Ancient Vortex Dragon

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So I've had the Emerald Spire Superdungeon in my possession for a good while, and we're looking to delve further into it. We've had a few party members fall off the radar and looking for fellows to help brave the terrors below.

Some basics:

-Hosted on Roll20

-Voice chat through Discord

-Sunday around 12:00 CST. Biweekly/monthly (based on availability / whatever life throws at us)

-Must be a decent human being, and treat others as such.

-Have an adequate understanding of rules and function. We're happy to remind everyone of an obscure rule, but please understand

-Several common-sense houserules that I can explain via PM

-Generally speaking, if it's in a Paizo book, it's free game. Although you may have some mild explaining to do if you're an Aquatic Elf hailing from a desert region.

-Path of War material is available for use.

-Using quite a few rules from Pathfinder Unchained, including poison/disease tracks, Stamina, Action Economy, Skill Unlocks, ABP.

-Usually I stick pretty tight with rules as a GM, but if something "too cool for rules" comes along, I'm happy to throw the books out the window.

I've been GMing for 12+ years, and what strikes me about the Spire is how each floor is done by a different author or game designer that had an impact throughout D&D/PF history. It's like a stroll down RPG memory lane that I would be happy to be a part of.

Any takers?


Kain Dragonhand wrote:
I really don't like the idea of the GM determining the emotional state of my character based on how the DM feels my character should feel.

I'm not sure where this idea is coming from. What I have in mind is quite the opposite; the player tells the GM what the PC is feeling, then gains a minor emotion status. Entirely player-driven. And yes, it's entirely possible and acceptable to not feel anything after something happens.

No saving throws. No rolls involved. Should the player feel his or her character might be overwhelmed with grief, ecstatically in love, etc, then the emotional state changes.

The idea also isn't directly tied to other class features that might exhibit changes in emotional status (such as Inspire Courage, Rage, or anything a Skald can do). How those function is already determined by what the abilities give, and how those abilities "behave" can be virtually described in any fashion the player desires. For instance starting a Rage could be described as the character entering a state of high-focus, forgoing their own defenses to bring down an opponent. It doesn't always have to be flavored as "angry."


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
...shouldn't we be the ones determining if our character is disgusted, amused, or enraged?

Absolutely. I've been toying with the idea that it an be represented with a tiny bonus, and penalty to break even.

Say, for example, a childhood friend of a PC doesn't live up to his word on a promise, and the PC tells me he feels betrayed.

I dig into my notecards, hand him the "betrayed" condition: "You take a -1 penalty on Diplomacy checks to alter attitude due to your bitterness, but gain a +1 bonus on Sense Motive checks to determine if someone is lying to you."

Something along the lines of that. Really miniscule bonuses and penalties. Duration being until another emotion overwhelms the previous one.


I came to this idea shortly after Unchained was released, and was curious if there might be any rules in the works for 2E based on what characters -feel-

I've gone and made a list of bane/boons for PF1 via an emotions wheel (https://i.imgur.com/q6hcgsH.jpg), but our table hasn't gotten a chance to use it however.

Would PF2 possibly have something such as this on the horizon? It might encourage more emotional investment in characters, and more interesting interaction with the GM.


Grave Warden Slayer.


Davor wrote:
Zenogu wrote:

Color me clueless. I'm not entirely sold on Razmiran Priest. A big bonus to UMD is nothing to sneeze at, but the only way you actually behave "priestly" in any fashion is if you have a wand or staff of what you need on hand. I imagine there is at least one 9th level bloodline power that's better than that ability. Getting Aid and Remove Disease is appreciated, but not world shatteringly good.

What am I missing?

Like all spellasters, Razmiran Priests benefit from having a diverse selection of spells. You could, for example, use the class as a Resurrector, a scroll of Raise Dead being all you need to rez your allies, with the cost baked into the scroll. It basically lets you get around the material component costs of a TON of spells like that, in addition to having access to both your Sorcerer spells AND any divine scrolls that come into your possession.

Ah, spell-completion items is what I missed. I had it painted in my head with charged items only.


Color me clueless. I'm not entirely sold on Razmiran Priest. A big bonus to UMD is nothing to sneeze at, but the only way you actually behave "priestly" in any fashion is if you have a wand or staff of what you need on hand. I imagine there is at least one 9th level bloodline power that's better than that ability. Getting Aid and Remove Disease is appreciated, but not world shatteringly good.

What am I missing?


I thought as much. Thank you!

Friendly Neighborhood Glabrezu wrote:

However, do note that he never receives the standard monk's Stunning Fist class feature, so Stunning Fist will only ever inflict the stunned condition (though stunned is a pretty great condition).

I've always been skeptic of this particular ability as well. "Stunned" is one of the best conditions you can afflict on an opponent, so why would a monk want to trade down, other than getting around immunities? Yes, it gets better as the monk grows in levels, but nine times out of ten the monk will probably choose Stunned over the rest of the conditions.


I've been curious about this for awhile, but have never bothered to seek an answer since it never came up. However, with a particular Monk player on the rise, it may actually come to the surface.

What happens if a Monk selects an archetype that replaces Stunning Fist (say, Windstep Master getting Hurricane Punch instead), and then later selects Stunning Fist as a feat upon leveling (say, by becoming a 9th level Unchained Monk)?

How many uses per day would this character have?

For simplicity, we're assuming a 9th-level Dwarven Unchained Monk. Would it be twice per day per the feat's entry? Or would it be 9 times per day per the "special" entry?


Prof. Löwenzahn wrote:

There is one Teamwork feat that I have seen paying off in a non Cavalier/Inquisitor build:

Target of Opportunity

There's a certain party I would -love- to try out utilizing this, Roman legionnaire style with short spears and shields. This feat was the icing on the cake, and pretty much determined that the party needed to wield thrown weapons.

Then again, there's actually a decent amount of archetypes to go around to pick other styles as well. A good number of them also have mounts or animal companions, which would also receive the teamwork feats these archetypes share using their methods.

A full party of these types of characters would be a blast, but the teamwork feats are hardly worth anyone else's time.


Looking through the books, it looks like the readied action wins. It may not make much sense, but some credit definitely needs to be thrown to readied actions in general.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

If a creature or character readies an action to attack a spellcaster with the phrase "When he starts to cast a spell..," can he or she interrupt a Quickened or Swift spell in doing so? Or is the gesture too quick to react to?


Avoron wrote:

Other 10 minute/level personal spells:

aram zey's trap ward, chameleon scales, enshroud thoughts, eyes of the void, firebelly, focused scrutiny, heightened awareness, inner focus, jungle mind, perceive cues, phantom blood, resinous skin, seducer's eyes, veil of heaven, veil of positive energy

Yikes. Hardly any of those justify the cost and slot of the ring.


Java Man wrote:
Ah, the double dip clause, that would nix it. Was hung up on the othwr way it doesn't work, missed this way that it doesn't.

I'm unaware of a double dip clause. What does it pertain to?

With this combination, I'm under the impression that the character would receive a Mount and an Animal Companion. Completely separate of each other.


Would an Sacred Huntsmaster Inquisitor that chose the Chivalry Inquisition receive two full-blown animal companions? Surprisingly enough, the archetype does not replace Domain/Inquisition.

Also, if the above is a yes, would he grant both of these animal companions Teamwork feats via Hunter Tactics? And Animal Focus?


Weirdo wrote:

If your GM does ignore the FAQ, you might also consider an Honour Guard cavalier with the Order of the Dragon. They rely mostly on Bodyguard and can't boost your AC as high as the Witchguard but do get some other tactical abilities your whole party can enjoy.

Honor Guard Cavalier with an Animal Companion using the Bodyguard Archetype. This essentially lets you split up defense between allies. Not bad!


rashiakas wrote:
Heh, another feat that requieres combat expertise. Paizo, Paizo never learns...

I read that much like the opening sequences t Fallout games by Ron Perlman "War. War never changes.."

This feat is actually half-decent in the revised action economy, along with Bullseye Shot. Assuming your GM waivers Combat Expertise that is.


Gorum's swordsmanship is not bad, but I feel like it should be a default option in the game.

Sidenote: Am I the only one that is greatly disappointed by the fact that there are no special Warpriest options for Divine Fighting Techniques?


Daw wrote:
I always liked the Teamwork Stealth one, but was b'd out because all it did was delay or avoid combat.

I -love- this teamwork feat. I'm not sure if that FAQ every got answered on how it functions, but it is good on its own just for everyone sharing the highest d20 roll.

As for being chewed out, why? Avoiding combat isn't necessarily a victory. And it doesn't really delay the game any more than everyone rolling their own individual stealth checks.


I am 3rding Ryan Freire. Teamwork feats can be very impressive, but only if someone (or everyone) has a method of sharing them. The good news? There's about 12 archetypes that can do so.


Revised Action Economy in Unchained addresses this issue, among several similar ones.


Certainly not the most, but Giantslayer has a noticeable amount of dragons. It actually recommends them as a secondary Favored Enemy for Rangers in the Player Guide.


Oh! I also forgot another houserule. We treat Rapid Shot and Manyshot like Two-Weapon Fighting rules, since Full Attack actions are gone.


WatersLethe wrote:
Can anyone go into more detail about how they feel Two Weapon Fighting with RAE compares with normal action economy? It sounds like it's significantly more powerful, from what I'm reading above.

Long story short,you have 3 acts and you can get two attacks in one act with TWF. Improved and Greater TWF let you get your 2nd attack in your 2nd and 3rd act respectively.

This makes TWF much more intensely mobile, as you can move your speed and still get up to 4 swings. Also, you can charge and get both weapon attacks.


Errant Mercenary wrote:

What Im particularly looking for:

  • Has movement "creep" become a problem? You can now do 60ft movement + 1 action. People crossing battle maps faster?
  • Does combat feel different? Is it more fluid?
  • Have Swift action classes been hurt (magus, warpriest etc)? Did you house rule this?
  • Have unused builds and strategies come into play? (demoralise, feinting, hit and run)
  • Is there a notable difference in play compared to the old system?
  • Did you houserule something? If so, what? Case by case swift actions etc...
  • Rocket tag. Is it happening less, more? Less at higher levels?

    [/list]

  • Movement "creep" is a thing, but not a bad thing. It makes a character's speed actually relevant, instead of staying still and slugging it out. Unchained Monk excels very well here. Spellcasters lose a tad bit of mobility, given that a swift spell + a standard spell is now your full turn. No complaints however, as spells have dramatic effects.
  • Combat does feel more fluid, given that some actions in the old AE no longer take practically your entire turn (I.e. Bull Rush, Overrun, etc).
  • The fact that no one is limited to 1/turn swift actions (on top of getting a reaction) really helps the game. You no longer have to answer why players can't trade a standard action with another swift action with "Uhh... Because the game says you can't."
  • Your list of "unused" builds have pretty much become a norm at our table. Most players built characters to begin with per normal, but seeing how the enemies act has changed their ideas.
  • Yes, the game is actually fun and makes more sense. A hasted character now actually feels swifter. It is easier to dictate how long something will take by expressing it in "it will require X acts to wind this device up fully."
  • We houseruled swift actions. If you leave them entirely alone, I feel that swift actions do get hurt slightly. Our only houserule is that most 1-round duration swift actions (Arcane Strike, "Litany" Spells, etc) can simply be used once a turn as a Free Action. Everything else falls into place nicely.
  • I cannot comment on super high level play, but Rocket Tag can definitely happen still. It's important to be wary of One-Hit Wonders like T-Rex and Giant monsters. I almost strictly use them for "boss fights" only.


  • Revised Action Economy in Pathfinder Unchained addresses this.


    Assuming "legal" potion means "what spells can I stuff in a bottle?" you would have to cross reference the Brew Potion feat and the Magic Item Creation rules.

    For Brew Potion:
    "You can create a potion of any 3rd-level or lower spell that you know and that targets one or more creatures or objects."

    For the relevant Magic Item Creation rules:
    "Spells with a range of personal cannot be made into potions."

    There are several NPC statblocks across adventure paths and other material who have potions in their inventory that do not follow the rules listed above. They are, unfortunately, in-error for possessing them. It is very plausible an author misinterpreted or forgot these rules when equipping these NPCs.


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    Play a Shaman instead, and simply behave and roleplay like a Cleric.


    Why settle for 1 at level 1? If you could convince your fellows to play any smorgasbord of the following, it would actually be pretty neat. Teamwork makes the dream work.

    1. Pack Rager Barbarian
    2. Exemplar Brawler
    3. Strategist Cavalier
    4. Holy Tactician Paladin
    5. Vanguard Slayer
    6. Hunter
    7. Inquisitor
    8. Arbiter Bard
    9. Battle Scion Skald
    10. Divine Commander Warpriest

    All of the above have some sort of way to grant teamwork feats to others, even if the allies do not qualify. It gets pretty intense, given how many of these are able to acquire Animal Companions (who will also be getting in on the Teamwork action).


    Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
    Zenogu wrote:

    I'm sort of surprised this issue hasn't been addressed sooner. No one at my table plays Bard, and mine usually take Sing/Dance...

    Following this rabbit hole, it would be super cool if "Two-Handed" or unconventional instruments gave better benefits through Bardic Performance, much like Two-Handed weapons get for combat.

    They give you the options of bonus on Perform checks from using a masterwork instrument.

    ...But I want options like a bigger Inspire Courage, or adding an extra target for Inspire Heroics, or turning Suggestion into Charm Monster.

    It would be neat to see things like that.


    I'm sort of surprised this issue hasn't been addressed sooner. No one at my table plays Bard, and mine usually take Sing/Dance...

    Following this rabbit hole, it would be super cool if "Two-Handed" or unconventional instruments gave better benefits through Bardic Performance, much like Two-Handed weapons get for combat.


    *shameless bump*


    pulseoptional wrote:

    On a similar vein, what happens if you have Returning on your "ammunition?" say, if you have Returning Cards (as a Card Caster magus?)

    I highly doubt Returning can be placed on ammo. But if it could, per RAW, it would return only if it missed the opponent. Even then, it risks destruction based on a coin toss.


    It's just a tad confusing when the weapons mentioned here are listed under "Ammunition" on the d20pfsrd.


    I suppose what I am trying to get to the bottom of is if there is a list of weapons that behave similarly like shuriken. That is to say, they can be drawn without the need for Quick Draw, are destroyed after use, and are enchanted in mass quantity.

    After glancing over it, I'm actually not 100% certain on Darts functioning the same way. And there are weird cases such as Pilums as well, where they behave like ammunition in that they are destroyed after use.


    Is there a coherent list that makes the distinction between thrown weapons and thrown ammunition? I'm looking for some viable ranged sidearms for a PC. Based on the d20pfsrd, all that I see are Darts and Shurikens.


    I see it now. It unfortunately still does not give us 100% clarity on whether the off-hand is considered occupied or not during spell combat.

    A few situations that come to mind:

    Am I considered to have a free hand to use Deflect Arrows after using Spell Combat?

    Am I considered to have a free hand to catch a weapon I have disarmed my opponent of after using Spell Combat?

    Do I have a free hand if I am holding a charge for a touch spell after using Spell Combat?

    For a Multiclass Free Hand Fighter/Magus, do you benefit from the Singleton ability during Spell Combat?

    Is you hand considered free for purposes like Crane Wing after using Spell Combat?

    If someone chooses to ignore the errata, are you considered to have a free hand for the Precise Strike Arcane Deed?


    Im probably digging up an old hatchet that was buried, but I cannot for the life of me find this errata in the FAQ. Where is it located?


    TWF and archery get rather interesting. So does Mounted Combat.


    There's holes here and there which you can plug with your options, but no other class has access to all 3 types of Magic.


    Shaman is incredible. I will pretty much never play a Cleric ever again thanks to it.

    For Blasters, Lore is hard to argue with. But I usually prefer that as my Wandering Spirit, just so I can Swiss-Army-Knife my spell selection. To be fair, the Shaman may very well have the best spell list in the game (without certain Spirits/Hexes/FCB).


    If you're looking for more Casting than Fighting, Blade Adept Arcanist.

    If you're looking for more Fighting than Casting, Arcane Bloodrager with VMC Magus is actually decent.

    If you're looking for a balance between both, Magus works fine. Archetypes can match your playstyle. Eldritch Archer for "Arcane Archer." Myrmidarch for switch-hitter. Vanilla/Kensai/Black Blade for melee.

    Most importantly, choose the option you'll have the most fun with


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    I would love to see Unchained add optional temporary Emotional Conditions. Such as being Happy, In-Love, and Melancholic. And maybe some condition cards to go with it.


    Mike J wrote:


    I mostly agree. I guess the bone I have to pick regarding RAE is the "Swift action = Simple action" part. If you don't think about it too hard, it seems fine. But it really doesn't work in many cases and almost no guidance was given on how to handle those cases. I think that is what makes it seem "unfinished" to some folks. That said, it is still a great book.

    A small houserule I implemented was that most 1-round duration Swift Actions become Free Actions. Mostly pertaining to things like Arcane Strike, "Litany" Spells, and a few Magus Arcana. It doesn't fix the whole thing, but it helps.

    The plus side is now we can finally do more than 1 swift action per turn. I'm sure a few Warpriests and Inquisitors are happy about that.


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Am I the only one who likes the Revised Action Economy? It obviously needs tweaking, but it really does help out to enable martials who aren't archers, lack reach, and don't pounce.

    My fav part of the book, honestly. I've implemented it in games I run, and have no intentions of going back to the old ways. Of course, I have some amendments to it that really just feel like common sense at the end of the day. Most 1-round-duration swift actions become free actions (i.e. Arcane Strike, "Litany" spells, etc). I made Rapid Shot and Manyshot behave like Two-Weapon Fighting does.

    If I had to rank things...

    1. Revised Action Economy
    2. Stamina & Combat Tricks
    3. Automatic Bonus Progression
    4. Unchained classes
    5. Skill Unlocks
    6. Dynamic Item Creation
    7. Diseases & Poisons

    We give Combat Stamina to all Full Base Attack classes, with absolutely 0 complaints. Other classes may simply select the feat anytime they qualify. I have a modified ABP chart that includes everything minus the legendary gifts and weapon/armor attunement. Also, I have the bonuses from the chart listed as untyped, just so players can enjoy their abilities to the fullest (Rings of Protection never played well with Protection From Evil). Unchained classes are just the player's choice (minus Summoner, because reasons). Skill Unlocks are surprisingly neat; kudos to Heal and Sense Motive. Dynamic Item Creation is just flavorific. Disease & Poison tracks, while less diverse, offer a different take on afflictions.


    Update on some of our gaming sessions using this system:

    We noticed that Feint has the Attack Subtype, even though it isn't actually an attack nor a combat maneuver. We simply removed that subtype, as it didn't quite make sense. A character would normally feint in order to get his opponent's guard down, but tacking on a -5 penalty made it much less appealing.

    From the d20 pfsrd: "Note: Though the feint action is located here, near the rules for combat maneuvers, and while it seems like it might BE a combat maneuver, feinting is NOT a combat maneuver. The Paizo PRD is organized with the feint rules located in the same placement."

    I'm aware that this essentially gives -everyone- Improved Feint for free, but it's only an appealing combat option for someone who strives for it (and thus, would probably be good at it anyway). No one has complained about lessening a feat tax.

    Besides, with Aid Another as 1 act, everyone essentially has Swift Aid for free. Again, no complaints there. It has actually encouraged people to work together.


    Claxon wrote:
    You want an archer Inquisitor you worship Erastil, take Deadeye Bowman trait, you don't need an archetype at all, and choose the Chivalry Inquisition to get yourself a mount. Give you and your mount escape route and you no-longer are worried about provoking AoO for firing your bow, because your mount will just move you out of harms way. Point-Blank Master isn't necessary.

    I've always wondered what happens if you choose Chivalry Inquisition on a Sacred Huntsmaster...


    With the items gone but leaving the stats the same, essentially it's like the Mooks also have an inherent automatic bonus progression themselves.

    In all seriousness, I haven't come across a 10th-level NPC that did not have a stat-enhancing, save-increasing, or AC-bumping item. Being able to put all of that aside gives me room to hand out more unique and memorable magic items.


    It's been decent thus far, but I've only tested it in one group. Not having to worry about the typical magic items cuts down on a lot of the homework for the GM. Leaving out attunements allows for spending extra gold on decent backup weapons (without having to worry about wasting an attunement for the day).

    Less homework, but still enough flexibility for the players.


    Revised Action Economy

    For a rough translation, Staggered would deny the creature 1 act, and Nauseated would deny them 2 acts.

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