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

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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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In Pathfinder, does the summoner or the GM control the eidolon?

I'm starting up a summoner character in a Pathfinder campaign, but we're a little unsure of the rules for eidolons. While I know the summoner is the one who tells her eidolon what to do, I'm wondering ...
17
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3answers
842 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 ...
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1answer
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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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Rules lawyers and how to deal with them

I've been running a Pathfinder campaign set in my own world for close to three years now. We play using a VTT system (d20pro) since all of my players aren't in the same state. Since the beginning I'd ...
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9answers
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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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2answers
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How does time work in 3.5/Pathfinder?

I am wondering about preparing spells per day. How long is a day? One session? Also some spells last 15 minutes. How long is that during a combat encounter?
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5answers
841 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
510 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
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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
669 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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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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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
6k views

Class level vs. Character level vs. “my” level

Forgive me for not being good at game terminology, but there is one concept that I simply have been unable to fully grasp. I have read the core rulebook, but I am not strong with books in general. (I ...
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4answers
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How do I manage my Druid's wildshapes?

My druid picked up the wildshape ability a few levels back, but hasn't had a chance to use it yet. The wide-open nature of the ability (and the labyrinthine rules) has left me reluctant to bog down ...
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1answer
10k views

What can I do in one round?

I'm still little confused about actions in Pathfinder. There are standard actions, move actions, full round actions, free actions, etc. I need to know which combinations of these actions I can use in ...
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6answers
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Any good steampunk material for d20?

The DM of my current Friday night game is running a steampunk-setting, using the Pathfinder rules system. We have two artificers in the party, but my feeling is that all of our material is fantasy and ...
16
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4answers
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Should I use a GMPC to help a small party?

I am starting a Pathfinder game. It will be my first time DM'ing, though I have played 3.x and Pathfinder for a few years. The party will consist of my girlfriend, my best friend, and his girlfriend. ...
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4answers
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Why can you only craft one magic item per day?

Most magical items of any significant power will take far longer than one day to create. Given the crafting rate of 1 day per 1,000 gold, it seems unlikely there will be any serious balance concerns ...
16
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4answers
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Rewarding a PC who educates himself?

One of the PCs in the group I am hosting likes to read books about various arcana stuff in the library of the city at night. (He only needs to sleep for 2 hours.) Should I reward the PC somehow with ...
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5answers
3k views

How real are illusions?

The PCs this week tried to do something that stumped me this week, though I am sure this question has been asked before. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the PCs decided that they would cast an ...
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1answer
646 views

Do Half-elves count as Humans for the Favored Enemy class feature?

I have Favored Enemy (Humans). Do half-elves count as humans too?
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4answers
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Do enemies have the same rules for death as PCs?

Once an enemy is lowered to 0 HP, are they dead or just knocked out? Do you have to reduce them to their negative Con score or is that mechanic strictly reserved for players?
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1answer
5k views

Firing into close combat in Pathfinder

If I am using a bow against an enemy who is in melee combat with an ally of mine, I get a -4 on my attack roll, unless I have the precise shot feat. (See page 184 in the Core Rules. Do I suffer the ...
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3answers
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How do I help my players get more engaged in the story?

I play in a group where we routinely switch out GMs. When I GM I tend to prefer story-based games with lots of character building and descriptive role play. We tend to run Paizo's Adventure Paths ...
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2answers
399 views

How can a DM brighten the mood?

Sometimes a story can turn away from its original direction and take on a darker tone, what is a good approach to lightening the mood? As a new DM, I started a Pathfinder campaign a year ago with a ...
16
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2answers
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If I turn into an earth elemental, how blind am I?

Suppose that I'm a druid, and I Wildshape into the form of a medium earth elemental (functionally the same as casting Elemental Body II). What senses do I have available to me? Polymorph spells have ...
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6answers
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Character Build - “Bad Luck” Theme

I'm trying to build a character who suffers a strange and inexplicable stigma that attracts misfortune to all the people around him. (In South America it's called "mufa"; in colloquial language, ...
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3answers
207 views

Are there rules for identifying class abilities?

Are there rules for PCs making checks to identify class abilities of NPCs? For example, if a Monk uses Slow Fall, or a Druid uses Woodland Stride, or a Paladin uses Lay On Hands, can nearby PCs ...
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5answers
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Can a spellcaster use spell slots above their normal limit if their ability scores allow bonus spells of that level?

This question is inspired by discussion here, about how Heighten Spell works with Reserve Feats. The question that I am asking here deals with whether or not players can cast spells using spell slots ...
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5answers
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How to handle player weapon modification

In a game it got brought up that a frost creature is vulnerable to fire. Me being GM they ask if they can quote "drip their arrows in oil and light them on fire" to produce more damage against someone ...
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5answers
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Should drawing weapons involve an initiative roll when combat isn't going to happen?

I need some advice on how to handle a troublesome situation. If my PCs are in a tense situation, and an NPC suddenly draws a weapon, should I ask my players to roll for initiative? Is this the most ...
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6answers
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Are there D&D rules for encouraging non-optimal activities?

That is, characters doing frivolous stuff like drinking too much ale at the tavern and getting drunk. Spending gold to see a minstrel show. Gambling and brawling. Patronizing the local house of ill ...
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3answers
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Can you wear two of the same ring?

Can a character have on two identical rings, one in each ring slot? I can't seem to find any rule saying this isn't possible, but the DM thinks it may not be. The ring I have in mind is just a pair of ...
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13answers
7k views

How to mitigate glass cannon syndrome in Pathfinder?

This is the more gamey part of my other question, What to do when your character is just too good? In D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder, damage output grows very, very quickly. Much more quickly than hit ...
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3answers
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Can the Druid Wood Shape and Ironwood spells be used to create armor?

A player in my group is trying to figure out the logistics of creating armor by using a combination of Wood Shape and Ironwood. Is it possible the he could create a Darkwood Breastplate out of a ...
15
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9answers
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Can you intentionally fail a skill check?

This comes up to me in the context of the 3.x/PF/d20 Fly skill, even when I simply read about it: Can you intentionally fail a Fly skill check, or any other skill check for that matter, if you, or ...
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4answers
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Pathfinder: can a ghost wear armor?

According to the universal monster rules, incorporeal creatures (read: ghosts) have no Strength score: [An incorporeal creature] has no Strength score, so its Dexterity modifier applies to its ...
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5answers
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The fastest Elf in the West (at initiative anyway)

They called him Ernie, the fastest Elf in the West. Ahem. I'm trying to improve the initiative of an Elf Wizard. At the moment it's at a respectable: +15 +4 Dex (Base) +4 Improved Initiative ...
15
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3answers
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What is all the backstory in an Adventure Path for if the players never see it?

I'm new to tabletop RPGs (although I have been interested for a long time, just had difficulty finding like-minded companions, and the funds required to get some of the stuff). When I was finally ...
15
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3answers
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Is there a noticeably better buffer class in Pathfinder?

I tend to min/max slightly and outshine my fellow players so in the next campaign I decided to play a support role who buffs the other players to avoid this and help my fellow players shine. My aim ...
15
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1answer
1k views

What if a critical “hit” misses?

A natural 20 is automatically a hit, and threatens to be a critical, then you re-roll for confirming the critical (for which it has to be higher than the enemies AC to a maximum of 20). Now if ...
15
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3answers
436 views

Can you use a Longbow outside level flight?

Are there any rules for using a Longbow in parabolic flight, e.g. when you don't have Line of Sight or the target is a very long way a way?
15
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5answers
523 views

How can I mechanistically empower a prophecy or fortune without railroading the plot?

I am interested in the idea of incorporating fate (via prophecy or fortunes told) in my campaign. I would like to come up with a set of rules/mechanics to make a prophecy or fortune teller's ...
15
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3answers
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On a critical hit, does one double negative modifiers?

Let's say a character with an 8 STR confirms a critical hit with a short sword. A normal hit for them would deal 1d6-1 damage. Does the critical deal 2d6-2?
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4answers
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How relatively strong is a character of a given level

I'm new to DMing and writing my own campaign, and I've only played Pathfinder once with a group of other new players. I was wondering how "powerful" of something level X (in terms of character level) ...
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How do cursed items work?

I have never really used cursed items in my campaigns, but I'm considering doing so for my latest one. For the most part, cursed items seem pretty straightforward except for two things: How do you ...
15
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2answers
593 views

Why is the soft level-cap set at level 20, specifically?

I've been wondering lately if there is any sort of precedence or context for the soft level-cap of level 20 in various D20 style tabletop games. I say soft cap because I'd like to, for the purposes of ...
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5answers
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Does the armor category inherently imply a speed change?

This may be silly but I started wondering about this after looking at this question: How does the Armored Kilt work?. I have not been able to find an explicit rule that says all Medium armors reduce ...