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281 posts. Alias of Anvil.


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Koretsu wrote:

True, but that does seem to fly in the face of feat design. The only feats in the game that can be taken before they can be used are metamagic feats. Abilities that use a modification of character level as a baseline usually note having a minimum of 1.

In all honesty, I see two ways that this feat could be taken. One is that it should say "2 levels lower than normal (minimum 1)".

This idea that it would work at lvl 1 as you claim would be a horrible feat design. If they said "2 levels lower than normal (minimum 1)" Then the feat would be MORE POWERFUL when taken at level 1 and 2 and then become less powerful as you leveled.

Why would a feat allow a character to use positive and negative energy at the same d6 power output at level 1 and then suddenly your character "forgets" how to do this as he levels up? No, no way.

It seems to me they omitted "2 levels lower than normal (minimum 1)" on purpose to keep the feat from being unbalanced at levels 1 and 2.

Jacob Saltband wrote:

Feint in combat:

Feinting is a standard action. To feint, make a Bluff skill check. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + your opponent's base attack bonus + your opponent's Wisdom modifier. If your opponent is trained in Sense Motive, the DC is instead equal to 10 + your opponent's Sense Motive bonus, if higher. If successful, the next melee attack you make against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). This attack must be made on or before your next turn.

When feinting against a non-humanoid you take a –4 penalty. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2), you take a –8 penalty. Against a creature lacking an Intelligence score, it's impossible. Feinting in combat does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Greater Feint (Combat)
Benefit: Whenever you use feint to cause an opponent to lose his Dexterity bonus, he loses that bonus until the beginning of your next turn, in addition to losing his Dexterity bonus against your next attack.

Normal: A creature you feint loses its Dexterity bonus against your next attack.

Greater Feint causes your opponent to loses his dex bonus to everyone, at least thats what most people I've talked to though.

You're still using the same base ability, the feint, here. So it still only applies to you. Greater feint would have to specifically state that it alters the basic feint to get the penalty to apply to others.

Also think about this logically, do the other people fighting around you know which way you're going to fake you're opponent out and exactly which second you're going to do it and furthermore exactly how the enemy is going to react to your feint? No they don't. They can't take advantage of this. It is something that strictly happens between the swordplay and movements of the 2 creatures feinting and reacting.

DM_Blake wrote:

Just some extra thoughts:

But even more fun is putting an invisible wall of force on the far side of the pit - let them jump, smack head first into that wall, then fall into the pit. Hours of belly laughs for every dungeon master...

That's brilliant. I honestly had not thought about that one.

DM_Blake wrote:

I don't get why you and some previous posters have a problem with multiple characters searching. Why is that "metagame"? If the rogue is looking under the mattress, why can't the cleric say "Hey, he's searching under the mattress? I'll search with him"? It's not like the cleric (character) is unable to see the rogue (character) lifting up the mattress and searching under it.

It's not metagaming when your character can see another character doing something and you decide to help him (Aid Another) or try to do the same thing yourself (two chances to succeed instead of only one).

Where are you getting DC 25? Spotting a medium-sized enemy 100' away in bright daylight is a DC 10 unless that enemy is using stealth, in which case the DC is his Stealth roll +10. Heck, you could find an average concealed door 100' away in bright daylight with a DC of 25.

Here's a perception scenario to explain what I've seen in many games. A group of 4 is mopping up after a fight. 2 players are in one room 2 are in an adjacent room. Room 1 has players using the heal skill and a wand to heal up from the last battle while also keeping an eye out for baddies. Room 2 has characters that start searching that room. As soon as the players in room 2 announce they are searching, all the sudden everyone at the table announces they too are searching and suddenly it's like a race as to who can find any loot.

The player's in room 1 have completely forgotten the fact they are in another room and shouldn't know what's going on in room 2, they are preoccupied. They also suddenly forget they are in the middle of using other skills that take time. It's clearly a case of metagaming. It happens more often than you think.

As for the DC 25- under the Perception skill it clearly states
"Distance to the source, object, or creature: +1/10 feet"

So a medium-sized enemy 100' away in bright daylight is a DC 20.
I think the example we were using was also not in bright daylight so we added +5 for lighting and conditions.

So spotting a concealed door 100' away in bright light is a DC 35 as opposed to 25.


I know with my group which we have in the past gone up to level 18 fighting appropriate enemies have had to deal with monsters capable of doing even more damage than that. Yet they didn't really ever take that much damage, because combats tended to be over in 1-3 rounds of actual combat, the preceding rounds were mostly setting up the perfect round of rocket tag (positioning, buffing, ect). When a party member gets hit, he withdraws and lets somebody else deal with the pressure (or lets the summmons take brunt of the enemies offense). If somebody dies, there is usually a res later or a breath of life now that fixes it.

1. You aren't being creative enough to find your buffs. There are tons of them available that do stack if your party has good synergy and your primary buffer knows what he is doing.
2. At higher levels sure, +2 or 4 AC boost is small, but its not small if the characters have ACs that managed to scale decently, +4 to ac can halve the enemies hit rate if the AC was decent to begin with. That can be hard for some classes to actually achieve, but its not impossible.
3. Not going to argue on the high level cleric not being good a combat if he isn't built for it. But building for combat doesn't really take much away from late game spell casting if you do so correctly. Heck is a -1 or -2 to DCs and couple less spells really that big a deal to give up an entire facet of your character? The cleric can easily buff enough to more than make up for the 3/4 BAB, has better defensive options than most std martials, and if built right can deal tremendous damage (not barbarian or archer levels, but enough to fill the role of damage dealing ability). Even in parties where the role of primary damage is already filled, having another guy who can still dish it out in a supplementary role is only a good thing.

Sounds like your battles are a little more planned than ours. Our current GM tends to spring stuff on us so there is little to no time for pre-battle buffs or positioning. We also limit the amount of communication between players during combat to mimic the fact that on the battlefield only seconds are passing per round. It also speeds up combat because before we did that we would spend 20 minutes a round discussing tactics and we thought that was kinda metagaming because for example: my character doesn't know the rogue will break stealth on his turn so that I know where he is so I can hold action until he's in range of my buff, unless the player tells me this.

As for finding creative buffs vs healing. I'd love to hear some I've been over the spell list many times and just about every buff I have is already covered by magic gear.
Ability score buffs, sheild bonuses, AC enhancements, saving throw buffs- These are all out due to magic items. That's probably a dozen buff spells right out the window.

What I find effective are the various wall spells, energy protection spells, dispels, higher level healing spells, high level summons and a few direct damage spells.

Surprisingly, I find the Power Word spells and many of the "faith" based spells such as dictum fall short due to effects based on number of HD. The things we fight are always higher HD than us.

Also I find a lot of the planar based spells are too situation specific. And divination based magic is kinda nerfed in our camapaign but that's specific to our game and isn't really a class drawback.

If there's prep time, I agree a cleric can be great in melee. But you have to expend an extrodinary amount of spell resources to do so. I find the trade off is rarely worth it unless it's an emergency. Also, and I admit this is just my group, our GM and gaming style rarely leaves us any prep time for battles. And spending 3-4 rounds in combat buffing myself for combat is a complete waste.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
No doubt, but that only means you prefer the cleric to the wand. It does not mean you need a cleric, which was the OPs question.

True we're getting a bit off topic. My advice is that Yes, you should have a Cleric.

Reasons: Sounds like some of the players are young or inexperienced and a Cleric is the easiest class to integrate with a party for healing and overall party balance.

Aside from having to know lots of spells they are mechanically an easy class to play as they only get a handful of class abilities.

Your idea of having the PC's arrive in the middle of a pitched battle is pretty fun and exciting for players. It means a lot of GMing on the fly depending on how the PCs react to that though.

So other ideas.

If the clerics are gone, leave behind some clues as to the clerics agenda that the players can piece together with a few skill checks. Maybe make the whole thing feel like a cool crime scene and they have to piece together the events. CSI Pathfinder anyone?

Maybe the dragon doesn't lose. Maybe he has an ace up his sleeve (a one use magic item or something) and defeats the clerics trying to free their friends. Whats even cooler is the PCs could witness this and it could make them even more scared of the dragon and thus making it even more memorable when they eventually have to fight him. (they don't have to know it was a one use item ;) )

Chatrilon could blackmail or somehow coerce the PCs into helping him ASAP. Bit of a stretch maybe...

Maybe the trapped clerics still need to search for something at the moathouse. So despite the fact hey've been freed they are still there searching since they couldn't while the dragon was there.

AVG cure light heal rounding up = 6hp
To restore a tank let's say avg 200hp you're using 33 charges.
Cost per charge 15gp
33 charges = 495gp

That's much more economical.

But I can't even fathom the amount of wands you'd have to carry. As I mentioned in my previous post. It breaks my suspension of disbelief and makes the game seem like a cartoon or videogame.

Maybe that's a weird place to draw a line, especially when characters are throwing around magic and monks are jumping 60 feet straight up, but there it is. Somehow it breaks the fantasy and takes it from a story based game to a mechanics based game, from Tolkien to Final Fantasy. And that's just not what our group is about.

TriOmegaZero wrote:

That's why you leave it to wands of Cure Light. Much cheaper.

Or Infernal Healing, but whatever.

But then aren't you just burning through them faster which requires finding and purchasing more?

How many are people carrying at a time? As a GM if my players went to a town and tried to buy like 30 wands of cure light wounds well... first, that's a game session in and of itself. And as a GM I'd rule that there just aren't that many. It seems kinda ridiculous.

"Oh look I can just somehow keep buying as many potions/wands/etc as I want until I can't carry anymore. The vendor never runs out." Makes Pathfinder feel like a videogame.

At least that's how it feels to me.

Just some math on the wands at higher levels.

Wand of Cure Critical Wounds, the strongest of the cure wands, will heal a paltry average of 25 points per use. (avg on a d8 is 4.5 x 4 + 7 for caster lvl) And it costs 21,000 gp.

This means you're spending an average of 420gp for every 25hp. That is ri-g~#&#*n-diculous.

Just to heal a party's tank your looking at about 9-10 charges at higher levels.

Congratulations that just cost 4,200gp in consumables.

I'd rather use heal spells and spend my gold on items that give a constant boost thanks.

notabot wrote:
-Anvil- wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
A cleric isn't really needed. The bard can use wands of Cure Light Wounds.

After the low levels, wands can't keep up with enemy damage output. The only things that can are metamagic enhanced healing and the heal spell.

I recommend a class that can fill that requirement.

Can I assume from this statement that you heal in combat? I might be presuming a bit too much so I won't get into that.

For higher levels wands are still viable, just have to have a bundle of them, they are still cheap consumables. Also a well prepared party can use buffs and abilities to avoid damage, preventing damage is better than restoring lost HP.

Heal spell is still really nice, but it takes up a very good spell slot. And its unlikely that the cleric will have more than a couple at any given time. Sure he could have metamagic cures prepared, but going full heal bot is the same thing as playing a health dispenser instead of a real character.

I am aware of the flame wars between healing in combat and healing outside of combat. I for one never understood how a play style without healing in combat works. Maybe it works if you're playing PFS, but no way can I see it in a homebrew campaign. Out tank has a little over 200 HP. At level 15 enemies are doing 100+ dmg a round even through our buffs. So how do you keep the tank upright without healing in combat? He'd be down after round 2. At higher levels healing in combat is a MUST. And we're not noobs at this. This campaign has been around since 2nd ed.

I find the cleric gets so many spells that preparing a few metamagic heals and the heal spell is waaaaaaaay more effetive than many buffs. This is for a few reasons.
1. At upper-mid and above levels many of the buffs don't stack with enhancements from magic items and become useless.

2. Again at upper-mid and above levels granting someone a +2 or even +4 to AC or DR etc etc, is (surprisingly) not as helpful as you might think. Many combat oriented enemies have bonuses that laugh at defensive buffs. With the exception of energy based buffs. Those are amazing at all levels.

3. After mid-level unless a cleric is optimized for front line combat, they shouldn't even bother trying. Even with buffs you can't hit often and hard enough to make a dent. So I stick to buffs and heals. (and dispel magic which is amazing on highly buffed high level enemies)

But our style of play is also a pretty detailed one where we even RP the shopping so trying to get many, many wands of cure spells is an undertaking among itself and would require trips to several towns and clean out their inventories for quite some time. If we relied on wands we'd probably run through them after about a days worth of encounters and then have to wait until we can track down merchants with fresh supplies.

So to sum up- low to early-mid levels, buff away and hold off the healing. At higher levels enemies hit often and hit hard and healing in combat is a must. Sometimes the battles come down to who attacked first because both sides have such devastating attacks at that point.

synjon wrote:

Anybody else's thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Besides just healing, keep in mind undead encounters are drastically more difficult without a cleric or oracle. The core book even mentions upping the DC of such encounters without a cleric in the party.

Also incorporeal undead are the worst thing ever without a cleric or ghost touch weapons to deal with them.

Jeraa wrote:
A cleric isn't really needed. The bard can use wands of Cure Light Wounds.

After the low levels, wands can't keep up with enemy damage output. The only things that can are metamagic enhanced healing and the heal spell.

I recommend a class that can fill that requirement.

Eric Saxon wrote:

Have the following

Selective Channeling
Versatile Channeler

What else is there that could be useful to a Cleric with the Death and Healing Domains? Playing a PFS Cleric of Pharasma.

Which one have I missed that might be really useful and why?

Seeing as you have Versatile channeler I would go with Improved Channel. At lvl 8 or 9 and up, many creatures are able to make the save vs the channel instantly halving your damage output.

Pax Veritas wrote:

My intention is to post a number of concerns here, with the goal of hearing from GMs who have been able to make this system work well at their tables. Can you help me address my disatisfaction with the Pathfinder RPG skill system?

1. Once characters surpass about 8th level the number of ranks are so staggering that things become unchallenging.
2. It doesn't seem right that a DC of 10 should jump to DC 30 just because the players have gone up in levels. Therefore anything less than an epic challenge seems completely unchallenging.
3. With six players at the table, the point of asking for skill checks seems like a farce.
4. The consequences of failing skill checks are relatively meaningless.
5. All the characters have so many rank-points so widely distributed that trying to make anyone feel "special" for achieving their skill check feels impossible to achive.
6. Times of search and perception in particular seem a waste of time. Someone else always says, "Can I search too?" or "I also look around" and subsequently alerts everyone else. What's the real point here?

I am also curious if other GMs have been feeling this way. Even the adventure paths assume success when they say, "Let the party make a DC 15 Perception Check to notice X,Y,Z. I mean, really? DC15 is a thing of the past by level 5 or so.
7. There's generally no reward or individualized outcome of a Skill
Check success

Great post Pax. Allow me to give you my perspective as a DM and player since the 80's as well.

1. Not all characters have a ton of skill points. I have a cleric that gets 2/lvl and at lvl 19 he has 38 which is about what our rogue started with at lvl 1. So I have to disagree with you here. My experience is players do not get too many skill points.(see below for more reasons why)
2. After a half dozen levels or so routine tasks should be just that, "routine". And that's OKAY for a couple reasons. Fist, it shows that the characters are growing and gives players a sense of accomplishment when their PCs can finally jump over that 10 foot gap without sweating every time. Secondly, even if a check is normally routine, circumstances and a clever GM can make them more difficult at any time. Suddenly the DC for that 10' jump becomes a lot higher when the bad guy greases the area. Thirdly what is routine to 1 PC is not routine to another. 3 out of 4 PCs might not think twice about that jump but a wizard with 12 str and no ranks in acrobatics would probably look for an alternative, thereby still making it a fun encounter.
3. 6 players at the table is a lot and they will probably have most things covered. Keep in mind that not all 6 of them will always be in a position to make a skill check and be involved. Think what the characters would check for vs what a player would. A lot of times if everyone is always involved in every skill check it's a case of metagaming. Also just because they have ranks in the requisite skill doesn't mean it will be easy for them.
4. Couldn't disagree more. There have been many times where characters skill rolls determines life or death or success or failure of a mission.
If you are having problems with this then it is a GMing issue. Working to create situations where the skills matter is a job of the GM, NOT the skill system.
5. If you feel the skill points are out of control you should do a couple things 1. AUDIT the character sheets an make sure skill points are all kosher. 2. Check that the DC's you are setting are correct. A lot of skills have circumstantial bonuses that will greatly affect the DC and are easy to forget. It is my general experience that most PCs will not have enough points to spread around and be experts at everything. They will generally do a couple things really well, a couple things adequately and the rest only on a good die roll. (there are rare exceptions to this when a PC builds a character to specifically be a skill monkey)
6. Perception can be tricky because out of game everyone "sees" the other player searching and suddenly wants to search too. These are times when you have to remind the players not to metagame. It's unusual everyone in character suddenly stops whatever they were doing the second a comrade lifts up a mattress and pokes around under it. Secondly, in regards to the DC 15, that is just a baseline under IDEAL conditions which RARELY happens. Perception for example states that the DC goes up 1 for every 10' feet away the subject of your check is. So spotting an enemy 100' away is minimum DC 25 and that's in bright light.
Hearing someone through a door in a room next to you is around a 22 (+5 through the door and they are probably about 15' away) I would re-examine the DC's you're setting as they sound very low.
7. There are general XP rewards you can give for successful skill checks the core book mentions as much (can't remember if they are optional or not). The immediate reward to the players should be fairly obvious if you are making the DC's challenging enough. They will get stoked when they make their rolls. It can be VERY rewarding for players to use their skills successfully and creatively when the GM is doing things right.

A couple other notes-
Remember sometimes the GM rolls skill checks for PC's as in the case of searching for traps. This is done to keep a player from metagaming ie: still acting overly cautions in a dungeon because they know they rolled a 1 on their search.
DESCRIBE THE RESULTS. Don't just say "ok you made it and the trap is disarmed" Our Rogue once disarmed a symbol of death by meeting the DC EXACTLY. Our GM described how he barely disarmed it with beads of sweat rolling off his face etc etc. And by the time he was done we really felt like we'd been through an ordeal and one hell of a really close call.

To wrap up-
It really sounds like the situations you're creating that call for Skill checks are falling flat. That also seems to be combined with the DC's being off. Remember it's the GMs job to make the situation challenging and exciting, not the skill systems job. It is just a tool for you to organize events and activities.

Just about everything I've experienced since 3.0 - Pathfinder (because the skill systems are very similar) is just about the opposite of what you are describing is happening at your table. (with the occasional rare hiccup)
So my conclusion is that it must be your gaming style. Our gaming table has players sweating over skill checks and on success PCs feel just as good as if they've won a battle.

The templates make it pretty easy to convert anything to a lycanthrope. The Bestiary should have you covered as far as rules go.

I for one think a winter wolf lycanthrope would be awesome.

Shadowborn wrote:
-Anvil- wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Katanas can cut through tanks. Check and mate.

Uhhh, no?

Mythbusters tried something similar with Katanas cutting through the barrels of WWII machine guns.

Even when heated to red hot from firing, a Katana barely chips the gun barrel.

And seeing as tanks are made to be bulletproof from anything smaller than a 50mm round, I doubt they are any more susceptible to a katana blade.

Replying to my obvious facetiousness with a staid and solemn rebuttal simply raises the hilarity. Congratulations, you just became my straight man. Wakka wakka wakka.

D'oh. This is what happens when I try to read threads quickly and reply while at work.

John Woodford wrote:

The 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins for the elucidation of the structure of DNA. Watson and Crick had published in 1953. Querying the Fount of All Knowledge, the discussion on timing of prizes notes
Wikipedia wrote:
Since the Nobel Prize rules forbid nominations of the deceased, longevity is an asset, one prize being awarded as long as 50 years after the discovery.
The 50-year gap was the 1966 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded to Peyton Rous, for his discovery of tumor-causing viruses in chickens...in 1916.

OK so after some more reading it seems to depend on the field, the immediacy of the use for the applicable science, the general interest to the world at large... etc.

For every award that takes 50 years like the one you mention, I found an example of one that happened almost immediately.

For example graphene in 2010 [urlhttp://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2010/press.html[/url]

Al Gore 2007 [url http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2007/gore-prize-present.html[/url]

Richard Smalley, Carbon Nanotubes 1996 [url http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Smalley[/url]

So...apparently it's whenever the nobel prize panel really feels like it. Those lazy bastards...

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Detect Magic wrote:
All that katana talk was in jest, Anvil. I doubt anybody was serious, or at least that was my take on it. The sarcasm was pretty heavily implied :P

I just like to reference Mythbusters as much as possible. :)

Sissyl wrote:
Regarding Nobel Prizes: You don't get one for things you do NOW. You get it for leading the way twenty or thirty years ago. So, yes, the US leads, but at the moment, it's still the tail end of what things were like in the postwar era.

Uh no, that's not how Nobel Prizes work at all. In the science fields they are actually for work published in that year. For an example google the guys that discovered graphene or the guys that discovered carbon nanotubes.

Now that's not to say they didn't have several years of research and testing prior to officially publishing their results to the scientific community, but the nobel prizes for sciences are very current.

Shadowborn wrote:
Katanas can cut through tanks. Check and mate.

Uhhh, no?

Mythbusters tried something similar with Katanas cutting through the barrels of WWII machine guns.

Even when heated to red hot from firing, a Katana barely chips the gun barrel.

And seeing as tanks are made to be bulletproof from anything smaller than a 50mm round, I doubt they are any more susceptible to a katana blade.

Also saying a country has a higher "tech level" is kinda fallacious in most cases. There are too many fields of science and technology to really make a blanket statement like that in regard to many leading world superpowers. Sure you could make that statement if you're comparing the US to Uganda, but not the US to Japan.

For example I'm pretty sure South Korea kicks our butt in anything even related to electronic gaming and entertainment. But I bet their military is years behind ours in terms of technology. We now have smart bullets for crying out loud.

For an accurate comparison you would have to compare each specific tech industry to the same tech industry in another country.

Detect Magic wrote:

Continuing the discussion started here.

We could really use some factual evidence (for either side). Until then, the positive-claim that "the East" is more technologically advanced than "the West" is unproven.

This is a fun thread.

Here's a link to a Cracked article about a writer that lived in Japan. http://www.cracked.com/article_20118_5-things-nobody-tells-you-about-living -in-japan.html

The first thing on the list is that Japan is surprisingly low tech.

I was also surprised that their homes don't have heat.

Japan did give us the modern Video Game, Saki and delicious, delicious sushi rolls though. So I can forgive their PR people over-hyping the tech level in order to sell us Westerners a new LED TV.

And just for the record in my games I've kept the "far east" themes out of my games- not because I don't like them but because, like the real world, those themes only exist in a specific location and the PCs just haven't made their way there.

Manimal wrote:
Good sir Anvil, I refer you to this thread.

Ha! I actually commented on that thread too! It was so long ago I completely forgot.

See...no memory...that's why I need threads like this.

Manimal wrote:
Good sir Anvil, I refer you to this thread.

Thanks Manimal, I did a quick search for threads on this topic but must have missed that one.

I've found that as Pahtfinder grows I just can't keep all the pertinent rules in my head anymore.

So I pose this question to the community:
What commonly used rules are frequently forgotten or overlooked?

I'm talking about some of the more common rules that are easy to forget or often get overlooked, not obscure situations or powers.

For example- I always forget that the GM should make the rolls for a player when they search for traps. (prevents meta gaming for when you roll that inevitable 1)

Also- You can't sneak attack in dim lighting due to 20% concealment (actually my group is pretty bad at keeping track of lighting sources during combat, as it can be a chore.)

I thought it would be handy if we had a sticky thread with this info for those like myself that just can't remember everything. If I haven't had to use certain rules in a while I just don't retain them.

So let me hear it. What rules do you find are most commonly forgotten?

Quandary wrote:

RAW, that isn't a falling damage scenario.

If you conjure a wall in front of a charging character, they can simply not enter the next square.
If you conjure it 'on top of them', you apply any stated effects for doing so, but there isn't really any other effect.

Yeah in a case like that I go by Intent or, what makes sense for the scene, rather than RAW.

Ever seen a bird fly into a window and break it's neck? I have. The bird didn't just gently stop and realize it couldn't "enter the next square".
I couldn't just throw out all semblance of physics. My players would have complained if I said nothing happens.

But really, I digress. If we want to discuss it further I should make a thread instead of hijacking this one.

Ravingdork wrote:
Quandary, I think that rule exists to cover the whole "I summon a wall of force in front of the flying dragon's charge" schtick.

Not to derail this thread, but I did that recently in a game and wasn't sure how the damage should work.

I figure the dragon should take some but wasn't sure mechanically how it should work. I based it off of falling dmg = the distance the dragon had moved before he hit the wall.

Whoa, ease up there.

What I was referring to are his feelings on the Pounce ability for Eidolon's. I allow summoners at my table and have one in my current campaign. While I feel the class has a lot of exceptions to existing rules, which is usually a sign of some design flaws, I don't think its game breaking.

The only time I would ban a class is if my campaign world didn't have something intrinsic to that class or that part of the world hadn't been explored yet. For an example, Ninjas- There's no eastern themes in my world(yet). So I'd be hard pressed to let one in unless we worked on the background so it would fit. Or if there actually was a class that unbalanced the game.

I've stated multiple times I can see the ruling going either way on this Eidolon Pounce business. And I'm happy either way it falls because if I do ban it at my table I feel I can justify why after all this debate. (And having James back me up helps too :) )

Jiggy wrote:

So two things that I already discussed, eh? Kind of frustrating that the only person responding to my question didn't even bother to read my post. Maybe someone else will happen along with an inclination to discuss the "either intent could have used the same wording" issue.

I guess it's possible that I should be asking in Advice or General Discussion, seeing as I'm probing at intent rather that strict literalism.

I read it Jiggy. And you're right about the sentence structure which is why I put a second option in my response. You could make it a complete sentence by phrasing it "intent to do harm" That way "harm" needs no subject.

As for intent vs literalism, I tend to lean toward intent. And the intent to me, is to increase Sun's Blessing to the damaging of undead specifically. I also interpret that intent not just because of the very specific wording but because Sun's Blessing would be WAY more powerful for negative channelers, as you point out above. Meanwhile the intent of Improved channeling is to simply add to the DC of your channel and does not have any language specifically calling out any caveats. I don't think its NOT limited in order make it more "applicable". I think its NOT limited because it doesn't need to be, it's isn't overpowering in any build I can think of and doesn't give good or evil clerics an advantage over the other.

So in this case the literal wording is backing up what I see as the intent of the power.
So...I guess what we're butting heads over is not literal vs intent but two different interpretations of the intent.

To really mess with you, I would say that I might allow Sun's Blessing to work against creatures other than undead simply because I think the dmg/healing from channeling is a bit low, specially the higher you get in levels.

My lvl 17 cleric rarely bothers with an 8d6 burst in combat because creatures are doing about 125 dmg in a round and channeling just can't keep up. The same would apply if I was doing damage with it. Unless there's a lot of creatures I can hit at once, it's not generally worth it.

But I would see my ruling as going "against the intent" of the power, not with it.

The follow up. James' reply

Thanks Grick for letting me know how to link that BTW.

While I know James isn't the "rules guy" I asked him because he's very good about answering. I definitely feel the same way he does about it. I personally am not going to allow it at my table because eidolons with pounce = overkill to me.

Again this isn't a "rules verdict" but if someone wants to pursue that I'd be interested as to the response.

James Jacobs wrote:

I would say no, pretty much because I think eidolons are already too good. The rules don't look any different to me though, so I could certainly see someone saying it CAN be done. In my game, IF I allowed summoners (which I don't), I would just ban this evolution entirely rather than tinker.

But in the end, this is a question for the rules team.

That's pretty much how I feel as a GM also. Thanks this will help me moderate it at my table

Ok so this isn't a definitive answer yet, but...

I asked James Jacobs and he was kind enough to respond. (I don't know how to do that thing where you can link to a specific reply so I'm posting the whole thing here) It's all in the ask James Jacobs thread.

-Anvil- wrote:

James, is the eidolon's Pounce ability intentionally different than the Universal Monster ability Pounce?

They are worded differently and the eidolon's ability seems to indicate that its version of Pounce won't work in a a surprise round while the universal version seems to indicate it can. Was this done deliberately to keep the eidolon's power level in line?

Eidolon's Pounce- Pounce (Ex): "An eidolon gains quick reflexes, allowing it to make a full attack after a charge. This evolution is only available to eidolons of the quadruped base form."

Universal Monster Ability Pounce- Pounce (Ex) When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).

Hope you have the time to answer. Thanks in advance.

James Jacobs wrote:
It is indeed intentionally different, hence the different name for the ability. That said... I'm not seeing anything at all in the above that says anything about surprise rounds.

In a follow up I asked him specifically to clarify the surprise round angle of things since my original question wasn't all that clear. We'll see if he responds.

Still after all of this I can see it going either way.

Grick- you bring up some interesting points. I'm going to have to think about them before I get back to you.

James Jacobs wrote:
-Anvil- wrote:

James, is the eidolon's Pounce ability intentionally different than the Universal Monster ability Pounce?

They are worded differently and the eidolon's ability seems to indicate that its version of Pounce won't work in a a surprise round while the universal version seems to indicate it can. Was this done deliberately to keep the eidolon's power level in line?

Eidolon's Pounce- Pounce (Ex): "An eidolon gains quick reflexes, allowing it to make a full attack after a charge. This evolution is only available to eidolons of the quadruped base form."

Universal Monster Ability Pounce- Pounce (Ex) When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).

Hope you have the time to answer. Thanks in advance.

It is indeed intentionally different, hence the different name for the ability. That said... I'm not seeing anything at all in the above that says anything about surprise rounds.

Thank you for responding. Sorry I wasn't clearer about the surprise round angle.

Since you can charge in a surprise round it would seem a monster with Pounce can indeed, Pounce in a surprise round.

But the wording for the eidolon's ability specifically says "full attack after a charge". So I'm thinking based on that wording it can't? Or maybe I'm just splitting hairs here.

So.. can an eidolon with the Pounce evolution Pounce in a surprise round?

Thanks again.

James, is the eidolon's Pounce ability intentionally different than the Universal Monster ability Pounce?

They are worded differently and the eidolon's ability seems to indicate that its version of Pounce won't work in a a surprise round while the universal version seems to indicate it can. Was this done deliberately to keep the eidolon's power level in line?

Eidolon's Pounce- Pounce (Ex): "An eidolon gains quick reflexes, allowing it to make a full attack after a charge. This evolution is only available to eidolons of the quadruped base form."

Universal Monster Ability Pounce- Pounce (Ex) When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).

Hope you have the time to answer. Thanks in advance.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
When Pounce first appeared in the 3.0 Monster Manual, it only worked in the surprise round! That's what it's for!

Malachi- I don't think comparing it to 3.0 is a fair comparison at all. 3.0 was a long time ago and the game has evolved a LOT since then.

Quandry- I understand it could be a simple case of editing. But in a class with so many other rules exceptions I also have to consider it's not.

Since I don't know for certain one way or the other, my next question then has to be- 'is an eidolon that gets a full attack in a surprise round overpowered?' Again I don't know for sure. Haven't play tested it. But my gut says yes.

Again, I feel a ruling on this can go either way. I just tend to err on the side of caution which generally means not giving a player more power.

Because... y'know power corrupts... or something.

Tiems wrote:
The eidolon pounce is worded a bit ambiguously though, and I'd be interested if there's been any devs chiming in on whether it just gives pounce (ex) from the universal monster rules or not.

Exactly, why wouldn't they have just written "The eidolon gains the ability to Pounce, this ability functions as the Pounce special ability; See universal monster rules..." or simply quote Pounce word for word?

Are wrote:
PRD wrote:
Pounce (Ex) When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).

Hmmm I wonder why the change in the wording between the abilities? If the Eidolon ability was worded that way I wouldn't see it as a problem. The general Pounce rule implies it does alter the charge.

I wonder if it was deliberate on the developers part to keep an Eidolon's power level in line?

If that's not the case, then why not just refer to the exact Pounce rule for an Eidolon? Hrmmmmm...

Now I'd really like an official explanation...




I'm guessing something along the lines of "channeling to harm" or "when channelling against creatures that your channel ability can harm". Leave off any mention of a specific creature type.

That way it covers evil clerics channeling negative energy to harm living creatures and good clerics channeling to hurt undead or any other creature they could harm by having taken the selective channeling feat.

Are wrote:

Pounce is meant to be used in surprise rounds. The general tactics for most of the monsters who have pounce (big cats, for instance) is to ambush their prey with pounce. That only works if pounce works on a surprise round.

I understand that thematically it kinda fits to pounce in a surprise round. But the rules wording doesn't seem to back it up and it's not like you can't pounce in subsequent rounds.

I'm not a big fan of comparing game mechanics to real world scenarios but, when a lion is hunting down a Gazelle there's usually a chase right? That means the Gazelle's aware of the lion. The lion is still going to get a pounce at the end of that chase. It's not just for ambush attackers.

IejirIsk, Pounce does not alter the charge action otherwise the rules would say something along the lines of "An eidolon gains quick reflexes, allowing it to make a full attack in place of the standard attack at the end of a charge."

Instead it says "full attack after a charge.

Now I could be completely wrong and the wording in the rules could be a little loose and maybe it was their intention to have it alter the charge. But as written I'm just not seeing it that way.

... but the more I think of it the more I can see both sides. Hmmmm this is a pickle.

No. The wording specifically says "channeling to harm undead" not channeling to harm creatures.

Jiggy, the powers that be at Paizo have stated (I can't remember the thread) that more specific wording take precedence over less-specific wording when it comes to rules. So in this case the Sun-Domains wording is the winner because, as you pointed out, is more specific.

Thanks for posting all the applicable rules Grick.

I'm also interested to see what the verdict is on this. I can see it going either way.

I'm inclined to say no. Pounce specifically says "full attack". And the wording for Suprise rounds is pretty strict. You can take either a Standard action or a Move action and free actions. Now while you CAN charge as a standard action with limited movement, you're still not allowed a full attack action. So IMO you couldn't Pounce and would be limited to a single attack.

I'm also inclined to say No because getting a full attack on a surprise round is very powerful and can dramatically change a combat.

Thoughts and questions.
- Hmm, can you use lunge with unarmed strike? If you can that's awesome.
- Does Spring Attack work for flying creatures? Without looking it up I would guess yes. But if that's the case then what's the point of the Flyby attack feat?
- You're right, your fly skill will be excellent. But it doesn't make those feats redundant. Unless you take hover you'll never get a full attack off. Making a fly check to hover is a move action without the feat. We have a flyer in our group and ran into these issues until he got hover.
- As far as Web and such goes, yeah your saves will be high enough to evade them most times. I was thinking of how tough it would be for you to get out of such a spell. But then again if you get hit by it no matter what you're playing I guess you're kinda humped anyway.

It is viable. I think a monk bear would be fun too. Just for the visual of a bear in a combat style stance. :)

Cayzle wrote:
Huh! You are right, Heymitch! Thanks for keeping me honest. Certainly, dispel magic is another reason that this strategy is not "unstoppable!" I suppose your best defense against Dispel is to stay hidden. The targeted form requires LoS, so if you are hiding in plain sight, you should be okay. The Greater Dispel has an area form. Against that, I suppose that the best hope you've got is to have a lot of spells cast on you, and maybe one of those will be dispelled, rather than your polymorph.

I applaud your creativity and novel approach, but I can think of a million ways this could go bad for you.

- Even a moderate wind or wind based spell will knock a 10 oz bat(yes that's the average bat weight) ass over tea kettle.
- You'd have to move into an opponents square to attack which means you provoke every time
- Your CMD would be ridiculously low
- Your damage output would be very low and anything with any DR what so ever will mean you barely scratch an enemy
- This would limit you to only special attacks and maneuvers
- Any spell like Web or anything that entagles will be highly effective against you
- Unless you take feats like hover, flyby attack and wingover, your aerial mobility will constantly put you in harms way. So there's a feat sink there.
- And then theres all the dispel and anti magic field stuff.

IMO not worth it at all.

On the plus side you would get to make all the batman jokes your group could take.

Jacob Saltband wrote:
Is combat feint visual only or can it be used against that dont have sight as one of their senses?

I agree with the above comments.

If a creature like the Destchran can perceive you and your movements well enough to engage in combat, then it can perceive your feint.

IMO your GM dropped the ball on that one.

Haladir wrote:

You can't really use the Swarm subtype for zombies.

The PRD wrote:
Swarm Subtype: A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature...

...so RAW you can't have a swarm of Medium-sized creatures like zombies.

The way I've simulated huge masses of zombies who "swarm" over PCs is to create a new zombie type, the "mob zombie" that has the following extra special ability:

*Mob (Ex)*: A mob zombie has a reach of 10 feet through a square occupied by another mob zombie.

I also give them Improved Grapple, for a +1 CR value.

Zo, if the PC (represented by an "X") is totally surrounded by mob zombies, like so...


All 24 zombies can attack him... AND they all have a flanking bonus!

But there are actually rules for a 'Mob' that he's using from 3.5. It's similar to a swarm, just for bigger creatures with a few extra abilities. It works just fine with Pathfinder. It actually was made to eliminate the headache of having to do things like roll 24 seperate attacks and calculate multiple cover for creatures in the middle of the mobe etc etc.

I would try looking those rules up because your scenario seems like a nightmare to GM. I think it would slow combat to a crawl. Do yourself a favor, check out the Mob template that can be added to any creatures from Dungeon Masters Guide II.

A mob is treated as a single creature in both 3.5 rules and PF rules so channel energy would simply target the entire mob as 1 creature and do +50% damage.

Also I think the PF Game Mastery Guide has mob rules.

Jacob Saltband wrote:
What happens to higher level slots if a caster with a low governing stat stay in the class and gain spell slots for spell levels higher then their stat allows?

Ssalarn beat me to it, but yeah basically that's what you'd have to do.

A better option is to save up for a magic item that enhances your primary casting ability or else you'll find yourself becoming quickly obsolete as you get higher in levels. Monsters will easily overcome your spell saves due to a low modifier and the lower level spells just won't hold up at higher levels no matter what type of caster you are.

I'm a fan of the classics.

I like morningstars, especially at low levels because it deals bludgeoning and peircing which works nicely on undead. Not to mention it's a giant spiked ball of doom on a stick.

I also like spears. Great for stabbing and throwing. Makes em versatile, especially if you get returning put on it. And they come in a longer version that gives you reach.

I find that a great way to name NPCs is to find a country or culture in the real world that would make sense for that NPC to be a part of. Then I use google translate to find words in that country's language and mix and match to come up with a name.

It works for other things too. For example I have a northern town that worships bears and has a Russian feel to it. So I named the town Bahrden because bahr is Russian for bear. So Bahrden = bear's den.

Vendis wrote:

At this point, I'm kind of thinking of just scraping this campaign, and coming up with something that fits better to a group that can't be relied on to show in full. This would be a more "gamist" campaign, less story focused, I think, but my other players are getting tired of not being able to play. My thoughts at this moment are some sort of military or guild or otherwise organized structure of people where missions, named whatever is appropriate, occur roughly once a week in real life, so whoever shows can go and I can just modify the numbers on the fly to fit the relative strength of the party. This idea isn't new, I don't believe, but I've never done anything like it.

Has anyone ever tried anything like this? Would it work, are there problems that arise? If not, do you have a possible solution to my situation?

I feel your pain. It can be very hard to keep a group gaming regularly.

I think your idea of a "mission based" campaign would definitely help. Make the campaign episodic with each session having a clear beginning, middle and end. That way each episode can stand alone and doesn't rely on the same players each week.

In this format it's still possible to loosely connect the episodes but not have them rely on one another or a particular character. It's actually similar to what Pathfinder has done with their PFS modules.

I'm thinking of doing something similar in my next campaign. I may make all the PCs part of an investigation/problem solving team employed by a town. Each game the group would be contacted by officials to "look into something" that may be a concern.

I think a lot of people are making the assumption that if you are concentrating on an object or person then you have to SEE that person or object and that is not the case.

To concnetrate on a person or object you only need to be AWARWE of it and have LINE OF EFFECT to it which is explicitly different than LINE OF SIGHT.

Here are rules snippets I found that I thought pertained to this debate.

Under Spellcasting
AREA: A cone-shaped spell shoots away from you in a quarter-circle in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner of your square and widens out as it goes.

This indicates you DON'T have to be looking in the direction the cone emanates since it can start in any corner of your square.

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.
A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin.

This implies that Line of Sight and Line of Effect are two separate things.

Concentration implies you are aware of a creatures presence even if you don't know exactly what square they are in. IE: if you don't know a creature is there, you can't concentrate on it based on text below from the spell.

"If an aura is outside your line of sight, then you discern its direction but not its exact location."

Spell-like Abilities: Spell-like abilities are magical and work just like spells (though they are not spells and so have no verbal, somatic, focus, or material components).

So based on all that it would seem you DON'T need to stare at the object or person your concentrating on and therefore can use it without any notice. That's by RAW.

As far as RAI go, I think the intent was that you have to look at the person/object to see the aura.

So it's up to the players as to what camp you fall into RAW or RAI.

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