Brain rats are always great fun. Especially in a large house where they can move between rooms using rat holes and crawl spaces.
Brain Ooze is a bit high level for your party (though you can fiddle with that easily enough) and is rather disturbing.
Rust Monster will scare anyone using metal weapons and armor!
Mindslaver Mold is along the lines of taking over people and being creepy in concept. Fungus Zombies!
Skin Stealer can provide endless amounts of screwing with the Players and what they thing is happening.
This is, of course, in addition to all the normal undead and Frankenstein's monster stuff you could roll with, of course.
We disagree on this particular point:
"How do I continue this Grapple? You must make a Grapple Combat Maneuver Check as a standard action."
As I said at the end of my last post, if it really did say "make a grapple combat maneuver" then we wouldn't be arguing. But it just says check, which it further and in your interpretation unnecessarily, describes the action type for this check.
But anyway. We won't agree on that so, again, ask your GM because that is truly the only answer that matters.
As for Greater Grapple and Rapid Grapple. Neither let you do a maintenance grapple check and a full attack in one round. Greater turns the maintenance check into a move. Rapid says if you have used greater grapple to maintain with a move action, you may now make a swift action to grapple this turn. So no matter what, you're using a move action to maintain the grapple.
Note, greater grapple also doesn't let you go from standing there to pinned (Grapple + Maintenance) with a standard and a move; still takes two turns since the maintenance can only be done the turn after you grapple someone. Greater grapple does let you take two tries at it, lets you move action pin, then standard action punch the guy; or move action maintain for the free damage, then standard action punch the guy.
So, apart from your interpretation of FoM, there is no way to maintain and full attack someone in the same turn.
Ok, let me try again with rule quotes and how I read them.
Combat Maneuver wrote:
During combat, you can attempt to perform a number of maneuvers that can hinder or even cripple your foe, including bull rush, disarm, grapple, overrun, sunder, and trip. Although these maneuvers have vastly different results, they all use a similar mechanic to determine success.
Grapple Combat Maneuver wrote:
As a standard action, you can attempt to grapple a foe, hindering his combat options... If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold. If your target does not break the grapple, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds.
Ok, so first off, maintaining a grapple is not on the list of combat maneuvers. List does contain Grapple, the Combat Maneuver, but when you look at the Grapple rule, it explains that a grapple CM is the attempt to start a grapple. Once you have the grapple successfully begun, you are done with the combat maneuver. It is completed successfully and thumbs up to you.
NOW on the next turn, you have to choose to make a check to maintain the grapple. This is not a combat maneuver (note the list of maneuvers in the first quote). It is a standard action using the same check (e.g. the same bonuses, plus an additional +5 bonus) as the original grapple. This is a grapple check, per the rules, not a combat maneuver roll, but it uses the same bonuses.
I know this seems to be a useless distinction. But it is an important one. Maintaining a grapple is not a combat maneuver, even though it uses all the same bonuses as a combat maneuver, it is a "grapple check" as it says.
I've done all I can to try and elucidate the admittedly subtle difference here. You don't have to listen to my interpretation; my comments mean nothing next to that of your GM's ruling. So take the issue to him or her and have it decided that way. But consider how much more powerful this would make FoM. A single class feature that now lets you grapple and full attack in the same round? Not even the full chain of grappling feats (imp, greater, rapid) will give a character the ability to get the free damage of a maintained grapple and then a full attack against the same target in a single turn. Common sense suggests the interpretation as you see it is overly powerful and thus questionable in its interpretation especially given a lack of any explicit wording to support it.
Now, if the grapple ability said "If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a grapple combat maneuver against your grappled target to maintain the hold" I would agree with your interpretation, but the key phrase "combat maneuver" is absent (and in its place, the term "standard action" which would be superfluous using your interpretation).
Where in Flurry of Maneuvers or the Combat Maneuver or Grapple sections does it give you any idea that the maintenance check to continue grappling someone can be done as part of the flurry?
The maintenance step rules says it is a standard action to make a check. It does not say "you must make a combat maneuver to maintain the grapple".
You're using the wand to cast a spell, not to make a ranged attack. The spell is a ranged attack, sure, but that's not the same as using a ranged attack (firing a bow, throwing a dagger).
Of course, if this is a private game, your argument is pretty good and your GM may allow it even though the rules don't strictly provide for that situation. But if this is PFS, then no dice.
Maintaining a grapple is a standard action that uses all the same bonuses as a grapple maneuver. Notice that without improved grapple, you will cause an AOO for trying to grapple someone but you will not cause an AOO if you are maintaining the grapple? You cannot use FoM (or the traditional 'grapple in place of an attack' option) to maintain the grapple.
The grapple rules state "If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold." It is now a grapple check, not a grapple combat maneuver (which is a grapple check that can be made in place of an attack or with FoM and many other feats). It has all the same bonuses, but has less freedom of when and how it is done. It must be a standard action and it must be made each round.
Your main question is, if I understand, is this - "Can FoM be used to maintain an existing grapple?" I say no, because FoM allows a combat maneuver and maintaining a grapple is not actually a combat maneuver.
As for flanking. A combat maneuver, unless otherwise specified (and grapple does not) is an attack roll with your CMB. See this quote (emphasis mine):
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. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.
If you are using a weapon to do the grapple (it has the grapple special condition), you add the bonuses. If you are flanking, add the flanking bonus.
As for being able to make AOOs and threatening. If you do not threaten, you cannot make AOOs, per the rules. However, if you cannot make AOOs, that does not necessarily mean (from what I've read) you do not threaten for purposes of flanking.
1) Once you're grappling, you must at the start of your turn decide to spend a standard action to maintain the grapple or a free action to release the grapple. So if you start the turn grappling and you want to make an FoM, then you have to let go of your grapple first. You can regrapple the target as part of the FoM if you want, but then you can't do any of the 'I maintained a grapple' things (free damage, pin, move).
2) Once you are grappling someone, you cannot grapple someone else unless you have a special rule allowing it. Maintaining a grapple is a standard action, it is not a grapple combat maneuver.
3) You can open with a grapple, and if you succeed you are limited by the rules of attacking things while grappled (remember, the target and the initiator both count as grappled per the status condition, which has penalties to attacking and such). You can then perform a trip, I suppose, but I don't know how that works with grappling (since the target would be prone but the grappler isn't... though I'm sure it is fine).
4) Again, the grapple maintenance check is not the same as the grapple combat maneuver (though it features the same bonuses). You would be allowed to gain a free grapple CM on a target not already grappled. This is good if you don't want to use the FoM (due to the penalty) or if you fail to get the free FoM grapple to stick and want a second try. It does not let you grapple with FoM and then pin with Binding Throw.
5) If you would get the +2 bonus on an attack from where you are with respect to the enemy (e.g. you are threatening it), you would get it on the grapple.
Every single day of crafting, someone must cast the required spell called out by the recipe. So if the Shaman ensures they have the necessary spells available for the duration of the crafting effort and expends all necessary spell slots and class uses and whatever, then they can be used for crafting.
As for wands, it depends on the wording. You can use a wand without UMD if the wand is for a spell which appears on your spell list. I'm not sure if spirit magic specifically says the spells from your spirit act as if they are on your spell list.
The best case scenario is as you state, you know the spells so long as you have a spirit from which you can draw the spell. Once that spirit is gone (the wandering spirit, specifically), you no longer have access to its spells.
The monster has 3 separate attacks, but the stat block lists duplicate attacks together to save room. It has one bite, a left claw, and a right claw (which are listed together as 2 claws, each with the same to hit/damage profile).
When taking a standard attack action, or performing an AOO, or dealing one natural weapon's worth of damage for free when maintaining a grapple, etc, the monster can use its bite, its left claw, or its right claw.
When taking a full attack action, it can use its bite and both claws for three to-hit rolls.
For what its worth, the agency of players is not the paramount goal of a pre-generated adventure path. It is also impossible for the players to distinguish true choice and consequence vs the way the GM wanted it to go. This is a purely philosophical argument though... and I am certain that short of reading your GM's notes, you have no way as a player of knowing your GM has or has not done such things even to a small degree.
As a hypothetical example - there is a quest giver in town that the GM needs the players to meet. One option is to make him the bartender and pray the players go to the Inn. The other is to make him whatever person the PCs meet on their second day in town; barkeep, armorer, town crier, guard captain... whatever; the PCs need to meet him for the story to continue but the PCs cannot be relied upon to go to a particular establishment in the town. This PC is a lynch pin to the next quest the GM has established.
However, the devil is always in the details.
The key point is the Beast getting to the Promethean. But as I said in my previous post, the GM can do all kinds of things with the Beast after that fight based on the actions of the PCs during the trial.
The Beast/AP fight is a lynch pin in the story as written. To ask why not just have the Beast executed is fine; it is the GMs prerogative to do whatever he wants to the story. However, the lynchpin events can still be maintained while also allowing the PCs to see action consequences if the GM but waits to deliver the payout.
True. And if he doesn't die against the AP and he did escape, you could have an angry mob confront him and the party as you leave the castle. Your players will likely feel invested in him regardless of how the trial went, so you can tug that heartstring by making them either feel good that they saved his life and now he lives happily with the circus... or make them stand up for him against the town... or help the town murder him for simply being different (if you go this route, I'd say have the PCs pass the burned out husk of the Twisted Kin's wagon just to dig it in).
Let us say you are standing in a narrow hallway. Mr. Evil is standing 50 feet away while Henchman A is directly between you and Mr Evil at 20 feet distance.
Since A is in the way, you cannot normally charge Mr. Evil. What you can do is charge Mr. Evil and make an overrun attempt at henchman A. This gets you to Mr. Evil and lets you attack him while also either getting A to move or running him over. You may take an AOO, and henchman A may even use trip to ruin your plans, but it'll still get you where you are going.
Option two - You are in a hallway with a 90 degree turn in it. Henchman A is right before the turn, but Mr. Evil is another 20 feet past it (total - 50 feet). So you can't charge Mr. Evil and the hallway is too narrow to walk past henchman A. However, you may take your standard action to overrun henchman A and get to the bend in the hall, then use your move to walk up to Mr. Evil. Sure, you aren't able to attack this round, but you got past the Henchman and are threatening Mr. Evil.
What you need to remember is that the Players don't know that their actions have no actual consequence in terms of the Beast's fate. They will either succeed or fail to defend him, he will either be set free or escape.
It is like when the players come to a room with 10 doors. You the GM have prepared exactly three encounters plus a boss fight. It doesn't matter which doors are opened by the PCs because the first three will be the canned encounters and the fourth one will be the boss. The PCs, however, don't know that. They will think they dodged some bullets because they got through the gauntlet after only three encounters and imagine how hard it would be to have picked badly and only encountered the boss on the last, 10th door!
With only two players, I'd actually ratchet up the drive for them to access the rooftop device and then buff up The Beast so he is more likely to not get destroyed by the Promethean. It really is a rough fight if the PCs aren't prepared.
I'd say treat the druid as the spell caster for the purposes of the Damned ability. The druid can choose for Many Lives to activate, which would suggest that they qualify as the character trying to bring back the target.
Alternatively, you could be more literal. Many Lives causes a 'reincarnate' while Damned attempts to block 'resurrection'. In that case, Damned cannot stop raise dead or reincarnate.
However, what would be a lot of fun is to allow the reincarnate, then kicking off an entire plot line where in some powerful duke of hell comes after the druid because their soul belongs to the duke and he's unhappy at being dodged.
In a game of average PCs, the Swashbuckler is pretty easy to make pretty strong. It cannot optimize anywhere near the power level of other classes, but the base power level is higher than that of the core classes.
However, he has exactly one trick, and that's hitting this with a lot of bonus damage. If you drop the BAB to 3/4, the class is pointless. And since he is a front line fighter, he needs the HP simply because he gets hit more often because he is all about melee.
His power is offset in a couple of ways. The saves are one, as are all the special abilities requiring swift/immediate actions (thus only one of them per turn). He also is entirely pointless with a ranged weapon, can't use TWF or Power Attack with a great sword, or used polearms. He can't wear heavy armor or carry a large shield.
This class is pretty straight forward in terms of damage output, but it isn't going to do an amazing amount more than, say, a bow ranger with the standard archery feat tree. And when you get into optimized classes, the Swashbuckler falls behind very quickly.
tesuji2 - what does your GM dislike, specifically? Too much damage? Too many special abilities? There may also be a misconception on how some of the class works, such as how a PC only gets 1 swift action a round and that immediate actions count as swift actions.
When crafting magic items, the listed spells are required to be cast once a day every day the item is being crafted. So spell sage would work fine for magic items that require only a single cleric/bard/druid spell to craft. However, something that requires multiple ones would require you to expend use of the ability multiple times. But so long as you spend the necessary wizard spell slots via the rules of Spell Study, it should work.
I... don't actually know. I want to say a piercing weapon is a weapon which does piercing damage natively. So a feat to allow you to alter the damage type doesn't alter the weapon's type... but I have nothing to back that up.
The term used in Swashbuckler, over and over, is "a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon". Elsewhere we see this "An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon"; so far so good. I find no definition specifically for "piercing weapon" other than the grammatical expansion of the term to mean "a weapon that does piercing damage".
So... yes? I guess? There may be a FAQ of which I'm aware, but I think so? I don't like it, and wouldn't necessarily allow it in a game I was running, but that's not the same thing as RAW.
They are mindless, so theoretically, they'd attack anything in their area, regardless of faction (PCs or monsters).
That said, it is unlikely swarms of the same type would attack each other. It also depends on the swarm type; a tick swarm and a wasp swarm wouldn't do anything to each other, but a rat swarm and a flesh eating beetle swarm would probably hurt each other. This would require some GM consideration.
I'd also rule that this counts as AOE damage, thus not mitigated by swarm protections against single target attacks.
However, an increase to hit of +2 is the more important factor than the +2 damage. Since it is a 3/4 BAB class, they have a harder time reaching the to-hit cap, thus putting a premium on weapon enchantments.
So yes, on the damage of a successful hit calculation, it is definitely better to do impact, but in the ability to actually get the hit (and for confirming criticals), I believe it is more useful to get the +2 bonus on attack rolls (until you hit your level's target number).
The Iguanodon is an example of a creature whose natural attack is improved due to an EX ability. If you beast shape into one of these, you don't (strictly speaking) get the thumb spike increased crit multiplier. Now, a reasonable GM may agree that it is an aspect of the creature's physical form, so you can have it, but the rules strictly interpreted say you don't.
Now, if you are talking about the Giant Lake Octopus then we have another issue. You cannot, technically, polymorph into a Giant Lake Octopus because this isn't a normal octopus; it is an octopus with the Giant and Advanced templates applied to it and templated creatures are not normally valid choices for a polymorph effect. That said, if we presume your GM allows it, there is no EX ability listed that increases the range of the octopus tentacle attack; it is just the attack as it stands.
Not to my knowledge.
If you become an octopus, do you have tentacles? Are some of them longer than others? Is a 30 foot tentacle considered extraordinary or part of the creature's natural attack.
Basically, if it is described in the Attack Block and there's no special ability (EX, SLA, etc) that mentions it, then it must be part of the Natural Attack. What else could it be?
You gain the attacks of the base creature. So if it has really long arms, you get really long arms. If it is an Extraordinary physical ability, then generally no but your GM may allow it because that's what the creature is (though this is more about things like super sharp claws that have an increased threat range or crit multiplier than with reach; concept is the same though).
Another way to think about it is that there are stealth check modifiers taken by the person making a stealth check defined by the stealth skill. Then there are perception check difficulty modifiers defined by the invisibility chart. So you use stealth to decide how quiet you are, then you use the invisibility chart to decide how hard it is to detect you.
It is just a +20 bonus. Some things cannot be known through anything like a lore check. They may know everything there is to know about the tomb, but not things that are not known. Also, they may still know things that are incorrect but accepted as fact. It could be that everyone thinks the temple was by this tribe because it is in the tribe's lands and covered in the tribe's iconography and the tribe says it has always been their's... but it was actually built by someone else. If no one ever figured it out, then how could a knowledge check figure it out?
You can only be an expert on things you've learned and this isn't a divination spell or a means of beseeching a higher power for information.
I'm pretty sure you add the tables together.
There is a base DC 20 perception check to detect an invisible creature within 30 feet of you. The table describes ways that DC 20 is modified. If the invisible creature is actually trying to go undetected, they can replace that base DC 20 with a stealth check + 20, then add any modifiers.
So an invisible creature moving quickly but with stealth, first rolls a stealth check (+6 ranks, trained, 3 dex = +12, d20 = 11, normal speed = -5) and gets a 12+11-5 = 18. Since they are invisible, add 20 for a 38. Moving at full speed means -10. So their final number is 18 + 20 - 10 = 28. This is the DC needed to detect the person within 30 feet assuming no other modifying situations. If it had the 'fast stealth' talent, that would negate the -5 from the stealth check, but not the -10 from the invisibility table.
If the creatures slows down to half speed and roll a 15 on the stealth d20, they'd now have a 15 + 12 + 20 - 5 (half speed) = 42. If they start running, they can no longer make a stealth check, so the number is 20 (base for being invisible) - 20 (for running) = 0 (easy to know someone is around they are running by you, even if you can't see them).
Now, if you have this creature standing perfectly still and they roll a 3, it is 3 + 12 + 20 + 20 (still) = 55. Hard to detect a still and invisible creature. However, if they talk, it will negate the +20 for standing still.
You pay the point at the moment you cast contingency:
You can place another spell upon your person so that it comes into effect under some condition you dictate when casting contingency. The contingency spell and the companion spell are cast at the same time. The 10-minute casting time is the minimum total for both castings; if the companion spell has a casting time longer than 10 minutes, use that instead. You must pay any costs associated with the companion spell when you cast contingency.
It is also possible to modify wake of the watcher into something more fitting. I can think of some interesting ideas. First, make it all about the Mace. The effigy is a distraction. Require that the mace is desired by both groups to get their own doomsday event rolling.
The main goal is to have the Way trick the PCs into recovering the mace from the Watchers. So the Way could have corrupted the Mayor and that's why he pushes the PCs to investigate the church. The Way attacks the town right after the PCs get there, leading to prisoners the church takes and then threatens violence if any PC tries to seek out the prisoners (who, according to notes in the church, were taken down to the Colour's sea caves).
Add more Whispering Way agents (and the corpses there-of) around the place to make it obvious they have been going after the mace for a bit now. They could have already reached the manor house and the PCs have to deal with undead creatures and insane Watcher members that were tortured by the Way looking for the mace and the cultists who attacked Illmarch.
I can think of a great scene in the final cave area. The PCs branch off to investigate one path (perhaps where the Gug is) and when they come back, they see signs of a group of undead have passed through. They come to the room where the Mace is stored to find a large battle between the mi-go and their friends against numerous Way minions (mainly undead as they can get to the underwater base with less trouble).
As long as you make sure the mace is identified easily (perhaps a powerful undead has already grabbed it and is trying to leave), the PCs should know to stop it.
More undead could be coming in behind the PCs, thus the only good way out is forward (there are many ways to make the PCs think there is an exit further in, including lying about it). Add an escape hatch to the final room, but block it with the Dark Young, which is there less to destroy the world as more as a final attempt to grab the Mace and use it to shatter the boundaries of realty so Momma Goat can come to visit.
I agree that the final fight isn't exactly related (at all) to the larger story. I played it up as a "the Whispering Way isn't the only group trying to destroy the world" kind of thing.
There are other ways to do it to. You could try for an uneasy alliance following the enemy of my enemy idea (teaming up with either side against the other's greater threat, though this is somewhat like book 5). You could style it as above, but more-so. The Way completely pulls the wool over the PCs and gets them to kill the Watcher threat through trickery and lies. The PCs get to feel all scummy for helping the Way and that should push them through some kind of revenge path.
I like book 4 as a stand alone story (though the insanity mechanics are meh and I handwaved a lot of that) and wish I had the time and energy to have and implement these ideas when I was actually running the game, heh.
It has been well over a year, so my memory of it is a touch hazy. I believe they crushed the girallion and decided to run as fast as they could to the next floor. I don't specifically recall webs in the intervening rooms, but I know they all failed perception checks to see any of the chalk markings.
In the actual lair, the druid saved against the webs and got up a reasonable distance into the tower. The inquisitor made it further in and spent his time casting fire spells, which kept the AP from getting his bonus third action. The bard and wizard were stuck at the doorway but didn't really want to get any closer. I believe the archons just hovered right there with the wizard and blasted.
The AP ran up and grappled the druid (which was in dire tiger shape) with minimal effort and just crushed him for two turns. Druid dropped down to 1 HP shy of death, so the AP dropped him and grabbed the inquisitor on the third turn while the PC attacked with his flaming sword. Had it lived enough to get a fourth turn, it would have killed the Inquisitor.
And actually, I don't think the fifth player (monk) was there that day. PCs belonging to absent players were sidelined (monk? What monk? We've always only been a party of four people; honest... until next month when we may be five people, or a different four people).
So yeah... three turns is all I got. The damage was impressive, but I guess that's a lesson against grabbing cats (as anyone who owns a house cat would know). Also, fire is very useful in this fight.
I wouldn't be surprised if I had forgotten something (like some of the webs or requiring a save for every square moved...) or fudged something somewhere, but I don't recall actively doing that. Book 2 was before I did things like maxing out HP, rewriting spell lists, adding bonuses to attack/AC/saves, and other things GMs have to do at times.
This was also a great example of PCs doing something they shouldn't be able to do because they didn't know they shouldn't be able to do it. No one told them that the AP was too powerful for them alone. They had no idea about the rooftop device or that they were supposed to use it. They all just figured they were supposed to go in and kill the boss of book 2 like they did for book 1. Crazy players, heh.
All treasure is calculated according to the market price, not the sale price. So a CR2 fight would let your players find 600 gold, or 100 gold and a 500 gold item, or so on. If your players do not like the 500 gold item, they can sell it but they'll only get 250 gold for it.
If you don't like giving your characters items they may not like, then just give them gold.
Now, for art, gems, nonmagical jewelry, and other non-money, non-PC-usable items, the value of the item is the amount you can make selling it. So you could give the PCs 50 gold coins, 3 onyx gems worth 100g each, a small carved stone statue worth 150g, and a pair of level 1 potions worth 50g each.
The PCs can sell the gems and statue for full value (a total of 450g), but if they sold the two potions, they'd only get 25g for each. This is because items like art and jewelry have no use to PCs while potions, weapons, wands, etc have use. Things with usefulness sell for 50% what a PC must spend to buy it.
For reference, the five PCs were hasted, one was a druid in tiger form, the wizard had six augmented lantern archons (mobile laser batteries that ignore DR and hit touch-ac) and the inquisitor liked fire spells... and everyone was getting the bard's song. It went somewhat quickly.
Yeah, I'd say the Beast's job here is to bring a (supposedly) superpowered monster down to a more APL appropriate challenge, not to just solve the fight for the PCs.
No. MoMS styles are not bound by the rules of Flurry because Flurry is completely removed.
In the case of swapping abilities, you completely ignore the ability being replaced and only follow the rules for the new ability. Now, there are cases where existing abilities are modified. In those cases, you modify what it says to modify and you keep limits and abilities that are not mentioned in the archetype.
Summon Monster takes a standard action to cast but one full round until it appears (casting time). You still get your move action for the round you start casting. The spell completes at the start of your next turn, so you get your normal set of actions on the second turn.
Casting time of 1 round is not a full round spell. You can't finish it the turn you started by using your standard and move action like a fighter can make a full attack.
Yeah, he doesn't need to break free of the grapple, he can still deliver full attacks with natural weapons. I believe the whole idea is for the pair to be tearing at each other with tooth, claw, fist, and tentacle while the players rush to the rooftop.
Or your players could be like my players and just bumrush the entire tower, ignore the attempt to explain the device on the roof, and just destroy an APL+3 (or even +4) in less than five rounds without anyone dying (so close). I mean, whatever works for you guys, heh.
No, just because you drink it doesn't mean the target is any different. It remains "a point in space". So when you drink the extract, you become the point in space for the alarm spell. If you move, the alarm spell does not move with you, however, as it is not anchored to you but rather the place you were standing when you drank the extract.