What's the point of frog, if otter is available? (Animal Aspect, Greater)


Rules Questions


Here is the relevant text from the Greater Animal Aspect spell:

Quote:

You gain some of the beneficial qualities of an animal. Your base form is largely unchanged and your size is unaltered, but some of your body parts are altered. Armor or gear you are wearing adjusts to your new shape for the duration of the spell. When you cast animal aspect, choose one of the following animals to gain the associated benefits. You can only have one animal aspect or greater animal aspect spell active on you at a time.

Frog: You gain a Swim speed equal to half your normal speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed.

Otter: Your swim speed increases to your full normal speed, and you need not make concentration checks to cast spells underwater.

So... why ever take the frog option, if the otter option is clearly better? Is there some reading of this that makes frog useful in some circumstance?


Greater animal aspect also includes the bonus from the normal aspect, not just the upgrades you list.


Sure. You still get the base effects from the non-greater animal aspect spell:

Frog: Your legs become elongated and muscular. You gain a +4 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks, and you always jump as if you had a running start.

Otter: Your hands and feet gain webbing, and your lungs gain capacity, allowing you to move through the water with ease. You gain a Swim speed equal to half your speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed. Additionally, you can hold your breath for 4 rounds per point of Constitution before being forced to make Constitution checks to keep holding your breath.

Frogs are better at jumping, unsurprisingly.


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So the way I read it, with Greater ANIMAL ASPECT you either gain 2 of the following:

ANIMAL ASPECT wrote:

Frog: Your legs become elongated and muscular. You gain a +4 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks, and you always jump as if you had a running start.

Gorilla: Your arms become long, flexible, and strong like those of a great ape. Your unarmed damage die type increases by one step, and you gain a +4 competence bonus on combat maneuver checks when making the grapple or reposition combat maneuver.
Monkey: Your hands and arms become dexterous like those of a simian. You gain a +4 competence bonus on Climb checks, and you can throw objects as if you had the Throw Anything feat.
Otter: Your hands and feet gain webbing, and your lungs gain capacity, allowing you to move through the water with ease. You gain a Swimspeed equal to half your speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed. Additionally, you can hold your breath for 4 rounds per point of Constitution before being forced to make Constitution checks to keep holding your breath.
Raccoon: Your hands become extremely dexterous, and your feet become padded. You gain a +2 competence bonus on Disable Device, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks.
Raptor: Your legs become built for running speed, like those of a deinonychus. You gain a enhancement bonus of +20 feet to your base speed.
Tree Lizard: Your hands and feet gain climbing claws and climbing pads. You gain a climb speed equal to half your normal speed and all the benefits of having a natural climb speed.

OR one of the first list (animal aspect), and the corresponding bonus from the second list (greater animal aspect):

GREATER ANIMAL ASPECT wrote:

Frog: You gain a Swim speed equal to half your normal speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed.

Gorilla: You gain a +2 competence bonus on Perception checks, and a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves.
Monkey:You gain a +4 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks.
Otter:Your swim speed increases to your full normal speed, and you need not make concentration checks to cast spells underwater.
Raccoon: Your competence bonuses on Disable Device, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks increase to +4.
Raptor: Your enhancement bonus to speed increases to +30 feet, and you gain the benefit of the Run feat.
Tree Lizard: You gain a +4 competence bonus on Stealth checks.

So for Frog and Otter your choices are:

CHOICE ONE wrote:

Frog: (1)Your legs become elongated and muscular. You gain a +4 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks, and you always jump as if you had a running start.

Frog: (2)You gain a Swim speed equal to half your normal speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed.
CHOICE TWO wrote:

Otter: (1)Your hands and feet gain webbing, and your lungs gain capacity, allowing you to move through the water with ease. You gain a Swimspeed equal to half your speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed. Additionally, you can hold your breath for 4 rounds per point of Constitution before being forced to make Constitution checks to keep holding your breath.

Otter: (2)Your swim speed increases to your full normal speed, and you need not make concentration checks to cast spells underwater.
CHOICE THREE wrote:

Frog: (1)Your legs become elongated and muscular. You gain a +4 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks, and you always jump as if you had a running start.

Otter: (1)Your hands and feet gain webbing, and your lungs gain capacity, allowing you to move through the water with ease. You gain a Swimspeed equal to half your speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed. Additionally, you can hold your breath for 4 rounds per point of Constitution before being forced to make Constitution checks to keep holding your breath.

TLDR: CHOICE ONE and CHOICE THREE are almost identical. It's almost certainly an overisght.

EDIT: I did a lot of editing after posting to make it easier to read. Hopefully I didn't mess anything up =P


The spell grants you either two lower level aspects or one aspect added on to the corresponding lower level.

If you dont like frogs greater aspect, choose a different one. I don't think its oversight so much as limited amounts of options with frogs and otters and swim skill.


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The reason I called it an oversight is that any time you could choose the advanced frog option ...

Quote:

Frog: (1)Your legs become elongated and muscular. You gain a +4 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks, and you always jump as if you had a running start.

Frog: (2)You gain a Swim speed equal to half your normal speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed.

... you could instead choose thebasic frog and basic otter options ...

Quote:

Frog: (1)Your legs become elongated and muscular. You gain a +4 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks, and you always jump as if you had a running start.

Otter: (1)Your hands and feet gain webbing, and your lungs gain capacity, allowing you to move through the water with ease. You gain a Swimspeed equal to half your speed, and all the benefits of having a swim speed. Additionally, you can hold your breath for 4 rounds per point of Constitution before being forced to make Constitution checks to keep holding your breath.

... which is strictly superior (it's the same except for the nold part).

The oversight is that they made two similar options where one is always better than the other (which is something Paizo has said they try not to do).


MrCharisma wrote:


The oversight is that they made two similar options where one is always better than the other (which is something Paizo has said they try not to do).

Unfortunately this seems to happen a lot with pick your animal features, they seem to be designed for flavor rather than mechanics and so often you end up with one that's just strictly better than another.


Maybe the caster has never heard of an otter, or just hates otters?

...Yeah, I know. Who hates otters?


Based on the Swim skill, 'all the benefits of having a Swim speed' means you get:
- +8 to Swim checks
- No need to make Swim checks when moving up to your listed speed (in this case, half your base speed)
- Can take 10 on Swim checks when distracted
- Can take the 'Run' action while swimming

Otter makes you swim at your full base speed, and you don't need to make concentration checks to cast spells while underwater. But you still have to make Swim checks every round, which means you might drown or go nowhere if you fail them.


Foeclan wrote:
Otter makes you swim at your full base speed, and you don't need to make concentration checks to cast spells while underwater. But you still have to make Swim checks every round, which means you might drown or go nowhere if you fail them.

The greater version of otter doesn't need to give that because you have to have the basic aspect to add the greater one to. The 'full version' of the otter greater aspect is:

- You gain a swim speed equal to your full speed.
- All the benefits of having a swim speed.
- The ability to hold your breath for 4XCon rounds.
- You don't need to make concentration checks for underwater spellcasting.

So no need for swim checks just to swim.


Ah. I didn't understand how it worked. MrCharisma had made it perfectly clear. Thank you everyone.

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