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    Default Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Welcome to the 9th incarnation of our grand tradition of pointing out rules in 3.5 and Pathfinder that don't work.

    Check the handbook to see if your dysfunction is already there, because we've covered many before.

    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!
    Dysfunctional Rules Thread V: Dysfunctions All the Way Down
    Dysfunctional Rules VI: Magic Circle Against Errata
    Dysfunctional Rules VII: Mordenkainen's Dysfunction
    Dysfunctional Rules VIII: When General Trumps Specific

    What this thread is for:

    • Rules that clearly do something that is pointless or self-abnegating (EG Focused Lexicon is a feat that provides nothing but a penalty, no-one can use Chain Power, Hindering Opportunist helps your enemy).
    • Rules that do something that is vastly contrary from anything that could possibly be the intended effect (Drown Healing, Greater Reversed Seek the Sky lasts forever, Reversed Mystic Rampart is meant to lower someone's saves but actually drops a tower on them).
    • Rules that cause an non-resolvable game state (Peerless Archers can stack infinite attacks of opportunity)
    • Rules that don't define something well enough to use it ("Distracted", "Minimum Caster Level", "Paladin spell", "Primary Ability Score", "Special Material", anything missing a range or other variables).
    • Rules that, while they don't actually have a negative impact on the game as a game, do stop it making sense (EG fire and acid don't do fire and acid damage, you can fall 9 feet onto your head and take no damage, falling creatures deal no damage if they land on you).
    • Two or more rules combine to cause an above problem (AC bonuses and bonus feats exist, but bonuses are only applicable to die rolls so no they don't).
    • As a general rule, if you need to write a house rule for it.


    What this thread is not for

    • Typos (Weapon deals 1d33 or 1d43 damage because 3 isn't superscript; "Share Lesser Form" mistyped as "Share Laser Form".)
    • Dysfunctions that only arise because of a specific reading of the text (In combat, everyone is flat-footed until they act, so they must have been flat-footed whenever they weren't in combat, even though the text only specifies that they're flat-footed in combat. Someone who can't be flanked can't have a person on each side of them because if they did, they would be flanked.) Unless every possible reading of the text is dysfunctional no matter how you read it (even if it's dysfunctional in different ways).


    To start us off, here's a fun one

    First, Soul Eater's capstone begins with the following line: "After a 10th-level soul eater has drained energy, all spell-like and supernatural abilities gain a +2 profane bonus to their saving throw DC for 24 hours."
    Because they said "all" and not "all its" this line means that if a soul eater anywhere drains energy, then all creatures enjoy +2 to the DCs of SLAs and Su abilities. Handy!
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Well, on the topic of Soul Eater (although I'm pretty sure this has been brought up before, it's just not in the handbook), its 9th level ability reads:

    Soul Slave (Su): If a 9th-level soul eater completely drains a creature of energy, the victim becomes a wight under the command of the soul eater.
    However, this happens even if the creature is, say, a dragon or beholder, in which case they are spontaneously transmogrified into a humanoid wight.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Technetium43 View Post
    Well, on the topic of Soul Eater (although I'm pretty sure this has been brought up before, it's just not in the handbook), its 9th level ability reads:

    However, this happens even if the creature is, say, a dragon or beholder, in which case they are spontaneously transmogrified into a humanoid wight.
    "Wight is a creature, not a template" is listed under Monsters>Wight already. Listing the many things that turn a creature into a wight is probably unnecessary.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    I mean, there is a wight template, but only wights created with the template can pass the template on to their spawn; wights from any other source just rise as Monster Manual wights.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    When a creature is sensitive to bright light, does it need to be able to see the bright light to be affected? Would Orcs and Drow take additional penalties if they were blind and in the area of a bright light?
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    "Wight is a creature, not a template" is listed under Monsters>Wight already. Listing the many things that turn a creature into a wight is probably unnecessary.
    Ah, good catch. I was just checking under the Prestige Class section to see if Soul Eater was listed, assuming that other things had less terrible wording. In retrospect, that was probably a terrible thing to assume given well, the existence of any of this.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    When a creature is sensitive to bright light, does it need to be able to see the bright light to be affected? Would Orcs and Drow take additional penalties if they were blind and in the area of a bright light?
    Well, in the case of an Orcs Light Sensitivity, it inflicts the dazzled condition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blinded SRD
    The character cannot see. He takes a -2 penalty to Armor Class, loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), moves at half speed, and takes a -4 penalty on Search checks and on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Spot checks) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) to the blinded character. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dazzled SRD
    The creature is unable to see well because of overstimulation of the eyes. A dazzled creature takes a -1 penalty on attack rolls, Search checks, and Spot checks.
    Neither actually specify that the penalties actually arise from not being able to see, just that the character can't see and that the character gets those penalties. So by that interpretation, you could potentially argue they stack.

    On a related note (I'm not sure if this counts), a Character blinded by Darkness can make a Listen check as a free action to locate foes. An actual Blinded person does not have that provision, because being blinded makes your hearing less sharp I guess?
    Not a negative effect on the game, but it does not really make sense.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    A few more from Magic of Incarnum: the feat Shape Soulmeld allows you to shape any one meld. The issue is that for melds that grant an ability with a DC associated with them, brass mane and winter mask, there's no way to determine what the DC actually IS if you've accessed these through the feat. I'm inclined to say its 10 +#Essentia+Con since they're Totemist melds, but who knows?

    Also, both of those soulmelds fatigue opponents, but there is no given duration for either.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    There are several examples of immunity to blindness in the game: Harssaf, Prismatic Half-Dragon template, Stone Body spell...
    Sunwyrm says it more clearly:
    Immunity to Blindness (Ex): A sunwyrm cannot be blinded through either magical or mundane means.
    Problem?
    Seething Eyebane spell (Book of Vile Darkness) make target's eyes explode.
    Thus, it's unclear if immunity to blindness make them also immune to Seething Eyebane, or are they just able to see without eyes?
    Also, does immunity to blindness from Stone Body spell mean affected creature, who was previously blind, will be suddenly able to see? (Extra points for creatures who don't even have any eyes )

    EDIT: Also, this question matter for Blinding SA of Murder of Crows
    Last edited by ShurikVch; 2016-12-11 at 12:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by nailbudday View Post
    A few more from Magic of Incarnum: the feat Shape Soulmeld allows you to shape any one meld. The issue is that for melds that grant an ability with a DC associated with them, brass mane and winter mask, there's no way to determine what the DC actually IS if you've accessed these through the feat. I'm inclined to say its 10 +#Essentia+Con since they're Totemist melds, but who knows?

    Also, both of those soulmelds fatigue opponents, but there is no given duration for either.
    You're totally right about shape soulmeld.

    As for brass mane and winter mask, that's actually normal. Fatigue as a condition lasts until you get 8 hours of sleep, with most PC instances (rage, touch of fatigue) actually being exceptions. That's how normal dragonne's roar works.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by The Viscount View Post
    You're totally right about shape soulmeld.

    As for brass mane and winter mask, that's actually normal. Fatigue as a condition lasts until you get 8 hours of sleep, with most PC instances (rage, touch of fatigue) actually being exceptions. That's how normal dragonne's roar works.

    I know fatigue as a condition normally lasts until you get a good rest but I just don't believe that they intended for a level 1 character to be able to touch fatigue every enemy in an encounter with winter mask or just take a... standard action?(that's not actually specified in the entry either so add another one) and fatigue every encounter with brass mane. I guess it's not a dysfunction but it can't be intended behaviour. And looking at it again, brass mane doesn't specify opponents or even 'other creatures'. You have to save against your own roar, and investing essentia just increases the odds of you catching your party members in it as well. Maybe not a dysfunction either but super annoying, especially since totemist has a crap will save.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by nailbudday View Post
    I know fatigue as a condition normally lasts until you get a good rest but I just don't believe that they intended for a level 1 character to be able to touch fatigue every enemy in an encounter with winter mask or just take a... standard action?(that's not actually specified in the entry either so add another one) and fatigue every encounter with brass mane. I guess it's not a dysfunction but it can't be intended behaviour. And looking at it again, brass mane doesn't specify opponents or even 'other creatures'. You have to save against your own roar, and investing essentia just increases the odds of you catching your party members in it as well. Maybe not a dysfunction either but super annoying, especially since totemist has a crap will save.
    Annoying stuff does not equal dysfunctional stuff.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by nailbudday View Post
    I know fatigue as a condition normally lasts until you get a good rest but I just don't believe that they intended for a level 1 character to be able to touch fatigue every enemy in an encounter with winter mask or just take a... standard action?(that's not actually specified in the entry either so add another one) and fatigue every encounter with brass mane. I guess it's not a dysfunction but it can't be intended behaviour. And looking at it again, brass mane doesn't specify opponents or even 'other creatures'. You have to save against your own roar, and investing essentia just increases the odds of you catching your party members in it as well. Maybe not a dysfunction either but super annoying, especially since totemist has a crap will save.
    Remember that with winter mask you're doing this at the cost of any other offensive action, fatigue won't make monsters that much easier to kill, cold resistance protects against it, and many monsters have high Fort saves. Brass mane is limited by the essentia invested to a smaller range, and remember this is from the throat bind, available at level 14. At this point waves of fatigue has no save and has been online for several levels.

    Brass Mane affecting everybody is totally dysfunctional thought, that's what happens when the writers copy/paste without thinking.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Annoying stuff does not equal dysfunctional stuff.
    This probably goes beyond the scope of this thread, but if something in a game is patently un-fun and annoying for everyone involved, isn't that a dysfunction of having any fun with the game?
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    This probably goes beyond the scope of this thread, but if something in a game is patently un-fun and annoying for everyone involved, isn't that a dysfunction of having any fun with the game?
    ... You seem to be assuming that anything in here has any relation to the actual game of D&D that people play, which is just patently untrue.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Natural Heavyweight's fluff is basically 'on a plane with normal gravity, you feel buoyant'. However, the feat makes staying afloat on such a plane harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Technetium43 View Post
    ... You seem to be assuming that anything in here has any relation to the actual game of D&D that people play, which is just patently untrue.
    I like the cut of your jib, Tech.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-12-11 at 04:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    I mean, there is a wight template, but only wights created with the template can pass the template on to their spawn; wights from any other source just rise as Monster Manual wights.
    I'm pretty sure there was a page on the wotc site about Monte running a game for his friends on april fool's day and saying they encountered a white dragon so they'd use fire against it, then he said "surprise, it's actually a wight dragon" and it had undead immunities. it had a wight monster template you could apply to stuff from one of the dragon magazines. it might have also been under one of the christmas articles. can anyone else find it?
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Dragon Magazine #300 (3.0 territory). Templates for Wight, Wraith, Ghost Brute and Mummy. Wight is page 76.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    The Fire Spiders spell has the following bit of text:

    Any cold spell of 3rd level or higher can disperse the fire spiders, ending the spell.
    Assuming that including the spiders in the area of such a spell is enough to disperse them (which seems like it'd make sense), an Anticold Sphere including the spiders in its AoE would destroy them.

    That's right: protecting the tiny fire elementals against cold harms them. If that's not dysfunctional...
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Two dysfunctions here, one short and one long.

    First, the Ravenous template from Dragon Compendium grants a creature the Feed ability, dealing automatic bite damage with a grapple check. It also grants improved grab triggered by "a natural attack." Does this mean that the creature hits with any natural attack, begins a grapple, and then starts dealing bite damage with the check? Does this mean that it deals the bite damage on top of the damage from the natural attack used to grab? Is it supposed to be that it triggers when the creature hits with a bite and they just didn't edit properly? In this case, does it deal bite damage from Feed on top of the automatic bite damage from improved grab?

    Now the long one. Rend is a mess of drastic proportions. Many creatures in the srd have it, triggered when 2 claws hit, and it deals 2xclaw +1.5 str damage. This is even followed in the Rend feat in Draconomicon. Except the gray render has some sort of completely different ability called rend that triggers when it starts grappling with its bite and deals bite+1.5 str damage. To resolve this let's just examine the glossary entry for rend. We find that it does not exist in MM1 nor in MM2. If we turn to MM3 and the Rules Compendium, they give the same formula of natural attack+1.5 str damage. Gray render is the only 3.5 monster I can find that adheres to this formula. All other ones adhere to the formula of 2xnat attack +1.5 str damage. In the case of 3.0 monsters, of the 3 creatures with rend in MM2, one of them, the blood ape doesn't follow either formula (adding 1.5 str to a different die of damage) and the rest follow the general trend. In FF, one creature, the klurichir, follows the glossary formula, the senmurv follows neither (doubles claw but applies only 1xstr), the varrangoin follows neither (1.5 str to a different die), Bacchae follows general trend, and the Half-Troll template gives us a chart that follows the general trend formula. There is no glossary entry for rend in MM2. To me this seems to suggest there wasn't a formula in 3.0, and there sort of was one for 3.5, just not codified until later. I can see whoever did write up the glossary entry going to gray render because rend is in the name and using that as the basis. The weird thing is that after the glossary entry, no monster follows it.
    Don't even bother talking about rend for PCs from classes or feats. They're all different from each other and the above.

    In summary, the only rule we have for rend applies to only one 3.5 monster, and a general trend that isn't in the rules. Either way, somethings dysfunctional.
    Last edited by The Viscount; 2016-12-11 at 02:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    I think feed is supposed to work like constrict, but the phrasing of that ability always confused me too. What I guess it's supposed to mean is, "In addition to the normal options in a grapple, you may make a grapple check to automatically deal your applicable natural attack's damage." Otherwise the ability to deal damage on EVERY grapple check is freakishly strong.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Complete Arcane's argent savant requires you be able to cast a bunch of force spells to enter. It does not discriminate based on whether you're divine or arcane. So far so bad.

    the text regarding spell progression, however, says it will only advance an arcane casting class. a divine caster could enter, but she would perform the magic trick of transmuting a 4/5 class into a 0/5 class.

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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    Complete Arcane's argent savant requires you be able to cast a bunch of force spells to enter. It does not discriminate based on whether you're divine or arcane. So far so bad.

    the text regarding spell progression, however, says it will only advance an arcane casting class. a divine caster could enter, but she would perform the magic trick of transmuting a 4/5 class into a 0/5 class.

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    That's not dysfunctional. It's poor design, it's annoying, it's in one or two cases actually interesting for a divine caster, but it works fine.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    That's not dysfunctional. It's poor design, it's annoying, it's in one or two cases actually interesting for a divine caster, but it works fine.
    I mean, it seems like an oversight allowing a swath of classes to enter a class when they won't get anything from it. When would a divine caster want this?
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    I mean, it seems like an oversight allowing a swath of classes to enter a class when they won't get anything from it. When would a divine caster want this?
    The first level doesn't grant casting advancement anyway, and the class's requirements are pretty easy (what cleric isn't going to pump spellcraft?), so I could see a cleric with lots of force spells taking a level. In a low-op environment, +15 damage on your Blade Barriers may be worth a single lost caster level.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-12-14 at 11:27 AM.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    The first level doesn't grant casting advancement anyway, and the class's requirements are pretty easy (what cleric isn't going to pump spellcraft?), so I could see a cleric with lots of force spells taking a level. In a low-op environment, +15 damage on your Blade Barriers may be worth a single lost caster level.
    fair enough. or like an ur-priest or nar demonbinder once they run out of hierophant levels.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    There are several examples of immunity to blindness in the game: Harssaf, Prismatic Half-Dragon template, Stone Body spell...
    Sunwyrm says it more clearly:Problem?
    Seething Eyebane spell (Book of Vile Darkness) make target's eyes explode.
    Thus, it's unclear if immunity to blindness make them also immune to Seething Eyebane, or are they just able to see without eyes?
    Also, does immunity to blindness from Stone Body spell mean affected creature, who was previously blind, will be suddenly able to see? (Extra points for creatures who don't even have any eyes )

    EDIT: Also, this question matter for Blinding SA of Murder of Crows
    Do sunwyrms even have eyes?
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Do sunwyrms even have eyes?
    Looks like so to me.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List



    Do they? Looks like two empty whitish spheres to me. I wouldn't be surprised if they lacked eyes.
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    Default Re: Dysfunctional Rules IX: 1d3 Dysfunctions from the 8th Level List

    I seem to recall flavor text saying that all dragons lose their pupils as they age, with older dragons simply having solid orbs reminiscent of their elemental type.

    Edit: Yep

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD, Red Dragons
    The pupils of a red dragon fade as it ages; the oldest red dragons have eyes that resemble molten lava orbs.
    And there are similar lines for other dragons.
    Last edited by PallentisLunam; 2016-12-14 at 03:55 PM.

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