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What I did to prep this both times I GM'd it, was I essentially did a full audit of the characters. Not to make sure they were correct or to catch the players at anything, but rather to figure out what the characters were capable of so that the enemy could be prepared. There is reasons they might have some insight into what the characters are capable of.
I also had the initial invitation printed out for each player and put in an envelope which I actually sealed with a real wax seal.
The major difference, in regards to role-play, in PFS vs a Home Game, is essentially that you don't really get to develop your character into the canon of the campaign world. In a home game, even if you are using a published campaign world, your GM can let you grow into the world. Your characters can become nobles, become movers and shakers, and have an impact on the history of the world itself. And once you get tired of playing those characters, and you start new ones for a new adventure arc, you might even hear information about your other characters, from the perspective of people across the world. Indeed, things your other characters did might have lasting impact that is the focus of the new campaign.
In PFS, your roleplay is limited on an episodic basis. So its more personality roleplaying and interacting with the individual encounters and NPCs presented in the scenario itself. This can be very rewarding, but its definitely different from a home campaign focused on roleplay rather than tactical battle. But I've had very satisfying experiences with roleplaying within PFS. Its just changing gears as to what exactly you are roleplaying and what your expectations of doing so are.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
This is how I generally see it too.
Agreed, and generally that's how I try to approach tables.
Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Actually I believe the archetype says any slashing weapon. Which a whip is.
Andrew Roberts wrote:
The gray area of that is when a GM doesn't think something qualifies them for something that actually changes their build, such as the Bladebound Magus and Whip thing. Do they actually need to permanently change their weapon for the one GM who doesn't agree with how it is written? I don't agree with that.
In most cases, unless it's an egregious error, a GM shouldn't be forcing a permanent rebuild. There are lots of things that are obviously illegal though. I've had people try to argue something as legal with some really ludicrous justificstions. The most recent was Vestigial Arms getting extra attacks because they also have racial claw attacks and Feral Mutagen.
In most cases of legit table variation issues, a player and GM should discuss it civilly and try to find common ground for that session. Personally, I do my best not to disallow common table variation issues unless I feel really strongly about it, or I feel the designation of gray area is a dubious one at best.
What is currently off rhetoric table is bringing two builds for the same character based on how a GM rules the table variation issue.
Paul Jackson wrote:
I don't think that's what he said at all.
Assuming GM A helped get a character legal legitimately, then it would be best to sign off on the change. Getting a character legal costs nothing.
GM B would not be correct at all.
In the above scenario, neither would GM B.
Forcing permanent rebuilds is not a good option, unless it's an obvious error or illegality. (E.g. 30 point buy, drow, etc.)
The right way to handle the above, if the GM is positive the character should not get extra bombs, is just disallow that feat. And the player gets to play thier character. Then suggest player does some research on how to deal with that situation.
There is no need to create an adversarial situation at the table.
Robert Hetherington wrote:
And I'm not sure how this isn't exactly what the guy said he felt was illegal.
You cannot do this Nefreet. You can still play the character though, just without the gray option.
James McTeague wrote:
Absolutely. And everyone from rank newby players to experienced GMs, to five stars, to VC's even all the way to Designers should be allowed to change their mind. Holding folks to things they may have said on a certain topic from 2 years ago, or even 2 days ago (even in the same thread), is problematic. We have to allow for people to change their minds and have different opinions. Otherwise, why the heck are we even having a discussion? If I'm going to be held 100%, forever, to everything I've ever said, and a change in tone or opinion on a certain topic is not going to be allowed, then all these huge threads are pointless and feckless drivel that solves nothing.
I agree, that a firm ruling from on high is not a good idea. Anytime you get a binary ruling, it always screws over outlier circumstances.
I'd much prefer leave this in the GMs hands.
But one such decision I'm going to make, is that you can't have two versions of the same character. You either take the risk of not being able to use gray area issues or you don't. I'm fairly adamant on that point.
I am however not going to say never. Because there may come a day and a special set of circumstances, where I will feel its ok to allow such.
I once had a new player bring a 30+ point buy Drow to my table. They tried to argue, "But the book lists several options for rolling stats and doesn't say I can't be a drow." That's obviously not a gray area even though they tried to argue that.
Being reasonable is a two way street. I like to be rrasonable, compromise, and have fun. But there are sometimes circumstances that require me to just say, No, here is a pregen."
Expecting folks to play by the rules, making an informed choice as a GM on a gray area, and disallowing either illegal builds or gray area items is certainly not badwrongfun.
Table variation is part of the game.
And I do not think it unreasonable to expect a player to bring a single build per character and just accept that when they use known gray areas for thier character, that sometimes they may not be able to use those items at some tables.
I'm a reasonable person though. I have to feel really strongly about something that is gray before I disallow it entirely. If it really doesn't matter for game balance issues, I usually let it go. If the player and I disagree on whether it's a gray area or not, the same standard applies. But just because a player tries to claim it as a gray area, does not make it so. You've already shown where in your experience GMs can flat out get things wrong. So can olayers. We aren't discussing those times. Those are irrelevant to the OP query.
Uncanny dodge does not allow one to take AoO before you act no matter if it's Rogue or Barbarian.
And not sure how you can make that assertion about protection from evil. That's clearly patently false.
Just because a GM misinterpreting a rule, does not tgen make it table variation. It makes it a mistaken GM. And if they refuse to use the correct rules when pointed out (after the game) then the same procedures are in place to correct that as are in place for players who won't follow the rules.
This in no way impacts a GM from being able to deny true gray area or table variation issues. Let's not conflate GMS being wrong with table variation here.
Paul Jackson wrote:
I completely and utterly disagree that having two builds for the same character based on GM decision on gray areas is legit.
When you base a build on a legit gray area, you take that risk. I would not allow them to pull out another build.
A GM needs to have the authority and right to just say no depending on thier interpretation of the circumstances. Have I ever allowed questionable things I felt were illegal? Yes, when I knew that my interpretation was decidedly not a consensus. I'm more lenient at non local conventions as well.
That all being said, the authority at the table is the GM, and they should be able to reserve the right to make whatever decision they feel is the best for the circumstances. Of course considering a plethora of issues before just saying no.
But if I really feel strongly about the legality of something, and I don't feel it's a legit gray area, in going to ask the player to make thier character legal, permanently, mark it on thier chronicle that I did so, or ask them to play a pregen. Thus type of action should be extremely rare though.
That's not really a good reason Nefreet. This campaign largely works on an honor basis in most cases as is. Creating one more rule that expects folks to play by the rules is not a problem. Anyone who chooses to break the rule can be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Using gray areas for your character, you are doing so with the understanding that there will be table variation. So having two different builds should not be an option.
Many children are more equipped for deep philosophical thought than adults. In any case, PFS differentiates Worship and Venerate.
I'd say 95% of the improved familiars are sentient.
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
It certainly would work. And will be less stressful for the organizer. We only started at 2 tables total in the Twin cities, and many of our game days still only get two tables at a time.
The way a strict RSVP system works, is you set up how ever many tables you think you can pull off. Indicate what scenarios are being run at least 2 weeks in advance so GMs have time to prep. And then let folks RSVP. And if a day out, one or more tables don't have enough RSVPs, you cancel it.
It's about changing the culture of making a commitment to play. You don't allow for folks just showing up. Meetup has the ability to RSVP with guests, so you can RSVP for more than one person.
There really isn't a circumstance where a strict RSVP system won't work. Unless the venue actually requires you to accommodate walk ins.
Agreed. But it does feel like many posters feel like because they took the feat, they could do whatever, whenever they want. This attitude is not specific to this issue.
I don't see how imposing penalties for performing a deific obedience that is not inherently dangerous is a matter of table variation. If there would have been a possibility for a drawback, the obedience would have listed it. Imposing a penalty because you think there should be one is outside the purview of a PFS GM's duty.
True, but imposing consequences for a characters actions is well within the purview of a PFS GM. So some of these rituals may require some level of discretion else the public might object in some fashion.
To worship requires deep philosophical thought and informed decision making. Any creature, no matter the Int, that requires a handle animal check, does not have the capacity for this type of thought.
So animal companions could not choose to worship a deity, and thus cannot take the feats that require them to do so.
I recognize not everyone will agree with me, so expect table variation. But be aware, your animal companion will not get to choose another feat at tables this is disallowed, unless you accept this as an illegal option and permanently change your character.
Actually, a strict RSVP system works very well. People learn not to just show up. We make sure that all the stores know our policy, so when they suggest people check us out, they point them to our Meetup page. The only reason you have people not RSVPing is because you allow it. Sending them home if there aren't any seats available is a perfectly acceptable option. And it works.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Well you are still typing, therefore you have been breathing, even if difficult. The fact your body forced you breath despite being all crudded up, tells me that its definitely a "need".
GM Lamplighter wrote:
The, "Everyone must be able to play, all the time, no matter what," is a huge fallacy. This is why I really suggest using a strict RSVP system. That way you don't worry about Geek Sudoku. Because people who can't play what you are offering that day, won't sign up to play, and won't show up to play. And that's ok.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
I guess my point really is to not be afraid if someone can't play occassionally. I suggest running new stuff shortly after it comes out (without of course jeopardizing any conventions--we typically hold back 2 months of scenarios for our main convention.) Which should guarantee them at leat two plays per month.
Knowing the release rate and the scope of the finite resources, if a player plays themselves out of stuff to play, that thier own fault. But if you don't tell them of the limitations, they may not know. We told folks early on, and I still repost the info every year or two for reminder and to capture new folks. My experience is people play as much as they want without consideration for the finiteness of the resource.
1) chronicle fishing: do you honestly think that will get better with open replay? You consider replay good because it will allow rampant chronicle fishing? That's counter-ontuitive.
2) It sounds like you proclaim a game day, and pick GMS and tables based on who showed up and what you can play. Move to a strict RSVP system. I know all the arguments against, and the idea that players may stop coming back if they can't play. The fear might be founded for a few, but frankly we are better off in our community without players whose play rate is both untenable and irresponsible. The majority of people will shrug and say, "Ah, already played it, see ya next time." Some days you might just get one table. But you'll know it based on who RSVPs for which scenario(s) you've decided to organize that day.
I'm completely against making replay easier than it is now. I've stated why many times in previous threads.
While we don't necessarily want to come out and say, "play less." We need to effectively explain the finite resource. And if they choose to ignore that and play themselves out of things to play, that really is thier own fault.
Everyone has thier own style of play. And generally we should not impinge on that until they've stepped on your fun.
That being said, PFS is primarily a campaign based on cooperation. Indeed that's one of the tenets of v the society. If a character can't or won't cooperate, then that concept is not likely correct for this campaign. I, however, am not saying this is the case with this particular example. But there are certainly some concepts that are inappropriate for PFS.
One has to be careful about how you reskin things. You must make sure that you don't make one thing with its own stats into something else that has its own stats. If a GM allows small and insignificant things. And players see this, then things can and will snowball. I've seen it. Eventually you'll be in a world of reskinning where dogs are pigs and half ords are half trolls.
That all being said, I would not be adverse to allowing you to use the imagery of a parasol for your cane (Penguin) as long as it didn't girlie you any benefits as a parasol (Mary Poppins).