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The title pretty much says it all. If a hapless PC shares a square with multiple swarms at the end of the swarms' move, do they take the listed swarm damage only once, or separately for each swarm?

I am not having much success finding a clear answer in the PRD. creeping doom summons several swarms, and the damage doesn't stack, but this might be just a balancer for the spell, not something for all swarms. OTOH, swarm damage is a function of hit die, so it would seem that piling more HD (in the form of other swarms) might mean more damage.

Mites (Bestiary) have Vermin Empathy as a racial ability and I was wondering how this works and whether it raises any special concerns should a Mite be advanced, as might happen if a player chose mite as a race for their character (not recommended, I know).

my questions are:
1) what is a vermin's starting attitude?
2) the description of Vermin Empathy seems to indicate a greater degree of control with a successful check than one would get with an animal. Any idea how this would work? What DC would be needed to gain a vermin as a mount, for example? Would handle animal be used to train the mount?
What about getting a vermin (or swarm) to attack a creature?
3) does the vermin empathy check use the mite's HD as a bonus? The stat block implies this (as the mite has a Cha penalty), but would it include all subsequent HD (class levels) or just the racial HD?

PRD description of vermin empathy and wild empathy:

Vermin Empathy
This ability functions as a druid's wild empathy, save that a mite can only use this ability on vermin. A mite gains a +4 racial bonus on this check. Vermin are normally mindless, but this empathic communication imparts on them a modicum of implanted intelligence, allowing mites to train Medium vermin and use them as mounts. Vermin empathy treats swarms as if they were one creature possessing a single mind—a mite can thus use this ability to influence and direct the actions of swarms with relative ease.

Wild Empathy
A druid can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The druid rolls 1d20 and adds her druid level and her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result.

The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

To use wild empathy, the druid and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

A druid can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a –4 penalty on the check.

Are, or have you ever been a cruel GM? Do you feel remorse and want to reform? Do you continue to do it an love it? Feel like listening in on tales of shenanigans perpetrated on unsuspected players? If so, this is the thread for you!

just to clarify, when I say cruel, I mean deliberately thwarting, teasing, killing off or otherwise abusing your players. Exploring the motives behind these unkind acts are part of the fun. Maybe the players refused to be railroaded, maybe they easily defeated the BBEG that you worked so hard on, maybe they were just plain annoying.

I will start with a personal anecdote to get the ball rolling:

rambling anecdote:

I was GMing a solo adventure for a mid-level paladin, who was in the habit of charging recklessly at everything to the point where the group had to save her bacon on numerous occasions. She got lots of grief for her last, fatal charge (hence the solo adventure to make up the level lost to raising (3.5). In any case, she had just spent every last cp on a shiny suit of mithral full plate and it was her pride and joy. I had made a mini-adventure that required her to boldly step through a mysterious portal while chasing some goblins. perfect railroad right? wrong - maybe it was having played tomb of horrors, maybe it was having finally learned some caution, but she wouldn't go! she just waited and waited outside the portal. It was ridiculous, she even decided to camp there. That prompted a reminder that she would be fatigued if she slept in her armor, so she took it off and carefully bundled it up beside her.

here is where the cruelty comes in. I was so frustrated with this stalemate that I improvised a goblin rogue to sneak in and grab her armor and bring it through the portal, and I fudged the rolls to have her wake up just in time to see it. THAT got her going. she ran at top speed through the portal only to find herself facing a goblin horde in her pajamas...which I might add, was an encounter designed to make her feel great about her neigh-impervious armor (the gobbos would only hit on a 20).

Before you think I am a complete jerk, I did leave her her greatsword, she did survive the encounter (barely), and she got her armor back.

ahh, the memories... I still chuckle when I think of that, and feel just a bit guilty and how much I enjoyed the power trip.

Despite their appealing flavor, dexterity-based characters suffer in combat because weapon damage is keyed off strength. It seems that the only way to optimize damage output with rogues or monks (for example) is to pump strength, which might defeat the purpose/concept of playing those kinds of characters, and often comes at the expense of dexterity in point buys. So, I was wondering if there was anything in the works (e.g. alternate class feature, feats) to help with this problem, or another thread on this topic?

There are lots of examples of feats or class features that reduce MAD in 3.5: the stone warden from the deepwarden PrC (Con to AC instead of DEX), zen archery feat (wisdom to ranged attack rolls), brutal throw (strength to ranged attack rolls), etc. None of these were particularly hard to get, but getting DEX to damage was/is. To illustrate, in 3.5 there was elegant strike, which was a class feature of the Champion of Corellon Larethian PrC (Races of the Wild), which gave dexterity to damage in addition to strength, but only with a handful of weapons and with onerous entry requirements (elf/half-elf, lots of armor and weapon proficiency and at least a half dozen feats), and a similar concept was present in a home-brew swashbuckler base class for Pathfinder by SmiloDan some time ago(don't know how to link, first time poster, sorry), which became available only at 17th level. It seems like people think that this is a very potent ability. I am probably missing something, but why is this something that shouldn’t be more easily available? Of course, having BOTH strength and dex (and all of strength, intelligence and dex in the case of the swashbuckler) is pretty great and shouldn't be a low-level option, but what would be game breaking or unbalanced about simply having dexterity to damage INSTEAD of strength, even for low-level characters?
I understand that DEX also contributes to AC, initiative, ranged attack rolls and useful skills (acrobatics, stealth, disable device), whereas STR contributes to attack, damage, CMB and …scratches self with appendage, trying to think… carrying capacity and a few situational skills (climb, jump, swim), I guess. so some balancing is necessary, but why shouldn’t a character be able to focus on dex and be decent at dealing damage? It would be nice way to make rogues especially but also monks and to some extent rangers more viable and flavorful.

So, what about something like the following feat?
Improved Weapon Finesse. Prerequisite: Weapon Finesse.
You are able to land precise and telling blows.
Benefit: You may use your dexterity modifier in place of your strength modifier as a bonus on weapon damage rolls when using a weapon that can have the Weapon Finesse feat applied to it. This damage bonus is not multiplied by 1 ½ when wielding a 2 handed weapon and applies only to the primary weapon if using more than one. This damage does not apply to creatures who are immune to critical hits.

If that isn’t going to make the whole class system crumble, one could even add the damage to ranged attacks within 30’ (or have a separate feat for this). I’m also not sure if the wording above would allow for dex on every attack of a flurry, or if that should be spelled out as well.

I realize that this is unlikely to be used in any official capacity, but any feedback is welcome if people can see unanticipated consequences of allowing this as a custom rule in a campaign? Any undervalued high-dex granting spells,items, PrCs, PC monster races to worry about maybe (githerzai and bite of the wererat come to mind)?