Campaign of the Month: September 2012
A Manifestation of Chaos
Pathfinder - Rules Clairifications - Game System Rules
Rule Clarification 1: Defend Command
When a pet is given the ‘Defend’ command: a person, place, or group should be specified
Rule Clarification 2: Cover
To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).
When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has cover if any line from any corner of your square to the target’s square goes through a wall (including a low wall). When making a melee attack against a target that isn’t adjacent to you (such as with a reach weapon), use the rules for determining cover from ranged attacks.
Low Obstacles and Cover
a low obstacle (such as a wall no higher than half your height) provides cover, but only to creatures within 30 feet (6 squares) of it. The attacker can ignore the cover if he’s closer to the obstacle than his target.
Cover and Attacks of Opportunity
You can’t execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with cover relative to you.
Cover and Reflex Saves
Cover grants you a +2 bonus on Reflex saves against attacks that originate or burst out from a point on the other side of the cover from you. Note that spread effects can extend around corners and thus negate this cover bonus.
Cover and Stealth Checks
You can use cover to make a Stealth check. Without cover, you usually need concealment (see below) to make a Stealth check.
Creatures, even your enemies, can provide you with cover against ranged attacks, giving you a +4 bonus to AC. However, such soft cover provides no bonus on Reflex saves, nor does soft cover allow you to make a Stealth check.
Big Creatures and Cover
Any creature with a space larger than 5 feet (1 square) determines cover against melee attacks slightly differently than smaller creatures do. Such a creature can choose any square that it occupies to determine if an opponent has cover against its melee attacks. Similarly, when making a melee attack against such a creature, you can pick any of the squares it occupies to determine if it has cover against you.
If a creature has cover, but more than half the creature is visible, its cover bonus is reduced to a +2 to AC and a +1 bonus on Reflex saving throws. This partial cover is subject to the GM’s discretion.
If you don’t have line of effect to your target (that is, you cannot draw any line from your square to your target’s square without crossing a solid barrier), he is considered to have total cover from you. You can’t make an attack against a target that has total cover.
In some cases, such as attacking a target hiding behind an arrow slit, cover may provide a greater bonus to AC and Reflex saves. In such situations, the normal cover bonuses to AC and Reflex saves can be doubled (to +8 and +4, respectively). A creature with this improved cover effectively gains improved evasion against any attack to which the Reflex save bonus applies. Furthermore, improved cover provides a +10 bonus on Stealth checks.
Rule Clarification 3: Concealment
To determine whether your target has concealment from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that provides concealment, the target has concealment.
When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has concealment if his space is entirely within an effect that grants concealment. When making a melee attack against a target that isn’t adjacent to you, use the rules for determining concealment from ranged attacks.
In addition, some magical effects provide concealment against all attacks, regardless of whether any intervening concealment exists.
Concealment Miss Chance
Concealment gives the subject of a successful attack a 20% chance that the attacker missed because of the concealment. Make the attack normally—if the attacker hits, the defender must make a miss chance d% roll to avoid being struck. Multiple concealment conditions do not stack.
Concealment and Stealth Checks
You can use concealment to make a Stealth check. Without concealment, you usually need cover to make a Stealth check.
If you have line of effect to a target but not line of sight, he is considered to have total concealment from you. You can’t attack an opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a square that you think he occupies. A successful attack into a square occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance (instead of the normal 20% miss chance for an opponent with concealment). You can’t execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with total concealment, even if you know what square or squares the opponent occupies.
Concealment isn’t always effective. An area of dim lighting or darkness doesn’t provide any concealment against an opponent with dark vision. Characters with low-light vision can see clearly for a greater distance than other characters with the same light source. Although invisibility provides total concealment, sighted opponents may still make Perception checks to notice the location of an invisible character. An invisible character gains a +20 bonus on Stealth checks if moving, or a +40 bonus on Stealth checks when not moving (even though opponents can’t see you, they might be able to figure out where you are from other visual or auditory clues).
Varying Degrees of Concealment
Certain situations may provide more or less than typical concealment, and modify the miss chance accordingly.
Rule Clarification 4: Touch, Ranged Touch, and Incorporeal Touch Attacks
What are the differences between touch, ranged touch, and incorporeal touch attacks?
All these attacks have one thing in common, the target’s armor, natural armor, and shield modifiers can’t defeat the attack (though incorporeal touch attacks provide some special cases). Enhancement bonuses that increase armor, natural armor, or shield bonuses also are not effective against touch attacks. An enhancement just makes its associated bonus a little bigger, but an ineffective bonus remains ineffective no matter how big it is.
A touch attack is a melee attack. You make a touch attack to deliver a spell with touch range, when grabbing a foe as part of a grapple or trip attack, or in almost any other melee situation in which the most important thing is just making contact with the foe’s body or equipment. Keep in mind that when resolving magical attacks, contacting a foe’s equipment is just as good as contacting the body.
Since a touch attack is a melee attack, you apply your Strength modifier to the attack. If you have the Weapon Finesse feat, you may use your Dexterity bonus instead; your hand — or other appendage — counts as a light weapon.
A ranged touch attack is much like a touch attack, except that it is a ranged attack instead of a melee attack. As with any ranged attack; you provoke an attack of opportunity if you make a ranged touch attack while threatened. Also as with any other ranged attack your Dexterity modifier applies to the attack roll.
An incorporeal touch attack is an odd duck. It’s actually similar to a slam attack. However, incorporeal creatures can pass through solid objects, and their attacks bypass most armor, natural armor, and shield bonuses just as touch attacks do (hence the attack’s name). Force effects, such as a shield spell, are effective against incorporeal touch attacks, as are armor and shields with the ghost touch property.
Incorporeal creatures lack Strength scores, and their Dexterity modifier applies to both their melee and ranged attacks. An incorporeal touch attack is a natural weapon and making an incorporeal touch attack does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Rule Clarification 5: Range Increment
When determining range increment, you can fire up to the full increment without penalty.
Rule Clarification 6: Standing Up in a Threatened Area
When characters are getting up from a prone position, the attack is at their prone AC. (an attack of opportunity supersedes the action that provokes it).
Rule Clarification 7: Reflex Saves (see “A Question of Saves” in the Rules Questions sub-forum for full conversation)
Should creatures who are helpless receive a reflex save (when one is called for)? Helpless, as defined by pathfinder, is “A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise completely at an opponent’s mercy. A helpless target is treated as having a Dexterity of 0 (–5 modifier). Melee attacks against a helpless target get a +4 bonus (equivalent to attacking a prone target). Ranged attacks get no special bonus against helpless targets. Rogues can sneak attack helpless targets.” Seeing how this is the case, it would seem that these people are not capable of “getting out of the way” as a reflex save might suggest. This can be backed by the rogue’s evasion ability not working should they be helpless.
Official Ruling: For our campaigns – anytime someone is considered helpless (I.e. paralyzed, sleeping) they will not be allowed a reflex save.
Rule Clarification 8: Splitting a Full Round Spell / Action between Two Rounds (see “Splitting a Full Round Spell / Action between Two Rounds” in the Rules Questions sub-forum for full conversation)
On page 186 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, a paragraph called “Start/Complete Full Round Action” is a standard action. However, unlike what we have allowed, both rounds (the one who start and the one you complete) require you to use standard actions, not a move one round and a standard the other.
Once Again John’s citations are right on. As long as it is understood that the character uses a standard action in the round started and completed, I am cool with the spell coming into effect at “the beginning of the character’s turn in the round of completion”. Truthfully, I would be inclined to require a concentration check if a character tried to jew in a move action before the completion of the second standard action. (I think the way it should be handled is that you use the first standard action to start spell and you must use your second standard action first thing in the next round to complete the spell). I also think another important thing to keep in mind is:
I think it would be easier and more realistic to say that any second turn of a two turn split casting must start with the standard action to finish the spell before completion – if we truly intend to let full-round spells be cast across two rounds.
Official Ruling: any second turn of a two round split Casting / Action must start with the standard action to finish the spell / action before any other type of action may be made.
Rule Clarification 9: Divine Presence and Aura’s (see “Divine Presence and Aura’s” in the Rules Questions sub-forum for full conversation)
Characters must be within the AoE at the time of the casting to recieve any benefit for the duration of the effect.
- Characters who lose the benefits of the effect due to any reason may not regain the benefits until the effect is recast.
- If a creature fails it’s will save against the character when trying to attack it, it may not attempt to attack the character again for the duration of the effect.
- If a character breaks the effect by attacking anything at all, it is broken completely and any creature may attack the character freely from that point on (assuming there are no other seperate effects in place that would prevent them from doing so).
- It does not require a move action or concentration check to maintain into the next round, however if you start it in round 1 and do not maintain it for round 2, then it requires a standard action to begin in subsequent rounds.
Rule Clarification 10: Diagonal Attacks (see “Diagonal Attacks” in the Rules Questions sub-forum for full conversation)
Official Ruling: In almost all cases the second diagonal square is threatened. Please reference Threatened Areas for any questions.