|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
Look, I don't wanna derail the thread topic, but as an immigrant to the States, as a naturalized American citizen, and a U.S Air Force veteran who served proudly and with honor, it really grinds my gears when people make these obnoxious blanket-statements about a nation that I believe in, the nation that I bled for.
First off, I just wanted to say thank you. Secondly, I get it.
Actually, he was requested for aid by a group of non-Rahadoumi experts trapped within the country, and irony of ironies, didn't want to get caught up in the nations' religious conflicts.
And whitewashing and pointing blame doesn't change the fact of the Rahadoumi's reaction to the situation. However, and this is basically the exact point I'm making, is I'm not basing Rahadoum off of anything EXCEPT the actual publish material on it. All of the above takes place within published adventures. And they are not extremists or the crazies of the country. That's the general view and attitude of the nation.
Think or believe differently leads to slavery, exile, or most often death. Decide this isn't a place you can live, they will come after you. These are not good people. I'm sure there are good people in the country, sure, but as a group, the nation is not at all. It was never intended to be.
True, and while my initial impulse is to not like it, the truth is I have not yet had the time to really play with a lot of the things yet to see how it works, and there is far too much of an errata dump at once to have a really good grasp of it all.
I think most people are just tunnel visioning on the few things that really (might) affect them or one of their friends rather than taking it all in. It doesn't really help, however, just how poorly the entire book has been received from the start.
Because it's pretty self evident. Having more experience in general gives more perspective overall. Knowing what had already been tried and how it was generally handled does allow you to make a better judgment on the here and now.
It doesn't make it 100%, but it does give more weight. Like someone mentioned before, having driven for 20 years vs having driven for 2 years does not make the more experienced driver better, and it's actually more likely that in the very corner case example that the less experienced person might be more right, such as with one of the questions in a driving exam. But, with just those two things on the table for comparison, I'd probably feel safer riding with the person that's been driving (and thus surviving it) for 20 years over the one that's been doing it for 2. They might have more book knowledge, but very likely a significant amount less practical knowledge or general wisdom.
As far as gaming goes, going back to that, and we assume that both parties are just as "elitist", the "OG" probably has a lot more experience being able to accept different interpretations of something, and lets face it, PF is based off of the assumption that a lot of rules just barely qualify as guidelines and was, and I quote here, "intentionally left vague so that individual groups could use it as needed for their games".
So, again, the OG is more likely to have a better grasp of different ways something could work or how to handle it when the rules don't fully cover something than the newer gamer, but it's a rule of thumb only, not a "law".
Well, to be honest we DO see the inverse a lot. Promotion is largely based on the number of individuals within a certain "job". Different branches do it a bit differently, so there are variations, but the basic norm is that it's easier to get promoted in the "jobs" that have higher turn over and/or are more in demand. For simplicity I'll leave it at that, and these two factors are highly relevant in where the promotion points bar is set, for that "job".
So anyone that has that job has the same bar they need to achieve and maintain in order to be promoted, but it is not related at all to any other job. So a mechanic might need 30 points, a medic 700, and a driver might need 250. This leads to a lot more young and inexperienced mechanics, and I'm just using this as an example, not literal, a lot more inexperienced mechanics than it does drivers, but the issue is that a higher rank IS SUPPOSSED TO have a better understanding of ALL aspects of military responsibilities, and it does often place individuals with less experience, knowledge, wisdom, into positions of authority based on a standard that is arguably insane.
There is also a very clear distinction between the younger members that come in right out of high school/college and the older ones that have had to actually work for a living first.
So while age, experience, and wisdom/intelligence are not true standards/bars to achieve, I'd choose them every single time. over the alternative.
But as far as gaming, it really sounds like the base complaint is along the lines of I know the one true way, and I don't like it when other people with different experiences doesn't agree with mine. Labelling them the elitists is a bit, . . . odd, in my mind.
Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:
Is it a cleric of Gunssuckia, God of Gun Hatred, who derives his divine power from hating guns and who would have their power stripped if they cooperate with a gun user?
Absof*$%inglutelly. In fact, I think that Season 6 can use a whole lot of Gunssuckia's divine and sacred teachings. Have at it!!! Where can I learn more?
Honestly, I kind of feel sorry for the Inquisitor player. They came to have fun, had some asshat (by the sounds of it) absolutely ruin their night to the point the only thing thy could do is get threatened by the DM that they will get hit with an extra Atonement penalty for continuing to play when they had already decided to just eat the chronicle, but had been convinced to stay.
Do Religious Tenets trump Cooperation. Yes. Because by not following the religious tenets that are a rules mechanic of the character, there is an in game penalty. Characters are not just a bunch of numbers on a sheet, and being a Pathfinder is not the total of your character. It's only a part of it.
Cooperation is also a two way street. Not a shield you can hide behind to get your way and run over others. It does NOT favor those without moral or ethical beliefs. Cooperation does NOT mean you have to accommodate me in whatever why I choose. It means everyone has to work together, ALL THE TIME, not towards winning or completing the mission, but towards the players having fun.
All in all, I'd have to say that, again, from the sounds of it, it's mostly the Necromancer that's to blame, but also the DM for allowing that player to instigate things to that point that would actually make another player choose not to heal them. And the DM for not stepping up until it got to that point, or apparently reprimanding the Necromancer.
Advanced Class Guide is infamous for the amount of errata that people were screaming about, to the degree that people were demanding the errata to be released before the second print edition came out. So undoubtedly there will be a lot of changes.
To clarify, people where not "demanding" the errata be released before the second printing. That's very misleading. About a year ago, that is what everyone was told would happen, because there where so many errors and issues with the book. They where also told it would be sooner rather than later.
I suspected the same thing. My issue is just how poorly those 4 tastes actually are. Celestial, Infernal, and Abyssal come with flavor that has nothing at all to do with the otherwise pretty universal abilities they grant, basically requiring you to be evilish to get Enlarge Person to be somewhat close to a typical follower of Sarenrae, while the Fey one essentially blows everything else out of the water by actually giving a good spell list in addition to extra spells.
It's a huge backwards step.
I think the difference is, whereas numerous folks have produced Dracula movies over the years with no collaboration with one each. Prior to the ramp up for The Force Awakens however, all Star Wars media was set in the same timeline, from games to books. And that continuity was maintained over multiple decades.
Not really. Actually, on of the more commonly held EU Canon has been the large amount of "The Old Republic" lore, set 4,000 years prior to, if I recall correctly, the Battle of Yavin. The Old Republic was also partially included in Star Wars 1-3 as Lucas did need to retroactively include certain aspects like Jedi not being able to marry, the Banite Sith Order/Rule of Two, (one Master and one Apprentice at a time), and to a point the miracle birth of Anakin.
Up until recently, and this probably has a lot to do with the current ownership of various licenses only, the Old Republic material was 100% approved Canon, and looking at the actual announcement, it looks like it's saying (outside of a few noted cases where it does specifically contradict the movies), they are not being removed from canon as much as future material will not include them, which probably wouldn't matter anyway.
And 3c is out there, believe me. Like me, however, they know better than to wave their flag too vigorously. And, seeing as the results of unlimited replay are what drives most of the arguments against replay in general, being aware of this specific position is also important. You and DM Beckett, for instance, would be (and have been) upset and defensive when lumped into the "Pro Replay" camp without distinction.
I just want to point out I am neither upset nor do I feel I'm being defensive. I just feel that the distinction between opening Replay options up more and unlimited Replay is important. The arguments I use for more Replay options do not hold true for infinite replay.
So it feels like this discussion is wrapping up.
About all of what can be said probably has at this point.
I think there is a lot of room for further ideas.
What could be really cool is to start looking at making evergreen scenarios that are outside of the level 1 range, or even, better yet, outside of the 1st-5th tier.
For those of us that have difficulty finding things to run that most people at our tables can play and be included in, this would go a long, long way. Low level is not the problem. It's the 3rd-7th ish levels that are the issue.
Joe Ducey wrote:
Lets get away from "UNLIMITED" Replays, as basically no one is suggesting that. Instead, we are talking about opening up a bit more replay options.
Joe Ducey wrote:
Always the same people playing the same things.
Do they have other options? And if so how many? If an individual goes to a game night where there are three scenarios being played, two of which they have already played and 1 they have not, most people would opt to go for that new scenario, (even assuming they could replay the other two for credit). Assuming all other things are equal, (so one doesn't have a DM they like, one group doesn't have a player they don't like playing with, all three are valid options/have seats, etc. . .) I know I would. In fact, it's probably more likely that game 3, the one the individual has not played is either new or one that is not run often, which further seems to contradict the idea that opening replay would lead to hogging tables. It would actually give a valid alternative to that, as more players could play in more valid games for credit, meaning it wouldn't matter if they missed the new scenario this go around.
Joe Ducey wrote:
People complaining when you bring a sub-optimal character class/build/weapon choice to a scenario because they already know what works.
People already do this without Replay, (and sometimes its valid). Or the opposite, when there is a strong build that overshadows the other players. How is this any different than reading the scenario before hand or checking out the PFS GM Boards?
Joe Ducey wrote:
People hunting the same chronicle over and over again for some mechanical benefit it provides.
Which may or may not be true. There are only a few really good Chronicles out there, and most of them are very restricted options. I have not heard of this being an issue whatsoever with the DM Star Replays at all. It may have happened, but I have not heard of it. Instead, it's highly suggested that a lot of people used them either to help make a table, to be able to play through a scenario they failed, or because they really loved the story/play of a few particular scenarios and wanted to do it again. I can think of maybe two scenarios I would "hunt for", but in all honesty, they are not that important. They really are not.
Joe Ducey wrote:
A proliferation of copies of the same build over and over again.
In a lot of ways we already have this. How would more options for replay affect this? PFS Seasons already somewhat mandate this with the "Year of the Adamantine Sword", or "Year of the Diplomat". But, past 2nd level, doing an entire build to be able to be best at a scenario or two is, well sounds like a pretty terrible, (and extremely self-correcting) idea that they player will be stuck with thereafter.
Joe Ducey wrote:
Some of these may not appear to be the fault of unlimited replay but it plays a role or even directly determines all of them, and this is just a small list there are more.
I'm sorry, but based on the lack of evidence suggesting that, (with the possible exception of unlimited replay), I can not agree with this at all. There are just far, far too many other plausible reasons that are not accounted for. Instead, what it appears to suggest is that there are already some scenarios/modules that are really hard to get into, but opening replay would probably help to ease that outside of those scenarios/modules that are very hard to get into because they are not offered as options as much.
Joe Ducey wrote:
Could this happen in PFS? Yes, oh you shouldn't play that ... here everything is immune. Oh every longsword at the table is an intelligent one, hmmm. Oh and due to that sword, all the martials at the table are optimized to make use of it.
Well, speaking of the longsword, that was actually one of the few chronicles I'd consider "hunting", but and here is the big "but" that changes the whole thing, it's because I've gone on record many times expressing how in my opinion, that scenario was probably the best scenario I have ever played. The special chronicle is cool, but lets face it, it's also pretty underpowered. Even after the upgrade (which comes much later and only if you play your cards right), it's still not terribly effective an item. It is fun, don't get me wrong. It also feels like an achievement, but it's not terribly powerful. Another gives you a special Improved Familiar Option, which again is cool and fun, but not terribly powerful or outside of what you could already do if you wanted. Another gives a special Mount, which I would say is a bit on the powerful side, but not something I see people "hunt" for now that it's kind of well known. Another example is the special Goblin-related "pet", which honestly, is terrible. It reflavors an existing option that itself is pretty underwhelming at best.
I admit that, seeing as my experience is tied to me, it is anecdotal. However, it is experience gained over years (and thousands of games) of running OrgPlay for various systems.
When I say it's anecdotal, I'm referring to the fact that, (and this is very true all around), instead of having, for example a spreadsheet showing results or a post showing numbers that we can all go off of, we have you saying it was done. It doesn't mean it's wrong or false, but it does mean that it is not going to help ease anyone that is dissatisfied with what is.
Now, I'm not saying you are lying, but rather pointing out that even if it is true, there is no evidence for it or results. There is no criteria for the questions. How many toothpaste commercials say that 4 out of 5 dentists agree. It may be true, but it itself is a meaningless statement without the further facts. How many actual dentists where asked? If the total was 5, that doesn't mean much. 5,000,000 dentists does if 4/5's of them agreed to endorse it.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the modus operandi of so many threads like the ones you linked. They follow cyclical arguments, often suggesting people go search for answers that never actually come. It's always people referencing or quoting others who are referencing or quoting something else.
For example, how would replay devastate/destroy/ruin/kill PFS? Based on what evidence. Or are those just flowery words, because I honestly don't recall any living campaign dying out (from anything but edition changes). Living Greyhawk went strong until 4E as far as I recall, as did Living Star Wars. What changed was that it went to Living Forgotten Realms with 4E, and even then there was a huge debate as 3E fans fought to keep Living Greyhawk going despite WotC absolutely abandoning 3E Heck, if I remember correctly, they even succeeded as a sort of 3PP entity. Now, just so there is no ambiguity of terms here, when I say Living Campaign, I am referring to things like Living Greyhawk, D&D Encounters, and I think it was called D&D Dungeon Crawl, not just one specific iteration. They do not work on the same basic system as PFS, so it's inappropriate to simply compare one version/iteration as if they where.
4E's Living Forgotten Realms, (something I was not a fan of), likewise did not fail from what I can see. Seems to still be going strong into 5E.
Being that there are already some Replay Option available in PFS, and that the Core Campaign thing does seem to be doing at least well enough to not go away, (I honestly don't know, there does seem to be a small fan base though), we can see that the idea of people shoving out new players does not seem to exist on a significant or wide scale worth being concerned about.
So, by devastate/kill/etc. . . Organized Play, do you mean (with supporting evidence) that it would actually be harmful to the Organize Play player base or a risk of somehow stopping it from existing next year, or do you mean it might change it to something that isn't your personal preference?
I don't know, I would be rather interested in seeing some sort of yes or no vote on the subject.
But, not having been at any of these game days, conventions, etc. . . where it has been asked, I honestly can't say one way or the other, but how unbias where the populations asked? Even so, at best that seems to just put it around 50/50 when compared to the pages and pages on the subject here.
Something else to consider is, as far as I can tell even here with some of the new passionate voices for more Replay options, "Infinte" Replay is not something being asked for be practically anyone, and I have no doubt that most would be against it. I'm not asking for it, and do not recall doing so.
It has, however, been well established (assuming we can all agree that Paizo's word is true), that these boards are not any realistic representation of the population, and that's even more true for PFS. It is a general rule of thumb, but not at all universally true by any means that people do more often discuss things they are unhappy with, but, there is really no way to judge just how true, if it is at all, that is and to what degree. Not outside of book reviews.
We can, however, look at past examples, and I'd like to hear suggestions that the limited DM Star Replay or evergreen scenarios have ever been seen as detrimental, or even bad choices compared to the no replay that came before it. With respect, you do have more PFS DM experience than I do, but you are also offering anecdotal evidence, which does seem to be contradicted strongly by, or at least not match) more factual theoretical evidence.
I have no doubt that Paizo is careful with their approach. But being that we can not (or can we?), see what questions where asked, to who, how many times, when, or what the statistical answers and trends looked like, it's not particularly meaningful to use that as an argument.
Well, there are also a lot of factors to this that are often, it seems, swept under the rug. The various Living Campaigns where extremely notorious for being very, very difficult to acquire gear and wealth, whereas PFS it is not. It was a literal practice to have the other players raid a dead PC's body for gear and money, because that was one for the few ways to actually get cool stuff, and I'm not at all kidding here. This was an actual practice that the Living Campaigns are known for.
Another factor was that gaining XP was also pretty difficult. Back n Living Greyhawk (3.5), I remember my first game I received something like a total of 33gp and 200 XP (for a successful game). 200 out of the 2,000 I needed to level up. This was pretty consistent. PFS instead has a roughly minimum 500gp (for 1st) and 1/3 XP for next level system.
Replaying, and replaying a lot was essentially required in order to advance in any significant way.
So things like this is what a lot of the people that claim Replay would be bad because of what happened in Living Campaigns are actually meaning, and in my personal opinion, tends to sound much more like an excuse than a logic argument.
It also assumes that there would be a significant amount of people that go Chronicle hunting, or that in PFS that is somehow a bad thing. In actuality, very, very unlikely.
As was pointed out, this is a subject that does come up rather often, (which is kind of telling), and for the most part, there seems to be a small group of voices against the idea. Dragonmoon and Drogon are two of, what it seems the main champions against it.
They also seem to be in a position that is something I would not consider at all common or universal, where they do have a large and interchangeable player based with plenty of room to run games in a good location from a dedicated game store(s) where the owner is also able to run games.
Many of those things are not applicable to a lot of other people, and I can also say that from the PbP community, Sign Up sheets that are often touted as preventing a lot of the more common issues that lead people to want more Replay, at least in my experience, tend to cause as many issues as they possibly solve. A lot of people, for instance can not edit the sign up sheets from touch screen devices. New players get left out, not knowing that there is a non-traditional method for finding games. They fill up so fast that it makes it impossible to know if you actually got in, what subtier to expect, etc. . .
In my most recent game, it turned out about 3 to 4 times the maximum seats at a table tried to get in, which lead to the DM deciding to go with a random lottery. I don't blame them, but had I known that, (I literally need 1 game before I can EotT it up), I wouldn't have waited a week or two to find out I wasn't even playing and found something else, which would have really been bad if I had a EotT game waiting on me. I also had to sign up like 6 players who could not access/edit the Sign Up sheet.
I think a lot of the decision to not allow or broaden the Replay capabilities for PFS are based on a lot of uncommon assumptions that also favor some fairly uncommon circumstances as if they where the norm.
I'd also point out that we can plainly see the results from both the (somewhat) infinite DM Star Replay and the Evergreen material to see that so many of the concerns and reasonings against more Replay options just do not really hold up. But that's just me. I don't mean this to be rude or insulting, but a lot sound more like excuses rather than logic.
It's not at all difficult, for example, to make it a hard rule in the guide that anyone that has played the scenario before, run the scenario, or is bringing a PreGen to the table is required to give their seat up for someone that has not and can legally play. That honestly right there solves most of the concerns about Chronicle hunting and players dominating seats to the point that they make it impossible for new players to join.
If you gather five, 5 Star GM's, running an non-Evergreen scenario under a 0 Star GM, without anyone Replaying, not only can you unlock a 6th Star (1:255 chance), but you can also, with your powers combined. . .
Lets say I go to a local game store and plan to run The Frozen Fingers of Midnight, a scenario where the Pathfinder Society gets called in to help out a friend suffering from a foul curse.
Everyone shows up, and we can check through each characters Chronicle Sheets to see that they don't have this one. But, and this is something that I do have happen with some of my long term players, once we get going, someone says, "hey this sounds really familiar. I do not recognize the name, but I kind of remember this briefing." Ther is also the "Did I play this or did I run it" aspect.
Now we have to stop as someone tries to log on to their account on their phone to check for the scenario and find the date.
It adds another level of complexity if the date it was reported was also not the date it was played.
This may or may not be a big issue. Because I normally DM, it's hard to say, but I know that having such spread sheets is not common. I have a few players that have practically played everything up to the 7-11 range and have been playing since the start, when originally there was no replaying, and that sort of accounting wasn't needed, so they never did.
I also DM a lot of PbP games, where it is not really possible for me to check, (I have to take peoples word for it), and a set back like I mentioned above, which again I have seen happen as an honest mistake, but it could set a game back a week or more.
I'm just saying. It's an interesting idea, and I like ideas. It's just not one that I personally would want. In theory, I'm not certain it would help in my case, or it might help minimally for a lot of extra work or risk. Again, in theory, only.
It might be cool to slightly change it, so that instead of saying after two years since last playing it, maybe open up the entire Season 0 and/or Season 1 scenarios for a replay.
Let me be blunt. This is what your post and your response to it read as. If it is not the "tone" you intended, or not what you meant, that's one thing, but it is how it kind of sounds to others that read it. So, lets call a spade a spade, and if the shoe fits, well, IT CERTAINLY SEEMS TO FIT, DOESN'T IT, if it does not fit, every failure is a learning experience, and experience is the coin of the realm. F'!!!!! Gold. Even F' Platinum!!!! XP is where it's at.
Which is fine. But, how is doing exactly what you are doing any different? Calling those people, (those dirty "the Sky is Falling" People), not doing exactly what you seem to be complaining about in an off-handed, name-cally way.
We all, 100%, absolutely, ultimately, quintessentially, undeniably, and completely understand that it's a playtest for an unfinished class, and that we do not have all the relevant information. That has no relevance whatsoever to, well anything. The playtest isn't about the final product, it's about all the steps to get there. Just because you happen to be one of the individuals that may like it as is, (or may not) doesn't somehow give you the right to dismiss anyone else's opinions or take some kind of higher ground.
So, how exactly is being the first person to call the other side the
Secondly, if it doesn't matter at all, as far as you and buying the book are concerned,what any other "b#!@$*! crazy" person, that doesn't love the class as much as you do, why even post if it's not just to try to sucker-punch the other side of the rather unfinished and still being <play> tested fence without being caught, (as in hoping you are not targeted by Liz's I'm locking this thread or deleting this ass's posts).
Robert Thomson wrote:
Core is ok, but it also doesn't help out in a lot of the cases that people site for opening up Replay more, and in some cases actually makes the problems worse. It's actually better to consider the Core option it's own thing and not a Replay method.
For smaller groups, for example, where there may only be one or two tables at a time/week, every time a new player joins, (which is common here in my military town), there is a growing divide, especially as each new player levels out of the 1-5 tier. At a few points, where some players just have no interest in making yet another new character, it really puts us in an odd position where no one can play together, which is really worsened by the fact that the players that have been there the longest are also really hurting for what scenarios they can play. It also gets to a certain point where replaying for no credit or as a 5th wheel just isn't fun. Some of them also do not like to or are not good at DMing, and because most of us are military, it's difficult to get the same crowd each weak, making running Modules and APs pretty undesirable an option, at least some times.
I typically DM, and the DM Star Replays where nice, but we where all under the assumption from the start they would reset annually, so kind of wasted them before finding out that they in fact did not reset.
Finding more DM's is not really a practical option, and in all honesty wouldn't really help the core issue in that it's very hard to find scenarios that everyone can partake in, or at least most can, for credit.
Something that might be really cool is to allow a sort of universal replay system, where if you are replaying the scenario, you automatically receive GP, XP, and PP for the lowest Tier as if playing on Slow Progression, or default minimum to 250 gp, 0.5 XP, and 1PP if it would be lower, (unless it was the same character, which would be 0's across the board).
This seems pretty simple, and like it would really help in cases where there is a small DM and player pool, or where the player pool often changes. The other issue is that new scenarios just can't seem to keep up, (which is perfectly understandable).
I guess the part I'm finding really difficult is why not just make Dual Identity a Feat, or probably a Feat Chain that any and everyone can take?
On one hand, the existence of the Vigilante is one of those things that basically takes away options from everyone else by existing. There are already things like Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and various Illusion-ish style magics. Why not just focus on highlighting those and finding ways to allow skill starved classes, namely the Fighter, Cleric, and Paladin archtypes to pull this off rather than making yet another option that removes flavor options from everyone else?
We really do not need more classes. Not when all the flavor side of it can already be done just fine already.
I'm a little bit leary on the Herald Caller as well. Was it intentional to actually reduce their ability to Summon Monster? I'm not sure if this line "A herald caller can use summon monster spells only to summon creatures particularly appropriate to her deity." followed by the more specific rules: Elementals if they have a given Domain, are on the special list, or "creatures whose alignment matches at least one aspect of her deity’s alignment". Adding a Celestial (or other Template) DOES NOT CHANGE THIER ALIGNMENT. This is very similar to the confusion around the Sacred Summons Feat.
By a strict reading, it looks like said Cleric would also loose ALL Celestial Creatures (the Celestial Template does not change their actual Alignment to Good), and not be left with any options on the Level 1 list to add the Celestial Template too. Likewise, they would not be able to utilize the Entropic, Fiendish, or Resolute Template, (but then again, they have no actual animals to pick from to apply them to anyway).
Is that correct???
Obviously that same ability grants the ability to apply the Resolute and Entropic Template, instead of Celestial or Fiendish, but also seems to say that they can't actually do that if they loose all of those animals completely.
And what happens with say a Battle Herald of Eristal who has the Animal Domain. Shouldn't ALL Animals be appropriate?
So a Level 1 Summon Monster list for a Battle Herald of Sarenrae, (just an example), Removes all non-Fire Elementals, all creatures whose Alignment is not Good, and also any creautes not called out on the Expanded Summon Monster List for the Deity (none).
Not including any extra creautres added from other books:
Later levels look similar with only a few Good Outsiders and Fire Elementals, and the 3 specific Sarenrae creatures on the 6th, 7th, and 9th level list.
It also seems a bit odd that they loose both Medium Armor and also Shields. Should probably be one or the other, as the Archtype seems like it needs to be right in the middle of things with it's expanded Channel Energy and Short Range of Summon Monster Spells.
Honestly, I have no idea what the intent here is. RAW, this seems to make the Herald Caller the single worst Summoner there is. What was the RAI?
HP: 54/58 - AC: 21, FF: 21, T: 11, CMD: 16 (-1 for Fatigue) - F: +7, R: +3, W: +8 - 30ft Move / Init +6, Perc +3 (darkvision) LG Male Archon-Blooded Aasimar Warpriest 7 PFS 5,274-12, Bastard Sword: +10, 1d10+7, 19x2 (S) (-1/-1 for Fatigue)
Wasn't sure if there was some confusion or if that's his character, but the response didn't seem to go with the question. I was trying to ask why the Mountain was called the Dragon, not if it was a dragon, maybe. :P
"Relax, my friend. We are not from here. I was wondering how it got it's name, not knowing if there was perhaps an interesting story involved, and I figured you might know the truth of it more than some of the other locals that might be more interested in selling, say authentic "Dragon Stones" taken from a secret cave at the top to outsiders. And it does seem that many of us have brought our own supplies, so there is no need to risk yours, my friend. I imagine that that would also mean a lot less paperwork on your end, yes."
Enhanced Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11 <FACEPALM!!!>
Seems like what I actually said was: "Yur momma's a Dragon!"
If you make a decently optimized Cleric and an Oracle as a generalist, the Cleric is stronger/better. Both benefit from scrolls and wands the same, but the Cleric has three major advantages in that they don't need to worry about things like DC's as much (as a generalist), they get higher level slots a level earlier, and the fact that they can swap out their spells "known" daily, or even hold slots open until needed. Some people also claim that the Cleric can much more easily switch between roles as needed for the party make up, (by swapping out for spells to cover what the party might be missing that day). It's true, but it's also not. The major problem with the Cleric is that basically all choices are made at level one and you are stuck with them from level 2-20+. At other levels, you do get a couple of extra class features, but still you choose those at Cleric level 1, and it's extremely limited even then. That fact is also not conducive to the Cleric as a Generalist, but rather as a Specialist, (though it is possible).
But, that's also about where that stops. A lot of times, with the Cleric list, the higher level spells are not great. It's a common issue where some entire spell levels are jut pretty "meh", and this really hits the generalist the worst. There is also the problem that not many want to play a generalist as either a Cleric or an Oracle, so the idea that a Cleric is a better generalist is mostly irrelevant.
Being a Specialist is where both of the classes really shine. A generalist Cleric or an Oracle can sub as a Battle Priest, but not even close to what a dedicated Battle Cleric or Battle Oracle can do in that specialization. And this is sort of where the Oracle pulls ahead by leaps and bounds. As a Spontaneous caster, who by nature is also a bit less MAD, the Oracle can leave a few spells known open to be able to be competent at other things, but still has a lot of ability to pull ahead in their specialty. Looking at the Battle Priest example, a Cleric basically has to dedicate all or most of their extremely limited Feats to doing it, because they do not really have any other option, besides spells. Everything was chosen at level 1, and Domains are basically going to add between 0 and 4 additional abilities that may augment that (over 20 levels). So every Feat they choose to be a Battle Cleric is one that will make them that much worse as anything else.
On the other hand, the Battle Oracle gets plenty of options throughout there levels, and very few of them are chosen early only. This allows them to much more easily adjust as they level up. SO if a Cleric wants to go the Tripping Chain Route, and then begins discovers that it's not as effective later on, they are kind of stuck, having spent a large portion of their resources. The Oracle, though, can simply decide to go another route, taking those Feats as a lose, but getting plenty of other options to go a different route, but also along the way so they can see what sorts of things are more or less effective for their campaign.
The Cleric is basically stuck with just their spells then, which is nearly an identical list. The Oracle gets fewer known but more per day while the Cleric gets all of them "known", but a smaller selection. The Cleric is also very restricted in their specialty spells (Domain Spells) while the Oracle gets fewer of them, but can cast them as often as they want, and often also gets free abilities that augment them as well.
The Cleric is stuck also with what they have prepped that day, which has the potential to be better, but often is not. The Oracle on the other hand, can cast what is needed on the spot, which is extremely relevant for the particular Spell List they both share. A cleric might have one Remove Poison spell. The Oracle, though, can cast it as many times as needed. This assumes that both of them have that spell, which al in all, is pretty close to about the same chance. A cleric can prep it, but if they didn't they are screwed. An Oracle can Know it, but if they didn't, they are screwed. Being able to go back to town and prep it tomorrow is often irrelevant when you need it right now. And both have the same chance of having a Scroll or Wand of it, in which case casting it will have the same exact effect (DC, CL, etc. . .) A lot of the Remove/Cure Ailment spells, however, are very high candidates for both Clerics and Oracles to have in Wand/Scroll form, because they come up somewhat often (as a true threat), but not often enough to risk having a wasted Spell Slot/Known on. The single advantage that Clerics have here is that they can potentially cast them 1 level earlier. But, that assumes they took that spell, (arguable, as there are a lot of spells that fit into this sort of category), and also just happened to prep the right amount to cover the party, (extremely unlikely). One of those cases where it looks better on paper than it usually actually is in play.
Finally, the Oracle, as a Specialist, just has so many more options and Features to really build into their focus (whatever that might be). So, basically if you have a dedicated Oracle and a dedicated Cleric with all other things being equal, (same level, same wealth, same competency in building, access to Feats, etc. . .), the Oracle really outshines the Cleric in basically every way. A Battle Oracle can get both all Martial Weapons and Heavy Armor as a Class Feature, and using that Feat slot for something else while the Cleric has to use one of their very few Feats to get just one of those. The Cleric gets 1 special spell prepped from their Domain, while the Oracle can really build around their free bonus spells at will. It also doesn't help that approx. half of the Bonus Domain spells are already on the generic list that any Cleric or Oracle can already cast. For Oracles though, who instead pick what spells they know and can cast them as often as needed, getting a free extra spell, even if it's one they could pick normally, is very cool, allowing you to instead pick another option in it's place.
The fact that the Cleric Spell List is so limited also really favors the Oracles Spells Know much more than the Clerics, I can cast any of them. A lot of the options are either very limited or very similar to other spells on the same list, which allows the Oracle to cover a lot more ground. The Spell List contains a lot of near redundancy, and it's made worse by it's generally poor scaling and many higher level spells just being more of what you can already kind of do rather than new things to do. This is why you will often see Clerics with a nearly identical spell list for the day. Some spells are just outright better options than others, when it comes to usefulness and practicality. There is often the issue that you generally do not know what you will need in advance, which is where the Cleric would have pulled ahead.
Another factor is that the Cleric, especially in the Golarion setting was really painted into a corner, and has a lot of flavor baggage, where the Oracle has almost none. Want to play a Divine Caster that's the agent and hand of their Patron Deity? Cleric does that, but so does the Oracle. Generally better. However, the Oracle can also be a Patronless cult leader. Cleric, in the setting can't. The Oracle can be a priest of a dead deity, and still have all their class features. Cleric can't. Clerics of an Evil Deity are kind of screwed for healing. Not Oracles who can still get all their Healing spells for free and cast them Spontaneously. The Oracle can basically do every the Cleric can, and often better, too. There are even spells on the Cleric list that Clerics can't cast (or benefit from) that Oracles can. I think the one thing that a Cleric can do that an Oracle can not, (yet) is the Negative Energy Channel, which like all Channel Energy, (well except the Life Oracle!!!), quickly becomes less and less relevant as a Class Feature starting at around 3rd level. For Clerics, it's basically not used after level 5ish except in extreme emergencies or out of combat to literally save charges on the Wand of Cure Light Wounds. That's even if the Cleric invests in it extensively. For the Oracle, though, Channeling uses the same stat as their Spellcasting, (and many Class Features, too), which means is generally going to be that much stronger than the Cleric's, and stays relevant a bit longer, even if they don't invest in it.
Between the Cleric, as a Class being much more boring, the Oracle really being able to do nearly everything the Cleric can, and the fact that the Oracle is both much less MAD, has better skills, and mostly equivalent to everything else, and no mandated baggage, it's really not hard to see why so many people love it over the Cleric.
When people say that the Cleric is boring, they are not referring to the individual fluff and flavor that anyone can add to any class to make it more fun, because anyone can do that with any class. They are instead referring to the Class Features, which are very lacking in the Cleric. Like I said, basically everything is picked at level one, (minus things that everyone picks at certain levels like Feats, Ability bumps, Favored Class options, etc. . .). Oracles get plenty of options throughout their levels that the get to pick and choose between. Clerics pick everything at level one and then later just get more, some of it might be relevant, others not really. It's pretty much 50/50 there.
9/9 HP // 16 AC, 12 T, 12 FF, CMD: 14 // F: +1, R: +4, W: +2 // Int: +2, Perception: +4 // +2 Att, 1d8+2 // LN/CG Human Zealot of Milani 1
I was also a bit annoyed to see how few Know skills the Zealot gets, while it seemed the Warlock got all the good, (more useful) ones. I kind of think that all Vigilantes should get Know Local, History, and Engineering, not to mention, um, um INTIMIDATE!!!
Know Religion: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
I'm finding the Zealot to at least appear to be extremely underwhelming.
Why would you want to play the Zealot (and such a terrible name) when you could play the Inquisitor? Most of the talents are looking very lack-luster, and I don't think it helps that it's kind of a boring blob of the Cleric, Druid, and Oracle thrown together wen the only common aspect of those classes is that they cast divine spells.
Maybe I'm just missing something, but I really don't see any incentive to play a Zealot Vigilante at all. Maybe drop all the support options and refocus it on a divine smiter. Give the option between Wisdom or Cha focus? Maybe even just give the Warlock the option to cast divine or arcane spells and drop the zealot completely?
You get the game running, and a few minutes after the briefing, a few players say "Wait a sec, I've already played this one".
Followed up by the entire table having a lot of trouble finding something that at least 2 of them have not already played that fits the group's Tier.
Which also is followed by the game being run cold, and possibly from a phone at that.
A player sits down and starts talking about his animal companion, then his improved familiar, then his decked out summoning build, then his purchased pets and outright ignores the 1 combat pet guideline. Or rather says it's a guideline and not a rule.
A player talking about their tripping build right after the entire rest of the party mentions they are playing ranged.
The party, partially doing the right thing by providing their own healing, hands over their wands of Infernal Healing to the healer, who just mentioned that they (character) wasn't comfortable with that corrupting spell.
That player that says "it's not really PvP if I do _______", fully expecting no one else to be able to react, counter, or prevent it without it being PvP on their part.
There is more than one good Cleric and/or Paladin at You only Die Twice. Bonus points if their Patron is Sarenrae, Iomedae, or Pharasma.
A GMT scenario where half the party is talking OOC about attacking him on sight and the other half, suspecting their other team is up to something, and is on the look out for other PFS agents attempts to undermine or attack their friend. Seems to be happening more often, too.
You sit down and start going around the table. "So what character are you going to play?" Players answer "Hm, let me see what everyone else brings and I'll pick something that fits in." Ok, so you move down the line. After about the 3rd time of, "lets see what everyone else brings". . .
There is also the fact that he was a better Venture Captain/Mentor/Faction Head than anyone else in the whole dang PFS, actually 1.) knowing things and 2.) willing to share it to keep the rookies from getting killed. He made everyone else look bad.
.. destroying the decemvirate and that would probably be bad for the society members.
Not so much, actually. From the start, GMT hated the PFS leadership because of something they did to him. We knew that it involved him being left for dead, being cursed with the constant painful burns, and that it also involved people he cared about dying.
He did have an issue with the PFS, but it was always the top, and through the early scenarios, he is actually written as giving a crap about these new blood, not wanting them to get killed.
I think the vast majority of the GMT is an evil jerk ideas comes from a combination of what scenarios people have played and more specifically how the DM's actually ran him in those scenarios. I wouldn't doubt some DM's added things and motivations that either where not described or where actually counter to what was written.
For instance, in Silent Tide, he is reticent to give the players info because it directly affects him financially, but if they can convince him it's for the greater good, he does so at a personal expense of 6,000gp. Heck, if they do a good job at it, he even pays them, too.
Heck, most of the early stuff where he is a big evil jerk, he wants the players to succeed, but to earn it, because he wants to have allies that are worth having.
In Many Fortunes of GMT, he is trying to scratch the PC's back while they scratch his in stopping something he honestly had no knowledge of until it was too late. Probably would have been a lot worse for al those innocents at the BRM if he hadn't stepped up in the first place. Off course, that's all DM only info, and the players never find out. Could have just sent a letter and walked away. Heck, he could have just pinned the whole ordeal on the PFS.
From the start, GMT was presented as hating the leadership of the PFS, but not the PFS or it's agents themselves. In fact, a lot of times he went out of his way or out of his pocket to help the low men and women on the pole. Partially for selfish reasons, sure.
But it's been pretty consistent that he wanted to get rid of the extremely toxic leadership in the Society, and he had personal experience with just how bad they where. It wasn't until Destiny of the Sands we finally get all the details. Not going to spoil it, though.
Scions LOW MAP Slides // . . . // Scions HIGH MAP
I am not recruiting any new players.
The scenario is 7th-11th, and so far it looks like we will be playing low tier, but that could change.
Will the following individuals please check in:
Please introduce yourselves and your characters a bit. I have not read or begun to prep the scenario yet, so we are looking at at least a few days before we begin.
Once I get everyone here, I'll open the Recruitment thread where I'll be asking for PFS numbers, Day Job rolls, and things like that.
I'll also open the Game Play Thread, and create the Campaign as well, allowing everyone to dot. Please save this to favorites and check back every once in a while until then.
I've DM'd plenty of games for Game Days, but being in the military and also the fact that there are no Cons in the immediate area, I simply can't go to Cons. Not complaining, just explaining that it requires a lot of work to be able to be able to even attempt to go to a Con, and it's not feasible in the practical sense.
I remember I think I walked away with 4 Boons from the first Game Day, but I also gave them away to other people that hadn't won any. It was partially because I wasn't that interested in them, a lot because the people I gave them to where very new to PFS and where sad they hadn't won anything, and also because like others had said, I DM far, far more than I play. I also tend to play a lot of Divine Characters, and most Boons just really don't apply. Even the DM Star Boons, I have a set printed out for each character I had at the time they came out, and I just have never seen any need to use them, they really don't do anything for me.
Because I play far less than I DM, there is only a handful of Race Boons I really want, but I generally do not find them that enticing. I also gave away all the Boons I received in the last two Game Days I played, again wanting to try to gift them to people that where pretty new to PFS and hadn't won anything, even the two I did really want, (one allowed me to roll a Day Job check even when I DM, and one dealt with sending stuff to Mendev which was just really in character).
Now that the base Aasimar is not legal, (I have one or two still left for myself), that's one I do want, as I love the concept of the Aasimar, even just the base type. I'd also like to be able to have a Dhampir and also a Grippli, and in both cases it's because I want to build a legal "Concept Character" for the fun of it, much more than actually to play it, per se.
But, I also agree that I do feel the "average gamestore PFS DM" is PFS's bread and butter, but also tends to be less rewarded for what they do. And someone mentioned offering a few suggestions.
Here are a few things I would love to see as someone that Runs games more than plays:
1.) The ability to do a Day Job check, but you are required to "Take 10" for the result.
2.) I think it would be pretty awesome sometimes to (as a 1 time, but permanent thing) be able to grant one of your other characters a Chronicle Sheet reward as a gift. This would only be Boons, Gear, etc. . . that was actually found by the GM character, and that they actually earned and/or purchased, and only for Chronicle Sheets assigned to the character through DMing.
3.) If we ever see any more Holiday Boon, it might be pretty cool to have a special note on them like, "additionally, if you apply this to a character that you are also applying DM Credit for at the same session: Because of your effort to make sure the ________ Holiday went off without trouble, you have earned a measure of respect from the church of ________, granting you a <maybe +2 Diplomacy to followers of _________> or something like that", kind of playing on the idea that the character was both DMing, but also in-game working at the Holiday event. Or possibly an extra use of the Holiday Boon on the character it's assigned to
4.) Something that could be really awesome would be to be able to hand out minor Pathfinder agent or even Faction ranks/title. Maybe one character per DM Star, and then something like a free "title" for every 3 DM Credit Chronicles applied. No real benefit, or if so, maybe it's like a +1 on any social roles to members of that Faction. But titles are cool. Also, sort of like a minor version of the EotT idea. Some of my games are with an established group in a home setting, and sometimes they like seeing some of my characters in an NPC capacity that they have adventured with way back when. Example: 2 Star = Venture-Assistant, 3 Star = Respected Mentor, 4 Star = Team Leader, 5 Star = ____ Ambassador, but only applies when the character's levels are equal to at least twice the number of stars, so no 2nd level "Team Leaders".
5.) Something I personally would love is maybe for every DM Star you have, you can RUN a single "retired" scenario for Credit. This is something that would really help in cases like mine where it can be difficult to find a game that everyone can play.
6.) I personally really like the idea of a number of DM stars unlocking either old Boons or new Races, but not tied to any sort of Con or Event. I think the most appealing thing is that it's the sort of thing that offers a small handful of options, which means that DM's can pick one that they might want, but also it sets a sort of goal to work towards. Just speaking for myself, the only real goal I have (as a DM) is working towards my 4th Star, (soonish), possibly VL, (difficult due to military & deployments, but I'm also the only thing close to it in the area and constantly rotating player base), and long term, but already in progress, the 5th Star. Not complaining or anything just saying, it would be kind of cool and reinvigorating in a burn-out sense to have an established goal post like that concept DM reward.
7.) A Boon that not only forbids VC NPCs from berating you in the into briefing, but forces them to nod/salute in respect, either for past accomplishments/contributions or for who you know. Ha ha
8.) A long while back there was talk about a Boon Lottery, but it was shot down. :( Might be cool to revisit this idea, but only counting DMing credits for the "lottery ticket", and especially only non-Con and non-Game Day DMing Events. Cool and fun.
9.) Could be amazing to (in the flavor sense only) have the option to continue on with official (if dual) membership in Retired Factions like the Shadow or Lantern Lodge, or even Andoran or Taldor vs Liberty's Edge or the Sovereign Court. Maybe they are given a special (trophy) brooch that's engraved with "I said, I DO THIS FOR TALDOR!!!" or a personalized letter/certificate that ends (unsigned) with "The Shadow Lodge has fallen, but the mission continues. Aid the fallen." Or, a small unique jade Ioun Stone (otherwise powerless) that bears the message (in Tien) "There are still Tea Cups to find. . ."
Too many people are adding to much of their own context and made-up circumstances to the argument and it's just ending up with everyone talking past each other about two basically different things.
One side is seeing the "dying guy" as an innocent bystander where another player just refused to heal them when they had nothing really else going on.
The other is seeing an jerk that's once again dying because they built and played a character with the expectations that others would be responsible for healing them like a little NPC tagalong while they played and had fun. This seems to be the actual case that was mentioned, and it also seemed to not be a 1 time thing, (the character was 4th level and talked about not ever buying their own healing).
In both cases, one, and only one of those players is being a jerk and not being a "Cooperative" Pathfinder.
Its just as bad, if not worse, to expect other players to always carry you, than it is to not heal someone when you can, but there are also others around who can as well. Not only are you basically cheating the system about trading and giving away gear, but you are also being an ass and trying to hide behind the "Cooperate" line while obviously not doing it yourself.
Personally, I'd just swap out characters to one that also has no healing, and is even more badass than him/her and ask why they aren't healing me while I do their characters job better. Only need one combat badass in the party, right? Heck, they can play the Pregen and really help the party out by just standing back and healing, and still get credit. Everyone's happy. Oh, they aren't happy with that. Well, then don't expect it from everyone else and buy some dang potions that you can spend your action drinking.
Now if it is the player that could have healed and chose not to, particularly if it was just to save a wand charge or whatever, yes, I think we can all agree that's pretty crappy on that non-healer's part. That doesn't actually sound like it's the case, (though we only have one side of it), but there is also the fact that different people like different things, and some people really hate being a "healer", because it means thy don't get to do cool stuff. They are basically the other player's personal pet NPC. Or maybe they are burnt out on that roll. Either way, it's still a crappy thing to do, but again, this does not sound like it was actually the case being talked about, and it seemed the "dying guy" didn't even die.
Not likely in a book called Weapon Master's Handbook. And I'm not sure about the Divine Fighting Techniques, to be honest.
Now <non-Monk> Weapon Style Feats would be amazing, especially if they also focused on a few of the more common Deity's Favored Weapons, too.
Longsword and Board, Greatsword-(Siegfried-style), Scimitar/Falchion, Mace/Flail, and a big F'ing Hammer would be awesome. Longspear, Polearms, and Battleaxes, too.
DM Beckett wrote:
and Mythic Seoni.
Dang, looking at a tine pic from my phone, I didn't even see her, and though it was some sort of mist rising in the background. ha ha
Nice art, but at the same time, dang, hopes crushed.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
I didn´t like the stamina and combat trick optional rules in Pathfinder Unchained (but a lot of other stuff in there).
Absolutely couldn't agree more. I hope that isn't set in stone.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Also i think we have had enough new combat options for this year in the excellent "Ranged Tactics Toolbox" and "Melee Tactics Toolbox".
Honestly, I found both fairly underwhelming, but Melee Tactics Toolbox especially so.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
I´ll pass on this one.
Might be right there with you, really based mostly on the Pathfinder Unchained portion above. Was pretty excited when I first noticed this after the Melee Tactics book, though, so I'm not sure. I guess wait and see.
Part of it's is just the way I talk. I'm not terribly serious about much, so if you read it as less serious and more jest, it might be a little different?
As for answering the question, it's been talked about multiple times. Back before the Shadow and Lantern Lodges went away, there was a Know Direction podcast that talked hinted about it, were we got little tips like "The Lantern Lodge will get a nice send off, oh and the Shadow Lodge is ending too." and something along the lines of "when they writer showed me the scenario that would conclude the Shadow Lodge, I read it and was like "huh, is that really what you want to do? Well, ok".
As far as I can tell, the biggest issue seems to come from DM's running GMT very differently, partially based on their own views of the NPC and also probably based on in which order they may have played or run scenarios that involve him. And also probably if they have only run/played some that involved him, which probably shaped their view of his motivations. Some people see him as a selfish asshat, which is a front he showed early on and a bit here and there later, while others see him as the ultimate rebel that has the power to make the Decemvirate and Venture-Captains cry, but an honest interest in the working-man's safety and advancement, with some dark history as an ex-pathfinder. In both cases, he absolutely has his own interests in mind as well.
It seems, kind of like Elfabet mentioned, that a certain group seemed to have the PFS leaderships ear on this one, and for all those that liked the idea of the Shadow Lodge as "watching the watchers", or didn't really like the Pathfinder Society but had to play because there was no other option, had experience with the non-CE GMT that was more people ascribing motivations and characteristics to than how he had been presented where left with this Faction conclusion that neither made any sense at all, but also basically went out of it's way to put the characters in a position where they got to sit and watch rather than interact with.
This was so bad it was to the point where non-Shadow Lodge fans and players where saying things like "wtf!!! was that?".
He was introduced as a Criminal and Information Broker. What I have read of descriptions of the retirement scenario does not feel like an insult. It, to me, felt like the logical results of trusting Torch. I do think that as the end of the Shadow Lodge it didn't really work. It felt like someone would have stepped up to take Torch's place.
GMT absolutely was a criminal and an information broker. Much more the later than the former. Honestly, his criminality is pretty debatable, though he clearly and openly worked outside the laws. But, well, Pathfinders!
He had a lot of enemies, most notably the leaders of the PFS who had betrayed him, gotten his friends murdered, and left him for dead with this mysterious wasting and painful curse. He was always looking for new talent, and while he hated the PFS leadership with a personal passion, also had a bit of a soft spot for lower level Pathfinder agents who he didn't want to see get screwed over like he himself had. (This was DM only information most of the time).
With that, he always had a "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" attitude, so like I said, he did have his own agenda, which was often "lets be friends and form a very mutually beneficial relationship".
Then came the Shadow Lodge as a Faction, where GMT had gotten enough dirt on the PFS leadership (in game) to lay down some terms. He formed a Faction devoted to checking the Decemvirates power and making sure they didn't bone the lower ranks too much, and also to make sure that everyone came back alive, even if that meant going in and rescuing their bodies so they could be divinely aided or preventing them from becoming undead monsters.
All this time, yes, obviously GMT was also serving some self-interest based agendas, increasing his knowledge, allies, and avenues of interest, turning the Society into not such asshats as they where known world-wide as, and probably getting even more dirt on the leadership.
Then he started to loose control, his already fragile alliance with the dark side was nearly destroyed as the (false) Shadow Lodge fractured into other cells that actively wanted to destroy the PFS, usually for some pretty good reasons.
There was a lot of politics and battles with the true and false Shadow Lodge, (or maybe the loyal and the enemy Shadow Lodge may serve better here).
The enemy Shadow Lodge cells where eventually almost destroyed, (there still some out there, but their various leaders where killed), and the existence of the real Shadow Lodge became more public knowledge within the Society.
Then Rivalry's End, and the Shadow Lodge suddenly goes from "Um, no. Our first priority is doing this safely, and right, and making sure we all make it back. I don't care what your Rank is. Lets work smarter, not harder" to, "oh, thank you masters. You are so right and we where so wrong, and we are eternally grateful that YOU ARE LETTING US BACK IN YOUR LITTLE GROUP. Please, do I have your leave to ignore everything I actually believe in and fall in line as soon as I can. Pretty please?".
Again, read this as less than 100% serous. :)