macksting's page

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Honestly, I consider charm and compulsion spells pretty dreadful. If a spell altered memories or personal priorities, it would be able to visit horrors upon a person which are hard to match.

Frankly, I find the majority of necromancy spells less disturbing. This odd perspective was at the heart of an antagonistic state I wrote into a Pathfinder setting. They considered charm and compulsion to actually be chaotic because a king could be made subservient to a peasant witch, or all of authority subverted. Undead, meanwhile, were a reasonable form of mechanization.

This is some serious thread necromancy, but in case it comes up on Google or something, things have changed a little.

Off the top of my head, the Ley Line Guardian witch ( -archetypes/ley-line-guardian-witch-archetype ) is an alternative int-based spontaneous caster. While the spell list isn't as impressive as a sorcerer/wizard's, it might well suffice, and in a non-PFS game you might be able to play a samsaran with Mystic Past Life to get the wizard spells the witch is most desirous of outside Shadow or similar patrons.

Naturally, since the Ley Line Guardian loses the familiar class feature, one still must consider what feat chain to use to get a familiar, but it does open up the Arcane Eldritch Heritage feat, at the usual cost of a knowledge skill focus* and some investment in charisma.

* Dammit, half-elf, go away, we need those wizard spells!

Basically, no, you don't need those. They're just helpful.

Mind you, Favored Enemy bonuses probably also consider familiars Magical Beasts.

I think in terms of system balance it would be more reasonable to price them like other magical ammunition. I'll glance around.

That element, the matter of larger creatures, does bother me a bit. It seems to me that much of the benefit of attacking from high ground is why many classical fighting styles involve a high guard, rather than low. To bring the sword from waist to shoulder requires fighting gravity, where bringing it from shoulder or above down to waist requires only control. It's swift and powerful.
I can see leaving much of that to the +1s and +0s of Base Attack Bonus and other sundry effects, but would that not mean a Large creature attacking a Medium or smaller creature effectively has higher ground because he's not fighting gravity to strike them? Unless they have higher ground, in which case he's not only fighting gravity to swat at them but also trying to hit a small target.
When you're lower, you also have fewer options. A person on high ground can always hop down if he needs to, where a person below may be boxed in or simply slowed by gravity and terrain. If you're immobile for some reason, of course, or if you have a climb speed, I wouldn't think that would matter, but you can't really cut much finer than +1 anyway. Conversely, a person on higher ground has, among his defensive options, the ability to step down in nearly any direction. Or to step up higher, should the terrain present the option and the circumstances demand it.
That matter of mobility is the only reason I can think of, by the way, that higher ground should offer any benefits to somebody using a ray.

Anyway, point is there are a lot of ways higher ground can benefit you, and if anything you could come up with even more scenarios where it does, or even several where similar circumstances should and don't.

With some moderate difficulty, and assuming you have obtained the other requirements, yes.

Sounds like an exception to me, since the ability does specify other threats allow the additional saving throw.

"The DC to create a magic item increases by 5 for each prerequisite the caster does not meet. The only exception to this is the requisite item creation feat, which is mandatory. In addition, you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting its prerequisites."
From the SRD. Does somebody have a book and page number?

The Dicta Boelcke.
Y'all might be surprised how many apply to ground combat, or even in FPSes.

Edit: The Dicta Boelcke was a set of tactics codified by WWI German flying ace Oswald Boelcke. Generally, the guidelines extend to most forms of combat in some way or another.

Don't get me wrong, I'd consider allowing it if I were running a game. It's all strangely worded, though.

Read As Written, I suspect not, as each makes implicit assumptions that the Aid Another action grants +2, and neither is phrased as a bonus so much as a change. The OOTD ability describes the higher level increases as bonuses, in a sense.
Read As Intended, I doubt there's reason not to stack them, but the awkward wording offers little to support it.

*grinds teeth*
Forgot about that. It's +2k each to make a homunculus with more HD.
Well then! I'm never constructing a homunculus with less than 4 HD, just in case the rules for modifying constructs come into effect once the little bastard is up and running.

So far as I can tell, there's no clear mechanical backup here. Logically those behind lead shields should get some benefit, and as a DM I'd at least give circumstance modifiers, but short of total cover I don't think you can avoid making a Will save.
Best I can figure, it's a spread effect, and those round corners.

The rules as they stand for improving construct HD state a construct can be improved to 1.5x the HD given. I'm not sure whether that roumds up or down.
A homunculus could thus be improved to 3 HD. A Snapjaw Homunculus is already at 3HD, so it would be to 4 if rounding down.
From the SRD, regarding familiars:


Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master's character level or the familiar's normal HD total, whichever is higher.

Hit Points: The familiar has half the master's total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded down, regardless of its actual Hit Dice.

This is almost across the board. If the familiar is superior in some way to the master, use that bonus; if vice versa, use the master's.

Improving a homunculus should apparently be limited to +50% of its base HD, granting it 3 HD, mildly improved saving throws surely outstripped by the wizard's, very probably the same for HP (16), and another feat because homunculi are intelligent constructs.

Whether or not you're allowed to improve a homunculus who is already actively your familiar, I really don't know.

If we accept the premise that Wildblooded are archetypes, one can't combine Sage and Tattooed Sorcerers, as they both modify the same features.
A very specific example, and potentially frustrating, I'm sure.

Eldritch Heritage says you can't use it to pick up a bloodline you already have, so I assume not. There's a snake-based bloodline that offers a familiar down the way, though.

What did you have in mind, Tom?

There are a few Improved Familiars which explicitly grant such bonuses. Clockwork Familiars grant their masters +2 UMD and Craft, IIRC.
This implies to me that most Improved Familiars do not, as they seldom list such benefits.

So the equivalency is probably similar. Thanks!

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Looking at the Monstrous Mounts under Leadership, I'm led to believe there's more art than science in determining the CR vs. level equivalency. All except the Kirin were at least CR*1.5, sometimes CR*2. The Kirin was the outlier, having a CR equal to its cohort level. Just going by matches alone, though, Giant Owl mounts are CR 5, same as Green Hags, so a level equivalent of 8 would probably not be wildly unfair in matching a green hag to a cohort level.
Given what you get out of a hag and the ability to form a coven, if anything it seems a little cheap. Still, that means a minimum level of 10 to get a hag as a cohort and form your coven.

That's a long way in for a creature you could subdue and enslave many levels prior, though.

I present three ideas.
One: Devote a character to diplomacy, and attempt to talk a hag into better ways. While this is generally contrary to their nature, if your DM allows extended and creative diplomacy to change worlds (in no small part by avoiding encounters which in any way could result in combat), the roleplaying journey alone might make this worthwhile.
Two: Beat the crap out of a hag. Use nonlethal damage. Offer a deal as follows: Lower your defenses and you may live as something more and something less than you are. With her SR dropped, render her incapable of using her SLAs against by various means, such as Geases, Charms, magic items which imprison her, that sort of thing.*
Three: NOT a Green Hag, and so not directly addressing your troubles. Night Hags are creatures of the outer planes, rendering them vulnerable to planar-specific magic. Planar Ally spells explicitly are able to call forth Night Hags, and Planar Binding spells can allow you to take a shot at it even if you're actually good-natured or don't serve a god who's anomalously fond of the creatures.

* This question bugs me.
Let's say you are subject to a Polymorph spell. Does it change your type?
If not, you can change an amenable hag into most any creature, and it shall remain a hag.
If so, I present a fourth option: Polymorph somebody into a hag, but of a more amenable alignment.

Finally, that table.
Hag type -|- SR -|- Saves -|- HD -|- Int/Wis/Cha
Annis -|- SR 17 -|- 8/6/6 -|- 7HD -|- 13/13/10
Sea - -|- SR 15 -|- 5/7/5 -|- 4HD -|- 12/13/15
Mute --|- SR 22 -|- 12/13/14 -|- 14HD -|- 20/19/18
Night -|- SR 24 -|- 14/8/11 -|- 8HD -|- 18/16/17
Green -|- SR 16 -|- 6/7/7 -|- 9HD -|- 15/13/14

A Green Hag is fairly moderate in most terms here. Middling saves, relatively low SR, middling mental stats. I'd rather not deal with my peer in any of these departments were I keeping a slave, though, nor my superior were I befriending such.
An Annis hag is awkward company, hungering as do all hags for the taste of humanoid flesh or the musical sound of wailing innocents, but she's uncreative compared to most hags, and might have a hard time arguing with a well-stated letter. They're also explicitly not unlikely to be in a coven with a witch or two, so the problems which arise are more of the personal variety.

Their SR is a bit of a problem, but what of Charm and such spells? I'll try to make a tiny table to look into that when I'm not on my mobile.
What are the problems of keeping a hag? A hag ensorceled to be harmless is an ethical dilemma, but a hag befriended is very probably still a horror with a malicious appetite for the flesh and misery of innocents. How should these matters be addressed?
I'd think certain mindsets would be unfazed by the idea of totally enslaving a monstrous humanoid for the power they offer, leaving only the hows and no further whys. There are significant benefits. If one believes one's own power either can be a source of good, or is unconcerned with good, having a ravenous, cruel, conniving monster which bolsters your spellcasting would seem a difficult but worthwhile goal. Many wizards and no small number of sorcerers may consider it less a moral quandary, more a test of strength.
Others may simply accept the danger of an intelligent, amoral, magically talented slave as an acceptable risk, even believing the hag will probably be responsible for one's demise.
A truly awful character may accept the hag's sick flaws as an exciting complication in a desirable companion. Such a character might be welcome in a hag's coven. I am in no hurry to play a PC of Sweeney Todd to some hag's Mrs. Lovett, myself ...

Sounds like a clumsy but reasonable system. I'd probably use it as you described.
I do wish for official answers or alternate interpretations, though, so I consider the question to remain open, hoping for more input.

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Maybe it's just my awful Google Fu, but I can't seem to figure out the meaning of the rules on Construction Points.
Are these above and beyond the stats nominally granted to objects animated by (a) the spell or (b) Craft Construct, or do you lose out on something by giving animated objects such properties or abilities as are purchased with them?
If any given Animate Object spell grants you Construction Points to assign to your animated objects, does this mean a Small or Tiny animated object cannot be made of metal (2 CP for a 1 CP... budget, I suppose? If that's what's going on here) but can be made of stone; and that a wooden Tiny or Small object cannot both me made of stone and be faster? Or does it mean you can animate a Small or Tiny metal object, and the spell confers upon you an animated object that has a higher CR than the spell ordinarily gives them? The question goes double for animated mithral.
If the CP are a trade-off of some kind, what exactly is it they trade for?