Athel's page

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I love the changes to staves to make them more available at low levels, and expand your ability to recharge them when you invest each day. It will be really interesting to test out Resonance on the whole at my table!

Hey Mark. Hoping I could get your thoughts on a matter concerning undercasting, learning new spells, and "replacing" spells.

The details: I'm building an NPC for a game who is a sorcerer with the psychic bloodline. They are 9th level, finalizing their list of spells known. But the interaction between Undercasting Prodigy (from the psychic bloodline) and the mechanics of learning undercasting spells has got me caught on a snag.

Psychic Bloodline wrote:
Undercasting Prodigy (Sp): Starting at 9th level, whenever you gain a new level of spells, you automatically replace any psychic bloodline spells that can be undercast with the highest-level version you can cast in your list of spells known. For example, at 9th level, you would replace mind thrust I, id insinuation I, and ego whip I with mind thrust IV, id insinuation III, and ego whip II, respectively, as spells known.
Undercasting Spells wrote:
Whenever a spontaneous spellcaster adds a spell to his list of spells known that can be undercast, he can immediately learn a spell in place of each lower-level version of that spell he knows. In essence, he loses each earlier version and can replace it with another spell of the same level that is on his spell list.

When Undercasting Prodigy comes into play, do I gain the ability to replace previously-known, undercast, psychic-bloodline bonus-spells with alternative spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list?

Mark Seifter wrote:

Here's the next FAQ!

FAQ wrote:

Skald: The skald class says “If the skald has rage powers from another source, he (but not his allies) can use those rage powers during an inspired rage,” what exactly does it mean by “another source”?

Another source means any source other than the rage powers gained at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter. A few examples of other sources are rage powers gained from multiclassing in barbarian, rage powers gained from Extra Rage Power, and rage powers gained from a magic item.

Cutting out rage powers from Extra Rage Power is a bit of a bummer, but fair -- I'm glad I finished the adventure where I played a skald who picked up Extra Rage Power as every feat (after 3rd level) is already done, heh heh.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Here, use this (we had to cut if and just leave it as implied in copyfitting, and they do still have change shape):
Secret Muse Ability wrote:
Subjective Form (Su): A muse can use her change shape ability to appear as any humanoid creature’s inner embodiment of idealized beauty, without knowing consciously what that form might be.

Wow, I just looked at the Muse's entry in Bestiary 5 and only now noticed the "SQ change shape" entry. That's on me, then. Still, thanks for the little extra tidbit. I think I've occupied enough time on this blog, heh. (Though I am compelled to comb through my Bestiaries again for things I've missed.)

Mark Seifter wrote:
The artist did an amazing job. She's actually a muse (Bestiary 5), which take a form based on the onlooker's visual aesthetics, in this case, Lini's. Look closely and you can see that she has the music note jewelry just like the other muse, and on the ground you can see the "faerie circle" mushroom ring Lini used for the spell. Lini is offering a silver violin, the gift of music, in exchange for the muse's help.

I had a hunch upon seeing the music note jewelry, but didn't realize that muses had the ability to alter their appearances (though considering they are fey, should I be so surprised?). Now you've given me the idea to incorporate a muse into an adventure whose supernatural nature may never be revealed to the players. Seifterrrrr! ;)

Dude, these [ruse] spells sound hilarious and amazing. I'm definitely going to look at them for my Lawful Evil "on your side but not really" investigator. And the medium in my game is going to love Legendary Influence (he's always struggled with deciding on feats, so this flexibility is going to be great for him).

(I can't be the only one in love with that purple-haired gnome girl. She's captivating.)

Aha! So some detective work on the glossary shared earlier tells me that "Unshakable" is actually a class feature of the new vigilante.
Anyone have spoilers to share about that? Let's start with what level it's gained at?

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I take back what I said last time -- Quinn and the Red Raven NEED to team up now!

This feels like such a Galt-appropriate origin, and definitely makes the Red Raven more sympathetic than the Unreliable Narrator of the last Meet the Iconics made him out to be. He's a character I'm excited to see more of in the campaign setting -- maybe something special in the Pathfinder Comics line, hmm? :)

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It occurred to me that while Raven and Quinn may both be citizens of Galt, they would definitely not get along. And now I'm starting to wonder if they're some art of that sneaked into the book. We'll found out in one month.

Interesting format for the iconic backstory. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but this fella has appeared in Golarion before, yeah? Is this a first for a character to be labelled as an iconic after their initial introduction?

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Mark Seifter was happy to share some fluff for Esoteric Dragons in the Bestiary 5 discussion thread!

Mark Seifter wrote:

Astral Dragon: It is said that when these dragons reach a venerable age, instead of dying they give a deep exhale and dissipate into the Astral winds, creating hurricanes of thought.

Dream Dragon: They observe the dreams of others, and pilfer information and the strange artifacts left behind by dreamscapes. Subtle of mind and whimsical of philosophy, they can be frustrating conversationalists, as they skip through ideas like daydream.

Etheric Dragon: Silent hunters that dwell in the remote reaches of the Ethereal Plane, these dragons eat both the living and the undead. Etheric dragons rarely speak, and many other dragons consider them dull, if not stupid. They are neither. Their priorities are just confined to the necessities of existence within their harsh, uncompromising environs. Unlike many true dragons, even their hoards are secondary. While they collect and amass treasure, if that treasure threatens their survival, etheric dragons abandon their hoards and start gathering anew.

Occult Dragon: Unlike most dragons, occult dragons, hoarders of occult lore and items, prefer to conduct their daily activities in humanoid form. They dwell in large urban centers, often mixing in with their humanoid neighbors as they search for esoteric secrets and psychically charged artifacts. In times of great need, they revert to their true form, either to gain some bit of occult treasure, or to protect the communities they call home.

And just as a little exercise, I decided to create some expanded fluff for each species to inspire ways to use them in an adventure:

Fan-made fluff:
Astral Dragons: Astral dragons will barter with travelers for knowledge, but are hard to impress. While not quick to violence, they are still prideful creatures and will stand up to any boasting challengers.
Dream Dragon: Dream dragons detest the denizens of Leng, that strange realm that occasionally spills over into the Dimension of Dreams. A dream dragon tolerates no creatures of Leng to pass through their territory.
Etheric Dragon: Denizens of the Ethereal Plane fear the hunger of the etheric dragon and regulate their travel around the creature’s feeding patterns. The arrival of an etheric dragon into a new land may be seen to the local creatures as a threat to their ecosystem, even as a misunderstood malevolent beast.
Nightmare Dragon: Nightmare dragons love to draw out as much agony as they can from their prey’s nightmares before finally consuming them. A nightmare dragon will not start an unprovoked fight with a dream dragon – but if the dream dragon is ever attacked or wounded by another creature, the nightmare dragon will gleefully gang up upon its rival species.
Occult Dragon: Occult dragons may interact with mortals as esoteric advisors, but are always concerned with preserving their true identities. An occult dragon that has its secret uncovered may move to a new settlement, but on rare occasions they may grant quests to those who shares its interests in occult knowledge.

Zenogu wrote:

Like I said, it's up in the air. The way I would handle your level 20 monk is giving him two swings on his first and second acts used to attack. Since the new Flurry doesn't mention it behaving like Two-weapon fighting anymore, the -2 attack penalty probably wouldn't apply.

Using all 3 acts to attack would look something like this (only regarding base attack and Flurry): +20/+20/+15/+15/+10.

He could spend a Ki point, and get another in at +20.

That pretty much puts him on part with someone that has Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (6 attacks), but the monk still comes out ahead in 2 regards. He doesn't have a penalty, and his Flurry didn't cost him 3 feats.

This is how I've run the unchained monk in my own games. My players like the revised action economy and our monk never complained about it.

The blog post calling the Lamplighter Investigator out on the side of authority piqued my curiosity. Are there any tidbits people can share about that archetype?

(Oh, and Coin Shot is rad. Duration-until-discharged spells are ones I really enjoy in case a diplomatic talk goes poorly, especially when you can conceal your ammunition in your coat pockets. Peacebond that!)

I've been in the planning for a Pathfinder game in a Victorian city setting for a couple months now (starting in two weeks!), and while I would love to get this player companion before that begins, I'm still looking forward to getting my hands on a collection of great urban options. Consider me hyped!

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Kalindlara wrote:
Athel wrote:
Very nice! This inspires me with some ideas for introducing players to my own campaign settings. Inner Sea Races seems like it will be a great book for fangs of the Golarion setting.
Especially serpentfolk, from the sounds of things. :P

My typo immortalized before I could fix it!! KALINDLARAAAAA!!

Very nice! This inspires me with some ideas for introducing players to my own campaign settings. Inner Sea Races seems like it will be a great book for fans of the Golarion setting.

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Well yeah its not a true "poisoner" but without a straight revamp of the entire poison system this is probably our best bet.
You realize there was a straight revamp of the entire poison system don't you?
When and where did Paizo do this?

I believe they're referring to the Diseases and Poisons Optional Rules that were published in Pathfinder Unchained.

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Mark Seifter wrote:

That's quite good, and it's close to what I was thinking when I first saw your question, before looking down to seeing your solution. However, it gives very slightly too much discount for the longer gathers. Perhaps a mild adjustment is in order:

Gather Power (Su): If she has both hands free (or all prehensile appendages free, for unusual kineticists, a kineticist can gather energy or elemental matter as a simple action. [...] Gathering power in this way allows the kineticist to reduce the total burn cost of the next blast wild talent she uses that round by 1 point. After using this ability, she can also use gather power as an advanced (3-act) action starting on the same turn. If she does so, she extends the duration of the reduction to her next turn and increases the reduction by 2 (to a total of 3). This reduction can't reduce the burn cost below 0.
Supercharge (Su): At 11th level, the first time the kineticist gathers power as a simple action, she can reduce the total burn cost of a single wild talent by 2 points instead of 1. If she also takes the complex action, it reduces the burn cost by 3, for a total of 5.

Fantastic! Thanks for the response and the insight.

Hey Mark, as the primary author of the kineticist, I was wondering if you could look at a tweak I'm making for my home games. My players and I are a big fan of the Revised Action Economy in Pathfinder Unchained, so I was rethinking gather power to fit into it.

Gather Power (Su): If she has both hands free (or all prehensile appendages free, for unusual kineticists, a kineticist can gather energy or elemental matter as a simple action. [...] Gathering power in this way allows the kineticist to reduce the total burn cost of the next blast wild talent she uses by 1 point. She can gather power for additional acts, reducing the burn cost by 1 additional point each time (to a minimum of 0 points).
Supercharge (Su): At 11th level, the first time the kineticist gathers power in a round, she can reduce the total burn cost of a single wild talent by 2 points instead of 1. Consecutive actions to gather power still reduce burn by 1 point per action.

Assuming a kinetic blast is still an advanced (2-act) action (as it is a SLA), this should preserve the original intent of gather power while making it more flexible to use across turns.

Do you think this is a balanced adaptation?

One option you might look at is the Stygian Slayer archetype for the Slayer class. The Stygian Slayer has a small amount of magical talent, letting him use invisibility on himself as well as using scrolls and wands with certain spells like darkness and shadow walk. If you want to fulfill the concept of an assassin who uses the night, I would recommend using the Stygian Slayer, then going into the Shadowdancer prestige class.

Just my two cents.

Got my copy of the pdf and have been working on it for the past couple hours. I've only gotten the chance to give "Running an Occult Game" a quick read (I'll dig more into the juicy bits later), but I'm glad to have it reaffirm some of the ideas and plans I was making for a future occult game in a Victorian setting. Thanks Brandon and the other members of the Occult-creative team (whose names regrettably escape me right now)!

I cleared my existing payment methods and used a new card, and the order went through! My personal hunch is that the bank flagged the card, and I'll be checking in on that later. I'm just happy to have what I was so proud to purchase.

Thanks for the help!

I've been having the same issue and been attempting to get around it for 5 hours, even with two different cards. I've been checking the billing information each time and haven't found anything wrong.

Errata Page 6 wrote:
Page 156—In the Seething Hatred feat’s Benefit section, in the last sentence, add “favored target” before “bonus on damage”.
Seething Hatred wrote:

Prerequisite(s): Studied target class feature.

Benefit: Select a creature type from the Ranger Favored Enemies table. When you designate a creature of this type as your studied target and hit it with a melee or ranged weapon attack, your favored target bonus on damage rolls against it is doubled.

Is that meant to be "studied target"? Is this an errata potential error?

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Five kineticist elements...
Five kineticist archetypes...
I'm not sure if I should talk my players down from an all-kineticist party -- or to build a campaign specifically for it!

Really glad to hear the playtest helped expand the utility elements and archetypes for the book. It's what they process it meant to do, and makes me really hopeful for the vigilante. Thumbs up for community cooperation to make better design!

The alignment section for Estra lists her alignment as NG at Level 1, but simply as N at the later levels. I contribute to a Pathfinder wiki, and for chronicling purposes, which of these is her proper alignment?

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Excellent work putting this together, Kobold. Now we have one mega-resource with which to binge on divisive debate. It's like the Netflix of Arguments.

(In seriousness, the distinction between "Creative" and "Argumentative" threads is incredibly convenient when you actually want to participate in a discussion.)

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Luthorne wrote:
The psychic detective uses the psychic spell list (6th level or lower) plus a handful of other spells (eleven total) that are added to that, rather than the alchemist spell list.

Thanks for the info, Luthorne, and everyone else for sharing these delicious crunchy morsels as teasers for the book.

Shisumo wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Athel wrote:
Anyone who can elaborate on which features the Psychic Detective alters/replaces beyond alchemy?
Did you get an answer to this question? Because I would like to know more about this archetype myself.
They lose the poison abilities to get a bonus against psychic spells and spell-likes, and they lose their first investigator talent to get a phrenic amplification and a small phrenic pool.

Appreciate the info. One further question:

How does the psychic detective spell list change? Is is the same list (alchemist formulae, only fitted to psychic casting mechanics), a borrowed list (such as from the mesmerist or spiritualist), or an entirely new list?

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I like the description of the mesmerist as an "anti-bard", which was a theme I got from the playtest version -- and it's a nice little wink to Meligaster's origins.

I'm most glad to hear that mesmerist tricks are effectively 24-hour now. Setting up tricks properly could save your party from a night-ambush TPK. Awesome cooperation techniques to make the guy invading your mind your best friend.

Anyone who can elaborate on which features the Psychic Detective alters/replaces beyond alchemy?

BigP4nda wrote:
Where should Finesse Training go on the stat block? Under Special Attacks or Special Qualities.

I've always listed it under Special Qualities as "Finesse Training (Weapon)", where "Weapon" is whatever weapons the rogue has selected to use Dexterity for damage with.

It is a bit disappointing to hear that no other classes will have access to undercasting (which I really liked as a mechanic for spontaneous casters), but I'm really excited to see the full version of the Psychic carve out it's own niche among the full casters.

I;m dying to know more about psychic duels. Fingers crossed for a bonus blog preview about spells and subsystems?

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I love it. A flavorful story, an unconventional and interesting character, and a great way to bring the spritualist's mechanical side to life (coincidentally, pretty close to the spiritualist I drafted up during the OA playtest).

Kalindlara wrote:
I don't remember that art. Do you know where it appears in the actual book?

Couldn't tell you, as it's not a book I own myself. I discovered this image some time ago on a Golarion info hunt through fan-sites like Pathfinder Wiki.

If the Meet the Iconics previews reveal that the Psychic actually is Sajni, then I' my hat, or something equally bet-worthy.

I love these iconics. But the iconic Psychic isn't Sajan sister. This image from the Ultimate Campaign art preview shows what Sajni Gadadvara looks like.

I'm a stickler for continuity, what can I say?

I'll never say no to a new Bestiary, and I'm glad that the psychic non-Golarion monsters are getting a space. As for Ultimate Intrigue, I'm going to withhold judgment until the playtest opens up, which I hope can be soon.

I've been experimenting with the monster creation system and I enjoy it a lot. Mix-and-matching arrays, grafts, and options has made fulfilling creature concepts much quicker than the traditional monster creation method.

However, I'm fairly uncertain about how much I should be adjusting the calculations, or in what ways I should be. The provided monster blocks go beyond the outlines a lot, especially as they get into higher CRs. I guess since I'm not very experienced in creating creatures, I'm hesitant to trust my gut on the number adjustments.

The previous monster creation method was a bit intimidating. This new method has given me some good practice, and I may take another look at the traditional one.

1) The new classes -- Occultist and Psychic most among them.
2) All of the rules for psychic magic. I love the twist on it compared to traditional Vancian magic.
3) Rules for psychic combat, possession -- really hoping there are techniques for fleshing out mind-affecting spells into a kind of struggle on the same level as a physical fight.
4) The Dimension of Dreams and dream voyage are practically BEGGING me to write an Inception-style adventure. (The deadliest dungeon I can put my players through -- their own minds!)
5) Unchained support. Luckily, they mentioned skill unlocks in the preview. Really hoping to also see some ki power options.

6) Rituals.

Arachnofiend wrote:
She's unarmored and using a spellbook while she casts, definitely not the kineticist.

She is the psychic, as confirmed in this blog. (Although psychics are spontaneous casters, so the spellbook is just a prop.

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Ps-psychic combuhhh...psychic combat.....

Psychic combat!?

I'm throwing my money at the screen but nothing's happening!

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I'll throw this in -- I'm currently thinking of letting the monk's AC Bonus add a (for now untyped) bonus to their Will saves as well.

It won't kick in until LV4 (so no dipping in for it, which it seems Paizo's fear was), but combined with a monk's expected Wisdom bonus, I think it could be a solid and scaling solution without changing too many class features.

You know, I should have started by searching for it in the rules forums rather than starting a new thread. I'll have to remember it for the next time I get a question.

Damn. Bummed that there's no answer to it yet, but at least I'm glad to know I'm not the only one having trouble with it.

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Ultimate Combat wrote:

Prerequisite: Barbarian 8, dragon totem rage power

Benefit: While raging, the barbarian gains resistance to the energy type that is associated with her dragon totem—acid (black, copper, green), cold (silver, white), electricity (blue, bronze), or fire (brass, gold, red). This resistance equals double her current DR/— from her barbarian damage reduction class feature; this DR increases by 2 for each dragon totem rage power she possesses, including this one.

Bolded section is the one that's catching me -- does this mean that the barbarian's total damage reduction increases due to this rage power, or the value equal to her DR that is used to determine her energy resistance?

An example: Mazali is a LV8 barbarian. Her rage powers are animal fury, intimidating glare, dragon totem, and the recently-acquired dragon totem resilience. She proudly support DR 1/--, even when not raging. When combat starts and she rages, dragon totem resilience kicks in, but what benefits does it give her precisely?

Does her DR increase to DR 5/-- (because "her current DR/-- [...] increases by 2 for each dragon totem rage power she possesses") and she gain energy resistance 10?
Does her DR stay at 1/--, but she still gains energy resistance 10 (DR 1/-- becomes "DR", where ["DR"+4]x2 = energy resistance)?

Help me get my head around this, please.

Since this seems the thread for it, just wanted to share my experience:

One of the players in my current game is enjoying the upgrade from classic rogue to Unchained rogue, especially since they love to team up with our barbarian and Debilitating Injury helps out the whole team.

I believe the penalty of Debilitating Injury should also apply if the creature provokes an attack of opportunity from the rogue?

Here's the cool thing about Unchained -- at its heart, it's about providing options for home-games. You're encouraged to A) adopt any of the systems they provide if you like them, or B) use them as inspiration for your own ideas. And home-games have infinite potential to become whatever kind of game you want it to be.

If your Fighter isn't where you want it to be, there's a whole subforum on these boards for Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew where you can find other folks who share your opinion and can help you create the Fighter you want.

Rogar Valertis wrote:

Can anyone explain in a few words how does the Unchained Fighter work?


There's no separate rewrite for the Fighter, iirc -- they mostly get support in the skill (with background skills or consolidated lists) and feat (for stamina and combat tricks) areas.

Lanitril wrote:
They, like the Unchained Rogue, get Danger Sense.

Thanks for the info! My current Barbarian player is gonna be happy about that.

This may have been already answered and I missed it -- does the Unchained Barbarian still gain Trap Sense? Or does it offer some alternative options for that class feature slot?

Curaigh wrote:

Verrrryy cool. I see RPG SS voter headaches next year :) .

hmmm.... cost is listed but no price. Is this to represent the character's hereditary item gaining abilities as she levels? That is to say you can't actually buy a crystal tiara, you just have this cool thing Mom gave you when you left to become an adventurer?

Robe of the Faerie Queen wrote:
Price 4,800 gp
Crystal Tiara wrote:
Price 1,000 gp

Prices are listed right under the name (above item slot and CL).

As for the items themselves, scaling items are something I've tried to do before with intelligent items to some frustration -- I'm really excited to see the Unchained examples and (hopefully) some guidelines so GMs can create their own! Awesome preview, Mark.

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