So what are your experiences with 5e regarding class balance?


4th Edition

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SmiloDan wrote:

A human rogue could begin level 1 with 10 skill proficiencies. (1 race + 3 feat + 2 background + 4 class)

A human bard with the College of Lore can have 12 skill proficiencies by 3rd level. (1 race + 3 feat + 2 background + 3 class + 3 College)

And you might be able to get more through multiclassing. For example, some cleric domains grant a bonus skill proficiency. Also, some classes (bard, rogue, and I think ranger) grant a skill proficiency when you multiclass into them.

And if you can get one more skill proficiency by starting out as a half-elf, and then taking Skilled at 4th level.

So the maximum would be half-elf bard 4/rogue 1/ranger 1/cleric 1 with the Skilled feat and the College of Lore. (2 race + 3 class + 3 College + 2 background + 3 feat + 1 rogue + 1 ranger + 1 cleric = 16 total)

1 + 3 + 0 + 5 + 5 + 4 total skills, right? 18.

So you might need Boons or training to get ALL the skills.

I played a half-elf bard with the college of valor. While not collecting all skills, having 8 or so to start, plus double the bonus on a couple made a pretty good skill user, added to magic and eventually multiple attacks in melee. The character was pretty versatile in the group.


SmiloDan wrote:

Can you take Skilled multiple times? That's cool. And makes sense. :-)

Threeshades said wrote:
2 levels in warlock can get you an invocation that gives you proficiency in Deception and Persuasion, and knowledge domain actually gives you two knowledge proficiencies which gets you up to 21.

21 out of 18 ain't bad. ;-)

I'm sorry, that should have been 19. Warlock and the 2 knowledge domain add 3 more to your 16 skill build.

I read your post wrong and didn't count myself. So yeah you would be one skill in excess of all the ones that exist. I suppose you can take a domain that gives only one skill proficiency then or instead use one of the proficiencies from skilled to get a tool proficiency, which is essentially also a skill.

Half-elf -Acrobatics -Sleight of Hand
Bard 4 -Arcana -History -Investigation
College of Lore -Insight -Survival -Intimidation
Skilled -Medicine -Animal Handling (-third proficiency is used for a tool)
Warlock 2 -Persuasion -Deception
Rogue 1 -Stealth
Ranger 1 -Survival
Cleric (Knowledge) 1 -Religion -Nature
Background (Sailor) -Athletics -Perception

This also nets you the following tool proficiencies: Navigator's tools, vehicles (water), thieves' tools, 3 different musical instruments and one tool of your choice.

Add 3 levels of battle master fighter and you can add a set of artisan's tools to your proficiency list.

You cannot take Skilled multiple times.

Quote:
You can take each feat only once, unless the feat's description says otherwise.

Skilled's description does not say otherwise.


Quote:
You can take each feat only once, unless the feat's description says otherwise.

Is there a feat that says that you can choose it more than once?


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Yeah, some of the magic ones do (where you pick a different element/cantrip or whatever each time).

Personally, I'd prefer people take skilled several times than dipping into lots of classes in a careful order (should "I want lots of skills" ever come up). I have no problem allowing it to be taken multiple times.


Mordo wrote:
Quote:
You can take each feat only once, unless the feat's description says otherwise.
Is there a feat that says that you can choose it more than once?

Yes, Elemental Adept.


Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah, some of the magic ones do (where you pick a different element/cantrip or whatever each time).

Personally, I'd prefer people take skilled several times than dipping into lots of classes in a careful order (should "I want lots of skills" ever come up). I have no problem allowing it to be taken multiple times.

I think it was very much on purpose that the skilled feat can only be taken once, I think the designers wanted to make sure it is a significant investiment to have literally ALL the skills. [insert tired meme here]

And when you are the one building that character you are not the GM and thereby cannot choose wether the feat is allowed multiple times.


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Threeshades wrote:
I think it was very much on purpose that the skilled feat can only be taken once, I think the designers wanted to make sure it is a significant investiment to have literally ALL the skills. [insert tired meme here]

Maybe. I think it's an omission, personally.

However, 5E is the 'everything is mutable by design' edition so I can just DM fiat it in (as I say - I'm far more against extreme multiclassing).


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Threeshades wrote:
And when you are the one building that character you are not the GM and thereby cannot choose wether the feat is allowed multiple times.

There's not really much difference - feats themselves (and multiclassing) are optional rules allowed by DM choice. So you're going to have to ask about that - may as well ask about taking skilled twice while you're at it.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
And when you are the one building that character you are not the GM and thereby cannot choose wether the feat is allowed multiple times.
There's not really much difference - feats themselves (and multiclassing) are optional rules allowed by DM choice. So you're going to have to ask about that - may as well ask about taking skilled twice while you're at it.

Well four times, really. And So far it seems the default state for most GMs (and organized play) is feats and multiclassing are allowed. But yeah if you can get it, that's the easier more optimal way. But dipping into 5 classes is more interesting and gets you there faster than even a fighter who takes skilled every time he can.


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Multiclassing is definitely the more efficient method. Less controversial too - I think many 5E DMs are loathe to adjust the rules (although I found the section in the DMG about tweaking classes to suit a player's concept to be really refreshing).


Threeshades wrote:
Mordo wrote:
Quote:
You can take each feat only once, unless the feat's description says otherwise.
Is there a feat that says that you can choose it more than once?
Yes, Elemental Adept.

At first I thought that Ritual Caster and Magic Initiate, would be the best contender, but when I checked back, they didn't. I completely missed Elemental Adept :)


Threeshades wrote:
But dipping into 5 classes is more interesting and gets you there faster than even a fighter who takes skilled every time he can.

that makes for a rather convoluted character concept (and in some people opinion, a rather unoptimized one). Great if your character concept gets you there, but twisting your concept to fit all classes just for skills is a bit much IMO.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Being "All Skilled" is a bit of a corner case. Most parties I've played in use teamwork to solve skill challenges. For example, my cleric has Religion, the wizard has Arcana, the ranger has Nature and Survival, etc. etc.


It's always good to have some overlap in a party. For some reason my EK constantly role 3 on a d20 for Arcana and History check, it's now a running gag at our table. And I've added this up to my character personality. He's highly intelligent, but seems to never remember important stuff he should have known. This badluck doesn't extend to other checks or attack rolls though :)

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Yeah, overlap is always good, but no single member of the party should feel obligated to be able to cover every skill challenge, kill every monster, cast every spell, etc.

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Late coming here, but was recently made aware of these threads. Had a disagreement with a poster about high level necromancers bringing armies of undead. I said there was a hard cap to what you can control, and Bookrat popped in to agree. I can't find the exact ruling though. I believe it's to do with combing in magic effects.

Can some one let me know one way or the other.

Cheers


Wrath, I just started a thread on this. Over here:

How many undead can you have under your command?

The Exchange

bookrat wrote:

Wrath, I just started a thread on this. Over here:

How many undead can you have under your command?

Thanks Bookrat.

I posted my thoughts there. Interested to see what others think actually.


So to continue in the tradition of kinda hijacking my own thread, the next thing i was curious about is two-weapon fighting.

In 3e and Pathfinder, it was this bizarre case where you had to spend several feats on it and would still get less damage per round than a simple two-handed weapon with not a single feat spent on it. (compare 1 greatsword with 2d6 + 1.5 STR vs longsword + shortsword at -2 for 1d8+1d6 + STR + .5 STR and only on a full attack)

In 5e you don't have to spend any resources anymore in order to mitigate penalties for dual-wielding because there are none. Instead you can only dual wield if both weapons used are light weapons. And you don't have to spend your round standing still to use it. But in turn you have to use your bonus action to attack with your off-hand weapon. So while not as bad as before it seems dual wielders are still at a disadvantage. The damage is the same at least up to level 4 (compare greatsword with 2d6 + STR, vs two shortswords or scimitars with 1d6 + STR + 1d6) but you need your bonus action, so you cannot do anything else involving a bonus action on the same turn.
And if I understand this right, a character with extra attack can still only make one attack with your off-hand, no matter how many attacks your main hand gets.
And then of course you are slower in drawing all your weapons without the dual wielder feat. Which again seems to be at least half mitigation feat, like most two-weapon feats in PF.

So what im wondering what i'm overlooking in my analysis and if dual wielding is a viable option if you can instead use a great weapon, whether it is more of an option for dex based characters or if you need two-weapon style from a class.

Where I do see some potential for it is Battle Master fighters who can get one more maneuver in per round and (as before) rogues, who might not get a second sneak attack like they used to, but have a second chance to get it to work if their first attack misses (since the rule is written so that your first hit is a sneak attack, not the first attack)

As always more educated/experienced opinions are welcome.


Threeshades wrote:

So to continue in the tradition of kinda hijacking my own thread, the next thing i was curious about is two-weapon fighting.

In 3e and Pathfinder, it was this bizarre case where you had to spend several feats on it and would still get less damage per round than a simple two-handed weapon with not a single feat spent on it. (compare 1 greatsword with 2d6 + 1.5 STR vs longsword + shortsword at -2 for 1d8+1d6 + STR + .5 STR and only on a full attack)

In 5e you don't have to spend any resources anymore in order to mitigate penalties for dual-wielding because there are none. Instead you can only dual wield if both weapons used are light weapons. And you don't have to spend your round standing still to use it. But in turn you have to use your bonus action to attack with your off-hand weapon. So while not as bad as before it seems dual wielders are still at a disadvantage. The damage is the same at least up to level 4 (compare greatsword with 2d6 + STR, vs two shortswords or scimitars with 1d6 + STR + 1d6) but you need your bonus action, so you cannot do anything else involving a bonus action on the same turn.
And if I understand this right, a character with extra attack can still only make one attack with your off-hand, no matter how many attacks your main hand gets.
And then of course you are slower in drawing all your weapons without the dual wielder feat. Which again seems to be at least half mitigation feat, like most two-weapon feats in PF.

So what im wondering what i'm overlooking in my analysis and if dual wielding is a viable option if you can instead use a great weapon, whether it is more of an option for dex based characters or if you need two-weapon style from a class.

Where I do see some potential for it is Battle Master fighters who can get one more maneuver in per round and (as before) rogues, who might not get a second sneak attack like they used to, but have a second chance to get it to work if their first attack misses (since the rule is written so that your first hit is a sneak...

While everyone can dual wield, that doesn't necessarily mean it will be to their advantage to do so. Generally speaking, there are two reasons to go the dual-wielding route:

  • Fighting Style: The two weapon fighting style allows you to add full attribute mod to the offhand, which in turn means that you fundamentally deal more damage. At 1st/2nd level you deal 2 x (1d6+Stat) rather than 2d6+Stat for a 2hander or 1d8+stat+2 for duelist fighting style. At higher levels the benefits can peter off a little, particularly for fighters.
  • RNG mitigation: More attacks means greater chance of hitting, and especially for rogues this is a big deal - they may only get sneak attack once per turn, but dual-wielding means they get two chances to hit, rather than just the one, so are more likely to connect. At the cost of only using a shortsword (1d6) rather than rapier (1d8).

Talking about numbers... it depends a lot on class mechanics as to how it plays out:

  • Access to TWF fighting style makes it much more viable, given you're unlikely to find multiple magic weapons.
  • Bonus damage per attack that adds to all attacks makes TWF much more attractive (compare a TWF ranger to duelist ranger when both hunter's mark and crusader's mantle are in play).
  • When you only get one attack, and have a 1/round damage boost (rogue, high level cleric), TWF can help ensure you get the hit in, but won't significantly increase damage otherwise.
  • If you have other uses for bonus actions that get used a lot (War cleric, bard, frenzied berserker etc), then TWF probably won't help.
  • If you're playing a high-level fighter in a group that takes a lot of short rests... duelist+shield or great weapon will probably give you more mileage.

The mention example: The TWF ranger with the buffs (at 5th level, assuming Dex 18 and no magic weapon) gets 3 attacks against a target, assuming they all hit deals 3 x (1d6+4+1d6+1d4) = around 40 damage a round. A duelist ranger would only deal 2 x (1d8+4+2+1d6+1d4) = 33 damage a round... but could do so while using a shield and their bonus action for something else. Making it a choice between raw damage and defence.

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You can also combine melee and thrown weapons when dual-wielding. I don't know if the damage output increases, but the added versatility might be meaningful in certain situations.

Particularly if you have the Dual Wielder feat can dual wield weapons with the versatility (ha ha) feature. So you could throw a 1d6+Str mod handaxe as your bonus action and then two-hand wield a longsword or battleaxe or warhammer for 1d10+Str mod.

Or ready a shield, and get extra AC and, if you ALSO invest in Shield Master, use a bonus action shove the round after you throw your handaxe.

This might work best with a Champion fighter or multi-class warrior type that gets 2 Fighting styles.

Sovereign Court

You can attack with your shield and take no penalty to AC.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Lorathorn wrote:
You can attack with your shield and take no penalty to AC.

You know that's right!

:-)


SmiloDan wrote:
Lorathorn wrote:
You can attack with your shield and take no penalty to AC.

You know that's right!

:-)

I had a quick browse of the book and I'm not seeing any suggestion that this is actually doable in 5th edition. Could you point out where in the PHB or DMG this is written?

What I'm seeing suggests that you could use your shield as an improvised weapon (no proficiency to hit, d4 damage), if a shield is considered a light (improvised) weapon and if your main hand weapon is also light, unless you have the Dual Wielder feat... but without the two-weapon fighting style (fighter or ranger) you're stuck doing 1d4 damage with a bonus action. It is also questionable whether you could wield a shield as a shield and an improvised weapon at the same time - GM fiat could go either way, but given that allowing it would let the Dual Wielder give shield users even more AC on top of extra damage... I'd suggest most GMs would lean the other way.

Or in fewer words: I'd say that a GM could easily rule that shield bashing as an off-hand attack is permitted in their games, but unless I'm mistaken (and I could be), it's not an inherent part of the system.

The Shield Master feat lets you shove a foe with your shield, but not attack them with it. Mostly because shields usually make terrible weapons.

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Except in movies like 300 where suddenly a wooden shield with bronze lining becomes the most lethal weapon there is!!

The thing about the rules in 5e is that they are in face completely permissive. If you want to attack with your shield then you can. Like you say it becomes improvised etc, but if your class is proficient with shields you could probably add prof bonus to attack.

Like you say, this would be a DM call. I wouldnt say they were light weapons though. It could be useful to overcome resistance to slashing or piercing though. So a fighter with a long sowed could choose to smash a Skelton with his shield instead so he can use bludgeon damage and avoid the resistance that the Skeles have. Make it as a main attack rather than a second attack and it gets the strength bonus to damage too.

So just swap your regular weapon attack for a shield attack instead and now you get a bludgeon weapon that also provides AC.

Of course, that's just me riffing a DM call. That's the joy of the system.


That seems pretty comprehensive, Raynulf, thanks. There's definitely some use to it, tough I guess it's not for everyone.

I just had the idea that you could use dual wielding as a rogue to gain sneak attack on someone who is not currently an eligible target, by using your main attack to shove them and make them prone, and if successful, gaining advantage on the off-hand attack and delivering a sneak attack because of that.

But it might only work if you have the extra attack feature because two-weapon fighting rules say

Two-Weapon Fighting wrote:
When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand

So I suppose you don't gain the bonus attack unless at least one attack from your attack action is made with your actual main-hand weapon.


Threeshades wrote:
I just had the idea that you could use dual wielding as a rogue to gain sneak attack on someone who is not currently an eligible target, by using your main attack to shove them and make them prone, and if successful, gaining advantage on the off-hand attack and delivering a sneak attack because of that.

Actually, that tactic is completely legit. Shoving a creature is a form of special melee attack and part of the Attack action, thus allowing an offhand attack as bonus action (and if the shove is successful, with advantage and thus sneak attack).

Definitely (another) great reason to throw an Expertise into Athletics :)

Wrath wrote:

The thing about the rules in 5e is that they are in face completely permissive. If you want to attack with your shield then you can. Like you say it becomes improvised etc, but if your class is proficient with shields you could probably add prof bonus to attack.

Like you say, this would be a DM call. I wouldnt say they were light weapons though. It could be useful to overcome resistance to slashing or piercing though. So a fighter with a long sowed could choose to smash a Skelton with his shield instead so he can use bludgeon damage and avoid the resistance that the Skeles have. Make it as a main attack rather than a second attack and it gets the strength bonus to damage too.

So just swap your regular weapon attack for a shield attack instead and now you get a bludgeon weapon that also provides AC.

Of course, that's just me riffing a DM call. That's the joy of the system.

I'd pay using it as a one-handed (but not light) improvised weapon to use in lieu of your normal attacks... proficiency is dubious, given that the only way you're going to deal actual damage is striking someone with the edge of the shield (which is how you parry attacks, and why the rim was usually shod in metal), and doing that any distance from your body is really, really ungainly.

Taking a bunch of feats could arguably making TWF with a shield viable... but at that point it is balanced against the feat cost to allow it.

In essence: The game is about having fun, but part of that fun is ensuring everyone at the table can contribute - having a character who gets to have both Shield AC pie and TWF damage cake when everyone else had to pick just one... isn't so fun. The Shield AC might not seem like much on paper, but I find it makes a huge difference at the table.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I guess what I meant was, you can make a Champion fighter, take the Two-Weapon Fighting Style, the Dual Wielder feat, and the Shield Master feat. Then on Round 1 you can throw a handaxe and then fight in melee with a longsword (for 1d10 2-handed, or 1d8+2+Str with Duelist Fighting Style), then on Round 2, ready your shield (no action use of item), use your bonus action to Shove with your shield, then attack with your longsword (hopefully with advantage) against your (hopefully prone) opponent.

In my heart, I think of the Shove action as an attack, even though in my head I know it's not technically an attack because you use a Strength (Athletics) check (opposed by your opponent's Strength (Athletics) check) to make your opponent prone.

I might want to make a barbarian/rogue/fighter to make a fun 2-weapon fighting thrower and shield basher. Rogue just for the Expertise in Athletics. Fighter only if I wanted to go 2-weapon fighting--and for the Action Surge. Otherwise, just Rogue 1/barbarian X. Maybe Rogue 2 for the Cunning Action.


SmiloDan wrote:

I guess what I meant was, you can make a Champion fighter, take the Two-Weapon Fighting Style, the Dual Wielder feat, and the Shield Master feat. Then on Round 1 you can throw a handaxe and then fight in melee with a longsword (for 1d10 2-handed, or 1d8+2+Str with Duelist Fighting Style), then on Round 2, ready your shield (no action use of item), use your bonus action to Shove with your shield, then attack with your longsword (hopefully with advantage) against your (hopefully prone) opponent.

In my heart, I think of the Shove action as an attack, even though in my head I know it's not technically an attack because you use a Strength (Athletics) check (opposed by your opponent's Strength (Athletics) check) to make your opponent prone.

I might want to make a barbarian/rogue/fighter to make a fun 2-weapon fighting thrower and shield basher. Rogue just for the Expertise in Athletics. Fighter only if I wanted to go 2-weapon fighting--and for the Action Surge. Otherwise, just Rogue 1/barbarian X. Maybe Rogue 2 for the Cunning Action.

i don't think the round 1 action is possible. You only get the Two-weapon fighting bonus action if you attack with a weapon you wield in one hand (it says so specifically) so for one thing you cannot use both hands even if you've already thrown the axe and for the other, you have to make your main attack action first in order to qualify for the bonus attack, so you will have to have made your sword attack before throwing the axe, so the duelist style also wouldn't apply, unless you throw with the main hand and then have only the one bonus attack to use the sword with.


SmiloDan wrote:
I guess what I meant was, you can make a Champion fighter, take the Two-Weapon Fighting Style, the Dual Wielder feat, and the Shield Master feat. Then on Round 1 you can throw a handaxe and then fight in melee with a longsword (for 1d10 2-handed, or 1d8+2+Str with Duelist Fighting Style), then on Round 2, ready your shield (no action use of item), use your bonus action to Shove with your shield, then attack with your longsword (hopefully with advantage) against your (hopefully prone) opponent.

That's actually an interesting point: Shields normally require an Action to equip (see Getting Into and Out of Armor, PHB p146). Personally I'd argue that your interpretation is the way to go, and that the free 'interact with an object' you get each round can be used to ready a shield... but it's definitely something to check with your GM about before making a shield-using character.

SmiloDan wrote:

In my heart, I think of the Shove action as an attack, even though in my head I know it's not technically an attack because you use a Strength (Athletics) check (opposed by your opponent's Strength (Athletics) check) to make your opponent prone.

I might want to make a barbarian/rogue/fighter to make a fun 2-weapon fighting thrower and shield basher. Rogue just for the Expertise in Athletics. Fighter only if I wanted to go 2-weapon fighting--and for the Action Surge. Otherwise, just Rogue 1/barbarian X. Maybe Rogue 2 for the Cunning Action.

Both Cunning Action and Action Surge are amazing... but yes, I've seen (and done) the splash-for-expertise for the shield bashing as well, and it does insane things to the numbers.

If you don't mind losing advantage on the shove, going Ranger 5/Rogue X and the same route is also rather disgusting, especially factoring in Horde Breaker and Hunter's Mark


Raynulf wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
I just had the idea that you could use dual wielding as a rogue to gain sneak attack on someone who is not currently an eligible target, by using your main attack to shove them and make them prone, and if successful, gaining advantage on the off-hand attack and delivering a sneak attack because of that.

Actually, that tactic is completely legit. Shoving a creature is a form of special melee attack and part of the Attack action, thus allowing an offhand attack as bonus action (and if the shove is successful, with advantage and thus sneak attack).

Definitely (another) great reason to throw an Expertise into Athletics :)

But shoving does not use your weapon, and as the quote text i boldened states you have to not just make the attack action but use the attack action to make an actual one-handed attack with a light melee weapon.


Threeshades wrote:
Raynulf wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
I just had the idea that you could use dual wielding as a rogue to gain sneak attack on someone who is not currently an eligible target, by using your main attack to shove them and make them prone, and if successful, gaining advantage on the off-hand attack and delivering a sneak attack because of that.

Actually, that tactic is completely legit. Shoving a creature is a form of special melee attack and part of the Attack action, thus allowing an offhand attack as bonus action (and if the shove is successful, with advantage and thus sneak attack).

Definitely (another) great reason to throw an Expertise into Athletics :)

But shoving does not use your weapon, and as the quote text i boldened states you have to not just make the attack action but use the attack action to make an actual one-handed attack with a light melee weapon.

True, I missed the specifics.. at which point, yes, it would normally require the Extra Attack feature (or haste) to pull off. I must admit... I just found myself playing and making a lot of swashbucklers <_<

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm going to be running a swashbuckling steampunk homebrew campaign soon.

Our current party is exclusively magic-users, even if some of those magic-users are rangers and eldritch knights and arcane tricksters and totem barbarians (OK, that's REALLY kind of stretching it), but when I DM, it sounds like some PCs might be legit non-magic-using martials! :-O (We also have a Life cleric (me) and diviner blaster.)

I think the line up is going to be a rogue UA Swashbuckler/fighter Battlemaster, a monk/rogue assassin, an evoker, an Oath of the Ancients paladin, and some kind of magical trickster or rogue, plus a non-barbarian.


Go with the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide version of Swashbuckler, it's much better balanced than the UA version.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh? How are they different? The player has SCAG, but I don't.


Toujours l'Audace was renamed Rakish Audacity and the extra situation you can get sneak attack from was made more reasonable (have no other creatures within 5 feet of you).

Panache received the most changes: hostile creatures don't have to attack you, but suffer disadvantage if they attack someone other than you and can't use their reaction to make opportunity attacks against anyone but you, and this effect ends if one of your buddies attacks it or affects it with a spell in addition to the condition restricting you from moving too far away; furthermore the charmed condition for those who aren't hostile ends the instant you or your companions do anything harmful to it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

That makes sense.

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