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*** Pathfinder Society GM. 183 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 42 Organized Play characters.


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Wingblaze wrote:
None that I've seen. Out of curiosity, why would you want softcover?

More portable.

Are there any plans on the Starfinder books to be coming out in soft cover format like the 1E Pathfinder did? If so, is there a timeline for the release?

If a creature has a howl attack is it still a standard action to use?

On the one hand, it is described as an attack.
On the other hand, the description doesn't say it takes a standard action and a character is allowed to speak as a free action.

If a PC is allowed to take a knowledge check as a free action, gets 5 questions from the check, and share all of that information with the rest of the party as part of the free action, then an NPC beast should be able to howl as a free action unless otherwise stated. It's how they talk - free action.

I know, it sounds like I'm trying to overwhelm the players - and openly admit that I am. But that's only because they pull their own weasel tricks and try to use time constraints to keep me from sticking to strict rules. Turnabout is fair play.


I am prepping scenario 5-23 and am wondering if there is any errata to go with it.

My main concern is that there is a trap and a secret door marked on the maps that don't appear in any of the room descriptions. The trap effects are alluded to in the text, but perception and disable DCs are not given anywhere. Perception to find the secret door is also not given.

Matthew Downie wrote:

Here's a recent thread about it.

1 Yes
2 No
3 No, but having the Good alignment subtype would overcome DR/good.
4 No.

Either I'm reading the question wrong or the thread referenced is comparing apples to oranges.

DR is a defense thing. Natural weapons are an attack thing. Having DR does not allow you to bypass another creature's DR.

A natural weapon can be made magical (e.g. with magic fang) and then it would bypass DR/magic.

The only part of the 5-foot step rules that would potentially make this illegal is the difficult terrain restriction. One might argue that a burrowing creature is provoking when it first starts to break ground. The earthglide ability would negate that argument.

"A magus must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook except for read magic, which all magi can prepare from memory."

Is this saying that magi get read magic in addition to their normal spells per day? It is a cantrip so would automatically be in a magus' spellbook, so it sounds as if this is something over and above normal spell preparation. Yet it is still referred to as being prepared.

CRB page 181
Full-Round Action: A full-round action consumes all your effort during a round. The only movement you can take during a full-round action is a 5-foot step before, during, or after the action.

If standing still were considered movement then you cannot stand still if using a full-round action but would be forced to take a 5-foot step.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Ultimate Magic page 84 describes this archetype. The gravewalker replaces some of their hexes with the following class features:

Aura of Desecration "At 1st level,... This ability replaces the witch's 1st-level hex."

Bonethrall "At 1st level,...This replaces the witch's hex gained at 4th level." This is mentioned in the errata as well, so I'm assuming that original printings in the book didn't mention that it came at 1st level.

Possess Undead "This replaces the witch's hex gained at 8th level." It does not say at what level the witch gains Possess Undead. There is no errata on it. On the one hand, there is a precedent of a class feature being gained at 1st level but replacing something the witch would normally gain at 4th level. On the other hand being able to magic jar something at 1st level seems over powered.

Does anyone know of a source that tells at which level a gravewalker can start using the Possess Undead ability?


I did not mention that this is for a PFS character, which lowers the legal list. Half are still at strength 10 or less.

Ankylosaurus 10
Brachiosaurus 13
Deinonychus 11
Dimetrodon 12
Dimorphodon 8
Elasmosaurus 10
Pachycephalosaurus 15
Pteranodon 8
Stegosaurus 10
Styracosaurus 10
Triceratops 10
Tylosaurus 10
Tyrannosaurus 14
Velociraptor 11

And there is still the ridiculous notion that an ankylosaurus or a triceratops is only as strong as a badger. Hatchlings maybe, but a hatchling would be a small creature, not a medium one.


I am building a saurian shaman druid and am working on the animal companion. For most dinosaurs, the starting strength is only 10. I understand that these are medium creatures which is much smaller than most dinosaurs that are statted out and that Paizo doesn't want first level druids to have some killing machine at their beck and call, but comparing this to the strength scores of other medium animal companions it seems like a mistake. Small animal companions like birds and badgers have a 10 strength. Surely a medium dinosaur would be a little bit stronger.

I checked both versions of the errata for the Bestiary and there was no mention of changing a dinosaur animal companion's ability scores in either of them.

Is there another source where such a correction may have been made?


I've been going through the additional resources list for PFS and noticed something in the notes for Inner Sea Gods.

"all of the gods listed in the appendix are legal choices except..." then it lists several groups of gods. According to this list Lamashtu is legal.

But under miscellaneous it states, "all material in chapter 1 and 2 is legal except for pages 92-99."

Pages 92-99 deal with worshippers of Lamashtu.

Is this saying that you can worship Lamashtu but don't get any of the special stuff that pages 92-99 might grant (variant casting, etc.) or is it ruling out worshipping Lamashtu all together?

For psychic magic we are told in Occult Adventures:

"Emotion Components: Emotion components represent a particular emotional state required to cast the spell. A psychic spellcaster marshals her desire in order to focus and release the spell's energy. It is impossible to cast a spell with an emotion component while the spellcaster is under the influence of a non-harmless effect with the emotion or fear descriptors. Even if the effect's emotion matches the necessary emotion to cast the psychic spell, the spellcaster is not in control of her own desires and animal impulses, which is a necessary part of providing an emotion component."

Does "non-harmless" mean causing hp or ability damage or does it account for other effects?

Specifically, I am thinking of the shaken condition (but there are possibly other conditions that may raise the same question). It is described as a fear condition. It gives you penalties, but doesn't do physical damage. Some people would argue that taking penalties is harmful others would argue that it isn't. Would a psychic caster be able to cast spells with the emotion component while shaken?

altontanglefoot wrote:


That... makes sense.

So Ranger Camouflage is useless when the ranger's favored terrain is, say, forest or jungle, which both have plenty of cover and concealment?

No, a small clearing in jungle and forest terrain may still be considered jungle or forest terrain.

Ranger Camouflage v ranger HiPS is whether or not you can make the stealth check while being observed. If the ranger hears someone coming before they can see him then he can use camouflage. If the other person sees the ranger before the ranger is aware of them then he cannot; but would be able to use HiPS.

Gern Blacktusk wrote:
Can't seem to find one anywhere, but then again I don't have every single manual Paizo makes. Seems to be some of the Archetype Monks' special abilities rely upon causing critical hits, and with the exception of the Temple Sword, every Monk weapon has craptastic criticals.

Crusader's Flurry, but you need a level of cleric and can only do it with your deity's favoured weapon.

Wonderstell wrote:


since bludgeoning *is* physical damage, and Battle Poi *can't* deal physical damage...
Using this feat with a Battle Poi would not create a new category of elemental damage, but just render all damage dealt null? Cheese attempt terminated.

Or, it would simply make the Battle Poi a physical weapon. Either way, not what I was after. Tried to fulfill the requirements for Sap Master with a (Fire) Battle Poi.

If you'll allow a flavor text argument rather than a rules mechanics argument:

The poi is designed to expose the target with the flames within the torch heads without the torch heads hitting the target. The flame touches as it passes the target, dealing damage, but the torch itself doesn't touch. If the torch heads actually hit the target then it would interfere with the normal use of the weapon.

Someone with weapon versatility has learned how to hit their target with the torch head and recover from any interference this would cause to swinging the poi, but by hitting with the torch head the fire doesn't touch the target. Bludgeoning damage is done, but no fire damage.

Effectively, using weapon versatility with a poi in this way would be like using the improvised weapon feat. Someone without weapon versatility could try to use an unlit poi as a bludgeoning weapon, but would be doing so as an improvised weapon.

1 - This starts to shift into the question of how much can you say as part of a free action.

The caster is doing a diplomacy check to make the request of the troll to stop the bard from casting spells. If the trolls are loyal enough that they would die for the commander (bard) then it would take a lot of convincing to get them interfere with his actions. It may be possible, but it would probably take several rounds of diplomacy and the GM should probably expect the player to come up with a convincing argument as opposed to just saying, "I use diplomacy," and rolling a die. The charm spell does not make the charmed creature forget the immediate past, so this would not be an easy task.

2 - Would the troll normally do this?

Probably not. He's loyal enough to the bard to die for him. Other trolls have died. He would not normally act against the bard during a fight. Opposed charisma checks will be needed.

3 - What would the bard do to the troll?

A charmed person does not obey suicidal or obviously harmful orders. Just because the trolls all respect the bard enough to die for him doesn't mean that he's not a severe disciplinarian. If there is reason to believe that acting against the bard would bring harmful punishment then the troll would not do so.

As others have stated, charm spell only makes the person friendly towards you, it doesn't make them fight for you.

In the situation above, the caster could only request that the troll stop the commander from casting spells not order it to. Whether or not it does really depends on the specific scenario. If the background of the story says that the commander is cruel to his troops and they really don't like him then the troll would be more likely to attack the commander, but most likely only the GM would know this information.

Perhaps a more interesting question would be what if the commander told the charmed creature to attack the PC who cast the charm spell? Yes, the troll's attitude is now friendly towards the PC, but people under orders sometimes have to do things they don't want to do without question.

Claxon wrote:

Any class that grants an animal companion or mount grants the ability to handle that animal as a free action, as all of them reference the druid ability (either directly or indirectly) I believe. I don't know of any exceptions, but there might be one.

The point of which is to say, so long as you are given a mount by class features instead of trying to purchase a mount you will be fine.

True, but any class can own a "mount" that is not a part of their class features. The thread does specify a cavalier, so it's not a problem in this example, but it is best not to let someone read this thread and think that their fighter can do all this fancy stuff just by buying a horse.

Then the deciding factor falls to the description of a combat maneuver:

Combat Maneuver: This is an action taken in combat that does not directly cause harm to your opponent, such as attempting to trip him, disarm him, or grapple with him (see Chapter 8). (CRB pg 11)

and the GMs definition of "extra damage".

I've got a character that uses a corrosive whip. Most GMs tell me that it will not deal the additional acid damage on a trip or disarm because trip and disarm don't deal damage. Mathematically, you can always add to zero, but the consistent argument that I have heard is that you cannot deal extra damage unless you first deal damage. If that is so, then the armour spikes would only deal extra damage if the attack option is used when maintaining a grapple (unless the character has some other feat, trait, class feature, etc that allows damage to be dealt).

RaizielDragon wrote:

Combat Maneuvers are attack rolls, so initiating a grapple would be a "Grapple Attack", as would maintaining a grapple since it's the same kind of roll.

No they are not. Disarm, sunder, and trip are the only three combat maneuvers that count as attacks.

EnginBear wrote:

In my opinion, RAW for this setup would be supported.

Mounted combat rules mention that the movement of a mount counts as their action, and a mount can charge as that action. You are allowed to attack at the end of the movement.

Ride-by Attack mentions that you may charge on a mount and attack, then continue to move after the attack (upto maximum of double the mounts speed).

Pounce says that a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).

The real question is, whether the mount can only make a move action (thus allowing you to move only) or it possesses both a move & standard action thus allowing the full attack action.

I agree with this with one exception. To get an animal to attack is a Handle Animal check. If you have levels in a class that allow you to do this as a free action (i.e. druid) or some similar game mechanic is in play then yes it will work. If you have to spend a standard action to get the mount to attack then no it will not.

Kaouse wrote:

Flurry of Blows

Haste specifies using a Full-Attack. Flurry of Blows specifies using a Full Attack. Haste is allowed to work with Spell Combat. I would allow Flurry of Blows to work as well.

Of course, at a culmanative -4 penalty. Considering the Magus lacks ways to increase his to-hit bonus and would require multiclassing (which puts off his class features). Then again, there is the whole "metaphorical hands" issue...

With haste you are adding an extra standard action to a full round action (full attack is described as a full round action). Combining spell combat with flurry of blows would be embedding one full round action in another. The two are not equivalent.

Armor Spikes: You can have spikes added to your armor, which allow you to deal extra piercing damage (see "spiked armor" on Table: Weapons) on a successful grapple attack. The spikes count as a martial weapon. If you are not proficient with them, you take a –4 penalty on grapple checks when you try to use them. You can also make a regular melee attack (or off-hand attack) with the spikes, and they count as a light weapon in this case. (You can't also make an attack with armor spikes if you have already made an attack with another off-hand weapon, and vice versa.) An enhancement bonus to a suit of armor does not improve the spikes' effectiveness, but the spikes can be made into magic weapons in their own right.

The spike description specifies that the damage is done on a grapple attack. Initiating a grapple and using a grapple to pin is not considered an attack.

The use of armour spikes for normal melee attacks seems to indicate that the spikes would be on the outer sleeve of the armour and not all over it. If this is so then grappling someone with armour spikes is not the same as them hugging a pin cushion.

Can a wand be used to counterspell a spell as it is being cast?

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

"When using positive energy to heal, affected creatures gain only half the normal amount of healing but also receive a specific beneficial effect. When channeling negative energy to harm, affected creatures take only half the normal damage but take an additional penalty or harmful effect;"

This makes it sound like you roll the channel healing/damage as normal and only apply half of the result.

However, the enhanced channel effect gives the example:

"For example, a 7th-level cleric normally heals 4d6 points of damage with channeled positive energy; with the Nature alternative channeling, that cleric instead heals only half that amount (2d6) when channeling, but heals animals and fey an additional +50% over the unhalved value (4d6 + 50%)."

This makes it sound like you only roll half the number of dice to determine the healing/damage effect of a channel (unless it is an enhanced channel).

If you roll half as many dice, then at 1st and 2nd level do you get 1 die or none? A lot of times, Paizo will default half of 1 to 1, but a lot of times they specify minimum 1 when they tell you to halve an effect based on level.

If it defaults to 1 then variant channeling is actually a more powerful means of channeling for low level clerics. If it rounds down to 0 then would 1st or 2nd level cleric channel the additional benefit of the channel but not the healing/damage (unless the channel is enhanced)?


If something appears in the Advanced Race Guide is it only PFS legal for the race it falls under. Some things specifically make reference to the race (Order of the Paw cavaliers can only be halflings) others are more generic (scentbane incense appears under gnome magic devices, but there is no rational reason why any race shouldn't be able to use it).

More specifically, I am looking at plant companions (listed under elves). Do you have to be an elf to have one or could other races get them?


As mentioned, it will vary from GM to GM.

From a role-play point of view, the biggest problem I can see with this is that people will react to you differently riding fledgling griffon into town than if you rode a horse. If the scenario calls for the party to keep a low profile this will be a problem. It could potentially give bonuses or penalties to some checks ("I'm just a farmer," when you've got a griffon following you around is going to hurt your bluff check) - so the GM should always be told in advance that this is not a horse even if you are using horse stats for it.

An alternate solution is the fact that horses won't follow you into a dungeon. Use a horse, but ask GMs to give a check to see if it wandered off or got stolen while you were crawling through the sewers. This gives you the oportunity to switch mounts without just abandoning a faithful mount.

Reading the CRB equipment section, one would get the impression that only horses, ponies, and riding dogs are considered common mounts.

The cavalier mount class feature states that a small creature can select a wolf as his mount, at fourth level they can select a riding dog. It reads as if wolves are more common mounts than riding dogs.

The Order of the Paw halfling cavaliers must ride either a dog or a wolf - no distinction is made over one being more common than the other.

Basically, I'm creating an Order of the Paw halfling cavalier with a wolf as his mount and want to know if I can buy a normal saddle or have to buy an exotic saddle.

Baleful Polymorph acts as Beastshape.

Beastshape says you take the form of a creature of the animal type - not that you become that creature and gain its type.

Beastshape also lists abilities you would gain if the creature whose form you took had those abilities. If you actually turned into that creature then this would not be necessary.

Baleful Polymorph gives you a will save to maintain spelllike abilities, ability to cast spells, etc. If you actually turned into the creature then you would automatically lose these unless the creature type were capable of doing them.

Skylancer4 wrote:

You are mis-remembering the limitation on casting spells. You are unable to cast spells of a level above your casting stat modifier. If you were a 20th level wizard with an INT mod of +2, you would be unable to cast anything above level 2 spells.

No, the rule is that your ability score must be at least 10 + the spell level to cast a spell. An intelleigence score of 12 would only have a modifier of +1, but the wizard could still cast second level spells.

Not sure about the first question.

As for the second, being proficient with a whip allows you to use a scorpion whip as a whip - i.e. it grants proficiency. Taking the exotic weapon proficiency feat for whip should grant proficiency with the scorpion whip.

The animal speaker bard archetype has the following class feature:

"Animal Friend: An animal speaker selects a particular kind of animal, such as apes, badgers, bears, boars, cats, snakes, and so on. The bard gains a +4 bonus on Handle Animal checks to influence animals of his chosen kind. Animals of this kind have a starting attitude of at least "indifferent" toward the bard and never attack him unless he attacks them first."

I have an animal speaker who has chosen rats as their animal friend type. Would a rat swarm attack them unprovoked?

Swarm traits say that, "A swarm has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here." So they do count as rats, however it further says, "Swarm Attack: Creatures with the swarm subtype don't make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed." So they do automatic damage without an attack roll, but it is still described as an attack. Which part of this takes precedent - that it is automatic damage or that it is described as an attack?

From the level 1 iconics:

Lini's spell-like abilities:

"1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 12), prestidigitation, speak
with animals"

Seoni's Level 1 Spells:

"1st (4/day)—mage armor, magic missile"

In the first case, Lini has four abilities and she can use each of them once per day. In the second case, Seoni knows two first level spells and she can cast them in any combination so long as she doesn't cast more than four a day.

The only difference in the presentation of these is the use of parenthesis - 1/day vs (4/day)

So, I am preparing a low level scenario where a minion type NPC has spell-like abilities:

"3/dayblink, entangle (DC 13), invisibility (self only), pass without
trace, speak with animals"

If this is interpreted as Lini (no parenthesis are used) then this NPC can use each of these abilities 3 times. That seems a bit much for a minion in a low level scenario.

If this is interpreted like Seoni (despite the lack of parenthesis) then this NPC can only use 3 special abilities a day but has a pool of 5 to choose from. A little more believable for the level of play, but seemingly restrictive for the NPC's race (atomie).

Both seem plausible, how does one determine which is to be used?

alexd1976 wrote:
Hey, how often could a human use this, if it were allowed by the GM?

If your party were trying to infiltrate a gang of druids and you were the animal companion. That and Halloween.

graystone wrote:
Easy enough to pick up like a 1/2 orc or any 'human' with adopted [tusked].

If you are thinking the alternate half-orc racial trait Toothy then it wouldn't work. Adopted allows you to take "race" traits, not "racial" traits. A race trait is a category of trait listed in the Advance Player Guide in the new rules chapter and they tend to be social traits (you were raised in half-orc society, you are familiar with such-and-such as a half-orc custom). A racial trait is one listed in the rules for building a character of that race and tend to be genetic (you were born a dwarf, you can see in the dark). Being adopted doesn't change your DNA.

I was just looking at the various class kits in the Adventure Gear section of Ultimate Equipment and noticed that spontaneous casters don't have spell component pouches listed, but most casters who have to prepare spells do (paladin and ranger don't).

Did they make a change giving all spontaneous casters Eschew Materials like the sorceror gets (it would sort of make sense with the spontanaity of the casting)? Or is this more of a, "casting isn't your main function, so it's not standard equipment" type thing?

I did not think of looking there. Thanks to all who answered.

Page 562 of the Core Rulebook for those of you wanting a more precise location.

I don't use a lot of magical weapons, so I'm not sure if this is a real rule or just a home rule someone used, but I was recently told that different weapon enhancements will give a magical weapon the properties of special materials - e.g. a +2 weapon will act as cold iron against fey and demons.

I looked in all the places I thought it would be obvious that such things would be listed (under special materials, under costs for weapon bonuses, etc)in both the CRB and Ultimate Equipment but couldn't find anything specific. The person who told me about it said that there was a table that told what enhancements did what, but I can't find a table that does this either.

The closest I could find was for individual materials such as mithral weapons will act as silver against lycanthropes, but I'm pretty sure that is not what they were referring to.

Does anyone know where such a list is located?

kyrt-ryder wrote:

I'd argue otherwise LazarX.

Hell being a travelling priest was an adventure in and of itself back in the day.

Most of the descriptions I've seen while reading about the gods have at least a paragraph on priests as adventurers.

MeanMutton wrote:
I'd argue you probably need some training in Knowledge (Religion) and a profession skill depending on the god. Barrister for Asmodeus, for instance, or Courtesean for Calistria, or Engineer for Brigh, or Scribe or Librarian or Clerk for just about any diety. But not really more than a point or two. Also, it might be fun to have a character that is just really BAD at his job.

Most of the sources do say that a priest of so-and-so is trained in such-and-such, so I would agree here.

I've been reading some of the information on the gods of Golarion that is given in the back of the adventure paths and now have to ask, what is the difference between a "cleric" and a "priest"?

The Jade Regent part 2 has a few pages about Shelyn in the back. Among the information given is that, "Shelyn's priests can use summon monster spells to summon the following creatures in addition to the normal creatures listed in the spell," followed by a list of additional creatures.

Earlier, under the heading "A Priest's Roll" it starts with, "Most of Shelyn's clergy are clerics or bards, though she has a few paladins, druids, and rangers of high status in her church." Reading on, there is nothing that specifies that the non-cleric classes are not considered to be priests; there are some places that seem to back up the idea that they can be priests.

Under the heading "New Spells" it states, "All priests treat charm animal as if it were a 2nd-level spell on their class spell list." as if any class can be a priest of Shelyn.

Some of the other gods portrayed in other adventure paths have similar reading, while still others specify that the clergy are clerics, that special spells ans summons lists are specifically for clerics, etc.

So, how does a non-cleric become a priest when a source allows them to? Do they take a rank in profession priest? Do they just declare that they are a priest? Do they have to take a vanity to be a priest?

It was a good game. Unfortunately, it looks as if power creep is working its way into the system. If I were to start running a campaign I would probably limit source material such that the Advanced Race Guide is the latest publication that can be drawn from (or Ultimate Equipment, I can't remember which of these came first) - definitely Mythic Adventures and anything published after it would be banned.

Snowblind wrote:
Crusader's Flurry is the only thing I can think of that comes even close.

That sounds familiar. Thanks.

I can see the Assume Fate ability causing arguments amon the party.

A few months ago, I overheard someone mention some character build mechanic that would allow a monk to make a flurry of blows with any weapon they were proficient with. For some reason, I think it was a racial feat that allows it, but I can't find it listed in the ARG. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Mark Stratton wrote:
gnrrrg wrote:
Attack, probably the first trick that a druid goves their animal companion. So, rules as written, when the party goes into combat the druid can point and yell attack as a free action and the animal companion does just that. It's one of the animal's tricks and the druid does not need to do a handle animal check.

Yes, the druid still needs to make a Handle Animal check to get his animal companion to attack. If the companion knows the trick, it's a DC 10 (and the Druid gets a +4 because it's his animal companion); if it doesn't know the trick, then the Druid has to push the animal companion with a DC 25 Handle Animal check (again, the Druid gets a +4 to the check because it's the Druid's animal companion.)

"Bonus Tricks: The value given in this column is the total number of “bonus” tricks that the animal knows in addition to any that the druid might choose to teach it (see the Handle Animal skill for more details on how to teach an animal tricks). These bonus tricks don't require any training time or Handle Animal checks, and they don't count against the normal limit of tricks known by the animal. The druid selects these bonus tricks, and once selected, they can't be changed. "

Several answers to several points brought up:

"And by the rules the handle animal rules provide very little limit on a characters ability to control their pet if the player knows what they're doing."

This is wrong. The handle animal skill rules require a check for most things that a person would try to get a pet to do. Pretty much the only control that a player has outside of handle animal is that their pet will follow them around.

"People are just salty that they lost the overpowered Eidolon."

Many people are, true. I am not. I am upset that they are removing the ability for us players who like to role play to make an eidelon based on a concept rather because a few people have created overpowered eidolons. To paraphrase the first line of GM101 - Pathfinder is a role playing game, not a game about rolling dice. Paizo has opted to punish the role players because of the hack and slash player's behaviour in this case.

"The problem is people were building pouncing attack monsters that slaughter whole combats before the other PCs even get to the table.
You want to fix that by saying "Okay, you can have your pouncing attack monster, but once it is turned on, you can't turn it off."
And you think this will make the situation *better*?"

Again, role playing game. Better yet, thinking game. The summoner has to weigh the risks of summoning their eidolon. Summoners won't just have their eidolons out all the time like some do. And, the personality templates I gave were just examples; not everything would be based on attack/non-attack but their would be other templates to choose from.

"The players who were a problem before with the old eidolon are the players who have already demonstrated that they have problems showing restraint. Now instead of hogging the spotlight, they will hog the spot light *and* cost the rest of the table prestige points."

Once. After costing the party prestige points once they might learn the value of restraint. And, from experience, I can tell you that it doesn't take a berserk eidolon to make one player cost the party prestige points. The difference is, when the player is in complete control they don't care how much their having fun screws over the party, when they don't have complete control but it is still their fault then they start to listen to the other players.

"Nevermind the fact that no one in their right mind, even by our standards, would unleash a barely controlled supernatural creature around a mission critical objective."

This is pretty much what summoners do. Alchemists experiment on themselves. Witches make pacts with unknown patrons. Wizards are really the only arcanists in the Pathfinder universe who try to take a rational approach to magic. According to the random age tables, summoners are self-taught and a human is most likely to start their career as a summoner while they are still a teenager.

"This seems like a possible solution for a home game (if your GM comes to the conclusion that it is an issue), it does not seem like a workable solution for organized play."
"Eidolons and animal companions are already NPCs, and GMs are technically in control of them. And obviously everyone should use the handle animal rules correctly."

It's not needed in a home game. In a home game the GM and players can discuss the tone of the game they want (the Game Mastery Guide suggests doing this) and the GM can straight out tell a player if they are acting against the game style the group has decided on. In PFS the GM cannot do this short of players openly insulting other players or PC v PC actions taking place.

"This should definitely be in the Homebrew or General pathfinder forum."

Paizo saw a problem in PFS and made a solution that handicapped all PFS players because of the action of a few. I'm proposing a solution that would help bring PFS back into line with what it originally was created to be without punishing the people wh weren't responsible for the problem as much.

Think animal companions. They are just that - companions, not pets or slaves. A druid or ranger still has to do handle animal checks on their animal companion to get them to do any trick the player hasn't selected for the companion. Many players and GMs forget this fact and treat the animal companion as a secondary character for the player.

Attack, probably the first trick that a druid goves their animal companion. So, rules as written, when the party goes into combat the druid can point and yell attack as a free action and the animal companion does just that. It's one of the animal's tricks and the druid does not need to do a handle animal check. Midway through combat, somebody suggests that the party should keep someone alive in order to interrogate them. The animal companion still has an attack order up. If it doesn't have "down" on its trick list then it will take a handle animal check to get it to stop attacking or you may lose the ability to interrogate anyone. If "down" isn't on its list then the druid will have to push in order to get the animal to stop.

Eidolons are the same way. They have a link to their summoner but they are not slaves or pets. They are usually more intelligent than animals and therefore more likely to want to do their own thing. They are from another plane and do not necessarily know all the ways and customs of the material plane and they are in a body created by the summoner's mind so aren't necessarily comfortable with their movements (imagine waking up notably taller one morning and how you would have to adjust to it).

The fix would be to have the player select from a list of personality traits or templates to give their eidolon. If they want an eidolon that charges into battle and kills everything then they will have to do a die roll to make it stop (or it starts damaging the location making future perception or survival checks harder or perhaps destroys treasure). If they want a more level-headed eidolon then they have to do some sort of die roll to convince it to join in combat. The eidolon can still be useful, but stops being a second character for the summoner player to run.

The benefits of this?

1 - Players can still build their eidolons. Part of the attraction of the summoner class was getting to be creative with you eidolon build.
2 - New players can play PFS legal eidolons without having to buy an extra book.
3 - Old players can still apply a template to an existing eidolon, so grandfathered in eidolons are brought into line with new eidolons.
4 - Summoner archetypes can be made PFS legal. Now the synthesist isn't just conjuring up a magical battlesuit, but rather is fusing with a creature that has a mind of its own and takes a risk that this creature will hinder him more than help.

mplindustries wrote:

And I like when the player gets to solve them rather than the 26 Int wizard just rolling and getting it right. It's not like the 26 Int wizard can just roll int to cast the very best spell at the enemies, or place that cloudkill perfecly, or move tactically around the battlefield, or automatically choose his own magical gear...

Definitely in agreement here. They're also good for keeping the guy who just smashes stuff from taking over the game; nope, sorry, you've got to get into the forbidden temple of mystery before you start killing its guardians.

The only real problem with riddles is that if a group can't solve one then it can hold up the adventure. A GM can give hints based on good role playing and a little on good dice rolling if this happens,

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