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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber. 32 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The rules for the Critical Hit deck back up the wording on p278. They say to draw a card, “whenever a PC scores a critical hit DUE TO A NATURAL 20 on the die roll.” The wording is the similar on the Critical Fumble deck too. There is no clause about, if the natural 20 would’ve resulted in a successful Strike or anything like that. “Regular” crits do not result in a card draw.

Taken together, Paizo seems to be saying that a natural 20 is always a crit. This suggests p445 needs to be fixed.

I’ve found this confusing since the first time I read the RCB, and I was surprised it was not clarified in the first round of errata. Its an important point that comes up a lot since its so much easier to crit now.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Experience ends up cleaning most of this up. When you run up against something confusing, do the logical thing. 99% of the time, that’s how the game is supposed to work anyways. The errata kind of proves that. There really were no bombshells there, just a lot of “that’s what I thought.”

But there’s a lot here, and its easy to get it mixed up with other editions and games. I know I read the description of Escape (for instance), it just didn’t stick. We just did the logical thing and it turned out to be right anyways. Now, I doubt I’ll ever have to look up the Grapple rules again. All the common actions will get like that once we’ve played the game more.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ok. That makes sense.

The way it sounded in play was that the PC could make an Athletics or Acrobatics CHECK to break out of a Grab (avoiding the MAP), not just use a different modifier for the Escape action.

We’ve been playing it that way for weeks—using Athletic or Acrobatics to Escape but treating it as an Attack because it just seemed logical.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So, I thought I understood this subject until I listened to Jason Bulmahn on Knights of Everflame tell one of his players that they could also use Athletics or Acrobatics to escape a grab which appears absolutely nowhere in the CRB.

It makes sense that you could wiggle or power your way free, although those ways would count not against your MAP which would seem to over-incentivize their use. It just doesn’t appear to be RAW. Is he “house ruling” his own game? That seems, weird, right?

Interested to hear any thoughts on that.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The ShadowShackleton wrote:

I understand a GM has the right to allow players to ready actions outside of combat. I like to think what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What is there to prevent the average group of paranoid delvers from readying actions before opening every door in the dungeon, if readying outside of combat is permitted?

What is there to then prevent the GM from readying actions to ambush said delvers whenever they open a door?

I’d say that both GMs and PCs are welcome to try and always ambush everybody all the time, but they still need to actually get the drop on their opponents to pull it off. This is what keeps Ready action in check. The Kobolds behind the door can certainly Ready an action to attack the PCs when they open the door, but the PCs can also discover the fact and counter the move. And of course the opposite is also true. In actual play, it works out perfectly well.

I get the sense that this must have been handled very different in 1st edition?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The only remaining issue I have with what you wrote is that you seem to say you can be in Encounter Mode without being in Initiative order. That is not right. Under the section on Encounter Mode, it literally says “Step 1: Roll Initiative.” P468.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thank God!

The wording on this topic is all over the map in the CRB and it’s obviously leading to a ton of confusion. I was thrown by the usage of the game term Turn and took it to mean you HAD to be in Initiative in order to Ready actions.

The entire argument comes into focus with the end of your first quote. If a PC’s Reaction can happen outside of an Encounter, then they HAVE to be able to Ready actions outside of it as well in order to set a Trigger.

That being the case, I can have a group of foes Ready an action to shoot arrows at the PCs when they enter the glade, then allow them to take that action, then roll for Initiative. Or, basically give them a virtual surprise round comprised of their Readied actions if they manage to go Undetected by the PCs! Viola they’ve ambushed the Party.

When I proposed this way to resolve this before, I was told this was not how 2e worked and all manner of convoluted suggestions were made about how to handle the situation with RAW. This is simple, elegant, and logical. It also doesn’t tip your hand that you’re ambushing the party by dropping them into Encounter Mode for seemingly no reason in the middle of the forest because the foes avoided detection, but rolled poor initiative.


I highlighting p461!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If it were impossible for enemies to Ready reactions outside of encounter mode, then what would be the point of the Initiative After Reactions rule? To quote it once again, it says "In some cases, a trap or a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative." The example it gives is of a complex trap getting an attack off before initiative is rolled, but the "foe" bit indicates that creatures can do it too.


I took that to mean that particular foes will have special abilities that will work as Reactions that allow them an action before initiative, not that any foe could get one. I’m basing this on the wording “a foe has a reaction that tells you to roll initiative.”

The only caveat here would be if you could Ready actions outside of Encounter Mode which I don’t think you can. The Ready Action description states that it happens “outside of your turn” which suggests you are already in initiative since you don’t have turns in Exploration of Downtime modes.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Doesn’t seem that Ready should have an Encounter action trait if it can only be used then? After all, there are Exploration and Downtown action traits.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think its completely reasonable to allow a Readied action against an Undetected or Unnoticed foe if the Trigger is something that reveals their location and the PC is focusing on a very specific area. This is why I talked about the attacker having to Stride first and then fire. Striding out from behind the boulder would make them Observed.

If the player had chosen the wrong boulder, then they’d have been out of luck. Or if the attacker did not have to move before attacking, I would not have allowed the Strike. As I understand it, a Strike could make such an attacker Hidden rather than Unnoticed or Undetected, but that would be AFTER their Strike.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
Ignoring the problem of your player readying an action outside of an encounter

As I indicated, we were in Encounter Mode already, and Initiative had already been rolled. The would be attacker was simply Unnoticed, but the players had a hunch that turned out to be correct. Instead of choosing to Seek, they decided to Ready a Strike instead.

Also, I don’t think there are “surprise rounds” in P2.

Lastly, PCs can’t Ready outside of Encounter Mode because of language about the action being “not on your turn” which implies you have to be in Initiative order?

And, you shouldn’t really need to Ready actions outside of Encounters, right? If the player says, “when the orc runs out of the tavern, I’ll Strike,” wouldn’t that just mean when the orc appeared and the PC went to attack, I’d call for Initiative to be rolled?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The PCs were in a cave and had a strong suspicion that enemies were about to jump out from behind a boulder and hit them with arrows. One used the Ready Action to prepare a Strike. Their stated Trigger was initially “if anyone moves to attack us, I will fire an arrow.” I made them be more specific because I felt it was unrealistic that the PC would have complete 360 degree awareness in the cave. Instead, they choose an area the same scope as a Seek Action and I limited the Trigger to that area—“if anyone in that area pops into view” became the Trigger. Now, the player was right, and an enemy did pop out to fire an arrow on their turn (we were already in Encounter Mode). Since the Trigger was satisfied and because the PC had essentially guessed correctly, the Readied Action was set off BEFORE the foe attacked since it had to Stride before it could attack.

We felt the ruling made sense (please let me know if you agree or not,) but it left me with three questions.

1) If the foe was hidden in a way where they didn’t need to move to Strike, then the Trigger would not have gone off, correct?

2) If the player had changed it to “when someone Strikes,” I would have ruled that the foe’s Strike action happens, and THEN the Trigger is set off since the only way the Trigger is satisfied is if the foe tries to make a Strike—meaning I’m rolling to see if it hits. The PC doesn't get to interrupt the Strike, right?

3) Lastly, if the wording was “if anyone goes to Strike me from the designated area,” then their Trigger would go off BEFORE the Strike if the player could see them do so. If the foe was Undetected or even Hidden, then they wouldn’t see the foe getting ready to fire, correct? So the Trigger would not be set off.

In practice, I am not this picky at the table. When players set up Triggers, we usually talk it through together so I’m clear about their intentions and don't get overly hung up on their exact phrasing. Here, I’m just trying to get a clearer understanding of how this works in P2.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Cool. Got it. Thanks for all the help.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What I was pointing out was that, if the PCs failed to detect a Lie by an NPC beating their Perception DCs, then the RAW says I should “usually” only let them make a roll if they’ve discovered new evidence that points to the Lie being a Lie. (P246) I think this wording in the book was meant to discourage players from imposing their paranoia on their characters—although its well earned in most cases.

In practice, I’d just let players call for a roll whenever and maybe assess a circumstantial penalty for initially believing the Lie. If there was no Lie, I’d still have them roll so as not to tip my hand.

Last thing: In 5e, there was a variant rule that allowed you to swap out the ability of a skill if the DM thought it made more sense in a certain situation. Using CON instead of STR with Athletics is the example they used to represent someone swimming a long distance. Its not about the ability to swim, its about the ability to endure .

Does this sort of thing ever happen in Pathfinder? If so, I’d consider swapping INT for WIS on the types of Perception rolls I am talking about here where analysis is a part of the action. Obviously, all other proficiency and other bonuses would still apply, so it should represent a blend of a character’s visual acuity and their mental ability to put what they see into a larger context. Maybe call it an Investigation roll. This wouldn’t require any allocation of resources during character creation, and would be easily implemented at the table as it is in 5e.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Right. But the Lie action happens first if the NPC or PC is using Deception (p246). Everyone they are lying too automatically Senses Motive via their Perception DC. The GM then has the discretion to allow players to roll Sense Motive IF their characters uncover facts that run counter to the Lie they initially believed. That means the GM, at least according to the RAW, shouldn’t allow rerolls of Sense Motive just because the players are used to treacherous NPCs and playing hunches.

Because I am new to Pathfinder, I think I might be missing something too about how the actions are laid out in the book. Sense Motive is not listed in the Skills section because it is not a Skill, right? Instead, it is listed under Basic Actions in the How to Play the Game section on the Encounter Mode. I was initially turned around by this and thinking that Sense Motive could then ONLY be used in the Encounter Mode. This is wrong, correct? Its an action that seems like it has to be part of Exploration too, right?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

I have zero problems with Perception including Sense Motive.

Being able to tell if someone is lying to you involves picking up on many small pieces of information. Eye motion, changes in tone, facial tics, hand movements, body tension, timing of speech, etc. Good liars are adept at not showing these tells, and it becomes harder to pick them up. Sherlock Holmes is the prime example of keen observational skills being used to such an end.

So, is it absurd to me that someone who is able to notice all the fine details of a room at a glance would also be able to pick up on subtle but strange behaviors? Not in the slightest.

If we're talking specifically about someone who has never encountered another humanoid before... not only is that a somewhat contrived case, it can easily be explained by animal instinct. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a trope of a wild child "getting a bad feeling" about someone who intends them ill.

Furthermore, if you want to roleplay a socially clueless character... why are you rolling Sense Motive checks? I can't count the number of times I've told my GM "Yeah, my character believes them at their word" because I was playing such a character.

Anyway, I'm just a big ole fan of the built-in perception and sense motive.

In P2, the Liar rolls against the PCs Perception DC. Players do not have to call for a Sense Motive roll, so they do not have a choice but to be good at both Perception and Sense Motive. I guess I’ll probably get around this by describing the nervousness of the NPCs or something rather than flat out saying, “you think their lying.”

On the other point, you’re right. Such a character could easily SEE these “tells,” but it might be quite another to interpret them. Its just weird to me the P2 doesn’t differentiate. Not a big deal. Just kind of surprise/disappointment in a game I am totally loving otherwise.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Interesting stuff.

The consensus seems to be that Initiative (most of the time), Sense Motive, Perception, and Investigation were all rolled into one because these are things that all players want to be good at. Its kind of a bundle or combo pack of skills for PCs so that they don’t have to allocate resources during character creation.

That makes sense. I don’t like or agree with it, but I understand the choice from a game design standpoint.

My last stab at giving an example to clarify my point would be this. I live in a very rural area. I know plenty of people who are great in the woods. They can point out fox tracks and deer runs that are almost invisible to me. But, put them in an electrics shop in NYC and they get totally hustled. I just think there should be mechanical reflections of a character type like this on the sheet because it goes to the heart of who the PC is. That said, the circumstantial penalty suggested above seems like it would help account for this.

I don’t plan on any sort of house ruling myself. I like to play any new game as close to RAW as I can for a campaign or so before messing with it. I’ve found a lot of concerns that seem like they’re going to be big deals on paper, sometimes disappear at the table and of course the opposite happens too. I’ll be anxious to see how this shakes out with some more play. Any in game examples and analysis would be much appreciated.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Anguish wrote:
JamesMaster wrote:
Conflating them means the ultra Perceptive, raised by wolves Ranger your player has put together also happens to be equally good at reading people’s intentions? This makes 0 sense to me.

I assume you have the same issue with Athletics. I mean... dead-lifting weight and rock-climbing are dramatically different uses of physical strength that have nothing in common.

Also Deception, where verbal falsehoods requiring agile-minded creation of fiction is blended with creating a disguise, which amounts to knowing how to use make-up.

Point is, for purposes of gameplay we've always had skills that lump thematically similar but mechanically disparate abilities into one roll. It's always been up to the player to decide if their character is good at all applications of a skill. If your character is bad at reading other people but good at spotting distant enemies... don't roll for sensing motive.

No. To me those are close enough to gloss over. I realize you can’t have a separate skill for literally everything a PC does.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

OK. So this is a casualty of streamlining the game? Do you like the Perception as Sense Motive? If not, what do you (or anyone else here) plan to do?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I agree. Two actions feels right. Its one thing to grab someone, and another to move them. Think I’d also have a failure meaning no movement and a critical failure meaning the target gets free.

Strictly speaking, the move should have a MAP, right, like a Shove. But I understand the logic.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I’d accept that if P2 wasn’t such an incredibly specific game in all other aspects. I’m totally new to Pathfinder, but it doesn't strike me as a “don’t sweat the details” sort of game, except for this one area.

For instance, I was very surprised on how detailed the weapon characteristics were—which I totally love. The detail really makes every weapon feel unique rather than just a certain hit die and damage type.

Seen in this context, it just seems inconsistent that a game that has gone to such great lengths to clearly and narrowly define all other skills/actions would then proceed to conflate Perception and Sense Motive (Insight). They are very different skills that have real implications on who your character is both mechanically and narratively.

For example again, the Ranger who is super attuned to their hunting ground and has great situational awareness shouldn’t automatically be great at seeing through the smooth talking politician, right?

Was this how it was in 1st edition maybe?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Paradozen wrote:
I think there is a general note somewhere saying effects that forcible move someone generally require a check against fortitude DC, so my call as a GM is to have the PC do an athletics check v. fortitude allowing them to drag up to their speed but treating each square as greater difficult terrain, with a critical success treating as difficult terrain instead. Requires having them grabbed but no MAP.

Yeah. That’s where I ended up mechanically speaking. Once the PC Grappled their target, I allowed them to move it like they were moving through Greater Difficult Terrain.

When you resolved this, did you treat it as 2 actions? One to Grapple and another to move? If so, did you have your PCs do 2 rolls? Or did you just combine it into a single check?

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Making Sense Motive a simple Perception check erases the line between situational or tactical awareness and knowledge and understanding of human nature—or human psychology. These are two very different skills. Conflating them means the ultra Perceptive, raised by wolves Ranger your player has put together also happens to be equally good at reading people’s intentions? This makes 0 sense to me. Its the only area I’ve run into so far where 5e clearly comes out on top. Insight there is a separate skill from Perception although they are both based on Wisdom. That seems right and logical.

I do like that P2 puts the onus on the Liar to deceive the PCs, rather than waiting for the players to call for a check. This presupposes that the PCs are constantly judging the veracity of the information coming their way which seems believable. And I’ve just gone ahead and let the PCs roll Sense Motive even if they aren't being Lied to even though this isn’t strictly RAW. On p246, it basically says PCs can only call for a roll if they’ve failed to spot a Lie in the first place, and then it is up to the GM.

Am I missing something?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, that’s what it seems like to me too, but certainly there should be a way to Grapple someone and then move them. You’re right about Shoving, but its not what the PC wanted to do. This week, I just cut the PC’s movement by 2/3 (like Greater Difficult Terrain), but I realize this is a very 5e solution.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If I have a player whose grappled a target and now wants to move/drag them out of the room, how do I resolve this? Rules say that the PC loses their grip if they move. Note, they specifically don’t want to shove or trip them.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I thought Bleed was just a type of Persistent Damage (p452). As such, wouldn’t it be stopped by a DC15 flat check (p261)?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
You want Rest and Daily Preparations on pg 480 or Daily Preparations on pg 500. You have to spend 30-60 minutes on daily preparations to regain spells, and that follows a rest period ("typically 8 hours") in the prior 24 hour period.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Now I see. The limitations on the Seek action really balances things out and eliminates any need for a GM granted bonus. Also, using Perception for initiative had me turned around. It is a skill check, but its only use is to place you in order. You gain no other benefit from the check in other words like learning your attacker’s location.

So far, its the only rules area that seemed vague to me, but after running a few sims, it actually runs quite well.

Thanks for the help. I’m actually totally new to Pathfinder period, so this is all fresh terminology for me.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
By RAW if the sneaker beats the PCs perception DC (10+perception modifier) they start of hidden even if the PCs perception roll for initiative is higher. So you can have a situation where the PCs rolled high and know that someone/something is there but had their perception DC beaten and don't know exactly where.

Thanks. That makes sense, but I just don’t like the mechanic because the PCs get so many chances to discover their attackers. Also, they’d be Unnoticed, right, not Hidden. If I understand the distinction correctly, Unnoticed is “something is in the trees,” while Hidden is “something is behind THAT tree.”

Even if the goblins beat the PCs’ Perception DC, as soon as we go into combat, all the PCs who beat the goblin’s initiative will get up to 3 chances to Seek. If any of those rolls succeed against the goblin’s Stealth DC, the PC yells the location of their ambushers to their allies and the goblins go from being Undetected to simply Hidden which allows them to be targeted.

I suppose a RAW fix would be to give the goblins a Circumstantial Bonus of +4 to their Stealth DC. Right?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is the biggest problem I’ve run into so far. Its almost impossible to ambush the PCs because they get so many chances to discover their attackers due to the new Perception based initiative.

I’m tempted to treat ambushers who successfully evade notice as a hazard and give them 1 action tied to a trigger—a held action in other words. Or in other other words, a surprise round.

I’m really hoping some clarification comes soon. It seems like a really odd oversight in the rules. Like Ograx, I like to run new games RAW at first before I start house ruling.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The math makes its very difficult to really ambush PCs. If a group of 12 goblins have set up in the trees and the PCs stroll down the path, the 12 goblins will get 1 Stealth roll vs each PC getting a Perception roll to set the initiative of the encounter. That means a party of 4 is 4x more likely to discover the goblins than the goblins are of ambushing them. The goblins are just as likely to go first in the initiative if they are simply walking down the path. This makes setting an ambush irrelevant.

I suppose you can roll initiative as normal to set the order but keep the goblins unnoticed, but won’t the PCs (who know they are incombat) basically use all of their actions to Seek whatever set off the encounter giving them even more chances to spot the goblins before they can attack?

The only RAW fix seems to be to give the goblins a circumstantial bonus (say +4) for taking the time to set the ambush up and hope that balances the huge advantage the PCs have.

Am I missing something?