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FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,547 posts (4,559 including aliases). 9 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 14 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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Augment SLA FAQ

The summon feats generally don't have requirements other than different feats. So for Augment you still need Spell Focus etc.


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One thing to note, scrolls are always made by either wizards, clerics or druids and use the lowest level across those three. That means for example that Life Bubble will always be a 4th level scroll with a caster level of 7 unless specified otherwise.


If you want an idea of what sort of things to expect then Painlords Guide to PFS is a pretty good resource.

I play a lot of casters in PFS and have never had an issue with spell slots. The issue will quickly go away after a level or two. The Mesmerist is trickier because they are not full casters so you will need something else to do in combat, much like the Bard.

However, actions like aid, demoralise or throwing alchemical items can all be useful at low level, just don't expect to be relying on them as you get to higher level.

Also, I rarely see 5 combat encounters in PFS scenarios. Four is I think more common and generally 1 of those will either be an optional or avoidable in some way. With the 4 hour run time expectation in season 7 I think we will see more scenarios with only 3.

Of the first 3 season 7's one has a potential 6 (with 4 avoidable), one has three (with 1 optional) and one has three (with up to 2 avoidable).

Azten wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
yes, you need the int to cast the minimum slot that the spell could be in. if the metamagic makes it a 3rd level spell then it needs 13 int.
Luckily the only meta magic that changes the spell's level to match the spell slot its in is Heighten Spell. All other spell's are fair game. Empowered Shocking Grasp? 1st level spell in a 3rd level spell slot, still only need 11 Intelligence.

The Metamagic FAQ would tend to disagree with you. In particular:

In general, use the (normal, lower) spell level or the (higher) spell slot level, whichever is more of a disadvantage for the caster. The advantages of the metamagic feat are spelled out in the Benefits section of the feat, and the increased spell slot level is a disadvantage

No, metamagic cannot be used on SLAs.

LazarX wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
GMs still let Dragon's actually get into melee, and then have them fight the guy wearing heavy armor instead of the guy in robes?
Why not? Do you have any idea just how effective Crush is at taking multiple people out of the fight for good?

Crush is pretty terrible. It is only effective against medium creatures when the dragon hits gargantuan.

The lowest CR gargantuan chromatic dragon is the Ancient Green at CR17. The means the group is likely level 13 at a minimum. Freedom of Movement is exceptionally common as a buff from the mid levels onwards, becoming more and more common as the ring becomes affordable.

Dragons using crush are wasting their time unless they are also using anti magic field and even then they may be screwing themselves by bringing them into range of martial full attacks.


claudekennilol wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
Gloves of recon 2000gp. 10rnds of whats behind door number 1.
And behind door number 2, and 3, and 4, and ...

1 round of use will generally get you the box test and a chance at a knowledge check for any enemies there. It is an incredibly useful item. It was an exceptional purchase for

Bronze House Reprisal.

MichaelCullen wrote:
An odd situation where the party would be far better off just scrying and teleporting, you don't tick off the town, you don't get the negative noon from the swampers and you solve the mystery. What is there to stop you from doing this? Only the misplaced trust that the journey is more important than the destination.

The sidebar makes it clear why this doesn't actually work.

Blue_Method wrote:
My DM already ruled out Academae Graduate due to it's 3rd party source. The Persistent and Dazing route seems really interesting. Add oomph to my control/control capacity. Though I dislike how much higher of a spell slot they take up - hence the Craft Rods.

Acadamae Graduate is from Curse of the Crimson Throne Players Guide which is a Paizo product. Rods are strong but expensive. You may be better with having the feats and crafting multiple Staves of the Master Necromancer.

If going down the summoning route then you really want to be either all in or not at all. If summoning you really want augment Summons, Superior Summoning but more importantly Academae Graduate.

If you aren't going down the summon route I would switch to Greater Spell Focus and try and fit in Persistent and/or Dazing Spell somewhere.


Nefreet wrote:
There are quite a few scenarios where lethal combat need not be required. I just played in a Season 7 scenario where we never rolled Initiative once.

I have run and played in all three of the current season 7 scenarios and am struggling to work out how.

It seems utterly impossible to do in Between the Lines or Six Seconds to Midnight. I suppose it could theoretically be possible in the Bronze House if you somehow avoid the Melnat encounter and do either very well or very badly on the investigation but it seems very unlikely.

This is fairly simple. The selective anti magic shell is bypassed by force or earth descriptor spells. Dazing Battering Blast will prevent it from acting for 3 rounds at a time and do 10-15d6 damage per cast depending on your caster level. You can add in a tar pool for some extra damage while you throw empowered and dazing battering blasts at it.

James Risner wrote:
1/2 was monumentally broken, as my oracle with 20th level Animal Companion at level 15th level could tell you.

Yeah, that isn't broken. The straight level 15 animal companion with lots of gear invested into it is liable to outfight many martials characters. The difference between 15th and 20th level AC's is all of 3 points of BaB, 1 point of str/dex, 2 points of nat armour a few save increases and 2 feats.

Hardly game breaking.

I ran through all of Emerald Spire, Wardens of the Reborn Force and part of Shattered Star with a Lunar Oracle with a boosted animal companion. By far the strongest effect was the spell casting the character brought to the table.

Sage Sorcerer does it as well, basically any primary Int based class will do it well.

If you don't care about monster knowledge then Lore Oracle is the best, just grab Focused Trance for a +20 bonus to one roll Charisma mod times per day. Note it doesn't work if you switch the skill to Charisma based as Focused Trance only works on Int skills.

Ephemarel wrote:
I can't rely on the GM simply telling me, because I can't expect the same person reach time. My question is this: Can I count on my GM to read this the same way? For those who are GMs, how would you rule it?

I run a lot of PFS but I can only speak for myself. Much as I would love this to work for my various Oracles it is pretty clear that it doesn't. Expect table variation.

Having said that the Spirit Guide is still an excellent Archetype and is well worth getting the book for.


Mike Eckrich wrote:
An above example showed a Riddywhipple death. Just curious, how was he brought back? Being unique I assumed any death was a perm. death. Gloves with Breath of life might work.

Raise Animal Companion.


FLite wrote:

Anyway, there is still

** spoiler omitted **

Sure, although that risks

a DC15 Fort save or die and with no benefits from magic items or buffs

Gudrun the Reader wrote:

In memoriam: Rockbottom.

Rockbottom was a brave snapping turtle, the animal companion and guardian of Didjety, a kitsune sorceress with whom I traveled in the Shackles.
Rockbottom died while valiantly trying to guard his sorceress from a couple of nasty bodycontrolling squidlike beings. His sacrifice was not in vain, as Didjety was safely recovered. Unfortunately his thick shell did not prevent the squids from grappling him and pushing their tentacles into his brain and taking him over.
Since they took off underwater with his body and we did not have the swim speeds to match them we were unable to recover his body for a raise companion spell.

Didjety will be raising and training an Archelon, of which we found several eggs to accompany her on her following travels. I am not yet aware of the new name for her companion.

If it is the scenario that I am thinking of then your brave companion died for naught as they cannot grapple things larger than themselves.

If its Out of Anarchy then the things at the end don't have a provision on their grab allowing them to use it against larger targets. As they are themselves tiny they cannot grapple pretty much anything in PFS. Also their puppetry ability only works on helpless creatures.


Mark Stratton wrote:
You probably want to SPOILER this.

Oops, forget we weren't in the GM forum. Done.

You should probably amend your quote as well! :)


William Boyle wrote:
Not wishing to resurrect the question when a CDG should be used it does raise the question of where we draw the lines. There are some, exceptional circumstances where attacking a helpless PC is a legitimate option regardless of written tactics. There are no circumstances where running the wrong sub tier/adjustment are legit.

I would have serious issues about the use of CDG in this scenario at this point.

You are attacking slavers who are interested in taking more slaves. In fact Farugs tactics specifically say that if he thinks he has the upper hand then he switches to dealing non lethal damage and his minions follow suit.


rknop wrote:

This whole debate started with you objecting to my saying that animals won't just climb ropes without being pushed. So, yes, absolutely, you have suggested that! I would be ecstatic if you would admit that you were wrong when you first said that, but don't try to claim you didn't say it.

Actually what you said is

If your animal companion doesn't have a climb speed, and you're trying to get them to follow you down a rope or other place where people have to climb, then you're going to have to push your animal companion

Which is nonsense. The come or heel command will get your AC to follow you. Whether or not they will use a rope is an issue of table variation but it certainly is not the case that an AC which doesn't have a climb speed wont attempt to use the climb skill to follow you.

The climb skill does create ridiculous situations where the elephant (+10) is better at climbing than the tiger (+6) but that is a different issue.


rknop wrote:
By your interpretation, if you cast fly (or shapeshift into something that can fly), and command your animal companion to Heel, then your animal companion can also fly.

Don't be ridiculous.

"Would not normally go" is like the horse going into the cave, or the animal going somewhere it instinctively would avoid. It doesn't give it magical capabilities to move in ways that it wouldn't normally know how to move -- like climbing a rope.

I haven't suggested that it does so.


Mark Stratton wrote:
andreww wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
What concerns me more than the lack of using the 4 player adjustment, was the coup de grace. The tactics specifically say the gnolls try to capture the PCs to sell them into slavery. The coup de grace was out if line specifically for this scenario.
What coup de grace? I don't see any reference to it in the OP or the thread. The OP says that a couple of characters died, nothing about a coup.

Upthread, the OP (in a follow up, spoilered post), mention that his son's character was rendered unconscious, and then a gnoll did a CDG (and he used that abberviation to denote it, so if you were looking for "coupe de grace" you wouldn't see it written out like that.)

I certainly agree with Andy here - in addition to not applying the 4 player adjustment, I believe the use of the CDG was also incorrect.

Aah, I missed that. Then yes definitely looks like a case of a poorly prepared GM. Mistakes do happen and when they are pointed out the first person to look at fixing them should really be the GM. I have killed the occasional PC when I have made a mistake, if that happens the best solution is to retcon the death and move on.


rknop wrote:
"Come" and "Heel" are not magical. They just tell the animal to go where you want it to go, assuming it's able to go there.

They don't need to be magical. Both tricks specify that the animal follows you even into places it would not normally go.


rknop wrote:
If you really want your animal companion to be able to do almost anything, you almost certainly need to max out Handle Animal, and not dump Charisma.

This is blatantly untrue. A level 1 charisma 7 druid with a training harness and a single rank in handle animal needs a 2 to get their AC to perform a trick which it knows, 4 if it has taken damage. Pushing is a different matter but it is trivially easy to get an AC to follow your commands.

If your animal companion doesn't have a climb speed, and you're trying to get them to follow you down a rope or other place where people have to climb, then you're going to have to push your animal companion

Citation required. Most animal companions are going to have better climb skills than PC's. The come or heel command should do just fine.


Andrew Christian wrote:
What concerns me more than the lack of using the 4 player adjustment, was the coup de grace. The tactics specifically say the gnolls try to capture the PCs to sell them into slavery. The coup de grace was out if line specifically for this scenario.

What coup de grace? I don't see any reference to it in the OP or the thread. The OP says that a couple of characters died, nothing about a coup.

Anzyr wrote:
Theconiel wrote:

The archer's worst nightmare

It is easy to remove archery as a threat.

Not anymore:


Arguably Cyclonic does nothing against Wind Wall or Fickle Winds as your arrow is being deflected by a spell effect not wind. They do allow you to shoot in the middle of a windstorm which is handy.


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Nefreet wrote:
Gamerskum wrote:
Why Sovereign Court rather then Liberties Edge which is just Andoran anyways?


I'd be more careful about those sorts of statements. When the Faction changes happened there were quite a few ppl that decided the new versions were different enough from the old ones to warrant switching. I remember several well-reasoned arguments (in- and out-of-character) that especially pointed out the differences between Andoran and Liberty's Edge ("Colsin Maldris has gone rogue"!").

I had probably half a dozen PCs that switched because of conflicting differences.

The Sovereign Court makes an entirely respectable home for the more socially adept Sczarni given its rather strong family/mafia vibe.


It is an issue and I don't see any way to fix it, certainly not for older scenarios. For newer ones you could look at introducing more subtiers and insist people play within them but that will make putting together tables more difficult.

People just need to be more aware of what they are playing, what sort of game they are in and remember that running away is an option.

I ran Sealed Gate this week with levels 8,8,9,10,10, so high tier with the 4 player adjustment. They didn't have a single full caster and only the Rogue had a

swarmbane clasp

It was carnage but they managed to flee. They lost some gold and access to what was in the camp but they all lived and completed the rest but not without difficulty.

That really is where the difference in make up becomes start. My Sealed Gate group were Rogue, Hunter, Paladin, Fighter and Rogue/Magus. A group of Cleric, Sorcerer, Ranger, Barbarian and Oracle would probably have been absolutely fine.


Sat-tinder wrote:
I have a cleric that just leveled up to level three that channels negative energy. I want to give it command undead as its third level feat. I took a channeling variant that has the same save, DC 15 will at this level, and makes the person affected have to steal from an adjacent enemy. If they fail the save and become my allies, and there are no other enemies, who do they steal from?

No-one. When you use Command Undead you don't get the effect of variant channel. Using channel for Command brings with it no other effects.

Benefit: As a standard action, you can use one of your uses of channel negative energy to enslave undead within 30 feet. Undead receive a Will save to negate the effect. The DC for this Will save is equal to 10 + 1/2 your cleric level + your Charisma modifier. Undead that fail their saves fall under your control, obeying your commands to the best of their ability, as if under the effects of control undead. Intelligent undead receive a new saving throw each day to resist your command. You can control any number of undead, so long as their total Hit Dice do not exceed your cleric level. If you use channel energy in this way, it has no other effect (it does not heal or harm nearby creatures). If an undead creature is under the control of another creature, you must make an opposed Charisma check whenever your orders conflict.


FLite wrote:
I believe they have cover if they are in a familiar satchel.

I think the satchel gives total cover.


plaidwandering wrote:
Andrew, we are talking about when there are NO chars in sub-tier at all.

Actually Lune doesn't seem to be making that distinction. Regardless, one PC member being 6th rather than 5th is making next to no difference to the danger faced by the level 3 and 4 characters in the group.

For what it is worth I agree with Mark. The provision about having no-one in the higher tier is clearly included in the section on Season 0-3.


Jessex wrote:
I never attack familiars unless they attack something. I do remind the players to have them take AoE damage though. Players seem to think they are immune for some reason.

I killed a Riddywhipple once with chain lightning. He was out and active and visible and doing stuff so there was no good reason to exclude him. He got better.


rknop wrote:

Familiars in general are not at all in the same category as animal companion.

I did see a "Mauler" familiar in one session that I GMed. It died in the first combat. (It's the only familiar I've ever killed -- or even attacked -- as a PFS GM. It was attacking, though, so it was fair game.)

I accidentally killed a mauler familiar in six seconds to midnight recently. They are really quite squishy.


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Andrew Christian wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
We are using common sense Andrew. Your implication otherwise is unwelcome.
Frankly, I think we interpret common sense differently. You are following strict RAW as you see it. But lets not conflate the two.

Nope, you are doing what you always do, declaring people who have different views to you as having badwrongfun. It is really tiresome.


Lune wrote:
I can understand and respect your opinion whatever it is. I do, honestly, find it hard to believe that you think actually think that level 4s are intended to contend with CR9 bosses.

Except that this is explicitly the case. If you have a 3-7 season 6 scenario with a group of:

Rogue 3
Cleric 4
Fighter 5
Monk 5
Sorcerer 6

Their APL is 4.6 which rounds up to 5. You have 5 players in a season 6 scenario who are between subtiers 3-4 and 6-7). They must play up with the 4 player adjustment.

That is simply how the tier calculations work. The problem is that often the 4 tier adjustment doesn't do very much to change the encounter.

I had a similar situation running By Way of Bloodcove. They were a group quite like the example above and they were demolished by the final encounter but the boss they face simply loses a couple of spells but his base caster level doesn't change.


Lune wrote:
@Mark: So you believe it is intentional for 3rd level characters to face CR9+ bosses?

Yes, this can and does happen. I have run 3-7 scenario's at high tier with level 3 characters. I have run 5-9's at high tier with level 5's. I have run 7-11's at high tier with level 7's. That is simply the ay the maths on tier calculation works sometime. If you find yourself playing at a higher tier then it is generally advisable to employ a bit of caution, even if you are melee.

They should have Thaumaturgy which is the Psychic equivalent which is missing from their list.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Druid in my Academy of Secrets game this past week summoned a kami that could shot arrows that affected the target as breath of life. On top of having DR/Cold iron and being good aligned with three attacks.

I ran the Moonscar recently and our Druid did the same just he had 6 of them. It was the only reason the group survived the final encounter. Of course he could only summon them due to the ring. Base SM however still gives you more options than SNA.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Is that even allowed in PFS? Refusing someone the ability to play a Legal character if they are wanting to play? What next? Not allowing a person to play because their wanting to play a Dwarf sorcerer and that's to OP? Not allowing a person to play because their character is a nagaji and everyone else is at least part human?

I routinely only list season 0-3 scenarios or modules for a maximum of 4 players. I regularly limit season 4+ scenarios to a maximum of 5 players. Running online inevitably takes longer and I find six players are rarely conducive to a good experience.


Fromper wrote:

So if you're ok with multiple rerolls when it gets split into multiple sessions, then what do you do if you're playing a module by sitting for 8-10 hours at once? That's just a single session.

You seem to be granting a bonus to players for splitting up the gaming time into multiple sessions, instead of playing the entire adventure at once.

I always took the "once per scenario" as meaning "once per adventure", even when playing modules.

I would give them 1 per four hour section. If I am running a long module in one block I normally have a decent break in the middle anyway.

Dont pick lore or nature. Go Lunar, be a Spirit Guide, various spirits let you use Charisma for knowledge checks as well.


A Paladin of a Good aligned deity couldn't cast it in any event as they, like clerics, are incapable of casting spells of an opposite alignment to their Gods.


One thing did strike me as I was running this about the alchemist task.

There really should be a 4 player adjustment for this task. As things stand if you just go with the deal a 4 player party who divides the cost equally each takes a point of drain. A 5 player party who does so loses nothing as it reads like you only take a point per 5 full years given up.

Restoring drain costs 380gp or 2pp, pretty much the entire award from completing the scenario for a low tier group. That is pretty harsh.

When I ran it my group choose to gamble. I rolled a 20 then a 19, they gave up when each of them was paying out 7 years of their lives.


HeHateMe wrote:
I may be wrong, but the group doesn't get xp or loot if an encounter is avoided rather than overcome right?

You would be wrong. Using diplomacy to bypass encounters generally should not cost you either loot or xp in PFS play. In home games it is up to the GM whether or not it counts as you having "overcome" the encounter.

Level 4 has a particular difficulty in that the chronicle is awfully written so that to get full xp/prestige you pretty much have to slaughter the troglodytes.

Enemies using darkness can often be shut down by fog effects, make them deal with the same sort of penalties you are dealing with. Combat may take forever.

Alternatively or in addition Summon Monster III will get you 1d3 small earth elementals which all have tremorsense.


Also, from Ultimate Campaign page 189:

Class features you can retrain are as follows (some entries also call out other retraining options that are significant for the class in question, such as retraining feats for fighters, skill ranks for rogues, or spells known for sorcerers).

Looks like an exhaustive list to me.


So you would allow a sorcerer to retrain their bloodline or an oracle their mystery? They are both class features, neither are listed.

As far as the level 3 issue goes I believe Rob was pointing out the rather odd issue that a level 3 can play in the 6-7 tier of a 3-7 scenario but not the 5-6 tier of a 5-9.


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G-Zeus wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
And if your cleric had decided on a whole lot of create water?
Then you are actively not cooperative which is against the pathfinder tenets

This is insane. Refusing to co-operate with some lunatic plan, indeed actively working against it, is not against the societies tenets simply because the rest of the group think it is a good idea.

Co-operate is an ideal, it is not a straight jacket to force people to follow the loudest/most popular idea regardless of how idiotic it might be.

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