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Chengar Qordath's page

2,961 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Athaleon wrote:
If I was involved in something as dangerous as adventuring, then you bet I would try to mathematically optimize my life. In a way, most people already do to some degree, even if they aren't thinking expressly in terms of numbers.

Yeah, I'd definitely want the best gear I could get if my life depended on the quality of my equipment. I'd also want the best training/skills to help me survive the ridiculously dangerous adventurer life.

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Nicos wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
So why not cut out the middle man and just ban everything that wasn't in 3.5?

I'm not sure if you are being serious (as not understanding why this is different).

Or if you are just being snarky for fun.

Or something else?

Your reasoning is very weird. You get an AC of 35 using other means and the items that rise it to 36 is the problem?

Exactly. Because that's what the PDT said, and the PDT is always right.

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Have to agree that mechanically speaking, medium and heavy armor really shouldn't have an obvious best choice whose only restriction is a small price difference that rapidly becomes insignificant in normal play.

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N. Jolly wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Oh lord, Bracer's of Falcon's Aim got hit too, because apparently Kineticists aren't allowed any items to boost their chance to hit except for belts...
Yeah, it's not letting like the Bracers were the most bang for the buck item that made archers way too good and were universally banned long before the kineticist was released. Oh wait they were. Like it or not, they were way too good when compared to bracers of archery, and anyone who didn't see this coming for them in particular wasn't paying attention.
That doesn't mean they should be nerfed into the ground. They were too good, already banned in PFS, no one's arguing they weren't painfully unfair (especially when compared with the sarcastically overpriced bracers of archery), but the lack of middle ground between 'too good' and 'paizo rebalancing' leaves much to be desired.

Yeah, it'd be nice if Paizo's nerf-button had a setting other than "nuke it into oblivion." Granted, that assumes they're not following the EA business model of:

Jesse Heinig wrote:
It's simple business: Put out book with new hotness. Everyone buys book. Upon release of next book, nerf old hotness to uselessness and release new hotness.

Bigger Club wrote:
I would say the biggest offense here is, that for some reason the GM played the character despite previously absent PCs have not gotten such treatment.

Yeah, that's a bit of a red flag for me.

The Sword wrote:
Weirdo wrote:

Acting out of character may not be a negative consequence for the character, but it can certainly be a negative consequence for a player who is heavily invested in that character's story. While trashing the campaign out of spite would definitely be overreacting, I can definitely understand why OP is upset.

And as a GM, if I knew I had planned a significant character moment for a player who was going to be absent (and for an understandable reason) I would try to put a little effort into revising my plan to account for the absence. Ideally it would be possible to postpone the duel, but if not, was there any way that the fight could have been resolved without either killing OP's character or having him act out of character?

Would it have been plausible for the NPC to incapacitate OP's character without killing him (leaving your character pissed and looking for a rematch)? For the NPC to retreat even if OP's character was still keen to fight to the death? For some third party to intervene in such a way that OP's character might grudgingly accept the need to "finish this later"?

They are fair questions, however, I think the point is, this tavern brawl was not significant, just a throwaway line to say what the character has been doing for the last few days.

It also doesn't look like the player is heavily invested in the character... As he is trying to kill him off.

It is very plausible for two people to bludgeon themselves to the brink of unconsciousness and be unable to continue, I have seen it in many films. The character is seeking a worhy death, why would he be pissed someone who get very very close. Even if he is pissed who cares - he's a fictional character made up by the OP. You choose the way you play your character.

Significance is in the eye of the beholder.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Xuldarinar wrote:

We are missing the Medieval Alchemical elements of Mercury, Salt, and Sulphur.

This I could get behind!

I admit, I'm pretty curious to see how a Salt Wizard would work.

What class/level are you? A spellcaster's going to have very different options from a fighter.

Helel13 wrote:

As a player: When a GM gets upset when I point out a rules correction.

As a GM: When a player points out a rules correction.

The eternal struggle.

Indeed. There's no perfect way to handle it, since even the rule or "wait until after the game" only really works if it's a non-critical issue. I've seen GMs make calls (and might have made one or two such calls myself while GMing) that were so bad they just couldn't wait until the end of the session to be dealt with.

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thorin001 wrote:
Trogdar wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I personally don't really care for Unchained. So I'm glad they took the approach they did.

Yeah, I wasn't all that happy with how Unchained turned out. The only class that really struck me as improved from its core version did it by making the rest of the game worse. To break it down:

UnBarb: Rage is a bit simpler, but not really better and there were tons of stealth-nerfs to various rage powers to take away some of the best tricks of the "chained" Barbarian.

UnMonk: Better at punching, worse at everything else.

UnRogue: Improved, but by locking a lot of useful stuff everyone should have access to behind Rogue niche protection.

Unsummoner: More balanced, but with so many needless restrictions slathered on that it kills one of the most fun parts of the original summoner (Namely, the nigh-unlimited creative freedom).

Developers tend to be super conservative. Can't upset the oldsters who used to RP uphill both ways.

"In my day you were terrible, and liked it!"

As one of the oldsters (playing D&D since 79) I can honestly say the designers have never consulted me to see if I would be offended.

PF was a change from 3.5, so they couldn't have been too worried about change.

Don't forget Pathfinder was born out displeasure with all the changes from 4 to 3.5. Hell, the initial marketing was pretty much "Did all the changes in 4e upset you? Play Pathfinder, and we can Make Roleplaying Great Again!"

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Cavall wrote:
Ja├žinto wrote:
It's his character. It got highjacked. The GM did not treat it the same way he treats the other characters when the player is away. Personally I would keep saying, at the next game whenever anyone says your character did it, "No I didn't. I never did that." And keep fighting that your character did anything like that because it is your character, and the GM treated yours differently than the others. If the GM argues say "Is this my character, or yours? Cause if it is not mine, here is the sheet." And hand it to him right there and change the name of the player from yours to his.

That's a massive over reaction for what's essentially a trivial matter.

I think this was a minor issue and the OP blew it out of proportion. It wasn't as bad as it was first made to seem. A simple note to the GM on how you'd act in some situations would be better.

Triviality is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, I agree that it isn't a huge problem but it would definitely irk me if something like that happened. Sometimes it doesn't have to be a world-ending crisis, just a stupid little thing that gets on your nerves.

That said, it seems to be me like there are bigger issues with this game that need to be discussed. It definitely sounds like the OP just isn't very happy with the campaign's current direction, and is acting out on that with the way he's RPing his character. You don't solve out-of-game issues with in-game actions.

It's always a balancing act when it comes to how much table discipline needs to be enforced. You want to keep people reasonably on-target so the game can keep moving, but not to the point of being a tyrant who kills the fun.

My general rule is to be fine with any side talk so long as it doesn't go on too long, annoy the other players, or actually get in the way of playing the game. If one of my players is trying to do something game-related and I can't hear him over someone else's side-conversation, I'm going to ask them to hush for a bit.

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Air0r wrote:
Things that bother me? People who insist that something is a rule and always has been (when it isn't and has NEVER been).

Yeah, you'll run into a whole lot of people who don't even realize how many houserules they play under. I suspect that often it was a case of starting the game under a GM who used those houserules, and the players just assumed said house rules were part of the base game.

Speaking, Critical Fumble rules almost always bug me whether it's Pathfinder or any other game system. Mostly because it tends to turn the PCs into the Three Stooges.

wraithstrike wrote:
A lot of people don't really like it, but it is how the game is designed. Pathfinder Unchained allows for alternate rules so you get most of the same bonuses without having the magical item.

Pretty much this. For good or for ill, gear/WBL is a second progression track characters move along just like XP.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:

{. . .}

UnMonk: Better at punching, worse at everything else.
{. . .}
Agreed with the other stuff you said, but Unchained Monk actually would have been okay if they would have left in the good Will Save and converted at least most of the archetypes to work with it. If they didn't have the room, they should have instead done one of the other classes they were thinking of doing Unchained (reportedly, Cavalier was next on the list).

I'm also not a fan of how they redid a lot of the Monk's passive defenses. Going from being immune to poison to "Spend ki to re-roll a save vs. poison" was not a change the monk needed. Keeping archetype support also would've been nice, yes.

What also irked me was the explanation we got for why UnMonk turned out the way it did. Namely, that they wanted to keep UnMonk (somewhat) balanced vs. the baseline monk. Which goes to show that the devs had some odd ideas about why the Monk needed unchaining in the first place.

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captain yesterday wrote:
I personally don't really care for Unchained. So I'm glad they took the approach they did.

Yeah, I wasn't all that happy with how Unchained turned out. The only class that really struck me as improved from its core version did it by making the rest of the game worse. To break it down:

UnBarb: Rage is a bit simpler, but not really better and there were tons of stealth-nerfs to various rage powers to take away some of the best tricks of the "chained" Barbarian.

UnMonk: Better at punching, worse at everything else.

UnRogue: Improved, but by locking a lot of useful stuff everyone should have access to behind Rogue niche protection.

Unsummoner: More balanced, but with so many needless restrictions slathered on that it kills one of the most fun parts of the original summoner (Namely, the nigh-unlimited creative freedom).

Aelryinth wrote:
But even in Paizo, Giant form 3 gives you a +8 Size bonus to Str and +6 to Con from size, something no melee can match.

Well, Barbarian could get a +8 to strength. But only at level 20. And only before Paizo "unchained" them.

graystone wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:

Those "shenanigans" can still be pulled with:

a kasatha
a tiefling with the Prehensile Tail alternate racial trait
a vanara
any character with a two level dip in alchemist for the Tentacle or Vestigial Arm discovery
any character with at least one level in slayer or swashbuckler willing to meet the prerequisites for Kick Up
any character using alter self to take the form of a kasatha or vanara

I'm sure there are others as well. Using a 1 sp equipment item was "too easy," I suppose... :/

Don't forget juggler bard! ;)

And the Gun Twirling feat.

But yeah, Paizo doesn't seem worried about people TWFing with guns when it comes at more of an opportunity cost than using a 1 sp piece of equipment.

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Squiggit wrote:

Putting aside the issues with whether or not it's right or not, if there are two ways to interpret a piece of text and one of those ways leads to a miserable dysfunction where the ability doesn't function at all and the other makes the ability work completely normally...

Why in the world would you insist the former interpretation is correct?It doesn't make sense on its face to intentionally read the text in such a way as to make the ability not function.

I was just about to post pretty much exactly this. Really not much more to say on the subject.

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Grey Lensman wrote:

As much as I hate 'Chaotic Jerkwad' the problem isn't so much the CN alignment as the fact that it attracts 'I have the most fun by ruining that of others!' type players to it like a moth to a flame. Except that everyone else gets burned instead.

I've also had the good fortune to see it played in an excellent fashion.

Pretty much this. In my experience, most problem players are going to be problems regardless of what alignment they put down on their character sheet.

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I think I'll echo the general sentiment of the thread:

Fighter could use some consolidation. Right now the class is in a place where you need solid system mastery and knowledge of all the right supplements to really make the class hit its full potential. Getting advanced weapon/armor training, stamina, and all the different fix feats and everything else together in a single coherent package would help a lot.

Sorcerer doesn't need to be unchained, but the class could use some tweaks (bonus spell, skill points).

Kudaku wrote:
Unfortunately I doubt that will ever happen. Rewriting the spell list is a monumental effort, especially considering there are 50+ domains and subdomains available. The changes I suggest above will likely also put the cleric in the shadow of the druid and shaman.

As I recall, one of the devs actually mentioned that. They initially wanted to make domains/deities have a much bigger effect on the spell list and class abilities, but once they realized just how much of a massive (and pagespace-consuming) task it would be they dropped the idea.

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Aranna wrote:
Chengar, no body is advising him to abuse Rule 0. This is exactly one on those times that Rule 0 was intended for.

Leaving aside that plenty of people in the thread actually are, one of the points I raised was that the GM and player might have different ideas of what constitutes abuse.

Java Man wrote:
Another important definition I use, if the rogue can use his skills to steal from other party members and the sorcorer can his his spells to trick party members, it is only fair for the barbarian to use what he has on party members. If you open the PvP door, it is okay for Smashy McBreakhead to come through it with his greataxe.

Definitely agreed on that point. Banning PvP also means banning adversarial behavior and things that would pretty much require PvP actions out of the characters. I've seen jerk players use no PvP rules to get away with acting like a&@&*!#s and avoiding the logical consequences of said behavior (granted, those sorts of players usually don't get invited back).

As for the broader issue ... PvP can be fun, but it's generally something you want to make sure everyone at the table is both interested in and mature enough to handle. I've had one or two campaigns that had some fun with carefully measured and controlled PvP, but just like Ravingdork I've actually been in a Pathfinder game that ended with the cops getting called in.

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Aranna wrote:
Dracokinight, the reason Rule 0 exists is to shut down endless rule debates and keep the game moving. Can it be used unfairly? Of course it can, but if a GM is being unfair then that isn't a rule 0 issue it is an issue with group dynamics. Rule 0 is working correctly as written and as intended.

GMs potentially misusing Rule Zero is worth keeping in mind whenever discussing group dynamics, though. I think a lot of the issue comes from how broad the rule is. There's a huge difference between a GM using Rule Zero to solve an ambiguous rule so the game can move versus the GM using Rule Zero to spring surprise house rules on the players.

It's also worth remembering that when it comes to rules-lawyering versus Rule Zero, different folks have different perspectives on where to draw the lines. The GM's "reasonable Rule Zero call" can be the player's "Dude, you just completely broke my character."

I know I was extremely annoyed when I rolled up a bard for a 3.5 campaign, and halfway through the first session the DM told me that he'd houseruled that bards still got arcane spell failure in light armor. If not for the fact that I was gaming with friends I probably would've quite right away (as it was the campaign only lasted three sessions anyway).

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Related to this, I want to know why faster and larger creatures don't get a bigger equivalent of the 5-foot step -- for a Giant that is twice as large in linear dimensions (including tall in this case) and twice as fast as we are, taking a 10-foot step should be equally minor as taking a 5-foot step for us, yet only a very few abilities generally NOT found on larger creatures allow for greater movement equivalent to a 5-foot step (Outslug Sprint is the only one that comes to mind, but I could almost swear I have seen another).

Pretty simple answer for that one; it would completely screw melee characters thanks to the way full attacks an mobility work.

Fighter Guy: I close to melee range.

GM: The Giant makes an attack of opportunity. Then his normal full attack. Then takes a ten foot step back.

Fighter Guy: I move ten feet (eating another AoO) and only make a single attack because I moved more than five feet.

GM: The Giant makes a full attack, then takes a ten foot step back...

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As far humanoid intelligence goes, I will point out that the Village Idiot NPC from the Gamemastery Guide comes with an intelligence score of 4.

The basic NPC stat array was never intended to be the measurement of "All people exist within this range" some people apply it as. It's just a roughly average set of numbers to cover average, unremarkable people.

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No no no, the goal isn't to find a way to get along with people with differing playstyles and ideas of fun. What do you think this is, some kind of cooperative roleplaying game? Everyone knows Real Pathfinder is about systematically crushing all dissenting opinions until everyone at the table accepts the One True Way to have GoodRightFun.

I'd also bring up the possibility that a Paladin is in fact guilty of whatever crime he's accused of and lost his powers, but received the atonement spell between committing said crime and their arrest. Just because the divine forces of Good have forgiven them for whatever crime they've committed doesn't mean local law enforcement has.

Granted, depending on the circumstances a Paladin might see turning themself in for their crime as a necessary part of said atonement, but that is by no means universal.

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I don't think it's out of line for a good character to, on rare occasions in extreme circumstances, commit an evil act in the name of the greater good. Especially if it's the sort of no-win scenario that sometimes comes up in fiction; if the only options available in the story are all bad, sometimes the players have to pick the least evil one.

Of course, as always when committing evil in the name of the greater good one must be wary of the slippery slope. If committing evil acts like torture goes from "That one bad thing I did in an extreme situation" to a fairly routine part of the toolbox, you're leaving good territory.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
There's actually two reasons I've seen it done. One was the aforementioned "the rules tell me I can", the other (still based on that same rule) is "I haven't done it yet, I should try to work it in". Both lead to tortured logic, convoluted plots, and railroads galore to ensure the depowering happens. Both are, well, terrible reasons to trigger something that's supposed to be the nuclear option for things like sacrificing babies to Shelyn or making peace treaties in honor of Gorum.

To be fair, I have seen a third and slighlty less malicious reason. Sometimes the GM "Has this really cool plot idea" that involves depowering the divine caster, then triggering a crisis of the faith that is usually followed by some sort of big epic redemption quest to let the divine character regain their powers.

The problem, of course, is that the GMs in those situations don't ever think about whether the player would enjoy going through that plotline. Being depowered in TTRPG is almost never fun, and fall/redemption stories only work if that's something the player is interested in carrying out. It's rather hard to pull off an Epic Redemption Quest when the player doesn't feel their character has actually done anything evil.

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swoosh wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

They gave us numbers, someone used them, and got results. When someone says 'a planet's worth of something rare' and the math says $10,000 worth, we have problems. Math tends to narrow things down nicely that way. It's why we invented whole professions that do nothing but math and make it real.


Math is great, but when that math is based on assumptions and interpretations it really isn't any more or less valuable than anything else.

Additionally, I rather doubt that whoever wrote up the original entry for the Adamantine Golem did all that number crunching. Most likely they just pulled out a number that they thought seemed semi-reasonable for the material costs.

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Envall wrote:
Armor as DR is always an option, but hated by many (??)

To be fair, the Armor as DR system is hated because it's a tacked on set of optional rules that really don't work well within the system. It leads to a lot of wonky results that make it very clear Pathfinder was never designed to played that way.

Plenty of other game systems make an Armor as DR system work, but those games are all designed from the ground up to work that way. I think it would be very hard to make any rules for converting a game from AC to Armor as DR, because the underlying system math just doesn't support that.

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Kazaan wrote:
The two FAQs establish that "wield in one hand" and "wield one-handed" are two entirely separate concepts within the framework of the rules.

Which is one of those rules calls I really don't like, since outside of rules lawyering nobody would ever think those two terms have a different meaning.

HyperMissingno wrote:
AC vs BAB. AC doesn't scale fast enough compared to BAB and in the mid to high levels and any attack at full BAB is an auto-hit unless you pour EVERYTHING into AC. We need more stacking ways to raise that, especially touch AC. It shouldn't be this f#!#ing hard to be defensive!

Yeah, I think there's a reason a lot of other games based on the d20 system add scaling AC modifiers to class progression. It would be nice to have characters get naturally better at defense as they level, instead of it being almost entirely gear-dependent.

Insain Dragoon wrote:
As for charming, even if you the Angel's best friend, why would they commit a crime at your request?

Indeed. A charmed Angel would try to persuade you to find a better way to accomplish your goals that didn't require doing anything evil. He might be your best friend, but he's still lawful good incarnate.

phantom1592 wrote:
Vincent Briggs wrote:

The assassin mentioned at the beginning has a code he follows, his own personal one. He sounded far more Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil than an agent of chaos. Likewise the Punisher strikes me as a Lawful Neutral. He breaks the law, takes it into his own hands and murders and tortures. But he'll never endanger the innocent. Hell, he wouldn't even fight back against Captain America in Civil War despite getting a beat down. He has rules, and he won't bend them. His target is only evil.

I'd definitely put Punisher at Evil. He's too into 'results'. His first target was spider-man after all because Daily Bugle claimed he was a criminal. No research, no evidence... just pull the trigger. Not to mention the way he just blasts his way through gangs and organization... with zero knowledge who they are or if there are any undercover cops in there...

I'll give him credit that he doesn't WANT to hurt any innocents... but he's pretty lax on 'checking for sure.'

To be fair, how much he checks (and a lot of other parts of his character) are one of those things that varies a lot depending on the writer. Sometimes he's very careful to only kill people who deserve it and are 100% guilty, and sometimes he's gunning down jaywalkers.

HyperMissingno wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Envall wrote:

I said paladins are very powerful.

And then Diffan objected with "full casters". Which is the kind of stick you easily get tired of being swung around in the forums, but I digress.

And then it fell apart from there. Maybe I should had not said "tall above other classes" as flower text, maybe it was taken too literally, fine.

Put them against neutral opponents and it's another story. Or put them in a situation where they have a lot more enemies than smites available.
They can still hold their own in those situations. Sure they can't smite everything but they still get some of the best defenses in the game. As long as thy don't build themselves poorly with bad feats or take an archetype that gets rid of divine grace or lay on hands they should be able to stand up against those enemies without too much trouble.

Indeed. Smite is nice, but it's just one of several abilities the Paladin has. A Paladin without smiting still has swift-action self healing/condition removal, some of the best saves in the game and several immunities, plus an animal companion or weapon buffing power.

At the end of the day, Smite's not even all that unique. It's just another weapon damage boosting power. I'd certainly give due consideration to an archetype that replaced Smite with Fighter Weapon Training, Barbarian Rage, Studied Target, etc.

James Risner wrote:
swoosh wrote:
That's a lot of maybes to just write something off wholesale.
I don't like rebuilding due to a change. So I avoid things that I think could change.

Given Paizo's fondness for issuing sweeping errata with little to no warning, that makes it rather hard to build anything.

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Blake's Tiger wrote:
Devilkiller's point is a good one. If you're ALWAYS encountering near death fights, there is no tension. You will be just wondering about what replace your character with when they ultimately die because you know it's going to happen sooner or later, maybe through the next door you open.

Yeah, if I'm playing in a "you could die any instant" sort of game I don't get tense, I just make sure I have a good backup character ready to go.

I think Jiggy nicely covered the importance of story in creating tension. Tension is a matter of buildup, stakes, and story arcs all coming to a head. "Uh-oh, I'm low on HP for the third this session" isn't enough to do it.

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The sad thing is, I really liked the idea behind the Words of Power system, it's just that the implementation was lacking. A good round of cleanup could've made it into a very solid alternate casting method.

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Yeah, I've personally found that losing all of a character's current plot hooks, unique little perks, and all the RP benefits of being an established figure in the story/group is punishment enough. When I GM most of my PCs get lots of little side benefits that aren't the kind of thing that can be quantified on an XP or WBL table.

Plus, as lots of folks have already said, being stuck behind the rest of the party can ruin the fun for a lot of players. Not everyone minds it, but enough people do that I wouldn't want it to be my default policy.

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Why not bind a good outsider anyway? Generally they're way better than their CR suggests.

Is the main thing. Yeah, you could bind a demon and make him rescue a bunch of orphans, but generally speaking a good-aligned outsider would be able to do the same task just as well if not better.

Now, if it's a situation where (for whatever reason) only a bound demon can save those orphans, then that's a different matter. Making the best of a bad situation should never have repercussions on alignment (though it can certainly lead to plenty of in-character moral issues).

GM 1990 wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
There's not really an ironclad rule, so I'd just go with the general guideline of asking yourself "If you were playing instead of GMing, would you want to know this ahead of time?"

This would be a good errata for CRB or DMG. kind of the golden rule applied to RPGs.

To be honest, everyone who decides to try their hand at GMing is going to have good and bad ideas, even after years of experience you can still make some bad calls. Its both easy and hard at the same time, and when we're players we can project some high expectations on them too.

"my story" vs "our story"; ability to improv and say "yes, and" or "yes, but"; roll with the punches, etc all come with experience, and it takes time for most people to get to the level where players just cant wait for game night.

Yeah, I'm sure a lot of the time a GM pulls out a no-warning houserule/deviation from accepted norms, it's because they think what they're doing would make the game better for the group and haven't anticipated the problems it might cause. The GM's cool little change to make the game more interesting can be the player's game-ruining surprise rule, or have unanticipated knock-on effects that cause problems down the line.

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wraithstrike wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

What is the issue is that, by your comments about whims above, you still seem to think changing things makes for a worse game. I see it as variety.

Since I seem to be the Ashiel Whisper today-->There is no bone to pick with variety, but as was stated before unnanounced major changes, and things that deviate too far outside the norm are an issue.

As an example of things outside the norm and that may be "whimsey:

A GM may want to make magic a mysterious and dangerous thing so the GM may have a rule that says "Every time you cast a spell there is a 2% chance you suffer a side effect. Roll a d20 to determine what bad thing happens". One of these bad things could be you aging 20 years.

I am going to take a guess here, but in the example in the above paragraph Ashiel would like for the GM to mention this variant magic to the group vs just saying, "this is how it will be for this game".

That is likely part of the "whimsey" factor.

PS: As an aside since Ashiel had admittedly run a game well outside of the norms <---Part of the reason I don't think Ashiel has a problem with variety.

Yeah, surprise houserules that seem to be born purely from the whims of the GM are a thing. I recall being supremely pissed when I wrote up a bard for a 3.5 campaign, only to be told mid-session that I would still be taking Arcane Spell Failure from my light armor because the GM thought "it would make things more interesting."

It seems like the main point of contention here is where one crosses the line between normal campaign flavor and things you ought to run by the party beforehand. There's not really an ironclad rule, so I'd just go with the general guideline of asking yourself "If you were playing instead of GMing, would you want to know this ahead of time?"

Bill Dunn wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Sooooo, if I played a campaign where the communities were nomadic bands on a huge plain... With no other settlements available... WITHOUT surprising anyone with this... Could I possibly be playing Pathfinder anyway? Or am I playing some other game? More generally, what could be removed from the game before I was not playing PF? Bags of holding? Orcs? Elves? Wayang? Dorn-dergar? Falcatas? Or would removing the possibility of having bags of holding make it impossible to play PF, even if everything else remains? Would it change anything if the campaign played out in a massive extradimensional space, meaning bags of holding do not work by the rules?

If you're using the Pathfinder rules, even a subset of the rules because of campaign-based environments, you're playing Pathfinder. Full stop.

Humans only campaign using the PF mechanics? Pathfinder game.
Dwarven wizard only campaign using the PF mechanics? Pathfinder game.
Roman Legion-inspired game with extremely limited magic using the PF mechanics? Pathfinder game.

I think most people actually agree with this, there's just the caveat that any major changes to the game's core assumptions need to called out as such and explained well ahead of time.

If someone invites me to join a game of Pathfinder, then by default I'm going to assume it's a game that follows the core rules and baseline assumptions of Pathfinder. If it's a human-only no-spellcasting classes game using PF mechanics, the players ought to be informed of that when they get the invitation for the campaign, because it's a big change from default Pathfinder.

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Tormsskull wrote:

The rules for creating wondrous items say: "To create a wondrous item, a character usually needs some sort of equipment or tools to work on the item. She also needs a supply of materials, the most obvious being the item itself or the pieces of the item to be assembled."

If the character has never even heard of a particular item, how would they know what "sort of equipment or tools" they would need?

Since you missed it last time it was posted...

Core Rulebook wrote:
Spellcraft is used whenever your knowledge and skill of the technical art of casting a spell or crafting a magic item comes into question.

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graystone wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Even things like Craft feats - When someone takes Craft Wondrous Item - do you assume that their character is knowledgable of all wondrous items? As in, they can just scan through the items and decide to create any of the ones that they meet the prereqs for?
It's no assumption. The rules tell you everything you need to create items. As there are nothing mentioned about any special knowledge to make certain items, there isn't any needed. So sans house-rules, it is indeed as simple as scanning through the book and picking put something you can make. [assuming you can cover the prereq's of course.]

Yeah, I always assumed that part of the Spellcraft check involved in craftng a magic item is knowing how to make it. The skill itself says:

CRB wrote:
Spellcraft is used whenever your knowledge and skill of the technical art of casting a spell or crafting a magic item comes into question.

Seems fairly clear-cut to me. If you beat the spellcraft DC, you know how to make the item and have the skill needed to do so. I suppose you could make it two separate rolls, but since it's the same skill with the same target that seems a bit pointless. Especially since crafters almost always aim to be able to take 10 on their crafting rolls.

If we move into restricting crafting by GM fiat of knowing how to make items, we're pretty much in "The GM will only allow you to craft if you buy pizza for the group first" territory.

Icehawk wrote:
The only way this will actually work out is if they are ignorant to what being effective is, or simply doesn't care if they can pull their own weight or not.

And if either of those were the case, then showing them the numbers wouldn't make a difference anyway. Most folks who can't tell if they're effective or not barely understand the game's math anyway. Those who don't care if they're effective likewise don't care about the numbers.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

This hasn't ever happened in the way you describe in my experience. Being blind to the math helps nothing, and hurts if anything.

And I've run games where I did all the math and the PCs thus didn't know their stats in any meaningful sense (I mean, they technically saw their character sheets, but they didn't really know what most stuff signified). Indeed, the game I'm currently running for some 13 year-olds where I do most of the math (I did it all to begin with) is very much a 'math blind' game in many senses.

And I've run and played in LARPs, where people saw their own character sheet, but not ever anyone else's and thus only knew other people's when they came up. So a similar situation in many ways.

And you know what? The players still get deeply frustrated very rapidly when their character isn't as mechanically effective as others. It doesn't take long to notice that you're only killing one enemy while your comrade is killing two, and so on. Within a handful of sessions people generally figure such things out (barring weird runs of luck, anyway).

In fact, without math to back things up, people often (in my experience) become frustrated even when it's the dice or circumstances rather than their character's actual statistics that are at fault for the low effectiveness. If they look at the math they usually at least don't get frustrated at how bad their character is when they aren't actually worse than other characters.

Without the math? A run of bad luck can lead to someone thinking their character is terrible and the desire for a new one.

Just going to second all of this. People are going to notice whether they succeed or fail even if they don't have access to any of the numbers. Even if they player doesn't know that they're rolling a +7 attack bonus vs AC 26, they're going to notice that they almost never hit.

Not to mention that hiding the numbers makes a whole lot of the game's tactical decision-making a lot more difficult. It's a lot harder to make meaningful tactical choices when you have no idea how effective any given option is.

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