Eldran Tesh

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In my game, I need an NPC party made of fey. For game reasons, they need to be creatures that started out not very powerful (about CR 3 or less and CR 1/4 is fine) and have grown powerful through adventuring.

They will be fighting the PCs at level 16 or higher, so I expect that most of them have a lot of class levels, although an advanced form with a lot of extra natural hit dice is possible, if that development is plausible on the timescale of PC leveling.

A mixed race party is also possible and probably likely. (Good fighter races rarely are also good caster races.) There will definitely be a straight up fight, although some previous indirect interaction is possible.

What would work to make a good party?

Fine print: I am running the original pathfinder, not the playtest. 3rd party sources are fine.


Does the ability to reflect a Phantasmal Killer spell back on the caster work with any type of telepathic link, or only if you have an inherent telepathy ability or the helm?

A player of mine is asking about using it with Telepathic Bond. I am not sure how they plan to make this work, since Telepathic Bond requires a willing target, but I suspect they will be able to find a way. (My first guess would involve enchantment spells.)

I can see either way applying: you do not have the ability named telepathy, but you do have the ability to communicate telepathically.


The last session ended mid-combat with much of the party grappled. (Yay Black Tentacles.) They are looking for ways, beyond Dim Door, Grease and Aid Another, for one character to help another get out of a grapple.

One concept that came up is Drag. One PC would be attempting to drag a willing PC out of the area of the grapple. The rules do not seem to support this, although it does make sense.

Does anyone know of optional rules or common house rules (or even official rules that I am overlooking) to let this work?


Let's say that your are a succubus , leading a demon horde that is invading the city. You learn that the PCs are leading a party of about a dozen heroes to assault your headquarters in the sewers, and that they are about two hours away. They have shown themselves compentent, and you are worried that they might be able to defeat your plan.

You have access to three Major Creation spells. What do you create?


It could also happen if you trigger a readied action on your turn, and that action provokes.

There are probably other feats or class abilities that allow you to create attacks of opportunity on your turn.

It is probably a fairly weak bonus for mythic characters, but there are definitely ways that it could happen.


I believe that the reason it is now all or nothing is that in D&D 3.x, figuring out how much to power attack turned into a major calculation for some players.

There are equations and spreadsheets to allow you to calculate the optimal penalty to take. It is fairly simple if you have a good idea of what the target's AC is and you are only making one attack. OTOH, if you have multiple attacks, it gets rather complicated.

I can certainly imagine finer divisions than "I swing hard" and "I swing normal". I have trouble imagining the granularity achieved by a 20th level D&D fighter, who could power attack for +0, -20 or any value in between.

The house rule seems reasonable, especially if you don't become "that guy" that SlimGauge is talking about.


PhelanArcetus wrote:

I've generally treated breath of life (and revivify back in 3.5) as retaining all spells.

This is for a few reasons:


  • Limitations; in addition to not working on death effects, it also must be cast within 1 round and can fail to heal enough damage to restore the character to life. Even then the character can end up unconscious.
  • Flavor: my understanding of why the spell worked has always been, essentially, "the soul has not yet left the body"; that's the 1 round limit, effectively.
  • Ease of play: If it loses all spells, the caster brought back up is possibly useless for the rest of the fight (and at risk). If it works like raise dead, suddenly you need to stop, mid-combat, to see what spells the character still has. That's a big pain in the neck.

This is what I would say, and for the same reasons.


I have a player asking about using Use Magic Device with Mnemonic Vestment to cast a spell that is not on his spell list with a UMD check.

The relevant parts of the rules are

Use Magic Device:
Use a Scroll: Normally, to cast a spell from a scroll, you must have the scroll's spell on your class spell list. Use Magic Device allows you to use a scroll as if you had a particular spell on your class spell list. The DC is equal to 20 + the caster level of the spell you are trying to cast from the scroll. ... This use of the skill also applies to other spell completion magic items.

Mnemonic Vestment:
If the wearer is a spontaneous caster, once per day she may use a spell slot to cast a spell from a written source (such as a scroll or spellbook) as if she knew that spell. The spell must be on her spell list, the same spell level or lower than the expended spell slot, and the same type of spell (arcane or divine) as the spell slot expended.

I don't think it will work for a Sorcerer casting a Paladin spell, since UMD says nothing about changing the arcane/divine nature of the spell, while the vestment explicitly requires that to match.

I am less clear about a Sorcerer casting a Bard spell. The arcane/divine problem is not present. One one hand, UMD says "as if you had a particular spell on your class spell list". On the other hand, this is talking about directly casting it from the scroll and explicitly extends it to only spell completion items. Since the vestment does not consume the scroll, it is not a spell completion item.

If it does not work by the rules, would a house rule to allow it to work be a bad idea? I suspect that allowing arcane users access to other arcane spells would not be a serious problem, but I can see arcane/divine combos being problematic. Mixing 3/4 and full caster spell lists could also be a problem: I'm not sure that I want to see a Magus casting Righteous Might or Harm, even if it is only once a day.


EWHM wrote:

Ilja,

On contact other plane, if your GM allows you to take 10, you do. If he doesn't, you use the priest of law ability to 'take 11'. It's easier to assume 'best practices'. Most deities have an intel network that will put yours to shame.

The spell specifically says that you cannot take 10.

The NPC's in question are around level 12-14.

Thanks for the suggestions.


What sort of defenses would a mid to high level NPC have against assassination?

To provide context, they live in a large city and are among the leaders of the city. The city is has a definite Lawful Evil bend, and the laws are written so that, if you are powerful enough, you can get away with almost anything. It is less that, if you killed your most powerful enemy, that you would be acquitted in court, but the trial would be delayed, and then key evidence would be declared inadmissible. The trial might never happen, or the prosecution might be hindered enough that a conviction would be unlikely. Or you might offer a scapegoat and have him convicted instead. (Even better if you make another of your enemies the scapegoat.)

The city runs on an ever shifting set of alliances, both between equals and patronage style. As a result, having several lower level NPCs to help with the defenses is perfectly reasonable.

I've already though of Alarm spells and Contingency+Defensive/Escape spell. However, Dim Door still lets them bring in the caster and three others. The others should get an attack in the surprise round, which can be rather debilitating.


It looks like the feat is missing the requirement that you use a melee weapon. As written, it appears that I can shoot you from 300 feet away with a long bow (arrows do piercing damage), and then somehow pull you right next to me.


The PC's in my game are in a lawful neutral city. The powers that be have had decades to work on the laws of the city, with the result being that the law is generally ambiguous and/or contradictory. The rules for collecting evidence have been similarly twisted. The end result is, if you are sufficiently powerful, you can generally get charges against you dismissed by having a favorable judge either rule the evidence inadmissible, or that what you did was not actually against the law.

Similar techniques are often effective at getting someone less powerful than you convicted if you desire to exert your influence against them.

The PC's are about to attempt to take down an operation of questionable legality, and will want to not just go in and kill everyone (as that could lead to murder charges against them) but apprehend and turn them over to the authorities for prosecution. This will require them to collect evidence for the future trial and not break any of the many rules in the process. They have a copy of the rules, which are large, complicated and contradictory. ("Section 6.3.7.4.3 says you must do what section 8.4.5.3.2a appears to forbid.")

What are some good ideas on how to do this?


Ambrus wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I believe we should begin with establishing Batman's alignment.
No problem. Here you go.

Excellent. My thoughts on the matter are well supported. :-P


The other advantages of Lay on Hands is you can use a Mercy.

Also, if there is only one person needing healing, Lay on Hands provides more healing per use, since it only consumes one use.


Cloudkill has no save against targets with less than 4 HD.

Power Word Kill has no save if the target has 100 hit points or less.

Acid Fog does 2d6 damage per round to everyone in it. By that level, magic missile is doing more damage unless you want to target multiple opponents.

Ice Storm does a total of 5d6 damage.

There's probably a few others. The damage output is generally rather unimpressive for the level of the spell.


By default, supernatural abilities are a standard action to activate. The description doesn't say that, so that is what I would go with.


I don't see any roleplay benefit from it. I think they are just poorly designed talents.

If you take away the -2 to hit, then they at least become useful. Powerful Sneak increases the average damage per die from 3.5 to 3.67. Deadly Sneak increases it to 4.

At 19th level (10 sneak attack dice), that is an increase of 1.67 (powerful) or 5 (deadly) average damage per hit. So Powerful Sneak is slightly less powerful than weapon specialization (and requires that you are sneak attacking), while Deadly Sneak is slightly more powerful than WS and IWS. At level 1-14, both are less effective than a similar feat.

Since some talents are just feats, and a feat can replace a talent, it seems the benchmark strength for a talent should be a feat.


Black Wolf wrote:
I'm looking for a way for my animal companion (a dog) to bypass DR/Cold Iron. Greater Magic Fang doesn't allow it, Eldritch Claws applies only to silver and Amulet of Mighty Fists +3 costs 45k gp. So, aside from spending 45k on one natural attack (or 22.5k if I get someone to craft it), is there a way to obtain Cold Iron attacks?

Not by the rules. If you dog only has one attack, you can try to convince your GM to allow a modified amulet. The standard amulet is priced with the assumption that it is going on something with multiple attacks. It is reasonable to ask for an amulet that only modifies one attack and costs 18k (the cost of a +3 weapon).


It seems reasonable for the archer to be able to do that. It was probably designed with a caster in mind. A caster could get the same effect for less with a +1 mithral buckler, which also has 0% ASF and no armor check penalty. The buckler could also be upgraded, whereas it requires a house rule for the ring to be upgraded.

With an archer, it is less clear how the buckler would work. The text says that "You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying [a buckler]", so you shouldn't take the -1 penalty for using a weapon in the off hand. Whether you get the AC bonus after you shoot is less clear.


What David said.

There is some confusing terminology in D&D/Pathfinder, where similar words are used for different concepts.

There is attack. In the context of melee combat, this is using a weapon to attempt to damage an opponent. You roll 1d20 + modifiers, and then you roll damage if you hit. There are many ways to get an attack. Charge gives you an attack. A full attack gives you one or more attacks. Cleave lets you make one or two attacks. Spring Attack includes an attack.

There is also the attack action. This is a specific type of standard action, which allows you to make a single attack.

Vital Strike specifically references using an attack action. A charge allows you to move and make an attack, not an attack action. Spring Attack is similar. What you (and many others) want is for the Vital Strike benefit to start "Benefit: When you make an attack, you can ..."


There's only one problem with Permanent Greater Magic Fang: Dispel Magic.

One targeted Greater Dispel Magic from a 12th level caster could eliminate all of the spells if you are unlucky. If you manage to cast Permanency yourself (probably by UMD or putting a level into sorcerer or wizard), you are safe until you start encountering enemies with a caster level of the GMF scroll (which is 20 if you get the +5 bonus), but if someone else casts Permanency, any casting of Dispel Magic could end the effect.


Is there any logic to the cost of poisons? For 75 gp, you can get a dose of Drow poison, which knocks the target unconscious for at least a minute (i.e., the rest of the combat) and possibly for several hours. For an 90 gp (20% more cost), you can get small centipede poison, which has a DC that is 2 lower and does all of 1 Dex damage. The only advantage seems to be that it has a higher frequency.

Going from deathblade to wyvern poison almost doubles the cost (1800 to 3000), drops the DC by 3 and increase the effect from 1d3 Con to 1d4 Con. Given the drop in DC, I'd expect the cheaper one to inflict more damage in general.

Aside from the apparent lack of logic in the price, does the price generally seem high? A one shot item the duplicates the effect of Ray of Sickening would have a cost of 50 gp (less than any injury poison), but would act like -4 to all of the physical stats for most purposes. (Sickened is -2 to most rolls.)

If I don't object to the PC's using poison, would it be reasonable to lower the cost of poison? If so, how far?


To be fair, Empower will also do extra damage per target, per round damaged. Empower works better with spells that do a lot of damage once, e.g., Fireball. Burning Spell works better with spells that do a little bit of damage often, e.g., Acid Arrow.

Assuming you don't care about effects like turning off regeneration for multiple rounds or continuous damage, it does have to be very little damage. Even Flaming Sphere (3d6, second level spell) is better being Empowered (10.5/2=5.75) than Burning Spelled (2*2=4).


Set wrote:
(Yes, that's a lame idea, to treat alignment as some cheap, morally irrelevant point-game, but if evil spells can turn you evil for no reason at all, then good spells should be able to turn you good for no reason at all as well, or else the whole...

Here is how I think of that. If you are summoning an evil creature, casting the spell requires you to focus on that type of creature and what it does. You briefly, superficially take on a similar mind set to that of the creature. (That's why gods don't like their clerics casting evil spells.) If you do this often enough, the mind set becomes more natural to you and your alignment changes.

If you are a good person and spend six seconds thinking about what it would be like to kill a baby, you will probably end up saying "that was unpleasant". If you spend a minute or five doing that every day, you will eventually transition to a "yeah, it's time to think about killing babies" attitude (neutral) and then to a "baby killing time. I wonder how skewers would work" attitude (evil).


Protection from Evil is always good.

Remove Fear is occasionally useful.


Jestem wrote:
Also don't forget, just cause you have more abilities, doesn't mean that you have more actions. The official line is that it makes you a level or two more powerful at the most.

How powerful it is depends on how good your players are at optimizing. You have all the options of two characters, which should be about a 2 level boost. But you still only have one set of actions each round, which drops your power. (It also means you won't go through limited use abilities as quickly, so seven encounters a day might be reasonable.)

Ideally, you want to mix a class with a passive abilities that do not require actions with one with active abilities that do. A Wizard 10//Sorcerer 10 would barely be better than a plain Wizard 10 for the first two or three battles. Both have the same poor hit points, saves and BAB. The most powerful class abilities on either side require a standard action. You even have two casting stats instead of one.

A Paladin//Rogue is deadly in combat. Evasion and Divine Grace mean you almost always take no damage when you roll a reflex save. Full BAB means that many of your attacks hit, and Smite plus Sneak Attack means your DPR is immense. And you have hit points, can heal yourself while full attacking and are resistant/immune to many effects.


Additionally, you need to make them helpless, not just stunned or cowering for a coup de grace. (Unless there's a feat or class ability that I'm not thinking of.) A scroll or custom item casting Color Spray or Hold person would work at low levels or against humanoids, although the save DC will be low.


Is this supposed to replace something? If not, by level 6, your version is "get a free feat".

For a summon-focused build, having this ability probably also frees up two feat slots, as otherwise you would take spell focus(conjuration) and augment summoning. Given that, I think I would still want a higher failure chance, even at high level.

Also, I agree with what Omelite said.


The Forgotten wrote:
I'd have to say no. Being able to drop that many different effects at once would overpower wordspells.

It's a lot of effects, but its also a lot of low level effects. Is casting Shield, Protection from Evil, Vanish and Enlarge Person in a single action really more powerful than casting one of Suffocation, Polymorph or Waves of Fatigue?

(I'm using spells rather than words since I'm away from my books and don't have access to the word lists. Substitute appropriate words.)

I don't recall anything indicating that it could be done, but it certainly seems a reasonable house rule.


I was looking through the words of power last night, and I found something that looks wrong.

There are words which are clearly intended to replicate the effects of Raise Dead and (True) Resurrection. However, I did not see a costly material component.

Did I miss something, or does coming back from the dead now just cost a spell slot from your friendly local wordcasting cleric?


I recently realized that many levels from now, it would make sense for my players to encounter an enemy party that covers the traditional party roles (at least for combat) but consisted entirely of dragons.

Has anyone done an NPC party of dragons?

This would look like a typical adventuring party, except that it consists of dragons instead of PC races. There would be a tank, a healer, an arcane caster, scout and someone to generate DPR.

The immediate concerns that I can think of are these.

  • Dragons are designed to be effective as a solo encounter. Will 4-5 at once have a synergistic effect that makes them much stronger than expected?
  • Are there classes that do not work well when applied to a dragon?

There would be, for example, 4-5 saves against fearful presence and probably the same number of breath weapons in the first round. They would be lower since I'm probably using dragons with a CR 4 lower than what I would for a single encounter, but that's still a lot of chances to roll a 1 (or even a 5).

I think a dragon sorcerer and a dragon "fighter" would be effective. I less certain how well they would be able to handle the healer and scout rolls. Healing spells would be several levels behind, since a significant part of their CR comes from being a dragon.

I'm thinking about this now since this is also something that would be foreshadowed long before it actually happens.

Anybody have experience with this?


I think that the number of languages is a rule based artifact, rather than something strongly linked to reality. If I told you there were three people you had never met in the next room and you needed to determine who had the highest intelligence, would you just ask them how many languages they knew? (This is in real life, not the pathfinder universe.)

How many languages you know also has a cultural influence. Many (most?) Americans only know English, but many people most of the rest of the first world know English, their local language and possible another language. Do you really think the average intelligence of Americans is 10, while in rest of the first world, it is 12-14?

Also, in most RPG's that have a concept of carrying capacity, how much you can carry is related to whatever stat they use for strength. I don't think the intelligence/extra languages link is nearly that strong.

Within a d20 system, even extreme differences in stats have fairly minor differences in your likelihood of succeeding at a specific task. Consider two character built identically, except one has a 20 in a stat while the other has a 7. If the better character succeeds 50% of the time, the poorer character will still succeed 15% of the time. If the better one succeeds 90% of the time, the poorer still succeeds 55% of the time.

The main difference between them will be qualifying for feats and prestige classes (if the stat is Strength, only one of them can Power Attack or Cleave) and when you can take 10 and succeed.


Preferred Spell does have a prerequisite that is probably not very useful (Heighten Spell). On the other hand, GSS has requires an one more feat as a prerequisite and (if you are a cleric instead of a wizard) a possibly annoying stat requirement. Preferred Spell has a better benefit, as metamagic does not increase the casting time.

The prerequisites might balance them out, but I suspect that about 95% of time, Preferred Spell will be a better option.


I don't think that a staff magus what the rules are written for. Their main shtick is essentially Two Weapon Fighting, where the off-hand weapon is a spell. Quarterstaffs are for TWF, where the off-hand weapon is the other end of the staff.

Unfortunately, your build is sort of like trying to build a rogue for high damage output without using sneak attack. The rules allow you to try to do it, but you are not going to be very successful.


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Valandil Ancalime wrote:


Questions; (assiume Combat Reflexes, so multiple AOO are possible)
1- If you use these feats to follow a target that moves more than 5', how many attacks do you get, 1 for SuaS or 2 SuaS + an Aoo for movement (as it leaves a threatened hex)? In other words, does the SuaS attack (which "counts as one of your attacks of opportunity for the round") count as the movement provoked Aoo or is it seperate from that?

If your opponent is moving more than 5 feet, he is not taking a 5 foot step and step up does not trigger. Since the remaining feats says "when using Step Up (or Following Step)", none of the feats in the chain are useful in this circumstance.

The only time this might apply is if the opponent is also using Following Step (or SUaS) and you have decided that the 10 feet of movement is part of your 5 foot step.


An oracle with the blind curse has her vision limited to 30 or 60 feet but gains darkvision.

Deepsight increases the range of your vision from 60 feet to 120 feet.

Is there a reason this combination should not work?

The thematic reason that I can see for not allowing it is that most creatures with darkvision can see with normal vision for as far as line of sight exists. An oracle can only see 30 or 60 feet with any type of vision. The feat is not only extending the range of her darkvision, but extending the range of all her vision.

I think that RAW, the combination works, so I'm more looking for RAI and/or balance considerations.


I've seen the FAQ button on threads, so I assumed that there was a FAQ about pathfinder specific questions like "how does stealth work in this situation?".

However, the links at the top of the page seem to only point to a general FAQ about things like "what is pathfinder" and "how do I use the messages boards".

Is there a link somewhere that I'm missing?


The Chort wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:
Flux Vector wrote:
You can still trade a standard action for a swift action, though.
That has to be a house rule since nowhere in Pathfinder or 3.X is that an actual rule.
+1

Actually, you can do this within the core rules if you don't mind it being the last action of your turn.

You perform the rest of your actions, and then ready a swift action with a trivial trigger, like the sun is shining or I am in combat. The trigger immediately applies and you perform the readied (swift) action. It's technically not even your original turn anymore, so the "1 swift action per turn" rule does not apply.


Rory wrote:


According to the rule you quoted...

The Chort wrote:
Sorcerers and Bards: Sorcerers and bards choose spells as they cast them. They can choose when they cast their spells whether to apply their metamagic feats to improve them. As with other spellcasters, the improved spell uses up a higher-level spell slot. Because the sorcerer or bard has not prepared the spell in a metamagic form in advance, he must apply the metamagic feat on the spot. Therefore, such a character must also take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than he does to cast a regular spell. If the spell's normal casting time is a standard action, casting a metamagic version is a full-round action for a sorcerer or bard. (This isn't the same as a 1-round casting time.) The only exception is for spells modified by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat, which can be cast as normal using the feat.

...it does take longer to spontaneously cast a swift action spell when adding meta-magic, however, it is not defined how long it does take.

The increase only applies for a spell with a casting time of a standard action, which is not the case here. Empowered Cold Ice Strike is still a swift action. In fact, Empowered Summon Monster I is only a 1 round casting time as well.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

since you already own the books you should be able to get the PDF versions and just carry all your books on a thumbdrive.

I think you only get the pdf's for free if you are a subscriber.


At worst, I can only see this applying to reading scrolls (or any other spell completion item).

Looking at d20pfsrd, we see

Spell Completion wrote:
This is the activation method for scrolls. A scroll is a spell that is mostly finished. The preparation is done for the caster, so no preparation time is needed beforehand as with normal spellcasting. All that's left to do is perform the finishing parts of the spellcasting (the final gestures, words, and so on).
Spell Trigger wrote:
Spell trigger activation is similar to spell completion, but it's even simpler. No gestures or spell finishing is needed, just a special knowledge of spellcasting that an appropriate character would know, and a single word that must be spoken.
Command Word wrote:
Command word activation means that a character speaks the word and the item activates. No other special knowledge is needed.

Spell completion is a lot like casting, and you could even argue that since you are finishing casting, you curse benefit applies.

For a spell trigger device (e.g., a wand), you are not finishing the spell, so the spell failure should not apply. For a command word item, you are so far from spell casting that you do not even need any spell casting ability.


Paladins can use a wand from first level. They are even the example given.

prd wrote:
Spell trigger items [including wands] can be used by anyone whose class can cast the corresponding spell. This is the case even for a character who can't actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin.

The reason I'd hesitate to play a paladin is that, at first level, the only healing you have is the wand, since lay on hands is a second level ability. If you are starting at second level or higher this obviously does not apply.

I recently finished a game where, from about level 10 to 15, our healing was a sword and board paladin and a rogue with UMD and some wands. If you do go this course, you will want to be prepared to spend some feats on Extra Channel and Extra Lay On Hands, as a straight cleric still has more

With only three people, channel energy is less effective, since it will (at most) heal three people.

The other option to consider is a druid. The animal companion is the tank. This could be challenging, as you would like to use your spells to buff your companion or for battlefield control, but you also need to prepare some cure spells. You also get the higher level cure spells one level later and don't have the option to channel energy at all. This one seems plausible but might be difficult to make work.


srd wrote:
[A potion] can duplicate the effect of a spell of up to 3rd level that has a casting time of less than 1 minute and targets one or more creatures.

True strike has a range of personal, so it cannot be made into a potion. OTOH, true strike is on his "spell" list, so he could also use a scroll (which would be cheaper) or just create an infusion.

All three actions are standard action, so his sequence would be:

Round 1 (or before combat): Use feral mutagen
Round 2: Use True Strike
Round 3: Disarm

At this point, he has spent 2-3 rounds and done nothing more than disarm one opponent. This will sometimes be very effective (e.g., against Bob The Fighter Who Does Not Have A Backup Weapon) but will sometimes fail impressively (e.g., spell casters, creatures with natural weapons) or be minimally effective (party is fighting a group of 6 with no single boss).

Also, he need to spend two feats or provoke an AoO for the disarm attempt.

Creatures with natural weapons are considered armed, so I would assume that he does not incur the unarmed penalty.


They (and you) get the bonuses as soon as you start.


I'm fairly certain that in 3.x, it was explicit that it needed to be contiguous. From the text given there, Hogarth's reasoning is the only support that I can see for not allowing it to consist of multiple regions.


I think it is because magical ammunition can potentially be very powerful. A magical arrow can't really cost the same as a magical sword, as an archer will need 5-20 arrows in a combat, and won't be able to retrieve them until after the combat is over in most instances.

That then means that arrows are a good way to get an effect that is very situational for less than it would normally cost. For the cost of a +1 dragon bane sword, you can get 10 +1 dragon bane arrows, 10 +1 evil outsider bane arrows, 10 flaming arrows (for creatures vulnerable to fire), 10 human bane arrows and 10 undead bane arrows.

A high level archer can easily shoot more than 10 arrows in a single combat, but if he reserves them for just the shoots made at full BAB, those are likely to hit almost every time, doing an extra 2d6+2 damage per shot.

The cost of those arrows is also independent of the cost of the bow. When you have a +3 keen bow of speed, the 8k for those arrows isn't going to be a noticeable expenditure. If I was playing a high level archer and ammunition didn't break when it hit, I'd probably have a quiver with 10-20 of bane arrow for every type of creature that we might meet.

Having written this, I think the reason that magical ammunition breaks is because it is a way to add magic to your attacks that (mostly) stacks with your weapon bonus. Your fighter has a +1 icy burst spear that he spent 18k gold to get. If he wants to add another +1 enhancement to it, it is going to cost 14k gold. An archer with a +1 icy burst flaming bow can spend 8k gold to effectively do the same thing for 50 shots. (More if some miss and he can recover the arrows.)

Once the spear or bow have +10 total enhancements, the spear cannot be improved (without using epic rules), while the bow could gain an additional +9 enhancements from arrows.


It also looks like a ring with N levels costs N^2 * 2k gp.

The slotless item looks like they doubled and rounded down to get a simpler number.


You will want Shadow Strike, so that you can sneak attack creatures with concealment.

I don't think that you need to boost strength. Rogues don't do damage from strength; they do it from sneak attack dice. I just finished a game with a strength 10 halfing rogue. Unless the paladin was smiting, he often had the highest damage output, doing a full 1d4+0 before magic and sneak attack.

A +2 to strength gives you +1 or +0.5 damage per hit (depending on if it is the off-hand or not.) If you hit with half of your attacks, that is an average of +0.375 damage per attack. (Slightly more if you get an extra attack with your main hand from haste or something similar.)

A +2 to dex gives an additional 5% x (average damage) every time you swing on average since it drops the roll you need to hit by one. Once your average damage is 7.5 or higher (e.g., 1d6 (short sword) + 1d6 (sneak) + 1 (str)), you are getting more damage from boosting dex than strength.


Ellington wrote:
No, not really. It's a very powerful spell. It's just another boost to the monster that an archer in Pathfinder is. A 12th level Ranger with Instant Enemy and Gravity Bow can tear through pretty much any enemy in a couple of rounds with only one round of preparation. From range, to boot!

While using all of your first level spells for the day (except your bonus spells).

I think the problem there is more likely to be Instant Enemy than Gravity Bow. Instant Enemy is a swift action to cast, so you do not lose a round casting it. It is based on your favored enemy bonus, so it scales better with level. At the very least, you are guaranteed +2 to hit and damage (and +4 at level 5 and higher).

You also gain a similar bonus on some skill checks. (Admittedly, the skill checks will often be less useful, but if the enemy is a rogue who is hiding and/or feinting, they will help.)

The only down side is that it is a single target spell. It won't help clearing minions out of the way, but it will work well against the BBEG.


Gravity bow on a medium longbow will change 1d8 into 2d6. That is an average increase from 4.5 to 7, or +2.5. Magic Weapon is the same level spell, and grants +1 to hit and +1 to damage, with the same duration.

If you are creating a magic weapon, adding +1 costs the same as adding +1d6 damage (+3.5 on average). The extra damage from gravity bow is multiplied on critical hits. Most (all?) of the +1d6 enhancements are also subject to some additional form of resistance or other drawback.

Gravity Bow also only works on yourself. To cast it as a 1st level character, you need to be a sorcerer or a wizard. A ranger (for whom it is probably most effective) cannot cast it until 4th level, at which time other characters are getting second level spells. Magic Weapon can be cast on anybody's weapon.

The other similar spell is Flame Arrow, which is a third level spell. However, it has notable advantages. It adds +1d6 damage (but subject to fire resistance), but lasts 10 times longer. In addition, not only can someone else use the resulting arrows, you could give 10 of the affected arrows to 5 people and have them all use them. That in itself is likely worth a 2 level increase in the spell level.

I don't think that the spell is too strong for a first level spell. It might be a little stronger than Magic Weapon, but Magic Weapon is not in the "you must have this spell" category. The extra strength (if any) is certainly within the amount of variation seen within a single spell level.

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