Kevin Andrew Murphy's page

Contributor. Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 3,596 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Organized Play characters.


As a feature request, since there are now enough different pawn sets to make it necessary, could someone put together an index--maybe in the wiki--that lists where each pawn is in what set?

For example, I'm running Skull & Shackles. It's not until the session after the current one that I find that the Skull & Shackles pawn set actually has a Canopy Creeper pawn and I didn't need to pull out the Shambling Mound from the Bestiary Box and say "Okay, plant creature with vine tentacles. Close enough." Then I want to have a horde of xtabay as are called for in the adventure. Can't find any in the S&S pawns, but do an internet search and find that they're going to be in the Bestiary Box II coming out later this month.

And that doesn't even get into wanting to pull monsters for my homebrewed games or for adventures written by other publishers.

I also realize that some people like to take their pawns out of all the cardboard, sort them, index them and whatnot, but that's not me. I prefer to keep them in the original cardboard, unpopped till I need them, and then pop them back in after the session. Since they now come with numbers next to them, this makes it extra useful for indexing, especially in the cases where I need multiple of a specific monster and there are multiples scattered throughout the various sets, as is the case with giant wasps for example.


Yesterday, Erik Keith sent me an email helping me with an order. I sent back a "thank you" reply. My email server (sff.net) later sent me a note saying it tried to deliver it ten times before giving up. I thought this would be a temporary glitch, so I resent it with a postscript several hours later. Same problem.

My order is fine and I do not need any changes, but the bouncing email is worrisome. Any thoughts as to what's going on?


Just downloaded the PDFs for Map Pack Vehicles, thinking of cutting out some tokens on paper rather than cutting up my printed maps. I then discovered that the watermarks run over the maps, which is not just unsightly for something to put in front of my regular players but also potentially problematic for public gaming. Basically the watermark has my personal email, and while I'm generally pretty free with that, it's not something I want displayed on a gaming table at a convention.

I know that Paizo is not going to be doing PDFs without watermarks, but could there be a version of the Map Pack PDFs with top and bottom margins large enough to contain the watermark? That way, if we print out a map card, we could lop off the watermark (and the email contained) when we use a paper cutter. But of course the PDF would still have a watermark for tracing purposes.


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If anyone wants some paper models or at least vintage standees, go to this page, scroll to the bottom, and in the bottom box, click and save each of the seven PDFs.

I don't speak Japanese, but these are obviously some nice vintage cardstock models which would be easily suitable for gaming.


I'm certain this is related to SnowSplosion, but the WebFiction tab on the main page is still linking to Part III of Lucien's story even though Part IV is now up.


I'm thinking there are definitely some Pathfinder fans in China. Check out Zon-Kuthon's new outfit and feast your eyes on other Pathfinder villains.


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After my brief fits of insanity for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day, and a lesser fit for April Fools, I thought I was done with Golarion poetry for a bit. But James said I was free to post more if I liked, and Urgathoa seemed to demand something for Halloween. And when the Pallid Princess demands something....

Of course, while there are many spooky ghost stories, there is also a long tradition of humorous ghostly tales, such as, for example, "Miss Bailey's Ghost."

There is also a longer tradition of writing new ballads to the tunes of old ones. Indeed, there's even the tradition of ballad sellers hawking in the streets from the 16th to 19th centuries, and with a little PDF wizardry, it even makes a good prop for Halloween games. (Note: Contains a period woodblock of Urgathoa!)

So, Happy Halloween, everyone. I thought I might get this up a bit early, in the crack between two Pathfinder Tales, so people would have it for the season, and also because I'll soon be leaving for the World Fantasy Convention.

I hope you enjoy it. (And if any musically inclined fans would be inclined to record it and post it to YouTube, I think we'd all enjoy that too.)

“Princess Urgathoa"
(to the tune of “Miss Bailey’s Ghost”)
By Kevin Andrew Murphy

One evening very long ago a princess died of asthma
And found herself queued up with shades in line to see Pharasma.
The princess sniffed indignantly, “I’m not some protozoa!
I don’t know who this goddess is, but I am Urgathoa!”

Chorus: Urgathoa, she’s not some protozoa! Urgathoa, the Princess Urgathoa!

Pharasma said, “Please wait your turn, celestial or infernal.
While I will surely get to you, your wait may seem eternal.”
The princess laughed, “I’m out of here!” jumped on an extinct moa
And headed for the land above. “So long!” cried Urgathoa.

Chorus: Urgathoa, she rides a giant moa! Urgathoa, the Princess Urgathoa!

“I’m sorry, dear,” Pharasma said, “You simply can’t be leaving.
What’s done is done, and dead is dead, and folk are not done grieving.”
The willful princess then replied, “Ooh look! A feather boa!”
And grabbed a dead plumed serpent, put it on--That’s Urgathoa!

Chorus: Urgathoa, she wears a feather boa! Urgathoa, the Princess Urgathoa!

She spurred the axebeak with her heels, then with the dead coatl.
The moa took off like a spear launched out of an atlatl.
And where they landed in the world? Someone swore, “Croatoa!
Our colony has died!” he cried. “I blame you, Urgathoa!”

Chorus: Urgathoa, the plague of Croatoa! Urgathoa, the undead Urgathoa!

So that explains how undeath came and why we now have sickness,
And also it explains, I think, where undead get their quickness.
So if you die and you find death to be as sour as quinces
Just follow the example of the jolly pallid princess!

Chorus: Urgathoa, our Princess Urgathoa! Urgathoa, our Goddess Urgathoa!

This song is sung in the taverns of Ustalev.
Known as a “whistling past the graveyard
song,” it is a song for the living to mock the
dead and prove they do not fear them.
Perversely, the song is also popular among
undead bards, who consider it an unofficial
hymn to the Goddess Urgathoa.

(Historic Note: This song is sung to the tune
of “Miss Bailey’s Ghost,” a humorous ghost
song dating to the 16th century. The
original lyrics
would also be suitable for
any Golarion game by just switching
“Halifax” to “Cheliax” and keeping the rest
as written.)


Interesting news here, especially for Paizonians:


Nutshell: After Hasbro let the Trademark lapse (yes, you heard that right) a new publisher applied for it. They were just granted it and have plans to resurrect the magazine.

They also, however, are interested in talking to others about financing, publishing, etc.

Obviously Paizo would know something about this....


A question just came up in my game, followed by a seemingly correct but unsatisfying solution, followed by some more speculation and then a related question.

The question was from one of my players, who's a fighter but rather obsessed with baking as he's from a family of bakers and intends, once he's sought his fortune, to retire to start his own bakery and also use the recipes he's learned in his travel.

The Question: Who is the god of bakers in Golarion?

My Answer: Abadar, who's the god of banking and civilization. Bread is a nickname for money and all cities require bakeries to function.

Why this is vaguely unsatisfying: Why should a CG character have to worship a LN god to pursue his passion?

I then came across a related question when a friend had her washing machine die and she was planning to make a shrine to St. Jude on the new one which couldn't be installed yet due to rusty pipe, and I started wondering which Catholic saint presided over washing machines or laundry in general. I guessed it might be St. Veronica, who had the miraculous veil which she used as a towel, but I of course went to look it up and I found there were no less than five Catholic saints in charge of laundresses. St. Veronica was only one, and she split her duties by also taking care of photographers, but while St. Martha, St. Lawrence, and St. Clare of Assisi all had laundry lists of professions who could pray to them, only St. Hunna showed the dedication to be the Holy Washerwoman and only preside over laundresses.

I'm thinking it must be a similar situation with the gods in Golarion. Abadar is the god of bread and breadmakers insomuch as bread is part of civilization and commerce. Urgathoa can probably claim some baking duties as well as goddess of feasting and the whole "I'll grind his bones to make my bread" shtick. Even Calistria probably likes honeycakes and blesses anyone who makes them. But beyond that there's probably a whole host of minor saints, blessed spirits, and whatnot that aren't mentioned for lack of space. For example, if I say that there's Bonegrinder the breadmaking ogre who's part of Urgathoa's extended entourage, it makes logical sense, and moreover would be a great patron for a CE baker, assuming I wanted to have one.



Why do they have to be mutually exclusive?


Hey everyone,

Baycon, a convention which I've long been associated with, is doing a nice thing for new writers. Specifically, they're starting up as a professional-paying SFWA-qualifying market. Full details may be found here:


They'll be buying one piece of flash fiction and one short story for their 30th anniversary, that being this next year, 2012. Original fiction in the science fiction or fantasy field set in your own original world.

Check their website for minimum and maximum requirements, but it looks to be a good market for folk with professionally paid and published game writing but no professional fiction sales as of yet.

Best of luck to everyone who submits.


Happy April Fools' Day, everyone.

Since there was interest/hope for another poem for the next holiday, and that holiday is today, I got to thinking that it had been a while since there had been any new goblin songs. Which is sad, because the goblins will be coming shortly, and while I don't have any more info than that, I though a goblin song for the Licktoad Goblins would be a fun idea.

Then of course I complicated things by realizing that the verse forms of the goblins would work really well for a pantoum.

What is a pantoum, pray tell? What's its CR? Does it have turn resistance?

Um...a pantoum is a verse form the English got from the French, and the French got from the Malays. So it's only appropriate that it now be appropriated by Golarion's goblins.

I'll let them show you what one is.

Happy Veneralia!

Kevin Andrew Murphy

“The Licktoad Pantoum”
A Goblin Song for April Fools’ Day 2011
By Kevin Andrew Murphy

Catch the piggy, Squealy Nord!
Licktoad Goblins prove we brave!
Gobble bull slug from a gourd!
Dance on Auntie Una’s grave!

Licktoad Goblins prove we brave!
Goblins take on any dare!
Dance on Auntie Una’s grave!
With a baby buggy bear!

Goblins take on any dare!
Sneak into a humie hall!
With a baby buggy bear!
Swap it for a goo-goo doll!

Sneak into a humie hall!
Find a baby humie boy!
Swap it for a goo-goo doll!
Goblins play with tasty toy!

Find a baby humie boy!
Teach it goblin peek-a-boo!
Goblins play with tasty toy!
Suppertime, toss brat in stew!

Teach it goblin peek-a-boo!
Face be piggy? Face be orc?
Suppertime, toss brat in stew!
Orc ’n humie taste like pork!

Face be piggy? Face be orc?
Poke with doggie-slicer blade!
Orc ’n humie taste like pork!
Bull slug slimy merry-nade!

Poke with doggie-slicer blade!
Orckie-porky-humie meal!
Bull slug slimy merry-nade!
Goblins laugh when piggy squeal!

Orckie-porky-humie meal!
Gobble bull slug from a gourd!
Goblins laugh when piggy squeal!
Catch the piggy, Squealy Nord!


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Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone.

Last month, unprompted, I wrote "The Fifteen Loves of Golarion" as a full heroic crown of sonnets for Valentines Day.

They were well received (for which I thank everyone). Mark Moreland then said (and I quote) "You know, Kevin, if you don't give us a heroic *something* of limericks for St. Patrick's Day, a lot of green-wearing drunkards will be very upset."

I do not want the green-wearing drunkards to be upset, especially since some of them may be goblins. So, as requested, here's the limerick epic.

Note: It's limericks, so it's bawdy. Maybe not quite up to the level of Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" or "The Ballad of Eskimo Nell," but still, bawdy. Be forewarned, but I hope you enjoy it.


Kevin Andrew Murphy

“The Flyting of Cailean’s Hall”
A limerick epic for St. Patrick’s Day 2011 & Mark Moreland
By Kevin Andrew Murphy

One evening in Cailean’s Hall,
A tavern with mugs on the wall
And mead, wine and ale,
And spit-roasted quail,
And everything there but a brawl,

Bragged cavalier Alain Germande,
A man with his word as his bond,
“I’ve won every contest
And crave a new conquest.
Does any man dare to respond?

“Valeros–What was he thinking?
He dared test my mettle at drinking.
I’ve proved I’m most able–
He’s under the table
And there he lies snoring and stinking.

“I’ve no skill at magic or knitting–
Only masculine contests are fitting–”
Piped Lem at the bar,
“Oh I’m sure that they are
So I challenge you, lad, to a flyting!”

Alain huffed, “I will not be reviled
By a man who’s the size of a child!”
“You just were, my good sir.
You prefer the word ‘cur’?”
Said Lem as he stood up and smiled.

“A flyting’s a contest of curses
And insults, all traded in verses.
There’s also a wager–
It needn’t be major–
Do you dare put your mouth where your purse is?

“For my part I will wager my flute
Which I prize more than money or loot.”
Alain said, “Then of course
I must wager my horse
For I am a man of repute!”

Lem admitted, “A fine reputation
Befitting a man of your station.
You’ve caused some divorces
And I hear pregnant horses
Birthing centaurs–in fact a whole nation!

“The Mother of Monsters has blessed you
And nibbled your ear and caressed you.
It’s often been noted
Your gelding’s devoted....
Why is that, or have I distressed you?”

“Not at all,” said the cavalier, blushing,
As the folk in the pub began hushing.
“I’ve heard your first volley
But I promise your folly
Will be short, like an ant that needs crushing!

“I know of this flyting, this sport,
From the guardsmen at my father’s court,
And while it’s not knightly
I can do it rightly
So I’ll start with the fact that you’re short!

“You’re a mandrake root, twisted and stunted!
Or a cadpig, grunting and runted!
By every last measure
You’d choose for your pleasure
You fall short, like a ball that’s been bunted!”

Said the bard, “I must grant you that case.
As a halfling I should know my place.
Yet I may be petite
But the hair on my feet
Is far more than you have on your face!

“Indeed, we all think it quite weird
That Alain here cannot grow a beard.
Should I call you ‘Allana’
You smooth-faced madonna?”
The halfling bard cheerfully jeered.

Hissed Alain, “I will not be a stinter
You tow-headed hair-footed splinter!
Go crawl back in your hole
Lest some oracle troll
Use your shadow as omen for winter!”

“Brave words from a knight with a shield
With a monstrous chicken en field.
What is there to mock?
It’s a snake-tailed cock!
A pecker that bids men to yield!”

“And this from a bard whose first levels
Were learned pleasing Chelaxian devils?
His lips on a bone
Like some courtesan crone
Playing with it for Satanic revels?

“Your old bone? Who but devils would cheer it?
Or would willfully ever come near it?
Who finds that appealing?
Your skirling and squealing
Makes harpies vomit to hear it!”

“Oh come off it, you ponce and you prance.
You’re a fop with an oversized lance
And a cock on your tunic
And a prized equine eunuch.
Just what are you saying perchance?”

Alain roared, “You foul little newt!
You...pug with...that bone that you toot....”
He looked to get violent
But then he fell silent.
“You’ve won....” Winked Lem, “Oh, you brute....”

The bard then showed some remorse.
“You and Donahan can stay your course.”
Lem laughed, “Though he’s cute
I’ll keep blowing my flute
And I’ll let you take care of your horse!”


In discussing magic rings in another thread, I mentioned the ring of Solomon, specifically citing its description in the old Estonian fairytale "The Dragon of the North."

Admittedly, the ring is an artifact so shouldn't be up for PC creation, but some of the related features would be interesting for creation of other magic rings. To explain:

The Dragon of the North wrote:
She answered, 'No mortal is able entirely to understand the power of this ring, because no one thoroughly understands the secret signs engraved upon it. But even with my half-knowledge I can work great wonders. If I put the ring upon the little finger of my left hand, then I can fly like a bird through the air wherever I wish to go. If I put it on the third finger of my left hand I am invisible, and I can see everything that passes around me, though no one can see me. If I put the ring upon the middle finger of my left hand, then neither fire nor water nor any sharp weapon can hurt me. If I put it on the forefinger of my left hand, then I can with its help produce whatever I wish. I can in a single moment build houses or anything I desire. Finally, as long as I wear the ring on the thumb of my left hand, that hand is so strong that it can break down rocks and walls. Besides these, the ring has other secret signs which, as I said, no one can understand. No doubt it contains secrets of great importance. The ring formerly belonged to King Solomon, the wisest of kings, during whose reign the wisest men lived. But it is not known whether this ring was ever made by mortal hands: it is supposed that an angel gave it to the wise King.'

So, basically, what we're looking at is a ring that can be switched from Invisibility to Flight to Endure Elements mixed with invulnerability to edged weapons to True Creation to some variety of insane Strength bonus, but not all at the same time.

The "but not all at the same time" is the interesting part. I've seen it done with another magic ring in Grania Davis's "The Blessed/Damned Thornston Emerald" and obviously a similar thing is done with the old standby the Rod of Lordly Might.

Question for the fellow DM/GM's out there: What sort of discount would there be for a ring that changed its functionality depending on what finger you wore it on? Obviously it's not as useful as a ring that can have all of its powers active at once, but it's also an elegant solution to the trouble of high level wizards taking out a jewelry box in the middle of combat and swapping rings. Just taking a ring and swapping it from finger to finger to go from Flight to Invisibility is cool, and not as abusive as getting to do both.


Since I'm going to DunDraCon tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to make up a PFS character. Of course, I fumble fingered my data entry and ended up saving a preliminary copy with the default name. Once I transferred what I wanted to a new character with the character name I wanted, I tried to delete the unwanted character.

I can press the "delete" button as many times as I want but apparently I can't delete the actual character.

Any way to fix this?


Very fun beginning, and the illustration fits Roubris perfectly.

I'm looking forward to next week's installment and finding out what the soul in the longsword wants and how it knows about him already.


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Here's the scenario. My players have gotten into Daggermark, headquarters of the Poisoners' Guild and general assassins' paradise.

I'm planning a good bit of campy fun with the assassins being out in the open about their services, but one of the troubles is that there is a paladin in the party and of course there are paladins out there in the world as well and one of the big problems and quandaries for assassins is that while killing people for profit is evil, to be truly successful at it and gain access to most places one should be neutral or at least detect as same.

There are a couple ways around this. One is to balance evil deeds with good, in whatever ratio actually balances the scales. I don't want to get into a big theological argument where saving fifty orphans doesn't forgive one murder. I'm simply noting that given the profession of the Poisoners Guild, there would be a lot of orphans, and as not all assassins are utterly heartless, there would be a lot of kids dropped off at the local Cayden Cailean house along with a good chunk of change in the orphanage's poor box. Heck, I'd suspect that some of the assassins would pick up other kids orphaned by things other than assassination and take them to the orphanage. Not only is it a public good, but it's a great recruiting ground for future assassins. You'd help your godfather out with a little job, right?

The other way to get around that pesky evil aura is magic. That said, Amulets of Nondetection don't grow on trees, Misdirection spells aren't foolproof, and if anywhere has enough evil folk around to warrant a volume discount, it would be Daggermark. Consequently, I was thinking that the Church of Urgathoa would be the right sort of place to revive the old Irish custom of sin-eating.

In a nutshell, the sins to be forgiven are removed and put into food which is then given to the sin-eater to eat, usually some poor hopeless type who thinks this is better than starving.

Now, magic-wise, I was thinking that this would be a combination of Misdirection, Heroes Feast and I'm not sure what all else, and also sounds like just the thing for the Church of Urgathoa to offer for Crystalhue, especially since if the sin-eater dies with all the transferred sins, they'll rise up as some variety of undead. I'm not certain whether it would be a ghoul or a wraith or just whatever tickles Urgathoa's fancy, but it would certainly make for an interesting moral quandary for a paladin, as a lot of these sins have been passed around for years and the custom is that the old sin-eater has his sins eaten before he's about to die so they go to the new sin-eater.

I'm also thinking that the Church of Urgathoa might sell Indulgences as well, not so much as forgiveness for sins as sin-eating in advance in the form of scrolls based on Atonement which would be useful for assassins in the field who have already scrubbed their aura to neutrality but have to worry about the murder and mayhem committed while doing a job.



Obviously "barrier" is being used in place of the regular spell word "wall" here, but while it makes sense to have Vancian wizards doing "wall of stone" and "wall of fire" and "wall of ice" etc. it would make a lot more sense--and be more versatile--to have Words of Power casters be able to designate "barrier" (wall) as a target, since it describes the shape of the magical effect just as much as "sphere" or "cone" or "line." It just lasts longer.

Mixed with the other effects, that would let a Word of Power caster make a barrier with a little bit of cold or a greater amount of fire or a large amount of some other form of energy depending on the other words that they know, rather than having all the barriers doing a preset level of damage.


On a related note, it would be a lot more versatile/elegant to have the degrees of damage split out as a separate set of adjectives based on spell slots, such that "Big Fire Barrier" uses a different level slot that "Wee Winter Blast" but they each use three words each.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

Looking through the Words of Power rules, it appears that a wizard who chooses to use Words of Powers will be able to fill up his spellbook with every word of power known for far less cost than a regular wizard would be able to fill up his spellbook with every available spell, assuming access to a library or scroll dealer with everything in stock. This looks like a balance issue.

There's a question also of what a Word of Power wizard gets to put on his scrolls. He automatically gets Scribe Scroll for being a wizard, so conceivably he gets to scribe scrolls, but what's on them? Are they individual flash cards with a Word of Power each such that a wizard with a deck of them could instantly cobble together any Word of Power effect he wanted? Or are they traditional scrolls with a single effect on them such that the equivalent of a Fireball scroll would be a scroll with the Words of Power for "Medium" and "Fire Burst"?

If a traditional wizard finds a WoP wizard's scroll of "Medium Fire Burst," can he use that to scribe "Fireball" into his traditional spellbook? If he can, can he also look at a WoP wizard's spell book and cobble together all the traditional spells that could conceivably be duplicated with that word list?

Alchemists can copy formulas for their formularies if they get access to a wizard's spellbooks. If they find a WoP wizard's spellbook that would conceivably have some combo of words in it that would duplicate an alchemist formula, can they use that combo to divine the formula so they can transcribe it into their formulary?

A wizard can also use his bonded item to get any spell he knows. Can a WoP wizard do the same with his bonded item and Words of Power, and if so, what's the limit on what he can come up with?


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A few years ago I was looking for extra miniatures for gaming and came across lots of miniatures from old 19th century paper theatres. These were very cool, though the theatres all looked a bit too 19th century to fit with the 16th-century game I was running. Of course they didn't have paper theatrers in the 16th century, even though they could have, given the state of printing technology.

Being a typography and printers ornament fan, however, I had collections of appropriate ornaments, so using a 20th century diagram of how to make a 19th century accordion pleated variant, I was actually able to design anachronistic paper theatres that could date back to even late 15th century, based on a book from Paris from 1498. I also made the pattern of the stage in squares so it could double as a grid map for rpg miniatures.

Roll forward to the present where I got the Gamemastery theater map which had everything I'd need for a theater battle for my players except for the sad lack of the proscenium arch or the ability to drop down scenery. So I decided to dust off my old paper theatres and reconstruct one of them, as the originals were packed away and it's easier to remake them than find them.

I then realized that other gamers might enjoy these, especially if they have the theater map or are going to be doing the "Six-Fold Trial" or any of the other theatrical adventures from Pathfinder.

Here they are, free to download, and fairly easy to construct. Added bonus: This design packs up flat when not in use, and can have scenery printed out on regular copy paper. I used pictures by Albrecht Durer.

Alphyn Press Penny Plain Theatre #1

Alphyn Press Penny Plain Theatre #2

Other added bonus is that all the character illustrations from the Pathfinder webfiction make excellent paper theatre miniatures as well and already come colored.


Okay, here's what's going on.

I've got my regular adventure path subscription scheduled for the end of the month here:

1x Pathfinder Adventure Path #39: The City of Seven Spears (Serpent's Skull 3 of 6) (PFRPG) Print Edition, $13.99

I thought I might as well make the shipping charges a little more worthwhile by adding in a couple flip-mats to be held until it ships, and I started the map subscription for extra savings since I wanted the forest map anyway:

1x GameMastery Flip-Mat: Theater, $11.04 (in sidecart)
1x GameMastery Flip-Mat: Forest, $10.39 (in sidecart)

Everything was fine until I added in one extra item, which I thought I might get before it sold out:

1x GameMastery Map Pack: Dungeon Chambers, $11.01 (in sidecart)

At this point, the one package (combined to save shipping costs) became two packages (with the shipping charges about doubled) but the system still wanting to delay them both to ship out on the same day, which isn't terribly useful. It also doesn't say which products will ship in which boxes, which would be useful to know too.

Now, if all four will actually be in one package with somewhat cheaper shipping, that would be ideal, but if they're going in two, what will be in each and is there any reason to hold up one of them up to ship with the regular shipment if there's no postage savings?

I'm going to be running an adventure next weekend that may need the theater mat and the dungeon maps so sending them out now wouldn't be that bad, with or without the forest mat (which as I understand is also in stock). But if the system is going to make all the packages wait till the end of the month, and if the map pack is an odd shape relative to the other three, I'd prefer just want to cancel the Dungeon Chambers map pack this month and reorder it next month when it would ship with another map pack and presumably not be as strange/expensive with shipping.


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Detect Virtue, Innocence, & Wickedness for Paladins, Antipaladins, Unicorns, Devils, etc.

Been thinking a bit about paladins and unicorns and the trouble of not just what makes paladins fall--or maybe not even be accepted as paladins in the first place--and the similar problem with the new Pathfinder unicorns who have ditched the old "Virgin: Y/N?" standard for who they let ride them, now just going for "Female: Y/N?" "In a relationship: Y/N" and "Exceptional Virtue: Y/N?" as the new standards.

Of course, unicorns, like paladins, only get to detect evil, which means that unicorns effectively only get "detect non-evil" which means that finding a woman of "exceptional virtue" they have to go with an interview process:

UNICORN: Any significant others?
WITCH: I've got a familiar. He's a fox. Does that count?
UNICORN: I guess not. Profession?
WITCH: Witch.
UNICORN: Are you now or have you ever been a member of a hag's coven?

Rather than that, I was thinking that, in addition to being able to detect evil--or detect good in the case of antipaladins and devils--there'd be a few other special detections that only paladins and similarly pure (or impure) beings get. Something like this:

Description: Good enough to be a paladin or ride a unicorn
Who qualifies: Clerics in good standing of good deities who have taken the "good" domain; paladins; individuals who the GM decides have their goodness come up to this level.

Description: Too young or sheltered to have ever been faced with a significant choice between Good and Evil; must be sentient and sane enough to be capable of making this choice or at least have the potential to one day make it
Who qualifies: Babies; exceedingly sheltered children, even adult children, of BBEGs who have never been told about mom or dad's day job (ie. Rapunzel Complex); others at GM option
Special: Creatures with "innocence" are unharmed by spells such as Holy Word which usually do damage to creatures not of a specific alignment.

Description: Not just garden variety evil, but seriously cruel and depraved
Who qualifies: antipaladins; clerics in good standing of evil deities who have taken the "evil" domain; individuals who the GM decides have their evil come up to this level.

Unicorns could then, in addition to virtuous women, could also go out and hang out with the old traditional virginal innocents.

Obviously devils should get this too. It's nice to be able to tempt the good into sin, but probably more rewarding to go after the innocent who had formerly just registering as neutral not because they'd actively chosen neutrality but because they never realized they ever had a choice and were never presented with an opportunity to actually do good or evil. Rapunzel doesn't get out much.

I'm not certain who else should get to detect innocence. Possibly clerics with the Good or Evil domains, maybe those specializing in certain divinations.



To give an example from AP 31, one of the treasures is a spellbook that has gotten wet. All but five spells have been destroyed by water damage.

A player then casts Make Whole on the book. What happens? Is the book now back in the condition it was before? Do magical writings like spellbook pages count as magic items?

Scenario 2

There's a book that's so old that it's crumbling to dust. There are a few pages which are meant to be legible enough to provide significant clues. The PC tosses Make Whole on it before even touching it. Is it back in mint condition?

Scenario 3

The NPC has left her diary. She has torn three pages out containing damning confessions. (They're meant to be found in the pocket of her dead body in another area). Someone casts MAKE WHOLE on the diary. Are the missing pages magically restored and does the writing come back?

Scenario 4

Someone has cast Erase on one page of a valuable book. Can Make Whole restore the missing writing?

Scenario 5

Someone has spilled ink on a book. Can Make Whole remove the inkstain but not the writing on the page?

Obviously yes these are all judgment calls for DMs, but it would be good to get a consensus of the limits of the spell.


Looking over the Coven Hex, it's very good to get together a trio of witches, though there's the slight trouble that there has to be at least one actual hag in the trio to get the hag magics to work.

As an alternate option, picking up on another thread of folklore, three non-hag witches can access the full hag coven powers if they add a fourth to their band, a Horned One.

Horned Ones are always male and are usually Satyrs, Minotaurs, or Horned Devils, though other roughly humanoid horned or antlered creatures are possible at GM option. The coven's hag powers operate as if the Horned One were the coven's senior hag for terms of level. Moreover, the witches in the coven also gain their Horned One's spell like and special abilities so long as they continue to serve and please him. For example, a minotaur Horned One would grant his Natural Cunning in the form of immunity to mazes. A satyr would grant his spell like abilities as well as his special ability to play the pan pipes. A horned devil as Horned One would grant his witches numerous spell like abilities as well as the ability to Stun when using a spiked chain.

Covens with hags in them already may also serve a Horned One. They gain no additional powers from this beyond those granted by the Horned One, but they can gain additional caster level for their spells if they Horned One is of a higher level than the senior hag.

Thoughts? Too powerful? About right?


Sometimes adventurers don't have easy access to a general store to buy a new healers kit and this is even more problematic with disguise kits since even if one has access to a large city, unless there's a theatrical supply store, going around looking for a person in a shady back alley ready to sell you a bag of eyeshadow, nose putty, and assorted costume pieces for 50 GP?

Anyway, I was thinking that in the wilderness, the same as Survival can be used to forage for food in the form of wild mushrooms, edible berries, and easily caught animals (which cost money in town) it should also be something that can be used to find medicinal herbs, cobwebs and so forth to replenish a healer's kit.

I was thinking the easiest way to do this is to pick a DC for finding a charge for a healers kit. Healers kits retail for 50 GP. A good meal is 5 sp. A banquet is 10 GP. I was thinking the sort of hunter's meal you'd get from foraging would be pretty pricy if you got it in town, so 5 GP, which is half the cost of a banquet, and more important the exact same price as one charge of a healers kit.

Does this seem about right? Make it a survival check to scrounge around in the wilderness to find the appropriate wild herbs and such, cobwebs to make bandages (what people really used before the modern era), and so forth to replenish a healers kit or even make extras for later. DC 10 check to get one dose for a healers kit, with an additional dose for every 2 successes beyond that, and this can be mixed and matched with the usual "foraging" roll. You're still foraging, only you're looking for medicinal plants rather than edible ones.

For the Disguise kit, what's needed is more make-up, bits of costume jewelry, fabric scraps and so on--stuff you can generally only get in the city, but nothing terribly valuable in and of itself. There's no specific skill for "scrounging" or "urban survival" but I think that this would be a reasonable use of Appraise--after all, you're going around the city looking for cast-offs and scraps, dropped costume jewelry and similar stuff that's mostly valueless. Modeling that on the sort of rolls needed to replenish a healers kit with survival, one could then replenish a disguise kit the same way, scrounging around for enough bits and bobs to account for a "use" of a disguise kit.

Does this seem about right? Too difficult or too cheap?


As the bards sing:

Dragon whiskers, dragon toes, a dragon tooth and a dragon nose

Every little piece
Every little piece
We could make a million by slicing him, dicing him

Hoagy, we could sell every little shell
There's enough of him to go around
Money, money, money by the pound

Every little piece
Every little piece
I can take a scissor and clip him up, rip him up
Every little part is a work of art
Think of what a dragon heart would bring
Wrapped up in a ribbon and a string

Dragon liver can cure a cold
Dragon powder grows hair
With dragon blood you'll never grow old
Every item is covered with gold
Every item is covered with gold

And of course it is well known that Seigfried got wonderfully armored skin after bathing in dragon's blood. And there's also the story that if you eat a dragon's heart, you can speak the language of the birds, the beast and all men.

In my home game, my players came by the extremely fresh corpse of a dragon, extremely fresh because they'd somehow managed to kill it with nothing but bludgeoning damage. Not only was the hide perfectly intact for making armor, but all the blood and the rest.

Now, so far I've gone with the legends that a dragon heart in fact can give you a permanent Tongues and Speak with Animals spell combo if you eat it while still hot and fresh, and the dragon's blood has given one character Seigfried's natural armor bonus because she bathed in it and didn't wash it off shortly thereafter like the others. And the wizard has divined that the brain would be useful in making some flying items in combo with some of the wing leather.

Any suggestions on a way to limit this reasonably so that the dragon itself can be the treasure but not too ludicrous? Especially since the villagers are currently making dragonsblood sausage, dragon liverwurst, etc. etc. I mean, with the price of meat what it is, when you get it, if you get it...

Good, you got it.


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Here's a situation from my Pathfinder game this past weekend. I use a (fairly common) house rule that a 1 is an automatic failure and a 20 is an automatic success. I then usually roll percentiles to see the degree of magnitude of the failure or success. Admittedly house rules, yes, but this question is about the scenario that they led to, and a question about that, not the house rules themselves.

Anyway, to explain the adventure, the party was up in a little Alpen kingdom and the king had to make nice with his new subjects and points with his very tired old chamberlain by going to the town to judge the annual cheese festival and pageant for the loveliest milkmaid. You know, usual stuff until the Miller who was an evil conjurer on the side contracted an evil red dragon to go ruin the cheesemaking festival, terrify the villagers, and basically make his ruse a bit more credible that the virgins he'd been sacrificing over the years were in fact eaten by a picky red dragon, rather than sacrificed to devils and then having their charred corpses torn apart by hellhounds. You know, typical.

So the dragon flew down and landed dramatically atop a tower in full view of the villagers, the adventurers, and everyone else attending the cheesemaking festival, and then lit off a huge gout of dragonfire into the air to get everyone's attention and give him an even better bonus on his Intimidate check than making a dramatic entrance and the plain fact of being an adult red dragon. And then I roll for the dragon and he gets a 1.

Now, I then consult a few more dice and realize it was a pretty bad botch, the dragon terror is going to be so not happening that day, and in the hushed silence of the terrified villagers, the littlest milkmaid is heard to say, "Look, mama! The dragon's got the weathervane up his bum!"

Yes indeed, he had. One of those horrible social faux pas that the bards would be singing about in bawdy tavern ballads for centuries. A weathervane with a decoration atop in shape of a prancing stag had become rectally inserted and the fact had been pointed out by a small child in a dramatic moment rather blatantly lifted from "The Emperor's New Clothes." It was probably a kindness that the adventurers pressed their rather miraculous advantage and proceeded to make short work of the dragon due to good rolls on their party and a bit more awful luck on his, including flying into the clocktower after being blinded by the mage.

To gild the lily on the situation, it had earlier been set up that the mage had done stuff to attract the attention of Thor, and I rolled and indeed, the Norse god of thunder was looking down at the moment and watching the proceedings like someone had just sent him a link to the most hilarious YouTube video ever. Thunder that sounded suspiciously like laughter rolled across the sky, and two characters with extremely good perception checks noticed a bearded face in the clouds right over a rainbow that had rather spontaneously appeared. And there the game session ended, with the littlest milkmaid saying the fateful words, "Mama, I hope every cheese festival is this exciting!"

Now the question comes here, is the weathervane now magical? I'm pretty certain by the RAW it is still just a mundane weathervane, and in fact one snapped off at the base and more than a bit bent. However, by the rules of storytelling, it was bathed in dragonsblood, struck the first and last blow in the death of a dragon, and was witnessed by a god as the punchline of the shaggy dog story version of a dragonslaying. How can it not be magical now, even a little bit?

My question here is, does anyone know any rules for this, either in Pathfinder sources, or else in 3.X sources or other 3rd party sources? Do I just make it magical by DM fiat, or saying that the god watching performed a Miracle, or at very least make it now some quasi-magical substance on the order of dragonhide, since the dragon died with it lodged in his body and it's now gained the same properties as the rest of the corpse?

And if I do pull a DM fiat, any suggestions for what powers to give the dragonsbane weathervane?


I believe I've discovered a small casualty of editing. Check here:

PFRPG p. 527 wrote:

Robe of Bones

Aura moderate necromancy [evil]; CL 6th

Slot body; Price 2,400 gp; Weight 1 lb.

This sinister item functions much like a robe of useful items for the serious necromancer. It appears to be an unremarkable robe, but a character who dons it notes that it is adorned with small embroidered figures representing undead creatures. Only the wearer of the robe can see the embroidery, recognize them for the creatures they become, and detach them. One figure can be detached each round. Detaching a figure causes it to become an actual undead creature (see the list below). The skeleton or zombie is not under the control of the wearer of the robe, but may be subsequently commanded, rebuked, turned, or destroyed. A newly created robe of bones always has two embroidered figures of each of the following undead:

* Human skeleton
* Wolf skeleton
* Heavy horse skeleton
* Fast goblin zombie
* Tough human zombie
* Plague ogre zombie


Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate dead; Cost 1,200 gp

Checking the Bestiary there are notes in the Zombie listing for how to create Fast zombies and how to create Plague zombies but nothing about how to create Tough zombies or what a Tough zombie statblock might be.

Any speculation as to what this is, or perhaps an official answer with the necessary spell and statblock that I expect were cut for lack of space?


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Alright, doing my medieval fairytale-style game last Saturday. Part of the plot was that an ancient and powerful witch had been locked in a crypt ages ago by a bunch of priests before the great war, and one PC had been killed the week before by a mandrake root and wanted to bring in a new character and wanted to do a witch. So he made up an Irish Celtic sort of witch and his witchy henchling who were fleeing some variety of witch hunts back in the isles, and oh yes, he was lawful good.

Okay, this all sounded reasonable, and I'm assuming the "otherworldly power" he made a pact with was the goddess Airmid or some similar lawful-goodish Irish divinity. This was left nebulous so we could get on with the game and backfill the story later as it became important to the plot.

Next thing that happens, said lawful good witch wants use of a forge for ring forging, and since there's no "Anvils R Us!" in the little mountain village and the local blacksmith has regular customers he has to keep happy despite offers of reasonable pay for use of his forge, the witch simply charms him and sets to work in the forge while wearing a pointy hat and black robes that look like they came from a Halloween superstore. (The player insisted that this is what they wore, so I just penciled it in as them having fled in their ritual robes and left their street clothes back at the isles.) Consequently the local Inquisitor--who is not terribly high level, and is using the "blind squirrel" approach to witchfinding, accusing everyone of witchcraft in the hopes of actually eventually finding one--well, let's just say that the blind squirrel finally finds his nut: The blacksmith is acting obviously charmed, there are two people in pointy black hats and black robes in the shop, and the Inquisitor points his finger and starts screaming "Witch! Witch!" and is promptly turned to stone by the actual witch he's finally found. This of course breaks the charm on the blacksmith, who is living in a Germanic country and paid attention to the story of Hansel and Gretel: When you encounter a psycho witch, push them into a convenient oven. And since there's a roaring forge currently in the shop, the blacksmith had little trouble bullrushing the witch into the forge.

In the end, the blacksmith was feebleminded and put to sleep, and then once incapacitated, cursed to have his wisdom blighted along with his intelligence. The witches then flew off on their broomsticks, leaving behind a PR disaster for any good and/or lawful witches out there, as well as leaving behind their "lawful" and "good" alignment tags, since the deeds were certainly chaotic, and cursing the unconscious blacksmith definitely goes in the evil camp too.

Meanwhile, the other PCs had succeeded in freeing the ancient witch from the crypt where she'd been imprisoned, and while it turned out she was both chaotic and evil, she wasn't stupid, and was quite grateful to all these nice people who'd let her out due to a combination of the goodness of their hearts and a desire for kewl ancient magikal sekritz (TM). It turned out the new PC witch and his henchling were looking for a third for their coven, and while the ancient witch might be lowering her standards to pick up with them, it's kind of like having a jam session, she needed to get her cat back anyway, and besides which, with their help she could cast Commune and touch base with the Queen of the Witches, that being Hecate, and introduce Her to her new friends.

And that's where we left it until next game session.

Now, here are my troubles as GM. Obviously if a paladin were to pull a stunt like this, they'd lose their paladinhood, and any priest or priestess of some lawful good god or goddess would likewise have some serious 'splainin' to do. But a witch? All the flavor text for the class mentions is "otherworldly power" and "pact" without specifying anything further. Is switching who you have your pact with no more consequential than switching cell phone service? Are there any penalties for early termination? Roaming charges? What?

I realize that some things are being left nebulous so the GM can pencil them in as they like, and I appreciate that, but it's also useful for a GM to have specific penalties set up in the rules so the players won't feel overly screwed over if something like this happens. And having unnamed "otherworldly powers" only works until you have someone get "Commune" and have them step on stage and tell the characters what They actually want.

Here's the relevant text:

the witch gains power from
her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and
misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact
made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that
source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains
not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities
known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might
learn about the source of her magic, but some remain
blissfully unaware. Some are even afraid of that source,
fearful of what it might be or where its true purposes lie.

Admittedly this all leaves the door open for Devils, Faerie Queens, "Dreams in the Witch House" style Lovecraftian Elder Gods and whatnot who all apparently offer free cell phone service with no apparent payments necessary (at least up front), but can three witches with three different "otherworldly powers" operate in the same coven without the otherworldly powers possibly objecting? And will they still not object if the witches Commune with any other otherworldly power?

The "pact" would also feel more pact-like if there were something the witch actually had to do apart from buy catfood to get her free cell phone service.


Okay, now, admittedly this is a pet-peeve of mine in terms of RPG design--what I usually call the "Song of Cheesecake" problem--but the problem is basically this: The flavor is utterly disjointed from the given effects.

Look at this:

Starting at 1st level, an inquisitor can
pronounce judgment upon her foes as a swift action.
Starting when the judgment is made, the inquisitor receives
a bonus or special ability based on the type of judgment
made. The bonuses granted by the judgment continue to
improve on following rounds, reaching a maximum bonus
that lasts until the judgment ends.

Now, from the sound of things, this appears like this is going to be some form of variant smiting ability, which would be fine except it's not. What it appears to be is a Rolodex of one-at-a-time perks, only a few of which have anything to do with pronouncing judgment on a foe.

I call this the "Song of Cheesecake" problem because it's like the old bard prestige class designs where any time someone wanted to give a bard a funky power, they just tacked "Song of" onto the front of it and left it at that, even if it made little or no sense for a bard.

Going through the list of Judgment powers, I'm really hard pressed to come up with flavor explanations for the Judgments of Healing, Protection, Purity, Resiliency or Resistance: "Hah, foul creature! My God disapproves of thee so greatly that He gives me perks! But just me! And after thou art dead, I can still keep them for a while! Nanny-nanny boo-boo!"

I don't have a problem with the Inquisitor having any of these powers, but they need to be made to gyve with the flavor text. Call all the defensive ones "Shield of Faith" or "Divine Succor" or "Whine to Thy Divinity of Choice" but please don't call them "Judgment."


This is a matter of both the RAW, the RAI, and the flavor text being at odds with the crunch.

It was already identified as a problem in another thread that the Green Hag cannot disguise herself as a beauteous humanoid maiden because she's a monstrous humanoid and Disguise Self now has this new addition in Pathfinder:

You cannot change your creature type (although you can appear as another subtype).

What this means is that not only can Green Hags not do something they're supposed to do, but the spell is considerably less useful than the plain Disguise ability, which doesn't specifically say you can't disguise yourself as another creature type.

Consider, for example, a human female with a Disguise kit. With some green face paint and a green wig, she can disguise herself as a green hag, which is a monstrous humanoid. With a few bits of ivy and/or daisies stuck in her hair and maybe some acorn earrings, she can make the same make-up into a dryad costume, a fey. If she goes for the whiteface, red lipstick and some fake canines, she can go as a vampire, an undead. Or she could keep the green make-up, roll in the dirt, and accessorize this a grisly hambone and go as a ghoul, another undead.

Disguise Self can't do this, unless some interpretation lets you go as a human costumed as a hag, a dryad, or a vampire or ghoul.

Any fix for this, apart from redlining the new line? Any idea why it was added in?


And I can see all tabs were stripped out of the original post. Oh well, hopefully the modifier charts still make some sense.


Here's the situation: There's a mage. An old crabby one who got tired of thieves and pickpockets robbing him blind and stealing everything he owned, even his precious spellbooks. They left him destitute and begging, and the authorities basically laughed him off when he asked for help getting his property back, but finally, after an age of scrimping and saving and degrading jobs unworthy of a mage--and finally going up a level--he at last had a spellbook with two spell in it: Magic Mouth and Explosive Runes. He also scrimped and saved until he amassed a small amount of gold: miniscule as adventurers would see it, but sufficient for his purposes.

The enchantments are fairly straightforward: Magic Mouth on the face on the coin, saying, "You are a thief or had trade with one. Since my books were stolen, I am forced to guard coins. Never steal from a wizard!" whenever anyone aside from himself reads the coin's inscription. Explosive Runes are on the inscription itself.

The wizard then went out into those neighborhoods where you can't walk five feet without encountering a pickpocket. This has resulted in quite a few exploded thieves, as well as some exploded moneychangers, barkeeps, shopkeepers, and even the people who open the poorbox at some temples or are gauche enough to look at what someone else has tossed in the collection plate.

The question is, in the more lawful and legalistic portions of Golarion, what exactly is the law going to do about this? It's obviously terrible for commerce, and the spontaneous fires might take out large portions of the city. But once the means are known, there may even be some copy cats, since Magic Mouth and Explosive Runes are exceedingly common spells. And from a legal perspective, is there any difference between a book rigged to explode if stolen and coin rigged to explode if stolen?

And this doesn't even get into the international incidents when coinage is carried across borders before anyone bothers to look closely at it.

And if this happened in the less legal areas and coins started to slip into the more legal areas?

I'm thinking even magical detection would be exceedingly difficult, since trying to Scry some unknown wizard somewhere and your only link is a coin which has since been turned into so much golden slag.

How would the different nations deal with this?

I'm not looking for an exhaustive listing, but am interested in hearing what you think might happen in your favorite kingdoms.


(rough draft, to be revised after commentary)

Perceived Threats, Ignored and Distraction

The Threat rules in Pathfinder, and the related rules for Flanking and Aiding Another in combat, are ambiguous in some contexts and contentious in others. And if an overly strict interpretation of the RAW (“Rules as Written”) is applied, they can defy logic and common sense. For example, a mage may Threaten a lich with a Ghoul Touch spell to which the undead are either immune or an illegal target–and thereby grant an ally Flanking–but may not Threaten the lich with an empty hand even if he has convinced the lich via Bluff that he has just prepared some epic holy Touch spell which will not only disintegrate the lich but destroy his phylactery too.

Obviously this should be remedied with a more liberal interpretation.

The best place to start is the text of the Fascination rules:

Fascinated: A fascinated creature is entranced by a supernatural or spell effect. The creature stands or sits quietly, taking no actions other than to pay attention to the fascinating effect, for as long as the effect lasts. It takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the fascinated creature a new saving throw against the fascinating effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the fascinated creature, automatically breaks the effect. A fascinated creature’s ally may shake it free of the spell as a standard action.

A “potential threat” and an “obvious threat” here mean the same as they do in English: a potential source of harm and an obvious source of harm. However, in the Pathfinder world, anything is a potential source of harm–the barmaid could be a vampire, the beer keg could be a mimic, the coffee table could be an animated object ready to ram your shins.

That said, unless an individual is extraordinarily paranoid, he will likely view these as what they appear to be, and while anything is possible, some things are more likely than others. Similarly, while casting a spell may be viewed as an obvious threat by most, those with Spellcraft will find nothing malicious in a stranger casting Comprehend Languages, and will likely raise eyebrows and cluck disapprovingly at companions who unsheathe swords upon spotting this harmless personal spell. In other words, perception of threat is very much in the eye of the beholder.

Backing up this interpretation is the fact that medusae and other creatures with all-around vision are immune to Flanking since they can’t have others sneak up behind them and can pay attention to two individuals at once.

Now on to the Threat rules for combat. In combat, Threatening something is defined as being able to make a melee attack into an adjacent square, rather like how a king in chess threatens all his adjacent squares. This follows except for the fact that a roleplaying game is not chess, and other rules hinge on this rule. For example, the Flanking rules require two allies to be Threatening a victim from opposite sides, but this makes no sense from a roleplaying perspective unless the victim regards both opponents as threats.

For example, consider an alley by a temple lined with stone gargoyles. One of the gargoyles, however, is an actual monster. Everyone who walks in the squares in front of it is Threatened from a combat perspective, but will not feel threaten until and unless the gargoyle chooses to attack, revealing itself to be something other than another statue.

Now consider that the gargoyle is allied with an evil rogue who ambushes travelers from the other side of the alley, pinning the victims between himself and the gargoyle. By the straight rules, the rogue and the gargoyle both gain Flanking bonuses against their victim, but if the gargoyle is not attacking and not doing anything other than holding his action and posing as a stone statue, there is no logical reason why this would work: The victim would be concentrating fully on the rogue and ignoring the gargoyle since he’s not aware of it as a threat, nor has it revealed itself to be one.

This can be remedied by adding an Ignored Rule: If a victim does not regard a threat as a threat, it is not considered one for purposes of Flanking. Any Ignored creature gains all the benefits of being of invisible with regards to the individual Ignoring them until that individual stops Ignoring them and regards them as a threat. Moreover, any creature which is not Ignored can grant Flanking bonuses to an ally.

The status of being Ignored ends whenever the victim chooses or when the Ignored creature successfully deals damage. If the victim wishes to continue Ignoring the creature after it has dealt damage and thus proven itself to be a threat, he must make a concentration check of 10 + the damage dealt. If he fails, he cannot Ignore that creature for the rest of the combat.

The other rule to add to help the roleplaying situation is the Distraction Rule. There are many creatures and effects which may not be able to cause damage in melee but which will still be viewed as a threat by a victim even if they may not “Threaten” in the combat sense. These are considered Distractions.

The most obvious of these is illusions of the figment subtype. Figments cannot deal any physical damage, but can fool opponents into thinking they might, and thus are usually Distractions until a Will save is made and they are revealed to be figments.

Other Distractions include anyone casting an unidentified spell. Unless identified by a Spellcraft check as something harmless to the victim, all spellcasting by enemies is regarded as a Threat unless proven otherwise.

The other large category of Distractions is Bluffs. If an unarmed opponent can succeed in a Bluff check opposed by the victim’s Sense Motive check, he may convince them that he poses a Threat even when he doesn’t. He may convince them he’s the master of esoteric martial arts, has cast a deadly spell, possesses a dangerous magic item or anything the subject finds convincing and would be wary of. This persists for as many rounds as the Bluff roll exceeded the Sense Motive by. Subsequent Bluffs are at a penalty equal to the rounds of all previous Bluffs with that same opponent. As with disbelieving an illusion, other allies witnessing this Bluff and succeeding in a Sense Motive against it or otherwise knowing it to be false may inform the victim of this and let him make a new Sense Motive check at a bonus of +4

The last type of Distraction is the “Behind You!” Bluff and the “Matador” Bluff. If he can succeed a Bluff check at 10 over his opponent’s Sense Motive, he can convince them for one round that there is one of his allies behind them or beside them, granting him Flanking or Aid Another on himself. Each successive attempt at this same maneuver for the combat is 5 higher than the previous difficulty.


There's a house rule I'm considering, but before I implement it, I'd like other peoples input on potential abuses.

The basic rule is this: When in combat with an opponent and the opponent's buddy who's granting the opponent flanking, you can ignore the buddy which denies the main combatant any flanking bonus he would get from the buddy. However, the buddy still gets the flanking bonus, plus for every round that you ignore him, he either gets a free attack of opportunity against you or may move away or do anything else which would usually provoke an attack of opportunity without it actually provoking one, since you've already declared that you're paying no attention to the buddy and as such he should be able to do what he wants.

Anyone see any obvious abuses for this?


I've been looking at the Maester from the old Complete Adventurer. It's one of those classes that always had cool flavor but awful mechanics, mostly due to a caster level hit at the first level, and the one intriguing perk at third level--the Identification ability--being made not-so-special by means of there being a monocle put out later that did the same thing as a magic item, and the ability to Identify now just being part of the Pathfinder rules.

And the fact that the Maester is shown looking at an Apparatus of Kwallish, a magic item he can't really build because Animate Objects is a clerical spell.

I'm thinking of getting rid of the caster level hit at 1st level, but also removing the free feat, but then it's a bit too good--faster crafting plus identification, with no downside?

Of course the faster crafting is no great shakes if you allow in dedicated wright homonculi from Eberron.

What I'm thinking would be good for Pathfinder would be a few things:

1. Get rid of the caster level hit.
2. As a balance, require the Master Craftsman feat despite being a spellcaster. And require both Spellcraft AND the appropriate crafting feat for most tricks.
3. Crack "Quick Crafting" out into 10% quicker per level, not 50% off at once.
4. Have Identification basically be a free Identify spell usable at will but with the same mechanics as in Pathfinder, and not stacking with Identify.
5. At 5th level, rather than getting a generic bonus feat, get a Dedicated Wright homonculus along with Craft Construct, and have Animate Objects added to your spell list.
6. Have it not just a gnomish class, even if gnomes make up the bulk of it.
7. Have it open to Artificers as well.

Thoughts? Too powerful? About right?


Players in my game have just found a bunch of treasure, including a large portion of broken treasure in the form of suits of formerly magical platemail that a chimera sat on for centuries. Some repair work is in order, and as GM, I'd like to have my ducks in a row.

We've also just converted to Pathfinder, and I'm looking at the rules for repairing magic items. Now, part of what's there is what I expected: the old 3.5 rules for magic item repair with the XP converted to GP. The players have lots of GP, so they're fairly well set on that end.

However, I find that Make Whole can now recreate magic items, and do so for free, so long as the caster is of sufficiently high level.

Of course, there's some ambiguous language there. It says "if your caster level is at least twice that of the item." I'm thinking this should be read as "if your caster level is at least twice that required to create the item."

Then you look at stuff like weapons and armor. One of the items the players found is a broken suit of +4 platemail. To craft arms or armor, you need 3 levels for every +1, so I'm reading the repairs are requiring someone of 12th+ level with Craft Magic Arms & Armor and huge bags of gold, or someone of 24th level with a mere Make Whole. In other words, to repair arms and armor of +4 and above with a Make Whole, it requires an Epic character.

Now here's the extra trouble: The characters are only about 10th level. Is the plate armor completely unrepairable at their current level, or could it be repaired in part?

The blacksmith's son can repair the armor itself, but not the enchantments. Can the character with the Craft Magic Arms and Armor repair a portion of the enchantments? For example, can a 9th level character repair a weapon to +3 with the enchantments for the +4 still waiting for a higher level and/or gold to spend?

Similarly, can you do a partial Make Whole? If a 12th level caster finds a broken Holy Avenger, can he wave his hands over it and at least get a usable +2 sword with no GP outlay? Is there anything particularly broken in allowing this? And would this work if someone had already taken the broken magic sword and reforged it into a working but nonmagical masterwork sword?

And what happens with useful magic items that pick up curses do to later misenchantment? Is it possible to repair a botched enchantment, or at least selectively disenchant the spells that it's on? For example, if a non-cursed +2 sword was made into a cursed +3 sword, is there any way to selectively unravel the last enchantments and their annoying bug? Aside from whammying the whole thing with Disjunction and starting from scratch.

Admittedly, these are all GM calls that I'm going to have to make, but I'd like to hear how other GMs would deal with them.


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I've always been a fan of cantrips, back since they were introduced in Unearthed Arcana in 1st ed. I generally like the Pathfinder at-will power for them, but a few more slots would be nice. I played around with unlimited cantrips back in my 1st ed game, and generally speaking, they were a hit.

Here's a few houserules I'm planning for my own campaign which others may find useful for theirs.

Houserule #1: The various feats, such as the ones in Complete Arcane, that allow a suite of 3 cantrips a day, instead operate as Pathfinder Cantrips. Your fighter or rogue can now have a little extra daily magic without taking a spellcasting level. And your wizard or cleric can do the same if they want more cantrip slots and are willing to blow a feat. Note that these extra slots are dedicated, rather than swappable.

Houserule #2: Having high Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma will give you bonus 0-level spells. Look at Table 1-3 in the PRPGCR and extend the chart to apply. This means you get one bonus 0-level spell with a stat of 10 and two with a stat of 18.

Houserule #3: Specialist Wizards get extra cantrips of their schools, the same as they do spells of higher level.

Houserule #4: Clerical Domains have Orisons attached to them too, and yes, you get bonus Domain Orisons.

Houserule #5: Create Water is a little too powerful for an unlimited 0-level spell, but it's fine as a 1st level spell. However, the 0-level Dowsing spell from Relics & Rituals is a fine replacement.

Note: I'd recommend adding in all the cantrips from Relics & Rituals.


Okay, would like a ruling here and a discussion.

This came up in my game this weekend after discovering that Mage Hand could not be used to retrieve a magic wand that had fallen into the cracks of a floor, because Mage Hand only works on nonmagical objects. This then began a discussion of how Mage Hand doesn't have so much of a bug as a feature, since this means that it comes with a free Detect Magic. But it then gets worse than that.

Picture your standard wizard's university where mages would sit down and document stuff like this because they can and because they would, since everyone wants to squeeze all the power out of their spells they can.

Take a tray of rings. One ring is magical. The rest are ordinary. The wizard for some reason does not have Detect Magic, but does have Mage Hand. Per the RAW, Mage Hand should be able to winnow out the nonmagical rings, leaving only the magical one in the tray.

Second experiment, rules question, and wizard's philosophical argument: Same scenario with the tray of rings, except someone first casts Misdirection on the magic ring, giving it the aura of one of the nonmagical ones. Detect Magic should not detect any of them as magical. Can Mage Hand still winnow out the magical ring, even though it now has a nonmagical aura?

Third experiment: The wizard does the Misdirection spell again, but this time gives one of the nonmagical rings the same aura as the magical one. Can Mage Hand lift either ring?

Fourth experiment: The wizard removes the magic ring from the tray and casts Misdirection, giving one of the nonmagical rings the aura of one of the other nonmagical ring. It's a spell of no obvious effect, and completely undetectable with Detect Magic. But will Mage Hand be able to lift the misdirected ring?

This may all seem a trivial amusement for apprentices, but gets into important philosophical ramifications for wizards, especially those who might one day want to be liches and have some reasonable way to hide their phylacteries.

Bonus question: Can Misdirection spells be chained, and can any sort of Rube Goldberg device be created by combining this with Mage Hand? What might the most useful or entertaining application for this be?


I asked about this last month, and was told it should get updated sometime, but I went back to my orders and still saw this:

October 2009
1x Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (OGL) Hardcover
Standard Postal Delivery: $6.54
October 2009
1x Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GM Screen (OGL)
USPS Priority Mail: $8.28

Is there any way to have the system put both October items into the same package and send them with combined shipping? The shipping price on the GM screen is a bit absurd since I'd expect it could be put into the same box with the Bestiary with far more secure packaging and hardly any extra postage.


Just got the following email:


We have updated the PDF of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook.

The bookmarks have been updated to be more useful, and broken hyperlinks have been repaired. Page 548 is now placed correctly in the Single-File version. The One-File-per-Chapter version now contains the cover. Other minor typographic errors have also been corrected.

To verify the version you have:
In the One-File-per-Chapter version: if the cover is present, you already have the updated version.
In the Single-File version: if the first bookmark listed is "Cover," you already have the updated version.

If you wish to download the updated version, you may do so for free at http://paizo.com/paizo/account/assets. (If the file shows that it has already been personalized, you'll need to repersonalize it before you can download the new version.)

Paizo Publishing

I checked a couple links that weren't working before and they now are, so that's good. However, one that I noted before in the forums still isn't fixed.

In the "Soulbind" spell entry, all the spells in the body of the description are hyperlinked except for Reincarnation, which is still unlinked.

I'm certain this isn't the only copyedit that got missed, so I was thinking this would be a useful spot for everyone to list the other items still needing fixing, so the next version of the PDF can be fully linked.




My campaign is converting over to Pathfinder. I've got a Shadowcaster, a Warmage and a Factotum among the characters. I'm wondering what needs to be done with them, if anything, to bring them up to Pathfinder grade.

I'm thinking the Factotum, being another one of Jason's classes, is sufficiently powerful to go in with no conversion necessary. OTOH, the Shadowcaster is relatively weak, especially alongside the pumped Wizard and Sorcerer, so I'm thinking of something along the lines of Wizard school powers or Sorcerer bloodline powers but related to shadow.

With the Warmage, I'm thinking either the Arcane or Elemental bloodlines from the Sorcerer would fit.



I'm considering a couple changes for my game, which should help the flavor of bards and get a few more of them playing lutes and lyres rather than the common twink of having most player bards being someone who recites poetry while stabbing things with a rapier.

The first is, for the cost of a feat, allowing bards the wizard's Arcane Bond power, but only for a bonded object, and the bonded objects are limited to musical instruments: harps, lutes, lyres, flutes, drums, fiddles, etc. The bard can put enchantments on them at level 5, the same time a wizard could access Craft Wondrous Item, and with the same rules for bonded objects where they only work for the bard. All the rules for loss, damage, destruction and restoration are the same as they are for the wizard. Damaged bonded objects that are instruments are miraculously restored the next morning, allowing you to beat goblins to death with your lute one day and have it clean and pretty the next.

The second is that, for bards, the Master Craftsman feat allows the bard to create magic items so long as they are musical instruments. The +2 bonus goes to the Perform skill that the bard uses for a specific class of instruments, and Perform is used by the bard when crafting the item, the same as Craft or Profession is used by a regular Master Craftsman, or Spellcraft is used by a wizard.

Thoughts on these?


I just received my Core Rulebook today -- two days early, beautifully packaged and completely undamaged by shipping. Happy happy, joy joy.

However, once I took it out and started flipping through the pages, I found that I couldn't flip through all of them because there were some left uncut. This is likely due to signatures being misset before cutting.

I'm an old-school bibliophile, so at least I know the trick of cutting them myself with a piece of paper, but this leaves the page edges kind of raggedy in a book without deckled edges.

Anyway, just saying that I now have a readable copy, but not a perfect copy. Hoping something can be done about this.



I was just reviewing the shipping options for my new Pathfinder subscription, and noted that October's releases are being shipped separately: the book for $6 and change by standard USPS rate, and the GM screen at $8 and change for priority mail. Is there a particular reason why this is being done? It's a bit absurd to pay $8 for the mailing of a $15 screen when it seems it could just be put in the same package with the book for a fractional increase in price, and far more secure shipping, since it's a hell of a lot harder for the postal monkeys to bend a screen if it's sitting flat against a thicker book.

Thought I'd ask this before it actually shipped.


Was thinking a bit on the typical medieval town or city, and how the fortifications are generally set up to repel ground forces, which works well with conventional armies but not so well with dragon attacks.

Then I thought about empires and merchant consortiums and exactly what they might think about dragon attacks, and the loss of profits therefrom.

Then I thought about unlikely bands of heroes taking out dragons with remarkable frequency, and I was wondering how much trouble it would be for gnomish, dwarvish or just plain human bankers to curse their vaults such that whoever plunders them will be killed by adventurers in rather short order.

Admittedly, this doesn't recover the money, but it does get rid of a large trouble of having a financial institution with a central vault.

Ditto with possibly having a city cursed so that it destroys whoever burns it down. Good for dragons and invading conquerors as well.

What would it take? Contingency + Wish? A Miracle? Bestow Greater Curse set up as a trap?


There's a couple problems with table 7-3 Trade Goods (p. 98) and table 7-9 Goods and Services (p. 113) that have existed since the start of 3.0 and never got fixed in 3.5 and it would be good if they were remedied in the Pathfinder RPG finally.

First off, table 7-3 Trade Goods lists one pound of iron going for 1 sp
while Table 7-9 Goods and Services lists a 10 lb. iron pot for the price of 5 sp. This math doesn't add up unless the king is subsidizing iron pots or else the blacksmiths are alloying their iron with cheaper metals.

Please either change the weight of the iron pot to 5 lbs or else change the price of the 10 lb pot to 1 gp.

The other trouble is the price of saffron in table 7-3 Trade Goods. It's listed as 15 gp per pound.

In the real world, the price of saffron is US$500/pound to US$5,000/pound. It's the pistils of rare crocuses which weigh hardly anything but are incredibly potent.

If you go by the 1st ed pricing for rare spices (1st ed DMG p. 27) you'll find rare spices listed as 1-4 sp a scruple. Even correcting for the half-weight of 1st ed sp (20 to 1 gp vs 10 to 1 gp), this comes to a far more realistic price, with 24 scruples to the ounce and 16 ounces to the pound, this comes to 19.2 gp to 76.8 gp per pound. Which is still probably low.

If you priced it at 5000 gp per pound, that would come out to about 13 gp a scruple, which is more on track with what someone would actually pay, given how potent it is. Moreover, it would give you a rare spice that would make sense as a spell component. After all, it currently takes 2500 gp worth of rare incense and other offerings to cast an Atonement. If saffron's 5000 gp per pound, that's a half pound of saffron vs. the current pricing, which would come to 166 & 2/3rds lbs, or the sinner's body weight in saffron.

Given the new costly material components as replacements for XP costs in spells, it would be good if there were something added to the trade goods table like

5000 gp One pound of saffron, ambergris or attar of roses

That would take care of the examples for rare herbs, rare unguents and rare perfumes now needed as costly spell components, and also give characters another sort of loot worth more than its weight in gold.