Pathfinder RPG Aura of Menace vs. Undead traits




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  1. #1

    Aura of Menace vs. Undead traits

    Our next session will start with a battle against zombies and so I'm trying to find different ways of fighting them after my PC's eidolon is destroyed and I'm thinking of some hound archons.

    So that leads me to wonder if the Aura of Menace counts as a mind affecting effect.

    "Aura of Menace (Su) A righteous aura surrounds archons that fight or get angry. Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of an archon must succeed on a Will save to resist its effects. The save DC varies with the type of archon, is Charisma-based, and includes a +2 racial bonus. Those who fail take a 2 penalty on attacks, AC, and saves for 24 hours or until they successfully hit the archon that generated the aura. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by the same archon's aura for 24 hours."

    Undead trait: "Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms)."

    Nowhere in the description of aura of menace does it say what type or subcategory of mind affect it is - just that a Will save resists the effect.

    So, anyone know if there is a FAQ that speaks to this or something? It is not a charm, compulsion, pattern, or phantasm, but maybe a morale effect? But then, maybe it's an abjuration effect.

    I'm tempted to argue that being a Supernatural ability the aura functions normally, but maybe not.

    So, thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I haven't checked an FAQ, but you could do worse than check d20pfsrd.com for it. They're usually pretty quick to incorporate FAQ answers into the appropriate pages on the site.

    But you're correct; clearly by RAW the Aura works on Undead. None of the critical words match up to let the Undead immunity work against it.

    And honestly, I as a GM would have no problem with that; an average Vampire (for example) should in fact be scared bloodless (so to speak) when facing down a powerful critter from the Heavens. Zombies wouldn't be scared, so much, but they'd be aware of the same sort of power that works when Turn Undead is used, and would therefore be inclined to shy away from it.

    That being said, that's my opinion alone; I'd say the question would ultimately be a GM call (but it should be a call that's made once and then applied consistently to PC/allies and NPC/monsters the same way, every time- no flip-flopping!). As written, the Aura of Menace ability pretty clearly works in a similar manner to Fear effects, so there's a valid argument for saying Paladins (for example) should be immune to it. Of course, that would mean Undead should be too.
    "I am a vampiric half-dragon half-troll lycanthropic fiendish snail! Tremble at my illogical glory!" -The Tongue is Mightier Than the Sword, OotS, Dragon #345

    "Come to the Far Realmy side...we have pseudonatural cookies..." - Tlin, Alienoid Warlock, during a game session in March 2007

  3. #3
    You have somewhat jumped to my next question. The aura says any hostile creature. Does that mean it also affects allies? They are hostile, just not to the archon. Based on the assumed setup (assumed because the DM posted a picture on his Facebook page for everyone to see) I could drop the archon into a flanking set of zombies and let them flail away. But I'd like to help our ranger get flanking bonuses, but that would mean the ranger would have to make a Will save being in the area of effect and being hostile (not to the archon of course, but you see what I'm worried about).

    I'll probably just assume it isn't as restrictive as I can interpret things. We'll be having some guest players running the zombie hordes so maybe they will have other thoughts as to this issue, which may be different from our DM. Wont know until we play though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wycen View Post
    You have somewhat jumped to my next question. The aura says any hostile creature. Does that mean it also affects allies? They are hostile, just not to the archon.
    I'm thinking hostile creatures means hostile to the creature bearing the aura. You see the term 'hostile' used like this when looking at the diplomacy chart in the d20srd.

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/diplomacy.htm

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