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Kolyarut

Troubleshooter's page

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Seeking negates miss chances, such as from Concealment. That doesn't meant that it negates Concealment entirely.


Saigo Takamori wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:

Ok... so stemming from thsi logic...

In the middle of combat, yoe have your fighter up against the BBEG who happens to be a rogue of 6 levels higher and your wizard/cleric are asleep (why are you having trouble wiht a rogue???) and you are an archer, and the fighter is inbetween you. Can the rogue make a stealth check?? Because, TECHNICALLY, if there is something obstructing your view of the target (like a person between you two) they have partial concealment from your attack....

It's the kind of situation where the DM should stand up. IMO, in this case, no. Why? He is the main treat of the group, so chances are that the Archer have his eyes on him.

But if we change it: your party is fighting a Stone Giant Barbarian1/Bard1/Cavalier1. Your rogue is behind the Fighter and didn't attack the Giant in the last round. I would let him get the Stealth check. Why? The Giant should have is focus on the Fighter (or the Spell caster/ Archer) who are immediate treat and not really care about the rogue.

But here it's how I would rule it (even if some FAQ goes against it), not my understanding if the general rule. So he have Concealment and not watched.

Creatures do not grant Cover. Creatures grant Soft Cover, which cannot be used to attempt stealth checks.


Three guards are standing evenly-spaced against one wall of a well-lit 5x5 square room. Against the other side of the room is an animated scarecrow with Wind Stance. Two of the guards are armed with crossbows; the third guard is completely naked, has no arms and cannot spit. Perhaps it is some sort of bizarre erotic target practice. Who knows. That's not important right now.

What you allege would suggest that, for whatever nonsensical reason, the straw-man can Wind Stance back and forth, stealthing against the guards with crossbows in plain sight, yet has absolutely no hope of hiding against the naked armless guard who cannot spit.

I find this silly and reject your interpretation. I conclude that it is more logical that this Concealment only grants a miss chance against ranged attacks with no further effect. I would further suggest that it may be better errata'd to remove 'concealment' from the text in the future, though this would have to be checked against effects that negate concealment as it may have unintended consequences (allowing Wind Stance to remain effective against something that should actually negate it).


Additional note -- a lot of the benefit comes from how well dominated NPCs react. They can easily be more powerful if you let the player plan their movements like an additional character. It may be better if you continue running the NPC. The player may still be allowed to give them suggestions (which they might follow as a friend) or orders (if they are obedient); however, it can be of a benefit to the challenge of your game if you run the NPCs as a bit more 'dumb' unless ordered otherwise. It introduces additional weaknesses that must be considered (inability to speak a common language; vulnerability to silence effects) and forces the dominator to spent his limited time in combat giving orders to his minions rather than discussing strategy with his allies.


I have not run one -- I am really, really wary of the idea as I understand it is potentially quite disruptive.

One problem is that of ending fights with one spell. Further than that however, it allows you to have a full spellcaster and also another character -- sometimes even a higher-level character.

The first thing you need to do is do your research on how exactly the spells will function, and what their limits and weaknesses are. Make a list of creatures immune to mind-affecting effects for reference. Also record ideas to protect any creature against mind control, like protection from evil, magic circle against evil, mind blank, effects that boost Will saves, and methods that organizations (like royal guards or criminal mobs) would use to identify and fight against compromised members.

Decide in advance whether you want to allow powers and effects that expand enchanters' abilities to control additional creature types. IIRC, Thanatopic Spell (sp) would allow the enchantment of undead, which are classically immune to mind control. You may wish to ban this (or not).

Next, sit down with the player, figure out what his plan is, and then discuss Enchantments to make sure that you both understand exactly how they work and what enchanted creatures will and will not do. Discussing what enchantments can do will at least prevent the misunderstandings that arise from (for example) the design of a character that depends on it performing X with charm person that is really the benefit of another spell.

Don't put all your plot in one basket. You must explicitly plan the game with the idea that the players will 1) magically interrogate NPCs for everything they know, and 2) use the NPCs to approach their masters or comrades to find out the rest of the plot. This can be a great way to allow the players to chase the plot, but if you occasionally want to keep things mysterious or moving at a certain pace, learn to compartmentalize the villains' knowledge.

Also consider splitting up the challenges. If running an AP and you find the game too easy, you might consider splitting single-creature fights into multiple-creature fights so that it's not over with a single saving throw. Making big bosses heavily resistance to mind control but adding minions also allows it to be fun for enchanters without being too easy. You don't need to do this every time though. When the players are after information, they know they can easily kill every enemy but one, which can make things easy -- sometimes having only one enemy (a very powerful enemy they cannot kill) can be a challenge in of itself.

Even with a perfect understanding of the rules on all sides, there is the risk that arguments will arise regarding what is within a creature's nature, as the players may have a different idea of who a character really is based on what they've observed in play. A serial killer masquerading as a paladin, for example, may be willing to perform shocking acts without resistance when mind-controlled. Be prepared to demand your players' trust on occasion, but don't demand it too often (it's exhausting).

---

One houserule my group has made to manage this is regarding domination effects. Dominate has a duration of 1 day per caster level -- in our games, once cast you must 'maintain' dominate by dedicating a spell slot to it each day. If you fail to prepare your spells and expend it in a timely manner, then the dominate effect subsides as if the duration had already expired. This prevents an enchanter from playing a full spellcaster that has a free cadre of enchanted creatures rolling over from one day to the other.

I hope that is of some use.


I suppose I should also mention a couple things.

The player was a mid-level min-maxer. Very experienced, but also willingly made suboptimal choices for style or story reasons -- there were benefits to the oracle levels of both characters, but they may have otherwise pursued other choices.

Additionally, the game ran very quickly. A great deal of our other games are contingent on discussing plans at length -- which was obviously greatly shortened in this group of one. On the downside, it also meant that there were some stray occasions where a tactical or story choice could be made and the single player did not notice it, resulting in frustration at not knowing what to do or how to manage a couple really harrowing combats.


I have run a single player through chapters 1-4 of Council of Thieves. He ran two characters,

I allowed the player a rather strong point-buy to begin with; in addition, the characters started and progressed through the adventure path at two levels higher than each member of a four-man party would have. For example, the game started with them at level 3, and when the group of four would have been level 6, they were level 8.

This helps to boost their HP, saving throws, and access to skill points -- which is essential for two characters to survive in the place of four.

Treasure requires little adjustment for a long while using this system -- however, please be advised that as time goes on, the WBL for two characters of a given level X is actually less than the WBL of a character two levels higher than level X. tl;dr -- you will eventually need to start re-calculating your treasure hoards, or giving out just a little bonus money, or your characters will end up receiving less than their WBL.

I minimized and altered the use of save-or-die effects. Primarily, I tended to emphasize other powers; at the worst, I tended to turn save-or-dies into a two-stage power. The first round a creature used its SoD (like finger of death or dominate), a failed saving throw indicated instead that the target creature becomes Dazed, and the spell/spell-like ability is not expended. If the target of the spell fails to save against the same effect in the following round as well, then the effect takes place normally.

---

Here's how we fared with those base rules.

The player made two stealth characters, which would be a strong theme throughout the game. One was primarily a sorceror (party face), and the other was primarily a rogue.

The sorceror took several elemental cantrips, specialized in fire, and would eventually take rogue and oracle levels. This allowed him to cast spells without a verbal components. He preferred to remain in stealth with vanish and perform sneak attacks with his touch spells (thus almost always targeting AC 10), dealing sneak attack damage with an element that the enemy was not immune to. Eventually, the lynchpin of his build was using scorching ray to deal multiple sneak attacks with a standard action. He was physically weak, but tended to vanish out of danger and would summon creatures with good effect when necessary.

The rogue was the party tank, with very good AC and surprisingly decent hit points for a rogue. As a tiefling, he had Darkvision, would often us darkness, and his preferred attack was sniping with an enchanted seeking bow -- allowing him to keep many enemies confused and at a distance. Still, when plans went awry the game repeatedly resulted in him standing directly between an enemy and the sorceror.

They preferred to adventure by scouting at all possible times, then enter combat by ambushing their enemies or luring them into traps. They were able to quickly dispatch several of them using this, even though many enemies were physically formidable and very lethal when in a full attack range.

The worst enemies for the group were animated objects. Animated objects are good attackers, are immune to sneak attacks, critical hits, take half damage from energy damage, take half damage from projectiles, and then subtract Hardness. These characters could do effectively nothing against them without planning, as each of their strengths were negated or repeatedly mitigated.

Your mileage may vary.


If there seems to be an ambiguity, then please outline what that ambiguity is.

The burden is on you to outline where the confusion lies or make an opposing case. We are happy to help but cannot be reasonably expected to hunt down contrary opinions, assemble your position, and then confirm or deny it simply because a text is pointed to and declared to be somehow unclear.

You have been asked how else the text in question can be interpreted, and the most effective response would be to state it plainly rather than asking us to go find the threads ourselves.


Tholomyes wrote:
My advice, boost the XP Budget by +50%, and err on adding monsters rather than boosting existing ones, to account for the action economy. The Action Economy is a big reason why encounters, which, by CR, should be decent fights, are complete curb-stomps.

Agreed. Although every party is different, it seems more large parties are better challenged with more monsters rather than tougher single monsters.

With proficient players, a single boss monster isn't even usually a dire threat at CR APL+3; you typically need to add a few free mooks to reach that level.


Enhancement bonuses increase the AC of the affected armor. Multiple armors do not stack.

Similarly, if you wore +5 padded armor and nonmagical full platemail, you would choose the larger of the two total bonuses; you would not simply mix-and-match the biggest Armor enhancement bonus with the biggest Armor bonus to AC.


I would say GM fiat.

However, I would remove the possibility of teleporting into extradimensional spaces entirely rather than it becoming riskier. That's more the domain of Plane shift.

As a GM, I would probably have this include uncommon but possible natural and unnatural phenomena, so that I can lace dungeons and wilderness areas alike with an unreliable teleport zone as desired.

Strong winds are far too common, so I might restrict it to powerful magnetic fields or large deposits of Plotanium.


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There is an NPC in Kingmaker that has the Aquatic subtype and has ranks in Craft: Basketweaving.


I see a recurring theme in our group. Whatever is the most exciting for the GM is not necessarily the most exciting for the players. I am a huge Lovecraft fan, and so I would to have some kind of contact with Carrion Crown -- but none of the group really seems to be fans. One of our players is a huge pirate lover, but he would rather sit in on Skull and Shackles than run it; and one player loves the creatures related to the covers of Legacy of Fire and wants to play that.

We have been making compromises so far choosing games that everybody seems to like well enough,, but I really have to wonder if this is the most successful strategy. Would it be better to simply run games that are directed straight at the players? Is it more important for a GM to run a game they're in love with so the enthusiasm bleeds over? Or is compromise really the best method?


I imagine they have figured that out, in these intervening ten months : )


Mojorat wrote:
I don't see the ambiguity at all. How many ways can concentrate on one creature or object be interpeted?it works like detect evil but is a move action and single target and the paladin knows right away if the target is evil.

The trouble here is whether that second clause is restrictive or expansive.

The first time I read the Pathfinder version of the ability, I thought "okay, so the Paladin can cast detect evil, and he can also choose to focus on a single creature as a move action for the third-round info. Neat."

Clearly you think it is restrictive, and that it works as detect evil with the exception that it may only be used as a focused effect. I cannot say that you are wrong, but this is honestly the first time I have come across this interpretation anywhere.

Between the two interpretations, I still favor the additive version simply because the second sentence does not have any kind of restrictive wording such that the Paladin must focus as a move action. However, I could also appreciate that people might enjoy running the game that way, as it would put a little bit of thought back into the game instead of walking around with detect evil up 24/7 to guarantee detection of absolutely every 5 HD evil creature.


I can think of a couple pretty big spots for social skills, yes.


Although the dust presumably glitters, the spell description does not dictate that it emanates light; it would also be valid to interpret that the glittering is merely refracting ambient light. Further, it does not have the light descriptor.

I feel the Will save used could also imply that it requires willpower to keep your eyes open when there is glitter in them, though I agree I would first have expected Fortitude.


Vincent Takeda wrote:

LETS FAQ THIS BEEYOTC....wait... What are we talking about?

No... I think you got it... 1... Defnitely 1.... Defnitely

CR on the other hand is calculated based on a party of 4...

CR is CR and isn't based on anything.

Your APL goes up and down depending on your level and how many party members you have. A group of three level 4s is APL 3, a group of four is APL 4, and a group of six is APL 5.

It's not in the book, but I've had pretty good experiences to support that two such characters would make an APL 2, not counting save-or-dies. I've heard of near-nine player parties, however, and I often hear that the players have the advantage (in addition to it being almost unplayable).

If you also changed CR, then you'd be modifying the numbers twice for the same change (like when an NPC is prone, so the GM penalizes its AC by -4 while the player mistakenly adds +4 to his attack).


I would so, so take that. I'm playing a two-character party with a Bard that doesn't have enough skill points to afford Spellcraft.


Invest in a wand of knock to suppress arcane locks.

I have only ever had to disable a lock in a hurry once, which failed and led us into a hard but fun combat.


Feral wrote:

Jason Nelson the archetype's writer has said numerous times that he'd included a section allowing shamans to wildshape into giant and young versions of their totem animals (thus allowing huge wolves and small bears). Paizo cut this text - I assume for word count. Unfortunately, as a result, we now have class features that don't work. I've been flagging this subject for FAQing for years now with no luck.

So for PFS, you're screwed.

Oh, cool! I once played a Tiger Shaman, and just when I got Wild Shape I did more research and realized that I was relegating myself into more of a summoning role since being a Dire Tiger was missing out on a lot due to being only Large.


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I run APs for two characters. I am having a decent time starting them as two levels higher than a party of normal characters would (level 3 at the beginning of an AP, for example).

You do have to stay away from save-or-suck spells though, as an unlucky roll incapacitates half the party instead of a quarter of it. I tend to make them multi-stage affairs; for example, with a vampire's dominate, I instead cause the first failed save to cause the character to become dazed for two rounds, and if the character fails a second save, is dominated as normal.


I actually do use a laptop at the table, so this is something I could be interested in if it offers something good enough.

One of the most compelling points was the weather generator. I ran Kingmaker and ended up disappointing myself by not going the extra mile to add in weather as a hazard.

In that vein, there are three weather-related features I would be interested in such a product:

One, I would like to select different climates for the weather table. One options would be to have a generic list selectable. Another option would be to select a real-world area and use a table based on it. For example, in Kingmaker, canny GMs noted that Brevoy is similar to a particular place in Canada and based their weather on that area.

Two, I would like to be able to modify the weather table -- both to adjust percentages, and to add in new kinds of weather -- then save it as a custom setting.

Three, I might be interested in rolling and recording weather some days in advance rather than rolling each day to see that day's weather. Perhaps it's not completely necessary -- but if I as GM realize that a blizzard comes in a few days, perhaps I want to foreshadow that or otherwise rearrange some plot details.


Stealth sees a lot of rule variation. Some GMs do not let a normal character stealth through a brightly-lit ballroom; some do. Some GMs do not let you re-enter stealth when somebody is aware of you; some do.

Note that in the latest Stealth errata, stealth breaks after your attack completes.


Ravingdork wrote:
The same GM hosted Legacy of Fire for us a few years back. We never made ti far enough to figure out any of that stuff, Errant, but it makes me wonder if that's where he got the idea from.

Curse of the Crimson Throne SPOILERS:

An NPC that can grant wishes to other creatures keeps a familiar. During combat, the familiar makes wishes, which the NPC grants to curse and harm the players. The book gives three example wishes in a sidebar, which more or less replicate lower-level spell effects.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Troubleshooter wrote:
I think your GM means that she forced a weak mortal creature to make a wish, which she granted with her own power.
No an efreet is not the same as an ifrit. Ifrit, the fire elemental kin, does not have wish abilities to exploit. They have to find somebody who does.
Quote:
"EDIT: Been saying ifrit when I should have been saying efreeti. Got confused because the GM kept referring to her as an "ifrit genie."


I think your GM means that she forced a weak mortal creature to make a wish, which she granted with her own power.


Thank you for the advice. I have mostly created my party and run through the first session, though I have a few last choices to make before they are really complete.

I have decided to make the Kitsune a simple Bard. This will give me lots of buffs for if/when I get a party of minions, and I will have access to some summoning if I do have a problem with dominates and whatnot. A strong motivator is also the skills -- Bardic Knowledge will be a big help, and being able to put points in Perform to get a bunch of 2-for-1 advantages will also be very handy. Plus my high stat will be Charisma so I can still have a party face.

I think I can still justify the angelic ancestry just fine with this as well.

Sadly I will not get channeling, but at least I have cures on my lists. Frankly, I could see that getting channeling was going to be very expensive -- either the channeling would have been at -4, and I would not have gotten the 9th level Maestro power, and it would have switched my casting stat away from Charisma, and I would have -2 on Will saves; or it would have eaten several feats, I would not have gotten it until level 15, and it would have been as a cleric 6 levels lower. Neither were good options.

I still was not interested in a Druid, so for the second character I have picked a Cavalier. The GM warned me that this campaign may involve cramped spaces, so I have opted for a variant with an animal companion instead of a mount -- given that we do not have access to whichever book the appropriate archetype is in, for the time being he is just removing the 'while mounted' restriction from my class abilities. This character also has Use Magic Device and has a wand of cure light wounds for emergencies, so both characters have healing, although it will be unreliable for a while.

Surprisingly, the Cavalier ended up being more fun after seeing the play and RP. Odd, since I had such a clearer picture of the Kitsune.


I don't see much benefit to the whole thing if you can't get attack, damage, and AC onto the same ability score. Normally you have attack and damage on Strength and AC on Dex; now you have attack on Strength, damage and AC on Dex. That's really kind of a lateral move.

Are we perhaps talking about some kind of build that turns Scimitar into a finesse-able weapon? Or does our fighter dump-stat Strength and is simply capable of eating the penalty through other bonuses?


I do like some of the Paladin mechanics, but that code of conduct is just killing me. I will have to navigate this campaign very carefully with just two characters, and I don't know if I can justify adventuring with a paladin that allows lying, theft, ambushes and mind-controlling.

The last Cavalier I had inspiration for was an Order of the Cockatrice. I wanted him to be an ex-Razmiran 'priest' that decided to adventure on his own and pretend to be a newly-awakened Paladin of Aroden, performing miracles and beating his own drum for his own fame and profit. As a plus, backstory comes with built-in villains.

If I do run a Bard or Cavalier though, I really do have to keep a sizable cadre of minions around. +2 buffs to this-and-that is worth far less on two characters than it is on four. And unfortunately, at this point I just am not thinking of anything that is making playing a Druid sound interesting.

I don't know much about inquisitor. I remember reading them and thinking 'these are like divine bards' but I'll see if they can fit any kind of combination I am considering.


With the enchanter, the idea is to try keeping at least one NPC enchanted and fighting with my group at all times.

Playing a bard is a semi-attractive idea. I love Knowledge skills, and I try to keep many of them very high. Even beyond the monster-killin' knowledges, I would like to keep a decent History to wring extra backstory out of analyzing dungeons. If I didn't think I could potentially play any AP, I would already have read them for the campaign setting lore.

Another aspect is the DCs; for an enchanter I want good DCs, and being limited to 6th level spells seems like it's going to hurt me as the game progresses. Of course, the bard's class spell list is much more narrow.

However, I just~ got done playing two similar bards across an edition change, and I recently played a Druid, so part of my hesitance is about playing the same classes again.

Granted, he never enchanted anything, and the Druid never used Wild Shape. Maybe I just need to find new ways to play them that cover the roles.


I could take Eldritch Heritage to get one of the lines of powers instead of being a Wild-blooded Sorceror. This would allow me to get the complete set, instead of choosing one 1st, one 3rd, one 9th, etc power from either bloodline.

Really, it might be better worth my time to invest in getting access to tongues and finding a quick +1 DC to spells instead of going to the Eldritch Heritage chain. I'm mostly wanting the 9th-level ability to boost my dominates and the 15th level power is not that great.

If I do get the Maestro bloodline, I will look for something that allows me to eliminate material components with up to X gold cost so I can benefit from the +1 caster level more often.

What might allow me to use mind-effecting spells on creatures normally immune to them, preferably without a lot of extra spell levels? Threnodic Spell is pretty darn expensive at +2.

tl;dr: Choice paralysis.


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It's my turn to be a player again, and I am hoping for some good advice on creating the characters.

I will be playing alone through an adventure path with two characters, which means that I need to accomplish with two characters what would normally be done with four. I am especially interested in ideas for the second character. The character creation rules follow.

Campaign & character creation rules:

Leniency: The GM is open to making small changes to the AP, but the burden will generally be on my shoulders to design good characters and play smart. When I ran this style of campaign, I minimized the use of save-or-die effects, and allowed the player to add a couple of spells to his class spell list (which were thematically appropriate); few other changes. I will probably receive the same treatment.

Level: Both characters will be two levels higher than a normal character would be. The AP will be started at level 3 for both characters, and it can be expected to end two levels higher.

Class: Core Rulebook classes are allowed. Advanced Player's Guide classes are allowed, except for Summoner.

Ability scores: I have rolled their stats, but they are not with me -- generally, both characters have high ability scores, but no natural 18s.

Hit points: Maximum hit points at first level. Every level after that, if I receive less than half of the die's greatest result, I take half instead. [If a bard rolled a 1, 2, or 3 on his hit points, he would instead take 4, then add his normal bonuses.]

Favored class: Both characters will have two favored classes.

Traits: Characters select two traits, one of which is selected from the AP player's guide.

Wealth: Treasure will be awarded as normal in the AP. Two characters will split the same treasure from the AP rather than four.

Allowed books: Core Rulebook (no Leadership feat), Advanced Player's Guide. The GM may approve certain materials that are in Ultimate Magic or which are Sorceror-specific on a case-by-case basis

I do not want any AP-specific advice (quasi-spoilers), so I am not naming the AP.

First character ideas:

For the first character, I knew that I wanted to take the opportunity to play an enchanter, which is something that usually grates on GMs in a normal game. Usually I prefer wizards, and I always prefer humans; to break the pattern, I am currently thinking of playing a Kitsune Wild-blooded Sorceror (Celestial [Empyreal] and Maestro).

Crunch advantages:
* Maestro looks like a useful bloodline for enchanters, and I like the musical flavor (I have a bad habit of playing bards : P).
* I want a character that can heal (Empyreal grants channeling), but if I can avoid it, I would like to have healing without running a full cleric or oracle.

Development ideas:
* Robes of arcane heritage so I count as a higher-level sorceror for my bloodline powers; periapt of positive channeling to have more-powerful channeling ability
* If allowed, Quicken Channeling
* Possibly Quicken Spell or rod of quicken spell
* Lots of mind-affecting spells (suggestion, dominate, etc.). Some buffing spells to empower the partially-mind controlled team, and then boring ranged damage spells to deal with enemies that are immune to mind-affecting and resistant to normal attacks

Crunch disadvantages:
* I am not crazy about the -2 Will save from wild-blooded. IMO, Will saves are the worst saves as most of them will disable a character -- which is at least half my party. I can accept that though, especially since I become a Wisdom-primary caster.
* I really want both 9th-level bloodline powers -- I have to choose between Channeling from Empyreal, and the Maestro ability that allows me to speak / understand all languages and increases the caster level on my language-dependent spells.
* Kitsune gives +2 Charisma, which is awesome for a sorceror. Unless you switch to Wisdom-casting from Empyreal |:P

Fluff-wise, I am thinking that the character is a descendant of a Vulpinal. She grew up as a Kitsune / Varisian performer, but she has been developing musical and angelic sorcerous powers due to her heritage. I could even take it a step further and say that her ancestor was originally called and bound into service by wizards of Thassilon, and her flourish of magic is due to the weakening of binding spells on her bloodline. I quite like this beginning of a backstory.

* Is there any effect that could change my ability score to Wisdom for the normally-Charisma skills? I want a party face.
* Same question, but Wisdom instead of Charisma for Use Magic Device?
* Alternatively, is there a particularly good class or archetype for a tank-martial combatant that utilizes Charisma, and could be used as the party face and Use Magic Device character?
* Channeling is good -- but it doesn't take care of restoration, heal and breath of life. What might be the best way for my two characters to get access to them without becoming an outright Cleric/Oracle?
* Hypothetically, is there another method to get access to channeling without Empyreal and without taking Cleric/Oracle levels?

For the second character, I am thinking of some kind of high-AC front-line combatant that is capable of dealing decent damage and possibly keeping enemies in one spot. I would prefer not to use a Monk, as I want to be able to use a lot of the equipment that comes my way. I am also not terribly interested in Paladin, as I intend to play these characters with a certain amount of lying and subterfuge (otherwise the AP would be especially difficult to handle).

I look forward to any advice you may have, especially if it can conform to the guidelines of the campaign.


Also, I should have mentioned that Skystone could be used as a 'get out of dying instantly' card.

Essentially, Skystone is both a currency (equivalent to platinum pieces and greater) as well as magic item that creates and boosts Air magics. The most accessible of these is that, by consuming a small~ amount of Skystone dust, you can create a feather fall effect as an emergency measure. You can expect greater amounts of it to be useful for creating, improving, and enchanting effects like air walk, fly, and overland flight.

I think it's also great material for GMs integrating very unique and very cool magical effects and plots : q

tldr; Avatar the Last Airbender happened, now the world is Minecraft meets Riddick and everybody is pirates.


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Long ago, the efreet corrupted the lord of the fire elementals and manipulated them into waging an offensive on the material plane. A band of destined heroes banded together to stop the tyrants once and for all; they fought off incursions in their home town, fought through the capitol, then bridged the planes and braved the inferno.

They may have succeeded, but the other elementals joined the fray in the name of preserving balance. The heroes were killed in the crossfire and the planet turned into a bloodbath.

The planet's scars cannot be seen today. It is shrouded in a thick, mustard-yellow fog. Most creatures that enter it quickly die from the poisonous fumes; those that protect against it die more slowly from wasting diseases, if the fabled lurkers in the mists do not cause them to vanish first. Even the myths that torches become alive and wicked imply that the old world is no longer accessible.

A few mountain peaks pierce through the fog, but that is not where most of civilization lives. Most of civilization lives in the sky, on great floating islands or cutting the air with great ships. What few survived the end of the world have learned to make do with the space above it.

The great islands are held aloft by a magical gem that is totally not called Skystone*, because that would be generic and lame. One of the many strange warpings caused by the elemental war, skystone grows -- almost like a plant -- in areas of raw magic. It is naturally buoyant -- so buoyant that it is the primary force keeping the islands afloat. However, its value is esteemed even higher because it can be used to create and strengthen Air-elemental spells.

The wanderers of the skies have, for centuries now, acclimatized to their new environment, and great cities are rising and creating the beginnings of new empires. Although some cultures prefer to 'tether' their islands in one place, others actually prefer to sail them across the world by catching air currents with complex sail systems.

However, civilizing landships is neither easy nor cheap. With the bulk of the planet's veins of gems and metals inaccessible, good mining locations on the islands are hotly contested. Some enterprising pirates prefer to perform raids beneath the fogs of death for terrestrial goods, but even the most experienced eventually fail to return.

This is not to say that valuables are all too rare to be found; rather, they have changed forms. As Skystone is incredibly buoyant, very little of it can be carried without also carrying off its bearer. For this reason, extremely small and dense materials -- notably lead -- are prized as the 'new gold' for their ability to efficiently cancel Skystone's lift. The especially wealthy often decorate their homes with lead -- conveniently allowing them to retain some protection against divination that their ancestors once had with all of their plentiful rivers.

However, the dauntless grasp of Skystone is not just a worry for bravos who have to watch their pouches lest they float conspicuously high and broadcast their good fortune to nearby pirates. As the floating cities continue depleting their stores of Skystone, they begin cruising closer and closer to the ground to find their new equilibrium; to combat this, engineering teams have to remove weight (usually in the form of planned abandonment of tons of stone, although it is also an excuse to jettison unpopular residents).

Some brave leaders have experimented with intentionally controlling their mining to raise and lower the city for benefits in combat and surface raids, but as an inexact science, some of these experiments have met with failure. Islands are reported to have crash landed in the fog, mined too heavily to save in time. Similarly, a group of religious separatists once tried to shave off enough stone that they could escape into the deep sky and live in peace. Their island still rests where it first stopped, filled with the risen dead of paranoid kinslayers and the last desperate miners who discovered the effects of hypoxia too late.

The failures can be as bad as successes, however -- when the orc tribes stop fighting long enough to focus on a common goal, they turn their homes into weapons of war -- massive rams -- and sailing them directly into their enemies. There is no sound quick like that of an island cracking into pieces, the fragments spinning in place and flinging away the residents as the orcs maneuver to loot.

But as much action happens above the fogline, the world still stirs invisibly beneath the poisonous vapors. Skystone still buds deep in the caves of the planet below, and every once in a while, enough of it concentrates to tear out a new sky-island and return ancient secrets to their inheritors ... with new and unseen guardians.

---

Alright folks, that's it for now. I wanted to add in terrorist druids that oppose the destructive and, honestly, dangerous mining that the earthships use; as well as comment on the problems caused by the swiss-cheese tunnels of rampant mining, but I have run out of steam. Perhaps I'll revisit this later.

* Switch out for something better at the first opportunity.


Direction does not change once set.


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The way I understand it, paraphrased, is that:

Qualifying to attempt stealth:
Each of the following conditions must be met to attempt stealth.
1) You cannot stealth against creatures while being observed by them
1a) Exception: When a creature is momentarily distracted, this requirement can be ignored at a penalty [See: Bluff].
2) You cannot stealth while running or charging.
3) You require cover or concealment to attempt stealth.
3a) Exception: When you begin your turn in with cover or concealment, a successful check allows you to maintain stealth until the end of your turn (or it is otherwise broken).
3b) Exception: When a creature is not affected by your source of cover or concealment (i.e. it uses Crystal Sight against stone walls, Door Sight against doors, Gaze of Flames against smoke, Darkvision or see in darkness against darkness, Goz mask against mists and fogs), that particular element will not allow you to stealth against the creature.

Ignoring stealth:
Certain abilities may allow creatures to negate the benefit of another creature's stealth. Some common examples include creatures with Blindsight, Blind Sense, Tremorsense, Life Sight, and creatures with Scent that are adjacent to the stealthed creature.

Breaking stealth:
1) You cannot stealth while running or charging.
2) When a stealthed creature makes an attack (generally described as an effect that targets a creature or the square a creature occupies) its stealth breaks once the attack has resolved.
2a) Exception: Characters can Snipe, which allows stealth to remain unbroken.
2b) Exception: "Simultaneous" attacks break stealth after all of them are made; for example, all attacks from scorching ray and Manyshot are resolved before stealth is broken.]

There is a bunch of abilities that can alter or negate the above restrictions. Common examples include:

With Camouflage, you can attempt to Stealth without cover or concealment when you are in your favored terrain. [Note that this ability does not allow you to stealth while being observed.]

With Hide in Plain Sight, you can attempt to stealth while being observed. [Note that this ability does not allow you to stealth without cover or concealment.]

With Hellcat Stealth, you can treat bright and normal illumination as if it were concealment for the purposes of attempting to stealth.

With Silent Hunter, it is possible to stealth while running.

I look forward to your corrections and arguments! :D

Although I usually allow my players to stealth while being observed : p


In the past, my interpretation was that characters could not normally stealth at full speed, and when your speed is reduced, you cannot take a 5 foot step. Being able to stealth with a 5 foot step was one of the perks of taking Fast Stealth, and one of the truly unique benefits to being a rogue.

I know the rules have been clarified since then, and I do not recall if characters can now stealth at full speed with a -5 or what.


I realize that blessing of fervor is less powerful than haste strictly by the numbers and receives flexibility in exchange, but I think it has too much flexibility for what it does. Flexibility and choice are ever-underrated; properly applied, they win battles far more and far often than big numbers do.

I've had problems with the spell myself.

I like the combat maneuvers in Pathfinder, but my players rendered themselves nigh-immune to them. The fighter had Quickdraw and kept multiple weapons (of multiple types and special abilities), so he didn't care if a weapon was disarmed or sundered, while the druid didn't use weapons at all, and the mounted charger preferred to Ride-By Attack enemies for triple damage such that he rarely ended up nearby for them to strike back. Two or three of said front-liners kept freedom of movement up during the adventuring day, so they were immune to grapples. Blessing of Fervor kept them from being effectively tripped, at least for when the party wasn't flying. All in all, although so many monsters had so many cool abilities on combat maneuvers, it seemed like blessing of fervor only helps to marginalize them.


There isn't really any interpretation about it. Spell-like abilities provoke AoOs, and this spell-like ability doesn't except itself from that.


The team has clarified that animal companions (such as for druids) do not become Magical Beasts just because they get Int 3+ through an ability score increase or wearing a magic item. They can learn more tricks, their skills may improve, and they may even get better problem-solving ability, but they do not become sentient or change Type.

I don't know that other creatures are specifically covered, but I would believe that the same ruling applies.

The following include some discussion on the effects of increased Intelligence scores, though I think I'm missing at least a third blog somewhere.

http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5lc1y

http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5lejb?Animals-and-Their-Tricks


gustavo iglesias wrote:
VRMH wrote:
True, and as a player it's really hard to ignore that meta-information. Which is why the GM should be making these rolls, in secret.

Secret roll or not, the player knows something is wrong.

"Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature’s saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells."

Wow! That's an official rule? I've been running that for a long time, but I thought I house-ruled it. I guess I just forget the source.


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Well, XP is generally for PCs meeting their goals. In the vast majority of fights, this means killing a monster, because the staging of encounters tends to be simple ("action-oriented"). Brighter GMs and adventure designers will give you the XP for handling a situation diplomatically or forcing the enemy to surrender, but that's the extent of common goals. Really, XP could be awarded for anything else that might be a PC goal.

You could run an encounter with an incursion of demon slavers and award XP for every commoner that survives the attack.

You could have the PCs hunted down by a slow but very powerful, resilient, and persistent enemy and award them XP when they finally elude it (though PCs can be pretty hard-headed and might force a TPK by assuming they're supposed to fight it; still, it's an option).

You could have a group of rebels scatter when they're discovered by the PCs, and award XP for every rebel that's hit by a paintbomb so they can be tracked through the city.

You could have a fight with a canny spy and award XP based on how much information they get from him with detect thoughts.

For traps? Alright, traps are pretty simple. The PCs' goals are probably limited to 'survive'. But if they do survive, well -- they did it. Congratulations! Sometimes they survive the dumb way, by triggering the trap, failing the saving throw and taking full damage. But that's no different than what you might get in a fight -- you might be ambushed by a creature, struck by a critical hit, and nearly torn apart by an CR=APL encounter. You've still fulfilled your goal and had an experience to learn from.


I could tell you how I run things, but I dunno how well it meshes with RAW. You may consider them or, if you absolutely require rules-compliance, simply pass them over for posts with better justification.

1) I run it such that a character MUST maintain a stealth-enabling condition (such as cover or concealment) to keep stealth. As an exception, when they begin and end their turn with stealth conditions, a successful stealth check allows them to maintain stealth even without stealth conditions as long as the hidden creature doesn't end their stealth with an attack. However, once their turn is over, if all of the conditions that allow the hidden creature to attempt stealth are removed, then the stealth fails. It makes no difference whether a darkness spell ends and all concealment is removed, an enemy casts glitterdust, see invisibility, lights a torch to see clearly, or walks around the only obstruction between itself and the hidden creature.

2) I agree with how you run it. My preference is that a creature does not need to detect ALL of his opponents to act in the surprise round; rather, a creature only needs to be aware than an opponent is in the area in order to prevent a surprise round.

I also agree with the character not being aware of the creature that it failed to detect until said creature is revealed through its actions or the actions of others. Not placing it on the board is just fine.

In the case of moving into the creature's square, it depends on the circumstances. If the creature was only hiding behind a pillar, then I would reveal the creature when the moving character negated all of its stealth conditions.

On the other hand, if it could keep all its stealth conditions throughout the moving character's actions (perhaps it is hidden behind a pillar in an area of shadow), then it would remain hidden with a successful stealth check. This is a really hairy situation and I suggest you think it through carefully and/or carefully avoid it coming up.

Moving into the square of a hidden creature, Analysis and issues:

A GM has to decide how legal the movement is (whether the hidden creature is aware of the invading creature, whether the movement is legal, and whether the creature can / will permit the movement).

[I]

If the hidden creature is also unaware of the moving creature (perhaps they are both stealthed), then it obviously cannot perform an AoO even if it would otherwise be entitled to one, and the GM may decide that it is not able to prevent the invading creature from entering its square. This may short-circuit elements of future steps.

[II]

Here the GM determines if the movement is legal. The RAW is clearer on this: You cannot normally pass through the square of an enemy creature. There are exceptions (one of you are Tiny, Helpless, or at least three size categories smaller than the other). Outside of that, you must tumble, or perform a combat maneuver (Bull Rush, Overrun) to get through their square.

Therefore, a GM is justified in ruling that a character cannot move through a hidden creature's square with normal movement. There are cloudy particulars to this, of course -- choose the answers for the following questions:

IIQ1. Since exiting your square and entering the square of an enemy with normal movement is not legal, do you ever actually leave your square, and if not, do you provoke an AoO for attempting to leave it?
IIQ2. When moving through a hidden creature's square fails, does it consume or end any of your movement?

However, a GM could deviate from or expand on this 'not legal' ruling. For example, a GM might rule that a character moving through an invisible enemy's square attempts a bull rush or overrun unintentionally. However, it opens up strange follow-up questions like "does this expend my standard action?" and "as an attack, would this break my stealth or invisibility?"

It is also possible that this would cause headaches when a hidden creature attempts to enter the square (and possibly end its turn) in the square of another hidden creature.

[III]

Now the GM decides if the creature can, and would, prevent the character from entering.

The RAW could be fairly clear; as above, normal movement is not permitted, but combat maneuvers enable movement. Yet once again, a GM could deviate and change rules to simulate more realistically. If legal, many invisible or stealthed creatures would freely allow creatures to move through their square freely (without being attacked or having their movement stopped).

As a word of warning, however, this could result in creatures moving into the square of hidden creatures and ending their turn there. The RAW is fairly clear; a creature that ends its turn in an illegal square is ejected to the last legal square it occupied, or the closest legal square. Simulationist GMs may find this rule unsatisfactory (why does stopping in the square of somebody you can't detect throw you out?), but if they allow it, it causes ever-more rule issues.


It was new to me too. Last game I ran a Magus for the first time -- a Weapon Finesse scimitar-based halfling -- and this thread pointed out that wasn't actually legal.

It didn't have Dervish Dance (that may have been a TPK despite CR), but I thought that Weapon Finesse exchanged Dex for attacks on a scimitar. Even now, the feat choice is really puzzling. They don't make you take Point-blank Shot to get Weapon Specialization: Greatsword.


I can just imagine the poor PFS player that comes in with an Eternal Youth human at 180, the new GM gives his character a quick eyeball, and declares him dead.

[Yeah yeah, I know, PFS doesn't have level 20 yet.]

It just offends my uncommon sense. It sounded to me like Immortality is supposed to keep you from dying from old age. It even says, "you discover a cure for aging", not "a cure for the deterioration of aging". Otherwise the title is a bad case of bait-and-switch.

I know some people like to listen to the sentences with the hard rules and ignore the sentences with 'fluff', but that sentence with discovering a cure for aging is the same one that negates the penalties. Arguing that it is a fluff clause is one more step towards implausibility.

In response to the thread at large, one more threat: There are also Inevitables who exist explicitly to prevent death from being abused. Our group has always joked about their characters getting to a high enough age that they could just kill each other and reincarnate into fresh young bodies endlessly, gaining de facto immortality even without class abilities. We also quietly assume that if that were to happen, such offenders would be hunted down by strike teams of inevitables for their transgressions of natural order.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programs. Next up is "How often can I activate Barbarian Peace?", followed by "The surprising amount of damage Smite Evil deals against angels."


The only text I can think of is the spell placement text where you work on grid intersections.

I don't know of many exceptions to that (summon monster), and none that explicitly apply to wall of fire.

You could still cast it 'on' a creature if it is Large or larger and you cast it on an intersection inside the creature's space. Doesn't feel like the intent to me though.


This is an important distinction to make.

Although most people don't think about it, if a creature becomes an object at death, and becoming an object invalidates Target: Creature effects, then a creature that dies and is brought back to life via breath of life would have to peel off every spell effect mid-battle. Not only is that a severe disadvantage, but it is also ruinous to the flow of combat; I can speak from experience, since I've run in games where the big battles started with buffing, breaking down the door, and everybody getting hit with a greater dispel magic. The game slowed to a crawl while we adjusted our numbers again.

On the other hand, if a dead creature were an object but changing states didn't invalidate a spell effect, a different problem would arise. A creature could die, receive all sorts of crazy Target: Object spell effects that are not intended to be used by creatures, then be returned to life. I wonder how many spells are instantaneous or permanent when cast on objects ("If the target's Hardness increases by 5, do I count as currently having a Hardness of 0?"). I wonder how many spells are available at lower levels for objects than for creatures.

A minor exploit is that certainly people would start trying to cast mending on corpses until they're fully repaired, and start arguments with their GMs that dead characters would be at full hit points after being raised. Free healing ... ! Sort of.

So whether spells are invalidated or not, the interpretation that you change states will cause problems.

I'm very interested in hearing some oppositional arguments, though. What sort of headaches could be caused by dead creatures not being considered objects? It occurs to me that lots of spells have "Target: Creature" without specifying that a creature has to be alive. Perhaps by RAW, you could use detect thoughts against a dead creature, with strange effect. Perhaps there's worse out there.


We were waiting for a three year necro but got impatient.

Seriously, there's been a time or two that I found a thread through search and nearly added some helpful advice that was a year late ...


I don't remember much other world-changing stuff, but amulet of mighty fists got cheaper.

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