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I don't understand why you can just ignore the rules in DND / PF


Rules Questions

Osirion

A divine caster (cleric) wearing full-plate and tower shield. He is not proficient with either. He has a strength of 8. He casts ant-haul at the beginning of each pathfinder society module. he's lvl 3.

Can someone explain to me the penalties he is going to get? As far as I can tell all he receives is a huge penalty to his attack bonus. and a large armor check penalty. Am i correct?

Grand Lodge

He should be taking a -16 penalty on attack rolls due to nonproficiency. he also takes a -16 penalty to certain skills whether he's proficient or not.

If he never attacks and just buffs and heals the party, then the point is moot, because there is no penalty for casting divine spells in armor you're not proficient in.


Hoping this is a legitimate question...

Don't forget he's minus one spell slot per day as well. There is cost involved with this.

Something else to note.. the game assumption feels that this character is an anomoly. While a 3rd level character might have the cash to afford full plate, it's generally not expected (WBL assumes only 25% cash spent on defense, while full plate is 1500+gp is half the 3000gp expected at that level).
Not something set in stone, but it can explain why things might seem wonky.

So yeah, if you never intend to really attack anyone, and never have to deal with climbing out of a pit trap, or swimming across a river, etc, then sure. And that's with the spell being spent.

In this case, I don't see it as that big of a deal. 6 hours a day he can have this equipment. Not sure how he gets anywhere though (unless someone else carries the stuff for him), as the weight alone would limit him to pushing/dragging mode with is something like 5' per round movement and no Dex to AC (if I remember right).

As far as min/maxing goes, this is not going to break the system.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Tales Subscriber

He may also have burned feats to alleviate the proficiency penalties. At 3rd level, he could be fully proficient. If nothing else, though, he'd be an excellent damage absorber.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mcarvin wrote:

A divine caster (cleric) wearing full-plate and tower shield. He is not proficient with either. He has a strength of 8. He casts ant-haul at the beginning of each pathfinder society module. he's lvl 3.

Can someone explain to me the penalties he is going to get? As far as I can tell all he receives is a huge penalty to his attack bonus. and a large armor check penalty. Am i correct?

To be fair, the penalty to attack and all Strength and Dexterity skills is -16. So he can't hit the broadside of a barn from 2 feet away. He's also heavily encumbered and has an additional -2 to attack from the tower shield. In cmbat, he's a turtle. He can't behit but can't hit anyone, either.

Plus, if the spell runs out, which is possible, he can't move at all. And his impressive AC is utterly useless against touch attacks.

EDIT: Which rules do you think he's breaking?

Osirion

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any rules. I think it's a little silly (aka i think it's ridiculous) that he can even do this. If I didn't miss any rules then I guess it's "legit".

P.S.
- This subject was also enflamed by the fact that he was casting spontaneously with his cleric in a pathfinder society game and when I told him clerics must prepare spells he told me I was wrong. I admit I am venting here a little bit.


You might want to check the Pathfinder Society's rules on equipment as well. Full-plate at level 3 might be a bit off, considering the PRD mentions this as being out of normal bounds.

If he's building his character at level 3 from whole cloth, then he might be skirting some PS rules about equipment aquisition.

I know that magic items are completely separated from gold pieces at least. 1530gp worth of armor at 3rd level might be breaking a rule in PS as well, although I'm not sure.

Might be better to post this question in the PS section.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Mcarvin wrote:

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any rules. I think it's a little silly (aka i think it's ridiculous) that he can even do this. If I didn't miss any rules then I guess it's "legit".

P.S.
- This subject was also enflamed by the fact that he was casting spontaneously with his cleric in a pathfinder society game and when I told him clerics must prepare spells he told me I was wrong. I admit I am venting here a little bit.

You know what would really ruin this guy's day?

Sunder attempts.

Or really any Combat Maneuver, when you get right down to it.

His absolute rubbish attack bonus means he can't land Attacks of Opportunity on anything but a 20, and neither his armor nor his shield add to his CMD (And while I don't know what his Dex is, with a Strength of 8 he can't have much of a CMD).

Watch the enemies walk up to him and sunder his holy symbol without breaking a sweat. Then laugh at him.


Mcarvin wrote:

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any rules. I think it's a little silly (aka i think it's ridiculous) that he can even do this. If I didn't miss any rules then I guess it's "legit".

P.S.
- This subject was also enflamed by the fact that he was casting spontaneously with his cleric in a pathfinder society game and when I told him clerics must prepare spells he told me I was wrong. I admit I am venting here a little bit.

I would have simply told him he to prepare the spells. After the session I would have showed him the magic section. He is not getting any benefit from the -16 penalty. He is only hurting himself. I don't think he is reading the rules at all though.


Mcarvin wrote:

A divine caster (cleric) wearing full-plate and tower shield. He is not proficient with either. He has a strength of 8. He casts ant-haul at the beginning of each pathfinder society module. he's lvl 3.

Can someone explain to me the penalties he is going to get? As far as I can tell all he receives is a huge penalty to his attack bonus. and a large armor check penalty. Am i correct?

He has to drop or sheath his weapon if he wants to cast touch spells or spells with a somatic component. That, along with his -16 to attack rolls, means anyone can just go up to him and do any combat maneuver they feel like without him being able to retaliate.

- Inflict damage via Grapple since he can't get out of it (low CMB and -16 to Escape Artist)
- Trip is -4 AC against melee attacks
- Disarm should be able to take care of his tower shield
- Sunder his armor if it's even necessary at this point
- Bull Rush him into positions where he can't reach his allies

All of this for a maximum of 24 AC (not counting buffs or magic items) is really not broken at all. He has zero presence on the battlefield.


Mcarvin wrote:

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any rules. I think it's a little silly (aka i think it's ridiculous) that he can even do this. If I didn't miss any rules then I guess it's "legit".

P.S.
- This subject was also enflamed by the fact that he was casting spontaneously with his cleric in a pathfinder society game and when I told him clerics must prepare spells he told me I was wrong. I admit I am venting here a little bit.

It's legit, and IMO not THAT silly either. Or rather, it's silly for untrained person to go adventuring that way, but if you're really just not interested in getting hit, it might be a good idea. You could do it in real life (except for the weight issue... But you could probably even do that. I don't know how much a tower shield weighs IRL) even. What would happen is someone shoves you, you fall, and you can't get up, kinda.

And note that he can't walk on a meter-wide ledge, either. Sure, the DC is just 5 - but with those penalties you're screwed. And you'll have issues moving at full speed in stairs and caverns too.

If you meet a guy like this, just throw a can'o'oil at him. If he's on regular open ground, his speed is reduced to 10 ft., (or 5 ft. if he's a slow race), and if it's uneven ground (like in a cavern) he falls flat and won't be able to get away.


Just toss a flask of oil at him. Splash rules, and I am assuming the -16 also goes for any kind of reflex save he might get. As soon as any NPC learns he can't really move, I'd be knocking him down and lighting him on fire.


Taking a step back here, this isn't in any sense "ignoring the rules".
Unlike computer games where certain characters are just not permitted to use certain equipment, in PF/D&D they are allowed to if they are willing to take the huge drawbacks that it entails. It's not at all uncommon for a healing/buffing cleric to want to be as much of a tin can as possible. And if they are acknowledging the drawbacks associated with nonproficient armor, and simply building around those drawbacks, they're playing the game as intended.

Andoran

There is nothing in Pathfinder Society rules prohibiting this. Wealth per Level does not apply. At 3rd level, he would have played at least 6 scenarios and had at least 3k gold. (more if he played 3-4 Tier for any of them ). This will end up hurting him as he goes along in the higher tiers. 24 AC seems all fine now, but higher up, he will suffer from not being able to move fast, not being able to contribute in combat except being a heal/buff machine. The first situation where he falls into water, he's dead. Even a natural 20 will not give success, as it cannot offset the penalties and 20's mean nothing special for skills (My characters have had several swimming situations.) Situations where the party needs to climb, he will need to either take the armor off or stay behind and not participate in the remaining encounters(losing the gold associated).

To summarize his situation

Full Plate : +1 max dex, -6 ACP, 50 lbs
Tower Shield: +2 max dex, -10 ACP, 45 lbs
Medium Encumbrance: +3 max dex, -3 ACP, 15 movement

Weight of just armor and shield: 95 lbs
Attack Penalty: -16
Overall ACP applied to STR and DEX skills: -19
Movement in armor: 15
Max dex overall: +1
Casting: Must have weapon hand free or shield unequipped

Ant Haul: triple the following. Lasts 6 hours (will need multiple casts per day)
STR:8 LIGHT:26 lbs. or less MEDIUM:27–53 lbs. HEAVY:54–80 lbs.

Once the spell falls, he will not be able to move as he will be higher than max heavy load, as will anything that dispels(thought I have not seen it happen in PFS)

Looking at this now, adding in his -1 STR penalty, the highest swim result he can hope to attain without magical help is 0.

It is all fine to do this, but it will end up being a crutch to the whole party, as they will have to include "How do we get turtle-bob through this" in all skill situations.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Shar Tahl wrote:

Full Plate : +1 max dex, -6 ACP, 50 lbs

Tower Shield: +2 max dex, -10 ACP, 45 lbs
Medium Encumbrance: +3 max dex, -3 ACP, 15 movement

You forgot this little rule from the CRB:

If your character is wearing armor, use the worse figure
(from armor or from load) for each category. Do not stack
the penalties.

So like others said he'd have the -16 penalty, but you wouldn't add the -3 from weight to it since his armor is worse.

Also, as others said, without knowing his feat choices, or even his race, he could very well be prof with both armor and shield at third level

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Tales Subscriber

He is breaking a rule by spontaneous casting as a Cleric. Clerics have very specific rules about what they are allowed to spontaneously cast (Cure and Inflict spells), and that's only a spontaneous conversion of a prepared spell into a single type of spell. Everything else is a prepared spell. If you ever game with this person again, you should bring it up to the person running things. That in itself is a fairly flagrant rules violation.

That said, that's the only rule he is breaking (that we here know of). Everything else, provided he's doing accurate math, is play-legal. You could run a Wizard in that same kind of armament and have it be play-legal. It's a fairly useless character, but it's legal.

Still, I'd ask a PFS official to review his character sheet and to keep an eye on his play-style if you run into him again. I'm getting an impression that he's breaking more rules than we know of here. If he can hit anything with any non-nat-20 attack, he's breaking the rules unless he has the proficiency feats. He can cast legally, though. He only needs one hand for that, and a tower shield only needs one hand.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

At 3rd level, he could have 2 to 3 feats (human = 3).

So, as a cleric, he has Shield/Medium armor proficiency at 1st. IF he's human, he takes Tower Shield proficiency and Heavy Armor Proficiency.

That still leaves him something at 3rd.

He can have his holy symbol on his armor or shield (see Adventurer's Armory) so that's taken care of.

He would have an issue with the weapon, but could drop it to cast if he needed a free hand.

Without knowing the build, we can't be sure. Even assuming he didn't take proficiencies though, it's not against the rules. It's just a stupid build if he didn't take the proficiencies.

I had someone do this in a game I ran, and after fighting the same group of goblins for a couple of fights (running skirmishes in their tunnels), the goblins got a good idea.

They threw lamp oil at the turtle, splattered him and the wizard hiding behind his shield with oil, and then threw torches. Said character has since been known as the Flaming Tower of Cheese. :)

Andoran

Mcarvin wrote:
A divine caster (cleric) wearing full-plate and tower shield. He is not proficient with either. He has a strength of 8. He casts ant-haul at the beginning of each pathfinder society module. he's lvl 3.

As has been explained by others, he isn't ignoring the rules. Instead, he is exchanging one resource (spell slot) for a substantial penalty, improved armor class, and risk. There is a meta-game aspect to this, in that PFS adventures TEND to be short in length, but are not always. Some stretch over time, where his spell will end mid-adventure. In addition, the sanctioned PF modules generally take place over more than the spell duration of ant-haul.

The spontaneous casting issue that you brought up is unclear due to lack of specifics. I can see a number of situations that might result in confusion on his part or yours. In general, I suggest going with the idea that one of the two of you is making a mistake rather than intentional cheating.

"Attribute not to malfeasance that which is attributable to incompetence." -source unknown

Osirion

He was human and had no feats concerning armor or shields. I admitted to it previously that I was venting so please forgive me if I'm being unreasonable. Thanks for all the input everyone. I'll also so that you can be 95% sure that this was a case of inexperience/incompetence and not him knowingly cheating... I just had to say something or the next time I DMed for him there was a 100% chance his character would have died.


As far as the spontaneous casting, if he was spontaneous casting cure spells its fine, but remember it makes them take full-round actions instead of standards (something most people miss).

Other than that, just because you don't like someones character, as long as they are playing by the rules, I do not think that is a reason for you to ensure they die during society play if you are running things.


Tarantula wrote:

As far as the spontaneous casting, if he was spontaneous casting cure spells its fine, but remember it makes them take full-round actions instead of standards (something most people miss).

Can you find a source for that? I've been looking for it, still can't find it, though that's how we play.


Lathiira wrote:
Can you find a source for that? I've been looking for it, still can't find it, though that's how we play.

Whoops, looks like i misremembered it slightly. Its only metamagic spontaneous casts...

Core 113, "Spontaneous Casting and Metamagic Feats: A cleric spontaneously casting a cure or inflict spell, or a druid spontaneously casting a summon nature’s ally spell, can cast a metamagic version of it instead. Extra time is also required in this case. Casting a standard action metamagic spell spontaneously is a full-round action, and a spell with a longer casting time takes an extra full-round action to cast. The only exception is for spells modified by the Quicken Spell feat, which can be cast as a swift action."


Lathiira wrote:
Tarantula wrote:

As far as the spontaneous casting, if he was spontaneous casting cure spells its fine, but remember it makes them take full-round actions instead of standards (something most people miss).

Can you find a source for that? I've been looking for it, still can't find it, though that's how we play.

I didnt see that in the spontaneous casting write up for the class now applying a metamagic to a spont cast (except quicken) does raise it to a full round.

edit: ninja'ed by the big spider dude


So I recently came upon almost the same build of character last time I GM'd PFS. It was a sewer mod. The session started after another session, so I skipped reviewing chronicle sheets. 3 people were leveling up, as I walked around the store and waited to start the scenario.

To be brief about it, 2/3 then enemies were aware of the PC's.
I think I described the cleric stealth roll sounding as loud as 4 soldiers in plate mail falling down a steep set of stone stairs.

Other characters were doing dc 5 swim checks, this cleric made no attempt to swim. The cleric was got pinned 2x in one encounter.

So I didn't raelly research this while playing but I will ask is there any other CMD or CMB penalty's for someone using plate and a tower shield not profiecent. I only hope for the pc's sake the load isn't the same.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
Red-Assassin wrote:

So I recently came upon almost the same build of character last time I GM'd PFS. It was a sewer mod. The session started after another session, so I skipped reviewing chronicle sheets. 3 people were leveling up, as I walked around the store and waited to start the scenario.

To be brief about it, 2/3 then enemies were aware of the PC's.
I think I described the cleric stealth roll sounding as loud as 4 soldiers in plate mail falling down a steep set of stone stairs.

Other characters were doing dc 5 swim checks, this cleric made no attempt to swim. The cleric was got pinned 2x in one encounter.

So I didn't raelly research this while playing but I will ask is there any other CMD or CMB penalty's for someone using plate and a tower shield not profiecent. I only hope for the pc's sake the load isn't the same.

They take the ACP to CMB, but not to CMD is the way it looks to me. He takes that STR penalty to CMD though, so it's not going to be really high for a cleric.


Thanks Snig

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