Danse Macabre

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Yes! More Kaer Maga support, please and thank you! <3

I'm...disappointed by the tyrant archetype. It isn't actually an archetype; it's basically just an official ruling that antipaladins can be lawful. Like, that's good, since there are some out there who don't like houseruling that or whatever, but... The spell list? The whole anarchic/axiomatic oversight? It feels frankly lazy. I was pumped for that and it's a letdown.

Still looking over the rest of the material.

Very! A friend of mine and I were hoping to revive some dearly-beloved Way of the Wicked characters for Hell's Vengeance, and in talking about the upcoming tyrant archetype for antipaladins (in Ultimate Intrigue, I think) we wondered whether it might stack with fearmonger. It wasn't until I showed it to him and he really looked closely at it that we spotted the screw-up. I don't play or build many antipaladins, myself, so I had no idea it was so badly executed.

Good luck with RotRL, by the way; it was my own first foray into Pathfinder and it was a great experience! It's also pretty good about being alignment-flexible; an evil party can do some very interesting stuff with their motivations and goals, in that AP. Paizo has been pretty good about that, in certain campaigns (Carrion Crown immediately comes to mind), which is one of the reasons I'm so looking forward to HV. I want to see what they do with a deliberately evil-themed AP.

Of course, to bring this back round to the title topic, I'd also dearly love to see what they might do to fix the fearmonger, preferably before the last book of HV gets here. :P

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I've seen quite a few people ask about this with no official answers given, that I can find. Is there ever going to be a fix for this archetype? Is there a contributor or designer who can shed some light on how it was actually supposed to work? I've heard a couple of good suggestions, the best being that feed on fear replaces touch of corruption's ability to heal undead targets, but nothing from the devs AFAIK. Since the archetype retains not only cruelties but also channel energy, there has to be something missing or some kind of typo. Anything?

I had some players run through a dungeon, recently, tearing through kobolds until they bumped up against the lich in charge. Long story short, when the party leader wound up facing the lich unarmed, he did in fact reach for some healing potions on the spur of the moment and decide to throw them at the enemy. I just treat them like any thrown weapon in terms of attack rolls and so forth, and when he hit, I had it deal damage equal to the healing provided by the potion (potion of cure moderate wounds, if I recall). Simple as that. It even turned out pretty cool because we were using the GameMastery Critical Hit Deck, and he threw the first potion with a natural 20 and confirmed to wind up blinding the lich by hitting him in the eyes with the potion. It added a lot to the feel of the scene.

I don't think there's any problem with doing that, since (generally speaking) only higher-level characters are usually going to have healing potions to spare in that fashion, and it isn't cost-effective at any level to waste healing items as attacks against undead opponents. This was a special situation, sure, but even with the average party, channeled energy, loads of spells, holy water (especially at lower levels) and so on are all better resources to turn against such foes. But specifically with "using what you have at the moment" in mind, that's how I did it.

The players really thought it was cool and it made the fight quite memorable without suddenly creating a superweapon, so it was pretty safe mechanically and definitely came down on the side of fun.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm especially glad to hear from a designer on this (lucky me!). My confusion mostly arose from the wording and what effect that has on how the ability actually operates; as I said, I could see an argument going either way. This makes it a bit clearer, though. Much appreciated. :)

The Asmodean advocate cleric archetype (from Dirty Tactics Toolbox) has the following ability:

Devil in the Details:
At 1st level, an Asmodean advocate learns to choose her words so carefully that even when she says something designed to deceive listeners, the words are phrased to be technically true. She can use her Profession (barrister) skill for Bluff and Diplomacy checks. This benefit also extends to her familiar. The Asmodean advocate gains an insight bonus equal to 1/2 her cleric level (minimum +1) on Linguistics checks related to forgeries and on all Profession (barrister) checks.

The question is, do bonuses which apply specifically to Bluff/Diplomacy checks (such as that from the Persuasive feat) still apply when the cleric substitutes Profession (barrister)? I can see how someone might rule either way. On the one hand, the bonus (from the feat, in this case) specifically applies only to Diplomacy checks; but on the other, you still are making a Diplomacy check, aren't you—just using Profession to do so?

The possibility of a ruling going either direction makes feats like Rhetorical Flourish a bit more complicated. I feel like, since the archetype is obviously meant to be one used by tricky, deceptive, fast-talking characters, it surely can't be the designers' intent to give the class an ability like this and then lock them out of benefiting from stuff like Rhetorical Flourish, Antagonize, and similar. But, I can hear some players claiming that this class feature could get OP quickly, with the insight bonus and all.

@Queen Moragan: That sounds pretty close to what I'm looking for. I combed through the kingdom building and trade edicts rules and can't find any specific reference; if you happen to come across it, I'd be grateful. Regardless, it's a good start; BP isn't quite the same as Capital, but the two conflate enough that I can wing it and feel pretty confident that it makes sense.

@Bradley Mickle: Yes, all guessing, pretty much. You present a pretty good baseline, though; I'm not uncomfortable with the idea of, say, wagons approximately equal to one-half the amount of Goods Capital being moved. That still figures out to way more wagons than I (or the player) originally projected, but it's not at all unrealistic when considering something like construction materials.

Under the actual downtime rules, moving Capital costs time and nothing else; I agree with you that it should cost something, anyway; but, in this case, it's going to cost a lot of money for all those wagons, which I suppose is close enough.

Since Capital is already a deliberate abstraction of resources, anyway, I'm obviously not looking for a firm answer, here. After all, Goods Capital can consist of anything from mithral ingots to "all that lumber you bought," so there really can't be a specific answer that applies to all situations.

Rather, I want to ask (since I haven't been able to find any suggestions or guidelines): For those GMs and players who have made extensive use of the downtime system, what is a good rule of thumb for using standard wagons, basic cargo ships, etc. to transport Goods Capital when moving resources between locations? I'm sure that a lot of games don't need to go into specific details at that level, and handwaving the method via which Goods are moved from city A to village B is perfectly fine in 99% of situations. For myself, though, I'd like to ballpark roughly how many wagons, horses, teamsters, and so on will be required to move some Goods a long distance.

The Capital in question is primarily construction materials for various buildings, including large quantities of masonry stone, timber, and similar, if that helps get the wheels turning. But, as I said, I don't need or expect something mathematically precise; I'd just like to get a feel for how big this caravan needs to be in order to cart all this stuff the 200 miles it needs to go, based on what other people might have done.

Thanks! I will take that under advisement; I appreciate the input, and I'm sure my players will, too, so thanks from them, as well.

Really, I think the only important consideration is that's just what some players want to do. Everybody's different when it comes to what they're looking for in a game.

Interesting. How would you suggest inflating the wage for higher-level characters, then? It doesn't seem quite right to pay a high-level heroic NPC, like a cohort, a pittance to stand around when they could earn many times that amount on a single low-EL outing. Perhaps just default to a regular skill check after a certain level?

CraziFuzzy, you may have sparked something when you mentioned ability scores. At the very least, I believe it helps to think about it.

A Profession check can be used to earn gp per week equal to half the check result; so, dividing it again by 5 gets you your earnings per day. Or, as described in the downtime rules, you can simply divide the result by 10 (assuming weekends off/5-day workweek).

If the typical NPC manager is 3rd level, "with 3 ranks in the appropriate skills and the basic NPC ability score array [...], giving the manager a +7 or +8 for class skills," then that means the average check result for such a character is going to be around 18 or so (I'm favoring the high end). 18 / 10 = 1.8, or 1gp 8sp per day, if they take 10. That's significantly below the wages for a lot of the examples given in UC; even if you assume a result of a natural 20 on every check and Skill Focus in the relevant skill, you're still only looking at about 3gp per day of dedicated work as a manager for this hypothetical NPC, and we're already into stretching quite a bit.

So: I was sort of thinking, for a moment, that it might be something along the lines of using the Profession skill as a guideline, and just substituting the most appropriate skill, e.g., using the same math for an abbot, but making a Knowledge (religion) check, instead, to determine the wage. Obviously, though, that doesn't work, so it must be something else. It still looks, right now, like the numbers are arbitrary, as if they just said, "Oh, about this; that seems right-ish."

Darn. :( I hoped for a second, there, that I'd had an epiphany, especially since I always feel like I'm overlooking the obvious, when it comes to stuff like this. Ah, well.

CraziFuzzy wrote:
The problem being, when discussing skill checks, that the Ability Scores, which aren't called out at all, would have as much impact as the difference between lvl 3 and lvl 7.

As I quoted above, "typical" NPC managers use the basic ability score array (13, 12, 11, 10, 9, and 8), so you're only talking about a possible range of 3 (+2 to -1), in most cases. However, since the material also explicitly says that even loyal followers and cohorts (from the Leadership feat) still need to be paid a wage if they're working as managers, the question is still relevant, because those levels, skills, etc. can vary greatly. Right now, I'm assuming it mostly has to do with the math for the Profession skill...

Fortunately for my players, my game is online and no one really has to wait on anyone else when doing downtime rolls for business. In any case, as I believe I indicated above, I'm not really exploring whether particular aspects of the downtime system—or further investigation of those aspects—are good or bad, I'm just looking to get my math question answered. My goal isn't to complicate the uncomplicated, it's to figure out how to deal with a small but specific hole the designers left in the material.

That sounds like it could be a real help. I'll look forward to your results!

I'd suggest that's a bit of an arbitrary assumption, on the basis that other wages are set on a sliding scale (Craft/Profession/hired casting/etc.). Also, there is a benefit to having varied-level NPCs:

UC p88 wrote:
This indicates the main skills the manager has ranks in, allowing you or the GM to make skill checks for the manager if an event or encounter requires it.

So, in situations like random downtime events (which can occur when PCs aren't around), it's possible for a manager's skill checks to matter.

Regardless, it's important to the players in my game, so I'm trying to get the question answered, if there's any reasonable answer to be found. I'd rather go with the guidelines the developers used to generate the numbers given in the book, as examples, if there are such, rather than make my own ruling. Can anyone point out or help guess what those might be?

In this case, it doesn't have anything to do with the job that the manager would be fulfilling, but rather the scale of the NPC. The text describes managers as "typically a 3rd-level character with 3 ranks in the appropriate skills and the basic NPC ability score array" (UC p88), but nothing beyond the examples given is covered, e.g., NPCs of 1st level or of 7th level, etc.

Whether or not it makes sense to have someone as high as 4th+ or as low as 1st running your business for you is moot with reference to the question. I just want to know if there's a specific way that the wages for managers are figured so that, in the instance a PC wants to hire a manager who is not 3rd level, I know what the NPC should be paid (since it only makes sense that lower-level characters would make less, and higher-level ones would earn more).

On the topic of managers for buildings (Ultimate Campaign p88): I simply cannot find any place where a system is described for determining the daily wage of a manager. Are the wages given for the examples simply arbitrary, or is there some rhyme or reason to them, from which one can extrapolate or reverse-engineer appropriate wages for custom-built managerial NPCs?

As is so often the case, I feel like I'm missing something obvious, somewhere, but I'll gladly kick myself and be thankful for it if someone has an explanation or some advice. I looked around and couldn't find where someone else had asked the question, nor any official UC errata, so perhaps this will help others who consistently use the downtime system, as well.

That's part of it, yes. Here's how the UC downtime rules seem to break down:

  • The earnings rate is explicitly based on the calculations for independent character earnings via Craft or Professions skill checks.

  • Weekly (7-day week with a 2-day weekend = 5-day work-week) earnings for Craft/Profession are the check result divided by 2.

  • Daily earnings for Craft/Profession are the weekly result (total check result / 2) divided by 5 (they assume weekends off).

  • Simply saying there are 2 5-day work-weeks in a tenday has to be wrong, because that's applying the Golarion calendar to FR, where it doesn't exist. Tendays include a 9-day work-week and a 1-day weekend.

  • So, substituting the math in the similarly-labeled locations, we get a character's daily FR Craft/Profession earnings with ([total check result / 2] / 9). That means FR characters earn less than Golarion characters, but it actually realistically matches the FR economy better, when you look at the prices of things.

  • Here's where the problem starts: The daily earnings for a building use the same equation as for character earnings, even though it's explicitly stated that a building "works" every day and therefore checks for earnings every day. Buildings don't take weekends; the calculation for buildings' earnings is the same no matter what, even if you choose to close for a day or are only open a half-day sometimes, etc., etc.

  • It cannot then be correct that an FR building's daily earnings equal ([total check result / 2] / 5), because that is assuming characters have a 5-day work-week, which is not true in FR.

  • So, are a building's daily earnings ([total check result / 2] / 9) just like a character, regardless of the number of days the building is actually opened (if we're sticking to the provided mechanic)? This also means a FR building earns proportionally less than a Golarion building, but again, that matches the economy.

    Example: Building gp modifier +90, taking 10, nets total check result of 100 / 18 = 5gp 5sp (rounded to nearest silver) per day.

    Dividing by 18 is the same as dividing first by 2 and then by 9 (just like UC divides by 10, because that's identical to dividing first by 2 and then by 5).

Does that seem at all in the region of correct, or anything like it?

Thanks for your reply. To be clear, it is buildings, specifically, of which we're speaking, not characters (although the mathematics remain effectively the same, I guess). A building's daily earnings check is still divided by 10, which number is based off of dividing the check result in half and then dividing by 5 for having worked 5 days out of a 7-day week.

So, assuming a standard 2-day weekend, wouldn't it be more realistic to divide by, say, 8 rather than 5 (for a character who works a normal tenday), or by 10 rather than 5 (for a building that works every day)? That amounts to less earnings per day, but realistically, lower wages/profit actually matches the economy of FR more closely, when you take into account the price of a cow, a goat, a meal, etc.

My problem is that the math is based off of a 7-day week, which assumes characters and buildings and whatever all work an average of 5 days, for the most part. The problem, mathematically speaking, is that 7-day weeks don't exist in FR, so that number can't be correct. But, I just can't figure out what to change to make it gel, for some reason. Every time I come at it, I know there's something off, but I can't get my head around it and I don't know why. :(

Checking each day for a character, for instance, still requires dividing by the number of possible workdays in a standard work-week in order to get the per-day earnings (if you follow the logic in the basic Craft and Profession skills). I guess that's easy enough; technically you could just divide by 9 instead of 5 (I said 8 above, as an example, but FR uses the principle of the "restday," so they only have a 1-day weekend). But what would you do for a building, to make it click? Divide by 10, because it "works" every day of a tenday?

Just saying there's 2 5-day work-weeks in a tenday doesn't seem right, because then you're applying economic math from a different setting with a different calendar to one that doesn't have them. Monthly earning rates and so on could be easily figured if I can just get the proper math for tendaily/daily earnings, so that's what I need.

I think this should go here, since I assume it counts as a conversion to/from 3.5. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Anyway, I could use some help with this. Maybe it's because it's late right now, but I just can't wrap my head around this math:

Downtime rules for gaining Capital

Ultimate Campaign wrote:
The Craft and Profession skills allow you to attempt a skill check once per week, earning an amount of gp equal to 1/2 your check result. If you were to divide that amount by 7, you'd get your earnings per day. However, that assumes you work 7 days per week, and most people take 2 days off per week for rest and worship, so that's only 5 days of actual work per week. Dividing your check result by 2 and then by 5 is the same as dividing by 10, which is why the downtime system has you divide your check result by 10 to determine gp earned per day. You can work 7 days per week (if you really need the 2 extra days for earning capital), but even mighty adventurers need a day off now and then!

Referring to dividing your total result for earning gp or Capital by 10 to get your final earnings. Now, keep in mind that the Forgotten Realms uses tendays rather than weeks to track time, so... For instance, if you have a building that has +80 to earn gp per day, and you take 10 as suggested, your result looks, at a glance, like 90 / 10 = 9gp/day. Of course, that really isn't that bad (90gp/tenday, if your building works all the time); but, the base math is also based on a 7-day week. Blast and bebother FR tendays for this reason, by the way, but here we are.

So, the rules say that the mechanic of dividing by 10 is due to that being the same as dividing your skill check result in half (as with Craft or Profession) and then dividing by 5 (the number of days worked in a week, assuming the standard 2-day weekend) to get your daily result. In my game, we've already decided that, based on this math, there are 2 possible "work weeks" in a tenday (rather than change all the numbers entirely). But, to get the actual amount earned, do we just double it to account for 2 "work weeks" of 5 days each? Is that right? Or does it take care of itself, e.g., by simply working for 10 days, it evens out since you're still earning the 5-day rate, but for two weeks in a tenday? That doesn't seem completely correct, but the algebra is making my head swim.

Does any of this, including my question/confusion, make sense? I know I'm missing something obvious, but right now all the numerals just look like squiggly lines fighting pointlessly to the death. Please help!

I normally think very little of alchemical items because characters seem to outgrow them, what with relatively low save DCs and similar pretty much across the board. I'm optimistic about this, though; surely a whole book on the subject will address and revisit a few of the problems with alchemical items like thunderstones and tanglefoot bags, and not just introduce a bunch of ostensibly cool, but ultimately mostly useless, new items.

Thanks for the input. I think I'm going to go the route you suggest and allow a centralized Craft [art restoration] subskill, since Craft already has a built-in repair function. More importantly, it's Intelligence- rather than Wisdom-based, which I feel better represents the need to perform research and to familiarize oneself with minutiae like chemicals, specialized tools and techniques, and so forth as part of the task. Profession might work, functionally, but Wisdom is too intuitive to properly represent the requisite skillset.

After looking around and not finding anything, I thought I'd pose this question: For a character whose goal is to be functionally useful in repairing and restoring aged/damaged/ruined artwork (e.g., a water-damaged painting, a fresco discolored by mold, etc.), what would be the best skill to use?

I have my own thoughts, of course (the repair function of the Craft skill leaps immediately to mind), but I'd like to get some other opinions. I'm certain I can't be the only GM who's had a player ask the question, so I'd love to hear what others think, and the reasons why.

For clarification: The specific situation, in this instance, is a player who wants their character to be skilled in the science of restoring and maintaining antiques and old artwork, but who isn't necessarily interested in having the PC be an artist, in their own right. The question arises from the player's desire to determine whether it would be appropriate to put ranks in a single skill that might cover said science, as a whole (e.g., Profession [art restorer] or similar), rather than being forced to spread many ranks out across a large number of mostly unrelated Craft skills in order to have some demonstrable degree of proficiency.

After all, if the character isn't intended to be a painter and a potter and a sculptor and a silversmith, etc., then is it fair or useful to force them to spend quadruple, quintuple, or even more ranks just to have a usable modifier in a broad array of skills of which they'll only ever employ a single aspect, especially when (in our world) an art restoration professional may need to have a broad knowledge base concerning many types of art, but may have little mechanical artistic aptitude or ability beyond the skillset required to perform their job?

@ Byrd: Thanks. :) Wish it had been genuinely planned that way.

@ Closet: Another very simple option, if that's the case, is an ally who provides useful support to the party, but who's totally incapable of taking care of himself. In the same game as the dread necromancer mentioned above, I offered the players their choice of 3 potential helpful NPCs: The necromancer, a suicidally depressed healer, and a weather-control blaster whose literal only concern in life was her share of the treasure.

Each was flawed or useful in a different way: The necromancer was smart, cunning, and had resources and insider information as a previous enemy officer, but her powers were super-focused and thus limited in situational applicability--not to mention the constant risk of betrayal if the PCs didn't meet her expectations as allies.

The blaster (sorceress) likewise had focused powers, although her access to sonic damage made up for that (since most creatures have no resistance to it), and she came with her own airship; but, she was greedy and self-centered, demanding first and lion's share of all spoils in exchange for transporting the PCs on her vessel, and she also was easily distracted and had quite a short temper.

Which brings me to the healer (multiclassed paladin/archivist): He was fantastic at support and came with plenty of buffs, channel energy, lay on hands, etc., but the recent death of his partner had made him that dangerous sort of fearless and self-neglectful where he no longer cared what happened to him. He wouldn't use the withdraw, fight defensively, or total defense options, and only included himself in defensive spells if it was multi-target, AoE, or specifically at a PC's instruction. He healed others till he dropped, but never used any of his powers to heal himself and even had that variant where your lay on hands ability heals other people for more and only half or so when used on yourself. I gave him Endurance and Diehard to make up for it, but he abused the feat by using Diehard to kill himself slowly at negative HP by continuing to heal everyone in the party but himself. He was invaluable for keeping the players alive, but at the expense of destroying himself, so they had to constantly watch him even outside of combat.

That's one of my favorite devices, because it makes the NPC a sympathetic victim sort of character, and thus, the annoyance is put on the players' heads rather than yours (as GM) because they're the ones actively choosing to keep the guy along and protect him from himself. After all, they could always leave him...if the cleric would rather give up his character concept and play a total healbot, etc.

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This thread made my day, seriously. XD Love the Cockatrice cavalier idea.

I did an NPC for a game who wasn't intentionally meant to be annoying, but wound up that way because the party totally bit too hard on the drama that came along with her. They went to rescue a village under siege, and one of the generals of the enemy army was a dread necromancer (3.5 class updated to PF) who actually has her own reasons for being there, is secretly out to kill the BBEG, blah blah blah.

Since she has spies embedded in the village, she knows adventurers are coming and does what anyone who wants adventurers to stick around would do: Tells them to leave. She doesn't do anything they can't overcome or aren't capable of, themselves, but stuff like sending a polite (threatening) letter treated with contact poison, etc., to give them reasons to come after the enemy officers out of personal revenge as well as altruism/greed/whatever.

Later, when she's apparently on their side, they have to suspect her because she's already betrayed one previous employer and admitted she feels no remorse for it, and will totally betray them, too, if they turn out to be useless or to interfere with her own plans for stopping the BBEG. They're wary, but they don't dare let her out of their sight, for fear that she turns on them to maintain her cover (since the BBEG thinks the heroes killed her along with the rest and doesn't know she's turned traitor yet).

Because she's a dread necromancer, and they have that crappy 5-foot fear aura and a lot of other thematic but (sometimes) ultimately useless abilities, I played up her image as half-undead, cold, calculating, but ultimately true neutral with lots of "she is beautiful, but like a statue--inhuman" and "the light around you seems to dim and even the sky grows gray as her glowing green eyes lock onto yours," etc. Just fluff, but everyone got way too caught up in it, taking it for more than what it was and interpreting it as GM implication that this was one mean lady not to be messed with (I guess). Even though she was capable of following as well as leading and is actually a pretty solid team player, they stayed terrified of her and hated her because she was so pragmatic and amoral, but nearly always right and effective, and combined with the atmosphere, they developed this assumption of tremendous, dark strength.

Best part? She's 2 levels lower than everyone else. :D

Definitely an idea. I'd also like to try and figure out, if possible, what the "no range limit" element to the cost is, because it would still make sense (to me) if maybe a cheaper version functioned at closer range than "unlimited," provided no formula can be found to simulate the same item for less.

Perhaps I phrased it the wrong way; I did not mean to imply that the requisite level of the feat has anything to do with the creation cost of an item. Rather, because you can acquire Craft Wondrous Item at a lower level than Forge Ring, I am wondering if there is a legitimate way that the item can be created at a different price as a wondrous item than as a ring, so that a lower-level creator can more conceivably afford it, as opposed to the high price of the rings. Just because they have similar function doesn't automatically necessitate that they must also cost exactly the same price--that's merely a guideline, and I'm looking for a flexible mechanical discussion in that direction, not a hard-line ruling based on what another magic item already costs. If it comes out the same price in the end, then hopefully we'll still have had a useful discussion about why. ^_^

I know it's customary to compare item prices before dissecting a formula; however, because I am interested in the crunchy bits in this instance, I am also specifically interested in the formula. In reverse-engineering it, it seems there may have been some ad hoc adjustments made for the caveat that the effect of the rings has no range--this is one of the reasons why I'd like to see how other people would break it down for examination and assessment. In knowing the bits and pieces that go into the creation cost, one can learn why it costs that much and decide whether that price or a watered-down/alternate version, etc., is legitimate for the given circumstance.

Regarding the single/pair of rings issue, I was going by the remark on this page rather than looking at the physical book. As I stated before, not really part of this discussion, whether right or wrong, since for this game it doesn't matter.

That is definitely one way to consider it, yes, but there are other factors at play here for which various cases could be argued. Some might debate the benefits and penalties of swapping the slot (i.e., if a bracelet is cheaper, considering what items are available to wear in both wrist and ring slot, is it actually worth the lower price to give up your wrist slot, does that depend on character build, etc.), but that is not my specific issue. In this case, I am more interested in the fact that Craft Wondrous Item is available at 3rd level, the same caster level at which the shield other spell becomes available, whereas the Forge Ring feat requires a minimum level of 7th to acquire.

Taking that into consideration, it's important to know if the same item could legitimately be recreated as wrist gear at a lower price than a ring, because a lower-level character with less available funds could then conceivably still manage it. This is why I'd like to see some different perspectives on the actual formulae people would use to enable such an item, and their thoughts on doing so.

I believe this is the right forum to post this. ^_^ As the subject line says, I'm looking for some insight from others who get creative with their magic items. In this situation, I have a pair of characters in one of my games who have become romantically involved; one of them is a healing specialist, the other a combat expert. As they began to RP throughout the campaign the process of courting and eventually entering into a relationship, the question of rings naturally came up.

Rings of friend shield were suggested, because they would enable the pair to help one another stay alive while simultaneously fulfilling the real-world symbolism the players are looking for for their relationship. However, the healer then stumbled across this spell, which everyone agreed was both thematic and useful, given the circumstances. The focus component, however (as you'll note), is a pair of matched 100gp gold bracelets.

Obviously, as GM, I could fudge things and just say that a pair of really expensive gold rings are definitely good enough for our purposes here. However, the players like the idea of "love bracelets" and decided to roll with it, so I began delving into what it would cost to get the same effect as the rings using bracelets, instead.

Here's where it gets sticky... Quite aside from the fact that Ultimate Equipment seems to have altered the description of rings of friend shield almost to indicate they are 50k apiece, rather than for a pair (that's not really part of this discussion, as we're using the original description), the wondrous item version (taking up the wrist slot instead of a ring slot on the body) just comes out cheaper, at a glance. Waaay cheaper.

There are a lot of twists and turns in creating magic items (can't wait for that new sourcebook!), and unfortunately, we all know rings and wondrous items can be among the stickiest in terms of figuring prices and costs. So, how would others handle or estimate the cost of a pair of bracelets of friend shield?

Relevant links:
Shield other
Magic item cost estimation

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I know there have been plenty of questions asked about construct armor since it became available in UM. A FAQ/errata was released here to answers some of it. For convenience, it's under the spoiler.

Construct Armor (page 114): How do attacks target the construct armor? Do I gain its resistances, immunities, and other defenses? What are the "benefits" and "hindrances" mentioned in this section? Does wearing it affect your speed?

The construct armor is treated as breastplate for the purpose of AC. If something targets you, it must first hit your AC. If it hits you, the attack has to get through the construct's DR or hardness and its hit points. In effect, the construct armor acts much like a pool of temporary hit points: you don't take any damage from attacks that target your AC until the construct is destroyed.

Attacks that bypass your AC bypass this protection and affects you normally (this includes most area effects). If the construct is resistant or immune to a particular attack, the attack bypasses this protection and affects you normally. Basically, the construct armor is good at mitigating damage from melee and ranged attacks, but doesn't protect you like you were the actual construct.

For example, a wood golem is immune to and healed by cold; if you're wearing wood golem armor, hitting you with a ray of frost doesn't harm the armor, heals the armor if the attack deals at least 3 points of cold damage, and deals 1d3 points of cold damage to you. Fortunately, you don't gain the construct's weaknesses; just because a wood golem has vulnerability to fire doesn't mean you take 150% fire damage when wearing wood golem armor.

The "benefits" in this section refer to the construct armor counting as breastplate and to its hit point buffer against melee and ranged attacks. The "penalties" in this section refer to the construct armor counting as breastplate.

Because the "counts as breastplate" section doesn't say it affects your speed (presumably because the construct is partially animate and able to help you move), it does not affect your speed.

Update: Page 114—In the Construct Armor modification, in the first paragraph, in the second sentence, change “first target the construct” to “damage the construct.” In the third sentence, change “regains all the hindrances” to “retains all the hindrances.”

—Sean K Reynolds, 11/16/11

I'm still having a bit of difficulty with utilizing these rules, but I'd like to use a suit of construct armor for a major NPC in an upcoming campaign I'm writing, and so would appreciate any help I could get in adjusting and dealing with the variant.

My goal is to use an iron golem shield guardian for the base construct, but I need to reduce it down to Medium size, as per the Bestiary adjustments; so, firstly, I need to make certain I've got the hang of that. Do I just reverse the stat alterations for increasing a Medium creature to Large? The entry seems to imply so.

Secondly, I need to figure out how that's going to affect the price, overall. Of course, the actual construct armor and shield guardian mods have their own costs that are described separately, so no problem there. But, I'm having trouble figuring out the cost of a Medium iron golem, what with all the talk of special abilities and costs per ability but this ability is actually two, and so forth. I don't want to do anything else special to the base golem, other than reduce its size by the one category.

Any tips would be appreciated.

(edited briefly for spelling)

That's fair enough in combination with the assumption that such a spell needs line of effect. But, does it? Does dominate or charm person actually need to pass through the space between caster and target in order to affect the target? The core rules for aiming spells simply says (about targets and spells with an area of "target") "You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target."

Now, granted, it seems the magic rules say:

Core Rulebook wrote:
A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. [...] You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

Ought that be interpreted as every spell that can potentially be cast, since gaze attacks work through it? What about burning gaze, which, on one hand, is described as functioning like a gaze attack, but which specifically says it does not actually grant a gaze attack? Definitely you can cast it (the target is "you"), but do its effects pass through a wall of force, or are they blocked, essentially making creatures within 30 feet of you on the other side of the wall immune to the spell?

Is there a loophole here for spells that create effects without producing a ray or similar (like charm person), or am I taking too much creative license with something that everyone else agrees is very cut-and-dried?

So, the core rules say:

Core Rulebook wrote:
Breath weapons and spells cannot pass through a wall of force in either direction, although dimension door, teleport, and similar effects can bypass the barrier. It blocks ethereal creatures as well as material ones (though ethereal creatures can usually circumvent the wall by going around it, through material floors and ceilings). Gaze attacks can operate through a wall of force.

This makes it seem as though a very specific subcategory of effects can pass through a wall of force--namely, those effects which do not produce a tangible manifestation which must pass through the intervening space between the origin point and the intended target.

Obviously, it is clearly stated that gaze attacks can do so, and you may teleport "through" or around a wall of force, despite the fact that "spells cannot pass through." Since these effects produce a result that does not rely on actually traveling physically through the plane created by the wall, they work normally. A breath weapon must actually reach its target; a gaze attack only needs to be seen.

All that to say: Even though it seems at first glance to be pretty black-and-white on spells in general, would it be fair to rule that spells that produce an effect without requiring a line of effect, that do not produce an area in which the target need be caught (such as a lightning bolt), or that otherwise do not need to physically travel in some tangible fashion to the target or target point to produce an effect (fireball) can work across/"through" a wall of force?

To clarify: Let's say, for the sake of example, you wish to cast dominate person on a target located on the other side of a wall of force from you. The spell has a range of "close" and a target of "one humanoid creature," but its effects are described as functioning through a "telepathic link that you establish with the subject's mind." Assuming it can be agreed that telepathy works normally through the wall, just as shouting presumably would, would it be legitimate to agree that dominate person can then also work normally through the wall, since nowhere in its description does it specify that it must shoot out, envelop, explode, or otherwise move from point A to point B in order to function normally? Likewise for spells such as crushing despair, black tentacles, or even summon monster?