Axiomite of Xin

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The jingling of the bell roused Tussle from his focus on putting exactly enough powdered nettle in the rouge. Too much, and the concoction would sting the lady's face, making her quite unhappy. Too little, and she would not get the redness of cheek she so desired, and she would again be unhappy. And if she was unhappy, his master would be unhappy. And his master would make sure that he was unhappy. Such was Tussle's life. He sighed again, wondering what had happened to the application he had eagerly handed over to a Pathfinder what seemed like ages ago.

The gentle forced cough reminded Tussle that someone had entered the shop. He looked up, and was a bit surprised to see a young human lad in noble's finery; this far down in Ordellia, wearing noble's clothing could get you pelted with rocks, or dung, or worse. Tussle wiped his gloves on his apron, thought it might be fun to shake the young man's hand with the gloves still on, then thought better of it and removed them. "Can I help you?"
The young man bowed, which Tussle hadn't been expecting, then asked, "Mr. Tussle?"
"Yes?"
"I have this message for you, sir!"
The young man handed Tussle the message, looked Tussle up and down as if evaluating something about him, then spun about on his heel and left the shop.

The message did not help Tussle's confusion. "Greetings, fellow seeker of adventure! I am Sheila Heidmarch, Venture Captain of the newest Pathfinder Society lodge -- and the only such lodge in Varisia at this time. You have come to my attention as someone who possesses a certain amount of skills and interests that make you an excellent addition to a highly specialized team I'm putting together for a matter of gave import, not only to the Society, but to Varisia as a whole. Please report an hour before noon to Heidmarch Manor -- you will be compensated for your visit, but that reward will pale in light of the riches that await you should we come to an agreement on my proposition to you. I look forward to meeting you soon! Sheila Heidmarch"

As far as he could tell, she was offering to pay him to not work as an alchemist's apprentice in Ordellia, and that sounded significantly better than what he was doing now, so he abandoned the rouge, his gloves, his apron, and the shop, gathered up his "adventuring gear" consisting of a pack of traveling gear and his trusty pistol, then headed out.

He might have forgotten to tell his master that he was leaving. Or quitting. Or to have even checked the time to know whether it was the correct time to go. But such is the life of a gnome.

Tussle crossed the bridge out of Ordellia, past the infamous sawmill that had burned down in a blaze of righteous fire a few years ago, and on into Keystone. He knew his way well, as he'd been in Magnimar for several years (arriving just before that fire, and being ecstatic that he hadn't been blamed for it), then up through Lowcleft and onto the High road leading to upper Magnimar. Now this was a path he had never taken.

In fact, the moment he set foot on it and started trying to make his way up to the Capital District, two guards stopped him. "What's your business in the Capital District?"
"I have an invitation."

He showed them the invitation. Once they'd determined it was genuine, they looked for other reasons to detain him. "What's that weapon on your belt?"
Tussle was happy to tell them about his pistol, show it to them, go into details about how it worked, and otherwise convince them that they were better off just letting him move on. "Just try not to get into any trouble up there. Stick to the main roads, and go straight to the manor."
If he heard murmurs complaining about Lady Heidmarch letting any old riff-raff into Upper Magnimar, he certainly pretended he didn't hear them.

The Capital District was a dizzying assortment of massive buildings, far finer than any Tussle had ever seen, but passersby seeing an obviously work-hardened crafting gnome were happy to point him towards the crafting district, which just so happened to take him towards the Alabaster district as well. The craftsmen were more than happy to help him with more directions, until he came to the gate to the Alabaster district. Once again, he was stopped by gruff guards. Once again, he showed them his invitation. Once again, they complained about the sorts the Lady was allowing into the district, but there was nothing they could do. They assigned Tussle a young page to show him to the manor, and the page led him directly there. There seemed to be no other adventuring types in the district; everyone on the street was either a noble or a servant, so Tussle could see how he might seem out-of-place. The page led him to a large villa with an open front gate, told Tussle that he could go inside, and held out his hand in a strange cuplike manner.
Tussle duplicated the gesture.
This was apparently the wrong thing to do, as the page stormed off, irritated.

Humans.

Tussle admired the topiary, the white gravel walk, and the huge lawn, but he was more interested in the job. He walked in the front door and was greeted by a lovely young halfling woman named Mary. She immediately knew who he was, smiled, invited him in, apologized that the Lady was in a meeting and he would have to wait a bit, and had a human butler named Giles bring him to a small waiting room with assorted furniture for small, medium, and large humanoids. Tussle grabbed a few snacks from Giles, clambered up onto the largest chair in the room, and waited.

PC Name: Tussle
Player: Impus Minor
Race/Class: Male Gnome Gunslinger (Pistolero)


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So, I was not unfamiliar with campaign journals written from the PC's point of view: When Shiro ran Carrion Crown, he made each of us keep an in-character journal for his reading enjoyment. But it wasn't until Moxie's Magnificent Journal of her trip through Useplanb's Rise of the Runelords campaign that I realized that a player journal could be something magical. Something wonderful. Something well worth reading.

I tried on my own, first in Gothbard's failed Second Darkness campaign, and then again in Impus Minor's extremely short-lived Mummy's Mask campaign, but it wasn't until Shiro decided to write his own AP that I got a real live, complete character journal. And hoo, boy. It had to be a gnome. That stuff isn't easy to write!

Shiro, tired of every AP author's tendency to ignore/violate the rules or write their own rules, create books so disjoint the overall plot made little sense (I'm looking at YOU, Carrion Crown!), or made the monsters do things so utterly stupid it broke immersion (such as the classic, "I'm going to ignore the commotion outside and wait for the PCs to kick in my door before I take any actions!"), decided to write his own.

And it's been a wild ride. We started on January 28, 2018. We've played 56 sessions, and are hoping to finish up "Book 6" by the end of the year. Now that we're close to the end, Shiro's getting ready to prep the book for publishing, so he's given me permission to publish the journal at a rate of one entry a week, giving him a year to get it published before I finish posting.

All that being said, here we go...


I may regret opening this can of worms, but the Player Companions have introduced force weapons; for example:

PRD wrote:
Instant Weapon: You create a melee weapon sized appropriately for you from opaque force. You are considered proficient with this weapon, which acts in all ways as a masterwork weapon typical of its type. The instant weapon has hardness 20 and the same number of hit points as a typical weapon of its type. As a force effect, it can strike and damage incorporeal creatures. If the instant weapon leaves your hand at any time, the spell ends at the beginning of your next turn.

If we check many other threads, force effects bypass DR, but only because of quotes such as, "It strikes as a spell, not as a weapon, so for example, it can damage creatures that have damage reduction," (Spiritual Ally), or an argument that an alchemist's force bombs are a supernatural ability, not a weapon, and hence bypass DR.

So my ruling simply by "otherwise this spell would be even more ludicrously powerful" is, "Instant Weapon does not bypass DR."

Are there any remote regions of the rules that would contradict me?


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So, given that this is a sort of "follow-up" to my magnum opus, you might expect pages and pages of character background, development, and pre-story. Nope. As those of you more familiar with my crash-and-burn campaign should know, things just don't go that way.

Tomble was confused. He couldn't find his rat. Why he had a rat in the first place, or why he was heading to the Swallowtail festival in Sandpoint he didn't know. But he did know that his rat was missing, and he had to find him.

Tomble: CN Male Human Bard of Ulfen descent, no deity, 18 years of age, played by Mr. Follow You Home.

Fortunately for Tomble, Eyos was on the same path for similar reasons.

Eyos: CG Male Tengu Cleric, worshipper of Desna, 17 years of age, played by Talky McTalktalk.

Since Eyos had nothing better to do, he asked Tomble what he was doing. Tomble replied that he was looking for his lost rat, and Eyos offered to help, as he was "very good" at finding things. His natural 1 proved the lie, so while he found a rat, he had no idea whether or not it was Tomble's rat. Tomble attempted a Knowledge: Nature check to identify his own rat, and he failed, so the two cheerfully concluded that the rat must be Tomble's, because after all, how many rats could there be in the woods surrounding a medium-sized city, anyway?

Skipping along happily together arm-in-arm (OK, I may be embellishing a teensy bit for flavor), the two entered Sandpoint. The first sight that greeted them was, mysteriously enough, a shooting range. A young human swashbuckler was practicing his craft, and appeared to be quite adept with his weapon. They asked him his name, and he replied that he was Delnen.

Delnen: CG Male Human Swashbuckler of Varisian descent, worshipper of Cayden Cailean, 18 years of age, played by Impus Minor.

Deciding that they should do something exciting together, the group headed for the newly-built church, because everyone knows that churches are the most exciting buildings in town. They arrived just in time to witness a play about the ascension of Desna to godhood, a truly fascinating play apparently completely unrelated to any tenets of Desna any of the wanderers knew. When the play moved on to Desna battling Rovagug and sealing him away in the core of Golarion, they were pretty sure the authors didn't know a heck of a lot about the gods. On the other hand, the play was quite entertaining, so they watched it in its entirety, which apparently lasted into the late evening. Tomble and Eyos decided to go to sleep right there in the church, while Delnen, an ardent follower of Cayden Cailean, decided to seek out a tavern.

He quickly located the Beaten Boar, a seedy dive on the edge of Sandpoint. There was a commotion inside, so he rushed in, only to find two men severely beating a third. No one else in the tavern was intervening, nor were there any town guards apparent. Delnen raced to the man's rescue, beating his attackers into submission. The poor man had been beaten within an inch of his life, so Delnen took him back to the church for healing. After such a harrowing event, he decided to join his newfound friends and sleep in the church.

And that was when Big God had a discussion with Little God about preparation...


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The PRD makes it clear how spells with saving throws work:

PRD wrote:
A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.
But suppose for the sake of argument a cleric casts Atonement on a fallen paladin, and the paladin doesn't want to be atoned, and has enough of a Bluff that the cleric doesn't know that. Atonement makes it clear that the spell would fail in this case:
Atonement wrote:
The creature seeking atonement must be truly repentant and desirous of setting right its misdeeds.

Would the cleric know that the spell failed?


I have questions... so many questions...


My search-fu has failed me, because I can't be the first person asking this:

Q: How to defensive spells such as Mirror Image or Displacement work on golems?

My ruling was that since the spell is affecting a PC and not the golem, and the golem does not have Truesight, the golem sees the illusions and normal miss chances apply.

A second GM pointed out that Displacement allows spell resistance, hence golems are immune, hence the golem does not have a miss chance against Displaced PCs.

Thoughts?


If I'm reading Shades (and Greater Shadow Conjuration) correctly, they both increase the damage dealt by the summoned creatures (to 80% and 60%, respectively), but do not increase the hit points of the creatures summoned.

So, for example, using Shades to summon an elder earth elemental with... 34 hit points seems like an utter waste of a 9th-level spell to me.

Am I missing something, or is using Shades to summon a melee-type creature just really silly?

Jade Regent Spoiler:
The trap that summons 1d4+1 fiendish dire tigers on the party is sure to do quite a bit of damage to the party... until a single Fireball kills all the dire tigers at their whopping 21 hit points each.


So, the party has visited a cave, and the wizard memorized the cave as a destination.

While they were out adventuring, someone caved in the cave, so it no longer exists.

What happens when the wizard attempts to use a standard Teleport to return? Is it an automatic mishap? Does the teleport just not work?

Dimension Door has nice verbiage on this. I didn't find any such verbiage with Teleport.


OK. I've never seen this before: I ordered a Shattered Star battle case, and in one of the boxes I got only 3 figures:
- Hill Giant (31 of 55)
- Shadow Hound (8 of 55)
- Boggard (5 of 55)

I was surprised when one of the slots was empty, so I checked the box, the table, and even the hardwood floor. Then I re-checked the box, and it definitely says "4 Collectible Figurines Inside".

So how do I go about getting ONE replacement figure?


So, our whole table is perplexed by the language of Sunburst:

PRD wrote:
In addition, the burst results in the destruction of any undead creature specifically harmed by bright light if it fails its save.

The problem is, we don't have a formal definition of "harm", and most undead that have some kind of reaction to bright light are primarily disabled, rather than "harmed":

Banshee: If the creature is in sunlight (but not in an area of daylight or similar spells), it cannot attack and is staggered.

Nightwing: Sickened in bright light, double penalties in natural sunlight.

And many more with similar disablements.

So, "vulnerability" and "taking damage" are obvious forms of "harm".

Does "being disabled in some manner" count as "harm" with regards to this spell?


So I think my subscription caused some confusion.

I ordered several items as gifts for Kileanna from her wish list, including Blood of the Coven.

I don't know whether it's because I'm a Campaign Setting Subscriber, but Blood of the Coven got added to order #4492717 getting shipped to me, instead of order #4492713 getting shipped to Kileanna.

Can you clear that up for me, or is it too late?

(And sorry. I know, I know. I order too many things for too many people. Just call me Santa.)


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Question: If you are Feather Falling, get caught midair, but then dropped again, does Feather Fall continue to function?

Situation from Last Game: A dragon dropped the fighter from a great height, but the wizard had protected the fighter with Feather Fall.

For a couple of rounds, the fighter was floating gently to the ground, but then the wizard summoned a bralani azata to tow the fighter to safety. The azata flew up, made a successful CMB check to grapple the fighter, and started towing her to safety. Needless to say, the bad guys Did Not Approve, and one-rounded the azata, so the fighter started plummeting again.

An argument started around, "Does Feather Fall still apply?"

Arguments:
The wording of Feather Fall seems clear:

RAW wrote:
Duration: until landing or 1 round/level

So, since the fighter never technically "landed" (she never touched the ground, nor was she ever in control of her movement), she was still under the effects of Feather Fall. That was my ruling at the table.

But we tend to play a "Rules as Intended" game, so a couple of other players argued that "until landing" was intended to mean, "until the character stops falling", so being caught by the azata should have ended the Feather Fall effect.

How would others on this forum have ruled it, and why?


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Dear Paizo,
I was finally shipping TacticsLion some books for his birthday, but it looks like they have my address on them instead of his. Can you please correct the shipping address on Order #4234686 so the books go to TacticsLion?

Thanks!


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Unfortunately, I think I'm out of luck here, but I'm hoping some of you brilliant folk will come to the rescue:

THE STORY SO FAR:
The party encountered a graveknight who tried to engage a party member in honorable combat. Unfortunately, with not a Lawful PC in the lot, they ganged up on him and annihilated him. Fortunately, they neither identified him nor his armor, and pop! Into the Bag of Holding it went. Unfortunately, I rolled a 7 on the 1d10 days for him to regenerate, and it's only been 3 days so far.

I've been dutifully having the wizard make her Perception check every time she looks in the bag, and she's dutifully failed every single check, so I have been gleeful at the idea of the wizard finding a fully-formed graveknight in her Bag of Holding.

Unfortunately, the jig is up. It's loot-selling time, and that armor's worth a bundle.

Any ideas as to what I can do with a 3-day-old baby graveknight, or is it just going to be, "Eeeew! What's this growing in the armor?" and one Disintegrate spell from the wizard to end all my fun?


So, suppose I have a shadow demon with at-will Deeper Darkness and Sunlight Powerlessness (less at-will, than, "Ow!").

So, the shadow demon casts Deeper Darkness into an area of bright sunlight, lowering it to dim light.

Question: Does the shadow demon still suffer from Sunlight Powerlessness because it's still "sunlight", or does Deeper Darkness protect the shadow demon?


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After a near-5-year hiatus, the kids (Impus Major and Impus Minor) have demanded that family game night return to Pathfinder. It's been hard, as I've been running 3 other campaigns, NobodysWife is running a campaign, Impus Minor's abortive attempt to run Mummy's Mask ended after only a handful of sessions, and Impus Major is being utterly crushed (in spirit) by homework, because, y'know, being a sophomore in high school means you shouldn't have any free time at all, right?

So I told them: "I'm retiring from running 2 of my other campaigns. I'm not going to spend any time at all prepping. On Tuesday nights, I'll just read the section you're in, run it ad hoc, and that's all I'll promise."
They both perked up and are ecstatic that we're doing Pathfinder as a family again.

We'll see how long that lasts when they see just how convoluted a tale an unprepared GM can end up telling.

On the other hand, it's Strange Aeons. "Last session was all a dream" is pretty much par for the course, so I figure I've got some leeway here. Let's see how it goes...


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I was about to complain about an AP where a hidden creature targets the party by "quietly" using its spell-like ability, when I found this nugget in the PRD:

PRD wrote:
Spell-like abilities are magical and work just like spells (though they are not spells and so have no verbal, somatic, focus, or material components).

And yet they provoke attacks of opportunity.

So suppose my succubus is using her Dominate Person spell-like ability. It has no verbal nor somatic components, and yet she's doing something that makes it obvious she's casting. Or is she? Is the attack of opportunity just because she's focusing on her spell-like ability instead of defending herself?

It really rewrites a lot of the things I thought about Pathfinder if my shape-shifting mind dominators (succubi, aboleth, etc.) can just meander through town, taking over the minds of anyone they please without anyone noticing anything out of the ordinary about them. (Except their tendency to stop and stare at random people for 6 seconds at a time.)

Do spell-like abilities have ANY clues that they're being used? How do other people play it?


Help meeeeee! My Limited Edition Crimson Throne has gone a-missing!

Order #4091332 is showing all kinds of interesting shipping information:

  • On my order status page, it is shown as having shipped on Tuesday, October 4.
  • Also on October 4, I got an e-mail with a UPS tracking number (PZO00000931525). That tracking number remains invalid in the UPS system.
  • On my account status, I have the VERY mysterious message:
    Package Tracking Not yet shipped
    Item(s) have already shipped
  • Help me!!! My players enter Scarwall on Saturday!!!


    I'm amazed my search-fu hasn't found this asked before, but for spells/feats/abilities that only work on "unattended objects", do a willing ally's objects count as "unattended"?

    Basically I have a tiefling and I'm pondering getting Grasping Tail for her, as she already has the Prehensile Tail racial trait.

    The wording seems straightforward enough:

    PRD wrote:
    If you have the prehensile tail racial trait, you can use your tail to grab unattended items within 5 feet as a swift action as well as to grab stowed objects carried on your person; you can hold such objects with your tail, though you cannot manipulate them with your tail (other than to put them in your hand).

    The problem is, unless this includes objects on your allies' persons I don't see it as anything beyond a "glorified litter-picker-upper" feat. "Oh, good. I can pick up anything off the ground within 5 feet of me as a swift action. Too bad that fumble card knocked my weapon 20 feet away from me..."

    If I can loot my allies' stuff, I see all kinds of fun uses for it. "'scuze me while I grab that potion of CSW, 'k? The fighter needs it more than you do!"

    If all item-passing is still move actions, spending a feat for a "please drop that so I can spend a swift action to pick it up" ability seems rather silly.

    It seems commonsense to allow allies to allow you to treat their objects as unattended if they're OK with it, but I figured I'd ask here. I do seem to set off firestorms with what seem to be straightforward questions. Maybe it's just me.

    EDIT: And clearly we'd need to work out house rules on containers: What happens if the object is in the ally's backpack? Their belt pouch? Their Handy Haversack? But for now I'm just thinking of stuff the ally might keep handy on a belt loop or whatnot that might be useful to me.


    So, I have a monk with Boots of Levitation, and of course it's causing me no end of headaches because he wants to use them in ways never intended by the original spell.

    Question 1: If you are using a Move action to Levitate yourself, can you also use Acrobatics to avoid Attacks of Opportunity from this movement?

    My gut answer is, "No," because it's like having a rope attached to the back of your neck and being pulled upwards. You don't have a vertical "movement speed" and you're not moving; you're being moved. But I'm open to counterarguments. My feeling is that no matter how dodgy you are, if someone dangles you from the end of a rope you're a pinata.

    Question 2: If you have forward momentum, do you retain it?

    The monk has a ludicrous speed of around 80, so he wants to turn Levitate into a poor man's Fly. I was initially OK with this, but it's turned into an every-session headache as he argues that he can angle himself diagonally and upwards to move above and behind enemies indoors... right between the reach of their weapons and that 15' ceiling, angling himself perfectly up there... for no particular reason. And if Levitate preserves momentum and has no "dampeners" on horizontal movement, it seems like Levitating in a strong breeze would be... unwise.

    In short, the more I allow, the sillier his arguments become as to what I should allow. He's thinking full Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-style wire-fighting. I'm thinking, "The wires can pull you up, and down. And that's it. Have fun with that."

    Opinions, arguments, and inevitable sidetracks are all welcome.


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    Red's Journal, Preview
    Name's Red. At least that's what they all call me. I never had a proper name. Nor a proper father. Not that I could blame him. My mother was such a simpering little git, always tugging at Saul Venkaskerkin's coattails at the Golden Goblin. "Oh, Mr. Venkaskerkin, can I get that for you, sir?" "Oh, Mr. Venkaskerkin, is your food to your liking?" "Oh, Mr. Venkaskerkin, let me send someone up to warm your bed for you." Maybe I'd think better of my mother if I hadn't hated Saul so much. Probably not, though. Life is hard. If you don't fight for what little you have, you end up with nothing. I learned that so many times over I might as well have it tattooed across my petite little a**.

    Saul was a number. His first thought on having a bright-eyed, pigtailed, cute little red-headed halfing girl born right in his casino in Riddleport? "I'd better teach her to pick pockets!" I thought it was all fun and games. Until the first time a patron broke my cheekbone, choked me, and threatened to cut my eye out. And instead of defending me, like I knew he HAD to because I was young and naive and stupid, Saul reassured the patron that it had to have been my mother who taught me that. And right there, on a busy night, in the middle of a busy floor, he had her dragged out, stripped naked, and beaten bloody, almost to death.

    That's when I learned to hate humans.

    But I was a little girl, a helpless halfling destined to die another unsolved murder in a filthy gutter of Riddleport. Until She found me, huddled, sobbing on the street, freezing and starving after yet another harebrained scheme of Saul's had gone wrong. I just didn't have the thief in me. I was terrible at it. And Saul didn't care, and kept sending me out anyway. I figure he figured if I got killed doing his dirty work, it wouldn't cause him no mind. But She saw something different. Shorafa Pamodae, High Priestess of Calistria and the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on. She came to me, sobbing and oblivious in my misery, and asked a stupid question: "Has someone wronged you, child?"
    "You're damned right he has!"
    I was never the most politic of halflings. Saul always said I had the beauty of an angel, and the mouth and manners of a sailor.

    Whatever I said was enuogh for Shorafa. She took me in. Taught me where to hide daggers. Where to stick 'em in a man if he got too fresh. Where to stick 'em to make a man tell you what you needed to know. She tried to teach me more about Calistria, and what she does and all that, but I'm even worse at religion than I am at stealing. But I learned that I'm really, really good at stabbing men. Human men. Unfortunately, by the time I felt I was good enough to take out Saul, some adventurers had done me the favor.

    I decided I liked adventurers.

    And thus my career began. And every damned adventuring group wants me to be their sneakthief. Because I'm a halfling. And I use daggers. So I've taken to wearing a bright red cape to go with my bright red hair to make it really clear I'm not hiding from anyone, got it? I'm right up there in front, stabbing them. I'm an anomaly. Which is probably why I ended up with THIS lot.

    Our party "wizard" is a tengu necromancer named Blackwing, who'd probably be a much better wizard if he spent half as much time studying as he does preening, hiding shiny things, or looking at the "pretty bird" in the mirror.

    The brains of our party is Eyra. She's never told me what she is, with her red hair and golden eyes and her "affinity for flame", but she reminds me so much of Shorafa she makes my heart ache to be back in Riddleport again. And that's just crazy talk. But she's got a nose for dusty books, and ancient ruins, and places where things need killin' and treasure needs lootin'. She's the one who's got us halfway across the world (me, at least. I never ask my friends where they come from. The past is painful. For all of us. Just in different ways).

    And my favorite party member is irony Davelek, our human male sneakthief! I think I haven't killed him yet for that reason alone! Everyone watches me, waiting to see when I'm going to sneak off and steal something, and they're so busy looking at my big brown eyes and my fiery red hair and my cute little dimples they don't notice Davelek loading our wagon with their entire house of goods. Davelek's just more proof that you have to judge people on who they are, not what they are. Still hate human men, though. Just not Davelek.


    Another GM and I were having a quick discussion on a BBEG running away and putting up an illusion of a wall behind him. The short version was:
    Him: You can always walk through an illusion of a wall, no save required.
    Me: No; if you fail your Will save you believe the wall to be solid, and you can't just walk through it. (Yeah, I've been playing a LOOOOOOONG time, and this may be 1st edition creeping in on me.)

    I did some delving in the PRD and found:

  • Level 0: Silent Image. Specifically says it creates a visual illusion with no texture, so I'd say it's a pass-through illusion.
  • Level 2: Minor Image. Add sounds. So still pass-through.
  • Level 3: Major Image: Adds sound, smell, and "thermal illusions". It can be "struck by an opponent". Suddenly it's sounding like a tangible object. How can you be hit and "react appropriately" if the sword can't actually hit you?
  • Level 4 doesn't have a corresponding spell.
  • Level 5: Mirage Arcana specifically uses the word "tactile". If I create a Mirage Arcana of a wall, how can it have "tactile" components if you can just walk through it?
  • So my off-the-cuff ruling is that you cannot walk through a Mirage Arcana of a wall, but you can walk through the others. Which makes in-combat illusions even more useless than they were before ("He summoned an xxx? I fly straight through it to prove it's an illusion!"), but I can roll with it.

    I'm interested in just how wrong I am.


    OK, according to RAW, if a wizard takes a bonded object, it can be "lost or destroyed", but with no ability to sense his object outside of Locate Object (which he now needs a Concentration check to cast), it seems like the rules are totally lacking in whether a bonded object is any more special than, say, a set of car keys.

    My situation's pretty interesting, and I'd like to see other people's take on it (both players and GMs).

    (a) Party kills lich, but can't find his phylactery. In looting him, they take his bonded object.

    (b) Party wanders into an area protected by a permanent Nondetection spell.

    (c) Lich fumes helplessly, as he doesn't even get a bonus to his caster level check to find his own bonded object.

    So, has anyone house ruled any kind of bonus for finding something so inherently glued to your own magic?

    Or did the lich just lose his car keys?


    3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

    My wizard's player got VERY upset with me the other week because I ruled that his familiar counted as a "willing creature" for the purposes of his Dimensional Steps ability.

    Considering that the Teleportation school specifically cites familiars as an exception for the Shift ability, and the Conjuration school does NOT list familiars as exceptions for the Dimensional Steps ability, I felt I was in the right.

    However, it opened up a HUGE argument as to whether or not a familiar counted against such spells as Dimension Door, Teleport, and so forth.

    Is there an official ruling anywhere on how to treat familiars during dimensional movement? I've always treated them as 'creatures', but the player wants to see it in black and white. Or at least in pixels.

    Thanks!


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    ...and there's the remote possibility I'll answer...
    ...and an even remoter possibility it will be true...


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    A judge has (almost) silently ordered the California Department of Education to release critical student information (name, address, SSN, disciplinary and other school history) to a nonprofit, which then (apparently) plans to maintain its own database of this information. The only way to ensure your child's information is not released is to file an objection before April 1.

    Link to NBC story

    And, ironically, link to a different nonprofit's take on the whole thing.

    Personally, working for a major software company, I feel that no matter what the nonprofit's intents, one more database is one more vector of attack for identity theft, and I do not need a nonprofit fighting my battles for me, so I've filed objections for both my kids.


    Suppose an enemy coup de grace's one of the paladin's allies, and the paladin uses Paladin's Sacrifice. What exactly happens?

    Here's my take on it:

    PRD wrote:
    You open up a brief but powerful divine conduit between you and another creature, taking on the damage and any other effects that creature suffers. When a creature in range is hit by an attack or fails a saving throw, you can cast this spell and the wounds and/or effects are magically transmitted to you instead of the target. You are affected as if you were hit by the attack or failed the saving throw, taking all the damage and suffering all of the adverse effects.

    So, situation (a): The paladin sees the coup de grace being performed, and casts it before the target makes the save. "You are affected as if you were hit by the attack" implies to me that the paladin suffers the coup de grace instead, and could well die, though her save against a coup de grace is likely far better than her comrade's.

    Situation (b): The paladin sees the party member fail her save, and casts it. In that case I think, "You are affected... as if you failed the saving throw" applies and the paladin dies outright.

    It seems perfectly clear, but I'm likely to have a paladin do it tonight so I'd at least like to make sure I'm not missing some nuance here.


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    So I placed 3 minis on "sidecart shipping" where they'd be bundled with my next order. I just got a shipment notification for my subscription, and the minis are still gazing at me mockingly from the sidecart.

    Did I do something wrong? Will the minis stay there forever? How do I get them to come?


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    So, I don' t want to delve into the rightness/wrongness of the whole, "Catholic Kentucky clerk refuses to grant marriage licenses to gay couples" thing, because we'd get threadlocked in an instant.

    Instead I'd like to know what the heck's going on, because it is a complete mystery to me.

    I work for a major software company. A customer comes to me and says, "NH, please do this for me."
    Even though it's in my list of job duties, I say, "I'm sorry. I cannot do that for you. It violates my religion."

    In "normalville", the customer then goes to my boss, who says, "NH, that's your job. You need to do it."
    If I still refuse, my boss assigns me to a job that I *can* do within my religious restrictions. If all of that fails, my boss starts the process of firing me, because I refuse to do any of the tasks I have been hired to perform. If a lawsuit is involved, it is initiated by me, because I feel I have been discriminated against based on my religion, and we hash out in court whether I knew what my job duties were before I started.

    QUESTION 1: Who is her boss, and why is he/she not involved?
    I know she's an elected official, but there must be SOMEONE who makes sure elected officials perform their duties and removes them if they don't. Isn't there?

    QUESTION 2: Why did the complainants sue her personally?
    Same thing. I don't understand why SHE is in court. She's just refusing to do her job based on her religion. This should be between her and her employer. As an elected official, do all job complaints really go through the courts?

    QUESTION 3: Why is she still working?
    She openly said, "I won't do this."
    To no one's surprise, she didn't. At that point she should have been removed from her position (on paid administrative leave) while the whole issue was sorted out, and a replacement willing to do her duties put in.

    The whole thing is turning into a circus when it seems really very simple: She swore to uphold the laws of the state at a time when those laws coincided with her religious convictions. The laws changed. She refused to change. It seems a lot cheaper and more reasonable to just put her on a pension and hire someone else. What's that? $2 million? $3 million? As compared to HOW much in court costs and bad publicity so far?

    I'm just very, very confused at the whole course of events. Isn't anyone in charge there, or is she just totally left to her own whims and devices?


    Gauss and I recently had a friendly conversation where he pointed out that the 3.5 rules are much clearer on Knowledge: Arcana than the Pathfinder PRD:

    3.5 rules wrote:
    20 + spell level Identify a spell that’s already in place and in effect. You must be able to see or detect the effects of the spell. No action required. No retry.
    Pathfinder PRD wrote:
    Knowledge DC Checks: Identify a spell effect that is in place Arcana 20 + spell level

    I accepted Gauss' assertion that this meant that Detect Magic and a Knowledge: Arcana roll was insufficient to determine that a succubus had been polymorphed, and considered the case closed.

    My co-GM vehemently disagrees. He feels that the Paizo staff intentionally removed the "You must be able to see or detect the effects" so as to make it easier for PCs to determine what buffs an enemy has up, etc. (Assuming they get the 3 full rounds of Detect Magic.)

    I'd love opinions. I have the luxury of examining a polymorphed succubus using Detect Magic for 3 rounds, and I make a DC 25 Knowledge: Arcana check.

    What do I learn? Solely that she has a transmutation spell on her, or that she has Polymorph on her?

    I have no fish to fry in this debate. I liked Gauss' reasoning. But as I said, my co-GM disagrees, so I'm throwing the question to the wolves, and wallowing in my own metaphors...

    LINKIES:
    The original discussion.
    The requisite succubus thread.


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    I know it's been done many times before, but this version of the no make-up experiment was particularly powerful for me. I made my kids (both boys) watch it, just to remind them just how cruel the internet is, and how unreasonable expectations for women in our society are...


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    As several of you have been following in the obits, I'm running two 11-year-olds and four 14-year-olds through Serpent's Skull. It's an absolute comedy of catastrophe.

    Unfortunately, now that they're 5th level, they've stopped dying so much, so I can't entertain in the obits so much. Thus, I'm going to bite the bullet and put in my own "funny vignettes/moments" thread, in case people want to see how NOT to run Serpent's Skull.


    My search-fu has failed yet again!

    (1) Character A is climbing up a vertical surface (rough wall, cliff, etc.). No gear or special powers: Just a talented free climb.
    (2) Character B is flying and wants to remove Character A from said surface and let Character A drop to his/her/its doom.

    Where can I find the rules on that?

    Honestly, it seems like a simple drag maneuver from the APG ("I drag Character A into thin air and let go"), but Drag precludes a Tiny creature from dislodging a Medium creature. And there's also the question of, "What if said creature has a Climb speed?" Seems like it should be a LOT harder to dislodge a cat from a carpeted wall than a human...

    I'm sorry, but if I was free climbing a wall and a 2' lyrakien azata grabbed the back of my shirt and gave a good heave, I would think she'd have a good chance of dislodging me.

    Or this another "rules vs. physics" thought process?

    I'm just wondering whether one of the APs provided exactly this situation and provided some rules for it.


    Dear Paizo,
    I was excited to see a new Paizo charge of over $100 on my bill. What kinds of goodies would I be getting this month?
    The answer: Nothing special, except a $56 "Shipping and Handling" fee for UPS Ground.

    What the heck?!?!?!

    I downloaded UPS' rate charts, and according to them a 6-pound package should be around $11. I can understand a bit of a markup for "and handling", but $40?

    Do you have an employee drive to the UPS store?

    I switched my preferences back to "cheapest possible" and now I'll have to endure our hopelessly-spotty USPS delivery again, but I'm wondering where the massive extra charge for shipping and handling is coming from for UPS Ground.

    If you don't want us using it, please just say so instead of gouging us for "handling".


    In mythic rules, you can give your legendary item the Shape Change ability.

    Suppose your legendary item is a sword. Can you have it shape change into a bow?


    7 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

    Protection from Evil is one of those spells that causes endless debates, not just between players and GMs, but between multiple GMs, etc.

    Why?

    Because of this sentence:

    PRD wrote:
    While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target.

    If you live in a vacuum and ignore all context, it seems cut-and-dry. Protection from Evil is the "ultimate spell", a first-level spell that blocks all mind control.

    Let's put in context. That'll clarify everything, right?

    "PRD wrote:

    1. Second, the subject immediately receives another saving throw (if one was allowed to begin with) against any spells or effects that possess or exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment [charm] effects and enchantment [compulsion] effects, such as charm person, command, and dominate person.

    2. This saving throw is made with a +2 morale bonus, using the same DC as the original effect.
    3. If successful, such effects are suppressed for the duration of this spell.
    4. The effects resume when the duration of this spell expires.
    5. While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target.

    Now, we are truly confused, or at least I am.

    Here's the way I parse it:
    - Sentences 1-4: If I have Protection from Evil up and an evil being tries to Dominate me, I roll two saving throws. The first one is a "normal" saving throw, and if I succeed, nothing happens, as usual. If I fail the first one but succeed on the second, +2 "Protection from Evil" saving throw, then the spell affects me, but its effects are suppressed for as long as Protection from Evil lasts. Nice! All I have to do is kill that vampire in the next few minutes, or I'm going to be its puppet.

    That's a bit convoluted, but seems to be an exact interpretation of that wording.

    Unfortunately, we get back to the accursed sentence 5.

    I'm still stuck. I'm wandering along, protected by Protection from Evil. A vampire pops out of the woodwork and Dominates me.

    QUESTION 1: I make my first save. Do I make a second saving throw? It matters quite a bit, because if a second vampire comes along and tries to Dominate me, having those effects suppressed because of my success on the first vampire would be awfully nice.

    QUESTION 2: When the heck does sentence 5 apply? After I've made a second saving throw? After I've failed my first and succeeded on my second?

    It's getting downright silly, because we're in Wrath of the Righteous where the cleric can put up a 24-hour Magic Circle against Evil, and the party is trying to find a LE person to Charm them, have them willingly fail their first save, make their Protection from Evil save, and be immune to mind control all day.

    I just went through the other 2 threads on the subject, and they end up with the usual: Coherent arguments on both sides, but no agreement.

    I'd just like to know:
    - If I'm unaffected by anything, and I get hit by Dominate, how many saving throws do I roll?
    - Exactly WHEN does that miracle immunity apply, turning you into a super-being for the duration of the spell?


    I'm amazed my search-fu didn't answer this, but here goes:

    QUESTION: Does Dimensional Anchor prevent a creature from going incorporeal?

    SITUATION: The resident sorceress hit an assassin with a Dimensional Anchor. Said assassin had the ability to go incorporeal. I ruled that Dimensional Anchor did not stop this ability, but promised to check on the messageboards.

    The texts in question:

    Dimensional Anchor: A green ray springs from your hand. You must make a ranged touch attack to hit the target. Any creature or object struck by the ray is covered with a shimmering emerald field that completely blocks extradimensional travel. Forms of movement barred by a dimensional anchor include astral projection, blink, dimension door, ethereal jaunt, etherealness, gate, maze, plane shift, shadow walk, teleport, and similar spell-like abilities. The spell also prevents the use of a gate or teleportation circle for the duration of the spell.

    A dimensional anchor does not interfere with the movement of creatures already in ethereal or astral form when the spell is cast, nor does it block extradimensional perception or attack forms. Also, dimensional anchor does not prevent summoned creatures from disappearing at the end of a summoning spell.

    Ghostly Form (Su): This creature can become incorporeal (including all of its gear) for 14 rounds per day as a swift action -- returning to solid form is a free action. The rounds per day need not be consecutive. This ability cannot be activated in areas of bright light, and while in ghostly form the creature cannot enter such an area.

    My take is that Dimensional Anchor provides a fairly comprehensive list, and incorporeality is not on that list, so my ruling (so far) stands.

    Waiting to see how others see this...


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    I am amazed no thread like this exists yet.

    So, in 2012, after 4.5 years of living with my mother after my father died (I strongly recommend against such behavior, and stay away from my mother, you!), we finally moved back into our beloved 900-square-foot shanty, bad roof, bad foundation, and all.

    I had set aside $10,000 for home improvements when we moved in. There was utterly no question as to what we were going to do with it: We bought a brand-spanking-new Thermador 36" gas oven and range, complete with hood. Perhaps the most telling part of this purchase was that we could afford to have it installed, but couldn't afford to actually fix the wall once they'd put it in, but we were fine with that. So we have a gorgeous, $7000 oven sitting on a bare plywood floor with unfinished drywall behind it. Priorities, people!

    Anyway, on to the parenting story.

    My 13-year-old wanted a pot pie this morning. The instructions say to put it on a "baking sheet". He chose a plastic cutting board as his "baking sheet".

    Of COURSE he put it on the top rack, so my $7000+ oven is now filled with melted, solidified plastic.
    He was so distraught over the event I was concerned that he was going to harm himself.

    I just pointed out what I'd told him many times before when he made silly mistakes on his math homework.

    "We, as humans, learn through our mistakes. If we never make mistakes, we never learn. Yes, you really screwed up our oven. It will take me 2-3 hours of hard labor to get that plastic off. But no one died. You filled the house with fumes, but we managed to air out the house before anyone was seriously hurt by them. So you've learned a valuable lesson, and you've done no permanent harm. Congratulations on being human, learn from it, and if you ever do something like that again you're buying me a new oven!"

    Fortunately, it cheered him up immensely.

    Unfortunately, I now get to clean solidified plastic out of a $7000 oven.

    *SIGH*


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    So today my latest package arrived, with the Mummy's Mask pawns, Iron Gods book 3, and "Ships of the Inner Sea".

    I honestly had no interest whatsoever in ships. I just check the little checkboxes on subscriptions because I have no life and no other hobbies.

    So I perused through "Ships of the Inner Sea" and found the beautiful multi-level diagram of a two-masted sailing ship (the Cetaceal) on page 18 and thought to myself, "Darn! Had I had this I would have used it for all the shipwrecks in the kids' Serpent's Skull game. But I'd need to scan it into Roll20..."

    Oh, wait! I'm a subscriber! Download the PDF, Hypersnap the diagram, upload to Roll20, and voila! The kids have their shipwrecks!

    I love being a subscriber... random stuff just shows up at my house, and I seem to always find a way to fit it into my next game...


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    OK, let's be blunt: We game at least 3 days a week, and frequently 4 or 5. I am the GM for two weekly campaigns, two "when time permits" campaigns, and a "when we can get back to it" campaign. And I'm writing up journals for three of those campaigns.

    Whine whine whine.

    The point is, when I agreed to run Jade Regent, I made it *VERY* clear that I wouldn't be writing up a campaign journal for it.

    Then came the goblins.

    As those familiar with my Rise of the Runelords journal are well aware, I like to let my boys (now 10 and 13) play the goblins.

    The resulting Battle of Brinestump Swamp is the stuff of legends, and my players begged me to write it up in all its infamy.

    Here, without apology, and with likely many errors, is the tale of the Battle of Brinestump Swamp.


    A quick request: For subscribers, please make the default shipping method for orders match the default shipping method for subscriptions.

    =====

    The gory details: We're in a U.S. Postal Service "training area", so our mail service is... spotty, to say the least. I switched my subscriptions to UPS and it's been awesome.

    Then I ordered some stuff from the Great Golem Sale. In my excitement of frenzied button-clicking, I didn't pay attention to the shipping method, figuring it would match my usual default.

    Imagine my surprise to learn that it had defaulted to USPS Priority Mail, and I can look forward to a week or two of waiting in anticipation for my already-shipped order to arrive as my local office tries to figure out what to do with the strange white object in their inventory. ("I know! Hit it with a hammer!")

    Yes, I should have checked. But I always like to try to set "sensible" defaults when I get a chance...

    EDIT: Full disclosure: 15 minutes after I posted this the package arrived. *SIGH*. Go figure.


    So in a world where powerful magic is commonplace, how does a BBEG deliver a message to the PCs without being scried-n-fried?

    I thought it would be fun to have the BBEG wipe all memory of his hideout from one of his minion's minds, then send the minion to deliver a message.

    Torture the minion all you want, you'll get nothing!

    Well, I'm not finding any spell that would help me out here! All the memory modification spells are either dispellable or affect only a few minutes of memory.

    Isn't there some kind of "rewrite someone's mind" spell out there? I could always Feeblemind a minion and then Awaken it, but that seems downright cheesy.

    Anyone else come up with a rules-compliant way to have a mentally-invulnerable messenger (short of a construct)?


    OK. I'll admit. This will be a silly thread.

    My life oracle overheard a shoanti shaman accusing one of her party members (a shoanti from a different tribe) of being "only 12 years old" because he hadn't accomplished anything.

    She took this quite literally, so she knows he's embarrassed, and is trying to protect him without his finding out.

    Here's what I have so far:

    Life Link: Honestly, I think he's out of luck. It's a supernatural ability, it has Medium range, and it has no save. So she can slap this on him while he's asleep and he's stuck with it until she decides to remove it.

    Endure Elements: This one is harder. She already casts it on herself every morning when he's asleep, so what's the DC to notice that someone is casting a spell a second time when you're asleep? I was thinking 10 (whispered conversation) + 10 (asleep), but a DC 20 to notice she's casting the spell twice instead of once seems pretty low for a sleeping barbarian.

    Endure Elements: We're traveling through coastal mountains and then a temperate forest. What's the DC (if there is one) for him to notice that the temperature is always "perfect"?

    I know it all seems very trivial, but the GM and I are planning on playing this "12-year-old man" to the hilt, so we want to get all the DCs right.


    QUESTION: Has anyone house-ruled that you can use Spellcraft and Detect Magic to identify the spells on a person? How has that worked for you?

    DETAILS:
    The as-written rules are pretty black-and-white:

    Under Spellcraft:
    Identify a spell as it is being cast: DC = 15 + spell level
    Identify the properties of a magic item using detect magic: DC = 15 + item's caster level

    Under Knowledge: Arcana:
    Identify a spell effect that is in place: DC = 20 + spell level

    So as the spell is being cast you need Spellcraft, if it's on an item it's Spellcraft again, but if it's a regular spell that's been cast on a person you need Knowledge: Arcana.

    ISSUE #1:
    - Why is identifying the magic on a magic item different from identifying the magic on a person?

    ISSUE #2:
    - Wizards have a base stat of INT so they have plenty of skill points to max out both skills.
    - Ponder the poor arcane bloodline sorceress. She doesn't particularly need INT, but if she doesn't take it her 2 skill points per level will be entirely taken up for those two skills.

    So I'm pondering modifying the as-written rules and letting Spellcraft and Detect Magic identify currently-active spells. We just had a fight where she spent 3 full rounds standing there staring at the BBEG to figure out his buffs so she could choose specific ones to Dispel, and it turned out she hadn't bought any Knowledge: Arcana so there were... bad feelings. And now she's (justifiably) displeased that every skill point she gets for the next few levels will have to go into Knowledge: Arcana and I'm inclined to agree with her.

    Seems like an odd set of circumstances and I don't see a strong reason not to modify the rules so Spellcraft and Detect Magic work on people as well as things.

    Differing opinions?


    OK, I admit it, I'm lazy.

    In my home-brew campaign I gave the sorcerer an item that allowed him to prepare a handful of spells a day from spellbooks. Someone helpfully pointed me to an existing Pathfinder item that does just that. (I'd made up the item to throw him a bone after the bard got a nymph's blessing and the paladin inherited a 72,000 gp sword.)

    Problem is, I can't find it, and given the choice of searching 1000+ of my posts for clues or being lazy, I'll just post here. (I'll be honest. I've spend around 90 minutes searching, so I did do due diligence.)

    QUESTION 1: What items (if any) allow sorcerers to cast prepared spells?

    QUESTION 2: Ditto for Oracles.

    Thanks!

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