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


Advice

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Cao Phen wrote:
Cao Phen, from yesterday wrote:
Jiang-Shi?

With Clarification:

The Jiang-Shi has a Flurry BAB of +3. It also has Weapon Finesse, with a DEX of 23 (+6), resulting in the +9/+9.

Its bite attack, which it can use during the Flurry of Blows, has a BAB of +3. Because the Bite is considered a Light Weapon, Weapon Finesse applies to it, adding +6 via Dexterity, giving it a total of +9. However, in the statblock, it shows that the attack bonus for the Bite is a +4. This possible reason for that is that it took the Secondary Natural Attack penalty of -5.

The Jiang-Shi is in Bestiary 3.

It does seem that the Archives of Nethys thinks that I am wrong. But I believe the Archives of Nethys is misquoting the Bestiary3.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/bestiary3/vampire.html

It seemed a little fishy, since The Archives combined not Unarmed Strikes and Bite, but rather Flurry and Bite, which I'm pretty sure is illegal.

Archives of Nethys wrote:
Melee flurry of blows +9/+9 (1d8+3/19–20 plus grab), bite +4 (1d6+4)


Aelryinth wrote:
If you preface everything you said with "This might not be RAW, but this is how we play it", then there is no argument.

My argument is RAW. Prove me wrong using the RAW, and I will tell you you are right and I am wrong. Don't strawman me.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
And big Norse wolf is actually being fairly patient with you, he's just frustrated... he's been pretty good so far, actually.

No, he is not. He is an online bully who thinks he can shout me down instead of finding real rules to defeat a position. If he thinks I am simply factually wrong, he could just stick to the facts.

Personally, I think he is being verbally abusive because he doesn't believe his own arguments, but somehow feels threatened by my idea. Whether or not this is the case, his spamming the thread with his ad hominem attacks weakens his own position by turning this from a rules-based debate into an online bullying incident.

And it has no place on an advice thread.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
If you preface everything you said with "This might not be RAW, but this is how we play it", then there is no argument.

My argument is RAW. Prove me wrong using the RAW, and I will tell you you are right and I am wrong. Don't strawman me.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
And big Norse wolf is actually being fairly patient with you, he's just frustrated... he's been pretty good so far, actually.

No, he is not. He is an online bully who thinks he can shout me down instead of finding real rules to defeat a position. If he thinks I am simply factually wrong, he could just stick to the facts.

Personally, I think he is being verbally abusive because he doesn't believe his own arguments, but somehow feels threatened by my idea. Whether or not this is the case, his spamming the thread with his ad hominem attacks weakens his own position by turning this from a rules-based debate into an online bullying incident.

And it has no place on an advice thread.

And there's the thing.

Your argument is not RAW. Your argument is wordbending the RAW to fit your view.

So now you have to argue that yours is right without wordbending, and you're not doing it.

Which means you are not making an argument, you are trying to force an opinion on the rest of us, who are noting your facts don't match up. And you're getting hostile because we aren't accepting your interpretation or opinion as RAW.

So, you're probably best to let this drop. I can't think of any table that would accept your argument that something affecting your UA strike here is actually totally affecting the Nat Attack over there, nor would I call natural attacks going secondary a sudden 'effect'...I'd just call it a rule.

==Aelryinth


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Aelryinth wrote:

There's such a thing as suspension of disbelief.

There is, but yours is arbitrary. The difference between a tiny bird and a medium humanoid is the same as the difference between a medium humanoid and a huge dragon. Yet medium humanoids can do more damage than huge dragons.

"Getting smaller" isn't any different than being smaller. Your house rule doesn't work. You'd necessarily have to have creatures do a set damage based on the size of the creature they are attacking that is a percentile of that creatures damage output.

A medium human attacking a troll should be capped at doing 80-90% of the trolls damage potential. Otherwise you are left with a situation wherein a creature "gets smaller" yet does more damage by means that are mostly unrelated to its' size.

Quote:


stacks with strength, and accurately reflects the additional skill needed to do damage with an inferior combat style.

In real life strength has diminishing returns in combat, and in terms of general athleticism having too much muscle has its' own negative effect on overall fitness and endurance. Putting on as much muscle as possible is an inferior combat style, which is why you don't see body builders as soldiers, boxers, or dominating MMA competitions.

A more apt example would be Greek antiquity and their pejorative view of their equivalent of body builders because they were useless as soldiers and therefore weren't pulling their weight in the most important of collective endeavors a citizen could engage in.

I'm also assuming you don't require your player's characters to maintain a lifestyle necessary to maintain their inordinate muscle mass. There is absolutely nothing "realistic" about a 20 strength barbarian marching all day, every day, getting his only exercise in the occasional combat, eating trail rations, and sleeping hard on the road.

Scarab Sages

Cao Phen from Yesterday wrote:
Tataka Rakshasa for purely Unarmed Strike, rather than Flurry of Blows?

For clarification via the PRD.

It had some info if the Rakshasa took levels in monk, and it only states that the damage dice will change to whatever is greater, not if the Bite converts to a primary attack instead of staying as a Secondary Attack, as posted on the statblock. So using the info given, it could mean that no action can convert the Bite to a Primary Attack if used in part of a Full Attack.


Aelryinth wrote:
Scott, that 'effect' that improves a claw attack refers to the UA strike itself.

Directly, it is the unarmed strike that is being changed, but what is being changed about it in this case is the way in which unarmed strikes do or don't interfere with other kinds of attacks.

Aelryinth wrote:

Natural attacks becoming primary and naturals secondary is not a targeted effect. It is simply something which happens in the rules.

When an effect targets the UA, it counts as Manu or nat. What happens to any other natural attacks is completely superfluous and beyond the reach of discussion here.

I think it is you who is reading into the text something which is not there. I have demonstrated my point is logically implicit from the rules. Show me where it says or implies that the rule only applies to effects that target the unarmed strike itself, like Magic Fang and Magic Weapon.

I don't think it says, “A monk unarmed strike counts as either a natural or manufactured weapon for the purposes of effects that target them.”

It says, “A monk unarmed strike counts as either a natural or manufactured weapon for the purposes of effects that improve manufactured or natural weapons.”

That rule has no implication limiting it to effects that target the unarmed strike itself that I see. But show me where it does.


Cao Phen wrote:
Cao Phen from Yesterday wrote:
Tataka Rakshasa for purely Unarmed Strike, rather than Flurry of Blows?

For clarification via the PRD.

It had some info if the Rakshasa took levels in monk, and it only states that the damage dice will change to whatever is greater, not if the Bite converts to a primary attack instead of staying as a Secondary Attack, as posted on the statblock. So using the info given, it could mean that no action can convert the Bite to a Primary Attack if used in part of a Full Attack.

Yes, but it doesn't make a statement about what would happen to the attack rolls if it combined its Monk Unarmed Strikes with its Natural Attacks, possibly because it assumes that it would use Flurry of Blows, which would trump the whole issue of the full attack action altogetehr.

This is good evidence against my position, but it does not complete the argument.


Aelryinth wrote:
Your argument is not RAW. Your argument is wordbending the RAW to fit your view.

Once again, this is not a major component of either the OP's character or any of mine. I see it as just a little add-on. The OP already said he intends to use his unarmed strikes even if it does mean a -5. I have very little motivation to force an interpretation. I offer this advice because I believe it to be correct. Admittedly, I am perhaps being more zealous in my defense because I see myself as a victim of online bullying and now an accidental activist against it. But I have shown myself to be perfectly willing to change my mind on issues when I have been demonstrated to be wrong.

Aelryinth wrote:
you are not making an argument, you are trying to force an opinion on the rest of us,

I am not forcing an opinion on the rest of you. I am playing the game the way I understand it, and I think that is just swell. I am giving advice along those lines. My position has nothing to do with its popularity, but my understanding of the rules, which I am convinced is completely valid and legal. All I am saying is that we should be allowed to play the game within the rules, and that discriminating against someone's style is wrong, even if it is in the minority.

Meanwhile, I am hearing and answering to rules-based arguments against my position. I believe I have demonstrated my position is directly implicit from the rules, that MUS count as natural weapons for the purposes of effects that improve natural weapons and that a claw is a natural weapon.

Aelryinth wrote:
Your argument is wordbending the RAW

Perhaps you can help me understand how my logical evidence is invalid.


You cannot accuse people of hiding their heads in the sand and then complain about someone elses tone.

You cannot equate something that affects the monks fist with something that the monks fist affects. This is the central counter argument that you're not addressing.

The rules of the game are not a spell or effect.

Quoting a rule that does not say what you think it does is not evidence that the rule says what it thinks it does. Its is better evidence that you're wrong than you're right.

You said you would change your mind if shown a monster that took the -5. You've been shown one.

this is the post i was thinking of. It talked about monks then went to two weapon fighting.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Unarmed strikes are simple weapons, pg 142 core rulebook.

Monk ability allows them to be affected by effects as a natural weapon.

This does not mean they are a natural weapon, they remain a simple weapon.

The statement would be unnecessary if unarmed strikes were natural weapons, since they could have said Unarmed strikes are both manufactured weapons and natural weapons.

There is a difference between an effect on something and what something is. In this case, you extended the term effects to change the nature of something rather than simply enhancing it. This is the intuitive leap you made, unfortunately there was no ground to support you on the other side.


Scott Willhelm wrote:
I am not forcing an opinion on the rest of you. I am playing the game the way I understand it, and I think that is just swell. I am giving advice along those lines. My position has nothing to do with its popularity, but my understanding of the rules, which I am convinced is completely valid and legal. All I am saying is that we should be allowed to play the game within the rules, and that discriminating against someone's style is wrong, even if it is in the minority.

Its not your style that's being discriminated against.

Everyone at the table plays by the same rules. You do not get to play existentialism where you act according to the rules as you think they are. Yes, the dm in pfs is bound by the rules but he is NOT bound by the rules as you read them. The goalpost you are setting is "you cannot absolutely prove me wrong!" when the goalpost you need for that behavior is "I'm absolutely right"

A PFS dm does not have nearly enough time to lay out the diagram for a character this complicated and double check the math. The DM is trusting you, the player, to be fair and honest with your character and you're either violating that trust with a rules reading you've admitted you know is suspect or you're going to have to take a DM thats trying to do last minute preperations for the scenario and dump the headache inducing rules lawyering on him. Neither one is fair to your DM.

Scarab Sages

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Cao Phen wrote:
Cao Phen, from yesterday wrote:
Jiang-Shi?

With Clarification:

The Jiang-Shi has a Flurry BAB of +3. It also has Weapon Finesse, with a DEX of 23 (+6), resulting in the +9/+9.

Its bite attack, which it can use during the Flurry of Blows, has a BAB of +3. Because the Bite is considered a Light Weapon, Weapon Finesse applies to it, adding +6 via Dexterity, giving it a total of +9. However, in the statblock, it shows that the attack bonus for the Bite is a +4. This possible reason for that is that it took the Secondary Natural Attack penalty of -5.

The Jiang-Shi is in Bestiary 3.

It does seem that the Archives of Nethys thinks that I am wrong. But I believe the Archives of Nethys is misquoting the Bestiary3.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/bestiary3/vampire.html

It seemed a little fishy, since The Archives combined not Unarmed Strikes and Bite, but rather Flurry and Bite, which I'm pretty sure is illegal.

Archives of Nethys wrote:
Melee flurry of blows +9/+9 (1d8+3/19–20 plus grab), bite +4 (1d6+4)

This actually happens when errata is put out and I haven't updated my database with the new data yet. The Bestiary 3 errata is something I planned to get to this week, now that the rest of my books are caught up. For now though, I've at least made the update to the Jiang-Shi, so it should have the correct data now.

"Page 278—In the Jiang-Shi stat block, change the Melee entry to “Melee 2 claws +9 (1d8+3/19–20 plus grab), bite +9 (1d6+3)”. In the Feats entry, add “Deflect Arrows,” after “Combat Reflexes,” and “Power Attack,” after “Mobility,”."

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

There's such a thing as suspension of disbelief.

There is, but yours is arbitrary. The difference between a tiny bird and a medium humanoid is the same as the difference between a medium humanoid and a huge dragon. Yet medium humanoids can do more damage than huge dragons.

"Getting smaller" isn't any different than being smaller. Your house rule doesn't work. You'd necessarily have to have creatures do a set damage based on the size of the creature they are attacking that is a percentile of that creatures damage output.

A medium human attacking a troll should be capped at doing 80-90% of the trolls damage potential. Otherwise you are left with a situation wherein a creature "gets smaller" yet does more damage by means that are mostly unrelated to its' size.

Quote:


stacks with strength, and accurately reflects the additional skill needed to do damage with an inferior combat style.

In real life strength has diminishing returns in combat, and in terms of general athleticism having too much muscle has its' own negative effect on overall fitness and endurance. Putting on as much muscle as possible is an inferior combat style, which is why you don't see body builders as soldiers, boxers, or dominating MMA competitions.

A more apt example would be Greek antiquity and their pejorative view of their equivalent of body builders because they were useless as soldiers and therefore weren't pulling their weight in the most important of collective endeavors a citizen could engage in.

I'm also assuming you don't require your player's characters to maintain a lifestyle necessary to maintain their inordinate muscle mass. There is absolutely nothing "realistic" about a 20 strength barbarian marching all day, every day, getting his only exercise in the occasional combat, eating trail rations, and sleeping hard on the road.

Meh. You only have to look at superheroes and strength going from human to Superman to see you don't need to look like a bodybuilder to be superstrong (Luffy from One Piece sure doesn't, or Zorro).

at higher levels, superstrength is physically impossible...your bones, muscles and tendons literally cannot DO that. Thus, true superstrength is always an outgrowth of spiritual or psychic power, and entails more then mass and bulk. So the huge dragon swats at you and you are strong enough to not move, physics take a hike (just like magic).

But seeing your damage potential goes UP in the aggregate, without restoring to skill (learned skill), JUST Because you got smaller?

Nope, breaks my suspension. And then your AC going up on top of it is Too Much Of A Good Thing.

And more and more Str is never a bad thing, because it means you have more and more Power. You can hit faster, move faster, drive through any resistance, and fight longer because you're exerting less effort to do something. This is what goggles me about finesse fighters, who think coord is all about being faster then the enemy. In reality, Str fighters would be the ones moving the fastest in a fight.

It's called getting Stronger as you level, not faster, for a reason.

:/ Meh.

==Aelryinth

Grand Lodge

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One of the biggest mistakes this game made though was Str = Accuracy. If you look at the literature, the big strong guys always have trouble hitting, its just if they hit you, it hurt, a lot. The small fast guys rarely missed but their hits didn't do much damage.

In every other game system I have played, Strength and Accuracy have no link, Accuracy might be based on skill or a stat like Agility/Reaction/Dexterity etc.. rather than physical power.

So if you are going to tie Strength to damage, which makes absolutely no sense. Then why not allow magic to have Dex apply to damage, especially when it can describe any number of possibilities.

The one example that has made the most sense is that it should be precision damage.


Taenia wrote:

One of the biggest mistakes this game made though was Str = Accuracy. If you look at the literature, the big strong guys always have trouble hitting, its just if they hit you, it hurt, a lot. The small fast guys rarely missed but their hits didn't do much damage.

In every other game system I have played, Strength and Accuracy have no link, Accuracy might be based on skill or a stat like Agility/Reaction/Dexterity etc.. rather than physical power.

So if you are going to tie Strength to damage, which makes absolutely no sense. Then why not allow magic to have Dex apply to damage, especially when it can describe any number of possibilities.

The one example that has made the most sense is that it should be precision damage.

In runequest your combat style skill (Usually 1-3 weapon types) is based around points spent or earned, after adding the sum of your strength and dexterity score.

I get the idea but I'd roll it as follows

To hit would be (Dex+wis)/2, to represent the combined worth of controlling your positioning in relation to the world around you.

To better balance this, i'd make AC be STR(For opposed softened blows, as a stackable shield bonus)+Con (Natural armor bonus)+Dex (Dodge bonus)+Wisdom (Awareness bonus) without the initial +10 to AC.

Hit points and Fortitude would equate to (STR+CON)/2 in order to better represent sturdiness.

Will would be (Wis+Charisma)/2 as they both relate to your force of existence, and finally reflex would be (Dexterity+int)/2

this rounds out the attributes a bit, making them each a bit more useful and also each a bit more flexible.

Of course i would keep melee damage to Strength and allow weapon finesse to replace damage with melee weapons, but would count it as precision damage only. because that's exactly what it represents. Being precise.

Ranged attacks might be altered though, for balance purposes. It never made much sense to me that Dexterity determined skill with a crossbow on its own, Possibly the average of Int and dex for ranged attacks.


so if you do this as a werebat, and you take a bat animal companion who takes animal ally and eventually familiar friend, and boon companion, and have that cycle repeat.... can you be a swarm of bats?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Taenia wrote:

One of the biggest mistakes this game made though was Str = Accuracy. If you look at the literature, the big strong guys always have trouble hitting, its just if they hit you, it hurt, a lot. The small fast guys rarely missed but their hits didn't do much damage.

In every other game system I have played, Strength and Accuracy have no link, Accuracy might be based on skill or a stat like Agility/Reaction/Dexterity etc.. rather than physical power.

So if you are going to tie Strength to damage, which makes absolutely no sense. Then why not allow magic to have Dex apply to damage, especially when it can describe any number of possibilities.

The one example that has made the most sense is that it should be precision damage.

That minimizes the contribution of strength to the fact that it wields a weapon more easily, delivers it faster, and goes through obstructions more forcefully.

This game does have accuracy. It's called your BAB. So instead of Agility, it actually uses what is appropriate...your trained skill.

It's this 'lumping in' of Coord = ability to hit that breaks the paradigm. BAB is the accuracy stat of Pathfinder. Str and Coord are merely modifiers. A guy with +7 BAB and Str 24 has probably repeatedly emphasized control and precision for his BAB, letting his strength handle power and penetration of defenses. The guy with coord 24, however, probably has his BAB represent his speed and hitting power, whilst his natural talent handles much of the advanced control.

However, the latter is a difficult fighting style. With only a modicum of training, strength style is doable by just about anyone, and is natural to most of the animal kingdom. You actually have to be specifically trained to fight differently. that level of precision and restraint is actually quite difficult to pull off.

And in literature, big strong skilled guys beat small fast skilled little guys all the time. Conan is the ideal that big /= slow. Big is powerful, and fast. Big and Slow means low BAB, i.e. someone who doesn't know how to fight. It's that way in the real world too...if two men of equal skill fight, the bigger man will usually win. It's why bantamweights with high dex scores don't fight heavyweights with high str scores. Strength makes a huge difference in ability to both block and to power through blocks, and you can only evade so much.

==Aelryinth


It depends on the weapon. If myself and my small fast friend use fencing foils, I'm dead. If I'm whipping around a claymore i can swing one handed that he can barely lift, he's dead.

The game assumes two things:

Knights in armor whacking away at each other and

a hit being an effective hit.

With that in mind strength is the right choice. Trying to aim for the eyeslit against a moving opponent who has his own sword to parry with is such a one in a million shot that you don't model for it. That means you need to swing hard enough to hurt someone through what they're wearing

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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If you're both using a finesse weapon in the finesse style and without armor and without taking advantage of your size and reach...i.e. catering completely to his inferior fighting style...sure, he'll win.

But that's just it...you're catering to his style. He's putting all sorts of restrictions on you for the fight. LIft those restrictions, and suddenly he's hurting, because he can't compete in the real world at all.

For instance, if you're mostly unarmored, a rapier is the finest dueling weapon in the world. It's got reach, it's solid, it's lethal, and it's fast-fast-fast compared to other swords.

If you're wearing armor and have a shield, a rapier is basically useless against you. If you're fighting a bear, a rapier is mostly useless, and a good way to get mauled.

Rapiers are a dueling weapon. Nobody took them into a serious battlefield or out on a hunt. They've literally got no other purpose. Sailors preferred cutlasses because they were smaller and could be used in close-quarters on or below deck. The length of a rapier made them unusable except in very specific circumstances (i.e. lots of room to maneuver, unarmored enemies).

===Aelryinth


So... I have some questions relevant to this build and others like it. Hopefully it has a cut and dry answer rather than causing a debate.

If you look up the rules for transmutation (polymorph) it says:

Transmutation (Polymorph) wrote:

Polymorph: a polymorph spell transforms your physical body to take on the shape of another creature. While these spells make you appear to be the creature, granting you a +10 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature. Each polymorph spell allows you to assume the form of a creature of a specific type, granting you a number of bonuses to your ability scores and a bonus to your natural armor. In addition, each polymorph spell can grant you a number of other benefits, including movement types, resistances, and senses. If the form you choose grants these benefits, or a greater ability of the same type, you gain the listed benefit. If the form grants a lesser ability of the same type, you gain the lesser ability instead. Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume. If the form grants a swim or burrow speed, you maintain the ability to breathe if you are swimming or burrowing. The DC for any of these abilities equals your DC for the polymorph spell used to change you into that form.

In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks. These attacks are based on your base attack bonus, modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate, and use your Strength modifier for determining damage bonuses.

If a polymorph spell causes you to change size, apply the size modifiers appropriately, changing your armor class, attack bonus, Combat Maneuver Bonus, and Stealth skill modifiers. Your ability scores are not modified by this change unless noted by the spell.

Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature's type. Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature.

When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor and shield bonuses, which cease to function). Items that require activation cannot be used while you maintain that form. While in such a form, you cannot cast any spells that require material components (unless you have the Eschew Materials or Natural Spell feat), and can only cast spells with somatic or verbal components if the form you choose has the capability to make such movements or speak, such as a dragon. Other polymorph spells might be subject to this restriction as well, if they change you into a form that is unlike your original form (subject to GM discretion). If your new form does not cause your equipment to meld into your form, the equipment resizes to match your new size.

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.

You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.

If a polymorph spell is cast on a creature that is smaller than Small or larger than Medium, first adjust its ability scores to one of these two sizes using the following table before applying the bonuses granted by the polymorph spell. (see Table: Ability Adjustments from Size Changes)

The part I bolded is where my question lies. What does that mean?

Does it mean that almost every Tiny creature that I can find has Weapon Finesse so if you are Tiny you automatically attack as if using that feat?
How else would your attack be "modified as Dexterity as appropriate"? I know that your CMB changes to be based off your Dex but other than that I don't know.
Of course this is all fixed by taking Weapon Finesse as a separate feat but it doesn't really go towards answering the question.

Also, as I think was previously brought up I don't think this really works. Unfortunately. I want it to, but there is this part of the combat section:

Quote:

Very Small Creature

A Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creature can move into or through an occupied square. The creature provokes attacks of opportunity when doing so.

Square Occupied by Creature Three Sizes Larger or Smaller

Any creature can move through a square occupied by a creature three size categories larger than itself.

A big creature can move through a square occupied by a creature three size categories smaller than it is. Creatures moving through squares occupied by other creatures provoke attacks of opportunity from those creatures.

So with this being a Tiny creature it could not enter the square of a Medium creature. I suppose when you are fighting large creatures then it would work, but I wouldn't build a character based on the exception. I would rather build based on the rule.

I, like several others, was considering making a build like this for a Kitsune. But I have reservations about doing so based on the above rules. Also, I had been considering taking the Aspect of the Beast Feat but people have made compelling arguments for it not working when under the effect of a polymorph spell. Personally, I am with Imbacatus and believe that the intent of the spell is for it to work. Also the RAW seems to be behind it as well.

It isn't my interpretation of any of these rules that I am worried about. This character would be for a PFS game as Kitsune are currently "in season". The problem with PFS is that you have to deal with table variation when there hasn't been a ruling. It is probably my biggest issue with PFS. I wish that PFS had a website with a collection of rulings that are made for PFS. They wouldn't have to be official rulings for everything, they could be rulings that are "just for now until we consider it more and make it official". I wouldn't mind being a beta tester for rulings as long as the character can be changed if the ruling is.

However, with shaky ground and questionable rules I don't think I will be playing the character until(/if) these are answered in any official sense. So I wonder... have they been? Does anyone know?


Crap, hold on. I believe I just found an inconsistency in the rules. Now I am further confused. See here:

Quote:

Tiny, Diminutive, and Fine Creatures

Very small creatures take up less than 1 square of space. This means that more than one such creature can fit into a single square. A Tiny creature typically occupies a space only 2-1/2 feet across, so four can fit into a single square. 25 Diminutive creatures or 100 Fine creatures can fit into a single square. Creatures that take up less than 1 square of space typically have a natural reach of 0 feet, meaning they can't reach into adjacent squares. They must enter an opponent's square to attack in melee. This provokes an attack of opportunity from the opponent. You can attack into your own square if you need to, so you can attack such creatures normally. Since they have no natural reach, they do not threaten the squares around them. You can move past them without provoking attacks of opportunity. They also can't flank an enemy.

So what the hell?! That establishes that Tiny creatures do not take up an entire square. Then it says that Tiny creatures "...must enter an opponent's square to attack in melee."

Oh... I think I see. Dangit, I just don't play enough Tiny or Huge characters it seems. ;) I think my first post is talking about movement through squares not into. My second post is talking about movement into for the purposes of attacking as Tiny doesn't have reach.

Is that right?

Sovereign Court

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:


A more apt example would be Greek antiquity and their pejorative view of their equivalent of body builders because they were useless as soldiers and therefore weren't pulling their weight in the most important of collective endeavors a citizen could engage in.

The Greeks back then were dumb. Though they were the same dumb as football coaches in the 60's. There was an idea that you'd get 'muscle bound' - making you useless on the field if you got too heavily muscled. Heck - there were championship teams where the biggest guys on the field were 220lbs.

Today - 220lbs is on the small end for the quarterback, and an offensive lineman only 220lbs would be flattened. Because we now know that the idea of 'muscle bound' is stupid so long as you bulk up correctly. The guys who are 250-300lbs are just as fast and far stronger, giving them nothing but advantages over the relatively small players of the past.

You don't see body builders in sports - because they aren't lifting for strength. They're lifting for looks. Different regimine entirely, and their sort of regimine does leave one slightly 'muscle bound'. But you don't even see guys that look like that in power lifting. Because again - they're not lifting for strength.


@ Lune

Most (if not all) of the tiny or smaller creatures in the bestiary get weapon finesse, as a bonus feat if they couldn't do it via HD or class levels, I believe. Otherwise they would be pretty much useless in battle due to the size adjustments to Str.

When using polymorph you wouldn't get that, so if you are planning a character like this, you need to get it somehow as well.


Skylancer4: Are you sure you don't get it when you Polymorph? If not then what is your take on what the "modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate" bit means?

Understand I'm not arguing with you I am just confused by what that bit means.

Dark Archive

So what is the current consensus, can this build or can it not work as show?


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JonathonWilder wrote:
So what is the current consensus, can this build or can it not work as show?

From what I can see, the entire build works with the exception of the following point from the OP

"Many attacks:
With this character, you will have 3 natural attacks as well as 3 regular weapon attacks at level 12. In addition, you will be able to counter-attack every attack made by the enemy who's square you are in so long as they miss. With your dex modifier, this should be enough for all of them."

This is where you could expect table variation. From the posts in this thread, some people think you would get the 2 claw attacks from Aspect of the Beast while polymorphed, and others don't.

Regardless, the build still works, it is just a question of whether you get 3 or 1 natural attacks on a full attack.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

So the polymorph says you use Str or Dex as appropriate. You use Str for melee and Dex for ranged, and Str for damage in range and with thrown weapons and sling. So appropriate would mean just like normal.

It doesn't matter anyway. Damage from dex from this build comes from the Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists. The Agile property requires Weapon Finesse to function. So even if you got it for free from that ability you would have to get the feat for Agile to work.

Raw is pretty clear on Aspect of the Beast. It doesn't work. If you want to build it with that in mind expect table variation at best.


Lune wrote:

Skylancer4: Are you sure you don't get it when you Polymorph? If not then what is your take on what the "modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate" bit means?

Understand I'm not arguing with you I am just confused by what that bit means.

Not all natural attacks are melee, something like the manticore's tail spikes are ranged, so would use dexterity to contribute to attack rolls. Where as a bite would use strength to contribute to attack rolls. Then there are forms which are incorporeal like a shadow, they use dexterity to figure "to hit" as they don't have strength. That is what they mean by "as appropriate" in the school write up.

Transmutation (polymorph) school is particular about what it grants. The spells themselves modify as necessary according to their intended purpose. Nothing in the school states it grants bonus feats (or feats period) just proficiency. Nothing in the spell referenced grants feats either. It was pointed out that certain combat statistics are modified by Dex instead of Str when you hit certain sizes, but BAB or "to hit" wasn't one of them listed (I myself was under the impression it was until they corrected me).

Basically if you are planning on reducing your size significantly for any amount of appreciable time in combat, you need to get yourself Weapon Finesse somehow. As adjusted size nor spell grant it automatically for free.


Ah, yes. Ranged natural attacks and incorporeal touch attacks. They are few but they exist. That is likely what that clause is referring to. Yep, you are definitely correct on the needing Weapon Finesse bit.

Taenia: Yeah, I get it now. I agree with everything you said except the bit about Aspect of the Beast. I agree that the RAW is clear but I am on the opposite side of that argument from you. It is one of those circumstances where the same words can mean different things to different people. Unfortunately, there has been no kind of official ruling on this yet so table variation is the annoying truth.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

I would love aspect of the beast to work that way. I had a build using a Lvl 6 Bat Shaman with diminutive bat shape and this feat to give the bat claws and bite. I asked around the local GMs and they questioned whether it would work.

The problem I see with the feat is that it doesn't say you can grow claws, like barbarians and sorcerers but you grow claws, a singular event.

I would be very hesitant to try it in PFS, as you don't know what the GM will rule, and that could be a major change.

Scarab Sages

I still disagree on the Aspect of the Beast. The feat is the source of the claws, not your original form, and the feat is not a polymorph effect. But, barring a FAQ, I can see table variation on it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

The feat gives you claws. It doesn't matter what the source is, at all. The feat would have to be worded differently for the effect you are assuming.

However, we will have to agree to disagree heh. I wish you were right to be honest.

Sovereign Court

Yeah - I'd rule that you lose the claws when you change forms. I don't see it being any different from a tengu with claws - and I don't think that many would argue they would keep their claw attacks when they change forms. The wording is even similar other than the word "grow" vs "gain".

SRD on Tengu wrote:
They gain two claw attacks as primary natural attacks that deal 1d3 points of damage
SRD on Aspect of the Beast wrote:
You grow a pair of claws. These claws are primary attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage (1d3 if you are Small).

I can see the argument for keeping them - and it's not without all merit - but I still disagree with it.


My opinion is exactly that of Imbicatus'. I hate having to deal with table variation though. Typically if something has questionable rules I will avoid using it to avoid table variation. That is worse as I am basically being limited by poor writing from Devs and lack of community feedback.

I'm not trying to come down on the Devs but unfortunately it is one of those circumstances where they are the only ones who can correct it. I really wish there was a ruling on it though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

I generally prefer to be conservative in my approach whenever there is a rules question. It was a point that some of the developers have brought up, that given two choices they would prefer the more conservative one.


Some concerns which may have been addressed earlier in this thread:

Swashbuckler Finesse only works for piercing. If Feral Totem claws from barbarian are used, they wouldn't get the benefit of weapon finesse unless you obtained that feat elsewhere. This would suggest Fiendish totem to grow horns may be the better choice. You save on a feat selection although it nets one less full round attack compared to claws.

If you picked up weapon finesse and claws, where is the songbird growing claws from? I thought feet weren't a valid choice for growing claws, leaving only wings, which may not be a valid choice. Another potential plus for Fiendish totem.

Silver Crusade

Dot


Darkbridger wrote:
Well for one, if you are going to count unarmed strikes as natural attacks for purposes of not demoting other natural attacks, then you only get one unarmed strike and lose access to iterative attacks, because that's the entire intent.

To tell the truth, if that were your houserule-response to a character build of mine that used this idea, I would not consider it a serious penalty. The OP's build gets many attack/round with or without combining unarmed strikes with his natural attacks. For my build most similar to the OP's, this ability makes the difference between 8 attacks/round or 9 at level 6, so it's not something that will have a big impact on my build, either.

But the Monk ability I'm referring to does not change the inherent nature of either unarmed strikes or natural attacks. It's just an ability to count unarmed strikes as either a natural or manufactured weapon for the purposes of certain effects.

A monk unarmed strike counts as a natural weapon for the purpose of effects that improve natural weapons, and a Claw Attack is a natural weapon. Being relieved of a -5 is an effect--a change of condition brought about by a cause--caused by combining that natural attack with another natural rather than with a manufactured weapon during the full attack action.

Your argument that iterative attacks are also an effect caused by a high BAB rather than a baseline quality of the unarmed strike itself is something I have argued in the past, and I have since been convinced I was mistaken.

If what you are saying is true, then if you took the Feral Combat Training Feat for your claws, then you could apply iterative attacks to you your Claws, because by your interpretation of iterative attacks as a effect fits FCT's criteria of "effects that augment an unarmed strike." So, take a Monk with Feral Combat Training on his Claws and a BAB were +6, then his full attack action would include Claw +6/Claw+6/Claw+1/Unarmed Strike +6. I don't feel comfortable with this idea, and I know I'm not the only one.

While I certainly think it's an interesting idea, and there are some things about it I like, I just don't think it's the case that iterative attacks fall under either category of "effects that... improve... natural weapons" (Monk Class Description) or "effects that augment an unarmed strike." (Feral Combat Training).

Therefore, I do maintain in the face of your negative proof that I am interpreting the Monk class ability correctly, and that it does not contradict the action economy rules of the game. That being said, I don't think your house rule would be unreasonable either.

Darkbridger wrote:
If you want to exceed your number of iterative attacks with *full attack bonus* natural attacks, that's deliberate attempt to break game balance.

I am not attempting to break the game balance any more than anyone else. Almost everyone I've seen play this game in PFS uses the rules aggressively to create as powerful characters as they can. I suppose I should take it as a compliment that you think I am just so good at it that it threatens the balance of the game.

But even if you are right that this does break the game balance, then this is not a problem I have created, but rather a problem that I have discovered. I am not sneaking this into a PFS game: I am bringing this to everyone's attention. If you are right that this is a problem, then it is a problem I am giving Paizo Publishing full and proper notification about and every opportunity to correct. Indeed, it is the people on this thread who are trying to shout me down who are exacerbating the problem by trying to squelch it. Maybe it is them who are secretly building characters using my ideas and trying to ruin the game balance at PFS tables. They are the ones who are being underhanded.

Darkbridger wrote:
Good luck getting that through any PFS table.

Thank you very much. You'll be pleased to know that a character build with this feature has been verbally approved by a PFS GM at the store I play in, and it has been publicly endorsed and approved by my region's Venture Captain on our local online message board.


To be fair everyone thinks they are correct (and often will argue it ad nauseum) until given undeniable proof they are incorrect (and some often argue it even then) and PFS "authorities" can just as easily be incorrect as the next person.

Just because it is "endorsed" doesn't mean it is "correct", it just means you are being allowed to play that way. It doesn't mean you are right, it could just as easily mean those who pass judgment on it are unaware of the rules as well.


They approved the build or they approved the no -5 to hit interpretation?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
They approved the build or they approved the no -5 to hit interpretation?

Both

Skylancer4 wrote:
To be fair everyone thinks they are correct (and often will argue it ad nauseum) until given undeniable proof they are incorrect (and some often argue it even then) and PFS "authorities" can just as easily be incorrect as the next person.

All too true, but people are arguing that I am being underhanded. And they are arguing that what I'm saying would never be allowed at a PFS table.

And I'm saying that I have been very public and forthright, and I'm saying it already has been approved at PFS tables.

I am well-aware that I generate complicated character builds, and I take great pains to discuss them with officials and vet them in advance as much as possible. Mistakes still get made on both sides, but that is part of the game, too.


Ahah. here we go

And yes, the rules say that if you're using a manufactured weapon or unarmed strikes, you CAN use them in conjunction with natural attacks, "so long as a different limb is used for each attack."

The intent of that was to allow you wield a 1H weapon and make a secondary claw attack with your other hand, or to let you wield a 1H weapon and make a secondary bite attack with your mouth, or to let you wield a 2H weapon and make a secondary bite attack with your mouth.

The intent was to prevent you from making a full attack sequence with your natural attacks and a bunch of unarmed strikes by specifically defining your undefined unarmed strikes as conveniently different limbs than your natural attacks. Which is exactly what you're trying to do.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Ahah. here we go

And yes, the rules say that if you're using a manufactured weapon or unarmed strikes, you CAN use them in conjunction with natural attacks, "so long as a different limb is used for each attack."

The intent of that was to allow you wield a 1H weapon and make a secondary claw attack with your other hand, or to let you wield a 1H weapon and make a secondary bite attack with your mouth, or to let you wield a 2H weapon and make a secondary bite attack with your mouth.

The intent was to prevent you from making a full attack sequence with your natural attacks and a bunch of unarmed strikes by specifically defining your undefined unarmed strikes as conveniently different limbs than your natural attacks. Which is exactly what you're trying to do.

Okay BigNorseWolf,

I think you've pretty much convinced me. That was not an official rules post, but it was a post from a designer that shows a great deal of thought into the idea I've been exploring.

You haven't exactly demonstrated that my interpretation isn't correct with the RAW, but you have convinced me that the designers thought of what I thought of and intended it to be not the way I was thinking.

Also, while he was talking about unarmed strikes, he didn't mention Monk Unarmed Strikes, which the rules say are different, but even if you could develop an unarmed striking build without levels in monk, who would want to? I think we can assume he assumed you'd be taking Improved Unarmed Strike by taking one or more levels of Monk.

On a side note, it feels like Mr. Reynolds raised more questions than answers for me as to how to use the Alchemal Tentacle Discovery in Combat. I think he's saying it would replace all your other attacks, or it can be used as an off-hand attack, but that's off the topic of this thread. I'll have to review that thread some day.

To the OP, I so amend my advice. Go ahead and broach the subject with your GM if he has time, because why not, but expect that -5, and expect it to stick. Meanwhile, I suspect that if you crunch the numbers, That -5 on all your natural attacks might well make extra unarmed strike not worthwhile. It might be worthwhile, especially since most of your extra attacks are attacks of opportunity, and since those happen outside of the normal combat round, they wouldn't be subject to the -5, anyway.


Everyone was confused by the tentacle thing.


Fooma wrote:

Some concerns which may have been addressed earlier in this thread:

Swashbuckler Finesse only works for piercing. If Feral Totem claws from barbarian are used, they wouldn't get the benefit of weapon finesse unless you obtained that feat elsewhere. This would suggest Fiendish totem to grow horns may be the better choice. You save on a feat selection although it nets one less full round attack compared to claws.

If you picked up weapon finesse and claws, where is the songbird growing claws from? I thought feet weren't a valid choice for growing claws, leaving only wings, which may not be a valid choice. Another potential plus for Fiendish totem.

The OP is also taking Snake Style, which lets him treat his Unarmed Strikes and any natural attack he applies Feral Combat Training to as Piercing Weapons, so there you go.

My recommendation for Claws is the Feral Mutagen Alchemal Discovery. It isn't a polymorph effect, so it should stack with that Ring. Your suggestion for getting a Gore Attack is interesting. It might work. It's worth a long look at the rules.

Here's another thought: how about a dip into White Haired Witch? The Hair is a magical effect and not a Polymorph. You should be able to grow and use your magical White Hair even if you are a bird and don't have hair. In dunno, White Plumes?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Everyone was confused by the tentacle thing.

Even interpreting it in the most limiting way, it can be pretty cool. With Feral Combat Training, you can use your Tentacle for the Unarmed Attacks of Opportunity granted by Snake Fang, doing your Unarmed Strike Damage for starters. If your character doesn't have any other natural attacks, then that tentacle is no longer secondary, but rather primary, so no automatic -5. If you are wearing Armor Spikes, every time you successfully use the Grab Ability to start a Grapple, you do your Armor Spike Damage, too.

That's an inexpensive combination of feats and abilities for what you are getting. It leaves room for developing a dangerous Grapple build, too.

Also, since MOMS Monks don't get Flurry, they might take 2weapon fighting anyway.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Here's another thought: how about a dip into White Haired Witch? The Hair is a magical effect and not a Polymorph. You should be able to grow and use your magical White Hair even if you are a bird and don't have hair. In dunno, White Plumes?

Who sais you have no hair?

Example #1
Example #2
Example #3

/cevah


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I can't believe I've never heard of this build till now. It is a positively brilliant idea and the OP has absolutely earned my respect for his creativity and game mastery. I will definitely be putting a version of this in my Crazy Character Emporium if the OP doesn't mind. It will totally fit right in.

Everything looks legal at first glance, though I'm not sure how a tiny creature could ever flank (tiny creatures are explicitly called out as not being able to do this).

An infamous and oft quoted encounter wrote:


NPC Villager: Follow. But! Follow only if ye be men of valor! For the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel, that no man yet has fought with it... and lived! BONES of full fifty men lie *strewn* about its lair! So! Brave knights! If you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy beak...

[Makes beak shape with his hands and holds them in front of his mouth]

PC Adventurer #1: What an eccentric performance.

[Some time later, after they arrive at the cave entrance.]

NPC Villager: There he is!

PC Adventurer #1: Where?

NPC Villager: There!

PC Adventurer #1: What? Behind the song bird?

NPC Villager: It *is* the song bird!

PC Adventurer #1: You silly sod!

NPC Villager: What?

PC Adventurer #1: You got us all worked up!

NPC Villager: Well, that's no ordinary bird.

PC Adventurer #1: Ohh.

NPC Villager: That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered bird you ever set eyes on!

PC Adventurer #2: You tit! I soiled my armor I was so scared!

NPC Villager: Look, that song bird's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!

PC Adventurer #3: Get stuffed!

NPC Villager: He'll do you up a treat, mate.

PC Adventurer #3: Oh, yeah?

PC Adventurer #2: You manky Scots git!

NPC Villager: I'm warning you!

PC Adventurer #2: What's he do? Peck at your bum?

NPC Villager: He's got huge, sharp... er... He can flit about. Look at the bones!

PC Adventurer #1: Go on, Bors. Chop his head off!

PC Adventurer #4: Right! Silly little bleeder. One chicken stew comin' right up!

[After Bors is killed by the killer song bird.]

NPC Villager: I *warned* you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you *knew*, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little *bird*, isn't it?

Look at the bones!

PC Adventurer #1: Right. CHARGE!!!

[A furious battle ensues in which PC Adventurer #3 and several henchmen are also killed.]

PC Adventurer #1: Run away!

EDIT: Damn! Sorta' ninja'd.

Petty Alchemy wrote:
That said, I'm also interested in a version that isn't magic item reliant.

Couldn't you just pay a guy to cast baleful polymorph on you? Provided you keep your mind, it means you can be a bird 24/7. Rather than a 4,000gp item, that would only set you back by about 450gp (assuming it works properly the first time).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Ways to make similar builds that are not item reliant would be very difficult as the damage of the build comes from the Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists.

Inability to change back and forth might make item usage difficult. Also, do you want to be a bird all the time? If you don't want to rely on the ring you can use Kitsune + Fox shape though you lose Risky Striker.

Scarab Sages

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Ravingdork wrote:


Everything looks legal at first glance, though I'm not sure how a tiny creature could ever flank (tiny creatures are explicitly called out as not being able to do this).

Via being in the same square as the target and using the Mouser's Underfoot Assault deed.

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