Bestow Curse requires a melee touch attack roll, and the Combat chapter says:
Spells and Critical Hits: A spell that requires an attack roll can score a critical hit. A spell attack that requires no attack roll cannot score a critical hit. If a spell causes ability damage or drain (see Special Abilities), the damage or drain is doubled on a critical hit.
So if I roll a natural 20 on the melee touch attack for Bestow Curse, and then confirm the touch attack, can I double the penalties given in the description? That is, I could apply one of the following to the unfortunate target:
1) –12 decrease to an ability score (minimum 1).
I'm inclined to think that spell crits were mostly intended to work with spells that do hit point damage. But considering it's not likely to happen terribly often, I'd be comfortable with allowing it. What do you all think?
I'm running a campaign for a solo druid. Said druid has a witch cohort. In last night's campaign, both the druid AND the cohort got infected with lycanthropy AND failed the Knowledge check to know about the curse. Their first transformation is going to happen next session.
What happens with their familiar and animal companion? Are there any automatic mechanical effects which kick in?
I was thinking the animal companion may not realize anything is wrong. His mistress changes shape all the time, including to wolves on occasion, and his INT is only 2.
The familiar -- those are basically tied to their master's soul, so I think the familiar would know something terrible is happening.
I may have them try and eat their animals. That would be particularly devastating for the witch.
I have a player who contracted lycanthropy a couple weeks of game time ago, failed a knowledge check to know about it, and who is pretty likely to take damage before the next full moon.
According the description of the Werewolf Lycanthropy curse in the Core Rule Book, p. 557, the curse kicks in "on the night of every full moon or whenever the target is injured."
But the description of lycanthropy in Bestiary 1 (p. 196) makes no mention of transforming when injured. It talks only about transforming at the time of the full moon.
Are these two different forms of lycanthropy? Was it an oversight in the Bestiary entry? Is the CRB text left over from the 3.5 SRD and they changed that when the Bestiary came out? Does my player need to make a Will save to avoid changing into a wolf every time they stub their toe?
I'm looking for a map of Heidmarch Manor, the Pathfinder lodge in Magnimar. I know one has been published somewhere, but I'm having a heck of a time figuring out WHERE so that I can go buy that source. I bought the "Magnimar, City of Monuments" campaign setting figuring it'd be in there, but though it's described, there's no map.
Could someone please point me in the right direction?
Sanity check: if a Lurker in Light gets hit with Faerie Fire, does it:
A) Have no effect because the Lurker's invisibility is powered by light;
B) Work normally, outlining the Lurker without negating its invisibility (i.e. you can see where it is, but not what color its skin is, for example).
C) Something else?
This came up in a game I GM'ed last night. I picked option B, but thought I'd post here anyway to see if that makes sense.
So, as a GM, I try to work out interesting villains. They have definite goals, reasonably detailed backgrounds, and motivations beyond greed/bloodlust/power hunger.
But it's rare for any of that to actually come out in game, because there's rarely any good opportunity for the villain to role play with the PCs. If you put a group of PCs into a room with a villain, the villain is going to get dead or fled in short order.
Mostly, I'm okay with that. I don't need to recite backstory at them for no reason. But it does rather limit the dramatic repertoire when you can't get a good villainous monlogue in, much less a Palpatine-style "With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant" recruitment speech.
So ... any suggestions on how to foster PC-to-villain role play that doesn't instantly turn into a bloodbath?
Can the spell Wilderness Soldiers work with dead plants, or only living ones?
This came up last night in an area full of dead trees. The spell doesn't say itself. The GM ruled that it required living plants so that we could move on with the session, and suggested asking on here to see if anyone knows differently.
We're just about to start book 2. I've been busily laying the groundwork for Aldern's obsession since the very first session. He latched onto a female PC -- Juron, from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings -- and wooed her with gifts of armor, weapons, and a portrait sitting. They had a lovely dinner at the White Stag. I cackled inside my head in anticipation of the "let us consummate our hunger, my love!" line.
Aaand ... the player just announced that he's not having fun with this PC, because she's a one-trick poney. We're on 3.5 rules, and he chose to play a warlock, which is about as one-trick as you can get. So I can see that. I allowed him to retire this character and come in as a new one. I'm not one to make somebody play a PC he's not having fun with, as long as he doesn't swap TOO often.
Anyway, he announced that Juron would head off into the world in pursuit of her own goals. And I instantly thought "No way is Aldern going to let the focus of his obsession just leave. He's going to intercept her and add her to his pack of ghouls."
Which basically means that the party is going to have to fight her. The logical place for her to show up is in the final encounter with Aldern. But I'm worried that if I throw a dread ghoul warlock 5 into the mix, I will totally murder the whole party. How can I do this in a reasonably balanced way?
TL;DR The PC Aldern Foxglove has obsessed over is leaving the party and getting replaced exactly at the beginning of book 2. I want to have the old PC show up in Aldern's pack of ghouls, but I'm worried that adding a dread ghoul warlock 5 (we're on 3.5 rules) to the final Misgivings encounter will unbalance it. Suggestions?
Note: I discussed it with the player (giving as few spoilers as possible) and he's okay with his former PC showing up as an undead villain.
I know that it's not currently possible to send a gift order of a PDF to someone who lacks a Paizo account. Consider this a feature request, as I'm trying to seduce a 3.5 holdout to the Pathfinder side of the Force.
I envision it working something like this:
A) I click the gift options checkbox during checkout.
Just something for you developers when you get a spare moment in your undoubtedly busy schedules. Thanks!
 Whether the Paizo side of the Force is light, dark, plaid or "other" I leave as an exercise for the reader.
 Probably more like 2-8 weeks of full time work, depending on how much of the core Paizo site code would need to be touched, and accounting for testing and iteration.
I'm GM'ing a solo campaign, and my player (an elf druid) has landed herself in jail in Sevenarches (which outlaws elves, for reasons the reigning Oakstewards don't advertise). I'm pretty sure she's going to try to escape, rather than go through the process of getting tried, convicted, branded, and deported.
But I'm not sure what avenues are open to her. So I'll ask you all: how would YOU get out of this situation?
Assume the following:
You are locked up in a 10x10 subterranean room with no doors or windows. Prisoners, food, and so on are brought into the room via a rusty grate in the ceiling -- there's a ladder up top that was pulled up after. The grate is about 10 feet up, and locked (DC 30). Food is provided at 9 AM, 2 PM, and 7 PM -- generally your basic porridge, nourishing but dull, and served in wooden bowls with wooden spoons which are lowered down on a wooden tray attached to a rope. The tray is hauled back up again after you've taken your food, leaving the utensils with you. A wooden bucket of fresh water is provided each morning by the same method. There is a small hole (approx 5 inches diameter) in one corner of the cell for disposal of urine and feces, and you can hear running water from down below.
You have two bunks, consisting of planks affixed to the wall and supported at either end with chains. There is some straw strewn about the floor. The walls are stone masonry.
There are two guards on duty up top at all times, with shift changes every 6 hours (8 AM, 2 PM, 8 PM, 2 AM). They've mostly left you alone, though there's one jerk in the 8 PM shift who thought it would be funny to pee into your cell. The night shifts tend to be less attentive than the day shifts.
You've been told it may be a few days before your case is brought to the magistrate.
As for your resources:
You are an elven druid 8.
Your cohort (human witch 6) is imprisioned with you.
So, it's a pretty grim situation. The penalty for entering Sevenarches while elven is to be branded and deported (first offense). Subsequent offenses are punished via execution. This is a first offense.
Given all that, what would you do?
Scenario: a barbarian gets engulfed by a Mud Man. His party mates want to kill the mud man. If they attack the mud man, does the barbarian take damage?
How about various permutations on this -- does a slashing weapon penetrate the mud better than a bludgeoning weapon? How about a Scorching Ray or Fireball?
I'm also surprised that this ability doesn't seem to allow the engulfed creature to make any kind of escape attempt.
- The tree was once sacred to Curchanus, and had been fondly looked over by Desna as a memento of her lost mentor. Desna left a stone marker saying, essentially, "don't cut this down" by the tree, but it was written in celestial.
- An agent of Lamashtu (Myrrhine, see below) persuaded the Glencross woodcutters to cut the tree down.
- Desna punished the villagers, with Myrrhine smirking from the shadows.
- Erastil stepped in to appease Desna, and the price she demanded was that the villagers (or their champions) remove the Coiled Beast.
- Myrrhine convinced a treant guardian of the forest (Cambios) that the PCs were responsible for the tree's demise.
- On confronting the PCs, Cambios prayed to Gozreh for aid and got the 2 savage grizzlies.
- The Coiled Beast itself became sacred to Lamashtu instead of Gozreh.
- Myrrhine lived with the coiled beast, using the Serpentfriend ability from her sorcerer bloodline to communicate with it.
Mechanically, everything worked identically to the presentation in the document.
- Encounter 1: ditched the two snakes, gave the three ordinary wolves the Agile mythic template, and switched the dire wolf from Agile to Invincible.
- Encounter 2: as written.
- Encounter 3: gave the treant the advanced simple template and named him Cambios. Allowed Cambios to use his animate trees ability. Rain and bears as written.
- Encounter 4: changed the location to a swamp (shallow bog, per CRB 427) for more difficult terrain, and exempted the hydra from treating it as difficult terrain due to its swim speed.
- Encounter 4: added Myrrhine (MEER-in-ee), a medusa sorceress 3 (serpentine bloodline), with 3 mythic tiers (dual path Trickster/Champion). Here is her stat block. Doubtless it doesn't conform 100% to paizo spec, but all the info is there in case anyone is interested.
The party consisted of the following, including the mythic tiers gained after accepting Erastil's gift:
"Eh" -- male sylph bladebound magus 6. Took dual path Archmage/Champion.
Felonious -- male vanera gunslinger 6. Not sure which paths he took.
Manius Petronicus -- male human oracle of metal 6. Took Hierophant/Champion.
Sharp -- male catfolk knife master rogue 6. Took Trickster.
Encounter 1, A Village Attacked
The encounter wasn't terribly challenging. The lowest AC in the party was 25, and the wolves therefore had trouble hitting anyone who wasn't a villager.
We did have fun with a caber toss in which the oracle won first place (a prize pig).
Encounter 2, Ascension
For role playing reasons, half the party were strongly reluctant to take the arrows. But they eventually agreed.
Mythic build notes:
Encounter 3, Grove
As noted in the mechanical changes section, the treant (Cambios) got the advanced simple template and permission to animate trees. The two animated trees only got half hitpoints, and didn't use their power attack.
The bears went down fast.
The magus did incredible amounts of damage with frigid touch and scorching ray before finally getting pinned by one of the animated trees. After a few rounds he escaped the grapple and got pounded into negatives with AoOs. The oracle healed him, and he proceeded to take out the treant while lying prone.
After the fight the party healed up using Recuperation.
This was easily the most challenging encounter, but the party handled it with aplomb. I did a couple of things to ease the fight (one of the animated trees got confused and beat up the dead bears for a while), but I'm pretty sure that if I had eliminated the bears outright and just gone with 2 animated trees they could have handled it with no particular problem even if I hadn't pulled any punches.
For rewards, they all got Ambrosia, plus one item each:
- For "Eh", the Fire Goddess's Blade
Sharp was the only one to make any use of his reward. "Eh" ignored the sword because his bound blade was better. Manius didn't wind up casting any spells with focus components. And Felonious just shot stuff for the rest of the adventure.
Encounter 4, the Bridge over the Howling Chasm
They were more or less stumped. They lowered a rope into the chasm, climbed down, and once they determined that they would get hit by lightning if they approached the far side, they hiked downstream for half a day till the chasm petered out into a swamp. Then they camped, got bitten by mosquitoes, and spent half the next day tromping back on the far side of the ravine.
Encounter 5, the Hydra
"Eh" rolled very high on his knowledge check and learned all its weaknesses in short order. Furthermore, the party had lots of fire and acid. They steamrolled it in 2 rounds.
Halfway through round 2, Myrrhine stepped in to protect her pet, and managed to petrify two party members (Felonious and Manius) before they finished killing the hydra. At that point she ran away. She could very likely have taken the two remaining party members by herself, but one of those two players had to leave anyway. So I had her run. Pity, I would have liked to see if she could have won against the magus and the rogue, both of whom where extremely effective.
Closing Thoughts: Competing Point Pools
The player of the magus commented that the mythic rules were frustrating because the magus mechanics and the mythic mechanics are identical. In both you get a pool of points that you can spend as a swift action -- but you only get one swift action per turn, so while the other characters could routinely fit a mythic ability use into their turn, the magus was constantly having to choose which pool to draw on. One possible adjustment to address this might be a feat or path ability which allows you to swap a move action for a swift action. Under core RAW, you can swap a standard for a move, but that's it. Some way to continue exchanging larger actions for smaller (give up a standard for a move, give up a move for a swift) would let a magus do something like spend an arcane pool point to recall a spell (swift action), cast it (standard action), then spend a mythic power point to make a Surprise Strke (swift action instead of a move action).
Hope this helps.
I'd like to make a plea for some way -- not necessarily at the outset, mind, but eventually! -- for users to create theme-park style dungeons for other players to run. Given adequate quality controls, a few dedicated users can produce a ton of rich content.
For many years, I was an enthusiastic member of the Active Worlds community. Active Worlds was a very early shared world (circa 1997; I joined in '98 and kept at it for a decade).
User-created content was the primary attraction. You could stake out a claim in any of several virtual worlds and build anything you could imagine using the fairly flexible building tools. The largest open building world, Alphaworld, was a little larger than California.
Anyway! AW has been essentially moribund for years now, but what it taught me was that if you give users the tools to create their own environments, they can turn out some AMAZING work. The greatest limitation was the super-arcane, severely limited scripting language, which didn't even have any way to make an "if" statement.
User generated content is meant to be a large part of Pathfinder Online, but it so far sounds like nothing but pre-fab buildings. And I can see that -- if you had totally open building, you'd run into the same problems as Active Worlds or Second Life, namely many people would start vast projects with half-baked skills, get frustrated, and wander off, leaving the landscape littered with half-constructed buildings hanging in mid-air, roads that go nowhere for a very long time, and random sculptures of genitalia. That kind of thing is obviously incompatible with the level of quality control required in a project like PFO.
But, that said, please consider eventually working out some way to let your more intense users become dungeon builders. Pick a few people who have shown themselves upstanding members of the community and give them:
- a private space separate from the usual world for development
Then sit back and see what they come up with. A few of them will knock your socks off, and those dungeons could then be joined to the usual game world, enriching it for everyone.
Take a look at Diane Duane's novel Omnitopia Dawn to see how this might play out in terms of community procedures. The corporate espionage and self-created AI-run-amok can be safely omitted.
I ran the adventure in the playtest document as written, with the following fluff changes:
- The tree was once sacred to Curchanus, and had been fondly looked over by Desna as a memento of her lost mentor. This explains the lack of a druid looking out for it and the general lack of indication of its sacredness.
- Erastil stepped in to appease Desna, and the price she demanded was that the villagers (or their champions) remove the Coiled Beast.
- The Coiled Beast itself became sacred to Lamashtu instead of Gozreh.
Mechanically, everything worked identically to the presentation in the document.
The party consisted of the following, including the mythic tiers gained after accepting Erastil's gift:
To avoid metagaming with the GM PC, I re-used stats for a character I built for a different one-shot almost 2 years ago. The rest of this account is from memory, so I hope I don't forget anything important.
Encounter 1, A Village Attacked
I drew out a village square and set out 8 villagers in addition to the party. 1 villager was killed outright, 3 more taken to negatives.
The mythic wolf died fairly fast at the hands of the monk, as did two of the other wolves. The last wolf failed a reflex save against a lightning bolt.
One snake took a critical hit from a bow without dying, only to have its last few hit points crushed by the little boy's frantic, frail grandmother, who rolled a 19 on her attempt to smack it with her cane and then rolled max damage. The other snake suffered a sneak attack while it was grappling a local strumpet, only to actually die at the hands of the wizard (he shot it with a light crossbow, iirc).
The monk was the focus of the wolves for most of the 3-4 rounds of the combat, so he got fairly beaten up, and the wizard took one hit from a snake. Otherwise not too challenging.
The mythic wolf really needed some DR or something.
Encounter 2, Ascension
Went smoothly. When I told them that all the food and drink in the village spoiled, the monk asked if that applied to stuff inside his Handy Haversack. I said yes, and the monk wept has he poured out a HUNDRED bottles of spoiled beer. Everyone else sang "99 Bottles of Beer in the Sack".
On a whim, I told them they'd all learned Celestial as a bonus language. Ichabod protested, "But I already know Celestial!" So I told him that he now spoke it beautifully, and would receive a +10 circumstance bonus on bluff checks to convince people that he's from Heaven, or that he's an aasimar.
Notes on mythic builds:
I don't have this character sheet, and the player took the time to work out his build in advance, so I don't know the full details of what all he took.
My own skepticism about Enduring Armor was covered in the thread I started on that topic. My player however appreciated it because Conjuration is a prohibited school for his PC. He opted to leave a first-level spell slot open for purposes of Enduring Armor, effectively making simply a permanent Mage Armor without sacrificing any higher level spell slots or using 2 slots for the effect.
He was sad to discover that none of the spells he knew had mythic variants.
Player was confused about Surprise Strike; he thought the "within 30 feet" part entitled him to move as a swift action as well as making an attack. That was pretty clearly not RAI, since that's what Fleet Charge does. He opted to retain Surprise Strike as an easy way of getting sneak attacks.
We were unclear on whether Component Power affected a component selected at the time the ability was chosen, or whether it allows you to choose which component you want to ignore each time you cast a spell. The second is much more flexible.
Either way, Component Power could be used to cast in full plate with no spell failure by just ignoring the somatic component of all your spells. Handy for EKs, and fairly cheap at the cost of just one path ability. Compare to Armor Master, which you must take twice if you want to cast in mithral full plate, or thrice for casting in mundane full plate.
Encounter 3, Grove
Ichabod tried to use Diplomacy to soothe the treant into not fighting the party. Fortunately for the sake of the playtest, he rolled terribly on his Diplomacy check.
The PCs, newly juiced up with Amazing Initiative, went first. They forgot about the ability to take extra turns per round (!) and we just played as normal mostly.
The bears did very little damage before getting taken out. One failed a will save against Deep Slumber, cast by Ichabod. The other failed a will save against Mythic Sleep, cast by Clairette. Both got coup-de-graced by Felani.
Ichabod's failed attempt at Diplomacy only made the treant angry, and so he started out by chucking a boulder at him, which hit for 29 damage. Ichabod put a mythic power use into Absorb Blow, and as a third-tier guardian he therefore ignored all the damage.
We were unclear on what to do with damage less than 10 for purposes of calculating Absorb Blow's effect. The first 20 points of damage obviously triggered the increase in DR/epic and resistances. But the ability specifies that you get additional DR and resistances "for every 10 points of damage prevented by this ability". Is that a running total? Should we keep track of points less than 10 and add them to damage prevented by the ability in subsequent turns for purposes of calculating when the DR goes up?
Also, the DR gained from Absorbing Blow persists for a while. Does damage prevented by that DR count as "prevented by this ability"? For example, suppose a 10th tier Guardian is fighting a dragon and a kobold:
Step 1: Dragon does exactly 100 damage to the Guardian;
At that point, does the Guardian's DR go up to 11?
And how about energy resistances? If a Guardian gains acid resistance from Absorb Blow, do points of acid damage prevented by that resistance count as "damage prevented by this ability" and increase the DR and resistances further?
This was an awesome moment, by the way. Ichabod is fairly frail -- 34 hp at level 6. Ordinarily taking 29 damage would be a HUGE wound (85% of his hit points in one blow). But with Absorb Blow, he just shrugged it off. I described it as Ichabod casually back-handing a boulder as large as he was out of mid-air to plow a deep furrow in the forest loam.
So if the intent of this ability is to make a Guardian well-nigh indestructible, mission accomplished!
The treant took a while to chip down, but he eventually perished at the hands (literally) of the monk, whose Amulet of Mighty Fists (flaming) added quite a bit of damage. The player remarked on how nice it was for a monk to have more things to do with a swift action.
Clairette was mostly doing healer duty, but her Enhanced Healing ability from the Songhealer archetype gave me a moment of pause. It lets her use, say, a Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds at her own caster level (6) instead of the minimum needed to cast the spell (3). I swiftly came to the conclusion that the spell "recorded" in the wand would not be affected by her new knowledge of Mythic Cure Moderate Wounds, and would be only a normal one.
But ... if she had Craft Wand, could she craft wands of Mythic Cure spells? If so, would other characters be able to use them? How would that affect the price? And the cost?
The price of a normal wand of cure light wounds is 750 gp (crafting one costs 375 gp). A wand of mythic cure light wounds would do twice the healing of a regular one. Would the price be doubled? How about the cost? I think the cost needs to scale with the price. If the price doubles to 1,500, but the cost holds steady at 375, then a PC could sell at 750 (50% of the market price) and still make a 100% profit. And since it only takes 1 day to make wand of CLW, you could do it quite a lot until the market couldn't take any more wands of Mythic CLW.
But I digress.
For rewards, they all got Ambrosia, plus one item each:
- For Genrad, Cayden's Cup
Encounter 4, the Bridge over the Howling Chasm
Genrad: jumped it with an acrobatics check of 33 despite rolling terribly. The +20 bonus from Feat of Acrobatics made it easy. I had a lightning bolt try for him half-way across, but he easily passed the reflex save, and his Evasion meant that he effectively dodged a spell effect aimed at him by a god. Very awesome.
He also tied a rope to himself first and secured it to a rock on the other end to provide a hand-rail for the others.
Ichabod: flew over the chasm, triggering Absorb Blow to shrug off most of the lightning despite failing his reflex save.
Clairette: insisted on walking across the bridge the hard way and failed an Acrobatics check badly half-way across. She would have fallen if she hadn't been holding the rope Genrad strung up. Ichabod flew back out, shrugging off another lightning bolt in the process, and carried her to the other side despite her insistence that she was frightened of flying and wanted to walk. In a fit of pique, she thereafter refused to heal him because he didn't put her back on the bridge. Her mythic flaw really should have been hubris instead of insanity.
Felani: walked across the bridge, did not fall, failed her reflex save against the lightning and just took the damage. Clairette healed her up.
At this point Clairette announced that they were going to have a picnic, and poured a hero's feast out of the cornucopia. It seemed epic to have a picnic on a barren mound surrounded by the bones of dozens of creatures, fully aware of the danger and disregarding it.
Encounter 5, the Hydra
Ichabod and Clairette were the only members of the party with Knowledge (Nature) and both rolled very low. They knew nothing about a hydra's vulnerabilities, head removal, or anything useful.
Felani had spent a mythic power use activating the Cloak of the Hunt, and so was invisible. She slipped around behind the hydra -- no AoO because she was invisible -- spent a standard action to cast Shield using her Major Magic rogue talent. Then she spent a mythic power use to make a Surprise Strike on the hydra.
The attack missed completely on a roll of 2, but she was still invisible thanks to the cloak's Greater Invisibility properties, so the hydra didn't notice her. This caused a problem later when the hydra tried to take a five-foot step backwards, and I had no idea how to handle it. Clearly the hydra would provoke an AoO for moving through her square, but would she get to move out of the way? Get to move with it? Have to make an Acrobatics check or similar? I just didn't know how to handle a creature moving through the space of another creature of whose presence it was unaware. In the end I decided Felani could move back five feet, but wouldn't get her AoO unless she made an Acrobatics check with a DC of the hydra's CMD.
Genrad took quite a beating from the hydra, dropping as low as 1 hit point. Clairette did what she could to keep him on his feet, snapping off Distant Barrage attacks as well.
Things got interesting when Ichabod cast Deep Slumber on the hydra, using Arcane Surge to make it roll twice on its save, which it failed. They wanted to coup-de-grace it, but how do you do that to a Huge creature with seven heads?
Then Ichabod pulled out his Dagger of a Thousand Bites and pointed out that:
1) A coup-de-grace is an attack which is an automatic critical hit;
Since the hydra was helpless, there was no way he could miss. So he declared his intent to cut off all seven heads at one blow with a thrown dagger. That sounded MYTHIC, so we tried it. He got six of them in one go.
... and THEN I remembered that it has DR 5/epic, which negated all six successful sunder attempts because I'd forgotten to account for it, and left them with the hydra very much awake and pissed off.
Under those circumstances, I wasn't sure whether to have the hydra make a fort save to avoid death as it would in a usual coup-de-grace attempt. We got into a paralysis-by-analysis fugue, until finally it got very late and we decided to just kill the body and not worry about the heads, which took only 2 more rounds.
It's probably for the best anyway, since none of them knew they had to cauterize the neck stumps, and their only source of fire damage was the monk's flaming fists anyway. If they'd succeeded in severing all the heads they would shortly have had a very angry 14-headed hydra to deal with.
Going into this I was worried about Mythic Combat Reflexes, but it never came up. It got no AoO against Felani due to invisibility, and even if she'd been visible her Defensive Move ability made her immune. It got no AoO against Genrad because in round 1 he drank a potion of Enlarge Person, which gave him the same reach as the hydra and meant he never provoked for passing through its threatened area. Clairette shot it from far away, and Ichabod took to the air. It did get an AoO for a sunder attempt against one of its heads (at one point after the abortive Dagger of a Thousand Bites part), but I'm pretty sure that was its only AoO.
Arcane Surge and Dual Path
At one point, a question regarding Dual Path arose. Ichabod was a Dual Path Guardian/Archmage, with Guardian as his first path, and Archmage added via feat. What is his Archmage tier? For example, Arcane Surge lets you roll twice against spell resistance with a bonus equal to your Archmage tier. If you're dual path, and archmage is your seconday, does that mean the bonus is +0? Or would you get +3? Or would it vary according to what tier you were when you took the Dual Path feat?
I hope this is helpful.
I'll be GM'ing the adventure from the playtest document on Saturday, and I'm not sure I understand exactly how Mythic Combat Reflexes works.
Combat Reflexes (Mythic):
You can strike viciously any time an enemy gives the slightest opening.
Prerequisite: Combat Ref lexes, 1st mythic tier.
Benefit:You can make any number of additional attacks of opportunity per round. As a swift action, you can expend one use of mythic power. Until the beginning of your next turn, whenever a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from you due to movement, you can make an attack of opportunity even if it causes you to make more than one attack against that foe for the same action.
So, scenario: a mythic hydra faces off against Fred the Fighter 6/Champion 3. Fred wins initiative.
Fred -- Spends a swift action and on mythic power usage to Fleet Charge in and attempt a sunder on one head. He then spends a full attack action to make two more sunder attempts. The Hydra gets 4 AoOs, one for Fred passing into his threatened area (10 foot reach), and one per sunder attempt since Fred doesn't have Improved Sunder. Assume for the scenario that all the sunder attempts fail.
Hydra -- Full attack on Fred, and spends a swift action and 1 mythic power point on Combat Reflexes.
Fred -- Spends a point on Fleet Charge, opts to move only 5 feet as part of it, and takes his free attack as a sunder on a head. Then he tries two more sunder attempts on other heads.
And here is where I am confused.
In Round 2, when Fred provokes an attack by trying to sunder a head, how many attacks of opportunity does the hydra get? Just one? Seven? Because if Fred provokes essentially a full attack for each sunder, then he'll be the target of between 18-21 attacks in round 2, in which case he's likely to be in a world of hurt.
But if he only provokes 1, then what's the point of spending mythic power points on Mythic Combat Reflexes?
EDIT: On a second reading, I see that spending a power usage on Mythic Combat Reflexes only applies to AoOs from movement, so once the PCs have closed to melee range it's only useful if I can engineer a situation where they provoke due to movement. But even then I'm not clear if I can take a full attack as a result of spending a mythic power point on the feat.
The Peluda has a vulnerable tail. Here's the description from its stat block:
A peluda can be killed by severing its tail from its body. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever its tail affects the body, including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage. To sever the tail, an opponent must make a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting the tail. The tail is considered a separate weapon with hardness 5 and hit points equal to the peluda's HD. To sever the tail, the opponent must inflict enough damage on a single blow to reduce the tail's hit points to 0 or less.
A peluda can't attack with a severed tail and thereafter automatically suffers 2d6 points of bleed damage each round until it dies.
Suppose that a peluda is in combat, with Bob Fighter standing in front of it, and Ronia Rogue behind. It's flanked. Ronia tries to slice off its tail with her Elven Curve Blade. The peluda misses her with its AoO, and her CMB check succeeds.
Does Ronia get to add her sneak attack dice to the damage roll?
I've been looking at these two.
Enduring Armor (Su): When preparing your spells you may leave a single arcane spell slot unfilled in order to grant yourself a lasting armor of force. This effect grants you an armor bonus equal to 3 + 1/2 the level of the empty spell slot (minimum 1). The armor persists as long as the spell slot remains empty. This ability is an abjuration effect with a level equal to the level of the spell slot. If it is dispelled or otherwise ended, it can be resumed as a standard action.
At the cost of giving up one of your most powerful spells, Enduring Armor gives you an AC bonus of:
1st level spell: +4
Compare to Mythic Mage Armor:
Mage Armor (Mythic):
Mage Armor (Mythic): This spell grants a +6 armor bonus to AC. In addition, there is a 50% chance that any critical hit or sneak attack made against the target is negated, and is instead treated as a normal hit. This chance does not stack with the fortification armor property or other similar abilities that negate critical hits or sneak attacks.
... which gets you a +6 AC bonus AND medium fortification.
Sure, the duration of Enduring Armor is better. But the actual AC bonus lags behind for most of your adventuring career. It doesn't exceed the one from Mythic Mage Armor until you get 8th level spells, and then it's only by a paltry +1.
Even the improved duration is largely pointless. By the time the Enduring Armor bonus hits +7, a single casting of Mythic Mage Armor is already lasting 15 or 16 hours, which is typically more than you need for a full day's adventuring. Double that duration if you care to pick up Extend Spell.
So, the question is ... who in their right mind would give up an 8th-level spell for a measly +1 AC?
Enduring Armor would be a lot more attractive if the AC bonus were 3 + the full spell level. Anyone who likes playing an Eldritch Knight or a Magus would be thrilled, and it's exactly the kind of "breaking the usual rules" that the mythic rule set seems to have been designed to do.
If you really think it's that big an issue to have wizards and witches running around with high AC bonuses, put a cap on it limiting the spell level you can use to power this ability -- probably 6th level, since Magi cap out there. That'd still leave 'em running around with the equivalent of Hellknight plate at the highest levels, but no better. They'd probably also wind up casting Mythic Mage Armor anyway for the fortification, even though the AC bonus wouldn't stack.
On an unrelated note, is Enduring Armor really supposed to be limited to prepared casters only? As written, there's no way for a Sorcerer (or Bard) to use this ability at all.
I have a druid in my group of PCs with a hawk animal companion, and she wants to teach it a trick called "blind". The idea is that she'll train it to fly over and peck out the eyes of opponents. I can't let that be an auto-success kind of thing -- the "blinded" condition is a pretty major debuff.
Here are the mechanics I've worked out:
'Blind' trick wrote:
The "AC + 4" target is to represent the difficulty of hitting an eye squarely. They're not that big, and generally people (and other creatures) have fast reflexes in place to protect them.
Does that look fair? Suggestions or comments?
How am I supposed to GM a trap which triggers only when certain conditions are met, without automatically giving away that there's a trap?
Full details (no actual spoilers):
In my last session my players encountered a bridge that was rigged to collapse under the weight of a certain number of medium-sized creatures.
They moved their minis past the bridge without ever setting any of them ON the bridge. So, of course, I was forced to ask them HOW they crossed the bridge.
That, in turn, tipped them off that there's something dodgy about the bridge, so they said, "Oh, of course we cross it one at a time, very carefully, checking for traps as we go."
End result: the trap might as well not exist.
I thought about rolling Perception checks secretly to see if they noticed the trap. But that still doesn't tell me whether they would actually trigger it by getting a sufficient number of people on the bridge at once.
If I use secret Perception checks and assume that they DO trigger it, they'd cry foul, and they'd be right to do so since the fall would almost certainly have killed anyone I decided happened to be on the bridge at the time. It's no fun to have the GM decide out of the blue that you die without any say in the matter.
If I use secret checks and assume they DON'T trigger it, well, once again the trap may as well not exist.
I'm not sure I've got this right, because it seems to good to be true.
First up, some rules quotes:
Experimental Wordcaster feat (UM 166) wrote:
Selected target word (UM 166) wrote:
Force Bolt effect word (UM 178) wrote:
So, suppose I have a sorcerer. At 9th level, I take the Experimental Wordcaster feat (UM 166). It gives me access to the target words, the meta word "boost", and one effect word of my choice. I choose "Force Bolt", which does 1d4 points of force damage per level, maximum 5d4.
Then I proceed to cast "Boost Selected Force Bolt". The "boost" applies to the "selected" target word, and lets me target 1 force bolt per caster level, for a total of 9. Each force bolt does 5d4 damage, since my caster level is well over the cap on that. And the Force Bolt effect word does not deal energy damage (force is not energy), so I don't even have to make attacks -- all 9 bolts just auto-hit.
That's 45d4 points of damage (average of 112.5), with no save. Spell resistance applies, and a Shield spell would negate it, whereupon I would cast a targeted Dispel Magic to take down the Shield spell and proceed to do it again.
It scales with level, and it can either be divided amongst a bunch of mooks, or you can hit the same target over and over.
Have I got that right? Or am I missing something?
Round 1: A druid with 18 Wisdom casts Entangle on an area. Reflex save of 15 (10 + spell level 1 + 4 WIS) negates entanglement.
Round 2: The druid casts a second Entangle targeted so that portions of the two areas overlap.
The save DC outside the areas of overlap is obviously 15. But does it increase within the area of the area of overlap?
I've been playing the following character for about 2.5 years now, and enjoying him a lot. I'm not an uber-optimizer -- I like my characters effective but not min-maxed. He's grown pretty organically in response to conditions within the campaign (Kingmaker, currently working on book 3).
That said, how could I improve this character? His AC seems a little low in particular. He's been the party's primary front-line type for most of our game to date, but he's been having trouble lately, including a death followed by a raise dead scroll.
The stat block:
NG medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init +2; Senses darkvision; Perception +14
----- Defense -----
----- Offense -----
----- Statistics -----
Explanatory notes about the stat block:
AC items: ring of protection +1, amulet of natural armor +1, dusty rose ioun stone, +1 breastplate.
HP: rolled 10, 3, 8, 7, 4, 6, 1, 4; includes +8 hp from Toughness; +3 hp from favored class bonus.
Weapon notes: my GM allowed me to equip him with a custom-made smaller-than-normal dwarven waraxe for his off-hand weapon. Stats: 1d8, weighs 4 lbs, crit x3, slashing, counts as a light weapon. Maybe a little cheesy, but in exchange for the privilege he imposed an attack penalty with it for 2 levels (now thankfully past) until Telvin got accustomed to using it.
Hunters Bond: This one is weird. Telvin had an animal companion for some time -- a small cat, Fenrir -- who died horribly just before Telvin hit level 7. He hasn't bothered calling another one, partly because I didn't want a cookie cutter replacement for Fenrir, but also because I took Leadership at level 7 and didn't want to have to manage both a cohort and a critter. To compensate, my GM increased my effective caster level to equal my ranger level, and gave me some bonus spell slots (increase every number on the Ranger spells-per-day table by +1).
Ability scores: these were rolled (4d6 drop lowest); +1 WIS at 4th, and actually it seems I forgot to increase any of his ability scores at 8th. Hmm.
Feats: ranger bonus feats marked with a *.
Skills: Kn (Religion) includes a +1 bonus my GM granted due to story reasons.
The rest of the party consists of:
1) A human barbarian who specializes in the overrun maneuver;
I'd be interested to hear whatever comments or suggestions people have.
So I'm GM'ing a River Kingdoms campaign for a single player. In the next session, the PC is likely to infiltrate Sevenarches -- and she's an elf. She doesn't know the real arches are out in the forest someplace, so she's probably going to head straight for the seven FAKE arches in the city plaza. I've got a map of the plaza ready and everything.
The problem I'm facing is that I'm not sure what should happen once she gets there. I know how the Oakstewards would react -- but how about the NPCs named in the campaign setting, Mayor Esmet Silkenlock and Captain Dethenesthen Carcusian? The Guide to the River Kingdoms suggests that there's some political tension between the townfolk and the Oakstewards.
Would they toe the party line on the "no elves" policy, capture her and turn her over to the Oakstewards? Banish her on their own initiative? Try to kill her outright? Serve as allies against the Oakstewards because they're tired of inexplicable mandates from on high?
The PC ultimately needs to get to the real arches, as she's the only one who can permanently fix the problem with the gorgas beasts and the plague. She knows that she's got to deal with the beasts, so she's on the right track. I'm just not entirely sure how to arrange the encounter in Sevenarches city so as to 1) reveal that the arches in the plaza are fake, and 2) point her in generally the right direction for getting to the real ones.
Also, I wasn't sure whether to put this in Campaign Setting discussion or Advice. It's here because the question about the NPC reactions is setting-specific, but if the mods think it would go better someplace else, please move the thread.
My collection is just beginning to become unwieldy. It started with a dozen or so painted metal ones for PCs. Then a case of Heroes and Monsters. Now a couple bricks of RotRL minis (because I just couldn't afford a whole case). In March, I'll be getting like 240 minis out of the Reaper Kickstarter.
So ... what are some good strategies for storing minis? I'd like something reasonably compact that still allows for reasonably rapid retrieval during a game session.
I did opt for a couple of cases in the Reaper Kickstarter, but those look primarily good for carrying pre-selected minis to remote sites rather than quick access when GM'ing at home.
The Razortusk feat gives half-orcs a bite attack dealing 1d4 + STR damage. But the bestiary says a medium sized bite attack does 1d6.
Was the damage die reduced a step in size because humanoids don't usually get bite attacks? Or is this a typo?
Short question: where can I find the base stats for a wren familiar in 3.5?
So, I'm running the original 3.5 version of RotRL. My players fought Erylium this weekend. VERY tough fight for them at level 2, her AC is ungodly high, plus resistances and DR? Youch.
Anyway, Erylium's wren familiar got involved in the combat by delivering an Inflict Moderate Wounds spell to a PC (dropping said PC from full health to negative HP in the process).
The party members who weren't focused on healing the downed PC naturally wanted to attack the wren. I knew how many HP it would have (half Erylium's), but I'm less sure about AC. I eventually just picked 18 out of the air since that seems like a reasonable AC for a diminutive creature.
We had to wrap up the session in the middle of the fight. The wren's still alive, and I'd like to get its stats worked out for next time.
One of my players is running her first druid, and had never dealt with wildshape before. She found the rules for what exactly she gets and loses when she changes shape fairly complex, and asked me if I knew of any guides on how to do it. I didn't, and couldn't find one, so I wrote it. I give you:
What it is: an attempt to get all the rules for this in ONE place, and in the order you need to apply them, to simplify the process of making a character sheet for a shape-changed version of a PC (or other creature).
What it is NOT: an optimization guide. There is no discussion of what forms offer the most damage per second, highest number of attacks, or whatever else. I figure it's up to the player to work out what shapes they like.
I hope you all find this useful. If you find any typos, errors, missing things, or have any suggestions, please let me know in this thread and I'll update the guide.
I have a female player who is interested in having her male halfling rogue (Londo) romance a female human NPC (Esmé), chiefly via the application of flowers and sweet-talk. The player's husband is at the table as well, playing a male half-orc barbarian. Fortunately, he seemed amused.
We did one "date" during the last session. The player is clearly enjoying herself, and I thought it was pretty fun too.
The problem is that the player is very keen on extended role play. Role playing something like that is basically 1 on 1. The other five players wound up just sitting there for like 10 minutes while Londo and Esmé had dinner with her parents.
So, how could I handle this? I could just decide that Esmé has lost interest, but that would ruin the player's fun.
Alternatively, I could turn Sandpoint into Sweet Valley High and make sure all six players have sweethearts so we can go on gigantic group dates.
I'm really hoping there's some middle ground between those two extremes; something that preserves the fun for the one player who's really into it, while not also excluding everybody else.
I'm pretty sure this as been asked before, but my Googling has not turned up a definite answer. The questions are:
1) Do polymorph spells that specify size modifiers in the spell description override the general table in the polymorph school description?
2) If not, do the size modifications from the two sources stack?
For example, suppose I am changing shape from a human (medium) to a cat (tiny) using Beast Shape II.
If I am reading the size changes table in the polymorph section right, then going FROM medium TO tiny, you're supposed to get -4 STR, +2 DEX.
Beast Shape II then specifies that you get -2 STR, +4 DEX.
If the spell overrides the general polymorph description, then the total is just -2 STR, +4 DEX because the polymorph table never comes into play.
If the spell does NOT override the general polymorph description, then we need to know if the changes stack.
If they DON'T stack, then the total modifications are -4 STR, +4 DEX, taking the -4 STR from the table, and the +4 DEX from the spell.
If they DO stack, then the total modifications are -6 STR, +6 DEX.
So ... which is it?
Today's blog post is adorned with a copy of the sihedron rune, that has a bunch of smaller runes in the gaps between each arm. I've seen the little runes before, but I've always wondered -- do the little runes each symbolize one of the seven branches of Thassilonian sin magic? If so, which rune goes with which branch?
I have a strong suspicion that my PCs are going to be heading to Thom in the River Kingdoms soon, as it's the next logical stopping point between their current location and their actual destination. So far the only information I've been able to find about it is that it has a population of 1,036.
Is there anything more about it anywhere? Or am I free to make it a city of 1,036 Strix cowboys who spend their term managing vast herds of pegasi in between visits to the saloon for a bit of brawling?
So I was adding some Fighter levels to a lizardfolk over the weekend, and found myself puzzled by his +8 Swim skill. A stock lizard folk has:
15 ft. Swim speed and
1 rank in Swim
... and a total modifier of +8.
The skill description says "A creature with a swim speed can move through water at its indicated speed without making Swim checks. It gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard."
The way I read that, it says they get the +8 bonus only under some circumstances. But the stat block is written to give them a flat +8 bonus under all circumstances.
Is there some errata or an unwritten convention that gives a flat +8 on Swim to creatures with a swim speed? That would certainly be consistent with how Climb is done, but it's not what the rules say in a totally pedantic RAW mind set ...
I'm working on a scenario in which a Sidhe Phage, Atli, has been setting a human town and the local fey against one another by using the addictive properties of his poison to suborn key members of the fey into following his orders. The PCs have to figure out what's going on and put a stop to it.
At various points, the PCs will encounter his addicted minions. One of the options they have is to attempt to redeem those minions by curing their addiction with Remove Disease, which could be very useful in figuring out what's going on, since they all personally know the villain (even if not all of them are privy to all parts of his plan/origin).
The problem is that I'm pretty sure none of my players have ever used the addiction rules before -- meaning they won't know they can even try the Remove Disease approach. So I guess my questions boil down to:
1) Diagnosis. What kind of skill check would you use to diagnose an addiction? What DC? Does it vary according to the addictive substance?
2) Treatment. What kind of skill check would be required for a PC to figure out how to treat an addiction?
Okay, here's a monster I came up with. Feedback, please? In particular, I'm not sure if CR 5 is right for this monster. His HP, attack, and damage are all low, but the save DCs on his abilities are high, and the abilities themselves are a tad scary, especially if the PCs don't make their Knowledge checks to figure out what he can do.
This attractive male elf smiles at you, revealing sharp canines.
Sidhe Phage CR 5
----- Defense -----
----- Offense -----
----- Statistics -----
----- Ecology -----
----- Special Abilities -----
Friendly Demeanor (Su) Sidhe Phages emit an aura of wholesome friendliness. Humanoid or fey creatures approaching within 10 feet must make a DC 18 Will save, or fall under the effects of a <i>charm person</i> spell (CL 8th). A creature who successfully saves against this ability is immune to its effects for 24 hours (for this particular Sidhe Phage only). The Sidhe Phage can suppress this aura at will as a free action. The save DC is Charisma based.
Poison (Ex) Bite--injury; save Fort DC 16; frequency 1/round for 3 rounds; effect 1d2 Con; cure 2 saves; special Creatures of the fey type who fail a save against this poison experience an intense hallucinogenic euphoria, rendering them staggered for 1d3 minutes. In addition, fey creatures must succeed on a second Fort save (DC 16) or become addicted to the Sidhe Phage's poison. The save DCs are Constitution-based.
Physically similar to elves, these First World predators feed on other fey, using their potent mix of charm and poison to close on and incapacitate a target. Often, the unfortunate victim is eaten alive, and perfectly happy about it thanks to the effects of their poison.
Those Sidhe Phages who slip through to the material plane find that the flesh of mortals is both sweeter and more plentiful than that of their fey kin. Being languid in temperament and not generally inclined to combat, they often prefer to use the addictive nature of their poison to build up a group of enslaved fey minions. One Sidhe Phage can rapidly turn a friendly enclave of generally benevolent fey into a ravening horde of junkies desperate to get their next fix, and willing to do anything to get it, including kidnapping humans for their cruel master's supper.
Just a quick question. I'm starting a RoR campaign for my group. We're using the 3.5 rules and running the AP as written.
There are 6 PCs. The AP was written for 4. If I slow their progression by spreading the XP 6 ways, will they have trouble later on? Should I divide by 4? Or split the difference and divide by 5?
I'm eyeing Book 2 particularly. Some of the manor house encounters are just brutal. I'd rather they not be under-leveled when hitting those.
Suppose you have a group of four: Alice, Bob, Charlie, and Daria. They're exploring a dark, quiet location, slightly spread out. Some kind of monster snatches Bob from the back of the group; and it's done so fast and so quietly that nobody else even realizes it happened until someone looks back and Bob isn't there anymore.
I'm interested in figuring out a way to replicate that moment of "OMG, what happened to Bob?" at the gaming table. It's tricky, because:
1) It sucks to be Bob;
2) The fact that everyone is sitting around the table watching it happen kind of diminishes the tension;
3) The limited action economy makes it hard to pull off.
Anyone have any suggestions for how to approach this?
I'm working up an encounter using the following map:
This is about half way up a gigantic clock tower. The platforms on either side are maintenance areas for the clockwork. The stone areas are 60 feet below the level of the platforms and gears. Ladders lead from the ground up to the platforms (bottom left and right corners, not actually marked on the map).
The gears rotate 1/4 of a turn per round; each one has a shaft extending from the floor below through its center up to the top of the tower (60 feet up). Crossing the two flanking gears will require a DC 20 Acrobatics check (possibly modified by circumstance, such as getting hit by an arrow half way across a spoke).
The BBEG and his henchmen will start on the right platform. Ordinarily the PCs would be able to access this platform directly via a long ladder. But since the evil guys have been using it as a lair, they replaced the usual wooden ladder with a retractable rope ladder. When the BBEG is alerted to the approach of the PCs by a permanent Alarm spell, they promptly pulled the ladder up and closed a trap door over the hole.
The ladder leading to the left side is trapped with a gas capsule that sickens the party for three rounds if they don't disable it (and fail fort saves). This isn't meant to be lethal, mostly it's there to slow them down a bit while BBEG and team cast buff spells on themselves.
Team Evil consists of:
- BBEG (Cleric 3/Wizard 3/Mystic Theurge 6)
The fighter and rogue are ranged specialists, and the MT will have a variety of nasty spells prepped -- Gust of Wind and Grease for pushing people off the gears, for example.
Team Good consists of 7 (!) PCs. 2 Barbarians, 1 Monk, 3 Bards, and a Rogue (Scout). The Scout is the only ranged combatant. None of the casters have Dimension Door or other teleportation. Only one of the bards has healing spells, though most of the players have a few potions; the party has been relying on an NPC healer who stays behind and patches people up after combat is over. They're all level 11. It's been a low-treasure campaign (the two previous GMs dislike handing out loot), so their gear is below average. They've all got at least a +1 weapon, but only a couple have anything better than that.
I'm having a hard time figuring out how challenging this encounter will be. It's supposed to be fairly tough; the BBEG is the local boss type.
In particular, how do you assess the CR for hazards that aren't traps but aren't monsters either? The difficulty of crossing the gears could range anywhere from easy to lethal depending on the character and their approach. I've toyed with the notion of having the clock chime once per round for 6 rounds causing 1d6 sonic damage and stunning anyone who fails a DC 14 fort save, but I have no idea if that would be too much or not.
I'm in two groups. In one, I'm GM'ing Haunting of Harrowstone right now, using the ordinary Pathfinder rules.
My OTHER group, in which I'm scheduled for a rotation as GM, has expressed interest in running it too. This would be helpful, since running the same thing for two groups is less prep work than running two completely separate campaigns.
The problem is that group 2 wants to keep using 3.5 rules. Also, group 2 is quite large, with SEVEN players.
So, how much work would it be to backport Carrion Crown modules to 3.5? The Haunt mechanics are pretty closely tied to the PF cleric's Channel Energy ability, which 3.5 doesn't have, so that would be awkward.
Also, how would you go about adjusting the encounters for such a large group? The PF rules are already slightly more powerful than corresponding 3.5 ones. Should leave them alone, or increase the CR by 1 or 2 because there are just so many PCs?
Or maybe it would be best to invest in a 3.5 era Pathfinder AP ...
I note that Detect Magic has a range of 60 feet, as do most of the other Detect spells (Detect Undead, etc), but does not designate a target.
Does that mean that they can be cast on somebody other than the caster?
Could the party Wizard cast Detect Magic on the party Ranger so that the Ranger can make a Spellcraft check to identify magic items?
These feel like they ought to be spells with a target of "you", allowing only the caster to benefit from them, but there's nothing in the spell description to say so. I also checked the description of Divination in the Magic chapter; it talks about the effect moving with you, which implies that they're generally meant to target only the caster. But it's not explicitly stated.
Improved Familiar lets you get a Celestial (or Fiendish) version of any of the ordinary base familiars.
But is that template applied based on the familiar's one hit die, or based on the master's 3+ hit dice?
The familiar rules say "Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master's character level or the familiar's normal HD total, whichever is higher." The Celestial template has different effects depending on the base creature's HD. So, by RAW, then, a celestial familiar's abilities would continue to increase as the caster gains levels.
By RAI, I think it's assumed that you're calculating that based on just the familiar's one base hit die. Otherwise your celestial weasel would get a ton of spell-like abilities over time.
I'm wondering whether Create Water can be used to call water into the air so that it falls to the ground like rain. It looks like the school description and the spell description contradict one another.
The description for Create Water says:
Water can be created in an area as small as will actually contain the liquid, or in an area three times as large—possibly creating a downpour or filling many small receptacles.
But Create Water is a conjuration spell, and the description of Conjuration in the magic chapter saith:
A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.
Water is arguably an object (if a fluid one), and it has definitely been brought into being by the spell. So on the face of it, you can't make a downpour, because doing so requires summoning the water into air. But the spell description says you CAN create a downpour.
If I were GM'ing this myself, I'd rule that it's okay to summon liquids into air. The conjuration rules look as though they're mainly intended to prevent you from summoning cute celestial dire dolphins into mid-air at a cliff edge just to watch them fall squealing to a hideous death.
I've just built an Oracle who really needs time to cast Deeper Darkness before the PCs show up. He's cursed with deafness, and can't hear audible alarms or shouting minions.
The "mental ping" version of Alarm would be perfect, except that it's an arcane-only spell. So, he needs some kind of alternative.
I've thought of adding a magical trap that sets off a Light spell in his workshop (ordinarily pitch black because he can see perfectly even in supernatural darkness), but I'd like to hear what else you all can come up with.
I've been invited to add an encounter to a Kingmaker campaign my group is doing, and I'm hoping to get some feedback on whether what I've put together is overpowered.
If you happen to be a member of my group, shoo!
I've come up with Dubhain, an advanced forlarren Oracle of Wood 5, whose stats you can see here:
Dubhain lives in a darkwood grove cultivated originally by her mother -- a nymph named Melantha who perished giving birth to Dubhain, as is common with forlarren births.
Dubhain has Warp Wood as a spell-like ability instead of Heat Metal, and has been using it to twist and contort the plants of the grove for several years now. Between that and general overgrowth, the area where the PCs will encounter her counts as difficult terrain (which Dubhain herself is immune to).
She has the advanced template and five levels of Oracle (Wood mystery). Mechanically that makes her CR 7 (CR 2 base + 1 advanced template + 4 for the oracle levels), but I'm a bit worried that she might be a tad overpowered. In particular I'm looking at her AC:
10 base + 6 DEX + 7 natural + 2 shield = 25, touch 16, flat 19
Most of the CR 7 creatures in the bestiary run about 21 AC, which means she's appreciably harder to hit than most. Her saves are all pretty good too (Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +10), she's got a +13 to hit with her club, and a variety of spells to play with.
I suppose I could always take away her shield.
The party looks like this:
- A human fallen Paladin 1/Barbarian 3/Fighter 2
Role play is fairly important in our group, and two of our players are fairly new and still learning rules. As a result none of these are heavily optimized, though some more than others.
I myself am fairly inexperienced at GM'ing. So basically, I'm looking for a sanity check. Thoughts? Suggestions?
I'm working up an adventure set in Serpent Age Golarion, and I needed a way for serpentfolk to make some of their human slaves into more loyal servants. So I came up with the following template.
Feedback, please? I've never made a template before, and I'm not sure if it's 1) too powerful for the listed CR, or 2) too weak for the listed CR.
Venom thralls are the most favored slaves of the serpentfolk, slowly addicted over a period of months to the venom of their master. The minute quantities of poison injected in the initial bites cause searing pain in the unfortunate slave -- but in time, the touch of their master's fangs comes to send the venom thrall into an intense euphoria that they would do anything to experience again. Any slave who survives the process develops a few of the serpentfolk's defensive traits, and an unswerving loyalty to their master.
Venom thralls commonly fill sensitive positions in their master's household, such as personal bodyguard or hatchery warden. They may also be found conducting espionage on rival serpentfolk lineages, overseeing lesser slaves, or capturing fresh stock from primitive human tribes. Venom thralls receive the best food, the most comfortable quarters, and the choicest mates from among the lesser slaves -- sufficient inducement that many slaves volunteer for the agonizing process of envenomation.
Creating a Venom Thrall
"Venom Thrall" is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid creature (hereafter referred to as the base creature). Most venom thralls are humans or halflings. The longevity of elves leads serpentfolk to prize them for venom thralls, but they often die in the process. More exotic venom thralls are known, but rare.
CR: Same as base creature +1.
AL: A venom thrall's alignment changes to lawful evil at the conclusion of envenomation. A venom thrall will obey their master's instructions without question.
Type: A venom thrall gains the subtype (augmented).
Armor Class: A venom thrall gains a +2 bonus to natural armor. Some exceptionally old venom thralls actually grow scales, increasing this bonus to +4.
Defensive abilities: A venom thrall gains spell resistance equal to 5 + the base creature's hit dice. A venom thrall also gains immunity to paralysis and poison (except serpentfolk poison).
Special Abilities: A venom thrall may communicate telepathically with their master when within 100 feet.
Weaknesses: A venom thrall must receive a dose of their master's venom at least once every four weeks. Serpentfolk venom is highly individual; the venom thrall cannot switch allegiance to a new master, for only the original is capable of supplying the dark nectar they crave.
If the venom thrall goes longer than four weeks without a dose, they go into withdrawal. During withdrawal, the venom thrall must make a fortitude save once every 24 hours. The DC for this save starts at 6 and increases by 1 each day. On a failed save, the venom thrall suffers 1 point of Constitution damage. Reaching 0 Constitution kills the venom thrall. Receiving a dose of venom from their master stops this process, and any lost Constitution is restored after 8 hours' rest.
A venom thrall who survives 30 consecutive withdrawal fortitude saves has beaten the addiction. Such an individual retains the bonus to natural armor, but loses all other benefits (and drawbacks) of the venom thrall template.
How does Cooperative Crafting work with familiars, if at all?
Familiars can use their master's skill ranks, of course, and monkey familiars have hands for crafting. But I can't see any way to actually give the familiar the feat short of a house rule, since they never gain hit dice.