pathfinder 1e – Are Psychics arcane casters? Can they prestige into Dragon Disciples and do they suffer Spell Failure?

A psychic uses psychic magic.

This does not appear on the spellcasting ability, because it later appears on the Psychic Spells class ability, few pages later (Occult Adventures, page 69):

Psychic Spells

Psychics gain access to the following spells. Many of these spells are found in the Core Rulebook; the spells marked with an asterisk (*) appear in Chapter 4 of this book, and those that are found elsewhere are marked with superscript abbreviations denoting their source. The psychic casts all spells as psychic spells.

A psychic cannot qualify for the Dragon Disciple prestige class.

At least, not without taking levels on another class that grants arcane spellcasting. This is because Psychic Magic is different from arcane and divine magic.

Psychic Magic

Wizards study ancient tomes to unlock arcane secrets of the universe, and clerics pray to distant deities to grant them divine power. Yet there is a third, more esoteric kind of magic, connected to every creature’s composite being, from the conscious mind to the deepest desire, from the life force to the spirit, from the very soul to the cosmic self. This third type of magic is psychic magic.

That said, psychic spells do not use Somatic Components, which is necessary for the Arcane Spell Failure mechanic to work:

Instead of verbal and somatic components, all psychic spells have components related to the caster’s inner being. The two psychic components are called emotion components and thought components.

Psychic spellcasters do not suffer Spell Failure

The rule for Spell Failure is exclusive to arcane casters. Since psychic spells are not arcane, psychic spellcasters do not suffer any penalties on their spells from wearing armor.

Casting an Arcane Spell in Armor: A character who casts an arcane spell while wearing armor must usually make an arcane spell failure check. The number in the Arcane Spell Failure Chance column on Table: Armor and Shields is the percentage chance that the spell fails and is ruined. If the spell lacks a somatic component, however, it can be cast with no chance of arcane spell failure.

pathfinder 1e – Are there any instances of discussing the ethics (in Golarion) of finding alignment via alignment damage?

Purity Tests have been a common part of many belief systems in our world, which the world of Golarion is based on.

It is therefore logical to assume that many religions, states, or even individuals would have their own trials of ‘goodness’, which could range from elaborate ruses to test character traits, debates or trials, arbitrary tests (length of middle vs index finger say), tests of fortitude (torture), tests of endurance (climb the mountain to prove you didn’t commit the murder, god will make you fall off if you are guilty), so on.

Golarion has things our world lacks, like provable extraterrestrial beings (planar beings), magic, and ‘monsters’. Those could, or would, easily be used in many types of purity test. Whether those tests are actually accurate (using alignment mechanics in some way, or some other form of divination) would depend on the circumstance, and whether the potential testee would know that such a test is accurate (rather than bullshit) would depend on their arcane (or potentially religious) knowledge.

I’m unaware of any specific use of alignment damage in pf1e or pf2e sourcebooks to determine alignment, although my knowledge of the various adventure paths/modules is not encyclopedic. As it is a common negative fantasy trope, i’d imagine the ‘unfair test/trial’ would be the most likely form to find it in.

n.b. Alignment is one of the most argued-about things in the entirety of DnD since always. It tends to work better the less it is examined. I have personally had great success making it ‘unreliable’, such as having Lawful Good angels killing off innocents because the Divine Law requiring it outweighs the (brief) suffering of the innocents. And i’ve seen people have terrible times trying to play it ‘straight’, as it often leads to weird situations (such as this one) and odd contradictions.

Therefore my basic advice for this specific circumstance would be to allow players to use this spell, and then have the target not show any pain or damage from the spell, later turn out to be Evil (or Lawful or whatever) and simply have hidden the signs of pain/damage from the spell in some manner (which the party can roll against as normal ofc).

pathfinder 1e – What are the major differences between Aberration and Monstrous Creature?

Information about Creature Types can be found here. More specifically, here are direct links for Aberrations and Monstrous Humanoids.

Statistical differences include

  • Hit die is d8 for Aberration vs d10 for M.H.
  • BAB is 3/4 for Aberrations vs Full for M.H
  • Saves: Aberrations have “Good” Will Saves while M.H. have “Good” Reflex and Will Saves (both have average for the unlisted Saves)
  • Different Skills counted as “Class Skills”

Just as important are the descriptions of the creatures.

Aberrations are described

An aberration has a bizarre anatomy, strange abilities, an alien mindset, or any combination of the three. An aberration has the following features.

while Monstrous Humanoid are described

Monstrous humanoids are similar to humanoids, but with monstrous or animalistic features. They often have magical abilities as well. A monstrous humanoid has the following features.

By this description, Centaur might have been aberrations, but the fact that they came about in a natural way and their mindset being similar to that of the humanoid races suggests that M.H. is the better classification for them. Driders’ unnatural origin makes the difference.

pathfinder 1e – Can you write spells prepared with “knowledge pool” in your spellbook?

A magus who prepares a spell using the class feature knowledge pool can copy that prepared spell into a spellbook—probably

That is, general consensus seems to be a tentative Yes in this 2011 Paizo messageboard thread. Developer Jason Bulmahn solicited opinions during the magus playtest as to whether this should be considered a bug or feature in this 2010 Paizo messageboard thread.

There is some discussion whether the magus technically understands the spell—a necessity when copying a spell from another caster’s spellbook or from a scroll—but there’s no allowance made for not understanding a spell that’s already prepared, the assumption likely being if it’s in your head, you understand it.

No one points to anything horribly unbalanced about this quirk, but several do voice that allowing the magus to do this makes them vaguely uncomfortable, but only insofar as such a process goes unmentioned in the magus’s description.

pathfinder 1e – Fiery Blood damage taken by a Blood Draining Creature

How does the spell Fiery Blood interact with a Blood Drain ability?

FIERY BLOOD
School transmutation (fire); Level druid/shaman 5,
sorcerer/wizard 4
Components V, S, M (pinch of sulfur)
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch
Target one living creature
Duration 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); SR no
The blood of the target becomes fiery and burns with
a hot, purifying flame. The target glows as brightly as a
torch and acquires fast healing 4 for the duration of the
spell. In addition, any opponent that successfully strikes
the target with a piercing or slashing attack takes 1 hp fire
damage for every die of damage inflicted on the target of
the spell.
Mythic: The target of the spell gains fire resistance 10.
The fire damage that an opponent takes when it hits the
target with a piercing or slashing weapon is increased by
a number equal to your mythic tier.

I’m looking for advice from other GM/DMs, as I can’t find any rules which elaborate on this specific situation. There are a handful of creatures which have various Blood Drain abilities,
such as a Stirge, Vampire, Blood Orchid, Mandragora Swarm, Bloodsuckle, Blood Golem, Gutslug, Pond Drinker, Leech Swarm, and likely even a Crimson Death’s “Engulf” abiilty.

Using a stirge as an example, Blood Drain is obviously piercing so they’d take 1hp damage from just exposure from stabbing with their feeding tube.
If the stirge immediately disengages, which seems likely as it wouldn’t want to ingest fiery blood, then I can see it just taking the 1hp… but if it was to drain 1 CON worth of blood, would it be reasonable to expect a 5hp (max) stirge to die from the attempt?

What is a reasonable amount of damage to take per CON point of Blood Drain when draining a creature with Fiery Blood?

pathfinder 1e – Combat Patrol and Charge

I have a level 10 Orc Fighter. Among other things, I have the Combat Patrol feat.

As a full-round action, you may set up a combat patrol, increasing your threatened area by 5 feet for every 5 points of your base attack bonus. Until the beginning of your next turn, you may make attacks of opportunity against any opponent in this threatened area that provokes attacks of opportunity. You may move as part of these attacks, provided your total movement before your next turn does not exceed your speed. Any movement you make provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

I set up my Combat Patrol, in front of our bard. An enemy attempts to charge that bard.

Charge

You must have a clear path toward the opponent, and nothing can hinder your movement (such as difficult terrain or obstacles). You must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent. If this space is occupied or otherwise blocked, you can’t charge. If any line from your starting space to the ending space passes through a square that blocks movement, slows movement, or contains a creature (even an ally), you can’t charge. Helpless creatures don’t stop a charge.
……

As part of the attack of opportunity I get, I’m allowed to move due to Combat Patrol. I stand in front of the charging enemy as part of my Attack of Opportunity. Does this stop/interrupt the charge?

On one hand, the action is already on-going, and even if it’s just my limited knowledge, I don’t know any other case where an on-going action is invalidated. (Even counterspells just negate the spell, but don’t interrupt the action of spell-casting.)

On the other hand, that path is still blocked by 234 lbs of Orc Fighter, and at the very least, that would have prevented the enemy from starting that action at this moment.

pathfinder 1e – What is the point of the duration of the Plundered Power spell?

This reader strongly suspects that the plundered power spell’s duration is how long the bloodstone that the spell creates continues to allow the wielder to employ the sacrificed creature’s spell-like ability. To this reader that duration means, upon the plundered power’s duration expiring, the sacrificed creature remains dead and the bloodstone continues existing but no longer possesses the ability to tap the sacrificed creature’s spell-like ability.

That is, a level 13 wizard that casts successfully the spell plundered power on a dretch can use for 13 days the bloodstone that the spell plundered power creates, allowing the wielder once per day to use either the cause fear or the stinking cloud spell-like ability—determined randomly when the bloodstone’s created—as would have the dretch itself. (This GM would rule that the dretch’s summon, while a spell-like ability, is a unique kind of summon that’s unrelated to a normal spell therefore unavailable to the bloodstone’s wielder.) On day 14, the plundered power spell’s duration ends and the bloodstone is thereafter nonmagical. (This, of course, assumes the wizard has an actual, for-reals dretch rather than merely a summoned one and that, in the GM’s setting, a dretch can really die; if not, then the wizard’s just wasted 2,500 gp.)

As an aside, this reader doesn’t find the spell particularly attractive. If the sacrificial subject succeeds on the Will saving throw, the caster’s wasted 2,500 gp in material components. And, if the sacrificial creature fails its saving throw, the spell-like ability the bloodstone stores is random! So while it may be possible through a combination of luck, subterfuge, and magic to have, like, an aboleth fail its saving throw against the plundered power spell then gain, through the bloodstone, the ability to use for a couple of weeks that aboleth’s dominate monster spell-like ability, that 2,500 gp and a dead aboleth and a 7th-level spell could instead yield a once-per-day-for-2-weeks hypnotic pattern. (In which case, you probably could’ve just asked; I mean, it’s likely the aboleth wasn’t even using its hypnotic pattern spell-like ability anyway.) Seriously, this player—given his luck—would totally expect hypnotic pattern rather than dominate monster to happen more often than not, randomness be damned.

pathfinder 1e – How does maintaining a Concentration spell work?

As mentioned above, You can move, you can attack, but you can not cast a new spell.

Normally a spell with a (D) requires an action, and since actions (with the exception of speech as a free action or IMMEDIATE actions) can only be performed on your turn would suggest you have to wait until your turn.

HOWEVER, since dismissing a spell that you yourself are concentrating on to maintain, does NOT require an action (read further down for more details on that), it indicates that it does NOT require your turn to dismiss a concentration(D) spell.

Conversely, swinging again to the other side, the specific entry on (D) states “ON your turn”. I would honestly present all of these points to the GM and have a house ruling on it.

Personally, I would rule that you could dismiss a spell with verbal components (a quick sentence=free action even out of turn) at any time, and spells that require somatic components (a quick gesture=free action on your turn) for you to wait until your turn. That way, the complexity of the spell determines how easy and quick it is to dismiss.

pathfinder 1e – What is the Masterwork property on a Wooden Stake for?

A Vampire Slayer’s Kit contains four Masterwork Wooden Stakes. They are listed as a very weak weapon, just a bit weaker than a dagger. Being Masterwork helps to hit with them just slightly more often, but that’s it.

They cannot be used to impale a vampire until the creature is already helpless, unless Called Shots are allowed, and even then, a critical hit must be scored. I would not attempt a tactic whose chance of success is less than 5% (because a critical hit also needs to be confirmed). Well, this would work for somebody who can reliably deal 50 points of damage with a wooden stake, but this would be a weird situation.

I then thought that it could work as a Masterwork Tool for slaying a helpless vampire, but this is not World of Darkness, and no check is required.

Now, this seemingly worthless item costs 300 gp because it is Masterwork. You get it for “free” with the kit, but I might just be missing something.

It could be used in breaking the game via buying the kit for 500 gp and then selling the stakes for 600 gp, but Golarion’s economy is weak enough and doesn’t need another punch.

Is a Masterwork Wooden Stake actually worth anything other than fluff?

pathfinder 1e – Is a sword created by a Spiritbane Spike magical and +1?

A Spiritbane Spike, when used, “becomes a short sword with the ghost touch weapon special ability”. Normally, you can’t make a weapon ghost touch without giving it at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

So, does the short sword creating in this way possess the +1 enhancement bonus?