Sno-Cone Wish Machine


Rules Questions

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55 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 7 people marked this as a favorite.

As many have discussed the old "sno-cone wish machine" is a way to mis-use the simulacrum spell to have (for example) a half HD Efreet, who then casts three wishes a day for you. This appears to be rather a strained reading of RAW, and is likely not RAI, but the actual wording of the Simulacrum spell is ambiguous.

Can we get a clarification on this spell?

1. Can you get Wish from a Simulacrum?

2. What is meant by "appropriate special abilities" and "a creature of that level or HD" in "It appears to be the same as the original, but it has only half of the real creature's levels or HD (and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD)."


Good luck this has been highly debated almost since if came out. Youre not getting an answer for this one


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I think this is one of those cases that is just best left up to your GM. If he allows it...well then I guess he has it coming.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:

As many have discussed the old "sno-cone wish machine" is a way to mis-use the simulacrum spell to have (for example) a half HD Efreet, who then casts three wishes a day for you. This appears to be rather a strained reading of RAW, and is likely not RAI, but the actual wording of the Simulacrum spell is ambiguous.

Can we get a clarification on this spell?

I have a long history as a GM of simply not caring what any ruling would say if I feel that it would throw my campaign out of balance.

In short, you don't get your sno-cone wish machine in MY games, no matter what ANYONE on this board posts be it rage-driven munchkin or Paizo developer herself.

The quality of GM's HAS really gone downhill since 3.X if that many of you lot can't make a ruling on tieing ones laces unless a developer puts a FAQ on it.


Sure. But this is often touted as why Pathfinder is broken. Altho I doubt if it sees much IRL table-top use, fixing it will help out the community.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:
Sure. But this is often touted as why Pathfinder is broken. Altho I doubt if it sees much IRL table-top use, fixing it will help out the community.

The "community" needs to learn that it can help itself.


74 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 6 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't see a clear question here DrDeth... Perhaps you can modify your original post to include the following question and as much or as little of my supporting text as desired?

Main Question:
Does a Simulacrum made from an Efreeti retain the ability to grant 3 wishes per day?

Related Questions:
What about other similar cases of decreasing the hit dice of monsters - should the new creature have some of it's more powerful special abilities removed or reduced? Does this same logic hold true for adding special abilities or increasing their power in the case of increasing a monsters hit dice?

Comments on Questions:
Note that in most cases (other than simulacrum), custom monsters are well within the GM's scope of allowed modification, but developer "guidance" can be helpful and may be directly required in the case of Simulacrum.

Argument for an Efreeti Simulacrum retaining it's wish granting abilities...
No where does it state that such a creature loses the ability to grant these abilities. "It appears to be the same as the original, but it has only half of the real creature's levels or HD (and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD)" The simulacrum spell even references retaining those abilities, since they are not dependent on level or hit dice but rather the creature's base form.

Argument against an Efreeti Simulacrum retaining it's wish granting abilities...
The simulacrum spell states that "It appears to be the same as the original, but it has only half of the real creature's levels or HD (and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD)." Since there are no creatures with half the hit dice of an Efreeti and the ability to grant wishes, this is not an appropriate ability for a creature of that hit dice.


Great wording.


DrDeth wrote:
Great wording.

Thanks. Hopefully the developers will see this one and make some clarification, even if it's mostly general guidance with a single sentence clarifying that "This means that an Efreeti Simulacrum should/should not retain the ability to grant wishes."

I've FAQ'd both your post and mine - not sure it helps, but why not.


A good (but really work intensive) solution would be to stat monsters out in a way that shows at which HD do they get their special abilities.


MechE_ wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Great wording.

Thanks. I had hoped you'd update the original post with it as it's less likely to get FAQ'd even just a few posts down the thread. Oh well.

I've FAQ'd your original post and have also FAQ'd my post, though I would encourage others to FAQ my post over yours.
(Only because mine presents the question in a much clearer manner and with supporting arguments for both sides of the discussion.)

Either way, hopefully the developers will see this one and make some clarification, even if it's mostly general guidance with a single sentence clarifying that "This means that an Efreeti Simulacrum should/should not retain the ability to grant wishes."

I did, I edited my OP to include some of your ideas, thanks.


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DrDeth wrote:
I did, I edited my OP to include some of your ideas, thanks.

Ahh, so you did. Guess that's what I get for skimming a post in 5 seconds... And it wasn't even a long one! I've edited my previous post to make myself look less silly.

Now you're just exposing my silliness putting evil, evil, paladin falling words in my mouth!

Silver Crusade

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Just for curiosities sake, how many people have you played with that use the "Sno-cone wish machine". Maybe i'm in the minority here but that has never occured to me or anyone I've played with.


Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:
Just for curiosities sake, how many people have you played with that use the "Sno-cone wish machine". Maybe i'm in the minority here but that has never occured to me or anyone I've played with.

I have never heard of it. Only theorycrafting, but it has been used time after time after time to show how badly designed Pathfinder is in general and how Broken spellcasters are in specific. Time to stop these shenanigans.

OTOH, I have seen Planar Binding being abused.

Silver Crusade

DrDeth wrote:


I have never heard of it. Only theorycrafting, but it has been used time after time after time to show how badly designed Pathfinder is in general and how Broken spellcasters are in specific. Time to stop these shenanigans.

OTOH, I have seen Planar Binding being abused.

Ok, so your upset about a situation that has never happened to you personally.


Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:
DrDeth wrote:


I have never heard of it. Only theorycrafting, but it has been used time after time after time to show how badly designed Pathfinder is in general and how Broken spellcasters are in specific. Time to stop these shenanigans.

OTOH, I have seen Planar Binding being abused.

Ok, so your upset about a situation that has never happened to you personally.

Yes, of course, why not? It's broke, it needs to be fixed.


While DrDeth is condescending to people using the rules as written to do powerful things, simulacrum is a spell I have to ban because it is amazingly, super broken.

I had players for coliseum morpheon spend money on simulacrums of two pit fiends, and it took me a couple tries to remove spells and whatnot. Even with nerfed spells, their poison, aura, and incredible physical stats make them better than any level 13 fighter

Simulacrum Pit Fiend?:

Simulacrum Pit Fiend:
LE Large Creature
Pit Fiend CR 10(????)
XP 307,200
LE Large outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness; Perception +23
Aura fear (20 ft., DC 18)

DEFENSE

AC 38, touch 18, flat-footed 29 (+9 Dex, +20 natural, –1 size) (Maybe their natural armor scales with level?)

hp 295 (10d10+240); regeneration 5 (good weapons, good spells)
Fort +19, Ref +16, Will +14
DR 15/good and silver; Immune fire, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 21

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee 2 claws +22 (2d8+13), 2 wings +20 (2d6+6), bite +22 (4d6+13 plus poison and disease), tail slap +20 (2d8+6 plus grab)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks constrict 2d8+19, devil shaping
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th)
At will—Fireball(DC21), Wall of Fire, Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Scorching Ray, Invisibility, Magic Circle against Good
1/year—wish

STATISTICS

Str 36, Dex 28, Con 34, Int 26, Wis 30, Cha 26
Base Atk +10; CMB +24 (+28 grapple); CMD 43
Feats Power Attack, Improved Init, Iron Will, Multiattack, Ability Focus (Poison)
Skills Appraise +7, Bluff +21, Diplomacy +21, Disguise +17, Fly +20, Intimidate +21, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Knowledge (planes) +21, Knowledge (religion) +21, Perception +23, Sense Motive +23, Spellcraft +21, Stealth +18, Survival +12, Use Magic Device +18
Languages Celestial, Common, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Devil Shaping (Su)

Three times per day, a pit fiend can spend a minute to transform nearby lemures into other lesser devils. A pit fiend can transform one lemure for every Hit Die the pit fiend possesses. It can then reshape these lemures into a number of Hit Dice's worth of lesser devils equal to the number of lemures affected. For example, a typical 20 Hit Dice pit fiend could transform 20 lemures into two bone devils (10 HD each), or three bearded devils (6 HD each, leaving two lemures unchanged), or any other combination of lesser devils. Lemures to be reshaped must be within 50 feet of the pit fiend, becoming stationary and unable to move once the shaping begins. After a minute passes, the lemures reform into the shape of a new lesser devil ready to follow the orders of the pit fiend. Although pit fiends can, technically, elevate a mass of 20 lemures into a new pit fiend, most are hesitant to do so since they have no special control over a devil created in this manner.

Disease (Su)

Devil Chills: Bite—injury; save Fort DC 27; onset immediate; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Str damage; cure 3 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison (Ex)

Bite—injury; save Fort DC 29; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 1d6 Con damage; cure 3 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

6 Attacks, constrict, fly, some useful spells (I adjusted them because a simulacrum pit fiend only has a caster level of 8), incredibly strong poison and disease, 38 AC, and a lot of useful skills. All this for 5,000 gold. This is beyond a steal for a level 13 wizard, and I don't see how any martial character can even compare. Even the wizard who made this might be weaker overall, this is a true monster


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
LazarX wrote:
The "community" needs to learn that it can help itself.

Amen!!

DrDeth wrote:
It's broke, it needs to be fixed.

It is not Pathfinder that is broken, it is players who try to go beyond what is fun to most and DM's who have no control over their table that is broken. If you guys think think that this is broken, then you should never step near AD&D or other editions.

If you like the kobold that can destroy the world with a thought or endless wishes from an icy replica of an outsider, then go for it. Do not, however, waste the time of developers with nonsense like this.

It is time for the DM's of the world to step up and say enough is enough to all the silly munchkin plots and hair-brained schemes out there.

I have no issue with Dr Deth or anyone on these messageboards but I think we would get more good FAQ if we did not have things like this gumming up the works. I also think the developers are hesitant to post because when they do, they get munchkins crawling out the woodwork to find out how to further twist their words.

DM's need to just take back control and run their games the way they and their players want and we would have half as many threads on here.

Sorry for the rant!


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Hendelbolaf wrote:

It is not Pathfinder that is broken, it is players who try to go beyond what is fun to most and DM's who have no control over their table that is broken. If you guys think think that this is broken, then you should never step near AD&D or other editions.

I think if you are going to blame players for using the rules like LazarX does, why are you bothering to post in the rules forum?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CWheezy wrote:
I think if you are going to blame players for using the rules like LazarX does, why are you bothering to post in the rules forum?

I post in the rules forum because...

#1 I like to help out those who honestly have a question or misunderstanding about the rules.

or

#2 I sometimes seek clarification regarding how a rule works or interacts with other rules.

I think the rules forum is an excellent place to grow in knowledge and understanding of the game.

What I do not believe is that a thread like this even belongs in the rules forum. It is about an idea that is absurd and no sane or rational person, in my opinion, would allow it unless they knew the ramifications it could have on the game.

Also, I never said that I think that players using the rules is a bad thing. I think that players purposefully exploiting rules to show how powerful or amazing they can bend and twist words are a problem. They should be lawyers and not gamers.

I come from the era were rules where sometimes rather loosely defined and the DM had to be as much of a judge as a storyteller and artist. I do, however, feel that a sound set of rules is important for a fun gaming experience. You will recall that I joined the conversation saying that I do not believe the rules are broken rather it is players and DM's as accomplices that break perfectly sound rules.


CWheezy wrote:

While DrDeth is condescending to people using the rules as written to do powerful things, simulacrum is a spell I have to ban because it is amazingly, super broken.

Perhaps I speak out a little too strongly, I agree.


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Hendelbolaf wrote:

It is not Pathfinder that is broken, it is players who try to go beyond what is fun to most and DM's who have no control over their table that is broken. If you guys think think that this is broken, then you should never step near AD&D or other editions.

It is time for the DM's of the world to step up and say enough is enough to all the silly munchkin plots and hair-brained schemes out there.

I have no issue with Dr Deth or anyone on these messageboards but I think we would get more good FAQ if we did not have things like this gumming up the works. I also think the developers are hesitant to post because when they do, they get munchkins crawling out the woodwork to find out how to further twist their words.

DM's need to just take back control and run their games the way they and their players want and we would have half as many threads on here.

Trust me, I know about earlier editions, I was a Dev back then. ;-) A rather bad one too.

But yes, of course- no sane DM allows these. However, many newbs read these boards. These kinds of weird loopholes are CONSTANTLY used as examples- as to why spellcasters are overpowered, or why the designers of PF don't know what they are doing or whatever crazy point that needs to be proved.

So, all I ask is for the Design team to take a few hours and clean these up. It won;t stop the munchkin hordes- nothing but firm DMing can, you're right- but it will cut back some of their posts.


Hendelbolaf wrote:


What I do not believe is that a thread like this even belongs in the rules forum. It is about an idea that is absurd and no sane or rational person, in my opinion, would allow it unless they knew the ramifications it could have on the game.
Quote:


Also, I never said that I think that players using the rules is a bad thing. I think that players purposefully exploiting rules to show how powerful or amazing they can bend and twist words are a problem. They should be lawyers and not gamers.

Right, so allowing the as written simulacrum is something no sane or rational person would do, and players are "exploiting" the rules by reading the spell and doing what it says.

So instead of being incredibly insulting, maybe instead contribute and not attack other players?

Anyway, here are some suggestions for simulacrum!

-Double the cost

-Simulacrums do not gain Supernatural or Spell like abilities

-Limited to one per wizard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The absurd part would be the never ending supply of wishes. I do not think that stating that is being "incredibly insulting" in any way.

I feel that I have contributed. I do not think this needs any further explanation or commenting on the part of Paizo.

I think Simulacrum is and has always been a great spell for certain purposes. It was always meant as the means for a wizard to prepare a back up body so to speak in case he met a bad fate, etc. It was not meant for a wizard to use a 7th level spell to duplicate at a much lower cost an expensive and taxing 9th level spell. That much is in the rules and if it is allowed and unbalances the game then it is on the DM for allowing it to happen.

I am a player as much as I am a DM so I am not attacking anyone. I just think that everyone should play the game they want to play the way they see the rules to be. I do not need an FAQ on every little minutia of the game.

If that offends you, sorry, but that is how I feel.


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LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Sure. But this is often touted as why Pathfinder is broken. Altho I doubt if it sees much IRL table-top use, fixing it will help out the community.
The "community" needs to learn that it can help itself.

It can. No reasonable GM will allow it.

That doesn't change the fact that, by RAW, it is a possible outcome.

If it requires houseruling to fix, obviously it was broken.

Why not push for an official fix, eh? It won't hurt your game one way or another, and will help the game as a whole. Why gripe about it except to hear the sound of your own typing?

DrDeth wrote:
Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:


Ok, so your upset about a situation that has never happened to you personally.

Yes, of course, why not? It's broke, it needs to be fixed.

Precisely.

On a side note, as a person who thinks spellcasters are too powerful compared to everything else, this is an extremely over-used example to me too. Why push for something like this as being "what makes casters broken" when there are other, much more insidious and simple spells that prove the point better?

More people need to be b!@%+ing about the real problem spells, like Spider Climb.


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CWheezy wrote:

While DrDeth is condescending to people using the rules as written to do powerful things, simulacrum is a spell I have to ban because it is amazingly, super broken.

I had players for coliseum morpheon spend money on simulacrums of two pit fiends, and it took me a couple tries to remove spells and whatnot. Even with nerfed spells, their poison, aura, and incredible physical stats make them better than any level 13 fighter

** spoiler omitted **...

CWheezy, it looks like you went with the interpretation that the spell description gives the GM the latitude to remove abilities that are not appropriate for a pit fiend with 10 HD, and you still thought the creature was overpowered.

However, if you take the approach that the spell allows the creature to keep all abilities not directly dependent on HD, it's even more powerful:

Spoiler:
A base Pit Fiend's caster level is fixed at CL 18, not derived from it's HD, so per the Spell-Like Abilities definition in the Bestiary, our 10 HD Simulacrum Pit Fiend would still have CL 18, which means it would keep things like mass hold monster, quickened fireball, and meteor swarm at full power. Oh, and also gate, because what Simulacrum Pit Fiend is complete without its pet real Immolation Devil?

Comparing the Paizo and 3.5 versions of the spell, it looks like Paizo mostly used the 3.5 wording with a few restrictions dropped.

But the dropping of those restrictions aren't why using the most permissive interpretation of RAW makes the spell so powerful. 3.5 very much had RAW support for the HD-reduction mechanic in the form of Savage Species, which not only spelled out abilities available at each HD, but natural armor bonuses, ability score changes, etc. However, outside of a few templates, the Pathfinder system has very little (no?) RAW support for creating creatures with fewer HD than the base creature, except for a few special cases like dragons. Some people therefore conclude that creatures should always keep all their abilities, so even a 5 HD Simulacrum Efreeti should be able to grant three wishes a day. And any GM who rules otherwise is in violation of RAW.

My problem with using this interpretation of the spell is that it's almost impossible to create a world that has any internal logical consistency. Just to start with, as you point out, once the party faces the first 13th level wizard BBEG, how would the party ever win? Unless I make him the dumbest 13th level wizard ever, he'd have at least one (if not more) Simulacrum Pit Fiends available.

And if you allow blood money without any house rules, I honestly can't see how any wizard 13th level our higher wouldn't have a small army of pit fiends, balors, solars, etc. on call--after all, at that point the only limit on the number you can have is the time it takes to make them.


Gigigidge wrote:


CWheezy, it looks like you went with the interpretation that the spell description gives the GM the latitude to remove abilities that are not appropriate for a pit fiend with 10 HD, and you still thought the creature was overpowered.

I actually started with "It gets everything", then I removed things until I found an almost fair version. This version was still hilariously unfair, but I made challenges for the party to fight, so it was ok

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Sure. But this is often touted as why Pathfinder is broken. Altho I doubt if it sees much IRL table-top use, fixing it will help out the community.
The "community" needs to learn that it can help itself.

It can. No reasonable GM will allow it.

That doesn't change the fact that, by RAW, it is a possible outcome.

If it requires houseruling to fix, obviously it was broken.

Why not push for an official fix, eh? It won't hurt your game one way or another, and will help the game as a whole. Why gripe about it except to hear the sound of your own typing?

If we asked Paizo for an "official fix" for every possible spell, archetype, game effect that could possibly break a game, then we'd be asking for a FAQ the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica. There have been breakable things in the game since First Edition. However it was Third Edition with it's emphasis on "builds" and builder tools to serve it which opened up the floodgates. to the kind of nonsese we see here. The answer is not to try to build an incomprehensible list of fixes for excesses, it's for GM's to develop the common sense and discipline to simply say "NO!" to obvious crack monkey moves.


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I would say it's up to the designers of the game not to put in such obviously broken nonsense, myself.

It's their job, you know.


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LazarX wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Sure. But this is often touted as why Pathfinder is broken. Altho I doubt if it sees much IRL table-top use, fixing it will help out the community.
The "community" needs to learn that it can help itself.

It can. No reasonable GM will allow it.

That doesn't change the fact that, by RAW, it is a possible outcome.

If it requires houseruling to fix, obviously it was broken.

Why not push for an official fix, eh? It won't hurt your game one way or another, and will help the game as a whole. Why gripe about it except to hear the sound of your own typing?

If we asked Paizo for an "official fix" for every possible spell, archetype, game effect that could possibly break a game, then we'd be asking for a FAQ the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica. There have been breakable things in the game since First Edition. However it was Third Edition with it's emphasis on "builds" and builder tools to serve it which opened up the floodgates. to the kind of nonsese we see here. The answer is not to try to build an incomprehensible list of fixes for excesses, it's for GM's to develop the common sense and discipline to simply say "NO!" to obvious crack monkey moves.

On the other hand, defaulting too much to Rule Zero ends up hurting the robustness of the Pathfinder ruleset. At some point, you end up with so much in the way of house rules and DM Fiat that the base rules aren't much more than a very loose set of guidelines. A bit of table variation is fine, but if every single game needs twenty pages of house rules plus lots of fiat rulings/bans during actual play...

Not to mention that the more time the GM needs to spend being the rules referee, the less time there is for actually playing the game, building the world, etc.


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Your Simulcrum Efreet grants you wishes that are partially real and formed from ice or snow.

Have fun with that.


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Wait a second....
Simulacrum says the creature gets its "Special Abilities", which for an Efreet are "Change Size" and "Heat". It does not say it gets the Spells or Spell-like abilities...


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Sure. But this is often touted as why Pathfinder is broken. Altho I doubt if it sees much IRL table-top use, fixing it will help out the community.
The "community" needs to learn that it can help itself.

It can. No reasonable GM will allow it.

That doesn't change the fact that, by RAW, it is a possible outcome.

If it requires houseruling to fix, obviously it was broken.

Why not push for an official fix, eh? It won't hurt your game one way or another, and will help the game as a whole. Why gripe about it except to hear the sound of your own typing?

If we asked Paizo for an "official fix" for every possible spell, archetype, game effect that could possibly break a game, then we'd be asking for a FAQ the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica. There have been breakable things in the game since First Edition. However it was Third Edition with it's emphasis on "builds" and builder tools to serve it which opened up the floodgates. to the kind of nonsese we see here. The answer is not to try to build an incomprehensible list of fixes for excesses, it's for GM's to develop the common sense and discipline to simply say "NO!" to obvious crack monkey moves.

On the other hand, defaulting too much to Rule Zero ends up hurting the robustness of the Pathfinder ruleset. At some point, you end up with so much in the way of house rules and DM Fiat that the base rules aren't much more than a very loose set of guidelines. A bit of table variation is fine, but if every single game needs twenty pages of house rules plus lots of fiat rulings/bans during actual play...

Not to mention that the more time the GM needs to spend being the rules referee, the less time there is for actually playing the game, building the world, etc.

The problem with leaving all sorts of things in the game because they can be "rule zero'd" away is that it makes it much harder for a new group or new GMs to pick up the game and not hit all of the various landmines of broken or unbalanced rules. This is fine if you aren't planning on adding any new players to the game... but not so great if you are trying to make your game more accessible.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chengar Qordath wrote:
On the other hand, defaulting too much to Rule Zero ends up hurting the robustness of the Pathfinder ruleset. At some point, you end up with so much in the way of house rules and DM Fiat that the base rules aren't much more than a very loose set of guidelines.

That's the difference between you and me. I don't have a problem with this. in the days of AD+D, practically every game was like this, and that's why in my book it became such a robust hobby.

Chengar Qordath wrote:


A bit of table variation is fine, but if every single game needs twenty pages of house rules plus lots of fiat rulings/bans during actual play...

Not to mention that the more time the GM needs to spend being the rules referee, the less time there is for actually playing the game, building the world, etc.

The time a GM needs to spend being a rules referee is contingent upon two things.... The amount of time the players insist on being rules lawyer, and 2. Whether the players are that intent on breaking the game by corner rule interpretations. When those two factors aren't present, the problem isn't there.


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LazarX wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Sure. But this is often touted as why Pathfinder is broken. Altho I doubt if it sees much IRL table-top use, fixing it will help out the community.
The "community" needs to learn that it can help itself.

It can. No reasonable GM will allow it.

That doesn't change the fact that, by RAW, it is a possible outcome.

If it requires houseruling to fix, obviously it was broken.

Why not push for an official fix, eh? It won't hurt your game one way or another, and will help the game as a whole. Why gripe about it except to hear the sound of your own typing?

If we asked Paizo for an "official fix" for every possible spell, archetype, game effect that could possibly break a game, then we'd be asking for a FAQ the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica. There have been breakable things in the game since First Edition. However it was Third Edition with it's emphasis on "builds" and builder tools to serve it which opened up the floodgates. to the kind of nonsese we see here. The answer is not to try to build an incomprehensible list of fixes for excesses, it's for GM's to develop the common sense and discipline to simply say "NO!" to obvious crack monkey moves.

No disrespect to anyone, Paizo, or anyone else on this board. But if you design and release a product you should 'fix' the issues.

Even Microsoft did this with their XBox 360 and the Red Rind Of Death and Microsoft isn't exactly the most customer friendly company in the world. (One of the worst in my, and others I know, experience) (also look at how they decided to do the XBox One, then backpedaled and changed it to what the customers wanted, just saying they fixed it)

I'm not saying a GM can't handle this, they can, but if it's broken, they should take some time to have someone fix it with errata. As a GM I would appreciate it when playing with new players, having to spend time with them disrupting the game and arguing until it is decided they don't fit. It's not fair to the other players at the table to have to deal with stuff like this that can, RAW, be 'abused'.

I would personally shut this stuff down myself. But it would be nice, considering the pretty large investment I have made in books and materials from Paizo to try to be a good GM, that they would save ME the trouble of dealing with these issues.

A good GM can take care of this, I'm good enough to take care of it as a GM too, but as a CUSTOMER I'd like for it to be taken care of so I don't have to.

Silver Crusade

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DrDeth wrote:
Yes, of course, why not? It's broke, it needs to be fixed.

Here's what I don't understand, it doesn't affect you in your games but your upset about an "Urban Legend" on an internet board. Who care what other people do in there games?


Rynjin wrote:


On a side note, as a person who thinks spellcasters are too powerful compared to everything else, this is an extremely over-used example to me too. Why push for something like this as being "what makes casters broken" when there are other, much more insidious and simple spells that prove the point better?

More people need to be b$@#*ing about the real problem spells, like Spider Climb.

One step at a time, friend, one step at a time.

If this works, there are several other broken spells where RAW seems to disagree with RAI.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Brf wrote:

Wait a second....

Simulacrum says the creature gets its "Special Abilities", which for an Efreet are "Change Size" and "Heat". It does not say it gets the Spells or Spell-like abilities...

Great point...not nearly as broken if you go RAW.


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Brf wrote:

Wait a second....

Simulacrum says the creature gets its "Special Abilities", which for an Efreet are "Change Size" and "Heat". It does not say it gets the Spells or Spell-like abilities...

Good point- Which is why that's one of the questions: What is a "Special Ability".


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Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Yes, of course, why not? It's broke, it needs to be fixed.
Here's what I don't understand, it doesn't affect you in your games but your upset about an "Urban Legend" on an internet board. Who care what other people do in there games?

Here's what I don't understand. If it's a problem for someone else but not you, why does it bother you if it gets fixed so much that you come into a thread and say "Well, I didn't encounter this so why fix it?"?

EDIT: The "you" here is everyone who finds this applicable to themselves. "I personally didn't encounter this problem, so it's not a problem" is incredibly close minded and I don't feel bad saying that you should feel bad, especially if not only do you don't care but even go out of your way to take the effort to come into a thread and tell people that want it fixed that they are somehow wrong.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ShadeOfRed wrote:

Even Microsoft did this with their XBox 360 and the Red Rind Of Death and Microsoft isn't exactly the most customer friendly company in the world. (One of the worst in my, and others I know, experience) (also look at how they decided to do the XBox One, then backpedaled and changed it to what the customers wanted, just saying they fixed it)

I'm not saying a GM can't handle this, they can, but if it's broken, they should take some time to have someone fix it with errata. As a GM I would appreciate it when playing with new players, having to spend time with them disrupting the game and arguing until it is decided they don't fit. It's not fair to the other players at the table to have to deal with stuff like this that can, RAW, be 'abused'.

You don't seem to be listening much do you? You point out that the game is breakable. That's correct. That is the unavoidable price of allowing player choice. There is simply no practical way to publish a fix for every possible rules abuse. (and believe it or not, sno-cone wish machine isn't the big number one most wanted that you seem to think it is.) The game is breakable for players determined to break it. That's the plain fact Jack. The only way to "fix" it to your satisfaction is to remove the primary cause, i.e. the expansion of player choices and revert this game back to either the hard and fixed choices of First Edition, or the homogenised approach of Fourth Edition. If that's what you want, those games and others like them ARE OUT THERE. But the bulk of the folks playing here don't see this as a problem that merits throwing out the baby with the bathwater.


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This is another area where a simple general rule or two might clear up more abuse than an overly-specific one, and without "ruining the game!1!" or "turning it into 4e!"

In the case of simulacrum, I dislike the spell for two reasons:

1. No rules for reducing SLAs like "wish."
2. No limits on # of simulacra other than cost/time to create.

The way I see it, two guidelines could clear up this and a lot of other potential spells abuse.

1. Peg SLAs to CR. A monster of less than CR 17 can't use wish, a 9th level SLA. That would mean that the efreeti in the core rules is either underpowered, and/or the ability needs to be downgraded to limited wish. We could even allow specific exceptions for some monsters, but we'd need to spell out how and when they apply on a case-by-case basis, so that wouldn't be something to do lightly. If we wanted to be really slick, we could make a simulacrum template that reduces CR by "-X" amount, so it would be immediately clear which abilities go away, for every possible example.

2. Assign overall # and CR (not HD) limits to any one person's control of planar bindings, magic minions, and created undead. Maybe a table along the lines of the one for the Leadership feat, and base it off CR. "At level X, you can have no more than Z number of minions of the following CRs..." This would correct simulacra armies, summoning battlefield spamming, most of the planar binding abuse -- all with a single table.

Again, yes, we could rely on "common sense" and/or gentleman's agreement, but these are easy enough things to fix in the RAW -- and without a separate edition or a whole new game. Some errata listings, is all it would take.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

This is another area where a simple general rule or two might clear up more abuse than an overly-specific one, and without "ruining the game!1!" or "turning it into 4e!"

In the case of simulacrum, I dislike the spell for two reasons:

1. No rules for reducing SLAs like "wish."
2. No limits on # of simulacra other than cost/time to create.

The way I see it, two guidelines could clear up this and a lot of other potential spells abuse.

1. Peg SLAs to CR. A monster of less than CR 17 can't use wish, a 9th level SLA. That would mean that the efreeti in the core rules is either underpowered, and/or the ability needs to be downgraded to limited wish. We could even allow specific exceptions for some monsters, but we'd need to spell out how and when they apply on a case-by-case basis, so that wouldn't be something to do lightly. If we wanted to be really slick, we could make a simulacrum template that reduces CR by "-X" amount, so it would be immediately clear which abilities go away, for every possible example.

2. Assign overall # and CR (not HD) limits to any one person's control of planar bindings, magic minions, and created undead. Maybe a table along the lines of the one for the Leadership feat, and base it off CR. "At level X, you can have no more than Z number of minions of the following CRs..." This would correct simulacra armies, summoning battlefield spamming, most of the planar binding abuse -- all with a single table.

Again, yes, we could rely on "common sense" and/or gentleman's agreement, but these are easy enough things to fix in the RAW.

Kirth, I find many of your ideas intriguing and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Please start one.


TOZ sort of did that for me, by starting a thread in the Suggestions/Homebrew section that offers more fiddly and pointless house rules than you would ever want to actually use, along with accompanying discussion.

Spoiler:
A lot of the suggestions there aren't for everyone, but a few of them might be worth modifying and/or adopting, for some groups.


Alright, the thread is too long for me to finish at lunch, but I see at least a few problems with the half HD pit fiend. In so much as HP should be 10D10 + 120, not +240 (CON 34 = +12 HP per hit die, not +24) and the BaB scales with HD, as to saves. There's a big chunk of the threat removed right there. As for the abilities, I'm a jerk GM, if the CL at full is 18, that is HD-2, so I'd just rule it has CL 8 and cannot cast spells higher than those available to a level 8 wizard.

Simulacrum nerfed to appropriate levels with some basic math, applying the RAW of monster scores, and a dash of common sense.


Gerrinson wrote:
As for the abilities, I'm a jerk GM, if the CL at full is 18, that is HD-2, so I'd just rule it has CL 8 and cannot cast spells higher than those available to a level 8 wizard.

That's essentially what I recommended as a general rule, across the board. Then it would be an understood part of the game, instead of being a "jerk DM."


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Gerrinson wrote:
Simulacrum nerfed to appropriate levels with some basic math, applying the RAW of monster scores, and a dash of common sense.

Unfortunately, common sense is not all that common...

Ideally, I'd hope to get some "guidance" on common sense for increasing and decreasing the special abilities of monsters as you increase or decrease their hit dice, followed by an example that says "For this reason, a Simulacrum made from an Efreeti would not retain the ability to grant wishes." But that's just want I want.

Edit: Also, I agree with Kirth.


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What I tried to raise upthread, is that while common sense and experience with the game is great for all the long-time GMs, GMs and players new to the game do not have all the experience or calibration of common sense that allows them to identify what is disruptive and what is not disruptive. If you want your game to be accessible to new players... you might want to clean up landmines such as Simulacrum.

Scarab Sages

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LazarX wrote:
There is simply no practical way to publish a fix for every possible rules abuse. (and believe it or not, sno-cone wish machine isn't the big number one most wanted that you seem to think it is.) The game is breakable for players determined to break it. That's the plain fact Jack. The only way to "fix" it to your satisfaction is to remove the primary cause, i.e. the expansion of player choices and revert this game back to either the hard and fixed choices of First Edition, or the homogenised approach of Fourth Edition.

I wish we were playing Oberoni Bingo; I'd have a full house crossed off by now.

Here we go again, with the cry that fixing blatant loopholes will result in a game where all classes are grey featureless pawns, with identical (or nonexistent) class features.
Throw in an Edition War rallying cry, to claim the triple word score.

It's easy to make a game without blatant loopholes.

Just don't write rules that contain blatant loopholes.

And when blatant loopholes are pointed out?
Rewrite the rule, so the loophole is gone.

It's not rocket surgery.

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