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Scarab Sages

Hey all. I tried searching for this but my Google-fu must be weak.

I have an unchained rogue with the shadow walker archetype. Here's the ability I have a question about:

Illumination Control (Sp) wrote:
At 3rd level, a shadow walker can manipulate nearby illumination. At the start of each day, a shadow walker gains a number of illumination points equal to half her rogue level and can spend illumination points to use certain spell-like abilities. As long as she has at least 1 illumination point, she can cast light at will. She can spend 2 illumination points to cast darkness, and 3 illumination points to cast daylight, deeper darkness, or motes of dusk and dawn. These spell-like abilities have a caster level equal to the shadow walker’s rogue level. Using these spell-like abilities does not hamper the shadow walker’s vision; for example, she can see through the deeper darkness she creates, and does not take penalties for light sensitivity in the area of her own daylight.

1. Can the shadow walker use an eclipsed spell metamagic rod to cause the light spell to create the equivalent of a darkness effect?

2. Can the shadow walker see through this darkness effect as though it didn't exist?

And an unrelated question:

3. If the shadow walker can cast darkness spells from levels in wizard, can she see through that darkness as though it didn't exist? (I notice that the ability says "for example", which to me means that there are other situations and it's not an exhaustive list.)


Scarab Sages

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I believe that the Magical Knack trait is pretty clear -- there's no prerequisite for having a spellcasting class. There are no requirements similar to "ability to cast 1st level spells." No require to have a "class spell list" or anything of that type. The trait itself says "pick a class" but doesn't limit it in any way, or even require that you choose a class you already have. At 1st level I should be able to take Magical Knack (Rogue). In fact, I should be able to take my first level as Fighter but still select Magical Knack (Rogue), even though it won't be usable until my rogue gains the above rogue talents...

Or so it seems to me.

A counter-argument for the GM might be, "Show me the rules that support a wizard taking this trait?!" and then use the same points in support of the rogue, but I fear such a proof won't be found compelling enough. :-/

What are the logical arguments to allow a 1st level rogue to take Magical Knack (Rogue)?

Thanks everyone! :)

Scarab Sages

Say I have a BBEG with the ability to cast illusions. Further say that this BBEG is currently ethereal via some spell-like ability. Can the illusions be cast such that they appear on the Material Plane?

I can see a clear argument for "no" being the answer. But from the spell description there's nothing to say that illusions are not perceived.

PRD wrote:
Force effects and abjurations affect an ethereal creature normally. Their effects extend onto the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane, but not vice versa. An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things. Certain material creatures or objects have attacks or effects that work on the Ethereal Plane.
APG section of the PRD wrote:
While it is possible to see into the Material Plane from the Ethereal Plane, the latter is usually invisible to those on the Material Plane. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot attack creatures on the Material Plane, and vice versa. A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible, insubstanial, and utterly silent to someone on the Material Plane.

In the highlighted sections is the implication that objects, in addition to creatures, are invisible to creatures on the Material Plane looking into the Ethereal Plane. But it's not really stated.

APG section of the PRD wrote:
Normal Magic: Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane, though they do not cross into the Material Plane.

That seems pretty clear. But an illusion is a figment of the mind and not physical -- cannot the mind of a creature on the Material Plane be affected?

(I think I've talked myself out of this being possible, but now that I've typed all this, I may as well submit it. :))

Scarab Sages

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First, here's the ability:

CotCT AP wrote:

Possession (Su) To use this ability, the bdellavritra must be on the same plane as the targeted creature and make a successful grapple attempt against the victim. If the bdellavritra can maintain a grapple with a creature for a whole round, the target must make a DC 25 Will save to resist being possessed. If the creature fails, the bdellavritra possesses the creature, gaining control of the being and shunting its own body to the Ethereal Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 17th), except that it does not require a receptacle. A creature that successfully saves is immune to that same bdellavritra’s possession ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based. A bdellavritra cannot use this ability while on the Outer Planes or any other area not connected to the Ethereal Plane.

While possessing a creature, a bdellavritra can relinquish or retake control of its host body whenever it pleases, without leaving the host’s body. The host creature becomes immune to all other mind-affecting effects while possessed. Even when not in control, the devil can still sense the world by using its host’s senses. Any attempt to detect thoughts or alignment, or similar divination effects cast upon the host, detects only the properties of the entity controlling the body at that time, whether it be the host or the bdellavritra. If the bdellavritra is forced from its host’s body, the host body is slain, or the devil voluntarily gives up control, its consciousness instantly returns to its body on the Ethereal Plane. A bdellavritra is subconsciously aware of its body’s condition and immediate surroundings on the Ethereal Plane. Should its body be damaged or have a creature or threat approach within 5 feet, the devil likely relinquishes control of its host and returns its consciousness to its true body to defend itself.

Nowhere in that description do I see answers to these two questions:

1. Does the possessed creature gain the racial types of the possessor? Specifically, does it gain the Outsider type or any of the {devil,evil,extraplanar,lawful} subtypes? I need to know this to resolve the effects of a banishment spell.

2. Assuming that the banishment spell DOES apply, how long would the possessor be required to stay on its own plane? I know other sources say that some extraplanar creatures who are destroyed while on the Prime Material plane spend years in the void before their body reforms on their home plane, but I see nothing in the descriptions of the dismissal or banishment spells about this.

General question regarding spell-like abilities:

1. SLAs that mimic spells with material components don't require them. But what about greater scrying? Does the creature need a scrying device? If not, could the creature have multiple of those effects running at once? This could be particularly useful for Sermignatto as he can cast it 3/day. This also applies to plane shift -- can Sermignatto send a target creature to any plane?

General spell questions:

1. How does waves of exhaustion interact with haste? Say Sermi casts WoE which cuts the party members speed in half. When the wizard casts haste, their speed has 30 feet added. Is it done in the order the effects took place? So cut speed in half, then add 30 feet? Or does WoE first change the targets "normal speed" (as stated by the haste spell) to be half of normal, then add 30 feet? I'm looking both for the reasoning as to why you would apply them in a particular order, then how you would apply them in this case.

Last, what are some good tactics for the bdellavritra? It looks like blasphemy first is a no-brainer. Then maybe try to plane shift one of the fighters or rogues (lower will saves) somewhere. (See material component question, above.) How can persistent image be used to best effect?

I'm playing this 3.5 module in PF Final, so keep in mind that a slight power up is probably okay -- my party is 5 PCs of mostly 13th level so this could be a tough fight as-is: fighter12, wizard12, ranger10/monk3, grappling barbarian13+cohort (cleric10), rogue2/cleric3/wizard3/mystic theurge5 (pseudodragon familiar).

Thanks for reading this far, everyone!

Scarab Sages

For example, I know that detect magic has a chance of working when used in combination with scrying, but if a spellcaster has detect magic running and simply looks around an area what can they detect in regards to the area being a (1) teleport source/destination, (2) entry point from the Ethereal plane or the Plane of Shadows, or (3) an area in which a summoned or gated creature appeared?

Basically, there was an incursion into an area and the party spellcaster wants to use detect magic about 10-15 minutes after the battle -- what would they be able to determine?

Scarab Sages

So a PC's cohort died in our last game session. How is the cohort replaced?

If the PC wants, they can opt to raise the cohort and then pay for the negative level to be removed.

What if they choose not to raise the cohort? When they attract another one there will be a -2 penalty to the Leadership score for having a dead cohort, but is anything else different? For example, the chart in the feat says the -2 applies when the PC tries to attract a cohort -- does it also apply to followers the PC has or could have?

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

First, the relevant definitions from the glossary:

PRD, Glossary wrote:
Pinned: A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is flat-footed. A pinned character also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class. A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check. A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level) or lose the spell. Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.
PRD, Glossary wrote:
Prone: The character is lying on the ground. A prone attacker has a –4 penalty on melee attack rolls and cannot use a ranged weapon (except for a crossbow). A prone defender gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks, but takes a –4 penalty to AC against melee attacks.

Which AC penalties apply when a creature is both pinned and prone?

For example, say you've got a creature with a normal AC of 26. He should lose 4 points of AC due to being pinned (and also loses Dex bonus to AC, but let's assume there isn't any). The last clause of Prone says the defender would take a -4 AC penalty against melee attacks.

Neither one is typed, but it seems to me (from a "logic" standpoint) that both are due to the same thing: restricted movement. Yet it appears that by RAW they stack.


(I ruled that they do, in fact, stack for last night's game. But it may change for the next session.)

Scarab Sages

I have a PC with a shield bash build in my campaign, but this question applies to any creature using multiple weapons.

Suppose a fighter with two-weapon rend has a longsword in his primary hand and a shortsword in his off-hand. The longsword is cold iron and the shortsword is +3 (effective against DR/silver). (Feat text is here.)

When the PC hits with both attacks they get to roll 1d10+1.5*StrB as "rend damage". What is the type of this damage? If a creature has DR/silver, is the rend entirely silver? Only 50% silver? Or some percentage based on the amount of damage done (longsword does 10 pts, shortsword does 5 pts, so the rend is 66% cold iron and 33% silver)?

I know that last one sounds like a ridiculous way to figure it, but we play online using MapTool so a macro to calculate the results wouldn't be tough at all. :)

I was generous and allowed the rend to be both silver and cold iron in tonight's game but I warned the player that it would likely change after I got some replies here on the message board. ;-)

Scarab Sages

Suppose an imp with the ability to cast Beast Shape I uses it to transform into a Small-size creature. The spell description says this causes a gain of a +2 size bonus to Dex and a +1 NA bonus. (I'm going to assume the NA bonus is racial, as I do for Form of the Dragon.)

Does a Tiny-size creature like the imp gain an additional +2 to Dex? Per RAW it would appear it does. This seems counter-intuitive -- I bet the spell was meant for a Medium-size creature to cast.

However, changing into a Medium-size creature grants a +2 size bonus to Str and a +2 NA bonus!

I think my imps may change to Small size. They lose two points of AC but gain it back by the change. And they can now attack without provoking (since they no longer need to enter the target creature's square).

Or maybe it's good enough to just go invisible, then enter the target's square before attacking. But they'd need to go invisible again to get away without provoking.


Edit: The change shape special ability says the imp can't change to size Medium anyway. It also says the ability scores don't change, but the statblock for the imp specifically references Beast Shape I??

Edit2: Okay, so now the change shape appears to contradict the Polymorph subschool of transmutation somewhat. The Polymorph description says one thing and the change shape says another, but the change shape references the Beast Shape I spell. I think I'm going to have my imps retain their natural form. ;)

Scarab Sages

6 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

I made a ruling in our game last night that I'm having second thoughts on. I believe I handled it correctly, but there's still this nagging in the back of my mind...

A meatshield fighter with blind-fight moves forward to engage an opponent. In doing so he moves past a stealthing rogue/assassin that he failed to spot.

After the fighter takes his single attack against the opponent (std action), the NPC comes out of delay to step from the shadows (becoming visible) and proceeds to wail on the unsuspecting fighter gaining sneak attack damage on every attack. (The assassin is a TWF specialist.)

PRD wrote:
Blind-Fight Feat: An invisible attacker gets no advantages related to hitting you in melee. That is, you don't lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, and the attacker doesn't get the usual +2 bonus for being invisible. The invisible attacker's bonuses do still apply for ranged attacks, however.

I ruled that because the fighter didn't know the creature was there, the blind-fight feat doesn't help -- the fighter is effectively flat-footed against this NPC. (Note that "flat-footed" != "lose your Dex".)

Did I do this correctly? Or should only the first attack include sneak damage? Or maybe none of them?

Thanks for your help!

Scarab Sages

Let's say a barbarian has exited his rage and is fatigued. That condition says he can "move at half speed". It does not say his speed is cut in half.

Haste says "All of the hasted creature's modes of movement (including land movement, burrow, climb, fly, and swim) increase by 30 feet, to a maximum of twice the subject's normal speed using that form of movement."

So if the bbn has a base land speed of 40 ft, I'm thinking that the haste adds 30 ft to make 70 ft, then the fatigue cuts it in half, resulting in 35.

Or does the fatigue happen first, which makes his 40 ft into 20 ft, then the haste adds up to 30 ft to make it 50 ft? (I'm letting haste add 30 ft instead of 20 because fatigue doesn't change the base speed, it only limits how much of your base speed you're allowed to use.)

What about magical flying? If a spell provides a movement of 60 ft, how would fatigue and haste affect it? And does it matter if the flying is achieved with wings?

Scarab Sages

The rules say that a standard action and a move action in the same turn cause the move action to provoke an AOO. So if a spellcaster makes a move other than a 5-ft step and then casts a spell, the movement provokes an AOO before the caster leaves their initial square.

Okay, now follow me on the next few progressions:

1. What about in the other order? Suppose the caster casts a spell and then moves. The movement still provokes...

2. Now suppose the caster makes a Concentration check and casts without provoking, then moves. The movement still provokes...

3. Now suppose that the spell being cast was something that provided total concealment (such as invisibility). The movement would still provoke, but does the total concealment mean that the movement does NOT provoke at all?


Scarab Sages


No comment anyone?

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Let's say a PC has used the form of the dragon I ability from the dragon disciple PrC. They gain fly 60 ft (poor).

Now let's say that this PC wants to make a full attack while flying. Here are the "givens" as I see them; please correct me if I'm wrong.

They have to make a Hover check, right? The normal DC is 15, but they have poor maneuverability so they have a -4 penalty on their roll. If they roll a 14 or less then they have failed by 5 or more and "plummet to the ground and take appropriate falling damage".


1. When is the Fly check rolled? It seems like the start of the action when the PC declares a full attack (that's the point at which the PC is not moving at least half his speed and is thus defined as hovering). Or, perhaps the PC gets to take the first attack and then decide? (That allows the PC to change his mind after seeing how the first attack goes and switch to a move action for the second part of his turn.)

2. If the Fly check is failed by 5 or more (the attempt to hover fails) and the PC plummets to the ground, is that movement considered movement by the creature (thus taking up their action for the round) and does it provoke AOOs as they fall?

3. How much of their action is consumed by falling? Suppose they only fall 5 ft to a solid surface. What if they fall 10 feet? Is the first considered a "5-ft step" and the second is a move action? Or does a failed attempt to hover consume their entire action for the round? Or maybe it only consumes a move action if the distance fallen is less than double their movement (since flying downwards allows double the distance to be traveled in a single move)? In the case of the example PC that would be 120 ft.

4. Does flying with wings otherwise affect the full attack action of the PC? Can the wings be used in the attack routine? If the hover check succeeds, does the PC gain the +1 bonus for being on "higher ground" or do they need a stable surface to stand on to gain that bonus?

Lots of fun, eh? Can you guess what situation I'm expecting to come up in next Tuesday's game? ;-)

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

In the form of the dragon I spell is a list of modifiers: +4 size bonus to Str, +2 size bonus to Con, +4 natural armor bonus, and so on.

What is the type of the NA bonus? Does it stack with an amulet of NA? Does it stack with NA gained through other racial characteristics? Let's say the creature in question is a race with a +2 NA and has an amulet of NA +1. When using this spell (through the dragon disciple PrC) does the creature get NA +7?

I think the NA should be typed as "racial" and thus overlap with the +2 NA postulated in my previous question. That makes the total NA +5.

Scarab Sages

I'm prepping for a game tonight and wanted to make sure about two things:

1. A creature who by its nature inflicts bleed damage makes two attacks. The initial bleed damage is taken on each attack, but the amount taken from round to round doesn't stack. Right? So two attacks, let's say 3 points of bleed damage for each. Both attacks will do their normal damage + 3. But on the next round only 3 points of bleed occurs, not 6?

2. A creature with 5-ft reach is wielding a reach weapon which provides 10-ft reach. That creature no longer threatens the squares immediately around it. However, if such creature has natural attacks or Impr Unarmed Strike that creature *does* threaten the surrounding area by virtue of being able to use natural attacks instead of the reach weapon, right? Also, since the reach weapon could be held in one hand and switched to another hand as a free action, both hands could be used to make attacks? (Not necessary in the case of IUS, but it would be required for creatures with two claw attacks, for example.)

As a corollary of #2, an opponent that closes to within 5-ft of the above hypothetical beast (!) would provoke from the reach weapon as it tries to leave the square 10-ft away, but a feat like Stand Still could force the opponent to stop in their tracks, right? And if I use the LargeAndInCharge feat from the Draconomicon the same thing would apply?

Thanks all!

Scarab Sages

I've got a L11 loremaster in my game who has put a permanent arcane sight on himself. The spell says that the target's eyes glow blue. So when the spellcaster goes invisible, the blue glow is still visible when the caster's eyes are open, right?

How can that glow be hidden? Would it require a custom pair of goggles?

This player wanted his PC to use prestidigitation to "change the color of his eyes" and I told him that they're no longer blue -- now their green. But their still glowing. ;)

I told him we'd let it go for right now (he could hide the glow) and I'd post here to see what the collective wisdom of the Internet says. I figure there are enough of you using Aid Another that I should get a pretty good answer. So who's going to make the roll and who's going to be aiding? ;)

Scarab Sages

Here's a situation that happened last game session: a PC is grappling a bad guy. The bad guy breaks the grapple and flies away. Does the movement of the bad guy provoke from the PC when the bad guy leaves the 5-foot square adjacent to the PC?

I'm conflicted about this. Based on the turn-by-turn flow of combat, both combatants lose the grappled condition when one breaks loose. And the rules say that if you take any other action during your turn, the first 5-foot square you leave still provokes. (So I gave the PC the AOO.)

Part of what was happening involved the bad guy beating his wings furiously while grappled, so he continued to remain 5 feet above the PC during the grapple exchange. In addition, the bad guy had greater invisibility going and AOOs cannot be taken against invisible creatures. Except the PC also has blindsense (from the Dragon Disciple PrC).


1. Does breaking a grapple mean you've token an action and therefore moving more than 5 feet would provoke? What about the above situation with invisibility and blindsense factored in?

And while I've got your attention... :)

2. The rules say that a grapple check allows you to move your opponent. What kind of movement is that? What about moving the opponent through an area where it would have to squeeze? If the creature chooses not to squeeze, can it prevent itself from moving through that area?

3. While a grappler is moving the opponent, can they go through squares occupied by other creatures? Allies? Foes?

4. Does the additional grapple check (and bonus) for being moved into a dangerous position apply only at the end of the move or for each dangerous square passed over?

Scarab Sages

I've got a sorceror who's about to level up and is planning to take animate dead.

So... The party just took out an adult dragon and it appears the 11th level sorceror will have control over the 21HD dragon forever?

My only way to prevent this is the material component, which would need to be a single onyx gem worth 525 gp. The PC doesn't have such a gem. Instead they have multiple onyx gems that add up to slightly over that. Normally I would allow multiple gems to be used but I'm considering being adamant on this one (I see the goal of components to be draining off a little wealth, and I'm normally not nit-picky about how that wealth is consumed).

How would you rule? The party is currently 5 PCs, all at 11th level, and about half-way through Skeletons of Scarwall (this is the CotCT AP, chapter 5). The classes are: Sor11, Clr3/Wiz3/MT5, Bbn2/Mnk2/Sor1/DD6, Rgr11, and Pal11. (At a minimum, I see the paladin of Pharasma being dead-set against such a thing. But that's between the players and isn't my job to poke my nose into it, except to make it clear to the paladin how Pharasma is going to feel about it. Perhaps even with some blood-under-the-fingernails if he stands by and does nothing.)

Scarab Sages

I have allowed one of my players to build a custom buckler shield. It has a number of features, one of which is the ability to strap a larger shield onto the front of it. You can think of it like a two-piece shield where it acts like a heavy shield with both pieces in place and like a buckler when the larger piece is removed.

When the PC wants to enchantment this item, does the shield bonus apply to the entire item, just the heavy shield part, or just the buckler shield part. I can see arguments for each of those cases!

If the enhancement is to both part, does that mean they have to be used together to be treated as magical?

If the enhancement is just to the buckler, does that mean the magical shield bonus is lost when the heavy shield attachment is added?

Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Scarab Sages

For the sake of discussion, assume I allow gloves of Dexterity in my campaign. Can they be worn under gauntlets made of mithral (or silver) and function properly?

The gloves would increase Dex and the gauntlets would bypass DR/silver so I'm wondering if that comes under the heading of "stacking".

On the one hand I'd say "yes, they stack because only one is magical" but on the other hand I can see an answer of "no, because they provide separate benefits in the same body slot".


Scarab Sages

I've got an encounter coming up in which the area will be covered by an unhallow spell. A dimensional anchor will be tied to the unhallow.

PRD wrote:

dimensional anchor

A green ray springs from your hand. You must make a ranged touch attack to hit the target. Any creature or object struck by the ray is covered with a shimmering emerald field that completely blocks extradimensional travel. Forms of movement barred by a dimensional anchor include astral projection, blink, dimension door, ethereal jaunt, etherealness, gate, maze, plane shift, shadow walk, teleport, and similar spell-like abilities. The spell also prevents the use of a gate or teleportation circle for the duration of the spell.

A dimensional anchor does not interfere with the movement of creatures already in ethereal or astral form when the spell is cast, nor does it block extradimensional perception or attack forms. Also, dimensional anchor does not prevent summoned creatures from disappearing at the end of a summoning spell.

Normally I would say that the anchor wouldn't affect objects like haversacks or bags of holding. But then the description has the bolded text (above) and I began wondering if what was meant was that planar crossings were impossible, which would seem to include the above mentioned magic items. It could be argued that items put into a bag of holding or similar device are traveling between planes and such travel is prohibited.

Note that the handy haversack has secret chest as an item creation requirement and not the spells listed in the above quote.

Scarab Sages

I've got a Rog2/Wiz3/Clr3/MT3 in my game who wants to take Improved Familiar and get a mephit. The PC is 11th level now and if they take another level of MT, will they qualify for the Improved Familiar feat?

My thinking is they won't because PrC class levels never stack for anything other than spell slots, spell levels, and caster level when casting spells. Yet the title on the table in IF says, "Arcane Spellcaster Level" and technically the PC would be a 7th level spellcaster.

Second, what would you say to the argument that "it's not game breaking to allow the PrC class to have more powerful improved familiars as they would still be considered 3rd level for the enhancements to the base creature." Presumably that last part is because the PC in question is "Wiz3".


Scarab Sages

I've got a game session to run Tuesday night and I think this may come up.

The relevant portion of the Web spell:

PRD wrote:
[...] The entire area of the web is considered difficult terrain. Anyone moving through the webs must make a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check as part of their move action, with a DC equal to the spell's DC. Creatures that fail lose their movement and become grappled in the first square of webbing that they enter.

So let's say a creature enters an area that requires it to squeeze. The area in which it squeezes is considered difficult terrain so that the creature moves at one half its normal speed. While in this squeezed area it then becomes webbed. I see the following results:

1. Creature rolls a Reflex save (let's say it fails).

2. On the creature's turn it wants to move forward, so it rolls a Str check and:

3a. It beats the Str check. Is the creature's movement at 1/2 speed (difficult terrain DOESN'T stack) or 1/4 speed (difficult terrain DOES stack)? Or does it use the normal stacking rules and move at 1/3 speed? (Note that there's a section of the rules that says movement through difficult terrain is cumulative and that's an exception to the normal stacking rules.)

3b. It fails the Str check. The creature becomes grappled in the first square of webbing that it enters. What if it's already in the web? Is that sentence saying that the creature always moves at least 5 feet, even on a failed save? Note that the sentence in questions comes after the part about "anyone moving through the webs", the implication being that the sentence is referring to a creature is already inside the webs.

In addition to all of the above, I assume that line of sight is required to center the spell, so in an area of darkness or obscuring mist, the spell could only be cast at the edge of said obstruction and not inside it?

Thanks for the help. :)

Scarab Sages

In an encounter last night I ruled a dragon's breath weapon was a spread and would wrap around corners and continue to flow, albeit still using the maximum distance of the breath weapon. (That's pretty easy to figure out using a VTT.)

Yet today I can't find any reference to the breath weapon being a burst, a spread, or any other kind of effect other than a simple "cone".

Did I rule it correctly that it's a spread? What's your opinion?

Scarab Sages

I have a dragon with blindsight (not blindsense) and a rogue in the same room. The rogue runs away into another room and makes a Stealth check to hide. The dragon doesn't know if the rogue stayed in the next room or kept running as blindsight is defined to be line-of-effect and the rogue went around a corner. (Actually, blindsense says the ability is line-of-effect and that it's a lesser version of blindsight, so I'm just assuming that blindsight requires LoE.)

When the dragon enters the room where the rogue is hiding, does it need to make a Perception check? If so, does it get a bonus for its blindsight ability?

(Since the blindsight ability is LoE and makes invisibility and concealment (even magical darkness) irrelevant to the creature, I would think that the ability to hide using a Stealth check would not apply once the dragon enters the same room. And even if it did apply, a dragon's sense of smell/hearing/sight should give it pretty nice bonuses on the Perception roll, right?)

Given that using Stealth requires some kind of concealment, can Stealth even be used against a creature with blindsight (assuming LoE isn't interrupted)?

Scarab Sages

Okay, this one is tricky so bear with me.

First, the monk description says that FoB can only use unarmed strikes ("US" and "USs" for plural) and monk special weapons ("MSW" and "MSWs" for plural). For the sake of argument, let's say the monk has two attacks at +6/+6 when flurrying and chooses to make both using unarmed strikes. (The +6/+6 is because the monk in question has BAB from another class.)

Can the monk use a MSW and make an off-hand attack?

On the one hand this seems plausible because the definition of US in the monk description doesn't equate a MSW to be the same as an US. So the FoB uses all USs and one additional attack with a MSW should be possible. If you accept this logic, what are the attack modifiers for the FoB and the MSW off-hand attack without TWF? I would think the FoB would be at +0/+0 (the normal -6 penalty) and the MSW off-hand attack would be at -4 (the normal -10 penalty). Taking the TWF feat would change those attack modifiers per the feat description.

On the other hand the description of the FoB says, in part, "he may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with a special monk weapon (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham)". Does that wording prevent the use of a MSW as an off-hand attack because that attack would then be interpreted as being part of the FoB?

If you would rule that the additional MSW attack is valid and TWF would apply, would you also allow another off-hand attack if the character took ITWF?

I've always played that USs and MSW attacks are interchangeable in all ways. Yet the wording of both the 3.x SRD and the PRD now make me doubt that. It sounds like MSWs can only be used in a flurry and not anywhere else?! This has the repercussion above, but it also means that the amulet of mighty fists does not apply to MSWs as it specifically states USs.

I'm of the opinion they are the same because it means the designers don't have to call out "USs and MSWs" in every place where "USs" is mentioned.

What is your opinion?

Scarab Sages

I couldn't find a duration for this racial ability. The link in the PRD Bestiary points to the general text for frightful presence and says it typically lasts 5d6 rounds and the dragon entry doesn't say. Should I just go with 5d6 rounds or pick a bigger or smaller number? For dragons I'm thinking something along the lines of 5d6 plus the DC of the ability, in rounds...

Scarab Sages

*Shameless bump*

So no opinions? From anyone? With all the current hoopla around combat maneuvers and grappling, I thought I'd hear something about this. :)

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Let's say I've got a Mnk2/Ftr5. The PC's BAB is +6 which gives him iterative attacks at +6/+1.

What does the monk's flurry look like? Since the PC has only two levels of monk they would normally have +0/+0 for the flurry. I have no problem with adding the BAB from other classes which makes it +5/+5. But because the PC's BAB is +6, should there be another single iterative attack at -5 so the flurry becomes +5/+5/+0?

The description of flurry sounds like they want only the monk levels to count for the purposes of the flurry (which presumably includes the number of attacks), then add in the BAB of any other classes as appropriate (in this case only one other class, Fighter).

Scarab Sages

I added a post here in a discussion about things to watch out for run a GM is running CotCT, A History of Ashes. I was hoping to get some feedback from other GMs concerning the CR of the Bonestorms presented in that chapter of the story.

The statblock has them as CR8 (under the PF Final rules that should be CR7), yet the Random Encounter table at the beginning of the bestiary section has the EL of a Bonestorm listed as EL11 (or EL10 under PF). Which one is correct?

As they say, "the text overrides the table" but in this case both the statblock and the random encounter chart are tables. ;) My reading of it is that they should be closer to CR9 in PF. I think CR7 is much too low given their specs (see he content of the spoiler tag in the other thread) yet the EL11 in the random encounter chart is too high.

Any comments from a GM that's used them? Or someone well-versed in stat'ing out custom monsters? Thanks in advance!

Scarab Sages

Simple question here...

A slashing weapon with energy damage (say shocking or fire) is used on a swarm which is immune to weapon damage: does a successful attack roll against the swarm's AC deal damage due to the energy component of the weapon?

Does your answer change for a bludgeoning or puncturing weapon? (I don't suppose it will, but it couldn't hurt to ask. :-)

I'm sort of torn by this. The swarm is immune to weapon damage so does that negate the energy damage? Wouldn't "immune to weapon damage" translate as "DR/non-weapon" in general terms? And if the DR prevents damage, isn't it expected that other effects of a weapon don't make it through either? Or is that only for poison and similar effects?


Scarab Sages

It would be a huge help for me to have a list of the caster level for magic items so that my job is easier when my PCs want to identify said items. Does anyone have such a list?

I've got a Perl script that takes a series of strings (copy/pasted from the Gear entry of a statblock) and calculates the price of the item based on the description. So far it only does armor and shields, but I plan to (eventually) add other categories of items as well. I hope to be able to grab the raw information from the PRD and, if that's possible, I should also be able to get the caster level.

But in the mean time a spreadsheet that has item name and caster level would be a huge help.


(Edit: At some point I'll add this information to the new PF Profiler charsheet that I'm working on so that equipment lists will already include it.)

Scarab Sages

Players shouldn't read this post.

Even so I'm going to be vague in my description of the issues. :)

I'm setting up an encounter that includes a certain cleric who supposedly does a lot of scrying. My problem is that the first time the PCs meet this individual and his bodyguard the text has him casting scry to follow the PCs around. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell this cleric that the casting time on that spell is one hour!

So two questions: how did you arrange for the cleric to be able to monitor the PCs progress? And if he didn't, what actions did he take instead?

Scarab Sages

So one of my players has decided to multiclass. And not to be outdone by a mere mortal somewhere in the multiverse, he has a Bbn2/Mnk2/Sor1/DD3. :)


1. Pretty clear that the monk's flurry doesn't work with the claws/bite due to the wording of the flurry. (Just verifying.)

2. The Blood of Dragons DD feature says that DD levels stack with Sorceror levels for the purposes of obtaining bloodline powers. Do they also stack for the purposes of DCs (such as the Breath Weapon DC of 10 + 1/2 sor level + Cha modifier) or other level-dependent effects (like the damage dice for the breath weapon)?

3. The bloodline provides a natural armor bonus of +1 at levels 3, 9, and 15 based on sorceror levels + DD levels. The DD also provides a natural armor bonus of +1 at levels 1, 4, and 7 based on just DD levels. Does this mean that the above build has a natural armor bonus of +2 because the DD is at level 3 and the Sor is at level 1+3? I want to verify that the DD levels count twice.

4. What is the damage of the DD bite attack? For most creatures with a claw damage of 1d4 I'd expect a bite of 1d6...


Scarab Sages

I have a player who wants to turn on the frost ability of his weapon and leave it on all the time. My argument is that it's command word activated for a reason and that reason is that it would have detrimental effects on your equipment if the weapon was left in its "cold state" all the time. (Think of potions freezing or scabbard/belt/whatever freezing and doing damage such as that described by the chill metal spell.)

His argument is that there are no spell effects in which the caster is immune that the caster's gear isn't also immune. (Including things like saving throws being only for the caster, not each individual item.)

My response is that the frost effect can freeze your metal gear such that your gear does damage to you, not the frost effect itself. It's like being invisible and summoning a monster to attack for you: you don't turn visible because you didn't directly attack.

How do you folks think this should work? And how do you rule it in your game?

(This particular PC is creating a weapon of legacy per the WotC book and said item will have both frost and icy burst effects so hopefully your answer covers both of those effects at a minimum!)

Scarab Sages

Situation: a mage casts enlarge person and then greater invisibility on a fighter. The mage wants to dismiss the enlarge person.

They can do so as a standard action, but do they need to wait for the invisibility to expire?

Scarab Sages

I'm trying to figure out how to handle a PC who animates undead from the corpses of the creatures they encounter and kill.

Problem 1: The undead template from 3.5E says to keep the creatures original stats. What about creatures with Str and Dex scores in the 20's? Does that make sense for an undead skeleton?

Problem 2: Any restrictions on creature types? What about outsiders? Native outsiders? Does a venomous animal still have venom when it's an undead skeleton?

Problem 3: What commands can be issued? I've told the player they need to limit commands to 2-3 words: attack, defend me, open door, walk away, climb ladder, and so forth. The players intent is to use them to set off traps and such and I don't have any problem with that. But I'm concerned that the skeletons are doing the adventuring and not the PCs. ;)

If you have any pointers to rules text that helps with any of the above I'd love to hear it. I have some of Mongoose Publishing's d20 add-ons, particularly the one on necromancy so I'm reading that now...

Scarab Sages

What are the possibilities for stone shape?

Can it be used to build a "cocoon" around an unwilling target? Does the target receive a Reflex save to avoid? What if the creature had SR?

I'm considering adding a rule interpretation that says, "All wall and wall-type spells work as follows unless the spell description says otherwise: Any wall spell cast such that it hinders, damages, encloses, or otherwise affects an unwilling allows the target creature(s) a Reflex save to avoid. If the spell doesn't normally allow a saving throw, use the DC the spell would have if it did allow a saving throw."

Without that clause the GM is left with no advice about how to rule when a wall of force is created such that it slices through a creature, for example. The often used spells do specify the effect (blade barrier, wall of ice, wall of fire, and others do specify the effects on nearby creatures as part of their descriptions so they wouldn't be affected by this clarification).

Scarab Sages

My big bad evil guy had used the fly spell on himself. When he was cornered by the party, he decided to flee. What are the rules to use?

Should he roll Tumble checks to move through an opponent's square? (That seems obvious: Yes.)

Should he roll Fly checks to be able to turn 45-deg left and right as he flies away? (Seems like he should, but I'm surprised such checks are even necessary when using magic to fly. I'm referring to magic other than the stuff that gives the creature wings.)

If he should roll both, does that cause his movement to be cut in half twice? And is this similar to the "double is triple" rule, so that the speed gets cut to 1/3rd instead of 1/4th?

Scarab Sages

Howdy folks.

I want to run a series of adventures on each of the four elemental planes, Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.

Basically, my party will be looking for "elemental gems of power" and each gem is somewhere on the corresponding elemental plane. They need to find them and bring them back to the Prime Material Plane where they will be used to destroy an artifact.

I'm looking for encounter ideas, maps, rules concerning survival on each of the planes, and so on. I have the Manual of the Planes and I'll definitely be reviewing that, but I've never run a module that involved heavy planar travel so I'd like some guidance on things I should keep an eye out for.

I mentioned Dungeon Magazine in the thread title because I own all of them (well, except for about a dozen; something happened to my subscription and I didn't catch it so I'm missing a few in the early teens). References to any of those issues would be a great help. Otherwise, I'm too broke right now to spend money on gaming supplies. :(

Any help would be appreciated!

Scarab Sages

No one has read the Dungeon Magazines adventures?

Well, I guess I can go through the index and guess which ones are planar, but that's tough (and tedious) to do...

Scarab Sages

I'm looking for rule quotes in PFRPG regarding this combination. (I'd prefer Beta, but I'm willing to consider Final rules as well since we will eventually move to those.)

For reference:

This combination of spells has been hotly debated on ENworld.org in the past and I don't want to dredge up all of those old wounds. :) I'm looking for a ruling on whether my interpretation, below, is "reasonable" by the RAW and/or your interpretation of the RAW, should they not be clear. (Please explain yourself in the second case.)

1. Nondetection is a Sor/Wiz 3 spell.
2. Nondetection protects against divination spells that detect the creature.
3. See invisible is a Sor/Wiz 2 spell.
4. See invisible has a range of Personal and a target of You.
5. Detect magic is a Sor/Wiz 0 spell.
6. Detect magic is a 60-ft emanation.

Since the nondetection spell seems to apply against divination spells cast to detect the recipient, and since the see invisible spell is a personal spell, does nondetection block see invisible? I can see arguments both ways.

Similarly, can detect magic locate someone who's invisible and hidden by nondetection? Again, since the detect magic isn't targeted at the warded creature, I can see an argument both ways for this one too.

Please don't consider other aspects of this combination ("what is a 'detect' spell?" or "what is a 'divination' spell?") as they are not germane to my question. (You're welcome to start another thread for that, but I'll warn you that it'll be a big one. ;))

Thanks everyone!

Scarab Sages

So one of my players has decided he no longer wants to be a halfling and arranged to have himself killed and then reincarnated by a druid. So far, so good.

Then he rolls a 1 on the race table (I let him roll it so as not to show any bias towards rolling a "100"!) and a bugbear forms out of the dust and stones at the feet of the druid, the PC's soul moving to inhabit said body.

This was a good roll IMO, with bonuses to all three physical stats. However, the Clr7 is now in the body of a 3HD/+1LA bugbear. What do I do about the level difference?

The spell says that the creature retains its hit points and all class-related features. It gains the modifiers to the physical ability scores and any racial features like natural armor. Since the new body has the same hit points, I'm guessing that the 3HD should just be ignored. If that's the case, then the Clr7 is still a Clr7. But what about the ability score increases? Surely that's worth quite a bit, right? We're talking +4 Str and +2 Dex/Con! I would think those are worth the +1 LA all by themselves.

A secondary question for those running a CotCT campaign: how should the bugbear be treated inside Korvosa? The players are coming up on the end of chapter 3 (Escape from Old Korvosa).

Scarab Sages

I've been pretty happy with the encounters in EfOK. Particularly the Garden Guardians. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I'm running CotCT as a playtest of the Beta rules so my PCs are a little stronger. About all I do to their opponents is revise the hp and sometimes the feat list. For major NPCs I might adjust spell lists as well, but rarely.

The first "big" encounter for my group was the Emperor. They finished off the Red Mantis' early in the chapter without too much trouble. (I had a player post on our game forum that they were wusses. I told him, "Yep, so far. But they'll be back with a vengeance!") The Emperor encounter was tough because they couldn't easily get their armored tank of a paladin up to the third floor of the building, so the rogue had to deal with the cloakers by himself for a few rounds. The cloakers' 10-foot reach and ability to stay in the rafters and still attack meant the use of ranged weapons was required and this group doesn't stock up on those.

The dock captains were pushovers, however. The same rogue had the sorceror cast greater invisibility on him and each arrow attack with sneak damage was enough to drop one of those guys! They went down quick.

Ditto with the Emperor and Jabbyr. I expected that of the Emperor -- his spell list was useless in combat -- but I thought the gnome barbarian would do better. Yet a smite attack from the pally and one more bow attack from the rogue and he was down. :(

They had met the Laori earlier and knew she was after paintings by S.S. When they first opened the door to area 10, she came out and fled away from them down the corridor with the three paintings she wanted. The rogue later wanted to track her but didn't have the right skills for it.

Now... The point of this post was to say that the garden guardians (three creatures of CR7) just about wiped out the party! They turned invisible as the party opened the stairway shaft, then enlarged and squeezed up against the wall in strategic places. Once all of the party members were between them, they let lose with their spore clouds (I'm grateful for the duration trackers in MapTool; however, I didn't convert the spores to PF poison rules as I don't yet have a good feel for what an appropriate results would be). There were two failed saves and those PCs spent their time running away. One decided to go down to the next level via the bridges and was SHOCKED when one of the fungus creatures came FLYING after him!! Giving them scimitars and Impr Crit was deadly as my PCs were constantly being crit'd. And as much as I tried, I couldn't shield bash anyone off the ledge and into the water. (That may have been a feat I added to bring them up to the PF Beta rules, IIRC.)

A note to other GMs: the stat block for those creatures mentions "elemental endurance" in the Special Qualities but it's not defined anywhere. Since they have fire resistance 10, I assumed that's what was being referred to. They did finally manage to destroy two of them and use charm monster on the third. (Note to self: new house rule that charm person/monster gives another save if any of the target's allies are attacked, not just the target itself.)

Well, I've been rambling. But I wanted the other users here to know what I liked about this chapter so far and perhaps give them some ideas for what's coming up.

Scarab Sages

So I've got a True Neutral but negative energy channeling cleric of Pharasma that wants to start his own cult. I've never run a game with a PC that had a long-running group like that (including taking the Leadership feat) so I'm a little anxious about how this might turn out.

The PC ("Gobbie") wants to start a cult of undeath based on one principle: that undead are not evil destroyers of life or thieves of souls, but instead are tools to be used for the good of the people. His cult's unholy symbol will be a flame with the symbol of Pharasma embedded within it. (Sort of a "guns don't kill people, people kill people" attitude.)

I have quite a few thoughts on this. My first one is that we're just starting Escape from Old Korvosa, so he's not going to have time to build such a cult very soon. But also I'm wondering if the Church of Pharasma may not take exception to his cult and try to wipe him out. I'm sure they're not going to be happy about their holy symbol being usurped. Since the party just finished up at the Hospice, I'm thinking perhaps Gobbie has selected the wrong deity.

Gobbie was not part of the group when the group took out the temple below the Hospice, although the player was there and playing a different PC. (Long story.) Since BigU is the god of undeath, that seems a better choice than Pharasma.

I've looked through all 23 issues of the APs and haven't found a write-up of Pharasma. I have the Guide to Korvosa but nothing there, either. :(

I probably have a couple of weeks (maybe three) before I need to do something about his desire for the cult. I would GREATLY appreciate some advice on how to proceed.

Scarab Sages

The Heal skill check says that someone with ranks in Heal can spend 10 minutes and treat a disease, giving the diseased individual the ability to use the Heal check in place of their own Fortitude save.

First of all, an individual working 12 hours a day (not unlikely given the situation in Korvosa) can provide a Heal check for 72 people per day. The paladin in my PC's party has a Heal check of +15 (or something equally ridiculous). That means using his Heal check instead of a Fort save against DC 16 will always succeed.

What, if anything, did other GMs do about this?

I'm likely to rule that blood veil can't be treated using a Heal check as it's a magical disease but any guidance here would be great...

Scarab Sages

My party has tried guile and charm on the good doctor (you know who I mean) and it has backfired. Now I need some help. Background:

1. Party finds papers on the Direption that incriminate the Dr., and they speak with dead and determine that the Dr. is involved with the Red Mantis.

2. They ask Kroft to summon the Dr. (his nurse/receptionist at the Hospice claims he's terribly busy and can't be bothered) and the next day they visit the Hospice to "compel" the Dr.'s presence at the Citadel.

3. The party uses no magic on the Dr. while talking to him in Kroft's office (!) but they ask him about the ship. He admits that the boat is his, but claims it was supposed to be anchored about a half-mile off-shore and about 4-5 miles along the coast to the west. He claims that he came upon blood veil (it didn't have a name at the time) and he quarantined those afflicted upon his boat, allowing only supply dingies to approach. (A very reasonable story.)

3. The party says they've used speak with dead on a body they found on the boat and it claims he contracted the RMs to make the disease! He says that speak with dead is notoriously unreliable and considers their claim ludicrous. He takes the Grey Maiden escort with him and leaves in a huff!

4. The party tries to get Sabina to join with them against the Dr (an earlier interview indicated she didn't like the doctor). She does, but when they meet with the Dr. at F8 and use zone of truth, he makes his Will save! And the spellcaster's attempt to charm him (twice!) both fail. He makes his Spellcraft and knows what spells are cast, so he knows what's going on.

5. He gets VERY upset and orders the party out of his office, saying that he'll have their heads for their interruption of his work!

That's where we left off. My problem is how is the party going to suspect him again? They don't know that the temple is below the Hospice, and the Dr.'s mask hides his alignment. They've run out of clues! And they've now lost the confidence of both Kroft AND Sabina!

I need something to lead them back to the Hospice ... something that will cause them to think the Urgathoan cult (which they DO know about) is hiding out below the hospital.

They killed Jolistina and their speak with dead (two questions only!) didn't reveal much, so they're thinking of using another such spell on her (3 day delay due to the once-per-week restriction on the spell). They might use speak with dead on the drowned body as well, but that would require a 5-day delay. And they are already at the 50% chance of contracting blood veil each day!

If they would show the unholy symbol around, Ishani could recognize it and maybe give some advice, but they've kept that under wraps so far. And if they would stakeout the Hospice, they might learn something. The party rogue has asked his thieve's guild handler to make contact with the RMs, but the only RM contact has been, "We have an existing contract and providing you with information would break that contract. We will not do that. However, you could (perhaps) arrange a separate contract for us to create a _cure_ for the blood veil. We will inform you of our price and our estimate of the required amount of time within 12-24 hours." Of course, without Korft or Sabina, they have little hope of procuring the required funds...

Any ideas to get them back to the Hospice?

(Sorry, I realize this is vague and rambling. But I'm looking for any ideas on possible approaches. Thanks in advance for your help!)

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