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According to this FAQ you can switch weapons between iteratives when not using TWF. Does this apply generally?

That is, can a character with improved two weapon fighting switch which weapon is considered primary between his first pair of attacks and his iterative? (eg. to better get around DR that he only became aware of after the first attacks) If he has more iteratives than he has TWF feats for can he switch which weapon is used for which iterative in accordance with the above FAQ? (eg. because he is in position to attack two enemies with different kinds of DR and one drops while he has iteratives remaining)

In a related case, does initiating TWF with a double weapon (or unarmed strike and a one handed weapon that can be regripped as two handed) prevent the weapon from being used two handed if the character has excess iteratives? (eg. if a character only the first TWF feat but at least 6 BAB can he make two attacks with a quarterstaff as a double weapon using TWF at 1x a 1/2x strength but still make his unpaired iterative as a two handed attack at 3/2x strength)


Almost every non-spell-like save DC is 10+1/2 HD (or a stand in like a skill)+a stat. Spell saves are static. This becomes a major weakness to partial casters with spells that offer saves, most obviously the playtest bloodrager, but also the paladin, ranger, and to a lesser but still significant extent all non-full casters.

It also denies designers the ability to tweak save DCs based on the power of a spell. This could be use to balance spells of the same level but vastly differing power (eg. color spray and burning hands or dominate person and cone of cold)

I propose, as a first draft, that all spells have a base DC of 12 + CL/2 + casting stat no matter their level with the following reductions:

If the spell does significant damage (more than 4/CL/target average) it suffers a -1 penalty. Some spells may move past this threshold as they level. If it does severe damage (more than 6/CL/target average) it suffers a -2 penalty. If it does catastrophic damage (more than 8/CL/target average) it suffers a -3 penalty. Multi-ray spells use their single target damage.

If the spell offers a significant penalty (any conditions imposing -2 to rolls, or an average of more than 2 points of ability damage, or penalty, any negative levels or ability drain, or the staggered condition) it suffers a -2 penalty.

If the spell offers a debilitating penalty (the blind condition, one that denies standard actions, prevents casting, or averages more than 5 points of ability damage, drain, or penalty) it suffers a -3 save penalty.

If the spell shifts control of the target (ie. any charm, dominate, or possession effect) it suffers a -5 save penalty.

If the spell is multitarget or effects an area it suffers a -1 penalty. If the area effected is more than 20 5' squares the penalty is instead -2. Multi-ray spells are treated as single target if the save is on something that stacks or multitarget if the save is on an effect that cannot stack.

If the spell has effect on a failed save that is not trivial (eg. dazzled or less than or equal to 1/CL/target damage) it suffers a -1 penalty.

If the spell has metamagic that adds to the effects of the spell it suffers a penalty equal to the metamagic cost unless the metamagic only adds damage, in which case apply penalties appropriate for the damage thresholds. If the metamagic can apply effects on subsequent rounds (eg. dazing spell on call lightning) increase this penalty by 1.

If a spell is heightened it reduces the save DC penalty, but cannot go above 12 before CL and stats are factored in.

If the spell requires a melee touch attack the DC is increased by 1.


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

A problem with the summoning rules has been brought to my attention.

PRD wrote:
A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

I cast Summon Monster III for a shark. Where is this useful? The surface of a body of water will not support it. RAW it can only be summoned on dry land where it will die immediately or on the seabed.

Is this the intended behavior?

If it is not the intended behavior does similar logic apply to creatures with supernatural flight like air elementals and lantern archons? What about winged creatures like eagles?

I would suggest the following change. This clearly allows aquatic summons in water and floating creatures in air. The prohibition on appearing floating in an empty space is redundant with the sentence after and can be removed to free up word count. The ambiguity about winged fliers can be addressed in a FAQ.

suggestion wrote:
A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface or in a medium capable of supporting it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Inspiration for a mechanic that is AFAIK novel just struck and it seems suited to a sneak attack replacement for a new rogue.

Trickster

Class Skills see Paizo's rogue
BAB: medium
HD: d8
Saves: strong Ref and Will, weak Fort
Proficiencies: The trickster is proficient in all simple weapons, rapier, shortsword, hand crossbows, and light armor, but not shields.

Abilities
Cunning Tricks
At first level the Trickster gains two Cunning Tricks of his choice. At level three and every two levels thereafter he gains an additional Cunning Trick. Number these 1-11 on your character sheet.

As a swift action the Trickster may assess up to three opponents within 30'. For each opponent you choose to assess roll 1d12. That opponent is open to the corresponding trick. Roll an additional opening for each of the following conditions that entail: blinded, confused, cowering, dazed, dazzled, entangled, fascinated, fatigued, flanked, frightened, grappled, prone, sickened, or staggered. Add two additional openings for exhausted, nauseated, or stunned. An opponent is open to all of the Cunning Tricks rolled, but at most one may be applied to any given opponent in any given combat round and unless it specifies otherwise it only applies once. An opponent with cover or partial concealment has half as many openings and a fully concealed opponent has no openings. A flat footed or helpless opponent is vulnerable to all Cunning Tricks and does not need to be selected as an assessment target. Openings are only valid for one round.

Cunning Tricks are used in place of normal attacks. You may apply Vital Strike to any Cunning Trick that deals damage. Any Cunning Trick that offers a saving throw uses a DC of your BAB plus half your Trickster level plus the greater of your charisma and intelligence modifiers. For Cunning Tricks applied with iterative attacks reduce the saving throw accordingly.

This is the new idea. You have a selection of abilities intended to be as powerful as spells and you have no per diem use limit, but you can only use them when given an opening. It's deliberately worded so you can use it multiple times if you have multiple attacks, but only once per target. The faster than normal save scaling is deliberate compensation for tricks not increasing in power or variety as quickly as spells.

Sneak Attack Dice
The Trickster counts as having Sneak Attack as a rogue of equal level for the purposes of feat and prestige class prerequisites. The Trickster does not actually apply Sneak Attack damage outside some Cunning Tricks, but may use rogue talents that require sneak attack whenever he would be able to do so were he a rogue. If a Trickster acquires the ability to actually make sneak attacks from another class the levels stack, but Sneak Attack damage is not applied on rounds when a Cunning Trick is used.

Rogue Trick
At second level and every two levels thereafter the Trickster selects a rogue talent as a rogue of his level. Additionally the Trickster may buy Trapfinding, Trap Sense, Evasion, or Uncanny Dodge as the Rogue abilities for one Rogue Talent each.

The minor rogue abilities get shoved into talents to make room for some abilities that enhance cunning tricks because they're still thematically appropriate.

Exploit Subtle Openings
At third level and every three levels thereafter the Trickster may roll for an additional opening against each opponent he assesses.

This ability lets the Trickster move from condition stacking to generate openings to getting some from the start so he can try to play rocket tag with everyone else at high levels.

Exploit Transient Openings
At 8th level the Trickster may roll for openings as part of an attack of opportunity. These openings apply only to the attack of opportunity.

Advanced Talents
At level 10 the Trickster gains the option to select Advanced Rogue Talents in place of Rogue Talents. The Trickster can select Improved Uncanny Dodge as the rogue talent in place of an advanced talent if he already has uncanny dodge.

Cunning Master
At level 20 you may apply two cunning tricks simultaneously. If both cunning tricks deal normal damage you only apply the damage once. If both talents apply sneak attack that can be applied twice.

Cunning Tricks
You may select a given cunning trick more than once. The effects do not stack, but it becomes available on an additional opening roll result.

Sudden Strike: You deal damage as a normal attack and add your sneak attack d6s of precision damage. Sudden Strike applies to every attack made against this target this round. Sudden Strike is not negated by concealment. And here's sneak attack. You can apply any trick to flat footed opponents so surprise and stealth based sneak attack tactics still apply.

Dazzling Strike: You deal damage as a normal attack. Whether or not you hit, your target is dazzled until the end of your next turn. You must be using a metal weapon in bright lite or a magical weapon that glows or have a light source to use this ability. Blind or sightless creatures are immune to this trick. Note that by default 30% of magic weapons shed light (CRB page 468 second column). Dazzled doesn't do much, but it reliably creates another opening next turn, which none of the other tricks do.

Baffle: On a failed will save your target is confused until the end of your next turn and you do not count as having attacked him for determining his action. If he attacks someone while confused his target has an additional opening on your next turn. Unreliable, but can potentially create openings on two creatures and is a prerequisite for the more powerful Bewilder.

Confound: On a failed reflex save your target is entangled for 1d4+1 rounds. This is the first trick that creates openings for multiple rounds, but doesn't do much else.

Go For The Legs: Make a normal attack. If the attack hits you may make a free trip attempt using your Trickster level in place of your BAB for calculating your CMB. This maneuver does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Because you have already hit your opponent he only uses his BAB, size, strength, and any trip specific bonuses to calculate his CMD. If the attack is a critical hit add 10 to your roll. This is the first of the maneuver tricks and one of the first to use crits. The trickster should be drawn to wide crit ranges a lot more than the rogue. Even if the maneuver has a low chance of success you don't lose your damage if you decide to take advantage of this opening.

Staggering Blow: Deal damage as a normal attack. If the attack hits the target must make a fortitude save or be staggered until the end of your next round. If already staggered or the attack is a critical hit the target is dazed. In addition if you have the Power Attack feat you may apply it on all attacks against this target this round without any accuracy penalty. A hit against full AC followed by a fortitude save isn't very likely to land so you get to use power attack for free.

Not in the Face: You make your attack roll at -4 and deal damage normally. If the attack hits your opponent is blinded for 1d4 rounds. On a critical hit your opponent is blinded permanently. The face is a far smaller target than the whole of the body so there's a cover-like penalty. There's no save to compensate.

Throw: You make a Reposition maneuver using your Trickster level in place of your BAB to calculate your CMB, but are not restricted from throwing your target into a hazardous square or occupied square. You do not provoke an attack of opportunity for this maneuver. If the maneuver succeeds your target is left prone. If you attempt reposition your target into a square occupied by another creature that creature is knocked away from the original target as if he were the second victim of a Bull Rush and is also left prone. You must have a free hand to use this Cunning Trick. Toss enemies off cliffs or smash them into each other like you've always wanted.

Low Blow: You make a normal attack. If this attack hits your target must make a fortitude save or be unable to speak for 1d4 rounds and sickened for half this duration. This is a pain effect. This one is for casters. On the one hand it prevents verbal casting for 1-4 rounds and on the other it has a 75% chance of penalizing saving throws for at least one round for your friendly casters to exploit.

Create Weakness: Your target's DR and AC are reduced by 1 per sneak attack die you possess until the end of your next turn. If your target makes a reflex save this reduction is reduced by 2/3 to a minimum of 1. Here's the Trickster's solution to hard to hit opponents.

Bewilder: On a failed will save your target is confused for 2d4 rounds and you do not count as having attacked him for determining his action. If he attacks someone while confused his target has an additional opening on your next turn. You must have Baffle and be at least level 5 to take this trick.

Stunning Blow: Deal damage as a normal attack. If the attack hits the target must make a fortitude save or be stunned until the end of your next round. You must have staggering blow and be at least level 5 to take this trick.

Debilitating Strike: You make a normal attack. If this attack hits your target must make a fortitude save or be nauseated for 1d4 rounds. This is a pain effect. You must have Low Blow and be at least level 5 to select this trick.

Filch: You may make a sleight of hand check to steal from your target. You take the appropriate penalty on this check if this trick is made in place of an iterative attack. You must have a free hand to use this trick. You must be at least level 5 to select this trick.

Predict: Your target has become predictable. You make an attack with +4 to attack rolls and may ignore any concealment or other miss chances. Additionally if you have combat expertise you may gain the benefits this round without applying the penalties to attacks against this target. You must be at least level 5 to select this trick. Another solution to hard to hit opponents, this one works immediately and gives you a use for Combat Expertise if you took it for improved trip or reposition.

Painful Disarm: You make a normal attack. If the attack is a critical you may make a special disarm maneuver using your Trickster level in place of your BAB to calculate CMB. If the maneuver is successful select an arm or similar limb, even one not holding a weapon. Any weapon held in that limb is dropped unless it is a one handed weapon held in two hands. The limb is unusable for 1d4 minutes as a pain effect. If using a slashing weapon with at least an x3 critical multiplier the target must make a fortitude save or lose the limb and suffer bleed damage equal to your crit multiplier. You must be at least level 5 to take this trick. This one's kind of low probability/high payoff since it requires a crit. Maybe the effect's too nasty for level 5, but I wanted to get limb removal under the e6 cap so there'd be a reason to use all those nice prosthetic rules in S&S.

Drain Magic: You can attempt to sunder an ongoing spell effect as if you had the spell sunder rage power. You use your Trickster level in place of your BAB for the maneuver check. You gain temporary HP equal to the level of any spell successfully sundered. Alternately you can attack for normal damage and add your sneak attack as d6s of precision damage against undead (even incorporeal undead), constructs, elementals, summoned creatures (even those normally immune to sneak attack), or fey. You must be wielding a cold iron or elysian bronze weapon or a weapon treated with cold iron weapon blanch to perform this trick. You must be at least level 11 and have a caster level to select this trick. Note that the minor magic rogue talent gives you a caster level now. The disadvantage to taking this trick is that if you roll it against something that doesn't have buff spells and isn't magical it's a waste of an opening. That makes it in some ways more expensive than Spell Sunder. Having it, though, does let you sneak some things you can't normally as long as they're flat footed. Unlike Sudden and Vicious Strike the sneak attack only applies the once.

Vicious Strike: You deal damage as a normal attack and add your sneak attack d6s of precision damage. These sneak attack dice are multiplied on a critical hit. Vicious Strike applies to every attack made against this target this round and is not negated by concealment. If used in conjunction with Vital Strike those extra dice also multiply on a critical hit. Increase your critical threat range for your first Vicious Strike against the target this turn by two. This stacks with, but is not multiplied by, effects that double your critical threat range. You must be at least level 11 and have Sudden Strike to select this trick. Sneak attack plus. Note that it requires but doesn't improve Sudden Strike. If you roll Sudden Strike you still get the version that doesn't crit.

Kill: You make an attack roll for normal damage. If the attack hits the target must make a fortitude save for every consecutive round you have assessed him. If at least two of these saves fail the opponent dies. This is a death effect. You must be wielding a lethal weapon or have improved unarmed strike and have assessed your target for two consecutive rounds to use this talent, but the consecutive rounds of assessment need not be combat rounds. You may only use Kill on any target once per day. You must be at least level 15 and have Predict to select this trick. And it's a death attack you can use in combat. It compensates for the Trickster's faster save DC progression by requiring two saves to be failed, but he can compensate by waiting longer to use it. I don't think it's out of line with 6th level spells, which are what a 3/4 BAB class would normally get. You can assess someone out of combat and open with a lethal blow like an Assassin using this trick.

Disrupt Magic: You can attempt to sunder an ongoing spell effect as if you had the spell sunder rage power. You use your Trickster level in place of your BAB for the maneuver check. The target takes damage equal to the caster level of the spell sundered. Alternately you can attack for normal damage and add your sneak attack as d6s of precision damage against undead (even incorporeal undead), constructs, elementals, summoned creatures (even those normally immune to sneak attack), or fey. You must be wielding a cold iron or elysian bronze weapon or a weapon treated with cold iron weapon blanch to perform this trick. You may apply this trick to all of the attacks you make against the target this round. You must be at least level 15 and Disrupt Magic to select this trick. The main difference from Drain Magic is that you can use this repeatedly, getting up to 7 spell sunder checks against a single target if you're TWFing under the influence of haste.

[ooc]I expect there would be two ways to build a Trickster. You can go for variety. Only GFTL, Drain Magic, and Disrupt Magic should ever be completely useless and you can assess three targets so if you don't get any useful openings on one you can sometimes get a get a useful opening on another. In concert with a shatter defenses build you can get a lot of options pretty reliably. The other direction is to pick a few tricks you really like and taking them repeatedly. For instance taking Low Blow at 1 and 3; Painful Disarm at 5, 7, and 9; Drain Magic at 11 and 13; and Disrupt Magic at 15, 17, and 19 would make a caster killer: attacking their ability to use verbal and somatic components using fortitude and CMD and then being able to strip buffs like a lame oracle barbarian. Such a focused build would pay in versatility, though.


My first thought when reading Feral Combat Training is that it's meant for proc-on-damage effects like stunning fist, but it just occurred to me that it might have wider applicability.

If a character has Feral Combat Training in, say, bite and takes Weapon Specialization: unarmed strike does he receive the benefits of weapon specialization with his bite? It isn't a feat with Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite, but is it in effect that augments an unarmed strike?

What about Magic Fang? It effects one natural weapon or unarmed strike If it's applied to the unarmed strike does the bite also benefit because of FCT?

What about the brawling armor property? Is it (a) an effect augmenting unarmed strike and if it is (b) does the exclusion of natural weapons override Feral Combat Training or does Feral Combat Training override the exclusion of natural weapons from the brawling armor property? Neither is a general rule that the other specific rule should override it.


I'm going to be playing a solo gestalt character through Rise of the Runelords anniversary edition in the near future.

My current most fun candidate is a Sylph Sky Druid/Wizard and I'm torn on specialty schools and domains.

I've been given a rather heavy stat array that can support two casting stats pretty well.

My plan is to aim for a dazing spell build and probably mostly use summons for damage. I expect to prefer and specialize Pellet Blast for dazing without spell resistance. It looks like it should do enough damage to get at least 1 point past DR to trigger dazing spell on a failed save. I'm hoping the short range won't matter much if I'm eg. a huge air elemental.

I'm looking at Admixture, Teleport, or Foresight subschools of Evocation, Conjuration, and Divination respectively and either the Weather or Liberation domain or some subdomain thereof. Weather with Teleport, likely Liberation otherwise for Su freedom of Movement, though it's kind of a redundant domain for a solo character.

Admixture gets me a minor damage increase on some spells, though I'm looking at making my preferred spell Pellet Blast (a conjuration) because it ignores SR. Admixture also gets me damage type bypass, but there are some partially or completely untyped dazing spell carriers on the druid list. I will have no trouble filling bonus slots or finding one spell per level to learn free with this school. The 8th level power is also handy because I'd have racial energy resistance.

Teleportation gets me the Su mini Dimension Door power and makes summons last longer. Once again I expect to have no trouble finding spells to prepare or spells to learn.

Foresight gets me initiative, which is otherwise going to be a bit of a problem, but the spells are mostly wretched. See Invisibility is a must and there are a couple exciting options at level 8, but otherwise there's not much and the requirement that half of my free spells be in my specialty school is even worse than figuring out what to fill school slots with.

For opposed schools I'm contemplating Abjuration (I'm going to miss protection from evil, but dispel magic and greater are on the druid list and nothing else looks must have. Wreath of Blades I want, but I think I can evenetually work around the two slot limit with contingency), Evocation (druids get enough of this to tide me over until opposition research since I don't expect to be heavily into it before Dazing Spell becomes practical), Divination (A couple of the level 8s look nice, but scrying is on the druid list and I should be able to scout in wildshape. The only catch is see invisibility), Enchantment (I'm interested in a few spells, particularly greater heroism, feeblemind, and irresistable dance, but it's mostly a weak school, particularly since I find a lot of it, including the entire charm subschool, too creepy to touch. It's a candidate for opposition research though), and Necromancy (There is nothing that feels critical, but false life, enervation, and the fatigue and exhaustion spells will be missed).

If someone has a suggestion for another fun build I'm willing to entertain it, but


I'm planning on running a conversion of something from a non-level based RPG and depending on what gets hit at what level some of the NPCs will be best constructed as gestalts. Does anyone who uses gestalts have advice for how they effect functional APL or CR?