pathfinder 1e – How do Shadowdancer’s Hide in Plain Sight, Hellcat Stealth, and enemies’ darkvision interact?

I recently had a game where there was some uncertainty, so I’m here to ask you how this interaction works.

I have a character, a Shadowdancer. This character has also got the Hellcat Stealth feat.
The character sneaks in pure darkness, no light at all, on an enemy with Darkvision. There is no cover.
Does the character stealth with Hide in Plain Sight, Hellcat Stealth, or the character cannot attempt to stealth? Or does the character stealth with Hide in Plain Sight but with a penalty similar to Hellcat Stealth?

pathfinder 1e – Can a simulacrum be healed by any means other the ‘complex process’ outlined in the spell?

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pathfinder 1e – Is there a way to increase the Battlefield Presence “aura” size of the paladin archetype Holy Tactician?

I was wondering if there was a core pathfinder method to increase the size of the “aura” that the Holy Tactician 3rd level ability grants. I am not looking for a combat application, but a out of combat one as the only teamwork feats I plan on sharing are stealth and favored terrain based. Best option is a reasonably priced magic item (10k), but while feats are tight I could spend ONE for this. I might even consider a level dip into something.

pathfinder 2e – What effect does learning a spell have for a sorcerer?

I’ve read and reread Learn a Spell several times, and I just don’t understand it.

For a wizard, it makes sense – the wizard adds the spell to their spellbook. But for both of the other options, I don’t understand what effect it has.

From the feat:

If you have a spellbook, Learning a Spell lets you add the spell to your spellbook; if you prepare spells from a list, it’s added to your list; if you have a spell repertoire, you can select it when you add or swap spells.

if you prepare spells from a list

What classes does this apply to? Cleric? Surely if a character prepares spells from a list, then that character has access to the entire tradition’s spell list – what benefit does learning a spell have for a class like Cleric or Druid?

if you have a spell repertoire, you can select it when you add or swap spells.

For a class like Sorcerer, as I understand it their repertoire can only ever contain as many spells as the number of spell slots they have.

So let’s say at level 1, a draconic sorcerer uses the Learn a Spell activity to learn Fear, a spell in the Arcane tradition. They don’t have Fear in their repertoire already, and they succeed at the check. If I’m right, then can’t use that spell until they level up, or spend downtime swapping another spell in their repertoire out for that spell.

But this doesn’t make sense to me either – the way the spell repertoire feature is phrased, it makes it sound like the sorcerer would be able to swap out one of the spells in their repertoire for any spell of the same level in the Arcane tradition’s spell list (Fear included) anyway when they level up – so what was the point of learning it?

Is there a subset of tradition spells that a sorcerer knows, which is somehow distinct from the sorcerer’s repertoire?

Or is the activity purely intended to allow spontaneous casters to add uncommon-or-rarer spells to their repertoire?

If someone can explain this to me, I’d really appreciate it!

pathfinder 1e – How effective is Spell Shield Magus Arcana in preventing attacks of opportunity from hitting?

My favorite class in Pathfinder is a Magus. I’m considering playing a reckless, Dex-based, magus who regularly carries out combat maneuvers. However, I don’t want to allocate so many feats to improved combat maneuvers just so I can avoid attacks of opportunity.

I know Spell Shield won’t take away the risk entirely, but in general, how effective would it be at reducing the chances of receiving a hit from an attack of opportunity?

Benefit: The magus can expend a point from his arcane pool as an immediate action to grant himself a shield bonus to AC equal to his Intelligence bonus until the end of his next turn.

Relevant stats:

  • The players are starting at level 7.
  • My Intelligence is +4.(+5, next level)
  • My Dex is +3.
  • My AC is 21 – 25 after applying my Int from spell shield. I’ll also
    be upgrading to medium armor soon after the campaign starts.

pathfinder 1e – Can you stealth against tremorsense?

Under the Stealth skill it says:

“If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can’t use Stealth.” (PF 1st ed, Pg 106). So I suppose you’d need to decide if someone with Tremorsense counts as observing you, as Tremorsense states that the owner always makes perception checks if the target is in contact with the ground.

The Appendix entry in the core rules and the GM guide don’t even specifically mention Tremorsense; only the Bestiary finally defines it:

Tremorsense (Ex) A creature with tremorsense is sensitive to vibrations in the ground and can automatically pinpoint the location of anything that is in contact with the ground. Aquatic creatures with tremorsense can also sense the location of creatures moving through water. The abilities range is specified in the creature’s descriptive text

At first I thought, essentially you’ve got a variation of Blindsense (PF 1st Ed, PG 560):

The creature with blindsense usually does not need to make perception checks to notice and locate creatures within range of its blindsense ability – you could extrapolate that for Tremorsense, as above, but only for things in contact with the ground?

But then when I looked up the difference between Blindsense and Blindsight, Blindsight specifically references using “nonvisual senses” such as sensitivity to vibration, echolocation, et al. The big difference seeming to be that Blindsense still suffers from the 50% miss chance from concealment, whereas Blindsight doesnt?

It goes on to say “Invisibility, darkness, and most kinds of concealment are irrelevant, though the creature must have line of effect to a creature of object to discern that creature or object” (Beastiary, Pg 298) — which, as far as Tremorsense RAI goes, I’d suggest would equate to “the creature must be in contact with the ground”.

I suppose if you don’t want to make Tremorsense unbeatable (which it seems is the intention?) you could play it such that subject with Tremorsense, 60Ft gets to make a perception roll to detect you as soon as you’re within that 60Ft range (opposed by your stealth roll), rather than having to be actively searching for hidden figures; but if you try to activate your stealth while in the proximity of something with Tremorsense it automatically makes its perception check to detect you.

One related rule – the Cave Druid from the Advanced Player’s Guide gets the ability Lightfoot (Ex) which states: At 3rd level, a cave druid cannot be detected with tremorsense. This ability replaces trackless step. — so while it is clearly possible, I’d ask if trivializing a class ability with a skill is fair?

pathfinder 1e – Lore help sought: how might my players change a deity’s domains?

The short setup: my players believe they’ve angered a major deity and want to atone for their actions. Since the deity in question is Desna, who wants to reclaim the Beasts domain from Lamashtu, one of the “obvious” options is to help her achieve that goal.

I’ve been looking for lore about how PCs (and mythic ones at that) might be able to even nudge the cosmic balance such that one deity might take a domain from another.

I know the ultimate answer is “whatever the GM says works works”. I’m hoping that there’s some obscure bit of lore that I’ve overlooked that might point in a helpful direction.

So: what, if any, precedent/lore/… is there in Golarion for mortals to change – or aid in a change to – a deity’s domains when there’s no chance of a negotiated transfer?

pathfinder 1e – Do multiple baldric, bane items stack?

No, 2 bane baldrics don’t give +10 to inquisitor level

For one thing, a baldric is a chest-slot item. You can’t wear two at the same time. Whether or not you could combine two into one item, or create a bane non-baldric, is entirely up to the GM, and per the guidelines would cost 50% extra.

Even assuming your GM does let you get around that (and in the general case, combining or moving item effects should be a relatively low-friction ask of the GM—even the 50% extra that Paizo recommends is far, far too much in most cases), it wouldn’t help because both bane baldric effects are the same source. Just like having resist energy cast on you twice doesn’t give you resistance 20, having two bane baldric effects aren’t going to stack.

Technically, strict-RAW would have some pause here simply because there are rules about (non-)stacking bonuses, and (non-)stacking spells, but the more general case of non-bonus benefits from things other than spells isn’t directly discussed. However, the absence of rules on the subject (either way) doesn’t inherently allow anything; it just means you need a ruling from the GM. And the only plausible ruling I can see a GM giving is one that’s consistent with all the things we do have rules for. After all, for all that rule says “spells,” it’s in the “Magic Overview” section. Anyway, that rule is

Same Effect More than Once in Different Strengths

In cases when two or more identical spells are operating in the same area or on the same target, but at different strengths, only the one with the highest strength applies.

In this case, they don’t have different strengths—they have exactly the same strength—but again, it’s implausible to expect any ruling that acknowledges this as a legitimate “loophole” in the rules and allows these to stacks.

pathfinder 1e – How can I identify which spells are incompatible with Merciful Spell?

The answers to this question indicate that the Merciful Spell feat can’t be used on Summon Monster spells, since they don’t deal damage directly. This raises the question of which other spells are also incompatible with Merciful Spell. For example:

  • Can you create a Merciful Spike Growth? Unlike Summon Monster, it mentions the damage that it inflicts in the spell description. However, the damage is still indirect, and I’m pretty confident that Merciful Create Pit doesn’t work.
  • Can you summon a Merciful Spiritual Weapon? Like Summon Monster, it isn’t doing direct damage. On the other hand, there is the Merciful weapon enchantment, and you can strike non-lethally even with a normal weapon.
  • Can you cast a Merciful Acid Arrow? It’s similar to a direct damage spell, but it’s still a conjuration (creation) effect. Also, since the acid lasts several rounds, in a sense it’s like trying to inflict nonlethal damage with an Alchemist’s Fire.
  • How about Merciful Sirocco? The damage is ongoing and arguably an environmental effect, but as an evocation spell it’s arguably more like Fireball than Create Pit.

An ideal answer would cite or suggest some kind of general rule for identifying incompatible spells, such as “Merciful Spell only works on instantaneous spells” or “Merciful Spell doesn’t work on spells that bypass spell resistance”. However, answers for these specific spells would still be helpful, since they would provide at least some guidance.

pathfinder 1e – Does a buckler stack with the AC from the feat Shielded Gauntlet Master?

The biggest advantage of a buckler is that you keep a hand free while still gaining a shield bonus. You are also able to wear a gauntlet (normal, locked, or spiked) while keeping that hand free. Lets assume that the buckler is a +1 buckler so its providing a +2 shield bonus, and the gauntlet is just a +2.

The feat Shielded Gauntlet Master says

While using Shield Gauntlet Style, you no longer lose your shield bonus to AC when you attack with your gauntlet (or spiked gauntlet) or use it to hold a weapon. In addition, you add your gauntlet’s enhancement bonus to the shield bonus to AC granted by this feat as if it were a shield enhancement bonus.

So, does the bucklers shield bonus stack with the bonus from the feat? Since both would provide +2, is the final shield AC +2 or +4?