Mask of Stony Demeanor too cheap?


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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sitri wrote:


To another recurring argument here, I don't assume most people know that the mask is even being worn on sight.

Nothing in the item description say that it disappear. So you are speaking with someone with a mask on.

It is not enough to make him suspicious?

Masks have a lot of shapes, so it can be something covering your eyes like this, but it can be something like this. Would you feel at ease while talking with a guy with a Guy Fawkes mask outside of a masked ball or some similar event?

- * -

What I don't get is why a lot of people is fixing on the merchant scenario. Lying has a lot of use beside selling things.

Scarab Sages

I decorate my stony mask to look like a Razmirian one... because my PFS character is in fact a False Priest (sorcerer) that is working on becoming a Razmirian Priest. After all, priests of Razmir are always wearing a mask, this Razmirian Priest is just very good at telling lies... for some reason. To further the fact, I refluffed the Armor of the Pit feat for my Tiefling that grants him a +2 Nat AC bonus so it gives his skin a stony-look to it by really causing stuff like this to happen:

Commoner: Take off that stony mask!
Amadeus: *Takes off his mask to reveal... a face that appears to be made of stone just like his mask of stony demeanor and decorated just like the mask*

The mask doesn't disappear, it just makes your face appear to be made out of stone.

Also yes, lying is great with the mask on since the question for me has always been: When will I ever need to take my mask off?
Answer: Never, unless specifically asked to.

Though I found a fun bit of roleplaying that my Razmirian Priest is a great liar, however he is very terrible at truth telling which is only a +4 to diplomacy, which I just rationalize that my character is a Compulsive Liar.

Its not that OP IMHO. It changes the characters way of talking, looking, and displaying emotions. If a very charismatic bard if a deep melodic voice with a face that usually expresses confidence decides to wear the mask and starts bluffing with it, something is up because he now sounds monotone and he no longer displays the same confidence in his facial expression.

Mechanically that example wouldn't normally factor in. However since the game is about RP to an extent, the mask does alter much of who the character is just by speech/face/expression.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Diego Rossi wrote:
Sitri wrote:


To another recurring argument here, I don't assume most people know that the mask is even being worn on sight.

Nothing in the item description say that it disappear. So you are speaking with someone with a mask on.

It is not enough to make him suspicious?

Masks have a lot of shapes, so it can be something covering your eyes like this, but it can be something like this. Would you feel at ease while talking with a guy with a Guy Fawkes mask outside of a masked ball or some similar event?

- * -

What I don't get is why a lot of people is fixing on the merchant scenario. Lying has a lot of use beside selling things.

I just tell people I'm wearing a mask because I was horribly burned and can't bear to subject others to my hideous deformity.

Oh, hey, I get a bonus on my Bluff check to make them buy that story!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Sitri wrote:


To another recurring argument here, I don't assume most people know that the mask is even being worn on sight.

Nothing in the item description say that it disappear. So you are speaking with someone with a mask on.

It is not enough to make him suspicious?

Masks have a lot of shapes, so it can be something covering your eyes like this, but it can be something like this. Would you feel at ease while talking with a guy with a Guy Fawkes mask outside of a masked ball or some similar event?

- * -

What I don't get is why a lot of people is fixing on the merchant scenario. Lying has a lot of use beside selling things.

I just tell people I'm wearing a mask because I was horribly burned and can't bear to subject others to my hideous deformity.

Oh, hey, I get a bonus on my Bluff check to make them buy that story!

Both you an Tactical Monkey have worked to find a reason to keep the mask on. I think that TM solution work better (unless you really are hiding horrible scars) but both work.

Using them require a extra bluff check (both relatively easy checks) and would remove the possible penalties for going around with a mask.

The mask is underpriced, but that is another question.

Scarab Sages

mdt wrote:

But I'm done, you see no issues with the item, just remember that you're ok with it if the GM uses it on you too, especially if he uses it over and over.

At 500gp, any shopkeeper that deals in magic items should have one if there's no reason not to.

Oh, mdt, didn't you get the memo?

All players are allowed by law, to simply ignore the results of any social interaction skill, that they don't like.
NPC has +50 Bluff? "He was lying to us. We'll follow him around afterwards, to check out his story."
NPC has +100 Diplomacy? "He was manipulating us. We'll go along with him, but I want a readied action, to stab him when he inevitably betrays us..."
NPC begins speaking in a robotic voice? "I cover my ears and go LALALALALA. Then refuse to do as he asked."

This is where much balance disconnects usually begin.
When posters deny the brokenness of rules, spells, items, etc, it's usually because they can only think of how AWESOME their PC will be when using it.
The very idea that the same rule may be used against their own PC is inconceivable.
And should a GM do so, it would be denounced as a 'dick move'.
(Case in point: detect magic. I spoke out in the Alpha testing, about the inevitable consequences of making cantrip casting unlimited. A spell that can be used x/day is useful, a spell that costs the PC 7.5gp every time he uses a wand charge will get used often, but won't get spammed unless the PC has reason to suspect danger. But unlimited casting? That's a Pandora's Box, and it's proven to be so, shutting down many core concepts.
"Detect Magic should totally be useable at will, there's no reason my PC shouldn't be able to do it whenever he likes, and know exactly when there's any magic being used around him, and what school the magic is from. He's always concentrating, I shouldn't have to tell you when I'm using it, you should just assume every PC who can, will be doing it 24/7. If you don't let me do this, you're RUINING my character concept!" followed ten minutes later, by...
"What do you mean, they know it's an illusion? How can I ever cast an illusion, if everyone is spamming detect magic all the time? Why would they even DO that? Why would they THINK to do that? I'm an ILLUSIONIST! How am I supposed to function, if my spells are automatically flagged as illusions? You've RUINED my character concept!"
)

So, 'dick move, if the GM doesn't allow a PC to use it exactly as written, with no comeback.'.

AND, 'dick move if the GM does allow NPCs to use it, exactly as written, with no comeback.'.

'Dick move, if it's not allowed in game'

AND 'Dick move, if it is allowed in game'.

That sounds like a lose-lose situation for any GM to be forced into, IMO.

Scarab Sages

And many players consider it a dick move, if a GM uses the social skill rules (including any magical enhancements to those skills), even against an NPC.

"What do you mean, my cohort traded our horses for a handful of 'magic beans'?"

"What do you mean, our contact in the Crafters Guild traded away the sword he was supposed to be upgrading? For HOW MUCH?! Are you mad?"

NPC: "Well, he had a stone face, and a monotone voice, therefore I thought he was inherently trustworthy. I've also drawn him a map to your secret hideout, and given him the keys to the safe. He swore he only needed to borrow it, and bring it straight back. I saw no reason to refuse."

Either use the social skill rules, with all their faults, or don't use them. But don't try to insist that your PCs are the only people in the setting who are allowed to benefit from those rules, and no-one else can turn those rules around, to affect your PCs, or anyone they ally with.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You are jumping on this strange bandwagon?

You are doing so, by only jumping on one part of a post, and dragging it out of context?

This is part of the game?

Have you won as well?

Have I lost again?

What was the prize again?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Seems like a good bandwagon.

I always tell my players I'll rule or houserule anything they want.

As long as they are 100% ok with the same rule applying to them.

Oddly enough, they never want me to rule unbalancing rules, or cheesy things they think up. Kind of like how GMs and Players agree to not use Sunder all the time, even though it's a great way to defeat someone.

Scarab Sages

Tactical Monkey wrote:
I decorate my stony mask to look like a Razmirian one... because my PFS character is in fact a False Priest (sorcerer) that is working on becoming a Razmirian Priest. After all, priests of Razmir are always wearing a mask, this Razmirian Priest is just very good at telling lies... for some reason.

I don't mind this, and consider it to be a good workaround, because it doesn't handwave away the visible effects of the item, nor does it shy away from the RP consequences. You've used canon material to explain why his appearance would be 'normal' to those he deals with, but without seeming to gain unintended advantage.

Because Razmirans are (by canon) a villainous organisation in the setting, one that the downtrodden masses already have dislike/hatred for. Therefore, using this item acts to level the playing field, overcoming the citizens' natural distrust/fear of a Razmiran Priest.
And over-use of the item will bring down the reputation of the PC's organisation, since he explicitly looks like one of their number (even when not wearing the mask! - good flavour).

If he abuses the item, trashes the economy in his town, causes anti-Razmiran riots, encourages a loss of belief, then his own superiors will likely make him disappear.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, for those who do crazy hate this item, I put forth a question:

What happens once the price is "fixed", to a higher, more acceptable prize?

Does all this crazy madness go away?


Once this item is not accessible to 2nd level characters anymore it becomes much less crazy...


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Isil-zha wrote:
Once this item is not accessible to 2nd level characters anymore it becomes much less crazy...

First level with rich parents.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The personal insults. They make me feel alive. ;)

Anyways, I have dealt with this item before, and the game didn't collapse.

Oread Inquisitor, in fact.

Besides, I didn't make the item.

All I am saying, is that the cost is likely done on purpose, to meet with many of the other low cost racial items.

Not being usable by Oread only, is what I believe was left out.

Scarab Sages

Diego Rossi wrote:
What I don't get is why a lot of people is fixing on the merchant scenario. Lying has a lot of use beside selling things.

The common assumption is that a merchant is usually an NPC class, with no inherent spellcasting ability of their own, such as Expert, so should have difficulty detecting the presence of a magic item, or being aware of its uses.

It's more difficult to put forward a scenario where the wearer bluffs the Duke's Vizier, who likely has Arcane Sight running 24/7, and could be reasonably assumed to be aware of the existence of the item and the tactic.

This leads to posts such as the following:

137ben wrote:
As to your question: any NPC with enough ranks in spellcraft and who could use Detect Magic would not trust someone wearing it. It has CL 6, so it requires a DC 21 spellcraft check to figure it out (AFTER casting a specific spell). I would not expect most npcs the players deal with to be able to do that without preparation or trying to notice it. Certainly some of them would, but not all of them, but not all salesmen are even spellcasters, let alone have +20 bonuses to spellcraft to guarantee they can identify the mask.

While the above may be true, it falls into a trap of assuming that only persons with an inherent casting or Spellcraft ability of their own would have grounds for taking reasonable precautions, in a world where magic is known to exist.

You don't need ranks in any skill, to be told by your peers that there is a scam artist in town, using a stone mask to cloud the minds of merchants. The exact spell being used is not important, the specific crafting requirements are not important, unless you're planning on making one for yourself.
The merchant doesn't need to be able to tell if the item is powered via glibness, charm person, charm monster, dominate person, whether it's enhancing the user's own Bluff, or casting a stand-alone spell effect. Or even if the mask is a creature in its own right, hanging symbiotically off the face of a host.

All he needs to be told is that there is a scam occurring, involving customers with stone faces. Acting on that info requires no specific skills on his part, no minimum ranks, no spells to be cast.
Anyone walking into the shop with a stone face causes the merchant to order them to leave, and the alarm to be set off.

This is already common policy in UK post offices. 'All cycle helmets must be removed on entry'. Are all cyclists untrustworthy? No, of course not. Are the staff justified in refusing to deal with anyone refusing to show their face? Absolutely. And calling security and police on anyone who becomes belligerent about their 'rights'? Absolutely.
The same restriction is now applied to women in traditional Middle Eastern face-covering dress. Show your face, or don't get served. We're not abusing your 'religious rights', since such dress is not (and has never been) a religious requirement. A compromise is now in place, where a booth is available, where the customer can uncover her face for a female staff member, to check ID. Don't want to use the booth? Tough. No female staff available? Tough. No ID, no service.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, if it is a merchant issue, then where it is happening changes how people react.

Also, you got to admit that there are likely as good, or better, scam artists out there, without this item.

Just because it's raining, and maybe even raining hard, doesn't mean the sky is falling.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Well, if it is a merchant issue, then where it is happening changes how people react.

Also, you got to admit that there are likely as good, or better, scam artists out there, without this item.

Just because it's raining, and maybe even raining hard, doesn't mean the sky is falling.

Doesn't mean it's a DM Dick move to put on a raincoat, golashas, and carry an umbrella either. Although that has been stated.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No, but when the DM says you catch fire, from too much rain, then something is up.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Sitri wrote:


To another recurring argument here, I don't assume most people know that the mask is even being worn on sight.

Nothing in the item description say that it disappear. So you are speaking with someone with a mask on.

It is not enough to make him suspicious?

Masks have a lot of shapes, so it can be something covering your eyes like this, but it can be something like this. Would you feel at ease while talking with a guy with a Guy Fawkes mask outside of a masked ball or some similar event?

- * -

What I don't get is why a lot of people is fixing on the merchant scenario. Lying has a lot of use beside selling things.

I suppose you could have the half mask, but the full mask doesn't really make sense since it would cover up the unflinching face that is giving you a bonus. But then again it doesn't say this item does the opposite of what it says it does in the first place; so maybe I would want the full mask with certain GMs.

Either way, with all the oddities characters wear, I don't know that a mask (which could look very different from another mask that does the same thing) would be all that odd. I have an alchemist that wears a mundane plague doctor mask all the time, I have never seen a GM say I needed a penalty for wearing a mask and I sometimes use a character tent to remind people what I look like. I have a friend who regularly uses a Goz mask, and the same thing. The same goes with my Mask of SD.

I think many people who are pissed about this item are treating Bluff like a compulsion to do what the person wants. Just because someone is convincing doesn't mean I must do what they say. There are millions of people all certain of different religions, but I don't feel compelled to join all those or even give my money to them when they sincerely believe it would be the best thing for me to do. I meet new people all the time in my job, there isn't a thing they can say that would make me give my personal phone number to them; it doesn't matter if I trust them or like them, it is a policy I have to protect my life outside of work and I don't make exceptions. There are certain limits I have that have absolutely nothing to do with how honest I think someone sounds. I expect most any of the "professionals" in previous examples here should have the same limits.

I don't think a +100 bluff is as strong as even a first level charm spell and an opposed charisma check. I stop boosting bluff at +30, after that it all seems academic. Really the only reason I ever bothered to get it that high is for Day Job rolls in PFS.

Scarab Sages

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Tactical Monkey wrote:

Though I found a fun bit of roleplaying that my Razmirian Priest is a great liar, however he is very terrible at truth telling which is only a +4 to diplomacy, which I just rationalize that my character is a Compulsive Liar.

Its not that OP IMHO. It changes the characters way of talking, looking, and displaying emotions. If a very charismatic bard if a deep melodic voice with a face that usually expresses confidence decides to wear the mask and starts bluffing with it, something is up because he now sounds monotone and he no longer displays the same confidence in his facial expression.

If the item actually impeded Diplomacy, Perform (vocal/oratory), or forced the wearer to make saves to avoid compulsive lying, that would actually match the existing effect description, and be a meaningful drawback, worthy of a price reduction.

The alleged drawback, of a penalty to passing covert messages, is not in any way a meaningful restriction. No-one uses this element of Bluff.
Not since message can be cast at will, from level 1 onwards. Even Muggles have no need to use this aspect of Bluff. Anyone can put their heads together, to agree on a list of safe-words, prior to any meeting; there is no reason to attempt to create them on the fly.

It was Steve Jackson Games (GURPS), where I first saw the instruction "If a drawback doesn't provide a drawback, then it isn't a drawback.", specifically advising GMs not to give bonus build points, or cost reductions for inconsequential non-restrictions.
This advice has often been missed in D&D/PF, where so often I've seen crafter PCs attempting to whore a cost reduction in an item, citing some irrelevant factor, such as 'can only be used by class X', when they have no reason to ever pass it round the party. And anyone able to UMD the 'use item' check item can also pass the 'emulate class X' check.

As it stands, this is a Schroedinger item, because the wearer can claim to be simultaneously benefitting from an immobile visage and monotone voice, while also claiming "I get +X to all social skills from my Rubber-Faced Mimic trait, +X from my Pleasing Complexion, +X from my Melodious Soothing Voice feat, and I'll now Inspire Competence in everyone, singing with my ten-octave range...".

This harks back to another thread, where it was asked how much posters believe the description and flavour text to be part of the actual rule text.
If a person is skimming the item description, "Blah blah, fluff, pointless, blah, Ooh, PLUS TEN TO BLUFF! I'M HAVING A BIT OF THAT!, blah, whatever, meaningless setting-specific waffle, blah, fluff...Okay, put me down for one of those", then there's no surprise there's a disconnect between posters who are applying the consequences of the missing text.


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137ben wrote:


As to your question: any NPC with enough ranks in spellcraft and who could use Detect Magic would not trust someone wearing it. It has CL 6, so it requires a DC 21 spellcraft check to figure it out (AFTER casting a specific spell).

This isn't necessarily true according to the rules as written. A spellcraft check is necessary to identify a spell while it's being cast and may be necessary to identify a spell that does not have obivous effects linked to it.

But I'm sure you're not suggesting that if I cast a Wall of Fire in front of a gang of orcs, they'll all simply wander obliviously into it, because they don't recognize that a wall of fire is, in fact, a Wall of Fire?

If I turn somone into a frog, do they need to make a Spellcraft roll to identify that they're no longer in human form? The difference between identifying Baleful Polymorph by the gestures and syllables it takes and identifying that spell by its effects when cast is significant.

The mask has an obvious, notable, and as far as I can tell unique, effect on the wearer that extends beyond the ability to lie. Nothing else makes you talk in a monotone; nothing else makes your face and only your face look like a statue. The idea that "you shouldn't deal with anyone with a statue face and a monotone voice" is exactly the sort of thing that a professional merchant dealing with high-end goods would share with his friends the first time he got ripped off, just as he'd share the description of a counterfeiter or a check kiter.


Snorter wrote:


The common assumption is that a merchant is usually an NPC class, with no inherent spellcasting ability of their own, such as Expert, so should have difficulty detecting the presence of a magic item, or being aware of its uses.

If that's the assumption, it's ludicrous.

I decide to rob the store, so I pull out my magical flaming sword. The shopkeeper, not having any spellcasting ability of his own, "has difficult detecting the presence of a magic item" that's being held at his throat, and "has difficulty being aware of the uses" to which this perfectly ordinary SWORD WITH A BLADE MADE OF FIRE could be put.

When Bilbo puts a ring on and becomes invisible, he had no trouble knowing both that it was a magic item and its obvious uses. Yes, it requires knowledge and lore to know that it was the One Ring, but that it turns people invisible -- heck, Merry saw Bilbo pull a ring out of his pocket and suddenly disappear, and had no problem making that particular leap of intuition. (Granted, Merry is the smart one....)

Scarab Sages

I didn't say I agreed with the assumption. Just that it's the reason the 'merchant scenario' is picked.
"He's not a caster, therefore, he has no defences against magic. And thus he deserves to be ripped off. And can never learn from the experience."

I agree that if the campaign is set in a world where magic is common, the merchants should often have magical detections/protections/alarms.

I'm with you, in that, even in the worst-case scenario, of a Muggle merchant, with no inherent magical ability, that should not prevent him putting two and two together, and applying Muggle solutions to magical threats.

A simple beaded curtain gives away invisible trespassers, while providing little hindrance to the majority of non-sneaky customers. A dog can smell intruders who've silenced themselves, etc.

They don't need Spellcraft ranks of their own, to be able to follow advice given by their fellow guild members (some of whom may have Spellcraft, or caster levels).
That's why guilds exist, to pass on best practice, and protect the interests of their members.

I don't know how to write a trojan or worm virus, but I know to scan every file I download, even from sources I trust. According to the posters who throw around "it's a level X effect, therefore only those who have Y ranks in Spellcraft can take any precautions...", I'd only be allowed to press the 'scan' button, if I was a trained hacker.

I don't know how to clone a credit card, but I know it's a potential threat, and I don't like my card to leave my sight when paying for goods.
I wouldn't eat at a restaurant again, where it was expected for me to pass my card to the waiter to take it away. If I'm at the till, and a second staff member pops out at me, attempting to divert my attention while another rings my card through, I am suspicious.

I don't work in the African banking sector, but I know not to reply to email from the 'Nigerian Finance Minister'. I also don't reply to the mails that tell me I was picked out by my reputation for being kind, generous, God-fearing, charitable blahblah, and could I help a poor woman with a life-threatening disease, whose husband has been wrongfully imprisoned, and she needs to get 839882squillion dollars out of the country asap, and if I help her, I'll be given 10% to give to whatever charity I see fit, so please give us your bank details and PIN code, and we'll do the transfer right away....

I don't reply to ads that tell me "You TOO can MAKE LOVE LIKE STALION. women claim this MIRACLE is 10000% the better for make pleasur lik for the best! CONTACT now for POTENCY! Be like not as bfore! SEE RESULTS FAST! envy of friends be on top of ALL!"

And I don't sign up to offers from doorstep cold callers, who turn up wearing masks. Stone or otherwise.

I'm a level 1 Commoner, with a high school education, not Sherlock Holmes. Yet I manage to make my way through the day without being ripped off.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I almost never see the "screw over/rob the merchant" thing from PCs.

Who really has this as a constant problem?


Snorter wrote:

I don't work in the African banking sector, but I know not to reply to email from the 'Nigerian Finance Minister'. I also don't reply to the mails that tell me I was picked out by my reputation for being kind, generous, God-fearing, charitable blahblah, and could I help a poor woman with a life-threatening disease, whose husband has been wrongfully imprisoned, and she needs to get 839882squillion dollars out of the country asap, and if I help her, I'll be given 10% to give to whatever charity I see fit, so please give us your bank details and PIN code, and we'll do the transfer right away....

I don't reply to ads that tell me "You TOO can MAKE LOVE LIKE STALION. women claim this MIRACLE is 10000% the better for make pleasur lik for the best! CONTACT now for POTENCY! Be like not as bfore! SEE RESULTS FAST! envy of friends be on top of ALL!"

And I don't sign up to offers from doorstep cold callers, who turn up wearing masks. Stone or otherwise.

I'm a level 1 Commoner, with a high school education, not Sherlock Holmes. Yet I manage to make my way through the day without being ripped off.

And yet people do get ripped off by those scams, and education and average intelligence often has no bearing on it.

I have a member of my former gaming group who was a network administrator for a decently-sized company making $80k a year, had a bachelor's in computer sciences, and was overall a seemingly-intelligent person - and yet we poked fun at him because when we went over for game one Saturday, he had left out a bottle of male enhancement pills that were being advertised in those 'Engrish' spam e-mails.

"People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool." - Terry Goodkind, Wizard's First Rule

[edit]

blackbloodtroll wrote:

I almost never see the "screw over/rob the merchant" thing from PCs.

Who really has this as a constant problem?

I don't know that it's hugely common, but I have played a grifter before. I might just revive him given this whole conversation. :P

The Exchange

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Not being usable by Oread only, is what I believe was left out.

That ship has sailed, as it is also in the Ultimate Equipment book.

Project Manager

Removed a post and replies. Please keep it civil, folks.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

The personal insults. They make me feel alive. ;)

Anyways, I have dealt with this item before, and the game didn't collapse.

Oread Inquisitor, in fact.

Besides, I didn't make the item.

All I am saying, is that the cost is likely done on purpose, to meet with many of the other low cost racial items.

Not being usable by Oread only, is what I believe was left out.

Why being oderad only should give it a discount of something like 93%?

Snorter wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
What I don't get is why a lot of people is fixing on the merchant scenario. Lying has a lot of use beside selling things.

The common assumption is that a merchant is usually an NPC class, with no inherent spellcasting ability of their own, such as Expert, so should have difficulty detecting the presence of a magic item, or being aware of its uses.

Merchants trading in magic items all have pathfinders with clear spindle ioun stones.

and swear because it don't work against chaotic characters.

Put another way, all badges of office for higher level (not in the sense of class level, but of political or military/power) bureaucrats in rich kingdoms give the "protection from possession and mental control" of Protection from evil, but against all alignment, neutral/neutral included.

A item like that would cost a lot, but it is vital for the functioning of a government.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:
137ben wrote:


As to your question: any NPC with enough ranks in spellcraft and who could use Detect Magic would not trust someone wearing it. It has CL 6, so it requires a DC 21 spellcraft check to figure it out (AFTER casting a specific spell).

This isn't necessarily true according to the rules as written. A spellcraft check is necessary to identify a spell while it's being cast and may be necessary to identify a spell that does not have obivous effects linked to it.

That remind me:

PRD wrote:

Appraise

Check: A DC 20 Appraise check determines the value of a common item. If you succeed by 5 or more, you also determine if the item has magic properties, although this success does not grant knowledge of the magic item's abilities.

It is less clear what Knowledge skill should be used to remember hearing about a magic items, but if a DC 30 Knowledge check allow you to discern a item command word, knowing what it do should be easier.

Especially if it is famous in your community (i.e., for merchants, something that make swindling you easier).

PRD wrote:
The Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (history) skills might be useful in helping to identify command words or deciphering clues regarding them. A successful check against DC 30 is needed to come up with the word itself.

A merchant will maximize his appraise skill, and if he trade in exotic items having a high Knowledge (arcana) skill is a good idea.

- * -

Using the rules about magic item crafting a pair of use activated glasses of Detect magic would cost 2.000 gp, and the skill isn't a bad investment, especially if you trade in magic items.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am sure the Church of Abadar would send Inquisitors after anyone swindling a large number of merchants.

Mask, or no mask.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I almost never see the "screw over/rob the merchant" thing from PCs.

Who really has this as a constant problem?

What was that 3.5 class?

Ah yes, the Beguiler.

Yes, I think it has been taken into consideration that the players will want to do that.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I just never really seen that much merchant abuse, like ever.

I have heard about it, online, but really never seen it happen in person.

Kind of doubt that it happens as much as some would like you to believe.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I just never really seen that much merchant abuse, like ever.

I have heard about it, online, but really never seen it happen in person.

Kind of doubt that it happens as much as some would like you to believe.

Over an 8 year period, I had about 12 different people in my groups prior to moving to Texas. Of those 12 people, 5 of them tried everything they could to get as much money out of merchants/reduce prices as much as possible, including bluff, intimidate, diplomacy, items, buffs, etc. They'd plot out, as a group, what spells lasted minutes to boost their checks.

We're talking about getting +30's before rolling in some cases in the mid levels. And they lied about the items regularly (no no, it really belonged to my uncle, I didn't get it off the really bad evil guy with the really big bad brother). Whatever it took to get more for less.

Since moving to Texas, I've not had anyone get quite so bloodthirsty about slicing and dicing the rules, but I've only had about 10 players in the last 2 years.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Huh.

Different strokes, for different folks.

Most of my DMs had logical repercussions for such behavior.

Usually, it meant you got a great deal once, then it screwed you over for every other shop.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Huh.

Different strokes, for different folks.

Most of my DMs had logical repercussions for such behavior.

Usually, it meant you got a great deal once, then it screwed you over for every other shop.

While I can't speak for everyone, I can say that this also describes my experience, as both a player and a GM. Once you get a reputation for lying to merchants, then you get some pretty hefty circumstance penalties.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Oh, they got hosed over repeatedly.

But I had a bunch of guys who always seemed to think that they could do whatever they wanted with impugnity. The big score types. There were complaints that merchants in city A shouldn't have heard about what they did in B two months ago. Despite them being two day's ride apart.

One of the reasons I have a hot button about people posting that PCs should not have RP repercussions for using blatently obviously rip-off artist gear.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, in Golarion, you have organizations like the Church of Abadar, and Aspis Consortium, who don't take kindly to abusing merchants.

In Katapesh, you may as well be signing yourself a death warrant.


I've long had a house rule that allowed an opposed Diplomacy check to receive a discount at merchants (1% per +1 over opponent's roll) but you had to pay the extra if you rolled under the merchant's Diplomacy check.

In 10+ years of (non-continual) running, I've never seen anyone actually rough up or steal from a merchant.

@MDT- If you're going to adjust NPC reactions because they're wearing "blatantly obvious rip-off artist gear" where do you draw the line? What about Ioun stones that give a bonus to Bluff? What about Headbands of Charisma? What about Circlets of Persuasion? Maybe they just stop dealing with anyone remotely charismatic. You see how this quickly becomes completely absurd.

Yes, not allowing a magic item to work as written is a Dick Move (TM).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
meatrace wrote:

I've long had a house rule that allowed an opposed Diplomacy check to receive a discount at merchants (1% per +1 over opponent's roll) but you had to pay the extra if you rolled under the merchant's Diplomacy check.

In 10+ years of (non-continual) running, I've never seen anyone actually rough up or steal from a merchant.

@MDT- If you're going to adjust NPC reactions because they're wearing "blatantly obvious rip-off artist gear" where do you draw the line? What about Ioun stones that give a bonus to Bluff? What about Headbands of Charisma? What about Circlets of Persuasion? Maybe they just stop dealing with anyone remotely charismatic. You see how this quickly becomes completely absurd.

Yes, not allowing a magic item to work as written is a Dick Move (TM).

Circlets can be covered up and hidden. Same with headbands. Ioun stones can be put in a wayfinder and look like a walking stick.

You can't hide the fact your face looks like someone carved a foodog statue on top of your neck very easily, and you can't hide the fact your voice sounds like a very bad vocoder reproduction with all inflection destroyed.

So no, I don't see 'how this becomes quickly absurd'. Honestly any merchant or high ranking ducal etc would likely just have an adept scan you with 'detect magic' and direct you to put all magical equipment in the bin before negotations start or before you can see the king/duke/regent/whatever.

No it's not a dick move.

Calling someone a Dick GM is a Dick Move.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What would you have this item do?

What would you have this item cost?


mdt wrote:
Honestly any merchant or high ranking ducal etc would likely just have an adept scan you with 'detect magic' and direct you to put all magical equipment in the bin before negotations start or before you can see the king/duke/regent/whatever.

This actually comes up in the second module of the Carrion Crown adventure path; it outlines the methods that the court uses to ensure that spells, magical effects, and magic items are not utilized without court permission during trials.

blackbloodtroll wrote:

What would you have this item do?

What would you have this item cost?

Speaking for myself, I would prefer to see it restricted to Oreads; if that were the case I wouldn't have a huge problem with its current price and the functionality it provides.

If such a restriction weren't feasible, I would price it at 5000g to buy (2500g to create). Based on the competence bonus it grants (only the +10 - the +5\-5 is sort of a wash), it would be a 10000g item, but since the two positives only apply to specific uses of a skill, I would halve the cost. For that price, I would probably remove the whole fluff text about it turning your head into a statue, and instead have it be a mask that vanishes when you activate it but that renders your face and voice emotionless.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am still really shocked how heated things got over this item.

Seriously.

I really did not expect the "oh muh gawdz, iz teh broken" reaction from some.

It's strong, but I don't see it tearing a campaign apart, or anything like that.

Seems like a big stink, over a miniscule turd.


Xaratherus wrote:

Speaking for myself, I would prefer to see it restricted to Oreads; if that were the case I wouldn't have a huge problem with its current price and the functionality it provides.

If such a restriction weren't feasible, I would price it at 5000g to buy (2500g to create). Based on the competence bonus it grants (only the +10 - the +5\-5 is sort of a wash), it would be a 10000g item, but since the two positives only apply to specific uses of a skill, I would halve the cost. For that price, I would probably remove the whole fluff text about it turning your head into a statue, and instead have it be a mask that vanishes when you activate it but that renders your face and voice emotionless.

This. I'm playing a Face myself--and have perused the item and the tasty bonus--but ultimately decided against taking it just on the basis of the oddness of how the fluff was described, and how it didn't fit my character.

Were I GMing, I'd talk it over with my players, but the main choice would probably be between either A) ruling that the stone face effect only worked and/or looked natural on Oreads, or else B) re-fluffing the item to the "Mask of Perfect Poker Face" or something like that, and giving it an effect that was workable/natural for humans, without invalidating the point of the item.

I certainly wouldn't try to "catch" my players on a "trap" item that backfires to produce the opposite effect. That, I would consider a dick move.


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blackbloodtroll wrote:

What would you have this item do?

What would you have this item cost?

\

This is the question I want answered as well.

Also, I really don't buy the whole "restricting a powerful item to only useable by one race makes it less powerful and therefore should be discounted..."
that just means anyone who uses it is getting a more powerful item than their WBL would indicate. It means everyone will seek out items restricted to their race, since those items will be better than others of the same price.
Same goes for the rule in magic item creation that alignment-restricted weapons can get discounted--people will just always make/buy items specific to their alignment, and you've just effectively increased WBL. Adding a race requirement to use an item shouldn't make it any more powerful.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Apparently, calling anything a dick move, is a dick move.

That's where we are at, right?


mdt wrote:


Circlets can be covered up and hidden. Same with headbands. Ioun stones can be put in a wayfinder and look like a walking stick.

You can't hide the fact your face looks like someone carved a foodog statue on top of your neck very easily, and you can't hide the fact your voice sounds like a very bad vocoder reproduction with all inflection destroyed.

So no, I don't see 'how this becomes quickly absurd'. Honestly any merchant or high ranking ducal etc would likely just have an adept scan you with 'detect magic' and direct you to put all magical equipment in the bin before negotations start or before you can see the king/duke/regent/whatever.

No it's not a dick move.

Calling someone a Dick GM is a Dick Move.

The mask can be "covered up" with a hat of disguise or, ya know, just wearing a cowl. Nowhere does it say your voice sounds like a vocoder, you just speak monotone, like Ben Stein.

But those things are only a rationale as to why people NOTICE the mask. You can cover up the mask just as easily as those other things. This is not a rationale as to why all people everywhere at all times treat PCs with this mask as suspect any more than they would treat PCs with the other items/effects I described.

And no, being a dick DM is a dick move. If you allow someone to purchase an item and then make that item have the opposite effect as is written, you're absolutely, positively being a jerk.

If a DM let me purchase/craft eyes of the eagle, then "reasoned" that a +5 to perception is just too good, and that (like an eagle) should only give me far sight not near sight, so only +5 perception on things more than 100 feet away. That dm is a jerk.


meatrace wrote:
But those things are only a rationale as to why people NOTICE the mask. You can cover up the mask just as easily as those other things. This is not a rationale as to why all people everywhere at all times treat PCs with this mask as suspect any more than they would treat PCs with the other items/effects I described.

I think it's a reasonable rationale.

If someone were to walk up to you and say that they wanted to sell you their set of Pathfinder books at 25% retail, but that person was wearing a mask, you're honestly saying you wouldn't find it at all suspicious?

The only way you could really 'cover up' the effect of this magic item would be to cover up your face. Heck, most of the convenience stores in my area won't even let someone wearing a full face mask or balaclava wander around the store without asking them to remove it (I ran across this problem at Halloween one year).

[edit]
That said, I agree that allowing someone to take the item, and then putting restrictions on it after the fact, would be a rude act on the part of the GM. If\when something like this comes up (i.e., a player chooses and item that I overlook and I find too powerful upon use), I'll work with the player to tone it down, or I'll refund them the full purchase price (or allow them to choose an item of similar cost).


137ben wrote:
Also, I really don't buy the whole "restricting a powerful item to only useable by one race makes it less powerful and therefore should be discounted..."

It does make it somewhat less powerful, insofar as the restriction reduces options and cuts off synergies with other races/items. If you chose to play an Oread in order to get that mask, you've also cut yourself off from other race-specific possibilities that might or might not help you in other areas your build wants/needs.

Might you get lucky, and be able to get everything you want without contention or having to chose between things? Sure, but you're less likely to. It's a probabilistic thing.

It's the same reason that slotted items cost less than an unslotted item would. Sure, if your ideal build (by coincidence) had only one item in a particular slot that you really, really wanted, then for you, it's also effectively a discount "for nothing". But on the average, restrictions like that will tend to limit builds, which is why, for the provided items, it's treated as a discount.

Things get grayer when you introduce crafting, admittedly, and I agree that there's no way I'd allow a custom built item to take a discount for "useable only by my alignment". But when it's pre-set for the various items by the developers, without consideration to any given build, that means that those kind of restrictions will actually tend to conflict and rule out options, hence the discount over the bonuses that have no such restriction.


Xaratherus wrote:

I think it's a reasonable rationale.

If someone were to walk up to you and say that they wanted to sell you their set of Pathfinder books at 25% retail, but that person was wearing a mask, you're honestly saying you wouldn't find it at all suspicious?

Well for one, I'm a good little consumer and already own all the PF books. For two, if this was at a con where fully 50-75% of people attending are in cosplay garb, it wouldn't be suspicious.

But in circumstances where I might find it suspicious, I might find it suspicious that they are wearing a crown or metallic headpiece, let alone having a floating gem in orbit around their head. Or, heck, I probably wouldn't deal with anyone with a giant weapon strapped to their back, especially a functional and lethal one.

Then again, I don't live in a world where a pinch of bat poop turns into a flaming ball of doom. All bets are off in Golarion.

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