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I'm one of the GMs who won't "turn back the clock", "correct the oversight", etc. Once a player has finished their turn and I've called the next participant, that's it.
The only exception I'll make is if the correction clearly would have saved a PC from death.
Trying to go back and fix things really interrupts the flow of combat.
It works both ways. I'll often realize I forgot to use a feature like Power Attack, just after the bad guys turn.
This also applies if we discover we've been using a rule wrong. I think it works a certain way, or a player does and I don't catch it. Then someone actually looks it up after a few turns have gone by. Going forward, we use the proper rule, but I don't go back and try to change what's already occurred.
Andrew, I suggest that you bring this incongruity between Scenarios and Modules/APs to the attention of the VOs and PFS leadership.
I'm certain that the intent is to have the rules for Scenarios, Modules, and APs work the same as much as possible.
In the last revision (v5.0) the phrase "newly created" was removed, but apparently only from Chapter 6. I believe the intention was that it should have been removed from page 6 as well.
The issue of whether you can use a pregen and then apply the Chronicle to one of your lower level PCs that would have been able to play the adventure was meant to work the same for Scenarios, Modules, and APs. You are not supposed to use a pregen for an adventure if you have a character that could play instead. This is so people must use their PC and risk death rather than a pregen, whose death could be switched over to a new PC number.
There is an easy way around this rule which you quote above. Just leave your level appropriate PC at home. You don't have a PC you could use with you, so here is a pre-gen.
Personally, I think the player is only shorting themselves if they opt to use a pregen (to protect their PC) instead of actually playing their PC. It is just one more game in which they used a pregen instead of getting to actually play their PC.
The rule should be made the same for all adventures, but I'm guessing it will be the Module version that is used. Though, how it could actually be enforced is beyond me.
... A computer or smartphone by at least one person to access the d20pfsrd, to determine rules questions. ...
d20pfsrd is not a legal rules source. It may not legally be used to cite rules to settle an argument in PFS.
The source you are looking for is the Paizo PRD.
Unless you go back to the GM or your local Venture Officer and get them to overturn the ruling made at the table during play, your PC is fine. It is not cheating. A ruling was made (albeit mistakenly) and play moved on. The game is over. What happened, happened. An honest mistake that turned out to be in your favor is not cheating.
However, now that you know the correct rule, if you were to let it happen again, that would be cheating.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
But you'd have a level 20 PFS PC. That in itself is worth the effort for many.
I think the perspective of the OP is off. In PFS you are not an employee of the Pathfinder Society. You are a member. You joined because you believe in furthering the goals of said Society. Sometimes that means self-funding certain aspects of an adventure - because you believe it is the right thing to do.
If you can not accept that "buy-in" then maybe Pathfinder Society play is not for you.
Characters risk their lives - a much higher price to pay. Not to mention diseases, curses, etc. These all cost gold that comes out of the character's pocket. Sometimes the risk is a little gold paid as a bribe.
Speaking to real life allegories:
John Compton mentioned Venture Officers above. I was a Venture-Captain for 2 years and had very little personal cash available for promoting PFS. So I did everything as cheaply as possible. Free websites. Limited trips to conventions outside Boston (about 6 per year including GenCon). Not a lot of GM rewards out of my pocket (Pathfinder bottle openers to those who went above and beyond. A compass for earning 2 stars. A PFS shot glass for earning 3.)
Still, I think I managed to spend about $600 each year solely for the purpose of supporting PFS in my region (mostly travel expenses). I'm positive most officers spend twice that much if not more.
If you were to factor in the time spent just on performing official duties ... well ... what I'm saying is that we are members - not employees. We are here because we believe in PFS. Not to get a paycheck.
Actually, when players get digital copies of a Chronicle sheet from the GM for online play, they are supposed to print them so they have a hard copy stack.
If, as a GM, I can't cross off a particular boon and initial that I did, the player will not get the benefit of that one use (or limited use) boon.
Based on what you've said, if I were the GM, the CN Fighter would have been warned that if he CdG'd the prisoner his character would be seen as irredeemably Evil and removed from the campaign. It would be his choice to not be Evil or lose his character. Then I would also rule that the action broke the Don't be a Jerk rule and return the prisoner to life.
A lot of it is GM interpretation of the rules and how they choose to run the table. If it happened to me as a player I would make a point not to play with that player again and not to play under that GM again (at least with a character I cared about).
But that is based entirely on one side of the story. The GM and other player may have information to add that would change my opinion.
It's not hostility. It is frustration.
And just because you can play both characters at their respective levels, a level 2 Sorcerer that made it to level 2 as a 1st level Sorcerer, earned it. A player who purposely ran the character as a 20 Con Barbarian at level one in order to make it to level 2 and retrain the character into a level 2 Sorcerer is being cheesy.
Where is your pride in using your game mastery to play an unmodified character?
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Sometimes you need to get found.
Sure, counter my general statement with a specific example that really is not an issue for anyone. Completely ignore the 20 CON Barbarian example above.
Completely miss my subtle point that discussing how to best take advantage of the level 1 retrain for maximum survivability at level one is probably not the best thing to do in order to keep the level 1 retrain rule in the campaign.
The level 1 retraining rule was added to allow players who realized they "made a mistake" with their build to fix it OR to allow players to "test drive" a class before committing to it without "losing" the Chronicles they already earned.
It was not added to allow min/maxers additional opportunities for their character build before level 2. That is just an unfortunate side-effect.
So while intentionally playing a different build at level one, purely for the game mechanic advantage it provides is not in the spirit of the rules, it is not disallowed.
That said, the campaign leadership is continually reviewing the effect certain rules have on the game and may decide that the intended benefit of a rule is not worth the power creep it adds to the game.
The proper term is GM as DM is a D&D trademark.
There is already a built-in reward to GMs for running adventures more than once.
They only have to buy the adventure once, so every time after the first that they run an adventure, they are spreading that initial cash outlay over more hours of gameplay. Also, as you mention, it gets easier to run the adventure and there is less prep time the more you run it, so you can "have fun" with the adventure more than you did the first time.
To expand on CWheezy's post:
Create an Event and check the box for: "Pathfinder Society Scenario—Season 0 PDF Bundle" (it can be any scenario actually, you just need to check one so the system will allow you to create the event)
Report the Event and click on the "Show All Scenarios" button.
Scroll down and select the Module you need.
Continue reporting the event as usual.
Considering how easy it is to share PDFs (once they are created), I think Paizo might not be happy to approve homemade PDFs as legal PFS sources even if they come from hardcopy books. It amounts to creating a bandit copy of the material.
Since PDFs are available from Paizo and you are essentially creating the same thing, but without watermarks - it is a bandit copy.
At my tables I would not accept a homemade PDF, but I would be okay with a few photo copied pages, taking the player's word that they have the book at home and didn't want to lug it around.
I've just been told that Rogue Eidolon (Mark Seifter) has been approved for his 5th star and as Venture-Captain of the Boston Lodge, I have the honor of making the announcement.
Mark has been there right from the start of the Boston Lodge at our flagship store, Pandemonium in Cambridge, MA. Since our first weekly game in October 2011 he has been there every week, missing less than a handful of games in order to attend a major convention or family event. He took on the role of Store Liaison for Pandemonium in April 2012 allowing me to support other venues and has increased our player base there tremendously.
As a GM Mark's rules knowledge is amazing and he often knows the abilities of a player's character better than the player after just a few minutes of game play. But he does not run a GM vs. players game. He is quick to point out any options a player has if they seem to be unsure of what to do. His portrayal of NPCs is highly entertaining as well. While he can be a very challenging GM, he is always extremely fair.
Please join me in congratulating Mark on his accomplishment. For those who would like to talk to him in person, he will be attending PaizoCon in July.
Below are some quotes from our local players in support of Mark's 5th star:
"He is an extraordinary GM."
"... thoughtful, always prepared, extremely knowledgeable, ..."
"He is very balanced in how he manages the possibility of player death, not pulling punches, but not being unnecessarily lethal. There is always a sense that all of our actions have consequences and I thoroughly enjoy sitting at his table."
"Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable about the game, he has an infectious passion for it."
"Mark has also been super responsive to questions via email. Whether it was a question about a rule, a character build, or module prep. He's an invaluable resource."
"... a genuine sense of fun and joy at every moment of every game ..."
"Mark has been a perfect host at his tables, and at events he has coordinated. He is always anxious to make sure that each person – old and new – has the best time that they can."
"Every session that I play with Mark, I feel that I absorb a new technique that improves my own GMing. He has basic inborn talent to GM, and has clearly worked hard to develop those skills to an art form. I count myself very fortunate to be able to play at his table with some regularity, and cannot think of a person who warrants the honor of a fifth star more."
Here is a two page document that steps a new player through character creation using only the Core Rulebook and the free Traits download.
It's not much more than what is in Chapter 2 of the PFS Guide, but it does offer some quick advice for those in a hurry and lists page numbers for each topic.
It does not make use of any Additional Resources to keep things simple and give the player a chance to learn how to build a character with just the Core Rulebook first.
I recommend giving it to new players along with a copy of the Traits download and a blank PFS Character Sheet. A handout about the Factions or access to Chapter 4 in the PFS Guide would be useful too.
This document is primarily the work of myself (text) and VC Russell Akred (layout, art, and editing) along with extensive comments from other venture officers.
We Be Goblins uses level 1 pregen characters. You could have your players create their own characters, but they should be level 1 Goblins of the Licktoad tribe. It provides about 2205 combat XP and whatever additional XP the GM decides to award. It would get 4 level 1 goblins about 1/3 the way to level 2 under normal XP advancement.
We Be Goblins Too uses the same Goblin pregens, but they are now level 3. I assume it follows the same XP ratio and would give about 1/3 the XP needed to go from level 3 to level 4 under normal advancement.
But the XP awarded is really completely up to the GM. And you could play WBG with level 2 characters that level to 3 at the finish of WBG so that they are level 3 when starting WBGT.
It is all up to the group.
And for Pathfinder Society Organized Play:
We Be Goblins has you running level 1 (15-point buy) pregen Goblins. You get to apply the Chronicle sheet to a level 1 or level 2 PFS character (even if the Goblin dies - see the included text with the Chronicle sheet). You may play the Free RPG Day module more than once and apply the Chronicle sheet to a different level 1 character. You may only apply the Chronicle to one level 2 character.
We Be Goblins Too! has you running a level 3 Goblin (presumably also 15-point buy). Under sanctioned module rules you may apply the Chronicle sheet to a level 2, 3, or 4 PFS character. Since We Be Goblins Too! is a Tier 2-4 module you may only take 1 Chronicle as a player and 1 as a GM.
Both provide 1 XP, 1 PP, and a certain amount of gold.
If you wanted your PFS character to get both Chronicles back-to-back, the play options are:
PC starts with 2 XP, plays WBG (becomes level 2), then plays WBGT.
PC starts with 3, 4 or 5 XP (is level 2), plays WBG, then WBGT. (You may only apply a WBG sheet to a level 2 character once.)
PC starts with 3 or 4 XP (is level 2) plays WBGT, then plays WBG.
Note: your character does not play either adventure. You play a Goblin pregen and apply the Chronicle sheet to one of your characters.
I think player bullying should be discussed as a separate issue. We shouldn't try to correct player behavior by adjusting the reward system in PFS.
I didn't mind the 2XP system, until someone pointed out that it will allow inexperience players to get into higher-level play too quickly, before they have the chance to really learn how to handle it. We'll end up with people who have only played 9 to 10 games in 7-11 scenarios and still don't really know what they're doing.
But brand new players are already doing this when they play a level 4 or level 7 pregen.
At least with the 2 XP solution, new players that always play up have to play several games (with more experienced players) to reach higher levels. And a side effect is that they will be able to catch up to the current groups level and continue to play with them - rather than having to use a pregen if there are no other tables to play at.
Here is a point I haven't seen made yet ...
One of the stated goals for PFS is to "play by the rules". Right?
Well, in any other Pathfinder game if you "play up" you get more XPs.
By using the 1 XP per session (regardless of the sub-tier played) we are actually creating the WBL problem.
The solution that Rogue Eidolon argues for, brings PFS more in line with regular Pathfinder play.
2 XP for playing up with normal PP. There should be a disincentive after all.
I don't think we should 1/2 XP for playing down. It is already too easy. There should be disincentive that way too. I'd leave playing down as it is now.
For PCs between sub-tiers go the 2 XP route.