I am running a campeign in which one of the adversaries wants to cast a spell on the players which is greatly improved by having a pit of the target (hair, nails, etc.)
If the group fights some minions and are injured and then the minions run away I can always just say that the enemy has their blood to use in the spell.
but I was not sure if that would be too trolly so I wanted the players to experience the bad guys actually taking things from them even if they dont get why.
thus I want some minions to attack them and cut off a piece of hair or take a literal bite out of some one ripping off a bit of flesh.
my question is... how should I handle this... does the bad guy SUNDER a characters hair? do a GRAPPLE then bite? should i just say the bad guys are acting strangely "After cutting you he looks at his dagger smiles and runs away" etc etc.
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
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...
The way I run it in home brew is as follows.
~Primary casters ( wizards, sorcerer, oracle, etc) have improved counter spell as a class ability. Other casters like magus, bard etc have to take the feat as normal.
When that opponent or any opponent within 5 feet of the target starts casting a spell with a casting time of standard or longer you can give up the move action of your next turn to attempt to counter the spell. Countering the spell in this way works as written in the rules in all other ways.
I will generally also allow someone to burn a spell with a reasonable excuse to counter a spell as a counter spell. For example if the player sees an opponent casting magic missile but he has no evocation spells to use as a counter he can chose to burn shield instead though the shield spell does not have any other effect beyond countering the magic missile.
This last bit has lead to some fun and inventive excuses for why one spell can counter another... I once had a wizard attempt to counter a level 4 summon spell with teleport... The idea being he redirected the summon with the teleport, the demon was summoned, Just 100 miles away. Since it was clever and he was using a level 5 spell to counter a level 4 I let him do an opposed spellcraft to see if he succeeded.
On a side note you don't have to go too far to trick your players. If they are mature players they should know how to divorce player knowledge from character knowledge. If not don't be afraid to remind them.
Suppose your bad guy cast the illusion of a troll standing in a combat stance with a wicked grin on his face occasionally making threatening gestures. The runs away.
The players come around the corner and see the image described above. If one of your players who usually plays a Mage but is currently playing an int/wiz 10 barbarian says, Oh that could be an illusion I roll a will to disbelieve.... Ask him why knuckles would think that, ask him to explain why his character is acting completely out of character. Force him to at least spend a round using some skill to come to the conclusion
.....unless his natural reaction would be to scream and leap at anything in his path..... In which case you let him do it and chalk it up to good roll play and a bad choice by the bad guy.
I would have given the players a huge bonus if not an auto success the first time they came within 5 of hitting the target. This represents making contact with the image and realizing you just passed through it (note the within 5 idea comes from the magic missile deal where coming within 5 of hitting the target may still pop an image.
Having said that... Silent image is not intended as a combat spell in any way. It's great for putting up illusory walls and objects or non interactive creatures but not really combat.
I think the better way to have handled that would have been to create a silent image of something really dangerous but believable... Like an ogre or troll standing in the hall ready to fight them. It would have reasonably taken them a round or two to get will saves bassed on knowlage checks or noticing a lack of sound or smell. you could have even let it 'dodge' ranged attackes in order to extend the effect.
But once they engage it the jig is up because above all else the image should not be smart enough to engage complex tactics and interactions like combat.
I agree with the OP. counter spelling as designed by raw is weak and unfun.
Lazar it's not that there are no feats, it's that the entire mechanic is wrong.
A caster duel should be as active and interactive as melee combat and has the potential to be more so without vast revamping of the game system.
As it is now countering a single spell requires too many random rolls, too many variables to match and on top of that the caster has to give up its turn just for the chance to try.
As it is now holding action to cast a damage spell is a much more effective method but does not have the right flavor in my book.
but again i use the spit example...
no matter how smart and old I am when I spit i know that it will take a given amount of time to have enough spit in my mouth to spit again.
and when I have enough spit I know that pretty instinctivly.
but i dont necessarily know how long it will take to get enough spit going.
does that mean I am siting there dry spitting to understand how much spit it available?
also when a monster does something the dice roll is not ment to think for the monster. the DM does.
thus when the dragon breaths he is breathing his normal attack. not holding back half intentionally for some tactic that the DM has to adjust to.
the dragon breaths... then he realizes he has enough breath stuff to do it again which he does next round.
then he realizes he does not and it will take a bit of time to get it back.
so he does other things... melee attacks... fly away to charge up... cast spells etc.
after 2 rounds he realizes that he has recharged just enough to be able to breath it again on the next round so next round he does so.
On a side note... if something gave a player a breath weapon would they know the cool down time? I dont think they would and the "ancient and wise dragon" argument would not fit in that respect... nor would it if the dragon were made stupid, if the dragon was young.. or if it was not a dragon but some other monster thats relatively stupid but has a breath weapon mechanic.
I agree with what your saying but I think its a little bit of over thinking and chalking it up to the dragon knows all concept... which i dont think applies here.
I used to do that also... but now it feels like kibitzing.
if I toss in a flash bang and it dazzles you... you know that you will recover in a few seconds... but you dont know how many seconds.
if I know that i will be ok in 12 seconds... i will act differently then if I think it will take 24.
i may let a player know its d4 as opposed to 3d4. but i wont tell them 2 rounds exactly... but thats just me.
when the players effect the monsters in the same way I am very carefull to treat the enemy as if they do not know the roll either. I have on many occations used completely useless attacks against a PC knowing in my mind that the PC has a counter to this attack but also knowing that the NPC does not have that knowlage.
i extrapolate from other rules and traditions in the game.
this specifically talks about spells but its reasonable to assume its not hard coded to spells only... for example Blinding Critical has a d4 dazzle effect if you fail. I assume that this duration is NOT known to either the dazzled or the one who got the crit.
also its kind of fundamentally understood that if I roll 2d6 to damage something... I know that i did 8 damage because I rolled the dice... but my CHARACTER does not know that he did 8 damage except by the DMs vague description.
in other words... its not a hard writen rule but seems to be the intent.
wait... so your saying that he DOES suddenly get 2 extra attacks?
what i am REALLY getting at here is does the polymorph effect now grant extra attacks per round.
does he go from 3 attacks to 5 due to the transformation or is he limited to his 3 attacks per round but now has new options for how he uses those attacks.
and if he does get extra attacks how do they factor into his attack penalties.
I think quantums explanation makes sense... except I want to make sure that BlueBear now gets 5 attacks per round
sword, sword, sword, claw, bite.
Totally understand your point there Ninten.
however... in the game random rolled options are supposed to be more or less unknown to the best of my knowlage.
I am not putting this debate in Rules because I am not looking for a RAW answer. but I am also not trying to toss it all out for flavor.
since there is really no hard fast rule for it I think looking at it the following way works best
the idea is this.
i know enough about my body to know when I have enough spit to hauk a lugi.
I happen to know that I can hauk one up every 10 to 30 seconds which in game terms translates roughly into D4 + 1 rounds.
after hauking one at you I may not know exactly how long untill i have enough phlem to cough up again... but when it is there I can tell.
I think that is a fair way to interpert the fact that by RAW the effects of random cool downs and durations are unknown but by reason a being would have a pretty reasonable idea knowledge on the matter.
whats important is when my players are fighting a dragon does he make a decision about this round of combat KNOWING that he will have his breath weapon in 3 rounds or THINKING it will return in the next 1d4 rounds.
wait... you lost me on the second string of math.
does that mean he does not get any extra attacks. he can simply chose to use a claw instead of a sword and the attack bonus is based on BAB+str-5 for secondary -X for iterative?)
or does he get his 3 normal attacks plus the secondary attacks with any secondary attack not occupied with a weapon.
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?
i am trying to lock down how transformation bassed secondary attacks fit in with a characters attacks per round.
BlueBear has a one hand weapon with which he makes 3 attacks at +25 / +20 / +15
Through the effects of some spell or ability he remains humanoid but gains claw and bite secondary attacks.
when he attacks does he basically get his 3 normal attacks PLUS claws and bites?
If he is using a one handed weapon in one claw does he basically get 3 stabs with the sword then a bite then a claw?
how would these extra attacks break down is it +25 sword, +20 Sword, +15, sword, +10 claw, +5 bite?
or do you simply get to replace a sword attack with a claw/bite attack if you so chose?
and if I replace a sword with a claw for example... does that mean an aditional -5 to the itterative attacks because its a secondary attack?
so I could do +25 sword, +15 claw, +15 sword.
what would be the rules for casting while swimming or underwater.
character falls out of a boat. he is swimming... attempts to cast a spell: whats the concentration check (assume rough water)
same character fails his swim check and is now underwhater holding his breath: whats the concentration check, whats the penalty to trying to cast under whiter? (normal standard action penalty?)
Same character reaches the bottom of the water and is no longer attempting to swim but is still completely submerged: what is the concentration? can they cast while submerged without immediatly drowning?
Subject A stealths up to a sleeping Victem known as Subject B.
Subject A has an attack such as a blood sucking attack or small needs or something that can be used in a more or less painless manner.
subject A attempts to use this in an attack on Subject B which is designed to NOT wake subject B.
Is this Possible?
How would it be handled in the rules?
the ancient romans used it for glaze on their dishes the same way we used it for paint and gas additive.
in other words they may have known it was poison but they still used it.
the sling bullets seems to represent the fair economic price in a real world conversion of the time.. and lead bullets represent game mechanic prices not real prices (through they may include manufacturing)
look at it this way... how much was lead worth in the dark ages (typical magic and might setting)
now add it to use in large quantities among the higher classes (remember lining buildings, houses, lock boxes, maybe even clothing) and probably medium uses amung the lower class. it was not all kings and squalor. the merchants, lower nobles and anyone with any general desire for a modicum of privacy is going to be using the stuff.
Most people dont use it to this level in games. but dont you think it honestly should be?
no it wont be valued like GOLD but Lead is way less common than iron and is generally mined as a byproduct of mining copper and silver.
So I have been looking at scry and have found it to be... basically a broken spell.
Scry spells are either useless or over powered depending on how you read and use them.
easy to resist, takes forever to cast (except greater), darn near announces its presence, a person scrying some one is almost as likley to give up more information about him/her self than gather anything viable from the target.
at the same time If it were good enough to be useful it could break all kinds of things, why bother with apies and traitors, every one knows the danger of scry-port tactics, and do we really need players spamming scry to fast forward through all of the fun parts of an adventure?
So I am trying to figure out how to make scry more useful.
First I think we have to decide if the spell is meant to be offensive or just utility.
Offensive means I can use it against my enemies, Utility means its more of a tool to enhance ones own forces. A leader for example may use scry to keep an eye on his forces, or to communicate with an important person at a given time.
Or maybe its supposed to have some other use entirely... like just a way to let the players know that the bad guys are on to them.
I am trying to think up ways it can be used as is or that i may house rule to make it more useful in one way or another.
I welcome any input.
In the real world lead not worth much because its soft, heavy, dirty and poison to boot. Out side of batteries, and glaze its not much used today.
But in the game world it has amazing properties.
it blocks scrying and detection spells.
in the game world pretty much every important place from jewel cases to throne rooms beg to be lined with the stuff. not to mention its probably an important ingredient in all manner of anti magic paraphernalia.
How much should lead be worth in game? equal to copper? maybe even silver?
OK not silver... but its gonna be up there.
Actually im not sure you have to be able to see invisible as "invisibility" mechanically is just an increase to dificulty to see.
So invisibility is +40 for a non moving targer. +20 for a moving target.
Does that mean the sensor is 20+SL + 40(20) for invisibility? If so would it not be more clear? As writen the argument for a standard scry could be 24, 44, or 64 depending on how you read it and the situation at the time....
According to JJ it seems the spell is supposed to suck.. Basically its a the way i see it now its basicly a way to add a sense of danger as the enemy makes his presence known rather than a true spying tool.
Being scried is rediculously easy to detect and/or avoid. Is this the role play intention? In other words is scry not ment to be used offensively but more of a method of keeping tabs on ones minions and allies?
If its a spell to be used with allies why is there no component to make it easier? (It takes an hour to cast, does not last long, there is no way for the target to determine who is casting it on him before chosing to resist or not.)
It appears to me that detecting scry is extremely easy and i just want to run it by every one to see if i am understanding it correctly.
Scenario. My group is sitting next to a camp fire and the enemy casts scry targeing me.
1) First if i have casted detect scrying in the last 24 hours i know i am being scried immediately, no questions asked AND i can make an opposed check for a chance to glimps the person scrying me.
- no real questions here
2) i dont have detect scrying up but I get a will save vs the scry normally about a dc 14 save correct?
3) having failed the save there is a scry sensor floating up there looking at me. I dont sense the scry but i get an automatic perception vs dc 24 or so to notice the scry sensor.
Note. I am purely asking RAW here, i am not trying to figure out how a guy sleeping in a lead lined room know that some one has attempted to scry him i am just trying to understand the rules for future consideration.
I would use something like that but they alerady faced a caster with something similar.
but i may still try to figure out a puzzle to defeat the enemy...
I am trying a battle today where rather than buffing up the enemy I have exhausted the players getting to the enemy.
at this point they are in a situation where MOST of their spells and abilities are used up for the day... the pally has 2 lay on hands left (that he can smite with) the magus has just enough arcane pool to pull up a spell or two. the cleric is down to 1 or 2 channels and a level 1 or 2 spells the fighter and rogue are not so limited but will have to look out for the dangers of not having buffs or major support.
my only fear is that this battle will become boring rather than grueling.
hope it works...
I have to work it out. i want the battle to be entertaining, and a bit terrifying... but I have players (rogue, paladin, fighter, magus) that can easily enough do 30 to 70 damage each per hit... I dont want to just raise the CR because then the monster hits ALL the time and deals 50+ damage per hit and crits pretty much guarantee a kill.
but i would like something where the CAN hit, CAN deal damage, but the battle still takes enough time to feel EPIC and not a race to clean up the trash mobs then kill the boss in 2 rounds of focus fire.
So I would like to concept a BBEG that has few or no spells, is an epic battle, and still gives the group a run for its money.
I want it to be powerful, but not one shot players (except maybe on a good crit)
i want it to have good defenses but not be nearly impossible to hit or cast against.
I want it to require more than spell dump/full attack to kill it.
lets balance this for a group of level... say 10. so they have access to some hefty spells like hate, chanells and buffs.
Off the top of my head I am looking at something with multiple attacks like a modified dragon or simply a Bad Bobby with an adamantine great axe he can swing 5 times...
I feel fine giving him some basic AOE like a breath weapon because I expect the AOE to be generally a less effective attack than the melee only used for its area effectiveness.
AC would be high but not too high... i want the heavy melee classes to hit with about 1/4 to 1/3 of their primary attacks. remember with haste around that usually means 2 or 3 full attack bonus attacks per turn.
SPells, I dont want him to have too many spells. maybe some defensive things like mirror image or blur. or maybe some utility spells like true sight, but nothing spectacular, this is a melee brawl.
this monsters claim to fame will be survivability. I want it to survive at least 10 rounds of combat getting hit hard by fighters, paladins and flanking rogues, not to mention a spell caster doing his best to get thorugh his spell defenses.
I want everyone to be usefull so no anti-magic or too many immunities fields but a high SR and Saves is nice.... also a dynamic and interesting spell defense that a caster has to figure out may be interesting.
also a great durability... I find DR, hardness and fast heal to be rather limited... unless they are closer to 25 than 10 so I think a simple enormous hitpoint pool will suffice. like 500 or so. or a combination (300 Hitpoins hardness 10 + fast heal 20 with the intelligence to avoid damage and heal when possible.)
any geneal ideas that may point me in the right direction?
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.
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.
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.
I appreciate all of the responses even the angry/sarcastic ones.
I sometime have these crisis because i want to ensure that the game remains fun for every one and I run into these situations where one player over whelms or "breaks" the game for others.
to be honest if every character had a +40 perception that does not bother me as much as one guy with +25 due to hyper focusing and the others with something more reasonable.
im not really angry or unhappy with the game simply looking for ideas to A) encourage more rounded characters and B) discourage hyper focused min/maxing that is often fun in theory but not fun in practice.
Many people mentioned the abilities of spells.
the difference between spells and skills is that spells have to be used to be effective. they require a resource (spell per day or something) and more player interaction.
having said that dont get me wrong i hate spells that limit interaction also.
as an example... I am playing with 2 groups of players.... for one group they have a super high skill monkey hyper focused in perception. so when they enter a room and say "i do a search" he rolls and expects to have seen everything, traps, secrets, loots, clues, etc.
in the other group they just walk in the room and go "I cast detect magic" and walk out if nothing pings.
both of them are somewhat annoying and ultimately take away from player involvement (in my mind)
I think the idea of E6 is true. thats my favorite level, when players are remarkably strong and heroic but not gods and super heroes.
Ultimately if i am not having fun GMing I will simply not GM. if my players are not having fun playing they will simply not play... my goal is to satisfy both.
So... I am considering a system to limit extreme skills.
The game gets a bit... rediculous when a character achieves a skill level that pretty much negates cirtain aspects of the game.
beyond the simple difficulty of building an adventure around a character with +30 or +40 to a skill comes the issues of group balance.
even more difficult comes the issues related to players knowing they have tweeked their character to some ungodly level demanding an ungodly results.
How do you think about this. Do you think that having characters that legally can see an invisible pixy from 100 feet away adds to the game or breaks it.
do you think that anything a player can tweek the rules to do should be acomodated by the GM or is there a mutual responsibility to a balanced game?
should the GM, fased with unreasonably focused characters simply bend the story to mitigate those insane skills or should the players basically get to cake walk where ever their special skills are concerned as a reward for focus?
I am considering a home rule that limits ultra high skills without taking away all incentive to level up a skill.
something relativly simple like at some point skills increase at a rate of 2 for 1 and later 3 for one...
or maybe some kind of RP penalty for excessiov skills (some one with a super high perception gets a penalty to sudden light or sonic attacks as an example.
just exploring the thoughts and ideas.
initiative can be tricky. I personally hate the "flat footed in the first round" rule and ONLY use it in surprise rounds. (though i have a special rule for rogues)
but thats just me.
as for the first situation.
I would give the party a chance to READY action to shoot or cast on the first thing that comes around the corner. dogs round the corner in a bunch, reactive fire goes off, roll initiatives.
of course this can lead to trouble if its not something they want to shoot but you can factor in the ability to abort this action.
in such a case i would say neither is flat footed, but by RAW the dogs MAY be flat footed which is stupid
As for the second one basically I would run it like this.
1) set up the sceen
2) players roll perception checks against the attackers. players who roll high enough may notice people eyeing them but not have any particular reason to attack them. (if they are somehow warned, like a player saying "I warn the group", the players who rolled within 5 is just oblivious players who rolled really low notice some one but its actually just a bystander)
2) then the wizard casts slow and the attackers initiate their surprise round
3) roll initiative for the whole battle
4) players who noticed attackers get to act in this surprise round on their initiative (just a standard action) and treat the flat footed rule as you normally do.
5) players who failed the perception do not act in the surprise round. (if they rolled really low maybe you let them attack an innocent bystander by accident)
6) after all attackers and relevant players act in the surprise round begin first full round of combat continues with all players in the initiative.
im wondering how passage through field effect things.
if 4 characters are in a long hallway.
50 feet ahead of them is an silence bubble.
50 feet beyond the bubble there is something creating a loud noise (source is irrelevant)
do the players here the sound? in other words does the sound pass through the bubble, any one inside would not hear anything but does the sound continue on the other side.
in a similar (but totally different sense...
same 4 characters, this time the characters are 20 feet from an anti magic field and 15 feet beyond it is a lich, wearing magic items and cloaked in an illusion making him look like a run of the mill guard at his feet is a small invisible imp the only light in the hallway is a daylight spell anchored just outside of a false window across from the guard.
each character has a different effect up, Detect magic, detect evil, arcane sight and true sight.
how would this effect the characters ability to see.
would any one detect evil or magic? would any one see the invisible imp? would they see through the illusion to recognize the lich as not what he appears?
would they even be able to see anything?
I guess what i am asking is... does the antimagic field block the radiation of magical effects or just the source.
will the light from the daylight spell radiate through or no? will a lightning bolt cast on one end wink out as it passes through the field and continue on the other side... or just dissipate? etc etc etc.
sorry i didnt read all of the posts.
As a GM I establish in my games tht players pretty much cant suddenly multiclass unless they spend time, have teachers, etc.
in other words a fighter that wants to cast spells has to have a story book reason for doing so. like they spend 2 or 3 levels training with the group wizard.
it does not eliminate level dips but it kind of minimizes the more extreme activities.
i mean... you dont just wake up one day with a bunch of spells a spell book and components.
I actually do the same thing with skills (though i am much more open handed with this)
having said that...
PF is very different from D&D in that the individual classes and archetypes make most multi class options worse than just sticking with one class. I mean... there is really no melee/mage combination better than magus as an example.
you should be able to avoid HARD rules with roleplay rules that allow you to avoid the worst offenders (like any class + 2 levels of alchemist) and keep your game fun and manageable.