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When polymorphed into a plant creature using this spell, do you gain Plant Traits...

"Traits: A plant creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Low-light vision.
Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
Immunity to paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning.
Proficient with its natural weapons only.
Not proficient with armor.
Plants breathe and eat, but do not sleep."

Im guessing the answer is sadly no, but I thought Id put it out there. I realize there is a limited list of things you get from each version of the spell, but I also know there are other exceptions, such as gaining movement modes and natural attacks. I wasn't sure if these exceptions extended to gaining the traits of the creature type. Thanks!

EDIT: Im also unclear about movement modes. Do I gain all movement modes of the creature whose form I assume?

I came on the boards to ask something very similar.

I want to build a sick abjuration specialist cleric. Im open to other divine casters, but I would ideally like to do this with a Devout Pilgrim cleric with the Love and Liberation domains. That way I will be able to use the sanctuary and freedom of movement abilities on my allies.

To go with that theme, Id like to really trick out a divine abjurer. Im aware of spell focus (and greater), mage's tattoo, and varisian tattoo. For race traits, Ive found Enclave Protector (+1 DC abjuration), but no worthy races have it as an option.

Feel like Ive hit a wall and would be grateful for any insight...

When the object has more hardness than the weapon, can it do any damage? Or does the weapon take damage instead?

Spell Sunder, the rage power, could suppress it and possibly dispel it, but I want to actually sunder a portion of the wall.
EDIT: I'm trying to do it with a fighter

Is there any way to sunder a wall of force, as the spell? Definitely want to do this with a weapon...not interested in using spells to dispel or negate the wall.

Wall of Force has hardness 30 and around 200 HP.
Magic Adamantine weapon has hardness 20 and around 50 HP.

That's all I've got, but Thog really wants to smash through this shimmery nonsense between him and the squishy wizard. Help Thog Smash!

Phantasmal Killer trap (a great rogue-killer spell) is CR 8. Charlie Bell, I do agree that traps are not hard to avoid. I mentioned them in the OP because of certain spells, but traps are definitely not the reason I wanted to have this discussion.

I was thinking of spell traps using save or die. Probably should have specified.

Well, there are optimizers and then there are OPTIMIZERS;) I was talking about the type of player who takes pride in building characters that are mechanically ahead of the curve.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Seems to be quite a diversity of opinion out there with some solid reasoning all around. Responses appear to be divided into three categories...
1) "Yeah, it's an issue, high level mechanics don't work" (followed by some math and anecdotes to support the claim)
2) "Nope, it's not an issue." or "I have the opposite problem" (followed by some math and anecdotes to support the claim)
3) "Your doing it wrong!" (followed by tactical and character building suggestions to avoid PC death)

I will say that most (not all) of the "nope, it's not an issue" people did also admit that their characters were either optimized, very defensive-minded, and/or tactical about avoiding full attacks.

I think Dennis just summed it up pretty well when he said that higher level play does demand more from the players. Maybe my gaming compadres just aren't willing to be paranoid enough to survive above level 10, but that's OK because we had a blast getting there!

I appreciate the response, but you yourself said that your players are optimizers. I'm an optimizer too, but I don't want to HAVE to play with all tactician-optimizers at higher levels.
How would you reckon your group would fare if folks were a wee bit less savvy with character building and tactics?

I have now played about as much Pathfinder at lvl 10 and up as I have DnD 3.X. So far, I am seeing the same problems...
1) Full attack actions of CR 10, 11, and 12 creatures can RELIABLY kill average, undamaged PCs of similar level.
2) NPC casters of this level can throw around a few save or die effects, giving average NPCs a 50/50 shot of DYING outright.
3) Traps of CR 10, 11, and 12 can RELIABLY kill average, undamaged PCs of similar level.

I love the possibility of PC death as an ever-present concern. Personally, I love to crunch numbers and optimize my characters. At the same time, I respect the other dedicated gamers and role-players at my table who don't try to squeeze and stack every possible bonus. Every time our party gets somewhere between level 9-11, we hit a wall of PC deaths that crash the campaign or slow the action down to an unbearable, almost silly pace. People dying once in a while is cool, and there are ways to deal with it, but someone dying every session is just not fun because continuity is part of the pleasure of this role-playing game.

I am writing this because I believe it to be a system problem, not a player or DM problem. I mentioned that some players in this scenario are not 'optimized,' but they aren't stupid! They give themselves good prime stats and understand that Dex/Con/Wis are all crucial survival stats. Tactically, they aren't perfect, but they know how to concentrate fire, pursue flanks, and avoid attacks of opportunity. Our DM limits the CR of our encounters to our level+1, though most of our encounters are on-level or lower. He also doesn't run monsters 'smarter' or more devious than they should be.

So, the purpose of this post? First, to find out if other groups have similar experiences. Second, to evaluate some possible solutions (mine and yours).

I think the 'HP death point' of PCs needs to be tied to something that increases every level (unlike your Con score).
I also think that the 'full attack action' is an awkward, unbalancing mechanic (I'm not the first one to say it). It is a multiplicative effect rather than an additive one, and that's what makes it SO dangerous.
Finally, save or die effects are cool, but they need to be moderated. For example, maybe they knock you down for that fight on a failed save, but you get additional saves to avoid DEATH.

Unfortunately, sovereign glue dries and sets in one round. You would need some kind of mechanical trap to deploy the glue effectively.

Thanks Concerro, I think thats a reasonable way of handling it.
Cmastah, I was wondering the same thing. If we treat it as a trap, however, I think PC has to declare a search (barring auto-search abilities).

Also, I don't want my villain to have to take the Create Ranger Trap feat.

Yeah, the title was meant to grab a bit of attention. Concerro, if I were to consult the trap rules, how would I determine the DC? I looked at the Ranger Trap called Contact Poison, but it seemed to involve some kind of trigger, which is more complex than what I had in mind.

Contact poison inside a set of fancy gloves is genius!

What kind of opposed check should we use to conceal the contact poison?

Searched some threads on poison and didn't find a discussion of this issue.

1. My villain (who has Poison Use) wants to smear contact poison on his doorknob. How do I determine the DCs for finding it and disabling it?
2. If a PC misses the poison, touches the knob, but is wearing a glove, what happens? I would say that there is a chance each round for the PC to notice the poison and a chance to poison himself. If he does notice it, I would use the rules for handling poison without the Poison Use ability.


Manage your rage????? This seems like the definition of metagaming.

Again, character options should not be used to fix awkward class features.

And again, if you simply take away the Con bonus to rage there is no problem.

When a 10th lvl Barbarian is adjacent to a a CR 10 monster, like a Mountain Troll...

Rage = PC Death

ooops, challenge rating

For raging barbarian...-1 Hp equals death.
For everyone else...you sleep till the end of the encounter.
No other class has death itself as a balancing mechanic for its benefits, and it makes the barbarian impractical for someone who wants to play a character longterm.

Again, it's that the barbarian has a larger HP danger zone of death. I know he will have a few more HP overall, but they don't mean much with his -2 AC.
It's all about what happens when you reach -1.

ShadowcatX, as any other melee character, dropping below 0 HP is not that bad. For a raging barbarian, it likely means death.

Merkatz, character options should not be designed to "fix" PC classes with obvious flaws. Instead they should enhance their ability in some aspect of play. A 'required' option is no longer an option.

Edit: Strinburka, see my post immediately preceeding yours.

My point is that it increases the danger zone for a character to die outright. A raging barbarian will will automatically lose an ADDITIONAL 2x lvl HP when dropped unconscious, while a fighter will simply suffer the damage as normal. My suggestion is to simply remove the Con bonus from the rage mechanic because it doesn't work as is.

Forgetting your insult...

Rage is rage and stupid is stupid. I think that raging characters can make tactically sound decisions about movement and targets, but ending your rage because of convenience just kills the flavor.

Edit: Also, the lvl 8 raging Barbarian could easily take 27 points of damage, which would also kill him/her outright instead of just knocking them unconscious.

Barbarian (lvl 8, 14 Con) with 10 HP takes 12 dmg, is now unconscious with a decent chance of stablizing. Most monsters turn their attention to current threats.

Raging Barbarian (lvl 8, 18 Con) with 26 HP takes 12 dmg, attacks, then takes 15. He's at -1 HP, but then loses 4 points of Con, dropping him to -17...dead.

So the answer is to be intelligent while raging? That really undermines the fun and flavor of RAGE. Your solution will work in some situations, but like I said before, those extra rage HP can't be reliably guarded (via healing, attack or retreat), especially at higher levels.

When you drop below 0, you also lose your raging con bonus, which can easily drop you to your negative con value.

In any game where the GM is savvy enough to regularly drop PCs below 0 HP, but not kill them (and that, my friends, is the table I want to sit at), the current rage rules are suicidal.
Responding to Princeimrahil, if "Barbarian" were a prestige class that required either the Diehard feat, or being a half-orc, I might agree with you.
Responding to Stingburka...at higher levels especially, the 10-30 extra HP granted by rage are not something you can reliably guard. That "lifeline" is actually a "deathline."
Responding to Chobemaster...if you can be assured of not dropping below 0 HP, that is one boring game.

The problem with rage is not it's duration. It provides a nice offensive boost (along with the -2 AC), and you can only rage so long before becoming winded. From a flavor perspective I find that fun and compelling. The problem with rage is that it provides a Con bonus in addition to a Str bonus. I know this sounds weird, but it is a mechanical truth that the Con bonus provided by rage makes it almost a suicidal option. The Con boost grants you additional hitpoints according to your level (or hit die). Because the Con bonus disappears when you drop below 0 HP this means auto-death in many situations, and the higher level you are the bigger the drop in HP at the end of a rage. There is an ability that lets you keep raging while unconscious (which is very, very silly), but that only somewhat mitigates the problem.
As a houserule, I eliminate the Con bonus and instead, the barbarian gains 2x barbarian lvl in temp HP at the beginning of a rage. The current rage system makes Barbarians kamikazes, and that's just not right. It's one of those things that Pathfinder did not fix from 3.5. Oh well.

Girdle of the Girallon
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 11th
Slot waist; Price 26,500 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
This white, hide belt is fastened with a sturdy horn buckle. Both hide and horn are harvested from the fearsome girallon, well-known for its two pairs of powerful arms. As a swift action, the wearer activates the belt to gain a second set of arms protruding just above the hips. Any armor or clothing worn by the user conforms to the new arms. Though somewhat thicker and hairier, the wearer can use the new arms and hands just as well as his or her own. For example, a cleric wielding a sword and shield could use one of the hands granted by the belt for somatic spell components and the other could hold a wand. Also, once per round, while the belt is activated, the wearer can draw or stow a weapon or item as a swift action. Finally, the extra arms grant a +8 competence bonus on Climb checks.
The girdle can only be active for ten minutes per day, in one minute increments, and the minutes need not be consecutive. A swift action deactivates the item.
The extra appendages do not grant extra magic item slots or any extra actions. Though the wearer can wield more than two weapons while the belt is active, he does not gain the ability to make extra attacks.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, beast shape IV, one arm and one horn of a girallon; Cost 13,250 gp

First time entrant! Had a great time participating and look forward to following the competition. Thanks for any critiquing you can offer. I know now not to use specific items in the requirements. Oh well, next time.

Somewhat off topic, but Sean, I've been reading the monsters from 2010 and you often provide a link for "advice for using the word will." That link doesn't seem to work anymore (it redirects to Paizo home page). Can you repost it for the benefit of us rookies?

Do the section titles, such as "Structure," "Scope," and "Resources" count in the final word count?
Also, what about the words we put in those sections?

If you look at the top 32 items of the past, there are a lot of obscure words in the titles...
scapular, phial, batrachian, umbral, ephemera, phlebotomist, triptych, chiurgeon
Sometimes the judges have an issue, and sometimes they don't. I also love learning new words through gaming. If the title works, it works.

Have the alternates ever been called upon to present round 2 material? In other words, are there any alternates with the (rpg superstar top 32) tag?

Vic and Joel, I appreciate both your points. I can't begrudge Paizo for making decisions that respect early subscribers. Also, I do want as many people playing Pathfinder as possible (even if I have to buy those broke players their pizza;).

I suppose as long as it is possible for the PCs to find who was ultimately behind the nefarious deeds and bash their heads in, it will work as an organization.

Best of luck to you too. I'm in the same position. Found out about the contest last year in time to watch, but not to enter. Definitely entering this year and hoping for the best.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful responses to a fellow Pathfinder fan.
Many people have said that lowering the price of smaller pdfs would require a price increase for pdfs of hardcovers. Maybe this is true, but it seems awkward. I think this would mean that small pdfs are actually subsidizing large ones.
I am a strictly PDF person (except the core book). There are any number of perspectives I could take on this issue- just be grateful for the big $10 pdfs; my savings on big pdfs offset small pdf price; it's normal to pay more for a smaller market product; think about the poor little game stores, etc. Whatever the reality is behind all this, as a pdf consumer, the current pricing structure deincentivizes my purchase of small pdfs.

Thank you Taliesin, I have tried to stay positive, though some took my point as an attack.

To Don Walker...I don't think your replacement analogy using the clothing industry works either. Mass produced, limited edition...it's all Levi's, so who's gonna pay that much more?
I am definitely not trying to insult the creators of any Pathfinder product, as my comments you quoted indicate. It really is just a simple question as the thread title says, "PDF Prices, what's the formula?" I haven't meant to "continue to complain," it's just that I hadn't heard an adequate explanation.

I just chopped my organization write-up from 1200 words to 350 and it was disturbingly easy. Guess my perfect prose wasn't so precious after all. I think Pathfinder will survive without my faction's 150 word theme song;)

Actually, most of the organizations I naturally brainstormed were PC friendly. I think that the fantasy 'evil organization' is a more thoroughly mined idea than its counterpart.

Very exciting to get this preview of Round 2, but man, the word-count is killer!! Write up an original, compelling, flavorful organization that is well-embedded in Golarion...with only 50 more words than a wondrous item?!?!
So this is more of a proposal for an organization than an actual write-up, seeing as it's only 1/3 of the size of existing faction descriptions.
This task is going to be more difficult because there really is no model for contestants to look at. For monsters, templates, wondrous items, etc., there is a wealth of reference materials. We know, through published material, what Paizo designers want a 1,200 word count faction write-up to do. We don't know what they will want from a 350 word faction because there is no such thing. It is somewhat frustrating to be asked (not that I've been asked yet:) to write something that has no place in Pathfinder books.
Sorry if I have to whine a little bit to wrap my head around the challenge;)

Brooch of Sludge Balls
As a standard action, the wearer of this brooch can create and throw a sludgeball (same effects as tanglefoot bag) as long as they are standing on dirt, earth, or mud of any kind.

Gothic Diadem
This cursed item afflicts the wearer with a constant sense of melancholy and angst. The wearer's skin pales and their eyes darken. Their posture becomes stooped and awkward. The cursed also gains light sensitivity, and +4 to charisma related checks with undead.

Blowgun of Savage Cats
Seemingly a normal blowgun, when the user confirms a critical hit with this weapon, 1d8 cats are instantly summoned adjacent to the target. The cats are ordinary, but are raging, as the barbarian ability.

Gorbacz wrote:
The old rule of drug dealing says that the first hit should always be either free or heavily discounted.


I haven't missed a thing. Look- discounts, markups, sales...it's all distraction - an illusion. People charge what they think the market will bear. Regular players will pay $10 for a nice, big pdf. Nerds will pay twice that for half the content. We're paying a nerd tax, and I'm just pointing it out. If I wasn't on vacation I wouldn't have had the time or inclination to do so. I for one will likely continue paying it. Pathfinder rocks!

The problem with your analogy is that the paint and tires cost more than the car (by 40%!). That is rarely a good thing:)

Obviously, I am not complaining about the price of the core books.
Also, of course I wouldn't want to pay 70% of cover.
I have bought 25+ pdfs, and I'm overall happy with the quality of the texts and artwork. However, as I attempt to learn more about Golarion, I am faced with the prospect of paying $14 for 50 pages of online content, and that feels like a bad deal.
At the same time, I don't seem to have anyone on the boards agreeing with me. Maybe I'm crazy, but making the beginner info cheaper than 'advanced' game info does constitute a 'nerd tax'- regardless of why the 'discount' is applied to the hardcover books.
Whatever the truth, I am a nerd, and therefore will pay my tax. The product has been good!

Well, still feels like a 'nerd tax' when the only way to access more in-depth Golarion info is to pay more and get less.

So, people who want to get more into the game pay higher prices for less product than casual players? Still doesn't make sense.

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