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In Ultimate Psionics, under the description of the Aegis' astral suit customizations, it clearly states:

"Modifying the customization points spent on an astral suit requires 8 hours of concentration."

Not sleep. Not meditation. Straight up, nose-to-the-grindstone concentration.

The RAW seems pretty clear. The RAI does too, in my mind; if you allow the Aegis to designate his buffs too freely or easily, he becomes too powerful.

Now, as a GM ... I mean, what am I supposed to do for this guy? Do we need to find an extradimensional hole to hide from encounters in so he can do this and THEN get some sleep? I don't think this would be affected by a Ring of Sustenance, either.

I understand I could fix this by GM fiat. Here, I am asking for RAW interpretation of what 8 hours of concentration 'looks like', and ideas on how to NOT get him killed during this timeframe. Of course, I wouldn't turn away RAI insights or anecdotal house rules.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can't this be done between adventures, via handwaving? \$\endgroup\$ – Chemus Apr 30 '17 at 4:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus, I'm sure it could, provided that you weren't in the middle of teeming-with-murderous-scum nowhere. And I could wave it away and call it sleep. But, then, sadly, if this guy wants/needs to do this in a dungeon crawl, and we jam some doors shut and stay quiet... we're back to the same question. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Boddy Apr 30 '17 at 4:05
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Time spent concentrating is time spent spending a standard action each round on the concentration, and then making any necessary concentration checks to avoid being disrupted. Obviously, it is best if you have some decent peace and quiet for this, but you could conceivably do it while moving (somewhat slowly), or better, riding (though this may prompt concentration checks, it should be no great difficulty to pass them ad nauseam since taking-101 should be sufficient to succeed). This will obviously become a problem if ambushed.

But really, most Pathfinder characters can spare 8 (extra) hours at some point. Downtime is important to a lot of classes—wizards need time to scribe spells, crafters need time to craft, so on and so forth. Some downtime is expected. In fact, the various demands on characters’ time leads to a sort of natural inclination to divide the day into thirds: 8 hours of adventuring, 8 hours of downtime, 8 hours of sleep.

If you compare the aegis’s re-customization option to another character who actually crafts real armor, 8 hours to redo things is a major bargain—the crafter would often have to start over from scratch if he wanted to change something.

However, if your campaign is different, and downtime isn’t available, then yes, consider houseruling the aegis—and also maybe also the wizard, and creating, and other downtime activities.

  1. I cannot find any rule one way or the other on taking 10 on concentration checks in Pathfinder; clearly, most of the time it wouldn’t matter since the situations that prompt concentration checks are situations that prevent taking-10 anyway. I do find forum discussion claiming you cannot, but nothing substantive. But since the aegis is a port of D&D 3.5e material where you definitely could take-10 on Concentrate (it was a skill), I would just call that a mistake made in porting and allow taking 10 on this even if you normally can’t.
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    \$\begingroup\$ I freelance for Dreamscarred Press, and so have poked the authors themselves on this topic. I’ll update if I get a more “official” answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 30 '17 at 4:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, in this, and extrapolating a 'concentration' check of being somewhat like spellcasting, I set a DC for that concentration (that presumably is 10 or less for undisturbed solitude), and the Aegis could take his class level and intelligence modifier (the ability score dictating his extra power points per day) as bonuses to the d20 roll? \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Boddy Apr 30 '17 at 4:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeanBoddy In 3.5 (where this material originated), Concentration was a skill, and (at least in theory) could be applied to any situation where concentration was required (spellcasting was, as it is now, just about the only significant case for it, but nonetheless). You can see the skill details here. Notably, most DCs were not based on spell level—since they could easily apply while doing things other than spellcasting. I would basically treat this as a 0-level spell for DCs’ sake, applied to the usual bases for riding, storms,etc. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 30 '17 at 4:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I'll almost certainly be accepting this, but I'll wait a bit. Customs and courtesies and all that. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Boddy Apr 30 '17 at 4:27
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I think the problematic assumption here is that the Aegis needs sleep after the process. It sounds like you're used to camping out for 8 hours to allow people to sleep and refresh spells and stuff, just think of it like that. Let's look at what happens if the Aegis doesn't sleep:

Characters who do not get a full night’s sleep may suffer the effects of fatigue. If a PC does not get at least 6 hours of sleep, she must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be fatigued and take a –1 penalty on all other checks and saving throws against sleep effects. A second night without sleep requires another DC 15 Fortitude save. A failed save results in the character becoming exhausted and the penalties increasing to –2. A third failed save on the next night increases the penalties to –3.

(source)

And that's about it. You also don't get the effects of sleep, namely hp and ability point recovery. You can take care of all of this with a 1st level spell like Keep Watch, or you can safely ignore it since 1) You are very unlikely to fail a DC 15 Fort save 2) Fatigue can be removed by Restoration or 8 hours of rest, and if you are stuck with it for a while the prohibition against taking the run action is the only serious issue.

Basically, skipping a night's sleep (or all sleep forever) in Pathfinder isn't really that big of a deal. The need for 8 hours of downtime is a serious restraint, but all spellcasting classes need 8 hours of rest per day, and it sounds like you're used to making time for sleep anyways.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would it be possible to get a source for those rules? I can’t seem to find them in the SRD; are they only in the CRB or something? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan May 3 '17 at 2:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Oh, no, it's way worse than that. The only source for lack-of-sleep mechanical penalties are Pathfinder Adventure Path #44: Trial of the Beast. There's a section on sleep in the pfsrd site, though, which includes that with a reference. Check out the glossary of common terms entry for rest. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil May 3 '17 at 3:35

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