ACG errata, investigators, and wands


Pathfinder Society

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

I know this has been addressed by John Compton before, and I've spent the better part of an hour (on a mobile device, no less) trying to find this ruling, so my apologies for essentially asking for someone to toss a link my way.

I did not realize until yesterday that my character, a multiclassed witch 3/investigator 1 (no comments on the inefficiency, thank you) had an unused wand, bought with gold, that they could no longer use without UMD due to the ACG errata making investigators unable to use wands and the spell not being on the witch list. I hadn't played this character since the errata and had kind of forgotten about it. The wand was unused, so no problem.

Later during the scenario, I used a charge from another wand I had, similarly bought with gold and unused. Naturally, the day after the scenario, I realized that wand had gone the same way - I could use it with UMD, but not otherwise, since the spell isn't on the witch list.

Is the end result now as follows: I have one wand with full charges that I can trade in for another wand of the same spell level, and one wand with 49 charges that I am stuck with and have to use with UMD?

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Since investigators could never use wands without UMD I'm not sure what you can do. That wasn't part of the errata, that was a FAQ for people who assumed that investigators could use spell trigger items because alchemists could.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

I seem to recall Compton posting about this specific matter, but as stated before, I can't find the post anywhere. Worst case scenario is, I suppose, that I'm now stuck with both wands, since UMD remains a thing.

The Exchange 2/5

I couldn't find a post by John Compton, but I found this by Mark Seifter:

On Investigators and Wands

Mark admits here (and again in another post later in the same thread) that he had been under the incorrect impression that Investigators could use wands the whole time, and had been playing and GM'ing as such.

He states (in the later post) that his intent is for his investigator to hang on to the wands and use UMD. Perhaps his statement of his intent could be interpreted to imply that there is another option other than hanging on to them - e.g. selling them or undoing the purchase and refunding the cost. Not sure, he didn't elaborate that point.

I'd say if even the dev's didn't realize it, you shouldn't be punished for a similar mistake.

Note that Mark's post was dated 26 July, and the FAQ linked by Michael was posted on the 27th.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online

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This is precisely why you should not have 2 class features with the same name that have different rules. Alchemy should be alchemy no matter what class has it.

IMO this was a very poor design decision on their part. If the rules are different, call it something different.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Not that same name different powered abilities don't suck but that ship has sailed along time ago.

Evasion,
Dueling weapon enhancement
etc.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online

And now we have the unchained rogue's version of Sneak Attack. It just adds another barrier to system mastery.

4/5

Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

My favorite is Smite Chaos. Paladin (Oath against Chaos) and Hellknight are identical, except for different lists of x2 DMG targets.

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Don't forget Champion of Irori smite chaos.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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I still think not letting investigators use wands is a bad design choice.

It's random, because no reason is given why alchemists can use wands and investigators can't, while they use spells in exactly the same way.

It's can't be because they thought investigators were more powerful than alchemists, I hope. Because that's just silly.

And it's too subtle; just leaving out the sentence saying alchemists can use wands but not scrolls doesn't actually tell us that investigators can't use wands. You might just as well conclude that investigators can use both wands and scrolls, because there's no text saying that they can't, which was explicitly needed for alchemists. My point: if you're going to deviate from the prior standard, you need to do so out loud, not by quietly omitting a sentence.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:

I still think not letting investigators use wands is a bad design choice.

It's random, because no reason is given why alchemists can use wands and investigators can't, while they use spells in exactly the same way.

^ this.

I don't normally gripe about design choices, but this decision makes no sense to me.

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Kentucky—Lexington

Ascalaphus wrote:

It's random, because no reason is given why alchemists can use wands and investigators can't

It's can't be because they thought investigators were more powerful than alchemists, I hope. Because that's just silly.

And it's too subtle

The expressed reason given by a developer was to limit the investigator. So in your view the non-random reason is silly.

It is probably too subtle, but all of it depends on your rules perspective.

You take the stance of "it doesn't say I can't" and the omission means you can.

You take the stance of "it needs to say I can" and the omission means you can't.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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James Risner wrote:


It is probably too subtle, but all of it depends on your rules perspective.

You take the stance of "it doesn't say I can't" and the omission means you can.

You take the stance of "it needs to say I can" and the omission means you can't.

Or rules were meant to be understood, not dissected? Because when you dissect them they break.

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Kentucky—Lexington

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Or rules were meant to be understood, not dissected? Because when you dissect them they break.

+1

I'm just saying a missing line shouldn't be dismissed as "mistaken deletion"?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Some people thought that "missing line" was simply an attempt at preserving word count, and that the reference to casting spells "like an Alchemist" (who can use wands) was the line explicitly giving Investigators the ability to use wands.

This wasn't one of those "it doesn't say I can't so I can" types of circumstances.

Scarab Sages

James Risner wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Or rules were meant to be understood, not dissected? Because when you dissect them they break.

+1

I'm just saying a missing line shouldn't be dismissed as "mistaken deletion"?

Whether or not the ability to use wands is tied to formula usage...It does not seem illogical to read the text in either way. Especially since an investigator prepares like an alchemist(which it says in text) and they can share formula between each other.

So, I don't think it's so much a 'reading as a mistaken deleting' issue. It is more of an issue with how formula are being read as spells that are not cast that grant ST but not SC; instead of being read as spells that are not cast but alchemists(and alchemists only) can do ST anyway. It would be much more clear if the ability to use wands was not written into the text explaining formula in the alchemist's entry.

Though, if the ability to use wands is not tied to usage of formula...
Then, the ability to use wands would have to be viewed as an alchemist unique ability. Thus, any class here on out who ends up using formula spells would not be able to use wands without a special note no matter how many times it said it prepares spells like an alchemist.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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James Risner wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

It's random, because no reason is given why alchemists can use wands and investigators can't

It's can't be because they thought investigators were more powerful than alchemists, I hope. Because that's just silly.

And it's too subtle

The expressed reason given by a developer was to limit the investigator. So in your view the non-random reason is silly.

If it's a balance decision, then yeah, I think it's silly. I play both an alchemist and an investigator and the alchemist tends to accidentally stumble into being more powerful than the investigator can be by trying really hard.

James Risner wrote:

It is probably too subtle, but all of it depends on your rules perspective.

You take the stance of "it doesn't say I can't" and the omission means you can.

You take the stance of "it needs to say I can" and the omission means you can't.

The investigator's rule text is to a large degree copy-pasted from the alchemist, and then reorganized. In the process several chunks of text got lost, like a note saying what action it is to use an extract. (Still missing.) It was reasonable to assume this piece of text got lost as well. Particularly given that the first print of the ACG was riddled with errors.

In the alchemist class description, their ability to use wands but not scrolls is presented as the result of the way they cast spells through extracts. Investigators cast spells in the same way. It's quite logical to assume investigators would have the same limits (wands, no scrolls).

4/5

Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Michael Eshleman wrote:
GinoA wrote:
My favorite is Smite Chaos. Paladin (Oath against Chaos) and Hellknight are identical, except for different lists of x2 DMG targets.
Don't forget Champion of Irori smite chaos.

Which, I just learned, uses the same list as the Hellknight, but has a stacking clause that I haven't seen on any other Smite ability.

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Kentucky—Lexington

GinoA wrote:
stacking clause that I haven't seen on any other Smite ability.

I'd imagine all stacks have or should have the stacking clause.

Sovereign Court 5/5

I thought faq was pretty straight forward. We intentionally lefft out the line allowing investigators to use st items.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Sarvei taeno wrote:
I thought faq was pretty straight forward. We intentionally lefft out the line allowing investigators to use st items.

I believe the response of "Hey, if you're going to name two class features the exact same thing, have them work ALMOST exactly the same, and leave out some of the wording on accident, then you need to point out when you've intentionally changed something " is pretty reasonable.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Sarvei taeno wrote:
I thought faq was pretty straight forward.

The FAQ was clear.

Nobody interpreted the text that way.

Even one of the Developers didn't see it that way until the FAQ came out.

So confusion was/is understandable. Especially since no real reason for the distinction makes sense.


Would investigators being able to use wands make them overwhelmingly good?

Obviously not. So this is clearly not actually a balance decision.

Having 2 class features with the same name and nearly the same function except for one detail is going to cause confusion and really makes no sense.

It also makes a class weaker than it needs to be for no good reason when the overall trend is clearly for classes to be stronger not weaker.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I find it hard to see why level 1 paladins and rangers should be allowed wands and not investigators. Who can actually use spells from level 1.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

FWIW, I have no strong feelings one way or the other about this matter. I was just wondering if someone else remembered seeing a post about the errata. Guess not.

Grand Lodge

So where is the errata to this very stupid and biased decision to not allow Investigators to use wands?

Might I also suggest (for face saving of the developer who "may" have made such an ill-thought out statement)that at third level the ability be granted.

I really think the only reason this is the way it is, is that a developer made a quick statement without thinking and the players now pay the cost of the refusal to admit it was a mistake.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Errata is always found on the page of the product that was errata'd.

Scarab Sages 4/5

This was not part of the errata. It was an FAQ released after the errata, because many of us thought that a line would be added to say that Investigators could use wands. Instead, the FAQ confirms that they cannot. It is what it is at this point. I had Pragmatic Activator and a high UMD on my Investigator, so it didn't effect me much, as I can barely fail the roll.

LINK

4/5

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The_Celt wrote:
So where is the errata to this very stupid and biased decision to not allow Investigators to use wands?

Please remember that "don't be a jerk" is the first rule of PFS, and name-calling certainly qualifies. Your disagreement doesn't make something stupid or biased.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

The_Celt wrote:

So where is the errata to this very stupid and biased decision to not allow Investigators to use wands?

Might I also suggest (for face saving of the developer who "may" have made such an ill-thought out statement)that at third level the ability be granted.

I really think the only reason this is the way it is, is that a developer made a quick statement without thinking and the players now pay the cost of the refusal to admit it was a mistake.

To start, the ACG errata is located here. All errata for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game line are located here.

Now, as GM Lamplighter stated, it is not necessary to refer to decisions make by any member of the Paizo staff as "stupid and biased" as this clearly goes against the Don't be a jerk rule. Ferious Thune did state a valid reason as to why the errata was needed. We are all human and definitely not perfect. If you disagree with a ruling, that is in your right but I ask that you be respectful to the Paizo staff, PFS campaign management, and PFS volunteers. Thank you.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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More nerfs on ACG classes? Yes please.

Sorry to burst bubbles, but every single class in that book could lose a third of their abilities and still be competitive.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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@Quintin: because the Investigator was overpowering the Alchemist?

It's true that most if not all the ACG classes are competitive. So are most of the APG classes, the few from UC and UM. And most of the CRB classes. It's just a handful of CRB classes lagging behind and has been for years.

The Investigator in particular is not a super-powered class. It functions well enough at its job but it's one of the hardest to optimize to the point that it starts to look competitive compared to more regular classes. In our current meta, I think I'm the only one who's stuck with it beyond level 2.

Investigators use the same kind of magic as Alchemists, who are clearly a more extreme class. No explanation was ever given for why Investigators couldn't use wands while Alchemists could. It's not for balance reasons, and no flavor reason is given.

I don't want to insult people, but "stupid" does actually sound like a good description for that decision. If any actual reason had been given for why Investigators shouldn't have wands, that would've been different. Now I find it a bad decision taken in a bad way.

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