The Songbird of Doom: A Guide to a most unlikely tank and Mechanism of Mass Destruction (Warning: GMs will hate you)


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Shadow Lodge

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bugleyman wrote:
Threads like this make me want to play Savage Worlds. :P

It is not the system that is the problem, merely the players...


This doesn't work.

Monkey Shine and Mouser only give their listed benefits when you enter an enemy's square by fulfilling the listed conditions (succeeding on a Stunning Fist and the Mouser thing that costs panache).

If your GM ruled otherwise... add some Vexing Dodger Rogue levels then.


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TOZ wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Threads like this make me want to play Savage Worlds. :P
It is not the system that is the problem, merely the players...

I'm actually inclined to say it is a bit of both.

The more crunch is published for a system, the more likely unbalanced combinations are to arise. Obviously that doesn't mean that all simple systems are balanced, or that all complex systems are not -- just that the more stuff you throw in the pot, the harder it is to foresee every possible permutation.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Secret Wizard, I'm not seeing where Monkey Shines/Mouser rely on the ability use to proc the effect. They are authored with certain assumptions, but I don't believe that changes the RAW/RAI that other ways of entering an opponent's space could give you benefits.


Breq of Toren wrote:

+1 luck bonus from Jingasa

+1 deflection bonus from ring of 7 lovely colors
+1 insight bonus from ioun stone.
+4 dodge bonus if in enemy square.

Ah forgot both ring slots were already occupied.

so 34 CMD altogether. 38 while in an opponents space.

Well, I think the birdie may have a problem. It's a niche problem but it is the sort of problem that comes up on such hyper specialized builds.

Thoughts going forward:

Achieve this without relying on a magic item.

Don't go tiny. The trouble with tiny is you don't threaten any squares but your own making it exceedingly easy to mess with you. Which in turn makes it difficult to control the field enough that your AC has meaning.

You have no reliable means (i.e. no uncanny dodge) to keep yourself from being made flatfooted.

That's extremely hazardous as all that AC and CMD disappears the moment you go flat footed.

Frankly you can afford to lose some AC. At 46 AC it takes creatures who are far beyond your APL to hit you. So it'll either be a waste when even challenging encounters need 20's to hit you, or you're encouraging the gm to wipe your party. It's better to take some of that investment and put it into other things.

Grand Lodge

"especially since provoking every time you move in to attack will grant you an extra attack almost all of the time."

You don't have enough reach to hit back while in tiny form, because the AoO triggers when you try to move out from the treathened square, which is 5 ft away from the typical medium-sized enemy.

But with your Swashbuckler level you can just buy a 2.5k Swordmaster's Flair (blue scarf) to get +5ft reach as a swift action before polymorphing into a thrush:

http://archivesofnethys.com/MagicWondrousDisplay.aspx?FinalName=Swordmaster %27s%20Flair

Can you give a rundown where the 3+3 attacks come from? I'm not familiar with the slayer specifics.


Breq of Toren wrote:

Monkey Shine is an amazing feat with this build. The key benefit that you are forgetting is that it grants you a +4 dodge bonus to AC and a +4 bonus to hit while you are in an enemy square... 3. Kata master doesn't trade away anything really worthwhile and it gives you back the dodging panache deed lost from taking mouser.

Okay, Monkey Shine does add a lot with this build, even if you don't use Stunning Fist to enter the square, you still get those bonuses. Stunning Fist is a prerequisite for Monkey Shine, but with MOMS Monks, you don't need to meet the prerequisites for the Feat, and that means that Kata Master does not throw a monkey wrench into Monkey Shines. Clever.

Breq of Toren wrote:
4. Power attack requires a minimum strength.

Good answer.

Secret Wizard wrote:
Monkey Shine and Mouser only give their listed benefits when you enter an enemy's square by fulfilling the listed conditions (succeeding on a Stunning Fist and the Mouser thing that costs panache).

Monkey Shine doesn't say that. It doesn't say you have to enter the opponent's square by taking a Free Action after successfully using Stunning Fist. It says,

Monkey Shines Benefit wrote:
While you are in your opponent’s space, you gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC and a +4 bonus on melee attack rolls against that opponent.

So any method of entering your opponent's space will do for getting your +4 attack and AC. Monkey Shine offers 1 way to enter, but not the only way.

Secret Wizard wrote:
If your GM ruled otherwise... add some Vexing Dodger Rogue levels then.

But what is Vexing Dodger? I am not familiar with it.


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Seen it done with a Kitsune. Still funny. Funnier would be to sit at the table the first time the dread bird-tank encounters a Wind Wall. Boss with Fickle Winds would be even more of a troll...


TarkXT wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Also, are you sure you need Outflank? You help people get Flanking, but you realize that as a Mouser, you get an ability to play Dirty Tricks? You can use the Dirty Trick Combat Maneuver--cleverly using your Dex instead of your St bonus--to make your opponents Blind, denying them their Dex mods to their AC and securing your Sneak Attack Damage that way. Also, Blinded opponents have other terrible penalties. You might consider Combat Expertise and Improved Dirty Trick in lieu of Stand Still and Outflank.
I think the choice of outflank is a clever one. Since viturally every ally who attacks the same opponent will not only get the benefit of the extra outflank number but they'll benefit from AoO's every time he or they crit. Another feat to grab would be paired opportunist so he can trigger loads more AoO's with each crit.

Paired Opportunist was one of my recommendations. We agree on that. But remember that Outflank is a Teamwork Feat, too, and therefore it only works with allies who also have the Outflank Feat. And if you cannot rely on your allies to build their characters to work with yours, Outflank may be a poor choice of Feats unless you take it via a level in Cavalier or 3 levels in Inquisitor.

Meanwhile, Monkey Shines and Snake Fang already are Attack of Opportunity Triggers, and the OP hasn't developed critting in this build, so the critting aspect of Outflank isn't super necessary.


@ TarkXT and Flaming Duck

It is fair to say that extreme builds often have their extreme weaknesses to go along with their extreme strengths.

But it is fair to say that if you have a character that isn't bad at anything, maybe he isn't good at anything, either.


I wasn't criticizing - I think these builds are genuinely funny. There's just a number of corner cases that make it even funnier in combat!
I GM'd for a Kitsune version of this who kept attempting to move into a boss's space. The boss was able to keep taking AoO's and, since it had grab, would grapple the poor Kitsune at 5 feet, outside the reach of the tiny PC. It pissed the player off to no end, since you'd think that if the enemy is touching you, you can attack the enemy, but that's not how the game works.
Making a tiny character does have strengths, but most players and GMs are used to dealing with medium, small, and large PCs. Tiny PCs, at least in terms of PFS frequency, are more of a recent development. There's bound to be strange situations!

Grand Lodge

So I am fully aware of the fact that being flatfooted is a danger to this build. However there are some ways of mitigating this.

Here is how in character I deal with that fact.
1. Sit on an arcane casters shoulder and pretend to be their familiar.

2. If you're willing to switch out Iroran paladin and lose the ac and save bonuses you can pick up the Torag trait defensive strategist which makes sure you are not flatfooted before you have a chance to act.

3. If an enemy does have the chance to attack you from surprise use the parrying riposte deed as an immediate action to counter.

Finally a note on the other traditional weakness of these builds. Penetrating DR. In this case I would upgrade the Amulet of mighty fists with the fury born enchantment which gives a stacking +1 bonus to the weapon up to 5 for each time an enemy has been hit.

After one round of full attacking if the thing is not dead all of your attacks are with +5 weapons penetrating all DR.

Another way of dealing with the issue of reach is picking up the lunge feat. If you combine that with the scarf this character can have 10 foot reach and be all sorts of fun.


You will have one natural attack. Also it will be virtually impossible to wield weapons as a songbird. You will still have your unarmed strike I suppose, which will deal 1d3+ a lot of damage, so you could use that (along with any iteratives from it) and your bite at a -5.

PRD wrote:
Claws of the Beast (Ex): You grow a pair of claws. These claws are primary attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage (1d3 if you are Small).
PRD wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

Grand Lodge

David_Bross wrote:

You will have one natural attack. Also it will be virtually impossible to wield weapons as a songbird. You will still have your unarmed strike I suppose, which will deal 1d3+ a lot of damage, so you could use that (along with any iteratives from it) and your bite at a -5.

PRD wrote:
Claws of the Beast (Ex): You grow a pair of claws. These claws are primary attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage (1d3 if you are Small).
PRD wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

David, I would argue that the Claws of the beast fit in the same category as the sorcerer claws, which are specifically allowed to transfer when you polymorph.

This build envisions using unarmed strike to attack a well as its iteratives.

Grand Lodge

I have been slowly building this concept with GM credit already. Obvious problems are the fact that you need two 4,000 gp purchases to make your build. I have been thinking about using Helpful Halfling and Bodyguard and making the build grant huge bonuses to the AC of my allies - the combination of Mouser Underfoot Assault & Bodyguard alone would give your allies + 8 AC potentially. I have been considering using a flurry of blows build as opposed to the natural weapon version, or maybe an Urban Barbarian version. An Urban Barbarian could get Spell Sunder to smash a wind wall!


Dot

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Dot, indeed.

Grand Lodge

This sounds awesome. I totally want this now..


Keep in mind your opponent provokes by attempting to move out of his square, which means you get the attack as he moves not once he has already moved.

Just like how with standing up from a trip you get the AoO while he is standing not once he has stood back up.

Also, don't forget to add an effective +4 to your AC/CMB against the opponent you are sharing a square with thanks to Mouser's -4 to hit penalty in addition to Monkey Shine's flat AC boost.

Grand Lodge

ShroudedInLight wrote:

Keep in mind your opponent provokes by attempting to move out of his square, which means you get the attack as he moves not once he has already moved.

Just like how with standing up from a trip you get the AoO while he is standing not once he has stood back up.

Also, don't forget to add an effective +4 to your AC/CMB against the opponent you are sharing a square with thanks to Mouser's -4 to hit penalty in addition to Monkey Shine's flat AC boost.

You mean while he is prone. While he is "standing up" wouldn't even be accurate here because you're still aiming at his prone AC.


Secret Wizard wrote:

This doesn't work.

Monkey Shine and Mouser only give their listed benefits when you enter an enemy's square by fulfilling the listed conditions (succeeding on a Stunning Fist and the Mouser thing that costs panache).

If your GM ruled otherwise... add some Vexing Dodger Rogue levels then.

Sort of

Underfoot Assault (Ex): At 1st level, if a foe whose size is larger than the mouser's is adjacent to her and misses her with a melee attack, the mouser can as an immediate action spend 1 panache point to move 5 feet into an area of the attacker's space. This movement does not count against the mouser's movement the next round, and it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. While the mouser is within a foe's space, she is considered to occupy her square within that foe's space.

While the mouser is within her foe's space, the foe takes a –4 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks not made against the mouser, and all of the mouser's allies that are adjacent to both the foe and the mouser are considered to be flanking the foe.

A halfling would need to use underfoot assault to enter a medium creatures square. A tiny fox/birdtank would not, since you can share the squares of a creature two or more size catagories bigger than you. Once there, the second sentence is its own independent clause: its not just a new sentence its a new paragraph.. If you've got a mouser in your square, hitting anyone else takes a -4 penalty and moving takes an AOO (which is why i plan for step up when I do mine)

Silver Crusade

This. This is my next PFS character.


Secret Wizard wrote:

This doesn't work.

Monkey Shine and Mouser only give their listed benefits when you enter an enemy's square by fulfilling the listed conditions (succeeding on a Stunning Fist and the Mouser thing that costs panache).

If your GM ruled otherwise... add some Vexing Dodger Rogue levels then.

I'd be inclined to agree with this. It's similar to the whole Thunder & Fang fiasco where you're cherry-picking sentences out of a Feat to get the benefits you want while ignoring preceding clauses.

ultra-nitpicky language parsing:
In the case of Monkey Shines, normally you can't enter an opponent's square. With the feat, when following the specific criteria, you can. Note the the references to "your opponent" and "that opponent" rather than "an opponent". The proceeding clauses apply to the opponent that you successfully hit with stunning fist, not any opponent whose square you enter (because the feat is assuming--incorrectly, since you're tiny--that you cannot normally do so).

I'm a little less sure for the Mouser's Underfoot Assault, but it has similar "her foe" and "a foe" language. In this case "her foe" is the specific foe that missed, allowing her to enter its space. "A foe" is any foe.

JMHO, YMMV, NWEOI...

Anyway, there are arguments both ways in terms of RAW. My guess on intent is that they're not meant to be used independent of the triggering actions. Assume that GMs will bristle and try to find any possible loophole to keep this from trivializing all the encounters they've prepared.

Regardless of all that, I implore anyone planning to use a build like this to:
1) warn the GM of what you're bringing and what it's capable of doing.
2) explain to the party what your character does, and
3) explain to them all how, in spite of unhittable AC, massive saves and devastating damage, you promise to share the spotlight rather than turning the next four hours (or more realistically thirty minutes) into the Songbird Show.


There is no clause, at all. There is no argument for that interpretation, at all. Its just like reading share spells to not work.

Shadow Lodge

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redward wrote:

Regardless of all that, I implore anyone planning to use a build like this to:

1) warn the GM of what you're bringing and what it's capable of doing.
2) explain to the party what your character does, and
3) explain to them all how, in spite of unhittable AC, massive saves and devastating damage, you promise to share the spotlight rather than turning the next four hours (or more realistically thirty minutes) into the Songbird Show.

/shrug. This build only works against 1 opponent at a time, just like how tetori grapplers work.

Shadow Lodge

Breq of Toren wrote:


David, I would argue that the Claws of the beast fit in the same category as the sorcerer claws, which are specifically allowed to transfer when you polymorph.

This build envisions using unarmed strike to attack a well as its iteratives.

Sorcerer claws explicitly grow and shrink as free actions and only last for rounds/day. They are also supernatural abilities that don't depend on your form.

Claws of the Beast is an extraordinary ability where you permanently grow claws on your hands.

I wouldn't use the sorcerer bloodline to defend your choice.


rage powers (any rage power with “dragon totem” in its title).

Benefit: While raging, the barbarian gains two claw attacks. These attacks are considered primary attacks and are made at the barbarian’s full base attack bonus. The claws deal 1d6 points of slashing damage (1d4 if Small) plus the barbarian’s Strength modifier.

They're grown temporarily, just like a sorcerers. Baring the barbarian rage cycling for the will save bonus vs the nightmare spell..


Skiedragon wrote:

"especially since provoking every time you move in to attack will grant you an extra attack almost all of the time."

You don't have enough reach to hit back while in tiny form, because the AoO triggers when you try to move out from the treathened square, which is 5 ft away from the typical medium-sized enemy.

But with your Swashbuckler level you can just buy a 2.5k Swordmaster's Flair (blue scarf) to get +5ft reach as a swift action before polymorphing into a thrush:

http://archivesofnethys.com/MagicWondrousDisplay.aspx?FinalName=Swordmaster %27s%20Flair

Can you give a rundown where the 3+3 attacks come from? I'm not familiar with the slayer specifics.

These garish tokens usually take the form of a colorful clothing accessories. So long as a token is grasped in the user's off hand, she can spend 1 panache point to gain the use of a specific ability associated with the token.

I think that makes it a bit iffy working with a polymorph effect, unless you're an ape or a raccoon or something and have a party member hold it while you shift. Its not in your hand anymore.

Liberty's Edge

Claws of the Beast gained via Aspect of the Beast are permanent (EX) claws and would go away with shapeshifting. This is the type of claws referenced in the OP with slayer levels to gain a ranger combat style.

Claws gained via raging such as Lesser Beast Totem are temporary (SU) Claws and will function much like Sorcerer Dragon Claws and be work as long as your current form actually has the limbs to support them.

Scarab Sages

They are permanent claws that are granted by a feat. Just as that feat would work for any ranger regardless of if they were a human, elf, or centaur, the feat will still provide claws if you are under a polymorph effect.

The feat is the source of your claws, not your original form, and that feat would still apply whilst under a polymorph effect.

Dark Archive

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Hence the birth of the core campaign.


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joe kirner wrote:
Hence the birth of the core campaign.

My dwarven druid polymorphs into a velociraptor. I charge pounce. My velociraptor charge pounces is both possible in core and far, far worse than this.

Scarab Sages

BigNorseWolf wrote:
joe kirner wrote:
Hence the birth of the core campaign.

My dwarven druid polymorphs into a velociraptor. I charge pounce. My velociraptor charge pounces is both possible in core and far, far worse than this.

And you can have a tiger pouncing companion in core too.


redward wrote:
In the case of Monkey Shines, normally you can't enter an opponent's square. With the feat, when following the specific criteria, you can. Note the the references to "your opponent" and "that opponent" rather than "an opponent". The proceeding clauses apply to the opponent that you successfully hit with stunning fist, not any opponent whose square you enter (because the feat is assuming--incorrectly, since you're tiny--that you cannot normally do so).

Nice try, but no.

redward wrote:
Note the the references to... "that opponent" rather than "an opponent".

Okay, let's note this.

Monkey Shine Benefit wrote:
While you are in your opponent’s space, you gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC and a +4 bonus on melee attack rolls against that opponent.

"[T]hat opponent" refers specifically to "your opponent." I'm with you so far.

redward wrote:
Note the the references to "your opponent"... rather than "an opponent".
Monkey Shine Benefit wrote:
While you are in your opponent’s space, you gain

"[Y]our opponent" refers to the opponent whose space you are in.

While Monkey Shine does provide for a means for entering opponents's spaces which you normally can't do, it does not specify that you only get the benefit of being in your opponent's space if you utilize that particular method of entering it. The only listed requirements for enjoying the +4s is that you are using Monkey Style and that you are in your opponent's space.

In fact, the 2 parts of the Feat Benefit are even seperated by a clause or 2, seperating them grammatically just as they are seperated conceptually. Don't take my word for it. examine the whole text of the Benefit description yourselves.

Monkey Shine Benefit wrote:
Benefit: While using Monkey Style, if you successfully deliver a Stunning Fist attempt, in addition to the normal effect of Stunning Fist, you can spend a free action to enter a square adjacent to you that is within your opponent’s space. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. While you are in your opponent’s space, you gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC and a +4 bonus on melee attack rolls against that opponent.
Redward wrote:
The proceeding clauses apply to the opponent that you successfully hit with stunning fist, not any opponent whose square you enter

It just doesn't say that. It doesn't say, "After so entering your opponent's square." It doesn't say, "While in that opponent's space." It says "while in your opponent's space." Which opponent? the opponent whose space you are in? How did you get there? doesn't matter!

Remember that Pathfinder is a permission-based game. Things don't do what they don't say they do. If special requirements are not listed, then they aren't there. And Monkey Shine cannot disempower other methods of entering your opponent's space because it doesn't say it does.

Redward wrote:
the feat is assuming--incorrectly, since you're tiny--that you cannot normally do so).

Then I put it to you that if the feat is incorrect that that there is only one way to enter the opponent's square, then it is also incorrect that you only can get the +4s if you entered the squares by using a Free Action following a successful Stunning Fist.

Ha HA! Would you like to argue that a Tiny Character cannot take Monkey Shine at all, because he does not fit the "Normal" criterion prior to taking the Feat?


redward wrote:

Regardless of all that, I implore anyone planning to use a build like this to:

1) warn the GM of what you're bringing and what it's capable of doing.
2) explain to the party what your character does, and
3) explain to them all how, in spite of unhittable AC, massive saves and devastating damage, you promise to share the spotlight rather than turning the next four hours (or more realistically thirty minutes) into the Songbird Show.

That's good advice.

For instance, If I were playing in your--Redward's--campaign, I would drop off the Kata Master Archetype, retain Stunning Fist and enter my opponents' squares by Stunning them and Spending Panache Points. Vetting things in advance can fix a lot of problems before they ever come up.


redward wrote:
the whole Thunder & Fang fiasco

*Ahem* What Thunder and Fang fiasco?

Grand Lodge

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
redward wrote:

Regardless of all that, I implore anyone planning to use a build like this to:

1) warn the GM of what you're bringing and what it's capable of doing.
2) explain to the party what your character does, and
3) explain to them all how, in spite of unhittable AC, massive saves and devastating damage, you promise to share the spotlight rather than turning the next four hours (or more realistically thirty minutes) into the Songbird Show.

That's good advice.

I would certainly agree. This character was originally designed because I was going to play all three bone keeps in one weekend at a con, and I therefore decided to design a character I felt would be most likely to survive that.

(On a side note, I will mention that this character was able to solo nearly 3/4 of bone keep 2, so the experiment was quite successful.)

However I would certainly not recommend this build for normal PFS play, because it can cause some of those issues you discuss, and tried to add a disclaimer of that fact at the beginning.

This build falls into the same category as some of the other specialty builds like Musket master, Zen Archer, slumber witch, etc... that can ruin the play experience for others if you play it wrong.

Scarab Sages

I wouldn't call Zen Archer a specialty build. It's a good archer. It's a little behind fighter for pure damage, but it has the benefit of building itself. Yes, One slaughtered beastmass, but there were some build errors in that build that made it illegal, and 20th level play is hardly a benchmark for PFS.


How bad would it be to just use reduce person to become tiny?

It is not quite as nice for dex and does not fly or last as long but is easier to get then some special item. Also might not the stinkeye quite so much.

Can wildshape be worked for the shapechange somehow?

Reach is quite needed. I am not sure you can use lunge for AoO but it so that works just fine. I know there is some spell now that does it as well.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
redward wrote:
the whole Thunder & Fang fiasco
*Ahem* What Thunder and Fang fiasco?

Will address your previous post here, too.

Thunder and Fang:
Thunder and Fang (Combat)
You have mastered the ancient Thunder and Fang fighting style, allowing you to fight with increased effectiveness when wielding an earth breaker and klar.

Prerequisite: Str 15, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (earth breaker), Weapon Focus (klar)

Benefit: You can use an earth breaker as though it were a one-handed weapon. When using an earth breaker in one hand and a klar in your off hand, you retain the shield bonus your klar grants to your Armor Class even when you use it to attack. Treat your klar as a light weapon for the purposes of determining your two-weapon fighting penalty.

Normal: An earth breaker is a two-handed weapon, preventing the use of a klar in one hand without imposing penalties for using the earth breaker one-handed. A klar can be used either as a one-handed weapon or a shield; it does not grant a bonus to AC during rounds in which it is used as a weapon.

The fiasco I'm referring to is a several-hundred post thread debating whether the feat allows a medium character to wield a large earthbreaker (in two hands). The debate largely broke into three camps:
-yes, because of the first sentence in the feat. period
-no, for various reasons I won't go into, and
-probably, but it's pretty clearly not intended that way, as implied by the flavor text, the 'normal' text, and by someone who worked on the book stating as much.

I fell in the third camp, which is also my response to the items I noted earlier.

I'm not saying a tiny character can't take or use Monkey Shines. I'm saying it probably wasn't written with tiny characters in mind and the language is therefore not appropriately specific as to what it does and doesn't allow.

These to me aren't as obviously rule-bending as the Thunder & Fang example, but my gut says neither were fully vetted with tiny characters.

It falls into an area where in a home game, the GM can make their call and move on. In PFS, which is strictly RAW, a player can use something like this to twist the GM's arm behind his back and force a game-breaking build on an unsuspecting table.

I personally feel that if you find yourself telling a GM he has to allow something RAW, you're in the wrong, even when you're right. At a recent convention, I had an otherwise truly excellent GM tell me he doesn't really like to let people take 10 on knowledge checks. He's wrong. I know that, but I also rolled with it rather than causing a scene and grinding everything to a halt or escalating to a VO, because I'd rather play than be right.

Breq sounds like a decent fellow and his comments indicate he would handle this responsibly (or as responsibly as one can--a nuke is a nuke). My concern is more all the people saying "yes! can't wait to do this in PFS!" To use a wildly inappropriate and overblown metaphor, it's like leaving a loaded gun on the table for anyone to pick up.

I'm not saying people shouldn't post these. It's really impressive as a thought exercise. In fact, I'd rather have the information out there so I don't get blindsided by it. I'm just preaching temperance and trying to remind anyone interested in this that there are 3 - 7 other people at the table, and that they might want to play, too.

Anyway, I'll see if I can get Mark to weigh in on the practice of pulling sentences out of the context of feats. I suspect if I get an answer it will be something along the lines of "it's legal, but usually unintended. Handle with care."


redward:

1)Tiny charactersr aren't the only ones that can have a size difference big enough to waltz into someone's square. The class was practically written for halflings, and large creatures are pretty common.

2) Please don't accuse people of taking something from an entirely different paragraph out of context. Assuming context that isn't there can be just as bad, as people did to read share spells so it didn't work.

PFS is not as raw as people make it out to be sometimes.

3) Applying the context from paragraph 1 into paragraph 2 seems completely random. Why on earth would it matter HOW the mouser got into someone's square? There was ample opportunity to write that limiting factor into the text. It is imho not a legitimate interpretation at all.

Quote:
I personally feel that if you find yourself telling a GM he has to allow something RAW, you're in the wrong, even when you're right. At a recent convention, I had an otherwise truly excellent GM tell me he doesn't really like to let people take 10 on knowledge checks. He's wrong. I know that, but I also rolled with it rather than causing a scene and grinding everything to a halt or escalating to a VO, because I'd rather play than be right.

1) There's a special bard ability to take 10 on knowledge checks that gets made less than useful by some of the take 10 clarifications. Checks from the board aren't nearly the same thing as the text in front of you.

2) Unless your character is built around taking 10 on knowledge checks its not the same thing. The character has to get into someone elses square, and even then its a -4 to attack other people. Whats the big deal? It is worth it to fight over a mechanic thats part of your core concept.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

that sounds awesome! however I wasn't aware you could make unarmed strike in animal form... reading the combat section a second time: I couldn't find anything against it...


Pathfinder, and 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons before it, came with a baroque array of rules and character options that interacted in very complex ways. And it is inevitable that players would realize possibilities that the creators never intended. In my opinion, that is not only inevitable, it is legitimate, traditional, and elevates the game.

It is only a PFS DM that I would hold to the rules as written rather than hold myself to the rules he declares. And that is because it is the RAW that they preach: PFS exists to sell Paizo products, and buying the rules they wrote, not the rules they intended, is the ticket to entry with the character of my choice. Also, table variation is not supposed to exist.

Any other DM, the only rule I would think of holding him to is his own. A character build is an elaborate thing, the OP's particularly so. I totally am on the same page with you about vetting character builds with the DM in advance of play. It's just awful for everybody to invest time at and away from the table, buying things, and putting together combinations of feats, class abilities, and skills only to have people go, "What, no, that's illegal!" It's one thing to have a character die because the party wizard accidentally catches you in her Web or Fireball. But few things suck more than having your character RULED out of existence. That's just crap.

The first way I wanted to use Thunder and Fang was to take 11 levels in the 2 Weapon Warrior Fighter Archetype and use an Earthbreaker in each hand, but then I discovered the Bashing Enchantment, a +1 equivalent Shield Enchantment that would let your Klar do 2d6 damage. So even if you can use T&F to wield a Large Earthbreaker, why would you want to when you could use the Feat as intended and do 4d6 at a -2 instead of doing 3d6 at a -4? Oh, well. Thanks for letting me know about the T&F controversy. Hope we didn't derail the thread too much.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

redward:

1)Tiny charactersr aren't the only ones that can have a size difference big enough to waltz into someone's square. The class was practically written for halflings, and large creatures are pretty common.

Agree it was practically written for halflings. Not sure what large creatures have to do with that. A creature has to be three sizes larger for you to enter its square and it still provokes AoOs.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
2) Please don't accuse people of taking something from an entirely different paragraph out of context. Assuming context that isn't there can be just as bad, as people did to read share spells so it didn't work.

I'm not familiar with this particular controversy. I also never played 3.5, if it's relevant.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
3) Applying the context from paragraph 1 into paragraph 2 seems completely random. Why on earth would it matter HOW the mouser got into someone's square? There was ample opportunity to write that limiting factor into the text.

If you're going to use the "or they wouldn't have written it that way" argument, the ACG is not the place to hang your hat.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
1) There's a special bard ability to take 10 on knowledge checks that gets made less than useful by some of the take 10 clarifications. Checks from the board aren't nearly the same thing as the text in front of you.

Being able to take 10 in combat is never not useful.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
2) Unless your character is built around taking 10 on knowledge checks its not the same thing. The character has to get into someone elses square, and even then its a -4 to attack other people. Whats the big deal? It is worth it to fight over a mechanic thats part of your core concept.

I think there's a huge difference between saying "nope, you can't do it" and "you can do it, but you have to use the method spelled out in the previous paragraph of the ability you are attempting to use.


redward wrote:


Agree it was practically written for halflings. Not sure what large creatures have to do with that. A creature has to be three sizes larger for you to enter its square and it still provokes AoOs.

small, medium large.. huh. Thats only two. this is the problem with counting on your fingers when you don't have opposable thumbs...

Quote:
I'm not familiar with this particular controversy. I also never played 3.5, if it's relevant.

It still comes up in pathfinder. (came up the other day which is why its on my mind)

Share Spells: The wizard may cast a spell with a target of “You” on his familiar (as a touch spell) instead of on himself. A wizard may cast spells on his familiar even if the spells do not normally affect creatures of the familiar's type (magical beast).

Some people read those together, saying it only works on spells with a target of you (which makes the second clause completely irrelevant for the first 14 years or so of its existance)

So the idea that you always apply the context from previous SENTENCES doesn't always pan out, much less separate paragraphs.

Quote:
If you're going to use the "or they wouldn't have written it that way" argument, the ACG is not the place to hang your hat.

Then you've got to give me something here. You're asking me to prove a negative when there's no evidence for the positive.

Quote:
I think there's a huge difference between saying "nope, you can't do it" and "you can do it, but you have to use the method spelled out in the previous paragraph of the ability you are attempting to use.

Its a completely random ruling with no justification.

It relies on the dm swinging at the character, something that may not happen for a round or two or, indeed, within the lifetime of the monster. MANY dms will metagame the heck out of that the same way they will a swashbuckler or high ac character and just not swing at them.

It flunks every test of rules interpretation i can think of.

Is your ruling raw? clearly not. It specifies when you're in the space, not when you've used x ability to get in a creatures space.

Is it overpowered? No. Its a -4 to hit other party members. It doesn't work on a lot of badguys- my fireball doesn't care WHAT my hit penalty is. There's dozens of other ways of doing this and worse effects, along with a really obvious solution: just hit the mouser. This is far, far less limiting than being grappled or even tripped.

Does it make any realistic sense? No. there's no reason that an underfoot mouser thats been in your square for 10 rounds is more annoying because you swung at him 30 seconds ago. Why on earth would it matter HOW the mouser got in the square?

Are there any other indicators of intent? None that I see.

I think its more than fair to put the onus on he DM to have a better rational for overriding raw than what you have here.

Shadow Lodge

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I'm a bit surprised nobody's mentioned that Irori might not exactly be thrilled that his "paladin" has abandoned seeking mastery of his own body and instead flies around as a songbird whenever it seems he'd be facing a challenge to which he could better master and apply his true physical form.

To me, that'd be the scariest consequence of going this route - running into the GM who really holds this PC to Irori's tenets.

It would probably make sense to have a build that doesn't invest in the paladin levels in that case (which is totally doable).


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Punching with a fist is too easy, I will knock you out with a feather?


wakedown wrote:

I'm a bit surprised nobody's mentioned that Irori might not exactly be thrilled that his "paladin" has abandoned seeking mastery of his own body and instead flies around as a songbird whenever it seems he'd be facing a challenge to which he could better master and apply his true physical form.

To me, that'd be the scariest consequence of going this route - running into the GM who really holds this PC to Irori's tenets.

It would probably make sense to have a build that doesn't invest in the paladin levels in that case (which is totally doable).

People have already mentioned doing this with a Kitsune and turning into a fox. I guess you could also do this by playing a Tengu and turning into a crow. Or you could take a few levels in Druid and wildshape into any tiny animal you want: a songbird, a bat, a small-mouth bass. You could take the Wild Speech Feat instead of a Ring of Eloquence, and one of those class abilities instead of of 7 beauties thing.

That would address both your problem of it not being in the spirit of Irori, because using a class/race ability and feats instead of a magic item or 2 you will still be mastering your own body instead of some other. And it addresses my problem that feats and abilities are easier to get than expensive magic items.

Scarab Sages

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
wakedown wrote:

I'm a bit surprised nobody's mentioned that Irori might not exactly be thrilled that his "paladin" has abandoned seeking mastery of his own body and instead flies around as a songbird whenever it seems he'd be facing a challenge to which he could better master and apply his true physical form.

To me, that'd be the scariest consequence of going this route - running into the GM who really holds this PC to Irori's tenets.

It would probably make sense to have a build that doesn't invest in the paladin levels in that case (which is totally doable).

People have already mentioned doing this with a Kitsune and turning into a fox. I guess you could also do this by playing a Tengu and turning into a crow. Or you could take a few levels in Druid and wildshape into any tiny animal you want: a songbird, a bat, a small-mouth bass. You could take the Wild Speech Feat instead of a Ring of Eloquence, and one of those class abilities instead of of 7 beauties thing.

That would address both your problem of it not being in the spirit of Irori, because using a class/race ability and feats instead of a magic item or 2 you will still be mastering your own body instead of some other. And it addresses my problem that feats and abilities are easier to get than expensive magic items.

Except there is no way to multiclass paladin/druid without being an ex-paladin or an ex-druid.

You could be a Feral Hunter or a Lunar/Wood oracle though.


Mathius wrote:

How bad would it be to just use reduce person to become tiny?

It is not quite as nice for dex and does not fly or last as long but is easier to get then some special item. Also might not the stinkeye quite so much.

Can wildshape be worked for the shapechange somehow?

Reach is quite needed. I am not sure you can use lunge for AoO but it so that works just fine. I know there is some spell now that does it as well.

Not as good, but not bad. You only get a +2 Dex and still get a -2 Strength.

You could totally use Wildshape for this, I see some advantages in doing that. I believe the OP has all the slots for levels, feats, and abilities earmarked for other things, so he needs to do the shapechange with magic item instead of with a Class Ability.

I haven't tried hammering out a build myself, but I suspect your idea of using Wildshape instead of a magic item will turn out to be an excellent alternative/compliment to Breq of Toren's idea of building a tiny bird tank with Snake Fang, Monkey Shine, and/or Mouser.

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