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    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game FAQ

    Unofficial FAQ

    The following information compiled and maintained by Tim Shadow (ShadowChemosh). Contact by sending emails to:

    This is an unofficial list of frequently asked rule questions about the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

    Responses that start with (a name in blue) are a direct quote from a Paizo representative (named in blue). Most quotes will also include a [Source] link to the original post or location for the quote. If no name is provided then we have done our best to show the answer either found directly within the existing rules with a link to the PRD (Pathfinder Reference Document) or the information was derived from a group consensus of posters on the rules forum at paizo.com.

    Responses that start with (Official FAQ) are official responses copied from a Paizo FAQ or errata entry.

    As new FAQ's are added they will be shown with the date that they where added.  Latest FAQ's added November 1, 2011

    Contents

    1. 1 Unofficial FAQ
      1. 1.1 Races (10/8/09)
      2. 1.2 Character Advancement (10/12/10)
      3. 1.3 Classes & Prestige Classes (9/3/10)
        1. 1.3.1 Cavalier
          1. 1.3.1.1 War Trained Mount and Armor Proficiency
        2. 1.3.2 Druid
          1. 1.3.2.1 Animal Companions
        3. 1.3.3 Bard
          1. 1.3.3.1 Versatile Performance
        4. 1.3.4 Monk (9/10/10)
          1. 1.3.4.1 Flurry of Blows and BAB
          2. 1.3.4.2 Improved Natural Attack to Increase Unarmed Strikes
          3. 1.3.4.3 Greater Trip
        5. 1.3.5 Oracle (9/1/10)
          1. 1.3.5.1 Spell Progression with Life Mystery
        6. 1.3.6 Paladin / Cleric (1/20/10)
          1. 1.3.6.1 Channel Energy
          2. 1.3.6.2 Artiface Domain with no Arcane Mark?
          3. 1.3.6.3 Divine Bond for Paladins
        7. 1.3.7 Rogue (3/3/10)
          1. 1.3.7.1 Displacement Stops Sneak Attacks?
          2. 1.3.7.2 Bleeding Attack Rogue Talent
        8. 1.3.8 Sorcerer (10/21/10)
          1. 1.3.8.1 Bloodline Arcana Bonuses
          2. 1.3.8.2 Laughing Touch Fey Bloodline
        9. 1.3.9 Witch
          1. 1.3.9.1 Healing Hex and Undead
        10. 1.3.10 Wizard
          1. 1.3.10.1 Arcane Bond
          2. 1.3.10.2 Force Missile
          3. 1.3.10.3 Hand of the Apprentice
        11. 1.3.11 PrC: Arcane Archer (11/25/09)
        12. 1.3.12 PrC: Arcane Trickster
        13. 1.3.13 PrC: Assassin (3/4/10)
        14. 1.3.14 PrC: Eldritch Knight
        15. 1.3.15 PrC: Dragon Disciple (11/20/09)
        16. 1.3.16 PrC: Shadowdancer (3/4/10)
      4. 1.4 Skills
        1. 1.4.1 Acquiring Skills (4/13/10)
        2. 1.4.2 Acrobatics (11/24/10)
        3. 1.4.3 Intimidate (10/8/09)
      5. 1.5 Feats
        1. 1.5.1 Arcane Blast / Arcane Shield (8/29/10)
        2. 1.5.2 Augment Summoning (8/30/10)
        3. 1.5.3 Boon Companion (7/7/11)
        4. 1.5.4 Cleave (5/14/10)
        5. 1.5.5 Dazzling Display
        6. 1.5.6 Empower Spell (7/8/11)
        7. 1.5.7 Gorgon's Fist
        8. 1.5.8 Great Cleave (5/14/10)
        9. 1.5.9 Many Shot
        10. 1.5.10 Power Attack
        11. 1.5.11 Quicken Spell
        12. 1.5.12 Rapid Shot
        13. 1.5.13 Shield Mastery
        14. 1.5.14 Spring Attack (8/20/10)
        15. 1.5.15 Standstill
        16. 1.5.16 Two-Weapon Rend (5/1/10)
        17. 1.5.17 Vital Strike (8/20/10)
        18. 1.5.18 Weapon Finesse (9/25/09)
        19. 1.5.19 Weapon Focus (10/22/10)
        20. 1.5.20 Weapon Specialization (10/22/10)
      6. 1.6 Traits
        1. 1.6.1 Adopted Racial Trait (2/26/10)
      7. 1.7 Equipment
        1. 1.7.1 Buckler
        2. 1.7.2 Clothing (10/8/09)
        3. 1.7.3 Mithral (3/22/10)
        4. 1.7.4 Weapons, Trip (3/15/11)
        5. 1.7.5 Weapons, Size (3/8/10)
        6. 1.7.6 Shields and Casting (1/1/10)
      8. 1.8 Combat
        1. 1.8.1 Critical hits & Sneak Attacks (10/13/09)
        2. 1.8.2 Grappling (12/11/09)
        3. 1.8.3 Fortification and Critical Immunity
        4. 1.8.4 Trip (3/15/11)
      9. 1.9 Conditions & Afflictions
        1. 1.9.1 Ability Damage, Drain, and Penalty (4/23/10)
        2. 1.9.2 Bleed (10/17/09)
        3. 1.9.3 Poison
      10. 1.10 Spells and Magic
        1. 1.10.1 Spell-Like Abilities (5/11/10)
        2. 1.10.2 Material Components (5/6/10)
        3. 1.10.3 General Info - Spells & Damage (4/27/10)
        4. 1.10.4 Blink and Mirror Image (4/22/10)
        5. 1.10.5 Alter Self
        6. 1.10.6 Beast Shape
        7. 1.10.7 Break Enchantment (3/3/10)
        8. 1.10.8 Dispel Magic
        9. 1.10.9 Displacement (3/3/10)
        10. 1.10.10 Greater Magic Weapon (2/25/10)
        11. 1.10.11 Polymorph
        12. 1.10.12 Prismatic Wall (3/5/10)
        13. 1.10.13 Produce Flame
        14. 1.10.14 Summon Monster (12/21/09)
      11. 1.11 Magic Items
        1. 1.11.1 Magic Item Crafting (5/5/10)
        2. 1.11.2 Headband of Vast Intelligence (10/8/09)
        3. 1.11.3 Weapon Powers (10/20/09)
      12. 1.12 Bestiary
        1. 1.12.1 BAB and Multiple Attacks (10/31/09)
        2. 1.12.2 Ghouls and Half-Elves (10/26/09)
        3. 1.12.3 Horses (12/2/09)
        4. 1.12.4 War Trained (11/25/09)
        5. 1.12.5 Improved Natural Attack feat (7/25/10)
        6. 1.12.6 Monster Class Skills (1/21/10)
        7. 1.12.7 Universal Monster Rules (3/29/10)
          1. 1.12.7.1 Grab & Constrict (3/29/10)
          2. 1.12.7.2 Natural Attacks and Weapon Attacks (10/30/09)

    Races (10/8/09)

    Q: There is a reference in the section of the rules for secret doors about an elf noticing secret doors without actively looking for them. So can an elf still find secret doors?

    A: (Joshua J. Frost) Under the elf racial traits there are no listings for this trait. The reference later in the rules is an artifact that needs to be removed in a future errata update. [Source]

    Q: Do Elves Trance? In previous editions elves could "trance", resting for 4 hours and gaining the benefits of an 8 hour rest. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules don't seem to list this attribute for elves any longer. Is that true?

    A: (James Jacobs) Elves not sleeping is indeed relatively setting specific, and while trances are in Elves of Golarion, it's something we'll honestly probably be moving away from in Golarion. We've done a fair amount to reimagine our elves, and by having them sleep (or at least implying they sleep) does help to make Golarion's elves more Golarion and less Forgotten Realms (which is the actual only setting in which elves don't sleep, I believe... even though they seem to still be on a day-night cycle and often have beds in their homes...). BUT! If you prefer the non-sleeping elves, that certainly still works in your game. Unless I'm wrong, there's nothing in the elf flavor text in the PRPG that says they DO sleep, is there? [Source]

    Character Advancement (10/12/10)

    Q: Table 3-1 (Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses) has a column titled "Ability Score" and under it "1st" at 4th level, "2nd" at 8th etc, but does not list the bonus or bonuses to increase?

    A: (Official FAQ 10/12/10) At 4th level, a character can increase one ability score by +1. This is a typeless, nonmagical bonus that cannot be changed once selected. For example, a fighter with Dex 13 could use this bonus to increase his Dex to 14.

    A character can also increase one ability score at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level; it does not have to be the same ability score as the one chosen at an earlier level, and stacks with all other bonuses. For example, the aforementioned fighter could use the 8th-level bonus to increase his Strength from 15 to 16, then use his 12th-level bonus to increase his Dex from 14 to 15, and so on. [Source]

    A: (James Jacobs) It's a +1 bonus to an ability score. [Source]

    Classes & Prestige Classes (9/3/10)

    Q: What creatures get max hit points for their first level or first Hit Die? What creatures get favored class bonuses to hit points or skills?

    A: (Official FAQ 9/3/10) Creatures whose first Hit Die is from a PC-appropriate character class gain max hit points for that Hit Die. The current list of PC-appropriate character classes is alchemist, barbarian, bard, cavalier, cleric, druid, fighter, inquisitor, monk, oracle, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, summoner, witch, and wizard (including archetypes, subclasses, and other variants of these classes).

    Creatures whose first Hit Die is from an NPC class (adept, aristocrat, commoner, expert, warrior) or from a racial Hit Die (such as most monsters) do not get maximum hit points for that Hit Die. All creatures with class levels (including those with levels in an NPC class or monsters with class levels) may select a favored class and gain the normal favored class benefits. Creatures never gain favored class benefits for racial Hit Dice. For example, a human warrior 1 could select "warrior" as his favored class and take either the bonus hit point or skill rank for taking a level in that class. A normal bugbear with 3 racial Hit Dice and no class levels has no favored class and no favored class bonuses, but if that bugbear gained a level in rogue, he could choose "rogue" as his favored class and take either the bonus hit point or skill rank for taking a level in that class. [Source]

    Q: I am confused on the different wording used in the book for Character Level vs Class Level. Do the rules mean character level or class level when they say, "Her level?" Do they mean character level or class level when they say, "The class's level?"

    A: (James Jacobs 4/27/10) Character level means a character's total level: all of her classes added together. For most PCs, this number should be equal to the character's Hit Dice. Class level is a character's level in a specific class.

    • A 10th level paladin has 10 character levels consisting of 10 class levels in paladin.
    • A 5th level paladin / 5th level bard has 10 character levels consisting of 5 class levels of paladin and 5 class levels of bard. [Source]

    Q: Some of the class Powers/Abilities require the player to be a certain level. Is that the minimum class levels that the PC must be, or is that the minimum character level?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) Class abilities that refer to level always refer to your level in that class unless stated otherwise. [Source]

    Cavalier

    War Trained Mount and Armor Proficiency

    Q: When a mount like a horse is "War Trained" does it gain all Armor proficiencies (light, medium, heavy), no armor proficiencies, or just the light armor as indicated under the cavalier?

    A: (Official FAQ 10/21/10) No, using Handle Animal to train an animal, or mount, in this way does not grant it a free bonus feat. It is not unreasonable, however to assume that an animal specifically designed to be ridden (such as a horse or dog) could be purchased with Light Armor Proficiency as one of its feats (swapping out Endurance or Skill Focus respectively) for the same cost. [Source]

    A: (James Jacobs 8/28/10) For now, though, it's safe to assume that a mount that's trained for war gets Light Armor proficiency for free, but needs to spend feats to get better armor. This does mean that most normal horses will never be able to get heavy armor training, and I'm kind of okay with that. [Source]

    Druid

    Animal Companions

    Q: When a mount or animal companion like a horse is "War Trained" does it gain all Armor proficiencies (light, medium, heavy), no armor proficiencies, or just the light armor as indicated under the cavalier?

    A: (Official FAQ 10/21/10) No, using Handle Animal to train an animal, or mount, in this way does not grant it a free bonus feat. It is not unreasonable, however to assume that an animal specifically designed to be ridden (such as a horse or dog) could be purchased with Light Armor Proficiency as one of its feats (swapping out Endurance or Skill Focus respectively) for the same cost. [Source]

    A: (James Jacobs 8/29/10) Animal companions can indeed wear barding. They don't need proficiency to wear it (this goes for ALL creatures; remember that if you wear armor you're not proficient in, the armor penalty applies to attack rolls and all that, so if your animal's not attacking, it might not NEED those proficiencies), but they can certainly take the proficiencies. I would say that an animal companion would NOT get any free bonus feats from being "Combat trained," because they're special cases. Unlike most animals, an animal companion is going to be getting a HUGE amount of feats as you gain levels, so there's not really a need for a "band aid" to sneak ways of getting the armor proficiency in there for the animal. And since most animals already have good natural armor scores, and thus since putting armor on them makes them REALLY good, it's important for there to be a cost for that significant benefit. Spending one to three feats on the armor proficiency is a good way to make that cost happen. EDIT: Yah; bonus feats cannot be swapped out at all. They're hardwired into a creature's DNA. [Source]

    Q: Does an animal companion gain the normal animals racial modifiers. For example does an eagle animal companion still get its +8 racial modifier to perception?

    A: (James Jacobs 1/3/09) As written, an animal companion gains ONLY the abilities that are listed in its animal companion stat block and the basic rules for animal companions. This does mean that an animal companion doesn't gain the various racial skill modifiers a normal animal of its kind gets; if the normal animal has bonus feats, the animal companion doesn't get them either. Animal companions are different than normal animals, after all, and are built using different rules. [Source]

    Q: I was trying to stat up a horse animal companion when I realized under druid animal companions, the advanced horse section says special ability: war trained (see Bestiary). I looked, but did not see anything. What exactly is this referring to in the bestiary?

    A: (James Jacobs 11/25/09) War trained is actually detailed under the description of the Handle Animal skill. Of course, there it's called "Combat Training. " It's one of the "general purpose" trainings you can give an animal. Horses in particular gain a special benefit once they're combat trained-their hooves are from that point treated as primary weapons, not secondary ones. [Source]

    Q: Does it strike anyone else as strange that Weapon Finesse isn't on the list of possible feats for an Druid animal companion? Even though a normal viper or owl can take Weapon Finesse, a Druid's viper or owl companion is out of luck?

    A: (Ross Byers) It is in the physical book, but the PDF and PRD don't show it. The space and comma is there right after Toughness for it, but it does not display. [Source]

    Bard

    Versatile Performance

    Q: Does Versatile Performance automatically allow a Bard to substitute his Performance skill rank in place of the related skill rank or does he have to actually 'perform' to get the increased value (assuming he jacks his performance skill up)? That is... does he actually need to sing, dance, string, wind, etc... . or just automatically substitute his Versatile Performance skill anytime?

    A: The Bard does not need to "Perform" to get the listed bonus, as it is not stated as a requirement anywhere in Versatile Performance.

    Q: Could Versatile Performance be used to fulfill prerequisites for feats or Prestige Classes?

    A: Versatile Performance only allows someone to substitute the respective Perform check for the listed skills. It does not allow them to qualify for prerequisites unless they actually have ranks in the listed skills.

    Q: If I have 0 ranks in Bluff, but 9 ranks in Perform Sing (which gives its ranks to both bluff and sense motive) would I have 12 effective ranks (the training bonus) or only 9?

    A: It doesn't give it's ranks, you use the total bonus you have for Perform in place of the other two. If your bonus to Perform is +12 after all feats, bonuses, ranks, etc., then that is the bonus you would use on the two applicable skills.

    Monk (9/10/10)

    Flurry of Blows and BAB

    Q: My DM says that when my Monk 5/Fighter 5 flurries that his BAB is ONLY +5 as he says their is nothing that says that the BAB from other classes stacks with the Monk's BAB when he Flurries. Is he right?

    A: (Official FAQ 9/10/10) A monk using flurry treats his BAB from monk levels as equal to his monk level. He still adds BAB from other Sources (such as other classes or racial Hit Dice) normally to this total. So a fighter 19/monk 1 has a normal BAB of +19. When he flurries, he treats his monk BAB as +1 (for his 1 level of monk) and still gets BAB +19 from his fighter levels, for a total flurry BAB of +20. [Source]

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 7/13/10) All character abilities and class features are self referential only. That is, they do not consider what else you might have going on, just for easy of language and description. The rules for multiclassing apply normally, as they are the rules that bridge things together. In this case, a monk 5 / fighter 5 would flurry with a BAB of +10. [Source]

    Q: Can a monk do a Flurry of Blows during a grapple as it requires a full attack action?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 12/11/09) The RAW do allow the grappled to make a full attack action, assuming they can do so with only one hand. Since flurry does not require two hands to perform, a monk could flurry. Grappling is not always the best idea. Grappling a monk is one such example. I think folks need to remember that the grappled condition is not as severe as it once was. You are no longer draped all over the target. It is more like you got a hold on them, typically an arm (hence the restriction). The pinned condition is more of your greco-roman wrestling hold. [Source]

    Improved Natural Attack to Increase Unarmed Strikes

    Q: Can a monk take Improved Natural Attack to increase his unarmed strike damage?

    A: (James Jacobs/Jason Bulmahn 11/4/09) Jason crunched his numbers and the official errata is this - the Improved Natural Attack feat can not be applied to unarmed strike. We'll be issuing an errata for that feat that adds this sentence to the feat: "Improved Natural Attack can not be applied to unarmed strikes." Unarmed strikes ARE still treated as natural weapons for most effects (particularly for the spell magic fang and for amulets of magic fang), but the Improved Natural Attack feat is an exception to that rule. [Source]

    Greater Trip

    Q: Can monks take greater trip without an Int of 13?

    A: (James Jacobs 10/8/09) While a monk of any intelligence can get Improved Trip. Greater Trip still requires it. Basically, a monk's training lets them bypass the requirements for the less powerful feat in the chain, but it doesn't let them bypass the requirements of the more powerful version. [Source]

    Oracle (9/1/10)

    Spell Progression with Life Mystery

    Q: For the Oracle class, the Bonus Spell progression for the Life mystery is 3, 5, 7, 9, etc. The Bonus Spell progression for ALL of the other mysteries is 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. Is the Life mystery really different?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 9/1/10) The Life mystery progression is a typo. It should work just like all the others. [Source]

    Paladin / Cleric (1/20/10)

    Q: I have a player that wants to play a cleric of Irori and the weapon associated with Irori is "unarmed" and since every cleric is proficient in their god's chosen weapon I assume this means that clerics of Irori get the Improved Unarmed Strike feat for free?

    A: (Sean K Reynolds 8/21/09) I'd give Irori's clerics the Improved Unarmed Strike feat. [Source]

    A: (Joshua J. Frost 8/24/09) I'll be adding to a future update of the Pathfinder Society Guide that clerics of Irori do, in fact, receive the Improved Unarmed Strike feat so they can use their deities favored weapon without provoking an AoO. [Source]

    Q: My cleric is wielding a light shield and a morningstar and wants to cast a spell. My DM says that my cleric has to drop his morningstar to cast spells. Can't I just switch my morningstar to the light shield hand and then move it back after casting?

    A: (James Jacobs 1/1/10) Switching a held object from one hand to the other doesn't require an action, so the end result is the same whether or not you use the light shield hand to lay on hands or your weapon hand after switching your weapon to the off hand, and then back to your weapon hand. The fact that allowing you to use your light shield hand to do so without so many fiddly steps is why I'd say it's fine to let it work that way. [Source]

    Channel Energy

    Q: I am confused on how exactly the Channel Energy ability deals out its damage/healing. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two cleric levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Lets assume that the cleric is level 1, and there are 6 living characters within the range. Does the cleric role 1d6 and devide the results by six? For example the cleric rolls a 6 so each character is healed for one point.

    A: (James Jacobs 5/2/10) Channel energy does not divide its healing up among its targets any more than fireballs divide up the total damage among its victims. When you generate a number by rolling a bunch of d6s when you use Channel Energy, that number is applied as healing to everyone in the area of the effect. Effects that divide their damage/healing evenly among all targets are INCREDIBLY rare. I can't think of any, off the top of my head, that work that way in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Needless to say, if an effect DOES do this, it'll be specifically spelled out in the rules, since the baseline assumption is that area effects affect everyone in the area equally--no division needed. [Source]

    Q: Does positive energy from Channel Energy only cause half damage to Incorporeal undead?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 12/1/09) As for this particular issue, there is nothing in the rules exempting channel energy from being reduced by the incorporeal UMR (universal monster rule). Using the rules as written, this means that it is reduced. That said it probably should not be, but that is a matter I will take up when we get to errata for that book. [Source]

    Update: The Universal Monster Rules for Incorporeal creatures updated the rules to reflect that Channel Energy is NOT reduced by 50%. [Source]

    Q: With respect to the cleric's channel energy ability to affect living creatures, I would like to confirm what the definition of a living creature is.

    A: (James Jacobs) More or less... a "living creature" is any creature with a Constitution score. This would imply that constructs are immune to channeled energy though... which I might be okay with. [Source]

    Q: My players grappled an evil cleric to try to stop her from Channeling Negative Energy and killing the group. On a quick look up I did not see anything that would stop an evil cleric from Channeling Negative energy while grappled and doing damage to the group, so she Channeled Negative energy while grappled.

    A: Channel Energy like the old turn undead are Supernatural abilities and while magical are not spell-like in any way. You can see this difference in how they don't provoke an AoO, ignore all SR, and can not even be affected by dispel magic. Everything I read under the grapple rules and grappled condition mention spells which would include even spell-like abilities, but nothing about supernatural abilities.

    Q: If a cleric channels positive energy in a fight to heal his allies who are in melee with some baddies (let's say orcs for instance), do the orcs get healed too?

    A: If they're within 30 ft. of the cleric, they'll also get healed (and dropped foes may even revive!) unless the cleric has taken the Selective Channeling feat.

    Q: Do cleric and paladin class levels stack for a multiclass cleric / paladin?

    A: No. They are treated as separate abilities at different number of users per day and level.

    Artiface Domain with no Arcane Mark?

    Q: How does a cleric with the Artifice Domain put an arcane mark on an object for their Instant Summons spell without multi-classing?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 9/10/09) This is an issue. I will look into resolving it... in some way. The easiest would be to swap out instant summons with greater arcane sight, or something similar. [Source]

    Divine Bond for Paladins

    Q: Can a paladin with Divine Bond ability exceed the +10 limitation on magic weapons?

    A: (Joshua J. Frost 1/20/10) Nowhere in there does it say you can exceed the maximum +10 enhancement bonus. Again, how you choose to run this in your game is entirely up to you, but that's the RAW. [Source]

    Rogue (3/3/10)

    Displacement Stops Sneak Attacks?

    Q: Does the displacement spell prevent sneak attacks?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/3/10) At this point, barring rewrites to spells and class abilities: Sneak Attack works on displaced targets because the text of the spell SPECIFICALLY SAYS that you can target a creature normally. It's just that sometimes, the target's not where you think it is... but that doesn't impact your ability to target the foe. The spell says the miss chance works LIKE concealment, but then goes on to say that this doesn't impact your ability to actually target the foe normally. Flavorwise... with blur, which actually grants concealment, you can't see the target clearly enough to aim at hearts or aortas or kidneys or other sneak attack targets. Therefore, sneak attack doesn't work. With displacement, you CAN see the target clearly. The problem is that when you stab, the target simply might not be there. If he's not there, then you miss and do NO damage. If he IS there, you hit where you were aiming at anyway and thus do sneak attack damage. [Source]

    Bleeding Attack Rogue Talent

    Q: An 8th level rogue (with bleeding attack and crippling attack) gets two attacks per round. Can a rogue make, in one round, a bleeding attack (with his 1st attack) and a crippling attack (with his 2nd attack)?

    A: The wording in the rogue section for talents says "Talents marked with an asterisk add effects to a rogue's sneak attack. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual attack and the decision must be made before the attack roll is made. " So yes Bleeding Attack on the 1st attack and Crippling Attack on his 2nd.

    Sorcerer (10/21/10)

    Bloodline Arcana Bonuses

    Q: Do the bonuses granted from Bloodline Arcana apply to all of the spells cast by the sorcerer, or just those cast from the sorcerer's spell list?

    A: (Official FAQ 10/21/10) The Bloodline Arcana powers apply to all of the spells cast by characters of that bloodline, not just those cast using the sorcerer's spell slots. [Source]

    Q: Aberrant - Long Limbs. Is it supposed to state at 11th reach increases BY 10 feet, and at 17th increases BY 15 feet?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) The following values are correct and yes, it is supposed to be a bit creepy when it is in use.

    • 1st level reach 5' (5' = adjacent)
    • 3rd level reach 10' (5' + 5')
    • 11th level reach 15' (5' + 10')
    • 17th level reach 20' (5' + 15')

    [Source]

    Laughing Touch Fey Bloodline

    Q: I'm reading the sorcerer's bloodlines. About the Fey. The laughing touch fey sorcerer bloodline ability doesn't mention any saving throw. Is that correct? Laughing Touch cant be saved against?

    A: Yes this is correct no save.

    Witch

    Healing Hex and Undead

    Q: I tried to use my witch's healing hex on an undead, the hex says that a creature cannot BENEFIT from this effect more than once a day and that this hex operates as per the spell cure moderate wounds (8th level witch). My DM informed me that this cannot work because technically the undead are not "benefiting" from the effect so therefore they cannot be targeted by it in the first place. He also said that I cant use it multiple times against a single undead because it makes sense that it would work like the rest of the hexes, only once a day. Help?

    A: (Official FAQ 6/30/2011) The hex acts like the appropriate cure wounds spell, so it damages undead. When used this to damage undead, it should have the same once-per-24-hours limitation as its healing usage (even though that's not a "benefit" to the targeted undead). For clarity, where the hex currently says: "Once a creature has benefited from the healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours." It should actually say: "Once a creature has been affected by the hex, it cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours." This will be updated in the next printing of the APG. [source]

    A: (James Jacobs 8/29/10) As I understand it and as I've seen it played, the healing hex CAN be used on undead, but only once per undead. In this case, "benefit" should be read as "effect" so that you can use your healing hex once per day per undead creature. [Source]

    Wizard

    Arcane Bond

    Q: As far as the quarterstaff-Arcane Bond thing goes: The Double weapon rules say that "a double weapon can be wielded as a one-handed weapon [but when doing so] only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round". If that is the case, couldn't you just wield your quarterstaff as a one-handed weapon on any round that you aren't attacking with it, and thereby be able to cast spells?

    A: (James Jacobs 4/10/2010) Absolutely. [Source]

    Q: If you have a two-handed bonded weapon as a wizard can you let go of it with one had to cast spells and still be considered wielding it?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/8/10) An arcane bonded weapon must be wielded in order for it to have effect. This, unfortunately, does mean that two-handed weapons make for relatively poor bonded objects, since they'd limit your spellcasting to things without somatic components. Carrying a two-handed weapon in one hand isn't "wielding" it... you're just carrying it. You have to have both hands to cast spells with a two-handed weapon bonded object. [Source]

    Q: If the wizard chooses a weapon as his bonded object, does it have to be one he's proficient with?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) You do not need to be proficient with a weapon to take it as your bonded weapon. [Source]

    Force Missile

    Q: Does a wizard's Force Missile hit automatically like magic missile and does a brooch of shielding absorb Force Missile?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) The force missile works just like magic missile in terms of what it can hit, deal damage to, and be absorbed by. [Source]

    Hand of the Apprentice

    Q: I have an enlarged wizard that wishes to use hand of the apprentice. Does the weapon remain in possession of the wizard and not revert to its original size?

    A: Hand of Apprentice says "This attack is treated as a ranged attack with a thrown weapon, ..." so with that in mind I would go with again the weapon would revert to its original size. No difference than a arrow fired from a bow would. My above is based on this line from the enlarge person spell: "Any enlarged item that leaves an enlarged creature's possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. This means that thrown and projectile weapons deal their normal damage."

    Q: If using a two-handed weapon (ie greatsword) with Hand of Apprentice does the weapon still do 1. 5 Str damage?

    A: Going by the exact wording in the book you don't get 1.5 Str with such a weapon nor do you even get its normal critical hit values. “Thrown Weapons: The wielder applies his Strength modifier to damage dealt by thrown weapons (except for splash weapons). Regardless of the type of weapon, such an attack scores a threat only on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a critical hit. ” So the RAW answer that one does not get the 1. 5 Str or even get the weapons normal critical range.

    Unofficial: Not in agreement with a limited use ability having to worry about the couple extra points of damage you get from 1. 5Str. Nor should that weapon's crit range and values change. I think it is safe to say that the spirit of the rules for HoA was NOT to enforce such a set of rules.

    PrC: Arcane Archer (11/25/09)

    Q: No other race gets a prestige class to themselves so are their still plans on removing the "elf only" requirement of the arcane archer? Was it a copy/paste error from the 3.5 SRD?

    A: (James Jacobs 11/25/09) It wasn't a copy/paste error; it was an intentional choice in 3rd edition to present an elf-only class. And a dwarf-only class. Personally, since you can't change race once you start to play, I think that having a race be a prerequisite for a prestige class is TERRIBLY limiting and not good for the game. Removing the Elf Only requirement is a great example of errata, actually. It's an easy fix. [Source]

    PrC: Arcane Trickster

    Q: Question regarding the Arcane Trickster's Surprise Spells ability. Is this intended to work entirely like the Sneak Attack ability (regarding the 30 ft. range limitation) or does it actually allow for the possibility of sniping with Fireballs bolstered by Sneak Attack damage outside of the 30' ft normal limit for sneak attack?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) The range limitation is removed for these spells. The damage type changes, but it still counts as sneak attack damage for any spells, effects, or immunities. [Source]

    PrC: Assassin (3/4/10)

    Q: Why is the Assassin better at Hide in Plain Sight then the Shadowdancer?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/4/10) The wording for those two is different because the categorization of lighting in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game was a relatively late to the game refinement, and we weren't able to standardize every mention of illumination in the game. The assassin's a good example. In any case, the intent is the same: dim light = shadow. So both of these abilities should work exactly the same, even though the words chosen aren't identical. [Source]

    PrC: Eldritch Knight

    Q: Spell Critical. Does the swift action spell in question need to have a normal casting time of one standard action? One full round or less? Or can a 10-minute spell be cast as a swift action? As much fun as critically hitting an enemy and casting Geas on him would be, I somehow doubt that was the intention.

    A: You should probably treat it as if the Quicken Spell feat was being applied. In which case it's full-round action and less spells. Until an official answer is said that would be a logical answer.

    Q: Can a sorcerer add metamagic to the Spell Critical? If the answer is no because the spell must be a standard action, can an arcane-bloodline sorcerer add metamagic using his metamagic adept class feature? How about a universalist wizard?

    A: Assuming that this acts like Quicken Spell then yes to all the questions as you can add more than one metamagic feat to a spell. So a sorcerer with or without the Arcane-bloodline could add a metamagic feat to the Spell Critical and same for the wizard.

    PrC: Dragon Disciple (11/20/09)

    Q: With a wizards Arcane Bond's power to allow for casting arcane spells spontaneously can they qualify for the Dragon Disciple Prestige Class?

    A: (James Jacobs 11/20/09) First off... I'm not a big fan of saying what you can and can't do in your home game. And as a result, I'm generally hesitant to lay down the law for things like this, since I can see the attraction to go either way. What it really boils down to is if the GM wants to let wizards qualify for the class... that's cool. Arcane bond's power to allow a wizard to cast an additional spell was not intended to let wizards "sneak" into prestige classes that do this, but there's no game balance reason as to why they shouldn't be able to do it. But for materials we're publishing, though, and for building NPCs who might have this class, being able to cast arcane spells spontaneously means "being a bard or a sorcerer" at this point. [Source]

    Q: A Dragon Disciple's "Dragon Bite (Ex)" ability does not indicate the damage die? Is the bite a primary attack or a secondary attack?

    A: (James Jacobs 11/20/09) Unless otherwise specified, a bite attack is always a primary attack. A dragon disciple's bite attack is thus a primary attack. Of course, if the dragon disciple makes an attack with a manufactured weapon, THEN his bite is treated as a secondary attack. The bite, in any event and as far as I understand things, should inflict standard bite damage for a creature of the disciple's size, as detailed on page 302 of the Bestiary. 1d6 for Medium creatures, 1d4 for Small, 1d8 for Large. [Source]

    PrC: Shadowdancer (3/4/10)

    Q: Why is the Assassin better at Hide in Plain Sight then the Shadowdancer?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/4/10) The wording for those two is different because the categorization of lighting in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game was a relatively late to the game refinement, and we weren't able to standardize every mention of illumination in the game. The assassin's a good example. In any case, the intent is the same: dim light = shadow. So both of these abilities should work exactly the same, even though the words chosen aren't identical. [Source]

    Skills

    Acquiring Skills (4/13/10)

    Q: Do I gain retroactive skill points for when my intelligence score increases through non-magical means? I can't find a definitive answer in the rules.

    A: (James Jacobs 4/13/10) All bonuses are retroactive when an ability score increases, be they bonuses to damage, to skill ranks, to hit points, to saves, to skill checks... all of them. Skill ranks not being retroactive are a 3.5 convention we specifically removed from the game because it was a weird exception to the rule, and since now there are no exceptions to this rule, there's no need to specifically state that skill ranks are retroactively granted if your Intelligence goes up. [Source]

    Q: Do the bonus skill points a character gains for being human or taking a level in their favored class apply after a negative intelligence modifier or before. For example, would a human with an intelligence of 5 get three skill points per level (2 for being a paladin, minus 3 for being dumb (minimum one), plus 1 for being human, plus 1 for taking a level in his favored class?

    A: (James Jacobs 4/6/10) In this case the human paladin would indeed gain 3 skill ranks per level, despite his low Intelligence. [Source]

    Q: Do starting characters still receive the x4 skills at first level like they did in 3.5 D&D?

    A: No, but the values come out the same as you get a +3 bonus to any class skill that has a rank in it. Max rank in a skill is now equal to your hit die instead of hit die +3 in 3.5 D&D. [Source]

    Acrobatics (11/24/10)

    Q: How does Acrobatics work when you use it to avoid attacks of opportunity? When do you make checks? How many do you make?

    A: (Official FAQ 11/24/10) Acrobatics allows you to make checks to move through the threatened area of foes without provoking attacks of opportunity. You must make a check the moment you attempt to leave a square threatened by an enemy, but only once per foe. The DC (which is based of the Combat Maneuver Defense of each foe), increases by +2 for each foe after the first in one round. The DC also increases by +5 if you attempt to move through a foe. In the case of moving out of the threatened square of two foes at the same time, the moving character decides which check to make first.

    For example, a rogue is flanked by a meek goblin and a terrifying antipaladin. The rogue move away from both of them, provoking an attack of opportunity from both, but uses Acrobatics to attempt to negate them. She must move at half speed while threatened by these foes and can choose which to check against first. If she fails a check, she provokes an attack of opportunity from that foe. If she makes it, she does not provoke from moving through that foe's threatened space this turn. [Source]

    Q: If a character fails an Acrobatics (tumble) check when attempting to move through an opponents square, are they stopped, or do they get through and suffer an AoO?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/26/10) If you fail an Acrobatics check to move through an opponent's square, you stop in the square you were left to make the attempt to go through that creature's square and your movement for that turn ends. If that square is occupied (say, you ran through three wererats in a narrow tunnel only to fail on the fourth), you fall prone in that square. If you have any more move actions left in a turn, you could try again, of course. [Source]

    Intimidate (10/8/09)

    Q: What is the difference between the Dazzling Display feat and using the Demoralize Opponent of the Intimidate Skill? It seems both affect all opponents within 30'. Is Intimidate supposed to be worded to affect only one?

    A: (Joshua J. Frost) The intimidate skill says "If you are successful, the target is shaken for 1 round. " which means its affecting a single target. Where the Dazzling Display feat is affecting ALL targets with 30 ft. [Source]

    Q: (10/8/09) Can you demoralize the same being more than once, and have the effects stack?

    A: (Joshua J. Frost) The shaken condition gained in this matter cannot be stacked to create a stronger condition. If you succeed at another demoralize attempt, you just extend the shaken condition's duration. There was a sentence left out of the skill description that will be noted in a future errata update. [Source]

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) This is indeed the case. [Source]

    Q: (10/8/09) Does the above mean a Shaken condition imposed by a Intimidate Skill - Demoralise can never be upgraded by another use Source of a Fear condition?

    A: (Joshua J. Frost) Correct. Though, as noted above, it can extend the duration of the shaken condition. [Source]

    Q: (10/8/09) Does this idea that Shaken + Shaken only increases the duration of the Shaken condition come into effect only when Demoralise is in the mix?

    A: (Joshua J. Frost) Yes. [Source]

    Feats

    Arcane Blast / Arcane Shield (8/29/10)

    Q: So for the feats Arcane Blast and Arcane Shield what should we consider their effect to to be? Supernatural, Spell-like Or something else entirely?

    A: (James Jacobs 8/29/10) Supernatural, since in order for something to be a Spell-like ability it needs to have a spell level associated with it for the purposes of things like dispel magic. [Source]

    Augment Summoning (8/30/10)

    Q: If I scribe a summon monster scroll and then cast it, do the summoned creatures get modified by my characters' Augment Summoning, or do they only affect spells that I cast?

    A: (Official FAQ 8/30/10) No. Unless they specifically state otherwise, feats and abilities that modify spells you cast only affect actual spellcasting, not using magic items that emulate spellcasting or work like spellcasting. [Source]

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) Augment Summoning does affect monsters summoned using scrolls. Reference casting scrolls "Determining Effect" portion of the scrolls description. "A spell successfully activated from a scroll works exactly like a spell prepared and cast the normal way. " [Source]

    Boon Companion (7/7/11)

    Q: In the case of a multi-classed druid, it is clear that the level of your companion is boosted up to four levels with a cap of your character level. So a fighter-4/druid-4 would get an 8th level companion. Likewise, a fighter-10/druid-2 is capped with a 6th level companion. The confusion comes with the application of the feat to classes (ranger, paladin, cleric with animal domain, etc) that have a reduced "effective" druid level for their companion. Does this feat boost a single-class ranger's companion to his class level or is the companion still restricted to the ranger's effective druid level (level-3)?

    A: (Sean K Reynolds) Benefit: The abilities of your animal companion or familiar are calculated as though your class were four levels higher, to a maximum effective druid level of equal to your character level. If you have more than one animal companion or familiar, choose one to receive this benefit.

    This would make it clearer. And yes, you can take the feat if you're a single-classed ranger. It's actually pretty sweet deal. Currently we don't have a place to post FAQ/update material for books other than the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game hardcovers, so I can't attach this to a permanent FAQ, but consider this an official ruling on this question. [source]

    Cleave (5/14/10)

    Q: At the end of the description of the Cleave feat it states that using Cleave gives the user a -2 penalty to AC until their next turn. At the end of the Great Cleave description it says the same thing. My question is do these negatives stack?

    A: (James Jacobs 5/14/10) You can't use Cleave and Great Cleave at the same time, since both require a standard action to use. Once you have Great Cleave, you don't really use Cleave anymore since Great Cleave does everything Cleave does but better. So you only get hit by the AC penalty once. [Source]

    Q: Do I have to declare the use of the Cleave feat before attacking?

    A: (James Jacobs 5/11/10) When you use the Cleave ability, you tell the GM, "I'm going to use Cleave on the monster. "This is a standard action. You roll your attack. If you hit, you damage the foe as normal and then get to attack an adjacent foe in reach. That done, you have a move action left for you to use if you haven't used that round's move action before the Cleave. The whole POINT of Cleave is to give the fighter who usually relies on his iterative attacks the ability to make more than one attack if he's forced to move up to a foe. This and Vital Strike (and a few other abilities) are the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game's method of solving the fact that at high level, fighter types lose out a lot of damage potential in battles where they have to move around a lot, since you can't move and take a full attack. Anyway, it seems pretty clear to me in the description of the feat that using Cleave is a standard action. It says so right in the first four words of the "Benefit" paragraph, after all. In other words: Yes, you DO have to declare the use of Cleave as you make your attack, since making a Cleave attack is a standard action and NOT part of a full attack or any other type of attack. [Source]

    Dazzling Display

    Q: What is the difference between the Dazzling Display feat and using the Demoralize Opponent of the Intimidate Skill? It seems both affect all opponents within 30'. Is Intimidate supposed to be worded to affect only one?

    A: The intimidate skill says "If you are successful, the target is shaken for 1 round. " which means its affecting a single target. Where the Dazzling Display feat is affecting ALL targets with 30ft.

    Empower Spell (7/8/11)

    Q: Empower Spell (page 122): If I use Empower Spell on a spell that has a die roll with a numerical bonus (such as cure moderate wounds), does the feat affect the numerical bonus?

    A: (Official Update 7/8/11) Yes. For example, if you empower cure moderate wounds, the +50% from the feat applies to the 2d8 and to the level-based bonus. [source]

    Q: When using Empower Spell metamagic feat and ray of enfeeblement what part of the spell is considered the variable part? Should it be (1d6 x 1. 5) + 5 or (1d6+5 x 1. 5)?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 7/30/09) It would be (1d6 x 1. 5) + 5. 1d6 is the variable potion, and it is the only part that gets increased. The bonus from 1/2 your level is not increased by Empower Spell. Same goes for magic missile. [Source]

    Gorgon's Fist

    Q: The Gorgons Fist Feat description says it can be used when a enemy is slowed (as is the case with scorpion strike) but not exclusively. Does this also make any enemy slowed down by heavy armor a valid target of this ability?

    A: Armor slows your speed it does not reduce your speed which is what Scorpion Strike and Gorgons Fist say. On the other hand getting yourself encumbered it does say "reduced speed". So if carrying too much stuff you would be fair game for Gorgons Fist.

    Great Cleave (5/14/10)

    Q: At the end of the description of the Cleave feat it states that using Cleave gives the user a -2 penalty to AC until their next turn. At the end of the Great Cleave description it says the same thing. My question is do these negatives stack?

    A: (James Jacobs 5/14/10) You can't use Cleave and Great Cleave at the same time, since both require a standard action to use. Once you have Great Cleave, you don't really use Cleave anymore since Great Cleave does everything Cleave does but better. So you only get hit by the AC penalty once. [Source]

    Many Shot

    Q: Can you stack Rapid Shot feat with Manyshot?

    A: The wording is a little subtle, but it is saying during a full-attack not it actually requires a full-round action. Both Manyshot and Rapid Shot are available at the same time. They aren't separate full-round actions anymore - they're just options you can use when taking a full attack, so you can use both together. [Source]

    Power Attack

    Q: When using the Power Attack feat could someone opt to take the lesser penalty/benefit of the feet? Could a fighter with a BAB of +4 choose either -1/+2 or -2/+4? Or could they only do the -2/+4?

    A: You cannot. The feat is meant to be turned either on or off and it just increases with level now.

    Quicken Spell

    Q: The Quicken Spell feat reads: "Special: You can apply the effects of this feat to a spell cast spontaneously, so long as it has a casting time that is not more than 1 full round action, without increasing the spell's casting time. " That doesn't make sense to me at all?

    A: (James Jacobs) Quickened spell now applies to spontaneously cast spells (as before a spontaneously cast metamagic spell was a full round action including quicken spells). This is indeed good news for clerics and druids. It also means that a sorcerer and a bard can now enjoy Quickened spells.

    Rapid Shot

    Q: Does the rapid shot feat still work as in 3.5? Is the extra attack still at your highest BAB?

    A: Yes its at the highest BAB. Nothing seems to be saying it works any differently than it did in 3.5.

    Shield Mastery

    Q: Does the magical shield bonus apply to Shield Mastery?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) I am going to try and clarify this in a future errata. The intent here was to add the shields base bonus as an enhancement bonus (that is, +1 for light shields, +2 for heavy). Shield Focus does NOT increase the value. [Source]

    Q: Does Shield Mastery remove the penalties for all attacks if you are using a non-shield weapon and a shield and two-weapon fighting? Or does it only remove the penalties for the shield attack?

    A: Shield Mastery only removes the penalty for Two Weapon Fighting on the Shield Bash itself, it does not remove it for a non-Shield weapon in your other hand.

    Spring Attack (8/20/10)

    Q: Can you combine the Spring Attack feat with Vital Strike?

    A: (Errata 8/20/10) The spring attack feat has been changed in the 8/20/2010 Errata to be a Full-Round action. This prevents one from using Spring Attack and vital strike together. This also includes any of the Standard action feats like Cleave also.

    Standstill

    Q: What exactly happens when you're using Standstill? I thought you already could perform some Combat Maneuvers as an AoO already.

    A: Stand Still allows you to substitute a simple CMB check in place of your Attack of Opportunity when someone attempts to move through your adjacent squares. If you are successful, then he cannot move for the rest of his turn. And yes, the text in Stand Still means that they need to be adjacent before you may attempt this, not just within reach (if your natural or weapon reach is greater than 5 ft. ).

    Two-Weapon Rend (5/1/10)

    Q: So, if a character is allowed multiple attacks from the Improved Two-weapon Fighting feat and a high BAB, any 2 of those attacks could trigger Two-Weapon Rend as long as they are consecutive?

    A: (James Jacobs 5/1/10) They just need to happen on the same round; they don't need to be consecutive. You just need to hit once with your primary hand weapon and once with your off hand weapon. Doesn't matter which attack, as long as one of each weapon hits. And don't forget the last line of the feat description: "You can only deal this additional damage once each round. " [Source]

    Vital Strike (8/20/10)

    Q: Spring Attack has a rather mushy description, but I am pretty sure you can combine it at least with a Vital Strike. I'd also like to have some clarification if you can also combine it with Cleave and Deadly Strike.

    A: (Errata 8/20/10) The spring attack feat has been changed in the 8/20/2010 Errata to be a Full-Round action. This prevents one from using Spring Attack and vital strike together.

    A: You can apply Vital Strike (or Cleave but not both) to Spring Attack as worded as Spring Attack does not use any type of special action. It lets you use part of your move-action in between your Standard Action, but does not actually use up any type of action.

    A: This is not 100% clear actually as the wording for Spring Attack has changed in PFRPG and it may not be able to be combined with Vital Strike. Their is also no official word one way or other about this yet. To enforce this idea below is James Jacobs within hours of himself saying they don't stack coming back and saying they actually do as it shows up in a official print in Pathfinder AP#30. A: (James Jacobs 3/7/10) As for Spring Attack, this feat lets you make a single melee attack at any point during a movement; that attack has to be a pure-vanilla attack, basically. You can't fancy it up with things like Cleave or Vital Strike, as those are their own standard actions, basically. If you have all three of those feats, you can do one of the following:

    1. Run up to a foe, stab it, and run away, all without provoking an AoO (Spring Attack).
    2. Run up to a foe and stab it, and then stab a dude standing next to the guy you just stabbed (Cleave).
    3. Run up to a foe and stab it and do extra damage (Vital Strike).

    A generous GM might allow you to mix and match these feats and even use them all at the same time... but that's not the intent of the rules. These feats exist to give you multiple options, and they each give you specific advantages depending on what you want to do (stab and get out harm's way, stab multiple foes, or stab one foe with a lot of damage). [Source]

    Q: But in PF#30 Sharx Veskandi (page 42) lists using Vital Strike and Spring Attack as her favorite tactics?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/7/10) Because it's a good tactic. And because when I'm developing an adventure, I go with my gut more often than a micro examination of every single rule... because that's the only way to get APs out on a monthly schedule. And because, as I've mentioned above, letting Spring Attack and Vital Strike work together is cool. Since you found precedence where the two feats work together in print, LET THAT BE THE LAW! Vital Strike and Spring Attack were made to be together, after all.

    [Source]

    Q: What type of action (standard, full, move, swift, free) does Vital Strike use?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) Vital Strike is an attack action, which is a type of standard action.

    Note: Attack Action means it is one of the types of action listed under Standard Actions List. You see that Attack is is one of the types of Standard Actions available others including: Activate Magic Item, Cast a Spell, Total Defense, and Use Special Ability. [Source]

    Q: Can you charge and use Vital Strike?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) Charge is a special full-round action (excluding partial charge). You cannot currently combine a charge and vital strike. [Source]

    Q: How does Vital Strike effect weapon-like spells (ie Chill Touch, Inflict Light Wounds)?

    A: (James Jacobs 11/6/09) Vital Strike wasn't ever intended to give spellcasters a way to double their damage dice, and you can expect it to be reworded in an upcoming FAQ sooner or later to enforce this role. [Source]

    A: (James Jacobs 11/5/09) Vital Strike does not allow you to sneak out extra damage with spells unless that spell works like a weapon. You could vital strike with a flame blade. Not with a scorching ray. [Source]

    Q: If I critically hit with a Greataxe(1d12+6) while using Vital Strike what damage do I roll?

    A: 4d12+18. Which is (1d12+6)x3 plus 1d12 for vital strike.

    Q: Can you use Vital Strike with a bow or thrown weapon?

    A: Nothing in the feat suggests you can not so yes you can.

    Q: Can you combine Cleave and Vital Strike?

    A: Both of these feats now require a standard action to use and as you only get one per round you can not combine the two feats.

    Q: Deadly Stroke is defined as "you deal double the normal damage" with an explicit exception regarding critical hits "The additional damage and bleed is not multiplied on a critical hit. ". Does that mean that the additional dice from Vital Strike are also doubled?

    A: You can not combine Deadly Stroke and Vital Strike as they both are worded to use a Standard Action. As they both are standard actions and you only have one standard action a round it does not work.

    Q: So at 6th level and using a longsword +2 and 16 Str and power attacking (-2 to hit, +4 damage) using the Vital Strike feat would it be 2d8, +2 for the sword bonus, +4 for PA, and +3 for Str or 2d8 +4 for the sword bonus, +8 for PA and +3 for Str? And then what would the above damage be if a critical hit was rolled?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) The way to think about it is this. . roll the damage dice only twice. Everything else is as per normal. If you crit, add the crit damage normally and then roll the base dice for the weapon again and add them all together. So, in your example, the character would roll 1d8+5 attacking normally, 1d8+9 if using Power Attack, and 2d8+9 if using Power Attack and Vital Strike. On a critical hit you would roll 3d8+10 if attacking normally, 3d8+18 if using Power Attack. [Source]

    Q: The text of this feat stipulates that the Vital Strike does not multiply Strength damage, weapon ability damage, or precision damage. Are other damage bonuses (those not mentioned, such as those from Weapon Specialization, enhancement bonuses, or the Bard's inspire courage ability) are, in fact, multiplied on a hit? I'm not sure if that's what is intended, though--the wording sounds like it could just be saying, "No damage bonuses, such as X, Y, and Z, are multiplied on a hit. "

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) The way to think about it is this: roll the damage dice only twice. [Source]

    Weapon Finesse (9/25/09)

    Q: Since disarm, sunder, and trip are attack actions (not standard maneuvers like bull rush, overrun, or grapple), does the Weapon Finesse feat allow the fighter to use his Dex to calculate his CMB for those specific attacks? Or would I need Agile Maneuvers no matter what maneuver I wanted?

    A: (James Jacobs) Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, and similar feats would only apply when you're attempting a combat maneuver with that weapon. For the most part, this would be limited to things like disarm or sunder or MAYBE trip. You wouldn't get this bonus to things like overrun, bull rush, or grapple that don't use a weapon attack as part of their requirements. Agile Maneuvers applies to EVERY maneuver every time. [Source]

    Weapon Focus (10/22/10)

    Q: Can you take Weapon Specialization (ray) or Improved Critical (ray) as feats? How about Weapon Specialization (bomb) or Improved Critical (bomb)?

    A: (Official FAQ 10/22/10) All four of those are valid choices. Note that Weapon Specialization (ray) only adds to hit point damage caused by a ray attack that would normally deal hit point damage; it doesn't increase ability score damage (such as from ray of enfeeblement) or drain, negative levels (such as from enervation), or other damage or penalties from rays. [Source]

    Weapon Specialization (10/22/10)

    Q: Can you take Weapon Specialization (ray) or Improved Critical (ray) as feats? How about Weapon Specialization (bomb) or Improved Critical (bomb)?

    A: (Official FAQ 10/22/10) All four of those are valid choices. Note that Weapon Specialization (ray) only adds to hit point damage caused by a ray attack that would normally deal hit point damage; it doesn't increase ability score damage (such as from ray of enfeeblement) or drain, negative levels (such as from enervation), or other damage or penalties from rays. [Source]

    Traits

    Adopted Racial Trait (2/26/10)

    Q: After picking the adopted trait are we limited to traits in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Companion products? I.e. Can a character select a race trait listed in the Player's Handbook. Good example Human Rogue takes adopted trait, and is dwarven adopted, could they choose Darkvision under the Dwarven Race Trait tree. With the current wording of the trait and the lists in the PHB it seems sound.

    A: (James Jacobs 2/26/10) Race traits and racial traits, despite similar names, are different things. Racial traits are the abilities you get for being a race, like darkvision or stonecunning. Those are locked in and cant be swapped around. Race traits are a category of character traits that, like regional traits and religion traits, appear regularly in the Pathfinder Companion line. You'll want to check those books out for the various race traits you can swap out for by taking the Adopted basic trait. If you don't have or don't use Pathfinder Companion products, then just ignore the Adopted trait because it does nothing for you. [Source]

    Equipment

    Buckler

    Q: Can one use a buckler and bow at the same time? As the buckler description says "You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it. " does mean that when using a bow you do NOT lose the AC bonus until next round?

    A: You can use a bow and buckler at the same time, but it appears you still lose the AC bonus until next round. The buckler description reads "In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you lose the buckler's AC bonus until your next turn. "

    Clothing (10/8/09)

    Q: Does clothing count towards Encumbrance as in D&D 3.5E, clothing did not count towards a character's encumbrance. Is this still true in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game as its not mentioned under the clothing section?.

    A: (James Jacobs) In games I run, one suit of worn clothing won't count for encumbrance. I'm relatively sure that the omission of that line from the rules was an oversight, but it's not something that I think warrants a full-blown errata. [Source]

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 10/8/09) Folks, as of right now, there is nothing in the RAW that states that one suit of clothing does not count toward encumbrance. So, as of this moment, clothing does count. I will revisit this issue when it comes time for the next batch of updates. [Source]

    Mithral (3/22/10)

    Q: So can a character without Medium Armor proficiency wear a Mithral Breastplate with no penalties, and Tumble away to their heart's content? What about elven chainmail?

    A: This would have been true in 3.5 but not in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. They made a slight change so that while Mithral Breastplate is light for purposes of movement it still requires Medium Armor proficiency. Elven chainmail is an exception to this rule making it special.

    A: (James Jacobs 3/22/10) Mithral chainmail and elven chainmail are different things, is all. This appeals to me because that gives elven chainmail a REASON to be called out as a specific type of armor, after all. [Source]

    Q: When making a mithral weapon(ie a dagger) do you halve the weight before or after you price it by the weight?

    A: Use the original weight of the weapon before mithral, not after. You are applying mithral to the original weapon stats. So a dagger would cost 502gp as a dagger weighs 1 pound.

    Q: What about Shurikens and mithral weapons as shurikens weigh half a pound and they come out cheaper than masterwork version? As a masterwork shuriken costs 301gp and a mithral set would cost 251 gp.

    A: A your taking into account the correct prices of masterwork shurikens vs mithral shurikens. Shuriken are treated as ammunition for many purposes including crafting which means you craft the value as if you where making 50 of them. So a single set of masterwork shurikens, which is 5 shurikens, costs 30 gp or 6 gp a piece. While Mithral shurikens costs 251 gp.

    Weapons, Trip (3/15/11)

    Q: The wording in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for trip attempts seems to imply that you can now trip with any type of weapon unlike in 3.5. If you do use a trip weapon the benefit seems to be that one can drop the weapon to if one fails by ten where a non-trip weapon would cause you to be tripped?

    A(Official FAQ 3/15/11) Yes you may trip with any weapon unlike in 3.5 D&D.  See the "official FAQ" for the full details.

    A: (James Jacobs 2/17/10) When you want to trip a foe, you don't normally use a weapon. Similarly, you don't normally use a weapon to bull rush, grapple, or overrun a foe. You just lash out with a leg sweep or whatever and try to trip the foe. Doing so is an attack, but that doesn't mean you need a weapon to make the attempt. Now... SOME weapons (not all) allow you to use the weapon to trip a foe, thus giving you a slight advantage since if you mess up the trip attempt, you can just drop the weapon to "counter" the trip that comes back at you. [Source]

    A: (James Jacobs 3/5/10) If a weapon doesn't have the trip special quality listed on the chart of weapons on pages 142-143, you can't use it to trip foes. Whether or not we should have given this quality to things like spears or quarterstaffs or nets is a different topic-in order to trip a foe with a weapon, the weapon HAS to have the trip special quality. As to why we didn't give more weapons this quality, it all has to do with the way we decided to balance the rules for each weapon. Giving a weapon the trip special quality makes it better, which means it either has to become more expensive or less effective in other areas. [Source]

    Weapons, Size (3/8/10)

    Q: As I understand it, a halfling can use a small longspear to attack things 10 feet away, because small creatures have the same reach (5 ft) as medium creatures. So what happens when a human picks up the halfling's small longspear?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/8/10) Reach weapons and weapon size interacts really weirdly. As written, a Small longspear provides reach, but a Large spear does not. This is probably a good area for GMs to step in and apply some common sense to the situation as necessary, I guess. [Source]

    Shields and Casting (1/1/10)

    Q: My cleric is wielding a light shield and a morningstar and wants to cast a spell. My DM says that my cleric has to drop his morningstar to cast spells. Can't I just switch my morningstar to the light shield hand and then move it back after casting?

    A: (James Jacobs 1/1/10) Switching a held object from one hand to the other doesn't require an action, so the end result is the same whether or not you use the light shield hand to lay on hands or your weapon hand after switching your weapon to the off hand, and then back to your weapon hand. The fact that allowing you to use your light shield hand to do so without so many fiddly steps is why I'd say it's fine to let it work that way. [Source]

    Combat

    Critical hits & Sneak Attacks (10/13/09)

    Q: Can a rogue use sneak attack on undead, constructs, etc. and same for critical strikes? In 3.5 you couldn't but do you now?

    A: (James Jacobs 10/13/09) Incorporeal creatures can't be sneak attacked or critically hit. But yeah, everything else (physical undead and constructs included) can be sneak attacked or critically hit unless they have special abilities that specifically protect them. [Source]

    Grappling (12/11/09)

    Q: Can a monk do a Flurry of Blows during a grapple as it requires a full attack action?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 12/11/09) The RAW do allow the grappled to make a full attack action, assuming they can do so with only one hand. Since flurry does not require two hands to perform, a monk could flurry. Grappling is not always the best idea. Grappling a monk is one such example. I think folks need to remember that the grappled condition is not as severe as it once was. You are no longer draped all over the target. It is more like you got a hold on them, typically an arm (hence the restriction). The pinned condition is more of your greco-roman wrestling hold. [Source]

    Q: If I am reading the grapple and flat-footed information correctly a rogue (or other character with Uncanny Dodge) who is PINNED breaks the usual rule of Uncanny Dodge because they keep their DEX mod to AC while immobilized! (because PINNED states a person is FLATFOOTED - not "lose their DEX")?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) There appears to be a little bit of incongruity in the wordings here. A pinned character is immobilized (hence uncanny dodge will not help). I will see that this is clarified. [Source]

    Q: The Huge ant-lion was grappling the dire tiger and the guy running the dire tiger wanted to know if he could use his rake attack while being grappled. From reading the rules on Rake it seemed like you could only use it when grappling, not being grappled. Is that correct?

    A: As long as the dire tiger had the grappled condition at the start of its turn it can rake.

    Fortification and Critical Immunity

    Q: What happens when you hit a creature that is immune to critical or has fortification? Do the "negate critical" effect cover more than the extra damage? What about Critical Feats? What about Burst Weapons?

    A: Rolling a natural 20 is only a Critical Threat, not actually a critical hit. You have to roll a 2nd time to confirm and if the creature is immune then you did not score a 'critical hit' just as if you failed to confirm the critical. The crit feats general information says “modify the effects of a critical hit. . ”. A Critical Hit is defined under the combat section of the rules.

    Note: Magic Weapons and Critical Hits: Some weapon qualities and some specific weapons have an extra effect on a critical hit. This special effect also functions against creatures not normally subject to critical hits. On a successful critical roll, apply the special effect, but do not multiply the weapon's regular damage. [Source]

    Trip (3/15/11)

    Q: Does tripping some standing up cause them to stay prone or lose their move-action? This is known as 'Trip Locking' on the paizo forums.

    A: (Official FAQ 8/13/10) No. The attack of opportunity is triggered before the action that triggered it is resolved. In this case, the target is still prone when the attack of opportunity occurs (and you get the normal bonuses when making such an attack). Since the trip combat maneuver does not prevent the target's action, the target then stands up. [Source]

    A: (Jason Bulmahn 7/9/10) You can use your AoO to trip a creature that is standing up from prone, but it has no effect, since the AoO is resolved before the action is completed, meaning that the creature is still prone. Once the AoO resolves, the creature would stand up normally. [Source]

    Q: The wording in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for trip attempts seems to imply that you can now trip with any type of weapon unlike in 3.5. If you do use a trip weapon the benefit seems to be that one can drop the weapon to if one fails by ten where a non-trip weapon would cause you to be tripped?

    A(Official FAQ 3/15/11) Yes you may trip with any weapon unlike in 3.5 D&D.  See the "official FAQ" for the full details.

    A: (James Jacobs 2/17/10) When you want to trip a foe, you don't normally use a weapon. Similarly, you don't normally use a weapon to bull rush, grapple, or overrun a foe. You just lash out with a leg sweep or whatever and try to trip the foe. Doing so is an attack, but that doesn't mean you need a weapon to make the attempt. Now... SOME weapons (not all) allow you to use the weapon to trip a foe, thus giving you a slight advantage since if you mess up the trip attempt, you can just drop the weapon to "counter" the trip that comes back at you. [Source]

    A: (James Jacobs 3/5/10) If a weapon doesn't have the trip special quality listed on the chart of weapons on pages 142-143, you can't use it to trip foes. Whether or not we should have given this quality to things like spears or quarterstaffs or nets is a different topic-in order to trip a foe with a weapon, the weapon HAS to have the trip special quality. As to why we didn't give more weapons this quality, it all has to do with the way we decided to balance the rules for each weapon. Giving a weapon the trip special quality makes it better, which means it either has to become more expensive or less effective in other areas. [Source]

    Conditions & Afflictions

    Ability Damage, Drain, and Penalty (4/23/10)

    Q: I am confused on the different types of Ability Damage, Drain, and Penalty. Plus some spells like ray of enfeeblement and touch of idiocy seem to even have special rules. How do these effects really work?

    A: (James Jacobs 4/23/10) Ability damage only results in a penalty to actions associated with that ability score; it does NOT make you lose access to feats or spells that require ability score minimums, since your actual ability score does not lower. Only ability DRAIN can make you lose access to spells you can cast or feats that have prerequisites. But it's not that simple. Some effects that cause ability damage or ability penalties DO have additional effects. Touch of idiocy is one such spell, since it says in the spell's description that it affects the target's ability to cast some or all of its spells if the penalty imparted to the ability score drops low enough. This is an exception to the general rule for ability scores and applies only to touch of idiocy (the point of the spell, really, is to be a lesser version of feeblemind that screws over spellcasters, after all). Ray of enfeeblement, on the other hand, does NOT have this type of language. It merely works as a normal penalty to an ability score.

    Q: A 12th-level wizard with a 16 Intelligence takes a 3 point Intelligence penalty from Touch of Idiocy. What is the highest level spell he can cast, sixth or third?

    A: Third.

    Q: A 12th-level wizard with a 16 Intelligence takes 3 points of Intelligence damage. What is the highest level spell he can cast, sixth or third?

    A: Sixth.

    Q: A 12th-level wizard with a 16 Intelligence takes 3 points of Intelligence drain. What is the highest level spell he can cast, sixth or third?

    A: Third.

    Q: A fighter with 13 strength and the Power Attack feat takes a 3 point Strength penalty from Ray of Enfeeblement. Can he Power Attack?

    A: Yes.

    Q: A fighter with 13 strength and the Power Attack feat takes 3 points of Strength Damage. Can he Power Attack?

    A: Yes.

    Q: A fighter with 13 strength and the Power Attack feat takes 3 points of Strength Drain. Can he Power Attack?

    A: No. [Source]

    Bleed (10/17/09)

    Q: What kind of creatures can be affected by bleed (ie undead or constructs)?

    A: (James Jacobs 10/17/2009) The rules don't really go into the details of what a bleeding attack can or can't hurt... they don't really need to because the rules for bleed are presented on page 565 of the RPG. In a nut shell... anything that can take hit point damage can take bleed damage unless the type of creature it is grants immunity to bleed or the creature possesses a special ability or item (like a periapt of wound closing) that makes it immune to bleed. [Source]

    Q: Strictly by the reading, Regeneration wouldn't affect a Bleed effect, because it isn't a spell. However, it does heal hit point damage, so in theory (I think) it should be able to stop bleeding. Was this the intention behind the interaction?

    A: (James Jacobs) The intent is that any actual healing can stop bleed damage. The wording of “any spell” is a bit confusing, alas. Channeled energy, regeneration, and fast healing should all stop bleed damage. Which is good, because bleed damage is scary!

    Poison

    Q: Does the DC for poison go up if on the 1st round of combat I get hit by 3 spiders but pass check, then get hit once next round, are those 3 hits still in your system?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) Assuming all the poisons are the same type, no. Once a person has made their save, all current poison of that type in their body is removed and any new poison resets at the default DC.

    Spells and Magic

    Spell-Like Abilities (5/11/10)

    Q: A lot of the class abilities like for sorcerer bloodline '1st level attack powers' are listed as Spell-like abilities, but don't have any specific spell they're based on. The rules for Sp's seem to assume any Sp is based on a normal spell somehow. How do we determine the Sp spell level?

    A: (James Jacobs 5/11/10) When one (be it Paizo or whoever) introduces new Spell-like abilities that don't mimic an existing spell, it's the book's responsibility to indicate what spell level that ability is. I argued for a LONG time that we should avoid creating spell-like abilities that don't mimic existing spells for pretty much this exact reason, but I obviously lost that argument. So the best way to estimate what a spell-like ability's level is if it doesn't say in the description and it doesn't mimic a spell is to just look at what level the class gets the ability at and assume it's the highest-level spell that one could cast at that level. Thus: an aberrant sorcerer gains acidic ray as a spell-like ability at 1st level, therefore that SLA is effectively a 1st level spell. The fey sorcerer gains fleeting glance at 9th level, and since the highest-level spell that sorcerer could cast is 4th at 9th level, fleeting glance is equivalent to a 4th level spell. And so on. My personal preference would be, of course, to turn all of those into Supernatural abilities. [Source]

    Material Components (5/6/10)

    Q: For some spells there is a listed material component, but no cost. In example the spell form of the dragon has Components V, S, M (a scale of the dragon type you plan to assume). What is the material cost for the dragon scale?

    A: (Sean K Reynolds 5/6/10) Material components without a gp cost are just there for flavor. There's no mechanical difference between a spell with Components: V, S and an otherwise identical spell with Components: V, S, M (a scale of the dragon type you want to assume). You could do away with M components entirely (except for the pricey ones), and by that I mean "change all spell descriptions so they don't mention M components at all except for costly ones" and not affect the game one bit--except in the rare circumstances where your wizard's spell component pouch has been stolen, which is a circumstance where the GM is being a jerk anyway. [Source]

    General Info - Spells & Damage (4/27/10)

    Q: For some spells there is a listed material component, but no cost. In example the spell form of the dragon has Components V, S, M (a scale of the dragon type you plan to assume). What is the material cost for the dragon scale?

    A: (Sean K Reynolds 5/6/10) Material components without a gp cost are just there for flavor. There's no mechanical difference between a spell with Components: V, S and an otherwise identical spell with Components: V, S, M (a scale of the dragon type you want to assume). You could do away with M components entirely (except for the pricey ones), and by that I mean "change all spell descriptions so they don't mention M components at all except for costly ones" and not affect the game one bit--except in the rare circumstances where your wizard's spell component pouch has been stolen, which is a circumstance where the GM is being a jerk anyway. [Source]

    Q: If a wizard is trying to cast a spell through a glass window (the point of origin of the spell on the other side of the window), does he have line of effect to that spot or is that blocked as well?

    A: (James Jacobs 4/27/10) Yup; a glass window blocks line of effect. It doesn't block line of sight though, so if a spell ONLY requires line of sight, a spellcaster can cast spells through a window. [Source]

    Q: Do Spells Go Through Walls / Floors / Ceilings?

    A: (James Jacobs 4/26/10) Normally, no. Spell effects are blocked by solid barriers. Although some spell effects get around this in various ways (earthquake is a good example). [Source]

    Q: I cant help but notice there are some spells that deal damage types other than energy. For example, you cast ice storm on a group of undead, lets say in this instance, a mixed group of zombies and skeletons. Zombies have Damage Reduction 5/slashing and skeletons have Damage Reduction 5/bludgeoning AND have Immunity to cold. What would suffer damage and from what source?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/27/10) When a spell mentions that a specific type of damage caused is bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing, that DOES have to overcome a creature's DR. Some spells create magic effects, while others use magic to create physical effects; that's a major theme of conjuration magic (and creation magic in particular). If you hit an ooze with the Split ability with the appropriate type of damage, be that from a spell or weapon, it will split. And if you drop a spell that, say, does piercing damage on something with damage reduction like 5/bludgeoning, that piercing damage will get offset by the damage reduction. Casting ice storm on a mix of zombies and skeletons would indeed be complex. The zombies would reduce the damage taken from the bludgeoning portion of the spell but take full damage from the cold, while the skeletons would just ignore the cold damage entirely and take full damage from the bludgeoning. MOST spells don't inflict bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage at all. And most spells don't inflict multiple types of damage either. Lightning bolt, for example, just causes electricity damage. It bypasses DR entirely but not electricity resistance or electricity immunity. And unless the spell description says so specifically, bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage it inflicts is not automatically also treated as bypassing magic. Again; the damaging object is CREATED by magic and PROPELLED by magic, but is not in and of itself magic. A spell that conjures a flight of arrows that deals piercing damage should be reduced by DR/bludgeoning or slashing. If it doesn't, then that spell's damage type shouldn't be listed as piercing at all, but untyped damage. Spells and effects that do untyped damage are pretty rare in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, since these spells are quite powerful since their damage can't be stopped by any form of immunity, resistance, or damage reduction. [Source]

    Blink and Mirror Image (4/22/10)

    Q: How does mirror image interact with blink? Do the figments also shift into the ethereal plane and gain the 50% miss chance?

    A: (James Jacobs 4/22/10) Mirror image doesn't kick in until you hit the target. So... check for miss chance. If you miss, attack ends. If you hit, then check to see if you hit the actual target or an image. [Source]

    Alter Self

    Q: I am puzzled about "same size" changes for alter self spell. Consider alter self, and a Small or Medium target. Is the alter self spell really saying that changing from Human to "Elf" gains +2 Str? and Gnome changing to "Halfling" gets +2 Dex?

    A: It may seem weird, but yes going from a medium humanoid shape to a medium humanoid shape provides a +2 Str increase.

    Beast Shape

    Q: With beast shape II a normal human (Str 10) can change into a Large animal (let's say a bear) with Str 14. It looks like a bear, but in fact, it's strong as a dog?

    A: Yes this is correct. For more detailed info about what a character receives or does not when using a polymorph affect see Transmutation school.

    Q: Do I receive the feats like Multiattack when I take a new shape?

    A: No. You keep your feats as is.

    Break Enchantment (3/3/10)

    Q: Can break enchantment remove petrification?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/3/10) Break enchantment SHOULD be able to remove petrification (but does not by RAW), if only because bottle-necking the effects that can restore a petrified creature with one 6th level spell is bad for the game. Especially since there are plenty of ways to get petrified at levels before you reach the ability to cast stone to flesh (even though we did nerf most of those petrification monsters and give alternate ways to undo the effects). Since break enchantment isn't 100% auto-successful (you have to make a caster level check for it to work), allowing it to fix petrification doesn't really even impinge upon stone to flesh, I think. [Source]

    Dispel Magic

    Q: When using dispel magic as a targeted dispel wouldn't always be better to use the spells DC instead of 11 + caster level? For example, if the Wizard is flying around the DC for his fly spell is going to be an easier target than 11 + his caster level.

    A: (James Jacobs) You won't always be able to name a specific spell effect. Being able to name a specific spell effect (in theory because you made your Knowledge (arcana) check to identify a spell effect) requires more skill, and therefore you get rewarded by being more skilled by being able to use your dispel magic against what's probably a lower DC.

    Displacement (3/3/10)

    Q: Does the displacement spell prevent sneak attacks?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/3/10) At this point, barring rewrites to spells and class abilities: Sneak Attack works on displaced targets because the text of the spell SPECIFICALLY SAYS that you can target a creature normally. It's just that sometimes, the target's not where you think it is... but that doesn't impact your ability to target the foe. The spell says the miss chance works LIKE concealment, but then goes on to say that this doesn't impact your ability to actually target the foe normally.

    Flavorwise... with blur, which actually grants concealment, you can't see the target clearly enough to aim at hearts or aortas or kidneys or other sneak attack targets. Therefore, sneak attack doesn't work. With displacement, you CAN see the target clearly. The problem is that when you stab, the target simply might not be there. If he's not there, then you miss and do NO damage. If he IS there, you hit where you were aiming at anyway and thus do sneak attack damage. [Source]

    Greater Magic Weapon (2/25/10)

    Q: I am a bit confused here. So does the enhancement bonus from greater magic weapon stack? Example: I have a +1 dancing vorpal longsword (total permanent enhancement = +10). A 20th level wizard casts greater magic weapon on it. What happens?

    A: (James Jacobs 2/25/10) The enhancement bonus from greater magic weapon overlaps. If your 20th level spellcaster casts greater magic weapon on a +1 dancing vorpal sword, it'd act like a +5 dancing vorpal sword as long as the spell persisted (although it wouldn't gain the DR bypassing quality that a "real" +5 weapon gains, in this case.) [Source]

    Polymorph

    (James Jacobs) The various polymorph spells also address the fact that, under 3.5, every time a new monster book came out, the polymorph spells grew more and more versatile. And since new monsters aren't designed necessarily with game balance in mind for their use as PCs but as monsters, there was an increasing number of problems popping up there as well.

    Also, with these spells now granting bonuses to the caster's stats and not simply replacing them with static stats, you keep more of your character in the loop. You're no longer replacing your character with something else as much as you are augmenting yourself. For a 10 STR human, that does mean that changing into a bear gives you a Str 14. But for a spellcaster with a higher Strength, you can easily end up ABOVE the generic bear's Strength score, which is pretty cool.

    Also, by changing the polymorph spells and doing them like they are in PRPG, you remove the need for characters who change shape to even have a Monster Book handy. They don't need to know a bear's stats; they just apply the spell effects to their character and apply the flavor of “transforming into a bear” and presto! In game, from other character's viewpoints, the end effect is the same. But out of game, the end effect is a lot simpler since now you can easily apply the effects of the transformation without having to rework your entire stat block.

    Prismatic Wall (3/5/10)

    Q: The prismatic wall violet layer says "Energy field destroys all objects and effects. " What exactly does this mean for objects warn by creatures passing through?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/5/10) Objects, in this case, refers to nonmagical non-living things that are used to try to breach the wall. Like thrown rocks, thrown tables, arrows, catapult boulders, and so on. Any objects or items or whatever that are "attended" (as in, carried or worn by a creature) are NOT destroyed, but travel with the person carrying/holding them off to whatever other plane that person ends up going to. If the person makes their Will save to avoid being sent to another plane, he can stroll right on through the wall with all his stuff intact. Allowing prismatic wall to automatically destroy every object that passes through it, in other words, IS a bit excessive. The intent of the spell is to prevent anyone from making ranged attacks with weapons or spells or abilities against those on he other side, basically, not to provide a static disintegration wall. The limitations of the table format forced us to be a bit more brief than we should have been in describing it, alas. Artifacts can't be destroyed by a prismatic wall unless the Destruction line of the artifact says otherwise. [Source]

    Produce Flame

    Q: Produce flame is not exactly a touch spell as e. g. vampiric touch is; touching a foe with the flame is only one of its applications. Does the standard action required to cast it include a free attack, as it does with other touch spells? Also, does the spell allow iterative attacks?

    A: (James Jacobs) The spell is a spell, not a weapon. It's intent is to give the spellcaster a fire attack that he can touch foes with or throw. Since it's not a weapon, and the fire isn't wielded like a weapon, it doesn't really follow the rules for weapons. Note how flame blade DOES actually say the spell functions like a weapon— “you wiled this blade-like beam as if it were a scimitar;”  Flame blade's also higher level than produce flame.No iterative attacks with produce flame as a result, since it only grants the one attack per round as a touch attack.

    Summon Monster (12/21/09)

    A: (Official Errata)

    The majority of these errors, I suspect, came from miscommunication between what was and wasn't changing with these animals in the switchover between the 3.5 Monster Manual and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary. [Source]

    A few other notes:

    • The Giant Frilled Lizard is so much tougher than a bison or an ape because it's something that probably would HUNT bisons or apes. It'd be best to compare the giant frilled lizard ecologically wise to a tiger or bear; it's a top-tier predator.
    • Camels will be in the Bestiary II. If you need stats before then, though, they'll be VERY similar to the stats for a horse, except they'll have some sort of long-term go without water ability.

    Magic Items

    Magic Item Crafting (5/5/10)

    Q: My DM says that the limit of magical plus is +5. I can't find where it says that amulet of natural armor, rings of protection etc. are limited to +5?

    A: (James Jacobs 5/5/10) In 3.5, rings or cloaks or weapons or armor or whatever that provide a +6 or higher bonus are considered "epic. " They're INCREDIBLY expensive (millions of gp in some cases) and aren't really intended to be used by characters who are 20th level or lower. We haven't actually said much at all about how epic rules work in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (aside from pointing out that the 3.5 rules still work if you like them), but as far as official products and the rules themselves go, +5 is the limit for magic items like rings of protection or armor. (Yes, I'm aware that there are higher limits on some things, like bracers of armor; those are different items and their own limits are their own. ) [Source]

    Q: I looked over the magic item crafting rules and was unable to find an explicit statement on this question: Does creating a magic item require the creator to be of the same or higher caster level of the item itself? This doesn't seem to square with the CLs listed for specific magic items; for instance, a Belt of Giant Strength +2 has CL 8th, but the only spell required in its creation, bull's strength, has a minimum caster level of 3. Am I missing anything here?

    A: (Official FAQ 8/18/2010) Though the listed Caster Level for a pearl of power is 17th, that caster level is not part of the Requirements listing for that item. Therefore, the only caster level requirement for a pearl of power is the character has to be able to cast spells of the desired level. However, it makes sense that the minimum caster level of the pearl is the minimum caster level necessary to cast spells of that level--it would be strange for a 2nd-level pearl to be CL 1st. For example, a 3rd-level wizard with Craft Wondrous Item can create a 1st-level pearl, with a minimum caster level of 1. He can set the caster level to whatever he wants (assuming he can meet the crafting DC), though the pearl's caster level has no effect on its powers (other than its ability to resist dispel magic). If he wants to make a 2nd-level pearl, the caster level has to be at least 3, as wizards can't cast 2nd-level spells until they reach character level 3. He can even try to make a 3rd-level pearl, though the minimum caster level is 5, and he adds +5 to the DC because he doesn't meet the "able to cast 3rd-level spells" requirement. [Source]

    A: For potions, scrolls, and wands, the creator can set the caster level of an item at any number high enough to cast the stored spell but not higher than her own caster level. For other magic items, the caster level is determined by the item itself. In this case, the creator's caster level must be as high as the item's caster level (and prerequisites may effectively put a higher minimum on the creator's level). [Magic Item Descriptions - Caster Level]

    Q: In Chapter 4: Feats (pg. 112), the DC to craft a magic item is 10 + the item's caster level. In Chapter 15: Magic Items (pg. 548), the DC is listed as 5 + the item's caster level. Which is correct?

    A: (Jason Bulmahn) I believe the Magic Items chapter is correct and the DC should be 5 + caster level, but I am still looking into the issue. Either way, this will be corrected. [Source]

    Headband of Vast Intelligence (10/8/09)

    Q: (10/8/09) A headband of vast intelligence grants you one skill per +2 bonus it has at the maximum number of ranks you can have, but do you in addition get extra skill points to spend per level because you effectively have a higher Intelligence after wearing it for 24 hrs?

    A: (James Jacobs) The headband of vast intelligence grants you an Intelligence bonus. We wanted it to also grant skill points, since that's what increased intelligence scores do. What we DIDN'T want was a situation where you get an item that grants an INT bonus and put it on your head and get to pick where those extra skill ranks go there and then... because then what's keeping you from putting those ranks in to, say, Appraise, but then when you get to a locked door you can just take the item off and then put it back on your head and say, "Now those skill ranks are adding to my Disable Device!" Makes the item WAY too versatile. [Source]

    Weapon Powers (10/20/09)

    Q: I have a player who wants to turn on the frost ability of his weapon and leave it on all the time. My argument is that it's command word activated for a reason and that reason is that it would have detrimental effects on your equipment if the weapon was left in its "cold state" all the time.

    A: (James Jacobs 10/20/09) While it's a command word to activate or deactivate a weapon like a flaming or a frost weapon... once activated it stays on. Sheathing it suppresses the energy automatically, and when you draw the weapon later it's ready to go. You'd only want to turn off the energy effect, as a previous poster said, when you're facing something that using that type of energy against is a bad idea. [Source]

    Bestiary

    BAB and Multiple Attacks (10/31/09)

    Q: In 3.5 a dire bear got 3 attacks, 2 claw attacks and a bite attack. The claws got +19 attack each and the bite got a +13 attack. (weapon focus, claws) The dire bear in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game has +13 to its claw attacks and +13 to its bite... . so why does it get a full bonus to ALL of its attacks? As does the lion, as does the cheetah, and the leopard.

    A: (10/31/09) On page 302 of the Bestiary is Table 3-1 Natural Attacks by Size. What the table also nicely shows is which attacks are considered primary and which are considered secondary attacks. It no longer depends on which attack comes first in the monster stat block that makes an attack primary or secondary. So a bear or tiger or any creature that has Bite gets to use it as a primary attack. Any creature that has claws gets to use them as primary attacks. If they have both claw and bite then they are still both primary attacks and they do not gain the -5 to hit 1/2 Str damage as that is only applied to secondary attacks now.

    A: (James Jacobs 10/31/09) The new rules for what's a primary and secondary natural attack are sort of "land mines" for gamers used to 3.5. The new system works better and is less complex, but it'll take a little bit to get used to. [Source]

    Q: In 3.5 D&D a bite / claw / claw would be at modifier of (normal / -5 / -5), in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game bite / claw / claw is (normal / normal / normal). Now, if it would be bite / claw / claw / tail it would be (normal / normal / normal / -5)?

    A: (Sean K Reynolds) Simply put yes. Bite attacks are classified as primary attacks (so the creature's bite doesn't have a built-in penalty), and hoof attacks (as well as several other types not claws or talons) are secondary attacks (so the creature's hoof has a built in numerical attack penalty). It makes building monsters easier. It also means the order that a monster makes its attacks has ZERO effect on the modifiers to each attack.

    Q: Looks like there are 3 basic ways to separate the list(s) of melee attacks in the Bestiary... "commas" / "or" / "and". What is the difference?

    A: (James Jacobs 10/20/2009) There is no difference between "2 claws, 1 bite" and "2 claws and 1 bite. " And the order in which attacks are listed has no bearing on primary or secondary attacks; the type of attack determines if it's a primary attack or secondary attack (see page 302 of the Bestiary). The happy result of linking an attack's status as a primary or secondary attack to the TYPE of attack rather than the order in which they're generally listed is that a monster's various attack rolls no longer change depending on if it's making a full attack action or a single standard attack with only one natural weapon. [Source]

    Ghouls and Half-Elves (10/26/09)

    Q: Are half-elfs immune to a ghouls paralysis effect now that they are treated as elf blood?

    A: (James Jacobs 10/26/09) Traditionally, only elves have been immune to ghoul paralysis. But it does look like the current wording for "elf blood" would extend to half-elves. And since "elf blood" IS more of a disadvantage than an advantage since very few "elf only" items or effects exist. So yeah, upon further reflection, I'd say that half-elves are fine and immune to ghoul paralysis. [Source]

    Horses (12/2/09)

    Q: The bestiary seems to be missing the different types of horses and ponies that are listed in the 3.5 MM. What should be used for things like Warhorses and ponies?

    A: (James Jacobs 12/2/09) We provide stats for a horse (the Large version) and a pony (the Medium version), so that Small and Medium creatures would have these classic animals around for mounts or pack animals. We probably should have been more obvious about this in the write-ups for the horse and pony in the Bestiary.

    The camel's sort of a special case, since it DOES have some different characteristics from the horse. And as a result, I'm relatively sure that camels will be showing up in the Bestairy 2. But until then, just using horse stats should work fine. [Source]

    War Trained (11/25/09)

    Q: The bestiary description of the Animal creature type states that they are "Proficient with no armor unless trained for war". How is this defined?

    A: (James Jacobs 11/25/09) War trained is actually detailed in the description of the Handle Animal skill. Of course, there it's called "Combat Training." It's one of the "general purpose" trainings you can give an animal. Horses in particular gain a special benefit once they're combat trained-their hooves are from that point treated as primary weapons, not secondary ones. In any case, once the Cavalier goes to print, the language in the class about "war trained" will be cleaned up. [Source]

    Improved Natural Attack feat (7/25/10)

    Q: There is a possible omission in the description of the Improved Natural Attack Feat. The feat is missing a 'Special' entry in order to be taken multiple times for different kind of Natural Attacks (like, for example, Weapon Focus does). This feature was included in the 3.x version, but is amiss in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game version. Is this intentional change?

    A: (James Jacobs 7/25/10) That is indeed an error; you can't take Improved Natural Attack more than once per attack type, but you CAN take it multiple times per attack. [Source]

    Q: Can a monk take Improved Natural Attack to increase his unarmed strike damage?

    A: (James Jacobs/Jason Bulmahn 11/4/09) Jason crunched his numbers and the official errata is this - the Improved Natural Attack feat can not be applied to unarmed strike. We'll be issuing an errata for that feat that adds this sentence to the feat:"Improved Natural Attack can not be applied to unarmed strikes. "Unarmed strikes ARE still treated as natural weapons for most effects (particularly for the spell magic fang and for amulets of magic fang), but the Improved Natural Attack feat is an exception to that rule. So! There ya go! Official errata! Sorry it took so long to nail it down. [Source]

    Monster Class Skills (1/21/10)

    Q: On Page 292, under "Appendix 1: Monster Creation" it states "Using Table 1-4, determine how many skill ranks your creature has based on its type and Hit Dice. Assign these ranks as determined by the creature's concept. Any skill that you put points into is considered a class skill for the creature. " Then, starting on Page 306, under "Appendix 3: Glossary", and even further under "Creature Types", it describes the different types and how each type has its own specific class skills. Which is correct?

    A: (James Jacobs 1/21/10) The piece from page 292 is an error; an artifact from the 3.5 SRD where monsters did not have class skills based by type. Go with page 306's ruling. When creating monsters, you should feel free to simply give them whatever class skills you want. We do that a fair amount (the bugbear's a good example); you just need to record it as a special quality. [Source]

    Universal Monster Rules (3/29/10)

    Grab & Constrict (3/29/10)

    Q: So, I find myself a little confused about the rules for Grab and Constrict. If a creature with both abilities successfully hits an opponent and successfully starts the grapple, does the constrict ability kick in that first round (the round of the initial attack and grab attempt)?

    A: (James Jacobs 3/29/10) Constriction damage does indeed kick in as soon as the CMB check to grab the target is successful. [Source]

    Natural Attacks and Weapon Attacks (10/30/09)

    Q: The rules for Natural Attacks and weapons from the Core book are different from what is in the Bestiary. The Core rules say that if combining natural and weapon attacks that they are treated as if using two-weapon fighting, but the Bestiary matches to what is in the 3.5 rules. Which is correct?

    A: (James Jacobs 10/30/09) Part of the problem, alas, is that this is a rules mechanic that Jason was wrestling with up to the very last second. The Bestiary rules are correct. The part in the core rules that contradicts this is a fragment, alas, that stuck in there. It should be cleaned up, I agree. It's unfortunate that the confusion is in there, but again, as far as I understand the game and as far as I've been using the rules for the last several volumes of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, the rules from the Bestiary are the correct ones. [Source]