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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
It's not a question of cheating, Drahliana. Here's an example:
I haven't played my cleric is over two-and-a-half years, because there's a module I want to play him through, and there hasn't been the opportunity to play that adventure.
Now, I walk into a local game store and find out that the PFS organizer is going to be running that adventure this afternoon. I can't get back home to get my PC, but they have a slot at the table.
The pre-gen dies.
How much gold is on my PC's sheet?
Here's a question: I have a boon that makes returning from the dead much cheaper, but it's only good on a low-level character. Right now, the character to which it's assigned is 3rd-level, and the boon would apply. If that PC dies, it's pretty cheap to bring her back.
So, I'm playing a 7th-level pre-gen and planning to assign the Chronicle to that 3rd-level PC. The pre-gen dies, as pre-gens are wont to do in this discussion.
Can I use the boon?
Andrew, how is the player supposed to spend gold, when the PC and all attendant paperwork is not at the table?
Two weeks ago, when a player ran a pre-gen at a table, she walked away with a Chronicle sheet that wasn't all-the-way filled out. (It gets assigned to xxxxxx-05, a monk PC, but at the point the player walks away from the table, she doesn't know the monk's running total of gold, so she can't calculate the new current gold amount...)
Now, we need to know whether the PC has enough money to survive. If today's Chronicle sheet is going to be held for the PC, until he reaches an appropriate character level, then we can't use gold off that Chronicle sheet. So the PC has to have 1000 / 2000 gold, immediately available.
So, without the PC and the most recent Chronicle sheet, how is the player supposed to know how much gold the PC has on-hand?
Andrew Christian wrote:
My understanding is opposite yours, Andrew. And I'm sure I'm not alone. I have *never* had a player suggest that he could pull together resources from one of his own characters to bring back a pre-gen at the table.
Indeed, in previous discussions on the boards, one of the acknowledged weaknesses of playing a pre-gen is that it does not have the resources of the players' regular characters.
If I can pay gold and prestige to, say, up-equip a pre-gen before an adventure, or if boons for the character were available for the pre-gen, that radically changes the nature of pre-gen play.
Michael Hallet wrote:
I have no problem risking death for my characters... when I'm playing my characters. [But] I do have a problem risking death for my characters when I'm forced to play a pregen because that's all the scenario allows or I'm doing others a favor by playing a pregen when I don't have a character available in tier but they need me to help make a table go off.
Uner the new rules, you don't have to risk an established character, Michael. All you need to do is assign the experience to a never-before-played character number. (Same as before, but now you have to make that "safe" commitment before the game begins.)
The upshot to this rule change may well be that many players end up with multiple PCs with a single XP on them. Which might result in fewer PCs using the 1st-level evergreen scenarios.
Andy, respectfully, allowing a PC to live by "GM's discretion" would be a mess. If I, as the table GM, don't let a player switch the character that he assigned at the beginning of the session, how will you decide when the player appeals that decision to you?
Would it make a difference if you know the player, and he's never been a jerk at *your* table?
A "Leeroy Jenkins" player can just assign the Chronicle to "xxxx-15", who doesn't yet exist, and kill off the party.
So, this rule does nothing to prevent a player from screwing around with a pre-gen and kill the party,. At best, it might warn the GM that the player is likely to do that, if the player assigns the credit to xxxxxx-99, Deady McDeadguy.
Question for the workhorse Venture Officers: let's say that I play a pre-gen and assign it to my xxxxxx-05 PC, and then that pre-gen dies, and I leave it dead -- and then, when it comes time to report, that pre-gen is illegal on that PC (maybe it's too high a level or maybe it's already died).
What happens? Well, probably nothing.
Or, the pre-gen lived! But, upon reporting, you find out that I assigned the Chronicle to xxxxxx-05, which is an illegal target, same as above. When someone asks me, I say, "My bad. I meant xxxxxx-07."
What happens? Well, I get to add the Chronicle sheet to my xxxxxx-07 PC.
This rule does nothing to impose risk.
A couple weeks ago, if I was playing a 4th-level pre-gen who died, that was it; I would never be able to play that scenario with any of my characters (GM star replays, Core campaign, yes yes...) and I wouldn't be able to get the loot or the boons.
Now, I can use the gold and prestige on my target character to bring that pre-gen back to life and get the rewards for the adventure. I might even be able to pressure the other players into paying into that recovery.
This rule removes a risk that was already present.
A practical element of the new rule has been mentioned but then lost in the shuffle:
If I want to play an iconic pre-gen and assign the XP to my 4th-level rogue, I'll need to bring the rogue's most recent Chronicle sheet to the game, since the iconic's death will require me to spend 2000 gp.
And there's another element that hasn't been mentioned.
If my 4th-level rogue PC has 20 PP, but doesn't have 2000 gp, for whatever reason, she's dead. Even though she could pay for her own raising entirely.
And there's another rules change that nobody's commented upon.
I can no longer play a 4th-level pre-gen and assign the experience to my 4th-level rogue.
Some years ago, a similar topic arose on one of the PAthfinder Society boards. This is how I answered, in the character of my paladin:
Saavik: You ... lied?
Good day to you. Please, join me in the lodge's observation deck. From here, you can get a good overview of Master Farbellius' training field over there to the left. I enjoy watching him train the aspirants in combat fundamentals; it reminds me to review them myself every once in a while.
I understand that you had some cutting words for Sir Yopan last week, yes? Something about how he's a paladin and you'd caught him bluffing his opponent in honorable combat? I thought that your little gift to chip in for his holy atonement was very ... witty.
There is a great gulf, you know, between "not lying" and "blabbering about everything anyone else might want to know." As a warrior of Torag, I have accepted the burden that my behavior affects not only myself but also the Forge-father. When I lie, he must choose to either lie through my tongue, or else withdraw his favor, indicating to the world that I no longer speak for him.
There is a trade-off. In exchange for comporting myself with honor, on and off the field, I can speak with a certain authority, so that others know I am honest. That's why paladins often cast a simple light spell after giving testimony.
But that doesn't mean that the next time I see Yopan, I have to volunteer that I saw who coated his sword hilt with butter. If he asks me, I might tell him, or I might not. If I say something, it shouldn't be a lie. But I am certainly permitted to change the subject, saying something like "Valeros is in the kitchen."
And my oath does not mean that I cannot tell fairy tales to children. Everyone in attendance understands that they are stories, and if I tell of strange magic or princesses of kingdoms that never existed, I've deceived no one.
It seems an odd analogy, but the same holds true in combat. Circling around my foe, I know she is trying to find advantage over me, and she knows the same of me. It is impossible to engage a foe in combat, honorable or otherwise, while explaining where your upcoming blows are all intended to strike.
If I were to say, out loud, "my next strike will take your leg," she would be a fool to believe me, and I would be guilty of speaking a falsehood. So I imply certain maneuvers. Against one of those trainees down there, I would look down at his leg before I swing high. Against a more weathered opponent, I might change my grip slightly or raise my shield an inch. What they make of these small movements is up to them.
One problem with "fixing" NPCs, John, is that the existing scenarios are still out there, still being played. So, you can write new scenarios that address some of these character issues, but short of retiring old mission briefings, there's not much you can do to completely adjust players' impressions of those Venture Captains.
In another thread,
John Compton wrote:
I understand your feelings, John, but those two Venture Captains, in particular, have earned their scorn. Sheila established herself as very casual towards the lives of agents under her command and all-too-ready to commit crimes against innocents. Dreng has never done much to earn anyone's respect.
I understand why: they give agents missions in Magnimar and in Absalom; if they were too nice, or too helpful to the PCs, parties might think to turn to them as resources during the adventures. To keep the PCs independent, the local Venture Captains have to be drawn as either contemptuous or undependable. But then, they get the reputations they earn.
(Besides, those are our managers. We're going to gripe about them. If you want us to think nicely of an NPC, those characters should be the faction leaders, to people we choose to follow.)
Chris Mortika wrote:
I see no such restriction in the Season 7 Guide. Where are you reading this, Chris?
I was mis-remembering something from page 27.
"Characters may not spend Prestige Points during combat. For the sake of simplicity, many GMs might consider limiting characters to spending Prestige Points only once per gaming session."
I was remembering it as a hard-and-fast rule: "PCs can only spend Prestige Points once per gaming session."
Since the GM in question is working with his own character, he could choose not to apply that restriction.
Dear Agent May:
You know, you could have won that fight. You waited until the Kree warrior was killed, and then had your people shoot Hive with a couple rounds of automatic fire and a rocket. And then you ran away with a big ol' scowl.
If you had used your intervention to split Hive's attention while the Kree warrior was still alive, you could have piggy-backed on the hand-to-hand combat, letting the Kree's threat tie up Hive's ability to go after you.
Did you notice that it takes Hive some time and effort to heal? If you had hit it with like, maybe five or six rockets, that might have disabled Hive enough for the Kree to get in a killing attack. At least, the first shot slowed it down, so another shot could have hit it in its face, which might have blinded it.
Fitz has this stuff he made with Creel's blood. It's supposed to reverse the effects of Hive's infection. You have these "icer" guns that shoot chemicals into people. If you had shot it with this stuff, the bullets might have had some effect. We're pretty sure that plain old bullets don't. (Unless you keep shooting it, for a few thousand rounds. Even if it takes him a minor amount of energy to heal, that's a lot of healing.)
Good luck next time.
Dear Director Coulson:
I was under the impression you were going all in against this guy. Where was Creel? Where was Deathlok?
Amanda Plageman wrote:
This, I think is the rub. During the adventure, the GM can just make things harder? If the GM waits until the situation is already a little dicey, or bundles 3 increases up in one encounter, this is deadly. Other GMs might just throw one of these at a party, maybe one that has no difference, just to give players "hard mode" bragging rights. (Resist Acid doesn't have much effect against a party that doesn't have any acid casters.)
• Boost the DCs of all required PC Skill Checks by +4. (This increase can be waived on a case-by-case basis if the GM sees fit.)
The difficulty of Skill Checks is calculated from the rules of the game. If the GM decides to spend two of her hard-mode-options to surprise PCs by boosting a jump check by +8, is there an in-world reason that they are all falling to their death?
• Boost the DCs of all required PC saving throws by +2. Also, boost the save modifier of each creature by the same +2.
One of the best parts of the 3rd-Edition / Pathfinder ruleset is that DCs of saving throws are well-defined in the rules, and there are particular Feats that allow opponents to raise them. This "boost" is an echo of the rollickin' 2nd-Edition days, when things get harder, just 'cause.
Sorry, Amanda. I know you're trying to think of ways the players can have more fun, but I concur with others that this level of GM freedom would be a bad idea in this campaign.
But there's nothing to keep a GM from taking a scenario, changing it up start to finish, customize it for his players, and run it. Just don't assign a Chronicle sheet.
Ted Kord is teaching ...
Isn't Ted Kord dead?
More fundamentally, I was a fan in the mid-80's when Crisis on Infinite Earths came around. That series had a real point -- to consolidate the DC Universe once and for all, to avoid the obligatory two panels in Justice Society, in Infinity Inc., in Freedom Fighters, in SHAZAM!, and in a half-dozen other books, explaining that Huntress was the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, but not THAT Batman or THAT Catwoman -- and offered the opportunity to reboot important series like Superman (no more Kryptonians, no more Superboy, the Kents were alive...), Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman.
Even then there were ripples. Legion of Superheroes no longer made sense, and it was already in the middle of its own Glorith-induced continuity shift when Crisis struck! Wonder Girl no longer had a sensible origin. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman were no longer founding members of the Justice Society ... and then Wonder Woman was, again. Those took years to iron out, and they were painful to watch.
Since then, there has been Zero Hour, and Hypertime, and Final Crisis, and Infinite Crisis, and Flashpoint, and now, ... what?
All this serves two purposes: to destroy "system mastery" of being a fan, and to make it possible for writers to spend their entire careers writing for a "maturing" superhero environment.
Let's talk about that second one first. Superman is now always in his first couple years' of heroics. Green Lantern is always learning how to use the ring. Wonder Woman is always marveling at the outside world. You never have to come up with new stories; all you have to do is check to see whether, in this timeline, Bizarro's already been introduced, and if not, introduce him. You remember those Gold Key or Dell comics, which just reprinted the same stories on a 24-issue cycle? (Because they figured that their target audience had a full turnover every two years.) Well, that's where we are now with several DC titles.
The other issue is system mastery. One of the reasons I enjoyed being a comics fan was that the lengthy continuity allowed the writers to have a conversation with us. Little touches here and there allowed us to see more deeply into the characters.
Alan Moore, of course, up-ended this with series like Supreme and Tom Strong, where the entire series was given false backstories (like "flashbacks to when Supreme had a cosmic adventure for several years in the '60s", complete with '60s-style comicbook art). Image's Global Guardians does the same, with a large cat of characters, and a storytelling convention that presumes that we're already familiar with all of them, and have been for years.
Marvel did the same with the retro-origins of Jessica Jones and the Sentry, who'd "been around back when the Fantastic Four were created, and was a mentor to the young Peter Parker."
"You know how it was, when you picked up your first issue of Justice League, and it was issue #104, and there were all these characters, and you didn't really understand who was who, but it was great fun?" Sure, but (1) I also remember picking up JLA #200, and having the satisfaction of seeing characters I'd been reading for the previous 8 years, and (2) even when I started reading, I understood that there *was* a history there, that I could learn about it.
Nowadays, there is no actual history, just the contrivance of one. Continuity is a bugaboo, a thing that gets in the way of telling a story. (How many times has Superman met Billy Batson / Captain Marvel?)
It really depends on what you mean by Evil.
Sometimes, "evil" is just a team name. For example, one of the tempting baubles from Season 4 is only evil because the GM says so. (You don't even need detect evil. You just know it's evil.) So, in that case, it's more like "do you accept this cursed item?" Much the same way as the seven mcguffins from a series of AP volumes.
Sometimes, evil is blatantly against the tenets of decent folk. Another of the Season 4 baubles is clearly something that ought to give good-aligned characters qualms. Some characters wouldn't mind it, others would. Some might argue against their colleagues taking such actions.
Two confirmations: the evil cookie that creates problems in a different scenario is a mechanic that works better in a home campaign than one in which players can give the cookies to xxxxxx-01 and have xxxxxx-03 play through the scenario where the hammer comes down.
And I agree: if having a bauble / committing an act shifts a character's alignment towards evil, I don't think it's fair to allow a Good-aligned character to pay for an atonement and go back to Good alignment, while still keeping the bauble. Neutral characters should be able to atone their way back from Evil to Neutral. But as long as a character makes the decision every morning to retain the benefits of an Evil bauble, I don't think they should consider themselves Good.
College, in the early '80s. The party is in a bar, asking too many of the wrong kind of questions about local criminals. So, the GM decides that the bartender spikes the party's drinks and will sell them to the crimelords.
One of the players is on the fencing team, and her foil broke off, about 8 inches from the hilt. For whatever reason, she's kept it and she's filed the broken end down to a very sharp point. When she realizes that her character is being drugged, she picks up the 8-inch piercing weapon and tries to kill the GM.
That is, she has one hand on his hair, pulling his head back, and goes after his exposed throat with the weapon.
Some years ago, a player showed up at my table with his character on five 3-by-5 cards, in heavily-erased pencil. I let him play his (pretty complicated) PC, but there was no rhyme or reason as to what information was on what side of what card.
Today, I wouldn't let him play with that, because I couldn't read it. Even though it was on paper.
I intend to treat electronics the same way. Scrolling through a little phone screen feels similar to me to scribbled cards. Looking at a Hero-Lab layout on a tablet reader seems the same as looking at any other clean character sheet.
And I'll need the Chronicle sheets on paper, and up-to-date.
I can cite two examples of what I mean. I've met two players, and played at a table with one, who have two versions of a character. Not two characters; two versions.
In one, the player has an Aasimar character, but started the character after the race was restricted. He plays it and, he says, nobody ever checks to see if it's legal. If a GM were to ask, he has the same character, at the same level, with the same Chronicles, but designed as a human, with different racial modifiers, feats and skill ranks. He says he'll play the (legal) human PC if the GM asks to see his Aasimar racial boon, and then play it back as an Aasimar at the next table. That's what he means by "table variation."
Another player has an fighter with several teamwork feats, which works well when he plays with a friend who brings his Inquisitor to the table. He has "retrained" those teamwork feats to general feats more useful when his friend isn't around, and he bring whichever version to the table is more useful.
I haven't mentioned it to those players, but if I'm GMing, and they bring those characters to my table, I won't allow either version.
That's what If I catch you with something illegal, I want you to fix it and not "un-fix" it after you leave my table. The campaign has guidelines about re-skinning. There's some gray area in the center, but there's also situations where we have clear directives.
I'm not talking about GM-call gray areas.
My litmus test: would an ordinary NPC think that the item is some other item, with a property the actual item doesn't have? That's the essence of reskinning to me.
Does a parasol have game stats or abilities that someone else might normally expect that your Sword Parasol has? If it looks enough like a parasol to make people think that it might protect you from a rainshower, or a shower of some less wholesome substance, then I'd call foul. But if it's apparent to everybody that its parasol-nature is entirely cosmetic, then I wouldn't have a problem with it.
Gleaming Terrier wrote:
I have a character who, rather than a Handy Haversack, has a Useful Utility Belt. If someone at the table had a problem, I'd probably roll my eyes so hard I sprain a muscle and say okay, it's a haversack until my next game.
Go ahead, sprain your eye muscle.
Does the item take up the belt slot?
Ending the series with Korra either crippled or dead at the hands of her enemies would have been enormously depressing.
The spirit of the entire series is the rising and advancing of her spirit, from the cocky champion of Season One to the woman who overcomes both poison and her own crippling self-doubts in Season Four.
Does that use a unique system, or D20 rules?
Original system. Here's an ad page.
I would like someone more familiar with the three games ("edge of Empire" "Age of Rebellion" "Force and Destiny") to explain the differences between the games. I own one of them. Do I have to buy the other two? Are they compatible?
I'm sure that worked to drive away the problem player. I'm sure that sort of experience would drive anybody away. But it also probably gave him a bad impression of the exclusionary gaming group. Maybe he has friends, or an on-line presence. If so, I'll bet that you lost a couple of good players who will believe him when he says he had a miserable experience.
Also, bear in mind that Mengkare started his Glorious Experiment while Aroden was still alive, with prophesies that indicated that he would be returning in a reasonably short period of time to bring forth an enlightened age for humanity.
So, the dragon set up his process, with strong reasons to believe that Aroden would be returning, making the Glorious Experiment either redundant and pointless, or else actively impeding Aroden's will for humanity.
You've got to admit, that takes a lot of hubris, even for an ancient gold dragon.
It also points us towards a very powerful being, who had a clear motive for making sure Aroden *didn't* come back and wreck things.
If you want to throw two or three doses of the same alchemical substance, use a Focusing Flask. If you want to throw two different types together, use a Hybridization Funnel. It's very straight-forward.
Does it work to glue regular flasks together? No, because those two items exist. We could all go around inventing reasons why, to the characters, it doesn't work, but it doesn't.
Can I drink a potion underwater? No, because then the potion sponge would be a useless item. Can you look at a fallen comrade and tell whether or not she's dead? No, because that's what the spell deathwatch is used for. Can I swing my weapon really hard, hitting less often but doing more damage? Not without Power Attack.
If your clever idea is a work-around to avoid a piece of equipment, a spell, or a feat, then no, it doesn't work.
Right now, there's no distinction between a GM running a public game at a game store, versus a GM running a home campaign and registering the games as PFS sessions. Does anybody think we should be making this distinction?
If a GM runs two APs and two modules, that's enough GM credit for a second star. (Those can even be using house rules, or a different game system.) I don't see any need to offer incentives for that.
Yoon's size makes her a special case, and therefore a bad example. I have not kept up with the Advanced Class Guide and Occult pre-gens, precisely because we can't give them out to new players and then allow them to continue playing them.
"This hunter is great. Can I file off the pre-gen label and continue to play her next slot as my xxxxx-01 PC?"
"Not unless you buy the ACG, you can't."
So, I continue to advise new players to run Core pre-gens; they're simpler, and they'll transfer to PFS seamlessly. However, if the campaign's answer is "Even if you buy the resources, you can't play that pre-gen as a PC because it's not legal," that's a problem. If 0-BAB characters have Power Attack, that's a problem. If skills don't add up right, it's a problem.
Paizo feels that conventions are an important facet to growing the brand and the organized play campaign.
If you disagree, then please develop that argument.
If you agree, then please offer an alternate incentive to get people to want to GM at conventions. Because "there's this goodie, and I'd like to have it, and it's only available at cons." is actually a pretty good reason to keep it as a convention exclusive.
Folks, forgive my asking but, what the hell is the alternative? "There's a human alive and alone on a barren world out there. We have the means to save him, but my lovely colleague is soft on him after he saved her life for six months, so no, I'll let him die out there."
If "let's bring him home" is the measure of being an awesome dude, you have a pretty low bar, friends.
Yuri, that's very problematical.
Let's say I own the occult book, and when I attend a convention, I play Yoon as a 1st-level pre-gen, and I like the character.
Can I play her in the next slot, too?
It was be a tremendous advantage to the campaign if we could say, "Yes. Just register a clone of her as your 1st-level PC, and you're good to go."
Pre-gens used in the PFS campaign should be legal PFS characters.
BNW, "plausible deniability" is the suggestion that you can do illegal things, as long as people don't have enough proof.
I was under the impression that this campaign worked on the honor system. Has this changed?
EDIT: Ravingdork, I cut a lot of players slack when they make honest mistakes, but please don't heed the advice to play an illegal character class, with the expectation that the rules will change, and none of your GMs will care. That's not the way this campaign is supposed to work.
For what it's worth, BBT, Venture Captains are not rules mavens, and "I asked a VC" is no better than "I asked my GM."
Venture Captains have been chosen for their organizational zeal and their willingness to get down and dirty with a lot of the paperwork that the campaign requires.
Some of them are very capable with the Pathfinder game rules, and Mike used that skill productively. But certainly not all of them.
If you cite which Venture Captains you asked -- and hey, once you got a VC to agree, why did you go off and ask two others? -- they can chime in and explain their reasoning.
(Or, I could have just taken your troll bait. In which case, well played, I guess.)