Pathfinder RPG, derived from Dungeons & Dragons v3.5, published in 2009.

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How do I make a gunslinger with a decent damage progression?

I am considering playing a Gunslinger when next we play Pathfinder (I am currently GMing a game, and we'll be switching off afterwards), and thumbing through the Ultimate Combat Playtest v. 2, and I'm ...
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4answers
2k views

What encounter features make low CR enemies challenging?

I'm planning an encounter where a mid level party would be assaulted by a a large number of lower level characters. We've all read Tucker's Kobolds, but what makes this kind of encounter actually ...
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2answers
2k views

Where it says longsword +3 and short sword +2, what does the +3 and +2 mean?

In the following example character, in this case Valeros: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/npcCodex/iconic/valeros.html What does the +3 and +2 mean in relation to his weapons? Are these ...
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2answers
34k views

Optimal Focused Fighter Builds in Pathfinder

Using just the core rulebook and the advanced player's guide, what would be an optimal build for a fighter using 25 points for point-buy character generation? Assume it's a level 10 fighter intended ...
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6answers
2k views

How can I substitute bonus XP in a non-XP campaign?

I have a party that have taken up sneaking past guards and avoiding traps and thus not getting encounter XP. They all first time D&D players but long time boardgamers so they picked it up quite ...
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5answers
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What are the advantages of AD&D over D&D3?

Background: I've been playing RPGs for a long time and I've been playing AD&D for years. I enjoyed both the original D&D and D&D3/3.5/Pathfinder, other than (especially) tons of other ...
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6answers
3k views

Is Coup de Grace on sleeping and bound opponents an evil act?

So I was recently participating in a Pathfinder Society game. Our ship was attacked and boarded by pirates. First thing that happened was one of our party cast sleep, and succeeded in putting four of ...
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7answers
6k views

Help! My party isn't challenged?

While I've been running my campaign, I'm starting to get stumped. I am playing with a party of four, and we recently switched from 3.5 to Pathfinder, but the problem was the same in both situations. ...
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8answers
4k views

How do I design exciting, fun boss fights for my players?

So I've DM'd three separate games, of which one that I'm largely happy with. However, one consistent problem I run into is designing fun, exciting, and interesting boss fights. I've run into two major ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the purpose of slow experience gain in Pathfinder Society Organized Play?

Pathfinder Society Organized Play allows players to advance either 1XP or 1/2XP per session. There are no advantages offered by taking the slower XP (experience) gain, so why would someone use this ...
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3answers
2k views

Can I use Vampiric Touch on myself?

The Spell Vampiric Touch states: Your touch deals 1d6 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 10d6). You gain temporary hit points equal to the damage you deal. You can't gain more ...
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3answers
7k views

Favored Class Bonus at 1st Level?

So, it doesn't seem entirely clear from the Core Rulebook: does one get the favored class bonus (+1 to hp or +1 skill) at first level? I wouldn't have thought so, but I notice that the Hero Lab ...
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3answers
782 views

Can a Gelatinous Cube be knocked prone?

Actually, this is a more general form of the question. Can something that cannot be tripped still be knocked prone from an effect which causes it? So, in the Gelatinous Cube Stat block, we have: ...
19
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1answer
2k views

What does 1-1/2 mean?

In Pathfinder I've seen the phrase "adds 1-1/2 the creature's strength bonus on damage rolls" Does that mean multiply by 1.5?
19
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3answers
611 views

Does your initiative change if your dex changes?

After combat has started will changes to your DEX stat (sufficent to change your dex bonus) change your initiative score? Example: Wizard Bob sees a goblin approaching and initiative is rolled; the ...
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4answers
1k views

Why do Spell-Like Abilities provoke attacks of opportunity?

Both in D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder, Spell-Like Abilities are described as having "no verbal, somatic, focus, or material components." In both systems, however, activating them as a standard action ...
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1answer
2k views

Is Smite Evil damage multiplied by a critical hit?

In Pathfinder, smite damage adds +paladin level (or 2 × paladin level) to damage when smiting evil. The rules for critical hits say: A critical hit means that you roll your damage more ...
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2answers
1k views

Do Attack of Opportunity and Readied Action both apply?

Suppose I have a rogue facing an enemy spell-caster. My rogue drinks a potion of invisibility, stealths behind the caster, and readies an action to attack when the caster casts a spell. The caster ...
19
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2answers
656 views

Catching falling characters

In my experience, whenever a character falls because of a pit trap or a botched climb check there is always at least one player that that tries to catch them. I can't seem to find any specific rulings ...
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8answers
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“Ray of Frost” Spell + Water = Lock Broken?

I played only D&D 3.0 and 3.5 editions, but if similar, low-level spells exist in D&D 4.0 and Pathfidnder, please comment, I will probably make a transition to one of them anyway. Is it ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Covertly casting a spell

This question about Charm Person got me musing about a problem with the spell. Obviously, you can't cast Charm Person in the middle of a forum to sway an interlocutor to your side without the other 20 ...
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3answers
3k views

How can I thwart a vampire in the party planning on dominating all of us?

We have a party member in Pathfinder get bitten on purpose where the rest of the party didn't see, so he turned into a vampire and nobody knows in-game. He is pretty much planing on turning the whole ...
18
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1answer
4k views

Can a cat kill a rat?

The Cat is so weak (STR 3) that it's melee attacks don't do any damage. 2 claws (1d2–4), bite (1d3–4). Both have +4 to attack roll due to weapon finesse+dexterity bonus - so the cat will hit things, ...
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4answers
23k views

What are the major differences between Pathfinder and D&D 4e?

I'm really only familiar with D&D 4e. Could someone give me a rundown of the major things that would be different if I were to DM Pathfinder? (I gather it is more similar to 3.5e, but I only know ...
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5answers
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How to reduce minis dependence in d20-based games?

In Pathfinder and similar versions of D&D, there is a lot more miniatures/tactical map dependence than in earlier versions (and in most other RPGs). I am interested in reducing the dependence on ...
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3answers
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Greasing a wall

The grease spell is well known for being an excellent spell for many reasons; my Wizard found amusing use for it that caused some head scratching in a game. An enemy was climbing down a wall, so my ...
18
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1answer
716 views

Dispel Magic vs multiple summons

Dispel magic says: If you target an object or creature that is the effect of an ongoing spell (such as a monster summoned by summon monster), you make a dispel check to end the spell that ...
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5answers
558 views

What field-specific puzzles can I give to engineering and psychology students?

A few sessions ago, I gave my players a puzzle that involved converting a decimal number to binary to figure out the correct sequence to open a door. Since my group consists primarily of computer ...
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3answers
715 views

What information do creatures passively gain from constant “Detect” spells?

Consider the Night Hag. The Night Hag has "constant detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, and detect magic." However, each spell reveals additional information for each round "you study ...
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2answers
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Are there any resources for diseases or plagues in D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder?

In creating an adventure, there will be a major meterological event causing massive damage to the town's infrastructure. In the aftermath, there will be a pretty significant outbreak of at least one ...
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6answers
2k views

Mind Control: What's a Dominate Person between allies?

In a recent game of 10th level characters, we had a small issue in the group. To set the scene, my character was a serpentfolk witch, specializing in enchantment and specifically mind-magic. We had a ...
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4answers
6k views

Why are whips so restricted?

The bard has always been a bit of an unusual class. One thing, though, that I've really enjoyed about the bard is that they get Exotic Weapon Proficiency (whip) for free. However, after playing a bit ...
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11answers
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What variant rules can promote a less kick-in-the-door mindset?

My group has long had a very kick-in-the-door attitude towards combat. Characters were min-maxed for DPS, and there was very little strategy to any combat. Characters would charge in, hit it till it ...
17
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9answers
976 views

Any GM headaches or canon reasons not to let resurrected PCs fight their reanimated corpses?

Given that, a character can be dissolved in acid and resurrected A body isn't necessary for resurrection. Also, given that, a dark cleric/necromancer can raise a dead body to fight It seems ...
17
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7answers
14k views

Is two-weapon fighting only as a full-round action balanced versus fighting with a two-handed weapon?

One of the players in a Pathfinder game in which I am playing is arguing that characters should be able to get the additional attack for fighting with two weapons when attacking as a standard action, ...
17
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6answers
440 views

Good Mutiny Rules?

I am currently GMing a pirate game (running since 2009) where the PCs have become the command crew of a pirate ship. Their crew is they typical mix of pirates from other ships they've overcome (join ...
17
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2answers
3k views

Lower spells in higher spell slots

Can you place a lower level spell in a higher spell slot? In other words, can you place magic missile in a 4th level slot if you want to, without a metamagic feat? This came up in our Pathfinder game ...
17
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3answers
666 views

Do you remember what happened during Dominate Person?

My character was affected by the dominate person spell (and failed the will save) and was given some orders. Does he have any recollection or memory of the orders after the duration of the effect ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Do you get skill points retroactively for increased Int?

In D&D 3.5 you don't get skill points retroactively, only from the next level onwards after you increase your intelligence enough to gain an increased bonus, leading to extra skill points per ...
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3answers
25k views

Calculating and balancing challenge ratings

Are there standard rules for calculating CR of groups? For example, in my Pathfinder bestiary, a single Stirge is listed as CR 1/2, and a group of 2d4 (average 5) of them is listed as an average CR 4. ...
17
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2answers
419 views

Strategies for handling age of maturity dissonance for Aasimar (or other plane-touched) born to humans?

I find the fact that elves don’t reach adulthood until they are 110 relatively straightforward to work with, since the children and parents are aging at the same rate and their cultures are built ...
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9answers
3k views

Overly strong level 1 barbarian

I am new to DMing(this is my first campaign) and one of the pcs rolled a 18 str char and made a 20 str Barbarian. What is the best way to deal with this at the early levels of the game where his hit ...
16
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9answers
2k views

New players missing the big picture?

Ok so I've just started my two daughters on their first ever Pathfinder campaign using the pre-built TC1 "Into the Haunted Forest". It's going ok, they are having fun, but they seem to be overlooking ...
16
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5answers
703 views

Memory After Death

A recent campaign started with the death of the party and reincarnation of the party with the premise of "we brought you back to find those who killed you". One player was concerned that these people ...
16
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7answers
479 views

How can I use a frame story and keep a sense of danger and mystery?

I am planning a campaign that I would like to present as a frame story: the heroes are recounting their adventures in a tavern in exchange for drinks (and then picking up the last leg of the adventure ...
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5answers
3k views

Can a character take free action out of her turn?

Free actionsD20PFSRD in Pathfinder take almost no time. But can they be performed outside of one's turn or in response to some trigger? Scenario 1: Can a Barbarian enter rage in response to taking ...
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7answers
612 views

How should a GM handle novice players?

In our game, we have 5 players - two are completely new to roleplaying, and one is new to the system we're playing (Pathfinder). At the moment, the GM grants the new players no leeway - if the player ...
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3answers
995 views

How do you choose treasure for encounters with creatures that drop treasure?

In the past, I generally try to send the PCs off on a quest "yadda yadda yadda, kill this and I'll give you 200 gold!" However, this time, my PCs went off without any quest and entered a cave. I ...
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3answers
1k views

Is negative energy (or chanelling it) necessarily evil?

I'm building a Lawful Neutral cleric of Abadar, and picture her channeling negative energy as "Abadar's rebuke of the unjust". In my case, she'll use the Rulership variant channeling rules, cutting ...
16
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2answers
990 views

If an enemy moves and provokes an opportunity attack, where are they when the AoO happens?

I was surprised to find no mention of this in the Opportunity Attack rules on d20pfsrd or on the Paizo SRD: if an enemy moves from tile A to tile B and provokes an opportunity attack from me in doing ...