Caedwyr's page

2,765 posts (2,767 including aliases). 6 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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This is getting flagged by Windows Defender as a misleading file that will attempt to redirect me to bad stuff. Might be worth taking a look to see if something has happened or if it is just a false positive.

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Gorbacz wrote:
Ranger is a person with bow (or twin scimitars) and a pet. That's the Core Identity of the class. Anything beyond that is projecting your personal preferences that aren't shared by people who associate the D&D range with the above archetype.

This is the description of a npc class warrior, not a pc class. I would ask, what roles do Paizo intend the Ranger to fill in an adventure path. Why choose a ranger in a roleplaying (that also includes non-combat encounters) over another class?

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Gorbacz wrote:
Ranger is a person with bow (or twin scimitars) and a pet. That's the Core Identity of the class. Anything beyond that is projecting your personal preferences that aren't shared by people who associate the D&D range with the above archetype.

This is the description of a npc class warrior, not a pc class. I would ask, what roles do Paizo intend the Ranger to fill in an adventure path. Why choose a ranger in a roleplaying (that also includes non-combat encounters) over another class?

This strikes me as a solution looking for a problem. 5e has produced a lot less content than Paizo seems inclined to do and the Paizo adventures tend to be better quality as well. While I'm sure there will be some conversion in the PF 2e direction, I suspect that the similarities will mean that more will go in the other direction. Whether or not that is good for PF2e or Paizo as a whole is a separate discussion.

The similarities you point out will also mean that selling people on choosing PF2e over D&D 5e will become a more challenging task since 5e is already established. If Paizo can steal the audience with a more popular product ut will be great for Paizo. If not then I can see some challenges ahead depending on the planned publication strategy.

@Mathmuse: Thank you for the comments as to where I might find the information I was looking for.

Since it appears that Paizo hasn't shared this information as part of the playtest, might I suggest it would make for a good blog post to show off the new system. They can help set the expectations for what a character can be expected to do and then show off how a class or classes meets those expectations.

One of the things touched on by Jason in the recent podcast is that PF1E was not an easy system to teach to new players and part of that was due to the difficulty in building a character and how easy it could be to build a thematic character with a very low to non-existent chance to succeed in a range of level appropriate challenges. I think it would be very helpful to show off how the skill floor has been raised to make the game more approachable for new players or people not interested in powergaming and character building.

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Did Paizo ever make a post regarding the class balance design principles? I.e., something explaining what goals the classes were expected to be able to achieve at different levels or throughout the game. What areas and how many gameplay areas each class was expected to be able to participate and make a level appropriate contribution.

For example to help explain what I'm looking for

"Game designers have identified 5 main categories of things that characters do in a story. Classes are expected to be able to make level appropriate contributions to 2-3 of each of these areas. Areas are

1. Gnarly stuff
2. Floofy stuff
3. Tubular stuff
4. Chill stuff
5. Wicked stuff

Feel free to insert your own gameplay categories of stuff into these 5, I just don't want to get bogged down in arguments about if the 5 categories I identify are the ones most players expect.

I'm just trying to get a feel for how and why the game was put together the way it was. I've read through the blog posts I can find, but most of them seem to be more about what is presented in the previews and less about the why and how it fits into the other stuff to achieve a core design goal. I figure I'm just missing a blog post or developer post, or maybe a podcast discussion on this.


Most files are dated 2017, but there are some with a date of 2018. The organization and layout is much improved over the 2012 version.

FYI, there also appear to be some temporary file versions of some of the bestiary files in the folders. Also, I notice that a number of the bestiary word documents have different creatures in the .docx that aren't mentioned in the filename (see aarakocra which also has kenku+tengu). For the organized/more final version I assume you'll be making the organization clearer or the connections between the different monster entries on the same page clearer.

I really like what you've done here with the bestiary. The pieces are much better balanced on a general level than many of the other "build your own monster" systems.

Thanks for the clarification.

From the Creation spell seed example above, are nonliving, mundane, and harmless system keywords or are they general English vocabulary?

Control weather is probably one of the best ways to do the most damage with a druid. Large area, long duration, no saving throw or spell resistance. A number of the effects persist long after the spell duration expires.

There was a recent discussion that might be relevant to some of your recent tinkerings/thoughts on the skill system. I realize that you've made a fair bit of progress in this area, but there might be some useful insights to help any further revisions.

Fourshadow wrote:

This isn't Cerulean Seas' Product Discussion thread...really doesn't belong.

Also, Paizo doesn't need to keep track of what someone else created. Paizo is Pathfinder, basically. Others can create, hence the license, but Paizo doesn't have to recognize other products as canon.

This misses the point of what I was attempting to communicate, but I will take the hint and get lost.

Rysky wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
I hope that Paizo doesn't reinvent the wheel again with Aquatic Adventures and instead borrows some of what works from Cerulean Seas and similar products. Or if they do decide to retread well walked paths they produce something superior. More underwater content is always welcome.

To expand, in the past when paizo has covered content that was previously covered by another publisher they have typically recreated all that content as though no one else has ever done something (in scientific sense, they don't do literature searches). In some cases in the past several years, this has resulted in the paizo solution being rather poor (see gun rules) compared to what had already been done by others for the Pathfinder system. More recently, they have seemed to do less of that, of which as David knott 242 notes, Occult Adventures does something new compared to Psionics Unleashed. It is my hope that they either adopt some of the underwater adventure systems provided in Cerulean Seas, don't rush in to fill those gaps with a different system just for the sake of being different, or even take a system provided by others and improve upon it.

The addition of designers like Alex Augunas, Mark Seifter, and Owen Stephens who have a broad knowledge of 3rd party products is probably a contributing factor to why we've seen more of the second and third options on my list, and that makes me happy.

A great 3rd party example of that is actually the Cerulean Seas books and how they handle a lot of Paizo content. Other good examples include the Leadership Handbook, Ultimate War and Ultimate Battle (and many other Legendary Games products), Ultimate Charisma, Companions of the Firmament, and many others I can't recall at the moment.

So this post is really more of a saying "I hope paizo continues to follow recent practices and do their literature search/research on what is already out there for this content, and then build on that foundation or take inspiration/improve what others have done." This seems to produce higher quality products which I am all for.

To add to my previous lists, there is some great underwater adventure content by Kobold Press: Sunken Empires that is worth taking a look at as well for inspiration.

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For those wanting high quality underwater and water proximal adventuring content, Cerulean Seas has you covered:

Cerulean Seas - The core underwater adventure book, with a mini campaign setting as well.
Waves of Thought - Adds psionics (think Dreamscarred Press) to the underwater adventures presented in Cerulean Seas.
Indigo Ice - Polar seas and sea-proximal adventure content. Features the majestic and bloodthirsty penguin empire.
The Azure Abyss - Deep ocean adventures in the twilight and dark realms. There are elements of the underdark here, but also much more.
Celadon Shores - Features more content focusing on Eastern-inspired civilizations, mostly around shallow seas, lakes, and rivers this time in a flooded world.
Beasts of the Boundless Blue - Bestiary for all of the above. Each book previously mentioned has an incredible bestiary in it, and this collects a number of previously published creatures and adds a whole bunch more. The awesome:filler ratio is pretty good in this one too.

I hope that Paizo doesn't reinvent the wheel again with Aquatic Adventures and instead borrows some of what works from Cerulean Seas and similar products. Or if they do decide to retread well walked paths they produce something superior. More underwater content is always welcome.

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Spellbooks & Scrolls Variant Rules might be of interest to the OP.

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The Samurai resolve ability does not work as intended when using the determined function

Samurai, Resolve: Determined wrote:
Determined: As a standard action, the samurai can spend one use of his resolve to remove the fatigued, shaken, or sickened condition. If the samurai is at least 8th level, he can alternatively remove the exhausted, frightened, nauseated, or staggered condition. If the condition has a duration longer than 1 hour or is permanent, this ability removes the condition for 1 hour, at which time the condition returns.

Bolded text is important:

Note that the nauseated condition says the following:

Nauseated wrote:
Nauseated: Creatures with the nauseated condition experience stomach distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move actions per turn.

Bolded text is important. Also, the section "actions" in the bolded sentence should be "action".

As such, the Resolve: Determined ability is unable to remove the naseauted condition because the naseuated condition prevents the use of standard actions.

Kalindlara wrote:
knightnday wrote:
I suggest flagging it. We don't have a thread crapping/thread jacking flag, so I'd suggest spam or one of the other open ended flags.
I've used the spam flag for this on particularly egregious occasions. ^_^

This issue for this response, is that it treats the moderation system as a profanity filter. It doesn't stop the offending behaviour. The person who's post gets removed probably doesn't even notice or care since it was a contentless post anyways. And it is just as likely to get the thread closed due to there being too many off-topic posts. This has repeated often enough at this site for a pattern to emerge.

If posting off-topic is against the rules but the rule is repeatedly broken then either the rule should change or the enforcement should change. Right now the situation is that there is an unequal enforcement of the rule such that it looks like an excuse to shut down threads that someone would rather not continue and less like a rule designed to foster positive engagement/discussion on the forums.

Note that off-topic posting isn't actually called out specifically in the Community Guidelines, although there is a heading for Spam which might fit. Sort of. If you tilt your head and squint. Either way, that should probably be clarified.

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captain yesterday wrote:
I absolutely do it on purpose, to break the tension.

I take it then that you disagree with Jiggy's critique of such behaviour and how it enables poor behaviour or as Hayato Ken discussion of how such is frequently indistinguishable from attempts to take the thread off-topic (to either kill the thread, or shout down a discussion the poster does not want to continue).

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@Captain Yesterday: Have you read Jiggy's excellent post over in the other thread in Website Feedback that has been getting some attention? While you may think you are helping by making jokes and keeping the stress level down, your behaviour also comes off as very dismissive and an attempt to distract or move the thread off-topic from the discussion at hand. Given Paizo's rules on thread-off topicness, this could put the thread at risk of being closed, while there still appears to be appetite for further discussion. With this in mind, please reconsider the appropriateness of your behaviour in this thread.

Paizo's privacy policy is actually listed on every single page at the bottom.

I will leave the discussion of its contents to others. This thread and the outcome is one I am watching closely, as I imagine are a number of others.

Skeld wrote:
137ben wrote:
Skeld wrote:

As you know, Rysky, common sense isn't defined in the rules.

Nor in the real world. Yes, Aristotle postulated the existence of a "common sense." Aristotle also believed the earth was the center of the universe, and that the universe was made up of four elements. Aristotle wasn't a scientist, and, as it turned out, a lot of his beliefs were wrong.

You might as well say "The rules are easy to use if you use your knowledge of a flat earth!"
It's complete BS. The fact that we still have people in the 21st century who believe in "Common Sense"/Geo-centrism/Flat Earth/that NASA faked the moon landings is depressing.
What feels like "common sense" to you is
a)Likely to be the opposite of what feels like "common sense" for other people, and
b)Has a good chance of being factually wrong.

Yawn. You appear to be taking my comments seriously or something.


Thank you for your contributions to the conversation.

Cerulean Seas: Waves of Thought and Cerulean Seas: Indigo Ice also contains some additional psionic material, although aimed at adventuring in undersea environments. They are both based on the Dreamscarred Press psionics.

Waves of Thought has the following psionic material:

Psionic races

  • Amphian: Humanoid top half, clownfish bottom half. Charismatic nomad society loosely based on Romani stereotypes.
  • Thalassic Asrai: Plane-touched (plane of water) humanoids with the appearance of sea-elves. Gender is superficial and not related to procreation. Calm, peaceful, soft-spoken, until they are not.
  • Melusine: Eel-like lower body with an armored humanoid upper body. Elongated skull (think Protoss from Starcraft). They have complicated genetics and offspring of varying levels of intelligence.
  • Merkoth: Octopus lower half with a humanoid upper body and face. They despise the company of other members of their race. Their young are raised by foster parents from other races.
  • Benethic Naga: Underwater psionic naga with coloration akin to a sea snake and a more reptilian top half. Secretive.
  • Zef: Psionic squid-like mollusk parasite which uses another race of humanoid snails as host bodies.
  • Seafolk Half-Races: Seafolk cross-breeds of Amphians, Melusine, Benethic Naga.

Psionic Classes
Aquanaut: Uses psychometabolic disciplines to alter their bodies and take on characteristics and mutations based on the sea life around them. Full-BAB frontliners or skirmishers.

Psionic Prestige Classes
Current Adept: Half-BAB class that focuses on using telekinetics to control their environment around them for movement, attack, and defense.
Shark Incarnate: Full-BAB melee class with psionic abilities themed around sharks.

Indigo Ice has the following psionic prestige classes:

Cyrokineticist: 3/4 BAB psionic character themed around ice/cold.

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
See though, that is crazy logic in PFS

No, it really isn't.

If you're fighting 1st level Druids with +3 to hit and 2d6+1 damage, you don't power attack. Maybe you swing for nonlethal at -4.

If you're against two balors, you bring out the dazing maximized chain lightnings or whatever cheese you have.

A response that is commiserate to the challenge before you and that gives other's a chance to contribute is far more enjoyable than ending the fight before it begins so there is no risk to the party.

This strikes me as a situation where some view combat as war that should be won as quickly and decisively as possible with minimal risk taken while others view combat as a sport where you want an enjoyable bit of competition and suspense as to who might win. Neither is wrong, but they are different playstyles.

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Possible errata required:

Petrifern, Petrify (Ex) ability wrote:

A petrifern can petrify itself as a standard action in order to defend itself from predators. When it does so, the petrifern's natural armor bonus to AC increases by 5, it gains resistance 10 to cold and fire, and it can take 20 on Stealth checks to appear as a sprout or fallen tree branch.

While petrified, the petrifern can't move or take any actions. A petrifern can remain petrified indefinitely, and can cease its petrification as a standard action.

The two bolded sections contradict each other and do not seem to be written in a way that a plain-English reading of the text could infer that one is an exception to the other. This text needs something else to make it more clear that the only action a Petrifen can take while petrified is a standard action to end the petrification.

Keep in mind that when using informal language (which shows up in a lot of rules text in pathfinder) arrow could just as easily refer to the shape such as → and not a physical weapon.

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The Sword wrote:

The GM shouldn't be spluttering.

A key skill of a DM is to know your party.

This does create a situation where it is difficult for new GMs to take on the role since it requires such in depth knowledge of how the game mechanics work and how they can influence the story. I know from personal experience how off-putting that can be.

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They have also historically done almost no marketing/advertising at all, at least on the sites I visit. Which is a shame, since their stuff is so high quality and deserves to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Firewarrior44 wrote:

Related to Caedwyr's querry could the social duels subsystem be used to mundanely convince the evil necromancer to not murder the party?

How extensive is that subsystem?

Very clever: You have correctly predicted some of the advice in one of the sections (after a successful Diplomacy, potentially using influence, relationships, verbal duels, or even a full-scale social conflict to convince her).

Thanks for the extra info Mark.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Skeld wrote:

  • Diplomacy is not mind control.

People thought Diplomacy was mind control?


Edit: Next thing you'll be telling me that people think charm person is mind control!

This is something I'd like to know. Just how limits does the Diplomacy skill and the charm person spell have, according to UI?

I'll take Diplomacy.

The basic points are that just because someone is friendly or helpful, doesn't mean they're going to change their own behaviours. Evil necromancer queen might like you a lot, so she turns you into a free-willed undead instead of killing you and animating you as a zombie. Nice woman.

Also, the ability to make requests without annoying the subject doesn't mean they have to do what you ask, just that the act of asking them hasn't pissed them off, and they'll consider your request in a positive way. Even so, asking evil necromancer queen not to kill the rest of your party, pretty please with a cherry on the top, might be at odds with her sworn oath to kill every living thing in the country, so... well, shucks, you're a wight, how about we make your friends all wight, too?

That's a solid and concise summary, though I'd say that the full description is more on the side of explaining ways to make things happen over time, have the diplomacied character suggest a compromise, etc (mostly since it has more words in it to explain, not because of any shortcoming in the summary).

Would it be accurate then to summarize the advice as constraining the outcomes of the skill system for diplomacy within the mundane and not extending into the fantastic? It sounds from the description above, that silver-tongued tricksters have to rely on magic or supernatural power sources now and cannot achieve the same effect through incredible skill. This is also more consistent with the rest of the skill system and the types of outcomes it allows.

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And then, even worse after having a user-unfriendly initial introduction to the site, the new customer is met with ridicule and hostility from the board veterans.

Freehold DM wrote:
Sorry, but the ninja, as well as the samurai, are too deeply rooted in 2nd ed OA (semi)nonsense for the two to ever be completely divorced. A simple name change isn't going to do it. You're going to need to build a time machine and convince gygax and Co to build a less eurocentric world their first time out.

Why does this apply to the ninja/samurai but not the monk?

Thanks for the extra insight. The description of the Interjection games class systems always makes them seem very complex, but they almost always work out to be much simpler when one has all the information on the paper infront of oneself.

This sounds like a very interesting alternative to the Kineticist? Between the two, which do you prefer?

Yoshu Uhsoy wrote:
Anzyr I am guessing you are a power gamer?

Actually, I think he's a GM.

Athaleon wrote:

I'm not talking about dissociating CHA from NPC interactions, in fact I've argued the opposite on this site before.

I'm talking about the complaint about how a mechanic (Rage cycling) ruins immersion and verisimilitude. Saying "it ruins immersion to have players make their Barbarians turn Rage off and on every turn" means you can't separate the mechanic from the RP. From a purely in-character perspective the Barbarian isn't behaving any differently than normal, or expected.

It depends of course, how you flavour rage in game. If you treat rage as a battle trance, then at higher levels the ability to rage cycle could be flavoured as gaining a greater mastery over the battle concentration and allowing the barbarian to more easily slip in and out of their battle trance. Rand in the Wheel of Time books goes through a development like this as he gains greater mastery of the "void" concentration technique through the stories.

Ashiel wrote:

Of course, most of it is still just numbers but at least now they suck significantly less than before. Aratrok and my friend Shinta both remarked that they didn't sound that much better but at least if you could pick up an NPC cohort or something as a companion option that'd be cool. EDIT: I'm inclined to agree. It's still pretty much worse than an actual ranger from 7th level+ but maybe if you can take a warrior squire or something that gets the benefits of your weapon/armor training abilities that'd be pretty cool.

At least warrior's bond actually lets you rally and lead folks, or bounce around with a mini-fighter or mount in heavy armor. The loss of spellcasting still isn't worth the +4/+8 but it's at least not the death sentence that is fighters and puts them closer to barbarians in terms of magic resistance.

I still feel like armor training for favored terrain is a bum deal though, so that should probably be tweaked. I can't think of how to make armor training anywhere near as amazing as favored terrain but maybe if we drop some DR onto it as well in addition to it we can begin to heal.

EDIT: It's frustrating that they still don't have much in the way of options since we tossed all their spells. Ehhh, this allergy to magic thing is really holding them back.

You could look at allowing the fighter to pick up different weapon and armor properties at set breakpoint levels in the FE/FT mold that they can apply to their weapons/armor free. Either + equivalencies or from a pre-curated list. Flavour it as the fighter gaining increasing mastery over their equipment granting them the ability to get more out of it.

Or you could have the different breakpoints grant additional equipment tricks to borrow another subsystem.

DarthLang wrote:

I was wondering what exactly Walker among evil protects me from. I was wondering if I should pick it in my wrath of the righteous campaign.

Walker Among Evil
Your purity always remains a blessing, even when you're surrounded by creatures that despise it.

Prerequisites: 5 or more Hit Dice, good alignment.

Benefit: You can alter the essence of your being to lessen the effects of spells designed to harm good creatures. When affected by spells and effects that behave differently according to alignment (such as unholy word or protection from good), you can choose whether you are considered good or neutral. This ability does not actually change your alignment or fool divinations, nor does it permit you to overcome alignment requirements for the use of magic items, class abilities, and so on.

The effect seems to also allow you to change DR X/Evil to just DR X/--. That could be useful in some campaigns.

Imbicatus wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
I imagine it's because a lot of the inspiration for the class came from Avatar's water benders, of which not a single one can breath water.

Or the Furycrafters in Codex Alera, none of which can breath water. Or Marvel's Iceman, who can't breath water.

I can't think of anyone in Fiction or pop culture who can manipulate water who can also breath water, unless they got that ability racially.

Actually, water furycrafters are shown several times to use their water furycraft to allow them to breathe under the water (by making an air pocket).

WormysQueue wrote:

Thanks but TOZ already gave me a link to it :)

And you actually made me curious, so it stands on my to-read-list as of now.

Scavion's link is a more recent version I think. TOZ's link is to the discussion/design thread for Kirthfinder.

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Take a look at Cerulean Seas for how electrical attacks are modified underwater. It has pretty comprehensive rules.

Cerulean Seas, Chapter 6: Magic of the Sea wrote:
Electricity Energy Effects: Electricity is a common element under the ocean, though it assumes a much different form than it does on land. On land, electricity is known for its bright crackling arcs of lightning. While these are not unheard of in an undersea setting, the fact is that the oceans rarely get hit with lightning. The surface water of the sea does not typically heat up enough to cause the positive charge needed for lightning to occur. When it does occur, it is almost always near shore. After lightning hits the water, it disperses in a great and terrible electrical sphere that is as deadly as it is undetectable. The picture this paints of underwater electricity is more commonly exemplified by the electric eel. Instead of flashy and sweeping arcs, electricity is known for its invisible spheres of damage. The lightning bolt of the sea, electrical surge, is actually a small sphere of electricity that travels towards the target, rather than a continuous arc. Aside from a trail of dead plankton and the occasional bubble of steam, this effect is relatively quiet and undetectable compared to its drylander equivalent.
Cerulean Seas, Chapter 6: Magic of the Sea - Electrical Surge wrote:


School evocation [electricity]; Level sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a few scales from an electric eel)
Range 120 ft.
Area 120-ft. line
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Reflex half; Spell Resistance yes
You release a pulse of electrical energy that deals 1d6 points of electricity damage per caster level (maximum 10d6) to each creature within its area. The pulse begins at your fingertips, and moves forward at lightning speed to the end of the area. While the end effect is the same as its surface equivalent "lightning bolt," the source of the damage is basically a five foot diameter sphere of electricity traveling through the extent of the area very quickly rather than a continuous stream of electrical energy arcing from the caster to the target.

The electrical surge can melt metals with a low melting point, such as lead, gold, copper, silver, or bronze. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the pulse may continue beyond the barrier if the spell's range permits; otherwise, it stops at the barrier just as any other spell effect does. Out of water, this spell has a range of touch, with an area of "creature touched".

Based off these two, if you wanted to modify electrical spells in the water when they haven't been designed for the environment, you could make them touch ranged spheres rather than their normal effect.

Most Robin Hood stories also end with Robin Hood leading a rebellion to return the rightful king from his usurper brother.

If you want some good material for underwater adventuring, I'd recommend checking out Cerulean Seas by Alluria Publishing. It has lots of undersea magic, some new equipment, weapons, armor, and magic items as well as rules for underwater combat and hazards. If you are planning on doing much underwater/water proximal adventuring or are looking for some really cool ideas I'd recommend checking it out.

So, here's a question while we are on the topic of honour and paladins. In Pathfinder, is the honour in the paladin code internal honor or external honor? Does the type of honor the paladin must follow depend on if they get their powers from a deity or from a concept? How does the existence of divination powers affect the type of honor?

Or in other words, if a paladin commits a sin, but no one is around, does anyone hear the sound?

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Speaking as a person with less GM experience, I would prefer to have the CR of dragons/outsiders etc reflect their actual capabilities and be consistent in how they are applied compared to other creatures/NPCs. This would make it easier to use them in encounters that I design because it doesn't have a hidden assumption that they are going to be used as a solo monster.

If you want to make it easier for a GM to use as a solo monster, maybe a general rule or template could be designed to help turn a creature/NPC into an appropriate solo monster fight. The PF system already has problems in encounter design for solo fights. Enemies are either too powerful and wipe the floor with the players if they aren't holding the idiot ball, or they are overwhelmed by the action economy.

If you look at how other games treat solo enemy fights, they normally have padded HP, more actions, and attacks/moves that put pressure on the entire party, but not high enough damage/threat that they can one-shot party members. Then again, many games also make their solo enemies hold the idiot ball and not use their abilities to the fullest. Personally, I've always found encounters that involve multiple enemies, terrain, and hazards to be much more interesting and satisfying.

For enemies that normally come in groups, I can see a potential problem in the other direction. Solo they are weaker than normal, but group synergy can raise their threat level above what multiple monsters/npcs would normally provide. I'm guessing you have some sort of adjustment factor to the CR calculations, but if you don't, a tool such as this would make it much easier for GMs to design encounters and have the expected difficulty levels.

Snowlilly wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
If the Efreeti's Wish SLA is HD dependent, when does the Efreeti lose access to it when they are Enervated or Level Drained?

Negative levels do not remove spells, SLAs, etc.

The simulacrum is not suffering from negative levels. It is a lower HD creature.

You still run into this bit of text:

PRD wrote:
You can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent features must be based on the same caster level.

Of course, if we go to Spell-like Abilities we find the following:

PRD Bestiary Universal Monster Rules wrote:
For creatures with spell-like abilities, a designated caster level defines how difficult it is to dispel their spell-like effects and to define any level-dependent variables (such as range and duration) the abilities might have. The creature's caster level never affects which spell-like abilities the creature has; sometimes the given caster level is lower than the level a spellcasting character would need to cast the spell of the same name. If no caster level is specified, the caster level is equal to the creature's Hit Dice. The saving throw (if any) against a spell-like ability is 10 + the level of the spell the ability resembles or duplicates + the creature's Charisma modifier.

Where the bolded text says quite explicitly that lowering caster level doesn't impact the ability of the creature to cast the spells, but it also provides good evidence for Anzyr's argument that abilities not explicitly tied to HD are not modified by Simulacrum.

So, in conclusion I agree that you are correct and that level draining/enervating a monster doesn't prevent them from using their SLAs. It would remove the ability to cast a spell however if the caster level dropped below the required CL to cast the spell. These rule interactions just make creating simulacrums of creatures with lots of non-level/HD dependent SLAs the better choice in many situations. I would suggest that it still leaves the Simulacrum spell pretty much unplayable outside of a GM adjudicated plot device. To make it more usable, it either needs to be modified for both player and GM use, or it needs to be marked similar to artifacts where they are not part of the systems considered open to everyone.

On the more interesting part of the discussion, how would people rewrite Simulacrum so it is actually useable as written in a game without distorting everything?

One of the ideas I've seen is to have spells like Simulacrum, planar binding, create undead, animate dead, planar ally and similar add options to the Leadership rules and run everything under the Leadership system.

Under such a system, Simulacrum would still need to be rewritten to better define what it does and what a half-powered version entails with respect to things that are not explicitly linked to HD. The more complete solution would be to link more things in bestiary stat blocks to HD so the game would give a meaningful response to things like level drain or other effects that play with character level on enemies that don't have any class levels.

If the Efreeti's Wish SLA is HD dependent, when does the Efreeti lose access to it when they are Enervated or Level Drained?

Ashiel wrote:

The most common undead that have urges aren't really a moral issue. Ghouls eat dead things and they prefer them well dead and rotting. Vampires need kill no one. Wights and mummies have no hungers.

So, Ghouls = pak'ma'ra? The suggestion of the text in the bestiary is that they are canabilistic as well as carrion eaters/prefer their meat aged. However, the canabilistic portion is rarely the part that gets called out in discussions and instead the focus tends to be on the carrion eater portion. I'm not really going anywhere with this, I just thought it was an interesting observation of how these types of discussions normally go.

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From my experience with technical writing where it is important to eliminate ambiguity, writing less is often the best approach. It takes more work but you can frequently find a way to communicate a concept or meaning using fewer words with less ambiguity.

Even within the legal community, there is a movement to eliminate legalese as it is difficult to understand and frequently creates additional ambiguity which in turns requires additional text to eliminate.

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