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On page 102, the base statistics for an Infernal dragon specify its breath weapon as "line, 2d8 hellfire" but in all 3 printed examples on pages 102–103 (young, adult, ancient) the breath weapon is "line, Nd10 hellfire".

While it's entirely possible the developers intended for these three age categories to have d10-based breath weapons to the exclusion of the other age categories — in which case specific rules for those age categories would trump the general rules for breath weapons based on age category — I think it's more likely this was a mistake in printing.

Can we get someone to confirm this? Thanks!

I'm especially eager for some inspired Green, Gold, and Silver dragon names. Please indicate color and sex. Thanks in advance!

Wraiths are cool, and good, and my friend. I have recently done a lot of playtesting with them due to their appearance in a dungeon I plan to run in a few weeks.

How do/would you use this creature in your game?
I'm going to quote from the description for Ghosts real quick (emphasis mine): "An encounter with a ghost should never happen completely out of the blue — there are plenty of other incorporeal undead like wraiths and spectres to fill that role." What's more, their Environment is "any," and their Ecology entry is all of two sentences: "Wraiths are undead creatures born of evil and darkness. They hate light and living things, as they have lost much of their connection to their former lives."

These features combine to give the GM an in-universe carte blanche for placing them pretty much anywhere and for any reason. In this regard, they are much like Skeletons, Spectres, and Zombies: they do not need a specific narrative explanation, and any narrative explanation that fits some other monster can believably and reasonably be applied to include them. For this reason, my primary use of Wraiths is as supporting monsters or background variety for the primary narrative. For example, say you plan to have the players explore an old asylum or prison that was abandoned when it flooded during a major storm. In such an environment, it would make sense for you to have themed undead creatures representing the inmates or patients: you might have some undead that form when people drown, some who form when people starve, and/or some who form from particularly evil or insane people. And if you want to build into your adventure the story behind these groups, then you likely also want something to serve as less interesting filler combatants: that's where your carte blanche creatures come in, and Wraiths superbly fill that role. The party might be majorly interested in an Attic Whisperer or Ghost haunting an old mansion, but along the way Wraiths make for a thematically appropriate fodder creature. But don't interpret this to mean that they can only be used as fodder. As intelligent undead, they can think and plan. They can have agendas. They are not mindless, and they can be the crux of a story as easily as an Allip or a Banshee. Their usefulness to the GM is in their narrative-agnostic transferability across encounter areas: they can be anywhere almost any other kind of undead might be, and can fill almost any role. The same can be said of Spectres, which are effectively just their higher-CR cousins.

What are some tactics it might use?
Something not used enough in either adventure paths or custom games is versatility of the incorporeal special quality. They can freely hide in ceilings, floors, furniture, siege weapons, stairs, statues, vehicles, walls — and due to their lifesense, their ability to detect and observe prey is not hindered while within a solid object. As creatures "born of evil and darkness," and who explicitly "hate light and living things," Wraiths are perfectly fit for ambush predators. And they are not dumb; in fact, with 14 Intelligence they are quite smart! If you've ever had the urge to play Kobolds or other entry-level monsters as deceptively difficult through preparation, strategy, and tactics, then Wraiths are even better suited for that role because they are smarter and likely have the advantage over the players in concealment and movement. Hit and run. Hide and wait. Lure the good guys into traps. Take advantage of the ability to just ready an action to Constitution Drain the Wizard when he passes by, then retreat back into the wall to freely escape reprisal. Attack while the party is sleeping. Harry and harass and never fight fair.

And there's no reason one need ever face just one! By the time the party has heard of the old haunted asylum, castle, or mansion, it's very likely other people have attempted to explore or purify it — and died in the process. Wraiths are one of those wonderful creatures who have an in-universe reason to swarm the players with monster tokens and shift the action economy firmly onto the side of the bad guys. Paizo helpfully gave us unambiguous stats for a Wraith Spawn in Pathfinder 44: Trail of the Beast (pg. 25), and a CR 10 encounter of 1 Wraith (1,600 XP) and 6 Wraith Spawn (1,200 XP each). That's exactly the sort of ambush that experienced undead hunters should be paranoid about and be prepared to take steps to circumvent.

Encounter ideas
In a low-level game, a single Wraith can be the primary antagonist for an entire adventure. This is a creature who can create its own minions to send after the PCs, who can probably escape if losing a fight, and who by itself is a credible threat to the entire party even given their advantage of action economy. Even its individual spawn are dangerous opponents for a low-level party, and one wraith might have several. For me, this suggests a creature in a network position: perhaps the local criminal kingpin or capo is a Wraith or spawn, indirectly manipulating the local adventuring guild or temple to send naive do-gooders to their death and assimilation into the growing Wraith collective; perhaps this Wraith collective is itself just one of many arms infiltrating not just the local town but towns all across the country or province, all in service to a greater power like a devil, lich, or necromancer; perhaps the local noble secretly keeps the counsel of a Wraith who serves as both adviser and assassin; perhaps members of the local devil-cult routinely sacrifice victims to their Wraith patron who serves as intermediary with even darker powers; perhaps that devil-cult instead sees immortality as a Wraith Spawn as the reward granted the most devoted.

Keep in mind that for low-level parties, even a single Wraith or Wraith Spawn can be deadly — especially if it strikes without warning. Most party members will not be walking around with force effects all the time, so even the sword-and-board Fighter will get hit. Couple this with the above average DC 17 Fortitude save on its Constitution Drain (Su), and the party will likely experience long-term consequences after a fight. At low-level, it's best to use Wraiths as the difficult and exciting climax of an adventure. Alternately, have the Wraith encounter be the Twist — right after the party has taken long-term penalties and expended significant resources is the perfect time to reveal that the Wraith was merely The Dragon, and now they have drawn the attention of The Man Behind The Man. This is when you throw in a weak (compared to the rest of the New Bad Guy's minions) combat encounter, to drive home both just how powerful the New Bad Guy is and how significant the Old Bad Guy's damage to the party was; for an example think of the Power Rangers' first encounter with the Z Putty Patrol. Then you let the party have a break. This post-climax encounter guarantees the party actually experiences the consequences of the Constitution Drain (Su), and at the same time acts as a breadcrumb to the next adventure.

In a mid-level game, Wraiths and their Spawn can take more of the background and supporting roles that I opened this post discussing. Use them in conjunction with other creatures that target Fortitude saves to inflict all kinds of conditions, diseases, and poisons that the party might otherwise be able to shrug off. By this point in the game, especially in campaigns where undead have featured prominently, you can feel more free to use them in the sorts of nasty ambushes discussed above in the tactics section. This is also around the time when airborne and underwater adventures become possible, so begin to think in three dimensions if you haven't previously: they can just as easily emerge from the ceilings and walls of an airship or sunken ruin as they can from those of a haunted mansion, and these environments offer new challenges for the players to overcome while being harried by creatures that can deliberately make them more difficult. Relatively low-CR enemies like Draugrs, Ghouls, and Wights become considerably more threatening when in the company of Wraiths, and even mindless undead like groups of Skeletons and Plague Zombies become dangerous when they serve as distractions for Wraiths. Consider including other incorporeal undead like Allips, Poltergeists, and Shadows alongside wraiths for particularly haunted areas and a range of special abilities to challenge mid-level parties.

Designate one Shadow and a Wraith as progenitors and generate as many other Shadows and Wraith Spawn as you feel appropriate to either spread about a dungeon area or combine into a single encounter. As an example: 3 shadows, 1 wraith, and 2 wraith spawn are a CR 9 encounter where the bad guys have the advantage in action economy. Adding in 3 draugrs or 9 plague zombies bumps it up to CR 10. This batch of critters can be evenly distributed instead into a series of CR 2–4 encounters that culminate with the final CR 6 encounter with the progenitor Shadow and Wraith.

Question does what it says on the tin. Consider for example a Frost Giant: as per the Skeleton template, the resulting skeletal Frost Giant would drop the giant subtype but retain the cold subtype. The cold subtype ordinarily confers cold immunity and vulnerability to fire to the resulting creature; however, in this very similar question it has been contested how and whether a subtype's Defensive Abilities and Weaknesses are conferred to a skeleton.

As this is a Rules Question, please limit responses to citations of official developer feedback, errata, published material, and unambiguously transferable rules-as-written.

Question is exactly what it says on the tin. Citation will be needed, as similar unresolved questions have recently been asked on /r/Pathfinder_RPG and RPG Stack Exchange. I'm posting here on the official Paizo board in hopes of finding a clear determination of the rules-as-written. The ambiguity arises from interpretation of the Skeleton template (Bestiary, pg. 251) concerning defensive abilities conferred by the fire subtype.

If you really feel like being a hero, you might also check out those questions and answer the unresolved issues being debated.

Thanks in advance!

We know from decades of experience that Dragons generally tend to have sizable hordes various treasure. We can deduce from the Bestiary (pg. 108–109) that Gold Dragons specifically like gems since they have spell-like abilities based on them. I know also that in my specific scenario the Skeleton Adult Gold Dragon was killed and raised by Villain the Wizard, whom in order to do such a thing must be competent and powerful.

From these assumptions we may conclude that any treasures that were particularly useful to a powerful spellcaster, or which were sufficiently small and valuable to be worth a powerful spellcaster's effort to remove, have been removed from the treasure.

What interesting trinkets might that leave behind to serve as treasure for the current CR 9 encounter with the Bloody Skeleton Adult Gold Dragon? For reference, the living Adult Gold Dragon would have been a CR 15 encounter, caster level 7th.

Hello world, it's been a while. I am embarking on my first attempt at making a big dungeon that has a multi-stage history to it, and I'd like your help to come up with design ideas.

Long ago, this dungeon was created to isolate the Magical Fire MacGuffin from the rest of the world. In my world, this MacGuffin is the source of elemental Fire in the world as well as the source of some fire-related abilities such as a Phoenix's rebirth and the cleansing power of fire to purify. At the time of creation, it had its own seals and traps and probably some fire-related creatures or constructs as guardians. Some time ago, its location was discovered and in the intervening time various groups died trying to loot the place. This has led to lots of corpses and loose loot, and perhaps some damage to the dungeon layout from adventurers and exposure to the elements. Recently, the villain successfully accessed the Magical Fire MacGuffin and corrupted it. This has caused problems throughout the world in general and here specifically it has caused many of the slain looters to rise as undead. Now, the party must fight through the remaining original guardians as well as the souls of prior adventurers in order to reach the Magical Fire MacGuffin and cleanse it.

CR ½ Bloody Skeleton, Bestiary 1 pg. 251
CR ½ Burning Skeleton, Bestiary 1 pg. 251
CR 3 Allip, Bestiary 3 pg. 12
CR 3 Shadow, Bestiary 1 pg. 245
CR 3 Wight, Bestiary 1 pg. 276
CR 5 Gearghost, Bestiary 4 pg. 123
CR 5 Unrisen, Bestiary 6 pg. 268
CR 5 Wraith, Bestiary 1 pg. 281
CR 6 Roiling Oil, Bestiary 5 pg. 210
CR 7 Psychic Stalker, Occult Bestiary pg. 45
CR 7 Spectre, Bestiary 1 pg. 256
CR 8 Greater Shadow, Bestiary 1 pg. 245
CR 9 Geist, Bestiary 4 pg. 124
CR 10 Pale Stranger, Bestiary 3 pg. 114
CR 12 Shining Child, Bestiary 2 pg. 245

After reading the history and viewing my creatures thus far, you'll note a problem: I've only included things that have recently come to dwell in the place — the undead risen from those who died trying to loot the dungeon, and a few other creatures drawn to the place because of its association with fire. I'm looking for things that might have been original guardians, either in their original form or corrupted/reanimated now that the Magical Fire MacGuffin has been corrupted.

I'm looking to give the party a pound of phosphorous and a pound of magnesium. Both items are weightless in the portions used for alchemy, so presumably a pound of them is a considerably bigger portion. How big should such a portion be? And how much should it cost? Without knowing a rule of thumb for how to add up multiples of a weightless item, I'm staring at a zero. Help?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Everyone has suddenly found themselves surrounded by giants in broad daylight without being presented the option for a Perception roll, because that's how random encounters work. It's so common that it's a trope, and no one is ever surprised by it. This is not a thread for that kind of totally expected encounter. This is a thread for the more subtle, insidious encounters such as…

Flask of Roiling Oil (CR 6)
Thinking not to needlessly waste what remains of his arcane power on such a paltry foe, the wizard pulls from his pack the recently looted flask of acid and tosses it at the enraged rock troll. But instead of the expected eruption of caustic liquid when the flask bursts, a viscous black goo splatters across the surrounding floor in globs; meanwhile, the GM wordlessly adds a monster token to the battle map.

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This is the thread, I'm the guy, and here's the trap:

Electric Conduit (CR 7)

Every round, 3 electricity discharges arc across the length of this 20-ft wide conduit. For each electricity discharge, roll 1d4 to determine which 5-ft. wide channel is struck. The entire trap may be disabled at a central location halfway up the conduit, and the individual channels may be disarmed at either end of the conduit.

XP 3,200
Type mechanical; Perception DC 15; Disable Device DC 25
Trigger location; Reset automatic; Bypass hidden disarm switch (Perception DC 25, Disable Device DC 30)
Effect 3 electricity discharges (3d6 electricity damage, DC 20 Reflex for half damage); multiple targets (all targets in a 120-ft. line)

CR Maths:
• Mechanical, +0 CR
• Perception 15, –1 CR
• Disable Device 25, +1 CR
• Reflex DC 20, +0 CR
• Average damage 31.5 (multiple targets, ×2), CR +6
• Automatic reset, CR +1

Do you folks think this is balanced for the CR? Too easy or hard? Is the description ambiguous? How could the write-up be improved?

Hi friends,

I've been a DM and player since 3.0 in 2004 or so, and I'm only just now really trying to get into the granularity of the much-maligned challenge rating system. In particular, I am looking at guidelines for custom monsters and custom traps, and a thing I keep coming across when I look at officially published things for examples is the unhealthy prevalence of the d6. Why?

Perhaps we should back up a bit. I'm looking at the rules for making custom traps in line with the CR system, and the GMG advises that the CR should increase by 1 for every 10 average damage. Simple enough, I suppose; though, since none of our default polyhedrons has an average result of 10, we must compromise. The most obvious would be to have every trap do damage measured in Xd20, and just tack on a -1 for every 2d20; i.e., a CR 2 trap could roll 2d20-1 for damage and average 20 damage. But for what is probably good reason we don't do that: 1d20 is a lot of variance, even if the average is close to what we want. So what do we use instead? For some bizarre reason, usually Xd6. Why?

3d6 gives us the same average result (10.5) as 1d20 with less variance. But why stop there? 4d4 gives us an average result of 10, which is actually our target number, with even less variance.

For a CR2 trap then, getting our desired 20 average damage we could do any of these:
• 2d20–1 yields the average result 5.00% of the time, with a range of 1–39.
• 4d10–2 yields the average result 6.70% of the time, with a range of 2–38.
• 6d6–1 yields the average result 9.28% of the time, with a range of 5–35.
• 8d4 yields the average result 12.35% of the time, with a range of 8-32.

Most folks would for simplicity's sake just say the average of 21 produced by 6d6 is "good enough" and call it a day. But why? And why, especially for traps where you can abstract everything as much as you like without invoking the 3rd-edition convention of D6=arcane and D8=divine, do so many effects that are not even spells go for a bunch of d6 instead of say d8 or d10?

I'm sure something like this has been discussed exhaustively, but a google query of "why d6" didn't really get me far. Thoughts? Links?

First, what are Lini's default traits for PFS? A google search did not reveal it as it did for Valeros.

Second, Lini's skill point total seems off.

At 1st-level, Lini has Int 12, which should afford her 5 skill points to spend—or 6 if she uses her favored class bonus for a skill point. At 1st-level, Lini has Con 16 and hp 11, so this seems to be what she did. So, Lini has 6 skill points to spend.

At 1st-level, she has the following Skills Craft (jewelery) +3, Handle Animal +6, Heal +9, Knowledge (geography) +5, Knowledge (nature) +7, Perception +9, Spellcraft +5, Survival +7.

That's 8 skills. Craft (jewelery) gets a pass, because of the gnome racial bonus. That still leaves 7 skills, all of which require a skill point investment in order to reach their stated levels. This pattern continues through 7th- and 12th-level versions of Lini.

Is this a longstanding error that has been addressed in the errata somewhere, or is there something I'm not seeing? Thanks in advance!

Hello friends,

I am having a disagreement with people based on how we have each always treated the cost of magic arms and armor.

Version 1: Base Item + Enhancement Bonus
Version 2: Base Item + Masterwork + Enhancement Bonus

Version 1 has a +1 longsword cost 2,015 gp.
Version 2 has a +1 longsword cost 2,315 gp.

Off the top of my head, I do not know of where to clarify this. The reasoning for Version 1 is that all magic items are assumed to be masterwork-quality already so the masterwork cost is included. The reasoning for Version 2 is that an item must first be masterwork before it can become magical, therefore that cost should be included.

Which way is the rules?

Hello friends,

I am having a disagreement with people based on how we have each always treated the cost of magic arms and armor.

Version 1: Base Item + Enhancement Bonus
Version 2: Base Item + Masterwork + Enhancement Bonus

Version 1 has a +1 longsword cost 2,015 gp.
Version 2 has a +1 longsword cost 2,315 gp.

Off the top of my head, I do not know of where to clarify this. The reasoning for Version 1 is that all magic items are assumed to be masterwork-quality already so the masterwork cost is included. The reasoning for Version 2 is that an item must first be masterwork before it can become magical, therefore that cost should be included.

Which way is the rules?

Hi friends,

I am looking at wanting to make a level 5ish disarm-focused combatant. The NPC must be a core race, use the standard Heroic NPC ability score array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) and NPC gear by level from the Core Rulebook; though, any of the PFRPG line is acceptable for classes and gear.

My first attempt at optimization was a 5th-level elf brawler with Break Guard: you can dump int due to brawler's cunning and you naturally end up with 15 dex to qualify for the feat with a 13 base dex. With 3,450 gp budget for a 5th-level heroic NPC, I was then thinking of a Quick Runner's shirt (1,000 gp), a +1 studded leather (1,025 gp) and +1 buckler (1,005 gp), a potion of shield of faith to boost AC (50 gp), and a potion of bull's strength (300 gp), which leaves 80 gp for fluff like a shortbow with 20 arrows (31 gp) and a longsword (15 gp), mundane clutter items and jewelery, etc. One feat is free in such a build, so one could take exotic weapon proficiency with a monk disarm weapon to get a +2 to disarm, or you could do weapon focus (unarmed strike) to get +1 to disarm and to all unarmed strikes. Below is my initial write-up.

Disarming Damsel CR 4
XP 1,200
Female elf brawler 5
N Medium humanoid
Init +2; Senses Perception +5

AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 19 (+4 armor, +2 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 shield)
hp 42 (5d10+10)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +1

Speed 30 ft.
Melee brawler’s flurry +8/+8 (1d8+5) or unarmed strike +10 (1d8+5) or longsword +10 (1d8+5/19-20)
Special Attacks brawler’s flurry, brawler’s strike (magic), knockout (1/day, DC 19), martial flexibility, maneuver training (disarm +1)

Before Combat The disarming damsel takes swigs from her hip flasks before stumbling into the fray, drinking her potion of bull’s strength and her potion of shield of faith if she has time. These effects are included in displayed statistics.
During Combat She draws her short sword at the outbreak of hostilities and feigns helplessness with calls to others to help her. If she thinks a single attack can defeat her enemy, she uses a knockout strike to do so. If pressed into deadly combat, she alternates attempts to disarm opponents (and thus get in a free unarmed strike via Break Guard) with flurries of kicks. When swamped by a group of relative weaklings she uses combat expertise and openly taunts their meager efforts.
Morale The disarming damsel calls out for aid as soon as she enters combat, in hopes of luring her various admirers and catcallers into defending her. She offers quarter to defeated enemies and accepts reasonable terms of surrender clearly outmatched.
Base Statistics
Without bull’s strength and shield of faith, her stats are AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 17; Str 16; CMB +8 (+11 disarm); CMD 21 (24 vs. disarm).

Str 20, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 12
Base Atk +5; CMB +10 (+13 disarm); CMD 25 (28 vs. disarm)
Feats Break Guard, Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Improved Unarmed Strike, Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Bluff +6, Perception +5
Languages Common
SQ brawler’s cunning, close weapon mastery Base Atk +5; CMB +10 (+13 disarm); CMD 25 (28 vs. disarm)
Combat Gear potion of bull’s strength, potion of shield of faith; Other Gear +1 studded leather, +1 buckler, longsword, shortbow with 20 arrows, quick runner's shirt

Can anyone else do better with a 3rd- through 5th-level character? The lower-level the better.

Hello friends,

Simple question: do class features for Brawler and Monk stack with each other, and if not then how does one determine in what way they interact? Of obvious interest are the two flurries and the two AC Bonus class features.

Thanks in advance!

Hello friends!

I am designing encounters and one thing I'm uncertain of is how to properly format a ranged touch attack in a stat block. Several spells (e.g., scorching ray, ray of frost, etc.) include a ranged touch attack component in them which could be incorporated into the attack roll of a trap—and so far that's the only way I can think of to do it.

The encounter I'm trying to design right now is basically cribbing an Obelisk of Light from the Command & Conquer series, which I envisioned in the Pathfinder rules as being an object that fires scorching rays. Making it a one-off trap would be simple—put the +Atk value that I want to use in the stat block. But to tie this to what's effectively an immobile "creature" requires that I either give an inanimate object a Dexterity score and make it an At-will spell-like ability or that I put it in the Ranged section and note that it's a touch attack.

How do you guys think I should proceed?

XP 3,200
Female bugbear barbarian 5
CE Medium humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +3, Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +12

AC 20; touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+7 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +3 natural, -2 rage, -2 reckless abandon)
hp 98 (3d8+5d12+45)
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +6
Defensive Abilities improved uncanny dodge, trap sense +1

Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk heavy flail +21/+16 (1d10+21/19-20) or
           spiked armor +19/+14 (1d6+14)
Ranged javelin +10/+5 (1d6+10)
Special Attacks rage (8 rounds/day), rage powers (reckless abandon +2, surprise accuracy +2)

Before Combat Brigg deploys her caltrops and drinks her potions (effects calculated).
During Combat She rages whenever she is in combat, using Power Attack every round. She charges the weakest enemy within range during a surprise round. If drawn into a lengthy fight, she uses surprise accuracy to offset the attack penalty of Power Attack on her second melee strike in a full attack action.
Morale Brigg flees if reduced to 15 or fewer hit points.
Base Statistics
Without potions or raging, her statistics are AC 24; hp 82; Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +3; Melee mwk heavy flail +17/+10 (1d10+15/19-20) or spiked armor +15/+8 (1d6+10); Ranged javelin +10/+5 (1d6+6); Str 22, Con 16; CMB +13; CMD 16

Str 30, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +7/+2; CMB +17; CMD 20
Feats Furious Focus, Power Attack, Toughness, Weapon Focus (heavy flail)
Skills Climb +9, Intimidate +9, Perception +12, Stealth +15, Swim +9; Racial Modifiers +4 Intimidate, +4 Stealth
Languages Common, Goblin
SQ fast movement, stalker
Combat Gear potion of bull’s strength, potion of resistance, acid flask; Other Gear +1 spiked breastplate, mwk heavy flail, 6 javelins, ring of protection +1, backpack, caltrops, common manacles, hemp rope (50 ft.), waterskin.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
Brigg cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dex bonus to AC if immobilized or if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her. She cannot be flanked unless an attacker has at least 9 effective rogue levels.
Stalker (Ex)
Perception and Stealth are always class skills for bugbears.
Trap Sense (Ex)
Brigg gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to armor class against attacks made by traps.

Brigg the Smasher is the principal enforcer of a hobgoblin warband. She answers only to the leader himself, and is given wide latitude to mete out harsh discipline among the ranks. She is especially fond of crushing the bones of her quarry, be they goblins who step out of line or unfortunate adventurers who she ambushes from the shadows. Incapacitated foes are recovered after battle, and their bones are methodically pulverized.

Brigg the Smasher was created using the Heroic NPC Creation rules for a melee combatant, with the base ability scores Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8. Base ability scores were modified by reverse engineering the Bestiary entry for bugbear to determine the following racial modifiers: +6 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Cha. Her Strength was increased by 1 at 4 hit dice, and her Dexterity was increased by 1 at 8 hit dice. She has 5 bonus hit points from her favored class (barbarian). Her unmodified skill ranks are: Climb (1 pt), Intimidate (8 pts), Perception (8 pts), Stealth (8 pts), Swim (1 pt). The total cost of her gear is 2,950 gp, which is 500 gp under budget for a 5th Level Heroic NPC. Excluding consumables which are presumably expended during combat, she carries 2,600 gp of salvageable gear which exactly matches the suggested treasure value for a CR 7 encounter.

Please call out and correct any mathematical errors, and feel free to suggest any changes that would better fit the theme.

Hello friends,

I am looking for a consensus on what the racial modifiers for Bugbears are, written as though for a playable race (i.e., ARG format). Reverse math from Bestiary 1 (assuming base ability scores are 3 10s and 3 11s) yields the following:

Ability Racial Score Traits: +6 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, and -2 Charisma
Type: Bugbears are humanoids with the goblinoid subtype.
Size: Bugbears are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Base Speed: Bugbears have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Bugbears begin play speaking Common and Goblin. Bonus languages for high intelligence?

Stalker (Ex): Perception and Stealth are always class skills for bugbears.
Unnamed Trait: Bugbears gain a +4 racial bonus on Intimidate and Stealth checks.

Darkvision: Bugbears can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 ft.
Scent (Ex):

Please check my math and make any other comments as relevant. The purpose of this inquiry is to determine a baseline from making hostile NPCs with class levels.

A potential player pitched to me the idea of two character concepts: one is to become an arcane archer, the other a dark delver (Paizo splatbooks allowed, no 3PP). He did not expand on what if any game-breaking mechanics he wants to abuse, but I am usually suspect (I used to play and DM in d&d 3e) whenever someone identifies their character progression plans by a prestige class (to the exclusion of other things). Looking at the class features, I don't see too much of issue. The worst I can imagine is the trick from Treantmonk's wizard guide to put Anti-Magic Field on an arrow as an arcane archer. Is there something I'm missing? Throw at me the most absurd abuse of rules that can be accomplished with these prestige classes, please.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Hello friends!

I can't find any direct reference to this in the books, so I figured I would ask on here and hope someone else has had this question.

If a creature has multiple movement types; e.g. a Crocodile with land speed 20 swim speed 30, then how is the total distance he can move in a single move action across varied terrain calculated? Let's say the crocodile is presently in water deep enough for him to move his swim speed, and he is 10 feet from the shore. He has to use up 10 of his 30 swim speed to get to shore, but then does he have to stop and take another move action to move on land? If he can keep going on land, then how much further can he go? Does he just get the 20 land speed in addition to the 10 he's already moved by swimming, or is it reduced by some fraction? The same question in reverse: if the crocodile were on land, 10 feet from the shore, then how far into the water could he swim after moving 10 of his 20 land speed to get to the water?

If this question is already answered somewhere else, then please direct me to it and excuse my ignorance.

Thanks in advance!

First: If a character has multiple feats which can alter the behavior of the standard attack action, then can that character apply all of them to a single standard attack? Examples below.

Focused Shot
Benefit: As a standard action, you may make an attack with a bow or crossbow and add your Intelligence modifier on the damage roll. You must be within 30 feet of your target to deal this extra damage. Creatures immune to critical hits and sneak attacks are immune to this extra damage.
Pinpoint Targeting
Benefit: As a standard action, make a single ranged attack. The target does not gain any armor, natural armor, or shield bonuses to its Armor Class. You do not gain the benefit of this feat if you move this round.
Vital Strike
Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

If all three feats are applied to the same attack against a target within 30 feet of the character, then a character with 12 Intelligence would make a single attack with a medium-sized longbow against the target's touch AC, for 2d8+1. Is that right, and can a character do that? If not, then which feats can be applied together?

Second: If a character has multiple feats which can alter the behavior of the full attack action, then can that character apply all of them to a single full attack? Examples below.

Many Shot
Benefit: When making a full-attack action with a bow, your first attack fires two arrows. If the attack hits, both arrows hit. Apply precision-based damage (such as sneak attack) and critical hit damage only once for this attack. Damage bonuses from using a composite bow with a high Strength bonus apply to each arrow, as do other damage bonuses, such as a ranger's favored enemy bonus. Damage reduction and resistances apply separately to each arrow.
Rapid Shot
Benefit: When making a full-attack action with a ranged weapon, you can fire one additional time this round. All of your attack rolls take a –2 penalty when using Rapid Shot.

Hello friends,

I understand that as I advance a character, I can mix-and-match whatever archetype elements I want so long as they are not mutually exclusive; so, for example, if Archetype A were to replace a fighter's Bravery and Archetype B were to replace his Armor Training, then I could pick both the ability from Archetype A at 2nd-level and the ability from Archetype B from 3rd-level, and everything would be fine. It is with this understanding that I take issue and need to have some questions answered!

I am looking at making a Ranger. Both the Guide and the Urban Ranger archetypes appeal to me. In order to get the Ranger's Focus class feature from the Guide, I remove the favored enemy class feature at 1st-level. In order to get the Urban Ranger's Urban Ranger class feature, it also specifies 1st-level for those changes to class skills without really losing anything. Does this mean that if ever I take the Urban Ranger class archetype that my class skills are changed? Is it something I can just choose to have or to avoid?

Hello friends!

A new campaign is about to start up, and we're making 2nd-level characters for it. A buddy of mine is doing stuff with polearms, and I want to do stuff with sniping. I've taken a look at the Fighter archetypes Archer and Crossbowman, and the Rogue archetype Sniper, and I am wondering what other options if any exist to make a good sniper. Looking at the math, Archer seems better than Crossbowman because of bows being better than crossbows in general. I'm not sure how much utility I would get out of Sniper compared to a regular Rogue. I'd appreciate some advice!

Ability scores are 15-point buy, and we're excluded from using any of the "Ultimate" books. I'd really appreciate it if anyone could give me some advice on how to make an effective sniper. I'll be happy to answer any questions and provide the work I've put into the character thus far for critique.

Thanks in advance!


I am sure all of you have heard at some point a discussion asking what level of wizard Gandalf is or something along that line. This is a thread for just that sort of question! My first discussion will be Xena, Warrior Princess.

From the canon in the television show, Xena is demonstrated to be capable of easily dispatching with minimal effort entire groups of presumably low-level NPC warriors. Despite seeing her commit various acts of daring-do, we are given some objective facts about her in the form of statements made by other characters in the series; for example, we know that she "has the strength of ten men". If we are to assume that the average man has a strength score between 8 and 10, it is easy to use the Carrying Capacity chart to determine what Xena's strength score must be. A light load for a person with 8 to 10 strength is between 26 and 33 lbs.; multiplying that by ten and following down the line, we are presented with strength scores that fall between 25 and 27 (representing a 266 lbs and 346 lbs light load respectively). If we compromise and assume a strength score of 26, we see that Xena has a +8 bonus to strength-based damage rolls which would allow her to, even with minimum damage, easily dispatch a 1st- or 2nd-level character in one or two strikes. As this is exactly what is displayed in the series, I suggest that Xena has the superhuman stength score of 26. The additional +8 to Attack rolls would also compliment her observed skill in various types of weapons.

This is all that I have time for right now, as I need to be on my way to class, but I would like to continue this discussion to flesh out Xena in terms of a Pathfinder statblock and then turn this thread over to the discussion of various other popular heroes.

I have been a DM for 3.5 for a few years, and I am new to Pathfinder. A problem that I saw in 3.5 with starting at 1st-level is that just about anything that's CR 1 could potentially kill any 1st-level player character with a max-damage hit or critical. My solution in 3.5 was to simply never start a campaign from 1st-level.

I am designing a campaign right now for this coming spring, but it is starting to look more and more like it would be too tough for a 1st-level party, even though most of the encounters are CR 1. What is the consensus among you guys here? Should I just make the PCs start at 2nd-level?

I'm working on designing a mini-campaign centered around a small town which is the recurring victim of incursions by a combined horde of goblinoids and orcs. The goal of the mini-campaign is to get the party from 1st-level to 4th-level, and for them to gain notoriety, by solving this town's problems.

One of the problems is that the horde presently occupies the bridge to the east of town, which effectively cuts off commerce and any hope of getting word out to the nation's army. I plan for at least one session to be spent with approaching the bridge and dealing with the occupation, which will in turn free up the possibility of calling in reinforcements to help deal with the horde incursion.

The obvious route that I see is for the party to hike through the woods and kill patrols as they encounter them, then fight the bugbears that are physically guarding the bridge. That's good and all, but I would also like to present other options besides hack-and-slash if possible. My problem is that I can't think of any other options for this particular adventure.

Any thoughts?

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From my reading of the spells in question, an Elf sorcerer or wizard can begin the game shooting arrows that do 3d6 damage for 1 minute at a time.

Is this so?

Logic follows:
Elf is proficient with Longbow. -> 1d8

Enlarge Person makes the creature one size category larger.
I am assuming that equipment scales with the creature. 1d8 -> 2d6

Gravity Bow makes the arrows do damage as though one size category larger. 2d6 -> 3d6