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Dark Archive

Ok, I see what you guys are saying. Thank you for taking the time to clarify (and re-clarify) your points. However, it isn't technically what the ability says and I am partial to using the rules as written and modifying it if absolutely necessary (which I think it may be). Not that casters of any sort need more power. However, changing which part of the sentence applies to which does make the archetype fairly close to mechanically pointless and I think there is room to argue that the other abilities gained would suggest that the author intended the archetype to be placed into melee and that the familiar carrying buffs and auras while part of its master fits this idea behind the other archetype abilities and the author simply did not understand the implications of how he was writing that option. Then again I could be wrong and I don't have a clear way to know.

Punctuation really matters and it is probable that the sentence was not put together the way the author intended. I guess I'll have to figure out a balanced solution that sticks closely to what is written but allows it to be playable while not overbearing.

Dark Archive

To persist means to be extended or continue beyond the normal duration, expectation, limit, or point of failure. And when it said that 'durations continue until the next time she disgorges it' rather than 'durations continue as normal' or 'durations continue', that made me understand it as any effect on the familiar once swallowed would remain until it was disgorged. So if a poison had a duration of 1/round for 6 rounds, the 6 rounds would become irrelevant once the familiar was eaten and it would just continue indefinitely until the condition was met to cease the continuation (the disgorge action).

Derklord said wrote:
For the spell's effect to persist indefinitely until the familiar is disgorged, it would have to either suspend the duration, or override it with a permanent (until disgorged) duration.
Disgorge Familiar says wrote:
Disgorge Familiar (Ex): As a standard action, a putrefactor can cough up her familiar, allowing it to act as a separate entity. She can also devour it again as a standard action when the familiar is within reach. While within her, the familiar cannot be targeted for effects or take any action, but effects affecting it persist, and their duration continues until the next time she disgorges it.

Bolded text is mine.

It's still referencing the spell effects on it, your previous post agreed with that. So if I am in agreement with it, don't the bolded parts literally meet the requirement that you stated for making the durations last indefinitely? I am not sure what else they mean if not that. It doesn't say the durations continue while eaten until disgorged or that they run their course while inside the host until disgorged or they naturally expire, whichever comes first. Instead it states that the durations (spell durations and other effects) continue until the familiar has been disgorged.

But that was just my interpretation of it. I had hoped to use that via environment or battle against the pc who wants to take this archetype by having his npc psuedo clone use a non-lethal poison or afflict the familiar with a disease and assuming the player doesn't know these effects are on the familiar and eats it while they are up (maybe via dealing some threatening damage to it) then the player might later on disgorge it only to find his familiar at a truly problematic penalty. But if what you are saying is true and none of the definitions I used are accurate or my reading is wrong, then I am left wondering what the archetype actually does that is meaningful or advantageous. The interpretation you gave seems to make this witch worse for having the ability (which might be true based on many previous examples from paizo in the past, aka trap options- I just don't think that this is one of them by my understanding of the rules).

Dark Archive

I am just trying to get a grip on the rules for it as written. I don't think there is ambiguity on durations affecting the familiar persisting until it is disgorged. Saying that the phrase is meaningless doesn't sound accurate. My first reading of that ability suggested that if I cast enlarge person on my familiar and ate it, it would just be enlarged until I spit it back out. Would it continue to burn or be poisoned? Unless I am reading it incorrectly then as the entry states, whatever effect is on it at the time of consumption remains while it is within you. Furthermore, each of those effects end the moment you disgorge the familiar based on a strict reading of the entry. So you couldn't swallow it to suspend a poison on it, nor could you pre-buff the familiar, then swallow it and count the buffs as suspended (as it doesn't say anything to that effect) then regurgitate the beast at the start of the next fight and have it fully ready to rumble (which would be a neat trick).

And the part about it not being able to be targeted by effects or taking any actions seems to reinforce that it is, in fact, a part of you once you eat it based on the earlier part of the entry stating that it can act as a separate entity only once you have vomited the thing up.

I agree that this thing is poorly worded, even if the rules and intent match what the author was trying to convey, there are too many questions about how the ability functions that matter quite a bit in determining what the archetype actually does. I don't think the problem is all on grammar and editing but more on being thorough (as well as some grammar and editing). As it stands now, I don't want to make an NPC that functions wildly differently than what the rules state, but I want to avoid making it far out of line with the rules. Either way, this thing is a mess.

Dark Archive

But it does say that the effects affecting the familiar persist while it is inside of the witch. Stating that they persist means that they don't cease to function once you eat your familiar. So I am wondering where the limit is or what is a balanced reading. I think that there is definitely some room for GM interpretation with regard to things like the blood spells and who gets affected and I also think that there are some balance areas a GM should consider on that same vein, such as not allowing a player to cast ANY buff spell on the familiar and then swallow it to get the effects permanently. That may be a bit more powerful than infinite hexes as the issue compounds with level. It's probably a poorly worded ability that should have called out the benefit specifically (rather than leaving you to figure it out) and then given a reasonable restriction like a limit on buffs based on int mod (or to be more in line with the theme, con mod) plus 1/3 or 1/2 caster levels or something. I know it's a house rule and this is a rules section but I am throwing it out there because nothing in the abilities seems to prevent lots of permanent buffs, although specific types of buffs seem to be difficult to immediately adjudicate.

Either way, as the title states, the archetype seems to be far stronger (as written) than people have given credit for.

Dark Archive

The Putrefactor Witch archetype has several abilities that seem to interconnect in interesting ways. It's an archetype that strongly benefits being in melee while only having a caster chassis.

How effective this archetype can be seems to be dependent on how the rules are interpreted.

Here is the first ability,

Infestation of Entropy:

Infestation of Entropy: A putrefactor’s body hosts various pests—insects, rats, or other scavengers—as part of her connection with her patron. She treats the infestation as her familiar, and she communes with the infestation to prepare spells. She still selects a familiar, which must be a house centipede, rat, scarlet spider, or toad; the familiar crawls within her among the other vermin. A putrefactor must be of chaotic alignment and must choose one of the following patrons: Animals, Death, Plague, or Rot.

seems to allow you to count your infestation as your familiar....and also gives you an actual standard familiar. This appears to be for targeting purposes and certain other mechanics.

Do you have two effective familiars? When something references your familiar, which is it referencing or can you choose either? Both?

The second ability is

Disgorge Familiar:
As a standard action, a putrefactor can cough up her familiar, allowing it to act as a separate entity. She can also devour it again as a standard action when the familiar is within reach. While within her, the familiar cannot be targeted for effects or take any action, but effects affecting it persist, and their duration continues until the next time she disgorges it.

This ability seems to suggest a couple of things that are important. First it is stating that the familiar is not a separate entity until it has been disgorged and second it keeps the effects (poisons, buffs, spell effects, etc) applied to it until it has been disgorged giving them effectively infinite duration which can be very good or very bad. But if it is only a separate entity when it has been disgorged, does this mean that it counts as you/part of you when you have devoured it? What happens if you cast Call of the Void or Frosty Aura (x2) on the familiar and devoured it? Do you take damage eat round or does the effect work as though the familiar is a part of you once consumed like the ability suggests?

The verminous blood ability states that the swarm (your familiar- see above) has started to replace your blood. If you cast a blood modification spell on your familiar like say, Caustic Blood, Adhesive Blood, etc, and then consumed it would you get the spell effect or would it be moot assuming the familiar is counted as part of you once devoured? The same query for spells like Fungal Blisters.

The end result seems to be an archetype focused on entering melee and establishing control with a multitude of permanent buffs and debuffs while being afforded some protections to make it survivable while doing those things. If that is true, than the archetype doesn't strike me as bad at all and, in fact, appears to be quite powerful. It's not your standard witch, and it replaces one of the most devastating weapons in their arsenal, but infinite hex use for infinite self-buffs is actually a quality trade.

Assuming the above works, certain spells are questionable like Archon's Aura which is a 20' radius centered on you. Is that a spell effect that you/the familiar are under assuming you finagled a way to cast the spell as or onto the familiar?

Lots of questions, lots of potential.

Dark Archive

Sorcerer is my pick (but Oracles can be better if abused properly). I enjoy sorcerer for when I take Dragon Disciple levels. The question is a bit more convoluted than it appears at first blush, too. Each form spell is mostly the same but if you have a preferred creature form or ability the DC’s tend to be based on the spells DC. In this way oracles and sorcerers are smart plays because you can leverage charisma in myriad ways beyond just your casting. However, if you are looking at poison I think one or two of the alchemist archetypes are simply better at it as the discoveries and archetype abilities can make the venom more powerful and versatile than a spells granted version.

Pure caster ‘transformers’ are actually extremely competent combatants. You typically build for strength and/or Dex followed by your casting stat. I’ll second the shapechanger bloodline. That power is incredibly potent and sexy and it’s almost exactly what everyone wants when they change shape. I attempted to build an npc modeled after Morgan’s mother in the original Dragon Age. If you ultimately disobey her and fight her, she reveals her true form and it’s a fun and daunting experience.

Oracles with the proper mysteries can do this with hour per level durations as revelations but their forms are limited.

Make sure to select gear that functions even when you are polymorphed and you will likely want to rely on some specific buffs based on the impact of your new form.

Also, depending on how many natural attacks your form has and whether or not you are changing into forms for melee combat or not, but Multiattack is another feat to consider later on if/when you have a high enough attack bonus and number of natural attacks. I suspect there is a wildshaping Druid guise with relevant information on building for combat. I would hunt one down and see if that helps you.

Dark Archive

I have been playing a character modeled after Kid Flash for quite some time and can give one possible path.

I took Master of Many Styles and Windstep Master from the regular monk. I currently have 9 levels in that. You grab a level of Kineticist and the archetype Elemental Adept to get your Flurry back. You can now make 3-4 attacks as a full round action with enough BaB.

I also took Fighter levels (Varisian Free-Style Fighter archetype) for shenanigans.

My main style feats are Panther Style, Jabbing Style, and Snake Style. I combined this with Weapon Trick: One-Handed and a high armor class. On the first round of combat I can activate Martial Flexibility and then move and greet every enemy and say ‘hello’ then dart off to do the same to the next enemy. This provokes an aoo. Depending on how far you took your styles and what you have used Martial Flexibility on, you can attack each enemy three times. With the proper gear, you can attack four times. If you have all of the feats set up right, you can attack each enemy 3 times, one 4, and have a standard action available to cast a spell or use an ability. Depending on how you entered your styles, you could still have a swift action available to Bull Rush a Target. If you have a useful and relevant combat maneuver and an available standard action, you could make two attacks as part of the standard action (one being a maneuver. It’s really rather flexible in terms of action use and total number of attacks. Typically, you will attack on your first turn, more than everyone else in the entire party will combined. Each successive hit will do increased die worth of damage as well.

I find that I act as a round-1 Fireball, in effect but with a lot more utility. Air Walk allows me to reach places others can’t and I use Spider Climb Slippers to give me a full 3d grid to navigate in. For the flash specific stuff, you can keep it to walls and liquids.

My full attack isn’t impressive and I am built as a scout so a lot of my remaining choices are shunned by pretty much all optimization standards and multiple players. But the character works excessively well and as the levels increase has been treated as the party tank more and more frequently, despite my dedication to the scout and Flash concepts and keeping my con at 10. I’m well into the double digits in levels now and can say that some key feats to consider would be Mobility and Weapon Focus if you emulate this build. You’re more accurate than a typical monk but you really need as much as you can get. Damage reduction is an issue since you don’t deal much damage on a single hit but you frequently do the same damage as dedicated damage dealers just over multiple hits. That competitive damage won’t happen with any amount of DR.
That said, Ki Strike comes in handy an awful lot, though.

Mobility will almost always force an enemy to need close to a 20 to hit you. Many things already will but later on enough enemies who aren’t bosses will land more blows than you would like and they’ll hurt with a low con. You can keep the monks healing ability which is very thematic but I traded immune away (but would love it back). It’s an easy way to represent Flashes high metabolic healing rate. Scrolls of Ablative Barrier cast on you by an ally will make lower levels a lot safer. Potions of blurred movement are nice, too.

There are several ways to multiclass or theme the character depending on how closely you want to emulate The Flash. Sticking with this build, you would want Elemental Fist and Djinni Style, possibly Dragon Style as well for more unarmed and elemental damage. You could choose fire instead of electricity to represent the speed of your punches and then you could purchase
Demonic Smith’s Gloves and go all out.

Access to the travel domain, or barbarian movement speed bonuses are an easy level dip, and some classes can provide significant movement speed boosts via spells of varying durations (Longstrider, Expeditious Retreat, Slipstream), and magical items can help as well. Unfortunately, magical options seem to give exclusively enhancement bonuses to movement speed and monks movement speed bonuses are also enhancements so they won’t stack. Buuuut, if you wanted to wear a suit (aka armor of some sort) you could use those tools and retain your movement speed anyway. It would create hurdles as well as alleviate some. But you can very much make the Flash without Multiclassing much or at all. I took 3 classes due to building for a specific level and wanting all of my bells and whistles by that level. I could probably rebuild for only one or two classes if I was not abiding by that. But you will find yourself desiring feats so that’s a thing.

Ok that note, if your build ever had room, Fleet once or twice will help but for pure combat purposes, once you have 50’ of movement you basically have enough. 60’+ is gravy and handy but really not necessary for anything. It helps me with my air walk a lot but for those without it or when I am on the ground, I always can reach all of my targets and navigate just fine through difficult terrain (acrobatics helps, too).

Hopefully you gleaned some use out of all of that.

PS. Spring Attack is a bit of a trap. It removes the aoo’s you provoke and thus the number of attacks you can make. It’s a decent tool for hitting a bunch of enemies if you go down the tree and it can keep you pretty obnoxiously safe with enough movement speed and/or various forms of movement (air walk, spider climb) but that’s mostly it, in and of itself.

I may have stated something wrong but it’s 4am and I haven’t touched my character in a few weeks. Most everything I said is pretty close to accurate based on memory though. The Come and Get Me Barbarian is another way to do it and comes online around the same level (level 9 vs level 12). I don’t think it’s as faithful to the concept or as inherently functional to it but you get more health, armor access, higher accuracy, damage and all the barbarian things and can boost your movement speed with magic and not need to gain levels to show off the speed early. Rage flexibility in stat modification is nice and rage powers can supplement some feats and abilities but I don’t think you’ll get the entire kit quite like you can with a monk and I don’t think you’ll get it all as soon. I researched for and built this character years ago so I am not sure if there are many new options that accelerate the concept or enhance it. Either way, there you go.

Dark Archive

@blahpers In the same way that someone has determined a solution to a problem but realizes there could be unknown variables or complications, I posted with one intent being to explore those variables and complications.

Just because I disagreed with certain arguments didn't mean that I wasn't open to different interpretations. Since I recognized that could be the case, I posted here to see what they were. I didn't expect every angle of interpretation to be different. I found that bizarre. I get some rules wrong. I miss some critical elements sometimes. I don't recall ever having been wrong about every rule and every interpretation from a-z. But there is a first time for everything. So I did exactly what firebug said I did, I appealed to authority because a 3rd party with no investment in the issue seemed a reasonable approach at this point. Since the purpose of this thread was to clarify the issue, I thought it best to present the most accurate information I could (even if the 3rd party information had disagreed with me). But believing this would require making assumptions about me based on my time here, experience, rules knowledge, character and presentation. I think we know where people see me regarding those things from just the comments in this specific thread, let alone others over the years.

There were multiple purposes behind this thread, actually and they've all been satisfied. So even though there is distinct disagreement, I think this was a success.

I guess that changing my mind on some rules presented means that my mind was already made up. *shrug* Ok. I'm fine with you holding that belief.

I 100% have a bias. I agree with you. I did mix rules and science and because some things were ambiguous or seemed ambiguous, I referenced them because those are, in fact, the issues. I don't deny any of those things. I decided to post here regardless of my bias because I wanted to clarify the ambiguities.

I knew the moment I typed DR as an example a second time that I had screwed up. I already knew it didn't apply by the rules but that it served to illustrate my point conceptually very well and I didn't feel I would have to go hunt down any of the several specific ways one could not take damage or take less damage. I assumed a level of base knowledge but that was my mistake because this is the paizo rules forum so it was my fault for not taking the extra time to be very explicit on a point, no matter how intuitive it might be. It was also my fault for assuming a knowledge base that would favor any portion of my statements. I should have spent the time and provided multiple links for every example. I was lucky and permitted to reference DR the first time so it's no surprise that doing so again resulted in the rebuttal. That's just how it works here and I knew that.

Well call me a monkey's uncle....

Someone tried to state that glide was the feather fall spell. I addressed that because it's blatantly erroneous data.

I convinced local gm's to house rule to my point of view?
I badgered them...much like this thread?

Then don't believe anything I say. Feel free to block/hide or ignore me and my posts. I know I will be doing the same. I have no credibility here so it's ok. I won't take the time to get annoyed about your false statements about my character and/or actions. I'll just suggest we permanently part ways if you find that I am unscrupulous to such an extent.

Dark Archive

I disagree with almost everything said in every post above. I disagree from a rules point, an opinion point, and a sensibilities point.

A few statements were made that I can see both sides on but the consensus here appears that there is only one side and that just isn't true. Exactly one response educated me and got me to view something differently due to poor wording of an ability. So I saw the messiness of rules interpretations that would stem from it if I attempted to use it at a table and wisely moved on. So thanks to avr for labeling that landmine.

However, after seeing the replies here I realized that I needed to pull resources from another group since I have not felt that enough of the answers here used the rules or good enough reasoning to support their statements (although some did, just not enough). So I have independently been in communication with a venture captain or two, and several PFS GM's and received their feedback. So this issue is closed as far as I am concerned but I will post the results and reasoning for posterity.

But first I have to clarify the above post because it's been driving me crazy all week.

Above a statement was made about having to jump down from above with the feat and that falling back down after making a high jump disqualifies you from jumping down onto someone.

(I meant no ill will if this sounds condescending. I can't convey my tone over text so this preamble will have to suffice. Rules arguments can sound pretty rude, otherwise).

I'm sorry but what was said isn't right for several reasons: rules, science, and reality.

Quick reply:
Science: Any jumping action requires you to propel off of a surface and follow a ballistic trajectory meaning that your trajectory requires you to fall in order to jump and any point in that trajectory is considered a jump, completed trajectory or not.

Reality: Every single time you have ever seen something jump it leaves the surface of what it is jumping from, travels through the air or water, and lands on something else. If a creature leaped from one wall to another you wouldn't say it didn't jump. If a creature leaped from the floor to the ceiling you wouldn't say it didn't jump. If a creature leaped from one side of a wall to another you wouldn't say that it didn't jump and the kind of jump the creature did (up or down) is entirely dependent on the trajectory and where it ended the action. Ascension is jumping up and the descent is jumping down. Leaping over a rock and down into a hole is still considered jumping down into a hole...but also jumping up over a rock. Jumping out of a tree without jumping up requires you to jump laterally and use some effect like spider climb or restricts you to falling only. You're then arguing that the feat simply doesn't work at all or only works if you have an ever narrowing set of conditions present (spider climb, are on a solid high surface, etc).

The rules reference jumping and falling together. You can miss a jump and reduce the falling damage with acrobatics checks. The DC of a jump is based on horizontal or vertical distance covered and not the descent (except in the case of horizontal jumps since that is factored in to covering greater distances already but is not necessary with vertical jumps because coming down requires no effort and has no dc). It references missing a jump and falling in regards to not reaching a designated point of trajectory. It's not suggesting that the descent of a 10' high jump is not part of the jump.

Here is what was determined by my 'second opinion':

1.) You can high jump from the ground onto a target and activate Branch Jumper just fine but getting enough height to make it work is problematic.

2.) You pretty much need Rhino Charge to do this leaping attack. Glide can work but you should expect table variation on 2-3 points of Glide if you do.

3.) Reducing damage from a fall doesn't necessarily reduce the damage from Branch Pounce. First it's logically inconsistent with too many mechanisms that exist that can offset, delay, reduce, or otherwise prevent or modify damage. Second, the feat does not call out the damage that you take and only the damage that is appropriate under a given condition: falling. Therefor, circumstances that modify appropriate falling damage (increased gravity, decreased gravity, etc) would apply but not things that reduce or increase the damage you receive. This is also logically consistent with common sense application. For example, if a spell increased the damage dice by 1 step when you fell, that is now what is appropriate for your fall. If a spell reduced how much damage you take from falls, or an ability allows you to ignore a certain distance of your fall, that doesn't change the amount of damage that is appropriate for your fall. If a spell increases or decreases the number of dice of damage you take from falling a given distance, that will translate into how much you can deal with this feat ie 2d6 per 10 feet. If you and a target were under the effects of water walk and fighting on a lake surface, the reduced damage from falling onto a lake is irrelevant when using this feat and wouldn't make sense because it's not what is appropriate for your fall even if you will hit the water and take less damage. Besides using Glide, this was the most contentious issue but it was repeatedly proven that reading it the other way causes for situations that simply do not make any sense at all or which shouldn't be able to happen.

4.) The appropriate damage for a fall is 1d6 for 10', 2d6 for 20' and so on, as referenced by the feat and also by the environment rules. At this point, there isn't any ambiguity, although initially there was.

5.) Certain spells or effects that modify falling damage may require judgement calls to determine how they interact with this feat based on whether or not it is clear on what they are interacting on. The general consensus is that it's case by case (We're looking at you Staggering Fall- which by the way doesn't modify what is appropriate for your fall, only the damage you actually take as a result of it but other things may interact differently).

6.) Glide isn't Feather Fall. At all. Depending on how you read it they can be similar. But no matter how similar they are, they're different spells, they function differently, they can't even be deployed in the same manner and their functionality is different. Glide is better in some ways and worse in others. Glide's reference to Feather Fall does not make it actually the Feather Fall spell or function as Feather Fall outside of the scope of that reference unless specified further in the spell itself. Since there is room for interpretation of the Glide spell to have features similar to Feather Fall, you can consider the two spells to have some similarities. That's it. They are not similar enough to be considered the same (they simply do very different things- but some of those things are the same).

7.) The jury is out on the charging distance. I got that it was 'rules nebulous', and 'can we go back to Glide, that was easier' and falling is movement but not a move action. James Jacobs has clarified that the act of falling is not an action at all. Some argued that Rhino Charge won't let you charge more than your speed and others argued that your speed is currently the distance you are falling since it's movement down and it provokes just like normal movement. There was the logical element of falling 100' and suddenly charging when in range despite nothing limiting that range. The safest answer is to be a catfolk and have sprint, or only cover your land speed but the best I've got is 'expect table variation'. I'd imagine that most GM's would let you go all out with it since the investment is rather high (minimum of 5 feats just to get started, and a lot of money and specific choices and opportunity costs on top of that). But again, no definitive answer. My personal opinion is that you ARE moving when you fall and that falling supplants your speed at any point where you fall in a round. But my opinion on this is not the only way to interpret the rules (which aren't clear on this matter). To this end, any of the above comments on this specific matter are just as likely to be the correct way to interpret this.

In short, the whole thing works UNLESS you are using Glide, or trying to figure out how far you can charge if charging more than your characters listed speed when you charge while falling. Once you apply either of those two things you can expect variation.

All of this is me paraphrasing, although some is more or less straight copy from the sources. Now people can see both sides of the arguments, where we all stand on them, and the outside opinion of a third party group.

PS. @Meirril Pointing out that DR doesn't apply to falling damage as a means to support your point while conveniently leaving out the list of other things that do apply to falling damage and not resolving them wasn't a fair way to make said point. The intent behind listing DR was clear- to demonstrate multiple ways that damage could not happen to a character and to illustrate why it was absurd to then grant that power to the target of your attack and how the reasoning behind such statements was inherently flawed. If I took all the interpretations from others and applied them as truth, a player would have to climb 30' onto a roof or into a tree, hang upside down while spider climbing to ambush the enemy by jumping down on a charge, and if he makes his acrobatics checks using those rules and the feat to reduce the damage he takes from the fall, he'll deal 1d6 non-lethal damage to himself and fall prone and to his enemy will deal weapon damage + 1d6 nonlethal. He'll have invested 5 feats, skill ranks, magic items and/or spells and prep time to make this happen but if he finds a way to prevent the nonlethal damage to himself, he'll only deal his weapon damage to his opponent- at which point he could have simply charged as normal, invested 0 feats, 0 skills, 0 prep time, 0 gold, 0 spells and/or gear (assuming it's an ambush skill only). This is part of why I find the arguments above absurd. I am not sure I could intentionally build a series of feats that work together and make them function to such a negative effect. And to my knowledge, all of the 'prone shooter' feats have been addressed.

Dark Archive

I was being fairly general since the specifics can vary. It is entirely possible for a character to high jump 100’ or more and the character in question certainly can. So I just left the assumption that we have made an arbitrary dc and are successfully at whatever height is specified and now attempting to use this feat which requires investment. My method involves wind leaper but doesn’t use an Akitonian blade, preferring other measures.

I think that what is appropriate for an event and what actually happens as the result of an event are two entirely different things. As I stated before (and as the feat references) the damage appropriate for a 10’ fall is 1d6. The damage appropriate for a 20’ fall is 2d6, and so on.

I don’t think we have anything to argue about on that (I hope). Now, if I fall I am normally going to take the damage appropriate for the fall but there are ways to offset this. Why do those ways reduce the damage I deal? The feat makes it clear that I deal damage appropriate to the fall, not the actual damage I received. If I have an effect that says to convert every d6 of falling damage I would receive into a fortitude save dc 10+the result of the d6 damage or take 1 con drain, that doesn’t change how much my opponent takes from the feat or the amount of damage that’s appropriate for my fall (which is always the same unless dealing with different levels of gravity or similar effects). I’m no longer taking falling damage but that doesn’t mean that the damage appropriate for the fall has changed. Another way is an object specific immune to falling damage still deals damage appropriate for its fall and size to targets underneath it. I’ve given other examples in earlier posts to show myriad ways to reduce or ignore falling damage and how it makes no sense that they all shut this feat down. Dr10/magic shouldn’t stop this feat from working 80% of the time or whatever it amounts to. And neither should an ability specifically designed to reduce or prevent damage from falling.

You might be right about ending up prone after using the feat. I’m not 100% sure on movement speed and falling in this situation. The parameters of the fall are set on descent and while charging typically is limited by your movement it does seem parodoxical that now you are moving at the distance of fall but can only count an arbitrary point of your plummet as the charge. I’m on the fence there. Someone had said that your movement in this case is equal to that of the distance you fall. You aren’t using standard listed movement either way because falling isn’t normally a type of movement (unless it’s in a rule somewhere). Does anyone know?

Dark Archive

@Firebug I don’t think there are any diagonal motions to be made. You simple fall a given distance and are then permitted a lateral five foot square you can move.

Right now I am assuming this series of events:

I’m a monk with 60’ of movement speed.
I take half damage from falls.
I cover twice the distance on acrobatics checks to jump.
My unarmed strikes deal 2d6 damage.

I use a move action to leap 100’ into the sky and ready an action to charge at the apex of my jump with Rhino Charge. My opponent is now 100’ below me.

What happens?

Dark Archive

Ok, so let’s say that this is all true to system design and the more interesting and fun option is also the option that doesn’t work at all.

On Feather Fall: my normal sensibilities want to agree that you are falling slow enough not to deal damage to a target however the scientist in me can’t help but argue. An object of any significant mass falling at 10’ per second (the equivalent of feather fall) can hurt. In fact, the spell states that it’s slowing the fall to a much shorter equivalent than the standard accelerated fall. People still sprain things, break things, and occasionally die from falls on standing ground moving at normal short-range velocity. Feather falls clause about preventing falling damage isn’t a byproduct of falling slower. It’s an added feature because a fall of that speed from half of what it takes to cause damage actually does cause damage in real life. While this isn’t a real life simulator, I think the point stands more clearly about what the spell is doing with that in mind.

This leads me to one thing I can’t agree on, however, is that by not taking or by somehow reducing the falling damage you receive, you also transfer the magic, special ability, or feats benefits to your opponent.

Branch Pounce states that you deal damage appropriate to your fall and then it explicitly references what amount is appropriate- 1d6 for every 10 feet that you fall. It definitely does not say nor give examples pertaining to how much damage your character takes regarding this. Your arguments that support this effectively are making these sorts of statements as a result:

I have fallen 20’ and take 2d6 falling damage. I would normally add that falling damage to my enemy but I have worked impossibly hard to achieve DR15 and so now my opponent has that same DR (specific to falling damage) because I am somehow transferring it to him.

I have fallen 20’ and will deal an additional 2d6 falling damage to my opponent except for the fact that I have a magic item that says if I make a DC 20 acrobatics check, that I ignore the first 30’ of damage from a fall. So now he also has the partial benefits of said magic item and will ignore the first 30’ of falling damage I will deal to him...for some reason.

The feat references a chart, effectively. What is appropriate for a fall from 100 feet high? 10d6. Can you modify those results with shenanigans? Yes. But since they don’t change what is appropriate for your fall (see chart) then Branch Pounce shouldn’t be affected. Now what is appropriate for your fall can change if gravity changes but the fact that you can be immune to the damage, prevent the damage, or reduce the damage has no bearing on the opponents ability to do the same. Branch Pounce even gives means to reduce the damage from the fall without implying or stating that it reduces the damage your target receives- in fact it implies otherwise based on how it is presented.

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Ok, I read it again and see what you are talking about. So again, is gliding falling? As I said before I think it is but want to get my rules understanding down pat for this. If I fall 20 feet I can now glide 20x5 feet in any number of directions. That’s 100’+20’. Am I falling 120’ or just 20’?

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Glide wrote:
In addition, you can move up to 5 feet in any horizontal direction for every 1 foot you fall, at a speed of 60 feet per round.

I'm not seeing how I am now only falling 60' a round. Based on this information I am still falling at 500' per round and if I desire, can add up to an additional 60' (horizontal movement) to it if I so choose (which gives me a potential total of 560' I could fall in a round, not just sixty). The quote above is the only reference to the 60' movement speed. My initial query states I have leaped 100 vertical feet. If my understanding is correct I will fall 100' + up to 60' in horizontal direction (and I am fairly certain that gliding is just a controlled fall and so still counts for all normal fall related purposes that are applicable).

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avr wrote:

If you're using dragonfly flight then you use glide, which acts as feather fall, which means you take no falling damage. You fall at 60'/round which you can't change. If you're falling 100' it'll take two rounds.

If you are also using branch pounce then the damage appropriate to your fall is zero, and that's what you and your target take.

Glide doesn’t say it acts like feather fall at all. It only states that you take no damage from falls- like feather fall. You can move 5’ for every 1 foot you descend during a fall at any point or points during that fall. If you use it at all and fall for than 12’ you will always cover more than 60’ in a round. Glide isn’t feather fall. It just uses the no damage mechanics of feather fall.


And here is the relevant text.

Glide wrote:
You take no damage from falls (as if from feather fall).


That is the very first sentence of the spell. There is never another mention of feather fall in the spells description. Feather Fall’s description states several effects but ‘also’ that you take no damage from falls. That distinction is important because there are multiple ways to fall a distance of any amount of fear (including 0 or unlisted amounts of feet) and take damage from falling. Feather fall stops that damage from happening. Glide emulates this ability but nothing else from feather fall (because it doesn’t say that it does).

Branch Pounce only states that you deal damage appropriate to your fall, not damage equal to how much you took from your fall. I think that is a very important distinction to make. My understanding is that the damage appropriate for a 100’ fall is 10d6. If I have damage reduction 60 and take 0, I don’t think it makes any sort of sense (raw or rai) that I am adding 0 damage from the feat. Similarly, if I am reducing my damage taken with boots of the cat or a magic rod that allows me to ignore or reduce damage from falls, my target doesn’t have those same magical effects or a countereffect so why isn’t he taking the full falls damage? Sure, in referencing feather fall specifically, I would argue you deal no damage because it states that you fall slowly. This is reasonable. But if I am falling at the full 500’ per round and manage to superhero land on a targets face but through exception skill (acrobatics check as listed in the feats own description), magical techniques, or some extraordinary ability my opponent now doesn’t take all the impact? I’m not sure I agree entirely and think that the nature of the damage reduction in question would have to explicitly give a good reason for imparting your benefits to the enemy target (feather fall makes sense).

But if I am missing something then please point it out.

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Branch Pounce

Dragonfly Flight

If I have a movement speed of 50' and make an acrobatics check and vertical leap 100' and have the ability to cover that distance despite my movement speed because of a magical effect, what happens?

More specifically: how far can I charge, how much falling damage do I apply, how much falling damage do I take, and am I still falling while gliding/is gliding counted as falling or are they separate things I am doing?

Other questions related to this use a lot of conjecture and the sample feat for those arguments is Rhino Charge which might be a little more cut and dry but still poses some of the same questions listed above.

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I would imagine that True Seeing works one of two ways regarding patterns:

1.) You do not see the illusion at all and therefor are immune.


2.) You can see the illusion for exactly what it is, and need to make a save.

While evocation might create bright, blinding light, illusion can create complex patterns that affect the mind. You can do this in real life without magic. A pattern (it doesn't have to be light based) can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, disorientation, dizziness, etc.

With that said, Hypnotic Pattern (and others like it) don't affect sightless creatures. So we know they must be seen. Also, after reading through the illusion descriptions again, I think I have confidently come to a conclusion.

Patterns are like figments:

Pattern Rules wrote:
Pattern: Like a figment, a pattern spell creates an image that others can see, but a pattern also affects the minds of those who see it or are caught in it. All patterns are mind-affecting spells.

So we already know they are similar to figments but that they do not leave behind anything when disbelieved because the illusions rules make this clear. The pattern remains but the mind affecting element is what you are resisting and has no impact on you with a successful save.

However, the key to this is the line in the figment description itself.

Figments rules wrote:
Figment: A figment spell creates a false sensation...........Because figments and glamers are unreal, they cannot produce real effects the way that other types of illusions can.

Now we know that patterns are real and produce real effects. True Seeing has no falsehood to uncover so you see the pattern and must save vs the effect just like everyone else. The pattern isn't a trick or deception. Willuwontu was correct. There is no disbelief with a pattern, you're actually resisting the induced sensations from viewing the very real pattern, just like in the real world.

I think this issue has been thoroughly resolved unless there is a conflicting interpretation of the rules as presented or oversight was made on my part.

* Note that all emphasis was added by me.

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It's been a while since I have posted, however, I figured that I could shed some light on this issue and perhaps receive feedback in the event that I am incorrect.

Many posts dance around this issue or provide what I feel is decidedly erroneous information. This post should clarify and if I am wrong, provide accurate information in the responses.

True Seeing is a nasty spell. It sees through illusions and shows things as they truly are. This is not detailed explicitly in the spell but we do have two specific sources of information to clarify exactly what the result should be under some circumstances that I will mention.

Illusions and disbelief

A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false. What does this mean? It's a valid question because the next words tell us that phantasms and figments leave translucent outlines when disbelieved. This means that the other subschools do not leave said outlines. So what happens when you make your save vs an illusion that isn't a phantasm or a figment? You see nothing? You see the illusion exactly as presented but just know it isn't real?

The text linked above gives us some clues but a bit of spell research plays a part as well. In the case of glamers, the result should be that you simply don't see the illusion. You would ignore the typical +10 bonus provided by most glamers and probably similar spells since the bonus is coming from the illusory manipulation and if you can see that then the target gets that bonus on their actual disguise. This obviously doesn't make sense and undermines the nature of the True Seeing spell. So True Seeing must reveal nothing. True Seeing penetrates glamers and ignores the disguise bonuses provided by them revealing only the physical entity being observed and none of the illusory elements.

Shadow spells are partially real. Most of the time making our save against a shadow spell simply makes it less effective. The shadow spell doesn't become a faint outline or translucent. It's really there and still creating real effects. All making your save does is reduce the effectiveness once you make your save. What does it mean to disbelieve a shadow in practical terms? Unknown. That's fluff for the gm and player, I think.

This leaves us with True Seeing and the FAQ which informs us that in the case of phantasmal killer you still see the mental impression but True Seeing reveals that nothing is PHYSICALLY there so you know the image is all in your head and therefor not real. You would then see a translucent outline of the phantasmal killer.

In short:

True Seeing reveals translucent outlines of phantasms, and figments within 120'.
True Seeing does not see glamers, at all. If it did, it would be paradoxical.
True Seeing sees shadows exactly as they are. Shadows are actually real (if only partially). Making your save reveals exactly what you see (it's just less effective)

So what happens when you see a pattern with True Seeing? Almost all are mind affecting. Patterns are real, though. You see light. Does true seeing not see the pattern or does it see the pattern and you still have to make the save (because knowing it is an illusion doesn't stop the effects of a pattern spell, necessarily).

I await your thoughts.

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It takes a swift action to enter the style to begin with. It's three rounds to get the benefit against a single enemy. Then if it drops, you need a further two rounds to target another enemy. Probably far more effective ways to utilize your feats. The tree needs to be rewritten as though the author understood how making knowledge checks work and the value of investing in style feats.

With some reasonable house ruling, it can be pretty good, though.

@Imbacitus Nature Fang invalidates Wood oracle? How so?

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I saw the title, thought I had something of interest. I wasn't aware that this was a trend within these thread types. I also stripped a lot of my thoughts and opinion and feelings out of my post to keep it as utterly relevant as possible. Simple sentences with no real backdrop or monolog or railing at anything. I also simply stated facts. In many cases provable facts.

If that was me being passive-aggressive and potentially derailing the thread then *shrugs* there is nothing I can do about it now and I would delete the post if it was uninteresting or inappropriate.


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Nice. That's actually really nice.

People also forget that just because an enemy is high level and can cast spells does not mean that he will sit there and just throw out high level, uncounterable magic because his cr is 3 higher and he can.

Intelligent enemies utilize all of those lower level spells just like players do. Magic missile still has its uses, so does Shield, Mage Armor, Dispel Magic, Scorching Ray, Fireball, and on and on. And if you think that low-level buffs or other magics are useless and meaningless and not worth countering then try imagining nearly any optimized character being stripped of those things or options or their access. I hear Fly is useful sometimes. Oh, and Enlarge...what was it? And why spend your action stopping an enemies Haste or Slow spell? But hey, let's not counterspell any of those because none of those spells (let's not even get into metamagic) are worth a standard action or less from your caster....

Counterspelling is solid. It's limited in that it's harder to control but it's actually really solid. I will admit that specific campaigns and gm styles may make it useless and silly, and obviously random encounters may never work out to your strength, but a paladins' smite is useless when random encounters keep sending elementals and animals and magical beasts and fey. Also, you're still (probably) a full caster so unless that is somehow no longer relevant, you can just look at the spell-less giant scorpion and force it to make a save or be your pet or transform into a rideable pony for your niece.

Now, I've made this claim all in concept and rough memory of having tried this before. I don't actually recall the numbers. But I believe a well-built counterspeller can be successful at least 60% of the time and up to 75-80% if memory serves. Good enough.

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This build has 18 ki normally and this is without any rings that store ki or the necklace that increases your monk level by 2 for counting ki, or any of that. The Chakra feats provide an additional 5 points which will be either one or two combats. At four 4-round combats each, he still has ki to spare (7 minimum) and he doesn't have to expend ki on each round of chakra maintenance (he only expends half as much). Furthermore, he can initiate any level of chakra he qualifies for as a standard action (albeit with a higher dc) so in half of those combats he can simply begin at his fourth, fifth, or sixth(lol, ok maybe not 6th) chakra and maintain for free every other round.

He'll have a lot more than 7 ki remaining in this situation. Because of that, he would expend it on his other monastic spell like abilities in each combat and probably end up, after an entire days worth of adventuring, with about 7 ki. If we get into the magic items that allow you to recover ki, I don't think we ever have to worry about channeling for it even though it is the absolute most effective means of getting it back, for sure.

Alo, Ki Channel requires one to worship Irori and I just don't see any need for someone who can theoretically connect with the cosmos to feel any need to worship any deity. I mean, he's figured out how to harness his own developed inner power to fly, shoot lightning, breath fire, ignore the blows of weapons, cease aging, punch through walls, and even ignore disease. What's he praying for? Strength? Peace of mind (because they get Still Mind)? I'm trying to avoid deities on this one- but I hear you. That's a bonus to the saves we need and loads of additional ki.

What other options are there?

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My first pfs character was a drunken master monk from back when crane style didn't make you regret taking it.

After a difficult scenario, we had returned to the npc who was high up in the society and was to give us our reward. But my monk had been drinking his way through quite a few fights and felt the inebriated need to say something. The end of the scenario thus went something like this:

Official- ...and for all of your hard work, Pathfinders, Absolom will be forever grateful. Now, as for your re-

My Monk- Hey, hey. *staggers and sways a little* You shut up.

*official turns away, looks at the rest of the party and continues speaking*

My Monk- Hey! You shut up and look at me when I'm drinking at you!

It took us a while to stop laughing. Fortunately, we still got our reward. :)

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I read the forums. I hear a lot of optimization consensus that I disagree with fundamentally. I then make a character that literally proves the consensus wrong and then play it in games where nobody is aware of the consensus or even the forums.

The result- strange but effective things.

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If you went dex/int as a build, I would suggest grabbing Kirin Style (possibly). I would look and see if your GM thinks the intent was for you to be able to benefit from the feat before the fight was over or not. As it is written it's 3 rounds to be able to use it....which I *highly* doubt was intended. But you never know. Anyway, it's 2x int mod to damage.

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I will check Sela out when I am home. But I will say that I had an idea for a counterspeller who used their standard to counter but was able to participate in some other way despite that. Wish I could remember what I had up my sleeve.

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If we operate under the assumption that the hallmark arguments of the optimizer are true, then stopping an enemy caster from being able to destroy one or more and up to your entire party via their standard action is arguably a very powerful and useful endeavor.

If rocket tag is true, then this becomes more potent at higher level because your team is deal with one fewer rocket. Granted so is the enemy team, so this probably balances out.

Also, aren't there several spells that require a standard action to cast that do exactly what I have described above? Single target spells designed to neutralize an enemy in various ways are abundant in the game. Similarly, area of effect spells that can neutralie an entire party definitely exist and do so in copious amounts and are available to quite a great many of the classes capable of using magic at all.

Then there is the argument that at higher level many monsters come with strong and potent spell like abilities (which I believe can be countered but cannot be used to counter-I admittedly may be incorrect on this). But hey, preventing that monster from using it is no good?

I agree that wasting your turn waiting for an enemy to maybe cast a spell that you will then attempt to stop from happening may not be super fun or awesome seeming- at least on the surface. But optimally? The chance that an enemy is capable of casting a spell increases dramatically with character level and the odds that those enemies attempt to use those spell like abilities to swing an entire encounter in their favor increases as well. If this is not correct, then the arguments pertaining to powerful spell-capable monsters at higher levels, power wizards as threats and so on and so forth, are wrong. Hence- when did spellcasting become so weak that stopping a spell that could end your team was not worth the effort of doing so? If one party member sacrifices their standard action every round to ensure that the magical rockets aren't tagging- then I fail to comprehend (conceptually and based on frequent optimizer arguments and statements) how this is somehow not very good.

You- stand there and stop him from making everyone have to roll up new character sheets.

Nah. I got better things to do.


I admittedly exaggerate but only to demonstrate my point more clearly. I am arguing from the optimization standpoint using the premis stated above, not that there are better ways to counter or what have you but simply that the cumbersome, action inneficient version is either good because of all the things optimizers swear by their god Timmy are true, or it's not because those sworn oaths were to a false god who grants no domains.

The only alternative here is if the bonuses to counterspelling are unreliable enough to not make it worth using a standard action and waiting around. I would argue that reliable is different from person to person (I start at 50% for something to be worth bothering to do).

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NoTongue wrote:

It may be fun to theory craft and for that I would look at the Arcanist or Exploiter Wizard. There are some decent exploits for counterspelling.

On actual playability. Not optimal is fine, this steps into the realm of rubbish, your character will be built towards handling a specific type of attack, you need to give up your go to do that and then they may not cast the spell or being the bad guy's one you don't have the power to stop.

Readying an action to cast fireball or lightning bolt will be better as they attempt to cast.

So like, when did spellcasting become so weak?

And yes, generally just forcing a really high concentration check is easier. Readied action magic missiles are a thing and have been since second edition. Not sure about 1st.

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Now add swift action watered down dragons breath, dr, flight, healing with status removal, and possibly staggering.

Then have rounds where you get to do this at no cost (not even action) and where you have multiple of these effects taking place while still being able to do the aforementioned standard action blasting- oh, and then having your swift action freed up to either blast or use a different ki ability or something.

I think it can be solid and flexible but would require loads of work to get it there. But not impossible. I'm looking at making it possible. So give me a suggestion NoTongue.

@Magehunter the character is level 12 with 1d10 hd and 16 con.
at genuine average hp, that means:
+10=70.5 (first level is max)
3x12=36 (from con)
70.5+36= 106.5. Taste the awesome might that is my nonlinear inverted quadratic equation or whatever. :)

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I think I might try this in PFS sometime.

Spirit Slayer (Slayer) for fast access to the entire blind fight tree by 10th level.

Masked Performer (Bard) because it's hilarious and mostly fits.

Dark Lurker (Rogue) because you get make aoo's vs targets with cover, sneak attack enemies with concealment, dex to damage if unchained, pretend to be a swashbuckler, take minor and major magic talents for access to Unseen Servant and probably Ghost Sound, and you can take the tricks below. Probably ties or is better than the bard for this, sadly.

Rogue Tricks:
False Attacker- convincing the enemy that someone else stabbed them and not the man behind the curtain has silliness written all over it.

Eerie Disappearance- full round action to hide and demoralize everyone who saw you but now can't. Actually kind of cool.

Scoundrel's Sword Cane. A weapon which specifically helps you make stealth checks while being behind total concealment. It also adds quite some flavor to the character.

Cape of Bravado- +5 bonus to Bluff checks to feint and +1 insight bonus to armor class if you have the thing draped around your arm. Doesn't even use a slot.

Catching Cape- for 200 gp and a swift action you can magically transform this into a feint sphere of force that grants concealment against ranged attacks for a minute or until it makes one miss. Useful at low levels and helps overdo the cloak theme.

Headband of Ninjutsi- +2 to bluff and a swift action feint once a day. Can use sneak attack against targets with any sort of concealment and get a +2 to do it.

I'd go with feinting and cautious multiclassing if you need additional feats or features. I can see a guy who's constantly talking from behind that darn cloak....constantly. But no matter which side you stand on, he is never seen and the opposite side is still making attacks against you.

Skill Focus: Stealth, and some other things to stealth on your turn while fighting are probably optimal. If you can get consistent access to both Ventriloquism and Unseen Servant while being able to stab and stay hidden, you could make for a stupidly funny ally. You could even leave combat and let the party know that you are going to let the drapes summon a hero....walk one way and stealth the other, then fight while hidden and when combat is over, unstealth from some location far removed from the drapes and rejoin the adventure. Ideally, the group would never know who the mysterious character behind the drapes is.

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I also have the option of using a standard action to activate any Chakra That my level qualifies me for. The dc's are higher but I feel that I can handle any D.C. Up to the fifth chakra. I can hover on the fourth and maintain without trouble, or leap for the fifth and focus on not failing the will save- after which point I can maintain that fairly nice effect until combat is over. So in short fights I can do that and save Ki. In drawn out fights, I can just do it the slow and steady way. My estimation is that in any given fight, I will get to the third or fourth chakra, every time, and have the ability to open and maintain them while receiving the benefits of multiple chakra each round after the first and having the option of coasting for a round and using my host of other Spell like abilities that covet a swift action- all while still fighting in melee or controlling the battlefield or nuking at range.

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I could have sworn I had read a rule about undead being affected by their own moral effects....and have since not been able to find it.


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Looking it over, the Plant Growth spell is actually quite strong. I could designate the areas where allies were to not be affected while being able to wade into the thicket without issue. It also doesn't list as difficult terrain, though maybe it is in the terrain rules. This effect seem much more like the Wall of Thorns effect, making it extremely strong. I am not sure that a 4d6 3/day ranged touch attack or an additional ring slot will outweigh the value of having multiple plant growths available at any given time.

The Sihedron Ring is one notable exception. +3 deflection to ac and +3 resistance bonus to saving throws makes this an effective 2-in-1 option and saves slots for more interesting things. The real issue is recharging the wand, it appears.

Any thoughts?

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I was about to suggest the same with unseen servants x2. One on either side of you at all times holding the curtain and following you everywhere.

I would play a bard, in this manner receiving the spell on my list at full caster level and also having 3/4 bab with a means to buff your attack. I would then grab Equipment Trick (Cloak), which specifically calls out curtains as a usable instrument. Then I would grab the feats Dueling Cape Deed and Amateur Swashbuckler (or just dip a level of swashbuckler). There is the Sweeping Dodge feat that will allow you to have a chance to negate crits or sneak attacks with your cloak, but you won't gain the evasion from it usually.

I would seriously consider dueling cloak adept as a combat trait, and look into acquiring sneak attack or something if at all possible.

If you can manage to find a way to get unseen servant on your spell list as a magus or summoner, I would suggest playing a magus or vigilante archetype. Bonus points to the vigilante spellcasters if any can also have full bab and net unseen servant on their spell list through some class feature (or a normal silver spindle ioun stone or two will work as well).

Haunted shoes can aid you if you want to avoid being a legit spellcaster and need that unseen servant spell.

Assisting gloves will work for a single action (one round) of holding up your curtain at 180 gp a pop, if you need a lower level option.

Finally, for just under 4k gp, there is the Ushabti of the Willing Servant. One hour of unseen servant a day and you can burn it's stronger power in a desperate need to save your life but making it nonmagical.

If you grab the dazzling display line of feats, and take advantage of the swashbuckler element here, you actually could have a legitimate character.....that's just incredibly silly. I really like this idea. Respect.

*edit* Don't forget to take the Blind Fight Feats and/or save up for the magic items that make you blind but give you blind sight/blind sense. Combined with the mask that renders you blind while giving you a boost to your knowledge checks, you should be just fine.

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Here is a link for character advancement.

Character Advancement

Within, you will find wealth by level, exp needed to level, npc wealth, and heroic npc wealth all conveniently located on one simple chart.

Wealth by level is a guideline. It is ok to be substantially over or even under. However, over time you generally want to have these things even out. I've seen lower level players with the wealth appropriate for much higher or lower level pc's (anywhere from 2-4). Depending on the classes, levels, and general nature of the threats, you may never notice a difference. Sometimes you will. In this instance, his sword may prove useful some of the time but overall may not be much more effective than a simple +1 or +2 blade. I am unfamiliar with carrion crown but believe it is undead themed, so an aberration bane weapon seems likely to prove useful in only a scant few encounters whereas a holy weapon or undead bane weapon would be quite valuable. In my opinion, he could have a +2, Abberation Bane, Bleeding, Cold Iron weapon and it would make virtually no appreciable difference in the outcome of any encounter he could expect to have due to the nature of that campaign. As a result, it is likely hurting him more than helping him since he could be using something much more useful.

This supports my point about wealth not necessarily dictating power or capability. Sure, that sword may bleed out the humanoid necromancers if there are any. But it's sort of like him finding and trying to make use of a phylactery of negative channeling. Largely irrelevant (barring the humanoids).

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Some of the benefits:

  • You save time by not having to wait for the group to calculate who gets what and how much everything is worth. You get to skip all the rp and ooc debate/discussion related to that.
  • It's easy. All you have to do is follow the table. Done.
  • It's fair. Everyone gets a fair cut.
  • It's fast. Again, all you have to do is go reference that table, give them the difference, and you're done. The biggest time detractor might be pc shopping. That's it.

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks:

  • You skip all the rp and sometimes interesting ooc social interactions that come about from handling loot (or any other activity). It's essentially a missed opportunity to interact.
  • It can feel overly simplistic. hey, you beat the boss, everyone gets 5k gp, see you all next week.
  • Suspension of disbelief can be impaired when things are this automatic.
  • Cursed items, loot you can't identify but wish you could if the caster had a higher int and more than 3 ranks in spellcraft, these sorts of things disappear, although you are dealing with an AP some small aspects may stick around.
  • Everyone gets a fair cut. Sometimes that is a detractor. I role played yesterday and we had 45k in loot and an additional piece of adamantine +3 armor worth around 19k. We gave that armor to a much lower level player (and no one else could use it) and the group split the remaining loot between each other. Obviously, the split wasn't fair. But it was the better choice.
  • Three words: Magic item mart. If you don't like that being the case all the time, then you won't like this. Without a real random loot aspect to work with any longer, pc's will simply buy exactly what they want and need whenever they have an opportunity to spend/use their wealth rather than having those stretches where they must use the resources at hand, like the monk stuck bashing with a +2 vicious greataxe despite not being proficient, because it's the best option available under the circumstances.

I hope this helps give you some perspective. I would advise you choose the best approach based on your group's social needs and play style. Either option works or some combination of loot distribution tactics can work.

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I've been looking over the Chakra system and it would appear to be universally reviled as a concoction of uselessness and a trap. I considered it and, in my usual form, decided to make it not such a bad option and even to make it pretty good. My aim was to craft an exquisite combination of martial puissance, with a flexible and potent range of mystical capabilities- while being a monk. So let's see how close I came with my rough draft, and also hear your thoughts and suggestions. Flavor and feel are as much a part of this as raw mechanical impact. I know this is an uphill battle and that I could have just been a magus or war priest or something. But that's not the point here at all. Don't even suggest that kind of stuff. We want a monk who visually and mechanically plays Mr. Wizard/Druid and if we can keep the fact that he can smash your face in with a headbutt or punch, we'll do that too. So, let's see how far we got.

I typically dip, dip well, and dip often. This is one of those extremely rare cases where I felt that dipping would not help us at all. But then again, it might. Regardless, the build/concept is entirely serviceable with nothing but monk levels.

Here is my take on the Serpent-Fire Adept.

I don't cast spells- but I kind of do:

Rune Lightmage
CR 12
Human unchained monk(Serpent-Fire Adept) 12
LG Medium humanoid (human)
Speed 70 ft. Init +3; Senses Perception +19

Str 18, Dex 14, Con 16,
Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 16,

Health: 106.5 (12d10+36)

AC 23 (28 with barkskin), touch 20, flat-footed 21 (+3 armor, +2 Dex, +4 AC Bonus, +4 Wis)
CMD 36 (+38 vs. grapple, reposition, & trip)

Fort +14 (+23*), Ref +14, Will +14 (23*);
*to maintain or resist being overwhelmed by opened chakras

Defensive Features: Improved Evasion; Immune disease; AC Bonus;

Base Attack +12; CMB +16 (+17 with Oaken Staff);

Melee: Flurry of Blows unarmed +16/+16/+16/+11/+6/ (2d8+4 plus 1d6 fire) or Flurry of Blows +1 Oaken Staff +17/+17/+17/+12/+7 (1d6+5 plus 1d6 fire) or unarmed +16/+11/+6 (2d8+4 plus 1d6 fire) or +1 Oaken Staff +17/+12/+7 (1d6+5 plus 1d6 fire)
Ranged: See Spell-Like Abilities and Special Attacks
Special Attacks: flurry of blows, Style Strike (Defensive Spin, Flying Kick), Scorching Ray, Lightning Bolt (fire damage only) 1/day, Burning Hands up to 3/day, Thunderbolt 1/day (10d6 electricity),
During Combat Rune summons the power within and opens his chakra, often taking to the skies at the first opportunity and blasting foes with lightning and fire from a distance, or engaging in melee and flurrying with either weapon or fists, using his style strikes, damage reduction (from opened chakras) and flaming electrical armaments to rapidly engage multiple enemies and pummel them into submission.

Feats Improved Unarmed Strike, Psychic Sensitivity, Chakra Initiate, Chakra Adept, Chakra Master, Skill Focus Knowledge Nature, Eldritch Heritage: Stormborn, Improved Eldritch Heritage, Iron Will, Energy Mastery, 7th level feat, 9th level feat

(12ranks)Knowledge Arcana +15, (10ranks)Knowledge Nature +19,
(10ranks)Perception +17, (12ranks)Spellcraft +12,
(4ranks)Fly +10
(12ranks)Use Magic Device +16
Languages Common,

Traits Honored Fist of the Society (Combat), Indomitable Faith (Faith), Focused Mind* (Magic)
Drawback: Loner*
*Applicable outside of pfs only.

SQ Fast Movement, Ki Pool (18 points, lawful, cold iron/silver, magic), Serpent Fire Ki Pool (5 points), Purity of Body, Abundant Step, Barkskin, Scorching Ray, Vow of Cleanliness, Vow of Truth, FCB x12, Thunderstaff 6/day 5 round duration,

Combat Gear Potion of Enlarge Person (2), Potion of Shield of Faith (1), Potion of Shilellagh (2), Potion of Darkvision (1), Potion of Magic Weapon (1); Other Gear Oaken Staff, Belt of Physical Perfection +2, Bracers of Armor +3, Cloak of Resistance +3, Headband of Mental Prowess (Wisdom & Charisma), Dusty Rose Prism (cracked), Magenta Prism (cracked)-Set to Fly skill, Monk's Robe, Demonic Smith's Gloves, belt pouch, 100 gp

Oaken Staff
The Oaken Staff is a +1 called, spell storing, quarterstaff (only one end can be used for combat). It allows for Shilellagh to be cast on it despite being magical and the spell increases its enhancement bonus by 1 (to +2). The staff allows its bearer to cast barkskin, plant growth, and speak with plants.

Now, this is just where I am at the moment. Lots of stuff can probably change.
I hadn't realized that SLA's do not count for recharging staves. This is a problem and encourages me to drop the entire nature related theme as a primary element. This would be:

Oaken Staff, Dryad's Sandals, Four-Leaf Clover, and Last Leaves of the Autumn Dryad.

Losing the Oaken Staff encourages me to grab any of these three options as weapons: Monastic Warden (flavorful and still useful), Ten-Ring Sword (opening up two more ring slots, total), or a +x Guardian, Impact non-bludgeoning weapon.

Final Notes:

Planned ki powers are:
Abundant Step, Shadow Walk, Cold Ice Strike, Share Memory, Barkskin, Scorching Ray, and Discordant Blast. I wish I could get Restoration and Hydrolic Torrent. Initially, I had planned to focus on Bullrushing as my combat technique and applying it to these spells for some awesome effects. But I lacked the feats, though a few magic items can still help but at a cost.

The feat plan is nebulous. Due to the timing of Abundant Step and Dimensional Agility, I cannot take Dimensional Agility until extremely late. Losing bonus feats makes entering awesome mode before end-game difficult. So, I'm open to suggestions. Eldritch Heritage pick was the Stormborn bloodline which helped with the nature element but Starsoul was a real close second contender. Sending people into the void of space and not needing to breath were pretty cool options.

1.) Skill Focus: Knowledge Nature (Human)
1.) Iron Will
3.) Eldritch Heritage
5.) Energy Mastery
7.) Pummeling Style? Something else? Extra Ki?
9.) Pummeling Charge?
11.) Improved Eldritch Heritage
13.) Dimensional Agility?
15.) Greater Eldritch Heritage (god mode)
17.) Telekinetic Mastery
19.) Dimensional Assault

Finally, it appears that you can open a chakra as a swift while using a ki point, then not bother making any save until any point in your turn that you please. The same appears to be true regarding maintenance of chakras. This implies that you may open your 7th chakra (assuming you can make that sort of save dc) and then use the benefits to help you make the save for it. It's a shame that the Chakra Expertise feature does not apply to opening chakra's. If you possess the ability to open a chakra reliably, maintaining it reliably is just as easy. It would be great if that ability applied to opening chakras and maintaining them. Anyway, I digress.

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Eldritch Heritage will give you access to a bloodline power, also there are other feats in that tree that provide access to further bloodline powers.

There are a few traits which can help you, as well. Magical Talent provides you access to any 0 level spell from any spell list as a spell like ability once per day. Technic Tinkerer works very similarly.
Two-World Magic will function a little differently by adding any 0 level spell not on your class list, to your class list. If you are of genie blood there is minor wishcraft which is an interesting way to go about this, Greenblooded is a limited trait but provides a druids orison as an SLA, Infernal Bastard for a Tiefling in a home game is a potentially useful trade (you lose limited use Darkness for unlimited use 0 level spell). I thought there was another one, magaambyian arcanist, but I cannot find it. This list, however, should be sufficient.

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You may wish to visit this link. It has some thoughts.

*edited the rest out as it was not entirely relevant.

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Have you looked at this thread? It provides some useful ideas.

Currently, I am playing in a primitive themed game, with virtually no magic items and sporadic technology (think Numerian setting with technology being present in the form of crashed ships and scavenged items).

While not optimized this build can provide some useful angles to pursue.

Ashakari, Cinder Dancer (25 point buy).

Male Samsaran Oracle 9 (Dual-Cursed/Warsighted), Fighter 2 (Lorewarden), Sorcerer 1 (Wild Blooded-Primal Elemental).
Mystery: Flame.
Curse: Powerless Prophecy, & Curse of Choice (Wrecker & Tongues are good).
Alternate Racial Traits: Mystic Past Life (Druid or Shaman).

Str: 7
Dex: 20 (boost at 4th and +2 implants).
Con: 10
Int: 13
Wis: 9
Cha: 18

Dodge *, Mobility, Spring Attack.
Combat Expertise, Eschew Materials.
Dervish Dance, Weapon Finesse, Combat Reflexes,
Extra Revelation, Extra Revelation, Extra Revelation.

Flex Choices: Whirlwind Attack, Weapon Trick, Dedicated Adversary, Piranha Strike, Arcane Strike, Lunge, Two Weapon Fighting tree.

*We receive one bonus feat for free at level 1 due to the game being played in hard mode (enemies roll twice on everything and take the best result, we roll for all hp and keep- including first level, no magic items, enemies all have max hp per hd, no Metamagic feat access).

Cinder Dance, Fire Breath, Heat Aura, Form of Flame, Wings of Fire.

You need Produce Flame and Flame Blade. These are taken from the Druid or Shaman spell list using your alternate racial trait Mystic Past Life. You have one more spell of import to select and it dictates which classes spells you want access to: Longstrider (Greater) or Spirit-Bound Weapon. You can't have both. :(

Greater Longstrider will give you a sweet +20 to movement speed to enhance your mobility in combat, making Spring Attack a lot more useful and keeping you safely out of many harm's way.

Spirit-Bound Blade will give you Improved Critical or the Vicious weapon property. Either way your damage will improved dramatically making you more of a threat and 'striker'. You can flex into or actually take Improved Critical at later levels to focus on just the Vicious property making you more lethal.

Longarm and Enlarge Person are useful, especially with Lunge, for making Whirlwind Attack cooler.

Moreover, Produce Flame is neat for making your two-weapon fighting stuff look pretty neat.

With magical item access in a normal game world, you are entirely capable of making far more efficient choices and do so earlier. You can free up more feats, etc.

Elemental Pupil
Magical Knack
(take a flavorful drawback and add another trait).

In the end, I went with flavor and theme first, over practicality and combat effectiveness. But I did try to get a nice blend. Remember, many of these suggestions are made in the absence of normal circumstances. With metamagic feats you can do so much more. Due to restrictions on which classes were available in the game and the stringency to which religious, organizational, and other labeled systems are being held, I could not be more efficient with say, a level of Dervish of Dawn Bard for an additional +2 to hit and damage, two free feats from our list (making for more available to take or more revelations).

Either way, apologies for the delay in my reply. I saw this about a week ago and had forgotten to reply earlier. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration.

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Saldiven wrote:

One thing to remind the "suggestion should be sneaky crowd."

If your characters can cast spells like that without being detected, then your characters' enemies can cast those spells against the party without being detected, too.

If this discussion were taking place in my home game, and the party was OK with the above provision, then I'd have no problem allowing sneaky casting. Woe betide the party member that complained when it happened to him/her, though....

Not once in all of my years of role playing do I recall a DM letting me know where a spell originated from without me actively making a perception check unless I was clearly able to see the caster as they were casting.

I am not saying that this was correct, just that it has been my exclusive experience.

OK, make me a reflex save.
You make it and take 22 points of damage as you see the lightning bolt streak toward you.
Where the Hades did that come from?!?!!
I don't know. How about you make me a perception check.

This is not even an exaggeration. Spellcasting on the sly has been a general assumption up until I looked into trying to do it directly in front of an observer who is watching me. I am sure that my games going forward will play......differently now.

If I am going to invest feats and multiple skill ranks, you had best bet I will require my GM to do the same for npc's and monsters.

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Nevermind that sometimes people do not want to cast these sorts of spells in combat. In social situations a character may also want to swing things in their favor with magic on the sly. Pathfinder makes doing this involve the taking of any of the above feats I mentioned in my first post. Unless, of course, those feats do not all qualify.

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I have run into the same issue recently. I am playing a character who has to sometimes resort to enchantments in critical situations. I had two problems to surmount, which really were three:

1.) Prevent anyone from knowing I ever cast a spell.

2.) If they ever realized I was casting, I would need them to not be able to identify what I had cast-preferably to misidentify my spell.

3.) I would need them to fail their saves or otherwise make passing the save irrelevant.

Ultimate intrigue gave me some much needed answers that mechanically did not have enough potency prior to its release.

First, I min-maxed my save dc's. I did not want to have to keep recasting my charms.

Second, I min-maxed my 'you can't tell what I am casting' dc's. This took a lot of work.

Third, I weighed the value of the total three feats that exist for non-bards to hide their spellcasting: Secret Signs, Cunning Caster, Conceal Spell. Conceal Spell is the full on deal. It calls out hiding the extra glowing stuff. But you will never fully outpace anyone trying to catch you casting. In general, assuming you keep the proper skills maxed and they do as well, your opponent will always need a 12-13 on the dice to identify that you are casting. It favors you....but it is not consistent due to the feat using your ranks and not your bonus. DC = 15+ ranks in bluff or disguise and your cha mod. They ultimately have the advantage once magic items come into play. Worse, the feat appears to have a reasonable chance to give two checks to catch you.

I found that secret signs and Cunning Caster were obviously intended to fulfil the same function as Conceal Spell. If they are not hiding the obvious glowing and mystic symbols, then the feats serve no purpose. In each case, they are just different feats that use different techniques to perform the same function.

I hope that I helped.

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So my guess is yes that it all works since it does not say 'this bite'.

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Assume you have a kitsune Oracle with the wolfscarred muzzle or hunger curse.

Your natural form has this bite attack (two different ones technically, right?).

You change into fox form. The polymorph rules say the bite attack is gone and the new form may or may not have given you a new one.

If you use the bite in fox form, does the foxes bite benefit from the curses bonuses? Moreover, does it meet the hungers curse requisite to remove the sickened condition?

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Yes. If your character is a worshiper of Urgathoa, he can wear a Pallid Crystal and heal from cure or inflict spells.

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It depends on where you are getting the channeling pools from. If both pools are tied to a deity, yes. They both become variant channels. If any pool is disassociated with a deity, it remains unmodified.

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This definitely looks pretty cool and interesting. Like a breath of fresh air, honestly. I am going to be giving this a shot in the near future.

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Is there a more specific direction you can guide me? I cannot seem to find this speech of his which was so amusing and cool. However, I can find plenty of random information about him.

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Some time ago I read somewhere (pretty sure it was a link from here) a rather amusing story of some wizard or lich or something who really just did one thing- spam enervate (or was it energy drain). The only thing about the story that I really recall was that the caster was holding a conversation, probably with the reader, and while doing so is fighting off adventurers and shouting 'Enervate!' As he does so. My friend wants a blaster sorceror but I want to get him to join the enervate club. Help me find this tale on the interwebs so I can show him why the spell is so awesome (through the eyes of the single-minded enervation caster).

Thanks! ^-^

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