I can play a necromancer with a hoard if undead now, so that's cool.


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Now that shambler troops (Bestiary 3 302) are a thing, I can finally play a necromancer with a hoard of undead. Hooray.

*zombies grown.

I said HOORAY!

*zombies grown louder*

Now that's more like it.

Spoiler:
Just take the ritualist archetype, train in the relevant skills and create undead, then start raiding the graveyards and battlefields for the corpses. Though it should go without saying, check with your GM first.


Is there anything preventing you from using Animate Dead with the undead troops?


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Is there anything preventing you from using Animate Dead with the undead troops?

Unfortunately...

Troop wrote:
A troop is an organized collection of component creatures, typically Small or Medium in size, working as a cohesive whole. A troop is 16 squares in size and has two Hit Point thresholds in their HP entry, under which it reduces in size to 12 squares and then 8 squares. A troop has the Troop Defenses, Form Up, and Troop Movement abilities. Most troops have a weakness to area damage. Because they consist of multiple discrete creatures, they can't be summoned.


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PlantThings wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Is there anything preventing you from using Animate Dead with the undead troops?

Unfortunately...

Troop wrote:
A troop is an organized collection of component creatures, typically Small or Medium in size, working as a cohesive whole. A troop is 16 squares in size and has two Hit Point thresholds in their HP entry, under which it reduces in size to 12 squares and then 8 squares. A troop has the Troop Defenses, Form Up, and Troop Movement abilities. Most troops have a weakness to area damage. Because they consist of multiple discrete creatures, they can't be summoned.

Is there any balance concern (apart from their size)?


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PlantThings wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Is there anything preventing you from using Animate Dead with the undead troops?

Unfortunately...

Troop wrote:
A troop is an organized collection of component creatures, typically Small or Medium in size, working as a cohesive whole. A troop is 16 squares in size and has two Hit Point thresholds in their HP entry, under which it reduces in size to 12 squares and then 8 squares. A troop has the Troop Defenses, Form Up, and Troop Movement abilities. Most troops have a weakness to area damage. Because they consist of multiple discrete creatures, they can't be summoned.

Come on, rules, you used to be cool!

As far as I can figure, though I admit to not doing much figuring, there shouldn't be any serious concern with summoning up a troop besides using them as a mobile wall to hide behind. There are, you know, walls for that, though, so even then I'm inclined to ignore that last rule in favor of getting to summon up hordes of guys.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Now that shambler troops (Bestiary 3 302) are a thing, I can finally play a necromancer with a hoard of undead. Hooray.

*zombies grown.

I said HOORAY!

*zombies grown louder*

Now that's more like it.

** spoiler omitted **

I can't tell if these are some kind of puns but I feel compelled to say that it's spelled horde and groan.

Also Create Undead targets one dead creature, so I don't think you can make any troop type creatures with it, as they're explicitly made up of multiple component creatures and are immune to single target effects other than strikes. I might be wrong though.


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Djinn71 wrote:
Also Create Undead targets one dead creature, so I don't think you can make any troop type creatures with it, as they're explicitly made up of multiple component creatures and are immune to single target effects other than strikes. I might be wrong though.

Corpses aren't creatures. They're objects. If you adhered to that line, the whole spell would fail to function altogether. Ergo, I believe the target line to be referencing the resulting creature, not the starting corpse(s).

Furthermore, many undead horrors are made from the parts (or soul stuff) of several creatures. Are you saying that it is not possible to make any of them with this ritual either?

Furthermore, the shambler troop is a single Bestiary entry and thus should be treated as a single creature except where specifically noted under the troop rules and abilities.

Let's say for a moment that you can't use create undead to create a shambler troop in a single ritual. Then I'll just have to make 16 zombies, then form them into the troop. That just saved me 60gp. 16 zombies x 15gp = 240gp, as opposed to 300gp for a single level 4 creature.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm tempted to houserule away the restriction from the troops, because the troops seem liable to be balanced enough against other monsters of their level to allow for summoning. It would also be a perfect fit for the horde Necromancer concept as players get to high level. I can always end the houserule if it proves to be a problem.

Liberty's Edge

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If you want to allow this I suggest being sure that you include indications that you cannot "split up" the Troop after you summoned it and you cannot use Final Sacrifice with Troops because their Space/Size will dramatically scale up the size of the explosion.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
If you want to allow this I suggest being sure that you include indications that you cannot "split up" the Troop after you summoned it and you cannot use Final Sacrifice with Troops because their Space/Size will dramatically scale up the size of the explosion.

Sounds reasonable to me.


This makes me happy. Four -4 level undead minions felt lackluster. Four groups of sixteen -4 level undead is oh so much better.


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I expect it's less about balance and more about added complexity, crowding the typical battle map, and one player's turn taking a lot longer. Better to make that an opt-in thing for brave GMs.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It wouldn't take much longer, it basically treats the troop as one big monster.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
It wouldn't take much longer, it basically treats the troop as one big monster.

Troops have a bit more going on with movement and positioning with Form Up, but not enough to be more significantly troublesome imo.

Definitely trying out summonable troops at least once. I'm sure it'll be a fun learning experience.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I haven’t studied the troops in B3 yet, but if it does work, I certainly hope we see some archetypes and spells that specifically enable using troops from the player side of the screen.


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Beyond being able to block a lot of spaces at once and having a bit more overhead to run, troops also have Troop Defenses, which seem like they could be a concern:

Quote:

A damaging single-target effect, such as a Strike, can't force a troop to pass through more than one threshold at once. For instance, if a troop had 60 Hit Points, with thresholds at 40 and 20, a Strike for 50 damage would leave the troop at 21 Hit Points, just above the second threshold. A damaging area effect or multi-target effect can cross multiple thresholds at once and could potentially destroy the entire troop in one shot.

Non-damaging effects with an area or that target all creatures in a certain proximity affect a troop normally if they affect the entire area occupied by the troop. If an effect has a smaller area or numbers of targets, it typically has no effect on the troop

A troop minion seems like it could have an awful lot of staying power against enemies that would trash a non-troop creature of its level.

EDIT: Correction, I misread it slightly, thinking that a creature would stop after 1 threshold instead of stopping 1 damage short of 2 thresholds, so this only starts really mattering at pretty extreme level differences. Still a bit of extra toughness in a lot of circumstances, but not disastrously so I guess.


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FowlJ wrote:

Beyond being able to block a lot of spaces at once and having a bit more overhead to run, troops also have Troop Defenses, which seem like they could be a concern:

Quote:

A damaging single-target effect, such as a Strike, can't force a troop to pass through more than one threshold at once. For instance, if a troop had 60 Hit Points, with thresholds at 40 and 20, a Strike for 50 damage would leave the troop at 21 Hit Points, just above the second threshold. A damaging area effect or multi-target effect can cross multiple thresholds at once and could potentially destroy the entire troop in one shot.

Non-damaging effects with an area or that target all creatures in a certain proximity affect a troop normally if they affect the entire area occupied by the troop. If an effect has a smaller area or numbers of targets, it typically has no effect on the troop

A troop minion seems like it could have an awful lot of staying power against enemies that would trash a non-troop creature of its level.

EDIT: Correction, I misread it slightly, thinking that a creature would stop after 1 threshold instead of stopping 1 damage short of 2 thresholds, so this only starts really mattering at pretty extreme level differences. Still a bit of extra toughness in a lot of circumstances, but not disastrously so I guess.

Realistically I'd expect you could squeeze an extra turn's worth of defense out of a troop given those rules. I don't think that's a huge concern, summons are more about minor utilities now, and troops lack the spells and things that make other summons desirable, so it more or less balances out.

Maybe the restrictions are future-proofing, in case we get some really wacky troops later on?


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I'd be more concerned with the two action minion interaction with the slowed two action zombie drawback.


Ravingdork wrote:
I'd be more concerned with the two action minion interaction with the slowed two action zombie drawback.

RAW that is irrelevant isn't it? Correct me if I am wrong but slowed like quickened only applies at the start of a round. Meaning it impacts the minions overall actions but has no in game impact.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I'd be more concerned with the two action minion interaction with the slowed two action zombie drawback.
RAW that is irrelevant isn't it? Correct me if I am wrong but slowed like quickened only applies at the start of a round. Meaning it impacts the minions overall actions but has no in game impact.

Are you indicating that minions can't be slowed?


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Ravingdork wrote:
Are you indicating that minions can't be slowed?

Yes and no, with two different readings

"A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions"

"Your animal companion has the minion trait, and it gains 2 actions during your turn if you use the Command an Animal action to command it"

"When you regain your actions at the start of your turn, reduce the number of actions you regain by your slowed value"

To my reading there are two ways to read this:-
1): minions have 3 actions as normal but can only usea maximum of 2 per round regardless of how many would be available to them
2): minions gain/are granted actions when an ability gives them the actions, and can still only use 2 per round maximum

So if it is read as #1, then slowed will only impact the minion if it is Slowed 2 or higher. As the minion restriction is on number of actions they can use, not the number of actions they have.

If it is #2, then slowed won't have any impact regardless of the value as the minion doesn't gain/regain actions at the start of their turn.

Both readings nuliffy the slowed impact from being a zombie though. And I wouldn't feel confident in assuming that minions are meant to be slowed/quickened either, so without further guidance I would go with a RAW ruling (probably #1)

So yeah, in both cases they can be slowed, it just has limited effect or no effect.


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Yeah, I'm definitely letting my players summon troops. It's a nice way to scale up weaker monsters and return the feel of summoning an army while still being balanced


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It's also worth noting that you're only limited to four MINIONS. You could potentially create numerous additional troops that are friendly to you (or, if unintelligent, bag them in a portable hole, demiplane, or other area for later release upon your enemies).


Slow and minions

I get into more detail regarding animal companions but how slowed and minions works is still unresolved.

Brief summary of the potential answers:

1: Minions gain actions when commanded, and not at the beginning of turn so slow and quickened are both irrelevant.

2: Minions gain 3 actions, but are limited to taking 2, so slowed 1 doesn't matter but slowed 2 does. Quickened also doesn't matter.

3: Minions gain 2 actions, and are limited to taking 2, so slowed 1 reduces them to 1 action and quickened also doesn't matter.


Pirate Rob wrote:

Slow and minions

I get into more detail regarding animal companions but how slowed and minions works is still unresolved.

Brief summary of the potential answers:

1: Minions gain actions when commanded, and not at the beginning of turn so slow and quickened are both irrelevant.

2: Minions gain 3 actions, but are limited to taking 2, so slowed 1 doesn't matter but slowed 2 does. Quickened also doesn't matter.

3: Minions gain 2 actions, and are limited to taking 2, so slowed 1 reduces them to 1 action and quickened also doesn't matter.

Is this official?

I don't run it this way. I keep it simple. If a minion is hasted, they get a quickened action. If the minion is slowed, they lose an action or two. I don't like rules I have to spend too much time thinking or arguing about or that don't make sense within the physical reality of the world.


There's no official answer.

Those are just the 3 most reasonable conclusions to come to :(


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:

Is this official?

I don't run it this way. I keep it simple. If a minion is hasted, they get a quickened action. If the minion is slowed, they lose an action or two. I don't like rules I have to spend too much time thinking or arguing about or that don't make sense within the physical reality of the world.

Absent an official clarification, this is exactly how I have been running it.


Ravingdork wrote:
It's also worth noting that you're only limited to four MINIONS. You could potentially create numerous additional troops that are friendly to you (or, if unintelligent, bag them in a portable hole, demiplane, or other area for later release upon your enemies).

When I think on it, I'm not sure how mobile troops would be, at least in that regard. I know that gargantuan creatures are at least 36 bulk to move, so in theory you could carry around a few troops if you had a big enough bag of holding, but I imagine it'd take the troop a while to get out of the bag, since they'd have to crawl out a square at a time. Maybe something you could do outside of combat?


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Perpdepog wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It's also worth noting that you're only limited to four MINIONS. You could potentially create numerous additional troops that are friendly to you (or, if unintelligent, bag them in a portable hole, demiplane, or other area for later release upon your enemies).
When I think on it, I'm not sure how mobile troops would be, at least in that regard. I know that gargantuan creatures are at least 36 bulk to move, so in theory you could carry around a few troops if you had a big enough bag of holding, but I imagine it'd take the troop a while to get out of the bag, since they'd have to crawl out a square at a time. Maybe something you could do outside of combat?

I like to envision it as something like releasing them into the city streets at night, or into the surrounding wood of a small town.

Definitely an exploration activity if ever there was one, though it could make for a pretty cool encounter to set a bag down and have the heroes (or NPCs) forced to fight an increasing number of zombies, with another one pouring out of the bag each round. XD

If bulk limits are an issue, you can always use higher level spells, rituals, and items, such as magnificent mansion or create demiplane to contain them.


Ravingdork wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It's also worth noting that you're only limited to four MINIONS. You could potentially create numerous additional troops that are friendly to you (or, if unintelligent, bag them in a portable hole, demiplane, or other area for later release upon your enemies).
When I think on it, I'm not sure how mobile troops would be, at least in that regard. I know that gargantuan creatures are at least 36 bulk to move, so in theory you could carry around a few troops if you had a big enough bag of holding, but I imagine it'd take the troop a while to get out of the bag, since they'd have to crawl out a square at a time. Maybe something you could do outside of combat?

I like to envision it as something like releasing them into the city streets at night, or into the surrounding wood of a small town.

Definitely an exploration activity if ever there was one, though it could make for a pretty cool encounter to set a bag down and have the heroes (or NPCs) forced to fight an increasing number of zombies, with another one pouring out of the bag each round. XD

If bulk limits are an issue, you can always use higher level spells, rituals, and items, such as magnificent mansion or create demiplane to contain them.

The logistical issue there is that, if I remember right, once you set up the entrance to the space, said entrance doesn't really move.


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Perpdepog wrote:
The logistical issue there is that, if I remember right, once you set up the entrance to the space, said entrance doesn't really move.

Depends on the effect I guess.

I do not believe that create demiplane has any such restriction for example.


Neat find!
I'm interested in the other Troops, especially the constructs.
There is a Spirit Troop as well,are there any rituals to create or bind Spirits.


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The Ronyon wrote:

Neat find!

I'm interested in the other Troops, especially the constructs.
There is a Spirit Troop as well,are there any rituals to create or bind Spirits.

If it's an undead spirit, create undead likely works just as well for it (note though that there is a separate create undead ritual per kind of undead, however).

Call spirit and commune with nature can call forth spirits, but those are more information gathering techniques than they are true conjurings.


On the subject of terra-cotta soldiers and garrisons, was I the only one who felt kind of underwhelmed? Terra-cotta soldiers used to have these neat ways to synergize together, but now as far as I can tell they are just "fighter, the construct." Same goes for the garrison, too. No real special abilities to speak of.

Or is the fact that they have an intelligence score good enough on its own?

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