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Cleave, Great Cleave, and especially Whirlwind attack have been around for a long time, so that's probably not what broke it, though I think they definitely contributed.

I think the addition of Lunge was the biggest contributor alongside these other feats.

Obviously not a direct answer to your question, but by loosening the terms up a bit, maybe a level or few dip into Druid or Cleric would prove to be optimal?

Vow of Poverty is what you break out when you want to be passive aggressive about the fact that your DM has you running around at level 12 with no magic items and keeps you broke all the time.

I think it was fun to have in the game to keep the DM somewhat honest.

Gorum wrote:
The problem here is that I could easily go either way on allowing or disallowing, both sides present valid arguments. I was just curious as to what the design intentions were.

I've looked at all the rules and the bottom line answer is 1. Yes, 2. Yes

Armor spikes are Light Weapons. Light weapons can be used as 'off-hand' attacks. The description for Armor spikes says they can deal damage in a separate attack, like any other light weapon.

Page 182 in PF Core rules (also carried over from 3.5 rules) states that an unarmed attack is striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts. This establishes a precedent that arms are not the only limbs allowed for non-Monks to cause damage. Kneeing someone or elbowing someone with your spiked armor would be a similar maneuver.

Chovesh wrote:

Uh oh.

Anyone know of any other weapons that still allow for reach and nearby?

If S.C. is nerfed, then why bother taking it? You had a spend a feat to be proficient in it.

Still the only weapon that lets you use Disarm, Trip AND still has any damage associated with it. If you're going to be a Maneuver Monster, it's still gotta be the weapon of choice (just ahead of unarmed strike).

Edit: Also without having a copy of the book, I don't think there will be a weapon that does both of these things as that was part of the spiked chain's problem. There IS however a feat called Lunge that let's you get an extra 5' reach for -2 AC penalty with any weapon you want. With this feat in the game, letting the spiked chain have no downsides and a total of 15' reach would have just been way outta line.

Goblin Witchlord wrote:

There a thread asking for a Character Optimization forum here, altho I certainly hope they don't put one in.

I have no problem with Character Development. It's the word "optimization" that irks me: it clearly implies that interesting, competent characters created to be interesting to roleplay are inferior.

Ha ha, the term optimization is a successor to "Min/Max" which came to be a dirty word for the same reasons. Whether we like it or not, and by whatever name you choose to call it, there will be demand for this type of exercise. Some people "optimize" first and come up with a convoluted story to explain it afterwards. Others come up with a good idea and then ask for help making the most of it within their self-imposed constraints.

This is precisely why I like PF over 4.0. There is actually room to make interesting (or dare I say optimal) choices. Meanwhile we can choose to shed some of excess that comes along with a very mature system like 3.5.

I think over the next few years Pathfinder will take a different path from the 3.5 PrC creep, while still expanding the number of interesting options for characters.

This was the most disappointing iconic preview I'm afraid.

It was a lot of take and hardly any give. without commenting on how much I like or dislike each change, here's something of an accounting:

1. Ray of Enfeeblement was powerful indeed, but it does violate the long held rule of thumb - Ranged touch or Saving throw, very rarely both. Is it at least not subject to Spell Resistance? Having to pass all three of those gates is overly burdensome I think, both in terms of probability that it will hit and sheer number of dice needed to adjudicate it's success.

Add into this category the nerfing of several other beloved spells, wall of Force, Web etc.

2. Universalists got a huge hit with the nerf bat.

  • Hand of the Apprentice suddenly being subject to all of the ranged attack modifiers, PLUS having the damage nerfed down by using Strength, PLUS having the times per day limited.
  • Metamagic Mastery - Three fewer uses per day, and adding the spell level cap so you can't use metamagic on higher level spells.
  • No more bonus spells.
  • Decreasing the penalty for specialists by allowing them to memorize opposition school spells (not really prohibited anymore is it?)

Conclusion : Universalists went from one of the 2 or 3 best types of wizard to a sub-optimal nod to backwards compatibility.

What new, awesome things did we learn?

1. Necromancers don't have to be evil. They can control undead.

2. Fly gives a bonus now.

3. Specialists can memorize opposition school spells without hosing their specialist abilities.

All of this doesn't really leave me excited about the wizard and how awesome it will be to play one. It may have all been necessary for game balance, but is there anything really cool about the Pathfinder Wizard that arcane fans can get excited about?

Jason S wrote:

Yes, it's this quoted text that made me think that INT only affects level 1. Maybe it's just badly worded, I hope so. Still, it's not clear since it conflicts with the INT description, which one is correct? Hopefully it's more clear in the full RPG.

The paragraph reads something like:

Pathfinder RPG Beta wrote:

The number of skill ranks you gain when taking a level in one of the base classes is shown on table 5–1.


At each level after 1st, you gain a number of skill ranks dependant upon your class.

Table 5-1 wrote:

Barbarian 4 + Int modifier

So you can see it does explicitly state that you get your Int modifier when you level up, even in that same paragraph. All that one out of context sentence says it that your class plays into how many skill points you get... which is true either way.

Combined with the Intelligence description, there really is no question.

Lathiira wrote:

One thing you mentioned is the possibility of playing as a wizard/sorcerer. Everyone immediately mentioned the Ultimate Magus from the Complete Mage. You might consider instead dipping into one class or the other for a level (usually done by specialist wizards dipping into sorcerer) instead. You'll delay your spell progression a little but eventually still get higher-level spells while gaining some extra versatility or spells per day at lower levels.

this may be true, but by the time you get to mid-levels, how many spells are you going to get from that Sorc dip? How much would it cost you just to scribe a like number of 1st and 2nd level scrolls? A few hundred gold pieces? A thousand tops?

That's quite a bargain compared to getting your highest level spells available one or two levels earlier. Especially since most of your adventuring companions and major villains will not be similarly constrained.

Q: So can he go TWF + Imp. TWF and get even more attacks?

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

No. This particular confusion has been clarified.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Easy to miss, but he posted this back on Page 2

I have a few questions.

Has the feat been available to your players, via the Complete Divine or whatnot? It's one thing if they didn't think to go check for it and choose it, and another if this is the first time its been allowed in your campaign.

Are you wanting to introduce this to your game as just a bad guy ability or as a feat for everyone to take?

If its just a feat for the bad guy, well just give it to him and be done with it. Whatever pre-req you'd tack on he'd have anyway. If you get into the middle of the fight and he's cleaning their clocks, you can wing it and say "Uh let's call it 4 uses per day" and just stop using it. If you want you could even just say you whipped up a domain ability for him because we all know domains are kind of in limbo until the full book comes out anyway.

If you want to come up with something balanced for your party, there have been a few good suggestions. I might try it out as is and patch it up later if necessary. The Quickened Channeling feat directly above my post also looked like a good option.

You only have to come up with something balanced for YOUR game, not for all time. Unless you're going through characters pretty quickly hopefully that's about one cleric and whatever bad guys you choose to use.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

The adventure itself is mostly a dungeon crawl, and the dungeon is pretty cramped as is. With 9 players there wouldn't be a lot of room to manoeuvre around. If I increase the size of the maps then there would be more opportunity to move about.

Ah, I'm totally with you. You are doubling each dimension, whereas I thought you were halving it. My mistake. Good idea.


I'm a little worried by the lack of challenge in the adventure due to 9 players having very effective wolf packing abilities (throw in a Druid's pets...) and suddenly they surround any creature they come across.

You might cherry pick the classes to avoid those with troublesome mechanics or lots of dice. For instance you could ditch the Druid so there's no animal companion. Ditch the ranger for the companion and the two weapon fighting (or specify it as Archer).

I'm not sure what making the squares equal 10 feet will accomplish, it would seem to me that it would make the map more claustrophobic with so many minis on the map.

I'm not familiar with the particular adventure, so I can't really give any story specific advice, but if I were you, I'd take the opportunity to just be as brutal and clever as possible. When you make a character, you likely have a concept in mind, then min/max (oops is that a dirty word still... I mean optimize) it so it works as well as it possibly can.

Well, do that to your bad guys. Maybe add one bard or one wizard or whatever it is you need. Then execute the wicked TPK inducing combos you know you've always wanted to try.

With 9 players I wouldn't hold back at all (especially if this is a one-shot adventure).

With this many players, you'll have to keep them on a shorter leash when its time for discussions. There will likely be room for long discussion at every decision point. You'll have to make someone do the deciding pretty quick. But not too quick, make sure everyone gets one or two says.

I would also ban rule quibbling for this session. Write the question down and argue it later, but no rules debates over one minute long.

Update us tomorrow and let us know what you learned :)

Frogboy wrote:

Why do I get the feeling that the whiners are winning here. I'm not talking about you. I'm just referring to the fact that Piazo is nerfing all of the good spells while boosting all of the non-spellcasters. I remember playing the old Goldbox DND games (which probably weren't entirely accurate rule-wise) but even the lowest level spells were disasterous. A simple Charm Person could turn half your allies against you. A Hold Person could turn into what amounted to an instant kill on half your party. One attack and they were toast, no matter what. In 3.5, magic is good but not what it used to be. In 4.0, it's a complete joke. I don't even know if you can even call it magic anymore. In Pathfinder, it still continues the degradation in power from previous editions (no instant kill...really). I know a lot people are screaming for this but I haven't decided whether it's a good thing or not. I guess we'll see soon enough. :)

What Zurai said.

Plus, the answer is in your own description.

Combat Formula:

1) Waste time until the wizard goes
2) Wizard casts a spell
3) Mop up his light work
4) FUN!

somehow that just doesn't add up. Since we're not talking about anything specific there's not really anything to debate, and there are about 13 better threads to get into it on. Just reserve judgement and keep in mind that characters should be roughly balanced against each other so that everyone has an important role.

Frogboy wrote:

The question was mainly, if my attack can't see me but for the most part knows that I'm there, what rules apply?

Blindness/Invisibility/Total Concealment (which are all directly related and are essentially the same rule). It doesn't matter that they have a general feeling you're out there, they can't see you hold out your arm and aim at something, so no dex bonus, additional penalties to AC and so forth.


They could very well nerf Darkness in Pathfinder.

Count on it :)

Frogboy wrote:

Since we are discussing hidden attackers vs. invisible attackers and such, I was wondering what rules, if any, would apply to my current situation.

I'm playing a Warlock who uses a Darkness/Devil's Sight Combo. Obviously, if the enemy that I am attacking is in the Darkness and can't see then I am effectively an Invisible attacker with the possible exception to someone/thing with Blind-Fight.

What if they are not within the Darkness? They can still see and react but they can't see me...but they likely know roughly where I, the threat, am at...but they can't really anticipate my attack without being able to see me conjure up my Eldritch Blast.

What do you think would be the most accurate ruling in this situation?

I'm not familiar specifically with the Devil's Sight spell/ability you reference, or what version of Darkness you're using. Most of the illumination rules will have changed between Beta and Release versions, so we'll see what happens.

PF Beta Page 127 has a section on Vision and Light that spells out the penalty for creatures who are in darkness or in shadowy illumination.

If its totally dark, then you are effectively blind and can reference the rules for that condition. It also states opponents have total concealment to you, so you can look at that section (page 146 I believe). No AoO and yes you lose your Dex Bonus to AC.

If its shadowy illumination, then you have concealment (20% miss chance), but thats the only penalty you take. Ie you don't take penalties to AC and so forth. Also nowhere in the book does it take away the ability to make AoO against opponents with (not total) concealment.

The Darkness spell in Beta is poorly written and has been overhauled. Expect that there will be degrees of light. So for instance Darkness may drop the light level 2 steps. Maybe on a Sunny day that will equate to shadowy illumination. Maybe in a normal interior room that will go to total darkness. If someone then brings a torch into the darkness that bumps it up one step to shadowy illumination.

Anyway, that's only somewhat informed speculation at this point.

It was a good little example situation to work through for practice. Thanks for giving us a crack at it.

That does clear some things up. So the enemies behind the door are behind cover, so they are eligible to make Stealth checks, which now cover both their Hide and Move Silently.

Stealth checks typically do not get modified by circumstances, this is handled through the Perception Check, so they roll what they roll.

Your character is eligible to make a Perception check to oppose this stealth check.

What should the modifiers be there.

-10 for being in battle? Look again. Thats the DC to perceive that there IS a battle. In other words, if you were hit by a spell that somehow gave you a -10 to your perception check and your normal roll would total up to a 1, you would still know that there was a battle going on around you because -10 + 1 > -10 DC. In other words that table is saying that battles are REALLY easy to perceive even at great distances, through walls and so forth.

A character standing right next to a door has the opportunity to both see and hear that door opening. I would give them the lowest of the two DC's to notice it. For sight, there are no modifiers positive or negative. For sound, there is a +5 to the DC for "Louder sound going on nearby". So we go with the seeing DC. Now if in the previous 3 or 4 round opponents had been opening doors, I doubt your characters are dummies. They probably understand that every door is a threat vector. So I'd probably give them a +2 for keeping an eye on the doors that surround them.

That leaves (in my opinion) not a -15 for your character to notice the door open, but actually a +2! If he fails that, then your opponent is successfully hidden and gets off exactly one attack against a flat footed foe. He's not considered invisible, just hidden, and that Denies him his Dex bonus to AC, no other special bonuses. After that attack, your character is certainly aware.

However, still no AoO due to the cover situation we discussed above.

Someone should ask the Paizo Pro's what they think.

stuart haffenden wrote:
Arbitus wrote:

P.S. Don't tell him you'll come to the boards and let us decide. You're the final verdict no matter what.

Actually I think you should direct him to this thread as you say these issues have been on-going.

At least give him the opportunity to see that no-one agrees with his view of the situation and furthermore, he doesn't appear to be getting too much support in the way he handled the situation.

Ah sure, and I realize now that nobody was saying this, so don't feel like I'm putting words in anybody's mouth, but:

Don't let players think there is a "higher authority" that they can go to and "overrule the DM."

As a DM, you should be a scholar of the rules even if nobody else at your table is. There can be an appeal where the rule is considered out of game and time is taken to consult all the rules in detail, including asking other people's opinions, but don't make the Boards the Supreme Court (to capstone the metaphor).

If you feel like there should be one final avenue of discussion, then have the table vote on it and enter it as a full House Ruling that gets written down and is available to all, monsters and characters alike.

Takamonk wrote:

Technically, the wording never specifies anything in terms of levels of monk, just levels. As a result, it appears, a monk 1 fighter 10 would appear to gain the same benefits to his flurry of blows as a monk 11, provided he is armed correctly. DM discretion applies, of course.

Also, it never states that your flurry is always exactly as it appears in the chart. Modifiers do apply, and if you take a level in fighter, your BAB does increase.

The term "Level" on its own has no set meaning in the rules and can mean all sorts of things depending on whether you're talking about Spell Level, Character Level, or Class Level.

What you are describing is the difference between Character Level and Class Level.

In the Class chapter of the book, it seems quite clear that you would be talking about Class Level.

If you believe otherwise, then I've got a Fighter 1/Rogue 1/Monk 1/Ranger 1/etc that I would like to play in your game. Should have about 40 feats, most of the Rogue talents and a sweet Flurry of blows progression by 20th level ;)

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Arbitus wrote:
Some wrong stuff

What is the basis of this assertion?

The way I read it, a monk 1/fighter 19 flurries at +18/+18 (in Pathfinder), or at +17/+17 (in 3.5).

Oops. Sorry, this looks right. All I can say is I didn't have my PDF/book available at the time.

stuart haffenden wrote:

In your situation I would have stopped the arguing by stating my decision, and saying that I would "ask the boards" for more input, exactly as you have done.

I guess this is the quote I was referring to. Cheers.

Takamonk wrote:

Perhaps I'm not right about how monk flurry stacks with other class BAB, but it looks like the monk is clearly outclassing.

Bottom line is that in 3.5 and Beta PF, they don't stack at all.

Level 1 Monk / Level 19 Fighter?

You flurry at -2/-2

One can hope this is fixed up in PF RPG, but I doubt it.

We don't know the exact circumstance, so its difficult to pick it apart with precision, but here are the three lines of reasoning I would use.

- The door was partially opened, so the thrower has cover. No AoO allowed.

- Character was described as surprised and thus flat-footed, No AoO usually allowed.

- In a usual circumstance it would be an AoO to throw something while threatened, but it is a free action that does not provoke an AoO to drop something. Depending on the grenade weapon, if its not important for the weapon to actually hit the character as much as just land in his square, then its certainly reasonable for the bad guy to just drop the grenade in the adjacent square and let it detonate.

The only way it is reasonable to halt the game over a rules squabble for that long is if it reaches the threshhold of causing player death. If that guy was going to die, then its very difficult to recover from that if you later decide you were wrong. Everyone will feel better if an agreement on the rules can be reached. If not, or if its not a matter of life and death, just state that you're making a tenative ruling, the game has to proceed, and you'll be happy to discuss rules out of the normal game time to make sure everyone's in agreement the next time it comes up.

You state its not an isolated issue. I'd say take him aside one on one and talk about his rules concerns. Make sure its general, don't get specific about one rules squabble or another. Once you've heard out anything he might have to say, you gotta lay down the law. If he wants to keep playing in the group, the only way the game can work is if there is ultimately one person who makes a decision on the spot and keeps things moving. His rules debates may entertain him, but they do not entertain the other players and its your job as the DM to make sure -everyone- is having fun.

Then its time to have a conversation with the whole table to introduce a table rule. What are the rules governing rules debates? Some people say 5 minutes per rules conversation, others say no books at the table, we go from memory and look them up later. Whatever happens there needs to be unanimous consent that everyone will follow the table rule.

Bottom line, you've got Rule 0 to make whatever call you need to, and he can always vote with his feet. If he in the end can't shape up, you'll have to drop him. That, of course, is the last resort.

Good Luck!

P.S. Don't tell him you'll come to the boards and let us decide. You're the final verdict no matter what.

SabreRabbit wrote:

Necromancy is corrupting and evil because the callous use of such magic shows a disrespect for the dead AND for the wishes of that dead person's friends and family.

That's a cultural value judgement that something is evil more than an absolute evil.

For examples, look to either the nation of Karnath in Eberron where it is an honor to be selected for undeath and service in the nation's army, just like service in life has its own form of honor.

Also 2nd Ed. Jakandor with the nation of Necromancers that had to use raised corpses as labor so their society would survive. Everyone understood that they benefited from the labor in life. On death their soul would be free to seek its final destination, but their bodies would live on to server their children and grandchildren.

Someone raised into this value system or social contract might believe it is the most normal and necessary thing in the world, and could be a paragon of virtue among their own people.

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Paizo has started the ball rolling by slightly nerfing most of the save-or-instantly-be-taken-out-of-the-fight spells, but there's more to be done before a fighter or monk of any level can be a tenth as effective as a low-level wizard with a wand of black tentacles.

House rule Bolas as a special Monk weapon.


Spiffy Jim wrote:

I could see spending 1 feat to get proficiency with 1 particular martial weapon (possibly a select list) -and- giving it the "monk weapon" quality as well. I think a feat tree is a bit much to ask, especially if it's a limited selection and you only get 1 weapon.

All you’re really getting out of it is

A -Fluff


B -any weapon qualities that weapon might have (reach, piercing etc).

As I stated before you start out-damaging melee weapons pretty quick and now that you can add weapon enhancements to AoMF that's no longer a factor.

Fair enough, I'd just say choose the weapons carefully. Do you want a highly mobile heavy pick flurrying monk with the Critical Feats dancing between your monsters and obliterating them with Standard Actions? If so, hey go for it, that sounds neat to me. Allowing a glaive (which lets you trip at reach) so your monk becomes a flytrap and bad guys have a hard time getting away? Well you'd make Scorpion Style and Stand Still a lot less useful, but the effect is the same so you'd probably not shatter the game.

You'd probably take Weapon Focus anyway if you were serious about the combat style, so in that regard you're just making the flurries available at level 1 instead of level 3.

Bottom line is most of the effects can be achieved through other means, you're just adjusting feat costs, so go for it if that's how your monks roll. :)

Vult Wrathblades wrote:

One simple change fixes all of this. One that I doubt is in the final version or may ever be....

Make a full attack action only cost a standard action. This simple changes does wonders for the gap between melee/caster.

Maybe that flattens out the difference between melee and casters, but I think that its debatable this is a difference that needs rebalancing. After all we just had a whole evoker thread about how casters don't keep up in raw damage output.

The big thing for me though is that you reduce the number of interesting choices that a player can make. If standing still and moving around is basically all the same then why bother moving at all? The enemy will just run up and get a full attack on you anyway. This rule would have a cascade effect on reducing the tactical richness of the game.

Finn wrote:

I love that "flurry with a longspear" feat. I'm getting tons of use out of it!

Oh man, with Stand Still and Lunge potentially being released, I think it might help this particular build really excel at battlefield control, which would -finally- be a concrete role for a Monk to play. I think it would be a lot of fun. Unfortunately I'm DMing. Ah well. :)

Spiffy Jim wrote:
Someone earlier mentioned they should open the "monk weapons" to more weapons. I agree. All melee weapons a monk is proficient with should count as monk weapons (especially since you start out-damaging melee weapons with unarmed pretty quick!)

No. You can gain proficiency with just a feat. I do not want to see Flavor of the Month Spiked Chain Flurry Monks. Not here and not ever.


I kept waiting to see a Pudao (Chinese Glaive and martial arts weapon) appear in 3.5. It never happened.

...or at very least, there should be an extra feat to convert a non-monk weapon into a monk weapon.

Eberron does have some feats that allow you to take very specific weapons as special Monk weapons. Longspear, longsword or double sword if I recall. These were carefully chosen so you can't do it with just anything. Also the requirement is somewhat steep. First you have to be proficient (1 feat or class dip) and you have to take Weapon Focus (2nd feat, requires BAB +1), and of course the third feat to add it to your monk list.

Again we argue semantics. The fact that we're finding wiggle room to continue discussion only illustrates the need for it to appear in the PF RPG FAQ :)

I think enough people would consider turning evil to be an 'ill effect' that these statements can be accurately perceived as conflicting.

It seems the rules analysis here is pretty spot on. There's wide agreement that CMB are attack rolls and are modified appropriately. I think this is entirely correct.

If this was not the case, you'd be faced with the opposite proposition. Do you take non-proficiency penalties for using weapons in CMB in combat? This was my biggest problem with beta CMB. You could make a character who carried a whip and bolas around without bothering to take the Exotic Weapon Feats, and maybe throw in a second monk character with a Guisarme to trip people at range, just because he could. Hella battlefield control for no feat cost.

Hydro wrote:

"This rule should exist to protect players from evil DMs" is a very weak line of reasoning by the way. ANY DM can demolish his players with no effort of he is actually out to get them; you don't need wraith monks to do that.

All fair points, the argument was somewhat weak. You were also kind overlook me mistyping "level 1" instead of "con 1". I will try to restate better:

From a standpoint where a lot of gaming group have standard table house rules for multiple DMs, or some sort of voting system to request and effect house rules, I would caution players to be careful what they wish for. Relaxing this rule will likely have much more opportunity to be used against them than for them by crafty (not necessarily malicious) DMs.

The limitation on Supernatural abilities being used first as a standard action before being allowed as part of any sort of attack action is not to prevent players from cheesing it up as some sort of Monk/Sorc. I don't think it would hugely break the game if players were allowed to do this to the occasional monster. There just aren't that many (Su) abilities out there. Even extending it to spells, the extra damage potential probably is not game breaking, its just a little extra powerful for people who like that style of game.

No, the limitation is solidly there to help protect the players from monsters. Flurry of Blows/Vampire Slam attack? Sure why not. That should knock you to approximately level 1 in one full attack action.

This should definitely not be house ruled in without very careful consideration.

Edit: Looking at the 3.5 SRD, it looks like the Vampire had a limitation built in of "Once per round" so let's go with a Wraith instead.

Argothe wrote:

Needing an extra round to get into position because you are slow probably ends up making a larger difference.

Not disagreeing that speed is key, I usually try to play quick characters myself.

But there is the potential for the Fleet feat to be released, there are Boots of Striding and Springing or Minor Magic Expeditious Retreat for a mid-level fix, and the tactical truth of the matter is that even if you don't get yourself right into ideal position, something will usually help you out by walking right on up to you. Make your human friends saunter around to help you flank.

mach1.9pants wrote:

This sort of questioning always leads me to 'if I cast a spell with the GOOD descriptor , does that make me good? Or slide me along the scale towards good?'

Imagine Nasty Wizard who enslaves and destroys fluffy bunnies, but casts a good descriptor spell daily to keep his alignment on a nice neutral (not effected by Detect Evil, etc) location. I know it is a bit facetious but rules wise you are fine, in your campaign? Well you'll have to fight that out with the DM :-)

What is good for the goose is good for the gander?

Think of it like this. Cake makes you fat, celery is good for you. If you eat a third of a cake every night and one stalk of celery every morning, you're still going to end up rather rotund. The celery doesn't balance out the cake.

Associating yourself with the raw magical energies of Good, Evil, Law or Chaos will slightly bend you that way, but your actions probably carry a lot more weight. However if you're habitually and routinely casting those spells they add up to a noticeable effect.

LazarX wrote:

They sure are... especially when they remember that there ARE Evocation spells above 3rd level, as DM Blake's analysis focused solely on Lightning Bolt.

Well you can do this analysis for whatever spell level you want. The basic equation here is Caster Level x 1d6 damage, and that algorithm only gets MORE out of whack as levels increase.

There are some real nasty things up there, Meteor Swarm... POLAR RAY, which has NO reflex save. and the right feat to turn it to whatever form of damage you want to use.

The same could be said of Ray of Frost. OMG a Level 0 damage spell that has no save, why isn't -everyone- using this? Sarcasm aside, rays are by definition Ranged Touch Attacks and with a few exceptions are not generally subject to Saving Throws.

Polar Ray is also subject to Spell and Cold resistance.

Even with SRD alone Evokers are still the major damage dealer of the Arcanist classes.. as long as they don't stick to 3rd level spells.

"of the Arcanist classes" is not saying much. The major conclusion this thread arrives at is that damage is not the optimal role of an arcanist. Sure they can drop some damage a few times a day when the situation calls for it, but their real power comes from controlling the battlefield or shutting down opponents before they ever get started.

Ok thanks for the answer.

In 2nd Ed there was a little setting that came out called Jakandor that was kind of a case study in differences in cultural perspectives. One side were Necromancers doing what they thought they had to do to carry on their society and the other were Barbarians who thought all Necromancers had to be evil. Was kind of interesting though I never got to play it.

I'll be running an Eberron campaign soon, and of course there we have the nation of Karnath where Necromancy was used to fight the Last War and the idea has gotten a lot of cultural acceptance, within that one country.

The rules don't seem to indicate that the mindless undead (zombies or skeletons) are all that angry or the soul is really perturbed at all by the raising.

I think the line is 100% crossed when you tie down a soul, and any kind of incorporeal or intelligent undead creation would be undeniably and inherently evil.

I guess it does come back around to the setting and to some DM discretion, there's not much in the rules that is going to definitively settle this.

BTW Set thank you for the Complete Book of Necromancer's suggestion. I went to the crate of yellowing books and dug it out for a read later tonight. Good excuse to go back to old sources.

DM_Blake wrote:
Calls Argothe a rules lawyer

I laughed out loud.

If you think you can take the cross examination of two prosecutors, I have a question for the witness.

Over in the '[Evil] is Evil?' thread you are pretty adamant that [Evil] descriptors do not make one Evil.

Where do you derive your assertion that Animating Dead is an inherently evil act if not from the spell descriptor?

The appropriate wording the 3.5 SRD and PF Beta haven't changed at all, and the thread is pretty much in agreement about how that should be read.

The rules allow that Spell Descriptors may interact with alignment, but aside from the Cleric and Druid spell choices, it does not specify what that interaction may be.

Leaving aside the "I can house rule whatever I want" thing, it really is a core job of the DM to judge how every action weighs on each character's alignment. There is no rule in the book that categorically states that a person who steals money from an orphanage becomes more evil. Even though there's no rule in the book, none of us would reproach a DM who chose to label such a character at LEAST neutral if not evil.

This is not WoW. Good and Evil are not factions that you gain or lose standing with. You don't eat one orphan baby (thanks for the example DM_Blake) for 5 Evil Points and then go summon 5 celestials to get back to neutral.

I think as part of the DM's prerogative it is entirely reasonable to state that casting [Evil] spells is an evil act that will start to bend your actual alignment. There are certainly many examples in classic fantasy of rituals that are forbidden knowledge, rites that are considered darkest evil. You lose a lot if you give that up in your campaign world.

When your alignment does bend a bit, it may not change how you play the character one little bit. In fact it probably won't matter at all until someone casts a Know Alignment or Detect Evil and you start to sweat a little.

If you're playing a neutral Necromancer, you're already aiming for a character with some moral conflict, so walking that line could be interesting for role play.

On reflection, Quicken Spell is probably the major barrier here. If you allowed swift actions to sub in then you could get three spells off per round.

Even if you said you could only use Quicken Spell once, there are still a ton of "Swift X" spells in the 3.5 splat books, so I'm sure someone would come up with a heinous combo to break everything.

primemover003 wrote:

No. You are limited to a single swift/immediate action per round.

Page 134. Unfortunately, by the Rules as Written this appears to be true in Beta rules.

I'm pretty conservative on issuing the House Rules, but I'm pretty sure this one will make the cut.

Edit: Never Mind ... ^^ What DM_Blake said

Argothe wrote:

Rather than grant +1 damage scaling to +5 at level 20 per spell, you grant +1 scaling to +5 per die? So at level 20 Delayed Blast Fireball would be 20d6 + 100 rather than 20d6 +5.

Evocation specialists get a little more punch, non-casters still own the direct damage role (at least for single targets) and casters specializing in other schools still have a reason to focus on another niche.

What does that do to the damage an Evoker Nova can dish out?

DM_Blake wrote:

I have to disagree.

If the designers were to make this an official policy, then they would need to also remove all the direct damage spells from the book.

This statement is just silly. It's like saying if the designers didn't want bards or clerics or sorcerers to try and outdo fighters in weapon combat they would just remove all of their weapon proficiencies.

Obviously, not every possible character idea or option is going to be optimal or even average. Players have to be free to choose below average characters in order to feel rewarded when they choose to play above average characters. Otherwise.... you're playing 4th Edition.

Anyway, I'm rooting for you to be right, I want a blaster build to be viable in core rules, but you gotta make the argument the right way to arrive at the right answer :)

WelbyBumpus wrote:

Thanks all for the thoughts. Necromancer might fit better. I've done the two-weapon multi-sneak-attacking rogue in the past--under this same DM, actually--and I know he'll probably be opposed. Plus, this game has a much lower-level focus than that other game, so the less powerful rogue-type should be fitting as well as fun.

If you still want to get the most mileage possible out of the idea, look into the Spring Attack feat line and just stay mobile. Play a coward or some such.

You'll always be pretty suboptimal in combat, but maybe you can make your character shine in other ways.

Alternately, if you just like the mechanic and aren't tied down by a given 'character vision' then drop the Wiz/Sorc levels. Take Use Magic Device, maybe Skill Focus if you want, and carry around wands of various melee touch spells like Inflict X Wounds or Vampiric Touch. Activating a Wand does not provoke AoO in PF-Beta.

This lets you roll on up into combat as a viable Standard Action option. Since you've invested a lot less than 2 levels into the idea, you still have plenty of resources to build out a more normal Full Attack progression. The focus on UMD also lets you be more flexible, can carry around Cure Light Wounds wands just as easily as Inflicts.

A lot of talk about using two shields

There's really flat out no benefit to using the second shield. You get no shield bonus from it. You might possibly be able some of the extra abilities, but the damage is pants.

I've about convinced myself that an optimal Shield build is to take most of the feats in the shield line, take most of the feats in the TWF line.

For equipment, use a Heavy Spiked Shield as your "primary" one handed weapon. Then use Armor Spikes as your light offhand weapon. They both do 1d6 damage, can both be enchanted as weapons, and this leaves you one hand free for some other tactical options.

Perhaps use a whip, bolas, or other thrown weapon so you have some ranged or CMB capability near to hand at all times.

I can kind of see a crazy dwarf fighter running around doing this.

Edited to remove a bad sling idea...

So penalties from the same source don't stack, but do penalties from different sources stack?

Two example scenarios:

1) Two casters both fire Rays of Enfeeblement at the same target. Since they are two different casters, is this a different source?

I think the same named spell applying the penalty would be considered the same source, not different, but I'm not sure I have a rules precedent to back it up.

2) Same caster on successive rounds casts a Ray of Enfeeblement and a Ray of Exhaustion. The exhausted condition applies a -6 penalty to Strength (amongst other things), so since these are both penalties, do they stack?

Here I'm pretty sure the answer is yes. A different spell would apply separately. Since the penalties in both cases are unnamed (as almost all penalties are), then they should stack.

What do you think?

Mostly I'm interested in opinions based in the rules or other written precedents. I know I can house rule it either way I want :)

Larry Lichman wrote:

This is completely uncalled for. This is an attack on a style of play that some players may prefer.

It is an 'attack' on a style of play that some players prefer. However he does go through some bother to actually quote some facts and back up his assertion.


There is no "right" or "wrong" spell choice for a spellcaster. It's all player preference.

Believe it or not, YOUR way of playing a spellcaster is not the ONLY way (or necessarily the BEST way) of playing a spellcaster.

His way may not be the best way indeed, but certainly we can agree that there are indeed ways to play a spellcaster 'wrong'. Once you establish that, hopefully you can agree that there are some ways that are more wrong than other ways.

He may have expressed his point with some excess condescension, but he did seem to basically present some facts to rebut a previous arguments in a civilized fashion.


This post discredits any points you may have made previously as it labels you as someone who believes there is only one right way to do anything (YOUR way), inherently discrediting anyone else's opinion.

I now see this thread you started in a new light, and...

This portion is devoid of logic. Surely any points he made previously would stand on their own merits regardless of who expressed them. Truth and logic stand on their own.

Anyway, as expressed in the "Optimisation" thread, I don't really have a lot of tolerance in my games for pushy people who are overly arrogant about their own style of play.

Surely this discussion board is indeed the venue for basically sane, rational discourse on the relative merits of different playstyles? If not here, then where?

Bottom line : Chill out dude, its just the internet.

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