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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber. Organized Play Member. 589 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


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Ched Greyfell wrote:

I also wondered if there was an equivalent to tumbling past someone to avoid the attack of opp.

Acrobatics says you can use it to move through an enemy's square and avoid being hit. It seems like if you can use it to move through an enemy's occupied square, you should be able to move around it in the same way. Right?

Check again - Tumble Through doesn't actually say anything about preventing reactions/attacks of opportunity. It *only* lets you move through enemy spaces.

The bit in the failure condition about triggering reactions is to cover the possibility that you started or moved adjacent to an enemy, failed your tumble through, and therefore didn't "leave a square within the enemy's reach." This is just saying that you trigger reactions as if you did anyway.

There is a Mobility feat for rogues that lets you Stride for half speed or less without provoking, but that's a different thing.


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If you're having trouble finding the named NPCs, basically you can either use the tree to browse the Source Books section, then pick the AP or scenario book, then Creatures, and find them that way. They won't show up in the overall "creatures" section.

Or you can just type their name into the search box, if you already know it.


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I was going to say that I haven't looked forward to a new RPG book more than this one since the 1e APG - but on reflection, that's not entirely true, only because I was reallllly looking forward to the 2e core book after 6ish months of running with the playtest rules.

It's funny, though, because as a forever GM I've always been more excited about player options. At least this year I've finally embraced organized play due to the evangelizing from the various Paizo staff, particularly Mark & Linda, so I've actually gotten to play the game instead of just running it.


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Queaux wrote:
I think Dirge of Doom is the best composition cantrip if your opponents can be affected by mental effects.

It's super good - my campaign has a dirge of doom bard, and there are basically two cases where it's not the go-to: opponents that are immune to mental (as you pointed out) and situations where the 30' emanation just isn't big enough; inspire courage and its 60' emanation is an easy swap, though.

A lesser situation where it's less optimal is if there are any other debuffs that cause status penalties that won't stack with frightened - things like clumsy, enfeebled, etc. They tend to not hit big groups, but other debuffers in the party have to take it into consideration.


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Draco18s wrote:
I think this belongs in the PF1 section.

Uh...what? These are definitely PF2 animal companion statblocks.

Anyway, I totally dig the boar.

I'd point out that minions don't get reactions, so technically the ability shouldn't work, but Paizo added an animal companion with one in the Age of Ashes AP so you're in good company.


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Gaulin wrote:
One thing I was excited to do as soon as I saw the dhampir ancestry was to make a cleric or other divine class with the undead domain. As far as I can tell it's the only domain that can get you a negative healing focus spell. Sadly you won't be able to get it in pfs, because all the gods that allow it are evil and restricted! Little disappointed that there's no good or neutral gods that can have the undead domain, but it does make sense I guess. Would be cool if there was a non evil vampire God or something.

All hail the dhampir leaf druid, whose goodberries do not discriminate against the post-mortal.


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Xethik wrote:

The text on Negative Healing:

Quote:

Negative Healing

A creature with negative healing draws
health from negative energy rather than positive energy.
It is damaged by positive damage and is not healed by
positive healing effects. It does not take negative damage,
and it is healed by negative effects that heal undead.

To answer my earlier question: This is text from Bestiary 2. Negative Healing now has a definition.

Someone did a flip through on YouTube and the relevant text is visible: https://youtu.be/Oakh9p1NVDE?t=1340


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Aratorin wrote:
That's only true in Encounter Mode, where again, needing, or wanting, to move more than 100 Feet is going to be a fairly rare thing.

Agreed that it comes up less often than other scenarios. It's still relevant, though, just as it is with my party's elven monk with (currently) 70 speed.

My point was that your example ignores the core complaint, which is more about verisimilitude and a sense of "fairness" than practicality. The Rot Grub's proposed house rule addresses those with little to no impact on anything else. Dismissing the complaint doesn't change it. The discrepancy in actions/speed/options does, as the post you originally replied to said, "kinda suck."


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Aratorin wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:

Gotcha. Well, given the existence of the Ranger feat, I will not house rule this in.

Kinda sucks though. It goes against the lore, imo, that a champion's "Divine Mount" can't do what a normal, trained horse can do.

I mean a Wolf isn't a Horse...

The Horse Companion can Gallop, which is 100 feet of movement over 2 actions. Moving any further than that is usually a bad idea anyway, as it would leave the rest of your party over a turn away from you.

Not a great example. Champions are normally restricted to companions with the mount ability, so The Rot Grub is comparing generic horse vs. Divine Ally horse. Generic horses/ponies also have Gallop. The whole issue here is that animal companions, despite being better than normal animals in many ways, are inherently slower than a 30gp warhorse due to action economy. Think of the flip scenario, where the party is level 20, on generic horses they bought for basically nothing, and your champion can't keep up with a level 20 flying celestial horse.

Also, dromaeosaur companions are just as fast as a galloping horse companion, and a small druid could ride one starting at level 4 (6 for ranger). By contrast, a horse animal companion can't gallop until it's nimble/savage at level 8 for druid (10 for ranger/champion). Not being a mount, the dromaeosaur can't also support you on its turn, but that's a fairly insignificant restriction. Wolves are just as fast as horse companions until gallop.

The real benefit of horse as a companion choice is they start large enough to ride for both small/medium PCs.


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The Rot Grub wrote:

On your cockatrice example, however, the cockatrice would do a minimum of 1 damage regardless. The -2 is part of "Step 1" of the rules on damage:

Quote:
If the combined penalties on an attack would reduce the damage to 0 or below, you still deal 1 damage. Once your damage die is rolled, and you’ve applied any modifiers, bonuses, and penalties, move on to Step 2.

Correct - this was part of the errata, so some folks using the printed book/PDF won't see it. Weak attacks with piled up penalties will still deal at least 1 damage if they hit, whereas resistances/immunity can reduce to to zero.

Also note that immunity specifically calls out it affects the entire effect with that trait type, whereas resistance doesn't call anything like that out.


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It would be a house rule to allow a third action for a minion, even if commanded.

It's a pretty reasonable house rule, since it doesn't really mess up the action economy since you're requiring the PC to spend 3 actions to grant the AC 3 actions, rather than 2 for 3. I wouldn't hesitate to allow it. Even with the existence of the ranger feat, it's less efficient (since the ranger feat is 2 for 3) and would affect other classes (like Champion and Druid) that don't get that option. And really, the counting should be based on the marginal effort to get that third action. Ranger feat is 1 PC action for 1 AC action, this house rule would be 2 PC actions for 1 AC action.

As an aside, another RAW way to give an animal companion 3 actions is with haste or another ability that gives a minion quickened - around launch Mark Seifter opined in a Q&A that quickened still affects minions.


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In addition to the key linchpin of the "negative damage always heals undead" being built on selectively ignoring the word or, there's another more general principle that I think folks should consider.

The Glossary and Index is almost never going to be the authoritative component or version of a rule. It's like 80% index, and 20% glossary. The rules there are obviously summarized as much as possible, and preference should be taken for the pages that they link to (as appropriate). This is a rare case where I think the summary is actually more "rules-y" than the rule section, so this is more of a note of caution than anything.

At any rate, I don't believe there's any general rule that says any type of damage can ever used to heal.

The real problem, as I see it, lies not in the descriptions of the spells so much as the absence of a definition for the term negative healing which is tacked onto a ton of undead statblocks without a formal definition*.

Xethik's mysterious negative healing definition:
Where did this come from? I can't find this text in the CRB, the Bestiary,GMG, Archives of Nethys, google, or anywhere else. Do you have the Bestiary 2 PDF or something?

It seems to encompass both the "can be healed by negative energy spells that provide negative healing" which mostly doesn't need to be stated because it's in the spells themselves and "immune to negative damage" which I don't actually see explicitly stated anywhere in the Core Rulebook or the Bestiary.

For that matter, I also don't see anything stating that living creatures are immune to positive damage. They're sorta implied by the rules on p.452 of the CRB and the inherited tradition, but the flavorful descriptions don't actually say it.

Constructs aren't actually explicitly immune to either type of damage either, except that they're "not living creatures, nor are they undead."

In this case, taking the Glossary/Index descriptions of positive/negative traits into consideration, you could at least come to the conclusion that those traits mean that, being damage, they can only affect specific targets.

So I see basically three ways to run things:
- positive/negative damage heals living/undead respectively, and hurts undead/living respectively, presumably doesn't affect anything else (constructs/objects)
- positive/negative damage hurts undead/living respectively, everything else (so constructs/objects) is unaffected, and heals no one
- positive/negative damage hurts everything not explicitly referenced by the effect because technically no one is immune, and either is basically one of the best damage type to add to an attack if you can avoid having it specify that it affects undead or living

I think the first case is mostly unsupported by the rules. Nothing states damage becomes healing based on the type of energy. Other games may have a tradition of doing this, but "energy" and "damage" are not interchangeable rules elements, so saying something is healed by negative energy does not mean that negative damage will heal it. As others have pointed out, there are opportunities for abuse for the reverse case with positive damage and living creatures.

I think the third case is ridiculous, but also not particularly supported by the rules, as long as you take the trait descriptions into the glossary into consideration. Otherwise it's mostly irrelevant since in most cases it gets overridden by narrower text on the spell or effect dealing the damage.

I think the middle case is intended, and mostly supported by the rules. It also only comes up for a few cases like the Spirit Instinct Barbarian or monster statblocks that just casually use positive/negative damage, because most spells/weapon runes will explicitly call out being able to hurt/heal certain targets. It mirrors the rules for alignment damage, and does a good job of maintaining the consistency. It also works with Xethik's definition of negative healing, which I'm really hoping came from the Bestiary 2 since I can't find it anywhere.

CRB p.452 wrote:
Two special types of energy damage specifically target the living and the undead. Positive energy often manifests as healing energy to living creatures but can create positive damage that withers undead bodies and disrupts and injures incorporeal undead. Negative energy often revivifies the unnatural, unliving power of undead, while manifesting as negative damage that gnaws at the living.
Bestiary p.347 wrote:
Undead Once living, these creatures were infused after death with negative energy and soul-corrupting evil magic. When reduced to 0 Hit Points, an undead creature is destroyed. Undead creatures are damaged by positive energy, are healed by negative energy, and don’t benefit from healing effects.


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KainPen wrote:
What they need it a button that will allow us to export the maps out of the PDF cleanly. I get why they are the way they are in the pdf, for copy right protection. As it stands now the only way to do it is to use Snap shot tool in adobe or windows screen shot program. Which it size and resolution seems to based on how big the window you have open is. Sometimes I think it distorted the pixels. I had random section of the pdf on the one mention above copy at 75x75 and another at 50x50 and it was the just a different map on the same PDF page. This is more then likely another form of copy write protection thing or adobe just sucking.

There *are* better ways to get the images out of Paizo PDFs. I have a long write-up in this thread on the AoA map quality issue where I describe how I use a free software tool called TokenTool to export images from Paizo PDFs with no quality loss (relative to the embedded image). I use it for both maps and monsters and whatnot.


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KainPen wrote:

What they need it a button that will allow us to export the maps out of the PDF cleanly.

...

I think the best solution Paizo could come up with a partnership model with all the VTT companies. That would allow Paizo to offer us option to download maps already in our chosen VTT formats with our digital copies. Or away to tie our VVT accounts to our Paizo account so we can download the VTT version of the map from The VTT stores. That way it shows we actual own the content.

Most of the VTT's offer the content preloaded, creatures and all, but it is basically at the same price or more of the current adventures. So we end up having to buy it twice if we want a clean map. Once from Paizo for the PDF so you can actually read it and run the game, and again from VTT for instant creature placement for the encounters and maybe fog of war, on the maps. That make sense it pay extra for all the extra that the VTT company do. It take a lot of time to build all the creatures and input them in VTT, set up fog of war, and maybe attack scripts. I know, because I am programming all that stuff into D20pro currently for my group. It is hours of work. So it is worth paying for it a 2nd time, but not everyone can afford that. Other GM may want to completely rebuild the encounters in the adventure anyway, So that is a waste of money for them. Provided if it is even available on a VVT market place.

Most of the VTT companies are small. They don't have development force that a video game company has to put this stuff out on market place at the same time it comes out from Paizo or as it is needed. These market place VVT content is often several months or more behind. We as GM's end up having to export the maps and build everything from scratch anyway. We end up with these distorted maps =( or spending hours if Photoshop or some other kind of photo editing software trying to fix them. It would be really nice to have a solution for this.

(emphasis added)

So I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that Paizo needs to partner when your next paragraph described the exact way they currently partner with VTTs that have official marketplaces.

Calling out that the VTT companies are small is relevant too; personally I use an open-source VTT (MapTool) which has all-volunteer development behind it and no marketplace, so no partnership is really possible.

I don't think that Paizo, as a print publisher, should try to take on the work of converting their maps into all of the different tabletop formats. As you already noted, it's a lot of work, and there's little chance that a company built around writers/editors/artists are going to be better at converting the maps than the folks who make the tools. So then...what would that partnership be? Paizo sending over the maps and rules content for the partners to implement? That sure seems like what they do already, which leads to the current situation.

Like...short of full-on vertical integration (Paizo buys/creates a VTT and releases all of their own content), all roads lead to the current situation, except maybe some VTT company is just better and faster at conversion.

Everything else is just what James Jacobs and a few others have already hinted at - they're going to do a little bit more work in making their default maps a little more VTT-friendly.


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Squiggit wrote:
With proficiency gating and critical failures, 'dogpiling' is already kind of limited by nature.

I just watched Matt Colville's video, and yeah, these are big counters to his complaints. He specifically calls out restricting to folks with proficiency, and that's baked into PF2 - a lot of skill actions specifically require trained in PF2, never mind the other things like hazards that are gated to higher levels.

Same also for the note about different DCs for stuff where the party benefits from any one of them succeeding vs. subsystems like the influence system Unicore called out requiring aggregate successes.

I think the one thing than no one else has really mentioned but shows up in published material are varying DCs based on *which* skill gets used, including super appropriate skills like Lore skills.

My experience is that when the party skill dogpiles certain things, they get a lot of contradictory information (especially due to critical fails).


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Urlord wrote:
This is very similar to how I had it before I toned it down.

I didn't see what you had before, but I'm guessing there are two major elements you didn't change. I think the level of the item (i.e., not being level 4) and reducing the range increment make a big difference. A 6th level item costs over twice as much as a 4th level item, and is competing directly with magical weapons.

I do think my version might still be a little underleveled, particularly with brutal, probably should push it up to level 7 or 8, actually.

It ends up being fairly situational, but strong for a strength-based build who needs just a little range sometimes. I'd expect someone with one to be carrying just some random items of decent bulk to use as ammo, or who does something weird like throw a tower shield every now and then.


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Hey, these are pretty interesting. I'm not going to try to figure out what level they should be for balance, but I do have a few small pieces of feedback.

1 - The dagger shouldn't have the invested trait. Weapons don't need investing, even if they have an activated magical effect; note that more generic "held items" with magical effects generally don't need investing either (I can't actually think of any exceptions but I'm not going to hunt through every item). Investing is for armor/worn items.
- It should only grant the +1 to stealth checks when held, and it should specify that it's granting an item bonus

2 - The ring bypasses a few limitations on the lifting belt, so it should probably be considered more powerful and needs to be a higher level. Beyond that, there are still some unclear rules elements that I'd revise.
- Note that you're not allowed to wear more than one belt (per the worn belt usage), so changing it into a ring means it doesn't have to compete with other belts for use.
- Since athletics checks are strength-based by default (and any rules interpretation for using dexterity as the ability is non-obvious, limited to finesse weapons, and largely supported by a designer's interview), that's not really much of a balancing limitation (and honestly, who cares, it's a really narrow use case where a +1 weapon would provide the same benefit).
- The range increment of 30 is really high. That's the same as a javelin, which is basically the best case for a distance throwing weapon. I'd switch to range 10 or maybe 15 ft.
- The hurl action should be defined with more detail - it should probably explicitly call out that it's a Strike, for instance, and I'd make the damage type variable depending on the object thrown - slashing/piercing should be possible.
- As an improvised weapon and bumping the item to a higher level, it would be okay to do a little more damage - as a level six item I'd probably go with treating it as more or less a +1 striking improvised ranged weapon with the thrown and brutal* traits. This makes it better for for high-strength characters. I'd go with 2d8+Bulk for the damage (+Str, due to thrown) and treat it is magic. I'd consider adding a +1 to attack somewhere in there, but it's kinda fiddly already, maybe just reduce the improvised weapon penalty by 1.
- Then I'd make a greater version that was level 14 and did 3d8+Bulk and was treated as a simple weapon instead of improvised, and also bump the athletics bonus to +2.
- Add a Major version that's level 20 and does 4d8+Bulk and gives a +1 item bonus on top of being treated as a simple weapon. That's basically the equivalent of a +3 improvised weapon at that point. You could just include the bonuses for these as +1 to +3 and keep the improvised weapon penalty if you want; math is the same either way. It might be cleaner to actually give a little weapon statblock and then note each version makes it shine with energy and that it becomes a +1 striking/+2 greater striking/+3 major striking version of that.
- Making it only work every 1d4 rounds is fiddly and probably unnecessary. Since it takes two actions to pick the thing up and another 1 to throw it, it's really hard to use every round anyway, as you basically need quickened. I'd just drop that requirement entirely. I might also make it so that it's a 2-action activity to pick up and hurl an item, so that it could reasonably be used every round. Especially with the higher-level versions, they're competing with primary weapons anyway.

3 - This should have been posted in the Homebrew and House Rules forum, not the Rules Discussion forum.

So I guess I lied about not giving feedback on the level/balance thing.

*Brutal (Bestiary p.345):
A ranged attack with this trait uses its Strength modifier instead of Dexterity on the attack roll.


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Re:pricing considerations.

Pawns and dice are more expensive to include, but make a lot of sense as a thing to help people experience the game as a true starter set.

Another big consideration is that they're not counting on subscription numbers for this, so it's probably a smaller manufacturing run. Personally, I really appreciate it, because I got the PF1 Beginner's Box as part of my core subscription because I didn't pay attention to what was going to be shipped. It wasn't helpful to me as a PF1 pre-release subscriber, and I probably should have just given it away.

All that said, I'm not the target audience for this product. I suspect that's similar for most folks here unless they're regularly introducing new players to the game.


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pauljathome wrote:
RicoTheBold wrote:
Well, probably not climbing barring a GM ruling, since it also requires free hands.
Uh, I really think you're taking things FAR too literally. While I guess you can argue that the snake has no free hands it's pretty silly to argue that can ape doesn't. Or that a cat can't climb.

It's come up in my games via animal companions, and I've consistently let them try because it's generally made sense (bears are good climbers IRL, I'm just saying that the rules for players seem to preclude the option by the literal rules. In the absence of designer errata/clarification, my interpretation is that you can't as written, but I'll override that in my home games as I see fit.


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Aratorin wrote:

Seems pretty intentional to me. None of the Attacks in any of the forms have the Trip, Shove, or Grapple Traits that I can find, and even for things like Purple Worm Form, they did not include the Improved Grab ability that a real Purple Worm has, and in Sea Serpent Form, Spine Rake is missing the Attack Trait, so that you can use it, even though in the Bestiary it has the Attack Trait.

They also specifically did not word it like the Monk Stances which are worded to allow you to use Trip, Shove, and Grapple.

Also, Barbarians with animal instinct have unarmed attacks that specifically include the grapple and trip traits.

And even without this interpretation, those Athletics-based attacks all require a free hand, which most animal forms explicitly won't have. That's one of the requirements that the grapple/trip/shove weapon traits grant an exception for.

I think a wild shape/animal form caster is limited to using athletics for things like leaping, climbing, and swimming. Well, probably not climbing barring a GM ruling, since it also requires free hands.


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Joan H. wrote:

Hello RicoTheBold,

It looks like a technical issue was holding up your Bestiary Pawn Box in the Abyss. I have gone ahead and moved it safely into your subscription order. Just to double check, did you want to keep your Age of Ashes Pawns in the order? Let me know! Thanks for your patience!

Yes, I'm happy to keep the Age of Ashes pawns in the order - I did sign up for a subscription, after all.

Thanks for double checking, and for taking care of this!


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R0b0tBadgr wrote:
I have that. Unfortunately it doesn't say anything about how to convert a 1e DC to a 2e DC, just use the level chart. I mean, it's pretty easy if all I want to do is make all the challenges an "at-level challenge". But what if something was meant to be easier or harder? What do I need to do then??? If something was meant to be a static DC, and so would be hard at 1st level but easy at 4th level what number should I use? And if it's only printed later in a book should I bump it because the PCs might be 4th level by the time they get there? Or would it be better to leave it lower?

You've really hit the key question - rather than look at the number itself and applying a specific formula, you need to know the intent of the DC in the original material. That's the part you should use as the basis to convert (which you probably have to guess at).

So if it's at-level, use the level's DC. If it's supposed to be easier or harder, use the level's DC + the DC adjustments on page 504. If it's supposed to be a static DC, use one of the Simple DCs from page 503 based on how proficient someone should be. For your specific example of a static DC that's usable for 1st and 4th level, the "trained DC" of 15 is the same as the level 1 base DC, so would be a pretty good choice.

In the case of bumping a static DC just because the characters are higher level - if you feel like that's an appropriate choice, it's probably not supposed to be a static DC.

Things that should not be static: DCs related to monsters, NPCs, hazards (e.g. traps), etc.

Things that should be static: skill check DCs related to things other than monsters/NPCs/hazards.

The DCs section starting on page 503 in the core book gives pretty good guidance here.


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Okay, not sure exactly what your goal is besides having a fun name for a houserule. I don't think you'll like the results, though. How broken this is depends on whether it affects PCs or NPCs.

If it's protecting the party: Mooks (monsters/NPCs more than a level or two below the party's level) will be way less effective. They already miss a lot, and once you get past the early levels, they already feel pretty much like inverse ninjas. Without focus fire on PCs, their impact will be lessened. Bosses supported by mooks will suddenly feel less dangerous if they attack after their mooks but not if they attack beforehand, which would just be weird. They can still just attack someone else, though, so they'll probably still be strong. Bosses without mooks will be unaffected because the bonus won't apply (though see the next paragraph).

If it's protecting the NPCs: Mooks will mostly just be targeted separately and will die a little slower, ironically making them live longer and likely make them more dangerous. Bosses, especially anything 3-4 levels above the party, will probably TPK the party more often than not. These guys need to be ganged up on.

Basically, the math is already such that anyone several levels below their target is already at a huge mathematical disadvantage in a way that compensates for the focus fire effect. Adding an additional modifier there will exaggerate the effect.


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I added the Pathfinder Pawns subscription to my list of subscriptions on Wednesday, March 4 (under order # 15149863), and selected the option to start with the Pathfinder Bestiary Pawn Box. I don't see the starting product specified anywhere in that order, so it's certainly possible this was user error on my part. It looks like as of today it's still an option for the first product to start the subscription, so presumably I didn't miss a cutoff or something.

On Sunday, my subscriptions auto-generated with the Pathfinder Age of Ashes Pawn Collection, but did not include the Pathfinder Bestiary Pawn Box.

Could someone please add the Pathfinder Bestiary Pawn Box subscription purchase to my order? I'd like it processed under the subscription for the PDF.

Thanks!


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Artofregicide wrote:
BobROE wrote:
For a map like that why not just grab the version of it out of the standard PDF?

It's very hard to get the actual image file unless you have photoshop or PDF Nitro.

Or there's another awesome option I'm unaware of and would love to learn about.

Joana wrote:

Yeah, as BobROE says, you can extract all the images from the PDF manually in the free Acrobat Reader. Left-click, copy, paste into an image-editing program.

Works great for the maps; the NPC/monster images come out with a black background (something to do with the transparency when they're put onto a page with text, I believe).

I run my game on a virtual tabletop. There actually *is* a much better option to get images out of Paizo PDFs without the weird black backgrounds (which I think has to do with support for JPEG 2000). Your digital tabletop life will be easier with this app:TokenTool. Apparently the site is down for maintenance right now, but that link should work again in the future. In the meantime you can download it directly from the github page.

Maps are pretty straightforward and copy/paste from most PDF readers can work since they don't have transparency, but if you have ever done that with one of the bits of character art or monsters and ended up with a weird black background and lots of white spots, you're running into a transparency interpretation issue. TokenTool helps here.

You can open the entire PDF and select any image you want to make tokens from. It gives you a view of the entire page and previews of the images in a scrollable frame on the right. If you select one of those images, it's added into the main token tool window to make a token out of. From there, you can drag the token to a folder or choose to export it via a "save as" dialog. You can also check a box to save a "portrait" (in actuality, the original image exported as a PNG). It's all a fairly intuitive GUI, so if my description sounds complicated just give it a try.

What I do for map images is just make a token out of it the same way I would for a monster, including exporting the token + portrait, and then delete the unnecessary token file and keep the "portrait" file. Although actually I just discovered you can drag the original image out of the PDF image browser window image frame (into a folder) and skip the token step entirely, so that's even easier.

Note that the text on the maps (aside from "secret doors" drawn directly on the image) won't show up, which might be good or bad depending on your purpose, but is usually good on battle maps because players don't see room numbers and bad on world maps because all the locations are gone.

Obviously this doesn't do anything for the interactive maps resolution problem, but I figured this could help some folks all the same.

Another thing to note on monster image exports - the PDF images of monsters will sometimes be cut off due to the page layout - Archives of Nethys has monster images for 2E, which won't have that problem. They also won't have any of the transparency issues from copy/pasting the PDF images (instead of using TokenTool). That said, AoN's images are lower resolution than the PDF exports.


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Another thing worth noting - Paizo absolutely has design guidelines around what kind of bonuses are appropriate for future printing. They may not be public, and they may change in the future, but they exist for at least some categories of things, like the non-existence of item bonuses to spell attacks.

And also importantly, the design team (and particularly Mark) are much more involved in the development process for adventures and whatnot than has happened in the past.

These things, combined with rarity and the deliberate structure of PF2's math, make me fairly optimistic that even the most egregious-seeming math bonuses will stay in line with, say, a fighter with level-appropriate gear and a high level heroism spell. And then those probably won't stack with anything else, and require GM permission/deliberate inclusion.


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ClanPsi wrote:

Are you just supposed to make something up? If so, what is the point of the book in the first place? Why not just [make up] everything about a creature and save yourself the money?

...

You're okay with that? Fascinating. I at least expect some examples to inspire creativity. Having absolutely nothing to work from is completely useless.

Zapp wrote:

The criteria that goes into giving the unique, idiosyncratic, cool, suprising, exciting abilities to the various monsters are for some reason kept under wraps at Paizo HQ.

In contrast, being able to create a level 7 creature with low hit points (so 86 hp) and high strike damage (so 2d10+9) feels entirely generic.

graystone wrote:
I can already reskin abilities that exist, so I'm not talking about those: a list of them would be nice but isn't what I'm talking about. What I was talking about is a list of NEW abilities to build off of and use as a base to reskin to make your own. Existing abilities was already included in the reskin sidebar I talked about.

Whenever the folks at Paizo are spending their time writing a bunch of "unique, idiosyncratic, cool, surprising, exciting abilities" or "NEW abilities" you can bet they're showing up in their monsters, where they belong.

There's not a conspiracy to protect a trade secret here. They've literally done on-stream monsters on the official Paizo Twitch channel, and Mark Seifter and Linda Zayas-Palmer have done them on Arcane Mark.

This dude was made on the Paizo stream based on the art, community votes for themed abilities, and appropriate choices from the GMG guidelines.

I'd link to one of the Arcane Mark build a monster workshops that started after the GMG monster rules were first released, but it looks like they've dropped off Twitch and not yet made it to YouTube.

But here's the general technique:
It's literally thinking of cool ideas and then making them into rules that are reasonably balanced. The part of that specific to Pathfinder 2 they put into the book. For the rest - there are plenty of books on creative writing, but a tried and true method is to take two unrelated/dissimilar things as inspiration and mash them into one. Like the sin-themed demons, and being annoyed at noise - bam, R0b0tBadgr put together a bunch of those ideas into a cool thing. Or owlbears, or turtle ducks, or sharkshasas, or whatever.

No one's saying being creative is easy for everyone, but the folks at Paizo have spent a bunch of their non-work time presenting these types of design exercises, and that's just insanely cool of them.

The idea that they have some secret magic formula which says that this unwritten ability would be perfect for varying monster themes or whatever is just silly. And the approach suggested by others of picking abilities from a list is the opposite of the point of having monsters with unique, thematic abilities. Do you guys want a chart listing a point value listing "Throwing your head" as 2 points and "tree stride, but between piles of garbage instead of trees" as 1 point? Those kinds of things always have the challenge of potentially undervaluing abilities that have complementary uses when combined, or overvaluing others. It's much more helpful to have the sort of guidelines provided in the GMG, spelling out "here's where your numbers typically want to sit for varying types of monsters."

There are certainly a collection of straightforward/classic abilities that might be generally found among certain types of monsters, and they get a whole glossary in the Bestiary. The GMG rules are there for making sure that when someone builds a monster, the basic elements are predictable and solid. This leaves room for the unique and creative parts of the monster to shine without everyone remembering it as "that time they TPK'ed because the monster's AC was 4 higher than it should have been."


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I was scheduled to fly out to the greater Seattle area this morning for a business meeting, but apparently the relevant county is asking employers to have folks stay home so I got a late-night call telling me to cancel.

Definitely stay safe out there.


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James Jacobs wrote:
I made up the title "Tomorrow Must Burn" as a potential name for this Adventure Path or one of its adventures. I ended up using it for part 3, and then had to reverse engineer an in-world source from it, but before Age of Ashes, the phrase didn't really exist.

This is the exact explanation I half remembered, straight from the original source. Personally I think insights like this are super cool and interesting. Thanks for sharing them.


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I believe there was a dev commentary where (probably James Jacobs) said it didn't come from anywhere in particular but they found it really evocative and then had to write around it. That's from the writing side, not the in-universe explanation.

And you can probably fact check that on Paizo's YouTube channel; it likely would have been one of the Pathfinder Friday streams for the Age of Ashes books.


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Gorbacz wrote:
As always, remember to review the book if you like it :)

Don't tell me what to do, you miserable bag of devouring weasels.

:)

Edit: Side note, I originally used the same bag of devouring avatar when I joined the forums like a decade ago, but had to change it a couple years back because every time I saw my own posts in a thread I thought it was you.


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Kasoh wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Kasoh wrote:

The incompatibility of monster and PC classes is kind of sad to me, but setting the numbers and picking appropriate class features to add creates the same end result even if I find it less satisfying to do.

A class in PF2 is a set of proficiencies and feats, with the odd feature here and there. I don't see how 'gets sudden charge and rage as a dragon barbarian, then advances it's numbers to four levels higher' is different from 'adds four levels of barbarian' other than the first is easier, faster, and conforms with expected numbers better.

Leveling has choices, which inform the character. That it doesn't matter how a monster gets them as long as its numbers match tells me a little about classes in 2e.

You don't have to see how its different. I don't care if you do. I don't even know if it is, practically speaking. I said it feels less satisfying to me. It, in this case, being the process of leveling up a monster with PC class like abilities.

You can still make those choices. You can take any class feat and throw it in there. You can even pick all of the ones they could have if you really want. There's nothing saying your centaur that you brought up to level 12 can't have all the wild shape feats to that level and a pile of primal spells.

Or you can build a level 14 druid and just add the centaur bits. You'll end up in a very similar place.


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I bet there was at least one version of this variant with a separate minimum level for the rogue, but it was cut for clarity/complexity or space.


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The PF1 GMG was mostly GM advice, with some extra systems and tools and whatnot for adventure design. I feel like this is a 2E version of that book in a lot of ways, and it would have needed a different name if it wasn't.

I also think it would have been a big mistake to print a big book of variant rules.

One, the system isn't very old, so printing a bunch of interesting variants is harder because fewer new ideas have hit tables yet.

Two, a small percentage of players are ever going to play with any of these variants, so it makes sense to focus on some that have come up repeatedly (like level zero, dual classes, free archetypes, level-less proficiency) which have been discussed on the forums since the playtest rules. Others, like the guidelines for removing alignment, are things that some people have wanted as a core system conceit for decades and represent the culmination of the system design the designers planned from the outset to allow that modularity.

Three, there are plenty of GM tools that just didn't officially exist yet. If they hadn't literally given them away for free already, we'd be raving about the monster and hazard building rules. Those who don't spend all their time on the forums or the blog will be seeing these for the first time. The sample NPCs are great to have, as are the new items for GMs to include or build adventures around. The Tools chapter is just full of stuff.

I think they did a good job in balancing the content. For variants, people will always create wacky home systems that don't need to survive balance, but here they would mostly take up page count for no benefit to the typical reader. I'll *never* run a game with skill points. Ugh. But it's only one page. I might run a game with proficiency without level, just to tell a different kind of story, but maybe not. DeadManWalking already wrote great guidelines for that on the forums a year ago, though having official adjustments for DCs and treasure is nice. Literally any game could end up with vehicles, though, so those six pages are much more likely to be used than anything in the variants chapter.

Let the system settle for a few years before we clamor for more variants. I'd rather Logan and team spend their time on fun new rules my players or I will actually use.

Specifically, I want the opposite of variant rules: more errata. I want all the errata and official ruling clarifications.

Edit: The skill point variant isn't actually bad, I just think it's not really worth the hassle over the default, which mostly feels customizable without being fiddly. Variant rules that allowed for the kind of early access to legendary that was asked for in this thread would be so specifically antithetical to the system design and balance that I'd be more annoyed to see it printed even as an "official" variant.


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Ravingdork wrote:

For me to say "They were all mixed" or "you all failed the secret checks to realize that something was off at the time" just sounds weasily and railroady when brought up after the fact.

If there is no trust, I can easily see how it could be viewed as a lose lose scenario for the GM.

I'm not so sure 2e creates a good environment for building trust either, what with the GM having more power and control than any prior edition. The trust already needs to be there for any game to have a chance of working.

First - I super disagree here. The GM has always had absolute control over everything. It's just spelled out more clearly in 2E, with specific guardrails around where games have run into problems in the past (detect alignment spells being uncommon, secret checks, etc.). 2E gives better tools to handle it, but that's not *more* control, just more obvious and explicit.

If anything, most of the problems people have pointed out are all of the game mechanics you're throwing out (we assume at first glance) to enforce this scenario. Saldiven's list of skill checks and whatnot are good examples, as are those who called out the PCs with heal skills, etc. Players should have these options to learn more as it happens.

That said - I think the scenario is workable, but agree that "as is" will likely leave a bad taste in a lot of players' mouths.

My suggestion is actually to double down on your original description. The wizard is sinister-looking. The soldiers are uniformed. The real question is why are these uniformed assassins here? Maybe the actual situation is that the entire situation is a gray area - there is no "right answer."

Maybe the young girl is the last survivor of a ruling family that's already been assassinated, but the family was actually tyrannical and got what was coming to them. The girl might be spoiled and bigoted and generally awful (and the PCs can potentially even recognize her and know this), but she's still just a kid and is now the lawful ruler. The wizard can be a dark wizard, who does terrible things, but is nonetheless loyal to the actual family because he thinks it's his responsibility and that he is the best person to help the family rule the land.

The assassins are rebels, led by a charismatic but also probably terrible rebel leader, who has a different vision for their society but is just a different flavor of lousy, but he's swept up a lot of good people into his rebellion. These people have been oppressed and treated terribly, and have good reason to rebel, but no idea that their "savior" is likely to be another tyrant within a year or so.

How do the PCs handle this? It's actually better to know who the girl is. Maybe they can save her and steer her toward being a better leader and save everyone from tyranny, but they have to do it while being hunted by a rebellion led by good people following a new bad leader. Perhaps this requires dealing with the wizard, who won't stop trying to interfere with the players' plans. Maybe the players help the rebellion, but plot to prevent the new leader from taking power because it's the only approach to prevent his becoming a tyrant. Maybe they seize power for themselves, and set themselves up as the ruling authority.

But follow the rules. Let the PCs with social skills make checks.
Let the ambiguity of the situation wash over them. Let them make choices that matter. In particular, I think that the girl/wizard/butler should all follow full dying rules - give the players a real chance to save them. They can then deal with the consequences.

And any path they choose (except, perhaps, walking away) has a bunch of interesting stories to tell.


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Zapp wrote:

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42y3d?GMG-Leveling-up-a-NPCMonster

The answer is: there are no guidelines on how to advance or level up monsters.

You can create a low-level monster, and create a high-level monster, and then extrapolate how you get from A to B, but that is not the same thing.

Literally no one is saying it's the *same* thing. We're all out here saying, "you don't level them directly, you do this other thing instead which gets you to the same result, but faster and also works for conversions of other material and creating new monsters from scratch."

But considering there are *specific, printed guidelines* on how to do it, and Appletree did a bang-up job of providing a specific example in this thread in under an hour from the original question, it's probably a good answer all the same.


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Appletree wrote:
RicoTheBold wrote:

Monster and hazard creation rules

Thanks for adding that, I forgot where to find it for a moment.

Yeah, it's not easy to find unless you already know where to look. One day Paizo staffers will have time to update the website to make the PF2 resources (like these rules and the errata or even the available accessories for purchase) easy to find.

One day.

In the meantime, I'm grateful they've at least provided the info, even if it's a bit of a hassle to find.

I'll also call out that the final Gamemastery Guide has a big chapter of low to mid-level NPCs. They're all presented as human but the chapter includes some simple guidelines for swapping their ancestry.

The "key things we want" from the gnoll you called out could be added to literally any of them to make a gnoll version, for instance.


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Atalius wrote:
They can't cast while wild shaped, it's pretty much you either try to replace a martial or you become a pure caster Druid.

Orrrr...they could adapt their tactics based on the situation on an encounter by encounter basis. Sometimes casting is great, sometimes you just need another mauler. A wild shape Druid can do both; they're great switch hitters.

It's okay that they can't do both at the same time, and that there are some drawbacks to each.

If you don't value flexibility and breadth of options, then druids probably aren't the class for you.


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Monster and hazard creation rules

Appletree neglected to provide you with a link to the monster creation rules, which were released in advance of the GameMastery Guide that comes out in a few days with these rules and lots more stuff. Elite/weak adjustments are intended just for small tweaks here and there.

The short answer is that instead of adding on some levels and then wondering why it isn't balanced and fiddling with the numbers until they look right, the typical approach is to adjust the final numbers to fall within the guidelines for the type of creature you want from the outset.

Adding in appropriate abilities can be done with some theme templates of cool stuff (Lost Omen Character Guide has some examples). Taking the gnoll abilities from the Bestiary statblock and using them is a similar approach, as Appletree demonstrated.

You also have the ability to build NPCs using full PC class levels, but this makes them substantially more complex to build for relatively little marginal improvement.


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Atalius wrote:
If a GM was to not allow grabbing from animals or tripping, the wild druid could be considered the same tier as the Alchemist.

I think that's a significant exaggeration. Wild shape druids get speed upgrades, melee damage upgrades, reach upgrades, temp HP, alternate movement modes, full spellcasting with a tradition good at damage and heals, etc. They can have limited strength and dex and still be a pretty strong melee combatant as long as they have a focus point.

I don't know if they intentionally omitted a clear accommodation for such attacks with the wild shape forms, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did. And I think it's a little anti-thematic for them to be unable to do so, but they're not suddenly bad at going from spellcasting to fighting in a pinch just because they can't trip.


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Atalius wrote:

Summed up Wild order Druids are handicapped considerably. A few less restrictions would be helpful. I'm reminded a little bit of the Warpriest.

But certainly they can use grab and trip attacks, afterall they do indicate an Athletics mod when looking at animal form, dino form, etc.

Having an athletics modifier for a d20 roll doesn't mean that they meet the requirement of "you have at least one hand free" necessary for most of the athletics options, including grab and trip. If they had the appropriate weapon traits, there would be no doubt, but considering deer don't have hands its pretty easy to see a GM ruling that they don't meet the requirement to make a trip action.


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Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:

I would say "no", you can not get item bonuses and your equipment is "absorbed" into you. It does not say "weapon runes are now part of the your natural weapons"...

Quote:

If you take on a battle form with a polymorph spell, the special statistics can be adjusted only by circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties. Unless otherwise noted, the battle form prevents you from casting spells, speaking, and using most manipulate actions that require hands. (If there’s doubt about whether you can use an action, the GM decides.)

Your gear is absorbed into you; the constant abilities of your gear still function, but you can’t activate any items.

Why would the weapon rune suddenly move from your Thundering club to you fangs or claws?

I see the argument basically this line..."Your gear is absorbed into you; the constant abilities of your gear still function". So your flaming sword still has the rune and is still flaming but you are no long able to wield it since it was adsorbed would be my take. :)

This is just my opinion, not RAW. I hope there is clarifying FAQ on this :)

There's an implied "with handwraps of mighty blows, which specifically affect unarmed attacks and whose slotted runes could be considered constant benefits" in the original question.

That said, I read it as "no, the runes don't work" except yes to item bonuses to your pre-polymorph unarmed attack bonus (so the potency rune) for determining if it is better than the form's attack modifier. Wild shape's extra +2 status bonus is pretty strong in edge cases with that interpretation (like fighters multiclassing into druid) but won't stack with other buffs like heroism, bless, or inspire courage, and comes with a whole host of downsides (can't talk, can't cast spells, no critical specialization benefits, probably can't use athletics-based attacks like trip or grapple that require a free hand, possibly worse AC...).


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Atalius wrote:
Houngan wrote:
This is an interesting point. As there are no Untyped Bonuses (CRB, pgs. 344-345), then what are Rage and Weapon Specialization? They both use the phrase "you deal additional damage". How does "additional damage" interact with battle forms?
Good question, anyone know the answer to this?

I've hassled Mark Seifter before about whether damage could get an untyped bonus, and I'll paraphrase his immediate and gently corrective response: It's literally "additional damage" and not an untyped bonus.

That aside, here's what the polymorph trait says:

Polymorph trait excerpt, p.635 wrote:
If you take on a battle form with a polymorph spell, the special statistics can be adjusted only by circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties.

To repeat what everyone else has said, though: "Additional damage" is not a circumstance bonus, status bonus, or penalty, so none of their sources would be included, whether or not additional damage is/is not an untyped bonus.

The AC penalty from Raging would apply. The temp HP is mayyyybe arguable, but it'd be weird if you were somehow immune to temporary HP from other sources because of a battle form versus the standard "pick one temp HP source/value and go with that" rule.

(Also, the bonus damage for the polymorph spells scales fairly roughly alongside items/class damage bonuses, so it would probably be really ridiculous for those additional damage bonuses to be included.)


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Ruzza wrote:

What sort of games are you playing in? That sounds awful and I would leave them?

Edit: There are GMs out there that see class abilities and features and try and stop them. We call that out as bad GMing when it happens. Why not here, too?

"Oooh, I wrote this dilemma that's gonna make the champion fall for sure!"

"The whole dungeon is covered in an anti-magic field!"

"I kill the PCs' familiars."

I feel like this is both a really valid and important opinion, but your examples are simultaneously a point in the detractors' favor. One of the things that's really great about PF2e is how much the rules are set up to give GMs and games good guidelines for consistency and largely balanced and fun play. If the literal rules as written make for easily-killed familiars, and GMs following those rules end up killing familiars on a regular basis, there are plenty of GMs who simply won't know they are running "awful games" because they're running the rules as written. This doesn't require the nefarious intent to deprive players of core class features implied by your other two examples.

And for folks adhering to things like the organized play rules, they may feel obligated to run the scenario with AOE damage to otherwise passive familiars.


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GougedEye wrote:
So long and short of it, HLO is in inferior, far more expensive version of D&D beyond, and is absolutely without a doubt, if not actually hurting sales of PF2, definitely not promoting them in the same DnD Beyond does for 5e.

Interestingly, D&D Beyond as an exclusive digital tool for the books is one of the things that killed my interest in 5e before I could even get started. Paizo has absolutely spoiled me with the subscription's physical+PDF bundle, and making the core PDFs so cheap (+ OGL source) means my players all have good options. In the long run I'll switch to 100% PDF again for PF2, because I don't want to cart around all these books.

Having 5e digital books locked behind a proprietary platform was basically a no-go so I never even looked at the tool's other capabilities.

I'd much rather pay for character creation separately than have the books integrated into a proprietary platform (although there's no reason WotC *had* to do it that way).

As for Hero Lab Online, my initial subscription is about to expire any day now. I logged in to check out the combat manager or whatever they're calling it and found it fairly unintuitive and cumbersome (although I didn't spend a bunch of time on it). I'm literally a technical consultant who regularly learns new systems just to advise clients on how to use them effectively, so that's a pretty strong level of unintuitive.

I'll keep an eye on it. The long-term vision sounds fine, but the group licensing is also key for me. I'll buy the content, even with a subscription, but there's no way I can ask my players to do the same. In the meantime, I'll keep using fillable PDFs, Pathbuilder 2 (though I keep finding small bugs here and there too), and Maptool (for actually tracking combat initative/health/conditions, where I used Hero Lab Classic in the past for PF1).

I hope Lone Wolf figures it all out. They've taken on a hard challenge, and probably bet the company on it. I'm rooting for them, but it's not at a point where they have more of my money.


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My take: Batches save you time on the front end, since the mandatory prep time is cut down. They don't save you time if you're working additional days to reduce the cost.

That said, it should be fairly obvious that 4 days of prep time for a batch is better than 16 days of prep for crafting each one separately, so crafting as a batch gives 12 extra days of downtime to...well, in Mathmuse's example, that's just enough time to work off the remaining costs of the entire batch. In this specific example, it would take the same amount of time to craft a batch for half price as 4 singles for full price.

Batches almost certainly are not intended to act as a multiplier on the extra days of progress, which would be a substantial change to earned income tables, effectively giving a 4-5 level boost.


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beowulf99 wrote:

I actually don't believe that an Animal Companion can benefit from Haste.

CRB PG. 634 "Minion Trait" wrote:

minion (trait) Minions are creatures that directly serve another creature. A creature

with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions.
As a rule, a Minion can only use 2 actions per turn. You could argue that Haste being a Specific rule, it would override the general rule implied here, but generally I don't think that any Minion is intended to be able to be Hasted, or even if they are they cannot use more than two actions even if they are somehow granted an additional action. Haste does not specifically override this in my opinion

This came up right when the core rulebook was released. Mark Seifter (either in a Paizo stream or his Arcane Mark stream) answered that minions can benefit from the quickened condition. There weren't, as I recall, any follow-ups like, "they only get the extra action when commanded" or anything. It was basically, just read the rules for both, and they both happen. I'll caveat that this was in a rapid-fire Q&A thing, so it's obviously not a formal, official Paizo clarification. It's also roughly 6 months old, and his opinion may have changed since then.

It makes sense, though. If minions were immune to quickened because the minion rule was the overriding rule, they could also be read as immune to slowed and stunned, which would be really weird.


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I think the line about traveling up at your full speed is just intended to indicate that it's at your full speed (unlike flying), not establish that other directions of movement aren't allowed.


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JesterOC wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
They'll be printing more of the bulk labels tomorrow afternoon/evening for some overtime shipping on the weekend. When the labels are printed those orders are being processed for shipping and the PDFs will be added where applicable.

So if I did not get a notice from last night's bulk print job, is is safe to say I won't get my PDF this weekend?

That was posted yesterday, which would make the extra label batch is this afternoon/evening, so it sounds like you still have a chance.


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The King In Yellow wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

At 10 your to hit will be about -3 behind a Max str barbarian (-2 if you started with 18 dex but I think you'd have to take a flaw for that)

Just as a point on this particular comment, that won't work. You cannot gain more than a +2 at each step and - without a key ability score of Dex from your class - you will only be able to boost Dex 3 times to a 16.

This is not... technically completely correct.

Using voluntary flaws, you can add +4 to one ability score at the ancestries step, however, it has to be in the same stat that your ancestry had the original -2 flaw in.

So, you can get an 18 in a stat, even if it is flawed from ancestry, but you cannot get two 18s

But not Dex for a Cleric, since it's not the key ability (which was Xethik's actual point once you get past the "note that flaws can't take you to 18 by themselves" part).

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