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    Default Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Ever find something in D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder that the author should have been a little more careful with? Maybe a feat doesn't do what it's obviously supposed to, or using a particular rule as written has nonsensical consequences (drown-healing, I'm looking at you). This thread is for posting all those times where you look at a bit of RAW and think "Wait, that doesn't work right."

    If you're new here, please make sure your Dysfunction isn't already in the handbook; this is the fifth thread of this.

    Previous threads:

    "Wait, That Didn't Work Right" - The Dysfunctional Rules Collection
    "Wait Again, That Didn't Work Right" - The Dysfunctional Rules Collection
    Dysfunctional Rules III: 100% Rules-Legal, 110% Silly
    Dysfunctional Rules IV: It's Like a Sandwich Made of RAW Failure!
    Last edited by Sith_Happens; 2014-02-26 at 01:35 AM.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Woo new thread!

    Recently I realized that, as far as I can tell, troglodytes are only proficient with simple weapons, but their natural weapons are not, as such, simple.

    This is related to the Monk proficiency debacle but is not quite the same thing.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    Woo new thread!

    Recently I realized that, as far as I can tell, troglodytes are only proficient with simple weapons, but their natural weapons are not, as such, simple.

    This is related to the Monk proficiency debacle but is not quite the same thing.
    I can never remember whether there's a rule anywhere saying that creatures are always proficient with their own natural weapons. If so, then the above is not dysfunctional. If not, then almost everything in the game that has or gives natural weapons has the same problem.

    Similar, definite dysfunction: A standard, straight-from-the-Monster-Manual Gnoll uses a battleaxe and a shortbow, but is not proficient with either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    I can never remember whether there's a rule anywhere saying that creatures are always proficient with their own natural weapons. If so, then the above is not dysfunctional. If not, then almost everything in the game that has or gives natural weapons has the same problem.

    Similar, definite dysfunction: A standard, straight-from-the-Monster-Manual Gnoll uses a battleaxe and a shortbow, but is not proficient with either.
    It seems that the Type is what determine proficiency. Humanoids aren't listed as being proficient with their natural weapons.

    "Proficient with all simple weapons, or by character class."

    That's it. Other entries usually have "proficient with natural weapons only" or "proficient with whatever weapons are mentioned in its entry" or other such stuff.

    The section on "Natural Weapons" in the SRD at least, doesn't mention proficiency one way or the other. Nor does weapon proficiency in general. I think at some point they didn't think that term applied to natural weapons.

    They'd be ok if they were monstrous humanoids.
    Last edited by Drachasor; 2014-02-26 at 04:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    How does a humanoid gain proficiency with natural weapons if they aren't, as I assumed, simple? They wouldn't be martial or exotic.
    I don't think there is any way to do that. Natural Weapons are Natural Weapons -- not simple, martial, or exotic.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    I'm not sure if my post got eaten by the end-of-thread stuff, but is Fiend Folio 3.5?

    If so, the Vorr has a "Shadow Form" with DR 50/+5, but no clause saying it can't attack while in that form.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    I can never remember whether there's a rule anywhere saying that creatures are always proficient with their own natural weapons. If so, then the above is not dysfunctional. If not, then almost everything in the game that has or gives natural weapons has the same problem.
    Neither is quite the case. All types except Humanoid explicitly provide that all creatures of that type are proficient with either a) natural weapons or b) whatever they are described as using. So it's only those Humanoids that foolishly chose to grow natural weapons that might have a problem here. (Ninja'd because of a browser crash and ensuing distraction.)

    Similar, definite dysfunction: A standard, straight-from-the-Monster-Manual Gnoll uses a battleaxe and a shortbow, but is not proficient with either.
    Ouch. Yep. The crucial distinction between a 1 HD and a 2 HD Humanoid was apparently lost on them. (One, of course, is likely to be of Warrior class and thus can actually manage martial weapons; the other is just useless RHD.)
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    So it's only those Humanoids that foolishly chose to grow natural weapons that might have a problem here. (Ninja'd because of a browser crash and ensuing distraction.)
    So basically, if you plan on using a shapechanging effect for some natural weapon action, it had better be an effect that changes your type.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Socksy View Post
    I'm not sure if my post got eaten by the end-of-thread stuff, but is Fiend Folio 3.5?
    Fiend Folio is 3.0
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    So basically, if you plan on using a shapechanging effect for some natural weapon action, it had better be an effect that changes your type.
    So Totemists have the same problem as Monks, basically.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    I can never remember whether there's a rule anywhere saying that creatures are always proficient with their own natural weapons.

    Similar, definite dysfunction: A standard, straight-from-the-Monster-Manual Gnoll uses a battleaxe and a shortbow, but is not proficient with either.
    I'm pretty sure it says that everything is proficient with their natural weapons.
    It also says that everything is proficient with everything in their stat block.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    If it did say that everything is proficient with its natural weapons, then monks would be fine, since unarmed strike is a natural weapon (albeit a peculiar one). Alas, though, it does not.

    Totemists, though, explicitly gain proficiency with the natural weapons they shape.

    And the Fiend Folio was officially updated to 3.5, but the Vorr wasn't mentioned in the update, leaving it unclear what its DR should be. In any event, it was certainly dysfunctional under 3.0 rules, since its DR would be completely insurmountable for any 4th-level party.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    All DR that is 10X/+X in 3.5 is changed to /magic, so the DR isn't necessarily a dysfunction, though it unfortunately stands at an unrealistic 50. The shadow form by itself is definitely lacking in rules to explain things.

    I love that we've managed to fill 4 threads with this stuff.
    Last edited by The Viscount; 2014-02-26 at 11:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Not necessarily a dysfunction, per se, but an oddity pertaining to AoO and Combat Reflexes (and no, it's not the Thicket of Blades discussion we've been having in the last thread). According to the AoO rules:

    If you have the Combat Reflexes feat you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn’t count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.
    So an enemy could spend an entire turn running hustling in a circle square around an enemy that has Combat Reflexes and only provoke once, but if he were to walk through a threatened square, stop, and then cast a spell, they'd provoke twice. Even if the one moving through made one and a half loops around the defender (assuming 30' movement, taking a double move action, and the defender being medium sized), the defender can only try to hit him once, no matter how high of a DEX bonus you have…
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Sanctify the Wicked has a focus of a diamond costing 10,000gp that is destroyed when the spell is complete. While making it a material component certainly would not fix this, it's not really a focus if it's consumed as part of the spell, is it?
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by The Viscount View Post
    Sanctify the Wicked has a focus of a diamond costing 10,000gp that is destroyed when the spell is complete. While making it a material component certainly would not fix this, it's not really a focus if it's consumed as part of the spell, is it?
    The text I'm reading here suggests that it's a conscious choice to shatter the diamond, not a spell effect. That is, "if some external force shatters the diamond, here's what happens."
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    The text I'm reading here suggests that it's a conscious choice to shatter the diamond, not a spell effect. That is, "if some external force shatters the diamond, here's what happens."
    Yeah, I think the real dysfunction here is that you apparently give a formerly evil creature a 10,000gp diamond for turning good. That's bribery and I like it!

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by XionUnborn01 View Post
    Yeah, I think the real dysfunction here is that you apparently give a formerly evil creature a 10,000gp diamond for turning good. That's bribery and I like it!
    Less "bribery" and more "Force them to spend a year in the ultimate solitary confinement to reflect on past misdeeds." Supposedly, at least; mechanically, it does something else. To wit:

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    Incidentally, on the evidence that Sanctify the Wicked is more about magic than a real epiphany, the text says that if the diamond is destroyed before the year is up, the creature is restored to their original condition. Strictly speaking, if you break the diamond 11 months, 29 days and 14399 rounds after casting the spell, the captured soul doesn't change at all (minus whatever being stuck in a gem for year would do), while doing so one round later drastically changes the creature's alignment.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Ksheep View Post
    Not necessarily a dysfunction, per se, but an oddity pertaining to AoO and Combat Reflexes (and no, it's not the Thicket of Blades discussion we've been having in the last thread).
    Let's just agree that Thicket of Blades is dysfunctional simply due to the vagueness of it's wording. It may or may not actually be dysfunctional, but it has caused enough confusion to warrant the tag.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Channel Charge feat from Lost Empires of Faerun has the following text:

    When you use a spell trigger-magic item with charges (such as a wand or a staff), you can make a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + the item's caster level). If you succeed, you can sacrifice a spell slot or prepared spell instead of using a charge. The spell slot or spell sacrificed must be one level higher than the level of the desired effect from the item. If the check fails, both your spell slot (or prepared spell) and 1 charge from the item are expended.
    This is the dysfunction: DC 15 + the item's caster level. However:
    Staff Descriptions
    Staffs use the wielder’s ability score and relevant feats to set the DC for saves against their spells. Unlike with other sorts of magic items, the wielder can use his caster level when activating the power of a staff if it’s higher than the caster level of the staff.
    ...So the feat gets harder to use the better you are.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    The Construct type does not give immunity to the Sickened or Nauseated conditions.
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    Don't you see it? The inert Shrieker may have more raw power, but the rock has something the Shrieker will never have. VERSATILITY.

    Also, the rock will probably be lighter than the Shrieker, allowing it to be used as a improvised thrown weapon should the need arise.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Vedhin View Post
    The Construct type does not give immunity to the Sickened or Nauseated conditions.
    It can distinguish itself from others (non-zero charisma) and it can observe them (non-zero wisdom), therefore it can become sicked and nauseated by them.
    Last edited by Drachasor; 2014-02-26 at 01:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Socksy View Post
    I'm not sure if my post got eaten by the end-of-thread stuff, but is Fiend Folio 3.5?

    If so, the Vorr has a "Shadow Form" with DR 50/+5, but no clause saying it can't attack while in that form.
    the vorr was addressed in the last thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vedhin View Post
    The Construct type does not give immunity to the Sickened or Nauseated conditions.
    while that's true, many of the ways to inflict sickness and nausea are necromancy effects, which constructs are immune to.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Channel Charge feat from Lost Empires of Faerun has the following text:



    This is the dysfunction: DC 15 + the item's caster level. However:

    ...So the feat gets harder to use the better you are.
    I'm not so sure. I see two issues with that reading.

    Staff Descriptions
    Staffs use the wielder’s ability score and relevant feats to set the DC for saves against their spells. Unlike with other sorts of magic items, the wielder can use his caster level when activating the power of a staff if it’s higher than the caster level of the staff.
    1. 'Can use' not must use. It's optional.
    2. The caster level increase is only for the purposes of activating the staff's power.

    The feat is not the staves power and the caster can just decide to not use his caster level in the place of the staff's caster level.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    How does a humanoid gain proficiency with natural weapons if they aren't, as I assumed, simple? They wouldn't be martial or exotic.
    Druids gain proficiency with the natural weapons of forms they assume via Wild Shape, at least.
    Man this thing was full of outdated stuff.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Zweisteine View Post
    I'm pretty sure it says that everything is proficient with their natural weapons.
    It also says that everything is proficient with everything in their stat block.
    Nope! Both are specific rules that apply to some types, but not all; the majority of types do not specifically grant proficiency with listed weapons/armor, but rely on simple/martial/natural weapon proficiency. And, as mentioned, Humanoids do not qualify for either.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    Nope! Both are specific rules that apply to some types, but not all; the majority of types do not specifically grant proficiency with listed weapons/armor, but rely on simple/martial/natural weapon proficiency. And, as mentioned, Humanoids do not qualify for either.
    Wait, this means that the Monk/Unarmed strike dysfunction is slightly narrower than I thought. Since say, Monstrous Humanoids do get the magic "Proficient with all simple weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry." phrase, an Orc monk is proficient with his unarmed strikes, but any normal Humanoid is hosed.

    So really its Humanoid Monks, not monks in general.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down

    Quote Originally Posted by TypoNinja View Post
    Wait, this means that the Monk/Unarmed strike dysfunction is slightly narrower than I thought. Since say, Monstrous Humanoids do get the magic "Proficient with all simple weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry." phrase, an Orc monk is proficient with his unarmed strikes, but any normal Humanoid is hosed.
    Orcs are humanoids, but besides that, Monk unarmed strikes are not, of course, mentioned in the MM entry. So any type without proficiency "in its natural weapons" will have this problem, which means some constructs (including warforged), many dragons, some elementals, all fey, all humanoids, all monstrous humanoids, and all outsiders. The magic wording is really that of giants (or undead, and to a lesser extent aberrations):
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD Types and Subtypes
    Proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as any natural weapons.
    Mind you, of those only humanoids have any problems with natural weapons listed in their entry. The distinction is subtle.
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