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gnoams wrote:
So it 100% raw works with hold person. Hold person paralyzes you. The ability specifically calls out "She can attempt to escape even if paralyzed."

The spell does more than just make you paralyzed, though.

Hold Person wrote:

The subject becomes paralyzed and freezes in place. It is aware and breathes normally but cannot take any actions, even speech. Each round on its turn, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect. This is a full-round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A winged creature who is paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls. A swimmer can't swim and may drown.

Yes, the spell causes its target to be paralyzed. Yes, it allows them the chance to escape in the form of a full-round action included in the spell. However, it also clearly states that the subject "cannot take any actions".

Because it's explicitly stated as one of the effects, by RAW, the subject cannot take any actions in addition to being paralyzed. The spell puts forth a general rule of 'You cannot act', and offers a single exception. You could interpret this as merely summarizing what the paralysis condition already does. Understandable, Fair, it's probably how I'd rule it in an actual game, and I assume that's how you see it. At least I can show that it's debatable based on the RAW.

Edit: I re-evaluate my position and agree that it should that it should work with Hold Person, based on that last segment. Will leave the above up there as it still shows how I reached my previous conclusion, but I still disagree that you would be able to use it under a compulsion that forces you to take additional actions within a turn.

This is merely an Su that has effects similar to a slow spell. By the RAW, I'd say that it does Not, for two reasons.

First, the victim is only slowed as per the slow spell. The victim doesn't 'have any haste effects dispelled' as per the slow spell.
Secondly, if I were to cast Haste on the same victim again, I'd rule that the "Haste counters and dispels slow" clause wouldn't work, as you cannot dispel a supernatural ability. With the tables turned, it wouldn't work.

I think this is a strange case where the two effects are merged.

- The victim is Staggered (Cannot take Full round actions)
- Movement speeds are increased by 30, then halved.
- Bonuses/penalties on attack, AC and reflex saves cancel out.

... The combination is strange and leaning on negative. That said, by GM fiat/houserule, I'd declare that the two merely cancel out until one of their durations expire, or Delay Poison is used.

No, I don't imagine it allows you to take a 'mental' full-round action Besides what your body is already doing. Its effectiveness depends on the compulsion. Seems appropriate for what a single ability can do. Would advise the Slippery Mind advanced talent and a Master's Spy constant Mind Blank and ability to fool the caster into thinking a compulsion worked, if you want to go nearly immune.

I don't think this ability was designed to be strong enough to escape from, say, irresistible dance. That spell explicitly says the target can't do anything but caper and prance. Nor could it help one escape Hideous Laughter or Hold Person. unfortunately. Aside from the full-round actions that those spells already allow their victim, they say the target "can take no actions" and "cannot take any actions" respectively. If it only said you were paralyzed, sure, but the wording is clear.

But, it can probably help you escape from a lesser geas, confusion if you're lucky on the roll, Dominate Person if you have even a moment's respite, or even Modify Memory (Single chance, since the duration is permanent).

What you ought to look out for is whether your rogue is aware of the compulsion or not, and if they're predisposed to or capable of taking that full-round-action.

As a side note, nothing states that a sleeping person is incapable of taking actions; They're merely helpless, and probably lack the awareness to try. Lucid-dream your way out of that Deep Slumber!

AwesomenessDog wrote:
The difference is intention. ... I would say yes, the fact you now care about A over B should apply the -4, because you are trying to be sure you hit A.

No doubt, that's the easiest rule of thumb to stick by when you're at the table and need to make a snap decision. Unfortunately, because you wouldn't be able to move through a bugbear's space uncontested, I wager that's against the RAW; They're most definitely, by any stretch of the word, not a 'friendly' character.

That said, I think that's as far as this little topic can be taken. There's not really any other rule in the books that mentions 'friendly characters'; Everywhere else, the words 'Ally' or 'Willing' are used. Allies are used largely for beneficial effects or teamwork feats, too, and almost always selected by the player.

@ Agénor and others : Thanks for taking part! :D

Question; Does damage resisted still count as damage taken? If it does, this spell could be potentially useful. I haven't checked extensively, in either the forums or the FAQs, but the core rulebook seems to suggest some damage is merely ignored by resistance, not that it isn't taken. It's only immunity or damage resisted completely that negates any side effects of an attack.

Core Rulebook wrote:

The numerical part of a creature's damage reduction (or DR) is the amount of damage the creature ignores from normal attacks.


Whenever damage reduction completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates most special effects that accompany the attack, such as


Energy Immunity and Vulnerability
A creature with energy immunity never takes damage from that energy type.


Energy Resistance
A creature with resistance to energy has the ability (usually extraordinary) to ignore some damage of a certain type per attack, but it does not have total immunity.

But, that's stretching it, and probably has been debated to death or FAQ'd elsewhere.

Nah, the only benefit of this spell is that it doesn't have an upper limit, and hence can be used situationally when you both have the health to tank a lightning strike, and wish to hold a touch attack until an opportune moment.

Agénor wrote:

Come to think of it, I would maybe even rule on a circumstantial bonus to the attack, given that the shooter is in essence taking aim at a Large target.
- I'd do so on the fly during a game but should the players try to replicate the tactic, I'd crunch numbers before implementing it more in depth -

That's setting a dangerous precedent. If you're going to take two creatures together as a "Large" target, you could shoot an arrow into an army and be practically guaranteed to hit Something. Not even touch attacks always hit one in a crowd. Similarly, I wouldn't allow a player to target a 5ft cube (AC 5) on a Gargantuan creature. (Though, that's what the touch AC often is, so -shrug- )

@VoodistMonk: -thumbs up-

AwesomenessDog wrote:
... it wouldn't apply unless you were specifically trying to hit one over the other (thus making the other friendly).
Matthew Downie wrote:
"You can avoid the -4 penalty if you're willing to randomly select who you shoot at with a dice roll."

Neat! Alright. So, you both seem to suggest that if the marksman even remotely prefers aiming at one target over the other, the penalty applies. In AwesomenessDog's case, this applies to scenarios where you don't even know *which* of the targets you'd prefer to hit (Since they would apply it in scenario B with the disguised rogue)

That's certainly clear-cut for the player, though naturally the 50% chance is a houserule and/or GM's fiat.

...So, new scenario for you:

G) A bugbear and a green hag are currently engaged in melee. Equipped with a fancy new Slaying Arrow, I want to hit the stronger hag, and not waste it on the bugbear. Both these creatures would eagerly attack me, if I were to move within range.

Do I take the penalty? ... And if so, why?

Before you answer, consider the other place that a "Friendly Character" is mentioned:

Core Rulebook wrote:

Friend: You can move through a square occupied by a friendly character, unless you are charging.


Opponent: You can't move through a square occupied by an opponent unless the opponent is helpless.

In light of that, look through the scenarios again.

VoodistMonk wrote:

Is there melee happening? Are you using a ranged attack? If yes to both, you suffer a -4 to your attack.


If the situation qualifies as melee combat, and you are shooting into it... minus 4 penalty. I am not going to sit here and wait for BS shenanigans about who is friendly to whom.

Core Rulebook wrote:

Shooting or Throwing into a Melee: If you shoot or throw a ranged weapon at a target engaged in melee with a friendly character, you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll. Two characters are engaged in melee if they are enemies of each other and either threatens the other. (An unconscious or otherwise immobilized character is not considered engaged unless he is actually being attacked.)

If your target (or the part of your target you're aiming at, if it's a big target) is at least 10 feet away from the nearest friendly character, you can avoid the –4 penalty, even if the creature you're aiming at is engaged in melee with a friendly character.

If your target is two size categories larger than the friendly characters it is engaged with, this penalty is reduced to –2. There is no penalty for firing at a creature that is three size categories larger than the friendly characters it is engaged with.

Okay. I might have agreed, but:

- The rules explicitly state the conflict is due to a Friendly character being in the mix. In a clear-cut scenario, like the hate triangle in situation A, there's no issue.
- It's not Just the fact they're engaged in melee. Two medium creatures with exception reach can be engaged in melee at 10ft distance, and there'd be no problem. In theory, those characters are still dancing and parrying as would a duel in close quarters.
- It's not a matter of cover or soft cover. Those rules are covered elsewhere.

...So, yes, you really do need to figure out the "BS shenanigans"
Seems like pathfinder just simplifies the matter of 'not accidentally hitting your friend' by slapping on a flat penalty to your attack, and subsequently puts forth a feat that eliminates the issue that's a must-have for any ranged build.

But the rules are still there.

So, figure em out! :P

Quixote wrote:

The caveat in C doesn't make a difference, given the definition of "engaged in melee" that you quoted


I'd rule no -4 on A-C and yes on the last three. An ally is an ally, good, sensible or not. And no matter how safe you know your ally is, I imagine your instincts are to not shoot them. Plus, an arrow that finds its mark in your enemy is more useful than one deflected harmlessly by your ally.

Ah, but in C's case, are both the rogue and the bugbear not flat-footed when you've decided to attack? Even though they're most definitely not flat-footed once your arrow flies.. but I imagine flat-footedness and threatened spaces are a whole other can of worms. Anyways, thanks for the response. :)

I tend to go by Matthew Downie's interpretation of:

Matthew Downie wrote:
You only get the penalty if your target is in melee with someone you wouldn't want to risk hitting.

Hence, I'd omit the -4 penalty when it came to the rogue in D, but maybe agree that you'd rather hit the bugbear instead of your monk, even if he's cool with it. Debatable. Such a minor, but distinct difference between D and E .

As for the fighter example:
Maybe he's not good at socializing. That's fine. Everything's solved if You're an aloof murder-hobo.

bbangerter wrote:

But the real problem with the entire -4 rule of course is that there are no consequences for missing a target (-4 applied or not). There are no rules that if you miss the first target you have a chance of hitting another nearby target.

Yeah, that's the main issue with the rule in general. I thought this post would just be a fun exercise highlighting this rare little dilemma. Nearly anyone that builds for range has Precise Shot anyways.

Like gnoams, and a few other players I know, I'd house-rule in a chance to hit the wrong target somewhere along the way. My personal approach, though it takes a bit of math, would be to take the d20 used in the attack roll, multiply it by 5, and have that be the % chance you hit the correct target. ( I.E. if I rolled a 15 + modifiers to hit the bugbear, I'd have an 75% chance hit the bugbear and a 25% chance to hit my buddy.) I'd then roll percentile dice.

Key word is 'Friendly' here. I understand perfectly fine that in all the above scenarios, there are melee shenanigans going on (With the possible exception of C, depending on how you interpret it).

But of course, not all of them have a Friendly amidst the combat. And, some do, but for the shooter, they realistically wouldn't be aiming to avoid them.

So, I repeat; in which of these scenarios are you shooting into a melee involving a friendly character? Or, has some FAQ already been answered somewhere to completely ignore the 'friendly character' bit?

Core Rulebook wrote:
Shooting or Throwing into a Melee: If you shoot or throw a ranged weapon at a target engaged in melee with a friendly character, you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll. Two characters are engaged in melee if they are enemies of each other and either threatens the other.

I don't have Precise Shot. But, I do have this snazzy bow and arrow.

Which of the following scenarios, if any, suffer a -4 penalty to attack due to shooting into a melee?

A) Two armed bugbears are currently in melee combat, feuding over who will get to eat me. Neither are my friend. Both would happily kill one another and me. I don't care which I hit.

B) A bugbear and the party rogue, disguised as a bugbear, are in melee combat. The bugbear would attack me, the rogue would not. I can't tell which is which, but happen to select the real bugbear as my target when I attack.

C) A bugbear and a disguised rogue are side by side. Neither are currently in melee, but both are armed and suspicious. Both have a readied action that if anyone attacks, they'll melee one another. I choose to attack, and trigger the readied actions in the process.

D) A bugbear and that one Chaotic-Stupid rogue are engaged in melee combat. The bugbear would attack me, the rogue would remain an ally- probably. No disguises. I don't care which I hit. Seriously; an 'Accident' would be perfectly fine here. Please.

E) A bugbear and the party monk are engaged in melee combat. The bugbear would attack me. The monk would not; He has Deflect Arrows, and sincerely doesn't care if I hit him by accident. I don't care which I hit.

F) A bugbear and a Lawful-Stupid monk are engaged in melee combat. The bugbear would attack me. The monk would not attack me- Unless I miss the bugbear. He has Deflect Arrows, Snatch Arrows, and Throw Back Arrows. If I hit the bugbear, the monk will remain an ally. If I miss, he will be my enemy. If, somehow, he counts as being targeted, he'll throw it right back. In spite of my best interests, I choose to be Chaotic-Stupid and go for it anyways.

Scenarios A through F; Which are fine, and which are friendly?

Bonus Round)
The monk from scenario F and the rogue from scenarios B&C , are in melee combat. The rogue is disguised as the monk, and has betrayed the party. Same rules as F apply for the monk. I attack, and question my life choices and judgement of character.

Would also like to see some clarification.

My take on how it's Intended to work:

- Influence is not 'reset' every 24 hours, hence you don't risk going comatose by not meeting your scheduled seance on the exact same hour every day, and you're capable of achieving the stated maximum of 6 influence.

- Influence penalty from LEGENDS work as written. Biggest tradeoff for having 6 points of influence available; Near constant penalty, until you exhaust the influence.

- Influence penalty from the Spirit(Su) class feature is not applied at all. It doesn't make sense flavor-wise if you rule it to apply either way; Either you'd be getting an initiative penalty from having a stronger bond with 'yourself', or you'd be getting a bonus to saving throws against possession when you lose touch with 'yourself'. Skip both.

I like the thought- I was simply hoping there was something in there already. Given there are plenty of other area effects such as walls, a burst centered on self, cones, lines, etc, I was hoping that the issue was already covered somewhere.

You'd think having mastery over the elements meant not accidentally frying your rogue's hide, or magnetizing the fighter... Or freezing yourself solid.

(Wait, Cryokinetic stasis...)

What a shame... That eliminates some uses of Ride The Blast that I was hoping for. Thank you for the response.

Does a blast with the Cloud, wall, or other form infusion, also damage a kineticist that is caught in its area? Is there a way around it?

I like the idea of using Ride The Blast to appear in the middle of a Blizzard cloud, obscured and dangerous, but I don't want to be buffeted by my own powers!

Perhaps I missed a feat somewhere that acts like the Selective Spell metamagic?

As far as I understand, Using stealth does not guarantee the flat-footed condition, but is a useful tool for initiating that surprise round and first round of combat in your favor. It does not allow you to attack an enemy that's already in combat and strike as if they are flat-footed to you, regardless of whether they were aware of you to start with.

As for the whole of Total Concealment benefits, I'm a tad unclear about that myself. That's what I'm looking up next. At the very least, they'll have trouble targeting you.

Thanks guys! Much appreciated! No wonder most of the threads I found were from 2011-2013.

Heyo. Asking this because my search-fu has only yielded many older, long threads with regards to attacking from stealth, and I haven't quite found a conclusive statement.

Is attacking from stealth still debated? Does a character that chooses to attack after using stealth (Say using the Hide In Plain Sight ability) get any bonus or deny the opponent their dexterity?

It seems the PRD still has the "It's impossible to use Stealth while attacking" quote, but I'm not sure if the 'Breaking Stealth' section is a newer addition or otherwise not present when the above was discussed years ago.

Hmmm.... You appear to be right, Chess Pwn. At least that's one thing clarified.

And @James Risner ... Alright. I take it from that answer that any attack that counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming magic damage reduction will thus count as a magical attack.

Guess that solves the issue, if true.

What counts as a nonmagical attack? What counts as a magical attack? Is an attack that overcomes magic DR automatically considered a magical attack?

Here are some examples I'd like clarified:

A) An attack by a fighter with a +1 longsword
B) A level 4 Monk's unarmed strike (w/ ki pool)
C) A natural attack by a creature w/ DR/magic
D) An attack using the spell Stone Discus

For reference you may want to consider the rules for Incorporeal creatures and Damage reduction.

There are also several effects in the game that reference nonmagical attacks, but don't necessarily cause one to become incorporeal. See a Breeze-kissed Sylph , or Subjective Reality from Occult Origins (Though the latter can be debated). This question only exists because most of the above claim to be magical "for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction".

Trimalchio wrote:
It isn't really specified what they look like from outside and whether an astral traveler could just walk on in into one, it's really the purview of the DM,

..."Extradimensional" or "Nondimensional" should cover that, I would think. Likewise, there would be no overlap, as the demiplane's space is not part of, overlapping, or shared with the plane it's housed in. It has no space within that plane of existence.

Chess Pwn wrote:
the rule is if you have a pole arm, at the end of your turn you decide if you hold it to threaten at reach or if you hold it as an improved club to threaten at close. So what you do on your turn has no bearing on what you're required to do off your turn, unless something lasts longer than just your turn and lasts the entire round.


I suppose I was wrong / not as updated on that as I thought. You're right, you could choose to wield something differently as a free action after your attacks are made.

I withdraw my points and submit my apology. Sorry.

I was struggling to find the relevant one... I feel there's a rule out there, but my search-fu is weak. The closest thing I could find was a similar argument with regards to polearms and spiked gauntlets/armor spikes.

In short, if you used your reach weapon that turn, you could not make an AoO using your armor spikes or spiked gauntlet; You've already chosen the weapon you were using this turn.

I was trying to point out that using a buckler as a weapon would fall under a similar category. Because you've chosen to use it as a weapon, this turn, it's a weapon. It disqualifies the use of precise strike with your falcata. (Though of course you may still AoO with it).

Try looking at the Shielded Gauntlet style feat. It's very similar in nature, and I assume d20pfsrd has managed to copy it precisely (I don't own the book).


Well, I suppose the first thing we can agree upon is that the Forbiddance would not affect other planes of existence. Correct?

I suppose you're right about the Secret Chest thing. However, I'm not seeing at all where you derive your second response from.

The demiplane is extradimensional; It has no dimension- neither volume, nor place, nor the ability to 'see into it'- from another plane. It exists outside of that plane's dimensions, whatever those may be. Whatever dimensions you can assume a traveler to possess in that plane of existence, this demiplane does not possess, so there's no such thing as 'seeing into it' from the Ethreal. The only ways to get a defined opening into the demiplane is through spells like Gate.

I would make the same argument for a demiplane in the Astral, even though the astral is described as having 'motes' to other planes. Whatever you describe this mote to be, the demiplane's does not have any dimension and thus shouldn't be perceivable.

PRD; Wondrous Items, Ultimate Equipment wrote:

Extradimensional Spaces
A number of spells and magic items utilize extradimensional spaces, such as rope trick, bags of holding, handy haversacks, and portable holes. These spells and magic items create a tiny pocket space that does not exist in any dimension. Such items do not function, however, inside another extradimensional space. If placed inside such a space, they cease to function until removed from the extradimensional space. For example, if a bag of holding is brought into a rope trick, the contents of the bag of holding become inaccessible until the bag of holding is taken outside the rope trick. the only exception to this is when a bag of holding and a portable hole interact, forming a rift to the astral plane, as noted in their descriptions.

Emphasis mine.

Odd...I would have ruled it otherwise. Yes, in the core rulebook, it does state clearly that demoralize does not create a stronger fear condition. But would that not be bypassed by the skill unlock, which simply imposes X condition regardless of what their last fear condition (or lack thereof) was? It's not going through a progression like many other fear effects... It's applying that condition. period. And it's specific > general. You've unlocked that capability.

It does not make sense to me that the skill unlock would force you to wait out the 3+ rounds before attempting to frighten again. What if they were shaken due to another source? Would this skill unlock not make the Enforcer feat a liability, if it were ruled that way?

I'd rule that you'd never get more than 1 round of Frightened, naturally, but that each successful demoralize exceeding the DC by 10 Will grant the chance to impose it again (With another Will save).

See the other FAQ mentioned.

With the two combined, we know that:

1) A light source does not permeate into the area of darkness. (It does not illuminate that area)
2) You cannot see a light source through an area of darkness.

It's not a major leap to assume that if you're inside the area, you can't see light outside of it. Look into the rules in the prd for Darkness, and Blymurkla is correct in taking the literal stance that within that darkness, a character without darkvision is effectively blinded

Line of effect is not blocked. Line of sight is blocked, either because you can go the rational way and say 'the combination of these two FAQs suggests that light from an external source does not reach me in this spell area'... Or because you're effectively blinded, as per the environmental rules.

Unfortunately, from what I remember the last time I've seen this come up on the forums, the answer seems to be 'no'. This talent really was intended to be used with the specific mechanic of concealing a hidden weapon via the Sleight of Hand skill.

A spiked gauntlet might work, with GM's interpretation, but is still debatable. Although it's a light weapon and an object you could potentially conceal, attempting to hide a worn spiked gauntlet bypasses the whole standard action to draw it, and thus avoids a lot of the drawback behind this talent. It's also debatable whether you can conceal something you're wearing.

Unarmed strikes are a hard no, unless the GM rules you can use stealth or invisibility to be considered a 'hidden weapon'.

Oh...Then I would think that would be a clear 'no'. There's nothing in the ability's description to suggest the hunter is capable of changing the aspect on himself without sacrificing the duration; You're selecting a new animal focus as a swift action.

The only time that wording is used is for the animal companion, which has a permanent duration, or when your animal companion is dead, in which case yours is permanent. I'd suggest that the word "Change" in the following quote...

PRD wrote:
The hunter can select or change the animal aspects on both herself and her animal companion as part of the same swift action.

... Refers to those instances.

I'd wager "Yes" to the first question, but "No" for the second. The reason; They've attacked with a weapon in their other hand (The buckler, specifically). They could, however, make the AoO with their buckler and apply precise strike.

It's a situation too similar to the FAQ for two-handed weapons. You've already decided what you're attacking with that turn, and your buckler has been used as a weapon.

It's a swift action. So, yes, you can change which animal focus you want on your next turn. Of course, you normally can't have more than one active, so it's assumed the previous effect ends. You are wasting whatever time was left in the last minute's duration.

I don't have a rule in front of me to suggest that's how all activated time increments work, but I'm sure you'd be hard pressed to find a GM that rules it otherwise.

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Blymurkla wrote:
But I figure, maybe this is one of those times the designers assumed their readers are reasonable, rational humans with experience of the real world. Like the condition Dead not stating that you can't take actions. Maybe the designers intended GMs to use their own judgement on the subject.

+1 to that. The rules are similarly fuzzy when it comes to using the perception skill at a very far range, such as spotting a castle on the horizon, a mountain or even the moon. Instead of adding +528 to the DC per mile, use a GM's judgement.

Of course, if I were GM, I'd probably associate some sort of penalty to literally not being able to see your own hands are. But your target is: Not using stealth, perfectly well lit, and fully visible. Even if your GM were to be a jerk and suggest you can't find your quiver or aim down a crossbow, they definitely do not have concealment towards you.

Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding the question, but I don't imagine Demiplanes actually occupying space on the ethereal plane (and thus not the material plane, either). They're extradimensional spaces. Thus, if a Demiplane has Forbiddance cast on it, that spell's effect occupies that demiplane alone, and not the material or ethereal.

Edit: To clarify, think of a Demiplane with a Gate as any other extradimensional space with a portal, such as the space within a bag of holding, or a mage's magnificent mansion spell. Now, eliminate that entrance. That's your demiplane by default- completely inaccessible except for whatever spell, Gate, or similar effect you use to force a new connection. Until then, nothing from either the material plane or the ethereal plane affects it at all, nor can it affect other planes.

Usually, when such a connection is made, the spell or effect that makes it describes what can and can't pass through. However, I'd still argue that there's no such thing as a bleed-out effect that creeps through a Gate from one plane of existence to the next, especially since a demiplane has no dimension within the ethereal at all.

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Since we're likely dealing with a spell similar to Darkness or Deeper Darkness, consider the FAQ...

FAQ wrote:

Darkness: Can a nonmagical light source increase the light level within the area of darkness if the light source is outside the spell's area?

No. Nonmagical light sources do not increase the light level within the spell's area, regardless of whether the light source is in the area or outside the area.

If I interpret correctly, then No, the human would not see outside of the area because light from the torch is incapable of permeating that area. Anything outside the area is just as dark(or dim) to him as the area within.

EDIT: Of course I could be Not a moron, and look at the FAQ Directly Afterwards...

FAQ wrote:

Darkness: Can I see light sources through an area of darkness?

No. If a darkness spell reduces the light in the area to actual darkness (or supernatural darkness, if using a more powerful spell), you can't see through the darkness into what is beyond it.

..Meh...Whatever. Question answered right? -.-

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(Upon being attacked) "Oh, that one's going to cost you an arm and a leg..."
(Upon casting an offensive AoE spell) "Clearance sale! Everything must go!"
(Upon making an overhead strike) "Customer Satisfaction Guillotined!"
(Upon dodging a swing) "Hey! No refunds!"
(To the halfling) "...But you're already half off!"

...You have a paladin that wants to outright kill a creature you've captured? Tisk... Not very paladin-like. Not a good sign. And I'd guess he doesn't have touch of truthtelling prepared, either.

At least the heal skill is useful. Or it would be, if you actually had time to torture. Looks like your only option is to go for old fashioned roleplay, and a few well-placed punches. Best hope your bluff is good... Else you're better off just offering him a quicker and less painful death.

First off, the above posts would normally be correct in any game I've played; When a creature is under threat of death, it's basically the GM's job to know what the enemy has to say or is willing to say before the ax drops. It's fairly strange for a creature to be so reluctant;y tight-lipped up 'till the bitter end, but still willing to answer Specific questions.

So... First major questions for You and the group:
Who has the best Knowledge(arcana), Knowledge(religion) or any other Knowledge or Spellcraft checks?

You should be asking the GM first what you know about:
- Storm Hags
- The Birds
- The Orb
- The use of children (pertaining to either hags' diets OR spells/rituals)
- Covens
- This particular fiend that you're trying to interrogate.

As a general guideline of what to ask your prisoner:

-All your questions made in your first post, worded more or less the same.
-Why do you work for and/or support the storm hag?
-How did you first encounter the hag?
- What is the storm hag's main motive and/or purpose here?
- What exactly happened to the previous adventurers? (As many details as you can on this- it sounds like it might be your GM's main hint.)

To be completely honest, judging by the how the original poster describes it, it sounds like this GM has either assigned the task of 'what to ask' to the players or just doesn't have a clear grasp of what the minion should know. That, or they've just determined ahead of time that this creature would prefer death to confessions.

Granted, when you're dealing with a witch, hag, or whole coven, they likely have access to Reincarnation, raise dead and similar spells. If their minion talks, it could be Animate Dead instead...

Agreed. You've already spent an exploit on the matter... Don't sacrifice an entire class level, putting your spellcasting a whole spell level behind the wizard.

You already have the ability to use metamagic feats as if you were a sorcerer. Look for some other method using feats or other exploits if you want better flexibility or the ability to use them without expending a higher slot. Retrain your school understanding exploit into something else when it becomes a liability.

...Exactly how long are you torturing this guy, and why such a short list of questions? Is this a time sensitive ordeal?

If the GM is being stingy, then it's not likely you're actually going to get anything out of this guy before death. This seems like it will strongly depend on the GM's style.

What skills do you guys possess to help? Heal checks will allow you to properly torture your victim, and intimidation is vital. Alternatively, you could probably come up with some sort of Bluff that involves sparing the creature's life in exchange for information, and possibly 'knocking him out' so that the BBEG is tricked into thinking he was loyal to the end. Or just outright Negotiate for his life via diplomacy.

What level are you guys at, and how likely is it that your GM has fabricated his own custom ritual for this scenario?

Jeraa wrote:
You do know that spell-like abilities are defined in several area, right? What does the Magic chapter of that core rulebook say? Because that is where I know it says that spell-like abilities have no components.

No components, BUT definitely some visible magical effects. Just to be clear. You can't use Charm Person like as an SLA completely invisibly... There still exists something clearly magical going on.

FAQ that relates

I haven't actually Played an occultist yet, but I've been planning one this last week...

Illusion at mid-levels will grant you Shadow Beast, for some decent summons that don't stop at early spell levels. Unfortunately, Conjuration's servitors quickly lose relevance.

Transmutation has Quickness, which is why you'll probably want it at early levels. Being able to touch an ally with a haste spell at level 5 gives you a solid buff for your group's fighter at the same time a wizard would normally get it. With a touch more added defense, at that.

Abjuration as one of your first implements is also useful for providing a Shield to a two-handed (or two-weapon) melee character.

It's not my flavor, but I'm sure many will argue for the Necromancy. Needing only a coin as your implement, and the ability to make a long-lasting servant, will probably serve you well.

As for spells...judge for yourself. Abjuration will likely be taken early for the sole purpose of grabbing Shield for yourself, for some tankiness w/ a bonus to con and Mind Barrier. Conjuration lets you become the team healer, but I recommend it early. Else, its servitors quickly become useless for anything combat related. Transmutation's liberating command is a good one too.

Don't worry about utility either. Both the exploiter wizard and the occultist would need Quick Study to reliably use some niche utility spells, and both are more likely to have some more combat-worthy spell prepared otherwise. The occultist is the only one that has some Amazing summoning power though, capable of dragging a single summons from one fight to the next at later levels. The daily augury and other free spells are a pretty neat boon too.

Again, not sure if this is PFS legal... but Grab the half elf's Paragon Surge spell. Choose a feat that gives you access to some unique summons, like Summon Good Monster. Choose to summon a Lyrakien from bestiary 2. You now have access to ALL knowledge skills And Truespeech. And more. Do it again, this time after you've taken the Evolved Summoned Monster feat. You now have access to Any knowledge check... +16.

Unfortunately, I'm taking quite a literal stance on this question. The literal reading shows you never get to have that choice (Between the now removed mutagen or the new experimental mutagen) in the first place, because the condition on which you get to make that choice is never met

If your argument is that you should read beyond that "When he creates a mutagen"... Pretend that doesn't exist as a condition to use this ability... Then you are on the wrong forum. If you are arguing that it would be the rules as intended, but not as written, feel free to try and convince your GM of that.

Missed that bit about not being allowed to take the mutagen alchemist discovery. Damn. My mistake

..I disagree that the experimental mutagen ability can be used on its own. Unfortunately, even though you get the experimental mutagen ability, it's still phrased to be dependent on the mutagen ability.

"The researcher decides when he creates the mutagen ..."

It only comes into play when you create a mutagen. Since you are no longer capable of creating one, you no longer have the option to decide, and the rest of the ability is moot.

IF is accurate on these two archetypes, they stack.
Neither have abilities that claim they replace, alter or modify the same class feature, despite the description of Experimental Mutagen. Archetype rules are that you can take multiple, so long as they don't overlap in that way.

IF you take both, you do not gain your experimental mutagen, since you are at no point deciding to create the regular mutagen.

IF you take the Mutagen alchemist discovery, it functions as the class ability. You are then capable of making the standard mutagen, and thus capable of deciding if you want to make an experimental mutagen.

The mutagen alchemist discovery states...

PRD; Alchemist, Spellcasting Class Options, Ultimate Magic wrote:

(This discovery exists so alchemist archetypes who have variant mutagens, such as the mindchemist, can learn how to make standard mutagens.)

Arguably, this discovery is able to be taken in spite of the archetype that has replaced the original mutagen class ability.

Not a PFS player, but still strongly recommend the occultist archetype!
Honestly, your main drawback are the spell levels. Wizards will always get the next spells a class level earlier. The Occultist, at the very least, gets their monster summoning even earlier than regular spells of the same level. Plus, standard action summons that last quite long! If I'm not mistaken, that means they also attack on the turn you summon them. All the other free spells are just gravy.

Of course. Apologies, I think I managed to overlook that bit.

It's not the description of the experimental mutagen. It's when you create one:

"The researcher decides when he creates the mutagen if it is a standard mutagen (which gives no benefit if another creature drinks it) or an experimental mutagen (which does)"

Since you are no longer creating the standard mutagen, you never get to the point where you're deciding between then two. Therefore, you create neither.

If you're hoping to still get an experimental mutagen along with the companion, you may be out of luck. Otherwise, assuming that d20pfsrd's entry for both of these archetypes is accurate, they seem to stack. Again, you just won't have a mutagen.

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I was mostly kidding. But if you insist...

Tatoos would be an effective way to write spells across your body, so long as you're only inking in the magical writing and not a spell completion effect or something else possible via the Inscribe Magical Tatoo feat. I'd recommend Craft(Calligraphy) or something similar for the effect. Silk or cloth wrappings work just as well. Naturally, this all comes at the normal price for creating magical writings plus whatever relevant items (ink, or dye) are needed. Edit: Be aware you need to study your spellbook... so have a mirror handy!

A Fan (or Fighting Fan) may not be the best martial weapon in the hands of a wizard, but it's light enough to carry around. Why not have a gust of wind written across its blades?

A Scrying spell requires multiple pages. However, if you can manage to condense or otherwise store that information on the back of a handmirror, you have a spell and focus in one!

A blanket is a grand tapestry just begging to be made into a giant spell page. Here's the thing; Write everything you need to prepare Treasure Stitching on one side of it, and it already qualifies as that spell's material component. Why? Because it's got some expensive magic writing on it, making it worth over 100gp!

Ever wanted to wield your own totem in combat? Find a tree large enough, and with enough work, you can chisel an entire spellbook's worth of information into its form. Shrink Item makes it into a neat quarterstaff to use as a walking stick or even weapon. In an emergency, extending it outwards can save you from a trap that's making those walls close in. Or to cross a river. Or to squish a house. Just be careful not to be dispelled!

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