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Seth Gipson wrote:
Bringing it directly to the boards makes it look more like you are trying to get even than trying to get the decision overruled, though I doubt that was your intention.
Thus the reason I named no names nor the city. The VC in question knows who he is, who I am and where this happened; only people who know me (like Clint, above) would know the particulars of this case.
The VC's statement to me suggested that I am banned from ALL Society events in this city, not just the ones he is responsible for. I understand his concerns, but if I find someone else willing to organize an event which he is not responsible for, and is willing to have me come play, then I should be allowed to play.
Also, someone stated that such bannings usually come after warnings. I wasn't given any warnings; all I was given was one dismissal from a table (before play had started), a couple of months ago, by our VC, and then the banning on Saturday. No warning given, no chance to show that I had improved. I was just told that there were people who had approached the VC and stated that if I was present at a venue, they were not going to be.
If some people have problems with me being at a venue, then it's still their problem. These people are welcome to come to me with their concerns. They are not; they are instead choosing to sneak around behind my back and possibly spread rumor and gossip about me. I find this behavior reprehensible, myself. If you have a problem with me, tell it to me directly, and don't assume I know what your problem with me is. Unless you tell me about an offending behavior, I generally don't know I'm doing it.
I am more than capable of organizing and running my own Society events; I already organize and run Living Forgotten Realms events for a game store in town. Doing so for the Society wouldn't be difficult. But I wasn't given that option. I was just told that as far as my city went, I was banned.
Earlier today I was informed by our city's Venture-Captain that "as far as [this city] is concerned", I am ejected from Society play. He cited past behavior problems (caused by mu bipolar disorder, for which I am considered disabled) as the reason for the ejection, and that 'several' persons have come forward to him stating that as long as I was present at any Society event, they would not be willing to play with me at the table or be willing to attend at all. I accepted the decision at the time, but have come to question it.
First of all, I know for a fact that there are Society players who will accept me and enjoy my presence at a table. Similarly, I know for a fact there are Society GMs willing to have me at their table, including our Venture-Lieutenant. When I brought this up to our Venture-Captain, he dismissed it by saying, "They don't know you like I do." This smacks of a personal vendetta against me. If an event is being coordinated by the Venture-Lieutenant, or another GM who is willing to let me play, I should be allowed to play.
If I am being ejected from the Society, then it should be from the Society in general, not just in this city. Also, I am taking steps to control my disorder (which, as I said, is a disabling condition for me), so events in the past should not reflect against my future behavior.
I enjoy Society play very much and have very few opportunities for social contact; depriving me of this activity would unfairly rob me of a necessary outlet for socialization with my peers. Is this judgement against me legal, by Society rules? And is there a higher authority that I can appeal to?
Blizzard has stated time and again that the Forsaken are NOT undead.
"But what are they if not undead, John-Andre?" Simple. They're humans given posthuman status by the original Plague.
I mean, if we're going to give them powers based on personal opinion, we should be giving them +2 to all Will saves, because according to lore, the reason why any given character is Forsaken and no longer Scourge is because they had the strength of will to throw off the mental domination of the Scourge. So they all have free Iron Will that stacks with Iron Will...
At will, a paladin can use detect evil, as the spell. A paladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is evil, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the paladin does not detect evil in any other object or individual within range.
You might also want to read up on the rules for Detect Evil; I threw that url into the quote block for your convenience.
The problem is if the target isn't high enough level to show an evil aura -- and a lot of opposition forces at low level are going to be within the 1-5 HD range. So when your paladins stand there and concentrate on the bad guy and don't detect him as evil, it's not necessarily because he isn't evil -- he just may not be high enough level to detect as evil.
Also keep in mind that smite evil can only be used once per day until the paladin hits 4th level -- and only twice per day until 7th. Your average day of adventuring should consist of between 3 to 5 fights. And it lasts until the specific target is defeated. Many is the time I've salivated at the thought of using my smite evil, and landing a solid blow on the enemy, only to have the enemy go down in one hit, because he was actually fairly wimpy compared to the real threat on the table.
GM Jeff wrote:
Stop hinting at it, and start clubbing them over the head with it.
Rogue: I listen at the door.
So assuming you didn't take a banned archetype, you'd replace extra bombs with the archetype ability.
Living Arcanis, a couple years back.
Due to player apathy towards recording details of the plot (my fault, I should start writing things down), combined with playing a two-parter out of order, certain details about exactly who the BBEG of the module was were unclear.
So when a plot was uncovered, evidence was brought to The Man In Charge, who also happened to be the BBEG. We were supposed to take this information to his more lawfully-oriented underlings -- no, in fact, we were supposed to do more investigation and then take the evidence to his underlings. But no, we confronted the BBEG directly. This in the middle of an army camp, that the BBEG is in charge of.
The main roleplayer in the group insisted that we had found evidence of an evil plot, and when the BBEG asked him if he wanted to give a statement, the character agreed. So the BBEG escorted the PC out, took him back into the barracks, and when surrounded by the soldiers, the BBEG turns and says, "Kill this man, please."
The rest of us died by stupidity which I can only say was founded in the belief that this was all supposed to happen, and the module was supposed to end with us making a deal with the BBEG. No, we also told the BBEG we knew about the plot and we wanted to assist him. He took us all out, surrounded by soldiers of course, disarmed us "as a security precaution", showed us what was happening -- and then told us we were its next victims.
TPK, with no combat or even dice-rolling whatsoever.
I really need to learn to ignore threads that go over a certain post count, because at this point it's obvious to me that y'all are arguing for the sake of argument itself, and not producing any new input into the topic.
Which is not to say there's a place for that sort of thing -- maybe you were all on the debate team in high school. Sure.
I'll just be over there in another thread.
Raymond Lambert wrote:
You should make that nearby locker into a trap.
What I'd have done is set the party up: the two guards were only pretending to discuss what was to be done with the captives' gear. It would have been secured in a safe room upstairs; the guards were just B.S.'ing the party to see if they were gullible enough to go diving into the chuul-infested moat.
"Hey! Barney! They fell for it! They actually jumped into the moat!"
Well, this happened back in the days of 2nd Edition AD&D, but it translates pretty well.
Me: Experienced GM. Party: Combination of typical players, with two obnoxious new players who have decided that this is all a video game and they're the unassailable heroes.
Situation: The party, after discovering an alliance between BBEGs in the caverns outside of town, rush to the city to warn the local baron and get him to drop his petty squabbles and form an alliance of his own with neighboring baronies for defense and eventually facing down the monsters.
Now, a little backstory. This town the players are currently based out of is a small fortified city, that has been beset by raids from monsters coming from the cavern complex for the last century. The raids, and the petty squabbles of the neighboring fiefdoms, have kept the city from mounting any serious offensive to eliminate this threat. They're doing good if they just keep the humanoids from riding off with their womenfolk.
So when a group of mercenaries comes out with all this loot that's been stolen from the town over the last century, needless to say there are some bad feelings. Prices in town suddenly jump 300% for the adventurers, for everything from supplies to mugs of ale. The players assumed it was just the serious influx of cash that made prices jump, and failed Wisdom checks (remember, 2nd edition AD&D, no such thing as Perception or Sense Motive) to figure out that the common people are not very happy with the PCs.
The party goes to the baron to inform him of the evil alliance and to urge him to actually mount an offensive. Through a lack of any form of tact, coupled with complete obnoxiousness by the new players (and the more experienced players didn't try to cover this up -- I think they wanted the idiots to offend the guy, too bad it worked too well), they manage to mortally insult the baron. The baron claps them in irons (the two idiots are beaten to 0 H.P. by the guards) and sends them to the dungeon to await his decision.
The two idiots are executed at daybreak -- I didn't even give them a chance to avoid it, they made their bed when they opened their big fat mouths. Just dead, time to roll up new LEVEL 1 characters. (This was a standard rule of my games. If your character dies and is not raised/rezzed, you start new character back at the beginning.) Did I mention the rest of the party is 8th-10th level?
The rest of the party is summarily fined all their worldly possessions (save for the basic tools needed for their class -- one NORMAL weapon, leather armor, magic-users got to keep three level 1 spells out of their spellbooks, cleric got her holy symbol and normal clothing. The rest of their possessions, what they didn't loot from the cave, is redistributed among the baronial guard and the militia to assist the defense of the city, or held to be sold to the highest bidder.
(Now, at this point the party could have gone to the baron and asked for jobs in the militia to assist the defense of the city -- after all, there was this alliance of evil creatures in the caverns who were pretty pissed that a group of mercenaries based out of that town had come along, killed a lot of their friends, and made off with all that loot they'd been stealing from the town. So it's not like the party didn't know there wasn't a threat to be defeated...)
The entire party, bereft of their items, decided to all retire their characters and reroll as new 1st level characters. Not because they wanted to start over new with the two idiots, but because they felt it would be too hard to start over again without magic items or spells. (And I ran my world pretty straight -- if they wanted to do some things more appropriate for lower-level adventurers while they re-geared.)
There you go. If he disagrees, find yourself another gamemaster who doesn't hate his players.
This is one thing I liked about D&D 3.5 over Pathfinder -- Potions of Longevity and Elixirs of Youth to prolong life. Though Longevity Potions had a cap.
Also, the Wish spell -- "I wish I were ten years younger" is a quite reasonable wish. So is "I wish I were one year younger" for a spell you cast once every year. Immortality, with the added option to continue aging if you get tired of life.
Or Polymorph Any Object -- if it can turn you into a rock or a tree, it can certainly turn you into a young man (or young woman). Shapechange, but shapechange isn't permanent.
Okay. Seriously. I don't have the kind of time to read this whole thread, but I want to say a few things.
The problem here is not whether a 'magic mart' would arise -- the problem is suspension of disbelief. See, this is supposed to be a medieval society, in a world where technology obviously exists (even if gunpowder doesn't work, the crossbow does, and you can get quite advanced just based on the kind of technology of the crossbow's level). And here's another thing -- most worlds have existed for a couple of thousand years with no societal or economic development. It's all still based on a medieval level. Even fashion doesn't go much beyond Renaissance levels.
And this is not the way the real world works.
Even without technology, ideas still emerge that will transform the world from a medieval level to a more modern level. Even something so simple as division of labor, taken to its logical conclusion, will lead the society out of a medieval base and into something more resembling 18th Century availability of goods.
See, the reason the Medieval Ages lasted so long in our world wasn't stagnation of ideas, it was the constant wars and plagues and other catastrophes that drained the population of the brainpower to develop these ideas fully and the labor to exploit these ideas fully. Only when the wars and plagues subsided did the Renaissance happen, then the Industrial Revolution was a natural outgrowth of that.
But this doesn't happen in a standard fantasy campaign. Why not? There's usually no great wars going on (as most fantasy milieus don't want to become strictly military campaigns). There's no great plagues (magic usually keeps them from becoming too obnoxious). We have the brainpower to come up with ideas, and we have the labor to develop them -- heck, we even have fantasy monsters that can be used for specialized labor forces. We already have this happening -- there are cobblers in most medieval fantasy settings, for example.
Given this sort of thinking, it's only natural that things like supermarkets are going to develop. A group of merchants get together, form a co-op, start selling their goods all under one roof? Natural thought. The guild mentality might prevent this from happening up until the first group that tries it and finds out how to make it profitable -- and in the kind of history that most fantasy worlds have, there has been plenty of time for someone to do exactly that.
I'm not talking about developing a technological base, though lord only knows why not. If gunpowder doesn't work, magic certainly does, and there's going to be enough development into magic to make it cheaper and easier to use. I'm talking about ideas like division of labor, like economic theory, ideas that came out of a medieval setting, yet changed our world. Read Adam Smith, and remember that he came from a time much like the base world of Pathfinder.
No, what's needed is suspension of disbelief -- the willingness to accept that these things did not happen despite the overwhelming impetus for it to happen. This just isn't something you can do with an internet discussion, because we-as-humans base so much of our arguments on our world and our experiences with our world. In order to develop this argument, you have to be willing to ignore your experiences with the world, and base your arguments on sheer speculation.
Now, that being said, it's time to move onto my actual point.
Magic items in a fantasy world are almost never seen as mystical treasures that are rare and fantastic -- they're equipment upgrades, pure and simple. Power advancement in Pathfinder is based on this assumption, that as your character gains in level, his equipment will also gain in power. If you want to change this basic concept, you have to seriously edit the game. Monsters have to become weaker in order to compensate for the loss of upgraded equipment, and so on.
Your average +1 weapon, +1 armor, or minor skill-bonus magic items are just what I said they were -- equipment upgrades. By their very nature they have to be (relatively) cheap to make for those skilled enough to make them. If they aren't cheap to make, then they aren't cheap to obtain, and you won't find them in treasure hordes, because they were guarded better than that.
Now, I can hear some of you saying 'You call 2000 gold cheap?!?' Yes, according to adventurer economy. Adventurers in fantasy RPG settings are all rich bastards. They go out, go on a few adventures, and come back with enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their days, doing nothing -- but they don't do that, since they've discovered the quest to save/rule the world. So they go on more adventures. And they become richer bastards. And they start looking for ways to spend all this money. Equipment upgrades are the natural target for all this cash, because rich bastard adventurers don't have day jobs and hobbies. They need better gear to keep themselves alive and do their jobs better. They'll eventually be able to afford some seriously expensive stuff -- but they're all rich. Dropping 2000 gold on a magic sword is nothing to them.
So, this stuff has to be cheap enough for rich bastards to be able to buy them. Cheap means lots of them are going to be made. And these rich bastards are going to keep wanting to trade up. So they ditch their 2000 gold-costing +1 sword for a +2 sword. Where's that +1 sword end up?
And here's the thing -- you've had a fantasy world that's been around for quite some time. Lots of rich bastards have come and gotten their cheap +1 swords and gone on and traded up. These things circulate. Someone's going to get their hands on quite a few of these. This might be a way to side-step the whole concept of the cheap magic sword -- but there's still going to be quite a few of them circulating. Someone's going to open a shop.
Let's maintain suspension of disbelief and ignore the concept of chain stores, of franchises, and of transportation networks. Someone's still going to open a shop where he sells used swords -- and the +1 swords might be in the back, but he's going to make it known that he has them. There isn't going to be a private collector for these things that you have to search out, because these aren't pieces of art -- they're equipment upgrades. Instead there's going to be a shop in a big town where someone sells +1 swords. You might have to travel a bit to get to it, but eventually you'll get there and you'll be able to buy your +1 sword.
Until someone else realizes what a lucrative business this is, selling used equipment upgrades to up-and-coming rich bastard mercenaries, and they're going to open their own shop. This is the sort of thing that would be covered under suspension of disbelief, but it's just too much to be suspended -- this kind of business is obviously lucrative, and it's expecting too much that someone else isn't going to get some money and start selling +1 swords too. There's suspension of disbelief, and there's willing belief in sheer lunacy.
So, are you going to have magic shops? Yes, you are. But these are going to be merchants who got a little money, bought some +1 swords cheap, and sell them as equipment upgrades. They might have branched out and picked up +1 armor, or even some boots of elvenkind or rings of protection, but it's the same thing. They sell low-grade equipment upgrades for those who can afford it. And there's enough low-grade equipment upgrades circulating out there that there's going to be a large number of these stores, certainly in most major cities.
As your magic items get more powerful, they become harder to find -- but your rich bastard mercenaries have more means to search and find these more powerful items. I'd just think the two forces -- rarity vs. more advanced search and retrieval methods -- would cancel each other out. So these shops probably also sell +2 swords, +2 armor, etc., because it's still equipment upgrades. Someone made it, someone used it, and then traded it in for better, later on. It circulates, and that means someone's going to sell it.
This breaks down when you start talking about specific magic items -- you can find a +2 sword pretty much anywhere, but asking for a +2 flaming orcbane sword is a little specific. There might be one or two floating around out there, but you're more likely to get one by finding a wizard who can make you one. However, you're not going to get that wizard to make you one unless you make it worth his while, so you pay the wizard the same as if you were buying it from a shop.
Now, wizards who can make +2 flaming orcbane swords and are willing to do so for the money are going to advertise their services. They might even be willing to travel to you. Especially given that they're probably skilled enough to cast Teleport and get to you with very little fuss. And there might be some rich bastard mercenary wizards who got tired of the quest to save/rule the world and decided it was just easier making +2 flaming orcbane swords for other rich bastard mercenaries -- certainly one or two. Since their wares are so specific, maintaining a shop is pointless, but hey, they'll come to you, make you a +2 flaming etc. etc. for the same time and effort of buying one from the magic shop in town. (And they probably rely on said magic shops to send and receive messages, too.)
The really powerful items -- the +5 Axiomatic Holy Avengers? Well, there aren't that many floating around, and they're carefully guarded, because these aren't just equipment upgrades, they're weapons of mass destruction. These fall into the category of 'If your GM wants you to have this, then you get it, and not a moment before'. These aren't purchasable, so don't even bother. They don't circulate, because they're used and then returned to storage for the day when they'll next be called for, or they're stolen and destroyed so they can't be used again against whatever forces they were designed to defeat. If you could purchase these items, then those latter forces would just buy them to get them out of the hands of the people they don't like.
If you want to change this facet of your game world, a few things have to happen.
First, magic items can't be equipment upgrades any more -- they're bonus items. Your challenges will have to be defined carefully so that player characters do not need magic items to defeat them. In this case, a +1 sword is nice to have, but it's not absolutely required in order to adventure.
Second, magic items have to become rarer. They have to become harder to craft, which means they become more expensive. Now merchants can't afford them, which means no shops arise. Merchants may acquire one, and sell it to the right buyer, but they're not going to advertise that they have +1 swords for sale. They're going to take the initiative and listen for news of someone who wants a +1 sword, and then set up a meeting.
And third... um... NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!! (Okay, I got nothing.)
Now, if we eliminate the suspension of disbelief of this argument, then I'm afraid that Magicmarts do in fact become reality within your typical fantasy campaign. It's human nature: Someone, out there, wants to own all the money in the world. They're going to amass a large chunk of change, buy magic items from crafters using division of labor and assembly line manufacturing, and then undercut other vendors until he's driven them out of business -- whereupon he raises prices to whatever the market will bear. This is standard business practice, and someone's going to come up with the idea.
But if we eliminate the suspension of disbelief, your typical fantasy milieu stops being a medieval setting and transforms into a post-Industrial Revolution game, quite possibly more steampunk than fantasy. We can speculate at that point, it's probably easier just to play Pure Steam than Pathfinder.
It's to the point that I refuse to play at a table with a player who's chosen to play a Summoner, because I play tanks, and every Summoner I've seen at a table makes the tanks superfluous. The question becomes "Why am I here?" and I find myself resenting the Summoner's player for making my character useless.
I might get hated for that, but I seriously think that both Craft and Profession are underwhelming, underdeveloped... and downright useless.
The gamemaster has to adapt his plots to make a place for these skills. You might think these skills are useless... until you run into a game where they're needed, or even required.
Why? Crafting is LOOOOOOONG, for nothing. A longsword should take 1 day to forge, no more.
Really. Have you ever forged a longsword? I have (Thank you, SCA). To make a proper steel blade: You take a length of iron bar, and you heat it in a forge until it's glowing yellow, then you hammer the bejeezus out of it. By hand. Then you put it back in the forge, re-heat it, and then guess what? Back to hammering. When it's in roughly the shape of a long flat rod, you re-heat it and start folding it double, and then keep hammering until it's back to its original length. And you KEEP DOING THAT. Over and over and over, adding powdered charcoal (because you need to add carbon to iron to make steel). Eventually you will have something resembling a flat steel blade. Then comes time to hammer it into shape, so it will accept the crosspiece, guard, handle and hilt. And even when you attach those pieces you STILL do not have a longsword. You need to test it for balance. If it's not balanced right? All those pieces need to come off, and you commence with the heating and hammering AGAIN.
All this takes about two weeks. Of course, that's two weeks of working on it for three hours a day -- I had a day job too. And I had to take breaks, as my arms were not used to hammering on iron for hours on end. But still, it takes longer than one day. (Oh, and I forgot about the time it would take to grind an actual edge into it -- the blade I crafted was a crafting project, and not an actual weapon or showpiece. That would take some time, as well. Probably a few extra days.)
Yes, you're better off buying your swords from a smith. However, do you have the Craft skill to FIX the blade when it breaks? Do you know enough about Crafting blades to fit it to your personal style? What about if you want to inlay the blade with silver (for those lycanthropes)?
Play a low-power game once and you'll see the benefit in crafting skills. When you have to scrape and scrounge for every copper, making your own weapons and armor becomes desirable for the cost savings. Living Greyhawk, a 3.0/3.5e D&D campaign, was that low-powered its first year -- and was the most popular living campaign out there at the time. Even more popular than the high-magic Living City.
Why? Profession... is useless, it has no use. Which adventurer is gonna stop adventuring to work?
When your GM starts realizing that adventures do not happen every day, and your characters are going to have downtime. Suddenly you have months between adventures, with no income because you decided professional skills were worthless. And you suddenly have to start paying for your room & board, not to mention the drinks you get at the tavern -- the innkeeper only wants to hear the stories about your last adventure so many times. If there is so much work for your characters to do that you get no downtime, then other people are going to become adventurers too, because everyone wants money.
[Profession] (Brewer) doesn't give you a bonus to identify a faulty drink
It doesn't? I'd give you a +2 on a Perception check to determine that your ale is poisoned, sure. Your GM is being stingy with the bonuses. Whap him upside the head and tell him to stop that.
(Baker) and (Cook) don't have you prepare specific meals that grants temporary bonuses,
Quit playing World of Warcraft. :)
As to the rest, your GM has the power to grant bonuses to these things based on your choice of professions. If he's not giving you these bonuses, he needs to learn to reward player creativity.
You might also check out the Pathfinder Society to see how the campaign handles Profession skills and people making money on the side.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
"Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
I have no idea who said the latter, but you can see it if you play World of Warcraft -- the Draenei have such sophisticated magic that they treat it as technology, even down to requiring spare parts for broken machines that run on magic. If you're going to say magic = technology, then really, there's not much to say.
You can have a low Charisma and be smoking hot (looking). Just means that you have other deficiencies to make up for it. Amiri might be godawful hot, but she's also probably rude, belligerent, loud and uncouth -- great, she's nice to look at, but if she opens her mouth people find reasons to be somewhere else. Feiya may have serious problems relating to people, and prefer solitude unless absolutely necessary. In both cases, it's going to take people some serious effort to get to know these women, and on the surface, they're just going to drive others away.
By the by, my PFS Cheliax Paladin (of Shelyn) has Profession: Pimp. Still trying to reconcile some of these things, but hey, prostitution is a legal business in Absalom, and when he takes people in (he's an equality-for-the-sexes kind of pimp), he's providing them with food, shelter, clothing, and training and a position in an honored and ancient profession. Tell me that's not Lawful Good...
Take an iron plate.
Cast levitate on it.
Cast permanency on it.
Do that nine hundred and ninety-nine more times.
Make a zeppelin 'airbag' out of the one thousand iron plates.
The funny thing of this is that your airbag is one thousand iron plates. Arrows will not pierce your airbag. Nor will ballista bolts. Nor will fireballs.
Admittedly expensive in terms of having to cast permanency one thousand times, but hey, it's unique.
See, favors also have different layers of power, too. It's not necessarily who you did the favor for -- it's also who HE is, and who he knows. Doing a favor for Dr. Schwartzheimer the mad spark is all well and good, but everyone knows Dr. Schwartheimer is a nut who's only good for a laugh on Mystery Meat Pie Day. But when Reaper, the guy who everyone fears, owes you a favor, then you're Someone. And when you manage to wheedle a favor out of crime lord Mister Drumhead, the guy with all those contacts on the outside, well, you've hit the big time for sure.
In fact, when you have a crime lord owing you a favor, that's when you can start affecting the guards and the administration of the prison. Because guys like that have influence outside of the prison.
This takes a bit of preparation on the part of the GM, as you need to know who's who in the prison, and what they can do for the PCs, as well as what their level of scope is. Dr. Schwartzheimer might not know anyone special and may have no influence, but his skill in identifying magic items is invaluable for a team of salvagers. Reaper might not have useful skills, but everyone knows he's a certified Bad Ass, and they'll think twice about pissing off the guys who did Reaper that favor. And of course Mister Drumhead might not have the skills of the mad Doctor or the reputation of Reaper, but he's the one with the organization Outside. You know, the guy who can make the Warden do what you want. But look at it this way: You get to have a large cast of extras, which only increases the verisimilitude.
With this sort of compensation, magic items aren't even considered treasure anymore -- they're just stuff you pick up to help you do your job better. It's the favors you're interested in, because if you amass enough of them, it'll be enough to Get You Out.
Were I going to play a Cleric, I'd probably emphasize Charisma over Strength; in fact, I might go so far as to match it to Wisdom. You don't absolutely NEED a high Wisdom in order to be a decent Cleric, unless you're going for a Caster Cleric. But the ability to channel negative and positive energy can be a real lifesaver for the party.
I like the favor system better, really. A population of criminals may very well eschew society's standards of trade, and refuse to use such.
As well, money is a form of standardized bartering. I don't see a whole lot of trading of commodities in a prison population. Favors are much more likely to be the commodity traded for, and used. Especially in a labyrinth like Heterodyne Castle, where having someone owe you a favor can easily mean the difference between life or death (like when you get the guy who owes you favors, to go into the highly dangerous deathtrap laboratory so you don't have to*).
*This is probably how the player characters would get started, in fact. If someone higher up wants them to go into the recently-discovered monster-infested wing in order to pick them up a few globes of electrically-charged blue chemical, well, then that higher-up will owe them a favor, right? The fact that the party came out of the experience with some neat gear and singed eyebrows is completely besides the point -- they've started their accounts in the favor bank.
And for added fun, make a real favor bank -- a prisoner with an eidetic memory whose only job is to maintain a constant tally of who owes who. This way later on you can have the bankguy disappear into the labyrinth, and have the PCs go rescue him, earning his favor -- possibly wiping out debts owed.
No, fight-or-flight as the way it works in reality is not instituted in the rules. I can tell you from personal experience, both having suffered anxiety-induced panic attacks and having to deal with others' attacks, that if you just want to get away get away GET AWAY and someone is doing their best to keep you from doing that, you WILL attack them in order to clear a path.
The first condition, frightened, implies that if you are cornered, you may then strike at your enemies, albeit with a penalty. I'm saying that under a full-blown panic attack, if cornered, you lash out uncontrollably, with no thought of discerning between friend or foe.
But eh, it's a game with magic and elves, what should it care about reality?
This actually doesn't sound much like a chaotic party, either. They sound more Neutral, to me. Chaotic folks tend to do things for the hell of it. If their only motivation is money, this is a neutral attitude, not a chaotic one.
My advice here would be to drop the episodic job-oriented campaign, and plan out a reactive campaign where the characters are being hunted for some crime (whether they committed it or not really doesn't matter). Play it like Star Wars, or Firefly: There's a big faceless organization out there that Wants Your Guys Dead. This could be the Evil Empire, or it could be the Shadowy Assassin's Guild -- it could even be The Secret Illuminati. Start the next session simply -- they're looking for work -- then suddenly eight to ten guys assault them in a darkened alley, or even the middle of the street. Make sure the opposition is way too powerful to fight and the only option is flight. Then The Chase Is On. They need to lose their pursuers and find someplace to hole up, and figure out what's going on -- but you should never let them do that last part. If they get close to putting two and two together, drop another group of assassins on them. Get them reacting, don't let them enact plans.
It's not that he doesn't like combat. He is just of the school of thought that he shouldn't have to resort to violence to solve every problem. Were you ever told as a child to keep your hands to yourself unless someone else hit first...if you're attacked then all bets are off? Because that's sort of where my character's view is at this point.
You tell this person that even though it's a nice thing to talk your way out of trouble, Pathfinder has an extensive combat system that you'd like to USE once in a while, and everyone likes to roll dice and count up damage.
And then if he continues to talk you out of trouble, talk your group back into trouble.
Alternatively, initiate combat yourself and kill this sonuvab!@#$.
A lot of things about Pathfinder combat are abstractions. Take, in this case, the five foot square. Humans (medium sized creatures) do NOT take up 25 square feet of area. At most, we take up under two-fifths of that space, meaning there's still a lot of space in that five foot square. Now, it's assumed (as an abstraction) that your character is using all of that space to move around in, dodge, swing their weapon, etcetera. And the way you move is partially intended to keep the opposition from moving through your position towards people behind you. So what happens when you have to go from moving to block an opponent, to moving to block a friend from fleeing? Suddenly that space that you were using to guard, is now available for the enemy to pass through. In other words, if you're going to block a friend, seems to me that now the enemy can pass through your square.
It's really a shame that Pathfinder doesn't consider the fight-or-flight mechanism. If a panicked character finds himself cornered, he might just well start swinging wildly in order to get rid of the obstacle in his path. While the interposing character might not want to hurt their friend, the panicked character has no such control over his actions -- they just want to get away from the threatening condition as quickly as possible. They aren't in control over their actions. If you get in their way, and it's easier for them to strike you down rather than move around you, they should do that. And if you're interposing yourself, trying to take up as much space as you can so that the feared character can't get past you, I can't possibly see you getting any sort of Dexterity or Shield bonus against this attack. You have your arms outflung, trying to keep your feared friend from getting past you, and in sheer panic and frustration he's going to haul off and hit you and try to get you out of his way. And you're doing this deliberately, so even if you're a Rogue or Barbarian, you're still giving up your Dexterity bonus.
And the problem with this is that the enemy also gets to strike at you while you're not defending yourself.
And it's not always immediately apparent that your character is frightened out of his wits. Magical fear effects are still a magical compulsion, not a natural condition whatsoever. And a combat zone is not a calm social venue where you have the capability to read your friend's face and demeanor -- it's a zone of almost complete chaos where you need to be lucky or skilled to understand what's going on with your friend. Also, in combat, you wear a helmet. Helmets mask your facial features, because you don't want to get hit in the face. If your character wants to run around without a helmet? Fine. You're inviting critical hits, as you're not protecting vital parts of your anatomy.
So, here's how I would have ruled it.
First, the cleric needed to make a Perception or Sense Motive check (the DC would have been lower for Sense Motive) to understand that the feared character is not just retreating, that he is fleeing.
Second, the cleric can block his friend's path -- but gives up Dex and Shield bonuses to AC for doing so, against all attacks.
Third, if this left the fighter with no path away from the frightening condition, fight-or-flight kicks in, and the fighter strikes against the cleric with his most powerful attack.
Fourth, unless the cleric has an action reserved, all they can do is keep the fighter from moving through their space.
Funky Badger wrote:
I played a cleric all through Living Greyhawk. I've played clerics all through AD&D, 2nd Edition, and even into other games. It's not that I mind being the cleric, it's that I mind being the healer.
And as far as my preferred MMO style goes, I have two choices for superhero gaming now that NCsoft killed City of Heroes completely bogusly -- Champions Online or DCUO. And I'm a long-time Champions player. And I really dislike the DCUO precept of the idea that your character only got their superpowers thanks to Lex Luthor copying all the superpowers of the rest of the DC Universe, then implanting them into you like you illegally downloaded them from Napster.
I recently had someone offer me a spot in their home game, but I had to turn them down. Why? Because the GM wanted me to play THE HEALER. The strong suggestion (well, more like 'If you don't play this I will make your life a living hell') was that I play a cleric, with an emphasis on healing, positive channeling and support. I don't play support. I play damage dealers.
The conversation went something like this:
Yes, he was being a dick about it, but it's my right to play the character I want to play, right? If that means I don't play the game, then so be it, I have other things I could be doing with my time. Clerics are one of the weaker classes, IMO: Crap for skill points (and I'm all about the skills), good combat potential but not full BAB, spells I don't like using, and this reliance on the part of the other players to be the one who fixes THEIR mistakes. Hell no. Let someone else be the cleric.
Funky Badger wrote:
I've seen five players at a table decide they didn't want to play with the sixth, ask that the player excuse themselves, and when the player did not, they went to the event coordinator to lodge a protest.
When told that they could either play the module or find another game, they all chose to play another game.
Some people take this game WAAAAAAAY too seriously.
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
To explain knowing how to use older weapons could be done knowing fencing or some other weapon based martial art.
Look up both "Society for Creative Anachronism" and "Amtgard". Both treat medieval-style armed combat as a recreational sport (SCA fighters wear heavy protective armor and use blunt rattan weapons; Amtgard uses soft 'boffer' weapons). Either would be a good explanation as to how you've learned how to use a sword, axe, or mace.
Also: Baseball. You played on your firehouse's softball team. You can swing a bat.
Archery: Your uncle took you hunting in upstate New York twice a month. As your uncle was Ted Nugent, you used a bow. To impress him, you used an actual longbow and not a modern compound pulley bow.
STR 16 (+2 Human)
You really can't optimize this sort of character. Intelligence is going to be above-average; dumb people do not get to be firefighters. Also, the modern education system is better than a medieval education in almost all ways. Wisdom can be average, not below -- fools don't just get themselves killed in dangerous situations, they get other people killed, and the unwise don't end up as firefighters. A high Strength would be natural, but you really can't go above a 16 for a start.
Speaking of the modern education, your favored class bonus would probably be in skill points, not hit points. A Yankee doesn't come from an environment where combat is the norm, and one of the points of the Yankee is to impress upon those around you, your more advanced skills.
Skills chosen would ultimately depend on class chosen, but given a 2-point skill base (+1 for INT 12, +1 for Human, +1 for FCB), you'd have 5 points per level to go with. I'd choose Perception, Heal, Climb, Knowledge: Engineering, Profession: Firefighter and Diplomacy. Your Profession skill probably wouldn't be touched on after level 1, since you're trained to use modern technology -- fire extinguishing chemicals, pressurized hoses, oxygen masks, etc. -- to fight fires. The basics would still be useful. After level 1, put points into Diplomacy, as you learn how to deal with people in your new environment -- and the Yankee is always a smooth talker.
I'm guessing you mean aside from the big bag of gunpowder going BOOM.
The problem with this concept is that most firearm ammunition is two things: the gunpowder, and iron balls. Gunpowder explodes if it's ignited. Iron balls... do nothing.
I suppose if you had a LOT of iron balls, you could use them as marble traps. Dump a lot of them on the ground, now people have to make Acrobatics checks to move around. If you had a REALLY BIG LOT, then you could just dump them on the characters as a deadfall.
Gunpowder explodes, like I said. Any sort of trap used with gunpowder is going to explode. Put some iron balls in a bag of gunpowder and you have an improvised fragmentation grenade. Put a bag of iron balls in front of a bag of gunpowder in a hole in the wall which will shape the explosive, and you have an improvised claymore mine. For added fun, put the hole in the flooring, and put a thin flagstone on top, and now the explosion is hitting the characters' feet first.
Monsters like kobolds just aren't going to have the intelligence to use the powder effectively, and might miss the whole concept of using the iron ball ammo. And if they don't have a means of remote detonation -- perhaps a Spark cantrip -- then everything has to have an accessible fuse. But I could see a trap where two bags of powder suddenly come swinging out of the rafters, and simultaneously explode at head-height.
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Who on these boards does not have a working knowledge of the history of Golarion?
Me, for one.
With a little extrapolation and some decent backstory, almost any character becomes usable for a temporally-displaced personage. Was your character highly religious? Then he might find himself in a universe where Jehovah/Yahweh/Allah takes a personal interest in his presence and rewards faith with spells, making him a cleric. (And giving him a major quest -- introducing Christianity/Judaism/Islam to Golarion!) Or perhaps the event that brought him to Golarion charged him with arcane energies, which he can use as spells. Maybe he was a lawyer, that would make him a pretty good Rogue. Or maybe he's a musician who finds a magical instrument... no, wait, there's no talking otters.
For a real 'Connecticut Yankee' feel to a character, though, I'd suggest an Alchemist/Gunslinger combination. Extracts are modern drugs and modern chemical compounds. Feel free to make him one-handed, with a prosthetic hand/sword...
Most 'Connecticut Yankee' stories that I've read involving a fantasy universe puts the newly-introduced character at a disadvantage until he learns to equate his modern knowledge to fantasy terms. For example, he might know how to make modern gunpowder, but if the fantasy world calls sulfur and saltpeter by completely different names, then he wouldn't know how to make powder right away. Skills like Heal might seem pretty innocuous -- but how does a character who's only familiar with the modern world deal with the physiology of an elf or a half-orc? And even a skill that seems it would translate straight over, like Knowledge: Engineering, might have an acclimatization period as well -- such things considered constants on Terra are sometimes very variable on Golarion.
Feel free to work with your GM as to the potential use of items you brought with you from the future. They'd qualify as either masterwork or semi-magical. A first aid kit, for example, is a masterwork healing kit, while a foil packet of Tylenol might be a Potion of Cure Light Wounds. Weapons that you're carrying -- like a knife or a machete (if you were out camping beforehand) are probably made of modern tool steel, which is considerably better than even the finest Damascus steel, and would be considered masterwork if not a nonmagical equivalent to a +1 or better weapon. Armor is a different story. I'd give a bulletproof vest the same stats as masterwork Studded Leather. But SCA armor is usually made of 16 gauge aluminum steel, which means while it would be good in a combat or two, you couldn't fix the stuff.
Just curious, where in the rules does it say that mounts don't engage in combat? And if you can have a horse that won't fight, where does it say you can't have a dog that won't fight? Does her pet have to be fighting from level 1? It's not like those 3 levels take that long to get through...
I'm not sure where it says that; all I know is that when I tried to bring my money-bought warhorse into battle, I was told it was against the rules by a more experienced player. I was informed that only cavaliers and paladins can deliberately bring their mounts into combat. (I suppose druids and rangers and summoners would also qualify.)
So, why buy a warhorse? Because if the party is caught in an ambush, they're easier to control, I was told.
You can buy mounts, but unless they're class features of some sort, they're not meat shields or combat allies. They're vehicles. Plain and simple.
On the plus side, I've not yet run into any PFS Mission that caused the loss of your mounts, so again, they're vehicles (and really have no impact upon the world anyway -- missions take the same amount of time if you're on foot as if you're mounted).
If you think the rule is dumb, you're more than welcome to go over to the Pathfinder Society boards and argue it. I'm not going to complain -- I'm happy to play PFS, as I'm getting burned out on running games at all (I run 4E Living Forgotten Realms every other weekend).
Actually, there is. Guard animals aren't allowed, otherwise every player would be bringing menageries on their PFS missions.
DM Bacon wrote:
Will you allow some variant rules from Unearthed Arcana?
Elven Druid. Bow proficiency and her animal up front. Notning in the rules about "prohibited weapons".
Again, let me requote my original post:
Unearthed Arcana isn't allowed for Pathfinder Society, last I knew.
I already cited the elf druid, but the problem is that she'd give up spellcasting if she wore proscribed armor, and for the other players at the table, that removes a fairly major capability for her character. With Pathfinder Society gameplay, the other players at the table can refuse to play with a problem character, even if the character is viable according to Pathfinder Society rules and the GM is amenable. Look at it this way: You're at a convention. You're facing an adventure that you've heard is quite deadly unless every member of the group is operating at full capacity. Your only healer is a druid that can't cast spells or use wands. Do you continue on the adventure, knowing that it's lethal and you have no healing? Or do you sit this one out and go play another game?
What she wants is a ranger, and I think the trapmaster ranger is more her speed. However, this does bring up another point that I'll have to bring up in another post.
Personally, I'm not happy with any of the Knowledge skills. Either they're too broad, or misnamed, or mismatched. I'd prefer to tighten them up, add more Knowledge skills to emphasize tighter fields of knowledge, and hand out some free skill points to compensate for the loss of broadness of the original skills.
Knowledge: Local is a horrid, horrid skill. What it should be named, is Streetwise. As such, it should be Wisdom-linked, as it's more related to common sense and "reading between the lines".
Streetwise should be an untrained skill. Streetwise can be used for obtaining knowledge of a new city; it just takes a certain amount of time existing within that culture to obtain that information. You can't just call up information about the crime lords of Absalom when you're half a world away, if you've never been to Absalom.
Knowledge and study of specific locales is called Culture. You take Culture for any specific zone you want to study, from Absalom to ... well, I'm not all that familiar with the world. Culture costs one skill point per specific region, and is not a skill in itself -- instead it gives the ability to recall information for that region without having to immerse oneself in the society for a given amount of time, or be a native of that locale.
Gather Information is its own skill, Charisma-linked. It's an abstraction skill, and can be specialized per society level: simple (villages and small towns that don't have specific social levels), low, middle, high, nobility, arcane, primal (barbarian and druid society, which is outside usual social norms) and specific groups (Pathfinders, for example). Specialization gives a +4 in gathering information within that specific social level, but a -2 for all other levels. It is untrained (anyone can wander into a few bars and do some asking around).
Knowledge about the laws within that society are part of the Culture of that society. You can specialize a Culture skill as above, even going so far as to sub-specialize (Pathfinders of Absalom, as opposed to just Pathfinders). Just like Gather Information, specialization gives a +4 to skill checks about that specific group/area and a -2 to skill checks for information pertaining to the general area. So you might have a Culture skill for The Kingdom of Devermere, with a specialization for the town of Jumper's Bridge, and you'd be at a +4 for recalling information about Jumper's Bridge and a -2 for information about the rest of the kingdom. You still don't know anything about Devermere's neighbors.
Pepsi Jedi wrote:
Pathfinder Society does not start at level 4. It starts at level 1.
Let me requote my original post:
Now, were this my own game, I'd just crack the OGL World of Warcraft RPG and let her play that version [of the hunter class], but it's for Pathfinder Society, so it's got to be legit.
Looking deeper at the rules, there's the possibility of the non-caster druid -- a druid with an 8 WIS doesn't have the WIS for spellcasting, or a druid wearing metal armor loses spellcasting and shapeshifting. I'm concerned, though, that if the player sits at some tables, they'll refuse to have her at the table since her character is missing some fairly major class abilities.