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2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I would like a clarification in regards to the Polymorph Rules, specifically this:

Excerpt of Polymorph Rules:
"...In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks. These attacks are based on your base attack bonus, modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate, and use your Strength modifier for determining damage bonuses."

Now the question: If I shift to a form that has a natural attack that includes say, 1d6 acid damage, and that acid damage is not from a Supernatural (Su), Extraordinary (Ex), Spell Like (Sp) or similar ability, do I still gain the acid damage?
Likewise, what about ability damage and drain on a natural attack?
For consideration: Monstrous Physique and Plant Shape

Popobala, Bestiary 3: bite +25 (2d6+6 plus 1d4 Cha drain), 2 talons +25 (1d6+6 plus grab and popobala fever), 2 wings +20 (1d6+3)
Viper Vine, Bestiary 2: bite +23 (2d6+8/19–20 plus 3d6 acid), 4 tentacles +21 (1d6+4 plus grab)

In the Popobala example, I know that I don't get the popobala fever - it's from a supernatural ability with the same name. However, the CHA drain is not from any ability on the monster's sheet. It's not explained anywhere. Do I still get this from Monstrous Physique if I become a Popobala?
Similarly, the viper vine's acid damage is never mentioned in the abilities section or explained.

Are these extra damages/effects bestowed by polymorphing, and part of the natural attack, or are they separate but not called out as such? And if so, how does one know if these add-ons are separate from the natural attacks if they are not called out specifically in the stat block?

This recently came up while building a character, and it seems that there is no clear answer with regards to this specific situation. It's an issue because some monster options for polymorph spells such as Monstrous Physique or Plant Shape are much more appealing if these forms of attack are valid.

I have yet to find a definitive answer in the FAQs or forum search but have seen this question asked many times and never answered.

EDIT: Changed the title and the opening sentence.

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ReddogMT wrote:
One of the key things you should do as a GM is make yourself familiar with the classes, skills, traits, spells, abilities, etc that the player characters have. It can be a lot of work, but I don't see how you can deliberate a game fairly without at least having some basic familiarity.

Well, the thing is I am actually very familiar with this kind of stuff. Classes, abilities, spells, monsters, combat rules. The parts where I struggle seem to be the ones he finds in the parts of the book I never really read (Foliage rules, forest fires, weird applications of skills, polymorphing). Come to think of it, maybe I need to reread the Druid >_> However, your point is well taken. I've consigned myself to learning the rules better to perhaps reduce the anxiety this player is feeling towards the game. Besides, I could always use more knowledge when I'm running a game.

Vamptastic wrote:
Yeah, there was a player in our group like this. He was an insane paranoid survivalist, who held that same view of DMs vs players, it was hilarious.

Odd isn't it? I'm not actively facilitating this sort of behavior, I wonder if it's some sort of player stereotype that I was never aware of? I tell him all the time I'm not actually against (or targeting) him.

Marthkus wrote:

• He tends to play characters that hog the spotlight. Mainly due to this player's tendency to talk constantly, never giving other players a chance to react or take actions. He does this without cease, every session, to the point where other players are now complaining to me.

• He is a combat lover and rarely RPs.

*Raises hand*

How are these not mutually exclusive?

They really aren't if you think about it. You don't have to RP to spotlight hog. He basically continually takes actions, references rules/numbers out loud while doing so and simply won't stop. He doesn't speak in character most of the time - he rarely interacts with NPCs other than to kill them. Example:

PP: I cast plant growth.
Me: Okay. Jim, what do yo---
PP: Oh, and I cast spike stones. (begins reading its effect).
Me: Neato, but I'm helping (Jim).
PP: Cool. I cast Beast shape, and turn into a bat. (Begins reading stat changes out loud). DM, I've got blindsight!
Me: Nice. But (Jim) hasn't had a turn yet.
Jim: I'm going to put some food on the campfire.
Me: Make a roll for Profession: Cooking for the quality of the stew.
Jim: (Begins to roll, is interrupted as he calls out the result)
PP: Hey DM, I'm crafting a pearl of power. DM, you know what that does?

etc. He's basically just not waiting for his turn and tends to always interrupt.

Kazaan wrote:
Regarding his behavior aside from dealing with rules, it's probably a good idea to institute some kind of Parliamentary system by which people have fair turns to declare their actions.

Yeah, I like this idea. It may help in the long run if I make non- combat actions more of a "standard" progression of turns rather than freeform it.

ArmoredMonk13 wrote:

here is a secret to GMing that lots of people who have not GMed or don't know how to GM don't know. It is a rule that is there, but not written in any books, and it is ever-present in PFS scenarios and a GM's best friend. Its called plot.

Explain to your friend that what happened is part of the game's plot, and needs to happen, and that as far as you know, you followed all of the rules written in the books and succeeded in progressing the plot. Then explain that you still are learning the rules, and may slip up every once in a while, but the magic item needed to be stolen for story purposes regardless of the rules you needed to follow to steal it.

I smiled when I read this. This is, almost word for word, exactly what I told him in the last argument. He didn't like it. I think the fact that some things in a campaign can happen without his total control over them makes him uncomfortable - and it's understandable, but doesn't really mesh with the other players or myself.

Typing these things out really helps me crystallize the problem in my own thoughts. I believe that the combination of my lack of detailed rules knowledge and the fact that I occasionally do things because of plot may be making him feel insecure, so he's acting up, trying to enforce the rules more strictly by constantly arguing about them, and so on.

My goals before the next session (in two weeks):
-Learn the rules better, particularly those that I'm expecting to come up next session
-Use a more standardized form of turn order outside of combat
-Be more forceful about not interrupting other players

Big thanks to everyone who replied in this thread. Hopefully this straightens things out.

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Larkspire wrote:
I like to have fun with metagamers...I'll use different creatures stat blocks to attack them with well known monsters.Have them display never before seen abilities.

I've got to admit, this is pretty good. The bunny thing was cool :) Might have to start trying this.

Tark wrote:
Then, confront him at the table about his behavior and hope the rest of the table backs you up. It's easier to remove/deal with a problem player like this if the rest of the players openly back you up.

The thing is, I JUST did that with this the last session. My other players backed me up, but the problem player didn't want to change his ways. He was pretty polite about it, but he's a stubborn guy (as am I) so we got nowhere. I almost got him to fix these problems once, I talked to him and the next session it was about half as much rules-lawyering and spotlight hogging. Then it gradually went back up to the normal level.

Kairos wrote:

Personally, stealing my treasure is a sure fire way to make me mad.

Maybe there are actual problems he has with how you GM, have you talked with him about why he's acting this way?

I have talked to him about it. Most of his complaints center around "I don't like how the DM makes rulings on the spot; he should be more prepared and follow the rules more." I've tried to explain that I make mistakes and some of the rules are very complex so I don't use them (the group already knew this), but he seems to be pretty irritated. He obsessively reads the rules as written even during session, I can't even keep up.

However looking back on the way he plays, I think I have found a potential source of his misbehavior.

I think, for whatever reason, he doesn't feel safe as a character in the game world. Every night (in game time), he sets up a ludicrous amount of defenses (~5 spells, bear traps, caltrops, turns into a bat for blindsight) casts a bunch of buffs, and so on. Now that I recall our earlier argument, I think he was also upset that his character had ever been hoodwinked and that the fey had got past his plant growth/spike stones - he was simply in disbelief and was convinced that I had cheated the party by ignorant DMing.

The bizarre part is, there are hardly any ambushes at night - the party only faces 1-2 encounters per session. None of his characters have ever died to my knowledge, either. Maybe he is taking some of his paranoia/insecurity out by hogging/rules lawyering? I just can't figure out where it's from. Next time I will certainly try to be more blunt with these issues and see if I can talk to him in private.

Another interesting note: apparently, some of my other players have actually been emailing the problem player (without my knowledge) asking him to stop being a distraction. I've no idea what was said but it's...eyebrow raising. I hope they weren't too abrasive, it would make things worse.

By the way, thanks all for your responses. Very quick reply time on these forums.

EDIT: By the way, if the problem player is reading this, you know who you are. I apologize if you are offended by this thread but I am only trying to help keep our group together and playing smoothly. We'll talk soon :)

--I apologize for the long post, but details are important--

Hello everyone. I don't post here often, but I'm in need of some help.
I'm a new-ish DM, I've been DMing for about 2 years. I've run several campaigns in multiple settings, such as a campaign in a LOTR-esque setting and one in an open world exploration sandbox. Regardless of the setting though, I seem to always run into the same problem. Namely, one of my players doesn't seem to trust me as DM. It started off quite subtly, and I missed the cues that this was occurring. Over time though it's gotten to where this player doesn't even believe me when I tell him a ruling or describe an action.

Here's some detail on the player:

• He is a heavy rules lawyer, he knows at least as many rules as I do as DM and he is more than willing to tell me what I'm doing wrong in the middle of a combat/RP, despite being asked not to.

• He tends to play characters that hog the spotlight. Mainly due to this player's tendency to talk constantly, never giving other players a chance to react or take actions. He does this without cease, every session, to the point where other players are now complaining to me.

• He is a combat lover and rarely RPs.

• He is a nice guy, and is usually willing to compromise in most other situations.

I'll admit that as a DM, I make some mistakes. I'm not perfect. However this player has a behavioral problem where he'll act as though he was the DM; whenever one of the other players asks a question to me he interrupts with his own ruling or answer, even if he's demonstrably wrong afterwards.

This led to an uncomfortable conversation after a particularly tricky move by the campaign's villainess. Here's what happened:

The villainess sent fey henchman into the party's path, resulting in a convoluted but completely rules-legal event where an expensive magic item got stolen from the party (not his character, a monk). The problem player did not once believe me when I told him that everything had followed the rules. He refused to back down, insisting that I was wrong, had made a mistake somewhere, had cheated the characters, etc etc. I also refused to back down, and I told him that what I say, goes. He continued to try to argue with me until we both got tired and he left. It wasn't a shouting match, but it was a bit heated.

This player has constantly tried to argue with me while I DM. It's obvious that he no longer trusts me as DM. He seems to be trying to "backseat DM" me - you know, like a backseat driver.

On top of all the above, he seems to view the game as a DM vs the players thing, not a cooperative effort. This has hindered my ability to communicate my concerns with him.

What do I do? Other players are beginning to complain, but I don't want to lose this player, he really is a kind person but the problems he's causing are sucking the fun out of the game for me.

What type of story are you running? Are the foes that your party faces connected in any way (i.e., they share the same boss, etc.)? If so, then you could start throwing foes at them who have resistance to sonic damage and high fortitude saves; another alternative would be to throw in enemy bards of your own that know the Silence spell.

A very casual sandbox style game with a few overarching potential storylines, but very non-linear. In this case, there are multiple "villains", but none are the direct kind and the players have not opened true hostilities with them or their minions (most of the fights are random in a dungeon). I have also tried undead, oozes, constructs, swarms, plants. They work ok, but I can't keep using them - they are kind of repetitive, and the 6d8/round at a distance in an AOE is more than enough to take care of lesser ones before they ever close to the bard.


I always took the line from Bardic Performance "Each round, the bard can produce any one of the types of bardic performance that he has mastered, as indicated by his level." to mean you can only produce one performance per round, period. It then goes on to say that you can't start a different performance without dropping the first one (which Virtuoso Performance nullifies as described by the spell).

So that would be my argument for not allowing multiple performances in the same round. You only get to choose one per round, regardless of how many actions you can take.

This is actually the exact line that made me wonder if I was doing this right. While the archetype says he can start a performance as a swift/move action, CAN he do more than one a round by the rules? Or is it just saving him action economy?

A 13th level Wizard could do all sorts of crazy things in a round too, so I'm not going to claim it's over-powered. It is interesting though!

True, but the wizard gets less spells per day than the bard gets performances. Thundercall also doesn't provoke, requiring no concentration check etc to use machine-gun style. The wizard is powerful, but more limited in his own way, IMO. For some reason, a bard doing 15d8 per round with three stun checks in an AOE is just...weird to me.

With the ability to drop it twice and later 3 times a round it clearly overshadows by far the all the other abilities the archetype gets latter on. This really could not have been intended.

I think this basically sums up the general feeling in the group. I have nothing against the guy, and playing a powerful character is fun (I assume, I've only ever been a DM) but the other characters aren't optimized and tend to be unable to have the same impact as the bard. The issue I have (personally) is that it seems out of flavor in terms of mechanics. Yes, a bard attacking with his shouts is awesome, but the sheer mechanical effectiveness of this strategy almost seems too much along with the versatility of bards in general. If it was a sorcerer and the damage was from one of his 6 level 3 spells/day or whatever, fine. Right now though, the bard can do this 25 times a day as a performance.

17 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Question unclear. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay, so I have a player who is running a level 9 thundercaller bard. His favorite technique is using the thundercall performance to deal lots of damage and stun multiple times in a round. Basically what he does is start a thundercall performance, end it, then start another to deal 6d8 points of damage and 2 stun rolls. The problem is that many of the other players are feeling overshadowed by this damage output, especially the stun (I've had direct comments). We are a new fairly low-power group, this is my second time DMing and I'm not really familiar how to adjudicate the thundercaller. To make it worse, I already had him switch from a soundstriker, so he's been fairly tolerant with me. It's a little awkward to consider rule changes at this point, though they may be necessary.

For reference:

Thunder Call:
"Thunder Call (Su): At 3rd level, the thundercaller can use her performance to unleash a deafening peal of thunder. This allows the thundercaller to spend a round of performance to create an effect similar to the spell sound burst (having the same range and area and allowing the same saving throw). At 7th level, the sonic damage that is dealt by this blast of sound increases to 3d8. This damage further increases to 5d8 at 11th level, 7d8 at 15th level, and 9d8 at 19th level."

I have some questions regarding the use of this, as well as the use of this and two bard spells (exquisite accompaniment and virtuoso performance).

1. Is using two of the thundercall in a round legal? Does the bard simply produce a single performance effect while maintaining per round, or can he start/stop to use the thundercall effect multiple times in a round (so at 11th when he can start a performance as a swift action, 3 times a round)? What I'm really asking is how does the bard's performance work with thundercall - immediately when the performance starts, or at the beginning of a round while he is maintaining?

2. What is the benefit of using exquisite accompaniment? A bard can already maintain a performance as a free action, so how does this spell help?

3. With virtuoso performance, eh can start a second bardic performance. I have some concerns here: can he use this to do thundercall even more times in a round? If thundercall is indeed "maintained" and has an effect only once per round, this isn't too bad- he'll get two thundercall blasts per round, one from him, one from the performance spell. Otherwise, this could give him six in a round using his current strategy (three from start/stop on his own, 3 from the accompaniment).

Exquisite Accompaniment:
Exquisite Accompaniment: "You create a phantom instrument, a glowing construct of magic in the form of a portable musical instrument of your choice. The instrument floats beside you, moving as you move (even if you teleport). It cannot be damaged, but can be dispelled. The instrument plays as you direct, and as long as it plays, you do not have to expend rounds of bardic performance from your daily allotment to maintain an effect. Activating a bardic performance or switching to a new effect still costs a round of your overall bardic performances per day."

Virtuoso performance:
Virtuoso performance: "While this spell is active, you may start a second bardic performance while maintaining another. Starting the second performance costs 2 rounds of bardic performance instead of 1. Maintaining both performances costs a total of 3 rounds of bardic performance for each round they are maintained. When this spell ends, one of the performances ends immediately (your choice).Virtuoso performance does not stack with any other method of maintaining simultaneous bardic performances."

Thanks for the help!