Red Reaver

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Thanks, I figured that was the case, I'm just trying not to make to many assumptions while learning the rules for this edition.


I apologize in advance for this question, my search fu is failing me.

Looking through the bestiary, naturally I see creatures that can cast spells. I'm curious if they have the same rules for spellcasting as characters.

I assume so, I just would have found it really nice if it said on the profiles how many actions each spell was as to save time from looking them up each time.


Sorry about that! not used to needing to check for the second edition boards yet!

That is the way I interpreted it as well, but I can't really say it's RAW. After all, I can't find anything that says specifically when you decide to cast defensively.

If casting defensibly isn't decided until the spell is about to be cast, then the physical attacks have occurred before the penalties have applied.

Like I said I'm heavily leaning towards it gets declared at the start of the action and applies to all parts of that action, but I figured I'd at least ask around in case I'm missing something.


Hey there folks,

Tried to search for an answer to this however spell combat brings up a barrage of topics that aren't exactly what I'm looking for.

I suppose the core of the question is when exactly do you declare you are casting defensibly?

The main reason this is coming up is with one of my Players as a Magus.

He seems to think it should play out as, Attack, Declare casting defensibly (taking additional penalties to attack to increase the bonus) Cast Spell, Thereby dodging the penalties to his attack.

I think it should play out like most other things of this nature, where it's chosen at the start of the entire action, and the penalties would apply to the physical attacks as well.

Relevant ability quote here:

"If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty."

casting is certainly not my strongest rules area, so I'm willing to admit I may be mistaken here.

TL;DR, Do you declare casting defensively at the start of the action, or directly before casting the spell?

wow this really took off which is great.

To answer a few questions that popped up.

1. While i love the concept, in any execution I've done of this in the past It's turned out sub par. I'm the GM, but it's one of my players that wants to give this a try and I'm trying to be open minded about it.

2. Our normal method, which I prefer is to roll an array of stats, and everyone uses that array, arranging stats to taste. Sure some times groups are stronger or weaker, but everyone is on the same page and things can be adjusted to match.

3. The dislike of some of my folks with point buy is it's always the same. yes the fighter could for RP reasons bump is cha, but my group is very mechanically driven and would see that as a waste when you could leave that to your team to handle. I'm sure they would put it as playing your role in a team game.

4. Someone mentioned that this is an attempt to get freebie points in stats without paying for it, judging from my above comment that probably isn't wrong, Though I'd optimistically like to think that it is for honest diversity, though I have a feeling it would result in things falling apart when folks are forced to play sub par with effectively wasted stats.

Wow lots of responses,

I'm seeing a lot of things that matched my initial hesitance.

Character imbalance towards each other, characters being forced to play things they don't want to.

The biggest pro and the reason one of my players pitched this was to try to get characters that are a little more diverse then your standard fighter with dumped charisma or low str mages.

would help increase variety of characters.

We also considered applying additional bonus's based on stats to help balance things out (under a certain point value maybe gets a bonus couple of d6's to pass around) to create more of a balanced group bell curve.

Thanks for all your input folks.

So after 5 min of googling at nearly 4 am, I decided to just post here.

Our group is about 3 books into our current campaign so naturally we are starting to think about the next one.

It was pitched to me that we should try making our characters under "play it where it lies" rules.

As in, rather then assigning your rolls, you roll each stat individually and make due with what you get.

I was curious if anyone had any experiences with this?

I'll be running the game, so I'm just trying to get ahead of the bus here and head off some problems before they occur.

Off to bed I go, Thanks for any help folks!

the fighter in our first group was a human with double slice and the reactive shield one using the human ancestry feat,

Using Heavy Boss and a Pick, Lots of fun

I believe he's referring to the same line you are. Perhaps I can help break it down.

Second line: "An item reduces any damage dealt to it by it's Hardness"
Forth line: "If an item takes damage equal to or exceeding the item's Hardness, the item takes a dent"
Fifth Line: "If the item takes damage equal to or greater than twice it's hardness in one hit, it takes 2 dents"

Seems to me that the confusion is does the original reduction in hardness count towards damage dealt, As in one of these two is true

A: (hardness 3 shield) Take 7 damage: you take 1 dent (7-3 leaves 4 left, 1 greater than hardness)


B: (Hardness 3 shield) Take 7 damage: you take 2 dents (7 is more than twice the hardness)

Really comes down if they intend you to check the amount before or after the hardness reduction, when I started writing this I was siding with after, but the very second line says Any damage dealt to it is reduced by it's hardness, so the damage would have had to be dealt to be reduced, and we are looking at how much damage was dealt.

I could see it just being confusion writing though.

Looks like you're right, I thought it was core when I saw it on the srd.


Hey there folks (this could go rules/advice so it's a bit of both?)

I tried searching for an answer however searching for "disable" obviously brings up a ton of unrelated material. Let me preface this by saying I have a huge bias against anything that I'd classify as "save or die" as I don't think it makes for a fun encounter at all.

I'm looking at the first level psion power Disable and how it seems a smidge powerful. I assume I'm overlooking something and hopefully someone can help.

This seems like a amped up sleep spell, with a very high hd cap (lvl+3 if you go all out in most cases) Disables the target for 1min a level.

So I'm pretty much looking at this as a save or die vs things of up to 3 hd above your class level.

2 Main things I want to double check:

First, it mentions if you take a standard action to do something then you break free, but the point of the spell is to make them think they are disabled and can't do anything. It does feel very odd from a GM perspective that the spell lasts for 1 min a level, unless they attempt to do anything in that time.

Second, Disabled, sounds like it would count as helpless, but again given the above, it seems that it doesn't actually stop them from doing anything, since soon as they do something they stop being helpless, so would this qualify for a teammate delivering a coup de grace?

If this was just a 1 round stun I wouldn't think of it as that big of a deal, but a spell that saves or dies a target of higher cr seems a bit cheap to me.

*** Skip to hear to get right to the question***

Does Disable allow for a Coup De Grace?

Has anyone else found this spell problematic?


depends what your holding, a rock, well sure.... the rail of a ship, probably not ^_^

If there isn't I don't see any reason you couldn't work one up rather easily, most of the animal specific archtypes tend to follow the same general jist on the abilities, I'm at work right now or else I'd do a quick write up for you. It sounds creative and I don't see anything breaking about the idea.

I would hardly call it dipping cheese, the character is already a divine caster , supposedly following a god, a level of cleric matches up with inquisitor very well and he'd already have knowledge of the powers the gods can grant.

It's like saying (realistically speaking) that a fighter who takes profession blacksmith so he can craft better swords is being cheesy. It makes complete logical sense.

Also the guy picked a race and took a class that takes advantage of his racial bonus's..... That's like saying if I'm good at Math and teaching that it's "cheesy" for me to become a math teacher. Taking advantage of ones natural abilities is completely ..... well natural! lol

If you can do it, others can do it, and the game world has had established chain markets long before you've been born. They can do everything you can do, and already have the trade deals in place and have more wizards than you do to beat your supply


oh sorry, that may have come across backwards, I don't mean they have 68000 to spend, I mean that is ALL of the loot their character is using, WBl says they should have around 240000 at this point

Thanks for the suggestions though, metamagic rods seem to be the way to go for bang for yer buck , Ioun stone to increase caster level will make them quite happy too.

Howdy folks

So after doing a quick audit of my teams treasure to see how everyone's gear is looking (horribly unbalanced, so much for letting them handle spliting it up). I noticed some of my folks are way behind on gear and are looking for some suggestions.

However, I generally don't build casters, so I'm not to sure of some good higher level goodies, for some stats we've got a Bonded Witch and a Starsoul Sorc Blaster. If I could get some suggestions on gear that would be great. These two just hit level 15 and one is holding 28000 in loot and the other is holding only 68000 in loot. So they really need to gear up.

Thanks for the help.

P.S. I did try checking some guides, but I noticed caster guides rarely seem to include gear sections.

I actually did a similar thing with the martyr's and the abbot , as I couldn't picture that abbot fight being anything other than a joke, A non ally supported caster standing in an open room? Did the designers just hate this guy?

That fight actually proved to be rather taxing on the players, as I kept funneling more martyr's in each fight, and I included the Iron Angel's into the fight in the second half of the fight.

Howdy folks (decided to put a warning here as I ramble a lot but I'm at work and it's slow so I have time, this may be long)

I was just curious about how other gm's run things and player thoughts on it, as a general rule of thumb, I hate weak encounters. I generally find them to be snore filled slugfests not worth the time they waste.

For example, we are playing though Way of the Wicked. An evil campaign I'm quite enjoying (I'll be avoiding spoilers) however the players are closing in on 15th level now and more and more I find myself looking at some of the fights and going meh why bother.

I'm thinking I may be a bit bias as I find these encounters to be a waste of time where the players will use virtually no resources, and beat the guys around like crib locked babies. Now perhaps this has it's place, the players should certainly get to feel strong too at times, and there are ways to do that rather than just overcoming a massive challenge, but these fights just seem like wasted potential, each one is a fight that COULD have been interesting.

More and more as the campaign goes on I find myself wanting to gloss over the filler fights and get to the good stuff. Is this a common issue? I know back when I did homebrew campaigns I had an issue with all my fights being life or death, and honestly I preferred it that way, though the Nova factor of pathfinder doesn't exactly lean itself towards that.

TL DR: what are your guys thoughts and the weak filler fights? remove them? Amp them up to 11? How do you all handle it /enjoy it?

ya know... If their answer is "we'll work it out and if you stop us you are being a jerk" then they might as well have gone BIG.

As in, Opening a rift between planes so that they open a planar gateway that constantly pours out lava to engulf the entire County.

Go big or go home!

As a more on topic rant, I've had to remove people from my games before. After multiple occasions of this player just losing his poop at me.

On one occasion he rampaged out of the house, screaming his character was ruined because his character had taken a bonespike shot into her shoulder and they had failed a str check to pull it free. Since it couldn't be immediately healed he tore up the character sheet and stormed out.

On another occasion the player died twice in one session. One to an unlucky crit that one shotted him , the second was just to bad decision making that had him wandering alone and a haunted inn, after separating from the group and despite multiple warnings that it was a bad idea to split up got picked off by an assassin tailing them.

After that he started picking up and hucking books across the room at me. That was the end of that. I told him to get his ass out and not come back till he grew the hell up. interestingly enough he was 28 at the time and I was only 20 back them O.o. He apologized a few months down the road though so all's well that ends well.

Sometimes you just need to show them you are serious.

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Perhaps if the player had the appropriate knowledge skills, rather than reading from a magic imaginary book, his character would have known if these tanuki had the capacity to do what he wished.

instead he's stereotyping that every single tanuki in the universe can create magic super gunpowder that can sink castles (and I doubt that's what it actually says)

Could you imagine if all NPC's acted like this? Coming up to your heroes asking them to do things they've heard other humans can do. But you can slay a dragon the size of a mountain with ease good sir! I read it in a book! Imagine the enemies they make as they willing just let entire towns of people die to this dragon when they "had the power to stop it with a single swipe of their sword.... as the stories go anyway. Suddenly vengeful sons and daughters are tracking down these blackhearted fools who left their people to certain death because they were too lazy to lift a sword.

anyway I ranted a bit, but they lose the right to claim you are using GM powers to deal with issues that are the Gm's responsibility (ie World Building) If they want to know whats going on they can put points into knowledge skills like everyone else.

I agree with blackbloodtroll this time around, I've never seen a dexterous staff fighter that wasn't Ripped as ol hell. They are certainly not lacking in the strength department. They have a union between strength and dex. Perhaps focusing on that would give you a more unique approach.

Create a thread with the question and FAQ it, trying to convince someone who has already decided they are right otherwise is a waste of time for both parties.

Pride in your intelligence and you opted to play.... Rogue?

I jest of course ^_^ all love to our rogue's , every system needs a whipping boy.

Doesn't seem like you'd get 8 times your static bonus's , the ability clearly spells out that the damage increases by the base weapon damage only. Though I'm sure it's something that's been argued about.

I wouldn't really expect much from dead shot, it's a feat designed to save money rather than increase power.

Dead shot and sneak attack don't work well together, as you only get the sneak attack once, so I don't see it really working, unless I'm missing something .

EDIT: alrighty I see where I made the mistake, still sneak attack seems pretty much useless, but it lets you hit for middle of the line damage a high accuracy. That could be of some use I suppose.

Yeah I'm going to be doing an audit on the wealth of the group soon, I have a feeling one of the players has been syphoning more than there share of funds, just a little bit at a time, always taking the better items , which nobody really argued against, but now at level 15 I think it's really added up to a significant advantage.

Well I happen to disagree with your interpretation about what they consider catching yourself on a slope. I think it's pretty clear. But to each their own.

EDIT: Upon further introspection, I do think your POV of how the slope rules works has more merit than I initially gave it, but I still come to the conclusion that it was not what was intended.

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For the record I don't think the slope DC applies, it seems to me that is meant to indicate when you are rolling down a slope and trying to stop yourself from falling. This seems far more akin to catching onto a flat surface while falling. I don't see these rules that you say specify for catching a slop while not sliding down the slope though, so perhaps I'm just blind.

Yes having it cast directly under them is what I was referring to when I said not as easy as it seems, having the pit as a hazard on the field I have no issue with.

Pitt, I believe he's using the catch onto the side rules saying he never falls in so the distance doesn't matter. I haven't crunched the numbers, but it doesn't seem quite as easy as it's being made out to be, but again, haven't tested it too hard.

I gotta disagree Deth, At least you can TRY to do thing just at a minor penalty.

Pit you can't even do that, you just make a climb check so that you can make a second climb check so that the third turn you can TRY to do something then

You do make some good points Kolo, I'm thinking I'm just going to need to give a solid boost in opponent strength.

I'm also going to do an audit of the characters Wealth levels, one of the characters is dominating quite hard, and I have a feeling it's because he's been taking a larger share of the party funds than the others and it's just been adding up over time.

as a side note, I'm really not seeing web as a comparable spell, Enemies are still able to fight in a web, they can still make attacks, ranged cast spells and the such, they aren't removed from the fight like with create pit spells.

Like I said, my group generally hates magic. So it's possible I'm missing something.

None of my players play wizards and the ones who do play spell casters are generally only blaster sorcs lol so admittedly I have very little experience dealing with spell casters.

And yes, I was ranting so save or die may be a bit of an exaggeration, but something that takes an enemy out of the fight for the entire duration of the fight so good enough as a save or die for me.

Our fights rarely last longer than 5 or 6 rounds, We generally tend to play AP's so unless I mysteriously change the opponents they are fighting for no other reason than to counter them , which is kind of a jerk move, I find create pit dominates most fights.

It's not that it CAN'T be dealt with, it's just that dealing with it in every encounter leaves a bad taste in my mouth as it feels like the old days in 3.0 where the counter to a rogue instant killing things at high level was to throw more folks immune to rogue's at him.

I agree, I hate the pit spells, mind you have a general hatred of save or die spells anyway.

But I have a special hatred for the pit spells as a second level save or die spell makes me just wanna hit my head off the wall sometimes.

I know there are a few ways around it, but it just cuts chunks out of the CR of an encounter and lowers the overall difficulty of the fight significantly that a challenging encounter becomes a cake walk.

bleh, rant.

Shadowkras.... you have stumbled upon how they create trapezoids of annihilation... I'm afraid you now know too much

Byronus, To answer your question.

Any situation in which case the bonus's you get from it Do NOT outweight the penalties, dropping a plus 2 weapon to draw a plus 1 weapon. or heck, dropping your offhand weapon then just changing to two handed and whacking him with that.

or how bout dropping one flail to draw your shortsword and stab him.

Really pretty much any situation in which your player doesn't walk around with 1 weapon massively more powerful then the other.

Granted I'm not saying it's a great ability or anything, but it certainly has it's uses.

I find it's main problem is the same with most tactical things in dnd.... I COULD dance around switch weapons and threaten his cat..... or I could just kill him.

I don't see how it would be useless. You've pointed out a rather specific situation. being in a counter tripped situation where your primary weapon is strong enough that even with all the minus's you'd still get more positives than using your backup weapon.

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What I didn't see in your post was any reason why rolling should be used over point buy. I supposed the closest is you somehow think it increases how brave the society is , and somehow rolling (luck based) over point buy (tactical) is somehow more intelligent?

Sorry chap, You really haven't made any actual case for why it should be changed aside from the fact that you personally don't like it.

It's easy to explain why their would be a penalty to using it as a garrote too, spike chains would have easy finger holds to pull it away from your neck, hence the penalty for it.

in one of my 3.5 games, The players had to deal with a Half Black Dragon War Troll mercenary whose team was screwing with their countries men.

Wartrolls regen is only shut down by acid, half black dragons are immune to acid, so it made him quite the indestructible little fellow.

Eventually they defeated him with the all mighty dollar. they threw so much money at him to fight for them instead he couldn't possibly say no.

Well completely depends on how you want it to go.

So first thing to watch out for, players stopping him before he gets INTO the building, probably better if he has a solid head start, nothing stops an encounter if the players trip lock him before he even gets to where you planned the fight to take place.

Second thing. Should be a building that is already set to burn easily, perhaps a forge or warehouse, somewhere that burnable substances would cause the place to ignite quickly. Warehouse could work well in this case I think due to the fact that it could make the place big enough to be interesting.

Depending on what kind of hazards you want their could be burning sections on the ground, you could give them a chance to spread. Falling debris I'd give the building an initiative count and have it make random attack rolls to represent stuff falling, You could treat this either as a trap like roll, say all being done at +10 or treat it as a reflex save to get out of the way of the debris,

I think the idea of a changing battlefield to be great, flaming pillers falling, flameing debris blocking paths, floor boards collapsing into pits to the basement.

lots of fun to be had.

Aw yes, no , certainly no reason to bring up an edition war in the middle of a game session. Sounds like a solid waste of game time, nothing is going to be gained if someone is deemed "right" and everyone loses game time.

While I enjoyed some aspects of 4e I found building characters to be boring and there were many cases where the choice of abilities was obvious which one was the best of them, limiting replay for us.

I did really like the more tactical movement with a lot of push and pull like moves, felt a lot more tactical as one of the things I dislike about pathfinder is there is very little movement during the battles I find.

Though 4th edition was certainly simplified, that wasn't what I disliked about it, heck if forth edition had pathfinders adventure paths and felt as supported I think they would have done a lot better, but as it is the thought of going back to 4th edition seems like a pain in the ass.

EDIT: As a final note, to each their own, the things I dislike about it may be things that other people really do like, I could see why someone would prefer a streamlined character system to focus on other parts, it's just not for me. I harbour no ill will towards anyone who likes 4th edition.

the fact that he CAN hide it is what shows how good a rogue he is.... or he just uses "masterwork hiding tools" in the form of a jar of vasaline.

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