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If your player wants the highest possible Diplomacy modifier:
Human Vigilante(Magical Child archetype) worshiper of Sarenrae can get +25 diplomacy at level 1.

+5 Charisma20
+1 Skill rank
+3 Class skill
+2 Human alternate racial trait(Silver tongue)
+3 Human bonus feat: Skill focus(diplomacy)
+2 level 1 feat: Persuasive
+2 trait (Illuminator) requires worship of Sarenrae
+18 Before the class
+4 Vigilante social talent(Social Grace)
+3 Familiar
+25 in total.

If your player doesn't want to ultra-specialize in diplomacy s/he can choose different skills for Skill Focus, Social Grace, and the familiar and still have a respectable +15 in diplomacy.

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My spoon is too big.

Maybe the gods put a soft limit on how much 7-9th level spellcasting mortals have access to after the "Age of Heroes" in Pathfinder and during the Gap.

Those spell levels in particular are the most annoying for deities. Constantly getting contacted by some upstart mage who wants you to predict how his day will play out and occasionally having a servant pulled away to fight for the bastard would annoy even the most patient god. Then you have the "demigod" types who build their own planes, create endless hordes of simulacrum, mess with the space-time continuum, and other extravagant displays of power would pull followers away from the churches.

The gods don't need mortals to be able to reshape reality.

The description of Iomedae on page 487 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook says that she ascended to godhood centuries before the Gap. Pathfinder takes place 900 years after she ascends. Meaning the Gap is caused by either the Whatever of Aroden or by Pathfinder players.

Aroden's Whatever broke the reliability of prophecy in Pathfinder. My theory is that the Gap ended when someone fixed the damage, but the fix tried to overwrite the "true" history of the universe on top of the actual history. The result is that almost any memory or record was erased. Hence why the few records from during the Gap are confusing and contradictory. (So kind of like the Akashic Record thing from up thread, but different)

MakuTheDark wrote:
In fact, are there still just four Ascended after the Gap? Or perhaps there are more Ascended yet to be descovered thus why they haven't been mentioned yet :) I mean, a PF AP about doing the Test of the Starstone sounds interesting. PCs trying to be Gods and Goddesses.

Who is to say the new gods(besides Triune) are not also Ascended? Maybe the fact that they are was lost to the Gap.

page 487 wrote:
Born a mortal human on Golarion, Iomedae ascended to godhood centuries before the Gap, and when humanity left the planet of their birth for the stars, they brought their faith in Iomedae with them.

Iomedae became a god 900 years before Pathfinder's "current year", meaning the Gap spans the entire length of history between that time and 300 years before Starfinder's "current year".

Aroden's death/disappearance/??? began what is called the Age of Lost Omens. It is characterized by the sudden unreliability of prophesy, several massive disasters, and groups of people who start out being "average" becoming mighty enough to challenge even the gods over the course of half a year.

The fate of Golarion and the truth behind the Gap is rooted in the mystery of what happened to Aroden and how the world was changed by it.

EC Gamer Guy wrote:
sunderedhero wrote:
I vote for "Pull the Pin", especially since it requires another feat first and they still get a save somehow. Also "Strike Back", since it lets you do something that I've always assumed you could do and has always been allowed at my table.
Strike back is not something you can do normally. At least under the RAW. The general idea is you can't reach them but they can reach you.

I can understand that verses someone using a weapon. But why can't I "strike back" against a space dragon that is biting me without a feat?

In Starfinder monsters/npcs have different base stats and stat progression from player characters. The designers want monsters to be more accurate and have lower defenses while players have higher defenses and lower accuracy.

When players fight monsters this doesn't really change the math, with high defense matched against high accuracy and low defense matched by low accuracy.

However, when mind control is used it favors the player:
A dominated player's low accuracy is matched against his fellow player's high defense.
A dominated monster's high accuracy is matched against his fellow monster's low defense.

The Hardness of a steel wall in this game is 30. Skimming through the weapons tables the first weapon that can overcome the hardness with its maximum damage is the advanced swoop hammer when wielded by someone with any strength bonus(3d10 + Str). It is a level 9 item. Most other weapons that can overcome hardness 30 with their maximum damage are around level 13 items.

So if Absalom Station made its bulkheads out of the weakest space worthy materials(not stone, wood, ceramic, etc.) it would take a fairly advanced and well connected terrorist to even begin threatening the station.

Ikiry0 wrote:
Shadowkire wrote:
Looking it up the book says concrete walls are usually at least 1 foot thick, and the HP is 15 x thickness(inches). While a 3 foot thick wall(pretty thick actually) would have 540 HP, a minimum thickness wall would only have 180 HP.
Good point. A nuke can just knock down a minimum thickness concrete wall.

I do agree that it is a bit weird that nukes are so ineffective. I will probably be homebrewing that starship weaponry vs character scale would be times 50, not times 10.

To balance this out so that players don't just zoom in on a ship and blow everything away I will probably make it so that just about every settlement and base makes it a priority to set up an anti-air weapon system.

[edit] Maybe more like x30, the tactical nuke sounds more like the mini-nukes used in Starship troopers. While powerful I would expect such a weapon to break through 3 feet of concrete(540 HP) but maybe not 5 feet(900 HP).

Both sides have a point.

Colette builds around being as effective in combat as possible, while Rysky builds around being effective in more situations than just combat.

The efficiency of these builds can only be measured by the individual. One of these builds does not work as well as the other in a very combat heavy game and the reverse is true for a roleplay and skills heavy game.

Ikiry0 wrote:
A Concrete wall (A very common building material in a sci-fi game) has 540 HP.

Looking it up the book says concrete walls are usually at least 1 foot thick, and the HP is 15 x thickness(inches). While a 3 foot thick wall(pretty thick actually) would have 540 HP, a minimum thickness wall would only have 180 HP.

I chose to ignore that fact and focus on the idea that s/he was getting much better equipment at character generation than the rules allow.

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Colette Brunel wrote:

Starfinder core rulebook, page 168:

"Weapons that use standard ammunition (arrows, charges, darts, mini-rockets, petrol, rounds, scattergun shells, etc.) are sold preloaded"

Would this not mean that a character could purchase a 100-credit scattergun to gain a 330-credit high-capacity battery?

High capacity batteries are level 4 ammunition, you can't get them at level 1 character generation. *Loophole closed*

Colette Brunel wrote:

Starfinder core rulebook, page 218:

"Items specified with a usage use a battery that comes fully charged when purchased. Such batteries can be recharged as normal using generators or recharging stations (see Professional Services on page 234), or they can be replaced (see Table 7-9: Ammunition for battery prices)."

Lower down on the same page:

":Capacity: This lists the maximum capacity for an item that requires charges to function. An item that holds electrical charges can be replenished with a battery (see page 190)."
Replenished not replaced, because the item itself holds the charges not a battery. Though the fault here lies with Paizo for not being able to keep the rules consistent ON THE SAME PAGE. *loophole not closed: Paizo please!*

The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:

As to your point about Nyarlathotep, I'm curious to hear your source that his worship is "somewhat accepted" and "gaining popularity". In any case, there are plenty of other groups who would benefit from chaos on Absalom Station. Cults of the Devourer are the most obvious example, as their entire religion is based around entropy, destruction, etc. Also, I'm sure both the Dominion of the Black and the Azlanti Star Empire wouldn't be above using these sorts of tactics to weaken the pact worlds, which they would love to conquer, not to mention other terrorist groups and random crackpots.

Finally, I disagree that "The idea that randomly slaughtering crowds of civilians leads to destruction and chaos is also wrong." Beyond the initial devastation, the power of terrorism lies in the reaction it provokes. Terrorist attacks cause people to become more paranoid, xenophobic, etc. As an example, if somebody like the Star Empire or the Dominion wanted to get really clever, they could launch a campaign of suicide bombings in the Pact Worlds carried out entirely by Vesk (most of whom may be mind controlled, but that's beside the point). Prejudice against the Vesk, who the Pact Worlds already barely tolerated skyrockets, and pretty soon two of the greatest obstacles to galactic conquest are again enemies.

Page 460-461:

Page 460 & 461: Aucturn wrote:

Carsai’s defense of Aucturn—and thus the Pact Worlds—from the predations of the Dominion of the Black, combined with the fact that he is a relatively approachable and reasonable figure on an otherwise incomprehensible planet, is the primary reason for the Pact Council’s reluctant acceptance of the world into their agreement as a protectorate. Interestingly, Carsai’s representation in some popular media as an antihero—a deviously handsome and rebellious godling protecting the Pact Worlds from unthinkable horror—has significantly increased the worship of Nyarlathotep and the Outer Gods in the Pact Worlds.

I was not saying that terrorist attacks are ineffective for all bad guys, just that it is a bad strategy for your example of the Nyarlathotep cultist.

Grenades can't be bundled together, if they could be then there is no reason to get frag grenades at level 2+ because of the exponential price growth.

You seem to be trying to force the idea that Absalom must be a nearly constant street battle/terrorist playground just because anyone can buy a gun. Take your example of the Nyarlathotep cultist:

Nyarl's religion is somewhat accepted in the Pact Worlds and gaining popularity because the Elder Mythos worshipers are holding back the Dominion of the Black so it has little to gain from random acts of terrorism.
The idea that randomly slaughtering crowds of civilians leads to destruction and chaos is also wrong. There is certainly a big initial burst of death and anarchy in the wake of such an event, but if something like that happened often enough the Station would implement gun control which in turn leads to a lot of order and peace.
Any Nyarlathotep cultist worth their salt would know to target administrative offices and vital station systems, locations that are sure to have higher security and maybe even restrictions on who can carry weapons in these areas.

The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
Sparken wrote:


So much speculation, and and errant guessing. It is handled in a few paragraphs but I don't think I should paste the contents of the book here.

Yes, I'm aware that higher level equipment is unavailable to most ordinary citizens, who are primarily 1st level. My point is that even if you only have access to level 1 equipment you can do quite a bit of damage. For example, let's say some insane cultist of Nyarlathotep wants to kill as many random people as possible to further chaos and destruction. Frag grenades are a level 1 item and cost only 35 credits each, so all this would-be mass murderer has to do is walk into their neighborhood weapons shop, purchase a bundle of grenades, and start lobbing them into a dense crowd. Sure, the cultist will be caught by robotic security eventually, but he will have killed dozens of people and wounded even more.

Note that I have been convinced that Absalom Station can't really justify restricting these weapons to much when some people can do the same thing with their minds, I'm just pointing out that the station should have a rather large problem with terrorism given the wide availability of explosives and firearms.

Level 1 frag grenades do only 1d6 damage. You would have to roll high on two grenades in order to kill somebody(who is level 1). So between the first grenade and the second everyone on the station either runs to safety or shoots the crap out of the idiot who decided to bring fireworks to a gunfight.

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The reason undead are no longer set to evil by default is directly linked to the ultimate fate of Aroden, Golarion, and Rovagug.

Now you just have to crash a ship through a parallel dimension on a course running through and perpendicular to the path of a time traveler in order to link a far flung alien world with Golarion's wild west and post apocalyptic past. Then and only then can you solve the mystery.

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I have read a lot of complaints over the years about players "taking everything that isn't nailed down" from dungeons. 10% (used) equipment value vs 100% trade good value WILL make it worse.

Get ready for heated arguments as to whether furniture counts as equipment or trade goods. If Paizo makes the mistake of describing any weapon as having a particularly valuable component(gold plating, focusing gems, high-tech mini-generator, etc.) get ready for players to rip apart "good" weapons they aren't specialized in. Then get ready for the flood of threads from players and DMs about the drama when players are still only allowed to get 10% of the value from those scavenged/salvaged components.

When the value difference between gear and trade goods was 50% vs 100% most people were willing to let things go and not try to game the system(though of course some people still did that). In Starfinder the gulf between the sell values is large enough that gaming the system is more rewarding for many more players than just letting things be.

Considering that one of the Pathfinder APs involves a short trip to 1910s Earth and Starfinder occurs long long after that:

Any mention of a hyper advanced earthling stellar empire? Or the ruins of such an empire?

It isn't going to solve the problem. Your example of the 17 small short swords proves it. The value vs weight ratio on such items isn't great, but these players you have met still did it. Those players do not care about weight, only value. Unless Starfinder reduces the value of found gear to the point that a hover-barrow, hover-cart, or bottomless bag would be more expensive than the gear that could be hauled(over a few adventures) by such things, those players will still do it.

In fact you are now more likely to hear "I search him, take his weapons, and harvest his organs so I can sell them in town."

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ENHenry wrote:
I know that personally, I've found myself selling a +2 unique item because I didn't have the right feats to use it, in exchange for a +1 item that I could that was plain vanilla, and wondering how I got to this point. :)

I think that it won't change the way you want it to in Starfinder. You will find powerful niche weapons that nobody in your party can use. Instead of getting a good amount of currency for the item you will now get piddly pocket change.

The ways people will game this change(surprise! people will try to game a game!) are many and varied. If I can't make good money off of my enemies' gear I will try to make money off of their bodies. Animal and monster skins would be trade goods, and therefore sold for 100% of their value. If my enemies are common character races I may consider taking them alive and harvesting their organs.

If weapon focus and/or exotic weapons are still a thing I will advise everyone in my party to become proficient in the kinds of weapons our enemies use so that we get the full value out of weapons used by bosses.

With the outrageous expense of consumables everyone in my party will hoard grenades and potions(called serums now yes?) to the point that our characters should realistically be clothed in bandoleers.

The true problem we are struggling with in this thread is "money = power". Players will do whatever they can and say whatever they can say to get more money. They do this because they want their characters to survive the game. They do this because "power = survival" and "money = power" within the rules of the game.

Dalindra wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Vampires being able to nonlethally feed on animals is usually only a thing if the setting specifically allows it to be. Most of the time it's dragging someone into a dark place and then cracking them open like a red bull, which is kind of different from you and the orc family down the street both enjoying bacon for breakfast.

I have revised the Vampire template and I don't see any rule that states they have to kill anybody. Quite the opposite, their feeding just deals 1d4 CON damage. That would hardly be able to kill someone. Plus:

Blood of the Night wrote:
A vampire who refuses to feed on intelligent beings is relegated to the dull taste of animal blood out of necessity.

That is 1d4 con per round of draining blood. Unfortunately there is no indication of how many rounds a vampire needs to feed for a full day's worth of sustenance(if they even need it).

Just 3 rounds of feeding has a chance to kill the average (con 10) person.

Isonaroc wrote:

How the spawn's regeneration works is not explained, only the mechanical effects. It could be it just inherited it, it could be a direct link to Rovagug itself that fuels it. The ambiguity exists (probably deliberately) so making definitive statements about it outside of your own game doesn't exactly mean anything.

Actually Rovagug is locked up, creating the spawn at the "door" to its prison is all it can do. Direct action/links like you suggest doesn't make sense.

Don't forget the Paladin should fall for not reporting the other cultists he killed and not surrendering his weapons and armor as evidence. He would have gotten off on self defense, maybe with a night in jail. Now the cops are after him and his party for questioning in the massacre of an evil cult.

It doesn't matter that the priest didn't surrender to an officer of the law. It doesn't matter that the cult was battling the paladin up until that point. It doesn't even matter that at some point an evil god, fiend, vile cosmic entity, or maybe the concept of evil itself saw this guy the paladin killed and said "I like the cut of this guy's gib, I will grant him some of my power to further my own ends."

None of it matters because being honorable and respectful of the law means taking upon yourself all of the responsibilities of being a modern day cop. Nevermind that the setting is more like Renaissance-era, where authority figures don't care how unlawful peasants like the evil high priest are dealt with, as long as they are dealt with. Any paladin that is not putting at least 1 police officer in your real life city/town/whatever to shame with his diligence and adherence to protocol should fall immediately, no exceptions.

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Haskol wrote:

This was far more time that I ever expected to spend trying to explain myself on this thread. Perhaps I'll just not bother in the future if I have to worry about writing my posts as if I have a panel of rules-lawyers waiting in the wings to nit-pick them.

Panels of rules-lawyers are an almost guaranteed encounter in threads where rules are debated. Safe journeys friend.

Lune wrote:
Oh. I thought the idea was to be inside the armor when you possessed it. Was that not the idea? Why come up with a different place for your body?

Possess Object acts like both Magic Jar and Animate Object, AO says it can't be used on objects worn or carried by a creature. Because this build already has a ton of DM adjudication people have been giving this part a wide berth.

But it does beg the question: Can Animate Object be cast on an object carrying a creature? I think so.

The closest thing to an attack restriction in Magic Jar:
"If you are successful, your life force occupies the host body, and the host's life force is imprisoned in the magic jar. You keep your Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, level, class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, alignment, and mental abilities. The body retains its Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, hit points, natural abilities, and automatic abilities. A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal. You can't choose to activate the body's extraordinary or supernatural abilities. The creature's spells and spell-like abilities do not stay with the body."

Can evil actions be done to evil people? Can the ends redeem the means?

Are any actions evil? Is any action potentially evil based on the actors and intentions involved?

The answers to these questions will shape how you view a paladin conducting torture. But in Pathfinder, we can answer one of those questions(Are any actions evil?) simply:

PFSRD wrote:
A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

From this we can glean that in Pathfinder there are in fact actions that are evil. Not "actions that are evil only when you do them to good or neutral characters", as that distinction would be stated in the rules if that was the intention.

So if torture is not an evil action, what action in Pathfinder is evil? We know there must be at least 1.

But isn't the advantage of the AoMF effecting many natural attacks mostly offset by the increased cost of enhancements on an AoMF?

A +1 enhancement bonus on a weapon costs 2000gp, on the amulet it is 4000gp. While I understand that some players can make characters with a ridiculous amount of natural attacks, to the point where the extra cost becomes a good investment, it seems like doubling the cost AND halving the maximum enhancement bonus cripples "common" unarmed builds at various levels.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

You got that slightly wrong, increasing Con without the necessary Burn at several levels.

Oops, you are right.

The only thing I dislike about kineticist is all the paperwork involved in stating one out :)

graystone wrote:

The rogue uses every FCB for hp while the human spent them on the free feat. Both have toughness. So D8=d8 and toughness = toughness, so cancel that out. 18 = 16 + FCB. So +6...

lv1-2 +6 kineticist, no burn needed.
3 +3 kineticist
4 even
5 -3 kineticist
6 -6
7 -8

lvl 1-2 +6 (+6 scars)

lvl 3 +3 (+6 scars -3 [1]burn)
lvl 4 +2 (+6 scars -4 [1]burn)
lvl 5 +1 (+6 scars -5 [1]burn)
lvl 6 0 (+6 scars -12 [2]burn +6 overflow[con+2])
lvl 7 -1
lvl 8 -2
lvl 9 -12 (+6 scars -27 [3]burn +9 overflow[con+2])
lvl 10 -14
lvl 11 -5 (+6 scars -33 [3]burn +22 overflow[con+4])
lvl 12 -18 (+6 scars -48 [4]burn +24 overflow[con+4])
lvl 13 -20
lvl 14 -22
lvl 15 -39 (+6 scars -75 [5]burn +30 overflow[con+4])
lvl 16 -26 (+6 scars -80 [5]burn +48 overflow[con+6])
lvl 17 -28
lvl 18 -54 (+6 scars -108 [6]burn +54 overflow[con+6])
lvl 19 -57
lvl 20 -60

I don't know how you got your math, but your rogue only gains a slight lead in usable hp at level 7. That lead only becomes significant at level 9.

I personally prefer to use my FCB for hp though, so my build would stay above your rogue until level 9.

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Talek & Luna wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

yeah, that portion was a reply to Talek and Luna. No reason to give a Wizard tons of skill points. They are stressing their brains learning spells so they don't NEED to have skill points.


Why? Because you are biased against wizards? It makes far more sense for a wizard to have a ton of skills than a fighter. Wizards deal in academia. Most people in academia have a far greater selection of skills than others in a profession that does not require much learning.

You are equating the word 'skills' with the word 'knowledge'.

I imagine a wizard would need mathematics, alchemy, chemistry, writing, literature, poetry, all the various knowledges, etc. That training requires a lot of skills.

Which the wizard has, namely Craft(Alchemy + Literature), Linguistics, all the knowledge skills, etc. All of them are based on Int, the most important stat for a wizard. As such the wizard will already be well off in those skills from level 1.


What is the fighter doing in his time? Drinking at the bar?

And training his body, preparing for the rigors of combat and everything involved with that. So from the drinking maybe the fighter should get Diplomacy because he actually talks to people. Physical training should make him a capable climber, swimmer, and acrobat. Nights spent on watch/guarding would make him good at recognizing the difference between an empty shadow and one with a person in it. He would probably learn to ride a horse and how to handle one. Maybe he would learn how to treat the wounds any soldier is likely to accrue in battle. Maybe the fighter would learn a bit about weapon and armor crafting in order to better care for his gear.

So I just covered 10 skills that a Fighter might learn as part of becoming a fighter. Only 4 of them are tied to key fighter attributes (climb, swim, arcobatics, ride). Meanwhile the wizard's key attribute is linked to more than a dozen different skills in addition to being the attribute that give extra skill points.

The fighter needs more skill points.

PRD wrote:
Characters advance in level by defeating monsters, overcoming challenges, and completing adventures
Dictionary wrote:


verb 1. win a victory over (someone) in a battle or other contest; overcome or beat.
RulesAsDefined wrote:
Characters advance in level by winning a victory over monsters, overcoming challenges, and completing adventures

If I beat 6 ogres and half run away then I beat 6 ogres and should get xp for 6 ogres. If the three that ran away come back with 6 more ogres and I beat them then I beat 9 ogres and should get the xp for 9 ogres.

If the 3 ogres who ran away participated in the battle in any way, whether they attacked, supported, or were targeted, then they were beaten.

Here is a bit on my level 10 pure Geokineticist:

Earth Blast:
attack +15 (+7 BAB, +4 Dex, +3 Elemental Overflow, +1 Weapon Focus)

damage 5d6+19 (5d6+5 base, +8 Con, +6 Elemental Overflow)

So to answer your concerns:
A) At level 10 +15 to attack is alright, but if I need more accuracy I can get within 30ft for another +1 from Point Blank Shot.

B) The reason I am going pure Geo is to avoid energy damage headaches, but the advice I would give is to stick with a physical blast for the early levels. Once you reach level 7 and get another blast you should have a better idea of what enemies you may be facing in the late game so you can pick a suitable energy blast.

C) Not much of a problem. At level 10 I don't run into enemies with DR 15, but if I did I still do 5d6+4 damage above that. If I take a move action to Gather Power I can Empower my blast without taking burn to increase the damage even further.

And the next level(11) is when things get insane. Elemental Overflow will let me put a +4 into Dex and Supercharge will allow me to do a composite blast without taking burn(with a move action).

lvl 11 Metal Blast:
attack +17 (+8 BAB, +5 Dex, +3 Elemental Overflow, +1 Weapon Focus)

damage 12d6+26 (12d6+12 base, +8 Con, +6 Elemental Overflow)

Still doing 12d6+11 damage above DR 15, which I still probably won't see for a few more levels.

Unless the dragon is a APL + [anything] boss. In which case you would be level 16 or below and not have access to 9th level spells.

It is for gimmicky bs like this that I always hound my DMs to put an artifact weapon in their campaigns by level 15 at the latest. If the OP's party had one(or preferably more) then it would have gone a bit better.

Well thanks everyone who responded. My DM saw the light and now accepts that my way is the correct way.

Unfortunately he deems it too "OP"(900gp for the effect of a 120Kgp rod) and says I can only use it like a sorcerer using a metamagic feat, despite how stupid and impossible that is given the rules.

I agree, but my DM pointed out that metamagic rods explicitly state that they(the rods) do not change the spell slot of the spell they are used to enhance.

He is using that to show that any similar effect that doesn't have that language must then change the spell slot.

Seems my search of the forums didn't work so well.

Here is a rules thread that came to a different conclusion

So which one is right?

Awesome, I found out more about why my DM thought the way he did:

He thinks it allows wizards to apply Metamagic to spells like a sorcerer, but instead of increasing the cast time it causes damage.

So I am in a game where I am playing a wizard who has the book of harms, a spell book with a useful ability:

Harmful Surge (Su) You can maximize a spell, but doing so damages you. Spend this boon effect as a free action when you cast a wizard evocation spell. When you do, you can treat that spell as if it were cast with the Maximize Spell metamagic feat, but you take 1d4 points of damage × the level of the spell that you are maximizing. The damage you take cannot be reduced in any way.

I have been using it such that once a day I get a Maximize Spell effect on an evocation spell and take some damage WITHOUT adjusting what spell slot that spell takes up.

My DM has contacted me and says that is not how he thinks it works, that is should take up a higher spell slot.

So my question: How does it work?

Crimeo wrote:
The FAQ says when you apply metamagic you use the spell level or the slot level, whichever is more disadvantageous as the spell level for the rule consideration at hand.

A choice which makes no difference if the definition of cantrip is "0th ACTUAL level spells"

Because if so, then the FAQ is giving you a choice between a cantrip (0th actual level spell) currently using a 0 spell level OR a cantrip (0th actual level spell) currently using a 4th level slot.

Since the "doesn't expend slots" rule is part of being a cantrip itself, in both cases, you wouldn't expend the slot, so who cares?

So, the metamagic 'cantrip' counts as a 4th level spell. Is a 4th level spell a 0th [ACTUAL] level spell?
Bold, crucial word added by me. And then YES, would be your answer, if the original spell was, say, ghost sound. it is 4th level for purposes of slot expenditure, but still 0th actual level at the same time, so if "cantrip" means "0th actual level" it's still a cantrip, and still doesn't expend it's 4th level slot.

It is not about whether they are [ACTUAL] levels, but about whether they are [METAPHYSICAL] levels. Let us not forget about the possibility of [VIRTUAL] levels and [THEORETICAL] levels, as these could well change the entire argument.

Crimeo wrote:
Did you even read the FAQ? It explained how metamagic interacts with other rules such as pearls of power, concentration DCs, and so on.

The definition of cantrip is a standalone definition that either is "actual level 0" OR it is "adjusted level 0".

One or the other. Not both, not fluid, not dynamic. Because the only thing that's fluid by that FAQ is which spell level you use for metamagic. Nothing else. Not "what the definition of a cantrip is", not "what is the weather like" not "what class and race Jim is", none of these other variables... because none of those things are spell levels.

It's ONLY the spell level that varies based on advantageousness. So, if cantrip is not defined based on adjusted spell levels in the first place but only static actual level, then who the hell cares what spell level we use for the spell, since it would still be a cantrip either way, and thus still expend slots either way (it's actual level underneath doesn't change no matter what you're using for spell casting purposes), making it not any more disadvantageous one way or the other, and the FAQ is irrelevant.

Actually according to the Core Rulebook, page 79:


Cantrips: Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips,

or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table 3–16 under
“Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell,
but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.
A wizard can prepare a cantrip from an opposed school, but
it uses up two of his available slots (see below).

Is Ray of Frost still a cantrip once it isn't level 0 anymore? You like to use math-like arguments so:

"level 0 spell"=cantrip
^That is RAW.

The FAQ says to treat the level of the spell in the most disadvantageous manner possible(between original level or a level equal to the spell slot filled). Because a quickened level 0 spell would be most problematic if treated as level 4:
("Quickened Ray of Frost"="level 4 spell" ) != "level 0 spell"

Your argument seems to be:
"Ray of Frost" = "cantrip" = "Quickened Ray of Frost"

Which would mean:
"Ray of Frost" = "Quickened Ray of Frost"

Obviously a quickened spell is not a non-quickened spell.

Crimeo wrote:
And I'm sure that you know that language is not a precise communication medium, therefore "Rules as Written" only exists as "Rules as Interpreted".

Not really relevant yet when, at a given point in a conversation, nobody seems to have provided any actual arguments for any other interpretation from the text.

Just writing some other thing that you feel like the rules should have been with no quotes as to why, no explanation or justification why, not identification of wording or anything that should possibly make you think that, etc., is not truly an "interpretation".

Page 9, Core Rulebook:


The Most Important Rule

The rules in this book are here to help you breathe life into
your characters and the world they explore. While they are
designed to make your game easy and exciting, you might
find that some of them do not suit the style of play that your
gaming group enjoys. Remember that these rules are yours.
You can change them to fit your needs. Most Game Masters
have a number of “house rules” that they use in their games.
The Game Master and players should always discuss any
rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how
the game will be played. Although the Game Master is the
final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared
experience, and all of the players should contribute their
thoughts when the rules are in doubt.

This is why I don't get the RAW vs RAI arguments.

Davor wrote:
Shadowkire wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Do we really need to make it binary? Shadowkire's group seems to have very intentionally moved away from the idea that we should be able to determine definitively whether an action is evil or not, and that paladins should either suffer no consequences or all the consequences.

We moved away from the binary fall/not fall system because it made things more fun and make more sense:

A lot of people think paladins should give some bad guys a chance to redeem themselves(when it is appropriate/safe/whatever). Then a paladin makes 1 misguided action and loses all his power to do good until he spends wealth that could have done some good elsewhere. Evil gets a free second chance while paladins have to pay a king's ransom for one.

That just doesn't seem right. I think it is better if the paladin loses only a few powers if s/he did something that wasn't outright evil yet still questionable. That way the paladin is still capable of doing good deeds while also seeking atonement.

We still make a paladin fall when s/he does some clearly evil stuff, but now there are degrees of punishment for transgression.

Paladins are always capable of good deeds. Their powers don't grant them the ability to do good; they grant them the ability to do the impossible, in the name of goodness.

But by losing their powers their ability to accomplish great deeds in the name of goodness is diminished.

From a gameplay perspective having a player's character get turned into a Warrior because s/he didn't decide to play detective upon meeting every last enemy hampers the enjoyment for most people in most groups.

When a player paladin falls it isn't just bad news for the player, it is bad news for the entire party. The game becomes all about the paladin's redemption for a session or two, the party has to pick up the slack that the fallen paladin now leaves, or they have to role play the whole "Goodbye [crippled character]! We will miss you. OH! Hello convenient stranger, would you like to risk your life to [explains quest]? In return will will trust you as if you were [crippled character], whose role in the party you happen to be able to fill."

Of course the above doesn't apply to all groups, but I believe it applies to enough that the paladin fall mechanic needs some tweaking.

Weirdo wrote:
Do we really need to make it binary? Shadowkire's group seems to have very intentionally moved away from the idea that we should be able to determine definitively whether an action is evil or not, and that paladins should either suffer no consequences or all the consequences.

We moved away from the binary fall/not fall system because it made things more fun and make more sense:

A lot of people think paladins should give some bad guys a chance to redeem themselves(when it is appropriate/safe/whatever). Then a paladin makes 1 misguided action and loses all his power to do good until he spends wealth that could have done some good elsewhere. Evil gets a free second chance while paladins have to pay a king's ransom for one.

That just doesn't seem right. I think it is better if the paladin loses only a few powers if s/he did something that wasn't outright evil yet still questionable. That way the paladin is still capable of doing good deeds while also seeking atonement.

We still make a paladin fall when s/he does some clearly evil stuff, but now there are degrees of punishment for transgression.

Loren Pechtel wrote:
KenderKin wrote:

A redeemed succubus (paladin of Sarenrae.

Detects as good, evil, chaos, and law)......
I do not think this is correct.....never saw a rule about a four letter alignment!

As a paladin the succubus has to be LG! Not LGCE!

Nor do I think the smite would even work.

I believe she pings as all four alignments. L & G for what she is, C & E for what her body is made of.

I do agree smite fails, though.

I made this argument before. But the evil subtype does say that a creature with it counts as evil for all effects depending on alignment.

So RAW smite works.

Bard-Sader wrote:

This is my fault. I forgot to put something in the First post. In this particular case, the effects are definitely visible. The way I'd run a self-sacrificing feat like Ultimate Mercy is that, given how many times the succubus has done it in a day, she by now is barely able to stand, has blood streaming out of her nose, and is in obvious pain. Even through all this she is still trying to raise people from the dead.

I apologize to everyone for leaving this out before. :(

Well now we are approaching fall territory.

This updated situation is why my group came up with partial falls. Killing the succubus who was clearly in pain and not an immediate harm to the villagers is still not fully evil in my opinion. The fact that he didn't even ask any questions and that the demon was actually good makes the paladin's actions questionable enough that, in my group, he would lose the use of smite evil(and probably some more stuff) until he redeems himself.

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Baval wrote:
Would you "drink the Kool-Aid" if it meant a Doctor could find the cure to cancer? How about the cure to aging? How about if it meant world peace? Youre just being unreasonable to be dismissive. Especially in a roleplaying game, there are plenty of reasons for people to sacrifice their lives for good. Also, again, he brought them all back to life so it was a temporary inconvenience at worst.

Why is it only this 1 person can do it? Why not share his research with colleges who may have good ideas that speed up the process of creating these cures/world peace?

Baval wrote:
The Paladin saw there was the potential for the demon to cause harm, but also was witness to the demon doing good. It was possible the demon was tricking the village, but also possible it wasn't. Without knowing, he killed the demon, not restrained it or questioned it or knocked it out. Therefore, he let his own resentment of demons cause an innocent death, which could have been avoided if hed investigated properly.

Reread the OP:

Bard-Sader wrote:
Meanwhile, another paladin, A paladin of Abadar who has taken the Oath against Chaos and Oath against Fiends, has heard about fiend activity in the area, and came to investigate. He walks into the local healing house where a large group of people seem to be watching something, entranced. In the middle of it all he sees a beautiful woman...but wait she suddenly shifts into s Succubus!

The paladin didn't see any good acts.

I would like to point out that an entire village of level 3+ npcs should be able to handle anything that a paladin can except a demon lord. They have to be level 3 or above to be raised by the succubus' ultimate mercy.


Entryhazard wrote:
Level 2 or lower can be raised with Constitution drain instead of Negative Levels

I really need to stop posting stuff when I haven't read all the relevant rules. Sorry everybody.

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