Now #3"-that if you insist on needing a wide variety of social skills, +int will make most builds better at it than +charisma"
Please do not put words into mouth. I did not "insist on needing a wide variety of social skills," ever. No where did I state that a PC has to have a minimum of anything in any Stat or skill. I objected to the statement that one STAT is the logical dump stat, more than any other. I in fact pointed out that each STAT could be used as a dump stat for each build. In fact, I beleave I clearified my earlier statements with:
so I did not "insist on needing a wide variety of social skills," - please do not say that I did.
You appear to be argueing with someone other than me...
Back to the math - your statement "...+int will make most builds better at it than +charisma" is true only for characters above level 7. There are 7 CHA skills. a +1 in INT will give only one extra skill point per level, and the -1 CHA will loose -7. That's the math... (again, in my opinion). So... I guess your statement is true, for PCs greater than 7th level. (I play my PCs thru the lower levels first, which means I am more likely to play my PCs in those first 6 levels.)
Continuing to derail this threadNow #2
"-why average party charisma is meaningless. Snow white has the same +Diplomacy with seven dwarves as with seven bards. "
I saw no math on this point (which I still feel is opinion) no "odds".
You seem to be assuming that only one PC is ever involved in CHA checks. Being the person who normally runs the "Party Face" I can say that in many cases this is not true. Often I am told by the Judge "your PC is not involved in this case. So you don't get a roll." I know of at least one scenario where the number of monsters encountered is directly related to how well each PC did on a CHA skill check. Your "Snow White" example above will get a more monsters than a party of average joes (with no one having above average CHA). Makeing the statement "average party charisma is meaningless" does not make it true. Please show the math - the "odds".
(my attempt at "doing the math" - again, just an opinion): If even one in 10 adventures requires a second PC to make a CHA skill check (and there are 7 CHA skills), then the "Snow White" example brakes down. If that skill check is as simple as a DC 10, then characters who have dumped CHA will fail it... even when they take 10. Aid another is a simple DC10... and a PC with a 0 in Diplomacy can aid on a Gather Info check 55% of the time, where a PC with a -2 can only do it 45%. That's the math. Those are the odds. (11 in 20) verses (9 in 20). One has better than even chance, the other less than
Well, I guess we can start addressing each of these - which I still feel are opinions, and not "odds" or "math".for the first one.
You stated "Dwarven druid with a 5 charisma has 1 Rank +3 class -3 Cha +4 Link +2 training harness= needs a 3 at first level to get the critter attacking. " which I thought was supporting my statement that CHA is improtant to a druid. You have presented a druid that has at best a 10% failure rate whenever he gives a command to his companion. I do not consider (again, just my opinion) a 10% failure rate to be as good as a 0% failure rate, do you? This would be like a wizard wearing armor - after all, there is only a 10% spell failure chance in leather armor. These are not good odds. 1 in 10 times the Companion - the one animal the druid can trust the most, doesn't understand a normal command. (The Training Harness also requires that the Player own the ARG in order to use, and then only applies to the animal wearing it. I have also encountered a judge that would not allow it to be worn with barding). If he is trying to control any other animal, this failure chance raises to 20% for a command the animal is trained in. And his chance to train the animal is reduced. Until he gets at least 2 more ranks (levels), he has to roll a 13 to teach his companion the tricks Attack, Defend, Guard, or Track... effectively preventing him from adding these to his companion until his is 3rd level. SO ... your example druid is likely to have an undertrained animal that he can only control part of the time... because he dumped CHA.
I'll have to address the rest after I check in at work....
ah! thank you Howie (and david)
I regularly play with fighter types that dump WIS. I myself regularly dump it to 8 or even 7 for Bards, Sorcerers, Wizards, and some Rogues (and would for Barbarians, Paladins, ... heck any PC class that doesn't use it as a casting stat).
I beleave I stated as much for CON, though I did point out that a large number of PCs I have seen have 10 CONs (I would say the majority of non-frontline fighter types I have seen have CONs of 10 or maybe 12).
EDIT: I just reviewed all your posts in this thread, and can find nothing that seems to list odds, or in fact any math at all. The closest I can find to math would be my listing of how many skills were for each Stat... where INT won it, followed by DEX and CHA tied at 7 each. so... "First the odds aren't opinion they're just math" - what math? what odds? So far every post I have read here (including mine) was just opinion.... and plainly mine differs from yours. (not better, just different)
OH NO! Are you getting the idea that I think you have to NOT dump CHA? no way. Dump any stat. All of them (except maybe CON...but that's just my opinion) have perfictly fine PCs - and one of the EASIEST to play is a PC that dumps CHA. Though do try to make it something that isn't offensive to the PLAYERs, just the other PCs. Maybe your guy smells bad, or talks to much, or is shy, or way to out going, or... whatever. It's just the statement "And charisma.... if you're not a party face you only don't need it, you don't need ANY Of it. " that I was objecting to. And I did this by pointing out that you could have said it about ANY stat... and every one of those statements is not correct.
David Bowles wrote:
LOL!ok, for you then INT is not a dump stat. I have several PCs that dump INT (including a rogue, a skill monkey).
In PFS, as in all RP games, I try to have a Face at every table. Even if that face is a barbarian with a 7 CHA and a rank in Intimidate (Gather information with an Intimidate check - "Where do you keep your dead!"). Several times I have been in RP heavy scenarios, where the fact that we have one PC who dumped CHA has to be made up for by several other PCs covering for him. I can recall one scenario in PFS where your CHA skills directly relate to how many monsters your party faces in a later scenario.
As to your statement "The scenarios are written so they can be completed without them."? I don't think so. Some, yes. Most? no. Not in my experience. Can you make do and bull thru? Well sure! and I have played many scenarios where we only had one "Combat Machine" in the party. If we hit a challange we couldn't overcome with Face skills - we just turned Mongo loose on it. 3 rounds later we continue with the mission, interigating the BBE dudes so that they tell us who/what/etc. our next challange is about.
"The scenarios are written so they can be completed without them."? "...when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." Try some of the other tools for a change. Just a suggestion.
BNW - everything you say is true, and everything has a counter arguement. It's all opinion, subject to Judges calls and table veriation. You say: "Its not an assumption its a conclusion." and I say, it's a faulty conclusion then. Perhaps gained from a limited test sample?
Do you want me to offer counters for your points above? as Dorian Grey says: "We could be at this all night".
Can you dump CHA? SURE!
and that's my point.
There are viable builds with any stat being a dump stat. Some Players consider a 10 to be dumping a stat.
Let the players inforce this. Just like we always have.
I do not understand this reply.
Are you saying many PCs who dump CHA die? or many dead PCs wish they had dumped CHA?
David Bowles wrote:
I know it seems like BNW and I butt heads often on here, but in this case, I agree 100%. None of my characters have dumped more than one stat, and even at that not below 8. But in every case, it's been CHA for the *exact* reasons BNW outlined.
sigh... and anytime the party needs a little help talking, or your PC has to do something CHA based, you need to turn to the "Party Face". DO you make sure to have one at every table? Kind of like making sure to have someone with Disable Device?
Try branching out some. Pick another stat and build a PC around a flaw. Low WIS? so you have a very guilable and trusting PC.
Or even combine two of the above. Start your next PC with a built in dump stat (or two) and play it up big. A Low CHA is the easiest to RP. Try it with a Low Dex - why's your guy got a low dex anyway? Ask the judge when he catchs you flatfooted if you don't count your dex - then be sure to tell him you have to 'cause you "dodge into the blows".
Gather information - everyone aids the check.
Clerics are not often the "Party Face" (short on skill points) and yet need CHA (Channel anyone?).
Druids handle animal.
"So kid, whatcha doin' here?" Roll your bluff... wait, what do you mean you're swinging on a city guard?!
Skills? there are:
CHA is as improtant as any other stat.
I've seen a melee PC with a 7 strength (maybe it was a 5?). Halfling Dawnflower Dervish. A real terror in melee (Bonus to hit & damage is DEX based). He planned to get Muleback cords as his first magic item (I think).
It is rather that many people assume that CHA is the logical dump stat - and so you end up with parties of adventurers where the AVERAGE CHA at the table is 7. Out of 6 PCs.
The statement "And charisma.... if you're not a party face you only don't need it, you don't need ANY Of it. " could easily be one of the following....
"And strength.... if you're not a melee fighter type you not only don't need it, you don't need ANY Of it. Replace it with magic."
But I'm sure you see my point by now.
It's all opinion, what is and isn't "optimized"... or as I'd rather say, "specialized". Every one of my PCs are designed to be "optimized". "Optimized" to provide me with fun.
Rusty Ironpants wrote:
I fear I did not enjoy this one much, but most likely that was due to the judge. We had a well balance party, of very well prepared PCs - but the judge got kind of creative in his ruleings... so even with 3 PCs with darkvision (Dwarf Cleric, Half-orc ftr? and Tiefling Arcane Trickster) and daylight spells we got very badly chewed up.
Does the last encounter actually contain a heightened deeper darkness that the Bad Guys throw at medium range in the surprise round? With something else to overcome daylight spells? We walked into the last encounter and had this dropped into the center of our party - and then we were attacked by monsters that could see in it (one of which seemed to be a quazit from the way it attacked, but quazits can't normally see in DD). I'm glad I was a 9th level PC playing down to 5-6... Ultimitly I dropped several of our PCs into a create pit and then featherfalled us to the bottom, just to get us out of the supernaturally dark area - and away from the monsters that could see thru it.
Bolding mine above - I'm glad you said the "probably".
I have a human Rogue with a 8 INT that gets 8 skill points per level.
I have a Social Rogue with a 10 CHA - and makes up for it with Magic items and extra skill points.
A character who wants to be a jack-of-all-trades (non-specialist), someone unwilling to dump stats for extra points (especially int/cha, when applicable), or taking a lot of the weaker kits is "unoptimized". An optimized character, then, is one who specializes in a job and does it very well, is willing to lower stats (especially CHA) when it doesn't help their job, and picks archtypes that help to make them more effective at doing their job.
why the comment "(especially CHA)"?I have several PCs whose "job" is to be the party face. I could see dumping any OTHER stat than CHA for that.
You speak of "unoptimized" and use the term (non-specialist), which would make me think you mean "specialist" when you say "optimized". Is this the case?
edit: OH! and thank you for the reply.
Thomas Graham wrote:
Numbers from MB above: "138 active scenarios, 9 retired scenarios, 3 Specials, 1 exclusive, 2 Grand Convocation events, 25 modules, and 13 AP volumes."just takeing active scenarios for the moment, let's check the numbers.
1 scenario a week, no Conventions, no special events and not playing any except a weekly game... 52 weeks a year, that gives you about 2.6 years or two years, 8 months.
Anyone here been playing more than 2 years and 8 months?
Some things you can do to extend this (running games for example). Some others will shorten this (going to a Con and playing 6 slots burns a month and a half of normal play, let alone playing 9 slots...).
SO... Can you go crazy and play EVERYTHING in a short time? Heck, my VL got his fourth judges star 8 months after he started playing. Now THAT's a bit over the top. Just playing everything available? Nah, that's easy.
often the judges in my area end up running things cold. "(mapping things out as we go, stopping the action of the game to read ahead)" perhaps this was the problem with your judge? also, at times players can cast the judge into "defensive mode" where he's been trampled a bit to much by confrontational players and needs to have "nice" players for a while. Often we should all take a deep breath and just go with it... if it's a problem with the judge, avoid him in the future (the same way you'd avoid a "problem player" - that is, one you have a problem playing with).
Maybe the judge is great and you hit him on a bad day. Maybe he's great when he's playing with other people and you just remind him of his #1 enemy. Or maybe your being overly defensive... or not. The best thing to do is just move on (if you can). Smile, say thank you for running, and add his name to your "avoid if possible" list. Be glad he's not your brother-in-law and you get stuck playing at his table each weekend.
OH! and a note on the "feeding the Otyugh" idea. My PC was a dog rider, and normally carries several "Meat, chunk of" from the CRB equipment list. So that gives me 10 or so "Otyugh snacks" - like Scoobie snacks, but 1/2 pound each.
yeah, I usually like Mr. Groves's work. But ... I've decided not to play this one for now. Which leaves me 5 till next month (2 weeks to new scenarios!).
First Steps is fun... and I'll miss them. To bad we can't keep them and get the new ones too! I'm all for more scenarios.
just had to chime in with this...
I rarely start without at least one stat higher than 17 and never start with a 14 CON regardless of class/race (most of my PCs have 10 CON).
Thalin, how would you define "optimized"?
What makes a PC "unoptimized"?
I have to chime in here and say... I've ALMOST played everything. Been playing sense early season 2... I've judged a lot number too... I've got 5 yet to play - and I expect to get one of them tomorrow (4-19).
In St. Louis I know of 3 other persons in the same situation as me...
But there are more adventures released each month, and I can always play the tier 1-2 stuff (though First Steps is going away! Booo!). So I'm kewl with that. And I've started playing/judging the Mods, so I'm slowly working my way thru them.
My PFS Lavode De'Morcaine wrote:
in the above example, my PC hands the armored hulk an elixer of hiding, giving him a +10 to stealth for an hour, and asks him to sling his shield on his back (to be drawn later if we get in combat). Perhaps I add a few more buffs on top of this... (MW tool, Ring of Chameleon Power, etc.).The sorcerer we just hand a scroll of darkvision (Duration 3 hours) and ask him why he doesn't have one of these already? Or we just have the other caster cast it on him...
My point is, players will have thier PCs prepped for darkness or flying or for 16 kinds of combat (DR, ranged, etc.) but not for sneaking past the guards? Why not? Next time this armored hulk needs to sneak - is he going to be able to?
First, you'll have to define "Optimized".
Whatever else I say at this point, somebody will reply pointing out how this statement leads to an overly "Optimized" PC... only to have someone else point out how "sub-par" that build would be. Sometimes these two posters are the same person..., at times in the same post.
There is also the issue of how much playing time in a timed slot players with non-stealth characters will be willing to sit there doing nothing while the stealth characters do their thing.
LOL! I could easily point out the amount of time my PC with no combat skills has to sit there while the melee characters do their thing.....
Long ago (in LG days) a player commented that someone was "Wasteing his game time chatting up the Barmaid for 15 minutes!", So we pointed out he had spent more than an hour "Wasting game time dancing with the monsters" just before that.
If most of the PCs are enjoying the sneak - (and most of my PCs carry an Elixer of Hiding to give to PCs who don't bother with that sort of thing) - why not spend 10 minutes avoiding a hour of unnessassary fighting?
As a player - when we encountered the 'hungry' Otyugh, we talked to it. My PC offered to get it some "good food" and scrambled out of the sewer and bought a barrel of beer, and a mule/donkey to carry it. Rolled the barrel over the man-hole, broached it and poured the beer down. (picture Otyugh under the man-hole, mouth open as beer pours down from above. When the beer stopped, he reached up and yanked down the barrel "like the crunch bits".) Oh! and my PC CdG the mule over the man-hole, so it blead out down into the sewer... then Otugth got a lot to eat, it just reached up and yanked down the dead mule. It was such a fun RP encounter, my PC spent 2 PP getting "foreign contacts" so that I can "look him up" next time I'm in that town!
It'll be great next time I'm in Korvosa, my PC wandering around sewer entrences yelling down them to get a +2 on "gather info" rolls!
I have so many stories I could tell of the times stealth did not work in PFS, even with parties of PCs designed for it.
There have been a few times it has worked... but I'd say less than 5% of the times I've tried it. If the circumstances don't ruin the chances - then one of the players in the party thinks it's taking to long and just charges in. If the players all have PCs with stealth, the circumstances work for it, then the judge doesn't understand how it works and so just ignores it. "Monsters attack" is much easier to run.
BUT - every now and then, in a scenario designed for it, with PCs able to do it (Elixer of Hiding anyone?), with a judge that understands how it works... it works wonderfully. That's the moments I enjoy, that keep me trying.
Saint Caleth wrote:
This.Expect table variation at it's worst.
The Red Ninja wrote:
ah... why is my name in the qoute above? I voted against this, but my comments were trimmed out, and my name left in. I do NOT agree with the above. I feel that what is being suggested is a bad idea.
My son plays overpowered combat types sometimes. Last game we played, we got 6 of us together and played a 5-9 scenario with his 9th level grapple specialist... and yeah, he nerfed most of the combat. But we knew that going into the game, and we picked PCs to play around it. We didn't worry about combat, 'cause he had that covered. It would have been an entirely different game if the judge had said. "I decided to bump him from the game...." ... I'm not sure how I would have felt. I know I'd have been a bit put out if my wife's rogue or my friends 5th level Oracle had died in the game after loosing our front-liner due to a decision by the judge to pull him, because the judge had the impression we'd have more fun without him.
The players now control only a few things. This is one of them. Don't take it away from them.
Judge A: "I got to harden this up. I didn't kill even one of them the last two encounters..."Judge B: "OMG! I rolled a second crit! I could of hurt someone if I'd been using something that did more damage than a dagger! Time to tone down the tactics!"
and that's not even counting the Judges who will play the hard/soft encounter, because that's where their finger is on the page, and they are reading the wrong write-up (how many people have had judges go..."OPPS! Wrong sub-tier!"
the players police this now the same way we always have. If the guy is a jerk, we don't play with him. Each time we sit at a table, we look around and see... is there anyone here I'd rather not play with?
I do not want the judge to take that ability away from me. Perhaps I like playing with Jo and her over-the-top combat machine... perhaps I don't. I sure as heck don't want to judge to make that decision for me.
Judge before the game: "I've decided to bump Jo from the table... you guys didn't want to play with her."?!!
Tamago - I would like to comment on your point here if I might.
I regularly run PCs who are optimized for Social encounters, and/or traps.
Optimized PCs can be Optimized in areas outside of combat. I played Race for the Rune Carved Key with a PC that OWNED the social encounters. As a result, my team "Cake-Walked" the non-combat portions of the game... and nearly died in the combat portions (we didn't have a Max Damage at the table). At one point in the middle of the game, our judge gave us a half hour brake, as we had talked our way past several hard fights and needed to wait for the rest of the tables to finish thier combats.
If the scenarios start to require more and more encounters to be resolved with non-combat abilities - "the optimizers" are just going to start building PCs (like mine) that have Diplomacy and Disable Device skills of 30+. Are these PCs "Bond" PCs? or not? If the PC doesn't kill all the mooks, but gets them to give him the McGuffin, and a horse and help him get back to the Society with it... is he a "Bond" PC?
We are seeing some of that now.
Tony Lindman wrote:
Pesh!said as an exclaimation like pah! or Doh!
Prepared casters can also leave a slot or two open, and spend 15 minutes preparing a spell during the adventure. I forget the details off the top of my head, but it's in the magic chapter of the Core Rulebook.
and the prep time for Alchemist is only 1 minute...
I think the original Poster missed the mark slightly on this. You almost got it "The Red Ninja", but missed it in this way . Some PCs are a perfict fit for some scenarios. The high degree of customization available to characters at this point in the campaign means that some PCs will be a great fit for some challanges... and worse than bad at others. Build a specialist, and he does he's thing better than anyone else every can... and can't do anything else.
I fear I am playing with "Rip/Bond" PCs. Given the scenario, often a PC finds this challange easy, while another challange is very hard. For example, I have a friend that runs a deaf Oracle. We played together in a game where the one of the hardest monsters in the adventure used sound attacks... and he hardly noticed. This encounter was a cake walk for him - and as he then thru silence, it became a cake walk for the rest of the party. Two encounters later, the tables turn. The party needs to get an NPC out of hiding in a safe. No problem! we push our "Face" PC out to talk him out... wait, what do you mean you can't hear him? Your high Diplomacy Oracle is deaf?
This is, and has always been, part of the game. More rule sources allows for a "high degree of customization available to characters", which in turn makes adventures very easy... when you get the right specialist in that game.
One of the advantages of wizard in PFS that everyone seems to be looking past is the knowledge skills. Wizards get a ton of skill points (yeah, 2 plus INT), and all knowledges are class skills. At Tiers "3 to 7" and "5 to 9" they are a real help to the party at monster IDs, or other just odd skills... 1 rank +5 INT +3 class skill gives them a +9 on a knowledge skill, and I regularly see wizards with +11 or more in all. I've seen a wizard PC "help" her teammates do 3 of thier faction missions, just with odd skills, (knowledge - Engineering, Apparise, Knowledge Nature), and then do her own with an extra point she put in Disable Device.
oh, beyond a doubt! ;)
that's why I gave the example of ice storm and Resilient Sphere - I want to do a researched spell snow globe that combines the two effects! and some way to shake it!
sigh... you do realize that the BBEG could not target the area inside the force shield to summon the bats - unless he were inside it as well? He can see it, but cannot target the area inside the bubble. Just like you can't target an ice storm thru a Resilient Sphere, or a Wall of Force.
(it would be cute though... ice storm[i] and [i]Resilient Sphere and you have trapped someone in a giant snow globe!)
added rules on Line of Effect for spells:
Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.
A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).
An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.
looks at mass of cookies spilling from the bakery door, as more of them spill from the windows. Glances back at faction mission note:
"Why is it I always get the silly faction missions?"
shakes head and begins tossing cookies into a handy haversack
"Snickerdoodles - 12 for a CP, 10 CP. to a SP, 10 SP to a GP... and somebody wants 75 gp worth? 90,000 cookies?!!"
here's the advice I give from one wizard to another about how to share spell books.
Wall of Text Advice on sharing spellbooks:
It helps to have a list of the spells in your book that you can hand to another player. that way it doesn't cut into table time while he reviews your book to see what he can use/wants/doesn't have. And also stick on a big sticky note - that way, when he returns the spell list to you, he should have noted what he has that you don't - that you can add to your book. Get him to note his PFS character number too, that way you have a record of who you got the spell from (I have just started doing this last part). I stick this sticky note on the back of my chronicle for that game, as well as noting the cost of scribing the spells on the front.
So it goes something like this:
me to other player as we are sitting down at the table: "here's my spell book. Look thru and copy what you want. I'd like you to note what you have that I don't on this. Pass it back when your done."
Other player: "HA! like you're going to have something I don't... wait, you've got 5th level spells in your 1st level wiz/6th level rogues book??"
Me: "yeah, I adventure with a lot of wizards. This is my 'Wizard Bait'. Anyway, if you have anything I don't just note it ok?".
Me to the Judge: "If we have time & money before the adventure - we'll copy spells, if not, we'll do it at the end afterword. Is that ok? I'll copy anything he has that I don't."
I've had more than one player say "heck, even if we stop the game now, I've had a GREAT game! I'm a lot poorer - but LOTS of new spells!"
I've been doing this sense season 2, when you only got spells if you paid for the scrolls (not this half scribing cost stuff that we have now).
This way it only takes a couple minutes away from the RP of the table, reduces table crosstalk, does the needed bookwork, and (most important) doesn't cut into the DMs time/setup/etc.
It often results in a Wizard player who spends the first 10 minutes of the game with his nose in a spell book - giggling to himself. But I figure this is good role play. Every wizard is a little bit crazy..
Might want to invest in a wand of prestidigitation. Kangaroo pouches are pretty sticky.
This would be judge dependant - I have actually hit a judge that ruled that prestidigitation did not work to clean creatures. I was trying to use it to clean up after a sewer trip, and he pointed at the spell text that says... "It can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round.".
It was ... one of those "gotcha" moments.
actually, any flying familiar with 60' of thread and a pebble would likely be able to pull it off... I don't want to even consider the concept of putting it on something held in the familiars mouth. It closes it mouth, moves while it can see, and opens it's mouth... a globe of darkness that winks out whenever it's the wizards turn (or on his familiars turn anyway).
These discussions (of the different opinions on the interaction of light and darkness) have started to really depress me. I see no advancement on coming to an uniformity of opinion from the people here, and I think I need to distance myself from them.
I'll check back in a few days and see what everyone else has come up with, so that I can start enforcing that at PFS tables I judge. Till then, please iron it out guys - I would like to have something that I can work with ... darkness effects are just way to common, and I can see PCs starting to use them more with this new FAQ (I know I will).
Deeper darkness won't "snuff out" daylight, no matter how much it's heightened.
while I agree with you, my judge at a resent game did not agree with us.
(at least, I think it was a heightened DD, as it did put out our daylight spells when they were in the AOE - and they were unable to light the area from outside (though they did light areas outside the AOE))
Just a sign that this entire subject is riddled with YMMV problems.
edit: the root question remains. Does the light from fire beetle glands count as the third catagory of light? Are fire beetle glands of the same type of light source as the sun/moon/etc? I realize that this is a judges call, and will be different from table to table...
no wonder fire beetles are so popular...
part of the fire beetle write up:
Luminescence (Ex) A fire beetle's glowing glands provide light in a 10-foot radius. A dead fire beetle's luminescent glands continue to glow for 1d6 days after its death.
Although nocturnal, the fire beetle lacks darkvision—it relies on its own glowing glands for illumination. Caged fire beetles are a popular source of long-lasting illumination among eccentrics and miners.
being "natural" the light from a fire beetle would trump darkness effects.
so if you say: "IE: If no intelligent creatures ever set foot here, if it were completely uninhabited what would the light level be?" then whereever there is a fire beetle, the light level would be normal.
Player - "Heightened deeper darkness? no problem, I killed a fire beetle yestorday, and I have darkvision... deeper darkness only drops the 'natural' normal light from the glands by two steps to dark - though it does snuff out the sunrods, and the daylight spell, and light from the bullseye lantern 60' behind us..."
When combined with the common intrepretation that light sources outside of the darkness effect do not raise the light level in the AOE - we have a situation that a creature can stand at the edge of a dark area, and have total concealment, while able to see normally.
I can easily work with this. I have a wizard, who can switch to an bat familiar. My wizard could then cast deeper darkness on his bat familiar, and the familiar could could follow the wizard around, always placing himself where the DD covered the wizard (and perhaps his fellow PCs) and not the enemy... perhaps it could just fly 60' over the wizards head, thus the "globe of darkness" would only touch the ground on the square where the wizard is.
bolding mine.I do not agree with the bolded part of your statement. I beleave that it is better said "...the FAQ is an attempt to clear that up..." and is poorly done. It is a rule change, pretending to be a FAQ. It gives darkness effects an additional property that they do not have in the spell write-ups, and that you only get from the FAQ.