Obvious Broken is still Obvious (Planar Binding FTW)


General Discussion (Prerelease)

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Liberty's Edge

GeraintElberion wrote:


But if the PC has to visit the City of Brass so that he/she can kidnap an Efreet it becomes less of a convenient wish-machine and more of a perilous journey across the planes to a really scary place. Or I suppose they could travel into the desert wilderness following ancient maps to the ancient City of Efreeti, which is quite an incredible adventure just to hassle an Efreet for a wish.

And it also becomes a great way to tell the player; "Only if you buy me the City of Brass boxed set." :D

I think you have a point here as well. The idea of seeking out the efreet for these wishes has a nice potential for plot development.

Perhaps a happy medium can be struck. A combination of factors can be implemented to prevent abuse.

But is this kind of change really worth it? Does it matter? Is this a flaw with the system or a problem with a certain sub-section of players?

Liberty's Edge

alleynbard wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:


And it also becomes a great way to tell the player; "Only if you buy me the City of Brass boxed set." :D

I think you have a point here as well. The idea of seeking out the efreet for these wishes has a nice potential for plot development.

Perhaps a happy medium can be struck. A combination of factors can be implemented to prevent abuse.

But is it all completely worth it?

That. Is. Ingenius.

Liberty's Edge

Hey,....you could lay the lil sumbich mudside wizard with the xp cost of the wish; say some crap like "it's only free if freely given."
It's at the compulsion of a spell. Genies and whatever usually gave the wishes away for somebody freeing them.
So if you're breaking the efreeti's balls to do the wish, then you gotta get sucked dry of experience points. So, that sux getting banged for 5,000 xp at that level. You get one, two wishes, then you gotta relearn to wipe your ass and tie your shoes.
Make some rules like that.
But that gets rid of the efreeti butstomp story, which makes me sad.

Liberty's Edge

I don't know if anybody said that either, but I'll try to read more on the thread; just if I don't post it now I might forget or something.

Shadow Lodge

Psychic_Robot wrote:
That's not an excuse NOT to fix something.

Here is a reason not to fix something:

Fixing any rule costs money. It costs money to discuss the possible fixes, to vet the fixes to be sure they don't break something else or would be unpopular to the majority of paying customers, to add the fix to the rulebook, to layout and produce the book with the fix in it. If the cost of all of these things added together exceeds the utility the average gamer is likely to get from the fix, then the fix shouldn't be added regardless of it's correctness. If the space consumed by the fix doesn't enhance the game as much as an alternate rule would, then for the cost, adding the new rule is a better decision than fixing a corner case in the old rule. The issue becomes even clearer when you consider that if everyone was to have "just that one rule fixed that bothered them" the rule book would be full of little new material and a bunch of patches to fix things that a wide majority of people do not believe are problems - and still you would have issues because one person's fix to a corner case would be unsuitable to others (This thread shows that well enough).

The perfect is the enemy of the good. The majority of people do not use the D&D rules to play a modified version of Gauntlet or Diablo, where characters run from scene to scene destroying everything in their wake and maximizing their "power ups" to gain "phat lootz". D&D can be played that way, but I don't recall that being a scenario discussed in the introduction to the rulebooks. The D&D rules are no more suited to that type of game then the code behind Diablo is suited to telling stories of heroic adventure.

Chris Mortika put it best upthread:

Chris Mortika wrote:
If a rules isn't fulfilling its purpose, it should be fixed; we're agreed on that. If a set of rules can be abused outside of its purpose, then that's not so much a problem with the rules.


James Jacobs wrote:
The best solution, I think, is to fix the efreeti, to be honest. Rework his wish powers or something. Or make it so the efreeti who CAN grant wishes are 19 HD...

The blurb clearly states that Efreeti "are infamous for their hatred of servitude, desire for revenge, cruel nature and ability to beguile and mislead."

So if a mage is going to use planar binding on a creature with access to plane shift and the above attitude, he had better sleep with one eye open for the rest of his life or prepare to have his abode burnt to the ground while he is off adventuring. As a DM I would have no problems making the wizard/sorcerer pay for his actions, especially one that is not really in the spirit of the game.

James fix would fix the exploit, but until then it is the job of the DM to sort it out.


Lich-Loved wrote:


Chris Mortika wrote:
If a rules isn't fulfilling its purpose, it should be fixed; we're agreed on that. If a set of rules can be abused outside of its purpose, then that's not so much a problem with the rules.

100%


Lich-Loved wrote:

Here is a reason not to fix something:

Fixing any rule costs money. It costs money to discuss the possible fixes, to vet the fixes to be sure they don't break something else or would be unpopular to the majority of paying customers, to add the fix to the rulebook, to layout and produce the book with the fix in it. If the cost of all of these things added together exceeds the utility the average gamer is likely to get from the fix, then the fix shouldn't be added regardless of it's correctness. If the space consumed by the fix doesn't enhance the game as much as an alternate rule would, then for the cost, adding the new rule is a better decision than fixing a corner case in the old rule. The issue becomes even clearer when you consider that if everyone was to have "just that one rule fixed that bothered them" the rule book would be full of little new material and a bunch of patches to fix things that a wide majority of people do not believe are problems - and still you would have issues because one person's fix to a corner case would be unsuitable to others (This thread shows that well enough).

The perfect is the enemy of the good. The majority of people do not use the D&D rules to play a modified version of Gauntlet or Diablo, where characters run from scene to scene destroying everything in their wake and maximizing their "power ups" to gain "phat lootz". D&D can be played that way, but I don't recall that being a scenario discussed in the introduction to the rulebooks. The D&D rules are no more suited to that type of game then the code behind Diablo is suited to telling stories of heroic adventure.

Your walls of text are still filled with fail. By your reasoning, gate didn't need to be fixed.

Shadow Lodge

Psychic_Robot wrote:
By your reasoning, gate didn't need to be fixed.

Yep. Leaves more room for good stuff in my view.

Enjoy your game - if you can. That is what it is there for. You can wager that I certainly am.


Uh...what. Gate was so broken that it's not even funny. Why do you insist on saying these things?

Shadow Lodge

Psychic_Robot wrote:
Uh...what. Gate was so broken that it's not even funny. Why do you insist on saying these things?

OK, we won't talk about the cost factors of making the game the way you want it.

As to why I say these things, I simply do not care about the problem with gate because my players don't do something just because they could do something (in other places that is called self-restraint, in others, maturity). As for why I continue to say things like this to your obvious consternation, it is simply that your foot-stamping approach to the game I play and demands for change mean so infinitesimally little to me that there exists no microscope powerful enough to magnify your opinion to a point that I would begin to care about it.

I expect that you view my opinions in much the same way. You know, I am ok with that.


Wow. Just, wow. Lich-Loved, you are everything wrong with an open playtest.

You have this idiotic notion that a problem doesn't need to be addressed because YOU don't experience a problem. That's not a valid argument. You're the kind of person who says, "I don't believe that could be true," and believes that you've just won a debate. Okay, Lich-Loved, here's a conundrum that will totally blow your mind:

Let's say we both live in a country called Latveristan. On the west side of the country, people are starving to death. On the east side of the country, people are fine. In the capital of Latveristan, people are talking about passing laws that will help the starving citizens on the west side of the country. Some are opposed to it; others are for it.

Then you, Lich-Loved, come up to make your argument. "My fellow citizens, a change to our laws does not need to be made. My friends, family, and acquaintances on the east side of the country are all in good health. There is no food shortage here. Perhaps the people on the west side of the state shouldn't be jerks."

Then I come up to make my argument. "Latveristanians, we've got a problem. It is written into the law that people can do X, Y, and Z, which is causing the food shortage. We need to enact legislation that will change X, Y, and Z so that this sort of abuse can't happen in the future. Otherwise, even if everyone decides not to use X, Y, and Z, it will still be legal, and someone will start doing it again in the future."

Now stop posting before you give Pathfinder hepatitis.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Psychic_Robot wrote:
Wow. Just, wow. Lich-Loved, you are everything wrong with an open playtest.

Seeing your posts, I can't believe that is true.

Scarab Sages

Psychic_Robot wrote:
Wow. Just, wow. Lich-Loved, you are everything wrong with an open playtest.

While I disagree with his 'I just ignore it' stance, I definately don't think he's everything wrong with an open playtest.

But please, go on with how we are all dumb.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As someone who does lots of Planar Binding and summoning in general in his current campaign, the "wish thing" is an issue but one with some simple fixes. (Please note the efreet isn't the only issue here, there's other legal bindings in the other 3.5e books with wish etc.)

Summoning notes that summoned creatures lose teleport/planar travel abilities and summoning abilities. You could simply note that summons can't Wish (although this is a little arbitrary - Wish is just a ninth level spell, and do you rule out other ninth level spells?) Many demons can cast symbols, reverse gravity, and other real high level spells. Anyway, no summons can cast/grant Wish currently.

Binds don't have any restrictions listed - frankly the most consternating and common ability is the summoning (most demons/devils/yugoloths can summon buddies) and that could be similarly ruled out.

For the record you can't summon efreet, just bind them. You can summon djinn, which normally can't grant wishes except the 1% noble ones - a player might be able to browbeat their DM into rolling percentile every time they summon one I guess.

For those interested in all the ins and outs of summoning, I offer up the Legal 3.5 Summonable Monster List (complete list of all summonables with analysis) and the complete list of binds within the Mastering the Malconvoker thread.

"Fixing the efreet" is not a sufficient solution because there's other legal binds that grant Wishes (see CharOp thread linked above). And really there's no guarantee more won't be added - new monsters are auto-added to Binding. Specific monsters are added to Summoning in their listings, so there's some control there but not by you :-)

Now, with the binding you have to negotiate for the service - you could say casting a Wish counts as the entire service for your bind. And binding isn't automatically successful; there's Will saves to resist, CHA check to disagree, etc. In reality if you get max one wish as the bound creature's service, it's going to take a while and be dangerous to do what you suggest.

My preferred solution - Wish should not be a spell. It should be a "super special" thing - maybe not fully a plot device but something that's not a "cast a couple times a day". If it's cheap like that, then of course people will get access to it.

In our game, I basically have the good taste to not have my bindings grant wishes or summon. Thus it hasn't come up, as my DM would surely call BS on it anyway. (Not a reason not to fix it, oh psychic robot please don't hurt me)

Dark Archive

Psychic_Robot:

I going to give you some advice for your own benefit.

I don't really care for your demeanor, nor a number of your opinions. You come off as degrading toward people in general, and your wording is inflammatory at times. That having been said, you're good at finding problems. You're also good at figuring out fixes to those problems and the math behind the game. So, I would prefer it if you stayed. However, I feel this is going down the same tired road, and it won't end up good for you. In the hopes of preventing something causing you to leave or be banned here is my advice.

Don't argue with Lich-Loved. You're not going to convince him and you're only likely to hurt your image, and cause others to lower their opinions of you (which will cause them to be more argumentative toward you, leading to a repeating circle where you're the bad guy). If the argument turns for the worst, or gos on for too long, odds will be that the Paizo staff will feel the need to moderate, and likely give a 1 week suspension to all parties involved. Then you're like to follow in Frank's and K's footsteps, feel that paizo does not value your opinion, and leave. And while I dislike your demeanor, you skills are useful and it would be preferred if you stayed and helped.

You don't have to argue with the other posters. You don't have to convince them a single **** thing. The only people you have to convince is the Paizo staff, and Jason in particular. Since that is the only thing you need to do, and that the Staff has said tone of the message matters and the fact that you can come off as insulting toward others debating you, don't debate them. You are only going to hurt yourself, and waste your time. Especially against people like Lich-Loved, who aren't going to change their opinions. Worry about convincing the Paizo staff, and don't worry about changing everyone's opinions.

Dark Archive

Wow.. seriously, are we doing this again?

Back to the point.. to be honest, I've never encountered this before. Summoning an Efreeti with Planar Binding to cast Wishes for free.. never thought of it. Then again, if we did, I guarantee you that our DM would WishMaster the hell out of that!

One thing I'd do as a DM is require a gold cost similar to having an NPC spellcaster cast a spell, regardless of whether it's a spell-like ability or an actual spell. Including that with the description of Planar Binding as a potential 'fix', would that be something some of you might do?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Psychic_Robot wrote:

Wow. Just, wow. Lich-Loved, you are everything wrong with an open playtest.

You have this idiotic notion that a problem doesn't need to be addressed because YOU don't experience a problem. That's not a valid argument. You're the kind of person who says, "I don't believe that could be true," and believes that you've just won a debate. Okay, Lich-Loved, here's a conundrum that will totally blow your mind:

Let's say we both live in a country called Latveristan. On the west side of the country, people are starving to death. On the east side of the country, people are fine. In the capital of Latveristan, people are talking about passing laws that will help the starving citizens on the west side of the country. Some are opposed to it; others are for it.

Then you, Lich-Loved, come up to make your argument. "My fellow citizens, a change to our laws does not need to be made. My friends, family, and acquaintances on the east side of the country are all in good health. There is no food shortage here. Perhaps the people on the west side of the state shouldn't be jerks."

Then I come up to make my argument. "Latveristanians, we've got a problem. It is written into the law that people can do X, Y, and Z, which is causing the food shortage. We need to enact legislation that will change X, Y, and Z so that this sort of abuse can't happen in the future. Otherwise, even if everyone decides not to use X, Y, and Z, it will still be legal, and someone will start doing it again in the future."

Now stop posting before you give Pathfinder hepatitis.

Ah, but see the people in Western Latveristan have exactly the same money, tools, resources, climate, land, access to education and opportunity as the people in Eastern Latveristan. It’s just that they don’t really like farming and haven’t organised their processes when it comes to hoarding and distributing food.

So rather than give them food from the East, which will feed them for a while – until they run out, maybe they should be taught to use the resources (etc) they already have (exactly the same as the East has) more wisely, rather than squandering them and expecting the East to suffer because they can’t get their crap together.

(Of course, Latveristan could become a police state as per your proposal, with everyone being forced to do things that they should probably do out of common sense … yes, that’s one solution. Normally works out pretty well).

Is Pathfinder Hepatitas anything like Sorcerer Aids by the way? – ‘cos you know that one wasn’t very popular.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Go argue somewhere else dudes, the adults are talking, and you're just getting threads with decent content in them locked.

Jason - the problem with that approach is, which spells do you "charge for" - most summons and binds have spell-likes. Do you charge for wish, major creation, etc. but not for fireball? How do you draw the line? I can't think of a tenable answer to that... Maybe "any spell whose effect will remain after the creature departs" but a lot of these effects are "instantaneous" not "permanent"...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

I want to think P.R. for his posts. They made me really go and read thoroughly the spell in question and the Efreeti entry again.

And after doing so, I have a request of Jason: Please don't change a thing.

I can think of half a dozen adventures based on the wording of those two entries. A player can abuse them if a DM allows, but so what, a player can whine until the DM gives his first level rogue a ring of invisibility and a +5 vorpal blade.

The Planar Binding states the monster is always free to reject any unreasonable request leaving room for DM fiat. Furthermore it states that monsters can seek retaliation if they wish. The Efreeti all have plane shift and there are more of them then there are of any one wizard.

I think part of the issue is that some players see this as a game with rules that can be manipulated. I see this as a game with rules that we can use to tell stories. One of the tropes of fantasy literature (and any literature) is arrogant power hungry individuals who get their come-uppance by messing with powers beyond their control. If I ever had a player that wanted to mess with powers beyond his control like this, I would view it as a great opportunity for a little horror, a little morality lesson and an eventual pc death if the lesson goes unlearned.

After careful review I think the Efreeti's wish granting (and the Planar Binding) is a feature not a bug. YMMV.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Ernest Mueller wrote:
As someone who does lots of Planar Binding and summoning in general in his current campaign, the "wish thing" is an issue but one with some simple fixes. (Please note the efreet isn't the only issue here, there's other legal bindings in the other 3.5e books with wish etc.)

I have little interest in high level play, so this is honestly a question: are there any creatures powerful enough to grant wishes that would enjoy being jerked around by a bite sized mortal?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If things are really this broken, like infinite wealth loopholes and such … the question is should they be changed? Who are we helping by changing them? Who are we hurting?

The people who think that there isn’t really a problem don’t need them to be changed. Conversely, anyone who sees these loopholes as a problem obviously isn’t going to take advantage of them (otherwise they wouldn’t take advantage of them). Anyone who does use these loopholes obviously enjoys that aspect of the game; if their DM allows them to use those loopholes, the DM obviously doesn’t have a great problem with them. SO, by changing things so that the loopholes no longer exist, we are not helping the people who don’t use the loopholes (since it shouldn’t matter to them either way whether or not they exist) BUT we are lessening the enjoyment of the game for people who do like using them.

How’s that for twisted logic?


Wicht wrote:

I want to think P.R. for his posts. They made me really go and read thoroughly the spell in question and the Efreeti entry again.

And after doing so, I have a request of Jason: Please don't change a thing.

I can think of half a dozen adventures based on the wording of those two entries. A player can abuse them if a DM allows, but so what, a player can whine until the DM gives his first level rogue a ring of invisibility and a +5 vorpal blade.

The Planar Binding states the monster is always free to reject any unreasonable request leaving room for DM fiat. Furthermore it states that monsters can seek retaliation if they wish. The Efreeti all have plane shift and there are more of them then there are of any one wizard.

I think part of the issue is that some players see this as a game with rules that can be manipulated. I see this as a game with rules that we can use to tell stories. One of the tropes of fantasy literature (and any literature) is arrogant power hungry individuals who get their come-uppance by messing with powers beyond their control. If I ever had a player that wanted to mess with powers beyond his control like this, I would view it as a great opportunity for a little horror, a little morality lesson and an eventual pc death if the lesson goes unlearned.

After careful review I think the Efreeti's wish granting (and the Planar Binding) is a feature not a bug. YMMV.

^^^^ That's my DM! ^^^^


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wicht wrote:


The Planar Binding states the monster is always free to reject any unreasonable request leaving room for DM fiat. Furthermore it states that monsters can seek retaliation if they wish. The Efreeti all have plane shift and there are more of them then there are of any one wizard.

I think part of the issue is that some players see this as a game with rules that can be manipulated. I see this as a game with rules that we can use to tell stories. One of the tropes of fantasy literature (and any literature) is arrogant power hungry individuals who get their come-uppance by messing with powers beyond their control. If I ever had a player that wanted to mess with powers beyond his control like this, I would view it as a great opportunity for a little horror, a little morality lesson and an eventual pc death if the lesson goes unlearned.

After careful review I think the Efreeti's wish granting (and the Planar Binding) is a feature not a bug. YMMV.

Well, but some guidance is useful. One of the traditional problems with Wishes in fact, as well as Planar Binding, is that some DMs choose to maximally twist all wishes and make all binds totally unhelpful and dangerous all the time. I support leaving DM discretion but some guidance on how it probably should be used (like the sections in 3.5e on adjudicating illusions etc) would be welcomed.

Dark Archive

Wicht wrote:

I want to think P.R. for his posts. They made me really go and read thoroughly the spell in question and the Efreeti entry again.

And after doing so, I have a request of Jason: Please don't change a thing.

I can think of half a dozen adventures based on the wording of those two entries. A player can abuse them if a DM allows, but so what, a player can whine until the DM gives his first level rogue a ring of invisibility and a +5 vorpal blade.

The Planar Binding states the monster is always free to reject any unreasonable request leaving room for DM fiat. Furthermore it states that monsters can seek retaliation if they wish. The Efreeti all have plane shift and there are more of them then there are of any one wizard.

I think part of the issue is that some players see this as a game with rules that can be manipulated. I see this as a game with rules that we can use to tell stories. One of the tropes of fantasy literature (and any literature) is arrogant power hungry individuals who get their come-uppance by messing with powers beyond their control. If I ever had a player that wanted to mess with powers beyond his control like this, I would view it as a great opportunity for a little horror, a little morality lesson and an eventual pc death if the lesson goes unlearned.

After careful review I think the Efreeti's wish granting (and the Planar Binding) is a feature not a bug. YMMV.

Nice catch! Now I know I don't want to attempt that to get a Tome of Clear Thought +5 with our current DM.. he's just evil.

With that pointed out, to me at least, I don't think anything needs to be changed with Planar Binding.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tarren Dei wrote:
Ernest Mueller wrote:
As someone who does lots of Planar Binding and summoning in general in his current campaign, the "wish thing" is an issue but one with some simple fixes. (Please note the efreet isn't the only issue here, there's other legal bindings in the other 3.5e books with wish etc.)
I have little interest in high level play, so this is honestly a question: are there any creatures powerful enough to grant wishes that would enjoy being jerked around by a bite sized mortal?

Enjoy no, but that's not what Planar Binding is about. You may be thinking of Planar Ally, where the summoned creature is your buddy. With Binds you summon them, trap them, and torture their demonic asses till they give it up. And really, the HD limits on many of the creatures is such that you're not in a huge amount of danger from them - I killed a Glabrezu in combat well before I could Planar Bind one. An efreet is 10 HD, which is a road bump for a level 6 party.

P.S. This isn't really high level play we're talking about - we're running Rise of the Runelords. Lesser Planar Binding is a fifth level spell, which means level 9 to cast it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Ernest Mueller wrote:


Well, but some guidance is useful. One of the traditional problems with Wishes in fact, as well as Planar Binding, is that some DMs choose to maximally twist all wishes and make all binds totally unhelpful and dangerous all the time. I support leaving DM discretion but some guidance on how it probably should be used (like the sections in 3.5e on adjudicating illusions etc) would be welcomed.

What we need then are not more, or different, rules. What we need is an essay on the proper role of wishes in the game. Of course this is why we have supplements and magazines. Not every aspect of the game can be covered in the rules. Articles and essays have always played an important part of the game precisely because they help us view the rules in such a way as to facilitate further adventures and richer stories.

Dark Archive

Ernest Mueller wrote:

As someone who does lots of Planar Binding and summoning in general in his current campaign, the "wish thing" is an issue but one with some simple fixes. (Please note the efreet isn't the only issue here, there's other legal bindings in the other 3.5e books with wish etc.)

Summoning notes that summoned creatures lose teleport/planar travel abilities and summoning abilities. You could simply note that summons can't Wish (although this is a little arbitrary - Wish is just a ninth level spell, and do you rule out other ninth level spells?) Many demons can cast symbols, reverse gravity, and other real high level spells. Anyway, no summons can cast/grant Wish currently.

Binds don't have any restrictions listed - frankly the most consternating and common ability is the summoning (most demons/devils/yugoloths can summon buddies) and that could be similarly ruled out.

For the record you can't summon efreet, just bind them. You can summon djinn, which normally can't grant wishes except the 1% noble ones - a player might be able to browbeat their DM into rolling percentile every time they summon one I guess.

A easy fix to (try anyway) prevent is to limit the level of Spells and SLAs that a summoned/called creature can use. Limiting the level of spells and SLAs that can be used by a summoned creature to "A summoned creature can only use a spell or SLA with a level no higher then a third of its HD." That would limit the efreet to spells and SLAs of the third level or lower; No wish. Of course, it doesn't stop you from just walking up to them and getting the same thing, but it does stop the infinite wish via planar bind.

Sovereign Court

Lich-Loved wrote:
The majority of people do not use the D&D rules to play a modified version of Gauntlet or Diablo, where characters run from scene to scene destroying everything in their wake and maximizing their "power ups" to gain "phat lootz".

Actually, I'm not entirely sure that's true.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion Subscriber
Mothman wrote:

If things are really this broken, like infinite wealth loopholes and such … the question is should they be changed? Who are we helping by changing them? Who are we hurting?

The people who think that there isn’t really a problem don’t need them to be changed. Conversely, anyone who sees these loopholes as a problem obviously isn’t going to take advantage of them (otherwise they wouldn’t take advantage of them). Anyone who does use these loopholes obviously enjoys that aspect of the game; if their DM allows them to use those loopholes, the DM obviously doesn’t have a great problem with them. SO, by changing things so that the loopholes no longer exist, we are not helping the people who don’t use the loopholes (since it shouldn’t matter to them either way whether or not they exist) BUT we are lessening the enjoyment of the game for people who do like using them.

How’s that for twisted logic?

I don't think it's twisted at all. I've been wrestling with putting words to the same thing.

Problems like this don't seem as integral to the playtest/design discussions we need to be having: about classes, game flow, and crunchy stuff. If the barbarian's rage points are problematic, let's work on that, not corner cases like this.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Ernest Mueller wrote:

An efreet is 10 HD, which is a road bump for a level 6 party.

You are thinking too linearly?

Why would the Efreeti show up alone?

Why would he fight one on one?

Why would he not burn down your parent's house, the inn you're staying in, your girlfriend's house, etc.

Sure you might beat him in the end, but at what cost? Is you're character willing to pay the cost? What is the price for trafficking with evil?

Edit: This is really making me want to go write an adventure based on a 13th level wizard trying to make Efreets grant him wishes. :D


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BM wrote:


A easy fix to (try anyway) prevent is to limit the level of Spells and SLAs that a summoned/called creature can use. Limiting the level of spells and SLAs that can be used by a summoned creature to "A summoned creature can only use a spell or SLA with a level no higher then a third of its HD." That would limit the efreet to spells and SLAs of the third level or lower; No wish. Of course, it doesn't stop you from just walking up to them and getting the same thing, but it does stop the infinite wish via planar bind.

Problems:

1. No real in-game reason for that.

2. That limit's way too low and gimps the spell; maybe nix spells of a higher level than the caster can cast, but still... #1. And creatures are generally balanced with spell-likes in mind, if you're just summoning an x HD meleer then it's a lot lamer.


This is very simply NOT broken, NOT an exploit, NOR any sort of oversight on the part of the game creators. Compare the wish-granting capabilities of the 12 HD Glabrezu. Bargaining with dangerous creatures for suitably attractive (read: powerful) benefits is heart and soul of the Planar Binding spells.

As noted previously by others: The victims of these spells are granted multiple saves to escape the effects and cause unpleasantness for the summoner. Dimensional Anchor (necessary to prevent the creatures from simply teleporting/Plane Shifting away) lasts a mere 1 minute per level, whereas Dimension Lock is an 8th level spell. Furthermore, the summoner is not even able to determine the specific wording of the Wish-request by the RAW, let alone avoid the natural tendency toward unpleasant side effects since it is the creature who is casting the spell; the results are therefore directly subject to DM interpretation.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wicht wrote:
Ernest Mueller wrote:

An efreet is 10 HD, which is a road bump for a level 6 party.

You are thinking too linearly.

Why would the Efreeti show up alone.

Why would he fight one on one.

Why would he not burn down your parent's house, the inn you're staying in, your girlfriend's house, etc.

Sure you might beat him in the end, but at what cost? Is you're character willing to pay the cost? What is the price for trafficking with evil?

Yeah, yeah. Any first level bandit you fail to kill "could" do the same thing. But if you're a high level wizard, you just bind him again and kill him. Revenge works both ways.

And why does he give such a crap about you getting a wish that he wants to kill "you and all you LOVE!!!" No skin off his nose. Certainly nothing to risk his own skin over.

And you can bind neutral and good creatures too.

Besides, this turns into the endgame of "you just can't use the spells, because anything you bind will somehow rally all the forces of Hell to kill you."

Read some of our Runelords session summaries - copious summons and binds are used, to good but not game-imbalancing effects. Screwing binding over by attitude is the same as screwing them over by rule. They are a fun and flavorful part of the game.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Tarren Dei wrote:
Ernest Mueller wrote:
As someone who does lots of Planar Binding and summoning in general in his current campaign, the "wish thing" is an issue but one with some simple fixes. (Please note the efreet isn't the only issue here, there's other legal bindings in the other 3.5e books with wish etc.)
I have little interest in high level play, so this is honestly a question: are there any creatures powerful enough to grant wishes that would enjoy being jerked around by a bite sized mortal?

I should note that adventurers seem to spend their lives ticking off various super-powerful beings.

Foiling nefarious plots.
Eliminating their servants.
Casting bless water on the punch bowl at BBEG mixers.
Etc.

Why worry about ticking off one more when it lets you accomplish an adventure?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Mothman wrote:

If things are really this broken, like infinite wealth loopholes and such … the question is should they be changed? Who are we helping by changing them? Who are we hurting?

...

By not changing them you're hurting Paizo's word of mouth marketing (which I would guess is a pretty significant proportion of how people are introduced to Pathfinder). These corner cases are disproportionately highlighted by messageboard posters as examples of how 3.5 is “broken”.

This in itself is reason enough to fix these loopholes – as a public relations exercise to turn around the part of the community that is prone to talking about rules mongering (which is part of the fun some gamers get from the hobby).

These are Paizo’s potential customers too. A vocal, opinionated, messageboard-itinerant set of customers, who, if won over, will be on every messageboard that is ragging on the 3.5 rule set saying “Yeah, but 3.P fixed everything on that list, go and have a look”.

If it doesn’t hurt your other customers to make the change, then there is no reason not to.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zynete wrote:
Tarren Dei wrote:
Ernest Mueller wrote:
As someone who does lots of Planar Binding and summoning in general in his current campaign, the "wish thing" is an issue but one with some simple fixes. (Please note the efreet isn't the only issue here, there's other legal bindings in the other 3.5e books with wish etc.)
I have little interest in high level play, so this is honestly a question: are there any creatures powerful enough to grant wishes that would enjoy being jerked around by a bite sized mortal?

I should note that adventurers seem to spend their lives ticking off various super-powerful beings.

Foiling nefarious plots.
Eliminating their servants.
Etc.

Why worry about ticking off one more when it lets you accomplish an adventure?

Exactly, that's why I find this a "screw the player" mindset. What about that efreet you killed at 6th level? Why aren't all his efreet friends turning your life into a world of hurt? Or the 100 other extraplanar beings you killed, routed, etc. in your adventuring career? Sure, once in a while someone comes back, but revenge is harder than it sounds...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Ernest Mueller wrote:
Wicht wrote:
Ernest Mueller wrote:

An efreet is 10 HD, which is a road bump for a level 6 party.

You are thinking too linearly.

Why would the Efreeti show up alone.

Why would he fight one on one.

Why would he not burn down your parent's house, the inn you're staying in, your girlfriend's house, etc.

Sure you might beat him in the end, but at what cost? Is you're character willing to pay the cost? What is the price for trafficking with evil?

Yeah, yeah. Any first level bandit you fail to kill "could" do the same thing. But if you're a high level wizard, you just bind him again and kill him. Revenge works both ways.

And why does he give such a crap about you getting a wish that he wants to kill "you and all you LOVE!!!" No skin off his nose. Certainly nothing to risk his own skin over.

And you can bind neutral and good creatures too.

Besides, this turns into the endgame of "you just can't use the spells, because anything you bind will somehow rally all the forces of Hell to kill you."

Read some of our Runelords session summaries - copious summons and binds are used, to good but not game-imbalancing effects. Screwing binding over by attitude is the same as screwing them over by rule. They are a fun and flavorful part of the game.

Look - if a player was not abusing the power - then I would just make a mental note that the evil powers of the plane of fire might be noticing the PCs. Same as in our RotRL game at home. I'm pretty sure Lamashtu is not too happy with the heroes. It might or might not become an issue.

But when a wizard decides that he can use Efreeti for fun and profit - without regard to consequences, all sorts of interesting situations come to mind.

One I keep thinking of is - the Efreeti in question agrees to the wish so long as the caster agrees to pay a price for each wish - not death, not his soul, not even his health - but a price of the Efreet's choosing. First wish - wife dies... etc. Of course the wizard may not know the price until after the wish.

The thing is - this still remains a feature, a vehicle that allows for richer stories. Thus my belief that it does not need changed. And again, the rules say that the creature cannot be forced to do anything unreasonable.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dementrius wrote:

By not changing them you're hurting Paizo's word of mouth marketing (which I would guess is a pretty significant proportion of how people are introduced to Pathfinder). These corner cases are disproportionately highlighted by messageboard posters as examples of how 3.5 is “broken”.

This in itself is reason enough to fix these loopholes – as a public relations exercise to turn around the part of the community that is prone to talking about rules mongering (which is part of the fun some gamers get from the hobby).

These are Paizo’s potential customers too. A vocal, opinionated, messageboard-itinerant set of customers, who, if won over, will be on every messageboard that is ragging on the 3.5 rule set saying “Yeah, but 3.P fixed everything on that list, go and have a look”.

If it doesn’t hurt your other customers to make the change, then there is no reason not to.

But … but … what about the uber-munchkin powergamer rule-abusers? Won’t someone think of them for a change?

Heh.

Actually I agree to an extent. If changing a rule flaw that I’d never picked up on and never would have abused because that’s not my style of play will not effect me – then why not change it if it is better for the game, or even the perception of the game?

Good question. Probably no reason not to change it – unless the change negatively impacts on other things, including the flavour, fluff whatever of the game which to me are just as if not more important than the crunch (YMMV).

For example, the current argument. To me, some (not all) of the proposed solutions do hurt the game. Taking away the Efreet’s ability to grant wishes, not allowing outsiders to be bound, not allowing bound outsiders to use their SLAs … those are bad solutions to me. In ‘fixing’ one perceived problem you create others, in flavour if not crunch.

So yes, change rules if they need fixing, but do so with a light hand. Do not create problems in other areas whilst fixing things. Give fluff equal weight to crunch. And understand that if you really, really want to break something … you’ll find a way.

Dark Archive

Ernest Mueller wrote:
BM wrote:


A easy fix to (try anyway) prevent is to limit the level of Spells and SLAs that a summoned/called creature can use. Limiting the level of spells and SLAs that can be used by a summoned creature to "A summoned creature can only use a spell or SLA with a level no higher then a third of its HD." That would limit the efreet to spells and SLAs of the third level or lower; No wish. Of course, it doesn't stop you from just walking up to them and getting the same thing, but it does stop the infinite wish via planar bind.

Problems:

1. No real in-game reason for that.

2. That limit's way too low and gimps the spell; maybe nix spells of a higher level than the caster can cast, but still... #1. And creatures are generally balanced with spell-likes in mind, if you're just summoning an x HD meleer then it's a lot lamer.

1: You can fluff it that the magic that binds them to the plane interferes with their magical powers, and prevents them from using their most powerful abilities. Its not much different then saying they can't cast teleport anymore.

2: Its not, given that creatures that are built around using SLA and spells have amongst the lowest HD count. Remember, HD isn't equal with CR, which is the real balancing element monsters are built to. A succubus is a 6HD monster which means she can be binded by lesser Planar Binding a level 5, and has suggestion and Charm Monster as an at will. For the price of a level 5 spell, I can get unlimited suggestion and Charm Monster, which in the right hand could do nasty things. As a rule, you really shouldn't be able to spend spells to get more spells.

Also, add the the words "Or DM's discretion" after "third of its HD" so that people who want efreets to cast wish can let them.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

As a point of amusement I think it's a great deal for the Efreet to paid one wish for two in return. If I was the efreet my wish would be:

"I wish this mortal wizard was enslaved to me for eternity. Thanks I'll have those other two wishes now"
"I wish for the one hundred mortals closest emotionally to my binder to be enslaved to my will and transported to my abode in the City of Brass for my amusement"
"I wish that all wishes granted to my binder be undone"
"I wish Atrimuk the Great, master of all Efreet was here"

because Efreet are lawful evil bastards and don't act like pragmatic humans do.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BM wrote:


2: Its not, given that creatures that are built around using SLA and spells have amongst the lowest HD count. Remember, HD isn't equal with CR, which is the real balancing element monsters are built to. A succubus is a 6HD monster which means she can be binded by lesser Planar Binding a level 5, and has suggestion and Charm Monster as an at will. For the price of a level 5 spell, I can get unlimited suggestion and Charm Monster, which in the right hand could do nasty things. As a rule, you really shouldn't be able to spend spells to get more spells.

Sure you should. It's how the spell works. Somehow all of your campaigns haven't been ruined by bound succubuses. (Heck, there's a subsection in that malconvoker guide about how can you accomplish such a sweet bind; winning a CHA check against a succubus is not for the unprepared.)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dementrius wrote:

As a point of amusement I think it's a great deal for the Efreet to paid one wish for two in return. If I was the efreet my wish would be:

"I wish this mortal wizard was enslaved to me for eternity. Thanks I'll have those other two wishes now"
"I wish for the one hundred mortals closest emotionally to my binder to be enslaved to my will and transported to my abode in the City of Brass for my amusement"
"I wish that all wishes granted to my binder be undone"
"I wish Atrimuk the Great, master of all Efreet was here"

because Efreet are lawful evil bastards and don't act like pragmatic humans do.

So are you going to do the same to every bad guy that has bound minions? And are you going to make sure every Fireball spell ruins ever piece of treasure on every monster? Everything should hose everybody since it grants power, right?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ernest Mueller wrote:


So are you going to do the same to every bad guy that has bound minions? And are you going to make sure every Fireball spell ruins ever piece of treasure on every monster? Everything should hose everybody since it grants power, right?

I don't think that's what he's saying.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Ernest Mueller wrote:
BM wrote:


A easy fix to (try anyway) prevent is to limit the level of Spells and SLAs that a summoned/called creature can use. Limiting the level of spells and SLAs that can be used by a summoned creature to "A summoned creature can only use a spell or SLA with a level no higher then a third of its HD." That would limit the efreet to spells and SLAs of the third level or lower; No wish. Of course, it doesn't stop you from just walking up to them and getting the same thing, but it does stop the infinite wish via planar bind.

Problems:

1. No real in-game reason for that.

My first thought is many stories where a summoned creature, for one reason or another (like the calling taking a physical toll on the creature), does not have access to it's ultimate power. So it either has to wait to regain it's lost power or perform some ritual to regain the power now (Sacrifice!).


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mothman wrote:
Ernest Mueller wrote:


So are you going to do the same to every bad guy that has bound minions? And are you going to make sure every Fireball spell ruins ever piece of treasure on every monster? Everything should hose everybody since it grants power, right?
I don't think that's what he's saying.

Yeah - it is. Sure, some twisting is in order if someone is trying the "bind efreeti day after day to manufacture stat items" scenario. But it's DM abuse to be all into screwing over any bind, any wish, etc.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Ernest Mueller wrote:
Dementrius wrote:

As a point of amusement I think it's a great deal for the Efreet to paid one wish for two in return. If I was the efreet my wish would be:

"I wish this mortal wizard was enslaved to me for eternity. Thanks I'll have those other two wishes now"
"I wish for the one hundred mortals closest emotionally to my binder to be enslaved to my will and transported to my abode in the City of Brass for my amusement"
"I wish that all wishes granted to my binder be undone"
"I wish Atrimuk the Great, master of all Efreet was here"

because Efreet are lawful evil bastards and don't act like pragmatic humans do.

So are you going to do the same to every bad guy that has bound minions? And are you going to make sure every Fireball spell ruins ever piece of treasure on every monster? Everything should hose everybody since it grants power, right?

Hehe no - I was more just thinking like a creature that lives for ever and really, really, really enjoys inflicting suffering. I would think that occasionally they would find it amusing to do this type of stuff on the 400,000th time they'd been summoned. Wishes: 25,000gp in diamonds - wiping the smile off that snot-nosed mortal punk's superior face: priceless.

Short version: Fix rules. Efreet amusing.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Thank you Ernest for helping to raise the level of the debate here.

I'm still not convinced that we can or should idiot-proof the rules so that neither DMs nor players can abuse them but can we get a summary of the various fixes that have been presented so far? I'd look but the level of snarkiness in this thread makes my aging back hurt.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Ernest Mueller wrote:
Mothman wrote:
Ernest Mueller wrote:


So are you going to do the same to every bad guy that has bound minions? And are you going to make sure every Fireball spell ruins ever piece of treasure on every monster? Everything should hose everybody since it grants power, right?
I don't think that's what he's saying.
Yeah - it is. Sure, some twisting is in order if someone is trying the "bind efreeti day after day to manufacture stat items" scenario. But it's DM abuse to be all into screwing over any bind, any wish, etc.

Again, I don't think anyone here is thinking of ways to be bad DMs. The original post was about player abuse. We are discussing ways to deal with this abuse apart from changing the rules.

Still, if PCs (who in all my games are heroes) want to start making deals with evil powers, I think its very reasonable to discuss, as DMs, what some of the consequences might be.

Its one thing for major villains to use evil powers to further their evil ends, but again, what price are the PCs willing to pay to traffick with evil. There is nothing wrong with asking that question. And the answer might not even affect the PCs directly. As I noted above, asking myself those questions made me think of scenarios in which the PCs cross paths with a wizard who made a few too many bad deals and is suffering because of it in one way or another.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Tarren Dei wrote:

Thank you Ernest for helping to raise the level of the debate here.

I'm still not convinced that we can or should idiot-proof the rules so that neither DMs nor players can abuse them but can we get a summary of the various fixes that have been presented so far? I'd look but the level of snarkiness in this thread makes my aging back hurt.

I'll take pity on an aging man and summarize for you ;)

1)Nerf the efreeti wish granting ability.
2)Nerf the abilities of creatures summoned by Planar Binding spells
3)Its a feature, not a bug, leave it be.

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