I don't think this is a batter example. ;p
The unaware monsters suddenly get blasted by a fireball. They didn't see it coming, didn't even know there was a mage around. The shock of having their face melted out of nowhere should be enough to justify that they can't act in the surprise round. Sure, they are aware they are being attacked now... they're just too surprised to act (see what I did there? :) )
If he knew that the bats were there before the attack was due to be launched, he has the opportunity to start the combat sequence. He can warn the rest of the party (speaking is a free action that may be taken out of turn) on the surprise round of his own choosing. His fellow PCs will still not be able to act in that round, but the bats can.
Thanks for your answer. Why does shouting a warning start the combat sequence though? And why wouldn't his fellow PCs be able to act (initiative hasn't been rolled yet and thanks to the warning everyone is aware of the bats now).
Title says it all really. The Bane supernatural ability the inq gets at fifth level reads "an inquisitor can imbue one of her weapons with the bane weapon special ability as a swift action." Normally a special ability can only be placed on a magic weapon, but in this case the restriction feels wrong to me.
Also, if indeed the bane ability can be placed on a mundane weapon, does that weapon count as magical for DR/magic?
@Drakkiel - both, really. The rules seemed clear, but seeing two pregens have more known spells than they should is leading to confusion (I'm planning on DM'ing We Be Goblins)
@Angel - In the Ezren write-up, the author states he knows the seven spells in his book in addition to the ones he has prepared. You can check him out here: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/npcCodex/iconic/ezren.html
As for Mogmurch, he indeed has two different extracts prepared from the four he knows. I'd like to know if this is a mistake, in which case I'll ask the person playing him to drop two of the formulas in his book.
I noticed the iconic wizard Ezren starts play with seven spells in his spellbook and two different spells prepared, so he knows nine in total. However, according to the rules, he should start with a total of 3 + Int Bonus (+4)= 7 spells total.
It's the same for Mogmurch, the pregenerated alchemist from We Be Goblins. He should know 2 + Int Bonus (+2) = 4 extract formulas, but his book holds detect undead, jump, reduce person and true strike, while Mogmurch has prepared cure light wounds and shield, for a total of six formulas known.
So it seems I'm missing something... where do the two extra known starting spells/formulas come from? Or did I stumble upon the same mistake made twice in two different official Paizo sources?
Well, still didn't receive my copy. Browsing through my emails, I also noticed that I never got a "this item has been shipped" notice, though I did get the "you paid for this product" one. I think something went wrong as a result of the new S&H policy where they needed my phone number to deliver it.
Please send me my copy,
Okies, I'll give it another month or so. Probably has something to do with the new foreign shipment thingy and the telephone number I had to add to my account info.
Thanks for the help!
Tx - any idea if #26 is still in transit or something?
...I'm starting to wonder, really. While I don't even use PF magic, between the spells and the constant, further, unnecessary oversimplification of rules (like that late prohibition on using Combat Maneuvers during AoO) I can't help but starting to think the only reason Paizo hasn't moved to 4E yet is the tyranical terms of WotC's license.
Funny how quick some people are to declare that Paizo is secretly in love with 4E, just because that person doesn't agree with some of the options Paizo is trying out.
Sure, many people feel the 3.5 magic system isn't too complex. Many others, however, feel it is. I'm one of them. That doesn't make us MMO'ers, just players whose idea of fun is not keeping track of a plethora of modifiers, durations and whatnot.
It doesn't have to be like this. I've played a lot of other systems and none of them suffer from problems like NPCs with spell lists as long as your sleeve. Check out Warhammer FRP for instance - simple, elegant and yet magic is in no way less interesting or special.
What 4E does right, imo, is lessen the number crunching. If Paizo can do the same for 3.5 I would be very happy. A buff limit is an interesting idea, condensing the modifiers another. Maybe the best way to go about it is a lot like 4E does it: give the PCs better stats through leveling, erase all but the most iconic buffs, provide a way to streamline the abilities of NPC casters.
I got an official answer from customer support. Actually, I got a lot of answers, so I'll post my questions first and then the answers.
MY QUESTIONS (pages from the PHB):
1) p. 295: why does it say "Lower than 10: ... If you get this result three times BEFORE YOU TAKE A REST ... "? Can you take a rest while dying???
2) p. 293: What comes first at the start of your turn, regeneration or ongoing damage?
3) Does a versatile one-handed weapon used in two hands qualify as a two-handed weapon for power attack, feats etc? Or does it just give +1 to damage?
4) What exactly does "once per round" mean? Once between your current turn and your next (like in 3.5) or once per combat round?
5) p. 295: What happens if you are stabilized at negative hit points, but nobody can heal you. Can you use healing surges once the encounter has ended and you've taken a short rest?
6) Can you jump over an obstacle while charging?
7) What initiative do new combatants have who enter a battle that is already in progress?
8) If a power lets you heal with a successful attack, can you use it outside of combat?
9) How does stealth work when you are in combat? For example, can a warlock move three squares, gain concealment, then hide while his enemies are onlooking?
10) The fighter power Spinning Sweep lets the fighter lay an opponent prone. There is no size restriction. Should there be one?
1. It mentions this because you can fail this save three times over any period between rests and still die. Here is an example: You are knocked unconscious once, you fail the save. You are healed and wake up refreshed, but do not rest between the next encounter. You are knocked unconscious during this fight, and fail a save. Again you survive, wake up, but do not rest. The next encounter you are knocked out a third time, and if you were to fail this third save for the day it's curtains for our hero!
2. These effects happen simultaneously, therefore you only lose or gain hit pints equal to the net amount.
3. Unfortunately they are still considered One-Handed Versatile weapons so only the +1 damage will apply.
4. Once per round means once per combat round.
5. In order to regain consciousness you must have another character perform the Use Second Wind portion of the Heal skill on you.
6. Yes, depending on the size. You may want to simply consider this difficult terrain.
7. That is to be decided by the Dungeon Master. They may want to insert them into combat at the time they arrived, or delay them to an appropriately timed position.
9. Yes, you can hide in combat as per your example.
10. There is no current size restriction on this ability. There may be something changed in a future errata, but for the time being play as written unless your DM indicates otherwise.
Good catch. Then again, this is the only reference to support the assumption that once per round actually means "once between turns". So the sentence "If you haven’t taken an immediate action since the end of your last turn, you can take one when a trigger allows you to." might be the typo (or a remnant from the way it worked in 3.5).
Whichever it is, I hope someone official will clarify it soon.
Something completely different. I'm running the introductory adventure in the DMG tonight and I foresee having trouble explaining to my group...
... how the boulder in page 217 moves the way it does and more importantly, how it keeps spinning in a circle.
Anyone have any idea how it works?
I hear ya and that is how it works in 3.5. But it is explicitly mentioned in the 3.5 PHB that "once per round" means once in the time between your turns. In the 4E PHB, however, it is not. I'm perfectly happy to define it that way for my game, but it's just strange that they would go out of their way to clarify this in 3.5, then take it for granted in 4E.
Just as an aside, if it is "once per combat round" (as I think it is), and not "once between the start of your turn and the start of your next turn" (as many others think it is), it will be a lot easier to keep track of things when people start delaying/readying and acting on different initiative counts. That might be a reason for the change. But I might be completely wrong here.
Your round lasts from your initiative point until your next initiative point.
Could you point me to the page in the PHB where a round is defined thus? All I can find is the description on page 266:
"Round: In a round, every combatant takes a turn."
Isn't your interpretation rooted in 3.5 assumptions? In the 3.5 PHB, page 138, it explicitly says "a round usually means a span of time from one round to the same initiative count in the next round." In 4E it says no such thing.
Also, durations are never "for one round". It's always "until the start/end of your next turn".
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
... or they leave it unfinished intentionally because it sets the stage for a "need" for another edition a few years down the road.
I don't believe that for a second. So you're saying Monte Cook, who designed 3.0, would ever leave something unfinished intentionally? Or that Mike Mearls, who did great stuff while working with Monte's Malhavoc, signed some kind of "whatever you do, don't finish it"-contract? Along with all those other RPG greats like Dave Noonan, Jonathan Tweet and Skip Williams?
You have to understand those guys love D&D like noone else. They live and breathe it. But people make mistakes. Monte himself agreed that several of the changes made with 3.5 were things he wished he'd thought of himself.
I'm sure they tested high-level D&D vehemently. And for the most part it does work - if you only use the core books. But it was impossible to test everything, because much of the material that polluted high level play simply did not exist yet.
I'll admit that's one of the main draws 4E has on me now - it's a fresh start. Maybe in a year or two, we'll be back where we are now. But right now, all I can think about is that soon the days will be gone that my cleric player, when preparing his spells, digs into his bag and pulls out seven books...
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
Well, I don't have the same confidence that you have. WotC has a track record of not significantly playtesting high level play, or at least ignoring any perceived problems that turn up in high level play. They did it with 3.0. They did it with 3.5. What makes you think this time will be different? They either push it out the door because they don't have time to fix things before they start working on their next line of splatbooks, or they leave it unfinished intentionally because it sets the stage for a "need" for another edition a few years down the road. If you buy into 4th edition, you are staying on the "New edition, lots of splatbooks, new edition" train. You can stay on it. I'm getting off here.
Again, I agree with you. From personal experience, I know how flawed 3.X is at high levels. Or at least, it is to me.
That's why when info on 4E started to leak out, I was immediately drawn to it. A very, very strong focus in all the previews has been on making D&D at the higher levels easier on the DM. Of course, whether they actually manage to pull it off is another thing. But at least they acknowledged the problem.
As for the train... as long as I enjoy the ride, I see no reason to disembark. :)
Pax Veritas wrote:
Infidels! You are defeated! You just don't know it yet!
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
These are very good points. Another thing I'd like to point out is that everyone is singing the praises of the ease of the 1st level demos they have played. Of course, it's simple and easy. They are 1st level characters! 3.5 characters are dirt simple at 1st level. Show me some combats with 20th level characters with 20 different bonuses from what the warlord and cleric did this round, and all the different marks and dozens of powers to sort through. If you still think it's easy at that point, then you would really have something to talk about.
You are right, of course. From the PC's standpoint, we'll have to see how it works out. With all the marking and little modifiers flying around, magic weapons proccing and all the different conditions, it might just be a different kind of crunch.
But as far as DMing 20th level combats is concerned, I'm positive the monsters and NPCs will be much, much easier to handle. All the information you need will be right there, on the page. No looking up of feats, spell durations, spell effects, spell ranges, class abilities, racial abilities, whatever. And no more spell lists that go on and on or "Power Up Suites".
I think that's the way it should be - the same level of complexity for the PCs, but a vastly less complex game for the DM.
Gotcha. If 3.5 works for you, by all means keep at it. I agree some of the promo stuff does come off as "3.5 was stupid, 4E is great" and that's a shame.
Likewise, I don't criticize anyone who sticks to 3E. What I do criticize are people who insist "4E dumbs stuff down, is not really D&D, is just a marketing ploy, et cetera."
Monte Cook himself said that he would have done a lot of things differently had he been allowed to sacrifice the sacred cows. In fact, he did exactly that in his excellent Arcana Evolved and Book of Experimental Might. At will spells, many hit points at first level, clerics who can heal without using actions, hero points - it's all there.
I'm with Crosswiredmind on the flavor front. I'm not into a specific setting, so the changes to FR don't mean anything to me. I do understand that it means a lot to other people. But mainly I'm debating the mechanical issues.
Vancian magic keeps cropping up. Is it really that D&D-defining? A lot of people use some spell point variant. Yes, it feels like D&D, but that's just because that's what we're used to. If there is a system that is both better for the players and the DM, why not use that for D&D?
Is it better? I think so, but again, you may disagree. Vancian magic, to me, gives the players too few useful spells at low levels and too many useless ones at high levels. As a DM, I get sick when I see yet another page-long spell list of an NPC.
Why should anything be sacred? You might not like the new system, but would you be opposed to any change to the holy livestock, even if it was a change that would really make it a better game in your eyes?
Oh, btw, I don't drink coke, so I have nothing useful to say there. ;)
Pax Veritas wrote:
I wrote a long reply to this, got timed out or something and now it's gone. That's just ridiculous.
Let me just ask you this then: why is 4E a gross departure to its predecessors and 3E not?
In your reply, please consider - among others - THAC0, initiative modifiers, weapon vs armor modifiers, percentile skills, backstab, strength 18/00, prestige classes, monsters with class levels, LA, sorcerers, initiative rolls every round, different XP progressions, critical hits, racial stat and class caps, cantrips, feats, proficiencies, miniatures, kits, dark sun, 5/2 attacks, grapple, metamagic, BaB, death at 0 hit points, maximum hit points at first level and saving throws vs. petrification.
I'll leave it at that before the board monster eats my post again.
Pax Veritas wrote:
To the OP: you may be mistaken. PAIZO has no such goal with regard to 4-whatever; PAIZO is making a real dungeons and dragons game, and with support of its fan base.
In every post you make, you seem to feel the need to bash 4E. It's really starting to p. me off. You are entitled to your opinion, but enough is enough already.
Pax Veritas wrote:
I commend you, sir, for posting this most insightful and constructive comment in the 4E forum.
You should treat yourself to a well-deserved cigar.
To do something about the 15-minute adventuring day, I allow my group to rest for one hour once a day. This provides the benefits of a full night's sleep.
Of course, that doesn't fix the problem of a party that routinely blasts through all its good spells and then rests after every encounter.
To counter that I keep track of the ELs they have defeated that day. An encounter of their level is worth 20%, one of their level+1 40%, level+2 60% etc. If they rest before they reach 100%, the XP they have earned that day is cut by the % they reached.
Example: a group of lvl 4 PCs defeats two lvl 4 and a lvl 5 encounter. If they decide to rest, they will only gain 80% (20+20+40) of the XP for these encounters.
I let them know they have reached 100% by telling them their characters feel tired. If they push on beyond that, the extra % goes into a pool that they can use to compensate for later deficiencies.
Of course I only enforce this rule when I feel the PCs should be punished for bad recource management, not if those spells really needed to be cast due to bad rolls or whatever.
It's not a perfect solution, but so far it seems to work.
This is what I've decided for our RotR campaign:
Spells that have a duration of
1 hr/lvl: last all day.
You can cast buffs outside of combat, but they end at the start of the next encounter or at the DM's discretion.
I'll test it and see what happens. :)
It would be simpler to change their Casting Time than to say they were quickened, and more accurate. Either change them to free actions, immediate actions, or swift actions (the better choice, since it limits it to 1 per round and is what happens to a spell when it is quickened.) This eliminates the need to say "you don't need the Feat, nor a higher spell slot."
Good one! Another idea that occured to me was to do it like this:
10 min / lvl spell: swift action.
This solution helps an unprepared spellcaster to get off one buff/defensive spell as soon as they can act, and one a round thereafter, but still does not address the issue of timekeeping (which, in my opinion, is just as tricky and tedious as bookeeping.)
Yeah, that's why I suggest changing all the durations to "for one encounter".
For instance, Babs, 7th level cleric of the Holy Berry, enters a fight with a red dragon.
Round 1: She buffs herself with Divine Power (standard), Shield of Faith (movement) and Protection from Fire (swift).
At the end of combat, assuming she survives, the buffs fade.
Thanks for your comments so far. I'm still curious though: what do you think about allowing buffs with a duration of 1 minute/lvl or more to be cast as quickened spells? Just to make sure: you don't need the Feat, nor a higher spell slot.
This makes unprepared spellcasters stronger, since they can catch up on their defenses while still doing other stuff. To my mind, that's a good thing. It gets rid of the extremes (the fully buffed 9th level cleric vs the completely unprepared one) and makes it less mandatory for everyone to walk around fully buffed.
This is an interesting idea, but it doesn't sit well with me in the realism department. Being able to switch Bull Strength on and off at will seems weird... either you're stronger or you're not. And yeah, then there is the bookkeeping. One of my players had Boots of Haste, which does what you propose, and he was always forgetting to tick off uses. If all buffs worked like that, it would become a nightmare.
Apart from the Stat Boost buffs, I can't think of any, though I'm sure there are a couple more. "A lot of spells" is simply not true. Besides, at 15th level a 10 min/lvl buff is just as much bookkeeping as a 1 min/lvl one.
10 min/level: "How long did it take us to do everything we've done so far?"
1 min/level: "How long after I cast my buff did we enter battle? How long did the fight take? How long did searching the corpses take?"
Good point. It does assume quite some advantages for whoever teleported the minion in, like perfect knowledge of the PCs whereabouts and active spells.
If a BBEG has this knowledge, he can always send an appropriate threat to deplete the party's recources and then immediately strike afterwards, no matter how you treat spell durations.
So while theoretically possible, in practice I don't see much of a problem.
The PCs in my last campaign, City of the Spider Queen, used so many pre-combat buffs (mostly the 10 minute / level ones, but they also liked to use clairvoyance or have the ninja scout ahead ethereally so they knew when to cast the 1 minute / level ones) that all they seemed to be doing was recording their Mass Darkvision, Barkskin, Magic Fang, Resist Energy, Greater Magic Weapon, Death Ward, Bull's Strength, Plant Body, Good Hope, etc. etc. Then they just stormed in, trying to wreak as much havoc as they could before their buffs ran out. I was constantly forced to calculate how long this and that had taken them, so they could either rebuff or get out.
To counter that, I had to have the drow clerics start with all their buffs up or they would be overrun.
That's usually when the dispelling began. :)
You'll understand I don't want to face that again in my next campaign (hopefully Pathfinder). That's why I came up with this variation.
I figure it will discourage them from just buffing up in full and adventuring until their buffs are gone. They'll have to be a little smarter: either cast Barkskin when you know for sure a big fight is but one door away or wait until you are in combat and cast it on the first round as a quickened spell.
Alternatively I could just disallow the buffing outside of combat altogether (except for the hr/lvl spells), but that would mean the PCs couldn't protect themselves with Resist Fire if their flea familiar tells them an ancient red dragon lies in wait around the next corner.
I think the basic concept here is forcing everyone to trade the advantage of buffing outside of combat for the advantage of being able to cast most buffs as quickened spells.
As many of you will agree, keeping track of spell durations can become a chore, especially at higher levels. Also if fully buffed party A gets the jump on unprepared party B, it's mostly game over, giving birth to tactics like Scry & Fry.
What do y'all think of this solution:
1. Spell durations are measured in encounters (I know, I know, that's 4E, but bear with me).
Spells that in 3.5 have a duration of
1 hr/lvl are on for the whole day;
10 min/lvl can be cast at any time and will last until the end of the first encounter you face that day. So a Druid who knows a tough fight lies behind the next door, can cast Barkskin before entering the room, but not Animal Growth. You can also cast a 10 min/lvl buff quickened during an encounter, in which case it lasts until the end of the next encounter (so two encounters total).
1 min/lvl cannot be cast before an encounter. Instead, you can cast it quickened during combat. It lasts until the end of the current encounter.
1 r/lvl cannot be cast before an encounter, nor can it be cast quickened. It lasts until the end of the current encounter.
Exceptions might be needed, like for the invisibility spells. It doesn't make much sense to not be able to cast them outside of battle. ;P
To my mind these modifications provide more player options during combat ("shall I cast Bull's Strength, Aid, Bless or True Seeing as a quickened buff this round?"). At the same time it lessens bookkeeping (no more "when did I cast Haste again? Oh damn, then it ended two rounds ago.") and makes "getting the jump" less important.
Frank Trollman wrote:
You are wrong.
Kak, I had written a nice and eloquent post, but I timed out or something and got kicked out and now I've only got two more minutes or I'll miss my train.
The gist: Frank, man, your ideas are clever and well-thought out enough to not need the "I'm a professional games designer/playtester. You are wrong. If you claim otherwise, either the world has gone crazy or I, and since I know I'm right it must be the former."
Chill, brother, and smear some honey on that whip. You'll catch a lot more flies that way. ;)
/Aids the Trollman, hopefully granting him a +2 bonus on his Diplomacy checks.
K. David Ladage wrote:
This is how it works in my campaign. I figure since Weapon Focus grants you +1 on all your attacks, no matter how many you have and against how many opponents you use it, then its counterpart shouldgive +1 dodge AC against all attacks.
What David said. :)
Weird that Charm/Compulsion effects aren't listed... made me wonder for a sec if they were still in the game. Then I realized they will allow a save every round and there are other ways of giving a companion extra saving throws.
I must say the elegance and simplicity of this one spell raises my hopes for 4E through the roof.
/Ready Dispel Flame