Le Petite Mort's page

RPG Superstar 9 Season Marathon Voter. Organized Play Member. 451 posts (586 including aliases). 38 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 14 Organized Play characters.

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Grand Lodge

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This is an article I wrote because one question I see all the time from newer players is basically, "what should I buy to be tankier?"

This answers that questions fairly thoroughly without being so exhaustive as to dive into every niche item that happens to work for a tiefling paladin with the X archetype and trait Z.

Just the staples, not a lot of frills.

Grand Lodge

My lodge's delegated reporters can't...you know...do that. They had previously been able to use the event, but any attempt to access the event's page or report directly just winds up in a redirect loop or shunts them back to the main page.

Was wondering if anyone else had this issue, or knows of a fix/workaround.

Thank you for your time.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I know what you're thinking, "It's half a sphere." Bear with me, because in terms of Pathfinder spell effects, that definition requires a bit more precision. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble coming up with a precise definition that doesn't do wonky weird things with one spell or another.

I'll start with the three definitions I see as plausible, though all have their issues.

1) A hemisphere is shaped like a dome, and has no flat-plane surface. This is as if you cut a hollow sphere in half.

2) A hemisphere is shaped like a dome with a flat surface, typically beneath the caster's feet. This is as if you cut a solid sphere in half. In other words, the spell effect fills the entire volume described as its area of effect rather than act as a 2D lens.

3) Because Pathfinder has no facing rules, a hemisphere faces all directions simultaneously, and is therefore equivalent to a sphere. I reject this definition because there are spherical spells and abilities, and as a distinction has been made by calling certain effects hemispherical, I must assume that this distinction corresponds to some real meaning.

Most GMs I have encountered expect that the first definition is true, but there are too many contexts where it makes no sense. I'll begin with the biggest example.

Anti-incorporeal Shell:

School abjuration; Level cleric 4, shaman 4, witch 4
Casting Time 1 round
Components V, S, DF
Range 10 ft.
Area 10-ft.-radius emanation centered on you
Duration 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes
You bring into being a mobile, hemispherical energy field that incorporeal creatures cannot enter.

This spell can be used only defensively, not aggressively. Forcing an abjuration barrier against creatures that the spell keeps at bay collapses the barrier.

If we use the former definition, this spell accomplishes nothing. Any incorporeal creature can simply burrow under the dome, and pop up from the unprotected ground plane. As I can't imagine the author's intent was to make a 4th level slot-waster, the first definition is nonsensical. Another corner case would be a caster standing upwards from the ghost on a steep staircase or ramp. In this situation, part of the dome would end in open air, allowing the ghost to duck under it and enter the forbidden area. Of course, the dome could re-orient such that its radius is orthogonal to the normal plane, but that still doesn't solve the burrowing ghost problem.

The same issues arise with Antilife shell. However, as only a small subset of living creatures have burrowing ability, it seems less absurd that this vulnerability of the spell exists. Every type of creature that anti-incorporeal shell should hedge out could bypass the spell entirely if it does not fill a volume.

However, this volumetric definition runs into a problem when we talk about Wall of Ice.

Wall of Ice:

School evocation [cold]; Level bloodrager 4, magus 4, sorcerer/wizard 4, summoner 3, unchained summoner 4; Bloodline boreal 4; Elemental School water 4


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a piece of quartz or rock crystal)


Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect anchored plane of ice, up to one 10-ft. square/level, or hemisphere of ice with a radius of up to 3 ft. + 1 ft./level
Duration 1 min./level
Saving Throw Reflex negates; see text; Spell Resistance yes


This spell creates an anchored plane of ice or a hemisphere of ice, depending on the version selected. A wall of ice cannot form in an area occupied by physical objects or creatures. Its surface must be smooth and unbroken when created. Any creature adjacent to the wall when it is created may attempt a Reflex save to disrupt the wall as it is being formed. A successful save indicates that the spell automatically fails. Fire can melt a wall of ice, and it deals full damage to the wall (instead of the normal half damage taken by objects). Suddenly melting a wall of ice creates a great cloud of steamy fog that lasts for 10 minutes.

Ice Plane: A sheet of strong, hard ice appears. The wall is 1 inch thick per caster level. It covers up to a 10-foot-square area per caster level (so a 10th-level wizard can create a wall of ice 100 feet long and 10 feet high, a wall 50 feet long and 20 feet high, or any other combination of length and height that does not exceed 1,000 square feet). The plane can be oriented in any fashion as long as it is anchored. A vertical wall need only be anchored on the floor, while a horizontal or slanting wall must be anchored on two opposite sides.

Each 10-foot square of wall has 3 hit points per inch of thickness. Creatures can hit the wall automatically. A section of wall whose hit points drop to 0 is breached. If a creature tries to break through the wall with a single attack, the DC for the Strength check is 15 + caster level.

Even when the ice has been broken through, a sheet of frigid air remains. Any creature stepping through it (including the one who broke through the wall) takes 1d6 points of cold damage + 1 point per caster level (no save).

Hemisphere: The wall takes the form of a hemisphere whose maximum radius is 3 feet + 1 foot per caster level. The hemisphere is as hard to break through as the ice plane form, but it does not deal damage to those who go through a breach.

As we see, if the hemisphere creates a volume of ice, we succeed only in entombing ourselves like a woolly mammoth. Just as obviously as Anti-incorporeal could not have been intended to be useless, the hemisphere version of Wall of Ice couldn't be made as a suicide trap for unwary evokers. Even if we allow it to be a hollow hemisphere, it seems odd that there is no mention of the slippery floor those inside the sphere will have to navigate. One would assume that is because Wall of Ice acts as a simple dome, according to our first definition.

I can think of only one method of reconciling these definitions, and I would like input. Hopefully I can get a dev to chime in (so hit the FAQ button!)

- By default, a hemisphere is a two-dimensional dome oriented such that the bottom of the caster's feet would be the 'sphere's' center, and the radius is parallel to the caster's vertical axis. The caster may alter this orientation, but must specify that they are doing so when the effect is created. (In other words, it's like an igloo all around you, but you can flip it upside down or make it like a shield if you mention that's what you're doing when you cast.)

- However, if the effect is an emanation, the hemispherical effect occupies the entire volume within its radius. The effect otherwise works as before. (In other words, while the 'shell' spells are described as 'barriers' and evoke images of 2D surfaces, they are in fact volumes that the hedged creature-type can't enter. This prevents burrowing baddies and the like, and even teleportation effects from working (potentially).

I think this has to be how things work. I can't make sense of it otherwise. Thoughts?

Grand Lodge

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Using some inferential reasoning and semi-recent events, I think I can say with some confidence that I know which star Golarion orbits. Below I will outline my reasoning.

In the 5th book of Reign of Winter (Rasputin Must Die!) the PCs are transported from Golarion to Earth, specifically in 1918 Russia. This seemed odd to my GM, as the events of Reign of Winter take place in 4713 AR, reflecting their 2013 publication date. Why, then, are the player's thrust approximately 95 years in the past? It couldn't be intentional time travel; there is too much urgency in resolving the events for them to have awaited the players for nearly a century.

It dawned on us, however, that there is no particular reason magic should obey Einsteinian relativity, especially where the teleportation sub-school of conjuration is concerned. Had we instantaneously accelerated to c and traveled to Earth, we would have arrived in 2013. Having simply 'popped' over, we went back in time. This implies that Golarion is around 95 light-years from Earth.

We had a good chuckle, and kept playing.

My roommate then remembered those odd signals coming from a star known by the designation HD 164595 from a couple of years back. HD 164595, strangely enough, is of the exact same star class as our own, a G2V. It is also 94.4 light years away.

The only thing I can think of that would be sending out a radio signal would be the Silver Mount, blasting an endlessly looping distress signal.

Paizo developers are actually Pathfinder field agents establishing their first interplanetary lodge after Aram Zey finally got to 17th level and could cast interplanetary teleport. This is my canon now.

Grand Lodge

This is a link to the full article.

When I wrote Bench-Pressing, only paid lip-service to skills. To get into more detail was just beyond the scope of that article. Every skill works differently, has different character options that help, there's a huge variety in the magnitude of the DCs we'd typically face, etc. I have decided to write fairly detailed analyses of the more complex and important skills in Pathfinder as stand-alone articles.

This article focuses on Acrobatics.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The rules in the PRD on this subject seem clear upon a superficial reading, but become somewhat strange when one realizes that the special size modifier applied to combat maneuvers is never stated to replace the typical size modifier applied to all attacks. I'll go into more detail.

PRD wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

Bolding mine for emphasis.

This paragraph fairly clearly spells out that any and all bonuses and penalties associated with a normal attack (using the same weapon) are also levied on combat maneuvers. One such bonus is, of course, the size modifier. Notably, the "special size modifier" table presents bonuses/penalties that are the exact inverse of those in the size modifier table (which is in the Combat -> Armor Class section of the PRD).

Hypothesis: Size category has no impact whatsoever on CMB; the special size category bonus/penalty merely cancels the normal size penalty/bonus.

Evidence for hypothesis: A Dire Wolf's CMB is +8. It has a +4 STR bonus, +3 BAB, and +1 from Weapon Focus (bite). It is Large sized. If the "special size modifier" were applied without the normal size modifier, it would have a +9. That it does not implies that my hypothesis is correct.

Evidence against hypothesis: The Gegenees has a +30 CMB. It has +8 STR modifier, +20 BAB. It is Huge sized. Its highest BAB weapon attacks are made at a +26, reflecting the normal size modifier penalizing its attacks. The CMB, however, is 2 higher than BAB+STR, implying that the special size modifier was not cancelled by the normal size modifier.

Analysis: Monster blocks are inconsistently written/edited for correctly derived combat statistics, and should not be relied upon for answering questions like this. A meaningful answer must be attained from developer commentary, published rules text, or an errata/FAQ.

CMD presents even more weirdness.

PRD wrote:

A creature's CMD is determined using the following formula:

CMD = 10 + Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + Dexterity modifier + special size modifier

The special size modifier for a creature's Combat Maneuver Defense is as follows: Fine –8, Diminutive –4, Tiny –2, Small –1, Medium +0, Large +1, Huge +2, Gargantuan +4, Colossal +8. Some feats and abilities grant a bonus to your CMD when resisting specific maneuvers. A creature can also add any circumstance, deflection, dodge, insight, luck, morale, profane, and sacred bonuses to AC to its CMD. Any penalties to a creature's AC also apply to its CMD. A flat-footed creature does not add its Dexterity bonus to its CMD.

This, again, seems sensible on first reading, and puzzling upon a careful second and third. The special side modifier is once again the exact inverse of the normal size modifier to AC. Unlike CMB bonuses, all of the bonus types to AC that can also be applied to CMD are specified here. 'Size' is not among these bonuses. This means that a Diminutive creature, for example, really does have a -4 penalty to its CMD. The odd part is that the applicable penalty types received transitively from AC are not specified. This means that a Gargantuan sized creature does not receive a bonus to its CMD, the 'special size modifier' simply cancels out its size penalty to AC.

Hypothesis: Size hurts CMD if you're Small or smaller, and does nothing from Large and up.

I will note that I have never seen a combat run using this counter-intuitive (but I believe textually correct) rules interpretation. RAI is obviously that the size modifier typically applied to AC/attacks are replaced by the 'special' size modifier when evaluating CMB/CMD. However, I have not found this explicitly stated anywhere.

I would appreciate clarification from anyone who can provide rules text from a published source, an FAQ/errata, or a comment from a Paizo developer.

Thank you.

Grand Lodge

Howdy, ya'll. I made another big mathy blog post. This time I dived into how most of the major damage-oriented combat feats work in terms of the EDV a typical full-martial can expect. Some of my results surprised me, they might surprise you too.

LINK Feats of Fury

Grand Lodge

I made a little article with some insights on using Sense Motive as a player and GM.

Tell Me No Lies

Grand Lodge

I really like this scenario, particularly how well organized all of it is. That said, I have several questions about how a few things work:

1) During the scree climb, does a single 60 foot length of rope grant the +5 bonus to all characters, or is it per character? If the former, do the Hellknights get this bonus as well? Does the survival check to reduce the DC by 5 apply to the Hellknight rolls as well?

2) In the Search for Tracks portion of Battles and Bindings, the DC "increases" from 25 in the 5-6 tier to 20 in the 8-9 tier. Either the 5-6 is meant to be DC 15, or the 8-9 is meant to be 30. Give the other DCs in the scenario, the general difficulty of tracking a horde of orcs through mud, and the tier, I think the former makes more sense.

3) To clarify about the open sin-carved orcs, they only detonate if someone (including suicidal orcs) actually reads them, right? Just seeing isn't sufficient to pop the orc? Otherwise this encounter is basically 72d6 of force damage that can't really be avoided, saved against, or survived.

Grand Lodge

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Think Tank is a mathematical methodology for determining how long a character can take a beating before death, incorporating not only AC, but more esoteric defensive measures as well.

This is the link.

Grand Lodge

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This is basically a method of finding consistent and meaningful benchmarks for character creation and maintenance, with some advice on addressing weaknesses peppered throughout. While mostly intended for new players, I feel even veterans may get some value from viewing character mechanics through the lens of their opposition's capabilities.

Here is the link.

Grand Lodge

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Linked here.

This is an article just talking about my favorite item, and examples of Masterwork Tools for almost any occasion/skill use. If you have some favorites of your own, let me know and I'll include them with proper crediting.

Dark Archive

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I made this list for funsies, as my Mindchemist will probably be toting around a bit of a library in his Haversack soon. Thought some of you might get a kick out of it too. Author names come from Companion books, prominent Society members, some scenarios, and some players in my local lodge. I decided this character himself would author one.

Aberration (Dungeoneering) - Teeth and Tentacles: A Description of Those Things that Defy It, by Dr. Skwid

Animal (Nature) - Principia Zoologica, published by the Wildwood Lodge

Construct (Arcana) - The Golem's Gift: A Treatise Upon the Benefits of Mechanical Guardians and Laborers, by Chrysalis Black

Dragon (Arcana) - My Kin and Kind, by Garaudhilyx

Fey (Nature) - Fey Folk and Fauna, by Amalya

Humanoid (Local) - The Many Peoples of Golarion, by Creighton Shane

Magical Beast (Arcana) - Bulfinch's Bestiary, by Thomas Bulfinch

Monstrous Humanoid (Nature) - Residents of the Uncanny Valley, by Aram Zey

Ooze (Dungeoneering) - Gels, Globs, and Goos, author unknown

Outsider (Planes) - Choirs of the Outer Spheres, by Kyra of Qadira

Plant (Nature) - Botany and Mycology: A Survivor's Guide, by Dr. Adalbert Tiller

Undead (Religion) - Who Dare Defy Pharasma, by Vae Mortis Blakros

Vermin (Nature) - Dang Varmints, by Jonathram of Tamran

(Total cost for all: 650 gp, 13 lbs)

Grand Lodge

Here's the article described below.

Combat can sometimes drag, especially when we wind up dealing more with dice and arithmetic than with Demons and Orcs. My brother and I have written some tips on making combat run more smoothly and efficiently. Feel free to share it with your lodges if you think it would be helpful to people there.

Grand Lodge

I have a CN Cleric of Madness at level 13, and while I have avoided Summon Monster spells so far (due to how much table time they can hog) I'm not playing in a setting with a more relaxed timetable and am interested in them. However, I really just want to summon something that would match his temperament, and it seems all the Chaotic options are also either Good or Evil aligned.

Is there any good way of summoning CN outsiders?

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 9

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A lot of contestants (like myself) made a few items, and picked one for submission. This thread is for items you made, and liked, but for one reason or another decided wasn't your best work for the contest. Here's mine, which I think is cool, but ultimately a SiaC.

Honeycomb Mirror
Aura faint illusion; CL 7th Slot none; Price 750 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
Description This ring of joined hexagonal mirrors vaguely resembles the honeycomb for which it is named. Each mirror is 1” on a side, and reflects its surroundings faithfully, save that only one mirror reflects its bearer. The remaining five mirrors reflect the world as if the bearer were simply absent.
When the honeycomb mirror is held in one hand and a command word is spoken, all of the mirrors briefly reflect their bearer before they collectively crumble into dust. The bearer is then affected by the mirror image spell for 7 minutes, or until all images created by the honeycomb mirror are destroyed. The mirror always creates five images.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mirror image, a set of small mirrors worth 50 gp; Cost 400 gp

Grand Lodge

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Here's a link to my workflow for new players to learn PFS.

There are a lot of really great resources for learning Pathfinder generally, and PFS specifically out there. When new players join our lodge, I generally give or hear given a pretty long spiel about what pdfs need to be read, what rules understood, what to purchase, how to make a character, etc.

The speech is almost always the same, and generally too long for anyone to remember completely. That's why I made this workflow to basically link folks to everything they need to get ahead in the society. I also briefly describe how things work, but mostly this is a workflow of how to learn rather than containing the immense amount of information within its linked resources.

Anyway, I know I'll be shepherding new players to this in the future. I thought some of you folks might get some mileage out of it as well.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them.

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 9

I'm getting excited about the upcoming Season 9, and have already begun designing items. Last year I submitted before understanding templating, and I want to make sure I don't err in the same manner twice running.

To that end I've designed a ridiculous item that I will certainly NOT be submitting as an example to make sure I get the basic principles. I will have some other assorted questions afterwards.

Amulet of Barq's Skin Aura minor universal; CL 1st Slot neck; Price 1000 gp; Weight -
Description This ring is of simple design, and where many rings would contain an inset gem it has instead a Barq's Root Beer bottlecap. While this ring is worn, its wearer's skin tastes delightfully like Barq's Root Beer. Any enemy that succeeds a bite attack against the wearer gains a +1 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls with further bite attacks until the end of its next round, and must succeed a Will save (DC 14) to take any standard or full-round action that does not include such a bite attack for the same duration.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, prestidigitation; Cost 500 gp

My biggest questions (beyond just 'did I screw something up') are whether or not I should provide PRD hyperlinks within (such as for prestidigitation within the construction requirements) and whether or not there should be more line breaks separating any components of the item. Also, should 1000 have a comma (1,000)?

Thanks in advance!

Grand Lodge

A while back I built a Hellknight character, who I've now GMed to level 5. His name is Tancred Charthagnion, of the Noble House Charthagnion. As it turns out, the scenario in which he made his recent debut treats directly with his nuclear family, and I feel I should know more about them.

Resources on Chelish nobility in general would also be appreciated.

Grand Lodge

I love the descriptions, dialogue, characters, and ambience of this scenario.

That said, area B2: The Defense Matrix leaves me utterly baffled.

The problems I'm having are as follows:

1) How many defense turrets are there? We are only told 'several', but we kind of need to know the exact number. I'm inclined to say there are three, because that's how many targets the things can hit simultaneously, but maybe the author intended for there to be 4 of them and each can attack three targets.

2) Where in the area are they? For that matter, are they wall, floor, or ceiling mounted? If not floor, how high are they? That is important, given the other trap in the area.

3) The Disable DCs have two difficulties, the glaucite wall mounting and the Technologist feat. The glaucite increases the DD DCs by 5, but is this included within the trap descriptions already, or should those DCs be raised by 5? Can whacking the mountings with adamantine get rid of this penalty? As far as the Technologist feat penalty, should that apply to any check related to tech throughout the scenario, or just those two traps?

4) The gravity trap...cool but...wow. This thing is immensely problematic. The ceilings and walls curve, so it is hard to tell how far a PC will fall in many (all, really) locations. Also, some walls have holes in them. If a PC falls out, is gravity normal out there? Are there acrobatics checks to negate the first d6 of falling damage allowed? If a wall between sections of B2 becomes the new relative floor, it is possible that PCs hit the curves of the curved inner walls of the room. Can they stand on these curves? Can they climb the glaucite walls? What is the DC? How much damage does a PC take if, say, someone in front of them suddenly becomes 'above' them as they both fall? Does the dogpiled PC take more damage when they hit the floor? As these traps behave somewhat like creatures (attacking or switching gravity every round), what is their initiative? It is also my understanding that Disabling a Device takes 1 minute at least, so is gravity switching and are shots firing 10 times as someone tries to disable the traps?

The scenario as a whole is great. Section B2 is a snakes nest of mechanical nonsense. If it weren't PFS, I'd just skip the whole thing, or write my own traps. I'm halfway considering it now, despite the rather clear rules violation that would entail. I'd like a better option.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

In my lodge we have a new player that, while very enthusiastic, has little means for purchasing books. Our local public library has many books, and this player is asking questions about what, if anything, she can use from these resources in society play.

I have heard that devs have made statements regarding this subject exactly, but 'library' is a commonly used word in our hobby, and I'm having a bit if bother refining my search for such a statement. All help finding it appreciated.

Grand Lodge

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Link Here -->Intimimancy: A Young Adventurer's First Primer on Making Monsters Poop Themselves

I made a fancy schmancy google doc guide to all things intimidate related. I started building an intimidator, and found that there really wasn't any coherent information on the options. By the time I got done making a reference document for myself to use, I realized I was halfway done with a build guide (my first!) so I polished a bit and got this far.

I'm still looking for feedback, and I have yet to do a section on prestige classes. I may do a section on spells, but I haven't seen many that I think are really worth getting into. If anyone can come up with a better title, I'm all ears.

Happy horrifying!

Grand Lodge

I have an Exemplar Brawler, and will soon gain the Tactician ability. The obvious great choice is Lastwall Phalanx, but there will be many parties (this is for PFS) and situations where it will not be terribly useful. If there are a lot of sneak attackers, Outflank would make sense. What are some other teamwork feats that can be great in certain circumstances?

Grand Lodge

Benefit: Whenever you and an ally who also has this feat are flanking the same creature, your flanking bonus on attack rolls increases to +4. In addition, whenever you score a critical hit against the flanked creature, it provokes an attack of opportunity from your ally.

Paired Opportunist
Benefit: Whenever you are adjacent to an ally who also has this feat, you receive a +4 circumstance bonus on attacks of opportunity against creatures that you both threaten. Enemies that provoke attacks of opportunity from your ally also provoke attacks of opportunity from you so long as you threaten them (even if the situation or an ability would normally deny you the attack of opportunity). This does not allow you to take more than one attack of opportunity against a creature for a given action.

My reading of this is as follows: While Paired Opportunist does not grant the +4 bonus to AoOs unless the partners are adjacent to one another, they DO gain the ability to 'share' attacks of opportunity while they both threaten the same enemy, regardless of whether or not they are adjacent to one another. The adjacency text only appears in the first sentence, and indeed the sharing AoO text specifies a positioning requirement that is different than adjacency. Therefore, to my eyes, if a duo with Paired Opoortunist and Outflank is flanking an enemy and one of them confirms a critical hit, the enemy then provokes an Attack of Opportunity from the other.


Grand Lodge

The non-lethal damage rules specify that a lethal MELEE weapon can be used non-lethally with a -4 penalty. Seemingly, without something akin to the merciful enchantment or blunt arrows, a ranged weapon cannot be so used.

However, the Bludgeoner feat text makes no mention of being restricted to melee weapons.

Am I to assume that I am still so restricted by the general rule, or does the "specific trumps general" rule apply even with omitted text rather than explicitly stated?

Grand Lodge

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I have a Cleric with the Madness and Deception domains, so my fifth level domain slot is a tossup between Nightmare and False Vision. Frankly, neither of them are things I'm likely to actually use within a scenario, but I prep Nightmare.

Of course, there are days between sessions, and often days of traveling or resting within sessions. What I'd like to do is have this character cast Nightmare on a specific NPC every day. It's what he does before he goes to bed every night. But, I can't think of a great target for it.

The following considerations make for good targets, but the chosen NPC does not need to meet all of the criteria.

- An enemy of the Pathfinder Society

- Alive as of current releases

- Well known, preferably someone I could meet in a 7-11 scenario, or at least get a portrait of somewhere.

- Preferably an arcane caster, as this spell really screws them over. (They can't regain spells the day after a nightmare sleep.)

- Must actually require sleep. Elves and similar are a no-go.

- Bonus points to any NPC that actually has a stat block somewhere, so I can tell the GM what their Will save bonus is.

I just enjoy imagining that so long as my character lives, there is one jerk who is tossing and turning at night.

Grand Lodge

I've never gone for a rogue build before, so I think I'm going to take a shot at it. This character will be for PFS classic mode. I'll sum up what I'm going for first, and then get into the questions.

RP - I'm thinking he's going to be a charming dastard with a mask, cape, and exuding confidence and class. I may use a lot of alliterative speech and rhyming, somewhat reminiscent of V for Vendetta. He will worship Count Ranalc, and may call himself simple The Viscount. I will focus on social and scouting skills, though if I can't afford a great CHA that is fine. I am comfortable rolling to aid another if there is a better party face at the table.

Mechanics - needing concealment or cover to initiate a Stealth check can be a hassle. I've thought of a way around that. My first level or two will be as a Warpriest of Count Ranalc. I will take the Darkness blessing, which gives me partial concealment for 1 minute at a time (basically, inky shadows spring up all around you). The plan is to sneak in for the surprise round, and then constantly flit between enemies in Stealth for new sneak attacks, or even just move around an enemy for one. If the stealth check succeeds they aren't allowed AoOs.

So, here are my questions.

1) In Rogue Eidolon's optimization guide, he implies that in a full attack from Stealth, all of the attacks from the rogue get SA die. Is that the case?

2) What rogue talents would you recommend? I know fast stealth is going to be my first one in all likelihood, and I'm sure I'll want to pick up an extra feat at some point. Are there other must-haves?

3) Feat choices? I'll be choosing the rapier as my focused weapon (It's Count Ranalc's favored, and makes a lot of sense for the flavor of the character) so Weapon Finesse + Fencing Grace seem like obvious choices. (Maybe a level of Inspired Blade?) I'm also considering the Spring Attack line. Mobility would be a good thing to have considering how often I'll be moving within threatened ranges. I suppose Skill Focus (stealth) may not be a bad idea either.

4) Items? I know I'm going for the gloves of reconnaissance, Dex belt, and probably a keen weapon. I'll probably get Shadow armor as well.

Also, just kind of a catch-all: are there really great things to do with rogues that I'm not thinking of at all here?

Grand Lodge

A player in the scenario I just ran contracted two status conditions, but on his eidolon. They were 1 str damage, and a disease that has a 24 hour onset time.

Do these conditions also need to be resolved (remove disease and lesser restoration) at the end of the scenario?

Grand Lodge

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This post is intended primarily as an open letter to the development and management staff at Paizo. I would also welcome community input, but please refrain from vitriol and be considerate of all parties involved in this issue, and those with whom you discuss it.

Recently, Dr. Ed Friedlander (aka Pathguy) has been petitioned by Wizards of the Coast to remove the character generators from his website. Interestingly, they asked him not to take down only his generators based on WotC materials, but also his Pathfinder RPG character generator.

I do not know if Paizo staff are aware of this action. I submit that Dr. Friedlander is a longtime devotee of our hobby, and eagerly would like to work with content producers in a way that is respectful of their work and intellectual property, but also allows him to produce the tools that help players engage with it.

Obviously, none of us can speak for WotC, and I imagine that it would be wise for Paizo staff to consider any novel information this post presents before making any public statements. I post this thread to raise community awareness of Dr. Friendlander's current situation, and to encourage discourse on the matter.

May your dice turn up 20s.

Grand Lodge

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*Out of Character*
The Pathfinder Society requires that its agents submit field reports, or Chronicles, to the Decemvirate at the end of any given mission. Obviously, requiring players to actually write these would be absurdly onerous. I would actually like to though, as many missions are pretty fun stories, and writing from the perspective of my character will, I hope, help me immerse myself in their mentality for future sessions. I will submit them on the GM Discussion board (unless told not to) due to the expectation of spoilers for any thread therein.

The following will be a synopsis of my character Bobo!'s experiences in scenario 5-20, the Sealed Gate. Anything written in italics is a note made by the scribes in Absalom that are meant to contextualize what Bobo! is saying. I will be doing these with other characters, Bobo! will probably require the most of these 'scribe notes' as he is...shall we say an unreliable narrator.

*Report begins below.*

The following is a report from one of the field agents, Bobo!, we recently dispatched to aide in the recovery of Amara Li and Aram Zey from the Hao Jin tapestry. He was sent along with six other agents to one of our forward outposts in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, near to the Worldwound. The writing may at times appear nonsensical, as Bobo! is quite mad. I have some experience reading his ravings, and will attempt to contextualize where I can. - Kreighton Shane, Master of Scrolls

Bobo! had a lot of fun today! We killed some demonses, and also a plant lady, and there was a giant smokey thing too! It looked like a tree, but I don't think it was a tree. Are there tree demonses? If so, it was definitely one of those. But let's begin at the beginning, though frankly that has always seemed an arbitrary place to begin.

We got teleported really far away to a pretty pasture with no one around. Except not really, it was a tricksy illusion that we all saw through. We were really at a campsite full of demonses, some of them were like bugs. Well, all of them really, but two were really big bugs and the rest were like, normal sized bugs but evil. Bobo! remembered that the really big bugs can shoot nasty beams at you that make you weaker and also give people diseases, so Bobo! asked Mask Lady to make everyone immune to that stuff and she did because Mask Lady is very nice. {Bobo! is a cleric of a deity he refers to as Mask Lady. We have met on a few occasions, and he has tattooed on his hand a holy symbol of Sivanah. Given his temperament and predilections, I believe he focuses on her Mad and Deceptive aspects.}

Mask Lady did some other nice stuff for us, and everyone else made the demonses dead. I've never met most of my teammates, except for Bart. Bart makes things dead really well! He uses a bow. {Bobo! is frequently deployed with the long-suffering Barton Oliver, an archer of some skill.}

After that, everyone looked around for stuff that I guess we were supposed to find. Bobo! found a room full of food and pans, and performed the necessary rituals that such findings necessitate. {Bobo! refers to this ritual every time he finds a pan. He seems to look for them whenever possible, and it is as of yet unclear to me why.}

Then Bart found some tracks and we found some dead guys. Then we found some other tracks and we found a cave with a dead bear. Then Bobo! saw a trap, and everyone shot it and it died. I didn't know traps could die, but this was a special jelly trap that can I guess. That's what Bart says, anyway. So we found a tricksy wall that wasn't a wall {Reports from our other agents indicate that there was an illusory wall in the cave} and behind it was that wall hanging everyone is always making such a fuss about. {He is referring to the Hao Jin tapestry.}

We walked around for a while and found some more Pathfinders. They were led by a guy who was weirdly insistent that we go home {Venture Captain Nikolai Adonai}. Everyone else got in a big argument with him about the dead guys we found earlier, honestly I wasn't paying much attention to that. He kept going on about how he was making a new lodge in the woods, and that seemed stupid so I looked for magic and sure enough someone had put the whammy on him. So, I told him we were sent to help build the lodge with him and he totally bought it. He took us to where he was 'building the lodge' and there was a pretty lady there. She was mean and put us in a bunch of bushes. {From other field reports, I gather that Nikolai was subject to the mental control of a Sarkorian alraune, the 'pretty lady' Bobo! is referring to. She began their battle by entrapping them in a wall of thorns.} Suli (Hey, I remembered her name! She's really nice, even if she doesn't understand the greater glory of Mask Lady) {Suli is another agent we had deployed for this mission, a more traditional and sensible cleric than our narrator} made me lucky and stopped the funny gasses from putting the whammy on us, and then I asked Mask Lady to make the bushes go away and they did. Then I asked Mask Lady to make everyone really fast and Suli asked Bird Lady {He refers to the goddess Shelyn, to whom Suli is devoted} everyone good at stuff and everyone else killed all the bad stuff . There was that smoky tree demon thingy and Bart shot it a bunch, and then everybody walloped the pretty lady until she died. Suli and some other guy I was with yelled at each other about the whammied guy (he got unwhammied when we killed the pretty plant lady) getting his comeuppance for those dead guys we found. I guess he screwed up pretty bad, and that's why they died. You should probably fire that guy. Anyway, while they were arguing Bobo! spent some more quality time with the cookware I found and we then went home. I hope I get to kill more stuff and steal everything that isn't nailed down...I mean serve the Decemvirate (yeah, that's it) more in the future.

Final Note: This pan thing keeps coming up. I have sent letters to Mr. Oliver inquiring as to the meaning of these references. I hope for an informative response. - Kreighton Shane, Master of Scrolls

Grand Lodge

I will soon start playing a Chelaxian Warpriest of Asmodeus, and I am intentionally subduing my natural inclination to optimize. I will therefore be taking the Fire and Law blessings, and using a Battle Poi.

The trouble is, I haven't the slightest idea what to do with most of my feat slots. I plan to take Power Attack at 3rd, and eventually get your standard weapon specialization and greater focus, but beyond that I have no idea. Any thoughts?

So, here's what I've got. Things in [square brackets] are class features, if the level number is it is a bonus feat.

Human - Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Battle Poi
[Weapon Focus: Battle Poi]
1. ? Maybe Toughness?
3. ?
[3.] Power Attack
5. Weapon Specialization
[6.] ? Lunge maybe? If I use my favored class bonuses for it, I can get two feats here.
7. ?
9. ?
[9.] Greater Weapon Focus
11. ?

I like playing tank and messing with enemy action economy, but any good use of feats would be nice.

Grand Lodge

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My brother and I have a build very similar to what I will outline below, but built quit a bit less optimally. Still, we basically can't play those characters (level 7) if there are any other martials in the group, out of a sense of guilt at rendering anyone else expecting to deal damage obsolete.

I will be using standard WBL at level 13 with 20 pt. buy to showcase this build, but it really begins to come online immediately, and becomes a powerhouse by level 5. Keep in mind, the build below is actually for 2 characters in the party rather than one. Each may have some slight specialization, but that will largely come from equipment (such as having one with an adamantine rapier and the other with a Swarmbane Clasp).

Race: Human or Half-Orc. The build is feat intensive, but human is not required and the half-orc Sacred Tattoo alternate racial combined with Fate's Favored trait helps us shore up the Swashbuckler's only true weakness, their saves.

Traits: Fencer is a must. Both the fluff and the crunch fit so nicely into this build that you'll never stop being glad you have it.

Your second trait should probably be something to shore up your will save, which will suck. Fate's Favored if you went half-orc, something else for hoomans. I'd avoid reactionary, as you will have a pretty great Init mod most of the time, and frankly I don't think initiative has the importance that most people attribute to it.

Stats: DEX is most important, INT after that, CON after that. Anything else can be left by the wayside, including CHA. The inspired blade gets a minimum of 1 from CHA, even if it is dumped to 7, so getting our INT high makes us a good skill monkey out of combat. That said, if you want to be a party face I think it is also very good, considering you will then benefit from Charmed Life. Just make sure that between CHA and INT you start off with 3 panache in your pool.

STR - 10
DEX - 27 (18 +3 from levels, +6 from belt)
CON - 14
INT - 16 (14 +2 from headband)
WIS - 12
CHA - 8

This build is all about feats. You will get ludicrous amounts of mileage from pretty much all of these. Things in [square brackets] are from class features. If the number is, it means it's a bonus feat.

1. [Weapon Finesse: rapier, Weapon Focus: rapier], Fencing Grace
3. Combat Reflexes
[4.] Paired Opportunist
5. [Improved Critical: rapier], Seize the Moment
7. Iron Will or Broken Wing Gambit (depending on if you want to be more offensive or defensive)
[8.] Greater Weapon Focus
9. Weapon Specialization
11. Signature Deed: Opportune Parry and Riposte
[12.] Greater Weapon Specialization
13. Pretty much whatever you want at this point. Something to shore up Fort or Will is probably good, or you could do Effortless Lace and pick up Piranha Strike at some point. If you're human, you may already have Lace by now and can grab Piranha to increase your DPR madness.


There is a lot of flexibility here, but there are a few items you will ABSOLUTELY want.

1) Swordsman's Flair: blue scarf - make your rapier reach up to 10 feet without sacrificing melee capability, as a swift, for a minute, and it uses panache + 1 free use a day. This item will end battles before they begin, by allowing the pair of swordsmen to advance until two squares are between themselves and the enemy and readying an attack. When the enemy advances, they will provoke. You will see why provoking is suicide against this built in a bit.

2) Weapon Enhancement: Fortuitous - WOW. I didn't even know this existed until last night, and holy moly! We now get a second AoO the first time we succeed with one in a round at a -5 penalty. That penalty hurts a lot less when we have +5 from Paired Opportunist + Fencer.

3) Weapon Enhancement: heart-seeking - things with blur and displacement effects come up frequently, and negate precision damage. This negates those effects (though does not help you against things inherently immune to criticals such as elementals and oozes)

3) Celestial Armor - our DEX is through the roof, and being able to fly never hurt anyone.

4) Stat items: Dex belt is an absolute must, obviously. INT headband will be nice, or CHA if you went with that as your primary. Heck, a +2 to both could be nice.

How it works:

By getting more AoOs than anything under the sun, and using Dex to damage.

With our 10 foot reach, potentially broken wing gambit, and seize the moment on a 15-20 crit range weapon, AoOs will happen constantly. I'll use a simple example of how this could work.

Let's say it is round 1 of combat, and the Inspired Blades are up first (whoever rolled the higher initiative should ALWAYS hold until they can go at the same time, you must always be adjacent). They both use a panache to power their scarves as swift actions, and advance to leave two squares between themselves and the enemy, then ready attacks against anything coming into melee.

The enemies then advance: big mistake. When they are moving from 10 feet into melee range, the provoke. Both swordsmen take their first AoO, the one everybody gets. They then take an AoO from paired opportunist, having been triggered by their partner having taken one. The THEN get their iterative AoO from the Fortuitous enchantment at the -5 penalty (negated by feats and traits), and yet another from Paired Opportunist. Now the enemies, if they are not swiss cheese, get into melee range, where they are promptly hit by readied attacks. Oh, wow, you're still alive! Good thing our readied attacks used Broken Wing Gambit! Before the enemy attacks even get rolled, they provoke again. This leads into the paired opportunist, fortuitous, and fortuitous paired opportunist attacks again.

My goodness, are you still here? Well, then I'll simply have to use my Signature Deed, and Parry/Riposte your attack.

Keep in mind, I assumed not a single one of these attacks was a critical. With a 30% chance of critical on any given attack, the odds of an individual Inspired Blade not having had one before we try to parry is 2.8%. For both, its a 0.08% chance. On any given attack (even those on your own turn), there is a 51% chance that one of the two of you gets a crit, which begins the AoO storm.

Your damage isn't too shabby either. We are getting +8 from DEX, +4 from weapon training, +1 (at least) from our weapon, +13 precision damage, 4 from weapon specialization, and potentially another 8 from Piranha Strike (if you took it and Effortless Lace, which is really over the top at this point). I will probably come back and calculate expected damage for the outlined scenario against a CR 15 average AC (which is 30). Suffice it to say, it is a lot. Not many creatures can survive 18 attacks coming at it before it even gets to do anything.

EDIT: I just worked it out against AC 30, and even using Effortless Lace it only misses on a nat 1. Expected damage is 945 with all the AoOs and readied attacks if it is not immune to precision.

Grand Lodge

I am in the process of building a Warpriest of Asmodeus for society play. For flavor reasons, I would really like to use torches as my focused weapon.

There are, however, a few obvious problems.

1) It is improvised, so I'll need to take a feat. Not a huge deal, I'm going human. But, can you Weapon Focus items that are not designed as weapons?

2) Can one buy a MW torch, and subsequently enchant it?

3) Once lit, the torch will presumably burn itself out and be consumed. I could use an everburning torch instead, but then I'm even more worried about enchantment concerns down the line.

Does anyone have advice/relevant rulings on these concerns? Are there other concerns I haven't thought of?

Grand Lodge

I imagine a group of Pathfinders running into a similar party of Aspis Consortium agents, who are vying for the same McGuffin. Maybe make a set of pregens for the Aspis, and you choose among them to compose a party that is reasonably comparable to the party.

Are there things vaguely similar to that?

Grand Lodge

I'm thinking of using it to make 'cement boots' by wrapping the stone in big blocks around creatures' feet/legs.

Who else has amazing uses they don't see used much?

Also, would enemies get saves against my stone? What would they be?

Grand Lodge

The text says it increases the DCs of those attempting to resist the diner's Intimidate by 2. Thing is, I cant think of when an NPC rols to resist. As far as I know, the player has to roll to hit a DC (10 + target HD + target WIS mod).

So, does it do nothing, or does it effectively give a +2 untyped bpnus to Intimidate?

Grand Lodge

The idea isn't fully formed. The only class I can think of that would allow Hobbes to talk would be summoner, but then again no one but Calvin can hear him anyway. Any particulary good ideas on how to make an interesting build? Also, if anyone knows of size appropriate size toys for minis, that wpuld be cool.

Grand Lodge

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I have a Cleric of Trickery with the Master's Illusion ability. The description of the veil spell seems to indicate that I can make my party appear as absolutely anything, but much of the text implies that it was intended to disguise them as other creatures. Could I use it to make them invisible (disguised as air, an inherently invisible creature, etc.) and if so can I make them silent? If they attack while so disguised, do they automatically come out of invisibility or does the enemy just get a disbelieve check? Would they disbelieve the portion on the party member in question, or the whole thing? As I can use this ability in non-sequential rounds, can I drop a disbelieved iteration and start it next round to make everyone invisible again?

This ability didn't strike me as vey useful at first, but RAW there seem to be few limitations on what I do with it. Heck, I could have the entire party ambush a BBEG from invisibility, fight for a round (assuming the thing disbelieves) and then go back to invisibility.

Grand Lodge

I'm know someone at GenCon spent an obscene amount of money to get an Android. I was wondering what they built with it.

Grand Lodge

TL;DR I need help with a Half-Orc Exemplar archetype Brawler specializing in hitting stuff with a quarterstaff (with some group buff and skill utility) for society play.

This post will probably be pretty long. It will involve a number of rule questions, optimization inquiries, and general strategies involved while playing a TWF martial. I haven't played one since 2002, so I'm a bit out of the loop.

Stat Array:
STR - 18 (with racial bonus)
DEX - 16
CON - 12
INT - 10
WIS - 10
CHA - 8

(I recognize that for min-maxing I should likely dump INT and CHA to 7, but I like to have slightly sub-optimal characters with broader utility, and CHA will help with my Bardic performances a bit)

Fate's Favored (after all, I'm running Sacred Tattoo, and will get a Jingasa pretty early)
Freed Slave, +1 will saves never hurt anyone

Racial Alternate features:
Sacred Tattoo (+2 to all saves at level 1? Sign me up!)
Rock Climber
City Raised (I'll probably have ranks in Knowledge (Local)
Skilled - I never much cared about Darkvision. Carry an ioun torch for Aroden's sake.

Favored class bonuses will pretty much invariably go into HP, as I don't even have the Unarmed Strike Class feature, and I'm already getting 5 skill ranks/level.


Here's where I have a lot of questions. While I flurry (quarterstaffs have the monk special feature, so I'm good there), I already get the benefits of TWF at second (I just hit second) and Improved TWF at 8th. I also get to deal full strength damage with my flurried strikes, so Double Slice seems unnecessary (though I may retrain something into it at 11th so I can take Two-Weapon Rend).

To know what I need to take, I really need to know how TWF style combines with Flurry of Blows. How many attacks do I get, and what penalties do I take? Also, am I eligible to take feats with TWF and ITWF given that I only benefit from them while I flurry?

My feat wish list is going to be Weapon Focus (quarterstaff), Weapon Specialization (quarterstaff), Power Attack, Iron Will, Two-Weapon Defense, Two Weapon Rend, Hammer the Gap, Improved Weapon Focus (Quarterstaff), and potentially the Step-Up chain. Any other ideas appreciated.

My 'flex feats' from Martial Flexibility will probably usually go into Teamwork feats of some sort, given that I can share them after 5th level. Outside of that, I'm short on ideas for what to do with them outside of grabbing the feats I've already listed before I can actually take them.

Also, any suggestions on the usage of the tactician and Bardic Performance abilities would be appreciated. Are there items or feats that are must haves involving these class features?

Thanks for taking the time.

Grand Lodge

I feel like the save-or-X spells on the cleric list are pretty evenly distributed between schools. This will be my 9th level slot, so I'm getting 5th level spells (pure cleric, Madness/Deception domains) but I can't really think of a good school to focus.

If nothing stands out, I'll likely either go for Lightning Reflexes or Dodge.

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