Black Dragon Corrupt Water Ability vs Alchemist Bombs?


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GreenMandar wrote:
Some good questions and thoughts brought up, but AFAIK there is no such thing as fluff or crunch in the RAW. People deciding they can ignore some piece of the rules as "fluff" is house rule territory.

RAW (Rules As Written) by definition has no fluff in it.

If what you actually meant is there is no fluff in the CRB, then you are mistaken.

Almost every feat, skill, spell, ability, monster, etc has some fluff associated with it.

For example, Combat Casting feat has the following fluff: "You are adept at spellcasting when threatened or distracted."

That is fluff. None of it tells you mechanically how to use the feat, or what it applies to. What does being adept at spellcasting mean? Nothing mechanically.


blahpers wrote:
Bombs are partially prepared in advance--specifically, the liquid catalyst is prepared in advance. Reread the ability description. The catalysts generally aren't tracked because it's rarely of importance, but the assumed behavior is stated in the ability description.

I know what the rule is, but you don't have to specify you have X number of bombs ready right now, so yeah technically they should but that is why I said it is not worth the trouble. It is just more book keeping.


Lets be a bit more produtive.

We all know that when the black dragon power was written, there was no alchemist to balance the power to. Of course Paizo oficial word would be great, but we all are capable GMs.
So i ask: What would be fair ?

- No dragon aura/power has such class denial capability
- There is no fluffy about black dragon being alchemists kryptonite.
- There is no rule that say that alchemist cant use ruined catalysts to use their power (maybe his magic power purifies the catalysts for he use).

I vote for no or limited* interaction of the black dragon's Corrupt Water power with alchemists class abilities.

*Limited meaning some temporary debuff.


Again, there's no reason the alchemist can't have 10 000 vials of catalyst. Even if it can only save on a nat20 that's 500 vials that work, which should be plenty enough for one battle.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Ilja wrote:
no reason the alchemist can't have 10 000 vials

Except no GM will allow him to have more than 2 or so.


James Risner wrote:
Ilja wrote:
no reason the alchemist can't have 10 000 vials
Except no GM will allow him to have more than 2 or so.

The catalysts for a bomb are mechanically no different than the components in a spell component pouch: You're assumed to be able to carry all that you need to cast any spell that you could feasibly cast during a given day (within reason - some spells with excessive costs are exceptions).

Since an Alchemist can almost invariably throw more than 2 bombs a day, a GM who limits him to no more than '2 or so' - to any number less than the number of bombs his class allows him to throw - that GM is breaking RAW.


blahpers wrote:

And round and round we go.

Looks like this thread is firmly in circularville, so have fun folks.

Ultimately, the rules are fairly silent on what items contain or don't contain water, so what items are affected by this ability is entirely GM fiat.

If it's fun to tell your player "All your class abilities are wrecked." then by all means do so. Similarly, if it's fun to say "Rocks fall, you die," then by all means do so.

I just think that to willfully GM fiat something that isn't fun is poor GMing.


Ilja wrote:
Again, there's no reason the alchemist can't have 10 000 vials of catalyst. Even if it can only save on a nat20 that's 500 vials that work, which should be plenty enough for one battle.

tommy-lee-jones-newspaper.jpg

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Robb Smith wrote:
blahpers wrote:
As for normally untracked resources suddenly mattering, well, yeah, that happens. I don't require my players to track how much food or water they carry or consume when in town, leaving that to cost of living, but if they get teleported to a desert or another plane then it sure as salamanders matters then.

Your comparison between an "untracked" resource that the players should be cognizent of - their need to eat and drink to live - to a tiny subsection of ability description that describes the valueless, meaningless material component of "liquid catalyst" required to use a class feature, is not a valid counterpoint to me. If your players aren't writing rations on their character sheet, especially player characters who should always be living under the assumption they may get called to action on the drop of a hat, they are willingly (and foolishly) making a decision to not carry around any spare resources that they have a reasonable expectation may come into play in a game. Stripping an alchemist of untracked bomb catalyst when it has never, ever been called into play by the DM, player, or the rules themselves is something that is an unrealistic expectation.

That is why it is an unfair GM call. Bomb catalyst is something that would never be discussed in an actual game in any meaningful capacity. It's something that only gets discussed here, on these forums, as something to turn into a weapon to blindside players who have never been given any reason to think it is something they should have any consideration for whatsoever.

Why it is an untracked resource? They have a weight "In order to create a bomb, the alchemist must use a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst", are an item, it is possible to sunder the catalyst vial, it is possible to sunder the bandoleer (or other item) where the alchemist store the vials.

You can decide not to track them, but don't impose your decision on other people.

Robb Smith wrote:


That's quite a far cry from "Make a DC <x> save or you can't use bombs today. Or extracts. Or mutagens. Or poisons. Or anything else you may have crafted. You can probably poke it with a dagger though... well, as long as it's magic I suppose."

Actually "fail several Will saves at DC X". One for each liquid containing item. What kind of Will ST has the alchemist for failing all of them?

Xaratherus wrote:

Comparisons against a caster's spell component pouch are not completely valid here.

If you sunder a caster's spell component pouch, they lose out on a single class ability - casting spells. However, all of those caster classes have additional class features that don't rely on the spell component pouch, on which they can still fall back.

This potentially ruins the Alchemist as a whole, not just one of his several offensive class features. His bombs use liquid catalysts; his spells are all liquid-based; his mutagens are referred to as 'brewed' which indicates that they are liquids.

It renders all of his offensive class features inert.

This isn't comparable to sundering a spell component pouch or having it catch fire on a failed save; it's comparable to cutting off an (unlucky, save-failing) Wizard, Sorcerer, et. al. from every single one of their offensive class features. All of 'em.

It's equivalent to stripping a Fighter of his armor, all of his weapons, and access to all of his bonus feats.

I only mention that for GMs to keep in mind, because if you're comparing it to just cutting off a Wizard from his spells, then your comparison isn't valid, and isn't nearly punitive enough.

With that all said, by RAW it appears to work on extracts, infusions, bombs, and mutagens. And if I'm ever playing an Alchemist and come across a black dragon (and make the knowledge check), I'll be headed that-a-way, as fast as my potion-brewing legs can carry me. :P

Again, 1 save for each item. So probably the alchemist will lose a percentage of his catalysts and extracts, but not all of them.

Quantuum Steve wrote:


Personally, I would not consider extracts "items" as far as this ability is concerned because the lack a fundamental property that all other items in the game posses,i.e. they cannot be set down or otherwise leave the alchemists possession without ceasing to be extracts. I would consider them liquid-based class abilities.

Infusions are a different matter, and I would have to consider them differently

And when they are picked up they resume working. And they have a wight, can be destroyed even when put down and so on.

I fail to see what make them "non items".

Ilja wrote:


However, if we go by RAW the vials weigh nothing and take basically no effort to craft and each vial gets their own save - so if we apply the RAW, all alchemists will simply carry around a thousand catalysts per day in case they break (for ANY reason).

1 ounce Ilja, and that is the same weight of the potions, BTW. You can't carry thousand of them, even several hundreds will significantly weight you down. 16 to a pound give 6.25 lbs for 1 hundred of them.

On the other hand if the alchemist is carrying 100 catalysts even if he save only with a natural 20 he still get 5 usable vials.
I would say that he would know what vials have been fouled and what haven't, like a spellcaster know is he has lost memorized spells to a monster ability.

Quantum Steve wrote:
Bombs should be a moot case as they shouldn't contain water.

Never done some chemical work, right? Removing all water from a liquid or creating a liquid without any trace of water is hard. Even more so if you are carting around your test tube in the field.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Draco Bahamut wrote:

Lets be a bit more produtive.

We all know that when the black dragon power was written, there was no alchemist to balance the power to. Of course Paizo oficial word would be great, but we all are capable GMs.
So i ask: What would be fair ?

- No dragon aura/power has such class denial capability
- There is no fluffy about black dragon being alchemists kryptonite.
- There is no rule that say that alchemist cant use ruined catalysts to use their power (maybe his magic power purifies the catalysts for he use).

I vote for no or limited* interaction of the black dragon's Corrupt Water power with alchemists class abilities.

*Limited meaning some temporary debuff.

When the ability was written potions, holy water and other liquid alchemical items were extensively used.

And the ability specifically say that it work on magical liquids, i.e. potions. The item dependability ability was meant to be.


Quantum Steve wrote:
blahpers wrote:

And round and round we go.

Looks like this thread is firmly in circularville, so have fun folks.

Ultimately, the rules are fairly silent on what items contain or don't contain water, so what items are affected by this ability is entirely GM fiat.

If it's fun to tell your player "All your class abilities are wrecked." then by all means do so. Similarly, if it's fun to say "Rocks fall, you die," then by all means do so.

I just think that to willfully GM fiat something that isn't fun is poor GMing.

*sigh*

See the "rules do not exist in a vacuum" post above regarding your assumption that anything that briefly negates a character's abilities is automatically not fun. Your definition of fun is not universal, and in fact sounds quite boring to me, like asking the GM to just set up pins for the players to knock down. Calling this "rocks fall, you die" is melodramatic and ignores the far greater threats at a CR 16 encounter's disposal.

If you'd prefer, the GM could just have the ancient black dragon cast reach stone to flesh on the alchemist. Or just replace it with a CR-equivalent pit of medusa rogues. But that would be unfun, right?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
Ilja wrote:
no reason the alchemist can't have 10 000 vials
Except no GM will allow him to have more than 2 or so.

Actually he would have at least as many as the number of bombs he can throw in a day. I would say that he would carry at least a 10-20% more to be safe from sundering enemies, shatter spells (only when he is not wearing his equipment as it work only on unattended items) and similar abilities.


If you're going to target the catalysts, just target the archemist's kit. Seriously. It's a single item that's intended to have all the components needed to create bombs, mutagens, and extracts. All of those things are liquid-based. You don't track the weight of the ounce of catalyst for each bomb or the weight of each vial because it's assumed to be included in the weight of the alchemist's kit. For this situation, the designers could not have made this any easier.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rhatahema wrote:
If you're going to target the catalysts, just target the archemist's kit. Seriously. It's a single item that's intended to have all the components needed to create bombs, mutagens, and extracts. All of those things are liquid-based. You don't track the weight of the ounce of catalyst for each bomb or the weight of each vial because it's assumed to be included in the weight of the alchemist's kit. For this situation, the designers could not have made this any easier.

I ask people to track the ounce of the readied catalyst and the ounce of the readied extracts and the ounce of the mutagen, like I ask them to track the ounce of the potions in their belt or the holy water.

You would be amazed on how fast a ounce here, a ounce there put you over light encumbrance.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
- No dragon aura/power has such class denial capability

(edit: dialed back a bit)

The OP was being tame by choosing a black dragon:

Blue Dragon, Mature Adult (CR 14) wrote:

Desert Thirst (Su)

A blue dragon can cast create water at will. Alternatively, it can destroy an equal amount of liquid in a 10-foot burst. Unattended liquids are instantly reduced to sand. Liquid-based magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature's possession must succeed on a Will save or be destroyed.

A blue dragon can do this at will, not once per day like the ancient black dragon. It works on all liquids, period, with no qualifiers for water-based or whatever. Any blue dragon can do this, from the big bad ancient mamma to its nest of wyrmlings.


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blahpers wrote:

*sigh*

See the "rules do not exist in a vacuum" post above regarding your assumption that anything that briefly negates a character's abilities is automatically not fun.

At the same time, please recognize that many people don't find it fun when their abilities are taken away from them.

To many people, taking away the bulk of their class abilities, even briefly, is akin to going to a theme park and finding out that after you walked through the gate they closed most of the attractions you came to ride.

I agree that there's no fun in encounters that offer no challenge. Personally I feel that this particular ability potentially goes too far, and potentially penalizes one particular character over every other class. I prefer scenarios that challenge the entire group to use their skills, not scenarios that challenge the group at the expense of one particular player's effectiveness.


blahpers wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
- No dragon aura/power has such class denial capability

(edit: dialed back a bit)

The OP was being tame by choosing a black dragon:

Blue Dragon, Mature Adult (CR 14) wrote:

Desert Thirst (Su)

A blue dragon can cast create water at will. Alternatively, it can destroy an equal amount of liquid in a 10-foot burst. Unattended liquids are instantly reduced to sand. Liquid-based magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature's possession must succeed on a Will save or be destroyed.

A blue dragon can do this at will, not once per day like the ancient black dragon. It works on all liquids, period, with no qualifiers for water-based or whatever. Any blue dragon can do this, from the big bad ancient mamma to its nest of wyrmlings.

Obligatory Link.

TO SAAAAAAAAND


James Risner wrote:
Ilja wrote:
no reason the alchemist can't have 10 000 vials
Except no GM will allow him to have more than 2 or so.

A DM that uses the "but its RAW!!" argument to strip a character of all power while simultaneously imposing house rules to limit the rules legal defense mechanisms against such a tactic is a bad DM. And i dont use that expression lightly.

If you want to argue that "the rules afe what they are" and run a close to RAW campaign, then the players must be allowed to use the RAW to defend themselves.

If you run a more rules-soft campaign where there are lots of adhoc house ruling, then tell them "the black dragon strips all your powers because i think its fub stripping yoir powers", not because "thats the rule".

Both hard rules and soft rules are valid and good playstyles, but mixing and matching just to screw players over as much as possible is bad DMing. Period.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
blahpers wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
- No dragon aura/power has such class denial capability

(edit: dialed back a bit)

The OP was being tame by choosing a black dragon:

Blue Dragon, Mature Adult (CR 14) wrote:

Desert Thirst (Su)

A blue dragon can cast create water at will. Alternatively, it can destroy an equal amount of liquid in a 10-foot burst. Unattended liquids are instantly reduced to sand. Liquid-based magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature's possession must succeed on a Will save or be destroyed.

A blue dragon can do this at will, not once per day like the ancient black dragon. It works on all liquids, period, with no qualifiers for water-based or whatever. Any blue dragon can do this, from the big bad ancient mamma to its nest of wyrmlings.

Please, Draco Bahamut wrote that, not I.


Btw diego i think its safe to assume that ounce in this case refers to liquid ounce, not to the unit of mass, since weredealing with liquids. In other words, 320 potions are equal to the create water spell of a 1st level cleric, in volume. The weight is unspecified.


Diego Rossi wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
- No dragon aura/power has such class denial capability

(edit: dialed back a bit)

The OP was being tame by choosing a black dragon:

Blue Dragon, Mature Adult (CR 14) wrote:

Desert Thirst (Su)

A blue dragon can cast create water at will. Alternatively, it can destroy an equal amount of liquid in a 10-foot burst. Unattended liquids are instantly reduced to sand. Liquid-based magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature's possession must succeed on a Will save or be destroyed.

A blue dragon can do this at will, not once per day like the ancient black dragon. It works on all liquids, period, with no qualifiers for water-based or whatever. Any blue dragon can do this, from the big bad ancient mamma to its nest of wyrmlings.
Please, Draco Bahamut wrote that, not I.

Ack, quote fail! Sorry about that.

*dissolves into a pile of body parts and sand*


Thinking on it a bit more, are these things even items?

They are not listed on any of the item lists. Not equipment, weapons, armor, magic items, alchemical items, alchemical weapons, and so forth.

They have no price.

They have no weight.

They take up no (or an undefined amount of) space by RAW.

They don't seem to meet the criteria for being actual items in any way. They're more "materially fluffed class abilities".


Diego Rossi wrote:
Rhatahema wrote:
If you're going to target the catalysts, just target the archemist's kit. Seriously. It's a single item that's intended to have all the components needed to create bombs, mutagens, and extracts. All of those things are liquid-based. You don't track the weight of the ounce of catalyst for each bomb or the weight of each vial because it's assumed to be included in the weight of the alchemist's kit. For this situation, the designers could not have made this any easier.

I ask people to track the ounce of the readied catalyst and the ounce of the readied extracts and the ounce of the mutagen, like I ask them to track the ounce of the potions in their belt or the holy water.

You would be amazed on how fast a ounce here, a ounce there put you over light encumbrance.

My point is simply that, like a material component pouch, the alchemist's kit contains all the components needed for extracts, mutagens, and bombs. The weight of those items is included in the weight of the alchemist's kit, which never fluctuates, regardless of how many extracts you're capable of preparing or have imbibed, or how many bombs you're capable of creating or have thrown.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ilja wrote:
Btw diego i think its safe to assume that ounce in this case refers to liquid ounce, not to the unit of mass, since weredealing with liquids. In other words, 320 potions are equal to the create water spell of a 1st level cleric, in volume. The weight is unspecified.

You Americans and your measures ....

:P

Beside that, if something has a volume of a liquid ounce, you are claiming that he has no weight. Assuming a density of 1, one liquid ounce should wight 1 ounce or such (I see there are different liquid ounces, again Americans, the only people that can send a rover to Mars and fail the landing because someone has used the different measure with the same definition).

We are already generous discounting the container. Glass or ceramic has a weight. It is not possible to carry 10.000 vials of whatever stuff, unless you are using some kind of extra dimensional container, and at that point there is no problem with the dragon ability if you keep some spare in your handy haversack.


Ilja wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Ilja wrote:
no reason the alchemist can't have 10 000 vials
Except no GM will allow him to have more than 2 or so.

A DM that uses the "but its RAW!!" argument to strip a character of all power while simultaneously imposing house rules to limit the rules legal defense mechanisms against such a tactic is a bad DM. And i dont use that expression lightly.

If you want to argue that "the rules afe what they are" and run a close to RAW campaign, then the players must be allowed to use the RAW to defend themselves.

If you run a more rules-soft campaign where there are lots of adhoc house ruling, then tell them "the black dragon strips all your powers because i think its fub stripping yoir powers", not because "thats the rule".

Both hard rules and soft rules are valid and good playstyles, but mixing and matching just to screw players over as much as possible is bad DMing. Period.

RAW empowers the GM to put reasonable limits on things such as items with negligible weight. I think most would say 10,000 vials of anything qualifies as reasonable. The rules give a default assumption of enough catalyst vials for the alchemist to use that day and absolutely allows the alchemist to make and carry more than that, but the GM is going to invoke weight and storage eventually, same as if the player wanted to carry 100,000 fishhooks. No meta-rule requires the GM to choose between always following RAW like stone and handwaving away anything that inconveniences the players.

Regarding your "bad GM" comment: A player that immediately assumes that allowing a dragon to function per the letter and spirit of the rules equates to "screwing players over" when the dragon could just as easily kill the alchemist outright instead of inconvenience him is a bad player, and I don't use that term lightly.


Rynjin wrote:

Thinking on it a bit more, are these things even items?

They are not listed on any of the item lists. Not equipment, weapons, armor, magic items, alchemical items, alchemical weapons, and so forth.

They have no price.

They have no weight.

They take up no (or an undefined amount of) space by RAW.

They don't seem to meet the criteria for being actual items in any way. They're more "materially fluffed class abilities".

This boils down to "There isn't an equipment table entry for every object that can exist in a Pathfinder game, therefore the wooden tongue-scraper on my dresser is immune to that spell because it isn't an object."


Blahpers: Having monsters act by the letter of the rules is not screwing plahers over. Having monsters abilities be treated by the most powerful RAW ruling possible, while arbitrarily designating PC abilities in the weakest way possible for the circumstance (forcing catalysts to be water-based) and invoking a rule 0 to prevent players countermeasures is screwing people over.

Having a rust monster damage equipment is not screwing people over. Having the rust monster affect belt buckles to cause entanglement while claiming oil of magic weapon does not prevent the rusting of weapons "because its the oil thats magic and it would be unrealistic and dms have this power!!!!" is screwing players over.

No metarule fprces you to act in a certain way but consistently disempowering
players while arguing "but RAAAAW" for monsters benefit makes it bad dming. Not against the rules, just bad.

Youve deliberately chosen to interpret the rules in all the gray areas in the way most beneficial to the monster while imposing house rules to limit the players. If that doesnt cause players to feel its a game of "dm vs players" then i dont know what will.

Diego: im actually swedish. But the liquids are special alchemical creatio.s or even magic items; no reason to assume they have a density of 1.


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blahpers wrote:

RAW empowers the GM to put reasonable limits on things such as items with negligible weight. I think most would say 10,000 vials of anything qualifies as reasonable. The rules give a default assumption of enough catalyst vials for the alchemist to use that day and absolutely allows the alchemist to make and carry more than that, but the GM is going to invoke weight and storage eventually, same as if the player wanted to carry 100,000 fishhooks. No meta-rule requires the GM to choose between always following RAW like stone and handwaving away anything that inconveniences the players.

Regarding your "bad GM" comment: A player that immediately assumes that allowing a dragon to function per the letter and spirit of the rules equates to "screwing players over" when the dragon could just as easily kill the alchemist outright instead of inconvenience him is a bad player, and I don't use that term lightly.

Letter and Spirit? Well since the Black dragon was unquestionably designed without thought or knowledge of the Alchemist, no statement can be made on the spirit of the rules, and as for the letter... the Corrupt Water ability only works on liquids that contain water; show me, in the letter of the rules, where it specifically says that bombs, extracts, and mutagens contain water.

You can't, because what you're suggesting is pure GM fiat.

GM fiat isn't a bad thing if it enhances the game. Some players might enjoy the challenge of arbitrarily losing all their most potent class abilities (sorry, Cleric, you can't commune with your god in this dungeon. You can't cast spells, use domain abilities, or channel). But, when using fiat, it's up to the GM to know what kind of challenges his players are prepared for and will enjoy. If you screw your players over and they stop having fun, then you've failed as a GM in that instance.


blahpers wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Thinking on it a bit more, are these things even items?

They are not listed on any of the item lists. Not equipment, weapons, armor, magic items, alchemical items, alchemical weapons, and so forth.

They have no price.

They have no weight.

They take up no (or an undefined amount of) space by RAW.

They don't seem to meet the criteria for being actual items in any way. They're more "materially fluffed class abilities".

This boils down to "There isn't an equipment table entry for every object that can exist in a Pathfinder game, therefore the wooden tongue-scraper on my dresser is immune to that spell because it isn't an object."

Yes.

And the issue with this is...?


Rynjin wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Thinking on it a bit more, are these things even items?

They are not listed on any of the item lists. Not equipment, weapons, armor, magic items, alchemical items, alchemical weapons, and so forth.

They have no price.

They have no weight.

They take up no (or an undefined amount of) space by RAW.

They don't seem to meet the criteria for being actual items in any way. They're more "materially fluffed class abilities".

This boils down to "There isn't an equipment table entry for every object that can exist in a Pathfinder game, therefore the wooden tongue-scraper on my dresser is immune to that spell because it isn't an object."

Yes.

And the issue with this is...?

It shatters the group's ability to immerse themselves into the story's world when they have to stop and figure out which objects are technically objects, which ones aren't, which ones are but we don't have the sourcebook so they aren't. and so on. It also breaks the general flow of the game.

Things exist that don't have table entries. Go look through a module and count the number of things that aren't statted. Those things still exist in the game; ignoring them reduces the game to a badly-written computer game with no room for players to use their imaginations--which is the entire point of a roleplaying game.

The GM has to come up with such things all the time. Suppose the PC decided the tongue scraper was a fiend in disguise and attacked it with his fist. It turns out that the tongue scraper was, in fact, a tongue scraper--and the local baron's family heirloom scraper at that. Did the PC break it? Well, what are the hit points of a tongue-scraper? There are guidelines for arbitrary wooden objects but no actual stats for a tongue scraper's size and weight to use those gidelines. The GM would have to decide whether the PC just broke the baron's priceless heirloom or merely dinged it.

Alternately, the PC is tasked to gather all of the tongue scrapers in a fancy city inn and deliver them to the head servant. (Hey, some jobs are more heroic than others.) This is a huge inn in a metropolis, and every room has at least one tongue scraper. How encumbered is the PC when he's attacked in the corridor by a shapeshifter disguised as a serving girl? The GM would have to decide how much a tongue scraper weighs.

The black dragon (or, more extremely, the blue dragon) is one of those times that ordinarily ignored things suddenly become important. If you don't like games in which not everything is fully defined ahead of time, then don't play that kind of game, but it's the kind of experience that tabletop gaming is best at, the experiences that video and computer games simply have not--and likely never will--really compete with.

If the player wants to know how much a tongue scraper--or a vial of catalyst--weighs or how large it is, they need only ask; it's not a secret, and the player might even be able to work with the GM on it if the answer has a real effect on the character concept. Alternately, they could simply decide that the catalyst is stored with the alchemist's kit, per some above comments. This is fully within the rules but probably more dangerous for the alchemist, since their entire bomb supply would be subject to one save, and they'd have no way of using bombs at all if their kit was lost or stolen.


blaphers wrote:
It shatters the group's ability to immerse themselves into the story's world when they have to stop and figure out which objects are technically objects, which ones aren't, which ones are but we don't have the sourcebook so they aren't. and so on. It also breaks the general flow of the game.

Doesn't it do the same thing when the group has to stop and debate whether or not the Alchemist's liquid catalyst contains a sufficient amount of water to be affected by the black dragon's ability?


Ilja wrote:

Blahpers: Having monsters act by the letter of the rules is not screwing plahers over. Having monsters abilities be treated by the most powerful RAW ruling possible, while arbitrarily designating PC abilities in the weakest way possible for the circumstance (forcing catalysts to be water-based) and invoking a rule 0 to prevent players countermeasures is screwing people over.

Having a rust monster damage equipment is not screwing people over. Having the rust monster affect belt buckles to cause entanglement while claiming oil of magic weapon does not prevent the rusting of weapons "because its the oil thats magic and it would be unrealistic and dms have this power!!!!" is screwing players over.

No metarule fprces you to act in a certain way but consistently disempowering
players while arguing "but RAAAAW" for monsters benefit makes it bad dming. Not against the rules, just bad.

Youve deliberately chosen to interpret the rules in all the gray areas in the way most beneficial to the monster while imposing house rules to limit the players. If that doesnt cause players to feel its a game of "dm vs players" then i dont know what will.

Look, pal. You don't even know me. I've explained my reasoning, and it's a far cry from "because it's worse for the players, and I am God here! Bahahahaha!". Anything else you're attributing to my motives is on you.

I've explained how it adheres to the letter of the rules and even how it fits the theme of the dragon's ability, as well as how it isn't even remotely as powerful as other options that the dragon could be using instead. (Notice how nobody has argued those points?) I've even offered plenty of contexts where treating the ability this way makes the game better for players than not doing so. If you've decided that all of that means nothing and that I'm just a mean old grognard who loves murdering player characters despite all evidence to the contrary, then that's your prerogative--don't play at my table. But I don't appreciate being called a bad GM for running anything but a vapid numbers-versus-numbers game.


Xaratherus wrote:
blaphers wrote:
It shatters the group's ability to immerse themselves into the story's world when they have to stop and figure out which objects are technically objects, which ones aren't, which ones are but we don't have the sourcebook so they aren't. and so on. It also breaks the general flow of the game.
Doesn't it do the same thing when the group has to stop and debate whether or not the Alchemist's liquid catalyst contains a sufficient amount of water to be affected by the black dragon's ability?

Not as severely. Playing Rynjin's way, the end result is that some things would be real and others, for all purposes, either nonexistent or indestructible. This inherently breaks immersion, and it doesn't repair until the thing in question is no longer in the scene.

Playing the other way, immersion has a hiccup, but we resolve it quickly and are left with a thing that fits into the universe, sometimes without even having a hiccup at all.

Regarding the water argument: a blue dragon unambiguously affects all liquids regardless of water content. It doesn't really matter for the purposes of this discussion what color of dragon we're talking about, so quibbling about water content doesn't really have any point.


blahpers wrote:
Not as severely. Playing Rynjin's way, the end result is that some things would be real and others, for all purposes, either nonexistent or indestructible. This inherently breaks immersion, and it doesn't repair until the thing in question is no longer in the scene.

You're taking Rynjin's statement to an absurdum level, though. I'm fairly certain Rynjin's point wasn't to say that any item not on a list of items is indestructible; it was to point out that, like mundane spell components, catalysts and such tend to fall into the category of "resources you don't need to track and that don't get messed with."

I've never bothered having an Alchemist track the amount of catalyst vials they're carrying (or what the Wizard has stocked in his spell components pouch) because in 99% of situations it's irrelevant - and in the 1% of the situations where it could be relevant, as a GM I generally avoid directly targeting those items because I've had too many experiences where people take it badly.

blahpers wrote:
Playing the other way, immersion has a hiccup, but we resolve it quickly and are left with a thing that fits into the universe, sometimes without even having a hiccup at all.

Or (and I know this is only my experience - maybe it's just the groups I've been part of) it doesn't resolve quickly because a lot of players don't really like having their abilities messed with?

I've met numerous players who have no problem suffering a character death. Those same players have taken issue with situations where they feel like they've been thrown into a situation and intentionally targeted to remove their effectiveness.

blahpers wrote:
Regarding the water argument: a blue dragon unambiguously affects all liquids regardless of water content. It doesn't really matter for the purposes of this discussion what color of dragon we're talking about, so quibbling about water content doesn't really have any point.

Er... yeah it does. The OP was asking about a specific ability from a specific type of dragon.

So for the original question, 'water content' is right on point. It's what other dragons can do that's tangential.

blahpers wrote:
I've explained how it adheres to the letter of the rules and even how it fits the theme of the dragon's ability, as well as how it isn't even remotely as powerful as other options that the dragon could be using instead. (Notice how nobody has argued those points?)

Not directed at me, but to be honest I hadn't mentioned the other abilities because the other abilities are irrelevant to the original question. When the original question is, "How does ability X of a black dragon affect an Alchemist?" the fact that there's a color of dragon out there that can turn your head into a Sara Lee cheesecake doesn't really factor in...


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blahpers wrote:
I've explained how it adheres to the letter of the rules and even how it fits the theme of the dragon's ability, as well as how it isn't even remotely as powerful as other options that the dragon could be using instead. (Notice how nobody has argued those points?)

Well, I've already addressed the letter of the rules bit, but let's go on.

A Black Dragon's theme is to shut down a character's class abilities? I know that's not what you meant, but that's what it does. No other monster so completely shuts down another class for an entire adventuring day with no hope of recuperation. (Ruined Bombs and Extracts cannot be prepped again until the next day.) You can shut down a caster for a battle, perhaps, but you can't wipe all his spells from memory. You can't shut off a a Fighters feats, or make a Paladin temporarily fall at will.
A character death is something most players are prepared for, but rendering a character useless and somehow expecting the player to still sit and play at the table is a little unreasonable for some. I know more than a few players that would rather their characters die than be neutered.

I'd didn't see you give many examples of more deadly options for an Ancient Black Dragon, you mentioned something about a reach stone to flesh which confused me a bit because an Ancient Black Dragon lacks the caster level to even cast Stone to Flesh let alone add metamagic.
Actually, with only 5th level sorcerer spells the Ancient Black Dragon lacks any save or die abilities. He has Hold Monster, though that's at a DC 19 compared to Corrupt Water's DC 25 (a fairly significant difference), it allows a save every single turn, and only lasts max 11 rounds. Ruined class features are gone until the next day, remember.

Of course, all this doesn't address the fact that a CR 11 Adult Black Dragon can use the same ability. What options does it have, with only 1st level spells, to completely shut down a character for an entire day? You're quite fond of bringing up the Blue Dragon as justification; what deadly abilities does a CR 5 Wyrmling have? What can any CR 5 monster do that's comparable?

Not only is it not, explicitly, the letter of the rules (I'll concede it's a valid interpretation), but it's also beyond the scope of any other monster ability. A group may have fun with gritty play and may enjoy the challenge of being rendered utterly impotent, and that's fantastic, but to invoke "Bad Player" upon someone who doesn't share your ideals is insulting, to say the least, and if one were to try to impose such a style on a group that didn't share the GM's enthusiasm for gritty challenge, he would, again, be a bad GM.


The door was already opened with the "bad GM" accusation. I'm done here. Xaratherus, at least, was polite about his disagreement.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
blahpers wrote:
Alternately, they could simply decide that the catalyst is stored with the alchemist's kit, per some above comments. This is fully within the rules but probably more dangerous for the alchemist, since their entire bomb supply would be subject to one save, and they'd have no way of using bombs at all if their kit was lost or stolen.

Who need a dragon for that. If all the alchemist stuff is in the alchemist kit one successful targeted shatter or 1 successful sunder and the alchemist is out of his job.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Quantum Steve wrote:
(Ruined Bombs and Extracts cannot be prepped again until the next day.)

True for extracts, but ruined catalyst can be prepared again as soon as you have the components. There is no "you need to prepare your catalyst in the morning2 rule.

Same thing for ruined mutagens.

Quantum Steve wrote:


A Black Dragon's theme is to shut down a character's class abilities?

And again this false statement. QS, every catalyst and every extract and every mutagen get a save, it is not a single save that affect all your gear.

So, even if the alchemist saves only 1/4 of the time he still has 1/4 of his resources available, plus the mutagen that he probably has already imbibed and the capacity to make new catalysts and mutagens as soon as he has the time and resources.
It the alchemist kit was unaffected (highly probable as it is a item that you will keep in a extra dimensional space as soon as you can afford one) he can get them back as soon as the fight has ended.

It is not "the alchemist was hosed", it is "the alchemist suffer from diminished efficiency", exactly like a fighter whose main weapon was sundered.


Diego Rossi wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Alternately, they could simply decide that the catalyst is stored with the alchemist's kit, per some above comments. This is fully within the rules but probably more dangerous for the alchemist, since their entire bomb supply would be subject to one save, and they'd have no way of using bombs at all if their kit was lost or stolen.
Who need a dragon for that. If all the alchemist stuff is in the alchemist kit one successful targeted shatter or 1 successful sunder and the alchemist is out of his job.

The same goes for component pouches and holy symbols. Which is precisely the reason you should have several back-ups.

(Shattering a quiver makes the archer sad too)

Of course, back-up kits don't help if all your prepped Extracts and Bombs are ruined for the day, And a Dragon could ruin dozens of kits worth of liquid at once.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As you probably have missed it, as it is a edit:

Quantum Steve wrote:


A Black Dragon's theme is to shut down a character's class abilities?

And again this false statement. QS, every catalyst and every extract and every mutagen get a save, it is not a single save that affect all your gear.

So, even if the alchemist saves only 1/4 of the time he still has 1/4 of his resources available, plus the mutagen that he probably has already imbibed and the capacity to make new catalysts and mutagens as soon as he has the time and resources.
It the alchemist kit was unaffected (highly probable as it is a item that you will keep in a extra dimensional space as soon as you can afford one) he can get them back as soon as the fight has ended.

It is not "the alchemist was hosed", it is "the alchemist suffer from diminished efficiency", exactly like a fighter whose main weapon was sundered.

Edit:
BTW, you are again repeating the false statement that catalyst can't be replaced.


Quantum Steve wrote:
The same goes for component pouches and holy symbols. Which is precisely the reason you should have several back-ups.

An Alchemist's kit costs and weighs a good bit more, however.


I still say go for a few thousand vials of catalyst. Even a single bag of holding type 1 can contain about 4000 vials.


If we assume that every liquid item on the character gets a saving throw, then I think the concern is lessened.

That, however, adds a potentially huge number of saving throws for a single character. A black dragon is a CR 16. Assume that the Alchemist (also level 16) is going to have a number of catalysts equal to the number of bombs he can throw plus 10%; we're probably looking at about 25 vials of catalyst. The Alchemist potentially has 23 extracts\infusions available, each of which has to be rolled and tracked individually since they represent spells he can cast. This is more likely ~30 with bonus extracts due to the level of the caster stat, and then at least one more for mutagen.

That's 56 saving throws to roll...


Diego Rossi wrote:

As you probably have missed it, as it is a edit:

Quantum Steve wrote:


A Black Dragon's theme is to shut down a character's class abilities?

And again this false statement. QS, every catalyst and every extract and every mutagen get a save, it is not a single save that affect all your gear.

So, even if the alchemist saves only 1/4 of the time he still has 1/4 of his resources available, plus the mutagen that he probably has already imbibed and the capacity to make new catalysts and mutagens as soon as he has the time and resources.
It the alchemist kit was unaffected (highly probable as it is a item that you will keep in a extra dimensional space as soon as you can afford one) he can get them back as soon as the fight has ended.

It is not "the alchemist was hosed", it is "the alchemist suffer from diminished efficiency", exactly like a fighter whose main weapon was sundered.

Edit:
BTW, you are again repeating the false statement that catalyst can't be replaced.

Your right about recreating additional mutagens, they only take an hour (though that could easily be the remainder of the adventuring day), but an Alchemist gets only a finite number of bombs and extracts per day, if those are ruined he can't replaced until the next day.

If your stance is the bombs themselves aren't ruined but the catalysts of which the Alchemist can make an indefinite number, then what's the point of affecting them at all if he can simply make that indefinite number before hand?

Still, the question remains, is there any other monster ability that requires the Wizards to roll for each of his spells or lose it for the day? A Fighter to roll if he loses his feats?

I still like this thought, though:

Mikaze wrote:

Don't forget blood. Or cerebrospinal fluid. Or the vitreous and aqueous fluids of the eyes.

Sometimes it's best not to take magic to its extreme conclusions.

The ability isn't limited to items, all water would be affected.


There are plenty of particular monsters that nullify particular classes. Rogues aren't very useful against elementals, spellcasters aren't particularly effective agains golems, bards are much less useful against vermin and mindless creatures, anything with a will save attack can nullify fighters..

This is one monster, and a particularly powerful one, tha can nullify an alchemist for one day. It's not unprecedented, and it's no more unfair than any of those other examples.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If i was playing an alchemist and this ability didn't affect him, i would be annoyed.

doesn't point out the blue dragon ability....

Desert Thirst (Su):

A blue dragon can cast create water at will (CL 24). Alternatively, it can destroy an equal amount of liquid in a 10-foot burst. Unattended liquids are instantly reduced to sand. Liquid-based magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature's possession must succeed on a Will save (DC 29) or be destroyed


I think this is clearly in the area of a “for GM adjudication” issue.
As both a player and a GM, I’d be ok with it working – it is a very cool thematic effect for one of the archetypical BBEGs of the game world that I’m unlikely to see very often and will be a great story both in and out of game, should witnesses survive. Of almost any opponent you will encounter, a black dragon who has survived a century of other adventurers should definitely fight dirty. =0)

The save DC is somewhat laughable, given the fact that it’s an adult dragon (specified as 1st level spell, so 11+Cha Mod of the Dragon, so starting at DC 13 as an Adult [CR 11] maxing out at DC 16 vs. a Great Wyrm [CR 19]).
The only issue I see would be the possible adjudication issues:
1) As mentioned up thread, multiple saving throws for the catalysts bogging down game play &
2) Interpreting & adjudicating the range (Frightful Presence, minimum 180 ft as an Adult) vs. the area of effect (10 cu feet of water) given that Black Dragons usually prefer to hang out in the water and tactically often remain in the water for cover/ concealment / impede their attackers. Not sure they would have enough AoE left to affect an alchemist’s stuff unless they were flying or otherwise in some other situation.

On the other hand, I play a bit differently than many do and like to ambush PCs, which is apparently a no-no by some folks “modern” gaming philosophies where apparently the PCs are always supposed to be the only pro active ones in a combat situation. I also try to use dragons very sparingly, excepting where a specific plotline may put PCs at cross-purposes with numbers of them.

-TimD

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Quantum Steve wrote:

Your right about recreating additional mutagens, they only take an hour (though that could easily be the remainder of the adventuring day), but an Alchemist gets only a finite number of bombs and extracts per day, if those are ruined he can't replaced until the next day.

If your stance is the bombs themselves aren't ruined but the catalysts of which the Alchemist can make an indefinite number, then what's the point of affecting them at all if he can simply make that indefinite number before hand?

Read how the bombs work. You mix the catalyst well before preparing the bomb, the bomb last only 1 round.

PRD wrote:
Bomb (Su): In addition to magical extracts, alchemists are adept at swiftly mixing various volatile chemicals and infusing them with their magical reserves to create powerful bombs that they can hurl at their enemies. An alchemist can use a number of bombs each day equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier. Bombs are unstable, and if not used in the round they are created, they degrade and become inert—their method of creation prevents large volumes of explosive material from being created and stored. In order to create a bomb, the alchemist must use a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst—the alchemist can create this liquid catalyst from small amounts of chemicals from an alchemy lab, and these supplies can be readily refilled in the same manner as a spellcaster's component pouch. Most alchemists create a number of catalyst vials at the start of the day equal to the total number of bombs they can create in that day—once created, a catalyst vial remains usable by the alchemist for years.

You can't make an and bring with you "indefinite number" as they weight an ounce. It is a low weight but it exist.

You can store a several thousand of vials in a bag of holding, but drawing the catalyst from the bag is an move action that provoke an AoO.

It was explained more than once in this thread, so I am very surprised that you have missed it every time.

Quantum Steve wrote:


I still like this thought, though:
Mikaze wrote:


Don't forget blood. Or cerebrospinal fluid. Or the vitreous and aqueous fluids of the eyes.

Sometimes it's best not to take magic to its extreme conclusions.

The ability isn't limited to items, all water would be affected.

Maybe you must read the ability description: it affect liquid items, not creatures. For the rules a creature isn't made of different pieces and items, it is a single whole. The ability will foul a vial of blood but not the blood pumping in a creature veins, as that part of the creature.

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