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Grand Lodge

I'm not sure if this point has been covered yet, so I apologize in advance if it has. I'll start off with a fun movie quote:

Kill Bill, Vol 2 wrote:
"Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, he's unsure of himself, he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race."

So far, we've been talking about the social identity being the "true name", and vigilante identity being the costumed persona.

But what if we flipped that. What if the true identity is the hero, and the social identity ... is just some schmuck the hero pretends to be when he wants to hide out and/or blend in with the masses? I realize this is somewhat contrary to the wording of the Dual Identity class feature, but I think it works much better this way. It also makes a lot more sense.

For example, it is the social identity that gets the +20 circumstance bonus to Disguise checks, not the vigilante identity. In their social identity, the Vigilante could even disguise themselves as another race or gender or age group. What's more, they would probably be able to pull it off reliably and often with that sizable bonus!

But the vigilante identity gets no particular boost to the disguise skill. A human Vigilante would never be able to pass themselves off as a vigilante identity of another race, not without additional magics such as Disguise Self. It is the vigilante identity, therefore, that is most likely to be the true self, w/ the social identity being the costumed persona.

tl;dr: The Vigilante class isn't Bruce Wayne pretending to be the Batman. It's Superman pretending to be Clark Kent.

Grand Lodge

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I have a question, mostly for GMs on here, about CR and encounter design.

I’m referring, of course, to the APL/CR chart in the CRB. When designing encounters, is an Epic level encounter (APL+3) the cap for your toughest boss fights, or do you customary to go beyond that? Do you find this to be a good metric for gauging encounters? And if you regularly go beyond Epic, just how far are you willing to dial it up?

At what point would you consider it to be unfair to your players?

Grand Lodge

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Hi, I’m looking to make a Skirnir Magus (Viking Shield Maiden type character) for an upcoming campaign. I know some of these questions have been discussed elsewhere on the forum, but I’m looking for some fairly definitive answers to the following:

1. The Skirnir Magus begins play with an Arcane Bond shield. Is it safe to assume this will be a masterwork shield, as Arcane Bond items are “always masterwork quality”?

2. Can this be a masterwork spiked shield? Even if I pay the added cost of the shield spikes (+10 gp)? And if not, can shield spikes be added later to my existing shield as a +10gp aftermarket upgrade?

3. If my spiked shield is considered a martial weapon, does that mean I have a masterwork spiked shield that also functions as a masterwork weapon (that is, grants it a +1 Enhancement bonus to hit)?

4. If I have a large spiked shield and give it the +1 bashing quality, does that boost my shield bash damage to 2d6? If I become Enlarged as well, doesn’t that raise my damage to 3d6?

5. Using my Arcane Pool, I can give my shield a weapon enchantment or an armour enchantment, but never both, correct? Or can I? I ask because, “a magus can only enchant one weapon at a time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.”.

6. According to the Arcane Bond entry, I would also gain the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat at 5th level, but only with regards to my arcane bonded item. That means I can add both armour and weapon enchantments to my shield, is that correct?

7. Because my shield is worn and not carried, it can’t be disarmed, correct?

8. Let’s suppose that I use the shield as my primary attack and never bother with TWF. However, I might occasionally want to use another weapon (sword, axe) in the other hand. Does that mean this weapon is now considered an off-hand attack and operates at 50% Strength?

9. Lastly, this seems to have been discussed elsewhere, but never fully resolved: Can I Spellstrike with a wand? It doesn’t seem to be restricted, and using wands has the added benefit of not provoking AoO. Plus, bashing with a shield in one hand and a wand in another seems a fairly fun and easy way to go.

I realize there’s going to be some table variation here, but I’m looking for answers that are pretty close to RAW and/or are fairly well supported. My GM is pretty fair-minded and liberal and will probably go along with anything that sounds reasonable.

Thanks in advance for your answers! :)

Grand Lodge

Hi, I was building a Speaker for the Past (Shaman archetype), and I had a few quick questions about the Aging Touch ability from the Oracle's Time Mystery:

Quote:
Aging Touch (Su): Your touch ages living creatures and objects. As a melee touch attack, you can deal 1 point of Strength damage for every two oracle levels you possess to living creatures. Against objects or constructs, you can deal 1d6 points of damage per oracle level. If used against an object in another creature's possession, treat this attack as a sunder combat maneuver. You can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day for every five oracle levels you possess.

a) If you use this ability on a construct, does the damage bypass the construct's DR or SR?

b) Likewise, if you use this ability on an inanimate object (say, a door), would the damage bypass the object's hardness?
c) If you make a melee touch attack with this ability and miss, would you 'retain the charge', similar to if you used a melee touch attack spell?

Please provide rulebook rationale where possible.

Thanks in advance for your answers. :)

Edited to add the text of the ability.