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I'm trying to determine what the RAW are on this.

I see that identify says it can't identify artifacts, but detect magic does not say that.

I don't know if this issue has been solved, but it appears that Detect Magic has no prohibition against identifying artifacts, but identify (and it's 3rd level cousin) do. So, I interpret this to mean that you can try to identify artifacts using conventional detect magic and the spellcraft skill, but it's just very hard due to the CL (and the DC could be further boosted due to circumstance/background). Is this a correct interpretation?

FAQ it? Is that how you request a typo to get fixed?

So, if you can only get SA once, if you miss with your first ray, do you get it on the second if it hits?

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Kudaku wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I did haphazardly stumble in here, but even so it isn't at the top of my haphazard stumble queue yet with its small number of FAQ clicks. I actually do have a thread on my haphazard stumble queue that seems FAQable enough that I might be able to get us to look at it without the real queue being fixed, but I won't mention which one yet so as not to create false expectations / jinx it.
Yeah, I suspect a lot of people flee in terror rather than hit the FAQ tag when they read 'negative level' in the thread title. :-/

It has negative implications...

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Why does it weigh more (15) than a standard buckler (5)? Is there errata? It weighs the same as the Spell Ward Tower Shield, and the Spined shield (adjacent entries).

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I love this concept - I'd definitely make giant's potions giant-size, but no more efficacious. They could also have ingredients in them that giants would consider just particles, but for regular size people would be a mouthful.

It's good for adding flavor (no pun intended) off the core rule of 1 potion = 1 effect on drinker.


So you can spellcombat a spell in your off hand, then two hand your longsword and whack someone with it? This doesn't violate 'hand economy'?

Can they use a shield? Do they drop what they're carrying?

What does 'not helpless' but 'can't take actions' amount to? Does the person threaten? Can they take AoO's?

Looking back at the Monk description, I think unarmed damage is the base, and unarmed strike damage is everything. What pluses you add is open to interpretation, but I'd default to adding them all in the absence of more guidance.

Since it will stop an Air Bubble spell, I think you'll suffocate if you stay in it long enough...


Are there still spells that give you nothing if you cast them at below the minimum caster level (e.g. by rounding so you get 0 rays, or 0 dice)? Or did Paizo fix that?

wraithstrike wrote:

With all of that aside the party has to be able to hear it, and most of the time this won't really do you any good except for corner cases.
I might even allow it, if it came up, if it was not too difficult, but since I use bards as NPC's I would let the players know it could work against them.

PS: I don't think a deve would allow it,if they were to issue an FAQ however.

Do you think they can rule that without backtracking on other rulings minimizing bardic performance requirements?

Since it's not very clear what happens when you spend your action on subsequent rounds (e.g. inspire courage), why is it limited if it doesn't say so?

There's no rule you have to perform constantly, so one whispered joke should do it. What's the base DC to hear it? DC 15 is a whispered conversation, but this is just one joke - so DC 20? Almost like silent spell...

If you start a performance using visual, can you switch to auditory?

For example can you whisper jokes to your adjacent companions (knock-knock jokes, of course) quietly to avoid alerting nearby monsters? Is the same amount of noise made to maintain the ability? If people spread out, can you raise your volume accordingly? Can you do this in a moderate fashion (to avoid alerting bad guys further away)?

I think my overall point has been made in the back and forth.

Even Wraith won't let a paladin use RAW to lay on hands without use of a hand. Slavishly following RAW can be as complicating as using RAE/names (some won't agree to 'as complicating' but I think we can all see examples where it is somtimes).

Similarly, I won't let fire elementals hide in normal darkness, and when my player wants to hide them at the bottom of a vat of oil to surprise people (and only ignite it when they use their burn ability), I'm going to say no. Also, when a bard in my campaign wants to 'stealth perform' using quiet jokes (you know, whispering the banana knock-knock joke over and over) to avoid alerting monsters in the next room, they'll have to use dance, and people will lose their bonus if they lose sight of them. Despite their request being perfectly in line with RAW.

Rules text dictates the minimum an ability does (which is what the Devs are ruling on), but the implementation/manifestation of the ability is up to the GM, and I think should absolutely be guided by fluff/flavor text/names. I just hope that people posting and helping other players will remember this, and encourage others to do so.

I believe it's no longer a RPG when this last filter is not applied by the GM.

So, this allows the breath of life feat much earlier, eh?

wraithstrike wrote:

Flavor/fluff is basically artistic license, and I do admit it can help you decide how something is intended to work, but it is not rules.

This is where the problem begins, and it's just as troublesome for me as a GM for people to say 'my water elemental doesn't get things wet when I activate Drench, because it doesn't say it does'. I see it as counterproductive, and creating a whole generation of Roll-players, and not Role-players.

wraithstrike wrote:

So let's go line by line.
As for drench as long as it puts the fire out I don't think most people care if the elemental touches the fire or waves his hand in front it, or sucks the fire into his hand etc etc...

I think this is wrong - picture Eli the Elemental Hunter "This campfire was put out by a water elemental Drenching. No one in their right mind carries this quantity of water around, or even creates it, to be able to put out a campfire. We're getting close." The flavor text was written so that the effects dictated in the mechanics are implemented in a certain way. Your variant water elemental may have 'extinguish' (or power 1a, given the apparent over-reliance on 'rule-text only'), but that's not a run of the mill water elemental. It also gives you zero in the way of narrative power to map out consequences, and unintended consequences.

wraithstrike wrote:

Yes I do agree the bard is performing, but not using the perform skills unless called for.

This just opens another can of worms - now a bard can do their 'whisper performance' if they only want to effect their adjacent comrades (which can get louder later). They now have an ability that's better than a spell (a partial Silent Spell), since spells need to be in a normal spoken voice. Maybe they can start with a visual performance (since it's quiet and allows you to sneak up on the bad guy) and switch to an audible one when people start to spread out during battle (it doesn't say you can't switch, only that you choose a mode when starting).

And I thought the conclusion is that it is using the perform skill (as it says so), but not requiring a check?

wraithstrike wrote:

As for lay on hands it specifically calls out hands IIRC, but even if not I think the intent is clear. Requiring a hand is not giving the ability any extra power or taking away from what it is supposed to do.

You mean when your paladin wants to lay on hands to the person hanging from their feet (when they can't reach them with a hand, but their hand is free), you'll deny their clear implementation of RAW?

This is perhaps a hyperbolic example, but the point is RAW if held to strictly can be as troublesome as using flavor descriptions/names. They both have their place, but the emphasis being placed is treating PF as 4E (or Champions - 'you didn't pay for that effect, so it doesn't happen'), not a game of narration.

wraithstrike wrote:

When people try to use flavor to make a ruling I look at whether or not they are adding or taking anything away mechanically. That does not lead to an automatic yes or no, but if we are discussing that rules, and what is actually allowed by the game, that is different that what I think is within the realm of balance, or reasonable.

I think this is perfect, but it's breaking the rules interpretations I've seen again and again on the forums, which discourage this type of thinking.

wraithstrike wrote:

Having an elemental use their bodies in ways not written into the game can make them an unlimited water supply in a desert campaign. You air supply is running low, summon an air elemental.

I think this is a great use of an elemental - if you can convince them to give up some of their substance (perhaps taking damage in the process), it's a wonderful role-playing opportunity (how are you speaking to them?). As a GM, I'm all for using higher level spells to simulate those of lower level...

wraithstrike wrote:

Flavor text can also be restricting beyond where it should be.

GM: No you can't be a ninja because I don't like ninjas.

Player: I am using the ninja class, but my character is really an assassin.

GM: The book says it is a ninja so my answer is still no.

Now had that the same mechanics been given a different name there most likely would not have been a problem.

This is quite true. But both ways have their issues.

wraithstrike wrote:

edit: As for the rules form the best thing to do is say the books don't allow ___, but I would recommend ____. That is what I do to let them know the rule is, but also let them know ____ is not going to hurt anything.

I don't see that much. I do see reference to 'you can house rule it' which comes across again and again as derisive.

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My issue is a general one. Flavor text (or name) matters! If you ignore it, and just say 'it doesn't say it does that' you're playing the wrong game system. If it's called Drench it should drench things to put out fires. If it's Bardic performance, it should require performance (yes, this again) of some sort. If it's Lay on Hands, it doesn't say it requires you to touch with a hand, only that you have a hand free and touch someone, I'm not going to let the paladin reach out and touch a shackled prisoner with his foot to use the ability (when his hands won't reach despite being 'free', say through bars). They have names for a reason instead of being called 'paladin ability level 2a'.

If you're fighting when it's very cold out and someone hits you with a burning weapon, and your elemental buddy uses drench to put out that fire, you're going to be wet in my campaign, with appropriate risk of hypothermia (and environmental consequences).

I'd just like to see all the common posters here, who readers take as authorities (like Wraith), giving better answers than 'the ability doesn't say that so it doesn't do that', but more likely 'although not listed in the ability, it should probably by extension of the name have that effect.' Teach people how to RPG, not MMORPG, even in the rules forum, I recommend.

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This is the problem I'm having perpetually with the forum people or PFS people in general. You have an ability whose name implies getting things wet, and has a mechanism that would involve getting things wet, but since 'it doesn't say it does', it doesn't happen. This attitude is more appropriate for a MMORPG or playing 4E than playing a RPG like PF. As a GM, I'm not going to let you put out a campfire using Drench without it looking like you dumped a huge bucket of water on it (and generating mud).

"No wait," says the PFS player, "this book states it puts out fires, not that it makes things wet."

My issue is that if the designers didn't want it to be putting fires out by dropping water all over it, it would be named 'extinguish'. That's applying a modicum of common sense by reading the description of the ability, and in direct conflict with the 'it doesn't say it does' mentality. I'm concerned it's influencing a whole generation of gamers negatively.

wraithstrike wrote:

Most GM's don't allow the components to be drenched in rain, and while logical being hit by a water elemental has never made anyone wet so it can't really be said to apply. Drench puts out fires as an EX also. That is not the same as drench in a dictionary sense.

As for the fire elemental it depends on whether you only take damage when it hits you or just for touching. From a game point of view the fire damage only takes place upon an successful attack, but that is not logical since fire only needs to touch you to hurt you. The same could be applied for to why the pouch is not harmed. Actually just being within a certain distance of a fire elemental should cause problems if we bring real world physics into it. Being that burn is a special attack, it wont affect the pouch by the rules.

Just to clarify, you're saying the drench special ability doesn't make anything wet because it doesn't say it does?

Joekar wrote:

Sorry if this is a necro, but I was wondering about this as well. I did a search and only found one other post from 2011, which disagrees with this one.

It seems to me if it read "Creatures caught in the cone take your weapon damage...", and you had a +2 longsword and a +3 bonus from Str then creatures would take 1d8+2 damage, since that's what the weapon does. So would the bonus from something like Amulet of Might Fists get added, but the damage from a bard's singing not?

The only thing that feels a little odd about this is that for the longsword, the +2 is part of the weapon, while for the unarmed strike, the amulet is a separate thing. On the flip-side, the strength bonus for the longsword is NOT part of the weapon, but if I'm using my fists, it seems like my STR should be part of that.

Thank you!

Did you mean 1d8+5?

Remember if you take 20 to listen at the door, they get to take 20 on listening for you.

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I think this thread has identified a lot of edge cases it would be good to get clarification on:

1. AoE attacks with instantaneous duration (e.g. fireball)
2. Targeted instantaneous spells with multiple damage packets (e.g. magic missile) with or without a to hit roll (e.g. scorching ray)
3. Multi-round spells with multiple damage packets (produce flame, call lightning, flaming sphere) requiring additional actions
4. Multi-round spells with multiple damage packets that auto-damage (e.g. acid arrow)
5. Continuous effects (e.g. wall of fire)
6. Any difference in summoning vs. evocation damage spells (e.g. acid splash vs. ray of frost)?
7. Boost to summoned creatures by the paladin against smite target?
8. Any difference in item-created effects vs. inherent spells?
9. Pre-set spells, such as glyphs?
10. Attack roll needed?
11. If it applies to spells, do they get around DR, or elemental resistance (unlikely)?
12. Spiritual weapon spell?
13. Adds to offensive channel?
14. Adds to offensive lay on hands?
15. SLAs vs. spells vs. EX vs. SU abilities?
16. Add to passive damage done to smite target (e.g. fire shield, or from body spike abilities)
17. Preset traps (e.g. trap ranger levels - unlikely)?
18. Manyshot vs. rapid shot?
19. Bonus to attack if the smite target is your second cleave target, whirlwind strike or from triggered attacks such as Cleaving finish? (this ones probably easy)
20. Bonus on an attack with 'carrier damage' such as unarmed strike with shocking grasp, or spellstrike - does it apply to weapon and spell, or just once? Flaming weapons?
21. Spells dealing ability score damage?
22. Offensive spells dealing no damage? (probably easy)

Anything else?

How about a system that caps the power of magic items usable by classes, with the more magical classes getting the worst progression, and more mundane ones a better progression. Then mundane classes, who need more magical assistance, get to have items 2x as powerful as magical classes over 20 levels?

<takes cover>

Good enough citation, your bards can spout gibberish, or flail randomly, and anything nearby is affected so long as they're an 'ally' and have an INT score.

Fromper wrote:

And once again: It's magic. The creatures being inspired just need to be able to see or hear the performance, not understand it. It's just a focus for the bard's magical ability.

You can house rule it however you want, but the rules say Inspire Courage works on anything with an intelligence score, even if that int score is just a 1.

Where exactly?

Lefty X wrote:

Ssalarn: I like suggestion 3. Please get busy on your 400 page expansion of all non-full caster classes, so I don't have to write it. ;)

Kwauss: Which suggestion? Mine?

Sorry, the suggestion that everyone get iteratives at max BAB, which was my understanding of Lefty X's clarified proposal.

Sorry, posts are moving too fast.

I think the only way to fix this is to only give specific class's levels access to protected feats/abilities.

For instance: a rogue feat that only they can take (after say 5 levels) that allows you to add their class level to a skill once per round. A fighter feat that allows them to add their class level to their CMB once per round.

Rogues need to break the skill DC system so it's remodulated for them, if they're going to be a skillmaster. Similarly for fighters and CMB/CMD. I might also give them options to add their class level to any one save per round? Just ideas...

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This suggestion just makes mixed-spellcasters more potent, and doesn't do that much for straight martial characters.

How would you apply such a suggestion to multi-classed characters?

Teatime42 wrote:
Kwauss wrote:

I've already conceded that above, if you'd paid attention. It uses a skill that you don't need to be good at. The point I was trying to make is that not any perform skill will work the same. Just as I won't let a naked rogue pick a jail cell lock with his tongue no matter how good they are at disable device, I apply common sense to the situation.

That's the advantage of playing a RPG over a MMORPG, there's someone to apply such layers of common sense. Yes, the RAW left it open to allow munchkin GMs to ignore the whole issue, but with room for common sense to be applied situationally.

I love applying common sense to things.

The this is, is that you need to know where to apply common sense, and how. You're applying it to make the game situationally more realistic, other people in this thread are applying common sense to figure out how best to allow a player to play their class, without overburdening them with requirements. the problem with your method here, is that you're nerfing a class that isn't all that powerful to begin with.

Now, if you applied this same "common sense" to EVERY class...

Possible proposed homebrew rules for you:
-Spellcasters must now remove the proper spell components from their component bags, and use them as actual focuses and materials, this requires them to move and take things from their bags, and as such is considered a move action. Enjoy the bat guano and rods of amber.
-You must act your stats exactly, even if your character is smarter, wiser and more charismatic than you, good luck.
-Actual survival, we get to math out food eaten, calories gained, survival check to see if we can tell if it went bad. Wait, stop buying trail rations damnit!
-Okay, you failed on that Reflex save versus that fireball, not let's see how your gear fared against it. *rolls* Not well.
-Characters wearing armor receive a minus to attack (Their ACP), as it's harder to move around in armor. Characters in no armor receive a bonus to attack as it's easier for...

All worth considering. I was just telling you where I draw the line on common sense in this circumstance, as backed up by rules text. Some GMs can ask 'are you doing a visual or auditory bardic performance' (as required by the rules), but it seems dumb not to just ask 'which perform skill are you using?' (which also is backed up by the rules) And if they say comedy, the GM can say, "Oh sorry, you realize your allies the Borg don't have a sense of humor, so comedy won't work on them to inspire. Did you want to use something else?" Or just surprise them the first time, if you dropped enough hints.

And all spellcasting classes in PF need nerfing.

It's made out of the pelts of former familiars, right?

If it's not just base damage, you end up with complications from the other Dragon style feats - do they apply? Then add in Power Attack...

FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

You can use it with spell combat.

You can only use touch spells with spell strike, but light is a touch spell. The problem is that you have to target an object, so you'd be forced to use the sunder combat maneuver if you wish to have the extra attack.

You can perform a sunder with spellstrike?

Can a magus use a light spell with spell combat? It only targets objects, so perhaps it would only work on armored foes?

If this works, it's better than using Arcane Mark to spellstrike, as you can essentially 'faerie fire' an opponent (no save).

I couldn't locate an answer.

wildblooded+crossblooded presents a legality issue, I believe.

Sorry to necro but if you're 5th level in martial artist (and at least 1 level barbarian) and immune to fatigue, could you drop out of range every round, use this ability as a swift, then rage again, technically?

AD+D addressed this disparity by making arcane casters useless and unlikely to survive at low levels, and limiting the power of divine spells. 3E decreased this disparity, and PF virtually has done away with it. The DC system mitigated the disparity, somewhat, but because historically world-shattering spells were kept, it continued. This is on top of the sheer number of castings and sheer number of options high level casters get.

Even if you reduced a caster's number of spells cast per day to 1/ spell level, most of the problem would remain. I think that's quite telling.

One way I balance such things is that when people realize you can level their town in 6 seconds, they start treating you like a feral dog that they're afraid of. Even being able to swing a sword really well doesn't engender fear like the 'nuclear option' does. Unless you're devoting a lot of effort to controlling this, your casters become less and less useful socially.

Nefreet wrote:

A Bard with 18 Charisma and max ranks in every Perform skill is just as good at Inspiring Courage as a Bard with 7 Charisma and no ranks in any Perform skill.


I've already conceded that above, if you'd paid attention. It uses a skill that you don't need to be good at. The point I was trying to make is that not any perform skill will work the same. Just as I won't let a naked rogue pick a jail cell lock with his tongue no matter how good they are at disable device, I apply common sense to the situation.

That's the advantage of playing a RPG over a MMORPG, there's someone to apply such layers of common sense. Yes, the RAW left it open to allow munchkin GMs to ignore the whole issue, but with room for common sense to be applied situationally.

Also, a crossblooded sorcerer with only 1 level will only know 1 first level spell. But they should qualify you for PrC requirements of this sort.

Fromper wrote:

As I pointed out upthread, it's a supernatural ability. The bard is literally using the perfomance as the verbal or somatic component of a magical ability. Their allies don't need to understand (or enjoy, for that matter) the performance to be affected by the magic involved.

This would be correct if 1) the allies didn't need to perceive the bard and 2) it was disconnected from a skill.

Look, folks, since perform can be used untrained, my interpretation effectively poses no barriers - just use a perform skill (even if you have no ranks in it) that makes sense to inspire your audience (GM interpretation on that one). Now, If I'm your GM, I'm going to make a big deal about how badly you're performing if you choose to use a skill with no ranks in it. In fact, this interpretation gives you More options, since you can decide if you want to exclude certain 'allies' (put in quotes since you may like some more than others) from your bardic music.

In my campaign, I may pose a few additional restrictions (i.e. making bad music isn't inspiring), but those are house rules.

It is incumbent on a GM to ask a bard what perform skill he/she is using for performance each time. If only to discern visual/auditory, but I think more common sense should be applied, and there are enough rules to support injecting GM interpretation at this point. Treating it like a spell or magic button is not consistent with the RAW, when consider them all.

Thanks, but does a bard gain the bonus spells, or only a sorcerer based on how its worded?

I would say oratory would not affect animals without a speak with animals spell, for the same reason I'm not going to let you pick a lock with no tools whatsoever, even at +10 DC.

Ssalarn wrote:

I think most fantasy I've read actually presumes music to be universal. "Music soothes the savage beast", Snow White's singing enchanting dwarves and woodland animals, etc.

Some even believe that "the inherent nature of music is shared by humans and animals alike".

Frankly, I think the precedent in culture, literature, and even in the real world is that art transcends the physical, and an inspiring song is an inspiring song regardless of whether the listener is a man or a bunny.

I tend to agree - comedy, not so much.

Need a hand free, right?

Bardic performance uses a perform skill (despite the lack of roll or ranks needed) that you must see or hear. You can choose one that works on bunnies, or one that doesn't. Bard's choice. You, as a GM, can choose to ignore that it uses this skill if you choose, and make this ability mysteriously independent of a 'bardic performance'. I call that pissing away flavor to allow players to min/max further.

'I push this button as a standard action (for now) and all my allies are inspired if they can see or hear me push this button - it's mind affecting, you know.'

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