Bard Masterpieces and Bardic Performance


Rules Questions

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1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The officially unofficial answer is that it works well enough as is. Since it mostly works it is not worth the immense effort it would take to fix it.

That was from a member of the PDT on Sunday.


that's unfortunate that it not working is considered working well enough.


Chess Pwn wrote:
that's unfortunate that it not working is considered working well enough.

It is disappointing, but I suppose I can understand why they might not want to touch the issue. Historically, Pathfinder has several of those third rail rules that don't quite work right, but any attempt to fix them seems to just break things even worse. I guess they'd rather do nothing than risk a repeat of their effort to fix mounted combat, which wound up making it even more confusing.

Plus, more cynically, there's no money in fixing things everyone's already paid for.


The first step in the process to solving the conundrum might be to determine how many masterpieces fall into the "not an easy way to determine intent of working or not".

If it's only 3 or 4, then the FAQ might be most simple to include those 3 to 4 as exceptions. Or, they bear some similarity that can be wholly excluded. Etc.

Has anyone ever sat down and made a list of the deal breakers? I would think the developers have done so. But, I haven't seen anything like this however.

*************************************************************

Examples:

At the Heart of It All (UM, takes 5 rounds to activate, instantaneous effect with 1 day duration) - this should have no problem stacking with another activated performance

The Cat-Step (UM, takes 4 rounds to activate, instantaneous effect with 10 minutes duration) - this should have no problem stacking with another activated performance

The Dance of 23 Steps (UM, takes 1 free action to activate, instantaneous effect with 1 round duration) - this would interrupt any concentration required performance (e.g. Inspire Courage) to activate or re-activate, but Inspire Courage should be able to be re-activated afterwards like normal

The Depths of the Mountain (UM, takes 10 rounds to activate, concentration required) - this would interrupt any concentration required performance (e.g. Inspire Courage) to activate, and would be interrupted itself if another performance starts

The Dumbshow of Gorroc (UM, takes 1 full round to activate, instantaneous effect) - this would interrupt any concentration required performance (e.g. Inspire Courage) to activate

The House of the Imaginary Walls (UM, takes 1 standard action to activate, concentration required)

Legato Piece on the Infernal Bargain (UM, takes 10 minutes to activate, instantaneous effect with varying duration)

********************************************************

Just from doing the examples above, it seems relatively easy to write the FAQ.

1. Masterpieces are either defined as concentration required or as instantaneous (with or without duration). This determination is dictated by if the masterpiece requires additional actions to keep the masterpiece activated after the initial effect.

2. When they are started, performances and masterpieces end all concentration required performances (e.g. Inspire Courage) or masterpieces (e.g. The Depths of the Mountain). They do not end instantaneous effect masterpieces (e.g. The Cat-Step).

(word smith to suit and complete, that's just the core)

Hence the question: What are the offending masterpieces that are preventing the FAQ from being answered?


See, I'm one that rules that At the Heart of It All the bonuses that persist one day would end if you started up inspire courage because the effect of that performance is 1 day of bonuses, so that effect ends when you start a new performance.
Cat step an dance of 23 step also would stop working if you started a new performance, say inspire courage. I don't have time to look at the rest, but I believe they all fall the same way. ALL of the effects of the performance end when you start a new performance.

So all of those masterpieces listed all stop working when you start a new performance. Unless you can find super proof to say that the bonuses granted by the performance aren't an effect of the performance. Thus finding wording to make sure any allowed ones are allowed and not allowed ones aren't allowed would be difficult.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've seen Triple Time GM'd both as 'It's a masterpiece, and you're using it as the 'back-beat' for your other Bardic performance, so it can stay up'

AND

'Well, as soon as Inspiration goes off, it drops, because it's not as stirring anymore'.

I'd honestly prefer the earlier to the latter, but can understand why a balance issue could be in place.

HOWEVER, these things ARE costing spell slots and Feats to do something neat and nifty that no other class-type has access to. There should be some sort of consideration of that sacrifice.


Chess Pwn wrote:

See, I'm one that rules that At the Heart of It All the bonuses that persist one day would end if you started up inspire courage because the effect of that performance is 1 day of bonuses, so that effect ends when you start a new performance.

Cat step an dance of 23 step also would stop working if you started a new performance, say inspire courage. I don't have time to look at the rest, but I believe they all fall the same way. ALL of the effects of the performance end when you start a new performance.

So all of those masterpieces listed all stop working when you start a new performance.

And if that is the answer, that's fine. Call that Potential #1.

That is the easiest position to answer in a FAQ.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Unless you can find super proof to say that the bonuses granted by the performance aren't an effect of the performance. Thus finding wording to make sure any allowed ones are allowed and not allowed ones aren't allowed would be difficult.

An easy test to look at is if the bard goes unconscious, which masterpieces (and performances) stay active. Those that stay active are "independent" of the bard, for lack of a better description. It looked to be a fairly clean break line on the ones I looked at (all from Ultimate Magic).

Any independent masterpiece doesn't stop when a new performance is started because it no longer is tied to the bard. Call this Potential #2. This was fairly easy to write a description for a FAQ, as noted above. It's not been vetted with all performances.

(I exampled Position #2 above just because this middle ground should be the only difficult position stopping the FAQ from being written)

The only other case is that no masterpiece is interrupted by a performance? Call it Position #3. I think all can agree this isn't the likely answer. However, even if it were, that too is super easy to write a FAQ.

(are there any additional potential positions?)

Are the devs just having a hard time taking an official position? The actual FAQ doesn't look all that hard to write.

Sovereign Court

Rory wrote:

The first step in the process to solving the conundrum might be to determine how many masterpieces fall into the "not an easy way to determine intent of working or not".

If it's only 3 or 4, then the FAQ might be most simple to include those 3 to 4 as exceptions. Or, they bear some similarity that can be wholly excluded. Etc.

Has anyone ever sat down and made a list of the deal breakers? I would think the developers have done so. But, I haven't seen anything like this however.

*************************************************************

Examples:

At the Heart of It All (UM, takes 5 rounds to activate, instantaneous effect with 1 day duration) - this should have no problem stacking with another activated performance

The Cat-Step (UM, takes 4 rounds to activate, instantaneous effect with 10 minutes duration) - this should have no problem stacking with another activated performance

The Dance of 23 Steps (UM, takes 1 free action to activate, instantaneous effect with 1 round duration) - this would interrupt any concentration required performance (e.g. Inspire Courage) to activate or re-activate, but Inspire Courage should be able to be re-activated afterwards like normal

The Depths of the Mountain (UM, takes 10 rounds to activate, concentration required) - this would interrupt any concentration required performance (e.g. Inspire Courage) to activate, and would be interrupted itself if another performance starts

The Dumbshow of Gorroc (UM, takes 1 full round to activate, instantaneous effect) - this would interrupt any concentration required performance (e.g. Inspire Courage) to activate

The House of the Imaginary Walls (UM, takes 1 standard action to activate, concentration required)

Legato Piece on the Infernal Bargain (UM, takes 10 minutes to activate, instantaneous effect with varying duration)

********************************************************

Just from doing the examples above, it seems relatively easy to write the FAQ.

1. Masterpieces are either defined as...

(Bolding mine)

why do you think Inspire Courage is a "Concentration required performance"?

Inspire Courage:
(Su): A 1st-level bard can use his performance to inspire courage in his allies (including himself), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to perceive the bard's performance. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 competence bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 5th level, and every six bard levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +4 at 17th level. Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability. Inspire courage can use audible or visual components. The bard must choose which component to use when starting his performance.
doesn't require concentration to maintain...

Sovereign Court

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


I've seen Triple Time GM'd both as 'It's a masterpiece, and you're using it as the 'back-beat' for your other Bardic performance, so it can stay up'

AND

'Well, as soon as Inspiration goes off, it drops, because it's not as stirring anymore'.

I'd honestly prefer the earlier to the latter, but can understand why a balance issue could be in place.

HOWEVER, these things ARE costing spell slots and Feats to do something neat and nifty that no other class-type has access to. There should be some sort of consideration of that sacrifice.

here you go... text for

Triple Time:

(Percussion, String, Wind)

Your lively cadence puts a spring in the step of weary marchers.

Prerequisite: Perform (percussion) 3 ranks, Perform (string) 3 ranks, or Perform (wind) 3 ranks.

Cost: Feat or 1st-level bard spell known.

Effect: This bright and spritely tune mimics the sound of human feet, slowly building to a steady, ground-eating pace. When you complete this performance, you affect one ally in hearing range per bard level. This masterpiece increases the affected target's base land speed by 10 feet for 1 hour. This adjustment is treated as an enhancement bonus. There is no effect on other modes of movement, such as burrow, climb, fly, or swim. As with any effect that increases your speed, this spell affects your jumping distance (see the Acrobatics skill).

Use: 1 bardic performance round.

Action: 1 minute.

I would be interested in understanding this the following line better...
"... When you complete this performance, you affect one ally in hearing range per bard level..."

does this mean that AFTER the bard finishes the performance ("complete this performance...") there is an effect on those persons targeted? SO... if the bard does Triple Time, Targets the Effect, and then goes someplace else (for example DIES) does the Effect STOP? Kind of like spell durations ending because the spell caster dies (which is a common House Rule in some PF games).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

All performances require maintainance.

Quote:
Starting a bardic performance is a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. Changing a bardic performance from one effect to another requires the bard to stop the previous performance and start a new one as a standard action. A bardic performance cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if the bard is killed, paralyzed , stunned , knocked unconscious , or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round. A bard cannot have more than one bardic performance in effect at one time.

Sovereign Court

TriOmegaZero wrote:

All performances require maintainance.

Quote:
Starting a bardic performance is a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. Changing a bardic performance from one effect to another requires the bard to stop the previous performance and start a new one as a standard action. A bardic performance cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if the bard is killed, paralyzed , stunned , knocked unconscious , or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round.

do performing free actions require "concentration"? Does maintaining a Performance (and esp. Inspire Courage) require Concentration?

This would prevent Bards from casting spells while performing wouldn't it? It appears I have been doing this wrong in the past...

Sovereign Court

From the CRB....

Bardic Performance: A bard is trained to use the Perform skill to create magical effects on those around him, including himself if desired. He can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his Charisma modifier. At each level after 1st a bard can use bardic performance for 2 additional rounds per day. Each round, the bard can produce any one of the types of bardic performance that he has mastered, as indicated by his level.

Starting a bardic performance is a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. Changing a bardic performance from one effect to another requires the bard to stop the previous performance and start a new one as a standard action. A bardic performance cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if the bard is killed, paralyzed, stunned, knocked unconscious, or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round. A bard cannot have more than one bardic performance in effect at one time.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Muse. wrote:
do performing free actions require "concentration"?

Not in the rules definition but in the colloquial definition.

If the masterpiece is considered a bardic performance you cannot have it active at the same time as inspire courage and vice versa.

Sovereign Court

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Muse. wrote:
do performing free actions require "concentration"?

Not in the rules definition but in the colloquial definition.

If the masterpiece is considered a bardic performance you cannot have it active at the same time as inspire courage and vice versa.

does the "colloquial definition" mean I cannot cast spells that require concentration while I am maintaining a bardic performance (such as Inspire Courage or Inspire Competence)?

and "If the masterpiece is considered a bardic performance ..." what masterpieces are NOT considered a bardic performance? I though all masterpieces were bardic performances...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That is what the FAQ request is about.


A spell that requires concentration can be cast at the same time as a bardic performance.

So bardic performance doesn't require concentration or concentration checks. It only requires a free action and round of performance.


Muse. wrote:
why do you think Inspire Courage is a "Concentration required performance"?

Apologies for using the word concentration, which has additional meaning in regards to spells.

The meaning I was referring to for "concentration" was simply the maintenance aspect. Example: If the bard went unconscious on a round, which performances or masterpieces would end? Those that end require some form of attention from the bard every round to maintain.

Inspire Courage is one of many that would end and are dependent on the bard every round. Some masterpieces would not. The masterpieces that do not end are the ones that I'd say were independent of the bard (part of Position #2 above).

"Maintained Performance" is a better phrase than "Concentration Required Performance".

Thanks!

Dark Archive

I would not be opposed to devoting a section of a Hardback to reprinting with unified/controlled language.

Grand Lodge

Except in the case of Triple Time, it specifically calls out that it takes a minute to perform and then you only get the benefit for the hour after the performance is completed. I really don't see anything that supports that you can't start another performance during that hour and still have the benefit of both.

Even the quote above "I've seen some GMs say that triple time can be considered the backbone of any other performance" doesn't jive with what triple time, itself, says (i.e. there's nothing to be a backbone because it's already done and over).


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claudekennilol wrote:

Except in the case of Triple Time, it specifically calls out that it takes a minute to perform and then you only get the benefit for the hour after the performance is completed. I really don't see anything that supports that you can't start another performance during that hour and still have the benefit of both.

Just for a moment, let's assume that a new bardic performance or masterpiece immediately canceled any and all ongoing performances or masterpieces. Let me example what this fully means with a story since we are discussing bards.

"Spooky Action At A Distance"

Lars the Luckless Barbarian pays Yuks the local minstrel for a quick play of Triple Time and then plane shifts to the abyss to run thru fire to save a friend. Halfway thru the fiery run, that pesky Yuks, who is still back on the material plane, uses bardic performance to Fascinate a crowd of onlookers during a new card trick. In the abyss, nobody hears the final screams of poor Lars as he loses his extra speed early and fails to clear the Inferno Fields of Demonfire.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My understanding continues to be that you can only have one bardic performance "in effect" (i.e. actively being performed) at a time, but the 'effects of' any number of bardic performances/masterpieces can be active simultaneously if they extend beyond the duration of the performance.

There are exceptions to both parts of that statement (e.g. Shadow Bard allows two performances / Lingering Performance effects get cancelled if another performance is begun), but they are specifically called out as such.

Dark Archive

Given that the cost is both performance rounds and either a spell or a feat and characters can have multiple spells active as well as multiple feats something very close to CBDunkerson's position should be how it all works. Even at high level in a module and with things like Soothing performance you can burn through those rounds pretty fast.


My understanding that any effects, which include "in effect" and "effects of" of a song end when you start a new song.

Triple time is similar to lingering. You stop, but the effect is going for longer than your performance. You start a new one, old one ends.


Position #1 - Masterpieces are Bardic Performance are Masterpieces

Masterpieces are bardic performances and follow every exact bardic performance rule. This includes only having one bardic performance active at a time.

Example: If a bard has activated Triple Time on an ally, whenever they start to activate another bardic performance (or masterpiece), Triple Time wears off immediately, no matter where the ally is.

Position #2 - Masterpieces are unusual applications of the bardic performance ability. Any masterpiece that is completed and has a duration independent of the bard no longer counts against the maintained performance limit.

Masterpieces can be broken down into two categories: Maintained Masterpiece and Independent Masterpiece. If a masterpiece ends when a bard falls unconscious (dies, is stunned, etc.), then it is a Maintained Masterpiece. Otherwise, it is an Independent Masterpiece.

Maintained Masterpieces end as soon as a bard starts any other Bardic Performance or Masterpiece. Independent Masterpieces, upon completion of activation, do not end at the start of other Bardic Performances or Masterpieces. They last until the duration expires.

Example: If a bard has completed the activation of the Triple Time masterpiece on an ally, the ally retains the bonus even if the bard starts another Bardic Performance or Masterpiece.

Example: If a bard has started Inspire Courage, the effect automatically ends if the bard starts to activate The Dance of 23 Steps masterpiece. After The Dance of 23 Steps masterpiece has been activated, which is an Independent Masterpiece, starting Inspire Courage again does not end the masterpiece effect.

Example: If a bard has the masterpiece The Depths of the Mountain activated, since it is a Maintained Masterpiece, the bard must end that masterpiece if Inspire Courage is started.

Position #3 - Masterpieces are unusual applications of the bardic performance ability. They are not actual Bardic Performances.

Bardic Performances are independent of each other. They do not interact nor do they prevent or cancel each other.

Example: A bard has Inspire Courage going in battle. The battle is almost finished, so the bard starts the masterpiece Triple Time while Inspire Courage is still up and running. Rounds of Bardic Performance are spent simultaneously on both abilities.

************************************************************

Are there any other potential positions out there to define?

Did I need to refine any position to make it more clear or more accurate? I don't agree with all of the listed positions, so might have some accidental bias included that I need to snuff out.

Once we gather up all the positions, we can take a shot at writing a FAQ for each position. That hopefully will help the devs resolve this pickle of a FAQ. They would just need to confirm a position, do their own tweak of the FAQ presented, and then it'd be done.

It's a nice theory at least...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Rory, I'd add a #1a;

Masterpieces are Bardic Performances are Masterpieces

Masterpieces are bardic performances and follow every exact bardic performance rule. This includes only being able to perform one at a time.

Example: A bard cannot perform Triple Time and Suggestion at the same time (i.e. perform the song/dance/whatever to activate both in the same round), but they could implant a Suggestion, then complete a Triple Time performance, and then activate Inspire Courage... thus having the effects of all three active. They just cannot PERFORM all three at the same time.

Basically, I think the interpretation that you can only have the 'effects of' one bardic performance/masterpiece active at a time is incorrect. Rather, my understanding is that the limitation is that you can only have one performance "in effect" (i.e. being performed) at a time.


CBDunkerson wrote:

Rory, I'd add a #1a;

Masterpieces are Bardic Performances are Masterpieces

Masterpieces are bardic performances and follow every exact bardic performance rule. This includes only being able to perform one at a time.

Example: A bard cannot perform Triple Time and Suggestion at the same time (i.e. perform the song/dance/whatever to activate both in the same round), but they could implant a Suggestion, then complete a Triple Time performance, and then activate Inspire Courage... thus having the effects of all three active. They just cannot PERFORM all three at the same time.

Position #1 specifically has Triple Time ending at the start of Inspire Courage, no matter what, when, where, how, who, why, etc.

CBDunkerson wrote:
Basically, I think the interpretation that you can only have the 'effects of' one bardic performance/masterpiece active at a time is incorrect. Rather, my understanding is that the limitation is that you can only have one performance "in effect" (i.e. being performed) at a time.

This is exactly what Position #2 is saying (or trying to say).

Do you still think I need a new position or do you concur your #1a is actually a restatement of Position #2?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

No, they aren't quite the same.

Your #2 treats masterpieces as different than bardic performances. So, even if the effects of a previously completed Triple Time masterpiece would continue while Inspire Courage was being performed, the effects of a previously completed Suggestion bardic performance would not. That isn't how I understand it to work.

Rather, the 'exception' found under #2 isn't an exception at all... but actually the way bardic performances were always intended to work and thus how masterpieces also work given that they are just an extension of the existing bardic performance rules.

Basically, the 'maintained' vs 'independent' classifications you define were not introduced with masterpieces. Both categories already existed with bardic performances. Indeed, in addition to the 'independent' category, there are also 'lump sum' (e.g. costs X bardic performance rounds) and 'fixed duration' (e.g. perform for Y minutes) variations from the standard 'per round' bardic performance... both also found with performances AND masterpieces.


CBDunkerson wrote:
My understanding continues to be that you can only have one bardic performance "in effect" (i.e. actively being performed) at a time, but the 'effects of' any number of bardic performances/masterpieces can be active simultaneously if they extend beyond the duration of the performance.

I am... honestly quite flummoxed on how I could read "in effect" as not referring to whether the "effect of" the performance is currently in place.

How can we say, with a straight face: "Triple Time is no longer in effect" even while the "effect" of Triple Time absolutely is being applied to our characters? That's not what I've ever taken the words "in effect" to mean.

Saying that Triple Time is no longer "in effect" once the Bard stops performing makes as little sense to me as saying that Haste is no longer "in effect" once the Wizard stops casting.

If "the ability's effect is active" is not sufficient to make an ability "in effect", then what exactly does it mean--for both a performance and a spell--to be "in effect"?


Rory wrote:
stuff about "Spooky Action At A Distance"

That's my main issue with the "all performances end". It makes Triple Time one of the best alarm systems ever. As soon as the bard starts to perform everyone he Triple Timed knows to come running, even if they're on another plane of existence...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
claymade wrote:
I am... honestly quite flummoxed on how I could read "in effect" as not referring to whether the "effect of" the performance is currently in place.

They are two different phrases with different meanings.

Once a hurricane is over there is no longer a hurricane warning "in effect", but the "effects of" the hurricane still exist.

A bardic performance is only "in effect" while it is being performed, but the "effects of" such a performance can potentially be permanent. For example, Deadly Performance is only "in effect" for one full round... but the resulting "effect of" the target being dead does not go away the next time the bard uses Inspire Courage.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay, so we can all agree this a very complicated topic and why it is taking a while to parse out so as to attain maximum playability while adhering to some sort of sense of play.


CBDunkerson wrote:

They are two different phrases with different meanings.

Once a hurricane is over there is no longer a hurricane warning "in effect", but the "effects of" the hurricane still exist.

A bardic performance is only "in effect" while it is being performed, but the "effects of" such a performance can potentially be permanent. For example, Deadly Performance is only "in effect" for one full round... but the resulting "effect of" the target being dead does not go away the next time the bard uses Inspire Courage.

The "effect" of Deadly Performance is not the target "is dead", the listed effect is that the target "dies". A character dying isn't an effect with a duration; it's an instantaneous effect, as also seen in spells like Power Word Kill. Instantaneous effects only last the blink of an eye before completing. So no, the effect of the target dying is not a "permanent" effect, and as such, there's nothing for a subsequent performance to disrupt, because the "effect" is over long before the Bard could even have a chance to do anything else.

A permanent effect would be something like the Blindness/Deafness spell, which--unlike a death effect like Power Word Kill or Deadly Performance--does truly have a duration of "permanent". So in that case its "effect" really is ongoing. And since the "effect" is ongoing, it can also be dispelled, or otherwise interfered with, which would not be possible with an instantaneous effect.

Triple Time, obviously, is neither instantaneous nor permanent; the duration listed in its "effect" section being precisely 1 hour.

Similarly, to borrow your hurricane example, if a level 15 Druid cast Control Winds to create a hurricane, the "effect" of that spell itself is certainly not permanent. The "effect" of the spell is 175 mph winds, and that "effect" lasts for only 150 minutes. Depending on where it's cast, the "effect" of the spell might (or might not) in turn cause other knock-on effects, which might in turn cause yet more effects, but those aren't inherent effects of spell itself. The "effect" of the spell itself is the winds, and they last for the duration of the spell, at which point the spell ends.

And it is precisely then--and only then--that the spell is no longer "in effect".

I'll close by reiterating the request I made at the end of my last post. If "in effect" really means "actively being performed", what does it mean for a spell to be "in effect"? What is your (general) definition of what "in effect" means, such that it can apply equally to spells being "in effect", bardic performance being "in effect" and other abilities being "in effect", yet retains the characteristics you're claiming for it with regard to Bardic Performance?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
claymade wrote:
If "in effect" really means "actively being performed", what does it mean for a spell to be "in effect"?

You'd have to cite some section of the rules where that phrase is applied to spells. Context matters.

For example;
"In effect, an evocation draws upon magic to create something out of nothing."

I think we'd both agree that in this case "in effect" has nothing to do with duration. For bards the relevant text is;

"Starting a bardic performance is a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. Changing a bardic performance from one effect to another requires the bard to stop the previous performance and start a new one as a standard action. A bardic performance cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if the bard is killed, paralyzed, stunned, knocked unconscious, or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round. A bard cannot have more than one bardic performance in effect at one time."

Note that the first sentence is not accurate for all bardic performances... Deadly Performance requires a full round (not standard) action to 'start' (and complete) and is not maintained each round. This sentence is thus describing the most common 'per round' type of performance and where others state different rules they work differently.

Ditto the second sentence... Suggestion can be performed without stopping a fascinate performance. The third sentence says a bardic performance ends if the bard cannot take a free action to maintain it... but some (e.g. suggestion, deadly performance, triple time) do not NEED to be maintained each round... so again, a general case for 'per round' performances with different rules stated for others.

Finally, the last sentence says that only one bardic performance can be "in effect" at a time. Given that the other rules in this paragraph have all been talking about 'per round' performances, in context I take this one to be so also... you cannot 'maintain' two performances simultaneously. However, that is then no bar against completing one performance which has an effect that does not need to be maintained and starting another.

Triple Time says that it lasts for an hour once completed. Suggestion lasts as per the spell. These are different rules than the 'per round' performances which need to be maintained each round. I thus take them as stated and interpret the "in effect" text to be talking about actively maintained performances.


CBDunkerson wrote:
You'd have to cite some section of the rules where that phrase is applied to spells. Context matters.

Take the spell "Stone Fist" as just one example. "While this spell is in effect, your unarmed strikes do not provoke attacks of opportunity and deal 1d6 points of lethal bludgeoning damage (1d4 if you are Small)."

So, once again: how exactly are you defining the phrase "in effect", in such a way that it makes sense that both spells and performances can be "in effect", since they clearly both can be (and have been) described using that same term?

CBDunkerson wrote:
Finally, the last sentence says that only one bardic performance can be "in effect" at a time. Given that the other rules in this paragraph have all been talking about 'per round' performances, in context I take this one to be so also... you cannot 'maintain' two performances simultaneously. However, that is then no bar against completing one performance which has an effect that does not need to be maintained and starting another.

Specific trumps general. Sure, Deadly Performance gives specific exceptions to the general rules for bardic performance. That doesn't mean that other sentences in the same paragraph also don't apply to it, unless Deadly Performance also calls out a specific exception for those rules. Same with Triple Time.

If the rule had been that the Bard can't maintain two performances at once, then the rule should have talked about the act of maintaining rather than whether the performance was "in effect" or not.

Because, as seen in the case of the Stone Fist spell, you do not need to be actively "maintaining" something for that thing to be considered "in effect". They're two entirely separate concepts.

Liberty's Edge

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claymade wrote:
Take the spell "Stone Fist" as just one example. "While this spell is in effect, your unarmed strikes do not provoke attacks of opportunity and deal 1d6 points of lethal bludgeoning damage (1d4 if you are Small)."

That usage would indicate that the alterations to unarmed strikes last for the duration of the spell.

Quote:
So, once again: how exactly are you defining the phrase "in effect", in such a way that it makes sense that both spells and performances can be "in effect", since they clearly both can be (and have been) described using that same term?

Errr... I'm not. I never said anything about spells. YOU brought them up. As to the same term being used... that doesn't make the meaning the same. See my example with evocation magic in the prior post.

Quote:
Specific trumps general.

I agree. The specific statement that Triple Time lasts for an hour, and/or that Suggestion works as per the spell, trumps the general rules about bardic performance duration.


CBDunkerson wrote:
claymade wrote:
Take the spell "Stone Fist" as just one example. "While this spell is in effect, your unarmed strikes do not provoke attacks of opportunity and deal 1d6 points of lethal bludgeoning damage (1d4 if you are Small)."

That usage would indicate that the alterations to unarmed strikes last for the duration of the spell.

Quote:
So, once again: how exactly are you defining the phrase "in effect", in such a way that it makes sense that both spells and performances can be "in effect", since they clearly both can be (and have been) described using that same term?

Errr... I'm not. I never said anything about spells. YOU brought them up. As to the same term being used... that doesn't make the meaning the same. See my example with evocation magic in the prior post.

Quote:
Specific trumps general.
I agree. The specific statement that Triple Time lasts for an hour, and/or that Suggestion works as per the spell, trumps the general rules about bardic performance duration.

But neither trump the rule that the effect of the performance can't exist when you do another performance. So if you perform something else in the duration that the other performance has an effect, that effect stops.


CBDunkerson wrote:

No, they aren't quite the same.

Your #2 treats masterpieces as different than bardic performances. So, even if the effects of a previously completed Triple Time masterpiece would continue while Inspire Courage was being performed, the effects of a previously completed Suggestion bardic performance would not. That isn't how I understand it to work.

Rather, the 'exception' found under #2 isn't an exception at all... but actually the way bardic performances were always intended to work and thus how masterpieces also work given that they are just an extension of the existing bardic performance rules.

Basically, the 'maintained' vs 'independent' classifications you define were not introduced with masterpieces. Both categories already existed with bardic performances. Indeed, in addition to the 'independent' category, there are also 'lump sum' (e.g. costs X bardic performance rounds) and 'fixed duration' (e.g. perform for Y minutes) variations from the standard 'per round' bardic performance... both also found with performances AND masterpieces.

My Position #2 didn't mention Suggestion nor did it list any exceptions in it. It only listed examples. You lost me here...

I concur with you that the difference that you cited about bardic performances (like Suggestion) already have the equivalent potential of maintained vs. independent qualities. However, this FAQ should not address (nor change) bardic performance rules at all.

It does sound like I could append to Position #2, citing that bardic performance has this mechanic already (not to change it, but to cite it as a precedence only). I wonder if there is historical discussion about Suggestion discontinuing upon starting Inspire Courage...


Chess Pwn wrote:
But neither trump the rule that the effect of the performance can't exist when you do another performance. So if you perform something else in the duration that the other performance has an effect, that effect stops.

Unless... Triple Time is independent of the bard and no longer considered the bard's effect after completing the masterpiece. There is no explicit rule one way or the other. However, there are additional requirements of a bard performance in effect to help us make the determination.

Does Triple Time end for all if the bard falls unconscious or fails to perform a free action to maintain it every round?

If you answered YES, then you think it dependent. If you answer NO, then you think it independent.

Irregardless, both are potential positions that are easily FAQ'd.


Then FAQ triple time. This is about all bardic performance rather than one single song and not so trivial to hand wave as easily done.

I really do hope it's going to go along the lines of what I stated before many many pages (and months ago) when this first started. Things with a set time before they activate and set expenditure should be separate. Others that are round to round should not be.

While this means some may be more used then others I think it can also be adjusted by errata on the rounds needed for the songs themselves to make it more level a playing field. I'm ok with a little errata if it comes out all the better for bards.

Sovereign Court

Chess Pwn wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
claymade wrote:
Take the spell "Stone Fist" as just one example. "While this spell is in effect, your unarmed strikes do not provoke attacks of opportunity and deal 1d6 points of lethal bludgeoning damage (1d4 if you are Small)."

That usage would indicate that the alterations to unarmed strikes last for the duration of the spell.

Quote:
So, once again: how exactly are you defining the phrase "in effect", in such a way that it makes sense that both spells and performances can be "in effect", since they clearly both can be (and have been) described using that same term?

Errr... I'm not. I never said anything about spells. YOU brought them up. As to the same term being used... that doesn't make the meaning the same. See my example with evocation magic in the prior post.

Quote:
Specific trumps general.
I agree. The specific statement that Triple Time lasts for an hour, and/or that Suggestion works as per the spell, trumps the general rules about bardic performance duration.
But neither trump the rule that the effect of the performance can't exist when you do another performance. So if you perform something else in the duration that the other performance has an effect, that effect stops.

but... Triple Time requires the performance to end before the effect is generated. "...When you complete this performance,..." seems to say that the Bardic Performance ended right? I mean, "complete" seems to me to mean the performance is ended... And that ending the performance would "...affect one ally in hearing range per bard level." It goes on to say "...This masterpiece increases the affected target's base land speed by 10 feet for 1 hour. This adjustment is treated as an enhancement bonus...". But, the target would not get the enhancement unless the Performance (Masterpiece/Triple Time) has been completed...


The way I believe it works per the rules and thus how I'd run it in PFS.

You do the triple time performance spending rounds.
You then target someone and they get the bonuses.
You do any performance and those bonuses, aka the effect of the performance, ends.
having the performance be "independent or maintained" has no bearing as far as I can tell on the rule that they can only have one effect at a time.

I view the triple time effect similar to lingering performance. You perform for X rounds and get bonuses for Y rounds(hour) afterwards.

Liberty's Edge

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Conversely, I consider lingering performance and performances like triple time which have an extended effect different things.

Either interpretation is possible. I just don't think, 'this creates an effect which lasts for an hour... except it ends immediately if you use even one round of bardic performance' makes much sense. Or that they would leave such an exception to interpretation of a passing comment (in a different book) rather than stating it directly.


I've added FAQ write-ups for the potential positions on masterpieces. I do not know which position the devs favor, so I attempted FAQs for all three positions.

**********************************************************

Position #1 - Masterpieces are Bardic Performance are Masterpieces

Masterpieces are bardic performances and follow every exact bardic performance rule. This includes only having one bardic performance active at a time.

Position #1 FAQ:

Masterpieces are bardic performances and follow bardic performance rules. If a bard starts a new masterpiece or other bardic performance, any existing masterpiece effect immediately ends. A bard does not need to spend a free action to maintain masterpieces, nor does a masterpiece effect immediately end if the bard falls unconscious, etc. The masterpiece effects linger until their duration expires, or until a new masterpiece or other bardic performance is started.

Example: If a bard has activated Triple Time on an ally, whenever they start to activate another bardic performance (or masterpiece), Triple Time wears off immediately, no matter where the ally is.

Position #2 - Masterpieces are unusual applications of the bardic performance ability. Any masterpiece that is completed and has a duration independent of the bard no longer counts against the maintained performance limit.

Masterpieces can be broken down into two categories: Maintained Masterpiece and Independent Masterpiece. If a masterpiece ends when a bard falls unconscious (dies, is stunned, etc.), then it is a Maintained Masterpiece. Otherwise, it is an Independent Masterpiece. Maintained Masterpieces end as soon as a bard starts any other Bardic Performance or Masterpiece. Independent Masterpieces, upon completion of activation, do not end at the start of other Bardic Performances or Masterpieces. They last until the duration expires.

(NOTE: There is precendence for this independent mechanic in the bardic performance Suggestion.)

Position #2 FAQ:

Masterpieces can be separated into two categories: maintained and independent. A masterpiece is maintained if it requires the bard to spend actions in subsequent rounds or else the masterpiece will end. A masterpiece is independent of the bard if no action must be taken after the masterpiece is activated for the effect to continue for its entire duration.

A maintained masterpiece immediately ends if a bard starts a new masterpiece or bardic performance. An independent masterpiece does not end if a bard starts a new masterpiece or bardic performance. It lasts until its duration expires.

Example: If a bard has completed the activation of the Triple Time masterpiece on an ally, the ally retains the bonus even if the bard starts another Bardic Performance or Masterpiece.

Example: If a bard has the masterpiece The Depths of the Mountain activated, since it is a maintained Masterpiece, the bard must end that masterpiece if Inspire Courage is started.

Position #3 - Masterpieces are unusual applications of the bardic performance ability. They are not actual Bardic Performances.

Bardic Performances are independent of each other. They do not interact nor do they prevent or cancel each other.

Position #3 FAQ:

Masterpieces and Bardic Performances are independent of each other. They do not interact nor do they prevent or cancel each other. Both can be active at the same time, although they each require separate activation actions.

Example: A bard has Inspire Courage going in battle. The battle is almost finished, so the bard starts the masterpiece Triple Time while Inspire Courage is still up and running. Rounds of Bardic Performance are spent simultaneously on both abilities.

Liberty's Edge

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You are still drawing a potentially false distinction between position #1 having masterpieces work like bardic performances and position #2 having them work differently.

If the effects of bardic performances that continue after the performance ceases do NOT end when a new performance is begun then it is position #2 which has masterpieces and performances being the same and position #1 which has them working differently.


CBDunkerson wrote:

You are still drawing a potentially false distinction between position #1 having masterpieces work like bardic performances and position #2 having them work differently.

If the effects of bardic performances that continue after the performance ceases do NOT end when a new performance is begun then it is position #2 which has masterpieces and performances being the same and position #1 which has them working differently.

The distinction is intentional. Position #1, Position #2, and Position #3 all work differently. Only one position can be correct. The two incorrect positions would be discarded completely.

Liberty's Edge

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Rory wrote:
The distinction is intentional. Position #1, Position #2, and Position #3 all work differently. Only one position can be correct. The two incorrect positions would be discarded completely.

...or all three could be incorrect. Which, as they are written, is to me the most likely case.


CBDunkerson wrote:
...or all three could be incorrect. Which, as they are written, is to me the most likely case.

Can you please write it up as Position #4?

Everything you've said seems to support Position #2 verbatim. I am failing to see the distinction. Apologies. And please, can you point out the exact distinction from Position #2 when (if) you do it so that we can have clear distinction between positions? Thanks!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Remove everything before the "Position #X FAQ:" line for each section and you'd be fine.

It is the additional text above that which makes potentially incorrect assumptions about how bardic performances work (i.e. the same as position #1 rather than position #2).


CBDunkerson wrote:

Remove everything before the "Position #X FAQ:" line for each section and you'd be fine.

It is the additional text above that which makes potentially incorrect assumptions about how bardic performances work (i.e. the same as position #1 rather than position #2).

Well good... you had me worried I was being obtuse and missing a big, obvious position. Yay!

The text before the start of the FAQ portion is position description and wouldn't be part of any future FAQ. There are definite assumptions listed on purpose (not all I agree with). That text would/should/might help people determine what the position actually is, but is mostly old and refined and restated in the following FAQ anyways. It sounds safe to trim that in the next iteration, assuming the FAQ wording is good enough.

The FAQs themselves are attempts at more refined wording that removes any reasoning behind the FAQ, and simply states how the rules would be interpreted if-and-only-if that position is determined to be correct. It would only be the italicized text kept in any final FAQ.


An official answer would be nice.

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