Barding cost for a small wildshaped skald, and some PFS questions


Pathfinder Society

Sczarni 3/5

I play a skald with the Totem Skald archetype from the advanced class guide and am currently level 6. I use wild shape to change into a small tiger.

Relevant text #1 wrote:

Totem (Su):

At 3rd level, the totemic skald chooses one animal from the hunter’s animal focus list (see page 27). Once selected, this choice cannot be changed. This animal becomes the skald’s personal totem animal and influences his later abilities. He gains the following rage power.
Relevant text #2 wrote:

Wild Shape (Su):

At 5th level, a totemic skald gains the ability to wild shape into the form of a Small or Medium version of his totem animal, as the druid class feature. His effective druid level for this ability is equal to his skald level – 1. He can use this ability twice per day at 11th level, and three times per day at 17th level. This doesn’t allow the skald to assume other forms, such as elementals, plants, or other kinds of animals.

When in animal form, the skald is treated as able to speak normally for the purpose of using raging song, but not for using other abilities that require speech (such as spellcasting). The skald uses his class level as his druid level for the purpose of qualifying for feats that affect wild shape (such as Wild SpeechUM). This ability replaces spell kenning.

I have a couple of questions:


  • 1. How much is mithral breastplate barding for a small tiger?
  • 2. Do I need help in putting it on, and how long would it take?
  • 3. Is it considered always available or do I need to take Fame into account?
  • 4. Does the way the wild shape ability is worded mean I can use beast shape II at level 9 and gain pounce, while staying small?

Thanks!

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Breastplate (200) + Mithral (4000) x Small Nonhumanoid (x2) = 8400gp

You would need someone else to put it on you.

It is always available.

Don't have time to look up what the differences are right now; someone else should be by shortly.

1/5

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I'm not sure if you're allowed to be a small tiger. A far as I know all wildshape forces you to pick an animal that is the correct size. So like like small or medium cat if you're a tiger focus. I'm not sure that that's the case here. Have you looked into that at all?

Sczarni 3/5

Nefreet wrote:

Breastplate (200) + Mithral (4000) x Small Nonhumanoid (x2) = 8400gp

You would need someone else to put it on you.

It is always available.

Don't have time to look up what the differences are right now; someone else should be by shortly.

Thanks Nefreet, 2.5/4! =P

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
I'm not sure if you're allowed to be a small tiger. A far as I know all wildshape forces you to pick an animal that is the correct size. So like like small or medium cat if you're a tiger focus. I'm not sure that that's the case here. Have you looked into that at all?

"A totemic skald gains the ability to wild shape into the form of a Small or Medium version of his totem animal"

EDIT: What I was referring to is this passage in the beast shape entry (emphasis mine):

Beast Shape, prd wrote:
This spell functions as beast shape I, except that it also allows you to assume the form of a Tiny or Large creature of the animal type. If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: climb 60 feet, fly 60 feet (good maneuverability), swim 60 feet, darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, scent, grab, pounce, and trip.

1/5

Carla the Profane wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
I'm not sure if you're allowed to be a small tiger. A far as I know all wildshape forces you to pick an animal that is the correct size. So like like small or medium cat if you're a tiger focus. I'm not sure that that's the case here. Have you looked into that at all?
"A totemic skald gains the ability to wild shape into the form of a Small or Medium version of his totem animal"

RIGHT! AND I'M SAYING THAT THAT COULD MEAN A SMALL OR MEDIUM CAT SINCE MOST IF NOT ALL OTHER SHAPE CHANGERS FORCES YOU TO PICK AN ANIMAL OF THE CORRECT SIZE.

I can bold too.

From your response it would seem like you've clearly NOT looked into it at all. I suggest doing so. You could be right or you could be wrong. I'm not claiming to know which. But I can easily see a GM saying it works like wildshape and thus you can't be a mini tiger since they are large and need to choose a cat of your size, like normal wildshape would have you do.

Support for it not working would be like the lion shaman. Your "totem animal" for that archetype is lion. But when you shape small you need to pick a small cat that exists, not a small lion. Yes this doesn't call it out as specifically as that other archetype does, but that doesn't need to mean it's not supposed to work the same.

Having done some questioning and being able to show a thread or quote that most of the frequent GMs at your lodge all agree on a view is a lot better than you RE-POINTING to the text that they are questioning.

Sczarni 3/5

Sorry for the bolding, it was ment to clarify. Would you at least agree that the text for the skald wild shape ability is strangely worded?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

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2.5/4? I don't get 3/4? =(

This is why I didn't answer the 4th question. I noticed the different language and thought to myself, "oh... This is going to require research, and my food will only be warm for so long".

4/5

Medium tigers exist as animal companions, so there's absolutely no issue there in my mind.

Small is weird, though. Standard Wild Shape says "At 4th level, a druid gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium animal" while the Totemic Skald says "a totemic skald gains the ability to turn himself into a Small or Medium version of his totem animal." My reading of that is that the Wild Shape of the Skald varies from standard Wild Shape by allowing the abnormal size, but I can certainly see the arguments against that.

1/5

Serisan wrote:

Medium tigers exist as animal companions, so there's absolutely no issue there in my mind.

Small is weird, though. Standard Wild Shape says "At 4th level, a druid gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium animal" while the Totemic Skald says "a totemic skald gains the ability to turn himself into a Small or Medium version of his totem animal." My reading of that is that the Wild Shape of the Skald varies from standard Wild Shape by allowing the abnormal size, but I can certainly see the arguments against that.

A druid's not allowed to turn into a medium tiger, even though animal companions of that size exist.

I'm not sure that this skald is supposed to break all these established patterns.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Serisan wrote:
dard Wild Shape by allowing the abnormal size, but I can certainly see the arguments against that.

I'm trying to see any argument against it. Its very explicit that there's a small version of a ______ with ____ being the totem animal.

4/5

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Serisan wrote:

Medium tigers exist as animal companions, so there's absolutely no issue there in my mind.

Small is weird, though. Standard Wild Shape says "At 4th level, a druid gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium animal" while the Totemic Skald says "a totemic skald gains the ability to turn himself into a Small or Medium version of his totem animal." My reading of that is that the Wild Shape of the Skald varies from standard Wild Shape by allowing the abnormal size, but I can certainly see the arguments against that.

A druid's not allowed to turn into a medium tiger, even though animal companions of that size exist.

I'm not sure that this skald is supposed to break all these established patterns.

What is the basis for your interpretation that a druid cannot be a medium tiger? My reading of Wild Shape and Beast Shape do not lead me to that conclusion. I'm not super knowledgeable about druids, though, so I could very well be missing something. It's not like the spell or ability reference the Bestiary critters as a baseline, hence my interpretation that a medium tiger is possible.

"I've got a medium-sized tiger friend, so I'm clearly familiar with medium-sized tigers as animals" seems like enough for Wild Shape.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Serisan wrote:


"I've got a medium-sized tiger friend, so I'm clearly familiar with medium-sized tigers as animals" seems like enough for Wild Shape.

It's not.

Breaks out the druid wall of crazy string theories to explain polymorphing and you

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

Even though Fluffball may be a medium tiger, he's not a generic tiger, he's a specific and unusual individual. A generic tiger is large.

But specific trumps general and the skald says they can.

Abilities that do something do something. There's no way for the skalds ability to function with half the critters on the list unless they can assume differently sized forms.

Rules that say something, say something. There's no reason to list a skald turning into medium and small versions of something unless it means something.

1/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:

There's no reason to list a skald turning into medium and small versions of something unless it means something.

It could be this situation.

It's reminding you that at the first tier you only get small or medium and they have to be the same type as your totem. So small or medium cats for tiger. Similar to how a lion shaman gets bonuses if he turns into his "totem animal of lion" which includes all cats. So a small or medium version of a tiger totem is a small or medium cat, like a jaguar.
So them listing "version of totem animal" was to limit them to cats of the correct size rather than letting you get an animal at a different size than normal.

2/5 *** Venture-Agent, Texas—Austin

To BNW's point though, if the Skald picks "Bat" there are literally no small or medium options. Bats are diminutive. Dire Bats are large. And there aren't any other variations of that I'm aware of that mimic small mammal that can fly that's vaguely like a bat.

Small or medium version of the totem animal is actually pretty straightforward and enough of a deviation from standard wording of wild shape that it seems intentional.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

So would you apply the Young Template to a Dire Bat? The Giant Template to a Flying Fox? Or two Giant Templates to a Bat?

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Nefreet wrote:
So would you apply the Young Template to a Dire Bat? The Giant Template to a Flying Fox? Or two Giant Templates to a Bat?

No templates.

The spell tells you what your ability score modifiers are based on critter size.

The only thing you need off the critter is the abilities , so you just look for overlap between the beast shape version you're using (which depends on your modified druid level) and the critter you are

So this part stays the same

Small animal: If the form you take is that of a Small animal, you gain a +2 size bonus to your Dexterity and a +1 natural armor bonus.

Medium animal: If the form you take is that of a Medium animal, you gain a +2 size bonus to your Strength and a +2 natural armor bonus.

BSI/effective Druid levels 4-5 If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: climb 30 feet, fly 30 feet (average maneuverability), swim 30 feet, darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, and scent.

BSII /Effective druid levels 6-7 If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: climb 60 feet, fly 60 feet (good maneuverability), swim 60 feet, darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, scent, grab, pounce, and trip.

BS III/Effective druid levels 8+ If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: burrow 30 feet, climb 90 feet, fly 90 feet (good maneuverability), swim 90 feet, blindsense 30 feet, darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, scent, constrict, ferocity, grab, jet, poison, pounce, rake, trample, trip, and web.

So it looks like the skald starts pouncing at level 7.but doesn't rake until 9.

4/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Serisan wrote:


"I've got a medium-sized tiger friend, so I'm clearly familiar with medium-sized tigers as animals" seems like enough for Wild Shape.

It's not.

Breaks out the druid wall of crazy string theories to explain polymorphing and you

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

Even though Fluffball may be a medium tiger, he's not a generic tiger, he's a specific and unusual individual. A generic tiger is large.

But specific trumps general and the skald says they can.

Abilities that do something do something. There's no way for the skalds ability to function with half the critters on the list unless they can assume differently sized forms.

Rules that say something, say something. There's no reason to list a skald turning into medium and small versions of something unless it means something.

Suppose a terrible druid that Flutter would harshly disapprove of, who sends his medium-sized tiger into combat and it dies, then replaces it with another medium-sized tiger. This occurs 1, 2, 3...n times. At this point, is it unreasonable to say that medium-sized tigers are generic varieties of tigers, as are large?

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Serisan wrote:


Suppose a terrible druid that Flutter would harshly disapprove of, who sends his medium-sized tiger into combat and it dies, then replaces it with another medium-sized tiger. This occurs 1, 2, 3...n times. At this point, is it unreasonable to say that medium-sized tigers are generic varieties of tigers, as are large?

Still can't do it. The generic tiger is large.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
So would you apply the Young Template to a Dire Bat? The Giant Template to a Flying Fox? Or two Giant Templates to a Bat?
No templates.

That was sort of my point.

I was replying to cavernshark's post before mine about it seemingly being "intentional".

The Exchange 4/5

if we apply the rules for wildshape as applied to druids, than you can only use the wolf. I dont think that was intended, but they also didnt say to add templates. very poorly released archtype.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Jeff Morse wrote:
if we apply the rules for wildshape as applied to druids, than you can only use the wolf. I dont think that was intended, but they also didnt say to add templates. very poorly released archtype.

I don't see what's poorly released about it because it doesn't use templates. A template is completely unnecessary (and usually extra powerful to boot). Beast shape already has the rules for doing this sort of thing inherent in the spell. Gain the listed size bonus, pick up the special abilities, done.

1/5

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Jeff Morse wrote:
if we apply the rules for wildshape as applied to druids, than you can only use the wolf. I dont think that was intended, but they also didnt say to add templates. very poorly released archtype.
I don't see what's poorly released about it because it doesn't use templates. A template is completely unnecessary (and usually extra powerful to boot). Beast shape already has the rules for doing this sort of thing inherent in the spell. Gain the listed size bonus, pick up the special abilities, done.

do small tiger's have grab on their claws or bites? What is a small tiger's damage die? what is a small tiger's movespeed?

These are all things that become questionable with just changing the size of the animal and there's no official way to know.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Jeff Morse wrote:
if we apply the rules for wildshape as applied to druids, than you can only use the wolf. I dont think that was intended, but they also didnt say to add templates. very poorly released archtype.
I don't see what's poorly released about it because it doesn't use templates. A template is completely unnecessary (and usually extra powerful to boot). Beast shape already has the rules for doing this sort of thing inherent in the spell. Gain the listed size bonus, pick up the special abilities, done.

do small tiger's have grab on their claws or bites? What is a small tiger's damage die? what is a small tiger's movespeed?

These are all things that become questionable with just changing the size of the animal and there's no official way to know.

It's just a bestiary tiger but small, so yes to grab. We have a chart for natural attack damage dice based on size, so that's already answered for us. Movespeed doesn't inherently change with size so that would stay the same as the bestiary tiger as well.

These are all actually answered within the rules.

It's entirely possible that this archetype causes some unanswered issues that I can't think of at the moment yet, but none of the things you listed are missing an answer.

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

Carla is a player in our lodge and we'd come to the same rules interpretation as BNW and Jurassic Pratt, i.e. that the Beast Shape rules explain exactly how to do this.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

I'm with Chess Pwn on this. I can't see how anyone could come to a unanimous decision.

You're either using Templates, or you're not (this is the first point of contention).

If you're using Templates (which Wild Shape disallows), what base creature are you applying the Template to? See my example of Dire Bat/Flying Fox/Bat earlier.

If you're not using Templates, how are you determining statistics that Beast Shape doesn't cover (such as movement speed, number of attacks or damage of those attacks)?

Silver Crusade 1/5 Contributor

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I personally don't have any trouble interpreting it, but I long ago lost any hope of achieving consensus or even convincing anyone of anything. Good luck, I guess, Carla. Ask your local GMs how they're going to rule.

As for the larger question of wild shape, specific animals, and abnormal sizes, it's gonna come up again with the avenging beast vigilante. Maybe someone should start an FAQ thread on the topic.

Grand Lodge 2/5

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You're certainly not using templates since there's absolutely no mention of templates in any of the abilities.

Why is it so hard to just do what the ability says and just make a different sized version of the tiger?

AKA change the size and anything that you inherently get from size and nothing else. Movespeed and number of attacks aren't based on size whatsoever. Damage for natural attacks is and there's a chart for that.

If you're still having trouble visualizing it, compare it to another common size changing effect like reduce person. Your ability scores get modified based on the size change as do your damage dice, but nothing else.

The order of how to determine it would be simple. Say you were becoming a tiger, but decided to be a small one. You'd use the small beastshape modifiers and the natural attack damage for a small creature and that's it. Nothing else would change. You're a tiger, but with the exception of being a different size.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Nefreet wrote:

I'm with Chess Pwn on this. I can't see how anyone could come to a unanimous decision.

You're either using Templates, or you're not (this is the first point of contention).

There is no mention of templates. There is no hint at templates. There is no nadda zilch zero reason to bring templates into it, especially as the polymorph rules banhammer templates unless specifically mention and they are not mentioned. So why on earth bring in an unmentioned and unneccesary mechanic to solve a problem that doesn't exist and to boot, won't solve any of your problems?

Quote:
If you're not using Templates, how are you determining statistics that Beast Shape doesn't cover (such as movement speed, number of attacks or damage of those attacks)?

Movement is the same as the base creature, number of attacks is the same as the base creature, damage per attack is per the creature adjusted by size on the natural attack chart.

for a cherry on top, templates wouldn't solve any of those issues.

For whipped cream, if you added that template to a critter and then turned into it, you'd functionally ignore the template because you'd still be using the sizing rules.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Ok. So stat up a Bat for me.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Alright sure.

Your totem animal is a bat and you decide to become a small sized one since Totemic Skald provides a specific exception to the general wildshape rules and allows you to become a medium or small version of your totem animal.

The normal bat is diminutive, but since you're small we use the rules for beast shaping into a small creature. So you gain a +2 size bonus to your Dexterity and a +1 natural armor bonus.

Now look at the damage progression chart and we see that the bat's bite should increase to 1d6 since it is 2 sizes larger than it would normally be and it's default damage was 1d3. How to adjust the damage dice for size comes directly from the weapon damage dice FAQ.

As for what other abilities you get, it depends on your level. Totem Skald is using Wildshape equal to his level -1 so his level dictates what beast shape his wild shape acts as and thus what other abilities he gets. For example, he wouldn't get the bat's blindsense until level 9 as he has to have wildshape that acts like beast shape III. All of this is from the wildshape rules.

The only thing you have to adjust is using the beast shape modifiers for the size you're actually assuming rather than the default size and your natural attack damage according to the general rules of changing damage dice based on size.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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The pros and cons of allowing every shape, regardless of size versus only allowing the ones with the right size, versus applying templates:

Every shape:
- Seems intuitive. You want to be a Frog Skald? Do your thing.
- Everything's applicable.
- You'll need to do some recalculating of damage dice. Easily done, there's a chart for that.
- Some weird looks when you announce you shape into a small-sized mouse.

Only allow right size, as per Bestiary entry:
- You only allow 6 of the 12 available shapes. That seems weird and counterintuitive to me.
- No recalculating necessary.
- No weird looks when you sit at a table with a medium-sized bear, since those stats already exist.

Use templates:
- Needless work, since it's basically the same as simply increasing/decreasing damage dice.
- It's never mentioned anywhere.

One thing I did notice though is that scaling damage dice doesn't really work well (unless my math is really off, which very might well be the case). The Common Bat is diminutive and has a 1d3. Flying Fox is tiny and also has a 1d3. Dire Bat is large and has a 1d8. Decreasing from Large to Medium ends up at a 1d6. Increasing from Diminutive to Medium (three times one step, I believe) ends up at a 1d8. And from Tiny to Medium is 1d6. Either something funky is going on with the initial pricing of the Flying Fox, or the damage dice don't add up the same.

Anyway, disregarding that, my preference goes to the first option. It opens up more possibilities, doesn't pull rules out of its behind. The second option is also attractive as it clearly follows the rules the most, but also excludes half the available options from that list. I'm more in favour of the rule that makes the most sense without sacrificing a lot of its options.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Nefreet wrote:
Ok. So stat up a Bat for me.

Small bat: you gain a +2 size bonus to your Dexterity and a +1 natural armor bonus, low light vision, 1d6 bite (1d3 diminuative to 1d4 tiny) to 1d6

Medium bat: you gain a +2 size bonus to your Strength and a +2 natural armor bonus, low light vision 1d8 bite

At 5th level Your speed becomes 5 on land, 30 fly good

At 7th level the fly becomes 40 (good)

at 9th blindsense kicks on

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

How did you decide on which Bat to base your calculations?

Grand Lodge 2/5

I could be missing something, but I only see one bat in the bestiary. So you choose that and alter it to the correct size as the archetype says.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

There are many bats. I listed three earlier. Same for Tigers, Bears, Wolves.

It's not clear to me which one you should start with.

Why did you select the one you did?

5/5 5/55/55/5

Nefreet wrote:
How did you decide on which Bat to base your calculations?

well thats a problem with any wildshape not just the bards. Doyles run into that problem before.

I used the common bat off of d20srd, which is reverse engineered off of the bat familiar.

edit: ahah here he is batty bat

Presented here are the base animal statistics for all of the most commonly used familiars—of course, these statistics can also be used for normal animals as well. Small animals like these use Dexterity to modify Climb and Swim checks.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Ah I see the issue nefreet. You have to choose one specific animal as your totem animal. So you'd choose one of those types of bats when you chose your totem animal. And iirc you can't choose the dire versions of animals for wildshape.

And As BNW pointed out, this is not a problem with this archetype. This is a thing with wildshape in general. You'd always have to pick a certain type of bat, this archetype just limits you to choosing one ever rather than each time you shape.

Sczarni 3/5

Thanks guys, this thread has clarified a lot for me. I'll stick with the following:

-Pick one animal according to hunter focus (Tiger)
-Use small shape, +2 dex +1 natural armor, size modifiers as per small creature
-Gain abilities as per beast shape progression (scent at 5, grab&pounce at 7, rake at 9)

On second thought, I don't think barding is a good idea with my DEX bonus being so high.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Carla the Profane wrote:


On second thought, I don't think barding is a good idea with my DEX bonus being so high.

darkleaf studded leather has a pretty high dex bonus


Quote:
darkleaf studded leather has a pretty high dex bonus

does Darkleaf Studded Leather negate the armor check penalty?

It states that Armors fashioned from darkleaf cloth are always masterwork items, and masterwork armor reduces the check penalty by 1, but Eel hide specifically states that it reduces the penalty and this does not...

Silver Crusade 2/5

Darkleaf cloth is from the Advanced Race Guide, in the listing for Elves. It allows a maximum dexterity modifier of +2 for armor made of it.


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+2 to the max already in place of the armor it is made into , so studded leather would be +7 Max dex bonus...

Spell failure chances for armors made from darkleaf cloth decrease by 10% (to a minimum of 5%), maximum Dexterity bonuses increase by 2, and armor check penalties decrease by 3 (to a minimum of 0).

I wonder why Nethys doesn't list the armor check penalty decrease of 3

Silver Crusade 2/5

VoodooMonkey wrote:

+2 to the max already in place of the armor it is made into , so studded leather would be +7 Max dex bonus...

Thanks for clarifying what I meant!

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