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deusvult's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 981 posts (1,138 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 18 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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Sovereign Court

Gyromancer wrote:
Also, let us not overlook the plausability that a being able to cast invisibility most likely has items of a magical nature (and therefore other auras to be detected.)

Totally. In mid to high levels, you will be getting returns on detect magic like using a metal detector on the deck of a battleship.

The idea that a 60' cone will return exactly and only one magical aura when invisibility is in play is closer to a corner case than plausible. Someone invisible is likely to also have at least a +1 weapon or a ring and/or cloak of protection... not to mention clutter caused by party members' magic items and (to tempt a tangental discussion entirely) the every day magic stuff going on in the world.

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Q1: I'd expect you should get the rest of your attacks. Some might argue that you'd have to make your grab attack last if you want to also make your other attacks, but I wouldn't agree with that paradigm personally.

Q2: So long as you have the ability to make AoOs, there should be nothing stopping you from dropping the grapple to grapple again. Having that AoO in the first place is the rub. I'm not encyclopaedic on my Eidolon knowledge and can't confirm that their evolution-granted grab is identical to the universal monster grab.

Q2a: Maintaining 2 opponents grappled is a tricky voyage through the rules. If I were you I'd assume at least 9 out of 10 GMs wouldn't allow it, and plan accordingly conservative on that.

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"I'm my own Ally!" needs its own song. It'd even be an epic cover.

I can already hear the chorus now.

"it sounds funny I know,
But it really is so!

I'mmmm my own aaallyyy!"

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Blakmane wrote:

You completely missed the point of my post. Reread it and realise i'm talking about target:you spells without a range of personal that CAN be made into potions.

I'd argue that's not true. Yes the rules for crafting potions fail to make that distinction. However, the rules for what potions may be state that they can only replicate spells that target one or more creatures. While one might argue that "you" count as a creature, I'm arguing that "you" and "one or more creatures" count as very distinct rules concepts from a meta perspective.

It's pedantic, I know, but that's why I'd disagree with you.

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Personally, my thoughts on the exact functionality are in the other thread.

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The Adventurer's Armory incarnation of the Scorpion Whip never mentions that it has 15' reach. Its stat block does mention that it has un-modified reach, however. So this would suggest 10' reach, and not usable on adjacent targets, as normal for reach weapons.

The special rules text is quoted in its entirety:

Adventurer's Armory, Scorpion Whip wrote:

This whip has a series of razor-sharp blades and fangs inset along its tip. It deals lethal damage, even to creature with armor bonuses. If you are proficient with whips, you can use a scorpion whip.

The first sentence is pure fluff, and I'd agree with those who say the use of "whip" is descriptive only. Just as there is a difference between "clothing" and "clothing" in the clarification for Sleeves of Many Garments.

The second sentence provides indirect support that the scorpion whip is supposed to be otherwise treated like a whip. Why else invoke the reference about damage and armor? However, this is RAI stuff and the RAW IS LAW folks can safely dismiss that.

The third sentence, by RAI, "clearly means" that if one is proficient with a whip then one can use a scorpion whip without nonproficiency penalty. RAW IS LAW will point out that the italicized portion is not actually there, and that makes the last sentence essentially meaningless.

So, going completely by RAW, the scorpion whip only has the 10' reach since its reach quality is not otherwise modified. Taking RAW to an extreme, there are no special rules at all for a scorpion whip beyond the stat block (since damage is assumed by default to already be lethal).

RAI might argue that the AA "obviously left out" the 15' reach and other unique attributes of the standard whip. As "a whip that deals lethal damage" it'd be completely up to your GM as to whether a scorpion whip can be used to inflict nonlethal damage (as a standard whip) without the usual penalties.

Paizo has had about 4 years to rule on this and has chosen to not do so in all that time. I'm not sure we're going to see any clarification, so embrace table variation!

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Well, how many years has it been since UE was published? And how long after that did it take the PFS ruling to "just use the AA version instead" to come about?

Eventually, they may come back and re-rule on a ruling. Maybe it won't take them as long as the first time around. I think it'll never come, tbh, but what do I know.

If and when it comes, then that'll be fine. We'll have an answer. Whether that day is tomorrow or never, from now until then.. Yes. It boils down to expecting and accepting table variance.

I wouldn't call it extreme.. it's pretty binary. Either your GM will say the whip stuff all works, or it all does not. If you're going to invest in whip feats and use a scorpion whip, on the off chance a GM insists they won't work together I'd at least own a "backup" mwk standard whip.

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Ideal party composition:

Someone who can sufficiently compromise with others so as to handle phoning in a pizza delivery and getting all the toppings correct.

Someone who is willing to be the mapper.

Someone with sufficient playing space to host the event.

Someone who enjoys being detail oriented to be the party record keeper.

An original thinker who can imagine novel solutions to seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

I think that about covers it.. no matter what character classes they play, the party is primed for success.

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MrRetsej wrote:

This post is a request to clarify the Adventurer's Armory Scorpion Whip in regards to how it interacts with the following feats;

Weapon Finesse
Weapon Focus (Whip)
Whip Mastery
Improved Whip Mastery
Greater Whip Mastery
Serpent Lash
Other feats that require the use of/benefit the use of a whip.

Given that the AA Scorpion Whip is now the default version for use in PFS organized play, clearing up the weapon's usage would greatly benefit all players who wish to use it and reduce any confusion for GM's presented with one at their table.

I think the answer is actually pretty obvious.. the answer is just frustrating is all.

By RAW, the scorpion whip is a distinct weapon from a (standard) whip that happens to have a special rule where one does not need its own exotic proficiency feat if one is already proficient with a whip. Therefore, the feats and abilities that work with whips do not also work with scorpion whips since it is a different weapon.

By RAI, the scorpion whip is "clearly intended" to be considered close enough to a (standard) whip so as to be interchangeable with regards to feats and abilities.

Since the PFS team dropped the ruling without clarifying that question, you'll have to pick your answer: RAI or RAW. And expect (and accept!) that different PFS GMs may not pick the same answer as you for their tables.

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The question of intimidate (and diplomacy) being used on PCs has always entertained me.

Pathfinder either treats NPCs and PCs the same, ruleswise, or it does not.

If it does, players have to go along with their PCs being made 'friendly" by NPCs.

If it does not, then players don't get to complain when NPCs are given special treatment to which they are not also entitled.

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YIDM wrote:

What am I missing here?


CRB, Paladin's Detect Evil wrote:
Detect Evil (Sp): At will, a paladin can use detect evil, as the spell. A paladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is evil, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the paladin does not detect evil in any other object or individual within range.

(bolded for emphasis)

You can't use a positive return from a 60' cone of detect evil as a substitute for being able directly target a creature.

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YIDM wrote:
I know, which is why I can't believe they where arguing the point, or refused to accept the evidence of the RAW text I presented...not one, but both GM's.

I was not part of your discussion with those GMs so of course I have no way of knowing for sure.... But I can certainly imagine why they are refusing to see things your way. You may well be completely within the right, but the reality of things is that's essentially not the point. What I suspect, what it sounds like, is you're failing to not be a jerk about it to them.

Again, I'm not accusing and I wasn't there so I don't know and only have guesses. But, I do know that there's far more to convincing someone skeptical of your claims than "proving it to them". Once the window for reasonable discussion is closed, it's a psychological truism that they'll dig their heels in and no evidence will force them reevaluate your claim favorably.

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I don't want to devalue Jeff Merola's comment above (because I agree with it), but I'm going offer a divergent substantive opinion.

What I see in the sentiment behind the OP is itself a problem. What do I see? The "RAW IS LAW!" stereotype.

The problem with that "RAW IS LAW!" view is the one expressing it sometimes:

1: Doesn't acknowledge that there are sometimes several ways to define "RAW".

2: Doesn't acknowledge the possibility that their cognitive understanding of the rules in question could be flawed.

Now, I'll stress that I'm not accusing the OP of EITHER of these failings. The problem is when you go down the "I'm right and you're wrong!" road you subject yourself to suspicion of failing one or both of those.

What the "RAW IS LAW!" stereotype virtually always is guilty of, however, is this:

Despite PFS being a single campaign with a single (but large and diasporic) leadership, it's still a roleplaying game. It's not what video gamers imagine when they hear "roleplaying game". The distinction is a discussion worthy of another thread (if not forum) but I'll stress for the purpose of this discussion is that roleplaying games, even PFS, are collaborative. You're never "right" when you insist "My way is the only right way!"

So, specifically with regards to the scenario of the OP, there is really one realistic outcome. Accept table variation. If the OP wants to allow Detect Magic to locate subjects of invisibility spells, great. Just don't insist that your understanding of RAW as superimposing another GM's understanding of RAI. Your table, your rules. His table, his rules. Accept it.

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If the nature of the campaign is a sandbox or if the overland trek is being run as an adventure in of itself, I'm all about Oregon Trail level of tedious details and minutae. I want the players to never know what's going to happen next, and having patterns like predefined benchmarks of rolls for random encounters is kryptonite to that.

OTOH, most overland travel is simply the travel involved in getting from point A to point B in some existing plotline. In those cases I feel there should be some element of excitement and danger but it's secondary to what should be even more exciting and dangerous at the destination. Token random encounters should be sufficient.. but if your players begin to operate on an assumption that there's only ever one encounter per day and blow thru expendables accordingly, then you've failed to put the fear of your GM screen into them. A great way to begin rectifying that is to go ahead and throw an even nastier "random" encounter at them after they blew their loads.

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CRB, Potions wrote:
It can duplicate the effect of a spell of up to 3rd level that has a casting time of less than 1 minute and targets one or more creatures or objects.

So, potions of Mage Armor are kosher. Potions of Shield are not.

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Often, skills have no penalty for failure when missing the DC by 4 or less and a negative consequence for failing by 5 or more. Getting a 25 on a DC 30 could just as easily have a GM tell you insidiously incorrect information from your Sense Motive result.

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If the OP is looking for "realistic" reasons that favored enemy: humanoids(humans) gives no benefit whatsoever when fighting, say, dwarves, I'll have to agree that the notion expressed several times upthread. The entire quest is folly because the enforced breakdown has nothing to do with realism and everything to do with game balance.

However, if one really insists on looking for some realistic reasons why (perhaps to justify some suspension of disbelief) here are some suggestions:

The role of fighting styles in differentiating humanoid subtypes. if you know all about how to combat someone using jujutsu, it doesn't necessarily mean all that same knowledge is applicable to someone who's using karate. Consider that those vastly different fighting styles are both examples of what a single race can muster. Imagine how different martial traditions must be for species that have measurably different physical characteristics.

Now factor in those slight differences in anatomy between humans and dwarves. Not only are their martial traditions bound to be different, their very movements in execution of combat will be different as well simply because of the differences in physiology. A ranger with humans as a favored enemy will be prepared to handle the human's reach and flexibility, yet that training won't apply to the more direct and powerful motions necessitated by a dwarf's stubbier (shorter, more powerful) limbs.

Ad nauseam.

As a reminder, I'm not trying to convince the OP of the realism involved behind forcing Favored Enemy: Humanoids to also choose a subtype. For the second time, I'll stress agreement that it's first and foremost a purely metagame concern about keeping the ability balanced. The last few paragraphs aren't meant to stand up to intense scrutiny; they're just there to help someone having trouble with a suspension of disbelief.

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Farael the Fallen wrote:
The gap between rich and poor is growing in America. It makes me wonder if we could live in a world without money . How would a society like that function?

We lived that way for about 95% of the history of our species. Egalitarianism is, at least in my opinion, impossible once you abandon the economy of band level society.

There is an argument that adopting agriculture and all the successive ills inherent to civilization was the worst mistake in the history of the human race.

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Michael Eshleman wrote:

I personally see Taldor more as a post-colonial Britain.

This is the kind of discussion I was hoping to see more of.

Personally, I'd peg the English/British to Cheliax (and House Thrune to the Lord Protectorship).

Taldor to me has a mishmash of Italian, Byzantine, and Spanish flavor. Probably Byzantine most of all thematically and politically, but I can't think of a single Greek-sounding Taldan name beyond Eutropia. So linguistically at least, I'm leaning towards Italian and/or Spanish conventions for the Taldan names.

The Taldane language is trickier for OOC reasons since it's essentially English because that's the first language for most Pathfinder players. The pronunciation of place names across the Inner Sea might start to get pretty weird if one insists on looking at them through a lens other than English.

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deusvult wrote:
PFS allows for something of a "cheat" with regards to the necessity of Handle Animal.

I notice I left an important part of that sentence off.

You don't need Handle Animal as a class skill. As Hmm mentioned, you'll definitely still need a few ranks; you'll want whatever it takes on top of your +4 bonus to make a DC 10 an autosuccess.

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Easier way to put it is the only PFS legal alignment for a cleric of a NE deity is N.

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PFS allows for something of a "cheat" with regards to the necessity of Handle Animal.

Your animal companion, when acquired, is ruled to come with a full allotment of tricks already learned without having to roll to train them. You only have to roll to train successive tricks, which could certainly be a pain in the patookus, granted. Just make sure you get the mandatory ones up front for free: 2 instances of attack, and Down.

The Link ability inherent to ACs more than makes up for the lack of Handle Animal as a class skill. If a PFS GM even makes you roll to handle your AC (a rare occurance in my experience) your DC is only 10. Don't dump CHA and you're auto succeed by the time you have 5 skill ranks (or even less, depending on CHA bonus)

As for giving the AC intelligence, that's a double edged sword. It's another trick it can learn (and you have to succeed at teaching) but 3 intelligence doesn't grant it sapience. It's still an animal. Table variation may come into play, but just because an AC has 3 intelligence it still isn't as smart as a humanoid and as such GMs may not allow it to behave like one. Personally, I'd put the stat boosts into something combat affecting.

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Avatar-1 wrote:
Do gorilla and tortilla (and, I guess, Morilla) not rhyme?

Gorilla rhymes with vanilla and Godzilla.

Tortilla rhymes with Korea, Sophia and pizzeria.

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memorax wrote:

I'm thinking of running the Adventure Path at a alter date set in Golarion. Which god would replace the Greyhawk gods?

St Cuthbert = Iomedea

Pelor = Sarenrae

Kord = Gorum?

Wee Jas = Nethys

Olidammara = Cayden Cailean

Fharlanghn = Desna

Moradin = Torag

Yondalla = Chaldira

Garl Glittergold = Abadar

Anyone I'm missing from the list? Or that others have added?

I'd link Kord to Cayden Cailean, and Olidammra to Norberger. I'd also link Iori to St Cuthbert instead of Iomedae. (Heironeous would be a better match for her)

I do quite like your pairings for Desna, Nethys, and Sarenrae.

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A weeaboo of Ninjas.

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I have a PFS character almost identical to the OP.. the differences being 1/2 elf instead of elf and the fur domain instead of feather.

I was initially going to multiclass with ranger, but have since retrained back to singleclass cleric, and am happier for the change.

I found that multiclassing didn't significantly improve the archery... it only detracted from progression of cleric abilities. I'll echo the sentiment that high wis isn't necessary if you focus on buffs and summons for spells.

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Let's deconstruct my original post:

deusvult wrote:

if humans don't dominate the campaign, then the bonus feat isn't good enough.

If the campaign is supposed to be distinctive in that humans are not the (far and away) dominant race of the world, then that begs all kinds of interesting discussions. But your standard world where the norm is human and every demihuman place is special for not being human, it doesn't make sense for demihuman racial advantages to overtake human ones.

First of all, I didn't say humans should be dominating a setting, but a campaign. As in, the plotline. That first statement in my OP is meant to be slightly humorous, and a declaration of my opinion that human PCs should be well represented in a party.

Moving on from that is my second statement that distances opinion from objectivity. It acknowledges that my view is not relevant to a nonstandard setting where humans are a minority/nondominant species. The last sentence is saying that so long as demihumans are indeed minority/nondominant species, their exceptional individuals represented by PCs should never be more powerful than the exceptional individuals of humanity represented by PCs. That last sentence is an unspoken repudiation of a hypothetical notion that non-human races might need "boosting" to compensate for human racial advantages.

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So, the former leader of the Taldor faction and current leader of the Sovereign Court has what I consider a shibboleth of a name.

How, exactly, does one pronounce "Morilla". Does it rhyme with tortilla, or gorilla?

Consider: She is in fact of the conventional Taldan aristocracy, and as such her name should not be anomalous to the regular conventions of the Taldane language. As a reminder, Taldane is in fact the proper name for the "common tongue" in the Inner Sea.

So, this question is really about the flavor of Taldane/Common. Does it follow English sensibilities, or Latin/Romance? I think there are solid OOC reasons to assume English, yet equally solid IC reasons to assume Latin/Romance.

(this isn't in the faction talk forum because it's ultimately about much more than how to pronounce Lady Morilla's name. It arguably belongs in the Golarion setting forum, now that I think about it)

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GMs can be challenging players in the same way that Doctors are said to make the worst patients.

It sounds like you and your GM have different styles. If you want him to adopt your style, I'd suggest contemplating why that is. And whether the problem is his, or actually yours.

I'm not critiquing your style, btw. Sounds perfectly reasonable, in fact. But not everyone has the same style. Personally, I'm quite fine with a DC that can't be hit even on a nat 20 being simply impossible under the circumstances. In my style of GMing, I wouldn't allow a 1% chance to succeed anyway to reward creativity. I'd reward creativity by stressing that they need to think of ways to improve their chances. Come up with a justification for me to grant bigger circumstantial bonuses, to put it in rules speak.

My way isn't better than yours, and to be honest your way isn't better than your GM's. Of course, neither is his way better than yours. But it's his table, his rules so long as he's the GM.

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Sauce987654321 wrote:
I did give them the same weapon, by using a brawler or monk for unarmed damage instead of forcing them to use inappropriate sized weapons. The reason the ogre has more damage dice and average damage with his unarmed attacks is because he is bigger and stronger, same reason it has a greater carrying capacity. You're just focusing on just the strength score for some reason instead of other factors, such as being bigger gives you more damage with natural weapons, unarmed damage, wield bigger weapons, increased carrying capacity and strength checks to break doors. Yes the halfling does more damage with using the exact same size weapon, but is weaker in every other comparison and category.

That reason is to illustrate the same thing we agree about on environmental damage is going on with the strength rules. Real life is not weighing fully in. The 16 strength on an ogre has more raw muscle power than 18 strength on a Halfling, yet for metagame reasons that "greater" strength (the 16) results in smaller in-game bonuses than the "lesser" strength (the 18). It's not just melee damage bonus: the 16 strength ogre is less likely to succeed on a strength check than the 18 strength Halfling. Again, despite the Ogre being able to exert much more force.

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Saradoc-the-Ancient wrote:

My DM did an auto-fail rule on me for using a hammer and iron spike to chip around an icon/symbol of a god that was on a stone wall. I am a crafter/forger who works an anvil every day, and he said that since I'm not a mason there's ZERO chance that I could chip the stone wall carefully to remove the piece of stone that is bearing the icon.

Any thoughts? It created a lot of tension at the table when I thought it was simply silly that I couldn't chip the stone surface off an he basically ruled that I would need a "different" tool and that I would "need to be a mason" to be able to do this.


I'm gonna side with your GM on this one. Just because you think it's natural that proficiency with forge tools should carry over to stonework doesn't meant it is either A) true, or B) natural in your GM's opinion.

The GM didn't buy your argument that your skill was "close enough". Argument made, he apparently listened before shooting it down, it should be over for you.

For what it's worth, if I were your GM I'd probably have said the same thing on the grounds of believing (through my experience in metalshop in junior high and the one time I demolished and rebuilt a brick wall) that the two skillsets are different enough to not be substituteable. I *might* have allowed a +2 bonus for masterwork tools that could carry over sufficiently to masonry duties, but I totally wouldn't have given you your skill ranks or other bonuses for blacksmithing (or whatever your forge-based craft or profession skill was).

All that said, there's also the possibility of context. You said it was some holy symbol. Maybe he simply fiated your failure, and that's the vibe you've caught? It'd be awkward and clunky Gm-craft to come up with excuses to prevent you from bringing the icon out because he simply didn't want you to, but perhaps there are campaign reasons in play that mess with his plot if you're able to warn people that God X has worshippers in play.

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Sauce987654321 wrote:
deusvult wrote:

Not if you give them identical weapons. Say, a medium sized longsword. The Halfling with 18 strength will do 1d8+6 damage (two handed). The Ogre with 16 strength will do 1d8+4 damage two handed, to keep comparing apples to apples.

I don't think it's fair giving the halfling a big weapon and the ogre gets one that's too small for it. What if they had levels in monk or brawler? The halfling's unarmed strike is going to be 1d4, and the ogre's is going to be 1d8. The halfling's average damage is going to be 6.5 when the ogre's is going to be 7.5. The gap is going to only get wider as they level up.

It's completely fair. They even have the same wrong-size penalty to hit.

If there's going to be a fair comparison of the impact of strength on damage, all variables outside of strength need to be removed. Making comparisons on different weapons is comparing apples to oranges. Of course the Ogre can do more damage with a huge sized bastard sword than a Halfling can with a tiny sized dagger. So what? It's bringing factors outside of strength into a discussion about strength (most notably, the disparity of base damage dice). Equally valueless as comparing large and small size weapons for the same purpose.

When comparing the role of strength values in damage, the weapons are either identical or irrelevant.

I'm not saying it SHOULD scale.. was just saying it's nonsensical.
In any case, it was a design choice to make higher level characters survive giant falls and such. Not just for playability, but because their supposed to be superhuman and tough enough to survive crazy things. It's fantasy, just like how marvel comic book characters are intentionally superhuman, it's the same thing here.

I'm not sure you see that we're agreeing here. Real life need not apply. My point is and always has been that real life need not necessarily apply to the strength rules, either.

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NerfPlz wrote:

From a story perspective, I disagree with the poster above who says that humans SHOULD dominate mechanically because they dominate culturally in pathfinder. That's such a bad game design mentality, it actually hurts me.

I don't mean to argue, but if that's directed at my comments I'd like to stress that's not what I said.

In fact, I said the opposite: Humans are balanced against the other races, mechanically.

What I WAS saying that it's my opinion that if the setting is dominated by humans (and that is something that is outside the rules), then a party "should" be also dominated by humans. Barring of course, some thematic reason otherwise.. like an expedition from the Dwarven Mountain Kings to explore what those uppity humans have done with the surrounding countryside in the past 500 years or so, and so on.

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I didn't even notice that they had the bows until I had the monkeys show up. "Why does it say all they do is disarm? These little gremlins just lick things to death, they don't even have weapons.. OOOOOHHHHHhhhhh..."

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Sauce987654321 wrote:
deusvult wrote:

If that whole train of thought isn't compelling, then consider a meta one:

Sometimes the rules just don't make sense. Carrying capacities and strength values are pretty damn arbitrary, anyway. How come an Ogre with 16 strength that can benchpress a schoolbus can't deal as much damage as a Halfling with 18 strength that couldn't benchpress half as much?

Since when can ogres bench press a school bus?

Anyway, a halfling's damage dice with any weapon they can use including unarmed strike is going to have less damage dice than the ogre. The ogre is still going to hit harder, for the most part.

Not if you give them identical weapons. Say, a medium sized longsword. The Halfling with 18 strength will do 1d8+6 damage (two handed). The Ogre with 16 strength will do 1d8+4 damage two handed, to keep comparing apples to apples.

Yet that ogre with 16 strength has the raw power to lift 460 pounds over his head (ok, point taken. "School bus" was an overexaggeration). The halfling's power is only sufficient to lift 300 pounds in the same way. The Ogre has about a 5/3 advantage in raw power (depending on how one defines and measures horsepower..) yet is doing only 2/3 as much "bonus damage" based on the variable of raw power. (or 3/4 as much bonus-from-strength damage, if there were an apples-to-apples way to compare w/o the 2-h bonus)

My favorite is that environmental damage doesn't scale with hit dice. Why does falling from a great height hurt any less depending on how much you know about defending yourself from melee attacks? Why does the flesh of a newbie adventurer burn so much faster than the flesh of a veteran one?
It's because higher level characters are superhuman. Characters aren't just learning how to deal with melee weapons, they have to deal with breath weapons, firearms, spells, siege weapons etc.. It wouldn't make sense to scale environmental damage when nothing else does.

I'm not saying it SHOULD scale.. was just saying it's nonsensical. So if strength is nonsensical, there's proof that it's hardly a unique "failure" in the rules. They're just arbitrary lines drawn for meta concerns (like playability). Strength caps is just another example of an arbitrary line drawn for no "sensible" reason- purely meta instead.

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Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
deusvult wrote:

if humans don't dominate the campaign, then the bonus feat isn't good enough.

If the campaign is supposed to be distinctive in that humans are not the (far and away) dominant race of the world, then that begs all kinds of interesting discussions. But your standard world where the norm is human and every demihuman place is special for not being human, it doesn't make sense for demihuman racial advantages to overtake human ones.

That assumes PCs should be reflective of the population as a whole, however.

Actually, it doesn't. The CRB provides races that are more or less balanced against each other. PCs are equal, but they are equally exceptional.

The default assumption for Pathfinder is that humans dominate the setting. Normally that assumption is based upon some idea that humans are noteworthy among all the sentient races at being so flexible- they can adapt to anything and generally drive innovation. This is the reason for the stereotypes that hobbits halflings live in the shadows of human cities, elves and dwarves are stuck in their decaying realms because of their stubborn sticking to outmoded ways of life, orcs and goblins don't threaten to overrun the world (without outside help leading them) because they too are too uncreative, etc.

If a setting takes the focus off humans (i.e. quits defining everything by how they compare to humans) it'd be a neat idea for a fresh look at racial abilities. But so long as humans are the literal center of the game/setting, and that center is based on being adaptable/ambitious, humans' racial abilities giving them the most flexibility is pretty appropo. It's just my own opinion that humans should dominate a party- that's completely separate from whether or not humans should dominate a setting. (they just usually DO)

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if humans don't dominate the campaign, then the bonus feat isn't good enough.

If the campaign is supposed to be distinctive in that humans are not the (far and away) dominant race of the world, then that begs all kinds of interesting discussions. But your standard world where the norm is human and every demihuman place is special for not being human, it doesn't make sense for demihuman racial advantages to overtake human ones.

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While one might argue that magic can (more than) compensate for modern understandings of nutrition and physiology, the real rub is economics.

The Arnolds and Francos of the real world don't apply to the (typical) fantasy milieu is because in the real world it's simply possible to be a professional bodybuilder. Peasants and plebians simply don't have that kind of free time because they're fulltime pig farmers or blacksmiths' apprentices. Or if they're highborn, they have all that time tied up in classical instruction.

Sure, there's a potential flaw in that argument. Look at the Conan the Barbarian movie! Conan (played by the Arnold) got all Arnoldy just by pushing a millstone! My response is "Yeah, well, there had to have been something else going on there. Offscreen, they clearly must have fed him magical brute fuel or something. It doesn't matter anyway... he's as big as Arnold because he's played by Arnold, afterall."

If that whole train of thought isn't compelling, then consider a meta one:
Sometimes the rules just don't make sense. Carrying capacities and strength values are pretty damn arbitrary, anyway. How come an Ogre with 16 strength that can benchpress a schoolbus can't deal as much damage as a Halfling with 18 strength that couldn't benchpress half as much?

My favorite is that environmental damage doesn't scale with hit dice. Why does falling from a great height hurt any less depending on how much you know about defending yourself from melee attacks? Why does the flesh of a newbie adventurer burn so much faster than the flesh of a veteran one?

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I came to this thread looking to see if a DC for that secret door had ever been posted. But I have to comment on the many comments about how deadly the climb is/was...

There shouldn't be a risk of TPK in climbing the chains. The max distance you can ever fall (no matter how high you climbed) is 60'. The scenario calls out that you only fall 1d6 x 10 feet, because if you haven't hit the floor by then you impale yourself on a hook (for an oddly small amount of damage, given the distance fallen onto a hook, but whatevs :) ) The only real danger in the climb is the risk of lengthening one's exposure to the infinite magic missiles raining down from above, which is still not inconsequential. But the point is, by the time you've gotten more than 60' off the ground your "falling damage" will never be worse than 2d6 in the low tier or 2d10 in the high tier.

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I don't know how many people have already linked Steven Colbert's epic defense the new lightsaber...

But I'm linking it again.

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May Contain Meerkats wrote:

Names of gods (Aroden, Ketephys, Calistria, etc.), or derivations therein, are names that real people take in real life all the time (Jesus, Christopos, Ahmed, etc.). It would only make sense that Golarion is awash in these sorts of names as well.

I think it's Inner Sea Gods, but one of the books out there specifies that it's totally A Thing that the church of Cayden Cailean maintains orphanages.. where those kids raised by the church without families take the surname Cailean.

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No matter what you choose between fight-y or cast-y, intelligence is a dumpable stat. If you're going to dump anything, that's my suggestion for your first go to, either way. I'd keep strength over intelligence, even for a casty druid. Why? Because you can still melee viably with shapeshift in a pinch. As a druid, int is never doing anything for you. You should still have enough for knowledge/nature and survival no matter how bad you dump int, and any skills beyond that are just luxury anyway.

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LazarX wrote:
deusvult wrote:
Paizo offers an anti-PFS in the form of Adventure Paths. Everything is preplanned, chargen to retirement. An AP is not a homegame starter kit, it's an entire home game. Just add the humans.
Adventure paths are not Anti-PFS. In fact, many adventure paths, modules, and mini-APs such s Dragon's Demand have sanctioned rules and chronicles for PFS play.

Hence the irony I mentioned about them being compatible.

Yet, in paradigm, they are the opposite of PFS. You play an entire continuous story unbroken by random unconnected scenarios and with the same GM and same players without random comings & goings of people into the campaign (beyond what's normal for a home campaign, anyway).

So, yeah, APs are basically the opposite of PFS. They're the same thing as a completely pre-planned home campaign (just without all the copious planning required by the GM). An Anti-PFS, as I called it :)

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if you have Ultimate Campaign you could use the mass battle rules.

I'm not sure if the troop subtype* exists in UC or anywhere else outside the PFS scenario Assault on the Wound, but that's another great way to run hundreds of zombies efficiently (and effectively) while still staying on the conventional battlegrid scale.

*=short version of troop subtype: basically group zombies into 20x20ft swarms. Some minor differences from swarms apply, but you get the idea. Best part about it is they ignore AC. In reach? Take your swarm troop damage.

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Home Game or PFS isn't a binary consideration.. the main strength of PFS is that it's always available, however much or little time you want to spend in it.

The other main strength is the sheer chaos that is inherent in essentially random scenario play and party makeup. Chaos isn't necessarily bad. It definitely can offer new things in a way that home campaigns rarely can.

Paizo offers an anti-PFS in the form of Adventure Paths. Everything is preplanned, chargen to retirement. An AP is not a homegame starter kit, it's an entire home game. Just add the humans.

A great irony is that APs and PFS are completely compatible.

Another aspect mentioned upthread is that exposure to different ways of playing makes you better. On both sides of the GM screen. Actually, ESPECIALLY on the GM side of the GM screen.

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Wylliam Harrison wrote:

Hypothetical here:

A caster, due to faction's goals/morals or personal background, casts an eventually lethal spell like a disease on a specific evil NPC one meets at moment X.

Would this be considered an evil act? Since you're potentially doing society a favor by removing this NPC.

The means used by a PFS character to kill someone is usually moot (barring character class code influences, of course). The context is what matters for alignment considerations.

So if a PC kills an NPC via ragelancepounce or contagion should be moot, so long as it was ok to kill the NPC at all in the first place.

This is all of course ignoring that killing an NPC via a long, slow acting process like disease, curse, or poison is likely to be moot. NPC is likely to suffer a lethal dose of sword, fireball, or something else from the rest of the party once the initiative die has been cast.

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Righty_ wrote:


1 Perception / 10 foot square.
take 10 certainly
take 20 with 2 minute time slot.
I prefer to have 5-10 rolls for perception per character (not just for traps, so I don't need to slow down or warn players (hey watch out roll perception))

That's fine for bare, clean stone/masonry. Some things are quicker to search than others. A 10 x 10 section of wall covered by a full bookshelf, for example, is going to take significantly longer to search than 1 move action. Pulling every book down and flipping through the pages is going to take several minutes alone. Add in the time it takes to ensure each book isn't triggered to a booby trap before pulling it off the shelf, as well as searching every crevasse of every surface in the entire bookshelf. Then tapping on every surface you can't get behind, to see if there are hollow spaces behind it. And so on. Depending on what's being searched, it could easily take 10 minutes or more just to perform a single d20 roll, and hours (maybe longer) for a take 20.

Taking 20 for a search doesn't take 2 minutes, it takes at least 2 minutes in a best case scenario. If its something other than a barren surface devoid of any places to hide anything, it's probably going to take much, much, much longer.

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I don't agree with the school of thought that a bad roll is moot when a take 20 is possible.

If the searcher rolls a 2, and rechecks it's still only the time investment of 2 searches. 20 searches is a completely different issue when the mid-duration buffs are in play. If I've got a 10 mins per level spell on me, I won't tolerate the rogue taking 20 for searches.

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Searching for traps is the classic example of when a GM should roll secretly behind the screen on behalf of the player.

It makes little sense to let the player see the result. If they don't roll high, what would they say? "I search again to make sure..."

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Star Wars operates on the rule of cool. It always has. (look at the physics of dogfighting starfighters for example)

Whatever problems a light-crossguard might have, and however negligible its benefits might be, it still looks cool. That's all it takes in Star Wars to "work".

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