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Armistril's Shield

blue_the_wolf's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,263 posts (1,290 including aliases). 2 reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.

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Neo2151 wrote:

Fun? Sure, maybe.

Balanced? Eh, I obviously think it's below par.
Effective? Only if the target is incorporeal.

Sure, not everything is about DPR, and not everything should be.
But successfully contributing to the party's success is important, and I just don't see how MM does that.

For example, you know what else is fun? Enchantment Spells. But if you're not a Kitsune Sorcerer, you're (generally speaking) wasting your, and everyone else's, time by trying to make those work for you.

so you don't like it...

fair enough, your entitled to not like it... i personally don't like color spray for various reasons... but I'm suggesting it should be removed from the game.

I guess I don't understand why you think I should not be able to use MM because YOU don't like it.

should it be tweaked in some way? should it be replaced? should the magic spell list be the 7 spells you feel are useful and we should remove all other spells because YOU find them useless?

Im just not sure what the point of this post is.

NOTE: you are fully entitled to your opinion. If your post was something like "I don't really like MM why do you like it" I would find that fair but your post is more like "I don't like MM and I think it should be removed prove me wrong" which I think is small minded... my own personal opinion of course.

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.... so i guess your question is

why should there be any spells other than color spray, sleep, burning hands and scorching ray at that level.

If thats the case then there is no reason to use Magic missile... so don't.

all spells are situational that is the nature of spells.

go into battle with undead and your going to wish you had magic missile rather than useless colorspray and sleep.

bottom line if you don't like it don't use it. But the question of why is it still around is basically troll bait.

its around because its fun, effective and balanced. Not every choice in the game is about DPR (damage per round, Damage Per Second is kind of meaningless in a turn based table top game.)

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argh... why is it so difficult? every one wants to base ALL combat on some extreme and unusual situation.

does all combat in pathfinder start with a sucker punch in a bar? so why base all combat on that example?

I think the reason why characters and npcs are flatfooted at the beginning of combat basically there to inforce that the person with highest iniative acted first.

let me ask you this, what is wrong with simply {[i]dramatic pause[/]} letting the winner of the initiative act first?

Why does one side HAVE to be unprepared in some way. what is this insistence that loosing initiative MUST include some debilitating penalty?

Its completely reasonable to get some penalty like flat footed when one sides activities or the environment lends some tactical advantage like an ambush or something.

But the question here is not "should there be a mechanic for catching an opponent flat footed"

The question is "should EVERY combat situation assume that the person who moves second is completely unprepared and flat footed until he takes an action in rounds"

remember the rules don't even state that the person has to attack. He simply has to take an action on his turn. so a person can be last in the initiative and chose to do nothing but scratch his nose... by game mechanics he is no longer flat footed.

WHY IS THIS A UNIVERSAL MECHANIC? It is added complexity that does NOT add anything to the game.

NOTE AGAIN: I am not saying that there is no situation in which people should not be flat footed. My point is that it should not be the general purpose standard rule for EVERY combat situation.

My entire point is that the general rule should be based on the most common circumstance and special rules like surprise rounds can exist for special circumstances.

Please explain why that is wrong or unreasonable.

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90% of the time, this is pretty straightforward. The party comes around a corner, there's an owlbear just chilling out. Everyone in the party goes "Yikes, an owlbear!" The owlbear goes "Yikes, a party!" and everyone just starts drawing weapons and prepping spells and rearing up etc. etc. and whoever's reflexes are the sharpest is probably going to get a quick hit in on an opponent who isn't prepared for it yet. Nobody really seems to have an issue here.

Actually we do have an issue here.

That 90% of the time is exactly the point.

One side of the argument seems to see it your way that when you come around that corner there is an instantaneous decision on both sides to kill each other and without preamble combat begins and the looser of the initiative is twiddling his thumbs while the other guy attacks.

The other side believes that when you come around that corner there is a moment of assessment and recognition of the threat. The owl bear roars menacingly, the party takes a fighting stance any options for diplomacy or conflict avoidance are weighed THEN combat begins.

On this side of the debate we believe that becoming aware of the enemy, taking a battle stance or instinctively reacting to a know threat, constitutes being NOT flat footed.

Again, Xara makes the point precisely

any time a PC or NPC believes they may need to fight you'd initiative

Meaning that the sides recognize the possibility of combat and prepare themselves even if they dont immediately start swinging. That preparation constituted not being flat footed.

Most people simply shorthand this and dont bother rolling initiative until actual attacks are being made thus the oddity of the flat footed rule, it does not mesh with the situation the vast majority of the time.

Thus being flat footed at the start of combat should be the special case exception and not the general rule.

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I'm not sure what point Xara and Bbang are making.

It sounds like they are saying that in game your essentially ALWAYS in combat when combat is a possibility and thus have essentially always acted, and thus the flat footed in the first round rule is meaningless except in those specific situations where one side was completely unaware that any form of combat was about to beggin, aka a suprise round.

Thank you for your excelent explanation of the OP position.

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Googleshng wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:
i think its silly when person A and person B are standing 50 feet apart swords in hand cursing each other's lineage. And At some point they take actual hostile action and initiatives are rolled.

You are confusing hostile actions with violent actions. When they first see each other, before they've started shouting, when someone first gets the inclination to grab for a sword, or call someone out, honestly, in a lot of realistic in-game situations, when they first so much as see each other, that is when you're supposed to be rolling initiative.

I diagramed out pretty much every possible permutation of this at the bottom of the previous page for situations that aren't kill on sight.

Not sure where your going with that so let's draw it out a bit. Are you saying that as the party is walking through the Forrest and come across another party we should roll initiative immediately and then do any diplomacy or conversation in turns?

That seems to imply that after one round of conversation we have all "taken an action" and we are the not flat footed.

This is the kind of thing that is short handed into.... You come across another party, you notice each other and after a Brie exchange of words roll initiatives.

In that short hand scenario no one would be flat footed as we simply condensed the prior example of diplomacy be rounds. Since MOST interactions are closer to that than true suprise dont you think that not being flat footed should be the norm with special rules to cover unusual situations like the ambush.

EDit... I hate typing on iPad

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the problem with this rule.... And every debate about it is the assumption of the norm.

People who support the rule will almost always speak of some kind of suprise or super human feat like Bruce Lee's counter punch.

People opposed to the rule will almost alwayse point out that most combat actually starts with the combatants aware of each other and prepared for hostility.

I am in the latter group.

i think its silly when person A and person B are standing 50 feet apart swords in hand cursing each other's lineage. And At some point they take actual hostile action and initiatives are rolled. By RAW the winner of the roll charges 50 feet screaming bloody murder and waving his sword.... While the other remains completely unprepared untill his head takes the action to roll across the floor.

I understand that some combat begins as a suprise... But most combat does not and most peoples instinctive reactions will provide some form of defense.

I think that rather than assuming that people walking around heavily armed and armored are generally cought unawares by the outbreak of hostilities. The rules should assume that people are generally prepared for combat and provide options for those less common times such as an ambush, sucker punch or being distracted by a particularly shinny mote of dust right when the enemy charges from 50 feet away.

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Found it. Titans bane, mythic champion ability

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Headfirst wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:
the flat footed in the first round of combat rule
Basically, that rule says that, with one poor initiative die roll, you have (on average, all things being equal) a 50% chance of being unprepared for a fight that YOU start.

Headfirst has the rights of it. People can argue specific examples. But the RAW remains that if two people are standing 60 feet apart weapons drawn and hurling death threats at each other, then when they begin to fight the one who looses the initiative will, by raw, stand calmly while his opponent charges 60 feet screaming bloody murder and tries to run him through with something sharp and heavy.

I think that in general flat footed in the first round should be a special exception. Not a rule

People should not take a specific example too far just

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There are a great many things players should be able to do without having to take feats for them.

agreed, why should a fighter (or anyone) have to take a feat to swing hard?

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the flat footed in the first round of combat rule always gets my goat and is the first thing waved in my games (although I give sneak attack classes a special rule to compensate)

a large portion of the prereqs for feats: why is it only elves of ALL races, can stabbing shot?

and a few others but these are the ones that would be easiest to fix.

I also dislike:


The dispersal of skill points. Actually, skills in general. Profession (tavern wench) should not use the same resource as perception in my opinion.

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problem with using the next turns standard is that you then dont get to respond.

when you have the person burn their next turn MOVE action then next turn they can choose to move.. or respond... possibly with another spell... which the enemy then uses their next move to counter... then they respond and you use your next move to counter.

it leads to really fun wizard battles where 2 wizards are in the back lines countering each others spells and trying to take each other or individuals of the group out.

I cast shield and watch the enemy caster
>he begins to cast a spell
I use my next move action to attempt to counter the spell
-i see he is casting fireball I will counter with a dispell magic (make the roll and succeed)
on my turn I will cast fireball at his allies
>he sees you casting makes the spell craft and burns a spell to counter your fireball
"oh its on son!" I watch him for more spells
>he starts to cast a spell
I burn my next move to attempt to counter
I roll and see he is casting Hold person on our main melee damage dealer
-Oh man i cant risk you failing that save your will is weak. I am going to burn heroism to make sure John doesnt become a popsicle.
Looks like he is watching me to see what I cast
I yell to John "take out that caster I am keeping him occupied but I dont know for how long"
I begin to cast...


when your burning your next move to do it each caster still gets to participate fully in battle I have also found that players tend to spread their spells more... instead of 4 fireballs and 2 haste they spread out their schools in order to cover the basses. or use more quickened spells to get around counters. it makes quickened magic missile and shield way more powerful in the late game.

more fun IMHO...

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In pathfinder most effects with a random number are unknown

if some one hits you with a spell that leaves you fatigued for d4 rounds you dont know what the result of the roll is untill you are no longer fatigued.

when a monster uses its breath weapon is the cooldown known to the monster?

I like to take into account what my monsters know when they are deciding what to do. I may know that the player can magically teleport his weapon back to his hand as a swift action but if the disarming ninja does not know this he is going to try and disarm as usual.

With that in mind when my dragon breaths fire on the group he would act differently knowing his cooldown is 1 round than if its 4 rounds.

would you say the dragon knows he cant breath fire for anther 24 seconds as opposed to being able to do it again in 6 or 12 seconds?

On a side note... when the dragon breaths and I roll a 1 on the cool down... does that mean he can breath next round or the round after?

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I am running Jade Reagent for 2 different groups. its really interesting the different ways different groups play the same basic scenario.

Missing Suishen, however, is really hard work. ^^

with one group we had a great time finding suisen. I even tossed in a little extra creating reactions when the magus picked up suisen while holding his black blade.

with the other goup I literally had to stop the game the game and say You guys need to get that... its kind of important.

first they refused to go that direction focusing entirely on the trolls.
---so i pretty much made that encounter a stand off untill they decided to explore the other passage as a possible work around.

Second they entered suisens room and noticed the flame coming from the well, one person looked down and saw (a burning stick or bar wedged in the well. one even cast detect magic and saw "an extremely brilliant aura"

...... they shrugged their shoulders and walked away....

I said, "as your walking away the flaming grows brighter as if trying to get your attention"

they continued to leave

I said, OMG what are you guys doing? seriously, thats suisen, its the reason your here."

they then began to complain about how I should be more clear about what they need to focus on.

I would laugh but we have had a similar argument in every single book.

this is the same group that after speaking to Ukshalla in the bar wandered around for the rest of the session. at the end of the day they were like... so what are we supposed to be doing?

i said "dont you guys need basically a guide and the sword?"


"and didnt you speak to the woman in the bar who asked you to help save her boss the great guide, Ulf"

"yes, but we thought she was just some whore"


I had to just walk away.

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I enjoyed the balefull coven and under frozen stars.

I am currently running book 4 and thought that the trip from (that town with the fat prince) to (the spirited forest) ^_^ would be a great place for an adventure.

maybe something involving an abandoned town along the way or being harassed by a particularly sneaky and determined band of ninja or bandits.

just an idea. I built something into my game using the ninja from book 5 as a re-occoring vilain they will see again when they exit the spirited forest. but I think there is plenty of room for you and yours to develope something there.

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an empty wooden boat generally floats. its the weight of cargo that brings it down.

having said that...


"Are you sure?"

The answer is always "No, just joking." Seriously, that phrase is GM code for "You're about to die, dumbass!"

is as basic to the game as "roll initiative"

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personally... I am not that mad at the GM.

though I would have probably said something like "if you search it you have about a 95% chance of dieing" if he goes for It I am not going to spend 30 mins RPing a futile search I will just say OK I am rolling a % and you die on 95 or lower. still want to do it?

note... I would not do this to be a mean person or to exert my authority as the GM or anything like that.

I would be doing it because the player is basically hogging the spotlite for the entire duration. the other players are pretty much sitting there waiting for this guy to go through the motions searching a ship that the GM knows has nothing on it. so sure. if he wants to waste his characters life let him... but dont let him derail the game to do it.

thats just my off the cuff take.

Grand Lodge

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dis friend prolly just like being argumentative.

he not really argue the point. just like to mek you frustrated.

sum people just like to watch de world burn.

Grand Lodge

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blackbloodtroll wrote:

Well, a zip dippity do bang, ah, ah, ah jello puddin pop.

Figglen sheng slorplah fgoloang stan florang quang yan diddily boo bong bang.


Well BLOP ta you too fo shiggitty.

an a whop bop a-loo whop A whop bam boo while your at it ^_^

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Tact, the entirety of your post comes own to this....

I can't agree with you, at all, that charming is the 'least' of the options.

which is fine, your entitled to you oppinion, it does not make you a horrible person (much ^_^), I just happen to not agree.

read this only if my reasons matter to you:
In all of your real world examples I would not beat information out of any one but I would also not charm, drug, threaten or by any other method FORCE to give the directions.

Our fundamental difference is that you seem to feel that charm person (or a similar effect) to change their thoughts or actions is a harmless and reasonable action.

I absolutely feel that forcing a person to be nice, even using something as gentle as charm person, is an assault.

In your real world examples the people had reasons for not giving directions or helping you. Who are you to say those reasons are not valid? If a guy does not trust you because your an outsider dont you think that forcing his mind into being friendly toward you completely validates his NOT trusting you? What if, unbeknownst to you, talking to you gets him killed? Extreme example I know... but I have seen it happen, literally, physically, SEEN IT HAPPEN!

Once again, outside of causing harm a person has a right to not do what you want them to do, forcing them to do so even through something as gentle as a charm person spell is an assault, any assault is wrong to varying degrees.

Note: it may help you understand my POV to understand that I actually think Charm Person is even worse than Dominate.

In my view if you dominate me into doing something I dont like at least I can think back on it and say 'I had no choice it was forced on me'. But if you charm me into doing something I dont like I will forever be tormented by the idea that when I did that thing I actually LIKED what I was doing. The idea that charm person takes away even my ability to hate what is happening to me is terrifying.

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Scythia wrote:

I would say just the opposite. The view that Ilja, and espescially Blue, have are extremely Chaotic. They are saying that no being should ever have their opinon changed, even if that opinion, and actions stemming from it, cause harm to another.

I like how you ever so obviously ignored everything in my comments that makes me sound like a reasonable human being. I very clearly and on more than one post stated that I believe that a person has a right think and act as they chose as long as they do not cause harm, incite others to cause harm, or through intentional inaction allow others to come to harm. I also said you could not FORCE their change of opinion but you have every right to convince them to change their opinion as in through debate, education or some other direct and honest maner.

Your post is blatantly if not intentionally false. You don't have to agree worth me but doing your best to vilify through fallacy does not make your opinion more right.

Supreme, I appreciate your point, but I hope you see why I oppose using alignment in this debate. Mixing objective and subjective always leads to confusion and frustration.

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Tact, Im sorry if I am not being clear enough. instead of wall of text i will try to keep it short. ... ok medium.
the commoner on the issue of the commoner I understand that you believe the average commoner especially in that bar situation would basically feel that the charm person would be more acceptable than the torture. I understand, I get it, I respect that opinion and will take it into account if such a situation comes up. please accept that as my understanding and respect for that answer. Im not debating this part.

charming mean people In this situation I totally understand your view but let me restate your point as I think I understand it.

If i understand correctly your saying: Because people have a responsibility to help each other, particularly if doing so does not impact them negatively in any way, if a person refuses to help another purely for selfish or immoral reasons like racism they are doing something wrong. Furthermore if you have a method such as a relatively harmless spell that makes a person less wrong without harming them than there is nothing wrong with doing so.

correct me if I am misunderstanding your point.

If I have the gist of it correct here is my answer.

I understand what your saying... I simply disagree.

I dont believe that you have any right, in fact I think its downright wrong, to force any one to change their opinion in any way even if its a harmless method for a harmless purpose. You have every right to try to convince the person to change their opinion, but you cant FORCE it.

Tact let me be clear, a person doesnt have to like me, doesnt have to agree with me, can think I am less than human, can do a lot of WRONG things. As long as they are not actively trying to harm me, cause others to harm me or through intentional inaction allowing me to come to harm I will fight and die for their right to their opinion and to act like a jerk.

Being unable to sway their opinions, how would you suggest morally proceeding?

the simple answer, move on.

the more complicated answer, try to sweet talk them, try to reason with them, say F-U and move on. Even if I had the power to magically and with absolutely no harm make him be nice to me I would not do it just for the sake of 'he is a jerk' or 'i don't like his attitude'

so... are we understanding each other?

again, I understand you, I just dont agree. I honestly think this horse is dead and our two opinions could not be more clear.

Please dont throw in a tangent like "but what if you were starving and would die if you cant find food" because that is an entirely different situation.

@Tennengar, the original question was "what do you think the commoner would think" Im not really arguing that issue except to try and get people to address it without complicating it.

but a tangent has grown which is a debate over the morality of the act of charming some one. that is a side debate.

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I agree with Ilja whole heartedly.

especially on the matter or randomly charming people in town to make them like you.

your position boils down to, intentionally or not, "It's wrong to use magic to negate hateful prejudice and get along well with neighbors. "It's wrong to use magic to negate hateful prejudice and get along well with neighbors."

Not quite.

The position boils down to, 'It's wrong to use magic to remove my right to have my own opinion.'

The idea is this... if you walk into my neighborhood/town/city I have every right to not like you. It doesn't matter why I dont like you, maybe I am having a bad day, maybe yesterday a group of new comers kicked my dog, or maybe I am just a racist. I still have every right to not like you, you have the right to try and convince me that my opinion is wrong but that right does not include the right to use a mind altering spell/drug/lie or other action in order to force my change of opinion even if all you want to do is ask for directions.

Having said all that the most important point in this entire discussion is this...

But it wasn't just about alignment, it was also (and mostly) about how the rest of society will react towards such behavior.

Remember, the point is not 'Is this evil' the two tangents are 'would people seeing this from the third person consider the act bad/wrong' and if they did 'would they see the act of influencing a person through mental assault as better or worse than influencing a person through physical assault'

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People seem to enjoy minimizing the morality of a spell like charm person when viewed in the third person... but I wonder how they would think of it in direct relation to themselves.

Think of that person at work or school or whatever that you find totally disagreeable, you dont like anything about that person, they are dirty, argumentative, have political, social and cultural beliefs absolutely opposed to your own, the two of you have TRIED to be civil but its just not going to happen.

That person walks up to you and blows a powder in your face (or says some magic words) suddenly your realize that everything was a miss understanding, that person is not horrible you were just being too negative, they ask you to eat okra and you think why not even though you totally absolutely hate okra because it gives you the poops for 3 days. They ask you to borrow your car and you say 'sure buddy' even though you dont ever let any one drive that car because its very new and very expensive not to mention insurance does not cover other drivers. They ask you to tell them your deepest darkest most shameful secret and although you would not tell anyone one under any circumstances a few convincing "you can tell me, Im your friend" later and you start spilling the story about what you did with your dog Spanky last winter. After all that you cook them dinner, clean their house, wash their feet and proclaim your eternal friendship.

then you go home and the powder (spell) fades off and your clear headed again. How do you feel about that?

Now, they didn't make you do anything EVIL. they didn't make you kill anyone, break the law or even betray any one you love. You were not their slave, you were free to do as you chose, but you didnt WANT to, you didnt WANT to resist, you just wanted to please your wonderfully charismatic best friend.

As your sitting in your chair with a rumbling in your stomach from the okra you ate earlier, do you think to yourself... well I guess its ok, I would have done all of that if they had bought me a beer and chatted for a bit.

To be honest the above scenario, while totally biased, is totally valid under the rules of charm person. To be perfectly honest I would consider the above scenario more EVIL than domination... at least with domination I can look back and feel that I had no ability to resist... with charm person I have every freedom except the freedom to NOT LIKE what I am being asked to do.

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Dark warrior makes another important point

I made the cost 500 to 1000 because thats not exactly breaking the bank for these characters. does it matter? sure, but is it critical? not at all.

The 500 to 1000 cost is purely a matter of making this a choice as opposed to a hand wave.

If the players pay and ask for information I will probably let them take a diplomacy check, possibly befriend the patrol and gain knowledge about the land and the city they are trying to get to. In fact if all goes well I would probably give them enough chat time to make valid knowledge local checks for the area since at this time they cant make such checks because they have no valid point of reference.

a benefit to not slaughtering by default.

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As GM I would reward creativity. I dont think your players are trying to abuse the game they are just trying to think outside the box.

if players are trying to do something like choke the dragon by freezing his lips shut or abuse a spell repeatedly I would not allow it but in this case its more of a one off situation. reward them for game immersion and roll on.

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If I get on the Jersey Turn Pike and am charged a fee for traveling on that road is that banditry? If I want to cross the SanFran Bay bridge I have to pay a fee, is that extortion?

In the above cases the fee is small because they want you to pay the fee and use the passage. In this case they DONT want people to pass but if they must they have to pay a proper fee which they hope will discourages future passage.

I can understand if this were a bunch of guys in the hills outside Magnamar just demanding cash. But in this case its their land, the players are not on the normal trade rout that every one uses this is essentially private land, their custom is to not allow people on their land but if the people must cross then they have to be willing to pay a fee (note there is a reason why but the why is not relevant to the story)

If you enter a persons land and don't follow their rules, as long as those rules don't include conducting evil acts, that is at best not-lawful (thought not necessarily chaotic) if you attack people for doing their job when they are not being hostile toward you then that is flat out evil.

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its not because its crap. its because players expect something from a spell based on description. they want to imagine whats going on and visualize their effect on the world.

this spell expresses a description that is not in line with its mechanics.

at my table, knowing my players, it would cause lots of confusion and debate which would derail the game.

since I know my players better than you I can make an informed decision on the matter.

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right... but one of the primary assumptions of the game is that the characters do not realize that they are ruled by dice, alignment, feats and skill checks.

the commoner does not think, "wow... what ever that guy said he must have rolled a really high diplomacy." He likely thinks something like, "OH! there is magic at play here."

So the question which follows is does he find that magic to be more or less unsavory than the guy getting beat up in the corner.

does he think, "OH! there is magic at play here, what vile arcane powers have twisted that poor fools mind"

or does he think "OH! there is magic at play here, what a clever way to get an honest answer... better than the brute in the corner giving him the knuckles."

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Note... what Andrew R is saying is not that charm person buggers the brain. that's not his argument...

his argument, If I understand correctly, is that the commoner would not know the specific details of charm person and how it works and could thus, in his mind, be more terrified by the sight of some one casually using a spell that he thinks messes up another persons mind than he is of a guy who is doing something he easily understands like beating a guy up and demanding answers.

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@ tact and everyone. Sorry my post was not ment to be rude. I was not calling any one out or even complaining about people not answering MY question any more. At this point I am truly just looking at the dynamics of ALL of the conversations.

I personally find the question to be very simple but people make it complicated.

If I said "do you like warm tea" some people would say (Yes or No, especially mint"... but others would say "well it depends on if its summer or winter, what kind of tea and exactly what temperature do you mean by WARM" and still others would say "tea is not necessarily hot or warm, many cultures drink tea cold if your asking about cold tea and you warm it up i would probably not like it because you served it wrong"

I am looking for the simple first answer which, to be fair I have received from time to time and I have tried to respond to those. most of the commentary is basically people doing the second or third example and then comment and arguments based on that.

for a few pages I kept trying to get the simple answer because I was trying to get a general consensus of peoples thoughts and felt that all of the tangents and irrelevant add-ons to the conversation were distracting from that... but then I got over it. I noticed that many people do that to many others until you have arguments about rape vs chopping off fingers.

I am still interested in the answers pertinent to my question but I am not stressing about it any more. I only commented the last time because I found it interesting that people were making that jump from 'physical discomfort' to cutting him to bits and pieces.

Anyway... once again. not trying to talk crap. just commenting.

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too much time in the military.

every time I see MAD I think it means Mutually Assured Destruction and can only equate that in game to glass cannon type characters.

now I know.... and knowing is half the battle.

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From your description it sounds as though you are trying to tell a story as the GM whilst the frustrated player wants to play in a strategic/tactical game where the GM sets the scene and the characters tell the story.

actually its just the opposite.

I WANT them to play smart, use skills, out think the monsters, hell one of the best battles we ever had ended when one of the players took a flying leap off of a balcony and attacked a flying demon, I made up some on the spot rules and penalties for the action and he succeed spectacularly with a critical hit... we still talk about that moment to this day. But in another group they never bother to try. to be fair some of the players would but one guy kind of dominates the group.

Let me say he is not a horrible player or overly argumentative or anything, he just gets frustrated if presented with something new or unexpected like a troll that is immune to fire damage and if he makes a bad choice or the bad guys use a clever trick he didnt expect he takes it personal as if I as the GM were intentionally trying to get over on him.

The thing is... I know that I have made the same mistakes in the past, I think being a GM has made me a better player, less rules mongery and open to GM improvisation. and so I am not mad at him.. I am just trying to figure out how best to work it out without sitting him down like a kid and having a 'how to play nice' conversation.

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two quick points...

there are "holy warriors" with no divine power...

I think all of the alignment classes (paladin, hellknight, anit-paladin) should be prestige classes.

that is all.

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once again i know that people are free to play as they chose. but there is a reason that the classes are not called. magic using class, sword using class and holy class.

the names are relevant. they give you one of the basic outlines of the character.

if your a super experienced player its very easy to divorce yourself from the class name and the character story line... but newer players and many other experienced players find it hard to see the BARBARIAN as anything but a muscle bound axe wielding idiot. simply calling the class Rage User or something opens up that imaginative space much more easily.

once again I am NOT saying that the game does not allow imaginative barbarians... I am saying a new name would help facilitate more imaginative characters.

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I think the name "BARBARIAN" unfairly limits the barbarian class from a role playing perspective. I mean... by calling it barbarian you almost have to make it some uncivilized wild man, savage, crazy person or otherwise sterio type. Which Barbarian as a class name you get the impression that every one in a barbarian village has to have levels of barbarian class. you also get the impression that no one in the city guard could ever draw on his rage in battle.

So I am looking for new names for the class.

Berzerker fits the class much better than barbarian.

RAGER I like the most. anyone can be a Rager from a savage tribes man to an otherwise calm and collected and educated noble woman who actively dips into her primal self to over come her enemies.

are there any other names that would fit the base class that uses rage powers regardless of the personality or status of the character?

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I have considered giving the same houserule.

its always stupid to me that a person can just take a step back and do what ever they want. I mean any one who knows about close combat knows that the most natural action is to keep close and engaged to your opponent. if they step back you step forward. in other words step up is as natural as power attack and neither of them should be feats.

The other reason I like giving step up is because I like encouraging players to work as a team. the caster should not be sitting alone and the melee should not be running off on his own. they should work together and ranged classes should have a back up melee ability.

Having said that before getting upset about such a thing have you considered ways to work in the system? carry a staff or spear as a weapon, make use of fight defensively, your allies can draw out the enemies AoO, or you can draw the enemy into a flanked position with your 5 foot step (remember that staff, dagger or spear that your wielding)

in other words. try not to worry about how you cant play like your used to playing and take a few steps to play in the new system.

its not too hard and could be quite fun.

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a level 5 sorcerer does burning hands on some offending street thug.

the target is wearing leathers and cloth.

due to the wording of the spell it seems as if the target would automatically catch fire.

burning hands wrote:

Any creature in the area of the flames takes 1d4 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 5d4).

Flammable materials burn if the flames touch them. A character can extinguish burning items as a full-round action.

does the catch fire component of the spell mean only non-attended items or does the spell basically cause fire to any target that can burn?

I personally give the target 2 saves, 1 for half damage and 1 to avoid catching on fire. is that reasonable or am i doing it wrong.

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I dumped the caravan mechanic entirely and for caravan fights I am simply letting the players fight a normal battle with 'some' of the enemy while letting them know that the battle is taking place around the caravan and other people are fighting off enemies in other places. usually I have Ameiko standing on a wagon in the middle playing some bardic bonus for everyone.

as for random encounters, I tend to not like RANDOM encounters but rather place encounters, even if from the random encounter table, where I think they make sense. the problem is that the hungry storm campeign already has a fair share of specific encounters and by adding the random encounters by almost any calculation your really just adding a bunch of more or less meaningless 15 minute adventure days. so instead I create little mini adventures... like a day in which the caravan is hunted by a pack of winter wolves leading to a day long series of encounters and some sort of final showdown, or an encounter where the owners of a bridge or ferry charge a high price for crossing giving the party the chance to make alignment effecting decisions in the use of diplomacy, combat or quick thinking to get across the river.

ultimately though i think its safe to ignore the random encounter table and as the DM just throw in encounters where you see fit.

PS. I am not using XP either so that gives me a LOT more flexibility and players dont feel forced into dealing with situations in the most XP relevant way.

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so... Bladed Dash.

the description is very openly worded.
Im trying to clarify it for my players.

-- can it be used with spell combat to allow a level 4 magus to get 30 feet of movement and 2 attacks?

-- is the movement granted by the spell a flat 30 feet or up to one normal move (thus a halfling magus would normally get only 20 feet from blade dash but someone with a normal move of 50 could blade dash 50 feet)

-- can any abilities be used with the blade dash attack (can the caster use trip, disarm, get flanking bonus, make sneak attacks?)

-- can it be used in hazardous terrain like caltrops, rocks or entanglement?

-- if the caster is invisible at the time of casting do they still leave a rainbow trail?

-- can the caster move ANY direction including into the air, over a chasm, or through walls and opponents?

there are probably other questions I am missing. but the general idea is that there is a whole lot of holes in the explanation.

can you help?

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couple of questions on how to deal with upcoming possible scenarios.

charge vs expeditious evacuation
PC charges and NPC casts expeditious evacuation in PCs path.

would you say the NPC has to have the target square picked out when he readies or can the NPC target the square in response to seeing the charge path?

charge is a single combined action... if the charge path is interupted by an expeditious evacuation prior to the first 30 feet (or distance of first move) would you say the rest of the actions for the round are wasted? (as the charge is now interupted) or would you say that as long as the PC has not moved more than 30 feet he can chose new actions for his standard.

would you require a reflex save to NOT fall in the pit or would you simply allow the player to end the charge?

charge vs create pit
all of these questions apply to create pit with the following aditions.

how much leeway would you give the PC for stoping his charge before reaching the sloped portion of the pit (causing a save to not fall in)
if the space the pit covers had been trapped with caltrops... would you give the caltrops an aditional chance to hit a player who fell in?

(in other words caltrops are on a set of squares. NPC charges (not caring about the caltrops taking the chance he will not be harmed) the NPC has a readied action to cast creat pit in that area as soon as the PC steps into the caltroped squares, caltrops make their attack failing to hit the PC, NPC casts readied pit, PC falls into the pit, should the PC be attacked by the caltrops again? any penalty this time?

no more pits caltrops + fog or obscuring mist, darkness or other vision impairing spells
caltrops are fun to use and easy to repair for any group with a channeling healer. but I am trying to figure out how to make them just a smidge more effective. would you say its a fair call to say that caltrops dropped in an area obscured by mist, fog or some other vision impairment would limit or cancel a PCs dex bonus to avoid the caltrops?

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wondering peoples oppinions on the occational use of non-interactive cut sceens or auto confirm spells and the like.

for example... suppose you have a story that basically hinges on the players running from a monster and more or less taking a certain rout.

I have run many a game in which the level 3 players, ignoring GM advice and basically charge the CR10 dragon thy came across way too early or which was ment as a re-occurring villain they should run from at this level.

I have run other situations where the hook kind of depends on the players being captured or succumbing to a spell like a mass charm or sleep or illusion or some such for the purpose of setting up the next arch of the story.

in both of these cases players choosing to do something unexpected or flat out stupid OR a simple case of players making saves no matter how difficult, can derail the whole path.

so Im wondering peoples opinions on such devices. I think they lead to great story line but others may see them as overly railroady or a sign of poor GMing (if you cant make a plot that does not rely on such plot control you suck.)

what do you think?

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our society has real big issues with the most minor things.

"hey! lets go play that game where we immagine outselves to be bad-ass adventurers killing sentient beings and taking their treasure its such a holesome way to.... OMG UNDER-CLEAVAGE!!! DEFILER OF MORALITY!!! BURN YOU HEATHEN BOOKS BURN!!!!"

by the way belle.. no nipples = not nude. remember... its not reality that counts... its the imaginary lines we cross.

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In golarion what exactly makes a god a god?

Apsu, Tiamat, Sarenrae, Pharasma and other such deities make sense to me because they have something to do with the mechanics or creation of the universe or have simply been around since basically the beginning.

But others seem to be simply powerful entities, or did something spectacular that imparted on them great power.

at first I thought that the ability to provide domain powers was it... but then it seems as if any sufficiently strong outsider can do this.

Is it simply a matter of power or are there some other abilities and responsibilities related as a base line division between being a god and just being really powerful?

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I like to give armor a DR value equal to half its AC bonus specifically against the thing it would overcome.

so full plate cold iron armor would have DR4 against natural attacks from fey or any attack from demons. its a small bonus but gives a reason for special material armors.

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I wish I had

Power Attack
Undetectable Alignment
Simple weapon Proficiency
Exotic Weapon proficiency modern fire arms.

Oh wait... I do!!


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I think the player in question has a negative STR and an amazing dex which means using their STR is a pretty big penalty.

I tried to ask the question in an unbiased manor because while I felt one way about it I felt that some people had raised fair points particularly with the bonus type, which i was wrong about it IS untyped but right in that it still does not stack.

I honestly thing that at this point any one who intends to use the double dex interpretation is simply hell bent on using it that way and they are not going to listen to any one. even if the piazo god of rules and fair play chimed in they would say something like "well that's not the way it SHOULD be and will likely argue over it."

so im moving on from this one.

great debate.

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Oh I agree it would need to be done carefully, but really it would be a compilation of the FAQ, later print edition changes, and some revisions.

dont they already do that.

every once in a while they release a new printing of the core books with the latest eratta.

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I think the OP is actually asking if Piazo will make a Pathfinder 1.5 or 2.0 which is significantly different than the current game which is at its heart 3.x with its own world and a few different rules.

I like pathfinder and doubt I could go back to 3.x because to me it is a different game but its a valid question.

I think that a future pathfinder version WILL be significantly different than the game system is now. Piazo absorbed quite a few rules and stats that are open to improvement but could not be improved in the first iteration.

weapons and armor lists, the way feats, skills, spells and abilities work. I dont think that they will make a change as extreme as the DnD 4.0 travesty or even as big as the 2.0 to 3.x change. but I am fairly certain that in the coming years pathfinder will, either through erata or version change, evolve into a more uniquely piazo product.

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