Spell Clarifications


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gee, sometimes I wish it was like it was back in the good old WotC forum days, where writer/designer/developer/CEO/accountant/Cosmo presence on forums was zero and we didn't have all those horrible issues that come from a company actually taking their time to interact with customer base.


Irranshalee wrote:
To me, a small jester towards the community would go a long way.

guys I will absolutely be that small jester if you need someone to do so

I am not small but I will try really hard

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Starbuck_II wrote:
Well, I assume only one of the posts when they repush FAQ on a thread, unless there is a legitmate question in post #3 and #20.

The FAQ-flagging system tracks posts, not threads. That way, if a FAQ question comes up on post #150, we can jump right to that post and not try to figure out which question people are flagging.

Starbuck_II wrote:
But not for "can an alchemist add cleric spells to his formula book?" as that really isn't a question thatis asked too often I've found. And it is self explainatory as Alchemist isn't a cleric.

Yet that very question is sitting in the pending-FAQ pile and has been FAQ-flagged at least 5 times.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Appeals to Rule Zero to fix all broken aspects of a rules system published and sold as a rules system logically equates to "why the hell did you buy a rules system in the first place if you don't actually need any rules?"

It is absurd on its face. You bought rules because you wanted rules.

A rules system should be judged on whether or not it works on its own not on whether or not the people who buy it will bother with fixing all the broken bits because they like the publisher, or because they have warm fuzzy nostalgia about playing in a long-retired previous version of the rules system.

There's obviously lots of people who agree with you (probably a majority, I'd guess). Nonetheless, some of us have the view that an RPG is better if its rules have issues of completeness or require interpretation. In my mind that's one of the things that distinguishes an RPG from a board game. DM fiat is an essential part of the experience to me and it becomes harder to play like that once the rules become bigger, more exhaustive and more interconnected.

That's not to dismiss your opinion, just to clarify that it is an opinion. An RPG publisher has the unenviable task of walking that fine line - every bit of effort they devote to tightening up/clarifying/expanding/refining rules that will increase your enjoyment represents resources which could have been spent providing more flavour material or coming up with half-fleshed out subsystem guidelines. I'd greatly prefer the latter course.


Zaister wrote:
Note, by the way, how, unsurprisingly, once again, the OP hasn't even bothered to return to this thread.

No, he returned at least once but his posts were deleted/removed.


Steve, There are different options for rules systems. I am fine with a rules system that allows for individual flavor, and as I posted earlier, I acknowledge that in Pathfinder there are some spells/items that are specifically designed to allow GM leeway.

That's not the problem.

The problem is when Rule 1 says X, but Rule 2 says Y and X and Y are not both possible. Or Rule 1 says X but combined with Rule 2 the result is clearly unexpected and confusing.

This is not an issue of how much leeway the rules allow.

This is an issue of specific rules that are either broken, confusing or in conflict with other rules.

I repeat myself. Rules should work. If you want to leave something to the GM, don't make it a rule. If you make it a rule, make sure it works. If players make compelling cases that it doesn't work and can be resolved, then fix the rule. Or else change it to specifically say "GM leeway is recommended here".

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Irranshalee wrote:

Does Paizo understand that some portion of their community is unhappy with their product?

Do they even know how large that portion is?
Do they even care?

1. Yes. The real question is, "is it actually possible to make everyone happy?" Because there are a significant number of people on these boards who specifically look for problems with X plus Y and demand personal responses to corner-case issues, and they won't be happy with anything less.

2. Given that the number of people active on the boards are a small percentage of the people who actually play, no, we don't know how many that is. The real question is, "if we did know, how much effort would it take to push that percentage from (frex) 80% to 90%? 90% to 95%?"

3. Yes. But it has to be balanced against things like "we need designer consensus on these questions, and one of our designers has been out sick for a week," and "if this book isn't finished this week, it won't be at GenCon this year," and similar issues. Yes, there's always something--that's the nature of monthly publishing. I tried to squeeze time into my schedule to answer FAQ questions... and what that got me was people attacking my answers as if they were off-the cuff responses without consulting the rest of my team (which wasn't the case).

It is one of my employee goals this year to have regular team meetings about FAQ issues. We're actually having one in about 5 minutes.

Don't ever mistake my silence for consent or indifference—especially this time of year when not only do I have my normal duties, I'm also judging RPG Superstar. My work time is stretched very thin over many projects, and most of those projects have deadlines that cannot slip any more than they already have. I am a fireman... my job is to put out fires. And if the city is burning, the fireman can't pause to do a calendar shoot or rescue a kitten from a tree.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Steve, There are different options for rules systems. I am fine with a rules system that allows for individual flavor, and as I posted earlier, I acknowledge that in Pathfinder there are some spells/items that are specifically designed to allow GM leeway.

That's not the problem.

The problem is when Rule 1 says X, but Rule 2 says Y and X and Y are not both possible. Or Rule 1 says X but combined with Rule 2 the result is clearly unexpected and confusing.

This is not an issue of how much leeway the rules allow.

This is an issue of specific rules that are either broken, confusing or in conflict with other rules.

I repeat myself. Rules should work. If you want to leave something to the GM, don't make it a rule. If you make it a rule, make sure it works. If players make compelling cases that it doesn't work and can be resolved, then fix the rule. Or else change it to specifically say "GM leeway is recommended here".

i appreciate your position (and think its more popular than mine, certainly amongst PF players and game designers) - I think i wasn't terribly clear.

My personal view is that all rules are merely suggested ways of resolving various situations. It doesn't matter if they contradict each other, since you'll just pick whichever resolution works best at the time (even if you made the contrary call last week). I take rule zero to be paramount - it essentially reduces all the rest to guidelines/suggestions/defaults/etcetera.

Unfortunately, resources are limited. Even given a blatant contradiction (like a suit of armour being given a different AC bonus in two different places, or something) my preference will be to leave it and move on. The way we've always played RPGs, things like that just aren't an issue (let alone the more esoteric contradictions arising from clashes between different subsystems).

Liberty's Edge

What a about a sexy kitten calendar shoot. Everyone at Paizo, soaking wet from the firehoses, climbing up ladders and reaching for kittens.

Later, we all have Ice Cream!

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Irranshalee wrote:

Does Paizo understand that some portion of their community is unhappy with their product?

Do they even know how large that portion is?
Do they even care?

1. Yes. The real question is, "is it actually possible to make everyone happy?" Because there are a significant number of people on these boards who specifically look for problems with X plus Y and demand personal responses to corner-case issues, and they won't be happy with anything less.

2. Given that the number of people active on the boards are a small percentage of the people who actually play, no, we don't know how many that is. The real question is, "if we did know, how much effort would it take to push that percentage from (frex) 80% to 90%? 90% to 95%?"

3. Yes. But it has to be balanced against things like "we need designer consensus on these questions, and one of our designers has been out sick for a week," and "if this book isn't finished this week, it won't be at GenCon this year," and similar issues. Yes, there's always something--that's the nature of monthly publishing. I tried to squeeze time into my schedule to answer FAQ questions... and what that got me was people attacking my answers as if they were off-the cuff responses without consulting the rest of my team (which wasn't the case).

It is one of my employee goals this year to have regular team meetings about FAQ issues. We're actually having one in about 5 minutes.

Don't ever mistake my silence for consent or indifference—especially this time of year when not only do I have my normal duties, I'm also judging RPG Superstar. My work time is stretched very thin over many projects, and most of those projects have deadlines that cannot slip any more than they already have. I am a fireman... my job is to put out fires. And if the city is burning, the fireman can't pause to do a calendar shoot or rescue a kitten from a tree.

Thank you for taking your time to respond to us.

It pleases me (and hopefully the community) to hear a effort is being made to address FAQ issues.

Your loyal yet opinionated minion,

Irrie.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

So, let's try and agree what the top 10 questions are! Just give me a moment to get Shallowsoul, Ashiel, TOZ, Beckett, Piccolo, 3.5 Mentalist and Master Arminas here. I'm sure it will take us 5 minutes to reach full mutual agreement on what the most burning issues are and Sean will profit greatly from the resulting level-headed discussion.

...

Well, I've just listed the ones that didn't turn up in this thread yet, since you, me and Ciretose are accounted for, all we're missing is the rest of the gang :)

*Overhears Gorbacz and listens intently for his name to come up before breaking down into tears and running from the room*


I don't have access to the FAQ list, but there have been some questions on how alchemists are supposed to get extracts thatare normally only on the cleric spell list. Something to do with clerics not having spell books. Other than selecting them at level up.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
3. Yes. But it has to be balanced against things like "we need designer consensus on these questions, and one of our designers has been out sick for a week," and "if this book isn't finished this week, it won't be at GenCon this year," and similar issues. Yes, there's always something--that's the nature of monthly publishing. I tried to squeeze time into my schedule to answer FAQ questions... and what that got me was people attacking my answers as if they were off-the cuff responses without consulting the rest of my team (which wasn't the case).

I think the problems there were a.) that people were not aware that the questions you answered were developer consensus and b.) other developers had answered questions, but those were rather their personal opinions than actual "official answers". And from there that misunderstanding arose.

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:


The point is, the Rules Questions forum exists for a reason: so that questions whose answers are already in the rules can be asked by newbies and answered by veterans, without wasting the developers' time by asking them to repeat themselves. And yet, because any random forumite can mark a post for FAQing, the developers have to slog through a queue full of idiocy and pride in search of issues that really do need clarification.

Sometime I wish there was a un-FAQ button. A couple of times people have show me that I was wrong after I had FAQed a question.

Removing the FAQ flag would have been nice in those instances.

Liberty's Edge

Cheapy wrote:
I don't have access to the FAQ list, but there have been some questions on how alchemists are supposed to get extracts thatare normally only on the cleric spell list. Something to do with clerics not having spell books. Other than selecting them at level up.
PRD wrote:
An alchemist can also add formulae to his book just like a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, using the same costs, pages, and time requirements.

3 ways for a wizard to add spells in his spellbook:

- copying them from another spellbook - it don't work for spells that are only on the clerical list

- copying them from scrolls - it work, it is possible to find or buy scrolls of clerical spells

- research - it work

So adding clerical spells is more costly than wizard spells as you have to pay for the scroll or for the research but the needed rules exist.


I can sympathize with both parties, probably a bit stronger on the Piazo side here.

It pisses me off when someone that knows a fraction of my job, what I do, or how it runs, comes in and makes belligerent demands, especially when they are littered with inaccuracies. I have no desire to help them, but try to put forth as sterile a "no" as I can.

I find it frustrating here when people ignore clarifications given. I was in a several page "Charm" argument with a few people where I repeatedly quoted Jason Bulhman, and most people arguing just pretended like the quote didn't exist or one went on to say it was an "off the cuff response" and then went on to imply it shouldn't carry any weight. The motivation to do this job, that many pointed out is not a huge money making aspect of this game, drops when wheels are just being spun.

But I do like seeing more official clarifications, so if I might make a humble suggestion to the FAQ spam issue that makes it hard to wade through all the flags: Don't give everyone a FAQ button. New people (I am not claiming myself a veteran to these boards) do not need a FAQ button. Only give it to those who have been reading and writing here enough to know what has and has not really been answered. Afterwards, make the button disappear if someone proves themselves irresponsible with it.

At the end of the day, I am very happy with this product no matter what happens.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Diego Rossi wrote:

Sometime I wish there was a un-FAQ button. A couple of times people have show me that I was wrong after I had FAQed a question.

Removing the FAQ flag would have been nice in those instances.

This is why even if I'm the one starting a thread and have therefore exhausted what resources I have, I don't click the FAQ button until I've had some back-and-forth with some people who have clear and reasonable thoughts on the matter.

I will not click FAQ until I am very confident of the need, and I will not ever consider my research and mine alone to be sufficient grounds for that confidence.


My friends, I have been playing & DMing this game since 1974. And, altho I agree that I'd like to see more FAQ (please Sean?), there is absolutely no doubt in my not-so-humble opinion that Paizo give better Cust serv for this issue that any other D&D company ever has. Including that other company. *Especially* including that other company.

One thing I didn't care for was the partial muzzling* of JJ, for which blame lies directly on a thread like this. Now yes, JJ didn't always give 100% RAW answers, but absent any other answer, we could always go "well, in his games, James plays it like this...".

And a heartfelt thanks to our very own SKR here who has indeed answered many FAQ with great skill and sometimes even compromise. My hat (a nice vintage fedora) is off to you, my friend, you have fought a hard and sometimes lonely battle. Kudos.

Still, let me finish that I would like to have more FAQ. And, yes, sometimes we do have a question which is absolutely obvious, but still gets asked. (Alchemists and cleric spells, for example).

So I make a suggestion. Upcoming is April 1. For that glorious day, compile the most Frequently Asked rules Questions that should not have had to be asked. Answer them seriously, yes, but make it clear that they are questions that should be obvious. Should be fun, no?

* and where the nine hells did you get a muzzle that freakin big?


DrDeth wrote:
My hat (a nice vintage fedora)

I gibe uncraft Handyman's Handle. =)

Iz gud trade, yeah? =)=)=)=)

Gogogo

Liberty's Edge

February 21, 2013 FAQs

FAQs wrote:

Can I craft an item that gives an odd-numbered enhancement bonus to an ability score, such as a +1 belt of giant strength?

Technically the item-pricing formula in the Core Rulebook allows for items like that, but officially the game should only have even-numbered enhancement bonuses to ability scores. If you want an odd-numbered ability score bonus, you'll need to pay for an inherent bonus, such as a manual of gainful exercise +1.

—Pathfinder Design Team, 02/15/13 Back to Top

Can I take 10 on the Spellcraft check to craft a magic item?

Yes.

—Pathfinder Design Team, today Back to Top

When crafting an item, can an arcane caster use a divine scroll to fulfill an item's divine spell requirement?

Yes. (Likewise, a divine caster could use an arcane scroll to fulfill an item's arcane spell requirement.)
However, the character has to be able to activate the scroll somehow as part of the crafting process. This probably requires the arcane caster to succeed at a Use Magic Device check to activate the divine spell. If the caster fails to cast the divine spell from the scroll, he makes no progress on the item that day unless he has another source for that divine spell (such as another copy of the scroll).

—Pathfinder Design Team, today Back to Top

What crafting requirements can you bypass by adding +5 to the DC of your Spellcraft check?

As presented on page 549 of the Core Rulebook, there are no limitations other than (1) you have to have the item creation feat, and (2) you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting their spell prerequisites. So racial requirements, specific spell requirements, math requirements (such as "caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus"), and so on, are all subject to the +5 DC rule.

—Pathfinder Design Team, today Back to Top


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Don't ever mistake my silence for consent or indifference—especially this time of year when not only do I have my normal duties, I'm also judging RPG Superstar. My work time is stretched very thin over many projects, and most of those projects have deadlines that cannot slip any more than they already have. I am a fireman... my job is to put out fires. And if the city is burning, the fireman can't pause to do a calendar shoot or rescue a kitten from a tree.

Only if the whole Paizo staff does the calendar shoot wearing chain mail bikinis ;). Then it should go to the top of the priority list

Liberty's Edge

Diego Rossi wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


The point is, the Rules Questions forum exists for a reason: so that questions whose answers are already in the rules can be asked by newbies and answered by veterans, without wasting the developers' time by asking them to repeat themselves. And yet, because any random forumite can mark a post for FAQing, the developers have to slog through a queue full of idiocy and pride in search of issues that really do need clarification.

Sometime I wish there was a un-FAQ button. A couple of times people have show me that I was wrong after I had FAQed a question.

Removing the FAQ flag would have been nice in those instances.

Better to admit we are all capable of being wrong.

Something sorely lacking on the forums.


Yay, now +1 Str items are allowed by the FAQ.


Actually, they are not.


Lamontius wrote:


This is like devoting top-tier operations support to someone who uses their CD-ROM drive as a drink holder and lets their cat sleep in the computer tower because it is warm in there

STOP JUDGING ME!!!

Liberty's Edge

Starbuck_II wrote:
Yay, now +1 Str items are allowed by the FAQ.

This is why we need the sarcasm tag. I don't know if I should clap or facepalm, and I want to know.

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