Mask of Stolen Identities

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It's never too early to start planning for the future.

Other than meaningful Solarion choices, high level envoy abilities, and a drastic change in the economy, especially for the cost of expendable items, what do people want to see in Starfinder 2.0?


Temporal Divergence:

Quote:
This spell allows you to witness two divergent decisions and choose which to pursue. Upon completing this spell, you must immediately choose two other different spells that you could cast at that moment and that each have a casting time of 1 standard action; these spells take effect simultaneously, and you must track all resulting effects, areas of effect, saving throws, and other outcomes separately as if each had been cast normally and the other spell had never happened. Once you’ve seen how each spell resolves, you must choose which version of reality occurred, expending the standard action, prepared spell, and material components as necessary. The other spell’s results are ignored and do not require an action or expend the prepared spell, spell slot, or material components. If the targets of the spell you did not choose expended any resources or effects to resist your spell, those resources or effects are also not expended.

The obvious intended use of this is to cast one or more high risk, high reward save or lose spells at high level to increase you odds of either a big win or a save second best outcome. But what else can we accomplish outside of combat that might otherwise be risky, but can be mitigated by using Temporal Divergence and some throw away cantrip as a backup option?

Two occur to me:

1. Mage's Disjunction to destroy an artifact and preserve your spellcasting ability. Succeeded at destroying the artifact but failed the Will save to keep your spellcasting ability? No problem, try again. Expensive, given the number of times you'll have to cast MD on average to even succeed at destroying the artifact, but maybe worth it to you if you're well funded, need the artifact destroyed, and won't accept a 1/20 (or 1/400) chance of becoming a commoner.

2. Dangerous Wish. Cast Wish, see if there's some unforseen backlash or twist, don't choose it if that happens.

What other 1 standard action spells are there with big risks that this trick might work for?


With the publication of a bunch of new daemons in Bestiary 6 and the forthcoming hardcover of Book of the Damned, how many ways are there now to be killed and have your soul doomed to a lower plane despite your alignment and actions? Let us count the ways.

1. Sanguadaemon: Drain Soul ability. Condemns dead soul to Abbadon.

2. Cacodaemon: Soul Lock ability, followed by a fiend eating the soul gem. I assume the plane it goes to depends on the type of fiend that ate it.

3. Obcisidaemon(?): I think it's implied that the result of destroying/consuming a soul in the Cloak of Souls is that it also goes to Abbadon, since this is just a more powerful version of the above two soul conversion/consumption abilities.

4. Great Wyrm Infernal Dragon: Damnation flames ability, anyone killed by the breath weapon goes to hell.

5. Sign an infernal contract, go to hell on death.

6. Hellfire Ray spell: If you're killed by the damage, make a will save or go to hell.

7. Malediction spell: If you fail a save and die in the next minute from any effect, go to hell.

8. Outsider flavor text(?): There are references to quasits, cacodaemons, and imps taking their masters souls to their home plane on death, presumably this is supposed to be a guaranteed outcome of accepting one, even if your are neutral aligned on the moral axis. I think there are also some flavor references to succubi stealing souls of those they energy drain to death, but I'm not sure.

What else? If I were an adventurer who faced these sorts of threats I'd want to be aware of which things should scare the hell (heh) out of me.


Are there rules for what happens when a target is subject to two compulsion spells and they conflict?

Examples:

A: Target is subject to two domination effects, and receives orders to attack two different targets. How do you determine which order he follows?

B: Target is subject to Hold Monster, then gets a Suggestion or Dominate order to attack someone. Is he ever freed from his paralysis?

C: Target is subject to Confusion, receives a Suggestion to attack a particular target, rolled some other action this round.

If there aren't any rules, I can see several possible tie breakers:

1. Last in time wins.

2. Higher spell level or CL wins.

3. Opposing Cha checks. But that's more for charms, and it's kind of extra dumb in example B above.

4. Some combination of the above for dueling identical effects (Hold, Dominate, Suggestion), but also a plausible but semi-arbitrary ranking between effects (e.g. Hold > Confusion > Dominate > Suggestion).

Any actual rules, or suggestions in their absence?


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Two closely related questions, I'm going to split them into two posts.

1. Can a psychic using the Undercast Surge phrenic amplification cast spells modified with metamagic to have an effective level higher than their max spell level?

Quote:
Undercast Surge (Su): When the psychic undercasts a spell, she can spend points from her phrenic pool to increase the spell’s effective level, essentially using up a lower-level spell slot to cast a higher-level version of the spell. This costs 2 points per spell level increased. She can’t use this ability to cast a version higher than the version she knows. For instance, a psychic who knows mind thrust III but not mind thrust IV could cast mind thrust II and spend 2 points to treat it as mind thrust III, but couldn’t spend 4 points to treat it as mind thrust IV. This amplification can be linked only to spells that can be undercast.

Let's say we have a 12th level Psychic who knows Mind Thrust VI. Can he cast a Maximized, Empowered Mind Thrust I (using a 6th level spell slot), then buy it up to an effective Maximized, Empowered Mind Thrust VI (equivalent to an 11th level spell) by spending 10 points of phrenic pool?

The answer seems to depend on whether using this ability only changes the "effective level," in which case you can exceed the cap, or whether you're actually "casting a higher-level version of the spell" in every way, in which case you can't.

Basically, is this phrenic amplification just a way to eek out a few more higher level spell slots a limited time (for a limited selection of not very good spells), or is it a core ability that lets the Psychic really excel and pull of some powerful stuff (a limited number of times and only for a limited selection of otherwise not very good spells).

From a RAW perspective I think that yes, you can probably do this. From a RAI balance perspective I think it's more questionable but definitely defensible. Thoughts?


Two items/spells in newly published player companions give partial effects on a successful save that can in narrow situations be better from the attacker's perspective than the effect on a failed save. Can I choose to let the target autosucceed at its save or somehow drastically lower the DC?

1. First consider this spell from Psychic Anthology.

Spoiler:
DEBILITATING PAIN
School enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting, painUM]; Level psychic 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action Components V, S, M
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) Target one creature
Duration 1 round/3 levels
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Spell Resistance yes
The target is overcome with intense pain, causing it to be stunned on a failed save or dazed for 1 round on a successful save.

Consider using this on something like an Elemental that is immune to stun, but not to compulsion, daze, or pain effects. They'd suffer no effect if they failed their save, but be dazed for 1 round if they succeeded. Can I ensure they succeed and counterintuitively take the worse result?

(And yes, this spell is an abomination that shouldn't have been published in this way, now anyone with a good spell resistance penetration can auto daze lockdown every powerful outsider that doesn't have a demigod's compulsion immunity.)

2. Next up is this item from Heroes of the High Court.

Spoiler:
CHASTISING BATON
SLOT none
AURA moderate necromancy
CL 7th
PRICE
5,000 GP WEIGHT 3 lbs.
This short metal rod is etched with the outlines of various weapons and is usually owned by strong-armed rulers who keep a tight rein on their nation’s military. A chastising baton adds 1 to the saving throw DC of any compulsion spell cast by the wielder and adds the pain descriptor to the spell. Creatures that succeed at a Will save against a compulsion spell cast by the wielder are racked with pain, taking 1d6 points of nonlethal damage and becoming sickened for 1 round.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
COST 2,500 gp
Craft Rod, pain strike

This combos very well with Ego Whip targeting Wisdom to apply a Will save penalty. If you fail against Ego
Whip you are staggered for a random number of rounds and suffer the Will save penalty for rounds/CL. But if you succeed at the save you still take the Will save penalty for 1 round. Add in this rod and you tack on an extra -2 sickened penalty for one round.

Compare this rod and Ego Whip V (7th level spell) to Limited Wish (7th level spell) used to inflict a -7 penalty to the targets next save. Ego Whip would inflict a -7 Will save only penalty vs. the -7 to any save that LW provides, but it lasts a full round, not just the next save, so you can better coordinate/pack attack with your party. Plus Ego Whip is free and LW costs 1,500. And as a minor bonus for Ego Whip and the rod, a successful save would further debuff the target outside its saves via the sickened penalty to attacks, damage, skill checks, etc.

So are there rules for casting a harmful spell that you want the target to mostly resist and only take the partial result?


Are there spells, magic items, (least favored) class abilities, or other methods that allow non humanoid creatures to copy Reduce Person or similar effects? I'm always trying to find ways to creatively cram large monsters into smaller passageways without squeezing.


Possession spell states:

Quote:
As a standard action, you can shift freely back to your own body regardless of range, so long as it remains on the same plane. If the host's body is killed, you return to your own body and the life force of the host departs (it is dead).

If your host body is killed on a different plane than your own body (say because it's stashed in a demiplane or Mage's Magnificent Mansion), do you still return to your own body?

It seems to me that reading these two sentences together the intent is "no," but an especially blinkered reading of them independently suggest the RAW is "yes." The second sentence simply states you return to your body when the host is killed, notwithstanding the fact that you can't return their willingly when on a different plane.

I think you pretty much have to go with the combined meaning to avoid turning Possession into a poor man's Astral Projection for the purposes of surviving combat, but I wondered what others thought.


Mind Thrust VI, in addition to delivering some incidental damage, does this.

Quote:
This functions as mind thrust IV, but the target takes 1d8 points of damage per caster level (maximum 20d8) and is exhausted and stunned for 1 round if it fails its save. This spell can be undercast.

I've always wonder what the point of exhaustion is if you're already stunned, given that you already lost your Dex bonus and can't attack or charge anyway. Then I remembered a reason for why the additional strength and dexterity penalty matter: CMD!

So the cumulative penalties to your CMD from getting hit by this are:

-3 to -6 from exhausted (-6 penalties to both Str and Dex; Dex penalty only applies if it pushes the target into a Dex less than 10, as stunned removes any bonuses that would have otherwise been reduced)
-2 AC from stunned
-X Dex penalty from stunned

Additionally, the attacker gets a +4 to perform a manuever due to the stunned condition.

So cumulatively this combo makes the target suffer an effective penalty of -(9 + [Lost Dex bonus or penalty to Dex of up to 3) to its CMD. That's pretty good! For high Dex monster that fail the save that's going to take a lot of them from LOL, NO, STOP TRYING TO TICKLE ME to OH, GOD, PLEASE STOP BULL RUSHING MEeeeeee(splat).

Is there anything else as good for setting up a combat maneuver from a buddy?

(Edited to note that Dex penalty from exhausted will only apply if the target has an average to low Dex, as the exhausted penalty won't stack with the lost dex bonus, if any, from stunned).


Ever since Ultimate Intrigue came out I've been, er, intrigued by the potential of memory modification magic to help in intrigue/nonviolence campaigns. The First World included two really strong abilities in that vein, so I thought I'd start an effort to crowd source all of them and discuss the best options. Please add anything I don't include below.

Spells:

Memory Lapse: A weak introductory option, wipes out memory of the previous round.
Modify Memory: The standard, this one isn't actually very good because the permanent nature makes it subject to detection and it can be dispelled.
Out of Sight: This is pretty great, every observe has to save or forget that he saw you and what he saw you do. Min/level duration.
Amnesia (Villain Codex): Allows a total mindwipe, taking away all memories and class abilities. Useful for reprogramming someone as part of a long-term plot, maybe.
Fleeting Memory: Wipes out future memories (round/level) after you cast it. Useful for a quick interrogation, theft or, other quick and dirty misbehavior that you don't want remembered.
Dream Reality (Inner Sea Intrigue): This is like Fleeting Memory, but lasts min/level and is Illusion for those who specialize in that. The ultimate for a one on one interaction with someone you don't want to remember the details of later, but at level 6 it's pretty expensive.

SLAs:

Occultist Psychic Curse: Allows you to make a target lose its memory for one HOUR per level. Top shelf for making unwitting allies you mind controlled go at no small risk to yourself. Such big gaps with nothing to fill them may not always be the best option, though.

The Lost Prince's obedience (First World campaign setting) second boon gives you three per day Modify Memory, but only requires a standard action. Use two uses to modify one hour for one target. Use all three uses to modify one day for one target. This lets you fill with new memories, not simply leave a blank. The best option, but requires a dedicated build.

Monsters:

A few outsiders have Modify Memory as a SLA. It's not a the best spell when you cast it, it's not better when a called outsider does it for you. Let's look at more interesting things with unique abilities or better action economy in using effects similar to Modify Memory. Maybe you can summon, recruit, or enchant one of these to help you.

Gerbie (First World campaign setting) has a touch attack that wipes away memories as per Modify Memory, but does it instantly and NO SAVE. Evil parties will want to have a charmed Gerbie along as a memory wiping machine, good parties might want to recruit one as a helper or cohort.

Rakshasha, Raktavarna: An (evil) improved familiar option, this guy's poison makes the victim forget a minute of interactions with it. Not a great option given the bad DC and that it only wipes memory of your familiar, but it exists.

Hyakume: It's weird, it's CR 15, but if you can get one on your side its Memory Drain ability might be useful to you. Maybe.

Gray: They're humanoid, dominate away! Very limited in their abilities, but if you regularly want to get information from sleeping targets, having one of these by your side is a help.

Psychopomp, Viduus: A melee attack does Modify Memory on a target, or completely wipes the memory of an undead. I don't know why you'd want to leave an undead with no memory "alive" behind you, but this is probably the only way to do that if you do.

Vampire, Vetala: Grappling isn't the most efficient way to apply Modify Memory, but it's better than 5 minutes and no save.

Devil, Mnemor: I didn't mention Repress Memory above because while it's a great memory modification spell, it only works on the caster. Guess what? This guy can apply it to someone it hits in combat.

So that's a lengthy list of spells, abilities, and monsters you can try to use to modify memories if you need to leave someone alive. What am I forgetting?


As I understand Pathfinder cosmology while the Astral plane (and therefore teleportation effects) is available everywhere, the ethereal and shadow planes are only in the inner sphere, intersecting with only themselves, the material plane, the first world, the elemental planes, and the positive/negative energy planes. (And I'm not sure about allof those.)

RAW, I think this means that you shouldn't be able to use any effect that depends on these planes if you're on an outer plane. No Ethereal Jaunt on the Abyss (poor succubus), no Shadow spells in Hell (poor illusionists and shadowdancers), no spiritualist phantoms manifesting in Heaven.

Am I wrong about this? Am I right but everyone just ignores it?


Reading through the fey obedience in First World campaign setting, I noticed that there is no requirement in the feat or the associated prestige class that you be within one alignment step of the eldest. I can sort of understand that since the Eldest don't seem ideologically motivated, as long as you do what they want they may not care in your heart.

But I then noticed that NONE of the obedience feats actually impose alignment closeness as a requirement. The divine classes do, and the divine prestige classes do, but not the feats.

Is there any general one step rule actually published anywhere, or errata/FAQ about the obedience feats that require you to be within one step? I think most people assume it exists because it's explicitly published for divine classes, but as far as I can see it doesn't actually RAW exist otherwise.


I finally found a use for these two disappointingly mediocre spells. Apport Object lets you put an object anywhere within range without line of effect, and specifically lets you put it in a pocket (unwilling recipients only refuse to catch and drop it in their square if it's aimed at their hands) or container.

So this becomes a pretty great sabotage/terrorism combo for urban/intrigue campaigns. Cast Node of Blasting on a coin in your hand, use Apport Object to put it an unsuspecting mark's pocket, they'll take damage next time they reach in.

For more immediate tactical use, teleport a gem or something that your average Joe will instinctively pick up inside an occupied room. Requires some GM allowance, but it's not super powerful and it should work at least some of the time.


Undercasting Spells wrote:
Some psychic spells can be undercast. This means that the spellcaster can cast the spell at the level that he knows, or as any lower-level version of that spell, using the appropriate spell slot. When a spellcaster undercasts a spell, it is treated exactly like the lower-level version, including when determining its effect, saving throw, and other variables. For example, a psychic spellcaster who adds ego whip III to his list of spells known can cast it as ego whip I, II, or III. If he casts it as ego whip I, it is treated in all ways as that spell; it uses the text and the saving throw DC for that spell, and requires him to expend a 3rd-level spell slot.

If I have spell specialization for Mind Thrust IV, does it also apply (+2 caster level) if I undercast?

What about if I have spell perfection on Psychic Crush V, does it apply (free metamagic, doubling of my Spell Focus bonus) if I cast Psychic Crush III?

My feeling is RAW no, but that it really shouldn't be a problem, given that these sorts of feats were written before

If not, what if I apply metamagic and the undercasting surge phrenic amplification?

Quote:
Undercast Surge (Su): When the psychic undercasts a spell, she can spend points from her phrenic pool to increase the spell's effective level, essentially using up a lower-level spell slot to cast a higher-level version of the spell. This costs 2 points per spell level increased. She can't use this ability to cast a version higher than the version she knows. For instance, a psychic who knows mind thrust III but not mind thrust IV could cast mind thrust II and spend 2 points to treat it as mind thrust III, but couldn't spend 4 points to treat it as mind thrust IV. This amplification can be linked only to spells that can be undercast.

Does this let me cast spells with an effective level over my maximum spell level, the only way to do it without using a Metamagic Rod?

Example: I know Mind Thrust VI (6th level) and can cast 9th level spells. So I undercast a Persistent, Empowered, Dazing Mind Mind Thrust I (9th spell level slot after metamagic slots), and spend 10 phrenic pool points (ouch) to make it work like Mind Thrust VI?


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Does anyone's campaign include outsiders dedicated to punishing mortal spellcasters who abuse Planar Binding (whether murdering the outsider after they do their job, Stone to Flesh a succubus after receiving a profane gift, or Efreeti wish shenanigans)?

It occurs to me that it's pretty easy to set up conceptually, given the existence of Wish granting/capable outsiders who can wish (or have a surrogate do it, for Efreeti) for an offending caster to be pulled into a prepared ambush on another plane.

Some concepts:

Efreeti Enforcers: Working out of the Mage's Quarter of the City of Brass under the aegis of Grand Vizier, this group of Efreeti take revenge on spellcasters who do not bargain fairly for the wishes they receive. They rely on reporting from offended Efreeti, as well as divination when one fails to report for annual musters. When a target is identified, several Efreeti with class levels prepare an ambush around a Dimensional Locked killing ground, then have their mortal slaves use granted Wishes to transport the magician to his fate. Those who surrender are enslaved, those who resist are killed and their corpse paraded through the Grand Bazaar. So efficient, consistent, and well known is the operation that only the most powerful, cautious, or insane mortal spellcasters dare to coerce Efreeti into wishes rather than bargain (un)fairly.

Diabolic Department of Discipline: Special units of devils take reports of disappeared or abused minions of the Archdevils. The devils, however, play a more subtle game with their quarry. First they observe, then they approach to offer a deal. If this fails, local agents on the relevant material plane may be tasked for revenge. Only in extremis do the Pit Fiends who lead these units use their precious annual Wishes to pull the perpetrators in for punishment.

Abyssal Avengers: Demons lack the organization and individual accountability of Efreeti and Devils, but cabals of Nalfeshnee dedicated to the honor of the Abyss work randomly to punish those mortal offenders who their oracles (or reports from vengeful demons) reveal have repeatedly insulted or destroyed demons. Their Glabrezu partners force humanoid slaves to Wish for the transport of these offenders, where they are destroyed or corrupted - often by the offer of a treacherous wish from another Glabrezu.

I'm not sure the celestials need a similar organization, but if their personnel are getting abused I'm sure they would have similar approaches. In any case, GMs trying to rein in player abuses should consider developing one of these ideas and spreading it as common knowledge among the magical populace.


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Occult Adventures wrote:
Mindtouch (Su): The psychic can spend 1 point from her phrenic pool to probe one target’s mind if that creature is affected by the linked spell. If the target of the linked spell fails its saving throw or is hit by the spell, the psychic detects its surface thoughts (as the 3rd-round effect of detect thoughts). If the linked spell doesn’t already require an attack roll or allow a saving throw, the target can attempt a Will saving throw to avoid the thought-detection effect only; the DC is calculated using the linked spell’s level (and all other bonuses that would apply if the linked spell allowed a Will save). This amplification can be linked only to spells that affect a target or an area. If the linked spell can affect more than one creature, the psychic can attempt to detect more than one target’s thoughts by spending 1 additional point per creature beyond the first. She must select these targets when she casts the spell and spends the points. This is a mind-affecting effect.

1. How long does this linked Detect Thoughts effect last? One round? As long as the linked spell? The normal duration of Detect Thoughts (min/level)? Do you have to concentrate continuously to maintain it in the last circumstance, though?

The first option makes this pretty useless, unless your GM is willing to treat it like a "reveal his intended next round's combat actions" effect. The second option is pretty amazing if you're playing an intrigue situation and you cast a buff or other harmless spell on someone with a long duration. The last is probably somewhat balanced (no hours/level, but also no instaneous effect), but as you detect thoughts per the spell, but it's not actually the spell, I don't think continuous concentration should be required.

Thoughts?

2. Can this be detected? How?

For example, would a spellcraft check show that a Detect Thoughts rider is on the spell being cast? Would Greater Arcane Sight show it after its cast?


I'd like to discuss interesting applications of the Telepathic Targeting major phrenic amplification from Occult Origins, which reads:

Quote:
Telepathic Targeting (Su): By spending 2 points from her phrenic pool, the psychic can target any creature with which she is in telepathic communication (whether via her telepathic bond ability, a creature's telepathy ability, or another effect) with the linked spell, even if the creature would normally be out of range. The linked spell must have the mind-affecting descriptor and must have a range of touch or greater.

The earliest you can take this is at Psychic 11, when you have access to your Telepathic Bond class ability and can take Telepathy as a spell at level 10. You get permanent Telepathy at level 17.

It seems there are a few ways to use this:

1. Use to attack at longer range with Telepathy. This is really about Euphoric Tranquility at high levels, as there are no other good mind affecting touch attacks, and 100' vs. close range isn't much of a benefit. But wow, once you hit level 17 this is an ugly ability. No roll to hit, no save, only SR can save the target from being out of the fight and being supremely vulnerable once its allies are dead.

2. Let's follow with the most powerful but controversial: Use to attack without line of sight or line of effect with Mind Affecting spells.

Does telepathy require LOS/LOE? RAW no one knows, so it's a GM call. There are threads at OOTS and here at Paizo discussing it. I'll just point out that both Hell's Rebels 5 (minions of the Contract Devil) and Curse of the Crimson Throne (revised) 4 (the Sakhil) have tactics lines where they use telepathy to warn allies in other rooms (w/o LOS or LOE) if they are engaged in combat. So at least James Jacobs thinks it doesn't require LOE/LOS, and I agree. So I'm going to assume that you can use telepathy on creatures you know are in range, even if you can't see them or have a wall in between you. (I'm not sure how far I'd take this with lead or force effects, but for most purposes I think this should work.)

So, all that out of the way, what can we do with this ability offensively? In an intrigue scenario you can cast a dominate or charm effect on someone from an adjacent room, where they can't see you cast. (So much for spell manifestations!) Add [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/ambuscading-spellAmbuscading Spell[/url] for a -2 to their saves.

In a dungeon scenario you scout the next room, then start killing them one by one with Mind Thrust or Psychic Crush. Or put up a fog bank and don't bother pinpointing them. Did you see them before they went invisible? Broadcast telepathy to them with a spell attached, too bad, so sad. They threw up a Prismatic Wall to block the corridor? Who cares?

And so on. Powerful? Yes. But limited by those 2 Phrenic Points per use, and you can only hit one target a time, so no Confusion on 8 people sitting down to dinner while you've excused yourself to the bathroom.

3. Use via Telepathic Bond or Telepathy to buff allies you can't touch or who aren't in close range, as applicable. Obvious combat options here are (Greater) Heroism, Contagious Zeal, Hermean Potential, and Placebo Effect.

4. Use via Telepathic Bond for intrigue options. You can be anywhere on the same plane while they infiltrate a dinner party and then sneak off to the library or whatever, and they aren't casting the spell so observers won't see it happen. You might want to boost skills with Investigative Mind, give them Memorize Page to store what they found in the BBEG's desk/library, or similar. Or after they've reached a point where they need your spell casting ability, cast Mind Swap to take over their body and solve their problem before dismissing it to return them to control and finish the mission. Are they trying to run away? Miserable Pity so it's hard to attack them.

5. Use via a Dominate Person/Monster link to renew your effect before it wears off (or add a Geas to bring them back to you if someone dispells the Dominate spell) and manage your minion guarding your backup gear (or whatever) remotely and indefinitely. You can also send them on mission, watch through their eyes, and then buff them per 3 or 4.


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The Bestiary 5 Egregore, a gestalt mind aberration created by a cult using a special ritual, is in my opinion the coolest monster that no one has really talked about, possibly because they mistake it for a monster that you fight rather than an amazing plot device or over the horizon buffing machine to enhance the people you actually fight.

It can cast its spells (unlimited use of Cure Moderate Wounds, limited use of monster Psychic Magic spells (the Bestiary example has Heal, Mass Bear's Endurance, and Mass Bull's Strength up to 3/day in any combination)) on any person who joined its cult mind at any range up to 1 mile.

Everyone involved has an empathic link, so when you jump some cult guards everyone knows there's a problem. The unaffected cultists can start buffing and moving to support, the Egregore can cast its mass buff spells, and then can start spamming Cure Moderate Wounds on anyone it senses is hurt. (Smart cultists would retreat or rotate to benefit from this healing.) Anyone in extremis or important enough (like the cult leader) can get a Heal to rescue them from imminent death. Oh, and any cultist subject to a mind affecting attack can use the Egregore's save bonus as a second chance, and if it fails both another cultist (perhaps sitting safely out of the way somewhere within 1 mile) can choose to suffer the result instead of the target.

There are downsides. If someone moves 1 mile away or dies, they permanently drop out of the cult mind and everyone still in has to pass a Will save DC 20 or be sickened for 1 round. Once the cult members drop below half the original, every additional loss makes the Egregore confused until it passes a Will save DC 20.

So that's the stock Egregore capabilities. It can also fight, but not particularly well, so don't worry about that. Instead, let's talk about the customized Egregores for which there are rules. A minimal Egregore gets 13 HD and three psychic magic spells (6th level maximum) if created by 13 cultists spending 1,000 gp each on the ritual. But add more cultists and you can create a more powerful Egregore Master. Every 2 additional cultists over 13 gets you an extra HD. Every extra 2 HD gets you another spell, and a higher spell level.

So we want a 19 HD that can cast 6 spells via Psychic Magic, each of which can be 9th level from any spell list, would require 25 cultists and 25k gp (GMs have room to increase those numbers, the 2 cultists per 1 HD conversion is the guideline for starting out growth past 13 HD, but it's implied it might grow further at some sort of increasing rate). I'm going to assume monster Psychic Magic still requires expensive components to avoid creating something that can spam 6 free wishes per day. But we can have it hand out Heroic Invocation, Mass Heal, Astral Projection, Etherealness, Greater Communal Spell Immunity, and any standard lower level mass buffs you might care for. If you push it with more HD you can really pack it with lots of spells. At some point I'd probably toss on Telepathic Bond so you can fully communicate with key cult members who can prioritize and direct buff support to the right people as an empathic link with dozens of people is going to get unwieldy in a crisis.

Ok. So what do we do with this? If you're playing it safe you build one to support your stationary cult, frustrating your players a bit and then letting them get to the inner sanctum and fight the weird monstrosity that was making its minions so unexpectedly tough. But why not build one with Gate, so that the entire cult can travel the multiverse as a group, provided they stay within a 1 mile radius of Egregore Master? (Someone in Axis/City of Brass hires the PCs to investigate this new group with mysterious powers that just showed up in town.) Or consider a truly selfish BBEG who conned dozens or even hundreds of followers to help him build a terrifyingly powerful Egregore Master, then plane shifted away with it, so that it severed its connection to everyone but him. (The PCs are hired by the cult to try to retrieve their former leader and collective monster pet so that they can try to reconnect to it via a new ritual and then execute the traitor.)

And so on. What ideas does this give you?


Is there any reason you can't combine the Knowledge is Power arcane discovery or Kinetic Enhancement psitech ability to a combat maneuver performed through the Telekinesis spell or Ectoplasmic Hand spells?

Both spells let you conduct a combat maneuver from a limited menu with your CMB calculated with caster level replacing your BAB and your Intelligence replacing your Strength. Both abilities let you add your Intelligence on top of your usual CMB. Not bad!

Taking it too far, a 20th level caster with +13 optimized Int bonus would have a CMB of 46 with those maneuvers. Then you could add on +2 for Spell Specialization, +1 for Ioun Stone, +1 for a trait, up to +4 (at the cost of three feats) for the Improved/Greater maneuver feats, etc. Using spell perfection, some really questionable feat selections, and a succubus profane gift I see you getting to 20 + 2x2 + 14x2 + 1 + 1 +4 = 58 CMB at level 20 on one particular maneuver and 54 for the rest. It would be a really silly use of a standard action for a 20th level caster and really wasteful of your feats, but you could do it. Toss in a True Strike or Moment of Prescience boost when you really want to surprise something colossal by tripping it.


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Situation: An invisible Succubus in a grapple successfully makes her concentration DC to cast Windy Escape to escape the grapple, while 20' away a Paladin wearing full plate dragon armor, and not directly engaged in combat, is trying to take 10 to UMD a wand of Infernal Healing on a construct without natural fast healing. He's being supported by a Bard simultaneously using a masterpiece and a bardic performance while a commoner, also not in combat, tries to sell him some milk cows while engaging in the total defense action. It is dark (partial concealment) and he's nervous, so the commoner is also trying to stealth.

Questions:

1. Can anyone see the manifestations of the Succubus' spellcasting?
2. Does she escape the grapple?
3. Can the Paladin take 10?
4. What's the minimum size dragon the Paladin's armor must have come from? Is that really fair?!
5. Does the construct get healed?
6. Can the Bard do both simultaneously?
7. Can the Commoner stealth in the darkness?
8. Can he use total defense, and what penalty does that and his negotiating impose on his stealth check?
9. How many milk cows can you get if you traded them for the Infernal Healing wand (25 charges, crafted with "dose of unholy water" component rather than the devil's blood)?
10. List every reason (minimum 5) the Paladin falls.

Please FAQ this post so we can get answers to all of these in one efficient bundle. Thanks.


How many ways are there to identify that someone is immune to mind-affecting (or mental control) before you waste a spell? I'm trying to think of ways to help out enchantment builds to know they should use their backup attack methods when appropriate.

1. Knowledge checks - Can work to identify racially immune monsters, but depends on the GM giving you the info and making your check. Won't help with immunity from a spell or item. We're obviously mostly worried about weird abominations and things not obviously identified as a type that everyone knows is immune (undead/plant/ooze/construct).

2. Greater Arcane Sight/Analyze Dweomer - You can know if your target has a Protection from Evil or similar relevant defense up against possession or mental control. Downside - high level, won't identify racial immunities.

3. Telepathy spell? - Could you send a message as a free action and tell that it didn't receive it? Can mind-affecting immune creatures choose to receive telepathy? Only if they also have telepathy? (E.g. intellect devourer.) Still wouldn't identify someone immune to mental control.

4. Thoughtsense spell - This should work well to identify anything within 60' as mind-affecting immune, because you can see it but not sense it with your Thoughtsense. No SR, no save. Caveat - it might just have a divination blocker up, like Nondetection or Mindblank, and give off a false sense of immunity.

Options 2 and 4 seem to ensure that you'll identify any protected/immune creatures, plus those with divination blockers who might still be vulnerable.

A less reliable option that you can pull off at 11th level is to make regular Arcane Sight permanent and then cast Thoughtsense. You can make spellcraft checks to identify abjuration auras, even if you can't identify specific spell effects. If they don't have an abjuration aura and you can detect them with Thoughtsense they're vulnerable (or have Magic Aura up...). If they have an abjuration aura up and you can detect them with Thoughtsense you know that non-mind control spells will likely still work (e.g. Confusion), but you're taking a risk if you try Dominate or Possession. Still, it's a pretty useful way to triage and prioritize your targets.

Additional thoughts or recommendations?


Condensed Ether

Quote:

You condense the substance of the Ethereal Plane as it interpenetrates the Material Plane. This thickened planar conjunction slows movement through the area to a crawl.

Creatures moving through condensed ether (even incorporeal creatures), move at only half their normal speed and can't take 5-foot steps. This slowing of movement doesn't stack with solid fog or similar effects. Creatures within condensed ether take a –2 penalty to Armor Class and on Reflex saves, and condensed ether prevents effective ranged weapon attacks. Even magic rays and similar ranged attacks suffer a 20% miss chance on attacks into or passing through condensed ether. This miss chance is not based on concealment, and Blind-Fight, true seeing, and similar effects do not reduce it.

What does "prevents effective ranged weapon attacks" mean? My first impression was always that it stopped all of them cold. The "even magic rays and similar ranged attacks" seems to be talking about a separate rule for those nonphysical forms of ranged attack.

But on second thought I'm not sure. A total shut down of ranged attacks seems pretty strong. But on third thought, I wouldn't say a 20% chance of a miss prevents "effective" ranged attacks.

RAW I think the most plausible interpretation is that it does prevent all arrows/bullets/thrown rocks, but imposes a 20% miss chance on rays/tech gun beams, etc. RAI I think this is level 4 (edit: 5 for sorc/wiz) and it's probably not intended to shut down ranged attacks cold like that in addition to its crowd control capabilities.

Thoughts?


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These forums often feature people inaccurately saying that psychic casters have their spellcasting "shut down" when they are subject to a harmful emotion effect like the common Shaken condition. But that's not true, they are only prevented from providing Emotion(Somatic) components, any spell that is Thought(Verbal) only is just as usable as always.

So I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of spells on the Psychic list (the most often cited problem child; Mesmerist, which is second, shares many of the following useful combat spells) that only require Thought components. Smart players will ensure they have at least a couple of these of different levels to ensure they still have options when they get intimidated or otherwise handicapped.

The major take away here is that when Shaken you still have access to lots of useful mind affecting attack spells, escape (Dimension Door), and your Psychic-only undercastable defensive spells. You don't have a lot of use against those immune to mind-affecting (but see some sonic attacks like Piercing Shriek and Shout), but that's true to a lesser extent even when you have access to your full list. You could actually build a pretty solid combat list of spells with Verbal/Thought only spells if you had to.

On the flip side, I would also note that the Psychic only attack spells (Mind Thrust, Psychic Crush, Id Insinuation, and Ego Whip) are Somatic/Emotion component only, so they are designed to let you use at melee range when you need your move action for something other than centering, so you need to use combat casting but can't afford a +10 concentration penalty.

Psychic Verbal (Thought) Only Component Spells

(Spells with combat applications (not counting pre-buffs like Blur) are in italics. Particularly good/noteworthy ones at that level are marked with an asterisk(*))

LEVEL 0

Flare
Light

LEVEL 1

Command*
Decrepit Disguise
Deja Vu*
Feather Fall
Flare Burst
Forbid Action*
Hold Portal
Invigorate
Liberating Command
Mindlink
Murderous Command*
Psychic Reading
Sundering Shards
Thought Echo
True Strike*
Ventriloquism

LEVEL 2

Anticipate Thoughts
Apport Object
Blindness/Deafness*
Blur
Buoyancy
Hypercognition
Knock
Mental Barrier I
Mental Block
Piercing Shriek*
Placebo Affect* - This suppresses almost all status effects, including fear!
Silent Table
Steal Voice
Suggestion*
Thought Shield I

LEVEL 3

Apport Animal
Borrow Fortune*
Burst of Speed
Cognitive Block
Displacement
Mental Barrier II*
Node of Blasting
Synaptic Pulse*
Thought Shield II
Tongues
Vision of Hell

LEVEL 4

Dimension Door*
Geas, Lesser
Intellect Fortress I*
Invigorate, Mass
Mental Barrier III
Mindwipe
Planar Adaptation
Shout*
Thought Shield III
Thought Sense
Tongues, Communal
Triggered Suggestion

LEVEL 5

Command, Greater*
Contact Other Plane
Denounce
Echolocation
Forbid Action, Greater*
Intellect Fortress II
Mental Barrier IV
Suggestion, Mass*
Synapse Overload
Synaptic Pulse, Greater
Telepathy
Teleport
Thought Shield IV
Tower of Iron Will I
Truespeak

LEVEL 6

Geas
Intellect Fortress III
Mental Barrier V*
Planar Adaptation, Mass
Psychic Surgery
Subjective Reality
Thought Shield V
Tower of Iron Will II

LEVEL 7

Phase Door
Power Word, Blind*
Resonating Word*
Teleport Object
Teleport, Greater
Tower of Iron Will III
Word of Recall

LEVEL 8
Bilocation
Brilliant Inspiration
Irresistible Dance*
Power Word, Stun*
Shout, Greater*
Tower of Iron Will IV

LEVEL 9

Divide Mind
Interplanetary Teleport
Mage's Disjunction*
Power Word, Kill*
Psychic Image
Teleportation Circle
Time Stop*
Tower of Iron Will V
Wail of the Banshee*


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It occurs to me that between Ultimate Intrigue and Horror Adventures we can now build spellcasters whose curses are very, very hard to remove short of a Wish or Miracle. Please help me add any other options I've missed.

1. Start with Conditional Curse or Major Curse for a level 4-6 effect (giving us some metamagic room) and a +5 to removal DCs. For Break Enchantment that's 16+Caster Level, for Remove Curse it's spell DC +5.

2. Add Tenacious Spell for an additional +2 to the removal DC at the cost of +1 spell level.

3. Add Contagious Spell metamagic (Horror Adventures) at the cost of +2 to the spell level. Removal attempts that fail by 5 or more force the would-be remover to save vs. the curse.

4. Take Stubborn Curse feat (Horror Adventures). This forces anyone trying to remove your curses to roll twice and take the lower number.

From there you just need to use the usual methods to boost your CL against Break Enchantment (unless you're casting a 6th level Major Curse) or DC against Remove Curse to make your contagious curses either impossible or very difficult and dangerous to remove via standard methods.

Are there any other ways to enhance curses in their effects or tenacity? I thought the Psychic phrenic amplification Complex Countermeasure would help tack on another +2 removal DC, but that only lasts 24 hours, so not good enough.


Can you combine Fast Study and Psychic Asylum to fill all of your open spell slots as an immediate action?

Fast Study allows a Wizard to fill all of their spell slots in 15 minutes. Psychic Asylum is a 6th level immediate action spell that freezes external time and give you 15 minutes in a mental mindscape with perfect recall of any text you've read in the last level/week. Like your spellbook.

It also specifically says "If you're able to prepare spells, you can use the time to prepare a single spell." RAW that's clear, it's trying to curtail the normal limit of up to 1/4 of your spells limitation that normally applies to 15 minutes, but I also imagine Fast Study wasn't considered.

I'm thinking a limit of 4 spells (the 1 hour to 15 minutes multiplier rather than the 15 minutes to 1 minute multiplier) would be a reasonable compromise. What are other thoughts?


The Dresden Files has a character called the Archive, a girl who has comprehensive, perfect knowledge of everything ever written down. I realized that there's an interesting synergy between the Lore Psychic's Mnemonic Cache ability and the Psychic Asylum spell that can give a Pathfinder character a lesser but related ability to instantly have perfect recall of anything they've read, heard, or witnessed in the past week/level, and instantly swap it out for new information as long as you have 5th level spell slots.

Here's how it works. Psychic Asylum as an immediate action lets you spend 15 minutes frozen in time with the ability to "recall any conversation, or remember any image that you have been exposed to with perfect clarity and recollection, as if you had an eidetic memory. You must have seen or heard the material within a time frame of 1 week per level." As a Lore Psychic you have access the Mnemonic Cache ability, which will let you memorize a chosen block of text, audio, or images to retain permanently when you exit the Psychic Asylum.

To maximize this ability the Psychic would want to create some folios on important knowledge (e.g. demonic weaknesses, detailed maps of important locations) that will fit in his cache limit so that he can make sure he reviews them once every level/weeks. As soon as you need perfect recall of the information, cast Psychic Asylum and transfer the information to your Mnemonic Cache, then have perfect, instant recall of the relevant briefing document, conversation from 2 months ago, or whatever you need to target a creature, out argue an opponent in court, find your way through a complex dungeon on the run, or whatever.

How can we enhance this? Ultimate Intrigue has a couple of relevant items.

The Magnificent Map, a 7,800 gp item, lets you record a holographic map of everything within 30' (max 500' radius from initial activation point). So you activate it, put it in a pouch, then wander/fly around a dungeon or city. Afterwards you review it, and for the next week/level you can instantly recall it with perfect clarity even if you erased it to map something new.

The Codex of Conversations is 10,000 gp, and record all conversations within 20' for up to 200 pages (3 min per page), or 10 hours of conversation. Not necessary if you're there to listen yourself, but allows you to record a distant conversation, read the book, and then have week/level ability to instantly memorize the relevant bits.

Are there any other items or abilities that would enhance this, or achieve something similar for another class?

I'd also be interested in other uses of Psychic Asylum. It explicitly allows prepared classes to prepare a spell in that 15 minutes (so you can do it in combat while everyone else is frozen), but I have to image you should also be able to cast an Augury or Divination to get advice in combat, too.


The purpose of this thread is to collect potential errors in Horror Adventures so that they can be addressed in FAQs and future 2nd printing errata.

1. Page 74. The Wizard archetype Hallowed Necromancer Positive Touch ability includes this line "A number of times per day equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier, when she spontaneously casts a cure spell, she can either turn the effect into a ray and increase the range to close or remove the Will save but deal half the normal amount of damage."

Cure spells when used to damage undead already give half damage on a successful save, so the bolded text doesn't do anything. Recommend either deleting the line or changing the ability to do some sort of damage boost.

2. Page 5. Book References side bar misspells Ultimate Intrigue as "Ultimatie Intrigue."

3. Page 46.

Quote:
Cult Totem, Lesser (Ex): While the barbarian is raging, any morale bonuses or bonuses for flanking she gains on attacks rolls are added to her damage rolls instead of her attack rolls. They are still morale bonuses, and they don’t stack with other morale bonuses on damage rolls.

Lots (most?) of morale bonuses (e.g. Good Hope) provide both attack and damage bonuses. The bolded text would mean that you lose the attack bonus but don't actually gain any damage in those cases and you'd actually be penalized by this ability. Recommend either allowing them to stack or specifiying that you don't lose your attack bonus if it wouldn't actually give you a benefit to transfer it to damage.