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FaerieGodfather wrote:
Especially people uninformed or inexperienced enough to allow the Vitalist into their games.

Care to explain this? Because only an uninformed or inexperienced person would *NOT* allow the Vitalist into their game without first disallowing virtually all other partial and full casters. The only thing that Vitalists naturally excel at is healing, one of the weakest actions in the game (though Vitalist does admittedly make healing far more valuable action then normal). If healing of all things causes problems in someone's game, I think there's a larger problem that needs solved.


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Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

My real question is - how does one "spam" a spell they can only cast like 5 times per day?

It seems like "how to deal with enervate" is a question of "include >5 things you would want to enervate" and "don't allow 15 minute adventuring days."

Balkoth said that they gave spellcasters more spells per day to make up for the reduced effectiveness of save or sucks. How many more spells per day? Not a clue! I have no idea what's happening at Balkoth's table, and so I won't hazard to hazard advice. I don't even know the rules to the game Balkoth's playing, let alone what could be done to improve it.

My personal advice to improve the situation would be for Balkoth to you know.... play Pathfinder. Crazy suggestion, I know, but I felt someone had to make it.


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Look, according to RAW, casting Animate Dead (and other undead raising necromancy) is an Evil act. But... that just means you need to cast some [Good] spells so you can be good. This actually works out in the favor of a good guy necromancer as it lets you be whatever alignment you want by playing alignment hopscotch via spells. So RAW, yes a Necromancer who raises an undead horde can be a paragon of Good just by casting some [Good] spells. Problem solved!

Of course if you want to create Undead horde without it being evil you can take the Wretched Curator feat and complete it's goal. Doing so lets you straight up remove the [Evil] descriptor from spells.

/thread.


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Korafireheart wrote:
My brother and i like to spend time researching rules and builds and what not. He says he found a way to make a near godlike build by combinding rogue and barbarian classes together and that its the most broken build out there. Hes a try hard who likes to break everything so i can see him being right about it being broken but is it the MOST broken build out there?

It's not a full caster so it's not even in the consideration for "powerful" let alone most powerful. Furthermore, Rogue is a contender for worst class in the game. Honestly, outside a few corner cases, multiclassing or prestige classing in PF is a surefire way to lose power. It sounds like he does not really understand Pathfinder optimization. I would direct him to these forums and have him review some of the discussions on this board regarding the most powerful classes.


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Have you considered just playing the most versatile spellcaster in the game, namely a half-elf Razmiran Priest Sorcerer? Since you will be starting at 10th level, you will have access to Razmiran Channel, which allows you to cast divine spells froum a scroll without expending it by using a spell slot 1 level higher. Combine whatever divine spells you want to buy scrolls for, with the additional spells known granted by the Human Favored Class bonus, with the ability to cast paragon surge and select Expanded Arcana and gain access to any spell off the Sorcerer/Wizard list (or two lower leveled ones).

And of course you can combine Mnemonic Vestments with scrolls for another spell. Your spell list is essentially the entire Sorcerer/Wizard list, along with all 8th level or lower divine spells that you care to use. Should be versatile enough for your needs. And that's without all the really fun uses for Razmiran Channel, like using the lower level versions of divine spells or getting free uses of scrolls with expensive material components.


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BenS wrote:

I didn't understand the upthread references to 20th level Nature Oracles. Why are they considered so powerful? Their capstone is interesting but not a combat ability. What am I missing?

On topic, I don't think Paizo stats up anything higher than CR 30. Or am I mistaken?

The Nature Mystery capstone can make you into an animal and thus a valid target for the Awaken spell. Normally, Awaken making the target a magical beast prevents it from being used on the same creature again, however the Nature Mystery capstone can turn you back into an animal, and thus a valid target for Awaken again. Repeat until your stats are:

Initiative - Goes First
HP - More then all the bestiary entries combined.
AC - Only hit on 20 (maybe)
CMD - Higher then any CMB
Saves - Only fails on a 1 (maybe)
Save DC - Only Natural 20's need apply
CHA - Pick a 9 digit or higher number of your choice.


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Level 20 Nature Oracle of course.


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Speaking from experience here, Murder is way to vague. I mean I'm a proud adventurer and I get accused of being a "murder" hobo all the time. The only killing I'm guilty of is Profitable Homicide. And I think Profitable Homicide is a beat we can all dance to!


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Soulgear wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Short version. Use capstone to change yourself to a beast type, use some manner of int drain to drop your int to the point you can cast awaken on yourself, repeat process till you've amassed an arbitrary level of charisma and hd. Triumph.

So...once the character gets him/herself down to 2 INT...are they smart enough to know to cast Awaken (which has a casting time of 24 hours)?

Awaken also has a somatic component...are 2 INT creatures able to speak?

Smells like cheese gone bad.

Sorry, the forum gotten eaten so I just saw this now. The actual way to easily cast Awaken once you hit 2 INT is to make it a Contingency. Now, I suspect the follow up question is "How does a Nature Oracle cast Contingency?" There's a lot of ways to cast it, but the easiest at Oracle level 20 is to just duplicate Contingency with Miracle.


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There will always be a "best" way to do anything.


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Elfteiroh wrote:

Wow! Lot of AD&D2e talk here! I still vividly remember my first character, Elfteiroh, an half-elf/half aquatic elf ranger that got to lvl 6 after more than a year of adventuring. Then I got my first magic item, a +2 sword. I was one of the stronger character of the group, with a STR of 18(35%) and a DEX of 16. :3

The fact that creating a magic item always cost a permanent point of CON from the Wizard, a class that usually have a low CON score by default... These were supposed to be rare! I like that, and that was one reason I hated D&D3e. Pathfinder had such a great world that it bought peace with me. My characters still rarely use magic items, unless they are really important or interesting.

Nice nostalgia, but I invite you to sit down and a read an AD&D module. Or two. Or all of them. Guess what? Progressively stronger magic items (by the cartload) are baked right into the game. Like it was intended. And keep in mind because D&D has always revolved around the "killing economy" any magic items high level enemies have will very soon become the PCs. This is important, because it deeply strains verisimilitude for important enemies living in a world with magic to have no magic items. In fact, any magic item system besides Magical Christmas Tree is going to strain credibility of a given setting. Between two equally skilled people, the one who is better equipped should have better chance of winning *any* contest. Better equipment can and *should* even be able to close the gap between a less skilled competitor and more skilled one. If this was not the case, then what would be the point of making equipment in the first place?

Stories (books, movies, etc.) tend to want to us to believe the opposite because people tend to want to be the punchy underdog with worn-out equipment, relying on old methods and hard work to win. But the opposite is true in reality. A better equipped and better funded competitor using cutting edge techniques is going to have a significant advantage assuming they work equally hard. That's literally the whole point of progress!

In line with the above, it's important to remember that you aren't reading a novel or watching a film. You sat down to play a *game*. A game that has it's characters grow stronger and stronger at set intervals (ie. levels). A game that gives players new more powerful options as they increase in level. And part of that growth is your magical items. Getting new and better equipment is exact same kind of fun as gaining levels. It's the drive to increase your character's power and ability that makes RPGs (whether tabletop, MMO, J, or A) fun. Taking out the "christmas tree" effect is missing out on a huge part of the RPG fun.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Having tools to survive is fantastic. Needing wealth to have those tools is not.

Bah! You don't need wealth to get the tools to survive. You take those tools from the next corpse you make! No two ways to slice it (though I recommend you make those slices deep) the economy will be based on killing. And what's not to love about killing? It makes you stronger, wealthier, greater in those who fear you and less in those you dislike. Now if you'll excuse me I have some power and wealth to gain. Oh boy, here I go killin' again.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:


It sounds to me like those were fights the party was never expected to struggle against anyway. They were speedbumps that could have been won with just as few resources had another caster with a slight hint of martial lean [such as a magus, druid or another cleric] been in the party.

EDIT: added the quote since I'm responding to a message on the previous page

100% true. All the Barbarian is contributing is damage. If the Barbarian had been a partial or full caster, the party would undoubtedly be significantly more effective.


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nicholas storm wrote:

Can is the operative word. Monsters get saving throws. On certain BBEGs casting is largely nullified due to true seeing, spell resistance, energy resistance, immunity to mind affecting and high saves.

On most of these creatures, the parties I have played in have killed them all with damage from martials and casters in melee or range.

I played a melee character that killed a mob every round pouncing - at the end of the campaign, I did over 300 points of damage every round. In one dungeon, all the monsters attacked my character because I was the biggest threat in the party (they had some means of surveying the previous encounters).

This was the most broken character I ever played.

True Seeing is pretty irrelevant to the discussion. Spell resistance is at best a joke and at worse something that requires the use of a conjuration spell. And at the end of the day, over 300 HD of undead* will deal more damage than any Martial. There is no scenario where the martial comes out ahead short of GM fiat.

*Or whichever long duration minion you prefer. If you go with Animated Objects make sure you use a solar to make the Permanency free.


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nicholas storm wrote:

I must play a different game, because in my games, martials kill faster than casters and provide front line blockers to keep the bad guys off of the softer targets.

They do get assists from time to time like air walk or fly, but not in every battle.

It is impossible* for Martials to kill faster than Casters. At best, a martial character can defeat a one enemy as a standard action**. A caster can defeat all of the enemies with a Swift Action***.

*Impossible here assumes that the caster possess middling amount of system mastery. Knowledge of metamagic and AoE spells is not a high bar to clear.

**Some exceptions apply, but these are corner cases at best that require extremely specific scenarios and even in those scenarios the caster could do the same thing but faster (see below).

***Quicken Rods are a hell of a drug. Also, while it may not always be literally all the enemies, the mere fact that it *CAN* be all the enemies without reaching for corner cases is enough to convey the point adequately.


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If I gave everyone 15 minutes, I would never make it to the Playtest on time. Also... who are you?


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I was always coming. You should have expected me. After all, I am neither Spanish, nor Inquisition.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think the question is less "how many books to play the absolute most powerful wizard" and more "how many books to play the fun kind of wizard that an actual human would want to play as part of a group".

Less than Core. Core -1? -2?


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All you need to be overpowered with a caster is the CRB and if you want to get technical the Bestiary I guess.

All the really broken stuff is Core. Permanent minions are available in Core with Animate Dead/Animate Object+Permanency. The minion calling spells are also Core with the Planar Binding and Gate being the gold standard. The best buffs and debuffs are again Core. Stuff like Haste, Contingency, Time Stop, Mage's Disjunction. Spells that replace or obsolete skills are also Core. Easy methods to avoid dying when killed starting with Magic Jar (Potentially replaceable by the Possession line), Clone and Astral Projection. Simulacrum is of course (you guessed it) Core. So... somewhere between free to $50 for a brand new hardcover and you will have 90% of the best stuff a caster can have.

Anything after Core is baby steps up in power. sure Blood Money is probably worth dropping the cash on Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition even though it's going to rack up another $42-60. And Aroden's Spellbane which will add on another $12-20, but is well worth it. After that Ultimate Magic for the Demiplane line would be good, but that's really pure luxury at $10-50. The biggest expense for casters is going to be Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, but Blood Money is really strong enough to justify being worth it. But, just CRB + Bestiary + Inner Sea Magic + Ultimate Magic is comfortably under $50 if you use the PDFs.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
I mean, can we get a similar writeup of how much it costs to have the hard copies of all the books with all the different spells and magic items and archetypes an optimized caster gets?

Spell are a very small expenditure for a highly optimized caster. Mind you this is old and there would be a few additional spells added now, but the cost to add all the really relevant spells since then is not going to be terribly much more. A whopping 21,305 gold gets you a very impressive selection of spells. Adding in the costs of both the Blessed Books (crafted at half price of course) makes that 33,805 gp.

Spells Known (Level Up): Starting Spell Book (Up to 6th level) (Also in both Blessed Books)

1st: Anticipate Peril, Snow Ball, Ear-Piercing Scream, Blood Money, Blood Rage, Alarm, Heighten Awareness,
Infernal Healing, Ant Haul, Shield
2nd: Rope Trick, Create Pit, Summoner Monster II, Mirror Image
3rd: Haste, Summon Monster III, Tongues, Paragon Surge
4th: Summon Monster IV, Black Tentacles, Animate Dead, Eyes of the Void
5th: Teleport, Summon Monster V, Magic Jar, Permanency
6th: Planar Binding, Summon Monster VI, True Seeing, Greater Dispel Magic
7th: Greater Teleport, Summon Monster VII, Simulacrum, Limited Wish
8th: Greater Planar Binding, Summoner Monster VIII, Maze, Clone
9th: Greater Create Demiplane, Wish, Time Stop, Gate, Aroden's Spellbane, Mage's Disjunction

Spellbooks:
Book of Harms (900 GP): (Also in both Blessed Books)

3rd—fireball, lightning bolt

2nd—acid arrow, darkness, ghoul touch, gust of wind

1st—burning hands, color spray, corrosive touch, hydraulic push, hypnotism, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement,
shocking grasp

Tome of the Transmuter (2,635) (Also in both Blessed Books)

4th—beast shape II, calcific touch, confusion, dimension door, stone shape

3rd—arcane sight, dispel magic, explosive runes, lightning bolt, greater magic weapon, slow

2nd—alter self, flaming sphere, knock, pyrotechnics, resist energy, see invisibility, whispering wind

1st—animate rope, charm person, color spray, erase, floating disk, mage armor, magic missile, protection from chaos,
unseen servant

0—standard plus drench, spark

Blessed Book(s): All Above, in addition to:

1st (100 GP): Air Bubble, Identify, Grease, Obscuring Mist, Mount, Summoner Monster I, Comprehend Langauges,
Detect Secret Doors, See Alignment, True Strike, Disguise Self, Magic Aura, Silent Image,
Vanish, Crafter's Fortune, Expeditious Retreat, Gravity bow, Liberating Command, Feather Fall, Reduce Person

2nd (500 GP): Arcane Lock, Protection from Arrows, Glitterdust, Stone Call, Detect Thoughts, Locate Object,
Continual Flame, Contingent Action, Shatter, Blur, Invisibility, Command Undead, False Life, Spectral Hand,
Limp Lash, Make Wole, Masterwork Transformation, Sculpt Simulacrum, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Owl's Wisdom,
Bear's Endurance, Eagle's Splendor, Fox's Cunning, Aram Zey's Focus

3rd (1035 GP): Magic Circle Against Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Nondetection, Protection from Energy, Aqueous Orb,
Mad Monkeys, Phantom Steed, Stinking Cloud, Seek Thoughts, Heroism, Wind Wall, Displacement, Deathwine,
Marionette Possession, Vampiric Touch, Beast Shape I, Blink, Fly, Monstrous Physique I, Shrink Item,
Undead Anatomy

4th (1040 GP): Dimensional Anchor, Stoneskin, Solid Fog, Scrying, Locate Creature, Charm Monster, Terrible Remorse,
Contingent Scroll, Greater Invisibility, Enervation, Symbol of Slowing, Emergency Force Sphere, Ball Lightning

5th (2125 GP): Mage's Private Sanctum, Siphon Magic, Cloudkill, Lesser Planar Binding, Contact Other Plane,
Telepathic Bond, Geyser, Symbol of Sleep, Symbol of Pain, Waves of Fatigue, Angelic Aspect, Fabricate, Fickle Winds,
Overland Flight, Planar Adaption, Absorb Toxicity, Echolocation

6th (1620 GP): Greater Heroism, Symbol of Persuasion, Chain Lightning, Contingency, Symbol of Fear, Flesh to Stone
Battlemind Link, Unwilling Shield, Sonic Form

7th (3610 GP): Spell Turning, Plane Shift, Greater Arcane Sight, Greater Scrying, Vision, Symbol of Stunning,
Waves of Ecstasy, Hungry Darkness, Project Image, Symbol of Weakness, Waves of Exhaustion, Ethereal Jaunt,
Ice Body, Circle of Clarity

8th (2880 GP): Mind Blank, Protection from Spells, Trap the Soul, Discern Location, Moment of Prescience,
Symbol of Insanity, Symbol of Death, Greater Angelic Aspect, Polymorph Any Object

9th (4860 GP): Symbol of Vulnerability, Summoner Monster IX, Teleportation Circle, Foresight, Winds of Vengeance,
Astral Projection, Energy Drain, Soul Bind, Mass Suffocation, Etherealness, Shapechange, Dominate Monster


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Dastis wrote:
This has been bugging me for a while but why do so many forum folks believe that casters need gold less than martial characters? The only big item martial characters need that casters don't is their weapon. So yeah. Why?

Well for starters you need a Caster Level to take crafting feats. With Craft Wondrous Item this means majority of the money Casters are going to spend on magic items is essentially doubled. While yes, the Master Craftsman Feat exists, it's a much weaker version of what casters get for the same investment. Even following the Ultimate Campaign rules, with access to two crafting feats (one of which Wizards get for free at 1st level) casters will have at least 25% more Wealth then martials.

That's just the start though. Now we have to factor in the fact that well... casters can cast their own spells. If a caster wants to Fly, they can just *cast* a spell to get them flight. A Martial is going to need to spend money to do that. A caster can magically augment their defenses. A martial is going to need to spend money to do that. A caster can cast spells that dramatically enhance or completely obviate skills. A martial has to pay for that. Each of these payments further siphons money from a martial.

The fact that a magic weapon is literally the most expensive of the big six to acquire is honestly small potatoes after the above. That being said, a +10 magic weapon is still a huge expenditure, being just under 1/4th of 20th level WBL. So in addition to all the extra gold Martials have to spend due to the above, the fact that they have to buy a magic weapon widens that gap by another ~25%.

Add that all up and you have a *massive* (~50% + any of the costs in point 2) difference in wealth at best.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Omnius wrote:

I never said AC does not matter.

I said mundane AC is incredibly niche, since the math of the game assumes magic is in play.

And even regular AC is of limited value when there are so many options to engage the enemy through touch attacks, or simply go after saves.

In the case you propose of the Fighter/Mage fight, the Fighter has one option. Attack the mage. If that option does not succeed in one shot due to losing initiative (and the victory is not firmly in the Fighter's court, as has been hashed out here already), not killing the mage in a single shot (significantly more difficult if the Wizard has any of their normal buffs up), or not being able to reach the mage immediately. If the mage gets a chance to go, the Fighter will probably lose, simply because a decently leveled mage has so many options to render them irrelevant.

The Fighter you present as a "normal" example is drawing on multiple books and going for very specific options to maybe stand against a mage in the very limited context of a duel, without meaningful options to interact with the world or influence the course of the story outside of a straight fight.

Between Improved Initiative, Trained Initiative, Bravery in action, and stamina points, there's very little that stops fighters from killing initiative.

Literally everything else but the diviner abilities are just as available to fighters as they are to casters. Fighters get auto 20s on Initiative well before level 20.

This is not a debate.

Fighters can threaten and follow casters, negate the propensity of concentration, and that's assuming the fighter decided not to otherwise grapple or use whatever ability they have to inflict auto crits that stun/blind/hinder casters.

THIS IS NOT A DEBATE.

Look we already had this contest. Schrodinger's Fighter never showed up. So you are right there is no debate. In practice and theory, Wizards have this. The fact that you believe grappling, stuns and blinds would even affect a caster shows a severe lack of understanding of a caster's power. For consideration:

Immune: Magic Sleep, Fear, ability damage, acid, blindness, critcal hits, charm and compulsion effects, deafness, death effects, disease, drowning, electricity, fire, acid, cold, petrification, poison, stunning, all spells or attacks that affect your physiology or respiration; Resist cold 30, electricity 30; SR 32
+2 v. enchantment spells and effects

Is pretty basic. (And yes that's both Immune to and Resist 30 cold and electricity. Not a typo.) Factor in the obvious Freedom of Movement and literally everything you suggested would be completely useless.


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Mathmuse wrote:

I find that leveling slows down when the PCs stop engaging in combat. The players mastered using information gathering to avoid unnecessary combat and diplomacy to deal peacefully with enemies and problem-solving to defeat the bad guy without killing everyone.

All these tools make the game extremely fun, but it does not mesh well with Pathfinder's Experience Point system. One day I should mathematically model that system to adapt it to roleplaying challenges in addition to combat challenges.

Actually you should be getting experience for overcoming challenges regardless of whether or not you fight those challenges. If diplomacy allows you avoid multiple CR X encounters, you should be getting the experience for all of those encounters. If you can defeat the bad guys without killing them you still get the same experience points as you would for killing them. Assuming your DM is correctly applying experience for overcoming challenges and using medium progression, you should be leveling up fairly swiftly.


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A Shaman.

More skill points, actual class features, and all of the flexibility. You even get a Capstone!


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Divine Magic wrote:

Spell Selection and Preparation

A divine spellcaster selects and prepares spells ahead of time through prayer and meditation at a particular time of day. The time required to prepare spells is the same as it is for a wizard (1 hour), as is the requirement for a relatively peaceful environment. When preparing spells for the day, a divine spellcaster can leave some of her spell slots open. Later during that day, she can repeat the preparation process as often as she likes. During these extra sessions of preparation, she can fill these unused spell slots. She cannot, however, abandon a previously prepared spell to replace it with another one or fill a slot that is empty because she has cast a spell in the meantime. Like the first session of the day, this preparation takes at least 15 minutes, and it takes longer if she prepares more than one-quarter of his spells.

Leave open spell slots.

Spirit Talker -> Arcane Enlightenment
Prepare the chosen spell slots in 15 minutes.
Cast them within the remaining 45 minutes.

Obviously this works best with long duration buffs and down time spells.


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zainale wrote:
my dm is adamant that my character does not have any magical items at all or any items with special qualities. so that leaves my PC walking around with a horde of money items (things like gems and plat and the like to reduce the weight) equaling 16k in gold. my Pc is a witch and i just so happen to not have a high STR but i do have a spell secret coffer other wise my PC would have lost all its wealth even before starting.

Take Craft Wondrous Item as your 3rd level feat and say you created all your magic items. Bonus points since as a Witch most of your items are going to be wondrous items, they are going to be counted at cost not price (so half off in most cases). Of course you will need to have a discussion with your GM, because they are absolutely wrong about Pathfinder's magic item expectations. 6th level characters are expected to have all of the "Big Six" magic items by level 6, hence the 16,000 GP Wealth by Level. Explain to your GM that Pathfinder assumes player have access to magic items and monster are given their respective CR with the expectation players are keeping up in terms of magic items. Point out the how readily available the rules assume magic items are in settlements. Or direct your GM here. *glances at avatar* Not all of us bite.


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_Ozy_ wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

the limit to perception is just how far you trust your penalties. it's just the average movespeed of a party is 30ft, so making a new perception every 30ft gives you 1 check a round.

the assumption of standing still is the fact that it doesn't say you can do it while moving and actions can't be done during other action if they don't say you can.

Naturally. I don't question your interpretation of the rules, I just question the verisimilitude of walking 30', stopping to look around, walking 30', stopping to look around...

instead of looking around while you're walking.

It's, frankly, dumb, and therefore should at least be house ruled.

Since it all happens as part of the same round you could choose to describe it as looking around while walking and I would be OK with that. I personally picture 30 ft. Move + Perception Check like trained room clearing, which fits well with my groups preferred SWAT style adventuring.


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The correct answer is: C. All of the above.


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ShroudedInLight wrote:
Daw wrote:
Most of these aren't played for anything more than notches on a sword belt.
Which is a shame, because those notches are basically meaningless if the encounter isn't played well. Sure you "beat" the Cthulhu but where is the challenge? Its a false victory.

Why are the notches meaningless? I mean sure if the DM just threw Cthulhu at the players as a ball of numbers, then ya that's pretty meaningless. But even if Cthulhu is run properly, it's still plenty beatable by high level adventurers. At high levels, Cthulhu is exactly the sort of thing adventurers take one look at, roll their shoulders, and then get to the punching out Cthulhu.


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jcdman1 wrote:

Oh and he also made really powerful NPC's who are helping us. They are really overpowered for the sake of being cool. Like the archer who kills 12 people with 1 shot, or the warrior where his cleaving ability also cleaves when it cleaves.

My thing though is why would you give an NPC that much gear if you didn't want the party to get said gear. The captain could just have those abilities without the use of magic items (like he's a supernatural being or something).

Fly you fools!

If this is a new GM explain that you do not enjoy this kind of game and maybe recommend they try GMing an adventurer path first or something. If they are an "experienced GM" you can try and have the same talk, but more likely will end up having to walk. Don't force yourself to play a game of Pathfinder you don't enjoy. No Pathfinder is better than bad Pathfinder.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

It's time I said something - nothing personal to THIS particular guide/thread, you understand, this is just something that's been on my mind for years:

While I acknowledge that the writers of the guides to the Baldur's Gate games and even 3.5's Complete Mage did this sort of thing, I really don't like the idea of these "Guides" people keep writing and posting here. They're just armchair editorials posing as authoritative sources, telling people (people new to the game, in particular) how to think about classes/feats/spells/etc and subtly forcing them into a collective mold, instead of giving them freedom to exercise, experiment and to develop their own judgments without any biasing from others. I think it hurts the game and those who play it, overall, effectively leeching the community of creativity and new and different ideas.

Creativity for creativity's sake gets you Star Fox Zero. Guides are always a good resource, since even if the guide writer missed an option or perhaps did not rate something correctly, there are always others who can point out missed options and give feedback on ratings. The simple truth is that in Pathfinder the overwhelming majority of options are trap options. Having guides that can help players avoid trap options helps to promote meaningful choices. You are entitled to your opinion of course, but is Star Fox Zero really what you want?


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ZenithTN wrote:

I have a bigger issue with applying a metamagic feat, Heighten Spell in this case, more than once to a single spell.

Can you extend, extend, extend, extend, extend mage armor for 6 hrs/CL?
I'm of the opinion you cannot, thus you cannot heighten mount (x8).

And I'm of the informed opinion that you did not read Heighten Spell. My opinion qualifies as informed because your post appears to completely misstate how Heighten Spell works resulting in an interpretation that defies the very point of the feat.

Heighten Spell wrote:

You can cast spells as if they were a higher level.

Benefit: A heightened spell has a higher spell level than normal (up to a maximum of 9th level). Unlike other metamagic feats, Heighten Spell actually increases the effective level of the spell that it modifies. All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level.

Level Increase: The heightened spell is as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level.

Therefore, you are only applying Heighten Spell to Mount once, with the level increase being + an amount to make the spell equal to spell of it's effective level. So if you wish to cast a Mount Spell Heightened to be a 9th level spell, the Level increase would be +8.


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knightnday wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:
*stuff that still seems to be completely missing the actual point*
Just to confirm, you do realize that if you tell the players in advance it's not cheating and therefore you would not be a cheater right?
I'm not a cheater. I'm a GM. Fudging has been a part of the game for quite some time now. If it makes you feel bad and think that you are cheater, then that is something you have to deal with. Me? My players understand that fudging is part of the game and crops up now and then.

It literally is cheating if you do not inform the players of it. If you think otherwise, reread the MIR. If people who break the MIR do not want to be called cheaters, my advice is stop cheating.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
You know, I don't think there's literally anything I care less about than whether or not the d20 game I'm playing with the Pathfinder Core Rulebook sitting there on the table is or isn't Pathfinder.
Your players probably will though. Especially if you told them you were playing Pathfinder.

They absolutely, 100%, do not care in any shape, way, or form whatsoever. I'm not sure I would bother running games for people who think there's one true way to play any particular game system. I've never met a real person who was like this, but the internet suggests they exist.

The point is to get together, indulge a heroic fantasy, and have a good time with friends.

How would you know? You haven't asked them after all. Go on and tell them and get back to me. And your accusation of "one true way" is completely baseless. I and others who share my position have explained numerous times that other ways are fine so long as (and this is important) you tell the players and they agree to it.


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knightnday wrote:
Oh no, not "it's not really Pathfinder" again.

Quick question. Which of these are Pathfinder rules:

A. The GM determines if an attack hits.

B. A mechanic that involves rolling a d20 adding hit bonuses and comparing the result to an AC value.

I thought so.


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Redelia wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Context always matters. Its just the only context where fudging is not cheating is when the GM has told the players in advance and they've agreed to it.
I would say precisely the inverse. Fudging is justifiably cheating in those places where the GM has stated clearly that they would not, but then do anyway.
I do not disagree that that would be cheating, but because it is the vice versa is as well. The violation is one of trust.

Before you can talk about a violation of trust, you need to ask 'trust to do what.' I think that when a player puts themselves into the hands of a GM, they are trusting that GM to do his or her best to give them a fun game. If this is the trust, then fudging dice is not violating that trust. Refusing to fudge dice might be a violation of that trust.

Also, there is usually no lie when fudging dice. If you say 'I rolled a 13, and 13+4 is 17, which hits' that would be a lie if the monster's AC is 18, but if you just roll (even in the open), look at the die, and say 'Merisiel's attack hits' that is not a lie, because you as GM determine if each attack hits or not, and you are simply stating your determination.

I would also say that unless your players have made their preferences clear, refusing to fudge dice is cheating. Rule 0 is the most fundamental rule, and any time it conflicts with another rule, rule 0 wins. Thus, any breaking of rule 0 is cheating, and refusing to fudge dice if you honestly believe that such fudging would add to your players' enjoyment would be a violation of rule 0, so cheating.

I think you need to reread the most important rule (MIR) then, because fudging is certainly changing the rules. The GM does not determine if each attack hits or not. That's not how the rules work. There are rules for hitting a target and it is not "The GM determines it." The MIR only allows you to do that if it the other players agree with it and since you are the one making the change it is your responsibility to ask the other players. If you change the rules without the other players agreeing to them, you are violating their trust. If you say "I am playing Pathfinder.", but then allow the GM rather than the dice to determine what hits, you are not actually playing Pathfinder and have betrayed the expectations of the players who expected to play Pathfinder. That being said, I agree the players should make that clear but if you do not tell them and get called out on it, you should change.


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Rannik wrote:

So, you are ok with a group of adventurer spending the night in the dungeon unchallenged because someone forgot the random table... ok.

Also, if you want to have NPC acting within their INT/WIS, then why didn't the big bag wizard boss use his divining spells to find you before you got too high level and nuke the group out of existence? In most adventure path, the PCs start being on the radar of the big bad guy before level 10. Nothing stopping the tactic I often see players saying in the wizard vs fighter threads. Scry/teleport/nuke. Game over. That is completely reasonable and within the intelligence of the boss. He didn't get there by making muffins after all. so how come this doesn't happen all the time? Because those realistic senario, no matter how logical, are not the main reason of the game.

1. If it would be appropriate yes. I do not run modules though so /disclaimer there.

2. My settings take these issues into account and it is easier than you would think. Many organizations have people in higher positions that can do X thing better than someone in a lower position (and maybe were promoted because of their skill at X), but it would a poor use of the superior's time to go handle X, when they are busy managing Y. And the big boss, might be better at both X and Y, by they need to worry about Z. This is true in real life and there is no reason it would not be true in games as well. Other reasons exist as well. The traditional "BBEG is sealed somewhere." would justify it as well.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
So are we now not allowed to use a common garden implement?

I think one should simply consider using other idioms for calling things as they are or cutting through irrelevant details. Something like "tell it like it is" or "if it quacks like a duck, then it's a duck" or "let's not mince words" is probably less evocative of horrific racism.

Like it costs you absolutely nothing to say "miser" instead of "niggard" right?

Its also kind of funny that NOW we're concerned about context, despite stripping it all away regarding fudging vs cheating.

Context always matters. Its just the only context where fudging is not cheating is when the GM has told the players in advance and they've agreed to it.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Mm. Perhaps so, Anzyr. To my mind this is about as worrisome as calling people who (over)optimize as "cheaters". It all boils down to a matter of opinion and little more than that, despite the yelling and screaming and hand wringing. No one's experience is being impacted, no one is being short changed, and no one is being harmed.

No, "over" optimizing is not cheating. By definition. Cheating is. Again by definition.

Ah, but by the hyperbolic language being used in the thread, someone over-optimizing is robbing the other players of the experience of taking on the game without someone so powerful on their side. One could argue that you are cheating the game because you are outpowering the adventure as written.

Sure, it's a dumb argument. So is the rest of this. There are better things to worry about. Have fun, game well, and don't sweat the small stuff.

Yes, that would be a dumb argument. Saying that cheating is in fact cheating however is not. It is pretty much the most basic easy to support arguments possible. Calling "fudging" cheating (when it is) is not hyperbolic, it's not incendiary, and it's not insulting. It is simply a logical statement of fact. And as some of us have heard recently... facts are pretty stubborn things.
Stuff that completely misses the point and makes faulty comparisons.
If you call a thief a thief, is it the thief's right to be offended? I think not.
I'm going to ask this, in complete good faith, It isn't intended to be insulting but are you on the spectrum? Neurodivergent? Because it feels like I'm arguing human interaction with someone who doesn't quite get it. I don't mean to offend but it would be a nice thing to know so if it is true i can drop back 10 yards and try a different angle to get to some common ground here.

It is difficult to have common ground when people do not found their arguments in logic and argues against valid definitions. If you wish to find common ground I recommend doing both.


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knightnday wrote:

Something can be a logical statement of fact and yet still be incendiary. This lesson is taught every week to Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. Or Brennan on Bones. Or <insert character here who doesn't understand how to talk to people> on <X show/movie>.

If a spade is offended to be called a spade, the issue lies with the spade.


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knightnday wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Mm. Perhaps so, Anzyr. To my mind this is about as worrisome as calling people who (over)optimize as "cheaters". It all boils down to a matter of opinion and little more than that, despite the yelling and screaming and hand wringing. No one's experience is being impacted, no one is being short changed, and no one is being harmed.

No, "over" optimizing is not cheating. By definition. Cheating is. Again by definition.

Ah, but by the hyperbolic language being used in the thread, someone over-optimizing is robbing the other players of the experience of taking on the game without someone so powerful on their side. One could argue that you are cheating the game because you are outpowering the adventure as written.

Sure, it's a dumb argument. So is the rest of this. There are better things to worry about. Have fun, game well, and don't sweat the small stuff.

Yes, that would be a dumb argument. Saying that cheating is in fact cheating however is not. It is pretty much the most basic easy to support arguments possible. Calling "fudging" cheating (when it is) is not hyperbolic, it's not incendiary, and it's not insulting. It is simply a logical statement of fact. And as some of us have heard recently... facts are pretty stubborn things.


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Jader7777 wrote:

You've already posted that you didn't allow someone to sneak attack and didn't explain to players that the sneak attack was being negated by an item until after the encounter-

So I ask you, as a GM was I cheating by saying that this goblin wasn't hit with a 24? Did you just think it was a CR 1/3 creature because I mentioned it was a goblin?

Wait, even better question. When the PCs attack the enemies do you make the enemies roll knowledge and spellcraft checks and the such? Do you announce this to players?

First of all, please read more carefully before responding. Your post contains a number of errors regarding the information presented. First of all, Veil of Undeath is a spell, as you would have known had you read my post. The effect of said spell grants a number of undead traits and immunities including immunity to sneak attack (3.5 remember). The Wizard had permanent Arcane Sight and their spellcraft results to identify the school of the magical aura it gave off did indeed indicate Necromancy. After the encounter was over, because the Rogue had complained I showed the NPCs sheet which included both the spell on the NPCs list, it's inclusion in the NPCs stats including that an 8th level spell per day was deducted. So no this situation is not remotely like yours or how you portrayed it in your post.

Presuming you had a cheat that you could show that indicated that the goblin was in fact possessed and the levels/abilities/etc of the possessor after the fight with the goblin, I would have no issue with that. The goblin in your example changes each time so I am doubtful that you have a consistent version, which is important because the version described above would have different things flagged at different points than the other version. And as previously mentioned, AC is very easy to calculate. Particularly post fight when all the items are accounted for. I made no assumptions that your goblin was a CR 1/3 in my example and merely explained that AC can be calcuated and many GM's that think they are good at maintaining the illusion do not actually take into account information that PCs can or should be aware of when they cheat with the numbers.

Lastly, yes I do make my NPCs roll knowledge and spellcraft checks.


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Jaçinto wrote:
Is that not normal? I have been through that in several different RPGs and groups.

It is in fact not normal and is the result of several very bad GMs. It is impossible to "outsmart" an adventure as what choices the players make to overcome an obstacle and how they choose to proceed is literally the whole point of the game. As a GM myself, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences and I ask that you not let these bad GMs poison your love for the hobby.


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Quiche Lisp wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
It's a highly contrived scenario where the heroes don't know they are special but the BBEG does.

Says you.

It's a recurring theme in many fantasy series ; e.g in the Belgariad, by David Eddings ; or in The Wheel of Time, if I remember correctly.
Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a TV Trope named after it.

Attempting to copy fantasy stories is a sure-fire way to end up with a bad game. Pathfinder has abilities that hit a large chunk of the story breakers power list and unlike a story does not care about what works best for the narrative. Gandalf and Frodo can be on the same team in a book, because the writer can balance the two characters out without screwing one over since no one is controlling that character. In Pathfinder, Gandalf's player is going to use his high CR celestial powers to just instantly solve any problem more efficiently and easily than Frodo could. It's like stories that pretend "Batman v. Superman" would end in anything other than an overwhelming victory for Superman. They work fine as stories, but poorly for game scenarios.

For fun take any episode of the Flash (literally *any* episode) and see how easily the problem would be solved if Flash was a player character instead of a story character. It would ruin the series because some episodes would literally be only a few minutes long.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
For that level of dues ex machina? I'm going to be blunt. YES.
One goblin is possessed by one sorcerer/monk using a single 5th level spell and this goblin takes no actions whatsoever while possessed is an unheard of level of deus ex machina in your games?

If that is a common thing no. If all the other goblins are normal and it's just this one, again YES. And hey if you have the sheet for it, what's the problem? If you don't want to show it after the fight, then yes I am going to judge you to be untrustworthy, because well given the circumstances... you are.

I find the amount of effort some people are putting into an argument that amounts to "People should trust me unconditionally, even when all evidence points to me lying to them." incredibly sad. It's an incredibly narcissistic and unhealthy way to look at things.


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Bill Dunn wrote:

How about if the GM decides the PCs have had enough punishment and omits a deadly trap in the adventuring area the PCs are traveling through?

How about if the GM decides the PCs have been sailing through the challenges too easily and so adds a couple of henchmen to the climax fight?

How about if the GM decides, on the fly, to cut the BBEG's AC down by 2-3 points for the fight? Or his damage bonus?

Do those count as "cheating" or is the anti-fudging mania limited to reading the dice alone?

Cheating, cheating and cheating.*

That was really easy.

*Unless of course they say "Hey I'm going to X..." in advance of course.


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Jader7777 wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Jader7777 wrote:

We're going to need more extrapolation on 'reason'.

Your attack of 24 does not hit the goblin.

Bad GMs tend to think they are better at "maintaining the illusion" than they actually are. It's pretty easy to calculate ACs. If that goblin is only wearing studding leather and detect magic turns up no magic items on the corpse, then the players can easily know that the 24 should have hit. Math is neat like that.

I have to commend you on your grasp of the fundimentals of armour class, you do not detect magic and yet the goblin seems to avoid your attack with supernatural grace.

It's under non detection with deflection and magical dodge bonuses

This goblin is the strangest one you've ever fought, it is exceeding all expectations!

This monster probably had class levels

It's blades bites into you with surprising accuracy!

I think that was a True strike!

So as you can see, one expectation a player has may be misinformed- or rather the enemies are as clever as you; they want to win.

If it was True Strike the players would get a spellcraft check and it would have those damnable "visual effects". Furthermore, if they were under nondetection, it would still need a way to generate those bonuses. IF they came from items then even if they did not detect as magic, a ring or amulet would still be on the body and taken by players. Which should then eventually be detectable as magic and add up to an AC of 25. Maintaining the illusion is virtually impossible against players that actually know the rules.


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Jader7777 wrote:

We're going to need more extrapolation on 'reason'.

Your attack of 24 does not hit the goblin.

Bad GMs tend to think they are better at "maintaining the illusion" than they actually are. It's pretty easy to calculate ACs. If that goblin is only wearing studding leather and detect magic turns up no magic items on the corpse, then the players can easily know that the 24 should have hit. Math is neat like that.

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