Black Dragon

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graystone wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Prethen wrote:
What's wrong with a projectile that's actually physical but thrown by a spell actually hitting and damaging a golem? That seems legit. The projectile itself is not magical, it's just a rock or whatever.

Because the projectile isn't what's dealing the damage, the magic is. That's why none of the traits of the projectile matter, and why it doesn't take any damage.

You could use Telekinetic Projectile to throw the most delicate vase in the world, and not only would it not break, it would deal the exact same damage as if you threw a sling bullet instead.

The object is not doing the damage.

Yep, marshmallows are as deadly as an Adamantine Chunk.

This sort of ruling is getting into the area of the Game that the GM should be controlling not the rulebook. I want my GM and players to be making these sorts of calls and extrapolations, to build the story in their game.

Using marshmellows for telekinetic projectile and insisting they do the same damage is a bridge too far for me. While I can appreciate the humour value and that may be enough for you, I'll be walking away from games like this. There needs to be a certain amount of comon sense and predictability in the game world for the participants to constructively cooperate.

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beowulf99 wrote:

As for Telekinetic Projectile, this is a bit more ambiguous. Technically, telekinetic projectile is a spell. So it would be subject to the Golem's general immunity to Magic, without interacting with it's "Anti-Magic" unless it is effected by physical damage through that feature. In practice, as a house rule, I would probably allow it to deal it's damage as normal, as the damage is coming from the velocity of the flung object, and not nebulous "magical" energy, then make it subject to the resistance instead. This would also apply to any other forms of physical damage dealt by a spell.

All in all, they seem to make interesting enemies that planning can help with, but is not needed to directly combat them. Even with Resistance 10, at appropriate levels a martial without an adamantine weapon will still be doing damage. Just less.

The problem with Golems and Telekinetic Projectile is that the specific Imunity to Spells is not discussed in the general section on immunity, just in the golem entry itself as Golem Antimagic.

From the general rules on immunites we can see that you can still target a creature than is immune. So really it just swings on whether the GM allows it or not. Ask your GM if a rock fell off a cliff onto a Golem, would the Golem potentially take damage? Does it matter if magic pushed the rock off the cliff? Does it matter if magic hurled the rock? Traditionally in the game that sort of attack was always viewed as indirect and allowed to affect creatures in an antimagic field etc etc. But its a new game and the rules don't specify. Some GMs are going to look tighly at the golem description and say no.

Technically an adamantine rock hurled by Telekinetic Projectile doesn't bypass the resistance. Though it does if it rolls off a cliff.
Because the spell has a clause No specific traits or magic properties of the hurled item affect the attack or the damage. This clause is clearly there to stop people trying to throw flaming +1 daggers and asking for more damage, but technically it gets this too.

In games I GM, I will be allowing telekinetically hurled adamantine coins to hurt iron golems. But to each his own.

I'd better go back and update my guide.

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graystone wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Twilight2k wrote:
Ancient Elf - I've seen the comment on the blog post saying it is not intended to be allowed. However, RAW, I don't see anything disallowing it (it doesn't even have an age requirement like Ancestral Longevity).

There are only two formats for Pathfinder: Organized Play, or Private Games.

For Organized Play, you cannot combine Half-elf with Ancient Elf.

For Private Games, talk to your GM.

The other combinations are allowed in PFS assuming all other conditions are met.

From the PFS character option page: "[Updated Mar 05] The design and development teams have clarified that the ancient elf heritage (page 25) requires an elven lifespan (a feature that half-elves do not have) and thus cannot be selected by half-elves using the Elf Atavism feat (Core Rulebook 58), only by full elves. Clarifying text has been added to the errata for this book."

Now a home game can houserule it's allowed but it's been errata'd out officially.

A petty, appalling travesty. Do they not know their source material!?

Elrond Half-elven, Lord of Rivendell. The most famous of half elves.

He lived for several thousands of years and surely would qualify for Ancestral Longevity.

Staffan Johansson wrote:

What you can't do is limit how the glyph is activated. You can't set it to only activate when opened and not when moved. You also can't set a password that will set the glyph off – only one that...

No totally disagree. Its just a list of options under control of the caster who sets the glyph.

Gortle wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
where was the errata for the change from bludgeoning to your damage type again? I think remember seeing it, but it's not in errata document 1.

The official errata:

Page 197: In the Elemental Type section, change the last
sentence to read “Replace any existing elemental traits
with the trait of the element you chose.”

Which is a bit strange. The rule now reads

At 1st level, choose the type of elemental that influenced your bloodline: air, earth, fire, or water. If your element is air, you buffet your foes with powerful winds; if it’s earth, you toss huge chunks of rock; if it’s fire, you incinerate your foes with flame; and if it’s water, you inundate your foes with torrents of water. For fire, all marked spells deal fire damage. For other elements, they deal bludgeoning damage. Replace any existing elemental traits with the trait of the element you chose.

So all elemental traits are their own element. But additional if it is not fire it is bludgeoning and its elemental trait.

But note that elemental traits are not damage traits. So the possible traits are:
Fire (elemental) and Fire (damage) or,
Air (elemental) and Bludgeoning (damage) or,
Earth (elemental) and Bludgeoning (damage) or,
Water (elemental) and Bludgeoning (damage).

Weird. I confess I was confused by this.

ikarinokami wrote:
where was the errata for the change from bludgeoning to your damage type again? I think remember seeing it, but it's not in errata document 1.

The official errata:

Page 197: In the Elemental Type section, change the last
sentence to read “Replace any existing elemental traits
with the trait of the element you chose.”

Staffan Johansson wrote:

I don't think this works:

It is possible to put a big 3 action harm onto a Glyph of Warding **** that is triggered on say the opening of a potion vial. Undead blessing, open the vial without the correct password triggering the harm. Obviously be careful when you do this.

Glyph of warding is triggered when the container is moved or opened by someone who doesn't say the password or who matches the trigger.

So either you constantly speak the password in question in order not to trigger the glyph when carrying it around, or you set a trigger condition. But you can only set one trigger. So if you set a trigger so you won't set it off by carrying it around, that trigger will also prevent you from setting it off by opening it.

You could use it to ward a fixed location ("break glass in case of emergency"), but that's (a) not particularly useful to most adventurers and (b) working as intended.

The spell explicitly says you can set both triggers. The details are not locked down.

There are lots of commas and 'or's in the original text so you could fit some tighter restrictions on the spell if you really desire.

There is no reason that the password would be limited in this way except for an argument if you think its is not balanced. The spell leaves those details open to the caster.

There is going to be some GM interpretation involved with this spell. IMHO the spell text does not lock it down as you say. But talk to your GM.

SuperBidi wrote:

Undeath's Blessing can't be cast on an undead. It must be cast on a living creature.

I'll clean that up thanks. Doesn't really affect the rating though as casting it on yourself or an ally is the primary tactic.

SuperBidi wrote:

And Bloodline Resistance is no competition not because it's boring, but because it's a status bonus, and as such doesn't stack with so many things.
And when the competition is Crossblooded Evolution, well, you just ignore Bloodline Resistance.

I know, I still think its very good. I am only using 4 stars. Obviously not all 4 stars are the same value.

SuperBidi wrote:

I quite agree with you, there are a few feats that are nearly taxes. And for these feats, I would put 5 stars. Not taking Crossblooded Evolution on a Sorcerer is extremely weird considering how powerful it is. Dangerous Sorcery, Attack of Opportunity, these feats are so crazy good that people multiclass just to get them.

Still not going to 5 stars. I'll let the gamers work that out themselves

What I'm really saying with a four star option is "look at this, you probably want it".
I don't buy the assumption that there is one optimal build. It is reasonable to build a Sorcerer without Dangerous Sorcery.

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Kyrone wrote:
They are literally equal, both do the same damage and both heal the same amount.


1) Both Heal and Harm, heal more than than they harm in the two action version.

2) The downside gets a saving throw.

3) There are more options which boost the healing effect not the harming.

I assume that is what is being talked about.

Atalius wrote:
Are there any plans to buff Harm just a tad bit to help bring it inline with Heal? Currently it appears a bit underpowered, of course going up against Fortitude is rarely ever a good thing. How do people feel about the balance between Harm and Heal currently? Heal feels phenomenal and it's in a good place imo, I would rather see a slight buff to Harm rather then a nerd to Heal to bring them closer together.

There are a lot more ways to get bonuses to Heal than Harm but there are some.

The Undead Sorceror has bonuses to harm, both in extra healing for undead with Undeath's Blessing, and extra damage to living with their Blood Magic.

But I have to assume it was a design decision to make Heal better than Harm. I'm OK with that.

Bluescale wrote:
I was looking at the guide, and the write-up on the usefulness of "undeath's blessing" ("touch of undeath" in the book) seems to have an error. It says that this focus spell reverses the effects of positive and negative energy, but the wording on the spell says that "harm" spells treat the recipient as undead and "heal" spells treat the recipient as living, so it looks like it can only restore hit points, not make the living be injured by "heal" spells.

True, but you are treating a commentary as a rules text - its not. I have a few paragraphs on in in the bloodline part of my commentary.

I can't be sure as you aren't actually quoting what I wrote.

I'll have a think about making it clearer. I don't want to mislead people. But I have to assume that people are reading the rules for the details, because I'm not copying the rule into my commentary, just linking to it.

For the record it reverses the effect of harm for the living, and heal for the undead. What it doesn't do is reverse the effect of harm for the undead, or heal for the living.

So I guess in that sense it is always a buff, not a debuff. There really is no reason to resist it, if you knew what was being cast.

Paizo should probably take out the rules for the saving throw. There is little point in it. Either that or actually allow the reverse effect.

SuperBidi wrote:

You overlooked one thing in your guide: Fortutious Shift, which solely puts the gnome as best race for a Sorcerer. It gives you an excellent reaction, which is very hard to get for a caster. Excellent for most sorcerers and a must have for the more melee inclined ones.

I have just done the spells not the feats so far which is what I said. But yes that will be going in soon.

SuperBidi wrote:

And why don't you put some abilities at 5-stars? For example, Crossblooded Evolution is a no-brainer for a Sorcerer, allowing you to cherry pick the best spells of the other spell lists. In my opinion a definite 5-stars feat.

I haven't gone to 5 stars in any of my guides. Because then you go to 7 stars or more multifaceted ratings system like FedoraFerret. I'm really just trying to highlight what I see as very good options, the bad options and why. If there are abilities that I see as compulsory, I do highlight it in the text.

Most have 2 and 3 stars, which is a reflection of the better overall balance of PF2.

Crossblooded Evolution is very good and I would always take it. But it has competition at level 8, Bloodline resistance is a permanent +1 versus magic and I can see everyone wanting that as well. Bloodline resistance loses out because its probably more boring, not because it is any less effective.

Likewise level 16 as a caster how do you choose between
Effortless Concentration,
Greater Mental Evolution, or
Greater Vital Evolution

If I put in 5 stars too many would be 5 stars. Then I'd be sweating over which were 3 and 4 stars. For each class guide that I have written I have normally highlighted one or two things in the intro, and I did with Crossblooded Evolution for Sorceror. I trust the players to make that call.

For my money the best feats are:
Crossblooded Evolution for Sorceror - so flexible,
Attack of Opportunity for Barbarian - covering a glaring hole in the class,
Order Explorer for Druid - because your order abilities are what defines a druid.

But even then I can see players who won't take them.

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I've updated the Spell Guide with spells from Gods and Magic plus Pathfinder #151 and 152

I had a bit more time on my hands than I expected...

Lots of good low level spells for the arcane, occult and primal lists.

This is what I really like about Pathfinder. So much content.


The new Time Beacon in Gods and Magic is a bit confused.

It says it lasts till the end of your next turn, but all the text implies the current turn. I see that as a problem. Next turn would mean it is rewinding other peoples turns, which is a bit more complex.

It seems that you can endlessly retry your turn till you get the result you want, like be critically successful on an attack or a skill?

It is possible to move minions in your own turn which opens up some interesting options as well.

How do the rest of you read it?

ChibiNyan wrote:
So can you use power attack...? You add an additional dice.

I say yes, but it depends on how you feel as to whether "extra" is extra to the normal dice, or "extra" is modifying the number of normal dice.

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Aratorin wrote:

IMO, that's a problem with Escape, not Wild Shape. There is no reason for Escape to have the Attack Trait.

If you get rid of the attack trait on Escape you get rid of the mulitple attack penalty which means escape and attack is effective, or even escape 3 times a round with no extra penalty. It devalues grappling as a tactic.

Why can't animals Grab and Shove? It is so common and natural. The battle forms need to have this enabled. Just fixing Escape is not enough.

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HammerJack wrote:

Things like not allowing other classes to duplicate the fighter's superior progression of weapon proficiency and the champion's superior progression of armor proficiency is niche protection that should remain.

Not having options to progress proficiency with equipment not standard to a class within the limits of that class's proficiency chassis offers nothing of value.

I agree. There should be more options that extend proficiency like Dwarven Weapon Expertise: Whenever you gain a class feature that grants you expert or greater proficiency in certain weapons, you also gain that proficiency for battle axes, picks, warhammers, and all dwarven weapons in which you are trained.

The Elven and Hobgoblin versions of this are quite good as they cover a range of weapons.

An armour option would be also be nice, and not unbalanced as Champion/Hell Knight/Knight Vigilant do it already. I think we are going to get tired of PCs multiclassing into Champion....

graystone wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:
Because that is what realistically happens when you grow.

D&D/pathfinder and reality parted ways long ago. Dragons fly without magic, gargantuan insects can walk around without being crushed under their own weight, magic... We literally can't look at the world and pull out a calculator to math it out.

Broader issues: that medium sized insects can breathe at all, that huge creatues don't run extreme risk of breaking bones from jumping or falling over.

Yep we know.

graystone wrote:

Vali Nepjarson wrote:

Or to put it another way, the rules say that a 14 str halfling can toss a 2250 pound ogre over their shoulder and and walk away only suffering encumbered [clumsy 1 and -10 speed]... "what realistically happens" lives in another zip code.

Yeah the rules are stretched a bit here.

But it is important that the game universe remain somewhat relatable and predictable so that the players and the GM can improvise. It is a key part of the fun of the game. Every part of it that gets lost like this, weakens the game.

Grankless wrote:
Anything that makes you large also gives you bonus damage. Bam, your large weapon does extra damage. Why is this thread happening *again*?

That statement is not completely true in all circumstances.

Because again someone else thought that bigger weapons should do more damage and was surprised by the decisions Paizo has taken.

Hmmm someone else who thinks this comes up a fair bit ......

jdripley wrote:

I'm not getting the gist of wanting 2 actions to open things...

It's 1 action to open a door, open a chest, or do any other Interact sort of thing.

One glpyh is not really a problem, it a cute trick.

Multiple glyphs used offensively in the one round are.

To be used offensively typically requires multiple containers. I'm just expecting that there will always be an action to retrieve the container.

If you have multiple glyphs triggered by the one action you have a balance problem.

If you allow people to get around these limits, and they are artificial limits, then we can't let players have glyphs at all. Because they would be broken.

So choose your position. Allow them with limits or get rid of them

Personally I want them in the game.

Just like the alchemist class, its full of artificial limits.

pauljathome wrote:
kaid wrote:

I can think of ways the larger one would do more damage but the problem being your ability to wield something that heavy and unbalanced for your size its unlikely you would ever hit anything with it. For small weapons like daggers it kinda makes some sense because then its basically a short sword but for things like big two handed weapons they would be basically unusable.

I take the simple approach. In the real world when people REALLY REALLY wanted the best weapon, the weapons they ended up with were swords, 1 1 1/2 and 2 handed. And even the 2 handed ones weren't actually all that heavy (4 to 7 lbs for a Zweihander)

If a heavier sword did more damage overall then people would have been using them. They didn't so it doesn't.

I'd argue that the spear was a better weapon. Far and away the most common army weapon across all cultures over history. The spear has had a lot of different sizes.

The sword had a bit of status symbol attached to it. Its place was nore in one on one, and the Zweihander was for specific roles

But the effectiveness argument hasn't stopped people from being obsessed with big being better. Its a mistake they keep making again and again.

Its a fantasy game we should be indulging our fantasies....

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, from the perspective of someone who comes to Pathfinder without decades of experience with similar games, the rule "a long-sword does d8 damage whether you're a halfling, a human, or a hill giant" is a lot easier to remember and apply than "a medium longsword does d8, a small longsword does d6, a tiny longsword does d4, a large longsword does 2d6, and a huge longsword does 3d6".

No, just no. Sure it is simple, but the average Joe has been obsessed with the size of his weapon since the days of cave art. Bigger is better and does more damage. It's in so much fantasy art.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

One thing that's a good trend in Pathfinder 2nd edition is that abilities and items tend not to invoke lots of hidden rules you have to remember or look up, they instead refer specifically to what they do or refer to keywords in the glossary.

PF2 has tried and done better than most, but they have more work todo. Many of the rules are written in common english and don't have the right keywords. Many of the rules are spread across multiple places and you have to take it all in to make much sense of it.

Captain Morgan wrote:

Also, at this level you'd have a striking rune I'd imagine, which helps more on the crossbow's larger damage dice. Comparing the shortbow, that would be 20.5 damage on the first hit vs 25.5 damage. Running Reload also offers a lot of contextual benefits that don't show up in white room DPR, like using the extra movement to remove cover bonuses or sneak once you get the right feats.

The extra die size of the crossbow is significant as the striking runes get better. It is why I dont mind the crossbow as a one shot occasional weapon.

But you are totally over selling Running Reload, a ranged character should not be moving every round. Its one of the advantages of ranged - you pick your spot and make them move. If you are using it a lot you are wasting actions and you probably aren't getting your hunted pery, or command animal in.

Retrograding with a ranged weapon is a specific tactic that requires a party built around it to do it more than once or twice.

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Aratorin wrote:

If people are going to argue that Trip, Shove, and Grapple aren't Attacks, then they don't suffer MAP, and we can finally put the whole Finesse argument to rest, as if they aren't Attacks, there there is no interpretation where a Finesse Trip...

No not going to do that. Quite happy with the MAP situation and Athletics checks.

I'm just going to allow all uses of athletics checks for the all the form spells. To my mind it is offensive that an Animal Form Ape can't grapple, or shove or escape OR that a Dragon can't grab with his bite. It interferes with the story.

Hopefully it will get fixed.

LA_Viking wrote:

It is by no means intuitive to balance inequities in ability to hit and damage with magical enhancements. Logic is more likely to dictate you would gain these abilities through training, experience and increased strength, which is usually granted through feats, skill paths and built in bonuses as you level up.

While it may be in the Core Rulebook, the switch to magical enhancement being necessary and mandatory to balance game play has not been messaged strongly or frequently enough considering how important it is

It is there. Its a huge book with lots of content

You often have to read 2 or 3 different rules sections to pull it together.
But you shouldn't playing pathfinder if simplicity is your priority.

It is mostly quite straight forward. But one of the problem is the tight bands of to hit numbers. Each plus 1 to hit is twice as important as it used to be. So if you miss out on magic weapons it's a big problem. Likewise striking rune is plus a whole weapon dice. Its a big scale up when you get your first one of those.

Its not really intuitive but it is like the scaling treasure/gold in the old system. It's just much more important that you get access to certain treasure at certain levels. Once you understand it its not hard. The question is can you look past it and enjoy the game?

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Aratorin wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
MrNastyButler wrote:
Could focus on Intimidate and Athletics to control enemies. Seems kind of interesting in it's own odd way. Since you have no way of attacking. You would be able to still damage enemies, if you can get a critical on a trip.
Except you can't. Trip is an attack. Battle form prevents you from using any attacks other than the ones granted.

I don't think that is correct.

A trip is a use of the athletics skill. Animal forms have an athletics skill so they can still trip.

I believe that clause is intended to stop the ape from grabbing up a sword.

It says Attacks, not Strikes. A Monk in Mountain Stance can Trip, as Trips are not Strikes. A Wild Shaped Druid cannot, as the only Attacks they can use are those listed. Trip has the Attack Trait, and is therefore an Attack.

If Trip wasn't an Attack, it wouldn't suffer MAP.

The Athletics modifier is for Climbing, Swimming, Forcing Open, etc...

Aratorin, I think that you may be correct in the rules. However I'd never play it that way. It is a gross restriction to not allow an animal form to grab, trip, escape and shove. Yes that is right in animal form you aren't allowed to roll an escape check. Try that on your next player and see how it goes for you.

I'm always going to Rule 0 that technicality.

FYI Plant Form has a grab attack specifically mentioned. There are a few other forms as well.

graystone wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I dont see why you wouldn't double bear damage on crit. The crit rules only make exception to doubling damage that only happens on a crit.

"Until the start of your next turn, each time you hit a creature in the bear’s reach with a Strike, the creature takes 1d8 slashing damage from the bear".

We've hit unknown territory about what happens for a crit when the damage comes from another creature. I'm inclined to double it too but I acknowledge that's personal preference and not any rule I can point to.

I think it is one of these "additional damage" scenarios .....

LA_Viking wrote:

Their “rule” is conveniently simple, but inconsistent with basic physics which governs the world our game exists in.

Totally agree with your sentiment.

Paizo have done this as a design choice. I hate it. It breaks with tradition. Its not the way most players see the game. I've had lots and lots of complaints about it from the playing groups I've been involved with.

What they did with glossing over difference between small and medium weapon was probably an Ok thing to do just as a simplification argument. But the rest of it is just unnatural and constantly causes confusion even for new players.

They could have fixed it up without these issues. Their own statements and rules have gaps in them. But I'm going over old ground. Search back in the forums for Titans Statue or Giant Instinct and you will find much more on this.

Just to let you know that lots of people agree with you. This is an issue that regularly comes up and gets shouted down.

Giant Instinct is sort of balanced in the extra damage that is provided in the Rage bonus, rather than the size increase. But yes it is not enough for the penalties involved - I would not recommend it at all.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

A five player game where you often add additional enemies to round out encounters is gonna really skew your data as compared to the default assumptions of the game, in terms of how many foes there are per encounter, and in terms of how long individual foes last.

Which is to say, I wouldn't necessarily assume that your play experience in that very specific environment is very generalizable to people playing any other way.

Which is precisly why I provided that information so you could make your own judgement. We often play with four as well. There is a difference, but my conclusion doesn't change. Ranger action economy is very poor even with the feats. Crossbow is significantly worse than archery. Archery does not stack up well - it really only seems OK when you critical.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Again, this assumes you focus fire all the time. That's not necessarily a great plan every single time.

It also assumes large numbers of low level foes, which is an odd assumption not borne out very well by the existing published adventures.

What adventures have you been playing? From looking through the first couple of APs and Plaguestone, fights with a 'boss' are around 1/3 of the fights in the game, while fights with a number of foes equal to the PCs are more like 1/4, if that.

Age of Ashes Chapter 1, for example, has 12 fights with creatures higher level than the PCs, but only five with creatures that equal them in numbers or outnumber them

I would suggest that, with the caveat that this is a role playing game and having fun is more important, that this is our play experience not a theory. Age of Ashes is the campaign I'm GMing and we are only on the second book. My players are crushing it. I'm regularly adding extra enemies, bumping up levels of monsters, and typically add 50% to the hit points of bosses. Monsters go down very fast. 3 out of the 5 players are highly optimised. The number of monsters are supposed to be increased due to 5 not 4 players. But even so the point remains.

I'm not talking about lower level opponents, they are easily crushed and not really relevant to any discussion on effectiveness.

If you are not focusing fire on enemies one at a time, in the majority of situations, then you are playing a very sub optimal game.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gortle wrote:
This analysis makes it seem good. But you are missing the reload action that you are having to do.

No, I'm not. You reload on the second round instead of using Hunt Prey.

Gortle wrote:
The next round is not nearly so nice. You are also going to have to hunt prey, and command an animal. Running reload will give you that action back if you need to move. Then you need to attack as well. Its still tight and there are choices every turn. You should have to hunt prey often or you are not focussing fire on your enemies. The archer/pet ranger is struggling for actions the crossbow/pet ranger is a lost cause.

Only if you're trying to Hunt Prey on a new enemy every turn. That's crazy. And unnecessary. Foes that PCs can take out in a single round probably don't even need you to use Hunt Prey on them. Unlike the

Flurry Ranger, a Precision Ranger gets only an extra 1d8 damage from Hunt Prey at low levels...that's not exactly crippling not to have occasionally vs. weaker enemies. And it is only weaker ones, as enemies last quite a bit longer in PF2 than they did in PF1. Yes, your action economy will occasionally suffer, but it's Command An Animal or Hunt Prey that gets left off occasionally, not attacking.

There's also the whole 'if you don't want to invest in an animal companion' thing, which is a valid choice and removes most of these problems. Not everyone gets an Animal Companion even if they are very good mechanically.

Gortle wrote:
Where crossbow works, is as you say, if you don't want to make a big investment in a ranged weapon. Just the odd shot here or there as tactically required. But then I probably don't want to invest 2 feats in it. I'd rather do something else with those slots.
No, going crossbow is a fine primary combat role for a character who's just not hyperfocused on damage. Which is a lot of characters, honestly.

Sorry but totally not my experience. The Hunt Prey action occurs most of time in the first round of combat, but in a typical fight you should redo it in two thirds of the subsequent rounds. It is not uncommon to have a fight where you choose to do it every round. In a typical fight for a party of 4-5 against a similar number of enemies, the party will take down an opponent most rounds. Against a boss, not much at all, but that encounter is much less often.

A crossbow ranger is a ranged striker, they should be choosing their targets carfeully each round based on tactical priority. That is a strength of the ranged build - they don't have to fight what they are next too like most melee specialists.

This is a discussion that included DPR. The analysis and play experience is clear - the ranger with a crossbow as a primary focus is not great, good or even just OK, it is a poor choice. If you aren't concerned about effectiveness then fine take it, if you want. I often take mechanically suboptimal builds just for fun, but typically not those like this with such a deep mechanical problem.

I'm only marginally warmer on an archery based ranger. It is not a good build.

Deadmanwalking wrote:


So, in short, if you really want to hyper-specialize in damage, investing every possible resource into it (all your actions, the whole archery and animal companion Feat lines, upping Str at every opportunity, making sure you engage at precisely the right distance, etc.) then bow does do more damage...but it should. You've invested heavily in doing so.

Crossbow, meanwhile, has a lower ceiling on damage, because you simply cannot invest all your actions or stat points into increasing your damage, but what you can do is use those stat points and actions on things other than damage...

This analysis makes it seem good. But you are missing the reload action that you are having to do. The next round is not nearly so nice. You are also going to have to hunt prey, and command an animal. Running reload will give you that action back if you need to move. Then you need to attack as well. Its still tight and there are choices every turn. You should have to hunt prey often or you are not focussing fire on your enemies. The archer/pet ranger is struggling for actions the crossbow/pet ranger is a lost cause.

Where crossbow works, is as you say, if you don't want to make a big investment in a ranged weapon. Just the odd shot here or there as tactically required. But then I probably don't want to invest 2 feats in it. I'd rather do something else with those slots.

graystone wrote:
krobrina wrote:
Anne Archer wrote:
Anne sends Yogi Berra (brown bear animal companion) in to Support, which costs an action. She marks her quarry (action), then shoots twice with Hunted Shot (action) at 0 & -3 (thanks to Hunter's Edge/Flurry). This yields bow damage + 1d8 support damage per shot, which is respectable. While it's nice if Anne gets in a shot at -6, it's not a great loss if she doesn't as these are the shots that rarely hit.
This makes crossbows even worse that I thought they were because you're getting the support bonus on each shot.

It's not that bad. You take crossbow ace on a Precision ranger and that bear and your first round is Hunt Prey, Command Animal and Strike for 1d10 +2 + 2d8 at second and 120' range with NO volley. This is all at 1st level for human ranger or 2nd for others. Add in running reload at 4th and you use your reload action to keep at range too.

You and I have different ideas as to what the word BAD means.

Crossbows are shocking. You have several feats to take and you never get close to bows - which I still dislike BTW. I probably would only use them for a switch hitter precision ranger as an option before going into melee.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
In my experience the ranger copes quite well. To be fair, our ranger doesn't focus fire alongside the rest of the party, and instead usually focuses on a prey no one has touched so she doesn't have to switch as often. Still works wonderfully though, especially because her crits pin her prey and help keep them out of the fight.

My experience with the one PF2 ranger that I played and the other one that I GMed is that he just doesn't cope.

Focus fire is a really important tactic. You can't not do it and not expect to have a major problem

The action economy is really tough. The feats that improve it are very good. EG Hunted Shot or Twin Takedown, Quick Draw, Mature Animal Companion.

Personally I wouldn't take an animal companion as a ranger. They get in the way and just don't stack up. Their to hit numbers are awful and go down hill from there, they soak up a lot of the parties healing capacity.

Archery doesn't work well. You are stuck with a 1d6 weapon or a 1d8 weapon with a volley penalty. Then you will often have a partial cover penalty for firing into a melee over an ally. It is very sad, and very ineffective. If you want to play a ranged striker then try a Sorcerer or a Rogue instead.

It can work with multiclassing into say Rogue. But a Fighter to Rogue multiclass is a better way to do it.

But otherwise from me it gets a hard pass in PF2. To be fair the D&D5 one is crap too.

Very disappointing. I like rangers.

pauljathome wrote:
Gortle wrote:

Is it a balance problem?

In my opinion there is a thematic issue. I don't really want the barbarian/wild shaped druid to be better in animal form than the base barbarian.

Druid wild shape is very attractive for its non combat utility and for the extra options it gives in combat. I don't think it should also be the best damaging option as well, even if the extra damage isn't all that huge.

There is a second unresolved issue which also affects this. Does the bonus from handwraps apply to wild shape in the "if your hit bonus is better" clause? If it does, the advantage of wild shape grows

I'm not sure it is better, the barbarian has a lot of good feats. Even a single classs barbarian is going to have to make some difficult choices. You also have to consider the two actions it costs to get into wildshape form. That is a major cost. Most combats are not very long.

Aside from which Rage and a Battle Form, clash on temporary hitpoints, and take 3 actions to fully power up. Its actually not a great combo.

Personally I'd go Fighter Druid. Fighters have less feat competition.

Yeah I was keeping quiet about handwraps. One issue at a time.

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Ravingdork wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It really isn't though.
The argument wasn't that it wasn't a 'circumstance bonuses, status bonuses or penalties' but that it wasn't a bonus at all...
Mark Seifter wrote:
It isn't a bonus, it's additional damage

And I'm arguing that, whether or not t is a bonus or not, is inconsequential. It's not on the list of things that effects the statistics.

There are two points of difficulty here.

Nowhere is it precisely defined what special statistics that can't be adjusted except by certain things. There is a broad list of stuff in the battle form spells [Animal Form, Elemental Form some of which is listed as statistics and abilities some of it as specific abilities. The boundaries of special statistics are totaly unclear.

However I do expect that the damage bonus and the damage dice are some of those special statistics. They can't be adjusted? Which means damage bonus can't be adjusted

It isn't a bonus, it's additional damage, sneak attack does additional damage too, or flaming rune with extra fire damage, etc. (I think he has made the comment elsewhere as well if someone can find it)

The damage roll is defined as.
Melee damage roll = damage die of weapon or unarmed attack + Strength modifier + bonuses + penalties

The standard reading of the polymorph rules is that this equation cannot be adjusted. I think we all agree here. We have implicitly accepted a wider scope for the word modify, meaning modifies the outcome, not modifes the individual special statistics. This is a point we could argue, but I'm not going to.

Then we have this odd ball of additional damage What is it? We don't have clear guidance that I can see.
is it part of the one damage bonus statistic ?
is it another bonus? The term used in the formula is plural so a second bonus is completely legitimate
As I read it Mark says no to both of these. It is clearly not a bonus
is it another term that gets added into the damage equation but still counts as modifiying the special statistics? Maybe
is it damage that is not part of the equation at all. But we still apply it anyway? I think Mark implies this
is it another damage source? Definitely hinted at as well.

Impossible to tell. They have been using plain English langauge not glossary defined terms. The language is just too loose. I await a clarification from Paizo telling me what I've missed, or how they expect it to be interpreted.

Ediwir wrote:

Playing an Abjurer myself, and I'd actually love to work together on some sort of list of spells - longterm buffs, defenses, layers of protection, situational assistance.

We could set up a google doc and do this properly.

What criteria? At least a 1 hour duration spell?

All good points. So far we are about 3:3 split on this issue for the people who have posted an opinion.

Is it a balance problem?

This situation applies:
a) for a druid multiclassing into a martial class where they could get a small 2 point rage or 1d6 sneak attack damage or similar increase. Honestly that is no bigger bonus than one martial class gets by multiclassing into a second martial class - it seems totally fair.

b) for a martial class mulitclassing into a wildshape druid. They are restricted from the better forms because of the half level for taking druid feats. But it is a significant bonus to those forms, full rage/sneak attack plus specialization. But it is at the expense of whatever extra runes they might have on their weapons. Is this really such a problem we have a fighter stacking a bit of extra damage onto an Ape or eventually Dinosaur form, but its not going onto a Dragon or Monstrosity? It doesn't seem much stronger that the case above. Maybe in places because the lower level form spells heighten reasonably, but not in a gross way.

Castilliano wrote:

I don't think a two-action activation makes any sense though.
Do containers with Glyphs now open slower? Or only in the presence of enemies?
I'd rather avoid the whole "portable warfare" aspect and leave them to defense, like of one's valuables or home base.

For two action I mean: insist on one action to pick up the container and one action to activate it.

Gaulin wrote:

Even that doesn't seem to solve it though, can forms benefit from additional damage. I see that he says it's not a typed damage, but the wording of polymorph makes it seem like certain types of bonuses are the only types that apply. Which seems wrong to me, as things like sneak attack should work, RAI

Sneak Attack, Rage Damage, Weapon Specialization all work in Animal Form. Also Precision damage from the Hunters Edge (the terminology is a bit different). So does Flurry of Blows BTW

Additional Damage applies because it is not a bonus or a penalty, therefore the whole limitation of the polymorph rule does not apply to it. No statistics are ever adjusted. The Additional Damage just gets added as more damage in the end.

It is a semantic argument. I wish Mark hadn't made it but he did.

Gaulin wrote:
I'm about to make a new character, and this topic is make or break for the concept I would like to go with. We're very unlikely to get an official response, but what is the general consensus? Yes, or no to rage/sneak attack/weapon specialization?

There is dissent, people don't like it or see it as too strong, but read the question here and the post from Mark.

I think it applies. If some of the posters who initially said otherwise agreed, then I think we could say we have consensus.

But until then check with your GM.

Castilliano wrote:

Now imagine an egg carton, except the eggs are all small containers w/ Glyphs. The PC pulls out the carton, lays their hand on all the "eggs" at once and you get 4+ spells all launching concurrently. Ouch!

But this is not a problem that is exclusive to Glyphs. It has always been a limitation with things like a vial of greek fire, acid, holy water. In 'reality' there is no reason you can't throw a small crate of vials of greek fire all at once and get them to go off in a combined way. Or even get yourself a barrel full. But no, it is always a set small amount. The GM just crushes any interpretation that it does more damage. If you are lucky it will affect a bigger area. It only ever happens when the GM needs to do it for story reasons, or if the GM decides to make it backfire on the players.

This sort of action economy loophole I think has to be arbitrarily closed by the GM. The GM insists that the players must pick up the item, then activate the item taking two actions per item.....This is very much at the heart of the atomic nature of most RPG rules systems. One action, one item, its an assumption of the rules system that the GM should enforce.

Mechanically speaking I'd probably make the ability to do this type of activity a specific feat. Then always deny it to the players.

Quick Draw doesn't apply because it is not a weapon it is a container, and you need to enforce it.

Castilliano wrote:

Now imagine the bad guys with disposable minions doing the same...
Heck, if the party takes too long in the dungeon these Glyphs might not even count as hazards if the evil caster made them in direct response the same day.

I don't think that sort of usage of Glyphs would be healthy for PF2.

Yes probably a bad thing. If the players do, then so should the GM occasionally. But the limitation is not the number of minions, but the number of casters. The GM never has any problem getting the player to run into his glyphs anyway. There is no reason they can't be stacked ridiculously close together.

Yes we know that a real enemy wizard would not simply leave one 6d6 fireball glyph in the location he wanted to secure. But he would put all of them there with overlapping fields of fire to make sure they all went off at once and totally kill the intruders

Glyphs are a typical resource problem for a GM and he should just control it as normal. Inisiting on two actions per activation should do the trick.

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I've seen a few comments that Glyph of Warding is a problem spell. With several thinking it is broken. May be so. But I though I would open up the discussion as to how does it actually work.

Cast 10 minutes (material, somatic, verbal)
Range touch; Targets 1 container or a 10-foot-by-10-foot area
Duration unlimited

Pretty straight forward, it last forever. Being on a area is not a problem, but a containter can be something light and movable like a small vial, or a snuff box.

You craft a trap by binding a hostile spell into a symbol. While Casting this Spell, you also Cast a Spell of a lower spell level to store in the glyph. The stored spell must take 3 actions or fewer to cast, have a hostile effect, and target one creature or have an area.

Mostly Ok up to here. A hostile spell can be a bit loose as a Heal spell is hostile to Undead. So GMs may rule that in or out. It must be lower level, so the best is your highest spell level -1.

You can set a password, a trigger, or both for the glyph. Any creature that moves, opens, or touches the target container or enters the target area that doesn't speak the password or that matches the trigger activates the glyph, releasing the harmful spell within.

This is problematic.

1) My initial reading was you can do anything - even create a grenade glyph and throw it, just have it trigger on hitting the ground. Or trigger it only when the vial breaks. Is this legit?

2) Question do the commas mean anything? Is it trying to imply that there are just 3 types of possible trigger move/open/everything else?!? Meaning that if you move or open the container it will always trigger? I've double checked my grammar rules and I don't think that it does but some of you might be more expert in this.

3) The creature has to move, open or trigger it. That is you can't do it to them, the person who activates the trigger must be the primary target of the spell, or the center of the area.

Once a spell is stored in the glyph, the glyph gains all the traits of that spell. If the stored spell targets one or more creatures, it targets the creature that set off the glyph. If it has an area, that area is centered on the creature that set off the glyph. Glyph of warding's duration ends when the glyph is triggered. The glyph counts as a magical trap, using your spell DC for both the Perception check to notice it and the Thievery check to disable it; both checks require the creature attempting them to be trained in order to succeed.

No worries it lasts for ever. A complication is areas can be cones and have a direction. I'd argue that unless the glyph is fixed in place the GM can choose or roll randomly for the direction of the cone. He doesn't have to be nice and let the player control it.

You can Dismiss glyph of warding. The maximum number of glyphs of warding you can have active at a time is equal to your spellcasting ability modifier.

Which means most casters will be able to have 4-7 of these, as they go up level.

It has its limitations but bascially the same as a few scrolls that you can refresh with a couple of days down time.

It becomes a problem if
1) your players can get immunity to a spell they put in - this is very hard an Undead Sorcerer, and Fiery Body are the ones that spring to mind for me, not easy. Even those cases are not party immunity.
2) you let it on a weapon - shouldn't be allowed it is not a container. Now I'm thinking about a Gourd Leshy...
3) you can activate it with a single action. Maybe that is possible with the Quick Draw feat.

Doubling rings don't replicate this spell by the way.

What do poeple think? Where am I wrong what have I missed?

SuperBidi wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
SuperBidi: The glyph trick still requires two actions, unless you've already got it in your hand walking into combat, and it only targets one creature. I don't personally have a problem with being able to use a spell to make single-target spell grenades with a cap of your casting modifier during downtime.

Single target spell grenade? You lack imagination :)

Let's take a Sorcerer with Glyph of Warding as his signature spell. Everyday, before resting, he creates the maximum amount of Glyphs that he puts on weapons with hollow hilts (or whatever system making them "containers").
He then hands the weapons to the Quick Draw Flurry Ranger with a Doubling Ring who will have lots of fun generating Cones of Cold 5 times per day when he hits (which can happen up to 5 times per round if he's hasted), humiliating the Dragon Barbarian in the process and making the Spell Storing Rune completely irrelevant.

And then you consider that most parties have 2 casters...
I'm pretty sure that after trivializing a few "Severe" encounters you will forbid such combos. And the only way is to put back the Glyph of Warding where it should be: On static objects.

I'm not convinced that that activation mechanism is allowed by the rules, or is practical or safe, but there is no way I'd let that cone of cold not hit the wielder of the weapon as well. It might even trigger when he drew the weapon. So go ahead.

There are only a handful of ways in the game to get immunity to damage.

Putting it back on static objects is a good way of the GM saying no to this use of the spell, just do it up front so the players know.

Unicore wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Unicore wrote:

I actually think the

You don't need conceal spell or silent spell if you have Ventriloquism in effect before casting Ghost Sound, as it would allow you to reposition the sound of the Verbal component.
That is true, but I think a lot of players think they can get away with just having ghost sound memorized and use it to cause a distraction without using any feat or spell support, but its range is only 30ft so anyone that is going to potentially want to look...

Personally I think that the cantrip has been made useless if you have to have this sort of preparation for it. Therefore as a GM I would be looking for a way to enable it. I want the players to do this sort of thing.

But yes as its written they need Silent Spell or Conceal Spellcasting which is broken. These are medium level Wizard feats and a major character build investment for the sort of ability a Rogue can replicate by tossing a stone at level one.

So players respond by simply not taking Ghost Sound. This cantrip needs to be errated to remove the verbal component.

It makes sense that an illusionist should go down this route if he wants the enemy to not know he is casting a spell. But even for him it is not necessarily required.

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Joana wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Take mist as an example. Even ignoring magic, it is NOT the case that mist is always weather. As anybody who has gone to Niagara Falls knows, waterfalls can generate a whole LOT of mist. So can sprinklers :-).

I have to say that I would allow the Storm Born druid to see through a mist created by a waterfall just because it breaks my brain to envision an ability that somehow automatically distinguishes between "water particles falling in the atmosphere from a cloud" and "water particles rising in the atmosphere from a pool."

I'd even allow it in a steam bath or sauna. Is it water particles in the atmosphere that obscure vision? Then, yeah, if I'm the GM, you can ignore concealment from it. Because I can't imagine being able to see through some and not through others depending solely on the source of the water.

But that's my sense of verisimilitude.

Bonus question: what if it's a misty day at Niagara Falls? ;)

Weather can be very local. There is no reason to consider a small scale event like the mist/spary near a waterfall, not weather. Dictionary definitions of weather start with - the state of the atmosphere. A small amount of the atmosphere is still atmosphere.

I too would go with the logic: its too hard to imagine why it wouldn't work.

For me that harder question would be is smoke haze weather?

Plus there are things about Obscuring Mist that have been left unsaid.
If you are in the mist it is clear what happens. But what if you are outside the mist trying to look through the mist at someone standing of the other side? Is it concealment? Does it have no effect? Should it block line of sight? What about for Storm Born? I assume they can just see straight through.

Aratorin wrote:

The ability lets you see through fog. It doesn't say non-magical fog, it says fog. Of course you can see through Obscuring Mist. It's fog.

Obscuring mist doesn't even say the mist is magical. "Call forth" could mean you call a cloud out of the sky, or pull existing moisture from the environment.

Obsuring Mist is listed as a conjuration of water, once it has appeared, it probably is non magical.

graystone wrote:

Weather effects are listed in the book.

Environment, Climate Core Rulebook pg. 517

"Weather is more than just set dressing to establish mood—it has mechanical effects you can combine with environmental components to create a more memorable encounter. Weather can impose circumstance penalties on certain checks, from –1 to –4 based on severity.": IE, weather has "environmental components" which is why I'd say something like obscuring mist isn't weather: it's a simple spell that blocks sight. Environmental/weather mist has a specific definition: "Conditions limiting visibility to about a mile are called mist, and those that do so to about 3 miles are called haze." obscuring mist doesn't "limiting visibility to about a mile"

No you are spliting hairs unnecesarily and assigning definitions to things when none are required, aside from common English use. The rules that you are quoting talk about weather effect ie mist limiting visibility to about a mile - that is more than a penalty of 4.

Those are general suggestions for normal weather, not a limitation on the Obsuring Mist spell.

We all know that mist or fog can be very servere. It can get to the stage that you can't see more than 10 yards away.

FedoraFerret wrote:

Glyph of Warding: You're absolutely right that it's ridiculous, and in fact I should probably put a disclaimer that some GMs might not go for it, but see above re: different playstyles and points of view.

I agree some GMs are just going to see it as a rort and ban it. Especially if you try to put a Heal in a glyph they may object. But there are limits on the number of glyphs you can have. Some casters like the Undead Sorcerer can use it really easily. It is like having 4 extra scolls of your spell level -1, that you can recharge in a day or two.

I don't see that it something that the designers didn't intend. So I'm Ok with it.

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Zapp wrote:

Illusion spells: Of course they get five stars when you bully your GM ("unless he's a dick") in allowing just about anything with them...

In my game you don't get a free license to turn a low-level spell into something that takes entire enemies off the board. If a spell has the power to negate X attacks, it needs to say so.

Basically, using Illusion spells in this way is abusing a subcategory of spell that remains unregulated in every edition. I'm having none of it and I recommend y'all should too. :)

I couldn't disagree more. Spells have to be able to have their effect. A well placed, well thought out illusion spell, can definitely cause a side to withdraw, or hesitate for a few rounds. Thats what it does. That is the design. In many respects it can have a play impact like a wall spell. It can turn a combat - but isn't that what casters do.

Just because its can have large non specific effects doesn't mean it needs to be nerfed into oblivion. If you don't want it on your game just tell the players up front.

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