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I'm starting a new campaign with 7(!) PCs, and I'm a little worried about designing properly tuned encounters for them.

The rules tell me to start with APL, and add +1 if there are more than 4 PCs. They're all starting at 1st level, so APL = 1 + 1 = 2. Then let's say I want it to be a "challenging" encounter, so I add another +1 to that, for a total encounter CR of 3. This gives me a total XP budget of 800 -- or two CR 1 creatures.

I cannot help but worry that 7 level 1 PCs are going to absolutely demolish two CR 1 creatures.

Am I wrong about that? I mean we're talking about a mechanic, a soldier, an operative, an envoy, a solarian, a nanocyte, and a witchwarper against... a pair of trained squox. The squox will be lucky if they last 2 rounds.

Any advice? Should I bump up the APL by one more? Or should I just relax and trust the math?

* My players are not really min-maxers, and neither am I (none of us has the head or the patience for it).

** Please don't say "split the party up". I could offer each player $100 in real money to split up and they still wouldn't do it.

I'm thinking of homebrewing an item that would allow a spellcaster to affect intelligent undead with mind-affecting spells.

What would be an appropriate level/cost for an item like that? Should it be limited to a certain number of uses/day? Are there any items of roughly equivalent power that I could use as a guideline? Just looking for ideas to start with.

I'm thinking of homebrewing an item that would allow a spellcaster to affect intelligent undead with mind-affecting spells.

What would be an appropriate level/cost for an item like that? Should it be limited to a certain number of uses/day? Are there any items of roughly equivalent power that I could use as a guideline? Just looking for ideas to start with.

How do people adjudicate the difference between drawing/sheathing a weapon vs. retrieving or putting away a stored item (which is coverd by the Manipulating an Item action)?

Core Rulebook wrote:

Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat or putting it away so that you have a free hand requires a move action. This action includes activating or deactivating the weapon. This also applies to weapon-like objects that are easily accessible, such as remote controls and most tools or sensors you can carry and use with one hand. If your weapon or weapon-like object is stored in a pack or otherwise out of easy reach, you must instead retrieve it as a stored item before you can use it (see Manipulate an Item).

Exception: If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you can combine drawing or sheathing a weapon or weapon-like object with moving up to your speed as a single move action.

Core Rulebook wrote:
Moving or manipulating an item is usually a move action. This includes retrieving or putting away a stored item, picking up an item, moving a heavy object, and opening a door.

These descriptions imply that any item that you could conceivably have in a pocket or clipped to your belt can be "drawn or sheathed" like a weapon, while it's pretty clear that anything in a backpack requires the Manipulate an Item action. However, both are move actions, so it seems like a distinction without much difference (although weapons may be drawn as part of a different move action, per the exception).

Would you, for example, require an additional move action to unsling or unzip the pack before retrieving a stowed item? Or do you just treat it like drawing a weapon (with the exception that you can do the latter while moving)?

Just interested in how different people handle it.

Is there a specific rule or ability that allows someone to use an inhaled or ingested poison or drug with an injection weapon? Or do most people just handwave it?

How much bulk can a mule drone carry?

The quantum troll's 'Spooky Action' ability reads:

A quantum troll exists in several possible quantum states at once. It threatens squares within 30 feet of it.

Is this intended to imply that the quantum troll can make an attack of opportunity anywhere within that threatened zone, despite its 10' reach? It doesn't say so explicitly, but otherwise I have a hard time understanding the benefit of threatening squares outside your reach if you don't have a ranged attack,

Does a venom spur count as a weapon with the injection property, for the purposes of a biohacker's injection expert class feature?

EDIT: For that matter, is it an unarmed strike? A basic melee weapon? Does it benefit from Weapon Specialization?

The Chimera Mystery AP makes reference to an "unobrusive envoy talent" in the entry for the unobtrusive chassis drone mod:

Your drone looks like a mundane domestic drone of the same size. With 10 minutes of work, you can alter cosmetic aspects of your drone's appearance to make it look like other domestic drones in a local building or area. Your drone gains the unobtrusive envoy expertise talent but uses your total Engineering skill modifier to determine the DC to notice it.

Any idea what this was supposed to refer to or how it's supposed to work?

In all previous Adventure Paths, the cover art was extractable from the PDF, at a size and resolution that was just about perfect for laptop wallpaper.

With Strange Aeons, unfortunately, this is not the case. The only extractable version of the cover art is the small version inset above the table of contents, which is fine for reading but too low-res to make nice wallpaper.

This makes me sad. I have always enjoyed collecting the covers of all the APs.

Is there any chance we could get updated versions of the PDFs with the cover images made separately extractable?

My players will soon be traveling in the vicinity of Langitheath in Ustalav, which sports the following delightful little blurb in Rule of Fear:

Rule of Fear wrote:
Thirty years ago, when the Loslimor family sold their rural estate, the manor and its 900 acres passed hands several times in quick succession before being forgotten by any single landowner. Left with no lord or income, the dozens of peasant families occupying the land gradually drifted away, abandoning the estate—or so most believe. Every spring, new rows of flax grow in spiraling fields surrounding Langitheath, interrupted by vast runes or circles of flattened plants. Some travelers tell stories of passing near the estate and seeing small figures capering amid the fields, or of encountering strange children with eyes as cold and blue as flax flowers.

Based on this description, I'd like to set up an encounter in the vein of Children of the Corn / Village of the Damned / Midwich Cuckoos, with creepy hive-mind children slowly drawing the PCs in, overpowering them with psychic magic, and then sacrificing them to the Flaxen Man idol in the center of town, something like that.

Does anyone have suggestions for a creature that would fit that idiom? Or something close, that I could reskin?

I just noticed something about the charge maneuver in the Unchained action economy rules: the charge action seems to no longer impose a -2 penalty to AC.

Is this correct? Have I missed something?

Just a few questions about how consolidated skills are meant to work, that weren't directly addressed in the book. When using the consolidated skill list:

1) Do humans still get 1 extra skill rank per level?

2) Does favored class bonus still provide 1 extra skill rank?

3) When adding 1/2 a character's INT bonus to skill ranks/level, do you round up, round down, or do you carry over fractions across levels?

4) If you are also using the background skill rules from unchained, do characters still get 2 ranks/level to spend on background skills?

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

The consolidated skill rules reduce the number of skills in the skill list, and also reduces the number of skill ranks you get per level.

If you are also using the background skills rules, would you also reduce the number of background skill ranks (from 2 ranks/level to 1 rank/level)?

It's worth noting that if you use consolidated skills, the number of skills that are considered "background" drops from 13 to 5 (Handle Animal, Linquistics, Perform, Sleight of Hand, and all of the Knowledges except engineering get folded into one of the consolidated skills). So the list gets much shorter. So it kind of seems to me that reducing the number of background skill ranks/level from 2 to 1 seems appropriate.

Does this make sense? Anyone think of any arguments against?

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Although I understand and appreciate that it comes straight from real-world Egyptian mythology, and that it is a perfectly serviceable CR 7 encounter...

There is no way on God's gray earth that my players would be able to keep a straight face if I told them they were attacked by a "serpopard".

No, showing them the picture will not help.

Say I'm a rogue, and I'm trying to activate a scroll of magic missile with a CL 1. Let's assume that I've already successfully deciphered the scroll, and that my Intelligence score is sufficiently high.

Do I have to make a single UMD check to activate the scroll?

Or do I need two UMD checks -- one to emulate a class feature (i.e., casting spells), and one to activate the scroll?

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More giants. I kind of feel like giants are all done. We have a giant for every major biome. Now we're starting to make giants for specific professions. I don't particularly need to see Flood Plain Giant, Temperate Grassland Giant, Suburban Strip Mall Giant, and Laundromat Giant in the next Bestiary.

More gremlins. We have nearly a dozen varieties of gremlins now. We're all good on gremlins.

I'm kind of on the fence about drakes. I don't need any more drakes, but I could probably handle, like, a couple more. Just take it easy with the drakes, is what I'm saying. Proceed cautiously.

Same with oozes, I think.

On the other hand, golems are still great. By all means, bring on more golems.

I don't suppose anyone has found an illustration that does the description of this thing justice?

I'm sure this must be a really stupid question, but it's nagging at me and I can't find any rules text that settles the nagging for good.

When you take the Leadership feat, do you get a cohort AND a bunch of followers, or a cohort OR a bunch of followers?

That's all.

Looking for suggestions for how to get healing for a dhampir character in a party where everyone else is going to be using positive energy -- aside from stockpiling potions/scrolls/wands of cause light wounds. Are there any other good ways of getting hp back for a dhampir?

Note, I'm not trying to make it easy on the guy, I'm just trying to be aware of what all the options are.

I've always had a hard time envisioning how rogues use Disable Device to disable magical traps. In many cases a magical trap isn't anything like a "device" -- it's a symbol drawn on the wall, or maybe just an aura of magical potential hanging in the air.

So I was thinking, as a house rule, that magical traps must be disabled with Use Magic Device. As that's the skill for making magic items do what you want them to even when normally you shouldn't be able to, it seems to fit. Also, UMD very rarely sees any use in my games, so it would be nice to give it some spotlight.

Can anyone think of a reason why that would be a horrible, game-breaking problem?

7 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

There is something goofy about the war lance presented in Knights of the Inner Sea.

Knights of the Inner Sea wrote:

Aura moderate abjuration; Slot none; Price 10,310 gp; Weight 10 lbs.; CL 8th

Shorter and thicker than most lances, this +3 lance has a full-sized shield worked into the vamplate, though it is too heavy to count as a shield for shield bash and similar maneuvers, and does not automatically grant the wielder a shield bonus to AC. However, a war lance grants the wielder and her steed a +2 shield bonus to AC when the wielder is mounted.

So, it's basically a +3 lance with a shield stuck on it... except that it only costs 10,310. A +3 lance without a shield stuck on it runs you 18,310.

Seems like this has to be a mistake. Either the war lance should have no enhancement bonus (in which case it would be priced correctly), or it should be much more expensive.

You know, that bard spell from the APG, the one where you sing and everyone pukes. Is it overpowered?

I am generally speaking not one to worry much about game balance and the overpoweredness of this or that game element. However, this spell kind of jumped out at me, and I was kidn of surprised to see that it's never been discussed on these boards.

The key detail is that it renders the victim nauseated, which means no attacks, no spells, no actions of any kind except move actions. It's a complete shut-down for four rounds, minimum. In the game that I run, this generally has meant the combat is finished, especially in a boss fight.

So, is it overpowered? If not, why not? Full disclosure: I have no intention of nerfing or disallowing it in my game. I'm just interested in the opinions of people who think about this stuff more than I do.

SRD wrote:

School: enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level: bard 2

Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S, M (a scrap of sheet music)
Range: close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: one creature
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates; Spell Resistance: yes

You fill your target's mind with a blaring cacophony of discordant sounds, making it hard for the target to act and concentrate. The creature gains the nauseated condition for the duration of the spell if it fails its Will save.

Every PC, regardless of class or INT score, automatically gets 2 skill points per level that can only be spent on Craft, Profession, Knowledge, or Performance skills.

Can anyone think of any reason why that house-rule would be problematic or overpowered?

So, I got my 8-year-old son the Beginner Box for Christmas and he loved it. He ran the intro adventure for his mom & me, and he loved that, too. Afterwards, we punched out all the monsters and put them in a ziploc bag, put the bag in the box, and he took the box back to his room.

Well, a few weeks later, he's managed to lose the ziploc bag. It's nowhere. Every single monster token in the game, gone.

Paizo people, I don't suppose there's any provision for purchasing *just* a set of monster tokens, is there?

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We know that Samsarans give birth to humans, and those humans can sometimes be reincarnated as Samsarans. But who gives birth to the reincarnated Samsarans? Humans?

So one of my players has a ring of fire resistance 10, and the other just learned the spell heat metal.

Because of the ring, player #1 would take no damage from the spell. However, he's also asking if he can attack with his sword while it's red hot, doing +1d4 or +2d4 fire damage to anything he hits (depending on the number of rounds since casting, obvs).

Although the spell description does not explicitly say this is possible, I'm inclined to allow it. I'm curious how others would handle it. Thoughts?

If my character is a mystic theurge with sorcerer levels, does he still get to "swap out" old spells when he reaches an effective sorcerer level of 4, 6, 8, etc.?

I'm aware that the general rule is mystic theurge levels *only* grant you spells, and not any of the other class features. I'm wondering if most people would consider swapping out old spells to be a separate class feature (and thus something that the MT doesn't get to do), or something that's integral to how spontaneous casters gain spells (and thus something that a spontaneous MT would get to do)?

I have a ranger with 2 natural claw attacks and two-weapon fighting in my game, and the player is thinking about getting improved two-weapon fighting. He wants to know how (or if) the feat would interact with his natural weapons.

The rules as written are very murky on this. Would someone mind double-checking my math in the following situations?

The Character
He has a BAB +6/+1 with a 14 STR (+2). In addition to his natural attacks, he carries a pair of +2 shortswords. He already has the two-weapon fighting feat.

1. Full Attack with claws

2. Full Attack with one shortsword

3. Full Attack with both shortswords

4. Full Attack with one shortsword in one hand and one claw
(This is where I'm less sure of myself. He gets his iterative attacks with the shortsword, -2 from two-weapon fighting. That's where the +8/+3 comes from. Then his claw attack gets -5 because he's mixing it with a regular weapon, plus another -2 from two-weapon fighting, so it ends up at +1. Is that right?)

Now, if he had improved two-weapon fighting...

5. Full Attack with both shortswords and Imp 2WF

6. Full Attack with claws and Imp 2WF
(Is this right? The rules for Imp 2WF say "In addition to the standard single extra attack you get with an off-hand weapon, you get a second attack with it, albeit at a –5 penalty." Does the claw count as an off-hand weapon for the purposes of this feat? I'm not sure.)

7. Full Attack with shortsword and claw and Imp 2WF
(If #4 is true, AND #6 is true, then this seems to be the logical conclusion.)

Say I have claws as a natural weapon (e.g., I'm a shapeshifter ranger, or something similar).

Say also that I want to deliver a spell or spell-like ability that requires a touch attack (like shocking grasp or the shadow bloodline's shadowstrike ability).

Can I simply make a regular (non-touch) attack, and if I hit, the target takes the normal damage from my claws plus the effects of the spell? Or do I have to choose one or the other: claw attack or touch spell, but not both?

9 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata.

So if you make an Acrobatics check against a threatening creature's CMD, you can move through that creature's threatened area without provoking an Attack of Opportunity. Normally this causes you to move at half speed, but you can move at full speed by raising the DC by 10. That's all pretty clear.

So what happens if you fail? I could have sworn there was a rule that if you fail your check get hit with an AoO, you get knocked prone. Or maybe you're just stuck in your square without moving, or something. But now I can't figure out where I got that idea from. The rule for using Acrobatics to move through treatened squares doesn't mention anything about failure.

It seems strange for there to be no downside to failing the roll. There would be no reason ever to NOT roll Acrobatics, even if you don't have any ranks in it, every time you want to/have to move through a threatened square.

Does anyone else remember if there are consequences to failing an Acrobatics check this way? Am I just not looking in the right place?

In the summary of the adventure's backstory at the end of Howl of the Carrion King, it says that Jhavhul was enslaved by the wizard-king Ezer Hazzebaim, until one day "his control over Jhavhul slipped."

Is there any mention in any of the adventures of how his control "slipped," or what allowed Jhavhul to escape? I'm fine with coming up with details myself, but I'd like to know if there's a "canonical" answer first.

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

The rules for shoanti barbarian chew say, "It ... increases the duration of barbarian rage entered into during the next hour by 1 round."

Since any given rage can last for as many rounds as I want it to (until I run out), how exactly does this work?

Say I chew some chew, and then enter a rage that lasts 3 rounds. Later in the day, I chew some more chew, and then enter a rage that lasts 4 rounds. Does that mean I only spent 5 rounds of rage that day, since the chew gave me an "extra round" each time? Does that mean I could theoretically have an infinite number of 1-round rages, as long as I don't run out of chew?

Or does it just mean that my total number of rage rounds per day goes up by one, as long as I chewed some chew within the last hour?

What happens if you shoot a seeking arrow at a target that is under the influence of a mirror image spell?

rules for seeking arrow wrote:
The weapon veers toward its target, negating any miss chances that would otherwise apply, such as from concealment. The wielder still has to aim the weapon at the right square. Arrows mistakenly shot into an empty space, for example, do not veer and hit invisible enemies, even if they are nearby.
rules for mirror image wrote:
Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead. If the attack is a hit, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment. If it is a figment, the figment is destroyed.

The roll to see if you hit a figment is not a percentage miss chance like concealment, but it's still a roll to see if an otherwise good roll is actually a miss. And you are shooting into the target's actual square. So would you rule that a weapon with the seeking quality counteracts the spell and seeks out the actual target?

Is there any point to having masterwork leather armor? If masterwork armor just reduces armor check penalty, and leather armor has no armor check penalty, then it seems like adding the masterwork quality does nothing other than make it more expensive.

Although obviously it has to be masterwork if you plan to enchant it later. But aside from that? Am I missing something?

I'm running Howl of the Carrion King and am a little bit confused about the history of the ruined monastery outside Kelmarane. From what I understand, it goes something like:

1) several centuries ago, Vardishal establishes the monastery as a way to keep watch over the Pale Mountain region;
2) at some point Vardishal falls in battle, and his ghost lingers on in the monastery and occasionally speaks to the clerics there;
3) 20 years ago, Xulthos moves into Kelmarane and drives everyone crazy;
4) the citizens of Kelmarane attack the monastery, killing the clerics there;
5) the Pactmasters shut Kelmarane down;
6) 2-3 years later, a nameless paladin or cleric of Aroden came along and banished Vardishal's ghost, "imprisoning" his spirit in the mold in the crypts below;
7) some years later, Kardswaan wanders into Kelmarane and falls under Xulthos's sway.

Is this more or less correct? If so, I have two questions:

A) Was it ever explained how Vardishal died, beyond "in battle"? What was he battling? Why?

B) Was it ever explained who the "servant of Aroden" was and why he banished Vardishal, since even in undeath Vardishal is basically a good guy?

Thanks for your help. Apologies if the answers have been printed somewhere obvious.

The short description for [i]sunburst[i] in the wizard/sorcerer spell list says "blinds all within 10 feet, deals 6d6 damage."

The statblock for the spell says: "Area: 80-ft-radius burst."

The spell description simply says, "All creatures in the globe are blinded and take 6d6 damage."

So which is it? Is the area of effect a 10' radius burst, or an 80' radius burst? Or is 10 feet the radius of the blindness effect, and 80 feet the radius for the damage? Or vice versa?

Let's say I'm flanking an opponent, and I have the rogue sneak attack ability. I use a full action to attack multiple times. (Using flurry of blows, or two-weapon fighting, or whatever).

Does sneak attack damage apply to each successful attack? or just one?

Curious question for the Pathfinder staff -- was the cover art to the Pathfinder RPG Core Book meant to be an homage/shout-out to the cover of the old D&D Basic Set, drawn by Erol Otus?

The style is obviously very different, but the composition is remarkably similar. Both of them feature a male warrior and a female spellcaster (lower right), facing off against a dragon (left), in a subterranean setting. I don't think any other incarnation of D&D had that exact configuration. Come to think of it, even Seoni's outfit looks similar to the old cover.


Basic D&D

I always liked that old cover. Is the similarity a coincidence, or conscious design?

I have a 2-part question about the disarm, trip, and sunder combat maneuvers. The descriptions for all three of these say they can be performed "in place of a melee attack" (as opposed to grapple, overrun, and bull rush, which are performed "as a standard action").

1. Does this mean, if I can normally attack more than once as a full action, that I can replace any or all of those attacks with a trip, sunder, or disarm? For example, if I can normally attack 3 times with a full action, I could choose to trip/trip/trip, or disarm/disarm/disarm, or disarm/trip/attack?

2. If the answer to 1. is yes, then does my CMB decrease by 5 for successive maneuvers, just as though they were iterative attacks? For example, if I use a full action to trip twice, do I suffer a -5 to my CMB for the second trip?

Thanks in advance.