Yeah, I tend to be extremely careful about making absolute statements these days, due to the way the PDT operate (quite possibly through no fault of their own).
There have been quite a few cases where it seems to me like the RAW said one thing, the probable originally intended RAI by the author in question was (very likely) another, and then the PDT come out with an FAQ which doesn't match either.
That said, I think that the FAQ's tend, on balance, to be correct in terms of how the game *should* work in terms of balance, and I take my hat off to the PDT for doing an overall excellent job in improving the game.
I can only assume they aren't allowed a totally free hand to just make rules changes straight up, in case people who have paid for now inaccurate materials get annoyed.
To me, when writing an *FAQ*, rather than an erratum, if the person writing even vaguely takes into account how the game *should* work, rather than how it *does* work, either by RAW, or by the most reasonable originally intended RAI, then they are doing it wrong. It's not OK to make rules changes while pretending to clarify already existing rules.
I wish they would more often say, "Yeah, we are just going to change that for balance". But that seems vorboten by Paizo policy in most cases.
Therefore, these days, I try to acknowledge any possible reading, no matter how odd, as there is a fair chance that the PDT will decide (generally correctly) that the result of that odd reading is the best thing for game balance, and then justify that via the odd reading, rather than just saying they changed the rules.
Scott I think we are actually agreeing with you that for all intents and purposes it *is* a Bull Rush, as per the maneuver, with the exception of using the crit roll in place of the normal attack roll.
At least that's what I was driving at.
The point I was making by agreeing with swoosh was that that part confirms in my mind that you are *actually* making a Bull Rush, rather than just pushing the opponent back "as if" making a Bull Rush.
I agree that the size restriction would apply.
I don't entirely agree that *all* the same bonuses and penalties apply... for example the Halfling would normally take a -1 special size penalty to CMB, but CMB simply isn't a factor here since we are using the confirmation roll instead of d20 + CMB + attack roll modifiers.
I can see some people debating whether you get to apply the +2's from Imp. Bull rush and Grt. Bull Rush on top of the confirmation roll. I can also see them debating whether you get to apply +4 from Critical Focus and +1 from Anatomist... I think you can in both cases.
For something like the penalty [Edit: bonus to the DC] for an opponent having more than 2 legs for Tripping Strike, I agree that that should clearly apply... but there is some room for debate... this is what I was saying about the feats could have been better worded.
BTW, the line "this does not provoke an attack of opportunity" (which is also present in the other "[maneuver] Strike" feats) is referring to you not provoking an AOO *from* the opponent (like you would if you tried one of the specified maneuvers without the applicable "Improved [maneuver]" feat).
At least I'm 99% certain it is, lol.
I would personally say that the answer is somewhat unclear...
Greater Bull Rush means the enemy provokes 'Whenever you bull rush an opponent', but Bull Rush Strike doesn't explicitly say you *actually* Bull Rush the opponent, it says you 'push your opponent back *as if* from the bull rush combat maneuver'.
I personally *think* the intent is that you are *effectively* bull rushing them, so they would provoke...
I would support this by looking at Tripping Strike which uses similar "as if" language and then talks about being able to drop your weapon if you are tripped in the attempt...
If the "as if" didn't mean "treat this as if you were actually making a trip maneuver for all intents and purposes apart from using your confirmation roll for the check", then that text about being tripped in the attempt would be nonsense, since there is nothing in the feat that suggests that being tripped yourself is even a possibility - that only comes in if we decide to follow the rules for making a normal trip combat maneuver.
I can, however, totally see the alternate interpretation. That group of feats is quite poorly written IMHO. Also consider the +2 from Improved Bull Rush and Greater Bull Rush that apply "on checks made to bull rush a foe"... are you making a check to Bull Rush a foe, or are you primarily making a check to confirm a crit, with the "push your foe back" being a possible side effect? I would let you have the +'s, but not everyone would (especially considering you can already tag on +4 from critical focus and a +1 from anatomist).
Expect table variance.
Wait, apologies, you weren't necessarily speaking in context of the feat that my post which you quoted was about.
Still, a shield's "enhancement bonus to AC" still has no meaning. A shield's "enhancement bonus to its shield bonus to AC", or a shield's "enhancement bonus as a shield as opposed to as a weapon" has meaning, but they are not the same thing.
It's a good point that the shield's enhancement bonus as a weapon does need to be differentiated from its enhancement bonus as a shield to its shield bonus to AC, but I would still suggest that its "enhancement bonus to AC" (never mentioned in the feat, only in the section of UC I pointed to as far as I know) has no meaning, since such a thing never exists.
I would also point out that your point actually means the Shield Master feat text is unclear... when it says "your Shield's enhancement bonus", does it mean as a weapon or as a shield? With a little RAI, we can assume shield, otherwise that part of the feat would be pointless, but it never actually says that. You say "it is sensible to mention which of the shield's magical bonuses apply to which situation", and the feat, erm, doesn't....
Let's also bear in mind here we are talking about the feat that famously by RAW means you can ignore ANY penalties to hit, including those imposed by Power Attack and the like. Not a great example.
Anyway, I'm going to bow out because it's entirely possible I'm just an overly pedantic person. Call it a side effect of being a programmer. In my mind, I'm being precise and logical, but at some point I have to accept the consensus, it's only a matter of time before someone says 'the rules aren't written in legalese'.
On the other hand, I seriously would love a reply to:
'For bonus points, given that we all *know* that a numeric bonus on armor/shield is an enhancement bonus to the armor/shield bonus to AC provided by that item, can anyone actually find me a PF rules quote that states this? I know it existed in 3.5, but can't for the life of me find it in PF. Don't get me wrong, I am sure that is the rule, but it's killing me that I can't actually find it!'
...though, been driving me mad!
Lol fair enough. My own stance is that surely all fluff text and images should be cut before we even consider cutting words that add to rules clarity, but point taken. I'm not trying to be anal for the sake of it btw, this kind of thing really slows down play for debates IMHO, when a few extra words could make everything clear.
For bonus points, given that we all *know* that a numeric bonus on armor/shield is an enhancement bonus to the armor/shield bonus to AC provided by that item, can anyone actually find me a PF rules quote that states this? I know it existed in 3.5, but can't for the life of me find it in PF. Don't get me wrong, I am sure that is the rule, but it's killing me that I can't actually find it!
Thanks for the reply.
I'm not sure if I am overthinking here... The specifics are actually really important in my view.
If a numeric bonus on armor provides an enhancement bonus to AC (rather than improving the armor's armor bonus to AC), then it stacks with Mage Armor which provides an Armor bonus to AC, and with similar effects.
Also remember that the only reason a numeric bonus on a shield stacks with a numeric bonus on armor is the fact that they are NOT both enhancement bonuses to AC, which would not stack.
Looking at the 'Armor Special Abilities' section of Ultimate Equipment on the PRD, the idea of an armor or a shield providing an "enhancement bonus to ac" is mentioned several times:
'A shield could be built that also acted as a magic weapon, but the cost of the enhancement bonus on attack rolls would need to be added into the cost of the shield and its enhancement bonus to AC.'
'...Against the designated foe, the item's enhancement bonus to AC is +2 better than its actual bonus...'
'...the shield's enhancement bonus to Armor Class applies to the attack and damage rolls...'
...as far as I am aware, there is no such thing as an armor or a shield providing an enhancement bonus to AC... a numeric bonus on armor provides an enhancement bonus to the armor's armor bonus to AC, and a numeric bonus on a shield provides an enhancement bonus to the shield's shield bonus to AC.
What is going on with this section? How to interpret these abilities?
Respectfully, I don't think that is correct. I can see why you would rule that way though and I may be wrong.
This is really the same question as whether a Rogue can get a sneak attack from regular invis (not greater) - there are tons of extensive threads on that topic, so it might be best to have a look at one of those to see if there was ever an official answer rather than having the same thing out again. I will have a look if I get the chance.
Hmmm... I would see it a bit differently. In order to provoke the AOO, the attacker begins his attack by taking an appropriate action, thus breaking invis, then the AOO interrupts the attack action and happens before the attack *resolves*. An AOO is a reaction to something after all. It doesn't happen before, it happens during and resolves first. Could be wrong though.
An example in real life would be that if I tried to throw a punch at you and you, with your mad ninja skills, reacted to that and popped me first knocking me on my ass, you can still claim self defense because I "attacked you", even though you interrupted thwarted my attack and it never hit.
I guess I am trying to say that starting the attack is attacking, and that my invis break as soon as I start swinging.
Thanks for the replies guys. Yeah I'm confused by the feat as well... I have just noticed that Performance Combatant is banned in PFS anyway, I wonder if this was one of the reasons.
I can't find any reason that you can't do what I am suggesting, but that does seem to make Mocking Dance seem a bit wonky/OP... and yes the order of operations is a bit screwy too as Revan notes.
You can't attack AFTER the free movement from Mocking Dance though, because you can't use that movement to get to a square where you threaten anyone... but it does seem to let you get away and line up the next charge for free. I'm really just trying to get that sweet 3x mod on Lance Damage from Spirited Charge as many rounds a s possible.
So, for various reasons I don't want to get into in this thread (there are tons of other threads on the matter), I don't personally believe Ride By Attack works as advertised, and so I have been looking for an alternative way to get back out into charge distance following a successful charge.
I would like thoughts on the following idea.
What if I, as a Cavalier, raise my mount's Int to 3 and then have him take Weapons Focus (Bite), Dazzling Display, Mocking Dance and Performance Combatant.
As far as I can see, on a charge, if my horse's bite hits at the end he should be able to trigger Mocking Dance and moonwalk back 50ft to where we started while sniggering like Mutley. The actual result of the Performance Combat check seems irrelevant since the movement happens before the check.
This obviously isn't going to work all the time since my horse is quite likely to miss his bite, but I think it will be pretty awesome when it does. My horse is also going to provoke an AOO, but I guess I can use Mounted Combat to try to negate that.
Any problems with this by the RAW?
OP, would you not be better cranking your diplomacy? If the worst you are going to face is a -2 penalty for being shaken? If we are all agreeing the NPC can't use Intimidate to force you to do anything/change you attitude, I'm not seeing how any worse penalty could apply (assuming the demon isn't a Barb with the ability to make you panicked). Are you seeing any Demon/Devil abilities that can do worse than shaken via Intimidate (rather than via a fear effect)?
Well, to respond to those specific things:
I *personally* think "balance" in combat is a mistake - that's a personal opinion, trying not to be an a+###&&* like I was last night. The below are all my personal opinions, feel free to disagree or ignore.
A rogue is a sneaky chancer, if he gets into a straight fight, he *should* get his arse kicked. This is an RP game, not an E-sport. If a "Rogue" type guys picks a straight fight with a Fighter, Wizard, whatever, he *should* get his arse kicked. If I'm playing a Rogue, I am fine with the fact I suck in combat. If I manage to pull something off in combat, that is awesome and memorable. If you are mainly playing PFS/AP's where combat is > 70% of the game, I can see your point.
The Summoner didn't get "toned down" because nothing about using Unchained prevents you from using a core Summoner instead. Anyone who is inclined to optimize isn't going to play the weak version (unless you houserule the regular version out).
Why is easier to play better? To me *personally* the main long term fun of PF is the fact that it's a complex system and it takes a long time to develop enough system mastery to play a certain characters properly. It's a crunchy system. I would be bored in 3 months otherwise, nothing left to learn about/theorize about.
Picking a weak class and trying to make the most of it is *interesting*. This is part of why I view "balance" as bad: if everyone is equal, then why bother to learn? Just pick at random. *Personally*, I am lucky to get to play in a game once a month and GM a game once a month, because people (including me) have busy schedules. 90% of the time I get to spend "enjoying" PF is poring over the rules and trying to come up with cool builds. To me, a build is especially cool if everyone looks at your class and expects you to suck and then you pull some awesome s@$+ out of your sleeve. If everything is "balanced" and "easy", then that is out of the window.
If "easier to play" is meant to entice new players, that doesn't work either: PF is already too expensive for new players, without forcing them to buy another book. It's all very well saying that they don't need to buy the APG, ARG, UC, UM, UU, ACG, but it's not much fun for them if when joining an established group playing a *team game* they don't understand how the other people are doing the stuff they do. Yes, they could look online, but a lot of people prefer reading the books. Additionally, if that new guy is using Unchained, suddenly that's another book everyone else needs to buy to understand what that guy is doing.
I can't comment on Monks, have only played one once.
The Tech Guide is also a book that adds options and doesn't specifically state that options are alternate rather than "normal"... would you be OK with players pitching up with lasers and bionic augmentations unless you had specifically told them they could?
All that said, I don't begrudge you your opinion, but I definitely don't share it.
Hmmm... I would suggest increasing the number of combats a day if this wasn't an AP. The big weakness of blasters is that they tend to start running short on spells pretty fast if not having a 10 min adventuring day, and I personally find it more interesting to have to manage stretched resources (gives a bump to mundane martials too)... but since it's an AP not sure you can control that.
What level is the party at?
From the player side, what kind of Bard is he? Too late to steer towards archery and kite?
OK I didn't put that very tactfully, in fact I was rude. Apologies.
To me, Unchained isn't part of "normal" Pathfinder like all the other books, it sits in the same area as other possible alternate rules like Armor as DR.
However, looking again now, wrt specifically the classes, I can't find any specific language calling them out as alternate and there is the sentence "These classes can be used alongside their original counterparts"... so guess I'm wrong there.
How is that relevant to the original question? The OP is talking about being intimidated by an NPC *socially*, not in combat.
Yep, exactly, in combat use of social skills againt PC's is fine (be it demoralize, feint, whatever), anything that takes away player agency for an extended period and can be done an infinite number of times a day is not... as everyone seems to be agreeing. I'm *sure* this has already been gone over and FAQ'd, have serious deja vu.
Again, Mark, can you just shut this one down with an answer? This comes up constantly and I'm sure it's already been answered...
Mean, we aren't talking about PC martials here, we are talking about NPC's, so what's your point? Also bear in mind martials suck at intimidate unless they spank a feat on intimidating prowess.. it's Sorcerers and similar who rule at it... yep... full prog casters (as you yourself point out... not that this would in any way affect your *PC* anyway).
Certainly true of Diplomacy:
You can change the initial attitudes of *nonplayer* characters with a successful check.
...and I'm almost sure I have seen an FAQ or similar applying the same to intimidate (other than demoralize)...
... because, you know, if an NPC can intimidate a PC, then a PC can chain intimidate another PC for the whole campaign... not much fun for that guy...
I can't express how bad this party is atm. Not your fault, a brutal melee cleric would have balanced it out reasonably. Is your GM reducing CR appropriately to account for the fact you have only 3 party members? Cohorts via leadership don't count (although why your GM is allowing the leadership feat in the first place is beyond me). If not, argue for a DM PC Barb/Cleric/Fighter/Druid or find an extra person to play.
The best way to improve survivability is to kill/disable your enemies immediately.
The ranged ranger should NEVER be getting hit with a full attack and should be putting out pretty decent damage.
Rogues suck in combat, not a lot you can do unless you drop greater invis on them, at which point they are extremely good.
The bard should be helping a lot with inspire courage, considering you have two cohorts and a high dps ranger (oh wait... the Ranger IS a cohort... so you literally have no *actual*, level equivalent party member who can actually put out decent DPS... yeah, you need to summon and spam haste).
Either just spam haste or cast something just to win like hold person. Blaster wizards are kind of bad... how specialized are you at this point? Can you just stop with the blasting and go with either summoning or brutal save or sucks via enchantment?
If you felt like being a "naturey" caster with no specifed god who absolutely destroys the enemies you mentioned, Shaman is also a great option (Edit: *crazy OP*)... you get excellent anti-outsider spells like magic circle against evil (3rd), dismissal(4th), dispel evil(5th) and banishment(6th) - and if you take the life spirit, you can also channel energy as a cleric of your level, so you rule against undead. I guess just crank WIS and CHA, get decent con and dump everything else. If you can be middle aged, even better. Get a belt of +6 wis, go dual talent wis and cha (or find a race that does equivalent). You shred undead like nobody else (while healing the whole party as a side effect), and you can end a fight with an evil outsider in one round on your own. Against any humanoid, you have hold/dominate person to end the fight on round one.
This is probably the most effective you are going to get... all the anti undead/outsider power of a cleric with all the anti humanoid power of a wizard... bloody hell, you will annihilate everything... I might play this!!! Have kind of steered clear of the Advanced Class Guide as it's a bit power creepy, but damn this would be fun.
Oh yeah, you get hexes too, lmao. Spend your cash and feats on whatever you can to crank your saves, spell DC and SR penetration. Job done.
Gah, some of my numbers above are a bit off, trying to do this on paper quickly and messing up a bit (slightly off on point buy, was 1 over on BAB, other mistakes). You get the general idea though, which is the point. Hopefully you can make use of at least some of my ramblings. I think it could be a really fun build with a lot of variety.
Still wondering how you feel about magic items... how do you justify using them?
I appreciate I probably haven't focused on abilities *specifically* against casters/outsiders/undead as you are looking for, but then the "casters" part of that is incredibly broad, and the only real answer is have te best saves you can and hurt them a lot really fast because they probably suck for HP. If you narrowed down to outsiders/undead you could get a lot more specific. "Casters" covers at lest half the classes in the game and probably a third of the monsters too.... I think ZZTRaider is on the right lines... it's not really possible to oppose arcane magic in general and not be useless, since martials rely on magic gear far more than casters do (ironically). I think I understand your "box" idea better now I have thought about it more, and what ZZ is saying fits really well.
Edit: also realized Rangers don't actually get any of the melee feats you would actually want in the 2 handed combat style other than Power Attack, which kind of sucks. Furious focus is the best pick for the 6th level, but that means we would need to burn a feat on the weapon focus (thought that was part of the package for some reason). I'm going to shut up now as making far too many mistakes today. I should have put together a separate doc and linked after proofing it rather than going on and on in posts, sorry.
Oh yeah, and Winged Boots, or you're boned against anything that flies. Cash is getting tight at this point though, would need to add it all up properly. I've also realized you can't use a bane baldric with a 2h weapon, so you either need to go for two handing something like a longsword and lose a little bit of damage in general for the ability to nova against that BBEG demon or whatever, or drop the baldric. It's a shame though because it definitely fits the theme.
To sum up on possible feats and RP's:
Possible Kit: (Hmm... assuming you are waving your "no arcane magic" rule for items/weapons... pretty gimped otherwise)
Headband Of Havoc
68k (out of wbl 82k right? If PFS strict WBL?)
Maybe a Bane Baldric, but prob pushing it a bit on cash
Edit: lmao, meant cloak of resistance, you are not in Public Enemy :P
Actually, let's try to deal with the saves first. If we are an anti magic type person they are pretty crucial. Let's grab the +1 reflex and will save character traits (we are now r11/f20,w11) and think about Superstition.
Now, the problem with superstition is it scales every 4 barb levels, and the morale bonus to will saves doesn't stack with our normal +2 moral bonus to will saves. The favored class option doesn't help us since we only took 2 levels of barb and it's a 1/3 bonus. So we get a +2 from it. Using a headband of havoc, we can crank it up to +3 (still only an effective increase of +1 on will save, but still). We are now at r14/f22,w12, so lets drop a feat on Iron Will and upgrade our cloak to a +4 getting us to 15/23/15.... that's good enough, and we still have 25k to play with, and still have 3 feats to play with.
Witch Hunter (via Extra Rage Power) fits really nicely thematically, but it's only a +1 dmg against things with spells/sla's... meh. Disruptive (using a feat to get the rp to get the feat) is ok, but a +4 to concentration checks to cast defensively isn't huge (a decently optimized caster would laugh at it, but them PFS opponents are generally pretty unoptimized anyway).... on the other hand it's not awful, and we could combine it with step up.
The 'utility' rage powers might be a better anti-magic choice and aren't level dependent.... why not grab Night Vision (giving you darkvision), scent (giving you a mundane option against invisible stuff) and auspicious mark (meaning when you do fail a save you can, one per rage, after seeing the result, roll a D6 and add it to the save.... man that's good).
On the Ranger side, make sure you have a handful of scroll of instant enemy for emergencies if s#@+ gets real against a BBEG who isn't one of you favored enemies (try to get it off before combat if you can). You also need a crap ton of wands of CLW for between combats.
I haven't trawled the archetypes yet, don't have time right now.
Note that we also haven't even stuck on any stat enhancing items yet, I would probably just go a +2/+2 belt for con/str so you still have cash to spank on bits and bobs. I would def get a bane baldric... noly 5 rounds a day, but it makes you hit super hard, especially if the thing is already your favored enemy. Obvs also try to find ways to get Large, starting with carrying a handful of potions of enlarge person for when you get a chance to buff pre-combat.
Ok so let's look at what you are trying to gain from each class:
First off, I would say forget the archery type Ranger if doing this mix as the synergy isn't great and you will be hurting for feats (you need about 6-7 feats to be a "proper" archer), so let's assume melee since it fits better with Rage and is relatively feat lite.
So, on the Barb side, you get Rage for a one level dip, and the little bonus of fast movement, and the other bonus of being able to have a +2 Furious weapon act as a +4 weapon while raging... neat. With Longstrider up all day, that means your base speed is 50... not bad at all. The rage is pretty nice if you are a melee build. But you can only do it for 4 + Con Mod rounds per day at that point, so you need to drop a feat on Extra Rage if doing a one level dip. You also wouldn't get any Rage Powers. On the Ranger side, you lost quarry (meh, never mind) and an extra 3rd level spell (leaving you with only potentially one from bonus spells if you can get wis to 16).... that's huge, since it's one less casting of Instant Enemy... but OK, you still get 3 favored enemies, the free feats and other sundries.
So the R10/B1 trades a feat, quarry and a casting of instant enemy for 12-13 rounds of Rage per day (should cover 3-4 combats). Kind of a wash imho, so fine if you feel like it.
If you go R9/B2, you get a Rage Power (and Uncanny dodge, a nice little bonus). More importantly you get the Rage Power class feature, letting you spend feats on rage powers via Extra Rage Power. Now things are looking a bit more interesting, but we traded our only 3rd level, our third favored enemy and a free feat to do it, and we still need to drop a feat on Extra Rage... ouch... well, at least we can cut WIS down to 12 now. So, let's look at how many feats we have to play with to see if we have any to spare for rage powers:
Let's assume we went Dual Talent (why wouldn't you?) so at 11 we have 6 feats from character levels and two from our 9 Ranger levels. What combat feats do we kind of 'need'?
I have assumed a 20pt point buy, used Dual Talent (Str, Con), and put all level stat increases to str. At 11 my stats (raging and not raging) are:
With those stats and those paltry four feats... we are now swinging (in rage with a +2 Furious Greatsword) at 21/16/11 for 2d6 + 29 and have 159 hp... good enough, leaves us room to dick about. We also still have two favored enemies, Uncanny Dodge, Evasion, and various sundries like an ok animal companion meatshield/flanking buddy, favored terrains, a handful of utility spells, blah blah blah. We also still have 44 skill ranks despite dumping int because Ranger. Our reflex and will saves could be better though... with a +3 Cloak our saves in rage are 10, 20, 10.
We have a Rage Power and four feats we can use for Rage Powers or Feats that fit our theme of the box. Hmmm... yeah, I'm quite liking this build, quite a lot of fun. We still have 50k to play with since we only bought a sword and cloak so far. Next post: do any rage powers help us much considering we only have two barb levels?