In light of the new underwater rules...


Ruins of Azlant

Silver Crusade

How are people feeling about this campaign now? I'm still excited to run it, though I have some trepidation about whether the underwater bits will get frustrating.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Would you give some examples, not everyone has the book. :-)

Silver Crusade

Sure thing. For the most part, the underwater rules are the same, but the big thing they've added is a buoyancy system for adjudicating failed swim checks. Basically depending how heavy you are (or whether you have an air tank or other gear), when you fail a swim check, you drift up or down, provoking AoOs as normal. While I'm grateful for some much-needed clarification of what happens when you fail a swim check, I feel like this adds another level of complexity that may get confusing.

They've also added some cool stuff like rogue and fighter archetypes with swim speeds and kineticist and alchemist archetypes that work underwater.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's definitely not going to be boring. Especially at higher levels.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Those Buoyancy rules aren't that hard to get though (without the book, remembering here):

- 5 stages of buoyancy: strong sinking, sinking, neutral, rising, strong rising.

- if you fail the swim check or don't make one, or can't make one (paralysis,...) you rise or sink accordingly, and are 'off balance':
-- strong sinking/rising -> 30ft at the end of your turn.
-- sinking/rising -> 10ft (but rate is increasing to a maximum of 30ft if repeatedly sinking/rising)
-- neurtal -> nothing, but still 'off balance'

- change of buoyancy during sinking/rising reduces your rate of drift by the new buoyancy rate (so going from strong sinking to rising would mean: 20ft sinking, 10ft sinking, nothing, then normal rising)

There's one more thing in Aquatic Adventures though: Pressure levels.
I don't remember the rules for that though (and I think I might not add those rules if I get to run any underwater combat)


What book were these new underwater rules added in? I don't think I've seen them yet.


Aquatic Adventures.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As with just about any other rules, it's not like they're mandatory to use, doubly so if you don't own them. If they're not fun, don't bother.


I missed the release of that one completely. Thank you for the link.


My group went with all aquatic/amphibious characters for this AP, so I'm guessing most of these rules will not be an issue. I've only skimmed the rules at this point though. Buoyancy doesn't sound all that problematic. To be honest, I kind of expect most AP encounters to be above water or effectively on the bottom. If a lot of it occurs in open water, then I can see where things might get tedious.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Well, creatures with the aquatic subtype are assumed to have bodyfunctions (Air-bladder etc...) that can control their buoyancy to make them sinkin, neutral or rising.

Equipment or magic can overwrite those things, of course.

I think, during the game it might be more troublesome to actually remember who is at what level in the water, than to remember the rules for buoyancy alltogether.

And then there's the problem of calculating distances in 3 dimensions and the need of Pythagoras


We've been doing 3 dimensions for flying for a while, so that part doesn't worry me. If encounters take place near a border between two underwater zones, I think that would be annoying. Maybe once... an encounter as you go from above the surface to the bottom or something... but if that keeps repeating forcing all of those checks, blah. The buoyancy stuff shouldn't be an issue once things like bags of holding and handy haversacks enter the scene, at least for their aquatic group. Of course, there's the question of what happens when you open such containers under water... is that covered by the new book?

Oddly enough, the players submitted their own rules creations to me for this group. They want a modified lizardfolk race (from the race builder rules) and both a two handed and reach version of the trident (made using the weapon building rules from... whatever book that was in). There's grumblings about making some sort of harpoon gun too, as they want something a little better than the underwater crossbows. But I need to read up on all that once we wrap up Strange Aeons.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Darkbridger wrote:
... bags of holding and handy haversacks enter the scene, at least for their aquatic group. Of course, there's the question of what happens when you open such containers under water... is that covered by the new book?...

I have to say, if it is, I don't remember reading it.


Franz Lunzer wrote:
Darkbridger wrote:
... bags of holding and handy haversacks enter the scene, at least for their aquatic group. Of course, there's the question of what happens when you open such containers under water... is that covered by the new book?...
I have to say, if it is, I don't remember reading it.

It isn't covered. On my first read through I found the "rules" chapter enlightening. I was particularly tickled to see that how our group handled most of our underwater situations were pretty much in line with the clarifications and insight in the printed text.

Not certain why it was felt a detailed buoyancy rule set was required, but whatever.

The chapters on spells and items gave the usual-suspect list of thematic splat crap met to allow PC's to completely overcome all the negative-effects of operating in a strange environment.


Franz Lunzer wrote:


And then there's the problem of calculating distances in 3 dimensions and the need of Pythagoras

Quick and dirty approximation I use for flying is longest of distance or height + half shortest.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Buyancy rules have been available in the Cerluean Seas supplement for years. They work quite well. No need for a "sky is falling" thread every single time a new rule gets rolled out for the masses.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
Buyancy rules have been available in the Cerluean Seas supplement for years. They work quite well. No need for a "sky is falling" thread every single time a new rule gets rolled out for the masses.

GMs who don't like 3rd party stuff / prefer official Paizo rules, PFS, etc...

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Ruins of Azlant / In light of the new underwater rules... All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Ruins of Azlant