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Go simian, take a rank in linguistics, and pick up a signed language (and get someone else in the party to learn the language as well). Or any bipedal species, really; short-armed creatures aren't going to be great at it, but you can at least do some of the language.

Helm of telepathy.

An Intelligent magic item with telepathy.

A wizard/witch/whatever with an improved familiar with telepathy or truespeech.

The chart on (which I assume is from the recent Animal Archive) lists magic item slots for most traditional Animal Companions and Familiars (and some untraditional -- Who on earth takes a DODO as a familiar?).

It is, however, lacking for most of the unusually shaped improved familiars.

Arbiter's have hands and an eye, so a monocle, one or two rings (can its knife be dropped, or is it locked in place?), and maybe a gloves. Probably wrists, possibly a weapon or shield. Can it wear a single lens from a paired set without dizziness? Can you drape a cloak over it effectively?

Augurs MIGHT be able to wear a monocle. Seems like it, though.

Doru's and Severed heads get head, headband, and eye slots. Can you use shoulder slots as well? How about necklaces?

Elementals? No idea.

Nosoi wear a mask; does that mean the headband or eyes slot is taken or not?

Nuglub have 3 eyes. How does that impact lens pairs?

Paracletus are a constellation of lights and crystals. So, uh, rings on long crystals? throw a cloak on top?

Spirit Oni? Uh, I've no idea, either attached or not.

Dragons? I'd probably mix the Quadrupeds (claws) and bipeds, maybe limiting belts to saddles. Although having a headband slot and not a head slot seems weird.

Zoog? It is an amalgam of parts. For all I know, it can wear a ring on each tendril, but no belt/body/neck/head slot.

Harbinger? Got me.

Mahtobedis wrote:

Small sized improved familiars


There are plenty of small sized Improved Familiars. The issue is the small sized non-improved familiars are kind of pathetic. (Donkey Rat? Maybe the best.)

Small Elementals, Nuglub, Paracletus, your Dweomercat Cub after finding a way to visit a fast-time fey Plane, Dire rat, and any of the rest of them after using Alter Self, Beast Shape I, or Vermin Shape I on them. =)

Grick wrote:

Caster moves up behind rogue, concentrates to maintain the spell, and detects the presence of magical auras.

So you then either spend 3 rounds waiting for the caster to determine the strength and location of each aura, or you just have the rogue stay out of the cone.

Or you cast Mask Dweomer on the Rogue's items/spells. Or you wait a second round to get number of auras, and if the number isn't expected, go for the third round. Or coat the Rogue and her stuff in a thin layer of lead. Or you have the rogue duck OUT OF YOUR LINE OF SIGHT when concentrating. Besides, unless you're moving quickly, the range on Detect Magic is 60 feet; the rogue can only cover 60 feet every two rounds.

If you need it strictly broken down by rounds:
1st round:
Rogue moves 30', searching for traps.
Wizard moves 30', Wizard Casts DM or concentrates (1st round; presence)

Rogue delays;
Wizard concentrates (2nd round, number of auras), readies an action to follow the rogue 30'.
Rogue moves 30'; searching for traps.
Wizard follows 30'.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

My 2c.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
2) "Should tieflings be humanoid?" is not a frequently asked question.

I disagree with SKR on this -- at least, if it isn't a frequently asked question, either "Tieflings should be Humanoids" is a frequently made statement or "Why are Tieflings not Humanoid?" is a frequently asked question.

It doesn't make it a _good_ question, but it is frequent.

- - -

A FAQ response somewhere to


Tieflings, Aasimars, and other plane-touched races do not have the Humanoid type but Outsider; is this, and the correspondingly different spell effects, intentional?

Yes. This is intentional.

wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea.

- - -

(Now, there are some rather silly effects from this being the case. For instance, a Tiefling using Disguise Self can, from one way of reading the RAW, appear as a medium Lightning elemental, but cannot appear as a Human. Although, another way of reading the spell, RAW, a Tiefling could make their appearance different by changing their skin tone, head structure, ear shape, eye color, body proportions, etc. into what is normal for a human; they can't make their type change, but the difference between a VERY HUMAN looking Outsider(native) and a Humanoid(Human) isn't very far. Whereas looking like the Lightning Elemental will fail as there is no way to use the spell to do all of the anatomical changes necessary to make the Tiefling look like an elemental.)

Ssalarn wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Maybe they were meant to be replacements for Improved Familiars.
That actually makes sense. It would put standard familiars closer to Improved Familiars, but it wouldn't raise the total power level or capability of familiars beyond the current ceiling set by the Improved Familiar feat, ad there would still be a reason to choose one or the other (just not both).

It may make sense, but then we're back to the archetypes being mostly useless.

Your standard familiar is crunchy and goes well with soup. It is going to have a lousy AC, lousy strength, one or two attacks at most, few inherent abilities, and needs to enter another creature's square to affect them (now that there are some small familiars, this isn't entirely true -- best of luck to you and your goat/pig familiar). Unless you've devoted a large chunk of your character wealth to your familiar, we're not talking a very survivable creature.

What does this mean? It means your archetypical Pilferer familiar may not provoke AoOs from using the Steal maneuver, but it is going to provoke one when entering the square to Steal and another to get out. It loses all levels of evasion, so it is screwed when encountering any spell. It can sneak around really well, but that's about it. It means your archetypical Infiltrator is never going to be flatfooted, but again, screwed against spells. To make things worse, the Familiar's eventual SR is only against divination and mind affecting. The master can watch it get roasted alive all the faster.

(The Valet Familiar Archetype is all about magic item creation and Aid Another, which is _relatively_ safe. They also keep their evasion and full SR.)

Unless you're a witch with a hate on for a specific creature, lots of spare cash, and nearly no spells; or a wizard who regrets not taking an Bonded Object, there is never a good reason to take Infiltrator or Pilferer with a normal familiar. Improved Familiar is what make these archetypes even somewhat viable.

Morgen wrote:
They can replace feats they have with the feats in the book Gavvin.

More specifically, when a caster (or whomever) acquires the familiar, they can make a choice to drop any of the creature's natural feats and replace them with applicable feats. This (edit: added) is a one time choice, per familiar and (edit: end) may or may not be a good idea.

Also, one of the Familiar Archetypes allows a character to give a feat to their familiar, rather than take it themselves. This is probably a bad idea, unless it is a great feat and the feat is one the character can't take.

The only 'real' way to give feats to a Familiar is to have a Homunculus familiar, and give it more Hit Dice (at 2k gp per Hit Die; I'm not sure if you can do this after the construct is made or not). It would get real skill points and feats as it gets real hit dice (as opposed to the effective hit dice it has as a familiar).

(I guess this might be possible with any Constructed familiar; clockwork familiars, for example.)

William Sinclair wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Just to put a nice official stamp on it... a "Day" is a length of 24 hours.

Okay, I totally agree with the "official stamp". But in regards to crafting/earning money/etc, what is considered a "day". I know you can only do 8 hours of crafting magical items, but could you then spend 8 hours performing a craft or profession skill check to earn money? And then wrap it all up with 8 hours of sleep?

This should fall into the realm of a DM's call. Some professions are less taxing than others, and some people find working a specific job less taxing. A bard telling stories that she's told over and over before to a crowd of easily amused children, or someone playing the stool pigeon with little to do in a con.

Certainly, characters are explicitly allowed to spend 4 hours working a day when primarily doing something else (for 2 hours worth of progress). So it clearly isn't 8 hours on, 16 off.

Also, the 24 hour limit is a mechanical thing, as well as representing exhaustion. In a world where a Lesser Restoration removes fatigue, if it were purely an character energy thing, your wizard could craft for 16 hours a day, no problem.

Starglim wrote:
The caster also has to be first in the marching order if any other party member has magic items or active spells.


There is nothing in Detect Magic's description about one aura blocking line of sight to another. In fact, the text says that after 2 rounds, you know the location of EVERY aura in the 60 ft cone. Now, if someone is carrying around 'Vecna's left foot's pinky toenail' or under the effect of a 15th level heightened spell of Magic Aura, sure. There's a reason one aura might overpower the spellworm's detect magic. However, those are exceptional and not the RAW.

Besides, characters only occasionally offer soft cover, not concealment. When the rogue is examining the wall to see if there's a trap there, the wizard can just look past him.

Lemartes wrote:
Anyone know?

RAW, it says 'Normal Speed', which implies even when running.

RAI, I don't know. In a home game, I'd probably say 'If not more than lightly encumbered due to weight, and if the ACP has been reduced to 2 or less, run at 4x. Otherwise 3x." (in heavy armor, after 7th level)

26 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

A Familiar from Improved Familiar gets the same powers same as normal familiar (modulo giving the spell caster a skill/save/hit point bonus) except they never get the 'ability to speak to animals of its own kind.'

Each of the Familiar Archetypes (Valet, Pilferer, Infiltrater) all replace that ability.

Does this mean you cannot use an Archetype with an Improved Familiar?

If so, that makes the archetypes significantly less useful. Once you have a familiar that could survive on its own, the archetypes that take advantage of that are out of reach.

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Heavyload Belt can have a much greater, or less effect, depending on who is wearing it.

Slap it on a Mastodon, and it's effects are much more profound than Muleback Cords.

Actually, no. It isn't more profound. Which is exactly my point. Modulo some rounding errors, the difference isn't significant until a theoretical strength in the hundreds. A +8 strength has the effect of multiplying the carrying capacity by 3.0314... .

- - -
Math 1)
Pure numbers:
Adding 10 to strength increases carrying capacity by a factor of 4.
4^(1/10) = 1.14698... . (1.14698...)^8 = 3.0314.... .

- - -
Math 2)
More concretely:

Mastadons have Str 34 and are Huge quadrupeds. We will ignore the missing slot issue (I don't think quadrupeds get chest slots, but whatever).

A medium bipeds at str 34 has a light carrying capacity of 933lbs and a max of 2800lbs.

A huge quadruped multiplies that by 6. So the Mastadon's base capacity is 5600 light and max 16800.

A Mastadon with a Heavyload Belt (3x) would be able to carry 16800 light and 50400 max.

A Mastadon with the muleback cords would calculate their carrying capacity as if their strength were 42. Or light of 6 * 2768 = 16608 lbs, and a max of 49824 lbs. A difference of 1%.

- - -
If you absolutely, positively need to carry EXACTLY 25 tonnes, you'll need the belt. For almost any other purpose, they are identical.

These items may be intended to show that there are several ways of doing the same thing, but I find them kind of odd.

tl;dr: Is the Heavyload Belt overpriced (2kgp), the Muleback Chords underpriced (1kgp), or is this just a quirk of the system?

(I guess their effects might stack; neither is a named bonus. OTOH, I can't imagine most DMs would allow it.)

- - -

Muleback Chords allows someone to consider their carrying capacity as if their strength were +8.

Heavyload Belt has a permanent Ant Haul effect; which allows someone to triple their carrying capacity.

The difference between these are insignificant at strength 4 or higher.
(strength 4 w/ muleback: 43lbs light, 86 medium, 130 heavy; w/ heavyload: 39 light, 78 medium, 120 heavy. Strength 10 w/ muleback: 100/200/300; w/ heavyload 99/198/300. strength 18: 306/613/920 v 300/600/900. Str 29: 384/2772/4160 v 1398/2799/4200)

The thing is, these items have vastly different costs (1kgp for the Chords, v 2kgp for the Belt). Sorcerers and Oracles who don't know Bull's Strength (the requirement for the Chords) and your Wondrous Item crafting Rangers (?!?!?) are the only ones who might ever make the belt; For everyone else, the chords are cheaper.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

They are of the highest spell level you are able to cast WHEN YOU ACQUIRE THEM.

You pick up the first one at 2nd level but are limited to first level spells then so the patron spell is a 1st level spell, repeat until you get the last patron spell.

Can your source that? That doesn't inherently follow.

It makes sense for most spells; spells that are both on Patron lists and the Witch's normal list are almost always available at or before level (spell level x 2) on the patron's list. However, I know of 1 exception, and 1 case where if true, the Witch gets kinda screwed.

Vengeance gets Mass Pain Strike at 12th level, but it is on the 5th level Witch list.

Ancestors gets Heroism (not greater heroism, unless that's been errata-ed or typo-ed it) at 12th level.

That would be bad in both cases.

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What is the current official text for Negative Energy Affinity? The PRD has it in at least 2 distinct forms, and there is a FAQ response from Sean K Reynolds that is distinct from both of those.

From Universal Monster Rules:

Negative Energy Affinity (Ex): The creature is alive but is healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy, as if it were an undead creature.

From the Dhampir description (ARG)

Negative Energy Affinity: Though a living creature, a dhampir reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead—positive energy harms it, while negative energy heals it.

From SKR's FAQ response: ( )

Negative Energy Affinity (Ex): The creature is alive, but is treated as undead for all effects that affect undead differently than living creatures, such as cure spells and channeled energy.

Unfortunately, none of these are particularly unambiguous.

1) Which of these is the 'current' definition? I'm assuming either the first or last one, but I'm not sure which supersedes the other.
2) Is there any possibility of getting a less ambiguous definition? Or add Positive Energy and Negative Energy Descriptor to spells and effects to make which ones apply.

Something like this would be less ambiguous (but really long):
Negative Energy Affinity (Ex): The character is alive but is affected differently than other living creatures by Positive and Negative energy. Any negative energy effect that would heal an undead creature's hit point damage would heal this character's hit points and any positive energy effect that would do hit point damage to an undead creature would do hit point damage to this creature. Positive and Negative energy effects on Ability Drain or Damage, Status effects, Negative Levels, or other statistics treat this character as if they were a living creature.

Spell by spell examples and guesses at answers:

Using a Dhampir as the example -
Cure Foo Wounds Spells & Heal: Harms a Dhampir (obvious from intent)
Inflict Foo Wounds Spells & Harm: Heals a Dhampir (obvious from intent)

Restoration Family: My instinct is that it removes temporary negative levels from the Dhampir (and permanent, if it could get permanent negative levels) and eliminates states (insanity, exhaustion, etc.) as appropriate. As for Ability Drain or Damage? I'm not sure. I have to assume it heals them, as there is no obvious negative-energy equivalent.

Regeneration: My instinct is that it regenerates the physical body, it might remove exhaustion and fatigue, and it does not heal any damage. Not sure, though.

Goodberry: The filling meal affect should effect the Dhampir, but as for the healing? No idea. It might even do 1 point of damage.

Restfull sleep: I assume it would work, as it is a considered natural healing (and a Necro spell), but I'm not certain.

Blessing of Courage and Life: My instinct is that the Dhampir would get the +2 morale bonus, but the healing effect would harm them.

Cleanse: Given it is personal, it should work fine when cast by a Dhampir. On the other hand, It may be either cure damage or cure other states. I'm not sure. And if it is found on a magic item? No idea.

Slay Living: I think Dhampirs as subject to this, but I'm not entirely certain.

Veil of Positive Energy: I think the burst effect would harm Dhampirs, but again, not sure.

Life-Dominant Soul makes this even more confusing. (From Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Night)

Benefit: You are healed by channeled positive energy used to heal living creatures and channeled negative energy used to heal undead, but both only heal half the normal amount. You still take damage from positive energy used to harm undead, such as that from channeled energy and lay on hands.

(this is on, so I'm assuming it is OGL. If it isn't I'll edit to paraphrase rather than quote.)

If a Cleric channels positive energy to heal living, or a Cleric channels negative energy to heal undead, the Dhampir is effected. If a Cleric channels positive energy to harm undead, the Dhampir is harmed, and if the Cleric channels negative energy to harm the living, the Dhampir is unaffected. If subject to an Inflict Wounds spell, the Dhampir is healed. Essentially, it is easy to understand what happens with Negative Energy (at least, the same powers would effect the Dhampir as without the feat). Positive Energy Effects that heal the living without harming the undead and vice versa are also clear.

The problem is Positive Energy powers that can do both at the same time -- Lay on Hands and Cure Wounds spells are now entirely ambiguous. The same ability/spell is used to both harm undead and heal living, without any change. The Mass variants of Cure spells can do both at once.

So is this now up to the intent of the caster/user? Lay on Hands heals or harms based on what the Paladin wants at the time? What if the caster is unaware of how positive energy affects a Dhampir? Roll a die and take a 50/50 shot? Something else?

The Valet Archetype's "Teamwork" Ability (Ex) is: A valet is considered to have all the teamwork feats its master has.

I have a few questions about this one:

How do Teamwork feats work when sharing a square. If a character with a Rat Familiar has the Rat riding in a pouch, is the Familiar adjacent? Does the Familiar have to be an obvious target for Teamwork feats to fire?

The 2 most obvious teamwork feats for a spell caster with a familiar are "Allied Spellcaster" and "Shielded Caster".

With Allied Spellcaster, the Master will get a +2 competence bonus on level checks to overcome spell resistance, which increased to +4 and a +1 bonus to caster level if the other spellcaster has the same spell prepared (memorizing) or knows the spell and has a slot to cast it with (spontaneous).

How does this work with a Witch's Familiar? Does a witch always get the +4/+1? If not, how about if the witch has the spell memorized twice? Or if the witch is using Familiar Melding? (Are you considered adjacent when sharing a single body?)

Am I missing something or is Shielded Caster a no-brainer? (Although I'd probably not allow Anthropomorphic Animal and giving the familiar an appropriately sized shield unless it was no smaller than one size category smaller than the caster.)