Hellcat Stealth Shadowdancer


Rules Questions

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Mortalis wrote:
thejeff wrote:

There was no intent behind that line. It was left in from the 3.5 version, where the Shadowdancer did use shadows. Paizo switched it to Dim Light, but didn't remove that line. Don't read more into the rules than is there.

They didn't rewrite that line when they made the change. They didn't consider which types of shadow she could or couldn't use and choose "her own shadow". They just didn't change the wording from when HiPS actually relied on shadows.
I can see the logic in that, but do you know of an errata, FAQ or dev statement that backs that up?

I do. The statement has been made specifically for the Shadowdancer HiPS that they changed the word Shadow to be dim light and the last part is a hold over from 3.5 and went on to say that the reason the Assassin's HiPS still says Shadow is they just missed it. If there is no FAQ or Errata it's probably because they didn't think it was a big enough deal. I will try to find the post talking about it.


James Jacobs says Shadow = Dim Light.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Likely, this PC will take a single level dip into Pathfinder Delver.

The ability to take 10 on Stealth in any situation is very tempting.


Shadowlord wrote:
James Jacobs says Shadow = Dim Light.

Sadly, the way that answer was phrased leaves the question open.

Dim Light = Shadow. Does that mean when the word Shadow is used it refers to the lighting condition "Dim Light"? Or does it mean that dim light and shadow are the same thing and whenever "Dim Light" is used any shadow will qualify?

I'd go for the first, but it's ambiguous.

From a bit later in that thread:

Snorter wrote:

That does help alleviate some of my ten-year hate for the HiPS ability, which previously, may as well as been worded as 'The Shadowdancer always gets to roll Hide if within 10' of any other creature, friend or foe, since he can claim to be hiding inside the shadows behind that person's eyelids'.,

or 'The Shadowdancer can always use the Hide skill, even under the light of a thousand Hiroshimas, by simply tossing a playing card onto the floor'.


I also found this Analysis of HiPS in Pathfinder while looking for that info. There are a few things I would have written differently but it's pretty good. It obviously doesn't include new errata, but still pretty good.


thejeff wrote:
Shadowlord wrote:
James Jacobs says Shadow = Dim Light.
Sadly, the way that answer was phrased leaves the question open.

He doesn't generally speak in rules lawyer terminology but I think his intent was clear. I feel any further argument would just be for argument's sake. Bright light, normal light, dim light, and darkness have replaced the light and shadow of 3.5 D&D. Dim light is a specific defined light level in PF. Next to JJ's statement it's pretty clear IMO. Dim light refers to dim light the defined lighting condition. Shadow (specifically in the shadowdancer and assassin HiPS abilities) also refer to an area of the dim light lighting condition.


Shadowlord wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Shadowlord wrote:
James Jacobs says Shadow = Dim Light.
Sadly, the way that answer was phrased leaves the question open.
He doesn't generally speak in rules lawyer terminology but I think his intent was clear. I feel any further argument would just be for argument's sake. Bright light, normal light, dim light, and darkness have replaced the light and shadow of 3.5 D&D. Dim light is a specific defined light level in PF. Next to JJ's statement it's pretty clear IMO. Dim light refers to dim light the defined lighting condition. Shadow (specifically in the shadowdancer and assassin HiPS abilities) also refer to an area of the dim light lighting condition.

And I think, despite him not explicitly saying so, that should extend to the Shadow Well bloodline power.


thejeff wrote:


Snorter wrote:

That does help alleviate some of my ten-year hate for the HiPS ability, which previously, may as well as been worded as 'The Shadowdancer always gets to roll Hide if within 10' of any other creature, friend or foe, since he can claim to be hiding inside the shadows behind that person's eyelids'.,

or 'The Shadowdancer can always use the Hide skill, even under the light of a thousand Hiroshimas, by simply tossing a playing card onto the floor'.

No DM even in 3.5 should have let this happen. A lot of 3.5 rules had to have a great deal of common sense applied. They may have been written that way to easily fit into multiple game styles, but that's a big reason that Bo9S was so hated.


thejeff wrote:
And I think, despite him not explicitly saying so, that should extend to the Shadow Well bloodline power.

Shadow Well was written much later than CRB and these statements. I'm not sure why it's worded in the 3.5 style. But if you read the entire description as a whole it makes a little more sense.

PRD wrote:
Shadow Well (Sp): At 9th level, you can use the Stealth skill even while being observed and without cover or concealment, as long as you are within 10 feet of a shadow other than your own. In addition, when within an area of darkness or dim light, as a standard action you may choose to switch places with a willing ally within 60 feet, who must also be in darkness or dim light. At 13th level, you can instead switch the positions of two willing allies, each of whom must be within 60 feet of you. Unless otherwise noted, this travel is identical to dimension door. You may use the ability to switch places once per day at 9th level, plus one additional time per day at 17th level and 20th level.

In the first sentence the writer says shadow, in the 3.5 style. However, in the second sentence the writer names areas of darkness AND areas of dim light as triggers for the power. So the writer was obviously familiar with the PF light levels, but also used some 3.5 terminology. My guess would be he was unfamiliar with JJ's comments and didn't anticipate this kind of rules lawyering. I would say in this case the RAI was that the entire power would work in both dim light and darkness. But that is just my opinion. I also see your POV on it. And like I said, in my own games I have also allow Shadowdancer and Assassin HiPS to work in darkness, otherwise it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for any undergound races (IE: Drow) to use either class. IMO a Drow Assassin should be able to hide from other Drow in darkness.


Shadowlord wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And I think, despite him not explicitly saying so, that should extend to the Shadow Well bloodline power.

Shadow Well was written much later than CRB and these statements. I'm not sure why it's worded in the 3.5 style. But if you read the entire description as a whole it makes a little more sense.

PRD wrote:
Shadow Well (Sp): At 9th level, you can use the Stealth skill even while being observed and without cover or concealment, as long as you are within 10 feet of a shadow other than your own. In addition, when within an area of darkness or dim light, as a standard action you may choose to switch places with a willing ally within 60 feet, who must also be in darkness or dim light. At 13th level, you can instead switch the positions of two willing allies, each of whom must be within 60 feet of you. Unless otherwise noted, this travel is identical to dimension door. You may use the ability to switch places once per day at 9th level, plus one additional time per day at 17th level and 20th level.
In the first sentence the writer says shadow, in the 3.5 style. However, in the second sentence the writer names areas of darkness AND areas of dim light as triggers for the power. So the writer was obviously familiar with the PF light levels, but also used some 3.5 terminology. My guess would be he was unfamiliar with JJ's comments and didn't anticipate this kind of rules lawyering. I would say in this case the RAI was that the entire power would work in both dim light and darkness. But that is just my opinion. I also see your POV on it. And like I said, in my own games I have also allow Shadowdancer and Assassin HiPS to work in darkness, otherwise it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for any undergound races (IE: Drow) to use either class. IMO a Drow Assassin should be able to hide from other Drow in darkness.

Well, it could be argued the two different uses of the power have different conditions. I do think you're right, especially about not anticipating this kind of rules lawyering. I've often said the that are simply not written to be analyzed on the word by word level.

Even Drow make use of light, at least in their cities. It's useful to be able see something past their Darkvision limit. So Drow Assassins need a bit of nearby light to create dim light with which to hide. That's much like surface assassins needed a little darkness to do their work.


thejeff wrote:
Well, it could be argued the two different uses of the power have different conditions.

It could be, and you might see that kind of thing at a PFS table. But I don't think it's needed at a home table, nor do I think it's the writer's intent.

thejeff wrote:
Even Drow make use of light, at least in their cities. It's useful to be able see something past their Darkvision limit. So Drow Assassins need a bit of nearby light to create dim light with which to hide. That's much like surface assassins needed a little darkness to do their work.

True enough and I recognize that by RAW it only works in dim light. It's just a house rule I have used in my own games in the past. My past DM's have had the same house rules. I may or may not change it in the future. I do see the role playing merits of only allowing it in dim light.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

"I am really good at hiding in the dark, but not the really dark, just sort of dark. You see, even if you can see in the dark, I can hide in the sort of dark, but they always find me in the really dark dark. Oh, I am also good at hiding in the light, and really bright light, but it's hard to do."

Yes, this is likely going to be said.

Think about it.


Shadowlord wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Well, it could be argued the two different uses of the power have different conditions.

It could be, and you might see that kind of thing at a PFS table. But I don't think it's needed at a home table, nor do I think it's the writer's intent.

thejeff wrote:
Even Drow make use of light, at least in their cities. It's useful to be able see something past their Darkvision limit. So Drow Assassins need a bit of nearby light to create dim light with which to hide. That's much like surface assassins needed a little darkness to do their work.
True enough and I recognize that by RAW it only works in dim light. It's just a house rule I have used in my own games in the past. My past DM's have had the same house rules. I may or may not change it in the future. I do see the role playing merits of only allowing it in dim light.

It might also make sense, if you're house ruling anyway, to give Shadowdancers the Dim Light requirement, but let Assassins use both. Assassins don't have the same reason to connect to shadow and, since they get it at higher level, it's much less attractive as a dip.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If curious, I have dubbed this individual, "Patches".

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