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Lord Soth

Beckett's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,825 posts (20,011 including aliases). 47 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 28 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.

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Shadow Lodge

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Extend Spell

CRB wrote:

Benefit: An extended spell lasts twice as long as normal.

A spell with a duration of concentration, instantaneous, or permanent is not affected by this feat. An extended spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell’s actual level.

I'm personally of the opinion that Feats, being options meant to add a level of customization outside of the norm for your race or class, can be "turned off" if desired. Otherwise it looks like the Devs intended for Extend Spell above to automatically apply to all spells prepped or cast as long as you have the open higher level slots and the spell is an applicable choice, (there is no "you can" or "you may" clause, you just do it). There is a "can" in the brief description, but that's obviously saying you are able to do something that others can not without this Feat, not that you have a choice.

Even some things like a Feat that grants a +1 to Natural Armor I can see, not being turned off, but rather purposefully not used by the possessor under some circumstances. They might have tougher hide (or scales or whatever), but I'm not sure that applies to every single portion of their anatomy at every single point in time, so they might want to get a piercing or tattoo in one of the lesser protected areas, and I don't think that was meant to imply that their eyeballs are also scaled (eye lids perhaps, but not their eyes or other sensitive areas).

So, in my opinion, and I don't believe that the rules really favor yes or no in a more universal sense than the other, unless the Feat specifies that it can not be "turned off" or general logic would prevent it, you can in fact choose not to utilize a given Feat, (getting neither the benefit or the drawback). It is case by case, so something like the Elongated Skull 3-in-1 Feat from Occult Adventures is something you probably can not "turn off" as it literally changes you permanently. I'd say anything that you get from "special training" should allow you to choose not to do that thing in the normal method, at least generally speaking, neither getting the pro or the con for taking the feat.

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||

I'm down for a hug.


Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||
rknop wrote:

GM Aram Zey -- are you talking about me? I really feel like I'm nowhere near keeping up the pace necessary for this special. (At the same time, I'm feeling harried, and am posting at a faster rate than the vast majority of PbPs I've played in, either as GM or player.) I apologize to everybody if I have not held up my end as GM. I've tried. But this whole experience has turned into stress, feelings of failure for not keeping up, drudgery that I find myself not wanting to face up to, and general non-fun.

The first time we tried this, it seemed to work. But, for whatever reason, I was able to post way faster than usual for one of my PbPs, and I had an especially OP table that could finish combat encounters fast. However, after this time, I'm coming to the conclusion that these meatgrinder multitable specails are just not viable for PpP. At any rate, I shall certainly not be participating in one again.

This sort of thing is exactly the sort of situation we had made an real effort to avoid happening. The expectation on DM's was not to exclude people, but rather to try to find a happy medium for PbP groups in general. That is, that both faster groups and slower groups should be made to make changes in their style to make this a fun experience for everyone, players and GM's, while still capturing the feeling of it being rushed and somewhat stressful, (in game, not out of game). That is to say, DM's and groups that are used to faster play, have established groups already, have players that can post more frequently, etc. . . where expected to slow down their normal rates to account for the Special. At the same time, those that have a slower posting rate, or whose groups didn't post as frequently, or had real life issues come up (which obviously take priority), have groups in different time zones, or whatever other issues that might slow down a game from 1- posts per day needed to likewise up their game a little bit.

This is all still a learning experience for everyone, and I also know that this particular Special is a little bit odd even for Specials. A great deal of running a Special through PbP is unexplored territory, and we do know that a lot of the things that apply in Real Time play, if it be face-to-face play at a table or virtual table tops online, just doesn't apply to playing PbP.

So, while on one hand, this really isn't the proper place for this sort of thing, I do feel that it's also probably the best place to put this. It's more important to form constructive criticism and suggestions on ways to improve, what could have been done better, and ways the we, as DM's could make things better rather than throw out accusations, particularly unfounded ones, that will just drive people away. I'm seeing what seems a high degree of competiveness and "the right way to play" here that really isn't what PFS is all about, and I really think that this sort of attitude, is more likely to assure we do not get any more Specials, or highly restrict who gets to run or play in them than to lead to what you (and I absolutely mean tis in the very general sense, I am not calling anyone out here), than what you might instead want to happen, (like requiring a faster rate, or more or less time to accommodate your style). Time management goes both ways, and I don't think anyone did a perfect job.

Putting other on the defensive, saying that they are doing a poor job, policing them up to your standard, and things like this are not helpful, and probably are outright harmful in the long run. Encouraging them, possibly offering a few tips or some personal experience on how you handled it and how it worked well, and acting like we are all in this together, that sort of thing will help.

Shadow Lodge

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It's hard to day. I wouldn't really consider "ok I stabilize/heal/raise dead the person, we ask it questions then kill it again" the same as "torturing for information". It could be, but I guess that depends on how they actually go about it.

This is also one of the main reasons that I dislike getting more and more information on the Setting and deities, as it starts to remove options for point of view in a metagame sense, and also makes it seem more ok to say others are doing it wrong based on who has access to more material.

I can see it going two ways, depending on how things are actually going in the game. We are really only seeing the one side here. Maybe he picked Sarenrae more for the associated powers rather than because he or she cares about the Setting fluff, which is perfectly fine. Maybe they just wanted to be good at fighting Undead for instance, and not really care much about Fire, redemption, healing for it's own sake, etc. . .

Neutral Good is also an acceptable Alignment for a Cleric of Sarenrae, and there are multiple churches that take that approach, such as the Cult of the Dawnflower. I guess the point is, are you certain that the issue is that he is not playing his character the way you want or expect him to rather than not being a appropriate Cleric of Sarenrae?

What is considered Good Aligned is also a bit up in the air, especially with Paizo's/Pathfinders less specific standards.

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||
GM Aram Zey wrote:
I think the problem is that some GMs are simply not pulling their weight.

This is one of the issues with running Specials or time sensitive Scenarios through PbP. Its difficult to find a good median to aim for because different groups play at different speeds, (and are not doing it wrong by doing so), and it shouldn't be meant to favor or punish either faster or slower groups.

There are really two ends of the spectrum on this, because faster groups, or ones that blitz through certain parts can not be left waiting around, and just throwing more encounters at them to keep things going is doing them a disservice as they burn through more resources. On the other hand slower groups need to enjoy the game too, and are doing what they can, so comments like "they are not pulling their weight" are very presumptuous and not helpful, and I know a lot of them are making similar complaints (faster groups are making them feel rushed and making it not fun to play).

It also seems very rude that other GMs would start looking in or policing up on other group's games. In a table top setting, would you go out and stand looking over other groups shoulders to nudge them to play the game right? And we really shouldn't be handing out successes just because we want to win.

Just play the game, focus on your games and enjoy. Lets encourage each other to play and enjoy more and build each other's confidence, not tear each other down and create more rifts between different camps of play. But, lets also remember that failure is, and should be an option, and can be a great learning experience for everyone.

Shadow Lodge

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CrusaderWolf wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
Because that's all it could ever possibly be, right.

I didn't accuse you of anything sir, I'd moved on to a related-but-distinct topic. I don't know you and can't comment on your particular motivations, but yes I stand by what I said about undecideds IN GENERAL.

Moving right long, I'm solidly in CBDunkerson's camp on the "business as usual" topic. Obama presided over a solid recovery; since the ACA's main provisions rolled out in 2014 the uninsured rate has dropped from 18% to ~11%, including myself & my wife (Thanks, Obama!); the JCPOA was an elegant solution to an Iran that is too powerful to invaded and too advanced to bombed; he repealed DADT; he gave us Kagan & Sotomayor....the list goes on. Not that there isn't plenty to criticize, but I'll gladly take another 8 years of leftward trend.

Even if I was way more suspicious of Clinton, the idea of giving Trump power over at least one SCOTUS vacancy and over 90 federal judgeships sends ice down my spine. Thanks but no thanks.

Hold on, sir or ma'am. Your claim was pretty clear, that those not voting for Clinton, (or at least a large enough segment to warrant a statement about it), are doing so because she is a woman, and Im valling B.S. on that. I, and to a degree an speaking for at least some others, just do not trust her, not because it's a "her", but rather because of what Ive seen her do, say, and otherwise act.

Its pretty clear after reading here, that opinions of the two, and what their take away from the entire debate seems to be so completely in the eye of the beholder. However, claiming people are anti-Clinton because of sexism is very small minded and disingenuous. Im certain that there are some folks out there that do believ so, but implying that a lot of them fall into that camp is pretty close to many reasons they do not like care for Clinton's arguements or rhetoric. Namely that Ive seen her in action, and seen her swap her position on major things repeatedly, at the drop of a hat, then outright lie to try to claim she had always been in a particular camp. She contradicts herself all of the time, and when in the hotseat, acts very much like a person that is guilty of whatever she is accused of, and has very weak and unbelievable defenses.

Shadow Lodge

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As Im giving my observation, yes, Im sure that was my take away.

Shadow Lodge

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As an undecided, I think Trump walked all over Hillary in this debate. His facial features at times when she was talking was hillarious, while hers when she was in the hot seat indicated she was clearly mentallly screaming "oh crap, oh crap, oh crap".

She appealed to the audiance too much, "read my book, oh you can find it in book stores or purchase it online" was immature, and her blatant attempts to beg groups for votes she knows do not support her came off as very pandoring and teenage high school politics.

It also seemed that between their attempts to bait each other, Trump came off as strong, focused, and able to turn the tables easily, while she retracted into a shell and either reverted to name-calling or lost focus, hoping to change the subject, or contradicting herself.

Far too often, she attempted to use outside references rather than dealing with what was happening at the time, or spouting statements without anything but the suggestion that her people had discovered the real numbers.

Trump likely got the majority of military, law enforcement, and related professions as well by mentioning his discussions with them. I think Clinton basically just brought a knife to a gun fight, while she was better prepaired she didn't seem to know she was in a debate and not a tele commercial.

His inyerupting, or otherwise using every moment to his advantage is indicative of a refusal to back down or give up, while she could barely muster a rebuttal, often backing herself into a proverbial corner.

Between the two, Clinton didn't really seem to have any clue what she would do and displayed a lack of being able to think on her feet or handle hard situations, despite being better prepaired, and as an undecided, between the two, Trump owned the debate.

Shadow Lodge

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Holy/Unholy Water are oddities, (and not in the sense of lets blame 3.5). Looking through the Alchemy Manual, it seems (unless I missed it), that neither are considered "alchemical items", and can not be crafted, and thus the only way to create them is by the Cleric Spell Bless or Curse Water, both of which are Aligned spells.

However, Holy Water, (and Unholy Water which seems to just use Holy Water as the base and is not described itself), is not actually an Aligned item. Or even a magical item. It does contain a lot of text that is highly suggestive that it is, but never specifies so, which is odd if that was the intent, because every other case I can think of, this is explicitly mentioned for the spell, item, feat, ability, etc. . .

So, as far as I can tell, Holy Water is not a [Good] Items, though Bless Water is a [Good] Spell. And similarly, Unholy Water is not an [Evil] Item, though Curse Water is an [Evil] Spell. Being that it seems these are the only ways to create the two items, (even Craft Alchemy doesn't mention <Un>Holy Water as an option), it does seem that this was intentional. Both Holy and Unholy Water are not included in either the Alchemy Manual or Adventure's Armory (Power Spell Components), but neither are also listed as Magical Items.

So, as far as I can tell, they are not either Aligned or Magical in nature, (outside of being created through a spell), and so would not ping for Detect Evil or Good, or even Detect Magic, which seems very intentional.

Part of this is that Paizo really mucked up Positive and Negative Energy, in the sense of making it very inconsistent in how it works, (Channel Energy either heals or harms based on both Creature Type and what application the user is intending, Align Channeling potentially uses Positive Energy to hurt Good Outsiders and heal Evil Outsiders if they want, etc. . .)

Positive Energy itself, and similarly with Negative Energy is NOT Good or Evil. Both are simply unaligned "spiritual" energies that are an intrinsic part of the universe and life. It is not the same thing as Sacred/Profane, Light/Darkness, Holy/Unholy, Divine, or even Neutral (with a capital "N") any more than "Fire" or "Bludgeoning" is. It just happens that generally speaking, Good aligned casters/beasties/options tend to use Positive Energy, and tend to use them for Good, while Evil ones tend to utilize Negative Energy more, and generally for at least NOT Good uses.

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||

I made an excel sheet to track all the of the movements along the way, and I think I found the discrepancy with the Table 19 having multiple tokens;

DM Stylz wrote:

We pass our aid token to Table #1.

If not allowed than we pass it to the next eligible CORE table. Thanx

GM Aerondor wrote:
You are table #19? I think that is fine for us. We'll take it, the table has been pretty good at passing them on quickly.

It didn't dawn on me that GM Aerondor was actually Table 1, so I messed up here, thinking the Aid Token had possibly gone out to 2 different tables. That should account for 2 of the 3 extra Aid Tokens that seem to be in play.

I'll take another look, to see if I messed up or misunderstood something else, but it still seems that there is an extra Aid Token currently in play.

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||

I was just looking at the different Aid Tokens transactions and it looks like a few tables might be (accidentally) holding multiple Aid Tokens, and that there are more Aid Tokens than either the map or the initial roll indicates.

Currently as far as I can tell, (the number in parenthesis is how many they have gotten total so far):

Table 01 = 0 (3)
Table 02 = 1 (1)
Table 03 = 1 (1)
Table 04 = 0 (1)
Table 05 = 0 (1)
Table 06 = 0 (1)
Table 07 = 0 (1)
Table 08 = 1 (1)
Table 09 = 0 (1)
Table 10 = 0 (1)
Table 11 = 1 (1)
Table 12 = 1 (1)
Table 13 = 0 (0)
Table 14 = 0 (1)
Table 15 = 0 (1)
Table 16 = 0 (0)
Table 17 = 0 (1)
Table 18 = 0 (0)
Table 19 = 3 (3) Might be an discrepancy here as it seems that Table 19 sent an Aid Token to two different tables
Table 20 = 1 (1)
Table 21 = 1 (1)
Table 22 = 0 (0)
Table 23 = 1 (1)
Table 24 = 0 (2)
Table 25 = 0 (0)
Table 26 = 0 (1)
Table 27 = 0 (1)
Table 28 = 0 (1)
Table 29 = 0 (0)
Table 30 = 0 (2)
Table 31 = 2 (2)
Table 32 = 1 (1)
Table 33 = 0 (0)

It also seems that Tables 11, 21, & 23 have had Aid Tokens sine the beginning that have gone untouched, While Table 2 has had one for a while as well.

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||

You know what you are doing. You know you are looking upon your own future, but as one seeing and knowing two realities. In one you are in the Worldwound, on a mission, and in this other one, somehow receiving a glimpse of what is to come, but also, during that glimpse, knowing all that the one you will become knows. Brig has guided you, blessed you with both a sacred mission, but also with the knowledge, experience, and grit to fulfill that mission, and end the affliction of an entire species. And yet, at the focal point, your future self, not your past self living through her, finds a degree of. . . distraction so out of character with yourselves. Not doubt, or uncertainty, but distraction.
You can see the concern across the faces of all standing around you, from the Gnome whom you hope to, no, not hope, who you know you can cure, but also in your own followers.
You past self, the one that is seeing these things transgress through your own eyes knows beyond the rationality of explaining that you had spent whole days (what would have been years for other lesser masters), perfecting your equation. It wasn't a matter of faith or hope, but rather specific and exact times, applications, and additions. And yet, you, while knowing find yourself, distracted.

As you lead your pupils in a discussion on an esoteric application of the art, suddenly you hear a cracking sound. It seems to be coming from the tower itself, and it breaks your student's attention from your lecture. You go to one of the windows to see what is going on, only to see what appears to be an entire army standing outside, but before you can see what's going on, or even call out for an explanation, you see them drag a few individuals forward, bound and gagged. They are fellow Pathfinder Agents, some of them you know personally. They seem to ask a question of the prisoners, and one of them, a holy man of the Dawnflower nods at something, looking up a the tower, at you. The repay his answer by slitting the freedom-fighter's throat, and then all of the other Pathfinders bound and helpless.
Sensing a greater danger than you can yet see, you call out for your students to get to safety and begin to prepare for an assault, grabbing what supplies they can, but before you are able to even shout the command, a small group of mages walks forward, standing before the assembled might of the Aspis Consortium, chanting and waving their hands about in motions that cause the tower of Skyreach to shutter, flinging everyone to the ground.
Hails of arrows making returning fire from the windows suicidal, while mages and priests call down fire and death from Hell and the various Elemental Planes. Only Skyreach has survived the Aspis' return, as you can see the remainder of the Grand Lodge in flames. The dormitories are leveled in a massive earthquake, a portal of some sort opens at the door to the central lodge, and remains open while demon after demon steps through to run rampant in the Material Plane.
You manage to get up a few protective wards through your own alchemical expertise, and your students do what they can as well, you have trained them well, but with the devastation going on, so much of the resources you require, which had moments before been right there for he taking have been destroyed as the tower leans. Yet it remains standing.
And then it happens. Focusing their wills as one, the line of mages destroy the anchors you created, finally finishing the job you had done so well so many years ago in restoring the ancient tower when it had nearly been destroyed.
. . .

Savage's Pet:

Sorry, I kept trying to get more done, but it looks like I'm going to have to continue this post again when I get a chance.

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||

It isn't long before your friends arrive, having heard you call, you meet at a small little tavern. Galdur brings his new wife, VeeDee, and Ariana says she had to call in a large favor to get back to Absalom so quickly, but the Crusades can do without her for a day or two while you catch up. Both seem to be doing well.
You have a strange sensation, as if something where very wrong, but can not, for the life of you put a feather on what it is, and your three companions think you have just been studying too much, laughing it off. You spend some time catching up, but can't seem to shake the odd feeling that something is wrong.

With the book in hand, you scan through the section you know looking for the information you need. Yo find it, retracing your steps through the Worldwound,. . . suddenly there is a shaking. It's not an earthquake, but it feels that way. It seems to be affecting everything around you, everything but you. So very odd, but it stops, and nothing seems harmed. It didn't even knock a book off of a shelf dishevel the papers on your desk.
You see some note about a staff, . . . and the room seems to shake again. You loose your place, wondering what is going on. You can't remember your future self laying any sort of magical traps or wards like this. Something about a staff. You race to find your place, scanning "suitable defense", "Valais's dark sides awakes more and more", "a paladin of Ol' Deadeye trustworthy", "the earth god", come on where was it, "The Staff of Hear. . .", and suddenly the room vanishes, the whole world goes utterly black. You hear a loud cracking sound and suddenly your entire head hurts. But less than a second later, there is a flash of light, and once it's blaze diminishes, you can see once again. You, . . . are back. In an odd white room. The little dinosaur is standing over you, trying desperately to wake you up. You look over, seeing everyone else walking about in some sort of odd stupor, mumbling and drooling odd, incoherent phrases. Evan Valais. Only the two dinosaurs, the raptor near you and the beast that the Druid had turned into seem to be unaffected, and he is attempting to shake Rilas just as the raptor did you.
Will Save: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24

"General" the woman, a Taldan knight and a trusted officer says as she steps inside. "It worked perfectly." as you both step inside. She grabs a small bit of bread and a cup of thick soup, then joins you at the campaign map. "Our scouts tracked the Ogres. It turns out they had set up camp rather than continued to move, so that was easier that expected, and we where able to initiate a minor conflict, hitting them with a few blunted arrows and riding away. They gave chase." she stops a moment to take a bite, adjusting some of the small blocks on the map to follow along with her report.
You feel an odd, nagging sensation in your stomach, like perhaps something you had eaten earlier was not going to sit well, but she continues, explaining that she had received a report from the field "from your Pathfinder friends" that their group had gotten into position around north east at the Wolfcrags.
It had been a gamble, but it looks like it had paid off. By luring the ogres from the west across into the battlefield, you hoped to manipulate them into attacking the enemy camp for you, and then when they where surprised, your other armies and teams would strike. A large assortment of Pathfinder Agents would blitz, attacking fast and from the shadows while Brae-Hagen's army focused on the Ogres. Right after that, Taldor's cavalry would rush in from hiding from Silvershore. With luck, you contacts within the beastriding Mammoth Lords would join in, crushing the armies at besieging the Dwarven Stronghold at Jormurdun.
You feel a sudden stab in your stomach, the pain growing worse, but again push it aside. But suddenly you hear a scream from outside. Followed shortly by a alarm called, "Wake up! To Arms! We are under attack!" You can hear the outside the soldiers grabbing weapons and trying to fit on armor as fast as you can. There is a loud crack of thunder and a flash of light, following by screams of agony. Another alarm is called off in the distance, from a different direction, "Demons!!! To arms!"
You fall to the ground, dropping your sword and clutching your abdomen, suddenly chocking as you cough up dark, black blood. The pain does not subside, but suddenly you hear a voice in your head scream cruelly, "Give up these false. . ." but it stops, and you can hear the sounds of battle all around you.

More to come soon.

Silver Crusade

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NG Male Aasimar Cleric 15, Sunflare: +15/+10/+5, 1d6+18+1d6 Acid (15/x2) S, 5,274-18 HP: 138/138 , Init +3, AC: 23, T: 12, FF: 21, CMD: 29, F: +18, R: +12, W: +18 <+2 vs Evil, Evasion, no Food/ Water, Native Outsider, Imune to Fog/Mist/Smoke and Evil Possesion or Mind-Control> Fly 30', Swim 30", Move 30', Perception +10 <Darkvision 60ft>, <Read/Understand all Languages, Ant Haul, Trail of Roses, Ride the Waves>,
Dungeon Master S wrote:
Difficulties of PBP. Good news is, you made the other 2 saves. Will update later.

Ignatious gains 4 Temporary Positive Levels, makes the save so that they become permanent. The Deck of many things also drops three cards into his hand; the Key, the Moon, and the Star. . .

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||


I'm trying.

Shadow Lodge

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The Raven Black wrote:
That. Especially, they fall for a single willful Evil act. Not a Chaotic one

It also makes for some really odd concepts where a Paladin (or other LG type) has more in common with LE Outsider types and for whatever reason is super against CE Outsider types, despite the LE ones generally being a much larger and present threat. LE represents the cruelest and strictest interpretations of laws, rules, and discipline, typically used as a means to enforce things on others, while CE represents doing kind of whatever you want, respecting strength (as far as leadership), and surviving no matter what. It seems that a Paladin should be a heck of a lot more concerned about folks that misuse authority through the system and grind others down than folks that are more ruthless in how they gain power.

That's also part of the reason I wish they would switch it officially to NG only, as then you could have smaller factions within Paladins that focused on being against the Worldwound style CE threats, the Cheliax/Thrune style LE threats, and sort of everything else.

The Raven Black wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
A paladin is lawful and good. If you want a holy warrior that is not lawful and good, there is one archetype and other classes available.
And since those other classes are also available for LG holy warriors, maybe we should just get rid of the obviously unnecessary Paladin class ;-)

I actually like the Paladin class for what it is, and part of me would actually rather see a few of the other classes go and their options redistributed among Paladins and/or Battle Clerics. Now, I know that's not going to happen, but I personally think it would be better to go that route.

But, something you also have to consider is that not everyone has access to or uses all of the books and material for their games, so if a group is just using the CRB, the Paladin has a lot less competition.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Just a head's up to everyone in case you may have missed it, just in case folks missed it, it looks like the Expanded Narrative Boon just dropped for free for all DMs, and changed to once per season.


Additionally, it seems that there was also an Update to The Wounded Wisp, (one of the handouts changing to be more pertinent to Season 8's Elemental Exploration Plot).

Shadow Lodge ****

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Just in case folks missed it, it looks like the Expanded Narrative Boon just dropped for free for all DMs, and changed to once per season.


Additionally, it seems that there was also an Update to The Wounded Wisp, (one of the handouts changing to be more pertinent to Season 8's Elemental Exploration Plot).

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||

It looks like the Expanded Narrative Boon just dropped for free for all DMs, and changed to once per season.


Let me know if anyone needs me to "issue" it to them.

Shadow Lodge

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When I can, I try to go with rolled abilities, as it's the most fair and balanced version in my opinion, (Point Buy favors SAD classes and Elite Array favors both SAD classes and forces too much moderation).

Now, that being said, I do allow rerolling to allow a reasonable array. I've also done odd things like have the highest roll and the lowest roll count as 2 rolls for everyone, (so if one person rolls a 9 and one rolls an 18, everyone gets to use at least one 18 and is also stuck with at least one 9, and then rolls the other 4 stats).

I've also experimented with a 90ish point buy system, where everything starts at zero and you literally buy everything at a one-for-one cost, sometimes adding in a small modification that everything above 15 in a stat costs 2 points.

As far as discouraging dump stats, it's really hard to do in some ways, as classes like Bard, Fighter, Wizard, and Sorcerer can really get by pretty easily without dumping much, while classes like Cleric, Monk, and Paladin sort of have to in order to work (in the sense of actually using their abilities and doing their basic job/function).

The main thing I do is heavily suggest spreading abilities, skills, and other options out, as there will be all sorts of threats, challenges, and encounters, and it's generally more fun for everyone if you can at least attempt something or not be a hindrance to everyone else. Some degree of specialization is fine, and expected, but too much just leads to aggravation, and generally for more than just the player in question.

Despite this, I've still got player's that know that Inititive, Perception, and a few other traits are simply better than others, (Know Arcana and Local generally cover most Know Checks except to ID monsters), and know that they are just better off boosting those as much as possible over other options that don't matter as much (Appraise for instance is hardly ever critical for well, anything).

Having a Pet,(or two or even three) boosts your effectiveness exponentially. Some options are just better, and generally speaking the drawbacks are pretty easily negated. So while not directly about dump stats, it's in the same general area, and the best thing that can really be done is to suggest either utilizing moderation or asking the player to limit themselves in some areas so that both they and the other players don't just get bored with playing or playing with that character.

I try not to single them out, but at the same time, if they do choose to have a weakness, and circumstances come up that hit them harder, I don't hold back (much) either. A new player, is a different story, and I'd likely use that as a learning experience, punishing them a little, but keeping in mind I don't want to drive them away, so use moderation to make sure they feel it, but not feel powerless to do anything, and afterwards make some suggestions, and allow (if I'm able to) slight remodification.

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When I read through the first few posts, I kind of came away with the idea that the penalty was a little excessive and also intended specifically to discourage trying to help out unless you had both a masters degree in stage drama and at least a +5 to the check.

If I'm wrong, than that's fine. But that's the overall takeaway I got from the first page.

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
glass wrote:
One thing nobody has ever been able to explain is what harm he was actually doing. He has a few Aasimar and Teiflings stockpiled: So what?
Establishing precedence for ignoring the requests of the campaign staff. Thus, requests will no longer be made.

I really don't get this. It was establish up front that it was ok, and ENCOURAGED to stockpile a few of these, with around 10 being the "ok" mark.

Blog Post wrote:
Does this mean you can create several new characters, play a scenario with each, and have several native outsiders waiting for when you need them? Well, we debated long and hard whether to require 4 XP per character, as at that point one is past the free rebuilding stage. However, we also recognized this as unnecessarily punitive to casual players who may only be able to play once or twice in the next month. To answer your question, yes, you can make 10 aasimars and play The Confirmation an equal number of times, but we're trusting you'll exercise some good taste and respect a decision made with the larger community in mind.

I have lost the links, but there where two others around that time where Mike Brock had said something along the lines of "sure, we want people to b able to be able to save five to ten for a rainy day, and I don't even expect most players to be able to play all ten of them if they do, so it's completely intentional".

The harm was really two fold. One is because some DM's just hated Aasimar, thinking they where overpowered (they are really not), hated the "cantina affect" (too many non-humanoids), and just wanted them out. The other side is that someone found out that the easiest way to do what was suggested about was to instead run the Master of the Fallen Fortress module, and bragged about doing so enough that the group had gotten so adapt at playing it they managed to finish it in 15 minutes. Had nothing to do with Aasimar, but rather that they where perceived as bragging about running 10 games within a few hours, (getting full GM credit, and basically ignoring the story/plot) to grind through it as fast as possible.

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swoosh wrote:

I really wanted to love this book but I'm not digging most of these archetypes at all.

The worst thing is that a lot of them are almost really cool and then and I'm just left with this feeling of "Wait that's it?". Because they only feel like half an archetype.

It's mainly because the vast majority of the material is designed for the DM, with some options being allowed for Players, it's clearly, (but not outright clarified) as to be used by DMs.

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Yah, now that I think about it and considering Evergreens, it might even be less. Now, that being said, I'd rather have more chance to enjoy it a while than run through something.

I mean, the quicker it is, the less chance you have to enjoy the player's tears when their characters meet terrible, horrific ends.


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DM Feral wrote:
Challenge accepted!

My fasted PbP games was 10 days. But, as I'm in one of your games, I believe, but, being that I'm in one of your games, I'd like to formally request a preference for story and fun over speed. :P

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It might be more convincing if there wasn't ways for Wizards, Sorcerers, and Druids (and even Paladins) to add Cleric spells to their list.

But it's not so much about power level, which I do disagree with, as much as a lack of cool and fun options on a thematic level. Basically all Clerics, regardless of theme, faith, deity, or even build have a nearly identical spell list. In the setting, occasionally there are small additional options, (such as priests of this deity add 2 or 3 spells to their spell list), and the main variation comes from Alignment restrictions, if any.

However, all of these options all kick in at level 1, and don't change thereafter. It also creates odd situations where, for example an Elven Cleric doesn't have access to something like Cat's Grace but is stuck with Bull's Strength.

Generally speaking, most Clerics, and this is also true for many Oracles and Druids as well, also have very similar Spells known or prepared, simply because there are some very good and generally useful spells and then there are a lot of spells that are not very good or very circumstantial.

I just don't really see it being devastatingly broken for, as an example, a Cleric of thunder and lightening to be able to add a few spells like Shocking Grasp, Jolt, and Lightningbolt to their spell list, and I don't believe that there are any Domains that grant these spells.

On the other hand, Pathfinder has gone out of it's way to take what was originally Cleric only options and grant them to other, (and sometimes many other classes), which has the side effect of making the class even less useful and fun to play. Note I didn't say not fun or useful, just less so, especially when the overall design philosophy is to open up things like that so that no one class is required for play and can cover a lot of other possible roles. The Cleric, pretty uniquely struggles to even have a role at all, with so many other classes taking aspects from it, and often doing so even better than the Cleric.

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I had also sent you a pm a few days back with some links to a few games that are still open if you are interested. The little envelope near your name in the top right.

One thing to keep in mind with many of the games on the Flaxseed thread is that many of the GMs there do roll offs for seats, (vs first come first serve). I only bring it up because it can be a bit surprising to new players.

Other good places to check for games are the Online Play Recruitment forums, (look for key words PFS, PbP or Skype, etc. . . but avoid ones that say Closed), or you can check out Myth Weavers or the PFS Online Collective.

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Guys and Gals, Specials are supposed to be special.

There is also a pretty big difference between a DM playing in a game they have already run, or using Replays, and both playing and running in a game simultaneously, especially when there is a set time frame.

Don't get me wrong, I'm having to drop out of a game, too, but I was honestly kind of leery with both playing and running to begin with, and it really is kind of cheating to double dip for the Special's Chronicle sheet. Personally, I'm happy that we even have an opportunity to have access to a Special.

I mean, it's possible that it was a decision handed down from above, or that the last Game Day was just a trial run. If I remember correctly, they where also hurting for 4 and 5 Star DMs last time, which could have been a factor for that one.

It's not the end of the world, and we where asked up front not to get into any RP for the Special's tables, so it really shouldn't be too difficult to sort it all out and have fun, and for every to still get a chance to enjoy the Special(s).

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Here are some of the notes I've gotten so far.

Bestiary 2: Serpentfolk wrote:

To the serpentfolk, the pursuit of knowledge and magic is the highest goal. Their legends speak of how humanity rose to power only through the theft of serpent magic, a legend that may form the basis of the hatred toward humanity most serpentfolk harbor. They view themselves as the undisputed masters of magic, be it arcane or divine. Yet despite this, the majority of serpentfolk today are degenerates who have devolved to the point of primeval savagery and have lost much of their magical legacy— more civilized serpentfolk generally regard these degenerates with shame and disdain. Serpentfolk are 6 feet tall and weigh 120 pounds. Degenerates are only 5 feet tall but weigh 200 pounds. All serpentfolk are quite long-lived, and generally live to the age of 500.

Serpentfolk culture reigned in Sekamina in the Darklands as well as much of the surface world prior to humanity before the Age of Dreams. It's unknown for sure how long they ruled, but the best idea placed it between thousands and tens of thousands of years, with the Aspis Consortium insinuating they have some of the Serpentfolk's records from before Earthfall. The Serpentfolk developed the spoken language of Aklo, something still common and in use in the modern world, and pervasive in the Darklands. (Aklo itself is foreign tongue, coming from some other realm outside of Golarion, and in those places, spoken by rare and exotic creatures and in unexpected places, indicating the Serpentfolk's true empire might have extended much, much further than believed.)

Their empire seemed to come to an end with an Ice Age corresponding to the rise of Azlanti citadels, odd in that the Serpentfolk had the ability to alter the landscape with some ease. Ancient Serpentfolk lore insists that humans stole the knowledge of magic from the Serpentfolk, using it for the first time against their Aboleth masters, resulting in them calling a meteor down to purge humanity in Earthfell. Some records indicate that many Serpentfolk cultural centers where simply abandoned at this time. There is a strong insinuation that the Serpentfolk had some foreknowledge of the coming of Earthfall and also knew something was wrong with the alignment of the stars, and had begun to purposefully retreat, seeking to survive until the time was right.

Little is known about the war that followed, but the Serpentfolk committed more and more resources to it while simultaneously fading away themselves, ending with humanity's victory and the decapitation of the Serpentfolk deity, Ydersius. This did not kill the god, but rather weakened his priests and threw the Serpentfolk into chaos that would end it.

With their deity silent, their empire in chaos, and Azlanti on the rise, the remaining Serpentfolk vanished into the Darklands, hiding in magical vaults deep beneath Golarion that magic can not pierce. They entered a magical hibernation, where they have been asleep until fairly recently, waiting for a time to rise and retake the world, (and other worlds?) to rebuild their empire.

Serpentfolk come in two castes, the "Purecaster" (noble) and the "Degenerate", (aapoph, or "Chaos made Flesh"). This is not a bloodline, as Two Purecaster parents can hatch Degenerate offspring, and vice versa. Purecaster Serpentfolk are taller, smarter, elegant, more capable of higher learning, and have brighter and colored scales, while Degenerates tend to be shorter, tougher, brutish, and mutated, sometimes have extra (or less) limbs or other such qualities. Purecaster's are also what remains of the true Serpentfolk race, with Degenerates having begun to loose much of their innate magical abilities, devolving into brutal barbaric slave creatures. Both have telepathy, are completely immune to poison, but also both have very light weight bone structures, abnormally high control of their bodies, extraordinarily keen senses, and the ability to see in the dark. Serpentfolk legends and art suggest a third caste, standing above even the Purecast, whose Serpentfolk blood is mixed with that of the immortals, and whose talents are as beyond the Purecaster's as the Purecaster's are above Degenerates. (Advanced Serpentfolk)

Serpenfolk give birth to up to a dozen children at a time, though Purecaster's are much more rare. A typical gestation period is a decade, and most Serpentfolk do not have more than one or two litters in their lifetime. They do not reach adulthood until around 50 years, but, because the Serpentfolk do not love their kin, only coming together to breed, and otherwise viewing even their children or mate as a rival. Serpentfolk are cold, detatched, ruthless, isolated, and megalomaniacal. When they do communicate amongst themselves, it is done in silence, utilizing telepathy. They are, however, highly sensual creatures, and get great joy from having cult's of devoted slaves pamper them.

Serpentfolk generally eat alone, though they also seem to get a proverse pleasure in breaking this taboo amongst themselves in rare communal feasts hosted by a powerful priest or mage. Degenerate Serpentfolk are too bestial to care, but in both cases, anyone without telepathy is seen as food.

Among the Serpentfolk, worship of Ydersius takes many, often contradictory forms, with portrayals ranging from a brutal embodiment of death and destruction to charming, calculating, and deceptive. Ydersius is their singular deity, but also the progenitor of their race and reign. He was the catalyst that both created the Serpentfolk, but also elevated them from barbaric base creatures to the educated master's of magic they became. At the same time, Ydersius is savage, often striking out unprovoked. He does not speak to his faithful, even with telepathy, but rather sends them incomplete and incomprehensible dreams, which could be incompatible with what another follower is instructed to do. It's unclear if Serpentfolk Society was a Magocracy, a Theocracy, or perhaps both.

Serpentfolk cities and ruins are extraordinarily elaborate, and the use of spirals, snake heads, and circular deigns is very common in both art and architecture. Ziggurats are also common, and typically stone is used in construct, with every surface covered in spirals or snake pictograms. Serpentfolk had access to massive and odd machines beyond modern scholars ability to understand, use, or comprehend. Many cities where found with massive (10-15ft discs) of combined mithral and glass, which are believed to have been used to enhance telepathy to allow cities to communicate.

The Drowning Stones:
In the northern reaches of the Mwangi Expanse lie the mysterious ruins of Drowning Stones. Once a city of stone ziggurats and elegant towers, the sinking of the region into bitter, rank jungle swamplands seems to have been one reason for its abandonment by its original settlers—the sudden appearance of bands of skum in the waters being another. The city itself lies half drowned in brackish waters thick with algae and ooze, but the central fortress remains relatively dry on a low, upthrust section of bedrock. Drowning Stones is ruled by one of the only known surface settlements of skum—their presence alone seems to indicate that a major entrance to the Darklands is nearby, either in the unexplored dungeons below the ruins, or perhaps even via a flooded entrance under the swamp.

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Yes, include it in the Guide, as that's the obvious place for it. That's also what I was saying about the Cleric's and Unarmed Strike Feat. It makes no sense to me that one part of the rule is in one place, and that a pretty obvious additional "clarification" should be in another, when it seems much easier and wise to simply alter the original PFS specific rule in the first place so it applies to all Deities with Unarmed Strike for Character Creation.

Work smarter, not harder.

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The spell doesn't really seem all that special, and as others have said it really seems to be another good reason to disallow Familiars from using Wands, which I'd support, (since that seems pretty clearly where the issue is).

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grandpoobah wrote:

Just to clarify:

All GMs receive the following rewards based on the
number of GM stars that they have earned.
• A bonus number of free rerolls (see Rerolls on page 36)
equal to the number of GM stars earned.

this is not a typo? I'm a four-star GM and I get four re-rolls per scenario? Guess I can give away my character folio now.

It also looks as though no one is limited to one reroll anymore.

New Guide wrote:


As a way of rewarding players who show their support for the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign by purchasing and using items featuring campaign insignia, faction logos, or Pathfinder branding, a player utilizing any of the items on can reroll one d20 roll during the course of that scenario. Recognize that this reroll must happen before the original result is determined and the player must use the reroll result, even if the result is lower. Game Masters are also invited to wear Pathfinder Society Organized Play shirts, but gain no additional benefits other than supporting Pathfinder.


7.0 Guide wrote:

Free Rerolls

As a way of rewarding players who show their support for the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign by purchasing. . .
. . . If a player is using a physical copy (not a PDF, printout, or photocopy) of the Pathfinder RPG Player Character Folio, he receives a free reroll. No player may receive more than one free reroll per session.
Additionally, when a player uses a free reroll, she may present her Pathfinder Society membership card and receive an additional +1 for every GM star she has earned, for a maximum of a +5.

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I've got a few Clerics in PFS, one of them 16th level, and I've never had to cure or remove level drain, blindness, or deafness, and the very few times I have removed stat damage, poison or disease, it's been on NPCs and with the Heal Skill (with Vest of Surgery).

If I had to, Scrolls are cheap, and I've been carrying around a stack of unused ones for a long time.

The person who needs their um, um fixed can also do a few things on that account, too. Like play smarter and wiser or invest in potions for themselves.

Cleric ISN'T the class that can fix others WHILE BEING ABLE TO DO FUN THINGS. It's either/or, with the exception of maybe Quickened Remove ____ spells, though many of them have longer Casting Times.

Typically I view my 1 job as to try to talk the group out of fights, and if it's required, to strike hard and fast, ending the fight in the fastest and safest way possible. Drawing out the pain and bloodshed by trying to patch up little boo-boos like level drain on the spot is just cruel and vindictive.

Rub dirt on it, drink water, and wipe the tears away.

Or as Cap said, "If you die, . . . walk it off".

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I'm honestly just waiting for more information, as well as to see where I can best be used. I could care less about GenCon.

James McTeague wrote:

I wanted to take a moment to talk about 7-98 and 7-99. I noticed that some people had already started creating games for them. I thank you for your enthusiasm, but I please ask that you don't have any games starting right at the beginning. I would like the special focus to be on 7-00 at the start, and I'm hesisitant to start scheduling 7-98 and 7-99 until we see how they run at Gencon. There have been plenty of people emailing me as per the instructions, and I've been saving that. Once Gencon is done and I finish converting 7-00 for PbP, you will hear more about the other specials!

Keep being awesome!

Just curious, especially for the Game Day events, I like to open the Discussion thread up early, both to gather all of the players and characters, have a chance to casually look over characters, and introduce everyone. No actual game play, though I do try to open the Game Play thread for "dotting only".

Is that what you are referring to, or is that an issue?

I'm being more hypothetical here, as I'm waiting to even register a game yet.

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Harleequin wrote:

You are right, it is a strange one. When I did my 'Fighter Unchained' thread it was very clear what areas needed work. But with 'Cleric Unchained' the opinions are wider and more varied.

Its is clear though that something needs changing in a big way.

Paizo seem to be trying the rather ineffective 'stick a plaster on it' approach with the cleric, the classic example being channeling.
Instead of recognising its general crapness, they are trying to correct it with a stream of mostly poor channel feats. This being doubly unfortunate as it fails to take into account how feat starved the base cleric class is!

So many aspects of the clerics role have gone - even healing can now be effectively done by several other classes.

I've never been a fan of Channel Energy. I liked Turn/Rebuke Undead, (and a little off topic, also the Turn/Rebuke Fire Element for the Fire Domain as well) better, but as a theme and in the effectiveness and cool factor of the Class. To me, Channel Energy, even Channel Negative Energy, is just boring.

The two biggest issues I have with the mechanic is that 1.) it offers a Save, which is just stupid. But, more pertinent to this discussion is the fact that the class is a very Feat starved class, (regardless of if it actually "blows up reality" at all, much less with Feats), it's still a Feat starved class and one that is much less interesting because of it. However, unlike practically everything else in the game, using Feats to boost Channeling does very little to actually help Channeling. Most Feats <for Channeling> do not work with each other, instead allowing you to do something extremely circumstantial instead of doing anything else. That's very bad design. But, in addition to that, most of them are either worded very oddly or just not that interesting. For example, if I take Alignment Channel Evil on a Good Cleric, wouldn't it make more sense that I can Heal Good Outsiders and Harm Evil Outsiders rather than being able to Heal or Harm Evil Outsiders? Similarly, if I'm a Fire Cleric and I take Elemental Channel Water, wouldn't it make sense that I could Heal Fire Elementals and Harm Water Elementals?

Harleequin wrote:
We will have to agree to disagree on the battle cleric thing - I have seen several others post in threads that nowadays the worst build for a cleric is battle!

It's less about how good or bad a build it is as much as how boring or fun the build is to play. I don't agree that the battle Cleric, even with the Warpriest, Druid, Mendev Priest/Crusader Archetype, Paladin, Battle Oracle, or battle Oracle is the worst build, but I'd be hard pressed to find an argument that it's the least fun, even just for Cleric builds. I guess it also really depends on what you mean by Battle Cleric, or even what you are comparing it too. As I mentioned, the Herald Caller Cleric makes a pretty effective Battle Cleric, and probably does so better than everything else it was really intended for, because it grants free Feats for things you where already going to be doing anyway and synergizes so well as is.

Harleequin wrote:

The Oracle is completely wrong for the D6 role thematically. The robed holy man is a devout worshipper who sacrifices their life in the worship and teachings of their one god. Oracles dont need to do anything to gain their preaching, no holy symbology, no places of worship, no religous ceremony or texts, not even praying!!!!

The complete antithesis of what the D6 holy man represents in all cultural references.... and there are many, many people who would like to see a D6 divine class. In fact the D6 divine class is very widely 3PP'd and homebrewed... probably more so...

The Core Cleric doesn't either, nor do the Paladin, Druid, etc. . ., both in Core and in Golarion. In most cultural and literary references, the idea that a single god, or even a god at all granting the champion their divine power is not very supported. It tends to instead come from universal, non-sentient forces (like the Force, the Light, the Heavens, the Cosmos, etc. . .), a group of gods, or even one' self. In fact, I'd say that the vast majority of Priest Cleric-like references are actually the individual attaining some sort of self-awareness or extraordinary understanding rather than a Patron Deity granting them powers. That is, it's faith or individual spiritual expertise, not a daily gift from an outside source.

However, something you may not be realizing is that the Oracle, while they are not required to have a single Patron deity, mechanically speaking, can just as easily as, if not more so than any Cleric.

Paizo has basically taken the stance that:
Clerics must have a Patron Deity
Oracles can do anything they want, have one or not, doesn't matter at all.

So, the point I was trying to get across is that both in flavor and mechanics, the Oracle actually makes for a much better D6, no armor, crap weapon Divine Caster. Oracles don't go to military chaplain to learn to use a favored weapon, and really have no reason at all to even learn to use any armor (just like a Sorcerer). But, they do have class features designed to augment their magic around a theme.

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

How about instead of 'real' kittens they were kittens on a chronicle that you could have for your character? Or puppies, or snakes, or whatever have you?

ie 'vanity' pets you can get from GMing 'non-chron-credits'. Does two things... buys into the whole Poke-thingie AND drags in all the completists!

I can't stop GMing yet, I don't have the Limited Edition Comptosaur!

That is *not* intended as an insult, honest, was trying to come up with a witty name for special vanity pets and attempted homage to one of the leads...

This, while it wouldn't help solve any issues I have mentioned, (and basically anything but a cat or kitten), would actually be a pretty cool DM reward Id be interested in. Even if it does nothing mechanically, Id like for some of my characters who can not otherwise to get a pet or psuedo familiar.

One of my Clerics would love a Lantern Archon pet, even if it was literally just a little floating bubble of light with no stats.

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Drogon wrote:

DM Beckett, I'm pretty sure you've been part of those discussions over the years, so I'm pretty sure you would have been exposed to my (and others') arguments. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but seeing as I know you to be one of the replay proponents (albeit one of the less strident ones, and one who actually comes up with good alternatives from time to time) I'm pretty certain we've shared space in those threads before. Hopefully rknop's and Pirate Rob's posts have a more lasting impact on your memory than my own.

Seeing as all the links and statements have been made by others I see no reason to add my own to this, beyond saying that I still haven't changed my opinion much in the last six plus years. I hope I'm a bit more politic than I used to be, and I think I've proven that even I can alter my stance on occasion. But as I said a few posts above I believe that not too much more "bend" will result in a break. I don't want to see that.

It's not that I have forgotten the ideas as much as I just disagree with them and have a different experience with past games.

Personally, I've never had any issues with you being less political/rude or anything of the sort. (I'd actually hold you as a very reasonable and enjoyable guy, particularly after some of the PM's we discussed this and other opinions we disagreed upon.) Rather, I believe you believe strongly in your experiences, (which might be more than mine), and we both agree that our ultimate goal is to make PFS better overall.

My main motivation is that in expanding replay options somewhat would solve a lot of issues that I know my groups tend to face. The two big attempts to help out in those areas (GM Star Replay and Core Campaign Play), in my experience have not helped much, if at all. Core Campaign would have just split some of my groups, creating another divide that would have killed us, while after all these years, only two players in my offline games, myself being one of them, ever got access to the GM Star Replay. Originally, I was under the impression it reset yearly, having never caught that that was changed early on, so I used one up pretty fast rather than conserving it like I would have otherwise, which means I also couldn't have later passed it on to someone else which I might have done instead to help the group be able to all play a few more games together, legally.

Because we tend to have new faces show up for a few months periodically around deployments, it gets very hard to continue to find things that everyone can play, and the more this happen, the less options there are. I just got back yesterday from my own deployment, and having gotten 4 stars, have a few new things open up, but it's probably not going to last long. Now, granted, my case, where we have roughly 5-10 players for a weekly game or two probably isn't common, nor is the player turn over.

But, that's also a big part of my point. Not everyone has the same circumstances that others do, and I don't think it's right to try to base the entirety of PFSOP on what is probably not the norm to try to prevent something that may not even be an issue.

PFS does offer a lot more options for play than I ever remember Living Greyhawk or Living Force offering, even in a shorter time frame. I could be wrong, but it seems to be that they tended to offer something like 1 game a month or every other month, and did not allow things like Modules or APs. I also seem to remember it being a lot more difficult to get involved or be an official DM, (it's been a while, but I'm pretty sure there was a test required and you also had to be observed by a small group of other official GMs, had to do an application, etc. . .)

So, while I'm actually a huge proponent of learning from the mistakes of the past and being cautious in making decisions, I really do not believe that, in this case, things are similar enough to worry about it as much as people seem to. Even my very limited experience with 4E and now 5E organized play just does not seem to be that similar outside of on the surface.

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Really, the only two things I'd really like to see is a (NOT OCCULT) Heal skill Skill Unlock that allows for more mundane means of healing and use, but one that a Cleric or Druid could use just as well as anyone else, without needing a feat or new rules.

Secondly, I'd like to see a lot more ways to utilize healing while also doing other things. Or to do other things and also offer a little bit of healing (Removing/Curing/Neutralizing).

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An idea I had a long time ago that might go along way to fix a lot of the above is to simply overhaul the Domains a little.

The three parts I had in mind where to:
1.) Attach a single skill to each Domain which is then treated as if at max ranks for all purposes. Many of the Domains themselves are pretty easy matches, and for the most part, this could easily be done to also include SubDomains the same way, with only a few SubDomains also altering the skill associated. An additional side effect is that this would also allow for each Domain to have a built in "constant" ability instead of those annoying #/Day or Rounds per day abilities they seem to like. This would help to bypass the 2+Int Skill Points as well, but in a somewhat restricted way, and if Two Domains grant the same skill, the player could automatically choose something like Know Religion instead for one of those Domains.

2.) Domain spells are automatically added to the Cleric Spell list. And honestly, I'm not sure why this was not done originally, except that maybe there was so much conflicting ideas when it came time for the PF CRB to come out after Alpha & Beta? Possible remove the +1 spell per spell level Domain Spell.

3.) Similar to the automatic Skill Point, maybe add in a small pool of Bonus Feats that the Cleric (and only Cleric) can pick at certain levels. For example, lets say that at 5th, 10, 15th, and 20th they get a Bonus Feat, similar to the Wizard, but they have to choose from a pool based on their Domains. Each Domain might have 2 Feat options available, even if one of them is Skill Focus. In looking at the class a little more, and as part of the aim here is to get rid of some of those dang dead levels, it might be better to grant these Bonus Feats at 5th, 9th, 12th, and 16th level instead of 5th and every 5 thereafter. This has the added bonus of also broadening the Domain Powers as well if you consider the Bonus Feat a Domain Power, as most are at 1st and either 6th or 8th level, it now adds in a little extra right around the middle of those Domain Power Levels.

    Air Domain: Acrobatics
    Feat: Agile Maneuvers or Wind Stance

    Animal Domain: Handle Animal
    Feat: Mounted Combat or Toughness

    Artifice Domain: Craft (any one)
    Feat: Item Creation Feat

    Chaos Domain: Acrobatics
    Feat: Alignment Channel or Strike Back

    Charm Domain: Bluff
    Feat: Blind-Fight or Catch Off-Guard

    Community Domain: Diplomacy
    Feat: Extra Channel or Stand Still*

    Darkness Domain: Stealth
    Feat: Blind-Fight or Dodge

    Death Domain: Know Religion
    Feat: Command Undead or Deceitful

    Destruction Domain: Intimidate
    Feat: Channel Smite or Improved Unarmed Strike

    Earth Domain: Climb
    Feat: Diehard or Great Fortitude

    Evil Domain: Bluff
    Feat: Alignment Channel Good/Evil or Strike Back

    Fire Domain: Acrobatics
    Feat: Disruptive* or Eschew Materials

    Glory Domain: Intimidate
    Feat: Improved Shield Bash or Iron Will

    Good Domain: Diplomacy
    Feat: Alignment Channel or Improved Unarmed Strike

    Healing Domain: Heal
    Feat: Combat Casting or Improved Unarmed Strike

    Knowledge Domain: Know Arcana
    Feat: Combat Expertise or Improved Counterspell

    Law Domain: Know History
    Feat: Alignment Channel Chaos/Law or Quick Draw

    Liberation Domain: Escape Artist
    Feat: Defensive Combat Training or Fleet

    Luck Domain: Appraise
    Feat: Silent Spell or Still Spell

    Magic Domain: Spellcraft
    Feat: Arcane Strike (with Divine Spells rather than Arcane) or Weapon Focus Tough Spell/Ray

    Nobility Domain: Know Nobility
    Feat: Mounted Combat or Iron Will

    Plant Domain: Know Nature
    Feat: Improved Grapple ** or Toughness

    Protection Domain: Sense Motive
    Feat: Armor Proficiency or Eschew Materials

    Repose Domain: Heal?
    Feat: Channel Smite or Endurance

    Rune Domain: Linguistics
    Feat: Alertness or Spell Focus (Abjuration)

    Strength Domain: Climb
    Feat: Cleave** or Endurance

    Sun Domain: Know Planes or Survival ?
    Feat: Turn Undead or Wind Stance**

    Travel Domain: Survival
    Feat: Endurance or Skill Focus: Know Geography/Local

    Trickery Domain: Escape Artist
    Feat: Blind-Fight or Step Up

    War Domain: Know Engineering
    Feat: Intimidating Prowess or Weapon Specialization***

    Water Domain: Swim
    Feat: Elemental Channel (Water/Earth/Fire) or Point-Blank Shot

    Weather Domain: Survival
    Feat: Alignment Channel (Air/Earth/Fire) or Improved Trip**

    * = May ignore Class Level prereqs, instead treating their Cleric level as the appropriate Class. Must meet all other prereqs.

    ** = May ignore prereqs

    *** = With Deity's Favored Weapon only

Shadow Lodge ****

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Really the only two VC's I have every had an issue with are Aram Zey and Sheila Heidmarch. Aram Zey could be seen as eccentric, except that when characters surpass him, he continues to have the same attitude. While he isn't terrible, he is a pretty toxic leader and it's not hard to see why he is rather off-putting to people out of character as well as annoying in character.

Sheila is a bit different. Right up front it was indicated that she was only a noble and a pathfinder due to her marriage, and has fairly routinely displayed incompetence and the need to put herself and political career far above pathfinders needs and concerns. As other have mentioned, the fact that she has had at least three completely different stats and representations in Pathfinder doesn't help, though I'm specifically speaking of only what I've encountered of her in Pathfinder Society play. I also sort of suspect that her husband can't stand to be around her, (he is almost never there either), which again, just doesn't speak well for the character to me. She really comes off as "Yah, I'm not even really trying here. That would mean I have to actually work and leave the air condition, and that's what you re for.". In her case specifically, being in the military and having seen "leaders" like this, it might a bit of personal bias, but for me, I am honestly not sure if there is a way this NPC could ever be "redeemed". The damage has been done, more than once.

Drandle Dreng I've actually always liked. I've honestly never heard anyone "bad mouth" him in or out of game except as a joke, and it mostly is about his timing, but at the same time he did seem like the kind of guy that knows a lot more than he appears to, but wants to have others build their confidence and earn their glory rather than being incompetent, selfish, or a jerk to compensate.

As for fixing the problem, or shifting it, my honest suggestion would probably be to introduce new characters and start highlighting some of the "problem" people less. Not completely, as different folks have different problems with different NPCs. But, instead of trying to stealth errata them, which is already doomed to fail, (or will lead players to suspect something else is going on), instead start bringing in NPCs that are less toxic and off-putting and encourage the sort of respect you want from players and characters.

On the other hand, is it really even a bad thing that players/characters get to tell off bad VC's? As a game that is all about escaping reality and stepping into someone else's shoes to do things many people can't do in real life with minimal consequences, sometimes returning shots fired is a pretty fun rp encounter that makes a scenario memorable. Particularly when those VC's are not actually your boss or hold any actual authority over you.

It's not an uncommon troupe in action movies to have the hero cop tell their superior to F' off, and then go do what they where just ask/told to do anyway.

Another suggestion for the cultural shift might be to start removing (downplaying???) the idea that VC's are in charge or the boss, and start presenting them as individuals that open doors or grant opportunity. This is actually something I've always found odd, as none of the material on the Pathfinder Society I've seen actually claims that there are military-like ranks of authority within the pathfinder Society, but PFS play seems to have assumed so for some reason. VC is more of a job description than a title of nobility.

I've seen this beginning to show up more in the last few months (year?), where the briefing seem more of a request then a demand, and it's very clearly been a good thing.

The entire blunder with Grandmaster Torch and the Shadow Lodge is probably the one thing standing in your way for this, and again, it's sort of too late to change that. People that have been playing for a few seasons (and hell, honestly since Hestram and season 1) kind of know just how despicable and nasty the Pathfinder Society organization really is and what it will do to those it can't control, but also that organized play can and will use the heel-toe method of storytelling.

Silver Crusade

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NG Male Aasimar Cleric 15, Sunflare: +15/+10/+5, 1d6+18+1d6 Acid (15/x2) S, 5,274-18 HP: 138/138 , Init +3, AC: 23, T: 12, FF: 21, CMD: 29, F: +18, R: +12, W: +18 <+2 vs Evil, Evasion, no Food/ Water, Native Outsider, Imune to Fog/Mist/Smoke and Evil Possesion or Mind-Control> Fly 30', Swim 30", Move 30', Perception +10 <Darkvision 60ft>, <Read/Understand all Languages, Ant Haul, Trail of Roses, Ride the Waves>,

I believe I've finished up everything here to get ready to come back home, so now, hopefully, it's just a waiting game and I should be able to post more often. The last few weeks have been non-stop crazy work days.

Survival Untrained: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9


"Gather around friends of the Open Road. We have prepared a feast for you as we discuss your missions. As always, watch each other's backs and be prepared for anything."

"As some of you may know, some months ago, the Aspis Consortium attacked the Pathfinder Society at it's heart, killing and harming many, and unleashing wanton destruction. I'm certain all of you knew someone, trained with someone, or even went on a mission or tree with those that where not so fortunate after the attack at the Grand Convocation. Now might be your first, hopefully of many, times to get a little payback. Many Pathfinders and allies died to bring us this information. . ." Diplomacy: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (19) + 35 = 54

"Not all know this, but we are not at open war with the Aspis Consortium, but rather a splinter cell of fanatics and maniacs within it, similar to the Spider and her FALSE Shadow Lodge. Many within the Aspis Consortium are not even aware of them, these fiends that call themselves the Korholm Agenda."

"And now we take the fight to them!" Diplomacy: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (1) + 35 = 36

"I look around and I see four teams; the mighty Axe-Fixers, the Kernaug Group, and the Scroll-Seekers. By friends, we have three missions, and four groups, and the time is now. We need your help. All of us, acting as one large team have a chance to achieve something great. We know that one of their leaders, if not their leader is hiding in and around Nidal. And that's where we are heading."

"The Kernaug Group, stand tall! We are sending you to Wirholt’s Rictus, a plantation house that holds a secret laboratory and other secrets beneath. Wirholt's Rictus has already been hit by a small alliance of Aspis and Pathfinder Agents not long ago, but we have reason to believe that they didn't tell us the whole story and that there is still more below. Your primary duty is to stay alive, but we need you to go down and find out everything you can. Take notes, keep your minds fresh, and do your best. We do know that the plantation workers seemed to be completely unaware of the facility below, and our spies monitored the Aspis Consortium attempting to hide removing certain strange relics before burning the place to the ground. We believe they meant to cover something up. What you find there, well, it might be the key we need." Diplomacy: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (2) + 35 = 37

"Mighty Axe-Fixers and Scroll-Seekers, stand tall! We are sending you to Uskwood. It's a smaller sight than Wirholt's Rictus, but it yet to be explored at all. Meaning that whatever defenses the Korholm Agenda are employing there are still completely operational. We do, however, have the element of surprise, and we are sending in two teams. Your primary job is to stay alive. Scroll-Seekers, we need you there to find out all you can. Take what you can, find what is able to be found, and report back. Axe-Fixers, you are there to open a path and guard your fellow team. This is not a diplomatic mission . . ." Diplomacy: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (13) + 35 = 48

"We shall be heading to Wingless Rock, where we believe Professor Kramolag is hiding in a cave. She is our, all of our primary target, though we do not believe she is still cowering in either Uskwood or Wirholt's Rictus. If you encounter her, learn what you can, but do not attempt to attack. You are too important."

"All three of these missions will be happening simultaneously, and no one outside of this room can know what I've just told you until afterwards. For now, I want each of you to finish your meal. Enjoy it. Talk amongst yourselves while you do on what I've just told you. If you have any questions, now if the time. After we eat, we have some additional gifts to help you in your missions, and then we head into the brink. . ."


Silver Crusade members:
A simple note reads:
Fellow harbingers of the light,
I would call on your aid for an additional task while we venture into the belly of night's dragon. Nidal is a land of bitter tears and unending agony for many, and yet, the light and warmth of our healing hands can not but reach out to help all those in need. But not all that are in need know it. Or are willing to take your hand while they are yet drowning in dark waters all around them.

If, in your travels, you meet any who might be shown a better path out of their own darkness, I ask you to bring them into the sacred light.

And finally, another favor, this one to strike against the darkness so that others might know there is still hope, even in Nidal. You have seen my mark. I bear it with pride upon my brow. In your travels below the earth, I would have you carve that mark into the very stone. You shall know the place, for it is written upon your souls. One day, one of ours will come by it, and it will grant them the strength to succeed.

Silver Crusade

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NG Male Aasimar Cleric 15, Sunflare: +15/+10/+5, 1d6+18+1d6 Acid (15/x2) S, 5,274-18 HP: 138/138 , Init +3, AC: 23, T: 12, FF: 21, CMD: 29, F: +18, R: +12, W: +18 <+2 vs Evil, Evasion, no Food/ Water, Native Outsider, Imune to Fog/Mist/Smoke and Evil Possesion or Mind-Control> Fly 30', Swim 30", Move 30', Perception +10 <Darkvision 60ft>, <Read/Understand all Languages, Ant Haul, Trail of Roses, Ride the Waves>,

No worries. And your welcome, and thank you for helping keep your players sane.

Shadow Lodge

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Zahariel wrote:

While I do understand where you're coming from, I've come to realize that a big part of the success of Pathfinder stemmed from the kitchen sink approach at launch.

Think about it, when Starfinder comes out, we'll only have one AP and no modules to flesh out the setting. Now consider that if you sit ten gamers at a table to play a sci-fi game, chances are that you'll get at least five different ideas of what a sci-fi game is. Maybe a lot of gaming groups won't be interested in the flavor of sci-fi that the first AP will offer.

Actually, I'd argue the evidence is the opposite, and the success of PF was that it was pretty generic, unexplored and not codified towards the reader/player/dm, and open to interpritation. That, to me is the settings golden age, and the more material that comes out, the more cool ideas about otherwise unclear topics, locations, orders, faiths, etc become wrong or false.

As PF/Golarion became more and more set in stone, it had really became more and more just like Forgotten Realms, though I would argue that at least FR's kitchen sink makes more logistical/geographical sense. Hopefully Starfinder can avoid that on both accounts, leaving plenty of room for exploration, interpretation, and also not having Disney cartoon princess lands boarding each other. The only real setting I've seen it done well is Ravenloft, where there is a reason most of the areas while physically connected, are not really open, allowing for a bronze age domain right next to a did main with modern technology, but they can't or will not just invade and destroy, (and not just because setting/writer fiat protects).

Shadow Lodge

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My initial feelings about the Warpriest are pretty online with my 2 years later view. Its playable, but not ideal. Its fa too dependant on Swift Actions, which is, or should be cool, but in play is really more annoying than anything. Fervor is really the one stand out ability, but without a way to increase it, and because it is a pool for multiple abilities rather than just Swift Casting, its something that looks a lot better on paper than it generally is in play.

Taking a look at how Battle Clerics/Oracles, Inquisitors, and the Magus play probably would have done a lot of good, as each tends to do the Warpriests job better overall except a few things, or rather except at a few levels, but also tend to have many more options besides just combat. The Battle Cleric "comes online" a tad later, but has a lot more staying power, wider range of play, better ability to fill more roles, (while being pretty close to on par in combat). Similarly with the Inquisitor, who is just built to work with itself so well, and do its combat job well AND everything else, too. I think Magus is the big one, mainly because, I think too many people compare it too incorrectly. The Magus did it right, allowing offense, buff, or whatever while the Warpriest is all about buffs, and specifically self only buffs. The two are really nothing alike, and the Warpriest just doesn't fill the "divine Magus" niche.

Sacred Weapon is good, but in play I tend to feel like Im doing it wrong by using a weapon that a "priest of war" would use. Instead it rewards the use of non-Warpriesty weapons, which just feels wrong. I really get the impression that there where a lot of hands in the pot for its class design, and everyone wanted to get their little baby or concept in, but didn't realize how it all worked in unison.

DESPITE both its parents being 2+Int, Int dumping classes, it really hurts here, as there are even more skills needed to do the classes basic job, and just no way to really handle that, which combined with the Classes overall lower spellcasting and fewer utility spells, tends to leave the class even worse off than the Fighter in non-combat situations.

Changing one or two things as the baseline for the class would have gone a long, long way here.
1.) Making it a straight up Full BaB class would make Fervor feel more like a boon than a pool for too many things. Some people seem to think its too good, but I just don't see it.
2.) Make Sacred Weapon Damage an either/or option, so weapons like the Greatsword get some benefit instead of increased damage dice, while the dagger is still viable. (It wasnt before???)
3.) Rather than having Fervor be a pool for swift casting, channel energy, and self healing, just have Swift casting ability be an unlimited, once per combat ability and reduce the book keeping significantly.
4.) Blessing are probably the most unevenly balanced mechanic I've seen, with some being basically must have (Good), while others are just junk, (usually unless you have a specific build such as Air working only on Ranged weapons, but the main deities with ranged Favored weapons don't have access to the Air Blessing).
5.) Pick one theme or goal for the baseline class and stick to it. Weapon specialist, Paladin of any Alignment, battle priest, divine magus, etc. . .

All that being said, its not a bad class, and there are some good ideas in there. Most of the time I'd probably go battle Cleric, Paladin, or Inquisitor, but not always. It stands out at level 2 and again at around 12-15+, and does offer some possibilities that are harder to pull off otherwise.

Shadow Lodge

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Owen (or anyone else): Is there any chance this one particular player companion be bumped up to 64 pg/double-sized-ish? I don't think it'd be that difficult to find enough content to fill it, and I'd still be interested in grabbing it at the higher price bump.

I can quickly and easily saw no, but not because we don't think there's enough content for such a book. I could easily do 32 pages on each of these races.

Sadly,we have tons of evidence that a 32-page book on grippli won't sell well.

Honestly, I saw the list of races, and Grippli and Ratfolk where the only two that I actually wanted. I have absolutely no interest in either Kitsune or Catfolk, (though if there where a "dogfolk" race. . .)but am neutral on Tengu, Nagaji, and Vanara.

I'm considering not getting this one simply because it seems unavoidable that there will be nearly enough material (even if there are universal options), to make it worth it (for what I would want).

Shadow Lodge

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|| Serpent's Ire || Peril || Maelstrom || Thralls of the Shattered God ||
Tsuki Kurohige wrote:

I'm still really confused by some of the stuff post on here. Like it could say 5-9 but it's actually levels 3-7 or something. Not a clue, I want to sign up for something myself but im just so lost with most of it v.v Fortunately my brothers signed me up for the games I'm currently in, but I wanna be able to do it myself too. Level 1 Swashbuckler, not played him before.

So, each Scenario has a Level Range. That is the level all characters must fit in, in order to play that scenario. Period. If you are too high or too low level, you can not play with that character, but you might be able to play a Pregen and apply credit to your character. (There are special rules for Pregens, and it's a bit complicated)

Outside of the Level Range, there are also SubTiers, which are (usually two) smaller level ranges meant to balance that scenario's challenges around an overall party average level.

So, if a Scenario has a Level Range of 1st - 5th, any character that is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th Level can play in that Scenario. However, within the 1-5 Range, there are two SubTiers, 1st - 2nd, and also 4th - 5th. The 4-5 Subtier will probably add in a few extra enemies, raise the DC's a few points, and/or swap out enemies for something a little stronger. Each Scenario comes with two versions, if you will, including monsters for both the higher and lower level, while the story remains mostly the same, (possibly accounting for a little that higher level characters might be able to do, such as Teleport).

The basic idea is that once everyone has picked their characters, you add all their levels together, then divide that number by the number of players, finding the average, and then use that average (or APL for Average Party Level), to see which SubTier they best fit into.

So, if we have a 5 person party, with four level 1 character and one level 3 character, they are all allowed to play in a 1-5 level range, because they are all level 1 or higher, but lower than level 6. From there, we get the APL, (1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 = 7) then (7 / 5 = 1.4) 1.4, regardless of which way it's rounded still fits into the (1-2) Subtier, which means that they would be playing the lower level version of that Scenario.

Shadow Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
Well, the comic version of Civil War was an awful travesty. It was what got me to stop reading Marvel comics. Let us just be glad they chose something entirely different.


Purely a matter of opinion, but I thought Civil War was an amazing series.

Shadow Lodge

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wraithstrike wrote:
I see the problem with him trying to find loopholes and abuse the rules to be the issue.

The problem is that there is a fine line between "finding loopholes" and "rules abuse" and being experienced with the rules interactions and enjoying using the rules and different books to build things just right.

I've seen different DM's ban things "because they are cheese" that I'd consider perfectly fine. I myself have banned Improved Initiative and things like the Reactionary Trait because just about everyone at the table went straight for them. Not because I thought they where too strong as much as because I wanted to avoid a game where most of the combats where binary initiative orders/rocket tag.

I just mean that the implication of how bad or problematic a player is due to how much they find loopholes is very subjective. It could just as easily be an implication that they like heavier, more complex games while the others want lighter, more simple games.

Shadow Lodge

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In a lot of ways you have already sort of answered yourself. Different people enjoy different things from the game. It's not wrong that he enjoys playing a more by the rules game than a DM Fiat one. Neither one is more intrinsic to telling a good story or better fun.

A lot of times that players/DMs min/max, it's because they enjoy the challenge of working within the rules to test themselves or because it helps tem to learn and experiment. From their perspective when GM's let anything go, throw out rules on a whim, or things like that, it ruins the game just like using cheat codes. It takes out the challenge and experimenting. The only reason I really mention all this is maybe seeing things from their perspective might help you (and others) to find some middle ground, or maybe by understanding what may be their goal or motivation in playing, might see things from their side a bit.

Now, as for suggestions and ideas, the biggest things I can think of would be to try to incorporate Role Playing with Combats, or threats. Most likely it isn't just straight up combat that one player likes as danger and challenge. Things like Chase Scenes, traps, and tactical set-ups are probably just as fun than just combat.

There could be a set up where an important NPC is locked up in a magic prison that requires certain steps to get out, and the NPC isn't really sure they want out, (needing a little convincing). But, while that's going on, there is a small horde trying to break in through the one door leading into the room, needing someone to defend it and the others who are trying to deal with the NPC.

You could also try something like 4E Skill Challenges, where rather than each player rolling for a single task, the entire group rolls multiple times over the course of a short time period working towards an overall goal. So, for example lets say they are piloting a ship that is suddenly ambushed, you could have one player focusing on piloting the ship, one or two fighting off pirates trying to board, and another casting spells to buff and fix the ship, and each round someone needs to dedicate their action to one of these important tasks). Or, for Skill Challenges, you can instead have everyone roll against a set DC, then describe, round by round how they are trying to contribute towards the overall goal of fighting off an ambush. The group, as a whole might need to attain a total of 10 successes, but it's less important what exactly they do as long as they can explain why their action is contributing in some way. There are two benefits to doing something like this. Firstly, if you want to, it is a "Rule Set", and while it's not really a Pathfinder Rule, it's something that that one player might find challenging and interesting to try out. And secondly, you do not have to tell that player that their Attack and Damage Rolls do not matter so much, but let them think that their combat actions are really combat actions rather than just part of the skill challenge. Let them do tactical movements, roll crits, and the like and enjoy it while everyone else finds their own way to contribute, because in the end, it really is just all the players contributing to a single pool of successes, and less important about ho exactly they do so, as long as it's reasonable overall.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Its been done before. Butterfly Sting was changed to a Desna only Feat. The problem with Dex to Damage Feats/Abilities is, (I believe), is that folks at Paizo have different ideas on its overall power level. Some think its way too strong, and in general I agree, while others see it as strong, but needed.

Going all the way back to PF 3.5 days, when they allowed Dervish Dance to be a limited/restricted version. The impression I get from Fencing/Slashing Grace is that someone was trying to push them through despite the other Paizo staff being against it, and the various nerfs are ways to correct them getting in print anyway. Being that it came from the ACG, (and Adv Class Origins), which was filled with similar problems all around, to me suggests that they slipped through unintended.

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