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Ok thanks for helping clarify it regardless.

Huh, ok thanks for the explanation. So a community of humanoids who, for whatever reason, have settled on another plane, would eventually have their kids become Native Outsiders? Or is this subtype literally only available to people who are part Outsider but born on the Material Plane?

So an Aasimar who was born on another Plane is still a Native Outsider because they are part mortal?

Just trying to make sure my head is wrapped around the concept correctly.

Isn't every Outsider Native on their home plane, and only Extraplanar when encountered somewhere else?

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Mark Hoover, I'll apologize to you directly, and indirectly to anyone else. I shouldn't have referred to anyone as a troll. I simply kept coming back to this discussion and saw points being proposed that not only seemed to contradict each other, but some of the proposals for how the Rogue is "fine" blew my mind with the level of system mastery required.

My personal favorite ways to bolster a Rogue are Press to the Wall and Gang Up, but both of those do represent a significant opportunity cost, so I didn't mention them.

And then, beyond system mastery, statements that "Rogue is great because trapfinding" "Rogue is great if you trade away trapfinding" "Rogue is great if you invest everything into Sneak Attack" and "Rogue is great if you give up Sneak Attack" was rather bewildering.

On reflection, I realize what the problem is. The Rogue's identity. What the Rogue is. What we expect the Rogue to be. These things are murky and there is a disconnect between expectation and reality for many.

At least, that has been my experience, but obviously, the anecdotal experiences of others have varied.

Ultimately, this debate will remain, with people not changing on their opinions, until we can get a concrete definition of what is the Rogue supposed to be good at, and what is an acceptable level of optimization for the Rogue to "get there".

To my mind, the Rogue is one of many "skilled hero" classes, with a situational source of hefty damage that doesn't require him to use giant swords, and a grab bag of tricks that are generally inferior to what other classes can do, but in aggregate are meant to provide him with something for any situation.

Even though I have done it multiple times in this thread, it's not fair to compare his bag of tricks to magic, because magic is just better at everything. It has more options, and better options for just about anything you'd want to be doing in Pathfinder. To the point that any discussion involving magic basically boils down to "well everyone should play a spellcaster".

And not everyone wants to, or should have to do that, which is the fundamental flaw Pathfinder has.

But when we say the Rogue doesn't need better abilities, I wonder, since the Ranger is still over there with almost as many skills, and situational damage dealing ability of his own, but gets to have full BAB, d10 hit dice, two good saves, but also gets a grab bag of different abilities of his own, including bonus feats he can ignore the prerequisites for those situations when he's not able to call upon his favorite enemy. Oh and spells too (one of which actually allows him to pretend he's fighting a favored enemy!).

Temperans, a sufficient level of optimization can make any class reach a certain benchmark of practicality- what we will arbitrarily call "goodness". That's the advantage of the 3.x/PF1e system.

There are options that can make you better.

However, this requires a level of system mastery, as there are MANY options that will not make you better.

Some classes get options built into their class, and better options available to them, making it easier to reach desired levels of "goodness".

The Rogue has to work much harder to achieve this "goodness" than other classes.

This should be a tradeoff- surely it's a tradeoff with the Fighter. He gets more Feats, he has more hit points, better AC, and better BAB. But he pays for this with having no skill options, which is why the Fighter is bad (outside of a few archetypes and Weapon Mastery options that came into the game very late).

But it isn't always a tradeoff. We see other classes able to perform better than the Rogue, with less effort, and less weak points that need to be covered. The Bard doesn't have to make a single attack roll to be able to provide better benefits to his party than what the Rogue can provide. He has a comparable skills package, increases the weapon damage of all his allies simultaneously, and has a spell list with some very good support spells.

Even though his defenses are comparable to the Rogue's, he is freer to focus on shoring them up, and doesn't actually need to be in melee. Plus, his ability to support the party's attacks also support his own attacks, if he chooses to make them.

Now ironically, I don't really like playing Bards, even though I see their advantages. I'd much rather play a Rogue. But when I have played a Rogue, I've found myself disappointed because I have to work harder to be "good" than my allies. Some of whom, like the Barbarian, don't even seem to need my contributions (other than maybe taking hits he otherwise would, because I'm an easier target to down, with 2/3 his hit point total).

I'll say to myself "why didn't I choose to be an Inquisitor, Slayer, or Ranger? Would I be having these problems?" It doesn't seem fair that I should have to be asking that question, the Rogue should be just as good at his job as those classes are at theirs. And yet, given equal levels of optimization, they aren't.

No, not symbolic, but better. Look, consider this.

At level 1, a Rogue can flank with someone, netting him and his ally a +2 to hit and unlocking the Rogue's d6 Sneak Attack.

At level 1, a Cleric can cast Bless, and then flank with someone, netting him and his flanking partner +3 to hit, and everyone else +1 to hit.

At level 1, a Bard can use Bardic Performance and then flank with someone, netting him and his flanking partner +3 to hit and +1 to damage, and everyone else +1 to hit.

At higher levels, the Rogue can take Talents that can reduce things like natural armor, penalize an enemy's attacks, or make a target flat-footed IF they land a sneak attack. I'm not going to count possible feats because everyone can take Feats.

The Unchained Rogue even gets Debilitating Strike for free, to lower AC of targets he hits with his Sneak Attack.

But at higher levels, the Cleric gets better spells to assist the team, like Prayer (which stacks with Bless).

And the Bard's Inspire Courage improves to +2 to hit and damage (and later even higher), and he gets spells like Haste as well.

So the issue isn't that the Rogue can't contribute, it's just that other classes can contribute more, and sometimes more easily, as their class gives them tools to use at lower opportunity costs, and their buffs can be applied more easily as well; to cast Haste or Prayer only requires a standard action. To apply a Debilitating Injury, the Rogue needs to be able to Sneak Attack and then land the Sneak Attack.

And the Rogue doesn't get a better way to land that Sneak Attack that is built into his class that other classes can't also employ.

Also, there are occasional situations, such as concealment, immunity to flanking, immunity to critical hits, improved uncanny dodge, and fortification that can negate the Rogue's ability to sneak attack in the first place- these instances are far more common than effects that prevent other classes from adding their contributions.

And this is the crux of my belief that the Rogue needs help. He has to put himself in danger to assist the party, using tools that have higher opportunity costs, with no built in way to increase the odds he can employ his support tools in the first place, all while having weaker defenses than most other front line classes.

TLDR; yes the Rogue can contribute. But he takes greater risks to do so, and it is harder for him to do so, and requires more of him, than other classes that can provide better contributions.

"The Rogue doesn't need to be better."

"The Rogue doesn't need to be better than other classes."

"The Rogue can prevent lots of damage from traps and ambushes."

"The Rogue's utility is just fine if you select this archetype and build around this optional material that removes it's one offensive ability and spam magic missile."

"The Rogue's damage is just fine if you get to level 10, and build based around this specific archetype and remove it's primary utility ability."

"Who cares about traps anyways?"

"You know if we turned the Rogue into a crappy Bard with some sneak attack, that solves a lot of the problems with the class."

I can't keep up, obviously this has ceased to be a serious discussion and some people are straight up trolls at this point. Either that, or people seriously believe Rogue is one of the worst classes in the game and that's just fine we're not here to compete...

Ok so if we don't even need Rogues to deal with traps, what's their point, then? Now the competition with them and the Bard, Inquisitor, Ranger, Vigilante, Ninja and Slayer is even WORSE.

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Thinking about the Rogue as a Skirmisher who weaves in and out of combat, maybe the Rogue should have a movement speed increase? Scout is already one of the better archetypes (and mostly emulates the feel of the 3.5 Scout class). If you gave Rogues something like the Scout's level 8 Skirmisher power as a baseline ability (but much earlier than level 8), triggering Sneak Attack, then you could probably be decent with Shot on the Run or Spring Attack, staying out of trouble and still getting a single Sneak Attack off each turn.

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As much as I hate to suggest it, you could also take the 5e approach, where Sneak Attack has most of it's restrictions lifted, and it effectively just becomes "that thing the Rogue does each turn".

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Thanks, Derklord. I've had a lot of time to think about the design of my favorite games, and the Rogue is always the Class I'm most disappointed in. Why? Because I like the Rogue. I'd like to play Rogues! I love skill points, and the idea of being the "clever hero" who defeats his opponents with cunning and panache (and not a small amount of luck) is very appealing.

But that's not what the Rogue is. He seems lackluster at everything, other than his impressive 8 + Int skill points, which, as has been pointed out, isn't as impressive when you consider other Classes. The Investigator's Inspiration alone makes them better at Skills than the Rogue, not to mention the Bard's way to save on Skill points.

The last time I played a Rogue (this was, in all fairness, pre-Unchained), I realized that making the typical "artful dodger" character was going to end in dismal failure. So I went Angelkin Aasimar, made Strength my high stat, got myself proficiency in the Glaive, and poked at things with reach, figuring "well, if I get sneak attack, that's gravy, but I'm not going to rely on it".

And I did just fine as a result...until we got into a fight where I was able to reliably flank, and suddenly my extra 3d6 damage per hit was noticeable. At which point the GM broke down and said "your damage is OP!".

He didn't seem to understand why I broke down laughing for a good ten minutes. It's not that Rogues can't be made to shine, they absolutely can, but they need help to do so. In an Emerald Spire game, I made a Fighter to basically be our Rogue's "designated flanking partner", and we both loaded up on Teamwork Feats so that it would be easier for me to get into position, and provide him with superior Flanking benefits.

He was a Tengu. I'm sure you can see where this is going. My character wasn't terrifying dangerous by himself, but thanks to me, the Rogue obliterated most enemies. But it still strikes me as odd that the Rogue has to have this kind of outside help to function, when every other Class has the ability to themselves to some degree or another.

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The Rogue's design space is an odd one. He's the "Skill Guy", with more base skill points than other classes. His skill loadout includes critical skills that a "dungeon delving" party should want.

Unfortunately, while there will always be a situation that will require a skill on his list, there's a bit of Schrodinger's Rogue going on here- you can't have all the skills, and there will be times when some skills are useless- thus even with 8+ skill points per level, it's still very hard to be good at everything he can be called upon to do, and unlike a Wizard, he can't change his skill loadout as needed for a mission.

When it comes to combat, he's too fragile to really be a melee character, and has virtually no way to make his attacks more accurate. His design seems to think he'll always be attacking from a flanking position or against foes who are denied their Dexterity bonus, but he (or she, or it) lacks any real ability to make this happen.

Stealth is difficulty to use in the actual game, and foes that are immune to his signature ability, Sneak Attack, like Elementals, make him worse off than a Ranger- since a Ranger has decent combat ability even when not facing his hated foes.

The harsh limits on when, where, and how precision damage can be applied is a unique problem to the Rogue, as other classes can enhance their damage in ways that do not have this problem (I guess Rage is the closest equivalent, as Rage has sharp limitations, but in most fights, you will be raging).

Add to this that in those situations where a Rogue CAN deal immense damage, many GM's feel that the do "too much" damage, and try to add additional restrictions on how Sneak Attack works (a problem the Barbarian sometimes shares, with GM's claiming "well you're in a rage, you aren't thinking correctly").

Rogue Talents are a welcome addition, but many are badly designed. Compare and contrast the Ninja, who can generate Invisibility as needed to gain the ability to use their precision damage.

The Unchained Rogue solves some of these issues, and allows the Rogue to go all in on Dexterity after a few levels, which helps, but there's rarely any reason to go to Rogue 20- at some point, dipping other classes will make the Rogue better at what they do.

So what needs to be considered is what role the Rogue is meant to fill in the game. Is he the "oops, all skills" guy, who spends several turns in combat jockeying for a position to deal a single, massive hit? Then he needs more skills, and better ways to use Stealth so he can't be targeted.

Is he a secondary combatant who occasionally dishes out the pain? Then he needs less fragility and ways to increase his accuracy, like a Cleric, Magus, or Inquisitor.

The Rogue is held back by his legacy, as other classes can do what the Rogue does, and are more fun to play. We don't need a "trap guy" anymore, not unless traps are made to be more prevalent and interesting than they currently are.

Ok how about this? A human has a base land speed of 30 feet. No racial bonus to jump checks. He casts Expeditious Retreat, increasing his base land speed by 30 feet. The rule under Acrobatics says he gains a +4 Racial bonus on jump checks for every 10 feet their base speed exceeds 30 feet.

So what are we saying, that we ignore the rule presented in Acrobatics because you don't get the increased speed from your race? I'd need to see some citation on that.

With it's body underground, the Earth Elemental has total cover, even if it reaches out to strike at people aboveground.

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Magic is, after all, the only way to stop magic. Now some will call you out for letting players roll their stats, because that does make them stronger than what the game assumes, but it's fine, you just have to realize that being permissive to your players will lead them to walking all over you unless you compensate, which it sounds like you have.

I'm not out of ideas yet. The Message spell, however, has limited range, and is blocked by Magical silence, 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal (or a thin sheet of lead), or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks the spell.

Silence is a low level spell that an enemy would likely employ to sneak up on the party! Imagine the Rogue, scouting ahead, when he bumps into someone who is magically silenced!

It sounds like what you need to do is conspire to have the Rogue separated from the party by a physical barrier for them to realize the flaw in their strategy. How about an unstable section of tunnel that could cave in?

Back to the Silence, a trick I've used in the past to Silence PC's is, rather than try to target them directly, cast it on a physical object, such as a Tanglefoot Bag, and hit one of the party members with it. Now they have a magically silenced bag of glue stuck to them.

Enemies that can lurk out of line of sight and pop up out of walls and floors behind a Rogue can be fun- Earth Elementals can do this with their Earth Glide, and a pack of humble Shadows can prove to be an equal pain in the behind.

Also, how about having intelligent enemies have patrols moving through corridors? The Rogue sees the patrol, runs back to the party, the party fights the patrol, the sound of battle alerts the real enemies further ahead?

I remember reading once that terrain that suits the enemy is part of their CR, so adjusting the battle maps so that the enemies get the advantages of high ground, difficult terrain between them and the party, cover that ranged attackers can use to their benefit (don't underestimate the power of the humble arrow slit), or even neutral monsters (an underground stream cuts through the cavern, and swimming in it are Dire Gars, minding their own business, until someone decides to jump in to get to the enemies on the other side...).

Misdirection is a wonderful tool as well. Have a guy who appears to be a squishy Wizard actually be a Monk (or a hulking Barbarian using a Hat of Disguise). Or vice versa, the guy in the Kung Fu getup is actually a Wizard! If the Rogue brings back the wrong information, then his scouting was for naught.

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Since this is General Discussion, and not a rules subforum, here is the thing about Vital Strike that's always bugged me. WHY does it work like it does? I thought the whole point was to kind of make you suck less when you can't Full Attack. What in the name of the Divines is wrong with letting you use it on a Charge or Spring Attack anyways? Yeah, some one could optimize and break it.

But are most players really doing that? I was in a game where a sword and board Fighter was looking at Vital Strike, and it would have given him an extra whole d8 damage! Oh no, the horror!

Anyways, because I like to harp about it a lot, my choice for worst Feat: Divine Protection. When the Advanced Class Guide came out, this was exactly what I was looking for to shore up my battle Oracle's flagging saves.

Then, as it happened, the exact same level I qualified to get it, it was nerfed into the ground because "PFS Oracles have 30 Charisma".

Well I sure didn't have 30 Charisma! And instead of capping the Feat, or ensuring it could only be taken by (what I assume was) the target audience, ie, Clerics who only have a little Cha to be good at Channel Energy, they said, you know what? Let's make this Feat WORTHLESS for those characters, by making it a 1/day ability that uses up your immediate/swift action!

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Yeah, I cut my teeth on old school dungeon crawling, where scouting ahead was the norm. But every time I try it in a modern game, I run into the fact that stealth is garbage.

You need cover or concealment to remain hidden, and nearly every monster in the game has Darkvision or some special sense to make that hard; and even if not, if there's any skill a monster is going to have, it's Perception.

For every workaround you come up with, there's a monster out there that just doesn't care. You're invisible? They got tremorsense. You can fly? They have blindsight. But even if your Rogue is so good that none of these factors slow them down...remember that all this scouting takes TIME.

Sure, the Rogue could have the ability to stealth quickly, and Trapfinder so they don't have to slow down to detect traps. But bear in mind, even if Trapfinder triggers, they still have to deal with the trap. So I suggest using a few traps, nothing major, just to slow them down.

I personally like things like caltrops, marbles, or even spike growth/spike stones if I'm feeling vile.

So here's what I would do. Next time the Rogue scouts ahead, pull them into another room and run everything away from the rest of the party.

Then leave them there and come back to announce "the Rogue has been gone for 5 minutes. How long do you wait?"

"Ok, now it's 10 minutes. Still waiting?"

"It's been 15, you sure you still want to wait?"

I'd be shocked if your party has the discipline not to decide the Rogue must be in danger and charge in before he's back with his scouting report.

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Well, as an aside, some of the rulings the Dev team made are suspect. The "hands of effort" ruling specifically flew in the face of something that was allowed in 3.5, and wasn't even all that broken, really. Oh no, someone swung a two handed sword and threw an armor spike attack in there.

And the specific stated thing they were worried about balancing was "level 1 characters". If you could find a way to do something like that at higher levels, why, that's perfectly fine then.

And let's not forget the whole weapon cords ruling- whether it was a joke or not, saying "man I tied a mouse cord to my hand and I, a non-adventuring character, who probably does not have the 16+ Dexterity of the average Gunslinger, couldn't make this work" was just silly.

And, relevant to this topic, remember when they created a specific exception for Haste to work with Spell Combat, even though, by their own rules, it didn't, and that "wasn't intended"?

There is a long list of things they changed their minds about that were perfectly fine and legal...until they weren't. Many rulings, like Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier, Divine Protection (I think that's the name of the Feat), and Crane Wing were specifically changed/nerfed because of how they affected PFS, not the base game. I made the mistake of buying actual paper books, only to have them retcon what was in them for the sake of PFS. And I had PDF's of books that were stealthily changed on me, so that I no longer had original versions.

I fully agree that, by the way Flurry of Blows and Spell Combat are written, no they do not work. But the actual reasons why, ultimately, came down to "the Dev team said so". And they were perfectly fine changing those opinions, like using SLA's to qualify for bad Prestige Classes, at any time. So we can't look at the almighty RAW as a reason something is balanced or isn't.

But this is a rules question, and you are correct to state, Derklord, that this is what the rules say. Any discussions about why or why it shouldn't be allowed should be placed in a different subforum. Why anyone cares at this point, when PF1 has been all but abandoned, is beyond me. Every GM and group will have to decide what is balanced for their own games, and they are better off to do so.

Like I said, I guess, but I still think some kind of consumable item for those instances might be better. Unless of course, it happens all the time, at which point you should just ask if you can reroll archer.

And yeah, a backup weapon for utility purposes like cutting stuff is fine. A case was made for being grappled or worse, swallowed whole; personally I like spiked armor for those instances.

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It would be better if the TWF rules weren't so darned worried about being overpowered. I can only assume that the changes made in 3e were a reaction to how OP 2e TWF was, but man. A feat to be able to do it with penalties (as opposed to massive penalties). A feat to get your full off hand Str damage. A feat to get an extra iterative attack. Another feat to get an extra second iterative.

All with really high requirements unless you're a Ranger. Yikes! And then, it only pays off if you do have a source of bonus damage like Smite, Sneak Attack, Flaming, Favored Enemy, etc..

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Or just have a 13 Strength and take regular Power Attack on your Dex build, great for Elven Curve-Blade and Branch Spear builds.

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Lol, Ryze, well, if your group plays with critical fumbles, yes, I suppose thats a concern. Though the locked gauntlet and weapons cords are also a thing.

I mean, if carrying a ranged weapon works out for people, that's great, it just hasn't been my experience. I see these "just carry a bow" discussions all the time, and what I usually see happen in game is:

"Ok so the monster is just going to fly around and hit you with it's 50 ft. range electricity ray for 2d8 damage, and that's +12 to hit vs. touch AC".

"Ok great, so I drop my weapon and use move action to get out my bow and take a shot at it."

"Alright, it's AC is 21 and it has a 20% miss chance due to Wind Stance."

"Uh..right, ok, so, let's see, I'm level 5, so that's +2 Dex, +5 BAB, and +1 for my masterwork bow, so...rats, rolled an 11. I miss."

And sure, a ~40% chance to hit ain't nothing, but it's less than a coin flip, and there has to be something more efficient you could be doing in this case.

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Yes, but the problem with throwing weapons is their terrible range (and being badly supported, making a Blinkback Belt practically a required item).

And as for the d8 being better than 0...I'm not sure. I mean, part of the problem is being able to hit in the first place in most cases. It seems people would be better served carrying around consumable magic items like potions of fly or some wacky wonderous item like a Feather Token or something, than trying to figure out how to make bow work effectively at higher levels. Or even the humble tanglefoot bag- touch AC is usually easy to hit even with low Dexterity.

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My main problem with the "backup weapon" argument is that it doesn't hold much water unless you're Dex-based. I routinely see Str-based characters with Strength 4 points or higher than their Dex, they naturally lack Precise Shot (which might not matter against a flying enemy, but it is a huge penalty), and then there's the action economy to switch to a bow with a lower (or no!) enhancement bonus. This routinely leads to a loss of a ton of to hit, and unless it's an expensive composite bow, you're throwing a d8 damage. If the enemy is a dragon, it might have DR/magic which you have to take into account.

Back in D&D 2e, everyone could have a golf bag of weapons, but if the GM is strict on treasure, it becomes a pain to really be good enough that you're not praying for a crit. Is this better than just trying to Intimidate foes, as the Barbarian upthread tends to do? For the most part, this is a game for specialists, and spreading your resources thin to be able to have a reasonable off weapon really doesn't pay off.

Again, my experience, obviously others have had different experiences. I don't really think it should be this way, but the best solution is to have a GM who is very liberal about consumables. Having players find a bunch of useful magic arrows, for example, and if they sell them, well, you tried.

Invisibility doesn't make you hidden, so you'd still need Stealth for people to not realize you're around. They can't see you, but that's not the same as "hidden", by the Stealth rules. However, being invisible does give you a large bonus to Stealth rolls.

That's what I assumed, but I wanted to make sure I understood what Ryze is saying. The Caryatid Column's ability then, is an ability that doesn't allow a saving throw.

Shatter Weapons (Ex): Whenever a character strikes a caryatid column with a weapon (magical or nonmagical), the weapon takes 3d6 points of damage. Apply the weapon’s hardness normally. Weapons that take any amount of damage in excess of their hardness gain the broken condition.

I did finally convince my GM to tell me what the monster that started this thread was- as I suspected, it was a 3rd party creature, from Rite Publishing's Pathways Bestiary, which, to my consternation, specifically calls out that it doesn't ignore hardness, which could have staved off an argument if he'd bothered to read the whole text block, lol.

Pyroclastic Creature's Lava Burn (Ex): " If a pyroclastic creature is hit with a manufactured weapon, the weapon takes fire damage as though hit by the pyroclastic creature’s lava burn ability and must make a Reflex save to avoid catching on fire. Weapons that can deal additional cold or fire damage, such as a flaming or icy burst weapons, are immune to this effect. This effect does not avoid or ignore hardness."

Just so we're clear- if an ability does not say it has a saving throw, is that a "No Save" ability?

I guess, but would it really have used up so much precious text to give a GM an idea for the intended effect of the ability? "Typically, wood, leather, and stone weapons are vulnerable to this acid". These sorts of monsters would be hilarious in Society play, where every GM rules differently on how they work.

I would argue that if 1 point of damage from an ability imposes the broken condition on my weapon, then repairing that point of damage would remove it. If the ability was intended to do more damage, it would have specifically stated it did so. In other words, the rule the ability is breaking is "damage equal to 50% of hit points imposes the broken condition".

zza ni, I'm not saying your ruling is unreasonable, but it's adding more text to the ability to make it work, where there is a simpler (if a little more mind-bending) possibility.

Alas, we'll never know which of us is right, but I guess that's a good thing. Since Paizo has abandoned their game, each of us is right about the games we run, and we're allowed to make rulings that are appropriate for the style of games we run. ^-^

I just posted this in a different thread, but there's also this ability, the Babau's Protective Slime-

Protective Slime (Su): A layer of acidic slime coats a babau’s skin. Any creature that strikes a babau with a natural attack or unarmed strike takes 1d8 points of acid damage from this slime if it fails a DC 18 Reflex save. A creature that strikes a babau with a melee weapon must make a DC 18 Reflex save or the weapon takes 1d8 points of acid damage; if this damage penetrates the weapon’s hardness, the weapon gains the broken condition. Ammunition that strikes a babau is automatically destroyed after it inflicts its damage.

So if the slime does 1 point of acid damage to your sword, it's broken!

Though the really weird part is, most of the time, the Babau's ability won't do anything. It specifically says the d8 damage has to beat the hardness of the weapon.

It's possible that your GM could say weapons are vulnerable to acid, of course, but, as usual, it's not called out.

So barring additional text, your weapon takes half of a d8 damage and...is probably just fine, even if you fail the save.

It does seem pretty ridiculous, but I'm considering whether or not it's worth it to buy a Quenching weapon just in case this happens again.

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-weapons/magic-weapon-special-abi lities/quenching/

While I couldn't find the culprit that I made this thread for, I did find this-

Demon, Babau

Protective Slime (Su): A layer of acidic slime coats a babau’s skin. Any creature that strikes a babau with a natural attack or unarmed strike takes 1d8 points of acid damage from this slime if it fails a DC 18 Reflex save. A creature that strikes a babau with a melee weapon must make a DC 18 Reflex save or the weapon takes 1d8 points of acid damage; if this damage penetrates the weapon’s hardness, the weapon gains the broken condition. Ammunition that strikes a babau is automatically destroyed after it inflicts its damage.

I don't know, it sounds like it would have been far easier to say that damage to a vulnerable object isn't halved or that it deals normal damage instead of "first you halve the damage then you double it". Because that creates the following scenario:

I deal 9 fire damage to an ice wall. Since I'm using an energy attack, the damage is reduced to 4.5, or 4. Then because the GM rules that "ice walls" are vulnerable to fire, I deal double damage, or 8?

Your point is correct that it doesn't specifically contradict the general rules, and thus that is RAW, but it seems really easy to divine the intent using Occam's Razor. Just my 2 cp.

I am having a hard time finding the exact creature*, though I have noticed that several creatures with similar abilities, like the Thoqqua, do have language that states that damage isn't halved by the ability (and in the Thoqqua's case, Hardness is reduced by 5). So I may have tripped over an edge case.

I saw a few references to vulnerability only increasing damage by 50% or causing the weapon to take normal damage, when the text states "double the normal damage". Not sure if that's the result of vulnerability functioning differently for creatures or not.

*In retrospect, I wouldn't put it past my GM to use a 3rd Party monster without reading it carefully, as often such creatures don't rigidly adhere to the guidelines for monsters or the rules set of the game.

Thanks for the comments though- I distinctly recall seeing a discussion on this topic before, but I couldn't find it to point people towards. How things deal damage to objects is often this huge grey area in Pathfinder, and it's different from 3.5, which had sonic attacks ignoring hardness, for example. Having a place where you can say "no look, go here, this explains it" is a good thing, even if Pathfinder 1e is no longer supported (boo, hiss).

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I know this has been discussed before, but I couldn't quickly find a thread about it, so I made this one, hoping that I can point people to it in the future.

I was in a game recently where we faced a monster that did fire damage to weapons that struck it in combat. It was something like 1d6 fire damage. When I explained that this doesn't do anything, by the rules, I was met with derision and incredulity.

When I showed the actual text, there was still a general feeling of "there must be an FAQ" and "this has to be a mistake".

So here we go, from the SRD:

"Each object has hardness—a number that represents how well it resists damage. When an object is damaged, subtract its hardness from the damage. Only damage in excess of its hardness is deducted from the object’s hit points."

"Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object’s hardness. Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion. For example, fire might do full damage against parchment, cloth, and other objects that burn easily. Sonic might do full damage against glass and crystal objects."

"Objects take half damage from ranged weapons (unless the weapon is a siege engine or something similar). Divide the damage dealt by 2 before applying the object’s hardness."

"Certain weapons just can’t effectively deal damage to certain objects. For example, a bludgeoning weapon cannot be used to damage a rope. Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer."

"Objects are immune to nonlethal damage and to critical hits."

"Each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 2 to the hardness of armor, a weapon, or a shield, and +10 to the item’s hit points."

"Certain attacks are especially successful against some objects. In such cases, attacks deal double their normal damage and may ignore the object’s hardness."

Now, putting all this together; if I strike a creature and my +2 longsword takes 4 fire damage, that damage is halved to 2 and then reduced by the sword's 14 hardness to 0; UNLESS the GM rules that steel swords are vulnerable to fire, in which case it takes 8 fire damage to it's 25 hit points.

There is no guideline to what is vulnerable and what isn't other than common sense (which is, sadly, not that common; the GM in this case ruled that a wooden shield was vulnerable to fire, "because wood", despite the fact that wood can actually be quite hard to set alight, but even then, a +2 heavy wooden shield has 35 hit points, so it's not exactly easy to destroy this way.

But he was still very put out by the fact that, unless "steel" is vulnerable to fire, the monster's special ability only really affects Monks and natural weapons.

If there are more comments about this aspect of the rules (including anything I may have missed), please share them, so future generations can be enlightened.

According to the SRD though, "When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects."

A natural 20, therefore, automatically succeeds at a combat maneuver. I think that is definitely a "hit".

So burn would definitely trigger at least once.

The answers you're looking for are here:

https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/73653/when-i-level-up-as-a-prestige -class-do-i-gain-the-bonus-of-both-my-core-class-a

If a prestige class advances the abilities of your core class or classes, it specifies which ones are advanced, for example, in this case, spellcasting. Other abilities of your core classes are not advanced. When a class states "at level x, you gain y ability", it's referring to levels in that class.

Wouldn't this rule apply to improvised weapons? Which a rod probably could be (but probably not your average wand, see Louie the Rune Soldier for details).

What I see a lot of is someone readies a reach weapon with brace against a charging foe.

The reach weapon user attacks for double damage when the charging attacker moves into range.


The charging attacker provokes by leaving the threatened space, allowing a second attack.

I got a little confused in the back and forth of this thread, but that is legal, right?

Traits that add a new Class Skill are perfectly fine, in my opinion, and I really like having the option. The +1 (or rarely +2) tacked onto the skill check is a little dubious, but not usually worth raising an eyebrow about.

*It's a little weird that a Fighter, whose class doesn't natively grant Perception could take a Trait that grants Perception and have a better check than a Rogue (all other things being equal). Sure, the Rogue could take the same Trait, but they get less benefit out of it. Not broken, but strange.

As a player, naturally, I like Traits that give me neat mechanical options, or make other options better (like Threatening Defender). But it's fair to note that these range from "this will come up once a campaign, maybe" to "this is equal to a class feature".

I'm not including Trapfinding here; the niche protection around finding magical traps serves no purpose, in my opinion.

There are several Traits that are very nearly equal to Uncanny Dodge, such as Defensive Strategist or Ever Wary (that lack language allowing higher level opponents to ignore these benefits).

Some Traits approach the value of Feats, such as Defender of the Society, or are even better than Feats, like Sword Scion (or Finding Haleen, but that was obviously never meant to be used in Pathfinder).

At the end of the day, if Traits are supposed to be equal to half a Feat, and are designed to add flavor to your character, I wonder why we just don't give people an extra Feat in the first place, as opposed to making all these "sub-Feats", which are even more badly balanced than the Feats we already have.

Azothath wrote:

Spending XP wasn't all that bad. It DID make it slightly more complicated and added another Wizard Tax.

Although really, a strange thing would happen when you spent xp to craft. Because of how 3.5's experience system worked, if you were lower level than the rest of the party fighting the same thing, you earned more xp from the same encounter than the rest of the party did. As a result, you really aren't that much lower level than the rest of your party, and the massive boost to WBL made you much more powerful.

Honestly I've found myself in a bit of a pickle when it comes to Item Crafting. I want to allow it. I try to make it less odious since the investment of Feats is hard. My players typically craft bonus to Spellcraft items to help with this.

But once everything is up and running, it quickly devolves into:

"I'm going to spend 1 week making items for the party."

"Ugh, why are we sitting around, why can't we have a side adventure?"

And then, of course, even if I stick with the rule of thumb "no more than 50% bonus WBL", suddenly the party is much stronger than intended to fight encounters, so I have to use more powerful enemies, which causes them to level up faster.

Anything I do to try and balance this behind the scenes (adding Advanced Template but not increasing CR, for example) seems cheap, like I'm denying them the advantage of taking those crafting feats in the first place. Being able to craft magic items is a fun and flavorful part of the game, but it feels like it makes things go off the rails faster than usual.

EDIT: and of course, there's the problem of humanoid NPC's who need gear to keep up with the party, but giving them that gear just gives my party more treasure that they can use to break WBL guidelines.

My question is why is this an issue? So you used a trap on your player and they countered with a spell. That's how spells work- you have a limited number of them, and each is a "silver bullet" for a particular situation. If the argument is that the character is high enough level that a low-level spell slot is trivial, then a Cleric could just be tossing out Delay Poison on anyone who should be opening doors anyways, and dealing with the effects later.

If it's a breakdown of verisimilitude, keep in mind that the "turn order" in the game is an artificial construct made to make the game run smoothly. In reality, all kinds of things are actually happening at the same time, and Opportunity Attacks and Immediate Actions can often seem to be "rewinding time" or occurring when the victim shouldn't even know what they are reacting to.

For example, there's a Bard spell a friend of mine uses a lot that adds a bonus to a die roll that's been made, in an attempt to turn a failed roll into a success. Now you don't know the result of the roll, but you know what the roll is.

How the heck does the Bard know "oh he rolled a 14, I better give him a +3 to that"? Do Bards have prescient abilities? No, of course not, we assume the Bard can guess what's about to happen in real time, just as a Sylph could see a dart glistening with some green substance flying towards them and go "oh shit, that's probably poison!".

Remember, players don't know anything about the world unless you tell them. Holding back data so they can't make informed decisions is simply taking candy from a baby.

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You really aren't meant to think too hard about material components. They are a gold tax meant to balance some spells and to provide some flavor to the act of spellcasting.

Some DM's point out that it is also a way to prevent spallcasting by forcing people to keep detailed lists of what components they have, but the developers of 3.5 obviously felt that wasn't a great consideration, due to the rules surrounding the Spell Component Pouch.

Here's a few things to consider with regards to material components. How big is a 100 gp pearl? In a desert? Near the sea?

Some spells require diamond dust. Some require actual diamonds. Are these diamonds cut? Can a wizard acquire raw diamonds cheaply and use Craft -Gemcutter- to increase their value? You see where this is going.

Pathfinder cannot support any kind of real economy the way it is written, gp values are arbitrary, and only serve as a resource for player characters.

Take trade goods, gems, and jewelry. In a world where everything is sold for half value, these items are basically money and can be sold at cost. I once received a platinum plated and jeweled masterwork long sword in a treasure horde that I was told was an art object by the GM.

I considered with much amusement the strange paradox that a regular masterwork sword could only be sold at half price, but this one sold for full price.

Or how about Magic Item Crafting? If I make a +1 weapon for ~1000 gp, I can sell it for ~2000 gp. But if I find a +1 weapon, I can only sell it for ~1000 gp. What stops me from saying "Oh I totally enchanted this", lol?

We just have to accept that all gp costs are arbitrary concepts and move on, even if it strains our suspension of disbelief.

Is Wall of Ice the only example we have of a solid object that could be subject to Spell Resistance? Because whether or not it makes sense for someone to be able to walk through the magic wall, this might be such a corner case that allowing it one way or another doesn't really matter.

A nebulous imaginary scenario about imaginary creatures interacting with imaginary spells, you mean?

This is certainly an area of the game where Paizo really could have taken more time to develop. It's worth noting, however, that Wall of Ice isn't their fault- it's written the same way in 3.5 as having Spell Resistance: Yes without explaining the hows or whys.

However, the 3.5 rules have this to say, which at least indicates how this was intended to work:

Effect Spells
Most effect spells summon or create something and are not subject to spell resistance. Sometimes, however, spell resistance applies to effect spells, usually to those that act upon a creature more or less directly, such as web.

Spell resistance has no effect unless the energy created or released by the spell actually goes to work on the resistant creature’s mind or body. If the spell acts on anything else and the creature is affected as a consequence, no roll is required. Creatures can be harmed by a spell without being directly affected.

Spell resistance does not apply if an effect fools the creature’s senses or reveals something about the creature.

Magic actually has to be working for spell resistance to apply. Spells that have instantaneous durations but lasting results aren’t subject to spell resistance unless the resistant creature is exposed to the spell the instant it is cast.

When in doubt about whether a spell’s effect is direct or indirect, consider the spell’s school:

If an evocation spell deals damage to the creature, it has a direct effect. If the spell damages something else, it has an indirect effect.

-My takeaway- the damage of the Evocation spell, Wall of Ice, is a direct effect. The fact that it's, you know, a wall of ice, is an indirect effect. Spell Resistance was intended to apply to the damage.

Now we can get back to discussing whether or not Paizo messed this up or if they intended to make Spell Resistance apply to the entirety of the spell.

Oh that is nice, thank you. I'm still waiting to see what my GM says about it, but worst case scenario, I can always buy one of those.

For an upcoming Skulls and Shackles game, I'm looking at the Tempest Tamer Druid, which seems like it's a perfect fit. The only problem I've noticed is that "Tempest Wild Shape", since it has a different name, might not be considered the Wild Shape class feature (so no Natural Spell).

I then thought, "well, ok, I'll just take Eschew Materials at some point", but then it occurred to me that Eschew Materials only covers my not needing Material Components for spells- it doesn't obviate my need for a Divine Focus.

And since my Divine Focus, as a Druid, is a "sprig of holly, or some other sacred plant", the normal things I'd consider to work around this problem, like a Holy Symbol Tattoo, or the Birthmark Trait might not work.

I considered just having a second Spell Component Pouch (with a sprig of holly inside) that I throw down and then have to pick up after turning into a Water Elemental (assuming the GM is OK with the idea of a Water Elemental handling material components, lol), but I was wondering if there was some other way to cast spells needing a Divine Focus when taking on Elemental form that I might have missed.

The Charisma scores of creatures are assigned in a arbitrary way, because Charisma doesn't just have one meaning. In addition to being your force of personality, it can reflect how attractive you are, how charming you are, how terrifying you are (see: Undead creatures in general), and, most importantly, how well you communicate and work well with others.

The ability to work with a group should not be underestimated, and is one of the reasons we (humanity) have gotten as far as we have, Now this all does lead to some odd situations, as has been noted in the past, like how Dwarves, a race that is noted for it's ability to work together in an organized fashion, have an average Charisma of about 8, while a Tyrannosaurus has a Charisma of 10...

Well maybe that does make sense, depending on who you ask T-Rexes are scary and/or cool, and Dwarves are just grubby dirt farmers, lol.

I can think of one scenario where you possibly could, in fact, unintentionally touch someone. Maybe. What do you suppose happens if, while holding the charge of a spell, you walk forward and find yourself encountering a foe who was hidden from you (either by invisibility or hide in plain sight)?

Also, not to add any fuel to any fires, there are instances in the rules where an attack that misses can still have an effect, and that is Mirror Image, which states an attack that misses by 5 or less destroys a Mirror Image due to a 'near miss'. I'm not trying to extrapolate any rules from that outside of the ones that are specific for the spell, nor am I saying destroying a Mirror Image would discharge a touch spell; in fact, if even mentioning this is not relevant, I apologize.

But I thought it might be.

Oh sure, there we go. Make all melee options inferior to the Barbarian, that's so much better, lol.

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