Magical exploits I hope PF2 erases from the game


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

These are things I find myself forced to tell my players are not allowed in my games every time I start a new campaign despite being legal by raw.

-Wish machines (and attempts at wish abuse in general)

-Scry & Fry tactics

-"Ultimate spell combos" the wizard's player saves up for the BBEG fight in order to autowin it (i.e. Limited Wish -> Geas)

I believe the reason I'd like PF2 not to allow the aforementioned exploits to be self explanatory but let's go in detail anyway.

The problem (Wish Machines): If allowed, wish machines force the DM to go to extreme measures to preserve game ballance (which implies a lot of work more on top of the amount required with high level play) or see the game crash. These "contraptions" usually exploit stuff like mass cloning of extraplanar beings (usually Efreets) and/or ways to get lots of diamonds without paying for them. I don't think they were even intended to work as they do, but by RAW PF1 allows them, giving unscrupulous players a powerful argument against their GM.
Suggested solution: state in the magic section of the PF2 rulebook that wish granting beings cannot be forced in any way to grant a wish, that the diamond you consume for a wish needs to be "natural" and cannot be magically created in any way (including "demiplanes of diamonds") and that a cloned or otherwise "created" wish granting creature loses access to wish as a spell like ability.

The Problem (Scry & Fry): This exploit works once the players get access to teleport and powerful divination magic. They buff up as wella s they can, the wizard scries the location of the BBEG and then teleports himself and the rest of the party into the final encounter avoiding all story progression and inevitable attrition. Obviously a GM has ways against this, chief among them stating that every dungeon/castle/cavern/war-camp/what-have-you is magically protected against scry and teleport magic (or just have the BBEG use said tactic himself... which usually ends in a TPK). This is an inelegant solution that often breaks suspension of disbelief and causes players who want to employ such tactics to "win" to feel cheated out of their "just reward" for their "cleverness".
Suggested solution: Make divination magic useful on smaller scale endeavours but not so much it easily breaks chronicle plots and easily revelas secrets supposed to be discovered during play. Make teleportation magic, slower to cast, riskier and more unreliable. Portals can bring you from point A to point B in space with little to no risks. Teleporting into an enemy lair and then out of it with pinpoint accuracy (unless you are really unlucky) is too much and risks trivializing encounters.

The problem (Spell comboes): Put together a couple of spells that are mostly fine by themselves and break the game. The most egregious example of this I can think of is the aforementioned Limited Wish+Geas. Geas takes a long time to cast but allows no save check. It's meant for situations where the target is somehow incapacitated and unable to disrupt the casting. Use limited wish to duplicate it and by raw you can cast this no save spell with a standard action and then gain control over the target, instantly ending most encounters with a snap of your fingers.
Suggested Solution: Rewrite Limited Wish stating that when used to duplicate a spell it uses the original casting time. Make it so all spells allow for saves, possibly including circumstantial bonuses or negative modifiers against them (if you've been captured by the cultists and you have no way to stop them from casting geas on you, your roll gets a negative modifier or the caster's spell gets an higher DC you must beat).


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Rogar Valertis wrote:
-Scry & Fry tactics

I think the best way to handle this is to add more counter-measures. I don't have a problem with using scrying to locate someone and teleport to their location under peaceful pretenses, it only becomes an issue if it's an assassination attempt. In that sense, the problem is more that there's an attacker/defender asymmetry with regards to these high-level spell effects.


With crafters being in charge of magic item creation now i could easily see a growing commonality of buildings and areas warded against teleportation, that shunt you to a nearby area if you try to port in.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Dasrak wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:
-Scry & Fry tactics
I think the best way to handle this is to add more counter-measures. I don't have a problem with using scrying to locate someone and teleport to their location under peaceful pretenses, it only becomes an issue if it's an assassination attempt. In that sense, the problem is more that there's an attacker/defender asymmetry with regards to these high-level spell effects.

How to do that though? If you allow scry & teleport under "peaceful pretenses" how can you stop it when people want to use the same tactic to kill the BBEG without confronting the rest of his dungeon?

Ryan Freire wrote:
With crafters being in charge of magic item creation now i could easily see a growing commonality of buildings and areas warded against teleportation, that shunt you to a nearby area if you try to port in.

This feels a bit to "meta" for me and besides the "everything is warded" solution is really not something I'd like to be implemented (as I wrote above).


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Eh, something as simple as "lead powder in the mortar blocks most divination and teleportation into our out of a building or room" doesn't seem that meta. Lead already blocks lots of stuff.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Eh, something as simple as "lead powder in the mortar blocks most divination and teleportation into our out of a building or room" doesn't seem that meta. Lead already blocks lots of stuff.

I agree. Any big bad should have enough cash to hire an alchemist to spackle the room anti-scry paint. It's as 'meta' as people today putting in a security system...


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If you want to minimize how much you change the main conceits of the setting, but still want to reduce scrysassination, make teleporting take one whole round to transition you from one place to another. During that round you're unable to take actions, are helpless, and take half damage (because only half of you is there).

This would only apply to long-range teleportation, not dimension door or fun nightcrawler bamfing.

The result here is no more bad guys teleporting away just before you kill them, and if you want to scry on someone and then attack them, well, they at least have a round to prepare, and might even just chop you to bits while you rematerialize.


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If I were going to protect a building that I live in, I'd prefer something less toxic than lead . . . .

But I like the original post recommended solution to scry and fry.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

If I were going to protect a building that I live in, I'd prefer something less toxic than lead . . . .

But I like the original post recommended solution to scry and fry.

Is lead toxic in pathfinder?


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

If I were going to protect a building that I live in, I'd prefer something less toxic than lead . . . .

But I like the original post recommended solution to scry and fry.

Why do you think most casters go mad? It's the lead in the walls. ;)


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It actually takes quite a lot to get the kind of lead exposure that causes health problems. Generally its because semi-acidic water runs through lead pipes.


don't forget the real world not supposed to be used at all, Lead PAint.

kills children eating it dead....well not instantly.

but lead poisoning will do it eventually.... unless its caught and medical.....

oh and I don't remember if the spells are in pf let alone pf2, as unless I'm looking for one.. or two or more

but you can enchant an area for the following to prevent scrying, teleporting and what not.


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To OP Wish concern, Wish in PF2 no longers requires a meterial component, this makes me belive that Wish will no longer create items or raise ability scores, most probably will have some other limitation to prevent spamming.


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Steelfiredragon wrote:

don't forget the real world not supposed to be used at all, Lead PAint.

kills children eating it dead....well not instantly.

but lead poisoning will do it eventually.... unless its caught and medical.....

oh and I don't remember if the spells are in pf let alone pf2, as unless I'm looking for one.. or two or more

but you can enchant an area for the following to prevent scrying, teleporting and what not.

I'm aware. The reasons behind lead paints removal are a lot more complicated than just "because lead" though. Paint flakes, and grinds down to inhaleable dust readily. Water can fairly easily become acidic enough to break down the lead in pipes and so we don't use lead in paint or pipes anymore.

On the other hand i know plenty of people who sculpt and cast in lead and generally work with it and the safety precautions are really kind of simple.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
On the other hand i know plenty of people who sculpt and cast in lead and generally work with it and the safety precautions are really kind of simple.

It can be like asbestos siding: It's not an issue unless you try to remove it: break it up and THEN it's a problem.


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graystone wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
On the other hand i know plenty of people who sculpt and cast in lead and generally work with it and the safety precautions are really kind of simple.
It can be like asbestos siding: It's not an issue unless you try to remove it: break it up and THEN it's a problem.

To be real, the precautions you take against silicosis also protect you against powdered lead, and silicosis will kill people mixing mortar unprotected way way faster than lead exposure will.


I think there are some things a GM just needs to put their foot down on, and the players need to recognize that things like having infinite wishes just break the game.

Personally at the same time I'm for some spells being less Instawin Button and for some spells being shunted to higher levels. Teleport and Raise Dead are two things I dislike. I wouldn't mind Teleport having a 10 minute casting, and during the last minute a visible light appears at the other end to warn people on the other side.

And I've never heard of a great fantasy story with a villain getting ready for bed and wearing on his nightgown when suddenly a whole party of adventurers in armor and magical auras pops in the room, blasts slices him to pieces, then pops out 6 seconds later. Sounds more like farce to me.

The Exchange

Rogar Valertis wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:
-Scry & Fry tactics
I think the best way to handle this is to add more counter-measures. I don't have a problem with using scrying to locate someone and teleport to their location under peaceful pretenses, it only becomes an issue if it's an assassination attempt. In that sense, the problem is more that there's an attacker/defender asymmetry with regards to these high-level spell effects.

How to do that though? If you allow scry & teleport under "peaceful pretenses" how can you stop it when people want to use the same tactic to kill the BBEG without confronting the rest of his dungeon?

Ryan Freire wrote:
With crafters being in charge of magic item creation now i could easily see a growing commonality of buildings and areas warded against teleportation, that shunt you to a nearby area if you try to port in.
This feels a bit to "meta" for me and besides the "everything is warded" solution is really not something I'd like to be implemented (as I wrote above).

Maybe something as simple as the boss having body doubles or he randomly has teleporters throughout his domain and can access them easily enough.

The Exchange

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The Rot Grub wrote:

I think there are some things a GM just needs to put their foot down on, and the players need to recognize that things like having infinite wishes just break the game.

Personally at the same time I'm for some spells being less Instawin Button and for some spells being shunted to higher levels. Teleport and Raise Dead are two things I dislike. I wouldn't mind Teleport having a 10 minute casting, and during the last minute a visible light appears at the other end to warn people on the other side.

And I've never heard of a great fantasy story with a villain getting ready for bed and wearing on his nightgown when suddenly a whole party of adventurers in armor and magical auras pops in the room, blasts slices him to pieces, then pops out 6 seconds later. Sounds more like farce to me.

I honestly don't see the big deal about teleport. Its a McGuffin used to move the story forward and it has a lot of limitations. The big one that you really have to have a good idea of where you are going and its very limited on what you can bring with you. All teleport does is hand wave a bunch of random encounters and I am fine with that.


Rogar Valertis wrote:
How to do that though? If you allow scry & teleport under "peaceful pretenses" how can you stop it when people want to use the same tactic to kill the BBEG without confronting the rest of his dungeon?

Rituals, alchemical devices, spells, whatever; just add a bunch of anti-teleportation effects that block teleportation. Potentially in nasty ways, just to make players a little afraid of trying their luck. Just enough to move the attacker advantage more to a defender advantage.

RangerWickett wrote:
This would only apply to long-range teleportation, not dimension door or fun nightcrawler bamfing.

I have zero concerns about dimension door in PF2. With the reduced number of spell slots in total it's more resource-intensive than ever, and the need to know exact distances means it still requires precision intel.


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In Ultimate Intrigue they clarified that you must know Location and Layout to teleport somewhere, and scrying does not automatically give you Location.


Matthew Downie wrote:
In Ultimate Intrigue they clarified that you must know Location and Layout to teleport somewhere, and scrying does not automatically give you Location.

I'd give that more credibility if the actual text of the Teleport spell didn't say exactly the opposite. It explicitly broaches the subject of teleporting to a location you have only seen once via scrying. The very inclusion of such text is definitive proof that scrying is sufficient to allow you to teleport, and nothing short of a full errata of that text will change the matter.

If Paizo wants to change the text in PF2 to be more in line with that, they can do so. But if they do, please actually define the difference between location and layout so that we know what is necessary to meet each requirement.


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I'm surprised the OP didn't have Blood Money in his list of things he wanted gone in PF2E, given how many forum arguments it seems to have caused.


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Dasrak wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
In Ultimate Intrigue they clarified that you must know Location and Layout to teleport somewhere, and scrying does not automatically give you Location.

I'd give that more credibility if the actual text of the Teleport spell didn't say exactly the opposite. It explicitly broaches the subject of teleporting to a location you have only seen once via scrying. The very inclusion of such text is definitive proof that scrying is sufficient to allow you to teleport, and nothing short of a full errata of that text will change the matter.

If Paizo wants to change the text in PF2 to be more in line with that, they can do so. But if they do, please actually define the difference between location and layout so that we know what is necessary to meet each requirement.

But, to play the devil's advocate, I'll quote the relevant snippets of text and draw from them an argument.

Teleport wrote:
You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination. The clearer your mental image, the more likely the teleportation works. Areas of strong physical or magical energy may make teleportation more hazardous or even impossible.

As Downie pointed out, you need to know both the location and layout of a place to teleport to it.

Scrying wrote:
If the save fails, you can see and hear the subject and its surroundings (approximately 10 feet in all directions of the subject). If the subject moves, the sensor follows at a speed of up to 150 feet.

Now, without breaking out ye olde Merriam Webster to define game terms, it seems that both Downie and Ultimate Intrigue have a good case against scrying spells giving adequate information to 'port with. You'd be hard-pressed to argue that the ten feet immediately surrounding a person tells gives a caster location or layout. In fact, I doubt we'd need Ultimate Intrigue to stealth errat- er, clarify this for us, seeing as it's so obvious.

Were it not for one little thing.

Teleport wrote:
Familiarity: “Very familiar” is a place where you have been very often and where you feel at home. “Studied carefully” is a place you know well, either because you can currently physically see it or you’ve been there often. “Seen casually” is a place that you have seen more than once but with which you are not very familiar. “Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.

Oh yes, that is an obstacle to our favored interpretation.

But hardly an insurmountable one! See, if I take Downie's word for it (and I do, as I don't want to go looking through Ultimate Intrigue for the line) Ultimate Intrigue clarifies that scrying doesn't automatically give the location. So it seems, keeping with the text of scrying and the text of teleport, that you can teleport somewhere that's location you know only from magic - but you need to be able to point it out on a map, too.

Which keeps secret bases secret, more or less, though nothing inside them necessarily is.


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Probably because Blood Money was supposed to be specific to the late part of 1 AP. Supposed to be. In practice, it seems to have shown up all over the place.


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dysartes wrote:
I'm surprised the OP didn't have Blood Money in his list of things he wanted gone in PF2E, given how many forum arguments it seems to have caused.

Probably because there's no way its in pf2 as it was an adventure path spell to begin with.


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Part of the premise behind the Tippyverse is that large-scale defenses against teleportation are prohibitively expensive. Even if you just need to mix in some lead with the bricks, or whatever, it'll still be difficult to protect an area larger than a city. Unless lead is extremely common in the ground or you only need tiny concentrations for it to work, in either case it would almost make eligible teleport destinations the exception rather than the rule. That may in fact be the best solution: Teleport spells can only take you to a prepared Teleport Circle.


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Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
You'd be hard-pressed to argue that the ten feet immediately surrounding a person tells gives a caster location or layout.

It'd be in arguable territory, but it'd still be quite arguable given neither term are defined by the spell or anywhere else in the rules text. However small a location that is defined by the 10 ft radius viewing area, it's still a location.

Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
See, if I take Downie's word for it (and I do, as I don't want to go looking through Ultimate Intrigue for the line) Ultimate Intrigue clarifies that scrying doesn't automatically give the location.

Here, allow me:

Ultimate Intrigue wrote:
If a caster has managed to use divinations to see the layout of a secret hideout, it still won't do any good unless she knows where it is.

The problem is, again, that this isn't what the teleport rules actually say. If it were, we would expect it to detail something in before or after the familiarity rules to define the additional requirements. It doesn't include anything else, the familiarity rules are literally all that follows the "location and layout" sentence. The spell description simply ends after defining familiarity and the degrees of success (oh hey, PF2 has a unified mechanic for that :-D). This indicates that the spell familiar rules describe everything that satisfies both the location and layout constraints, and that they are not separate things. Attempting to construe significant additional constraints from a single word in one sentence which is never expanded upon or even implied again in the remaining spell description is, frankly, stretching things extremely thin.

Athaleon wrote:
Part of the premise behind the Tippyverse is that large-scale defenses against teleportation are prohibitively expensive.

This also hints at the solution: simply tip the balance in favor of defense over offense. By adding cost-effective means of defending large structures or complexes (or, perhaps with very high-level effects, entire cities) from infiltration via teleportation, it becomes easier to defend against teleportation than to perform it. While this still leaves teleportation very powerful, it would greatly reduce the risks it presents.


Athaleon wrote:
Part of the premise behind the Tippyverse is that large-scale defenses against teleportation are prohibitively expensive. Even if you just need to mix in some lead with the bricks, or whatever, it'll still be difficult to protect an area larger than a city. Unless lead is extremely common in the ground or you only need tiny concentrations for it to work, in either case it would almost make eligible teleport destinations the exception rather than the rule.

Unless the world is actually a post-apocalyptic leftover from one like ours, where centuries of coal use and decades of use of leaded gasoline ensured that significant lead contamination is in the soil almost everywhere.

Athaleon wrote:
That may in fact be the best solution: Teleport spells can only take you to a prepared Teleport Circle.

Actually, WarCraft III/TFT had something close to this. Scrolls of Town Portal could only take you and your units within range to one of your own Town Halls (or equivalent building, or upgraded version thereof). Staves of Teleportation and the Ultimate (late game, high level) Mass Teleportation spell could only take you (and an army of limited size, for Mass Teleport) to one of your own units or buildings. These also all had a delay in their operation; Scrolls of Town Portal also made the user (but not allied units) temporarily invulnerable, but the others methods didn't do this, and could be interrupted during use. Permanent Way Gates also existed, and would take you to another Way Gate (not necessarily reciprocal).


Ryan Freire wrote:
dysartes wrote:
I'm surprised the OP didn't have Blood Money in his list of things he wanted gone in PF2E, given how many forum arguments it seems to have caused.
Probably because there's no way its in pf2 as it was an adventure path spell to begin with.

Oh, I agree - just when talking about magical bugbears you want to see gone in PF2E, I thought Blood Money would be on the hit list.

Hmm, magical bugbears...


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Well making teleporters "announce" themselves could partially solve the issue with the "fry" part of the problem. Not enough imo (the party is still coming in with all of its resources intact and buffed up top 11) but at least that would give players something to worry about as the BBEG has time to act first.

As for the "lead everywhere" solution, as I said I don't like it. You should not feel forced to change the whole world just to accomodate a couple of spells, best to change the spells a little imo.

And then there's Blood Money. I did not mention it as a problem because it's actually supposed to be a end AP reward for players and a spell specific to a certain campaign and BBEG. Yet I agree its widespread use and abuse would be problematic. It rightly falls into the "spell comboes" part of the discussion and in general spells like this, meant to remove limitations from other spells are not a great idea and usually leave room for loopholes and exploits.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I really hope some thought is put into what becomes a ritual and what that means. If 90 percent of teleportation and divination effects were rituals, they would still be awesome and enable the general world effects that they have had on Golarion, yet take up too much time to be round-by-round combat tactics.
Really high level characters might still have access to a more spell like version of teleport and scry and fry, but as long as things like detect scrying and teleport trap exist and have long durations, high level scrying and frying is a risky tactic because your whole plan can get shut down with one or two spells or rituals. Any 15th+ level character (PC or NPC) in pathfinder, should probably assume that their enemies first line of attack will be divination magic and teleporting. If you can afford to build a well protected dungeon, have a plan in place for dealing with divination and teleporting. A party that teleports into a nasty teleport trap one time, thinks very carefully before jumping off to face every enemy.

As an aside: If spells that take more than three actions to cast are not getting moved to rituals, I am not really sure what the point of rituals are, except as nebulous things for the Villains to be attempting and for the party to disrupt.


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Teleportation has long been strong, which I reckon is one reason there's a variable effect tied to it. Gygax wrote a module featuring some of his own PCs for player use. His casters used most of their highest slots for Teleport, three castings for a party of 4. Dim Door & divination spells were also more common to find on 1st ed pregen PCs. And that's in a system with much less buffing, but much more wariness.

This prevalence is also why there are already spells and situations which hinder using those spells offensively. Various spells block teleportation effects for long durations (Forbiddance/Dimensional Lock), others detect or thwart scrying, and Veil and other illusions could be used to trick PCs into foolhardy rushes.
And the idea of lead infused mortar (et al) isn't that outlandish given we're in a high fantasy setting. Gorgon's blood on or in the walls used to be a remedy against ethereal eavesdroppers sneaking around your lair.
Why couldn't some similarly themed resource be used vs. TP effects? Or scrying?

I remember one high-level Dungeon Magazine lair was completely encased in a Wall of Force to hinder ethereal onslaughts as well as Passwall (et al). And the classic Tomb of Horrors had effectively an unlimited number of Vrocks to attack anybody who went ethereal to bypass its traps.
And if you delved into Drow territory, there was no teleporting home. Even the end of Rise of the Runelords (3.5/PF) made travel to and from the final region an iffy proposition.
I believe there was one early ed. dungeon where TP effects dropped you in a specific room and others where only specific rooms (generally those for summoning or receiving visitors) were the only ones where TPing worked (though I think exiting wasn't an issue). And I think there were several modules that required an attuned key or ring. Not to mention the "wish-level" magic one dragon used to prevent divination effects from working on his lair (and if I recall there was another use, perhaps to protect himself.)
Another common solution is planting high-level adventures on other planes or demiplanes. Heck, Gygax's high-level King Kong wilderness adventure (of all things) took place on a demiplane so as to nix lots of TP & scrying shenanigans. Even flight was a good way to draw far more attention than one wanted.

So the problems of scrying & TPing (or bypassing obstacles in whatever ways) have been around quite some time, and there have been many solutions. How many more do we need? What levels are we talking for?

Given the dispel magic & anti-magic effects I've seen in lairs from 1st ed (Lolth) through too PF, buffing might be as much of the problem.

So are we tackling Scrying? Magical bypassing? Or imbalanced buffing advantages? Or maybe it's because the balanced system itself has led to a general lack of wariness on the part of PCs/players so they feel they can rush headlong into danger (because that danger is proportioned to them)?

Even without scrying, dim-dooring the warriors near the BBEG hiding behind her troops generally means insta-kill. So do we do away with that? (Serious question.)
Maybe take the price tag off of Nondetection?
Maybe translate all those 1st ed. DM fiat choices into PF2 GM rules-supported options?
Maybe just list those spells & situations as ones that all designers & GMs have to factor into their settings & scenarios?

Hmm...

I think having it so teleporting effects hamper your magic might be strong choice. (Too strong?) Stripping the PCs of buffs, perhaps making them repay Resonance to reattune with their magic items, or suppressing their items or even ability to cast. This would still allow for non-combat & defensive usage while closing the door on insta-win options.


This isnt the first thread about a topic like that, simple solution how about talking with your players?

If you view pen and paper as a "race" between GM and player you have lost already. Declare that you want a challenge and speak about how that could be possible?

If your players or your GM insists on using homebrew rules instead of an agreement. Well maybe look for new players to play with? Its kinda toxic then anyway.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

@Castillano: Teleport magic conflicting with buff spells is an interesting take on the problem and a solution I never considered until now. Weel thought!

@Wermut: The issue is far beyond the "just talk with your players" solution. As I stated above, I personally warn my new players before the start of a game (my old players already know about the limits I set on rules). By rule 0, a GM has the power and the right to deny loopholes and exploits if he or she thinks it to be warranted. This does not solve the problem for those GMs who don't have the experience or the willpower to stand up to their players when they come up with Scy & Fry, wish machines or combo exploits. By RAW, the rules of PF1 allow for such stuff but it tends to destroy games or force the GM to do a lot of work more to keep things working. Given that, getting rid of the loopholes seems eminently sensible to me.


Actually, I argue for something else for teleportation methods: Nerf them. Heavily. Really, really nerf them. I hate them as they are, but not the concept of teleportation itself.


Still those situations only create challenges for an unexperienced GM. While wish has already been sorted out "kinda" (its a level 20 now castable once per day).

But such challenges are created all the time. An unexperienced GM might get dumbfounded by the ruling on prestidigation or what an extradimensiobal container can do if filled with burning liquid, or the actual meaning of darkvision (which my group the longest time believe to be equal to crappy nightvision googles).

All these situation be they as game breaking as an endless wish mashine or an rogue who can read scrolls by (surprise) UMD can be solved with some thinking on the GM to create new challenges and encounters. Which is in itself a nice skill to have. Besides all of the named examples are fairly high level.

Sorry maybe Im misunderstanding things, but how does this create more work? The worst case scenario as described is a GM without experience playing with experienced players (who ignore the GMs skill level) on a high character level. In that case even a martial character randomly attacking NPCs is a problem.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Wermut wrote:

Still those situations only create challenges for an unexperienced GM. While wish has already been sorted out "kinda" (its a level 20 now castable once per day).

But such challenges are created all the time. An unexperienced GM might get dumbfounded by the ruling on prestidigation or what an extradimensiobal container can do if filled with burning liquid, or the actual meaning of darkvision (which my group the longest time believe to be equal to crappy nightvision googles).

All these situation be they as game breaking as an endless wish mashine or an rogue who can read scrolls by (surprise) UMD can be solved with some thinking on the GM to create new challenges and encounters. Which is in itself a nice skill to have. Besides all of the named examples are fairly high level.

Sorry maybe Im misunderstanding things, but how does this create more work? The worst case scenario as described is a GM without experience playing with experienced players (who ignore the GMs skill level) on a high character level. In that case even a martial character randomly attacking NPCs is a problem.

The reason why wish machines cause more work for the GM is the PCs become more powerful than they should be and gain the ability to "break the game rules". A GM has the tools to fix this, but as stated above it requires him to block actions, deflect requests, continuously rule on issues and build encounters taking in account access to infinite wishes. Much better not to allow them beforehand imo.

Scry and Fry and loophole exploits risk destroying a GM's work and they are actually meant as such. You built a dungeon with a story and several encounters tied to it? Well, you wasted your time, bt RAW PCs are allowed to just "win" by scying/teleporting and assassinate the final boss. Again, the GM can easily deal with this by making every lair impossible to teleport into but that kind of solution is (1) heavy handed and (2) inelegant in the extreme. Better to tone down teleport/scry while keeping them useful imo. The same goes for stuff like limited wish/geas.

Basically what I'm asking is for these loopholes not to be allowed anymore by RAW. If someone enjoys them and their GM agrees they can house rule them into the game, not the other way around.


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Rogar Valertis wrote:
Wermut wrote:


Sorry maybe Im misunderstanding things, but how does this create more work? The worst case scenario as described is a GM without experience playing with experienced players (who ignore the GMs skill level) on a high character level. In that case even a martial character randomly attacking NPCs is a problem.

The reason why wish machines cause more work for the GM is the PCs become more powerful than they should be and gain the ability to "break the game rules". A GM has the tools to fix this, but as stated above it requires him to block actions, deflect requests, continuously rule on issues and build encounters taking in account access to infinite wishes. Much better not to allow them beforehand imo.

Scry and Fry and loophole exploits risk destroying a GM's work and they are actually meant as such. You built a dungeon with a story and several encounters tied to it? Well, you wasted your time, bt RAW PCs are allowed to just "win" by scying/teleporting and assassinate the final boss. Again, the GM can easily deal with this by making every lair impossible to teleport into but that kind of solution is (1) heavy handed and (2) inelegant in the extreme. Better to tone down teleport/scry while keeping them useful imo. The same goes for stuff like limited wish/geas.

Basically what I'm asking is for these loopholes not to be allowed anymore by RAW. If someone enjoys them and their GM agrees they can house rule them into the game, not the other way around.

Every time someone brings up exploits such as "Infinite wishes", it reeks of theorycraft. It just doesn't happen in-game. If it did, the game wouldn't last long. Likewise with limited wish/geas.

There are elegant means to prevent "scry and fry". The "final boss" can be an unknown. The "dungeon with a story and several encounters" could have an objective more complex than "assassinate the 'final boss'". There are several means to hinder or stop scrying or teleportation.

Pathfinder has effects that are powerful and open-ended. That's one thing that separates it from computer games. We should keep it that way.


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I would like simulacrum to be hard removed from the game. that solves a lot of problems.

Dazing and Persistent spell should probably also be gone, same with metamagic rods


UnArcaneElection wrote:

If I were going to protect a building that I live in, I'd prefer something less toxic than lead . . . .

But I like the original post recommended solution to scry and fry.

Lead is fine as long as you aren't eating it.


Rogar Valertis wrote:

These are things I find myself forced to tell my players are not allowed in my games every time I start a new campaign despite being legal by raw.

....<other stuff about exploits that are valid>

I do like for Paizo to make my job easier. However, I know that things happen.

In the past I've let my players know that intent trumps what the words say. I also make it clear that anything they do to an NPC can be done to them so if they come up with some unlimited damage combo or other loophole they shouldn't use it.

I haven't had to deal with loophole abusing players in years, and now I'd be more likely to just boot them from the table, however I know that some people play with their friends so just kicking them out of the group is not as easy as it sounds. In those cases setting expectations can go a long way. I'm sure that at some point something will slip past Paizo in PF2. In those cases clear expectations can put a stop to any shenanigans before they begin.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps Subscriber
johnlocke90 wrote:
Lead is fine as long as you aren't eating it.

Or breathing dust or absorbing it through your skin. Ingesting lead is not the only vector.


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This thread makes me wish there was a Campaign Setting or something that explored things like apotropaic magic, enchanted architecture and folk rituals to ward against certain supernatural threats. Obviously the gm can just wave their hands and make it so but think it’s something to give thought to.

In Pathfinder I’ve always liked the idea of occult rituals but disagreed with the notion that the should all be relatively powerful, difficult to learn and an elaborate challenge to perform. Certainly rituals that raise the dead or open planar rifts should be obscure and challenging but ritual magic imo should be common, widespread and generally weak; it should be the horseshoe above the door, the cat or clothing sealed in the wall, the rowen wood and red string, wassailing the cider orchard and so on. I could easily accept the notion of people employing ritual specialists to ward their homes against teleportation, scrying and other supernatural concerns; these rituals existing outside peramaters of the abjurative spells, expensive items and castings of Perminancy typically available to players.

Regarding the OP how many people have actually experienced the issues presented? I’ve never considered using scry and fry tactics and I’ve never played at a high enough level for Wish to come into play. I think it’s important to keep in mind that anything players can to the GM can do too. Thus if the players use scry and fry it’s entirely reasonable their opponents do as well.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Lead is fine as long as you aren't eating it.
Or breathing dust or absorbing it through your skin. Ingesting lead is not the only vector.

Yep. Eating/breathing it are just the most 'efficient' ways to absorb lead but you can manage to through your skin.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Lead is fine as long as you aren't eating it.
Or breathing dust or absorbing it through your skin. Ingesting lead is not the only vector.

Lead cannot be absorbed through skin outside of a few organic compounds that contain lead in their molecular makeup. Lead powder, lead metal cannot.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Lead is fine as long as you aren't eating it.
Or breathing dust or absorbing it through your skin. Ingesting lead is not the only vector.

Lead doesn't absorb through skin.


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Honestly, I mostly agree with the OP.
The problem here isn't about GM not having how to counter that off. But if every GM has to make all sorts of precautions so that these abilities are not used in full-power, I wonder why they're in the game. It would be much better to have a more "balanced" version which you can actually use without the GM having to iron-fist the issue away.
Such as teleportation. There are much better systems of teleportation magic which are still very good, but don't *break* the game as they are. I would rather have that, please.


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I'm hoping FoM doesn't shut down grapple completely and just gives a bonus against it in PF2. That way there's more than one viable grapple build when you get further up in levels.

Liberty's Edge

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willuwontu wrote:
I'm hoping FoM doesn't shut down grapple completely and just gives a bonus against it in PF2. That way there's more than one viable grapple build when you get further up in levels.

One very real possibility given that Grapples are now an Athletics skill check is that you can get a Skill Feat that lets you ignore FoM for grappling purposes. That's well within the thematic scope of Skill Feats at the Master level (which kicks in at 7th level or so, around when FoM comes online).

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