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Okay, so, you know what 84 is?


What if what the GM meant was that you get 84 points to allocate to your 6 stats, and they're doing a sort of linear-only point buy with a pretty high average?

I think it was probably always the intent that it would work, I just think the words picked didn't say that.

The entire point of things like the monk ability is to not have to use a weapon.

And I don't think for a minute that anyone would interpret FAQ requests as wanting a rule changed rather than clarified.

I think in this case it's pretty clear that they are not proposing any kind of general rule that "for the purposes of X" also means "for other purposes", but rather, that in this particular case, those powers should work against incorporeal targets.

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Elbedor wrote:

So what if you have a dagger in each hand and a cestus worn on one? Can you punch as an AoO? You seem to think that would be ok. And yet both of your hands are occupied just as they are with a two-handed weapon.

A two-handed weapon does not occupy your right hand any more than a dagger occupies your right hand. It also doesn't occupy your left hand any more than a dagger in your left hand does. There are no differing grades of "occupy". Either a given hand is occupied or it isn't.

Punching with a cestus as an AoO with a dagger in your hand is just as possible by the rules as punching with a cestus as an AoO with a greatsword in that hand.

Take an object which is roughly the size of a sword pommel, and hold it in both hands. Now throw a punch with one hand without letting go of it.

There is a certain amount of "we assume the players consider how the physical actions would work" implied by the rules.

I like this answer, because it's clearly a good ruling, but it also acknowledges that the words-as-written did not really say that.

That's a fascinating conflict. I don't think "specific trumps general" works very well here, but I would tend to say that a spell description is more-specific than a category-of-effect description. So if I had to rule on it, I'd go with "all polymorph effects" winning, because the usual sense of "can be dispelled" or "can't be dispelled" refers to dispel magic, not to all the other special cases.

Ravingdork wrote:
I still don't see any evidence supporting the notion that lowering the enhancement bonus on one natural attack to add to your AC lowers the enhancement bonus on ALL your natural attacks.

Okay, thought experiment:

You have an AoMF which is flaming and icy.

Can you turn each of those properties on separately per limb? My intution says "no, the amulet is the only enchanted thing, it's just sharing that enchantment with natural attacks".

It seems pretty obvious that "using" could mean "attacking with" or "wearing". "Attacking with" makes no sense in context, so I think it just means "wearing". So the question is, does that imply that you could use it to make AoO, etc?

I think my answer would be "if your hand is otherwise free, you can punch with it, and you threaten, so you can take AoO". So I wouldn't let you do it if you were wielding a 2H weapon, because the list of free actions you can take off your turn in the recent FAQ does not include "change how you are holding a weapon". But I suppose in theory I might let you punch while holding a dagger.

Roger Corbera wrote:
I think components exists for a reason: to limit magic somehow. If the player doesn't take his time collecting them, he doesn't deserve his power. Components are as important as prayers to the cleric or training to the warrior.


You know, those are excellent analogies, because it turns out that a warrior who never ever even refers to training still gets all their combat abilities, and a cleric who never makes any mention of "prayers" other than daily spell prep still gets all their spells and abilities, and a wizard who never does anything about spell components but, during character creation, write "spell component pouch" on a character sheet has all their zero-gp spell components available.

I think "using" a cestus is where you tell it you're going to specialize in fighting with cestus as your primary weapon and then you just sorta never actually take the cestus out in combat and eventually it realizes you never really wanted to punch people, you just liked that it had a really cool home theatre system and would drive you places.

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I am convinced that it is Just Plain Wrong for the source to be contingent like that. There's prior art showing that feats, class abilities, spells, and things like that are sources.

If I wanted to do this, well. First I'd establish whether the "double-dipping" thing was actually a problem. What's broken? Why is it broken? I don't think there's good evidence that "you can add this stat modifier twice" is significantly more powerful than "you can add these two different stat modifiers once each", and there are dozens of those. Similarly, I don't think substituting stat modifiers is all that bad.

But assuming we absolutely have to fix it, my first answer would be to declare that a bonus or modifier equal to an ability modifier which does not specify a type has the ability score as its effective type, so two things which add your wisdom modifier to a given roll don't stack unless at least one specifies a type.

Second choice would be just to declare that *in all cases*, the "source" of an bonus equal to an ability modifier is the ability itself. This doesn't break the "deflection bonus equal to your int modifier" case, because it turns out that *only* untyped bonuses are specified as not stacking when they come from the same source. Typed bonuses were already covered because they already don't stack.

But given the number of powers that people have identified which either are definitely broken now or at least look like they need to be tweaked to give one or more powers a type, I'd probably have gone in an entirely different direction. Say, declaring "ability bonus" to be a type, and then distinguishing between "your CMB includes your strength" and "add your strength bonus to your maneuver checks".

CMD would be the oddball because it already has two stats baked in.

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Chess Pwn wrote:

The FAQ is as confusing as you want to make it.

The FAQ stops untyped bonuses from the same ability stacking.

While I feel that before this the wording was clear that it could stack, there were a number of people saying that you couldn't "Double dip". Both felt the rules supported them, now the rules clearly support 1 side. So taking RAW, yeah I feel it's a change, taking Rules as meant, it isn't a change. Also the bonus source thing is letting them have it be a type while not actually being a type.

That's why I think it's confusing. It's also a big part of why I think it's a bad rule. I don't think there was ever actually a problem that needed fixing apart from the ambiguity, and I don't think this gratuitously complicated way of fixing the ambiguity is helping.

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Yes, we make players describe their choices about combat actions in more detail, because the game has more detailed rules for those actions. Disable device, there's no such rules. So demanding that people explain how specifically they would disable a trap is unfair; there's nothing in the rules to let them do so, at which point, you're imposing a special penalty on some skills, which is that the player has to be able to describe how to achieve their results in a way the GM appreciates.

The correct comparison, really, isn't between "I roll disable device" and "I take a five foot step then full attack". It's between "I roll disable device" and, once we've established that you're making a to-hit roll, "I roll to hit". If you're going to make people describe specifically how you want them to disable traps, you should make them describe specifically how they're attacking.

If you want to get the same effect that we see from all the hidden GM gotchas I see in trap threads, it should be something like:

Player: I roll to hit.
GM: How are you attacking?
Player: I think I'll swing my sword at him.
GM: He has a shield, so that doesn't work.
Player: Don't I get to roll for the attack?
GM: You have to describe an attack which would actually work before you can make the roll. He has a shield, so swinging a sword won't work.

The terminology is admittedly broken, but the GM is right not to allow you to take the bonus feat.

The term "trait" is used in two different ways. One is a term of art like "feat" or "bonus". In particular, a "trait" in this sense is a minor starting modifier to your character, and "traits" come qualified with an origin, such as "race". So "race trait" is to "social trait" roughly as "racial bonus" is to "enhancement bonus". They're modifiers which are used to restrict which kinds of traits you can have at the same time.

The other usage, which is completely different, is "racial traits", which are qualities of a race. If a race has the racial trait "advanced intelligence", every member of that race will by default have +2 int. The list of "racial traits" is distinct from the list of "race traits".

The terminology is poorly chosen, I think. "Traits" are a new rule with Pathfinder, and the terminology for how racial qualities like stat modifiers for your species work are defined is inherited from 3.5. That said, I can't actually think of a better term for it in and of itself; it's just the conflict which is problematic.

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Louis IX wrote:

I was just re-reading on metamagic feats, and found the following text: "use the spell level or the spell slot level, whichever is more of a disadvantage for the caster"

This rejoins the topic of making the game less and less fun to play, as more and more rulings like this topic-induced FAQ reduce the usefulness of its myriad of options.

If you find it fun, fine. Don't expect me to. No fun, no play, no buy, bye.

I actually think the metamagic ruling is right, and it's how I've always played them. It wasn't until a thread here that it even occurred to me to realize that you could in theory, rules-as-written, use a Pearl of Power I to regain a quickened magic missile.

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OldSkoolRPG wrote:
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
Source has always referred to the specific spell, feat, class/racial ability, not the some undefined broad category.
You start off admitting that there have been a small group that disagrees but then say your view is just how it has always been. A majority of people holding an incorrect view doesn't magically make that view correct. The FAQ just confirmed that the majority was wrong all along, at least with regards to PF, not that they were right and now it has changed.

I don't think this is the case. The design team has reached the conclusion that they don't intend double-dipping except when they do, but that doesn't mean that the "source" language was actually intended to mean that originally.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Blackbloodtroll: So untyped bonuses don't have a primary source anymore???

So far as I can tell, in every case except when it's an untyped bonus specifically equal to an ability modifier, the "source" is either (1) not defined at all or (2) the feat/ability/spell/whatever.

But if it's a bonus, and it's untyped, and it's equal to an ability score, suddenly instead the "source" is the ability score just so they can be "the same source" and not stack.

Note that as written, so far as I can tell, that applies only to positive modifiers. So if you have to things which give you an untyped modifier equal to your dexterity modifier to AC, they stack if your dexterity modifier is negative.

Third Mind wrote:

I was just reading through some of the mythic archmage stuff and came across perfect preparation. I get that you don't need a spellbook anymore, but how does that effect learning and gaining new spells for wizards?

For example, if I were to have this ability and found a scroll that I wished to add to my list of spells known, would I need to pay the cost to "scribe" the spell into my brain, doing the normal spellcraft chech and what not? I read in another thread that a couple thought it would make a wizard act like a cleric, knowing all spells on their list, but having to prepare them. Has there been any official clarification on this?

** spoiler omitted **

My GM's ruling was that you still have to do the normal things to add a spell to a book, but once you've added a spell to a book, you have it permanently and can always prepare it with or without access to the book. Pretty much the same reasoning Lord Mhoram gave; it doesn't say it changes how you learn spells, just how you prepare them.

So, yes, you still function like a normal wizard except for the specific change the ability makes, which is you don't need a book to prepare your spells.

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Umbranus wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

. Everything else that was stopped from stacking was never intended to stack anyway.

The question that remains is why it is intended that one can not multiclass lore shaman and inquisitor to get twice wis to knowledge skills while it is possible to multiclass lore oracle and inquisitor to get cha + wis to knowledge skills?*

*wis from inquisitor only applies to checks for monster knowledge.

Why is it ok to get two different stats to something but not twice the same stat? Why not at least give half the bonus for the second time or something. Why is someone getting twice the same stat (that doesn't stack now) far worse than someone getting twice different stats.
There seems no balancing in this only a knee jerk reaction.

The above is just an example. There are several cases where it is hard to understand for some of us WHY it is bad if same stats stack but ok if different stats stack.

Two things:

1. If you add the same stat twice, it looks like you're adding the same thing twice which is SUPER BAD AND HORRIBLE, whereas if you add two pretty good bonuses on top of the other bonuses (you could have wis, cha, and int all applying to knowledge skills, I think), that's not two of the same bonus so it's totally different even if it's a higher total.
2. Specialization is already good. If I can add int*2 to something, that's probably better than adding int and dex to it. Although I'm not sure that holds when you consider PF's fairly steep scaling for point buy.

In short, if you can add two stats to something and that's fine, but can't add one stat twice, it's easier to end up with a +3 or so bonus in two stats, giving you a +6, but you're not allowed to add a +4 bonus twice and get a +8.

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graystone wrote:

No I asked a simple question How is increase different from add? If it was, where's the rule. The rest spiraled out of control. Still haven't seen any actual rules on increase just RAI inferences about it. I was poking holes in the arguments that increase is somehow a 'thing' even though it's undefined.

I'm perfectly willing to drop the whole thing but I WOULD really like to see something in actual print defining a difference between increase and add.

There's no explicit rule, we're just falling back on conversational English.

At first level, my int is 16 and my BAB is 0. At 4th level, I increase my int by one point. My int is 17, my BAB is +2.

If I put on a headband of intellect, I have a +2 bonus to int. My int is now effectively 19, because it is 17 with a +2 bonus. The "increase" is really just a baked-in quality of the stat, while the "bonus" is a separate number which I add to it when I want to use the score.

And yeah, you can lose eidolon evolutions, at which point they revert, but the intended difference holds; an increase to the stat changes what the stat is, a bonus to the stat changes its computed value.

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graystone wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
graystone wrote:
Increase is different than add or gain a bonus??? I'm getting more confused the longer I'm in this thread... :(

Yes. Take two eidolons, one with 16 and one with 18. Both are adding a +2 enhancement bonus to each, for 18 and 20 respectively.

If the first one increases his 16 to an 18, he is effectively the same as the second, because it is as if he always had an 18.

So could you point me to the rule that defines increase, add and gain? I've only been using the normal language usages and I struggle to see the exception now granted to increase vs the others from meaning alone.

How is a 16 increased to an 18 different than gaining a permanent +2 stat bonus to your 16? They seem the same to me.

It's the other way around: Since there isn't a rule defining increases, they just get the default English meaning. An increase is a change to what a value is. Bonuses are the temporary additions we have rules for.

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graystone wrote:

Increase is different than add or gain a bonus??? I'm getting more confused the longer I'm in this thread... :(

EDIT: As I pointed out in the magic creation rules, A stat increase is an ability bonus. A magic belt that increases your strength +2 is giving you an ability bonus.

We have language problems because a lot of these words exist both as general English words and as terms of art. That the same word can mean three mutually-exclusive things must be considered a bonus of writing in English. See what I did there?

A bonus makes something larger. Increasing is a kind of making things larger. However, "gives a +2 bonus to X" and "increases X by 2" are two different things! A +2 bonus to X modifies the effective value of X *while you have it*. You can lose the bonus. It is subject to stacking rules. And so on. You still have the base value of X, and the +2 bonus.

"Increase X by 2", you aren't maintaining a record of the increase as a distinct thing. You've just changed what the base value is.

So, for an example from another field, consider "salary" and "bonus". Say you have an annual salary of $50k. When the company does well, they give "bonuses". So if the company does really well and hands out a 10% bonus, that year you get $55k total pay; $50k salary, and a $5k bonus. But if the company doesn't do well next year, you only get $50k.

But an *increase* in salary means that your salary is now $55k. If the company doesn't do well, your salary is still $55k. And if there's a 10% bonus, it's now $5,500 because your salary was increased.

The eidolon ability, and level-up stat increases, are intended as increases. It can be useful to track the level-up ones as bonuses if you're recording character history and want to be able to explain how you got a 46 int, but they are not "bonuses" the way enhancement bonuses are. Even racial bonuses are more temporary, because you could reincarnate, in which case you'd usually lose your old racial bonuses and gain the new ones. (Well, modifiers, because they could be negative on either end of that.)

DrakeRoberts wrote:
Rikkan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Rikkan wrote:

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

No. It's not a bonus. It's an increase.

By this logic, the 4th level stat increases would no longer stack.

This FAQ and the stacking rules are about bonuses, not increases to a stat.

Well the 4th level stat increase is a bonus. See the Core rulebook faq:

At 4th level, a character can increase one ability score by +1. This is a typeless, nonmagical bonus that cannot be changed once selected.

For example, a fighter with Dex 13 could use this bonus to increase his Dex to 14.

A character can also increase one ability score at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level; it does not have to be the same ability score as the one chosen at an earlier level, and stacks with all other bonuses.

For example, the aforementioned fighter could use the 8th-level bonus to increase his Strength from 15 to 16, then use his 12th-level bonus to increase his Dex from 14 to 15, and so on.

So I guess you're right, the 4th level stat increase no longer stacks with the 8th lvl stat increase etc.

Bolded relevant part. Specific overrides general, yeah?

Strictly speaking, it is claimed to stack with all other bonuses, which doesn't necessarily mean it stacks with itself.

If I wanted a pretty formalization, I would say that at 1st level, you have a +0 level-up bonus to each stat (where "level-up" is a new type), and that at multiples of 4 levels, you can increase your level-up bonus to one stat by +1. So if you pick strength at 4, your level-up bonus in strength is now +1, and if you pick it again at 8, your level-up bonus in strength increases to +2. No question at all about stacking there.

Rikkan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

Now to explain taking Mark Gone Wild multiple times--

Here's why:
Choosing the second option twice doesn't stack with itself because Mark Gone Wild is a same source of both untyped bonuses. Additionally, they don't stack with choosing the sixth option twice, for the same reason. Grace gets the highest, a +6.
I believe this thoroughly demonstrates the application of the current FAQ.
Eidolon wrote:
Ability Increase (Ex): An eidolon grows larger muscles, gains faster reflexes, achieves greater intelligence, or acquires another increase to one of its abilities. Increase one of the eidolon's ability scores by +2. This evolution can be selected more than once. It can only be applied once to an individual ability score, plus 1 additional time for every 6 levels the summoner possesses.

So if I understand it correctly, the Eidolon ability increase tells me I can take it once for a +2 to strength and then at lvl 6 I can take another +2 to strength.

But the net total is a +2 to strength, since they are from the same source and thus don't stack?

Not so!

This isn't a bonus. This is "increase this ability". That's not a bonus, it's a change in the value.

Think of it as like how your saves and BAB go up. You get +1 per fighter level to BAB, but you don't collapse those all into a single +1 because they're from the same source; it's just your BAB. This isn't giving you a bonus to strength which is added more than once, it's changing the strength outright.

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Right, see.

That's what I always thought "source" meant: Feat, spell, racial quality, class ability.

The special rule that, if and only if a bonus is untyped, and if and only if it is defined as equal to an ability modifier, it suddenly changes its source from the spell, feat, or ability which granted it to "the ability score" is... not really at all how any of the text has previously worked.

Maybe you could start from the top:

What *problems* are solved by preventing any double-dipping whatsoever, ever, except the ones that were intended and will now need errata to make them work again?

Were there specific things which were too powerful? Was there a reason they couldn't be fixed in some other, simpler, way?

This feels like the "three free actions around, one of which is talking" FAQ, where the actual problem was that weapon cords were ridiculously overpowered, and there were no other examples of serious free action abuse that anyone could think of.

So far as I can tell, the issues are:

1. A handful of cases where Inquisitor can get double-dipping of specific stat mods, which may or may not have been considered.
2. Fury's Fall + Agile Maneuvers.

And honestly, in the latter case, the result of this ruling strikes me as unambiguously bad for the game. If I have a +4 dex mod and a +2 strength mod, and I take fury's fall for a +2 net bonus to trip, and later I decide I like other combat maneuvers, taking agile maneuvers will reduce my CMB for trip by 2. That's a trap, and it's a ridiculous one. If Fury's Fall isn't too powerful, and Agile Maneuvers isn't too powerful, I don't think the combination is too powerful. With those numbers, Agile Maneuvers is +2 to all maneuvers, Fury's Fall is +4 to trip. Neither of those is an unreasonable bonus to give. Combined, you get a total of +8, which is +6 over what you'd have without two feats. And that's for tripping only, which is not necessarily the most important combat maneuver, and which is completely inapplicable on some opponents, and so on.

I am totally failing to see a problem here which requires something that clearly breaks a couple of intentional cases, breaks a lot of existing Inquisitor builds that so far as anyone knew were not actually a serious problem, and which does it by making the "type" and "source" language basically meaningless for at least some cases, in a way that strongly implies there might be other lurking cases later.

If two things give you an untyped bonus "equal to half your character level", does "your character level" become a "source"? What about class level in particular classes? Say, can I stack the +1/2 level initiative modifier from a diviner wizard with some other class which gives +1/2 level initiative modifier from that class's levels?

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Mark Seifter wrote:
graystone wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
graystone wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
To be fair, unlike the monk flurry ruling, which also blindsided me as much as it did all of you guys and I fully agree needed to be rolled back, this newest FAQ has had a number of posts on the messageboard to this effect. They just haven't been official until the FAQ.
To be fair, they where both for AND against it. It wasn't all one sided. And none of them hinted at abilities as sources. So at least partly a blindside and partly up in the air.
I certainly didn't see anything from a designer, even an unofficial post, to the contrary. Do you happen to have a link? If not, no worries, I know it's hard to find all of them (having been in that position and seen the difficulty for myself more than once).
Sorry, edited last post with link while you where posting. ;)

Thanks! So it looks like, and correct me if I'm wrong, there was at least 100% unanimous agreement among unofficial rulings on things that don't use the "bonus equal to your X bonus" construction.

So for instance, the players double or triple dipping "add your Wisdom modifier to X" with inquisitors or adding Dex twice to Fury's Fall or other things like that, at least, had unambiguous cues from previous posts. Not that those unofficial clarifications like the ones in James Jacobs's or my thread are always going to be consistent (in fact, they come with warnings to the contrary). But this time, they all were, save for that facet.

The result may be consistent, but the way it's obtained is completely inconsistent, because it breaks the entire concept of "type" and "source".

And the "no double-dipping" rules have always struck me as sort of unconsidered and reactionary, for two reasons:

1. Nothing indicating that the problem is actually a severe one.
2. The alternative of "everything gets collapsed" produces serious traps for a lot of people.

This ruling produces a large number of cases where gaining an ability or feat *reduces* your competence at the thing it's supposed to be enhancing, and I don't think there are a lot of those that don't come from this ruling.

My thought on it for some time has been:

"Add a bonus" and "replace a bonus" are two separate things, and should probably stack. Even if the net effect is that you get a single bonus twice. If you can have the bonuses from two different stats on a roll, then replacing one of them with the other and having the same bonus twice isn't inherently busted.

A fix which matches my intuition for how to avoid breaking things would be to distinguish between "this computation inherently uses the modifier from a specific stat" and "add a bonus equal to the modifier from a given stat". So CMB uses your strength modifier. If you got a thing which let you add your dex bonus to CMB, that would be one base modifier, one bonus derived from a stat. And the bonus (in the sense of "an enhancement bonus" or "an untyped bonus") shouldn't stack with other bonuses of the same type, or same source if untyped, but the underlying calculation isn't a "bonus" in the same sense; it's just a computed value.

So my resolution of fury's fall + agile maneuvers is that agile maneuvers is not adding a bonus, it's changing the underlying computation of CMB, while fury's fall is adding a bonus. Only one of them is really a "bonus".

Basically, you have a confusion over the term "bonus" here that's comparable to the confusion over "level" that we occasionally see, like people asking why a spell says "1d6 per level" when the spell has a fixed level.

So my suggestion for a fix is to just recognize that terms like "combat maneuver bonus" or "attack bonus" are not the same kind of thing at all as a "typed bonus" or "untyped bonus". And that stacking rules only come into play when you are talking about the latter, and the initial computation of the score isn't affected.

So, for instance: Undead antipaladin? You use your cha modifier on fort saves, being undead, but that just creates your base Fort Save. It isn't a "bonus", even if it happens to be positive. Divine grace gives you a bonus equal to your charisma bonus. That can be added. But if you add another thing that adds a bonus, then you start thinking about stacking.

Then a general rule that if an untyped bonus is derived from a stat, it has an implicit type of "stat", and does not stack with other stat bonuses.

But the underlying values used to compute saves, attack bonus, CMB, CMD, and so on aren't "bonuses" in the same sense. They're just how the base value got computed.

Joe M. wrote:
graystone wrote:
When I see an FAQ go up, I expect it to clarify an issue, not bring up a pile of other questions. This one really NEEDS an extensive explanation AND it'll have to lead to several other abilities needing fixed/patched or left to not work. it seems to be doing the opposite of it's purpose: to clarify.

Think of it as the opening step then, and look forward to the final result—whatever the ruling ends up as in the next couple weeks, after the (necessary and unavoidable) initial period of adjustment. :-)

And, of course, we did learn something important here. That as a general rule, you aren't supposed to be able double-dip on an ability score. I agree the ruling needs clarification and that an example or two would help. I agree that, as far as I can tell, the "effective rule" on typing makes much more sense and that it would be better of that were the official rule. But we are making progress here, and I hope that, a month from now (say), the issue will be wrapped up, adjustments made, and the game will be better for having gone through the process.

Okay, here's a thought experiment for you.

Assume that we look at a game called Pathfinder Prime. Pathfinder Prime is in almost every respect identical to Pathfinder, but in Pathfinder Prime, the "source" is always the ability/feat/spell/whatever. So the double-dipping options work. Fury's Fall stacks with Agile Maneuvers. Undead Antipaladins get double charisma on fortitude saves.

Make a list of every case in which double-dipping a stat is possible in Pathfinder Prime.

Now look at the number of cases in this thread we've already had confirmed as intended to work. And look at the cases where we've been told that it's definitely not intended.

How many of each are there?

So far as I can tell, if they actually spent the time to track down every such case and fix them all, they'll have to do more work to produce the intended rulings with this FAQ than they would have with the obvious alternative FAQ. Worse, the ones that this one breaks are important (antipaladin fort saves should be good!), while the ones the other one "breaks" are pretty much irrelevant edge cases (seriously, I don't think fury's fall+agile maneuvers broke anything anyone cared about).

I am not able to make sense of this ruling. It's broken the underlying design of the bonus stacking system. I mean, fundamentally, I no longer have a rational basis for believing that I know what the "source" of a bonus is, or knowing whether the devs may secretly have intended two unrelated class features or feats to count as the same "source" for some characters and not others. That's really bad from my point of view as someone who likes the rules to be well-structured.

That said, this does affirm my belief that 5e was right to just throw bonus stacking as a concept out the window entirely.

Pretty much agreed with graystone. I don't think this specific FAQ is going to work well, I can't imagine using it, but I'm glad they're being more engaged.

I think what's missing is a clear explanation of why the simpler answer from other FAQs ("the source is the feat, effect, or ability which grants you the bonus") isn't acceptable. What goes wrong? It's pretty clear that the intent is not to give antipaladin undead a penalty to fortitude saves, obviously they were supposed to get good bonuses there. Fury's fall/agile maneuvers isn't a good enough combination to need a nerf. Where's the case where the simpler ruling doesn't work?

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Mark Seifter wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Paulicus wrote:

Those two were listed earlier as an example, they don't stack.

It sounds like, unless the ability specifically changes the 'type' of bonus granted by the ability modifier (i.e. paladins and their smite adding Cha to AC as a deflection modifier), then they don't stack.

Citation needed.

PS: I think you are correct, but I did not see an example that matched up with this one. I don't care if it does not stack, but now it seems they will need to clarify what the "source" is. By the rules this also seems like stealth errata, which I don't think is a bad term, but it should be noted as such officially. OK, I don't expect for them to say "stealth errata", but sometimes the FAQ is used to change rules so noting it as a "rules change" would be nice.
Rules changes, as of late, have been noted with "This will be reflected in future errata". Or at least, we're trying to get better about that. You'll see it in the ACG FAQs. The result of this particular FAQ, however (that ability modifiers don't add in multiple times), was unanimous consensus among the Design Team of how the rules currently work, so it doesn't have that tag.

I put it to you that if a FAQ requires more than one other thing to be errataed, you should consider it to be a "rules change" even if it was the intended rule, because clearly other rules were written with a different understanding of the intent.

I am still entirely unclear on this; so far as I can tell, the primary issue was agile maneuvers and fury's fall, and that is the only case I know of in PF where taking a feat can make you less good at something.

(Take fury's fall. Look at your CMB for trip attacks. Now take agile maneuvers, and look at what happened: You got worse.)

This ruling also seems to very confusingly conflate "type" and "source" in a way that I don't think does anything to make things clearer. It was previously consistent in FAQs that "source" referred to a feat, ability, spell, or whatever. We now have this very weird special case, and I can't see why. There is no evidence that there was a game balance problem with the extremely narrow cases in which people could get the same stat mod twice, and I've never seen an argument before that supported the notion of an ability score as a "source", really.

I don't know. I mean, obviously, no real effect on me, since I don't play PFS, and I'm free to ignore a ruling if I don't think it makes sense, but it's still a very strange answer.

I don't know about that.

Imagine, if you will, the following ruling:

A bonus's "source" is the class feature, feat, spell, or other ability which grants you the bonus.

What would have to be rewritten? The only thing I've seen a specific thing about is Fury's Fall, and I honestly don't think there's a problem if it's just allowed to stack, because the combination of the two feats is not really all that amazing compared to each of them individually.

I find this result confusing in that it mixes the concept of a type and a source, and there's nothing else that seems to think that a stat is a "source". I can't tell whether this is intended as an explanation of how things always worked or fixing a hole.

Kazaan, to clarify, the objection is that you proved your point, so rather than getting a response to the argument, you're just being told that since other people might well not want to put in the work to understand it, it's going to be ignored.

But yeah, that analysis is exactly right. And the objection to it being overthinking is entirely spurious. If you actually show all the math for figuring out where an object is thrown, it looks like a ton of work. If you actually had to do that math on paper before catching a ball, people wouldn't play catch. But you don't have to do all that formal reasoning to understand the sentence. If you just show fluent readers a bunch of sentences and ask them questions, it's quickly quite obvious that people understand that the comma changes what's modified by "even when it's not your turn", in that it separates "even when it's not your turn" from "make a melee attack".

Furthermore, as has been pointed out a couple of times now, there's ways for flat-footed characters to make attacks not on their turn. So the entire argument about AoO was wrong to begin with, even apart from being an extremely unnatural reading.

Consider a party with a mythic character on the Marshal path, who picked:

Decisive Strike (Su)

As a swift action, you can expend one use of mythic power to give one ally within 30 feet the ability to immediately make a single melee or ranged attack on your turn. Add your tier as a bonus on the attack roll. The damage dealt by this attack bypasses all damage reduction. This attack doesn't count toward the ally's actions on its turn.

... See the issue? There's no requirement that you not be flat-footed.

The rule is that, if you could attack into a square if you were making a melee attack, you threaten that square. You continue to threaten that square even when it is not your turn. It doesn't matter whether you can take AoOs, it doesn't matter whether you have AoOs remaining or whether you are flat-footed or anything else. If you could make an attack into the square, you threaten it, and that provides things like flanking.

Note, BTW, that this means there are circumstances under which you arguably don't threaten the other participant in a grapple: If you're using a reach weapon that can't be used at closer range. (And if there's something preventing you from just attacking in a different way.)

No, that's exactly backwards.

The qualifier isn't saying "if you could attack into a square even when it's not your turn, you threaten", it's saying "even when it's not your turn, you threaten any square into which you could make a melee attack", and thanks to Gricean maxims, we know that this implicitly means "into which you could make a melee attack if something had given you the ability to make an attack".

So the think you removed because you don't think we need to discuss it is *exactly* the part which is relevant. The sentence as a whole is clearly using that qualifier to *expand* threat; even when it is not your turn, you threaten these squares.

Note that there are many ways other than AoOs to attack outside your turn; for instance, some of the mythic abilities and some spells allow you to cause allies to take single melee attacks. So you can attack into their squares when it's not your turn, even when grappled. Although at -2, since they're not to grapple or escape a grapple.

Tarantula wrote:

Attacks of Opportunity wrote:

Sometimes a combatant in a melee lets her guard down or takes a reckless action. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity. See the Attacks of Opportunity diagram for an example of how they work.

Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.

That is how it is listed in the book. Under attacks of opportunity is threatened squares defined. Actually re-reading it now, threaten is defined as squares you can make a melee attack even when it is not your turn. Since grappled makes it so you cannot take AoOs then you do not threaten squares while grappled. (Both grappler and graplee gain the grappled condition).

You're reading that qualifier backwards.

What it says is: Even when it is not your turn, you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack.

What you are reading is: If you can make a melee attack into a square when it is not your turn, you threaten that square.

That would be correct if there weren't a comma there.

I'm not seeing what "doesn't make sense".

Take the belt out of the picture.

A synthesist summoner, when merged, gets two things which affect their HP:

1. They replace their own con with the eidolon's con.
2. They get bonus hit points based on the eidolon's hit points.

The eidolon's hit points are based on the eidolon's con, so when merged, they are getting two things which key off the eidolon's con. That's intentional and normal.

So the only question left is whether that also applies when the eidolon has a modifier to its con. And since the FAQ ruling saying that temporary bonuses really are just the same thing as permanent bonuses, the answer is "yes".

Yeah, this one seems pretty straightforward. Anything that increases the eidolon's con will increase both the eidolon and base hit point pools. It's not really a big deal, I don't think.

"Has recorded" is a present-tense state referring to a past-tense event.

The thing about spell prerequisites is that you have to have someone actually able to cast the spell to make a scroll; you can't bypass the spell requirement entirely. It doesn't mean you have to personally be the one who can cast it.

This is by contrast with items in general, where even if an item requires a spell, you can bypass it for a +5 DC.

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Well, he's a zen archer, he's probably transcended the distinction between self and other.

Chemlak wrote:
The other argument for a hat of disguise having a duration is that a hat providing a +10 competence bonus to Disguise, continuous, would cost up at 10,000 gp. Can anyone attempt to explain why the hat (which is arguably better than just the disguise skill, since you can alter height and apparent weight quite significantly with it) costs so much less?

It's penetrated by true seeing and a lot of other spells and effects. I've mostly seen GMs let you use disguise to disguise someone else, but the hat won't let you do that. Just sticking with the usual interpretation of "gives you the ability to keep disguise self up all the time", it turns out that's just plain not very valuable. The pricing guidelines are, after all, just guidelines; there's a reason that some skills are valued more than others.

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I would probably let you substitute a swift for a standard, because that's not letting you take too many actions. Swift actions are weird because they're conceptually more expensive than move actions, even though they're faster. But RAW, no, you can't substitute them in at all.

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graystone wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

So saying that Ability Bonus (enhancement) is a +2 Ability Bonus to your Ability is patently false.

Andrew, you seem to not understand what "I'm out" means...

On the argument, look at these.
Shield enhancement bonuses
armor enhancement bonuses
Are these not shield/armor bonuses?

No, they aren't.

They're enhancement bonuses coming from shields, and enhancement bonuses coming from armor.

You can have one armor bonus, and one shield bonus, and then you can have an enhancement bonus from each, which is a special rule.

It's why they stack.

No, it isn't.

"Shields: Shield enhancement bonuses stack with armor enhancement bonuses."

That's why they stack; because there is a specific rule that the enhancement bonus to AC from a shield stacks with the enhancement bonus to AC from armor.

Just because it has one type doesn't mean to doesn't have another.

Actually, it does. A bonus is untyped or has exactly one type.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Right. That thing we call a bonus that adds to a die roll is completely different from that thing we call a bonus that adds to a die roll....

You've said you've read and understood the argument about the complex equivocation, but I haven't actually seen a rebuttal to it.

I note: If we do accept that "wisdom" is a bonus type, then it turns out that the famous developer quote about the two bonuses coming from the same source is in fact wrong. Because sources and types are not the same thing at all.

But I don't think that the "Wisdom" in "Wisdom bonus" is the same kind of modifier as the "enhancement" in "enhancement bonus". For much the same reason that "college student" and "math student" are making fundamentally different kinds of claims about the student; one is telling you where they are a student, but not what they study, and the other tells you what they study, but not where they study it.

There's other cues to tell you these things are different. It's your Wisdom bonus, but an enhancement bonus. You can have multiple enhancement bonuses, which don't stack. But there is only one "your Wisdom bonus"; it's a feature of your character.

In the case of "Wisdom bonus", we're not being given additional information about the type of a bonus, but rather, we're being given a restrictive qualifier on the more general concept of "Wisdom modifier". You could in theory even have something which applies only "your Wisdom penalty". Because when you're talking about modifiers, "bonus" and "penalty" are used to denote "this value, but only if positive, otherwise zero" or "this value, but only if negative, otherwise zero".

But you'll note: There's no such thing as stacking rules for "modifiers" or "penalties". They don't have types at all.

So if "Wisdom bonus" is a typed bonus (type "wisdom"), what exactly are "Wisdom modifier" and "Wisdom penalty"? They can't be typed modifiers and penalties, because modifiers and penalties don't have types. There's no such thing as an "enhancement penalty" or a "racial penalty".

To quote the PRD:

"Penalty: Penalties are numerical values that are subtracted from a check or statistical score. Penalties do not have a type and most penalties stack with one another."

Penalties do not have a type.

So whatever "Wisdom" is in "Wisdom penalty" or "Wisdom modifier" or "Wisdom bonus", it cannot be a type. It's something else.

Conveniently, we already know what; it's an adjunct noun. It's telling you, not what kind of bonus or penalty we are discussing, but which bonus or penalty we are discussing.

"college student" => student who goes to college
"math student" => student studying math

So, yeah. Same thing. "Dexterity bonus" is not a typed bonus, it's a quality of your dexterity stat.

See also: Level.

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English is ambiguous and sometimes there are what appear to be parallel constructs which are not actually parallel. The problem is that "<word> bonus" might be either a typed bonus or a thing denoting which bonus you are talking about.

So, for instance: "This gives you a +1 insight bonus" refers to a typed bonus, with the type "insight". "When you have two bonuses with the same type, use the higher bonus" refers to one of those two bonuses of an unspecified type. It does not refer to a bonus of type "same" or a bonus of type "higher". If you say "the higher of the two bonuses", again, not referring to a bonus of type "two".

When something is described as a <word> bonus, it usually means it's a typed bonus, and <word> is its type. So far as I can tell, you'd be allowed to invent new bonus types; that's why sacred and profane are so valuable. So if you wanted to be abusive and cheaty, you could make a new spell called something like "Stackity Stacking Bull's Strength", which gives a +4 fashion bonus to strength, and since "fashion" is not the type of any of your existing bonuses, it'd stack with all of them.

When we refer to your Dexterity bonus, we are not talking about a typed bonus with the type "Dexterity", but about your dexterity modifier if and only if it is above zero. If your dex is 8, you don't have a Dexterity bonus.

A thing which says "add your Dexterity bonus to ..." is not referring to a typed bonus, it's adding an untyped bonus equal to your Dexterity modifier only if positive.

And untyped bonuses stack when they come from different sources, and we have two FAQs which refer to bonus sources in contexts that allow us to infer that a given spell or ability is a "source".

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fretgod99 wrote:

It's not even really about keeping up with rules changes. I've been caught off guard by changes before. But when I find out, my response is usually more along the lines of "Huh. I didn't know they changed that." Not, "This can't possibly be how this works now because it worked differently 25 years ago."


To each their own, I suppose.

I have a hard time thinking that was a sincere attempt at portraying the other side's point of view, because it's pretty dismissive and not at all accurate.

A more accurate statement of my point of view would be:

"I am pretty sure this was different in the past, and I have no evidence that anyone consciously intended to change it, I just think that recent rulings were made by people with different intuitions about the rules."

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fretgod99 wrote:
I don't have my 3.0 books around anymore. If you could post what the language was in 3.0 that'd be great. Also, if you could link to FAQs, errata, or developer (specifically author) commentary on how the Ring functioned, that would help a tin, too. I don't think I can have an in depth conversation about what you're saying here without it.

I thought the part where I said that the wording was absolutely identical from 3.0 through Pathfinder made it pretty clear what the words were. As a hint: They were exactly the same as they are now. Nothing has changed since 3.0. The words are identical.

Though again, how it functioned even in 3.0 doesn't much matter since we have an official statement as to how it functioned in PF's direct predecessor, 3.5.

True. But we also have that old thread which suggests that it functioned differently in 3.0. Which tells us that the words didn't change, but the interpretation changed. In 3.0, the FAQ said "Note that most rings function continuously once activated, which allows for virtually unlimited use unless the ring produces an effect that can be broken." But then when someone asked Skip Williams about rings like that later:

"Skip, I'm looking at the various command-activated magic rings in the DMG that have no specified duration to their powers (like blinking, invisibility, and spell turning). Are these effects (a) unending until deactivated, or (b) limited in duration according to the prerequisite spell and caster level (for example, 150 minutes duration for a ring of spell turning), or something else entirely?

n general, it's the latter."

Which tells us that, sometime between 3.0ish and 3.5ish, the answer changed. And not just for one ring, but for rings in general; I don't think I've ever seen someone run a ring of spell turning as having a specific duration per activation, either.

But it's interesting to me that it's a change, because if there's a change in interpretation, without a change in words, that often indicates, to me, an unintentional change -- no one said "yes, it used to work like that, but this is better". Instead, I think this is a case where some people had taken it for granted that it was Answer A, and others took it for granted that it was Answer B, and none of them ever happened to talk the issue over with each other to reach a conclusion that a change was appropriate. Rather, they just kept ruling it differently without ever finding out.

I mean, for perspective: I've been playing 3E since before the PHB was released. Until this last couple of days, I had never seen anyone suggest that the ring of invisibility wasn't "until cancelled", and I'd seen a lot of discussions of it which clearly indicated that people thought it was; e.g., in the long thread about the character bleeding out while invisible, I don't think anyone suggested that the ring's duration might expire. But, from what you've said so far, in however long you've been playing no one has ever previously said "the ring of invisibility lasts until cancelled".

So if I can play D&D with a bunch of people for 14 years and never encounter a circumstance in which the question actually got brought up, it's not at all surprising to me to think the devs never talked about it either.

The article didn't speak to duration. But here's the thing, it did speak to a clear difference in how 3.5 treated the ring compared to predecessors.

I must be missing something. How does the article speak to differences between 3.5 and 3.0?

This is the same language and justification used by Paizo in the GMG. So here's the thing. That means we know Paizo is aware that 3.5 treated the ring differently, at least in some regard.

Okay, the thing I'm not getting here is, you keep saying "differently", but the article I thought we were talking about never said anything even remotely like "unlike in previous editions, the ring of invisibility..."

And nothing stated about it sounds like a "difference" from previous editions. It's a ring that lets you go invisible as many times as you want. That's valuable. 3E pricing reflects that, but then, so did 1E. The only difference I see is that 1E pricing didn't have to explain why it deviated from a very approximate set of guidelines.

Master of Shadows wrote:
seebs wrote:
There is no roll you can make that ensures that someone will believe a thing which you also believe to be true.
Forgive me for citing without context, but isn't that what diplomacy is for?

No. Diplomacy alters mood or attitude, not beliefs.

Personally I think when Paizo condensed the skills list they should have combined bluff under the diplomacy umbrella. Most diplomats are exceptionally skilled prevaricators.

I don't think so, just because I think diplomacy is focused on a different category of behavior entirely. It's not "diplomacy" to shout "oh, look, a three-headed monkey!" and run away.

Well, if we want to be pedantic about rules-as-written: Of course you believe what someone tells you if they make a good bluff roll. Interestingly, you can't use this to convince them of true things. There is no roll you can make that ensures that someone will believe a thing which you also believe to be true. However, strictly as written, yes, a bluff roll means you believe the thing.


It does not mean that you will continue believing it, and cannot change your mind later. Even moments later.

I am really good at saying unreasonable things in a persuasive and convincing sounding way. I can make people believe ludicrous things. Briefly.

digression: I have a wizard in an epic-level PF game, who makes great use of a ring of spell storing into which the party's bard has cast glibness.

Mouse: Hey, Summer, can you pop a glibness in my ring for me?
Summer: Sure, here you go.
Mouse: [activates ring] Hey, summer, can you pop a glibness in my ring for me?
Summer: Didn't I just do that?
Mouse: No. [bluff result: 60.]

But the thing is, at some point, it fails.

Mouse: Oh, I'm not an actual spellcaster. I'm an extremely skilled stage magician. [bluff result: 73]

Now, consider what happens if this is said to someone (1) whose sense motive is only in the 20s, (2) who has personally seen Mouse open gates, teleport, and create a demiplane.

Obviously they believe it... Briefly. Then they think about its implications for other things they believe, and they realize that it must not be true after all.

And it turns out, that's what happens in real life too. You can get people to, very briefly, believe something like "well, technically, we don't live here, but the people who do are on vacation every Friday so we use it for gaming". Then they'll realize that they know way too many other things which contradict this result, and they'll stop believing it again. It can take a few seconds.

Ravingdork wrote:
Removed in the 6th printing? I'm pretty certain that rule never made it into Pathfinder in the first place, in any of its printings.

No, it was definitely there in some editions, but got removed as errata. Largely, I think, because some schools don't have enough spells to do that.

Matthew Downie wrote:
seebs wrote:
I very rarely see invisibility last for more than a few rounds.
Did you own a ring of invisibility? I played a cleric with a ring of invisibility (assuming 3 minute duration, non-spoken activation) and I was routinely invisible. Scouting? Invisible. Walking in the wilderness? Invisible. In battle? I'd mostly buff, summon and heal while invisible.

Haven't been using the rings much, but we've had plenty of access to invisibility, and if it wasn't greater invis, it's been broken pretty quickly anyway.

FWIW, I've asked around more, and so far, I've found no indication that any of the game designers ever even for a moment considered the duration of the ring of invisibility until someone specifically asked about it, and this doesn't surprise me. So far as I can tell, the practical answer is "no one really cares because it'll generally last longer than it matters regardless".

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