First of all, if he wants followers, you need the Leadership feat and there are clear rules for that.
Second, it's hard to get line of sight with more than a few of them.
Third, one invisible opponent plus one AE spell equals a lot of dead wizards.
It's just a matter of time really. My players are terrified of taking an army of low level NPCs with them for that very reason. They'll just get slaughtered eventually.
I'm sure he would have trouble attracting other wizards to follow him after that too. They might join the guild, but adventuring is out of the question.
David Bowles wrote:
Your players are part of the problem. Tell them that their uber builds are ruining your experience and everyone's experience.
And if they don't listen, if a local GM doesn't like GMing for them, then don't. If they're being jerks, then boot them from the table. Problem solved. I certainly wouldn't put up with lip like that.
I agree, archery builds in Pathfinder are too powerful. However, did you factor in cover (+4 AC) that PCs and NPCs provide?
I find that Darkness isn't as much of a factor in upper levels since most creatures can see fine, even blind. It's always the other PCs who get hosed. So the party only has 2 out of 6 PCs active? Sounds like a TPK waiting to happen to me. And yes, those 2 PCs would also be focus fired, which is a just reward. Sure, most of the encounters could be handled like this, but it only takes 1 encounter to destroy you.
So I'm watching my events and various Pathfinder events right now and how well they're selling.
It seems to me that for Pathfinder, we could still use a lot more "beginner" events (people must be searching on these keywords) and "kid's track" events, because many of them are sold out already.
It seems like people are looking for "beginner" events, I'm not sure they're specifically interested in the beginner box. Maybe PFS should have the word "beginner" in their next version of First Steps.
We Be Goblins and WBG#2 are sold out. We Be Goblins being sold out really surprises me, it's been around for a while.
Eyes of the Ten are sold out, but it's not surprising since there are only 6 seats.
The upper tier scenarios that debut at Gencon are selling "OK" (too many seats for some of them, 60 for Hellknight?), but the older season 4 upper tier scenarios (Fortress of the Nail) are not, could probably use less of them.
Some of the older scenarios are sold out already. This was a great idea to include them on a limited basis and I hope we do that a little going forward.
Bonekeeps are selling reasonably well. Wow, there's going to be a lot of tears on Thursday and Saturday night.
The Friday special is selling a little better than Bonekeep. 200 or so tickets left (out of 810!).
Sorry, I just want to circle around to the OPs idea again.
Why don't we just add a (easy, normal, hard) rating to the scenario's web page?
The rating could be reached by a consensus of VC/VLs and 5 star GMs who have read/run the scenario. Community opinion could also be factored, but the rating would be empirical.
- GMs know the challenge rating and players can find the challenge rating if desired (without the risk of reading spoilers). It could drive more traffic to Paizo.com.
- No extra work for authors and very little extra work for Paizo.
- No changes to the scenarios themselves and no need to worry about backward compatibility.
- The rating can be easily updated if a mistake was made or it becomes outdated.
- No changes to the PDF.
- No changes to organized play or forcing a change in player's play style.
Simple solutions work.
The Red Ninja wrote:
Players (if they really want) do know what they're getting into, if they:1) Read reviews; or
2) Their GM or local group let advises them accordingly.
Hypothetically, a challenge rating would be really nice. However we've already had discussions that this would be difficult (if not impossible) to do. The pregens are so bad they can't even be used as a baseline anymore.
A rating would only be useful if each subtier were rated separated, and this challenge rating could be changed by Paizo (or reviewers) after the scenario is released.
The rating itself could be based off a consensus of VCs/VLs.
If that was done, it might work, and would be limited extra effort since Paizo could just add some rating text into the scenario blurb on the scenario's web page.
John Vettori wrote:
I'm leaning towards the third, but I still want to in some way penalize him. I've considered everything from negative levels to outright removing limbs. I want something that is going to stick, and make him think twice about breaking alignment again both in and out of character. Now, I have been out of the player seat for a long time. Short of outright killing him off, where can I hit him where it hurts the MOST?
Don't change anything, don't rewind. And no crippling penalties. No GM fiat and slapping the player's pee pee, telling him he's playing badly. That's just bad gaming.
Why are you worried about him breaking alignment? Alignment is just a shorthand for a PCs general attitudes, not a straight jacket. Let him play however he wants and YOU determine his alignment behind the scenes, and let him know your opinion when it matters. We don't have the full details, but that event makes me think chaotic evil.
If the other players kill him, let it happen. If law enforcement find him, create a really cool encounter for him to make his final hurrah, arrest him, execute him. Just make it a realistic outcome of doing something like that. At least you're not using GM fiat to punish him.
I think it's more reasonable (if that's what you want to do, buff classes that can use it), but it seems too powerful having a scaling +1 to hit/dodge as a feat. Power Attack has scaling damage (with a penalty) and it's powerful, +1 scaling to hit or AC is much better.
I just think it should be a static +1 hit/dodge or perhaps +1 scaling damage, which is more in line with other feats.
But it's your campaign, you know what's best.
Doug Miles wrote:
Is poison (crafted or otherwise) even worth it in PFS? It seems like anything with a Fort save low enough to fail against the poison is going to get killed by the other PCs within a round or two anyways. Poison use sounds like a cool concept; can anyone who actually utilizes it give an example where it made a difference?
Agree. In Pathfinder, manufactured poison is too expensive and isn't powerful enough to be worthwhile. In a home game the GM could probably houserule something to make it viable, but PFS doesn't have that option.
Way too powerful. Since you didn't say "melee weapon attacks", this is a feat that would be taken by all archers to make them even more powerful. They'd just stack Dex, Int, and then Str, resulting in obnoxious builds at high level. No thanks.
If you changed it to melee attacks only and made it affect damage only (minimum +1 insight damage), I might like that. I wouldn't want it stacking with power attack.
I also have a problem with Combat Expertise, but my problem is that the classes that would cinematically use the Combat Maneuvers under it are already feat taxed. In addition, I don't really like the Int prerequisite in order to use a lot of combat maneuvers. What does Int have to do with Dirty Trick and kicking someone in the nuts? Nothing imo. So I've removed it as a prerequisite altogether. Maybe I'll add it back if Combat Expertise becomes better.
Too much fudging, the GM is being a control freak and trying to control the story too much. If you're not going to let good and bad rolls stand, you're just playing "Magical Tea Party". Why don't you just put away the dice and tell everyone a story?
If something unexpected happens, it's fine. It's not like death is permanent in the game. Stop trying to make a nice happy ending. Maybe the end boss gets slaughtered, maybe a PC gets killed. Oh well.
I beg to differ, most of the time the players can tell when a GM is fudging.
As soon as some players know for certain you’re fudging and fudging often, they will lose interest. Depends on the player though, but it will affect players that are playing for “challenge”.
If your dice roll too high, get different dice, they’re probably weighted. A lot of dice are weighted I find, except for precision dice.
I fudge, but only in extreme circumstances. Maybe once per 20-30 sessions, and it's usually when there's an overtuned encounter.
The problem with a D&D movie is that the cool stuff (monsters, magic, etc) would need a lot of special effects, which would cost a lot of money. Maybe if they stayed away from CGI they would be OK.
Plus the D&D universe is so diverse, even if you made an amazing Mind Flayer prosthetic, you probably wouldn't use it again and again (like they did with orcs in LotR). Everything would be new and hard to make.
Also, the sets are extremely expensive. Carnival (a great show) was canceled just because the set (the carnival) was too expensive. Other awesome shows have been canceled for the same reason.
TV shows often have to be dramas in order to keep costs low. Budget is a big deal.
And the D&D brand has failed to do anything so far, so it's unlikely they would get the money for effects that we'll see in this year's Pacific Rim (which I'm looking forward to).
So yeah, the entire IP is a problem. Fantasy is very hit or miss in general. It's either a home run or a flop.
I'm not asking for the old factions to be permanently kept. But I would really like to see a four-day...
+1. This would be a "nice to have". Some of my friends will miss the retirement scenario (which isn’t the end of the world) but it would be nice to do.
Sior also had a good point. There will probably be a lower demand for this 3-7 scenario (although I’m not sure it matters since I think PFS will be eventually sold out in every subtier this year).
How did you know he was a mass murderer?
I didn't say he was. But typical PF alignment, you usually are. Drow have a reputation of being murderers, especially to surface dwelling folk (but to their own kind as well). I don't see the problem.
But I guess that's the point I was trying to make, which went over your head. It's not up to you, me or the player to decide. That's the GMs job. And just like a referee, he's there to arbitrate, especially in the murky waters of alignment debates.
I have had an offline conversation with the player and we resolved any personal conflict.
Is there a question in there or is this just venting?
As a player, it's not your call to say whether the Paladin is playing correctly or not. That's the GMs job. And as GM, the GM should warn the Paladin before performing the action and if he continues, he suffers the results of that action.
Think about it for a second. PF isn't wishy washy about alignment. Evil is EVIL in PF. If I found a mass murderer in a prison cell, if I let him go he will probably go on to kill more people. That blood is on my hands. And some of you think I should offer redemption to this evil guy and let him go? I don't think so.
A smart(er) Paladin would probably keep them around to see if they have any redeeming value, but that can also backfire. Letting them go in the underdark could be fatal (and stupid), especially if they get their friends and hunt you down. It is their domain after all.
If I was GMing, I would not have a problem with that paladins actions, as long as he is consistent. Killing them is probably the best idea given the circumstances. Leaving them there until they return is perhaps more merciful.
In my mind he is no better than me.
If he's being as "bad" as you, why do you care?
As teammates, your job is persuade him in cases like this, in character. That makes for good roleplaying, as opposed to bad out-of-game complaining. If he doesn't listen to anyone and it builds up, kick him from the party. Hopefully you guys have enough backstory that he'll listen to someone.
Well, I'd like to dispute that it's fun to lose control of your character for a number of rounds ( or even worse ). I generally notice that my players don't appreciate sitting around with nothing to do for hours on end. Combats take long in this game.
If it's unfun (for you), then don't have "lose control" spells as part of the game. Or modify how the spells work so it is fun.
But don't pretend it's part of the game when a 1st level spell can give you blanket immunity to an entire genre of spells. Immunity is bad game design and as you can see, can make the entire climax to an entire AP a joke.
My campaign has not suffered from changing Protection from Evil.
I'm reading some replies and they're pretty funny. What people are overlooking is:
1) Dex to damage is already in the game, the Agile weapon enchant and Dervish Dance feat both allow it. And those exist in the game with hardly any penalties.
2) Dex to damage benefits the weakest classes in the game, rogues, TWF fighters, and monks. Dex builds are currently non-viable. I want them to be viable.
3) Games like D&D 4E have managed to have Dex to damage without any feat tax.
4) Empirical evidence but my campaign has featured it with no problems so far (level 6).
Not allowing power attack to be used with it reduces DPR substantially, so it's a tradeoff. And you can't add x1.5 damage, so it's not very beneficial with 2H weapons. You're losing a lot of damage.
Also, if you are a fighter using it, wow does it ever hurt if you're caught flatfooted, something that's overlooked because of the rogues Uncanny Dodge ability. And with low perception, they are caught quite a bit.
Your feat could be more balanced with the following changes:1) Cannot be used in conjunction with Power Attack.
2) The damage is considered precision damage, which means anything that makes the target immune to critical hits is also exempt from this damage.
3) Allow only a x1.0 modifier to damage (like agile weapon).
With those weaknesses, I actually didn't need to impose any further penalties and went a step farther:
- Weapon Finesse applies to all weapons if you wish. It's not a feat.
- Your feat is now called Weapon Finesse and applies to all weapons you're proficient with.
- It has no further prerequisites. I don't think it's a good idea to only permit it for 19 dex PCs, I found this feat made a lot of rogues with 14 Dex or lower a lot more viable at low levels.
Puzzle solving uses a lot more Int than Wis. I know very intelligent people that actually lack common sense. And people with common sense and intuition that couldn't solve a puzzle to save their life.
If someone has an 18 Int PC (or proper skills) we give them a bonus to solve the puzzle with a hint. I think that's cool and a good way to do things.
However, at what point is the player allowed to solve puzzles? Is 10 Int good enough? 12? What's the cut off? Should your Int (compared to your PC) impact your effort? Hmmm... it's not clear right?
I admit, I've solved complex puzzles with 7 Int PCs before. I should have stopped myself but I love puzzles. At other times I solved the puzzle but said nothing. More often than not I'll sit back making witty (stupid) comments. /shrug
I think the only thing you can do is to leave it up to the player to stop themselves. The player can still solve the puzzle but should refrain from solving it (unless it's in a plausible way).
I'm interested in seeing what others think.
james maissen wrote:
1) I don't see this as a major problem although Paizo does. You say "Does it really hurt if players play easy mode?". You can ask the same question with regards to wealth: "In rare cases where someone has more wealth, does it really hurt?"
If the concern is that more wealth makes the game too easy (and that's a goal we want to avoid), then we'd want to avoid that in general.
At least when playing up you've somewhat earned your "easy mode" (although more gear doesn't exactly makes things "easy" necessarily. Easier, not easy).
2) There isn't a high variance. I think you actually have to play the campaign before making comments like this. Within season 4, the variance isn't that high. That's why the thread is about season 4 being too hard, not about scenario XYZ being too hard.
3) You never addressed my concerns about extreme easy mode would have on players and GMs.
Players: If a level 10 walks into a subtier 1-2 scenario to help his buddy, I'm glad they're having fun (you wanted to be inclusionary right?), but if I was a player, I'd definitely not be having fun. I would walk from the table.
GM: As a GM I'd also feel it would be a waste of my time.
Sometimes, you just can't please everyone. And personally, I don't want to even try to please the players that want extreme easy mode. I don't want play with them and I don't think the community wants that either.
Summary: Letting people play easy mode is not something that is desirable from either a player or GM perspective. There has to be some middle ground, however elusive that might be.
Anyone else notice that the two biggest threads on this board are expressing directly opposing viewpoints?
Has anyone noticed one of the threads was created back in 2011 and wasn't addressing season 4?
I'm going to resurrect a "Play Play Play" thread if this continues... followed by Replay.
PFS is too XXX? :) Soft and deadly? Hmmm...
james maissen wrote:
Rating each scenario based on the same pregens *would* be a way of keeping it consistent.
It would truly be a unique rating system and only loosely based on level. As challenge levels increase, I wonder if that rating system would break down at some point? If the CR system is used , theoretically should be fine.
It could work though, although this would be a major change for PFS.
james maissen wrote:
In essence, the campaign would refuse to get into an arms race with the players. For a large number of us that have witnessed this occur in many organized campaigns, this arms race is something to avoid.
There is still an arms race (perhaps), but PFS would ignore it.
I could see that Paizo would sell less books though, since building a good PC is irrelevant.
james maissen wrote:
I do fundamentally disagree with you in terms of 'earning'. I disagree with a feeling that being level X makes you somehow elite. It doesn't. What you can do with that character can make you elite. That's different. How you roleplay your character can make you special, not the fact that your character has this or that.
You are definitely in the minority. I could be wrong, but I believe players feel a sense of accomplishment from a high level PC. If you made leveling a meaningless time sink, it would impact their fun.
Also, you have to consider how a GM would feel if a level 10 PC steps into the equivalent of a subtier 1-2 scenario. GMs didn't like replay, I don't think GMs would like that either. So although you are OK with easy mode, you have to consider the GMs who are the backbone of the entire organization.
^^^ I know that would annoy me. You might as well just hand out the chronicles instead of playing.
james maissen wrote:
Witness your own desires for the level of challenge in PFS. Then read the OPs and others. These all greatly vary. Who should 'win' and who should 'lose'?
Paizo and the community decides right now. And like I said, I'm not so sure that everyone wants players who want super easy mode to "win". And Paizo wouldn't want that for $$$ reasons. I think you're in the minority.
james maissen wrote:
As it stands, you hear 'tier X' and that doesn't mean really anything in terms of the challenge. Compare the easiest season zero with the toughest season four and you can see how much of a moving target it is.
However you rate scenarios, it will always be a moving target, even using your system. As more books are released, there is some power creep. The only way to avoid it is to re-rate scenarios every once in a while.
james maissen wrote:
That’s a good question. If you’re playing on easy mode, do you deserve the same rewards? From what I’ve seen, the gaming community (ANY gaming community) would overwhelmingly respond ‘NO’.
If PFS was a closed system (6 players only that don’t affect anyone else), I’d say yes. But PFS is not a closed system. If players want to play in extreme easy mode, they can play in home campaigns that cater to this kind of play, PFS isn't for them.
There are a lot of players who feel that getting to level 12 is an accomplishment. If you let PCs basically “walk” from level 1 to 12 using this method, that accomplishment means nothing.
I’ve seen this kind of thing happen in MMOs. There is will be players that will want extreme easy mode. And because that’s possible, it will be a major turnoff for hardcore players, and you’ll lose a lot of those players. And the problem with that is those players are the main consumers of Paizo product, as well as your GMs. So Paizo can’t let that happen.
james maissen wrote:
The system, whether it’s the current system or your system, does rate the scenarios. The only difference is I’m assuming that your system would go back and re-rate scenarios.
Again, I think it’s about the accomplishment factor. As a player/GM base (and as PFS coordinators), we are deciding what the “right amount” of challenge is. And if players/PCs aren’t up to the challenge, then they won’t make it to level 12.
james maissen wrote:
I’m not sure I understand and I’d need an example of how you’d rate some real scenarios.
james maissen wrote:
This happens right now.
james maissen wrote:
It is simply about letting a wider range of players enjoy the characters that they want to play without the campaign forcing them to play at an inappropriate tier for them.
Well, if Paizo continues with level based rewards (a mistake imo), powerful PCs WILL be able to face tougher challenges with the same rewards, as you’re suggesting. In practice, how often will this choice be used? Hardly ever. A choice that is never used might as well not exist. But… we’ll see.
And if you’re talking about players choosing easy mode, we’ve already discussed that. I’m not sure the (majority of the) community wants players to enjoy easy mode and gain the same rewards.
Besides, in practice, if a player really wanted easy mode, he would just request and play scenarios in seasons 0-2, and hand pick from other seasons.
james maissen wrote:
Players can already choose their level of difficulty. With a little planning, they can often choose to play up or down, which offers a wide variation of difficulty.
Question: What point are you trying to make when you say that people rate scenarios inconsistently? I’m assuming that only one designated person would rate scenarios (for consistency), otherwise players would never be able to “choose their difficulty” (like you suggested). However, don't we already have "one consistent rater" in Mark Moreland and now John when they edit/tweak/adjust a scenario for a selected subtier?
As for standardizing wealth and then letting any level of PC play in any scenario, don’t you think it would be ridiculous if a level 11 PC played in subtier 1-2 and received level 11 gold? Do you think that no one would do this?
Your #2 suggestion is part of the problem right now, rating scenarios correctly. We can’t even do that now, why do you think assigning it a level would help? Part of that problem is that everyone rates differently, including the players. You’re somewhat right; rating is futile, so how is a player supposed to choose the difficulty if the scenario rating is inconsistent?
Also, there’s already an easy way to determine if a scenario is too easy or challenging. Read the reviews. Although they’re not always consistent, trends do appear. After a while you’ll know which camp you’re in.
Also, PFS is not broken at all; it doesn’t need a major revamp. If a major revamp like you’re suggesting was done, it would cause more harm than good.
It's in reference to one player I met that had all of his (unordered)chronicles, but never filled out his name, player ID, accumulated XP, accumulated PP/fame, or accumulated gold. Basically his chronicles were blank except for the required GM parts. He had his gold and purchases in a spreadsheet.
To me, there's lots of room for purchases in the Items Bought section.
You’re absolutely right of course. Good tactics and the right spells (or consumables) rule the day.
However, you can’t judge the difficulty of the scenario based on the fact that your group can systematically shut down the powers of the enemy. Even if the enemies hit for 1000 damage, it’s irrelevant if they can’t hit you.
When I said subtier 10-11 is much harder, it was based on the raw data. For only +2 levels difference, the enemies had twice as many HP, gained Scent, Uncanny Dodge (a rogue breaking ability if combined with tactics), substantially increased damage (if the GM factors in power attack which rarely happens), and their Willpower saves for from +3 to +8 (which is a big difference considering we took advantage of that at subtier 7-8).
Also, I wasn’t referring to the ranged combats; I was referring to last fight. In the last fight the GM has a huge sandbox of spells and abilities to work with. I’m sorry, but if a tactically minded GM was running that encounter, they could thrash your group of flying ranged attackers, almost at will. When you get sandbox abilities like that, it’s really about the GM, and how tough he wants (or can) play. It’s night and day.
Btw, you should use spoilers if you're going to be explicit.
Heh. This makes me happy on so many levels. These two threads really should be all up in each other's grills, shouldn't they?
Not really. The problem before was the scenarios were so easy that they weren't even interesting. Now if you tune the scenarios so that TPKs become commonplace, they're overtuned. Two extremes, neither of them good. They're both losing situations and if you were GMing a home campaign, you wouldn't want either to happen.
I'm not sure your cleric needs an insane AC unless he's going into melee combat.
It seems at high level you get hit no matter what, although AC certainly helps with the iterative attacks. At high levels, your DPR (damage you do), concealment effects (displacement, blur), and movement (if you have 6 guys doing DPR, do you REALLY have to stand toe to toe with the thing that attacks 8 times per round?) matter a lot more.
Quiche Lisp wrote:
I was wondering if this is attributable to my DMs (two beginners with the Pathfinder system, and one middle-experienced), which are wary of/unfamiliar with such manoeuvers, or if the APs just offer "vanilla" options in terms of combat.
It has nothing to do with your GM. In general the authors make cookie cutter NPCs that have feats such as Toughness, Improved Init, and Iron Will, which prevents NPCs from having interesting builds where they could possibly take advantage of combat maneuvers like the ones you suggested.
It's a pet peeve of mine and I often end up rewriting NPCs for this very reason.
How about a community-based, informal difficulty rating system that would provide difficulty levels for each tier?
That's what we try to do with reviews.
I suggest that perhaps you make an ongoing (informal) poll and see how that works for everyone. It might be cool if you could ask one or two other questions as well.
I'd like to add a "risk factor" to scenarios as well, if possible.
However, I think it would be really hard to do.
One of the problems is that the subtiers are often so radically different, you can't make a risk factor the entire scenario. For example, King of the Storval Stairs is a fun time at subtier 7-8, but at subtier 10-11 it's twice as deadly. How would you rate that? I guess by the most challenging subtier? When someone makes a rating, does that mean the author/developer needs to increase/decrease the challenge level so it's more in-line with the challenge level of the subtier that the rating is based on?
Also, the rating is completely biased of course. You'd have to find someone to rate the scenarios that's "the middle of the road" as far as PC optimization goes (or is aware of her bias).
This would take more development time from Paizo, which I don't think they have. They'd have to enlist volunteers if they wanted this to happen I think. Even if they had great volunteers, I'm not sure they have the time to add another step into the process. It would be nice though.
Sammy T wrote:
I just want to point out your character (and most Zen archer builds) are really twink. The problem with it, is that some players consider these builds "optimized" meaning that almost every other build doesn't stack up.
I don't think builds like that should be setting the standard for PFS play in any way. It either challenges your PC or kills most others.
Yes, RAW Confusion (and Song of Discord) works fine even if the target is warded with Protection from Evil.
Just one more reason not to have Ileosa as a Bard.
Protection from Evil is broken, in my campaign it doesn't make the target immune to compulsion and enchantments. A 1st level spell should make you immune to basically an entire school of magic.
The game is more fun when loss of mental control is possible. It also makes stats like Wisdom more relevant.
Kevin M. Corrie wrote:
Any advice fellow Pathfinders? I'm getting worried about the future of our local lodge...
The solution is probably to get more organized. Unless everyone has six level 7 PCs and three level 12 PCs, there are still scenarios to play.
Maybe have the players petition the scenario/subtier they play next? They know a lot better than you what they've played or not played.
What about modules?
Maybe have some of them try GMing? That way you get GM credit that can help level PCs that need help. It also helps your organization in the long run and gives your GMs a break so they don't burn out.
Also, someone should really be pushing them to level up PCs to the level 7+ range. Tell them the consequences of that not happening. That should provide plenty of inspiration.
Hayato Ken wrote:
I love paper minis and I love this idea.
I like using paper minis because I can almost always find a mini of the NPC/monster I need. So much better than generic plastic minis (Dwarves!), doesn't break you out of the game by placing something jarring (rock counters) or silly.
I agree, GMs need to control the table so that it's fun for everyone. But there's definitely a difference between a GM shooting down a PC with lightning (the classic example) or knocking them out and strapping them to the front of a ship naked.
When a player is out of line, I'd much rather see the GM settle the problem with the player OOC as well.
For the love of god, don't use GM fiat to "put PCs in their place" to make a point. Oh yes, you're the big bad GM and "don't mess around with my NPCs". Just don't do it.
In Throaty Mermaid:
In Throaty Mermaid the captain should be able to waive or ignore that stuff easily. Joke about it even. Life at sea (and in port) is rough, he can take it (and laugh at the PC).
Or even intimidate himself by asking the PC if he wants to "walk the plank".
You can also tell the PC that if the captain and his crew die, they are stranded in the middle of the ocean with no ability to navigate or guide the ship. In other words, even if they win they lose.
The <redacted> could even use a combat (or standoff) as an opportunity to do his thing.
"Putting PCs in their place" is definitely one of the most annoying (and common) bad GM habits that exist. Often when GMs do it, they cheat and break the rules, which violates the GM/player trust. This is where combative relationships develop between players and GMs.
For me, the trait is negative enough that it could eventually make me avoid tables with that GM.
As GM I would only do that rarely (mostly it would be to prevent a PC from derailing the entire PFS session with a pointless fight that will just get him and the party killed for nothing). << That should be your last and final option though, and it should be done gently and as fairly as possible. Strapping a PC to the front of a ship naked sounds funny (when we read it on the message boards), but it's probably not so funny for the player you just "taught a lesson to". And no, it won't correct her behavior, it will just make her dislike you.
If a player is local, this advice is even more true.
If the player is your girlfriend, don't even think about it.:
(1 billion years ago I had a girlfriend who was interested in RPGs and I knocked her unconscious in her 1st bar brawl. It was fair... but don't do it. She just wanted to live out her "tough guy" fantasy, but I wasn't mature enough to just let her have it at the time. As a result, it was her first and last game. Lesson learned.)
In my (admittedly limited) experience of PFS play, I've yet to encounter a player who was intentionally setting out to ruin the enjoyment of other players. But, sadly, I have encountered more than one player (and even a GM) who seemed to pay no attention to what the others at the table wanted - as long as they were having fun, that was all that mattered.
I keep reading stories about PCs who open new doors in the middle of combat (or at the end of combat before everyone has healed). I actually consider that pvp, and unfortunately because this is PFS, the GM has to step in because PCs are basically powerless against shenanigans. If that was non-PFS, that PC would either die or be kicked from the group. The player would likely be perma kicked from the group too.
That assumes these accounts are true. I personally have not experienced that, but in the rare case I was GMing and I did, that's what I would do.
How do you, as a GM, deal with it when a player attempts to threaten/intimidate a character that they really shouldn't be able to do that with? How do you deal with a situation in which a non-combat NPC would obviously start combat, and you don't have a stat block?
First, if it's just a harmless NPC, why not let them intimidate or boss them around a little. Everyone roleplays to live out their fantasies a bit, and maybe your player has that fantasy. If it doesn't hurt, why not have a little fun with it?
If it's an NPC they need to be diplomatic with, tell the player the likely outcome of talking to the NPC like that and ask them “Are you sure you want to say that to the NPC?”. And if they want to push it, then judge accordingly.
I have no problem ending the mission before it begins if that’s what makes sense.
Of course, that’s not the real problem. The real problem is you don’t want to fail it for the other players at the table. It’s not fair to them. In a non-PFS game, there would be pvp and the stupid PC would die (at the hands of the PCs), end of story. But there's no pvp in PFS.
As GM, what do you do with a PC whose only goal is to wreck the scenario for all of the other players? If it goes too far, as GM I would tell the player about the “don’t be a jerk rule”, warn the player, and then kick them from the table if it continued to ruin everyone’s fun.