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Lord Soth

Beckett's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,824 posts (15,567 including aliases). 37 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 25 Pathfinder Society characters. 5 aliases.


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Shadow Lodge ***

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Season 8: Return to the mists of Ustalav and the Whispering Tyrant Rises. . .

Just saying.

Shadow Lodge ***

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I've DM'd plenty of games for Game Days, but being in the military and also the fact that there are no Cons in the immediate area, I simply can't go to Cons. Not complaining, just explaining that it requires a lot of work to be able to be able to even attempt to go to a Con, and it's not feasible in the practical sense.

I remember I think I walked away with 4 Boons from the first Game Day, but I also gave them away to other people that hadn't won any. It was partially because I wasn't that interested in them, a lot because the people I gave them to where very new to PFS and where sad they hadn't won anything, and also because like others had said, I DM far, far more than I play. I also tend to play a lot of Divine Characters, and most Boons just really don't apply. Even the DM Star Boons, I have a set printed out for each character I had at the time they came out, and I just have never seen any need to use them, they really don't do anything for me.

Because I play far less than I DM, there is only a handful of Race Boons I really want, but I generally do not find them that enticing. I also gave away all the Boons I received in the last two Game Days I played, again wanting to try to gift them to people that where pretty new to PFS and hadn't won anything, even the two I did really want, (one allowed me to roll a Day Job check even when I DM, and one dealt with sending stuff to Mendev which was just really in character).

Now that the base Aasimar is not legal, (I have one or two still left for myself), that's one I do want, as I love the concept of the Aasimar, even just the base type. I'd also like to be able to have a Dhampir and also a Grippli, and in both cases it's because I want to build a legal "Concept Character" for the fun of it, much more than actually to play it, per se.

But, I also agree that I do feel the "average gamestore PFS DM" is PFS's bread and butter, but also tends to be less rewarded for what they do. And someone mentioned offering a few suggestions.

Here are a few things I would love to see as someone that Runs games more than plays:

1.) The ability to do a Day Job check, but you are required to "Take 10" for the result.

2.) I think it would be pretty awesome sometimes to (as a 1 time, but permanent thing) be able to grant one of your other characters a Chronicle Sheet reward as a gift. This would only be Boons, Gear, etc. . . that was actually found by the GM character, and that they actually earned and/or purchased, and only for Chronicle Sheets assigned to the character through DMing.

3.) If we ever see any more Holiday Boon, it might be pretty cool to have a special note on them like, "additionally, if you apply this to a character that you are also applying DM Credit for at the same session: Because of your effort to make sure the ________ Holiday went off without trouble, you have earned a measure of respect from the church of ________, granting you a <maybe +2 Diplomacy to followers of _________> or something like that", kind of playing on the idea that the character was both DMing, but also in-game working at the Holiday event. Or possibly an extra use of the Holiday Boon on the character it's assigned to

4.) Something that could be really awesome would be to be able to hand out minor Pathfinder agent or even Faction ranks/title. Maybe one character per DM Star, and then something like a free "title" for every 3 DM Credit Chronicles applied. No real benefit, or if so, maybe it's like a +1 on any social roles to members of that Faction. But titles are cool. Also, sort of like a minor version of the EotT idea. Some of my games are with an established group in a home setting, and sometimes they like seeing some of my characters in an NPC capacity that they have adventured with way back when. Example: 2 Star = Venture-Assistant, 3 Star = Respected Mentor, 4 Star = Team Leader, 5 Star = ____ Ambassador, but only applies when the character's levels are equal to at least twice the number of stars, so no 2nd level "Team Leaders".

5.) Something I personally would love is maybe for every DM Star you have, you can RUN a single "retired" scenario for Credit. This is something that would really help in cases like mine where it can be difficult to find a game that everyone can play.

6.) I personally really like the idea of a number of DM stars unlocking either old Boons or new Races, but not tied to any sort of Con or Event. I think the most appealing thing is that it's the sort of thing that offers a small handful of options, which means that DM's can pick one that they might want, but also it sets a sort of goal to work towards. Just speaking for myself, the only real goal I have (as a DM) is working towards my 4th Star, (soonish), possibly VL, (difficult due to military & deployments, but I'm also the only thing close to it in the area and constantly rotating player base), and long term, but already in progress, the 5th Star. Not complaining or anything just saying, it would be kind of cool and reinvigorating in a burn-out sense to have an established goal post like that concept DM reward.

7.) A Boon that not only forbids VC NPCs from berating you in the into briefing, but forces them to nod/salute in respect, either for past accomplishments/contributions or for who you know. Ha ha

8.) A long while back there was talk about a Boon Lottery, but it was shot down. :( Might be cool to revisit this idea, but only counting DMing credits for the "lottery ticket", and especially only non-Con and non-Game Day DMing Events. Cool and fun.

9.) Could be amazing to (in the flavor sense only) have the option to continue on with official (if dual) membership in Retired Factions like the Shadow or Lantern Lodge, or even Andoran or Taldor vs Liberty's Edge or the Sovereign Court. Maybe they are given a special (trophy) brooch that's engraved with "I said, I DO THIS FOR TALDOR!!!" or a personalized letter/certificate that ends (unsigned) with "The Shadow Lodge has fallen, but the mission continues. Aid the fallen." Or, a small unique jade Ioun Stone (otherwise powerless) that bears the message (in Tien) "There are still Tea Cups to find. . ."

Shadow Lodge ***

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Too many people are adding to much of their own context and made-up circumstances to the argument and it's just ending up with everyone talking past each other about two basically different things.

One side is seeing the "dying guy" as an innocent bystander where another player just refused to heal them when they had nothing really else going on.

The other is seeing an jerk that's once again dying because they built and played a character with the expectations that others would be responsible for healing them like a little NPC tagalong while they played and had fun. This seems to be the actual case that was mentioned, and it also seemed to not be a 1 time thing, (the character was 4th level and talked about not ever buying their own healing).

In both cases, one, and only one of those players is being a jerk and not being a "Cooperative" Pathfinder.

Its just as bad, if not worse, to expect other players to always carry you, than it is to not heal someone when you can, but there are also others around who can as well. Not only are you basically cheating the system about trading and giving away gear, but you are also being an ass and trying to hide behind the "Cooperate" line while obviously not doing it yourself.

Personally, I'd just swap out characters to one that also has no healing, and is even more badass than him/her and ask why they aren't healing me while I do their characters job better. Only need one combat badass in the party, right? Heck, they can play the Pregen and really help the party out by just standing back and healing, and still get credit. Everyone's happy. Oh, they aren't happy with that. Well, then don't expect it from everyone else and buy some dang potions that you can spend your action drinking.

Now if it is the player that could have healed and chose not to, particularly if it was just to save a wand charge or whatever, yes, I think we can all agree that's pretty crappy on that non-healer's part. That doesn't actually sound like it's the case, (though we only have one side of it), but there is also the fact that different people like different things, and some people really hate being a "healer", because it means thy don't get to do cool stuff. They are basically the other player's personal pet NPC. Or maybe they are burnt out on that roll. Either way, it's still a crappy thing to do, but again, this does not sound like it was actually the case being talked about, and it seemed the "dying guy" didn't even die.

Shadow Lodge

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Not likely in a book called Weapon Master's Handbook. And I'm not sure about the Divine Fighting Techniques, to be honest.

Now <non-Monk> Weapon Style Feats would be amazing, especially if they also focused on a few of the more common Deity's Favored Weapons, too.

Longsword and Board, Greatsword-(Siegfried-style), Scimitar/Falchion, Mace/Flail, and a big F'ing Hammer would be awesome. Longspear, Polearms, and Battleaxes, too.

Shadow Lodge

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DM Beckett wrote:
OmegaZ wrote:
I appreciate the temporary cover with shirtless Valeros. We need more shirtless heroes. ;)
Damnit!, I honestly thought for a minute we where finally getting away from those stupid iconic characters, and this was a new barbarian or something. :(
xevious573 wrote:
and Mythic Seoni.

Dang, looking at a tine pic from my phone, I didn't even see her, and though it was some sort of mist rising in the background. ha ha

Nice art, but at the same time, dang, hopes crushed.

Shadow Lodge

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Marco Massoudi wrote:
I didn´t like the stamina and combat trick optional rules in Pathfinder Unchained (but a lot of other stuff in there).

Absolutely couldn't agree more. I hope that isn't set in stone.

Marco Massoudi wrote:
Also i think we have had enough new combat options for this year in the excellent "Ranged Tactics Toolbox" and "Melee Tactics Toolbox".

Honestly, I found both fairly underwhelming, but Melee Tactics Toolbox especially so.

Marco Massoudi wrote:
I´ll pass on this one.

Might be right there with you, really based mostly on the Pathfinder Unchained portion above. Was pretty excited when I first noticed this after the Melee Tactics book, though, so I'm not sure. I guess wait and see.

Shadow Lodge

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Shisumo wrote:
The Shoanti have a pretty heavy Native tribes vibe going on.

They do at that. Honestly, they slipped my mind, so thanks for the reminder. :)

Shadow Lodge ***

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
graywulfe wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
...(the point was to ruin Torch as a character and give the finger to SL players out of nowhere),...

So, just to be clear you have an in with Mike and John and so know the motivations that went into the decision making around the ending of the Shadow Lodge. Or perhaps you are ascribing motives to the author of the scenario, you know them that well?

While you're right that he may be overstating his case, I can definitely see how he reached that conclusion. Its known that mike didn't like the union master torch direction the character took and thought he should be torch the outside schemer. The shadow lodge ending was so bad that it certainly felt like a big middle finger.

Part of it's is just the way I talk. I'm not terribly serious about much, so if you read it as less serious and more jest, it might be a little different?

As for answering the question, it's been talked about multiple times. Back before the Shadow and Lantern Lodges went away, there was a Know Direction podcast that talked hinted about it, were we got little tips like "The Lantern Lodge will get a nice send off, oh and the Shadow Lodge is ending too." and something along the lines of "when they writer showed me the scenario that would conclude the Shadow Lodge, I read it and was like "huh, is that really what you want to do? Well, ok".

As far as I can tell, the biggest issue seems to come from DM's running GMT very differently, partially based on their own views of the NPC and also probably based on in which order they may have played or run scenarios that involve him. And also probably if they have only run/played some that involved him, which probably shaped their view of his motivations. Some people see him as a selfish asshat, which is a front he showed early on and a bit here and there later, while others see him as the ultimate rebel that has the power to make the Decemvirate and Venture-Captains cry, but an honest interest in the working-man's safety and advancement, with some dark history as an ex-pathfinder. In both cases, he absolutely has his own interests in mind as well.

It seems, kind of like Elfabet mentioned, that a certain group seemed to have the PFS leaderships ear on this one, and for all those that liked the idea of the Shadow Lodge as "watching the watchers", or didn't really like the Pathfinder Society but had to play because there was no other option, had experience with the non-CE GMT that was more people ascribing motivations and characteristics to than how he had been presented where left with this Faction conclusion that neither made any sense at all, but also basically went out of it's way to put the characters in a position where they got to sit and watch rather than interact with.

This was so bad it was to the point where non-Shadow Lodge fans and players where saying things like "wtf!!! was that?".

graywulfe wrote:
He was introduced as a Criminal and Information Broker. What I have read of descriptions of the retirement scenario does not feel like an insult. It, to me, felt like the logical results of trusting Torch. I do think that as the end of the Shadow Lodge it didn't really work. It felt like someone would have stepped up to take Torch's place.

GMT absolutely was a criminal and an information broker. Much more the later than the former. Honestly, his criminality is pretty debatable, though he clearly and openly worked outside the laws. But, well, Pathfinders!

He had a lot of enemies, most notably the leaders of the PFS who had betrayed him, gotten his friends murdered, and left him for dead with this mysterious wasting and painful curse. He was always looking for new talent, and while he hated the PFS leadership with a personal passion, also had a bit of a soft spot for lower level Pathfinder agents who he didn't want to see get screwed over like he himself had. (This was DM only information most of the time).

With that, he always had a "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" attitude, so like I said, he did have his own agenda, which was often "lets be friends and form a very mutually beneficial relationship".

Then came the Shadow Lodge as a Faction, where GMT had gotten enough dirt on the PFS leadership (in game) to lay down some terms. He formed a Faction devoted to checking the Decemvirates power and making sure they didn't bone the lower ranks too much, and also to make sure that everyone came back alive, even if that meant going in and rescuing their bodies so they could be divinely aided or preventing them from becoming undead monsters.

All this time, yes, obviously GMT was also serving some self-interest based agendas, increasing his knowledge, allies, and avenues of interest, turning the Society into not such asshats as they where known world-wide as, and probably getting even more dirt on the leadership.

Then he started to loose control, his already fragile alliance with the dark side was nearly destroyed as the (false) Shadow Lodge fractured into other cells that actively wanted to destroy the PFS, usually for some pretty good reasons.

There was a lot of politics and battles with the true and false Shadow Lodge, (or maybe the loyal and the enemy Shadow Lodge may serve better here).

The enemy Shadow Lodge cells where eventually almost destroyed, (there still some out there, but their various leaders where killed), and the existence of the real Shadow Lodge became more public knowledge within the Society.

Then Rivalry's End, and the Shadow Lodge suddenly goes from "Um, no. Our first priority is doing this safely, and right, and making sure we all make it back. I don't care what your Rank is. Lets work smarter, not harder" to, "oh, thank you masters. You are so right and we where so wrong, and we are eternally grateful that YOU ARE LETTING US BACK IN YOUR LITTLE GROUP. Please, do I have your leave to ignore everything I actually believe in and fall in line as soon as I can. Pretty please?".

Again, read this as less than 100% serous. :)

Shadow Lodge ***

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Gastogh wrote:
As said before, though, the Decemvirate can go jump in a lake.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone actually like or care for the Decemvirate as a group or concept?

I personally could do without them. The whole hidden, unknowable secret inner circle thing is done and overdone again, and kind of smacks of someone's personal DM NPC.

Shadow Lodge ***

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kinevon wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
Someone like Torch isn't the only way to do that, but he does a job the Ten need to get done one way or another.
To be precisely accurate, Torch fooled everyone into thinking THAT was the job he was doing, when he was simply using that as a cover to set up the Society for his great revenge run on the Decemvirate and the Society at large.

Yet another reason to think that Torch is not very good as an information broker, really.

** spoiler omitted **

I think people are looking at this a bit oddly. Firstly, my understanding is that Torch wants (his very well deserved) revenge on all of the Decimverate. They are directly responsible for getting his close friends and lover killed, and himself cursed permanently.

I have a strong feeling that he is actually the Emerald Sage, and that is the reason his curse can not be removed through player powers.

But as to why the Decimverate would allow Torch to do his thing, the answer is pretty simple. Torch didn't give them the choice. And this was before he found out there secrets and identities. He ad enough dirt and enough pull that he gave the Ten terms they really had no option but to accept, but eventually (and in an extremely contrived way) found a way around it, leading Torch to finally give the entire society the finger and backed up his threat by discovering their true identities and other very dangerous secrets.

The underlying problem here is that it still doesn't really explain in any plausible way why the rest of the Shadow Lodge would just dissolve and go away, (extremely contrived) rather than look at new leadership and continue on their mission. Particularly amongst many of the higher level player base.

All in all, the entire deal with the heel-toe swap of Torch and the Shadow Lodge going away was just very poorly handled. It's no wonder we are still talking about it this long afterwards.

Something else that seemed to morph over time is the entire idea of the PFS. Originally, it was a rather small group of likeminded players meant to be a sort of easy-in to gaming. It was pretty notably not very popular, not very large, and didn't hold a great deal of power or influence.

Somehow, it's more recently become a sort of private army that far surpasses all other nations, (possibly combined) and has the power and pull to give most other countries the finger whenever they like. Or having 20,000 magic items and artifacts.

It doesn't make much sense. What nation would allow this sort of thing to happen? For an unknown, unloyal group to amass that much power, and it be common knowledge. It also just doesn't make sense for such a large group to exist for the purposes that they do. The faith of Iomedae having an issue with a small group for stealing a holy artifact is one thing. But if they are a major player, it's going to bump them up on the crusade list, and this would have been years before the breaking of the Wardstones of Season 5. Similarly, they raid tombs consistently, they hoard knowledge, and they as a group have no respect for life and death or the past, so there is no way that Pharasma would not be gunning for them if they were anything more than a small group. And the sheer amount of times they as an organization have broken the laws and subverted/manipulated authority or gone out of their way to weaken or imperil nations for their own gain would certainly also put them on Abadar's radar as well.

The PFS works as a small, uninfluential, minor organization, but it doesn't as a massive, powerful, world-spanning one.

Shadow Lodge ***

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I started reading this, and got excited. I was literally thinking, man, I know they talked about this a few years back and it sort of just never happened, (some vocal minority ruined it as I recall). Finally!!!

And then I look at the date. . .

Shadow Lodge

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graywulfe wrote:
Never said there was not a problem.

Bolt Ace is a bad example, as the listed issues can really be ignored easily, and if it's an issue with "guns" being banned, well, the Bolt Ace probably wouldn't help anyway.

But, let's looks at the Warpriest. A class it's pretty obvious that no one gave a crap about in the first place.

1.) For whatever reason, Paizo decided to drop the pseudo-Full BaB. A move not many are pleased with in itself, but then they attach the Sacred Fist, who essentially gets full BaB anyway with it's Flurry ability, and is basically in all ways just hands down better than the base class. Yah, either the ENTIRE Warpriest needs to be rewritten, (and very literally to make it usable), or the Sacred Fit needs to be nerfed to the point that will make it an Archetype no one will every want to play. The base class is that poor and the archetype it that great.

2.) Or the fact that the class is so stupidly dependent on using the same sort of Action for basically everything, and is just terrible with Action Economy.

3.) Or that it's whole Bonus Feat thing is a freaking mess on wheel. Can they, or can they not take Power Attack with their 1st Bonus Feat? If so, do they suffer they penalty to use it as if they where a full BaB class, despite very much not being one?

4.) Is Sacred Weapon based only one your level? So what happens when a Warpriest goes Large? DO they deal the same or less damage?

5.) So, Warpriests are a Prep Caster, but can, like a Cleric, drop a spell to Spont. cast a Cure/Inflict spell instead. Fervor says that they can use a point of Fervor to "cast any one spell he has prepared." When used in this way, it doesn't provoke, use somatic components, or need a free hand. So can a (Positive Energy) Warpriest use Fervor to swift action spontaneously cast their needed Cure _____ Wounds spell? If so, doesn't that kind of screw the Negative Energy Warpriest a bit? And why even bother with that crappy "other" healing/harming ability? It's, in all cases, worse than just using a Cure/Inflict spell.

6.) The Warpriest does seem to have been forgotten when it comes to, you know, Magic Items, Feats, (except see below), and other cool options that will make it fit in to the level of all those classes that came before it.

7.) And finally, lets looks at basically the one bones that hey where thrown in the book; the Weapon of the Chosen tree. Where to even start. Really.

8.) One of the big thing about the ACG was that each of the parent classes was supposed to get an Archetype that allows them to barrow some of the tools from their Hybrid class. But we get literally the exact opposite of that for the single Cleric Archetype in the book. WTF?!?!? And it has an entire class feature missing? Ok, ok. Maybe they at least gave it to the other half of the Warpriest and the Fighter gets something. . . Oh. . .

Add in, (and I'm perfectly cool and calm), that it has really been nearly 8 months since this book was released, with a promise from the head publisher that it would be fixed both soon rather than later and that it would be before a 2nd printing), it is starting to get a bit irritating, to say the least. Other products have also been, less than appealing, in my opinion as well, from the Ranged and Melee Tactics Toolbox, to the Strategy Guide, (which was expected to a point), to the Giant Slayers Handbook.

Personally, I have no interest in the Occult Adventures. Just not really something I care about. But I do find it that much worse that Paizo has decided to keep on working on it rather than focus on fixing the ACG. Maybe it's because I really don't myself, or honestly even know of anyone that's really that interested in the Occult Adventures making me a bit bias here, but it's really starting to feel like it's going to be after the next Gencon that we finally get to use the book we bought going on or more than a year ago.

It's exponentially worse for those that primarily play PFS/organized play, because the basic expectation is that everyone play by the same rules and everything is, theoretically, pretty well balanced. The ACG is truly a blood mess. Arguments about how easy it is to house-rule this or that just don't apply, and the miniscule amount of errata we have gotten just don't even make a dint, if you are lucky enough to even be able to find them.

Now, with all that in mind, if that hasn't shaken your confidence in Paizo's products, cool. I'm, and I mean this honestly, I'm happy for you. Obviously, though, it has others, and there is absolutely no benefit to anyone at all in trying to tell them that their opinion is wrong.

Shadow Lodge

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I don't think it's possible to "move away from it". Any system that has the ability to choose between options at a given point is going to have some of those options be flat out worse than other.

On the other hand, Paizo seems to instead have heavily encouraged it, offering some options "that are intended for NPC's", for example.

I also don't think its as much an issue with people "seeing" some things as bad, as much as that the it doesn't work the way whoever wrote it thought it did, or perhaps wasn't familiar with other options that do the same thing already existing. But that's an issue that goes back to the beginning with a billion traits that all give a +1 to something, and then a few of them also giving more.

Shadow Lodge

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90% of the time RAI is just short hand for "The way I understand it and/or want it to work is like _________, regardless of what it actually says, as obviously I know what the intentions were when it was written".

The main issue with RAI is that everyone has a different idea on what is balanced vs OMG vs "cheesy" vs broken vs "that's stupid", and so both Interpretation and Intention are generally irrelevant.

Shadow Lodge

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Ruggs wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Anybody remember the time people found out that Chik-Fil-A donated money to groups that advocated for the execution of homosexuals and then social media caused a huge boycott that drove them out of business?

A true story that I would appreciate further investigation on.

Not long past, near where my father had worked, a Chik-fil-A was being built. Curious, he walked over there one evening to say hello to the workers and ask how things were going.

To make a long story short and abbreviate some steps inbetween, he ended up introduced to a number of the workers. Most of them did not speak English. One out of ten did, because that is what you needed to coordinate efforts--someone to translate the orders for everyone else, per group.

They told him this was the usual arrangement, and showed him the trailer where they were kept. Inside the trailer was a cage wall.

The idea was this: they were forced to live/work around the clock on the job site, then were packed away and shuttled to the next job site to work the same hours, under the same conditions. This is how Chic-fil-A (and perhaps other companies) build so fast.

The men couldn't speak English, were watched constantly, and were continually moved around, so they had no protections against the treatment and long hours.

He told me the men were desperate to share their story, in hopes someone would listen.

This wasn't some random person. This was my father, and it is a tale told within the last two years. I'd appreciate anyone else who has spoken with these workers, and invite y'all to share the tale.

Sometimes they who yell the loudest about values...

Have skeletons of their own.

While this is monstrous, it probably had nothing to do with Chic-fil-A itself. Most likely, they simply hired out to a local crew, and it was that company/crew that was pocketing all that extra money. A lot of times l, especially if this was the first one of that chain in the area, there where no corporate level oversight in the area, as often what happens is an individual (or group) will buy the rights to use a chains name and to get access to their inventory/ordering, but they have to petition the chain, pay a great deal of money, and abide by both local laws as well as that chains specific rules.

I had worked for a few chains like that as a kid, when I ran into an issue with transferring to another location. Turns out all Burger Kings are not the same company, and when one private owner wanted to sell his store, not only did every single employee need to reapply and start over from day 1, but the new owners had to foot the bill for all the new constructed needed to update the store.

They sent a rep twice to look at things, but didn't really have anything to do with any of the outsourcing.

More likely than not, same thing in this case, and a lot of construction crews do this sort of thing, (not that I condone it), as an only option to exist and stay competitive.

Shadow Lodge

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It has something for Clerics. I was actually more disappointed in the lack of things like weapon fighting styles, feats for sword and board warriors, options for heavy armored warriors, and just more broadly applying options all around.

Shadow Lodge ***

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In one scenario, the Pathfinder Society goes out of their way to sell a traumatized boy into slavery after helping them recover an agent that's been kidnapped, (and who knows something they don't want the authorities to find out about).

In another the Pathfinder Society sends agents to murder people and set up the Aspis to take the blame. What's worse, the Aspis in this case where legitimately just trying to get what they where owed and rightfully deserved.

Lets not forget that the entire reason for the Shadow Lodge Faction was because enough people had gotten so angry with the Pathfinder Society's views on expendable agents, left them, and then someone finally got dirt on the "leadership" and force them to pretend to play nice and act like they cared.

Or that the entire point of the Silver Crusade was because the PFS had been banned in so many nations because of their well deserved reputation/(notoriety) that "leadership" needed to start changing face.

Or those time when they are given instructions "Leave no witnesses", or "I'll leave the details to you on how you do that", or other such things.

Or that time they steal a funerary mask that spontaneously raises angry undead and decide to take it back for further study.

Or the time they use a friend asking for help to find a vanished young girl as an excuse to gain access to treasure, with helping their friend as an after thought, "Oh, and I you can also manage to save her, cool, but, your mission is to get in and steal _______. Understood?"

Or that time they try to further instigate a war to make their little job easier.

Again, it's all about what we are told and what we are shown. We are told that the PFS is a small, multinational, apolitical group of likeminded explorers and historians that seek to rescue lost lore from destruction and the ravages of time. We are instead shown that the PFS is a massive personal mercenary army that forces their will on all nations and peoples without repercussion and takes what they want to be locked away for their own uses and no one else's benefit, that has no problem strong arming, murdering, lying, cheating, or sabotaging to achieve their ends, even to the sale of possibly sending entire nations into chaos and poverty, that really only care about hoarding secrets from everyone else.

Shadow Lodge ***

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We are told the Pathfinder Society are the good guys, or well, they are Neutral. We are also told the Aspis are evil bad guys. But not really shown much to back that up.

As an organization, the Pathfinder Society really just comes down to "Do whatever it takes to get it done." Like any organization, including a tidbit like "if you can also manage to help _______, (we could use them later)", isn't really something that an Evil organization wouldn't also do if they are smart.

Since the beginning, they have, as a group, sought to steal anything they think is worth having, its just not really based on GP value, and make it a mission statement to break in and go to places they have no right to or have been officially exiled from, under the idea that they know best.

So far, they seem to be the definition of evil as an organization, ends justify the means, whatever it takes, regardless of who it hurts or offends, and generally tend to use a targets weakness as a method to gain what they want, 90% or more of the time that means theft or thuggery, because no one else is worthy enough, and that includes stealing from good gods.

What we are told and what we are shown are two very, very different things.

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Buri Reborn wrote:
How has the Core Campaign worked out so far?

My experience so far has been, that on the DM side of things, it seems easier. Even desirable.

Being that my main issue with PFS is the utter lack of material we can run without excluding someone(s) from playing, Core is now our real only alternative if a few individuals play, but the other side of that is it's also driving other people away from PFS completely. At least 3 players have left, not willing to start a new character and give it a try.

But, as a player, I can't even bring myself to make a character. All DM credit is just going to be wasted. It seems both, well to avid being mean, not interesting, and more than a little irritating, not being able to use all the material I have purchased just for this. It's a false hope/fix. Nothing more.

The downsides far outweigh the benefits in cases like mine, and since, as one more patch covering the actual issue, it's more likely than not just going to postpone an actual fix even longer.

It also really, really does not help that it has removed so many of the cool and interesting options, like unique Cleric spells by deity or most of the flavor Feats, Traits, or whatever, as well as the system patches for things like the Monk and Rogue, it's a huge backwards step for the game overall.

But, it's not bad, it's just mostly the fun is on the DM's side of the screen, or brand new players.

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Honestly, I just hope we get a Pathfinder 2nd Ed soon. Unchained is just one more band aid on the mountain of band aids.

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I think the most important question is "How does your Half-Gnoll Cleric act around a person that uses <the school of> necromancy?"

There should be a line drawn. Creating and using Undead is on one side, and your character's faith has established that that side of the line is "irredeemable". But, with that a one side of the line, you as the player and the character have some leeway to decide where exactly that line fits in relation to other things. Using dark powers, possibly for good reasons, (or not) can fit a little more lateral or medial on that scale, and possibly on either side of that line.

The idea of the Good Necromancer is one of those concepts that Paizo just hasn't managed to do, especially on the divine side, which is sad, as it's a strong concept, but it is what it is.

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Liz Courts wrote:
Let's steer this thread back towards the original topic, thanks!

So, the original topic was me asking "Hey guys/gals. I've been away for a month, and was wondering if I'd missed anything on the ACG front?"

I've mentioned a few times that that has been answered, and to be honest, basically NOTHING after post #3 or so, was on topic, and a Mod should feel free to lock this topic. It' been answered. I had no intention of making another version of the few that already exist on complaining about the errata/ACG/whatever.

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Once again, feel free to lock it, as my intent was not to do this again. There are plenty of threads for complaining about the APG or discussing the Errata policy.

I am curious about one thing, though. I too was under the impression that there would be Errata out prior to the 2nd printing. When did that change, and if it's not too much, why? Did it change?

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Nicos wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

In Frodo's Footsteps...

The DM has the players evolve in his favourite literary universe in the wake of the the book's main protagonists. Obviously, the players can never meet the book's protagonists, because "it didn't happened in the book". Their actions can never outshine those of the book's protagonists, otherwise the book would have been about the players and not the protagonists. PCs' actions can't change anything that will happen to the book's protagonists either, affect the outcome of the story or meet anyone that the protagonists will eventually meet cause that could alter the story as written in the book. In all other respect the game is just like the book, swears the DM, except that the players know that the real story happens offstage and that their story is doomed to be secondary.
Dragonlancewhat?

That's actually not Dragonlance at all. Between the ability to time travel and the various Alternate Time Lines and What If _______ Happened A Different Way, DragonLance is probably the least like this of all published settings.

Its known for having an Epic story, and the novels sold very well, but there is actually a lot of room for PCs to do things in spite of those stories. And the main characters where just pregens in the original modules.

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No offense, but how is that up to you, (or others) to decide? I'm actually finding the discussion interesting, being neutral on the subject for the most part.

Jiggy is pretty well known for making solid arguments and even getting official things changed based on logic. theJeff, BNW, and LazarX have been at this enough to have earned time to speak their thoughts with some authority on the subject. The others as well can offer some different perspective. Its been pretty civil sense it was locked (even then, wasn't terrible), and there is no indication of that changing for the worse. Its not like there is a time limit on the topic. It comes of as very rude to try to stop a discussion, especially one that very well might set a precedence for later.

If in fact the choice is made and there is no chance it will be rethought or altered based on rational arguments, general consensus of its merits/flaws, or well, anything really, than there is no need to worry.

If there is, than the right thing to do is allow people to talk about it until they are done. Crap, let them duke it out, or someone is just going to make another thread, its going to have more angst and irritation from the start, and everyone involved is just going to be even less satisfied with how it failed to conclude.

Paizo, (and PFS), are kind of terrible about spreading the word when things change or get errata, so threads like this also help spread the word.

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I really don't see why someone always feels the need to come in to threads they don't like and tell others to stop talking about it? Wouldn't it just he better to ignore the thread?

If it gets bad, it will he locked, or people will stop posting. Otherwise, just let others debate it, and maybe someone will discover something new.

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That is my understanding as well. PF already nerved the Protection From Alignments spells this is based off of, where it no longer gives protection against some effects, and also no longer gives total protection, (now its a new Save), so to me it reads you just can't keep moving in and out to get a new Save. Even that, though, seems stupid, as it is a radius buff.

Inside your shielded, outside you are not. If stepping outside of the area stops it from having any effect, its a extremely useless spell and has no business being any higher than 2nd level.

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Minor clarification. It will Provoke each square that they move through, and the one that gets the AoO can opt not to take it at each threatened square. They only get one AoO, regardless of how many the target moves through that they threaten, even with Combat Reflexes, however.

This could be important, because the first square might not be optimal, for example if they have an ally to flank with at the second, they can opt to take it later on if they want. Or if the creature has different attacks, and they want to use one that has less reach, for example, they can wait to see if the target moves within reach, not taking the AoO at the first opportunity.

Secondly, its not that they only Provoke once, its that others can only take one AoO against them, each, for moving per round, regardless of how many AoOs they can take.

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Im a little confused, too.

Lets say a Druid finds a scroll in a game, but it is NOT on the Chronicle sheet. Can they buy it, at value, and then add it to their effective list?

If instead they find a scroll that IS on the Chronicle sheet. Can they later, (games later), purchase it and add it to their list?

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"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
It's unlikely, but what would be amazing is if Paizo did a sort of about face on how they normally do books like this, and basically ignore the classes that are already "wild" and instead focus on making other classes more playable in a "wild" setting.
xeose4 wrote:
my brain would explode if they did this.

In a good or bad way?

xeose4 wrote:
I really want to preorder this because I pretty much only play "wild" characters, but I'm also kind of leery. is there more wilderness than the jungle theme in this?

So, with that in mind, would you rather have a book that allows you to use more classes effectively as "wild characters" or more tools for a few existing "wild characters"?

I'd rather see, and this is just me, but I'd rather see, for example, ways to play a Cleric, Paladin, or Fighter in the wild than more Barabarian, Druid, or Ranger mechanics to help them do what they can already do.

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Once I get everything fixed up for this PbP Game Day, Ill go ahead and toss out a few Core PFS PbPs and see if anyone bites.

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Shifty wrote:

Nyaw, can't wait for Gameday 4.

This year can we get a Talk Like a Pirate Day up?
Last year it was going to happen - then sort of disappeared.

On a side note, running Tian Xa themed adventures for the Chinese New Year, almost finished building the 3d terrain of Nesting Swallow Village - strangely, its not as big as I thought it would be when you craft up the village, looks bigger on a 2d map.

I ran those three last Game Day. Interesting times.

Shifty wrote:
It would be good if we could have a few more seasonal event days etc.

You know, it could be pretty amazing to have a Holiday Boon just for Online Gaming Events. We really should petition Jessie on this. . .

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Jesse Davis wrote:

Event: PbP Game Day 3

Join us November 1st, 2014 through February 1st, 2015 for Play-by-Post Game Day 3

The Third Official Pathfinder Society PbP Game Day
*

Gameday will begin on: November 1st, 2014
Games should end by : February 1st, 2015
Games should report by: February 3rd, 2015

In face-to-face games, especially at Cons where there is a hard limit on time, you can call a game early based on time. You then basically award Chronicle Sheets based on what the party has accomplished to the point.

I've used this in the past game days, ending them early based on the deadline, then doing a sort of extended wrap up unofficially for the players, just keeping in mind that nothing can alter the Chronicle Sheet that's already been reported. It's more of a sense of closure.

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Snorb wrote:
There is also the magic item treadmill: You're going to be running into problems because you need The Stupid Six (Magic Weapon, Magic Armor, Amulet of Natural Armor, Ring of Protection, Belt of Physical Stat, Headband of Mental Stat), and you'll need to blow most of your rather arbitrarily-decided-roughly-fifteen-years-ago (!) wealth by character level on improving The Sextet of Stultissitude just to keep up with the monsters' steady improvement. (So much for setting some money aside to buy your castle stronghold, hundred score magi to guard the dump, and the hottest cleric of some quasi-evil deity to serve as your consort, I guess, but that +4 corrosive burst dragonbane/aberrationbane katana's not going to pay for itself.)

Honestly, a few simple tweeks could fix this. If you remove the rule that a cast needs to have their casting stat at a certain level to cast spells of a given level, and make DC's based on caster's HD rather than their Stat, that can remove a great deal of the "I need a Headband of ______".

Ring of Protection and Amulet of Natural Armor are also not at all required. They are just common due to their relatively cheap prices vs other more circumstantial rings and amulets. Especially the Ring of Protection, though, it' just a far too common bonus, so to me, it's not really worth it most of the time. I'd generally rather have other things like Ring of the Sublime, Feather Fall, or even Sustenance.

Very few things can compare to the amazingness of a Magic Carpet, so I'd rather just buy some backup weapons than try to maximize one main one, and even Fighters nw get bonuses for Weapon Groups to help out.

@ the OP, something that Paizo has changed and an official rule that may help are the Spell Masterwork Transformation and the ability for anyone (not just casters) to create Magical Items. So, to a certain extent, you can already do a limited form of Weapons of Legacy, especially if you view things like +1 and +2 items as less magical and more rare/uncommon.

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Understood. So far 9 players have outright declined to play CORE, mostly on the grounds that it disallowed many of the fun options they want while leaving others that are known issues, (pets for example) in.

Lack of Archetype options, favorite spells, or Feats that make some classes viable (Monk and Fighter where called out), not being able to use special earned races, or many of the books they have purchased, mostly JUST for PFS play just killed it.

My actual suggestion was to do Core for only level 1-3 or 4, finally allowing for everyone to be able to play together in level range (removing Tier 1-7 was a terrible idea) and finding those rare gems that someone had not played before. But even then, it would set player's builds/concepts too far behind, and well like I said, almost unanimous "I'm out".

It was a good idea, but just didn't target the right issue with PF bloat, in my opinion. I don't think it is going to increase play, but introduce further issues, and really, (and I hope I'm wrong), may very well drive people away. Especially in the areas where there are 2 or 3 tables, but are having the main issue I am, running low on valid Scenarios and each new player introduces a new gap that divides who can play together.

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I'm not sure what part you are not understanding?

When you drop to below your Con score in negative HP, you die. So, if you have a Con score of 14, everything between -1hp and -13 means you are unconscious and bleeding out. At -14 you are dead. While you are dying, but not actually dead, you roll a check each round or loose 1 more HP.

Normally, any and all healing done to a dead character does nothing. Healing spells (like Cure Wounds) will not bring them back to life.

Raise Dead and the higher level Rez spells will, but they are costly and take a long time to cast.

Breath of Life walks the middle ground, allowing you to bring a Dead Character back to life after they have died, as long as it's within 1 round. It's not costly, and it only works if the Healing portion of the spell would actually heal them enough for them to be alive.

Does that help?

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Yes. It would, (depending on the creature), be a DC 15 or DC 20.
10 + 5 or 15 + 5 for being slippery, but having handholds, and possibly even a place to stand.

It would draw at least 2 AoO's, one for moving into the threatened square and another for moving through multiple squares, as it's likely going to take multiple actions and you are moving at 1/4th speed, (or 1/2 if you want to take a -5 to Climb).

You loose your Dex, and are restricted to a single, one handed or smaller weapon. Every hit you take is a penalty on your Climb Check.

You can attempt an Acrobatics check as well, but it's going to be tough, as is Grappling. You can also use a rope/lasso to make it easier.

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It's unlikely, but what would be amazing is if Paizo did a sort of about face on how they normally do books like this, and basically ignore the classes that are already "wild" and instead focus on making other classes more playable in a "wild" setting.

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Illusions really kind of come down to just how your DM rules on how the work. I've seen some rule in ways that essentially made Illusions do absolutely nothing, and I've seen some that (in my opinion how they should work) basically treated as real until proven otherwise.

This in a sense, kind of made them like Enchantments, so if you made a "wall of stone" no one gets a save at all until they physically interact with it, such as trying to climb over it, bash it down, etc. . . Shooting it didn't help. Then, if you made the save, you recognized it was an Illusion. If not, your mind believed it, so subconsciously prevented you from acting otherwise. If you tried to push your hand through it, you would "feel" a solid wall, and your brain would essentially trick you into stopping from pushing more.

How believable the illusion was also played a part, but mostly if the caster was an idiot.

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Zone of Truth!!! Worst spell ever.

In the best case scenario, (target fails save) it leaves you exactly where you would have been otherwise; unsure if the target is actually telling you the real truth or finding a way to lie without literally lying or telling you what they think and having it be false. Worst case, they know you are using magic that affects their mind, but are not bound in anyway to tell the truth, again, leaving you exactly where you would be had you not cast a 2nd level spell at all, minus the sense of false security this spell offers.

It either needs to be change to not offer a Save, or be a targeted buff that gives the Target a +20 (or higher) to Sense Motive or something.

Holy Smite (and similar) should probably be a lot more beefed up against Aligned Outsiders. No SR allowed, and Save only removes the status effect, not reduces damage. As it, it's pretty worthless against it's primary intended targets, and just doesn't scale well.

Death Ward was inadvertently nerfed to heck/uselessness as PF changed the way some many of the nastier Undead and Necromancy abilities work. For how little it actually does now, needs to be at least 1 target per level and probably a 10 Min/level spell.

Instant Armor is so close to being cool on many levels, but too many stipulations make it garbage. 1 Min/Level. It's a Force Armor, but it replaces your existing armor, and if you are a Cleric that's likely to cast this, that's probably an overall downgrade most of the time. Needs to either be 10 Mins/1 Hr per level or just a straight up Force Armor Bonus to AC that increases by level (+5 from 1st-5th, +6 from 6th-8th, etc. . .)

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Apocryphile wrote:

Any spells in this should really be focussed on the Bloodrager, Magus and Alchemist.

Although I'll definitely be getting this one..

Bloodrager, Cleric, Warpriest.

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Favorite(s): Any of the "Blakros Museum" Scenario, 9minus Silver Mount Collection which doesn't count), Blackwaters, Night Marches of Kalkamedes, and Frozen Fingers of Midnight.

Least Favorites: Rivalry's End, Halls of Dwarven Lore, Silver Mount Collection, City of Strangers 1 & 2, Severing Ties, and Scars of the Third Crusade.

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-->Scions LOW TIER MAP<-- and -->Scions HIGH TIER MAP<--

As you enter the larger room, a large banner hangs over head, suspended by magic rather than strung to the wall. It reads "Secret Sorceries of a Savage Land", obviously with the intent that these Numerian artifacts and trinkets on display would bring the masses. In cases on both sides of the far left and right walls are an assortment of odd metal items, (not unlike the scraps of heap you left behind in the last room, actually, though without that strange silvery substance). Many have strange names listed above them, and honestly after reading through a few you get the distinct impression that someone was either drunk or trying to play you, "the customer" as fools. Names like "Technologically Enhanced Voltage Mallet" with the added notation "so-much-better-than-Mjolnir", "Life Model Decoy Display Unit", the "NIN-Tin-Doh Glove of Power", or even "Saber Crystal of Light". Another has a strange wagon wheel that looks somewhat similar to a Gnomish sprocket, and it's obvious at this point that someone wasn't even trying, as it's titled as the front legs of a cyclical motor stallion. I actually hate the Tech Guide, for what it did with the rules, but I'm trying not to let that spoil this for you guys. :) That being said, I just made all of the above up. It's not in the scenario, and NO YOU CAN"T GET A DAMNED LIGHTSABER! ha ha

At the center of the room is some sort of pathetic "bird" creature, though it fails at that very badly, and honestly looks (though only in the most abstract and well, you really need to be nearly blind) more like some sort of rounded fish, with four small fins at it's end, and a massive broken glass eye right in the center of it's body rather than towards the rounded point that should be it's head. Maybe a really fat and short arrow? You really don't know, but art it certainly isn't.

As Azeban and Faustus begin to step into the room ahead of them, suddenly they hear a female voice, not say, but frantically scream at you "Get the hell away from me you damned freaks!!!!" It echoes through the room, making it very difficult for you to spot where it came from, but it was close. And you don't see anything at all going on that would indicate some sort of commotion, leaving you puzzled for a moment.

Can I get a Perception Check from Azeban and Faustus?

Know Geography/Linguistics (trained only) DC 15:
The Feminine voice speaks with a strange accent, common to the barbarian lands of Numeria, who oddly rarely leave those lands.

Sense Motive DC 20:
Whoever it is, is certainly freaked the "F" out. They are likely in the grips of madness, the sort one finds in soldiers who have seen every other of their friends and "family" slaughtered, and might just attack anything that moves in their mixture of grief and panic. However, with the right words. the right tones . . .

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I flagged it to be moved yesterday. :P

But I have to agree. I'm not sure I've ever seen a part where not a single character (much less most of them) had a Wayfinder. It is a bit pricey for what little it does, but it's also sort of a badge of office, and I can't say how many times I've pulled my cloak aside to reveal my Wayfinder for just a second to indicate discretely what I just said has a hidden meaning or the like.

As for how mandatory it is, not sure. Have not played/read the scenario, but I can say that needing to buy things just to complete a scenario isn't uncommon. I literally just spent almost 2,000 gp yesterday in Glories of the Past 2 for that same reason, and a good portion of that was wasted by the end. That's more on the top end of what I can think of required spending, but there are plenty out there where entrance fee's are needed, specific gear/bribes/items are called for, etc. . .

And while it's probably not fun for the OP, sometimes that's just the way things go. It kind of sounds like between running cold and the party refusing to make a suggested purchase (without metagaming knowing what it meant), they came to an impasse they couldn't cross. Not to be mean, but sometimes this happens. Luckily, in my experience it's not common, and I can say I have only failed one scenario. I kind of felt like there was nothing we could do, and it wasn't really due to poor player/character choices, we just couldn't get past a certain point. So I get it, but still, sometimes failure (or worse) happens.

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When I game there, my FLGSs reward me with a nice spot to plop down, hopefully an assortment of products to purchase, and an assortment of people to hang out and bash some Chelish skulls with.

What else does anyone need? :P

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Sneak Attack can already be taken as a limited Feat as well as various Racial abilities. Honestly, and I personally could care less about Paladins of any Alignments, I think trying to open up more options to more classes within a certain theme, is just what Pathfinder needs. Personally, I would have rather had Feat and Archtype options to turn any caster into, for example an Alchemist rather than having it be it's one single class that prevents everyone else from taking those abilities. Basically the same for almost every new class Paizo made, I'd rather them be options that built on the existing material than something you need to take to the exclusion of others. So not sure if "more of a classless system" would even be a bad thing. But, we should probably get back on topic.

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I think there may be some confussion. Originally, Taldor was written to have outlawed all churches and followers of Sarenrae. This was done to protect itself, as warmongers within Qadira called the Cult of the Dawnflower had instigated Qadira to war, and Qadira had essentually backstabbed Taldor when it was weak from fighting another war.

It has more recently been errata'd so that Taldor only outlawed the Cult of the Dawnflower, (or maybe all of Sarenrae's faith hundreds of years ago, but it didnt last long).

The Scenario was written before this change, and just involves normal followers of Sarenrae, which at the time where, but are no longer outlawed. They are not Cultists of the Dawnflower.

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Honestly, I'd much rather them put Occult Adventures on complete hold and focusing on fixing the ACG. On the one hand, I am really not interested in anything I've seen about Occult Adventures, from the classes to the concept of trying to incorporate RL psuedoreligion, charlatans, and the like. I just don't find it appealing.

What might have been cool is a Heroes of Horror style book that focused predominately on introducing options to the existing classes to fit into that theme rather that try to cram even more into what should be a right up that alley already.

We have the Cleric, Oracle, Witch/Shaman,and Inquisitor, do we really need any class that specializes in dealing with spirits as it's main theme, or can we not just get a few Feats or an Archtype or two that does that even better? Do we need a bunch of new classes to introduce psychic magic, cause I can think of a bunch of existing ones that could very easily fit the bill with a few options added in. Some new spells, a few Feats, and some trait options means that the entire book is opened to all the existing material (good) while making a bunch of new material that's mostly exclusive to itself means existing characters probably can't touch it regardless of how much sense it makes or the flavor fits (bad).

Since the ACG came out as poorly done as it was, my trust in Paizo has kind of been shaken, and I do feel the bloat. So yah, I would say we have hit that point.

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Just for reference, "source" in regards to stacking, is mentioned only 1 time in the entire Core Book. Others appear as "a patron is the source of a clerics blah blah", or "light source", etc. . .

Here is where source can be found:

Bonus Types: Usually, a bonus has a type that indicates how the spell grants the bonus. The important aspect of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don’t generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works (see Combining Magical Effects). The same principle applies to penalties — a character taking two or more penalties of the same type applies only the worst one, although most penalties have no type and thus always stack. Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.

Please note, this section is found on page 208. That's notable because the section it is in, and when taken out of context sounds like it might actually go along with ability scores being a source. But, it's talking about stacking magic spells and spell effects (only).

Here are the actual rules on staking. This can be found on page 13, under the Common Terms portion.

Stacking: Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic. Generally speaking, most bonuses of the same type do not stack. Instead, only the highest bonus applies. Most penalties do stack, meaning that their values are added together. Penalties and bonuses generally stack with one another, meaning that the penalties might negate or exceed part or all of the bonuses, and vice versa.

No mention of sources. Why is that? Because "source" is refereeing specifically to the spells that are being talked about later in the combining magic spell and effects stacking portion.

Odd, as in Pathfinder, a modifiers "source" is actually 100% irrelevant. Well, unless you are using the 3.5 rules, (but then, why would you do that and ignore everything that contradicts Ability Score/Modifier = a Source?

I just CTRL + F'd the entire Core Rule Book document for all uses of "stack", "stacking", "source", "same source", and "sources stacking". And while I might have made a mistake, (please feel free to point me to it, I'm not perfect), what it actually is starting to look like is that the person that wrote the new FAQ, and all those rules experts they conferred with on the subject actually had no idea what they heck they are talking about, (and I do mean this in the least douchy way possible).

Do ability modifiers from the same ability stack? For instance, can you add the same ability bonus on the same roll twice using two different effects that each add that same ability modifier?

No. An ability bonus, such as "Strength bonus", is considered to be the same source for the purpose of bonuses from the same source not stacking. However, you can still add, for instance “a deflection bonus equal to your Charisma modifier” and your Charisma modifier. For this purpose, however, the paladin's untyped "bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws" from divine grace is considered to be the same as "Charisma bonus (if any)", and the same would be true for any other untyped "bonus equal to her [ability score] bonus" constructions.

Removing the irrelevant part about "source", the correct answer from the book should be: If they have a different or untyped Type, then yes, except when they come from the same spell cast multiple times on a single target. If they have the same Type they do not stack except in the cases of any of the following: dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, racial bonuses, and any untyped Bonuses, (as they stack with all other Bonus Types, including themselves).

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