We Are Stupid – Episode 9

Some people know all of the rules to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but many, many more do not. Here’s a list of the things we screwed up in our never-ending search for Pathfinder perfection…

Upon being paralyzed by the gelatinous cube, it was decided that Lorc could speak and inform his compatriots of his knowledge of the beast in question. In fact, it’s much more likely that since Troy read the rules for the “pinned” condition after letting Joe know that Lorc was paralyzed, thereby highlighting the fact that he could only take “verbal or mental actions,” Troy thought that Lorc could take verbal actions. This would be the case if he was only pinned, but he was paralyzed, a much more serious condition. By the rules, a paralyzed creature “is unable to move or act, but can take purely mental actions.” Lorc should not have been able to speak.

Speaking of speaking, and those knowledge checks that Lorc was doing…

The Knowledge: Dungeoneering check that Lorc rolled to remember some useful information about how to defeat the gelatinous cube was done correctly, for the most part. The check can be done while he’s paralyzed, partially because it’s a purely mental action, but more importantly because, by the rules of the game “a knowledge check doesn’t take an action.” So we were right there, but where did we go wrong?

After a full round had passed since Lorc’s first successful knowledge check against the monster, Joe asked, “can you continually roll knowledge checks in an attempt to get more information?” Troy responded, “Absolutely! That’s ALL you can do.” He should have responded, “Absolutely NOT!” Here’s the rule as written:

“Retry? No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.”


Well, Gelabrous was also engulfed by the cube, and it was ruled that he could Channel Positive Energy to heal his friends. This ruling came about because we believed that Channeling was merely a prayer to one’s deity, a purely mental action if you will. Is it though? By the book, Channel Energy is “a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity” and “a cleric must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability.” While it is more debatable than the Knowledge check bungle, we most likely should not have allowed Channeling either, since, when paralyzed you cannot “move or act.” Is Channeling a purely mental action? We leave that to you to decide, but in the future we should probably err on the side of “paralyzed means you’re fucking paralyzed.” Next round.

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