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Organized Play Member. 599 posts (605 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 12 Organized Play characters.




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Suppose Ezren is fighting a goblin near a bend in a dungeon passage like so:
picture.

If you are reluctant to click on links to strange pictures on the internet, know that it shows Ezren one square below and two squares to the right of a goblin with a wall that grants the goblin cover, but doesn't break their mutual line of sight.

My reading of the rules is that while Ezren can fire his crossbow at the goblin (who will get cover), he can not cast Charm on him because of the rock wall in the way. If you played PF1 that result might surprise you, but I do think it is what the PF2 rules say.

In describing spells page 196 says spells require line of effect:

Line of Effect p.196 wrote:
You usually need an unblocked path to the target of a spell, the origin point of an area, or the place where you create something with a spell. For more on line of effect, see page 298.

Page 298 describes line of effect by reference to the rules for determining cover:

Line of Effect p.298 wrote:
You usually need an unblocked path to the target of a spell, the origin point of an area, or the place where you create something with a spell or other ability. This is called the line of effect. If you need to check whether you have a line of effect, draw a line like you do when determining cover (see page 314). Only solid barriers break line of effect...

Page 314 defines the procedure for determining line of effect:

Cover p.314 wrote:
To determine whether a target has cover from an attack, the attacking creature or object draws a line from the center of its space to the center of the target’s space. If that line passes through any blocking terrain, the target has cover.

Question 1: Is this intentional?

PF1 handled line of effect differently. In PF1 line of effect worked like line of sight, it required a line from any point on the attacker's square to any point on the defender's square (not just center to center). Ezren unambiguously could target the goblin with magic in PF1. It seems plausible that the change is not intentional.

Question 2: What spells don't use "usual" targeting?
Page 298 tells us that spells "usually" require line of effect. When don't they? Magic Missile (for example, page 236) defines its target as "one creature" but in the spell description says "You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that you can see." Does that expand the available targets to include the goblin above, or is it still following the general rule that spells need line of effect? Charm was chosen for the example above since it doesn't include anything that suggests an alternate targetting set up, though lots and lots of spells do. Touch spells for example, could Ezren take one step to the left and touch the goblin with Shocking Grasp? Presumably not if it requires line of effect (which p.314 strongly implies is broken by corners).


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In theory, the DC chart is supposed to tell me how hard a task is for PCs of a given level given designer's estimates of what PC bonuses might be.

In theory, the same task should have the same DC regardless of who attempts it. Picking the lock on Lord Gyr's bedroom door should be the same if a 5th level rogue tries or a 15th. Lord Gyr is the 13th level lord of a prosperous city, maybe he has a level 13 lock with a DC around 30.

In practice, I don't think it will get used that way. Without developing new habits (be it habits for home GMs or editorial oversight for publishers) we run the risk of a treadmill where the DCs make no sense in the setting and undermine the coherence of the setting.

Spoilers for some problematic DCs and situation from The Frozen Oath:

Spoiler:

What should the DC be to examine a pile of furs in a warehouse and discover that a family of rabbits has burrowed into them to make a nest? An observer isn't certain to succeed, a big pile of furs might not look like much, but it is possible. The rabbits will have torn at the fabric, they'll have left droppings, they might have hollowed out a noticeable tunnel. If a first level Druid searches, what might his odds be?

5% says The Frozen Oath. That is a DC 24 check. He may be wise, he may be trained in perception, but no he is basically incapable of doing it.

What should the DC be for the druid to gently wake a sleeping rabbit without startling it? Low enough that a normal human might succeed? Low enough that someone wise and an expert in animal handling might succeed? 15 maybe?

27 says the Frozen Oath. This is exactly the dc of a hard check for the level the scenario is pitched to, but it creates a senseless world. If this situation came up in a level 5 scenario I guarantee the author would have picked 20 and if in a level 15 scenario a 33.

If I'm playing the Druid I discover at level 5 I have about a 50% chance of doing any animal related task, at level 10 I also have a 50% chance, and likewise at level 15. I never get any better is one problem, but I don't know what my skills mean is another. Does +15 animal handling mean I can probably calm that rabid dog? No one knows. If I have a +15 at low level then yes, +15 is plenty to calm a DC 20 rabid dog. If through bad choices and poor optimization I have a +15 at high level then no, it isn't enough because a rabid dog is suddenly DC 30.

To be clear, this isn't a system problem. The system works just the same if it is given a DC 5, 15, or 50. This is a scenario problem. The DC doesn't have anything to do with the world, so the world and the numbers stop making any sense. In theory a rabid dog should always be the same DC and at high levels you're calming demonically possessed dire wolves or whatever, but in practice the DC table creates a lazy shortcut where you don't actually think about how hard the task is, you just plug in the PCs level and do whatever the chart tells you.

It is a solvable problem, but the solution is careful habits from GMs and editorial oversight from Paizo or we'll have more failures like

Spoiler:
DC 27 to calm a bunny


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The DC for "Treat Wounds" is a function of the doctor's level. The higher level the doctor, the more difficult the check.

A first level Fighter, a soldier trained in Medicine and somewhat talented (Wis 12), comes across the victim of an orc attack and wants to treat his wounds. DC 13 with a +2 means an 11 on the die to succeed.

First up, a 50% chance of failure at a routine task you have invested some of your very limited character creation resources into is frustrating. Healing 1 hp

Second, the odds of critically failing are very low (5%). So a common result will be the player declares an action, fails the roll, *nothing happens*, and he tries again, maybe nothing happens *again*, and he tries a third time and succeeds. That's boring and tedious.

Third, even if he succeeds, he heals the peasant 1 shiny hp. He's going to have to roll again. And again. And again. If the peasant has 5 points of damage, he's going to have to roll around 10 checks to deal with it. Why on earth is the system requiring 10 rolls to resolve a simple task?

Finally, late in his career, the same fighter comes across another wounded peasant, another victim of another orc attack. He is no wiser, but vastly more experienced (15th level! A god among men!). The new DC of 30 with a +16 means a 14 on die. Huh?

Why has the DC skyrocketed? The task is the same. His chance of success has dropped from 1 in 2 down to about 1 in 3. His chance to critically fail has gone from 1 in 20 to about 1 in 7. Why has his experience of patching up wounds through 15 levels of adventure made him worse at it?

At least if he succeeds he'll heal the peasant 15hp and be done.

Alas, even with that boost his total chance of healing the peasant has gone down with experience and training. Before he could keep rolling (and rolling) until he heals the peasant, he was likely to get his 5 successes before he got the critical failure that stopped the process. Now he's very likely to be done in two or three rolls (which is still one or two too many) but he is way more likely to critically fail, bolster the peasant against further attempts, and be defeated.


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Characters live in a pseudo-medieval world, are they assumed to be literate?

As far as I can tell there is no reference to literacy in the rule book. Seems worth a one liner somewhere.


Bob has 110hp.
Bob takes 112 damage, gains the dying 1 and unconscious conditions.
Bob is healed back to 110hp, but is still unconscious and dying.
Bob gets hit for 1 damage three times.
Bob has 107hp and is dead.

That seems super weird. Breaking the connection between hp total, consciousness, and death seems hard to get used to.


Am I missing straight ability checks (i.e. "Give me a int check to remember what the inn keeper's hair color from last week" or "Give me a strength check to shift the rubble") or are they gone?

Are they entirely subsumed into skill checks? I.e. "Give me an Athletics check to shift the rubble" or "Give me a ?? check to remember the detail"

I suppose the relevant difference is training (no one seems to be "Expert in Wisdom" or anything like that) and level bonus (i.e. the 10th level character is more likely to remember the inn keeper's hair color).


Almost all the PF1 races have +2 to a physical stat, +2 to a mental stat, and -2 to something that might be mental or physical.

Is that a good idea? It seems like it constricts the range of easily played PCs too much. Goblins made me think of it, +2 to Charisma is just weird, but if you're invested in "every race gets +2 to a mental stat", then it is probably better than Wisdom or Intelligence. Why be invested in that pattern though?

It seems a weird dogma to stick to if it breaks not in corner cases, but with a core race like goblins. Sticking to it means Goblins are more charming and socially poised than elves, which is more than a little weird.

I'd like to see some more robust system for balancing races than just giving them all the same stat pattern. I've seen a lot of people combine race points (from Advanced Race Guide) and ability score points in various ways (i.e. you get a 20pt stat buy if you're human, 15pts if you're a tiefling, 0pts if you're a centaur, or whatever). It would be nice to have a more robust system that allowed for races of different power levels. "We have a big, complicated, customizable, system that lets you play whatever you want" seems like the ground Pathfinder wants to stake out. Homogenized player races seem to play against that goal.


Prior to the player's guide I had been unclear about whether Taldan primogeniture applied only to the emperor, or to the nobility more generally (a lot of the wording was ambiguous and there were lots of women with titles).

Player's Guide wrote:
While any Taldan can own property or hold a title via promotion, marriage, or appointment, the law of primogeniture dictates that only men can inherit, both demonstrating and perpetuating Taldor’s inequalities.

How does that work? About half the Grand Duchies are ruled by women (one is the imperial duchy, one is ambiguous, five have grand dukes, five have grand duchesses). How did those women get those titles?

The most plausible candidates for the authority to appoint a grand duchess are the previous title holder (implying a general authority to appoint one's successor), the senate (implying a stronger senatorial role), or the emperor (implying a stronger imperial role). Any of those options would have significant political implications, but it isn't clear which is the case.

If about half the top tier of title holders are women, that implies a really high rate of vacancy to be filled by appointment rather than inheritance. Imagine some disaster which killed all the grand dukes and duchesses, everyone with a son gets replaced by a new grand duke (if the nobles have families that average even two kids that's going to be 75% of the positions). The remaining seats will be filled by appointment, if those appointments were gender blind (i.e. men and women were equally likely to be appointed) then you'd expect around 88% of the seats to be filled. If men had more political power, you'd expect them to be more than 50% of the appointments. If only women were appointed, you would still expect the inheritance laws to give you 75% men. The figures only pencil out if Taldan noble families average 1 child each and 100% of appointments are women.

The friendliest revision I can suggest is that a) Taldan noble families are very small (more than 1 or 2 kids is seen as a faux pas) b) the Senate makes all appointments

Spoiler:
(it is hard to see Stavian III appointing many women if he is paranoid that women are conspiring to seize political power from him and it helps the math)
c) the Senate is appointing basically only women (Eutropia's faction being in ascendancy and having a voting majority) and d) the current gender split is a statistical aberration (sure the average split might be lower, but chance has broken several women's way in the last decades producing a historical fluke).

Another statistic to consider is that the repeal of Taldan primogeniture means about half the noble families get a new heir, but that depends again on family size:

Suppose noble families are big (four or five kids, i.e. pretty likely to have both a boy and a girl). Half the time the eldest child is a boy, the repeal doesn't change the heir apparent. Half the time the eldest child is a girl, and the heir apparent changes. Does that mean half the noble families are going to looking at inheritance fights. I've seen families split apart over who gets grandma's china, let alone who gets the County.

Alternately, suppose noble families are small (1-2 kids, all girl cohorts are relatively common). Plenty of noble families might welcome the change. If you are Lord X with three daughters, under the old rules the senate hands your title to whoever the senate likes the look of. Under the new rules, one of your kids inherits everything. Very small family sizes might be a necessary assumption for Eutropia to get a lot of support in the senate.


Suppose two people get in a tug of war, the obvious way to do it is an opposed strength check (I make one, you make one, whoever gets the higher result win).

Suppose two people have a dance contest, the obvious way to do it is an opposed Perform (Dance) check.

Initiative checks work this way. I'm going to call all these things "quick contests". Both creatures roll a d20 + something, high result wins.

The trouble I have with the math is that the variation on a d20 is huge in comparison to the variation created by skill disparities. A roll of 8 is low but unremarkable, a roll of 13 is high but equally unremarkable, the difference between them is 5, i.e. enough to wipe out the difference between a Str of 10 and a Str of 18.

If I (lets say Str 10) get in a tug of war with Dwayne Johnson (lets say Str 18) I should lose almost every time, but I don't. The d20 is super random. Dwayne is only beating me about 66% of the time, while my Str 10 equals are beating me 50% of the time. Hell, a Cloud Giant (Str 35) is only beating me 90% of the time. 90% sounds like a lot, but it is a Strength 35 supernatural creature that stands 25 feet tall, I shouldn't ever be beating it.

A +5 difference in an attribute should be huge, its the difference between an average person and a peak human. It just gets swallowed by the randomness of the d20 though.

Is there some graceful way to make skill and talent more important and luck less important. I roll a 17, the Cloud Giant rolls a 4, and I win the tug of war. What happened? He slipped on a banana peel and lost his footing? He got a muscle cramp at just the right moment? In d20 games I often feel like I'm living in a world of banana peels, results are way more random than I'd like in a way that breaks immersion.

One option is to take 10. I get a 10 in the tug of war, Dwayne always gets a 14 and beats me, the giant always gets a 22 and beats Dwayne. That isn't ideal though, since a Strength 12 then beats a Strength 11 100% of the time (which is too little randomness).

Another option is to discourage attribute tests. A dance contest or a tug of war or a research race or whatever isn't one d20 roll it's five. Over the course of those five d20 rolls the randomness recedes and skill will prevail. That's an option, but I don't often see GMs actually do that, "The Orc is pushing open the door, roll a Strength check to keep it closed" is way more common.

Another option is to not use a d20. 3d6 gives a similar range (3-18) but is much more heavily clustered in the 8-12 range. I played in a game at Paizocon which used 3d6 for skills outside of combat and thought it worked well. Our skills much more consistently did what they typically averagely would do.

Another option is to use higher bonuses. A peak human doesn't have a +4 or 5, he has a +8 or 10. The Giant doesn't have a +12, he has a +24. That makes normal human variation (i.e. the difference between an average person and a strong person) more meaningful, but probably introduces other problems.

Anyone else see the same problem? Anyone got a graceful solution?


Consider two possible Dwarf Ancestry Feats/Talents/Whatever:

Dwarven Resilience: Dwarves are super tough, you get a +X vs. poison because you're just so tough.

Dwarven Racism: Dwarves hate Orcs, you've been taught 63 ways to kill an orc, so get a +Y to kill orcs.

See the difference? One of those invokes a physical trait of Dwarves while the other is a cultural trait.

If a member of one species is raised by another species, which set of Ancestry Feats should they be eligible for? I can teach my adopted human kid to hate orcs, but can I teach him to resist poisons?


Anyone know what that means?

"Modular" means something to me, the rest is totally opaque.


Ranger Rick's player Paul has selected outsiders with the devil subtype as his favored enemy.

The player gets a +2 untyped bonus to various rolls "against creatures of his selected type". What does Rick (the character, not the player) think is happening though?

One argument is that Rangers study the traits of their favored enemy, so Rick knows how devils think and gets +2 to bluff them, he knows the weak spots in their scales so gets a +2 to hit them, he knows their abilities and gets +2 to knowledge checks against them and so on.

What happens when Rick runs into a devil in disguise though? Rick thinks he's fighting a human, but really he's fighting a devil under the affect of an alter self spell. Does Rick get the bonus? RAW seems to say yes, but why would he?

If the bonus does apply do Paul and/or Rick get to know? For example, if he normally does a 1d8+5 damage and rolls a 5, does he know he did 12 damage instead of 10? If the bonus is based on Rick's deep knowledge of devils, how could he not know? Is favored enemy (devils) a devil detector in combat?

One interesting side note is that Pathfinder changed the text of favored enemy. 3.0 and 3.5 contained the line "Due to his extensive study of his chosen type of foe and training in the proper techniques for combating such creatures the ranger gains..." before going into the mechanics. Pathfinder deliberately cut that line and doesn't contain any replacement "in universe" explanation of the ability.

The same question arises with similar abilities. If a dwarf with Hatred is fighting a masked humanoid assassin of unknown race does he get to know the assassin is a half orc when he makes an attack roll?


As far as I can tell there are no rules for the difficulty or time required to use a Heal check to distinguish between an unconscious dying character and a dead one.

Having players announce their HP totals (i.e. "I'm only at -5, I've got a few rounds" or "I'm at -12! Help!") seems impermissibly metagamey to many.

The traditional solution has been to allow Perception or Heal checks to distinguish between the savable and the dead, but what sort of action should it be and how difficult? The following are some suggestions.

Base DC:
-----------------------------
DC 10: You can tell if an unresponsive person is dead by checking for breath, pulse, small movements, and other signs.

Time Taken
-----------------------------
Full Round Action (+0 DC)
Standard Action (+5 DC)
Move Action (+10 DC)
Swift Action (+15 DC)
Free Action (+20 DC)

Distance from Target
-----------------------------
Touch (+0 DC)
Within 30' (+5 DC)
Beyond 30' (+10 DC)

Degree of Damage
-----------------------------
At GM's discretion some corpses are so heavily damaged that it is obvious they are dead. Someone at -50 requires no check, they're a red smear. Possibly double negative Con as a rule of thumb (i.e. -30 if you're Con 15)?


I'm running an adventure path set after the events of the Curse of the Crimson Throne (one of the PCs wanted to be an ex-Grey Maiden) and a trip to Korvosa is looking likely.

Curse of the Crimson Throne Spoilers:
Is there a cannon answer as to who is in charge there? I haven't read CotCT in great detail but I'm under the impression that the queen goes axe crazy and is killed. Who, if anyone, takes her place?


I don't have a copy of Inner Sea Races, so the following comes from d20pfsrd.com. If it is incorrect or incomplete please let me know.

Disinterested Observer wrote:
Elves who frequently interact with shorter-lived species often come to rely on their ability to wait out such impatient races. These elves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls and skill checks made as part of readied actions in combat. This racial trait replaces the elven magic and weapon familiarity traits.

It occurs to me that while readied actions can delay a player, they need not. "I ready an action to attack the Orc in front of me as soon as my turn ends." is as far as I know perfectly legal. The net result being that the trait grants a flat +1 to all standard action attacks. It replaces some proficiency in some martial weapons that most martials won't miss and a bonus to pierce SR and ID magic items they won't miss at all.

This seems better than intended, I post it here rather than in the rules forum on the theory that it may not belong on the additional resources list.


srd wrote:

Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action

You can choose to fight defensively when attacking. If you do so, you take a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 to AC until the start of your next turn.

I don't understand what it means for this to be a standard action.

Example 1: Adam is a 1st level fighter, he moves up to the enemy with his move action and fights defensively as his standard action. He doesn't have any action left to make attacks with, so I'm assuming that fighting defensively doesn't just apply the modifiers, it also allows a single attack.

A) Is that assumption correct?
B) Why does the action say -4 penalty on all attacks if one can only make one with a standard action? Attacks of opportunity that come up before the next round maybe?

Example 2: Bob is a 11th level fighter with three attacks standing right next to the enemy. Is there any way for him to make a full attack with the -4 to hit / +2 to AC? Seems like not. That's fine I suppose, but is it intended? You can full attack with Combat Expertise (which at first glance seems like fighting defensively just with a better tradeoff).

Example 3: Carl is a 15th level Swashbuckler and has just got:

Dizzying Defense wrote:
At 15th level, while wielding a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon in one hand, the swashbuckler can spend 1 panache point to take the fighting defensively action as a swift action instead of a standard action. When fighting defensively in this manner, the dodge bonus to AC gained from that action increases to +4, and the penalty to attack rolls is reduced to –2.

Carl is standing next to his enemy and opens with a swift action to increase his AC, decrease his accuracy, and get a free attack? At this point he can still full attack and deliver his normal 3 attacks.

C) Is that the correct reading?
D) Is that intended?


I have this idea that you don't get a day job check following a module or adventure path chunk, only after standard scenarios.

I can't actually find that rule anywhere though. Do I misremember? Did the rule exist once and go away? Am I just looking in the wrong place?


I'm sure I've seen a feat that lets a character use a weapon that normally deals one type of damage (bludgeoning/piercing/slashing) to do another type of damage. I can't find it now for the life of me.

Anyone know what the feat is and where it comes from?


Suppose the PC's break into the mad archmage's tower and begin fighting his servants. Initiative is rolled, combatants start acting, and then on turn three, the archmage teleports into the room. The archmage didn't know about the fight ahead of time, as far as he is concerned he's just returning home.

Question 1: When in the round does the archmage appear? My guess would be a random point, he didn't know he was heading into a fight, he could have finished his teleport any time during the 6 second window in which he cast.

Question 2: When does he next act? Last? Next? On an initiative he rolls up? Everyone rerolls initiative? Suppose the answer is on an initiative he rolls:

Suppose people in the fight are acting on 25, 20, 15, 10, and 5. Wizard appears on initiative count 8. Rolling high for initiative could make him go later rather than sooner. Example, if he gets a 6 for initiative he acts before anyone else, if gets a 22 two people go before him.

There are various solutions with different advantages and disadvantages, but is there a RAW answer to how to insert new combatants in existing initiative orders?


Not that I expect a cannonical answer, but here's some stuff that's been seeming strange to me in the lore...

One problem I've had for a while is the idea of "secret leaders". Someone's identity can be secret from me, someone can have authority over me, but its hard to see how someone can be *both*.

Lets say a member of the Decemvirite wants my Pathfinder to bring him a soy latte. How am I supposed to know this guy asking for a latte is one of the Ten? The masks aren't well enough known to be identifiable, even someone in a really big really weird mask could be any joker with some paper mache.

Maybe he tells my faction head to tell me to go get him a latte? Ok, but the same problem applies. My faction head needs to know who the decemvirite are. *But*, we've got cannon that faction heads don't know who the Ten are.

Spoiler:
Torch was a faction head and had to go to great lengths to find out who they were.
.

Maybe faction heads aren't trusted (maybe Amenophus is assumed to be loyal to Osirion before the Society?). Do the Venture Captains know? Trouble is there are tons of venture captains all over the place. What stops anyone interested from scooping some lone low level VC off the street and emptying him of information?

Maybe only some VC's know? The VC's high enough level and protected enough to be trusted to keep the secret? If that's the case are their tiers of VC's? Captain Musello out by himself in a tiny little lodge gets orders from Captain Valsin in a bunker in Absalom who gets them from the Decemvirate? I've never gotten the impression there were hierarchies of VCs.

Maybe the Decemvirate all died in a skiing accident years ago and the VCs just haven't told anyone. How would anyone know?


Slashing Grace says it applies to "one kind of one-handed slashing weapon" and gives a longsword as an example.

Can it apply to a short sword? I had thought it obviously could, a short sword is wielded one-handed and a slashing weapon, therefore a one-handed slashing weapon.

"No no!" says my friend. Weapons are either "light" or "one-handed" (there are two lists with those labels in the Core Rules) and a short sword (being a light weapon) can't also be a "one-handed" weapon. Sure it's wielded in one hand, but that isn't enough to make it "one-handed".

Anyone run into this question before? Anyone got an authoritative answer?


I've put together a guide to cover, with it you will finally be the envy of your friends as you answer such exciting questions as:

Does cover add to reflex saves?
If I have cover against you, do you necessarily have cover against me?
What's the difference between soft cover and partial cover?
When does cover give you improved evasion?
What kinds of cover allow Stealth? What kinds don't?
Do I use melee or range cover rules when I fire a bow at someone adjacent to me?

AND MANY MORE!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/t34otvnqiv4slxj/Guide%20to%20cover.pdf?dl=0

Comments & corrections welcome.


Season 0 was written before the core rulebook came out, uses the 3.5 rules, and sometimes items show up on chronicle sheets that were unique to 3.5.

If a chronicle lists "Gloves of Dexterity +2" or a "Periapt of Wisdom +2" for 4,000gp can I buy them? Yes, because it is on the chronicle sheet? No, because you have to go to a non-Pathfinder rulebook for the rules?

It's a corner case, all the other seasons use the Pathfinder rules, and 95% of the season 0 items from 3.5 carried over (I don't know of any that didn't except the stat boosting items). Is there a ruling though?


Smoke sticks are super useful, but AFAIK there isn't anything definite on how difficult they are to activate.

The item description talks about burning the stick. Presumably this is a full round action (lighting a torch is)? Move to draw, move to draw flint and steel, full round to light? Seems very slow.

With a tinder twig, maybe a move to draw, move to draw the tinder twig, standard to light?

How have you run them in the past?


Suppose I want to be affected by a combat maneuver and opt not to resist, what is my CMD? Take Steal for example. There isn’t (AFAIK) a rule for taking items from an unresisting teammate (healing potions come to mind), could one use Steal and auto-succeed against an unresisting ally? Adapting the Steal mechanic seems an elegant way to handle it.

Trip, Disarm, Sunder and Grapple seem unlikely to come up, but there may be some corner cases.

Bull Rush and Reposition are probably the best; they open up some interesting possibilities for moving teammates into advantageous positions.

Would you allow voluntary combat maneuvers? What I have in mind is not applying the target’s Base Attack Bonus, Strength, or Dexterity bonuses if they are not actively resisting.


I'm prepping to run Slave Ships this Friday and I'm hazy on what a "docking certificate" is supposed to be.

Lady Darchana asks appropriate PC's to destroy the "docking certificate of the At Sea" for unspecified reasons. The Harbormaster section gives a procedure for obtaining the "docking certificate for the Kat Season" (which is the same ship).

Two questions. First, which name is on the actual docking certificate? Second, what *is* a docking certificate? Some sort of permission to dock presumably. Issued by whom?

The impression I get is that Lady D's reasons are being held back for a later scenario, and that's fine, but what are the PC's to think in the meantime? If a Paladin asks "So, what are the consequences of destroying some sort of official document?" Is he potentially covering up a mistake by whatever official granted the certificate? Is he potentially erasing evidence the ship was ever there? How is he supposed to decide whether to go along with Lady D's plan without knowing what the document's legal function is?

Maybe a birth certificate is a good analog, I know what a birth certificate is and does so I can evaluate a request to destroy or forge one or whatever. If I don't know what a "TPS compliance certificate" I can't know whether to destroy it.

Any thoughts?


Dwarves in Games Workshop's Warhammer setting have a peculiar subculture. When sufficiently disgraced or dishonored, they leave their homes, dye their hair orange, strip off their armor, and proceed to wander the land seeking the most dangerous monsters they can find in the hopes that one will kill them. Think of it as suicide by troll.

I'd like to play one in PFS, it wouldn't be a subculture of course, just this individual's personal reaction to some unspeakable trauma. A big part of it is that I love this miniature and want to use it for PFS:

http://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Dragon-Slayer

Mechanically the requirements are
1) Melee fighter.
2) Can fight with two axes.
3) Doesn't wear armor.
4) Good Will saves (slayers are basically immune to fear as a death fighting a mighty enemy is the whole point).
5) The background assumes a life before going crazy, so a dip of a level or two before going into the primary class is fine.
6) I'm playing in PFS, so any options have to be legal for that.

How to do it?

My first thought was a Monk on the theory that Monks can duel wield, don't wear armor, and get good will saves.

Some questions:
Are there any attractive monk weapons that are axes? The only thing I can find is the Knuckle Axe which isn't really any better than an unarmed strike but costs a feat. Maybe I would just carry the axes for the miniature's sake and actually strike with hands and feet. Maybe I'll sacrifice a feat on the altar of style. If there is a better axe option that would be great though. Anyone familiar with the re-skin rules? If I can find a threat range 20, x3 crit, slashing, monk weapon, can I reskin it as an axe?

Any suggestions for arch-types? I'm happy to hand-wave ki powers as surges of activity stemming from his crazy. If there is a decent arch-type that trades them for more down to earth abilities that would be preferable.

Any suggestions on feats? I've never played a monk before and am pretty vague on how to optimize one.


If you target a creature with Dispel Magic you are told to make a caster level check and check the result against the highest caster level effect, then next highest, then next, and so on until you dispel something or run out of spell effects.

What if multiple spells share the same caster level? This happens all the time, if a wizard has cast three spells on himself prior to combat they'll all be the same caster level. Which one is effected?

Random? Attacker's choice? Defender's choice? The rule doesn't make any suggestions. This is presumably an oversight in the translation from 3.5 (where Dispel Magic targeted each spell effect on a creature independently).

Random is the most obvious choice, but creates the following problem. Arcane Mark is a cantrip with no material component and a permanent duration. Someone with one Haste and nine Arcane Marks active has a 90% chance of keeping his Haste, and there is no reason to stop at nine Arcane Marks. Have a dozen, have three dozen, never fear dispel magic again.

As a house rule I'm considering bringing back the 3.5 version which targets everything independently or specifying that the spell targets the highest *spell level* target first, then highest caster level, then random.

Any objections to my reading of RAW? Any suggestions as to house rules?


I'm looking for ways to improve intelligence checks in the hopes of making Contact Other Plane more usable. Any advice?

Most buffs provided bonuses to skill checks rather than ability checks and the penalty for failing the CoP check is severe.

I've found Inexplicable Luck which, while a great solution, is expensive in the form of two feats to pull the trick off.

Any magic items, feats, spells, or whatever that improve ability checks generally or intelligence checks specifically?


When things go totally pear shaped and the party fails the mission do they get experience?

I can read the relevant rule two ways:

Guide to Organized Play p.36 wrote:

A PC may receive XP only if he survives the scenario or is raised from the dead by the scenario’s conclusion and completed at least three encounters over the course of the

adventure.

Is that:

(he survives the scenario) or (is raised from the dead by the scenario’s conclusion and completed at least three encounters over the course of the adventure).

or is it:

(he survives the scenario or is raised from the dead by the scenario’s conclusion) and (completed at least three encounters over the course of the adventure.)

Hopefully that notation makes the ambiguity jump out. Any thoughts? What happens when the party complete two encounters, but realize they can't complete the mission and flee, alive, with tails between their legs?


06-05 makes reference to a whole series of events revolving around Pasha Muhlia Al-Jakri, Baron Jacquo Dalsine, Chalfon Dalsine, Muhlia's sister, Aglorn & Tacred Desimire, etc... A couple murders, and some shenanigans in the Hao Jin Tapestry and Worldwound.

Can anyone tell me which scenarios cover that story?


The Exchange mission requires defeating the assassins as the primary objective and "ensuring Guaril survives" as the secondary.

Is that "survives the assassination attempt" or "survives the scenario"? The difference being if the assassins attack, then the PC's arrive, then the assassins kill Guaril, then the PC's kill the assassins, the PC's have the dead body of a high level faction leader on their hands within a stones throw of the center of his powerbase.

What's to be done? Shrug, row back to the Grand Lodge, and get someone to raise him. He's 11th level, he should have plenty of money for the procedure. He's a faction head, he should have plenty of prestige within the faction (after all he's the guy who *gives out* prestige). Alternately the PC's may have ways to raise him themselves (scrolls of raise dead come to mind, but there are other ways).

In the above scenario did Guaril survive? He didn't survive the assassination attempt, but he did survive the scenario.


Character A has Darkness cast on a held item.
Character B has Daylight cast on a held item.
Ambient light is darkness.

A&B walk up to each other, what is the resulting light level?

Darkness says "magical light sources only increase the light level in an area if they are of a higher spell level than darkness"
Daylight says "Daylight brought into an area of magical darkness (or vice versa) is temporarily negated, so that the otherwise prevailing light conditions exist in the overlapping areas of effect."

1) Bright light, because Daylight trumps Darkness because it is a "higher spell level than darkness".
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2) Normal light, because Daylight will "increase the light level in an area if it is of a higher spell level than darkness" and a two step increase from ambient is Dark --> Dim --> Normal.
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3) Darkness, because Daylight "is temporarily negated" when brought into an area of magical darkness with no mention of relative spell levels and the ambient light level is Darkness.


The current guide to organized play says to compute the average party level and round it to the nearest whole number to determine tier.

There is an exception if "you are exactly at 0.5" in which case you should "let the group decide which subtier they wish to play".

However if the APL is "between two subtiers" you either play up or down depending on the size of the party.

Which rule do you apply first? For example: take a party of six with an APL of 2.5?

Apply the .5 rule first: They are at .5 so they can choose between tier 1-2 and tier 4-5.

Apply the "between two subtiers" rule first: As a group of six they must play the higher tier with the four-character adjustment.

I am ignoring for the moment that the rule says "exactly .05" which the APL will never be. I assume they meant (in a 1-5 for example) either 2.5 or 3.5?


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

So, I'm aware of the FAQ answer that says being able to cast spell X as a racial spell-like ability counts towards a prestige class that requires that you can cast spell X. No problem.

What I'm not seeing is how that gets you into Eldritch Knight early. Eldritch Knights need to be "Able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells". "Spells" is plural. An Aasimar who can cast Daylight can cast one 3rd level arcane spell, but not spells.

Is there some way to get an Aasimar multiple 3rd level spell-like abilities? Is there some rule somewhere that "able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells" can be satisfied by only one spell?

Aspiring mystic theurges want to know!


Do 'creature' and/or 'object' get definitions anywhere? Specifically I'm wondering if a creature is also an object for purposes of spells that target an object.

Can I cast light on my cat?


Are there pregenerated characters for Society beyond the Core Rulebook classes plus Gunslinger, Ninja, & Samurai? I found those as well as the Advanced Class Guide Pregens, but does anyone know where I can find the Magus, Witch, Inquisitor, Oracle, etc...?


Suppose I want to shoot at Vinny the Villain and there is one cover granting obstruction in the way. Vinny gets a +4 to AC.

Suppose I want to shoot at Vinny and there are two cover granting obstructions in the way. Does Vinny get a +4 or +8?

On the one hand, the rules talk about people having cover or not with no talk of layering cover. On the other hand it is an untyped bonus and untyped bonuses stack.


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Anyone got one?
I fancy throwing some dragons at my PC's, but I don't have a good way to find scenarios that oblige.

Anyone got a list?


I'm under the impression that you can't get more than two prestige per scenario. One for the primary objective, one for the secondary objective.

I ask because the fame and item purchase table goes all the way to 99 fame. If there is a limit of 2 prestige per experience point, there isn't a way to get to 99 fame.

Does that mean there are some ways to get more prestige than two per scenario?


As it stands, maps in scenarios include GM only information. Locations of traps, secret doors, where enemies will emerge from etc...

One consequence is that the GM can't show the map to players at the table to give a vision of where they are.

It seems like it would be easy to also include a spoiler free version of each map that appears in the scenario so that the GM could print it out as a handout to give PCs.

Would you use such an addition? Any objections to it?


I'm new to PFS, so forgive if this has been covered somewhere.

I'm trying to work out if I can buy a spellbook in order to teach my wizard more spells.

My impression is I can buy anything legal for PFS play that isn't worth more than my GP limit based on fame, or items up to 750gp by spending prestige.

Presumably spellbooks are legal for PFS play, does that mean I can buy one on the open market? If so, what is a spellbook worth?

The closest answer I've been able to find is that the Core book says a spellbook can be sold for the "half the cost of purchasing and inscribing the spells within". The cost of inscribing the spells is clear (level squared times ten gp). The cost of purchasing spells is mentioned in the FAQ as half the scribing cost.

Does all this mean I can buy spellbooks? Each step in the reasoning seems right, but I'm wondering if there is any official word or conventional wisdom on the subject.

Can I, for example, buy a spellbook with 10 first level spells in it for 100gp (scribing cost) + 50gp (access cost) + 15gp (the book itself) or 165gp?


I wanted a character with a two-handed hammer, but I'm not finding one in the SRD or elsewhere.

Great Club comes closest, but at d10 damage, it's not that attractive.

Club is to Warhammer as
Great Club is to ?

Any suggestions?