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** Pathfinder Society GM. 251 posts (255 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 14 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.

Scarab Sages

Is this right? According to the playtest, proficiency bonuses are:

- Untrained: level -2
- Trained: level
- Expert: level +1
- Master: level +2
- Legendary: level +3

This means every level-up all skills effectively gain a rank, all saves improve by one, and everyone has full BAB (in PF1 terms). Does this seem a bit steep?

For comparison, Star Wars Saga Edition had a proficiency bonus of half character level. 5th ed. is much lower than that.

The fallout of a bonus progression that is too steep is level differences become large. By this, I mean the recommended party level range that finds an encounter challenging but not a cake-walk becomes too small. This is due to rapid AC increases making slightly higher level creatures too difficult to hit, or having saves too high, etc.

I wonder if the system would be better at a slower proficiency progression, particularly for Society scenarios. This would permit a broader level range to participate meaningfully.

Scarab Sages

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One of the biggest pet peeves I've had with rules is effect durations. Paizo wants to simplify things yet puts awkward durations on things that really don't need it, such as sorcerer claws in PF1.0.

Wildshape now lasts a minute. Even the wild druid just gets a few more per day. This reduces wildshape down to a combat option, which is very disappointing. And the player's stats don't appear to affect the form, which I think is a move away from ideal. And finally, wildshape now draws from the limited forms listed in the spell.


The duration should be unlimited, or 24 hours at the shortest.

How can you ...
- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal

Also, it hinders the ability of the druid to communicate with native animals (theme-wise).

Storywise, opportunities are missed due to the pitiful duration, such as encountering a druid who has lost himself due to staying wildshaped too long.

I really thought Paizo hit the sweet spot with wildshape in PF1.0 by "wearing a skin", so it was basically the druid modified to be an animal. Minimal statistics about the animal needed to be known and different druids were different as the same animal, yet separate statistics were not required to adopt a form (such as how you need separate animal companion statistics that are underivable from the monster entry). It had faults, but it got more right than wrong.

I do have to mention though, I like that it is now possible for a higher level druid to wildshape into a gargantuan form! That's been a problem that's needed fixing for a while ... so many dinosaurs, and rocs!

Scarab Sages

Look in the bestiary at the description for a Roc. It says it commonly carries an elephant. There is no weight listed for an adult elephant, so real-world examples will have to suffice:

Forest elephant: 2,700 - 6,000 lbs
African elephant: 5,000 - 14,000+ lbs
Asian elephant: 5,000 - 11,000 lbs

The Roc has a Strength of 28 and is gargantuan, which gives it a maximum light load of 3,200 lbs. This means a Roc could only carry the smallest of adult elephants, young and forest elephants - and rocs will avoid hunting in forests due to their size. To carry an average elephant, the roc should have a light load in the order of 6,500 lbs, which is at least +5 Strength.

As an aside, let's see how a roc compares to an eagle ...

Applying the young template until a roc is small gives:
Str 12, Dex 31, Con 1, Natural Armor 6.
Compare this to an eagle:
Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Natural Armor 1.

This seems to indicate that a roc's Dexterity is incredibly high and its Constitution is abysmally low.

Advancing an eagle up to gargantuan size and 16 HD gives these stats:
Str 38, Dex 13*, Con 26, Natural Armor 10. (* +1 for every 4 HD)

This seems to give a better comparison. The Dexterity is close enough. There is a shift towards making a roc harder to hit in preference to hit points as natural armor is higher but Constitution is very low (9 points lower seems too much). The standout is the strength - a full 10 points lower for the roc! As an eagle only started at 10, this would mean reversing the tables would leave rocs with 0 Strength. Something definitely isn't adding up here.

Scarab Sages

Many class features can be gained through feats, particularly feats titled "Extra ...". My question is, can a feat be used to gain a feature lost to an archetype so a second archetype can stack.

For example, False Priest and Tattooed Sorcerer both trade out Eschew Materials, but if the character used his first level feat to gain Eschew Materials again, he has everything the second archetype needs.

The above may be pushing the line as the feat doesn't specifically grant class abilities, but using feats like Extra Rage Power, Extra Hex, Extra Arcanist Exploit, etc., certainly do.

If a feat isn't gained at the level of the class ability to be lost, retraining may be required.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The standard one is, but is it implicit that other, more expensive wayfinders are as well? This would certainly make sense from a theme perspective.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

If a Signifer made his bonded item a mask and enchanted it as a Mask of a Thousand Tomes, would the mask blind him? Both masks don't have eyeholes. The real question is, is the blinding effect of the Mask of a Thousand Tomes due to not being able to see through it, or is it a magical effect? If the effect is non-magical, a Signifer should be able to wear it permanently with the ability to see through it.

Argument for the effect being non-magical: It is an eyeless mask that inhibits sight whilst worn - any non-magical mask does that. There is also nothing like "Cause Blindness" as a spell requirement.

Argument for the effect being magical: It is a magical item that says it blinds you whilst worn, therefore a magical effect.

Mask of a Thousand Tomes:
The random snippets of script that write across the surface of this parchment-colored eyeless mask hint at the knowledge of the many tomes stored within. The mask grants its wearer a +10 competence bonus on all Knowledge skill checks, but the wearer is blinded while wearing the mask. The mask must be worn for 10 minutes before the wearer gains its bonus.

Crafting requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, clairaudience/clairvoyance

Signifer Mask:
Upon initiation, a Hellknight signifer receives a mask, often devoid of eyeholes or other personal features. This mask doesn’t obscure the signifer’s vision, and while wearing it he gains a +2 competence bonus on Sense Motive checks and on saving throws against spells and abilities that rely on visual effects.

A Hellknight signifer with a bonded object from the arcane bond class feature can perform a special ritual that costs 500 gp and takes 8 hours to complete. This ritual converts the signifer’s mask into his new bonded item, which takes up the head slot. In this case, Hellknight
signifer levels stack with levels from the class that grants the bonded item for determining what additional magical abilities can be added to the bonded item.

Scarab Sages

Many of my characters use longspears but like all hafted weapons, their composite construction plays havoc with the special materials rules.

Darkwood is great for hafts but it costs 10 gp/lb above masterwork price.

Mithril costs 500 gp/lb for weapons.

A longspear weighs 9 lbs and is 8 feet long

That is a spear's length, right? A longspear should be at least 12 feet long!

It seems ridiculous to use the whole weight for calculating special material costs, but there is no indication of how the weight is distributed between the metal and wood components.

A quarterstaff weighs 4 lbs and is 5 feet long
A 10 foot pole weighs 8 lbs and is 10 feet long
A dagger is 1 lbs and has a blade 1 foot long (so about 17" total)
A short sword weighs 2 lbs and is about 2 feet long

Houserules can be made based on comparisons, but is there anything concrete as I'm wondering for society play.

Scarab Sages

Do feats such as Angel Wings (aasimar) or Tail Terror (kobold) function whilst wild shaped? There are other feats as well that either grant natural attacks or other benefits based on form that are also in question.

The only decider I can think of is if it creates the alteration with the feat (as Angel Wings creates a set of wings) it will work irrespecive of what form is taken. Feats that grant additional abilities with body parts should require that body part present to function (I'm unsure if Tail Terror falls in this category).

Edit: Does this mean an Aasimar Druid can wildshape into a tiger and swoop in on Angel Wings and pounce on his enemies if he has the necessary feats?

Scarab Sages

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I was looking into animal companions and how to get a strong one, and I came up with a character build that borders on ridiculous.

Level 28 animal companion at level 12
Play either an elf or an aasimar. An aasimar is better as you can take the Celestial Servant feat. Elf allows the Ancient Lorekeeper archetype but this can be achieved with Scion of Humanity and the Racial Heritage: Elf feat.

Choose Oracle as your favoured class and choose your racial benefit: Add +1/2 to the oracle’s level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation. (Choose Bonded Mount)

Start with the

Ascendant Recollection Trait:
(Ultimate Campaign, Magic Trait): Your first bloodline power is particularly strong. Your sorcerer level is considered to be 1 level higher when determining the effects of your 1st-level bloodline power.

Take 5 levels of Nature Oracle but do not take Bonded Mount until your 7th level revelation. For your 5th level feat, take

Animal Ally:
Your respect for nature is so great that you can form a
deep and lasting friendship with an animal.
Prerequisites: Nature Soul, character level 4th, must not
have an animal companion or mount that advances as an
animal companion.
Benefit: You gain an animal companion as if you were
a druid of your character level –3 from the following
list: badger, bird, camel, cat (small), dire rat, dog, horse,
pony, snake (viper), or wolf. If you later gain an animal
companion through another source (such as the Animal
domain, divine bond, hunter’s bond, mount, or nature
bond class features), the effective druid level granted by
this feat stacks with that granted by other sources.

You must take its prerequisite feat at level 1 or 3 though. As you do not have an animal companion it is legal.

For your 6th level, take a level of Sorcerer of the

Sylvan bloodline:
Animal Companion (Ex): At 1st level, you gain an animal companion. Your effective druid level for this ability is equal to your sorcerer level – 3 (minimum 1st). This bloodline power counts as your bloodline arcana.

Now take the remainder of your levels as Nature Oracle, taking

Bonded Mount:
You gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal mount. The creature must be one that you are capable of riding and is suitable as a mount. A Medium oracle can select a camel or a horse. A Small oracle can select a pony or wolf, but can also select a boar or a dog if she is at least 4th level. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using your oracle level as your effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence score of at least 6.
as your next revelation.

The animal companion can be selected from the entire list (sorcerer) and has a minimum intelligence of 6 (oracle).

Now to put it all together. Each Oracle level grants 1.5 animal companion levels. Your Sorcerer level grants 1 level, or 3 with a Robe of Arcane Heritage, and the Animal Ally feat grants HD -3 levels.

So assuming a Robe of Arcane Heritage is worn, just the sorcerer level with the Animal Ally feat gives you an animal companion equal to your level. Now add on ((character level -1) x 1.5, rounded down) for the oracle levels and it just explodes. At level 8, the animal companion is level 16 (18 with robes), and at character level 12 it is 26 (28 with robes).

The curious thing about this is it is entirely Pathfinder Society legal!

Some may argue that the animal companion caps at level 20, but the progression is obvious so it is easy to extend. It is unclear if the table should extend (what happens after 20th level?).

Anyway, that's my rant.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

This post regards removing the staggered condition.

1) The Restoration domain can remove the staggered condition. There is no duration, the condition is just gone.

2) Zombies are staggered.

So what happens when their staggered condition is removed?

Option One: The staggered condition is gone permanently.

Option Two: The staggered condition is gone until some game check occurs where the rules clash and the rule "Zombies always have the staggered condition" trumps the removal of said condition. This could be instantaneous, the start of the zombie's turn, etc.

This can also be significant regarding the Zero HP Rule (or those at negatives with Diehard or Ferocity).

Scarab Sages

I noticed recently that Wizards do not have Deeper Darkness on their spell list. This seems unfitting for the Shadowcaster Archetype.I know of a couple of ways to rectify this:

-Pathfinder Savant 2
-Samsaran race (it is on a shadow sorcerer's bloodline spell list)

Are there other ways? I'm particularly interested in ways that don't lose a spellcasting level.

Scarab Sages

I noticed recently that Wizards do not have Deeper Darkness on their spell list. This seems unfitting for the Shadowcaster Archetype.I know of a couple of ways to rectify this:

-Pathfinder Savant 2
-Samsaran race (it is on a shadow sorcerer's bloodline spell list)

Are there other ways? I'm particularly interested in ways that don't lose a spellcasting level.

Scarab Sages

I liked the idea of a druid that could wildshape into magical beasts but the only other archetype, from RPG Superstar 2011, round 2, was completely unbalanced First World Druid so I thought I'd have a go.

I played around with some fey abilities like Unearthly Grace or Evasion, but couldn't balance things sufficiently and provide the same fey feel. Some abilities are quite weak and just for flavour, but others required significant sacrifice. The bonus creatures added to Summon Nature's Ally is pulled straight from the First World Summoner list.

An idea I was toying with was adding the Fey Creature template to the druid's animal companion, but I think it would make the animal companion broken. The idea of a restricted list of improved familiars also had some appeal as an animal companion replacement. Ultimately, I dropped them.

Anyway, here for your scrutiny is my take on a First World Druid.

First World Druid:
Armour Restriction: The First World Druid has even tighter armour restrictions. She is only permitted to wear light armour that is not made of metal and cannot use shields.

Bonus Language: A First World Druid gains Sylvan as a bonus language.

Nature Bond: A First World Druid who chooses a domain as her nature bond must choose from the Animal, Charm, Luck or Trickery domains (or one of their subdomains).

Magical Empathy: A First World Druid does not take the –4 penalty to Wild Empathy or Handle Animal checks when using those abilities on magical beasts.

First World Magic: At each new spell level (including 1st), a First World Druid can choose an Illusion or Enchantment spell from any spell list that is of a spell level the First World druid has access to and add it to the First World Druid’s spell list. Fire magic is foreign to a First World Druid so she treats all spells with the Fire descriptor as though they were not on the druid spell list.

Fey Summons: A First World Druid adds the following creatures to their Summon Nature’s Ally list.
Summon nature’s ally II: gremlin (jinkin, pugwampi, or vexgit).
Summon nature’s ally III: gremlin (nuglub).
Summon nature’s ally IV: unicorn.
Summon nature’s ally V: pixie, satyr.
Summon nature’s ally VII: nymph.

This ability replaces A Thousand Faces.

Grace of the Fey (Su): A First World Druid learns how to move like the fey, being able to dodge attacks not so much through moving out of the way, but rather through luck. A First World Druid possesses a good reflex save and, at 5th level, adds her Wisdom bonus as a luck bonus to her AC. This ability works whenever the First World Druid wears light or no armour. This does not stack with the monk’s AC Bonus ability. This replaces medium armour proficiency and shield proficiency.

Wild Shape: A First World Druid gains the ability to wildshape into magical beasts by expending an additional wildshape use (i.e., 2 wildshape uses to wildshape into a magical beast). A First World Druid can wildshape into a small or medium magical beast at 10th level, as the spell Beast Shape III. At 12th level, the First World Druid can wildshape from a tiny to a large magical beast as Beast Shape IV. This ability replaces the druid’s Elemental Form wildshapes.

Blood of the Fey (Ex): At 9th level, a First World Druid is treated as Fey in addition to their race for any effect related to race. She also gains the following benefits and penalties:

She gains low-light vision, or if she already possesses low-light vision, it’s range increases to triple normal vision range.

She gains ranks equal to her druid level in two of the following skills: Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, and Use Magic Device. She also gains these two skills as class skills. This also means the chosen skills continue to improve by one rank for each druid level gained after 9th level. This ability cannot raise the number of ranks in any skill to more than the First World Druid's Hit Dice.

She reduces her maximum hit points by 1/druid level, as though her Constitution were 2 lower (but only for druid levels). This also means she gains one less hit point each time she levels up as a First World Druid.

She gains damage reduction 10/cold iron. This improves to 15/cold iron at 17th level.

When interacting with fey, the First World Druid will always be regarded as no worse than indifferent. In addition, she gains a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks with fey creatures.

This replaces Venom Immunity.

Edit: Clarified some ambiguous wording.

Scarab Sages

I may be thinking back to previous editions of D&D, but I always thought summoned monsters were animals that were pulled from another plane through Astral Projection and possibly charmed as well. The reason for this is such:

1) When a summoned monster dies, it disappears completely.
This is because the form that is destroyed is the astral projection - it was created out of nothing and returns to nothing.

2) Killing animals this way is not seen as evil or malicious.
This is because the animal isn't actually killed, just it's projected form.

I was in a game recently and I summoned a tyrannosaurus and it swallowed a few enemies, then when the spell ended the DM ruled that everything it had swallowed went back with the creature to the other plane (read: treasure gone!). Is this accurate?

Also, exactly how much control does a caster have over their summoned creatures?

Scarab Sages

I want to see what a character is capable of. My example is for 12th level, but feel free to go higher if the build requires it. Custom magical items are off-limits as things go silly when those rules are used without restraint.

Evangelist Cleric 12:
An evangelist cleric with the Nobility (Leadership) domain possessing a Lord's Banner of Victory and having cast Prayer and performing Inspire Courage.

Note: all except inspiring command affect everyone in an area.

Inspire courage (level 12): +3 competence bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls, +3 morale bonus on saves vs charm and fear

Prayer: +1 luck bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saves, and skill checks, while each of your foes takes a –1 penalty on such rolls.

Lord's Banner of Victory: +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, saves, and skill checks.

Inspiring Command [Domain power - 5 allies]: +2 insight bonus on attack rolls, AC, combat maneuver defense, and skill checks.

The total buffy goodness to the party is:
+8 to attack rolls
+4 to weapon damage rolls
+3 to saves (an extra +1 vs charm and fear)
+5 to skill checks
+2 to AC and CMD

Extra goodness: This character can also be a powerful summoner.

Scarab Sages

25 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

My medium-sized character was using a reach weapon and a large creature was next to him occupying a 10'x10' area. The DM ruled that I didn't threaten the large creature and now I'm not sure if the answer is so obvious. I can see three outcomes that are justified but it would be good to know if there was anything official that could clear things up.

The three rulings I or the DM think are valid:

1) You don't threaten an adjacent large creature with a reach weapon. The weapon doesn't threaten adjacent targets irrespective of their size. It could also be argued you attack the nearest square of a creature.

2) You do threaten an adjacent large creature with a reach weapon. The large creature occupies a square you threaten so that creature is a valid target.

3) You do threaten an adjacent large creature with a reach weapon but it gets cover. The large creature occupies a square you threaten so that creature is a valid target but nearer squares are occupied (with the same creature, but still...), so they obstruct the attack, granting cover to the defender.