Sanmei's page

45 posts. Alias of Sanmei Long.




Hoo. One of our players wants to play a barbarian with the Giant Totem and the more I dig into it, the more issues seem to arise.

To begin with, wielding weaponry of a size inappropriate to your own doesn't appear to be specifically addressed anywhere in the book -- the Items and Sizes page (191) only references cost and bulk of larger than normal weapons.

In 1E, weapons of different sizes did different amounts of damage. In 2E, it appears all weapons have exactly the same damage, whether your club is the size of a twig or the size of a tree. Can characters not normally wield weapons of an inappropriate size? Because if they can, I don't see what stops the from trading in their weapons for tiny-size equivalent (same damage, half as much bulk!)

But the giant totem is all about wielding larger weapons, so let's set that aside. Under the totem ability, it says that wielding a large weapon doubles the conditional damage bonus from raging, but imposes Sluggish 1 as long as the weapon is wielded.

Sluggish imposes a penalty equal to the increment on AC, attack rolls, DEX-based skill checks, and Reflex saves. Sluggish 1 is therefore a significant penalty, but having double the damage bonus is pretty significant as well, due to how 2E doesn't have ways of getting immense STR scores or feats like the 1E Power Attack.

Alas, you won't benefit from the conditional bonus to damage from Inspire Courage or other spells, which is kind of odd.

I feel like this works out to roughly a "push" as far as mechanics go. -2 AC is a significant penalty in 2E due to the increased likelihood to be critically hit and the tendency of monsters to have higher attack bonuses than a PC of the same level and I'm not sure the damage bonus makes up for it.

Then there are the abilities:

Quote:

You grow to incredible size. You become Large and increase your reach by 5 feet until you stop raging. You have the sluggish 1 condition (see page 324) while your size is increased.

Your equipment grows with you. If you’re using the titan mauler ability, your weapon’s even larger size causes it to have the same effects as normal for that ability.

The phrase "the same effects as normal" is always problematic when establishing a concept for the first time. You have Sluggish 1 if you are wielding a larger than normal weapon. Does that mean you have Sluggish 1 twice? I'm guessing this is intended to mean that your Sluggish condition increments to Sluggish 2 in this case.

Ouch. Now you're effectively taking a -3 penalty to AC, -2 to attack rolls, -2 to Reflex, and are significantly more likely to fail a DEX skill check (which, let's face it, you were likely going to fail anyway because skill DCs tend to be no better than a coin toss for a fully optimized character). And in return you get... what?

The spell Enlarge grants a +2 conditional bonus to damage (which increases to +4 when heightened to increase the character's size to huge). Neither Giant's Stature nor Titan's Stature reference the spell nor the conditional damage bonus, so we must assume it doesn't receive any. That means the only benefit is the increased reach.

Given that attacks of opportunity are now strictly limited by class and the only way Barbarian gets anything similar is through Come And Get Me and Vengeful Strike, this would appear to make this skill extremely circumstantial, as there is now functionally very little difference between being size medium or size huge beyond forcing some opponents to take a Step or a Stride action on their turn (it mattering very little which, because you are unlikely to be able to make an attack of opportunity) or possibly managing to hit opponents who are at higher elevation.

Oh, and Giant's Lunge just increases your reach some more. Again, chances are that you won't have many ways to take advantage of this. It's not as if most monsters will connect with all three attacks anyway, so forcing them to give up an attack at -10 to get closer to you doesn't feel very strategically significant. Having an advantage over larger monsters with attacks of opportunity of their own, well... again, circumstantial situation.

All in all, it's a very flavorful feat tree that doesn't appear to have any particular mechanical benefits, working out to a push at best and usually negative on average.

Changes I would recommend:

1) Change the conditional damage bonus to a typeless damage bonus in order to allow the barbarian to benefit from allied spellcasting, and:
2) Add the same conditional damage bonuses as seen on Enlarge to the N Stature abilities.

As for Giant's Lunge, I suggest an addendum: If Giant's Lunge would enable you to make weapon or unarmed Strikes against an opponent who would ordinarily be outside your reach, that opponent is flat-footed against all such attacks.


What types of multipliers, if any, are typeless damage bonuses subject to? There aren't many examples that I can find, and they are always written sparse in details. Examples in spoilers:

Spoiler:
Master Chymist:

Brutality (Ex): At 3rd level, a master chymist's taste for violence leads her to strike more powerful blows with weapons easily mastered by her bestial mind. At 3rd level, a chymist in her mutagenic form deals +2 damage when attacking with simple weapons and natural attacks. This bonus increases to +4 at 7th level and to +6 at 9th level.

Spoiler:
Brawler archetype Mutagenic Mauler:

At 6th level, a mutagenic mauler gains a +2 bonus on damage rolls when she attacks in melee while in her mutagenic form. This bonus increases to +3 at 11th level, and to +4 at 16th level.

None of these detail the properties of the bonus, so I'm uncertain how they are counted when tallying damage. For instance, are they multiplied on a critical hit? Do they get multiplied by 1.5 when you use a two-handed weapon? Do they get multiplied on a Mythic Vital Strike? :\


I just need a quick bit of clarity. Under the Universal Monster Rules regarding damage reduction:

Spoiler:
A few very powerful monsters are vulnerable only to epic weapons—that is, magic weapons with at least a +6 enhancement bonus. Such creatures’ natural weapons are also treated as epic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

I'm playing a Master Chymist with tiers in Guardian and he's just picked up DR 5/Epic; does that mean his natural attacks now also overcome DR/Epic?

Thanks in advance!


Is there a limit to how many effects you can have at once which increase your damage rolls by X size categories? For example, could you stack Enlarge Person, Improved Natural Attack and Strong Jaw?


My DM and I are uncertain what properties are possessed by Glamered armor and disagree on how they play, both mechanically and in-world. Wording of the Glamered enhancement follows:

Spoiler:
Aura moderate illusion; CL 10th; Weight —; Price +2,700 gp

DESCRIPTION

Upon command, a suit of glamered armor changes shape and appearance to assume the form of a normal set of clothing. The armor retains all its properties (including weight) when it is so disguised. Only a true seeing spell or similar magic reveals the true nature of the armor when it is disguised.

CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS

Craft Magic Arms and Armor, disguise self; Cost +1,350 gp

He says that the enhancement simply replicates the effects of Disguise Self and provide only a superficial visual illusion effect which can be penetrated by interacting with the illusion in any significant way. Because Disguise Self is a first level spell which can be cast with 11 in a casting stat, the DC to disbelieve the illusion would be 11.

My take is that the entry seems to imply that the effect is stronger and necessarily more limited than ordinary Disguise Self.

1) The wording appears to state that the enhancement effects only the armor, not the wearer, whereas Disguise Self can affect both target and all of target's equipment.

2) It is moderate aura illusion effect, compared to Hat of Disguise (which functions as the spell) being a weak aura. It is also caster level 10, compared to Hat of Disguise being caster level 1.

3) It doesn't reference a Will save to disbelieve. In fact, it seems to state that only powerful magic can penetrate the illusion.

4) The fact that it "changes shape and appearance" seems to imply a more substantive effect than simply concealing its ordinary appearance with an overlaying illusion.

5) Glamered equipment costs at least 50% more than a Hat of Disguise, although the difference in cost could be explained in a number of ways (doesn't take your head slot, higher CL means harder to suppress the illusion with Dispel).

6) The rules explicitly state that glamers can fool all five senses, and the wording does not state that any senses are excluded (the way Disguise Self does).

Therefore, it is my interpretation that the Glamered enhancement should actually allow the wearer to replicate basic effects of a polymorph effect, in essence actually transforming the armor into clothing which, despite its appearance, functions in every way like armor.

For example, if a cleric invoked the enhancement to change her breastplate into cleric vestments, the illusion would satisfy all five basic senses and fool any casual interaction into returning confirmation that it was, in fact, a set of ordinary clothing. However, the vestments would continue to be subtly restrictive and heavy for the wearer. Trying to sleep in them would be difficult. An arcane caster would find them hampering somatic motions just as much as a breastplate. Their extra weight would hinder efforts to be stealthy. Most importantly, plate mail glamered to resemble a silk dress should still turn a blade.

The primary difference is that the wearer of Glamered armor can more readily pass off the armor as actual clothing. For example, if guards grab the rogue wearing studded leather glamered to resemble clothing, he might try a Bluff check to drag his feet and cause them to misconstrue his weight and slightly stiff posture as recalcitrance, rather than as wearing concealed armor -- and rather than getting a trivial Will save that they have a 50% chance or better at beating.

Any input?


Since a weapon must be masterwork in order to be enchanted, does that mean an Amulet of Mighty Fists counts as a masterwork item?

The reason I'm curious is because of this:

Quote:
An amulet of mighty fists does not need to have a +1 enhancement bonus to grant a melee weapon special ability.

Let's say I have an Amulet of Mighty Fists +1 and I enchant it with Flaming, so that I just have a Flaming Amulet of Mighty Fists (Flaming Fists?).

Would the Amulet still confer a +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls for being masterwork?


For favored class bonuses, items, racial abilities and so forth which give a bonus to caster level, does that bonus also count for spell-like abilities?