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"You're tied up and knocked out. Why wouldn't they take your equipment?"


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I'll retcon the things.

I'll to "ok, you are right now tied. Some guy comes, and takes your stuff. Are you going to do something to avoid it?". If the answer is no (which is quite probable if they are tied up), then I'll take their stuff.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Cry Jay wrote:
Perhaps I was being a little harsh, but in my defense: we've been playing for 4+ years, They had to have had some idea that something wasn't "right", and perhaps they should have seen or paid attention to such obvious signs.

What is obvious to you may not be obvious to them. You have the benefit of knowing everything. They only know what you describe. Are you sure they even noticed what you said?

I always have trouble with Sense Motive checks. Do I tell them to roll, and give away that something is up? Or do I wait for them to ask, and risk them never asking?

This may be what happened to your group.

what i would do is JOT down their sense motive bonus and roll it in secret. that way if one of your players "roll" high enough you can say, so and so thinks something is off

Liberty's Edge

shallowsoul wrote:
But you know beforehand that a Wizard is dependent on his spellbook. A lot of what I see from players is they want all the advantages but whine, moan, and call you a bad DM if you take advantage of their disadvantages.

People are there to have fun. If they're not having fun, then it's nice if they complain instead of just storming out.

Not being able to do anything effective is not fun. Every class can be made ineffective; go ahead and drain 10 points of Strength from the fighter in the middle of an adventure, of a party that's too low level to know restoration, and watch that player have all sorts of fun for the rest of the night. Exploiting disadvantages are fun when they challenge that player, not when they force the player to sit back and watch the others get to play.

I've never had a DM steal spellbooks. If a DM was upfront with me and told me they were going to consider that a serious disadvantage, I'd probably play a different class. If I did play a wizard, it'd depend on whether it happened occasionally, or if the DM was out to screw me. Certainly if a pickpocket can pull a book the size of Pathfinder Core Rulebook out of my bag without me knowing, I'm going to be a little peeved.


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know that there are all different types of players, but the thought that one can only have fun when they can indulge in wish fulfillment is depressing.

NOTE: I'm not talking about jerk GMs that constantly nerf players by capturing them or taking their stuff. Based on the OP, that wasn't the situation.

What happened to adventure? What happened to overcoming challenges? Which is the more memorable encounter:

1. "My PC got captured but despite having nothing and having already cast 1/2 of my spells, through smart play & a little luck, my wizard was able to escape, recover his gear, and thwart the villain."

2. "My PC got captured but the fools disn't take my stuff so it was pretty easy to escape. We rested & rememorized our spells and then cleaned out the prison. Unfortunately, jailers & guards don't carry much worth taking." (because of course, THEY were picked clean by the PCs)

Seriously, when I hear the "being ineffective isn't fun; losing your stuff isn't fun; GMs shouldn't take PCs stuff" arguments I pity those groups/players. I'm not arguing that a player being ineffective is a good thing. However, nothing in the game (or life) guarantees that you'll be optimal all the time in every situation. I'm all for wish-fulfillment, but don't be such a wuss about it. You're adventurers for pity's sake!

If the bad guys presented in the original post HADN'T taken all of the PCs things, my players would have been looking at me (rightly, I might add) like I was cheating by pulling punches.

Two sessions ago, I had a player run off and try a heist on his own without the party. No particular reason other than to see if he could. He was discovered and got into combat and was taken into negatives. While I was trying to figure out if there was a way to work a capture & possible rescue into the story, the player said to me, "If I'm dead, just tell me. I tried it and I screwed up."

Realizing that in the situation the PC had been in, he would likely have died before anyone would have bothered to even try and stabilize him, I conceded that the PC had been killed. The player nodded and began working on a new character.

The player was an eleven-year-old!

No tantrums. No complaining. The kid had fun right up to the point where his PC fell in battle. He was an adventurer taking risks shooting for a big haul. Yeah, it didn't go his way - but if it had, he'd have been reveling in the glory of it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Morris Chan wrote:
what i would do is JOT down their sense motive bonus and roll it in secret. that way if one of your players "roll" high enough you can say, so and so thinks something is off

I did this with the Pathfinder Society module Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment. My players did not like how they weren't sure what their character did and did not know.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Morris Chan wrote:
what i would do is JOT down their sense motive bonus and roll it in secret. that way if one of your players "roll" high enough you can say, so and so thinks something is off
I did this with the Pathfinder Society module Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment. My players did not like how they weren't sure what their character did and did not know.

I'll bet the player characters don't like that either.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cry Jay wrote:

(as the title hints) At the end of a game a couple of weeks ago, we ended the night with he heroes being tied up and knocked out. At the beginning of the next week i looked at their character equipment and checked off a few things that they were missing.

Surprisingly, there was only one person upset about this: a caster (not the barbarian). Her argument was that I never said that they are taking their equipment. What my argument was, was that a brigade (50-200 people) aren't going to leave your armor and weapons on your person while you're in a jail cell.

thoughts? I think she was just being a little naive. I mean they're knocked out, they're not gonna know if they are missing anything unless its armor or a weapon.

I think that you are in the right on this one and your player is being entirely silly here.

If the PC's were talking prisoners (and honestly I dont know of a lot of PC's who actually do...) they would strip those prisoners of equipment and weapons and...yeah probably their dignity as well, so what is good for the goose is good for the gander. There is almost no reason (that makes any kind of practical sense) for a captor to allow a prisoner to keep thier equipment and weapons on them while in captivity.

I know gamers like to engage in all sorts of mental gymnastics to validate their varied points no matter how much it doesnt make sense in a practical way (except when those same points can be used against them of course then it's just the GM being a jerk). But in this case this is pretty cut and dry.

Silver Crusade

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I remember one time we were playing in a game where one of the PC's was heavily dependent on his gear. Well we ended up being captured and our gear taken. Well this guy went completely mental and said that his character was committing suicide. Well the DM thought about it for a moment and said "okay, go ahead and make another character". Well by the time the guy finished his second character we had gotten out, found our stuff and his, and headed off to the next town to sell what we didn't want of his dead PC's gear.

He was begging us to give his new PC the old PC's gear. Let's just say he wasn't happy when we said no.

Silver Crusade

I remember one time we were playing in a game where one of the PC's was heavily dependent on his gear. Well we ended up being captured and our gear taken. Well this guy went completely mental and said that his character was committing suicide. Well the DM thought about it for a moment and said "okay, go ahead and make another character". Well by the time the guy finished his second character we had gotten out, found our stuff and his, and headed off to the next town to sell what we didn't want of his dead PC's gear.

He was begging us to give his new PC the old PC's gear. Let's just say he wasn't happy when we said no.

Contributor

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The question is not just whether the characters' gear is stripped. It's what's done with it.

I just ran "The Wormwood Mutiny" for my regular players. My first time in over twenty years of gaming running a scenario I didn't write myself. TWM starts with a "you are drugged, shanghaied, and have your gear confiscated" scenario.

I had to reassure my players that they would indeed be getting their gear back, and that the characters who had successfully figured out they were being slipped a Mickey Finn should just roll with it at the start because this was the first stop on the adventure train, and if they didn't, they'd either miss the adventure or else I'd have to conjure up a press gang to get them to the same destination.

This is the basic compact you make with your players when you have this sort of scenario. If the necessary gear is not waiting in the next room or at very worst in the villain's vault and he'll be happy to return it to the characters if they just do a "little job" for him, expect pissed off players who may very well leave your game and decide this last adventure never happened. Or they may stay and get creative.

The wizard with no spellbook being laughed at by the smug thieves guild may decide that arson is a good option. Once all the thieves are dead of smoke inhalation, it may be possible to pick through and find the stolen spellbook or at very least something worth enough to sell to buy a replacement. And any GM who complains that this is not very heroic should have thought better of his "gritty and realistic" depiction of thievery.

Grand Lodge

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

we once had our fighter dress like a wizard just so he would draw fire first, he wore a hat with half moons on it and a bulky robe over his elven chain and carried a staff, he concealed the two short swords on his back.

The wizard wore a long sword around his waist and carried a shield when a combat broke out he dropped the shield, longsword was just a prop on his belt, furry vest he wore and the horns on his helm made him look like a barbarian.

But this was back when a mage was a glass cannon (d4 hit dice) and it was everyone tactic to hit the mage first (even the DMs)

Answer honestly... YOUR PC parties don't shout out "geek the caster first" even today?


shallowsoul wrote:
But you know beforehand that a Wizard is dependent on his spellbook. A lot of what I see from players is they want all the advantages but whine, moan, and call you a bad DM if you take advantage of their disadvantages.

"You're at full power 95% of the time and then occasionally aren't allowed to play at all" is a pretty unfun disadvantage.

Silver Crusade

Roberta Yang wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
But you know beforehand that a Wizard is dependent on his spellbook. A lot of what I see from players is they want all the advantages but whine, moan, and call you a bad DM if you take advantage of their disadvantages.
"You're at full power 95% of the time and then occasionally aren't allowed to play at all" is a pretty unfun disadvantage.

Really? So you can't cast Cantrips without your spellbook, or you can't use your feats, or any of the other abilities that a Wizard gets?


Good point. I may not be able to cast spells, but I can still use that great Heighten Spell feat!

...waitaminute

Silver Crusade

Roberta Yang wrote:

Good point. I may not be able to cast spells, but I can still use that great Heighten Spell feat!

...waitaminute

So your Wizard only has one feat?


My Wizard has a lot of feats. Most of them involve either spellcasting or item-crafting.

So I'm not just a tenth-level Commoner, I'm a tenth-level Commoner with Improved Initiative! That's much better.

Silver Crusade

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Roberta Yang wrote:

My Wizard has a lot of feats. Most of them involve either spellcasting or item-crafting.

So I'm not just a tenth-level Commoner, I'm a tenth-level Commoner with Improved Initiative! That's much better.

So basically what I am seeing here is the fact that your throw all your eggs in one basket and you think it's uncool for a DM to take advantage of that?

What about school powers that Wizards get? Hell, even the Universalist can cause his weapon to fly at someone about 4 plus times per day and you have Unlimited Cantrips that you can use in all sorts of creative ways until you get your spellbook back or a new one.


Roberta Yang wrote:

My Wizard has a lot of feats. Most of them involve either spellcasting or item-crafting.

So I'm not just a tenth-level Commoner, I'm a tenth-level Commoner with Improved Initiative! That's much better.

Ever heard of the feat Spell Mastery?

Most of the time if a class has a weakness you can shore it up with certain feats, items, etc.

If you don't want your Wizard to not be effective if they don't have access to their spell book there are options.

Silver Crusade

Brain in a Jar wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

My Wizard has a lot of feats. Most of them involve either spellcasting or item-crafting.

So I'm not just a tenth-level Commoner, I'm a tenth-level Commoner with Improved Initiative! That's much better.

Ever heard of the feat Spell Mastery?

Most of the time if a class has a weakness you can shore it up with certain feats, items, etc.

If you don't want your Wizard to not be effective if they don't have access to their spell book there are options.

Or play a Sorcerer.


Silly me for throwing all my eggs in one basket! As a Wizard I was foolish to take metamagic feats instead of Weapon Focus (Greatsword). Now I see the error of my ways.

And our GM decided to rule that prepared casters lose their cantrips after a day if they don't have a spellbook available to reprepare them, so... but even then, there's only so much you can do with cantrips, and Wizard 1 / Commoner 9 isn't much better than Commoner 10.


shallowsoul wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

Good point. I may not be able to cast spells, but I can still use that great Heighten Spell feat!

...waitaminute

So your Wizard only has one feat?

You're right that spell focus and greater spell focus will totally come in handy ... ohwait.

Maybe that weapon focus(ray) ... ornot.

How about that craft wonderous item well if you had money or stuff or spells to fulfill those reqs ooooor not.


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Roberta Yang wrote:

Silly me for throwing all my eggs in one basket! As a Wizard I was foolish to take metamagic feats instead of Weapon Focus (Greatsword). Now I see the error of my ways.

And our GM decided to rule that prepared casters lose their cantrips after a day if they don't have a spellbook available to reprepare them, so... but even then, there's only so much you can do with cantrips, and Wizard 1 / Commoner 9 isn't much better than Commoner 10.

How about not being silly. No one said to take Weapon Focus(Great Sword).

I'm just telling you if you don't want to ever be caught with out the use of magic as a Wizard then invest into a couple of feats.

Eschew Materials and Spell Mastery. Voila! You can always prepare spells given the time needed.

Silver Crusade

gnomersy wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

Good point. I may not be able to cast spells, but I can still use that great Heighten Spell feat!

...waitaminute

So your Wizard only has one feat?

You're right that spell focus and greater spell focus will totally come in handy ... ohwait.

Maybe that weapon focus(ray) ... ornot.

How about that craft wonderous item well if you had money or stuff or spells to fulfill those reqs ooooor not.

Forgetting about Cantrips aren't we? Not everyone takes only those types of feats.

Silver Crusade

Roberta Yang wrote:

Silly me for throwing all my eggs in one basket! As a Wizard I was foolish to take metamagic feats instead of Weapon Focus (Greatsword). Now I see the error of my ways.

And our GM decided to rule that prepared casters lose their cantrips after a day if they don't have a spellbook available to reprepare them, so... but even then, there's only so much you can do with cantrips, and Wizard 1 / Commoner 9 isn't much better than Commoner 10.

Sorry but we aren't talking about houserules here. That's something you need to be discussing with your DM.

Also, you do realize that you can create a copy of your spellbook.

Silver Crusade

I am attacking your fun if I throw some ice monsters against your Frost Mage?


As some may have guessed, this is an old-school issue. Kicking around since Boxed Set days near as I've experienced. Yes, its popped up from time to time in actual issues, the 1st eddy Slavelord stuff for example, haha naked and unarmed in the semi-underdark!

There's no good answer. Though I'd incline against advice from those that are giggling "QQ moar!" in regards to players that have the gall to be irked when this stuff happens.

I'm a little unclear on the original scenario, BBEG wants to fark female player's- female PC, she's not interested, and party gets KO'd and robbed and imprisoned? And when she gets upset about the outcome, she's the one that's projecting and blaming?

Some addn details would be good. What did the player want/intend when making the char? Was she intentionally making a 'bait' character and intended to play that role up, or was that something you as the GM enforced on her?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

shallowsoul wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

Silly me for throwing all my eggs in one basket! As a Wizard I was foolish to take metamagic feats instead of Weapon Focus (Greatsword). Now I see the error of my ways.

And our GM decided to rule that prepared casters lose their cantrips after a day if they don't have a spellbook available to reprepare them, so... but even then, there's only so much you can do with cantrips, and Wizard 1 / Commoner 9 isn't much better than Commoner 10.

Sorry but we aren't talking about houserules here. That's something you need to be discussing with your DM.

Also, you do realize that you can create a copy of your spellbook.

I agree that a wizard should always maintain a backup spellbook in a safe location. Unfortunately, the fighter pays for his backup weapon after it's destroyed, and the wizard has to pay for his backup spellbook beforehand on the chance it does get destroyed. The fighter can still do pretty well with his fists, the wizard can use school powers and read magic*. Regardless of having a backup spellbook or not, the wizard is not having as much fun in a prison break as a fighter, not because he can't, but because the fighter has the spotlight.

Spell mastery doesn't fix this much. You have to keep getting it to add your higher level spells to it, and you're spending feats to be useful in what is usually an uncommon situation. Sure, you can take it at 5 with your free feat. Go ahead and add up to 6 spells up to 2nd level to your memory (you only know 2 3rds when you get the feat). Unless you keep getting the feat, your 2nd level spells aren't going to be that good at 9th. You're also going to need to get eschew materials. Spend 2 feats to be minorly useful in a rare situation? No thanks.

EDIT: I guess I'm saying, yes take their stuff. Yes they should have backup plans. Sunder their gear, have it stolen, etc. But they should be able to mitigate the suck some. Have a wizard guard the wizard can lift a spellbook from (some spells are better than none). You know the fighter will get a weapon off the first guard they down, maybe even armor. In the OP's case, let her get a spell component pouch fairly easily and early and she has nothing to complain about. She was put unconscious and imprisoned, no sane guard will leave them with anything.

*

cantrips:
"A wizard must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook, except for read magic, which all wizards can prepare from memory."

All cantrips are in the spellbook, but there is no special rule allowing a wizard to prepare them without a spellbook.


Also remember that every single wizard contingency plan that isn't Spell Mastery - having a backup spellbook stored elsewhere, carrying around a pile of scrolls and a couple of wands, Eschew Materials, Still Spell, Silent Spell, etc - do nothing in a prison break scenario. There'a a certain point where, to make the wizard fully safe from the GM deciding to deny you all your spells, you need to be throwing all of your feats and gold into contingency plans just to avoid becoming a Commoner. (And then the anti-magic fields start popping up anyhow.)

Unless, you know, you're expecting the guards to only confiscate your first spellbook but leave you with your second one because taking two away would be just impolite.

Silver Crusade

Riuken wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

Silly me for throwing all my eggs in one basket! As a Wizard I was foolish to take metamagic feats instead of Weapon Focus (Greatsword). Now I see the error of my ways.

And our GM decided to rule that prepared casters lose their cantrips after a day if they don't have a spellbook available to reprepare them, so... but even then, there's only so much you can do with cantrips, and Wizard 1 / Commoner 9 isn't much better than Commoner 10.

Sorry but we aren't talking about houserules here. That's something you need to be discussing with your DM.

Also, you do realize that you can create a copy of your spellbook.

I agree that a wizard should always maintain a backup spellbook in a safe location. Unfortunately, the fighter pays for his backup weapon after it's destroyed, and the wizard has to pay for his backup spellbook beforehand on the chance it does get destroyed. The fighter can still do pretty well with his fists, the wizard can use school powers and read magic*. Regardless of having a backup spellbook or not, the wizard is not having as much fun in a prison break as a fighter, not because he can't, but because the fighter has the spotlight.

Spell mastery doesn't fix this much. You have to keep getting it to add your higher level spells to it, and you're spending feats to be useful in what is usually an uncommon situation. Sure, you can take it at 5 with your free feat. Go ahead and add up to 6 spells up to 2nd level to your memory (you only know 2 3rds when you get the feat). Unless you keep getting the feat, your 2nd level spells aren't going to be that good at 9th. You're also going to need to get eschew materials. Spend 2 feats to be minorly useful in a rare situation? No thanks.

*** spoiler omitted **...

The only thing you need a spellbook for with regards to Cantrips is changing them. You can cast them over and over and over again without a spellbook but if you want to change the selection then you need your spellbook.

"These spells are cast like any other spell,
but they are not expended when cast and may be used again."

Silver Crusade

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Roberta Yang wrote:
Also remember that every single wizard contingency plan that isn't Spell Mastery - having a backup spellbook stored elsewhere, carrying around a pile of scrolls and a couple of wants, Eschew Materials, Stilled/Silent spells - do nothing in a prison break scenario. There'a a certain point where, to make the wizard fully safe from the GM deciding to deny you all your spells, you need to be throwing all of your feats and gold into contingency plans just to avoid becoming a Commoner. (And then the anti-magic fields start popping up anyhow.)

So all of your spells are always expended when you are in a jailbreak scenario?

Also, the game doesn't guarantee your character is going to be ideal in every scenario. So what happens when you are in a scenario involving magic and the fighter has to do something else? Is he going to complain that the scenario isn't fun because he isn't ideal for it?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

Yes, they would only need the book to reprepare. Mostly it's for getting something like acid splash. Your 9th level wizard has probably stopped preparing it, and as much as you want it and know it's in your spellbook, you can't have it. You're probably running with detect magic, light, ghost sound, and prestidigitation (or some similar set). For a wizard in a prison break situation, having them find a different spellbook early is going to be the best. Have it have different spells than their spellbook does. They get to try out different spells they haven't considered or haven't bothered to get, and when they get their old spellbook back (or the backup copy) they now have loot in the form of new spells.

I added an edit to my previous post to better articulate what I mean.

EDIT: Yes you have your uncast spells, but as far as I can tell, most jailbreak situations come after fights that would have casters expending most of their spells anyway. They will probably loose more in failed breakout attempts, and by the time they are actually escaping they probably don't have much left. It's challenging and fun, but not everyone receives it well. If at any point in your game you have an hour long chunk where a character feels so useless that the player takes a nap, the game isn't fun and there's a problem.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Why are captive spellcasters allowed to keep their hands and tongues?

Silver Crusade

Riuken wrote:

Yes, they would only need the book to reprepare. Mostly it's for getting something like acid splash. Your 9th level wizard has probably stopped preparing it, and as much as you want it and know it's in your spellbook, you can't have it. You're probably running with detect magic, light, ghost sound, and prestidigitation (or some similar set). For a wizard in a prison break situation, having them find a different spellbook early is going to be the best. Have it have different spells than their spellbook does. They get to try out different spells they haven't considered or haven't bothered to get, and when they get their old spellbook back (or the backup copy) they now have loot in the form of new spells.

I added an edit to my previous post to better articulate what I mean.

Oh I can do a lot with Ghost Sound and Prestidigitation.

The thing about playing a Wizard is you aren't always going to be walking around with the ideal spells memorized. The whole point in jailbreak scenarios is finding other ways to be useful. I think they are great because it allows player's to look at their PC's differently instead of relying on their black and white abilities.


Roberta Yang wrote:

Also remember that every single wizard contingency plan that isn't Spell Mastery - having a backup spellbook stored elsewhere, carrying around a pile of scrolls and a couple of wands, Eschew Materials, Still Spell, Silent Spell, etc - do nothing in a prison break scenario. There'a a certain point where, to make the wizard fully safe from the GM deciding to deny you all your spells, you need to be throwing all of your feats and gold into contingency plans just to avoid becoming a Commoner. (And then the anti-magic fields start popping up anyhow.)

Unless, you know, you're expecting the guards to only confiscate your first spellbook but leave you with your second one because taking two away would be just impolite.

The point i was trying to make is that a little versatility never hurt anyone. Investing a few feats(not all of them) into Eschew Materials and Spell Mastery will make sure your not worthless if you can't access a spell book.

What you should do is think about how often will this come up?

I mean getting Eschew Materials and Spell Mastery provides a 100% chance that you will have a few spells to throw around until you can get a spell book. IF that ever happens.

I mean if you want to spend all of your feats to ensure that nothing can stop you go ahead. But is it really worth it?

It doesn't hurt to be prepared for certain things. If you know that not having a spell book will cripple you, then perhaps you should invest a little into shoring that weakness up.

Same thing goes for any class. If i'm playing a fighter who doesn't have a backup ranged weapon or access to flight and end up fighting a flying monster at some point is that the fault of the GM?

If the GM has an encounter with a strong ogre that can use Improved Sunder and happens to break the Ranger's bow is it the fault of the GM if he has no backup weapons at all?

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Roberta Yang wrote:

Also remember that every single wizard contingency plan that isn't Spell Mastery - having a backup spellbook stored elsewhere, carrying around a pile of scrolls and a couple of wands, Eschew Materials, Still Spell, Silent Spell, etc - do nothing in a prison break scenario. There'a a certain point where, to make the wizard fully safe from the GM deciding to deny you all your spells, you need to be throwing all of your feats and gold into contingency plans just to avoid becoming a Commoner. (And then the anti-magic fields start popping up anyhow.)

Unless, you know, you're expecting the guards to only confiscate your first spellbook but leave you with your second one because taking two away would be just impolite.

Well, wizards also don't lose their school abilities (and the one spell they can cast via their bonded item should they have one).

That will usually be a small consolation but it does give the wizard options that a commoner will certainly never have, and sometimes quite useful options at that, even if nowhere near what the wizard can normally do.

And then, I'd kind of like to see the GM who says, "A ha! I have locked you and your friends inside this jail cell and you are naked without your spellbook! BWA HAHAHAHAHA!" And then the wizard player reminds him he's an 8th level conjurer and he uses his dimensional steps spell-like ability to teleport himself and his friends out of the jail cell. ((Mental note: when building wizard, make conjurer... ;) ))

Mind, I don't think the GM should ever plan a scenario where the wizard should be without the spellbook for a significant amount of time, but for a relatively brief challenge (say, a session's worth of an adventure) I wouldn't mind it, personally.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

And the wizard bonded item isn't taken why?

Rules question: does a wizard need to have his spellbook to use his bonded item? For that matter, what qualifies as "his spellbook"? What if he has multiples (quite likely)?

Silver Crusade

Riuken wrote:

And the wizard bonded item isn't taken why?

Rules question: does a wizard need to have his spellbook to use his bonded item? For that matter, what qualifies as "his spellbook"? What if he has multiples (quite likely)?

No he doesn't.

Back in 3.5, I had a Wizard that had "Locate Object" spell tattooed to his arm just in case he needed to ever find his spellbook if it were stolen.

Liberty's Edge

shallowsoul wrote:
I am attacking your fun if I throw some ice monsters against your Frost Mage?

No, and I think that makes the point. Ice monsters are a challenge to a Frost Mage, but if a Frost Mage has no spells in the upper brackets of their casting ability that can work in the situation, then they are way over specialized. Fixing that, of course, is a matter of buying new spells or magic items, not necessarily using feats.

shallowsoul wrote:
Really? So you can't cast Cantrips without your spellbook, or you can't use your feats, or any of the other abilities that a Wizard gets?

The PCs in my game are at 3rd level; already the person doing 1d3 Acid Splash damage would be wasting the players' time in battle. Perhaps they could provide a flanking bonus, but then they'd be getting in the way of a competent combatant and given their low AC might take up more cleric spells then they're worth.

Which is not to say that a DM can never ever take away a spellbook, but if I'm ever playing a character that is a liability on the party for an entire session, and I don't believe I reasonably could have prevented it, that will be one of that DM's most memorable sessions, and not in a good way.

I'm also amused that DMs always like to talk about how players who can't take a challenge that screws with what they want to do are such wusses, and then get all pissed off when players make it challenging for the DM; like, say, figuring out what direction today's adventure is in and going the opposite way.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Riuken wrote:

And the wizard bonded item isn't taken why?

Rules question: does a wizard need to have his spellbook to use his bonded item? For that matter, what qualifies as "his spellbook"? What if he has multiples (quite likely)?

DeathQuaker wrote:
...should they have one

There may be circumstances where a spellbook is specifically targeted or destroyed, but the simple ring or necklace is overlooked. It is of course unlikely if the party has lost everything.

But definitely no one can strip you of your school abilities, which was the much larger point.


identifying a magical garment requires a detect magic spell, a spellcraft check, and 18 uninturrupted seconds per item checked. checking every known prisoner properly is going to take forever and can be nullified by a 2nd level spell that can easily last multiple days. i doubt every prison has a trained wizard, and the ones within capitol cities have a handful of them at most. not enough to inspect every prisoner and visitor in the facility. and if you restricted the search to those over a specific bounty value then the lesser known guys can sneak stuff.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
identifying a magical garment requires a detect magic spell, a spellcraft check, and 18 uninturrupted seconds per item checked. checking every known prisoner properly is going to take forever and can be nullified by a 2nd level spell that can easily last multiple days. i doubt every prison has a trained wizard, and the ones within capitol cities have a handful of them at most. not enough to inspect every prisoner and visitor in the facility. and if you restricted the search to those over a specific bounty value then the lesser known guys can sneak stuff.

Not if you strip them, stash their gear and give them standard issue prison garb.

Even if you're going to check for magic items, you don't need to identify them on the spot. You just check to see what is magic and take it to be dealt with later. But it's safer just to take everything.


thejeff wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
identifying a magical garment requires a detect magic spell, a spellcraft check, and 18 uninturrupted seconds per item checked. checking every known prisoner properly is going to take forever and can be nullified by a 2nd level spell that can easily last multiple days. i doubt every prison has a trained wizard, and the ones within capitol cities have a handful of them at most. not enough to inspect every prisoner and visitor in the facility. and if you restricted the search to those over a specific bounty value then the lesser known guys can sneak stuff.

Not if you strip them, stash their gear and give them standard issue prison garb.

Even if you're going to check for magic items, you don't need to identify them on the spot. You just check to see what is magic and take it to be dealt with later. But it's safer just to take everything.

i remember reading an article on ENWorld where in a game, some elf stashed all the party's gear inside a bag of holding and concealed the bag inside his scrawny elven posterior.

Shadow Lodge

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Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
i remember reading an article on ENWorld where in a game, some elf stashed all the party's gear inside a bag of holding and concealed the bag inside his scrawny elven posterior.

It wasn't really a brilliant plan, so much as a regular Tuesday night for the elf.


Up to the GM whether they perform a cavity search or not.

Would Detect Magic pick that up?

"Sergeant, that elf's posterior is glowing. Uh, internally, if you know what I mean."


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TOZ wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
i remember reading an article on ENWorld where in a game, some elf stashed all the party's gear inside a bag of holding and concealed the bag inside his scrawny elven posterior.
It wasn't really a brilliant plan, so much as a regular Tuesday night for the elf.

Thank you TOZ for that soda spitting moment :)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
i remember reading an article on ENWorld where in a game, some elf stashed all the party's gear inside a bag of holding and concealed the bag inside his scrawny elven posterior.
It wasn't really a brilliant plan, so much as a regular Tuesday night for the elf.

Thanks for the laugh!

Grand Lodge

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

And the wizard bonded item isn't taken why?

Rules question: does a wizard need to have his spellbook to use his bonded item? For that matter, what qualifies as "his spellbook"? What if he has multiples (quite likely)?

The arcane bond rule assumes that wizards spend time perusing thier books every now and then. How long the wizard needs to be separated from thier book to make that non function.... is a GM call. Although I imagine that in a jailbreak scenario, the arcane bond item would be one of the things stripped from a wizard prisoner. Another necessary aspect would be the following.

1. An item to drain a way a caster's prepared spells. or spell slots.

2. Another item to keep a caster from regaining their spell slots.

One thing that would work in Living Arcanis is forcing said casters to swear a Sarishan Oath not to cast magic while in jail.


The whole DM fiat “You’re knocked out and all your gear is taken” meme is overused and a sure sign of a bad DM, one who feels threatened whenever the players get any control of where the game is going. The ‘complainer’ was right, the OP was wrong.

I mean really- we have 9th level adventurers. Plenty of ways for them to escape or defeat the foe so that this never occurs in the first place.

Note also that cool loot is looked upon by players as a reward to THE PLAYER for good playing, besides to the PC. Thus, by taking stuff away you are invalidating their hard work to date in your campaign, rendering essentially meaningless for a cheap railroaded plot point.

There is a major exception- as a campaign starter (when it can be a great way of getting a party together). But this clearly wasn’t the start of a new campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:

The whole DM fiat “You’re knocked out and all your gear is taken” meme is overused and a sure sign of a bad DM, one who feels threatened whenever the players get any control of where the game is going. The ‘complainer’ was right, the OP was wrong.

I mean really- we have 9th level adventurers. Plenty of ways for them to escape or defeat the foe so that this never occurs in the first place.

Note also that cool loot is looked upon by players as a reward to THE PLAYER for good playing, besides to the PC. Thus, by taking stuff away you are invalidating their hard work to date in your campaign, rendering essentially meaningless for a cheap railroaded plot point.

There is a major exception- as a campaign starter (when it can be a great way of getting a party together). But this clearly wasn’t the start of a new campaign.

DM fiat "You're knocked out" is bad, but there is absolutely no indication from the OP that that is what occurred. In fact, quite the opposite as they were apparently captured by a brigade of 50-200 people, which implies either the PCs were overwhelmed (even level 9 PCs can find themselves trapped and beaten), or surrendered and were then knocked unconscious. We can't really make a judgement call of "right" or "wrong" without the wider context, but the only context we have been given so far implies this was not a cheap DM railroad of "you're knocked out".

Regardless, the complainer is wrong in the sense that it is logical for them to have lost their equipment. However, right/wrong does not matter as much as the fact that there is a complainer, at least one that does more than grumble about the current situation, implies there is a lack of trust that they would either get their stuff back, or something better.

Recently, my DM had us attacked in the night. We fought back, but at then end only one of us escaped, the rest of us were knocked out, stripped down and locked up in a dungeon. There were no complaints about stuff being taken beyond the alchemist good-naturedly complaining "if I had X, this would be easier!". In the end, we (the captured group) broke out, got our stuff back, and then stumbled out better off than when we entered (and surprising our other party member who was just showing up to mount a rescue).

Now, based on what we know, this exact scenario could be playing out for the DM and PCs, except the witch is seriously complaining. We can't make a call on good/bad DMing at this point. However, we can comment on a potential overreaction on the part of the witch; or we can comment on the potential issue of trust between that player and the DM, as none of the other players took issue with this.


The problem with playing directly to players' weakness is that while shoring up most weaknesses is easy, shoring up every weakness is pretty much impossible.

It's easy to say "You should have taken Spell Mastery" once you already know that you're in a "captured and all gear stripped" scenario. We went through an area with a giant permanent Silence effect on it for plot reasons once, which was actually pretty interesting as it came with enforced limitations on table-talk that made coordinate tactics trickier - but it was a good thing I had Silent Spell available then. And Eschew Materials for obvious reasons. And Still Spell for casting in cities without being turned upon. And Fast Study with open slots and a bunch of utility spells in the spellbook for a variety of random obstacles. And the main spellbook impossible to pickpocket (you'd be surprised how much use Profession (Weaving) provides - hard to lose the spellbook if that pocket is sewn shut). And the backup stored back at base. And the spare pages with a few key spells sewn into my underwear.

All of these are useful, even vital, to cover a lot of weaknesses - and when you go for the "jailbreak" scenario, every single one of them is meaningless.

(A lot of the solutions offered here are also patently absurd. How am I supposed to use my bonded object when everything's been taken? If anything, loss of the bonded object making it impossible to even cast cantrips consistently is an argument in favor of "Tenth Level Commoner".)

There's an underlying notion that every weakness must be exploited and players should be punished for their vulnerabilities. And to a certain extent, that's true - if you decide to artificially limit yourself to direct-damage cold spells, of course you're going to be in trouble when you inevitably meet something with cold resistance. Rangers shouldn't fight nothing but their favored enemies. But there are limits to that. If the one weakness you didn't quite patch is targeted and all of your other preparations are completely bypassed, there stops being a point in having extra preparations because you'll never be able to cover absolutely everything and the weakness-targeting playstyle makes covering almost everything no better than targeting nothing.

There's also the question of how fun it is to play a weakness. If a Paladin is fighting a neutral opponent and can't Smite Evil, that's a nuisance, but the Paladin is still a full-BAB class with amazing saves who can self-heal swiftly and has a bunch of great passive auras. If a Wizard can't cast spells... welp. (But apparently wizards relying on spells is now putting all your eggs in one basket?)

Now, as for whether this particular case was fair or a GM Fiat: we don't have a lot of information available. But while the OP insists that they provided plenty of clues, the only ones they cared to mention were "Someone was hitting on one of the PCs" and "They could have made Sense Motive checks". The former certainly doesn't sound like a hint toward this sort of ambush at all - it makes the lord a creep, but a different sort of creep. If I hear someone committed tax evasion, my first thought isn't "That guy's going to track me down in a dark alley and stab me to death". Which leaves no clue but "The PC's could have spontaneously rolled Sense Motive on no evidence, and that's not a clue, that's roll-playing at its finest. Maybe it would have made sense if we were at the table and the OP just didn't describe the hints very well, but those seem like some pretty lousy "hints" toward a jailbreak-ambush. If that was really all the PC's were supposed to go on then it was absolutely a GM Fiat scenario.

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