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I'm playing a Wizard with Abjuration/Counterspell specialty school right now, but I don't have much advice since he's only just now turned 6th level and hasn't dispelled/countered a single spell yet.

So I'm also curious to see what can be done to get some mileage out of the concept of a master of counterspelling. Counterspell Mastery will make it a reactive ability a limited number of times per day, but otherwise you wind up having to ready an action to counterspell.

The Arcane Savant prestige class eventually gets Dispelling Mastery, allowing spontaneous conversion to Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic, but going that route makes you lose pure Wizard levels and so your Counterspell Mastery will be fewer times per day overall.

I'd like to know what ways there are to increase the caster level check to dispel/counter. I'm not up to speed on what methods (if any) there are to boost those checks, as that would seem to be the key problem with counterspelling - it isn't particularly reliable against casters who are close to your level.

Good gaming!

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To clarify my first note above, I look at it much like a line that is tangent to a circle. By geometry, it touches ONE point on the circle, it doesn't pass through the circle, in which case it would touch TWO points. Similarly, the line described in the first post would touch ONE point on the square, not TWO. So it's not passing through the square.

At least, it makes perfect sense to me based on pure geometry.

Good gaming!

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1st situation: Strictly based on the geometry, the line touches one point at the corner, it doesn't pass through any of the border lines of the squares. I'd say NO COVER.

2nd situation: If the GM determines that the corners are actually touching, and there is no gap at all, then it is Total Cover, no line of sight, no line of effect, no attacks possible from attacker to target. But if the GM means for it to be a crack in the wall that small items (ranged weapons) can fit through, then I'd go with Improved Cover (+8) instead.

Two melee combatants standing on either side of the corner, adjacent to each other diagonally, have cover from each other, because melee cover is handled differently than ranged cover.

I like the feat because it still staggers the target for 1 round even on a successful save, meaning when you crit something, you take away its ability to Full Attack (provided it doesn't have some way to Full Attack as a Standard Action, at least).

If you allow someone to enter the area of a spell but not be affected by that spell, that sets a bad precedent.

Would you do the same if a Large creature entered only one square of Stinking Cloud? How about Cloudkill? If a giant's leg is in the area of effect of either of those spells, it is still affected, right?

For Grease, think of it this way: It's magical grease, they step in it and fail their save... maybe it gets all magically grabby and flows over the creature's legs/feet. Flavor it how you want, but allow the area of effect of the spell to work as it is supposed to.

I guess the whole thing can be boiled down to this:

Can a Tiny creature 5-foot-step to enter an opponent's square to avoid provoking an AoO?

Suppose I wind up in the horrible position of being adjacent to 3 stirges. Can they each 5-foot-step to enter my square and then use Attach to begin draining me without provoking any AoO from me?

I.e., is the AoO provoked by entering a creature's square just due to movement? Or is it because you're "invading their space" and that's somehow different?

Hanged Man - thanks to you also.

Addressing the first point, about movement: That is what I was wondering, because I know that if I move a circle around an opponent in his threatened area, that movement only provokes once. But it wasn't clear to me if "leave a threatened square" is a different provocation than "enter an occupied square" and if that would technically count as two (I don't think it makes sense to do so), or if it should all just be considered moving.

Still unclear to me: If a stirge (Tiny) is adjacent to a PC, can it 5-foot-step to enter the square without provoking? Or does "enter an occupied square" mean it always provokes when entering the PC's square, no matter if it takes a 5-foot-step or not? In other words, is entering the square simply a movement-based AoO provocation, or is it separate because you're invading my personal space? ;)

Thank you for your answers and explanations, Gauss. It is just this kind of reasoning that I'm looking for, so that I can determine a fair approach that I can apply as this game goes on and most importantly, be consistent with it.

At the table, without digging into the technicalities of the rules and slowing things down, I gave the Medium size characters one AoO each (though nobody had Combat Reflexes anyway, so that didn't come up); and I didn't give AoOs to the Tiny creatures that were allied with the PCs.

I am also unsatisfied with the idea of each Tiny creature provoking twice, even if that is technically correct, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to make. If the Tiny creature moves adjacent to me and stops, it doesn't provoke, but then if it moves another 5 feet to enter my square, it provokes twice? Doesn't seem right.

I'll gather up whatever viewpoints folks have here, and talk it over with the player who has the handful of homunculi he created, and hopefully we'll come to a decision that will be fair all around, and that won't make things too tedious to keep track of in combat, and most importantly, that maintains our sense of fun when these situations come up. :)

Good gaming!

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

First, the text, and I'll bold the most relevant bits:

PRD info about Tiny creatures in combat:
Creatures that take up less than 1 square of space typically have a natural reach of 0 feet, meaning they can't reach into adjacent squares. They must enter an opponent's square to attack in melee. This provokes an attack of opportunity from the opponent. You can attack into your own square if you need to, so you can attack such creatures normally. Since they have no natural reach, they do not threaten the squares around them. You can move past them without provoking attacks of opportunity. They also can't flank an enemy.

Is the AoO provoked specifically because they entered the square? So even if they are adjacent, they can't just 5-foot-step into the occupied square, correct?

If that's the case, then suppose a stirge (Tiny creature) moves from 20 feet away and enters the square of a Medium creature - does it provoke TWICE for this movement? Once for leaving a threatened square (the square immediately adjacent to the enemy just prior to entering the target's space), and then a second time for entering the occupied space? Are these considered two distinct opportunities, so if the target has Combat Reflexes, it can make two AoO attacks on the stirge?

Now, separately, take a situation of Tiny vs Tiny - suppose there are 3 Tiny creatures occupying the same space. If a Tiny creature moves into that space to attack one of them, do they ALL get to make an AoO since the creature entered their space?

Sorry if I'm not explaining myself clearly enough. It's a bit of a weird situation, but it's likely to come up in a weekly game I'm running, since the Wizard has a handful of homunculi he has created, so whenever a Tiny or smaller creature tries to attack them, it might just get pummeled. :)

Good gaming!

Well, not Grapple... but Trip, Disarm, maybe Sunder (I'm not sure on that one).

Now that I rethink it though, I believe I was mistaken above, as a CDG is only a full-round action, not a 1-round action... meaning, it completes on the attacker's turn, rather than him standing there and everyone getting a turn to try to do something about it before it finishes.

So with that in mind, the best thing I can think of to stop a CDG using your AoO would be to attempt to Disarm, unless you have some special ability (Stunning Fist or something similar).

Grapple him to prevent him from finishing (or would it?).

Bull Rush him so he's no longer adjacent to your buddy.

Disarm him so he no longer has a weapon suitable to perform the CDG.

Stun, Hold, maybe Charm... I think there are a good number of options available for dealing with this. Unfortunately, I don't think just damaging him is enough to interrupt the CDG maneuver, unless as you noted, it's enough to drop him. :)

EDIT: Oops, just noticed this is supposed to be an AoO as a result of the CDG provoking one... so most of the options I list aren't available to perform as part of your own AoO. Disarm still works though, maybe Stunning Fist could be declared as part of an unarmed AoO if you have the proper feats/abilities. Otherwise, you're going to have to do the other interruption actions I suggested as part of your turn, before the enemy finishes his full-round action.

What about catching one arrow per round with Mage Hand?

Is there a way to properly use a Ready Action to cast Mage Hand on an arrow when it gets within range of the spell? Logically, it'd be moving too fast to be able to do this, but mechanically it should be possible, you'd just have to assume that the caster gets the timing just right. ;)

And magic ammo would negate this tactic.

It all seems a bit wonky to me, though.

FLite wrote:
My worry is that if I "throw" it, i.e. if it leaves my hand, then a very strict Gm could say "Okay, roll you concealment, 50% miss chance. You missed? Okay, it travels one range increment, 20 feet, in a random direction."

I just wanted to point out that it won't travel 20 feet if you miss on a close throw like that. Here's why, from the Throw Splash Weapon section of the combat rules:

Throw Splash Weapon

PRD wrote:
Then, count a number of squares in the indicated direction equal to the range increment of the throw.

Suppose you are throwing a splash weapon with a range increment of 20 feet. If your target is 20 feet away, that is 1 range increment. A miss will travel 1 square in a random direction. If you throw it 60 feet, that's 3 range increments, so a miss will travel 3 squares.

So if the enemy is within a single range increment and you miss, it will only scatter by 1 square, so the splash will still hit them.

Artanthos wrote:
2. You assuming every NPC mercilessly kills everything it sees immediately upon sighting, regardless of alignment, because of that meta-game state. No possibility of surrender or negotiation. An assumption that is patently false.

And that's exactly why you shouldn't just automatically roll initiative because you bumped into someone who *might* be hostile. Instead, hold off on the initiative roll until hostilities actually begin.

Artanthos wrote:
If it is impossible to use diplomacy fast enough to alter a hostile targets attitude, why is there a DC for doing exactly that?

EDIT: Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough... ninja'd by Democratus. ;)

"Sir, we just captured one of the enemy... he seems pretty hostile. We removed his armor and weapons, he's waiting for you in Cell #5."

"OK, I'll go talk to him."

The very diplomatic interrogator then goes and talks to the openly hostile man standing just feet away from him, only the bars of his cell keeping him from throttling him. But after talking to the man for a while, he calms him down, telling him he'll get a fair trial, and he'll make things much easier for himself if he willingly gives over some useful information that they can use.

The same situation could come up if you're trying to get someone to cooperate after you've beaten them senseless and captured them. They're tied up on the ground, and still hostile, giving you a murderous stare... but because they are helpless, you've got plenty of time to spend talking to them (Diplomacy, 1 full minute) and you can try to make them more cooperative.

Is that enough examples of why Hostile is listed with a DC for Diplomacy, but not usable directly in combat because of how long it takes to perform?

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StreamOfTheSky wrote:
What you DM is doing is way too far, and actively ****s over a rogue or other sneak attacker in the party, if any.

^^ This.

If you roll initiative at the first hint of an encounter that *could* turn hostile but isn't yet, then you deny some classes the benefit of making use of their class features.

If you have a tense encounter where it's unclear what everyone's intentions are - hands are going to weapon hilts, bows are being held at the ready, and so on - but a fight hasn't broken out yet, then it's a good opportunity for some RP, right? So talk it out a bit, and if things go sour, *THEN* roll initiative as soon as some hostile action is being taken. This allows a Rogue with quick reactions (say he's got +8 or more on his initiative bonus, thanks to feats, etc.) to have a chance to go first, anticipate that hostilities are breaking out, and make a decisive first strike with a sneak attack.

If you roll initiative before this, while the talking is going on, then the assumption is that everyone has acted, nobody is flat-footed any longer, and tough luck for the Rogue.

What would you rather have? A quick-witted Rogue who can snap into motion when things go bad, because you rolled initiative only when combat breaks out? Or a psychopathic rogue who attacks without even thinking about whether these people are enemies or not, because otherwise if he doesn't, he'll lose a big benefit of his class?

People complain about rogues being weak as it is, why not let them shine at the start of combat by making combat start after the pleasantries have been exchanged? :)

Good gaming!

For using Spellcraft to identify a spell being cast, don't forget this detail:

PRD wrote:
...you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.

So if you've got enough to ID that 9th level spell, you might want to make sure you can still do so at -5 if the caster is 50 feet away... especially if you want to attempt to counterspell, which you can't do if you can't ID the spell.

I don't see any mention of specific rules for regular mirrors. The APG has a Periscope item that gives a big bonus to Stealth along with a moderate penalty to Perception when using it to look around corners, provided you keep all but the periscope itself behind total cover. But that is the only reference I'm aware of to this sort of thing.

APG wrote:
Periscope: This 2-foot-long metal tube has right angles at each end with mirrors inside; if you look in one end, you can see out the other end, allowing you safely peer over obstacles, around corners, or into small spaces your head wouldn't fit. When using a periscope, the end of the tube counts as a Diminutive object, making it much less likely an observed creature notices you; if you have total concealment from the creature except for the end of the periscope, use the tube's Diminutive size modifier for your Stealth instead of your own size modifier. Distortion from the mirrors gives you a –4 penalty on Perception checks while looking through the periscope. Though the tube is fairly sturdy (hardness 5, 2 hit points), the mirrors inside are fragile (hardness 1, 1 hit point), and any damage that gets through the tube's hardness applies to the tube and the mirrors.

I'd like to see a listing somewhere, maybe a Paizo blog post, detailing out a list like "These are the ways you can use Take 20 with skills" and just be done with it. I see questions come up fairly regularly about whether you can use certain skills (Sleight of Hand, Disguise, etc.) with Take 20, and then people argue back and forth about them for a while, and nothing really comes of it. And there is some uncertainty about what constitutes a "penalty for failure" that disqualifies a skill from that option, some folks being much more harsh than needed on it.

If anyone is aware of such a blog post or other clarification, whether official or only semi-official, I'd love to see it. :)

Weirdo wrote:
Can you point me at somewhere in the rules where it says you can take 20 to open a lock?

Using Skills

End of the 3rd paragraph past "Taking 20:"

PRD, Using Skills, Taking 20 wrote:
Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).

That is the only place I'm aware of that they specifically call out skills that can be used to Take 20 and make a distinction between certain skills that can be used to Take 20 just for some aspects of it.

Couldn't you spend less to just get masterwork tools (50gp) for each desired skill and get +2 to each?

If so, I don't think spend a large factor more for an additional +1 is particularly game-breaking. :)

You should be able to prepare 6 additional cantrips per casting of Mnemonic Enhancer. So if you're willing to trade a 4th-level slot to have 6 more cantrips that day, go for it.

For the "lobbing" concept, I think of it more that I can't properly see my target rather than an ally impeding the direct line of the shot.

Mnemonic Enhancer? A Wizard casting that from a 4th-level slot can prepare 6 additional cantrips.

Granted, using a 4th-level slot in that way probably isn't the most effective use of your available resources. But if you're just planning to hang around your fancy wizard tower all day, you could burn a few 4th-level slots and prepare EVERY cantrip you know. ;)

The Crusader wrote:
Then there we're unwritten rules and overriding design philosophies that created a heretofore unmentioned and unknown hard cap on strength bonus to iterative attacks...

It may have been unmentioned, but it was not unknown. Many of us had deduced it from seeing how the various fighting styles worked:

* Two-handed: 1.5x Str bonus
* Two-weapon: 1.0x Str bonus main hand, 0.5x Str bonus off hand
* Weapon & Shield: 1.0x Str bonus main hand, give up off hand for defense

Sure, there were exceptions - feats that gave full Str to off hand, class abilities (monk) that eliminated off hand and gave full Str bonus, etc. But the foundation was there: 1.5x Str bonus was the standard.

That's why it was so easy for some of us to see that Greatsword (1.5x Str) and Armor Spikes (0.5x Str) was not meant to work, because that broke the standard foundation without requiring any special interaction with class abilities or feats.

I do agree, however, that there is a strong element of flavor involved. That flavor, however, is gouda. ;)

Correct. I don't know why they didn't just write it as:

Multiply by charges per day, then divide by 5.

That arrives at the same result. They must've wanted to use the word "divide" there for consistency with the others, I suppose.

No idea about the single-save item though.

I'm restarting a campaign, and the new player being added is making a 7th-level Wizard conceived as a performer/puppeteer who uses Tiny-size constructs as performers, but he also would like to give them some useful abilities to use in a pinch.

He will have Craft Construct and its prerequisites, and we're trying to determine if it is possible for him to easily add spell effects to the constructs themselves, or if it would just be easier to use Craft Wondrous Item to make things to equip on them instead.

He will also have Improved Familiar and use a Homunculus as his familiar, but I believe the only modification being made to that is increased HD, which is fairly straightforward.

So we're looking for advice on how to add some magical effects to constructs, all of which will be made using a Homunculus as the base construct.

I looked at the Building and Modifying Constructs page, and noticed the following text there:

These modifications represent more complex changes to the structure and function of the construct. The cost is equivalent to the minimum level to cast the spell × the spell level × 250 gp.

So does this mean, for example, that one construct meant to provide special effects for the stage performance could be as follows:

+125gp (CL1 x 0.5 spell level x 250) to add Ghost Sound... or perhaps more if a higher caster level is desired to allow it to last longer than 1 round at a time

+125gp (CL1 x 0.5 spell level x 250) to add Dancing Lights

+250gp (CL1 x 1 spell level x 250) to add Obscuring Mist

So by adding +500gp to this construct, it would be able to cast any of these effects, as a Standard Action once per round, etc.? Does that seem too cheap? On the one hand, it is fairly inexpensive, but then if the construct gets destroyed he loses it all and has to remake it at the same cost. And by default, they have 2d10hp, fairly weak, unless he upgrades their HD.

Should there be some kind of cost modifier added in to stack multiple abilities on the same construct, similar to how adding multiple effects to a magic item has a 1.5x cost modifier? I believe how that would work is the most costly ability is at normal price, and then any additional are at 1.5x price, so in the example above: 250 + 1.5x125 + 1.5x125 would total 625gp instead of 500gp.

I'm just looking for ideas, because I think we're strongly in house-rule, GM fiat territory here. These little critters are already fairly expensive, and I want the player to be able to have fun without breaking the bank, but I also want to maintain some level of balance within the game, too.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.

Good gaming!

To those suggesting a max per day, would you put such a cap on the number of potions or scrolls that could be used in a day? They cost more, and are one-use items, but they have the same effect if the player or group has enough of them. The wand costs them money, and while it's cheaper "per charge" than a single-use item, it is still resources they are spending to use spells from wands. Do you limit an archer to how many masterwork arrows they can use per day, if they spend money to buy 200 of them that each deal 1d8+1 damage to the enemy?

Another consideration is activation of the wand: If the character is not a class that has Cure Light Wounds on their spell list, then they need to succeed on a Use Magic Device check to activate the wand. Sometimes folks skimp and put 1 skill rank to use the wand, but if they happen to have 10 Charisma and it's not a class skill, that leaves them with only a +1 bonus on the check. They need to hit DC20 to use the wand, and if they roll a 1 and fail the check, they can't use the wand again for 24 hours. Even if they don't roll that 1, they could be trying for a while, a minute or two per success roughly. (This may not matter if they have a high enough skill check from ranks and bonuses, +19 means they can't fail.)

If you have any concern that the player isn't accurately (or honestly) keeping track of the number of charges used, then you may need to track that yourself. That's more of a player issue than rules though.

Good gaming!

hewhocaves wrote:

So.. another question.

could you take cow bones and fabircate them into human bones (or something else) and then animate said bones via animate dead?

Why wouldn't you just ANIMATE THE COW? You know you want to! ;)

"Daisy, I saw that man at the local inn, eating a brisket... sic 'em!"

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Aelryinth wrote:
Fixed that for you.

For starters, let's face a fact here - it's bad form to edit the content of someone's post in a quotation, and it is misleading to any who may not have been following the thread and are relying on those quotes to catch up. It may be standard practice on some forums, but I'd like to think that reasonable people can have a discussion without resorting to cheap internet tactics.

So then, how weak is your argument when all you can apparently do to prop yourself up is to make it look like someone who disagrees with you is actually agreeing with you?

Keep using your house rule, it's fine. I haven't run into Fabricate enough in real game situations to ever have it be a problem, and if it does become a problem in the future, I'm sure the players and GM of my group would reach a reasonable compromise. But until then, I don't see a reason to house rule it to weaken it. I'll stick with my current take on it, knowing that my interpretation is supported by a bunch of people, and it also seems to fall in with with a Pathfinder game designer whose opinions I trust on matters such as this... you know, about game rules, intent, and so on.

Now, if you want to keep your current streak alive, I'll inculde a typo here so you can criticize my spelling next. Bonus points if you find any others in my text above this paragraph.

Good gaming!

DM_Blake wrote:
Nope, that's pretty much how option B would work, though I think for most rings nobody is going to "hear" you activate it since they are use-activated items, which means you activate them by putting them on. Now, that implies taking it off and putting it on to reactivate it, which means you might not be heard at the 3-minute mark, but you might very well be seen unless you also managed to stealth into an unseen location for the reactivation.

After some more digging, now I'm not so sure about my former choice of Option B, at least in the case of the Ring of Invisibility.

From the magic items section:


Use Activated: This type of item simply has to be used in order to activate it. A character has to drink a potion, swing a sword, interpose a shield to deflect a blow in combat, look through a lens, sprinkle dust, wear a ring, or don a hat. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.

Many use-activated items are objects that a character wears. Continually functioning items are practically always items that one wears. A few must simply be in the character's possession (meaning on his person). However, some items made for wearing must still be activated. Although this activation sometimes requires a command word (see above), usually it means mentally willing the activation to happen. The description of an item states whether a command word is needed in such a case.

The Ring of Invisibility does state, "By activating this simple silver ring..." - so it does appear to need to be activated. But by the above info, I guess that activation can be mentally willing the activation to happen. So even if it is decided that it does need to be refreshed every 3 minutes, it does appear that this can be done silently.

But for the Ring of Blinking, its item description begins with "On command..." so I presume that means that it does require a command word to be spoken.

Looking at some of the ways other rings are worded, many of them include "continually" or "the wearer" gets certain benefits. But I guess any that say "on command" or that specify they must be "activated" would take a Standard action to activate. And I would suggest that any that do require such manual activation should also be treated as non-continuous, so determine their duration based on the caster level of the item as if the spell in question were being cast.

Does this all make sense? Poke holes in it for me, if I've missed something obvious. (I have a Wizard character who will one day make some rings, so I need to hash this all out with the GM anyway, might as well make sure I've got a solid understanding before bringing it all up.)

Good gaming!

EldonG wrote:
...and you have to belabor the point when my adjudication, for my world, which I present in the name of logic, and defend by logic, isn't good enough, and I should have to use someone else's houserule?

I may have lost track of some posts in this thread, but I believe the issue here is that some folks, despite being called on it multiple times, have continued to claim that Fabricate can't make masterwork items by RAW, trying to imply that it is something more than their own house rule.

My take on it is that it is fine as a house rule if you want to restrict the spell that way. I take issue with the continual insistence that it is something more than that, and that the rest of us are breaking the rules if we don't use the same house rule.

EldonG wrote:
If it was fabricateable, it wouldn't make any sense that the dwarves didn't simply fabricate it themselves. They do have wizards...

Perhaps they also have pride in their time-honored tradition of painstaking handmade craftsmanship.

Take another example: Ring of Invisibility. I see two possible interpretations.

Option A) Use a Standard action to activate the ring. You can now remain continually invisible for hours (provided you don't perform any actions that normally cancel invisibility.)

Option B) Use a Standard action to activate the ring. You are now invisible for 3 minutes (as if Invisibility were cast by a 3rd-level caster). Before the 3 minutes expires, you can use a Standard action to activate the ring again, which resets your 3-minute timer again.

I've always thought it was Option B, above. Option A would let you invisibly slip into a war council meeting and observe them making their battle plans. Option B lets you do the same... but you'd better be gone before 3 minutes is up, because otherwise they're going to hear you reactivating the ring. ;)

Have I misinterpreted how this should work?

Reasonable players and GMs? Perhaps even the kind who play the game as an adventure rather than an economic simulator?

Aelryinth wrote:

But the master smith with a trait, masterwork items, skilled apprentices, two feats to up his craft mod, and maybe a magic item or two simply CANNOT hope to craft anywhere near as fast as a wizard with this spell.

It's ridiculous.

So? A guy who has practiced his whole life dual-wielding torches can't burn people as fast as a wizard using Fireball, either. Does that mean we need to house rule Fireball to be less effective? It's a case of mundane versus magic, and magic can do this bigger/better/faster than mundane can. Not liking how Craft/Fabricate works is good enough justification for your own house rule, but it doesn't change how it works.

Aelryinth wrote:
So, yes, Fabricate is broken on its face, but at least you can't make masterwork with it.

Except that you can. Fabricate can create masterwork items. See above for details, and be sure to point out your house rules in your posts so that those who are interested in how it works by standard rules don't get confused.

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In the example about the dwarf fighter making his own armor but being quickly shown up by the wizard, there are a couple of problems there. First, you make a point of describing how the dwarf has invested skill points and feats into his craft and practiced it regularly. But in order to make the same high quality item, doesn't the wizard also need enough in Craft: Armor to pull off the same DC on the roll? So where did his years of practice go? Or are you just hand-waving it and assuming that the wizard allocates his skill points with no roleplaying basis for it and perhaps even hides it from everyone in order to be able to one day sneakily one-up the fighter later on? Does that really happen in your games?

No, if you're going to give the dwarf a rich background and RP flavor for his Craft skill, then it's only fair to assume that the wizard has the same rich background and RP flavor for his ranks in the same Craft skill. The wizard may have the advantage of a higher INT bonus contributing to his skill, and can pull off other tricks like Crafter's Fortune. But in a world where apparently there is easy access to adamantine, why doesn't the dwarf just get himself some Amazing Tools of Manufacture then? Or do you just nix those from your games too, because they disrupt the time-honored tradition of someone pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into a months-long crafting process, too?

And if you want to look at some more RP flavor, consider that the item created by Fabricate can be detected with a sufficiently high Knowledge: Arcana check, so if you've got someone who would prefer to buy a suit of armor that was crafted painstakingly over a long time of hard work, they have a way to make sure they are buying what they prefer, too.

It seems some have discarded the idea of examining how Fabricate is supposed to actually work, and instead it has changed to how some people like to have it work (aka, house rule) because they don't like that it has the potential to be used in a way that they don't like, whether it is because of some effect it has on the game's economy, or because this one time, Bob the Crafty Dwarf had his thunder stolen from him by Dave the Jerk. And if that happens all the time, then hey man, sorry you're apparently stuck with Dave in your gaming group. ;)

I think it is incorrect to say that Fabricate only allows a single Craft check. In my opinion, that is an overly-strict house rule interpretation out of concern for game economies. It's fine if you want to run it that way as the GM of your own game. I don't think it is necessary, because the GM controls the economy anyway, and can fairly rule that there isn't infinite demand for whatever good a player wants to make and sell. Or if there is infinite demand, then the local smiths shouldn't care, because then they can sell their own wares to that infinite pool of buyers, too, and nobody loses.

And even if you choose to disallow masterwork, what stops a player from making a ridiculously valuable piece of jewelry with a single check, anyway? Masterwork only applies to specific items, right? If the perceived problem is that a caster with the 5th-level Fabricate spell can crank out huge amounts of valuable products and "get rich quick"... if that's a problem for your game and you think it is breaking the economy, talk to the player and say hey, it's fine to use Fabricate now and then to make some cool stuff, but don't abuse it. Don't let these ideas of broken economies cloud the issue of what the spell can actually do and artificially limit it, and especially don't claim that this interpretation is the way the spell must work.

Instead, let's stick to what Fabricate actually says: that you must make an appropriate Craft check for items requiring a high degree of craftsmanship.

So if I want to make an elaborate and beautiful necklace, what is ”an appropriate Craft check” for that? Craft: Jewelry, we'll say DC20. Ok, great!

If I want to make a set of chain mail armor, what is ”an appropriate Craft check” for that? DC16 Craft: Armor? Sounds right.

Now, what if I want to make Masterwork Chain Mail, what is ”an appropriate Craft check” for that? The answer: TWO Craft checks are appropriate for making that specific item.

And so, I believe it is incorrect to so completely latch on to the word ”an” in the spell text and then ignore the significance of the word ”appropriate” immediately following it. ”An appropriate Craft check” for a given item is sometimes more than one Craft check, and is ultimately determined by the GM... whether a single check or multiple checks are deemed appropriate for a given task.

Aside from all that, SKR pretty clearly demonstrated in the post linked to earlier in this thread that masterwork items are possible with Fabricate, so I'm not sure why it even has to be reasoned out any further, but there you have it.

Good gaming!

Much like the claims that Fabricate specifies only one Craft check is allowed (which I don't believe is the case), I guess it could be nitpicked to say that Craft only specifies you can add +10 to the DC; not +20 or +30, etc.

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Here's my take on it: The reason they said it works like AC is to make it clear that it does NOT work like Damage Resistance, despite them both having "Resistance" in the name.

The CON check to stabilize is specifically noted as being an automatic success on a roll of 20. I don't have a page number handy, but it's under "Stable Characters and Recovery" in the Combat section of the PRD.

The attack has to "successfully hit" before you can intercept it. So the guy with Cleave can indeed damage you twice, once if he hits you first, and again if you step in the way as he hits your friend.

And if he has Great Cleave, he can keep going, because technically his attack roll against your friend hit, too. It's not his fault if you wanted the damage instead. :)

It's metagaming because you are saying that your character doesn't try to knock him back down if he tries to get up; rather, you are saying that your character waits until he is standing up and then, if he does anything else at all - even breathing, you will then attempt to knock him down.

To me, that's metagaming, because your character doesn't know that there is a goofy quirk to the rules that your action would interrupt him before he stands up and thus he could just stand up again afterwards.

Also, the breathing or blinking part is just ridiculous.

Now, on to another little tidbit: If you used your Standard Action last round to knock the guy down, then it's his turn... when exactly did you have another Standard Action to set up the Ready condition in the first place? In short, acting by yourself, there is no way to keep someone constantly tripped like that, because you can't trip him and then Ready to trip him again before he acts.

The only option is the Attack of Opportunity for him standing up, which we already know won't let you successfully re-trip him during the process of him standing up.

"Candygram for Mongo." **hand enemy a wrapped package with Explosive Runes note inside and scurry away**

Anyway, since the spell is Abjuration school, I think the intent is for it to be a defensive out-of-combat spell rather than something to be used directly as an attack in combat - otherwise I speculate it would be Evocation.

That is, set it up as a trap somewhere and trick and enemy into intentionally reading the document, instead of trying to fling things at enemies in combat.

If someone were to ready an action to hit me "after I finished standing up" then I would consider that enough metagaming to counter with some of my own: I'd just attack them from the ground, completely wasting their action. :)

Since the spell doesn't outline damaged caused by worn items being shrunk, there clearly is no intent for this to be able to cause damage. So for example, shrinking someone's necklace with just make it fit uncomfortable tight, but it would not cause strangulation or decapitation or anything silly like that. And a successful save means the spell fails entirely.

My question about Shrink Item is whether it is intended to allow multiple items in a container to be easily shrunk. I would say probably yes, since the example of a campfire is actually a small pile of interacting items. So for example, filling a chest full of books, closing and locking it, and then casting Shrink Item on the chest should cause it to shrink along with all of its contents. (Exception being if a living creature or other ineligible target were put into the chest.)

Does that seem about right?

Hmm, what are the pros and cons of this? I guess having one scroll with multiple spells on it means if an enemy can hit it, they can destroy a bunch of spells at once.

On the other hand, you would only have to draw/equip one scroll and then continue casting multiple times without having to dig around for the next scroll you wanted.

Good tradeoff, I guess.

Consider this: If you expect to be able to throw it at someone and all it takes is a glance for them to read it - what's to prevent the GM from deciding that an enemy glances at it and reads it as you're pulling it out - so it explodes in your hands?

Or I could set up a defense mechanism for myself against Explosives Runes used in this way by simply informing the GM that my character will never read anything without using Linguistics to try to determine if it is a forgery. ;) This way, it always takes at least a round, so I'm not going to bother reading anything in combat.

KBrewer is making a lot of sense there. I had noted the "allowed" wording previously but hadn't pushed it fully to its conclusion.

So at this point, it appears that the correct way of adjudicating this is that both special abilities can be put on a weapon, with the following restrictions and results:

* Restriction: The weapon chosen must normally do nonlethal damage; that is, its mundane form must do nonlethal damage (i.e, whip, sap; NOT longsword)
* Result with both Merciful and Deadly active: The weapon does nonlethal damage, as Merciful does not allow the weapon to deal lethal damage; also, the weapon bypasses limits on armored or naturally armored targets.
* Result with Merciful suppressed: You lose the 1d6 extra damage but the weapon can now do lethal damage.

Barring any further persuasive arguments, that is the conclusion that I find to match the RAW (goofy, muddled, and messy as the RAW may be on this) as closely as possible, so I'll just go with that.

From a purely conceptual angle, I like and am amused by the thought that the Merciful special ability is a pacifist: "What? You want to do lethal damage? I'll just shut off then, let me know if you want to work with me again sometime, but I refuse to work with that Deadly fellow over there." Heh heh.

My point with the vorpal sword stuff is, the whole thing is a bit ridiculous, and you can find goofy stuff with the RAW just about anywhere, it just seems really easy to find with the Merciful ability in particular. I was exercising ridiculousness myself to show the ridiculousness of this whole discussion.

My bottom line, though, has softened a bit: It isn't overpowered, it's just a little conceptually messy. At a +3 effective enhancement bonus, having a +1 Merciful Deadly Whip add +1dd6 damage actually seems less effective to me than simply having a +1 Flaming Frost Whip which adds +2d6 typed energy damage instead.

And I specifically mentioned Flaming + Frost because I have no problem with that conceptually. Call it a "Weapon of Steam" and call it a day. ;)

I still hold to two things: Merciful on a lethal weapon doesn't qualify that weapon for Deadly; and that the real RAW conclusion is that it boils down to GM's judgment on what the effect of the Merciful+Deadly combination should be.

And at this point... FAQ, though I don't really see this as a question that would, by any stretch of the imagination, come up "frequently" in games. ;D

That's right:

"If a creature's nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage."

Now show me where in RAW it tells me exactly how much nonlethal damage a severing strike from a Merciful Vorpal Longsword will do, so I can determine whether the creature's nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points, or more. It doesn't say how much HP damage a normal Vorpal Longsword does on a critical hit, it doesn't even say "all of it" - but what I do know is that the Merciful version must not be able to kill a target because it only does nonlethal damage, and nonlethal damage specifically says it is not life-threatening.

I think it's time to be done with this particular little RAW game, don't you? I think it is past time to write this issue off as DM's call and stop trying to pretend it all makes perfect sense.

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