james maissen's page

Organized Play Member. 7,114 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.

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Bizbag wrote:

Why does it even matter? So it didn't exist before. The devs thought it did, but it didn't. Now it does. Whether it did or not before is irrelevant now because its validity is not contingent on it being a fully in place rule in the past; it wasn't, so they made it one now. So now it's the rule.

Are you trying to tell me "the rule is only valid if it was previously valid"? Because that is paradoxical.

Look, I'm not debating that Paizo can make Pathfinder rules, or that they want to remove the martial weapon proficiencies from the Aasimar, Tiefling, etc. I don't have any issue with it one way or the other.

The point is that the way they are handling the rules is becoming increasingly slipshod. And that's a real issue that transcends this minor one and makes it into something very troubling.

We can all agree that they dropped the ball on their change to Aasimars and the like in regards to weapon proficiencies. They even agree upon that. The ARG demonstrates what they want the rule to be, or thought that it already was. However they don't seem to want to be bothered to actually make it the case when they knew exactly what is causing the confusion. This is troubling because they are the people that can make those changes to improve our game.

The ARG does not say 'hey here's a change', rather it says 'this is the way it's been'. Except that's just not true.

You've quoted the ARG, but done so incorrectly and misrepresented what it says. You're missing the distinction there.


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Ilja wrote:
DM Becket: Specific overrides general. The general rule is that creatures get the traits of their creature type. The specific rule is that 0HD creatures do not gain certain traits.

However, that specific rule is not published.

The ARG references and reminds you of that unpublished rule.

The issue people are having is that many of us gravitated to Pathfinder because it was cleaning up a lot of sloppy rules that WotC had accumulated over time with 3rd edition but they were unwilling to spend the time and effort to fix them.

It seems as if Paizo has decided to embrace that same mentality. And this is disappointing.

Perhaps another company will take over the d20 material and undertake the task. I know that I, for one, would be far more willing to shell out money for good fixes to bad rules, poor wordings, and ambiguous terms than I would be for some passing flavor of the week, words of power, guns, or the like.


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Majuba wrote:
To us, the above is quite clear. It's okay if you don't think so though.

Well let's see, in 3.5 it said that they have the following racial traits... and it didn't list proficiency in martial weapons nor the need to sleep/breathe/etc.

They clearly never had racial Hit Dice. Which is what the first line is saying, and this is the only addition that Pathfinder made (beyond changing the class of the sample character from warrior to cleric).

Your argument would say that, in 3.5, they clearly didn't get martial weapon proficiency. Yet the designers at the time would disagree with you, and they expressly ruled that they did get martial weapon proficiency.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
james maissen wrote:
It reads to me as if it simply got the rule wrong.
::blink, blink:: Okay.

So where did the rule from 3.5 get changed? That's what people have been looking for in this thread. The first claim was the Adv Race Guide, but that was just to clarify the change that had already been made (cause you don't seem to believe it could be a mistake). Now the second claim is that the one line in the bestiary about Aasimars not getting racial HD somehow claims this, but they never got racial HD and that's confusing traits and features.

It's not that hard, you guys get to print the books. If you want it to say something, then go out and say it. Errata is not an evil word.

Our desire here is for clear rules. They make for a better game. I've liked the majority of the changes Pathfinder has made to 3.5, but hiding those changes doesn't further the interests of the game. It just causes confusion. Rather than prance around with 'clarification', simply issue the errata and stop printing a general rule under a specific heading. The only logical conclusion a person should take from that is that you HAVEN'T changed the rules from 3.5 in this regard.

If you want the rules to be different, then print them differently.


Oh and you seem to have something in your eye.

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Arakhor wrote:
The ARG states that 0-HD outsiders don't get armour/weapon proficiencies.

Actually, the ARG states that this was already the rule, rather than making it a new rule.

You have two possibilities here:

1. There is such a rule somewhere that we have yet to find.

2. The author was mistaken when he added weapon and armor proficiencies to the list of things that they do not get (HD, skill ranks, etc).


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LazarX wrote:
The Advanced Race Guide has the text that Biz quoted. If that doesn't settle the question, nothing ever will.

Read the full text in the Advanced Race Guide. I even quoted more of it up thread if you don't have it handy.

The text is not making a new rule, but rather the author is stating that this is already the rule and is reminding the reader of it.

The problem is that author got this wrong as far as I can tell. Or has anyone found a source that contradicts the Bestiary entry for outsiders?

All you have is a place in a supplemental text where someone thought the rule was one thing, when it was another.

After all the devs here inherited a good amount of the rules from 3e, and they are human. They can make mistakes, or elect not to look at what they might consider minutiae.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
The rules have always stated that the GM can limit the number of free actions. This FAQ gives guidance to something the GM always had power over.

The problem is that the FAQ gives bad guidance and without much context.

Until this I doubt anyone seriously considered limiting free actions required for a full attack action, but here the example says as much. Meanwhile the quick draw feat expressly allows the opposite, and implies that this is the default for bows (and one would then assume for other such projectile weapons.. seeing as rapid reload also has similar language).

Do you believe that people should follow this guidance to expressly count the number of free actions, when you, yourself, don't keep track of them all? If not, then how is this good guidance? If so, then isn't keeping track of this within 'the granularity' for ALL DMs?

As far as it taking a free action to draw ammunition, this is plainly in the core rulebook.

Drawing ammunition for use with a ranged weapon (such as arrows, bolts, sling bullets, or shuriken) is a free action.
As far as it taking a free action (with the feat) to reload certain crossbows (to avoid the hated firearms), this is exactly what the feat says.
The time required for you to reload your chosen type of weapon is reduced to a free action (for a hand or light crossbow),... If you have selected this feat for a hand crossbow or light crossbow, you may fire that weapon as many times in a full-attack action as you could attack if you were using a bow.

I reasonably conclude that to go from an empty hand crossbow in right hand with empty left hand, to loaded hand crossbow in right hand involves both of these free actions.

Without the feat, it would be a free action (draw the bolt) and a move action (reload the hand crossbow).

None of this matters to anyone until we are guided to judge free action abuse on a purely numerical scale.


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fretgod99 wrote:
I'm on board with changing the rules for firearms. I think that'd be a good solution. I don't think having a guideline for capping free actions is per se unreasonable, though. So, I don't really have a massive disagreement with the FAQ.

Then come up with such guidelines, but don't use the ones listed in the FAQ, as they are very poor guidelines and violate the few rules on free actions that do exist.


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Psyren wrote:
james maissen wrote:

All in all it was a bad FAQ and a bad misuse of the system,
Jason explained why they didn't use the blog or the forums; the former is used sparingly and restricted to primarily marketing functions, while the latter would have had the guideline get lost in the shuffle and they wouldn't have gotten as much feedback on it.

They *are* the company, and they can make whatever categories that they wish.

Calling it a FAQ when it is not, is disingenuous and fosters confusion. After this point when I see a FAQ I won't know whether or not it is a new rule, a clarification that they believe in, or something that they are just testing out.

They've made places for discussion.. we're ON one of them. They could easily make it a sticky and generated as much interest without resorting to silly tricks like this.

It's a bad move. They wanted feedback.. this is the feedback that they should get.


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BigDTBone wrote:

So, would you say that a hastened, level 6 archer using rapidshot and manyshot is cheesing? That's 5 arrows on 4 attacks, 2 from iterative.

What about a hastened level 7 TWF who gets 5 attacks, with 2 from iterative? This would seem to trip your cheese-meter with no free-actions at all.

I'd say that from the FAQ that a 6BAB hasted rapid shot PC throwing daggers via quick draw is 'cheesing' by using exactly what is printed in the feat that they took (quick draw).

The FAQ is evidently now a forum for testing the waters and provoking response, rather than answering frequently asked questions.

Further those answers are hidden in the wrong places to what they are answering.

I think that Paizo should delineate what the role of each should be and perhaps change the names of the things involved here.


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Lemmy wrote:
I'm not a fan of locked gauntlets either. I can't remember the last time I used one. But that's what you turned weapon cords into. An inferior locked gauntlet.

How is it inferior?

The locked gauntlet gives a huge bonus against disarm, but depending on who you are compared to who you're fighting that might not mean much.

Meanwhile a swift action and you're back to wielding for a full-attack.

Honestly you could easily think the opposite: weapon cords step TOO MUCH on the toes of the locked gauntlet.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

The fact they rendered Duelist (the +4 initiative version) useless because they ruled that you have to "wield" (ie: use in combat) a weapon to get its benefits (to nerf the Defending weapon stuff) also comes to mind. If you have to attack to get the bonus, you get +4 initiative only after you have rolled initiative, which is absolutelly pointless.

They might know the intent of a FAQ better than us, that's sure. I'm not sure they know better the consequences of such FAQs.

This is why it is worse to FAQ things that deserve errata.

Defending weapons needed errata on how they could be used. Whereas a FAQ could stretch to say that they don't stack with one another, just every other bonus.

But a blanket rule on wielding? That's going to cause problems. FAQs tend to only look at the question that they are answering (if that at times), and when the answers extend beyond.. its a high probability that they are going to break something else.


11 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

When the Arcane Archer lists BAB+6, could a PC with BAB+7 take levels in the class (assuming it has the other prereqs)?


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Psyren wrote:

I disagree - putting something in FAQ, evaluating the effects as it percolates, then updating the errata later is a common and beneficial strategy for them. Errata is printed/compiled into PDF so it's much less mutable once finalized, whereas FAQs can always be updated, rewritten or even overruled later.

Not only is "FAQ first" a good strategy, it doesn't stop them from then printing errata on the subject down the road.

We'll disagree.

FAQs should be for 'frequently asked questions' and not for rule changes.

Changes to the rules should be errata.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there folks,

Couple of thoughts that I want to add to the discussion here.

1. We are just nibbling around the edges here, trying to see if we can come up with a workable solution to some imbalances without rewriting a number of rules elements. There are some bigger ways to fix these issues, but we thought we would start out small by addressing free action abuse.

2. Yes, this is primarily about the gunslinger. I is not our intent to limit archers with this suggestion. Reloading was part of the balance of the gunslinger class, but with a combination of gear and feats, that issue is removed from the equation, allowing the gunslinger to fire at at his full bab every round for the entire combat. The thought behind this rule was to force the gunslinger to take a "time out" on occasion to get their guns fully loaded.

3. We used the FAQ system for this one just to get it out there in an easily referred to location. Posting it on the boards means that it tends to get lost in the shuffle. We knew this would cause some controversy, which is why it is worded as a suggestion at this point. Primarily so that we could get some discussion going and look for holes with the solution. Its clear that there are some.

4. We are, as always, still evaluating this issue.

5. Thanks to those of you who have remained civil in this discussion. There are a few folks that decided to pitch a fit, which is not very helpful to us or this community. I would like to remind folks that we are all here to play a game. Lets not roast each other alive.

Thanks again for commenting folks. We will be watching..

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Jason, thanks for weighing in.

Might I suggest a few things:

1. Don't ever use the FAQ when you mean errata. Paizo is a small company, and it great because of that flexibility. If it is something that needs errata, then go with errata rather than end runs. That's something that you do when you have to do, and Paizo shouldn't feel that they 'have' to do it. It was a failing of WotC, and I shudder when I see Paizo making a similar mistake.

2. If the issue is free action reloading for gunslingers, then take a look at all of the feats, class abilities, and the like that give it. They are legion. You are going to need to do a core revision of the entire mechanic for guns and gunslingers.

3. You might be well served to list out exactly where gunslingers (and others using guns) should fit into your game world. Both in terms of roleplay and in terms of mechanics. You may or may not have this explicitly laid out in a format (or one that you could easily share). I would suggest that you develop it to the degree that you can.

3b. Paizo has lent itself to a feeling of inclusion and openness with its customers. Capitalize upon this and see what can be done with the gunslinger.

And the last is the most important (imo),

4. Don't miss the mark. A change in the core rules for a side class like the gunslinger is a miss even if it is a success. The game is sufficiently complex that you want surgery to be done with scalpels and not with broad axes.

Best of luck with it,


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MrSin wrote:
james maissen wrote:
So what purpose does the FAQ serve in this case?
A gentle reminder to GMs that they are entitled to limit the number of free actions a player may take if they feel that a player is abusing them or being cheesy. There are a lot of post by SKR on it atm.

Great.. and that's wonderful.. in fact [i]that's what the core rules actually do[\i]. And the FAQ starts off by quoting them.

Then the FAQ makes this jump to actually numbering and encoding what is reasonable. These suggestions as to what one might consider reasonable are not in line with what is mandated by the core rules. Ergo they are not good suggestions.

The real problem is that Paizo created items like 'weapon cords' and didn't give enough restrictions upon them.

Then there's guns in the first place which have a good number of issues..


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Bizbag wrote:

What the poster above was trying to emphasize is that you're ignoring the part right before that, which is part of the *same sentence*, that says:

"there are no specific rules about how many free actions you may take in a round"

Which makes the FAQ kinda pointless, doesn't it?

The rule already was: GM discretion.

The only thing the FAQ seems to be adding is what should be considered as reasonable.

Yet what it says doesn't fit within what the core rules give as reasonable, intended, and understood.

So what purpose does the FAQ serve in this case?


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Steve Geddes wrote:
The FAQ doesn't conflict with stated rules unless you only read some of it.

Close.. it doesn't conflict unless you read part of it:

it is reasonable for a GM to limit you to performing 5 free actions per round if each is a different free action, or perhaps 3 free actions per round if two or more are the same free action.

This is blatantly false.

It is not reasonable for the GM to limit an archer to drawing only 3 arrows when they could attack more than that. Nor is it reasonable to limit a dagger thrower to only being able to quick draw 3 daggers when they could throw more.

So this part of the FAQ that is trying to give guidance and invokes game balance flies in the face of what the rules give as the use of being able to draw ammunition as a free action.

Now are there issues with weapon cords and gunslingers? Sure. The problem isn't free actions.. they've been around for a long, long time without the world ending. It's what Paizo has decided to add on not working well.

The better solution is to work on Gunslingers and to handle weapon cords.. there are easy solutions for each. (Personally in the case of Gunslingers for me it's simple: nix them entirely).

Again the problem isn't free actions.


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ciretose wrote:

So again I ask, what would be a reasonable guideline?

Addressing the problem head on, whatever problem that might actually be?

It's not free actions.


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Crash_00 wrote:

Not at all. Look at the rest of the categories. Both require the Primary or Off Hand, but how you use them on the weapon is treated differently. How so? Well, it specifies the difference between using both of them on the weapons. Light weapons do not benefit from two hands of effort on them. One-Handed weapons do benefit from two hands of effort on them. In addition, you can use the Light weapon in a grapple.

Of course if you ignore the differences, then yes, you could say that they are one category. That would, of course, require ignoring part of the rules yet again.

Of course they are different categories.

It's just that hands or 'hands' doesn't measure those differences.

That's what you've invented out of whole cloth.

When you try to measure these categories by those hands, then you have problems as light weapons and one-handed weapons require the same 'hand effort' despite being different categories.

The conclusion is not that light weapons and one-handed weapons are the same category, but rather that 'hands' isn't this system of measurement that you are claiming it to be.

When the rules say hands, they actually mean hands and not 'hands' or anything else.

And that's also why you are confused as to RAW not specifying physical hands. They do. You're simply taking it to mean something else. Something else that doesn't stand up to its own logic.

Which is why you feel the need to house rule things here. A clear sign that you might be misreading things is if everything is falling apart or if you are getting nonsensical possibilities. You are getting both from this reading of yours.


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Crash_00 wrote:
There is no indication there that 'effort' is ever measured in hands. Rather when they write hands, they actually mean hands as crazy as that might sound!
What is effort measured in then, James?

It is simply measured by the categories: Light Weapon, One-handed Weapon, and Two-handed weapon. This is just as the rules on p141 expressly state and you have quoted on multiple occasions.

Crash_00 wrote:
Effort absolutely has to be measured in hands as that is the only unit given to us to measure it with.

I'm sorry, but light weapons and one-handed weapons are different levels of effort. They require the same number of hands however you wish to count them. Your supposition is thereby shown to be incorrect.

Likewise there does not need to be a listed scale of effort. The rules are simply saying that there is a demarcation. It says that it gives that demarcation by weapon category, nothing more.

You wish to remove a facet of those categories, namely hands. And then you claim that there is an ambiguity, again namely hands. It is an ambiguity of your own making. The number of physical hands needed for most weapons of the respective category is indicated (special exceptions notwithstanding of course, like any of the rules). This becomes apparent when you extend your statement that hands always refers to 'effort' and not actual 'hands' to other instances where hands should refer to hands. When asked if they could refer to effort and not hands, you realize these problems yourself. Please take a second to step back and analyze your reading of these rules and you might find the problems within it yourself.

The rest of your post was quoted without attribution, but was not made by me. If you are going to mix and match in a reply, could I ask you to include such attributions to maintain clarity? Thank you.


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Lord Twig wrote:
Taken in context it is clear (at least to me) that mention of hands is there for a reason and the "both hands" refers to both the primary and off hand. What other hands would it refer to?

Your left hand and your right hand?

Now I contend that Primary hand and off hand do refer to your left and right hands, but others believe through convoluted reading that they are separate entities.

In 3e your Primary hand and your Offhand were set as left and right or right and left. This is not debated.

In 3.5e tracking of handedness was removed. This is also not debated.

Now the question becomes did 3.5e completely separate 'hands' from hands? There is no support for this, and trying to assume it to be true leads to absurdities. It also contradicts explicit FAQ entries in both the 3.5 FAQ and the Pathfinder FAQ.

Now the devs are wishing to alter the RAW (which is their job after all), but they are not completely sure what they want from it. They do seem to wish to deny TWFing with a two-handed sword and armor spikes, but do not have problems with a longsword, shield, and armor spikes.

I don't know about you, but even some posters who claimed 'they've always played it this way' got that one 'wrong'.

When asked about logical consequences of the way they were putting forth their desire, they needed more time to think it through. That is very responsible. It is an integral part of the combat system, and needs to be not only coherent but easily understood and extrapolated from.

Some posters have claimed that the 3.5 rules and the Pathfinder rules already had these dev changes within them. That the dev statements were already RAW. This is incorrect and has been debated in a number of threads. It is somewhat academic, but such discussions are always helpful in that people should be aware of the rules surrounding other rules. This facilitates a system that promotes immersion rather than defies logic. The devs, being gamers themselves, understand this and discuss such things with us, the consumer. This makes for a better product, and is frankly why I support Paizo as the wonderful company that it is.

I have no doubts that when they put their minds to doing a full errata on the combat system to achieve their goals that they will do a better job than WotC originally did, and that they will clean up a number of mistakes and ambiguities that we've had to endure for the past decade.


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Crash_00 wrote:

B.) Primary Hand and Off Hand are effort and weapons require the number of physical hands that their descriptions imply.

The accepted, logical, and supported interpretation is B although A could also be taken from RAW.

So how many physical vs 'effort' hands does a bastard sword require?

The term 'hands' in the text, according to you, is talking about effort rather than physical hands, the later should simply taken by the nature of the item. After all, if hands were talking about physical hands.. then your effort idea would be simply an addition on your part.

You have taken p141 and tried to ignore 'hands' and make them into something else except when it is not convenient for you to do so.

This is a dishonest way of reading the rules. It is not about others muddying something 'clear' but rather your making up rules out of whole cloth and not enjoying being called out for it.

You want to claim that p141 doesn't refer to hands, but rather effort. Yet when called on it, claim that is also refers to hands. Which is it? It cannot be both as you'd like as then page 141 would only be speaking about hands and there would not be a separate 'effort' for you to claim exists.

Btw one can easily take the rules to mean:

Hands refers to actual hands and nothing more. If a weapon needs two hands, then a typical person would need to use their left and right hand on it.

Primary hand and Off hand are actual hands. They are designated by the character and are not a permanent character feature that is tracked like it was back in 3e.

This may not fit into other people's vision of how they would like the rules to currently be written, but it does fit into both the current wording of the rules and the history of those rules.

Now the future of those rules is something else entirely. The folks at Paizo may decide to alter and errata them as they see fit to do. But from a RAW standpoint the FAQ is reasonably implying that armor spikes require an actual hand in order to use unlike other attack forms that are considered not to require them.

This does not fit with what the devs are saying on the boards, but does fit with the wording of the rules as currently written. If their intent was to convey what they are writing on the boards, then the FAQ does a very poor job of explaining it.

It has, of course improved, since it was originally a 'No' in the equipment section, but it does not begin to explain how things should work and how related things in the rules should work as a result of this change that it seems that they wish to do. But then again this change does open up a whole can of worms, and leaves people wondering which way they will decide to create things. Perhaps they, like you, will create 'effort' and make it into something on its own. But that will take work, as the way you lay it out is lacking consistency.


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MrSin wrote:
So now we're talking about 3.5's devteam for some reason?

Yes, the contention was given that these imaginary/phantom/pseudo- hands were created in 3.5 and that is clearly depicted within the rules as written.

My counter-point to this is that the FAQ for 3.5 explicitly allowed armor spikes to be used as the off-hand weapon while TWFing with a two-handed weapon. This contradicts these notion of 'imaginary' hands.

Mr 00 said that 3.5 went back and forth in their ruling on whether or not armor spikes could be so used.

My point is that he is essentially saying that his contention of 'imaginary' hands would have become purely imaginary periodically in 3.5, which is nonsense!

I would contend as a result that these hands of effort in 3.5 live within his imagination.

The current Paizo devs are talking about changing the rules as they are written, and have said as much.


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Crash_00 wrote:
At a few points, yes you could do it in 3.5. We've already been over this MrSin. Even the devs have mentioned it.

Ergo, at a 'few points' during 3.5, these 'phantom' hands ceased to exist.

I posit, that they never actually existed.

Hands meant hands.

I posit that the change from 3e to 3.5 was that 3.5 no longer tracked the 'off' hand, but that 'off-hand' still referred to an actual hand.

I further conclude that the variance in 3.5 on whether or not armor spikes could be used for TWF with a two-handed weapon dealt in actuality with said spikes needing a physical hand with which to attack.

This is not unreasonable. You can imagine armor spikes dealing damage to those grappling/wrestling with the wearer. And then you can imagine that the spikes by the arms were sufficiently long to let the wearer reach out with them to strike adjacent targets.

I can further contend that the way the FAQ was written initially and in the subsequent stages that it supports this reasoning far more than the reasoning supplied by the devs after the fact on these boards. It also dovetails with prior board statements by them to this subject.


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Crash_00 wrote:
No. You can attack with one, then the other. You cannot attack with both at the same time. That is exactly what the FAQ is telling us.

Perhaps you believe that two-weapon fighting has the attacks simultaneous, but I doubt that anyone else does. You perhaps have always clearly read it this way, but it is not the case.

Melee attacks are sequential. The combatant sees the results of the prior attack before needing to make the next one. Likewise (in say the case of a fireshield), they suffer the results prior to the next attack.

I'm not sure what this round and round is supposed to accomplish. The way I see it the developers have to decide:

1. What they want.
2. How to word what they want.
3. How to make all of that clear to one and all.


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havoc xiii wrote:
Let's put it this way, in video games you can wield two one handed weapons or one big weapon not both it takes up your "hands" slot why is that such a horrible thing?

Cause I like my roleplaying games to be a bit more than a video game.

If a PC hand a longsword in the hand they were wearing a spiked gauntlet, I would not want there to be a required 'draw' action to 'wield' the spiked gauntlet if the longsword were dropped or disarmed. A video game might require such.

Likewise if my character is ambidextrous, then having them have a weapon in each hand should let them decide which weapon to make attacks each time they get an attack. I wouldn't want to have to 'draw' a weapon that's already in hand!

And that's before we get to this game allowing weapons that do not require hands. Nor the idea that a shield takes up a hand, but not a 'hand' and the absurdities that follow from the rules using the word hand to mean two different things that sometimes overlap!


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blackbloodtroll wrote:

Well, when not two weapon fighting, a type of full attack action, there is no "off hand" attack.

I think that what would be best is that if they were to think through the way that they would want all of the rules to interact, and then fully change them to behave in that manner.

Along the way, they should find verbiage that not only would be intuitive, but would not lend itself to confusion. This would be the most important factor here... even if that meant hiring someone just for this specific task.

This should address areas such as natural weapons with manufactured weapons, the feats required to gain more off-hand attacks, AOOs when dual wielding, defining when someone is wielding, weapons that do not require physical hands, etc.

It is a long, long list and touches upon some cornerstones of the game.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Nope. That was the crux of this ruling. If you attack with a two handed weapon, you have used up your primary and off hand attacks making the two-handed weapon attack.

This is where I have some questions, and I'm hoping that the following scenario below will clear them up.

I know that Sean has focused upon 1st level characters, but let us take this to 6BAB characters.

Can a character with 6BAB (and no combat feats) make a 6BAB attack with a two-handed weapon and then the iterative 1BAB attack with that same two-handed weapon? (I would assume yes, but perhaps not)

It would seem that under this rationale that said character has utilized 2 primary and two off-hand attacks by attacking twice with a two-handed weapon.

The same character could not if they wanted to, instead, dual wield two daggers and make the same attacks even though it would be the same number of primary/off-hand attacks. (Personally I'd love it if TWF didn't have a progressive feat tax, but that can't be the scope of the current FAQ).

Given the great interest in this on these boards, could we request that the dev team look to really do out nice and easy to read/understand rules for this in its entirety that have proven so confusing up to now?

I'm not asking for another FAQ, but rather full errata/re-writing that would perhaps change the verbiage to not lend itself to confusion. This would be a wonderful step in seriously improving our game, and I don't think that I would be the only Paizo customer that would purchase a new copy/.pdf of a core rule book that did away with a number of such historically confusion-prone terms to replace them with what Paizo could do to make them more intuitive and less prone to this back and forth bickering.

Thank you all for your time (and patience) in this,


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Again, the character in the game, knows the difference between someone attacking with a two-handed sword and armor spikes and someone attacking with a two-handed weapon and then armor spikes? He knows the number of attacks he gets before he has to wait his turn in next round?

Perhaps we remove TWF from the game entirely?

Wouldn't the flavor of it be maintained by iterative attacks just as well?

Whatever you might say in favor of TWF remaining is going to extend to both instances here.


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ciretose wrote:
Barbazu beard also provokes an AoO, which if simply being in an off-hand was normal it wouldn't have to. It does give an extra attack, in exchange for giving your enemy an attack.

So the barbazu beard is used as an off-hand weapon, that doesn't 'use' up the off-hand attack?


And the word 'thus' is a mistake?

I think that this entry is going directly against your reading.


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Crash_00 wrote:
You can't have more than one of the same kind of attack in the same iteration.

This would be a decent start for errata and doing out real rules for this.

It however will need real full treatment and thought rather than a simple FAQ that opens up more questions than it answers.

They may mean what you say, or they might mean what has been said in the past and that actual hands are what is being counted here.

I agree with you that this is a problem, and that what you are outlining seems to be the start of a way to handle what they want.

Of course if they want to do this as a mere FAQ/quick errata then a single line relegating the primary attack in a TWF sequence to 1x STR damage regardless of the attack being 1 handed or two would accomplish that much.


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Vod Canockers wrote:
And for those people out there that never played 3.5 or never looked at a 3.5 FAQ, how is this a rules change? I've read the rules, and I understood to mean what this new FAQ says, it is not a rules change to me, nor to any of the people I play with.

What does the new FAQ actually say?

Originally it simply said 'no' to a specific question on two-handed weapons and armor spikes.

There could be a host of reasons for the no. They kindly added clarifications.

You could honestly read that clarification, along with a comment Mark Moreland made years back and say that you need to wield armor spikes in your hand like every one-handed or light weapon.

Is that how you and everyone you play with rule it? If not, what is the rule that your group has been playing with all of these years?

I want to ask:
Do characters need a hand available to draw a kick into before they make a kick, and if their hands are full, then they cannot kick?

I tend to find those questions ludicrous, and if you do as well, I apologize for what might sound as hostile rhetorical questions. Sadly, they are not rhetorical currently for me. I honestly wonder if the ruling is saying these things. I dismissed this very same thing when Mark first posted it as a simple mistake that everyone could make. Now I don't... and it seems very strange to me.

I personally think that the term 'off-hand' is a very bad term for use when there are a number of weapons that do not require a hand at all to use. I think that this might cause confusion at all levels involved here.


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Vod Canockers wrote:
You can't consider this a rules change, because you are talking about two different games.

And if Pathfinder had changed any of the wording involved, you might be right.

They didn't. And they said it was backwards compatible.

And for years what was left unchanged by Paizo's Pathfinder was what it was in the game that they copied and pasted a significant amount of the text from.. wait for it.. 3.5.

Now can they elect to change the rules? Yes!

Should they? Yes!

Is this in particular a rules change? YES!

Now, if they would really make it a rules change and get rid of words like 'off-hand' which mainly serves to confuse, and clearly delineate these changes in the rules that would be really awesome.

How do I know? Because I've seen the other rules that they've changed, and really like their work.


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First, I would like to thank the PDT for amending the FAQ slightly to give some idea on what the scope of the ruling was supposed to be. It gives some sense of direction, if not motivation.

Second, might I suggest errata that they change terms like 'off-hand' as this only serves to be confusing. Cleaning up that mess would be a godsend... something that WotC should have done with 3.5, but sloppily did not. I'm delighted that Paizo is looking to make the time to really address this.

Third, until such time as they are really laid out I still have plenty of questions: some of which I can surmise answers, while others I cannot as I am not in the heads of the developers nor do I know the unwritten rules referred and where exceptions to those rules are allowed and not allowed.

A. A character can TWF while using a tower shield, but not when using a two-handed weapon. Is this absolute?

A1. Can a fighter with improved unarmed strike use a polearm and kick? I know a monk can do so, but are other unarmed characters also unaffected? Unarmed Strikes are a weird thing straddling natural and manufactured weapons.

A2. The barbazu beard specifically called out that it can do this as a consequence of not requiring a hand. Is this wording to be changed to be a special rule for the exotic weapon, or does it say that this is now no longer allowed? I would have said the latter, but a dev post seemed to point at the former so I'm confused here.

B. The rules on TWF have not changed since the prior edition (3.5). In that edition this was specifically a valid option. I'm certain you, like all of us, were aware of people using armor spikes in this fashion for the past decade. Frankly it only becomes mechanically viable at higher levels, and then only when wealth and stats get skewed out of hand and the number of feats a player has grows numerous. If this is a low-level issue, then I'm not seeing it. Regardless, this is a new stated change from the rules, right?

B1. Paizo has added numerous ways for standard PC races to get natural attacks that would still allow them to 'exceed' this unwritten rule as SKR seems to lay out in one of these threads. Should we be addressing those somehow, or expect that to occur? Or do they not fall within the parameters? (And I'm not talking 'strange' races, but rather core races and classes).

B2. What is the real design concern here after a dozen years? Paizo and WotC before them offered feats to increase the off-hand damage. If the concern is that this can happen at low levels, then are we going to remove say the feat: Double Slice? Or perhaps add a BAB requirement for it? Currently a level 1 character could get x1 STR to damage with off-hand attacks. Moreover said character could also have a secondary bite attack with another x1/2 STR modifier.

Please do not take these as attacks, as I certainly do not mean them to be. But with a combat metaphor, this has been a surprise round. Suddenly and without warning, a rule has been changed that's been untouched for years and years. Some will respond by drawing (or quickdrawing) weapons, but I'm still concerned with intent here.

Personally I applaud you should you wish to properly clarify primary and secondary attacks. I do believe it is best done by errata. This is something that would benefit the game at large to streamline. A small entry in the FAQ that even hides what it is really addressing is doing it and the game a disservice.

This is a change in the rules. It should be put forth that way, and given the proper treatment as such. There are so many terms in the rules that are misleading and cause everyone headaches from time to time. After over a decade, enough is enough.. and I'm relieved that Paizo is willing to tackle some of these beasts! I'm sure that you will do a far, far better job than WotC did in this fashion.


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The latest FAQ says 'No' without any reason or context as to why this is so.

Do I need to wield armor spikes in my hand?

If a PC lost a hand, are they also likewise prohibited from TWFing using a one-handed weapon and armor spikes?

Does this apply to a PC with THREE hands?

Why did this get changed from 3.5? None of the associated printed rules in this area seem to have been changed.. why is the FAQ interpreting things in oppositely?

Does a character that attacks with a two-handed weapon, not threaten squares with armor spikes they are wearing? Can they make iterative attacks with them if they made prior attacks with a two-handed weapon?

Does this also apply to monks say wielding a staff and wanting to flurry with that and unarmed strikes?

Is this limited to armor spikes, or does this apply to all of the weapons that do not require hands to be used?

A ruling in a vacuum causes more questions than answers. I appreciate the dev team being very active, but more than 'No.' as an answer is something I'd ask for if the goal is for the FAQ to be helpful.


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Paulicus wrote:
This is rules-lawyering to the extreme. It's ridiculous, and doesn't require taking the devs time to classify the obvious. The intent is clear.

Actually I think it is a great catch for them to be able to errata such things.

They took a lot of OGL 3.5 material as written, and it is inevitable that some of it will need to be written better.

Having better written rules is a wonderful plus. In this case, it should be simple errata and be fixed for the next printing... right?


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Isn't there a FAQ that lays this to rest?

Before, I would have gone with a negative channel to harm living, would heal Dhampir.. even though that seems to go against the playtest version of Pathfinder. But I believe the FAQ altered the wording of the Negative Energy Affinity to make them count as Undead for all facets of channeling.


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Baronjett wrote:
Can the creature taking over the fighter use the fighter's feats? The wording isn't clear.

Toughness? Yes.. it's tied to the body.

Power Attack? No.. it's part of the creature's knowledge.


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EldonG wrote:
I'm making the assumption that the devs meant that the weapon needed to be wielded in two hands for the bonus, thank you.

Why on earth would you make that assumption?

power attack wrote:
This bonus to damage is increased by half (+50%) if you are making an attack with a two-handed weapon, a one handed weapon using two hands, or a primary natural weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls.

Here they specifically separate out a two-handed weapon from a one handed weapon using two hands. If your assumption were to be true, then they've purposefully obfuscated things here AND made the wording more convoluted than it would need to be for no reason.

Likewise the section on weapon categories: if two-handed weapons were to be different based on the number of hands used to wield them, then simply taking the SAME text from one handed weapons would work.

Lastly, again in the spirit of 'does it make sense modeling' do you feel that the designers intended characters to use a lance more effectively with two hands rather than just one?

To me the last seems silly, though perfectly within the rules and something that most everyone would do with your assumption in place.

This part of the rules is crystal clear. Whether it is palatable to you or not, depends on how you feel about encouraging characters to use a lance with two hands while mounted.

Again the only ambiguity in my mind is what happens when a two-handed weapon (used in two-hands) is the off-hand weapon in terms of STR bonus to damage.


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N N 959 wrote:
james maissen wrote:
Self-selecting the challenge level allows for accepting more players.
Self-selecting the challenge level only works if the reward is adjusted accordingly.

No. That's your straw man.

You simply let people play at a harder tier if they wish. The rewards would be a fixed function of character level.

Your supposition is that everyone will always play on the easiest tier available regardless of ability.

I say that you are wrong.

Those that want a challenge, will seek a challenge.

The race to get more than people next to you by gaming the system is not the race or challenge that organized play seeks to embrace.

Those that want to brag about how they did this or that, will *need* to play up for it to hold *any* water. In fact the reverse will hold true in those circles for those that do not. Their race won't be that they have the gear of a level 17 PC with their level 12, but rather that their level 7 with level 7 gear can play and meaningfully contribute with the level 12s.

Those that eschew that race for optimization will still have a place. And according to their ability (and their character's ability) will have the opportunity to play at the appropriate level. If they found that taking that level of non-caster for their wizard is now near worthless as they get higher and higher level, they aren't perpetually gimped by it.

The change in difficulty from season to season doesn't solve anything. It just changes who is currently happy with the level of challenge.

Perhaps you would be happy to throw out most, if not all the seasons' scenarios. I think that would be a shame.

This allows you to keep all of them, let them all be equally valid for everyone out there.


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Avh wrote:

Actually, it can.

In the stealth skill :

My modification to the stealth skill is in bolded text wrote:
Check: Your Stealth check is opposed by the Perception check of anyone who might notice you. Succeeding at this check makes the characters that failed lose their DEX bonus against the next attack you make against them until the end of your turn.
It will make the stealth skill similar to the bluff skill...

And change the rules, rather than simply present the current rules clearly and cleanly which is the only problem.

A question on your proposed change to stealth: does the skill user become observed after their turn?

While the stealth skill section does need to be rewritten, as far as this question goes it should not be primarily within the stealth section. Rather it should simply spell out directly the consequences for the target when they do not perceive the attacker.

This would then have confirming and supportive texts through-out the rules (as it already does) and added in some places that need work (e.g. the stealth skill).


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N N 959 wrote:
james maissen wrote:
People can choose to play up (in my suggestion) in order to find the right degree of challenge for them.

If you're telling someone that if they play a level 4 scenario and they'll only get level 2 rewards, you're not solving the problem.

Actually that will solve the problem of 'this scenario is too easy for us at the assigned tier'.

It lets them play a tougher scenario so that it won't be too easy for them. Done.

What problem are you referring, if not to that one?


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Mike Mistele wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Players love powerful builds...until they are used against them. So, I don't think the authors/developers are specifically aspiring to boost the death-toll, but it is a by-product
As someone who "survived" the arms race in LG and LFR (and who had never had this sort of recurring experience in any other campaign), my question, I guess, is this: if the campaign is now being written to challenge the players who appreciate (and exploit) the "powerful builds", is there room in the campaign for those of us who don't?

My opinion, based on LG, LFR, Blackmoor, and a half a dozen other organized campaigns is that this trend is easy to fall into for organized campaigns.

An organized campaign should give entertaining scenarios that:

1. Deliver a fairly steady amount of challenge based on the rating of the scenario.

2. Offer the freedom to self-select the amount of challenge that your character is prepared to handle.

I'm sure that remember that you had crazy swings in LG that varied by region, meta-region, and within regions. You never knew what to expect, so perforce you loaded for bear. Thus for some mods you blasted through them, because you didn't know what to expect. In others some judges would immediately soft-ball as they seemed so out of whack, while others wouldn't.

It just seems wrong. It seems that the scenarios should advertise what level of challenge that they offer, and then they should let you choose to play the ones that are appropriate for you.

This way the players who want to push their characters can do so, and those that don't want to can also do that as well. If you reasonably self-select, then everything is great for everyone. If you don't, then you're not a victim of the system, but instead someone who made a bad choice.


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Grick wrote:
ciretose wrote:
If RAI you agree, then why would you argue against RAI to find a RAW loophole?

Many people find it helpful to understand what the rules actually say before changing them to suit their table. Without a full understanding of the rules, changes can have consequences beyond those you originally intend.

That said, given two ways to read a line you should elect to go with the one that makes sense understanding two things: this is not the work of a sole author or set of authors, and no set of authors elected to write the rules as adversarial 'laws', but instead far more loosely.


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Artanthos wrote:

My sword has a stat line and skills.

Do you want to argue with me over it being a class feature?

How about it being an NPC?

It's an intelligent item

Magic items sometimes have intelligence of their own. Magically imbued with sentience, these items think and feel the same way characters do and should be treated as NPCs.

And certainly the black blade can conflict with the player's desires for his/her PC: Blackblade.

Likewise summoned creatures by summoners, cohorts of nobility domain clerics (outside of PFS), etc.

Being granted by a class feature does not make it a Player character, and it is no reason for it not to be an NPC.


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JohnF wrote:

Yep. It would perhaps have been slightly better if he'd said

"If you want your companion to intentionally flank, ..."

My wolf doesn't always flank, but it could occasionally do so. Now, though, it's going to require an additional trick to be able to do that.


Animals will actively choose to flank other creatures. Wolves especially will do so.

The flank trick does not empower the animal to be able to flank. Unintelligent skeletons benefit from flanking, they just don't seek it out.

The trick changes the animal's priorities in combat from what they normally would be.

Read the flank trick. Read it carefully.

The animal following the dictates of the flank trick does far more than merely choose between two squares one giving flanking and the other not.

This is getting missed by people, and the tricks are getting misunderstood.

A large wolf animal companion enlarged via animal growth to size huge in ordered:

Situation A: To attack enemy A.
Situation B: To flank enemy B.

In case A, the wolf will go up to A, possibly charging to attack them. He's likely 10ft away (his natural reach) while making this attack. On a successful hit, the wolf's trip ability activates and he tries to trip. If he has choice of squares, he will choose not to provoke AOOs to get to A, and will choose to attack from a square that gives his attack flanking.

If he would normally decide to attack and enemy A is the enemy he would have then decided to attack, then nothing has changed from issuing no orders. The attack order is to ensure that these decisions (to attack, to attack enemy A) were made.

In case B, the wolf will go to be adjacent to A. Always move to a flanking square when another is fighting A. Always save his AOO in case that enemy A provokes.

This is nothing like case A in that the wolf will provoke AOOs to achieve position. He will give up a full attack action in order to provide flanking (and receive it). He will be adjacent to the enemy rather than simply threaten them (so he could not charge even if he had wanted to do so). He won't let others 'fool' or 'distract' him away from his target.

This is not merely accepting flanking, or easily shifting to a square for flanking.

This is akin to the party cleric provoking multiple AOOs to give a flank for the party rogue. It's certainly not the movement/action that the cleric would take without understanding that the rogue needs this flank and that it is worth it for him to do so. The animal wolf is worse off than the party cleric in this regard. Fortunately he can be told via handle animal that this otherwise 'stupid' action on his part is what he needs to do for his companions/pack.


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DigitalMage wrote:

It sounds like you are suggesting that most players cannot be trusted not to metagame and therefore if for example their PC failed to command the animal companion to Stay they would say "well actually my animal companion is a little tired and wants to stay put anyway".

What do others feel about this?

On the other thread people are complaining that now there is a trick to specifically order a companion to do some combat maneuver it wouldn't normally do, that this is limiting them.

To whit: they were having their animal companions do combat maneuvers when the PC would have wanted the NPC companion to do so without anyway to inform the companion whether this round they wanted them to do so or not.

So, I'll say yes that a majority of such players will metagame without even realizing it. The more options that handle animal gives them, the less it is telepathy between their PC and their second PC.

But I'll go one step further: players should not control more than one character. Many times a PC will have a point of view/information that they cannot (or do not wish to publicly) convey to others. If you, the player, has this information then how do you determine what you would have done without it?

Responsibly you defer to not making leaps and conclusions. Yet, in reality, without that outside information you very well might have done so.

I've judged for many players that want me to minimize the amount of outside information that they receive for just this reason.


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MrSin wrote:
A purchased animal is much much different than an animal companion. I don't think I'd control some random raven I bought at the pet store and only a lenient GM would even let me use the thing to do something crazy.

You mean the pup my PC lovingly raised from birth is just some 'random' dog, because there isn't a mechanical empathic bond? All your arguments about personality, how they fight, etc suddenly don't apply?

Meanwhile the animal companion that the druid decided to have for this current adventure (as perhaps he changes them out before each and every one) is sacrosanct?

They are both NPCs. These NPCs may matter or may not matter to your PC and their story.

However, you do not get full control over them because you're attached to them. You get to run your PC, and the DM gets to run them. If you can't trust the DM to run the scenario, then get another DM. If you have problems with local judges, then work on them not demanding to run NPCs because they won't do the right job.

If you'd have that degree of trouble from their poor judging skills, does this really circumvent it or just delay it? After all if the DM is merely over their head, they'll likely let you run some of these NPCs to lighten their load anyway.

MrSin wrote:
only a lenient GM would even let me use the thing to do something crazy.

I keep coming back to this phrase. What exactly do you mean by it? Could you give an example?


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Yes you did. The critter knew how to use its feats.

It still does, just your PC doesn't have a psychic link to telepathically impart to it when to use it.

The trick just lets your PC order the companion to use the maneuver.

If you are feeling like you are now restricted, then somehow you were imparting that knowledge between your PC and the animal without such a trick before.. right?

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The player should be in control of his class feature, and the player should remember its its own separate character.

The NPC isn't the class feature, the bond is. It alters and changes the NPC in many ways, but it doesn't make the NPC into a PC. You don't get two PCs, just the one... though people seem to confuse that fact.

Likewise the summoned creatures are not the class feature for the Summoner, the spell-like ability to summon is.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Having the DM run it puts unilateral control over something intrinsic to the character in the hands of the dm. Having the PC control it with a DM veto/ occasional input fits something that isn't quite an npc and isn't quite a pc.

It is exactly an NPC.

Just as much as a cohort from the leadership feat is an NPC, a wizard's familiar, an ally, and everything that is a character but not a player character.


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Shifty wrote:
It was bad enough having to pay 2 tricks just to get it to attack, now you also end up in the position of having to use extra tricks just to get it to use Feats it knows.


Before you had no way to order/make your companion use the combat maneuver rather than a normal attack routine.

Now you do.

Of course, if before you had a psychic link between your animal and your PC so that you automatically conveyed this knowledge to the NPC.. well then, yes you are now more limited in this ability that your PC does not have.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

So in pfs, the dm who has NO idea how often the critter usually bullrushes, why the critter bullrushes, may never have even seen the critter, probably doesn't remember the critters name, is a better judge of what he does than the player?

And as you've seen in this thread, dm's come with conflicts of interests too.

The DM should run the NPCs... and the DM should be impartial.

The NPC might learn things that the players have not, as just one example.

And if your DM has problems, then you will always have problems with the table.

You can easily give your new judge an outline of your faithful NPC, and then they can decide how much of that they will use. If you don't trust the judge with an NPC, then simply don't sit at the table.


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