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The key, as addressed above, is agency. A GM's job is create a world and let the PCs interact with its inhabitants and structures.

Character decisions, as long as they are realistic, outweigh any story, drama, or plot arcs I had planned. I try to give the PCs any info that is important to their narratives, but I also reward curiosity and expect the players to know events continue to occur when they are focused elsewhere.

With shared expectations, people seem okay no matter how things play out, so long as they are the agents of change and I am not trying to impose my plot arc upon them.

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Your definition of hit point damage, the notion of it as a separate concept rulewise, and its application to power attack. All completely unreasonable. Only reasonable if you accept your baseline assumptions that are incorrect.

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You're reading everything backwards. The sentence "This damage is subtracted from current hit point" isn't a restriction, but an explanation of how damage works. It doesn't create a new category by fiat of sentence.

The problem here is that you are not arguing RAW, you are reading too much into descriptive sentences and other rules to fit a very particular interpretation that is not in the rules at all.

You can keep quoting the same sentences, but that won't make them mean what you say they mean. We can keep arguing with you, but that's not going to change your mind apparently. But you're wrong. Non-lethal damage is, ultimately, a form of damage to hit points, hit point damage is merely a way of distinguishing from ability damage, and power attack applies to non-lethal. You don't have to agree, but as far of the rules go, it's cut and dry.

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There is so much context here that suggests that stand still simply doesn't work, beyond mere logic (and that alone is enough for me):

The subject and all its gear become insubstantial, misty, and translucent.

Its material armor (including natural armor) becomes worthless, though its size, Dexterity, deflection bonuses, and armor bonuses from force effects still apply.

It can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all it was wearing or holding in its hands, as long as the spell persists. The creature is subject to the effects of wind, and it can’t enter water or other liquid. It also can’t manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with its gaseous form. Continuously active items remain active, though in some cases their effects may be moot.

All the above quotes suggest that it cannot be stopped with mere physical weapons or impeded by stand still. The actual answer is unclear, but the logical answer only leans one way.

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I haven't been around for months. I cannot believe this thread is still living.

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Klorox wrote:

Caedite eos omnes, Dominus enim novit ejus.

It's an evil act because killing without justification is intrinsincally evil, and it takes evil to find an argument such as yours to be a justification... remember, alignments are absolute things, not relative.

Nonsense. Philosophers and scientists have not determined an absolute morality so constructed alignments are completely open to interpretation too. Nothing is absolute, there are grey areas in everything, including a simulation like pathfinder. You may have an absolute view of how things work morally, but I guarantee you it won't hold universal. It will always be based on assumptions and interpretations.

There are practically correct decisions in certain situations. There might even be morally correct decisions in certain situations. But each is fact-dependent and culturally, socially, and personally contextual even if Pathfinder does try to put them in a box, that box is too limited by human nature and words to ever be absolute.

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It depends on the feat or item you are trying to determine. If it affects spell preparation, then they are prepared. If it involves actual casting and recall, it appears to be spontaneous.

I think this is a context dependent question and the correct answer is that some aspects of arcanist casting are prepared and some are spontaneous. I think you are much more likely to get specific questions about items and feats answered than a question that is this broad.

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Here's how I read it, melt stone and breath weapon are different actions. One targets the ground, the other is an area of effect.

Although they are superficially the same action, as a matter of action economy they are not. The dragon has to choose to target ground or people (even if the people are standing on the ground). They still take the lava damage, but they don't take breath weapon damage the round the ground is melted.

Obviously in subsequent rounds if they are still in the lava and get breath weaponed the PCs, if not dead, will take both damages.

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Level 1 is definitely the most vulnerable stage for a PC. This seems incontrovertible.

Stories that start from the very beginning are sometimes great and sometimes not, depending what you want to do. But it can be restrictive a lot of the time.

Level three is usually the sweet spot for starting stories; distinctive class abilities. Hard to die from sheer poor luck.

(I have no idea why people post on here to say, "the right level is the one the GM says." People have such a weird need to fetishize the GM is always right philosophy and this is one of those topics that benefits from collaboration. Getting everyone on the same page about what level to start a campaign from is great idea for any GM.)

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Ability scores actually have very little relation to the actual character. They just constitute plus and minuses to certain types of checks.

For GMs trying to enforce some sort of balance by ascribing attributes to a -2 CHA you being a bad GM mechanically and creatively. Let the players play; let them roll their social checks; don't tell them what they look like.

If you want to avoid dumping, just make a rule. I don't suggest doing it, and wouldn't want to play at the table where it's done. But hands off character description, personality, and history (unless the history directly affects the story itself).

Being a good GM is about actualizing characters for players and having fun. Not creating a world that you, as GM, feel support the numbers on the page as you interpret them.

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There is no right way to play any stat. People have given myriad great suggestions for possibilities. A 7 is -2, so really only two standard deviations from normal. this person is certainly unpleasant to be around often or non-present. But the flavor of that is in the hands of your players.

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I am trying to cogitate a build for a mathemagician. I am wedded to nothing yet. Probably won't use the sacred geometry feat. I recognize that it probably has to be mostly fluff. So far bard or a sorcerer focusing on buffs and number oriented spells, but I also think it should probably be int-based.

Show me what you got!

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Has anyone suggested Frank yet?

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You assume that world leaders weren't already aware of alternate magic dimensions with contingency plans for this.

One does wonder how powerful a cleric the Pope would be in Golarion.

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Go to Aether and orange ioun stone at high levels with smart precautions. Wisest addiction ever, but be paranoid of GM intervention. Be a smart wizard. Learn to cover your addiction to +1 caster level. But this only works at high levels or the caster level check to cast your spells is not worth it. But I can think of builds where this would be the perfect drug (and easy enough to avoid long term addiction).

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Scàthach Ulster wrote:

So, lemme tell you the DMs secret: we don't actually need dice. What we say happens happens. Unless you're running PFS, you decide when the PCs hit and miss, how much HP the mob has, when the mobs hit or miss. If an encounter is too much, feel free to tone it down. If the PCs are piledriving an encounter, bring in reinforcements, boost the mobs To Hit, boost their damage, increase their AC. I have quadrupled my bosses HP in the past. The tricks to being a "good" DM are consistency, improvisation, knowing when to pull your punches, and knowing when to hit the party with a semi-truck.

A common trick to facilitating this is a DM screen that hides your rolls.

This is only partially good advice. I do not recommend changing your rolls or stats. Rather have a second wave of creatures ready. GMing by fiat is like just playing let's pretend.

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My perspective is from having GMed issues like this. Citing rules on a part of game that lets you get a supporter is unlikely to be persuasive or help a game.

That's why I focused on the compromise issue. Figure out what the player really wants and think how best to accommodate it. (I'd be more restrictive if this player already had other companions and controlled them).

It's also a lot easier to have the player control a cohort (not all NPCs, obviously there are great reasons the DM should control most NPCs).

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Yeah, I'll add the conjuration spells. The ones that hit will save can be nasty have little to no great defense such as glitterdust, ice crystal teleport, trade object, hostile justaposition, etc.

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This is really mostly a houserule or advice question.

None of us were there to know if you were clear about your expectations; but it's clear that your player has different expectations. I would have an out of game conversation to try to come to something mutually agreeable.

(I would never want to take leadership if the GM was both creating and controlling them; it's basically just wasting a feat on an NPC to have someone else try and enact your vision).

I think the best compromise is you let them create it with you having final approval. I don't see why, as GM, I'd insist on control (unless the player is mistreating the cohort, which is when I'd step in).

The first step to compromise is figure out what the player wants and what you want and find the best way to meet both of those desires.

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We're not having a rules discussion. We're having a discussion if CG and NG paladins should exist and have equal power to LG paladins. They should. That's my house opinion. I think it's better than your more limiting, less flexible house opinion.

But just because paladins right now happen to fit your conception doesn't make your conception right or better than other ways of considering a paladin class.

There is obvious that there are divergent opinions on it. I prefer mine. You are welcome to yours, but just stop asserting it is correct or that paladin is the wrong term. That's just your opinion with which many of us disagree.

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I try not to discourage flavor is it doesn't have a huge impact on mechanics.

I get the value in tradeoffs, but I'd prefer players to have narrative options unfettered by costs.

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Honestly, the best way to handle this is to allow the enchantment to be moved for free. There should always been an easy way to help a player enact their vision without breaking the game.

You shouldn't have to pay to play your character.

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Umm, I don't think my argument was insulting or just me saying I am correct. I stated that people want the option to have non-LG paladins. This is clearly established in this thread. It doesn't mean everybody wants to use them; but there is a market for them and people should have the opportunity to play the kind of character they desires, especially since morality is such a subjective concept.

All I am saying is that the preference that paladins remain LG should not be weighted equally with the desire to play non-LG paladins. One is about actualizing characters and the other is about entrenching a viewpoint on a class type. I always vote in favor more options and creativity over restrictions and traditional without purpose.

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People want paladins (not weak archetypes of paladins or other classes that can vaguely mimic paladins) that can be paragons of their alignments as paladins.

The only counterargument appears to be that people prefer paladin be a paragon of LG. Not sufficient to restrict player choices.

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People definitely want to be able to play a paladin with its mechanics. In return they must have a code (and sadly an alignment). So long as the follow the code very little reason to change much else other than alignment flavored powers. No reason to force a paladin of Desna to be a warpriest. Different mechanic, different experience. Traditional is not a good reason to be restrictive,

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No true paladin...

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Why not use paladin or create paladin-like classes for each alignment instead of telling non-LG characters too bad so sad go play warpriest?

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They get cure spells, but just take pragmatic activator and buy a wand. Or go shaman and get the condition removal spells on your list.

Wizard is vastly superior. I recommend teleportation subschool conjuration specialist if you want the most flexibility. And it comes with a class power, shift, that is one of the strongest defenses in the game.

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Better question than why not cleric or warpriest: why not paladin? Virtuous heroes of gods should not be limited to one particular alignment.

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I am a strong believer in telling concrete story. But just because players can influence the story, doesn't mean that it's a sandbox situation.

I create a simulated world with several NPCs with unique interests, plans, and motivations. I place the PCs in this world and they get to interact with these dynamics; just as if they were in the real world, but, you know, with the ability to create stinking clouds.

When the players influence part of the story, the story hasn't been wrecked. It has been improved. Rarely is the concept of my world and the various conflicts I have developed corrupted by the actions of PCs or the randomness of dice rolls, because my NPCs are dynamic and react as their personalities and goals would dictate, the story still develops as the best novels do; characters react naturally to the actions of other characters and thus a story begins to develop.

The reason ASOIAF is an absolute classic is not because it adheres to a fixed and strictly organized plot, but because it develops organically. People make mistakes, they pay for it. Sometimes people pay for just random dumb luck. But ultimately the story develops from personalities and power interacting in a society with a know social and political hierarchy.

When I GM, I strive to create a world that operates in the same way. The respective players, PCs and NPCs, have their goals, personalities, and resources. The way the narrative plays out is based on how these personalities would react to each other and the story develops from there.

The real world can be messy, I see no reason why a simulated world would not have the same dynamic.

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HWalsh, you and I have diametrically opposed views of how to GM. I believe the key is to find a way to accommodate the style and preferences of every play and actualize their characters, without breaking the rules.

You seem to have a clear vision for your games and demand adherence. I prefer to work to develop the story to allow for player's characters and goals to be as close to the player's vision as possible.

I think the most important job as GM is establish a sense of predictability, on a mechanical level. If I am going to adjust a rule or my approach to something, I seek input in advance and let them know how this adjustment will work.

I rarely feel cheating is appropriate, because you can always design encounters with these possibilities in mine. You should never have to fudge dice "because you need something to happen." There are better ways to deal with this and, more critically, if the PCs alter the story with their actions, then the story is altered. That's the fun of roleplaying.

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HWalsh wrote:
Fudging dice is a time honored tradition in the noble profession of GM'ing. Please don't call it cheating, that has a negative connotation and since the game assumes the GM does this, it can't be cheating if it is in the rules that they can do it.

It is cheating in a way. It should be minimized. And it definitely shouldn't be considered part of the rules (and please don't cite Rule Zero, which is the most over-cited excuse for poor GMing).

This is not to say fudging is never warranted, but that's just not the game everyone wants. Again, I think the comes down to the problems with first level. This is not nearly as necessary at higher levels.

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Invisibility is a glamer. "A glamer spell changes a subject’s sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else, or even seem to disappear." It is not a mind-affecting spell, nor is it one that a creature is immune to.

But it can be pierced by special sight or senses. Golems do not have these senses unless specified.

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I don't think, flavor-wise, that Desna would be that bad. Her ways are alien. Maybe the cleric thinks he's out for himself, but maybe he's serving Desna all along.

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If it's a new game you may want to broach the idea of point buys with the GM, if that's something you're interested in.

It takes away the randomness of rolls and the potential major stat disparities between party members. You can basically build to the class and character you want.

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Depending on your INT modifier it sounds like magus or investigator might be best.

Without CHA, bloodrager and oracle don't work.

Cleric would work too, but whatever you are two-hand a reach weapon, probably a longspear and get combat reflexes. That allows you to take up to your dex modifier in attacks of opportunity and you can take them flat-footed. You'll get off a ton of attacks when the enemies advance and you'll be able to cast on your action.

The problem is spontaneous would work best for what you're looking for, if you can switch your INT or WIS mod with CHA it'd be a lot more doable.

Actually depending on your INT modifier it looks like WIS is good enough that I might go with Warpriest. It's simple, it's all about buffing and fighting and has all sorts of goodies. You'll need to raise your WIS modifier as you go, but it'll be very effective.

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The party is in my homebrewed land. They are at level 11 and met most of the major players. They recently survived a trial-by-combat for releasing an illithid threat to this realm. They were guilty as sin, or at least negligent. Anyway, I have decided to split up the party for a time and give them separate adventures (and give everyone a chance to build a few new high level characters).

The first adventure is that of the party wizard. He doesn't know yet, but he has to go to factory that builds constructs, androids, and other things that may verge on some of pf's technology content.

Any suggestions for good creatures, challenges, and puzzles for this sort of environment are always appreciated. I have planned one room that involves 3-5 golems and a variety of conveyor belts. But always on the lookout for interesting ideas.

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Bloodrager is good. I'll second battle Oracle as well. You might want to consider Warpriest too. Also Magus. All great. It all depends on what sort of flavor you want.

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Any other explanations are really parts of a map to how they got there.

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May I suggest a dual cursed oracle with misfortune which allows you to force rerolls on a save.

Maybe with the Time or Lore mysteries.

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"I Can't Decide" is a great one for a villain, even if the Master from Doctor Who already pulled it off.

I like to give my best NPC's theme songs when GMing. A particular pernicious crazy elven wizard often appears to the song "Maniac" from Clap Your Hands say yeah.

There are combats or even sessions I theme with a prologue song. I had Christmas two-shot where the party fought Santa at the end, and "Carol of the Bells" introduced that battle.

I love incorporating music into the game and character background.

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Conjurer teleportation subschool using shift laughs at the tetori monk.

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Murdock Mudeater wrote:

Exploits for PCs are mainly in the redundant sensory abilities. Especially if combined with an archetype that further boosts these. A pretty strong set of long range set of options, then obscuring mist and scent to evade return attacks. Nothing huge for an npc, but a PC could break those.

Also, by not having common, they are immune to language based spells not spoken in under common. Again, not huge for an npc, but a PC could break it with the right build.

They are immune to language-based spells not spoken in undercommon?

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I hand out templates occasionally when it makes sense in may game. Earned for RP awards and great acts of heroism or cleverness. But I also give out feats rewards occasionally too.

I am of the school that likes to help players actualize the characters they want. If someone wanted to play a skeletal champion, I might permit a tempered version of it; or one with the downsides of being a skeletal knight. Depends on the game. Maintaining balance is always tricky, so the template is just another variable.

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You're going to find a lot of answers, but not a lot of correct answers. It depends on the paladin, the code, and society.

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You can't get around the cleric healing them if the cleric wants to expend their abilities on this. Could be a game dynamic problem. But you can't just make consequences happen if the party can prevent them.

Now, a nemesis happens to know of their fondness for drink and uses that to their advantage. Set a trap, poison, etc. but sometimes it's impossible to enforce consequences in a game where players have access to magic.

Let the story happen naturally. No matter how powerful they are, it's unlikely a queen is going to ask them for help. Or maybe they will, depending on the monarch. Point is don't try to force consequences, but do consider how their drunkenness might impact the story.

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Vince Frost wrote:

So there is.

Who wants to jump in tiny full plate the size of your shoe?

A tooth fairy with 11 levels of paladin.

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Just want to note, do not use wands for combat spells unless they require no save or have leveling effects. A wand of endure element or protection from evil, perfect. Wand of fireball, weak. Wand of create pit, not great at all unless just used tactically.

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It depends on the group. We play and often roleplay as close allies. And I don't recall ever reading stories where the party wizard is like, here great warrior is a magical sword, would you like that to be your only share of the loot. I know there's a magical shield, but that would put you over your share, so we're going to sell it.

That doesn't mean there isn't a fairer way or a more correct way, but the most collegial is to simply talk it out; and I've found that's best for a given party.

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