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I want to clarify for everyone that I'm not being intentionally nit picky on this. As far as I can tell, death attacks and death effects are two different things.

Death effects might be a type of death attack, but the same definition doesn't apply to both of them or they would be redundant.

That's the entire reason for this thread. There's a rule set which in every thread I've seen, gets converted from attacks to effects and people answer the effects question but not the attacks question. Why are death attacks a section in the CRB when only death effects are ever specifically called out in the text of spells.

Was this a copy/paste error or are we meant to look at them as two different things?

Ryze Kuja wrote:
And FWIW, Death Ward only protects against MAGICAL death effects, so it only affects Spell, Spell-like, and Supernatural effects. Death attacks from Extraordinary abilities are not magical, so Gunslinger's Death Shot and Slayer's Assassinate would not be affected by Death Ward.

Except that the death attacks section doesn't mandate that they be magical and does mandate that death ward applies. The gunslinger ability specifically says it's a death attack, not effect, so it should be covered.

Ryan Freire wrote:
FadetoBlack wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
If it doesn't have "this is a death attack" or the [death] tag RAW it doesn't apply that ruleset.
If that is the case, why would this rule set be in the CRB at all? There are no CRB abilities or spells that contain that language that I can find.

Slay living, destruction, there's a ton here

Just set the descriptor tab to [death] and see for yourself There's a ton of bestiary abilities too.

Those are death effects, not death attacks. They're different and separate things in the rules, which is why this question came up in the first place.

Ryan Freire wrote:
If it doesn't have "this is a death attack" or the [death] tag RAW it doesn't apply that ruleset.

If that is the case, why would this rule set be in the CRB at all? There are no CRB abilities or spells that contain that language that I can find.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Death Attacks wrote:

Death Attacks

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 562

In most cases, a death attack allows the victim a Fortitude save to avoid the effect, but if the save fails, the creature takes a large amount of damage, which might cause it to die instantly.

- Raise dead doesn’t work on someone killed by a death attack or effect.
Death attacks slay instantly. A victim cannot be made stable and thereby kept alive.
- In case it matters, a dead character, no matter how he died, has hit points equal to or less than his negative Constitution score.
- The spell death ward protects against these attacks.

Are these rules meant to be applied after the fact to new abilities as they come out, even if those abilities do not identify as death attacks?

The question spawned from the Demilich ability, Devour Soul , which appears to check all the boxes for a Death Attack, and was used against a character with Death Ward active.

- failed fortitude save leading to instant death
- raise dead is ineffective

Additionally, I have found only one other ability that self identifies as a Death Attack, the 19th level gunslinger ability Deaths Shot which actually contains the phrase, "this is a death attack." This ability came out well after the CRB which gave us the Death Attacks section.

So the question is, are we to be applying this to every spell we think might be a death attack to see if the bonuses from death ward (when cast) can be applied?

A search of everything so far seems to indicate that death effects have been pretty clearly defined, but it seems like everyone ignores this one section of the CRB for some reason.

Aeonesti wrote:

I plan to run it that Zev's link is severed when he is destroyed. He's no longer corporeal at that point and will take 2d6 days to reform. Mithrodar can only anchor corporeal undead.

My question is, the party is doing research on breaking the chains. The Chained Spirit entry says that Dispel Evil/Law will work, but the dispel evil/law entries say they won't work on any spell that Dispel Magic can't remove. Dispel Magic won't work on the chains.... so how did you word that conundrum assuming they spoke to any of the reasonable anchors?

Along these lines, is there anything the PCs can do to identify that a creature is a spirit anchor in the first place? Knowledge Arcana is used to identify spell effects in place with a DC of 20+spell level, but Chained Spirit doesn't have a spell level and isn't a spell.

Is there a raw way to identify that a creature is a spirit anchor?

Does death ward protect against something like the natural attack of a Banshee?

Death Ward says:
"The subject is immune to energy drain and any negative energy effects, including channeled negative energy."

From the Banshee stat block:
Melee incorporeal touch +26 (14d6 negative energy plus terror)

Nowhere does it say that the banshee attack is a negative energy effect, it's the damage type for its natural attack.

Would someone with death ward active take damage from this attack?

Olmac wrote:
I believe it is about 60 feet. Each levels ceiling is about 15 feet. I could be wrong.

That makes sense, I wasn't sure if it was laid out somewhere and I was just missing it. I'll go with 60 feet. Thanks!

A character with the "Snatch and Drop" feat

Snatch and Drop wrote:
When you succeed at a grapple combat maneuver check as part of a flyby attack, you can move yourself and your target up to half your remaining fly speed. You must drop your target before the end of your turn, or both you and your target crash to the ground immediately and take 2d6 points of falling damage each. A dropped creature takes falling damage as normal. You can’t use this feat on creatures whose weight would exceed the amount you can carry as a heavy load.

drops a character with "Air Walk" cast on them

Air Walk wrote:

The subject can tread on air as if walking on solid ground. Moving upward is similar to walking up a hill. The maximum upward or downward angle possible is 45 degrees, at a rate equal to half the air walker’s normal speed.

A strong wind (21+ miles per hour) can push the subject along or hold it back. At the end of a creature’s turn each round, the wind blows the air walker 5 feet for each 5 miles per hour of wind speed. The creature may be subject to additional penalties in exceptionally strong or turbulent winds, such as loss of control over movement or physical damage from being buffeted about.

Should the spell duration expire while the subject is still aloft, the magic fails slowly. The subject floats downward 60 feet per round for 1d6 rounds. If it reaches the ground in that amount of time, it lands safely. If not, it falls the rest of the distance, taking 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet of fall. Since dispelling a spell effectively ends it, the subject also descends in this way if the air walk spell is dispelled, but not if it is negated by an antimagic field.

over a deep (100 feet) chasm.

Does the character with Air Walk fall, if so, how far, and how much damage would they take?

I need to know how high above the surrounding ground the tower is, and I can't seem to find it anywhere. Thanks!

Yet another extreme necro, but I was running into the same issue and found the following process to be extremely helpful in Windows 10:

1. Single click the image in the PDF
2. Paste the image to Word
3. Under the Format top menu, click on "Color"
4. Under "Color" select "Set Transparent Color"
5. Click the black area around the image

This should remove all the gross stuff around the image and allow you to copy the resulting image into Paint and end up with a beautiful image you can easily remove the background of in your remover of choice (I've been using burner.bonanza.com).

That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
FadetoBlack wrote:

What prompted the initial question was a Flaming arrow shot into a Web spell. The archer wanted the arrow to burn a 5' hole through the Web, while I didn't (and still don't) think that it would do so. I've still been unable to find anything that rules definitively on that, and the issue of what the Flaming quality actually does seems to be at the core of the question.

If that's your situation, then that part IS defined by RAW, and your Archer is correct. It states that "any fire" can set the webs alight. A flaming weapon does fire damage when it hits something. If your Archer is actually attacking the webs (rather than a creature IN the webs), then that flaming arrow will deal 1d6 fire damage to the section of web he was attacking, which as stated in the webs description, will burn away that section of the web.

You'd have to do some pretty interesting logical gymnastics to try and explain to your players how dealing fire damage to something doesn't fall within the domain of "any fire".

Now if your Archer tried to use the flaming arrow as a torch to set the webs alight without actually using up the arrow, THEN you'd be correct, he can't do that because flaming weapons, as defined, only deal fire damage to targets they hit. But if he's using the arrow as you described, and actually shooting the web, then absolutely your player is correct by RAW.

He was targeting a creature within the web and wanted to get a side effect of having the web burned away in every square the arrow passed through on the way.

Gidonamor wrote:

I also found NobodysHome's suggestion to run the original because it's less cluttered. I compared the versions and it really seems like many encounters are just cannon fodder (looking at you, scarwall guards).

That said, I fear that removing all those might make Scarwall too easy, with way less things that try to kill the PCs.

I've tried to find a happy medium in my game, leaving in the phantasms and haunts, getting rid of random encounters, but keeping most of the bad guys. My one exception to this point (my group is about halfway through) has been to fast forward the last couple of Scarwall Guards fights and just give the party a W. They haven't had an issue with them and it'll just waste time.

Later on, I may advance a few of them and see if that makes things better, but they just don't seem as interesting as they could be, so I've been focusing on the rest of the bad guys.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Flaming: Upon command, a flaming weapon is sheathed in fire
You really need to have the rules explain what is "fire"?

As Crazy Alchemist noted above, typically, the rules DO explain when additional effects are produced.

"Produces light like a torch and can set flammable objects on fire with a touch attack," would be useful information to a character (or GM) carrying a flaming weapon. I don't mean to overthink things, but it would be helpful to know if there is an official answer, as even in this thread (as well as several others I've come across), there doesn't seem to be any consensus on what exactly "Flaming" does.

avr wrote:

I don't see the flames of a flaming weapon as just red or yellow paint on the blade, which is what non-illuminating flames would be.

If the archer could get the arrow to stop in the right 5' square (as opposed to just passing through - 'A flaming weapon can slash them away as easily as a hand brushes away cobwebs.' - which would make it higher than AC 5 IMO) then one 5' square would go up in smoke. If the archer wants a 5' wide tunnel through the web then they're asking too much.

He rolled a successful attack against a creature 10' into a Web spell. I gave him the 5' square the creature was in (although I don't know that RAW strictly gives him that even) but not the tunnel.

That Crazy Alchemist wrote:

In my games, no. If the item doesn't say it, it doesn't do it...

That's my take on it though, and how I handle it at my table. It's definitely a table variation thing though.

I know the devs leave a lot of things to interpretation, but this was my take as well. I'm surprised that there hasn't been an FAQ or Errata on this considering the relatively extensive impact of one ruling vs another.

What prompted the initial question was a Flaming arrow shot into a Web spell. The archer wanted the arrow to burn a 5' hole through the Web, while I didn't (and still don't) think that it would do so. I've still been unable to find anything that rules definitively on that, and the issue of what the Flaming quality actually does seems to be at the core of the question.

baggageboy wrote:
As a point of reference hitting something with a torch only does 1 fire damage, significantly less than a flaming weapon can. Seems to be reasonable that a flaming weapon could do anything that a torch could at the very least.

Why not include a phrase like "a flaming weapon gives off light like a torch"? Isn't that the usual way that that type of effect is indicated?

Flaming wrote:
"Upon command, a flaming weapon is sheathed in fire that deals an extra 1d6 points of fire damage on a successful hit. The fire does not harm the wielder. The effect remains until another command is given."

It says that the weapon is sheathed in fire. Does that fire give light like a torch or heat? Can you use a flaming weapon to start a campfire?

I tried searching everywhere and couldn't find a ruling on this. Thanks guys!

In my game, Rolth escaped from the temple and the PCs lost track of him for a while. I spent that time developing Rolth's hideout/batcave where he began working on a series of abominations as he plotted the demise of the party.

One PC (a druid) had fallen in love with Trinia and had decided his character no longer had interest in the main campaign. He moved to Harse with Trinia to settle down. I had Rolth kidnap her while he was out fooling around in an alchemy lab, and leave a finger and a sinister letter behind, stating his intent to kill the rest of the party as well.

This led to the druid coming back to the party just in time to face the emperor of Old Korvosa. After that, they followed some leads and found Rolth's lair in Old Korvosa. I had to put him in at that point because the party was getting fanatical in their obsession with him and I was concerned they wouldn't leave the city in book 4 if Rolth was still around.

Their final fight against Rolth was a level 9 Rolth, a Spectre, a Manananggal, 2 ghuls, and 2 infested mummys, and an imprisoned Trinia as collateral. It was glorious and ended with Rolth dying them setting off a contingency fireball.

I also used it to reintroduce a converted and leveled up Ishani who had gone missing for some time in book 3, then returned at the end of this fight as an 8th level cleric of Shelyn.

Now that I've seen all this though, I may have to find someone interested in resurrecting Rolth again...

My party actually did manage to capture her and they're trying to redeem her now. She's currently living in the Dead Warrens with Bishop D'Bear and Kroft under strict observation.

One of the party members is interested in her as a romantic partner, but I haven't decided how much of an effect her lifelong trauma will have yet. As written, her turn should take time, so I'm definitely going slow with it, hoping inspiration will strike sometime in the last book or two.

Simple question:

When using the spell Stone Shape, is there any restriction on the minimum size of any of the 3 sides of the cubic feet?

For example, with 20 cubic feet, could someone manipulate 50'x50'x1" of stone? What about less than 1" to expand the other dimensions even further using simple cuts or crude shapes?

Seems wrote:

On page 226 of the anniversary edition, section D4 lists the Sun Shaman as a "male venerable human shaman of lore 14". This info wasn't included in the original Chapter 4, A History of Ashes.

Hope this helps!

Man, I can't believe I missed that. Thanks!

I have looked everywhere I can think of and I can't find anything on this. Does anyone know if the Sklar Quah Sun Shaman in book 4 has a canonical level anywhere?

You may notice that many of the random encounters for the Cinderlands are giants. I highly recommend both stone and desert giants as encounters that can be had along the way. Fill out the encounter with a couple of the lower CR creatures on the list and it should spice up the desert travel significantly.

In Zenobia Zenderholm's stat block it says that she casts "Divine Power" on Kordaitra. How is she doing that mechanically?


I ended up running a graven guardian of Zon Kuthon, the Soulbound Doll, and 2 gray maidens. The party wiped the floor with them. I got a little bit of damage in but nothing significant. I finished the fight with a glimpse of the final big bad blue dragon slithering over the top of castle Korvosa and launching lightning bolts the size of telephone poles at them. Then flash of white and they find themselves in a field with Sheyln who thanked them for their service to Korvosa so far and rewarded them each with a magical item.

When they woke up, they each had their magical item and needed a day to recover from exhaustion.

Even though it wasn't as tough a fight as I had hoped, I learned a lot about encounter design and, most importantly, they all seemed like they loved it.

Just to add, I'm a pretty new GM and this is my first attempt at designing my own encounter so if there's a glaring flaw, please let me know! I want this to be a very tough fight for them and not something that's over in a round or two.

We just finished book 1 in my group and we're going to be running a brief dream sequence encounter in between because one player had to miss consecutive sessions.

My plan is

to have them wake up in a deserted Korvosa and see nothing but a soul bound doll that they have to follow through the city. The river will have been turned to sand and they'll end up in the castle courtyard where they'll fight a CR5 blue dragon (wyrmling) and the doll. At the end of the fight, they'll wake up.

The players involved are all level 4. Wizard, paladin, rogue, and house drake Majenko.

I'm concerned the fight will be too easy even though it looks like a CR 7 or 8 encounter. Has anyone else done a foreshadowing encounter like this or have any suggestions to make mine better? Thanks!

Kalindlara wrote:
The most appropriate method would probably be to try to put something together based on the school system in Inner Sea Combat.

Are there cliffs or a link to that? I'm still new to pathfinder and I don't hehe that book

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Some of my PCs are interested in going to Vencarlo for sword training. What's the best way to handle that in terms of increasing their ability as a result of training. Would it require X number of sessions to gain some sort of stat increase? If so, is there a stat increase/training hours formula? Thanks in advance!

Corrik wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

I've seen several posts along the "no motivation" theme. I don't know if this is something the AP should have addressed more or not (it seemed pretty clear to me when I was reading up on it but YMMV) but from what I've seen, CotCT is, as written, a game for non evil characters.

Again, as written, it's heros saving a CITY from evil. I understand that can be boring for "experienced" players that just want chaos, but that's an issue with not matching the players to the correct game rather than a failing of the AP.

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I started running our game with the old version then bought the new one midway through the first book. It's way better to me. Updated rules already done for you, additional stat blocks for npcs like Grau that you might want to let your players bring along on fights etc. My players helped Grau out and he's become their buddy in the guard and the stat block was very helpful. I love it.

One other thing that I'll add which was a problem I ran into when we played Runelords is the point buy.

These early APs were designed for (IIRC) a 15 point buy for the PCs. If they're too high, they'll destroy everything without getting touched causing you to have to adjust every single encounter.

If it's not too late (depending on the maturity of your group) I would suggest reducing it to at least a 20 point buy system.

I've had similar problems with players before. One guy just HAD to be a necromancer and wouldn't have fun if he couldn't do it.

My suggestion (to add to the above suggestion of requiring certain things in the characters) would be to sit down with your group and talk about what type of game they want. Explain that CotCT is a good vs evil game that requires the PCs to be good (my game I allowed neutral but no evil) and have a desire to help. If that's not what they want, you'll just be hanging your head against the wall trying to shoehorn them into a really great story that they don't want to be in. There are other game options if they want to make difficult evil characters, and maybe one of those options would suit your group better.

We're halfway through book 1 in my group. My PCs have met Vencarlo and heard rumors about Blackjack but no one has put things together yet or tried to figure it out.

To me it seems like they'll naturally figure it out sometime in the beginning of book 2 when Vencarlo asks them to help out the woman Blackjack saves. If not then, they can wait till book 3 when they'll find the Blackjack outfit in Vencarlos house. If they don't get it early, there's no need to push it. It can be a mystery that goes on for a while as written.

That's awesome! Thanks!

I've actually done a bunch of this so far for mine even though we're still in book 1. Is there a good place to share all that?

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I showed them the pictures from the books and portrayed him as aristocratic and charming with plenty of street cred due to his being the head of the school. They all liked him and want to go take lessons and see him again.

They also heard rumors about the other guy but no one seems to be trying to link the two yet.

Yeah we have a support druid and a support wizard already so an animal companion would probably be enough for us lol

That sounds reasonable. Although I suppose you can get real creative with what is rideable, ie dire tiger etc

Awesome! Thanks for clearing that up! Am I correct in understanding that there is no time limitation on how long it stays around? She can summon it to her side but I don't see anything about it leaving...

Would you allow them to summon it but not actually ride it in that situation? Using as an animal companion?

So would giving a medium half orc a medium wolf be unbalanced since it would be stronger than intended? A medium creature that can dungeon crawl with the party would definitely be a step above a war horse that can't really do much outside of open areas.

My party comp is: druid (deinonychus animal companion), wizard (now has Majenko), TWF rogue, paladin of Iomedae (working on figuring out Divine Mount rules).

I'm a little concerned I'm gonna effectively have 3 characters with animal companions in a few levels. Will letting him have leadership with Majenko create big problems for me or is it designed to accommodate him?

So I've looked through several long threads and seen a lot of argument on this but haven't seen an official ruling on this. I'll put the question as simply as I can:

Is a paladin's animal bond limited to the creatures named in the RAW (horse, pony, boar, camel, dog), the full druid animal companion list, or something in between?

The section on this seems slightly open ended ("more exotic mounts are also suitable") but it also seems limited by the word "mount". Is there an official ruling on this?

FWIW I'm actually a newish GM running a game of CotCT. There's no argument at the table on this right now but I'd like to get a feel for it before we get there.

My PCs rescued Majenko last night. We're using the updated book which has a fantastic picture of him next to an expansive stat block.

My question is, are there options for leveling/enhancing him somewhere? The wizard in the party is the one who has him and I haven't been able to find anything about leveling house drakes.

I remember reading here before about people giving Majenko levels in various classes but I don't know where the rules for that are. Thanks in advance!

My group of power gamers (it was my first time Gming and I didn't supervise character creation properly) rolled through the entire campaign with hardly a scratch until they hit the hounds in the chapel. After that they felt they needed to rest instead of continuing on.

They chose the top level of Thistletop to sleep in. After multiple rounds of combat. Knowing there was a bbeg awaiting them.

So I decided that Nualia was given an Urdefhan to make up for the loss of her hounds, and she attacked that night. With the Urdefhan, a hound, and Nualia it made for one of the tenser moments in the game to that point.

Oh, and Devargo is Michael Wincott (gravelly voiced guy from The Crow, Count of Monte Cristo etc)

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so many spoilers:
The only one I've really thought of so far is Anthony Hopkins for Vencarlo. It's a bit on the nose but if it's not right, I don't know what is.

I was actually going to parody the voice of Roz from Geeklys Drunks and Dragons for Ileosa next time they see her. Seems appropriate given they were both not what they seemed at first and the French Canadian accent should be different than anything else that comes up. Plus it will keep them on the innocent queen side longer hopefully.

Ah! There's that rascal. Thanks! I'm surprised there isn't a copy of either of them in an online reference somewhere.

Are the ability scores the same version to version?

Thanks! I only have the old version pdf. I've been considering upgrading to the new version but wasn't sure if it'd be worth it.

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