Name: Adam Altin
The Gory Details: Having swiftly got into a scrap in the ballroom they defeated several foes before calling for peace and asking to see their boss expecting Jana but getting Mozamer. He offered them a chance to join him or die, and they took offence to that restarting the battle. Through a horrific bout of bad luck Kaat proved incapable of even touching Mozamer and was swiftly cut down by his halberd, Adam persevered longer using his healing to sustain the group long enough to slay the rest of the foes, but even their combined might proved to be not enough to defeat the sinspawn and he was brutally slain defending them, at which point the rest of the party changed their tune and took the deal.
So these questions came up from a fellow player looking to get a bit more mileage out of his alchemist when the adventuring days run long, and they got me curious as well so I thought I'd ask people on the forums.
Does a Splash weapon count as a "weapon"?
If so does that mean you can full attack with them assuming you have them in hand, or possess an ability that would allow you to draw them?
Can you Vital Strike with splash weapons? If so would it affect the Splash damage?
The reason I'm looking into storing them is because I'm using Spheres of Power which allows me to get access to build your own summons that can potentially have a 24 hour duration with the right investment. As well I have a limited amount of "spells" I can learn, and learning to summon something that can cast X, Y, and Z instead of investing into it myself is more efficient for things that aren't my character's focus, especially if they're medium-long duration buffs.
I'm basically trying to cover some holes in the party without deviating to far from the summoner I want to play or forcing someone to play something else.
As for the spells you suggested, both run into the issue that they aren't mobile.
I've got a character that I'm going to be playing for an upcoming campaign who a big part of what they do is all day summons that cast buffs on the party. The problem I've run into is that the spells my summons cast disappear if they are slain or dismissed. They are going to be rather fragile creatures as well with d6 HD and a Con bonus of +1 or +2, and I don't want to flood the field with creatures all the time when said creature's purpose is to say cast a version of fly on all the beat sticks in party or to give the Barbarian some long lasting Fast Healing.
My current plan is to stick them in the biggest Bag of Holding I can get my hands on with a Bottle of Air inside for them, but I was wondering is there a more elegant solution to my problem?
A player of mine brought up a question to me that left me unsure of the answer. Does the Warlord's Sweeping Gambit work with Greater Trip?
I'm leaning no as I remember a rule stating that the same trigger can't provoke multiple attacks of opportunity, in this case a successful trip attempt, but I also acknowledge that I might be looking at this the wrong way so I thought I'd ask and see what other people think.
You receive a +2 bonus on checks made to trip a foe. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by Improved Trip. Whenever you successfully trip an opponent, that opponent provokes attacks of opportunity.
Risk: The warlord makes a trip attempt.
Reward: The warlord can make an attack of opportunity against the tripped opponent. If he hits, he gain a morale bonus on the damage roll equal to his warlord initiation modifier.
So my group split and ended up running into Yorc the centaur. He ended up carrying off several party members to Camp Red Jaw, and the party is trying to track him down. They've tracked him to Camp Red Jaw and I'm pretty sure they're gonna wipe themselves by trying to take on the camp to rescue their friends because they're 2nd level.
Said friends sold out the survivors to save themselves from torture, so yeah can't wait to see how that goes if they survive.
Also the beginning of the troglodyte caves look like 3 or so encounters are basically going to run back to back with each, am I mistaken or is that how things will go?
Even if an NPC allowed you to cast the buff on them they would still get their save against the Poison as they are two separate saves. You would also have to find harmless spells that offer a Fortitude save for this to work, and even then there is the potential for a GM to rule that by adding the Toxic metamagic to a spell that it loses the harmless tag meaning the NPC would need to make a save against the spell before you even got to attempt to inflict the poison on them.
Basically it is rather difficult to trick someone into giving up their save as basically every beneficial spell has the harmless descriptor which means you have to choose to save against it, while spells without it you have to choose to not save against it. There is even a specific subset of spells designed around tricking people into thinking they are harmless spells so that unless they are ID'd the person treats them as harmless.
Having a counterspell spell is pretty neat but I do have a few thoughts and questions on it.
First and foremost I'd like to recommend perhaps changing the DC to what Dispel Magic uses when used to counterspell. As is a 3rd level spells cast by a 5th level Wizard and a 20th level Wizard are just as easy to counterspell. As well the curve(or whatever you want to call it) with the current DC at 5th it starts at 60% chance to fail against a 3rd level spell , but at 20th against a 9th level spell you have only a 15% chance to fail. This could horrifically neuter things like Lichs against a party that has more than one caster.
Second I think that for Druids it should be 4th level, and for Inquisitors, and Spiritualists that it should be 3rd level. With how major counterspelling would become getting it 4-5 later than the wizard when casting is a big part of your class just seems painful, especially when you're getting it as the same time as things like Paladins and Rangers. Also don't see Occultists listed as gaining Counterspell, I'm guessing just one of those oops I missed it things seeing as every other caster gets it.
Third, doesn't the spell Lesser Globe of Invulnerability almost completely shut down Counterspelling seeing as for most characters it is a 3rd level spell?
Finally I see this as a far more useful tool for NPCs than PCs. BBEG has a few minion casters who can support them with spells and then spam counterspell whenever a PC tries to cast anything. As well any "boss tier" casters could just rain on the PCs parades with ease, well more so than usual.
Actually not quite finally. Would counterspelling count as an attack for invisibility or could an invisible caster just follow the party messing with their spells until they run out of counterspells?
The pepperbox pistol doesn't allow itself to be fired as a free action, instead what it does is it allows you to rotate the barrel as a free action allowing you access to another loaded shot without actually reloading the gun(at least until you fire all six shots). Which isn't even that useful of an ability seeing as at least for pistols with rapid reload and alchemical cartridges you can get free action reloads anyways, and the same can be done with 2-Handed firearms with the Musket Master archetype for Gunslinger.
If you do allow firearms in your next campaign be sure to make use of the updated double-barrelled firearms. The old versions allowed you to take a -4 penalty to attack to effectively double the number of attacks you could make. The updated version simply allows you to take a standard action to fire two shots at the same target with a -4 penalty.
So problem with this plan is that Mind Swap and Major Mind Swap function like the Possession spell which says "You can't activate the body's extraordinary or supernatural abilities, nor can you cast any of its spells or spell-like abilities."
Also Major Mind Swap only functions on a creature of your same race as a further limitation.
Double barrel guns were updated in the reprinting of Ultimate Equipment.
In the double-barreled pistol description, in the first sentence, change everything after the semicolon to “each barrel can be fired independently as separate attacks, or both can be fired at once as a standard action (the attack action).” Followed by the standard "If both barrels are shot at once, they must both target the same creature or object, and the pistol becomes wildly inaccurate, imparting a –4 penalty on each shot."
Even with the guncrafting rules he probably shouldn't have too many guns seeing as each Double-barreled Pistol is costing him 875gp. Also his attack bonus is gonna be abysmal with TWF and I'm guessing Deadly Aim as those together would impose a -6 penalty alone, and if he was using the old double barrel feature on top of that he'd have a -10 penalty total on all of his attack rolls.
Also he hasn't even gotten to the Dex to damage part of being a Gunslinger so he's entirely reliant on Deadly Aim and Up Close and Deadly(which costs grit per shot) for damage. So with TWF or a standard action double barrel shot you're only looking at 2d8+8(or 10) or if he wants to really kill the target 2d8+2d6+8(or 10) for damage, while he shoots with a -6 penalty. If he doesn't have Precise Shot or an ally is providing cover things get even worse for his chances to hit.
Finally don't forget his pistols have a short range increment for hitting Touch AC meaning foes will have no problem getting to him, and that the guns can misfire.
Don't have my book with me to check but I'm pretty sure under creating a higher level characters it gives the recommended amount of gold a character of each level should have but also says that it's up to the GM to set a value they feel is appropriate.
Some suggestions I have are:
1. Talk to your players about what exactly they want to do with their WBL and why they feel that they need it so much. It might that they feel they need more power after the TPK because they fear it might happen again
2. Enforce not being able to spend more than half your wealth on a single item.
3. Don't allow crafting feats to influence starting gear, or allow them to say only use 1/4 of their GP to craft with
4. If your intent is for them to find the old PCs gear again then perhaps start them a level or two lower for WBL, because that's what causes the biggest problems I find.
5. Obviously you should vet which magic items they purchase to avoid causing any sort of problems
6. This is less relevant for your current campaign, but for the next campaign you run I might recommend using Automatic Bonus Progression or one of the alternatives that people on the forums have come up with to help alleviate some of the magical Walmart issues you have.
I'm planning on potentially running this AP in the near future, and one of my players expressed interest in playing a Fire focused Kineticist(he expressed this desire before the AP was even brought up as an option).
For a fair few APs this worries me because the further they get in the more monsters he can't potentially deal with due to their immunity to fire. Having skimmed through the first few books on Reign of Winter on the other hand makes me worry for the opposite, that he'll "overperform" too often and it'll negatively effect both his and the other players enjoyment because the threats quite literally melt away, alongside the greater chance for enemies to single him out because he presents himself as the greater threat throwing fire around.
So I guess my question is this. Does a Fire Kineticist over excel to a negative degree in this AP, or does the prevalence of encounters that he can do well in bring him more up to par with other damage focused characters?
As a note the player wanting to play the Kineticist is the most experienced player at the table and has a desire not to overshadow the party to much after having unintentionally done so in the current campaign. The rest of the players have some experience in playing Pathfinder and tabletop RPGs in general, but are still rather new
So to start off I would say this race is a "little" on the strong side, and I probably wouldn't call this a 15RP race
First up the snakes. They themselves aren't overpowered but I would probably call them more like 3 or 4 RP as the poison is effectively unlimited use and if you want you can also milk it and give it to your party as well. Also the poison doesn't have to deal the same attribute damage type but don't Medusi deal Strength damage?
Now on to the major thing that sticks out Petrification. Firstly a question, why is it a will save instead of fort? Both Medusi and Flesh to Stone are both Fort saves so it would make a lot more sense and maybe reel in the power somewhat. Second this is effectively a save or die that can potentially be used multiple times per day(and face it, if someone were to play this they'll probably at least have a decent CHA score) and no playable race as far as I know has an ability coming even close to that. Something I do appreciate though is the fact that you give a 2nd save if the target somehow doesn't get smashed to bits after being pretrified. As for assigning an RP value to it, a theoretical 1/day nonattacking or damaging 6th level spell would cost 6 RP. This is effectively flesh to stone with a shorter range which is an offensive spell 6th level spell and there is the potential to use it more than once a day so I would call it 12+ RP easy
The second major thing that sticks out is Powerful Gaze. It turns a single target save or die into an aoe save or die that can also hit your allies, and as far as I can tell you can use this feat on every use of Petrification if you want to. Even without taking Piercing Gaze that can be a whole lot of foes having to rolls saves or "die".
Twinning Snakes: This is a subpar feat and I feel that even a dedicated grapple build would probably ignore this for most if not all of it's career. It's got some nice flavour though
Low-light Vision: I'm a little surprised it wasn't darkvision
All-Around Vision: +4 Perception and immunity to flanking is nice, but definitely not overpowering, and it fits with the idea that the snakes are a part of them
Overall while I do like the idea of trying to make a playable Medusa, I think I can safely call this a race I wouldn't allow in a game I would run.
An idea to bring the power level down would be possibly to replace the ability to turn people to stone from the start with an ability based off of the slow spell or something similar useable once per day to represent the fact that their natural ability to turn people to stone isn't as strong as a Medusa. Then you make a feat that could say allow that ability to be used say CHA Mod(min 1) additional times per day, and in addition it would give the ability to turn a foe to stone 1/day. It could still be rather strong but not quite as much as the original
If I remember correctly most monster Spell Resistance is calculated as X+CR where X is usually 6 or 11. So in the case of applying the advanced template to a creature it's SR would increase by 1 as the template is a +1 increase to CR.
Now there are also some abilities that do X+HD or Class HD for SR but those are primarily class features like the monk's Diamond Soul ability which is SR (10+Monk level). Another example of HD based SR would be the Dwarf Magic Resistant alternate race trait which gives them SR (5+Character Level)
Rules as written the familiar has the abilities of the animal it is mimicking, is treated as a magical beast for the purposes of effects that depend on it's type(as are most if not all non-improved familiars), possesses the abilities of a familiar based on the alchemist's caster level(with some alterations), and can attach and detach from the alchemist gaining fast healing 5 when it is attached. The rules for the ability do not state it gains anything else so by the rules as written it would not gain your racial abilities.
Mechanically if it did gain your racial abilities it wouldn't be that much more powerful in most cases, but there would exist some situations where you could get a lot more power out of it than your GM would expect.
As far as I can tell RAI and RAW there is nothing about the ability that would give your tumor familiar your racial abilities. If the intent was that your tumor familiar gained your racial abilities it would be spelled out in the ability.
As is a tumor familiar has the ability to attach itself to it's master to gain fast healing 5, detach itself from it's master. It also possesses all the abilities of the animal it resembles, and has familiar abilities based on the alchemist's caster level. It can also share spells and deliver touch spells with the alchemist's mutagen and extracts. So what you end up with is a familiar that could be considered mechanically slightly better than a regular familiar.
Flat Foot = 10 + Armor + Natural Armor + Deflection + Sacred + Profane + Luck + Untyped
Don't forget that you also add your shield bonus to FFAC.
As for having a Touch AC higher than your normal AC, it should function just like normal, and you would use your likely higher than average touch AC against touch attacks and your normal AC against most other attacks.
It's an ability only available at fighter level 19+ , he can only redirect as an immediate action meaning he can do it once per round, and he has to succeed on a disarm check so it's not even close to ridiculous. All in all I might even all it a little underpowered for the level it's gained at.
The fact that you're part of a party of level 3s fighting a level 19 character is the bigger problem here I think. Under normal circumstances it is simply a fight you can't/shouldn't win.
To deal with the exp problem I find it's easiest just to remove exp from the equation and level up the entire party at the appropriate points in the AP. Another option if your group likes exp is to have party exp instead of individual exp, that way even if you have to change an encounter for more or less players they should still keep roughly on track for their expected level.
As for having varying amounts of players. I find it easiest to build for the group's total number of players and have pieces of the encounter that can simply be removed if player aren't there. Say you've got 4/7 players for an encounter against goblin miniboss and his 4 minions then you can remove two of his minions and give the miniboss a -1 to all rolls or something along those lines to hopefully balance things out.
For having to few players I find a good guideline is that if you're missing half or more of your players it's a good idea to call off the session, and maybe play a board game or something else instead.
One way to fix archers is to give melee characters access to pounce. This helps to bridge probably the biggest disparity between them in that an archer can optimally full attack all the time. As well if your party is getting into the high levels which it seems like you might be saying in the OP then a martial dealing hundreds of HP of damage a round isn't completely surprising. DPR does starting increasing rapidly as you get into the higher levels
Also it might be worth checking your archer's math as it might be wrong depending on your level. A quick example off the top of my head puts a zen archer at level 11 doing 6 attacks at +17/+17/+17/+12/+12/+7 for roughly 1d8+16 without party buffs and by spending a ki point. Assuming those all hit that's only on average 123 damage in a round. An example 2H barbarian at level 11 is throwing around 3 attacks at +26/+21/+16 for roughly 2d6+29, and he has class-based access to pounce. With everything hitting he deals on average 108 damage. These are just very rough builds that I threw together really quick so they aren't optimal but it should still show that there shouldn't be that great of a gap between them.
If you still truly feel that archers should be nerfed dropping Clustered Shot would probably be where to start as that would help reduce an archer's dpr against enemies with DR as they do become more and more common as an archer starts to hit his stride.
Removing Rapid Shot, and Manyshot probably won't do anything to your Zen Archer player because those feats can't be used with their Bow flurry as it isn't compatible with it.
As for the power disparity it may be that your other players have just built mechanically weaker characters compared to the Zen Archer. From what I understand Zen Archer's are rather hard to mess up, and Archery being arguably the best martial fighting style doesn't help.
Instead of banning/removing things talk to the player about toning down the damage if it's a problem, as no one likes their character to suddenly be nerfed when they show up for the next session. Also do the other players have a problem with the archer doing so well?
I've recently made a character that makes use of Style Feats, and one bit of text is confusing me a little so I figured I'd ask the boards.
Ultimate Combat wrote:
Although you cannot use a style feat before combat begins, the style you are in persists until you spend a swift action to switch to a different combat style
With this line is it intended that your Style should end when combat ends or does your Style persist even out of combat until you spend a swift action to switch it to another Style? I'm leaning towards the first option but I figured I should get other peoples interpretations.
Your rock concert example would be closer to terrible conditions which increases the DC by +5. I say this because one of the examples for this is a dragon's roar which while not completely comparable are both extremely loud. It is true normal people wouldn't hear a pin drop in the middle of a rock concert because it's likely a base DC 15 perception check to hear one and with a +10 to that you'd get a DC 25 check without distance which if you go by the idea that most people in real life are roughly equivalent to 1st and 2nd level characters it's easy to see that that's out of range of most normal human beings.
Something that has to be remembered though is that Pathfinder is fantasy and that you can have characters with a +15 perception who can routinely hear your entire conversation from 150ft away if there's nothing in the way.
In my opinion if you do feel that the difficulty has to be higher then I suggest maybe add two more tiers of conditions at +7 and +10 to the DC respectively to represent extremely bad conditions. I would not make it so that certain sounds make it impossible to hear others unless its by magic or the sound is literally deafening.
If you do end up going with your idea that sound can cover up things make it clear to your players with some form of guideline so that they can know. Also expect any stealth players to abuse the heck out of it when they can.
I'm not extremely knowledgeable about the rules but the perception skill does have modifiers for background noise with the unfavourable and terrible condition modifiers. Alongside those in most cases a creature or person experiencing such conditions would also likely be distracted making the DC even higher. So while the rules don't cover someone being unhearable due to loud noises(as far as I know) you're still looking at some considerable potential perception check DC increases alongside being invisible.
Using your combat example I'll take 6th level Duergar rogue sneaking in combat with his Invisibility SLA. Before invisibility he's likely got somewhere around a +14 if not better stealth check(6 ranks +3 class skill, +5 dex). With invisibility he's got a +34 while moving so even just using a 10 for the roll in this example he's got a 44 stealth check. On top of this the sounds of battle would likely offer a +2 to the perception DC, and being in combat it's also safe to rule that everyone is distracted for another +5 to the DC. So that's a DC 51 perception check to notice the Duergar rogue before distance is accounted for meaning that outside of special abilities, spells, or some very specific builds he's not getting noticed by a CR appropriate threat.
Even without a character built for stealth though you're still unlikely to be noticed in most situations. Take a 6th level wizard with no ranks in stealth in the same situation. You've got d20+20+dex mod for stealth and then another +7 before distance to the DC for bad conditions. Even someone pretty dedicate to perception at a similar level would have a difficult time noticing the wizard. For example a 6th level half-elf monk with Skill Focus Perception would have a +19(6R+3CS+5Wis+2Race+3Feat) or so perception check which is I believe a 10% chance to succeed with no positive dex on the wizard.
With all that I personally wouldn't houserule any further because it's already more than hard enough to notice an invisible opponent most of the time, and that's only when they're moving around.
Looking over this before posting and I realized I wrote more than I thought I would o.O