Bounty Hunter

B. A. Robards-Debardot's page

421 posts. Alias of Jason Meadows.


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Scarab Sages

Having digested it some, a 2E 20th Level is still super powerful but not as unmanageable as a 1E 20th (though the 2E feels more flexible /versatile). I'd still love some idea of where to take these adventurers as part of the logical outcome of the adventure. I could reward them with more wealth, multi class options, skills, some kind of capstone mythic level as they start ascending, etc. I'd love to see a little guidance on this in the GMG too if possible.

Scarab Sages

Handy Guide, but I wish they had arranged it differently.

The following are really useful to PCs: Page 1 (Super Useful), Page 2 (Super Useful), Page 3 - Column 1 (Useful), Page 4 - Column 1 (Super Useful), and Page 4 - Column 2 (Marginally Useful).

Page 3 - Columns 2 & 3 and Page 4 - Column 3 are really more GM focused.

If they had sorted the 3 GM columns to just one page, the other 3 pages could be handed to PCs for their reference. I had to rearrange the pages on my own to make a hand out for my PCs to help them learn the system.

Scarab Sages

jayfehr wrote:

Is the PDF eight pages that can be printed and used in a generic DM screen? Or is it two really wide pages, such as other screen PDFs I've used?

it comes in a couple formats, the two really long pages to be done front (art) and back (info) and 4 pages with the info that are printable as single pages ~8.5x11

Scarab Sages

So one of my Home Game groups I'm GMing is a little slow, we're just starting the "When the stars go dark" mission from the Playtest next week, just to finish out the story. As such, I was wondering if anyone had converted the playtest materials to P2 yet?

I imagine it would involve going over the playtest dc tables and referencing the challenge adjustment in the p2 tables. But I'm efficient (lazy) and was wondering if anyone else had done this or could point me in such a direction.

Scarab Sages

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Potion Sponge Problem:
rknop wrote:


Games like Pathfinder are very vulnerable to what one might call the "potion sponge" problem. New rules are coming out all the time (it eventually gets very overwhelming, frankly). Sometimes those are cool new classes, or new fun items. However, sometimes it's a new feat, or a new item, whose description suggests that something people have been doing all along wasn't actually possible, and you have to have a specific item or a feat to be able to do it. (It's worse when it's a feat, because that's a very limited resource.) The potion sponge in Advanced Race Guide suddenly made us all think that we weren't supposed to be able to drink potions under water, even though many of us had no problem with that beforehand.

Barricade, from Starfinder, is one of the worst examples of a feat gating what should just be something anybody might try. Quickly stacking a few loose objects to make some temporary cover that won't last very long is a creative action that you might expect a player in an RPG to try. But, now, it looks like you need a feat before you can do that. (What's next? Requiring a feat to suggest in the middle of combat that we could call a temporary truce?)

Perhaps at some level this is just what happens when you have a very rule-heavy game. There's a rule for so many things that if you don't...

I think you're right, RKNOP. This may be a problem with all rule-heavy games that continue to publish rule-content. I've always thought of it as the Prestidigitation Problem.

Prestidigitation Problem:
The spell in Pathfinder had the following limitation "Finally, prestidigitation lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects." Meaning each time new material came out it got just a bit weaker.

However, I think that's what they were trying to get at with the Gamemastering section, specifically table 10-2 and associated text. There were many GMs who were of a mind that unless you had rules text from a skill or from a feat that expanded an option to you, the player could not perform said act. By incorporating this language in the game mastering section, and through self-discipline, hopefully the writers can write up better player options (additive vs restrictive) in the future. Though I do see the need to beef up sub system mechanics at later dates (i.e. library research).

Honestly, my biggest want in PF2 is disciplined writing in terms of both rules grammar (because breaking play to have diagram a rules sentence is not fun) and player option creation (long chains [i.e. combat styles] tend to create one trick ponies, while over powered options will really blow up the "tight" math described in this thread).

Scarab Sages

LordVanya wrote:


However, since the effects of size outside of individual feats seem to be diminished, it is basically a moot point right now.

Yeah, it seems size bonus is a thing of the past. And since it doesn’t say I’m assuming reach stays at 5ft and doesn’t increase to 10.

Scarab Sages

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I think we were fine on that point for animal companions, sort of explaining it as battle happens so fast and they have really low intelligence (-4, with no raises I can see), but are pretty wise (+1 to +5, based on build), as such it’s wise for them to stay out of or run from battle if they can. Flight > Fight for most animals when dealing with humans. So they wait until their human tells them what to do.

For familiars (in the play test), they are literally expressions of the PCs magical power.

But this is only in the encounter, as a GM I would totally let the PC use his Animal Companion or Familiar steal the keys from the sleeping guard. I may have them do a little humorous misunderstanding (al a baby Groot, in the escape scene in Gaurdians of the Galaxy 2). But that’s outside the rules of Battle Chess (encounter mode)

Scarab Sages

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the way we've divided things with the four essences (Material, Spiritual, Mental, and Vital does a sufficient job of protecting niches.

So fireball is a material spell, since it is a ball of fire (which is a material essence) so casters from traditions which include material magic can cast it, which are arcane casters (since arcane is Material+Mental) and primal casters (since primal is Material + Vital). We're not giving it to (most) clerics or bards (without that one feat), but Divine and Occult share the Vital essence which is why Bards can heal now.

Bards could heal before. They just didn't get Heal (still don't) or Breath of Life

Scarab Sages

I guess this goes into the classes forum

I had one of my players before our session 0 inform me that he was giving up on having an Animal Companion (he typically really likes having an Animal Companion) for any of the builds for Doomsday Dawn. It seems He got frustrated with the rules. I talked him through as best as I could, but I don't know if he will decide to try them out. I did tell him I would check here for more information.

Here were the pointers I gave him, let me know if I need to go back and clarify for him.

1) Animal Companions use Modifiers not Stats like PCs, adding a +1 is really. But they use proficiency (level + training + ability modifier) just like PCs.
He asked "What if they take ability score damage?"
I told him, "that no one does any more it's handled by conditions like enfeebled and the like."
He then asked "Why do PCs have ability scores?"
I sang "Tradition" from "Fiddler on the Roof". But then said "it also slows scaling at high levels for PCs (+1s on boots after 18)."

2) To start to build an animal companion, use the Base Stats for Young Companion, then add the stats from your Chosen Companion Type. With a +1 to each of the stats listed under it's entry. But it doesn't not gain the Advanced Maneuver unless your Companion is upgraded to Nimble or Savage.
He suggested renaming "Incredible Companion" in the Ranger and Druid Feats to them "Advanced Companions"

3) Your Animal Companion advances at your level (no more uneven HD because there are no more HD period, only levels).

4) Your Animal Companion does not get ability score boosts every 5 levels.

5) Your Animal Companion is only upgraded when you choose a class ability which does so. Full-Grown, Nimble/Savage, Specialized, etc

6) He asked if reach increases when size increases. I told him I didn't think so, but would check.

7) I also explained the Minion trait, and how you have to command it to act each round, but that it then performed its actions as soon as you commanded it to. That it would not act without being given commands each round, but wouldn't runaway either.

8) The Mount stuff seemed to click around the time Minion was explained.

Scarab Sages

I've always liked Pharasma and tend to play PCs that worship her or Irori. I had a blast playing a "Kill them all, Let Pharasma Sort them out" Rogue. But as I was reading this Anathema, it seems kind of counter to how Pharasma has been represented per Mummy's Mask and Inner Sea Gods.

Desecration is easy to avoid, don't violently disrespect corpses (like don't make hand puppets out of the skeletons you find).

Mummy's Mask Spoiler:
Which is one of the rules of the "Lottery" in Mummy's Mask.

But it feels like a goddess of the cycle of Life and Death would also be against the hording of material goods by the dead that could support new life. You can't take it with you to the Boneyard.

Depending on how rigidly the Anathema is enforced this could cause a lot of issues for Doomsday Dawn.

Doomsday Dawn Spoiler:
In "The Lost Star", their could be some issues regarding treasure from the Ashen Ossuary, but a careful reading shows that none of the loot is from an actual tomb. However, "In Pale Mountain's Shadow" your mission is specifically to go and retrieve an item from a tomb, for monetary reward with a bonus of all the other loot you can loot.

Scarab Sages

Tamago wrote:
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Check at the knacksap of halflingkind: when you take a tart from it, you have to pay 1 resonance and you have to remove one of the 4 uses per day. Because "eating a tart for breakfast" is so powerful, it has to be limited on a per day basis on top of costing resonance.
Based on the description, pulling the kitchenware out and pulling the tarts out are just interacts. Eating the tart is the operation. So it’s basically 4 free lesser healing potions

The Bag of Holding doesn't specifically state in its description that any particular use is an Operate Activation. Yet it apparently requires spending Resonance because the item has Operate Activation listed in the header.

By that logic, shouldn't any use of the Knapsack also require resonance? If not, what's the difference between retrieving an item from the knapsack with an Interact and retrieving an item from the Bag of Holding with an Interact?

Hmm. I can see that on the kitchen ware, but not on the tarts as pulling them out is called out as just an interact.

Scarab Sages

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Gaterie wrote:
Check at the knacksap of halflingkind: when you take a tart from it, you have to pay 1 resonance and you have to remove one of the 4 uses per day. Because "eating a tart for breakfast" is so powerful, it has to be limited on a per day basis on top of costing resonance.

Based on the description, pulling the kitchenware out and pulling the tarts out are just interacts. Eating the tart is the operation. So it’s basically 4 free lesser healing potions

Scarab Sages

Just browsing through the treasure section, it seems like arcane casters have a bit more item support available (ring of wizardry, robes of the archmagi, in particular) than other casting traditions. These are relatively mechanically powerful, and can mean a big difference between different casters of even the same class in the case of sorcerers. Is this intentional?

Scarab Sages

Thanks for clearing that up. Makes it a little less worth it, but still a good item.

Scarab Sages

Just a clarifying question regarding the Specialized Healers Satchel, is this one item? Or are there four different items specialized in one of the following diagnosis, first aid, long term care, or treatment?

Scarab Sages

graystone wrote:


PRD: "Subtypes are often important to qualify for other racial abilities and feats. If a humanoid has a racial subtype, it is considered a member of that race in the case of race prerequisites."

Thanks Graystone, this was what I was looking for. It's pretty unambiguous. But it didn't convince the um... nice people over at Lone Wolf Development / Hero Lab.

So I'll have to continue to make said adjustments manually in their program for now for one of my players, who really benefits from the electronic character sheet (rounds move faster, they can keep track of their character and items a little easier, etc). And in the future I'll have to really consider how much more money I sink into the product.

Scarab Sages

Derklord wrote:
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
Overly pedantic wrong answer No. No one can use Agile weapons as The weapon enchant doesn't require the user to actually have the Weapon Finesse feat, as it does not contain the word feat in its description. No class to my knowledge gets "Weapon Finesse" they only get the "Weapon Finesse feat" or the benefits there of.
Making up stuff is not pedantism. The weapon enchant doesn't say it requires a Weapon Finesse class feature, therefore it doesn't and anything called Weapon Finesse feat does qualify.

You obviously haven't examined the claims of most pedants on these boards. But lest I digress into a pendantic quibble about the meaning of pedantic...

I said it was a wrong answer, I do agree that the weapon finesse feat should apply, but the enchantment is so poorly worded that you have to read the word "feat" into it to get it to work as you seem to think it is intended.

I would warrant, that when it was published in 2011 in a splat book, it was intended to work with the just the feat, however that was almost 3 years before the publication of the ACG and the swashbuckler class. The ACG was an admittedly poorly edited book. It took another 3 years for this to be raised as an issue, so as far as ambiguous wording it's not been the biggest issue. And that's probably been because most people assumed the majority opinion from this thread that it should work. That being said it low on the FAQ totem pole.

Quote:

Also, saying "the wording isn't perfet so it must work exactly as I think" is like the weakest argument in the history of gaming.

Where do you get the divine insight from to call out which answer was "right" or "wrong"? Presumptuous much?

Didn't you offer your take in the 6th post? And you said the overly pendantic answer I jokingly gave was wrong...

I offered a right answer, you've offered no logical fault in my interpretation of the language of the the class ability or the enchant. All you have done is made an ad hominem.

One thing I think restricting the enchant does is lock us in to seeing more slashing grace/fencing grace/ bladed brush/ starry grace swashbucklers. What about the miners using their light picks? Or the estoc fencers who want to break their bonds?

Scarab Sages

I just want to clarify:
Assumptions:
1) There is a weapon that has the agile enchant on it, it qualifies for this enchant by being "a light weapon, elven curve blade, rapier, whip, or spiked chain" per the weapon finesse feat or by being a weapon which specifically calls out weapon finesse in its description, like the Aldori Dueling Sword.

2) This weapon is sized for the swashbuckler and is also "a light or one-handed piercing weapon."

3) Your swashbuckler picks up this weapon.

Question:
You're asking if the swashbuckler can add his dexterity to damage per the agile enchant for this weapon?

Two answers:
Overly pedantic wrong answer No. No one can use Agile weapons as The weapon enchant doesn't require the user to actually have the Weapon Finesse feat, as it does not contain the word feat in its description. No class to my knowledge gets "Weapon Finesse" they only get the "Weapon Finesse feat" or the benefits there of.

Right AnswerYes. You have the benefit of the Weapon Finesse feat with regards to "light or one-handed piercing weapons". If such a weapon is also allowed to have the agile enchant based on the enchants restrictions, then you would get that benefit as well.

Scarab Sages

quibblemuch wrote:
What exact game effects does this person think this trait applies to, if not being treated as a human?

I don't have an exhaustive list, but I think: spells, Favored Enemy Humanoid(Human), Bane, Disguise skill

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

So I'm having a "discussion" with someone about what the alternate racial traits "Mostly Human" and "Pass for Human" from Inner Sea Races actually do. So I thought I would ask for some clarification.

Mostly Human:
A few (Ifrit, Oread, Sylph, Suli, or Undine) have appearances much closer to those of their human ancestors; in fact, they may not even realize their true race. Such geniekin appear to be human, save perhaps minor features like unusual eye color, and they count as humanoid (human) as well as outsider (native) for all purposes (such as humanoid-affecting spells such as charm person or enlarge person). These geniekin do not automatically gain their associated elemental language (but may select it as a bonus language if their Intelligence is high enough). This ability alters the geniekin’s type, subtype, and languages.

Pass for Human:
Discrimination against tieflings with horrifically fiendish features is so intense that even tieflings look up to those precious few of their kind who can pass as human. These tieflings have otherworldly features that are so subtle, they aren’t often noticed unless the tiefling points them out (for example, eyes that flash red in the throes of passion, or fingernails that are naturally hard and pointed). Such a tiefling doesn’t need to succeed at a Disguise check to appear to be human and count as humanoid (human) as well as outsider (native) for all purposes (such as humanoid-affecting spells like charm person or enlarge person). The tiefling does not automatically gain his associated outsider language (but may select it as a bonus language if his Intelligence score is high enough), and he may not select other racial traits that would grant him obviously fiendish features (such as the fiendish sprinter, maw or claw, prehensile tail, scaled skin, or vestigial wings alternate racial traits listed in the Advanced Race Guide). This ability alters the tiefling’s type, subtype, and languages.

We disagree on two points:

    Point 1) Semantic Disagreement
    - I interpret these traits as adding the humanoid (human) type and subtype to the character.
    - He disagrees and says they are only treated as such.

    Point 2) Substantive Disagreement

  • I believe that the intent of these traits is also to give the character access to all the human FCBs, feats, traits, etc. per the Half-Elf/Half-Orc FAQ, which also covers the Aasimar "Scion of Humanity" Trait.
  • His argument is that Humanoid(Human)≠Race(Human). So since "Pass for Human" and "Mostly Human" say that the character only "counts as Humanoid(Human) for all purposes" but does not say "counts as Human for any effect related to race", the alternate racial traits do not grant access to the he human FCBs, feats, traits, etc.
  • He gave me the example of a Deep One Hybrid, arguing that it surely could not have access to human FCBs, feats, traits, etc. However, I actually don't see a problem with a deep-one hybrid having access to those either as they are half-human.

Is there something I'm not seeing? Which way should we interpret these? Though it's irrelevant, this is not a GM vs PC argument.

Scarab Sages

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HyperMissingno wrote:
Tarondor wrote:
Their legs are shorter?
I said good reason, not realistic reason.

If you think that's a realistic reason you need to babysit more preschoolers. Short legs, but they can move fast.

Scarab Sages

It could be my lack of sleep talking, but I was looking at the weather domain for a druid I'm building. Druids get sleet storm as a 3rd Level spell on their spell list. Druids with the weather domain (or storm sub domain) receive it as a 4th level domain spell.

So as far as I can discern, I could have 2 different spells of my list of prepared spell with 2 different DCs and other spell level dependent bonuses. Can anyone let me know if this is correct?

Scarab Sages

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Game Master wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

Have Fizzbang be sure to take that feat where he can make a Ride check in place of Kragthor's saving throws.

Edit#1: Indomitable Mount

I hear Barbarian Half-orcs have terrible Reflex and Will saves.

Edit#2: I almost forgot. If Fizzbang is a Sohei, then Kragthor can benefit from his Ki powers as well, including Evasion.

Just 1 level and Fizzbang can take Trick Riding, possibly preventing Kragthor from getting hit twice a round.

It's craziness like this that has my players wanting to actually do this.

I'm amazed to discover that there are apparently no rules stopping this.

Kind of makes me want to build a tiny ranged sohei PC who rides around on a large melee PC. Oh wait...

Scarab Sages

Nefreet wrote:
Game Master wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

Have Fizzbang be sure to take that feat where he can make a Ride check in place of Kragthor's saving throws.

Edit#1: Indomitable Mount

I hear Barbarian Half-orcs have terrible Reflex and Will saves.

Edit#2: I almost forgot. If Fizzbang is a Sohei, then Kragthor can benefit from his Ki powers as well, including Evasion.

Just 1 level and Fizzbang can take Trick Riding, possibly preventing Kragthor from getting hit twice a round.

It's craziness like this that has my players wanting to actually do this.

I'm amazed to discover that there are apparently no rules stopping this.

And I posted those examples as craziness.

What constitutes a "Mount" is incredibly hard to pin down, though. Horses are obviously mounts. People obviously aren't. But how do you define that in game?

A creature ill-suited to be a mount imposes a -5 on its master's Ride checks. Ok, cool. So things like Snakes, Giant Slugs, and People probably fall under that category. Doing crazy combos like using Mounted Combat to protect your buddy will be less effective. But at higher levels that penalty is easy to mitigate.

And, even if an FAQ or Blog came out preventing such shenanigans, it still wouldn't prevent riding a Wildshaped Druid. Unless you're broad in defining "ill-suited mount" to include all creatures that aren't trained to be ridden, which even a Druid couldn't qualify for.

Oh but they could be, you kinky fellow.

Scarab Sages

Dabbler wrote:
graystone wrote:

The issue for me is that it seems like there was a different design plan for rogues and monks. For rogues, they pretty much added to it to make it better. For the monk it seemed that the idea was that for every cool addition, they where required to take something cool away or add an annoying caveat to it to make it meh or useless. Bump up it's BAB/HD---> bad will. Make powers a list to choose from instead of locked--->Ki use for everything from a TINY pool. Lets add some cool powers they can use while flurrying--->Requiring using a specific body part. I'm surprised they didn't lose something to get all monk weapon proficiencies.

Rogue was a straight up upgrade. Monk was a mostly lateral move to what I'd say was a good first step in improving the monk but not what I'd wanted the final product to be. The complete lack of support from archetypes doesn't help either. I'll give the new monk a try, but it really seems like a lost opportunity to make something great since I see glimmers of awesomeness underneath it all.

Precisely. It would seem that in spite of hundreds of threads pointing that the monk was a weak class, and why, Paizo completely missed it and keep missing it. It's like the monk is their blind-spot. Thankfully it's the only major blind-spot, but it does beggar belief that after all these years they STILL can't wrap their heads around the concept or the mechanics to produce a monk that is both viable and thematic.

Wait, are you telling me that Paizo was using Core Flurry of Blows to come up with ideas for this class? That explains so much!

Scarab Sages

Imbicatus wrote:
It's not evil for a hungry ghost monk, why should it be evil for using it as a qinggong power?

Agreed

Scarab Sages

It's been mentioned before, but why is Ki Leech evil?

I get that flavor-wise we're draining the life force from another creature. But it doesn't actually harm the enemy more than the monk was already going to harm them. Further it is functionally similar to the Swashbuckler's Panache, which isn't evil, except that a monk will need to wait until level 10 to be able to pick it up.

I think a review of this alignment is in order as the Unchained Monk sees a heavier reliance on Ki with the same Ki Pool size he had as a Core Monk. As such probably need this active as much as possible to keep their ki up. As I don't want to see a lot of monks in PFS that have alignment notes on the chronicles from using a necessary class feature.

Other than a small change in the spell descriptors, I don't see it as much work.

That being said I can see an interpretation where it would not be needed. It goes like this. Spell-Like abilities function like spells, but to my knowledge (and I might be wrong) they aren't enhanced by effects that would enhance the same spell (metamagic or things like an aasimar's Heaven Born trait), because using a spell-like ability isn't the same as casting a spell (you don't count as a spell caster, and you don't count as having it as a spell on your list). Then perhaps using a spell-like ability doesn't incur the alignment penalties that accompany casting an alignment spell, for the same reason, they aren't casting a spell.

Does anybody else have thoughts on this issue?

Scarab Sages

You talked about low strength, but I'm not sure how you currently have your strength distributed.

You'll want to make sure you can carry your armor, buckler, weaponry, handy haversack and what have you without being encumbered. so you're going to probably want it at least in the 12-14 range.

Scarab Sages

You could always ride a dwarf? They're slower but you don't have to worry about the encumbrance issue as much.

Scarab Sages

Cuuniyevo wrote:

What smell? Gnomes should have Prestidigitation ready for occasions such as these.

Without appropriate (exotic) saddles, there would be heavy penalties but I have no problem with the idea of a small creature hitching a ride on a medium one. I have a lot of younger siblings, nieces and nephews and I know for a fact that it is possible to run around with a short person hanging on. My arms would be holding their legs and their arms would be holding my neck or shoulders but that's why you'd need a special saddle or backpack for them to be attached to. Once they're secured, there's no reason why we wouldn't be able to act independently.

Given that it's a medieval-esque fantasy world, without much in the way of indoor plumbing, they use external combustion as their main heat/cooking source, and the main mode of transportation is animal, I'm pretty sure all of Golarion has got a stink to it.

Scarab Sages

B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:

In 3.0 there was [url]this[/url]

Basically if the mount was willing it was a smooth ride and you didn't need to make ride checks. You also couldn't use ride checks to control them, you had to make diplomacy or wild empathy checks as appropriate.

If you wanted you could also just be a passenger, riding the intelligent creature as it went about its way, you rolled a separate initiative.

Oops! Sorry Nefreet! 3.03.5 had this.

Scarab Sages

blackbloodtroll wrote:


I grow tired of old gamers throwing these "degradation of the imagination" accusations around like glitter at a unicorn rave.

I'm confused. How do they throw glitter with their hooves?

Scarab Sages

Don't forget the brawling enhancement for armor, basically negates the flurry/twf attack penalties for the brawler.

Scarab Sages

In 3.0 there was [url]this[/url]

Basically if the mount was willing it was a smooth ride and you didn't need to make ride checks. You also couldn't use ride checks to control them, you had to make diplomacy or wild empathy checks as appropriate.

If you wanted you could also just be a passenger, riding the intelligent creature as it went about its way, you rolled a separate initiative.

Scarab Sages

LazarX wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
kestral287 wrote:


I also frankly really don't like the clothing-with-armor-bonuses thing. I just... can't make that one make sense in my mind.

It's actually in the game already:

Magic Vestment wrote:

You imbue a suit of armor or a shield with an enhancement bonus of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5 at 20th level).

An outfit of regular clothing counts as armor that grants no AC bonus for the purpose of this spell.

I take it pants are sufficient, if you're going for the Seltyiel fan service look?

[sarcasm] Obviously, his "rock hard abs" are now actually rock hard from the natural armor enhancement. While the extra armor enhancement is due to his sexy outfits distracting his enemies. [/sarcasm]

Scarab Sages

TorresGlitch wrote:

We all know Trapspotter allows a reactive perception check when in range of a trap.

What if the character walks out of range of the trap and then back in again? A new check?
What if he just stands there arguing with the teammates how he doesn't wanna walk first since he'll only spot a magical trap on a 20, will he receive a check every round?

Well...

It depends on how you handle reactive perception checks. Most people sort of hand wave it unless there is a real reason to roll perception, you don't roll perception to see people standing 20 feet in front of you though a creature with +0 perception could fail the DC 2 check on a 1. But GMs might have the PCs roll to see the same creature 200 feet away when the DC is 20. And you might not make a check at all if the creature is benign like a bird or person on the street who has no ill-intent and no role in the story other than scenery, because why make a check when it doesn't matter.

But lets say this a perception check that will matter, it's the PC's archnemesis, and they're approaching the PC, but the PC fails the DC 20 check when the creature is 200 feet away. Do you make another reroll at 190 feet when the DC drops to 19 or was the first roll the only roll you do? Remember you've not entered combat yet.

I've seen two ways that I think are fair to handle this:
1) The PC has reactive rerolls every time the DC changes.
2) The PC notices the creature when the distance has closed enough that the first check makes the DC. For example the PC gets a 15 on the check, so the PC notices the creature at 150 feet. This way I prefer as you don't have to make so many rolls.

Either way, you need to keep up with PC perception scores. I saw this implemented once where the GM had a spreadsheet that autorolled perception scores for the entire party, I thought it was pretty slick, plus the players didn't keep hearing dice rolls which tends to make them jumpy.

on the sound of Dice Rolls:
Dice rolls are like the soundtrack to a thriller/horror movie, as you hear a GM roll them they are like the like the crescendo right before the axe murder jumps out at the teenage babysitter. However, sometimes it's just a cat and then the audience breaths a sigh of relief. However, sometimes after the cat the killer is right behind the babysitter after she picks up the cat! Feel free to use this concept on your players, don't overuse it, it gets really cliche after awhile.

With a trap, as it is hidden but potentially noticeable to the rogue. I treat it like a stealth check, where the trap always rolls the same every round (it's DC) and the rogue (technically the GM for the rogue) rolls its perception check every round he could observe it.

I would take the argument about spotting traps on a 20 as OOC as obviously the PC has no idea that his fate is being decided by dice.

Scarab Sages

It less painful for the magus (who hasn't chosen an archetype that trades away the basic arcane pool ability) to shell out for the Agile Enchantment than pretty much any other class.

Scarab Sages

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From what you've said, I know is that your table felt like a safe enough environment in the past that T felt open enough to be very open about her life and problems, and that T & A (ha) used to be pretty close friends. In the past month or so A has had an abrupt and profound experience or epiphany involving lawyers at furcon. The result, you feel, has been a fairly extreme shift in outlook/personality. This has led A to feel that the table is no longer a place where T should be open about her life (not the trans part, just the personal frustrations part), which he seems to have informed the table of in a rude manner. T in response to A has also responded in a rude manner.

Did I miss anything?

Here are some questions:
1) So I guess this is when you need to decide what kind of gaming group you have. Are you:


    a) A group of friends who play Pathfinder
    b) A group of Pathfinders who play friendly
    c) A mixture of A and B
    d) Totally not worth the frustration.

Now all are valid options, your playstyle is your playstyle and your interpersonal relationships are your interpersonal relationships.
I've played at all, and enjoy a, b, and c as long the overall table vibe is good. I don't enjoy option d obviously.

If you chose:
(a) it's your place, should you want it, to as a friend to try to ameliorate the situation.
(b) It's your place as a player, and your responsibility as the GM to have them behave civilly at your table. Do so in a friendly and open-handed manner.
(c) As a player at this table, your first responsibility is as a friend, your second is as a GM. "Choose wisely."
(d) You no longer have this problem, and can just call it quits (which may lead to some others problems though).

2) Hey I guess you didn't choose (d) in the last question! The next question is what do you want the group to be and how does that compares to what it is currently?

3) How do the other members of your group feel about the situation. If you don't know, ask them each privately without asking T & A (their opinions seem clear)?

Scarab Sages

The Estoc is like a finesseable bastard sword in mechanics. It allows you to two hand it as a martial weapon or one hand it if you've got the exotic proficiency. With the exotic proficiencies, I think it's probably the best finesse weapon out there for a magus. One-handed when you're using spell combat, two-handed when you aren't.

Scarab Sages

Actually, the thin sheet of lead works for Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, and Arcane Eye too. And while True Seeing, could see a sheet of lead, it couldn't see you behind it (cover). So you may want to invest in a lead lined tower shield.

Scarab Sages

Now here is something interesting, you can use a detect spell (detect evil, good, metal, magic, etc.) as your proximity spell, with the same emanation area of effect as the spell (the warded area would still count as the traps trigger mind you with the same perception DC).

But you could have the interesting situation, where an aligned item can trigger a detect alignment trap, even if were being carried by a neutral creature. Or you could pull a thin sheet of lead out and use it to block the radiation.

Scarab Sages

LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Avatar-1 wrote:

If there's no pressure plate (or something mechanically similar) as a trigger, and it's just a "magic proximity" trigger (or similar) then trap spotter just doesn't go off. There's nothing there to spot.

It'd be a different story if the rogue actively used detect magic, I guess - that kind of thing would warrant giving the trap spotter what he needs to know; moreso than just a regular casting of detect magic without trap spotter, if possible.

Remember that Trap Spotter isn't meant to be all-powerful vs spotting traps. It's not impossible for there to be some edge cases.

Detect Magic would be of no use as the trap and it's magic are still out of sight until the rogue steps into the trap's sensing area, thus triggering the trap.

But that's the basic question isn't it? Can the searcher (or detect magic) spot the detection area or just the sensor itself?

It's easy enough to handwave the "trap goes off when someone is within 10'" as a magical field that can itself be detected.

here's the thing.. it's not a magical field as there is nothing at that spot. Dork's trap is a trap around the corner that's passively sensing what's in the straight line in front of it.

That said, as it's built, the trap springs on friend and foe alike. If there is however a hidden catch just before that corner that those in the know can use to bypass it, then normal trap spotting rules apply to find it.

If you're building this sort of unavoidable hazard trap, with a perceiving (sound, vision) (as opposed to a proximity trigger), you do need to roll perception checks for the trap to detect its target(s).

Your spells are limited to:
Clairaudience - +15 Perception checks to hear, limited to a specific area 10 ft in radius around sensor
Clairvoyance - +15 Perception checks to see, limited to a specific area 10 ft in radius around sensor
Arcane Eye - +20 Perception to see, Line of sight, distance limited by normal perception check penalties
True seeing - +30 Perception to see, Line of sight, maximum of 120 ft.

Only true seeing can see in the dark. Clairvoyance and Arcane Eye triggered traps will need a casting of darkvision to see in the dark (up to 60 ft). Do note, that you don't get Clairvoyance's basic 10 ft radius of sight. You can also fool any of these by winning an opposed stealth check. Invisibility and magical darkness would work against Clairvoyance and Arcane Eye.

If someone uses non-detection, may be able to bypass all of these, assuming the spell fails it's CL check.

Because of the Clairaudience/Clairvoyance spell creating a sensor that's only has a 10 radius (from a grid intersection), the rogue should get their trap spotter check to detect the trap with their trapfinding bonuses. Additionally, everyone who approaches should get a reactive perception check (DC 23) to locate the sensor, as per the scrying sensor rules.

Scarab Sages

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Sounds like ennui. It's not necessarily a terrible thing, if it drives you to grow or experience new things.

Every couple years, I'll get this dissatisfaction with some often major part of my life, sometimes its because it really has changed for the worst (my last job) but more often I find that I'm really feeling like I let this or that thing become too big a part of my life, and that now I've suddenly gained some perspective and realized I've neglected some other important areas, putting all my "attention eggs" in one basket as it were. It's then time for some creative change/destruction. When I step back I find what's really bothering me, and I can get back to doing the things I enjoy again, (maybe not with the same gusto, maybe I was working too much or gaming too much to distract me from the problem).

My suggestion is to take a short break, give yourself a little bit of real life adventure (maybe not with dragons, stabby rogues, and undead), but some thing on your bucket list. Read a book you've always meant to, go to a national park you've always dreamed of going to, go visit those friends from way back who you haven't seen in ages, etc.

Check something off your bucket list and do so in an enjoyable manner. Come back and tell us all about it, assuming it's PG of course.

Scarab Sages

So... some slightly more organized thoughts.

We all go about saying we're "looking for traps". But other than a post from James Jacobs, I haven't found any rules saying you have to search for traps in order to notice them. Wait wait! Before you get out the torches and pitchforks, give me a second to explain.

The perception skill states, "Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action." The only mention of traps in the skill is in the table where it has an entry for "find a hidden trap". For my purposes there are two operative words in this entry. The first is they use "find" as opposed to "notice", which implies an active search. The second is "hidden", meaning not all traps only the hidden ones.

I interpret this to mean that unless a trap is hidden, the perception checks are reactive.

I don't think anyone would argue that a bear trap sitting on your PCs kitchen table could only be located by actively searching for it. Giant pendulums just hanging from the ceiling, sure they'll have the normal perception modifiers, but their not really hidden either. Making them a component of a trap doesn't in and of itself make them harder to perceive.

Invisible Scrying Sensors, despite being invisible, actually aren't by default hidden it's just a DC 20+Spell Level check to reactively perceive them, the invisibility is baked into that DC. So it's actually pretty likely that sometimes you'll detect the Scrying Sensor with it's lower DC but not the trap itself, though by that time it may be too late.

PRD wrote:

Spell traps are simply spells that themselves function as traps

So Spell Trap is apparently not a term like "death effects" or "Evil Spells". You'll only find it mentioned in this section of the PRD.

This creates a dilemma, we all know some trap spells like the symbol of death, of pain, of... but none of these are called out at trap spells (they don't even mention the word trap or disable device!). Other spells are very clear like Fire Trap, which says it's a magic trap (doesn't use the term spell trap though).

For me (and this is purely my take on it), a spell trap has the following qualities:
• A trigger that occurs without the spell caster being present or having line of effect (ie. it's "dumb" and functions as programmed).
• An effect that happens when it is triggered.
• Non-instantaneous with durations typically in the hour/level, until/discharged, or even permanent.
• Often they mentions wards, runes, symbols, and/or is an abjuration spell.[/list]

In the case of Alarm, it meets all of my criteria. Additionally, it mentions that it is a "subtle ward", which I read as it having an observable but hard to detect component. It nowhere mentions the emanation as being invisible or undetectable, so I see no reason to give it those abilities, if I did that I could just as well read it as being a quite visible octarine haze. Without the spell trap rules, I don't really know how to give it a base perception DC, however I do know that it is an abjuration spell, and as such

PRD on Abjuration wrote:
If one abjuration spell is active within 10 feet of another for 24 hours or more, the magical fields interfere with each other and create barely visible energy fluctuations. The DC to find such spells with the Perception skill drops by 4.

Which is a nice thing to remember when building magical traps.

My parting thought before I go to bed is that we're probably not rolling enough reactive perception checks.

Scarab Sages

Avatar-1 wrote:

If there's no pressure plate (or something mechanically similar) as a trigger, and it's just a "magic proximity" trigger (or similar) then trap spotter just doesn't go off. There's nothing there to spot.

It'd be a different story if the rogue actively used detect magic, I guess - that kind of thing would warrant giving the trap spotter what he needs to know; moreso than just a regular casting of detect magic without trap spotter, if possible.

Remember that Trap Spotter isn't meant to be all-powerful vs spotting traps. It's not impossible for there to be some edge cases.

Well most of the spells are used to create magical device proximity traps, like clairaudience/clairvoyance and arcane eye, create invisible scrying sensors that are only a DC 20 + spell level perception check to detect without searching for it.

As far as Alarm goes, nothing in the spell's language says the ward created by it is invisible or undetectable (which is a lot of power to give a level 1 spell, no one really thought they'd be able to ninja proof an area with a 1st level spell did they?). It does say the alarm spell's ward is "subtle" though. I believe that if you look at it's effects, it's probably a "spell trap" though it's not called out as such (but neither is Symbol of Death, actually I don't think the phrase "spell trap" is used anywhere but the trap rules). The alarm spell should probably receive a DC 26 perception check to detect it, and pcs with trapfinding should be able to disarm it with the same DC.

Scarab Sages

Ckorik wrote:
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:

Some quotes from the PRD (bolded for emphasis):

So lets make the situation much simpler...

5 feet behind the door is a chair - on which is a symbol spell.

Assume: The rogue is high enough level to automatically find the trap through the door.

So the rogue detects the trap through the door.

Can he now disable it?

RAW it looks like yes... I'm not sure how I feel about that but I wanted to make sure we are on the same page

The magic traps (symbol spells are a subset called Spell Traps) act a little differently, from on the opposite side of the door? He'd need to make a check of 25+spell level+5 (for other side of the door), but assuming he made it he would only know there was a trap on the other side of the door (think of it like a lesser version of spider sense). If he surpassed the check by 5 or more he'll get an idea about how the trap functions. Should he get an idea about it's function he might know a way to disable it, but he's still 10 feet from the trap, and would have to somehow get to the trap to effect it.

A mechanical trap would need to consider the whole setup as the trap from triggering action to components in, where in effect would be triggered by opening the door. In the case of symbol of death (8th Level spell, costs 5000 GP, 10 minutes casting time) could be somewhat replicated by something a ~CR 42+ and cost ~20500+ GP taking 21+ days of construction each requiring a craft check of 35. Think of it as another facet of caster-martial disparity.

Should the rogue make the perception DC on the mechanical trap, he's still 10 feet away from the trigger. He knows that the door is trapped, he then needs to figure out how to disable it, if it can be disable from that side etc.

This is where your party prepared caster comes in and helps you come up with solutions. The first thing you should do if you find a trap is detect magic. Then try to come up with solutions.

In the case of a visually activated symbol, the easiest way to overcome this would be to have the caster use arcane eye/summoned creature, etc to view it from within 60 feet and but outside of line of effect from the symbol (it's a 60 foot blast effect). Then they would just need to remain out of the affected area for for it's duration.

Ckorik wrote:


Second - how about detecting the same symbol trap from the other side of a wall - when the two rooms are not connected. Based on perception and the rogue it looks like it's 100% RAW the rogue should be able to detect and disarm a trap from another room.

Also This means I need to start checking the trap finder for traps above and below the rogue on different levels of the house/dungeon he's in.

That seems to be the RAW. When it comes to different levels, it doesn't seem pathfinder plays much attention to the elevations of floors or their materials. A wooden floor could be pretty thin and start basically in the square above the rogues head, these could also be pretty noisy, but how often do you make creatures in the 2nd floor of the house make stealth checks?

For mechanical traps when calculating the CR, I would use the perception DC from where the PCs are intended to activate it from.

Scarab Sages

I'm with most of the others as this is inferior to a standard slayer, the only place where yours surpasses is that you get both a ranger combat feat and rogue talent at 2nd and every 4th level after that instead of either and your trapfinding and sneak attack starts a little earlier.

Where the Slayer has benefits:
Full BAB - basically an additional +1 Hit at 1st and every 4 levels compared to the Bow-Thief
d10 hit dice - +1 hp and +1hp/level compared to a similarly stated Bow-Thief
Good Fort Save Progression - +6 at level 20 compared to the Bow-Thief
Light and Medium Armor Proficiencies and shields - you didn't list the bow thief's.
Martial Weapon Proficiency - you didn't list the bow thief's, but think longbows vs a rogue's basic shortbow.
Sneak Attack - starts one level later, but catches up at level 6, and exceeds yours at level 9. And he can do it within 30ft just like you. Yours is also limited to Favorite Terrains and Favored Enemies, but you didn't give the Bow Thief either.
Studied Target - basically a +1 Bonus to hit and damage at 1st and every 5th level.
Quarry - as the ranger ability +2 at 14th (+4 at 19th)

When you add that all up before feats and talents, lets compare the slayer to your Bow Thief. Lets assume you gave the same equipment and stats so we don't change those things. Values with the slayer's built in class buffs are in parenthesis, Bow thief has none)

Class: Slayer | BowThief
HP: +21 above BowThief |
Hit: +20(+29)| +15
Dmg: +0(+9) | +0
Fort: +12 | +6
Sneak: +6d6 | +5d6
CombatFeats/Talents: 10 | 20
Trapfinding Trap Sense: Both for 1 Talent | Included

So the Bow Thief has an 11 talent benefit over the Slayer (as the slayer will need to spend one talent on TrapFinding). The question is with those 11 talents and combat feats can you make up this difference?

Scarab Sages

deusvult wrote:

I'm curious about how the player entitlement crowd would view another scenario:

an "alarm" trap that consists of a bell tied to a string that goes up through a hook in the ceiling and then is nailed to a nearby door. The door opens, the bell rings, and the trap is sprung. Basically, something like virtually every shop has to announce customer traffic, only on a solid door with no windows in it.

Lets build this using the trap building rules!

"All traps—mechanical or magical—have the following elements: CR, type, Perception DC, Disable Device DC, trigger, reset, and effect."

CR: 1 (calculated see below)
Type: Mechanical
Perception DC: 25 (calculated see below)
Disable DC: 10 (calculated see below)
Trigger: Opening the Door
Reset: Automatic
Effect: Rings a bell
Cost: 1.01
Craft DC: 25 (ridiculously high, but I used the trap building rules)

Calculations:
The Perception DC has a base of 20
Locating something behind a closed door gives +5, so the DC is now 25.

The Disable Device check has a base of 20. Since all you have to do to keep a shop bell from ringing is opening the door slowly, I'd probably lower the DC to disable it to 10.

CR 0 for the Effect
CR +1 for automatic reset
CR +1 for Perception of 25
CR -1 For DC of 15 or Below

Total CR is +1

The base cost to craft this trap is 1000 GP + 50% since it automatically resets so this gives us a 1500 GP cost, but it's very simple, so the CRB suggests making the cost lower. A bell is 1 GP, string is 1 CP, lets assume you have the hammer and nails, so a total of 1.01 GP.

The Craft DC of a CR 1 trap is 20, automatic reset adds +5. The total Craft DC is 25. If you don't have the hammer and nails you'll probably take a circumstance penalty from not having the tools.

Additionally, lets consider a rogue with both trap finding and trap spotting approaching our trapped door.

PRD - Trapfinding wrote:
Trapfinding: A rogue adds 1/2 her level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device skill checks (minimum +1). A rogue can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps
PRD - Trap Spotter wrote:
Trap Spotter (Ex): Whenever a rogue with this talent comes within 10 feet of a trap, she receives an immediate Perception skill check to notice the trap. This check should be made in secret by the GM.
PRD on Mechanical Traps wrote:
Creatures that succeed on a Perception check detect a trap before it is triggered. The DC of this check depends on the trap itself. Success generally indicates that the creature has detected the mechanism that activates the trap, such as a pressure plate, odd gears attached to a door handle, and the like. Beating this check by 5 or more also gives some indication of what the trap is designed to do.

So our rogue approaches the door, when he's 10 feet away from the triggering mechanism (the door), his extraordinary rogue senses activate and his subconscious (the GM) rolls a perception check with a DC of 25, using the rogues regular perception modifier plus an additional bonus of half his rogue level.

Outcomes:


    • <25. The rogue is unaware the door is trapped, but should he decide to he can decide to search it consciously as a move action.
    • 25 to 29. The rogue is aware the door is trapped, but has no idea what will happen should he set off the trap.
    • 30+. The rogue is aware the door is trapped, and he has a general idea of what will should he set off the trap.

Lets go further and assume our rogue fails, but he passes the door on his way to aid his party in battle with a dire mook. Afterwards the rogue walks back up to the door. Guess what he gets another subconscious perception check from trap spotter, as he has triggered the conditions of the ability, and perception checks can be retried.

Scarab Sages

Some quotes from the PRD (bolded for emphasis):

PRD on Trigger wrote:

Trigger

A trap's trigger determines how it is sprung.
PRD on Mechanical Traps wrote:
A trap typically is defined by its location and triggering conditions, how hard it is to spot before it goes off, how much damage it deals, and whether or not the characters receive a saving throw to mitigate its effects.
PRD on Mechanical Traps wrote:
Creatures that succeed on a Perception check detect a trap before it is triggered. The DC of this check depends on the trap itself. Success generally indicates that the creature has detected the mechanism that activates the trap, such as a pressure plate, odd gears attached to a door handle, and the like.
PRD on Magical Traps wrote:

Unless the spell or item description states otherwise, assume the following to be true.

    A successful Perception check (DC 25 + spell level) detects a magic trap before it goes off.
    • Magic traps permit a saving throw in order to avoid the effect (DC 10 + spell level × 1.5).
    • Magic traps may be disarmed by a character with the trapfinding class feature with a successful Disable Device skill check (DC 25 + spell level). Other characters have no chance to disarm a magic trap with a Disable Device check.

Side discussion on Alarm:
I've seen where people will say an Alarm spell can be added to a mechanical trap without making it a magical trap. But the table shows that option under the Magical Device Trap CR options and all of the example traps that use the alarm spell are "type: magical". So I take it to mean that it's still a magical trap.

Some other Considerations about proximity traps::

The PRD states "Mechanical proximity triggers are extremely sensitive to the slightest change in the air. This makes them useful only in places such as crypts, where the air is unusually still." This suggests that for those traps that if creatures are moving around it will be set of often.

But even using an alarm spell as the trigger will force the trap to go off whenever a tiny creature (as per the alarm spell) crosses the warded area. Most dungeons/crypts/castles/etc have these things called rats which are tiny creatures. Noticing a bunch of rat skeletons or acid pitting might even have a lower DC than the trap itself.

One other thing I'd like to point out about these sort of things is the cost.:

A non-magical CR 1 trap that is manually resettable costs 1000 GP

Magical traps start fairly cheap but can get pricey really quick.

In the example of an acid arrow trap.
If it shoots once the cost is 300 GP (50 gp/(Caster level x Spell Level) * CL 3 * 2nd Level Spell).
If it resets then the cost is 3,000 GP (500 gp/(Caster level x Spell Level) * CL 3 * 2nd Level Spell).

The repeating version of this cost is the WBL of a 3rd level PC. If your BBEG hired out for this service, the cost would be the normal spell casting service rate for each day of crafting. So that would cost an additional 420 GP (He'd have to pay for 6 castings of both Alarm and Acid Arrow).

That's for one trap in the dungeon. Given your particular settings, does this make financial sense for BBEG?

Scarab Sages

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Mark Seifter wrote:
If you want to go real far in favor of giving lots of skill stuff to the rogue, you could say that rogues get all of them (use the minimum of your rogue level and ranks to determine the benefit) and then whenever you select a Signature Skill, add +5 to your effective ranks and rogue level for the purpose of unlocks on that skill. That will open up tons of stuff.

I like this a lot.

I'm thinking I'll also let the Signature Skill Feat give the unlock to two skills. With just one it's okay, but it's unlikely to sway other classes away from taking a more combat oriented feat.

If I do that I was thinking of making Skill Unlocks available as a trait (perhaps under the social category). Examples below:

"You were the doctor/medicine man in your village, Heal is considered a class skill for you and you may use it as if you had selected with the Signature Skill Feat."

"One of your parents was a successful pawnbroker, on his knee you learned to have a keen eye for detail. Appraise is considered a class skill for you and you may use it as if you had selected with the Signature Skill Feat."

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