Thread Necromancy: multiple archon auras of menace - who gets nerfed, and by how much?

Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

Searched the forums and found several threads on this subject, but none came to a definitive conclusion, whether “everyone/an overwhelming majority agree” or “a developer descends from on high and says unto the Pathfinders: ...”

Running an Eyes of the Ten table in the near future, and the party is psyched to use this as a tactic, so a definitive answer one way or the other is necessary (preferably one that doesn’t have them waffle-stomping the whole thing).

If a summoner of one kind or another brings in multiple lantern archons or hound archons, each has the following ability:

Aura of Menace (Su) A righteous aura surrounds archons that fight or get angry. Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of an archon must succeed on a Will save to resist its effects. The save DC varies with the type of archon, is Charisma-based, and includes a +2 racial bonus. Those who fail take a –2 penalty on attacks, AC, and saves for 24 hours or until they successfully hit the archon that generated the aura. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by the same archon’s aura for 24 hours.

So 2 questions:

1) (probably the simpler one) Who gets nerfed? It says “any hostile creature” - the intuitive answer is “those hostile toward the archon and its allies.” But the way it’s written leaves it open to the interpretation that it’s anyone engaging in hostile actions/combat, akin to what you’d consider for a calm emotions spell. Does someone have to be specifically hostile towards a specific archon to be subject to that archon’s aura? Or specifically hostile to the summoner? Or do allies who are fighting in the area also become subject to this effect?

2) And by how much? First instinct here is to say that since the penalty is untyped, it should technically stack, and therefore since multiple auras are separate (though identical - supernatural, not spell) effects, those in the area of more than one aura should be subject to a penalty of -4, -6, etc. if they fail multiple saves.

As I’m certain the PCs preferred interpretation will result in a dozen or more archons flooding the board seeking to nerf all foes the PCs face (while slowing combat to a crawl), I’m not exactly thrilled at the prospect. However, we’re looking to run this for PFS credit, so “the rule of fun” should at least try to err in favor of “getting it right.”


For point 1 I would rule that if it is not an ally of the archon it gets nerfed.
For them stacking I agree that as written they stack. But it then generates the problem of super nerfing the bad guys. Though as I'm GMing a Way of the Wicked campaign this sounds like something I could use...

If a character gets fire resistance from 3 different sources - spell or supernatural - then only the highest applies, they don't stack. I think the same principle should apply here. The enemy saves once per archon but only gets the penalty once at most.

OTOH archons have an aura of menace, not an aura of peace. Anyone on the other side gets affected IMO.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

1) Anyone hostile to the Archon, and to the caster if they are summoned. Neutral bystanders aren't affected.
ùspells like Confusion will generate problems, as the people affected view anyone as an enemy and become hostile, so confused party members will be affected by the Archon Aura.

2) While the modifier is untyped, the origin is always Aura of Menace. As I see it the origin is the same and the penalties don't stack but they overlap.

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