What are some things about the Pathfinder rules that you think most people do not know?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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A recent one for me was that apparently in 3.5 (a system before my time) the Dodge feat only applied against one enemy at a time - there is no such stipulation in Pathfinder.

I think the biggest rules advice I could give someone for Pathfinder is this: Pathfinder is not DnD 3.5. It is Pathfinder. I can't tell you how many times someone has "corrected" me on a rule when they haven't even read said rule in the Pathfinder CR.

To make it more specific, you can't assume that a rule/feature/ability works the same way in Pathfinder as in 3.5 unless specifically contradicted. As in the Dodge example I mentioned, you need to assume that the Pathfinder CR means exactly what it says, not that it means "what it says plus anything in 3.5 that it doesn't explicitly contradict".


Quote:


When using a ranged weapon, if there is anything blocking line of effect or providing cover, or a creature (enemy OR ALLY) in between you and your target, the target is given a +4 cover (soft in case of creatures) bonus to AC (unless you have certain feats).

Readying an action, is itself a standard action. It restricts you to ONE of movement or standard actions. You cannot move and then do something as part of the readied action.

All magical weapons and armor must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus in order to add further enchantments. You cannot simply have a magical flaming dagger; it must be a +1 or better flaming dagger.

Another one is that Lesser Restoration has a three round casting time.

if a creature has immunity to cold/fire it automatically has vulnerability to the opposite. though I think this is going to be errattad apparently its so obscure last time it was brought up two of the developers did not know ot existed.

Enlarge person's casting time is 1 round.

You lose your Dexterity bonus to your AC while running unless you have the Run feat.

Dimensional anchor does not require a saving throw, only spell resistance.

Just to be clear I am pretty sure that all of the above were in 3.5 already. So while yes they are in the PFRPG as well, they are not unique to it. Just an FYI.

Dark Archive

Dotting me this one...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Words of Power have several unique effects that cannot be replicated in standard casting rules.


Tagion wrote:

You can use your one standard action in the surprise round to charge.

You can coup de grace a creature with total consealment or invisable with two full round actions

Charging was made more robust and confusing from what I recall.

Improved Trip/Grapple/Disarm were each, effectively, split into two feats: Improved and Greater.


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The dc on poison increase with every dose you get hit with.
For example , if you fail a fort save 15 injury poison from a spider bite and you get hit again before the time is up on the first poison it become dc 17 fort and expends the rounds by 50%. Another bite after that is dc 19 and another 50% additional rounds.

Dark Archive

-Anvil- wrote:
Tagion wrote:

You can use your one standard action in the surprise round to charge.

You can coup de grace a creature with total consealment or invisable with two full round actions

Can you tell me where the reference is for the Charge during a surprise round? I don't remember seeing it under Charge.

...and here. We missed it because it doesn't specifically say "surprise round"

"If you are able to take only a standard action on your turn,
you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up
to your speed (instead of up to double your speed) and you
cannot draw a weapon unless you possess the Quick Draw
feat. You can’t use this option unless you are restricted to
taking only a standard action on your turn."

Core, pg 198


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
brassbaboon wrote:

Interesting responses on the animal companion thing.

<snip>

Food for thought.

Indeed. I may consider it a bodyguard or helper 'assigned' by nature itself. The druid leaves the local one behind, thanking it for its service, and gets a new one assigned based on the new location.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Indeed. I may consider it a bodyguard or helper 'assigned' by nature itself. The druid leaves the local one behind, thanking it for its service, and gets a new one assigned based on the new location.

Just remember you lose the training on the previous one.


Tagion wrote:

You can use your one standard action in the surprise round to charge.

You can coup de grace a creature with total consealment or invisable with two full round actions
Charging was made more robust and confusing from what I recall.

Both in 3.5 already.


Bill Dunn wrote:
brassbaboon wrote:

Interesting responses on the animal companion thing.

<snip>

Food for thought.

Indeed. I may consider it a bodyguard or helper 'assigned' by nature itself. The druid leaves the local one behind, thanking it for its service, and gets a new one assigned based on the new location.

I can see this when a druid is moving from one area to another for an extended period of time, and even with my previous interpretation of animal companion, I considered doing so when our campaign moved us into a new area for a long period of time.

I guess I would have difficulty justifying swapping out a companion if I was just taking a short trip to a new area. Taking an animal companion into an environment where they would not be comfortable, or would be actively uncomfortable, would be something to consider.

I admit I am hyper-sensitive to metagaming issues and I can't help but see some situations where such a decision could be driven by metagaming.

Also, my GM is not really one who just grants my druid what she wants, so if I dismissed my wolf to summon a lion, he might well tell me that my choices are warthog, meerkat or python...

Shadow Lodge

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Matthew Winn wrote:

"If you are able to take only a standard action on your turn,

you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up
to your speed (instead of up to double your speed) and you
cannot draw a weapon unless you possess the Quick Draw
feat. You can’t use this option unless you are restricted to
taking only a standard action on your turn."

Core, pg 198

Thus, zombies don't need to be fast to charge.


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brassbaboon wrote:
Also, my GM is not really one who just grants my druid what she wants, so if I dismissed my wolf to summon a lion, he might well tell me that my choices are warthog, meerkat or python...

But who wouldn't want a meerkat animal companion?

Shadow Lodge

I started something like this a long while ago that you might be interested in.

Here.

In 3E, you could Charge on a Surprize Round or if you where restricted to only a Standard or Move Action.

I believe Druids could dismiss and pick a new Animal Companion the same way.

You can Ready an action and then take your Move Action/5ft Step when you took your Readied Action. At least you could in 3.5

The Soft Cover issue with Ranged Attacks AND Reach Weapons also existed in 3.5, but because it was part of the errata, few people new that Reach Weapons counted as Ranged for this. Allies could coun as Soft Cover, though.

Something else that did change is that you can now apply Ride-By-Attack to a Charge, which means you can actually use he Feat now. In 3.5, that erata made it nearly useless.

Other highlights are that Weapon Enhancement bonuses actuall overcome some forms of DR (Silver, Cold Iron, Adamantine, etc. . .), but not through spells or temp means.

Concentration got screwed for multiclass characters.

Elves sleep.

Empower Spell only applies to the rolled portion of the effect, (so 1d8+5 Empowered is 1d8 x 1.5, +5, NOT 1d8+5 x1.5).

Harm can not kill at all.

Many curative or preventative spells do not protect or remove absolutely, but rather offer chances to have an effect.


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InVinoVeritas wrote:
Matthew Winn wrote:

"If you are able to take only a standard action on your turn,

you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up
to your speed (instead of up to double your speed) and you
cannot draw a weapon unless you possess the Quick Draw
feat. You can’t use this option unless you are restricted to
taking only a standard action on your turn."

Core, pg 198

Thus, zombies don't need to be fast to charge.

Yes , a standard zombie with the "staggered" ability is quiet possibly one of the fastest land moving things you will fight LOL. Because its only viable in combat to charge with them , they move 60ft a round and hit with a +2 .


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The rules for tying someone up with a rope are in the Combat section under "Grapple".


kikanaide wrote:
Just remember you lose the training on the previous one.

True - but pretty irrelevant after level 6 and rarely crippling even before.

Let's add: Identify just gives a bonus to Spellcraft checks

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Aldin wrote:
Let's add: Identify just gives a bonus to Spellcraft checks

...and its complement, "all it takes to identify a magic item is detect magic and a Spellcraft roll."


From 3.5, but still missed: Summon spells have 1 round casting times, even if cast using wands.

Shadow Lodge

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Shisumo wrote:
Aldin wrote:
Let's add: Identify just gives a bonus to Spellcraft checks
...and its complement, "all it takes to identify a magic item is detect magic and a Spellcraft roll."

...or a Perception roll if it's a potion.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

In 3.5, if you shot a ranged attack into melee and missed by 4 or less, you hit the other person in the melee (often an ally). This can no longer happen in Pathfinder. This makes Precise Shot optional instead of "required" for archers. (though I would still take it to avoid the -4).


InfoStorm wrote:

In 3.5, if you shot a ranged attack into melee and missed by 4 or less, you hit the other person in the melee (often an ally).

That's not in 3.5 to my recollection.


cibet44 wrote:
InfoStorm wrote:

In 3.5, if you shot a ranged attack into melee and missed by 4 or less, you hit the other person in the melee (often an ally).

That's not in 3.5 to my recollection.

My group played that way as well. Now I'm trying to figure out why.


kikanaide wrote:
cibet44 wrote:
InfoStorm wrote:

In 3.5, if you shot a ranged attack into melee and missed by 4 or less, you hit the other person in the melee (often an ally).

That's not in 3.5 to my recollection.
My group played that way as well. Now I'm trying to figure out why.

It's a 3.0 thing.


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Grease can be used as a ranged disarm

with a touch attack animate rope can be used to entangle archers and spell caster for 1 round per level

Grand Lodge

I seem to remember that as well though we didn't use it.

I betcha it was a thing in 3.0 (back when Innuendo was a Skill).


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More dots!


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 6 people marked this as a favorite.

Some of these may be old information for most people, but I haven't seen them mentioned yet in this thread and all of these have caught me by surprise at one point or another.

-Dispel Magic no longer has an Area effect. It also no longer has a +10 maximum on the caster check.

-Greater Dispel Magic has the Area effect, but can only remove 1 spell per 4 caster levels on the Targeted version. No more chance to strip off all the buffs from the evil wizard in one cast.

-Criticals and Sneak Attacks work on almost everything, but Oozes, Elementals and Incorporeal Undead.

-Mirror Image is mostly the same, but now if you randomly determine the attack is on the real person, but miss the attack roll by less than 5, you destroy an image.

-Ray of Enfeeblement has a different duration and there's a save now.

-Power Attack no longer has a variable attack penalty and is instead based on your Base Attack Bonus. The Damage Bonus is better than before when compared to the same penalty as 3.5.

-Cleave and Great Cleave no longer require you to drop an opponent to gain additional attack(s), but you can never combine it with a full-attack so no more cleaves on iterative attacks.

-Concentration checks are basically just caster level checks and the DCs are generally higher. (I've been playing Pathfinder for awhile now and for some reason, up until a week ago, I thought you were supposed to roll Spellcraft to make a Concentration check.)

Dark Archive

Aldin wrote:
Let's add: Identify just gives a bonus to Spellcraft checks

More importantly, it can be used on more than one item at a time. I don't remember if that was a 3.5 change, but casting it on every single item in 3.0 was horrible.


kikanaide wrote:
cibet44 wrote:
InfoStorm wrote:

In 3.5, if you shot a ranged attack into melee and missed by 4 or less, you hit the other person in the melee (often an ally).

That's not in 3.5 to my recollection.
My group played that way as well. Now I'm trying to figure out why.

You might be thinking of "firing into a grapple" in which case you roll randomly to see who you potentially hit.

See here:
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm


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In regards to animal companions, another way of looking at it is that conscientious druids might see taking animal companions as a guilty necessity of their jobs. In a perfect world, druids wouldn't have need to enlist animals to fight for their cause; threats to nature wouldn't exist. Consider that a druid's mystic bonding process removes an animal from its natural place in the world; delaying, possibly permanently, its ability to claim territory, fulfil its function in the food chain, seek out mates or bear offspring. And then, once adopted, the animal companion is made to go places, risk dangers and battle unnatural creatures; tasks it was never intended/designed to pursue. Why would any druid who cares for the animal in his charge choose to inflict such a dire fate on an animal? It's Because nature itself has empowered him with the ability and responsibility to choose animals as he sees fit to help him to pursue goals greater than them both. Just because he has to do it though doesn't mean that the druid enjoys this solemn duty: "Come, follow me great bear. Leave everything you knew far behind. I've need of you to fight the undead blight threatening this land. Providence willing, you may yet return..."

In this light, releasing an animal from service so that it can return to the wild to live out what remains of its life as nature intended might be viewed as a joyous event; one many druids are only too pleased to do as often as possible.


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Ambrus wrote:

In regards to animal companions, another way of looking at it is that conscientious druids might see taking animal companions as a guilty necessity of their jobs. In a perfect world, druids wouldn't have need to enlist animals to fight for their cause; threats to nature wouldn't exist. Consider that a druid's mystic bonding process removes an animal from its natural place in the world; delaying, possibly permanently, its ability to claim territory, fulfil its function in the food chain, seek out mates or bear offspring. And then, once adopted, the animal companion is made to go places, risk dangers and battle unnatural creatures; tasks it was never intended/designed to pursue. Why would any druid who cares for the animal in his charge choose to inflict such a dire fate on an animal? It's Because nature itself has empowered him with the ability and responsibility to choose animals as he sees fit to help him to pursue goals greater than them both. Just because he has to do it though doesn't mean that the druid enjoys this solemn duty: "Come, follow me great bear. Leave everything you knew far behind. I've need of you to fight the undead blight threatening this land. Providence willing, you may yet return..."

In this light, releasing an animal from service so that it can return to the wild to live out what remains of its life as nature intended might be viewed as a joyous event; one many druids are only too pleased to do as often as possible.

I think this is a viable role playing approach as well.


Clerics no longer get heavy armor proficiency, but get proficiency in their deities favored weapon instead.

Our group saw the second part but failed to notice the armor proficiency change.


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brassbaboon wrote:
I think this is a viable role playing approach as well.

In a recent campaign I GM'd, I allowed a Druid in the party to think of the animal companion almost as if it were some sort of incarnation of Nature that could morph from one animal form to another, but using the same time and trouble as releasing one and calling another. The rule crunch is basically the same, just a different flavor and it allowed her to give her animal companion a personality that carried forward, regardless of the shape of the animal companion.


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Matthew Winn wrote:
Aldin wrote:
Let's add: Identify just gives a bonus to Spellcraft checks

More importantly, it can be used on more than one item at a time. I don't remember if that was a 3.5 change, but casting it on every single item in 3.0 was horrible.

No, it was single use in 3.5. Wizards must have caused clams to go extinct from the excessive use of 100gp pearls that had to be expended in identifying magic items. You had to get to Analyze Dwomer or something before you could batch identify things. And that ends up being cheaper because it only has a focus!


caliga wrote:

Clerics no longer get heavy armor proficiency, but get proficiency in their deities favored weapon instead.

Our group saw the second part but failed to notice the armor proficiency change.

Heh, I just learned this less than an hour ago.


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Fighters can retrain their bonus feats.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Kelso wrote:
brassbaboon wrote:
I think this is a viable role playing approach as well.

In a recent campaign I GM'd, I allowed a Druid in the party to think of the animal companion almost as if it were some sort of incarnation of Nature that could morph from one animal form to another, but using the same time and trouble as releasing one and calling another. The rule crunch is basically the same, just a different flavor and it allowed her to give her animal companion a personality that carried forward, regardless of the shape of the animal companion.

Wow, I really like this approach. I will approach my GM on this. Not sure what happens if it "dies." Perhaps it's an extra-planar being that just takes on the attributes of an animal....


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really like this thread...though alot of it was true in 3.0 or 3.5 too. I now have to go back and read the rules.....I had no idea about dodge. I think I am going to direct the people I play with to this thread also.

As to anything that surprise me yet...I don't know yet...I'll have to read the rules better.


The Polymorph spell line no longer entirely replaces physical stats.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Spells can crit, so long as they require an attack roll (like rays, etc).

Best watch out for those Scorching Rays.


Jiggy wrote:

Spells can crit, so long as they require an attack roll (like rays, etc).

Best watch out for those Scorching Rays.

I think this subject - weapon-like spells - was hit hard in 3.5's Complete Arcane. But good to bring it up anyway.


Davick wrote:
You can do precision damage multiple times a round, as long as the conditions are met.

IIRC that was true in 3.5 but not in 3.0 i think.

Anyway great thread, also hadn't spotted the 3 rounds casting time of lesser restoration, now remind me when you put a spell in a scroll it uses the casting time of the spell or it's always a standart action?

Sovereign Court

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Remco Sommeling wrote:
I do not see the dismissal of an animal companion as cruel or disrespectful and think it is even flavorful, allowing for subpar combat choices.

I'd only have issues with it if the druid is dismissing creatures in environments where they are not at all likely to survive on their own.

Dark Archive

Cartigan wrote:
Matthew Winn wrote:
Aldin wrote:
Let's add: Identify just gives a bonus to Spellcraft checks

More importantly, it can be used on more than one item at a time. I don't remember if that was a 3.5 change, but casting it on every single item in 3.0 was horrible.

No, it was single use in 3.5. Wizards must have caused clams to go extinct from the excessive use of 100gp pearls that had to be expended in identifying magic items. You had to get to Analyze Dwomer or something before you could batch identify things. And that ends up being cheaper because it only has a focus!

I remember playing the Temple of Elemental Evil on PC and having to go on murder sprees in the wild just to get enough $$ to identify my hoard. It was absolutely loony frakdonkulous.


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If travling at night or through rough terrain ( like forrests or bogs ) you have to roll survival checks or become lost.


I have two.
1)In PF the enchantment bonus of a weapon can bypass some types of DR.
2)(i am not sure if this is new or not but) when a creature has DR/magic or DR/epic then it's natural attacks are also considered of that type, and a creature's, with an alignment subtype, natural weapons and weilded weapons are treated as that alignment.


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Cartigan wrote:
No, it was single use in 3.5. Wizards must have caused clams to go extinct from the excessive use of 100gp pearls that had to be expended in identifying magic items. You had to get to Analyze Dwomer or something before you could batch identify things. And that ends up being cheaper because it only has a focus!

Holy ****! That goes on the list: Identify no longer has an appreciable gp cost! I completely missed that.

The Exchange

Tagion wrote:


Yes , a standard zombie with the "staggered" ability is quiet possibly one of the fastest land moving things you will fight LOL. Because its only viable in combat to charge with them , they move 60ft a round and hit with a +2 .

I can't access the srd 'cause I'm at work, but I'm not sure this is correct. Don't Zombies only have a move of 30'?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Tagion wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
Matthew Winn wrote:

"If you are able to take only a standard action on your turn,

you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up
to your speed (instead of up to double your speed) and you
cannot draw a weapon unless you possess the Quick Draw
feat. You can’t use this option unless you are restricted to
taking only a standard action on your turn."

Core, pg 198

Thus, zombies don't need to be fast to charge.
Yes , a standard zombie with the "staggered" ability is quiet possibly one of the fastest land moving things you will fight LOL. Because its only viable in combat to charge with them , they move 60ft a round and hit with a +2 .

Read the quote. You can only move up to your speed, not double.

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