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52 posts. Alias of James Walley.


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I see a lot of suggestions to make the fighters have different styles. If the players are close friends and the characters are too, why not have them be very similar and take advantage of all those Teamwork Feats that require at least two people to unlock some really neat group tactics effects. I play a 6'2" Human two-weapon fighter(not the archetype, bleh) that frequently teams mobs with my wife's 2'3" Halfling (I know really small, DM allowed it due to character back story). I take a hit or two sometimes so that she is in position to knock them down. If she doesn't, the Teamwork feat: Precise Strike gives me an additional 1d6 (plus a slew of other goodies from various magic items that can allow me several more hits than my 'normal' full attack at my level) and she most definitely mops it up with Precise Strike adding to her sneak attack.
To be fair, we are in a campaign with several brand new, very unimaginative players. The wizard is stuck on using his wand of Magic Missile at 11th level because "Its the only thing that always hits with out frying you guys!" The ranger forgets he has a wolf sitting at his heels, despite my pack of war dogs, one of whom doubles as the halfling's vicious mount, and seems to forget he can shoot things from far off, even in melee, thanks to those feats he asked for advice about. The cleric sadly forgets all about trying to heal or cast virtually any spell (until recently when the first action has become 'bless' followed by Spiritual Weapon). We actually have a second fighter whose style is very different from my own (big honking two-handed sword you got there), but has started getting with the program with Gang Up Feat. He enjoys the bonus and the big bads go down fast under melee assaults. Improved initiative on our part helps too: The bad guy generally takes a dirt nap by the third round, if he lasts through the first.

I'm wondering if anybody out there has gone through the effort of really building up combat teams (melee, caster, or mixed) just to see what kind of gank squad can really be pulled together. Stealth Synergy alone makes for one heck of a secret police squad when the point man is a stealthy rogue and every member has taken the feat that basically allows him to do the check for everyone in the group that can be seen.

I agree with you on what I'm calling Method C leading to some stunningly huge bonuses.
I also agree that there needs to be a serious look by the Guru Group to figure out if this should be a legitimate usage of the rules.
I also believe that if there is a player building a 19 or 20 level character, there had better be a huge amount of DM involvment, because that DM most certainly has some kind of plan that can go awary quite quickly.
If a character evolves to this point, the DM would have to adjudicate how the vivsectionist Sneak Attack rule works for his campaign, at least until there is some definite decison from the developers.
I personally think that if the campaign has been developing along the lines that several of the absolutely vile characters we have used as examples would definitely be unique and superbly rich in story and detail.

Having the vivsectionist SA rule stack only with Rogue levels is rather an impediment in some circumstances.

Jarond, who starts as a Fighter, becomes an Assassin, and then moves on to become Duke Evilsmile's torturer as a Vivisectionist. (Ftr5, Assn9, Viv1) Does this mean that he now has only the one level of Vivisectionist to determine his base SA and then adds those form the Assassin? (for a total of +6d6)
Mathematically, its the same as using the 10 levels of Assassin + the 1 level of Vivisection = 11 levels of Rogue which has +6d6 for SA Bonus damage.
The issue seems to be when there actually is Rogue levels and Vivisectionist levels along with the Prestige class that adds to Sneak Attack bonuses.
Hence my agreement that clarification from developers would be excellent.
I just can't see any good mechanical reason to disallow what would be Method C. Story reasons are perfectly acceptable.

Bane Wraith's example:
4 Rogue + 1 Vivisectionist = +3d6
9 Assassin = +5d6
1 Red Mantis Assassin = +1d6
1 Sleepless Detective = +1d6
1 Inner Sea Pirate = +1d6
1 Master Spy = +1d6
2 Halfling Opportunity = +1d6

... is mechanically viable, but would definitely have one very difficult story to get through, considering all the various requisites for each of the Prestige classes. A DM would be insane to write it and a player would definitely be a powergaming geek-gakker. In such an unreal campaign, I would expect to see an such unreal character. A character who manages to get access to that number of prestige classes has a push-over for a Pathmaster or there is a heck of a high-powered game going on.

Basically, I ask the developers: "How is this really supposed to be used?", just as the title of the board asks.
If Bane Wraith and I have hit on the actual method intended (method C), then that's cool with me too.
I don't see where the mechanics should limit the rule from that extent, but I do agree that there certainly should be story limits expressed by the Pathmaster during the campaign.

Wow, I started this journey more than 8 hours ago...
I love these brain crushing exercises.
I now have at least 5 new NPC's to work on to torture... um, pit against my players.
I also have several short stories and perhaps one novella or full blown novel to write.
I do so enjoy this game. For now I must retire, for I have only 4-1/2 houras before I am supposed to be awake to see the boy off to school.

Good Night all.
Happy gaming.

Examining some more Prestige classes and the way they work with the vivisectionist rules is also very fun.
Take Mercutio, a ruthless cut-throat out on the seas. Well into his career he has managed to become Rogue 5, Vivisectionist 1, and Inner Seas Pirate 4.

Method A: using only the Sneak Attack Bonuses from the classes: 3d6 + (no change with the vivsectionist) + 2d6= +5d6 Sneak Attack bonus damage, same as a 9th or 10th level rogue (which coincidentally equals Method B).

Method B: Each of these classes grants Sneak Attack so they all each level stacks together for a rogue-equivalent of 10, granting +5d6 just as the vivisectionist rules only would indicate. But where does the actual bonus damage coming from the Prestige class go off to? It is not addressed by the rule, only the number of levels from a Sneak Attack granting class.

If Mercutio gains another level of Inner Sea Pirate (now he’s Rog 5, Viv 1, ISP 5) the math goes haywire. All these levels are from classes that grant Sneak Attack so the number of levels stacks to determine the equivalent rogue level… 5+ 1 + 5= 11. So now Mercutio has the Sneak Attack Bonus of an 11th level rogue, which is +6d6. Wait… he got no extra bonuses from anywhere, only a rogue-equivalent level due to the vivisectionists Sneak Attack rule. So how is this justified?

Method C: for those hard core killers… Take Mercutio back to (Rog 5, Viv 1, ISP 4). He has 10 levels in Sneak Attack granting classes, so his base Sneak Attack is going to be that of a 10th level Rogue : +5d6. His Prestige Class adds +2d6 to the actual bonus damage during a Sneak Attack, so he has +7d6 Sneak Attack bonus damage, the same as a 13th level rogue.

Even later in his career, Mercutio (Rog5, Viv1, ISP10) would have +7d6 using Method A, +8 d6 using Method B, and a beautiful +12d6 using Method C.

Method C does add power to the Sneak Attack very quickly, doesn’t it? Since the current written rules for the vivisectionist does not call out any sort of method for dealing with the actual damage bonuses from Sneak Attack classes, Prestige or otherwise, that all of these may be viewed as viable methods.

Method A leaves a Rog8, Master Spy10, Viv1 with only +9d6 Sneak Attack bonus damage even if you add the one Viv level as an effective rogue level instead of simply counting all the levels as effective rogue levels.

Is it the intent of the designers to not count the levels of a class that don’t actually give the increase in Sneak Attack bonus damage? I’d have to say the example given by the rules would not indicate that. It would also be rather silly as, in this case poor Mercutio would now have now have only 6 levels (3 from Rogue, one from Viv, and 2 from Inner Sea Pirate) that would count to his rogue-equivalent levels… giving him a lousy +3d6 to Sneak Attack bonus damage. Utterly not worth considering.

Method B gives mystery bonuses with some combinations and actually takes away what should be there in others. Case in point: (Rog 6, Alc 1, Assn 5), which under Method B gives Sneak Attack bonus of +6d6, instead of +7d6 you’d get from the actual Rog 6+ Viv1(+4d6) + Assn5 (+3d6). So where does the bonus from the new Assassin level fall away to and why?

Method C can create havoc pretty quickly, but there is no reason why someone who has spent the time training to be a better back-stabber shouldn’t have a better bonus to the damage than the ‘standard’ rogue who gets the bonus as a caveat of sorts with the whole package.

Personally, I think Method A is quite sound., though it does not follow the vivisectionist’s rule as written.
Method B is extremely limiting and really takes away from the desire to branch out into the Sneak Attack Prestige classes and potentially multi-classing into any other Sneak Attack granting class.

Method C is a logical mathematical reward for those who play the roles properly. I see nothing wrong with it and will probably actually use it in my own campaigns, even if the game-makers rule otherwise.
Which is apparently what Bane Wraith is saying, except the part about not using it because it appears to be way outside the RAI.

I personally wonder if it is RAI or actually is working as intended. If my Method C, the method Bane Wraith seems to agree the rules are pointing to is how it is supposed to work, the hooray, we now have good reason for people to multi-class and follow Prestige classes for actual benefit.

To give one more odd example:

Vonnegut (Ftr 3, Rog 2, Viv 1, Low Templar 10) would have a very disappointing +4d6 to his SA if you only added up the Bonus from the classes that deal Sneak Attack (method A), or he would have +7d6 when you add up only the levels of classes that give Sneak Attack bonuses and consult the Rogue’s chart (Method B, apparent RAI), or he has +9d6 using Method C which adds the levels, for effective Rogue level to determine Base Sneak Attack bonus and then adds the Templar’s +2d6 bonus damage on Sneak Attacks thus giving a level 16 character the equivalent Sneak Attack bonus of a level 17 Rogue. Interesting, but not actually broken, considering all the Rogue skills and talents that this particular character would miss out on.

Now, Vonnegut is a real twisted mister and finishes his career with 4 levels of Pain Taster, which at first glance doesn’t seem to have Sneak Attack, but oh, yes it does. The text for Cruelty specifically states it is the Sneak Attack ability.
D20PFSRD quotes Pathfinder 15: The Armageddon Echo. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn

Cruelty (Ex)
At 2nd level, a pain taster gains the sneak attack ability, but only when using slashing weapons. This additional damage stacks with any sneak attack damage he may possess from other classes.
A pain taster is particularly adept at delivering cruelty damage with a whip. As long as he chooses to inflict lethal damage with his whip, he inflicts cruelty damage on every strike. If he has sneak attack as well, the additional sneak attack damage only applies if the conditions for a successful sneak attack are met as well. When attacking with a whip using cruelty, the pain taster ignores the restriction on damaging creatures with high armor or natural armor bonuses.
At 4th level, the pain taster inflicts +2d6 points of damage whenever he strikes with cruelty.

So now V is Ftr 3, Rog 2, Viv 1, Low Templar 10, Pain Taster 4... (how utterly sordid that story must be, I have to write it one of these days.)

Method A: +6d6... As a 20th level character… bleh.
Method B: +8d6. Not too bad, but not really showing all that hard-won training is he since he’s now 20th Level with only a 15-16th level Sneak Attack ability.
Method C: +12d6.. Now that is worth getting cut the heck up for. Slightly better than the Rogue, but far less of the rogue’s skills and Talents again.

Remember that the rogue is a skill based class that uses Sneak Attack to strike Smarter, not Harder. Fighters and Barbarians can do all that. Beat down stuff. It makes sense that prestige classes, representing highly specialized training can surpass a base class in some specific ability, but it certainly pays for it by losing a great deal of all the other base class’s abilities.

I really don’t think +15d6 for the Rog8, Assn10, Viv1 is all that far out of line for Rules as Intended. I just agree that the rule-writers need to make certain that thre is a clear salient point that defines how to utilize the vivsectionist's ability and Prestige classes bonuses together to determine the final bonuses to a character's Sneak Attack.
I also could not find anything from Paizo as far as a non-Prestige class that offers Sneak Attack as an ability other than Ninja, which as an alternate class, would have to have one hell of a story to justify multiclassing from rogue (think "Shogun" or "The Last Samurai", with a thief going through the serious culture shock instead of a merchant marine or a U.S. Calvarymen circa mid-to-late 1800's.)

I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out exactly what the problem was that Bane Wraith was trying to describe in his original post. The issue he describes is one of RAW vs. RAI. He makes that plain, but his reasoning doesn’t come across as well as it should.
Rules as Intended(?) It is understood that Bill, a Rogue 8, Master Spy 10, Vivisectionist 1, should have a total Sneak Attack Bonus of +10d6, the same as a Rogue 19. There seems to be plenty of agreement on that point, even from me. Sam, a Rogue 8, Assassin 10, Vivisectionist 1, should have the same +10d6.
The argument comes into play when one reads the Vivisectionist’s rules for Sneak Attack Damage Bonus specifically as it is written.

The PRD states:
Sneak Attack: At 1st level, a vivisectionist gains the sneak attack ability as a rogue of the same level. If a character already has sneak attack from another class, the levels from the classes that grant sneak attack stack to determine the effective rogue level for the sneak attack's extra damage dice (so an alchemist 1/rogue 1 has a +1d6 sneak attack like a 2nd-level rogue, an alchemist 2/rogue 1 has a +2d6 sneak attack like a 3rd-level rogue, and so on). This ability replaces bomb.

This rule very plainly states that the levels of vivisectionist stack with levels of rogue (or some other class) to determine the equivalent levels of rogue the character would have for Sneak Attack Bonus. It does not at any point state that the vivisectionist level grants +1d6 to the Sneak Attack bonus. It does in fact Declare the exact opposite through its illustration of the A) Rogue1, Alchemist 1 versus B) Rouge 1, Alchemist 2. One could assume from the wording that a Rogue 2, Alchemist 1 would have the same Sneak Attack bonus as Rogue 3 (+2d6). In short, the rule says that Vivisectionist levels are added to (Sneak Attack granting class) levels to determine rogue-equivalent levels for determining the characters Sneak Attack bonus.
The example is very specific about how the math works there.
Rogues and Vivisectionists both use the rogues +1d6 cumulative every odd level up to +10d6 @ 19th. The rule makes it so that each vivisectionist levels stacks with any class that grants Sneak Attack, not the Sneak Attack Bonuses form those classes stacking. The Alc 1, Rog 1 = 2 levels rogue-equivalent for +1d6 SA bonus, not Alc 1 (+1d6), Rog 1 (+1d6)= + 2d6 SA bonus.

The problem lies with Prestige Classes, or more appropriately, how the rule for the vivisectionist’s Sneak Attack does not lay down some more specific rules regarding how it interacts with Prestige Classes.

Arcane Trickster adds +1d6 to SA @ 2nd, +2d6 @ 4th, +3d6 @ 6th, +4d6 @ 8th, and +5d6 @10th.
Assassin adds +1d6 to SA @ 1st, +2d6 @ 3rd , +3d6 @ 5th, +4d6 @ 7th, and +5d6 @ 9th.
Aspis Agent, Bellflower Tiller, and Shackles Pirate all add +1d6 @ 3rd , +2d6 @ 6th , and +3d6 @ 9th.
Inner Sea Pirate, Master Spy, Red Mantis Assassin, and Sleepless Detective all add +1d6 @ 1st, +2d6 @ 4th, +3d6 @ 7th, and +4d6 @ 10th.
Gray Gardener adds +1d6 @ 1st, +2d6 @ 5th, and +3d6 @9th.
Lion Blade adds +1d6 @ 2nd, +2d6 @ 6th, and +3d6 @ 10th.
Daggermark Poisoner adds +1d6 @ 5th, and +2d6 @ 10th.
Low Templar adds +1d6 @ 3rd and +2d6 @ 8th.
Halfling Opportunist and Pain Taster add +1d6 @ 2nd and +2d6 @ 4th.

All of the Sneak Attack Bonuses from each of these Prestige Classes stack with any other source of Sneak Attack Bonus damage.

If the vivisectionist’s rule essentially creates a new base Sneak Attack Bonus, which it appears to do by adding all Sneak Attack granting class levels to the vivisectionist levels and then lumping them together as Rogue-equivalent to find the Sneak Attack Bonus on the Rogue’s table, then it does not factor in any of the Sneak Attack bonuses for any of those classes. So where do the bonuses go?

At low levels, especially the first five, the math works beautifully. There are no Prestige Classes to work around available at those levels. At least none that I personally am aware of.

Bill, a young and disturbed brilliant mind in the local thieves guild, begins as a Rogue, discovers a fascination with anatomy and the neat things one can do with it. (Rog 1, Alc 1= +1d6 Sneak Attack bonus)
Time passes and Bill’s duties to the guild teach him much of the thief’s art. (Rog 5, Alc 1= +3d6 SA bonus)
Bill develops a taste for murder and is picked up by the darker and more secretive branch of the thieves guild: the Assassin’s guild. (Rog 5, Alc 1, Assn 1= +4d6 SA bonus) 6 levels in Sneak Attack granting classes + 1 level Vivisectionist= 7 levels rogue for Sneak Attack bonus determination. So does +3d6 (Rog 5) + 1d6 (Assn 1) with the one level of vivosectionist not actually giving a +1d6 to anything, because that’s not what it does.
More time passes in the big bad city and Bill has learned more of not only the arts of the thief, but has also become a name unto itself as a ruthless and terrible slayer. (Rog 8, Alc 1, Assn 10= +??d6 SA bonus) This example brings up the math problem. The vivisectionist rule uses the number of levels granting Sneak Attack, so 8 + 10 + 1 = 19 for 10d6. If you take the actual Sneak Attack bonuses from those classes that grant one and add them together it goes as follows Rog 8 (+4d6) + Alc 1 (none) + Assn 10 (+5d6)= +9d6.
Why doesn’t this add up?
The vivisectionist rule adds one effective level of Rogue to the calculation (per level of Vivisectionist), thus making the effective Rogue contribution +5d6, not +4d6 in this case.
Let’s step back a level or two in Bill’s dark career and see what we have.
At Rog 6(+3d6), Alc 1, Assn 4(+2d6), Bill has that pesky invisible rogue level form the vivisectionist adding to his effective Rogue level , now (Rog 7- +4d6) + (Assn 4- +2d6) = +6d6, still just like a level 11 Rogue [(6+1) + 4]= 11. Not too complicated.
At the next level, Rog 6, Alc 1, Assn 5, Bill now has +4d6 form Rog/Alc levels and +3d6 from his Assn levels for a total of +7d6, right? Apparently not if you follow the vivisectionist’s rule that only adds the total number of class levels that grant Sneak Attack. Where does the bonus for leveling as an Assassin go?
Nowhere does it say that it is subsumed by the vivisectionist rule. If the bonus damages stack from any class that grants Sneak Attack as it says in each of the Prestige classes noted, what happens to those bonuses.

I think, logically following the path of reasoning, would allow a late comer to the vivisectionist’s art to have a massive increase to his Sneak Attack bonus damage. If Bill hadn’t discovered he like jacking with bodies so early, he may have been Rog 8, Assn 10 (thus having +9d6 SA bonus) before he got the first level of vivisectionist. Now since the vivisectionist adds all of the Sneak Attack granting class levels together to arrive at the rogue-equivalent level, in this case 19, and never mentions the bonuses form any class, Prestige or other wise, then those extra bonuses should get to add on after the level-equivalent calculation is made.
Thus, 19 rogue-equivalent levels for +10d6 + Assassin’s bonus of +5d6 = +15d6 Sneak Attack bonus damage.

Now take a quick look at Hassim, a wholly different killer. Hassim has taken the path of the Poisoner Rogue archetype and also been selected by the Assassin’s guild. (Poisoner 5, Assn 1, for +4d6 SA bonus) Later in his career he starts looking harder at what he does to the bodies he poisons. (Poisoner 6, Assn 3, Viv 1 for +6d6 SA bonus [(Rog6+Viv1= Rog7 for +4d6 + Assn 3 (+2d6) for a total of +6d6] or is it actually only Rogue-equivalent levels (from those that grant Sneak Attack bonuses)= 10, so SA bonus is +5d6 on Rogue’s table or is it (+5d6) from Rogue-equivalent levels + (+2d6) form the Assassin Prestige class for a total of +7d6?

The lack of language outlining precisely how the vivisectionist rule relates to the actual bonuses form the Sneak Attack granting classes, Prestige and otherwise, does leave room for the final determination for Hassim and Bill.

Don’t forget Kayla the Killer… Halfling Rogue 5, Halfling Opportunist 4, Assassin 9, Viv 1.… (+3d6, +2d6, +5d6) for +10d6 as a level 19 character, or is it rogue-equivalent levels 19 for the same measly +10d6, totally ignoring any of the extra training she went through or is it actually +10d6 (Eff-Rog) +2d6 +5d6 for a whopping total of +17d6? That certainly sounds more like the super deadly training she’s been putting herself through all these years is paying off.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
The problem isn't the volcano per se. Rather it's the noise which will inevitably awaken Godzilla who will then surely destroy Tokyo and any other population zone in it's grumpy just-woken-up swathe of destruction. Nothing like a swathe to send a nation back to the stone age.

Quick, somebody make a really big cup of coffee!!

I can't talk about how badly I want this without going into R-rated territory.
If there's a chance at all ever that just the empty cases become available, I'd sell a kidney for it. Maybe even one of my own. That is an ablsolutely splendid looking item.

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187. You fall asleep discussing the new party you are building with your wife and then wake her up in the middle of the night talking about it in your sleep. She took notes. Says it will make an excellent campaign, though definitely one for the adults only since the male Teifling priest of Calistria and the male elemantal witch seem to be much closer than the kids would find comfortable...

What's going in that head, neh?

Tordek Rumnaheim wrote:
And this is why Paizo should relocate to Texas, Houston specifically. Pay no attention to those hurricane evacuation signs. Those are just for show for the tourists. Really.

I second this proposal!

I want a dozen. Four for the kids and eight for combat practice.

I am so going to love playing playing this one with my young ones.

I still stand by my opinion. In part because I don't care much for the Cavalier, and in part because I'm stubborn that way.

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The issue I see with armor proficiency for any animal is that proficiency would mean the animal has been trained to don/doff the armor as well as to perform a large number unnatural maneuvers while wearing the armor. Having said this, barding for a horse (for the sake of simplicity) cannot be donned or doffed by the horse. It requires someone else entirely to put on or take off the various associated pieces. The horse itself is merely trained to accept the additional burden of weight when speaking strictly of wearing barding.

To use something like spiked barding and training the horse to fight with it in combat would be an altogether different sort of training. not to mention really brutal in the field of battle.

I see no reason what-so-ever to have an animal take a feat in any armor usage simply because the animal itself cannot physically perform the actions required to properly don and doff the armor. Time spent training it like a trick, on the other hand would be needed in my opinion, with the training done using the heaviest available armor for the horse, that way it scoffs at the light weight stuff you actually buy when in your lower levels and looking to throw most of your money away.

In the case of barding on animals, standard or otherwise, I just can't bring myself to logically equate the "wearing" of armor with the "using" of armor. Accepting the armor should be a trick, not a feat, mainly because you can train that particular trick to a small dog in a matter of minutes.

Think of it... is the dachsund "wearing" a sweater or "using" a sweater? With the sweater being a RL equivalent of extremely light cloth armor. Unless it was something my grandmother crocheted, in which case the dog would be encumbered to the point of immobility.

I was commenting back to lord_void referring to the bonuses both as "focus bonuses" implying they were of the same named type. I have not found anywhere else that applies a "type" to them, named or otherwise, so was trying to lead a little bit deeper investigation of the feat description text to find the answer to the OP's question.

I agree with you, they do stack, since they are untyped bonuses.

I often prefer to aid one in finding his own answers rather than give him mine, becuase at the end of all discussions outside my own game, it is someone else's game. It affirms that the asker has made a revelation for use in his own game and everyone is satisfied.

If I have some since of ambiguity and can offer only an opinion, I will state it as such, often with a hint as to the reasoning behind my opinion. Then it is simply up to the asker to agree or disagree with my reasoning and we each go back to our game.

If it is someone in my own game, we settle the difference in the time honored tradition of a duel to the death with sharpened sticks and jagged rocks.

After reading the feats noted in the OP, my next question is: Are the bonuses from these feats "named" bonuses? Neither entry says anything about what type of bonus they provide, only to what the bonus is applied.

Does this then mean that both are unnamed bonus types and therefore do stack after all?

Given that the first sentence for Nightmare reads as: "You send a hideous and unsettling phantasmal vision to a specific creature that you name or otherwise specifically designate." , I would hazard a guess that the extract allows the alchemist to do exactly the same thing, send a nightmare to a target, rather than suffer the efects of the spell himself. The spell/extract would be the vehicle of delivery, not the actual nightmare.

I believe this would be the intent for most of the spells that you are concerned with.

ENHenry wrote:
Such weapons did exist in real life - they were just superceded by more advanced repeaters. I know why IRL "revolver" longarms weren't popular - they had a tendency to misfire with one of the user's hands in front of the firing chamber. :)


I take great axe, you keep nasty gun.

Last I checked, hiting the surface of what I am kneeling on/ leaning up against/ contained by doesn't require much effort, and in this particualr instance (and several I can think of) doesn't require visual capability to land an effective blow with any form of sharpened weapon. I would give the Rogue the sneak attack because of several reasons:
a- the gut in question certainly can't dodge away ( not with out a serious case of acid reflux)
b- a creatures Natural AC general refers to the toughness of its outer flesh, not innards.
c- striking the side of a barn in the dark is much easier when you move to any wall and wail on it. Finding the barn while blind-folded and outdoors after being spun around a half-dozen times would be extremely difficult.
d- I would actually go so far as to rule the innards to be the object of coup de grace attacks at that time because they are effectively prone and unable to perform any action to defend itself. Especially when one considers that the muscles of the intestinal tract are all involuntary, disregarding the ability some creatures have for intentionally acticating the gag reflex, and therefor unable to do anything against the rogue's attack.

So effectively, in my little corner of this multiverse, any monster swallowing a another still alive and thoroughly armed creature will have to deal with some serious consequences, unless there is a very special set of circumstances involved (like some demons' ability to swallow creatures into an extra-dimensional gullet). Those consequences being to repeatedly recieve and auto-crit-hit form whatever creature is in there, plus any form of additional damage granted for the inability to use its dex bonus to AC, such as a rogue's sneak attack damage.

This does not however mean that the charcater isn't also suffer some serious acid damage and runs the risk of being suffocated if they can't get out into the fresh air fast enough. If the creature is (relatively) normal in the biology of its guts and not so large that the character is simply adrift in a maelstrom of acid, then I think the tactic is justified.

I am now going to have nightmares involving the tarrasque my old dm pitted us against so many years ago. What a horrible way to go that was. <shudders>

I still wear chainmail on occasion in the current year. <shrugs>

MicMan wrote:
While a bludgeoning version of the Waraxe would give some advantages with damage reduction, you can not "keen" a bludgeoning weapon - something I would regard as a significant drawback.

I found these weapon qualities to help fix the whole Keen/Vorpal on other weapon types.

For Bludgeoning Weapons:

Impact: The magical might of an impact weapon helps its wielder deliver tremendously powerful blows. Upon a successful hit with an impact weapon, an additional 1d4 points of damage is dealt. This quality may only be applied to bludgeoning weapons.
Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bull's strength; Market Price: +1bonus.

Crushing: Weapons that possess the crushing enchantment are essentially the bludgeoning equivalents to vorpal weapons. Upon a successful critical hit, a weapon with this enchantment completely crushes the target's head (if it has one), into dust. As with vorpal weapons, many creatures such as oozes, abominations, golems, and some undead are not affected by the loss of a head, so the GM may have to make a judgment call as to the weapon's effect against such foes. Strong necromancy and transmutation; Caster Level: 18th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, forceful hand, finger of death; Market Price: +5 bonus.

And for Piercing Weapons:

Penetrating: A penetrating weapon is simply the piercing version of a keen weapon. Piercing weapons given this quality have their critical threat ranges doubled. A penetrating spear for example, scores a critical threat on a 19 or 20.
Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 11th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, keen edge; Market Price: +1 bonus.

Skewering: This enchantment creates essentially the piercing version of a vorpal weapon. Upon a successful critical hit with a piercing weapon, it skewers the heart of the target, killing it immediately. Creatures without hearts or with unusual anatomies may not be affected by this quality, requiring the GM to use his best judgment in such circumstances. Skewering weapons must be of the piercing type. Strong necromancy and transmutation; Caster Level: 18th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, keen edge, death spell; Market Price: +5 bonus.

Arms & Armor v3.5
Bastion Press

As far as making the hammer goes, a straight conversion would seem feasible simply by changing the flavor text and the damage type of the weapon. The Dwarven waraxe is simple a beefed up battle axe, and a dwarven warhammer would essentially be the same conversion to a standard warhammer.

Wasn't Skills and Powers the big pointy stick that 2nd Ed. got jabbed in the eye to death by?

...my collecton grow.

Crap. I just spent over an hour detailing how I worked out substituting challenged attack rolls for some of the feats I considered wasted space, how I jacked up the number of skills available to a fighter and how I altered skill lists to make a much more intensive list for most of the classes, without jamming things up or getting really obscure, but the preview post button ate it.

There is no reason whatsoever for a game mechanic to limit a fighter to being good only on the field of battle. The things I mentioned above were implemnetation I began making in the late 80's to my own campaigns that seemed to work well. Play balance was maintianed. The fighter remained important for more than just kicking in the door the thief wasn't sure was trapped. He didn't get completely snowed under in body parts when the barabarian was cut loose next to him, and he was seldom ever the one that needed the heal spells the most.

I have always loved the fighter character class. I have made some that were straight out of the king's army and were generally sticks in the mud until the game developed them into "normal" people and I have played a Half-devil gladiator that was a combat version of the bard's entertainment skills and frequently only wore a set of bracers and greaves as armor. (Got to love armor optimization as my group read it for 2nd ed.) I have been the poor lost kid who's single parent was the town sheriff brutally murdered by passing banditsand became one of the lands most sung about heroes. I have been a similar kid that became something far more feared, but still accomplished the same goal inthe end: avenge the fallen.

The lack of skills outside of combat, and the sheer vastness of what I deem useless feats has made made Fighters pretty shaky. I don't think they need "powers". They need more guts. They don't need maneuvers. They need more freedom in what can be accomplished in a fight without feats.

An additional half-Gary...
Gads, the messy images that conjures up. Poor janitors!

I purchased the same item and had the same problem. I never got it fixed, but I will be doing so now.

Add my name to the list for those leaving 4e on the shelf at the store. I have invested far too much time and money with the 3.x rules and system to flip into a whole new set. By Hades, many of my books haven't even had daylight on all their pages yet.

And here just a week ago I was planning on hanging up me blades and taking up farming.

Now there is definitely a reason to keep the steel sharp and the bronze shining.

Play on.


I drool. At this time, I have only just purchased the first two Pathfinder issues as PDF's (been really busy with the rest of life , ya know), and haven't even read through those yet. This stirs up a visceral response and it isn't gas like what I get when I read about what WotC says they are doing.

I really wanted one. I guess we start sifting through eBay now, eh?

Here, Here!! I'll bring Grog to that shindig. Right after my order(s) arrive.

Not really a question for this product, though I will get this one when I find the one I do have a question about. Where in the world did the Wheel of Time Campaign setting go? I can't find it online anywhere it seems. Am I just missing it or what?

I have been perusing the WotC site for the last several months and even with the new look and the new "content" I must say "Fie!" Firstly, the content of the site has gone downhill (mind you, short one, with almost no slope, but still a decline) at an alarmingly steady rate even non-dwarves can detect. Secondly, I agree with DaveMage in his idea that this "preview" period is a craptacular attempt to wow us with the coming product line. Thirdly, lastly for this post at least, what I do see is exceptionally vague or is almost a blatant rehash of previous editions' information.

The current free content has become very unappealing to me. There have been several articles in some of the actual columns I did like has become extremely... ill-thought and oddly immature, from a development viewpoint. The frequency of recurring articles is disheartening at best, with as much as three months between articles that are supposed to have a continuing theme. Quite frankly, I am absolutely tired of seeing design and development articles that really read as more of a conversation between designers at a bar. It might be interesting when D+D becomes its own prime-time soap opera, but please, give me the game, not a couple of individuals quibbling over game mechanics and the flavor chips they're bringing to the next office game.

This preview period has come out a full year after the decision to put the axe to our favorite magazines was made. Why in the Nine Hells are we seeing smoke and mirrors, half-images and ghostly sounds, instead of hard-core, in-your-face material that would grab each of us by our tenderest bits (wallets, purses and credit cards) instead of these echoingly empty promises? Come on WotC! Get your crap together and dazzle me ( and a few thouseand others that might think about paying for more of your product).

If you are going to promise us totally new ideas, show us the new ideas. The recent article on Elves was so very disappointing to me, because I thought maybe I'd at least see the first five levels or so of the new racial mechanics adding flavor to the race. They want to make elves cool again for the people who would rather eat them than talk to them (me included). I didn't see anything that impressed me one bit. Admittedly, I was so disappointed with what I began to read that I didn't finish the article, but I did do a quick scan and still didn't see anything that grabbed me as interesting. The last interesting thing I saw about elves was the "Ghost Elves" article in Dragon. Those I liked immensely, but still stuck my magic finger into to stir in some more special ingredients.

I guess, like many, I will wait and see if Wizards will ever actually do at least most of what we've heard about before I spend any good money it. Until then I will keep tracking behind the hints of 4.0 and try to actually stay on its trail.

So far, I think I'll just keep going with the 50 or so 3.5 books I've got until Wizards kicks in my door and tries to take them away. Hehe, I'd enjoy that.

I'd lay cash out for that. I have all 5 of WotC's MM's and quite frankly am exceptionally disappointed in what I see. Mybe everybody over there has been preoccupied with getting 4e going, but gee-willikers what a serious slack-off job they did with number 5.

Oh, well. Enough ranting. I bought Creature Codex I,II, and III from Sword and Sorcery because I just adore throwing soemthing that almost sounds familiar at them being ridden by something so freakish that they curl up and whimper in nightmares for weeks to come... ahhh, the joy!

More monsters doen Paizo style would be absolutely fantastic.

Apparently dragon 291 looks so spiffy, I wanted it twice also. I see on my order history that it was part of my original order. Really wish I'd remembered it the first go-round. <blushes sheepishly>

Really sorry for that mix-up. Can I get Dungeon 110 PDF instead?

I feel like such a doofus...

How about Dragon 291 and 295? Those look spiffy.

I recently chose my back issues for the transition. I personalized them, downloaded them to a separate temporary file on my desktop to peruse a later time. Then I started un-zipping the files and moving them to their lovely new home, only to find that I had already had a copy of Dragon 285 and 290 downloaded back in October 2006. Is there anyway for you to help me retrieve the credit for those two and maybe select two others that I left behind?

I'd appreciate it a heck of a lot.



I se;ected all the back issues I wanted, both PDF and hard print and am quite pleased with the results of the PDf files. I will still very much miss seeing the magazines showing up in the mail every month, but I am certain I will survive.

I might even commit myself to doing the Pathfinder series, eventually.

I have to get my self out of a small group of big financial boo-boos first, though. Wish me luck.

Just remember there are worse songs to stick in there. Songs about yellow brick roads, songs that never end, songs about a lovely lady and her three lovely little girls...

But I wouldn't want to be remembered as some sadist or anything...

Get more gnomes and fewer oompa-loompas working int the warehouse.

<waits patiently......>

<or not.>

<bounce, bounce, bounce>

Pushing for page 7....


Are we there yet? I really wanna know....

Honestly, I caught the "Ultimate Penultimate: 2 Issues Left" and thought much the same. I did the math thing and then thought, what if they count this as the second one? I left it at that being the likely choice.

And then that part of me that gets really twitchy when the new DM smiles with a glimmer in his eye thought, "What if that's really a super sneaky way of sying there is one more issue coming out right after the super-stupendous last issue, and they just don't want to let anyone that would object catch on too fast? I should look for more clues in the next issue!!"

And now I refuse to let that poor kid quietly die off.

Its my fantasy, I'll keep it. But if it comes out to be a really cool reality, I'll so find a way to give a really big Half-ogre slobbered kiss to the staff at Paizo.

(The tension builds....)
So we can soon look forward to the agonizing process of deciding which of the back issues we want, right?



For some odd reason I can't get my shopping cart to quit trying to make me buy the Eberron campaign setting...

HELP!!! It just won't die!!

In all seriousness, at least a hint of what might be in the availability range would help a whole lot of us become less nervous about our credits and things.
I am worried also about whether or not this is going to one of those super secret wait till the last minute unveilings and then watch everybody attempt to burn down Paizo's servers by trying to be the first to get their order in for the limited quantities of what will be available.
Long time subscribers may well be left holding on to an empty option when they find they already have all of the available back issues.
Is this logic fallible, or is it well founded concern?

A system that has worked rather well for the group I have had for nigh on 18 years is thus:
1st- 3rd--Max HD value plus Con Mod. (now plus any other feat-related Mod)
4th-10th dice roll + Con Mod.(+etc.)reroll less than 50% HD
11th plus- dice roll plus Con mod.

I've been guilty of making monsters uber to give the pc's a shake, but often found that tactics made for a heck of a lot more interesting fight.

Half-ogre werebear barbarian. Come here ye old wyrm, I got a bone to pick with you.

I did the damage potential count up on this one. I rolled an 18 for my strength score before modifiers, then added in all the racial bonuses I found in my favorite magazine. Once I went berserk in were-critter form, I push past 30. Laying the smack down on something wasn't very hard, when I could actually roll high enough to hit... :-/

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