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How does Tessa know there is a traitor/spy from Cheliax in the Shackles? I don't recall seeing that in the AP. I list below what I came up with, but I'm happy to use what is in the AP or someone else's idea if it's better. I could see my players asking her how she knows.

My idea:
Tessa has a few spies in place among the clerks of the Chelish navy. These clerks have seen plans for a planned combat expedition in various order ledgers and ledgers for outfitting ships. The senior brass in the navy know the target, but Tessa's doesn't have spies among the senior brass. Nevertheless, her clerks are smart (Tessa would only choose smart spies) and they love her.

Based upon the amount of food/water provisions being planned for the clerks can estimate the travel distance of the combat expedition. That immediately reduces the number of possible targets to a handful - and The Shackles is on this short-list. Second, the expedition will of course be well armed. However, when trade-offs are being made between seaworthiness/speed/maneuverability vs. more firepower for this flotilla, the former is prioritized. Tessa's spies surmise that is exactly the choices one would make if they needed to sale near a hurricane and then fight speedy, lightly armed pirates. So it isn't like Tessa's spies are 100% sure of what is going down, but they are making logical conclusions around the information they do have.

When Tessa got this information, she thought why now, as she knows the storm, and the pirate's ability to fade into the islands has previously held back Cheliax. Tessa has come to the conclusion that Cheliax must have a traitor among the pirates of the Shackles, and access to that traitor has sufficiently bolstered Cheliax's confidence that they would plan an attack. So similar to the clerks making a reasonable assumption about things, Tessa is doing the same. In both cases, the clerks and Tessa are right.

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The cyclops Ghol-gan empire existed thousands of years ago in the region that is now the Shakles/Sodden Lands, and under what is now the hurricane of Abendego. The empire succumbed to evil (cannibalism, ritual sacrifice) before it ended.

Their capitol city is believed to be beneath the waves (possibly beneath the hurricane).

I'd like to run an adventure where the party explores this place.

Does a Pathfinder adventure like that exist? If not, can someone recommend another adventure I can adapt?

Ideally that adventure would be PF1E or 3.5 or 3.0 (but I'm willing to adapt from other D&D editions if necessary), and target PCs of levels 12-14. It should involve exploration of an underwater city, and that city should, ideally be creepy.


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I'm a transmuter in a campaign that will go to level 20, and where our primary opponents are demons. I mostly polymorph and fight, but I do like to carry combat spells for situations when I don't have time to get all my buff spells up or when I can't full attack.

I have persistent spell and plan to pick up spell perfection (enemies must roll to save twice). I am debating between spell perfection (persistent spell) for disintegrate or flesh to stone. Overall, both operate similarly as single-target spells, medium range, and both hit fortitude saves.

Which one should I pick for spell perfection?

Advantages of disintegrating: Has utility outside of killing people (e.g., make a hole in a castle wall); works on undead (unlike flesh to stone), it is easy to recover equipment from a disintegrated enemy (getting equipment from someone you turned to stone is a tedious process).
Disadvantages of disintegrate: Some enemies will have so many hit points, that even after failing the save, they don't die. Disintegrate requires a ranged touch attack before the target needs to save.

I'm also open to suggestions of another transmutation spell that fits persistent spell better and falls between spell levels 6 to 7....it's just that these two seemed head-and-shoulders above the other candidates I saw.

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What is the cmD of Forceful Hand when someone pushes against it to get to the caster? Assume the caster can use his caster level in place of BAB for cmD, and the hand's DEX is 10 ... which results in a cmD = cmB?

Texty text:
This spell functions as interposing hand, except that it can also pursue and bull rush one opponent you select. The forceful hand gets one bull rush attack per round. This attack does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Its CMB for bull rush checks uses your caster level in place of its base attack bonus, with a +8 bonus for its Strength score (27), and a +1 bonus for being Large. The hand always moves with the opponent to push them back as far as possible. It has no movement limit for this purpose. Directing the spell to a new target is a move action. Forceful hand prevents the opponent from moving closer to you without first succeeding on a bull rush attack, moving both the forceful hand and the target closer to you. The forceful hand can instead be directed to interpose itself, as interposing hand does.

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Pieces of Eight
I am adding an artifact to my Skulls and Shackles campaign. I am sharing my plan for it here in case others have feedback, or if they want to add something like this to their game.

If you google around, someone else made a cool artifact already called Pieces of Eight. What I describe here is totally unrelated to that item. I created this artifact to provide in-game encouragement of co-operation among my players, who may be playing selfish and evil pirates.

Why Add Pieces of Eight:
This is a Besmaran artifact designed to give the campaign some more pirate-flavor. More importantly, I want an item that helps bind the team together. I’m placing no restrictions on alignment in my game, but I don’t want player vs player combat or player-vs-player thievery. The campaign offers other mechanisms to bind the players such as a shared starting experience and likely shared hatred of some NPCs. This item is one more mechanism to encourage cooperation. And unlike the former two, I describe below a way to use this to encourage co-operation for characters that enter the campaign after the first adventure.

What Is It:
The Pieces of Eight are a set of 8 silver coins that offer modest benefits when held individually by chaotic characters. If a crew of pirates acquire the whole set the power is amplified, but a lack of communication or coordination by the holders could diminish the items effectiveness.

What do they look like:
Each Pieces of Eight is a silver coin of good size that feels thick and satisfying in the palm. One side always bears skull and crossbones somewhat reminiscent of Besmara’s holy symbol. The opposite face usually appears blank. However, if it is keyed to an individual (described below) that individual sees his own likeness on this face of the coin and his name engraved in bas relief. This side appears blank to everyone else – only the keyed individual sees his likeness.

What do they do:
The Pieces of Eight can exist in three states: unkeyed, keyed, and setted. The powers vary.

Unkeyed: An unkeyed Pieces of Eight confers no penalty or bonus to its holder, although it does radiate overwhelming enchantment magic.

Keyed: When a bearer possesses a Pieces of Eight keyed to him, he gains a +1 untyped bonus on swim and climb checks if he is chaotic. If he is chaotic neutral he also gains one level’s worth of favored class bonus (e.g., a bonus hitpoint or skillpoint) and the benefits of the Cheat Death trait while he possesses a keyed pieces of eight. Characters who are not chaotic can still possess a keyed Pieces of Eight without harm, but they do not gain these benefits.

Setted: If a crew of eight individuals hold all eight keyed Pieces of Eight they gain access to divine magic. A character can receive these benefits regardless of alignment. This “setted” status can happen because the crew acquires the Pieces of Eight by their own pluck, luck or effort (which I term organically), or it can occur by Besmara’s will (which I term divine will). In my game the party will acquire them organically, but I describe both below because in the history of the item I have a story where they are acquired by divine will. The Pieces of Eight are more powerful when acquired by Divine Will.

Organically: Each holder of the Pieces of Eight selects one domain from Besmara’s portfolio (Chaos, Trickery, War, Water, Weather, Deception, Duels, Oceans, Protean, Tactics, Thievery, and Storms). He can then cast the level 1 spell from this domain with a caster level equivalent to his hit dice. He uses his charisma as the relevant ability score when casting a spell using this item. If his charisma is too low to cast that spell, then it functions at the minimum ability score to cast the spell. At levels 6-10 he can access the second level domain spell once per day, at levels 11-15 he can access the third level domain spell once per day, and at levels 16-20 he can access the level 4 domain spell once per day. At levels 16-20 he can, alternatively, forgo the use of the spells of levels 1-4 and instead cast the level 5 domain spell once per day. He does not need to make this decision until he is ready to use the item (i.e., the spells are not “memorized” in the traditional sense and the user can choose to use the level five spell in the moment provided he has not otherwise used the Pieces of Eight that day).

Divine Will: If the Pieces of Eight are “setted” by Divine Will, the Pieces of Eight operate identically to how they work when acquired organically, except all bearer’s function as character level 20 for the purposes of the divine magic, regardless of their actual character level.

How is a Pieces of Eight keyed to an individual?:
There are a few ways one can become keyed: It can be gifted, willed, or placed.

Gifted: Anyone possessing a keyed Pieces of Eight may willingly gift it to another. To gift a Pieces of Eight, the currently keyed individual must hold the Pieces of Eight at arm’s length during the full moon spring tide (this happens about once a month) so the Pieces of Eight with his likeness faces him and covers the moon from his perspective. He must then speak the name of the individual to whom he wants to gift the Pieces of Eight. This will key the Pieces of Eight to the new individual.

Willed: Anyone possessing a keyed Pieces of Eight may perform a similar procedure to the one described under “Gifted” except he holds the coin with the skulls and crossbones facing him when he speaks the name aloud. In this case, the Pieces of Eight remains keyed to the original person. However, upon this person’s death the Pieces of Eight will automatically key to the individual named during this ritual. At any spring tide with a full moon the Keyed individual may repeat this ritual with a new name to update who will gain the Pieces of Eight upon his death.

Placed: If a bearer of a Pieces of Eight dies without a named willed individual then the Pieces of Eight will be unkeyed (it can also become unkeyed as a deathwish, described below). A cleric of Besmara may cast Greater Dispel Magic (this is an alternate use of Greater Dispel Magic), succeed at a check vs. caster level 25, and touch an unkeyed Pieces of Eight and key it to a new named individual. As part of the casting, the cleric must perform the ritual for willing a Pieces of Eight described above (e.g., only during a full moon spring tide, while holding the Pieces of Eight so it blocks the full moon).

Of note, at anytime Besmara herself can adjust the keying of a Pieces of Eight by divine will and cause them to be lost or found anywhere on Golarion.

How do Pieces of Eight encourage cooperation?
In two ways...

First, two individuals cannot select the same Besmara domain of setted Pieces of Eight. To select a domain, the bearer of a Pieces of Eight holds the coin at arm’s length during a spring tide full moon so the coin covers the moon and names a domain. If two or more individuals name the same domain, neither individual gain the benefit of this domain until he can do a new ritual at the next spring tide full moon.

Second, at the moment of death of a holder of a keyed and setted Pieces of Eight, the bearer may make a deathwish to cause the bearer(s) of any other keyed Pieces of Eight to become unkeyed. The deathwish is a bit meta-gamey because I’m not defining it as a free action, standard action, immediate action, etc and the character is technically choosing after he has died. Basically, the dying player character can just choose to throw someone out of the setted crew by wanting it to be so at his moment of death.

…my hope is that selecting domains causes the setted crew to have to plan together monthly on domain selection, and if they get it wrong there is a temporary penalty. I’m hoping the deathwish option causes a bearer of a Pieces of Eight to think twice about doing harm to another bearer of a setted Pieces of Eight.

What is the in-game story/lore behind the Pieces of Eight?
The gold dragon Mengkare, who rules the island kingdom of Hermea in the Steaming Sea, set out to create a utopia for humanity that he ruled absolutely in a city he named Promise. Approximately 200 years ago, in the guise of a human wizard Lamond Breachton, he set out to find the best, brightest, wisest, and most beautiful to join his utopia.

At this time, handsome Pete was a loving trophy husband of the pirate captain Cutlass Jess. Cutlass Jess and her crew achieved modest renown and operated out of a port on Shark Island (this is shortly before the time the Sahuagin began to overrun Shark Island). Handsome Pete’s rugged handsomeness struck Mengkare as Mengkare toured Golarion, and the dragon sent a letter to invite Handsome Pete to Promise. Handsome Pete agreed and traveled to Promise. It is unknown if, at the time Handsome Pete traveled to Promise, he knew his invitation did not include his wife, Cutlass Jess, or if Handsome Pete discovered this later. Regardless, the invitation did not include Cutlass Jess. Handsome Pete came to miss Cutlass Jess, and freely left Promise to return to Shark Island and his beloved.

Mengkare set Red Mantis assassins on anyone who left Promise, including Handsome Pete. Fortunately for Handsome Pete, Cutlass Jess and her pirate crew discovered his assassination order when Cutlass Jess and her crew seized a Red Mantis ship bound from Ilizamagorti for the Shackles. Doubly fortunate, Besmara herself found Mengkare’s entire Glorious Endeavor to create a perfect human race through breeding beyond distasteful. Mengkare’s effort to kill the husband of a pirate of the Shackles’ for not staying in this so-called utopia personally offended the pirate goddess. Besmaran faithful today believe the pirate goddess secreted the Pieces of Eight aboard the same ship with the Red Mantis assassins’ orders to kill Handsome Pete, and Cutlass Jess found them.

Cutlass Jess sought to shield her husband from the Red Mantis assassins, using the warning the seized note offered her, and she turned to her crew for help. Cutlass Jess’s crew saw little profit and great risk taking on the feared assassin organization. Cutlass Jess used the Pieces of Eight found on the assassins’ ship to sweeten the deal with her crew, and offered to share them with seven of her officers. This secured the needed help to defend her husband. Cutlass Jess attributed finding the Pieces of Eight to good fortune, but the Besmaran faithful today view it as a miracle of Besmara’s hand. Regardless, the crew agreed to help Cutlass Jess ambush the Red Mantis assassins.

Cutlass Jess and her crew used the powerful magic of the Pieces of Eight: flamestrike, ice storm, and call lightning to slay the Red Mantis assassins. They then used False Vision to fool Mengkare when he scried the battlefield, and tricked the dragon into believing his assassins had killed Handsome Pete.

What became of Cutlass Jess and Handsome Pete? Unfortunately, according to the tale, a few years later Cutlass Jess lost interest in Handsome Pete and took a new lover.

What became of the Pieces of Eight? It is not known if Cutlass Jess is the first to use the Pieces of Eight, but this is the oldest story of their use. Over the next two hundred years to present day, occasionally pirate crews have uncovered the Pieces of Eight and used them to outwit and outduel opponents. Usually, these opponents come from beyond the Shackles and seek to impose their ideology on the freedom-loving pirates.

There are also a handful of cases where pirate crews with the Pieces of Eight don’t co-operate, and the Pieces of Eight fail them at a critical juncture, often resulting in the death of the bearer. For example, Bart the Betrayer, at the time known as Black Bart, saw the Pieces of Eight fail him. About thirty years ago, Bart and his crew made a good living raiding Osirion ships in the Inner Sea and then fleeing back to the Shackles. The Ruby Prince, Khemet III grew tired of this piracy, and commissioned Cheliax to construct a Ship of the Line for Osirion, Desert’s Salt, and end the piracy on its shores - starting with Black Bart. Fortunately for Bart, he and his crew held the Pieces of Eight. Bart and his crew sailed bravely to face Desert’s Salt in the open sea. However, at the sight of Desert’s Salt fear overcame Bart but his officers pushed him to take on the Ship of the Line. Bart poisoned his officers during breakfast the morning before the anticipated combat. He intended to flee from Desert’s Salt using the Pieces of Eight’s ability to conjure obscuring mists, and fog clouds, and then complete his escape with nondetection. If successful, he would survive the day and keep his ship and his life. However, all the powers of the Pieces of Eight failed him at this critical moment, and Desert’s Salt captured Bart the Betrayer. The Ruby Prince hanged him from a short rope in Sothis.

Despite these stories, most often the Pieces of Eight show up as incomplete sets, and The Pieces of Eight have not been united as a set in over three decades. Bart the Betrayer was the last known pirate to have the set.

How will I use the Pieces of Eight in my campaign?
I plan to introduce the Pieces of Eight as treasure in the first adventure. I am following the suggestion elsewhere on these message boards to insert the Dungeon Magazine adventure Salvage Operation into this adventure (very happy to crack out my old issues!). My players (likely 6 PCs) will find six of the Pieces of Eight mysteriously and without explanation already keyed to them. If a player dies, I expect his Pieces of Eight to go to a friendly NPC and the newly created PC could come with one of the missing Pieces of Eight. In this way, a new character who doesn’t have the common experiences of the existing players still has a reason to join and co-operate, and possibly a reason why he joined my player’s crew. If the game goes past the point the players have ready access to raise dead, and I don’t expect any permanent death, then I plan to have the players find the remaining Pieces of Eight as treasure if they have not done so already.

I suspect, and want, my players to believe Besmara left the Pieces of Eight for them. This won’t be the case though, and I look forward to the excitement when they realize someone else left them in their path. They can come to this discovery with divination magic or high knowledge checks about how the Pieces of Eight work, because they will need to “unlock” the powers of the Pieces of Eight with character levels which will imply that they did not receive them by Divine Will (see above). My campaign links Skulls and Shackles on the front end with Savage Tide on the backend so I don’t want to spell out how I’m linking them here as it risks a spoiler of the Savage Tide adventure path. If you pick this item up for your game, I encourage you to have them come from some mysterious (but mortal) benefactor rather than Besmara herself, because the Skulls and Shackles doesn’t feel like the Adventure Path with strong divine destiny elements.

What do the players know of the Pieces of Eight?
Anyone holding a keyed Pieces of Eight instinctively understands the bonuses it grants him and that he cannot possess more than one Pieces of Eight at a time. If he holds his Pieces of Eight and wonders how to change the image on the coin he instinctively understands how to gift and will a Pieces of Eight, and also the powers it confers upon him at that time. A player holding a keyed, but not setted, Pieces of Eight also instinctively knows the item will grow more powerful if setted. A character holding a setted Pieces of Eight knows the powers available to him, the ritual to choose his domain, and understands he has the deathwish ability as do others bearing a Pieces of Eight.

Here are some other things revealed with study:

History DC 30: To know the story of Handsome Pete and Bart the Betrayer described above.

Local 15: The Pieces of Eight are a powerful artifact of Besmara. Individually they grant a small boon, but if a team of powerful individuals brings the eight pieces together, they can access divine magic sacred to Besmara. They have not been brought together for decades.

Religion 20: The Piece of Eight are a relic created by Besmara. Besmara respects self-made pirates who obey only their own scruples; however, she knows some challenges require working together as a team. The faithful of Besmara believe she created the Pieces of Eight to encourage cooperation when needed. One who has a Pieces of Eight may freely give his piece to another person. However, at any time Besmara wishes, she can ordain specific recipients of the Pieces of Eight or cause someone carrying one to lose it.

Arcana 25: If a player makes this knowledge check while studying a Pieces of Eight, he understands keying and the powers a keyed Pieces of Eight confers. He also knows this artifact becomes more powerful when setted, but does not know the specifics. If a player holds a keyed Pieces of Eight he instinctively understands much of this information but this arcana check can succeed even if the studies Pieces of Eight is not keyed to the individual making this check.

Arcana 30: This reveals the Besmaran domain powers granted by a setted Pieces of Eight. It can be made even before the studied piece is setted.

Arcana 35: This reveals the difference in power between an organically setted Pieces of Eight vs. when they are setted by Divine Will. It is here, if the players have all eight pieces, the players could realize that someone other than Besmara left them in their path (but who!? And why!?).

How are the Pieces of Eight destroyed?
If a daemon uses a Pieces of Eight as currency to purchase a selfless gift, all Pieces of Eight lose their magical abilities and become silver coins.

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Hi, is there a way to search for the most liked posts in a section of the website? For example, I am planning to start running a new adventure path and would like to see the most liked threads in that section.

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I'm working up a side-trek to run for my players. It is somewhat inspired by the movie Guns of the Navaronne.

The players will need to scale a cliff to get up a hidden side of a tropical island occupied by enemy pirates (and possibly other natural/fantastic threats). They then need to quickly cross the island in dangerous territory to get to the other side and take out cannons on a high cliff. These cannons are used by enemy pirates to threaten shipping through a narrow straight. They are climbing the cliff because it gives them an approach that is not seen, but unfortunately for the PCs, it is not to close to the cannons.

I want a friendly wizard to be waiting for them at the top of the cliff who casts communal phantom steed to help them quickly cross the island and get to the site with the cannons. The wizard is level 9, so plan that the communal phantom steed spell will make 6 horses each lasting 90 minutes. The horses have a speed of 80 ft per round and can cross sandy/muddy/swampy ground easily. This is the only assistance this wizard will provide the party.

Where I need advice:
I want to treat the phantom steed ride across the island as a skill challenge, kinda like the equivalent of a motorcycle chase in Pathfinder. Please help me brainstorm things that could happen during this phantom steed ride to make for a fun and interesting skill challenge.

The players are level 5-6.


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Does anyone know of a way to polymorph into a gargantuan gold dragon? I have that mini from the pathfinder battles set and I would like to see it used.

Form of the dragon 3 allows you to turn into a huge gold dragon, and I don't think there is another spell you can add to get 1 size bigger.

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If I put up permancey arcane sight the incremental benefit of putting up permancey detect magic and permancey enchantment sight looks minor. Is there a good reason to spend the extra gold to get permancey detect magic or enchantment sight if you know you will get permancey arcane sight?

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A level 14 druid casts greater magic fang on a level 10 wizard. The wizard then casts permancy on the greater magic fang effect. Tomorrow an enemy casts dispel magic. What is the relevant caster level for greater magic fang, 10 or 14? 10 right?

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Does the caster of time stop know exactly how many rounds of actions he has to work with?Basically, does he know the number on the d4 or does the gm roll/know that?

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Question: Can I choose a lower caster level than the item (provided it is sufficient to activate the spell in question) voluntarily at the moment of activation?

Context (if it matters): I received a plot-based item in an adventure that lets me do resist energy (cold or electricity only) at caster-level 19 3x per day.

We are currently level 8. I can count on 1 finger the number of times we have been attacked with cold or electricity attacks in the whole campaign. Moreover, since that attack came out of nowhere, I of course did not have the spell up, so we've benefited from the item 0 times to date.

I want to put a protection energy spell on my self at one caster-level higher than my own caster-level so that this spell effect is likely the first spell peeled off if I am hit by a dispel magic that starts with the highest caster level effect. If I do the effect at caster level 19 there is almost no chance my enemy will be able to dispel it, and thus it will not absorb the dispel magic effect, and the dispel magic spell will just progress to my next spell (which is probably actually useful).

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My character just gained the glyph finding ability from the arcane savant prestige class (description pasted below). Anyone see a good way to make this a positive? I have an excellent spellcraft, I'm just worried that in the process of using glyph-finding looking for writing based traps I will expose myself to all sorts of other traps that I'm not equipped to detect. For this reason, unless I have reason to believe there are writing-based magical traps, I should just leave trap finding to the party rogue.

My gut tells me <10% of traps are writing based magical traps.

The ability...
Glyph-Finding (Ex)
At 2nd level, an arcane savant can use Spellcraft to find writing-based magical traps (including glyphs, runes, sigils, and symbols) in the same way a rogue can use Perception to search for traps.

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Angelic Aspect gives you the abilities of Lesser Angelic Aspect and, among other abilities, it gives you: In addition, your natural weapons and any weapons you wield are considered good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Greater Angelic Aspect gives you the abilities of Lesser Angelic Aspect and a slew of other abilities, but does not cross-reference the regular Angelic Aspect spell. The slew of abilities Greater Angelic Aspect gives you does NOT include making your weapons good-aligned for the purpose of damage reduction.

So it appears, RAW, Greater Angelic Aspect, does not confer the ability to over come good damage reduction.

Is this true? Was it ever corrected in an errata? I can't think of another example of a spell where the greater version did not confer all the benefits of the prior version.


Linky-link: https://www.aonprd.com/SpellDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Angelic%20Aspect,%20Great er

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How do you pronounce "Ki" like in monk's Ki points?

Ki like in Ky in Kylo Ren?
Ki like in key, like use a key to open the door?
Ki like in Chee, like the beginning of the word cheese?
Something else?


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Here is the description of the Bracers of Sworn Vengeance:
These white leather bracers have delicate elven runes etched upon them, one reading “swift defeat” and the other “vengeance.” Once per day, as an immediate action when the wearer takes hit point damage from a target, he may cry out, “Death to those who wrong me!”, swearing vengeance against the attacker. The wearer gains a +1 competence bonus on weapon attack rolls made against the target of his sworn vengeance, and deals an additional 2d6 points of damage on successful weapon attack rolls.

For the duration of the effect, the wearer takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls against any target other than his sworn enemy. These bonuses and penalties last for 24 hours or until the sworn enemy is slain or destroyed by the wearer, whichever comes first. If the wearer fails to slay the target of his oath, these bracers cannot be used again until 7 days have passed.

Question: If I'm not the player to actually knock out the target, but someone in my party kills the target, do I still need to wait the 7 days for the bracers to reactivate?

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Is it possible (e.g., by a magic item crafter, or otherwise) to remove a power from a magic item?

For example, my barbarian wants to buy a +6 STR, +6 DEX, Cord of Stubborn Resolve. At L17, when he gets Tireless Rage, he would want to remove the cord of stubborn resolve power because it is driving up the cost of other powers and becomes 22,500 gp of dead-weight. Some math is shown below, but it is not really necessary to the question - which is can a power be removed (and if yes, does removing the power yield any gold back)?

Belt Before L17
36,000 gp STR +6
54,000 gp DEX +6 (36,000 gp x 50% for stacking powers)
22,500 gp Cord of Stubborn Resolve (15,000 gp x 50% for stacking powers
Total: 112,500 gp

L17 Belt with Cord of Stubborn Resolve Removed:
36,000 STR+6
54,000 DEX+6
54,000 CON+6
Total: 144,000 gp

L17 Belt with Cord of Stubborn Resolve Preserved:
36,000 STR+6
54,000 DEX+6
54,000 CON+6
22,500 gp Cord of Stubborn Resolve
Total: 166,500 gp

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Is there any value to very high Use Magic Device? The highest DC I see is 25 + spell level, which would be 34 for a 9th level spell.

Is this a skill that at very high levels you can stop improving, or is there a benefit to going beyond +33?


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There are a few feats (e.g., opposition research, idealize) that have a prerequisite of a specific wizard level.

My plan is to take 5 levels and then go into the arcane savant prestige class to mix things up. My thinking is that I cannot count my wizard level as wizard level + arcane savant level for the purposes of qualifying for these feats. Am I correct?

Opposition Research

Prerequisite: You must be at least a 9th-level Wizard to select this discovery.

Benefit: Select one Wizard opposition school; preparing spells of this school now only requires one spell slot of the appropriate level instead of two, and you no longer have the –4 Spellcraft penalty for crafting items from that school.

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I'm playing a barbarian and plan to pick up the impelling disarm feat. I'd also like to get a ranseur (reach weapon) because it is good at disarming and other role-playing reasons.

Down the road, if I get the come and get me feat, and someone closes on me to attack me from 5-feet away, how do I still use the come and get me feat when my opponent is right next to me and I have a reach weapon? I was thinking about getting a spiked gauntlet...but...I believe it is a free action to switch my ranseur from 2 hands to 1 hand - free actions need to be done on my action and not my opponent's action.

I'd like a solution for this, and ideally not one where I have to end every round determining whether I have one or two hands on my ranseur as that could get tedious.


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My party complete the AP yesterday. Along the way I kept a journal. It is not beautiful prose but it is a no-nonsense record of my party's progress against a precisely maintained calendar. I share it as other DMs may find it useful.

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My kids have been bugging me to play D&D for several years and I just started running Skulls and Shackles for 6 PCs:
my wife
my friend
my 5th grade boy
my 3rd grade girl
my friend's 6th grade girl
my friend's 3rd grade girl.

My 3rd grade daughter wanted to make a pixie (of course) and I'm trying to make a fair one. I want most to hang onto flight, as it is not much of a pixie without flight.

Small size
+4 DEX, +2 CHA, -2 STR
Slow speed
Fly 40' (poor manuverability)
SR 5 + character level
SLA at will: Dancing Lights, Shield
Languages: Common and Sylvan.

What do others think? It still looks a bit too good to my eye but I want other's thoughts. I made the flight a bit worse and did not want to go any worse. Shield at will and a +4 DEX looks a bit too good after the flight is in there.

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Picking up the heart resulted in Serethet instantly being possessed by Hakotep. However, handling the Mask poses no such danger. Any ideas why, besides it's magic so it doesn't have to be consistent?

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Looking for ideas as a DM....

In a prior session my party of L10-11 PCs was attacked by a huge blue dragon. It looked like a hard encounter but it was in the Adventure Path, and the party had the assistance of some monster allies (per the AP plot).

My group was running with 7 players that day so I also through a L10 sorcerer on the dragon's back, which allowed me to use my sorcerer on dragon mini.

The dragon/sorcerer got the jump on my players. The dragon and sorcerer killed THREE pcs, including all 3 primary spellcasters. The players killed the sorcerer.

With the sorcerer dead I had the dragon decide to run away (although it is quite possible if he stuck around we would have had a TPK). On the way he scooped up the body of the dead PC cleric and left, permanently killing that PC barring true resurrection.

Since that encounter we've played two 12 hour sessions, and the game clock has advanced a couple weeks. The PCs have not let this go. Every day they scry on the dragon - which usually fails due to SR. However, it recently worked and they saw the dragon resting in a non-descript desert cave. Hard to pinpoint but it is something.

I just threw the party a bone (or bait?) and let them find a map leading to this cave. Now they are hell bent on getting the dragon. It should go better now - they could surprise the dragon and the dragon will lose the flight advantage in a cave. But I don't want it to be boring or a push-over, as this creature has emerged as public enemy #1 for my players.

Thoughts on things I could add to a natural cave in the desert with a huge blue dragon to make it an interesting and challenging small dungeon?

I'm looking for ~4 hours of gametime here.

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Can a creature with the stand still feat use it to stop the movement of another creature in gaseous form?

Stand Still (Combat)
You can stop foes that try to move past you.
Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes.
Benefit: When a foe provokes an attack of opportunity due to moving through your adjacent squares, you can make a combat maneuver check as your attack of opportunity. If successful, the enemy cannot move for the rest of his turn. An enemy can still take the rest of his action, but cannot move. This feat also applies to any creature that attempts to move from a square that is adjacent to you if such movement provokes an attack of opportunity.

Gaseous Form
School transmutation; Level alchemist 3, bard 3, magus 3, medium 3, occultist 3, psychic 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, spiritualist 3; Domain air 3; Elemental School air 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components S, M/DF (a bit of gauze and a wisp of smoke)
Range touch
Target willing corporeal creature touched
Duration 2 min./level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
The subject and all its gear become insubstantial, misty, and translucent. Its material armor (including natural armor) becomes worthless, though its size, Dexterity, deflection bonuses, and armor bonuses from force effects still apply. The subject gains DR 10/magic and becomes immune to poison, sneak attacks, and critical hits. It can’t attack or cast spells with verbal, somatic, material, or focus components while in gaseous form. This does not rule out the use of certain spells that the subject may have prepared using the feats Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew Materials. The subject also loses supernatural abilities while in gaseous form. If it has a touch spell ready to use, that spell is discharged harmlessly when the gaseous form spell takes effect.
A gaseous creature can’t run, but it can fly at a speed of 10 feet and automatically succeeds on all Fly skill checks. It can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all it was wearing or holding in its hands, as long as the spell persists. The creature is subject to the effects of wind, and it can’t enter water or other liquid. It also can’t manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with its gaseous form. Continuously active items remain active, though in some cases their effects may be moot.

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Can a hasted character fire (std action) and reload (full round action) a heavy crossbow while hasted?

These are NPCs who have no particular feats to make them better with the heavy crossbow.

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My party is in the middle of Shifting Sands, and just finish digging into ancient libraries to learn about Hakotep I - accessing information that has been intentionally hid and apparently not accessed for 100s of years.

On the other hand, Osirion has a 17 square mile feature to the South West named the Slave Trenches of Hakotep. Admittedly the function is unknown to most/all, but they are his eponymous trenches.

How do I reconcile this situation? Was Hakotep widely known among scholars or not? If unknown, why are there huge trenches with his name? If unknown, is it just the nature of his flying pyramid that the PCs learn about which is new? Do most people call the trenches something else?

I was thinking of having them known as The Slave Trenches of Hakotep as a name that stuck, but somehow through the centuries most scholars incorrectly assume the trenches are named after the second (and unrelated) Hakotep pharaoh who is not the Sky Pharaoh, Hakotep I. But I thought there might be an actual answer and I don't need to make something up.

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I'm DMing an adventure where my players have been extensively scryed by the bad guys. Now the players are moving to attack the bad guys in their hideout.

The bad guys are a fanatical LE cult that is primarily human but includes some monsters.

My L9 PCs are:
-Human undead scourge paladin
-Goblin rogue
-Human cleric of Thoth (we're in Osirion)
-Gnome necromancer

If you were the bad guys here and had time prepare what specific counters might you recruit to your team knowing this group is coming?

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I'm building a barbarian and want to take Chaos Totem because it would fit my concept well. I know it is not necessarily the best totem change but I had hoped it would be better - I'm not a total min/maxer, I don't want to take beast totem, but I had hoped for better here.

The lesser version is made redundant by a ring of protection and a cloak of resistance (items I am likely to buy because I will want their protection when not raging, when not fighting lawful enemies, I will want the resistance bonus to apply against more than this limited set of attacks, and I will want the bonus at the end of an adventure path to be greater than +3).

The medium chaos totem power is actually the best one, IMO, because I rarely buy fortification armor but would be happy to get it. I'm less convinced about the escape artist bonus - my STR will be higher than my DEX (as it is for virtually all barbarians) and since so much of acrobatics is off limits while raging it is not a great skill choice.

The greater power is okay. At level 17 (the end of a typical adventure path) you have DR 8/lawful. Of course without this totem you have DR 4/- anyway, so the incremental is only 4 points. Also, invulnerable rager is a very good option which dominates the DR of this power, as it will reach DR 8/- at level 17. Overcoming lawful DR at level 10 is good when the BBN likely does not have a +5 weapon, but by L17 the BBN likely will have a +5 weapon that overcomes alignment based DR in its own right.

...I guess my main source of dissatisfaction is that most of these powers are superseded by commonly obtained magic items. You also don't save much gp on these items, because the chaos totem powers are not as reliable as the equivalent powers from a magic item (e.g., cloak of resistance) or you get an item that overcomes the power as an ancillary bonus (e.g., +5 weapon and alignment-based DR).

Am I missing something here? I'm assuming these things don't stack with other powers or magic items. Please tell me I'm wrong.

I pasted below the actual powers for your convenience.

Chaos Totem, Lesser (Su)
Benefit: While raging, the barbarian gains a +1 deflection bonus to AC against the attacks of lawful creatures and a +1 resistance bonus on saving throws against confusion, insanity, polymorph, and effects with the lawful descriptor. This bonus increases by +1 for each chaos totem rage power she possesses.

Chaos Totem (Su)
Prerequisite: Barbarian 6, lesser chaos totem rage power
Benefit: While raging, the barbarian’s form becomes infused with chaos. She gains a +4 bonus on Escape Artist checks and has a 25% chance to ignore extra damage from critical hits and sneak attacks.

Chaos Totem, Greater (Su)
Prerequisite: Barbarian 10, chaos totem rage power
Benefit: While raging, the barbarian gains DR/lawful equal to 1/2 her barbarian level. Her weapons and natural weapons are considered chaotic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

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Last session, the party rogue fell into a trap with the monsters. The fighter PC dropped a rope down for the rogue to grab. The rogue double-moved to the rope and grabbed it. The fighter at the top of the pit now wants to pull the rogue up on his action before the monsters close on the rogue. The fighter has been holding his action, so it comes immediately after the rogue.

How would you run this? The round is ~6 seconds. Presumably the rogues double-move to get to the rope takes the full 6 seconds. Now, the rogue gets to move again because someone else is pulling the rope?

Con for letting the fighter pull up the rogue: Imagine, we need to get a letter from NY to LA by Pony Express. Let's say a pony's double move is 80 feet. We space ponies from NY to LA at 80 foot intervals. We still obviously cannot get the letter from NY to LA by having each pony rider pass the letter to the next in the sequence in 6 seconds. Although an extreme example, if I let the fighter start pulling the rogue up then this theoretical example would also allow a letter to go from NY to LA on pony in 6 seconds.

Pro for letting the fighter pull up the rogue: It is cool. It drives PC teamwork.

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I got a case of Maze of Death which increased my minotaur mini supply dramatically.

I would like to add an encounter my current adventure path using these minis. Has anyone statted them out?

Minotaur Artillery
Minotaur Cleric
Minotaur Labyrinth Guardian

If not, I will do it and post it here.

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Does anyone know the names of all of the sets of minis that WOTC released with 3.5? Example, Harbinger, etc.


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In the most recent Pathfinder Battles set, I got a few of these Red Mantis guys:

Does anyone know what kind of monster they are? Googling "Red Mantis Paizo" turns up an organization named Red Mantis not a creature. I ask because they look like a mini that would fit well in a desert, and thus fit well in my Mummy's Mask game.

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Which AP is the best? I believe the best way to rate these Adventure Paths would be to go through each as a player, and then go through each as a DM, but that takes an impossible amount of time. Good would be to play or DM a large chunk of them. Better than nothing would be to at least read through them.

I personally have done none of that. I played just one Pathfinder Adventure Path (Kingmaker) and I am DMing another (Mummy’s Mask) – and we enjoyed/are enjoying bot. So my direct experience is limited. Moreover, I’ve not even read any of the other Adventure Path because I don’t want to spoil them in case my group tries them later and I am a player.

To this end, I attempted a pseudo-scientific attempt to define the best Adventure Path without reading them, using meta-data from this message boards. I share it in case it helps others.

Essentially, I assume that more posts imply a good AP. There are many limitations to this methodology – as posts do not only indicate quality. More posts could also equate to high interest (even if the AP ultimately disappoints), or complex mechanics in the AP, or novel mechanics in the AP. That prompt a great deal of clarifying posts. So keep that limitation top of mind.

First, the board conveniently lists the number of posts within each section on the main page. With this information, I listed the number of posts per adventure path:

Rise of the Runelords 53857
Curse of the Crimson Throne 16866
Second Darkness 6394
Legacy of Fire 6072
Council of Thieves 6473
Kingmaker 35124
Serpent's Skull 8063
Carrion Crown 15603
Jade Regent 8324
Skull & Shackles 11316
Shattered Star 4046
Reign of Winter 7637
Wrath of the Righeous 14538
Mummy's Mask 3380
Iron Gods 8132
Giantslayer 2403
Hell's Rebels 3970
Hell's Vengeance 2264
Strange Aeons 2650
Ironfang Invasion 722

The most obvious trend is that newer Adventure Paths have fewer posts than older Adventure Paths. That makes complete sense – the longer a section has been on the website the more posts it has achieved.

However, the trend is broken in a few places. Kingmaker, Carrion Crown, Skull’s and Shackles, Wrath of the Righteous and Iron Gods accumulated more posts than I would have expected given the launch date of the AP. This finding provides weak evidence that these are above average adventure paths. On the flip-side, Second Darkness, Legacy of Fire, Council of Thieves, and Shattered Star accumulated fewer posts.

Another way to gauge quality would be to look at the proportion of APs completed, as I assume players are more likely to complete a good AP rather than a poor one, all else equal. I can’t know completion rate directly, so I tried again to use number of posts to get a sense of it. In each section the issues of the AP have a dedicated post with a sticky. Generally, the threads for the later issue in an AP have fewer posts than the thread for the first issue in the AP. Posted below is the number of posts received by issue with the fewest posts divided by the number of posts received by the issue with the most posts. For example, if the sticky thread for issue 6 in AP gets 100 posts, and that is the fewest of all the individual issue threads, and issue 1 gets 1,000 posts and that is the most posts, the proportion is 100/1000, or 0.1. Posted below are these proportions, which give us a proxy sense of relative completion rates. I dub this stat “completion rate” although keep in mind the limitations.

Rise of the Runelords 0.205449
Curse of the Crimson Throne 0.470588
Second Darkness 0.378641
Legacy of Fire 0.341176
Council of Thieves 0.320261
Kingmaker 0.437383
Serpent's Skull 0.178947
Carrion Crown 0.284006
Jade Regent 0.171821
Skull & Shackles 0.096834
Shattered Star 0.255102
Reign of Winter 0.296245
Wrath of the Righeous 0.160291
Mummy's Mask 0.068657
Iron Gods 0.150459
Giantslayer 0.067901
Hell's Rebels 0.082192
Hell's Vengeance 0.025126
Strange Aeons 0.126246
Ironfang Invasion 0.015385

Although not as obvious as the prior time trend, this data also contains a time trend. Newer AP have a smaller completion rate. This finding also makes sense, as groups have not had as much time to get through the newer AP. Accounting for this trend, where are the trend breakers on completion rate. Kingmaker, Shattered Star, Reign of Winter, and Strange Aeons score higher than expected completion rates. Rise of the Runelords, Serpent’s Skull, Skull and Shackles and Mummy’s Mask score poorer than expected completion rates. I don’t make much of the trend with Rise of the Runelords – it is the first datapoint which makes trends difficult to assess at the edges, and because I believe the website did not introduce sticky threads for each issue at the time Rise of the Runelords message board section started.

Limitations aside, where does this leave us:

Top Tier: Kingmaker – scored well in both methodologies.
Second Tier: Carrion Crown, Reign of Winter, Wrath of the Righteous, Iron Gods, and Strange Aeons scored well in at least one of the methods without doing poorly in the other.
Third Tier: Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Jade Regent, Giantslayer, Hell’s Rebels, Hell’s Vengeance and Ironfang Invasion scored typically with both methods.
Fourth Tier: Second Darkness, Legacy of Fire, Council of Thieves, Serpent’s Skull, Mummy’s Mask scored poorly with at least one methods, without an offsetting high achievement in the other methodology.
Bottom Tier: No AP scored poorly in both methodology.
Mixed: Skull and Shackles scored high in the total posts but poor in completion rate. Was there high interest in this AP, but it just did not deliver? I’m not sure. Shattered Star scored low in the first method but high in completion rate. Is this one a sleeper hit, or did a group of players with high interest in this AP start it?

Again, lots of limitation, but it’s the best I can do.

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In my campaign, where I am a player, we're heading to the First World soon. Anyone know of any magic items that are particularly handy against plants or fey creatures?

Also, does anyone know of an item that is good at dealing with monsters that swallow whole? For some reason I imagine creatures will just get big in the first world and swallow whole will come up more often. I thought the steadfast gut stone offered the user some protection for a week against swallow whole, but when I reread it that was not there - so I must be mis-remembering.


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Does anyone have a suggestion for a scorpion familiar mini? The creature is tiny although I'd settle for a mini that works in the tiny-small range.

I've not seen an official scorpion mini in that size range. I can find plastic toys of scorpions but these toys tend to run bigger than the tiny-small range of D&D creatures and look more like medium size on the battle mat.

I wouldn't mind a whole set of tiny creatures for the typical familiars.


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I recall from Dungeon magazine free web supplements that had print-outs of the maps and art from the adventure. I found those really handy to share with the players.

I buy the hardcopy books for Mummy's Mask adventures. I just like the hardcopy. I even bought the map folios, face cards, and item cards.

It would be nice to have free printable versions of the maps*, the fiction, and the art.

For example, it is hard to share the fiction short stories that run through the series with my players as I won't also buy the PDF - that just seems seems excessive. I could photocopy the pages but that would look like crap, exert huge stress on the books fragile binding, and is probably illegal. I could pass the book around but that would either take huge amounts of game time or present a logistic challenge.

Paizo could solve this just by uploading the fiction for free. Yes, the fiction is good, but how many people not playing the adventure path would actually read it? And, more important from a business standpoint, how many people who read the fiction for free online would have bought the issue if the fiction was not available for free online? I'm guessing that is a trivial number of people - and that number represents the actual lost sales for the issue.

Just a lament here for the old Web Supplements that were for free from Dungeon.

*I know others diligently create printable maps, but that is only more reason for Paizo to just make the maps a free download.

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One of my players is playing some kind of wind-based oracle, who can adjust existing wind speed. Therefore, I needed a mechanism to determine the current wind speed on any given day. I created the chart below using some historical wind data from an airport in Egypt, and the wind categories used in Pathfinder.

It might make significant winds a bit more common than they actually are in Egypt, but they are still pretty rare.

I post it below in the unlikely event someone else needs this obscure information...

Roll d1000.

001-774 = Light Winds
775 - 874 = Moderate Winds
875-949 = Strong Winds
950-975 = Severe Winds
976-999 = Severe winds + dust storm
1000-1024 = Windstorm + dust storm
1025 – 1027 = Windstorm + Greater Dust storm
1028-1029: Hurricane Force Winds + greater dust storm
1,030 = Tornado force winds + greater dust storm

Monthly Effects
Add 10 in March, April, May and August
Add 20 in June and July

Time Effects
Add 10 between 5-8 PM

Functionally, if your first d10 rolls a 1-6 you don't even need to reference this table, we know it is light winds.

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The Osiriontologist feat (Osirion, Land of the Pharaohs) gives a fairly hefty +5 bonus to checks about ancient Osirion.

I'm tempted to allow it because I generally want my players to make these checks to fully understand the details and story. I've never seen a player actually take a feat to improve knowledge checks, but this bonus is big enough it could entice somebody, particularly the archaeologist bard in my group.

Because the bonus is so large and I've only read the first 2 issues of the AP in detail I just want to check in - does anyone see any problems allowing the feat?

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Does anyone have a complete historical timeline of Wati and the relevant events in Osirion? I listed below the dates I knew.

Osirion founded - -3470 (~8200 years ago)
Forgotten Pharaoh reigned - year X?
Founding of Wati - year X?
Keleshite Takeover 1532 AR (~3200 years ago)
Plague of Madness - 2499 AR (~2200 years ago)
Wati Reconsecrated - 2953 AR (~1700 years ago)
Osirion independence - 4609 AR (~100 years ago)
Current Year - 4716 AR?


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Evil Witch rolls a 20 on initiative and Hero Rogue rolls a 10.

On round one Evil Witch casts Suffocation on Hero Rogue, and Hero Rogue fails the save.

What happens on Hero Rogues next turn (his turn during round 1)? Does he "immediately begin to suffocate" or does he "fall unconscious and is reduced to 0 hp?"

I am trying to understand the timing of the spell in the event of a failed save.

The spell states effects begin "On the target's next turn" and I want to know if that gives the victim a round of consciousness, or if it refers to the very next round the victim's action comes up in initiative.

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Our party leads a kingdom and was in another kingdom on a diplomatic mission. While on the diplomatic mission we were betrayed, and our home kingdom was attacked. We need to Tree Stride back home tomorrow to defend it.

If I leave my eidolon behind (unfettered) to do as much damage as possible before he succumbs, are there any risks? I'm really asking can an enemy spellcaster do something to him that will imprison him, or block him, from coming back to me? I'm fine with him dying and going to his home plan. I just don't want a spell to trap him but that I did not consider (e.g., magic jar - what does that spell even do?).

I'd like to leave him behind to destroy as much as possible, but I don't want the next time I summon him to find he can't come for some reason.

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