Chimera Statue with episode name on it.

Know Direction 94 – Can We FLGS [Audio]

With the closing of Chimera Games, we discuss the role of Friendly Local Game Stores in our hobby, and what the future may hold. Ryan and Perram chat it up, review what they’ve been reading, and answer your questions in this live episode of the Pathfinder news, reviews, and interviews podcast!

Listen Now!





Know Questions

Avenka Thalma via chat

What are your thoughts on this : if within an AP a PC dies, the player makes another and you find a reason for the new PC to join the group, but if you have a TPK, then do you say the AP is done or you all make other characters ?


Darran Caldemeyer via chat

Ryan, going to be starting Carrion Crown soon…how beneficial is a Witch to the party?


Denzil O’Neil via chat

My question is about the crypt Braker , The Alchemest. class has create Potion as a free feet. The Crypt Braker does not. Does this mean he cant cast spells at all ? if he takes Create Potion can he then cast\drink his formula ? Thanks again.


Avenka Thalma via

I own almost all the campaign settings books and companion books, and I would really like to have a kind of list that ties them to AP, like for example knowing that Pirates of the inner sea is tied to Skull & shackles… I know not all of them are strongly tied to an AP, but it would be interesting to know the “kits”..


Matthew Wayne Stinson via COMMENT

If a professional GM was a real job, what would you think the hourly/session rate be for a GM to run an AP? Let’s say, run two 6 hour Rise of the Runelord sessions a week?


Avenka Thalma via chat

Perram, speaking of you room, any chance you will be able to show us 100% of it ?  You inspire me a lot and I would very like to see the other sides 🙂


Patrick Hallett via

I am thinking about playing a witch that focuses on the harrow deck (non-PFS), but I am not sure if my other players will want me to delve into something like readings if it does not provide any benefit. Does the harrow deck do anything?


Bastille Lungborow via chat
Perram, is the game room insulated for the winter temps?
Darran Caldemeyer via chat
Anyone else patiently waiting for PaizoCOn tickets to go on sale?  Will Perram make an epic appearance this coming year!?!
Matthew Wayne Stinsonvia

I just listened to episode 90. What about Paizo releasing the novels in audio book format?


Adam Bonner asks via

I am new to Pathfinder Society, and in the half-dozen games I have played I find the adventures to be very easy. This is exasperated when a player brings a character who is playing at the higher level of an adventure’s level range while everyone else is at the lower levels. Does this jive with your own experiences in PFS? If not, can you make some suggestions as to how to resolve this problem?

Avenka Thalma
Quick question : Ryan, I know you do a lot of hours of podcasts, but what are your thoughts about an actual play podcast with your rise of the runelords new game ?
Matthew Wayne Stinsonvia

Let’s say you are a wizard with a headband of Int +4 equipped when you prepare your spells in the morning. Then you have that headband removed before you cast your highest level spells making you lose those spells, through a Combat Maneuver or Roleplaying reason. Now let’s say that some time later on that same day you re-equip the same headband. Do you, the wizard, get your high level unused spells back?.

According to our resident Crunch Master, Alex Augunas … Its up to your GM. A headband needs to be attuned to its wearer for 24 hours before it conveys its benefits to a character, but there are no rules for how long it takes a magic item to unattune to a character. Lucky for you, the steal maneuver cannot be used to remove a headband because a headband qualifies as an item that is “closely worn,” which is beyond the reach of the steal maneuver. Since the only real way for this scenario to happen is if you remove your headband yourself, you are at the complete mercy of your GM. Personally, I don’t penalize my players unless they A) have the item removed for more than 24 hours or B) put a new item on in the item’s slot to receive a benefit of some kind.

Dean Jones via

Spells, Sneak Attacks and the Arcane Trickster.
1. You don’t need to be an Arcane Trickster to do damage from spells, but your spell does have to be damaging and have an attack roll associated with it for it to qualify for Sneak Attack damage, is that correct? So a rogue who learned Ray of Frost as Minor Magic can sneak attack with it, but if she learned Magic Missile with Major Magic she cannot.
a) Can the rogue sneak attack undead with a wand of cure light wound, assuming that she has passed her UMD check and is required to make a melee touch attack?
b) Must the attack do specifically hit point damage in order to get the bonus damage, or is an attack roll sufficient? For example Ray of Enfeeblement does Str damage and Enervation inflicts negative levels.

“Everyman Gaming Alex Augunas has good news and bad news for you, Dean. The good news is you can sneak attack with some types of spells. The bad news is those rules are spread out across multiple places and need to be hunted down. First, according to the Special Spell Effects section of Chapter 9 in the Core Rulebook, any magical effect that harms its target is considered an attack. So to answer one of your questions, you can sneak attack with a cure spell if it is targeting an undead because the spell is being used to harm its target. You would not be able to sneak attack with, say, channel energy normally because even when its used to harm, it does not fulfill the requirements of sneak attack. Your target must be either denied its Dexterity bonus to AC or you must be flanking your target. You aren’t flanking your target when you cast a spell, and because Armor Class opposes attack rolls, you aren’t denied your Dexterity bonus to AC against attacks that don’t actually target your AC because your AC wouldn’t have mattered anyway. This is why the arcane trickster’s surprise spells capstone is so powerful, because it allows spells that normally wouldn’t be able to be used during a sneak attack to sneak attack. The last part of your question is where things get muddy, however. Although its never been FAQ’d as such by the Pathfinder Design Team, nor has it ever been codified in print, it is generally accepted that effects that do not deal hit point damage cannot be sneak attacks. The reason for this is based off of an in-depth reading of sneak attack. Sneak attack classifies itself as ‘extra damage’ and specifically deals hit point damage. The word ‘extra’ implies that you are already dealing hit point damage to begin with, so spells that don’t deal that initial damage don’t trigger sneak attack because there’s nothing physically lethal for the spell to benefit from.”

2. Jason Bulmahn had this to say on Sneak Attack and DR: “DR does not negate sneak attack damage. The sneak attack damage is not a special effect that accompanies the attack, it is part of the damage roll.”
We know that Sneak Attack is not multiplied by a crit, but if the sneak damage is part of a damage roll does this mean:
a) Sneak Attack damage from a spell is the same type of damage (eg fire damage)?
b) That spells which have saves associated with them, for example fort to take 1/2 damage, also cut the sneak attack damage by 50% if the target saves?
c) If sneak attack dice are part of the damage roll, are they affected by metamagic feats that modify damage dice, for example Maximise Spell?

Sneak attack damage is always of the same type as whatever attack it is attached to. If your attack deals slashing damage, so does your sneak attack. Same with fire or sonic. That said, sneak attack damage dice are classified as ‘extra’ damage, so they aren’t modified by effects like Empower Spell, even when the empowered spell is being used to sneak attack just like how Vital Strike can’t multiply sneak attack damage even though it is added to your weapon damage. But whether sneak attack is reduced by a successful saving throw, the answer is a big, vague ‘sometimes.’ The arcane trickster’s capstone specifically calls out that a successful saving throw reduces (or negates) the sneak attack damage as determined by the spell. But as for other, weapon-like spells? No, the saving throw doesn’t impact the damage. Surprise spells is making several exceptions to the usual rules.

3. Does Scorching Ray count as a volley attack, like Manyshot which makes one attack roll and only applies Sneak Attack damage once, or does the caster get Sneak Attack damage for each Ray, because they have to make separate attack rolls for each ray?

No, it does not. Scorching ray specifically falls under the category of “simultaneous spell attacks,” for which there is a specific FAQ for the Core Rulebook explaining how these spells work. Essentially, each attack with the spell counts as one attack for the purpose of sneak attack, even if that attack includes multiple attack rolls because those attack rolls are all made at the same time. In the case of scorching ray, the spell assumes that you’re rolling 4d20 for your attack roll(s), even though you can assign each ray separately. A good rule of thumb is that a spell effect is considered simultaneous if it allows multiple attack rolls from a single action that do not take an iterative attack penalty. For example, every ray unleashed by scorching ray is made at your full base attack bonus, but when making multiple attacks in a turn with flame blade, you’re attacking as though flame blade were a weapon (a scimitar), so you’re attacks aren’t simultaneous because you’re taking the normal iterative attack penalty. Produce flame is another example of a spell that you can sneak attack with because you make each attack with produce flame as a separate standard action.

Wrap Up and Shout Outs

  • Wayward
  • The Dice Chest: A High Quality Dice Box and Rolling Tray by Dog Might Games (David “Jester” Gibson)
  • Hex Chests by Elder Wood (Darran Caldemeyer)
  • Slashers!


Jefferson Thacker

Before Perram joined Know Direction as the show’s first full time co-host, the podcast could have best been describe as a bunch of Pathfinder RPG stuff. Perram brings a knowledge of and love for Golarion to Know Direction, something any Pathfinder podcast is lacking without. On top of being a man on the pulse of the Pathfinder campaign setting, Perram is the founder of the superlative site for Pathfinder spellcasters, Perram’s Spellbook, a free web application that creates customized spell cards.

Leave a Reply