorcerer is to the wizard.

Very simple analysis I know and they all have their loopholes, but so do the base classes.

Because they often use unfamiliar mechanics they often seem more powerful. If you use the core rules to optimise you can get some very powerful characters. An optimised barbarian at level 1 can do 1d12 (great axe)+7(20 str)+3(rage)+3(power attack) damage for a maximum of 25 damage, 3d12 + 39 on a crit. The to hit bonus would be +7.

The Wizard or Sorcerer at level 1 can have a DC 16 for the colour spray or other spells that can one shot a 4HD opponent.

The cleric can easily deal out mega healing, or damage if they have selective channeling and a good charisma. If they are neutral they might even manage both with versatile channeling...

Shadow Lodge

Last time I tried a rolling system with my players I allowed them to roll 10 sets and pick the best one. I watched the rolls, they weren't happy when they came out lower than expected. With 10 sets of rolls...

I had been keen on point buy previously as the 3.5 campaign I played in had very high stat characters, mine included. Thing is I had a lot of time on my hands to make characters, and never ended up playing the low stat characters I rolled...

Point buy solved all that. People complain about the dump stat, how can you function with a 7 in a stat? Just fine normally with a -2 penalty... One of out players can't tolerate the thought of a low stat and won't buy that way. They function just fine.

20 points can buy you 16, 14, 14, 10, 10, 10. With a +2 race mod there is an 18 or 3 16's. You see far fewer dwarves and elves with 18 strength. You see a lot of Humans, Half orcs and half elves as they can put the +2 boost into the highest stat to maximise their points.

One disadvantage of point buy is it rewards the character that is built at higher level. You want 18 strength? Buy it at level 4 and save some points. Great unless you have to make it through the first 3 levels with the lower stat...

Shadow Lodge

We had a fair old discussion a few years ago on this subject: s#50

It attracted the attention of JJ and some serious rules boffins.

Basically there are a number of interpretations. The main one being somewhere around what DeathQuake said. Its pretty open to the GM's interpretation...

Shadow Lodge

Lol, indeed.

I think a lot of it comes down to peoples expectations.

If you are a high magic player, you want the most form your spells. You can't see why they should be undone by mundane means.
If you are a low magic player you want to undo magic with mundane means.

There are a lot of grey areas, I believe they are left so to allow people to play as they want.

Unfortunately there is PFS and those who wish absolute rulings.

An area which is less controversial, but often exploited is Disable Device and traps. Can you disable device with a clever idea? Can you confound a spell with a clever idea?

Thus crossing a pit with a rope is effectively disabling a device. Setting it off with a summoned creature is effectively disabling a device.

Spotting an invisible creature with its tracks is effectively minimising an invisibility spell, but by no means cancelling it...

Shadow Lodge

The "fox" as I see it is can you use footprints to detect an invisible opponent.

If the answer is yes, its significantly easier than looking for them any other way, assuming the are leaving footprints ;)

Shadow Lodge

Right, I read the two relevant parts (finally)

Here are some DC's as I work them out.

I'm invisible but talking/ running/ charging: DC 0 to notice (n) DC20 to pin point (pp)
I'm invisible but moving at normal speed: DC 10n 30pp
I'm invisible but moving half speed: DC 15n 35pp
I'm invisible and stationary: DC 40n DC60pp

Now the controversial ones.
I'm invisible but using stealth as written in the book assuming Grick's original +8 stealth bonus and a roll of 6 and moving half speed.

Moving normal speed: DC 39n 59pp
Moving Half speed: DC 49n 69pp
Stationary: DC 74n 94pp if you apply the +40 to stealth for being stationary and the extra +20 for being invisible and stationary.

I believe that this is felt to exploit the invisibility glossary because if I have no steal bonus at all and move at normal speed but say I'm stealthing the table would give me DC 25n and 50pp. I haven't actually done anything different other than say I'm using stealth and my DC has gone up by 15 plus a D20. As I read it however the rules appear to be written that way.

I would imagine they were meant to offer the opportunity to add your stealth check to the DC's from the first selection which would come up with the following numbers:
I'm invisible but talking/ running/ charging: DC 0 to notice (n) DC20 to pin point (pp)as I can't use stealth
I'm invisible but moving at normal speed: DC 19n 39pp
I'm invisible but moving half speed: DC 29n 49pp
I'm invisible and stationary: DC 54n DC 74pp

That way if my person with no stealth skill attempts to gain a bonus without actually trying to be stealthy, ie moving at normal speed, they will have to roll above 5 to gain any bonus. If they have a penalty due to armour or they roll poorly then they may even make things worse.

Shadow Lodge

@ Ninja while it is a round to spread powder and at least a round to spot tracks, the powder item implies that you can use environmental factors to spot an invisible opponent.

If you look at tracking under survival, you can spot tracks relatively easily (compared to an invisible opponent). Once you have spent your round pinpointing them by spotting their tracks you can highlight the square to your allies as a free action. If they act before the invisible opponent then they can potentially attack into the square as per the invisibility rules.

@ DM_Blake the "moment" I imagine refers to simply highlighting there is an invisible opponent there. It doesn't reveal them for a round, I would imagine they still count as full concealment for the purpose of attacks, but its pretty unclear.

It's the last sentence that puts the fox amongst the chickens. If you can simply look for footprints, the hardest the DC is likely to be is DC20 base without powder. How does that fit with the rest of the rules???

Shadow Lodge

Set up the other thread for spotting tracks of the invisible :)

Shadow Lodge

Hi all,

just a post to see how you rule the item Powder

"Powder: Powdered chalk, flour, and similar materials are popular with adventurers for their utility in pinpointing invisible creatures. Throwing a bag of powder into a square is an attack against AC 5, and momentarily reveals if there is an invisible creature there. A much more effective method is to spread powder on a surface (which takes 1 full round) and look for footprints."

Invisibility has a bigish thread going on regarding the total bonuses when you stealth and are invisible.

The bonus involved could mean that a character with a +8 stealth modifier and a roll of 6 would require a perception check as high as DC74 to pinpoint.

How does this relate to Powder and what the item implies?

Normally a non-magical mundane item will grant a +2 to +5 bonus. In the event of a DC74 check this is almost pointless. However, the alternative, a Perception based Tracking check seems too easy in comparison. Even on a Hard surface this is a full round action with a base DC20. Thats without the powder. If they are walking on a soft surface the DC could be as little as 10 or 5 for a very soft surface.

Shadow Lodge

Sorry Grick, my slow typing meant I missed your response.

I may well look at the Powder issue and tracking in another thread.

My thoughts on the issue were just that, thoughts. I haven't looked through the rules on the issue regarding the tally of bonuses myself, just read the other posts in the thread...

Shadow Lodge

Normally items give a bonus to a skill or check, such as antitoxin that grants a +5 bonus or a climbers kit that grants a +2 bonus.

With the bonus from invisibility to Stealth being so high, you would have to look at a different mechanic or such a bonus would be meaningless.

When you approach in-game problems with subjective decisions you often get ill feeling. Powder and Perception are all that non-magical characters are going to possess. I can see a number of arguments raging if a dispute over whether the DC to pinpoint an invisible person is 36 or 56 (or 76 if they aren't moving) and somebody player or gm says its a DC 10 perception check to see where they are standing because they are on soft ground, even if it is a full round action.

The rules must be suitably ambiguous for the level of disagreement. I would come down on the side of Stealth gaining a +20 bonus if a person were invisible. This makes it "virtually impossible" for a normal person to detect them, but not so incredibly high that there is no point even trying. In such circumstances, a +5 bonus to perception to try and detect them is more appropriate for an item such as powder, or the clever use of a spell such as create water or any of the other circumstantial bonuses. Even at high levels a +20 bonus is very good.

Otherwise I would simply refer to the tracking rules in survival. Even on Hard ground, where the surface does not hold footprints at all its a DC 20 check that can be made with either perception or survival. Then its a free action to indicate the spot to your allies until the invisible creature moves.

Shadow Lodge

I don't really want to get into the finer debate about the +20 and whether its a double dip. The DC's thrown about are very high and you may as well just say you can't pinpoint an invisible opponent using perception if they are stealthing.

However, I think Raving Dorks point about the circumstances is an important one.

Grick linked the "Powder" item.

"Powder: Powdered chalk, flour, and similar materials are popular with adventurers for their utility in pinpointing invisible creatures. Throwing a bag of powder into a square is an attack against AC 5, and momentarily reveals if there is an invisible creature there. A much more effective method is to spread powder on a surface (which takes 1 full round) and look for footprints."

This suggests if there is dust, water or other environmental factors they could reveal the presence of an invisible character. What kind of action is looking for footprints? Could it be a trigger for a readied action? What about moving soil or loose sand or grass even if outside...

Shadow Lodge

Interesting video on alignment. I particularly like the idea of the paladin as a simple divine warrior.

The whole issue of alignment is a tricky one however. As you point out, good and evil are subjective. I think you can even find cultures where there are acceptable versions of even the "evil" acts you defined. Most RPG's particularly Pathfinder have a simplistic "heroic" moral compass based around our main cultures. Thus good, evil, law and chaos are relatively easy to grasp and fit into game mechanics.

In my own home brew I attempted to do away with good and evil, law and chaos. Deities represent ideals based around certain functions such as life and death, might and magic, nature and civilisation. Followers took these ideals and made of them what they wished, others judged these acts good or evil... As you say though, in an alignment based system there are a lot of changes to make.

The history video is also worth a watch. The whole point of history is its seen from a single perspective with a bias. History is created and preserved for a reason, often used as propaganda. Much that happens is lost to history, then reinvented as something else. Look at Stonehenge for example :)

Shadow Lodge

In reply to Peter Stewart:

I agree that initially these differences may seem minor, but consider what they can mean in game terms.

2 points can be the difference between Int 8 and Int 10, 1 skill point per level, the equivalent of the Human Racial Trait Skilled.

In a tight spot 2 points may be one hit point per level, the equivalent of the Toughness Feat.

A +1 bonus to hit and damage is better than Weapon Focus, so 2 points in Strength may not only increase your AC as it could mitigate an Encumbrance penalty, thus the limit of Dexterity bonus to AC, it can also give you more than a feat in combat.

+1 to Fortitude, Will or Reflexes is also nice.

These are certainly not game changers, but they do increase your power, especially if you have those feats free then to spend on different choices.

The rules on determining the CR of NPC's can be kind of backwards engineered to show the impact of better gear and abilities. Gear can alter the CR of an NPC by 1 either way. (Core Rules p398-399).

NPC classes have a CR of 1 lower than PC classes. They have worse stats and worse abilities. However, in pure combat terms the difference between a Fighter and a Warrior is not that significant in pure numbers.
Both have full base attack, both have access to the same weapons and armour. Both have the same save bonuses. The difference is primarily Feats, and if you have gained the benefits of these with high stats, you could argue this equates to another CR.

I tend to min-max. I found with more powerful stats, I was free to really maximise my advantages without having to deal with weaknesses. The GM upped the challenges, so it had limited impact on play in a homebrew game. Now we play with 20 point point buy, we still have very strong characters, they just can't do everything and I have learned to adapt. This really didn't suit one of our players however, who preferred a more powerful "Heroic" character

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder sets its own average for characters which the challenge rating system is set to. This relates to stats, wealth and class choices.

If you have higher stats, you will normally find it easier to defeat an appropriate threat, if you have better gear likewise.

How you like to play is up to you. Some player like heroic, high stat, high wealth games, some like gritty, tough games. It all depends what threats your GM throws at you.

If you have a 40-50 point character, you can probably handle up to CR of APL+4. Drop in extra gear you might make APL+5 CR creatures as your "Epic" encounters, but they might have abilities or powers that you can't handle at that level.

By contrast you are unlikely to feel a threat from an encounter of equal CR and APL if you have high stats and high power gear.

The CR of monsters can easily be broken as has been shown in numerous threads, and min-maxed characters can perform very well against certain kinds of threats, so even with "average" characters you may not have balanced encounters. The game is generally set up to create an appropriate challenge for your characters however, so the more you mess with the average, the harder it can be to set an appropriate threat.

How you like to play the game is up to you and your group, but I would say the "average" power level is a 15 point buy with average wealth by level. Whether thats the way most people play is another thing, even PFS has a 20 point buy build.

Shadow Lodge

Also, despite what SKR has said, the lay out of the rule books is such that you often have to look into different areas of the rules to find clarity or indicators. Not so much a criticism of the rule book, but the huge task of trying to rule for every eventuality the game world will throw at you...

Shadow Lodge

As with many things, the threatened rules and blindness rules require some GM regulation. I'll give an example later. Its normally easy for a target to move away from a blind creature so it isn't threatening them. They don't suffer an attack of opportunity when they move away. Often the blind person/ thing will have to spend time locating them again.

As per thrikreed's above, you can attack into a square you think he occupies.

You threaten squares into which you can attack.

I understand what people are saying on both sides of the argument. However as I see the RAW you do threaten and thus do flank. Now the examples:

You have a blind fighter. They have Blind-fighting feat. They are actively attacking you each round. They don't threaten you?

A creature with no normal vision and blind sense is attacking you. It knows exactly where you are, but you still have total concealment from it. It doesn't threaten you?

I totally accept necronus's example of the person who is totally unaware of the situation that unfolds next to them being ridiculous. I don't agree with the steps you consider relevant for flanking, just my personal opinion.

There are other example's where you might consider an object to "threaten" a person. Something requiring significant attention such as a piece of spinning machinery you had to actively dodge or a natural hazard. These are not covered by the rules however.

Ultimately it is the GM who will decide what constitutes a threat, obviously there is a grey area here for such polarised opinions to exist.

Shadow Lodge

You keep referring to not being able to attack when its not your turn.

Under normal circumstances nobody can attack when its not their turn.

Attack of opportunity are different, but linked to threatened squares.

By your logic, a person who has already taken their attack of opportunity that round would not threaten, as they can no longer attack when its not their turn.

Shadow Lodge

Game rules are simple mechanics.

Blinded is a condition. It does not stop you attacking. You can attack into a square.
If you can attack you threaten.
If you threaten you can flank.

I agree it may not make much sense in some circumstances, but that seems to be the way the rules work.

Shadow Lodge

Animal Archive doesn't really change how an AC works. It gives some extra options for tricks but basically the AC still works via the handle animal skill and tricks.

As a number of people have noted, players normally know their AC better than the DM. However, the DM has the final say over if the command you give your AC has the desired effect. In my experience this is only problematic when the PC's try and have the animal work outside the limitation of the trick. As for rolling the dice, surely that's half the fun of having an AC :)

The grey areas are things such as: does an AC charge or not when ordered to attack? Does an AC do a withdraw action when commanded "down". When does an AC flank? What about animals with int over 2? Normally these areas are when you need to discuss with your dm on a case by case basis, then maintain consistency. If you train your AC to charge on an attack command, it should charge on an attack command.

Shadow Lodge

I think the tricks are fairly self explanatory. You say what your character instructs your AC to do, make your roll if necessary (DC 10 with a +4 bonus is pretty easy for a class skill).

You can negotiate what the pet does as a result of that command as it is open to interpretation, but they are fairly apparent. You can point at a target, but does your AC charge? When commanded "down" does it withdraw or simply move away?

Even an INT of 3 does not mitigate against these situations as I understand...

Shadow Lodge

I know this has more to do with rules than interpretation, but as I imagine it, you can't see a person with total concealment to respond to their actions, hence no attack of opportunity.
The concealed person does have to worry about you swinging a sword about, even if there is a good chance you will miss, thus they have to worry about the squares you threaten.

Shadow Lodge

It's a question thats been well debated.

Basically the language of the ability "spell strike" does not specify a touch attack, just range touch.

Arcane Mark is a bit of a stretch of imagination, (you write on the target, permanently- no AoO?) but mechanically it is a range touch spell. As mentioned above, there is no "free" melee touch attack with arcane mark, but many spells do not specify they have a touch attack, just range touch.

That said, the Magus still provokes an attack of opportunity unless casting defensively. If the concentration check fails they lose the spell and the extra attack as the spell is not completed. At higher levels not a problem, at lower levels DC15 can be hard to reach, only 50% for most 2nd level characters.

You only get the free touch attack in the round you cast the spell. If you hold the charge you don't get the extra attack. Making a touch attack after the initial free action is an attack action I believe.

Generally this is not felt to over power the class. Really its up to your GM, some still feel Arcane Mark is an abuse of the power. Personally I think its amusing to think of all those people going round with permanent Magi signatures following the Arcane Mark attacks! (well for a month at least)...

Shadow Lodge

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I tried precise exps. It annoyed most people when they didn't level at the same time (those who weren't levelling...) Often precise xps lead to players seeking out every encounter for more exps rather than following the story.

Now I use the pathfinder society type system where players level every three sessions. I still have some parties that seek out every combat, just in case they have some hidden loot (I think they played too much Diablo...) But generally it leads to players looking to play through sessions rather than going on an exp hunt.

Shadow Lodge

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Fumbles are a nice distraction and something many feel should happen. A comedy interlude, a hint of realism...

I agree with most on this discussion however that in practice they don't really work well. I have fired a bow at a target many times and never impaled someone, had my bow string snap or anything more disastrous than a massive miss or a nasty sting of the wrist.

The 1 mechanic simply doesn't work in my opinion due to the number of attacks players make. Even if you need a confirm, sometimes if you are fighting a creature of equivalent CR your chance of hitting is pretty slim.

Super punishing crits are the same. It will happen to your character eventually. Having played systems with fumbles and deadly crits I can testify, you don't last to mid-levels as a melee character...

Shadow Lodge

I think you kind of answered your own post. Throw in a sprinkle of the above ideas then hit them with an easy encounter of cannibals, making it apparent they don't want any to escape, then have a large number come after them and make them hide.

The drums or whatever you decide as the cannibals signature will be the threat. If they are in combat and a small band of cannibals come upon them it makes the combat harder. If they are in combat and they know a large band are coming it means they have to finish the fight fast or flee.

This will mess with your CR's for encounters however, and your level advancement for the adventure path if it includes too many combats that are otherwise unplanned.

Shadow Lodge

It seems things have evolved since core rules were written. I'm still not sure about how things lie with this issue. It seems different writers have added a little cloud to the issue.

If I have a short sword and a long sword in hand and armour spikes can I attack with the armour spikes and both weapons? I believe not, but can I if I instead use a two handed weapon? From this thread I believe if I only use two weapons then the greatsword/ armour spike or unarmed strike is ok.

That doesn't seem to fit with the way things were initially set up:
Two handed weapon str 1.5, PA 3 points.
Two weapon fighting str 1 + 0.5, PA 2 + 1 points.

How many unarmed strikes could I make in a round? I have 2 arms, 2 legs and a head, plus potentially elbows and knees. I can two weapon fight with two weapons, so I assume only 2 unarmed strikes.

Could I multi weapon fight with more weapons? Is the text on the feat just descriptive, that I need three or more hands? Surely limbs would count (like tentacles). In which case could I attack with the greatsword, the armour spikes, the boulder helm and the beard?

There are obviously a lot of people passionate about getting in the extra attack. To make an extra unarmed strike was a feat in 3.5 Book of Nine Swords, which I know isn't pathfinder. The Thunderstriker can only shield bash with his buckler after 7th as I understand as a buckler isn't listed as a weapon and its only then it can be used as a light shield.

I'll probably stick to the two handed weapon or two weapon fighting for the games I GM, I can see how things might be ruled other ways and accept how they choose to run it in their games. I do not think its as clear cut as some present it here.

Shadow Lodge

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Well I don't have anything constructive to offer, but I'm glad you made the thread as it informed of the non-class addition to effective oracle level.

Thanks :)

Shadow Lodge

In response to Grick:

I agree TWF does explicitly work with armour spikes as you say. They are worth noting in that it specifically states you can't attack with them if you have made another off hand weapon attack.

My comment "nothing here about TWF" was in relation to it mentioning about weapons in each hand.

Mechanically was perhaps a bad word to use. In real life terms, you could imagine being able to use armour spikes and a weapon in each hand in much the same way you could imagine using armour spikes with a two handed weapon. As you can't use them if you attack with another off hand weapon I would imagine you can't use them with a two handed weapon.

I think the game is set up to work that you have two weapons to TWF or a two handed weapon. There are variations such as the sword and board, but thats basically a weapon in each hand. You can use variations to work around this such as a natural attack.

I don't think its overpowered to use an additional Unarmed Strike when using a two handed weapon with the two weapon fighting rules, however I also don't think the rules are set up for this.

Shadow Lodge

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Game balance wise I think it probably balances out as Jiggy mentioned. Rationally I think it makes perfect sense.

Rules wise I would say it was pretty clear you can't do it.

Two weapon fighting in the combat section states:
"If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon."

Two weapon fighting feat states:
"You can fight with a weapon wielded in each of your hands."

Both of these state clearly the intent to have a weapon in each hand.

Spiked armour states:
"You can also make a regular melee attack (or off-hand attack) with the spikes, and they count as a light weapon in this case. (You can't also make an attack with armor spikes if you have already made an attack with another off-hand weapon, and vice versa.)"

Nothing here about two weapon fighting, but it does state you can use them as an off hand weapon, but that you can't use them if you already used an off hand weapon. Mechanically there is no reason why you couldn't make an extra attack, in the same way you might with a two handed weapon.

As a result I would imagine that its assumed you can't two weapon fight with a two handed weapon and spiked armour.

When you consider the balance issues raised by monks two weapon fighting/ flurry, this takes things a lot further.

However, as I stated at the beginning, I don't think there is a massive balance issue here. If you have a bite attack you can attack at -5 as a secondary attack and use any weapon combination. This has no effect on your primary attack. Its the odd nature of the unarmed strike that causes the problem. Give characters a small slam attack rather than unarmed strike and the problem goes away...

Shadow Lodge

As most have said, the GM decides in the situation. As someone who has broken a number of tools using them inappropriately I think the rule that its ineffective is generous. You are more likely to ruin a longsword using it to smash through a door or break rocks. The rules don't cover that, they do say the GM can rule it just won't work. By contrast, even a relatively weak person can break stone with a light pick or cut wood with a handaxe, no harness bypass required.

Shadow Lodge

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Hi all,

just a thought I had today while out walking the dog :)

There has been a lot of comment recently on how unarmed strikes interact with other rules. This seems to stem from the fact they fall out of category. That is they are a natural attack that is a weapon attack, but requires specific magic items etc.

For example, there is the thread on two weapon fighting unarmed strike and a two handed weapon. There is the current monk debate.

There is the two weapon fighting with unarmed strike debate.

Just to name a few...

So could Unarmed strike just be a natural attack? A small slam for humans would do 1d3 damage. It would follow all the rules for natural weapons, so it could only be used with weapons as a secondary attack, but would still allow for great cinematic such as booting someone following a weapon attack etc.

Obviously the monk would require a major rework, and this would never make Core Rules in this edition, but what rules problems would this present?

Any thoughts?

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