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Artemis Entreri

concerro's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,598 posts (35,277 including aliases). 3 reviews. 6 lists. 3 wishlists. 25 aliases.

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I found it.


Related Point: Can I apply the aasimar or elf oracle's favored class bonus to a revelation I do not yet have? Can I do so for the aasimar bard’s favored class bonus?

No, when choosing which class feature’s effective level to increase, you can only select a feature that you already have. For example, an aasimar flame oracle cannot choose to improve the wings of fire revelation with her favored class bonus until she actually gains the revelation at 7th level or beyond; she could not start augmenting it at 1st level.

This isn’t actually a new rule. It’s just a clarification that I confirmed with the design team because it seemed that some folks were assuming otherwise.

click me

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Werebat wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

So, you've moved the goalposts. Your initial point was "you need to *own* all these books!"
Um. Where did I say that? I don't remember saying it, and when I looked, I couldn't find it.

You may not have used the word "own", but you made it seem like a lack of access was a problem, and yeah I can find the quote for that.


All I've really been saying is that we've hit a point where at least some of the people who left 3.5 for Pathfinder (because sticking with 3.5 was always an option, even after WotC abandoned it) are becoming disillusioned with PF and looking to 5e D&D the same way they looked to PF when it first arrived on the scene.

Not everyone. Clearly many people here emphatically do NOT feel this way.

That is very different from the feel of your first post. There will always be "someone". Someone may go to 5E, not like it as much, and come back to PF. Some will stay with 5E. Your first post has a much stronger feel than "some will leave". There will always be someone that will leave, even if 5E had not come around.


You can howl all you want about it, you can make all the accusations of goalpost moving that you want, you can dismiss our feelings as invalid all you want -- but it's still going to be how we feel.

And that means something.

Nobody is dismissing your feelings, but you made certain statements as if they were facts, when they are not.

So IF ALL you are saying is that the rules bloat is too much for some, then we agree. You may have even listed some valid reasons as to why they will leave, but if you don't your post to be read as "the sky is falling", then don't write them in that manner.

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Werebat wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

That and they have stated they try to keep the different books used by any given AP at around 4-5-- not the same 4-5 for every AP but within any given one limiting it to a smaller scope, so. . . yet another reason the view that "Paiso HAS to make a 2nd edition" is flawed.

Ah, thanks for the info proving my point. 4-5 is exactly what I had guessed (counting core and monster books). What happens when they have ten sourcebooks available for players and the APs are still limited to 4-5? Twenty?

Eventually it gets untenable.

It still stays at 4 to 5. The idea is not to represent every new book every time. The idea is to use the products in games. It is good advertising, and it allows the writers more ways to express ideas. By the time it is up to 20 the older books will have likely been establish and won't need the press.

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Werebat wrote:
Pan wrote:
So really the groaning going on here is werebat under the weight of his powergamers.

That would be true if I were the only person in my situation.

But I'm not, and as time goes on it will get worse for everyone.

Paizo, for example, can't assume when it writes its APs that everyone out there has every supplement it has also put out. That would lead to people eventually dropping their AP subscriptions because they couldn't use all of the APs due to their containing supplemental material they don't own (I know there have been exceptions to this but it is generally true).

Eventually you have a situation where player groups will have many more options (and thus generally more power) than the adversaries in the APs can have, due to said adversaries being largely restricted to core rules.

The more times rolls on, the worse the situation gets.

It is ultimately untenable.

Most people have internet access which is all they need, and since 3.5 until it was done away with that is not evidence in your favor, and there the power creep there was well beyond what I can do in Pathfinder.

In addition if you don't want to use a witch as an example because you dont want to learn new class then use a pregenerated wizard which are available on the prd.

The same logic applies to any new class.--> Grab something similar.

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Werebat wrote:

Not more balanced?

Look at the average Will saves of a level 20 Pathfinder Cleric and a level 20 Pathfinder Rogue.

Now look at the Wisdom saves of a level 20 5th Edition Cleric and a level 20 5th Edition Rogue.

What was that about balance again?

The word balance does not mean "equal".

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Werebat wrote:

Pathfinder was great when it came out. A real relief from the madness that 3.X had descended into. I loved how game play seemed more balanced, and many of the optimization "tricks" were toned down in the core rules and even the first supplement or two.

And then came the APG. And with it, the gunslinger, the alchemist, and the summoner.

In the time since, Pathfinder has begun to groan under the weight of its own cheese. With the new class book coming out, I'm starting to feel just like I did with 3.X when Pathfinder first came out.

And now I see 5th Edition D&D, just about ready to bite into. Simplified. Less optimization-y. A lot like Pathfinder was, once.

Hear that creaking and groaning? Right around the structural supports?

The amount of splat feats is is not on par with a new book almost every month, and the game is no less balanced than it was before. If a player wants to give the GM a headache he only needs to CRB. If he is not the type to really ramp up on optimization then he won't even with more books.

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I think this is what people are trying to say---> Having the right(legally) to do something does not make it morally right, or a good way to develop relationships(business or personal).

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Scott Betts wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
WoTC is the one that took their toys back. DTRPG may be wrong for saying "the toys will always be in our house", but that does not matter to some people.
Clearly. It ought to matter, but it doesn't. Much easier to blame the big company making a business decision than it is to blame the small company that lied to you because it made their service sound more attractive!

I get what you are saying, but it was still a poor move to make. I might not tell my gf that I will never cheat on her, but it is just assumed to be that way until otherwise stated. Likewise pdfs are normally able to be downloaded at will. This is more of an unwritten agreement thing, than a broken promise issue to people. It also did not help with the suddenness in which the decision was made. I am sure that even with a 30 day window, or even a 2 week window people would have been upset, but they would have been less upset people, and less people who were upset.

Now I don't know if WoTC said remove the files "right now", but with the way it was done, it was taken that way.

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Scott Betts wrote:

The idea of trust with respect to a tabletop RPG company seems like it's thrown around far more often than it ought to be. There is precious little reason for such a company to require you to place any trust in them - especially since 3e, when every edition of the game has featured ways to enjoy it at either no cost or at very little cost. There is no need to invest huge sums of money up front and then cross your fingers that the game will suit you.

I don't have much patience for people who say that 4e's release cost them their trust in WotC, because I don't think anything happened during 4e's initial release that could be credibly called a breach in trust by anyone.

I do agree that expecting for 3E to never end was not exactly a realistic outlook, and it is not always possible to keep things backwards compatible forever. As a company they(any RPG company) have to make money so having a new ruleset may be the best answer in the longrun.

As for your trust comment--->Trust is a very large key to getting money from people, and any smart company will try to build it.

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Scott Betts wrote:

Is everyone forgetting that DTRPG made an unlicensed promise to its customers that PDFs would remain available that it legally was not in a position to be able to keep?

Everyone went for WotC's throat when it happened, and almost no one acknowledged that DTRPG was in the wrong.

Yeah, no one likes that WotC pulled PDF support for a few years. But that's just a disappointing business decision, not a breach of trust. Stripping people of access to PDFs they thought they owned? That is a breach of trust, but it's not WotC that breached it. It's DTRPG, for making a promise to its customers it knew it was incapable of keeping.

WoTC is the one that took their toys back. DTRPG may be wrong for saying "the toys will always be in our house", but that does not matter to some people. Many people just assume a pdf will always be there so they never really blamed DRRPG since the promise was never heard of to them. EVERYONE however notices when the toys are gone, and they notice who took them. This topic has come up before, an he known instigator of the action will be blamed. It also did not help that the pirating reasoning was not excepted by many in the community. It was seen as a lie from what I remember on many forums.

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3.5 mentioned that outsiders can not die, but it was not in the core monster manual. Basically any D&D game that does not change outsiders will have them as being immortal.

Fiendish codex one says demons do not grow old or die of natural causes.

The same is said of devils in fiendish codex 2. It even says some can remember their lives before time was measured as it is now.

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I was sure that it eas written that they were immortal. I will try to.find it when. I get home. Maybe it was only mentioned in 3.5.

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Zark wrote:

Some of the posts in this thread make me sad. What frustrate me are the constant complaints every time Paizo is releases something new.

During the playtest people raised there worry that the main problem with the rogue was is that it unfortunately brought the new classes down. The investigator and slayer was the two big concerns, but also Swashbuckler was a problem.

People loudly, and rightly so, pointed out that the new classes wasn’t the problem. The problem was the rogue (and to some extent the fighter).

Now when the Devs seems to have listened to us, people complain that the slayer is too good.

First of all, we haven’t seen the new classes nor do we know if the old classes get some new cool abilities or/and feats, but second, …….
….here it is: the slayer isn’t too good. Nor are any of the other new martial classes or the Investigator too good, it is the rogue, and to some extent the fighter, that are too weak

Seriously, would we have been happy if they had nerfed the Slayer or the investigator because they would have been more powerful than the rouge. Me, I’m extremely happy that they didn’t use the rogue as their benchmark.

BTW, and the ranger? The ranger is still very much a valid class.

That is because we have two camps. Those who think the fighter and/or rogue are ok as is. The other camp are people like myself that think they could have used a boost. I like the slayer, and it will compete with the guide ranger for my "ninja" slot.

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Zark wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
The bardic performances don't require the use of the performance skill unless it calls it out. Some do and some don't so check the performance in question.

Sorry, but my brain is slow to the unusual extreame heat we now have in Stockholm.

So do you mean a bard/barbarian can use IC or any other bardic performance that don't require a roll while raging?

Since it is maintained as a free action I would say yes. He could just inspire by talking down to his enemies. In any event the line about cha-based skills does not apply because the no skill use is needed. So it works by RAW until the dev team says otherwise.

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What they should have said was any "Act", not "action" requiring two hands is prohibited.

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DualJay wrote:
What if the fighter is using archery?

Archery isn't better than two handing because of damage. It is better because it is not so limited by distance. With archery you almost always get a full round attack. If that is your point then maybe the barbarian archer would need an adapative bow, but he would still be competitive I think. In addition he still has better defenses than the fighter.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:

It seems to me we could expand the wording judiciously: "Elves get a +2 bonus to saves against enchantment spells and other charm- and compusion-like effects." Same ability, now applies. Same with superstition.

You do realize that all you are doing is writing in the transparency rules back into the game on a line by line basis. :)

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Saving throws apply to psionics only if transparency is in place.

Huh? Why do all psionic powers become "save: no" without transparency?

I don't think that is what he means. He does need to explain it better though.

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pclark4422 wrote:


wraithstrike wrote:
You do know the see invis, glitterdust, and faerie fire also availible at this level.
Yes I do. But I don't typically see these as something a typical giant warband, undead horde, or monster clutch is going to have access to. Even a spell caster isn't necessarily going to have these prepared and ready unless they are expecting an attack from another magical force that happens to use invisibility.

Whether or not they are availible depends on their CR which influences the level the GM will allow the PC's to be or maybe the other way around. As for expecting an attack, that depends on the storyline. If they are causing trouble then I see no reason why they would not expect trouble, and depending on the scenario invis may not be enough on its own. Invis is not detect proof and fly does not last forever in any event. If I had more information on this scenario I could give a more direct response.


wraithstrike wrote:
From the point of the characters any unneeded risk might kill them. As an example, if I am an real life assassin it is safer for me sneak up to the enemy leader and slit his throat than fight might way through all of his minions, even if the fight scene would be cinematic.
I understand this and I don't get mad at the players for doing it. I do the same thing. Players are always going to take the easiest and least risky approach. The tricky part is finding the balance between the pragmatic and the cinematic.

I don't really worry about trying to force things to be cinematic. They tend to happen naturally. As an example my old GM(3.5) had a mounted fighter and they do a lot of damage even on a normal hit. He charged our sorcerer, who I knew would likely die if he was hit. However on the way to the sorcerer he drew an attack of opportunity from me. I critted and killed him.

Following the Average Player Wealth guide lines the potions aren't a bad investment. At level 3 they're expensive, but 1500 GP to skip the entire dungeon isn't a bad deal. At 4th level crafting its 750 for the pair at lowest level which is a steal. After that its trivial. I tried short changing my players a bit when I was GMing, but once they noticed their wealth per level discrepancy they started getting upset.

That is a lot of gold to spend on a consumable, and that potion of invis will only last for about 3 minutes. I doubt they are skipping an entire dungeon in 3 minutes. They can use a higher caster level, but it is still an entire dungeon, and the cost go up if they use a higher caster level. I would also think that if they are in a dungeon the ceiling is not normally higher than 10 feet, maybe 15. That is still in range for the flat DC 20 perception check. At this point the bad guys can alert the entire dungeon, or they can close the door trapping some if not the entire party in the room. If they are in a hallway then alert everyone. Taking on an entire dungeon at the same time is not something most parties will try. Also if magic is common in the world and they want to avoid flying invisible people flying overhead give some of them reach weapons and/or ranged weapons.

Before I go any further the rule for the flat 20 check is in the glossary under the invisibility section.


Maybe it would help if I gave a setting and you could help me figure out how to deal with it.

Quest level 4-6
Time Limit: None
Players have to retrieve the magical Widget from the castle in the ruined city of Blah. The widget is rumored to be located in a secret chamber beneath throne room. The ruins are inhabited primarily by magical beasts with the occasional outsider. The castle itself is guarded by undead, those who swore their body and soul to defend it.

As a GM I would be expecting a significant portion of the quest to occur as the transit through the ruins themselves. Once inside the castle they would have to fight through the undead and a few traps (both magical and mundane), to locate the throne room. Once there the entrance is magically hidden and sealed requiring thorough searches and/or some puzzle solving to to discover. The entrance requires a special Key that is in some other part of the castle. The key can be found through various clues pointing the way to either a dungeon or a tower depending on my mood.

Since it is a ruined city I would have a random encounter table in play since the monsters don't really care about the widget. I will use level 5 since it is between 4 and 6. As a GM it is a good idea to take the party into consideration. It seems your party is like Ocean's 11. Now the undead need a reason to guard the widget. Let's say they are there in service to a necromancer whether it is a lich or living person who is supposed to return. Otherwise the widget is probably not that important.

If they just open doors or windows while invisible then someone will notice. While we are on the subject of a castle I would think that all possible entrances would have guards if this widget is so important. Since the party is level 5 a few skeletons and/or zombies will make up the primary bulk. Intelligent undead such as wights, ghouls/ghast, can be the ones guarding important areas, and don't have them on guard alone. Also don't have them fight to the death if it is imminent they will die. Running away is a good idea at times. This also allows them to put the castle on alert.

Some traps have poor DC's for disabling and perception for their CR, and some have a high DC. I don't really care for traps, but if the place is not intended to be bothered then having 2 or 3 won't hurt.

Traps on their own don't do much, but combining them with monsters is a good idea. You can have the trap set to go off just before the monster appears or have it in the middle(somewhere in the room) of the room.

Since you seem to have a walking radar the occasional mechanical trap is fine. Just know it won't do you any good. It is more of a way to reward a player for investing in finding them.

Before I get into this I will use a character I made as an example of the walking radar.

5 ranks in perception, +3 class skill, +5 eyes of the eagle, +2 for having 1/2 class level in perception, +3 wisdom=18
That means he gets an 18 by taking 10. So if the spell is 3rd level or lower that is used to create the trap he will find it by taking 10.

Continuing the subject of traps.

A good way to make players careless is to sucker them in with easy fights. A ghoul is a CR 2 IIRC. Taking on 2 or 3 of individually or even 2 at a time will be a cakewalk.

So they enter another room and they see another ghoul, but he might be a CR 4 due to class levels. He might also have 1 or 2 normal ghoul buddies. In addition there is a trap that can be setoff accidentally by players or on purpose by the monsters. There is a disagreement on whether or not the players get an automatic check for a trap. I don't think they should, but that is a discussion for another thread.
Even if they do they can be ruled to be distracted(this is in the rulebook) due to combat putting them at a -5. And even if they do find the trap disabling a trap takes rounds, which makes it a bad idea when bad guys are around.

You are probably wondering what trap to use. I prefer something that the monster is immune to. In this case I choose stinking cloud. The CR is 4, but the perception to find it is a 28. Yes that means my walking radar could have found it if he was not in combat by taking 10, but now there is no taking 10. What does stinking cloud do? It makes you nauseated.

nauseated wrote:
Creatures with the nauseated condition experience stomach distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn.

Even if only one party member fails they are likely in for a decent fight. As a free action the ghoul can call for help. To be fair I would not have a simple call alert the entire castle, but everyone within ___ feet might here it. They will show up in XdY rounds.

As for the boss fight to get the widget after getting the key I would have it be a CR 8 fight since they are level 5.

The boss would be a CR 7(I would likely use a vampire template on a caster, and his backup would be a combined CR 5. I think 2 shadows will be sufficient.

What would you do as a player to have maximum effectiveness and least risk?

I would try to have a wand of cure light wounds, and lesser restoration prepared. If the money was available a few potions of lesser restoration might be nice. Also leaving spell slots open can be a good idea. If the castle being manned by undead is a trick, then you can put other spells in those slots. I would also try to take the castle in one go. If possible try to get an enemy to talk and give you the layout of the castle. This is less likely with undead barring the use of command undead.

Thats probably it. I do expect a certain degree of difficulty for things I draw up and put thought into. Random encounters I don't care so much, but overall I don't think the world should be the PCs playground. At the end of a good quest I think the players should be out of resources and almost dead.

I have a similar view on things. I only design certain encounters to be a challenge and/or to gauge the party's strength. If they can easily handle the rest I don't care too much.

I feel like I forgot something. If I remember I will post it later on.

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Noctani wrote:

Taking ten is fine. But it also makes sense that taking ten takes more time. If you're rolling you are going as quickly as possible and may make mistakes. If you are taking ten you may double the time required to complete the task. (that's my rule anyway) There is nothing wrong with taking a ten, but again it's going to cost you time. Keep in the rules say you can take ten on routine tasks. You can't take ten when distracted, in combat, or in imminent danger. While it's not RAW. I would say you can't take ten exploring a dungeon. The players aren't in a comfortable or safe place. If your weapons are out and you can react to any combat situation and are watching your step there is no taking ten. If your character is always aloof and doesn't notice combat until a turn after it's started then I might allow it or if all the other PCs are on guard defending you while you try to figure out the magic device, but per RAW it doesn't state the particulars, that is DM interpretation.

Stop it.

You KNOW that is not the intent. If you want to make a houserule fine, but don't pretend like you don't know that is not the intent. Combat is not in play until dice are rolled, so they are not distracted or in imminent danger. This is you trying to weasel your way into making stuff up. As the GM if you want something to work a certain way just do it. Now if you really think that is the intent there are dev quotes that disagree with you.

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pclark4422 wrote:

Before I get stoned to death I want to be clear that my intent is not to discuss balancing between classes. Looking through the forums, that topic seems like its been beaten to death, resurrected, and beaten again until its Con stat is 0. Instead, I'm more concerned with balancing problems from the GM perspective and how to deal with them.

Instant Win - This is primarily a problem with magic and casting classes. While Save or Die spells are particularly problematic, I'm more concerned about the situations outside of combat.

Situation 1 - Party with a caster that has Invisibility, Fly and Brew Potion. These three, rather low level (below 10) abilities allow the party to completely negate the defense of any bandit camp, perimeter wall, or towering spire that isn't deliberately tailored to combat these abilities. Why fight your way through the castle when you can just fly up to the tower where the princess is imprisoned, grab her, and fly away?

In games I play/run the BBEG is not always at the top. They may be in a basement, or in a room in the middle, and that includes published adventures. Invis also only allows for one attack before becoming visible. In addition you only need a flat DC 20 perception check to know an invisible creature is within 20 feet of you. It might not pinpoint the square, but you will know you are not alone. Making a 20 is not that hard.


Situation 2 - Detect Magic. As it says, detects magic. Consistently, quickly, for free and without fail. A player that says he's always detecting magic effectively neuters any magical traps, effects, and auras and finds any and all magic items. Making the player constantly say hes detecting magic quickly becomes cumbersome. When I GMed I ruled that the players still had to roll perception to find things, but this did not go well with the players.

It only tells you an aura is around, and you can identify the school. You still do not know what the spell is. Also if a creature cast a spell and walks away the aura will still be there. There is no way to be sure it is a trap, or an spell on the area.

As an example if cast invis and walk away there could be an illusion based trap, an illusion in place, or an invisible person still there among other things.

There are also spells such as magic aura and nondetection, but I would not suggest over using them. It gets annoying.


Situation 3 (happened last session) - Introduced a 10th level druid to the party before entering a typical cavernous dungeon. Druid uses wild shape to turn into an earth elemental with Earth Glide for 10 hours. Theoretically we could have had him scout the entire dungeon and map the most direct path to the big bad with a hand wave. Realizing this was cheap we instead just decided to have him scout what was on the other side of a door before we bothered to disarm traps and go in (still cheap). This still resulted in great frustration for the GM and a cancellation of the session so the dungeon could be reworked.

That is just a smart use of abilities. As players get higher in level they circumvent more ideas a GM will have in place if he is not used to running higher level games.

Example: You as the GM just planned an overland trek, where the party will run into NPC Y, but you forgot, or did not notice, that the party wizard/sorcerer had teleport. So your 3 day hiking idea is bypassed in 6 seconds.


Before I get stoned to death I want to be clear that my intent is not to discuss balancing between classes. Looking through the forums, that topic seems like its been beaten to death, resurrected, and beaten again until its Con stat is 0. Instead, I'm more concerned with balancing problems from the GM perspective and how to deal with them.

Instant Win - This is primarily a problem with magic and casting classes. While Save or Die spells are particularly problematic, I'm more concerned about the situations outside of combat.

Situation 1 - Party with a caster that has Invisibility, Fly and Brew Potion. These three, rather low level (below 10) abilities allow the party to completely negate the defense of any bandit camp, perimeter wall, or towering spire that isn't deliberately tailored to combat these abilities. Why fight your way through the castle when you can just fly up to the tower where the princess is imprisoned, grab her, and fly away?

Situation 2 - Detect Magic. As it says, detects magic. Consistently, quickly, for free and without fail. A player that says he's always detecting magic effectively neuters any magical traps, effects, and auras and finds any and all magic items. Making the player constantly say hes detecting magic quickly becomes cumbersome. When I GMed I ruled that the players still had to roll perception to find things, but this did not go well with the players.

Situation 3 (happened last session) - Introduced a 10th level druid to the party before entering a typical cavernous dungeon. Druid uses wild shape to turn into an earth elemental with Earth Glide for 10 hours. Theoretically we could have had him scout the entire dungeon and map the most direct path to the big bad with a hand wave. Realizing this was cheap we instead just decided to have him scout what was on the other side of a door before we bothered to disarm traps and go in (still cheap). This still resulted in great frustration for the GM and a cancellation of the session so the dungeon could be reworked.

Take 10 - This rule creates success rates of <=45% or 100%. Because of its stifling maximize or die nature I don't use it as a player and when I GMed I ruled they couldn't either. Another unpopular house rule on my part.

There is nothing wrong with taking 10. It is for situations where you can take your time and you are so good at your skill that you are sure you can do it. As an example as a computer tech in the military, I was never worried about something as simple as defragging a hard drive or taking my weapon apart. Now doing that while someone is trying to shoot me might be more stressful. That is what forced rolls are for. And as a player you want to be good at things to avoid failing. It is not heroic to fail something that should be mundane to you. As an example taking a casual swim across a calm lake should easy. Taking a swim in a river might require you to put in actual effort/roll. That does not mean you can not try to take 10, but it could be a bad idea.


Protecting the Big Bad - This problem has come up a couple times where the big bad, built as a PC class using the game rules, is incredibly vulnerable to Save or Die, or just damage in general.

Situation 1 - I was playing a a Sea Singer Bard/Duelist whose back story was based on the song The Mariner's Revenge ( It comes time for me to face my nemesis and my party members have inadvertently bypassed all of the mooks that were supposed to keep them busy while I had my duel. Right out of the gate the cleric casts Hold Person and succeeds reducing what was supposed to be the dramatic climax of my character's storyline to a one hit kill. Even if the GM had fudged the roll, the Barbarian would have hacked him to death in 2 rounds. The GM could have denied them access to the fight entirely, through one way or another but..

When designing BBEG's a GM has to be mindful of such things, and even so sometimes the BBEG will get one-shot. It happens. What I have noticed a long time ago is that one fight BBEG's dont work as well in Pathfinder as they do in video games due to action economy. If I run an AP I will actually tone the BBEG down at times, and use the leftover XP to give him some minions. That is actually a tougher fight then one NPC.


Situation 2 - Similar scenario where another player is about to face their nemesis. My character is Feared and therefore out of the fight, but the invisible Ninja/Assassin was outside of the cone. He takes his 3 turns to study the target and attempts his Death Attack. The attack would have succeeded but GM said "no". The GM says no to any of his other abilities that would have essentially just stopped the fight or made it less dramatic as well (though he can still attack and do backstab damage). The fight turns out epic with the two of them fighting in a ring of fire completely by accident, but the Assassin is so upset by the fact he couldn't use his abilities he ditches the character entirely to become the aforementioned druid.

If you know you have super stealth guy then have an NPC with high perception, and I would have been upset also. Just saying no pretty much invalidates the work you put into your character. If I can't use something then it defeats the point of me having it. As a fellow GM I know it sucks sometimes to spend a lot of time on something to have it insta-killed, but that is something we GM's have to realize will happen.


So I guess the question is, how does a 'good' GM deal with these kinds of issues without resorting to a lot of house rules, arbitrarily saying "no", or deliberately tailoring every instance in the game to counter these kinds of abilities? While the third option is just cheap in my opinion the first two are particularly troublesome. Since the player aren't actually abusing the rules telling them they can't use one of their abilities seems to be upsetting to players, even when it is agreed upon that story trumps rules.

A good GM learns the rules as best he can and tries to avoid them, but also realizes that sh*t happens. Arbitrarily saying no will not make players happy.

A good GM also has an alternate plan or just changes story elements the players does not know about. As an example with my teleport comment, I would just have moved NPC Y to another destination the players were headed to.

I have had players skip a large number of enemies before. I wont deny them the XP. I give it to them. Otherwise I would be punishing them for being smart.

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Degoon Squad wrote:

Rogues are subpar because the way most games are played. Many games dont use skills that much, dont use traps, dont use locked doors that need to be open and dont run adventures where people need to sneek around.

And as for using Magic to do what a rogue does you can but just remember detect Magic is a ZERO level spell everyone gets and every competent bad guy should have some low level Mook who only job is to cast detect magic on a regular basis.

Not really. We just use bards, inquisitors, and rangers to do those things.

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It seems to work like constrict to me. It says upon a successful grapple check which is what grab allows.

I don't like the idea of releasing someone and grabbing them again, but I also understand that if a monster is fighting alone from an OoC perspective it is efficient to do so.

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John-Andre wrote:

Part of a conversation tonight involved the concept of "dump stats". One of the GMs I was talking to said, "If any of my players takes a dump stat, I will [figuratively subject the character in question to a rather painful and humiliating personal indignity]."

Examples were offered. It seems that one of this GM's players chose to play a dwarf with a dump stat Charisma. The GM decided that even though the party had a highly social leader, the antisocial dwarf was a millstone around their necks. Prices were raised to unbelievable levels. Serious social penalties were applied. Most of the time, the powers-that-be of any town or village they went to, were willing to (grudgingly) sell the party supplies -- so long as the dwarf wasn't in sight. (They'd heard about the social abomination the party insisted on dragging around with them, and the party got shunned by association.)

Another example was Strength. The GM in question scrupulously applies Encumbrance rules. And then loves to hit characters with low Strength values with Strength-draining attacks. The wizard, who had Strength as his dump stat, got nailed by a rogue who had coated his dagger with a Strength-draining poison -- and then later, in combat, hit him with a maximized Ray of Enfeeblement, which pretty much ended the wizard's usefulness to the party, as the opposition decided to start moving away from the wizard's position, and the poor wizard could only move 5 feet a round -- and that as a full-round action.

Now, this GM does allow players to rebuild characters within 3 sessions of the character joining his game, so it's not like you're stuck if you bring in your dump-statted Alchemist. (He uses a 20 point build base, so it's not like people have to rely on dump stats for points.) And he confided that he considered a 9 (adjusted by racial modifiers) to be the baseline score. So he discourages lower scores, unless the player role-plays the dump stat well, and it's not a cliched dump stat. Playing a dumb fighter, cliched. Playing a fighter with emphysema (low Constitution), not so cliched.

My questions are these:

1) If you discourage dump stats in your game, how do you do so?

2) How does the discouragement of dump stats affect your willingness to join a campaign, and your enjoyment of the game, as a player?

You may also want to comment on the above GM. Certainly it seems to me that singling out players who use dump stats as 'targets' is rather harsh, especially when such tactics affect the group as a whole, but this is not my game.

1. I don't.

2. I would not play if he was a jerk about it. If a GM does not want me to do ____, then he should make it into a rule or talk to me about not using it too much.

The GM appears to be immature in my opinion.<-----me being nice about it.

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The rules don't say you can only attack from within 30 feet. They say ranged attacks have a limit of 30 feet. It is not a ranged attack the limit does not apply.

Yes there is a difference.

Lets say you have some gargantuan creature with sneak attack,and it has a reach weapon. It will be more than 30 feet away so it could not sneak attack if the limit was 30 feet.

A ranged attack is very specific in pathfinder, and unless the spell in question is actually a ranged attack the limit does not apply. I am not saying it makes sense, but that is the rule.

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The wizard is better, but bringing everyone up to wizard level is not a good idea IMHO. I would give the sorcerer more skill points, and not make him use a full round action to apply metamagic feats. I might even let him learn spells at odd instead of even levels. That is as far as I would take it. They are already a very powerful class.

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Ascalaphus wrote:

Bah, I think Perception should be split in two. The part that governs Surprise is just too important for a skill, and should be made something like Concentration. The "Search" part is still nice to have, but no longer so important that every class is coming up with justifications why this class deserves Perception as a class skill.

Everyone NEEDS it. I think too many classes (alchemist!) get it. It should only be the stealthy/nervous classes like ranger, ninja/rogue, monk and maybe gunslinger who get it. Classes that go above and beyond the normal training.

I do agree with this. I also wish hide and move silently should have been left alone. Being invisible does not mean you are quiet.

edit: I think that as long as the commoner has it however that all the PC classes should get it.

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claudekennilol wrote:
I see a lot of posts implying that rogues aren't worth playing, why is that?

It is not that a rogue absolutely can not function in a game. The idea is that whatever you want from a rogue you can get from another class, and the other class will be better at it.

You want to do decent damage and find traps--> Go bard or ranger.

You want to be good at a variety of skills, and do damage--->bard, ranger, inquisitor.

You don't care about damage, but want to be the utility person that can do a little of everything-->bard, inquisitor.

etc etc

Also traps are not really deadly enough as a whole to make trapfinding worth having. You can get past a trap without disabling it.

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Certain feats should scale with the fighter. As an example improved initiative can increase as to +6 at level 7 and end up at +8 at level 11 or 13.

He should be able to move and make multiple attacks, even if it is with a penalty. It is not like his 2nd attacks are likely to miss.

Some of my ideas such as the good will save and extra skill points were mentioned by others.

And give him perception as a class skill<----I still don't understand why this was never fixed.

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Ashiel wrote:
Aranna wrote:
I have always said since psionics is better, why not just ditch the spell casting classes and go straight psionics in your games. Which is great in theory... now the hard part; finding a GM that not only hasn't banned psionics but knows them well enough to pull this off. Because that is probably the biggest reason psi gets banned anyway; GMs don't know the new system well enough to incorporate it into their game.

It takes about 15 minutes to become capable of adjudicating psionics, so that's a weaksauce excuse. That said, there's a very good reason that I haven't bothered to just change all my campaigns over to psionics as the only form of magic...because there's not much point in it.

See, yeah, psionics is better balanced than core magic, but if you don't have an issue with core magic, why deny players the ability to use that sort of magic? One of my favorite things about this system is that there is something for everyone. :O

If you like micro-managing your resources and have a "gotta catch 'em all" attitude towards your spells, then wizards are good for you! If you like a smaller list with simplified bookkeeping and decent adaptability, then psions are good for you!

If you like gunslinger casting (IE - spell slots) then you can do that. If you like having a reserve of magical power then you can do that.

One of my friends who doesn't get to play with us anymore (he's in the Army so he's usually everywhere except here) loved playing things like fighters, barbarians, and psions, but couldn't stand playing wizards at all.

Another friend enjoys bards, wizards, and psions.

Another friend still enjoys monks, wizards, and druids.

Another friend still gobbles up all things Dreamscarred (and who can blame him? :P).

Options are good. I find it's just less work for more gain to let everyone have their cake.

Some people learn certain things quiet easily. Others do not, and it does not help when many people are influenced by what they heard, which influences their way of reading material.

I am not saying psionics is difficult. I am saying that it is not as easy for everyone as it is for you. When some people easily grasp a concept it can be difficult to understand why others have trouble with it. I have to remind myself of this sometimes, especially back while saying "that is not how it works", when I used to find myself defending psionics or ToB.

Right now you are probably thinking, but it is so simple .........

I get it, trust me I do...

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Nefreet wrote:

Why is this discussion spread out over two threads?

The "two metaphorical hands" issue only applies to standard races. Those "born" with two arms. People forget that SKR kept referencing standard, core races when those debates took place last year.

If you're playing a naturally multi-armed race, you're going to have to invent your own rules, because none exist outside of the Multi-Weapon Fighting feat.

That is what I keep saying. People need to understand that once you step outside of the rules expectations they really have to make up their own rules. We can just guess at what we think the designers would do.

As a reminder to everyone more then 2 hands = MWF. So trying to use TWF means you have to houserule.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:


You're presupposing the players have decided they want to go to whatever is on the other side of the mountain range. They can always elect to do something else, and thereby change the story. Certainly if they have already decided to go to whatever's on the other side there, magic classes do likely give you more options than martial classes would be.

But I would observe "we walked along the mountain ridge, and fought some monsters, and then we got there" isn't really *the story* so much as "filler." Martials don't get to skip filler in the same way that magic classes do.

I never said what anyone wanted to do. My point is that casters can do these things and martials can't.


There is no situation in which the only one to advance the narrative is to cooperate with a specific NPC. If this ever happens, your GM is railroading you and you shouldn't stand for it. If the GM is already railroading you in this manner, I've found that these NPCs tend to be mysteriously resistant to charm/dominate spells.

But you can always find another way than "work with that guy who hates you." Players find solutions by doing illogical things all the time. It's a big ol' world.

That does not change the FACT that martials cant do this and casters can meaning they have more narrative power.


I never said that they had the same. I said that they had some

You said:

possible cabbage wrote:
.... but they still have the same narrative power that every character has to

My focus was on "same narrative power".

So I thought you meant equal since it is synonymous with "equal" in many of its uses, and if casters can affect the story in more ways then they have more narrative power.

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If the feat said you did full damage using your off hand in a manner that did not specifically call out strength I would agree, but because it does, the answer is no. I don't think it is broken, and I would probably even allow it, but I don't think it is supported by RAW. RAI, it can't really be proven.

As an example if I use intelligence to boost my acrobatics check, and there is another ability that says to add +5 to any ability roll modified by dex then I can't use it. The reason is that dex is not the qualifying attribute anymore. Now if there is another ability that says add +5 to any ability modified by intelligence I could use that because intelligence is now modifying the acrobatics check.

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People don't just choose classes for power. If so every caster would likely always be the most powerful build they could find.

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All that matters to me is what they are mechanically trying to do. I just look at it as miscommunication. The player was being descriptive, and the GM took it literally.

Now if the player says they really want to do something like that I would just let them know I dont use the called shots subsystem, and that would be the end of it.

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Sneak attacks also occur when you lose your dex to AC versus the attack. You can't lose dex to AC against something that does not even target AC.

SKR, game designer wrote:
Sneak attack normally works with weapon-like spells, including rays. It doesn't normally work with magic missile because that is not a weapon-like spell or ray.

The ability from the AT allows you to use a spell that would not normally work, but hey must be flat-footed, which is not the same as losing dex to AC.

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Torchlyte wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
Explain how you strike a vital spot with an area effect again?

Explain how you can fail to strike a vital spot with an area effect. Alternatively, explain how the AT capstone is intended to work. That is now your explanation for how Sneak Attacking with an AOE spell works.

dragonhunterq wrote:
The AT capstone ability

The AT capstone ability removes a limitation that didn't exist RAW. Look at the original Prone Shooter feat for another example of this situation.

In 3.5 and PF what you are suggesting has NEVER been RAI. I do agree that the rules should go into greater details on which attacks work with certain abilities, but this hardly a new rule. It has been that way for 14 years now.

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GypsyMischief wrote:

I fail to see why they must be punished for not playing magicians...

If they're a group of young players that lack system mastery or in-depth game knowledge, maybe the GM could fill the role of teacher, instead of opponent.

The problem is not them not playing a caster. They are being very stubborn about not doing anything to help themselves. A game can be ran without casters, but you have to be smart about it.

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Thelemic_Noun wrote:
Sorcerers really need a major power boost. I'd personally use the 3.5 Favored Soul Spells Known table (level 20: 9/6/6/6/6/6/6/6/5/4) and something like a final total of 7 or 8 spells per day of each level as a baseline.

Sorcerers are a strong class. They can still make GM's cry if the players chooses to go that route. They are not wizards, but then again, neither is anyone else.

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It seems like the players are not willing to bend at all. Let them suffer.

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Age of Worms and The Savage Tide area also good. AoW is difficult though so be careful if you run that one, not that Shackled City and Savage Tide are cakewalks.

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The Fox wrote:

If the minions are acting in the same initiative count, then we can think of their CdGs happening simultaneously. It is a reasonable position to say that your character was helpless for both CdGs. (It would also be reasonable to take the opposite stance too, just to be clear.)

I'm pointing this out to say that the GM didn't necessarily make a mistake simply by interpreting the situation as he did.

I would probably just try to let it go. It sucks losing a character, and I think we all feel for you. You said that you like the GM and you don't think he was being malicious. Avoid any further hurt feelings that could result if you were to go over his head, so to speak.

Even on the same init count characters have their own turns by RAW so he would have woken up. Anything else is a house rule, which PFS does not endorse unless they are PFS house rules.

Whether the init is 15A and 15B or 16 and 15 it is still two separate turns. The point of the init order is just to see who goes first.

I am only stating this so people understand that same init turn does not equal "at the exact same time".


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The spikes are essentially weapons attached to the shield which basically turns it into a weapon.

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Tels wrote:

I feel that this specific FAQ was probably unnecessary. The FAQ for Paragon Surge already pretty heavily nerfed people from abusing the spell, because they could, at most, add 3 Sorcerer/Wizard spells to their spell list in a day. With the FAQ, once they make that choice, it becomes 'locked in' until the following day.

It's a pretty tame ability since the 3 spells can't be changed with each casting, but it remains cool and useful. This FAQ is just going to cause a lot of confusion a people find more and more corner cases as they try and figure out what is and is not legal combinations.

I get the feeling the game would probably be better if this FAQ never existed.

I dont think it was just for paragon surge, but for any future abilities which might add spells.

I do think however the wording should have been that you can not know the spell if the source does not add it to your class list with an exception for class features.

I say that because it does not make sense to know it, and not be able to cast it.

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BigDTBone wrote:

I don't know man, if you are developing a spell which does something no other spell does or has done before (give access to a "you call it feat") it would seem appropriate to at least scan the list of published pathfinder feat (which the last time I bothered to check was less than 1000.)

It doesn't take but about 4-5 minutes to meaningfully scan a list with 1000 entries. Improved eldritch heritage maybe you miss, I can see that. But expanded arcana? That was a lazy miss.

I am sure they have other jobs to do and you need a certain mindset to find things. In my 3.5 days I found a lot of ways to combine things in a manner that would make a GM throw a book at me, but now I am not really into that mindset anymore. Maybe the devs are not either. I am not saying they shouldn't be but I would rather them not spend hours trying to break every spell or feat that comes out. A class is something I can see getting that kind of attention.

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Mechagamera wrote:
If the idea didn't come from Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion novels, I would be tempted to believe this is a troll question. Some plot ideas are better suited to books than roleplaying.

This 1000 times. RP Games are not novels and some things just don't cross over well.

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andreww wrote:

Spotting the Expanded Arcana/Extra Hex/Extra Arcana trick really didn't need you to look through every feat ever published to pick up on. We are not talking about obscure stuff hidden away in some small player option booklet from 2008 here. These are key common feats which sit inside some of the most popular major splat books in the game.

All it would really have taken is someone sitting down and thinking, OK, which classes actually get this spell on their class list and what sort of feats might they want to pick using it. That is about it really. At that point all of the common powerful options spring up and could have been dealt with there and then.

I accept that it can be difficult to edit your own work. I know I tell my students to put their undergraduate or masters dissertations in a drawer for at least a couple of weeks before coming back to review their drafts so they read the text fresh. However, I assume Paizo actually has an editorial system where someone new to the document is reading over it without having had a lot of input into the work previously so they are looking at it fresh.

It still is not that easy. I know the rules better than most people and I was not among the first to pick up on it. I just did not think to put that combo together.

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1. Any trait that boost initiative.

2. A trait giving me perception as a class skill.

3. A trait that boost a save I am weak at.

Almost every time I have two of these, and I always have at least one.

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Baku Shadescar wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
A wizard may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the wizard decides which spells to prepare.
A wizard can use a borrowed spellbook to prepare a spell he already knows and has recorded in his own spellbook.

You can bold the word "know" all you want, each of those statements refers to the spell the Wizard is preparing.

the same quote with different bolding wrote:
A wizard may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the wizard decides which spells to prepare.
A wizard can use a borrowed spellbook to prepare a spell he already knows and has recorded in his own spellbook.

Again, the FAQ references spontaneous casters, not prepared casters.

If that's the intention, cool. If not, cool. I'd just like it clarified.

preparing and knowing are different.

You have to know it before you can prepare it.

The class feature calls out knowing any number of spells, but you have a limit of what you can prepare.

SKR when he still worked for Paiz wrote:

* wizard spell list (all spells that have "wizard" in the Level line, which a wizard could potentially learn)
* wizard spells known (a subset of the above category, consisting of the wizard spells a particular wizard has written down in his spellbook)
* wizard spells prepared (a subset of the above category, consisting of the wizard spells known that wizard has prepared that day)

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Mackackee wrote:
stuff in first post

I am a rules lawyer at times, but I also realize the GM has the last say. For the most part as long as there are no "surprise rules" I don't say much even if I disagree. If I do say something then I think the GM is really making an error or making things way to complicated similar to how you wanted 3 rolls to find and cook food. I would have voted against it also. Due to the game being an abstraction many things can be handwaved or not accounted for.

The spellbook rules are there for balancing reason, and it is just easier to use rules we already know. They can also take 10 on those checks so they should not be failing.

Fumble(especially fumble) and crit charts work against the players. I will admit I have used them in the past, but not anymore. The more times you attack the more you will likely have something bad happen with a fumble chart. It does not make sense to get better at fighting and have more an increasing chance at making an big error. Remember that while the player only rolls X number of attacks the character is actually making more than than so rolling more dice does not mean the character is always really making more attacks.

As for personal quest I have done them for RP reasons, but not for XP. RP moments can also grant XP, and you can have more random encounters. Both will cut down on you having to make personal quest.

I am not a player in your game but I would be saying "why are you making things overly complicated"?

If possible invite the other player here. If his problem is only that "it is not in the book", then I think he needs to lighten up. Every table I have sat at has house rules so he will have to get used to it.

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