Tricks of the trade - A not necessarily legal list of stuff for your character to do


Advice

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Thanks to Ashiel
And Thanks to Spoony
For being awesome and giving us awesome tricks. Some of which can be found in this list.

The combat smokestick.

Smokesticks are awesome. They block sight, they give concealment. Fighting a medusa? Use a smokestick. Enemy archers messing with your wizard’s buffing? Use a smokestick. Need a way to break line of sight so you can use stealth? You get the point. Only, it doesn’t really work like that, does it? You need fire to get the smokestick to work and unless you’ve got an ability/item tailored for this, or you’re fighting next to open flame, you’re gonna be using both your hands to light that smokestick.

Enter the combat smokestick.

Ingredients: 1 smokestick(20gp), 1 tindertwig(1gp), 1 spool of twine (1cp), 1 pint of lamp oil(1sp)

How to: Cut a bit of twine from your 50ft spool of twine. Tie the smokestick and tindertwig together using one piece of twine. Dunk it in lamp oil and let the excess oil drain back into the flask/jug you’re carrying it in. You’re ready.

The payoff: However you chose to carry it, whether you cut another piece of twine from your spool and tie it to your belt/bandolier/whatever or carry it in your handy haversack, or a special belt pouch, it doesn’t matter. Provided you have a free hand, you can now grab your combat smokestick as a move-action, and strike it against a rough surface (presumably a non-action, but your DM’s milage may vary), and then drop it as a free-action or throw it into any square as a standard action(10 ft range increment). The lit tindertwig and lamp oil should take care of lighting the smokestick on fire and you’ll get your concealment.

Ashiel’s Ghostbuster-net

Incorporeal enemies can be a pain. Just in a straight up fight, some ghostly enemies will wreck you, so it’s common for me to eat a face-full of desk when said ghost decides to walk through walls, floor and ceiling to mess with me, block line of sight, or wait out buffs. This is where you want Ashiel’s Ghostbuster-net. Originally I saw this on a thread about adventuring equipment on Paizo’s messageboard, and it is a genuinely brilliant idea.

Ashiel’s Ghostbuster-net is in fact just a +1 Ghost touch net.
Why would you waste money on a magic net, you ask? What’s that? You don’t ask that? I should have know, you’re a smart fella. You guessed it already: Throwing a folded net at someone is a ranged touch attack and if you hit, the enemy is entangled. Now the ghost does not simply phase through the net, because it’s a ghost touch net, but the net itself is not incorporeal. It’s still physically there, meaning the entangled creature cannot move through solid surfaces while caught in the net. Simply awesome.

Spoony’s Bardic Knock spell

The Bardic Knock spell is probably one of the single-most useful tricks for any adventurer to master, and it’s so very facepalmingly simple. Let’s say you need to get through a door. The rogue checks it for traps and realizes that yes, there is a trap and no, he is not sure he can disarm. Aside from that disturbing fact, the door is locked and there are sounds coming from the other side. So what do you do? If you cannot tell for sure if your rogue will get an unhealthy dose of DC 28 CON-poisoning and you know for a fact the door is locked, what do you do? You use the Bardic Knock spell. You walk up to the door, you ball your hand into a fist, and you knock. You knock on the door.

Now, technically you don’t have to be a bard to do the Bardic Knock spell, but having a nice bluff on hand for when the guy on the other side asks “who’s there” is always good. In some cases however the people on the other side of the door will open it to check, especially if dealing with stupid monstrous humanoids. If they do they not only unlocked the door, but in case of a mechanical trap, they will usually have disabled it, so stab them in the face with your free surprise action and walk in.

A simple, great and far too underused trick, at least in my campaigns.

Fireball necklace of DOOM!

Take one bead out of your necklace of fireballs. Now throw the necklace between yourself and your enemies, or hide it somewhere where you know your enemies will find it. Once the enemies are optimally positioned use your one remaining bead to fire a fireball at the necklace, breaking it and detonating all the remaining beads. Literally a one-shot trick, and an expensive one at that, but you’re pretty sure to paste all the poor sods within range.

Nobility comes with benefits.

This one is really simple. Buy a noble’s outfit, complete with jewels. This is pretty expensive for anyone who’s not an adventurer, or an actual noble. With your new garments donned and stylin’, you’re ready to blather your way through any conversation. Walk into a tavern and proclaim that you are Count Verisimilitude and you demand their finest quarters. City guards harassing people a certain area? Don your outfit and shoot them -one- killing glance, and they’ll keep to themselves for fear of the repercussions. Act your way through red tape, guards or whatever you feel like by feigning incredulity or by utterly refusing to communicate with whoever is in your way, instead turning to your meanest looking party member and communicating to him so he can pass the message on to these lesser people. If you’re smart you’ll disguise yourself, since you’ll be very memorable walking around dressed like a peacock.

Spoony’s Bag of glass.

Always carry bags and sacks. Always. In this case carry your empty sack around until you come upon a piece of cheap glassware. Put the glassware in the sack and go to town on the sack until the contents are just fine, powdered glass.
Make sure you wear gloves.
At any fitting moment, be it during combat, or some other time, you can now grab a handful of powdered glass and throw it in the eyes of your target. Natural reaction to getting stuff in your eyes is rubbing them, congratulations your enemy has now blended his own cornea and should be quite blind.

Keychain of persuasion.

This can come in handy whether you’re the party rogue or are simply breaking in somewhere where you are not supposed to be. The keychain of persuasion can be as expensive as you want it to be, really. You take a bit of rope, and you trail it through as many keys as you want to spend money on. I usually find that 5 is a good number. If you fill the rope with too many keys, it turns suspicious.

If you get caught trespassing, whether by servant, guard, stupid ogre minion or anyone else who you stand a reasonable chance of persuading, simply look up, smile and politely ask for directions to any particular place in the building. Then tell them that you’re an acquaintance of the owner/their employer/whatever (note: having done your research and actually knowing the name may good here. In case of BBEG: the Master or the Mistress, may suffice) and that you’ve come to pick up <insert believable object here> that he borrowed from you, or that you were to borrow from him. When whomever you are trying to persuade inevitably eyes you suspiciously, pull out your keychain of persuasion and tell them the owner even gave you a set of spare keys so you could come and go without disturbing the day-to-day workings of the place, and so you thought it prudent to let yourself in.

This will fool some, but not others and a demonstration may be in order if the person in question does not look like he’s buying what you’re selling. In that case try to open the nearest door with your X keys. Once you get through a few of the keys without success, drop the keys intentionally, swear, pick them back up. Then turn around looking apologetic and hand the keys to the person you’re talking to “look, can you see if any of these keys are likely to be the one for the door, I kinda got them mixed up” When he picks up the keys and proceeds to try to unlock the door, line up a good blow to the head, or look for your escape. If he does not make to pick up the keys, but instead looks at them closely, clog him in the face with your surprise-action, maybe even tripping him, and then stab him on your turn, or run for dear life.

Keychains of persuasion has gotten me through many a trespassing situation where I could have had problems. At one point I even got a particularly simplistic guard to open the door for me, when my keys did not work. It does not always work, but when it does you’ll be glad you did it.

ADDITION, BY northbrb: You could buy skeleton keys for an added chance that your keys may actually work on the lock you're demonstrating on (and they add to the whole breaking-in business). If you can open a door with your keys I imagine a great deal more guards would let you go about your business.

Bad-guy-begone

Investment: 1 bag of holding, 1 dagger.

Keep your nemesis from being ressed by anything other than a true resurrection. If he’s got access to that kind of magic, you may need to bring out bigger guns. However for most nemesis… nemesises? Nemesi? Whatever, for most of those guys, this investment and a small 3 step guide will be enough.

1: Beat up nemesis.
2: Stuff nemesis in bag of holding.
3: Cut open bag of holding.

Nemesis' body is now lost forever in an inaccessible non-dimensional space. Enjoy.

The Adventurer's Lockpick

The Adventurer's Lockpick is an old favorite of mine, and the bane of one of my former DMs.

The Adventurer's Lockpick is an Adamantine Dagger. That's it. 3002gp is a big investment, it's more than a +1 sword, but once you get the cash together, you really need one of these. An adamantine dagger has a million uses, but the best of them is going through doors.

If the rogue cannot open a lock, or worse yet, screws up and breaks the lock, you just cut the thing out of the door with your Adventurer's Lockpick. It usually only takes one round, just thrust it in gap between door and doorframe, and cut downward.

If you are in over your head in enemy territory and your party is trying to escape Citadel Von Evilstein, but you know, even once you're past the walls they'll send cavalry, give yourself a headstart and cut the portcullis chains, before jumping in the moat.

When it comes to Adventurer's Lockpicks I usually prefer dagger, simply because they are easy to hide and can be brought into many social situations where a larger weapon could not. But there is something to be said for the Adamantine Longsword instead, as you can cut through crossbeams on the other side of the door as well. You can do this with a dagger too, but a Longsword would usually deal with it in one clean swing, where a dagger would take more time.

This was all I could come up with for now.

Feel free to comment, and provide your own ideas, stories and creative tricks for characters to use. Items, Feats, plain in-character roleplaying or spellcombinations or uses. It doesn't matter.

-Nearyn


I intend to do all of these now. It has been added to my life goals.

Sczarni

I must say this is amazing. I love everyone of your ideas here, one suggestion for the Key-chain of persuasion. If you buy Skeleton keys 80gp each it could be more convincing for the persuasion. just an idea.


dot


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I think I saw this one in a third party book somewhere, but it's worth bringing up.

There is no inherent cost, but it will likely require a rather dangerous quest. You must find rust monsters. More specifically, you must find rust monster larva, and put them inside a glass tube which can be opened on one side, with glass grating to prevent the larva from escaping.

Simply press this side to any metal surface, and you will have a hole. Good for cracking safes, making peepholes in fortresses, et cetera.


A thought to the Adventurer's Lockpick; I think if I was going bigger than a dagger...I'd go with a felling axe, or better a fireman's axe. The head has a nice broad, flat head for Bludgeoning, the axe blade is ideal for Slashing and the spike off the back is your Piercing. If you're using a felling or fireman's axe the handle and size will be 1 handed for mechanical purposes but big enough to go 2 handed when the lock/portcullis chain/open stairwell support plinth needs that extra "oomph."

Silver Crusade

A couple of weeks ago in our regular 3.5 campaign our 15th level party found themselves in a dungeon run by very sneaky kobolds. The place was full of illusiory walls, pit traps. murder holes and spells. It was very frustrating because the little gits wouldn't fight us face to face.

At one point my fighter, Lucky, who doesn't always live up to his name, was attacked by poisonous darts shot through holes in a wall.

I have to mention Lucky's sword at this point. I've learned some hard lessons during this campaign. The DM and the players are in some sort of an 'arms race', not with equipment exactly, but with tactics. My previous PC was a paladin equivalent of a surface to air unicorn! The DM had given us a lot of problems with airborn threats, so a pimped-up unicorn mount with Horseshoes of the Zephyr enchanted with air walk, and a Rod of Lordly Might used as a lance meant that I could take out any airborne threat. She did an average of 250 damage on a charge, and that was before the unicorn's horn factored in.

Suddenly, we adventured in a world of 5-foot wide corridoors, and the Rod bit the dust from a black pudding's acid.

So my next PC, Lucky, was equipped with a +5 throwing adamantine bastard sword with an enchantment which makes it immune to acid and rust. So, when he was attacked with those darts through the holes in that wall, he attacked the wall! It gave way easily, exposing the little swines and their secret passages, and we mopped them up easily. The DM hadn't thought of that!

+5 adamantine bastard sword FTW!


Wow - dot be fun sometime


@JonGarret: Glad to be of service :)

@northbrb: Your suggestion has been added to the opening post. Great idea.

@Shah Jahan the King of Kings: I love this idea! It's tricky to put together, but wow what a useful tool it could turn out to be!

@Mark Hoover: You -could- do that, but I'd make it mandatory to loudly announce your pressence whenever you break down a door, by yelling "heeeEERE'S <character name>!" if you use the axe-variant.

@Malachi Silverclaw: I've said it before and I'll say it again. Kobolds will Wreck. Your. S!*~. Nice way you got to the little bastards. When all else fails, make a hole in the wall, eh? :P

Glad to see people find the thread useful. I remembered a few more tricks, so here ya go:

The applications of Ray of frost

If you have a cantrip-caster in your party, check if they have this spell on hand, because it can be so very fun and useful. The ability to freeze stuff is amazing, and for the creative, the spell has many more applications than just “do meager damage”.

Have a few clay jugs strapped to your cargo-mount and fill them with water, have ray of frost prepared, and you’re ready to cause trouble.

Pour the water on a dungeon-floor just round a corner and cast ray of frost on it. One, two or maybe 3 casting should do it. Now you’ve got a perfectly good sheet of ice, filling a gallons worth of floor(A pint of lamp oil can cover a 5ft square, so if we’re lazy we can assume that a gallon of water fills 8 5ft squares). Make a racket and when the guards show up, pelter them with ranged attacks until they close in for the melee. Then watch them slip and crash on your homemade slippery surface. Heavily armored enemies will hate you, and acrobatics is not a fighter class-skill. Put it near a ledge and look hopefully at your DM for extra fun.

Before travelling (as adventurers have a tendency of doing), I usually visit a market and look for some home-crafted baubles, usually a pretty polished stone (for flavor reasons, why not keep it pretty?), and then cast ray of frost on it a few times before putting it where I keep my travelling provisions. This helps keep the food from spoiling and it can be renewed once or twice during a day’s travel if the cold starts wearing off.

I sometimes use it create snacks for folks and children whenever I arrive at some new establishment. Some players will turn their nose up at that, saying that even though you have unlimited cantrips, you should not just go about using them for anything and everything. I can respect that, but I also say friendliness never hurt anyone, and few things warm the hearts of xenophobic villagers as much as the sound of their children laughing, because they each got a Linnorm-mead-popsicle from the nice new wizardly fellow at the inn.

Many more applications exist, but these are my usual tricks.

Hat of Assassins

A stylin’ wide-brimmed hat is about as swag as you can get in fantasy. It practically screams suave. However aside from being great fashion accessories, prized at between 1sp and 50gp, they can also be used to subtly sneak weapons into a place where you’re not supposed to have them. Even if the guard thoroughly searches you, it’s pretty rare he’ll search your hatband.

What you do is: you take a piece of Garotte wire, a thin, but pointy piece of metal that can be used as an improvised stiletto, a scroll of fireball, or some similarly sized, thin and easily folded object, and you hide it behind your hatband, so it’s folded in between the band and the hat. You can now smuggle your weapon of choice into the duke’s banquet without trouble. If you’ve got access to the Shrink Item spell you may be able to find even better hidingplaces, or you could bring an arbalest with you to the party.

Trap-triggering servant.

For the party who is sadly lacking in the rogue department, the Unseen Servant spell is a great spell. Using summoned creatures to trigger traps is nothing new, but most summoned monsters are only present for a short duration. Unseen servant is cool as all hell AND has a great duration. However the description warns that the force it exerts, may not be enough to trigger pressure-plates or such devices, a line that makes many DMs twirl their mustaches with glee.

The trick is to take one of your many empty sacks (See Spoony’s Bag of glass), and put something heavy and useless (no not the fighter, play nice) in it. Then have the unseen servant drag the sack behind it: Problem solved. It can drag up to 100 pounds, so if the hallway pings on the detect-magic-o-graph, send the unseen servant in with its sack of stuff, and stay just the necessary distance behind it for it not to disappear. The force of 20 pounds should take of tripwires and the sack of 100ish pounds should take care of pits and pressure-plates.

Note that you may wanna check the general features of the room for indications of lightningbolt-type traps or AOE shenanigans, and move accordingly.

Happy adventuring.


Unseen servants can also be sneaky. If you're fighting the BBEG and there's a key lever (or whatever) that when pulled will release the princess (or whatever). While the party is fighting the Unseen servant that you cast a few hours ago can be instructed to pull said lever. It's an invisible massless magical blob, so it's unlikely the BBEG will see it until the lever is pulled. Similarly it can fetch things while the party keeps the BBEG and minions distracted. "Fill up this portable hole while we fight the dragon." he may or may not notice, but if nothing else the dragon (or whatever) will have to take an action to deal with the Unseen servants actions.

Now this is more fun if your DM allows one of my favorite 3.5 spells, Servant Horde.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

If you ever play through City of Tsar, I heartily recommend the party be armed with a +1 Adamantine Maul, maybe Construct Bane.

And you absolutely trash every single trap, statue, door, and magical doo-dad you stumble across so that they only work once. Give it to the big bruiser with Power Attack, and let him see how much damage he can do per round to the 15 hardness, 900 hp statue with the disintegrate/greater animate dead trap tied into it that you really, really want gone.

==Aelryinth

Lantern Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

One option for the Combat Smokestick [for casters, at least]:

Load a standard smokestick into a spring-loaded wrist sheath, pop the smokestick when you need a distraction, ignite with your spark cantrip.

Producing something from a spring-loaded wrist sheath is a Swift action. Dropping an item is a Free action. Casting the spell is a Standard action, and moving away is a Move action.

Since the dropped smokestick is unattended, it's a legal target for the spark cantrip.

Similar stunts can be performed by dropping various fireworks in strategic locations as you move around [or before a fight], and igniting them at opportune times.


... Okay, I've GOT to use one of these someday. ESPECIALLY Bad-Buy-Begone.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

For bad guy begone, it's probably cheaper just disintegrating the corpse, but whatever works!

Of course, then they just bring out the clones...

==Aelryinth

Lantern Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Also, for a paltry 5gp you can add the sawback modification to your shiny dagger. That should assuage any concerns the GM has about a dagger cutting through hinges and bars and other such things.


Dot.


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Heh, most of these have come into play in my campaigns, either as a player or as a GM.

Some of these (like the glass dust or the noble's clothes) will only work if the GM is amenable, and in my experience, lots of GMs interpret things differently enough that expectations and reality sometimes collide. So if you plan on using them, I recommend you talk to your GM first to be sure that your clever little trick doesn't turn into a game-time argument which ends up with hurt feelings and a dead PC whose little trick only ticked off the guards.

A warning on the FB necklace, the necklace will get a saving throw and if it succeeds, you just handed your smoldering enemies a bunch of fireballs to use against you.

And just a note to the wise, anyone who has ever been trained to search anyone else will view a hat as the most obvious place possible to hide something and the hatband will be the very first place they look.


I'd lie if I said I wasn't confused. Why are we suddenly in the Advice board? O.o

Silver Crusade

There is a slight variation on the Necklace of Fireballs trick. One of it's 'drawbacks' is that if the wearer ever fails a save vs. Magical Fire then the remaining fireballs explode.

Simply make sure that the wearer is immune/resistant to fire, walk in amongst the enemy, set off the smallest fireball in your own square and deliberately fail your save! All of the others will explode, but you don't deliberately fail those saves!

Everyone around you gets hit with an entire necklace full, but each is saved against and resolved seperately, including fire resistance. You should be okay, but if the enemy have no fire resistance, even making most of their (DC14 Ref) saves the half damage from each adds up to a considerable amount!


Great topic!
I think unseen servant has a range it has to stay in, however.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nearyn wrote:
I'd lie if I said I wasn't confused. Why are we suddenly in the Advice board? O.o

Because the original post essentially contains advice on aspects of the Pathfinder RPG? ;)


@Adamantine Dragon: Very true AD, very true. I suppose the hat-trick depends on the kind of game you're running and where you're running it. Social issues or time constraints could easily be factored into it, in fact they should be, if you're being all assassiny about it. If you've scored an invitation to the duke's banquest, anything but "check your weapons with the lieutenant, please" would be viewed as a great insult in my games, but I guess people's treatment of their guests depend on their paranoia :P

In case of "open parties" where any well-washed citizen can enter the keep-yard and partake in the food and drink, the guards may -want- to check everyone, but more than likely, they'll give you a quick glance, ask you to leave any obvious weapons in the gatehouse, and then send you in. This is all speculation though, and you're completely right in what I assume to be your main point: The hat is not foolproof :)

@Malachi Silverclaw: That is actually a pretty cool spin on it. An energy-blocking spell and a casting of Magic Aura and you can wear your beautiful heirloom necklace to almost any party. Non-suicidal suicide-bombing.

@Jaxtile: Quite correct sir, which is why you need to be on the lookout for AOE tricks, since you have to travel 30+ ft behind it. At later levels this stops being an issue, unless you're dealing with lightningbolt setups or some wonky trap where the entire room caves in. :)

EDIT:

@Ravenmantle: Ah! That -could- be it, you're right :D


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Nearyn wrote:
Thanks to Ashiel

You're welcome sir. I have another one for you. I have traditionally only shared this one with people who PMed me asking me "why do wizards wear pointy hats" after some of my posts. I imagine after posting this I'll get no more fun little PMs asking about the pointy hats, but at least this will be more useful for the community at large.

Quoted from a message I sent to someone who asked.

Ashiel's Pointy Hat Trick
Well have you ever wondered why wizards are known to wear pointy "steeple hats"? I'm sure you've noticed that great wizards such as Merlin, Albus Dumbledore, and Gandalf the Grey wear pointy hats. Witches are also famous for their pointy hats. Even divine casters are known to wear pointy hats.

Now some people might wonder, why exactly do all these spellcasters wear pointy hats? Some might go so far as to say they look downright silly. If it were a simple fashion trend, why does the use of the pointy hat extend across seemingly unrelated magical traditions? The answer is because it's really practical, and is a first line of defense against those who would rob them of their magics.

You see, they are not truly hats at all. Merely tents, cones, or teepees made out of various materials with a shrink object spell cast on them. Shrink object lasts days at a time per casting and can even be made permanent. Shrunken objects can even be made to appear as cloth, as per the spell. These objects are then worn as a hat.

You see, antimagic field is an emanation effect. In simple terms, it works kind of like a candle of light. Block the light and the darkness remains on the other side. By gaining total cover or otherwise blocking the line of effect from the antimagic field means the wizard, witch, or divine caster wearing a pointy hat is prepared. The moment they are hit by the field, the magic making the hat small and cloth-like is suppressed and they are encased in a big tent or cone with them inside. The antimagic field now adequately blocked, their contingency to teleport to safety can activate. Or they can cast some other spell before the enemy tears the tent apart. In most cases, they will simply dimension door, teleport, or plane shift away. Leaving their assailants confused and bewhildered; wondering how the wizard magically enhanced his hat and disappeared inside the antimagic field.

Wizards are a tricky lot.


I like the pointy hat... I'm gonna remember that one. Sometimes your stuff can be pretty open to interpretation Ashiel, but this one actually looks pretty rock solid to me. ;-)


@Ashiel: Welcome to the thread, glad to have you here :)

Oh! and in regards to Ashiel's Pointy Hat Trick

Thanks for sharing :D


I'm stealing all of these. Especially the pointy hat and smoke sticks. Lighting smoke sticks in an action efficient manner without Spark has always stumped me.


Ashiel wrote:


Ashiel's Pointy Hat Trick
Well have you ever wondered why wizards are known to wear pointy "steeple hats"? I'm sure you've noticed that great wizards such as Merlin, Albus Dumbledore, and Gandalf the Grey wear pointy hats. Witches are also famous for their pointy hats. Even divine casters are known to wear pointy hats.

Now some people might wonder, why exactly do all these spellcasters wear pointy hats? Some might go so far as to say they look downright silly. If it were a simple fashion trend, why does the use of the pointy hat extend across seemingly unrelated magical traditions? The answer is because it's really practical, and is a first line of defense against those who would rob them of their magics.

You see, they are not truly hats at all. Merely tents, cones, or teepees made out of various materials with a shrink object spell cast on them. Shrink object lasts days at a time per casting and can even be made permanent. Shrunken objects can even be made to appear as cloth, as per the spell. These objects are then worn as a hat.

You see, antimagic field is an emanation effect. In simple terms, it works...

this, just this makes me want a pointy hat on all my casters, even my wildshape druid

Silver Crusade

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Aratrok wrote:
I'm stealing all of these. Especially the pointy hat and smoke sticks. Lighting smoke sticks in an action efficient manner without Spark has always stumped me.

When I read about the spring-loaded wrist sheath I thought, 'Why not have a striking surface as part of the arrangement?'

You know, like the one on a match box that you strike the matches against to light them. Arrange it so that when the smokestick/tindertwig bundle is sprung from the sheath, the tindertwig scrapes across the striking surface, lighting it and, in turn, lighting the smokestick. No magic needed! And no standard action to light it either! Crucial in combat!


Dotting. Love the "Bard Knock Spell".

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The pointy hat trick actually doesn't work.

An erect 'teepee' covers considerably more volume then the Shrink Object spell can handle (only 2 ft cubed/level). To let this work, the hat probably has to have been Poly Any Object'd.

this trick has been around for many years. It may even have been born publicly on my Lockdown thread on the WoTC boards.

Note that the hat is going to have to basically cover your square and mostly be out of reach of your arms, or it's going to hang up on your arms and not deploy properly. Also, if the person is in reach of you, they can likely just extend any weapon and stop it from falling down. If you're carrying a staff, it's likely going to catch on it as it falls.

And if the enemy gets face to face with you, it has to come down over both of you and is worthless.

i.e. this trick really doesn't work. Now, if it was a polymorphed brick wall surrounding you in a 5'r when the A-M field hits it, that's another story.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

The pointy hat trick actually doesn't work.

An erect 'teepee' covers considerably more volume then the Shrink Object spell can handle (only 2 ft cubed/level). To let this work, the hat probably has to have been Poly Any Object'd.

this trick has been around for many years. It may even have been born publicly on my Lockdown thread on the WoTC boards.

Note that the hat is going to have to basically cover your square and mostly be out of reach of your arms, or it's going to hang up on your arms and not deploy properly. Also, if the person is in reach of you, they can likely just extend any weapon and stop it from falling down. If you're carrying a staff, it's likely going to catch on it as it falls.

And if the enemy gets face to face with you, it has to come down over both of you and is worthless.

i.e. this trick really doesn't work. Now, if it was a polymorphed brick wall surrounding you in a 5'r when the A-M field hits it, that's another story.

==Aelryinth

Pretty much every reason you gave that it doesn't work has nothing to do with the rules. "If you have a staff it'll catch on it". Really? Making up reasons for it not to work does not make it not work. :P

And 2 square feet per caster level is plenty for shrink item to work on something large enough to surround you. It wouldn't have to be very large. You're only objective is to break the line of effect.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:


Simply make sure that the wearer is immune/resistant to fire, walk in amongst the enemy, set off the smallest fireball in your own square and deliberately fail your save! All of the others will explode, but you don't deliberately fail those saves!

Everyone around you gets hit with an entire necklace full, but each is saved against and resolved seperately, including fire resistance. You should be okay, but if the enemy have no fire resistance, even making most of their (DC14 Ref) saves the half damage from each adds up to a considerable amount!

I pulled this trick with a summoner of mine. My eidolon had fire immunity so I had him charge into the middle of a group of baddies and smash the entire (full) necklace on the floor. The look on the GM's face was a wonder to behold.


Hah, one of my Sorcerer/Rogue builds has already used a variety of the Bard's Knock Spell trick. A good Bluff (read: high bonus and good RP) and I was in. When I came back the next day to get back my mw crossbow (don't ask how I "lost" it; I got out alive), the trick was varied (by knocking while being invisible) and I was in again. I survived the APV+4 encounter a second time (6th lv Wizard against one 4th lv Sorceress/Rogue) and even managed to make him flee into his bedroom and agree to my terms of a deal. *g*

Made a great story to tell at the local Cayden Cailean temple....

Liberty's Edge

I had an assassin who used to store his dead bodied in bags of holding. It was expensive but amusing. Never ruptured them though as that would be a waste of a perfectly good item.

At last count I think he had 7-8 bags of holding each filled with a dead body.

We used to wait till the ruckus had died down (3-4 weeks) and then dispose of the body in the normal fashion (usually fire or acid). By this time they usually had exhausted the magical route as it failed for too long.

Additionally Bags of holding are great places to store stolen unique loot. Those locate object spells can be a killer for the rogue with sticky fingers and no sense.


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This is back from the Arcanis d20 days but

Altherian <or other god of invention> Surprise

1. Large Sack (1sp)
2. 1 flask of Alchemist Fire (20 gp)
3. 5 Flasks of Oil (5sp)

put all in sack, close sack.. throw at target

enjoy 1d6 +5d3 for 2 rounds.. for 21gp

Or....

Tie Itching Powder (60 gp) a Burst Jar (35gp)

::snicker:::


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I remember reading on another thread, using the shrink item spell on a large pillar, burying said shrunken pillar underneath a city wall and waiting for it to grow back to normal size to lift or destroy the wall in that area.

Not sure if it would work, but it sounded like a lot of fun. Perhaps one could talk or trick an enemy into swallowing a shrunken item with chocolate or something else around it whole, wait for it to wear off and splat.

If an anti-magic field automatically takes off the effects of magic immediately upon entering the area of the anti-magic, could one have a shrunken statue, put it in a sling and throw the shrunken statue into the anti-magic field and it would grow immediately upon entering the field? Squishing thine puny enemies?

Haven't gotten to really use Shrink Item, but there are potentially lots of fun uses I would guess.


Ashiel wrote:
And 2 square feet per caster level is plenty for shrink item to work on something large enough to surround you. It wouldn't have to be very large. You're only objective is to break the line of effect.

We can figure this out. For the sake of my calculation, I will say the hat counts as a solid cone and it needs to be 5 feet high, and 5 feet in diameter. Allow me to show off my amateur math talent.

V= 1/3 x pi x radius squared x height

V = (3.1416 ÷ 3) x (2.5 x 2.5) x 5

V = 1.05 x 6.25 x 5

V = 32.91, or a 16th/17th level.

So, that would be pretty tough to pull off. My assumption of the a solid cone is pretty harsh though. I can't think of a way to calculate the actual volume without dropping the pointed hat into a full tub of water and measuring how much is displaced by it. My guess is that a wizard could pull it off by the time be can cast Shrink Item.


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Nearyn wrote:

@JonGarret: Glad to be of service :)

@northbrb: Your suggestion has been added to the opening post. Great idea.

@Shah Jahan the King of Kings: I love this idea! It's tricky to put together, but wow what a useful tool it could turn out to be!

@Mark Hoover: You -could- do that, but I'd make it mandatory to loudly announce your pressence whenever you break down a door, by yelling "heeeEERE'S <character name>!" if you use the axe-variant.

@Malachi Silverclaw: I've said it before and I'll say it again. Kobolds will Wreck. Your. S+**. Nice way you got to the little bastards. When all else fails, make a hole in the wall, eh? :P

Glad to see people find the thread useful. I remembered a few more tricks, so here ya go:

The applications of Ray of frost

If you have a cantrip-caster in your party, check if they have this spell on hand, because it can be so very fun and useful. The ability to freeze stuff is amazing, and for the creative, the spell has many more applications than just “do meager damage”.

Have a few clay jugs strapped to your cargo-mount and fill them with water, have ray of frost prepared, and you’re ready to cause trouble.

Pour the water on a dungeon-floor just round a corner and cast ray of frost on it. One, two or maybe 3 casting should do it. Now you’ve got a perfectly good sheet of ice, filling a gallons worth of floor(A pint of lamp oil can cover a 5ft square, so if we’re lazy we can assume that a gallon of water fills 8 5ft squares). Make a racket and when the guards show up, pelter them with ranged attacks until they close in for the melee. Then watch them slip and crash on your homemade slippery surface. Heavily armored enemies will hate you, and acrobatics is not a fighter class-skill. Put it near a ledge and look hopefully at your DM for extra fun.

Before travelling (as adventurers have a tendency of doing), I usually visit a market and look for some home-crafted baubles, usually a pretty polished stone (for flavor reasons, why not keep it pretty?), and...

My favorite application of ray of frost: putting. out. fires. One ray of frost can extinguish a flame in a 5-foot square, so it's very easy to create a quick fire break.

And boy, when those goblin alchemists gang up on you and you can't put the fire out, ray of frost would be pretty handy!


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Floating Disk plus Reach Spell and being a caster of 4th level or higher makes you awesome.

Here's how:

Cast Floating Disk with Reach Spell so it's a Medium range spell.

Put fighter on Floating Disk. At 4th level, the disk holds 400 lbs. I doubt your fighter is much over 350 even with all his armor and his golf bag of weapons.

As the caster, your move action is more expendable than the fighter's. Use the Move Acton to move the Floating Disk by 30' per turn - to put the fighter adjacent to an enemy target. For targets with reach, this will result in an AoO, so tell the fighter to be ready for it.

Now, fighter has moved 30', is 3' off the ground (qualifiying for "higher ground" +1 to hit bonus!) and gets to Full Attack.

If you're a Sorcerer, and have also taken Magical Lineage (Magic Missile) and Toppling Magic Missile and Spontaneous Metafocus, you can make your friend the fighter even happier: On your Standard Action, fire Toppling Magic Missiles at opponents - before you move the fighter-on-disk over.

Now, the target's AoOs (if any) are at -4 to hit because they're prone, and your fighter gets +1 for being on higher ground AND +4 for attacking a prone target. This makes fighters MUCH MUCH happier.

This is also great for getting your fighter over the mess you made with Stone Call or that the druid made with Entangle.

I also have my sorcerer carry two heavy crossbows. Move action: Swap crossbow with unseen servant. Free action: Tell unseen servant to reload crossbow. Standard action: Fire crossbow. Unseen servant's Full Round Action: Reload heavy crossbow.

Next turn, repeat.

Another fun one:

Spectral Hand + Rod of Reach Spell + Ring of Spell Knowledge.

Set your Ring of Spell Knowledge to allow your Sorcerer to cast Cure Moderate Wounds as a 3rd level spell from your friend the Bard.

Cast Spectral Hand with a Rod of Reach Spell.

Cast Vanish on your Spectral Hand if there's time; there probably isn't.

Now whenever one of your fighters is taking damage, have the Spectral Hand deliver your Cure Moderate Wounds spell to him...from 600 feet away.

Your Bard friend will also want to do this, but in reverse - he wants to be able to cast Spectral Hand from his ring as a 3rd level spell.

Spectral Hand also means you avoid the miss chance when you're using Blink to keep your precious precious caster hide intact...and Toppling Force Punch is one of those spells that's wonderful for moving enemies into the spaces the fighters want.

I double I'll be able to do this in PFS - because level 12 options for play are so limited there - but my Sorcerer I use these tricks on also knows Dazing Spell, and will be getting a Rod of Widen Spell.

I suspect he'll break a lot of scenarios throwing down a Widened Dazing Fireball with a Reflex DC in the medium 20s that covers a 40' radius burst that has a 3-round Daze effect. (Due to his bloodline arcana, they'll also be Dazzled for the same 3 rounds, in case there are targets that can't be dazed...)

"Hi there, Mr. BBEG with a swarm of mooks. Everyone roll Reflex to halve 10d6 fire damage, and avoid being Dazed and Dazzled for the rest of your expected lifespan."

"OK guys, go mop 'em up!"


Nearyn wrote:

Thanks to Ashiel

And Thanks to Spoony
For being awesome and giving us awesome tricks. Some of which can be found in this list.

This is an excellent thread Nearyn. With your permission and if I get motivated and find the time, I might steal some of these ideas and add some of my own to build up its very own guide using Google Docs to share with the community.

Not sure what I'd call it exactly... maybe "Cunning Tips & Tricks: A Guide for Characters to Survive and Flourish"?


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
And 2 square feet per caster level is plenty for shrink item to work on something large enough to surround you. It wouldn't have to be very large. You're only objective is to break the line of effect.

We can figure this out. For the sake of my calculation, I will say the hat counts as a solid cone and it needs to be 5 feet high, and 5 feet in diameter. Allow me to show off my amateur math talent.

V= 1/3 x pi x radius squared x height

V = (3.1416 ÷ 3) x (2.5 x 2.5) x 5

V = 1.05 x 6.25 x 5

V = 32.91, or a 16th/17th level.

So, that would be pretty tough to pull off. My assumption of the a solid cone is pretty harsh though. I can't think of a way to calculate the actual volume without dropping the pointed hat into a full tub of water and measuring how much is displaced by it. My guess is that a wizard could pull it off by the time be can cast Shrink Item.

Subtract a smaller cone from a larger cone to get a hollow cone. So, for example, if you want the cone to be one inch thick, then you can make a cone 6.5 feet high and five feet wide using about 4 cubic feet of material.

So I suppose it's all in how you shape it.


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Step 1. get a portable hole.

Step 2. fill said hole with water. Open it at the bottom of a lake, pool, river, or just have a helpful create water spell available from your business partner.

Step 3. Not wearing heavy armor, thus being faster than whatever guards happen to be chasing you, run down a dimly lit corridor to a corner.

Step 4. Being good with distances, let them have just enough movement to round the corner and step 5ft in. Right where you've placed your portable hole, (standard action to open at the time i last used this).

Step 5. move 5-10ft away and look like you're unsuccessfully trying to open a door to hide in.

Step 6. Close said hole as they bubble longingly up at you, then continue rifling whatever you were into when they caught you.

Step 7. Open the hole a few hours later, have business partner prestidigitation the armor clean and dry.

Step 8. Profit at Taziars' "New to You!" used armor emporium, for discerning but financially strapped soon to be adventurers.

Used this on the 12th level armored hulk that was supposed to be a recurring bad guy with my last homebrew GM... laughed for about 3 levels, then he shows up as an undead Deathknight with a grudge.

C'est la vie.


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Ashiel wrote:


Ashiel's Pointy Hat Trick

That's... awesome. Assuming you have a hat that's about 20 centimeters in diameter, it's about 4 square meters of tent for you. A permanent shrink item on that and some of your gear means you'll have the world's coolest travelling gear, even ignoring the antimagic field thingy.


@Nunspa: Great idea. The whole problem with Molampoil Cocktails have always been the chance of the oil not catching fire, because the fuse burns out or whatnot. With an alchemist fire in the mix though, there's not much chance of that. Hell I'd be half tempted not to throw it, but just beat my enemy over the head with that sack in melee until I burn my fingers. Just to say I once beat down my enemy using a burning sack of lampoil, broken clayjugs, broken glass and napalm, with a straight face. Let's see the musclebound half-orc at the bar pick a fight with me after that little disclaimer, eh? :D

@Third Mind: I have no idea if this would work, but I am oh so very assuredly gonna try it :D I'm thinking of using slings to throw shrunk blacksmith's anvils now, let the enemies feel the thunder, Wile E. Coyote style!

@Gwen Smith: Indeed. It's great for putting out minor fires, or big ones waiting to happen. If the fire catches a haybale or thatched roof though, better whip out higher level spells or call in the Bucket Brigade.

@AdAstraGames: Great suggestions, very team-oriented, I love it. The alternative applications of magic is always a joy to behold :)

@c873788: Thanks alot mate, I'm glad you like it. Go right ahead and use whatever you like for your guide. I am planning on compiling all of these great suggestions myself, though titled the same as this thread. Don't let that stop you though. :D

@TGMaxMaxer: And the quest to find a reliable, reusable method of drowning plate-wearers continues :)

Really happy to see how many people like/find use for this stuff. Now I feel compelled to go look through my old character-sheets to see if I can remember more tricks. :)


Oh... we also played in a pirate type game where the GM used the stronghold builders guide in 3.x to enchant ships... things like fire resist, anti magic, there was an elven spell to make iron wood (not the same as the special material).

We got cannons, our mystic theurge with a -ton- of shrink item spells... to make cannonball->grape shot. Then cast anti-magic screen between us and the other ship... boom.

Scattergun full size cannonballs...

GM retired the game a lil' after that.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Subtract a smaller cone from a larger cone to get a hollow cone. So, for example, if you want the cone to be one inch thick, then you can make a cone 6.5 feet high and five feet wide using about 4 cubic feet of material.

Perfect. I suppose could have calculted surface area and gone from there too.


Nearyn wrote:


@c873788: Thanks alot mate, I'm glad you like it. Go right ahead and use whatever you like for your guide. I am planning on compiling all of these great suggestions myself, though titled the same as this thread. Don't let that stop you though. :D

If I do get round to doing a guide, I'll make sure to acknowledge yourself, and the contributers in this thread.

I think I'll focus on the tricks and uses for equipment and magic items. I better title might be "Pimp my PC: The Guide to Equipping Your Character to be Awesome".

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Use an unseen servant to follow you around holding a potion of cure whatever, with instructions to administer it should you become unconscious.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Adamantine Durable Arrow. It's the Adventurer's Lockpick for first level.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Remember adamantine weapons have to be 'suitable for the task' to do the work, i.e. you can't adamantine arrow a hole through a wall for people, and driving it into a door just puts a hole in the door.

A knife or saw is a much better idea.

Unlike a tent, which can be folded down and shrunk, the hat has to remain in its form to perform the task. Thus, it takes up a much higher volume.

On the portable hole trick, there is nothing I've ever read that says you can't force open the hole from the inside. closing it up and drowning someone is virtually impossible. Those inside the hole can just grab the lip and force it open.

For a variant on the portable hole trick: Having half a dozen people clamber into your portable hole allows you to easily bypass the weight limits on teleport. Combine with reduce item and you can evacuate a noble household without too much problem. If you're thinking ahead and have stands or something installed, it gets even nicer.

==Aelryinth

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