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I do get that and I absolutely understand the balancing issue. RAW wise I've come round to the idea that the correct interpretation is that Mirror Image has no effect on spells that don't roll an attack.

Like I said it's more from a common sense/describing the action standpoint that I'm now hung up on and the reason I made the ruling in the moment originally.
I'm happy for the examples you give to just inherently 'pick' the correct target from among the images, either because they're magic or because it's a speech/mental effect like demoralize which relies on the target's perception: they can see/hear you intimidating them so they are the target.

But when it actually involves you grabbing or or at least touching the target it's difficult to describe why Mirror Image wouldn't work against that when it works against someone trying to hit you with a sword, without just having to say: "because those are the rules in place to balance the spell".

As I say I think it's a general issue I've got with the way touch range spells with no attack roll are described in action. I suppose you can argue that the same way a ranged spell with no attack roll inherently finds the right target the touch range spell inherently guides your hand to the right target...

It just doesn't seem very satisfying and as I've said, ignoring Mirror Image for a moment, it also feels odd if you have a very agile character who's just dodged a fireball and the 6 attacks from the ninjas around them only to have an octogenarian wizard able to just reach out and touch them and they can't do anything to avoid it...

(Apologies Ubertron_X, I hadn't seen your post till after I posted my last one and I realise you're making some of the same points)

Regarding RAW again: SuperBidi does have a point: as MI doesn't make any mention of AOE spells/single target spells it would imply that if you allow an attack to be any harmful action and therefore to work against MI then it would work against stuff like fireball which is almost certainly not the intention.

As I said above I think this is now just a common sense Vs RAW issue I have with touch range/no attack roll spells that mirror image has just highlighted. :-)

I appreciate the help, Good to know I wasn't wrong to be a little confused :-)

It does seem to be a case of interpreting what is meant by the word 'attack' in any given context. The key terms definition at the start of the rulebook:

Core Rulebook pg. 12 3.0 wrote:
When a creature tries to harm another creature, it makes a Strike or uses some other attack action. Most attacks are Strikes made with a weapon, but a character might Strike with their fist, grapple or shove with their hands, or attack with a spell.

and the definition of the 'Attack' trait:

Core Rulebook pg. 629 3.0 wrote:
An ability with this trait involves an attack. For each attack you make beyond the first on your turn, you take a multiple attack penalty.

First one could could be taken to mean an attack is any harmful action that targets another creature which Vampiric touch certainly is. But the trait definition does seem to imply an attack (big or small A) is something with the attack trait that the MAP applies to, which Vampiric Touch isn't.

So I think SuperBidi may have it right when he says offensive touch spells without the Attack trait aren't 'attacks' by RAW. But I do get Rysky's point that the word attack could be applied more generally based on the first definition and just because the Attack trait involves an attack doesn't mean all attacks have the Attack trait.

More important than the RAW for me is the fact I still feel like it's a tough sell common sense wise, if you have to touch someone Mirror image should make that harder. But I've realised that's sort of an issue with all the touch range/not attack spells. I know why it was done, to keep things running smoothly so abilities and effects resolve with as few die rolls as possible which is something I really like about 2e generally.
But if the target needs to be physically touched it does beg the question why would a very agile character allow an obviously dangerous spellcaster to touch them? I remember reading someone who said they describe it as just a very short range spell which can't be dodged because: magic, but certainly when Vampiric touch has the word touch in the name that feels a bit rubbish.

So this came up last night and I made an in the moment ruling on it intending to look it up later. Having been up and down the rules a bit I can't find a definitive answer.

If a spell has a range of touch but doesn't require an attack roll (such as Vampiric Touch) then is it affected by mirror image?
In the moment I ruled yes because it seemed to make common sense. Whether or not you need to roll to hit, if you need to touch a creature to deliver the spell then it seems like there would be a chance you touch a mirror image instead and not the creature?

Vampiric touch (and I assume other similar spells) doesn't have the attack trait. Mirror image uses the word 'attack' quite a lot in the description and references rolls to hit when it mentions images getting destroyed but doesn't specifically mention effects with the attack trait. So it could be read either way.
My instinct says that RAW probably mirror image doesn't work against those sorts of spells, but that does seem to run contrary to common sense. If you have to touch someone to deliver it then logically you might grab an image instead.

Anyone know of a specific rule that clears it up or have thoughts on how they'd run it?

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Going back to resting during the adventure it does seem to me as written that it assumes the PCs to 'push through' and potentially do the whole adventure without taking a rest (though part three does mention retreating and coming back, but if they think Martella could potentially be killed at any time...). I realised this was going to be difficult and a little unfair to the prepared caster in my party since they would no opportunity use the new spells they gained at 2nd and 3rd level.

I did a couple of things to mitigate/deal with the issue.

I did want them to do the whole catacombs without resting if possible so as to encourage the feeling of urgency. When the players levelled up I gave them their HP increase to their current HP as well as their max. When the players took an hour to rest and recover some non-lethal damage I let the cleric prepare spells in the additional spell slots she had earned at level 2. They made it all the way through to Daigo but were looking to rest after him. Since they only had a trap and one fight left I nudged them to continue via the nobles and by implying there were more monsters making their way up from the sinkhole. I also had the Sargavan cleric channel positive a couple of times after the nobles made a donation in recognition of the player's deeds up to that point.

Once they left the catacombs I knew I wanted them to rest even though the adventure as written seems to encourage them to rush to the Repository to save Martella ASAP. So I made the note they found on the halfling killers be in code. Told the rogue with Linguistics it would take a couple of of hours to decipher. Similarly I said it would take a few hours of investigation to narrow down the locations in the city that started with "dignif-" from Martella's final message. That way there'd be no way they could rush there straight away. Finally I applied the fatigued condition to all the PCs when they left the catacombs due to everything they had faced and the fact they had probably been up for nearly 24 hours by that point.

It worked and they decided to rest so now we're due to start part 3 with them fresh. Will see if they can do that in one or need to retreat and come back.

Martella's safe house: I may be missing something but is there any explanation of the secret door between E2 and E3? It's on the map and E1 explains that that secret door has been left open but there's no mention of the other one in the description for either E2 or E3. Is it secret from both sides or just the sewer side?

The description of E3 mentions it's a useful way for the players to retreat and return to the safehouse if they need to so it seems like it shouldn't be hidden from players too thoroughly.

I also feel the 'revolving door of death' is problem, actually less so for the players coming back but with regards to NPCs it's very difficult for the players to care about the fate of NPC's when they can just be raised if anything happens to them plus easy access the resurrection can end some story-lines very quickly (murder mysteries for example).

I've just finished running the last Council of Thieves adventure and this came up then, the bad guys had destabilised the city by murdering various prominent people (nobles, the guards captain etc.) so the PC's just rezzed them...problem solved. It wasn't too much of an issue as I came up with a few ways to complicate the process of getting certain NPC's raised (Quieting needles FTW :-p) to provide a bit more of a challenge rather than just solving the problems by throwing money at them.

Anyway my idea for handling this in the next game I run comes from much earlier in the CoT game I was running. The stories pretty long but if you want to read it it's below

The whole story:
In the last act of the first book one of the PC's died, since he was playing a Sorcerer who was also an actor I was keen to get him back as the second book involves posing as actors to infiltrate somewhere and has a whole section where the PC's take part in a play and the player was also fond of him. But of course at this stage the PC's had neither the ability or funds for resurrecting anyone. The Cleric of Asmodeus on the party suggested if he got a hold of a devil he could make a deal to return the slain party member to life.

So that's what we did, in a classic crossroads deal (that borrowed heavily from a certain show that also involved crossroad deals with evil creatures to bring back the dead) the Cleric contacted a powerful devil via his imp minion who agreed to return the slain player in return for the cleric and the newly alive PC helping him regain his former position as an infernal duke.

The repercussions of this deal are still being felt at the end of the adventure with other party members ending up as part of the agreement as well when the devil offered to get them out of a tough spot. It's provided plenty of fun and I've enjoyed weaving the devil's machinations throughout the adventure path

Basically when I next run I will let the players know early on that none of the three spells that raise dead are freely available either to have cast by NPCs or to take as PC's. The idea of returning from the dead is not unheard of but is something very rare and special that has happened only a few times under special circumstances (players can make knowledge checks for specific examples).

So basically if a PC (or possibly an NPC)dies either the player playing him doesn't mind and gens up a new character or the player tells the gm that actually they were really enjoying playing that character and they'd like to continue doing so. In this case the GM agrees to whip something up to give the party the chance to bring back the slain character. Maybe they need to perform a difficult quest to obtain an powerful one shot artefact with which to bring the dead PC back, or maybe they make deal with a powerful outsider who wants something from the party somewhere down the line.

These 'resurrection quests' can be as difficult or as easy as the GM would like. Of course if the quest has to be completed before the character is bought back then the player with the dead character might need to play a filler character for a little bit but they shouldn't mind if it means getting their beloved character back.

As I say I've yet to implement this but hopefully it will reintroduce the fear of death at mid to high levels while avoiding the game balance issues that removing or heavily restricting coming back from the dead might cause.

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Thanks for the advice guys, I ran this over the weekend and 8 think it definetley works best just using the mist to cover up the rest of the fight while leaving the PC's in a clear area

I've just read this, (jumped here from your recent post about speeding up high level games) and it looks really good, definitely worth trying. It does remind me a little of DnD 4th ed. rules regarding encounter lengths and short rests(and in case it's unclear I meant that comparison as a compliment :-p)

Basically it's a nice compromise between the two by not being overly simplistic like 4th ed. but structuring durations in a way that makes sense in game time rather than the GM having to rule: "er yeah I guess it's still running you probably got here less than 7 minutes ago..." (something I've said a lot)

I do have one suggestion though, an addendum that in some circumstances (per gm discretion) the actual duration will be used. For example a rogue has 3 minutes worth of invisibility and has to get through two guarded rooms and pick three difficult (for him) locks. It would ruin the tension a bit to simply say the invis duration is sufficient to cover the whole encounter so that's a circumstance where it would be better to count it out round by round as the rogue desperately makes his disable device checks and has to judge whether he has enough time to stealth across a room at half speed or whether he has to take the penalty and haul ass. (hmm, I've just had an awesome idea for an encounter...:-))

Anyway, thanks. I'll be using this in my high level game and will try and remember to post some feedback.

I'm interested to know how people ran (or are planning to run) the taking of the man's promise, specifically with regards to the fog cloud spells that are (per the text) supposed to be in effect for the entire battle aboard the man's promise.

Obviously for the scripted events (Harrigan being ambushed, the Rahadoumi officers escaping) the fog clears for a moment to reveal them and I'm fine with that but the rest of the fight seems very difficult to run. The PC's opportunity to shoot at the sailors as they approach seems impossible as all their targets have total concealment so they wouldn't know to shoot them. The same goes for the Rahadoumi sailors firing down from the sterncastle once the PC's have boarded.

More critically it makes just getting on to the MP problematic. Any grapple attempt is subject to the 50% miss chance and jumping across is essentially tantamount to throwing yourself into space with no clue where you're going to land.

This problem is compounded for our group since I have two primary casters and a gunslinger (who aren't going to be able to do much ranged damage through total concealment) and the only melee presence is a rogue who essentially has to do the whole fight without sneak attack since everyone has concealment. Finally since the group is pretty new running their first 'big' fight with everyone having some degree of concealment I think will complicate things enough to confuse everyone and slow what should be a fantastic fight down to a crawl.

I think I might have the fog clouds only affect areas forward of the aft deck so it can still part dramatically to reveal Harrigan and the escaping Rahadoumi but leave the PC's to fight in the clear. The other option is to have it be a different kind of fog cloud that creates a flat concealment to everyone in the AoE rather than total concealment at >5ft but I think I'll do the former since as I said it's new players first big proper fight so I want to give them a chance to shine.

As I said at the top I'm interested as to how others ran this or are planning to run it and whether they think the above is a good idea or have any better ones?

Yeah, my group hasn't reached Bonewrack yet but having read it over a few times and read some of the stories on here I'm pretty worried. My group (Rogue (pirate), Gunslinger (Pistolero), Sorceror (Anarchic), and witch(sea witch, water patron)) really aren't a high combat group (they got stomped by the pirate fistfight and the reefclaws and dire rats caused them some pretty major problems.)

Especially as the only melee character is the rogue and the the only healing is now the witch who has taken the healing hex when she hit 2nd level. Sandara has been keeping them alive between combat encounters on the Wormwood (not to mention the lashings) but I dread to think how they'll handle Bonewrack as they won't have her and the time limit means the witch will only get to CLW each party member twice and after that they'll be relying on whatever healing potions they've managed to acquire (which is likely to be 4 CMW potions assuming they do well enough when they take the mans promise)

I'm considering
a)Scattering some more healing items as loot on the island to let them 'top up' between encounters, maybe a wand somewhere the witch can use.
b)letting them take one of the helpful members of the crew with them to help in fights (or maybe even having someone other than Sandara kidnapped so she can go with them though this risks NPC overshadowing I think).
c)Similar to above but have them encounter and rescue one of the two missing npcs before Riptide (maybe they escaped and are being chased by Grindylows or the PC's spot them from the stockade with the telescope being 'taken for a walk'
d)some variation/combination of the above

Has anyone tried any of these or any other method of helping out the PC's on Bonewrack? Should I just bite the bullet and run it as written? I've always been a little squeamish about killing PCs but I'm just a little concerned as all my players are pretty new to PFinder and don't want a TPK from a swarm of flies to dampen their enthusiasm :-p.

I've just started running a Skulls and Shackles game and decided I wanted to try and spice up combat a little since I wanted 'piratey' fights to be as mobile and dynamic as possible and encourage players to improvise. Basically I want to avoid the below which has happened to me all too often:

Player: Can I knock that guy off that bridge/kick sand in that guys eye/some other cool and dramatic stunt that would certainly make the combat more cinematic?
Me: Sure, that's combat manoeuvre (x) but as you don't have the improved (x) feat it will provoke an attack of Opportunity from him
Player: *looks disappointed, thinks for a moment* never mind, I'll just hit him with my sword again...

I had the idea of removing AoOs for combat manoeuvres so that when that situation came up a player would go through with it (as well as allowing me to have npc's use them more often.) I thought I'd check the forums to see if anyone had a similar idea which led me here :-).

My idea for it was remove the AoO's and modify all of the improved (x) feats so that instead of allowing you to make the manoeuvre without provoking an AoO it allows you to make an AoO when someone without the feat uses the manoeuvre against you. Because I figure someone whose really good at disarming, bull rushing or whatever is going to be able to see that coming and react to it with an AoO. So taking the improved (x) feat allows you to AoO people who use that manoeuvre against you while also protecting you from AoO,s from other people with the improved (x) feat. The same applies to Greater (x) so someone with greater (x) can make an AoO against someone with only improved (x) but not against someone who also has greater (x).

What do people think of the above? anyone see any potential problems?

With regard to removing AoO's from CM's in general (however you decide to do it) have people had success with it? Does it leave the game unbalanced in a way I haven't yet considered?

I realise this thread is more than a little old now but thought I'd chime in anyway. I'm about to do something very similar in my game, a little intermission but I'm giving each of my four players individual little plots to follow.
(since they're all varying alignments it suits them to have their own agendas in the background)

For the Tiefling Rogue:

This guy took the runecurse from the Asmodean knot, identified it and managed to hold on to it without the bone devil turning up for long enough to palm it off on none other that Eritein Oberigo basically selling it to him with a load of other documents from the knot in response to his request for information. A few days later I gave reports of a massive ruckuss at his mansion that destroyed part of it and rumours he had been killed by a devil.
I decided Oberigo is far to cool an NPC to be killed 'off-screen' so he somehow escaped the bone devil but encouraged rumours of his demise to allow him to go into hiding since he already knows something is rotten in the council of thieves and wants to avoid getting assasinated. This slightly changes his role later in the adventure (he won't be captured for example) but with regards to this tiefling he'll be grabbed by a couple of Oberigos minions and bought to him. Orberigo, impressed with his cojones will basically tell him he works for him now and give him a little task, to track down and 'deal with' a former member of his household who is under Dottari protection waiting to expose the real details of Oberigo's 'death.' As the AP continues Ertien will provide information and possibly support for the players through this player along with giving him little 'side missions' (the first of which will be rescuing the informant in AP 4)

For the Half-Orc ranger:

This guy wants to be an assasin, (he's LN but I've always maintained Evil allignment shouldn't be a prereq for assasin: see Assasins Creed games and other books/films/games with characters that have the skills of an assasin but use them for good or at least neutral reasons) I found the Aspis Consortium in the faction guide and discovred their HQ is in Westcrown so decided they'e be perfect. They will be approaching him and recruiting him with a small 'test' job and if he does well he'll be given further tasks (basically npcs I pick from the AP's from now on or ones I add in) he'll go up in rank with the AC and gain appropriate benefits until I decide to give him a hit on a completly innocent person at which point he'll have to decide to go through with it and turn LE or not and incur the wrath of the consortium.

For the dwarf cleric of Asmodeus (also a sorcerer):

This guy is being investigated by the inquisition for his suspected part in the rebellion. Though there is only very little circumstanial evidence a particularly ambitious inquisitor egged on by his nephew Thesing Umberto (the dwarf played the lead in the 6 trials) has found an obscure loophole that allows him to challenge a fellow priest of Asmodeus to a spell duel (using the new rules from ult magic) to determine his guilt. The inquisitor is confident of victory as he has a cabal devil advising him. The devil however is playing him and waiting to see who emerges victorious from the duel and assuming it's the player she'll abandon the inquisitor and begin 'advising' the dwarf (who is looking to become a mystic theurge so a cabal devil helping with that works out well I think)

For The human sorcerer:

This one is complicated, the sorcerer died at the climax of BoE but I wanted him back (he was an actor so fit with 6 trials perfectly) so I put in a way for the cleric of Asmodeus to strike a deal with a devil to bring him back. The deal was for the two of them to do everything they can to reinstall the devil (who was cast out of the 9 hells) to his former status as an infernal duke. The devil currently has no physical body so is possesing the sorcerer and when they go down to deal with Liebedega the devil will 'hijack' his body then I'll be coming up with a few other quests the players will have to do at various points in the rest of the adventure path to return the devil to hell and allow him to regain his status. This intermission will be used to introduce all this

So those are my plans, comments and suggestions appreciated :-)