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Andrew Christian wrote:
I'm not sure where I land on this topic yet, but I wanted to point out that X being better than Y does not mean that you must be misinterpreting X. Sometimes they deliberately make new things that are better than old things.
Ooooh, interesting point on needing line of sight to ID the aura's school. Okay, so I guess how it goes down is this:
Round 1: Determine that there is, in fact, magic somewhere in that 60ft cone.
Andrew Black wrote:
One might say that all the fighter has is a hammer, when most level-appropriate challenges are not nails.
Jerkishness is about how you treat the people you're disagreeing with.
Are you interrupting games with minor issues?
If you're handling all that properly—discussing the topic at an appropriate time and in a respectful manner—then you're not being a jerk. Some people will still treat you like you're being a jerk, just because you're contradicting them. But those people are toxic to a community, and anyone who values said community has a responsibility to protect it by reporting toxic individuals to leadership so they can either learn to behave differently or be removed from the community.
TLDR: If you value your community, first be sure you're handling disagreements with respect and maturity, then report anyone who won't return in kind.
Congrats on your successful adventure! :D
Do you have your ITS (Inventory Tracking Sheet)? If so, here's how to do "between-scenario" shopping:
Write down what you want to buy on your ITS. In the box for the Chronicle number, write down the next chronicle you'll be getting. For instance, if you just played that character's 1st scenario, write down "2". Go ahead and add the purchased gear to your character sheet.
Next game, when you get your chronicle, fill in the "starting gold" with however much gold you had at the bottom of your previous chronicle. Under "gold spent", write the total of the things you bought (the things on your ITS with the new chronicle's number). Over in the notes box, write "ITS - XXXgp". Then do your math and get a new total gold amount at the bottom of your new sheet.
Actually, PC actions DO "actually drive where the campaign goes" in PFS. Right on down to the life or death of major NPCs.
Okay, so you saw something change, made assumptions about the reason behind it, disliked your own assumptions, and therefore decided to label the change "arbitrary". Yeah, that makes sense.
Remember, it's an actual campaign. Are there PC options you don't allow in your campaign? I know there's plenty I don't allow in mine. How are your restrictions any less "arbitrary" than those in PFS? PFS allows material from literally over a hundred books. Do you?
Aside from that, PFS has some pretty unique merits. One is portability. Can players from your campaign bring their characters around the world and play them with different people? If one of your players moves to a different city and finds a new group, can he bring the character he's spent the last year and a half getting invested in? If one of your players travels somewhere (work, vacation, convention, whatever) and finds a group of like-minded players, can a game suddenly happen?
Another thing I personally like is the wealth system. I hate how wealth is a built-in part of character power progression, I hate the impact it has on PC decisions ("It's an adamantine door? Take it and sell it!"), and I hate all the table time spent on dividing loot. In PFS, you don't have to worry about that: you can play without thought of your budget, then get handed some gold at the end and do your shopping away from the table ("off-screen"). PFS lets me tell/experience stories that aren't about looting! For me, that's huge.
There's also the social aspect: I get to play with a lot more different people in PFS than in a home campaign, all without sacrificing my PC's story. If I play in home campaigns, the PCs in each group will never meet. In PFS, both the player and the character can meet a wide variety of other people, which can be enriching all on its own. Additionally, the annual multi-table special event is super fun, getting to work with dozens and dozens of other players in an exciting event. When was the last time one of your home sessions could be described as an "event"? There's also the phenomenon that gamers who constantly have to get along with a wide variety of people and gamers who spend decades holed up with a select group of like-minded gamers will, to put it gently, not develop at the same rate. I find that elitism and what I call "one true way-ism" are more prevalent among long-time home-gamers than among folks who primarily play PFS with large playerbases. But that's a bigger topic, that would probably need its own thread.
The fact of the matter is that PFS is a campaign with its own pros and cons; there I things I get in non-PFS games that I can't get in PFS, but there are also things I get in PFS games that I can't get elsewhere.
Augury is simply one of the myriad game elements that completely falls apart when the GM decides ahead of time which things the PCs will and will not know. See also: Perception, Sense Motive, divination, and Knowledge skills.
You can tell your GM is telling his own story and you're just the audience when:
First, note that for clerics, GMW is 4th-level, not 3rd-level. Fortunately, you don't really need to extend your hour/level buffs.
For barkskin and SoF, I wasn't meaning for you to extend them right now, at 3rd level. But around 5th-6th or so, Extending barkskin when you're expecting trouble (like at the front door of a dungeon) will easily last multiple encounters. And then since you would have the Extend rod anyway, the ability to potentially stretch a SoF into two encounters is just gravy.
so you can cast a summon spell/save or suck before they go
A summon spell takes the entire round, so there's no such thing as casting that "before they go". And a melee cleric is not opening combat with a SoS spell.
Even so, Improved Initiative is solid for a different reason: you're going to want a buff spell in most combats: usually divine favor. Getting that off fast is important. In fact, if you can find room for Additional Traits to pick up Fate's Favored, even better.
When I was running my now-retired melee cleric, my biggest money-saver was greater magic weapon. Carry a mere masterwork weapon for the lower levels (with a couple of scrolls/oils of magic weapon in case you face DR/magic or incorporeals, just like a fighter would), then once GMW comes online, you've got a magic weapon all day without dropping the cash for it. Starting at 8th level, that's saving you 8,000gp.
You can do something similar with magic vestment, but it saves you a little less money since armor is cheaper.
An Extend rod for your shield of faith and barkskin is much cheaper than rings and amulets.
By "spelling" those four gear slots, you can save a LOT of money.
Hope that helps!
Sarvei taeno wrote:
i was always curious bout the 1 round thing where does it clarify that it ends at the start of ur next turn instead of the end of ur next turn. pls actually show where u found it dont just say somewhere in this chapter cause ive been looking and cant seem to find it.
Core Rulebook, Combat chapter, The Combat Round, third paragraph, second sentence wrote:
Effects that last a certain number of rounds end just before the same initiative count that they began on.
If your player argues, ask him to show you the rule that says charging somehow prevents AoOs. Burden of proof is on him.
He'll probably point to the Combat chapter of the Core Rulebook, where the Actions in Combat table lists various actions and whether or not they provoke, and the table says "Charge: No". That's where this misunderstanding usually comes from in the first place.
That's just the thing, though: conflict is, as you say, about opposing forces who want different things, and something's gotta give. But the attrition being discussed does not fit that description. The attrition in Pathfinder (whether hit points, daily resources, gold, whatever) is something that one interested party has, and must manage its expenditure in order to leverage success for their side of the conflict.
Attrition and resource management are one way of engaging the plot's conflict; they are not part of the definition of conflict.
Removing attrition as a central game mechanic does not remove conflict from the storytelling. Attrition and conflict can interact, they can be part of the same story, but they are in no way inherently linked.
And here's why I don't think it's off-topic: CLW wands (or other forms of plentiful between-combat healing) drastically reduce (eliminate?) an entire axis attrition, but have no effect on the conflict in the story. If some of the other posters are correct that players are getting less and less interested in attrition, it need not have any impact on the level of plot conflict, because it was never really a part of the conflict in the first place.
Recognizing the independence of attrition and conflict from one another helps us figure out what we can do about HP recovery without sacrificing the story.
Well, you don't have to do it all at once, so you can do however many levels you can afford now, and then do more later when you have more prestige.
Alternatively/additionally, you could post your build and describe what you don't like and what you want to do with it, and maybe we can help you get the most bang for your retraining buck. :)
I want my highly-skilled swordsman to feel different than my brawny axe-wielder. If they're both just spending combats Power Attacking for the same damage as each other, then they feel pretty "samey". To me, that hurts the experience.
That's not to say there aren't people who say they want to play concept X but really just want mechanic Y. Just that the existence of those people doesn't mean there's zero reason for anyone else to want a mechanic to match up with a concept.
Andrew Christian wrote:
For the wrist sheath, saying nothing about provocation would have been more appropriate than saying "as normal" if no provocation was the intent.
Wait... you think I'm saying the intent was no provocation? That's not what I'm saying at all.
I'm saying that "provokes as normal" means "provokes in the same circumstances in which it would normally provoke".
So popping a scroll or potion would provoke, but not a wand or dagger. Just like normal.
Because the provocation is "as normal".
Just like how casting an unmodified spell provokes but casting a quickened or defensive spell doesn't, and Eschew Materials doesn't change that distinction: because the provocation is "as normal".
Just like how performing a reposition provokes from the target of the maneuver but not from other enemies and not at all if you have the feat, and the Repositioning weapon ability doesn't change that distinction: because the provocation is "as normal".
Normally, drawing a potion or scroll provokes while drawing a dagger or wand does not. The sheath leaves this alone.
It's not that the sheath doesn't provoke, it's that it sometimes provokes, depending on whether retrieving the contents would normally provoke or not.
So I am definitely NOT saying that "provokes as normal" somehow means "doesn't provoke". I'm saying that "provokes as normal" means "doesn't change the determination of whether retrieving a given item provokes".
Does that make more sense?
Regarding whether the wrist sheath provokes:
I think some people still think that "provokes as normal" means "always provokes" rather than "does not change anything about provocation".
Well, let's look at other rules with the same "provokes as normal" language:
Eschew Materials wrote:
Benefit: You can cast any spell with a material component costing 1 gp or less without needing that component. The casting of the spell still provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.
Does that mean casting spells with negligible components now always provokes, even when quickened or when cast defensively? Or does it mean that Eschew Materials simply doesn't change the equation?
Here's a weapon special property called "repositioning":
If the wielder confirms a critical hit with the weapon, he can attempt to reposition his opponent as a free action. These reposition attempts still provoke attacks of opportunity as normal.
Is this overriding the normal reposition rules, saying that these repositions always provoke even when you have Improved Reposition and even from enemies other than the target? Or is it simply stating that this item doesn't change anything?
There are also too many instances to list where something gives you movement and says that it provokes "as normal". Are these preventing any benefit of tumbling or of the grace spell? Or are they just affirming that they're not changing anything?
Remember, folks, you only get to say that a rule means X if you're willing to say that the same rule means X every time it appears. If you're not willing to say that examples like the above always provoke even if it normally wouldn't, then you can't say it about the wrist sheath either.
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Sounds like that GM doesn't understand scrolls very well.
CRB, Magic Items chapter, Scrolls, Physical Description wrote:
It's not a piece of parchment or even ordinary paper; it's "heavy", and it's either vellum or "high-quality paper". In either case, it's also got built-in reinforcements. Suggesting that this is more likely to be damaged (or at least, sufficiently damaged to impede use) than a wand (which is, according to the CRB, literally just a stick) is kind of absurd. And on top of the material used, scrolls are rolled up, which makes them far sturdier—the rules even call this out as something that helps protect them from damage. And you don't have to be a physics major to realize that pushing on the end of a cylinder (as opposed to a flat sheet) will not easily damage it.
The rules also say that it can be "unrolled quickly". Nowhere is an action cost listed, not even in the Combat chapter's "Actions in Combat" table. The emulation of the "draw a weapon on the move" mechanic is purely made-up, and far outside the purview of a PFS GM. Can I also load my light crossbow as part of my move action to retrieve it? Why not? If loading and unrolling are both going to be move actions on their own, but you're going to allow one as a freebie while drawing, why not the other?
No, the means of getting a scroll into your hand has nothing to do with how long it takes to unroll it; saying otherwise is a houserule, most likely created retroactively in order to get a desired gameplay result. (Waaaay too many GMs subscribe to a "results first" aproach to rules, but that's a topic for another thread.) Either it's always an action to unroll the scroll, or it never is.
The problem here is it doesn't say what you think it says. It doesn't just straight-up say retrieving the item provokes, it says the retrieval provokes "as normal". That means that the wrist sheath is not changing the rules of provocation: if retrieving that item would normally provoke, it still does; if retrieving that item would normally not provoke, it still doesn't.
That's what "does X as normal" means. This isn't even the only place in the rules that talks about provoking "as normal". When you look at other examples, it'll become clear that "provokes as normal" does NOT mean "always provokes". It means "this item/spell/ability/etc has no influence on whether the granted action provokes or not".
I see no reason that the SLWS would be any different than other such abilities.
For the broader PFS question of whether to allow only what is listed or to allow other things:
In my mind, Pathfinder's many open-ended lists can be divided into two main types:
1) You can have X, Y or Z. Additional options may be available at the GM's discretion.
2) You can have any [category], such as X, Y or Z.
In Type 1 lists, the list is exhaustive unless and until the GM adds to it. In PFS, only the listed options are available.
In Type 2 lists, the list is not the rule; the category is the rule, and the list is a clarification of the types of things the rule is talking about. In PFS, it is my opinion that GMs should NOT limit options to the examples in Type 2 lists. This is partly because in some sense you're actually violating the written rule if you don't include at least one unlisted thing (or so the Grammar Nazi tells me). But perhaps more importantly, well, try searching the CRB for "such as", and I think you'll soon discover that treating that type of list as exhaustive is a terrible, terrible idea. A 20th level fighter could only select longsword, greataxe or longbow for his capstone; Disable Device becomes the only skill that can't be aided; a very rough wall and a ship's rigging are the only DC 10 Climb surfaces in existence; goblins and the tarrasque are the only creatures whose Knowledge DC is not 10+CR; and so forth.
So I think it is absolutely appropriate (and in fact vital, at least for GMs who want any kind of consistency in their own practices) to allow more than the explicitly listed items to work in the sheath.
As for WHAT additional items... Well, that's another story. :)
the GM decided that sinse the character using his knowledge hadn't actually seen such a creature in real life and at most had studied paintings of them
Problem, right here. The GM doesn't decide whether the PC has seen X before. The Knowledge check decides that.
The GM could houserule differently of course, but that's a big enough thing that they really need to tell the players before the campaign starts.
But DM argued that it was because we had seen 9in books, tv, directly, etc) those creatures many times in our life so we knew it right away. On the other hand, if you would see an amorphous creature for the first time of your life, it would not be obvious that is a demon, devil , abomination, etc....
Sounds like your GM doesn't understand the Knowledge skill. Making a successful check means you HAVE seen those creatures before (whether directly, in books, through stories, etc). So your example of "if you would see an amorphous creature for the first time of your life" is not true if you made the check successfully.
Just because this is the campaign's first encounter to feature that type of creature doesn't mean you've never seen it before. The PCs did not jump straight from infancy to adventuring.
Seems like your GM thinks that nobody's seen (or heard of) any monsters prior to the start of the campaign, and that a Knowledge check represents making an assessment of something you've never seen before in order to make educated guesses about its physiology.
Barring houserules, this is wrong.
The Knowledge check is simply the player finding out what the character already knows from past experience.
You don't make a Knowledge check to see what you can figure out about something you've never seen before. The Knowledge check tells you whether or not you've seen it before, and what you already learned since that time.
Some folks: "The rules say X."
Start here: Monster Statistics by CR
For whatever level you want to look at, estimate the CR of the monsters you're likely going to be facing. Not the CR of the total encounter, but the CR of individual creatures.
Now, make a subjective decision as to what an "appropriate" number of rounds would be for how long it takes you to kill ONE of the creatures you're looking at. Involve your group in this decision.
Based on your decision of "rounds to kill" and the average HP value of a creature of the selected CR, determine how much damage you would need to deal per round. This is your target DPR at that level.
From there, you can use various maths to determine what your attack and damage bonuses could be to get that DPR.
Hope that helps!
Why do you roleplay? Why do you GM? What aspects are important to you? Why? Please try to stick to "I prefer" and not "This is The Way". It's okay for people to want other things, and your desires are no more important than theirs. This is an opportunity to learn about each other, to discover the ways in which we might not be as much the "norm" as we think we are, and thereby grow. :)
My interest in Pathfinder includes some of the same things that motivate all my pastimes: having fun, socializing, etc. But the reason why I spend a given block of time playing Pathfinder instead of doing other things I enjoy is largely my ability to influence how the story plays out. I love movies, but PFS is my chance to switch from "Why didn't they just do X?" to "I do X." Although I love and embrace classic storytelling tropes, roleplaying is my chance to turn those tropes on their heads, to make the story actually play out differently for a change. It's the only story-related experience where I get to help shape it. It's also the only story-related experience that I can't predict (at least, without turning my brain off, which I often do during movies so I can experience "the ride").
It's my only outlet to combine storytelling and agency. I can get the former with movies and the latter with other games, but roleplaying is the sweet synthesis of the two. :)
When I GM, my main goal is that the players are free to enjoy the game for their reasons, not mine; though I do always hope to see a little of "my kind of stuff" if I'm lucky. :)
That's me. How about the rest of you?
You know that in Pathfinder anyone can put ranks in any skill, right? The class skill bonus is a static +3. I'm not sure a 3-point difference in UMD is enough to justify "rogues are great for self buffing".
As for CHA usually being a dump stat, the same is true for rogues. There's no built-in reason for the rogue class to invest in CHA; the only reason to do so is for CHA-based skills, which is also true for all the other CHA-dump classes.
You cite higher CHA as a reason that rogues are good at UMD, but what's the reason for a rogue to have a higher CHA in the first place? To invest in UMD. I really really really hope you can see the circularity there.
Jeff Merola wrote:
Pffft, gamers don't need data in order to know something. Knowing is something that comes from passion and conviction; I know it!
Pretty much this.
The grammar is not questionable. Reading "whenever you do X or Y" to mean "whenever you do X or Y" is not absolutism or strictness, it's literacy. It is what the sentence actually says.
Should it have said that? Probably not. But it does, and claiming it says something else is simply wrong.