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This is the poignant section for the buckler:

You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an offhand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you lose the buckler’s Armor Class bonus until your next turn.

I'm looking into methods of using a buckler without losing its Armor Class bonus when dual-wielding. I am uncertain if my method works, therefore I'm here to collect a second opinion. Below are my questions:

1) A character is wielding a weapon in both hands and has a buckler equipped. If the character does not use the weapon held by the same limb as the buckler, do they still receive the buckler's attack penalty?

2) If a character uses something such as a Kobold Tail Attachment or a Dwarven Boulder Helm to make their off-hand attacks, is the buckler's Armor Class bonus lost?

The only rule is that magical effects that increase size do not stack. In other words: spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities would not stack with each other, since they're all considered magical in some way (suppressed by anti-magic field, etc).

However, extraordinary effects are not considered magical, so size-increasing extraordinary effects would stack. This means an Eidolon's Large/Huge evolution would stack with an enlarging spell, since it is an extraordinary effect on an eidolon. On the other hand, a primal companion hunter's eidolon-mimicking ability, while it can still select Large/Huge, would not stack with enlarging spells, since it's typed as supernatural.

As to the mammoth rider, the huge-sized companion is extraordinary and would therefore stack with a size-increasing effect.

On one hand, the ground would most likely be considered an object, which is immune to critical strikes. On the other hand, the item declares the attack roll is applied to creatures in the radius, meaning the attack roll could threaten as long as the creature can be critically struck.

The reason I asked about weapon damage is that if it is, fine or diminutive swarms are specifically immune to weapon damage. As quoted from here:

A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage.

Therefore, even though it targets everything in the radius, if it's considered weapon damage, then the fine swarm is still immune. The drawback of ruling it as non-weapon damage means it would bypass most DR.

After looking over the discussion thus far, many of the other points have been cleared up in my mind. If the damage source is from a feat, it trumps the magical sources limitation. While it's not specifically stated, GM's generally require the point of origin to be from the ground and connected in some way to the ground the PC is attacking.

For those of you that don't know of this item, here's a link, and I'll quote the description:

This simple bronze amulet depicts a mountaintop being shattered by a sword blow. Twice per day, the amulet’s wearer can make a single melee attack against the ground as a standard action. The wearer can choose a point of origin within 100 feet of himself and apply his attack roll against all creatures within a 20-foot radius of that point. The amulet’s wearer rolls his attack’s damage once and applies it to all creatures in the affected area. The damage includes the weapon’s base damage dice, the wearer’s Strength modifier, and damage from feats such as Power Attack and Vital Strike; it doesn’t include damage from other magical sources, such as enhancement bonuses, spells, and magic weapon special abilities.

I've got a large number of questions, since it doesn't seem to clarify in the description:

1) What kinds of damage is the AoE portion of this amulet? Is it weapon damage (and can therefore be ignored by fine/diminuitive swarms)? Is it bludgeoning/piercing/slashing? Does DR apply?

2) What happens when the attack roll crits? What happens if the confirmation only succeeds on some of the targets within the radius, or some of the targets are immune to critical strikes?

3) Do critical feats apply to targets struck by the attack?

4) Do class abilities which add damage apply to it?

5) Would Arcane Strike's damage apply to it? It's a feat, but it's also flavored as magical.

6) Can the point of origin be at any position within 100 feet, including off the ground?

This should probably be mentioned, since the wombo combo can be done without a group, as long as the target is in reach of the player.

There exists a feat known as Merciless Butchery. It makes coup de grace a swift action that doesn't provoke, as long as you've studied the target. Studying a target is a move action and requires a 1 level dip in Slayer. It's a standard action to make a touch attack.

Using something like Skinsend or Polypurpose Panacea(Sleep), a character can study, touch, then coup.

The earliest I can get the build online is level 10 (7 Vivisectionist/1 Snakebite Brawler/1 Slayer/1 Fighter), but if levels don't matter as much, it can be done with just Alchemist X/Slayer 1.

Of course, Merciless Butchery also allows a character to single-round coup any creature that they can stun using a standard action, so this build isn't entirely neutered by the availability of personal-range infusions + touch injection.

I considered re-quoting what boring7 has already posted, but chose against it.

Essentially, there are two outcomes when Polymorph is used. The first is that the armor melds with the creature. RAW, it needs to be an animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type that is selected. Otherwise, the equipment reshapes for the new form.

For your porcelain doll, as written the armor would not meld, but resize as appropriate. With that said, I believe the design of the Polymorph rules was to allow your armor to get passed onto giant form, while melding whenever you're not taking a humanoid (or monstrous humanoid?) shape.

In the end, it's up to GM discretion. I'd personally have it meld for objects, just because a sandwich in full plate is a possible outcome going purely by RAW.

As to losing the equipment, I believe it unmelds after the effect ends or the creature dies, and an object doesn't actually die. It's just once the spell ends, the guy's going to be in some trouble. I'm actually not 100% sure if polymorph effects end on death.

Jokem wrote:

I don't see why not. Of course whoever bound the character with manacles is unlikely to have provided Thieves Tools, so there will be a -2 penalty there. Also, any jailer worth their salt will have a guard posted to keep this lock picking to a minimum.

I ask mainly because of this item's description:

These discreet tools, made of a metal alloy that springs straight once the tool is removed from the band, are sufficient to attempt Disable Device checks without penalty, and long enough to pick locks on manacles fastened around the wearer's hands (once she slips off the ring).

The second portion causes me to believe someone without any tools would not be able to reach their manacles' lock. In other words, no check would be allowed without tools unless they either had a free hand or prehensile tail.

Also, the penalty to unlocking something without any tools is a -2 to the disable device check and a +10 to the DC of a given lock. (-2 source, +10 source)


My group is currently using a lesser form of the Grappled condition to put it on the same level as Fetters. To be specific:
-4 penalty to Dexterity
-2 to attack rolls
Cannot take actions that require both hands.
Cannot cast spells with somatic components.
Cannot cast spells with material components not in hand.
Must make a concentration roll of (10+ Manacles CMB + Spell Level) to cast any spell.

The part removed is the inability to perform attacks of opportunity. Assuming the escape artist roll to get free from manacles follows the same rules as grappling, then normal manacles have a +10 to grapple, while masterwork manacles would have a +15.

It depends on one's interpretation of feat prerequisites, which has the following statement:

(...) many of them have special prerequisites that must be met before they are selected (...)

I do know that some abilities and effects are considered temporary if they have not or can not be maintained for 24 hours, and thus cannot be used for meeting prerequisites. For example, Headband of Alluring Charisma during the first day.

On the other hand, Fly is a skill that can be ranked up as long as the creature can "possess a reliable means of flying every day." I believe this is a better way to look at feat prerequisites, but there's nothing really tying this rule to feats.

I nearly forgot, the other question I had was the following:

Can a character pick the lock of their own manacles? If so, is there any penalty to it?

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I've been searching high and low for specifics on how manacles interact with a character. There is only one statement that isn't about calculating the price or how to escape manacles, which is:

Manacles can bind a Medium creature.

When looking through conditions, there aren't that many that explicitly state a creature is "bound." To be specific, the two debuffs that include "bound" is Helpless, and Pinned. Since Pinned also states the creature cannot move, I doubt it's that. Since Helpless states the creature is at an opponent's mercy, I doubt it's that either since a manacled creature can run away.

Looking down the line, my strongest suspicion is that manacles are supposed to act as a Grappled effect, but that also mentions the creature cannot move, and there isn't a numeric value for manacles' Grapple CMB. This makes it hard to gauge if/how the manacles would disrupt spellcasting, if at all.

My question is: What exactly do Manacles do to a creature? Are there any penalties, and if so, what are they?

Bit of a simple question. Ranged attacks deal half damage to objects before reducing from hardness. Elemental spells deal half damage to objects before reducing from hardness. Source

If you cast a ranged spell, does it deal a measly 1/4 damage to objects before hardness? Alternatively, if you use a ranged attack that deals only elemental damage, does it get reduced to 1/4, or 1/2? Does the similarity in wording mean it doesn't stack?

5 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I've been in a few discussions with a friend, and we vehemently disagree about this one topic. He claims that "adjacent" means everything within a creature's area along with everything surrounding a creature, while I am fairly certain that it's only the surrounding squares.

From his side of the fence, he uses the following:
1) In the combat section, there is a statement that "Opponents within 5 feet are considered adjacent to you." Therefore, everything 0-5 feet is adjacent to you.

2) Familiars must be considered adjacent to you for a caster to use Alertness, and they are often in the same square as the character.

3) Tiny creatures have to be in the same square as you to attack. If "adjacent" was only surrounding squares, then nobody would be able to attack creatures in their own square.

And here are my answers to each:
1) In the combat section, there is a statement for splash weapons which is "A hit deals direct hit damage to the target, and splash damage to all creatures within 5 feet of the target." Using the same interpretation of "within" means the original target is hit for both base and splash damage, which is clearly not the case.

2) The wording for familiars is that they must be "in arm's reach." Therefore, if a character can reach their familiar, then they benefit from Alertness. Adjacency is not required.

3) There is a notable difference between a tiny creature attacking a target, and a tiny creature hiding in a target's backpack. What's more, tiny creatures do not have adjacency mentioned when their threat range is reduced to zero feet. A valid alternate statement to describe tiny rules is "cannot attack adjacent targets, must occupy the same square as the target to attack."

As a small conclusion, his interpretation of adjacent is everything in your squares and all surrounding squares. My interpretation is everything in surrounding squares only.

In case you're wondering how this disagreement came to be, the other guy wants to abuse the mechanics of Skald's Vigor with a Bloodrager's Tumor Familiar with the Valet Archetype in conjunction with the Amplified Rage feat. He wishes to keep this familiar fused to his back (and hidden entirely) while still getting all the benefits from it as if it was adjacent to him for the purposes of the teamwork feat.

He complains that my interpretation of adjacency is too strict, but also complains that making familiars 24/7 valid targets for AoE spells, attacks of opportunity, and so forth is unfair.

What're the rules on what is adjacent and what isn't? Can you attack creatures in your own square? How would you deal with a player trying to eke out huge bonuses from their familiar being on the battlefield, but not wanting the familiar to be a battlefield target?

Nefreet wrote:

Ability damage, and Hit Point damage, are 2 different things.

Sneak Attack only tacks on if you're doing Hit Point damage.

I respect wanting it to be that way, but I'm not seeing a FAQ or anything in any description that says it must be interpreted that way. Sneak attack only states damage. Ability damage is damage.

So far, the closest thing to keeping it fair is the 3.5 rule ConfusedPeon linked.

I'm looking into an Arcane Trickster, and when I was selecting spells, I became a bit confused.

Sneak attack damage is applied to any spells that deal damage and have an attack roll. Ability damage is considered damage that also gets multiplied on confirmed critical strikes. According to my searches of this forum, sneak attack damage is dealt as whatever form of damage the spell deals. For example, Ray of Frost deals 1d3+2d6 cold damage, not 1d3 cold + 2d6 typeless damage.

So here's my question: What exactly happens to Calcifying Touch? Do you slap a flatfooted guy for 1d4+4d6 dexterity damage? It's an attack roll that deals a type of damage, but that would make it a touch attack that guarantees just about everything gets petrified in a single touch.

Arcane Trickster has clerification for spells without an attack roll that it must be hit-point damage, but I'm just not finding a rule for those that do not fall into Surprise Spells.

Jodokai wrote:

Yeah I think you're wrong about the Invulnerable Rager too (so does Hero Labs for what that's worth). Using Malachi's logic, you have to write DR down on a stat block so you have to round it down. So he should think you're wrong too.

And to use your logic, the Monk's Stunning fist DC is either 14.5 and the Swashbuckler's level is 2.5 or they're 14 and 2 since they are exactly the same type of equation, which both either need to be, or not be rounded in the same place, before the comparison.

I also find it funny that you call us "wrong" and "stubborn" when we're the ones citing actual rules and examples from the rules while you make stuff up based on your assumptions.

At least you're consistent. The equation for the swashbuckler is dynamic, in that it requires an enemy of X hit dice to initiate the calculation. Stunning Fist and other DC-based effects require no enemy input; they're always going to end at the same relative values (+/- a bit for circumstantial bonuses or penalties). So the comparison you've given is a dynamically calculated effect against a constant.

In case you're wondering, I believe the equation for swashbuckler is as follows: [(0.5*X) < Y], since inequalities can be placed in mathematical equations.

And yes, y'all are stubborn. That's the word for people that fill at least three pages without changing an opinion. In fact, I think I'm going to keep out of this conversation from now on, to keep myself from becoming stubborn as well.

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_Ozy_ wrote:

How about instead of mischaracterizing our view, you ask? You don't round immediately, you round at the end of each calculation.

Level / 2 is the calculation for panache, level / 2 * 2 is the DR calculation.

Now, what does your mistake make you look like?

Alrighty. So you agree that the mathematical equation should first be completed before you round? Why, would you look at that. Inequalities are a part of mathematics. You either get to be right about the panache or the invulnerable rager, because your stance makes you wrong in one or the other as long as you apply the same rules to both questions.

Jodokai wrote:
Read the last two pages, answer the questions that no one else on "your side" seems to be able to answer, and see if you still agree.

That just made _Ozy_ and yourself look really stubborn, while still being wrong. You're still trying to round in a step that does not need rounding. In fact, I'll give a comparable example of how you're wrong:

The Invulnerable Rager gains DR/- equal to half their level. This DR is doubled against nonlethal damage. What is half of an odd level doubled? According to you, this rounding must occur immediately, therefore meaning a level 5 gets DR 2/-, 4 versus nonlethal. I am of the belief it sits at 2.5 until the DR needs to be applied to an attack, meaning doubling half a level = the level at all times.

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I've not read through all these pages, but I might as well voice my opinion anyways. Two is less than half of five. You don't need to round every time a partial number appears in an equation. You only need to round if the final result would end in a non-integer value.

Checking what's a half of something is not a final result.

The general rule is to clarify what it means when DR does not stack. There is nothing in place to describe what happens when DR does stack, with the sole exception being the exerpt quoted from Hero's Hauberk.

For example, Stalwart does not clarify what it means if that class-granted DR is differently typed. The Stonelord archetype (dwarf paladin) grants DR/Adamantine equal to 1/2 its class level. Even though Stalwart states that it would stack with class skills, they are not of the same type. Prior to Hero's Hauberk (an ACG item), there was no example to define what happens with stacking different types and the general consensus was they did not, and the only type of DR it would stack with was other DR/-.

I've recently been in a conversation about the rules behind damage reduction when it stacks.

The exact quote from the srd is as follows:

If a creature has damage reduction from more than one source, the two forms of damage reduction do not stack. Instead, the creature gets the benefit of the best damage reduction in a given situation.

In this general rule, it states that damage reduction does not stack. It only uses the most effective type, so if a creature had DR 10/evil and DR 5/-, the 5 would only apply to evil-typed damage, and all other sources would be reduced by 10.

However, there are items and feats which state that they stack with other sources. As two examples, there is the Hero's Hauberk and the feat, Stalwart.

The hauberk has the following statement:

The damage reduction of this dull gray +1 adamantine chain shirt stacks with any other damage reduction the wearer possesses. For example, a wearer with DR 5/magic would reduce damage from non-magical attacks by 6, and magical attacks by 1.

It additionally performs several other effects, but the important part is what has been quoted. So I've got a few questions based on it:

1) Does the DR from Hero's Hauberk act this way for only the Hero's Hauberk, or is this an effect of making armor out of Adamantine? In other words, does adamantine now stack with existing sources of DR?

2) What is the rule for stacking different types of damage reduction? There is a statement for when DR doesn't stack, but there isn't for when it does, with the exception of the example given in Hero's Hauberk.

3) Should Stalwart stack with lesser forms of class-granted DR because of this? Or should it remain in this weird limbo of stacking with typeless DR only?

How about this item?

It specifically states it's an off-hand weapon that can be used with a two-handed weapon. Could it be used for TWF (although they provoke a crapton of AoOs for doing so)?

There's also boot blades and Dwarven Boulder helms, both of which don't take hands and are off-hand attacks.

I've been in a discussion with another individual over this, and would like to see the general consensus on it. The Arcane Bloodline Arcana reads as such:

Whenever you apply a metamagic feat to a spell that increases the slot used by at least one level, increase the spell's DC by +1.

We come to a disagreement based on the sentence's structure when it comes to interactions with stuff such as Magical Lineage or Spell Perfection. I'll try to get the evidence for both in a relatively fair manner.

Event: An arcane-blooded sorcerer has a metamagic feat that increases the spell's level by +1. They have Magical Lineage, and cast the spell attached to said lineage with the metamagic feat applied as well (resulting in a final net change of +0).

Does the Arcane bloodline's Arcana activate in this case or not?

Choice A: No it does not.

Reasoning: The wording of the bloodline arcana states the slot used must be increased by at least one level. Therefore, it does not.

Choice B: Yes, it does.

Reasoning: The metamagic feat is the actual subject of the sentence for the bloodline arcana, not the spell. Removing all prepositional phrases from the first half of the sentence results in the following:

Whenever you apply a metamagic feat (to a spell) that increases the slot used (by (at least) one level), increase the spell's DC by +1.

Therefore, as long as a metamagic feat of at least +1 is applied to a spell, the bloodline's arcana should activate, regardless of whether the character has found a way to reduce the metamagic's actual impact on spell slots.

Since we can both see the other side of the argument being a fair enough one, I'd like to see what this forum generally thinks.

Calth was correct: I am trying to get a general consensus of how "increase" effects interact with polymorph, which strips extraordinary/supernatural effects that are "form-dependent." Since form-dependence is not defined anywhere, getting a vote on what is or is not is generally the next best thing.

wraithstrike wrote:

Here is how this works and it confused me at one time also. A +3 natural armor bonus, and a +3 bonus to natural armor are not the same thing.

A +__ natural armor bonus is not adding anything. It is setting a number as the actual natural armor bonus so you would take whichever is higher.

A +__ bonus to natural armor is an actual increase to the existing natural armor bonus.

Quoted the above due to the extreme similarity in wording, and since it has not been denied (natural armor bonus != bonus to natural armor; bonus to natural armor == increase to natural armor), I'd like further clarification since it opens quite a few more venues of stacking exploitation. Specifically, all of the following have "bonus to natural armor" instead of natural armor bonus:

5) Ragechemist's Sturdy Rage: It provides a +4 bonus to natural armor, which makes some sense, what with the associated costs of ragechemist.

6) Serpentine Bloodline: As opposed to an earlier post discrediting it, Serpentine uses the same wording for Snakeskin.

7) Verdant Bloodline: The 15th level Rooting effect would be the case here.

8) Enhancement subschool: A wizard may choose a bonus to natural armor.

9) Skinwalker's Change Shape: This is actually a tough one for me to figure out. It's a supernatural effect that does not state it is a polymorph or related to any spell. Ruleswise, this makes it school-less and can be used at any time, since it clearly isn't form-dependent (you're changing it from whatever you are). It provides a "+1 racial bonus to natural armor." As intended, it'd be a bit easier to figure out.

10) Oread's Granite Skin: This alternate racial trait has the same wording as point 9, but is passively attached instead of gained through changing one's shape. Would a racial bonus to natural armor stack with natural armor bonuses?

After looking over each, I believe the ruling is most likely accurate, but would urge the use of "increase existing" instead of "bonus to" so it can more easily be navigated in the future. It helps that several of the sources also include that it does stack.

If possible, I'd also like a ruling on the form-dependency of each of the above, which is why they were numbered 5-10.

What I've been wondering about is: are increases to natural armor considered form-dependent? I've got a list of the major ones:

1) Mother's Gift: Racial (Changeling) feat, increases natural armor by 1.
2) Demonic Obedience: If they're obedient to Goguntula, the second boon is an increase by 3 natural armor.
3) Dragon Disciple: 1-3 bonus to natural armor, granted through prestige class levels.
4) Improved Natural Armor: Monster feat that increases natural armor by 1.

For the sake of keeping the area grey, let's assume it's a high-level druid with Beast of the Society, which can increase the duration of wild shape to greater than 24 hours.

After being between a few different tables, I'd like to see how others prefer to handle feat requirements. To simply put it out there, here's the section I've found on feats:


Some feats have prerequisites. Your character must have the indicated ability score, class feature, feat, skill, base attack bonus, or other quality designated in order to select or use that feat. A character can gain a feat at the same level at which he gains the prerequisite.

A character can't use a feat if he loses a prerequisite, but he does not lose the feat itself. If, at a later time, he regains the lost prerequisite, he immediately regains full use of the feat that prerequisite enables.

So there are two major things I take from it:

1) A character must meet all prerequisites to be able to take a feat.
2) If a character does not meet the prerequisites, they lose access to that feat until they do.

Personally, I've seen the first rule smudged more often than not, and for good reason. Characters that use an alternate form or some temporary means of gaining abilities or effects cannot spend feats to improve those abilities without their normal form having them as well.

The most blaring example is a druid. Even if they can sit in Wild shape 24/7, it is their normal form that dictates whether they can pick up weapon focus with claws, or multiattack due to having 3 or more natural attacks available. Alternatively, the alchemist and anything gained through Mutagens do not count toward pre-requisites, even though its effects can be made essentially permanent by 7th level (sort of, not really).

There is a "fix" of sorts, in that the character purchases some item that passively grants a desirable effect for the purpose of meeting the prerequisite. For example, it's common practice to purchase an Anaconda's Coils belt to meet the pre-requisite for the Final Embrace featline, which then grants a stronger constrict effect as a part of the feat. Once the feats are taken, the belt comes off and some better passive is placed on, and the character goes about their day benefiting from the feat where they actually wanted it.

I, and several parties I've ran with, believe this is an archaic way to go about things when there's a simple solution through a shift in wording, by changing segment 1 to the following:

1) A character must be able to consistently meet all pre-requisites to take a given feat.

It goes the path of the Fly skill instead of being some mess to be subverted through purchasing random items to be worn until one levels up. A character obviously wouldn't benefit from the feat while they don't meet its requirements, but they will be able to focus their feats into alternate/semi-permanent forms with greater ease.

Anywho, that's my general way of going about it. What's yours? Would you consider this a fair enough houserule to try using yourself?

Instant Armor has an implied armor bonus, therefore I would suspect this would not apply to that spell. It's why I used Stone Shield as an example, it's the only spell other than Iron Beard to directly state the Armor Bonus that's available to Oracle (sans Mysteries)

After looking over the specifics of bonuses, they are indeed within separate categories and thus could be ruled as only functioning with untyped bonuses, but that leaves a dreadfully short list of spells to work with:
1) Ironbeard-Can be disallowed because racial spell.
2) Stone Shield-Burns a first-level spell per round of combat, on top of normal spellcasting.
3) Instant/Ice Armor-Probably disallowed because not directly granting an armor bonus.
4) Divine Spirit-8th level spell for natural armor.

After those four, it depends on the Mystery selected, and even then the range is small.

5) Shapechange-9th level spell for natural armor(polymorph). Limited to Juju.
6) Animal Shapes-8th level for natural armor(polymorph). Limited to Nature.
7) Vermin Shape I-3rd level for natural armor(polymorph). Limited to Outer Rifts.
8) Wood might have a revelation if spell-likes are considered sufficient.

It seems like an awfully limited set of spells, though I guess +10 AC at 20 is still not a joke, assuming Ironbeard is allowed on any race.

I apologize for the clickbait title. Since laundry lists have seemed to fail me for the last 4-5 attempts, I'm going to go with a singular topic. I was looking over the Kobold's favored class bonus for Oracle, and it got me thinking: is it unintentionally really strong, or am I misinterpreting it? For the sake of brevity:

Oracle: Add +1/4 to the armor or natural armor bonus granted by oracle spells she casts on herself.

My main question is: does this bonus affect typed armor or natural armor bonuses, such as enhancement or profane, or does it provide an increase to solely untyped natural/normal armor bonuses?

The reason I ask is because the Oracle gets about 1 spell which adds untyped natural armor, and it's an 8th level spell. This is not including Mysteries, but even Nature takes a while before granting an untyped natural armor bonus.

With that said, my other question is: as written, does this favored class stack with itself?

For example, let's say the Oracle casts Stone Shield (+4 armor bonus) and Divine Vessel (+2 natural armor bonus), and is level 16 having taken only the FCB. Would the result be (4+3) armor and (2+3) natural armor?

I'd like to point out that Kobold is hands-down the most overpowered race when it comes to racial feats, favored class bonuses, and archetypes (generally). If you can get around the extremely garbage stat distribution and play up their strengths, once you play a kobold, you'll have spoiled yourself.

After looking over the Spherewalker very closely, there are two possible reasons for this to not work:

1) A spherewalker may not be a Divine caster, therefore levels in Divine Scion cannot be applied.

If the spherewalker has no levels in a spellcasting class, she instead gains one 1st-level domain spell slot, which she may use to prepare spells from any of their gods domains as if she were a cleric.

As seen from the quote, there is nothing that specifically states the Spherewalker is a divine caster. They may cast divine spells (from a domain as a cleric), but since it doesn't explicitly state what type of caster a Spherewalker is, they are not typed (similar to an Alchemist).

2) There is no scaling for Spherewalker past the fifth level. It is entirely up to personal interpretation and house rules for spherewalkers to gain anything beyond what is mentioned in the prestige class.

Thought of a couple other questions:

Q11: With the Draconic Mutagen, does refreshing the Master Chymist's mutagenic form by overriding the prior form refreah one's breath weapon?

Mutate wrote:
Taking a mutagen or using the mutate ability again while in her mutagenic form works normally (with the new mutagen’s modifiers replacing the current modifiers, and the longer duration taking precedent).
Draconic Mutagen wrote:
she may use her breath weapon once per transformation into her mutagenic form.

The wording as written causes me to believe the MC must wait for the initial duration to expire before getting another breath weapon through activating Mutate or drinking a new mutagen, but this interpretation of the rules opens a new problem:

Q12: Can a Master Chymist gain additional uses of a Breath Weapon through using the Disguise advanced mutagen?

It suppresses all physical aspects of the mutation while active, meaning resuming one's mutagenic form would be a "transformation into her mutagenic form." It also states the Draconic Mutagen is suppressed while using Disguise, meaning there is a period of transformation out of, and back to a draconic form.

There is a 10 minute cooldown between Disguise uses, which means this may be intended.

I'd like some perspective beyond my own on both these two questions and the ones initially posted.

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I don't see why either of you are still poking one another. The basis of the thread is formed on a logical statement: Swift actions take less time than move actions, which take less time than standard actions. Should a character be allowed to sacrifice larger time-consuming actions to perform actions which consume less time?

I'm of the belief that faster actions are allowed to take the place of more time-consuming actions.

Thank you for the response. Having a second point of reference is valuable, but here are the points at which I have come to a different conclusion:

1- The wording of Mutagen makes it clear that a character cannot have more than one mutagen or cognatogen at a time. To quote the section:

An alchemist can only maintain one dose of mutagen at a time—if he brews a second dose, any existing mutagen becomes inert.

The alchemist is still an alchemist even if they multiclass into Mutation Warrior. By contrast, Mutagenic Mauler has wording to cause the effect to stack with Alchemist levels. I am of the belief the wording is missing for the Mutation Warrior archetype, and needs to be inserted.

2/3- Cognatogens are mutagens due to the following statements in its discovery:

The alchemist gains the ability to create a cognatogen, a mutagen-like mixture that heightens one mental ability score at the expense of a physical ability score. If the cognatogen enhances his Intelligence, it applies a penalty to his Strength. If it enhances his Wisdom, it applies a penalty to his Dexterity. If it enhances his Charisma, it applies a penalty to his Constitution. Otherwise, this ability works just like the mutagen ability (including the natural armor bonus).

The first bolded segment has some potential to be discussed, but the second section becomes a catch-all for how cognatogens are affected by spells and effects. Beyond the reversal of attributes, it acts as a mutagen.

7- If the natural armor from Nimble is not an alchemical bonus, it therefore does not provide a bonus until the Master Chymist is at least 6th level into the prestige class over a basic mutagen. With a Greater Mutagen, it then requires 10 levels in MC. Similar to Burly, it provides bonuses to a set of skills, an attribute, and 2 combat-oriented attributes. Unlike Burly, the second attribute of Nimble will rarely ever become a benefit if it is not an alchemical bonus. I do not believe this is the intended result.

10- As quoted, the pre-reqs of Grand Mutagen through Master Chymist is 16th level + the Feral Mutagen discovery. The text of Grand Mutagen do not hold a requirement or set anything relative to Greater Mutagen when deciding its effects, therefore acquiring Grand Mutagen through MC currently does not require Greater Mutagen.

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I’ve been looking into making an alchemist, but I’ve been getting hit by increasingly confusing wording, such that I’m not sure how some stuff functions.

Q1: Do classes that gain a Mutagen (Mutagenic Fighter) stack with Alchemist levels to calculate the duration?

I know Rogues' talents stack and would assume other classes would as well, but since the wording isn’t there, I’d prefer to get an idea of whether a majority hold the same opinion or if there’s something else.

Q2: Can Unstable Mutagen be used with a Cognatogen?

As written, a cognatogen would not have an effect on a roll of 5 or 6. As intended, I’m not sure.

Q3: Can Mutagenic Touch be used with a Cognatogen?

Again, the wording of the spell assume it’s a physical mutagen, except there would be no benefit whatsoever from using it.

Q4: What “effects” of a mutagen are passed to a target through Mutagenic Touch?

The spell only explicitly states the alchemical bonus, penalty, and effective duration. It’s missing a statement on the natural armor bonus and any attached discoveries.

There are a large number of possible effects tied to a mutagen, but to list a few: Feral Mutagen, Elemental Mutagen, Ragdoll Mutagen, and most advanced mutagen effects in Master Chymist.

Q5: Can the penalty from a mutagen or Mutagenic Touch reduce a character’s score to 0?

Combining the content of questions 2 and 3, it is legally possible to grant a -8 penalty to one or more mental attributes of a creature by rolling a 5 with Unstable Mutagen. This is significant enough that some creatures can be reduced to zero in a given mental stat.

There is also the corner case of a Duergar PC with dumped Charisma could take Unstable Mutagen, roll a 5, and penalize their charisma to -1.

And now, onto the Master Chymist.

Q6: Does a Master Chymist’s Mutate ability effectively count as having imbibed a mutagen for the purposes of spells and effects?

While a mutagen is stated as “also causing Mutate,” I’m not sure if Mutate counts as a mutagen. This is potentially significant to its interaction with Mutagenic Touch.

Q7: How does Nimble’s bonus to natural armor interact with a Mutagen’s bonus to natural armor?

It comes down to whether the natural armor bonus is just a natural armor bonus, or if it’s an alchemical bonus to natural armor. I’m not entirely sure.

Q8: Is it possible to get the Draconic Mutagen at level 16?

Draconic Mutagen requires a sum total of 16 Alchemist plus MC levels, but also requires the character to know Form of the Dragon I. FotD I is a 6th level extract, which requires an effective alchemist level of 16 to use. Since Master Chymist doesn’t add an Alchemist extract level at 1 and grants a mutagen at 2, does this mean no one can actually get this mutagen at 16?

I know that spells beyond one’s ability to cast can be written into one’s spellbook, but does this mean the spell is “known” for the purposes of this pre-requisite? For the sake of speed, here’s a quote of the pre-reqs:

The character must have an effective alchemist level (alchemist level plus master chymist levels) of at least 16, must know the form of the dragon I extract, and must have the feral mutagen discovery or advanced mutagen to select this ability.

Q9: Would the effects of Furious Mutagen stack with other size-increasing effects?

To start, here’s a comparison between Strong Jaw and Furious Mutagen.

Strong Jaw wrote:
Each natural attack that creature makes deals damage as if the creature were two sizes larger than it actually is.
Furious Mutagen wrote:
The damage dice for the feral mutagen’s bite and claw attacks increase by one die step.

The source, target, and wording of effects are different, but would they stack? I’m still of the belief the answer is yes, but I’ve seen repeated results of generally no, usually because it’s asserted to be “similar wording.”

Q10: Should a Master Chymist be able to take Grand Mutagen without taking Greater Mutagen?

The character must have an effective alchemist level (alchemist level plus master chymist levels) of at least 16 and must have the feral mutagen discovery or advanced mutagen to select this ability.

The above is a quotation of what’s required to take Grand Mutagen via Master Chymist. I’ll ignore the Advanced Mutagen statement, since it’s self-qualifying.

I'd say if Insane Focus was already applied on the Barbarian, they'd be immune to confusion for the duration. I'm not too sure about after the Barbarian is confused as a lot of stuff can rise up. According to confusion, beneficial spells require a successful melee touch attack, which to me says they're not a willing creature and thus would not be affected by Insane Focus due to its wording. If it was allowed, would the confusion immunity instantly pull the barbarian out of confusion, or would it only prevent future applications of confusion?

LazarX wrote:
I have no problem with it making sense. It's reincarnation, no resurrection, you're a new person, so you might not have absolute total recall of whom you used to be.

The price is paid in negative levels, just like raise dead. Furthermore, you're opening an entirely new can of worms on how that player's skill ranks are lost, if mental scores are replaced. Do they spontaneously lose 1 rank on several skills of their own choosing? Is one of their skills that was max-ranked now 0-ranked? Does the DM choose? The answer is the spell doesn't change mental scores and that's why it's never been a problem.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Hopefully, in any game that would use Reincarnate, would also allow retraining.

Or retirement, in the case of that poor orc who gets reincarnated into a kobold.

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Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores depend partly on the new body. First eliminate the subject's racial adjustments (since it is no longer necessarily of his previous race) and then apply the adjustments found below to its remaining ability scores.

Reincarnate "partly" depends on the new body. It clarifies what part from the new body is replacing which part of the old body in the next sentence, that being "racial adjustments" to the Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores.

The part of the old body that is still used would be the base scores. A race with 14 con (without racial modifiers) reincarnated into a human would still use that 14 con, even though a base human in the bestiary has 11 con.

Also, if intelligence were lost, you'd be losing a skill point per level. That wouldn't make sense.

Animal companions use a druid's BAB equal to their hit dice for attack. Skill points, class skills, proficiency, and the necessity to breathe/eat/sleep are not changed because magical beasts are general rules compared to the specific ones found in each animal companion's stat block. If any of the animal companions had a statement of "animal qualities," then I could see it being valid to switch it to magical beast qualities for where there are differences.

Essentially, the only thing that does change is that spells affect the companion as if it were a magical beast instead of whatever its previous form was (which is most likely an animal). If a spell calls out for an animal target, then the companion can no longer be targeted by that spell while Primal Transformation is in effect. The only exception is for the purposes of the Handle Animal skill.

The only possible opening is to hit points, which I doubt would be changed for many reasons.

The best I can do for damage potential is a medium-sized Cave Druid. Wild Shape into a Carnivorous Crystal. With a 7d6 slam attack, it's pretty good for vital strike or FoB with feral combat training, assuming one can find a way to get the necessary pre-reqs.

Since you're still technically a humanoid and this polymorph effect is not increasing size, Enlarge Person stacks with it. As a druid, one has access to Strong Jaw for another 2 effective size categories.

If you really want to split hairs:

When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. (...) If your new form does not cause your equipment to meld into your form, the equipment resizes to match your new size.

Ooze is not in that list, meaning your gear does not meld into your body RAW. Then again, the Cave Druid's wild shape says to consider the ooze shape as a magical beast without the natural armor, though I'm of the belief that's only to gauge the effects of how it works with the spell; the polymorph effect is still into an ooze.

As to the thread's question, it's already been answered. Most everyone agrees that considered effects do not stack, even though the sources and targets can be different based on the effect in question and there's no official ruling AFAIK. I believe it's one of those cases where people see the balance threat and are looking for a reason to disallow it.

1) If my Investigator has Expanded Inspiration at 10th and uses it he gets to add a d6 for free to any heal rolls... right?

Expanded Inspiration (Ex): An investigator can use his inspiration ability when attempting Diplomacy, Heal, Perception, Profession, and Sense Motive checks without expending uses of inspiration, provided he's trained in the skill.

Answer: By reading the entry that exists for expanded inspiration, yes. As long as you're trained in the skill (meaning you have at least one rank in the skill).

2) If my Investigator has Expanded Inspiration at 20th and he doesn't spend an inspiration point does he add a d6, or roll two sets of 2d6 and take the highest?

whenever he expends inspiration on an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, he adds 2d6 rather than 1d6 to the result. Some talents can affect this. If using the amazing inspiration investigator talent, he rolls 2d8 instead. If using this with empathy, tenacious inspiration, underworld inspiration, or a similar talent, he rolls two sets of inspiration dice and uses the higher of the two results.

Answer: By reading the entry that exists for True Inspiration, yes. Expanded Inspiration acts exactly as Underworld Inspiration (albeit for different skills), meaning you roll 2d6 twice and uses the higher of the two results for heal.

3) If he spends an Inspiration does it alter the answer above?

At 20th level, an investigator can use inspiration on all skill checks—even ones he isn't trained in—and all ability checks without spending inspiration.

Answer: You can choose to spend inspiration, which makes it valid for the second half of the 20th level special ability.

4)If my character has Greater Combat Inspiration (Long sword) at 19th, he can add 1d6 to a L.S. combat roll at no cost... correct?

Answer: As long as your DM considers it a valid weapon type, yes.

5) If my character is 20th and has True Inspiration. Does he add 2d6 to any roll?

In addition, whenever he expends inspiration on an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, he adds 2d6 rather than 1d6 to the result.

Answer: If it's any of the things listed above, yes. If it's not, no.

6) Does he roll two sets of 2d6 and keep the best (if he does... does he have to spend an inspiration or not?).

Answer: He does not roll two sets and keep the best, as there are no inspiration abilities that affect attacks in a way listed. The 20th level inspiration cost reduction only occurs to ability and skill checks. Therefore, it still costs inspiration to use anything that does not fall into those categories, unless the character already wasn't spending inspiration to use a given ability.

I disagree with Trekkie's interpretation as Rage Prophet states it stacks when determining the effect of revelations, not that the Rage prophet also counts as Oracle levels. However, I am not sure if Maneuver Mastery is a legal revelation to be modified by either Rage Prophet or any of those favored class bonuses. I just keep reading that "treat your oracle level" as not actually being something that is a stat in the revelation.

So essentially, the result is close to what Trekkie said, but I believe so for different reasons.

The way I'm reading Holy Champion is the Paladin does not get the option to choose whether or not to activate the banishment effect, it simply activates as soon as they successfully hit the evil outsider. If the outsider resists the banishment attempt, the effect and damage has been resolved, meaning the Smite Evil effect is removed.

RAW, I'd say it would be a little worse than your second option: the Paladin loses Smite as soon as they successfully hit with an attack during the full attack action. The Paladin loses her Charisma bonus to attacks and damage bonus to all other attacks after one successful hit.

As intended? I have no idea. If it didn't discharge on failed attempts, the paladin is looking at being able to just keep trying to banish for free until successful, which isn't balanced. I know your option 1 is incorrect, because Holy Champion says nothing about suppressing the Smite, just removing it entirely.

I'd run it as the Paladin can choose to activate the Banish, then follow the rules designated in Holy Champion. It doesn't seem fair to the player to force them to dispel/waste their smite evil because the enemy is an evil outsider.

Primal Transformation is typed as a Supernatural effect, meaning it's magical (can be suppressed by antimagic fields). Animal Growth would not stack because both are magical effects which increase size.

You are correct about pull existing (I somehow missed it), but it doesn't have a footage or associated natural attack. Does this mean the DM gets to choose how far the creature is moved, and if the frog is huge, it can pull with a bite attack? Anyways, Pull and Tongue do not overwrite the grapple rule that a creature must be placed adjacent to the grappler. In fact, it appears that the Pull would only come into effect if the frog were to hit with the tongue, then fail the grapple maneuver (but chose to take another free action to perform the Pull maneuver).

The only way I see the frog getting to huge-sized at the moment is through the Primal Companion Hunter. Also opens up the Reach evolution, which if Tongue is considered a natural attack, could be applied to it.

I'm a bit confused about the rules behind grappling with this tongue, though. The frog companion doesn't have any sort of pull as the beastiary frog does. There's nothing overwriting the general rule in grappling outside of immediate range:

If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space (if no space is available, your grapple fails).

The Bloodrager's Bloodrage has the following statement:

Bloodrage counts as the barbarian's rage class feature for the purpose of feat prerequisites, feat abilities, magic item abilities, and spell effects.

So yes, any feat that has the rage class feature can be taken by the Bloodrager. The Primalist gets this as well because the only thing Primalist is giving the option to swap out bloodline powers with rage powers. Extra Rage Power requires the Rage Power class feature, therefore it cannot be taken by Bloodragers or Primalists (which is clarified in the Primalist's section at the end).

Half of your examples are flawed, but a valid point is raised. I cannot find anything specifically stating free actions must be taken during one's own turn, though it is implied by the wording of immediate actions (as it's the only type of action declared as being able to be taken not on your own turn. Then again, "not an actions" would need to be able to be taken outside your own turn, but they also do not have wording about it.

The only example I'd stick with is Grab on attacks of opportunity. Either free actions can be legally taken outside of one's turn or Grab's grapple should be made into a not-an-action.

You are correct. This is confirmed in that the Arcanist has a maximum pool of 3 + the Arcanist's level, but their reservoir gains 3 + 1/2 the Arcanist's level daily. Since there is no spill-over, it means all arcanists have at least 1 point under the maximum.

To quote the specific sentences:

The arcanist's arcane reservoir can hold a maximum amount of magical energy equal to 3 + the arcanist's level. Each day, when preparing spells, the arcanist's arcane reservoir fills with raw magical energy, gaining a number of points equal to 3 + 1/2 her arcanist level. Any points she had from the previous day are lost.

Good luck taking racial heritage twice.

Personally, I roleplay Racial Heritage as being half-[selected race]. If it's of a smaller race, the PC is closer to 4 feet tall. If there's any racial feats that dictate physical features, that character must be described as having those features. Either that, or the player must roleplay their sudden and horrific mutation, such as spontaneously growing a tail, becoming covered in scales, or growing wings. Makes things interesting while keeping the character out of making ghost-attacks or only benefiting from the positive aspects of those feats.

Bandw2 wrote:

this isn't correct btw, the weapons almost universally say they can be used as an off-hand weapon while your hands are full, which once again only matters during TWF. they cannot be used to gain an extra off-hand however or be used to TWF with a two-hander, why? because of some FAQs which I am horrible at hunting for.

This is getting annoying to repeat. Yes, unarmed strikes can be used with any body part or limb. This includes "kicking." However, "Kicking" can also be converted into weapon attacks by utilizing something like a Blade Boot. I was wording my replies to accurately represent all possible interactions with manufactured weapons, two-weapon fighting, and no-handed weaponry that a creature can wield.

Anywho, this discussion bores me. ElementalXX is just going to keep ignoring what's in front of him because there is no explicit rules set that one can quote which details monsters with more than 2 arms. For whatever reason, he wants common sense to be written down before he believes it exists.

ElementalXX wrote:
Saint_Yin wrote:
You get one attack for every hand.

Humans have 2 hands, by your interpretation, both get me an offhand attack. My main hand is my foot. Unarmed strikes can be made with any part of the body. You are not following your own reasoning.

Now, i dont support your reasoning, this is a example of this reasoning applied to the game, obviously there are discrepancies since commoners dont have 3 unarmed strikes in the game.

As someone else mentioned, by your reasoning also a pc with no hands cant make unarmed attacks at all, which is also not true

Also I just found the monster entry for the kasatha
It doesnt have multiple attacks even tought he is a monk

I just stated the kick would be a no-handed attack. It can therefore not be used as part of Two-weapon fighting or Multiweapon fighting, meaning to get those attacks, you're taking -4 to the foot and -8 to each hand. It's so grossly inefficient compared to normal fighting there was no reason to include them in sheets.

It's got two hands, it gets two unarmed strikes regardless of how they play it out. If a specific character doesn't have 2 hands, that's flavor text and doesn't change the race itself.

As to the Kasatha NPC sheet, I already knew it didn't have 4 unarmed strikes. It wouldn't hit anything without multiweapon fighting (which it doesn't have), meaning it was probably excluded because it would mislead DMs wanting to use it. It would've been Sai/Unarmed -1 + 3 unarmed strikes -5, in case you were wondering.

ElementalXX wrote:

For clarity. And to prevent dubious interpretations such as yours.

The best Example is Human

A human with 2 arms, and and a kick.
Main hand kick. Offhand left arm, offhand right hand

By your interpretation of the rules a lvl1 human commoner can make up to 3 unarmed attacks

I've stated multiple times that it's 1 attack per hand. Unless your human has a hand for a foot and is 1-legged, it's not getting 3 attacks from that. If anything, a kick is a no-handed attack, and I've already stated what happens when adding a no-handed attack to an attack routine (spoiler: the routine can't be used with either TWF or MWF, meaning full penalties).

Maybe I'm not being clear. It's seriously measured in hands. You can have an infinite amount of other limbs that can carry any number of weapons, but if they aren't ending in hands, you're not getting extra attacks from MWF because they're no-handed attacks.

ElementalXX wrote:
Are you noticing how you are contradicting yourself? A monster is not a pc because it doesnt follow the same rules of a pc since its has its own features, attacks , etc. By implying a monster can thrump regular rules you are disqualifying them as example of the regular rules

I've stated everything follows general rules, PC or monster. Monsters that don't follow these general rules must have a written exception for each creature that supersedes a general rule. If a PC doesn't follow a general rule, there must be a written exception for that creature to supersede a general rule.

Since I'm clearly being misunderstood, I'll go back to your dragon example. Not every creature casts spells as a sorcerer. Therefore, to inform people that dragons do, a rule for dragons was made to overwrite the general rule that creatures don't.

The general rule in the case of multiweapon fighting is 1 hand = 1 attack. Vestigial Arm overwrites this general rule to inform people that PCs who take this discovery do not gain extra attacks even though extra hands are generated. All other cases (monster or PC) follow this general rule and do not overwrite it.

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