A few questions arisen from our first game..


Rules Questions


Hello all!

Some friends and I have recently started playing Pathfinder, our first game was last night and it was great fun.
None of us have ever played a 'tabletop RPG' before and as expected, a few questions arose. We managed to gloss over them as we have significant board game experience to know roughly what to do.

Anyway if somebody could shed some light on these it would be much appreciated!

1. When creating a character, what is the formulae for discerning your BAB and AC?

2. When is BAB used exactly? is it in your attack roll (d20+str mod+BAB?)

3. When you are rolling for melee damage, is it correct to apply your str mod to the damage roll?

4. When a character is using the skill 'stealth' do they roll a d20+stealth skill bonus and then all enemies roll a d20+perception? If so, what happens if say 2 of 3 enemies fail the check but one enemy doesn't? is the character stealthed to all but the one that won the check or is the stealth attempt failed completely?

5. Still on the stealth issue, is the only way a rogue can go into stealth, using the stealth skill or do they have a class stealth skill?
If they are in stealth and then attack, are they instantly out of stealth again? what about if the attack misses?

6. If a caster is using a spell such as 'Charm Person' what do they roll? Would the player just roll a d20 and apply no bonuses and then the opponent rolls whatever the spell says resists or negates i.e. d20+Will?

7. Is there a feat that increases base stats by say 1 point? My friend has a character with a -3 str mod so is finding it very difficult to melee an enemy when he has no further spells to use..

8. Could someone explain exactly what Hit Die are? I see each character has a 'Hid Die Roll' in the class section, and also a player used a spell that said '4HD worth of enemies' I'm just a little confused as to what these mean?

I'll leave it there for now, sorry that this post is so long!

All input appreciated!

Scarab Sages

Welcome to the paizo boards and to the game.

1: BAB is given in the table for the character class, AC is 10 + dex mod. + armor bonus of worn armor (some armors might limit the dex mod. as per max dex.)

2: Correct, though the str. mod. is only used for melee attacks, for ranged attacks it ist the dex mod.

3: Yes, though it is different for off hand weapons (1/2 str mod.) and 2handed weapons (1 1/2 str mod.)

4: Correct use, only one enemy would notice the rogue,

5: The rogue uses the stealth skill. If he attacks he will usually be noticed, but depending on the situation, he might not be (a missing arrow wight be seen without giving away the position of the archer etc.)

6: The caster only rolls for spells that need an attack roll (rays). Otherwise the difficulty for the saving throw is 10 + spell level + relevant ability modifier (ig for wizards, cha for sorcerers etc.). If the target of the spell has spell resistance, the caster must beat the SR with a d20 + caster level)

7: No, but the feat Weapon Finesse allows the use of the dex mod. instead of the str. mod. for certain weapons.

8: The hit dice are the basic for the hit points a character or a creature has. A regular character has one hit die pre level, the type of die varies by character class (fighter d10, cleric d8 etc). Creatures have a Hit Dice as given in the description in the bestiary (the given hit points are for the average creature, the hit dice aren't rolled additionally).

These are only the basics, some of the given answers would have to be modified if certain feats or spells are used, but you'll find that out soon enough ;-)


Thanks Feytharn, that's cleared up a lot and sure to make the next session easier!

Just going back to the HD question, if a spell says it affects 8HD worth of creatures, does that mean that the caster is required to roll a number of HD and the result = the number of creatures affected?

Oh and one more question just came to mind; does using a skill, class as a standard action, say my rogue wants to go into stealth so he throws his d20, is it the end of his turn whether he has succeeded or not, or can he attack / move this turn as well?
Would this answer also apply to if a character wanted to do a dungeoneering skill check for example? or could he perform the check as well as doing a standard action?


When a spell says it affects a certain number of HD, it means HD that the target creature(s) possess. So a spell that affects up to 8 HD could affect up to 8 level 1 characters (because each class level gives 1 hit die) or 2 level 4 characters, or 2 monsters that each have 4 monster hit dice, for example.

As for what action a skill takes, it usually says in the skill description under the heading called "Action".

Stealth is usually used as part of a move action, so it requires no separate action, unless you're using it while sniping, in which case it requires a move action to re-conceal yourself. Usually knowledge doesn't take up an action, as it's just something your character either knows something or doesn't.

Sovereign Court

HD= A level, or hitdie in the case of monsters etc.

It can also refer to the size of the dice used for a particular class, for example a Barbarian has a D12HD.

Also, on number 4. note that perception is modified by distance to spot the person stealthing.

Welcome to the game! :)


Orogond wrote:

Thanks Feytharn, that's cleared up a lot and sure to make the next session easier!

Just going back to the HD question, if a spell says it affects 8HD worth of creatures, does that mean that the caster is required to roll a number of HD and the result = the number of creatures affected?

Oh and one more question just came to mind; does using a skill, class as a standard action, say my rogue wants to go into stealth so he throws his d20, is it the end of his turn whether he has succeeded or not, or can he attack / move this turn as well?
Would this answer also apply to if a character wanted to do a dungeoneering skill check for example? or could he perform the check as well as doing a standard action?

If you can affect 8HD of monsters, it means just that... Say you are confronted with 12 skeletons (with 1HD each) and Turn Undead. It means 8 of the 12 (if they are all within range) would be affected. Say you would have skeletons and zombies before you... Then a Turn Undead would affect (starting with the creatures closest to your cleric) say a zombie (2HD), 3 skeletons (1HD each), another zombie, and a last skeleton (for a total of 8 HD). The rest of the undead would be unaffected.

Using skills is usually a Standard Action, although many of them have a different duration (see the descriptions). A JUMP skill check is instantaneous (or, part of your movement), while a Knowledge (the Planes) could take weeks, if your using a library to help you.

The rogue (and his use of stealth) is a little different than first or second edition... In those editions, a Thief would have to use his "Hide in Shadows" skill to be able to "Backstab" his opponents. Not so with d20 rules. A Rogue has to only be FLANKING an enemy (i.e.: standing on a opposite square with an ally on the other side of the enemy) in order to add his "Sneak Attack" bonus on damage ON EVERY ATTACK THAT HITS.

The Stealth skill is basically used for hiding and/or moving silently when one doesn't want to be detected by approaching enemies. In a fight, though, I don't think it's very pertinent, as once they know you're in the room, they know.

Ultradan


ill wolcome you too, and try to answer the last questions.

1. If the spell affects 8HD of monsters, then there is no roll required, you simply have to look up how many HD a given monster has, and then tally them up to see how many you can affect. Its always the spellcasters choice who.

An example would be 10 goblins in a camp, all get hit by the spell that affects 8HD (and has enough aoe to actually hit them all), then the spellcaster can pick out 8 of the goblins who will then be affected, becouse a goblin has 1 HD per the bestiary. If a chieftain with 4 HD was there, he could pick 8 goblins or chieftain and 4 goblins.

2. the other question is more tricky. Most skills do require a standard action to use, meaning u cant attack in the same round as you use them, u can see the required action under the specific skills. the stealth skill can be used as part of a move action so if your charecter moves behind cover, then he can use stealth, and still make an attack action at the end of his movement. He could also attack first and move and stealth after, although not attack with a full attack action. one other thing to note, is that u need some cover to stealth behind, the wow rogue trick is invisibility and not really possible in pathfinder or irl.

The dungeoneering skill, together with all other knowledges dont even require an action, so you are not limited by making the roll. if you want to explain to the rest of the party what you know, then that will ofc take an action depending on how strict the GM is.

damn sniped again


Orogond wrote:

4. When a character is using the skill 'stealth' do they roll a d20+stealth skill bonus and then all enemies roll a d20+perception? If so, what happens if say 2 of 3 enemies fail the check but one enemy doesn't? is the character stealthed to all but the one that won the check or is the stealth attempt failed completely?

5. Still on the stealth issue, is the only way a rogue can go into stealth, using the stealth skill or do they have a class stealth skill? If they are in stealth and then attack, are they instantly out of stealth again? what about if the attack misses?

4. This is more of a DM decision. What I typically do is have your character roll stealth (roll d20 and add your stealth bonus (remember to add +3 to your ranks if it is a class skill)) and then you enter the area with the bad guys. I secretly roll perception for the bad guy with the best rating in Perception on watch in the group (modified by how alert he is, range, the number of other 'guards' that can help (treated as "aid other" to his roll), etc. If his perception roll equals or exceeds your stealth he spots you.

5. Anyone can enter stealth by making a stealth skill roll but you must a) not be currently observed (so you can not just stealth while a guard can see you). b) you must have concealment (shadows, foliage, or just be around the corner from the guard). Some higher level abilities like "Hide in plain sight" allow you to break these rules, also you can do a 'bluff' skill check to distract someone into not observing you for a stealth roll (sort of like yelling 'Look over there!' and diving for cover.

Also remember some common sense. Stealth while carrying a light (torch, sunrod, etc.) is stupid (but I have had players try it with disastrous results).

5b. You do drop out of stealth once you attack. There are rules for 'sniping' to reenter stealth after an attack but it is not something a low level player can really do (its a -20 stealth). If you want to use sneak attack for most of a fight, I agree with the above poster and read the rules on "Flanking" as it is way easier to achieve.

Orogond wrote:
7. Is there a feat that increases base stats by say 1 point? My friend has a character with a -3 str mod so is finding it very difficult to melee an enemy when he has no further spells to use..

No way to increase a base stat beyond spells, magic items, age effects, or the ability point gain you get every 4 levels.

Feytharn is right that you can take Weapon Finesse to use dexterity instead of strength (but the low strength would make the damage pitiful). This sounds like a spellcastor and in that case with that low a strength she/he should probably be using a range weapon like a crossbow. Range weapons use dexterity to strike and a crossbow's damage is not reduced by his/her low strength.

A general rule of thumb is to keep your spellcastors away from melee combat if you can at all help it.


Thanks for all the replies people, very much appreciated! Seems like a great community :)

You are correct Master Manipulator, he is a spell caster, a Bard to be precise. I think he was a little dismayed with his character as he didn't seem to really have any decent buffing or damage abilities at level 1, so was unsure what he should be doing other than trying to get some melee attacks in - not surprisingly, he fell fairly quickly!
Is a bard just a matter of levelling until you get some decent buffs or are we missing something?

Can I just get the rogue straight in my mind - I think of a rogue's role as DPS and when I cast my eye over the rogue's level 1 abilities, there seems to be little more than surprise attack (I'm going from memory at the moment as my books are elsewhere today). Would a rogue usually be expected to just flank the enemy in combat until they level up and develop some other abilities?

Thanks again!

Sovereign Court

Orogond wrote:

Thanks for all the replies people, very much appreciated! Seems like a great community :)

You are correct Master Manipulator, he is a spell caster, a Bard to be precise. I think he was a little dismayed with his character as he didn't seem to really have any decent buffing or damage abilities at level 1, so was unsure what he should be doing other than trying to get some melee attacks in - not surprisingly, he fell fairly quickly!
Is a bard just a matter of levelling until you get some decent buffs or are we missing something?

Thanks again!

Is the bard using inspire courage? Depending on Charisma score he should have between 5-8 rounds per day. It gives a plus 1 to hit and damage for the whole party. That would be the most common buff every bard has at first level.

The bard takes a little more thought to make successful than other classes. You should search the forum, I believe there is a very handy bard building guide that will help your friend feel more effective and understand the bard's strengths and weaknesses better.


Pan wrote:

Is the bard using inspire courage? Depending on Charisma score he should have between 5-8 rounds per day. It gives a plus 1 to hit and damage for the whole party. That would be the most common buff every bard has at first level.

The bard takes a little more thought to make successful than other classes. You should search the forum, I believe there is a very handy bard building guide that will help your friend feel more effective and understand the bard's strengths and weaknesses better.

Oh, I had not even seen that spell in the book! I just looked up the bard page on the Paizo site and saw the large list of inspires etc.. No idea how we could have missed that! (I'm assuming they are in the core rulebook)

Thanks for pointing that out Pan, that list has instantly made Bard look more desirable!

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