House Rules and Clarifications

From Tenebrae
(Redirected from House Rules)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page is used to list some house rules, though mainly clarifications used on the Emblem of Ea. While it is not our intent to document everything (that would be silly), we will attempt to document what may be particularly confusing as well as important relative to the game and its enjoyment.


As Emblem is not by nature a PvP game, a game oriented towards minmaxing or competition versus other players, nor a Tabletop, some of our interpretations may appear somewhat different than expected. We generally have a specific reason for what we do, though many of the items seen here will just be "things we have always done" and are only now being recorded. We simply did not have a good way to record them previously.

RAW versus RAI

PF is a social game, and that means there is a social contract between players, and that social contract includes the idea of "I'm not going to try to cheat the system." In other words, "the rules don't say I can't" is a weak argument for your actions if you know the rules aren't supposed to let you do that, even if the rules don't explicitly say you can't do that. Doing so puts the player into an adversarial relationship with the GM, trying to twist the intent of the rule while observing the letter of it, which is the same sort of thing that leads to GMs twisting interpretations of wish spells (and you know that was so lame, the 3E team precisely defined what a wish spell can do in order to have an agreed-upon set of things players could use it for and GM should allow).


Aside from the above, the CRB is something like a 500 page document filled with loopholes and exceptions. Too, sometimes it's fun to let something work for the sake of cinematics.

We are an RAI game, not a RAW one. More from Paizo devs on the language of the rules.


Animal Companions and Familiars

Can they use items? Talk?

Some familiars are capable of speech.

Paizo recently published some clarifications to Animal Companions that we'll be using.

It's also intended that animal companions or familiars can not activate magic items. An animal companion could benefit from an item with a continuous magical effect like an amulet of natural armor if its master equipped the item for the animal companion. They may not use manufactured weapons.

What magic item slots does my animal companion have?

Animal companions typically have the following item slots: headband, cloak, feet, belt, neck. They may also wear barding unless otherwise specified. Note these are more general rules--not all animal companions will have legs, for example, and so would not be able to wear said wraps.

What is the reach of my animal companion?

Some animal companions' reach will change once they change size. To determine if this occurs, use the table on this page, then cross reference it with the "normal" version of the creature. If both sources suggest the creature would now possess reach, then it does.


Due to code, balance, and other issues involving headaches and the slow and painful death of our staff, archetypes will not be added to the game.

Aura of Courage

You're immune to fear. This includes intimidation effects. This was an update from 3.5 that just doesn't fit the thematics of certain classes.


This isn't a special rule as much as it is mentioned here to clarify. Sorcerer bloodlines are a "trace" of another race or being. A sorcerer with a fae bloodline doesn't become fey, for instance, any more than an infernal bloodline becomes a devil, or so on. There are reasons that PrCs like the Dragon Disciple exist--they take characters above and beyond the limits of the sorcerer class.

Traces are exactly that, and the PRD gives us some examples: "For example, a sorcerer might have a dragon as a distant relative or her grandfather might have signed a terrible contract with a devil."

This does not make the character any less special--it just means they're still human, dwarf, or whichever is appropriate. Something unusual, however, happened to make them the way they are and they exhibit traits fantastic beyond what's ordinary.

Bloodline Stacking, Dragon Disciple, etc.

For purposes of mechanics, bloodrager bloodlines and sorcerer bloodlines are treated as different, yet similar abilities. They do not stack. Bloodrager may be used as an entry into Dragon Disciple as per Paizo's FAQ. When advancing in Dragon Disciple, when they select their spellcasting class to advance, this also selects its associated bloodline. For those entering the PrC without a bloodline, their bloodline will default to sorcerer.

Creepy Hair (Prehensile Hair)

Creepy hair falls under the natural attack rules. In entries like these, it's been clarified by developers that the -5 is often included as a kind of shorthand, because most often these natural attacks are used in conjunction with a manufactured weapon, and so forth. Therefore: If you use creepy hair on its own, it is a primary natural attack. If you use creepy hair with a manufactured weapon, it is secondary. If you possess another natural weapon, then creepy hair becomes secondary, because it falls into the "Other" category of natural attack, as per the PRD.

Similar things may be said about the barbarian's bite attack rage power, and so forth.

Finally, prehensile hair is to be referred to as "creepy hair" forever. :(


We use Paizo's update to the monk update to the AoMF. We had used the other updates, but those are incorporated into Unchained Monk. Unchained Monk is the default for Tenebrae.


Q: With the Unchained barbarian, how does rage work if used in another context? For example, a spell?

A: If the ability reads 'rage as barbarian,' then use the new rules. Otherwise, these abilities work as outlined. In addition, this FAQ applies.


Paizo FAQ: When it comes to modifiers that affect weapon damage rolls, or simply “damage rolls” (such as the bonus on damage rolls from Point-Blank Shot, inspire courage, and smite evil), special abilities that deal damage on a successful attack roll, apply them on hit point damage only, and only once per casting or use, rather than once per attack. For instance, if a spell or special ability launched a dozen different ranged attacks simultaneously, only one (of the user’s choice) would receive bonus damage. This doesn’t apply on area effects with the rare potential for extraneous attack rolls, like fireball. However, there is a category of abilities that deserve a special note: Abilities like Arcane Strike that specifically enhance a character’s weapon or weapons themselves never apply to special abilities (with the exception of special abilities like the warlock’s mystic bolts that specifically call out that Arcane Strike applies).


Specific Items

Dragonhide: Due to the more active role dragons play in the world, as ambassadors, political rulers, and so forth, dragonhide has been replaced with spirit-bond armor, an armor crafted of elemental essence.

Elven Curveblade: The elven curveblade is not available in Tenebrae at this time.

Headbands of Intellect: Not a rule so much as a reminder!

  • Your intellect skills should be noted in your headband items. If not, please contact staff ASAP so we can fix it. If you think or know you've made an error with this, we can fix that too once we've verified.
  • When leveling, do NOT put your ranks in these skills. They will go up automagically with your HD.

Circlets of Persuasion: Circlets of Persuasion are useful items, though they do not provide bonuses to concentration checks. We feel that allowing this "extra feature" would require a price increase at the very least--and risks leaving other casters in the cold, as nothing similar exists for them. As Pathfinder's worked hard to make concentration/casting in combat more dynamic, and because custom items are a pain, we'll be sticking with this interpretation--which is really just brushing up a "gray" area to something more reasonable.

Bucklers: This is more of a clarification as it comes up from time to time. Archers, gunners, crossbow users do not take the -1 attack penalty when carrying a buckler. That is, they are not penalized for carrying it. However, they do not receive the buckler's AC bonus unless they are actively wielding it. This makes the buckler useful if they need to rush through enemy lines, make a stand, go total defense, etc. Bucklers also apply to flat-footed ac, and so would be useful in that instance.

Feychild Necklace: See Circlet of Persuasion.

Ghostvision Gloves: May not be deactivated until the timer runs out (the description does not say the duration may be divided up).

Gloves of Dueling: The last line in its description should be updated to: 'the fighter is considered 4 levels higher for the purposes of Weapon Training.' This brings them in line with similar items of a similar price, such as a monk's robe, headband of havoc, and so on.

Monkey Belt: The Monkey Belt (and similar items) are considered to fall under the FAQ for armor spikes. Monkey belts do not count as a free hand for the purposes of reloading firearms (this requires fingers).

Shields: To keep headaches down and allow us to list things more cleanly in +inv, shield spikes may be enchanted as a weapon. Shields may be enchanted as shields.

Transformitive: This property can apparently be somewhat squirrelly, apparently. You would not believe the number and amount of discussion. Here is our take on it:

A. The weapon property is command-word activated.
B. It maintains its magical properties. The exceptions to this are:
1. The new form is unable to use an enchantment (a mace cannot be keen).
2. The new form is a double weapon, while the original was a single--in this case, only half the weapon would be enchanted, though the unenchanted half would still be of masterwork quality.
C. It maintains its material makeup when possible. If the new form is not able to be made from that material, it defaults to the material for the new form (you would not end up with an adamantine staff).
D. In general, treat it as an entirely different weapon that just happens to possess similar special materials and enchantments as your old one. For example, when transforming from a greatsword to a greataxe, use the damage dice, threat range, and multiplier of the greataxe. When moving from one form of polearm to another, you may lose Trip but gain Brace.


A. Since we do not use differently sized weapon rules, the transformation must be to an appropriately sized weapon for the wielder.
B. The weapon must be of the same general type as the type it is transforming to: Handedness (1H, 2H, or Light), Ranged, Reach, Melee, Thrown. For example, a Medium transformative longsword can take the shape of any other Medium one-handed melee weapon, such as a scimitar, flail, or trident, but not a Medium light or two-handed melee weapon (such as a Medium short sword or a Medium greatsword).

Wildshape, Wild Armor, etc:

From Paizo: Wild armor and other transforming armor: When I use a wild armor and gain the armor’s benefits, what restrictions, if any, apply to me? In general, when I transform with a polymorph effect and some of my gear melds into the form, what restrictions do I have for melding with large amounts of heavy gear? What about other types of transforming armor?

A; If you were in medium or heavy load from encumbrance before transforming, you continue to take those penalties in your melded form. Otherwise, ignore the weight of melded items and calculate your encumbrance in your polymorphed form entirely based on non-melded items. When wearing melded armor and shields, if you gain no benefit from the melded armor, you still count as wearing an armor of that type, but you do not suffer its armor check penalty, movement speed reduction, or arcane spell failure chance. If you do gain any benefits (as with the wild property), then you do suffer the armor check penalty, movement speed reduction, and arcane spell failure chance. This also applies to all other situations where you or an armor transform: you always count as wearing an armor of that type, and if you gain any benefit at all from the armor (such as mistmail), you apply the armor check penalty, movement speed reduction, and arcane spell failure chance.

Item Crafting

Magic Item Crafting

As stated in the forums, decreasing MI crafting time isn't something we're interested in. This means we will not be reducing crafting time for rolling above the DC. Instead, Tenebrae offers a continuous crafting environment, allowing you to craft as well as adventure, and allows PCs to craft most any item within Core, so long as they meet the normal PF prerequesites. Generally also, PCs are assumed to have the materials needed.

However, if the characters involved roleplay out the request ongrid, and submit a +request/rpp, crafting time is reduced by 1 day automagically (minimum 1 day spent crafting).

Crafters may make any item of up to the below market value, presuming they have the feats, skills, and time required:

T1: Up to 6k
T2: Up to 22k
T3-4: None set at this time.

If the only person available is outside these bounds, come talk with staff and we'll work with you.

When WBL is added, we generally count crafting and crafting items at their market value. We expect crafters to be a little over, but not levels and levels higher than everyone else.

Mundane Item Crafting

The mundane crafting rules are...well, they are pretty downright awful. We don't use them ingame, though players are welcome to purchase mundane items and roleplay crafting them. It isn't a perfect solution, but no one really wants to delve into this.

Crafting for Friends

Crafting for friends at-cost tends to create a "pro-clique" environment, and risks empowering a small group of people at the expense of others. Instead, crafters may offer a general discount publicly, to groups that they would have reasons to ICly do so. For example, a priest might want to be more helpful to others of their faith.

That is, discounts must be known publicly, and must be something that is generally definable, outside something vaguely nebulous such as "my friends and myself." So, publicly listing faith groups, nationalities, or an organization + its allies would be acceptable, but "exclusive random people that I happen to like" would not.

Scrolls and Consumables

We use the guidelines published by PFS, in order to create a standard price set. All potions, scrolls, wands, and other consumables are assumed to be made by clerics, druids, or wizards...The only exceptions are spells that are not on the cleric, druid, or wizard spell list. For example, a scroll of lesser restoration must be purchased as a 2nd-level scroll off the cleric spell list and may not be purchased as a 1st-level scroll off the paladin spell list. If a spell appears at different levels on two different lists, use the lower level spell to determine cost. As an example, poison would be priced as a 3rd-level druid spell instead of a 4th-level cleric spell.

For the sake of simplicity, there is no difference between an arcane and divine scroll or wand (we just care if it's on their spell list). Thus a bard and cleric may both use the same scroll of cure moderate wounds.

Scrolls that contain spells that do not appear on the cleric/druid/wizard list are made at the appropriate costs for their classes.

Scrolls that are scribed by a PC use that PC's class.

Finally, the following is changed from the PRD: "If the user meets all the requirements noted above, and her caster level is at least equal to the spell's caster level" becomes, "If the user meets all the requirements noted above, and her casting class level is at least equal to the spell's caster level."

Magic Item Upgrades to and for Specific or Unique Magic Items

Most specific, named magic items (such as a Robe of the Magi) may not be upgraded. That is, they are priced "as is." The exceptions to this rule are:

  • Item stacking. Another item may be "stacked" onto the previous item at 150% of the cost.
  • Items meant to be upgraded. Weapons and armor have a specific means of upgrading: a +1 may be made into a +2 and so on.
  • Items which already possess greater and lesser versions. These items may be specifically named, or list upgrade options in their text (such as Belt of Strength or Bracers of Archery Greater and Lesser). This would exclude items such as the Gorgon Belt, as it follows neither of these rules.

Specific magic items may not be made from different materials other than those listed.

Ordinary magic items may be upgraded to specific or unique magic items, so long as their current enchantments are part of the final, named item. For example, the flaming longsword could be made into a Flame Tongue, but a flaming, frost longsword could not be.

Tomes and Manuals of Clear Thought, Influence, etc.

Tomes and manuals that raise attributes cannot have their component cost (that is, the 25,000g price of the wish spell) reduced via RPPs. They can however, have the add-on cost reduced. For a +1 tome that is 27,500g, it is this 2,500g amount that may be reduced.

However, we do allow PCs to purchase these over time. That is, there is still a max of +5 in inherit bonuses to any individual attribute. However, PCs could purchase a +1 to strength, then later on another +1.

Intelligent Items

Intelligent items are a vague sort of thing that ultimately, have always been in the GM's hands. Paizo treats them this way--as a story item around which epics are told. The rules can seem vague or malleable based on the item or story told. Since we have opened them up to the greater world, some of their peculiars need a touch more guidance. This section will expand as it needs to, though it may do so slowly, as we will want to consider both what is fun, and potential balance and otherwise implications.

1. What senses does an intelligent item possess?
From the PRD we know that: "Every intelligent magic item begins with the ability to see and hear within 30 feet, as well as the ability to communicate emphatically with its owner." On Tenebrae, they may also speak. However, intelligent items lack those wriggly hands, arms, and legs. They can't move on their own without you threatening someone with them. Zam! Pow! Bamf!
2. What type of action is it for an item to activate its power? What actions can they take in a round?
From the PRD, we know that: "all powers function at the direction of the item, although intelligent items generally follow the wishes of their owner. Activating a power or concentrating on an active one is a standard action the item takes." Aside from that, intelligent items are going to be tied to your action economy to a degree, much as a mount is. Think of it this way: Your item's actions are separate, but tied to yours by virtue of it essentially being helpless and its location and movement being forcibly controlled by you. If you're waving it around as part of a full attack, then it has no choice but to be a part of that full attack action. If you stop and take a standard action, then the item may also take a standard action (such as using one of its SLAs).
3. Can an intelligent item cast spells in combat? How does that work?
On Tenebrae, we treat magic spells used by an intelligent item as spell-like abilities. That is, they aren't full-fledged wizards or sorcerers. They have no spellcasting class. They're more like a monster in the Bestiary with some unique talents. That said, see the previous question for answers about action economy. We've also decided their using SLAs in combat does not provoke, because we just don't want to deal with that.
An intelligent item's senses are limited to 30', as per the PRD. This will affect its range, as effects generally require Line of Sight.
4. What about spells with a range of touch, or personal?
This gets tricky. What it comes down to is that the item is essentially helpless, movement-wise. So, for a touch spell, think of it in terms of Domain Strike or similar feats. If you want to add weapon damage to the spell's effect, you're going to need to make a normal attack with the item, against normal AC. If you don't want to include weapon damage, then you make a touch attack with the item.
However, you're going to need the action economy available to do so (see previous questions).
As for personal: at the moment, it refers to the item. However, if you can find text in the PRD, Errata, a FAQ, or material published by a Paizo developer that suggests it may be used on the wielder, please let us know, as this sounds pretty cool to us as well.

Handling Treasure

Item Size: As a general rule, items in treasure are 'unsized' until they're claimed. This means if the DM rolls a +2 Studded Leather Armor, the lucht has the same chance as the half-oruch. The one exception to this rule are items thematically tied to the adventure, or similar affects.

Claiming Items: Treasure by its nature is fairly random. That is, sometimes one person gets the 'big item' one time. This just means that another person will get it a different time. It's just the nature of the game and not something we sweat too much over. If we did, it'd mean turning down some awesome items and a lot of coppers-counting. That is, there's never a reason for the fighter to have to 'pay back' just because a nice armor showed up. All of us staff realize this happens in some games, which is great! It's just not something we want as part of our culture. Likewise, if someone nabs all of the items with the intent to sell...that's grounds for a talk with staff. We can track that sort of thing.


Chargen, Advancement, and Specific Feats

The following feats may be taken, but require you to specify what the feat applies to via +request before using it in play: Aspect of the Beast, Preferred Spell, Favored Defense.

The following feats may only be taken via means of a +request. In the meantime, please take a 'filler' feat that staff will replace: Eldrich Claws, Rending Claws.

Removed from Pathfinder

The following feats are in Core, but unavailable: Leadership, Improved Familiar.

Improvised Weapon

There is no errata on this yet, so this interpretation is subject to change. Currently, it is not possible to use improvised weapon for purposes of "doubling up" on a polearm, etc. This is because such weapons already have specific feats associated with them and a dictated method of usage. That is, an axe is already a weapon and requires the martial weapon proficiency. From the Improvised Weapon feat: "Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat." Too, this drops us into a fuzzy area of making every polearm a double-ended weapon, which doesn't seem to be what the designers intended. Or, into questions such as: "but do I apply the enhancement bonus?" Until there's errata regarding this, this is the interpretation.

There is a feat to shorten the length of a polearm and attack an adjacent square: short haft. This feat also lets you keep the enhancement bonus of the polearm when attacking adjacent.


We use the author's clarification for this feat, as outlined below. You are required to be adjacent to the ally you're defending, but not their attacker.

While as always my authorial opinions are simply that, and not official errata in any way for the purpose of RAW, PFS, etc., if you'd like to know what was in my head while writing those feats the answer is this:

Bodyguard is intended to require you only to be adjacent to the ally you're defending, not to require you to threaten their attacker. Requiring you to threaten the attacker makes the feat MUCH less useful, since then you can't block ranged attacks or reach weapons or attacks against targets with concealment or cover or anything else that would prevent an AoO. My intention with tying it to the AoO mechanic was simply to make it an ability you could use more than once per round, rather than wanting to tie it specifically to all the implied mechanics of AoOs. I had thought about just making it an immediate action, but that limits it to once per round and takes your im/swift action. I figured that was an appropriate mechanic for In Harm's Way, but the defensive bonus of AA was modest enough that I thought it entirely fair to not limit it that way.

As an side, I should say that for both feats, as well as the shield feats and shield-based archetypes I wrote, I thought that defender characters needed a little extra love in the rules, whether evil emperor bodyguards or altruistic protectors.

It's possible I had misremembered the mechanic for Aid Another, thinking that AA to add an attack bonus required an attack roll vs. AC 10 against the target while AA to add to AC required an attack roll vs. AC 10 against the defender. I can't really say for sure about my thought process 3 years ago, but that could have been the root of the problem.

So, if you're looking for a suggestion to solve the problem, you could perhaps use a rewording of the benefit section of Bodyguard to read something like this.

A short option:

Benefit: When an adjacent ally is attacked, you may use an attack of opportunity to grant your ally a +2 bonus to AC, as if you had successfully used the aid another action.

or a longer option:

Benefit: When an adjacent ally is attacked, you may use an attack of opportunity to attempt the aid another action to improve your ally's AC. You do not need to threaten the attacker to use this action; you need only be adjacent to the target and make a successful attack roll against AC 10. You may not use the aid another action to improve your ally's attack roll with this attack.

I think either of those should convey the desired effect (that you *can* take a bullet or jump in front of a reach weapon or even a trap) for your home campaigns, though again if you're playing PFS or other RAW, you are out of luck, as I think by RAW the strict requirements of making an AoO would have to apply, and you could only use Bodyguard against a foe you threaten.

Combat Patrol

Clarified from the feat's developer:

Yes, the feat requires you to give up your attacks now on the hope or expectation of getting them back as AoOs.
So why would you do it?
1. If you want to have better average attack rolls. AoOs are at your highest attack bonus, so if you get more than one, you get to make each at your highest number, rather than using your normal iteratives.
2. If you want to interrupt spellcasting. Making attacks on your turn doesn't force concentration checks; attacking people mid-cast does.
3. If you want to screw with ranged attackers. If you AoO someone preparing a ranged attack, you can disarm or sunder their bow/crossbow (likely with no AoO, since they are using a ranged weapon, unless they have armor spikes or a natural weapon) and prevent their attacks.
4. If you want to block enemy movement. If you use Stand Still or trip or grapple to stop an enemy from moving through your area.
The feat works like this:
A. You can stand in one spot or take a 5-foot step and then activate the feat (full-round action). This expands your threatened area. If you normally have 10-foot reach, now you have 15-foot reach. If you quaff a quick enlarge person extract, now you have 20-foot reach; that, plus your own 10-foot square of size, lets you cover an area 50 feet across.
B. Anytime someone does anything within 15 feet of you, you can use some of your movement (which you essentially 'saved up' from your turn) to move over and whack them. Your movement does provoke if you have to walk past bad guys, but you can move tactically to avoid their threat zones.
C. Your threatened area moves with you.
Conceptually, the feat works by playing on metagame expectations by players and DMs (and, logically, by the rational combat expectations IN-GAME from monsters who know how threatened areas work) because it lets you threaten areas that you're not supposed to be able to threaten. Spellcasters or archers will take a 5-foot step and cast/shoot, not expecting you to be able to react. Monsters will walk by outside what they think is your threatened area, not expecting that you'll be able to get in their way.
At the same time, even if/when creatures notice your trick and start going around your area, then:
1. They don't know how big your area is. As your BAB goes up, your threatened area gets bigger and bigger. They have no way of knowing how far your reach extends, so now they're not sure where they can go to do their standard tactical tricks.
2. Players and DMs will often go to absurd lengths to avoid an AoO. This means that, if you are working in the mode of being a protector/defender of an area, or trying to keep squishier party members safe, bad guys who see you in action may start taking the LONG way around to get to other party members. Which is GOOD. That's a win for you; by simply projecting the perception of force and control of the battlefield, you are altering their actions and making them waste movement and/or combat turns maneuvering rather than running past you and whacking other party members.
3. All of the above, of course, assumes that they even *CAN* run around you. In a dungeon, they may have no choice but to suck it up and absorb the AoOs if they can't get out of your threatened area.
So, in sum, is it useful to YOU?
It's something that gives you an added dimension of tactical versatility for situations when it's to your advantage to react to your opponents rather than charging up and bashing them. As a dwarf, you might get less mileage out of it (pun intended) because of your slower movement rate, but that's easily fixed with longstrider, expeditious retreat, haste, or anything else that bumps your move.

Elven Battle Training

This feat applies to all Elven sub-races, but to their specific weapon familiarity entries. In the case of the Wild Elves, this feat would apply to polearms and bows.

Furious Focus

This is not a house rule, more a clarification. Furious focus only works with the first PA attack you make each round. This means it does not apply to a haste attack, the second cleave attack, and so forth.

Shield Slam

Q: Do the bonuses from Improved Bull Rush and Greater Bull Rush, as well as any other bonuses that would be applied to the maneuver (Dwarf racial: Relentless +2), get subsequently added to that attack roll total to compare to the target's CMD to see if the maneuver takes effect?

A: From what we've read, this is allowable and part of the intended effect. Effects which normally would modify a bull rush (such as feats) apply to the roll substituted for the CMB bonus after the fact since it becomes a bull rush.

Shield Prof

Q: Does shield proficiency let you use a shield as a weapon?

A: Yes.


Breath of Life

The use of this spell is expanded somewhat to make it friendlier to a MUSH environment. It's now open to other divine casters, though at a slightly reduced effect. See the Magic page for adjustments.

Nobility Domain

Nobility's domain uses the Martyr subdomain as a replacement for Leadership.

Elemental Forms

Elementals don't have hands, so it's impossible to wield a weapon or wear armor when transformed into one. Casting as an elemental may be done with Natural Spell, though.


Q: Is there a limit to how many summons I can have?
A: We've always had a soft rule on summons. That is, be mindful of other players, turn times, and the ability of everyone to share the spotlight. If you're cutting into others' fun, it is time to summon fewer creatures.
Summoning though, can extend turn times even then. It is also true that some folks prefer a harder rule rather than a soft one.
With that in mind, we'll be experimenting with one active summoning spell at a time, per individual caster. Casting a different summoning spell would require ending the previous one.
The intent of this is to streamline turns, and to make things go a little more smoothly for everyone.
Q: Can I add additional monsters to the monster summoning tables?
A: We follow the guidance of Paizo's developers in this regard. From James Jacobs:
Nope. No chance. We didn't have room, or the time to go through and pick out balanced additions to the spell, nor do we want to set up the expectation that something like that will be in every Bestiary, plus some other boring reasons.
We really just don't want to bloat the summon monster tables with too many choices, honestly. It's already kinda hard to choose a monster; making there be TOO many choices spread across TOO many books just leads to option paralysis in game and that's not good.
In the end, we decided that these spells more or less needed to be self-contained. That mean that they had lists that referenced the main Bestiary and didn't go beyond that. This is mostly a balance issue (too many monsters on the list allow for too much specialization per encounter), but also a game-play issue (too many monsters on the list causes option paralysis and makes the simple choice of choosing a summoned monster a tough one) and a public relations issue (we try not to build parts of the game to be too dependent on non-core products).


Wish cannot be used to raise attributes directly. Instead, see our section on magic item tomes and attributes, above.

Learning New Spells

To learn a new spell, a wizard, artificer, witch, or other prepared caster must first acquire the scroll. Wizards and artificers must then then pay scribing costs as per the PRD, while witches must make a caster check (see witch page).

PC casters may sell scrolls to one another at whatever price they wish. This is seen as more realistic, as it's rare a PC or NPC would consider loaning out their livelihood...


War Golems and Rage

Our war golems have never been immune to the fatigue after rage. It's meant as a balancing feature after rage and rage powers.

Races with Spell-Like Abilities

If your race gives the option of "choose x number of 0-level spells" or something similar, please send in a +request to tell staff what you'd like. Unless you do this and it is noted on your +sheet, you are not considered to have these spells.

In addition, these SLAs do not qualify a PC for early entry into a PrC, a feat, or so on.


Diplomatic Combat and Skills Combat

Pathfinder doesn't provide rules for these, so we've adapted their performance combat rules. See what you think. You should be able to flex this in order to make any sort of skill event you desire.

Social Skills and PCs

Skills such as diplomacy, intimidate, and so on do not function between PCs. That is, PCs are heroes, and heroes follow different rules. On Tene, we take this to mean that players may roll for fun within agreed-upon social situations, but as a rule of thumb, these skills apply to NPCs only.

When using these skills with NPCs, remember to use common sense. That is, using intimidate on someone will likely result in them calling the Watch. While this is stated in the PRD, it bears repeating: what would you do if someone came up and threatened to hit you with a stick?

With skills such as diplomacy, also, it's important to remember that these skills are not instant-wins. While use of diplomacy may encourage NPCs' attitudes to shift, this is typically by one step either direction only. In addition, saying that "I have a +34 diplomacy, everyone loves me" not something we wish to see. Diplomacy, like charisma, may represent many talents and skills after all. A PC does not need to be liked well to be persuasive.

Be aware also that DMs will often give an advantage, for example, to the Althean who roleplays speaking with his temple rather than the wizard who happened to put max diplomacy or perception ranks on a headband.

Finally, review your RPP spends. If you've an active membership in an area (this is a defined RPP spend), you're likely to receive a lower diplomacy DC, or uncover information more easily than someone who does not. This is doubly true if you have influence in that area. ...that is, investing within an area pays off. You "know your way around." Don't expect that as an outsider you'll automagically succeed just because you have the ranks. Naturally, it will be more difficult for you, as an outsider. This is not to say impossible, it's just more realistic.

Craft and Profession

Where and when applicable, these may be used as knowledge skills regarding applicable areas. For example, someone with Profession/Brewer might roll their skill to identify a number of different beers or wines, or to know the history of beer or wine within a specific area. Craft and Profession skills may also be earned via RPPs.

Miscellaneous Houserules

Inherit Bonuses to Attributes

Currently, we do not allow Wish to be used to raise ability scores. However, we do allow manuals to stack, up to the normal maximum of +5. This lets characters purchase, and enjoy the benefits of an attribute raise over time. For example:

Narg the Barbarian picks up a Manual of Manual of Bodily Health +1. This raises Narg's Con score by 1. Later on, he picks up a Manual of Bodily Health +3 book. His total inherit bonus to Con is now 4. Still later, he picks up a Manual of Bodily Health +2 book. His total bonus is +5, as that is the maximum per attribute for inherit bonuses.

Damage Dice Progression Due to Size

We use the Paizo errata: Damage Dice Progression Chart.

Additional Combat Maneuvers

The following Combat Maneuvers and relating feats are approved from the APG: Dirty Trick, Drag, and Reposition. Steal, however, is not.


Burrow: A creature with a burrow speed can tunnel through dirt, but not through rock unless the descriptive text says otherwise. Creatures cannot charge or run while burrowing. Most burrowing creatures do not leave behind tunnels other creatures can use (either because the material they tunnel through fills in behind them or because they do not actually dislocate any material when burrowing); see the individual creature descriptions for details.

Missing Limbs

We use 4 Wind Fantasy Games' rules for the loss of a limb or body part. See: The Loss of a Body Part. These rules are included only to describe the mechanical effects of such a loss. We do allow prosthetics, which are an RPP Character Spend.

Mounted Combat

We use a selection of Dire Destiny's Mounted Combat Rules in place of those in the PRD. Not all of DD's rules are used; only those included on the wiki are currently used. These rules will be propagated to more areas of the site for easier reference (such as skills) as soon as Lahar finds the coffee.

The following questions have occurred, regarding mounted combat:

Q: If my mount has flyby attack, can the rider attack as well? Or, if the rider has ride-by attack, can the mount attack as well? Or, if mount has flyby and rider has ride-by attack, can they both attack together?
A: So long as your mount possesses feats that allow him or her to attack during that time, then they can attack an opponent within their reach. For example, if you had Ride by and your mount had Spring By, you're both trained to make that sort of mid-attack. Likewise, the rider would need the capability to attack during a certain time.

Touch Attacks and Weapon Finesse

Weapon finesse may benefit melee touch attacks, allowing the attack roll to be based on Dexterity rather than Strength.


Based on clarification from Paizo's developers, rend is additional damage added to someone's attack for the purposes of overcoming DR. It's only added once, though!


Stipends are a way for us to handle some forms of level-up. For example, a PC might spend 10 RPPs to begin play at Level 3 instead of Level 2. In a case like this, we award a stipend. Stipends appear as objects placed in a character's inventory. They specify a certain amount in gold pieces. In the previous example, it would say: 2000g stipend.

This is gold that the player may use to purchase items, spells, and so on by sending in a +request with what they'd like to buy.

Since it's given for the purpose of gaining a full level all at once, it may not be used with crafter, RPP, or other discounts.

If this were allowable, we'd need to halve the amount given. Or, award some people 60 percent of their stipend value because they're not a crafter, 50 percent if they were, but then we get to special materials, spells, one wants to deal with this ever and it wouldn't be fair to everyone else.

To use a stipend, just use +request and let us know what you'd like to buy. 85% of a stipend must be spent.

Good and Evil, Law and Chaos

Sometimes, we get questions about this. Tenebrae operates in a "classic" fantasy sense that is different from today's more "gray tones" morality. That said, we do not usually make a very big fuss over alignment. The following is merely meant to explain that yes, evil is really Evil--not misunderstood, and that a Chaos descriptor on a spell really would mean it taps into something unusual.

Tenebrae exists in a world saturated with magic. When viewing its creatures, then, it requires something of a shift from traditional thinking. In such a world, creatures constructed of pure arcane are possible, and so it should come as no surprise that creatures may be formed from pure concept, as well.

Concepts such as good, evil, law, and chaos are tangible things in a realm of this type. In a world saturated, these elements take on near-living forms and influences. Magic can call upon and be influenced by the forces of chaos as equally as it may be the forces of good. And, so may living creatures may be "part law" as much as they are "part magic."

Evil, chaos, law, good are then tangible forces on their own. They influence the world around them. A creature that shows as Evil on detect evil really, truly IS Evil so far as the universe is concerned. It follows then, that not all creatures are redeemable on the modern sense--though a small few may be, and if they are it lies in the realm of epic taletelling.

This may appear to fly in the face of conventional ideas of "gray morality." Yet, it makes sense when we accept these concepts as actual elements within the setting. These elements are the result of "high fantasy" and are part of, and exist within, a world saturated in magic, concept, and the otherworldly.

It makes templates such as "anarchic" possible and even desired. So the lesson here is--enjoy it for what it is, and realize we are in a realm other than our own.

A second lesson conversely, is to not become too "wrapped up" in the interpretation of what is Law or what is Chaos, though they most certainly do exist. These by their nature will have varied definitions. In this way, "law" does not mean legality (it would mean that alignment changed at borders, which is silly), but can mean a variety of spectrum and desires for order, a wont to put the good of the whole before yourself, or other myriad interpretations. "Chaos" likewise does not need to mean personal freedom for everyone (which is often a US political slogan that folks get very passionate about), and could mean never trusting authority to the point of refusing to go to local police, a general stand against "the Man" or even an innate desire for instability. That is, while these are forces within the universe, they are also vast enough to encompass a great variety of interpretations, and strong enough to prevent them from being swayed towards any one particular definition.

This does not mean that it is okay for a good character to enslave another creature, for example--quite the opposite, in fact. It means however, that he or she may find different motivations for not doing so and that these reasons do not necessarily need to conform to another's, though they would conform to some basic sense of "what is good." Likewise, extreme examples such as slavery are seen as Evil by the universe--no gray areas within them. These examples should be easily recognizable to most players.

It also means that as staff, we are not here to police alignment debates or worry over the small bits. We will do so if we have to, but it is not very fun to do.

The Alignment Button


What Model do the Gods Use?

This comes up from time to time, not often but often enough that it deserves mention and an easy-enough place to reference or post to. As they are today, the deities and faiths in Emblem of Ea more resemble various forms of historical and fantasy paganism than they do say, Roman Catholicism. If a particular faith does resemble RC or other forms of Christianity in any way, it's because of local cultural influences and is by no means the norm or the intent of the game. A close look at the temples in Alexandria show them to be more often 'pagan' in influence, in fact, than the classic marble temple structure with vaulted ceilings. Clerics possess titles unique to their faith instead of "Mother" or "Father."

This means that:

  • Worship methods vary widely, based on culture, race, subcultures, etc.
  • Different orders and suborders are possible and encouraged.
  • A god's core is the same across Ea, though the details change. This is similar to how there's been a 'god of war' or a 'god of the hunt' in multiple cultures all over the world. The details and methods of worship change, but there's a common, central theme or concept. Ea's deities were given 'common' concepts at their center so that this could play out.
  • Assumptions we make about rl vows (poverty, celibacy, etc.) DO NOT apply unless it's local to that culture, suborder, etc. For example, a suborder of Veyshanti Korites could demand celibacy because they believe it makes their devotion to the arts of war more pure, based on some obscure teaching by an Ifrit-blooded general.
  • The idea of 'one deity' is completely alien to Ea.
  • Aethism is completely alien to Ea--the gods have visible, tangible effects in the world.
  • Deities, as well as famous people and nobles, are fodder for colorful and even ribald stories of all kinds. This doesn't make deities any less respected; instead, these stories add color to the world and draw them in a relatable way to everyday life. For example, even Althea had problems with Gilead when the guy was in his Terrible Twos. However, when she made him apologize to his uncle Navos for 'the incident,' he probably undertook some Herculean task instead of being sent to his room. Because he's a god. And he's Epic.

Finally, while there are some universal values because Emblem of Ea, and DnD, are 'high fantasy' (slavery being evil, tropes such as pride causeth downfall are all pillars of Classic Fantasy) faiths and details will vary by culture, race, and so on.

All of this is just a lengthy way of saying that historical and fantasy paganism are a better model for Ea's gods--and don't hesitate to invent, create your own suborders, interpretations based on the theme around them.