Undine Bard Watersinger - Watersong for grappling\holding


Rules Questions


I looked over the threads on the forums on this particular topic, and did not see a specific answer.

The Undine have a race-specific Bard archetype called the Watersinger, which replaces Fascinate in the Bardic Performance repertoire with Watersong, an ability to manipulate a 5-foot cube of water. This water can be caused to have enough solidity to form simple shapes like ladders, columns, or slides.

My question: Could a watersinger use her abilities to 'capture' a foe by hardening water around his legs? For example, if a foe were running through an ankle-deep pool, could the bard simply harden the patch of water through which an enemy is running, effectively halting his movement?

I know there have been discussions on using this low-level power to kill someone - for example, by hardening a patch of water around a person's head to drown\suffocate them. I agree that it's probably unbalanced to allow what amounts to a 1st-level performance to be that powerful.

Just wondering what thoughts were on using it for more of a controller aspect in this situation. As usual, since there are no clarifications, it would be at DM's prerogative - but any arguments for allowing such a use would be helpful.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

For balance sake, we treated this power as "If it says you can do it, or something extremely similar to it, you can. If it doesn't say it can be used offensively, it can't." It's just too overpowered and unpredictable to allow offensive uses of this starting ability.


Ssalarn wrote:

For balance sake, we treated this power as "If it says you can do it, or something extremely similar to it, you can. If it doesn't say it can be used offensively, it can't." It's just too overpowered and unpredictable to allow offensive uses of this starting ability.

I did see that in an older thread. How about as a follow-up: The 3rd-level power specifies that you can use it in an offensive manner - in this case, to essentially form a 'tentacle' of water and perform a Slam attack. Would that expand the capacity?

I would point out, reading over it, that the 1st-level ability is actually replacing three bardic performances (although not at once) - Fascinate, Suggestion, and Mass Suggestion. Would it be out of line to suggest that when the bard would have normally gotten those additional performances, that perhaps the ability of the lower-level power might expand?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Xaratherus wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

For balance sake, we treated this power as "If it says you can do it, or something extremely similar to it, you can. If it doesn't say it can be used offensively, it can't." It's just too overpowered and unpredictable to allow offensive uses of this starting ability.

I did see that in an older thread. How about as a follow-up: The 3rd-level power specifies that you can use it in an offensive manner - in this case, to essentially form a 'tentacle' of water and perform a Slam attack. Would that expand the capacity?

I would point out, reading over it, that the 1st-level ability is actually replacing three bardic performances (although not at once) - Fascinate, Suggestion, and Mass Suggestion. Would it be out of line to suggest that when the bard would have normally gotten those additional performances, that perhaps the ability of the lower-level power might expand?

It's certainly reasonable. I know that the volume of water you can affect increases by level, so that can have some interesting uses. I seem to recall our Undine using the ability during wet conditions to harden water across a stretch of the battlefield, trating it as icy terrain. "Characters walking on ice must spend 2 squares of movement to enter a square covered by ice, and the DC for Acrobatics checks increases by +5."

It is definitely one of the more subjective abilities I've seen in Pathfinder.


Thanks for the input, Ssalarn. As it stands, I just chatted with the DM for the game in which I'm playing this bard, and he had his own thoughts on it.

While he won't allow watersong to be used to deal any direct damage, he is going to allow it to be used to perform various combat maneuvers at-range, using my own CMB.

So while I might be a bit more restrictive with it - I'm not going to complain too much. ;)

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