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FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Yorktown 37 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 37 Organized Play characters.


Grand Lodge

Okay, so I'm trying to figure out whether there's an exception to the rules, or a specific order of operations to the math to make a babau's protective slime a threat to any manufactured weapon. Here's the ability's text:


Protective Slime (Su)

A layer of acidic slime coats a babau’s skin. Any creature that strikes a babau with a natural attack or unarmed strike takes 1d8 points of acid damage from this slime if it fails a DC 18 Reflex save. A creature that strikes a babau with a melee weapon must make a DC 18 Reflex save or the weapon takes 1d8 points of acid damage; if this damage penetrates the weapon’s hardness, the weapon gains the broken condition. Ammunition that strikes a babau is automatically destroyed after it inflicts its damage.

Okay, so it does damage to natural attackers/unarmed strikers if they fail a Reflex save based on the first sentence, and automatically destroys ammunition based on the third sentence. Fair enough.

The second sentence is where there seems to be an issue of futility and useless dice rolling. At most, if the wielder of a manufactured melee weapon fails the Reflex save, their weapon has to contend with 8 points of acid damage, and if that penetrates the weapon's hardness, it gains the broken condition. Just looking at the table for damaging objects, no blade or metal-hafted object or heavy shield has anything to worry about, as they all have a hardness of 10. The remainder (non-metal-hafted weapons, light shields) have a starting hardness of 5 (they gain +2 hardness for every +1 enhancement on the item, so they frequently won't be subject to this either).

But even for that pool of manufactured weapons with a hardness of 5, we also have to consider the following rule:


Energy Attacks

Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object’s hardness. Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion. For example, fire might do full damage against parchment, cloth, and other objects that burn easily. Sonic might do full damage against glass and crystal objects.

So, on that basis, since the 50% calculation is applied before the hardness is factored in (explicitly stated as being the correct mathematical order of operations here), the babau's protective slime is doing no more than 4 (1d8/2) acid damage to a weapon. Does this mean the text in the second sentence of the protective slime ability is just wasted words, and no one wielding a manufactured weapon has anything to worry about? Or was the intent to ignore the halving rule for this kind of ability so that it has at least a puncher's chance of doing something?

Grand Lodge

Bacondale wrote:
Note that it is an "opaque sheet of flame" so creatures will have 100% concealment from creatures on the other side of the wall.

Yup, tracking on the 50% miss chance due to total concealment. That was actually part of my previous post, which wondered about how to deal with the interaction of different types of miss chance - in this case the total concealment of the wall of fire, and the semi-ethereal/semi-invisible hodge-podge created by the blink spell.

I figure you could actually make a pretty nasty melee combatant using an oracle of flame this way. You don't care one bit about the fire damage for attacking through your own wall, and if you take the Gaze of Flames revelation, you can see through the wall of flames just fine. Give the wall of fire a 5' radius, and its basically akin to fire shield and invisibility in one.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Yorktown aka steven_mallory

Lots of fun this one! Quick question - as it'll spare me spending a couple hours going through every scenario's chronicle sheet for Seasons 6-9: anyone know where/how you can get access to the skillslot cybernetic implant (i.e. the item required to make the skillchips you find in the adventure into something useable)?

Grand Lodge

Fairly related to my last rules question/post:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/spells/wallOfFire.html#wall -of-fire

The rules for being in proximity to a Wall of Fire or passing through it are pretty straightforward. But what about attacking through it?

Different cases would include:
1) a medium creature making a melee attack with a non-reach weapon against an enemy in the adjacent square on the other side.

2) a medium creature standing back from the wall 5’ and making a melee attack with a reach weapon against an enemy on the other side.

3) a large or larger creature attacking a foe on the other side using its natural attacks

4) a large or larger creature attacking a foe on the other side with its natural reach (i.e. a non-reach manufactured weapon)

5) a large or larger creature attacking a foe on the other side with a reach weapon

In each of these cases, would the attacker take damage once per attack, once per round, or not at all?

Grand Lodge

Ran part of a module (Ruby Phoenix, so perhaps a mild spoiler here) recently, and couldn’t find a definitive answer at the time, so I went with what I thought was a logical answer, and wanted to see if there was a more definitive answer somewhere.

The situation involved an oracle with a ring of blinking and the wall of fire spell (though there are plenty of other types of secondary concealment that could fit in the example - fog cloud, invisibility, deeper darkness, etc.) Once the caster activates the ring, they have a 20% miss chance on their own physical attacks, and a 50% miss chance for physical attacks made against them, by virtue of the fact that they’re bouncing back and forth between the material and ethereal planes (a timing question, but also partly visual, since the spell stipulates that your enemies’ miss chance goes down to 20% if they can see invisible creatures, but they get no benefit if they have the Blind Fight feat, and also points out that ethereal creatures are both invisible and incorporeal):


Kinda fiddly, but all pretty workable. What happens however when a subject under blink adds a second effect with a miss chance to the effect? In this case the caster had two high level barbarians bearing down on her, so she surrounded herself with a small-radius wall of fire, pointing it outwards. The wall of fire provides total concealment, blocking line of sight, by virtue of being “opaque.” Ordinarily, attacking a foe on the other side of such a wall would be a 50% miss chance, though stuff like the Blind Fight feat or some creatures’ ability to see through flames would reduce or negate the miss chance.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/spells/wallOfFire.html#wall -of-fire

So, with both of those effects in play, what are the miss chances for the blinking oracle on one side of the wall, and the raging barbarians on the other side (no one involved had Blind Fighting or the ability to see through flames.

The simplest “go away and stop making us think hard” answer is just a flat 50% for everyone based on the wall of fire, using the idea that miss chances shouldn’t stack.

The harshest position is to say that since they’re from fundamentally different sources, resolve them separately, meaning the barbarians have to get through a pair of 50% miss chances, while the oracle has to get past a 50% miss chance and a 20% miss chance. This is what I went with under the time crunch and not wanting to bring the game to a screeching halt. Alternatively, you could resolve the percentages into a single roll and say the barbarians have a 75% miss chance (50% + 50% * 50%) and the oracle has a 60% miss chance (50% + 50% * 20%).

An in-between position would be to say that since the wall of fire renders other visual considerations moot, but the 20% portion of blink’s miss chance would still apply, then the barbarians should be contending with a 50% miss chance and a 20% miss chance (aggregate of 60%). Still another interpretation would be that see invisibility reduces blink’s miss chance because you can see the subject on both planes, but the Blind Fight feat doesn’t help because... you pick the mental and physiological reason that makes sense to you, so the 75% total should be reduced, but only to some other value between 75% and 60%.

In the event that no definitive answer to this already exists, happy debating! :)

Grand Lodge

Rezdave wrote:
0gre wrote:
@Rezdave Russ was replying to Zappo's Q about the Inquisitor not the general cast.

That makes better sense ... I kept looking for a Poster named "Inquisitor" to whom he was replying.

I missed the question. Sorry.


In any case, the original question has been rendered somewhat moot by a recent FAQ:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2t1a6&page=3?Does-ammunition-fired-from-a-m agical#130

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2t1a6&page=4?Does-ammunition-fired-from-a-m agical#179

Grand Lodge

I've seen a couple threads for variations on this question, but the most interesting wrinkle has yet to get an official answer.

From the alchemist bomb class feature, tired and true.

Bomb (Su): Splash damage from an alchemist bomb is always equal to the bomb’s minimum damage (so if the bomb would deal 2d6+4 points of fire damage on a direct hit, its splash damage would be 6 points of fire damage). Those caught in the splash damage can attempt a Reflex save for half damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the alchemist’s level + the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier.

Alchemists also get the Throw Anything feat as a bonus.

Throw Anything (Ex): All alchemists gain the Throw Anything feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. An alchemist adds his Intelligence modifier to damage done with splash weapons, including the splash damage if any. This bonus damage is already included in the bomb class feature.

So clearly an alchemist throwing a flask of acid does 1d6+Int mod damage on a direct hit, and does 1+Int mod splash damage to everyone who's adjacent to the target. The operative question is: do the victims of the splash damage get a Reflex save as they would against the splash damage from the Alchemist's bombs?

I've got one player trying to argue that they don't, and he's been using it to just target squares (touch AC of 5) to get basically automatic souped up splash damage on larger groups of foes with vials of acid.

Related secondary question that I don't think I've seen answered either: unlike acid, alchemist's fire does extra damage on the following round. Same player wants to argue that he should get to add his Int mod to both damage rolls. Yes or no?

Alchemist's Fire: A direct hit deals 1d6 points of fire damage. Every creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes 1 point of fire damage from the splash. On the round following a direct hit, the target takes an additional 1d6 points of damage.

Grand Lodge

Huzzah! Vindication tastes good. ;)

Grand Lodge

Don't really need to go that far in levels to get to +14 to hit against a scenario-ending caster/BBEG - level 4 paladin managed it by making him his smite target (+4 BAB, +4 Str, masterwork weapon, + 1 weapon focus, +3 Cha mod for smite, +1 inspire courage from the party's bard).

Grand Lodge

That's my preferred interpretation too, but I've got several people (including some VOs) looking at these same passages and insisting "no, because a natural 1 can never hit, it can't pop an image either," I guess on the basis of the idea that a nat 1 should never benefit someone by furthering what it is they're trying to do.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Automatic misses and hits portion of the Combat section in the CRB states that a roll of 1 on an attack roll always misses and a 20 always hits.

Mirror Image's spell text reads as follows:
"Whenever you are attacked... if the attack misses by 5 or less, one of your images is destroyed by the near miss."

Obviously someone who attacks the caster and rolls a natural 1 misses - if its attack modifiers are enough to still get within 5 of the AC (caster AC of 18, attacker modifier of +14 for example's sake), will the natural 1 still pop an image since it misses by 5 or less?

Grand Lodge

Anyone know whether they've ruled on what if anything out of this book is PFS legal, or when we might expect such a ruling? Censoring Critical seems like one of those things no 15th level martial-focused Seeker playing the All For Immortality series should be without!

Grand Lodge

There's already been some discussion on this on potions specifically, and there's some awareness that there seems to be a can of worms in play with the updated Unchained version of the Barbarian.
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2tlp0?Does-a-Superstitious-Barbarian-have-to-sa ve

At any rate, here's the "chained" version of the Superstition rage power:
Superstition (Ex)
Benefit: The barbarian gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws made to resist spells, supernatural abilities, and spell-like abilities. This bonus increases by +1 for every 4 levels the barbarian has attained. While raging, the barbarian cannot be a willing target of any spell and must make saving throws to resist all spells, even those cast by allies.

And here's the new "unchained" version of the power:
Superstition (Ex): The barbarian gains a +2 competence bonus on saving throws made to resist spells and spell-like abilities. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels the barbarian has. The barbarian cannot be the willing target of any spell and must attempt saving throws to resist all spells, even those cast by allies.

There's also this key caveat from the Unchained Barbarian Rage Powers entry: "A barbarian gains the benefits of rage powers only while raging."

So the bonus type changes from morale to competence, supernatural abilities fall out of the unchained version, and the bonus scales up with the unchained version. But in both cases it only applies while the barbarian is raging.

Finally, the actual rules question:
Does the requirement for making saves against spells and spell-like abilities as if you were an unwilling target while raging also apply to the Barbarian's own command word activation items (e.g. Unfettered Shirt, Winged Boots, Ring of Invisibility, etc.). I know other sections of the rules stipulate that you're usually considered your own ally, so whether you're forcing a spell in liquid form down your own throat or trying to activate you trusty boots to let you fly up and hit the monster, in both cases it seems like Superstition's requirement that you make a Will save should apply. This may make for some grumpy Barbarians until they get rage cycling down pat, but is there anyone who can make a case for the barbarian's command word magic items not being subject to Superstition?

A particularly evil GM might even push it in the opposite direction, and note that the rules state that you only get the benefits of Superstition and other unchained rage powers while raging, but the penalties of something like Superstition might apply all the time.

Given the number of Barbarians running around with this rage power (either "just because" or as a pre-req to things like Witch Hunter and Eater of Magic), this feels like it could use some clarification.

Grand Lodge

Kazaan wrote:

To be more specific, an AoO immediately interrupts the flow of combat. This effectively can "split" an otherwise discrete action in such a manner that it is declared, the AoO interrupts it, then the triggering action is resolved after the AoO. So it doesn't really come "before" the triggering action; that's just a convenient rule of thumb.

So, in your situation, the Brawler and the Rogue both threaten the Opponent while the Fighter and Cleric do not. Your Brawler initiates (declares) a trip against the opponent. Now, the Trip maneuver has begun, but hasn't yet been resolved. Due to Greater Trip, the Opponent provokes an AoO from both the Brawler and the Rogue. If they take their AoOs, you resolve the AoO first. After that (and now, the provocation point has passed), you resolve the effect of the Trip maneuver. Due to Ki Throw, you pick a new spot for them to move to and the Opponent falls prone in that new spot. Since the Trip has already been made and resolved, the Opponent doesn't provoke an AoO from the Cleric or the Fighter due to being tripped; that ship has sailed. However if, hypothetically, either of them have an ability that makes an opponent provoke if they fall prone, that could be a completely different story. If the conditions are met, then falling prone is a new opportunity. In fact, if the Brawler had Vicious Stomp and Combat Reflexes, he could get two AoOs; one because the Opponent provoked by "being tripped by a creature with Greater Trip" and two by "falling prone adjacent to a creature with Vicious Stomp".

Thanks, that makes sense.

Grand Lodge


Grand Lodge

The two feats in question:

Ki Throw
Prerequisites: Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Benefit: On a successful unarmed trip attack against a target your size or smaller, you may throw the target prone in any square you threaten rather than its own square. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and you cannot throw the creature into a space occupied by other creatures.

Special: A monk may gain Ki Throw as a bonus feat at 10th level. A monk with this feat can affect creatures larger than his own size by spending 1 ki point per size category difference.

Greater Trip
Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, base attack bonus +6, Int 13.

Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on checks made to trip a foe. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by Improved Trip. Whenever you successfully trip an opponent, that opponent provokes attacks of opportunity.

Normal: Creatures do not provoke attacks of opportunity from being tripped.

Application issue: so, cut and dry, the movement of the foe you're tripping and ki throwing doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. But Greater Trip still applies, so the creature being tripped should still provoke Attacks of Opportunity based on that factor. The question becomes - at what point in this maneuver do the Greater Trip Attacks of Opportunity trigger against the foe for the tripper and their allies? Is it based on those who threaten the tripped foe in their original square? Those who threaten the tripped foe in the square they're "Ki Thrown" into? Both? Neither?

The practical case involves an enlarged brawler with Greater Trip and Ki Throw in the front line with a rogue ally by his side, and a cleric and a fighter behind the two of them. If the brawler trips a foe that he and the rogue currently threaten, and in the process that same foe is ki thrown towards the party's back line into a square that the brawler, fighter and cleric threaten (but the rogue doesn't), which combination of the PCs get an attack of opportunity? Brawler and Rogue? Brawler, Cleric and Fighter? All Four? Brawler only? None of them?

Grand Lodge

Claxon wrote:
I believe he could still spend a move action to move adjacent and then make an attack as a standard action.

So the interpretation being that because the 5' step was prevented, the fact that they tried to move that way doesn't mean they're prohibited from trying to move a different way?

Is anyone aware of anything anywhere in the rules to support one side of the other of this?

Grand Lodge

Rules question. Here's the feat in question (Pin Down):

Pin Down (Combat)

You easily block enemy escapes.

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, fighter level 11th.

Benefit: Whenever an opponent you threaten takes a 5-foot step or uses the withdraw action, that opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If the attack hits, you deal no damage, but the targeted creature is prevented from making the move action that granted a 5-foot step or the withdraw action and does not move.

And there here is the entry on 5' steps in the Combat section:

Take 5-Foot Step

You can move 5 feet in any round when you don't perform any other kind of movement. Taking this 5-foot step never provokes an attack of opportunity. You can't take more than one 5-foot step in a round, and you can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance.

You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round.

You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn't hampered by difficult terrain or darkness. Any creature with a speed of 5 feet or less can't take a 5-foot step, since moving even 5 feet requires a move action for such a slow creature.

You may not take a 5-foot step using a form of movement for which you do not have a listed speed.

So here's the scenario - Combatant A (Polearm Fighter) has the Pin Down feat and a reach weapon. Combatant B (Brawler) doesn't have reach, and needs to move 5' to get into range to be able to hit Combatant A.

The Brawler's turn starts, and he has his normal options for a full round of actions, either two move actions, a move action and a standard action, or a full round action. All of those combinations also allow him a swift or immediate action, as well as a 5' step provided he didn't use a move action to physically move during his turn.

The Brawler starts by trying to take a 5' step to get in close with the Polearm Fighter so that he can have the chance of a full attack. This triggers an attack of opportunity for the Polearm Fighter thanks to the Pin Down feat. Attack hits, and the Brawler remains in his original space, as he "is prevented from making the move action that granted a 5-foot step or the withdraw action and does not move."

Now that the Brawler has tried to take a 5' step but was prevented from doing so, can he use a normal move action to try and move in close (presumably provoking a second Attack of Opportunity since the Polearm Fighter has to have Combat Reflexes as a prerequisite for Pin Down)?

Or does the fact that the Brawler tried to take a 5' step and was prevented from doing so mean that he can't use his move actions to physically move during this turn?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

So this has been debated in various threads before, but I'm not sure a single consensus view has emerged on these issues, nor an FAQ answer, so here we go again:

Situation: Polearm Master with a Fauchard, wants to use Whirlwind attack.

Per the language of the feat, you're using the full attack action, and giving up your normal iterative attacks to gain a single attack at your highest BAB vs. every foe within reach.

1) Can the character attempt to disarm, trip or sunder his targets rather than using standard attacks against them during the Whirlwind Attack?
1a) If yes, must the character choose a single mode of attack for ALL of his targets, or can he pick and choose (i.e. attack everyone, trip everyone, disarm everyone, sunder everyone, but not mix and match)?

2) Do the normal "actions during a full attack" allowances and restrictions still apply? This would include:
2a) Can the character still take a 5' step either before, after or in between the individual attacks included in the full attack?
2b) Can the character take a free action, swift action or immediate action (swift and immediates can be taken any time that a free action could be taken) either before, after or IN BETWEEN the attacks. This is particularly relevant to the Polearm Master because they have the ability to shorten their reach from 10' to 5' as an immediate action, taking an attack roll penalty in the process.

3) Are the viable targets for the attacks granted by the feat calculated at the point when the character begins to use the feat, or can they also gain new eligible targets during the series of attacks by using either:
3a) a 5' step?
3b) the Polearm Master's "Pole Fighting" ability as an immediate action, changing his weapon from 10' reach to 5' reach (or vice versa)?
3c) (not relevant to this character, but put forward in other hypothetical versions of this question, so I'll ask it again) different weapons, i.e. a polearm to threaten with reach, and a spiked gauntlet to threaten adjacent foes?

4) The feat specifically prohibits extra attacks gained by means of feats, spells or abilities - if the character also has the Greater Trip feat and is tripping the foes he's attacking with Whirlwind Attack, do they still provoke attacks of opportunity from him?

My current inclinations are:
1) Yes
1a) Maybe okay to mix and match
2) Yes
2a) Yes
2b) Maybe, no explicit citation to answer the question, but you can put together a chain of logic (immediate action treated as a swift action that need not be taken on your turn --> swift action can be taken anytime you could take a free action --> free action takes no time --> if you can take a 5' step in between the attacks of a full attack, why wouldn't it be permissible to take free actions, which take no time at all?)
3a) Yes
3b) Yes
3c) Not if the reach weapon requires two hands, but this could be okay in the case of someone wielding a Dorn-dergar/Dwarven chain flail one-handed, though if 3a and 3b are both yes, this seems likely to be moot most of the time.
4) Maybe, as the intent seems to be to rule out automatically getting two attacks on every target instead of one by means of Haste, Blessing of Fervor, Two Weapon Fighting, Cleave, etc. Then again, you wouldn't get an AoO on a foe you had tripped without having taken the feat Greater Trip, so maybe the intent is to preclude those attacks too.

And.... go. ;)

Grand Lodge

Turin the Mad wrote:

In PF I don't recall that rule surviving. It isn't in the OGL because the specifics on the gaining of XP was one of the sections that was never included.

A 10th level party would have to massacre vast numbers of goblins to advance to 11th ... and they wouldn't have earned enough loot to keep up WBL ...

200,000 xp (50,000 per PC x4) takes more than 1,481 book-standard goblins to earn. That's a lotta goblins. ;)

True, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference in the grand scheme, but I have two engineers and an accountant (IRL) sitting at the table. They're very much of the bean counter variety. :) So it was a 3.5 rule that didn't make the jump?

Grand Lodge

Several people around our table seem to remember something along the lines of "when the average party level (APL) is X amount higher than the encounter's challenge rating, you don't gain any experience." This is for stuff like a 10th level party encountering a single goblin sentry and slitting his throat, or bypassing a pretty easy CR2 trap. Problem is, none of us can agree on how many levels "X" is (guesses include 5, 8 and 10), and none of us can remember where in the rules to look to find something that officially backs this up. Google Fu has been unhelpful to this point.

Any rules lawyers with eidetic memories know if/where this rule officially exists?

Grand Lodge

Okay, I count at least two threads related to this subject, and they include multiple references to an official ruling, but none of those links seems to quite answer the question. Point blank (ha!) does anyone have a link to an official ruling or errata on this specific question:

Can a rogue with a bow or other ranged weapon use the Gang Up feat to get sneak attacks against a non-flat-footed opponent (within 30' unless you've got certain magic items) if two or more of the rogue's allies are threatening the same foe?

If yes, it seems like something most every ranged rogue should take - hang back and snipe away when your party's meat shields bum rush your foes. If no, it seems utterly useless for ranged rogues, and mostly useless for melee rogues, as it requires the pre-requisite of Combat Expertise.

Here's the feat's language:
Gang Up (Combat)
You are adept at using greater numbers against foes.
Prerequisites: Int 13, Combat Expertise.
Benefit: You are considered to be flanking an opponent if at least two of your allies are threatening that opponent, regardless of your actual positioning.
Normal: You must be positioned opposite an ally to flank an opponent.

There's absolutely nothing there to indicate that you yourself have to be "threatening" to be considered flanking with this feat.

Grand Lodge

So the Grapple Rules are rather "intricately" written - here are the disputes in question.

If you're using Greater Grapple (which is a pre-req for Pinning Knockout anyway) and/or Rapid Grappler to maintain a grapple or pin in a way that doesn't spend your your standard action for the round, that standard action can be used to roll a normal non-two-handed attack (unarmed strike included) against any target you threaten, including the one you've grappled.

If that's the case, why would anyone take Pinning Knockout, when it's a situational and only non-lethal version of Vital Strike (double damage, nonlethal only, only if you've established a pin)?

By the same token, why take Stunning Pin, when you can just use that same preserved standard action to use Stunning Fist in the normal fashion?

Grand Lodge

Skylancer4 wrote:
steven_mallory wrote:

Yeesh... this seems like it would be a great feat for a Zen Archer, but who in their right mind is going to spend 2 feats on pre-requisites that are literally worthless in and of themselves?

Snap Shot is a pre-req for Improved Snap Shot, but does absolutely nothing for a Zen Archer that isn't already granted by Point-Blank Master (bonus at 3rd) and Reflexive Shot (class feature at 9th).

Rapid Shot (and Manyshot) are asinine feats for a Zen Archer to take, even if they're available as bonus feats. Rapid Shot has the same mechanical effect as the Zen Archer's Flurry of Blows (pre-8th level, extra attack, all attacks take a -2 to hit), and Manyshot is like Flurry of Blows at 8th-15th, with the added flexibility of giving up the extra attack to negate the -2 attack penalty, and the trade-off that your additional attack can't inflict sneak attack or critical hit damage (because so many Zen Archers are frequently dealing that sort of damage anyway).

Is there any logical reason to not hand-wave this away by removing Rapid Shot and Manyshot from the Zen Archer's list of bonus feats options at 1st and 6th level, and including Improved Snap Shot among the 10th level+ options?

This isn't really a rules question and is probably more appropriate in the suggestions/house rules or advice forum.

I thought perhaps I was misunderstanding the mechanics behind these feats and the Zen Archer archetype, which might invalidate the suggestion. If the rules function the way I've been reading them, then yes, I suppose this topic would be a good fit for the house rules section. Figured it would be good to get the "legal" review first.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Yeesh... this seems like it would be a great feat for a Zen Archer, but who in their right mind is going to spend 2 feats on pre-requisites that are literally worthless in and of themselves?

Snap Shot is a pre-req for Improved Snap Shot, but does absolutely nothing for a Zen Archer that isn't already granted by Point-Blank Master (bonus at 3rd) and Reflexive Shot (class feature at 9th).

Rapid Shot (and Manyshot) are asinine feats for a Zen Archer to take, even if they're available as bonus feats. Rapid Shot has the same mechanical effect as the Zen Archer's Flurry of Blows (pre-8th level, extra attack, all attacks take a -2 to hit), and Manyshot is like Flurry of Blows at 8th-15th, with the added flexibility of giving up the extra attack to negate the -2 attack penalty, and the trade-off that your additional attack can't inflict sneak attack or critical hit damage (because so many Zen Archers are frequently dealing that sort of damage anyway).

Is there any logical reason to not hand-wave this away by removing Rapid Shot and Manyshot from the Zen Archer's list of bonus feats options at 1st and 6th level, and including Improved Snap Shot among the 10th level+ options?

Grand Lodge

Designing an antagonist - can a vampire use a conductive weapon to do the energy drain damage usually done by its slam attack? Energy Drain is listed as a supernatural ability in the Vampire's stat block, which would fit, but it also notes that the vampire can only use energy drain once in a round. The conductive weapon property says you have to expend two uses of a supernatural or spell-like ability to get the effect to apply to a hit with the weapon. But at the same time, it says that if you have no daily limit on the number of times/day you can use an ability, you can use it once per round (not more) through the weapon. Which would apply here?

I was thinking of an old series of 3.5 modules for Eberon which included an adventure called Whispers of the Vampire's Blade, where the vampire was compelled to use its sword rather than unarmed slams that drained levels. Frankly, I like the idea of a vampire with a sword and shield having the PCs thinking that the lack of a free hand means they won't get level drained by a hit, and then getting a nasty shock the first time they get slashed with the sword.

Here's the verbiage of Conductive:
Price +1 bonus; Aura moderate necromancy; CL 8th; Weight —
A conductive weapon is able to channel the energy of a spell-like or supernatural ability that relies on a melee or ranged touch attack to hit its target (such as from a cleric's domain granted power, sorcerer's bloodline power, oracle's mystery revelation, or wizard's arcane school power). When the wielder makes a successful attack of the appropriate type, he may choose to expend two uses of his magical ability to channel it through the weapon to the struck opponent, which suffers the effects of both the weapon attack and the special ability. (If the wielder has unlimited uses of a special ability, she may channel through the weapon every round.) For example, a paladin who strikes an undead opponent with her conductive greatsword can expend two uses of her lay on hands ability (a supernatural melee touch attack) to deal both greatsword damage and damage from one use of lay on hands. This weapon special ability can only be used once per round, and only works with magical abilities of the same type as the weapon (melee or ranged).

Cost +1 bonus
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, spectral hand

Grand Lodge

Kazaan wrote:
I'd say, if it extends the duration, conservation of effect dictates that you simply add the new duration to the remainder of the old one. Demoralize for 3 rounds + Demoralize for 3 rounds gives Demoralize for 6 rounds. Rationale for this could be something along the lines of, "There's not just one big scary guy but two big scary guys... I think I'm just gonna quail in fear over here for that much longer." He's still shaken by each; not a greater degree of fear but a broader degree of fear, shaken for longer. It effectively yields a similar result to playing round-robin with the demoralizes, waiting for one to nearly wear off before applying the next; but it allows more dynamic in the fight and lets you take advantage of opportunities that come along without having to worry about, "should I pass up this opportunity because he still has x number of rounds left before the demoralize effect wears off?" Furthermore, from an RP perspective, the characters aren't really measuring it in "rounds of effect" like we would. One guy scared the hell out of an opponent and now the other guy is gonna be equally scary for good measure.

Sure, and I'm inclined to agree with that interpretation and treat it like that. But on the back end of that, should the 2 guys also pool the penalties that make it harder to keep using the demoralize tactic (+5 each time)? Or am I misreading the Try Again rules, and the penalty only applies if someone fails an Intimidate check and then tries again? Can't find any rules that explicitly says that the Try Again rules listed in the skill descriptions ONLY apply to failures.

Grand Lodge

bookrat wrote:

But they don't subsume each other. The text plainly says that multiple uses on the same creature extend the duration (but does not alter it to a more severe condition). This is a change specifically for the demoralize effect because it is different from the normal fear rules. Normally, when you stack two shaken effects, it upgrades from shaken to frightened. Another shaken or frighten will then panic them. But demoralize doesn't get that option. Even if a character is already shaken or panicked from something else, a demoralize will not increase the fear effect. So instead, demoralize increases the duration.

The extension of the duration on the same creature and the increased DC by the same demoralizer are not linked together. They are separate.

Sure, that makes sense if it's the same person generating the Intimidation effect multiple times and creating the shaken condition (and that's what the rules clearly had in mind when they were written), but if it's two different people generating it at roughly the same time, something's got to give. It can't be that they both contribute to the same calculated duration of the effect, but aren't also both beholden to iterative penalties of repeating the tactic in the same way as a single person would.

If they're not iterative, then PC #1 and PC #2 intimidating the same foe at the same time should overlap, and whoever gets a higher result and causes the foe to be shaken for a longer "x" number of rounds has the only effect that really matters. The other's effect is active, but not noticeable or relevant, since it will expire before the time the longer-lasting one does. However, if the one with the shorter result uses Intimidate a second time and stacks onto their own result in a way that generates a longer running time, now theirs is the salient Demoralize/shaken effect (i.e. PC #1 demoralizes for 4 rounds to PC #2's 3, but PC #2 does uses Intimidate again the following round for an additional 2 rounds, meaning that they now have 5 rounds to PC #1's 4).

If they are iterative, then PC #2's duration would extend PC #1's duration, but they should also share the iterative increases to the DC to compensate for the shared benefit of collaborative tactics (basically allowing them to function like a single Intimidator).

Grand Lodge

bookrat wrote:

Find precedent. Is there any other skill that adds to the DC when someone else does it?

Appraise: the try again is only for you. Someone else can appraise and get a different result.

Diplomacy: try again is only for you. If you fail, you can't make the same request to that individual for 24 hours. But someone else could.

Knolwedge: You can't try again. A check represents what you know. But someone else could.

Performance: Try again after failure increases the DC by 2. But someone else can do a performance and they don't get that penalty.

Sense Motive: You can't try again, but someone else can sense motive.

Sleight of Hand: After an initial failure, a second attempt against the same target (or while you are being watched by the same observer who noticed your previous attempt) increases the DC for the task by 10. But this doesn't mean someone else gets that penalty if they want to do a sleight of hand check.

Survival: A single check applies uniformly over a set period of time. But someone else can roll theirs to see if they perform better.

Use Magic Device: If you roll a 1, you can't use that device for 24 hours. But someone else could.

All these skills have try again options for the individual to is using the skill. None of them claim that when you use the skill, someone else gets a penalty. What makes intimidate so unique?

Also a valid point, which would suggest that the efforts are completely independent, meaning that they subsume each other. If the Inquisitor's spell makes them shaken for 3 rounds, then it's pointless for the Fighter to try and intimidate them until that 3 round period is over (assuming the Inquisitor doesn't use the spell as second time and extend the duration of the effect).

Seppuku's suggestion might work too - obviously there's no save against Intimidate, it's a static mechanic based on your the target's Hit Dice and Wisdom. But extending the original effect by half might work - functionally it would usually be 1 round, since fighting against appropriate foes usually results in a range of between 1 and 3 rounds (sometimes 4, or even 5 against true cannon fodder like goblins and kobolds).

Grand Lodge

Gwen Smith wrote:

I think there are two different aspects here. The DC is from the perspective of the intimidator, and the duration is from the perspective of the intimidated.

Looking at poisons for an analogy, if the same character gets hit with two different poisons, clearly each poison has a separate DC and saving throw. Now, what happens if those two different poisons have the same result? Say that Poison A makes the character fall asleep for 3 rounds and Poison B makes the character fall asleep for 2 rounds. There are three options for how this would affect the character:

1) The effects poisons somehow stack, and the character is "more asleep" for the first 2 rounds until Poison B wears off. This is really hard to adjudicate: what does "more asleep" or "doubly asleep" actually mean? For this kind of effect, we would need a complete condition-plus-enhanced-condition table (e.g., frightened enhanced = panicked), and we don't have that for each and every possible condition.

2) Both poisons track separately, and the 2-round effect of Poison B essentially has no effect on the character at all (since it's overshadowed by the 3-round effect of Poison A). That...

Definitely an interesting way of looking at it. I certainly support the idea of extending the duration, but there's a distinction between it and poison. Multiple doses of the same poison or different poisons with the same effect don't have any impact on the Fortitude saving throw of the victim. If you stick someone with poison and they save against it, I don't think they get a bonus on their next Fort save against the poison if you stick them with it again.

On the other hand, you do build up a resistance to being intimidated (until an hour passes and the DC resets), as it gets iteratively more difficult to get inside the same person's head again and again using the same psychological tactics. Eventually the target catches on to what you're doing, they gather themselves, and they get their head back in the game. If you're counting the PCs as members of a team all trying to get in the subject's head, shouldn't the subject catch onto their tactics as a whole, rather than one at a time? If it's the former, their DCs should probably stack collectively, along with the duration.

Grand Lodge

Right, I've always taken the "Try Again" rules to apply to both successes and failures where you're trying to do the same thing multiple times. If you unlock a lock, then it closes again, you can try to unlock it again (although in that case I might say that you get a +2 bonus on the check, since you're already figured out this particular lock once). I've looked for a rule saying that Try Again applies only to failures, but I haven't found one either.

Point 2 is where I'm not quite sold however - it feels like it should be both or neither. Demoralize basically means a foe (or PC) is becoming shaken in response to the Intimidating actions of a specific PC (or foe). If the rule is +5 to the DC for multiple tries, it feels like it should either be that multiple actors on the same side work together, or they don't. If you're saying that the shaken condition is a single effect, even though they're being intimidated by two different people, it should either be that their durations and DCs both stack (PC #2 increases the duration with their first attempt, but also has to take the -5 penalty since the foe's already been intimidated once), or neither stacks (both PCs track their own Intimidate DCs and don't consider their partner's previous attempts, either in duration or DC).

I feel like it makes more sense if you treat them as a team, where they collectively stack both the length and DC of their demoralize efforts. I can think of situations where you wouldn't use it like teamwork - say a battle between the PCs and two competing sets of antagonists all fighting over the same McGuffin. If someone from the first group of antagonists tries to intimidate everybody, and then somebody from the second group tries the same thing, they're working at cross purposes, and their durations (and DCs) shouldn't stack.

Grand Lodge

Just looking for a straight answer (preferably not just a guess) on this: how should the Intimidation efforts of two different PCs (or NPCs or foes for that matter) interact in terms of duration and DC?

Party now has two PCs in it, both of whom want to utilize the Intimidate skill an awful lot: an Inquisitor who likes to use the Blistering Invective spell (curse at your foes, make an Intimidate check and they can become shaken, take 1d10 fire damage and make a Reflex save to avoid catching on fire), and a high-Charisma performance combat Fighter with a couple levels of Bard.

The Fighter has Dazzling Display (Intimidate vs. all foes in a 30' radius as a full-round action), and has just taken the necessary feats (Performing Combatant and Hero's Display) to be able to use Dazzling Display as a swift action in any combat (not just performance combats) whenever he makes a Performance Combat check. Given that they can be prompted by hitting on a charge attack, getting a critical hit with an energy burst weapon, rolling maximum weapon damage or scoring multiple hits against the same foe in a single round, he's likely to make more than a few.

Bottom line: both of them can try to demoralize a whole bunch of enemies multiple times during a typical combat.

My question - what should happen with the DC and duration of their effects? Demoralize can't stack with itself to make a foe frightened or panicked, all it can ever do is make the foes shaken. By the rules, same character using Intimidate's "demoralize" effect multiple times just extends the duration of the effect (though they're not explicit as to whether the new duration is added to the old one, or just replaces it). However:

1) Does the "try again" aspect of Intimidate apply to successive successful uses of demoralize, or just failures? In other words, does each successive attempt to demoralize have it's DC increase by 5?

2) How do their efforts interact? Are the DCs and durations independent, or do their durations and DCs stack with each other? For example:
a) Separate Minds option - Ogres with an Intimidate DC of 14 - Inquisitor casts Blistering Invective, rolls an Intimidate check of 27, demoralizing them for 3 rounds. Fighter charges in and hits, succeeds on his Performance Combat check, and makes an Intimidate check of 29, demoralizing them for 4 rounds. His effect is longer than the Intimidator's and completely subsumes it, so the end result is that the ogres are shaken for 4 rounds (plus the fire damage from the spell).

b) Team Players option - Ogres with an Intimidate DC of 14 - Inquisitor casts Blistering Invective, with an Intimidate check of 27, demoralizing them for 3 rounds. Fighter charges in and hits, succeeds on his Performance Combat check, and makes an Intimidate check of 29 (but the ogres now have an Intimidate DC of 19, assuming the +5 to DC modifier applies to successes as well as failures), demoralizing them for 3 rounds. The durations stack, so the ogres are shaken for 6 rounds.

c) Nerf Bat option - the durations don't stack, but the DCs do - DC for the fighter to use Intimidate still goes up to 19 after the Inquisitor casts Blistering Invective, and they both wind up demoralizing the ogres for 3 rounds, but the effects are concurrent, meaning the Fighter would have been better off waiting until the Inquisitor's effect expired.

Grand Lodge

Sure, the malleability of the class is a blast - choose your feats to create your character concept of choice and make it sing. For powergamers and optimizers, there are certain instances where you're a world breaker, but with the exception of "non-magic-users-need-not-apply" encounters, you're still highly useful and contributing the rest of the time.

Plus the "real-worldness" of the abilities of fighters and rogues makes it easier to flesh them out and make them feel "lived-in" in terms of development, learning, progression, history, et al. As opposed to spellcasting classes where it's just "I've leveled up, so my understanding of this mysterious construction called MAGIC has deepened," given that there's no real-world analogue to use as frame of reference. Not that the latter can't be done, but more people than not are too lazy to bother.

My only actual quibble with the PF version of fighter is that Armor Mastery's DR doesn't stack with adamantine armor. C'mon, cut the higher level meat sacks a break! ;)

Grand Lodge

Believe I have a solution. There is an actual official slot-occupying wondrous item which can grant expeditious retreat, and we can use it to calculate a reasonable pricing for "Boots of Expeditious Retreat." Check the Ultimate Equipment Guide for the Pirate's Eye Patch.

Eye Patch, Pirate’s
Aura faint transmutation; CL 2nd
Slot eye; Price 2,600 gp; Weight —

This black silk eye patch is adorned by a skull and crossbones worked in silver thread.

The wearer of this patch gains a +2 competence bonus on Swim and Climb checks. In addition, once per day, the wearer of this eye patch can gain the effects of either touch of the sea or expeditious retreat on command (wearer’s choice).

Craft Wondrous Item, expeditious retreat, touch of the sea; Cost 1,300 gp.

So let's break this down using the Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values from the Core Rulebook. CL2 item, grants a pair of +2 bonuses to skill checks, and a single daily charge to activate your choice of two 1st level spells in a 24 hour period (expeditious retreat and touch of the sea), for a total cost of 2,600gp.

Of that cost, the skill bonuses are the easiest to factor out (2^2+2^2)*100 = 800gp. That means the remaining cost of the 1/day use of one of the two spells runs you 1,800gp.

It's a command item, which means a base cost of 1,800*Spell Level*Casting Level*number of daily charges/divided by 5 for having daily charges. Since it's including 2 spells, you calculate both separately, multiply one of them by 1.5 (the cheaper one if applicable), and add the two costs together. So:

Expeditious Retreat = 1,800*1st level spell*1st level casting*0.5 daily charges/5 = 180gp.
Touch of the Sea = 1,800*1*1*0.5/5 = 180gp.

Since they're the same cost, multiply either one by 1.5, which yields 270gp+180gp for 450gp. So clearly that's not how they calculated the value of the Pirate's Eye Patch. Perhaps they also factored in the length of the spell, even though that's only supposed to apply to continuous effect items? In any event, the total cost for the two spells is 4 times what it would be by just following TRAW. Let's call that the "premium" for using Expeditious Retreat or similar 1st level movement effects as the focus for a permanent magical item.

So to go with that logic, let's propose three different types of Boots of Expeditious Retreat - continuous spell effect item, command word item, and command word item with a non-consecutive duration (like the Boots of Speed, which don't require you to use the daily allowance of rounds consecutively).

Boots of Expeditious Retreat (Continuous Use)
2,000gp*1st level spell*1st level caster*2 (1 min/lvl duration spell)*4 for "Expeditious Retreat premium" = 16,000gp

Boots of Expeditious Retreat (charge or charges)
1,800gp*1st level spell*1st level caster* N number of charges per day*4 for the "Expeditious Retreat Premium"/5 for having charges = a cost of 1,440gp for every daily charge (1 minute), free action to activate, effect lasts for 10 consecutive rounds.

Boots of Expeditious Retreat (charge or charges, rounds need not be consecutive)
Use Boots of Speed as a further cost template for pricing the privilege of not having to take a haste/speed effect all at once in continuous duration.

Boots of Speed cost 12,000gp. It's a command item with 2 charges per day of a 3rd level spell, 5th level caster (the effect lasts for 10 rounds/day, haste is a 1 round/level spell, so for a 5th level caster, 10 rounds/day = 2 castings). 12,000gp cost is the result of the formula Base Cost(normally 1,800gp)*3rd level spell*5th level caster*2 daily charges/5 for being a daily charge item. For your normal command item, your Base Cost would usually be 1,800gp, as stated in the table. In this case, it's 2,000gp. So we can extrapolate that the premium for "non-consecutive rounds of effect" is adding an extra 1/9th (11.1% to the base price), and using 2,000gp rather than 1,800gp.

For non-consecutive Boots of Expeditious retreat: 2,000gp*1st level spell*1st level caster*1 daily charge*4 for"Expeditious Retreat premium"/5 for having charges = 1,600gp/daily charge, free action to activate, rounds need not be consecutive.

So yes, continuous effect is much more costly (16K), and is therefore less attractive for a lower level party (and a would-be munchkin). However, the daily charge(s) command item (1.44 or 1.6K) as a possible Boots slot item seems like an excellent choice for a low to mid-level character who doesn't have the cash to fork out for Boots of Speed.

To create a smell test for the math - consider the relative cost of creating a set of Boots of Speed which had a continuous effect rather than the 2 daily charges of the version found in the Core Rulebook. The base version costs 12,000gp, whereas Boots of Expeditious Retreat that worked the same way would have a cost of 1,600gp, so they cost 7.5 times as much. Continuous effect Boots of Expeditious Retreat are 16K, so continuous effect Boots of Speed should be in the neighborhood of 120K if the 7.5 multiplier holds. 2,000gp*3rd level spell*5th level casting*4 for having a duration of rounds level = 120K. Voila.

Grand Lodge

Yeah, found it, the way Try Again is written implies that the circumstances and rules therein should apply to successive attempts to use the same skill against the same target and/or in the same situation, it doesn't stipulate that the first attempt had to fail for the Try Again conditions to apply. In the case of Diplomacy, the Try Again section stipulates that you can't use Diplomacy to influence a creature's attitude more than once in a 24-hour period, succeed or fail. In the case of Intimidate, the +5 penalty lasts until an hour passes, though the issue of whether characters trying to Intimidate the same target would share the penalty is still up for debate.

From Using Skills in the Core Rulebook:

"Try Again: Any conditions that apply to successive attempts to use the skill successfully. If the skill doesn't allow you to attempt the same task more than once, or if failure carries an inherent penalty (such as with the Climb skill), you can't take 20. If this paragraph is omitted, the skill can be retried without any inherent penalty other than the additional time required."

From the Skill Description entry for Intimidate:

"Demoralize: You can use this skill to cause an opponent to become shaken for a number of rounds. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the target's Hit Dice + the target's Wisdom modifier. If you are successful, the target is shaken for 1 round. This duration increases by 1 round for every 5 by which you beat the DC. You can only threaten an opponent in this way if they are within 30 feet and can clearly see and hear you. Using demoralize on the same creature only extends the duration; it does not create a stronger fear condition.

Try Again: You can attempt to Intimidate an opponent again, but each additional check increases the DC by +5. This increase resets after 1 hour has passed."

From the Skill Description for Diplomacy:

"Try Again: You cannot use Diplomacy to influence a given creature's attitude more than once in a 24-hour period. If a request is refused, the result does not change with additional checks, although other requests might be made. You can retry Diplomacy checks made to gather information."

Grand Lodge

BillyGoat wrote:

3- My reading of "Try Again" has always, for all skills, been applicable to "if you fail the check, this is the penalty". I (personally) don't apply Try Again rules to effects that are intended to be iterative on success, such as demoralize.

The wording in the PCR for "Try Again" never stipulates whether it applies to all attempts, or just to attempts following failure, but almost all of its conditions reference back to having previously failed.


3- And even if you feel that "Try Again" applies to skill checks following a successful check, the 2nd character attempting to demoralize the foe has not previously tried to demoralize them. As such, they are not "trying again".

Does it work that way? In the same way as you can't try to use Diplomacy on the same target more than once in a day once you succeed, I had read it as regardless of whether you succeed or fail, the DC to keep Intimidating the same foe increases as they become more familiar with you. If you try to get inside someone's head and fail, it's obviously harder to regain your composure and win the battle of wills if you try a second time. But at the same time shouldn't it also get progressively harder to keep getting in the same target's head over and over again in combat? Shouldn't they begin to catch on to the gambit? Don't get me wrong, I would love it if you're right, but it feels a little cheap.

Grand Lodge

Prepping for a big day tomorrow (large party of veteran players, and a GM who's been licking his chops and sending us evil messages about the massive encounter he's spent the last month building for us, so we're expecting the worst). Hoping to get an answer to a tactical question, since this is the first time our party will be up against a large number of foes with more than 2HD.

Our party includes three characters with significant Intimidate bonuses, an Inquisitor with a love of Blistering Invective, a Fighter/Bard with Dazzling Display and a half-orc Paladin. Ordinarily, encounters haven't lasted long enough or weren't filled with enough "stand and fight" melee threats for us to need much more than the Inquisitor's Blistering Invective.

Our Party's three-part rules question: it's well established that multiple uses of the Demoralize function of Intimidate can't/don't create a worse fear condition (Frightened, Panicked), and that if you want to try it against the same opponent multiple times, you take an interative +5 to the DC (unless an hour has passed), and this extends the length of the shaken effect. So...

1) If multiple players Intimidate (Demoralize) the same opponent, do the durations stack/extend in the same way as it does when done twice by the same player?
2) Do you add the rounds of Shaken resulting from the 2nd Intimidate roll to the end of the existing Shaken effect, does it replace the original duration, or does it exist independently? e.g. 1st round, Inquisitor does Blistering Invective and demoralizes a 30' radius of ogres for 4 rounds. 2nd round, Fighter/Bard performs Dazzling Display on the same group of ogres and demoralizes them for 4 rounds. Does that mean the Shaken effect will last through round 8, or does the Fighter/Bard's effect replace or not affect the first effect, meaning the Inquisitor's will expire after Round 4, and the Fighter/Bard's will expire after Round 5? If the latter, it make it pointless for a second Intimidator to try to demoralize the foes until the first effect had or was about to expire, or if they had a mostly new group of foes in their 30' radius.
3) Would the second player trying to Intimidate an already demoralized foe take a +5 to the DC like he/she would if it was the same player trying it twice? Or does the fact that you're making them scared of a new person nullify that? Suspect that all 3 of these questions can't resolve in the party's favor, but I'm hoping.