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They can't use it on themselves, but they can use it on their allies. Just like the mercies for the Shaken condition and Diseases, which they're immune to.
Darksol is correct about the RAW rules.
I guess we can put that back on topic:
You know you're in trouble when...
... the GM makes you roll a perception check to notice that the rest of the party left without you.
... when one of the players brings his nephew along, who is new to the game, has ADHD, and just wants to bash monsters with a warhammer. (*whistles innocently and wonders if Wei Ji will notice this before playing at a table with my nephew and I tomorrow*)
And despite all the negativity, there has been some positive discussion in this thread. For instance, before this, I never would have even considered a single level dip in fallen Paladin or int dumped wizard. These obviously don't work as full classes, but there have been suggestions here for how both can be used as a useful single level dip on an oddball, yet playable, PC.
And others (myself included) have shared similar build suggestions, like my single level dip in a charisma casting class with a 7 cha PC.
I like to introduce some of my characters without mentioning their class at all. We've had this discussion before, and I had some good examples there. From that thread, here's how some of my PCs introduce themselves (after I give a physical description). See if you can guess what class each one is.
1. "My name is Misaki. I'm a warrior these days, I guess."
Hint: That last one is the only one that's Core.
As others have said, I'd worry more about save DC's than getting 9th level spells. Most PCs don't get to that high level, and a lot of casting classes don't get that many spells. Besides, you should assume headbands as well as 4 level bumps, so getting to a 19 casting stat really isn't that hard.
For any PC that's worried about save DCs, I've always put at least a 17 in my casting stat up front. I tend to min/max, playing races with the right racial boost to get a 19 or 20. But I'll settle for 17 or 18 if the race doesn't get the right race bonus for that casting class, and I've got a good reason for playing that race despite that.
But for buff/heal types that don't worry about that, and/or secondary casters (usually with less than 9 levels of casting), I seem to usually end up with 14 as the starting casting stat. For instance, my front liner druid, warpriest, and huntmaster inquisitor all have exactly 14 wisdom. It's enough to cast my buffs, and I can bump it up with a headband later.
I even have a 12 on one PC that just gets a little casting from multi-classing and doesn't really focus on it. And as mentioned above, I'll be dipping a level of a cha casting class for a PC with 7 charisma, but that dip is for other class abilities, not the spells.
This is mostly based on my 24 PFS characters, along with advice in helping others build PCs here and there.
I guess this would be a good time to (once again) repost my PC building criteria:
You'll note that "Does this PC do what people expect from that class?" is NOT one of my criteria.
There are plenty of people who generate enough spam just casting Summon Monster spells. Having one combat animal that replaces the one who died/retreated/was sacrificed to the gods for good luck on the missions/whatever doesn't seem excessive to me.
But again, I'd call this an "expect table variation" question. Nobody should be planning in advance to do this often enough to need a definite ruling.
I always picture the two familiars sniffing each other's butts. Maybe I've just spent too much time around dogs in my life.
As others have mentioned, I'd be curious to know what adventures the OP has played. There are plenty of dungeon crawls in the early seasons, but more recent adventures (especially season 7) have seemed to focus much more on skills and diplomacy than those early seasons.
Yes, running out of spells for the day is always going to be a concern for spellcasters, especially at low level. Spend your first 2 prestige on a wand of Magic Missile, and your sorcerer will always have something to do. Actually, I recently saw a level 2 wizard dominate a 1-2 with a wand of Color Spray. You'd think DC 11 wouldn't work often enough to bother, but the bad guys had such low will saves that he was knocking half the enemies out to start every encounter, then running away while us beat sticks mopped up the remainder.
And it's been a while since I've posted this, so here's my general character building advice that I post every couple of months around here:
When I make a new PC, I try to answer 4 questions (used to be 3, but I ended up with a couple of boring PCs, so added a 4th):
1. What's this character's specialty in combat? As long as the PC can do something that helps the party succeed in a fight, this can be anything, not just dealing damage, but make sure you're actually good at whatever this is. You don't have to be uber-optimized, but make sure you can contribute.
2. What does this character do in combat when they're specialty isn't an option? This is things like having a ranged weapon even though your character is a melee beast, or an enchantment based character having something they can do when facing mindless foes. Also, everyone should try to get some splash weapons for use against swarms, though that might have to wait until after your first adventure to be able to afford it.
3. What does this character do outside of combat? This isn't just for personality, this is also making sure you have something useful to contribute between fights. Sometimes, it's diplomacy or other face skills, even if it's just enough of a bonus to be the "aid another" guy behind the main face. Sometimes, it's knowledges, sense motive, or whatever other skills could come in handy between fights.
4. What personality traits will you be able to actively portray at the table? The above 3 questions are designed to make a playable PC by giving them something useful to do in most situations. This question was added afterwards to make a fun character. I had a couple of PCs that were mechanically interesting, but didn't have a personality. Or they had a detailed back story, but that didn't really give me something to role play at the table. This is about giving your PC personality, whether it's a distinctive voice, an obsession that you can play up, or whatever other quirk makes the PC fun to play.
You're on a Tier 5-9 diplomatic mission, and the question "who's the party face?" is met with blank stares.
Yeah, I had one of those once. The GM warned us that we should bring PCs with social skills, and the rest of the group just didn't have any. So having a choice of PCs, I brought my battle oracle, since he has some charisma and diplomacy skill, though in an emergency, he can only speak Infernal, due to the tongues curse.
Avril Axiel wrote:
Do you mean the x next to the new markers? That doesn't prevent the thread from taking up half the screen, i otherwise can't find an ø button.
No, there's an O with a line through it (like a theta), to the right of the last post date/time. If you click that, the thread stops showing at all.
Green Smashomancer wrote:
The only gaming stores I can reasonably reach only support Magic on Fridays, and 5th edition on Wednesdays. I can't play Pathfinder with strangers in person even if I wanted to. And my former home group is just kinda disbanded, and I don't know enough people who'd want to learn to form a group. It makes me sad because I miss playing face-to-face, even if the group had some issues.
Have you looked on meetup.com? I've found it's a great way to meet people with similar interests. If you're in a big enough area, there's probably already a group for RPG players in your area. If not, you can start one, though it costs money to start a group.
Another option is to see if your game store has a place to post notices. You could advertise that way to start a new group.
Lord Fyre wrote:
I've played PFS in 5 different states, and specifically played with venture officers from more states than that. I've only met one that was the type of problem person you seem to be talking about, and he lasted as a venture-captain for less than 6 months.
If you've got problems with the leadership in your local area, I'd suggest you contact PFS leadership at Paizo and let them know of your complaints. They can't do anything if they don't know there's a problem. And if you and a few other people do complain, then maybe they'll take action to do something about it.
Yeah, I've never been to an in-person PFS game, but the PFS forums have completely removed any want to attend one.
I see comments like that a lot on the forums, and it's kinda sad. The actual gaming tables at game stores and conventions are nothing like the forums.
I keep saying the PFS forums here aren't actually for PFS players. They're actually for people whose hobby is arguing on the internet. You won't see anything like that at a PFS game.
I have a boon sylph that uses pretty much everything in the sylph chapter of the Advanced Race Guide that I can fit on a single PC. Sky Druid archetype, Cloud Gazer feat, actually uses just about every spell from that chapter of the ARG (Windy Escape, Gusting Sphere, etc).
She's a priestess of Gozreh with the Weather domain. Like her god(dess), she's calm to the point of pacifist, unless someone REALLY pisses her off. Then she brings down the lightning (or she will, when she hits level 5 and gets Call Lightning as a domain spell).
I also have a Suli boon. I've been thinking of doing a "civilized" barbarian for a while, and I may do it as a Suli Bloodrager. ie Very snobby, "Can't we discuss this in a civilized manner?" type, but if things get rough, he goes all Hulk. "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. ROAR!!!!!!"
I've thought the same thing since Core was first introduced.
Without APG, there are no traits, archetypes, alternate favored class bonuses, along with some of the most popular feats, spells, and equipment in the game. Those are the things that really define Pathfinder as a game, distinct from 3.5.
But anything more than Core and APG, and you're into "too much for new players to handle easily" territory.
This would have been my suggestion when Core was first introduced, but it's too late now.
Also, what are you building that you require that many sources that it becomes unmanageable? That screams more of either a wild exaggeration or that you want to show off your leet gaming skillz too.
"Unmanageable" would be an overstatement. But if you're using more than 5 or 6 books for one PC, and you can only pull up one at a time on a slow tablet to show the GM you own it, then a full audit at the start of the session becomes annoyingly time consuming. And not everyone remembers the source for everything on their PC off the top of their head.
Non-hypothetical example: If someone wanted to audit my level 2 witch this way, I'd have to show them that I own the following books:
And that's just a level 2 PC that's relatively straightforward. I think I may have only spells from the Core Rulebook and APG for now (I'd have to double check), but I'm sure that'll change at higher levels.
Again, I'm just saying that a full audit up front is a waste of time. If the GM wants to know why my witch has such a high UMD score, I'll be happy to pull out Ultimate Campaign and show them the trait that lets me use intelligence instead of charisma for that skill, which both shows them the rule and confirms that I own the book.
EDIT: Well, I was wrong. I just checked the character sheet (since this PC is in a PBP right now, so I have it electronically available even though I'm not at home). This PC uses about 2 or 3 more books than I listed above. Thanks to the Additional Traits feat, I actually have traits from 4 different books on this PC. I also have a spell that I don't remember what book it's in, and a magic item from Ultimate Equipment (though it may have originally been in one of the books above before UE - I honestly don't remember).
Again, that's just a level 2 PC. I know that I own all the appropriate books and bring them to every game day and convention table, even if I'm not playing this character.
Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Well, yeah. Proof of ownership IS only half the reason you need to bring the books after all.
No, proof of ownership is .0001% of the reason to bring the books. Having the reference on hand for the GM to read during a game is 99.9999% of the reason.
I'm there to be the GM, not the Paizo Copyright Police.
And the last PFS coordinator (Mike Brock) agreed with that sentiment on the forums when a similar argument to this broke out a couple of years ago.
Wait. You only bring 2 PCs at a time? And your number of "active" PCs is that much lower than your total count?
When I say that I have 23 PCs, I mean 23 physical folders, each with a pencil and paper character sheet, ITS, faction card, and any chronicle sheets that apply. For the more complicated guys, I also have printouts of rules from the books of some things I'll want to reference while playing. But GM blobs don't count.
And when I show up to play, or even to GM, I bring ALL of them, with one exception: my level 14 is retired, so he stays home. But I can't count how many times I've been signed up to play or GM one adventure and ended up doing something else entirely. So I bring everything, just in case. Not enough players for the scenario I was going to GM? Is there extra space at the 1-5 table or the 7-11 table for me?
Even the 3 PCs I got bored with, or consider too underpowered/outdated to bother with, are still brought to game days. Ironically, I've played 2 of those 3 in the last 6 months: one because a group really wanted someone to fill a particular role, even though the PC is severely underpowered otherwise, and once because I decided to bring my most "expendable" PC to Bonekeep. I don't play pregens.
I gave up on fitting them all, along with a tablet, minis, dice, snacks, and those half a dozen splat books I bought as hard copies before I realized I should switch to pdfs, into a backpack. They just about fit, but it was a pain to carry.
Before GenCon this year, I went to Office Depot and picked up what's essentially a milk crate with wheels and a handle. Now I can carry all of that, plus a bigger carrier for my minis instead of cramming them in baggies where they sometimes get broken, and my physical Core Rulebook, Bestiary (useful when summoning), and other stuff easily. But I also don't take the bus or train to games, and my box o' books does take up an annoying amount of space around the gaming table.
So yeah, I once again completely agree with BNW on this.
I can't believe everyone's attacking BigNorseWolf over this. I'm totally on his side.
Let's be clear: Like BNW, I have over 20 PCs in PFS. I own the resources for every detail that I used in creating each of them. And I bring them all to game days. If I use a spell, feat, trait, etc that a GM doesn't know, I can pull up the exact book on my tablet and show it to them at the appropriate time, as I'm sure BNW can, too. That's the point of the rule.
But asking me to list every book for a specific PC up front? On a level 9 caster, that would result in me sitting there for 10 minutes going "Is that spell in Ultimate Magic or Ultimate Combat? Was that one from Inner Sea Magic?" Heck, even on my level 2 witch, I'd have to try and remember if the rabbit familiar was published in the Familiar Folio or Animal Archive, both of which I have with me.
Not to mention that opening each pdf takes 30-40 seconds on my crappy tablet, even if I do know what book it's from. So auditing me that way would take 5-10 minutes for most of my characters. Now do that for all 6 players at the table. Would you rather spend that half hour playing or auditing?
And Kahel keeps saying he plays with the same people regularly, so those audits aren't necessary more than once per PC. That's fine in your situation.
I play at a weekly game at a game store, where we have 2-3 tables most weeks. We have probably 8-10 people who are there most weeks, and another 20 who show up once a month or more. Probably a third of us are old timers with 20+ PCs and 10+ books used in the creation of each one. I do NOT play with the same PCs regularly, even when I do play with the same players. And that's not to mention the 4-6 conventions I go to annually.
And like BNW, I've been playing PFS for over 4 years, in 5 different states (and I'm not even counting GenCon for Indiana), not to mention playing PBP for almost a year now, and nobody's ever done this type of full audit before. So no, I'm not going to suddenly add a ton of paperwork to prep just in case of this type of audit.
Heck, the only time owning a book ever came up at a table where I was playing, was shortly after Ultimate Magic was published, when a player showed up with a magus PC, and neither the player or GM knew how it worked. The GM asked to see the book, and the player didn't have it on her. She had to go to the next table over to get the book from her mother, as the family did own it, but they were technically breaking the rule by sharing the book while playing at different tables.
As I said, if someone asks about a specific feat, spell, ability, etc, I can produce that reference pretty quickly (slow tablet not withstanding). I own the books legally, so Paizo got their money, and I can show them to the GM for reference, so I'm following both the spirit and letter of the rules. But auditing EVERY book at the start of the session would just be an unnecessary waste of time.
And I think that's BNW's point.
I'm surprised only one person has suggested this, so it's worth repeating: I'd recommend that this GM stick to GMing low level stuff until he's more comfortable with more of the stuff that his players might bring.
Frankly, that's what I do. I'm a 3 star GM, half way to 4th star, and I've only GMed a 5-9 adventure once, and never GMed anything higher than that in PFS. I probably could/should, but the low level stuff is just easier, both with dealing with odd PC stuff at the table, and looking up tons of monster/NPC stats in my prep.
I do GM higher level stuff for my home group. We're up to level 15 in the Rise of the Runelords campaign I'm running. But I also know their PCs as well as they do.
On a related note, I took a break for a while when I wasn't playing much PFS. I was GMing that Runelords group, and we ended up playing the same night as PFS at the local store. So for about a year there, I rarely played or GMed PFS. That was around the time that the ACG and Unchained were published, and I returned to playing/GMing PFS regularly around the time Occult Adventures came out.
The first time I GMed after that, 5 of the 6 players at my table were using PCs with classes I didn't know. And that was an "occult" themed adventure where the final boss has different stats depending on the enemies he's fighting. So I'm supposed to give it different stats based on how many full BAB people, or arcane casters, or divine casters are at the table, and I'm sitting there asking the kineticist, psychic, shaman, and investigator, "So... are any of you arcane casters?"
I almost decided to never GM in Society again because of that table, so I know how the GM referenced in the initial post feels. Luckily, I was already scheduled to GM again not long after that, and I felt bad about dropping out, so I stuck it out. The next table was a lot easier on me, with less of the new classes. And eventually, I started reading up on the new classes, and even making my own PCs with them.
I guess that's really the point. Just encourage the guy to push the boundaries of his comfort zone. Eventually, it'll get easier.
A single sentence to avoid confusion for new players might not be a terrible idea. That's really all it would take.
I'm trying to find more information about the vishkanya race on Golarion beyond what's in the Advanced Race Guide. Searching these forums, I found that they're from Vudra, but that's about it.
I have a boon that lets me play one in Pathfinder Society, and I have a general PC idea. I just need more information to help me come up with a background, personality, etc.
Even if that were true, the first 4 scenarios of season 8 (8-00 through 8-03) were released at GenCon, a month ago. I've already played all 4 of them, and GMed one of them.
But no, that's just not true. The new Guide goes into effect at GenCon every year. I haven't seen anyone say otherwise for this year, and I know several people who have already started PCs with the new races.
Just adding a "me too" those who are opposed to the idea of penalties for failure on aid another checks. Besides all the reasons listed above, I'll add one more big one that I don't think has been mentioned yet.
It might be a perfectly fine house rule for your home campaign, but it's a mechanical change to the rules. You're not allowed to do that in PFS. Period.