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I didn't see the stairs, funny thing that.

The next poster nac daer sgniht sdrawkcab.

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Malcom's mood met her
Right where she did not want him
Too overbearing.

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Cool Kid in 8th grade,
Was Bully in 7th grade,
Now a Hot Freshman.

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I went into the closet.

The next poster posted a poster of a poser.

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When you haven't changed your belly button lint in weeks.

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Pulg never once sat on an egg...but I can't say the same for a cactus.

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Pulg commands a score of obedient fleas.

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Can't-Man and the Wasp - Superhero the Wasp has to talk a pessimist through quantum problems.

Fantastic Breasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - Albus "uncovers" Grindewald's plot to perfect augmentation with pure blood magic.

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Dear Uncle Goattoucher,

Lacking in gray matter, subsisting on dark matter, I ask you this: What happens when you combine matter with anti-matter? Ah forget it, it doesn't matter.

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The _____ are the problem!
Then what is the solution?
I will let you guess.

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ErichAD wrote:
I started skimming after the sniping and bickering picked up, so I may have missed it; but is the end result that we have no rules based guideline for familiar intelligence or carrying capacity?

As for familiar intelligence, I came to the conclusion that it is largely irrelevant, unless you give it speech. It then has the capacity to make Recall Knowledge checks to communicate through speech what it thinks it sees, with the master's level as its bonus. How you interpret its intelligence is up to you at that point.

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Stent of a Woman - A blind Al Pacino teaches a young man about loyalty, the tango and angioplasty.

A Dew, Good Men - Rising military lawyer presses a commanding officer, "Did you order the Code Wet?"

A Liver Runs Through It - Two brothers reunite to fly fish while one shares his battle with cirrhosis.

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What am I, the Sun?!
Grow your own damn vegetables,
You garden shirkers.

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ErichAD wrote:
I started skimming after the sniping and bickering picked up, so I may have missed it; but is the end result that we have no rules based guideline for familiar intelligence or carrying capacity?

If you look at my posts, I've tried to extrapolate what may be possible regarding familiars with speech, from 6 or seven areas in the CRB (minions, familiars, speech, and so on) for exploration mode.

Essentially, I held the argument (for argument's sake) that a player could reasonably send a familiar for reconnaissance (using Avoid Notice) (not the "Scout" activity) and if it had speech, it could make a recall knowledge check to relay what it believed it saw.

The anti-thesis, erring on the side of strictest interpretation, was graystone's arguments.

Not that others didn't make cogent points, but the gist of the arguments can be read in our two back-and-forth posts.

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UndeadViking wrote:
Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Take a look at the Falling rules.
These Look fun. One Flying Character Vs Army. Flyer has a bag of holding full of bags of caltrops. Flies 1500 ft above army, and starts dumping the bags of caltrops out on top of the troops below. Safely out of bow/spell range hundreds of spiked objects fall to the ground making troops have to perform dozens of reflex saves to avoid 187 dmg on a success, 375 dmg on a fail, and 750 dmg on a crit fail. on the off chance that someone should actually survive, they are now also surrounded by a field of caltrops to cross!
This rule is in need of tweaking, Paizo! ;)

"Landing exactly on a creature after a long fall is almost impossible." CRB 464

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Dume - the horror must flow.

The Metrix - Neo must choose to enter a virtual world and decide it's measurement system forever. Blue ruler or red ruler?

Clone Encounters of the Third Kind - Roy planning for future First Contact makes backups of himself.

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Nixing exo-cortex for a drone,
A choice never to be alone,
Quig picked flame pistol,
Not a solarion crystal,
Now he just needs some cologne.

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Said the swarthy vesk soldier Obozaya,
While marching down Akiton's only playa,
"Hot in this damn suit,
"Looking for desert fruit!"
Then doshko skewers a papaya.

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When it comes to tongue-grooming themselves, Shere Khan sure can.

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Eat Mr. T *Crunch*
I pity the fool who eats
Humans like me up

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If you don't choose to move to Blood Pig Bout's location to encounter BPB (thus not encountering it), do you still have to "put the top card of Blood Pig Bout's location into an emperor pile?"

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Can anyone who's watched Jason Buhlman's twitch stream of the campaign he's broadcasting enlighten us about how he treats familiars outside of encounter mode?

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
A fighter with Dex 12 and in Hide or Scale is going to be lower than a Ranger with Dex 14 in the same armor.

I'm quite aware. This is precisely what I meant by 'a profound mistake in their armor selection'.

Chain Mail is just not enough more expensive than those armors that taking them instead of it makes much sense even at 1st level.

It looks like he miscalculated his AC - at 2nd level - Ranger in Studded Leather (+2) with 18 Dex (cap +3) lvl 2+2 trained proficiency bonus = 19, not 20

2nd level - Fighter in scale +3 +2 dex cap + 2 and 2 = 19 + shield 2.

So they have the same AC, but the fighter has to raise a shield with one of their actions if they want that better AC.

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Also running Plaguestone. Fighter not happy Ranger has higher AC without needing to have shield and take raise shield actions. Fighter at 19+2=21 when shield raised; Ranger at 20 just walking around.

The poster before me sounds about right - only we have a gnome cleric with Battle Medic feat, and the ability to restore massive hps in combat is pretty cool and saved at least 2 PCs lives.

The party needed it, triggering two Severe 2 combats with no rest in between.

Overall, rogue is very good, better than on paper; while wizard has niche strengths, martials seem to win the day. Like the poster above, many monsters have an energy resistance type, while few have a resistance to martial damage. That's no fun for casters, who already got the nerf.

We'll finish Plaguestone, but I don't relish the idea of playing any kind of caster in this edition from what I've seen at the table so far.

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I agree. I played at a table once, where a player expected to shoot through 4 other players in a 5' wide hallway, and also expected the GM to grant the target only +4 AC cover (1st edition PF). I honesty thought that was ludicrous. I was pleased to see the GM actually "stacked" cover, making it almost impossible.

Imagine having to time a shot between the shifting combat movements of 4 other players just to get a chance to hit your target.

To me that is just difficult to suspend my disbelief. There are other aspects of the game where we suspend our disbelief for the enjoyment of the game, or can easily say "this isn't realism, it's fantasy, a game", but when it comes to taking a ranged attack from behind 4 other players in the way, +4 to AC just doesn't cut it.

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graystone wrote:
Sliska Zafir wrote:
Nothing in Encounter Mode applies.

There is a full stop here: Improvising New Exploration Activities clearly tells you that you use actions from Encounter Mode.

Wrong - full stop. "If a player wants to do something not covered by other rules, here are some guidelines. *If the activity is similar to an action someone could use in an encounter*, such as Avoid Notice...etc" CRB

These actions aren't necessarily limited to encounter actions only, though some take their cues from it.

Quote:


Why would Command suddenly differ from this pattern of encounter actions being used in exploration or the pattern given for improvised ones: "it usually consists of a single action repeated roughly 10 times per minute". You're ignoring precedent from other actions AND the improvised action guidelines.

On the contrary, you're limiting exploration activity based on encounter actions. There are no such limitations, only guidelines.

Sliska Zafir wrote:
Exploration Activities don't have rounds or turns, nor do they have a designated amount of time.
Quote:

Again, incorrect. Several actions have time limits. Affix a Talisman is 10 min. Hustle is a number of minutes equal to your Constitution modifier × 10 (minimum 10 minutes). Repeat a Spell can only can be sustained for 10 min. Even if they didn't, Minion's do and Encounter Mode doesn't alter the base action or duration: it talks about repeating the action and not extending a single action. It's Repeat a Spell instead of 'cast a single spell and ignore the duration'.

Wrong. Exploration activities are not *limited by such increments as rounds and turns.* Some have consequences for using the activity for a certain period, such as fatigue, but not all.

I'm not trying to guess intent. I'm trying to extrapolate exploration activities given the rules that are listed in the CRB. I've tried to pull and assemble from 6 or 7 areas to see how exactly a speech/darkvision familiar could work as a scout, if possible. This is from both sides of the screen, mind you. I don't have an ulterior motive to grant powers to familiars; I want an answer, so that when my table has a player that wants a familiar, I know how to rule on it. I want a FAQ to address this.

I see your point rather clearly. I mainly disagree with the notion that you have to keep Commanding an Animal Speech familiar every 6 seconds to get it to do something in exploration mode. I think I've made the case you could reasonable interpret the rules to support it; you don't believe they do, and you've made your case. Unless we receive more clarity by the designers, we're free to disagree.

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The designers allowed for Improvising New Exploration Activities. Nothing in Encounter Mode applies. We're in Improvise territory.

Exploration Activities don't have rounds or turns, nor do they have a designated amount of time.

Your argument is that if I use Command an Animal during Exploration Mode, it is limited by Encounter mode. But Encounter Mode doesn't apply.

During Exploration Mode, nothing says that you have to Command it in order for it to follow the Sneak and Seek command you gave. It can repeat that without needing further commands because you haven't told it to do anything else, it serves you, it is not unattended, and it has the extra time offered by Exploration mode to do so.

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I'm sticking to the rules here. All of this is RAW.

Sliska Zafir wrote:

#1 "Familiars are mystically bonded creatures tied to your magic." "The familiar serves you." That's all that is necessary for it to accept speech given commands.

#1 It's not my Command an Animal action, it's the familiar's Sneak and Seek command that repeats.

Graystone wrote:
#1 and? It could be master and slave and it serves because it HAS to not because it wants to. As we have no insight into what kind of magic bond it is, it's a total leap of logic to assume it's a friendly one. The familiar could treat it as a 9-5 job and the second you stop commanding it, it does what it pleases without any concern for you. Just pointing to 'mystic bond' tells us nothing.

Graystone - a familiar serves you, whether it is a forced servitude, or based on a mystical bond, or because it likes your smell, or because you know where to pet it...it just doesn't matter if its friendly or slavery - it "directly serves" (CRB) the master, allowing the master to give it commands it will follow, because servitude means obeying.

"During an encounter, it gets 2 actions in around if you spend an action to command them."

How many actions does it get to take in exploration mode when you command them?

Use Improvising New Exploration Activities [CRB498]: "If the activity is similar to an action used in an encounter, such as Avoid Notice, it usually consists of a single action repeatedly roughly 10 times per minute (Sneak), or an alternation of actions, such as Search, which alternates Strike and Seek." So the familiar can take the Sneak action 10 times per minute.

A servant familiar with Speech would take as many actions it could to follow and complete the command that was given by its master, by the nature of its servitude. It only "acts how it pleases" if it is left *unattended* after a minute. While it is following a command, it is not *left* unattended; it is performing a Sneak and Seek alternating action for its master as servitude. So while it is serving, it is not "left unattended". It understands, through Speech, explicitly what action(s) to be taking while serving under the command.

This is why I said, it's not the Command an Animal action that needs repeating, because once the animal receives the command, it knows what to do, especially since it *understands Speech* and will serve you.

The Improvising New Exploration Activities guidelines allow repetition of actions. Sneak and Seek will be the actions the familiar is repeating over the course of time until the service is rendered to the master. This is an alternating type action listed above.

As for its intelligence, if the player gives it Speech, the master can Command it to Recall Knowledge (which can be used untrained), so it could share what it thinks the creature is. It's effective "intelligence" for this check is a modifier of +1 for a 1st level wizard, +1 for every level.

While that's not as smart, it still allows the familiar with Speech to make a skill check to relate what it knows to its master, because it now has the ability to *relate information* through speech to its master. Including erroneous recall knowledge checks. Funny how it works, but there it is.

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Just the facts.

A familiar clearly "serves you."(CRB) It does your bidding.

Improvising New Explorations Activities is a rule option, that allows for familiar control out of encounter mode. (CRB 498)

You can grant speech, and darkvision to a familiar. (CRB)

It has the ability to make skill checks, with a bonus equal to its master's level. (Familiar Description, CRB).

Sapient minions "if left unattended for long enough[vague], *typically* one minute [typically, but familiars are not typical animals]" they follow the commands you give them (otherwise left alone for a minute, the indulge themselves.). This is because they are attended to, by your commands, every so often, at least one a minute or so. Here's a reference to what familiars do outside of encounter mode.

All this thread is, is trying to figure out what exactly, and how, a familiar is able to do in exploration mode, while still following rules.

Some folks are saying you need to keep issuing Sneak and Seek commands every six seconds. Like the familiar has some kind of attention deficit disorder outside of encounter mode, and needs to be causally directed.

I disagree.

You give them the command, through SPEECH, to go Sneak down the corridor and Seek out a creature, and then return. I argue that a minion that serves you does not need constant reminders every six seconds to fulfill the Command an Animal action. That is for "unattended" minions, not ones that are following your command actions.

Meanwhile as they follow the could even cast message the round after and can continue to speak to them, if needed.

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Technotrooper wrote:

Lack of clarity on this issue brought my game to a screeching halt tonight. I have a player with a wizard PC who is very invested in his moth familiar. He wanted to send it out to do some scouting nearby and return with information on enemy activity. We read the familiar rules together, and I just had no idea how to respond to his request. There was no guidance in the CRB about anything other than combat. It doesn't even say how intelligent they are. I finally decided to let the familiar scout ahead a bit (GM fiat) but then he started asking me what the familiar saw and how much detail the familiar could understand and convey back to him. Again, there was no guidance in the CRB on this. I was totally winging it (which is usually fine) but it made me uneasy because I knew I was setting a precedent for our campaign and the ability to scout ahead and report back will have a pretty big impact. I have to admit that I got a bit frustrated because I felt that Paizo was leaving me to make these big decisions without any guidelines and without understanding the full impact of what I was trying to rule on the fly.

I really hope there is some additional information and guidelines on how to run familiars (particularly in exploration mode) in the Gamemastery Guide. I don't need a rule for everything, but I do need some idea of what is intended in terms of familiar capability (especially outside of combat) and intelligence. In general, I have been amazed at how much more helpful the PF2 rules have been than the 5e rules in providing clarity and guidance. I just feel like the ball got dropped a bit with the familiar rules. Hope to see some clarifications soon as it really disrupted our game.

I think your post summarizes my reason for the Original Post. I GM more than play, and also need an answer.

That's why I started the thread. Others have been helpful in clarifying.

I'd suggest the moth, without speech, could only give empathic information. Fear, hunger if it saw something it wanted, whatever animals can feel gets transferred to the master.

That's why speech opens a huge can of worms now. Because the familiar can CONVEY what it saw through speech. So then what CAN it say? The familiar uses the master's level for Recall Knowledge checks (which are untrained). So, if the master commands the animal to make a recall knowledge check about what it saw, it uses the master's level. Whether that knowledge is useful is up to the result of the check.

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graystone wrote:
Sliska Zafir wrote:
"Sapient minions act how they please", and as a familiar, you have a close bond with your master. You'd like to please your master, especially since he has food for you.

#1 it only "acts as it pleases" once you ignore it for 1 whole min. Second, close bond? Other then the emphatic bond, where does it state that and the desire to please? "You make a pact with creature that serves you and assists your spellcasting." where is the deep bond and the NEED /desire to please?

Sliska Zafir wrote:
It isn't unreasonable to extrapolate, from the Improvising New Explorations Activities section, that a familiar doesn't need constant auditory commands to execute a task outside of encounter mode. The constant auditory command requirement is one that is encounter-mode based, in the heat of battle, etc.

IMO, it's completely unreasonable after reading improvised exploration actions: you use the same format as combat except it MORE limited, not less as you're doing it multiple times in a row. YOU command it 20 times a min and if you stop or it can't hear you it stop and looks stupid before doing what IT wants [not what YOU want]. It might want to take a nap.

Sliska Zafir wrote:
The activity "usually consists of a single action repeated roughly 10 times per minute, or an alteration of actions that works out similarly." (CRB 498)

EXACTLY! That means "need constant auditory commands to execute a task" done 20 times.

Again, I understand the desire to have familiars work like PF1, but looking at the PF2 rules that seems like it'll require heavy houseruling.

#1 "Familiars are mystically bonded creatures tied to your magic." "The familiar serves you." That's all that is necessary for it to accept speech given commands.

#2 It's not my Command an Animal action, it's the familiar's Sneak and Seek command that repeats.

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The Black Mole - a spaceship crew dares it all to learn that singularities are caused by a giant space rodent.

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"Sapient minions act how they please", and as a familiar, you have a close bond with your master. You'd like to please your master, especially since he has food for you.

It isn't unreasonable to extrapolate, from the Improvising New Explorations Activities section, that a familiar doesn't need constant auditory commands to execute a task outside of encounter mode. The constant auditory command requirement is one that is encounter-mode based, in the heat of battle, etc.

The activity "usually consists of a single action repeated roughly 10 times per minute, or an alteration of actions that works out similarly." (CRB 498)

Mr. Owl has darkvision and speech.

Master: "I've a mouse for you Mr. Owl. Please fly quietly down this corridor until you notice a living creature and then fly back and report to me about what it is."

Mr. Owl takes the Sneak and Seek action for as long as the corridor takes it, then returns.

Minions also act to "defend themselves or escape obvious harm." So if Mr. Owl felt a predator was in the room, it would return on its own, not needing a command.

The message spell could also help with this.

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A Crockwork Orange - Malcolm McDowell, murders, then goes insane coming up with new citrus stew recipes to defend himself from his victims.

One Blew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Jack Nicholson realizes the only way to defeat Nurse Ratched is to use a blower to unseat her pet bird's roost.

Al Quiet on the Western Front - Trench soldier goes catatonic after witnessing warfare first-hand.

To Will a Mockingbird - Southern girl, amid racism and the Great Depression, inherits strange taxonomy.

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Sliska Zafir wrote:

"Its Perception, Acrobatics, and Stealth modifiers are equal to your level plus your spellcasting ability modifier (Charisma if you don’t have one, unless otherwise specified). If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier."

Steering this back to my original post.

Recall Knowledge is untrained. Familiars then, RAW, can make these checks with your level as modifier, and if they have speech, can tell you about monster abilities. Granted, it won't be as good as your recall knowledge, but you could consult with your familiar, and perhaps you both (after secret GM rolls) agree that a monster has a certain trait you can exploit. I guess that could be useful, given the situation.

This means that if you put Speech and, say Darkvision, or Scent, on your familiar, and you command it to Sneak into a room and Seek and return and report, it could conceivably come back and make an untrained recall knowledge check to tell you what it saw. Am I right?

For common creatures, and you at high level the familiar would be pretty accurate (succeed fairly often). But an uncommon or rare creature may cause the familiar to critically fail, and give you inaccurate information.

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"Its Perception, Acrobatics, and Stealth modifiers are equal to your level plus your spellcasting ability modifier (Charisma if you don’t have one, unless otherwise specified). If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier."

Steering this back to my original post.

Recall Knowledge is untrained. Familiars then, RAW, can make these checks with your level as modifier, and if they have speech, can tell you about monster abilities. Granted, it won't be as good as your recall knowledge, but you could consult with your familiar, and perhaps you both (after secret GM rolls) agree that a monster has a certain trait you can exploit. I guess that could be useful, given the situation.

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Familiars should ideally have exploration actions available, just like PCs. For example something like this.

Scout - the familiar spends five rounds exploring in the direction the master indicated, then returns and conveys information gained. The GM makes a secret Perception check. A familiar with Speech can indicate if there is a predator, prey, or other danger, but not in specifics (similar to an augury spell).

Fetch - the familiar moves where the master indicates, performing a Seek action (GM secret roll). If it is successful, an object is retrieved from the area.

Both of these actions rely on some kind of intelligence. Fetching what the caster intends relies on the ability of the familiar to identify the object desired by its master. Scouting relies on some knowledge of what constitutes a danger.

More?

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Pig Trouble in Little China - Kurt Russell plays a cop who finds himself in over his head in San Francisco's underbelly. No sweet and sour pork for you!

Monty Python and the Homy Grail - King Arthur seeks a magical cup by time-traveling to an inner city, ends up knighting a brother.

Monty Python and the Lice of Brian - average jew's scalp infestation causes him to be mistaken for vermin messiah; followers believe allowing a head infection leads to salvation.

Monty Python and the Meaning of Lime - British comics link together a series of hilarious vignettes intersecting citrus and sedimentary rock.

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Goodies - a bunch of kids could explore a cave for buried treasure, but decide to go to the candy store instead.

The Breakfast Cub - Saturday detention and teenage angst is made much more fun with a baby bear to play with...until mom comes calling.

Fat Times at Ridgemont High - Mr. Hand, in a brilliant coup de grace, allows Jeff Spicoli to eat all the pizza he wants in class...

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Irate of the Caribbean - Captain Jack was mutinied one too many times, moves to Greenland.

The Prince's Bride - Dread Pirate Roberts comes out of the galley, vows to wed Inigo Montoya.

Deliberance - Four friends take the time to plan a better vacation than canoeing in Georgia.

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Dear Uncle GoatToucher,

Why?

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Nyerkh wrote:

It's less what people want to do and more an example pointing out we have no idea what they can do.

"More than an animal" is not always a high bar, depending on the task at hand.

At the very least, the vagueness of it all guarantees table variation will reign supreme, from human-level intelligence and to ability to report accurately and execute complex time consuming tasks to just "dude, I'm a magic animal : I'm hungry, and that's all I know. OOOH, SHINY!".
The truth is likely in between those extremes, but we can't be sure.

This is exactly the reason for this post, and for the fact I will NOT take a familiar in Society Play, until what it is capable of is spelled out explicitly.

"Boss, I scouted, like you asked."

"Good, what did you see?"

"Stuff...oh and things too." [No Int Score].

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Good. The key here (and my son read it right), was there would be a semi-colon between those two phrases if it was contingent, not a period and two sentences.

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Question regarding the end of your turn power.

Do you always banish/"burn" the boons, or only if the cards you examine contain a red mantis assassin?

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swoosh wrote:
Sliska Zafir wrote:
It seems to me that knowing a familiar's intelligence modifier is necessary to adjudicate how much a scouting familiar can convey to its master via speech.
There's nothing about the Intelligence attribute that would give you any insight here.

What do you say to the familiar's caster when they have it scout?

"Master, I saw something."

"Could you be more specific?" asks caster.

"No. Because I don't have any intelligence."

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Wow this seems like an oversight. You're basically useless unless you take a full rest.

Liberty's Edge

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It seems to me that knowing a familiar's intelligence modifier is necessary to adjudicate how much a scouting familiar can convey to its master via speech. See my above examples to show differing levels of intelligence that could be reported by a familiar.

This is a huge wiggle room area, and it alters the meta-game player knowledge potentially. If I have to interpret the rules, I'm going to be very vague - "you see a moving shape" so as to not trigger meta-game knowledge.

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No answer yet in FAQ, 18 months later. Please mark first post as FAQ!

Liberty's Edge

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I'm trying to come up with uses for a familiar.

Given that they have a decent stealth, and can have darkvision, they could make a decent scout.

So a wizard puts scent and speech, then sends the familiar to "scout" out the next room.

The familiar does so. It then comes back in and makes a report to the wizard (speech).

Is it as intelligent as the wizard? Does it possess the same recall knowledge skills?

Can it even make a report? Before it speaks, it has to put what it saw into words. What is the limit to its vocabulary? At what point does it break the game?

I saw a gray moving shape that stank.
I saw a lanky gray moving shape that stank like foulness.
I saw a lanky, gray, moving emaciated shape with a long tongue and it stank strongly of the grave.
I saw a lanky, gray, loping emaciated medium humanoid shape with an unnaturally long tongue and it stank unnaturally strongly of the grave.
I saw a ghast.

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Does this have the replayable scenario tag?

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